Next Issue
Volume 16, March
Previous Issue
Volume 16, January
 
 

Pharmaceuticals, Volume 16, Issue 2 (February 2023) – 194 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most prevalent type of lung cancer, making up about 85% of all lung cancer cases. Tumour angiogenesis has been intensely studied as a target for NSCLC treatment and several anti-angiogenic drugs, such as recombinant endostatin (RE), have been proposed to induce tumour growth inhibition with mixed results. Recently, a renewed interest in RE has emerged, due to its ability to create a vascular normalization window, which results in radiosensitivity enhancement by improving the hypoxic tumour microenvironment. This review provides a timely overview of preclinical and clinical studies that combine RE and radiotherapy for NSCLC treatment, while highlighting the ongoing challenges that must be overcome in order to maximize the benefits of this treatment; as well as the potential advantage of combinations with particle therapy. View this paper
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Reader to open them.
Order results
Result details
Section
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
16 pages, 4912 KiB  
Article
Developing In Situ Chemometric Models with Raman Spectroscopy for Monitoring an API Disproportionation with a Complex Polymorphic Landscape
by Shikhar Mohan, Yi Li, Kevin Chu, Bing Shi, Liliana De La Paz, Prarthana Bakre, Chris Foti, Victor Rucker and Chiajen Lai
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020327 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2018
Abstract
An in situ Raman method was developed to characterize the disproportionation of two salts involving a complex polymorphic landscape comprising up to two metastable and one stable freebase forms. Few precedents exist for Raman calibration procedures for solid form quantitation involving more than [...] Read more.
An in situ Raman method was developed to characterize the disproportionation of two salts involving a complex polymorphic landscape comprising up to two metastable and one stable freebase forms. Few precedents exist for Raman calibration procedures for solid form quantitation involving more than two polymorphs, while no literature examples were found for cases with multiple metastable forms. Therefore, a new Raman calibration procedure was proposed by directly using disproportionation experiments to generate multiple calibration samples encompassing a range of polymorph ratios through in-line Raman measurements complemented by off-line reference X-ray diffraction measurements. The developed Raman methods were capable of accurately quantitating each solid form in situ when solid concentration variation was incorporated into the calibration dataset. The kinetic understanding of the thermodynamically driven polymorphic conversions gained from this Raman method guided the selection of the salt best suited for the delivery of the active ingredient in the drug product. This work provided a spectroscopic and mathematical approach for simultaneously quantitating multiple polymorphs from a complex mixture of solids with the objective of real-time monitoring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymorphs, Salts, and Cocrystals in Drug Delivery)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

29 pages, 3584 KiB  
Article
Lyophilized Nasal Inserts of Atomoxetine HCl Solid Lipid Nanoparticles for Brain Targeting as a Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): A Pharmacokinetics Study on Rats
by Mahmoud H. Teaima, Merhan Taha El-Nadi, Raghda Rabe Hamed, Mohamed A. El-Nabarawi and Rehab Abdelmonem
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 326; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020326 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2635
Abstract
The study aims to investigate the ability of lyophilized nasal inserts of nanosized atomoxetine HCl solid lipid nanoparticles (ATM-SLNs) to transport atomoxetine (ATM) directly to the brain and overcome the first-pass metabolism. In this case, 16 formulae of (ATM-SLNs) were prepared using hot [...] Read more.
The study aims to investigate the ability of lyophilized nasal inserts of nanosized atomoxetine HCl solid lipid nanoparticles (ATM-SLNs) to transport atomoxetine (ATM) directly to the brain and overcome the first-pass metabolism. In this case, 16 formulae of (ATM-SLNs) were prepared using hot melt emulsification, stirring and ultrasonication method technique. A full factorial design was established with 24 trials by optimization of four variables; lipid type (Compritol 888 ATO or stearic acid) (X1), lipid to drug ratio [(1:2) or (2:1)] (X2), span 60: Pluronic f127 ratio [(1:3) or (3:1)] (X3) and probe sonication time (five or ten minutes) (X4). The prepared SLNs were characterized for entrapment efficiency (EE%), in-vitro drug release after 30 min (Q30min), particle size (PS), zeta potential (ZP) and polydispersity index (PDI). Design Expert® software was used to select the optimum two formulae. The morphological examination for the optimum two formulae was carried out using a transmission electron microscope (TEM). Furthermore, eight lyophilized nasal inserts were prepared by using a 23 full factorial design by optimization of three variables: type of (ATM-SLNs) formula (X1), type of polymer (NOVEON AA1 or HPMC K100m) (X2) and concentration of polymer (X3). They were evaluated for nasal inserts’ physicochemical properties. The two optimum inserts were selected by Design Expert® software. The two optimum insets with the highest desirability values were (S4 and S8). They were subjected to DSC thermal stability study and in-vivo study on rats. They were compared with atomoxetine oral solution, atomoxetine (3 mg/kg, intraperitoneal injection) and the pure atomoxetine solution loaded in lyophilized insert. (ATM-SLNs) showed EE% range of (41.14 mg ± 1.8% to 90.6 mg ± 2.8%), (Q30min%) of (27.11 ± 5.9% to 91.08 ± 0.15%), ZP of (−8.52 ± 0.75 to −28.4 ± 0.212% mV), PS of (320.9 ± 110.81% nm to 936.7 ± 229.6% nm) and PDI of (0.222 ± 0.132% to 0.658 ± 0.03%). Additionally, the two optimum (ATM-SLNs) formulae chosen, i.e., F7 and F9 showed spherical morphology. Nasal inserts had assay of drug content of (82.5 ± 2.5% to 103.94 ± 3.94%), Q15min% of (89.9 ± 6.4% to 100%) and Muco-adhesion strength of (3510.5 ± 140.21 to 9319.5 ± 39.425). DSC results of S4 and S8 showed compatibility of (ATM) with the other excipients. S8 and S4 also showed higher trans-nasal permeation to the brain with brain targeting efficiency of (211.3% and 177.42%, respectively) and drug transport percentages of (52.7% and 43.64%, respectively). To conclude, lyophilized nasal inserts of (ATM-SLNs) enhanced (ATM) trans-nasal drug targeting permeation and brain targeting efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Theranostics: Focus on Drug Delivery and Outcomes)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

32 pages, 2247 KiB  
Review
Biodegradable Electrospun Scaffolds as an Emerging Tool for Skin Wound Regeneration: A Comprehensive Review
by Deepika Sharma, Shriyansh Srivastava, Sachin Kumar, Pramod Kumar Sharma, Rym Hassani, Hamad Ghaleb Dailah, Asaad Khalid and Syam Mohan
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 325; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020325 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2774
Abstract
Skin is designed to protect various tissues, and because it is the largest and first human bodily organ to sustain damage, it has an incredible ability to regenerate. On account of extreme injuries or extensive surface loss, the normal injury recuperating interaction might [...] Read more.
Skin is designed to protect various tissues, and because it is the largest and first human bodily organ to sustain damage, it has an incredible ability to regenerate. On account of extreme injuries or extensive surface loss, the normal injury recuperating interaction might be inadequate or deficient, bringing about risky and disagreeable circumstances that request the utilization of fixed adjuvants and tissue substitutes. Due to their remarkable biocompatibility, biodegradability, and bioactive abilities, such as antibacterial, immunomodulatory, cell proliferative, and wound mending properties, biodegradable polymers, both synthetic and natural, are experiencing remarkable progress. Furthermore, the ability to convert these polymers into submicrometric filaments has further enhanced their potential (e.g., by means of electrospinning) to impersonate the stringy extracellular grid and permit neo-tissue creation, which is a basic component for delivering a mending milieu. Together with natural biomaterial, synthetic polymers are used to solve stability problems and make scaffolds that can dramatically improve wound healing. Biodegradable polymers, commonly referred to as biopolymers, are increasingly used in other industrial sectors to reduce the environmental impact of material and energy usage as they are fabricated using renewable biological sources. Electrospinning is one of the best ways to fabricate nanofibers and membranes that are very thin and one of the best ways to fabricate continuous nanomaterials with a wide range of biological, chemical, and physical properties. This review paper concludes with a summary of the electrospinning (applied electric field, needle-to-collector distance, and flow rate), solution (solvent, polymer concentration, viscosity, and solution conductivity), and environmental (humidity and temperature) factors that affect the production of nanofibers and the use of bio-based natural and synthetic electrospun scaffolds in wound healing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of Specific Dosage Form: Wound Dressing)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

13 pages, 2563 KiB  
Article
Mucosal Genes Expression in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients: New Insights
by Sumaiah J. Alarfaj, Sally Abdallah Mostafa, Walaa A. Negm, Thanaa A. El-Masry, Marwa Kamal, Mohamed Elsaeed and Ahmed Mohamed El Nakib
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020324 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1854
Abstract
Individual differences in IBD illness severity, behavior, progression, and therapy response are evident. Since a break in the intestinal epithelial barrier causes IBD to begin, mucosal gene expression in IBD is crucial. Due to its high sensitivity and dynamic nature, molecular analysis of [...] Read more.
Individual differences in IBD illness severity, behavior, progression, and therapy response are evident. Since a break in the intestinal epithelial barrier causes IBD to begin, mucosal gene expression in IBD is crucial. Due to its high sensitivity and dynamic nature, molecular analysis of biomarkers in intestinal biopsies is feasible and provides a reliable means of evaluating localized inflammation. The goal of this investigation was to discover alterations in gene expression in the inflamed mucosa of IBD patients undergoing treatment with 5-amino salicylic acid (5ASA) (N = 39) or anti-TNF drugs (N = 22). The mucosal expression of numerous IBD-related genes was evaluated using qPCR. We discovered that the levels of the proteins Lipocalin-2 (LCN2), Nitric Oxide Synthase 2 (NOS2), Mucin 2 (MUC2), Mucin 5AC (MUC5AC), and Trefoil factor 1 (TFF1), which are overexpressed in untreated IBD patients compared to non-IBD subjects, are decreased by both therapy regimens. On the other hand, anti-TNF medicine helped the levels of ABCB1 and E-cadherin return to normal in IBD patients who were not receiving treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Treatments for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 808 KiB  
Article
Association between WHO First-Step Analgesic Use and Risk of Breast Cancer in Women of Working Age
by Hyun Sook Oh and Hwa Jeong Seo
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 323; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020323 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1573
Abstract
We assessed the association between breast cancer and analgesic use in women of a specific working-age group. The Korean National Health Insurance Service–National Sample Cohort database (KNHIS–NSC) data were analyzed. We calculated hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for patients’ cancer [...] Read more.
We assessed the association between breast cancer and analgesic use in women of a specific working-age group. The Korean National Health Insurance Service–National Sample Cohort database (KNHIS–NSC) data were analyzed. We calculated hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for patients’ cancer risk based on whether the women participated in economic activity (PEA or not PEA (NPEA) groups) and analgesic use. Additionally, breast cancer incidence variations by age group, and PEA or NPEAs, health behavior, Charlson Comorbidity Index, and analgesic use were evaluated. The PEA group had a higher cancer risk than the NPEA group (HR = 1.542, 95% CI: 1.345–1.768, p < 0.001). Breast cancer risk was high in the PEA, high income, and no history of exercise groups, but significantly reduced in the regular-use-of-analgesics group. Notably, the working age group of 40~49 years, within the PEA group, had the highest HR of breast cancer development (HR = 1.700, 95% CI = 1.361–2.124, p < 0.001); whereas regular analgesic use in those aged 25~39 years decreased breast cancer risk (HR = 0.611, 95% CI = 0.427–0.875, p < 0.05). In conclusion, our results suggest that individuals at a high-risk of comorbidity may benefit from regular use of analgesics, which may prove to be a useful strategy for breast cancer prevention in the Young-aged group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmaceutical Technology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 315 KiB  
Review
Common Regulators of Lipid Metabolism and Bone Marrow Adiposity in Postmenopausal Women
by Dae-Yong Kim and Seong-Hee Ko
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 322; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020322 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2187
Abstract
A variety of metabolic disorders are associated with a decrease in estradiol (E2) during natural or surgical menopause. Postmenopausal women are prone to excessive fat accumulation in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue due to the loss of E2 via abnormalities in lipid metabolism [...] Read more.
A variety of metabolic disorders are associated with a decrease in estradiol (E2) during natural or surgical menopause. Postmenopausal women are prone to excessive fat accumulation in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue due to the loss of E2 via abnormalities in lipid metabolism and serum lipid levels. In skeletal muscle and adipose tissue, genes related to energy metabolism and fatty acid oxidation, such as those encoding peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α) and estrogen-related receptor alpha (ERRα), are downregulated, leading to increased fat synthesis and lipid metabolite accumulation. The same genes regulate lipid metabolism abnormalities in the bone marrow. In this review, abnormalities in lipid metabolism caused by E2 deficiency were investigated, with a focus on genes able to simultaneously regulate not only skeletal muscle and adipose tissue but also bone metabolism (e.g., genes encoding PGC-1α and ERRα). In addition, the mechanisms through which mesenchymal stem cells lead to adipocyte differentiation in the bone marrow as well as metabolic processes related to bone marrow adiposity, bone loss, and osteoporosis were evaluated, focusing on the loss of E2 and lipid metabolic alterations. The work reviewed here suggests that genes underlying lipid metabolism and bone marrow adiposity are candidate therapeutic targets for bone loss and osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Candidates for the Treatment of Metabolic Syndrome)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

20 pages, 3203 KiB  
Article
Gamma-Irradiated Non-Capsule Group B Streptococcus Promotes T-Cell Dependent Immunity and Provides a Cross-Protective Reaction
by Yong Zhi, Fengjia Chen, Guangxu Cao and Fang Li
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 321; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020321 - 20 Feb 2023
Viewed by 2635
Abstract
Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a Gram-positive bacterium commonly found in the genitourinary tract and is also a leading cause of neonatal sepsis and pneumonia. Despite the current antibiotic prophylaxis (IAP), the disease burdens of late-onset disease in newborns and non-pregnant adult infections [...] Read more.
Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a Gram-positive bacterium commonly found in the genitourinary tract and is also a leading cause of neonatal sepsis and pneumonia. Despite the current antibiotic prophylaxis (IAP), the disease burdens of late-onset disease in newborns and non-pregnant adult infections are increasing. Recently, inactivation of the pathogens via gamma radiation has been proven to eliminate their replication ability but cause less damage to the antigenicity of the key epitopes. In this study, the non-capsule GBS strain was inactivated via radiation (Rad-GBS) or formalin (Che-GBS), and we further determined its immunogenicity and protective efficacy as vaccines. Notably, Rad-GBS was more immunogenic and gave rise to higher expression of costimulatory molecules in BMDCs in comparison with Che-GBS. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that Rad-GBS induced a stronger CD4+ IFN-γ+ and CD4+IL-17A+ population in mice. The protective efficacy was measured through challenge with the highly virulent strain CNCTC 10/84, and the adoptive transfer results further showed that the protective role is reversed by functionally neutralizing antibodies and T cells. Finally, cross-protection against challenges with prevalent serotypes of GBS was induced by Rad-GBS. The higher opsonophagocytic killing activity of sera against multiple serotypes was determined in sera from mice immunized with Rad-GBS. Overall, our results showed that the inactivated whole-cell encapsulated GBS could be an alternative strategy for universal vaccine development against invasive GBS infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biopharmaceuticals)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

20 pages, 1518 KiB  
Review
Treatment of Fabry Disease: Established and Emerging Therapies
by Muhammad Umer and Dinesh K. Kalra
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020320 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4953
Abstract
Fabry disease (FD) is a rare, X-linked inherited disorder of glycosphingolipid metabolism. It leads to the progressive accumulation of globotriaosylceramide within lysosomes due to a deficiency of α-galactosidase A enzyme. It involves multiple organs, predominantly the renal, cardiac, and cerebrovascular systems. Early diagnosis [...] Read more.
Fabry disease (FD) is a rare, X-linked inherited disorder of glycosphingolipid metabolism. It leads to the progressive accumulation of globotriaosylceramide within lysosomes due to a deficiency of α-galactosidase A enzyme. It involves multiple organs, predominantly the renal, cardiac, and cerebrovascular systems. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to prevent progression to irreversible tissue damage and organ failure, and to halt life-threatening complications that can significantly reduce life expectancy. This review will focus on the established and emerging treatment options for FD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

25 pages, 7076 KiB  
Article
Profiling of Secondary Metabolites of Optimized Ripe Ajwa Date Pulp (Phoenix dactylifera L.) Using Response Surface Methodology and Artificial Neural Network
by Fanar Alshammari, Md Badrul Alam, Marufa Naznin, Ahsan Javed, Sunghwan Kim and Sang-Han Lee
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020319 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1999
Abstract
The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is a popular edible fruit consumed all over the world and thought to cure several chronic diseases and afflictions. The profiling of the secondary metabolites of optimized ripe Ajwa date pulp (RADP) extracts is scarce. The [...] Read more.
The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is a popular edible fruit consumed all over the world and thought to cure several chronic diseases and afflictions. The profiling of the secondary metabolites of optimized ripe Ajwa date pulp (RADP) extracts is scarce. The aim of this study was to optimize the heat extraction (HE) of ripe Ajwa date pulp using response surface methodology (RSM) and artificial neural network (ANN) modeling to increase its polyphenolic content and antioxidant activity. A central composite design was used to optimize HE to achieve the maximum polyphenolic compounds and antioxidant activity of target responses as a function of ethanol concentration, extraction time, and extraction temperature. From RSM estimates, 75.00% ethanol and 3.7 h (extraction time), and 67 °C (extraction temperature) were the optimum conditions for generating total phenolic content (4.49 ± 1.02 mgGAE/g), total flavonoid content (3.31 ± 0.65 mgCAE/g), 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (11.10 ± 0.78 % of inhibition), and cupric-reducing antioxidant capacity (1.43 µM ascorbic acid equivalent). The good performance of the ANN was validated using statistical metrics. Seventy-one secondary metabolites, including thirteen new bioactive chemicals (hebitol II, 1,2-di-(syringoyl)-hexoside, naringin dihydrochalcone, erythron-guaiacylglycerol-β-syringaresinol ether hexoside, erythron-1-(4′-O-hexoside-3,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-2-syrngaresinoxyl-propane-1,3-diol, 2-deoxy-2,3-dehydro-N-acetyl-neuraminic acid, linustatin and 1-deoxynojirimycin galactoside), were detected using high-resolution mass spectroscopy. The results revealed a significant concentration of phytoconstituents, making it an excellent contender for the pharmaceutical and food industries. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 7463 KiB  
Article
Protective Potential of Saussurea costus (Falc.) Lipsch. Roots against Cyclophosphamide-Induced Pulmonary Injury in Rats and Its In Vitro Antiviral Effect
by Nashwah G. M. Attallah, Amal Kabbash, Walaa A. Negm, Engy Elekhnawy, Reem Binsuwaidan, Omnia Momtaz Al-Fakhrany, Moataz A. Shaldam, Ehssan Moglad, Marwa Tarek, Nehal Samir and Heba M. Fawzy
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 318; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020318 - 18 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2003
Abstract
Diseases and infections of the respiratory tract are common global causes of morbidity and mortality. Our study attempts to elucidate a novel remedy for respiratory ailments, in addition to identifying and quantifying the metabolites of Saussurea costus root extract (SCRE) using HPLC. Then, [...] Read more.
Diseases and infections of the respiratory tract are common global causes of morbidity and mortality. Our study attempts to elucidate a novel remedy for respiratory ailments, in addition to identifying and quantifying the metabolites of Saussurea costus root extract (SCRE) using HPLC. Then, in vitro antiviral and in vivo lung protective effects were elucidated. The in vitro antiviral potential of SCRE was analyzed via plaque assay against the low pathogenic human coronavirus (HCoV-229E) and human influenza virus (H1N1). The value of the half maximal inhibitory concentrations (IC50) of SCRE against HCoV-229E and H1N1 influenza virus were 23.21 ± 1.1 and 47.6 ± 2.3 µg/mL, respectively. SCRE showed a histological improvement, namely a decrease in inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and caspase-3 immunoexpression in in vivo cyclophosphamide (CP)-induced acute lung injury (ALI). Moreover, there was a considerable decline in microRNA-let-7a gene expression and a significant rise in heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) gene expression, with a marked decrease in the malondialdehyde (MDA) level. Molecular docking studies revealed that the major constituents of SCRE have a good affinity for caspase-3, HO-1, and iNOS proteins. In conclusion, a traditional plant SCRE could be a promising source of novel therapeutic agents for treating and protecting respiratory tract diseases. More future investigations should be carried out to reveal its efficacy clinically. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 3755 KiB  
Review
Computational Chemistry for the Identification of Lead Compounds for Radiotracer Development
by Chia-Ju Hsieh, Sam Giannakoulias, E. James Petersson and Robert H. Mach
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020317 - 18 Feb 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3729
Abstract
The use of computer-aided drug design (CADD) for the identification of lead compounds in radiotracer development is steadily increasing. Traditional CADD methods, such as structure-based and ligand-based virtual screening and optimization, have been successfully utilized in many drug discovery programs and are highlighted [...] Read more.
The use of computer-aided drug design (CADD) for the identification of lead compounds in radiotracer development is steadily increasing. Traditional CADD methods, such as structure-based and ligand-based virtual screening and optimization, have been successfully utilized in many drug discovery programs and are highlighted throughout this review. First, we discuss the use of virtual screening for hit identification at the beginning of drug discovery programs. This is followed by an analysis of how the hits derived from virtual screening can be filtered and culled to highly probable candidates to test in in vitro assays. We then illustrate how CADD can be used to optimize the potency of experimentally validated hit compounds from virtual screening for use in positron emission tomography (PET). Finally, we conclude with a survey of the newest techniques in CADD employing machine learning (ML). Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

18 pages, 4673 KiB  
Article
Therapeutic Effect of Costunolide in Autoimmune Hepatitis: Network Pharmacology and Experimental Validation
by Zheng Huang, Shangshu Nie, Shuhui Wang, Han Wang, Jin Gong, Wei Yan, Dean Tian and Mei Liu
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 316; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020316 - 17 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2055
Abstract
Novel treatments for autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) are highly demanded due to the limitations of existing therapeutic agents. Costunolide is a promising candidate due to its anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective function, but its effect in AIH remains obscure. In this study, we integrated network pharmacology [...] Read more.
Novel treatments for autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) are highly demanded due to the limitations of existing therapeutic agents. Costunolide is a promising candidate due to its anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective function, but its effect in AIH remains obscure. In this study, we integrated network pharmacology and experimental validation to reveal the effect and mechanism of costunolide in AIH. A total of 73 common targets of costunolide and AIH were obtained from databases. Pathway enrichment analysis indicated that PI3K-AKT pathway was the core pathway of costunolide in AIH. Protein–protein interaction network analysis and molecular docking revealed that SRC and IGF1R might play critical roles. In two murine AIH models, costunolide significantly attenuated liver injury, inflammation, and fibrosis reflected by the liver gross appearance, serum transaminases, necrosis area, spleen index, immune cell infiltration, and collagen deposition. Western blot and immunohistochemistry confirmed that phosphorylated AKT, SRC, and IGF1R were upregulated in AIH models, and costunolide administration could inhibit the phosphorylation of these proteins. In summary, costunolide significantly ameliorates murine AIH. The therapeutic effect might work by suppressing the activation of PI3K-AKT pathway and inhibiting the phosphorylation of SRC and IGF1R. Our research reveals the potent therapeutic effect of costunolide in AIH and the potential role of SRC and IGF1R in AIH for the first time, which may further contribute to the novel drug development for AIH and other autoimmune diseases. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

26 pages, 9226 KiB  
Review
PSMA-Targeted Nanotheranostics for Imaging and Radiotherapy of Prostate Cancer
by Niranjan Meher, Henry F. VanBrocklin, David M. Wilson and Robert R. Flavell
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020315 - 17 Feb 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3167
Abstract
Targeted nanotheranostic systems offer significant benefits due to the integration of diagnostic and therapeutic functionality, promoting personalized medicine. In recent years, prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) has emerged as an ideal theranostic target, fueling multiple new drug approvals and changing the standard of care [...] Read more.
Targeted nanotheranostic systems offer significant benefits due to the integration of diagnostic and therapeutic functionality, promoting personalized medicine. In recent years, prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) has emerged as an ideal theranostic target, fueling multiple new drug approvals and changing the standard of care in prostate cancer (PCa). PSMA-targeted nanosystems such as self-assembled nanoparticles (NPs), liposomal structures, water-soluble polymers, dendrimers, and other macromolecules are under development for PCa theranostics due to their multifunctional sensing and therapeutic capabilities. Herein, we discuss the significance and up-to-date development of “PSMA-targeted nanocarrier systems for radioligand imaging and therapy of PCa”. The review also highlights critical parameters for designing nanostructured radiopharmaceuticals for PCa, including radionuclides and their chelators, PSMA-targeting ligands, and the EPR effect. Finally, prospects and potential for clinical translation is discussed. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

12 pages, 1307 KiB  
Article
Cyclotron-Based Production of 67Cu for Radionuclide Theranostics via the 70Zn(p,α)67Cu Reaction
by Santiago Andrés Brühlmann, Martin Walther, Martin Kreller, Falco Reissig, Hans-Jürgen Pietzsch, Torsten Kniess and Klaus Kopka
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 314; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020314 - 17 Feb 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2506
Abstract
Theranostic matched pairs of radionuclides have aroused interest during the last couple of years, and in that sense, copper is one element that has a lot to offer, and although 61Cu and 64Cu are slowly being established as diagnostic radionuclides for [...] Read more.
Theranostic matched pairs of radionuclides have aroused interest during the last couple of years, and in that sense, copper is one element that has a lot to offer, and although 61Cu and 64Cu are slowly being established as diagnostic radionuclides for PET, the availability of the therapeutic counterpart 67Cu plays a key role for further radiopharmaceutical development in the future. Until now, the 67Cu shortage has not been solved; however, different production routes are being explored. This project aims at the production of no-carrier-added 67Cu with high radionuclidic purity with a medical 30MeV compact cyclotron via the 70Zn(p,α)67Cu reaction. With this purpose, proton irradiation of electrodeposited 70Zn targets was performed followed by two-step radiochemical separation based on solid-phase extraction. Activities of up to 600MBq 67Cu at end of bombardment, with radionuclidic purities over 99.5% and apparent molar activities of up to 80MBq/nmol, were quantified. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 1280 KiB  
Review
Novel Theranostic Approaches Targeting CCR4-Receptor, Current Status and Translational Prospectives: A Systematic Review
by Joana Gorica, Maria Silvia De Feo, Ferdinando Corica, Marko Magdi Abdou Sidrak, Miriam Conte, Luca Filippi, Orazio Schillaci, Giuseppe De Vincentis and Viviana Frantellizzi
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020313 - 17 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1702
Abstract
Background: With the high mortality rate of malignant tumors, there is a need to find novel theranostic approaches to provide an early diagnosis and targeted therapy. The chemokine receptor 4 (CCR4) is highly expressed in various tumors and plays an important role in [...] Read more.
Background: With the high mortality rate of malignant tumors, there is a need to find novel theranostic approaches to provide an early diagnosis and targeted therapy. The chemokine receptor 4 (CCR4) is highly expressed in various tumors and plays an important role in tumor pathogenesis. This systematic review aims to provide a complete overview on clinical and preclinical applications of the CCR4 receptor as a target for theranostics, using a systematic approach to classify and assemble published studies performed on humans and animals, sorted by field of application and specific tumor. Methods: A systematic literature search of articles suiting the inclusion criteria was conducted on Pubmed, Scopus, Central, and Web of Science databases, including papers published from January 2006 to November 2022. Eligible studies had to be performed on humans and/or in vivo/in vitro studying CCR4 expression in tumors. The methodological quality was assessed through the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) assessing only the studies performed on humans. Results: A total of 17 articles were screened. The articles were assessed for eligibility with the exclusion of 4 articles. Ultimately, 13 articles were selected for the qualitative analysis, and six articles were selected for the critical appraisal skills program. Conclusions: The development of new radionuclides and radiopharmaceuticals targeting CCR4 show promising results in the theranostics of CCR4 sensible tumors. Although to widen its use in clinical practice, further translation of preclinical to clinical data is needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Targeted Radionuclide Therapy (TRNT) in Modern Cancer Management)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 11868 KiB  
Review
Protein Interactome of Amyloid-β as a Therapeutic Target
by Vladimir F. Lazarev, Elizaveta A. Dutysheva, Igor E. Kanunikov, Irina V. Guzhova and Boris A. Margulis
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 312; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020312 - 16 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2721
Abstract
The amyloid concept of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) assumes the β-amyloid peptide (Aβ) as the main pathogenic factor, which injures neural and other brain cells, causing their malfunction and death. Although Aβ has been documented to exert its cytotoxic effect in a solitary manner, [...] Read more.
The amyloid concept of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) assumes the β-amyloid peptide (Aβ) as the main pathogenic factor, which injures neural and other brain cells, causing their malfunction and death. Although Aβ has been documented to exert its cytotoxic effect in a solitary manner, there is much evidence to claim that its toxicity can be modulated by other proteins. The list of such Aβ co-factors or interactors includes tau, APOE, transthyretin, and others. These molecules interact with the peptide and affect the ability of Aβ to form oligomers or aggregates, modulating its toxicity. Thus, the list of potential substances able to reduce the harmful effects of the peptide should include ones that can prevent the pathogenic interactions by specifically binding Aβ and/or its partners. In the present review, we discuss the data on Aβ-based complexes in AD pathogenesis and on the compounds directly targeting Aβ or the destructors of its complexes with other polypeptides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspective in Alzheimer's Disease Treatment)
Show Figures

Figure 1

26 pages, 2297 KiB  
Review
Intranasal Lipid Nanoparticles Containing Bioactive Compounds Obtained from Marine Sources to Manage Neurodegenerative Diseases
by Joana Torres, Inês Costa, Andreia F. Peixoto, Renata Silva, José Manuel Sousa Lobo and Ana Catarina Silva
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 311; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020311 - 16 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2366
Abstract
Marine sources contain several bioactive compounds with high therapeutic potential, such as remarkable antioxidant activity that can reduce oxidative stress related to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Indeed, there has been a growing interest in these natural sources, especially those resulting from the [...] Read more.
Marine sources contain several bioactive compounds with high therapeutic potential, such as remarkable antioxidant activity that can reduce oxidative stress related to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Indeed, there has been a growing interest in these natural sources, especially those resulting from the processing of marine organisms (i.e., marine bio-waste), to obtain natural antioxidants as an alternative to synthetic antioxidants in a sustainable approach to promote circularity by recovering and creating value from these bio-wastes. However, despite their expected potential to prevent, delay, or treat neurodegenerative diseases, antioxidant compounds may have difficulty reaching the brain due to the need to cross the blood–brain barrier (BBB). In this regard, alternative delivery systems administered by different routes have been proposed, including intranasal administration of lipid nanoparticles, such as solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) and nanostructured lipid carriers (NLC), which have shown promising results. Intranasal administration shows several advantages, including the fact that molecules do not need to cross the BBB to reach the central nervous system (CNS), as they can be transported directly from the nasal cavity to the brain (i.e., nose-to-brain transport). The benefits of using SLN and NLC for intranasal delivery of natural bioactive compounds for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases have shown relevant outcomes through in vitro and in vivo studies. Noteworthy, for bioactive compounds obtained from marine bio-waste, few studies have been reported, showing the open potential of this research area. This review updates the state of the art of using SLN and NLC to transport bioactive compounds from different sources, in particular, those obtained from marine bio-waste, and their potential application in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Insights on Lipid-Based Nanosystems 2023)
Show Figures

Figure 1

23 pages, 4355 KiB  
Article
3D-Printing of Capsule Devices as Compartmentalization Tools for Supported Reagents in the Search of Antiproliferative Isatins
by Camilla Malatini, Carlos Carbajales, Mariángel Luna, Osvaldo Beltrán, Manuel Amorín, Christian F. Masaguer, José M. Blanco, Silvia Barbosa, Pablo Taboada and Alberto Coelho
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020310 - 16 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2078
Abstract
The application of high throughput synthesis methodologies in the generation of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) currently requires the use of automated and easily scalable systems, easy dispensing of supported reagents in solution phase organic synthesis (SPOS), and elimination of purification and extraction steps. [...] Read more.
The application of high throughput synthesis methodologies in the generation of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) currently requires the use of automated and easily scalable systems, easy dispensing of supported reagents in solution phase organic synthesis (SPOS), and elimination of purification and extraction steps. The recyclability and recoverability of supported reagents and/or catalysts in a rapid and individualized manner is a challenge in the pharmaceutical industry. This objective can be achieved through a suitable compartmentalization of these pulverulent reagents in suitable devices for it. This work deals with the use of customized polypropylene permeable-capsule devices manufactured by 3D printing, using the fused deposition modeling (FDM) technique, adaptable to any type of flask or reactor. The capsules fabricated in this work were easily loaded “in one step” with polymeric reagents for use as scavengers of isocyanides in the work-up process of Ugi multicomponent reactions or as compartmentalized and reusable catalysts in copper-catalyzed cycloadditions (CuAAC) or Heck palladium catalyzed cross-coupling reactions (PCCCRs). The reaction products are different series of diversely substituted isatins, which were tested in cancerous cervical HeLa and murine 3T3 Balb fibroblast cells, obtaining potent antiproliferative activity. This work demonstrates the applicability of 3D printing in chemical processes to obtain anticancer APIs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing of Drug Formulations)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

11 pages, 2497 KiB  
Article
Coupling of NIR Spectroscopy and Chemometrics for the Quantification of Dexamethasone in Pharmaceutical Formulations
by Alessandra Biancolillo, Claudia Scappaticci, Martina Foschi, Claudia Rossini and Federico Marini
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 309; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020309 - 16 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1938
Abstract
Counterfeit or substandard drugs are pharmaceutical formulations in which the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) have been replaced or ingredients do not comply with the drug leaflet. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, fraud associated with the preparation of substandard or counterfeit drugs [...] Read more.
Counterfeit or substandard drugs are pharmaceutical formulations in which the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) have been replaced or ingredients do not comply with the drug leaflet. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, fraud associated with the preparation of substandard or counterfeit drugs is expected to grow, undermining health systems already weakened by the state of emergency. Analytical chemistry plays a key role in tackling this problem, and in implementing strategies that permit the recognition of uncompliant drugs. In light of this, the present work represents a feasibility study for the development of a NIR-based tool for the quantification of dexamethasone in mixtures of excipients (starch and lactose). Two different regression strategies were tested. The first, based on the coupling of NIR spectra and Partial Least Squares (PLS) provided good results (root mean square error in prediction (RMSEP) of 720 mg/kg), but the most accurate was the second, a strategy exploiting sequential preprocessing through orthogonalization (SPORT), which led (on the external set of mixtures) to an R2pred of 0.9044, and an RMSEP of 450 mg/kg. Eventually, Variable Importance in Projection (VIP) was applied to interpret the obtained results and determine which spectral regions contribute most to the SPORT model. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 2157 KiB  
Communication
Characterization of Potential Intoxications with Medicines in a Regional Setting
by Tânia Nascimento, Teresa Santos, Fátima Rato and Ana Luísa De Sousa-Coelho
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 308; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020308 - 16 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1664
Abstract
The Portuguese Poison Information Center (from Portuguese—CIAV) is a call center that offers medical assistance in case of possible intoxication with any kind of product, including medicines. This center´s main goal is to inform and guide the general public and health professionals. This [...] Read more.
The Portuguese Poison Information Center (from Portuguese—CIAV) is a call center that offers medical assistance in case of possible intoxication with any kind of product, including medicines. This center´s main goal is to inform and guide the general public and health professionals. This work aimed to analyze and compare data corresponding to the telephone calls from the Algarve region (South of Portugal), received by CIAV during 2019 and 2020, regarding potential intoxications with medicines. To this end, data provided by CIAV on possible cases of medication intoxication in the Algarve region were collected, including the number of calls received, the place of origin of the call, the age group and sex of the intoxicated individual, the route of exposure to the drug, the circumstances of contact with the substance, the existence of symptoms, and the drug or drugs involved in the potential intoxication. The results showed that the number of cases slightly decreased in 2020 (n = 1261) compared with 2019 (n = 1340), with a high number of cases of intoxication in children between one and four years old in both years (21.2%; n = 152 in 2019; 16.4%; n = 115 in 2020). The drugs belonging to the locomotor system group (paracetamol and ibuprofen) were the main drugs involved, followed by the central nervous system pharmacotherapeutic group, namely benzodiazepines (diazepam and alprazolam). Paracetamol was the main drug responsible for the calls to CIAV (n = 71 in 2019; n = 63 in 2020), while for the remaining drugs there were fluctuations in their positions between both years. In some cases, this swinging may be explained by the possible changes in therapy due to potential interactions with drugs used for the treatment of symptoms of COVID-19 or perhaps related to misleading information released by the media about the use of some drugs, such as ibuprofen, during lockdown periods. Although there has been a decrease in calls to report possible drug intoxication in the Algarve region, the profile of calls was very similar. Paracetamol was the drug with the highest number of reported cases and the group of psychotropic drugs showed the largest increase between 2019 and 2020. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 1239 KiB  
Article
Nintedanib in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis: Tolerability and Safety in a Real Life Experience in a Single Centre in Patients also Treated with Oral Anticoagulant Therapy
by Barbara Ruaro, Ilaria Gandin, Riccardo Pozzan, Stefano Tavano, Chiara Bozzi, Michael Hughes, Metka Kodric, Rossella Cifaldi, Selene Lerda, Marco Confalonieri, Elisa Baratella, Paola Confalonieri and Francesco Salton
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 307; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020307 - 16 Feb 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2734
Abstract
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a rare and severe disease with a median survival of ~3 years. Nintedanib (NTD) has been shown to be useful in controlling interstitial lung disease (ILD) in IPF. Here we describe the experience of NTD use in IPF [...] Read more.
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a rare and severe disease with a median survival of ~3 years. Nintedanib (NTD) has been shown to be useful in controlling interstitial lung disease (ILD) in IPF. Here we describe the experience of NTD use in IPF in a real-life setting. Objective. Our objective was to examine the safety profile and efficacy of nintedanib even in subjects treated with anticoagulants. Clinical data of patients with IPF treated with NTD at our center were retrospectively evaluated at baseline and at 6 and 12 months after the introduction of NTD. The following parameters were recorded: IPF clinical features, NTD tolerability, and pulmonary function tests (PFT) (i.e., Forced Vital Capacity (FVC) and carbon monoxide diffusing capacity (DLCO)). In total, 56 IPF patients (34% female and 66% male, mean onset age: 71 ± 11 years, mean age at baseline: 74 ± 9 years) treated with NTD were identified. At enrollment, HRCT showed an UIP pattern in 45 (80%) and a NSIP in 11 (20%) patients. For FVC and FEV1 we found no significant change between baseline and 6 months, but for DLCO we observed a decrease (p = 0.012). We identified a significant variation between baseline and 12 months for FEV1 (p = 0.039) and for DLCO (p = 0.018). No significant variation was observed for FVC. In the cohort, 18 (32%) individuals suspended NTD and 10 (18%) reduced the dosage. Among individuals that suspended the dosage, 14 (78%) had gastrointestinal (GI) collateral effects (i.e., diarrhea being the most common complaint (67%), followed by nausea/vomiting (17%) and weight loss (6%). Bleeding episodes have also not been reported in patients taking anticoagulant therapy. (61%). One patient died within the first 6 months and two subjects died within the first 12 months. In a real-life clinical scenario, NTD may stabilize the FVC values in IPF patients. However, GI side effects are frequent and NTD dose adjustment may be necessary to retain the drug in IPF patients. This study confirms the safety of NTD, even in patients treated with anticoagulant drugs. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

22 pages, 12022 KiB  
Article
Combinatorial Therapeutic Potential of Stem Cells and Benzimidazol Derivatives for the Reduction of Liver Fibrosis
by Maryam Iqbal, Sulaiman Shams, Huma Rafiq, Momin Khan, Shahid Khan, Umer Sadique Khattak, Sahib Gul Afridi, Fehmida Bibi, Angham Abdulrhman Abdulkareem and Muhammad Imran Naseer
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020306 - 15 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1645
Abstract
(1) Background: Liver fibrosis is currently one of the top ten causes of death worldwide. Stem cells transplantation using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is an alternative therapy which is used in the place of organ transplant, due to the incapacity of stem cells [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Liver fibrosis is currently one of the top ten causes of death worldwide. Stem cells transplantation using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is an alternative therapy which is used in the place of organ transplant, due to the incapacity of stem cells to endure oxidative stress in the damage site, thus affecting the healing process. The present study aimed to enhance the therapeutic potential of MSCs using combined therapy, along with the novel synthetic compounds of benzimidazol derivatives. (2) Methods: Eighteen compound series (benzimidazol derivatives) were screened against liver fibrosis using an in vitro CCl4-induced injury model on cultured hepatocytes. IC50 values were calculated on the bases of LDH assay and cell viability assay. (3) Results: Among the eighteen compounds, compounds (10), (14) and (18) were selected on the basis of IC50 value, and compound (10) was the most potent and had the lowest IC50 value in the LDH assay (8.399 ± 0.23 uM) and cell viability assay (4.73 ± 0.37 uM). Next, these compounds were combined with MSCs using an in vitro hepatocytes injury culture and in vivo rat fibrotic model. The effect of the MSCs + compounds treatment on injured hepatocytes was evaluated using LDH assay, cell viability assay, GSH assay and real-time PCR analysis and immuno-staining for caspase-3. Significant reductions in LDH level, caspase-3 and apoptotic marker genes were noted in MSCs + compounds-treated injured hepatocytes. In vivo data also showed the increased homing of the MSCs, along with compounds after transplantation. Real-time PCR analysis and TUNEL assay results also support our study. (4) Conclusions: It was concluded that compounds (10), (14) and (18) can be used in combination with MSCs to reduce liver fibrosis. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 6261 KiB  
Article
PHPB Attenuated Cognitive Impairment in Type 2 Diabetic KK-Ay Mice by Modulating SIRT1/Insulin Signaling Pathway and Inhibiting Generation of AGEs
by Jiang Li, Shaofeng Xu, Ling Wang and Xiaoliang Wang
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020305 - 15 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1689
Abstract
Diabetes mellitus (DM) has been recognized as an increased risk factor for cognitive impairment, known as diabetic encephalopathy (DE). Hyperglycemia and insulin resistance are the main initiators of DE, which is related to the accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Potassium 2-(1-hydroxypentyl)-benzoate [...] Read more.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) has been recognized as an increased risk factor for cognitive impairment, known as diabetic encephalopathy (DE). Hyperglycemia and insulin resistance are the main initiators of DE, which is related to the accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Potassium 2-(1-hydroxypentyl)-benzoate (PHPB), a derivative of 3-n-butylphthalide (dl-NBP), has emerged various properties including improved mitochondrial function, antioxidant, anti-neuroinflammation, and neuroprotective effects. The present study aimed to investigate the neuroprotective effect of PHPB against AGEs accumulation in type 2 diabetic KK-Ay mice model with DE and further explore the underlying mechanisms. The results showed that PHPB markedly ameliorated the spatial learning ability of KK-Ay mice in the Morris water maze and decreased AD-like pathologic changes (Tau hyperphosphorylation) in the cortex. Furthermore, we found that PHPB treatment significantly reduced AGEs generation via up-regulation of glyoxalase-1 (GLO1) protein and enhancement of methylglyoxal (MG) trapping, while there was no obvious difference in levels of glucose in plasma or brain, contents of total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), and plasma insulin. Also, PHPB treatment improved the insulin signaling pathway by increasing sirtuin1 (SIRT1) deacetylase activity and attenuated oxidative stress evidenced by elevating glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD) protein expression, promoting the production of reduced glutathione (GSH) and reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH), restoring mitochondrial membrane potential, increasing adenosine triphosphate (ATP) generation, and reducing malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in the brain. Taken together, PHPB exhibited a beneficial effect on DE, which involved modulating the SIRT1/insulin signaling pathway and reducing oxidative stress by inhibiting the generation of AGEs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacology)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

21 pages, 11302 KiB  
Article
Discovery of Ureido-Based Apcin Analogues as Cdc20-specific Inhibitors against Cancer
by Yiqin He, Xiangyang Le, Gaoyun Hu, Qianbin Li and Zhuo Chen
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020304 - 15 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1954
Abstract
Cdc20 is a promising drug target that plays an important role in the mid-anaphase process of cellular mitosis, and Apcin is the only reported core structure of the Cdc20-specific inhibitor. Some potent Apcin derivatives were obtained in our previous research, and a structure–activity [...] Read more.
Cdc20 is a promising drug target that plays an important role in the mid-anaphase process of cellular mitosis, and Apcin is the only reported core structure of the Cdc20-specific inhibitor. Some potent Apcin derivatives were obtained in our previous research, and a structure–activity relationship was determined. In this study, we designed and synthesized a series of ureido-based Apcin derivatives. The proliferation-inhibition experiments on four cancer-cell lines showed that ureido skeleton could promote the anti-proliferation activity of purine-substituted compounds, whereas the ureido analogues with pyrimidine substitutes showed no significant improvement in the inhibitory effect compared with the original ones. Further tests confirmed that ureido-based compounds can enhance the binding affinity to Cdc20 by increasing the levels of Cdc20 downstream proteins. Compound 27 revealed a remarkably antitumor activity pattern against Hela (IC50 = 0.06 ± 0.02 μM) and potent binding affinity to Cdc20. Moreover, compound 20 induced caspase-dependent apoptosis and cell-cycle arrest at the G2/M phase, and compound 27 induced caspase-dependent apoptosis and promoted microtubule polymerization. Finally, a molecular-docking simulation was performed for compounds 20 and 27 to predict the potential ligand–protein interactions with the active sites of the Cdc20 proteins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Anti-Cancer Drugs)
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 3431 KiB  
Article
Erythromycin Restores Osteoblast Differentiation and Osteogenesis Suppressed by Porphyromonas gingivalis Lipopolysaccharide
by Hikaru Tamura, Tomoki Maekawa, Hisanori Domon, Kridtapat Sirisereephap, Toshihito Isono, Satoru Hirayama, Takumi Hiyoshi, Karin Sasagawa, Fumio Takizawa, Takeyasu Maeda, Yutaka Terao and Koichi Tabeta
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 303; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020303 - 15 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2307
Abstract
The macrolide erythromycin (ERM) inhibits excessive neutrophil accumulation and bone resorption in inflammatory tissues. We previously reported that the expression of developmental endothelial locus-1 (DEL-1), an endogenous anti-inflammatory factor induced by ERM, is involved in ERM action. Furthermore, DEL-1 is involved in the [...] Read more.
The macrolide erythromycin (ERM) inhibits excessive neutrophil accumulation and bone resorption in inflammatory tissues. We previously reported that the expression of developmental endothelial locus-1 (DEL-1), an endogenous anti-inflammatory factor induced by ERM, is involved in ERM action. Furthermore, DEL-1 is involved in the induction of bone regeneration. Therefore, in this study, we investigated whether ERM exerts an osteoblastogenic effect by upregulating DEL-1 under inflammatory conditions. We performed in vitro cell-based mechanistic analyses and used a model of Porphyromonas gingivalis lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced periodontitis to evaluate how ERM restores osteoblast activity. In vitro, P. gingivalis LPS stimulation suppressed osteoblast differentiation and bone formation. However, ERM treatment combined with P. gingivalis LPS stimulation upregulated osteoblast differentiation-related factors and Del1, indicating that osteoblast differentiation was restored. Alveolar bone resorption and gene expression were evaluated in a periodontitis model, and the results confirmed that ERM treatment increased DEL-1 expression and suppressed bone loss by increasing the expression of osteoblast-associated factors. In conclusion, ERM restores bone metabolism homeostasis in inflammatory environments possibly via the induction of DEL-1. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

19 pages, 1375 KiB  
Review
Autophagy Induction by Scutellaria Flavones in Cancer: Recent Advances
by Hardeep Singh Tuli, Sakshi Bhushan, Ajay Kumar, Poonam Aggarwal, Katrin Sak, Seema Ramniwas, Kanupriya Vashishth, Tapan Behl, Rashmi Rana, Shafiul Haque and Miguel A. Prieto
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 302; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020302 - 15 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2742
Abstract
In parallel with a steady rise in cancer incidence worldwide, the scientific community is increasingly focused on finding novel, safer and more efficient modalities for managing this disease. Over the past decades, natural products have been described as a significant source of new [...] Read more.
In parallel with a steady rise in cancer incidence worldwide, the scientific community is increasingly focused on finding novel, safer and more efficient modalities for managing this disease. Over the past decades, natural products have been described as a significant source of new structural leads for novel drug candidates. Scutellaria root is one of the most studied natural products because of its anticancer potential. Besides just describing the cytotoxic properties of plant constituents, their molecular mechanisms of action in different cancer types are equally important. Therefore, this review article focuses on the role of the Scutellaria flavones wogonin, baicalein, baicalin, scutellarein and scutellarin in regulating the autophagic machinery in diverse cancer models, highlighting these molecules as potential lead compounds for the fight against malignant neoplasms. The knowledge that autophagy can function as a dual-edged sword, acting in both a pro- and antitumorigenic manner, further complicates the issue, revealing an amazing property of flavonoids that behave either as anti- or proautophagic agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anticancer Compounds in Medicinal Plants 2023)
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 6268 KiB  
Article
Hesperidin Mitigates Cyclophosphamide-Induced Testicular Dysfunction via Altering the Hypothalamic Pituitary Gonadal Axis and Testicular Steroidogenesis, Inflammation, and Apoptosis in Male Rats
by Tarek Khamis, Abdelmonem Awad Hegazy, Samaa Salah Abd El-Fatah, Eman Ramadan Abdelfattah, Marwa Mohamed Mahmoud Abdelfattah, Liana Mihaela Fericean and Ahmed Hamed Arisha
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 301; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020301 - 15 Feb 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2720
Abstract
Cyclophosphamide (CP) is a cytotoxic, cell cycle, non-specific, and antiproliferative drug. This study aimed to address the toxic effects of CP on male fertility and the possible ameliorative role of hesperidin (HSP). Thirty-two adult albino rats were randomly divided into four groups, namely, [...] Read more.
Cyclophosphamide (CP) is a cytotoxic, cell cycle, non-specific, and antiproliferative drug. This study aimed to address the toxic effects of CP on male fertility and the possible ameliorative role of hesperidin (HSP). Thirty-two adult albino rats were randomly divided into four groups, namely, the negative control, HSP, CP-treated, and CP+HSP-treated groups. The CP-treated rats showed a significant reduction in the levels of serum LH, FSH, testosterone, prolactin, testicular glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) with an elevation in levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), and p53, and iNOS immune expression, compared to the control group. A significant downregulation in hypothalamic KISS-1, KISS-1r, and GnRH, hypophyseal GnRHr, and testicular mRNA expression of steroidogenesis enzymes, PGC-1α, PPAR-1, IL10, and GLP-1, as well as a significant upregulation in testicular mRNA of P53 and IL1β mRNA expression, were detected in the CP-treated group in comparison to that in the control group. The administration of HSP in CP-treated rats significantly improved the levels of serum LH, FSH, testosterone, prolactin, testicular GPx, and TAC, with a reduction in levels of MDA, and p53, and iNOS immune expression compared to the CP-treated group. A significant upregulation in hypophyseal GnRHr, and testicular mRNA expression of CYP19A1 enzymes, PPAR-1, IL10, and GLP-1, as well as a significant downregulation in testicular mRNA of P53 and IL1β mRNA expression, were detected in the CP+HSP-treated group in comparison to that in the CP-treated group. In conclusion, HSP could be a potential auxiliary agent for protection from the development of male infertility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacological Activities of Flavonoids and Its Analogues)
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 3093 KiB  
Article
Targeting the Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress-Linked PERK/GRP78/CHOP Pathway with Magnesium Sulfate Attenuates Chronic-Restraint-Stress-Induced Depression-like Neuropathology in Rats
by Hany H. Arab, Ali Khames, Shuruq E. Alsufyani, Azza A. K. El-Sheikh and Amany M. Gad
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 300; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020300 - 15 Feb 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2170
Abstract
Magnesium sulfate has demonstrated marked neuroprotection in eclampsia, hypoxia, stroke, and post-traumatic brain injury rodent models. However, its potential impact against chronic-restraint-stress (CRS)-induced depression-like neuropathology and associated alterations in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress have not been adequately examined. The present study aimed to [...] Read more.
Magnesium sulfate has demonstrated marked neuroprotection in eclampsia, hypoxia, stroke, and post-traumatic brain injury rodent models. However, its potential impact against chronic-restraint-stress (CRS)-induced depression-like neuropathology and associated alterations in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress have not been adequately examined. The present study aimed to investigate the neuroprotective potential of magnesium sulfate in a rat model of CRS-triggered depression-like behavioral disturbance and the underlying molecular mechanisms. Herein, CRS was induced by placing rats into restraining tubes for 6 h/day for 21 days and the animals were intraperitoneally injected with magnesium sulfate (100 mg/kg/day) during the study period. After stress cessation, the depression-like behavior was examined by the open-field test, sucrose preference test, and forced swimming test. The present data demonstrated that CRS triggered typical depression-like behavioral changes which were confirmed by the Z-normalization scores. Mechanistically, serum circulating corticosterone levels spiked, and the hippocampi of CRS-exposed animals demonstrated a significant decline in serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine neurotransmitters. At the molecular level, the hippocampal pro-inflammatory TNF-alpha and IL-1β cytokines and the oxidative stress marker 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-HG) increased in stressed animals. In tandem, enhancement of hippocampal ER stress was evidenced by the activation of iNOS/PERK/GRP78/CHOP axis seen by increased protein expression of iNOS, PERK, GRP78, and CHOP signal proteins in the hippocampi of stressed rats. Interestingly, magnesium sulfate administration attenuated the depression-like behavioral outcomes and the histopathological changes in the brain hippocampi. These favorable actions were driven by magnesium sulfate’s counteraction of corticosterone spike, and hippocampal neurotransmitter decline, alongside the attenuation of neuroinflammation, pro-oxidation, and ER stress. In conclusion, the current results suggest the promising neuroprotective/antidepressant actions of magnesium sulfate in CRS by dampening inflammation, ER stress, and the associated PERK/GRP78/CHOP pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Behavioral Psychopharmacology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

68 pages, 12431 KiB  
Review
Nitrogen Containing Heterocycles as Anticancer Agents: A Medicinal Chemistry Perspective
by Adarsh Kumar, Ankit Kumar Singh, Harshwardhan Singh, Veena Vijayan, Deepak Kumar, Jashwanth Naik, Suresh Thareja, Jagat Pal Yadav, Prateek Pathak, Maria Grishina, Amita Verma, Habibullah Khalilullah, Mariusz Jaremko, Abdul-Hamid Emwas and Pradeep Kumar
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020299 - 14 Feb 2023
Cited by 48 | Viewed by 7316
Abstract
Cancer is one of the major healthcare challenges across the globe. Several anticancer drugs are available on the market but they either lack specificity or have poor safety, severe side effects, and suffer from resistance. So, there is a dire need to develop [...] Read more.
Cancer is one of the major healthcare challenges across the globe. Several anticancer drugs are available on the market but they either lack specificity or have poor safety, severe side effects, and suffer from resistance. So, there is a dire need to develop safer and target-specific anticancer drugs. More than 85% of all physiologically active pharmaceuticals are heterocycles or contain at least one heteroatom. Nitrogen heterocycles constituting the most common heterocyclic framework. In this study, we have compiled the FDA approved heterocyclic drugs with nitrogen atoms and their pharmacological properties. Moreover, we have reported nitrogen containing heterocycles, including pyrimidine, quinolone, carbazole, pyridine, imidazole, benzimidazole, triazole, β-lactam, indole, pyrazole, quinazoline, quinoxaline, isatin, pyrrolo-benzodiazepines, and pyrido[2,3-d]pyrimidines, which are used in the treatment of different types of cancer, concurrently covering the biochemical mechanisms of action and cellular targets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nitrogen Containing Scaffolds in Medicinal Chemistry)
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 2107 KiB  
Article
Quantification of the Chemical Chaperone 4-Phenylbutyric Acid (4-PBA) in Cell Culture Media via LC-HRMS: Applications in Fields of Neurodegeneration and Cancer
by Salvatore Villani, Giulia Dematteis, Laura Tapella, Mara Gagliardi, Dmitry Lim, Marco Corazzari, Silvio Aprile and Erika Del Grosso
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(2), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16020298 - 14 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2262
Abstract
In recent years, 4-phenylbutyric acid (4-PBA), an FDA-approved drug, has increasingly been used as a nonspecific chemical chaperone in vitro and in vitro, but its pharmacodynamics is still not clear. In this context, we developed and validated a Liquid Chromatography–High Resolution Mass Spectrometry [...] Read more.
In recent years, 4-phenylbutyric acid (4-PBA), an FDA-approved drug, has increasingly been used as a nonspecific chemical chaperone in vitro and in vitro, but its pharmacodynamics is still not clear. In this context, we developed and validated a Liquid Chromatography–High Resolution Mass Spectrometry (LC-HRMS) method to quantify 4-PBA in NeuroBasal-A and Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle widely used cell culture media. Samples were injected on a Luna® 3 µm PFP(2) 100 Å (100 × 2.0 mm) column maintained at 40 °C. Water and methanol both with 0.1% formic acid served as mobile phases in a step gradient mode. The mass acquisition was performed by selected ion monitoring (SIM) in negative mode for a total run time of 10.5 min at a flow rate of 0.300 mL/min. The analogue 4-(4-Nitrophenyl)-Butyric Acid served as internal standard. Validation parameters were verified according to FDA and EMA guidelines. The quantification ranges from 0.38–24 µM. Inter and intraday RSDs (Relative Standard Deviations) were within 15%. The developed LC-HRMS method allowed the estimation of 4-PBA absorption and adsorption kinetics in vitro in two experimental systems: (i) 4-PBA improvement of protein synthesis in an Alzheimer’s disease astrocytic cell model; and (ii) 4-PBA reduction of endoplasmic reticulum stress in thapsigargin-treated melanoma cell lines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medicinal Chemistry)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop