Anti-influenza effect and action mechanisms of the chemical constituent gallocatechin-7-gallate from Pithecellobium clypearia Benth Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-25 Chao Li, Lv-jie Xu, Wen-wen Lian, Xiao-cong Pang, Hao Jia, Ai-lin Liu, Guan-hua Du
Host cdc2-like kinase 1 (CLK1) is responsible for the alternative splicing of the influenza virus M2 gene during influenza virus infection and replication that has been recognized as a potential anti-influenza virus target. In this study, we showed that gallocatechin-7-gallate (J10688), a novel CLK1 inhibitor isolated from Pithecellobium clypearia Benth, exerted potent anti-influenza virus activity in vivo and in vitro. ICR mice were intranasally infected with a lethal dose of H1N1. Administration of J10688 (30 mg·kg−1·d−1, iv, for 5 days) significantly increased the survival rate of the H1N1-infected mice to 91.67% and prolong their mean survival time from 5.83 ± 1.74 days to 13.66 ± 1.15 days. J10688 administration also slowed down body weight loss, significantly alleviated influenza-induced acute lung injury, reduced lung virus titer, elevated the spleen and thymus indexes, and enhanced the immunological function. We further explored its anti-influenza mechanisms in the H1N1-infected A549 cells: as a novel CLK1 inhibitor, J10688 (3, 10, 30 μmol/L) dose-dependently impaired synthesis of the viral proteins NP and M2, and significantly downregulated the phosphorylation of splicing factors SF2/ASF and SC35, which regulate virus M2 gene alternative splicing. As a novel CLK1 inhibitor with potent anti-influenza activity in vitro and in vivo, J10688 could be a promising antiviral drug for the therapy of influenza A virus infection.
Pharmacological and functional comparisons of α6/α3β2β3-nAChRs and α4β2-nAChRs heterologously expressed in the human epithelial SH-EP1 cell line Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-24 De-jie Chen, Fen-fei Gao, Xiao-kuang Ma, Gang-gang Shi, Yuan-bing Huang, Quang-xi Su, Sterling Sudweeks, Ming Gao, Turner Dharshaun, Jason Brek Eaton, Yong-chang Chang, J Michael Mcintosh, Ronald J Lukas, Paul Whiteaker, Scott C Steffensen, Jie Wu
Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors containing α6 subunits (α6*-nAChRs) show highly restricted distribution in midbrain neurons associated with pleasure, reward, and mood control, suggesting an important impact of α6*-nAChRs in modulating mesolimbic functions. However, the function and pharmacology of α6*-nAChRs remain poorly understood because of the lack of selective agonists for α6*-nAChRs and the challenging heterologous expression of functional α6*-nAChRs in mammalian cell lines. In particular, the α6 subunit is commonly co-expressed with α4*-nAChRs in the midbrain, which masks α6*-nAChR (without α4) function and pharmacology. In this study, we systematically profiled the pharmacology and function of α6*-nAChRs and compared these properties with those of α4β2 nAChRs expressed in the same cell line. Heterologously expressed human α6/α3 chimeric subunits (α6 N-terminal domain joined with α3 trans-membrane domains and intracellular loops) with β2 and β3 subunits in the human SH-EP1 cell line (α6*-nAChRs) were used. Patch-clamp whole-cell recordings were performed to measure these receptor-mediated currents. Functionally, the heterologously expressed α6*-nAChRs exhibited excellent function and showed distinct nicotine-induced current responses, such as kinetics, inward rectification and recovery from desensitization, compared with α4β2-nAChRs. Pharmacologically, α6*-nAChR was highly sensitive to the α6 subunit-selective antagonist α-conotoxin MII but had lower sensitivity to mecamylamine and dihydro-β-erythroidine. Nicotine and acetylcholine were found to be full agonists for α6*-nAChRs, whereas epibatidine and cytisine were determined to be partial agonists. Heterologously expressed α6*-nAChRs exhibited pharmacology and function distinct from those of α4β2-nAChRs, suggesting that α6*-nAChRs may mediate different cholinergic signals. Our α6*-nAChR expression system can be used as an excellent cell model for future investigations of α6*-nAChR function and pharmacology.
Prolonged DADLE exposure epigenetically promotes Bcl-2 expression and elicits neuroprotection in primary rat cortical neurons via the PI3K/Akt/NF-κB pathway Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-24 Min Zhu, Ming Liu, Qi-lin Guo, Cui-qing Zhu, Jing-chun Guo
Both in vivo and in vitro studies have shown the beneficial effects of the delta-opioid receptor (DOR) on neurodegeneration in hypoxia/ischemia. We previously reported that DOR stimulation with [(D-Ala2, D-Leu5) enkephalin] (DADLE), a potent DOR agonist, for both a short (minutes) and long (days) time has notable protective effects against sodium azide (NaN3)-induced cell injury in primary cultured rat cortical neurons. We further demonstrated that short-term DADLE stimulation increased neuronal survival through the PKC-mitochondrial ERK pathway. However, the mechanisms underlying long-term neuroprotection by DADLE remain unclear. Here, we showed that DOR stimulation with DADLE (0.1 μmol/L) for 2 d selectively activates the PI3K/Akt/NF-κB pathway in NaN3-treated neurons; this activation increased Bcl-2 expression, attenuated Cyto c release and promoted neuronal survival. Further investigation revealed that sustained DADLE stimulation increased Bcl-2 expression by enhancing NF-κB binding to the Bcl-2 promoter and upregulating the histone acetylation levels of the Bcl-2 promoter. Our results demonstrate that prolonged DADLE exposure epigenetically promotes Bcl-2 expression and elicits neuroprotective effects in the NaN3 model via the PI3K/Akt/NF-κB pathway.
Plasma miR-451 with echocardiography serves as a diagnostic reference for pulmonary hypertension Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-24 Xiao-wei Song, Lu-lu Zou, Ling Cui, Song-hua Li, Yong-wen Qin, Xian-xian Zhao, Qing Jing
Due to the lack of typical clinical symptoms, the average delay time for diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension (PH) is longer than 2 years. It is urgent to find biomarkers for PH diagnosis. In this study we investigated whether plasma microRNAs (miRNAs) can be used as biomarkers for PH diagnosis. We used microarray to identify dynamic miRNAs between PH and non-PH patients. The candidate miRNAs were verified using qRT-PCR in a mouse model of PH, which was induced by monocrotaline (MCT) injection. We observed that miR-21, miR-126, miR-145, miR-191 and miR-150 had no differences between control mice and MCT-treated mice; but plasma miR-451 was significantly decreased in the 2wk-MCT group, with no further decrease in the 4wk-MCT group. Plasma miR-451 was also markedly decreased in PH patients, whereas miR-21, miR-126, miR-150 and miR-320 did not show differences between 53 PH patients and 54 non-PH patients. Receiver operating characteristic curves (ROCs) were constructed from the patient data to assess the clinical diagnostic values of circulating miR-451 and Doppler echocardiography (D-ECHO). The areas under the curve (AUCs) of ROCs for miR-451 and D-ECHO were 0.710 and 0.766, respectively. Combination of miR-451 and D-ECHO with AUC of 0.825 was superior to the use of either miR-451 or D-ECHO alone for PH diagnosis. In conclusion, plasma miR-451 has a moderate diagnostic value in PH comparable to that of D-ECHO, and the combination of miR-451 with D-ECHO has better diagnostic value than either method alone, which may have implications for PH diagnosis.
Novel substituted pyrazolone derivatives as AMP-activated protein kinase activators to inhibit lipid synthesis and reduce lipid accumulation in ob/ob mice Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-24 Mei Zhang, Zhi-fu Xie, Run-tao Zhang, Da-kai Chen, Min Gu, Shi-chao Cui, Yang-ming Zhang, Xin-wen Zhang, Yan-yan Yu, Jia Li, Fa-jun Nan, Jing-ya Li
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a clinical syndrome characterized by hepatic steatosis. NAFLD is closely linked to obesity, insulin resistance and dyslipidemia. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) functions as an energy sensor and plays a central role in regulating lipid metabolism. In this study, we identified a series of novel pyrazolone AMPK activators using a homogeneous time-resolved fluorescence assay (HTRF) based on the AMPKα2β1γ1 complex. Compound 29 (C29) is a candidate compound that directly activated the kinase domain of AMPK with an EC50 value of 2.1–0.2 μmol/L and acted as a non-selective activator of AMPK complexes. Treatment of HepG2 cells with C29 (20, 40 μmol/L) dose-dependently inhibited triglyceride accumulation. Chronic administration of C29 (10, 30 mg/kg every day, po, for 5 weeks) significantly improved lipid metabolism in both the liver and the plasma of ob/ob mice. These results demonstrate that the AMPK activators could be part of a novel treatment approach for NAFLD and associated metabolic disorders.
Identification of small molecule inhibitors targeting the SMARCA2 bromodomain from a high-throughput screening assay Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-24 Tian Lu, Jun-chi Hu, Wen-chao Lu, Jie Han, Hong Ding, Hao Jiang, Yuan-yuan Zhang, Li-yan Yue, Shi-jie Chen, Hua-liang Jiang, Kai-xian Chen, Hui-fang Chai, Cheng Luo
SMARCA2 is a critical catalytic subunit of the switch/sucrose non-fermenting (SWI/SNF) chromatin remodeling complexes. Dysregulation of SMARCA2 is associated with several diseases, including some cancers. SMARCA2 is multi-domain protein containing a bromodomain (BRD) that specifically recognizes acetylated lysine residues in histone tails, thus playing an important role in chromatin remodeling. Many potent and specific inhibitors targeting other BRDs have recently been discovered and have been widely used for cancer treatments and biological research. However, hit discovery targeting SMARCA2-BRD is particularly lacking. To date, there is a paucity of reported high-throughput screening (HTS) assays targeting the SMARCA2-BRD interface. In this study, we developed an AlphaScreen HTS system for the discovery of SMARCA2-BRD inhibitors and optimized the physicochemical conditions including pH, salt concentrations and detergent levels. Through an established AlphaScreen-based high-throughput screening assay against an in-house compound library, DCSM06 was identified as a novel SMARCA2-BRD inhibitor with an IC50 value of 39.9±3.0 μmol/L. Surface plasmon resonance demonstrated the binding between SMARCA2-BRD and DCSM06 (Kd=38.6 μmol/L). A similarity-based analog search led to identification of DCSM06-05 with an IC50 value of 9.0±1.4 μmol/L. Molecular docking was performed to predict the binding mode of DCSM06-05 and to decipher the structural basis of the inﬂuence of chemical modifications on inhibitor potency. DCSM06-05 may be used as a starting point for further medicinal chemistry optimization and could function as a chemical tool for SMARCA2-related functional studies.
Anti-inflammatory activities of hepatocyte growth factor in post-ischemic heart failure Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-24 Shu-ling Rong, Xiao-lin Wang, Yi-cheng Wang, Huan Wu, Xue-dong Zhou, Ze-kun Wang, Yu-chuan Wang, Cun-shui Xue, Bao Li, Dong-lai Gao
Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) alleviates acute and chronic inflammation in experimental inflammatory bowel disease, glomerulonephritis, and airway inflammation. However, the anti-inflammatory effects of HGF on myocardial infarction are not defined. The current study assessed the anti-inflammatory effects of HGF in post-ischemic heart failure. The left anterior descending coronary artery was ligated in rats, and adenovirus containing human HGF (Ad-HGF) or control virus (Ad-GFP) was administered intramyocardially. The quantity of proinflammatory cytokines secreted by cardiomyocytes, such as tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and IL-1β, was evaluated. Cardiac function and LV remodeling were assessed using echocardiography and collagen deposition, respectively. Left ventricular fractional shortening (LVFS) and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) four weeks after injection were significantly increased in Ad-HGF-treated animals compared to the Ad-GFP group. HGF gene therapy improved ventricular geometry with a significantly decreased left ventricular end-diastolic diameter (LVEDD) and markedly reduced myocardial collagen deposition. Treatment with Ad-HGF significantly decreased the mRNA levels of TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1β in the non-infarcted region four weeks after injection. Changes of the TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1β levels in the non-infarcted region positively correlated with the LVEDD 4 weeks after infarction. Treatment of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) with Ad-HGF in the early stage of MI reduced the pro-inflammatory cytokine levels and preserved cardiac function. These findings indicated that Ad-HGF gene therapy alleviated ventricular remodeling after infarction by reducing inflammation.
Astragaloside IV ameliorates neuroinflammation-induced depressive-like behaviors in mice via the PPARγ/NF-κB/NLRP3 inflammasome axis Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-24 Mei-ting Song, Jie Ruan, Ru-yi Zhang, Jie Deng, Zhan-qiang Ma, Shi-ping Ma
Major depressive disorder is a common but devastating mental disorder, and recent evidence shows that neuroinflammation may play a pivotal role in the etiology of depression. Astragaloside IV (AS-IV) is an active component purifed from Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch) Bge, which has shown anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative and anti-apoptotic effects. In this study, we explored whether AS-IV produced antidepressant effects via its inhibition of neuroinflammation in mouse models of depression. Depressive-like behaviors including decreased sucrose consumption, reduced locomotor activity and increased immobility time were induced in mice using repeated restraint stress (RRS). We found that administration of AS-IV (16, 32 and 64 mg·kg-1·d-1, ig) significantly attenuated RRS-induced depressive-like behaviors. Furthermore, AS-IV administration significantly reduced the levels of TNF-α and IL-1β, increased PPARγ expression and GSK3β phosphorylation, decreased NF-κB phosphorylation, and reduced NOD-, LRR- and pyrin domain-containingprotein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome and caspase-1 p20 generation in the hippocampus of the mice. LPS-induced depression-like behaviors were induced by LPS injection (1 mg·kg-1·d-1, ip), which were ameliorated by administration of AS-IV (20, 40 mg·kg-1·d-1, ig). The results of the LPS-induced mouse model were in accordance with those acquired from the RRS-induced mouse model: LPS injection significantly increased TNF-α and IL-1β expression in the mouse hippocampus, which was reversed by administration of AS-IV. Moreover, administration of AS-IV significantly increased PPARγ expression and GSK3β phosphorylation, and decreased NF-κB phosphorylation and NLRP3 inflammasome. These results suggest that AS-IV is a potential drug against depression, and its antidepressant effects are partially mediated by inhibition of neuroinflammation via the upregulation of PPARγ expression.
Duhuo Jisheng Decoction inhibits SDF-1-induced inflammation and matrix degradation in human degenerative nucleus pulposus cells in vitro through the CXCR4/NF-κB pathway Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-24 Zong-chao Liu, Zhen-long Wang, Chen-yi Huang, Zhi-jiang Fu, Yong Liu, Zhang-chao Wei, Shi-gui Liu, Chuan Ma, Jie-liang Shen, Dayue Darrel Duan
Lower back pain (LBP) is the most common disease in orthopedic clinics world-wide. A classic fangji of traditional Chinese medicine, duhuo jisheng decoction (DHJSD), has been proven clinically effective for LBP but its therapeutic mechanisms remain unclear. We hypothesized that DHJSD might relieve LBP through inhibiting the exaggerated proinflammatory cytokines and extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation. Thus, we studied the effects of DHJSD on stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1)-induced inflammation and ECM degradation in human nucleus pulposus cells (hNPCs). The primary hNPCs were isolated from either degenerated human intervertebral disc (HID) of LBP patients or normal HID of lumbar vertebral fracture patients, and cultured in vitro. The cells were treated with SDF-1 (10 ng/mL) and subsequently with different concentrations (100–500 μg/mL) of DHJSD for 24 h, respectively. We found that application of DHJSD significantly antagonized the SDF-1-induced production of proinflammatory cytokines and reduction of aggrecan and type II collagen in the hNPCs. DHJSD also markedly reduced the SDF-1-induced increase of CXCR4 and p-P65 and inhibited the nuclear translocation of P65 in the hNPCs. DHJSD, CXCR4-siRNA, and NF-κB inhibitor (BAY11-7082) caused the same inhibition of exaggerated proinflammatory cytokines in the SDF-1-treated hNPCs. These results provided compelling evidence that DHJSD may inhibit the generation of proinflammatory mediators and ECM degradation of HID through an orchestrated targeting at multiple molecules in the SDF-1/CXCR4/NF-κB pathway, thus offered novel mechanistic insights into the clinical effectiveness of DHJSD on LBP.
Pharmacological actions of miltirone in the modulation of platelet function Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-23 Wei Song, Yuan-yuan Ma, Shuo Miao, Ru-ping Yang, Ying Zhu, Dan Shu, Meng Lu, Rong Ma, Zhang-yin Ming
Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge contains various active constituents, some of which have been developed as commercially available medicine. Moreover, some other ingredients in Salvia miltiorrhiza play roles in anti-platelet activity. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects and the underlying mechanism of miltirone, a lipophilic compound of Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge. The ability of miltirone to modulate platelet function was investigated by a variety of in vitro and in vivo experiments. Platelet aggregation and dense granule secretion induced by various agonists were measured with platelet aggregometer. Clot retraction and spreading were imaged by digital camera and fluorescence microscope. Ferric chloride-induced carotid injury model and pulmonary thromboembolism model were used to check miltirone antithrombotic effect in vivo. To elucidate the mechanisms of anti-platelet activity of miltirone, flow cytometry and western blotting were performed. Miltirone (2, 4, 8 µM) was shown to suppress platelet aggregation, dense granule, and α granule secretion in a dose-dependent manner. Meanwhile, miltirone inhibited the clot retraction and spreading of washed platelets. It reduced the phosphorylation of PLCγ2, PKC, Akt, GSK3β and ERK1/2 in the downstream signal pathway of collagen receptor. It also reduced the phosphorylation of Src and FAK in the integrin αIIbβ3-mediated “outside-in” signaling, while it did not suppress the phosphorylation of β3. In addition, miltirone prolonged the occlusion time and reduced collagen/epinephrine-induced pulmonary thrombi. Miltirone suppresses platelet “inside-out” and “outside-in” signaling by affecting PLCγ2/PKC/ERK1/2, PI3K/Akt, and Src/FAK signaling. Therefore, miltirone might represent a potential anti-platelet candidate for the prevention of thrombotic disorders.
Salvianolic acid A attenuates kidney injury and inflammation by inhibiting NF-κB and p38 MAPK signaling pathways in 5/6 nephrectomized rats Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-23 Hong-feng Zhang, Yan-li Wang, Cheng Gao, Yan-ting Gu, Jian Huang, Jin-hui Wang, Jia-hong Wang, Zhou Zhang
Salvianolic acid A (SAA) is a minor phenolic carboxylic acid extracted from Salviae miltiorrhizae Bunge (Danshen). SAA exhibits a variety of pharmacological activities, such as antioxidative, anti-thrombotic, neuroprotective, and anti-fibrotic effects, as well as protection from myocardial ischemia and prevention of diabetes and other diseases. Furthermore, SAA has shown renal-protective effects in doxorubicin-induced nephropathy. However, there has been limited research regarding the effects of SAA and underlying mechanisms in chronic kidney disease (CKD). Here, we examined the effects and molecular mechanisms of SAA in an established animal model of 5/6 nephrectomized (5/6Nx) rats. The rats were injected with SAA (2.5, 5, and 10 mg/kg per day, intraperitoneally (ip)) for 28 days. SAA dose-dependently lowered the levels of urine protein, blood urea nitrogen, serum creatinine, plasma total cholesterol, and plasma triglycerides in 5/6Nx rats. Histological examination revealed that SAA dose-dependently attenuated renal pathological lesions, evidenced by reduced renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis by decreasing the expression levels of tumor growth factor-β1 and α-smooth muscle actin in 5/6Nx rats. Moreover, SAA dose-dependently inhibited the activation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways, subsequently attenuating the secretion of tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1β and inhibiting the expression of monocyte chemotactic protein-1, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 in kidneys of 5/6Nx rats. The above results were consistent with those obtained in lipopolysaccharide-induced HK-2 cells in vitro (a recognized in vitro inflammatory model). In conclusion, our results demonstrated that SAA effectively attenuates kidney injury in 5/6Nx rats. The therapeutic effects of SAA on kidney injury can be attributed to its anti-inflammatory activities through inhibition of the activation of the NF-κB and p38 MAPK signaling pathways.
Metabolism, pharmacokinetics, and hepatic disposition of xanthones and saponins on Zhimu treatments for exploratively interpreting the discrepancy between the herbal safety and timosaponin A3-induced hepatotoxicity Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-23 Yang Xie, Xu Zhou, Hu Pei, Ming-cang Chen, Zhao-lin Sun, Ya-ru Xue, Xiao-ting Tian, Cheng-gang Huang
Timosaponin A3, a saponin in Zhimu, elicited hepatotoxicity via oxidative stress. However, the clinical medication of Zhimu has been historically regarded as safe, probably associated with the antioxidants it contains. However, the related information on the in vivo levels of timosaponin A3 and antioxidants remained unclear on Zhimu treatments. Therefore, a combination of the in vitro metabolism, including microbiota-mediated and liver-mediated metabolism, and in vivo pharmacokinetics and hepatic disposition, was conducted for three xanthones (neomangiferin, mangiferin, and norathyriol) and three saponins (timosaponin B2, timosaponin B3, and timosaponin A3) on Zhimu treatments. Consequently, following oral administration of Zhimu decoction to rats, those saponins and xanthones were all observed in the plasma with severe liver first-pass effect, where mangiferin was of the maximum exposure. Despite the ignorable content in the herb, timosaponin A3 elicited sizable hepatic exposure as the microbiota-mediated metabolite of saponins in Zhimu. The similar phenomenon also occurred to norathyriol, the microbiota-mediated metabolite of xanthones. However, the major prototypes in Zhimu were of limited hepatic exposure. We deduced the hepatic collection of norathyriol, maximum circulating levels of mangiferin, and timosaponin B2 and mangiferin interaction may directly or indirectly contribute to the whole anti-oxidation of Zhimu, and then resisted the timosaponin A3-induced hepatotoxicity. Thus, our study exploratively interpreted the discrepancy between herbal safety and timosaponin A3-induced hepatotoxicity. However, given the considerable levels and slow eliminated rate of timosaponin A3 in the liver, more attention should be paid to the safety on the continuous clinical medication of Zhimu in the future.
The BET bromodomain inhibitor apabetalone induces apoptosis of latent HIV-1 reservoir cells following viral reactivation Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-22 Xuan-xuan Zhang, Jian Lin, Tai-zhen Liang, Heng Duan, Xing-hua Tan, Bao-min Xi, Lin Li, Shu-wen Liu
The persistence of latent HIV-1 reservoirs throughout combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) is a major barrier on the path to achieving a cure for AIDS. It has been shown that bromodomain and extra-terminal (BET) inhibitors could reactivate HIV-1 latency, but restrained from clinical application due to their toxicity and side effects. Thus, identifying a new type of BET inhibitor with high degrees of selectivity and safety is urgently needed. Apabetalone is a small-molecule selective BET inhibitor specific for second bromodomains, and has been evaluated in phase III clinical trials that enrolled patients with high-risk cardiovascular disorders, dyslipidemia, and low HDL cholesterol. In the current study, we examined the impact of apabetalone on HIV-1 latency. We showed that apabetalone (10−50 μmol/L) dose-dependently reactivated latent HIV-1 in 4 types of HIV-1 latency cells in vitro and in primary human CD4+ T cells ex vivo. In ACH2 cells, we further demonstrated that apabetalone activated latent HIV-1 through Tat-dependent P-TEFB pathway, i.e., dissociating bromodomain 4 (BDR4) from the HIV-1 promoter and recruiting Tat for stimulating HIV-1 elongation. Furthermore, we showed that apabetalone (10−30 μmol/L) caused dose-dependent cell cycle arrest at the G1/G0 phase in ACH2 cells, and thereby induced the preferential apoptosis of HIV-1 latent cells to promote the death of reactivated reservoir cells. Notably, cardiovascular diseases and low HDL cholesterol are known as the major side effects of cART, which should be prevented by apabetalone. In conclusion, apabetalone should be an ideal bifunctional latency-reversing agent for advancing HIV-1 eradication and reducing the side effects of BET inhibitors.
Novel-smoothened inhibitors for therapeutic targeting of naïve and drug-resistant hedgehog pathway-driven cancers Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-18 Qing-rou Li, Hui Zhao, Xue-sai Zhang, Henk Lang, Ker Yu
The G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) smoothened (SMO) is a key signaling component of the sonic hedgehog (Hh) pathway and a clinically validated target for cancer treatment. The FDA-approved SMO inhibitors GDC-0449/Vismodegib and LDE225/Sonidegib demonstrated clinical antitumor efficacy. Nevertheless, relatively high percentage of treated patients would eventually develop acquired cross resistance to both drugs. Here, based on published structure and activity of GDC-0449 inhibitor class, we replaced its amide core with benzimidazole which retained bulk of the SMO-targeting activity as measured in our Hh/SMO/Gli1-reporter system. Synthesis and screening of multiple series of benzimidazole derivatives identified HH-1, HH-13, and HH-20 with potent target suppression (IC50: <0.1 μmol/L) in the reporter assays. In NIH3T3 cells stimulated with a secreted Hh (SHH), these inhibitors dose dependently reduced mRNA and protein expression of the endogenous pathway components PTCH-1, Gli1, and cyclin D1 resulting in growth inhibition via G0/G1 arrest. Mechanistically, the SMO-targeted growth inhibition involved downregulation of mTOR signaling inputs and readouts consistent with diminished mTORC1/mTORC2 functions and apoptosis. In mice, as with GDC-0449, orally administered HH inhibitors blocked paracrine activation of stromal Hh pathway in Calu-6 tumor microenvironment and attenuated growth of PTCH+/−/P53−/− medulloblastoma allograft tumors. Furthermore, HH-13 and HH-20 potently targeted the drug-resistant smoothened SMO-D473H (IC50: <0.2 μmol/L) compared to the poor inhibition by GDC-0449 (IC50: >60 μmol/L). These results identify HH-13 and HH-20 as potent inhibitors capable of targeting naïve and drug-resistant Hh/SMO-driven cancers. The current leads may be optimized to improve pharmaceutical property for potential development of new therapy for treatment of Hh pathway-driven cancers.
Aberrant modulation of ribosomal protein S6 phosphorylation confers acquired resistance to MAPK pathway inhibitors in BRAF-mutant melanoma Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-18 Ming-zhao Gao, Hong-bin Wang, Xiang-ling Chen, Wen-ting Cao, Li Fu, Yun Li, Hai-tian Quan, Cheng-ying Xie, Li-guang Lou
BRAF and MEK inhibitors have shown remarkable clinical efficacy in BRAF-mutant melanoma; however, most patients develop resistance, which limits the clinical benefit of these agents. In this study, we found that the human melanoma cell clones, A375-DR and A375-TR, with acquired resistance to BRAF inhibitor dabrafenib and MEK inhibitor trametinib, were cross resistant to other MAPK pathway inhibitors. In these resistant cells, phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6 (rpS6) but not phosphorylation of ERK or p90 ribosomal S6 kinase (RSK) were unable to be inhibited by MAPK pathway inhibitors. Notably, knockdown of rpS6 in these cells effectively downregulated G1 phase-related proteins, including RB, cyclin D1, and CDK6, induced cell cycle arrest, and inhibited proliferation, suggesting that aberrant modulation of rpS6 phosphorylation contributed to the acquired resistance. Interestingly, RSK inhibitor had little effect on rpS6 phosphorylation and cell proliferation in resistant cells, whereas P70S6K inhibitor showed stronger inhibitory effects on rpS6 phosphorylation and cell proliferation in resistant cells than in parental cells. Thus regulation of rpS6 phosphorylation, which is predominantly mediated by BRAF/MEK/ERK/RSK signaling in parental cells, was switched to mTOR/P70S6K signaling in resistant cells. Furthermore, mTOR inhibitors alone overcame acquired resistance and rescued the sensitivity of the resistant cells when combined with BRAF/MEK inhibitors. Taken together, our findings indicate that RSK-independent phosphorylation of rpS6 confers resistance to MAPK pathway inhibitors in BRAF-mutant melanoma, and that mTOR inhibitor-based regimens may provide alternative strategies to overcome this acquired resistance.
Ginkgo biloba extracts prevent aortic rupture in angiotensin II-infused hypercholesterolemic mice Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-18 Xiao-fang Huang, Song-zhao Zhang, Ya-yu You, Na Zhang, Hong Lu, Alan Daugherty, Xiao-jie Xie
Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) are a chronic vascular disease characterized by pathological luminal dilation. Aortic rupture is the fatal consequence of AAAs. Ginkgo biloba extracts (GBEs), a natural herb extract widely used as food supplements, drugs, and cosmetics, has been reported to suppress development of calcium chloride-induced AAAs in mice. Calcium chloride-induced AAAs do not rupture, while angiotensin II (AngII)-induced AAAs in mice have high rate of aortic rupture, implicating potentially different mechanisms from calcium chloride-induced AAAs. This study aimed to determine whether GBE would improve aortic dilation and rupture rate of AngII-induced AAAs. Male apolipoprotein E (apoE) −/− mice were infused with AngII and administered either GBE or its major active ingredients, flavonoids and ginkgolides, individually or in combination. To determine the effects of GBE in mice with established AAAs, male apoE−/− mice were firstly infused with AngII for 28 days to develop AAAs, and then administered either GBE or vehicle in mice with established AAAs, which were continuously infused with AngII for another 56 days. GBE, but not the two major active components separately or synergistically, prevented aortic rupture, but not aortic dilation. The protection of GBE from aortic rupture was independent of systolic blood pressure, lipid, and inflammation. GBE also did not attenuate either aortic rupture or progressive aortic dilation in mice with established AAAs. GBE did not reduce the atherosclerotic lesion areas, either. In conclusion, GBE prevents aortic rupture in AngII-infused hypercholesterolemic mice, but only in the early phase of the disease development.
Antitumor effect of axitinib combined with dopamine and PK-PD modeling in the treatment of human breast cancer xenograft Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-17 Yuan-heng Ma, Si-yuan Wang, Yu-peng Ren, Jian Li, Ting-jie Guo, Wei Lu, Tian-yan Zhou
Rising evidence has shown the development of resistance to vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) inhibitors in the practices of cancer therapy. It is reported that the efficacy of axitinib (AX), a VEGFR inhibitor, is limited in the treatment of breast cancer as a single agent or in combination with other chemotherapeutic drugs due to the probability of rising population of cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) caused by AX. The present study evaluated the effect of dopamine (DA) improving AX’s efficacy on MCF-7/ADR breast cancer in vitro and in vivo, and developed a pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic (PK-PD) model describing the in vivo experimental data and characterizing the interaction of effect between AX and DA. The results showed that AX up-regulated the expression of breast CSC (BCSC) markers (CD44+/CD24−/low) in vivo, and DA significantly synergized the inhibitory effect on tumor growth by deducting the BCSC frequency. The PK-PD model quantitatively confirmed the synergistic interaction with the parameter estimate of interaction factor ψ 2.43. The dose regimen was optimized as 60 mg/kg AX i.g. b.i.d. combined with 50 mg/kg DA i.p. q3d in the simulation study on the basis of the PK-PD model. The model where DA synergistically enhances the effect of AX in an all-or-none manner provides a possible solution in modeling the agents like DA. Moreover, the outcome of AX and DA combination therapy in MCF-7/ADR breast cancer provided further insight of co-administering DA in the treatment of the possible CSC-causing AX-resisting breast cancer. And this combination therapy has the prospect of clinical translation.
Ursodeoxycholic acid protects interstitial Cajal-like cells in the gallbladder from undergoing apoptosis by inhibiting TNF-α expression Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-17 Jiang-fan Wan, Shi-feng Chu, Xin Zhou, Yue-ting Li, Wen-bin He, Feng Tan, Piao Luo, Qi-di Ai, Qi Wang, Nai-hong Chen
Hypomotility is a common symptom of gallstone disease, which is accompanied by a loss of interstitial Cajal-like cells (ICLCs) in the gallbladder. Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) is widely used in treating gallstone disease, and has shown anti-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory effects apart from its ability to dissolve gallstones. In this study, we investigated the anti-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory effects of UDCA on ICLCs in guinea pigs with gallstones. Guinea pigs were fed a high-cholesterol diet for 8 weeks to induce the formation of gallstones. A group of animals was administered UDCA (50 mg·kg−1·d−1, ig) simultaneously. At the end of 8 weeks, the animals were euthanized with anesthesia, cholecystectomy was performed immediately and gallbladder was collected for further analysis. We showed that in the model group the contractility of gallbladder muscle strips in response to both acetylcholine (ACh) and CCK-8 was severely impaired, which was significantly improved by UDCA administration. Furthermore, UDCA administration significantly reduced the apoptotic ratio of ICLCs, based on the observation of co-localization imaging of apoptotic cells and c-kit-positive cells. Western blotting analysis and real-time PCR results revealed that the TNF-α/Caspase8/Caspase3 pathway was suppressed in the UDCA-treated animals, confirming the anti-apoptotic effect of UDCA in the gallbladder. The H&E staining showed that UDCA administration significantly attenuated inflammatory cell infiltration in the gallbladder wall. In conclusion, UDCA can protect ICLCs in the gallbladder from undergoing apoptosis by inhibiting the TNF-α/Caspase8/caspase3 pathway.
Pretreatment with broad-spectrum antibiotics alters the pharmacokinetics of major constituents of Shaoyao-Gancao decoction in rats after oral administration Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-17 Meng Liu, Jie Yuan, Wen-juan Hu, Chang-qiang Ke, Yi-fan Zhang, Yang Ye, Da-fang Zhong, Guang-rong Zhao, Sheng Yao, Jia Liu
The influence of broad-spectrum antibiotics on the pharmacokinetics and biotransformation of major constituents of Shaoyao-Gancao decoction (SGD) in rats was investigated. The pharmacokinetic behaviors of paeoniflorin (PF), albiflorin (AF), liquiritin (LT), isoliquiritin (ILT), liquiritin apioside (LA), isoliquiritin apioside (ILA), and glycyrrhizic acid (GL), seven major constituents of SGD, as well as glycyrrhetinic acid (GA), a major metabolite of GL, were analyzed. A 1-week pretreatment with broad-spectrum antibiotics (ampicillin, metronidazole, neomycin, 1 g L−1; and vancomycin, 0.5 g L−1) via drinking water reduced plasma exposure of the major constituents. The AUC0-24 h of PF and LT was significantly decreased by 28.7% and 33.8% (P < 0.05 and P < 0.005), respectively. Although the differences were not statistically significant, the AUC0-24 h of AF, ILT, LA, ILA, and GL was decreased by 31.4%, 50.9%, 16.9%, 44.1%, and 37.0%, respectively, compared with the control group. In addition, the plasma GA exposure in the antibiotic-pretreated group was significantly lower (P < 0.005) than the control group. The in vitro stability of the major constituents of SGD in the rat intestinal contents with or without broad-spectrum antibiotics was also investigated. The major constituents were comparatively stable in the rat duodenum contents, and the biotransformation of GL mainly occurred in the rat colon contents. In summary, broad-spectrum antibiotics suppressed the absorption of the major constituents of SGD and significantly inhibited the biotransformation of GL to GA by suppressing the colon microbiota. The results indicated a potential clinical drug–drug interaction (DDI) when SGD was administered with broad-spectrum antibiotics.
Suppression of MIF-induced neuronal apoptosis may underlie the therapeutic effects of effective components of Fufang Danshen in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-17 Cheng-jie Liang, Jia-huang Li, Zhen Zhang, Ju-yan Zhang, Shu-qun Liu, Jie Yang
Fufang Danshen (FFDS or Compound Danshen) consists of three Chinese herbs Danshen (Salviae miltiorrhizae radix et rhizome), Sanqi (Notoginseng radix et rhizome) and Tianranbingpian (Borneolum, or D-borneol), which has been show to significantly improve the function of the nervous system and brain metabolism. In this study we explored the possible mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effects of the combination of the effective components of FFDS (Tan IIA, NG-R1 and Borneol) in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD) based on network pharmacology. We firstly constructed AD-related FFDS component protein interaction networks, and revealed that macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) might regulate neuronal apoptosis through Bad in the progression of AD. Then we investigated the apoptosis-inducing effects of MIF and the impact of the effective components of FFDS in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. We observed the characteristics of a “Pendular state” of MIF, where MIF (8 ng/mL) increased the ratio of p-Bad/Bad by activating Akt and the IKKα/β signaling pathway to assure cell survival, whereas MIF (50 ng/mL) up-regulated the expression of Bad to trigger apoptosis of SH-SY5Y cells. MIF displayed neurotoxicity similar to Aβ1-42, which was associated with the MIF-induced increased expression of Bad. Application of the FFDS composite solution significantly decreased the expression levels of Bad, suppressed MIF-induced apoptosis in SH-SY5Y cells. In a D-galactose- and AlCl3-induced AD mouse model, administration of the FFDS composite solution significantly improved the learning and memory, as well as neuronal morphology, and decreased the serum levels of INF-γ. Therefore, the FFDS composite solution exerts neuroprotective effects through down-regulating the level of Bad stimulated by MIF.
Correlation of the predisposition of Chinese children to cerebral palsy with nucleotide variation in pri-miR-124 that alters the non-canonical apoptosis pathway Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-17 Hui Li, Xiu-li Wang, Yan-qiu Wu, Xiu-mei Liu, Ai-min Li
Cerebral palsy is a group of non-progressive motor impairment syndromes caused by brain lesions during development. Herein, we investigated the relationship between nucleotide variations in a miRNA coding region and the predisposition of Chinese children to cerebral palsy. A total of 233 CP patients and 256 healthy participants were enrolled, and 60 children were selected from each group for plasma miRNA detection. We screened the coding regions of pri-miR-124-1, -2, and -3 using PCR and sequencing. The expression of miR-124 was determined by qRT-PCR. Luciferase assays and Western blots were used to confirm the regulation of target genes by miR-124. The function of miR-124 was further identified in SH-SY5Y cells by detecting cell viability and apoptosis. We revealed that the rare alleles T of rs3802169 and G of rs191727850 were found to be associated with an increased risk of cerebral palsy (OR=3.71, 95% CI 1.74–7.92 and OR=2.18, 95% CI 1.36–3.49, respectively). We further showed that the levels of mature miR-124 were down-regulated by the C-to-T variation in vitro. More importantly, the reduction of miR-124 resulting from the C-to-T change led to the less-efficient inhibition of the target genes ITGB1, LAMC1 and BECN1, which may play important roles during the development of the nervous system. Meanwhile, the reduction in the expression of miR-124 was also related to the increased nuclear translocation of apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) under oxidative stress, thereby inducing more cell apoptosis. Our results suggest that one functional polymorphism in pri-miR-124-1 might contribute to the genetic predisposition of Chinese children to cerebral palsy by disrupting the production of miR-124, which consequently interfered in the expression and function of the target genes of miR-124.
Cytokines as biomarkers of inflammatory response after open versus endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms: a systematic review Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-17 Diamantis I Tsilimigras, Fragiska Sigala, Georgios Karaolanis, Ioannis Ntanasis-stathopoulos, Eleftherios Spartalis, Michael Spartalis, Nikolaos Patelis, Alexandros Papalampros, Chandler Long, Demetrios Moris
The repair of an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a high-risk surgical procedure related to hormonal and metabolic stress-related response with an ensuing activation of the inflammatory cascade. In contrast to open repair (OR), endovascular aortic aneurysm repair (EVAR) seems to decrease the postoperative stress by offering less extensive incisions, dissection, and tissue manipulation. However, these beneficial effects may be offset by the release of cytokines and arachidonic acid metabolites during intra-luminal manipulation of the thrombus using catheters in endovascular repair, resulting in systemic inflammatory response (SIR), which is clinically called post-implantation syndrome. In this systematic review we compared OR with EVAR in terms of the post-interventional inflammatory response resulting from alterations in the circulating cytokine levels. We sought to summarize all the latest evidence regarding post-implantation syndrome after EVAR. We searched Medline (PubMed), ClinicalTrials.gov and the Cochrane library for clinical studies reporting on the release of cytokines as part of the inflammatory response after both open/conventional and endovascular repair of the AAA. We identified 17 studies examining the cytokine levels after OR versus EVAR. OR seemed to be associated with a greater SIR than EVAR, as evidenced by the increased cytokine levels, particularly IL-6 and IL-8, whereas IL-1β, IL-10 and TNF-α showed conflicting results or no difference between the two groups. Polyester endografts appear to be positively correlated with the incidence of post-implantation syndrome after EVAR. Future large prospective studies are warranted to delineate the underlying mechanisms of the cytokine interaction in the post-surgical inflammatory response setting.
Heart-type fatty acid binding protein (H-FABP) as a biomarker for acute myocardial injury and long-term post-ischemic prognosis Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-17 Xiao-dong Ye, Yi He, Sheng Wang, Gordon T Wong, Michael G Irwin, Zhengyuan Xia
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is a life-threatening event. Even with timely treatment, acute ischemic myocardial injury and ensuing ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) can still be difficult issues to tackle. Apart from radiological and other auxiliary examinations, laboratory tests of applicable cardiac biomarkers are also necessary for early diagnosis and close monitoring of this disorder. Heart-type fatty acid binding protein (H-FABP), which mainly exists inside cardiomyocytes, has recently emerged as a potentially promising biomarker for myocardial injury. In this review we discuss the sensitivity and specificity of H-FABP in the assessment of myocardial injury and IRI, especially in the early stage, and its long-term prognostic value in comparison with other commonly used cardiac biomarkers, including myoglobin (Mb), cardiac troponin I (cTnI), creatine kinase MB (CK-MB), C-reactive protein (CRP), glycogen phosphorylase isoenzyme BB (GPBB), and high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT). The potential and value of combined application of H-FABP with other biomarkers are also discussed. Finally, the prospect of H-FABP is summarized; several technical issues are discussed to facilitate wider application of H-FABP in clinical practice.
TIGAR knockdown enhanced the anticancer effect of aescin via regulating autophagy and apoptosis in colorectal cancer cells Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-16 Bin Li, Zhong Wang, Jia-ming Xie, Gang Wang, Li-qiang Qian, Xue-mei Guan, Xue-ping Shen, Zheng-hong Qin, Gen-hai Shen, Xiao-qiang Li, Quan-gen Gao
Our previous study showed that TP53-induced glycolysis and apoptosis regulator (TIGAR) regulated ROS, autophagy, and apoptosis in response to hypoxia and chemotherapeutic drugs. Aescin, a triterpene saponin, exerts anticancer effects and increases ROS levels. The ROS is a key upstream signaling to activate autophagy. Whether there is a crosstalk between TIGAR and aescin in regulating ROS, autophagy, and apoptosis is unknown. In this study, we found that aescin inhibited cell viability and colony formation, and induced DNA damage, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis in cancer cell lines HCT-116 and HCT-8 cells. Concurrently, aescin increased the expression of TIGAR, ROS levels, and autophagy activation. Knockdown of TIGAR enhanced the anticancer effects of aescin in vitro and in vivo, whereas overexpression of TIGAR or replenishing TIGAR downstream products, NADPH and ribose, attenuated aescin-induced apoptosis. Furthermore, aescin-induced ROS elevation and autophagy activation were further strengthened by TIGAR knockdown in HCT-116 cells. However, autophagy inhibition by knockdown of autophagy-related gene ATG5 or 3-methyladenine (3-MA) exaggerated aescin-induced apoptosis when TIGAR was knocked down. In conclusion, TIGAR plays a dual role in determining cancer cell fate via inhibiting both apoptosis and autophagy in response to aescin, which indicated that inhibition of TIGAR and/or autophagy may be a junctional therapeutic target in treatment of cancers with aescin.
Modified citrus pectin inhibited bladder tumor growth through downregulation of galectin-3 Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-16 Tian Fang, Dan-dan Liu, He-ming Ning, Dan Liu, Jing-ya Sun, Xiao-jing Huang, Yu Dong, Mei-yu Geng, Shi-feng Yun, Jun Yan, Rui-min Huang
Modified citrus pectin (MCP) is a carbohydrate enriched complex, which has been implicated in cancer treatment and prevention. However, the effects of MCP on urinary bladder cancer (UBC) are unknown. In this study, MCP was first tested in T24 and J82 human UBC cells and showed the inhibition of cell viability by the sulforhodamine B (SRB) assay. The MCP-treated UBC cells exhibited G2/M phase arrest with the decrease of Cyclin B1 and phosphorylated Cdc2. Caspase-3 was also activated, leading to the cleavage of Caspase-3 and PARP. We further explored the possible molecular mechanisms upon MCP treatment in UBC cells. Reduction of galectin-3 was observed and followed with the inactivation of Akt signaling pathway. Of note, galectin-3 knockdown by RNA interference recapitulated the MCP-mediated anti-proliferation, cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Moreover, oral administration of MCP to the T24 xenograft-bearing nude mice inhibited the tumor growth significantly (P < 0.05). Quantification analysis of immunohistochemistry staining for Ki67 and cleaved Caspase-3 confirmed the decrease of proliferation index (P < 0.05) and the increase of apoptosis index (P < 0.01) in 700 mg/kg MCP-fed UBC xenografts. Using the information from TCGA database, we revealed that the overexpression of galectin-3 was associated with high tumor grade with lymph node metastasis, poor overall survival in UBC patients. Considering the remarkable inhibitory effects of MCP on UBC cell proliferation and survival in vitro and in vivo mainly through galectin-3, which is upregulated in UBCs, MCP may become an attractive agent, as a natural dietary fiber, for prevention and therapy of UBCs.
NADPH ameliorates MPTP-induced dopaminergic neurodegeneration through inhibiting p38MAPK activation Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-16 Jing-si Zhou, Zhou Zhu, Feng Wu, Ying Zhou, Rui Sheng, Jun-chao Wu, Zheng-hong Qin
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the selective loss of dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc). Although the pathogenic mechanism underlying PD remains largely unknown, decreased nigral glutathione (GSH) in postmortem brains of PD patients supports the presence of oxidative stress in PD. We found that Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH), which is important for maintaining the level of GSH, protected dopaminergic (DA) neurons from neurotoxicity of MPTP/MPP+. In the present study, NADPH prevented DA neurons from MPTP toxicity with increased GSH and decreased reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels in the ventral midbrain of mice, and improved motor activity. Our present results demonstrated that NADPH inhibited the phosphorylation of p38MAPK, decreased the level of TP53 protein, and inhibited TP53 nuclear translocation in DA neurons of SNpc and in MES23.5 cells. Furthermore, NADPH decreased the protein level of TP53 target gene, Bax, cleavage of PARP, and nuclei condensation. Taken together, NADPH abrogated MPTP-induced p38MAPK phosphorylation, TP53 nuclear translocation, and Bax induction, and finally, MPTP/MPP+-induced apoptosis of DA neurons. This study suggests that NADPH may be a novel therapeutic candidate for PD.
SND p102 promotes extracellular matrix accumulation and cell proliferation in rat glomerular mesangial cells via the AT1R/ERK/Smad3 pathway Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-10 Jin-lan Xu, Xin-xin Gan, Jun Ni, De-cui Shao, Yang Shen, Nai-jun Miao, Dan Xu, Li Zhou, Wei Zhang, Li-min Lu
SND p102 was first described as a transcriptional co-activator, and subsequently determined to be a co-regulator of Pim-1, STAT6 and STAT5. We previously reported that SND p102 expression was increased in high glucose-treated mesangial cells (MCs) and plays a role in the extracellular matrix (ECM) accumulation of MCs by regulating the activation of RAS. In this study, we further examined the roles of SND p102 in diabetic nephropathy (DN)-induced glomerulosclerosis. Rats were injected with STZ (50 mg/kg, ip) to induce diabetes. MCs or isolated glomeruli were cultured in normal glucose (NG, 5.5 mmol/L)- or high glucose (HG, 25 mmol/L)-containing DMEM. We found that SND p102 expression was significantly increased in the diabetic kidneys, as well as in HG-treated isolated glomeruli and MCs. In addition, HG treatment induced significant fibrotic changes in MCs evidenced by enhanced protein expression of TGF-β, fbronectin and collagen IV, and significantly increased the proliferation of MCs. We further revealed that overexpression of SND p102 significantly increased the protein expression of angiotensin II (Ang II) type 1 receptor (AT1R) in MCs by increasing its mRNA levels via directly targeting the AT1R 3′-UTR, which resulted in activation of the ERK/Smad3 signaling and subsequently promoted the up-regulation of fbronectin, collagen IV, and TGF-β in MCs, as well as the cell proliferation. These results demonstrate that SND p102 is a key regulator of AT1R-mediating ECM synthesis and cell proliferation in MCs. Thus, small molecule inhibitors of SND p102 may be a novel therapeutic strategy for DN.
Nrf2 mediates the resistance of human A549 and HepG2 cancer cells to boningmycin, a new antitumor antibiotic, in vitro through regulation of glutathione levels Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-10 Hui-xian Zhang, Yang Chen, Rong Xu, Qi-yang He
NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a transcription factor and a pivotal factor in the induction of the cell defense system. Recent reports show that Nrf2 plays critical roles in tumor heterogeneity and drug resistance. In the present study we investigated whether and how Nrf2 mediated the resistance of human cancer cells to boningmycin (BON), a new antitumor antibiotic of the bleomycin family. We showed that in the expression levels of Nrf2 in human non-small lung cancer A549 cells were much higher than those in human hepatoblastoma HepG2 cells, and their resistance to BON was opposite to Nrf2 expression (the IC50values of BON in A549 cells and HepG2 cells were 5.97 and 0.61 μmol/L, respectively). Similar results were observed with the anticancer agent cisdiamminedichloroplatinum (DDP), which was used as a positive control. In A549 cells, Nrf2 mRNA knockdown significantly increased their susceptibilities to BON and DDP. An enhanced resistance to BON and DDP was observed in HepG2 cells after overexpression of the wild-type Nrf2 protein. Treatment with a specific Nrf2 inhibitor, luteolin, significantly sensitized A549 cells to BON and DDP and increased BON- or DDP-induced apoptosis. The total levels of glutathione (GSH), the final product of the Nrf2 signaling pathway, were much higher in A549 cells than those in HepG2 cells. Supplementation of GSH in HepG2 cells significantly decreased their susceptibility to BON and DDP, wheras depleting GSH with the specific inhibitor L-buthionine sulfoximine in A549 cells significantly increased their susceptibility to BON and DDP. Our results demonstrate that Nrf2 mediates the resistance to BON through regulating glutathione levels in A549 cells and HepG2 cells.
Fluoxetine induces lipid metabolism abnormalities by acting on the liver in patients and mice with depression Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-10 Shu-juan Pan, Yun-long Tan, Shang-wu Yao, Yu Xin, Xuan Yang, Jing Liu, Jing Xiong
Depressive disorders are frequently managed with long-term use of antidepressant medication. Fluoxetine (FLX) is the first selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor to be widely available for the treatment of depression. The present study focuses on the effects and mechanisms of the lipid metabolism abnormalities caused by FLX in patients and in a mouse model of depression. Depression severity was assessed by the Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD). Triglyceride (TG), cholesterol (TC) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) serum levels were assessed in 28 patients with depression, aged 31.2±3.3 years, treated with FLX (20 to 60 mg/day) for 8 weeks. Meanwhile, the serum levels of other lipid metabolism-related parameters, such as high-density lipoprotein (HDL), apolipoprotein A1 (APOA1) and apolipoprotein B (ApoB), were also determined. The inﬂuence of FLX on the hepatic lipid profile and hepatic gene expression of both lipogenic and lipolytic enzymes was evaluated in a mouse model of depression treated with FLX (10 mg·kg−1·d−1, ip) for 4 weeks. We showed that the serum TG, TC and LDL levels were significantly increased in patients with depression after FLX treatment. The elevation in serum TG levels in the patients was not affected by gender or family history. FLX treatment did not significantly alter serum HDL, APOA1 or APOB levels in the patients. We further demonstrated in mice with depression that FLX treatment increased the hepatic TG level by increasing the expression of lipogenic enzymes and decreasing the expression of lipolytic enzymes in the liver. Antidepressive therapy with FLX is associated with lipid metabolism abnormalities, which are in part mediated by disturbances in hepatic lipid metabolism homeostasis. The findings contribute to the uncovering of metabolic adverse reactions in the pharmacological therapy of depression.
A new platform for international collaboration on pharmacology and drug development: 2017 China-Canada-USA Pharmacology/Physiology Conference Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-05-05 Zhong-ping Feng, Hong-shuo Sun
A new platform for international collaboration on pharmacology and drug development: 2017 China-Canada-USA Pharmacology/Physiology Conference A new platform for international collaboration on pharmacology and drug development: 2017 China-Canada-USA Pharmacology/Physiology Conference, Published online: 05 May 2018; doi:10.1038/aps.2018.34 A new platform for international collaboration on pharmacology and drug development: 2017 China-Canada-USA Pharmacology/Physiology Conference
Overview of the anti-inflammatory effects, pharmacokinetic properties and clinical efficacies of arctigenin and arctiin from Arctium lappa L Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-04-26 Qiong Gao, Mengbi Yang, Zhong Zuo
Arctigenin (AR) and its glycoside, arctiin, are two major active ingredients of Arctium lappa L (A lappa), a popular medicinal herb and health supplement frequently used in Asia. In the past several decades, bioactive components from A lappa have attracted the attention of researchers due to their promising therapeutic effects. In the current article, we aimed to provide an overview of the pharmacology of AR and arctiin, focusing on their anti-inflammatory effects, pharmacokinetics properties and clinical efficacies. Compared to acrtiin, AR was reported as the most potent bioactive component of A lappa in the majority of studies. AR exhibits potent anti-inflammatory activities by inhibiting inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) via modulation of several cytokines. Due to its potent anti-inflammatory effects, AR may serve as a potential therapeutic compound against both acute inflammation and various chronic diseases. However, pharmacokinetic studies demonstrated the extensive glucuronidation and hydrolysis of AR in liver, intestine and plasma, which might hinder its in vivo and clinical efficacy after oral administration. Based on the reviewed pharmacological and pharmacokinetic characteristics of AR, further pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies of AR via alternative administration routes are suggested to promote its ability to serve as a therapeutic agent as well as an ideal bioactive marker for A lappa.
Non-coding RNAs as biomarkers for acute myocardial infarction Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-04-26 Chen Wang, Qing Jing
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is a main threat to human lives worldwide. Early and accurate diagnoses warrant immediate medical care, which would reduce mortality and improve prognoses. Circulating non-coding RNAs have been demonstrated to serve as competent biomarkers for various diseases. Following the identification of cardiac-specific microRNA miR-208a in circulation, more non-coding RNAs (miR-1, miR-499 and miR-133) have been identified as biomarkers not only for the diagnosis of AMI but also for prognosis post infarction. Here, we summarized recent findings on non-coding RNAs as biomarkers for early diagnosis of ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction and for disease monitoring of myocardial infarction. In addition, the prognostic potential of non-coding RNAs in patients treated with percutaneous coronary intervention was also described. We also include studies based on biobanks, and build a miRNA release spectrum after AMI, which provides quantitative and time-lapse monitoring of AMI progress. With this spectrum, we are able to customize personal medical care, which prevents further damage. By constructing a network of circulating non-coding RNAs with high specificity and sensitivity, detailed diagnostic information was provided for personalized medicine. Unveiling the roles and kinetics of circulating non-coding RNAs may lead to a revolution in clinical diagnosis.
Importance of integrating nanotechnology with pharmacology and physiology for innovative drug delivery and therapy – An illustration with firsthand examples Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-04-26 Rui Xue Zhang, Jason Li, Tian Zhang, Mohammad A Amini, Chunsheng He, Brian Lu, Taksim Ahmed, HoYin Lip, Andrew M Rauth, Xiao Yu Wu
Nanotechnology has been applied extensively in drug delivery to improve the therapeutic outcomes of various diseases. Tremendous efforts have been focused on the development of novel nanoparticles and delineation of the physicochemical properties of nanoparticles in relation to their biological fate and functions. However, in the design and evaluation of these nanotechnology-based drug delivery systems, the pharmacology of delivered drugs and the (patho-)physiology of the host have received less attention. In this review, we discuss important pharmacological mechanisms, physiological characteristics, and pathological factors that have been integrated into the design of nanotechnology-enabled drug delivery systems and therapies. Firsthand examples are presented to illustrate the principles and advantages of such integrative design strategies for cancer treatment by exploiting 1) intracellular synergistic interactions of drug-drug and drug-nanomaterial combinations to overcome multidrug-resistant cancer, 2) the blood flow direction of the circulatory system to maximize drug delivery to the tumor neovasculature and cells overexpressing integrin receptors for lung metastases, 3) endogenous lipoproteins to decorate nanocarriers and transport them across the blood-brain barrier for brain metastases, and 4) distinct pathological factors in the tumor microenvironment to develop pH- and oxidative stress-responsive hybrid manganese dioxide nanoparticles for enhanced radiotherapy. Regarding the application in diabetes management, a nanotechnology-enabled closed-loop insulin delivery system was devised to provide dynamic insulin release at a physiologically relevant time scale and glucose levels. These examples, together with other research results, suggest that utilization of the interplay of pharmacology, (patho-)physiology and nanotechnology is a facile approach to develop innovative drug delivery systems and therapies with high efficiency and translational potential.
Salvia miltiorrhizaBurge (Danshen): A golden herbal medicine in cardiovascular therapeutics Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-04-26 Zhuo-ming Li, Suo-wen Xu, Pei-qing Liu
Salvia miltiorrhiza Burge (Danshen) is an eminent medicinal herb that possesses broad cardiovascular and cerebrovascular protective actions and has been used in Asian countries for many centuries. Accumulating evidence suggests that Danshen and its components prevent vascular diseases, in particular, atherosclerosis and cardiac diseases, including myocardial infarction, myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury, arrhythmia, cardiac hypertrophy and cardiac fibrosis. The published literature indicates that lipophilic constituents (tanshinone I, tanshinone IIa, tanshinone IIb, cryptotanshinone, dihydrotanshinone, etc) as well as hydrophilic constituents (danshensu, salvianolic acid A and B, protocatechuic aldehyde, etc) contribute to the cardiovascular protective actions of Danshen, suggesting a potential synergism among these constituents. Herein, we provide a systematic up-to-date review on the cardiovascular actions and therapeutic potential of major pharmacologically active constituents of Danshen. These bioactive compounds will serve as excellent drug candidates in small-molecule cardiovascular drug discovery. This article also provides a scientific rationale for understanding the traditional use of Danshen in cardiovascular therapeutics.
MicroRNA expression profile and functional analysis reveal their roles in contact inhibition and its disruption switch of rat vascular smooth muscle cells Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-04-26 Ye-ying Sun, Shan-shan Qin, Yun-hui Cheng, Chao-yun Wang, Xiao-jun Liu, Ying Liu, Xiu-li Zhang, Wendy Zhang, Jia-xin Zhan, Shuai Shao, Wei-hua Bian, Bi-hui Luo, Dong-feng Lu, Jian Yang, Chun-hua Wang, Chun-xiang Zhang
Contact inhibition and its disruption of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) are important cellular events in vascular diseases. But the underlying molecular mechanisms are unclear. In this study we investigated the roles of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the contact inhibition and its disruption of VSMCs and the molecular mechanisms involved. Rat VSMCs were seeded at 30% or 90% confluence. MiRNA expression profiles in contact-inhibited conﬂuent VSMCs (90% confluence) and non-contact-inhibited low-density VSMCs (30% confluence) were determined. We found that multiple miRNAs were differentially expressed between the two groups. Among them, miR-145 was significantly increased in contact-inhibited VSMCs. Serum could disrupt the contact inhibition as shown by the elicited proliferation of conﬂuent VSMCs. The contact inhibition disruption accompanied with a down-regulation of miR-145. Serum-induced contact inhibition disruption of VSMCs was blocked by overexpression of miR-145. Moreover, downregulation of miR-145 was sufficient to disrupt the contact inhibition of VSMCs. The downregulation of miR-145 in serum-induced contact inhibition disruption was related to the activation PI3-kinase/Akt pathway, which was blocked by the PI3-kinase inhibitor LY294002. KLF5, a target gene of miR-145, was identified to be involved in miR-145-mediated effect on VSMC contact inhibition disruption, as it could be inhibited by knockdown of KLF5. In summary, our results show that multiple miRNAs are differentially expressed in contact-inhibited VSMCs and in non-contact-inhibited VSMCs. Among them, miR-145 is a critical gene in contact inhibition and its disruption of VSMCs. PI3-kinase/Akt/miR-145/KLF5 is a critical signaling pathway in serum-induced contact inhibition disruption. Targeting of miRNAs related to the contact inhibition of VSMCs may represent a novel therapeutic approach for vascular diseases.
TRPM2: a candidate therapeutic target for treating neurological diseases Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-04-19 Jillian Corinne Belrose, Michael Frederick Jackson
Transient receptor potential melastatin 2 (TRPM2) is a calcium (Ca2+)-permeable non-selective cation channel belonging to the TRP ion channel family. Oxidative stress-induced TRPM2 activation provokes aberrant intracellular Ca2+ accumulation and cell death in a variety of cell types, including neurons. Aberrant TRPM2 function has been implicated in several neurological disorders including ischemia/stroke, Alzheimer's disease, neuropathic pain, Parkinson's disease and bipolar disorder. In addition to research identifying a role for TRPM2 in disease, progress has been made in the identification of physiological functions of TRPM2 in the brain, including recent evidence that TRPM2 is necessary for the induction of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-dependent long-term depression, an important form of synaptic plasticity at glutamate synapses. Here, we summarize recent evidence on the role of TRPM2 in the central nervous system (CNS) in health and disease and discuss the potential therapeutic implications of targeting TRPM2. Collectively, these studies suggest that TRPM2 represents a prospective novel therapeutic target for neurological disorders.
The role of KATP channels in cerebral ischemic stroke and diabetes Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-04-19 Vivian Szeto, Nai-hong Chen, Hong-shuo Sun, Zhong-ping Feng
ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels are ubiquitously expressed on the plasma membrane of cells in multiple organs, including the heart, pancreas and brain. KATP channels play important roles in controlling and regulating cellular functions in response to metabolic state, which are inhibited by ATP and activated by Mg-ADP, allowing the cell to couple cellular metabolic state (ATP/ADP ratio) to electrical activity of the cell membrane. KATP channels mediate insulin secretion in pancreatic islet beta cells, and controlling vascular tone. Under pathophysiological conditions, KATP channels play cytoprotective role in cardiac myocytes and neurons during ischemia and/or hypoxia. KATP channel is a hetero-octameric complex, consisting of four pore-forming Kir6.x and four regulatory sulfonylurea receptor SURx subunits. These subunits are differentially expressed in various cell types, thus determining the sensitivity of the cells to specific channel modifiers. Sulfonylurea class of antidiabetic drugs blocks KATP channels, which are neuroprotective in stroke, can be one of the high stoke risk factors for diabetic patients. In this review, we discussed the potential effects of KATP channel blockers when used under pathological conditions related to diabetics and cerebral ischemic stroke.
Pharmacological approaches promoting stem cell-based therapy following ischemic stroke insults Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-04-19 Shu-zhen Zhu, Vivian Szeto, Mei-hua Bao, Hong-shuo Sun, Zhong-ping Feng
Stroke can lead to long-term neurological deficits. Adult neurogenesis, the continuous generation of newborn neurons in distinct regions of the brain throughout life, has been considered as one of the appoaches to restore the neurological function following ischemic stroke. However, ischemia-induced spontaneous neurogenesis is not suffcient, thus cell-based therapy, including infusing exogenous stem cells or stimulating endogenous stem cells to help repair of injured brain, has been studied in numerous animal experiments and some pilot clinical trials. While the effects of cell-based therapy on neurological function during recovery remains unproven in randomized controlled trials, pharmacological agents have been administrated to assist the cell-based therapy. In this review, we summarized the limitations of ischemia-induced neurogenesis and stem-cell transplantation, as well as the potential proneuroregenerative effects of drugs that may enhance efficacy of cell-based therapies. Specifically, we discussed drugs that enhance proliferation, migration, differentiation, survival and function connectivity of newborn neurons, which may restore neurobehavioral function and improve outcomes in stroke patients.
Phoenixin: uncovering its receptor, signaling and functions Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-04-19 Emma K McIlwraith, Denise D Belsham
Phoenixin (PNX) is a newly discovered peptide that has been linked to reproductive function, both in the hypothalamus and pituitary. This review will focus on the most recent discoveries related to this novel neuropeptide. Initially, it was found that PNX increased gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH)-stimulated luteinizing hormone (LH) release from pituitary cells. Importantly, knockdown of PNX in female rats extended the estrous cycle by 2.3 days. Using novel hypothalamic cell lines, we found that PNX has a stimulatory role on kisspeptin (Kiss) and GnRH gene expression and secretion. The PNX receptor was uncovered using siRNA knockdown of GPR173, an orphan receptor postulated to bind PNX. We have found that the PNX-R signaling through protein kinase A (PKA) in hypothalamic neurons. Althuogh a number of studies demonstrate that PNX plays an important role in reproductive function, there is also evidence that it may have other functions, regulating the heart, feeding, memory, and anxiety, both in the brain and the periphery.
Cyanidin attenuates Aβ25-35-induced neuroinflammation by suppressing NF-κB activity downstream of TLR4/NOX4 in human neuroblastoma cells Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-04-19 Sarinthorn Thummayot, Chainarong Tocharus, Pichaya Jumnongprakhon, Apichart Suksamrarn, Jiraporn Tocharus
Cyanidin is polyphenolic pigment found in plants. We have previously demonstrated that cyanidin protects nerve cells against Aβ25-35-induced toxicity by decreasing oxidative stress and attenuating apoptosis mediated by both the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway and the ER stress pathway. To further elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective effects of cyanidin, we investigated the effects of cyanidin on neuroinflammation mediated by the TLR4/NOX4 pathway in Aβ25-35-treated human neuroblastoma cell line (SK-N-SH). SK-N-SH cells were exposed to Aβ25-35 (10 μmol/L) for 24 h. Pretreatment with cyanidin (20 μmol/L) or NAC (20 μmol/L) strongly inhibited the NF-κB signaling pathway in the cells evidenced by suppressing the degradation of IκBα, translocation of the p65 subunit of NF-κB from the cytoplasm to the nucleus, and thereby reducing the expression of iNOS protein and the production of NO. Furthermore, pretreatment with cyanidin greatly promoted the translocation of the Nrf2 protein from the cytoplasm to the nucleus; upregulating cytoprotective enzymes, including HO-1, NQO-1 and GCLC; and increased the activity of SOD enzymes. Pretreatment with cyanidin also decreased the expression of TLR4, directly improved intracellular ROS levels and regulated the activity of inflammation-related downstream pathways including NO production and SOD activity through TLR4/NOX4 signaling. These results demonstrate that TLR4 is a primary receptor in SK-N-SH cells, by which Aβ25-35 triggers neuroinflammation, and cyanidin attenuates Aβ-induced inflammation and ROS production mediated by the TLR4/NOX4 pathway, suggesting that inhibition of TLR4 by cyanidin could be beneficial in preventing neuronal cell death in the process of Alzheimer's disease.
Multiplex biomarker approach to cardiovascular diseases Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-04-12 Michaela Adamcova, Fedor Šimko
Personalized medicine is partly based on biomarker-guided diagnostics, therapy and prognosis, which is becoming an unavoidable concept in modern cardiology. However, the clinical significance of single biomarker studies is rather limited. A promising novel approach involves combining multiple markers into a multiplex panel, which could refine the management of a particular patient with cardiovascular pathology. Two principally different assay formats have been developed to facilitate simultaneous quantification of multiple antigens: planar array assays and microbead assays. These approaches may help to better evaluate the complexity and dynamic nature of pathologic processes and offer substantial cost and sample savings compared with traditional enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) measurements. However, a multiplex multimarker approach cannot become a generally disseminated method until analytical problems are solved and further studies confirming improved clinical outcomes are accomplished. These drawbacks underlie the fact that a limited number of systematic studies are available regarding the use of a multiplex biomarker approach in cardiovascular medicine to date. Our perspective underscores the significant potential of the use of the multiplex approach in a wider conceptual framework under the close cooperation of clinical and experimental cardiologists, pathophysiologists and biochemists so that the personalized approach based on standardized multimarker testing may improve the management of various cardiovascular pathologies and become a ubiquitous partner of population-derived evidence-based medicine.
Proteomics analysis reveals a potential new target protein for the lipid-lowering effect of Berberine8998 Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-04-12 Cheng-yin Yu, Gang-yi Liu, Xiao-hui Liu, Yu-zhou Gui, Hai-ming Liu, Hong-chao Zheng, Darek C Gorecki, Asmita V Patel, Chen Yu, Yi-ping Wang
Berberine8998 is a newly synthesized berberine derivative with better lipid-lowering activity and improved absorption. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of berberine8998 on serum cholesterol and lipid levels in vivo and to examine the mechanisms involved. Hamsters on high-fat diet (HFD) were administered berberine or berberine8998 (50 mg·kg−1·d−1, ig) for 3 weeks. Berberine8998 administration significantly lowered the total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL-C levels in HFD hamsters. Bioinformatics revealed that berberine and berberine8998 shared similar metabolic pathways and fatty acid metabolism was the predominant pathway. Western blot validation results showed that peroxisomal acyl-coenzyme A oxidase 1 (ACOX1) and long-chain fatty acid—CoA ligase 1 (ACSL1), two proteins involved in fatty acid metabolism, were expressed differently in the berberine8998 group than in the untreated group and the berberine treatment group. Biochemistry results showed that berberine8998 significantly lowered the non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) levels, which may lead to a reduction in TG levels in the berberine8998 treatment group and the differences observed in proteomics analyses. Pharmacokinetic analysis conducted in rats. After administration of berberine or berberine8998 (50 mg/kg, ig), berberine8998 exhibited a remarkably improved absorption with increasing bioavailability by 6.7 times compared with berberine. These findings suggest that berberine8998 lowers cholesterol and lipid levels via different mechanisms than berberine, and its improved absorption makes it a promising therapeutic candidate for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia and obesity.
Novel in vitro dynamic metabolic system for predicting the human pharmacokinetics of tolbutamide Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-04-12 Cai-fu Xue, Zhe Zhang, Yan Jin, Bin Zhu, Jun-fen Xing, Guo Ma, Xiao-qiang Xiang, Wei-min Cai
Liver metabolism is commonly considered the major determinant in drug discovery and development. Many in vitro drug metabolic studies have been developed and applied to understand biotransformation. However, these methods have disadvantages, resulting in inconsistencies between in vivo and in vitro experiments. A major factor is that they are static systems that do not consider the transport process in the liver. Here we developed an in vitro dynamic metabolic system (Bio-PK metabolic system) to mimic the human pharmacokinetics of tolbutamide. Human liver microsomes (HLMs) encapsulated in a F127'-Acr-Bis hydrogel (FAB hydrogel) were placed in the incubation system. A microdialysis sampling technique was used to monitor the metabolic behavior of tolbutamide in hydrogels. The measured results in the system were used to fit the in vitro intrinsic clearance of tolbutamide with a mathematical model. Then, a PBPK model that integrated the corresponding in vitro intrinsic clearance was developed to verify the system. Compared to the traditional incubation method, reasonable PK profiles and the in vivo clearance of tolbutamide could be predicted by integrating the intrinsic clearance of tolbutamide obtained from the Bio-PK metabolic system into the PBPK model. The predicted maximum concentration (Cmax), area under the concentration-time curve (AUC), time to reach the maximum plasma concentration (Tmax) and in vivo clearance were consistent with the clinically observed data. This novel in vitro dynamic metabolic system can compensate for some limitations of traditional incubation methods; it may provide a new method for screening compounds and predicting pharmacokinetics in the early stages, supporting the development of compounds.
Neotuberostemonine inhibits the differentiation of lung fibroblasts into myofibroblasts in mice by regulating HIF-1α signaling Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-04-12 Xin-miao Lv, Ming-dan Li, Si Cheng, Bao-lin Liu, Kang Liu, Chao-feng Zhang, Xiang-hong Xu, Mian Zhang
Pulmonary fibrosis may be partially the result of deregulated tissue repair in response to chronic hypoxia. In this study we explored the effects of hypoxia on lung fibroblasts and the effects of neotuberostemonine (NTS), a natural alkaloid isolated from Stemona tuberosa, on activation of fibroblasts in vitro and in vivo. PLFs (primary mouse lung fibroblasts) were activated and differentiated after exposure to 1% O2 or treatment with CoCl2 (100 μmol/L), evidenced by markedly increased protein or mRNA expression of HIF-1α, TGF-β, FGF2, α-SMA and Col-1α/3α, which was blocked after silencing HIF-1α, suggesting that the activation of fibroblasts was HIF-1α-dependent. NTS (0.1–10 μmol/L) dose-dependently suppressed hypoxia-induced activation and differentiation of PLFs, whereas the inhibitory effect of NTS was abolished by co-treatment with MG132, a proteasome inhibitor. Since prolyl hydroxylation is a critical step in initiation of HIF-1α degradation, we further showed that NTS treatment reversed hypoxia- or CoCl2-induced reduction in expression of prolyl hydroxylated-HIF-1α. With hypoxyprobe immunoﬂuorescence staining, we showed that NTS treatment directly reversed the lower oxygen tension in hypoxia-exposed PLFs. In a mouse model of lung fibrosis, oral administration of NTS (30 mg·kg-1·d-1, for 1 or 2 weeks) effectively attenuated bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis by inhibiting the levels of HIF-1α and its downstream profibrotic factors (TGF-β, FGF2 and α-SMA). Taken together, these results demonstrate that NTS inhibits the protein expression of HIF-1α and its downstream factors TGF-β, FGF2 and α-SMA both in hypoxia-exposed fibroblasts and in lung tissues of BLM-treated mice. NTS with anti-HIF-1α activity may be a promising pharmacological agent for the treatment of pulmonary fibrosis.
Proteostasis in Huntington's disease: disease mechanisms and therapeutic opportunities Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-04-05 Rachel J Harding, Yu-feng Tong
Many neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by impairment of protein quality control mechanisms in neuronal cells. Ineffective clearance of misfolded proteins by the proteasome, autophagy pathways and exocytosis leads to accumulation of toxic protein oligomers and aggregates in neurons. Toxic protein species affect various cellular functions resulting in the development of a spectrum of different neurodegenerative proteinopathies, including Huntington's disease (HD). Playing an integral role in proteostasis, dysfunction of the ubiquitylation system in HD is progressive and multi-faceted with numerous biochemical pathways affected, in particular, the ubiquitin-proteasome system and autophagy routes for protein aggregate degradation. Unravelling the molecular mechanisms involved in HD pathogenesis of proteostasis provides new insight in disease progression in HD as well as possible therapeutic avenues. Recent developments of potential therapeutics are discussed in this review.
Oncogene-induced senescence: a double edged sword in cancer Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-04-05 Xue-ling Liu, Jian Ding, Ling-hua Meng
Oncogene-induced cellular senescence (OIS) is a complex program that is triggered in response to aberrant activation of oncogenic signaling. Initially, OIS was thought to be a barrier to malignant transformation because of its suppression on cell proliferation. Later studies showed that senescence induced by oncogenes can also promote the initiation and development of cancer. The opposing effects of OIS occur through different combinations of downstream effectors as well as the interplay of senescent cells and the microenvironment, such as senescence-associated inflammation. Here, we review the common features and molecular mechanisms underlying OIS and the interaction between senescent cells and the microenvironment. We propose that targeting senescent cells may have a beneficial therapeutic effect during the treatment of cancer.
Inflammation activates the CXCL16 pathway to contribute to tubulointerstitial injury in diabetic nephropathy Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-04-05 Ze-bo Hu, Kun-ling Ma, Yang Zhang, Gui-hua Wang, Liang Liu, Jian Lu, Pei-pei Chen, Chen-chen Lu, Bi-cheng Liu
Inflammation and lipid disorders play crucial roles in synergistically accelerating the progression of diabetic nephropathy (DN). In this study we investigated how inflammation and lipid disorders caused tubulointerstitial injury in DN in vivo and in vitro. Diabetic db/db mice were injected with 10% casein (0.5 mL, sc) every other day for 8 weeks to cause chronic inflammation. Compared with db/db mice, casein-injected db/db mice showed exacerbated tubulointerstitial injury, evidenced by increased secretion of extracellular matrix (ECM) and cholesterol accumulation in tubulointerstitium, which was accompanied by activation of the CXC chemokine ligand 16 (CXCL16) pathway. In the in vitro study, we treated HK-2 cells with IL-1β (5 ng/mL) and high glucose (30 mmol/L). IL-1β treatment increased cholesterol accumulation in HK-2 cells, leading to greatly increased ROS production, ECM protein expression levels, which was accompanied by the upregulated expression levels of proteins in the CXCL16 pathway. In contrast, after CXCL16 in HK-2 cells was knocked down by siRNA, the IL-1β-deteriorated changes were attenuated. In conclusion, inflammation accelerates renal tubulointerstitial lesions in mouse DN via increasing the activity of CXCL16 pathway.
Pharmacokinetics and disposition of anlotinib, an oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor, in experimental animal species Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-04-05 Chen-chun Zhong, Feng Chen, Jun-ling Yang, Wei-wei Jia, Li Li, Chen Cheng, Fei-fei Du, Su-ping Zhang, Cheng-ying Xie, Na-ting Zhang, Olajide E Olaleye, Feng-qing Wang, Fang Xu, Li-guang Lou, Dong-ying Chen, Wei Niu, Chuan Li
Anlotinib is a new oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor; this study was designed to characterize its pharmacokinetics and disposition. Anlotinib was evaluated in rats, tumor-bearing mice, and dogs and also assessed in vitro to characterize its pharmacokinetics and disposition and drug interaction potential. Samples were analyzed by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. Anlotinib, having good membrane permeability, was rapidly absorbed with oral bioavailability of 28%–58% in rats and 41%–77% in dogs. Terminal half-life of anlotinib in dogs (22.8±11.0 h) was longer than that in rats (5.1±1.6 h). This difference appeared to be mainly associated with an interspecies difference in total plasma clearance (rats, 5.35±1.31 L/h/kg; dogs, 0.40±0.06 L/h/kg). Cytochrome P450-mediated metabolism was probably the major elimination pathway. Human CYP3A had the greatest metabolic capability with other human P450s playing minor roles. Anlotinib exhibited large apparent volumes of distribution in rats (27.6±3.1 L/kg) and dogs (6.6±2.5 L/kg) and was highly bound in rat (97%), dog (96%), and human plasma (93%). In human plasma, anlotinib was predominantly bound to albumin and lipoproteins, rather than to α1-acid glycoprotein or γ-globulins. Concentrations of anlotinib in various tissue homogenates of rat and in those of tumor-bearing mouse were significantly higher than the associated plasma concentrations. Anlotinib exhibited limited in vitro potency to inhibit many human P450s, UDP-glucuronosyltransferases, and transporters, except for CYP3A4 and CYP2C9 (in vitro half maximum inhibitory concentrations, <1 μmol/L). Based on early reported human pharmacokinetics, drug interaction indices were 0.16 for CYP3A4 and 0.02 for CYP2C9, suggesting that anlotinib had a low propensity to precipitate drug interactions on these enzymes. Anlotinib exhibits many pharmacokinetic characteristics similar to other tyrosine kinase inhibitors, except for terminal half-life, interactions with drug metabolizing enzymes and transporters, and plasma protein binding.
Manipulation-free cultures of human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes offer a novel screening method for cardiotoxicity Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-04-05 Sheeja Rajasingh, Dona Greta Isai, Saheli Samanta, Zhi-gang Zhou, Buddhadeb Dawn, William H Kinsey, Andras Czirok, Johnson Rajasingh
Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-based cardiac regenerative medicine requires the efficient generation, structural soundness and proper functioning of mature cardiomyocytes, derived from the patient's somatic cells. The most important functional property of cardiomyocytes is the ability to contract. Currently available methods routinely used to test and quantify cardiomyocyte function involve techniques that are labor-intensive, invasive, require sophisticated instruments or can adversely affect cell vitality. We recently developed optical flow imaging method analyses and quantified cardiomyocyte contractile kinetics from video microscopic recordings without compromising cell quality. Specifically, our automated particle image velocimetry (PIV) analysis of phase-contrast video images captured at a high frame rate yields statistical measures characterizing the beating frequency, amplitude, average waveform and beat-to-beat variations. Thus, it can be a powerful assessment tool to monitor cardiomyocyte quality and maturity. Here we demonstrate the ability of our analysis to characterize the chronotropic responses of human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes to a panel of ion channel modulators and also to doxorubicin, a chemotherapy agent with known cardiotoxic side effects. We conclude that the PIV-derived beat patterns can identify the elongation or shortening of specific phases in the contractility cycle, and the obtained chronotropic responses are in accord with known clinical outcomes. Hence, this system can serve as a powerful tool to screen the new and currently available pharmacological compounds for cardiotoxic effects.
Extracellular vesicles as novel biomarkers and pharmaceutic targets of diseases Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-04-02 Yanfang Chen, Yaoliang Tang, Guo-Chang Fan, Dayue Darrel Duan
Extracellular vesicles as novel biomarkers and pharmaceutic targets of diseases Extracellular vesicles as novel biomarkers and pharmaceutic targets of diseases, Published online: 02 April 2018; doi:10.1038/aps.2018.15 Extracellular vesicles as novel biomarkers and pharmaceutic targets of diseases
Blockade of the swelling-induced chloride current attenuates the mouse neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury in vivo Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-03-29 Raymond Wong, Ahmed Abussaud, Joseph WH Leung, Bao-feng Xu, Fei-ya Li, Sammen Huang, Nai-hong Chen, Guan-lei Wang, Zhong-ping Feng, Hong-shuo Sun
Activation of swelling-induced Cl− current (ICl,swell) during neonatal hypoxia-ischemia (HI) may induce brain damage. Hypoxic-ischemic brain injury causes chronic neurological morbidity in neonates as well as acute mortality. In this study, we investigated the role of ICl,swell in hypoxic-ischemic brain injury using a selective blocker, 4-(2-butyl-6,7-dichloro-2-cyclopentylindan-1-on-5-yl) oxybutyric acid (DCPIB). In primary cultured cortical neurons perfusion of a 30% hypotonic solution activated ICl,swell, which was completely blocked by the application of DCPIB (10 μmol/L). The role of ICl,swell in neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury in vivo was evaluated in a modified neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury model. Before receiving the ischemic insult, the mouse pups were injected with DCPIB (10 mg/kg, ip). We found that pretreatment with DCPIB significantly reduced the brain damage assessed using TTC staining, Nissl staining and whole brain imaging, and improved the sensorimotor and vestibular recovery outcomes evaluated in neurobehavioural tests (i.e. geotaxis reﬂex, and cliff avoidance reﬂex). These results show that DCPIB has neuroprotective effects on neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury, and that the ICl,swell may serve as a therapeutic target for treatment of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.
Functions and the related signaling pathways of the neurotrophic factor neuritin Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-03-29 Jin-jing Yao, Qian-ru Zhao, Jun-mei Lu, Yan-ai Mei
Neuritin is a member of the neurotrophic factor family, which is activated by neural activity and neurotrophins, and promotes neurite growth and branching. It has shown to play an important role in neuronal plasticity and regeneration. It is also involved in other biological processes such as angiogenesis, tumorigenesis and immunomodulation. Thus far, however, the primary mechanisms of neuritin, including whether or not it acts through a receptor or which downstream signals might be activated following binding, are not fully understood. Recent evidence suggests that neuritin may be a potential therapeutic target in several neurodegenerative diseases. This review focuses on the recent advances in studies regarding the newly identified functions of neuritin and the signaling pathways related to these functions. We also discuss current hot topics and difficulties in neuritin research.
Xyloketal B exerts antihypertensive effect in renovascular hypertensive rats via the NO-sGC-cGMP pathway and calcium signaling Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-03-29 Li-yan Zhao, Jie Li, Xiong-qing Huang, Guo-hao Wang, Xiao-fei Lv, Wei-feng Meng, Wen-liang Chen, Ji-yan Pang, Yong-cheng Lin, Hong-shuo Sun, Guan-lei Wang, Yao-min Du
Xyloketal B (Xyl-B) is a novel marine compound isolated from mangrove fungus Xylaria sp. (No 2508). We previously showed that Xyl-B promoted endothelial NO release and protected against atherosclerosis through the Akt/eNOS pathway. Vascular NO production regulates vasoconstriction in central and peripheral arteries and plays an important role in blood pressure control. In this study, we examined whether Xyl-B exerted an antihypertensive effect in a hypertensive rat model, and further explored the possible mechanisms underlying its antihypertensive action. Administration of Xyl-B (20 mg·kg−1·d−1, ip, for 12 weeks) significantly decreased the systolic and diastolic blood pressure in a two-kidney, two-clip (2K2C) renovascular hypertensive rats. In endothelium-intact and endothelium-denuded thoracic aortic rings, pretreatment with Xyl-B (20 μmol/L) significantly suppressed phenylephrine (Phe)-induced contractions, suggesting that its vasorelaxant effect was attributed to both endothelial-dependent and endothelial-independent mechanisms. We used SNP, methylene blue (MB, guanylate cyclase inhibitor) and indomethacin (IMC, cyclooxygenase inhibitor) to examine which endothelial pathway was involved, and found that MB, but not IMC, reversed the inhibitory effects of Xyl-B on Phe-induced vasocontraction. Moreover, Xyl-B increased the endothelial NO bioactivity and smooth muscle cGMP level, revealing that the NO-sGC-cGMP pathway, rather than PGI2, mediated the anti-hypertensive effect of Xyl-B. We further showed that Xyl-B significantly attenuated KCl-induced Ca2+ entry in smooth muscle cells in vitro, which was supposed to be mediated by voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels (VDCCs), and reduced ryanodine-induced aortic contractions, which may be associated with store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE). Taken together, these findings demonstrate that Xyl-B exerts significant antihypertensive effects not only through the endothelial NO-sGC-cGMP pathway but also through smooth muscle calcium signaling, including VDCCs and SOCE.
Targeting RNS/caveolin-1/MMP signaling cascades to protect against cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injuries: potential application for drug discovery Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-03-29 Han-sen Chen, Xi Chen, Wen-ting Li, Jian-gang Shen
Reactive nitrogen species (RNS) play important roles in mediating cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury. RNS activate multiple signaling pathways and participate in different cellular events in cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury. Recent studies have indicated that caveolin-1 and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) are important signaling molecules in the pathological process of ischemic brain injury. During cerebral ischemia-reperfusion, the production of nitric oxide (NO) and peroxynitrite (ONOO−), two representative RNS, down-regulates the expression of caveolin-1 (Cav-1) and, in turn, further activates nitric oxide synthase (NOS) to promote RNS generation. The increased RNS further induce MMP activation and mediate disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), aggravating the brain damage in cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury. Therefore, the feedback interaction among RNS/Cav-1/MMPs provides an amplified mechanism for aggravating ischemic brain damage during cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury. Targeting the RNS/Cav-1/MMP pathway could be a promising therapeutic strategy for protecting against cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury. In this mini-review article, we highlight the important role of the RNS/Cav-1/MMP signaling cascades in ischemic stroke injury and review the current progress of studies seeking therapeutic compounds targeting the RNS/Cav-1/MMP signaling cascades to attenuate cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury. Several representative natural compounds, including calycosin-7-O-β-D-glucoside, baicalin, Momordica charantia polysaccharide (MCP), chlorogenic acid, lutein and lycopene, have shown potential for targeting the RNS/Cav-1/MMP signaling pathway to protect the brain in ischemic stroke. Therefore, the RNS/Cav-1/MMP pathway is an important therapeutic target in ischemic stroke treatment.
Circular noncoding RNAs as potential therapies and circulating biomarkers for cardiovascular diseases Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-03-22 Ahmed S Bayoumi, Tatsuya Aonuma, Jian-peng Teoh, Yao-liang Tang, Il-man Kim
Recent advancements in genome-wide analyses and RNA-sequencing technologies led to the discovery of small noncoding RNAs, such as microRNAs (miRs), as well as both linear long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) and circular long noncoding RNAs (circRNAs). The importance of miRs and lncRNAs in the treatment, prognosis and diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) has been extensively reported. We also previously reviewed their implications in therapies and as biomarkers for CVDs. More recently, circRNAs have also emerged as important regulators in CVDs. CircRNAs are circular genome products that are generated by back splicing of specific regions of pre-messenger RNAs (pre-mRNAs). Growing interest in circRNAs led to the discovery of a wide array of their pathophysiological functions. CircRNAs have been shown to be key regulators of CVDs such as myocardial infarction, atherosclerosis, cardiomyopathy and cardiac fibrosis. Accordingly, circRNAs have been recently proposed as potential therapeutic targets and biomarkers for CVDs. In this review, we summarize the current state of the literature on circRNAs, starting with their biogenesis and global mechanisms of actions. We then provide a synopsis of their involvement in various CVDs. Lastly, we emphasize the great potential of circRNAs as biomarkers for the early detection of CVDs, and discuss several patents and recent papers that highlight the utilization of circRNAs as promising biomarkers.
Associations between serum relaxin 2, aneurysm formation/size and severity of atherosclerosis: a preliminary prospective analysis Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-03-22 Konstantinos Papoutsis, Alkistis Kapelouzou, Diamantis I Tsilimigras, Nikolaos Patelis, Georgios Kouvelos, Dimitrios Schizas, Ioannis Karavokyros, Sotirios Georgopoulos
Serum relaxin 2 (RL2) is a pleiotropic hormone that acts on various organs and systems, particularly the cardiovascular system. Although RL2 seems to upregulate the synthesis of nitric monoxide (NO) and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and -9, current literature on its role in atherosclerosis and aneurysm formation is scarce. The aim of this study was to investigate the levels of serum RL2 in patients with an arterial aneurysm as well as in atherosclerotic patients, and correlate them with the severity of their related vascular disease. A total of 53 subjects were enrolled in this study: 37 patients were scheduled to undergo surgery: 21 patients for different forms of atherosclerotic disease (ATH), 16 patients for an arterial aneurysm (AA), 6 patients for undergoing temporal artery biopsy (TAB), and 10 healthy blood donors (HBD) served as the control groups. RL2 was measured using enzymelinked immunosorbent assay. RL2 was significantly higher in AA patients compared to ATH (P<0.01), TAB (P<0.001) and HBD (P<0.01). No significant difference was found between the ATH and TAB groups (P>0.05). In addition, ATH and AA patients were further subdivided based on the severity of their disease. Serum RL2 was progressively increased in patients with arterial aneurysms, showing a positive relationship with the size of the aneurysmatic dilatation. By contrast, the RL2 level was inversely related to the severity of the atherosclerotic disease. Studies with a larger cohort incorporating a consistent study population are warranted to verify our results and shed light on the mechanistic background of these processes.
Biological characterization of human amniotic epithelial cells in a serum-free system and their safety evaluation Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-03-22 Peng-jie Yang, Wei-xin Yuan, Jia Liu, Jin-ying Li, Bing Tan, Chen Qiu, Xiao-long Zhu, Cong Qiu, Dong-mei Lai, Li-he Guo, Lu-yang Yu
Human amniotic epithelial cells (hAECs), derived from the innermost layer of the term placenta closest to the fetus, have been shown to be potential seed cells for allogeneic cell therapy. Previous studies have shown a certain therapeutic effect of hAECs. However, no appropriate isolation and culture system for hAECs has been developed for clinical applications. In the present study, we established a serum-free protocol for hAEC isolation and cultivation, in which better cell growth was observed compared with that in a traditional culture system with serum. In addition to specific expression of cell surface markers (CD29, CD166 and CD90), characterization of the biological features of hAECs revealed expression of the pluripotent markers SSEA4, OCT4 and NANOG, which was greater than that in human mesenchymal stem cells, whereas very low levels of HLA-DR and HLA-DQ were detected, suggesting the weak immunogenicity of hAECs. Intriguingly, CD90+ hAECs were identified as a unique population with a powerful immunoregulatory capacity. In a systemic safety evaluation, intravenous administration of hAEC did not result in hemolytic, allergy, toxicity issues or, more importantly, tumorigenicity. Finally, the therapeutic effect of hAECs was demonstrated in mice with radiation-induced damage. The results revealed a novel function of hAECs in systemic injury recovery. Therefore, the current study provides an applicable and safe strategy for hAEC cell therapy administration in the clinical setting.
Organ preservation: from the past to the future Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-03-22 Lei Jing, Leeann Yao, Michael Zhao, Li-ping Peng, Mingyao Liu
Organ transplantation is the most effective therapy for patients with end-stage disease. Preservation solutions and techniques are crucial for donor organ quality, which is directly related to morbidity and survival after transplantation. Currently, static cold storage (SCS) is the standard method for organ preservation. However, preservation time with SCS is limited as prolonged cold storage increases the risk of early graft dysfunction that contributes to chronic complications. Furthermore, the growing demand for the use of marginal donor organs requires methods for organ assessment and repair. Machine perfusion has resurfaced and dominates current research on organ preservation. It is credited to its dynamic nature and physiological-like environment. The development of more sophisticated machine perfusion techniques and better perfusates may lead to organ repair/reconditioning. This review describes the history of organ preservation, summarizes the progresses that has been made to date, and discusses future directions for organ preservation.
Discovery and development of NA-1 for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-03-22 Beatrice Ballarin, Michael Tymianski
Stroke creates a complex interplay of multiple signaing pathways including excitotoxicity, ionic imbalance, inflammation, oxidative stress and apoptosis. There are very few treatments that have been shown to be beneficial in acute stroke. Recent findings have provided insights into the pathophysiology and mechanisms of ischemic stroke, complementing the traditional glutamate hypothesis: the molecular interaction between PSD95 and GluN2B has been identified as a culprit in stroke-mediated excitotoxicity, leading to the discovery of NA-1, a peptide that disrupts that interaction, as a potent neuroprotective agent for the treatment of acute stroke. In this review we describe its signaling cascade, the target of its therapeutic intervention and its translation from bench to clinical trial.
GABAergic inhibitory neurons as therapeutic targets for cognitive impairment in schizophrenia Acta Pharmacol. Sin. (IF 3.223) Pub Date : 2018-03-22 Meng-yi Xu, Albert H C Wong
Schizophrenia is considered primarily as a cognitive disorder. However, functional outcomes in schizophrenia are limited by the lack of effective pharmacological and psychosocial interventions for cognitive impairment. GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) interneurons are the main inhibitory neurons in the central nervous system (CNS), and they play a critical role in a variety of pathophysiological processes including modulation of cortical and hippocampal neural circuitry and activity, cognitive function-related neural oscillations (eg, gamma oscillations) and information integration and processing. Dysfunctional GABA interneuron activity can disrupt the excitatory/inhibitory (E/I) balance in the cortex, which could represent a core pathophysiological mechanism underlying cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia. Recent research suggests that selective modulation of the GABAergic system is a promising intervention for the treatment of schizophrenia-associated cognitive defects. In this review, we summarized evidence from postmortem and animal studies for abnormal GABAergic neurotransmission in schizophrenia, and how altered GABA interneurons could disrupt neuronal oscillations. Next, we systemically reviewed a variety of up-to-date subtype-selective agonists, antagonists, positive and negative allosteric modulators (including dual allosteric modulators) for α5/α3/α2 GABAA and GABAB receptors, and summarized their pro-cognitive effects in animal behavioral tests and clinical trials. Finally, we also discuss various representative histone deacetylases (HDAC) inhibitors that target GABA system through epigenetic modulations, GABA prodrug and presynaptic GABA transporter inhibitors. This review provides important information on current potential GABA-associated therapies and future insights for development of more effective treatments.
Some contents have been Reproduced by permission of The Royal Society of Chemistry.
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