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    ABSTRACT: As medicine progresses into a new era of personalised therapy, the use of monoclonal antibodies to treat a wide range of diseases lies at the heart of this new forefront. Since the licensing of the first monoclonal antibody for clinical use 30 years ago, the monoclonal antibody industry has expanded exponentially and is now valued at billions of dollars. With major advances in genetic sequencing and biomedical research, much research into monoclonal antibodies now focuses on identifying new targets for development and maximising their efficacy for use in clinical practice. However, a balance has to be struck with regards to reducing numbers of side-effects and overall economic cost, which arguably somewhat blighted their early clinical and commercial successes. Nowadays, there are approximately 30 monoclonal antibodies that have been approved for use in clinical practice with many more currently being tested in clinical trials. Some of the current major limitations include: the use of inefficient models for generation, a lack of efficacy and issues of cost-effectiveness. Some of the current research focuses on ways to improve the efficacy of existing monoclonal antibodies through optimising their effects and the addition of beneficial modifications. This review will focus on the history of monoclonal antibody development – how it has increasingly moved away from using laborious animal models to a more effective phage display system, some of the major drawbacks from a clinical and economical point of view and future innovations that are currently being researched to maximise their effectiveness for future clinical use.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Annals of Medicine and Surgery
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Calcitonin (CT) has recently been shown to display chondroprotective effects. Here, we investigate the putative mechanisms by which CT delivers these actions. Methods: Immortalized C-28/I2 cells or primary adult human articular chondrocytes (AHAC) were cultured in high-density micromasses to investigate: (i) CT anabolic effects using qPCR and immuhistochemistry analysis; (ii) CT anti-apoptotic effects using quantitation of Bax/Bcl gene products ratio, TUNEL assay and caspase-3 expression; (iii) CT effects on CREB, COL2A1 and NFAT transcription factors. Results: CT (10(-10)-10(-8)nM) induced significant up-regulation of cartilage phenotypic markers (SOX9, COL2A1 and ACAN), with down-regulation of catabolic (MMP1 and MMP13 and ADAMTS5) gene products both in resting and inflammatory conditions. This was mirrored by an augmented production of type II collagen and accumulation of glycosaminoglycan- and proteoglycan-rich extracellular matrix in vitro. Mechanistic analyses revealed only partial involvement of cyclic AMP formation in these effects of CT. Congruently, using reporter assays for specific transcription factors, there was no indication for CREB activation, whereas the COL2A1 promoter was genuinely and directly activated by cell exposure to CT. Phenotypically, these mechanisms supported the ability of CT, whilst inactive on its own, to counteract the pro-apoptotic effects of IL-1β, demonstrated by TUNEL-positive staining of chondrocytes and ratio of BAX/BCL genes products. Conclusion: These data may provide a novel lead for the development of CT-based chondroprotective strategies that rely on the engagement of mechanisms that lead to augmented chondrocyte anabolism and inhibited chondrocyte apoptosis.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Biochemical Pharmacology
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    ABSTRACT: Emotions and feelings are the bricks of our social life and yet we often forget that they have a significant impact on our physical wellbeing. Indeed, a growing number of studies have shown that both an imbalanced or improved emotional state can significantly influence the way our immune system responds. In this commentary, we have summarized the most recent studies on the effects of different types of emotional states on the immune system and we have also explored the effects of mood modulator approaches on the immune response. We hope this commentary will prompt scientists and clinicians to think about the therapeutic value and potential of emotions and feelings in immune-related diseases. At the same time, we think that this commentary will shed some light on the scientific truth behind the very famous expression "It's in my blood" when we talk about feelings and personality.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Biochemical Pharmacology
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