Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia remains a difficult therapeutic problem. Optimal doses and modes of administration of single agents often do not result in acceptable outcomes. Further, emergence of resistance occurs frequently in this setting with single-agent chemotherapy. The purpose of these experiments was to evaluate combination chemotherapy with meropenem plus tobramycin for P. aeruginosa in a murine pneumonia model. Neutropenia was induced by cyclophosphamide. Pharmacokinetics of meropenem and tobramycin were determined using a population pharmacokinetic approach. Both drugs were given at 4-h intervals. Meropenem was administered as total daily doses of 30 to 600 mg/kg of body weight, while tobramycin doses ranged from 50 to 400 mg/kg. Combination therapy evaluated all combinations of 50, 100, and 150 mg/kg/day of tobramycin doses with 60 or 300 mg/kg/day of meropenem. Total and drug-resistant organisms were enumerated. Meropenem alone had a near-maximal effect at 60 mg/kg/day (3.18 log10 [CFU/g] kill from stasis). The time > MIC in epithelial lining fluid (ELF) at this dose was 35.25% of 24 h. For tobramycin alone, the near-maximal effect was at 150 mg/kg/day and the area under the concentration-time curve over 24 h in the steady state divided by the MIC (AUC/MIC ratio) in ELF was 240.3. Resistance suppression occurred at an ELF AUC/MIC ratio of 110.6. For combination therapy, the near-maximal effect was reached at 60 mg/kg/day and 50 mg/kg/day of meropenem and tobramycin, which produced a 35.25% time > MIC in ELF and an ELF AUC/MIC ratio of 80.1. The interaction was additive. All combination regimens suppressed resistance. Combination therapy produced additive drug interaction and suppressed all resistance amplification. It is likely that optimal therapy for Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia will involve a combination of agents.
Microspores can be induced to develop homozygous doubled haploid plants in a single generation. In the present experiments androgenic microspores of wheat have been genetically transformed and developed into mature homozygous transgenic plants. Two different transformation techniques were investigated, one employing electroporation and the other co-cultivation with Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Different tissue culture and transfection conditions were tested on nine different wheat cultivars using four different constructs. A total of 19 fertile transformants in five genotypes from four market classes of common wheat were recovered by the two procedures. PCR followed by DNA sequencing of the products, Southern blot analyses and bio/histo-chemical and histological assays of the recombinant enzymes confirmed the presence of the transgenes in the T0 transformants and their stable inheritance in homozygous T1∶2 doubled haploid progenies. Several decisive factors determining the transformation and regeneration efficiency with the two procedures were determined: (i) pretreatment of immature spikes with CuSO4 solution (500 mg/L) at 4°C for 10 days; (ii) electroporation of plasmid DNA in enlarged microspores by a single pulse of ∼375 V; (iii) induction of microspores after transfection at 28°C in NPB-99 medium and regeneration at 26°C in MMS5 medium; (iv) co-cultivation with Agrobacterium AGL-1 cells for transfer of plasmid T-DNA into microspores at day 0 for <24 hours; and (v) elimination of AGL-1 cells after co-cultivation with timentin (200–400 mg/L).
All known ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) belong to the phylum Thaumarchaeota within the domain Archaea. AOA possess the diagnostic amoA gene (encoding the alpha subunit of ammonia monooxygenase) and produce lipid biomarker thaumarchaeol. Although the abundance and diversity of amoA gene-encoding archaea (AEA) in freshwater lakes have been well-studied, little is known about AEA ecology in saline/hypersaline lakes. In this study, the distribution of the archaeal amoA gene and thaumarchaeol were investigated in nine Qinghai–Tibetan lakes with a salinity range from freshwater to salt-saturation (salinity: 325 g L-1). The results showed that the archaeal amoA gene was present in hypersaline lakes with salinity up to 160 g L-1. The archaeal amoA gene diversity in Tibetan lakes was different from those in other lakes worldwide, suggesting Tibetan lakes (high elevation, strong ultraviolet, and dry climate) may host a unique AEA population of different evolutionary origin from those in other lakes. Thaumarchaeol was present in all of the studied hypersaline lakes, even in those where no AEA amoA gene was observed. Future research is needed to determine the ecological function of AEA and possible sources of thaumarchaeol in the Qinghai–Tibetan hypersaline lakes.
amoA gene; AEA; Thaumarchaeol; salinity; Qinghai–Tibetan lakes
We present a summer precipitation reconstruction for the last glacial (LG) on the western edge of the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP) using a well-dated organic carbon isotopic dataset together with an independent modern process study results. Our results demonstrate that summer precipitation variations in the CLP during the LG were broadly correlated to the intensity of the Asian summer monsoon (ASM) as recorded by stalagmite oxygen isotopes from southern China. During the last deglaciation, the onset of the increase in temperatures at high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere and decline in the intensity of the East Asia winter monsoon in mid latitudes was earlier than the increase in ASM intensity and our reconstructed summer precipitation in the western CLP. Quantitative reconstruction of a single paleoclimatic factor provides new insights and opportunities for further understanding of the paleoclimatic variations in monsoonal East Asia and their relation to the global climatic system.
Objective: Due its inhibitory effects on chemical carcinogenesis and inflammation, Cucurbitacins have been proposed as an effective agent for the prevention or treatment of human cancers. In this study, we aimed to explore the effect of Cucurbitacin E (CuE) on human breast cancer cells. Methods: The inhibitory effect of CuE on proliferation of Bcap37 and MDA-MB-231 cells was assessed by MTT assay. The cell cycle distribution and cell apoptosis were determined by flow cytometry (FCM). The expression of pro-caspase 3, cleaved caspase 3, p21, p27 and the phosphorylation of signaling proteins was detected by Western Blotting. Results: CuE inhibited the growth of human breast cancer cells in a dose and time-dependent manner. FCM analysis showed that CuE induced G2/M phase arrest and cell apoptosis. CuE treatment promoted the cleavage of caspase 3 and upregulated p21 and p27. In addition, the phosphorylation of STAT3 but not ERK-1/2 was abrogated upon CuE treatment. Interestingly, losedose CuE significantly enhanced the growth inhibition induced by cisplatin. Conclusions Cucurbitacin E (CuE) could inhibit the growth of human breast cancer cells in vitro. CuE induced both apoptosis and cell cycle arrest probably through the inhibition of STAT3 function. Lose-dose CuE significantly enhanced the growth inhibitory effect of cisplatin on breast cancer cells, further indicating the potential clinical values of CuE for the prevention or treatment of human breast cancer
Cucurbitacin E; breast cancer; apoptosis
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common progressive neurological disorder and is composed of motor and non-motor symptoms. Sleep disturbances are frequent problems for patients with PD. The relationship between sleep disturbances with Hoehn and Yahr (H&Y) staging have been demonstrated. However, the relationship between sleep disorders and H&Y is still unclear in patients with PD without dementia in Chinese PD patients. In this study, we interviewed 487 non-demented PD patients of Chinese Han descents by H&Y classification. We found that night sleep quality was significantly associated with the severity of PD (P = 0.008). Panic disorder severity scale (PDSS) total scores were correlated with PD non-motor symptoms scale (PDNMS) scores (r = -0.528, P < 0.001), the Hamilton depression scale (HAMD) scores (r = -0.545, P < 0.001) and the Hamilton anxiety scale (HAMA) scores (r = -0.498, P < 0.001). Our results indicated that sleep quality deteriorated with the advancing of PD in Chinese non-demented patients with PD. Depression and anxiety may partly explain sleep disturbances in non-demented patients with PD.
sleep quality; depression; anxiety; Parkinson disease; non-demented
Two atmospheric circulation systems, the mid-latitude Westerlies and the Asian summer monsoon (ASM), play key roles in northern-hemisphere climatic changes. However, the variability of the Westerlies in Asia and their relationship to the ASM remain unclear. Here, we present the longest and highest-resolution drill core from Lake Qinghai on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau (TP), which uniquely records the variability of both the Westerlies and the ASM since 32 ka, reflecting the interplay of these two systems. These records document the anti-phase relationship of the Westerlies and the ASM for both glacial-interglacial and glacial millennial timescales. During the last glaciation, the influence of the Westerlies dominated; prominent dust-rich intervals, correlated with Heinrich events, reflect intensified Westerlies linked to northern high-latitude climate. During the Holocene, the dominant ASM circulation, punctuated by weak events, indicates linkages of the ASM to orbital forcing, North Atlantic abrupt events, and perhaps solar activity changes.
Vegetation restoration has been conducted in the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP) since the 1950s, and large areas of farmland have been converted to forest and grassland, which largely results in SOC change. However, there has been little comparative research on SOC sequestration and distribution between secondary forest and restored grassland. Therefore, we selected typical secondary forest (SF-1 and SF-2) and restored grassland (RG-1 and RG-2) sites and determined the SOC storage. Moreover, to illustrate the factors resulting in possible variance in SOC sequestration, we measured the soil δ13C value. The average SOC content was 6.8, 9.9, 17.9 and 20.4 g kg−1 at sites SF-1, SF-2, RG-1 and RG-2, respectively. Compared with 0–100 cm depth, the percentage of SOC content in the top 20 cm was 55.1%, 55.3%, 23.1%, and 30.6% at sites SF-1, SF-2, RG-1 and RG-2, suggesting a higher SOC content in shallow layers in secondary forest and in deeper layers in restored grassland. The variation of soil δ13C values with depth in this study might be attributed to the mixing of new and old carbon and kinetic fractionation during the decomposition of SOM by microbes, whereas the impact of the Suess effect (the decline of 13C atmospheric CO2 values with the burning of fossil fuel since the Industrial Revolution) was minimal. The soil δ13C value increased sharply in the top 20 cm, which then increased slightly in deeper layers in secondary forest, indicating a main carbon source of surface litter. However the soil δ13C values exhibited slow increases in the whole profile in the restored grasslands, suggesting that the contribution of roots to soil carbon in deeper layers played an important role. We suggest that naturally restored grassland would be a more effective vegetation type for SOC sequestration due to higher carbon input from roots in the CLP.
Bacillus anthracis causes anthrax. Ciprofloxacin is a gold standard for the treatment of anthrax. Previously, using the non-toxin-producing ΔSterne strain of B. anthracis, we demonstrated that linezolid was equivalent to ciprofloxacin for reducing the total (vegetative and spore) bacterial population. With ciprofloxacin therapy, the total population consisted of spores. With linezolid therapy, the population consisted primarily of vegetative bacteria. Linezolid is a protein synthesis inhibitor, while ciprofloxacin is not. Since toxins are produced only by vegetative B. anthracis, the effect of linezolid and ciprofloxacin on toxin production is of interest. The effect of simulated clinical regimens of ciprofloxacin and linezolid on the vegetative and spore populations and on toxin production was examined in an in vitro pharmacodynamic model over 15 days by using the toxin-producing Sterne strain of B. anthracis. Ciprofloxacin and linezolid reduced the total Sterne population at similar rates. With ciprofloxacin therapy, the total Sterne population consisted of spores. With linezolid therapy, >90% of the population was vegetative B. anthracis. With ciprofloxacin therapy, toxin was first detectable at 3 h and remained detectable for at least 5 h. Toxin was never detected with linezolid therapy. Ciprofloxacin and linezolid reduced the total Sterne population at similar rates. However, the B. anthracis population was primarily spores with ciprofloxacin therapy and was primarily vegetative bacteria with linezolid therapy. Toxin production was detected for at least 5 h with ciprofloxacin therapy but was never detected with linezolid treatment. Linezolid may have an advantage over ciprofloxacin for the treatment of B. anthracis infections.
New broad-spectrum β-lactamases such as KPC enzymes and CTX-M-15 enzymes threaten to markedly reduce the utility of our armamentarium of β-lactam agents, even our most potent drugs, such as carbapenems. NXL104 is a broad-spectrum non-β-lactam β-lactamase inhibitor. In this evaluation, we examined organisms carrying defined β-lactamases and identified doses and schedules of NXL104 in combination with the new cephalosporin ceftaroline, which would maintain good bacterial cell kill and suppress resistance emergence for a clinically relevant period of 10 days in our hollow-fiber infection model. We examined three strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae and one isolate of Enterobacter cloacae. K. pneumoniae 27-908M carried KPC-2, SHV-27, and TEM-1 β-lactamases. Its isogenic mutant, K. pneumoniae 4207J, was “cured” of the plasmid expressing the KPC-2 enzyme. K. pneumoniae 24-1318A carried a CTX-M-15 enzyme, and E. cloacae 2-77C expressed a stably derepressed AmpC chromosomal β-lactamase. Dose-ranging experiments for NXL104 administered as a continuous infusion with ceftaroline at 600 mg every 8 h allowed identification of a 24-h area under the concentration-time curve (AUC) for NXL104 that mediated bactericidal activity and resistance suppression. Dose fractionation experiments identified that “time > threshold” was the pharmacodynamic index linked to cell kill and resistance suppression. Given these results, we conclude that NXL104 combined with ceftaroline on an 8-hourly administration schedule would be optimal for circumstances in which highly resistant pathogens are likely to be encountered. This combination dosing regimen should allow for optimal bacterial cell kill (highest likelihood of successful clinical outcome) and the suppression of resistance emergence.
Tedizolid (TR-700, formerly torezolid) is the active component of the new oxazolidinone prodrug tedizolid phosphate (TR-701). We had previously demonstrated that tedizolid possessed potent antistaphylococcal activity superior to that of linezolid in a neutropenic mouse thigh infection model (A. Louie, W. Liu, R. Kulawy, and G. L. Drusano, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 55:3453-3460, 2011). In the current investigation, we used a mouse thigh infection model to delineate the effect of an interaction of TR-700 and granulocytes on staphylococcal cell killing. We compared the antistaphylococcal killing effect of doses of TR-701 equivalent to human exposures ranging from 200 to 3,200 mg/day in both granulocytopenic and normal mice. The mice were evaluated at 24, 48, and 72 h after therapy initiation. In granulocytopenic mice, a clear exposure response in which, depending on the time point of evaluation, stasis was achieved at “human-equivalent” doses of slightly below 2,300 mg/day (at 24 h) to slightly below 2,000 mg/day (at 72 h) was observed. In immune-normal animals, stasis was achieved at human-equivalent doses of slightly greater than 100 mg/day or less. The variance in bacterial cell killing results was attributable to the presence of granulocytes (without drug), the direct effect of TR-700 on Staphylococcus aureus, and the effect of the drug on Staphylococcus aureus mediated through granulocytes. The majority of the bacterial cell killing in normal animals was attributable to the effect of TR-700 mediated through granulocytes. Additional studies need to be undertaken to elucidate the mechanism underlying this observation.
Systemic candidiasis causes significant mortality in patients despite amphotericin B (AMB) therapy. Mycograb C28Y variant, a human recombinant antibody fragment to heat shock protein 90, is closely related to Mycograb, which showed a survival advantage in combination with AMB in a phase III human trial. The Mycograb C28Y variant could potentially increase the antifungal effect of AMB. In our study, the interaction between AMB-desoxycholate (DAMB) and the Mycograb C28Y variant was characterized in vitro by using a checkerboard method. Quantitative cultures of kidneys, livers, and spleens of neutropenic mice with systemic Candida albicans infections were used to assess the in vivo interaction between 1.4 mg/kg of body weight/day of DAMB and 0.15, 1.5, and 15 mg/kg/day of the Mycograb C28Y variant after 1, 3, and 5 days of therapy. DAMB and Mycograb C28Y variant monotherapies, vehicle, and a no-treatment arm served as controls. Also, single- and multidose pharmacokinetics for the Mycograb C28Y variant were determined. Indifference or synergy between DAMB and the Mycograb C28Y variant was seen in two trials by the checkerboard method. The pharmacokinetics of the Mycograb C28Y variant was best described by a 2-compartment model with a median serum t1/2α of ∼0.198 h and a t1/2β of ∼1.77 h. In mice, DAMB together with the Mycograb C28Y variant was no more effective than AMB alone (P > 0.05 by analysis of variance). The Mycograb C28Y variant alone had no antifungal activity. We therefore conclude that the Mycograb C28Y variant in combination with DAMB offered no benefit over DAMB monotherapy in a neutropenic murine model of systemic candidiasis.
Torezolid phosphate (TR-701) is the phosphate monoester prodrug of the oxazolidinone TR-700 which demonstrates potent in vitro activity against Gram-positive bacteria, including methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). The pharmacodynamics of TR-701 or TR-700 (TR-701/700) against S. aureus is incompletely defined. Single-dose pharmacokinetic studies were conducted in mice for TR-701/700. Forty-eight-hour dose range and 24-hour dose fractionation studies were conducted in a neutropenic mouse thigh model of S. aureus infection using MRSA ATCC 33591 to identify the dose and schedule of administration of TR-701/700 that was linked with optimized antimicrobial effect. Additional dose range studies compared the efficacies of TR-701/700 and linezolid for one MSSA strain and one community-associated MRSA strain. In dose range studies, TR-701/700 was equally bactericidal against MSSA and MRSA. Mean doses of 37.6 and 66.9 mg/kg of body weight/day of TR-701/700 resulted in stasis and 1 log CFU/g decreases in bacterial densities, respectively, at 24 h, and mean doses of 35.3, 46.6, and 71.1 mg/kg/day resulted in stasis and 1 and 2 log CFU/g reductions, respectively, at 48 h. Linezolid administered at doses as high as 150 mg/kg/day did not achieve stasis at either time point. Dose fractionation studies demonstrated that the area under the concentration-time curve over 24 h in the steady state divided by the MIC (AUC/MIC ratio) was the pharmacodynamic index for TR-701/700 that was linked with efficacy. TR-701/700 was highly active against MSSA and MRSA, in vivo, and was substantially more efficacious than linezolid, although linezolid's top exposure has half the human exposure. Dose fractionation studies showed that AUC/MIC was the pharmacodynamic index linked with efficacy, indicating that once-daily dosing in humans is feasible.
Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes plague, is a potential agent of bioterrorism. Streptomycin is the “gold standard” for the treatment of plague infections in humans, but the drug is not available in many countries, and resistance to this antibiotic occurs naturally and has been generated in the laboratory. Other antibiotics have been shown to be active against Y. pestis in vitro and in vivo. However, the relative efficacies of clinically prescribed regimens of these antibiotics with streptomycin and with each other for the killing of Yersinia pestis are unknown. The efficacies of simulated pharmacokinetic profiles for human 10-day clinical regimens of ampicillin, meropenem, moxifloxacin, ciprofloxacin, and gentamicin were compared with the gold standard, streptomycin, for killing of Yersinia pestis in an in vitro pharmacodynamic model. Resistance amplification with therapy was also assessed. Streptomycin killed the microbe in one trial but failed due to resistance amplification in the second trial. In two trials, the other antibiotics consistently reduced the bacterial densities within the pharmacodynamic systems from 108 CFU/ml to undetectable levels (<102 CFU/ml) between 1 and 3 days of treatment. None of the comparator agents selected for resistance. The comparator antibiotics were superior to streptomycin against Y. pestis and deserve further evaluation.
Mutual information is a measure of similarity between two variables. It has been widely used in various application domains including computational biology, machine learning, statistics, image processing, and financial computing. Previously used simple histogram based mutual information estimators lack the precision in quality compared to kernel based methods. The recently introduced B-spline function based mutual information estimation method is competitive to the kernel based methods in terms of quality but at a lower computational complexity.
We present a new approach to accelerate the B-spline function based mutual information estimation algorithm with commodity graphics hardware. To derive an efficient mapping onto this type of architecture, we have used the Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA) programming model to design and implement a new parallel algorithm. Our implementation, called CUDA-MI, can achieve speedups of up to 82 using double precision on a single GPU compared to a multi-threaded implementation on a quad-core CPU for large microarray datasets. We have used the results obtained by CUDA-MI to infer gene regulatory networks (GRNs) from microarray data. The comparisons to existing methods including ARACNE and TINGe show that CUDA-MI produces GRNs of higher quality in less time.
CUDA-MI is publicly available open-source software, written in CUDA and C++ programming languages. It obtains significant speedup over sequential multi-threaded implementation by fully exploiting the compute capability of commonly used CUDA-enabled low-cost GPUs.
We wished to delineate granulocytes' impact on the clearance of different bacterial burdens of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus in a granulocyte-replete mouse thigh infection model. A mouse thigh model was employed. Bacterial challenges from 105 to 3 × 107 CFU (S. aureus) and from 3 × 104 to 3 × 108 CFU (P. aeruginosa) were injected into murine posterior thighs. Organism quantitation was at baseline, 2 h (Pseudomonas only), and 24 h. A Michaelis-Menten population model was fit to the data for each organism. Breakpoints for microbial containment by granulocytes were identified. Bacterial burdens exceeding that breakpoint value resulted in organism multiplication. The Michaelis-Menten model fit the data well. For P. aeruginosa, the observed-predicted plot had a regression equation that explained over 98% of the variance (P ≪ 0.001). For S. aureus, this relationship explained greater than 94% of the variance (P ≪ 0.001). Maximal growth rate constants, maximal population burdens, and the bacterial loads at which granulocytes killed if half-saturated were not different. The kill rate constant for P. aeruginosa was almost 10 times that of S. aureus. Bacterial kill by granulocytes is saturable. No difference between saturation points of different isolates was seen. A higher bacterial burden means an increasing reliance on chemotherapy to drive bacterial clearance.
We compared drugs (imipenem and doripenem), doses (500 mg and 1 g), and infusion times (0.5 and 1.0 [imipenem], 1.0 and 4.0 h [doripenem]) in our hollow-fiber model, examining cell kill and resistance suppression for three isogenic strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. The experiments ran for 10 days. Serial samples were taken for total organism and resistant subpopulation counts. Drug concentrations were determined by high-pressure liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). Free time above the MIC (time > MIC) was calculated using ADAPT II. Time to resistance emergence was examined with Cox modeling. Cell kill and resistance emergence differences were explained, in the main, by differences in potency (MIC) between doripenem and imipenem. Prolonged infusion increased free drug time > MIC and improved cell kill. For resistance suppression, the 1-g, 4-h infusion was able to completely suppress resistance for the full period of observation for the wild-type isolate. For the mutants, control was ultimately lost, but in all cases, this was the best regimen. Doripenem gave longer free time > MIC than imipenem and, therefore, better cell kill and resistance suppression. For the wild-type organism, the 1-g, 4-h infusion regimen is preferred. For organisms with resistance mutations, larger doses or addition of a second drug should be studied.
The dose choice for Pseudomonas aeruginosa remains a matter of debate. The actual exposure targets required for multilog killing of organisms at the primary infection site have not been delineated. We studied Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 using a murine model of pneumonia. We employed a large mathematical model to fit all the concentration-time data in plasma and epithelial lining fluid (ELF) as well as colony counts in lung simultaneously for all drug doses. Penetration into ELF was calculated to be approximately 77.7%, as indexed to the ratio of the area under the concentration-time curve for ELF (AUCELF) to the AUCplasma. We determined the ELF concentration-time profile required to drive a stasis response as well as 1-, 2-, or 3-log10(CFU/g) kill. AUC/MIC ratios of 12.4, 31.2, 62.8, and 127.6 were required to drive these bacterial responses. Emergence of resistance was seen only at the two lowest doses (three of five animals at 50 mg/kg [body weight] and one of five animals at 100 mg/kg). The low exposure targets were likely driven by a low mutational frequency to resistance. Bridging to humans was performed using Monte Carlo simulation. With a 750-mg levofloxacin dose, target attainment rates fell below 90% at 4 mg/liter, 1 mg/liter, and 0.5 mg/liter for 1-, 2-, and 3-log kills, respectively. Given the low exposure targets seen with this strain, we conclude that levofloxacin at a 750-mg dose is not adequate for serious Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia as a single agent. More isolates need to be studied to make these observations more robust.
We report one case of brain glioma that developed in the scar of an old brain trauma. A 45-year-old man who presented with seizures; MRI showed a large mass in the right temporal region. Surgical biopsy showed a glioblastoma multiforme. The patient had suffered a cranial trauma in a road accident 10 years previously with an intracerebral hematoma in the right temporal region. This case fulfills the established criteria for a traumatic origin of brain tumors and adds further support to the relationship between cranial trauma and the onset of glioma. As stated by other authors, an association between head trauma and brain tumor risk cannot be ruled out and should be studied further.
head trauma; post-traumatic glioma
The drug interaction terminology (synergy, additivity, antagonism) relates to bacterial kill. The suppression of resistance requires greater drug exposure. We examined the combination of meropenem and tobramycin for kill and resistance suppression (wild-type Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 and its isogenic MexAB-overexpressed mutant). The drug interaction was additive. The introduction of MexAB overexpression significantly altered the 50% inhibitory concentration of meropenem but not that of tobramycin, resulting in the recovery of a marked increase in colony numbers from drug-containing plates. For the wild type, more tobramycin-resistant isolates than meropenem-resistant isolates were present, and the tobramycin-resistant isolates were harder to suppress. MexAB overexpression unexpectedly caused a significant increase in the number of tobramycin-resistant mutants, as indexed to the area under the curve of slices through the inverted U resistance mountain. The differences were significant, except in the absence of meropenem. We hypothesize that the pump resulted in the presence of less meropenem for organism inhibition, allowing more rounds of replication and also affecting the numbers of tobramycin-resistant mutants. When resistance suppression is explored by combination chemotherapy, it is important to examine the impacts of differing resistance mechanisms for both agents.
Pancreatic cancer is a lethal disease accounting for the fourth leading cause of cancer death in USA. Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and the insulin-like growth factor-I receptor (IGF-1R) are tyrosine kinases that activate common pathways, leading to increased proliferation and cell survival. Sparse information is available regarding their contribution to the malignant behavior of pancreatic cancer. We analyzed the relationship between FAK and IGF-1R in human pancreatic cancer cells, determined which downstream signaling pathways are altered following kinase inhibition or downregulation and studied whether dual kinase inhibition represents a potential novel treatment strategy in this deadly disease. Using immunoprecipitation and confocal microscopy, we show for the first time that FAK and IGF-1R physically interact in pancreatic cancer cells and that inhibition of tyrosine phosphorylation of either kinase disrupts their interaction. Decreasing phosphorylation of either FAK or IGF-1R alone resulted in little inhibition of cell viability or increased apoptosis. However, dual inhibition of FAK, using either a dominant-negative construct (FAK-CD) or small interfering RNA, and IGF-1R, using a specific small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor (AEW-541) or stable expression of a truncated, mutated IGF-1R, led to a synergistic decrease in cell proliferation and phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and increase in cell detachment and apoptosis compared with inhibition of either pathway alone. Dual kinase inhibition with FAK-CD and AEW-541 resulted in a marked increase in apoptosis when FAK was displaced from the focal adhesions. Inhibition of both tyrosine kinase activities via a novel single small molecular inhibitor (TAE 226), at low doses specific for FAK and IGF-1R, resulted in significant inhibition of cell viability, decrease in phosphorylation of ERK and Akt and increase in apoptosis accompanied by cleavage of Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) and activation of caspase-3 in pancreatic cancer cells. Thus, simultaneous inhibition of both tyrosine kinases represents a potential novel therapeutic approach in human pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
Rifampin is a cornerstone of modern antituberculosis therapy. However, rifampin's half-life of 3 h is believed to limit its utility for intermittent therapy, so new congeners with long half-lives are being developed. Using an in vitro pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic model of tuberculosis, we examined the relationships between rifampin exposure, microbial killing of log-phase-growth Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and suppression of resistance. Rifampin's microbial killing was linked to the area under the concentration-time curve-to-MIC ratio. The suppression of resistance was associated with the free peak concentration (Cmax)-to-MIC ratio and not the duration that the rifampin concentration was above MIC. Rifampin prevented resistance to itself at a free Cmax/MIC ratio of ≥175. The postantibiotic effect duration was ≥5.2 days and was most closely related to the Cmax/MIC ratio (r2 = 0.96). To explain rifampin's concentration-dependent effect, we examined the kinetics of rifampin entry into M. tuberculosis. Rifampin achieved concentration-dependent intracellular steady-state concentrations within 15 min. Our results suggest that doses of rifampin higher than those currently employed would optimize the effect of rifampin, if patients could tolerate them. Another major implication is that in the design of new rifampin congeners for intermittent therapy, the important properties may include (i) the efficient entry of the rifamycin into M. tuberculosis, (ii) the achievement of a free Cmax/MIC of >175 that can be tolerated by patients, and (iii) a long postantibiotic effect duration.
The prevalence of fluoroquinolone-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae is slowly rising as a consequence of the increased use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics to treat community-acquired pneumonia. We tested the hypothesis that increased efflux pump (EP) expression by S. pneumoniae may facilitate the emergence of fluoroquinolone resistance. By using an in vitro pharmacodynamic infection system, a wild-type S. pneumoniae strain (Spn-058) and an isogenic strain with EP overexpression (Spn-RC2) were treated for 10 days with ciprofloxacin or levofloxacin in the presence or absence of the EP inhibitor reserpine to evaluate the effect of EP inhibition on the emergence of resistance. Cultures of Spn-058 and Spn-RC2 were exposed to concentration-time profiles simulating those in humans treated with a regimen of ciprofloxacin at 750 mg orally once every 12 h and with regimens of levofloxacin at 500 and 750 mg orally once daily (QD; with or without continuous infusions of 20 μg of reserpine/ml). The MICs of ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin for Spn-058 were both 1 μg/ml when susceptibility testing was conducted with each antibiotic alone and with each antibiotic in the presence of reserpine. For Spn-RC2, the MIC of levofloxacin alone and with reserpine was also 1 μg/ml; the MICs of ciprofloxacin were 2 and 1 μg/ml, respectively, when determined with ciprofloxacin alone and in combination with reserpine. Reserpine, alone, had no effect on the growth of Spn-058 and Spn-RC2. For Spn-058, simulated regimens of ciprofloxacin at 750 mg every 12 h or levofloxacin at 500 mg QD were associated with the emergence of fluoroquinolone resistance. However, the use of ciprofloxacin at 750 mg every 12 h and levofloxacin at 500 mg QD in combination with reserpine rapidly killed Spn-058 and prevented the emergence of resistance. For Spn-RC2, levofloxacin at 500 mg QD was associated with the emergence of resistance, but again, the resistance was prevented when this levofloxacin regimen was combined with reserpine. Ciprofloxacin at 750 mg every 12 h also rapidly selected for ciprofloxacin-resistant mutants of Spn-RC2. However, the addition of reserpine to ciprofloxacin therapy only delayed the emergence of resistance. Levofloxacin at 750 mg QD, with and without reserpine, effectively eradicated Spn-058 and Spn-RC2 without selecting for fluoroquinolone resistance. Ethidium bromide uptake and efflux studies demonstrated that, at the baseline, Spn-RC2 had greater EP expression than Spn-058. These studies also showed that ciprofloxacin was a better inducer of EP expression than levofloxacin in both Spn-058 and Spn-RC2. However, in these isolates, the increase in EP expression by short-term exposure to ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin was transient. Mutants of Spn-058 and Spn-RC2 that emerged under suboptimal antibiotic regimens had a stable increase in EP expression. Levofloxacin at 500 mg QD in combination with reserpine, an EP inhibitor, or at 750 mg QD alone killed wild-type S. pneumoniae and strains that overexpressed reserpine-inhibitable EPs and was highly effective in preventing the emergence of fluoroquinolone resistance in S. pneumoniae during therapy. Ciprofloxacin at 750 mg every 12 h, as monotherapy, was ineffective for the treatment of Spn-058 and Spn-RC2. Ciprofloxacin in combination with reserpine prevented the emergence of resistance in Spn-058 but not in Spn-RC2, the EP-overexpressing strain.
Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes plague, is a potential agent of biowarfare and bioterrorism. The aminoglycoside antibiotic streptomycin is the gold standard for treatment. However, this recommendation is based on scant animal and clinical data. We used an in vitro pharmacodynamic infection model to compare the efficacies of 10-day regimens of streptomycin versus the fluoroquinolone antibiotic levofloxacin for the treatment of Y. pestis infection and to evaluate for emergence of resistance. The human serum concentration-time profiles for standard clinical regimens of 1 g of streptomycin given every 12 h and 500 mg of levofloxacin given every 24 h were simulated. The growth fitness of drug-resistant mutants was examined in neutropenic and immunocompetent mouse thigh infection models. In the in vitro infection system, untreated bacteria grew from 107 to 1010 CFU/ml. Streptomycin therapy caused a 105 CFU/ml reduction in the number of bacteria over 24 h, followed by regrowth with streptomycin-resistant mutants. Levofloxacin resulted in a 107 CFU/ml reduction in the number of bacteria within 12 h, ultimately sterilizing the culture without resistance selection. In both the normal and neutropenic mouse infection models, streptomycin-resistant and wild-type strains were equally fit. However, 90% of levofloxacin-resistant isolates, cultured from the control in vitro infection arm, did not proliferate in the mouse models. Thus, the fluoroquinolone antibiotic levofloxacin was superior to streptomycin in our in vitro infection model. The majority of levofloxacin-resistant mutants were less fit than streptomycin-resistant and wild-type Y. pestis.
Isoniazid, administered as part of combination antituberculosis therapy, is responsible for most of the early bactericidal activity (EBA) of the regimen. However, the emergence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance to isoniazid is a major problem. We examined the relationship between isoniazid exposure and M. tuberculosis microbial kill, as well as the emergence of resistance, in our in vitro pharmacodynamic model of tuberculosis. Since single-nucleotide polymorphisms of the N-acetyltransferase-2 gene lead to two different clearances of isoniazid from serum in patients, we simulated the isoniazid concentration-time profiles encountered in both slow and fast acetylators. Both microbial kill and the emergence of resistance during monotherapy were associated with the ratio of the area under the isoniazid concentration-time curve from 0 to 24 h (AUC0-24) to the isoniazid MIC. The time in mutant selection window hypothesis was rejected. Next, we utilized the in vitro relationship between the isoniazid AUC0-24/MIC ratio and microbial kill, the distributions of isoniazid clearance in populations with different percentages of slow and fast acetylators, and the distribution of isoniazid MICs for isonazid-susceptible M. tuberculosis clinical isolates in Monte Carlo simulations to calculate the EBA expected for ∼10,000 patients treated with 300 mg of isoniazid. For those patient populations in which the proportion of fast acetylators and the isoniazid MICs were high, the average EBA of the standard dose was ∼0.3 log10 CFU/ml/day and was thus suboptimal. Our approach, which utilizes preclinical pharmacodynamics and the genetically determined multimodal distributions of serum clearances, is a preclinical tool that may be able to predict the EBAs of various doses of new antituberculosis drugs.