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1.  Efficacy of Caspofungin in a Juvenile Mouse Model of Central Nervous System Candidiasis ▿ 
Neonatal candidiasis is an increasingly common occurrence causing significant morbidity and mortality and a higher risk of dissemination to the central nervous system (CNS) than that seen with older patients. The current understanding of optimal antifungal therapy in this setting is limited. We have developed a model of disseminated candidiasis with CNS involvement in juvenile mice to assess the efficacy of the echinocandin caspofungin relative to amphotericin B (AmB). Juvenile mice were inoculated intravenously with 5.64 × 104 CFU of Candida albicans MY1055. Treatment with caspofungin at 1, 2, 4, and 8 mg/kg of body weight/day, AmB at 1 mg/kg/day, or a vehicle control (VC) was initiated 30 h after infection and continued for 7 days. Pharmacokinetic parameters for caspofungin were also determined. Culture and histology showed evidence of disseminated candidiasis with multifocal encephalitis at the start of antifungal therapy. Survival was 100% in all treated groups, while mortality was 100% in the VC by day 11 after infection. By day 5, all mice in the caspofungin treatment (four doses) groups showed reductions in kidney and brain burden relative to the VC, while AmB treatment reduced kidney burden but gave no reduction of brain fungal burden. Systemic levels of caspofungin were similar in infected and uninfected mice, while brain levels were higher in infected animals. In this juvenile mouse model, caspofungin demonstrated dose-dependent activity, equivalent to or better than that of AmB at 1 mg/kg, against disseminated candidiasis with CNS involvement.
PMCID: PMC3122418  PMID: 21518846
2.  Chronic Antagonism of the Mineralocorticoid Receptor Ameliorates Hypertension and End Organ Damage in a Rodent Model of Salt-Sensitive Hypertension 
We investigated the effects of chronic mineralocorticoid receptor blockade with eplerenone on the development and progression of hypertension and end organ damage in Dahl salt-sensitive rats. Eplerenone significantly attenuated the progressive rise in systolic blood pressure (SBP) (204 ± 3 vs. 179±3 mmHg, p < 0.05), reduced proteinuria (605.5 ± 29.6 vs. 479.7 ± 26.1 mg/24h, p < 0.05), improved injury scores of glomeruli, tubules, renal interstitium, and vasculature in Dahl salt-sensitive rats fed a high-salt diet. These results demonstrate that mineralocorticoid receptor antagonism provides target organ protection and attenuates the development of elevated blood pressure (BP) in a model of salt-sensitive hypertension.
PMCID: PMC3231850  PMID: 21950654
mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist; hypertension; end organ protection; eplerenone; Dahl salt-sensitive rats
3.  In Vivo Efficacy of a Novel Oxazolidinone Compound in Two Mouse Models of Infection▿  
A novel oxazolidinone, AM 7359, was evaluated in two mouse models of Staphylococcus aureus infection. AM 7359 and linezolid were equally efficacious in a methicillin-susceptible S. aureus organ burden model and a methicillin-resistant S. aureus localized infection model. However, AM 7359 was eightfold more efficacious than linezolid against a linezolid- and methicillin-resistant S. aureus strain in this localized (thigh) infection model.
PMCID: PMC2043186  PMID: 17606686
4.  Efficacy of the Echinocandin Caspofungin against Disseminated Aspergillosis and Candidiasis in Cyclophosphamide-Induced Immunosuppressed Mice 
The in vivo efficacy of the echinocandin antifungal caspofungin acetate (caspofungin; MK-0991) was evaluated in models of disseminated aspergillosis and candidiasis in mice with cyclophosphamide (CY)-induced immunosuppression. Caspofungin is a 1,3-β-d-glucan synthesis inhibitor efficacious against a number of clinically relevant fungi including Aspergillus and Candida species. Models of CY-induced transient or chronic leukopenia were used with once daily administration of therapy initiated 24 h after microbial challenge. Caspofungin was effective in treating disseminated aspergillosis in mice that were transiently leukopenic (significant prolongation of survival at doses of ≥0.125 mg/kg of body weight and a 50% protective dose [PD50] of 0.245 mg/kg/day at 28 days after challenge) or chronically leukopenic (50 to 100% survival at doses of ≥0.5 mg/kg and PD50s ranging from 0.173 to 0.400 mg/kg/day). Caspofungin was effective in the treatment and sterilization of Candida infections in mice with transient leukopenia with a 99% effective dose based on reduction in log10 CFU of Candida albicans/gram of kidneys of 0.119 mg/kg and 80 to 100% of the caspofungin-treated mice having sterile kidneys at caspofungin doses from 0.25 to 2.0 mg/kg. In Candida-infected mice with chronic leukopenia, caspofungin was effective at all dose levels tested (0.25 to 1.0 mg/kg), with the log10 CFU of C. albicans/gram of kidneys of caspofungin-treated mice being significantly lower (>99% reduction) than that of sham-treated mice from day 4 to day 28 after challenge. Also, 70 to 100% of the caspofungin-treated, chronic leukopenic mice had sterile kidneys at caspofungin doses of 0.5 to 1.0 mg/kg from day 8 to 28 after challenge. Sterilization of Candida infections by caspofungin in the absence of host leukocytes provides compelling in vivo evidence for fungicidal activity against C. albicans. Further human clinical trials with caspofungin against serious fungal infections are in progress.
PMCID: PMC90063  PMID: 10952573

Results 1-4 (4)