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(1/11278) Transduction of glioma cells using a high-titer retroviral vector system and their subsequent migration in brain tumors.

The intracranial migration of transduced glioma cells was investigated in order to improve the treatment of malignant glioma by gene therapy using retroviral vectors. In this study, about half the volume of the tumor mass could be transduced in 14 days after only a single implantation of 3 x 10(5) retrovirus-producing cells into a tumor mass with a diameter of 5 mm. Moreover, we were able to follow the migration of glioma cells transduced by the lacZ-harboring retroviruses originating from the high-titer retrovirus-producing cells. Besides the importance of using a high-titer retroviral vector system, our results also indicate that the implantation site of the virus-producing cells and the interval between the implantation of the virus-producing cells and the subsequent administration of ganciclovir are important factors for the efficient killing of glioma cells.  (+info)

(2/11278) The bystander effect in the HSVtk/ganciclovir system and its relationship to gap junctional communication.

The bystander effect (BSE) is an interesting and important property of the herpes thymidine kinase/ganciclovir (hTK/GCV) system of gene therapy for cancer. With the BSE, not only are the hTK expressing cells killed upon ganciclovir (GCV) exposure but also neighboring wild-type tumor cells. On testing a large number of tumor cell lines in vitro, a wide range of sensitivity to bystander killing was found. Since transfer of toxic GCV metabolites from hTK-modified to wild-type tumor cells via gap junctions (GJ) seemed to be a likely mechanism of the BSE, we tested GJ function in these various tumors with a dye transfer technique and pharmacological agents known to affect GJ communication. We confirmed that mixtures of tumor cell resistant to the BSE did not show dye transfer from cell to cell while bystander-sensitive tumor cells did. Dieldrin, a drug known to decrease GJ communication, diminished dye transfer and also inhibited the BSE. Forskolin, an upregulator of cAMP did increase GJ, but directly inhibited hTK and therefore its effect on BSE could not be determined. We conclude that these observations further support port the concept that functional GJ play an important role in the BSE and further suggest that pharmacological manipulation of GJ may influence the outcome of cancer therapy with hTK/GCV.  (+info)

(3/11278) An antiviral mechanism of nitric oxide: inhibition of a viral protease.

Although nitric oxide (NO) kills or inhibits the replication of a variety of intracellular pathogens, the antimicrobial mechanisms of NO are unknown. Here, we identify a viral protease as a target of NO. The life cycle of many viruses depends upon viral proteases that cleave viral polyproteins into individual polypeptides. NO inactivates the Coxsackievirus protease 3C, an enzyme necessary for the replication of Coxsackievirus. NO S-nitrosylates the cysteine residue in the active site of protease 3C, inhibiting protease activity and interrupting the viral life cycle. Substituting a serine residue for the active site cysteine renders protease 3C resistant to NO inhibition. Since cysteine proteases are critical for virulence or replication of many viruses, bacteria, and parasites, S-nitrosylation of pathogen cysteine proteases may be a general mechanism of antimicrobial host defenses.  (+info)

(4/11278) Characterization of transgenic mice with targeted disruption of the catalytic domain of the double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase, PKR.

The interferon-inducible, double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase PKR has been implicated in anti-viral, anti-tumor, and apoptotic responses. Others have attempted to examine the requirement of PKR in these roles by targeted disruption at the amino terminal-encoding region of the Pkr gene. By using a strategy that aims at disruption of the catalytic domain of PKR, we have generated mice that are genetically ablated for functional PKR. Similar to the other mouse model of Pkr disruption, we have observed no consequences of loss of PKR on tumor suppression. Anti-viral response to influenza and vaccinia also appeared to be normal in mice and in cells lacking PKR. Cytokine signaling in the type I interferon pathway is normal but may be compromised in the erythropoietin pathway in erythroid bone marrow precursors. Contrary to the amino-terminal targeted Pkr mouse, tumor necrosis factor alpha-induced apoptosis and the anti-viral apoptosis response to influenza is not impaired in catalytic domain-targeted Pkr-null cells. The observation of intact eukaryotic initiation factor-2alpha phosphorylation in these Pkr-null cells provides proof of rescue by another eukaryotic initiation factor-2alpha kinase(s).  (+info)

(5/11278) Infectious complications in 126 patients treated with high-dose chemotherapy and autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation.

The effect of an extensive prophylactic antimicrobial regimen was prospectively assessed in 126 patients after high-dose chemotherapy and autologous PBSC. They received ciprofloxacin (500 mg/12 h), acyclovir (200 mg/6 h), and itraconazole (200 mg/12 h) orally until neutrophil recovery. Febrile patients received i.v. imipenem (500 mg/6 h) to which vancomycin and amikacin were added if fever persisted for 2-3 and 5 days, respectively. Amphotericin B lipid complex was further given on day 7 or 8 of fever. Median times for a neutrophil count of >0.5 x 10(9)/l and a platelet count of >20 x 10(9)/l were 9 and 11 days. Severe neutropenia (<0.1 x 10(9)/l) lasted for a median of 5 days in which 72% of febrile episodes and 50% of cases of bacteremia occurred. Gram-positive bacteria were isolated in 30 of 40 episodes of bacteremia, 25 of which were caused by Staphylococcus epidermidis. Clinical foci were the intravascular catheter in 35 cases, respiratory infection in 11, cellulitis in two, anal abscess in one, and neutropenic enterocolitis in one. The high incidence of febrile episodes (94%) and bacteremias (31%) may be due to the lack of efficacy of antimicrobial prophylaxis and the persistence of a 5-day period of severe neutropenia.  (+info)

(6/11278) Herpetic keratitis. Proctor Lecture.

Although much needs to be learned about the serious clinical problem of herpes infection of the cornea, we have come a long way. We now have effective topical antiviral drugs. We have animal models which, with a high degree of reliability, clearly predict the effect to be expected clinically in man, as well as the toxicity. We have systemically active drugs and the potential of getting highly active, potent, completely selective drugs, with the possibility that perhaps the source of viral reinfection can be eradicated. The biology of recurrent herpes and stromal disease is gradually being understood, and this understanding may result in new and better therapy of this devastating clinical disease.  (+info)

(7/11278) Comparative study of the anti-human cytomegalovirus activities and toxicities of a tetrahydrofuran phosphonate analogue of guanosine and cidofovir.

Cidofovir is the first nucleoside monophosphate analogue currently being used for the treatment of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) retinitis in individuals with AIDS. Unfortunately, the period of therapy with the use of this compound may be limited due to the possible emergence of serious irreversible nephrotoxic effects. New drugs with improved toxicity profiles are needed. The goal of this study was to investigate the anticytomegaloviral properties and drug-induced toxicity of a novel phosphonate analogue, namely, (-)-2-(R)-dihydroxyphosphinoyl-5-(S)-(guanin-9'-yl-methyl) tetrahydrofuran (compound 1), in comparison with those of cidofovir. The inhibitory activities of both compounds on HCMV propagation in vitro were similar against the AD 169 and Towne strains, with 50% inhibitory concentrations ranging from 0.02 to 0.17 microgram/ml for cidofovir and < 0.05 to 0.09 microgram/ml for compound 1. A clinical HCMV isolate that was resistant to ganciclovir and that had a known mutation within the UL54 DNA polymerase gene and a cidofovir-resistant laboratory strain derived from strain AD 169 remained sensitive to compound 1, whereas their susceptibilities to ganciclovir and cidofovir were reduced by 33- and 10-fold, respectively. Both compound 1 and cidofovir exhibited equal potencies in an experimentally induced murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) infection in mice, with a prevention or prolongation of mean day to death at dosages of 1.0, 3.2, and 10.0 mg/kg of body weight/day. In cytotoxicity experiments, compound 1 was found to be generally more toxic than cidofovir in cell lines Hs68, HFF, and 3T3-L1 (which are permissive for HCMV or MCMV replication) but less toxic than cidofovir in MRC-5 cells (which are permissive for HCMV replication). Drug-induced toxic side effects were noticed for both compounds in rats and guinea pigs in a 5-day repeated-dose study. In guinea pigs, a greater weight loss was noticed with cidofovir than with compound 1 at dosages of 3.0 and 10.0 mg/kg/day. An opposite effect was detected in rats, which were treated with the compounds at relatively high dosages (up to 100 mg/kg/day). Compound 1 and cidofovir were nephrotoxic in both rats and guinea pigs, with the epithelium lining the proximal convoluted tubules in the renal cortex being the primary target site. The incidence and the severity of the lesions were found to be dose dependent. The lesions observed were characterized by cytoplasm degeneration and nuclear modifications such as karyomegaly, the presence of pseudoinclusions, apoptosis, and degenerative changes. In the guinea pig model, a greater incidence and severity of lesions were observed for cidofovir than for compound 1 (P < 0.001) with a drug regimen of 10 mg/kg/day.  (+info)

(8/11278) Single-dose pharmacokinetics of a pleconaril (VP63843) oral solution in children and adolescents. Pediatric Pharmacology Research Unit Network.

Pleconaril is an orally active, broad-spectrum antipicornaviral agent which demonstrates excellent penetration into the central nervous system, liver, and nasal epithelium. In view of the potential pediatric use of pleconaril, we conducted a single-dose, open-label study to characterize the pharmacokinetics of this antiviral agent in pediatric patients. Following an 8- to 10-h period of fasting, 18 children ranging in age from 2 to 12 years (7.5 +/- 3.1 years) received a single 5-mg/kg of body weight oral dose of pleconaril solution administered with a breakfast of age-appropriate composition. Repeated blood samples (n = 10) were obtained over 24 h postdose, and pleconaril was quantified from plasma by gas chromatography. Plasma drug concentration-time data for each subject were fitted to the curve by using a nonlinear, weighted (weight = 1/Ycalc) least-squares algorithm, and model-dependent pharmacokinetic parameters were determined from the polyexponential parameter estimates. Pleconaril was well tolerated by all subjects. A one-compartment open-model with first-order absorption best described the plasma pleconaril concentration-time profile in 13 of the subjects over a 24-h postdose period. Pleconaril pharmacokinetic parameters (means +/- standard deviations) for these 13 patients were as follows. The maximum concentration of the drug in serum (Cmax) was 1,272.5 +/- 622.1 ng/ml. The time to Cmax was 4.1 +/- 1.5 h, and the lag time was 0.75 +/- 0.56 h. The apparent absorption rate constant was 0.75 +/- 0.48 1/h, and the elimination rate constant was 0.16 +/- 0.07 1/h. The area under the concentration-time curve from 0 to 24 h was 8,131.15 +/- 3,411.82 ng.h/ml. The apparent total plasma clearance was 0.81 +/- 0.86 liters/h/kg, and the apparent steady-state volume of distribution was 4.68 +/- 2.02 liters/kg. The mean elimination half-life of pleconaril was 5.7 h. The mean plasma pleconaril concentrations at both 12 h (250.4 +/- 148.2 ng/ml) and 24 h (137.9 +/- 92.2 ng/ml) after the single 5-mg/kg oral dose in children were higher than that from in vitro studies reported to inhibit > 90% of nonpolio enterovirus serotypes (i.e., 70 ng/ml). Thus, our data support the evaluation of a 5-mg/kg twice-daily oral dose of pleconaril for therapeutic trials in pediatric patients with enteroviral infections.  (+info)