Molecular analysis of non-specific supersensitivity induced by AF64A in rat iris smooth muscle. (17/274)

Characteristics of supersensitivity induced by the pretreatment with AF64A, an inhibitor of choline uptake at parasympathetic nerve endings, were examined in rat iris sphincter. In preparations isolated and skinned by beta-escin after the micro injection of AF64A to eyes in vivo, the amplitude of maximum contraction in pCa 4.5 solution was increased by 180% of the control from the contralateral eyes. The Ca2+ sensitivity of the contractile system was slightly but significantly increased by AF64A injection; the half maximum contraction was obtained at pCa 5.87 and 6.05 in the control and AF64A-injected eyes, respectively. The increase in maximum contraction in AF64A injected ones was neither affected by the addition of calmodulin, GTPgammaS nor H-7. The increase in Ca2+ sensitivity by AF64A injection was not affected by calmodulin, enhanced by GTPgammaS and abolished by H-7. AF64A injection increased the total protein content only by 30% of the control. The contents of contractile proteins per iris were quantified using Western blotting with monoclonal antibodies. The contents of actin and calponin were increased by AF64A, whereas those of myosin, calmodulin and caldesmon were not affected. The results indicate that AF64A-induced enhancement of the maximum contraction is not mainly due to the increase in the contents of major contractile proteins and that the increase in Ca2+ sensitivity could be due to the mechanism in which changes in protein kinase C and/or GTP binding protein activity are involved.  (+info)

GC-MS analysis of methamphetamine impurities: reactivity of (+)- or (-)-chloroephedrine and cis- or trans-1,2-dimethyl-3-phenylaziridine. (18/274)

S-(+)-Methamphetamine is frequently found as the only isomer in urine specimens from methamphetamine abuseres. Enantiomerically pure S-(+)-methamphetamine can be synthesized from ephedrine or pseudoephedrine via chloroephedrine intermediates. These intermediates are unstable and capable of cyclizing to form cis- and trans-1,2-dimethyl-3-phenyl aziridine. Studies were done to determine if these intermediates could be detected when using a common gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric analytical method (derivatization with heptafluorobutyric anhydride, HFBA) for toxicological screening of methamphetamine. Analysis of (+)- or (-)-chloroephedrine after extraction into hexane and derivatization with HFBA indicated that both pseudoephedrine and ephedrine were the major compounds detected. Direct derivatization of a hexane solution of cis-1,2-dimethyl-3-phenyl aziridine yielded only the derivatives of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, indicating that the aziridine intermediate is responsible for the formation of the ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. These studies indicate that the aziridine intermediates would not be detected in methamphetamine samples following HFBA derivatization.  (+info)

Excision repair of 2,5-diaziridinyl-1,4-benzoquinone (DZQ)-DNA adduct by bacterial and mammalian 3-methyladenine-DNA glycosylases. (19/274)

The mechanisms of anticancer activity of 2,5-diaziridinyl-1,4-benzoquinone (DZQ) are believed to involve the alkylation of guanine and adenine bases. In this study, it has been investigated whether bacterial and mammalian 3-methyladenine-DNA glycosylases are able to excise DZQ-DNA adduct with a differential substrate specificity. DZQ-induced DNA adduct was first formed in the radiolabeled restriction enzyme DNA fragment, and excision of the DNA adduct was analyzed following treatment with homogeneous 3-methyladenine-DNA glycosylase from E. coli, rat, and human, respectively. Abasic sites generated by DNA glycosylases were cleaved by the associated lyase activity of the E. coli formamidopyrimidine-DNA glycosylase. Resolution of cleaved DNA on a sequencing gel with Maxam-Gilbert sequencing reactions showed that DZQ-induced adenine and guanine adducts were very good substrates for bacterial and mammalian enzymes. The E. coli enzyme excises DZQ-induced adenine and guanine adducts with similar efficiency. The rat and human enzymes, however, excise the adenine adduct more efficiently than the guanine adduct. These results suggest that the 3-methyladenine-DNA glycosylases from different origins have differential substrate specificity to release DZQ-DNA lesions. The use of 3-methyladenine-DNA glycosylase incision analysis could possibly be applied to quantify a variety of DNA adducts at the nucleotide level.  (+info)

Viral capsid mobility: a dynamic conduit for inactivation. (20/274)

Mass spectrometry and fluorescent probes have provided direct evidence that alkylating agents permeate the protein capsid of naked viruses and chemically inactivate the nucleic acid. N-acetyl-aziridine and a fluorescent alkylating agent, dansyl sulfonate aziridine, inactivated three different viruses, flock house virus, human rhinovirus-14, and foot and mouth disease virus. Mass spectral studies as well as fluorescent probes showed that alkylation of the genome was the mechanism of inactivation. Because particle integrity was not affected by selective alkylation (as shown by electron microscopy and sucrose gradient experiments), it was reasoned that the dynamic nature of the viral capsid acts as a conduit to the interior of the particle. Potential applications include fluorescent labeling for imaging viral genomes in living cells, the sterilization of blood products, vaccine development, and viral inactivation in vivo.  (+info)

Combined adenovirus-mediated nitroreductase gene delivery and CB1954 treatment: a well-tolerated therapy for established solid tumors. (21/274)

Gene-directed enzyme prodrug therapy (GDEPT) is a refinement of cancer chemotherapy that generates a potent cell-killing drug specifically in tumor cells by enzymatic activation of an inert prodrug. We describe in vivo studies that evaluate the efficacy and safety of intratumoral (i.t.) injection of an adenovirus vector (CTL102) expressing Escherichia coli nitroreductase (NTR) combined with systemic prodrug (CB1954) treatment. A single i.t. injection of CTL102 (7.5 x 10(9) to -2 x 10(10) particles) followed by CB1954 treatment produced clear anti-tumor effects in subcutaneous (s.c.) xenograft models of four cancers that are likely candidates for GDEPT (i.e., primary liver, head and neck, colorectal and prostate). Virus dose-response studies (s.c. liver model) revealed a steep increase and subsequent rapid plateauing of both NTR gene delivery and anti-tumor efficacy. Evidence of minor virus spread (toxicity) was observed in a s.c. head and neck xenograft model. This was eliminated by passive immunization with neutralizing anti-Ad5 antibodies prior to virus injection without reducing the magnitude of the anti-tumor effect. Preexisting anti-Ad5 neutralizing antibodies may therefore be an advantage rather than an issue in the clinical use of this new therapy.  (+info)

Differential mechanisms of neuroprotection by 17 beta-estradiol in apoptotic versus necrotic neurodegeneration. (22/274)

The major goal of this study was to compare mechanisms of the neuroprotective potential of 17 beta-estradiol in two models for oxidative stress-independent apoptotic neuronal cell death with that in necrotic neuronal cell death in primary neuronal cultures derived from rat hippocampus, septum, or cortex. Neuronal apoptosis was induced either by staurosporine or ethylcholine aziridinium (AF64A), as models for necrotic cell death glutamate exposure or oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) were applied. Long-term (20 hr) pretreatment (0.1 microm 17 beta-estradiol) was neuroprotective in apoptotic neuronal cell death induced by AF64A (40 microm) only in hippocampal and septal neuronal cultures and not in cortical cultures. The neuroprotective effect was blocked by the estrogen antagonists ICI 182,780 and tamoxifen and the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K) inhibitor LY294002. In glutamate and OGD-induced neuronal damage, long-term pretreatment was not effective. In contrast, short-term (1 hr) pretreatment with 17 beta-estradiol in the dose range of 0.5-1.0 microm significantly reduced the release of lactate dehydrogenase and improved morphology of cortical cultures exposed to glutamate or OGD but was not effective in the AF64A model. Staurosporine-induced apoptosis was not prevented by either long- or short-term pretreatment. The strong expression of the estrogen receptor-alpha and the modulation of Bcl proteins by 17 beta-estradiol in hippocampal and septal but not in cortical cultures indicates that the prevention of apoptotic, but not of necrotic, neuronal cell death by 17 beta-estradiol possibly depends on the induction of Bcl proteins and the density of estrogen receptor-alpha.  (+info)

An obligatory role for spinal cholinergic neurons in the antiallodynic effects of clonidine after peripheral nerve injury. (23/274)

BACKGROUND: Indirect evidence supports a role of spinal cholinergic neurons in tonically reducing response to noxious mechanical stimulation and in effecting analgesia from alpha2-adrenergic agonists. This study directly assessed the role of cholinergic neurons in regulating the level of mechanical allodynia and in participating in the antiallodynic effect of the clinically used alpha2-adrenergic agonist, clonidine, in an animal model of neuropathic pain. METHODS: Allodynia was produced in rats by ligation of the left L5 and L6 spinal nerves. Rats received a single intrathecal injection of saline or one of three different doses of the cholinergic neurotoxin, ethylcholine mustard aziridinium ion (AF64-A; 2, 5, and 15 nmol). Seven days later, allodynia was assessed before and after intrathecal injection of 15 microg clonidine. The spinal cord was removed, and spinal cord acetylcholine content, cholinergic neuron number and distribution, and alpha2-adrenergic receptor expression were determined. RESULTS: AF64-A administration reduced both the number of cholinergic cells and the acetylcholine content of the lumbar dorsal spinal cord by 20-50% but did not affect level of mechanical allodynia. AF64-A did, however, completely block the anti-allodynic effect of clonidine. AF64-A did not reduce alpha2-adrenergic ligand binding in dorsal lumbar cord. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that spinal cholinergic tone does not affect the level of mechanical allodynia after peripheral nerve injury. There is a quantitative reliance on spinal cholinergic neurons in the allodynia relieving properties of intrathecal clonidine, and this reliance does not depend on alpha2-adrenergic receptors colocalized on spinal cholinergic interneurons.  (+info)

Spinal endogenous acetylcholine contributes to the analgesic effect of systemic morphine in rats. (24/274)

BACKGROUND: Systemic morphine is known to cause increased release of acetyicholine in the spinal cord. Intrathecal injection of the cholinergic receptor agonists or acetyicholinesterase inhibitors produces antinociception in both animals and humans. In the present study, we explored the functional importance of spinal endogenous acetylcholine in the analgesic action produced by intravenous morphine. METHODS: Rats were implanted with intravenous and intrathecal catheters. The antinociceptive effect of morphine was determined by the paw-withdrawal latency in response to a radiant heat stimulus after intrathecal treatment with atropine (a muscarinic receptor antagonist), mecamylamine (a nicotinic receptor antagonist), or cholinergic neurotoxins (ethylcholine mustard aziridinium ion [AF64A] and hemicholinium-3). RESULTS: Intravenous injection of 2.5 mg/kg morphine increased significantly the paw-withdrawal latency. Intrathecal pretreatment with 30 microg atropine (n = 7) or 50 microg mecamylamine (n = 6) both attenuated significantly the antinociceptive effect of morphine. The inhibitory effect of atropine on the effect of morphine was greater than that of mecamylanilne. Furthermore, the antinociceptive effect of morphine was significantly reduced in rats pretreated with intrathecal AF64A (n = 7) or hemicholinium-3 (n = 6) to inhibit the high-affinity choline transporter and acetylcholine synthesis. We found that intrathecal AF64A reduced significantly the [3H]hemicholinium-3 binding sites but did not affect its affinity in the dorsal spinal cord. CONCLUSIONS: The data in the current study indicate that spinal endogenous acetylcholine plays an important role in mediating the analgesic effect of systemic morphine through both muscarinic and nicotinic receptors.  (+info)