Pharmaceuticals2015, 8(2), 351-365; doi:10.3390/ph8020351 - published 18 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: We investigated the effect of a formula containing two different prebiotics (bifidogenic growth stimulator and galacto-oligosaccharide) and fermented milk products on intestinal microbiota and antibody responses to an influenza vaccine in enterally fed elderly in-patients. Patients were administered either formula containing prebiotics and fermented milk products (group F: n = 12, 79.9 ± 9.5 years old) or standard formula (group C: n = 12, 80.7 ± 10.1 years old) via percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy during a 14-week intervention period. Subjects were immunized with an influenza vaccine (A/H1N1, A/H3N2, and B) at week 4 of the intervention. Blood biochemical indices, intestinal bacteria populations and antibody titers were analyzed. Bifidobacterium counts increased significantly in group F compared with group C. The enhanced antibody titers against A/H1N1 were maintained in group F for a longer period compared with group C. The titers against A/H3N2 were unchanged between both groups, and those against B were significantly lower in group F than in group C, although few subjects had seroprotective titers against A/H3N2 and B. These results suggest that administration of the formula containing prebiotics and fermented milk products may maintain antibody titers for longer periods through the improvement of intestinal microbiota.
Pharmaceuticals2015, 8(2), 337-350; doi:10.3390/ph8020337 - published 18 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Until recently, the standard treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection was a combination therapy with PEG-IFN-α plus ribavirin. Previous studies have proven that several markers predict the outcome of such therapy, e.g., pretreatment plasma levels of interferon inducible protein IP-10, HCV RNA and IL28B-related single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP). Altered activity of tryptophan metabolizing enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) has been also shown in patients suffering from HCV infection. In this study, we investigated whether IL28B SNP in patients infected with HCV is related to the tryptophan breakdown rate. Before therapy, serum tryptophan and kynurenine concentrations were determined in 25 patients with established HCV infection and the kynurenine to tryptophan ratio (KYN/TRP) was calculated as an estimate of the tryptophan breakdown rate. In parallel, neopterin and nitrite concentrations were determined. A significant difference of serum KYN/TRP existed between the three IL28B polymorphism groups: C/C genotype had the highest and T/T genotype had the lowest KYN/TRP (p < 0.05). Likewise, C/C genotype was associated with higher KYN/TRP than non-C/C genotype (p = 0.01). There was a smaller difference between the three groups regarding the absolute kynurenine concentrations, the C/C genotype being associated with higher kynurenine concentrations. None of the other comparisons revealed any statistical significance. In conclusion, patients with C/C genotype presented with the highest tryptophan breakdown rate already before antiretroviral therapy with IFN-α/ribavirin. The differences in tryptophan metabolism might relate to HCV clearance and also to side effects of IFN-α therapy.
Pharmaceuticals2015, 8(2), 321-336; doi:10.3390/ph8020321 - published 10 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This review presents an overview of the successes and challenges currently faced in alpha radionuclide therapy. Alpha particles have an advantage in killing tumour cells as compared to beta or gamma radiation due to their short penetration depth and high linear energy transfer (LET). Touching briefly on the clinical successes of radionuclides emitting only one alpha particle, the main focus of this article lies on those alpha-emitting radionuclides with multiple alpha-emitting daughters in their decay chain. While having the advantage of longer half-lives, the recoiled daughters of radionuclides like 224Ra (radium), 223Ra, and 225Ac (actinium) can do significant damage to healthy tissue when not retained at the tumour site. Three different approaches to deal with this problem are discussed: encapsulation in a nano-carrier, fast uptake of the alpha emitting radionuclides in tumour cells, and local administration. Each approach has been shown to have its advantages and disadvantages, but when larger activities need to be used clinically, nano-carriers appear to be the most promising solution for reducing toxic effects, provided there is no accumulation in healthy tissue.
Pharmaceuticals2015, 8(2), 303-320; doi:10.3390/ph8020303 - published 9 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: X-linked dilated cardiomyopathy (XLDCM) is a distinct phenotype of dystrophinopathy characterized by preferential cardiac involvement without any overt skeletal myopathy. XLDCM is caused by mutations of the Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) gene and results in lethal heart failure in individuals between 10 and 20 years. Patients with Becker muscular dystrophy, an allelic disorder, have a milder phenotype of skeletal muscle involvement compared to Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and sometimes present with dilated cardiomyopathy. The precise relationship between mutations in the DMD gene and cardiomyopathy remain unclear. However, some hypothetical mechanisms are being considered to be associated with the presence of some several dystrophin isoforms, certain reported mutations, and an unknown dystrophin-related pathophysiological mechanism. Recent therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the severe dystrophinopathy phenotype, appears promising, but the presence of XLDCM highlights the importance of focusing on cardiomyopathy while elucidating the pathomechanism and developing treatment.
Pharmaceuticals2015, 8(2), 279-302; doi:10.3390/ph8020279 - published 8 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Due to their system of annulated 6-5-5-6-membered rings, indenoindoles have sparked great interest for the design of ATP-competitive inhibitors of human CK2. In the present study, we prepared twenty-one indeno[1,2-b]indole derivatives, all of which were tested in vitro on human CK2. The indenoindolones 5a and 5b inhibited human CK2 with an IC50 of 0.17 and 0.61 µM, respectively. The indeno[1,2-b]indoloquinone 7a also showed inhibitory activity on CK2 at a submicromolar range (IC50 = 0.43 µM). Additionally, a large number of indenoindole derivatives was evaluated for their cytotoxic activities against the cell lines 3T3, WI-38, HEK293T and MEF.