[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Artemisinin (qinghaosu), a unique endoperoxide sesquiterpene lactone isolated from Artemisia annua L., is a very active antimalarial drug, including severe and cerebral malaria. However, its therapeutical efficacy is limited due to its scarce bioavailability. In this article, artemisinin-loaded conventional and polyethylene glycol (PEGylated) liposomes were proposed as carriers to increase biopharmaceutical properties of the drug. Encapsulation efficacy was determined by high-performance liquid chromatography/diode array detection/electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry, dimensional analysis was performed by dynamic light scattering, and morphology was performed by trasmission electron microscopy. After dialysis, both liposomal formulations showed an encapsulation efficacy of more than 70%; mean diameter of all the artemisinin-loaded vesicles was approximately 130-140 nm. The polydispersity index of the formulations ranged from 0.2 to 0.3 and resulted as suitable for intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration. Pharmacokinetic profile and the main pharmacokinetic parameters of the carriers were evaluated in healthy mice i.p. Free artemisinin was rapidly cleared from plasma and hardly detected 1 hour after administration. Conversely, both liposomal formulations showed much longer blood-circulation time than free artemisinin; artemisinin was still detectable after 3 and 24 hours of administration, respectively, for conventional and PEGylated liposomes. AUC(0-24 h) values were increased by approximately 6 times in both of the liposomal formulations, in comparison with free artemisinin. A strong effect of formulation on the half-life of artemisinin was enhanced by more than 5-fold by the incorporation of PEG into liposomes. Liposomes loaded with artemisinin, especially the long-circulating vesicles, could really represent a new strategy for developing smart, well-tolerated, and efficacious therapeutic nanocarriers to treat tumors, but could also be very useful to treat parasitic disease.
Journal of Liposome Research 12/2010; 21(3):237-44. · 1.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cefazolin (1-2 g bolus at induction possibly repeated after cardiopulmonary bypass) remains the standard for antibiotic prophylaxis in cardiac surgery. Data indicate, however, that it is underdosed with this dosing schedule. A prospective, randomized study comparing intermittent versus loading dose plus continuous infusion for the same total dose of cefazolin was performed to assess which modality is pharmacokinetically and pharmacodynamically advantageous.
Patients received 2 g cefazolin as a starting dose and then were divided into an intermittent group (receiving another 1 g at 3, 9, and 15 hours after the first dose) and a continuous group (continuous infusion started after the first dose, providing 1 g every 6 hours for 18 hours). Cefazolin levels were measured in blood and atria.
Mean total and calculated free trough concentrations in blood varied greatly among patients in the intermittent group and were lower than those in the continuous group (P < .05 at 15, 18 and 24 hours). For 9 of 10 (90%) patients in the continuous infusion group, the targeted pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic goal (time above minimal inhibitory concentration >90%) was achieved, whereas the goal was met for only 3 of 10 (30%) in the intermittent group (P < .05). The mean atrial tissue concentration was also higher with continuous infusion (P < .05).
Administration of cefazolin as bolus plus continuous infusion has pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic advantages relative to intermittent administration. It provides more stable serum levels, lower interpatient variability, and higher myocardial tissue penetration.
The Journal of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery 08/2010; 140(2):471-5. · 3.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic characteristics of antimicrobial agents are the two fundamental pharmacological components which provide a rational for the choice of therapy for skin and skin structure infections, and especially serious infections. The most important PK-PD parameters are well known which can potentiate therapeutic efficacy. Antimicrobial agents ca be subdivided into categories based on whether their activity is dependent on concentration or exposure time. Therefore, a correct dosing regimen for the time-dependent molecules (i.e. beta-lactams, linezolid, tigecycline) should prolong the maximum exposure time to maintain serum levels over the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). The concentration-dependent molecules, on the other hand, which include aminoglycosides and fluoroquinolones, should be given in order to reach maximum concentrations, since they are bactericidal in direct proportion to their concentrations and possess a prolonged post-antibiotic effect.
Le infezioni in medicina: rivista periodica di eziologia, epidemiologia, diagnostica, clinica e terapia delle patologie infettive 09/2009; 17 Suppl 4:37-57.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Stimulation of histamine H(3) receptors (H(3)R) activates G(i/o)-proteins that inhibit adenylyl cyclase and triggers MAPK and phospholipase A(2). In a previous study, we showed that H(3)R-mediated phosphorylation of Akt at Ser473 occurs in primary cultures of rat cortical neurons, but neither the downstream targets nor the function of such activation were explored. In this report we address these questions. Western blotting experiments showed that H(3)R-mediated activation of Akt in cultured rat cortical neurons was inhibited by LY 294004 and U0126, suggesting that it depends on phosphoinositide-3-kinase and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase. H(3)R activation phosphorylated, hence inactivated, the Akt downstream effector glycogen synthase kinase-3beta, increased the expression of the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2 and protected cultured rat and mouse cortical neurons from neurotoxic insults in a dose-dependent manner. All these effects were inhibited by the H(3)R antagonist inverse/agonist thioperamide. Mouse cortical cells expressed H(3)R as revealed by immunostaining experiments, and stimulation of H(3)R phoshorylated Akt and decreased caspase 3 activity. Hence, we uncovered a yet unexplored action of the H(3)R that may help understand the impact of H(3)R signaling in the CNS.
Journal of Neurochemistry 07/2009; 110(5):1469-78. · 4.24 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ertapenem, a novel carbapenem, is approved for the treatment of mild to severe intra-abdominal infections (IAIs), although its in vivo concentrations in peritoneal fluid are unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine the peritoneal fluid concentration of ertapenem after a single 1 g intravenous dose. After informed consent, 21 patients (9 females and 12 males; mean+/-standard deviation (S.D.) age 50.2+/-17.7 years) requiring intra-abdominal surgery were enrolled. Plasma and peritoneal fluid samples were taken at fixed times during surgery. Drug concentrations were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with ultraviolet detection. Mean+/-S.D. ertapenem peritoneal fluid concentrations were 64.3+/-23.4 mg/L at 1h and 31.3+/-26.5 mg/L at 3 h after administration. The mean tissue/plasma ratio ranged from 46.7% to 83.1%. The mean peritoneal fluid concentrations were well above the MIC(90) (minimum inhibitory concentration for 90% of the organisms) for susceptible bacteria found in IAIs, especially Escherichia coli, viridans streptococci, Enterobacteriaceae, Klebsiella spp. and Bacteroides fragilis, during the entire sampling time. These pharmacokinetic results support the assumption that ertapenem might be suitable for the treatment of IAIs.
International journal of antimicrobial agents 04/2009; 33(4):371-3. · 3.03 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics are significantly altered in critically ill septic patients and the risk of prolonged periods with concentrations below the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and of low area under the serum concentration-time curve/MIC (AUC/MIC) ratios is of concern. We compared the pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) profile of linezolid administered by intermittent or continuous infusion in critically ill septic patients. Patients were divided into two groups: intermittent infusion (Group I) (600mg/12h); or continuous infusion (Group C) (300mg intravenous loading dose +900mg continuous infusion on Day 1, followed by 1200mg/daily from Day 2). Linezolid serum levels were monitored for 72h and microbiological data were collected. The clinical outcome was monitored. Sixteen patients completed the study. MICs of susceptible pathogens were 2mg/L for 80% of the isolates. In Group I, linezolid trough serum levels (C(min)) varied widely and were below the susceptibility breakpoint (4mg/L) during the study period; in 50% of patients C(min) was <1mg/L. In Group C, mean linezolid serum levels were more stable and, starting from 6h, were significantly higher than C(min) levels observed in Group I and were always above the susceptibility breakpoint. Time that the free drug concentration was above the MIC (T(free)>MIC) of>85% was more frequent in Group C than in Group I (P<0.05). Finally, with continuous infusion it was possible to achieve AUC/MIC values of 80-120 more frequently than with intermittent infusion (P<0.05). According to PK/PD parameters, continuous infusion has theoretical advantages over intermittent infusion in this population of patients.
International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents 02/2008; 31(2):122-9. · 4.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTI) are treated with beta-lactams, co-trimoxazole, quinolones and fosfomycin tromethamine. Due to increasing resistance of causative pathogens, antibiotics should be used by considering their pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic characteristics. beta-lactams have time-dependent activity and should not be used once-daily. Co-trimoxazole should be restricted due to increasing chemoresistance. Fluoroquinolones play a primary role in the treatment of serious and complicated infections. Fosfomycin tromethamine is active against most urinary tract pathogens. In vitro time-kill kinetics of fosfomycin against Escherichia coli and Proteus mirabilis showed primarily concentration-dependent activity, with a prolonged post-antibiotic effect (3.4 to 4.7h). Based on these results a single 3g dose of fosfomycin guarantees optimal efficacy against common uropathogens with an AUC(urine)/MIC ratio of 500.
International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents 09/2006; 28 Suppl 1:S35-41. · 4.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The efficacy of various dosing regimens of clarithromycin and erythromycin against recently isolated Streptococcus pneumoniae strains was determined in vivo using two animal infection models (mouse peritonitis and thigh infection). For the thigh infection model, mice received a total dose of 4 mg/Kg of either clarithromycin or erythromycin, as a single total dose or divided into 2, 4 or 8 doses/24h. After 24h of therapy S. pneumoniae organisms were killed at 2.06 to 4.03 log10 CFU/thigh by clarithromycin and the one- or two-dose regimens were significantly more effective than the four- or eight-dose regimens. Organism killing following 24h of therapy with erythromycin ranged from 1.13 to 2.31 log10 CFU/thigh, with the one- or two-dose regimens significantly less effective than the four- or eight-dose regimens. In the mouse survival study, the same dose of either clarithromycin or erythromycin was given as a single total dose or divided into two or four doses with dosing intervals of 4 and 2-times the t1/2 respectively. The results obtained in this model show that there is a significant difference in survival when clarithromycin is administered less frequently (4% deaths for the one-dose regimen in comparison to 40% deaths with the four-dose regimen, P < 0.01, Chi-square test). With erythromycin there was a trend for increased survival with the multiple-dose regimen, with significantly higher survival when concentrations exceeding the MIC were maintained for a longer time period. These results indicate that the time during which serum concentrations exceeding the MIC value of the pathogen is an important parameter for efficacy for erythromycin. On the contrary, results with both animal models demonstrate that bacterial killing and survival are significantly higher among clarithromycin-treated mice when the antibiotic is administered less frequently and the highest Cmax/MIC ratio is achieved.