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Pharmaceuticals, Volume 10, Issue 3 (September 2017)

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Cover Story The consolidation of the combretastatin and bisindolylmaleimide templates towards the inclusion of [...] Read more.
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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Pharmaceuticals: Impact Factor or CiteScore™
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 61; doi:10.3390/ph10030061
Received: 3 July 2017 / Revised: 5 July 2017 / Accepted: 5 July 2017 / Published: 6 July 2017
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Open AccessEditorial Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) Channels in Drug Discovery: Old Concepts & New Thoughts
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 64; doi:10.3390/ph10030064
Received: 25 June 2017 / Revised: 26 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 6 July 2017
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Abstract
2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the molecular cloning by David Julius and colleagues (1997) of the long sought-after capsaicin receptor, now known as TRPV1 (Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1) [1]. This seminal discovery has opened up a “hot” new field of basic
[...] Read more.
2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the molecular cloning by David Julius and colleagues (1997) of the long sought-after capsaicin receptor, now known as TRPV1 (Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1) [1]. This seminal discovery has opened up a “hot” new field of basic research and launched drug discovery efforts into the large family (by the latest count 28 mammalian members, 27 in humans) of TRP ion channels [2]. Indeed, it took less than a decade for the first potent, small molecule TRPV1 antagonists to enter phase 1 clinical trials [3]. Yet, despite the large amount of resources that has been invested in TRPV1 research, there are currently no TRPV1-targeted drugs in phase 3 clinical trials. In this special issue of Pharmaceuticals, we aim to capture the progress in the TRP channel field over the past twenty years, with 15 articles covering a variety of TRP channels and potential relevant disease states and applications. Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle Individual and Combined Effects of Engineered Peptides and Antibiotics on Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilms
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 58; doi:10.3390/ph10030058
Received: 26 May 2017 / Revised: 22 June 2017 / Accepted: 23 June 2017 / Published: 25 June 2017
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Abstract
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is involved in a variety of difficult-to-treat infections frequently due to biofilm formation. To identify useful antibiofilm strategies, this article evaluated efficacy of two newly engineered cationic antimicrobial peptides (17BIPHE2 and DASamP2), traditional antibiotics, and their combinations against biofilms at different
[...] Read more.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is involved in a variety of difficult-to-treat infections frequently due to biofilm formation. To identify useful antibiofilm strategies, this article evaluated efficacy of two newly engineered cationic antimicrobial peptides (17BIPHE2 and DASamP2), traditional antibiotics, and their combinations against biofilms at different stages. 17BIPHE2 is designed based on the 3D structure of human cathelicidin LL-37 and DASamP2 is derived from database screening. While both peptides show effects on bacterial adhesion, biofilm formation, and preformed biofilms, select antibiotics only inhibit biofilm formation, probably due to direct bacterial killing. In addition, the time dependence of biofilm formation and treatment in a static in vitro biofilm model was also studied. The initial bacterial inoculum determines the peptide concentration needed to inhibit biofilm growth. When the bacterial growth time is less than 8 h, the biomass in the wells can be dispersed by either antibiotics alone or peptides alone. However, nearly complete biofilm disruption can be achieved when both the peptide and antibiotics are applied. Our results emphasize the importance of antibiofilm peptides, early treatment using monotherapy, and the combination therapy for already formed biofilms of P. aeruginosa. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Choices of the Journal)
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Open AccessArticle Precipitation and Neutralization of Heparin from Different Sources by Protamine Sulfate
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 59; doi:10.3390/ph10030059
Received: 8 June 2017 / Revised: 28 June 2017 / Accepted: 29 June 2017 / Published: 2 July 2017
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Abstract
Current therapeutic unfractionated heparin available in Europe and US is of porcine mucosal origin. There is now interest, specifically in the US, to use bovine mucosa as an additional source for the production of heparin. The anticoagulant action of heparin can be neutralized
[...] Read more.
Current therapeutic unfractionated heparin available in Europe and US is of porcine mucosal origin. There is now interest, specifically in the US, to use bovine mucosa as an additional source for the production of heparin. The anticoagulant action of heparin can be neutralized by protamine sulfate, and in this study the ability of protamine to bind and neutralize the anticoagulant activities of heparin from porcine mucosa, bovine mucosa and bovine lung were assessed. Protamine sulfate was able to bind and precipitate similar amounts of heparins from different sources on a mass basis. However, differential amounts of anticoagulant activities were neutralized by protamine sulfate, with neutralization of porcine mucosa more effective than for bovine lung and bovine mucosa. For all heparins, potentiation of thrombin inhibition by antithrombin and heparin cofactor II was preferentially neutralized over antithrombin-mediated inhibition of factor Xa or plasma clotting time. Whole blood thromboelastography showed that neutralization by protamine sulfate was more effective than the antithrombin dependent thrombin inhibition assays indicated. While there was no absolute correlation between average or peak molecular weight of heparin samples and neutralization of anticoagulant activity, correlation was observed between proportions of material with high affinity to antithrombin, specific activities and neutralization of activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glycosaminoglycans and Proteoglycans)
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Open AccessArticle Neuroprotective Effects of β-Caryophyllene against Dopaminergic Neuron Injury in a Murine Model of Parkinson’s Disease Induced by MPTP
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 60; doi:10.3390/ph10030060
Received: 14 June 2017 / Revised: 30 June 2017 / Accepted: 3 July 2017 / Published: 6 July 2017
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Abstract
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders and is characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN). Although the causes of PD are not understood, evidence suggests that its pathogenesis is associated with oxidative stress
[...] Read more.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders and is characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN). Although the causes of PD are not understood, evidence suggests that its pathogenesis is associated with oxidative stress and inflammation. Recent studies have suggested a protective role of the cannabinoid signalling system in PD. β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a natural bicyclic sesquiterpene that is an agonist of the cannabinoid type 2 receptor (CB2R). Previous studies have suggested that BCP exerts prophylactic and/or curative effects against inflammatory bowel disease through its antioxidative and/or anti-inflammatory action. The present study describes the neuroprotective effects of BCP in a 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced murine model of PD, and we report the results of our investigation of its neuroprotective mechanism in neurons and glial cells. In the murine model, BCP pretreatment ameliorated motor dysfunction, protected against dopaminergic neuronal losses in the SN and striatum, and alleviated MPTP-induced glia activation. Additionally, BCP inhibited the levels of inflammatory cytokines in the nigrostriatal system. The observed neuroprotection and inhibited glia activation were reversed upon treatment with the CB2R selective antagonist AM630, confirming the involvement of the CB2R. These results indicate that BCP acts via multiple neuroprotective mechanisms in our murine model and suggest that BCP may be viewed as a potential treatment and/or preventative agent for PD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epilepsy and Neurodegeneration: Current Therapeutic Implications)
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis and Antiproliferative Activity of Novel Heterocyclic Indole-Trimethoxyphenyl Conjugates
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 62; doi:10.3390/ph10030062
Received: 26 May 2017 / Revised: 26 June 2017 / Accepted: 27 June 2017 / Published: 5 July 2017
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Abstract
The synthesis and biological evaluation of a series of novel heterocyclic indole derivatives is described. The consolidation of the combretastatin and bisindolylmaleimide templates towards the inclusion of a novel heterocyclic ring proffered a versatile pharmacophore with which to pursue chemical diversification. Given literature
[...] Read more.
The synthesis and biological evaluation of a series of novel heterocyclic indole derivatives is described. The consolidation of the combretastatin and bisindolylmaleimide templates towards the inclusion of a novel heterocyclic ring proffered a versatile pharmacophore with which to pursue chemical diversification. Given literature precedent, maleimide was initially investigated in this role and the bioactivity assessed by measurement of NCI-60 cell panel growth. Subsequently, a range of 5-aminopyrazoles was designed and developed to explore the specific effect of heterocycle hydrogen bonding on cell growth. The unique electronic nature of the 5-aminopyrazole moiety allowed for regiospecific monosubstitution on different sites of the ring, such as thiourea substitution at the N(1) position for derivative 45 or trifluoroacetylation on the 5-amino position for 43. Further derivatisation led to the ultimate development of bicyclic pyrazolotriazinedione 41 and pyrimidine 42 systems. The antiproliferative activities of these 3,4-diaryl-5-aminopyrazoles were assessed using the NCI-60 cell screen, disclosing the discovery of distinct selectivity profiles towards a number of cell lines, such as SNB-75 CNS cancer, UO-31 and CAKI-1 renal cancer cells. A series of DNA topological assays discounted the interaction with topoisomerase II as a putative mechanism of action. Full article
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Open AccessArticle 5-aza-2′,2′-Difluroro Deoxycytidine (NUC013): A Novel Nucleoside DNA Methyl Transferase Inhibitor and Ribonucleotide Reductase Inhibitor for the Treatment of Cancer
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 65; doi:10.3390/ph10030065
Received: 25 November 2016 / Revised: 19 February 2017 / Accepted: 16 July 2017 / Published: 20 July 2017
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Abstract
Tumor suppressor genes can be silenced genetically as well as epigenetically. One approach to reversing epigenetic suppression of tumor suppressor genes is to inhibit DNA methyl transferase. 5-aza-2′,2′-diflurorodeoxycytidine (NUC013) is a novel DNA methyl transferase and ribonucleotide reductase inhibitor that is a more
[...] Read more.
Tumor suppressor genes can be silenced genetically as well as epigenetically. One approach to reversing epigenetic suppression of tumor suppressor genes is to inhibit DNA methyl transferase. 5-aza-2′,2′-diflurorodeoxycytidine (NUC013) is a novel DNA methyl transferase and ribonucleotide reductase inhibitor that is a more potent inhibitor of growth than decitabine in the NCI 60 cancer cell line panel. NUC013 is more active than decitabine against p53-null/mutant cancer cell lines (p = 0.027) but is even more so against p53 wild-type (WT) cell lines (p = 0.0025). The maximum tolerated dose in mice of NUC013 is greater than 120 mg/kg administered intravenously for three consecutive days a week for three weeks. With this regimen and a dose of 20 mg/kg in a human leukemia HL-60 (p53-null) NCr-nu/nu mouse xenograft model (n = 10/group), NUC013 demonstrated a survival benefit (saline median survival (MS) = 26.5 days, NUC013 MS = 32 days and hazard ratio (HR) = 0.26 (p = 0.032)). In a colon cancer LoVo (TP53 WT) xenograft, mice treated with decitabine at 5 mg/kg had worse survival than saline controls (decitabine MS = 31 days, saline MS > 60 days and HR = 26.89 (p < 0.0001)). At a dose of 20 mg/kg NUC013, mean tumor volume in the LoVo xenografts was lower than controls by 50.9% and at 40 mg/kg by 53.7% (both p < 0.0001). Full article
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Open AccessArticle Modernization of Enoxaparin Molecular Weight Determination Using Homogeneous Standards
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 66; doi:10.3390/ph10030066
Received: 1 May 2017 / Revised: 6 July 2017 / Accepted: 19 July 2017 / Published: 22 July 2017
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Abstract
Enoxaparin is a low-molecular weight heparin used to treat thrombotic disorders. Following the fatal contamination of the heparin supply chain in 2007–2008, the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have worked extensively to modernize the unfractionated heparin and enoxaparin
[...] Read more.
Enoxaparin is a low-molecular weight heparin used to treat thrombotic disorders. Following the fatal contamination of the heparin supply chain in 2007–2008, the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have worked extensively to modernize the unfractionated heparin and enoxaparin monographs. As a result, the determination of molecular weight (MW) has been added to the monograph as a measure to strengthen the quality testing and to increase the protection of the global supply of this life-saving drug. The current USP calibrant materials used for enoxaparin MW determination are composed of a mixture of oligosaccharides; however, they are difficult to reproduce as the calibrants have ill-defined structures due to the heterogeneity of the heparin parent material. To address this issue, we describe a promising approach consisting of a predictive computational model built from a library of chemoenzymatically synthesized heparin oligosaccharides for enoxaparin MW determination. Here, we demonstrate that this test can be performed with greater efficiency by coupling synthetic oligosaccharides with the power of computational modeling. Our approach is expected to improve the MW measurement for enoxaparin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glycosaminoglycans and Proteoglycans)
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Open AccessArticle Hippocampal Proteome of Rats Subjected to the Li-Pilocarpine Epilepsy Model and the Effect of Carisbamate Treatment
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 67; doi:10.3390/ph10030067
Received: 15 May 2017 / Revised: 26 July 2017 / Accepted: 27 July 2017 / Published: 30 July 2017
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Abstract
In adult rats, the administration of lithium–pilocarpine (LiPilo) reproduces most clinical and neuropathological features of human temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Carisbamate (CRS) possesses the property of modifying epileptogenesis in this model. Indeed, about 50% of rats subjected to LiPilo status epilepticus (SE) develop
[...] Read more.
In adult rats, the administration of lithium–pilocarpine (LiPilo) reproduces most clinical and neuropathological features of human temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Carisbamate (CRS) possesses the property of modifying epileptogenesis in this model. Indeed, about 50% of rats subjected to LiPilo status epilepticus (SE) develop non-convulsive seizures (NCS) instead of motor seizures when treated with CRS. However, the mechanisms underlying these effects remain unknown. The aim of this study was to perform a proteomic analysis in the hippocampus of rats receiving LiPilo and developing motor seizures or NCS following CRS treatment. Fifteen adult male Sprague–Dawley rats were used. SE was induced by LiPilo injection. CRS treatment was initiated at 1 h and 9 h after SE onset and maintained for 7 days, twice daily. Four groups were studied after video-EEG control of the occurrence of motor seizures: a control group receiving saline (CT n = 3) and three groups that underwent SE: rats treated with diazepam (DZP n = 4), rats treated with CRS displaying NCS (CRS-NCS n = 4) or motor seizures (CRS-TLE n = 4). Proteomic analysis was conducted by 2D-SDS-PAGE. Twenty-four proteins were found altered. In the CRS-NCS group, proteins related to glycolysis and ATP synthesis were down-regulated while proteins associated with pyruvate catabolism were up-regulated. Moreover, among the other proteins differentially expressed, we found proteins related to inflammatory processes, protein folding, tissue regeneration, response to oxidative stress, gene expression, biogenesis of synaptic vesicles, signal transduction, axonal transport, microtubule formation, cell survival, and neuronal plasticity. Our results suggest a global reduction of glycolysis and cellular energy production that might affect brain excitability. In addition, CRS seems to modulate proteins related to many other pathways that could significantly participate in the epileptogenesis-modifying effect observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epilepsy and Neurodegeneration: Current Therapeutic Implications)
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Bone Metastases in Patients with Prostate Cancer—A Comparison between 99mTc-Bone-Scintigraphy and [68Ga]Ga-PSMA PET/CT
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 68; doi:10.3390/ph10030068
Received: 5 May 2017 / Revised: 13 July 2017 / Accepted: 25 July 2017 / Published: 31 July 2017
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Abstract
Purpose: Bone scintigraphy is the standard of reference in bone metastases in prostate cancer patients. However, new radiotracers employed in prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-ligands has led to the growing importance of PET/CT as diagnostic tool. The aim of our study was to investigate
[...] Read more.
Purpose: Bone scintigraphy is the standard of reference in bone metastases in prostate cancer patients. However, new radiotracers employed in prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-ligands has led to the growing importance of PET/CT as diagnostic tool. The aim of our study was to investigate the difference between bone scan and PSMA-PET/CT for the detection of bone metastases in prostate cancer. Methods: Thirty patients with bone metastases originating from prostate cancer were examined by 99mTc-MDP bone scan and 68Ga-PSMA-PET/CT within an average of 21 days. Bone scans were analyzed visually according to the number of lesions and using the software package ExiniBONE by Exini Diagnostics. PET/CT data was analyzed visually. Numbers of detected lesions were compared for the different methods for the whole patient and for different regions. In addition, results were compared to serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), bone alkaline phosphatase (bALP), pro gastrin releasing peptide (pGRP) and eastern cooperative oncology group (ECOG) performance status. Results: In the bone scans, visual and semiautomatic lesion detection showed similar results with an average of 19.4 and 17.8 detected bone lesion per patient. However, in PSMA-PET/CT, on average double the numbers of lesions (40.0) were detected. The largest differences were found in the thorax and pelvis, which can be explained by the advantages of tomographic imaging. Bland-Altman analysis showed greater differences in patients with large numbers of bone metastases. Conclusion: No significant difference was found when using semiautomatic analysis compared to visual reading for bone scans. Fewer bone metastases were detected in bone scans than in PSMA-PET/CT. However, in none of our patients would the difference have led to clinical consequences. Therefore, it seems that for patients undergoing PSMA-PET/CT, there is no need to perform additional bone scans if the appropriate PET/CT protocols are applied. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Binding Effect of Proteins on Medications and Its Impact on Electrochemical Sensing: Antipsychotic Clozapine as a Case Study
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 69; doi:10.3390/ph10030069
Received: 12 June 2017 / Revised: 27 July 2017 / Accepted: 29 July 2017 / Published: 1 August 2017
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Abstract
Clozapine (CLZ), a dibenzodiazepine, is demonstrated as the optimal antipsychotic for patients suffering from treatment-resistant schizophrenia. Like many other drugs, understanding the concentration of CLZ in a patient’s blood is critical for managing the patients’ symptoms, side effects, and overall treatment efficacy. To
[...] Read more.
Clozapine (CLZ), a dibenzodiazepine, is demonstrated as the optimal antipsychotic for patients suffering from treatment-resistant schizophrenia. Like many other drugs, understanding the concentration of CLZ in a patient’s blood is critical for managing the patients’ symptoms, side effects, and overall treatment efficacy. To that end, various electrochemical techniques have been adapted due to their capabilities in concentration-dependent sensing. An open question associated with electrochemical CLZ monitoring is whether drug–protein complexes (i.e., CLZ bound to native blood proteins, such as serum albumin (SA) or alpha-1 acid-glycoprotein (AAG)) contribute to electrochemical redox signals. Here, we investigate CLZ-sensing performance using fundamental electrochemical methods with respect to the impact of protein binding. Specifically, we test the activity of bound and free fractions of a mixture of CLZ and either bovine SA or human AAG. Results suggest that bound complexes do not significantly contribute to the electrochemical signal for mixtures of CLZ with AAG or SA. Moreover, the fraction of CLZ bound to protein is relatively constant at 31% (AAG) and 73% (SA) in isolation with varying concentrations of CLZ. Thus, electrochemical sensing can enable direct monitoring of only the unbound CLZ, previously only accessible via equilibrium dialysis. The methods utilized in this work offer potential as a blueprint in developing electrochemical sensors for application to other redox-active medications with high protein binding more generally. This demonstrates that electrochemical sensing can be a new tool in accessing information not easily available previously, useful toward optimizing treatment regimens. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Complexes of Oligoribonucleotides with D-Mannitol Inhibit Hemagglutinin–Glycan Interaction and Suppress Influenza A Virus H1N1 (A/FM/1/47) Infectivity In Vitro
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 71; doi:10.3390/ph10030071
Received: 30 April 2017 / Revised: 5 August 2017 / Accepted: 7 August 2017 / Published: 9 August 2017
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Abstract
The influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) mediates both receptor (glycan) binding and membrane fusion for cell entry and has been the basis for subtyping influenza viruses. The oligoribonucleotides-d-mannitol (ORNs-d-M) complexes possess an anti-influenza activity in vitro and in vivo. In
[...] Read more.
The influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) mediates both receptor (glycan) binding and membrane fusion for cell entry and has been the basis for subtyping influenza viruses. The oligoribonucleotides-d-mannitol (ORNs-d-M) complexes possess an anti-influenza activity in vitro and in vivo. In the present studies, we have found that ORNs-d-M interferes with hemagglutinin (HA)–glycan interaction and suppress viral infection in host cells. HA–glycan interactions were evaluated to indirectly quantify the amount of influenza virus titer by an agglutination assay. Influenza virus infectivity was determined by TCID50 assay. The direct virucidal action of the complexes was evaluated by both cytopathic effects (CPE) reduction assay and cell MTT assay. We found that ORNs-d-M hinders interaction between HA and glycan. These complexes decreased the infectivity of influenza virus and had a direct virucidal action. ORNs-d-M reduces influenza virus infectivity, affecting the HA–glycan interaction in vitro. By suppressing the influenza viral infection, the ORNs-d-M can have direct virucidal action. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Folate Receptor-Positive Gynecological Cancer Cells: In Vitro and In Vivo Characterization
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 72; doi:10.3390/ph10030072
Received: 6 May 2017 / Revised: 31 July 2017 / Accepted: 9 August 2017 / Published: 15 August 2017
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Abstract
The folate receptor (FR) is expressed in a variety of gynecological cancer types. It has been widely used for tumor targeting with folic acid conjugates of diagnostic and therapeutic probes. The cervical KB tumor cells have evolved as the standard model for preclinical
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The folate receptor (FR) is expressed in a variety of gynecological cancer types. It has been widely used for tumor targeting with folic acid conjugates of diagnostic and therapeutic probes. The cervical KB tumor cells have evolved as the standard model for preclinical investigations of folate-based (radio) conjugates. In this study, a panel of FR-expressing human cancer cell lines—including cervical (HeLa, KB, KB-V1), ovarian (IGROV-1, SKOV-3, SKOV-3.ip), choriocarcinoma (JAR, BeWo) and endometrial (EFE-184) tumor cells—was investigated in vitro and for their ability to grow as xenografts in mice. FR-expression levels were compared in vitro and in vivo and the cell lines were characterized by determination of the sensitivity towards commonly-used chemotherapeutics and the expression of two additional, relevant tumor markers, HER2 and L1-CAM. It was found that, besides KB cells, its multiresistant KB-V1 subclone as well as the ovarian cancer cell lines, IGROV-1 and SKOV-3.ip, could be used as potentially more relevant preclinical models. They would allow addressing specific questions such as the therapeutic efficacy of FR-targeting agents in tumor (mouse) models of multi-resistance and in mouse models of metastases formation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Role of CYP2C9, CYP2C19 and EPHX Polymorphism in the Pharmacokinetic of Phenytoin: A Study on Uruguayan Caucasian Subjects
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 73; doi:10.3390/ph10030073
Received: 6 July 2017 / Revised: 14 August 2017 / Accepted: 16 August 2017 / Published: 18 August 2017
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Abstract
Phenytoin (PHT) oxidative route leads to its main metabolite p-hydroxyphenytoin (p-HPPH), by means of CYP2C9 and CYP2C19. Formation of p-HPPH proceeds via a reactive arene-oxide intermediate. This intermediate can also be converted into PHT dihydrodiol by microsomal epoxide hydrolase (EPHX). The three enzymes
[...] Read more.
Phenytoin (PHT) oxidative route leads to its main metabolite p-hydroxyphenytoin (p-HPPH), by means of CYP2C9 and CYP2C19. Formation of p-HPPH proceeds via a reactive arene-oxide intermediate. This intermediate can also be converted into PHT dihydrodiol by microsomal epoxide hydrolase (EPHX). The three enzymes are polymorphically expressed and the genetic variants are responsible for changes in the enzyme activity. In order to evaluate the effect that these polymorphisms have on PHT metabolism, PHT and p-HPPH plasma concentrations were measured and the genotype for the three enzymes was assessed in 50 Uruguayan epileptic patients. 30% of the patients were intermediate and 2% were poor metabolizers for CYP2C9, while 20% were intermediate metabolizers for CYP2C19. 44%, 10%, and 46% of subjects had intermediate, increased and decreased activities of EPHX respectively. CYP2C9 was confirmed to be the main responsible enzyme for PHT biotransformation. CYP2C19 seemed to be preponderant in p-HPPH oxidative metabolism. Apart from being responsible for the production of the dihydrodiol metabolite, EPHX also seemed to contribute to pHPPH formation when its activity is low. PHT might be recovered with a decreased activity of EPHX regardless the activity of CYP2C9. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epilepsy and Neurodegeneration: Current Therapeutic Implications)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Synthesis of Nitric Oxide Donors Derived from Piloty’s Acid and Study of Their Effects on Dopamine Secretion from PC12 Cells
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 74; doi:10.3390/ph10030074
Received: 11 June 2017 / Revised: 28 August 2017 / Accepted: 30 August 2017 / Published: 5 September 2017
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Abstract
This study investigated the mechanisms and kinetics of nitric oxide (NO) generation by derivatives of Piloty’s acid (NO-donors) under physiological conditions. In order to qualitatively and quantitatively measure NO release, electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) was carried out with NO spin trapping. In addition,
[...] Read more.
This study investigated the mechanisms and kinetics of nitric oxide (NO) generation by derivatives of Piloty’s acid (NO-donors) under physiological conditions. In order to qualitatively and quantitatively measure NO release, electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) was carried out with NO spin trapping. In addition, voltammetric techniques, including cyclic voltammetry and constant potential amperometry, were used to confirm NO release from Piloty’s acid and its derivatives. The resulting data showed that Piloty’s acid derivatives are able to release NO under physiological conditions. In particular, electron-withdrawing substituents favoured NO generation, while electron-donor groups reduced NO generation. In vitro microdialysis, performed on PC12 cell cultures, was used to evaluate the dynamical secretion of dopamine induced by the Piloty’s acid derivatives. Although all the studied molecules were able to induce DA secretion from PC12, only those with a slow release of NO have not determined an autoxidation of DA itself. These results confirm that the time-course of NO-donors decomposition and the amount of NO released play a key role in dopamine secretion and auto-oxidation. This information could drive the synthesis or the selection of compounds to use as potential drugs for the therapy of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Choices of the Journal)
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Open AccessArticle Behavioral and Neurochemical Consequences of Pentylenetetrazol-Induced Kindling in Young and Middle-Aged Rats
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 75; doi:10.3390/ph10030075
Received: 21 August 2017 / Revised: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 9 September 2017 / Published: 13 September 2017
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Abstract
(1) Objectives: Epilepsy disorder is likely to increase with aging, leading to an increased incidence of comorbidities and mortality. In spite of that, there is a lack of information regarding this issue and little knowledge of cognitive and emotional responses in aging subjects
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(1) Objectives: Epilepsy disorder is likely to increase with aging, leading to an increased incidence of comorbidities and mortality. In spite of that, there is a lack of information regarding this issue and little knowledge of cognitive and emotional responses in aging subjects following epileptogenesis. We investigated whether and how aging distress epilepsy-related behavioral and biochemical outcomes are associated with cognition and emotion. (2) Methods: Young and middle-aged Wistar rats (3 or 12 months old) were treated with pentylenetetrazol (PTZ, 35 mg/kg) and injected on alternated days for 20 (young rats) and 32 days (middle-aged rats). Kindling was reached after two consecutive stages 4 plus one stage 5 or 6 in Racine scale. Control and kindled rats were evaluated in the elevated plus-maze (EPM) and object-recognition tests and their hippocampus was collected 24 h later for mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) dosage. (3) Results: Middle-aged rats presented a higher resistance to develop kindling, with a decrease in the seizure severity index observed following the 4th and 9th PTZ injections. Middle-aged rats displayed an increased duration of the first myoclonic seizure and an increased latency to the first generalized seizure when compared to younger rats. The induction of kindling did not impair the animals’ performance (regardless of age) in the object-recognition task and the EPM test as well as it did not alter the hippocampal levels of MAPKs. (4) Significance: Our findings reveal that, despite age-related differences during epileptogenesis, middle-aged rats evaluated after kindling performed similarly during discriminative learning and emotional tasks in comparison to young animals, with no alteration of hippocampal MAPKs. Additional investigation must be carried out to explore the electrophysiological mechanisms underlying these responses, as well as the long-term effects displayed after kindling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epilepsy and Neurodegeneration: Current Therapeutic Implications)
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Open AccessArticle Comparison of In Vitro Assays in Selecting Radiotracers for In Vivo P-Glycoprotein PET Imaging
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 76; doi:10.3390/ph10030076
Received: 18 August 2017 / Revised: 13 September 2017 / Accepted: 15 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
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Abstract
Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) in the blood-brain barrier can be important in neurological diseases where P-gp is affected, such as Alzheimer´s disease. Radiotracers used in the imaging studies are present at very small, nanomolar, concentration, whereas in vitro assays
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Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) in the blood-brain barrier can be important in neurological diseases where P-gp is affected, such as Alzheimer´s disease. Radiotracers used in the imaging studies are present at very small, nanomolar, concentration, whereas in vitro assays where these tracers are characterized, are usually performed at micromolar concentration, causing often discrepant in vivo and in vitro data. We had in vivo rodent PET data of [11C]verapamil, (R)-N-[18F]fluoroethylverapamil, (R)-O-[18F]fluoroethyl-norverapamil, [18F]MC225 and [18F]MC224 and we included also two new molecules [18F]MC198 and [18F]KE64 in this study. To improve the predictive value of in vitro assays, we labeled all the tracers with tritium and performed bidirectional substrate transport assay in MDCKII-MDR1 cells at three different concentrations (0.01, 1 and 50 µM) and also inhibition assay with P-gp inhibitors. As a comparison, we used non-radioactive molecules in transport assay in Caco-2 cells at a concentration of 10 µM and in calcein-AM inhibition assay in MDCKII-MDR1 cells. All the P-gp substrates were transported dose-dependently. At the highest concentration (50 µM), P-gp was saturated in a similar way as after treatment with P-gp inhibitors. Best in vivo correlation was obtained with the bidirectional transport assay at a concentration of 0.01 µM. One micromolar concentration in a transport assay or calcein-AM assay alone is not sufficient for correct in vivo prediction of substrate P-gp PET ligands. Full article
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Open AccessReview Nanofiber Scaffolds as Drug Delivery Systems to Bridge Spinal Cord Injury
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 63; doi:10.3390/ph10030063
Received: 10 May 2017 / Revised: 13 June 2017 / Accepted: 1 July 2017 / Published: 5 July 2017
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Abstract
The complex pathophysiology of spinal cord injury (SCI) may explain the current lack of an effective therapeutic approach for the regeneration of damaged neuronal cells and the recovery of motor functions. A primary mechanical injury in the spinal cord triggers a cascade of
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The complex pathophysiology of spinal cord injury (SCI) may explain the current lack of an effective therapeutic approach for the regeneration of damaged neuronal cells and the recovery of motor functions. A primary mechanical injury in the spinal cord triggers a cascade of secondary events, which are involved in SCI instauration and progression. The aim of the present review is to provide an overview of the therapeutic neuro-protective and neuro-regenerative approaches, which involve the use of nanofibers as local drug delivery systems. Drugs released by nanofibers aim at preventing the cascade of secondary damage (neuro-protection), whereas nanofibrous structures are intended to re-establish neuronal connectivity through axonal sprouting (neuro-regeneration) promotion, in order to achieve a rapid functional recovery of spinal cord. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tissue-Protective Agents: New Drugs and Technologies)
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Open AccessReview Glycosaminoglycan Interactions with Chemokines Add Complexity to a Complex System
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 70; doi:10.3390/ph10030070
Received: 1 July 2017 / Revised: 24 July 2017 / Accepted: 24 July 2017 / Published: 9 August 2017
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Abstract
Chemokines have two types of interactions that function cooperatively to control cell migration. Chemokine receptors on migrating cells integrate signals initiated upon chemokine binding to promote cell movement. Interactions with glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) localize chemokines on and near cell surfaces and the extracellular matrix
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Chemokines have two types of interactions that function cooperatively to control cell migration. Chemokine receptors on migrating cells integrate signals initiated upon chemokine binding to promote cell movement. Interactions with glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) localize chemokines on and near cell surfaces and the extracellular matrix to provide direction to the cell movement. The matrix of interacting chemokine–receptor partners has been known for some time, precise signaling and trafficking properties of many chemokine–receptor pairs have been characterized, and recent structural information has revealed atomic level detail on chemokine–receptor recognition and activation. However, precise knowledge of the interactions of chemokines with GAGs has lagged far behind such that a single paradigm of GAG presentation on surfaces is generally applied to all chemokines. This review summarizes accumulating evidence which suggests that there is a great deal of diversity and specificity in these interactions, that GAG interactions help fine-tune the function of chemokines, and that GAGs have other roles in chemokine biology beyond localization and surface presentation. This suggests that chemokine–GAG interactions add complexity to the already complex functions of the receptors and ligands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glycosaminoglycans and Proteoglycans)
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