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1.  Do interprofessional education programs produce dissension that destroys them? 
PMCID: PMC4319380
interprofessional education; interprofessional collaboration; dissension; multidisciplinary teams; conflict transformation; healthcare professions students
2.  Interactions of the opioid and cannabinoid systems in reward: Insights from knockout studies 
The opioid system consists of three receptors, mu, delta, and kappa, which are activated by endogenous opioid peptides (enkephalins, endorphins, and dynorphins). The endogenous cannabinoid system comprises lipid neuromodulators (endocannabinoids), enzymes for their synthesis and their degradation and two well-characterized receptors, cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. These systems play a major role in the control of pain as well as in mood regulation, reward processing and the development of addiction. Both opioid and cannabinoid receptors are coupled to G proteins and are expressed throughout the brain reinforcement circuitry. Extending classical pharmacology, research using genetically modified mice has provided important progress in the identification of the specific contribution of each component of these endogenous systems in vivo on reward process. This review will summarize available genetic tools and our present knowledge on the consequences of gene knockout on reinforced behaviors in both systems, with a focus on their potential interactions. A better understanding of opioid–cannabinoid interactions may provide novel strategies for therapies in addicted individuals.
PMCID: PMC4318341
opioid; cannabinoid; G protein-coupled receptors; reward; genetically modified mice
3.  Ambiguities in dietary antioxidant supplementation compared to calcium channel blockers therapy 
PMCID: PMC4315019
antioxidants; calcium channel blockers; vitamin E; amlodipine; lacidipine; nifedipine; therapy; drug safety
4.  Inhibition of histone deacetylase (HDAC) by 4-phenylbutyrate results in increased junctional conductance between rat corpora smooth muscle cells 
4-phenylbutyrate (4-PB) has been shown to increase the protein content in a number of cells types. One such protein is Connexin43 (Cx43). We show here that 4-phenylbutyrate exposure results in significantly elevated cell to cell coupling, as determined by dual whole cell patch clamp. Incubation with 5 mM 4PB for 24 h or more nearly doubles junctional conductance. Interestingly, mRNA levels for Cx43 declined with exposure to 4-PB while western blot analysis revealed not significant change in protein levels. These data are most consistent with stabilization of the existing Cx43 pool or alterations in the number of functional channels within an existing pool of active and silent channels. These data represent a baseline for testing the efficacy of increased connexin mediated coupling in a variety of multicellular functions including erectile function.
PMCID: PMC4315027
4-phenylbutyrate; connexin43; cell to cell coupling; patch clamp; protein expression
5.  Kinin B1 receptor antagonism is equally efficient as angiotensin receptor 1 antagonism in reducing renal fibrosis in experimental obstructive nephropathy, but is not additive 
Background: Renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis is the pathological hallmark of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Currently, inhibitors of the renin–angiotensin system (RAS) remain the sole therapy in human displaying antifibrotic properties. Further antifibrotic molecules are needed. We have recently reported that the delayed blockade of the bradykinin B1 receptor (B1R) reduced the development of fibrosis in two animal models of renal fibrosis. The usefulness of new drugs also resides in outperforming the gold standards and eventually being additive or complementary to existing therapies.
Methods: In this study we compared the efficacy of a B1R antagonist (B1Ra) with that of an angiotensin type 1 receptor antagonist (AT1a) in the unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) model of renal fibrosis and determined whether bi-therapy presented higher efficacy than any of the drugs alone.
Results: B1R antagonism was as efficient as the gold-standard AT1a treatment. However, bitherapy did not improve the antifibrotic effects at the protein level. We sought for the reason of the absence of this additive effect by studying the expression of a panel of genes involved in the fibrotic process. Interestingly, at the molecular level the different drugs targeted different players of fibrosis that, however, in this severe model did not result in improved reduction of fibrosis at the protein level.
Conclusions: As the B1R is induced specifically in the diseased organ and thus potentially displays low side effects it might be an interesting alternative in cases of poor tolerability to RAS inhibitors.
PMCID: PMC4313587
angiotensin receptor inhibition; bradykinin B1 receptor; combined therapy; low density array; renal fibrosis
6.  Clinical application of kampo medicine (rikkunshito) for common and/or intractable symptoms of the gastrointestinal tract 
Gastroenterological reflux disease and functional dyspepsia are usually treatable using Western medical practices. Nonetheless, some cases present with intractable symptoms that are not amenable to these therapies. Treatment with kampo, a traditional Japanese medicine, recently has been proposed as an alternative therapy for use in combination with the Western practices. In general, traditional Japanese medicines have been used empirically for intractable symptoms correctively designated as “general malaises.” Accumulating lines of evidence, including basic and clinical researches, have demonstrate detailed mechanisms where traditional Japanese medicines exert pharmacological action to improve symptoms. Therefore, traditional Japanese medicines have been gaining use by various medical doctors as the specific modes of pharmacological action are recognized. This review covers both the pharmacological functions and the clinical efficacies of rikkunshito for use in treating disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.
PMCID: PMC4311617
general malaises; gastroesophageal reflux diseases; functional dyspepsia; gastrointestinal motility; acotiamide
7.  Structural determinants for binding to angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and angiotensin receptors 1 and 2 
Angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a zinc carboxypeptidase involved in the renin–angiotensin system (RAS) and inactivates the potent vasopressive peptide angiotensin II (Ang II) by removing the C-terminal phenylalanine residue to yield Ang1–7. This conversion inactivates the vasoconstrictive action of Ang II and yields a peptide that acts as a vasodilatory molecule at the Mas receptor and potentially other receptors. Given the growing complexity of RAS and level of cross-talk between ligands and their corresponding enzymes and receptors, the design of molecules with selectivity for the major RAS binding partners to control cardiovascular tone is an on-going challenge. In previous studies we used single β-amino acid substitutions to modulate the structure of Ang II and its selectivity for ACE2, AT1R, and angiotensin type 2 (AT2R) receptor. We showed that modification at the C-terminus of Ang II generally resulted in more pronounced changes to secondary structure and ligand binding, and here, we further explore this region for the potential to modulate ligand specificity. In this study, (1) a library of 47 peptides derived from the C-terminal tetrapeptide sequence (-IHPF) of Ang II was synthesized and assessed for ACE2 binding, (2) the terminal group requirements for high affinity ACE2 binding were explored by and N- and C-terminal modification, (3) high affinity ACE2 binding chimeric AngII analogs were then synthesized and assessed, (4) the structure of the full-length Ang II analogs were assessed by circular dichroism, and (5) the Ang II analogs were assessed for AT1R/AT2R selectivity by cell-based assays. Studies on the C-terminus of Ang II demonstrated varied specificity at different residue positions for ACE2 binding and four Ang II chimeric peptides were identified as selective ligands for the AT2 receptor. Overall, these results provide insight into the residue and structural requirements for ACE2 binding and angiotensin receptor selectivity.
PMCID: PMC4311625
angiotensin II; angiotensin II receptor 1; angiotensin II receptor 2; angiotensin converting enzyme-2; β-amino acids
8.  Absence of a significant pharmacokinetic interaction between atorvastatin and fenofibrate: a randomized, crossover, study of a fixed-dose formulation in healthy Mexican subjects 
Several clinical trials have substantiated the efficacy of the co-administration of statins like atorvastatin (ATO) and fibrates. Without information currently available about the interaction between the two drugs, a pharmacokinetic study was conducted to investigate the effect when both drugs were co-administered. The purpose of this study was to investigate the pharmacokinetic profile of tablets containing ATO 20 mg, or the combination of ATO 20 mg with fenofibrate (FNO) 160 mg administered to healthy Mexican volunteers. This was a randomized, two-period, two-sequence, crossover study; 36 eligible subjects aged between 20–50 years were included. Blood samples were collected up to 96 h after dosing, and pharmacokinetic parameters were obtained by non-compartmental analysis. Adverse events were evaluated based on subject interviews and physical examinations. Area under the concentration-time curve (AUC) and maximum plasma drug concentration (Cmax) were measured for ATO as the reference and ATO and FNO as the test product for bioequivalence design. The estimation computed (90% confidence intervals) for ATO and FNO combination versus ATO for Cmax, AUC0-t and AUC0-∞, were 102,09, 125,95, and 120,97%, respectively. These results suggest that ATO and FNO have no relevant clinical-pharmacokinetic drug interaction.
PMCID: PMC4310268
atorvastatin; fenofibrate; pharmacokinetic interaction; combination; LC-MS-MS
9.  Inner ear cell therapy targeting hereditary deafness by activation of stem cell homing factors 
Congenital deafness affects about 1 in 1000 children and more than half of them have a genetic background such as Connexin26 (CX26) gene mutation. Inner ear cell therapy for sensorineural hearing loss has been expected to be an effective therapy for hereditary deafness. Previously, we developed a novel strategy for inner ear cell therapy using bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells as a supplement for cochlear fibrocytes functioning for cochlear ion transport. For cell therapy targeting hereditary deafness, a more effective cell delivery system to induce the stem cells into cochlear tissue is required, because gene mutations affect all cochlear cells cochlear cells expressing genes such as GJB2 encoding CX26. Stem cell homing is one of the crucial mechanisms to be activated for efficient cell delivery to the cochlear tissue. In our study, monocyte chemotactic protein-1, stromal cell-derived factor-1 and their receptors were found to be a key regulator for stem cell recruitment to the cochlear tissue. Thus, the activation of stem cell homing may be an efficient strategy for hearing recovery in hereditary deafness.
PMCID: PMC4307216
hereditary deafness; stem cell homing; mesenchymal stem cell; inner ear cell therapy; connexin26
10.  Corrigendum: Core competencies for pharmaceutical physicians and drug development scientists 
PMCID: PMC4295522  PMID: 25639272
pharmaceutical medicine; medicines development; drug development scientists; pharmaceutical physicians; corrigendum; competency based education; learning outcomes; core competencies
11.  Soluble epoxide hydrolase gene deletion improves blood flow and reduces infarct size after cerebral ischemia in reproductively senescent female mice 
Soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH), a key enzyme in the metabolism of vasodilatory epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs), is sexually dimorphic, suppressed by estrogen, and contributes to underlying sex differences in cerebral blood flow and injury after cerebral ischemia. We tested the hypothesis that sEH inhibition or gene deletion in reproductively senescent (RS) female mice would increase cerebral perfusion and decrease infarct size following stroke. RS (15–18 month old) and young (3–4 month old) female sEH knockout (sEHKO) mice and wild type (WT) mice were subjected to 45 min middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) with laser Doppler perfusion monitoring. WT mice were treated with vehicle or a sEH inhibitor t-AUCB at the time of reperfusion and every 24 h thereafter for 3 days. Differences in regional cerebral blood flow were measured in vivo using optical microangiography (OMAG). Infarct size was measured 3 days after reperfusion. Infarct size and cerebral perfusion 24 h after MCAO were not altered by age. Both sEH gene deletion and sEH inhibition increased cortical perfusion 24 h after MCAO. Neither sEH gene deletion nor sEH inhibition reduced infarct size in young mice. However, sEH gene deletion, but not sEH inhibition of the hydrolase domain of the enzyme, decreased infarct size in RS mice. Results of these studies show that sEH gene deletion and sEH inhibition enhance cortical perfusion following MCAO and sEH gene deletion reduces damage after ischemia in RS female mice; however this neuroprotection in absent is young mice.
PMCID: PMC4295540  PMID: 25642188
cerebral ischemia; soluble epoxide hydrolase; epoxyeicosatrienoic acids; cerebrovascular; stroke; aging
12.  Heme oxygenase-1 in pregnancy and cancer: similarities in cellular invasion, cytoprotection, angiogenesis, and immunomodulation 
Pregnancy can be defined as a “permissible” process, where a semi-allogeneic fetus and placenta are allowed to grow and survive within the mother. Similarly, in tumor growth, antigen-specific malignant cells proliferate and evade into normal tissues of the host. The microenvironments of the placenta and tumors are amazingly comparable, sharing similar mechanisms exploited by fetal or cancer cells with regard to surviving in a hypoxic microenvironment, invading tissues via degradation and vasculogenesis, and escaping host attack through immune privilege. Heme oxygease-1 (HO-1) is a stress-response protein that has antioxidative, anti-apoptotic, pro-angiogenic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Although a large volume of research has been published in recent years investigating the possible role(s) of HO-1 in pregnancy and in cancer development, the molecular mechanisms that regulate these “yin-yang” processes have still not been fully elucidated. Here, we summarize and compare pregnancy and cancer development, focusing primarily on the function of HO-1 in cellular invasion, cytoprotection, angiogenesis, and immunomodulation. Due to the similarities of both processes, a thorough understanding of the molecular mechanisms of each process may reveal and guide the development of new approaches to prevent not only pregnancy disorders; but also, to study cancer.
PMCID: PMC4294126  PMID: 25642189
Placenta; trophoblast invasion; angiogenesis;  immunosuppression; tolerogenic dendritic cells (tDC); alternatively activated macrophage (M2)
13.  Calcium, a multitasking signaling actor in airway smooth muscle cells, as a target of novel strategies to limit airway disease? 
PMCID: PMC4294155
calcium; smooth muscle cells; airways; signaling pathways; pathophysiology
14.  Heme oxygenase-1 is critically involved in placentation, spiral artery remodeling, and blood pressure regulation during murine pregnancy 
The onset of pregnancy implies the appearance of a new organ, the placenta. One main function of the placenta is to supply oxygen to the fetus via hemoproteins. In this review, we highlight the importance of the enzyme heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) for pregnancy to be established and maintained. HO-1 expression is pivotal to promote placental function and fetal development, thus determining the success of pregnancy. The deletion of the gene Hmox1 in mice leads to inadequate remodeling of spiral arteries and suboptimal placentation followed by intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and fetal lethality. A partial Hmox1 deletion leads to IUGR as well, with heterozygote and wild-type fetuses being born, but Hmox1–/– significantly below the expected Mendelian rate. This strong phenotype is associated with diminished number of pregnancy-protective uterine natural killer (uNK) cells. Pregnant heterozygote females develop gestational hypertension. The protective HO-1 effects on placentation and fetal growth can be mimicked by the exogenous administration of carbon monoxide (CO), a product of heme catalyzed by HO-1. CO application promotes the in situ proliferation of uNK cells, restores placentation and fetal growth, while normalizing blood pressure. Similarly, HO-1 inhibition provokes hypertension in pregnant rats. The HO-1/CO axis plays a pivotal role in sustaining pregnancy and aids in the understanding of the biology of pregnancy and reveals a promising therapeutic application in the treatment of pregnancy complications.
PMCID: PMC4292788  PMID: 25628565
heme oxygenase-1; pregnancy; implantation; placenta; pre-eclampsia; IUGR
15.  In utero hematopoietic cell transplantation for hemoglobinopathies 
In utero hematopoietic cell transplantation (IUHCTx) is a promising strategy to circumvent the challenges of postnatal hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation. The goal of IUHCTx is to introduce donor cells into a naïve host prior to immune maturation, thereby inducing donor–specific tolerance. Thus, this technique has the potential of avoiding host myeloablative conditioning with cytotoxic agents. Over the past two decades, several attempts at IUHCTx have been made to cure numerous underlying congenital anomalies with limited success. In this review, we will briefly review the history of IUHCTx and give a perspective on alpha thalassemia major, one target disease for its clinical application.
PMCID: PMC4290536  PMID: 25628564
in utero transplantation; fetal therapy; alpha thalassemia; chimerism; tolerance
16.  Design of bilayer tablets using modified Dioscorea starches as novel excipients for immediate and sustained release of aceclofenac sodium 
Bilayer tablets of aceclofenac sodium were developed using carboxymethylated white yam (Dioscorea rotundata) starch (CWY) for a fast release layer (2.5, 5.0, and 7.5% w/w), and acid-hydrolyzed bitter yam (Dioscorea dumetorum) starch (ABY) for a sustaining layer (27% w/w). Sodium starch glycolate (SSG) and hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose (HPMC) were used as standards. The starches were characterized using Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), particle size, swelling power, densities and flow analyses. Mechanical properties of the tablets were evaluated using crushing strength and friability while release properties were evaluated using disintegration and dissolution times. Distinctive fingerprint differences between the native and modified starches were revealed by FT-IR. Carboxymethylation produced starches of significantly (p < 0.05) higher swelling and flow properties while acid-modification produced starches of higher compressibility. Bilayer tablets containing ABY had significantly higher crushing strength and lower friability values (p < 0.05) than those containing HPMC. Crushing strength increased while friability values decreased with increase in CWY. Generally tablets containing the modified Dioscorea starches gave faster (p < 0.05) disintegration times and produced an initial burst release to provide the loading dose of the drug from the immediate-release layer followed by sustained release (300 ± 7.56–450 ± 11.55 min). The correlation coefficient (R2) and chi-square (χ2) test were employed as error analysis methods to determine the best-fitting drug release kinetic equations. In vitro dissolution kinetics generally followed the Higuchi and Hixson-Crowell models via a non-Fickian diffusion-controlled release. Carboxymethylated white yam starch and acid-modified bitter yam starch could serve as cheaper alternative excipients in bilayer tablet formulations for immediate and sustained release of drugs respectively, particularly where high mechanical strength is required.
PMCID: PMC4290548  PMID: 25628566
aceclofenac sodium; acid-modification; bilayer tablets; carboxymethylation; Dioscorea starches; excipients
17.  Evaluation of mouse urinary bladder smooth muscle for diurnal differences in contractile properties 
Most physiological systems show daily variations in functional output, entrained to the day–night cycle. Humans exhibit a daily rhythm in urinary voiding (micturition), and disruption of this rhythm (nocturia) has significant clinical impact. However, the underlying mechanisms are not well-understood. Recently, a circadian rhythm in micturition was demonstrated in rodents, correlated with functional changes in urodynamics, providing the opportunity to address this issue in an animal model. Smooth muscle cells from mouse bladder have been proposed to express a functional and autonomous circadian clock at the molecular level. In this study, we addressed whether a semi-intact preparation of mouse urinary bladder smooth muscle (UBSM) exhibited measurable differences in contractility between day and night. UBSM tissue strips were harvested at four time points over the diurnal cycle, and spontaneous (phasic) and nerve-evoked contractions were assessed using isometric tension recordings. During the active period (ZT12-24) when micturition frequency is higher in rodents, UBSM strips had no significant differences in maximal- (high K+) or nerve-evoked contractions compared to strips harvested from the resting period (ZT0-12). However, a diurnal rhythm in phasic contraction was observed, with higher amplitudes at ZT10. Consistent with the enhanced phasic amplitudes, expression of the BK K+ channel, a key suppressor of UBSM excitability, was lower at ZT8. Higher expression of BK at ZT20 was correlated with an enhanced effect of the BK antagonist paxilline (PAX) on phasic amplitude, but PAX had no significant time-of-day dependent effect on phasic frequency or nerve-evoked contractions. Overall, these results identify a diurnal difference for one contractile parameter of bladder muscle. Taken together, the results suggest that autonomous clocks in UBSM make only a limited contribution to the integrated control of diurnal micturition patterns.
PMCID: PMC4288323  PMID: 25620932
UBSM; BK channel; Kcnma1; circadian rhythm; peripheral rhythm; urodynamics; isometric tension; lower urinary tract
18.  Unraveling bisphenol A pharmacokinetics using physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling 
Physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models integrate both chemical- and system-specific information into a mathematical framework, offering a mechanistic approach to predict the internal dose metrics of a chemical and an ability to perform species and dose extrapolations. Bisphenol A (BPA), because of its ubiquitous presence in a variety of consumer products, has received a considerable amount of attention from the public and regulatory bodies. PBPK models using deuterated BPA were developed for immature and adult rats and non-human primates and for adult humans to understand better the dosimetry of BPA. The focus of the present paper is to provide a rationale for interpreting species- and age-related pharmacokinetics of BPA. Gastrointestinal tract metabolism was an important consideration to predict unconjugated BPA serum kinetic profiles in adult and immature rats and monkeys. Biliary excretion and enterohepatic recirculation of BPA conjugates (BPA-c) accounted for the slowed systemic clearance of BPA-c in rats. For monkeys, renal reabsorption was proposed as a mechanism influencing systemic clearance of BPA-c. The quantitative understanding of the processes driving the pharmacokinetics of BPA across different species and life stages using a computational modeling approach provides more confidence in the interpretation of human biomonitoring data and the extrapolation of experimental animal findings to humans.
PMCID: PMC4288327  PMID: 25620931
bisphenol A; PBPK; pharmacokinetics; age-dependent pharmacokinetics; species extrapolation; dosimetry
19.  Immunological considerations in in utero hematopoetic stem cell transplantation (IUHCT) 
In utero hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (IUHCT) is an attractive approach and a potentially curative surgery for several congenital hematopoietic diseases. In practice, this application has succeeded only in the context of Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disorders. Here, we review potential immunological hurdles for the long-term establishment of chimerism and discuss relevant models and findings from both postnatal hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and IUHCT.
PMCID: PMC4285014  PMID: 25610396
in utero hematopoetic stem cell transplantation; fetal alloresponse; maternal alloresponse; central tolerance; regulatory T cells (T-Regs)
20.  Fluorescent knock-in mice to decipher the physiopathological role of G protein-coupled receptors 
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) modulate most physiological functions but are also critically involved in numerous pathological states. Approximately a third of marketed drugs target GPCRs, which places this family of receptors in the main arena of pharmacological pre-clinical and clinical research. The complexity of GPCR function demands comprehensive appraisal in native environment to collect in-depth knowledge of receptor physiopathological roles and assess the potential of therapeutic molecules. Identifying neurons expressing endogenous GPCRs is therefore essential to locate them within functional circuits whereas GPCR visualization with subcellular resolution is required to get insight into agonist-induced trafficking. Both remain frequently poorly investigated because direct visualization of endogenous receptors is often hampered by the lack of appropriate tools. Also, monitoring intracellular trafficking requires real-time visualization to gather in-depth knowledge. In this context, knock-in mice expressing a fluorescent protein or a fluorescent version of a GPCR under the control of the endogenous promoter not only help to decipher neuroanatomical circuits but also enable real-time monitoring with subcellular resolution thus providing invaluable information on their trafficking in response to a physiological or a pharmacological challenge. This review will present the animal models and discuss their contribution to the understanding of the physiopathological role of GPCRs. We will also address the drawbacks associated with this methodological approach and browse future directions.
PMCID: PMC4284998  PMID: 25610398
G protein-coupled receptors; fluorescent protein; knock-in; mouse model; drug design; biased agonism; receptor trafficking
21.  Effects of heme oxygenase-1 on innate and adaptive immune responses promoting pregnancy success and allograft tolerance 
The heme-degrading enzyme heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) has cytoprotective, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, HO-1 is reportedly involved in suppressing destructive immune responses associated with inflammation, autoimmune diseases, and allograft rejection. During pregnancy, maternal tolerance to foreign fetal antigens is a prerequisite for successful embryo implantation and fetal development. Here, HO-1 has been implicated in counteracting the overwhelming inflammatory immune responses towards fetal allo-antigens, thereby contributing to fetal acceptance. Accordingly, HO-1 ablation negatively impacts the critical steps of pregnancy such as fertilization, implantation, placentation, and fetal growth. In the present review, we summarize recent data on the immune modulatory capacity of HO-1 towards allo-antigens expressed by the semi-allogeneic fetus and organ allografts. In this regard, HO-1 has been shown to promote alloantigen tolerance by blocking dendritic cell maturation resulting in reduced T cell responses and increased numbers of regulatory T cells. Moreover, HO-1 is suggested to shift the uterine cytokine milieu towards a protective Th2 profile and protects fetal tissue from apoptosis by upregulating anti-apoptotic molecules. Thus, HO-1 is not only a pivotal regulator of the initial steps of pregnancy; but also, an important player in supporting the maternal immune system in tolerating the fetus.
PMCID: PMC4285018  PMID: 25610397
allo-antigens; allograft; heme oxygenase-1; immune tolerance; pregnancy
22.  Combating and overcoming drug resistance in cancer 
PMCID: PMC4274901
resistance; anti-cancer drugs; signaling pathways; cancer; transporters
23.  Is redox signaling a feasible target for overcoming multidrug resistance in cancer chemotherapy? 
PMCID: PMC4274902  PMID: 25566078
MDR; oxidative stress; cancer; antioxidants; chemoterapy
24.  Inflammatory and immune responses in the cochlea: potential therapeutic targets for sensorineural hearing loss 
The inner ear was previously assumed to be an “immune-privileged” organ due to the existence of its tight junction-based blood-labyrinth barrier. However, studies performed during the past decade revealed that the mesenchymal region of the cochlea, including its lateral wall, is a common site of inflammation. Neutrophils do not enter this region, which is consistent with the old dogma; however, bone marrow-derived resident macrophages are always present in the spiral ligament of the lateral wall and are activated in response to various types of insults, including noise exposure, ischemia, mitochondrial damage, and surgical stress. Recent studies have also revealed another type of immune cell, called perivascular melanocyte-like macrophages (PVM/Ms), in the stria vascularis. These dedicated antigen-presenting cells also control vascular contraction and permeability. This review discusses a series of reports regarding inflammatory/immune cells in the cochlear lateral wall, the pathways involved in cochlear damage and their potential as therapeutic targets.
PMCID: PMC4274906  PMID: 25566079
inner ear; cochlea; hearing loss; inflammation; immune response; cochlear macrophage; perivascular melanocyte-like macrophage (PVM/M); microarray analyses
25.  Deleterious effects of maternal ingestion of cocoa upon fetal ductus arteriosus in late pregnancy 
Cocoa powder has twice more antioxidants than red wine and three times more than green tea. Ten percent of its weight is made up of flavonoids. Cocoa has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects by downregulating cyclooxigenase-2 receptors expression in the endothelium and enhancing nitric oxide bioavailability. There are evidences that while polyphenols ingestion have cardioprotective effects in the adult, it may have deleterious effect on the fetus if ingested by the mother on the third trimester of pregnancy, causing intrauterine fetal ductus arteriosus (DA) constriction. Polyphenols present in many foods and their anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities have been shown to be as or more powerful than those of indomethacin. These effects are dependent on the inhibition of modulation of the arachidonic acid and the synthesis of prostaglandins, especially E-2, which is responsible for fetal DA patency. So, we hypothesized that this same mechanism is responsible for the harmful effect of polyphenol-rich foods, such as cocoa, upon the fetal DA after maternal intake of such substances in the third trimester of pregnancy, thereby rising the perspective of a note of caution for pregnant women diet.
PMCID: PMC4273632  PMID: 25566077
Cocoa; polyphenols; anti-inflammatory; antioxidant; fetal ductus arteriosus; ductal constriction; pregnancy

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