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Pharmaceuticals, Volume 14, Issue 10 (October 2021) – 118 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Tumors develop within a complex microenvironment consisting of diverse cell types surrounded by a matrix rich of proteins, termed tumor stroma. Stroma includes immune cells, fibroblasts, and vascular endothelial cells. Cancer cells rely on extensive support from the stroma to survive, proliferate, and invade, making stroma elements important potential targets for anticancer therapy. One of those elements is the fibroblast activation protein (FAP), which is overexpressed on activated fibroblasts on several tumors while absent in healthy tissues and nonmalignant tumors. Given the diversity of tumors that express FAP, it would be a great progress if nuclear medicine could have a diagnostic and therapeutic tool suitable for in vivo stroma tumor imaging and targeted radiotherapy. View this paper
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Article
The Probiotic VSL#3® Does Not Seem to Be Efficacious for the Treatment of Gastrointestinal Symptomatology of Patients with Fibromyalgia: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1063; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101063 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 294
Abstract
Gastrointestinal symptomatology is frequent among patients with fibromyalgia, which increases disease burden and lacks specific treatment, either pharmacological or non-pharmacological. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of a multi-strain probiotic, VSL#3®, for the treatment of fibromyalgia-associated gastrointestinal manifestations. This [...] Read more.
Gastrointestinal symptomatology is frequent among patients with fibromyalgia, which increases disease burden and lacks specific treatment, either pharmacological or non-pharmacological. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of a multi-strain probiotic, VSL#3®, for the treatment of fibromyalgia-associated gastrointestinal manifestations. This randomized, placebo-controlled trial included 12 weeks of probiotic or placebo treatment followed by 12 weeks of follow up. The primary outcome variable was the mean change from the baseline to the endpoint in the composite severity score of the three main gastrointestinal symptoms reported by patients with fibromyalgia (abdominal pain, abdominal bloating and meteorism). Secondary outcome variables were the severity of additional gastrointestinal symptoms, fibromyalgia severity, depression, sleep disturbance, health-related quality of life and patients’ overall impression of improvement. No differences were found between VSL#3® (n = 54) and the placebo (n = 56) in the primary outcome (estimated treatment difference: 1.1; 95% confidence interval [CI]: −2.1, 4.2; p = 0.501), or in any of the secondary outcomes. However, responders to VSL#3 were more likely to maintain any improvement during the follow-up period compared to responders in the placebo arm. Overall, VSL#3 tolerability was good. Our data could not demonstrate any beneficial effects of VSL#3® either on the composite score of severity of abdominal pain, bloating and meteorism or in any of the secondary outcome variables. More research is needed to elucidate specific factors that may predict a favourable response to treatment in patients with fibromyalgia. Full article
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Review
Mechanistic Understanding from Molecular Dynamics in Pharmaceutical Research 2: Lipid Membrane in Drug Design
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1062; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101062 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 365
Abstract
We review the use of molecular dynamics (MD) simulation as a drug design tool in the context of the role that the lipid membrane can play in drug action, i.e., the interaction between candidate drug molecules and lipid membranes. In the standard “lock [...] Read more.
We review the use of molecular dynamics (MD) simulation as a drug design tool in the context of the role that the lipid membrane can play in drug action, i.e., the interaction between candidate drug molecules and lipid membranes. In the standard “lock and key” paradigm, only the interaction between the drug and a specific active site of a specific protein is considered; the environment in which the drug acts is, from a biophysical perspective, far more complex than this. The possible mechanisms though which a drug can be designed to tinker with physiological processes are significantly broader than merely fitting to a single active site of a single protein. In this paper, we focus on the role of the lipid membrane, arguably the most important element outside the proteins themselves, as a case study. We discuss work that has been carried out, using MD simulation, concerning the transfection of drugs through membranes that act as biological barriers in the path of the drugs, the behavior of drug molecules within membranes, how their collective behavior can affect the structure and properties of the membrane and, finally, the role lipid membranes, to which the vast majority of drug target proteins are associated, can play in mediating the interaction between drug and target protein. This review paper is the second in a two-part series covering MD simulation as a tool in pharmaceutical research; both are designed as pedagogical review papers aimed at both pharmaceutical scientists interested in exploring how the tool of MD simulation can be applied to their research and computational scientists interested in exploring the possibility of a pharmaceutical context for their research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In Silico Approaches in Drug Design 2021)
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Article
Poppers Use and High Methaemoglobinaemia: ‘Dangerous Liaisons’
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1061; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101061 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 199
Abstract
Poppers are legal and largely used in France despite severe side effects, such as methaemoglobinaemia (MetHbia). Our work aimed to assess the prevalence of poppers consumers among patients with a MetHbia higher than or equal to 5% in French university hospitals and its [...] Read more.
Poppers are legal and largely used in France despite severe side effects, such as methaemoglobinaemia (MetHbia). Our work aimed to assess the prevalence of poppers consumers among patients with a MetHbia higher than or equal to 5% in French university hospitals and its evolution before and after the legalization of poppers in France. We conducted a national multicentre observational retrospective study. All patients for whom at least one MetHbia measurement was performed from 2012 to 2017 in university hospitals where the French addictovigilance network (FAN) is implanted were included. For each MetHbia measurement exceeding or equal to 5%, a return to the clinical file was made by the FAN to assess poppers consumption. We calculated the prevalence of MetHbia exceeding or equal to 5% and 25% and the prevalence of poppers consumption before and after the legalization. A total of 239 (0.14%) patients had a MetHbia level exceeding or equal to 5% with 25 (10.46%) cases of poppers consumption. Poppers consumption represented 68.4% (13 out of 19) of cases with MetHbia greater than or equal to 25%. Poppers consumption among patients with MetHbia exceeding or equal to 5% increased after the legalization from 4.76% to 11.67% (prevalence ratio PR = 2.45, 95% CI = [0.98–8.37], p-value = 0.190). The proportion of patients with a MetHbia level of 25% or more increased after the legalization from 4.76% to 8.63% (PR = 1.81, 95% CI = [0.68–6.82], p-value = 0.374). The use of poppers is very frequently reported by patients with MetHbia greater than or equal to 25%. Full article
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Article
Macrosphelide A Exhibits a Specific Anti-Cancer Effect by Simultaneously Inactivating ENO1, ALDOA, and FH
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1060; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101060 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 241
Abstract
Aerobic glycolysis in cancer cells, also known as the Warburg effect, is an indispensable hallmark of cancer. This metabolic adaptation of cancer cells makes them remarkably different from normal cells; thus, inhibiting aerobic glycolysis is an attractive strategy to specifically target tumor cells [...] Read more.
Aerobic glycolysis in cancer cells, also known as the Warburg effect, is an indispensable hallmark of cancer. This metabolic adaptation of cancer cells makes them remarkably different from normal cells; thus, inhibiting aerobic glycolysis is an attractive strategy to specifically target tumor cells while sparing normal cells. Macrosphelide A (MSPA), an organic small molecule, is a potential lead compound for the design of anti-cancer drugs. However, its role in modulating cancer metabolism remains poorly understood. MSPA target proteins were screened using mass spectrometry proteomics combined with affinity chromatography. Direct and specific interactions of MSPA with its candidate target proteins were confirmed by in vitro binding assays, competition assays, and simulation modeling. The siRNA-based knockdown of MSPA target proteins indirectly confirmed the cytotoxic effect of MSPA in HepG2 and MCF-7 cancer cells. In addition, we showed that MSPA treatment in the HEPG2 cell line significantly reduced glucose consumption and lactate release. MSPA also inhibited cancer cell proliferation and induced apoptosis by inhibiting critical enzymes involved in the Warburg effect: aldolase A (ALDOA), enolase 1 (ENO1), and fumarate hydratase (FH). Among these enzymes, the purified ENO1 inhibitory potency of MSPA was further confirmed to demonstrate the direct inhibition of enzyme activity to exclude indirect/secondary factors. In summary, MSPA exhibits anti-cancer effects by simultaneously targeting ENO1, ALDOA, and FH. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Compounds with Medicinal Value)
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Article
Physicochemical Characteristics and In Vitro Toxicity/Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Activity of Favipiravir Solid Lipid Nanoparticles (SLNs)
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1059; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101059 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 229
Abstract
The rise of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases worldwide has driven the need to discover and develop novel therapeutics with superior efficacy to treat this disease. This study aims to develop an innovative aerosolized nano-formulation of favipiravir (FPV) as an anti-viral agent against coronavirus infection. [...] Read more.
The rise of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases worldwide has driven the need to discover and develop novel therapeutics with superior efficacy to treat this disease. This study aims to develop an innovative aerosolized nano-formulation of favipiravir (FPV) as an anti-viral agent against coronavirus infection. The local delivery of FPV nanoparticles (NPs) via nebulization ensures that the drug can reach the site of infection, the lungs. Solid lipid NPs of favipiravir (FPV-SLNs) were formulated utilizing the hot-evaporation method. The physicochemical formulation properties were evaluated using dynamic light scattering (DLS), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The aerosol formulation performance was evaluated using an Andersen Cascade Impactor (ACI) at a flow rate of 15 L/min. The FPV-SLN formulation’s in vitro anti-viral activity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was also evaluated using the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen (hCoV-19/Egypt/NRC-3/2020 isolate). The FPV-SLNs’ morphology was defined utilizing transmission electron microscopy, showing an irregular shape. By means of FPV-SLNs’ nebulization, a fine particle fraction of 60.2 ± 1.7% was produced with 60.2 ± 1.7%, and this finding suggests that FPV-SLNs were appropriate for inhalation drug delivery with a particle size of 537.6 ± 55.72 nm. Importantly, the FPV-SLNs showed anti-viral activity against SARS-CoV-2 with CC50 and IC50 values of 449.6 and 29.9 µg/mL, respectively. This study suggests that inhaled solid lipid NPs of favipiravir could potentially be used against coronavirus. Full article
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Review
Zebrafish as a Model System to Study the Mechanism of Cutaneous Wound Healing and Drug Discovery: Advantages and Challenges
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1058; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101058 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 339
Abstract
In humans, cutaneous wounds may heal without scars during embryogenesis. However, in the adult phase, the similar wound may undergo a few events such as homeostasis, blood clotting, inflammation, vascularization, and the formation of granulation tissue, which may leave a scar at the [...] Read more.
In humans, cutaneous wounds may heal without scars during embryogenesis. However, in the adult phase, the similar wound may undergo a few events such as homeostasis, blood clotting, inflammation, vascularization, and the formation of granulation tissue, which may leave a scar at the injury site. In consideration of this, research evolves daily to improve the healing mechanism in which the wound may heal without scarring. In regard to this, zebrafish (Danio rerio) serves as an ideal model to study the underlying signaling mechanism of wound healing. This is an important factor in determining a relevant drug formulation for wound healing. This review scrutinizes the biology of zebrafish and how this favors the cutaneous wound healing relevant to the in vivo evidence. This review aimed to provide the current insights on drug discovery for cutaneous wound healing based on the zebrafish model. The advantages and challenges in utilizing the zebrafish model for cutaneous wound healing are discussed in this review. This review is expected to provide an idea to formulate an appropriate drug for cutaneous wound healing relevant to the underlying signaling mechanism. Therefore, this narrative review recapitulates current evidence from in vivo studies on the cutaneous wound healing mechanism, which favours the discovery of new drugs. This article concludes with the need for zebrafish as an investigation model for biomedical research in the future to ensure that drug repositions are well suited for human skin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zebrafish as a Powerful Tool for Drug Discovery 2021)
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Review
Epilepsy in Neurodegenerative Diseases: Related Drugs and Molecular Pathways
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1057; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101057 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 286
Abstract
Epilepsy is a chronic disease of the central nervous system characterized by an electrical imbalance in neurons. It is the second most prevalent neurological disease, with 50 million people affected around the world, and 30% of all epilepsies do not respond to available [...] Read more.
Epilepsy is a chronic disease of the central nervous system characterized by an electrical imbalance in neurons. It is the second most prevalent neurological disease, with 50 million people affected around the world, and 30% of all epilepsies do not respond to available treatments. Currently, the main hypothesis about the molecular processes that trigger epileptic seizures and promote the neurotoxic effects that lead to cell death focuses on the exacerbation of the glutamate pathway and the massive influx of Ca2+ into neurons by different factors. However, other mechanisms have been proposed, and most of them have also been described in other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, or multiple sclerosis. Interestingly, and mainly because of these common molecular links and the lack of effective treatments for these diseases, some antiseizure drugs have been investigated to evaluate their therapeutic potential in these pathologies. Therefore, in this review, we thoroughly investigate the common molecular pathways between epilepsy and the major neurodegenerative diseases, examine the incidence of epilepsy in these populations, and explore the use of current and innovative antiseizure drugs in the treatment of refractory epilepsy and other neurodegenerative diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epilepsy and Neurodegeneration: Current Therapeutic Implications 2021)
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Article
Individualized versus Standardized Risk Assessment in Patients at High Risk for Adverse Drug Reactions (The IDrug Randomized Controlled Trial)–Never Change a Running System?
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1056; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101056 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 252
Abstract
The aim of this study was to compare effects of an individualized with a standardized risk assessment for adverse drug reactions to improve drug treatment with antithrombotic drugs in older adults. A randomized controlled trial was conducted in general practitioner (GP) offices. Patients [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to compare effects of an individualized with a standardized risk assessment for adverse drug reactions to improve drug treatment with antithrombotic drugs in older adults. A randomized controlled trial was conducted in general practitioner (GP) offices. Patients aged 60 years and older, multi-morbid, taking antithrombotic drugs and at least one additional drug continuously were randomized to individualized and standardized risk assessment groups. Patients were followed up for nine months. A composite endpoint defined as at least one bleeding, thromboembolic event or death reported via a trigger list was used. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated. In total, N = 340 patients were enrolled from 43 GP offices. Patients in the individualized risk assessment group met the composite endpoint more often than in the standardized group (OR 1.63 [95%CI 1.02–2.63]) with multiple adjustments. The OR was higher in patients on phenprocoumon treatment (OR 1.99 [95%CI 1.05–3.76]), and not significant on DOAC treatment (OR 1.52 [95%CI 0.63–3.69]). Pharmacogenenetic variants of CYP2C9, 2C19 and VKORC1 were not observed to be associated with the composite endpoint. The results of this study may indicate that the time point for implementing individualized risk assessments is of importance. Full article
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Article
In Vitro Effect of Taraxacum officinale Leaf Aqueous Extract on the Interaction between ACE2 Cell Surface Receptor and SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein D614 and Four Mutants
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1055; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101055 - 17 Oct 2021
Viewed by 390
Abstract
To date, there have been rapidly spreading new SARS-CoV-2 “variants of concern”. They all contain multiple mutations in the ACE2 receptor recognition site of the spike protein, compared to the original Wuhan sequence, which is of great concern, because of their potential for [...] Read more.
To date, there have been rapidly spreading new SARS-CoV-2 “variants of concern”. They all contain multiple mutations in the ACE2 receptor recognition site of the spike protein, compared to the original Wuhan sequence, which is of great concern, because of their potential for immune escape. Here we report on the efficacy of common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) to block protein–protein interaction of SARS-COV-2 spike to the human ACE2 receptor. This could be shown for the wild type and mutant forms (D614G, N501Y, and a mix of K417N, E484K, and N501Y) in human HEK293-hACE2 kidney and A549-hACE2-TMPRSS2 lung cells. High-molecular-weight compounds in the water-based extract account for this effect. Infection of the lung cells using SARS-CoV-2 spike D614 and spike Delta (B.1.617.2) variant pseudotyped lentivirus particles was efficiently prevented by the extract and so was virus-triggered pro-inflammatory interleukin 6 secretion. Modern herbal monographs consider the usage of this medicinal plant as safe. Thus, the in vitro results reported here should encourage further research on the clinical relevance and applicability of the extract as prevention strategy for SARS-CoV-2 infection in terms of a non-invasive, oral post-exposure prophylaxis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 in Pharmaceuticals)
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Review
The Impact of SARS-CoV-2 Infection, and Application of Immunosuppressive Agents in Kidney Transplant Recipients Suffering from COVID-19
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1054; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101054 - 17 Oct 2021
Viewed by 256
Abstract
In December 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic began to ravage the world quickly, causing unprecedented losses in human life and the economy. A statistical study revealed that the proportion of solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients with severe symptoms and deaths after being infected by [...] Read more.
In December 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic began to ravage the world quickly, causing unprecedented losses in human life and the economy. A statistical study revealed that the proportion of solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients with severe symptoms and deaths after being infected by SARS-CoV-2 is considerably higher than that of non-SOT recipients, and the prognosis is relatively poor. In addition, the clinical manifestation of SOT recipients suffering from COVID-19 is different from that of general COVID-19 patients. Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common complication in COVID-19 patients, and it is likely more common among SOT recipients infected with SARS-CoV-2. Clinical experts consider that SOT recipients have long-term treatment with immunosuppressants, and the comorbidities are driven by a high rate of severe symptoms and mortality. Orthotopic kidney allograft transplantation is an effective treatment for patients suffering from end-stage kidney disease/kidney failure through which they can easily extend their life. Indeed, kidney transplant recipients have suffered significant damage during this pandemic. To effectively reduce the severity of symptoms and mortality of kidney transplant recipients suffering from COVID-19, precise application of various drugs, particularly immunosuppressants, is necessary. Therefore, herein, we will collate the current clinical experience of treating COVID-19 infection in kidney transplant recipients and discuss the adjustment of patients using immunosuppressive agents in the face of COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 in Pharmaceuticals)
Review
Mucin1 and Mucin16: Therapeutic Targets for Cancer Therapy
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1053; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101053 - 17 Oct 2021
Viewed by 201
Abstract
The mucin (MUC) family is a group of highly glycosylated macromolecules that are abundantly expressed in mammalian epithelial cells. MUC proteins contribute to the formation of the mucus barrier and thus have protective functions against infection. Interestingly, some MUC proteins are aberrantly expressed [...] Read more.
The mucin (MUC) family is a group of highly glycosylated macromolecules that are abundantly expressed in mammalian epithelial cells. MUC proteins contribute to the formation of the mucus barrier and thus have protective functions against infection. Interestingly, some MUC proteins are aberrantly expressed in cancer cells and are involved in cancer development and progression, including cell growth, proliferation, the inhibition of apoptosis, chemoresistance, metabolic reprogramming, and immune evasion. With their unique biological and structural features, MUC proteins have been considered promising therapeutic targets and also biomarkers for human cancer. In this review, we discuss the biological roles of the transmembrane mucins MUC1 and MUC16 in the context of hallmarks of cancer and current efforts to develop MUC1- and MUC16-targeted therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anticancer Drugs 2021)
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Article
Synthesis, Computational Analysis, and Antiproliferative Activity of Novel Benzimidazole Acrylonitriles as Tubulin Polymerization Inhibitors: Part 2
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1052; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101052 - 17 Oct 2021
Viewed by 215
Abstract
We used classical linear and microwave-assisted synthesis methods to prepare novel N-substituted, benzimidazole-derived acrylonitriles with antiproliferative activity against several cancer cells in vitro. The most potent systems showed pronounced activity against all tested hematological cancer cell lines, with favorable selectivity towards normal [...] Read more.
We used classical linear and microwave-assisted synthesis methods to prepare novel N-substituted, benzimidazole-derived acrylonitriles with antiproliferative activity against several cancer cells in vitro. The most potent systems showed pronounced activity against all tested hematological cancer cell lines, with favorable selectivity towards normal cells. The selection of lead compounds was also tested in vitro for tubulin polymerization inhibition as a possible mechanism of biological action. A combination of docking and molecular dynamics simulations confirmed the suitability of the employed organic skeleton for the design of antitumor drugs and demonstrated that their biological activity relies on binding to the colchicine binding site in tubulin. In addition, it also underlined that higher tubulin affinities are linked with (i) bulkier alkyl and aryl moieties on the benzimidazole nitrogen and (ii) electron-donating substituents on the phenyl group that allow deeper entrance into the hydrophobic pocket within the tubulin’s β-subunit, consisting of Leu255, Leu248, Met259, Ala354, and Ile378 residues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medicinal Chemistry)
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Article
Identification of Novel Anthracycline Resistance Genes and Their Inhibitors
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1051; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101051 - 16 Oct 2021
Viewed by 288
Abstract
Differentially expressed genes have been previously identified by us in multidrug-resistant tumor cells mainly resistant to doxorubicin. In the present study, we exemplarily focused on some of these genes to investigate their causative relationship with drug resistance. HMOX1, NEIL2, and PRKCA [...] Read more.
Differentially expressed genes have been previously identified by us in multidrug-resistant tumor cells mainly resistant to doxorubicin. In the present study, we exemplarily focused on some of these genes to investigate their causative relationship with drug resistance. HMOX1, NEIL2, and PRKCA were overexpressed by lentiviral-plasmid-based transfection of HEK293 cells. An in silico drug repurposing approach was applied using virtual screening and molecular docking of FDA-approved drugs to identify inhibitors of these new drug-resistant genes. Overexpression of the selected genes conferred resistance to doxorubicin and daunorubicin but not to vincristine, docetaxel, and cisplatin, indicating the involvement of these genes in resistance to anthracyclines but not to a broader MDR phenotype. Using virtual drug screening and molecular docking analyses, we identified FDA-approved compounds (conivaptan, bexarotene, and desloratadine) that were interacting with HMOX1 and PRKCA at even stronger binding affinities than 1-(adamantan-1-yl)-2-(1H-imidazol-1-yl)ethenone and ellagic acid as known inhibitors of HMOX1 and PRKCA, respectively. Conivaptan treatment increased doxorubicin sensitivity of both HMOX1- and PRKCA-transfected cell lines. Bexarotene treatment had a comparable doxorubicin-sensitizing effect in HMOX1-transfected cells and desloratadine in PRKCA-transfected cells. Novel drug resistance mechanisms independent of ABC transporters have been identified that contribute to anthracycline resistance in MDR cells. Full article
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Review
Extracellular Vesicles in Human Milk
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1050; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101050 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 136
Abstract
Milk supports the growth and development of infants. An increasing number of mostly recent studies have demonstrated that milk contains a hitherto undescribed component called extracellular vesicles (EVs). This presents questions regarding why milk contains EVs and what their function is. Recently, we [...] Read more.
Milk supports the growth and development of infants. An increasing number of mostly recent studies have demonstrated that milk contains a hitherto undescribed component called extracellular vesicles (EVs). This presents questions regarding why milk contains EVs and what their function is. Recently, we showed that EVs in human milk expose tissue factor, the protein that triggers coagulation or blood clotting, and that milk-derived EVs promote coagulation. Because bovine milk, which also contains EVs, completely lacks this coagulant activity, important differences are present in the biological functions of human milk-derived EVs between species. In this review, we will summarize the current knowledge regarding the presence and biochemical composition of milk EVs, their function(s) and potential clinical applications such as in probiotics, and the unique problems that milk EVs encounter in vivo, including survival of the gastrointestinal conditions encountered in the newborn. The main focus of this review will be human milk-derived EVs, but when available, we will also include information regarding non-human milk for comparison. Full article
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Article
Side Effects of mRNA-Based COVID-19 Vaccines among Young Adults (18–30 Years Old): An Independent Post-Marketing Study
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1049; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101049 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 205
Abstract
Young adults had been widely perceived as a low-risk group for COVID-19 severity; therefore, they were deprioritised within the mass vaccination strategies as their prognosis of COVID-19 infection is relatively more favourable than older age groups. On the other hand, vaccination of this [...] Read more.
Young adults had been widely perceived as a low-risk group for COVID-19 severity; therefore, they were deprioritised within the mass vaccination strategies as their prognosis of COVID-19 infection is relatively more favourable than older age groups. On the other hand, vaccination of this demographic group is indispensable to achieve herd immunity. A cross-sectional survey-based study was used to evaluate the side effects of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines among university students in the Czech Republic. The validated questionnaire was delivered in a digital form, and it consisted of demographic data; COVID-19 vaccine-related anamnesis; and local, systemic, orofacial, and skin-related side effects’ prevalence, onset, and duration. Out of the 539 included participants, 70.1% were females and 45.8% were <23 years old. The vast majority (95.2%) reported at least one side effect. The most common side effect was injection site pain (91.8%), followed by fatigue (62.5%), headache (36.4%), and muscle pain (34.9%). The majority of local side effects occurred after both doses (74.4%), while most systemic side effects occurred after the second dose only (56.2%). Most local (94.2%) and systemic (93.3%) side effects resolved within three days after vaccination. Females participants’ adjusted odds ratio (AOR) showed they were 2.566 (CI 95%: 1.103–5.970) times more likely to experience post-vaccination side effects, and the participants who received two doses reported an increased AOR of 1.896 (0.708–5.077) for experiencing side effects. The results of this study imply that mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines are highly probably safe for young adults, and further studies are required to investigate the role of medical anamnesis, prior COVID-19 infection, and gender in side effects incidence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biopharmaceuticals)
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Article
SARS-CoV-2 Fears Green: The Chlorophyll Catabolite Pheophorbide A Is a Potent Antiviral
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1048; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101048 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 300
Abstract
SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is having devastating consequences worldwide. Although vaccination advances at good pace, effectiveness against emerging variants is unpredictable. The virus has displayed a remarkable resistance to treatments and no drugs have been proved fully effective against COVID-19. Thus, despite the international efforts, [...] Read more.
SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is having devastating consequences worldwide. Although vaccination advances at good pace, effectiveness against emerging variants is unpredictable. The virus has displayed a remarkable resistance to treatments and no drugs have been proved fully effective against COVID-19. Thus, despite the international efforts, there is still an urgent need for new potent and safe antivirals against SARS-CoV-2. Here, we exploited the enormous potential of plant metabolism using the bryophyte Marchantia polymorpha L. and identified a potent SARS-CoV-2 antiviral, following a bioactivity-guided fractionation and mass-spectrometry approach. We found that the chlorophyll derivative Pheophorbide a (PheoA), a porphyrin compound similar to animal Protoporphyrin IX, has an extraordinary antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2, preventing infection of cultured monkey and human cells, without noticeable cytotoxicity. We also show that PheoA targets the viral particle, interfering with its infectivity in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Besides SARS-CoV-2, PheoA also displayed a broad-spectrum antiviral activity against enveloped RNA viral pathogens such as HCV, West Nile, and other coronaviruses. Our results indicate that PheoA displays a remarkable potency and a satisfactory therapeutic index, which together with its previous use in photoactivable cancer therapy in humans, suggest that it may be considered as a potential candidate for antiviral therapy against SARS-CoV-2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 in Pharmaceuticals)
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Article
Formulation Study of a Co-Processed, Rice Starch-Based, All-in-One Excipient for Direct Compression Using the SeDeM-ODT Expert System
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1047; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101047 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 245
Abstract
A co-processed, rice starch-based excipient (CS), previously developed and shown to exhibit good pharmaceutical properties, is investigated as an all-in-one excipient for direct compression (DC). An SeDeM-ODT expert system is applied to evaluate the formulation containing CS, in comparison with those containing the [...] Read more.
A co-processed, rice starch-based excipient (CS), previously developed and shown to exhibit good pharmaceutical properties, is investigated as an all-in-one excipient for direct compression (DC). An SeDeM-ODT expert system is applied to evaluate the formulation containing CS, in comparison with those containing the physical mixture and the commercial DC excipients. The results revealed that CS showed acceptable values in all six incidence factors of the SeDeM-ODT diagram. In addition, the comprehensive indices (IGC and IGCB) were higher than 5.0, which indicated that CS could be compressed with DC technique without additional blending with a disintegrant in tablet formulation. The formulation study suggested that CS can be diluted up to 60% in the formulation to compensate for unsatisfactory properties of paracetamol. At this percentage, CS-containing tablets exhibited narrow weight variation (1.5%), low friability (0.43%), acceptable drug content (98%), and rapid disintegration (10 s). The dissolution profile of CS displayed that more than 80% of the drug content was released within 2 min. The functionality of CS was comparable to that of high functionality excipient composite (HFEC), whereas other excipients were unsuccessful in formulating the tablets. These results indicated that CS was a suitable all-in-one excipient for application in DC of tablets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Formulation and Evaluation of Tablets of Different Drugs)
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Article
Corylin Ameliorates LPS-Induced Acute Lung Injury via Suppressing the MAPKs and IL-6/STAT3 Signaling Pathways
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1046; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101046 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 259
Abstract
Acute lung injury (ALI) is a high mortality disease with acute inflammation. Corylin is a compound isolated from the whole plant of Psoralea corylifolia L. and has been reported to have anti-inflammatory activities. Herein, we investigated the therapeutic potential of corylin on lipopolysaccharides [...] Read more.
Acute lung injury (ALI) is a high mortality disease with acute inflammation. Corylin is a compound isolated from the whole plant of Psoralea corylifolia L. and has been reported to have anti-inflammatory activities. Herein, we investigated the therapeutic potential of corylin on lipopolysaccharides (LPS)-induced ALI, both in vitro and in vivo. The levels of proinflammatory cytokine secretions were analyzed by ELISA; the expressions of inflammation-associated proteins were detected using Western blot; and the number of immune cell infiltrations in the bronchial alveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were detected by multicolor flow cytometry and lung tissues by hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining, respectively. Experimental results indicated that corylin attenuated LPS-induced IL-6 production in human bronchial epithelial cells (HBEC3-KT cells). In intratracheal LPS-induced ALI mice, corylin attenuated tissue damage, suppressed inflammatory cell infiltration, and decreased IL-6 and TNF-α secretions in the BALF and serum. Moreover, it further inhibited the phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), including p-JNK, p-ERK, p-p38, and repressed the activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) in lungs. Collectively, our results are the first to demonstrate the anti-inflammatory effects of corylin on LPS-induced ALI and suggest corylin has significant potential as a novel therapeutic agent for ALI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lung Injury and Repair)
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Article
Pioglitazone Is a Mild Carrier-Dependent Uncoupler of Oxidative Phosphorylation and a Modulator of Mitochondrial Permeability Transition
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1045; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101045 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 258
Abstract
Pioglitazone (PIO) is an insulin-sensitizing antidiabetic drug, which normalizes glucose and lipid metabolism but may provoke heart and liver failure and chronic kidney diseases. Both therapeutic and adverse effects of PIO can be accomplished through mitochondrial targets. Here, we explored the capability of [...] Read more.
Pioglitazone (PIO) is an insulin-sensitizing antidiabetic drug, which normalizes glucose and lipid metabolism but may provoke heart and liver failure and chronic kidney diseases. Both therapeutic and adverse effects of PIO can be accomplished through mitochondrial targets. Here, we explored the capability of PIO to modulate the mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) and the permeability transition pore (mPTP) opening in different models in vitro. ΔΨm was measured using tetraphenylphosphonium and the fluorescent dye rhodamine 123. The coupling of oxidative phosphorylation was estimated polarographically. The transport of ions and solutes across membranes was registered by potentiometric and spectral techniques. We found that PIO decreased ΔΨm in isolated mitochondria and intact thymocytes and the efficiency of ADP phosphorylation, particularly after the addition of Ca2+. The presence of the cytosolic fraction mitigated mitochondrial depolarization but made it sustained. Carboxyatractyloside diminished the PIO-dependent depolarization. PIO activated proton transport in deenergized mitochondria but not in artificial phospholipid vesicles. PIO had no effect on K+ and Ca2+ inward transport but drastically decreased the mitochondrial Ca2+-retention capacity and protective effects of adenine nucleotides against mPTP opening. Thus, PIO is a mild, partly ATP/ADP-translocase-dependent, uncoupler and a modulator of ATP production and mPTP sensitivity to Ca2+ and adenine nucleotides. These properties contribute to both therapeutic and adverse effects of PIO. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heterocyclic Compounds and Their Application in Therapy)
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Article
Esculetin Provides Neuroprotection against Mutant Huntingtin-Induced Toxicity in Huntington’s Disease Models
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1044; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101044 - 13 Oct 2021
Viewed by 275
Abstract
Huntington’s disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by an abnormal CAG trinucleotide repeat expansion within exon 1 of the huntingtin (HTT) gene. This mutation leads to the production of mutant HTT (mHTT) protein which triggers neuronal death through several mechanisms. Here, we [...] Read more.
Huntington’s disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by an abnormal CAG trinucleotide repeat expansion within exon 1 of the huntingtin (HTT) gene. This mutation leads to the production of mutant HTT (mHTT) protein which triggers neuronal death through several mechanisms. Here, we investigated the neuroprotective effects of esculetin (ESC), a bioactive phenolic compound, in an inducible PC12 model and a transgenic Drosophila melanogaster model of HD, both of which express mHTT fragments. ESC partially inhibited the progression of mHTT aggregation and reduced neuronal death through its ability to counteract the oxidative stress and mitochondria impairment elicited by mHTT in the PC12 model. The ability of ESC to counteract neuronal death was also confirmed in the transgenic Drosophila model. Although ESC did not modify the lifespan of the transgenic Drosophila, it still seemed to have a positive impact on the HD phenotype of this model. Based on our findings, ESC may be further studied as a potential neuroprotective agent in a rodent transgenic model of HD. Full article
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Review
Recent Developments in the Synthesis of β-Diketones
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1043; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101043 - 13 Oct 2021
Viewed by 311
Abstract
Apart from being one of the most important intermediates in chemical synthesis, broadly used in the formation of C–C bonds among other processes, the β-dicarbonyl structure is present in a huge number of biologically and pharmaceutically active compounds. In fact, mainly derived from [...] Read more.
Apart from being one of the most important intermediates in chemical synthesis, broadly used in the formation of C–C bonds among other processes, the β-dicarbonyl structure is present in a huge number of biologically and pharmaceutically active compounds. In fact, mainly derived from the well-known antioxidant capability associated with the corresponding enol tautomer, β-diketones are valuable compounds in the treatment of many pathological disorders, such as cardiovascular and liver diseases, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, neurological disorders, inflammation, skin diseases, fibrosis, or arthritis; therefore, the synthesis of these structures is an area of overwhelming interest for organic chemists. This paper is devoted to the advances achieved in the last ten years for the preparation of 1,3-diketones, using different chemical (Claisen, hydration of alkynones, decarboxylative coupling) or catalytic (biocatalysis, organocatalytic, metal-based catalysis) methodologies: Additionally, the preparation of branched β-dicarbonyl compounds by means of α-functionalization of non-substituted 1,3-diketones are also discussed. Full article
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Article
Ten-Year Outcomes of Intravitreal Bevacizumab for Myopic Choroidal Neovascularization: Analysis of Prognostic Factors
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1042; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101042 - 13 Oct 2021
Viewed by 230
Abstract
The current standard treatment of myopic choroidal neovascularisation (mCNV) is intravitreal injection of VEGF antagonists. This study was proposed to assess efficacy and safety of intravitreal bevacizumab (IVB) for the treatment of mCNV across a 10-year follow-up. Thirty eyes of thirty patients with [...] Read more.
The current standard treatment of myopic choroidal neovascularisation (mCNV) is intravitreal injection of VEGF antagonists. This study was proposed to assess efficacy and safety of intravitreal bevacizumab (IVB) for the treatment of mCNV across a 10-year follow-up. Thirty eyes of thirty patients with treatment-naïve mCNV who underwent IVB and were followed up with for a minimum of ten years were recruited for the present retrospective cohort study. All participants were treated with three monthly IVB at baseline and then evaluated and treated under pro re nata (PRN) schedule. Outcome measures were to determine BCVA changes over years and identify the predictive factors of both final visual outcome and need for retreatment. Analysis of the main involved prognostic factors with correlations among variables is reported. Visual acuity remained stable at 10-year follow-up (p = 0.001) with the greatest improvement at 2 years (p < 0.0001) in all CNV locations. Baseline BCVA correlated positively with final BCVA (β = 0.88, p < 0.0001, R2: 0.75). No predictive factors for the need of additional injections were identified. Retinal and choroidal thickness significantly reduced over time but without correlation with the number of injections. CNV max height and area significantly decreased at 10 years (p < 0.0001 and p = 0.003, respectively), with complete regression of mCNV lesion in 40% of subjects. Intravitreal bevacizumab resulted as long-term effective and safe therapy for mCNV with sustained results at 10 years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Ocular Pharmacology)
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Review
Plasma Rich in Growth Factors in the Treatment of Endodontic Periapical Lesions in Adult Patients: A Narrative Review
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1041; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101041 - 13 Oct 2021
Viewed by 242
Abstract
Platelet concentrates have been widely used in regenerative medicine, including endodontics. The aim of this manuscript was to assess critically the efficacy of PRF in the treatment of endodontic periapical lesions in adult patients on the basis of the literature. The PICO approach [...] Read more.
Platelet concentrates have been widely used in regenerative medicine, including endodontics. The aim of this manuscript was to assess critically the efficacy of PRF in the treatment of endodontic periapical lesions in adult patients on the basis of the literature. The PICO approach was used to properly develop literature search strategies. The PubMed database was analyzed with the keywords: “((PRP) OR (PRF) OR (PRGF) OR (CGF)) AND (endodontic) AND ((treatment) OR (therapy))”. After screening of 155 results, 14 articles were included in this review. Different types of platelet concentrates are able to stimulate the processes of proliferation and differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells. Platelet rich fibrin (PRF) releases growth factors for at least 7 days at the application site. Growth factors and released cytokines stimulate the activity of osteoblasts. Moreover, the release of growth factors accelerates tissue regeneration by increasing the migration of fibroblasts. It was not possible to assess the efficacy of PRF supplementation in the treatment of endodontic periapical lesions in permanent, mature teeth with closed apexes, due to the lack of well-designed scientific research. Further studies are needed to analyze the effect of PRF on the healing processes in the periapical region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacology)
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Article
Inhibition of 11β-HSD1 Ameliorates Cognition and Molecular Detrimental Changes after Chronic Mild Stress in SAMP8 Mice
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1040; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101040 - 13 Oct 2021
Viewed by 183
Abstract
Impaired glucocorticoid (GC) signaling is a significant factor in aging, stress, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, the study of GC-mediated stress responses to chronic moderately stressful situations, which occur in daily life, is of huge interest for the design of [...] Read more.
Impaired glucocorticoid (GC) signaling is a significant factor in aging, stress, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, the study of GC-mediated stress responses to chronic moderately stressful situations, which occur in daily life, is of huge interest for the design of pharmacological strategies toward the prevention of neurodegeneration. To address this issue, SAMP8 mice were exposed to the chronic mild stress (CMS) paradigm for 4 weeks and treated with RL-118, an 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) inhibitor. The inhibition of this enzyme is linked with a reduction in GC levels and cognitive improvement, while CMS exposure has been associated with reduced cognitive performance. The aim of this project was to assess whether RL-118 treatment could reverse the deleterious effects of CMS on cognition and behavioral abilities and to evaluate the molecular mechanisms that compromise healthy aging in SAMP8 mice. First, we confirmed the target engagement between RL-118 and 11β-HSD1. Additionally, we showed that DNA methylation, hydroxymethylation, and histone phosphorylation were decreased by CMS induction, and increased by RL-118 treatment. In addition, CMS exposure caused the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced damage and increased pro-oxidant enzymes—as well as pro-inflammatory mediators—through the NF-κB pathway and astrogliosis markers, such as GFAP. Of note, these modifications were reversed by 11β-HSD1 inhibition. Remarkably, although CMS altered mTORC1 signaling, autophagy was increased in the SAMP8 RL-118-treated mice. We also showed an increase in amyloidogenic processes and a decrease in synaptic plasticity and neuronal remodeling markers in mice under CMS, which were consequently modified by RL-118 treatment. In conclusion, 11β-HSD1 inhibition through RL-118 ameliorated the detrimental effects induced by CMS, including epigenetic and cognitive disturbances, indicating that GC-excess attenuation shows potential as a therapeutic strategy for age-related cognitive decline and AD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress, Neurotransmitters and Neurodegeneration)
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Systematic Review
Somatostatin Analogue Therapy in MEN1-Related Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors from Evidence to Clinical Practice: A Systematic Review
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1039; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101039 - 12 Oct 2021
Viewed by 258
Abstract
Neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs) are relatively rare and complex tumors that can be sporadic or hereditary, as in the context of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) where patients display a 70% lifelong risk of developing a pancreatic NENs (pNENs). To date, specific personalized [...] Read more.
Neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs) are relatively rare and complex tumors that can be sporadic or hereditary, as in the context of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) where patients display a 70% lifelong risk of developing a pancreatic NENs (pNENs). To date, specific personalized treatment for pNENs in patients with MEN1 are lacking. The aim of this study was to systematically analyze the efficacy and safety of somatostatin analogue (SSA) treatment in patients affected by MEN1-related pNENs. We performed a systematic review of the literature, searching for peer-reviewed articles on SSA (octreotide or lanreotide) treatment in MEN1 associated with pNENs. We selected 20 studies with a pooled population of 105 MEN1 patients with pNENs. Females were 58.5%, median age was 44 years (18–73). TNM stage at diagnosis was stage I–II in 84.8% and stage IV in 15.2%. The overall response rate (SD+PR+CR) was achieved in 88.3% of cases, with stable disease in 75.6% and objective response in 12.7% of patients. The safety profile was favorable with both SSA agents. SSAs appear to be an effective and safe treatment option for MEN1-related pNEN, either at localized or advanced stages. Full article
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Article
Engineered Bacteriophage as a Delivery Vehicle for Antibacterial Protein, SASP
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1038; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101038 - 12 Oct 2021
Viewed by 316
Abstract
The difficulties in developing novel classes of antibacterials is leading to a resurgence of interest in bacteriophages as therapeutic agents, and in particular engineered phages that can be optimally designed. Here, pre-clinical microbiology assessment is presented of a Staphylococcus aureus phage engineered to [...] Read more.
The difficulties in developing novel classes of antibacterials is leading to a resurgence of interest in bacteriophages as therapeutic agents, and in particular engineered phages that can be optimally designed. Here, pre-clinical microbiology assessment is presented of a Staphylococcus aureus phage engineered to deliver a gene encoding an antibacterial small acid soluble spore protein (SASP) and further, rendered non-lytic to give product SASPject PT1.2. PT1.2 has been developed initially for nasal decolonisation of S. aureus, including methicillin-resistant S. aureus. Time-kill curve assays were conducted with PT1.2 against a range of staphylococcal species, and serial passaging experiments were conducted to investigate the potential for resistance to develop. SASPject PT1.2 demonstrates activity against 100% of 225 geographically diverse S. aureus isolates, exquisite specificity for S. aureus, and a rapid speed of kill. The kinetics of S. aureus/PT1.2 interaction is examined together with demonstrating that PT1.2 activity is unaffected by the presence of human serum albumin. SASPject PT1.2 shows a low propensity for resistance to develop with no consistent shift in sensitivity in S. aureus cells passaged for up to 42 days. SASPject PT1.2 shows promise as a novel first-in-class antibacterial agent and demonstrates potential for the SASPject platform. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bacteriophages as Therapeutic Delivery Vehicles)
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Article
Thermodynamic Study of Oxidovanadium(IV) with Kojic Acid Derivatives: A Multi-Technique Approach
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1037; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101037 - 12 Oct 2021
Viewed by 273
Abstract
The good chelating properties of hydroxypyrone (HPO) derivatives towards oxidovanadium(IV) cation, VIVO2+, constitute the precondition for the development of new insulin-mimetic and anticancer compounds. In the present work, we examined the VIVO2+ complex formation equilibria of [...] Read more.
The good chelating properties of hydroxypyrone (HPO) derivatives towards oxidovanadium(IV) cation, VIVO2+, constitute the precondition for the development of new insulin-mimetic and anticancer compounds. In the present work, we examined the VIVO2+ complex formation equilibria of two kojic acid (KA) derivatives, L4 and L9, structurally constituted by two kojic acid units linked in position 6 through methylene diamine and diethyl-ethylenediamine, respectively. These chemical systems have been characterized in solution by the combined use of various complementary techniques, as UV-vis spectrophotometry, potentiometry, NMR and EPR spectroscopy, ESI-MS spectrometry, and DFT calculations. The thermodynamic approach allowed proposing a chemical coordination model and the calculation of the complex formation constants. Both ligands L4 and L9 form 1:1 binuclear complexes at acidic and physiological pHs, with various protonation degrees in which two KA units coordinate each VIVO2+ ion. The joined use of different techniques allowed reaching a coherent vision of the complexation models of the two ligands toward oxidovanadium(IV) ion in aqueous solution. The high stability of the formed species and the binuclear structure may favor their biological action, and represent a good starting point toward the design of new pharmacologically active vanadium species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Medicinal Bioinorganic Chemistry)
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Article
Folium Sennae Increased the Bioavailability of Methotrexate through Modulation on MRP 2 and BCRP
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1036; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101036 - 12 Oct 2021
Viewed by 236
Abstract
Folium Sennae (FS), a popular laxative (Senna), contains polyphenolic anthranoids, whose conjugation metabolites are probable modulators of multidrug resistance-associated proteins (MRPs) and breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP). We suspected that the combined use of FS might alter the pharmacokinetics of various medicines transported [...] Read more.
Folium Sennae (FS), a popular laxative (Senna), contains polyphenolic anthranoids, whose conjugation metabolites are probable modulators of multidrug resistance-associated proteins (MRPs) and breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP). We suspected that the combined use of FS might alter the pharmacokinetics of various medicines transported by MRPs or BCRP. This study investigated the effect of FS on the pharmacokinetics of methotrexate (MTX), an anticancer drug and a probe substrate of MRPs/BCRP. Rats were orally administered MTX alone and with two dosage regimens of FS in a parallel design. The results show that 5.0 g/kg of FS significantly increased the AUC0–2880, AUC720–2880 and MRT of MTX by 45%, 102% and 42%, and the seventh dose of 2.5 g/kg of FS significantly enhanced the AUC720–2880 and MRT by 78% and 42%, respectively. Mechanism studies indicated that the metabolites of FS (FSM) inhibited MRP 2 and BCRP. In conclusion, the combined use of FS increased the systemic exposure and MRT of MTX through inhibition on MRP 2 and BCRP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacology)
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Article
Growth Inhibition of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: The Role of Spatiotemporal Delivery of Neoadjuvant Doxorubicin and Cisplatin
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1035; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101035 - 12 Oct 2021
Viewed by 261
Abstract
Combinations of platinum-based compounds with doxorubicin in free and/or in liposomal form for improved safety are currently being evaluated in the neoadjuvant setting on patients with advanced triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). However, TNBC may likely be driven by chemotherapy-resistant cells. Additionally, established TNBC [...] Read more.
Combinations of platinum-based compounds with doxorubicin in free and/or in liposomal form for improved safety are currently being evaluated in the neoadjuvant setting on patients with advanced triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). However, TNBC may likely be driven by chemotherapy-resistant cells. Additionally, established TNBC tumors may also exhibit diffusion-limited transport, resulting in heterogeneous intratumoral delivery of the administered therapeutics; this limits therapeutic efficacy in vivo. We studied TNBC cells with variable chemosensitivities, in the absence (on monolayers) and presence (in 3D multicellular spheroids) of transport barriers; we compared the combined killing effect of free doxorubicin and free cisplatin to the killing effect (1) of conventional liposomal forms of the two chemotherapeutics, and (2) of tumor-responsive lipid nanoparticles (NP), specifically engineered to result in more uniform spatiotemporal microdistributions of the agents within solid tumors. This was enabled by the NP properties of interstitial release, cell binding/internalization, and/or adhesion to the tumors’ extracellular matrix. The synergistic cell kill by combinations of the agents (in all forms), compared to the killing effect of each agent alone, was validated on monolayers of cells. Especially for spheroids formed by cells exhibiting resistance to doxorubicin combination treatments with both agents in free and/or in tumor-responsive NP-forms were comparably effective; we not only observed greater inhibition of outgrowth compared to the single agent(s) but also compared to the conventional liposome forms of the combined agents. We correlated this finding to more uniform spatiotemporal microdistributions of agents by the tumor-responsive NP. Our study shows that combinations of NP with properties specifically optimized to improve the spatiotemporal uniformity of the delivery of their corresponding therapeutic cargo can improve treatment efficacy while keeping favorable safety profiles. Full article
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Article
The Extract of Corydalis yanhusuo Prevents Morphine Tolerance and Dependence
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(10), 1034; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14101034 - 12 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1028
Abstract
The opioid epidemic was triggered by an overprescription of opioid analgesics. In the treatment of chronic pain, repeated opioid administrations are required which ultimately lead to tolerance, physical dependence, and addiction. A possible way to overcome this conundrum consists of a co-medication that [...] Read more.
The opioid epidemic was triggered by an overprescription of opioid analgesics. In the treatment of chronic pain, repeated opioid administrations are required which ultimately lead to tolerance, physical dependence, and addiction. A possible way to overcome this conundrum consists of a co-medication that maintains the analgesic benefits of opioids while preventing their adverse liabilities. YHS, the extract of the plant Corydalis yanhusuo, has been used as analgesic in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. More recently, it has been shown to promote analgesia in animal models of acute, inflammatory, and neuropathic pain. It acts, at least in part, by inhibiting the dopamine D2 receptor, suggesting that it may be advantageous to manage addiction. We first show that, in animals, YHS can increase the efficacy of morphine antinociceptive and, as such, decrease the need of the opioid. We then show that YHS, when coadministered with morphine, inhibits morphine tolerance, dependence, and addiction. Finally, we show that, in animals treated for several days with morphine, YHS can reverse morphine dependence and addiction. Together, these data indicate that YHS may be useful as a co-medication in morphine therapies to limit adverse morphine effects. Because YHS is readily available and safe, it may have an immediate positive impact to curb the opioid epidemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products)
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