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 (registering DOI) -
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
Open AccessArticle
Folate Receptor-Positive Gynecological Cancer Cells: In Vitro and In Vivo Characterization
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 72; doi:10.3390/ph10030072 -
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

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 -
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
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Glycosaminoglycan Interactions with Chemokines Add Complexity to a Complex System
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 70; doi:10.3390/ph10030070 -
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

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 -
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
Figures

Figure 1

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 -
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
Figures

Figure 1

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 -
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
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Modernization of Enoxaparin Molecular Weight Determination Using Homogeneous Standards
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 66; doi:10.3390/ph10030066 -
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
Figures

Figure 1

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 -
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
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessEditorial
Pharmaceuticals: Impact Factor or CiteScore™
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 61; doi:10.3390/ph10030061 -
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 -
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
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessEditorial
Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) Channels in Drug Discovery: Old Concepts & New Thoughts
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 64; doi:10.3390/ph10030064 -
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
Open AccessArticle
Synthesis and Antiproliferative Activity of Novel Heterocyclic Indole-Trimethoxyphenyl Conjugates
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 62; doi:10.3390/ph10030062 -
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
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Nanofiber Scaffolds as Drug Delivery Systems to Bridge Spinal Cord Injury
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 63; doi:10.3390/ph10030063 -
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Precipitation and Neutralization of Heparin from Different Sources by Protamine Sulfate
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 59; doi:10.3390/ph10030059 -
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
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Individual and Combined Effects of Engineered Peptides and Antibiotics on Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilms
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(3), 58; doi:10.3390/ph10030058 -
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
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Exploring Wound-Healing Genomic Machinery with a Network-Based Approach
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(2), 55; doi:10.3390/ph10020055 -
Abstract
The molecular mechanisms underlying tissue regeneration and wound healing are still poorly understood despite their importance. In this paper we develop a bioinformatics approach, combining biology and network theory to drive experiments for better understanding the genetic underpinnings of wound healing mechanisms and
[...] Read more.
The molecular mechanisms underlying tissue regeneration and wound healing are still poorly understood despite their importance. In this paper we develop a bioinformatics approach, combining biology and network theory to drive experiments for better understanding the genetic underpinnings of wound healing mechanisms and for selecting potential drug targets. We start by selecting literature-relevant genes in murine wound healing, and inferring from them a Protein-Protein Interaction (PPI) network. Then, we analyze the network to rank wound healing-related genes according to their topological properties. Lastly, we perform a procedure for in-silico simulation of a treatment action in a biological pathway. The findings obtained by applying the developed pipeline, including gene expression analysis, confirms how a network-based bioinformatics method is able to prioritize candidate genes for in vitro analysis, thus speeding up the understanding of molecular mechanisms and supporting the discovery of potential drug targets. Full article
Figures

Figure 1a

Open AccessArticle
A Short-Term Biological Indicator for Long-Term Kidney Damage after Radionuclide Therapy in Mice
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(2), 57; doi:10.3390/ph10020057 -
Abstract
Folate receptor (FR)-targeted radionuclide therapy using folate radioconjugates is of interest due to the expression of the FR in a variety of tumor types. The high renal accumulation of radiofolates presents, however, a risk of radionephropathy. A potential option to address this challenge
[...] Read more.
Folate receptor (FR)-targeted radionuclide therapy using folate radioconjugates is of interest due to the expression of the FR in a variety of tumor types. The high renal accumulation of radiofolates presents, however, a risk of radionephropathy. A potential option to address this challenge would be to use radioprotectants, such as amifostine. Methods for early detection of kidney damage that—in this case—cannot be predicted based on dose estimations, would facilitate the development of novel therapies. The aim of this study was, therefore, to assess potentially changing levels of plasma and urine biomarkers and to determine DNA damage at an early stage after radiofolate application. The identification of an early indicator for renal damage in mice would be useful since histological changes become apparent only several months after treatment. Mice were injected with different quantities of 177Lu-folate (10 MBq, 20 MBq and 30 MBq), resulting in mean absorbed kidney doses of ~23 Gy, ~46 Gy and ~69 Gy, respectively, followed by euthanasia two weeks (>85% of the mean renal radiation dose absorbed) or three months later. Whereas all investigated biomarkers remained unchanged, the number of γ-H2AX-positive nuclei in the renal cortex showed an evident dose-dependent increase as compared to control values two weeks after treatment. Comparison with the extent of kidney injury determined by histological changes five to eight months after administration of the same 177Lu-folate activities suggested that the quantitative assessment of double-strand breaks can be used as a biological indicator for long-term radiation effects in the kidneys. This method may, thus, enable faster assessment of radiopharmaceuticals and protective measures by preventing logistically challenging long-term investigations to detect kidney damage. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Beginning and Development of the Theranostic Approach in Nuclear Medicine, as Exemplified by the Radionuclide Pair 86Y and 90Y
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(2), 56; doi:10.3390/ph10020056 -
Abstract
In the context of radiopharmacy and molecular imaging, the concept of theranostics entails a therapy-accompanying diagnosis with the aim of a patient-specific treatment. Using the adequate diagnostic radiopharmaceutical, the disease and the state of the disease are verified for an individual patient. The
[...] Read more.
In the context of radiopharmacy and molecular imaging, the concept of theranostics entails a therapy-accompanying diagnosis with the aim of a patient-specific treatment. Using the adequate diagnostic radiopharmaceutical, the disease and the state of the disease are verified for an individual patient. The other way around, it verifies that the radiopharmaceutical in hand represents a target-specific and selective molecule: the “best one” for that individual patient. Transforming diagnostic imaging into quantitative dosimetric information, the optimum radioactivity (expressed in maximum radiation dose to the target tissue and tolerable dose to healthy organs) of the adequate radiotherapeutical is applied to that individual patient. This theranostic approach in nuclear medicine is traced back to the first use of the radionuclide pair 86Y/90Y, which allowed a combination of PET and internal radiotherapy. Whereas the β-emitting therapeutic radionuclide 90Y (t½ = 2.7 d) had been available for a long time via the 90Sr/90Y generator system, the β+ emitter 86Y (t½ = 14.7 h) had to be developed for medical application. A brief outline of the various aspects of radiochemical and nuclear development work (nuclear data, cyclotron irradiation, chemical processing, quality control, etc.) is given. In parallel, the paper discusses the methodology introduced to quantify molecular imaging of 86Y-labelled compounds in terms of multiple and long-term PET recordings. It highlights the ultimate goal of radiotheranostics, namely to extract the radiation dose of the analogue 90Y-labelled compound in terms of mGy or mSv per MBq 90Y injected. Finally, the current and possible future development of theranostic approaches based on different PET and therapy nuclides is discussed. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
In Vitro and In Vivo Studies of Alar-Nasal Cartilage Using Autologous Micro-Grafts: The Use of the Rigenera® Protocol in the Treatment of an Osteochondral Lesion of the Nose
Pharmaceuticals 2017, 10(2), 53; doi:10.3390/ph10020053 -
Abstract
Cartilage defects represent a serious problem due to the poor regenerative properties of this tissue. Regarding the nose, nasal valve collapse is associated with nasal blockage and persistent airway obstruction associated with a significant drop in the quality of life for patients. In
[...] Read more.
Cartilage defects represent a serious problem due to the poor regenerative properties of this tissue. Regarding the nose, nasal valve collapse is associated with nasal blockage and persistent airway obstruction associated with a significant drop in the quality of life for patients. In addition to surgical techniques, several cell-based tissue-engineering strategies are studied to improve cartilage support in the nasal wall, that is, to ameliorate wall insufficiency. Nevertheless, there are no congruent data available on the benefit for patients during the follow-up time. In this manuscript, we propose an innovative approach in the treatment of cartilage defects in the nose (nasal valve collapse) based on autologous micro-grafts obtained by mechanical disaggregation of a small portion of cartilage tissue (Rigenera® protocol). In particular, we first analyzed in vitro murine and human cartilage micro-grafts; secondly, we analyzed the clinical results of a patient with pinched nose deformity treated with autologous micro-grafts of chondrocytes obtained by Rigenera® protocol. The use of autologous micro-graft produced promising results in surgery treatment of cartilage injuries and could be safely and easily administrated to patients with cartilage tissue defects. Full article
Figures

Figure 1