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Pharmaceuticals, Volume 12, Issue 4 (December 2019)

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Open AccessReview
Computer-Assisted and Data Driven Approaches for Surveillance, Drug Discovery, and Vaccine Design for the Zika Virus
Pharmaceuticals 2019, 12(4), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph12040157 - 16 Oct 2019
Viewed by 170
Abstract
Human life has been at the edge of catastrophe for millennia due diseases which emerge and reemerge at random. The recent outbreak of the Zika virus (ZIKV) is one such menace that shook the global public health community abruptly. Modern technologies, including computational [...] Read more.
Human life has been at the edge of catastrophe for millennia due diseases which emerge and reemerge at random. The recent outbreak of the Zika virus (ZIKV) is one such menace that shook the global public health community abruptly. Modern technologies, including computational tools as well as experimental approaches, need to be harnessed fast and effectively in a coordinated manner in order to properly address such challenges. In this paper, based on our earlier research, we have proposed a four-pronged approach to tackle the emerging pathogens like ZIKV: (a) Epidemiological modelling of spread mechanisms of ZIKV; (b) assessment of the public health risk of newly emerging strains of the pathogens by comparing them with existing strains/pathogens using fast computational sequence comparison methods; (c) implementation of vaccine design methods in order to produce a set of probable peptide vaccine candidates for quick synthesis/production and testing in the laboratory; and (d) designing of novel therapeutic molecules and their laboratory testing as well as validation of new drugs or repurposing of drugs for use against ZIKV. For each of these stages, we provide an extensive review of the technical challenges and current state-of-the-art. Further, we outline the future areas of research and discuss how they can work together to proactively combat ZIKV or future emerging pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zika Virus: Therapeutic Advances)
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Open AccessArticle
C3orf70 Is Involved in Neural and Neurobehavioral Development
Pharmaceuticals 2019, 12(4), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph12040156 - 16 Oct 2019
Viewed by 117
Abstract
Neurogenesis is the process by which undifferentiated progenitor cells develop into mature and functional neurons. Defects in neurogenesis are associated with neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders; therefore, elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying neurogenesis can advance our understanding of the pathophysiology of these disorders and [...] Read more.
Neurogenesis is the process by which undifferentiated progenitor cells develop into mature and functional neurons. Defects in neurogenesis are associated with neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders; therefore, elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying neurogenesis can advance our understanding of the pathophysiology of these disorders and facilitate the discovery of novel therapeutic targets. In this study, we performed a comparative transcriptomic analysis to identify common targets of the proneural transcription factors Neurog1/2 and Ascl1 during neurogenesis of human and mouse stem cells. We successfully identified C3orf70 as a novel common target gene of Neurog1/2 and Ascl1 during neurogenesis. Using in situ hybridization, we demonstrated that c3orf70a and c3orf70b, two orthologs of C3orf70, were expressed in the midbrain and hindbrain of zebrafish larvae. We generated c3orf70 knockout zebrafish using CRISPR/Cas9 technology and demonstrated that loss of c3orf70 resulted in significantly decreased expression of the mature neuron markers elavl3 and eno2. We also found that expression of irx3b, a zebrafish ortholog of IRX3 and a midbrain/hindbrain marker, was significantly reduced in c3orf70 knockout zebrafish. Finally, we demonstrated that neurobehaviors related to circadian rhythm and altered light–dark conditions were significantly impaired in c3orf70 knockout zebrafish. These results suggest that C3orf70 is involved in neural and neurobehavioral development and that defects in C3orf70 may be associated with midbrain/hindbrain-related neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zebrafish as a Powerful Tool for Drug Discovery)
Open AccessArticle
Synergistic Effect of a HER2 Targeted Thorium-227 Conjugate in Combination with Olaparib in a BRCA2 Deficient Xenograft Model
Pharmaceuticals 2019, 12(4), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph12040155 - 15 Oct 2019
Viewed by 108
Abstract
Targeted thorium-227 conjugates (TTCs) represent a novel class of therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals for the treatment of cancer. TTCs consist of the alpha particle emitter thorium-227 complexed to a 3,2-hydroxypyridinone chelator conjugated to a tumor-targeting monoclonal antibody. The high energy and short range of the [...] Read more.
Targeted thorium-227 conjugates (TTCs) represent a novel class of therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals for the treatment of cancer. TTCs consist of the alpha particle emitter thorium-227 complexed to a 3,2-hydroxypyridinone chelator conjugated to a tumor-targeting monoclonal antibody. The high energy and short range of the alpha particles induce potent and selective anti-tumor activity driven by the induction of DNA damage in the target cell. Methods: The efficacy of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-TTC was tested in combination in vitro and in vivo with the poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor (PARPi), olaparib, in the human colorectal adenocarcinoma isogenic cell line pair DLD-1 and the knockout variant DLD-1 BRCA2 -/- Results: The in vitro combination effects were determined to be synergistic in DLD-1 BRCA2 -/- and additive in DLD-1 parental cell lines. Similarly, the in vivo efficacy of the combination was determined to be synergistic only in the DLD-1 BRCA2 -/- xenograft model, with statistically significant tumor growth inhibition at a single TTC dose of 120 kBq/kg body weight (bw) and 50 mg/kg bw olaparib (daily, i.p. for 4 weeks), demonstrating comparable tumor growth inhibition to a single TTC dose of 600 kBq/kg bw. Conclusions: This study supports the further investigation of DNA damage response inhibitors in combination with TTCs as a new strategy for the effective treatment of mutation-associated cancers. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Role of the Metal Center in the Modulation of the Aggregation Process of Amyloid Model Systems by Square Planar Complexes Bearing 2-(2'-pyridyl)benzimidazole Ligands
Pharmaceuticals 2019, 12(4), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph12040154 - 12 Oct 2019
Viewed by 144
Abstract
The effect of analogue Pd(II)-, Pt(II)-, and Au(III) compounds featuring 2-(2’-pyridyl)benzimidazole on the aggregation propensity of amyloid-like peptides derived from Aβ and from the C-terminal domain of nucleophosmin 1 was investigated. Kinetic profiles of aggregation were evaluated using thioflavin binding assays, whereas the [...] Read more.
The effect of analogue Pd(II)-, Pt(II)-, and Au(III) compounds featuring 2-(2’-pyridyl)benzimidazole on the aggregation propensity of amyloid-like peptides derived from Aβ and from the C-terminal domain of nucleophosmin 1 was investigated. Kinetic profiles of aggregation were evaluated using thioflavin binding assays, whereas the interactions of the compounds with the peptides were studied by UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. The results indicate that the compounds modulate the aggregation of the investigated peptides using different mechanisms, suggesting that the reactivity of the metal center and the physicochemical properties of the metals (rather than those of the ligands and the geometry of the metal compounds) play a crucial role in determining the anti-aggregation properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal-Based Drugs: Updates and Perspectives)
Open AccessCommunication
Myristic Acid Coated Protein Immobilised Mesoporous Silica Particles as pH Induced Oral Delivery System for the Delivery of Biomolecules
Pharmaceuticals 2019, 12(4), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph12040153 - 12 Oct 2019
Viewed by 157
Abstract
Solid core drug delivery systems (SCDDS) were prepared for the oral delivery of biomolecules using mesoporous silica as core, bovine haemoglobin (bHb) as model drug and supercritical fluid (SCF) processing as encapsulation technique. The use of organic solvents or harsh processing conditions in [...] Read more.
Solid core drug delivery systems (SCDDS) were prepared for the oral delivery of biomolecules using mesoporous silica as core, bovine haemoglobin (bHb) as model drug and supercritical fluid (SCF) processing as encapsulation technique. The use of organic solvents or harsh processing conditions in the development of drug delivery systems for biomolecules can be detrimental for the structural integrity of the molecule. Hence, the coating on protein-immobilised particles was performed via supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) processing at a temperature lower than the melting point of myristic acid (MA) to avoid any thermal degradation of bHb. The SCDDS were prepared by bHb immobilisation on mesoporous silica followed by myristic acid (MA) coating at 43 °C and 100 bar in scCO2. bHb-immobilised silica particles were also coated via solvent evaporation (SE) to compare the protein release with scCO2 processed formulations. In both cases, MA coating provided required enteric protection and restricted the bHb release for the first two hours in simulated gastric fluid (SGF). The protein release was immediate upon the change of media to simulated intestinal fluid (SIF), reaching 70% within three hours. The release from SCF processed samples was slower than SE formulations, indicating superior surface coverage of MA on particles in comparison to the SE method. Most importantly, the protein conformation remained unchanged after the release from SCDDS as confirmed by circular dichroism. This study clearly demonstrates that the approach involving protein immobilisation on silica and scCO2 assisted melt-coating method can protect biomolecules from gastric environment and provide the required release of a biologic in intestine without any untoward effects on protein conformation during processing or after release. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Sugar-Lowering Drugs for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Metabolic Syndrome—Review of Classical and New Compounds: Part-I
Pharmaceuticals 2019, 12(4), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph12040152 - 10 Oct 2019
Viewed by 224
Abstract
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disorder characterized by chronic hyperglycemia together with disturbances in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fat, which in general results from an insulin availability and need imbalance. In a great number of patients, marketed anti-glycemic agents have [...] Read more.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disorder characterized by chronic hyperglycemia together with disturbances in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fat, which in general results from an insulin availability and need imbalance. In a great number of patients, marketed anti-glycemic agents have shown poor effectiveness in maintaining a long-term glycemic control, thus being associated with severe adverse effects and leading to an emerging interest in natural compounds (e.g., essential oils and other secondary plant metabolites, namely, flavonoid-rich compounds) as a novel approach for prevention, management and/or treatment of either non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (T2DM, type 2 DM) and/or Metabolic Syndrome (MS). In this review, some of these promising glucose-lowering agents will be comprehensively discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Old Pharmaceuticals with New Applications)
Open AccessReview
Zebrafish Models of Diamond-Blackfan Anemia: A Tool for Understanding the Disease Pathogenesis and Drug Discovery
Pharmaceuticals 2019, 12(4), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph12040151 - 09 Oct 2019
Viewed by 232
Abstract
Diamond-Blackfan anemia (DBA) is a rare bone marrow failure syndrome characterized by red blood cell aplasia. Currently, mutations in 19 ribosomal protein genes have been identified in patients. However, the pathogenic mechanism of DBA remains unknown. Recently, several DBA models were generated in [...] Read more.
Diamond-Blackfan anemia (DBA) is a rare bone marrow failure syndrome characterized by red blood cell aplasia. Currently, mutations in 19 ribosomal protein genes have been identified in patients. However, the pathogenic mechanism of DBA remains unknown. Recently, several DBA models were generated in zebrafish (Danio rerio) to elucidate the molecular pathogenesis of disease and to explore novel treatments. Zebrafish have strong advantages in drug discovery due to their rapid development and transparency during embryogenesis and their applicability to chemical screens. Together with mice, zebrafish have now become a powerful tool for studying disease mechanisms and drug discovery. In this review, we introduce recent advances in DBA drug development and discuss the usefulness of zebrafish as a disease model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zebrafish as a Powerful Tool for Drug Discovery)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Non-Nucleoside Agonists of the Adenosine Receptors: An Overview
Pharmaceuticals 2019, 12(4), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph12040150 - 08 Oct 2019
Viewed by 189
Abstract
Potent and selective adenosine receptor (AR) agonists are of pharmacological interest for the treatment of a wide range of diseases and conditions. Among these derivatives, nucleoside-based agonists represent the great majority of molecules developed and reported to date. However, the limited availability of [...] Read more.
Potent and selective adenosine receptor (AR) agonists are of pharmacological interest for the treatment of a wide range of diseases and conditions. Among these derivatives, nucleoside-based agonists represent the great majority of molecules developed and reported to date. However, the limited availability of compounds selective for a specific AR subtype (i.e., A2BAR) and a generally long and complex synthetic route for largely substituted nucleosides are the main drawbacks of this category of molecules. Non-nucleoside agonists represent an alternative set of compounds able to stimulate the AR function and based on simplified structures. This review provides an updated overview on the structural classes of non-nucleoside AR agonists and their biological activities, with emphasis on the main derivatives reported in the literature. A focus is also given to the synthetic routes employed to develop these derivatives and on molecular modeling studies simulating their interaction with ARs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adenosine Receptors as Attractive Targets in Human Diseases )
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Open AccessArticle
Lurasidone Sub-Chronically Activates Serotonergic Transmission via Desensitization of 5-HT1A and 5-HT7 Receptors in Dorsal Raphe Nucleus
Pharmaceuticals 2019, 12(4), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph12040149 - 06 Oct 2019
Viewed by 272
Abstract
Lurasidone is an atypical mood-stabilizing antipsychotic agent with unique receptor-binding profile, including 5-HT7 receptor (5-HT7R) antagonism. Effects of 5-HT7R antagonism on transmitter systems of schizophrenia and mood disorders, however, have not been well clarified. Thus, this study examined the mechanisms underlying the clinical [...] Read more.
Lurasidone is an atypical mood-stabilizing antipsychotic agent with unique receptor-binding profile, including 5-HT7 receptor (5-HT7R) antagonism. Effects of 5-HT7R antagonism on transmitter systems of schizophrenia and mood disorders, however, have not been well clarified. Thus, this study examined the mechanisms underlying the clinical effects of lurasidone by measuring mesocortical serotonergic transmission. Following systemic and local administrations of lurasidone, MK801 and 5-HT receptor modulators, we determined releases of 5-HT in dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN), mediodorsal thalamic nucleus (MDTN) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in DRN using multiprobe microdialysis with ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC). Serotonergic and GABAergic neurons in the DRN are predominantly regulated by inhibitory 5-HT1A receptor (5-HT1AR) and excitatory 5-HT7R, respectively. Lurasidone acutely generates GABAergic disinhibition by 5-HT7R antagonism, but concomitant its 5-HT1AR agonism prevents serotonergic hyperactivation induced by 5-HT7R inhibition. During treatments with 5-HT1AR antagonist in DRN, lurasidone dose-dependently increased 5-HT release in the DRN, MDTN and mPFC. Contrary, lurasidone chronically enhanced serotonergic transmission and GABAergic disinhibition in the DRN by desensitizing both 5-HT1AR and 5-HT7R. These effects of lurasidone acutely prevented MK801-evoked 5-HT release by GABAergic disinhibition via N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)/glutamate receptor (NMDA-R)-mediated inhibition of 5-HT1AR function, but enhanced MK801-induced 5-HT release by desensitizing 5-HT1AR and 5-HT7R. These results indicate that acutely lurasidone fails to affect 5-HT release, but chronically enhances serotonergic transmission by desensitizing both 5-HT1AR and 5-HT7R. These unique properties of lurasidone ameliorate the dysfunctions of NMDA-R and augment antidepressive effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antidepressants: Mechanistic Insights and Future Directions)
Open AccessReview
The Dark Side: Photosensitizer Prodrugs
Pharmaceuticals 2019, 12(4), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph12040148 - 04 Oct 2019
Viewed by 230
Abstract
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) and photodiagnosis (PD) are essential approaches in the field of biophotonics. Ideally, both modalities require the selective sensitization of the targeted disease in order to avoid undesired phenomena such as the destruction of healthy tissue, skin photosensitization, or mistaken diagnosis. [...] Read more.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) and photodiagnosis (PD) are essential approaches in the field of biophotonics. Ideally, both modalities require the selective sensitization of the targeted disease in order to avoid undesired phenomena such as the destruction of healthy tissue, skin photosensitization, or mistaken diagnosis. To a large extent, the occurrence of these incidents can be attributed to “background” accumulation in non-target tissue. Therefore, an ideal photoactive compound should be optically silent in the absence of disease, but bright in its presence. Such requirements can be fulfilled using innovative prodrug strategies targeting disease-associated alterations. Here we will summarize the elaboration, characterization, and evaluation of approaches using polymeric photosensitizer prodrugs, nanoparticles, micelles, and porphysomes. Finally, we will discuss the use of 5-aminolevulinc acid and its derivatives that are selectively transformed in neoplastic cells into photoactive protoporphyrin IX. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photodynamic Therapy 2019)
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Alternative Experimental Models for Studying Influenza Proteins, Host–Virus Interactions and Anti-Influenza Drugs
Pharmaceuticals 2019, 12(4), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph12040147 - 30 Sep 2019
Viewed by 318
Abstract
Ninety years after the discovery of the virus causing the influenza disease, this malady remains one of the biggest public health threats to mankind. Currently available drugs and vaccines only partially reduce deaths and hospitalizations. Some of the reasons for this disturbing situation [...] Read more.
Ninety years after the discovery of the virus causing the influenza disease, this malady remains one of the biggest public health threats to mankind. Currently available drugs and vaccines only partially reduce deaths and hospitalizations. Some of the reasons for this disturbing situation stem from the sophistication of the viral machinery, but another reason is the lack of a complete understanding of the molecular and physiological basis of viral infections and host–pathogen interactions. Even the functions of the influenza proteins, their mechanisms of action and interaction with host proteins have not been fully revealed. These questions have traditionally been studied in mammalian animal models, mainly ferrets and mice (as well as pigs and non-human primates) and in cell lines. Although obviously relevant as models to humans, these experimental systems are very complex and are not conveniently accessible to various genetic, molecular and biochemical approaches. The fact that influenza remains an unsolved problem, in combination with the limitations of the conventional experimental models, motivated increasing attempts to use the power of other models, such as low eukaryotes, including invertebrate, and primary cell cultures. In this review, we summarized the efforts to study influenza in yeast, Drosophila, zebrafish and primary human tissue cultures and the major contributions these studies have made toward a better understanding of the disease. We feel that these models are still under-utilized and we highlight the unique potential each model has for better comprehending virus–host interactions and viral protein function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Anti-Influenza Therapeutics)
Open AccessReview
Anticancer Ruthenium(III) Complexes and Ru(III)-Containing Nanoformulations: An Update on the Mechanism of Action and Biological Activity
Pharmaceuticals 2019, 12(4), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph12040146 - 26 Sep 2019
Viewed by 322
Abstract
The great advances in the studies on metal complexes for the treatment of different cancer forms, starting from the pioneering works on platinum derivatives, have fostered an increasingly growing interest in their properties and biomedical applications. Among the various metal-containing drugs investigated thus [...] Read more.
The great advances in the studies on metal complexes for the treatment of different cancer forms, starting from the pioneering works on platinum derivatives, have fostered an increasingly growing interest in their properties and biomedical applications. Among the various metal-containing drugs investigated thus far, ruthenium(III) complexes have emerged for their selective cytotoxic activity in vitro and promising anticancer properties in vivo, also leading to a few candidates in advanced clinical trials. Aiming at addressing the solubility, stability and cellular uptake issues of low molecular weight Ru(III)-based compounds, some research groups have proposed the development of suitable drug delivery systems (e.g., taking advantage of nanoparticles, liposomes, etc.) able to enhance their activity compared to the naked drugs. This review highlights the unique role of Ru(III) complexes in the current panorama of anticancer agents, with particular emphasis on Ru-containing nanoformulations based on the incorporation of the Ru(III) complexes into suitable nanocarriers in order to enhance their bioavailability and pharmacokinetic properties. Preclinical evaluation of these nanoaggregates is discussed with a special focus on the investigation of their mechanism of action at a molecular level, highlighting their pharmacological potential in tumour disease models and value for biomedical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal-Based Drugs: Updates and Perspectives)
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Open AccessArticle
Generation of a Triple-Transgenic Zebrafish Line for Assessment of Developmental Neurotoxicity during Neuronal Differentiation
Pharmaceuticals 2019, 12(4), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph12040145 - 24 Sep 2019
Viewed by 459
Abstract
The developing brain is extremely sensitive to many chemicals. Exposure to neurotoxicants during development has been implicated in various neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders, including autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia. Various screening methods have been used to assess the developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) of chemicals, [...] Read more.
The developing brain is extremely sensitive to many chemicals. Exposure to neurotoxicants during development has been implicated in various neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders, including autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia. Various screening methods have been used to assess the developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) of chemicals, with most assays focusing on cell viability, apoptosis, proliferation, migration, neuronal differentiation, and neuronal network formation. However, assessment of toxicity during progenitor cell differentiation into neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes often requires immunohistochemistry, which is a reliable but labor-intensive and time-consuming assay. Here, we report the development of a triple-transgenic zebrafish line that expresses distinct fluorescent proteins in neurons (Cerulean), astrocytes (mCherry), and oligodendrocytes (mCitrine), which can be used to detect DNT during neuronal differentiation. Using in vivo fluorescence microscopy, we could detect DNT by 6 of the 10 neurotoxicants tested after exposure to zebrafish from 12 h to 5 days’ post-fertilization. Moreover, the chemicals could be clustered into three main DNT groups based on the fluorescence pattern: (i) inhibition of neuron and oligodendrocyte differentiation and stimulation of astrocyte differentiation; (ii) inhibition of neuron and oligodendrocyte differentiation; and (iii) inhibition of neuron and astrocyte differentiation, which suggests that reporter expression reflects the toxicodynamics of the chemicals. Thus, the triple-transgenic zebrafish line developed here may be a useful tool to assess DNT during neuronal differentiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zebrafish as a Powerful Tool for Drug Discovery)
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Open AccessReview
What Is Next in This “Age” of Heme-Driven Pathology and Protection by Hemopexin? An Update and Links with Iron
Pharmaceuticals 2019, 12(4), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph12040144 - 24 Sep 2019
Viewed by 436
Abstract
This review provides a synopsis of the published literature over the past two years on the heme-binding protein hemopexin (HPX), with some background information on the biochemistry of the HPX system. One focus is on the mechanisms of heme-driven pathology in the context [...] Read more.
This review provides a synopsis of the published literature over the past two years on the heme-binding protein hemopexin (HPX), with some background information on the biochemistry of the HPX system. One focus is on the mechanisms of heme-driven pathology in the context of heme and iron homeostasis in human health and disease. The heme-binding protein hemopexin is a multi-functional protectant against hemoglobin (Hb)-derived heme toxicity as well as mitigating heme-mediated effects on immune cells, endothelial cells, and stem cells that collectively contribute to driving inflammation, perturbing vascular hemostasis and blood–brain barrier function. Heme toxicity, which may lead to iron toxicity, is recognized increasingly in a wide range of conditions involving hemolysis and immune system activation and, in this review, we highlight some newly identified actions of heme and hemopexin especially in situations where normal processes fail to maintain heme and iron homeostasis. Finally, we present preliminary data showing that the cytokine IL-6 cross talks with activation of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase pathway in response to heme-hemopexin in models of hepatocytes. This indicates another level of complexity in the cell responses to elevated heme via the HPX system when the immune system is activated and/or in the presence of inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Iron as Therapeutic Targets in Human Diseases)
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Open AccessReview
Measuring Daylight: A Review of Dosimetry in Daylight Photodynamic Therapy
Pharmaceuticals 2019, 12(4), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph12040143 - 20 Sep 2019
Viewed by 356
Abstract
Successful daylight photodynamic therapy (DPDT) relies on the interaction of light, photosensitisers and oxygen. Therefore, the ‘dose’ of light that a patient receives during treatment is a clinically relevant quantity, with a minimum dose for effective treatment recommended in the literature. However, there [...] Read more.
Successful daylight photodynamic therapy (DPDT) relies on the interaction of light, photosensitisers and oxygen. Therefore, the ‘dose’ of light that a patient receives during treatment is a clinically relevant quantity, with a minimum dose for effective treatment recommended in the literature. However, there are many different light measurement methods used in the published literature, which may lead to confusion surrounding reliable and traceable dose measurement in DPDT, and what the most appropriate method of light measurement in DPDT might be. Furthermore, for the majority of practitioners who do not carry out any formal dosimetry and for the patients receiving DPDT, building confidence in the evidence supporting this important treatment option is of key importance. This review seeks to clarify the methodology of DPDT and discusses the literature relating to DPDT dosimetry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photodynamic Therapy 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
Tamoxifen Protects from Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Infection
Pharmaceuticals 2019, 12(4), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph12040142 - 20 Sep 2019
Viewed by 605
Abstract
Background: Tamoxifen (TAM) is an estrogen-receptor antagonist, widely used in the adjuvant treatment of early stage estrogen-sensitive breast cancer. Several studies have revealed new biological targets of TAM that mediate the estrogen receptor independent activities of the drug. Recently, the antiviral activity of [...] Read more.
Background: Tamoxifen (TAM) is an estrogen-receptor antagonist, widely used in the adjuvant treatment of early stage estrogen-sensitive breast cancer. Several studies have revealed new biological targets of TAM that mediate the estrogen receptor independent activities of the drug. Recently, the antiviral activity of TAM on replication of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and Herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) in vitro was described. In the current study, we aimed to investigate the effect of TAM on infection with vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV). Methods: Vero cells were treated with different concentrations of TAM for 24 h and then infected with VSV. Additionally, C57BL/6 mice were pretreated with 4 mg TAM, one day and three days before infection with VSV. Results: Treatment of Vero cells with TAM suppressed the viral replication of VSV in vitro and in vivo. The inhibitory effect of TAM on VSV replication correlated with an enhanced interferon-I response and stimulation of macrophages. Conclusions: TAM was identified as being capable to protect from VSV infection in vitro and in vivo. Consequently, this antiviral function (as an advantageous side-effect of TAM) might give rise to new clinical applications, such as treatment of resistant virus infections, or serve as an add-on to standard antiviral therapy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Radioimmunotherapy in Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: Retrospective Adverse Event Profiling of Zevalin and Bexxar
Pharmaceuticals 2019, 12(4), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph12040141 - 20 Sep 2019
Viewed by 445
Abstract
The development of monoclonal antibodies has dramatically changed the outcome of patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), the most common hematological malignancy. However, despite the satisfying results of monoclonal antibody treatment, only few NHL patients are permanently cured with single-agent therapies. In this context, [...] Read more.
The development of monoclonal antibodies has dramatically changed the outcome of patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), the most common hematological malignancy. However, despite the satisfying results of monoclonal antibody treatment, only few NHL patients are permanently cured with single-agent therapies. In this context, radioimmunotherapy, the administration of radionuclides conjugated to monoclonal antibodies, is aimed to augment the single-agent efficacy of immunotherapy in order to deliver targeted radiation to tumors, particularly CD20+ B-cell lymphomas. Based on evidence from several trials in NHL, the radiolabeled antibodies 90Y-ibritumomab tiuxetan (Zevalin, Spectrum Pharmaceuticals) and 131I-tositumomab (Bexxar, GlaxoSmithKline) received FDA approval in 2002 and 2003, respectively. However, none of the two radioimmunotherapeutic agents has been broadly applied in clinical practice. The main reason for the under-utilization of radioimmunotherapy includes economic and logistic considerations. However, concerns about potential side effects have also been raised. Driven by these developments, we performed retrospective analysis of adverse events reporting Zevalin or Bexxar, extracted from the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) and the World Health Organization’s VigiBase repository. Our results indicate that the two radioimmunotherapeutic agents have both related and distinct side effect profiles and confirm their known toxicological considerations. Our work also suggests that computational analysis of real-world post-marketing data can provide informative clinical insights. While more prospective studies are necessary to fully characterize the efficacy and safety of radioimmunotherapy, we expect that it has not yet reached its full therapeutic potential in modern hematological oncology. Full article
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