Differential activation of c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase and p38 pathways during FTY720-induced apoptosis of T lymphocytes that is suppressed by the extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway. (1/714)

FTY720 is a novel immunosuppressive drug derived from a metabolite from Isaria sinclairii that is known to induce apoptosis of rat splenic T cells. In this study, we examined the intracellular signaling pathway triggered by FTY720. Treatment of human Jurkat T lymphocytes with FTY720-induced apoptosis characterized by DNA fragmentation. The same treatment induced activation of protein kinases such as c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK), p38/CSBP (CSAID-binding protein), and a novel 36-kDa myelin basic protein (MBP) kinase, but not extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK). Pretreatment of Jurkat cells with DEVD-CHO blocked FTY720-induced DNA fragmentation as well as the activation of p38/CSBP. However, DEVD-CHO treatment failed to inhibit FTY720-induced activation of JNK and the 36-kDa MBP kinase. We have also demonstrated that activation of the ERK signaling pathway completely suppressed the FTY720-induced apoptotic process including activation of caspase 3 and activation of JNK and the 36-kDa MBP kinase. Furthermore, transient expression of constitutively active mitogen-activated protein kinase/ERK kinase (MEK) protected the cells from FTY720-induced cell death. The effect of MEK was canceled by coexpression of a mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase, CL100. These results indicate that JNK and p38 pathways are differentially regulated during FTY720-induced apoptosis and that activation of ERK pathway alone is sufficient to cancel the FTY720-induced death signal.  (+info)

Subtype-selective antagonism of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors by felbamate: insights into the mechanism of action. (2/714)

Felbamate is an anticonvulsant used in the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and complex partial seizures that are refractory to other medications. Its unique clinical profile is thought to be due to an interaction with N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, resulting in decreased excitatory amino acid neurotransmission. To further characterize the interaction between felbamate and NMDA receptors, recombinant receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes were used to investigate the subtype specificity and mechanism of action. Felbamate reduced NMDA- and glycine-induced currents most effectively at NMDA receptors composed of NR1 and NR2B subunits (IC50 = 0.93 mM), followed by NR1-2C (2.02 mM) and NR1-2A (8.56 mM) receptors. The NR1-2B-selective interaction was noncompetitive with respect to the coagonists NMDA and glycine and was not dependent on voltage. Felbamate enhanced the affinity of the NR1-2B receptor for the agonist NMDA by 3.5-fold, suggesting a similarity in mechanism to other noncompetitive antagonists such as ifenprodil. However, a point mutation at position 201 (E201R) of the epsilon2 (mouse NR2B) subunit that affects receptor sensitivity to ifenprodil, haloperidol, and protons reduced the affinity of NR1-epsilon2 receptors for felbamate by only 2-fold. Furthermore, pH had no effect on the affinity of NR1-2B receptors for felbamate. We suggest that felbamate interacts with a unique site on the NR2B subunit (or one formed by NR1 plus NR2B) that interacts allosterically with the NMDA/glutamate binding site. These results suggest that the unique clinical profile of felbamate is due in part to an interaction with the NR1-2B subtype of NMDA receptor.  (+info)

A Saprolegnia parasitica challenge system for rainbow trout: assessment of Pyceze as an anti-fungal agent for both fish and ova. (3/714)

A reproducible Saprolegnia parasitica spore delivery system was developed and demonstrated to be effective in providing a sustained spore challenge for up to 10 d. Treatment of rainbow trout with slow-release intraperitoneal implants containing cortisol resulted in chronically elevated blood cortisol levels and rendered the fish susceptible to infection by S. parasitica when exposed to the spore challenge. Sham-implanted fish were not susceptible to infection. Bronopol (2-bromo-2-nitro-propane-1,3-diol), formulated as Pyceze, was effective in protecting predisposed fish from infection by S. parasitica when administered as a daily bath/flush treatment at concentrations of 15 mg l-1 and greater. Pyceze was also demonstrated to protect fertilised rainbow trout ova from S. parasitica challenge when administered as a daily bath/flush treatment at concentrations of between 30 and 100 mg l-1. Pyceze appears to qualify as a safe and effective replacement for malachite green and formalin in the prevention of fungal infections in the aquaculture environment.  (+info)

Development and testing of a microbiological assay to detect residual effects of disinfectant on hard surfaces. (4/714)

We describe a glucuronidase bioassay for detecting residual bactericidal activity from the use of disinfectants on hard surfaces; in this assay we used formaldehyde, ethanol, isopropanol, chlorine, and a commercial preparation containing 2-bromo-2-nitro-1, 3-propanediol. Chlorine and the commercial preparation showed bactericidal activity (53.5% and 98.2%, respectively) for a week after disinfection.  (+info)

Assessment of adult and neonatal reproductive parameters in Sprague-Dawley rats exposed to propylene glycol monomethyl ether vapors for two generations. (5/714)

This study evaluated propylene glycol monomethyl ether (PGME) in a rat 2-generation reproduction study, which included non-traditional study end points, such as sperm count and motility, developmental landmarks, estrous cyclicity, and weanling organ weights. Groups of 30 male and 30 female Sprague-Dawley rats (6-weeks-old) were exposed to 0, 300, 1000, or 3000 ppm of PGME vapors via inhalation for 6 hours/day, 5 days/week prior to mating, and 6 hours/day, 7 days/week during mating, gestation, and lactation, for 2 generations. These concentrations corresponded to estimated oral equivalent doses of 0, 396, 1325, or 3974 mg/kg/day. At 3000 ppm, toxicity in the P1 and P2 adults was marked, as evidenced by sedation during and after exposure, and mean body weights which were as much as 21% lower than controls. This marked parental toxicity was accompanied by lengthened estrous cycles, decreased fertility, decreased ovary weights, and histologic ovarian atrophy in maternal rats. In the offspring from these dams, decreased body weights, reduced survival and litter size, slight delays in puberty onset, and histologic changes in liver and thymus in the F1 and F2 offspring were observed. The nature of the reproductive/neonatal effects and their close individual animal correlation with decreased maternal body weights suggested that these effects were secondary to general toxicity and/or nutritional stress. No such reproductive/neonatal effects were observed at 1000 ppm, a concentration which caused less marked, but significant body weight effects without sedation. There were no treatment-related effects of any kind noted at 300 ppm of PGME. Therefore, the no-observable-effect level (NOEL) for reproductive/neonatal effects was 1000 ppm, and that for parental toxicity was 300 ppm.  (+info)

FTY720, a new immunosuppressant, promotes long-term graft survival and inhibits the progression of graft coronary artery disease in a murine model of cardiac transplantation. (6/714)

Background-Effective immunosuppression is a critical determinant of organ and patient survival in cardiac transplantation. The present study was designed to determine the potency of FTY720, a new synthesized immunosuppressant, and examine its clinical potential as an immunosuppressant. Methods and Results-Hearts of DBA/2 mice were transplanted heterotopically in C57BL/6 mice. Recipients were treated with oral FTY720 in doses of 0.3, 1, 3, or 10 mg. kg(-1). d(-1) or with 40 mg. kg(-1). d(-1) of cyclosporin A (CsA) as a comparative treatment. The median graft survival time (MST) was significantly prolonged by treatment with FTY720 10 mg. kg(-1). d(-1). MST was not prolonged by FTY720 1 mg. kg(-1). d(-1) or CsA. However, FTY720 1 mg. kg(-1). d(-1) combined with CsA 40 mg. kg(-1). d(-1) resulted in a significant prolongation of MST. Histopathological studies performed 5 days after transplantation demonstrated remarkable suppression of inflammatory response by treatment with FTY720 10 mg. kg(-1). d(-1). Interleukin (IL)-2 and interferon (IFN)-gamma production was not suppressed; however, cytotoxic T lymphocyte activity was strongly suppressed in vitro. In addition, IL-2-stimulated T-cell proliferation and class I and class II MHC antigen expression on IFN-gamma-stimulated macrophages were strongly inhibited by FTY720. Histopathological studies 60 days after transplantation (DBA/2-B10.D2) demonstrated a beneficial effect on graft atherosclerosis. Conclusions-FTY720 promoted long-term cardiac graft survival and strongly inhibited the progression of graft atherosclerosis. These observations suggest that FTY720 has a promising clinical potential in cardiac transplantation.  (+info)

Short-chain alcohols promote an early stage of membrane hemifusion. (7/714)

Hemifusion, the linkage of contacting lipid monolayers of two membranes before the opening of a fusion pore, is hypothesized to proceed through the formation of a stalk intermediate, a local and strongly bent connection between membranes. When the monolayers' propensity to bend does not support the stalk (e.g., as it is when lysophosphatidylcholine is added), hemifusion is inhibited. In contrast, short-chain alcohols, reported to affect monolayer bending in a manner similar to that of lysophosphatidylcholine, were here found to promote hemifusion between fluorescently labeled liposomes and planar lipid bilayers. Single hemifusion events were detected by fluorescence microscopy. Methanol or ethanol (1.2-1.6 w/w %) added to the same compartment of the planar bilayer chamber as liposomes caused a 5-50 times increase in the number of hemifusion events. Alcohol-induced hemifusion was inhibited by lysophosphatidylcholine. Promotion of membrane hemifusion by short-chain alcohol was also observed for cell-cell fusion mediated by influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA). Alcohol promoted a fusion stage subsequent to the low pH-dependent activation of HA. We propose that binding of short-chain alcohol to the surface of membranes promotes hemifusion by facilitating the transient breakage of the continuity of each of the contacting monolayers, which is required for their subsequent merger in the stalk intermediate.  (+info)

A phase I and pharmacological study of protracted infusions of crisnatol mesylate in patients with solid malignancies. (8/714)

This Phase I and pharmacological study was performed to assess the feasibility of administering the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon crisnatol in increasingly prolonged continuous i.v. infusions to patients with advanced solid malignancies. The study also sought to characterize the-principal toxicities of crisnatol on this schedule, to recommend doses for subsequent disease-directed studies, and to characterize possible associations between pharmacological parameters and toxicity. Sixteen patients were treated with 40 courses of crisnatol administered as a continuous i.v. infusion. The initial dose-schedule was 750 mg/m2/day for 6 days, and the duration of the infusion was to be progressively increased by 3-day increments to 9, 12, 15, 18, and 21. Courses were to be repeated every 4 weeks. Moderate to severe central nervous system (CNS) toxicity precluded the administration of crisnatol 750 mg/m2/day for longer than 6 days, and, therefore, the dose of crisnatol was reduced to 600 mg/m2/day. At this dose, three of five patients receiving a 12-day infusion experienced dose-limiting toxicity, which consisted of pulmonary thromboembolism (two patients) and grade 4 thrombocytopenia (one patient). None of the six patients completing a 9-day infusion at 600 mg/m2/day developed dose-limiting toxicity during the first or second course of crisnatol. At this dose level, the plasma concentrations at steady state (Css) averaged 1607.8+/-261.1 ng/ml, which exceeds minimal inhibitory concentrations for most tumors in vitro (1000 ng/ml). In fact, the administration of crisnatol at a dose of 600 mg/m2/day for 9 days resulted in the longest duration that biologically relevant plasma crisnatol concentrations have been sustained. Plasma Css values were significantly higher in patients who experienced severe CNS toxicity compared with those who did not (2465.3+/-1213.5 versus 1342+/-447.3 ng/ml; P = 0.04). There were no relationships evident between the clearance of crisnatol and indices reflecting renal and hepatic functions. One patient with a glioblastoma multiforme experienced a partial response lasting 14 months. The relative lack of intolerable CNS toxicity at the recommended dose for Phase II studies of crisnatol, 600 mg/m2/day for 9 days, as well as the magnitude of the Css values achieved and the antitumor activity observed at this dose, are encouraging. However, the mechanisms for the apparently increased thrombogenicity observed in this trial are unclear and require further elucidation.  (+info)