Pharmaceuticals2016, 9(1), 8; doi:10.3390/ph9010008 (registering DOI) - published 6 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Propofol is a widely used general anaesthetic with muscle relaxant properties. Similarly as propofol, the new general anaesthetic AZD3043 targets the GABAA receptor for its anaesthetic effects, but the interaction with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) has not been investigated. Notably, there is a gap of knowledge about the interaction between propofol and the nAChRs found in the adult neuromuscular junction. The objective was to evaluate whether propofol or AZD3043 interact with the α1β1δε, α3β2, or α7 nAChR subtypes that can be found in the neuromuscular junction and if there are any differences in affinity for those subtypes between propofol and AZD3043. Human nAChR subtypes α1β1δε, α3β2, and α7 were expressed into Xenopus oocytes and studied with an automated voltage-clamp. Propofol and AZD3043 inhibited ACh-induced currents in all of the nAChRs studied with inhibitory concentrations higher than those needed for general anaesthesia. AZD3043 was a more potent inhibitor at the adult muscle nAChR subtype compared to propofol. Propofol and AZD3043 inhibit nAChR subtypes that can be found in the adult NMJ in concentrations higher than needed for general anaesthesia. This finding needs to be evaluated in an in vitro nerve-muscle preparation and suggests one possible explanation for the muscle relaxant effect of propofol seen during higher doses.
Pharmaceuticals2016, 9(1), 7; doi:10.3390/ph9010007 (registering DOI) - published 5 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: It is well known that plants are important sources for the preparation of natural remedies as they contain many biologically active compounds. In particular, polyphenols, terpenic compounds, organic acids, and vitamins are the most widely occurring groups of phytochemicals. Some endemic species may be used for the production of herbal preparations containing phytochemicals with significant bioactivity, as antioxidant activity and anti-inflammatory capacities, and health benefits. Blackberry sprouts and blackcurrant buds are known to contain appreciable levels of bioactive compounds, including flavonols, phenolic acids, monoterpenes, vitamin C, and catechins, with several clinical effects. The aim of this research was to perform an analytical study of blackcurrant and blackberry bud-preparations, in order to identify and quantify the main biomarkers, obtaining a specific phytochemical fingerprint to evaluate the single botanical class contribution to total phytocomplex and relative bioactivity, using a High Performance Liquid Chromatograph−Diode Array Detector; the same analyses were performed both on the University laboratory and commercial preparations. Different chromatographic methods were used to determine concentrations of biomolecules in the preparations, allowing for quantification of statistically significant differences in their bioactive compound content both in the case of Ribes nigrum and Rubus cultivated varieties at different harvest stages. In blackcurrant bud-extracts the most important class was organic acids (50.98%) followed by monoterpenes (14.05%), while in blackberry preparations the main bioactive classes were catechins (50.06%) and organic acids (27.34%). Chemical, pharmaceutical and agronomic-environmental knowledge could be important for obtaining label certifications for the valorization of specific genotypes, with high clinical and pharmaceutical value: this study allowed to develop an effective tool for the natural preparation quality control and bioactivity evaluation through the chemical fingerprinting of bud preparations.
Pharmaceuticals2016, 9(1), 6; doi:10.3390/ph9010006 - published 27 January 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In this period, I could not start this editorial without wishing all of you a Happy New Year. This is also the opportunity for me to warmly thank, for their confidence, our authors, readers, reviewers, members of the editorial board, sponsors, as well as members of MDPI AG in Basel, Beijing, and Wuhan. [...]
Pharmaceuticals2016, 9(1), 4; doi:10.3390/ph9010004 - published 19 January 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Selective targeting of the oxidative state, which is a tightly balanced fundamental cellular property, is an attractive strategy for developing novel anti-leukemic chemotherapeutics with potential applications in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a molecularly heterogeneous disease. Dimeric naphthoquinones (BiQs) with the ability to undergo redox cycling and to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cancer cells are a novel class of compounds with unique characteristics that make them excellent candidates to be tested against AML cells. We evaluated the effect of two BiQ analogues and one monomeric naphthoquinone in AML cell lines and primary cells from patients. All compounds possess one halogen and one hydroxyl group on the quinone cores. Dimeric, but not monomeric, naphthoquinones demonstrated significant anti-AML activity in the cell lines and primary cells from patients with favorable therapeutic index compared to normal hematopoietic cells. BiQ-1 effectively inhibited clonogenicity and induced apoptosis as measured by Western blotting and Annexin V staining and mitochondrial membrane depolarization by flow cytometry. BiQ-1 significantly enhances intracellular ROS levels in AML cells and upregulates expression of key anti-oxidant protein, Nrf2. Notably, systemic exposure to BiQ-1 was well tolerated in mice. In conclusion, we propose that BiQ-induced therapeutic augmentation of ROS in AML cells with dysregulation of antioxidants kill leukemic cells while normal cells remain relatively intact. Further studies are warranted to better understand this class of potential chemotherapeutics.
Pharmaceuticals2016, 9(1), 3; doi:10.3390/ph9010003 - published 14 January 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Multiple myeloma is the second most common hematologic malignancy. The treatment of this disease has changed considerably over the last two decades with the introduction to the clinical practice of novel agents such as proteasome inhibitors and immunomodulatory drugs. Basic research efforts towards better understanding of normal and missing immune surveillence in myeloma have led to development of new strategies and therapies that require the engagement of the immune system. Many of these treatments are under clinical development and have already started providing encouraging results. We, for the second time in the last two decades, are about to witness another shift of the paradigm in the management of this ailment. This review will summarize the major approaches in myeloma immunotherapies.