Toxicological findings in a fatal ingestion of methamphetamine.
This paper presents the case history of a fatality caused by the complications brought about by the presence of methamphetamine and ethanol. Drug concentrations are reported from samples obtained approximately 15 min after the subject was last observed to be chewing what was then believed to be gum, 3 h after the initial toxic symptoms were displayed, 6, 11, and 22 h later. The subjects conditions deteriorated over the course of this time, and he was declared dead 33 h after the initial display of toxic symptoms. The toxicological findings and concentration levels of the reported biological specimens concurred with the expected findings in a case of methamphetamine toxicity. (+info)
Expression of both P1 and P2 purine receptor genes by human articular chondrocytes and profile of ligand-mediated prostaglandin E2 release.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the expression and function of purine receptors in articular chondrocytes. METHODS: Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to screen human chondrocyte RNA for expression of P1 and P2 purine receptor subtypes. Purine-stimulated prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) release from chondrocytes, untreated or treated with recombinant human interleukin-1alpha (rHuIL-1alpha), was assessed by radioimmunoassay. RESULTS: RT-PCR demonstrated that human articular chondrocytes transcribe messenger RNA for the P1 receptor subtypes A2a and A2b and the P2 receptor subtype P2Y2, but not for the P1 receptor subtypes A1 and A3. The P1 receptor agonists adenosine and 5'-N-ethylcarboxamidoadenosine did not change PGE2 release from chondrocytes. The P2Y2 agonists ATP and UTP stimulated a small release of PGE2 that was potentiated after pretreatment with rHuIL-1alpha. PGE2 release in response to ATP and UTP cotreatment was not additive, but release in response to coaddition of ATP and bradykinin (BK) or UTP and BK was additive, consistent with ATP and UTP competition for the same receptor site. The potentiation of PGE2 release in response to ATP and UTP after rHuIL-1alpha pretreatment was mimicked by phorbol myristate acetate. CONCLUSION: Human chondrocytes express both P1 and P2 purine receptor subtypes. The function of the P1 receptor subtype is not yet known, but stimulation of the P2Y2 receptor increases IL-1-mediated PGE2 release. (+info)
Estrogen enhancement of anti-double-stranded DNA antibody and immunoglobulin G production in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.
OBJECTIVE: To study the in vitro effect of estrogen on IgG anti-double-stranded DNA (anti-dsDNA) antibody and total IgG production in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), in order to elucidate its regulatory role in SLE. METHODS: PBMC from SLE patients and normal donors were cultured with 17beta-estradiol (E2). IgG anti-dsDNA antibodies, total IgG, and cytokine activity in the culture supernatants were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. RESULTS: E2 enhanced production of IgG anti-dsDNA antibodies as well as total IgG in PBMC from SLE patients. Anti-dsDNA production in patients with inactive disease was less responsive to E2 than that in patients with active disease. E2 also enhanced total IgG, but not anti-dsDNA, production in the PBMC of normal donors. Antibody production was increased by E2 to a lesser extent in patients' B cells than in their PBMC. Anti-interleukin-10 (anti-IL-10) antibodies partially blocked the E2-induced increase in antibody production in patients' PBMC, but anti-IL-10 had no effect on B cells. E2 increased IL-10 production by patients' monocytes. Exogenous IL-10 acted additively with E2 in increasing antibody production in patients' B cells. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that E2 may polyclonally increase the production of IgG, including IgG anti-dsDNA, in SLE patients' PBMC by enhancing B cell activity and by promoting IL-10 production in monocytes. These findings support the involvement of E2 in the pathogenesis of SLE. (+info)
Synergistic protective effects of antioxidant and nitric oxide synthase inhibitor in transient focal ischemia.
Both nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitors and free radical scavengers have been shown to protect brain tissue in ischemia-reperfusion injury. Nitric oxide and superoxide anion act via distinct mechanisms and react together to form the highly deleterious peroxynitrite. Therefore the authors examined the effects and the interaction between the NOS inhibitor, NG nitro-L-arginine (LNA) and the antioxidant/superoxide scavenger, di-tert-butyl-hydroxybenzoic acid (DtBHB) in the rat submitted to 2 hours of middle cerebral artery occlusion. Posttreatment was initiated 4 hours after the onset of ischemia and infarct volume was measured at 48 hours. The dose-related effect of LNA resulted in a bell-shaped curve: 15, 56, 65, and 33% reduction of total infarct for 0.03, 0.1, 0.3, and 1 mg/kg (intravenously [IV]) respectively and 11% increase in infarct volume for 3 mg/kg (IV). Whereas DtBHB (20 mg/kg; intraperitoneally [IP]) was ineffective, the dose of 60 mg/kg produced 65% protection in infarct volume. The combination of a subthreshold dose of LNA (0.03 mg/kg; IV) and DtBHB (20 mg/kg; IP) resulted in significant reduction (49%) in infarct volume. These results show that LNA and DtBHB act synergistically to provide a consistent neuroprotection against ischemic injury when administered 4 hours after ischemia. This suggests that nitric oxide and free radicals are involved and interact in synergy in ischemia-reperfusion injury. (+info)
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)
Angiotensin receptor subtype 1 mediates angiotensin II enhancement of isoproterenol-induced cyclic AMP production in preglomerular microvascular smooth muscle cells.
In a previous study, we found that angiotensin (Ang) II enhances beta-adrenoceptor-induced cAMP production in cultured preglomerular microvascular smooth muscle cells (PMVSMCs) obtained from spontaneously hypertensive rats. The purpose of the present investigation was to identify the Ang receptor subtypes that mediate this effect. In our first study, we compared the ability of Ang II, Ang III, Ang (3-8), and Ang (1-7) to increase cAMP production in isoproterenol (1 microM)-treated PMVSMCs. Each peptide was tested at 0.1, 1, 10, 100, and 1000 nM. Both Ang II and Ang III increased intracellular (EC50s, 1 and 11 nM, respectively) and extracellular (EC50s, 2 and 14 nM, respectively) cAMP levels in a concentration-dependent fashion. In contrast, Ang (3-8) and Ang (1-7) did not enhance either intracellular or extracellular cAMP levels at any concentration tested. In our second study, we examined the ability of L 158809 [a selective Ang receptor subtype 1 (AT1) receptor antagonist] to inhibit Ang II (100 nM) and Ang III (100 nM) enhancement of isoproterenol (1 microM)-induced cAMP production in PMVSMCs. L 158809 (10 nM) abolished or nearly abolished (p <.001) Ang II and Ang III enhancement of isoproterenol-induced intracellular and extracellular cAMP levels. In contrast, PD 123319 (300 nM; a selective AT2 receptor antagonist) did not significantly alter Ang II enhancement of isoproterenol-induced intracellular or extracellular cAMP levels. We conclude that AT1 receptors, but not AT2, Ang (3-8), nor Ang (1-7) receptors mediate Ang II and Ang III enhancement of beta-adrenoceptor-induced cAMP production in cultured PMVSMCs. (+info)
1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 enhances the susceptibility of breast cancer cells to doxorubicin-induced oxidative damage.
1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3), the hormonal form of vitamin D, has anticancer activity in vivo and in vitro. Doxorubicin exerts its cytotoxic effect on tumor cells mainly by two mechanisms: (a) generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS); and (b) inhibition of topoisomerase II. We studied the combined cytotoxic action of 1,25(OH)2D3 and doxorubicin on MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Pretreatement with 1,25(OH)2D3 resulted in enhanced cytotoxicity of doxorubicin. The average enhancing effect after a 72-h pretreatment with 1,25(OH)2D3 (10 nM) followed by a 24-h treatment with 1 microg/ml doxorubicin was 74+/-9% (mean +/- SE). Under these experimental conditions, 1,25(OH)2D3 on its own did not affect cell number or viability. 1,25(OH)2D3 also enhanced the cytotoxic activity of another ROS generating quinone, menadione, but did not affect cytotoxicity induced by the topoisomerase inhibitor etoposide. The antioxidant N-acetylcysteine slightly reduced the cytotoxic activity of doxorubicin but had a marked protective effect against the combined action of 1,25(OH)2D3 and doxorubicin. These results indicate that ROS are involved in the interaction between 1,25(OH)2D3 and doxorubicin. 1,25(OH)2D3 also increased doxorubicin cytotoxicity in primary cultures of rat cardiomyocytes. Treatment of MCF-7 cells with 1,25(OH)2D3 alone markedly reduced the activity, protein, and mRNA levels of the cytoplasmic antioxidant enzyme Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase, which indicated that the hormone inhibits its biosynthesis. This reduction in the antioxidant capacity of the cells could account for the synergistic interaction between 1,25(OH)2D3 and doxorubicin and may also suggest increased efficacy of 1,25(OH)2D3 or its analogues in combination with other ROS-generating anticancer therapeutic modalities. (+info)
SDZ PSC 833, the cyclosporine A analogue and multidrug resistance modulator, activates ceramide synthesis and increases vinblastine sensitivity in drug-sensitive and drug-resistant cancer cells.
Resistance to chemotherapy is the major cause of cancer treatment failure. Insight into the mechanism of action of agents that modulate multidrug resistance (MDR) is instrumental for the design of more effective treatment modalities. Here we show, using KB-V-1 MDR human epidermoid carcinoma cells and [3H]palmitic acid as metabolic tracer, that the MDR modulator SDZ PSC 833 (PSC 833) activates ceramide synthesis. In a short time course experiment, ceramide was generated as early as 15 min (40% increase) after the addition of PSC 833 (5.0 microM), and by 3 h, [3H]ceramide was >3-fold that of control cells. A 24-h dose-response experiment showed that at 1.0 and 10 microM PSC 833, ceramide levels were 2.5- and 13.6-fold higher, respectively, than in untreated cells. Concomitant with the increase in cellular ceramide was a progressive decrease in cell survival, suggesting that ceramide elicited a cytotoxic response. Analysis of DNA in cells treated with PSC 833 showed oligonucleosomal DNA fragmentation, characteristic of apoptosis. The inclusion of fumonisin B1, a ceramide synthase inhibitor, blocked PSC 833-induced ceramide generation. Assessment of ceramide mass by TLC lipid charring confirmed that PSC 833 markedly enhanced ceramide synthesis, not only in KB-V-1 cells but also in wild-type KB-3-1 cells. The capacity of PSC 833 to reverse drug resistance was demonstrated with vinblastine. Whereas each agent at a concentration of 1.0 microM reduced cell survival by approximately 20%, when PSC 833 and vinblastine were coadministered, cell viability fell to zero. In parallel experiments measuring ceramide metabolism, it was shown that the PSC 833/vinblastine combination synergistically increased cellular ceramide levels. Vinblastine toxicity, also intensified by PSC 833 in wild-type KB-3-1 cells, was as well accompanied by enhanced ceramide formation. These data demonstrate that PSC 833 has mechanisms of action in addition to P-glycoprotein chemotherapy efflux pumping. (+info)