Tumor necrosis factor-alpha upregulates angiotensin II type 1 receptors on cardiac fibroblasts. (57/4528)

Angiotensin II (Ang II) plays an important role in post-myocardial infarction (MI) remodeling. Most Ang II effects related to remodeling involve activation of the type 1 receptor (AT(1)). Although the AT(1) receptor is upregulated on cardiac fibroblasts post-MI, little is known about the mechanisms involved in the process. Consequently, we tested whether growth factors known to be present in the remodeling heart increased AT(1) mRNA levels. Using quantitative competitive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, we found that norepinephrine, endothelin, atrial natriuretic peptide, and bradykinin had no significant effect on AT(1) mRNA levels. Ang II, transforming growth factor-beta(1), and basic fibroblast growth factor reduced AT(1) mRNA levels (P<0.02). Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), however, produced a marked increase in AT(1) mRNA. After 24 hours of TNF-alpha incubation, AT(1) mRNA increased by 5-fold above control levels (P<0.01). The EC(50) for the TNF-alpha effect was 4.6 ng/mL (0.2 nmol/L). Interleukin (IL)-1beta caused a 2.4-fold increase, whereas IL-2 and IL-6 had no significant effect. Studies of TNF-alpha enhancement of AT(1) mRNA levels demonstrate that the increase was not due to a change in transcript stability. TNF-alpha treatment for 48 hours also resulted in a 3-fold increase in AT(1) surface receptor and a 2-fold increase in Ang II-induced production of inositol phosphates. The present findings provide evidence for TNF-alpha regulation of AT(1) receptor density on cardiac fibroblasts. Because TNF-alpha concentration and AT(1) receptor density increase in the myocardium after MI, these results raise the possibility that TNF-alpha modulates post-MI remodeling by enhancing Ang II effects on cardiac fibroblasts.  (+info)

Hormonal regulation and cellular localization of fatty acid synthase in human fetal lung. (58/4528)

Fatty acid synthase (FAS; EC supplies de novo fatty acids for pulmonary surfactant synthesis, and FAS gene expression is both developmentally and hormonally regulated in the fetal lung. To further examine hormonal regulation of FAS mRNA and to determine the cellular localization of FAS gene expression, we cultured human fetal lungs (18-22 wk gestation) as explants for 1-4 days in the absence (control) or presence of glucocorticoid [dexamethasone (Dex), 10 nM] and/or cAMP agents (8-bromo-cAMP, 0.1 mM and IBMX, 0.1 mM). FAS protein content and activity increased similarly in the presence of Dex (109 and 83%, respectively) or cAMP (87 and 111%, respectively), and responses were additive in the presence of both hormones (230 and 203%, respectively). With a rabbit anti-rat FAS antibody, FAS immunoreactivity was not detected in preculture lung specimens but appeared in epithelial cells lining the tubules with time in culture. Dex and/or cAMP markedly increased staining of epithelial cells, identified as type II cells, whereas staining of mesenchymal fibroblasts was very low under all conditions. With in situ hybridization, FAS mRNA was found to be enriched in epithelial cells lining the alveolar spaces, and the reaction product increased in these cells when the explants were cultured with the hormones. The increased FAS mRNA content in the presence of Dex and/or cAMP is primarily due to increased stabilization of mRNA, although Dex alone increased the transcription rate by approximately 30%. We conclude that hormonal treatment of cultured human fetal lungs increases FAS gene expression primarily by increasing stability of the message. The induction of FAS during explant culture and by hormones occurs selectively in type II epithelial cells, consistent with the regulatory role of this enzyme in de novo synthesis of fatty acid substrate for surfactant synthesis in perinatal lungs.  (+info)

Mechanism of intestinal absorption of an orally active beta-lactam prodrug: uptake and transport of carindacillin in Caco-2 cells. (59/4528)

Absorption characteristics of carindacillin (CIPC) were investigated using Caco-2 cells, and the results were compared with those of its parent drug, carbenicillin (CBPC). Uptake of CBPC was not affected by the metabolic inhibitor or the change in extracellular pH. CBPC appeared to be taken up into Caco-2 cells by passive diffusion. In contrast, the uptake of CIPC was greater at lower extracellular pH and was inhibited in the presence of carbonyl cyanide p-(trifluoromethoxy)phenyl hydrazone, a protonophore. Also, transport of CIPC through Caco-2 cell monolayer was energy and temperature dependent. Moreover, the uptake and transport of CIPC were significantly inhibited in the presence of various monocarboxylic acids, which are the substrates of the monocarboxylic acid transport system(s), whereas the substrates of the oligopeptide transporter had no effect on the uptake or transport of CIPC. These results suggested that the absorption of CIPC may be mediated by the monocarboxylic acid transport system(s), not by the oligopeptide transporter. Furthermore, the uptake and transport of CIPC were approximately 40-fold greater than those of CBPC. Therefore, it is likely that the participation of a carrier-mediated transport in the absorption of CIPC may significantly contribute to the improved absorption of the prodrug over the parent drug.  (+info)

PC-904, a novel broad-spectrum semisynthetic penicillin with marked antipseudomonal activity: microbiological evaluation. (60/4528)

PC-904, sodium 6-{d(-)-alpha-(4-hydroxy-1,5-naphthyridine-3-carboxamido) phenylacetamido}-penicillanate, is a novel semisynthetic penicillin derivative that possesses a broad spectrum of in vitro and in vivo antibacterial activities. In low concentrations, PC-904 inhibits growth against large proportions of the gram-positive and gram-negative organisms susceptible to carbenicillin and gentamicin. In addition, PC-904 is several times more potent than carbenicillin against organisms such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Proteus vulgaris, Shigella, Salmonella, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Bacteroides fragilis. Most striking are the inhibitory effects of PC-904 against P. aeruginosa and K. pneumoniae. Against these two clinical isolates, PC-904 is, respectively, 35 and 100 times more active than carbenicillin. The minimum inhibitory concentrations of PC-904 against P. aeruginosa are comparable to those of gentamicin. PC-904 acts bactericidally. The effect of inoculum size on the antibacterial activity is often small and generally comparable to carbenicillin. The rate of binding to serum protein is high (88 to 98%), but the effect of the addition of serum on the drug's activity is not marked, because such binding is reversible. It is confirmed that PC-904 has a very potent in vivo antibacterial activity against gram-negative and gram-positive organisms. Against systemic infections with P. aeruginosa, K. pneumoniae, and E. coli in mice, PC-904 is 7 to 10 times, over 8 times, and 2 to 15 times more active than carbenicillin, respectively.  (+info)

Short report: evaluation of the potency and stability of a candidate vaccine against American cutaneous leishmaniasis. (61/4528)

Availability of a safe, immunogenic, and affordable vaccine would represent the best strategy for control of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL). Stability in field conditions is a essential property for any candidate vaccine. The stability and immunogenicity of three different preparations (thimerosal-preserved, autoclaved, and lyophilized) of a killed Leishmania amazonensis vaccine were assessed using fresh products and after 12 months of storage at 4 degrees C. Autoclaving was associated with a time-dependent decrease in the immunogenicity of the vaccine, as measured by the leishmanin skin test and production of interferon-gamma. These findings are of importance in the decision of which preparation of candidate killed CL vaccines should move to phase III trials.  (+info)

Assessment of the stability of N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide in vitro: implications for assessment of left ventricular dysfunction. (62/4528)

Plasma concentrations of N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) are raised in patients with left ventricular dysfunction. Measurement of this peptide has a potential diagnostic role in the identification and assessment of patients with heart failure. The stability of this peptide over time periods and conditions pertaining to routine clinical practice has not been reported previously. Blood samples were obtained from 15 subjects. One aliquot was processed immediately, and the remaining portions of the blood samples were stored for 24 h or 48 h at room temperature or on ice prior to processing. Plasma concentrations of NT-proBNP were measured with a novel immunoluminometric assay developed within our laboratory. Mean plasma concentrations of NT-proBNP were not significantly different whether blood samples were centrifuged immediately and stored at -70 degrees C or kept at room temperature or on ice for 24 h or 48 h. The mean percentage differences from baseline (reference standard) were +5.2% (95% confidence interval +18.2 to -7.8%) and +0.8% (+15.2 to -13.7%) after storage for 24 h at room temperature or on ice respectively, and +8.9% (+24.2 to -6. 5%) and +3.2% (+15.1 to -0.9%) for storage for 48 h at room temperature or on ice respectively. Pearson correlation coefficients for baseline NT-proBNP concentrations compared with levels at 48 h at room temperature or on ice were r=0.89 and r=0.83 respectively (both P<0.0001). Thus NT-proBNP extracted from plasma samples treated with EDTA and aprotinin is stable under conditions relevant to clinical practice.  (+info)

The lifetime of insulin hexamers. (63/4528)

The kinetic stability of insulin hexamers containing two metal ions was investigated by means of hybridization experiments. Insulin was covalently labeled at the N(epsilon)-amino group of Lys(B29) by a fluorescence donor and acceptor group, respectively. The labels neither affect the tertiary structure nor interfere with self-association. Equimolar solutions of pure donor and acceptor insulin hexamers were mixed, and the hybridization was monitored by fluorescence resonance energy transfer. With the total insulin concentration remaining constant and the association/dissociation equilibria unperturbed, the subunit interchange between hexamers is an entropy-driven relaxation process that ends at statistical distribution of the labels over 16 types of hexamers differing by their composition. The analytical description of the interchange kinetics on the basis of a plausible model has yielded the first experimental values for the lifetime of the hexamers. The lifetime is reciprocal to the product of the concentration of the exchanged species and the interchange rate constant: tau = 1/(c. k). Measured for different concentrations, temperatures, metal ions, and ligand-dependent conformational states, the lifetime was found to cover a range from minutes for T(6) to days for R(6) hexamers. The approach can be used under an unlimited variety of conditions. The information it provides is of obvious relevance for the handling, storage, and pharmacokinetic properties of insulin preparations.  (+info)

MDM2 and MDMX bind and stabilize the p53-related protein p73. (64/4528)

The p53 gene encodes one of the most important tumor suppressors in human cells and undergoes frequent mutational inactivation in cancers. MDM2, a transcriptional target of p53, binds p53 and can both inhibit p53-mediated transcription [1] [2] and target p53 for proteasome-mediated proteolysis [3] [4]. A close relative of p53, p73, has recently been identified [5] [6]. Here, we report that, like p53, p73alpha and the alternative transcription product p73beta also bind MDM2. Interaction between MDM2 and p53 represents a key step in the regulation of p53, as MDM2 promotes the degradation of p53. In striking contrast to p53, the half-life of p73 was found to be increased by binding to MDM2. Like MDM2, the MDM2-related protein MDMX also bound p73 and stabilized the level of p73. Moreover, the growth suppression functions of p73 and the induction of endogenous p21, a major mediator of the p53-dependent growth arrest pathway, were enhanced in the presence of MDM2. These differences between the regulation of p53 and p73 by MDM2/MDMX may highlight a physiological difference in their action.  (+info)