Angiogenesis, or new blood vessel formation, is critical for the growth and spread of tumors. The vascular tone and tissue blood flow are maintained and regulated by perivascular nerves. However, many studies have reported that tumor neovascular vessels have no innervation of perivascular nerves. We have shown that nerve growth factor (NGF) facilitated perivascular innervation and suppressed the tumor growth. From these results, we hypothesized that the neuronal regulation of blood flow toward tumors via perivascular nerves may lead suppression of the tumor growth. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate effect of NGF on distribution of perivascular nerves and neovessel form in tumor tissues, which were generated by mouse corneal micropocket method. A gel, which contained DU145 prostate carcinoma cells, was implanted into the mouse corneal. NGF or saline was subcutaneously administered using an osmotic mini-pump. After 1 week, the distribution of perivascular nerves in mouse corneal were immunohistochemically studied. Also, the density of neovessels (immunocytochemically stained CD31) and smooth muscles (α-smooth muscle actin; SMA) in tumor tissues was quantified by the computer-assisted image processing. Four days after implantation of tumor cells in mouse corneal, many neovessels generated from corneal limbal vessels were observed in tumor tissues. Treatment of mouse with NGF resulted in innervation of perivascular nerves around tumor neovessels, but not observed in saline-treated group. NGF treatment increased SMA-, but not CD31-, immunopositive cells. These results suggest that NGF may facilitate innervations of perivascular nerve to regulate the blood flow in tumor neovessels.
P-glycoprotein (P-gp), one of the important drug-efflux pumps, is known to affect pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of P-gp substrate drugs. We have previously reported that intestinal P-gp expression levels are transiently decreased in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced type 1 diabetic mouse model. Herein, we examined the analgesic effects of orally administered morphine and its pharmacokinetic properties under diabetic conditions, specifically focusing on the involvement of intestinal P-gp in a type 1 diabetic mouse model. Type 1 diabetes was induced in male ddY mice by an i.p. injection of STZ (230 mg/kg). We assessed the oral morphine analgesia using the tail-flick test. Serum and brain morphine content were determined on a HPLC-ECD system. Intestinal P-gp expression levels were significantly decreased on day 9 after STZ administration. On the other hands, oral morphine analgesia, and serum and brain morphine content were significantly increased on day 9 after STZ administration. The decrease in the intestinal P-gp expression levels were suppressed by aminoguanidine, a specific iNOS inhibitor. Interestingly, the increase in the analgesic effect of morphine, as well as serum and brain morphine content, was suppressed by aminoguanidine. Conversely, there was no change in the analgesic effect obtained with subcutaneous morphine in STZ-treated mice. In conclusions, our findings suggest that the oral morphine analgesia is dependent on intestinal P-gp expression, and that may be one of the problems against obtaining stable pharmacological effects of morphine in diabetic patients.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are known to reduce post-myocardial infarction (MI)-induced morbidity and mortality. However, the molecular mechanism underlying SSRI-induced cardioprotection remains unclear. Here, we investigated the role of sigma-1 receptor (Sig-1R) stimulation with fluvoxamine on myocardial hypertrophy and cardioprotection. Male ICR mice were subjected to transverse aortic constriction (TAC) in the cardiac aortic arch. To confirm the cardioprotective role of Sig-1R stimulation by fluvoxamine, we treated mice with fluvoxamine (0.5 or 1 mg/kg) orally once a day for 4 weeks after onset of aortic banding. Interestingly, in untreated mice, Sig-1R expression in the left ventricle (LV) markedly decreased over 4 weeks with increased hypertrophy. By contrast, fluvoxamine administration significantly attenuated TAC-induced myocardial hypertrophy concomitant with recovery of Sig-1R expression in LV. Fluvoxamine also attenuated hypertrophy-induced impaired LV fractional shortening. The fluvoxamine cardioprotective effect was nullified by treatment with a Sig-1R antagonist, NE-100 (1 mg/kg). Importantly, another SSRI with very low affinity for Sig-1R, paroxetine, did not exhibit antihypertrophic effects in TAC mice and in cultured cardiomyocyte treated with angiotensin II. Fluvoxamine treatment significantly restored TAC-induced impaired Akt and eNOS phosphorylation in LV. Our findings suggest that fluvoxamine protects heart against TAC-induced cardiac dysfunction via upregulation of Sig-1R and stimulation of Sig-1R-mediated Akt-eNOS signaling in mice. This is the first report of a potential role of Sig-1R stimulation by fluvoxamine in preventing cardiac hypertrophy and myocardial injury in TAC mice.
We previously reported that adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)-treated rats serve as a valuable animal model for tricyclic antidepressant-resistant depressive conditions. The present study was undertaken to investigate the changes in neurogenesis in the hippocampus of ACTH-treated rats. Chronic treatment of ACTH decreased the number of bromodeoxyuridine-labeled cells in the dentate gyrus, and the coadministration of imipramine and lithium, and electroconvulsive stimuli recovered these reductions. Furthermore, chronic ACTH treatment also decreased the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and the coadministration of imipramine and lithium, and electroconvulsive stimuli recovered these reductions. These results suggest that antidepressant-resistant depression is caused by the suppression of neurogenesis, and the coadministration of imipramine and lithium, and electroconvulsive stimuli exert an antidepressant-like effect by recovering proliferative signals and neurogenesis.
Epilepsy is characterized by recurrent seizures, which are caused by excessive discharges from cerebral neurons. Currently, antiepileptic drugs that possess sodium channel blocking activities and also mediate GABA-ergic systems are primarily used to prevent epileptic seizure. However, approximately 40% of patients with epilepsy suffer from interictal psychiatric comorbidities in clinical practice. Furthermore, it is unclear whether epilepsy is associated with psychic function. The aim of the present study was to clarify the effects of kindling-induced epileptic seizures on psychic functioning using behavioral pharmacological tests. Pentylenetetrazol (PTZ)-kindled mice demonstrated no significant differences in locomotor activity and muscle relaxation compared with naïve mice. PTZ-kindled mice also demonstrated cognitive impairment in the objective location test, but no significant effects of PTZ-kindling were observed in the Y-maze test. These findings suggested that PTZ-kindling impairs reference memory, but not working memory. These results suggest that, with respect to their psychic functioning, PTZ-kindled mice have specific characteristics.
Three-dimensional structures of proteins are often critical in understanding proteins functions. However, structures or states of proteins in cells undergo dynamical changes in response to interactions with other proteins and/or biological molecules. In addition, post-translational modification such as phosphorylation, methylation and ubiquitination can drastically change the structure and hence the properties of proteins. Therefore, to precisely correlate structure data of proteins with cell biology data, the structure information should be collected in living cells preferably at atomic level. In addition, as numerous biomolecules are packed into limited space, the concentration of macromolecules is substantially high in cells. Such crowded environment of the cell interior can markedly change proteins behavior, affecting biochemistry and biophysics of the proteins, which is so-called “Macromolecular Crowding Effect”. To figure out protein behavior inside cells, which may be missed in in vitro studies, we are developing NMR and ESR methodologies to analyze protein structure and dynamics inside eukaryotic cultured cells. In this paper, in-cell NMR/ESR studies performed on HeLa cells and Xenopus oocytes are presented.
Selective protein labeling with a small molecular probe is a versatile method for elucidating protein functions in living cells. In this review, we report a new protein labeling method that enables selective covalent modification of a tag-fused protein with small functional molecules. This method utilizes the specific interaction and rapid reaction between a short peptide tag and a molecular probe, which comprises the cysteine-containing short CA6D4x2 tag (CAAAAAADDDDGDDDD) and a tetranuclear Zn(II)-DpaTyr probe containing a reactive α-chloroacetyl moiety. This labeling system, so-called reactive tag system, was successfully applied to the fluorescence imaging of tag-fused GPCRs such as bradykinin receptor (B2R) and acetylcholine receptor (m1AchR) expressing on HEK293 cells. The utility of this labeling method was demonstrated in the function analyses of GPCRs, such as fluorescence visualization of the stimuli-responsive internalization of GPCRs and pH change in endosomes containing the internalized GPCRs.
Proteins have several remarkable advantages over conventional chemical catalysts. For these reasons, proteins are widely used in many fields. We have developed a hydrogel-based protein immobilization scheme that allows proteins to maintain their activity for a long period of time. Recently, we developed a photodegradable hydrogel and used it to control the biological activities of proteins. Protein activity is restricted when the protein is encapsulated within the gel, and the activity is restored when the protein is released from the gel by UV irradiation. It is expected that the drug delivery using the photodegradable hydrogel and phototherapy is a good combination for therapy of psoriasis vulgaris.
Micro- and nanobiodevices, which utilize micro- and nanospace corresponding in size to various biomolecules, are currently accelerating research on medical diagnosis and regenerative medicine. Moreover, novel analytical techniques beyond the past limitations are developed utilizing micro- and nanospace and are achieving an innovation from basic research to clinical diagnosis and therapy. We have developed nanopillar and nanowall array structures for a single molecule measurement and separation sciences, and then, demonstrated unique analytical techniques specific to a precisely defined nanospace. Physicochemical and biological approaches were adopted to understand nanofluidics in these nanospaces and interesting phenomena were found. We are also trying to transfer these micro- and nanodevices to clinical practices. Some examples such as a blood plasma separation device, a therapeutic drug monitoring device, an immuno-pillar device for high-speed and high-sensitivity cancer and disease markers are described in this paper.
Lymphatic vessels play crucial roles in transporting tissue fluid and macromolecules, and in promoting tissue immune response. Recent studies have identified new lymphatic vessel growth in pathological conditions such as cancer progression. In fact, our experimental animal models revealed that tumors can induce lymphangiogenesis not only in primary sites, but in their draining lymph nodes (LNs), even before tumors get metastasized. In fact, lymphangiogenesis in draining lymph nodes leads to increased cancer spread to distant LNs and beyond. Importantly, we very recently identified that nodal lymphangiogenesis occurs in human skin cancers, and plays a significant role in promoting distant metastases resulting in reduced patient survival. Therefore, lymphangiogenesis could be a novel indicator and therapeutic target for the prevention of cancer metastasis. Recent advances in clarifying the functional role of lymphatic vessels began with the molecular identification of genes which are specifically expressed by the lymphatic endothelial cells. Lymphatic vessels arise from veins. Prox1, a homeobox transcription factor, specifies the lymphatic identity from venous endothelial cells. Thus, Prox1 is a master regulator of lymphatic vessel development. Vascular endothelial growth factor-C and its specific receptor VEGFR-3 compose an essential signal pathway for lymphatic vessel growth in physiological and pathological conditions. Furthermore, podoplanin, another transmembrane protein in lymphatic vessels is required for their separation from veins by activating CLEC2, the specific ligand in platelets, leading to thrombus formation between veins and lymphatic vessels. Moreover, recent progress in nano-scale technologies enabled to visualize lymphatic vessels and quantitate their transport, leading to new approaches for nano-based medicine.
The educational intervention could improve knowledge about rational drug use in the junior high school. Improving knowledge about rational drug use at an early age may be a good way to increase the population's awareness of health, medicines and self-medication. To educate the rational drug use, it is desirable that the school pharmacists participate in this educational program in the junior high school. So we conducted an educational lecture by school pharmacists to promote rational drug use and self-medication in junior high school students. The study compared participant responses before and after a lecture. After the first questionnaire, we lectured the mentioned above to them. Afterward, second questionnaire was conducted. In the second questionnaire, more than 95% of the students understood the contents of the lecture to some extent. After a lecture, students who answered that ‘I don't have confidence that I can buy medicines rightly by myself’ decreased from 42.7% to 11.7%. And students who answered that ‘I don't have confidence that I can use medicines rightly by myself’ decreased from 25.2% to 12.6%. It was possible to achieve a favorable modification of attitudes to rational use of medicines in junior high school students. Continuous interventions might allow better effects and could help to fill the gap in health education of the general population.
Dividing a tablet into two halves and providing them to patients is a routine approach in clinical practice. Obviously, the drug release behavior of tablets should be constant, regardless of the dividing process. Here, we investigated the change in drug release behavior after dividing tablets into two halves. Five commercial theophylline sustained-release tablets designed to be taken once a day were used as test tablets (two original products and three generic products). A 24 h dissolution test was performed for each tablet, and changes in drug release behavior were evaluated using similarity factors, f2, calculated from the drug release profiles. The drug release rates were substantially increased by dividing the tablets into two halves. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed that the effect of the dividing process on drug release behavior was more significant than that of changing the products. We further observed the feature of cross sectioning of the surface of the tablets using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and a laser-scanning microscope (LSM). The microscopic observations confirmed that the surface became rough and developed many cavities with the prolongation of the duration of the dissolution test. This study clarified that the division of tablets into two halves exerts significant effects on their drug release behavior, and may offer a profound insight into the proper use of pharmaceutical products.
Our aim was to clarify the side effects of irinotecan which occurred in patients admitted to Showa University Hospital to investigate whether the UGT1A1 genetic polymorphism status was reflected in the discontinuation or dose reduction of irinotecan. We retrospectively investigated UGT1A1 genetic polymorphisms, irinotecan dosage, dose discontinuance or reduction, and laboratory results from May 1 2009 to April 30 2010. The analysis of UGT1A1 genetic polymorphisms in 23 patients showed that frequencies of the UGT1A1*6 and UGT1A1*28 polymorphisms were 35% (eight patients) and 22% (five patients), respectively, and 17% (three patients) were UGT1A1*6/UGT1A1*28 compound heterozygotes. Of all patients who received irinotecan, dose reduction occurred in six patients (38%) and discontinuance in two patients (13%) due to neutropenia and other factors. Of these eight patients, seven (88%) had the UGT1A1*6 and/or *28 polymorphism. The most common irinotecan dose reduction was about 25% of the initial dose. Grade 4 neutropenia was observed in two patients who had the UGT1A1*6 and/or *28 mutation (13%), and one patient was a compound heterozygote. Our investigation confirmed that the UGT1A1 genetic polymorphism status of the patients was reflected in the discontinuance or dose reduction of irinotecan. Our results suggest that Grade 4 neutropenia may occur in patients who are compound heterozygotes and that these patients may need careful selection of treatment regimens possibly involving discontinuance or reduction in irinotecan dosage.
We used a mobile electrocardiograph to manage the adverse effects and interactions of drugs, especially QT-prolonging drugs, in a community pharmacy setting. We report the case of a patient in whom the risk of drug-induced torsades de pointes (TdP) was lowered, after monitoring by community pharmacists. Case: An 80-year-old woman was under donepezil (5 mg/d) therapy for Alzheimer's disease and also taking other drugs that interact with donepezil, namely, benidipine (8 mg/d) and atorvastatin (10 mg/d). The patient was visited almost every month, and an electrocardiogram was usually obtained. QTc prolongation (avg. 470±9 ms) was observed in the first to third tests. Her doctor was informed about these results and the risk factors (advanced age, gender, and drugs interactions (benidipine and atorvastatin)) associated with TdP and asked to respond promptly since several cases of donepezil-induced TdP have been reported. As a result, benidipine was replaced with amlodipine, while the remaining drugs were continued. After the change, a significant decrease in QTc values were observed in the fourth to seventh tests (avg. 441±9 ms, p=0.010), thereby indicating a decrease in TdP risk. The Drug Interaction Probability Scale (object drug, donepezil; precipitant drug, benidipine) score was +6 (probable). Thus, QTc shortening was a result of differences in donepezil-benidipine and donepezil-amlodipine interactions.
Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) has been shown to be effective for a variety of autoimmune diseases. Despite its widespread use and therapeutic success, the precise mechanisms for the anti-inflammatory therapeutic effects of IVIg are not well understood. In particular, few reports have examined the mechanism of IVIg on regulatory T cells (Treg: CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ T cells). In the present study, to clarify the effect of intravenous S-sulfonated immunoglobulin (S-IVIg) on Treg, we investigated experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the representative animal model of autoimmune disease. First, when we evaluated the effect of S-IVIg in an acute EAE model, the prophylactic treatment of S-IVIg dose-dependently controlled the symptoms of EAE. Next, we measured Treg in EAE mice spleen by flow cytometry. The percentage of Treg in S-IVIg-treated mice was significantly increased compared with Saline-treated mice. Finally, in reinduced EAE, S-IVIg not only prevented EAE progression, but also increased the percentage of Treg in the spleen. The increase in percentage of Treg in S-IVIg-treated EAE might be associated with protection against EAE. These observations provide important evidence that IVIg is effective in T-cell-mediated control of autoimmunity.