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Pharmaceuticals, Volume 11, Issue 3 (September 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) In the era of precision medicine, precision diagnosis is indispensable in oncology. As aptamers [...] Read more.
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Open AccessReview Iron in Friedreich Ataxia: A Central Role in the Pathophysiology or an Epiphenomenon?
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030089
Received: 10 August 2018 / Revised: 15 September 2018 / Accepted: 17 September 2018 / Published: 19 September 2018
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Abstract
Friedreich ataxia is a neurodegenerative disease with an autosomal recessive inheritance. In most patients, the disease is caused by the presence of trinucleotide GAA expansions in the first intron of the frataxin gene. These expansions cause the decreased expression of this mitochondrial protein.
[...] Read more.
Friedreich ataxia is a neurodegenerative disease with an autosomal recessive inheritance. In most patients, the disease is caused by the presence of trinucleotide GAA expansions in the first intron of the frataxin gene. These expansions cause the decreased expression of this mitochondrial protein. Many evidences indicate that frataxin deficiency causes the deregulation of cellular iron homeostasis. In this review, we will discuss several hypotheses proposed for frataxin function, their caveats, and how they could provide an explanation for the deregulation of iron homeostasis found in frataxin-deficient cells. We will also focus on the potential mechanisms causing cellular dysfunction in Friedreich Ataxia and on the potential use of the iron chelator deferiprone as a therapeutic agent for this disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Iron as Therapeutic Targets in Human Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Creatinine-Based Renal Function Estimates and Dosage of Postoperative Pain Management for Elderly Acute Hip Fracture Patients
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030088
Received: 22 August 2018 / Revised: 13 September 2018 / Accepted: 14 September 2018 / Published: 18 September 2018
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Abstract
Many analgesics and their metabolites are renally excreted. The widely used Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI)-estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) equations are not developed for use in the elderly, while the recent Berlin Initiative Study (BIS), Full Age Spectrum (FAS), and Lund-Malmö
[...] Read more.
Many analgesics and their metabolites are renally excreted. The widely used Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI)-estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) equations are not developed for use in the elderly, while the recent Berlin Initiative Study (BIS), Full Age Spectrum (FAS), and Lund-Malmö revised (LMR) equations are. This observational study investigated differences between creatinine-based eGFR equations and how the choice of equation influences dosage of analgesics in elderly (≥70 years) patients admitted with acute hip fracture. eGFR was calculated by the CKD-EPI, BIS, Cockcroft-Gault (CG), FAS, LMR, and Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) equations. Standard daily dose for postoperative pain medications ibuprofen, morphine and gabapentin was simulated for each equation according to dosage recommendations in Renbase®. For 118 patients, mean eGFR from the CKD-EPI, BIS, CG, FAS, LMR, and MDRD equations was 67.3 mL/min/1.73 m2, 59.1 mL/min/1.73 m2, 56.9 mL/min/1.73 m2, 60.3 mL/min/1.73 m2, 58.9 mL/min/1.73 m2, and 79.1 mL/min/1.73 m2, respectively (p < 0.0001). Mean difference to CKD-EPI was −10.4 mL/min/1.73 m2 to 11.8 mL/min/1.73 m2. Choice of eGFR equation significantly influenced the recommended dose (p < 0.0001). Shifting to BIS, FAS, or LMR equations led to a lower recommended dose in 20% to 31% of patients. Choice of eGFR equation significantly influenced dosing of ibuprofen, morphine, and gabapentin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Choices of the Journal)
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Open AccessReview Mitochondrial Targeting in Neurodegeneration: A Heme Perspective
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030087
Received: 18 July 2018 / Revised: 7 September 2018 / Accepted: 14 September 2018 / Published: 18 September 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 407 | PDF Full-text (12719 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mitochondrial dysfunction has achieved an increasing interest in the field of neurodegeneration as a pathological hallmark for different disorders. The impact of mitochondria is related to a variety of mechanisms and several of them can co-exist in the same disease. The central role
[...] Read more.
Mitochondrial dysfunction has achieved an increasing interest in the field of neurodegeneration as a pathological hallmark for different disorders. The impact of mitochondria is related to a variety of mechanisms and several of them can co-exist in the same disease. The central role of mitochondria in neurodegenerative disorders has stimulated studies intended to implement therapeutic protocols based on the targeting of the distinct mitochondrial processes. The review summarizes the most relevant mechanisms by which mitochondria contribute to neurodegeneration, encompassing therapeutic approaches. Moreover, a new perspective is proposed based on the heme impact on neurodegeneration. The heme metabolism plays a central role in mitochondrial functions, and several evidences indicate that alterations of the heme metabolism are associated with neurodegenerative disorders. By reporting the body of knowledge on this topic, the review intends to stimulate future studies on the role of heme metabolism in neurodegeneration, envisioning innovative strategies in the struggle against neurodegenerative diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Iron as Therapeutic Targets in Human Diseases)
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Open AccessReview Aptamers as Diagnostic Tools in Cancer
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030086
Received: 24 July 2018 / Revised: 30 August 2018 / Accepted: 2 September 2018 / Published: 11 September 2018
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Abstract
Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide. Researchers have been working hard on investigating not only improved therapeutics but also on early detection methods, both critical to increasing treatment efficacy, and developing methods for disease prevention. The use of nucleic acids,
[...] Read more.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide. Researchers have been working hard on investigating not only improved therapeutics but also on early detection methods, both critical to increasing treatment efficacy, and developing methods for disease prevention. The use of nucleic acids, or aptamers, has emerged as more specific and accurate cancer diagnostic and therapeutic tools. Aptamers are single-stranded DNA or RNA molecules that recognize specific targets based on unique three-dimensional conformations. Despite the fact aptamer development has been mainly restricted to laboratory settings, the unique attributes of these molecules suggest their high potential for clinical advances in cancer detection. Aptamers can be selected for a wide range of targets, and also linked with an extensive variety of diagnostic agents, via physical or chemical conjugation, to improve previously-established detection methods or to be used as novel biosensors for cancer diagnosis. Consequently, herein we review the principal considerations and recent updates in cancer detection and imaging through aptamer-based molecules. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aptamer-Based Diagnostics and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessArticle Iron Absorption in Iron-Deficient Women, Who Received 65 mg Fe with an Indonesian Breakfast, Is Much Better from NaFe(III)EDTA than from Fe(II)SO4, with an Acceptable Increase of Plasma NTBI. A Randomized Clinical Trial
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030085
Received: 13 August 2018 / Revised: 4 September 2018 / Accepted: 7 September 2018 / Published: 10 September 2018
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Abstract
Plasma non-transferrin-bound iron (NTBI) is potentially harmful due to the generation of free radicals that cause tissue damage in vascular and other diseases. Studies in iron-replete and iron-deficient subjects, receiving a single oral test dose of Fe(II)SO4 or NaFe(III)EDTA with water, revealed
[...] Read more.
Plasma non-transferrin-bound iron (NTBI) is potentially harmful due to the generation of free radicals that cause tissue damage in vascular and other diseases. Studies in iron-replete and iron-deficient subjects, receiving a single oral test dose of Fe(II)SO4 or NaFe(III)EDTA with water, revealed that FeSO4 was well absorbed when compared with NaFeEDTA, while only the Fe(II) compound showed a remarkable increase of NTBI. As NaFeEDTA is successfully used for food fortification, a double-blind randomized cross-over trial was conducted in 11 healthy women with uncomplicated iron deficiency. All subjects received a placebo, 6.5 mg FeSO4, 65 mg FeSO4, 6.5 mg NaFeEDTA, and 65 mg NaFeEDTA with a traditional Indonesian breakfast in one-week intervals. Blood tests were carried out every 60 min for five hours. NTBI detection was performed using the fluorescein-labeled apotransferrin method. Plasma iron values were highly increased after 65 mg NaFeEDTA, twice as high as after FeSO4. A similar pattern was seen for NTBI. After 6.5 mg of NaFeEDTA and FeSO4, NTBI was hardly detectable. NaFeEDTA was highly effective for the treatment of iron deficiency if given with a meal, inhibiting the formation of nonabsorbable Fe-complexes, while NTBI did not exceed the range of normal values for iron-replete subjects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Iron as Therapeutic Targets in Human Diseases)
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Open AccessReview Modulation of Iron Metabolism in Response to Infection: Twists for All Tastes
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030084
Received: 6 August 2018 / Revised: 27 August 2018 / Accepted: 28 August 2018 / Published: 1 September 2018
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Abstract
Iron is an essential nutrient for almost all living organisms, but is not easily made available. Hosts and pathogens engage in a fight for the metal during an infection, leading to major alterations in the host’s iron metabolism. Important pathological consequences can emerge
[...] Read more.
Iron is an essential nutrient for almost all living organisms, but is not easily made available. Hosts and pathogens engage in a fight for the metal during an infection, leading to major alterations in the host’s iron metabolism. Important pathological consequences can emerge from the mentioned interaction, including anemia. Several recent reports have highlighted the alterations in iron metabolism caused by different types of infection, and several possible therapeutic strategies emerge, based on the targeting of the host’s iron metabolism. Here, we review the most recent literature on iron metabolism alterations that are induced by infection, the consequent development of anemia, and the potential therapeutic approaches to modulate iron metabolism in order to correct iron-related pathologies and control the ongoing infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Iron as Therapeutic Targets in Human Diseases)
Open AccessArticle Ketamine and Ceftriaxone-Induced Alterations in Glutamate Levels Do Not Impact the Specific Binding of Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Subtype 5 Radioligand [18F]PSS232 in the Rat Brain
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030083
Received: 24 July 2018 / Revised: 23 August 2018 / Accepted: 25 August 2018 / Published: 29 August 2018
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Abstract
Several studies showed that [11C]ABP688 binding is altered following drug-induced perturbation of glutamate levels in brains of humans, non-human primates and rats. We evaluated whether the fluorinated derivative [18F]PSS232 can be used to assess metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5)
[...] Read more.
Several studies showed that [11C]ABP688 binding is altered following drug-induced perturbation of glutamate levels in brains of humans, non-human primates and rats. We evaluated whether the fluorinated derivative [18F]PSS232 can be used to assess metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) availability in rats after pharmacological challenge with ketamine, known to increase glutamate, or ceftriaxone, known to decrease glutamate. In vitro autoradiography was performed on rat brain slices with [18F]PSS232 to prove direct competition of the drugs for mGluR5. One group of rats were challenged with a bolus injection of either vehicle, racemic ketamine, S-ketamine or ceftriaxone followed by positron emission tomography PET imaging with [18F]PSS232. The other group received an infusion of the drugs during the PET scan. Distribution volume ratios (DVRs) were calculated using a reference tissue model. In vitro autoradiography showed no direct competition of the drugs with [18F]PSS232 for the allosteric binding site of mGluR5. DVRs of [18F]PSS232 binding in vivo did not change in any brain region neither after bolus injection nor after infusion. We conclude that [18F]PSS232 has utility for measuring mGluR5 density or occupancy of the allosteric site in vivo, but it cannot be used to measure in vivo fluctuations of glutamate levels in the rat brain. Full article
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Open AccessReview Intravenous Irons: From Basic Science to Clinical Practice
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030082
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 22 August 2018 / Accepted: 23 August 2018 / Published: 27 August 2018
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Abstract
Iron is an essential trace mineral necessary for life, and iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) is one of the most common haematological problems worldwide, affecting a sixth of the global population. Principally linked to poverty, malnutrition and infection in developing countries, in Western countries
[...] Read more.
Iron is an essential trace mineral necessary for life, and iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) is one of the most common haematological problems worldwide, affecting a sixth of the global population. Principally linked to poverty, malnutrition and infection in developing countries, in Western countries the pathophysiology of IDA is primarily linked to blood loss, malabsorption and chronic disease. Oral iron replacement therapy is a simple, inexpensive treatment, but is limited by gastrointestinal side effects that are not inconsequential to some patients and are of minimal efficacy in others. Third generation intravenous (IV) iron therapies allow rapid and complete replacement dosing without the toxicity issues inherent with older iron preparations. Their characteristic, strongly-bound iron-carbohydrate complexes exist as colloidal suspensions of iron oxide nanoparticles with a polynuclear Fe(III)-oxyhydroxide/oxide core surrounded by a carbohydrate ligand. The physicochemical differences between the IV irons include mineral composition, crystalline structure, conformation, size and molecular weight, but the most important difference is the carbohydrate ligand, which influences complex stability, iron release and immunogenicity, and which is a unique feature of each drug. Recent studies have highlighted different adverse event profiles associated with third-generation IV irons that reflect their different structures. The increasing clinical evidence base has allayed safety concerns linked to older IV irons and widened their clinical use. This review considers the properties of the different IV irons, and how differences might impact current and future clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Iron as Therapeutic Targets in Human Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle A Novel Protocol Using Small-Scale Spray-Drying for the Efficient Screening of Solid Dispersions in Early Drug Development and Formulation, as a Straight Pathway from Screening to Manufacturing Stages
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030081
Received: 23 July 2018 / Revised: 17 August 2018 / Accepted: 23 August 2018 / Published: 27 August 2018
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Abstract
This work describes a novel screening strategy that implements small-scale spray-drying in early development of binary amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs). The proposed methodology consists of a three-stage decision protocol in which small batches (20–100 mg) of spray-dried solid dispersions (SDSDs) are evaluated in
[...] Read more.
This work describes a novel screening strategy that implements small-scale spray-drying in early development of binary amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs). The proposed methodology consists of a three-stage decision protocol in which small batches (20–100 mg) of spray-dried solid dispersions (SDSDs) are evaluated in terms of drug–polymer miscibility, physical stability and dissolution performance in bio-predictive conditions. The objectives are to select the adequate carrier and drug-loading (DL) for the manufacturing of robust SDSD; and the appropriate stabilizer dissolved in the liquid vehicle of SDSD suspensions, which constitutes the common dosage form used during non-clinical studies. This methodology was verified with CDP146, a poorly water soluble (<2 µg/mL) API combined with four enteric polymers and four stabilizers. CDP146/HPMCAS-LF 40:60 (w/w) and 10% (w/v) PVPVA were identified as the lead SDSD and the best performing stabilizer, respectively. Lead SDSD suspensions (1–50 mg/mL) were found to preserve complete amorphous state during 8 h and maintain supersaturation in simulated rat intestinal fluids during the absorption window. Therefore, the implementation of spray-drying as a small-scale screening approach allowed maximizing screening effectiveness with respect to very limited API amounts (735 mg) and time resources (9 days), while removing transfer steps between screening and manufacturing phases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Choices of the Journal)
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Open AccessReview pH-Control in Aptamer-Based Diagnostics, Therapeutics, and Analytical Applications
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030080
Received: 29 July 2018 / Revised: 20 August 2018 / Accepted: 23 August 2018 / Published: 26 August 2018
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Abstract
Aptamer binding has been used effectively for diagnostics, in-vivo targeting of therapeutics, and the construction and control of nanomachines. Nanostructures that respond to pH by releasing or changing affinity to a target have also been used for in vivo delivery, and in the
[...] Read more.
Aptamer binding has been used effectively for diagnostics, in-vivo targeting of therapeutics, and the construction and control of nanomachines. Nanostructures that respond to pH by releasing or changing affinity to a target have also been used for in vivo delivery, and in the construction of sensors and re-usable nanomachines. There are many applications that use aptamers together with pH-responsive materials, notably the targeted delivery of chemotherapeutics. However, the number of reported applications that directly use pH to control aptamer binding is small. In this review, we first discuss the use of aptamers with pH-responsive nanostructures for chemotherapeutic and other applications. We then discuss applications that use pH to denature or otherwise disrupt the binding of aptamers. Finally, we discuss motifs using non-canonical nucleic acid base pairing that can shift conformation in response to pH, followed by an overview of engineered pH-controlled aptamers designed using those motifs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aptamer-Based Diagnostics and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessReview Nucleic Acid Aptamers Targeting Epigenetic Regulators: An Innovative Therapeutic Option
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030079
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 21 August 2018 / Accepted: 22 August 2018 / Published: 24 August 2018
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Abstract
Epigenetic mechanisms include DNA methylation, posttranslational modifications of histones, chromatin remodeling factors, and post transcriptional gene regulation by noncoding RNAs. All together, these processes regulate gene expression by changing chromatin organization and DNA accessibility. Targeting enzymatic regulators responsible for DNA and chromatin modifications
[...] Read more.
Epigenetic mechanisms include DNA methylation, posttranslational modifications of histones, chromatin remodeling factors, and post transcriptional gene regulation by noncoding RNAs. All together, these processes regulate gene expression by changing chromatin organization and DNA accessibility. Targeting enzymatic regulators responsible for DNA and chromatin modifications hold promise for modulating the transcriptional regulation of genes that are involved in cancer, as well as in chronic noncommunicable metabolic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Increasingly studies are emerging, leading to the identification of specific and effective molecules targeting epigenetic pathways involved in disease onset. In this regard, RNA interference, which uses small RNAs to reduce gene expression and nucleic acid aptamers are arising as very promising candidates in therapeutic approach. Common to all these strategies is the imperative challenge of specificity. In this regard, nucleic acid aptamers have emerged as an attractive class of carrier molecules due to their ability to bind with high affinity to specific ligands, their high chemical flexibility as well as tissue penetration capability. In this review, we will focus on the recent progress in the field of aptamers used as targeting moieties able to recognize and revert epigenetics marks involved in diseases onset. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aptamer-Based Diagnostics and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessArticle Isolation and Structural Characterization of Bioactive Molecules on Prostate Cancer from Mayan Traditional Medicinal Plants
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030078
Received: 9 July 2018 / Revised: 9 August 2018 / Accepted: 11 August 2018 / Published: 14 August 2018
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Abstract
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men around the world. It is a complex and heterogeneous disease in which androgens and their receptors play a crucial role in the progression and development. The current treatment for prostate cancer is a combination
[...] Read more.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men around the world. It is a complex and heterogeneous disease in which androgens and their receptors play a crucial role in the progression and development. The current treatment for prostate cancer is a combination of surgery, hormone therapy, radiation and chemotherapy. Therapeutic agents commonly used in the clinic include steroidal and non-steroidal anti-androgens, such as cyproterone acetate, bicalutamide and enzalutamide. These few agents have multiple adverse effects and are not 100% effective. Several plant compounds and mixtures, including grape seed polyphenol extracts, lycopene and tomato preparations, soy isoflavones, and green tea extracts, have been shown to be effective against prostate cancer cell growth. In vivo activity of some isolated compounds like capsaicin and curcumin was reported in prostate cancer murine models. We prepared a library of plant extracts from traditional Mayan medicine. These plants were selected for their use in the contemporaneous Mayan communities for the treatment of different diseases. The extracts were assessed in a phenotypic screening using LNCaP prostate cancer androgen sensitive cell line, with a fixed dose of 25 μg/mL. MTT assay identified seven out of ten plants with interesting anti-neoplastic activity. Extracts from these plants were subjected to a bioguided fractionation to study their major components. We identified three compounds with anti-neoplastic effects against LNCaP cells, one of which shows selectivity for neoplastic compared to benign cells. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Potential Protective Effect of Oligoribonucleotides-d-Mannitol Complexes against Thioacetamide-Induced Hepatotoxicity in Mice
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030077
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 2 August 2018 / Accepted: 2 August 2018 / Published: 6 August 2018
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Abstract
This study investigated the potential hepatoprotective effect of oligoribonucleotides-d-mannitol complexes (ORNs-d-M) against thioacetamide (TAA)-induced hepatotoxicity in mice. The hepatoprotective activity of ORNs-d-M was evaluated in thioacetamide (TAA)-treated C57BL/6J. Results indicate that treatment with ORNs-d-M displayed
[...] Read more.
This study investigated the potential hepatoprotective effect of oligoribonucleotides-d-mannitol complexes (ORNs-d-M) against thioacetamide (TAA)-induced hepatotoxicity in mice. The hepatoprotective activity of ORNs-d-M was evaluated in thioacetamide (TAA)-treated C57BL/6J. Results indicate that treatment with ORNs-d-M displayed a protective effect at the TAA-induced liver injury. Treatment with ORNs-d-M, starting at 0 h after the administration of TAA, decreased TAA-elevated serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT). Activities of glutathione S-transferase (GST) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and levels of glutathione (GSH), were enhanced with ORNs-d-M administration, while the hepatic oxidative biomarkers (TBA-reactive substances, protein carbonyl derivatives, protein-SH group) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity were reduced. Furthermore, genetic analysis has shown that the ORNs-d-M decreases the expression of mRNA pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), profibrogenic cytokine-transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1), as well as the principal protein of the extracellular matrix—collagen I. The present study demonstrates that ORNs-d-M exerts a protective effect against TAA-induced liver injury, which may be associated with its anti-inflammatory effects, inhibition of overexpression of mRNA cytokines, and direct effects on the metabolism of the toxin. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Antiproliferative Activity of Neem Leaf Extracts Obtained by a Sequential Pressurized Liquid Extraction
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030076
Received: 13 July 2018 / Accepted: 25 July 2018 / Published: 30 July 2018
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Abstract
Azadirachta indica A. Juss (neem) extracts have been used in pharmaceutical applications as antitumor agents, due to their terpenes and phenolic compounds. To obtain extracts from neem leaves with potential antiproliferative effect, a sequential process of pressurized liquid extraction was carried out in
[...] Read more.
Azadirachta indica A. Juss (neem) extracts have been used in pharmaceutical applications as antitumor agents, due to their terpenes and phenolic compounds. To obtain extracts from neem leaves with potential antiproliferative effect, a sequential process of pressurized liquid extraction was carried out in a fixed bed extractor at 25 °C and 100 bar, using hexane (SH), ethyl acetate (SEA), and ethanol (SE) as solvents. Extractions using only ethanol (EE) was also conducted to compare the characteristics of the fractionated extracts. The results obtained by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry suggested a higher concentration of terpenes in the SEA extract in comparison to SH, SE, and EE extracts. Therefore, antiproliferative activity showed that SEA extracts were the most efficient inhibitor to human tumor cells MCF-7, NCI-H460, HeLa, and HepG2. Hepatocellular cells were more resistant to SH, SEA, SE, and EE compared to breast, lung, hepatocellular, and cervical malignant cells. Neem fractioned extracts obtained in the present study seem to be more selective for malignant cells compared to the non-tumor cells. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Polyethylene Glycol Exposure with Antihemophilic Factor (Recombinant), PEGylated (rurioctocog alfa pegol) and Other Therapies Indicated for the Pediatric Population: History and Safety
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030075
Received: 25 June 2018 / Revised: 21 July 2018 / Accepted: 23 July 2018 / Published: 26 July 2018
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Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is an inert, water soluble polymer, used for decades in pharmaceuticals. Although PEG is considered safe, concerns persist about the potential adverse effects of long-term exposure to PEG-containing therapies, specifically in children, following the introduction of PEGylated recombinant factor products
[...] Read more.
Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is an inert, water soluble polymer, used for decades in pharmaceuticals. Although PEG is considered safe, concerns persist about the potential adverse effects of long-term exposure to PEG-containing therapies, specifically in children, following the introduction of PEGylated recombinant factor products used for the treatment of hemophilia. Given the absence of long-term surveillance data, and to evaluate the potential risk, we estimated PEG exposure in the pediatric population receiving PEGylated therapies with pediatric indications administered intravenously or intramuscularly. We used a range of pediatric weights and doses based on prescribing information (PI) or treatment guidelines. PIs and reporting websites were searched for information about adverse events (AEs). For a child weighing 50 kg on the highest prophylactic dose of a FVIII product, the range of total PEG exposure was 40–21,840 mg/year; for factor IX (FIX) products, the range was 13–1342 mg/year; and for other products, the range was 383–26,743 mg/year, primarily as a derivative excipient. No AE patterns attributable to PEG were found for any of these products, including potential renal, neurological, or hepatic AEs. Our analyses suggest the pediatric population has had substantial exposure to PEG for several decades, with no evidence of adverse consequences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) and PEGylation in Pharmacy)
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Open AccessArticle Clopidogrel Pharmacokinetics in Malaysian Population Groups: The Impact of Inter-Ethnic Variability
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030074
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 6 July 2018 / Accepted: 8 July 2018 / Published: 26 July 2018
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Abstract
Malaysia is a multi-ethnic society whereby the impact of pharmacogenetic differences between ethnic groups may contribute significantly to variability in clinical therapy. One of the leading causes of mortality in Malaysia is cardiovascular disease (CVD), which accounts for up to 26% of all
[...] Read more.
Malaysia is a multi-ethnic society whereby the impact of pharmacogenetic differences between ethnic groups may contribute significantly to variability in clinical therapy. One of the leading causes of mortality in Malaysia is cardiovascular disease (CVD), which accounts for up to 26% of all hospital deaths annually. Clopidogrel is used as an adjunct treatment in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular events. CYP2C19 plays an integral part in the metabolism of clopidogrel to the active metabolite clopi-H4. However, CYP2C19 genetic polymorphism, prominent in Malaysians, could influence target clopi-H4 plasma concentrations for clinical efficacy. This study addresses how inter-ethnicity variability within the Malaysian population impacts the attainment of clopi-H4 target plasma concentration under different CYP2C19 polymorphisms through pharmacokinetic (PK) modelling. We illustrated a statistically significant difference (P < 0.001) in the clopi-H4 Cmax between the extensive metabolisers (EM) and poor metabolisers (PM) phenotypes with either Malay or Malaysian Chinese population groups. Furthermore, the number of PM individuals with peak clopi-H4 concentrations below the minimum therapeutic level was partially recovered using a high-dose strategy (600 mg loading dose followed by a 150 mg maintenance dose), which resulted in an approximate 50% increase in subjects attaining the minimum clopi-H4 plasma concentration for a therapeutic effect. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Complexes of Oligoribonucleotides with d-Mannitol Modulate the Innate Immune Response to Influenza A Virus H1N1 (A/FM/1/47) In Vivo
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030073
Received: 19 June 2018 / Revised: 18 July 2018 / Accepted: 18 July 2018 / Published: 22 July 2018
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Abstract
Rapid replication of the influenza A virus and lung tissue damage caused by exaggerated pro-inflammatory host immune responses lead to numerous deaths. Therefore, novel therapeutic agents that have anti-influenza activities and attenuate excessive pro-inflammatory responses that are induced by an influenza virus infection
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Rapid replication of the influenza A virus and lung tissue damage caused by exaggerated pro-inflammatory host immune responses lead to numerous deaths. Therefore, novel therapeutic agents that have anti-influenza activities and attenuate excessive pro-inflammatory responses that are induced by an influenza virus infection are needed. Oligoribonucleotides-d-mannitol (ORNs-d-M) complexes possess both antiviral and anti-inflammatory activities. The current research was aimed at studying the ORNs-d-M effects on expression of innate immune genes in mice lungs during an influenza virus infection. Expression of genes was determined by RT-qPCR and Western blot assays. In the present studies, we found that the ORNs-d-M reduced the influenza-induced up-expression of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) (tlr3, tlr7, tlr8), nuclear factor NF-kB (nfkbia, nfnb1), cytokines (ifnε, ifnk, ifna2, ifnb1, ifnγ, il6, il1b, il12a, tnf), chemokines (ccl3, ccl4, сcl5, cxcl9, cxcl10, cxcl11), interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs) (oas1a, oas2, oas3, mx1), and pro-oxidation (nos2, xdh) genes. The ORNs-d-M inhibited the mRNA overexpression of tlr3, tlr7, and tlr8 induced by the influenza virus, which suggests that they impair the upregulation of NF-kB, cytokines, chemokines, ISGs, and pro-oxidation genes induced by the influenza virus by inhibiting activation of the TLR-3, TLR-7, and TLR-8 signaling pathways. By impairing activation of the TLR-3, TLR-7, and TLR-8 signaling pathways, the ORNs-d-M can modulate the innate immune response to an influenza virus infection. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Antioxidant Potential, Quantum-Chemical and Molecular Docking Study of the Major Chemical Constituents Present in the Leaves of Curatella americana Linn
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030072
Received: 6 May 2018 / Revised: 9 July 2018 / Accepted: 12 July 2018 / Published: 20 July 2018
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Abstract
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are continuously generated in the normal biological systems, primarily by enzymes as xanthine oxidase (XO). The inappropriate scavenging or inhibition of ROS has been considered to be linked with aging, inflammatory disorders, and chronic diseases. Therefore, many plants and
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Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are continuously generated in the normal biological systems, primarily by enzymes as xanthine oxidase (XO). The inappropriate scavenging or inhibition of ROS has been considered to be linked with aging, inflammatory disorders, and chronic diseases. Therefore, many plants and their products have been investigated as natural antioxidants for their potential use in preventive medicine. The leaves and bark extracts of Curatella americana Linn. were described in scientific research as anti-inflammatory, vasodilator, anti-ulcerogenic, and hypolipidemic effects. So, the aim of this study was to evaluate the antioxidant potentials of leaf hydroalcoholic extract from C. americana (HECA) through the scavenging DPPH assay and their main chemical constituents, evaluated by the following quantum chemical approaches (DFT B3LYP/6-31G**): Maps of Molecular Electrostatic Potential (MEP), Frontier Orbital’s (HOMO and LUMO) followed by multivariate analysis and molecular docking simulations with the xanthine oxidase enzyme. The hydroalcoholic extract showed significant antioxidant activity by free radical scavenging probably due to the great presence of flavonoids, which were grouped in the PCA and HCA analysis with the standard gallic acid. In the molecular docking study, the compounds studied presented the binding free energy (ΔG) values close each other, due to the similar interactions with amino acids residues at the activity site. The descriptors Gap and softness were important to characterize the molecules with antioxidant potential by capturing oxygen radicals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemoinformatics and Drug Design)
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Open AccessReview Targeted Molecular Imaging Using Aptamers in Cancer
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030071
Received: 27 June 2018 / Revised: 13 July 2018 / Accepted: 17 July 2018 / Published: 19 July 2018
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Abstract
Imaging is not only seeing, but also believing. For targeted imaging modalities, nucleic acid aptamers have features such as superior recognition of structural epitopes and quick uptake in target cells. This explains the emergence of an evolved new class of aptamers into a
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Imaging is not only seeing, but also believing. For targeted imaging modalities, nucleic acid aptamers have features such as superior recognition of structural epitopes and quick uptake in target cells. This explains the emergence of an evolved new class of aptamers into a wide spectrum of imaging applications over the last decade. Genetically encoded biosensors tagged with fluorescent RNA aptamers have been developed as intracellular imaging tools to understand cellular signaling and physiology in live cells. Cancer-specific aptamers labeled with fluorescence have been used for assessment of clinical tissue specimens. Aptamers conjugated with gold nanoparticles have been employed to develop innovative mass spectrometry tissue imaging. Also, use of chemically conjugated cancer-specific aptamers as probes for non-invasive and high-resolution imaging has been transformative for in vivo imaging in multiple cancers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aptamer-Based Diagnostics and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessArticle Design and Synthesis of 99mTcN-Labeled Dextran-Mannose Derivatives for Sentinel Lymph Node Detection
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030070
Received: 15 June 2018 / Revised: 11 July 2018 / Accepted: 12 July 2018 / Published: 16 July 2018
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Abstract
Background: New approaches based on the receptor-targeted molecular interaction have been recently developed with the aim to investigate specific probes for sentinel lymph nodes. In particular, the mannose receptors expressed by lymph node macrophages became an attractive target and different multifunctional mannose derivate
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Background: New approaches based on the receptor-targeted molecular interaction have been recently developed with the aim to investigate specific probes for sentinel lymph nodes. In particular, the mannose receptors expressed by lymph node macrophages became an attractive target and different multifunctional mannose derivate ligands for the labeling with 99mTc have been developed. In this study, we report the synthesis of a specific class of dextran-based, macromolecular, multifunctional ligands specially designed for labeling with the highly stable [99mTc≡N]2+ core. Methods: The ligands have been obtained by appending to a macromolecular dextran scaffold pendant arms bearing a chelating moiety for the metallic group and a mannosyl residue for allowing the interaction of the resulting macromolecular 99mTc conjugate with specific receptors on the external membrane of macrophages. Two different chelating systems have been selected, S-methyl dithiocarbazate [H2N‒NH‒C(=S)SCH3=HDTCZ] and a sequence of two cysteine residues, that in combination with a monophosphine coligand, are able to bind the [99mTc≡N]2+ core. Conclusions: High-specific-activity labeling has been obtained by simple mixing and heating of the [99mTc≡N]2+ group with the new mannose-dextran derivatives. Full article
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Open AccessArticle In Silico SAR Studies of HIV-1 Inhibitors
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030069
Received: 21 June 2018 / Revised: 1 July 2018 / Accepted: 2 July 2018 / Published: 13 July 2018
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Abstract
Quantitative Structure Activity Relationships (QSAR or SAR) have helped scientists to establish mathematical relationships between molecular structures and their biological activities. In the present article, SAR studies have been carried out on 89 tetrahydroimidazo[4,5,1-jk][1,4]benzodiazepine (TIBO) derivatives using different classifiers, such as support vector
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Quantitative Structure Activity Relationships (QSAR or SAR) have helped scientists to establish mathematical relationships between molecular structures and their biological activities. In the present article, SAR studies have been carried out on 89 tetrahydroimidazo[4,5,1-jk][1,4]benzodiazepine (TIBO) derivatives using different classifiers, such as support vector machines, artificial neural networks, random forests, and decision trees. The goal is to propose classification models that will be able to classify TIBO compounds into two groups: high and low inhibitors of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase. Each molecular structure was encoded by 10 descriptors. To check the validity of the established models, all of them were subjected to various validation tests: internal validation, Y-randomization, and external validation. The established classification models have been successful. The correct classification rates reached 100% and 90% in the learning and test sets, respectively. Finally, molecular docking analysis was carried out to understand the interactions between reverse transcriptase enzyme and the TIBO compounds studied. Hydrophobic and hydrogen bond interactions led to the identification of active binding sites. The established models could help scientists to predict the inhibition activity of untested compounds or of novel molecules prior to their synthesis. Therefore, they could reduce the trial and error process in the design of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) inhibitors. Full article
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Open AccessReview Bioinspired Designs, Molecular Premise and Tools for Evaluating the Ecological Importance of Antimicrobial Peptides
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030068
Received: 29 May 2018 / Revised: 6 July 2018 / Accepted: 7 July 2018 / Published: 10 July 2018
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Abstract
This review article provides an overview of recent developments in antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), summarizing structural diversity, potential new applications, activity targets and microbial killing responses in general. The use of artificial and natural AMPs as templates for rational design of peptidomimetics are also
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This review article provides an overview of recent developments in antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), summarizing structural diversity, potential new applications, activity targets and microbial killing responses in general. The use of artificial and natural AMPs as templates for rational design of peptidomimetics are also discussed and some strategies are put forward to curtail cytotoxic effects against eukaryotic cells. Considering the heat-resistant nature, chemical and proteolytic stability of AMPs, we attempt to summarize their molecular targets, examine how these macromolecules may contribute to potential environmental risks vis-à-vis the activities of the peptides. We further point out the evolutional characteristics of the macromolecules and indicate how they can be useful in designing target-specific peptides. Methods are suggested that may help to assess toxic mechanisms of AMPs and possible solutions are discussed to promote the development and application of AMPs in medicine. Even if there is wide exposure to the environment like in the hospital settings, AMPs may instead contribute to prevent healthcare-associated infections so long as ecotoxicological aspects are considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Choices of the Journal)
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Open AccessArticle Looking for Novel Capsid Protein Multimerization Inhibitors of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030067
Received: 17 May 2018 / Revised: 2 July 2018 / Accepted: 4 July 2018 / Published: 10 July 2018
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Abstract
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a member of the retroviridae family of viruses. It causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in worldwide domestic and non-domestic cats and is a cause of an important veterinary issue. The genome organization of FIV and the clinical characteristics
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Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a member of the retroviridae family of viruses. It causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in worldwide domestic and non-domestic cats and is a cause of an important veterinary issue. The genome organization of FIV and the clinical characteristics of the disease caused by FIV are similar to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Both viruses infect T lymphocytes, monocytes, and macrophages, with a similar replication cycle in infected cells. Thus, the infection of cats with FIV is also a useful tool for the study and development of novel drugs and vaccines against HIV. Anti-retroviral drugs studied extensively with regards to HIV infection have targeted different steps of the virus replication cycle: (1) disruption of the interaction with host cell surface receptors and co-receptors; (2) inhibition of fusion of the virus and cell membranes; (3) blocking of the reverse transcription of viral genomic RNA; (4) interruption of nuclear translocation and integration of viral DNA into host genomes; (5) prevention of viral transcript processing and nuclear export; and (6) inhibition of virion assembly and maturation. Despite the great success of anti-retroviral therapy in slowing HIV progression in humans, a similar therapy has not been thoroughly investigated for FIV infection in cats, mostly because of the little structural information available for FIV proteins. The FIV capsid protein (CA) drives the assembly of the viral particle, which is a critical step in the viral replication cycle. During this step, the CA protein oligomerizes to form a protective coat that surrounds the viral genome. In this work, we perform a large-scale screening of four hundred molecules from our in-house library using an in vitro assembly assay of p24, combined with microscale thermophoresis, to estimate binding affinity. This screening led to the discovery of around four novel hits that inhibited capsid assembly in vitro. These may provide new antiviral drugs against FIV. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Bacterial Lipopolysaccharide Increases Serotonin Metabolism in Both Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Nucleus Accumbens in Male Wild Type Rats, but Not in Serotonin Transporter Knockout Rats
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030066
Received: 11 June 2018 / Revised: 29 June 2018 / Accepted: 2 July 2018 / Published: 5 July 2018
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Abstract
It is well known that bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) both increases proinflammatory cytokines and produces sickness behavior, including fatigue and anhedonia (i.e., the inability to experience pleasure). Previously, we have shown that intraperitoneally (i.p.) administered LPS increased extracellular monoamine metabolite levels in the nucleus
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It is well known that bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) both increases proinflammatory cytokines and produces sickness behavior, including fatigue and anhedonia (i.e., the inability to experience pleasure). Previously, we have shown that intraperitoneally (i.p.) administered LPS increased extracellular monoamine metabolite levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), which was completely, or at least partly, prevented by pretreatment with a triple reuptake inhibitor that also blocks the serotonin (5-HT) transporter (SERT). This suggests indirectly, that LPS may enhance SERT transporter activity, and consequently, increase removal of 5-HT from the synaptic cleft, and increase metabolism of 5-HT. In the present study, we focus more specifically on the role of SERT in this increased metabolism by using rats, that differ in SERT expression. Therefore, the effects of an intraperitoneal LPS injection on extracellular concentrations of 5-HT and its metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) were investigated by in vivo microdialysis in the NAc and mPFC of wild type (SERT+/+), heterozygous (SERT+/−) and knockout (SERT−/−) rats. Here, we show that LPS-induced 5-HIAA formation in male rats, is significantly increased in SERT+/+ rats in both the NAc and mPFC, whereas this increase is partly or totally abolished in SERT+/− and SERT−/− rats, respectively. Thus, the present study supports the hypothesis that systemic LPS in male rats increases SERT function and consequently enhances 5-HT uptake and metabolism in both the NAc and mPFC. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Design, Synthesis, In Vitro, and Initial In Vivo Evaluation of Heterobivalent Peptidic Ligands Targeting Both NPY(Y1)- and GRP-Receptors—An Improvement for Breast Cancer Imaging?
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030065
Received: 18 June 2018 / Revised: 29 June 2018 / Accepted: 3 July 2018 / Published: 4 July 2018
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Abstract
Heterobivalent peptidic ligands (HBPLs), designed to address two different receptors independently, are highly promising tumor imaging agents. For example, breast cancer has been shown to concomitantly and complementarily overexpress the neuropeptide Y receptor subtype 1 (NPY(Y1)R) as well as the gastrin-releasing
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Heterobivalent peptidic ligands (HBPLs), designed to address two different receptors independently, are highly promising tumor imaging agents. For example, breast cancer has been shown to concomitantly and complementarily overexpress the neuropeptide Y receptor subtype 1 (NPY(Y1)R) as well as the gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRPR). Thus, radiolabeled HBPLs being able to bind these two receptors should exhibit an improved tumor targeting efficiency compared to monospecific ligands. We developed here such bispecific HBPLs and radiolabeled them with 68Ga, achieving high radiochemical yields, purities, and molar activities. We evaluated the HBPLs and their monospecific reference peptides in vitro regarding stability and uptake into different breast cancer cell lines and found that the 68Ga-HBPLs were efficiently taken up via the GRPR. We also performed in vivo PET/CT imaging and ex vivo biodistribution studies in T-47D tumor-bearing mice for the most promising 68Ga-HBPL and compared the results to those obtained for its scrambled analogs. The tumors could easily be visualized by the newly developed 68Ga-HBPL and considerably higher tumor uptakes and tumor-to-background ratios were obtained compared to the scrambled analogs in and ex vivo. These results demonstrate the general feasibility of the approach to use bispecific radioligands for in vivo imaging of breast cancer. Full article
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Open AccessReview Insights into Macrophage Heterogeneity and Cytokine-Induced Neuroinflammation in Major Depressive Disorder
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030064
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 21 June 2018 / Accepted: 22 June 2018 / Published: 25 June 2018
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Abstract
Over 350 million individuals suffer from depression, a psychiatric illness classified as major depressive disorder (MDD) with symptoms that include a loss of interest or pleasure in life accompanied by depressed mood. The present understanding of major depressive disorder does not encompass a
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Over 350 million individuals suffer from depression, a psychiatric illness classified as major depressive disorder (MDD) with symptoms that include a loss of interest or pleasure in life accompanied by depressed mood. The present understanding of major depressive disorder does not encompass a systematic characterization of the neurobiological processes that drive the behavioral physiology in patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder. Psychiatric illness is a complex intersection between genetics, physiology, immunology and environmental stress. The increased attention to the relevance of depression has led to new discoveries that highlight the biological significance of ‘neuroinflammation’ and immunity underlying a spectrum of psychiatric illnesses. The process of neuroinflammation involves sentinel immune cells in the central nervous system (CNS). The activation and polarization of microglia, CNS-resident macrophages, modulates the production and secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines implicated in the etiology of major depressive disorder, and this phenomenon has been aptly titled the ‘macrophage theory of depression’. Of particular interest are three hallmark cytokines, IL-6, TNFα and IL-1β, which have been studied extensively in basic research, cell-receptor signaling and drug development. The field of inflammasome-mediated neuroinflammation is an emerging area of MDD research that is providing new cellular insight into how macrophages mechanistically support cytokine-associated neuropathology, particularly in the case of IL-1β-associated inflammation in MDD. With the increasing number of individuals identified with depression, a comprehensive understanding of macrophage-cytokine signaling pathways in the CNS in depression is necessary for developing effective anti-depressant therapeutics. Full article
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Open AccessReview Role of Microbiota and Tryptophan Metabolites in the Remote Effect of Intestinal Inflammation on Brain and Depression
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030063
Received: 26 May 2018 / Revised: 21 June 2018 / Accepted: 22 June 2018 / Published: 25 June 2018
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Abstract
The human gastrointestinal tract is inhabited by trillions of commensal bacteria collectively known as the gut microbiota. Our recognition of the significance of the complex interaction between the microbiota, and its host has grown dramatically over the past years. A balanced microbial community
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The human gastrointestinal tract is inhabited by trillions of commensal bacteria collectively known as the gut microbiota. Our recognition of the significance of the complex interaction between the microbiota, and its host has grown dramatically over the past years. A balanced microbial community is a key regulator of the immune response, and metabolism of dietary components, which in turn, modulates several brain processes impacting mood and behavior. Consequently, it is likely that disruptions within the composition of the microbiota would remotely affect the mental state of the host. Here, we discuss how intestinal bacteria and their metabolites can orchestrate gut-associated neuroimmune mechanisms that influence mood and behavior leading to depression. In particular, we focus on microbiota-triggered gut inflammation and its implications in shifting the tryptophan metabolism towards kynurenine biosynthesis while disrupting the serotonergic signaling. We further investigate the gaps to be bridged in this exciting field of research in order to clarify our understanding of the multifaceted crosstalk in the microbiota–gut–brain interphase, bringing about novel, microbiota-targeted therapeutics for mental illnesses. Full article
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Open AccessReview Potential Inherent Stimulation of the Innate Immune System by Nucleic Acid Aptamers and Possible Corrective Approaches
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030062
Received: 25 May 2018 / Revised: 19 June 2018 / Accepted: 21 June 2018 / Published: 23 June 2018
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Abstract
It is well known that unmethylated 2′-deoxycytidine-phosphate-2′-guanine (CpG) sequences alone or in longer DNA and RNA oligonucleotides can act like pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and trigger the innate immune response leading to deleterious cytokine production via Toll-like receptors (TLRs). Clearly, such CpG or
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It is well known that unmethylated 2′-deoxycytidine-phosphate-2′-guanine (CpG) sequences alone or in longer DNA and RNA oligonucleotides can act like pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and trigger the innate immune response leading to deleterious cytokine production via Toll-like receptors (TLRs). Clearly, such CpG or CpG-containing sequences in aptamers intended for therapy could present very damaging side effects to patients. Previous antisense oligonucleotide developers were faced with the same basic CpG dilemma and devised not only avoidance, but other effective strategies from which current aptamer developers can learn to ameliorate or eliminate damaging CpG effects. These strategies include obvious methylation of cytosines in the aptamer structure, as long as it does not affect aptamer binding in vivo, truncation of the aptamer to its essential binding site, backbone modifications, co-administration of antagonistic or suppressive oligonucleotides, or other novel drugs under development to lessen the toxic CpG effect on innate immunity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aptamer-Based Diagnostics and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessArticle Proximal Pathway Enrichment Analysis for Targeting Comorbid Diseases via Network Endopharmacology
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(3), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11030061
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 15 June 2018 / Accepted: 19 June 2018 / Published: 22 June 2018
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Abstract
The past decades have witnessed a paradigm shift from the traditional drug discovery shaped around the idea of “one target, one disease” to polypharmacology (multiple targets, one disease). Given the lack of clear-cut boundaries across disease (endo)phenotypes and genetic heterogeneity across patients, a
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The past decades have witnessed a paradigm shift from the traditional drug discovery shaped around the idea of “one target, one disease” to polypharmacology (multiple targets, one disease). Given the lack of clear-cut boundaries across disease (endo)phenotypes and genetic heterogeneity across patients, a natural extension to the current polypharmacology paradigm is to target common biological pathways involved in diseases via endopharmacology (multiple targets, multiple diseases). In this study, we present proximal pathway enrichment analysis (PxEA) for pinpointing drugs that target common disease pathways towards network endopharmacology. PxEA uses the topology information of the network of interactions between disease genes, pathway genes, drug targets and other proteins to rank drugs by their interactome-based proximity to pathways shared across multiple diseases, providing unprecedented drug repurposing opportunities. Using PxEA, we show that many drugs indicated for autoimmune disorders are not necessarily specific to the condition of interest, but rather target the common biological pathways across these diseases. Finally, we provide high scoring drug repurposing candidates that can target common mechanisms involved in type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, two conditions that have recently gained attention due to the increased comorbidity among patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Old Pharmaceuticals with New Applications)
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