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author:("Mane, berta")
1.  Multiscale Distribution and Bioaccumulation Analysis of Clofazimine Reveals a Massive Immune System-Mediated Xenobiotic Sequestration Response 
Chronic exposure to some well-absorbed but slowly eliminated xenobiotics can lead to their bioaccumulation in living organisms. Here, we studied the bioaccumulation and distribution of clofazimine, a riminophenazine antibiotic used to treat mycobacterial infection. Using mice as a model organism, we performed a multiscale, quantitative analysis to reveal the sites of clofazimine bioaccumulation during chronic, long-term exposure. Remarkably, between 3 and 8 weeks of dietary administration, clofazimine massively redistributed from adipose tissue to liver and spleen. During this time, clofazimine concentration in fat and serum significantly decreased, while the mass of clofazimine in spleen and liver increased by >10-fold. These changes were paralleled by the accumulation of clofazimine in the resident macrophages of the lymphatic organs, with as much as 90% of the clofazimine mass in spleen sequestered in intracellular crystal-like drug inclusions (CLDIs). The amount of clofazimine associated with CLDIs of liver and spleen macrophages disproportionately increased and ultimately accounted for a major fraction of the total clofazimine in the host. After treatment was discontinued, clofazimine was retained in spleen while its concentrations decreased in blood and other organs. Immunologically, clofazimine bioaccumulation induced a local, monocyte-specific upregulation of various chemokines and receptors. However, interleukin-1 receptor antagonist was also upregulated, and the acute-phase response pathways and oxidant capacity decreased or remained unchanged, marking a concomitant activation of an anti-inflammatory response. These experiments indicate an inducible, immune system-dependent, xenobiotic sequestration response affecting the atypical pharmacokinetics of a small molecule chemotherapeutic agent.
doi:10.1128/AAC.01731-12
PMCID: PMC3591914  PMID: 23263006
2.  Prospective, Longitudinal Study of Plastic Bronchitis Cast Pathology and Responsiveness to Tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA) 
Pediatric cardiology  2011;32(8):1182-1189.
Plastic bronchitis (PB) is a rare disease that often occurs in patients with congenital heart disease (CHD) who have undergone staged single ventricle palliation. It is characterized by the formation of rubbery “casts” in the airways. PB treatment frequently includes inhaled tPA. However, the efficacy of tPA to reduce cast burden is unknown. This is further complicated by our lack of knowledge of cast composition. We obtained spontaneously expectorated PB casts from children (n=4) with CHD and one adult patient with idiopathic PB. Pathological assessment was made from paraffin-preserved samples. Casts were treated with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) or tPA. Cast response to tPA was assessed by changes in cast weight and the production of fibrin D-dimer. Independent of dose, tPA reduced cast weight compared with PBS-treatment (p=0.001) and increased D-dimer levels. Histological staining showed that PB casts from all patients were comprised of fibrin and contained notable numbers of lymphocytes. Cast composition did not change over time. Collectively, these data support that in our PB patients, casts are comprised of fibrin and are responsive to tPA treatment. This makes inhaled tPA a potentially viable option for symptomatic relief of PB while we work to unravel the complexity of PB pathogenesis.
doi:10.1007/s00246-011-0058-x
PMCID: PMC3207025  PMID: 21786171
congential heart disease; Fontan physiology; pulmonary drug delivery
3.  A Cell-based Computational Modeling Approach for Developing Site-Directed Molecular Probes 
PLoS Computational Biology  2012;8(2):e1002378.
Modeling the local absorption and retention patterns of membrane-permeant small molecules in a cellular context could facilitate development of site-directed chemical agents for bioimaging or therapeutic applications. Here, we present an integrative approach to this problem, combining in silico computational models, in vitro cell based assays and in vivo biodistribution studies. To target small molecule probes to the epithelial cells of the upper airways, a multiscale computational model of the lung was first used as a screening tool, in silico. Following virtual screening, cell monolayers differentiated on microfabricated pore arrays and multilayer cultures of primary human bronchial epithelial cells differentiated in an air-liquid interface were used to test the local absorption and intracellular retention patterns of selected probes, in vitro. Lastly, experiments involving visualization of bioimaging probe distribution in the lungs after local and systemic administration were used to test the relevance of computational models and cell-based assays, in vivo. The results of in vivo experiments were consistent with the results of in silico simulations, indicating that mitochondrial accumulation of membrane permeant, hydrophilic cations can be used to maximize local exposure and retention, specifically in the upper airways after intratracheal administration.
Author Summary
We have developed an integrative, cell-based modeling approach to facilitate the design and discovery of chemical agents directed to specific sites of action within a living organism. Here, a computational, multiscale transport model of the lung was adapted to enable virtual screening of small molecules targeting the epithelial cells of the upper airways. In turn, the transport behaviors of selected candidate probes were evaluated to establish their degree of retention at a site of absorption, using computational simulations as well as two in vitro cell-based assay systems. Lastly, bioimaging experiments were performed to examine candidate molecules' distribution in the lungs of mice after local and systemic administration. Based on computational simulations, the higher mitochondrial density per unit absorption surface area is the key parameter determining the higher retention of small molecule hydrophilic cations in the upper airways, relative to lipophilic weak bases, specifically after intratracheal administration.
doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002378
PMCID: PMC3285574  PMID: 22383866

Results 1-3 (3)