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Pharmaceuticals, Volume 15, Issue 12 (December 2022) – 147 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The design of drugs for multifactorial diseases is one of the most significant challenges for medicinal chemistry today. In this scenario, multitarget drugs appear attractive as they can simultaneously affect several biological mechanisms. In this work, we present the molecular docking-directed optimization of 5-aminoanthranilic acid derivatives, their in vitro evaluation, and the determination of their effects in an in vivo model of metabolic syndrome induced by a hypercaloric diet. The optimized compound simultaneously lowered glucose, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels after 14 days of oral administration. The evidence suggests that the mechanisms related to the biological effects of these new compounds result from an orchestrated and balanced activation between different PPAR subtypes and HMG-CoA inhibitory properties. View this paper
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17 pages, 4553 KiB  
Article
Mitochondrion-Targeted NIR Therapeutic Agent Suppresses Melanoma by Inducing Apoptosis and Cell Cycle Arrest via E2F/Cyclin/CDK Pathway
by Changzhen Sun, Jianv Wang, Tong Xia, Qin Sun, Yijing He, Hailan Wang, Qizhou He and Li Liu
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1589; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121589 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1696
Abstract
Malignant melanoma is the most fatal form of skin cancer worldwide, and earlier diagnosis and more effective therapies are required to improve prognosis. As a possible solution, near-infrared fluorescent heptamethine cyanine dyes have been shown to be useful for tumor diagnosis and treatment. [...] Read more.
Malignant melanoma is the most fatal form of skin cancer worldwide, and earlier diagnosis and more effective therapies are required to improve prognosis. As a possible solution, near-infrared fluorescent heptamethine cyanine dyes have been shown to be useful for tumor diagnosis and treatment. Here, we synthesized a novel theranostic agent, IR-817, a multifunctional bioactive small-molecule that has near-infrared emission, targets mitochondria in cancer cells, and has selective anti-cancer effects. In in vitro experiments, IR-817 preferentially accumulated in melanoma cells through organic anion transporting polypeptide transporters but also selectively inhibited the growth of tumor cells by inducing mitochondrial-dependent intrinsic apoptosis. Mechanistically, IR-817 caused G0/G1 cell cycle arrest by targeting the E2F/Cyclin/CDK pathway. Finally, IR-817 significantly suppressed the growth of xenograft tumors in zebrafish and mice. Immunohistochemical staining and hematoxylin and eosin staining revealed that IR-817 induced apoptosis and inhibited tumor cell proliferation without notable side effects. Therefore, mitochondrial-targeting theranostic agent IR-817 may be promising for accurate tumor diagnosis, real-time monitoring, and safe anti-cancer treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacological Treatments for Melanoma)
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16 pages, 3892 KiB  
Systematic Review
Ondansetron Reduces the Incidence of Hypotension after Spinal Anaesthesia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Xiao-Min Hou, Yan-Jun Chen, Lan Lai, Ke Liu and Qi-Hong Shen
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1588; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121588 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 5883
Abstract
Hypotension induced by spinal anaesthesia is a common clinical complication associated with multiple perioperative adverse events. We conducted a systemic review and meta-analysis to confirm whether ondansetron could alleviate hypotension following spinal anaesthesia. PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library were searched [...] Read more.
Hypotension induced by spinal anaesthesia is a common clinical complication associated with multiple perioperative adverse events. We conducted a systemic review and meta-analysis to confirm whether ondansetron could alleviate hypotension following spinal anaesthesia. PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library were searched to identify eligible randomised controlled trials from their respective database inception dates to 30 September 2022. The primary outcome of the meta-analysis was the incidence of hypotension after spinal anaesthesia. The risk of bias in the included studies was evaluated using the revised Cochrane risk of bias tool for randomised trials (RoB 2.0). Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation was applied to assess the level of certainty. A total of 25 studies were included in this research. The meta-analysis revealed that ondansetron significantly decreased the incidence of hypotension (RR = 0.65, 95% CI 0.53–0.80, p < 0.01, I2 = 64%) and bradycardia. In addition, patients treated with ondansetron had a reduced need for vasopressors administration. This study suggests that ondansetron may be recommended as a prophylaxis for hypotension and bradycardia following spinal anaesthesia; the level of evidence was moderate with a high level of heterogeneity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacology)
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19 pages, 3411 KiB  
Article
Development of an Oral Isoliquiritigenin Self-Nano-Emulsifying Drug Delivery System (ILQ-SNEDDS) for Effective Treatment of Eosinophilic Esophagitis Induced by Food Allergy
by Mingzhuo Cao, Yuan Wang, Heyun Jing, Zeqian Wang, Yijia Meng, Yu Geng, Mingsan Miao and Xiu-Min Li
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1587; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121587 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1863
Abstract
Isoliquiritigenin (ILQ) is a natural flavonoid with various pharmacological activities. In this study, we optimized the preparation method of self-nano-emulsion-loaded ILQ to further improve its bioavailability based on our previous study. In addition, its effect on the treatment of eosinophilic esophagitis was also [...] Read more.
Isoliquiritigenin (ILQ) is a natural flavonoid with various pharmacological activities. In this study, we optimized the preparation method of self-nano-emulsion-loaded ILQ to further improve its bioavailability based on our previous study. In addition, its effect on the treatment of eosinophilic esophagitis was also evaluated. Combined surfactants and co-surfactants were screened, and the optimal formulation of ILQ-SNEDDS was determined according to droplet size, droplet dispersity index (DDI), and drug loading. The formulation was composed of ethyl oleate (oil phase), Tween 80 & Cremophor EL (surfactant, 7:3), and PEG 400 & 1,2-propylene glycol (cosurfactant, 1:1), with a mass ratio of 3:6:1. Its physicochemical properties, including drug loading, droplets’ size, Zeta potential, appearance, and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, were characterized. In vitro release profile, in situ intestinal absorption, and in vivo pharmacokinetics were applied to confirm the improvement of oral ILQ bioavailability by NEDDS. Finally, the efficacy of ILQ-SNEDDS in the treatment of food allergy-induced eosinophilic esophagitis (EOE) was further evaluated. When the ILQ drug loading was 77.9 mg/g, ILQ-SNEDDS could self-assemble into sub-spherical uniform droplets with an average size of about 33.4 ± 2.46 nm (PDI about 0.10 ± 0.05) and a Zeta potential of approximately −10.05 ± 3.23 mV. In situ intestinal absorption showed that optimized SNEDDS significantly increased the apparent permeability coefficient of ILQ by 1.69 times, and the pharmacokinetic parameters also confirmed that SNEDDS sharply increased the max plasma concentration and bioavailability of ILQ by 3.47 and 2.02 times, respectively. ILQ-SNEDDS also significantly improved the apparent signs, allergic index, hypothermia and body weight of EoE model mice. ILQ-SNEDDS treatment significantly reduced the levels of inflammatory cytokines, such as TNF-α, IL-4, and IL-5, and the level of PPE-s-IgE in serum, and significantly inhibited the expression of TGF-β1 in esophageal tissue. SNEDDS significantly improved the solubility and bioavailability of ILQ. Additionally, ILQ-SNEDDS treatment attenuated symptomatology of EoE model mice, which was associated with inhibiting the production of TH2 inflammatory cytokines and PPE-s-IgE and the expression of TGF-β1. The above results shows that ILQ-SNEDDS has great potential as a good candidate for the treatment of eosinophilic esophagitis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Candidates for Allergic Diseases)
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19 pages, 7111 KiB  
Article
Andrographolide Relieves Post-Operative Wound Pain but Affects Local Angiogenesis
by Yi-Lo Lin, Jiunn-Wang Liao, Shunching Wang, Badrinathan Sridharan, Hsin-Ju Lee, Ai Li, Kai-Ming Chang, Ching-Yang Wu, Siendong Huang, Kai-Ting Chang, Dinesh Chandra Agrawal, Ching-Jung Chen and Meng-Jen Lee
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1586; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121586 - 19 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1779
Abstract
Andrographolide (Andro), the major constituent of Andrographis paniculata Nees (Acanthaceae), is was known to reduces inflammatory reaction. In the current study, the ability of Andro to reduce pain sensation in a rat post-operative wound model was explored. The hind paws of 18 [...] Read more.
Andrographolide (Andro), the major constituent of Andrographis paniculata Nees (Acanthaceae), is was known to reduces inflammatory reaction. In the current study, the ability of Andro to reduce pain sensation in a rat post-operative wound model was explored. The hind paws of 18 Sprague-Dawley rats (SD) bearing post-operative wounds received the following three treatments: Saline, Andro via direct injection into the paw (Andro-injected) and Tablet containing Andro + poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) (Andro-tablet). Von Frey tests assessed mechanical allodynia at 1, 3, 5 h and 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-days post-operation. Behavioral analyses were performed to measure reaction threshold and reaction frequencies. Immunoreactivity of p-ERK and GluR1 was examined in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. Histopathological and immunostaining studies were conducted on paw epidermis to observe the gross morphology and angiogenesis. The threshold for inducing allodynia increased and the reaction frequency reduced in the Andro-injected group compared to the saline-group, at 3 h post-surgery and the effect lasted between 3–4 days. The threshold for inducing pain and reaction frequency for the Andro-tablet group did not differ from the saline-treated group. The levels of p-ERK and GluR1 in the dorsal horn were reduced after Andro treatment. No significant difference in wound healing index was observed between saline and Andro-injected groups, but CD-31 staining showed less angiogenesis in the Andro-injected group. Andro significantly reduced mechanical allodynia compared to saline treatment, both in shorter and longer time frames. Furthermore, Andro influenced the expression of p-ERK and GluR1 in the dorsal horn, and the angiogenesis process in the wound healing area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Candidates for Anesthesia and Analgesia)
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35 pages, 2405 KiB  
Review
Gastrointestinal Permeation Enhancers for the Development of Oral Peptide Pharmaceuticals
by Jae Cheon Kim, Eun Ji Park and Dong Hee Na
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1585; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121585 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 6520
Abstract
Recently, two oral-administered peptide pharmaceuticals, semaglutide and octreotide, have been developed and are considered as a breakthrough in peptide and protein drug delivery system development. In 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an oral dosage form of semaglutide developed by Novo [...] Read more.
Recently, two oral-administered peptide pharmaceuticals, semaglutide and octreotide, have been developed and are considered as a breakthrough in peptide and protein drug delivery system development. In 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an oral dosage form of semaglutide developed by Novo Nordisk (Rybelsus®) for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Subsequently, the octreotide capsule (Mycapssa®), developed through Chiasma’s Transient Permeation Enhancer (TPE) technology, also received FDA approval in 2020 for the treatment of acromegaly. These two oral peptide products have been a significant success; however, a major obstacle to their oral delivery remains the poor permeability of peptides through the intestinal epithelium. Therefore, gastrointestinal permeation enhancers are of great relevance for the development of subsequent oral peptide products. Sodium salcaprozate (SNAC) and sodium caprylate (C8) have been used as gastrointestinal permeation enhancers for semaglutide and octreotide, respectively. Herein, we briefly review two approved products, Rybelsus® and Mycapssa®, and discuss the permeation properties of SNAC and medium chain fatty acids, sodium caprate (C10) and C8, focusing on Eligen technology using SNAC, TPE technology using C8, and gastrointestinal permeation enhancement technology (GIPET) using C10. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Reviews in Pharmaceutical Technology)
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12 pages, 499 KiB  
Review
The Role of Bronchoalveolar Lavage in Systemic Sclerosis Interstitial Lung Disease: A Systematic Literature Review
by Martina Orlandi, Laura Antonia Meliante, Arianna Damiani, Lorenzo Tofani, Cosimo Bruni, Serena Guiducci, Marco Matucci-Cerinic, Silvia Bellando-Randone and Sara Tomassetti
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1584; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121584 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2186
Abstract
The role of Bronchoalveolar Lavage (BAL) in the evaluation of systemic sclerosis (SSc) interstitial lung disease (ILD) is still controversial. The aim of this systematic literature review was to investigate the use of BAL in SSc-ILD, and to focus on the pros and [...] Read more.
The role of Bronchoalveolar Lavage (BAL) in the evaluation of systemic sclerosis (SSc) interstitial lung disease (ILD) is still controversial. The aim of this systematic literature review was to investigate the use of BAL in SSc-ILD, and to focus on the pros and cons of its real-life application. Methods: PubMed, Cochrane, and Embase were questioned from inception until 31 December 2021. Results: Eighteen papers were finally analyzed. A positive correlation was observed between lung function and BAL cytology; in particular, BAL neutrophilia/granulocytosis was related to lower diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO) values and lower forced vital capacity (FVC). Moreover, a positive correlation between BAL cellularity and high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) findings has been reported by several authors. Cytokines, chemokines, growth factors, coagulation factors, and eicosanoids have all been shown to be present, more often and in higher quantities in SSc-ILD patients than in the health control and, in some cases, they were related to more severe pulmonary disease. There was no consensus regarding the role of BAL cellularity as a predictor of mortality. Full article
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15 pages, 4860 KiB  
Article
Quantitative Mass Spectrometry Imaging of Bleomycin in Skin Using a Mimetic Tissue Model for Calibration
by Andreas Traberg, Fernanda E. Pinto, Anders C. N. Hansen, Merete Haedersdal, Catharina M. Lerche and Christian Janfelt
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1583; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121583 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1950
Abstract
The aim of Quantitative mass spectrometry imaging (Q-MSI) is to provide distribution analysis and quantitation from one single mass-spectrometry-based experiment, and several quantitation methods have been devised for Q-MSI. Mimetic tissue models based on spiked tissue homogenates are considered one of the most [...] Read more.
The aim of Quantitative mass spectrometry imaging (Q-MSI) is to provide distribution analysis and quantitation from one single mass-spectrometry-based experiment, and several quantitation methods have been devised for Q-MSI. Mimetic tissue models based on spiked tissue homogenates are considered one of the most accurate ways to perform Q-MSI, since the analyte is present in a well-defined concentration in a sample matrix highly similar to the one of the unknown sample to be analyzed. The delivery of drugs in skin is among the most frequent types of pharmaceutical MSI studies. Here, a mimetic tissue model is extended for use on the skin, which, due to its high collagen content, is different from most other tissue as the homogenates become extremely viscous. A protocol is presented which overcomes this by the addition of water and the handling of the homogenate at an elevated temperature where the viscosity is lower. Using a mimetic tissue model, a method was developed for the quantitative imaging of bleomycin in skin. To compensate for the signal drift and the inhomogeneities in the skin, an internal standard was included in the method. The method was tested on skin from a pig which had had an electropneumatic injection of bleomycin into the skin. Quantification was made at several regions in a cross section of the skin at the injection site, and the results were compared to the results of a quantitative LC-MS on a neighboring tissue biopsy from the same animal experiment. The overall tissue concentration determined by the LC-MS was within the range of the different regions quantified by the Q-MSI. As the model provides the results of the same order of magnitude as a LC-MS, it can either be used to replace LC-MS in skin studies where MSI and LC-MS are today carried out in combination, or it can add quantitative information to skin studies which are otherwise carried out by MSI alone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mass Spectrometry Imaging in Pharmaceutical Research)
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9 pages, 1272 KiB  
Article
Kaempferol Interferes with Varicella-Zoster Virus Replication in Human Foreskin Fibroblasts
by Subin Park, Na-Eun Kim, Bang Ju Park, Hak Cheol Kwon and Yoon-Jae Song
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1582; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121582 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1485
Abstract
Kaempferol, a natural flavonoid abundantly found in plants, is known to have pharmacological properties, such as anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. In this study, we investigated the antiviral effects of kaempferol against a varicella-zoster virus (VZV) clinical isolate in vitro. We found that kaempferol [...] Read more.
Kaempferol, a natural flavonoid abundantly found in plants, is known to have pharmacological properties, such as anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. In this study, we investigated the antiviral effects of kaempferol against a varicella-zoster virus (VZV) clinical isolate in vitro. We found that kaempferol significantly inhibited VZV replication without exhibiting cytotoxicity. Kaempferol exerted its antiviral effect at a similar stage of the VZV life cycle as acyclovir, which inhibits VZV DNA replication. Taken together, our results suggest that kaempferol inhibits VZV infection by blocking the DNA replication stage in the viral life cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antiviral Compounds in Medicinal Plants)
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17 pages, 967 KiB  
Review
Challenges in the Pharmacotherapeutic Management of Pediatric Asthma
by Ileana Ioniuc, Ingrith Miron, Vasile Valeriu Lupu, Iuliana Magdalena Starcea, Alice Azoicai, Monica Alexoae, Anca Adam Raileanu, Felicia Dragan and Ancuta Lupu
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1581; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121581 - 18 Dec 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4083
Abstract
Bronchial asthma is one of the most common chronic conditions in pediatric practice, with increasing prevalence hampered by poor socioeconomic impacts, leading to major public health issues. Considered as a complex heterogeneous syndrome, not a single disease, the management of the disease is [...] Read more.
Bronchial asthma is one of the most common chronic conditions in pediatric practice, with increasing prevalence hampered by poor socioeconomic impacts, leading to major public health issues. Considered as a complex heterogeneous syndrome, not a single disease, the management of the disease is a real challenge, impacting medical staff, patients and caregivers. Over the decades, a significant number of diagnostic and treatment regimen have been developed to achieve good standards, sustaining balanced control of the disease. This paper attempts a review on the establishment of new trends in the management of bronchial asthma in the pediatric age group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacology)
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20 pages, 2812 KiB  
Article
Neuropharmacological Activities of Ceiba aesculifolia (Kunth) Britten & Baker f (Malvaceae)
by Chrystyan Iván Bustos-Gómez, Deisy Gasca-Martínez, Eunice Yáñez-Barrientos, Sergio Hidalgo-Figueroa, Maria L. Gonzalez-Rivera, Juan Carlos Barragan-Galvez, Juan Ramón Zapata-Morales, Mario Isiordia-Espinoza, Alma Rosa Corrales-Escobosa and Angel Josabad Alonso-Castro
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1580; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121580 - 18 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1508
Abstract
Ceiba aesculifolia (Kunth) Britten & Baker f (Malvaceae) is used for the folk treatment of mood disorders. C. aesculifolia bark was extracted in ethanol, and the extract (CAE) was chemically standardized using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS). This study evaluated the effects of CAE [...] Read more.
Ceiba aesculifolia (Kunth) Britten & Baker f (Malvaceae) is used for the folk treatment of mood disorders. C. aesculifolia bark was extracted in ethanol, and the extract (CAE) was chemically standardized using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS). This study evaluated the effects of CAE (10–100 mg/kg p.o.) on anxiolytic-like activity, sedation, locomotor activity, depression-like activity, and spatial working memory using in vivo rodent models. A possible mechanism for the anxiolytic-like and antidepressant-like actions induced by CAE was assessed using neurotransmission pathway inhibitors. Myristic acid was one of the compounds found in CAE using GC-MS. This study also evaluated the anxiolytic-like activity and the sedative actions of myristic acid and assessed a possible mechanism of action using neurotransmission pathway inhibitors and an in silico analysis. CAE elicited anxiolytic-like activity and antidepressant-like effects (ED50 = 57 mg/kg). CAE (10–100 mg/kg) did not affect locomotor coordination or induce sedation. The anxiolytic-like and antidepressant-like actions of CAE were reverted by prazosin, suggesting a possible participation of the noradrenergic system. The anxiolytic-like activity of myristic acid was reverted by the co-administration of prazosin and partially reverted by ketanserin. The docking study revealed that myristic acid can form favorable interactions within 5-HT2A and α1A-adrenoreceptor binding pockets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethnopharmacology in Latin America)
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18 pages, 3692 KiB  
Article
New Insights into the Structural Requirements of Isatin-Derived Pro-Apoptotic Agents against Acute Myeloid Leukemia
by Ahmed K. Hamdy, Takashi Sakamoto, Tsugumasa Toma, Masaharu Sakamoto, Mohammed A. S. Abourehab, Masami Otsuka, Mikako Fujita, Hiroshi Tateishi and Mohamed O. Radwan
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1579; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121579 - 17 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2222
Abstract
Searching for bioactive compounds within the huge chemical space is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Isatin is a unique natural compound which is endowed with different bio-pertinent activities, especially in cancer therapy. Herein, we envisaged that adopting a hybrid [...] Read more.
Searching for bioactive compounds within the huge chemical space is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Isatin is a unique natural compound which is endowed with different bio-pertinent activities, especially in cancer therapy. Herein, we envisaged that adopting a hybrid strategy of isatin and α,β-unsaturated ketone would afford new chemical entities with strong chemotherapeutic potential. Of interest, compounds 5b and 5g demonstrated significant antiproliferative activities against different cancer genotypes according to NCI-60 screening. Concomitantly, their IC50 against HL-60 cells were 0.38 ± 0.08 and 0.57 ± 0.05 µM, respectively, demonstrating remarkable apoptosis and moderate cell cycle arrest at G1 phase. Intriguingly, an impressive safety profile for 5b was reflected by a 37.2 times selectivity against HL-60 over PBMC from a healthy donor. This provoked us to further explore their mechanism of action by in vitro and in silico tools. Conclusively, 5b and 5g stand out as strong chemotherapeutic agents that hold clinical promise against acute myeloid leukemia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nitrogen Containing Scaffolds in Medicinal Chemistry)
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14 pages, 4581 KiB  
Article
Aromatase-Inhibitor-Induced Musculoskeletal Inflammation Is Observed Independent of Oophorectomy in a Novel Mouse Model
by Nicholas A. Young, Jeffrey Hampton, Juhi Sharma, Kyle Jablonski, Courtney DeVries, Anna Bratasz, Lai-Chu Wu, Maryam Lustberg, Raquel Reinbolt and Wael N. Jarjour
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1578; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121578 - 17 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1591
Abstract
Aromatase Inhibitors (AIs) block estrogen production and improve survival in patients with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. However, half of patients develop aromatase-inhibitor-induced arthralgia (AIIA), which is characterized by inflammation of the joints and the surrounding musculoskeletal tissue. To create a platform for future interventional [...] Read more.
Aromatase Inhibitors (AIs) block estrogen production and improve survival in patients with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. However, half of patients develop aromatase-inhibitor-induced arthralgia (AIIA), which is characterized by inflammation of the joints and the surrounding musculoskeletal tissue. To create a platform for future interventional strategies, our objective was to characterize a novel animal model of AIIA. Female BALB/C-Tg(NFκB-RE-luc)-Xen mice, which have a firefly luciferase NFκB reporter gene, were oophorectomized and treated with an AI (letrozole). Bioluminescent imaging showed significantly enhanced NFκB activation with AI treatment in the hind limbs. Moreover, an analysis of the knee joints and legs via MRI showed enhanced signal detection in the joint space and the surrounding tissue. Surprisingly, the responses observed with AI treatment were independent of oophorectomy, indicating that inflammation is not mediated by physiological estrogen levels. Histopathological and pro-inflammatory cytokine analyses further demonstrated the same trend, as tenosynovitis and musculoskeletal infiltrates were detected in all mice receiving AI, and serum cytokines were significantly upregulated. Human PBMCs treated with letrozole/estrogen combinations did not demonstrate an AI-specific gene expression pattern, suggesting AIIA-mediated pathogenesis through other cell types. Collectively, these data identify an AI-induced stimulation of disease pathology and suggest that AIIA pathogenesis may not be mediated by estrogen deficiency, as previously hypothesized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmaceutical Technology)
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11 pages, 1604 KiB  
Article
Heart Uptake of [18F]Fluoro-4-Thia-Oleate in a Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Mouse Model
by Junfeng Li, Weidong Hu, Jiangling Peng, Patty Wong, Fouad Kandeel, Tove Olafsen and John E. Shively
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1577; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121577 - 17 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1569
Abstract
The world-wide high incidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is of concern for its progression to insulin resistance, steatohepatitis and cardiovascular disease (CVD). The increased uptake of fatty acids in critical organs plays a major role in NAFLD progression. Male Ceacam1−/− [...] Read more.
The world-wide high incidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is of concern for its progression to insulin resistance, steatohepatitis and cardiovascular disease (CVD). The increased uptake of fatty acids in critical organs plays a major role in NAFLD progression. Male Ceacam1−/− mice that develop NAFLD, insulin resistance and CVD on normal chow are a potential model for studying the dysregulation of fatty acid uptake. [18F]fluoro-4-thia-oleate ([18F]FTO) was chosen as a fatty acid reporter because of its higher uptake and retention in the heart in an animal model of CVD. Male wild-type (WT) or Ceacam1−/− mice fasted 4–6 h were administered [18F]FTO i.v., and dynamic PET scans were conducted in an MR/PET small animal imaging system along with terminal tissue biodistributions. Quantitative heart image analysis revealed significantly higher uptake at 35 min in Ceacam1−/ (6.0 ± 1.0% ID/cc) vs. WT (3.9 ± 0.6% ID/cc) mice (p = 0.006). Ex vivo heart uptake/retention (% ID/organ) was 2.82 ± 0.45 for Ceacam1−/ mice vs. 1.66 ± 0.45 for WT mice (p < 0.01). Higher kidney and pancreas uptake/retention in Ceacam1−/ was also evident, and the excretion of [18F]FTO into the duodenum was observed for both WT and Ceacam1−/ mice starting at 10 min. This study suggests that the administration of [18F]FTO as a marker of fatty acid uptake and retention may be an important tool in analyzing the effect of NAFLD on lipid dysregulation in the heart. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Radiopharmaceutical Sciences)
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29 pages, 3290 KiB  
Article
Antidiabetic Potential of Novel 1,3,5-Trisubstituted-2-Thioxoimidazloidin-4-One Analogues: Insights into α-Glucosidase, α-Amylase, and Antioxidant Activities
by Salma M. Khirallah, Heba M. M. Ramadan, Hossam Aladl Aladl Aladl, Najla O. Ayaz, Lina A. F. Kurdi, Mariusz Jaremko, Samar Zuhair Alshawwa and Essa M. Saied
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1576; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121576 - 17 Dec 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1690
Abstract
As the ninth leading cause of death globally, diabetes mellitus (DM) is considered to be the worst chronic metabolic disease requiring an enormous need for healthcare with over 578 million expected cases by 2023. Several recent findings have demonstrated that mediating the activity [...] Read more.
As the ninth leading cause of death globally, diabetes mellitus (DM) is considered to be the worst chronic metabolic disease requiring an enormous need for healthcare with over 578 million expected cases by 2023. Several recent findings have demonstrated that mediating the activity of carbohydrate-hydrolyzing enzymes, including α-amylase and α-glucosidase, could be a potential strategy for managing the development of DM. In the presented study, a novel set of 1,3,5-trisubstituted-2-thioxoimidazolidin-4-ones was designed, synthesized, and characterized. The antidiabetic activity of the synthesized compounds was explored by assessing their inhibitory activity toward α-amylase and α-glucosidase enzymes. The results demonstrated that this class of compounds exhibits considerable inhibitory activity toward both α-amylase and α-glucosidase enzymes. Among the synthesized compounds, compound 5a demonstrated the most inhibitory activity with IC50 of 5.08 and µg/mL and 0.21 µg/mL toward α-glucosidase and α-amylase activities, respectively, as compared to the drug Acarbose (IC50 = 5.76 µg/mL and 0.39 µg/mL, respectively). To gain insights into the antidiabetic potential of compound 5a, we assessed the cytotoxic and antioxidant activities. Our findings indicated that compound 5a displays considerable cytotoxicity toward WI-38 cells with an IC50 of 88.54 µg/mL, as compared to the drug Celecoxib (IC50 = 93.05 µg/mL). Further, compound 5a exhibited a high scavenging activity toward 2,2-Diphenyl1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radicals (IC50 = 51.75 µg/mL) and showed a low potential to produce ROS as indicated by the monitoring of the generated H2O2 (132.4 pg/mL), as compared to Trolox (IC50 = 58.09 µg/mL) and Celecoxib (171.6 pg/mL). Finally, we performed extensive molecular modeling studies to affirm the binding affinity of this class of compounds to the binding pocket of α-amylase and α-glucosidase enzymes. Collectively, our findings indicate that this class of compounds, particularly compound 5a, could be utilized as a lead structure for the development of novel compounds with potential antidiabetic and antioxidant activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heterocyclic Compounds and Their Application in Therapy)
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19 pages, 7187 KiB  
Article
Marine Sponge Aaptos suberitoides Extract Improves Antiproliferation and Apoptosis of Breast Cancer Cells without Cytotoxicity to Normal Cells In Vitro
by Jun-Ping Shiau, Min-Yu Lee, Jen-Yang Tang, Hsin Huang, Zheng-Yu Lin, Jui-Hsin Su, Ming-Feng Hou, Yuan-Bin Cheng and Hsueh-Wei Chang
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1575; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121575 - 16 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1686
Abstract
The anticancer effects and mechanisms of marine sponge Aaptos suberitoides were rarely assessed, especially for methanol extract of A. suberitoides (MEAS) to breast cancer cells. This study evaluated the differential suppression effects of proliferation by MEAS between breast cancer and normal cells. MEAS [...] Read more.
The anticancer effects and mechanisms of marine sponge Aaptos suberitoides were rarely assessed, especially for methanol extract of A. suberitoides (MEAS) to breast cancer cells. This study evaluated the differential suppression effects of proliferation by MEAS between breast cancer and normal cells. MEAS demonstrated more antiproliferation impact on breast cancer cells than normal cells, indicating oxidative stress-dependent preferential antiproliferation effects on breast cancer cells but not for normal cells. Several oxidative stress-associated responses were highly induced by MEAS in breast cancer cells but not normal cells, including the generations of cellular and mitochondrial oxidative stress as well as the depletion of mitochondrial membrane potential. MEAS downregulated cellular antioxidants such as glutathione, partly contributing to the upregulation of oxidative stress in breast cancer cells. This preferential oxidative stress generation is accompanied by more DNA damage (γH2AX and 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine) in breast cancer cells than in normal cells. N-acetylcysteine reverted these MEAS-triggered responses. In conclusion, MEAS is a potential natural product for treating breast cancer cells with the characteristics of preferential antiproliferation function without cytotoxicity to normal cells in vitro. Full article
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23 pages, 7458 KiB  
Review
The Hidden Pandemic of COVID-19-Induced Organizing Pneumonia
by Evgeny Bazdyrev, Maria Panova, Valeria Zherebtsova, Alexandra Burdenkova, Ivan Grishagin, Fedor Novikov and Vladimir Nebolsin
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1574; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121574 - 16 Dec 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4050
Abstract
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, clinical, radiological, and histopathological studies have provided evidence that organizing pneumonia is a possible consequence of the SARS-CoV2 infection. This post-COVID-19 organizing pneumonia (PCOP) causes persisting dyspnea, impaired pulmonary function, and produces radiological abnormalities for at [...] Read more.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, clinical, radiological, and histopathological studies have provided evidence that organizing pneumonia is a possible consequence of the SARS-CoV2 infection. This post-COVID-19 organizing pneumonia (PCOP) causes persisting dyspnea, impaired pulmonary function, and produces radiological abnormalities for at least 5 weeks after onset of symptoms. While most patients with PCOP recover within a year after acute COVID-19, 5–25% of cases need specialized treatment. However, despite substantial resources allocated worldwide to finding a solution to this problem, there are no approved treatments for PCOP. Oral corticosteroids produce a therapeutic response in a majority of such PCOP patients, but their application is limited by the anticipated high-relapse frequency and the risk of severe adverse effects. Herein, we conduct a systematic comparison of the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and clinical presentation of the organizing pneumonias caused by COVID-19 as well as other viral infections. We also use the clinical efficacy of corticosteroids in other postinfection OPs (PIOPs) to predict the therapeutic response in the treatment of PCOP. Finally, we discuss the potential application of a candidate anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic therapy for the treatment of PCOP based on the analysis of the latest clinical trials data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacology)
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18 pages, 1398 KiB  
Review
Targeted Treatment against Lipoprotein (a): The Coming Breakthrough in Lipid Lowering Therapy
by Bożena Sosnowska, Stanisław Surma and Maciej Banach
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1573; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121573 - 16 Dec 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 7907
Abstract
Atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases (ASCVD) are a very important cause of premature death. The most important risk factor for ASCVD is lipid disorders. The incidence of lipid disorders and ASCVD is constantly increasing, which means that new methods of prevention and treatment of these [...] Read more.
Atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases (ASCVD) are a very important cause of premature death. The most important risk factor for ASCVD is lipid disorders. The incidence of lipid disorders and ASCVD is constantly increasing, which means that new methods of prevention and treatment of these diseases are still being searched for. In the management of patients with lipid disorders, the primary goal of therapy is to lower the serum LDL-C concentration. Despite the available effective lipid-lowering therapies, the risk of ASCVD is still increased in some patients. A high level of serum lipoprotein (a) (Lp(a)) is a risk factor for ASCVD independent of serum LDL-C concentration. About 20% of Europeans have elevated serum Lp(a) levels, requiring treatment to reduce serum Lp(a) concentrations in addition to LDL-C. Currently available lipid lowering drugs do not sufficiently reduce serum Lp(a) levels. Hence, drugs based on RNA technology, such as pelacarsen, olpasiran, SLN360 and LY3819469, are undergoing clinical trials. These drugs are very effective in lowering the serum Lp(a) concentration and have a satisfactory safety profile, which means that in the near future they will fill an important gap in the armamentarium of lipid-lowering drugs. Full article
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14 pages, 1880 KiB  
Article
Peptide-Based Hydrogels and Nanogels Containing Gd(III) Complexes as T1 Relaxation Agents
by Elisabetta Rosa, Fabio Carniato, Lorenzo Tei, Carlo Diaferia, Giancarlo Morelli, Mauro Botta and Antonella Accardo
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1572; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121572 - 16 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1335
Abstract
New peptide-based hydrogels incorporating Gd(III) chelates with different hydration states, molecular structures and overall negative charges ([Gd(BOPTA)]2−), [Gd(DTPA)]2−, and ([Gd(AAZTA)]) were prepared and characterized. N-terminal Fmoc- or acetyl-derivatized hexapeptides (K1, K2 and K3) containing five aliphatic amino [...] Read more.
New peptide-based hydrogels incorporating Gd(III) chelates with different hydration states, molecular structures and overall negative charges ([Gd(BOPTA)]2−), [Gd(DTPA)]2−, and ([Gd(AAZTA)]) were prepared and characterized. N-terminal Fmoc- or acetyl-derivatized hexapeptides (K1, K2 and K3) containing five aliphatic amino acids (differently ordered Gly, Ala, Val, Leu and Ile) and a charged lysine at the amidated C-terminal were used for the formation of the hydrogels. Particular attention was paid to the investigation of the morphological and rheological properties of the nanoparticles, in addition to the assessment of the ability (relaxivity) of the confined complexes to accelerate the longitudinal relaxation rate of the water protons localized in the polymeric network. The relaxivity values at high magnetic fields (>0.5 T) of the paramagnetic hydrogels appear to be more than five times higher than those of isolated chelates in an aqueous solution, reaching a value of 25 mmol−1 s−1 for Fmoc-K2+[Gd(BOPTA)]2− at 0.5 T and 310 K. Furthermore, an interesting trend of decrease of relaxivity with increasing the degree of rigidity of the hydrogel was observed. The type of interactions between the various complexes and the polymeric network also plays a key role in influencing the relaxivity values of the final materials. Nanogels were also obtained from the submicronization of the hydrogel containing [Gd(BOPTA)]2− chelate. Circular dichroism, dynamic light scattering and relaxometric investigations on these nanoparticles revealed the formation of nanogels endowed with higher relaxivities (r1 = 41 mM−1 s−1 at 0.5 T MHz and 310 K) than the corresponding hydrogels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Systems for the Delivery of Drugs and Contrast Agents)
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19 pages, 22181 KiB  
Article
Hyaluronic Acid and Radiofrequency in Patients with Urogenital Atrophy and Vaginal Laxity
by Piotr Kolczewski, Mirosław Parafiniuk, Piotr Zawodny, Rashad Haddad, Agnieszka Nalewczyńska, Agnieszka Kinga Kolasa, Barbara Wiszniewska, Sophie Menkes, Alexander Bader, Giorgio Stabile and Nicola Zerbinati
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1571; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121571 - 16 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2219
Abstract
Vaginal laxity (VL) and genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM), as well as aesthetic changes in the vulvar skin, often occur together and cause physical, psychological, and functional problems for women and their partners. The current study evaluated the efficacy of a nonsurgical radiofrequency [...] Read more.
Vaginal laxity (VL) and genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM), as well as aesthetic changes in the vulvar skin, often occur together and cause physical, psychological, and functional problems for women and their partners. The current study evaluated the efficacy of a nonsurgical radiofrequency device (RF) procedure combined with hyaluronic acid (HA) injection into the skin of the labia majora on clinical, histological, and aesthetic levels. Twenty women with GSM and VL, aged between 36 and 72 (mean age 53.4), were treated with bipolar RF SECTUM, vaginal and vulvar application, as well as with a hyaluronic acid (HA) injection into the skin of the labia majora. The Vaginal Laxity Questionnaire (VLQ), Vaginal Health Index (VHI), and Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) were used to examine the clinical effects of the operations. The Global Aesthetic Improvement Scale was utilized to measure patient satisfaction. On a histochemical level, the concentrations of elastin and collagen in the vaginal wall and vulvar skin were examined. Results: There was significantly higher patient satisfaction and a considerable clinical improvement across all areas of analysis. On the histochemical level, elastin and collagen fiber concentration increased after the treatment protocol both in the vulvar skin and in the vaginal wall: elastin in the vaginal wall, 11.4%, and in the vulvar skin, 61%; collagen in the vaginal wall, 26%, and in the vulvar skin, 27%. The current study demonstrated the efficacy and safety of this nonsurgical RF procedure combined with a hyaluronic acid (HA) injection into the skin of the labia majora on clinical, histochemical, and aesthetic levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogels in Biomedical Applications)
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11 pages, 1763 KiB  
Article
Kreon® (Creon®) vs. Lipancrea®: In Vitro Comparison of Two Encapsulated Pancreatin Preparations
by Sven Hartmann, Grazyna Rydzewska and J. Enrique Domínguez-Muñoz
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1570; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121570 - 16 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1752
Abstract
Kreon® (Creon®) and Lipancrea® are pancreatic enzyme supplements indicated in the treatment of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. In order to determine their interchangeability, an in vitro comparison of their physical properties and enzymatic activity was carried out. Capsule fill weight [...] Read more.
Kreon® (Creon®) and Lipancrea® are pancreatic enzyme supplements indicated in the treatment of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. In order to determine their interchangeability, an in vitro comparison of their physical properties and enzymatic activity was carried out. Capsule fill weight and particle size were also determined in order to establish their physical properties. Amylase, lipase and protease activities, lipase release at different pHs and the dissolution time of pellets were assessed for enzymatic analysis. The length range of Kreon® and Lipancrea® pellets was 1.1–2.2 mm and 1.5–2.8 mm, respectively. Protease activity was below the label claim for Lipancrea® and above for Kreon® presentations. Lipase and amylase activity were equal to or higher than the label claim in both preparations. In dissolution experiments simulating the stomach passage, significant release of lipase activity was observed for Lipancrea® (% actual activity: 41% for Lipancrea® 8000; 21% for Lipancrea® 16000) after 60 min at pH 5.0. No release of lipase activity was observed for Kreon® at that particular pH. Enzyme release for Lipancrea® at pH 6.0 was generally slower than for Kreon® and seemed to be influenced by the preceding incubation at lower pH. More than 85% of Kreon® and Lipancrea® dissolved in a pH 6.0 phosphate buffer within 20 min. Despite the similarities of the enzyme content on the respective labels, Kreon® and Lipancrea® differ in pellet size, enzymatic activity and release. This may impact their therapeutic efficacy and, therefore, may limit their interchangeability. Full article
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8 pages, 898 KiB  
Article
Real-World Comparative Evaluation of Add-On Glucagon-like Peptide 1 Receptor Agonist in Type 2 Diabetes Treated with or without Insulin
by Hsuan-Wen Chou, Kai-Pi Cheng, An-Chi Lin, Hao-Chang Hung, Ching-Han Lin, Chih-Chen Wang, Hung-Tsung Wu and Horng-Yih Ou
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1569; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121569 - 15 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1675
Abstract
Glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonist (GLP-1 RA) is a potent antidiabetic agent with cardiorenal and weight-losing benefits in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). The combination of GLP-1 RA with basal insulin has been suggested in several clinical studies as a useful treatment [...] Read more.
Glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonist (GLP-1 RA) is a potent antidiabetic agent with cardiorenal and weight-losing benefits in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). The combination of GLP-1 RA with basal insulin has been suggested in several clinical studies as a useful treatment for intensifying insulin therapy in T2D. However, there has been no real-world evidence study comparing the glycemic effects of GLP-1 RAs add-on to background treatment with and without insulin. A retrospective study was performed in 358 patients with T2D who initiated liraglutide or dulaglutide. Among them, 147 patients were prior and concurrent insulin users, and 211 patients were non-insulin users. After 12 months of GLP-1 RA treatment, the changes in hemoglobin A1c (HbA1C) and body weight were evaluated. The effectiveness of GLP-1 RAs on HbA1C reduction was greater in insulin users than non-insulin users at 12 months (−1.17% vs. −0.76%; p = 0.018). There was no significant difference in body weight change between insulin users and non-insulin users at 12 months (−1.42 kg vs. −1.87 kg; p = 0.287). The proportion of responders (decrease of HbA1C > 1%) in insulin users was much higher than that in non-insulin users (48% vs. 37 %; p = 0.04). In insulin users, those who had increased insulin dosage at 12 months had significantly less HbA1C reduction than that of non-increased patients (−0.62% vs. −1.57%; p = 0.001). GLP-1 RAs provide superior glucose-lowering effects in insulin-treated patients compared with non-insulin-treated patients with T2D without significant differences in body weight decrease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Candidates for the Treatment of Metabolic Syndrome)
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18 pages, 2911 KiB  
Article
Isotopic Radiolabeling of Crizotinib with Fluorine-18 for In Vivo Pet Imaging
by Malvika Sardana, Louise Breuil, Sébastien Goutal, Maud Goislard, Mikhail Kondrashov, Etienne Marchal, Florent L. Besson, Christophe Dugave, Gail Wrigley, Anna C. Jonson, Bertrand Kuhnast, Magnus Schou, Nicolas Tournier, Charles S. Elmore and Fabien Caillé
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1568; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121568 - 15 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1577
Abstract
Crizotinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor approved for the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer, but it is inefficient on brain metastases. Crizotinib is a substrate of the P-glycoprotein, and non-invasive nuclear imaging can be used to assess the brain penetration of crizotinib. Positron [...] Read more.
Crizotinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor approved for the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer, but it is inefficient on brain metastases. Crizotinib is a substrate of the P-glycoprotein, and non-invasive nuclear imaging can be used to assess the brain penetration of crizotinib. Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging using fluorine-18-labeled crizotinib would be a powerful tool for investigating new strategies to enhance the brain distribution of crizotinib. We have synthesized a spirocyclic hypervalent iodine precursor for the isotopic labeling of crizotinib in a 2.4% yield. Because crizotinib is an enantiomerically pure drug, a chiral separation was performed to afford the (R)-precursor. A two-step radiolabeling process was optimized and automated using the racemic precursor to afford [18F](R,S)-crizotinib in 15 ± 2 radiochemical yield and 103 ± 18 GBq/µmol molar activity. The same radiolabeling process was applied to the (R)-precursor to afford [18F](R)-crizotinib with comparable results. As a proof-of-concept, PET was realized in a single non-human primate to demonstrate the feasibility of [18F](R)-crizotinib in in vivo imaging. Whole-body PET highlighted the elimination routes of crizotinib with negligible penetration in the brain (SUVmean = 0.1). This proof-of-concept paves the way for further studies using [18F](R)-crizotinib to enhance its brain penetration depending on the P-glycoprotein function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Radiopharmaceutical Sciences)
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11 pages, 3081 KiB  
Article
Safety Investigations of Two Formulations for Vaginal Use Obtained from Eugenia uniflora L. Leaves in Female Rats
by Guilherme Donadel, Mariana Dalmagro, João Antonio Berta de Oliveira, Giuliana Zardeto, Mariana Moraes Pinc, Jaqueline Hoscheid, Odair Alberton, Salviano Tramontin Belettini, Ezilda Jacomassi, Arquimedes Gasparotto Junior and Emerson Luiz Botelho Lourenço
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1567; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121567 - 15 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1446
Abstract
Medicinal plants have great prominence in research into the development of new medicines. Eugenia uniflora L. (Myrtaceae) is an edible and medicinal plant with economic value in the northeast region of Brazil. Several preparations from E. uniflora leaves and its fruits are employed [...] Read more.
Medicinal plants have great prominence in research into the development of new medicines. Eugenia uniflora L. (Myrtaceae) is an edible and medicinal plant with economic value in the northeast region of Brazil. Several preparations from E. uniflora leaves and its fruits are employed as a source of nutrients and bioactive compounds. In this study we evaluated the preclinical toxicology of crude extract and vaginal gel obtained from the leaves of E. uniflora (5%, 10%, and 15%) aiming to provide safety for its use in the treatment of vulvovaginitis. Both formulations were applied to the vaginal cavity for 14 days. Detailed observations of the vaginal region, including pruritus, swelling, irritation, burning, pain, and vaginal secretion, as well as the estrous cycle were evaluated. On the fifth day, blood samples were obtained from the supraorbital plexus for biochemical and hematological analyses. The animals were subsequently euthanized. All animals underwent necropsy and macroscopic examination of the vaginal mucosa and reproductive system. A histological examination was also performed. No clinically significant changes were detected during the entire experimental period. All biochemical, hematological, or histopathological parameters were within the normal range for the species. The data obtained allow us to suggest that the E. uniflora vaginal formulations are safe in this experimental model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethnopharmacology in Latin America)
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19 pages, 1921 KiB  
Article
Component Characterization, In Vitro Activities and Molecular Mechanism of Cydonia oblonga Mill. against Diabetic
by Bingqing Chi, Xilong Liang, Lihua Wang, Yifei Bian, Meng Zhang, Zhixin Tang, Danyang Wang and Zhenhua Tian
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1566; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121566 - 15 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1496
Abstract
Cydonia Oblonga Mill. is widely distributed in Turkey, Uzbekistan and China and commonly used by the food industry to produce jam, jelly and candies. The aim of this study was to investigate the in vitro antidiabetic activity and anti-diabetic mechanism of Cydonia Oblonga [...] Read more.
Cydonia Oblonga Mill. is widely distributed in Turkey, Uzbekistan and China and commonly used by the food industry to produce jam, jelly and candies. The aim of this study was to investigate the in vitro antidiabetic activity and anti-diabetic mechanism of Cydonia Oblonga Mill. fruit (COMF). The chemical compositions were further characterized in COMF by UPLC-Q-Orbitrap/MS and 65 components including 22 flavonoids, 16 organic acids, 11 polyphenols, 5 amino acids, 3 pentacyclic triterpenoids and 8 other compounds were identified. The antioxidant activity by DPPH scavenging method and α-glucosidase inhibitory activity were tested. Furthermore, we detected the effects of COMF extract on the proliferation activity of HUVECs, cell viability of HUVECs under H2O2-induced oxidative stress, and NO production. Then, molecular docking activity and α-glucosidase inhibitory activity of seven key flavonoid components selected by bioinformatics analysis and literature in the COMF were studied. Among them, quercetin showed potent inhibitory activity, kaempferol, isorhamnetin, luteolin and apigenin demonstrated moderate inhibitory activity, while rutin and epicatechin exhibited poor inhibitory activity. Subsequently, the effects of quercetin, kaempferol, isorhamnetin, leteolin and apigenin on the gene expression levels of AKT1, IL-6 and VEGFA were verified by real-time fluorescence quantification (RT-qPCR). Molecular biology result showed that different active ingredients can significantly recover the levels of AKT1, IL-6 and VEGFA in HUVECs injured by high glucose. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Compounds with Medicinal Value (2nd Volume))
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18 pages, 6390 KiB  
Review
Non-Apoptotic Programmed Cell Death in Thyroid Diseases
by Feihong Ji and Xinguang Qiu
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1565; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121565 - 15 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1809
Abstract
Thyroid disorders are among the most common endocrinological conditions. As the prevalence of thyroid diseases increases annually, the exploration of thyroid disease mechanisms and the development of treatments are also gradually improving. With the gradual advancement of therapies, non-apoptotic programmed cell death (NAPCD) [...] Read more.
Thyroid disorders are among the most common endocrinological conditions. As the prevalence of thyroid diseases increases annually, the exploration of thyroid disease mechanisms and the development of treatments are also gradually improving. With the gradual advancement of therapies, non-apoptotic programmed cell death (NAPCD) has immense potential in inflammatory and neoplastic diseases. Autophagy, pyroptosis, ferroptosis, and immunogenic cell death are all classical NAPCD. In this paper, we have compiled the recent mechanistic investigations of thyroid diseases and established the considerable progress by NAPCD in thyroid diseases. Furthermore, we have elucidated the role of various types of NAPCD in different thyroid disorders. This will help us to better understand the pathophysiology of thyroid-related disorders and identify new targets and mechanisms of drug resistance, which may facilitate the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for patients with thyroid diseases. Here, we have reviewed the advances in the role of NAPCD in the occurrence, progression, and prognosis of thyroid diseases, and highlighted future research prospects in this area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Targeting Thyroid Cancer: From Biology to Therapeutic Strategies)
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9 pages, 1833 KiB  
Article
Characterization of Sigma-2 Receptor—Specific Binding Sites Using [3H]DTG and [125I]RHM-4
by Chi-Chang Weng, Aladdin Riad, Brian P. Lieberman, Kuiying Xu, Xin Peng, John L. Mikitsh and Robert H. Mach
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1564; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121564 - 15 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1912
Abstract
The sigma-2 receptor/transmembrane protein 97 (σ2R/TMRM97) is a promising biomarker of tumor proliferation and a target for cancer therapy. [3H]DTG has been used to evaluate σ2R/TMEM97 binding affinity in compound development studies. However, [3H]DTG has equal and moderate binding [...] Read more.
The sigma-2 receptor/transmembrane protein 97 (σ2R/TMRM97) is a promising biomarker of tumor proliferation and a target for cancer therapy. [3H]DTG has been used to evaluate σ2R/TMEM97 binding affinity in compound development studies. However, [3H]DTG has equal and moderate binding affinities to both sigma 1 receptor (σ1R) and σ2R/TMEM97. Furthermore, co-administration with the σ1R masking compound (+)-pentazocine may cause bias in σ2R/TMEM97 binding affinity screening experiments. We have developed a radioiodinated ligand, [125I]RHM-4, which has high affinity and selectivity for σ2R/TMEM97 versus σ1R. In this study, a head-to-head comparison between [3H]DTG and [125I]RHM-4 on the binding affinity and their effectiveness in σ2R/TMEM97 compound screening studies was performed. The goal of these studies was to determine if this radioiodinated ligand is a suitable replacement for [3H]DTG for screening new σ2R/TMEM97 compounds. Furthermore, to delineate the binding properties of [125I]RHM-4 to the σ2R/TMEM97, the structure of RHM-4 was split into two fragments. This resulted in the identification of two binding regions in the σ2R, the “DTG” binding site, which is responsible for binding to the σ2R/TMEM97, and the secondary binding site, which is responsible for high affinity and selectivity for the σ2R/TMEM97 versus the σ1R. The results of this study indicate that [125I]RHM-4 is an improved radioligand for in vitro binding studies of the σ2R/TMEM97 versus [3H]DTG. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiolabelling for Tracking Drug Delivery System)
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17 pages, 3030 KiB  
Article
Piracetam as a Therapeutic Agent for Doxorubicin-Induced Cognitive Deficits by Enhancing Cholinergic Functions and Reducing Neuronal Inflammation, Apoptosis, and Oxidative Stress in Rats
by Vasudevan Mani, Syed Imam Rabbani, Ali Shariq, Palanisamy Amirthalingam and Minhajul Arfeen
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1563; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121563 - 14 Dec 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2175
Abstract
Cancer chemotherapy is known to cause cognitive defects in patients. Our study investigated the effect of piracetam (PIRA; 200 or 400 mg/kg) against doxorubicin (DOX)-induced cognitive deficits in a rat model. The cognitive parameters were analyzed using elevated plus-maze, novel object recognition, and [...] Read more.
Cancer chemotherapy is known to cause cognitive defects in patients. Our study investigated the effect of piracetam (PIRA; 200 or 400 mg/kg) against doxorubicin (DOX)-induced cognitive deficits in a rat model. The cognitive parameters were analyzed using elevated plus-maze, novel object recognition, and Y-maze tests. Acetylcholinesterase (AChE), neuroinflammatory mediators (cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α)), apoptotic proteins (B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2), Bcl2 associated X protein (Bax), cysteine aspartate specific protease-3 (caspase-3)), oxidative parameters (malondialdehyde (MDA), catalase (CAT), and glutathione (GSH)) were also determined in the brain. PIRA administration offered significant protection against DOX-induced cognitive deficits in all maze tests and restored cholinergic functions via a significant reduction in AChE levels. Additionally, PIRA suppressed DOX-induced neuroinflammatory mediators (COX-2, PGE2, NF-κB, and TNF-α), pro-apoptotic proteins (Bax and caspase-3), and oxidative stress (MDA). Besides, it facilitated antioxidant (CAT and GSH) levels. Hence, our study highlighted that the neuroprotective activity of PIRA against DOX-induced cognitive deficits can be linked to reductions of AChE levels, neuro-inflammatory mediators, pro-apoptotic proteins, and oxidative stress. Full article
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12 pages, 1843 KiB  
Article
Identification of Potential Treatments for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia through Integrated Genomic Network Analysis
by Zulfan Zazuli, Lalu Muhammad Irham, Wirawan Adikusuma and Nur Melani Sari
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1562; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121562 - 14 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1482
Abstract
The advancement of high-throughput sequencing and genomic analysis revealed that acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a genetically heterogeneous disease. The abundance of such genetic data in ALL can also be utilized to identify potential targets for drug discovery and even drug repurposing. We [...] Read more.
The advancement of high-throughput sequencing and genomic analysis revealed that acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a genetically heterogeneous disease. The abundance of such genetic data in ALL can also be utilized to identify potential targets for drug discovery and even drug repurposing. We aimed to determine potential genes for drug development and further guide the identification of candidate drugs repurposed for treating ALL through integrated genomic network analysis. Genetic variants associated with ALL were retrieved from the GWAS Catalog. We further applied a genomic-driven drug repurposing approach based on the six functional annotations to prioritize crucial biological ALL-related genes based on the scoring system. Lastly, we identified the potential drugs in which the mechanisms overlapped with the therapeutic targets and prioritized the candidate drugs using Connectivity Map (CMap) analysis. Forty-two genes were considered biological ALL-risk genes with ARID5B topping the list. Based on potentially druggable genes that we identified, palbociclib, sirolimus, and tacrolimus were under clinical trial for ALL. Additionally, chlorprothixene, sirolimus, dihydroergocristine, papaverine, and tamoxifen are the top five drug repositioning candidates for ALL according to the CMap score with dasatinib as a comparator. In conclusion, this study determines the practicability and the potential of integrated genomic network analysis in driving drug discovery in ALL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Pharmacogenetics: A Tool in Cancer Therapy)
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19 pages, 1333 KiB  
Article
Human Lung Cancer (A549) Cell Line Cytotoxicity and Anti-Leishmania major Activity of Carissa macrocarpa Leaves: A Study Supported by UPLC-ESI-MS/MS Metabolites Profiling and Molecular Docking
by Mohamed A. A. Orabi, Omaish Salman Alqahtani, Bandar A. Alyami, Ahmed Abdullah Al Awadh, El-Shaymaa Abdel-Sattar, Katsuyoshi Matsunami, Dalia I. Hamdan and Mohamed E. Abouelela
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1561; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121561 - 14 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1730
Abstract
Lung cancer and cutaneous leishmaniasis are critical diseases with a relatively higher incidence in developing countries. In this research, the activity of Carissa macrocarpa leaf hydromethanolic extract and its solvent-fractions (n-hexane, EtOAc, n-butanol, and MeOH) against the lung adenocarcinoma cell [...] Read more.
Lung cancer and cutaneous leishmaniasis are critical diseases with a relatively higher incidence in developing countries. In this research, the activity of Carissa macrocarpa leaf hydromethanolic extract and its solvent-fractions (n-hexane, EtOAc, n-butanol, and MeOH) against the lung adenocarcinoma cell line (A549) and Leishmania major was investigated. The MeOH fraction exhibited higher cytotoxic activity (IC50 1.57 ± 0.04 μg/mL) than the standard drug, etoposide (IC50 50.8 ± 3.16 μg/mL). The anti-L. major results revealed strong growth inhibitory effects of the EtOAc fraction against L. major promastigotes (IC50 27.52 ± 0.7 μg/mL) and axenic amastigotes (29.33 ± 4.86% growth inhibition at 100 μg/mL), while the butanol fraction exerted moderate activity against promastigotes (IC50 73.17 ± 1.62), as compared with miltefosine against promastigotes (IC50 6.39 ± 0.29 μg/mL) and sodium stibogluconate against axenic amastigotes (IC50 22.45 ± 2.22 μg/mL). A total of 102 compounds were tentatively identified using UPLC-ESI-MS/MS analysis of the total extract and its fractions. The MeOH fraction was found to contain several flavonoids and flavan-3-ol derivatives with known cytotoxic properties, whereas the EtOAc fractions contained triterpene, hydroxycinnamoyl, sterol, and flavanol derivatives with known antileishmanial activity. Molecular docking of various polyphenolics of the MeOH fraction with HDAC6 and PDK3 enzymes demonstrates high binding affinity of the epicatechin 3-O-β-D-glucopyranoside and catechin-7-O-β-D-glucopyranoside toward HDAC6, and procyanidin C2, procyanidin B5 toward PDK3. These results are promising and encourage the pursuit of preclinical research using C. macrocarpa’s MeOH fraction as anti-lung cancer and the EtOAc fraction as an anti-L. major drug candidates. Full article
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44 pages, 7338 KiB  
Review
Current Pharmacotherapy and Multi-Target Approaches for Alzheimer’s Disease
by Siew Lee Cheong, Jian Kai Tiew, Yi Hang Fong, How Wan Leong, Yew Mun Chan, Zhi Ling Chan and Ethan Wei Jie Kong
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(12), 1560; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15121560 - 14 Dec 2022
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3648
Abstract
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by decreased synaptic transmission and cerebral atrophy with appearance of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Cognitive, functional, and behavioral alterations are commonly associated with the disease. Different pathophysiological pathways of AD have been proposed, some [...] Read more.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by decreased synaptic transmission and cerebral atrophy with appearance of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Cognitive, functional, and behavioral alterations are commonly associated with the disease. Different pathophysiological pathways of AD have been proposed, some of which interact and influence one another. Current treatment for AD mainly involves the use of therapeutic agents to alleviate the symptoms in AD patients. The conventional single-target treatment approaches do not often cause the desired effect in the disease due to its multifactorial origin. Thus, multi-target strategies have since been undertaken, which aim to simultaneously target multiple targets involved in the development of AD. In this review, we provide an overview of the pathogenesis of AD and the current drug therapies for the disease. Additionally, rationales of the multi-target approaches and examples of multi-target drugs with pharmacological actions against AD are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medicinal Chemistry)
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