Inducible long-term gene expression in brain with adeno-associated virus gene transfer.
Recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors hold promise for treating a number of neurological disorders due to the ability to deliver long-term gene expression without toxicity or immune response. Critical to these endeavors will be controlled expression of the therapeutic gene in target cells. We have constructed and tested a dual cassette rAAV vector carrying a reporter gene under the control of the tetracycline-responsive system and the tetracycline transactivator. Transduction in vitro resulted in stable expression from the vector that can be suppressed 20-fold by tetracycline treatment. In vivo experiments, carried out to 6 weeks, demonstrated that vector-transduced expression is sustained until doxycycline administration upon which reporter gene expression is reduced. Moreover, the suppression of vector-driven expression can be reversed by removal of the drug. These studies demonstrate long-term regulated gene expression from rAAV vectors. This system will provide a valuable approach for controlling vector gene expression both in vitro and in vivo. (+info)
Bioterrorism alleging use of anthrax and interim guidelines for management--United States, 1998.
From October 30 through December 23, 1998, CDC received reports of a series of bioterroristic threats of anthrax exposure. Letters alleged to contain anthrax were sent to health clinics on October 30, 1998, in Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. During December 17-23 in California, a letter alleged to contain anthrax was sent to a private business, and three telephone threats of anthrax contamination of ventilation systems were made to private and public buildings. All threats were hoaxes and are under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and local law enforcement officials. The public health implications of these threats were investigated to assist in developing national public health guidelines for responding to bioterrorism. This report summarizes the findings of these investigations and provides interim guidance for public health authorities on bioterrorism related to anthrax. (+info)
Malaria prophylaxis using azithromycin: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in Irian Jaya, Indonesia.
New drugs are needed for preventing drug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria. The prophylactic efficacy of azithromycin against P. falciparum in malaria-immune Kenyans was 83%. We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to determine the prophylactic efficacy of azithromycin against multidrug-resistant P. falciparum malaria and chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium vivax malaria in Indonesian adults with limited immunity. After radical cure therapy, 300 randomized subjects received azithromycin (148 subjects, 750-mg loading dose followed by 250 mg/d), placebo (77), or doxycycline (75, 100 mg/d). The end point was slide-proven parasitemia. There were 58 P. falciparum and 29 P. vivax prophylaxis failures over 20 weeks. Using incidence rates, the protective efficacy of azithromycin relative to placebo was 71.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 50.3-83.8) against P. falciparum malaria and 98.9% (95% CI, 93.1-99.9) against P. vivax malaria. Corresponding figures for doxycycline were 96.3% (95% CI, 85.4-99.6) and 98% (95% CI, 88.0-99.9), respectively. Daily azithromycin offered excellent protection against P. vivax malaria but modest protection against P. falciparum malaria. (+info)
The inducible expression of dominant-negative epidermal growth factor receptor-CD533 results in radiosensitization of human mammary carcinoma cells.
Ionizing radiation activates the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and downstream signaling involving the cytoprotective mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. In our effort to investigate the role of EGFR in cellular responses to radiation, we generated mammary carcinoma cell clones, MCF-TR5-EGFR-CD533 and MDA-TR15-EGFR-CD533, that inducibly express EGFR-CD533, a truncated EGFR mutant lacking mitogenic and transformation activity. EGFR-CD533 expression inhibits radiation- and EGF-induced EGFR autophosphorylation and MAPK activation and, therefore, functions as a dominant-negative mutant without blocking the expression of EGFR or erbB-2, another member of the erbB receptor Tyr kinase family. Expression of EGFR-CD533 only minimally inhibited cell growth and did not alter radiosensitivity to single radiation exposures. However, repeated 2 Gy radiation exposures of cells, under conditions of EGFR-CD533 expression, essentially abolished their ability for subsequent cell growth. These results identify the inhibition of EGFR function through genetic manipulation as a potential therapeutic maneuver. The concept of such an intervention would be the radiosensitization of cells by counteracting a radiation-induced cytoprotective proliferation response. (+info)
Incorporation rates, stabilities, cytotoxicities and release of liposomal tetracycline and doxycycline in human serum.
Tetracycline and doxycycline were encapsulated in cationic, anionic and neutral liposomes. The amounts of antibiotic encapsulated, the stability of each preparation at 4 degrees C for 4 weeks, and the kinetics of the release of entrapped drug into human sera were assessed by high-performance liquid chromatography. The toxicities of the liposome preparations on human erythrocytes and HeLa 229 cells were evaluated in vitro. The results showed that doxycycline was entrapped more efficiently than tetracycline, and that doxycycline-entrapped liposomes were more stable at 4 degrees C and in human sera, and less cytotoxic than tetracycline-entrapped liposomes. (+info)
Cellular responses to excess phospholipid.
Phosphatidylcholine (PtdCho) is the major membrane phospholipid in mammalian cells, and its synthesis is controlled by the activity of CDP:phosphocholine cytidylyltransferase (CCT). Enforced CCT expression accelerated the rate of PtdCho synthesis. However, the amount of cellular PtdCho did not increase as a result of the turnover of both the choline and glycerol components of PtdCho. Metabolic labeling experiments demonstrated that cells compensated for elevated CCT activity by the degradation of PtdCho to glycerophosphocholine (GPC). Phospholipase D-mediated PtdCho hydrolysis and phosphocholine formation were unaffected. Most of the GPC produced in response to excess phospholipid production was secreted into the medium. Cells also degraded the excess membrane PtdCho to GPC when phospholipid formation was increased by exposure to exogenous lysophosphatidylcholine or lysophosphatidylethanolamine. The replacement of the acyl moiety at the 1-position of PtdCho with a non-hydrolyzable alkyl moiety prevented degradation to GPC. Accumulation of alkylacyl-PtdCho was associated with the inhibition of cell proliferation, demonstrating that alternative pathways of degradation will not substitute. GPC formation was blocked by bromoenol lactone, implicating the calcium-independent phospholipase A2 as a key participant in the response to excess phospholipid. Owing to the fact that PtdCho is biosynthetically converted to PtdEtn, excess PtdCho resulted in overproduction and exit of GPE as well as GPC. Thus, general membrane phospholipid homeostasis is achieved by a balance between the opposing activities of CCT and phospholipase A2. (+info)
Tetracycline up-regulates COX-2 expression and prostaglandin E2 production independent of its effect on nitric oxide.
Tetracyclines (doxycycline and minocycline) augmented (one- to twofold) the PGE2 production in human osteoarthritis-affected cartilage (in the presence or absence of cytokines and endotoxin) in ex vivo conditions. Similarly, bovine chondrocytes stimulated with LPS showed (one- to fivefold) an increase in PGE2 accumulation in the presence of doxycycline. This effect was observed at drug concentrations that did not affect nitric oxide (NO) production. In murine macrophages (RAW 264.7) stimulated with LPS, tetracyclines inhibited NO release and increased PGE2 production. Tetracycline(s) and L-N-monomethylarginine (L-NMMA) (NO synthase inhibitor) showed an additive effect on inhibition of NO and PGE2 accumulation, thereby uncoupling the effects of tetracyclines on NO and PGE2 production. The enhancement of PGE2 production in RAW 264.7 cells by tetracyclines was accompanied by the accumulation of both cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 mRNA and cytosolic COX-2 protein. In contrast to tetracyclines, L-NMMA at low concentrations (< or = 100 microM) inhibited the spontaneous release of No in osteoarthritis-affected explants and LPS-stimulated macrophages but had no significant effect on the PGE2 production. At higher concentrations, L-NMMA (500 microM) inhibited NO release but augmented PGE2 production. This study indicates a novel mechanism of action of tetracyclines to augment the expression of COX-2 and PGE2 production, an effect that is independent of endogenous concentration of NO. (+info)
Use of doxycycline-controlled gene expression to reversibly alter milk-protein composition in transgenic mice.
A reverse tetracycline transactivator-encoding cDNA under the control of the mammary specific beta-lactoglobulin promoter was linked to a bovine alpha-lactalbumin transcription unit driven by a reverse tetracycline-controlled transactivator/doxycycline-inducible human cytomegalovirus promoter. The construct was microinjected into eggs from alpha-lactalbumin-deficient mice. These mice produce a highly viscous lactose-free milk and have a shortened lactation period. Mice from three out of the nine transgenic lines investigated expressed reverse tetracycline-controlled transactivator mRNA in their lactating mammary glands at levels detectable by Northern analysis. Following doxycycline addition to the drinking water, lactation was fully restored in animals from the three lines. Doxycycline removal resulted in a reversal of phenotype. The observed mammary-specific and high expression of the doxycycline inducible reporter gene (up to 5.2 mg of recombinant alpha-lactalbumin.mL-1 of milk, i.e. up to 13-fold induction) opens up exciting prospects to use the tetracycline system to study the development and functioning of the mammary gland, and to control the production level of active pharmaceutical proteins in the milk of transgenic animals. (+info)