[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a neuromuscular disease, and conventionally treated with acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors, which may not fully remove the symptom for many reasons. When AChE inhibitors do not work, Chinese patients turn to Chinese medicine, such as the Buzhongyiqi decoction (BD), to treat MG. By elucidating the relations between the herbs of the Buzhongyiqi decoction recipe and AChE inhibitors with structure-based and ligand based drug design methods and chemoinformatics approaches, we have found the key active components of BD. Using these key active components as templates, we discovered five new AChE inhibitors through virtually screening a commercial compound library. The new AChE inhibitors have been confirmed with Ellman assays. This study demonstrates that lead identification can be inspired by elucidating Chinese medicine. Since BD is a mixture, further studies are needed against other drug targets.
Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling 10/2015; DOI:10.1021/acs.jcim.5b00449 · 3.74 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Though it is standard practice to test the stability of analytes in the matrix for routine bioanalytical method, stability evaluation is always impractical and skipped in untargeted lipidomic and metabolomic analysis because analytes in these studies are enormous, diverse and sometimes unknown. Lipidome represents a major class of plasma metabolome and shows great potential to be diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers. However, lipidome also faces stability problems because plasma contains kinds of lipid degradation enzyme. Here, using liquid chromatography time of flight mass spectrometry based lipidomic methodology, plasma levels of various lipids including triglyceride (TG), diglyceride (DG), free fatty acid (FFA), phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) phosphatidylcholine (PC), lyso-phosphatidylcholine (LPC), lyso-phosphatidylethanolamine (LPE), and sphingomyelin (SM) were dynamically determined within 4 h at ambient temperature. In mouse and rat plasma, the levels of most TG, DG, PC and PE species significantly decreased with respect to time, whereas those of LPC, LPE and FFA significantly increased with respect to time. However, such changes did not occur in human plasma, thus indicating hepatic lipase and esterase might involve in the species-specified degradation of lipid classes in plasma. Phenylmethanesulfonyl fluoride (PMSF) pretreatment prevented such lipidome instability in mouse plasma. The results suggested the instability of plasma lipidome should be highly concerned, and the enhancement of ex vivo stability of plasma lipidome could enable more reliable clinical translation of lipidomic data for biomarker discovery.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Non-neuronal cholinergic system is involved in lung physiology and lung cancer. However, the biochemical events downstream acetylcholine (ACh) receptor activation leading to carcinogenesis and tumor progression are not fully understood. Our previous work has shown that non-neuronal ACh acts as an autoparacrine growth factor to stimulate cell proliferation and promote epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) via activation of M2 muscarinic receptor (M2R). The aim of the present study was to delineate the underlying mechanisms linking M2R and lung tumor progression, which may provide potential therapeutic targets to delay lung cancer progression. Inhibition of M2R by antagonist or siRNA suppresses NSCLC cell migratory and invasive capacities, reverses EMT and simultaneously inactivates PI3K/Akt, MAPK ERK and NF-κB p65. On the other hand, M2R activation stimulates NSCLC migration and invasion and promotes EMT via NF-κB p65 activation. Moreover, NF-κB p65 activation induced by M2R activation was partially inhibited by either Akt or ERK inhibitor. Taken together, these results demonstrated for the first time that NF-κB p65 activation is essential in NSCLC progression associated with non-neuronal cholinergic system. Our data suggest that M2R/ERK/Akt/NF-κB axis could be a potential target for NSCLC treatment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aggregated forms of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides are important triggers for microglial activation, which is an important pathological component in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. Cu(II) ions are reported to be coordinated to monomeric Aβ, drive Aβ aggregation, and potentiate Aβ neurotoxicity. Here we investigated whether Cu(II) binding modulates the effect of Aβ on microglial activation and the subsequent neurotoxicity.
Aβ peptides were incubated with Cu(II) at an equimolar ratio to obtain the Cu(II)-Aβ complex. Primary and BV-2 microglial cells were treated with Cu(II)-Aβ, Aβ, or Cu(II). The tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and nitric oxide levels in the media were determined. Extracellular hydrogen peroxide was quantified by a fluorometric assay with Amplex Red. Mitochondrial superoxide was detected by MitoSOX oxidation.
Incubation of Cu(II) with Aβ confers different chemical properties on the resulting complex. At the subneurotoxic concentrations, Cu(II)-Aβ (but not Aβ or Cu(II) alone) treatment induced an activating morphological phenotype of microglia and induced the microglial release of TNF-α and nitric oxide as well as microglia-mediated neuronal damage. Cu(II)-Aβ-triggered microglial activation was blocked by nuclear factor (NF)-κB inhibitors and was accompanied with NF-κB activation. Moreover, Cu(II)-Aβ induced hydrogen peroxide release, which was not affected by NADPH oxidase inhibitors. Mitochondrial superoxide production was increased after Cu(II)-Aβ stimulation. N-acetyl-cysteine, a scavenger of reactive oxygen species (ROS), inhibited Cu(II)-Aβ-elicited microglial release of TNF-α and nitric oxide as well as the microglia-mediated neurotoxic effect.
Our observations suggest that Cu(II) enhances the effect of Aβ on microglial activation and the subsequent neurotoxicity. The Cu(II)-Aβ-triggered microglial activation involves NF-κB activation and mitochondrial ROS production.
Journal of Neuroinflammation 06/2015; 12(1):122. DOI:10.1186/s12974-015-0343-3 · 5.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lung cancers express non-neuronal, cholinergic autoparacrine loop, which facilitates tumor growth. Interruption of M3 muscarinic cholinergic signaling has been reported to inhibit small cell lung cancer (SCLC) growth. The purpose of this study is to investigate if blocking autoparacrine muscarinic cholinergic signaling could inhibit non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) growth and possible underlying mechanisms. Our results showed that PC9 and A549 cells expressed all five subtypes of muscarinic receptor (mAChR) and blocking M2 mAChR (M2R) signaling using selective antagonist methoctramine or short hairpin RNA (shRNA) inhibited tumor cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo. Consistent with AChR agonists stimulating p44/42 MAPK (Erk1/2) and Akt phosphorylation, blocking M2R signaling decreased MAPK and Akt phosphorylation, indicating that non-neuronal ACh functions as an autoparacrine growth factor signaling in part through activation of M2R and downstream MAPK and Akt pathways. Importantly, further studies revealed that blocking M2R signaling also reversed epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in vitro and in vivo, indicating that non-neuronal ACh promotes EMT partially through activation of M2R. These findings demonstrate that M2R plays a role in the growth and progression of NSCLC and suggest M2R antagonists may be an efficacious adjuvant therapy for NSCLC.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common form of dementia, is now representing one of the largest unmet medical needs. However, no effective treatment is now available to impede the progression of AD or delay its onset. There are two major challenges for the development of effective therapy for AD. First, the exact cause for AD onset is still unknown. Second, brain drug delivery is significantly hindered by the blood-brain barrier (BBB). In this review, we will summarize the pathological understanding about AD and the related treatments, compare BBB and its effect on brain drug delivery under normal and AD conditions and review the nanotherapeutic strategies that have been developed for AD therapy in recent years.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumor neovasculature and tumor cells dual-targeting chemotherapy can not only destroy the tumor neovasculature, cut off the supply of nutrition and starve the tumor cells, but also directly kill tumor cells, holding great potential in overcoming the drawbacks of anti-angiogenic therapy only and improving the anti-glioma efficacy. In the present study, by taking advantage of the specific expression of fibronectin extra domain B (EDB) on both glioma neovasculature endothelial cells and glioma cells, we constructed EDB-targeted peptide APTEDB-modified PEG-PLA nanoparticles (APT-NP) for paclitaxel (PTX) loading to enable tumor neovasculature and tumor cells dual-targeting chemotherapy. PTX-loaded APT-NP showed satisfactory encapsulated efficiency, loading capacity and size distribution. In human umbilical vein endothelial cells, APT-NP exhibited significantly elevated cellular accumulation via energy-dependent, caveolae and lipid raft-involved endocytosis, and improved PTX-induced apoptosis therein. Both in vitro tube formation assay and in vivo matrigel angiogenesis analysis confirmed that APT-NP significantly improved the antiangiogenic ability of PTX. In U87MG cells, APT-NP showed elevated cellular internalization and also enhanced the cytotoxicity of the loaded PTX. Following intravenous administration, as shown by both in vivo live animal imaging and tissue distribution analysis, APT-NP achieved a much higher and specific accumulation within the glioma. As a result, APT-NP-PTX exhibited improved anti-glioma efficacy over unmodified nanoparticles and Taxol® in both subcutaneous and intracranial U87MG xenograft models. These findings collectively indicated that APTEDB-modified nanoparticles might serve as a promising nanocarrier for tumor cells and neovasculature dual-targeting chemotherapy and hold great potential in improving the efficacy anti-glioma therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumor neovasculature and tumor cells dual-targeting chemotherapy can not only destroy the tumor neovasculature, cut off the supply of nutrition and starve the tumor cells, but also directly kill tumor cells, holding great potential in overcoming the drawbacks of anti-angiogenic therapy only and improving the anti-glioma efficacy. In the present study, by taking advantage of the specific expression of fibronectin extra domain B (EDB) on both glioma neovasculature endothelial cells and glioma cells, we constructed EDB-targeted peptide APTEDB-modified PEG-PLA nanoparticles (APT-NP) for paclitaxel (PTX) loading to enable tumor neovasculature and tumor cells dual-targeting chemotherapy. PTX-loaded APT-NP showed satisfactory encapsulated efficiency, loading capacity and size distribution. In human umbilical vein endothelial cells, APT-NP exhibited significantly elevated cellular accumulation via energy-dependent, caveolae and lipid raft-involved endocytosis, and improved PTX-induced apoptosis therein. Both in vitro tube formation assay and in vivo matrigel angiogenesis analysis confirmed that APT-NP significantly improved the antiangiogenic ability of PTX. In U87MG cells, APT-NP showed elevated cellular internalization and also enhanced the cytotoxicity of the loaded PTX. Following intravenous administration, as shown by both in vivo live animal imaging and tissue distribution analysis, APT-NP achieved a much higher and specific accumulation within the glioma. As a result, APT-NP-PTX exhibited improved anti-glioma efficacy over unmodified nanoparticles and Taxol(®) in both subcutaneous and intracranial U87MG xenograft models. These findings collectively indicated that APTEDB-modified nanoparticles might serve as a promising nanocarrier for tumor cells and neovasculature dual-targeting chemotherapy and hold great potential in improving the efficacy anti-glioma therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A rapid and sensitive liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method for determination of Meserine ((-)-meptazinol phenylcarbamate), a novel potent inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), was developed, validated, and applied to a pharmacokinetic study in mice brain. The lower limit of quantification (LLOQ) was 1 ng mL(-1) and the linear range was 1-1,000 ng mL(-1). The analyte was eluted on a Zorbax SB-Aq column (2.1 × 100 mm, 3.5 μm) with the mobile phase composed of methanol and water (70:30, v/v, aqueous phase contained 10 mM ammonium formate and 0.3 % formic acid) using isocratic elution, and monitored by positive electrospray ionization in multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode. The flow rate was 0.25 mL min(-1). The injection volume was 5 μL and total run time was 4 min. The relative standard deviation (RSD) of intraday and interday variation was 2.49-7.81 and 3.01-7.67 %, respectively. All analytes were stable after 4 h at room temperature and 6 h in autosampler. The extraction recoveries of Meserine in brain homogenate were over 90 %. The main brain pharmacokinetic parameters obtained after intranasal administration were T max = 0.05 h, C max = 462.0 ± 39.7 ng g(-1), T 1/2 = 0.4 h, and AUC(0-∞) = 283.1 ± 9.1 ng h g(-1). Moreover, Meserine was distributed rapidly and widely into brain, heart, liver, spleen, lung, and kidney tissue. The method is validated and could be applied to the pharmacokinetic and tissue distribution study of Meserine in mice.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microglia-mediated neuroinflammation and the associated neuronal damage play critical roles in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders. Evidence shows an elevated concentration of extracellular copper(II) in brains of these disorders, which may contribute to neuronal death through direct neurotoxicity. Here we explored whether extracellular copper(II) triggers microglial activation. Primary rat microglia and murine microglial cell line BV-2 cells were cultured and treated with copper(II). The content of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and nitric oxide in the medium was determined. Extracellular hydrogen peroxide was quantified by a fluorometric assay with Amplex Red. Mitochondrial superoxide was measured by MitoSOX oxidation. At subneurotoxic concentrations, copper(II) treatment induced dose- and time-dependent release of TNF-α and nitric oxide from microglial cells, and caused an indirect, microglia-mediated neurotoxicity that was blocked by inhibition of both TNF-α and nitric oxide production. Copper(II)-initiated microglial activation was accompanied with reduced IкB-α expression as well as phosphorylation and translocation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) p65 and was blocked by NF-κB inhibitors (BAY11-7082 and SC-514). Moreover, copper(II) treatment evoked a rapid release of hydrogen peroxide from microglial cells, an effect that was not affected by NADPH oxidase inhibitors. N-acetyl-cysteine, a scavenger of reactive oxygen species (ROS), abrogated copper(II)-elicited microglial release of TNF-α and nitric oxide and subsequent neurotoxicity. Importantly, mitochondrial production of superoxide, paralleled to extracellular release of hydrogen peroxide, was induced after copper(II) stimulation. Our findings suggest that extracellular copper(II) at subneurotoxic concentrations could trigger NF-κB-dependent microglial activation and subsequent neurotoxicity. NADPH oxidase-independent, mitochondria-derived ROS may be involved in this activation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper a simple and sensitive method for determination of a novel phenylcarbamate AChE inhibitor, meserine, in mouse plasma, brain and rat plasma was evaluated using high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Separation was achieved on an Alltech Alltima-C18 column (150mm×2.1mm, 3μm, Deerfield, IL, USA) with isocratic elution at a flow rate of 0.35ml/min. Detection was performed under the multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode using an electrospray ionization (ESI) in the positive ion mode. The protein precipitation and liquid-liquid extraction methods were used for the pretreatment of plasma and brain homogenates, respectively. The calibration curves of meserine showed good linearity over the concentration range of 0.5-1000ng/ml for mouse and rat plasma and 0.5-500ng/ml for mouse brain. The intra- and inter-day precision were less than 9.34% and the accuracy was from 95.34% to 107.78% for QC samples. The validated method was successfully applied to a preclinical pharmacokinetic study of meserine in mice and rats after intravenous and subcutaneous administration. The results showed that this novel drug could easily cross the blood-brain barrier to reach the site of drug action. Meserine was rapidly absorbed with a high subcutaneous absolute bioavailability (>90%).
Journal of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis 03/2014; 96C:156-161. DOI:10.1016/j.jpba.2014.03.025 · 2.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reactive astrogliosis, characterized by cellular hypertrophy and various alterations in gene expression and proliferative phenotypes, is considered to contribute to brain injuries and diseases as diverse as trauma, neurodegeneration, and ischemia. KCa3.1, a potassium channel protein, has been reported to be up-regulated in reactive astrocytes after spinal cord injury in vivo. However, little is known regarding the exact role of KCa3.1 in reactive astrogliosis. To elucidate the role of KCa3.1 in regulating reactive astrogliosis, we investigated the effects of either blocking or knockout of KCa3.1 channels on the production of astrogliosis and astrocytic proliferation in response to transforming growth factor (TGF)-β in primary cultures of mouse astrocytes. We found that TGF-β increased KCa3.1 protein expression in astrocytes, with a concomitant marked increase in the expression of reactive astrogliosis, including glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs). These changes were significantly attenuated by the KCa3.1 inhibitor TRAM-34. Similarly, the increase in GFAP and CSPGs in response to TGF-β was attenuated in KCa3.1-/- astrocytes. TRAM-34 also suppressed astrocytic proliferation. Additionally, the TGF-β-induced phosphorylation of Smad2 and Smad3 proteins was reduced with either inhibition of KCa3.1 with TRAM-34 or in KCa3.1-/- astrocytes. These findings highlight a novel role for the KCa3.1 channel in reactive astrogliosis phenotypic modulation and provide a potential target for therapeutic intervention for brain injuries. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Journal of Neurochemistry 03/2014; 130(1). DOI:10.1111/jnc.12710 · 4.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A major cross-cutting problem for glioma therapy is the poor extravasation and penetration of the payload drug in target glioma parenchyma. Here, to overcome these obstacles, a tumor vessel recognizing and tumor penetrating system is developed by functionalizating the poly (ethyleneglycol)-poly (l-lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles with an iNGR moiety (iNGR-NP). The nanoparticulate formulation is expected to achieve specific deep penetration in the tumor tissue by initially binding to aminopeptidase N, with iNGR proteolytically cleaved to CRNGR, and then bind with neuropilin-1 to mediate deep penetration in the tumor parenchyma. iNGR-NP exhibits significantly enhanced cellular uptake in human umbilical vein endothelial cells, improves the anti-proliferation and anti-tube formation abilities of paclitaxel in vitro. Following intravenous administration, iNGR-NP present favorable pharmacokinetic and tumor homing profiles. Glioma distribution and penetration assays confirm that iNGR-NP achieve the highest accumulation and deepest penetration at the glioma sites. The anti-glioma efficacy of paclitaxel-loaded iNGR-NP is verified by its improved anti-angiogenesis activity and the significantly prolonged survival time in mice bearing intracranial glioma. These evidences highlight the potential of iNGR-decorated nanoparticles in overcoming the leading edge problem in anti-glioma drug delivery.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amyloid-beta (Aβ) accumulation in the brain is believed to play a central role in Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis, and the common late-onset form of AD is characterized by an overall impairment in Aβ clearance. Therefore, development of nanomedicine that can facilitate Aβ clearance represents a promising strategy for AD intervention. However, previous work of this kind was concentrated at the molecular level, and the disease-modifying effectiveness of such nanomedicine has not been investigated in clinically relevant biological systems. Here, we hypothesized that a biologically-inspired nanostructure - ApoE3-reconstituted high density lipoprotein (ApoE3-rHDL), which presents high binding affinity to Aβ, might serve as a novel nanomedicine for disease modification in AD by accelerating Aβ clearance. Surface plasmon resonance, transmission electron microscopy and co-immunoprecipitation analysis showed that ApoE3-rHDL demonstrated high binding affinity to both Aβ monomer and oligomer. It also accelerated the microglial, astroglial and liver cell degradation of Aβ by facilitating the lysosomal transport. One hour after intravenous administration, about 0.4% ID/g of ApoE3-rHDL got access to the brain. Four-week daily treatment with ApoE3-rHDL decreased Aβ deposition, attenuated microgliosis, ameliorated neurologic changes and rescued memory deficits in an AD animal model. The findings here provided the direct evidence of biomimetic nanostructures crossing the blood-brain barrier, capturing Aβ and facilitating its degradation by glial cells, indicating that ApoE3-rHDL might serve as a novel nanomedicine for disease modification in AD by accelerating Aβ clearance, which also justified the concept that nanostructures with Aβ-binding affinity might provide a novel nanoplatform for AD therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nanotechnology plays a unique instrumental role in the revolutionary development of brain-specific drug delivery, imaging, and diagnosis, but is highly limited by the existence of blood-brain barrier (BBB). In this study, microbubble-enhanced unfocused ultrasound (MEUUS) was developed as an approach to mediate an extensive brain delivery of poly (ethylene glycol) - poly (lactic acid) (PEG-PLA) nanoparticles. Following the MEUUS treatment, the nanoparticles signals were found to penetrate through the vascular walls and distributed deeply into the parenchyma at a significantly higher level (more than 250%) than those of the non-MEUUS treated control. Such effect was reversible and dependent on nanoparticles injection timing, sonication mode and mechanical index. Together with the transmission electron microscopy analysis, the increased brain accumulation of nanoparticles was claimed to be largely mediated by an ultrasound-induced stable cavitation of the microbubble which resulted in mechanical stretching of the vessel wall and consequently induced cellular transcytosis of the nanoparticles. The MEUUS technique was also used to facilitate the brain delivery of PEG-PLA nanoparticles functionalized with amyloid beta-specific antibody 6E10 for enabling the recognition of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease that widely distributed in the brain. No erythrocytes extravasation and other visible damages in the brain were detected following the MEUUS treatment. These findings together indicated that unfocused ultrasound with the aid of microbubble could effectively improve the brain delivery of nanoparticles, and this approach might serve as a safe and flexible platform for the potential application of nanoparticles in the diagnosis and therapy of brain diseases.