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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
eISSN: 1812-5735
pISSN: 1028-8880

Editor-in-Chief:  Hakan Ulukan
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Research Article
Protective Role of Melatonin in Streptozotocin Induced Pancreatic Damages in Diabetic Wistar Rat
Younis Ahmad Hajam, Seema Rai, Muddasir Basheer, Hindole Ghosh and Srishti Singh
Background and Objective: Hyperglycemia is a representative hallmark and risk factor for diabetes and is closely linked to diabetes associated complications. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the therapeutic potential of exogenous melatonin against the streptozotocin induced pancreatic damages in rats. Materials and Methods: Streptozotocin was injected for consecutive 6 days. Diabetes was confirmed by blood glucose measurement after 72 h and on 7th day after injection. Animals having blood glucose level above 250 mg dL1 were considered as diabetic and were administered exogenous melatonin for 4 weeks. Animals were euthanized after last dose, pancreas were dissected out, weighed and fixed in Bouin’s fixative for histology and further tissues were kept at -20°C for biochemistry. Results: Diabetic rats displayed significant increase in lipid peroxidation, but pancreatic weight index, antioxidant system (GSH, SOD and CAT) showed decrease. Melatonin treatment to diabetic rats restored the alteration in physiological and biochemical markers. Results were supported by the histopathological observations, STZ treated pancreas showed damage in islets of langerhans, while as melatonin treated diabetic rats recovered the cellular architecture which inturn normalize the function of the pancreas. Conclusion: Therefore, melatonin might be considered as a molecule to protect the pancreatic damages.
Research Article
Physio-chemical Characterization and Anti-microbial Activity of Serine Protease Inhibitors Purified from the Sophora japonica Seeds
Mudasar Nabi, Aaliya Bhat, Shayaq ul Abeer Rasool, Sairish Ashraf, Rouf Maqbool, Showkat Ahmad Ganie and Shajrul Amin
Background and Objective: Protease inhibitors (PIs) regulate various cellular processes like cell cycle, differentiation, apoptosis and immune responses. Leguminous seeds are rich sources of protease inhibitors and many novel protease inhibitors have been purified from them. To isolate and purify protease inhibitors from seeds of Sophora japonica, characterize and investigate their anti- microbial activity. Materials and Methods: Protease inhibitors (SJ-pi I and SJ-pi II) were purified to homogeneity by ammonium sulfate precipitation, Ion exchange chromatography and column chromatography. The molecular mass was estimated by size exclusion chromatography and by SDS-PAGE and anti- microbial activity was tested by agar disk diffusion method. Results: Two protease inhibitors were isolated and purified from Sophora japonica seeds, SJ-pi I and SJ-pi II, with molecular weight of 15.1 and 31 kDa, respectively. Both purified inhibitors were active over a range of pH (6.0-9.0) and showed maximum activity in the temperature range of 30-40°C. They inhibited the growth of three Gram-positive bacteria. Conclusion: Protease inhibitors were classified as serine protease inhibitors, however further necessary structural investigations need to be carried out so as to group them into specific class of serine protease inhibitors.
Research Article
Biological Activity of Native and Low Molecular Weight Chitosan obtained by Steam Explosion Process
Dina Sugiyanti, Purnama Darmadji, Umar Santoso, Yudi Pranoto, Chairil Anwar and Sri Anggrahini
Background and Objective: Low molecular weight chitosan (LWCS) was interestingly used because of it’s solubility and has good functional properties like antioxidant and antibacterial activity. This study aimed to evaluate antioxidant and antibacterial activity of chitosan and low molecular weight chitosan. Materials and Methods: Low molecular weight chitosan was obtained by physical and chemical hydrolysis using steam explosion process with steam pressure at 6 bar, temperature at 160°C and concentration of phosphotungstic acid at 0.1% w/v. The antioxidant activity was confirmed by radical DPPH scavenging activity, chelating metal ion value, inhibitory lipid peroxidation and antibacterial activity was confirmed by diffusion methods. Results: LWCS had antioxidant activity higher than native chitosan on radical scavenging, chelating ion value and inhibition of lipid peroxidation. LWCS had higher inhibitory effect as antibacterial than native chitosan against tested bacteria, there were Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella typhimurium, Streptococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis. Conclusion: It was concluded that LWCS had more powerful antioxidant and antibacterial activity than native chitosan.
Research Article
Preparation and Characterization of Sustained Released Zinc Citrate Encapsulated in Whey Protein Nanoparticles
Tarek Nour Soliman and Mona Abd El Fattah Hassan
Background and Objectives: The use of milk proteins for drug delivery is a new trend in functional foods and pharmaceutical. Recently, researchers have focused on the utilization of whey proteins in the preparation of nanoparticle and carrier for drugs and micronutrients. The objectives of this paper were to use whey proteins isolate (WPI) nanoparticles for the encapsulation of zinc citrate micronutrients and characterization of the prepared nanoparticles. Materials and Methods: Nanoparticles were prepared from WPI with pH cycling and used for the encapsulation and sustained release of zinc citrate with three ratios (7, 14 and 28 mM) of zinc citrate per gram WPI. The particle size of the prepared nanoparticles was characterization and examined by transmission electron microscopy. The release of Zinc from the prepared nanoparticles was carried out using simulated gastric fluid at pH 1.2 using dialysis membranes, the amount of zinc citrate loaded whey protein (14.36 mg Zinc in 1 g WPI) within range of daily dose of zinc for healthy adults. Results: The WPI nanoparticles were able to encapsulate efficiently zinc, with encapsulation efficiency that ranged between 99.79 and 96.31%. Zinc was highly released from the prepared nanoparticles in acidic media (pH 1.2). Conclusion: It can be concluded that WPI can be used as an effective vehicle for the protection and sustained release of zinc in food and pharmaceutical preparations.
Research Article
Preparation and Evaluation of Functional Foods for Prevention of Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Doha A. Mohamed, Sherein S. Abdelgayed, Hend A. Essa and Rasha S. Mohamed
Background and Objective: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a public health problem presenting one of the most important common forms of liver diseases worldwide. This study was carried out to investigate the protective effect of two functional foods in form of bread containing purslane seeds meal and garden cress seeds against NAFLD. Materials and Methods: High fat and high cholesterol diet were used for induction of NAFLD in rats for 6 weeks. Plasma lipid profile (total cholesterol, triglycerides, high density lipoprotein-cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, hepatic lipid profile (total fat, cholesterol, triglycerides), malondialdehyde (MDA), as well as liver (AST, ALT, total and direct bilirubin) and kidney (creatinine and urea) functions were assessed. Histological examination of liver tissue was carried out. Results: Results revealed that significant elevation in plasma and liver lipid profiles, MDA, liver enzymes (AST and ALT), bilirubin (total and direct) and kidney function (creatinine and urea) were observed in NAFLD control compared to normal control. Feeding rats on diet containing functional food I and II (purslane and garden cress bread, respectively) showed significant improvement in all the studied parameters with remarkable effect regards to functional food I (purslane bread). Conclusion: Purslane bread and garden cress bread as functional foods prepared in the present study prevent weight gain, improve plasma lipid profile and prevent hepatic lipid accumulation effectively in NAFLD model in rats. Also decreased lipid peroxidation, improve liver and kidney functions and possess hypoglycemic effect. Purslane bread was superior in the prevention of hepatic lipid accumulation.
Research Article
Associated Antenatal Health Risk Factors with Incidence of Toxoplasmosis in Egyptian Pregnant Women
Nawal Abdel Hafez Hassanain, Raafat Mohamed Shaapan and Mohey Abdel Hafez Hassanain
Background and Objective: The major maternal toxoplasmosis infection during pregnancy is regularly related to trans-placental transmission to the embryo and newly-borne child. This cross-section study was performed to investigate the prevalence of toxoplasmosis among pregnant women attending antennal health centers. Materials and Methods: The IgM antibodies against Toxoplasma were quantitatively determined by commercially available kits, while IgG antibodies and avidity (AV) of Toxoplasma gondii-specific IgG antibodies were quantitatively determined by using of conventional ELISA. Results: The overall seroprevalence of T. gondii IgM among the investigated pregnant women was much higher than toxoplasma IgG with low IgG avidity representing acute infection with possibility of risk to the mother, embryo and newly-borne child. Results also showed that highest Toxoplasma prevalence was among pregnant women with history of intake of immunosuppressive drugs and abortion, having cats and animals in their households and in the 1st and 2nd trimesters. Conclusion: The high infection prevalence of T. gondii among the Egyptian pregnant women in Giza governorate revealed the risk of premature termination of pregnancy due to exposure of T. gondii infection.
Research Article
Isolation and Identification of Salmonella paratyphi from Enteric Fever Patients at Different Hospitals of Quetta City
Malala Panezai, Muhammad Kamran Taj, Imran Nawaz, Imran Taj, Marina Panezai, Nazia Panezai, Umbreen Zafar, Durdana Ghulam Muhammad, Saeed Ahmed Essote and Ghulam Muhammad
Background and Objective: Salmonella paratyphi cause enteric fever which is an important public health problem worldwide. In Pakistan incidence is increasing and affect all age groups. Therefore, the present research was designed to study the different microbiological aspects of Salmonella paratyphi. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted to identify the Salmonella paratyphi from blood samples in Quetta. Total 480 blood samples were collected from different hospital of Quetta. Specific colony characters, microscopic examination, biochemical tests and PCR were used for identification of Salmonella paratyphi. Results: Total 55% samples were positive and 45% were negative for Salmonella paratyphi. Results showed that males (34%) were more affected with Salmonella paratyphi as compare to female (20%). Age wise distribution revealed that Salmonella paratyphi was high in 20-30 years (38%) followed by 10-20 years (9.16%) and 1-10 years (7.5%) age group patients. Paratyphoid fever cases were significantly high (25.41%) in Pashtoon population as compare to other population of Balochistan. The 40% paratyphoid fever was observed in the patients with low socioeconomic status, 9.16% in middle socioeconomic status and 5.83% in the patients belonged to high socioeconomic status. The Salmonella paratyphi were sensitive to Chloramphenicol (23 mm), Amikacin (24 mm), Gentamicin (12 mm), Quinolones (23) and Polypeptide (13 mm) classes. The PCR based identification of Salmonella paratyphi showed clear bands of 329 bp of flic-a gene. Conclusion: To control paratyphoid fever strong initiatives must be taken to improve water sanitation, hygiene level, supply of save drinking water and vaccination is recommended in order to eradicate the disease.

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