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(1/7446) Persistent damage to Enterocytozoon bieneusi, with persistent symptomatic relief, after combined furazolidone and albendazole in AIDS patients.

AIM: To investigate morphological changes in Enterocytozoon bieneusi and the duration of symptomatic relief after combination treatment with furazolidone and albendazole in AIDS patients. METHODS: Four severely immunocompromised AIDS patients with symptomatic E bieneusi infection of the gut received an 18 day course of combined furazolidone and albendazole (500 + 800 mg daily). All patients were monitored for parasite shedding in stool by light microscopy at the end of treatment and monthly during follow up. At the end of treatment, duodenal biopsy specimens obtained from three patients were studied by transmission electron microscopy by two pathologists blind to the patients' treatment or clinical outcome. Duodenal biopsy specimens obtained from one of the patients two months after completion of treatment were also studied electronmicroscopically. RESULTS: All patients had long lasting symptomatic relief, with a major decrease--or transient absence--of spore shedding in stools from completion of treatment. After treatment, changes in faecal spores were persistently found by light microscopy in all cases, and there was evidence of both a substantial decrease in the parasite load and ultrastructural damage in the parasite in all biopsy specimens. The treatment was well tolerated, and no patient had clinical or parasitological relapse during follow up (up to 15 months). CONCLUSIONS: The long lasting symptomatic relief observed in all four treated patients correlated with the persistent decrease in parasite load both in tissue and in stool, and with the morphological changes observed in the life cycle of the protozoan. These data suggest that combined treatment with furazolidone and albendazole is active against E bieneusi and may result in lasting remission even in severely immunocompromised patients.  (+info)

(2/7446) Emergent immunoregulatory properties of combined glucocorticoid and anti-glucocorticoid steroids in a model of tuberculosis.

In Balb/c mice with pulmonary tuberculosis, there is a switch from a protective Th1-dominated cytokine profile to a non-protective profile with a Th2 component. This switch occurs while the adrenals are undergoing marked hyperplasia. Treatment with the anti-glucocorticoid hormones dehydroepiandrosterone or 3 beta, 17 beta-androstenediol, during the period of adrenal hyperplasia, maintains Th1 dominance and is protective. We investigated the effects of these hormones as therapeutic agents by administering them from day 60, when the switch to the non-protective cytokine profile was already well established. Given at this time (day 60), doses that were protective when given early (from day 0) were rapidly fatal. A physiological dose of the glucocorticoid corticosterone was also rapidly fatal. However when the corticosterone and the anti-glucocorticoid (AED or DHEA) were co-administered, there was protection, with restoration of a Th1-dominated cytokine profile, enhanced DTH responses, and enhanced expression of IL-1 alpha and TNF alpha. Therefore this combination of steroids has an emergent property that is quite unlike that of either type of steroid given alone. It may be possible to exploit the ant-inflammatory properties of glucocorticoids while preserving a Th1 bias, by combining glucocorticoids with DHEA or suitable metabolites.  (+info)

(3/7446) Precocious estrus and reproductive ability induced by PG 600 in prepuberal gilts.

A total of 29 SPF Large White prepuberal gilts (mean age 152 days at treatment) were examined for estrous and ovulatory responses after PG 600 treatment. After treatment, 85.2% of the gilts showed standing estrus within 6 days. Whereas the treatment-to-estrus interval and duration were 3.7 and 1.9 days respectively. As ovulation occurred on Day 5 to 6, appropriate timing of artificial insemination would be about 4 days after treatment. Fertility of gilts revealed to be excellent, giving rise to a high percentage of normal embryos, 85.3%. Meanwhile, development and growth of fetuses were mostly normal. Other reproductive performances recorded were: mean litter size 6.8; mean birth weight 1.26 kg; weaning-to-return estrus interval 5 to 8 days. In conclusion, PG 600 was found to be useful in inducing fertile estrus in prepuberal gilts, a result which will be of interest for commercial pig farms.  (+info)

(4/7446) Granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor and interleukin-3 correct osteopetrosis in mice with osteopetrosis mutation.

Although young mice homozygous for the osteopetrosis (op) mutation usually developed prominent osteopetrosis, its severity was markedly reduced in aged op/op mice. This age-associated reversal of osteopetrosis was accompanied by the expansion of bone marrow cavities and increased numbers of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)-positive cells and of macrophages in the bone marrow. The TRAP-positive cells were mononuclear and developed ruffled borders and numerous vesicles, vacuoles, and granules. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay demonstrated a significant elevation of serum granulocyte/ macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and interleukin (IL)-3 levels in the aged op/op mice. To examine whether GM-CSF and/or IL-3 could correct osteopetrosis in young op/op mice, 5 ng of recombinant murine (rm)GM-CSF and/or 100 ng of rmIL-3 were injected daily into young op/op mice. In these treated young op/op mice, the bone marrow cavities were expanded significantly at 2 weeks after administration, associated with significantly increased numbers of TRAP-positive cells and bone marrow macrophages. TRAP-positive cells increased in number with days after injection. These results suggest that GM-CSF and IL-3 induce the development of osteoclasts to correct osteopetrosis in the op/op mice with aging.  (+info)

(5/7446) Transforming growth factor-alpha acting at the epidermal growth factor receptor reduces infarct volume after permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats.

Transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-alpha) is a ligand for the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR), and is more abundant than EGF in the brain. The authors studied whether administration of exogenous TGF-alpha into the brain can protect neurons against ischemia in a model of permanent middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion in the rat, and whether any effect of TGF-alpha was mediated by EGFR by administering 4,5-dianilinophthalimide (DAPH), a protein-tyrosine kinase inhibitor with high selectivity for EGFR. Rats received either TGF-alpha (10 or 25 ng), DAPH (100 ng), DAPH plus TGF-alpha (25 ng), or vehicle in the ipsilateral first ventricle. Drugs were administered twice: 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after MCA occlusion, and infarct volume was evaluated 24 hours later. Transforming growth factor-alpha at the dose of 25 ng caused a statistically significant reduction of infarct volume (60%) in relation to ischemic rats administered vehicle. This reduction was no longer seen when TGF-alpha was administered in combination with DAPH. The present results show that TGF-alpha can protect neurons from ischemic damage, and that this effect is mediated by EGFR. It is suggested that activation of EGFR-mediated intracellular signalling pathways contributes to the survival of neural cells susceptible to ischemic injury.  (+info)

(6/7446) Spinal antinociceptive synergism between morphine and clonidine persists in mice made acutely or chronically tolerant to morphine.

Morphine (Mor) tolerance has been attributed to a reduction of opioid-adrenergic antinociceptive synergy at the spinal level. The present experiments tested the interaction of intrathecally (i.t.) administered Mor-clonidine (Clon) combinations in mice made acutely or chronically tolerant to Mor. ICR mice were pretreated with Mor either acutely (40 nmol i.t., 8 h; 100 mg/kg s.c., 4 h) or chronically (3 mg/kg s.c. every 6 h days 1 and 2; 5 mg/kg s.c. every 6 h days 3 and 4). Antinociception was detected via the hot water (52.5 degrees C) tail-flick test. After the tail-flick latencies returned to baseline levels, dose-response curves were generated to Mor, Clon, and Mor-Clon combinations in tolerant and control mice. Development of tolerance was confirmed by significant rightward shifts of the Mor dose-response curves in tolerant mice compared with controls. Isobolographic analysis was conducted; the experimental combined ED50 values were compared statistically against their respective theoretical additive ED50 values. In all Mor-pretreated groups, the combination of Mor and Clon resulted in significant leftward shifts in the dose-response curves compared with those of each agonist administered separately. In all tolerant and control groups, the combination of Mor and Clon produced an ED50 value significantly less than the corresponding theoretical additive ED50 value. Mor and Clon synergized in Mor-tolerant as well as in control mice. Spinally administered adrenergic/opioid synergistic combinations may be effective therapeutic strategies to manage pain in patients apparently tolerant to the analgesic effects of Mor.  (+info)

(7/7446) Persistent induction of apoptosis and suppression of mitosis as the basis for curative therapy with S-1, an oral 5-fluorouracil prodrug in a colorectal tumor model.

In an effort to improve the therapeutic selectivity of 5-fluorouracil (FUra) against colorectal cancer, S-1, a combination agent including a prodrug of FUra with two modulators, was recently developed by Taiho Pharmaceuticals Co. S-1 is a combination of tegafur (FT), 5-chloro-2,4-hydroxypyridine, and potassium oxonate in the molar ratio of 1.0:0.4:1.0, with the latter two components as inhibitors of dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase and phosphoribosylpyrophosphate transferase, respectively. In this study, the therapeutic selectivity and efficacy of S-1 (oral) was compared with FT (oral) and FUra (i.v. infusion) in rats bearing advanced colorectal cancer by using clinically relevant schedules. The maximum tolerated doses (MTDs) of S-1, FT, and FUra were 31.5, 200, and 25 mg/kg/d for 7 days and 22.5, 150, and 12.5 mg/kg/d for 28 days, respectively. The therapeutic index of S-1 was 4- to 5-fold higher than that of either FT or FUra. S-1 achieved 100% complete tumor regression (CR) at its MTD in both 7-day and 28-day schedules. Furthermore, the high incidences of stomatitis, alopecia, and diarrhea observed with FUra and FT, were not observed with S-1. In an attempt to understand the basis for the observed superior therapeutic selectivity with S-1, we studied pharmacokinetic analysis of FUra, drug-induced apoptosis, suppression of mitosis, and inhibition of thymidylate synthase (TS) after S-1, FUra, or FT administration. The peak plasma FUra concentrations derived from FUra or S-1 (FT) at comparable MTDs were similar, but the plasma level of FUra was higher with S-1 than with FUra. Induction of high and sustained apoptosis was achieved with S-1. Although the initial level of apoptosis induced by FUra was comparable to S-1, it was not sustained. The sustained level of apoptosis appears to correlate with tumor growth inhibition. Mitotic figures were more greatly suppressed with S-1 treatment than with FUra. Studies on TS inhibition indicated that, although both S-1 and FUra caused a 4- to 6-fold induction of total TS protein, single oral administration of S-1 was superior to 24-h infusion of FUra in suppressing free TS. The data are consistent with the observation that the therapeutic efficacy of S-1 (100% cure) over FUra is associated with high and sustained levels of drug-induced apoptosis, greater suppression of mitosis, and inhibition of free TS in tumor tissues.  (+info)

(8/7446) Growth hormone-releasing peptide-2 infusion synchronizes growth hormone, thyrotrophin and prolactin release in prolonged critical illness.

OBJECTIVE: During prolonged critical illness, nocturnal pulsatile secretion of GH, TSH and prolactin (PRL) is uniformly reduced but remains responsive to the continuous infusion of GH secretagogues and TRH. Whether such (pertinent) secretagogues would synchronize pituitary secretion of GH, TSH and/or PRL is not known. DESIGN AND METHODS: We explored temporal coupling among GH, TSH and PRL release by calculating cross-correlation among GH, TSH and PRL serum concentration profiles in 86 time series obtained from prolonged critically ill patients by nocturnal blood sampling every 20 min for 9 h during 21-h infusions of either placebo (n=22), GHRH (1 microg/kg/h; n=10), GH-releasing peptide-2 (GHRP-2; 1 microg/kg/h; n=28), TRH (1 microg/kg/h; n=8) or combinations of these agonists (n=8). RESULTS: The normal synchrony among GH, TSH and PRL was absent during placebo delivery. Infusion of GHRP-2, but not GHRH or TRH, markedly synchronized serum profiles of GH, TSH and PRL (all P< or =0.007). After addition of GHRH and TRH to the infusion of GHRP-2, only the synchrony between GH and PRL was maintained (P=0.003 for GHRH + GHRP-2 and P=0.006 for TRH + GHRH + GHRP-2), and was more marked than with GHRP-2 infusion alone (P=0.0006 by ANOVA). CONCLUSIONS: The nocturnal GH, TSH and PRL secretory patterns during prolonged critical illness are herewith further characterized to include loss of synchrony among GH, TSH and PRL release. The synchronizing effect of an exogenous GHRP-2 drive, but not of GHRH or TRH, suggests that the presumed endogenous GHRP-like ligand may participate in the orchestration of coordinated anterior pituitary hormone release.  (+info)