Concentration-dependent modulation of amyloid-beta in vivo and in vitro using the gamma-secretase inhibitor, LY-450139
ABSTRACT LY-450139 is a gamma-secretase inhibitor shown to have efficacy in multiple cellular and animal models. Paradoxically, robust elevations of plasma amyloid-beta (Abeta) have been reported in dogs and humans after administration of subefficacious doses. The present study sought to further evaluate Abeta responses to LY-450139 in the guinea pig, a nontransgenic model that has an Abeta sequence identical to that of human. Male guinea pigs were treated with LY-450139 (0.2-60 mg/kg), and brain, cerebrospinal fluid, and plasma Abeta levels were characterized at 1, 3, 6, 9, and 14 h postdose. Low doses significantly elevated plasma Abeta levels at early time points, with return to baseline within hours. Higher doses inhibited Abeta levels in all compartments at early time points, but elevated plasma Abeta levels at later time points. To determine whether this phenomenon occurs under steady-state drug exposure, guinea pigs were implanted with subcutaneous minipumps delivering LY-450139 (0.3-30 mg/kg/day) for 5 days. Plasma Abeta was significantly inhibited at 10-30 mg/kg/day, but significantly elevated at 1 mg/kg/day. To further understand the mechanism of Abeta elevation by LY-450139, H4 cells overexpressing the Swedish mutant of amyloid-precursor protein and a mouse embryonic stem cell-derived neuronal cell line were studied. In both cellular models, elevated levels of secreted Abeta were observed at subefficacious concentrations, whereas dose-responsive inhibition was observed at higher concentrations. These results suggest that LY-450139 modulates the gamma-secretase complex, eliciting Abeta lowering at high concentrations but Abeta elevation at low concentrations.
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ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective: Semagacestat, a γ-secretase inhibitor, demonstrated an unfavorable risk-benefit profile in Phase 3 study of patients with Alzheimer's disease (IDENTITY trials), and clinical development was halted. To assist in future development of γ-secretase inhibitors, we report detailed safety findings from the IDENTITY study, with emphasis on those that might be mechanistically linked to γ-secretase inhibition. Research Design and Methods: The IDENTITY trial was a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of semagacestat (100 mg and 140 mg), in which 1537 patients age 55 years and older with probable Alzheimer's disease were randomized Treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) are reported by body system along with pertinent laboratory, vital signs, and ECG findings. Results: Semagacestat treatment was associated with increased reporting of suspected Notch-related adverse events (gastrointestinal-, infection-, and skin cancer-related). Other relevant safety findings associated with semagacestat treatment included cognitive and functional worsening, skin-related TEAEs, renal and hepatic changes, increased QT interval, and weight loss. With few exceptions, differences between semagacestat and placebo treatment groups were no longer significant after cessation of treatment with active drug. Conclusions: Many of these safety findings can be attributed to γ-secretase inhibition, and may be valuable to researchers developing γ-secretase inhibitors.Current Medical Research and Opinion 07/2014; 30(10):1-34. DOI:10.1185/03007995.2014.939167 · 2.37 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: ?-Secretase proteases have been associated with pathology in Alzheimer disease (AD), but we are just beginning to understand their basic mechanisms and physiological roles. A negative drug trial with a broad spectrum ?-secretase inhibitor in AD patients has severely dampened enthusiasm for the potential of pursuing ?-secretase research therapeutically. This pessimism is unwarranted: analysis of available information presented here demonstrates significant confounds for interpreting the outcome of the trial and argues that the major lessons pertain to broad knowledge gaps that are imperative to fill.Cell 11/2014; 159(4):721-6. DOI:10.1016/j.cell.2014.10.016 · 33.12 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Amyloid deposition has been implicated as the key determinant of Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis. Interventions to antagonize amyloid accumulation and mitigate dementia are now under active investigation. We conducted a combined clinical, biochemical and neuropathological assessment of a participant in a clinical trial of the γ-secretase inhibitor, semagacestat. This patient received a daily oral dose of 140 mg of semagacestat for approximately 76 weeks. Levels of brain amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides were quantified using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). Western blot/scanning densitometry was performed to reveal BACE1, presenilin1, amyloid precursor protein (APP) and its proteolysis-produced C-terminal peptides APP-CT99 and APP-CT83 as well as several γ-secretase substrates. To serve as a frame of reference, the ELISA and Western analyses were performed in parallel on samples from neuropathologically confirmed non-demented control (NDC) and AD subjects who did not receive semagacestat. Neuropathology findings confirmed a diagnosis of AD with frequent amyloid deposits and neurofibrillary tangles in most areas of the cortex and subcortical nuclei as well as cerebellar amyloid plaques. Mean levels of Tris-soluble Aβ40 and glass-distilled formic acid (GDFA)/guanidine hydrochloride (GHCl)-extractable Aβ40 in the frontal lobe and GDFA/GHCl-soluble Aβ40 in the temporal lobe were increased 4.2, 9.5 and 7.7-fold, respectively, in the semagacestat-treated subject compared to those observed in the non-treated AD group. In addition, GDFA/GHCl-extracted Aβ42 was increased 2-fold in the temporal lobe relative to non-treated AD cases. No major changes in APP, β- and γ-secretase and CT99/CT83 were observed between the semagacestat-treated subject compared to either NDC or AD cases. Furthermore, the levels of γ-secretase substrates in the semagacestat-treated subject and the reference groups were also similar. Interestingly, there were significant alterations in the levels of several γ-secretase substrates between the NDC and non-treated AD subjects. This is the first reported case study of an individual enrolled in the semagacestat clinical trial. The subject of this study remained alive for ~7 months after treatment termination, therefore it is difficult to conclude whether the outcomes observed represent a consequence of semagacestat therapy. Additional evaluations of trial participants, including several who expired during the course of treatment, may provide vital clarification regarding the impacts and aftermath of γ-secretase inhibition.