Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 6

Search results for: Rukshika S Hewawasam

6 Isolation and Characterization of an Ethanol Resistant Bacterium from Sap of Saccharum officinarum for Efficient Fermentation

Authors: Rukshika S Hewawasam, Sisira K. Weliwegamage, Sanath Rajapakse, Subramanium Sotheeswaran

Abstract:

Bio fuel is one of the emerging industries around the world due to arise of crisis in petroleum fuel. Fermentation is a cost effective and eco-friendly process in production of bio-fuel. So inventions in microbes, substrates, technologies in fermentation cause new modifications in fermentation. One major problem in microbial ethanol fermentation is the low resistance of conventional microorganisms to the high ethanol concentrations, which ultimately lead to decrease in the efficiency of the process. In the present investigation, an ethanol resistant bacterium was isolated from sap of Saccharum officinarum (sugar cane). The optimal cultural conditions such as pH, temperature, incubation period, and microbiological characteristics, morphological characteristics, biochemical characteristics, ethanol tolerance, sugar tolerance, growth curve assay were investigated. Isolated microorganism was tolerated to 18% (V/V) of ethanol concentration in the medium and 40% (V/V) glucose concentration in the medium. Biochemical characteristics have revealed as Gram negative, non-motile, negative for Indole test ,Methyl Red test, Voges- Proskauer`s test, Citrate Utilization test, and Urease test. Positive results for Oxidase test was shown by isolated bacterium. Sucrose, Glucose, Fructose, Maltose, Dextrose, Arabinose, Raffinose, Lactose, and Sachcharose can be utilized by this particular bacterium. It is a significant feature in effective fermentation. The fermentation process was carried out in glucose medium under optimum conditions; pH 4, temperature 30˚C, and incubated for 72 hours. Maximum ethanol production was recorded as 12.0±0.6% (V/V). Methanol was not detected in the final product of the fermentation process. This bacterium is especially useful in bio-fuel production due to high ethanol tolerance of this microorganism; it can be used to enhance the fermentation process over conventional microorganisms. Investigations are currently conducted on establishing the identity of the bacterium

Keywords: bacterium, bio-fuel, ethanol tolerance, fermentation

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5 Effect of Maternal Factors and C-Peptide and Insulin Levels in Cord Blood on the Birth Weight of Newborns: A Preliminary Study from Southern Sri Lanka

Authors: M. H. A. D. de Silva, R. P. Hewawasam, M. A. G. Iresha

Abstract:

Macrosomia is common in infants born to not only women diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus but also non-diabetic obese women. Maternal Body Mass Index (BMI) correlates with the incidence of large for gestational age infants. Obesity has reached epidemic levels in modern societies. During the past two decades, obesity in children and adolescents has risen significantly in Asian populations including Sri Lanka. There is increasing evidence to believe that infants who are born large for gestational age are more likely to be obese in childhood and adolescence and are at risk of cardiovascular and metabolic complications later in life. It is also established that Asians have lower skeletal muscle mass, low bone mineral content and excess body fat for a given BMI indicating a genetic predisposition in the occurrence of obesity. The objective of this study is to determine the effect of maternal weight, weight gain during pregnancy, c-peptide and insulin concentrations in the cord blood on the birth of appropriate for and large for gestational age infants in a tertiary care center in Southern Sri Lanka. Umbilical cord blood was collected from 90 newborns (Male 40, Female 50; gestational age 35-42 weeks) after double clamping the umbilical cord before separation of the placenta and the concentration of insulin and C-peptide were measured by ELISA technique. Anthropometric parameters of the newborn such as birth weight, length, ponderal index, occipital frontal, chest, hip and calf circumferences were measured, and characteristics of the mother were collected. The relationship between insulin, C-peptide and anthropometrics were assessed by Spearman correlation. The multiple logistic regression analysis examined influences of maternal weight, weight gain during pregnancy, C-peptide and insulin concentrations in cord blood as covariates on the birth of large for gestational age infants. A significant difference (P<0.001) was observed between the insulin levels of infants born large for gestational age (18.73 ± 0.52 µlU/ml) and appropriate for gestational age (13.08 ± 0.56 µlU/ml). Consistently, A significant decrease in concentration (41.68%, P<0.001) was observed between C-peptide levels of infants born large for gestational age and appropriate for gestational age. Cord blood insulin and C-peptide levels had a significant correlation with birth weight (r=0.35, P<0.05) of the newborn at delivery. Maternal weight and BMI which are indicators of maternal nutrition were proven to be directly correlated with birth weight and length. To our knowledge, this relationship was investigated for the first time in a Sri Lankan setting and was also evident in our results. This study confirmed the fact that insulin and C-peptide play a major role in regulating fetal growth. According to the results obtained in this study, we can suggest that the increased BMI of the mother has a direct influence on increased maternal insulin secretion, which may subsequently affect cord insulin and C-peptide levels and also birth weight of the infant.

Keywords: C-peptide, insulin, large for gestational age, maternal weight

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4 Therapeutic Potential of GSTM2-2 C-Terminal Domain and Its Mutants, F157A and Y160A on the Treatment of Cardiac Arrhythmias: Effect on Ca2+ Transients in Neonatal Ventricular Cardiomyocytes

Authors: R. P. Hewawasam, A. F. Dulhunty

Abstract:

The ryanodine receptor (RyR) is an intracellular ion channel that releases Ca2+ from the sarcoplasmic reticulum and is essential for the excitation-contraction coupling and contraction in striated muscle. Human muscle specific glutathione transferase M2-2 (GSTM2-2) is a highly specific inhibitor of cardiac ryanodine receptor (RyR2) activity. Single channel-lipid bilayer studies and Ca2+ release assays performed using the C-terminal half of the GSTM2-2 and its mutants F157A and Y160A confirmed the ability of the C terminal domain of GSTM2-2 to specifically inhibit the cardiac ryanodine receptor activity. Objective of the present study is to determine the effect of C terminal domain of GSTM2-2 (GSTM2-2C) and the mutants, F157A and Y160A on the Ca2+ transients of neonatal ventricular cardiomyocytes. Primary cardiomyocytes were cultured from neonatal rats. They were treated with GSTM2-2C and the two mutants F157A and Y160A at 15µM and incubated for 2 hours. Then the cells were led with Fluo-4AM, fluorescent Ca2+ indicator, and the field stimulated (1 Hz, 3V and 2ms) cells were excited using the 488 nm argon laser. Contractility of the cells were measured and the Ca2+ transients in the stained cells were imaged using Leica SP5 confocal microscope. Peak amplitude of the Ca2+ transient, rise time and decay time from the peak were measured for each transient. In contrast to GSTM2C which significantly reduced the % shortening (42.8%) in the field stimulated cells, F157A and Y160A failed to reduce the % shortening.Analysis revealed that the average amplitude of the Ca2+ transient was significantly reduced (P<0.001) in cells treated with the wild type GSTM2-2C compared to that of untreated cells. Cells treated with the mutants F157A and Y160A didn’t change the Ca2+ transient significantly compared to the control. A significant increase in the rise time (P< 0.001) and a significant reduction in the decay time (P< 0.001) were observed in cardiomyocytes treated with GSTM2-2C compared to the control but not with F157A and Y160A. These results are consistent with the observation that GSTM2-2C reduced the Ca2+ release from the cardiac SR significantly whereas the mutants, F157A and Y160A didn’t show any effect compared to the control. GSTM2-2C has an isoform-specific effect on the cardiac ryanodine receptor activity and also it inhibits RyR2 channel activity only during diastole. Selective inhibition of RyR2 by GSTM2-2C has significant clinical potential in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias and heart failure. Since GSTM2-2C-terminal construct has no GST enzyme activity, its introduction to the cardiomyocyte would not exert any unwanted side effects that may alter its enzymatic action. The present study further confirms that GSTM2-2C is capable of decreasing the Ca2+ release from the cardiac SR during diastole. These results raise the future possibility of using GSTM2-2C as a template for therapeutics that can depress RyR2 function when the channel is hyperactive in cardiac arrhythmias and heart failure.

Keywords: arrhythmia, cardiac muscle, cardiac ryanodine receptor, GSTM2-2

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3 Protective Effect of Cinnamomum zeylanicum Bark Extract against Doxorubicin Induced Cardiotoxicity: A Preliminary Study

Authors: J. A. N. Sandamali, R. P. Hewawasam, K. A. P. W. Jayatilaka, L. K. B. Mudduwa

Abstract:

Introduction: Doxorubicin is widely used in the treatment of solid organ tumors and hematological malignancies, but the dose-dependent cardiotoxicity due to free radical formation compromises its clinical utility. Therapeutic strategies which enhance cellular endogenous defense systems have been identified as promising approaches to combat oxidative stress-associated conditions. Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Ceylon cinnamon) has a number antioxidant compounds, which can effectively scavenge reactive oxygen including superoxide anions, hydroxyl radicals and as well as other free radicals. Therefore, the objective of the study was to elucidate the most effective dose of Cinnamomum bark extract which ameliorates doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity. Materials and methods: Wistar rats were divided into seven groups of 10 animals in each. Group 1: normal control (distilled water, orally, for 14 days, 10 mL/kg saline, ip, after 16 hours fast on the 11th day); Group 2: doxorubicin control (distilled water, orally, for 14 days, 18 mg/kg doxorubicin, ip, after 16 hour fast on the 11th day); Groups 3-7: five doses of freeze dried aqueous bark extracts (0.125, 0.25, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0g/kg, orally, daily for 14 days, 18 mg/kg doxorubicin, ip, after 16 hours fast on the 11th day). Animals were sacrificed on the 15th day and blood was collected for the estimation of cardiac troponin I (cTnI), AST and LDH concentrations and myocardial tissues were collected for histopathological assessment of myocardial damage and irreversible changes were graded by developing a score. Results: cTnI concentration of groups 1-7 were 0, 161.9, 128.6, 95.9, 38, 19.41 & 12.36 pg/mL showing significant differences (p<0.05) between group 2 and groups 4-7. In groups 1-7, serum AST concentration were 26.82, 68.1, 37.18, 36.23, 26.8, 26.62 & 22.43U/L and LDH concentrations were 1166.13, 2428.84, 1658.35, 1474.34, 1277.58, 1110.21 & 974.40U/L and a significant difference (p<0.05) was observed between group 2 and groups 3-7. The maximum score for myocardial necrosis was observed in group 2. Parallel to the increase of the dosage of plant extract, a gradual reduction of the score for myocardial necrosis was observed in groups 3-7. Reversible histological changes such as vacuolation, congestion were observed in group 2 and all plant treated groups. Haemorrhages, inflammatory cell infiltrations, and interstitial oedema were observed in group 2, but absent in groups treated with higher doses of the plant extract. Discussion & Conclusion: According to the in vitro antioxidant assays performed, Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Ceylon cinnamon) bark possesses high amounts of polyphenolic substances and high antioxidant activity. The present study showed that Cinnamomum zeylanicum extract at 2.0 g/kg possesses the most significant cardioprotective effect against doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity. It can be postulated that pretreatment with Cinnamomum bark extract may replenish the cardiomyocytes with antioxidants that are needed for the defense against oxidative stress induced by doxorubicin.

Keywords: cardioprotection, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, doxorubicin, free radicals

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2 Concentrations of Leptin, C-Peptide and Insulin in Cord Blood as Fetal Origins of Insulin Resistance and Their Effect on the Birth Weight of the Newborn

Authors: R. P. Hewawasam, M. H. A. D. de Silva, M. A. G. Iresha

Abstract:

Obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing insulin resistance. Insulin resistance often progresses to type-2 diabetes mellitus and is linked to a wide variety of other pathophysiological features including hypertension, hyperlipidemia, atherosclerosis (metabolic syndrome) and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Macrosomia is common in infants born to not only women with gestational diabetes mellitus but also non-diabetic obese women. During the past two decades, obesity in children and adolescents has risen significantly in Asian populations including Sri Lanka. There is increasing evidence to believe that infants who are born large for gestational age (LGA) are more likely to be obese in childhood. It is also established from previous studies that Asian populations have higher percentage body fat at a lower body mass index compared to Caucasians. High leptin levels in cord blood have been reported to correlate with fetal adiposity at birth. Previous studies have also shown that cord blood C-peptide and insulin levels are significantly and positively correlated with birth weight. Therefore, the objective of this preliminary study was to determine the relationship between parameters of fetal insulin resistance such as leptin, C-peptide and insulin and the birth weight of the newborn in a study population in Southern Sri Lanka. Umbilical cord blood was collected from 90 newborns and the concentration of insulin, leptin, and C-peptide were measured by ELISA technique. Birth weight, length, occipital frontal, chest, hip and calf circumferences of newborns were measured and characteristics of the mother such as age, height, weight before pregnancy and weight gain were collected. The relationship between insulin, leptin, C-peptide, and anthropometrics were assessed by Pearson’s correlation while the Mann-Whitney U test was used to assess the differences in cord blood leptin, C-peptide, and insulin levels between groups. A significant difference (p < 0.001) was observed between the insulin levels of infants born LGA (18.73 ± 0.64 µlU/ml) and AGA (13.08 ± 0.43 µlU/ml). Consistently, A significant increase in concentration (p < 0.001) was observed in C-peptide levels of infants born LGA (9.32 ± 0.77 ng/ml) compared to AGA (5.44 ± 0.19 ng/ml). Cord blood leptin concentration of LGA infants (12.67 ng/mL ± 1.62) was significantly higher (p < 0.001) compared to the AGA infants (7.10 ng/mL ± 0.97). Significant positive correlations (p < 0.05) were observed among cord leptin levels and the birth weight, pre-pregnancy maternal weight and BMI between the infants of AGA and LGA. Consistently, a significant positive correlation (p < 0.05) was observed between the birth weight and the C peptide concentration. Significantly high concentrations of leptin, C-peptide and insulin levels in the cord blood of LGA infants suggest that they may be involved in regulating fetal growth. Although previous studies suggest comparatively high levels of body fat in the Asian population, values obtained in this study are not significantly different from values previously reported from Caucasian populations. According to this preliminary study, maternal pre-pregnancy BMI and weight may contribute as significant indicators of cord blood parameters of insulin resistance and possibly the birth weight of the newborn.

Keywords: large for gestational age, leptin, C-peptide, insulin

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1 Leptin Levels in Cord Blood and Their Associations with the Birth of Small, Large and Appropriate for Gestational Age Infants in Southern Sri Lanka

Authors: R. P. Hewawasam, M. H. A. D. de Silva, M. A. G. Iresha

Abstract:

In recent years childhood obesity has increased to pan-epidemic proportions along with a concomitant increase in obesity-associated morbidity. Birth weight is an important determinant of later adult health, with neonates at both ends of the birth weight spectrum at risk of future health complications. Consequently, infants who are born large for gestational age (LGA) are more likely to be obese in childhood and adolescence and are at risk of cardiovascular and metabolic complications later in life. Adipose tissue plays a role in linking events in fetal growth to the subsequent development of adult diseases. In addition to its role as a storage depot for fat, adipose tissue produces and secrets a number of hormones of importance in modulating metabolism and energy homeostasis. Cord blood leptin level has been positively correlated with fetal adiposity at birth. It is established that Asians have lower skeletal muscle mass, low bone mineral content and excess body fat for a given body mass index indicating a genetic predisposition in the occurrence of obesity. To our knowledge, studies have never been conducted in Sri Lanka to determine the relationship between adipocytokine profile in cord blood and anthropometric parameters in newborns. Thus, the objective of this study is to establish the above relationship for the Sri Lankan population to implement awareness programs to minimize childhood obesity in the future. Umbilical cord blood was collected from 90 newborns (Male 40, Female 50; gestational age 35-42 weeks) after double clamping the umbilical cord before separation of the placenta and the concentration of leptin was measured by ELISA technique. Anthropometric parameters of the newborn such as birth weight, length, ponderal index, occipital frontal, chest, hip and calf circumferences were measured. Pearson’s correlation was used to assess the relationship between leptin and anthropometric parameters while the Mann-Whitney U test was used to assess the differences in cord blood leptin levels between small for gestational age (SGA), appropriate for gestational age (AGA) and LGA infants. There was a significant difference (P < 0.05) between the cord blood leptin concentrations of LGA infants (12.67 ng/mL ± 2.34) and AGA infants (7.10 ng/mL ± 0.90). However, a significant difference was not observed between leptin levels of SGA infants (8.86 ng/mL ± 0.70) and AGA infants. In both male and female neonates, umbilical leptin levels showed significant positive correlations (P < 0.05) with birth weight of the newborn, pre-pregnancy maternal weight and pre pregnancy BMI between the infants of large and appropriate for gestational ages. Increased concentrations of leptin levels in the cord blood of large for gestational age infants suggest that they may be involved in regulating fetal growth. Leptin concentration of Sri Lankan population was not significantly deviated from published data of Asian populations. Fetal leptin may be an important predictor of neonatal adiposity; however, interventional studies are required to assess its impact on the possible risk of childhood obesity.

Keywords: appropriate for gestational age, childhood obesity, leptin, anthropometry

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