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2.  A comparative study on the physicochemical and biological stability of IgG1 and monoclonal antibodies during spray drying process 
Background
The main concern in formulation of antibodies is the intrinsic instability of these labile compounds. To evaluate the physicochemical stability of antibody in dry powder formulations, physical stability of IgG1 and a monoclonal antibody (trastuzumab) during the spray drying process was studied in a parallel study and the efficacy of some sugar based excipients in protection of antibodies was studied.
Results
The SDS-PAGE analysis showed no fragmentation of antibodies after spray drying in all formulations. The secondary structure of antibodies contained 40.13 to 70.19% of β structure in dry state. Also, CD spectroscopy showed the similar secondary structure for trastuzumab after reconstitution in water. ELISA analysis and cell culture studies were conducted in order to evaluate bioactivity of monoclonal antibody. Formulations containing combination of excipients provided maximum tendency of trastuzumab to attach to the ELISA antigen (86.46% ± 2.3) and maximum bioactivity when incubated with SKBr3 cell line (the cell viability was decreased to 65.99% ± 4.6). Incubation of formulations with L929 cell line proved the biocompatibility of the excipients and non-toxic composition of formulations.
Conclusion
The IgG1 and trastuzumab demonstrated similar behavior in spray drying process. The combination of excipients containing trahalose, hydroxypropyl beta cyclodextrin and beta cyclodextrin with proper ratio improved the physical and chemical stability of both IgG1 and monoclonal antibody.
doi:10.1186/2008-2231-22-31
PMCID: PMC3972992  PMID: 24641877
Antibody; Trastuzumab; Spray drying; Trehalose; Hydroxypropyl beta cyclodextrin; Beta cyclodextrin
3.  The effects of cichorium intybus extract on the maturation and activity of dendritic cells 
Background
Cichorium intybus is a medicinal plant commonly used in traditional medicine for its benefits in immune-madiated disorders. There are several evidences showing that C. intybus can modulate immune responses. In the present study we have investigated the effects of the ethanolic root extract of this plant on the immune system by targeting dendritic cells (DCs). For this purpose, phenotypic and functional maturity of murine DCs after treatment with the extract was analyzed by flow cytometry and mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) assay.
Results
C. intybus did not change the expression of CD40, CD86 and MHC-II molecules as important co-stimulatory markers on DCs compared to the control, indicating that it could not promote DCs phenotypic maturation. Treatment of DCs with lower concentrations of the extract resulted in an increased production of IL-12 by these cells with no change in IL-10 release. The capacity of treated DCs to stimulate allogenic T cells proliferation and cytokines secretion was examined in the co-cuture of these cells with T cells in MLR. C. intybus at higher concentrations inhibited proliferation of allogenic T cells and in lower concentrations changed the level of cytokines such that IL-4 decreased and IFN-γ increased.
Conclusions
These results indicated that C. intybus extract at higher concentrations can inhibit T cell stimulating activity of DCs, whereas at lower concentrations can modulate cytokine secretion toward a Th1 pattern. These data may in part explain the traditional use of this plant in treatment of immune-mediated disorders.
doi:10.1186/2008-2231-22-28
PMCID: PMC3936942  PMID: 24564889
DCs; Cichorium intybus; Dendritic cells; Immunomodulation; T cell responses
4.  Commercialization of biopharmaceutical knowledge in Iran; challenges and solutions 
Background
The objective of this study was to investigate the application of the university research findings or commercialization of the biopharmaceutical knowledge in Iran and determine the challenges and propose some solutions.
Results
A qualitative study including 19 in-depth interviews with experts was performed in 2011 and early 2012. National Innovation System (NIS) model was employed as the study design. Thematic method was applied for the analysis. The results demonstrate that policy making, regulations and management development are considered as fundamental reasons for current commercialization practice pattern. It is suggested to establish foundation for higher level documents that would involve relating bodies and provide them operational guidelines for the implementation of commercialization incentives.
Conclusions
Policy, regulations and management as the most influential issue should be considered for successful commercialization. The present study, for the first time, attempts to disclose the importance of evidence input for measures in order to facilitate the commercialization process by the authorities in Iran. Overall, the NIS model should be considered and utilized as one of the effective solutions for commercialization.
doi:10.1186/2008-2231-22-29
PMCID: PMC3974067  PMID: 24568555
Knowledge translation; Biopharmaceutical research; Facilitators and barriers
5.  Effects of rutin on acrylamide-induced neurotoxicity 
Background
Rutin is an important flavonoid that is consumed in the daily diet. The cytoprotective effects of rutin, including antioxidative, and neuroprotective have been shown in several studies. Neurotoxic effects of acrylamide (ACR) have been established in humans and animals. In this study, the protective effects of rutin in prevention and treatment of neural toxicity of ACR were studied.
Results
Rutin significantly reduced cell death induced by ACR (5.46 mM) in time- and dose-dependent manners. Rutin treatment decreased the ACR-induced cytotoxicity significantly in comparison to control (P <0.01, P < 0.001). Rutin (100 and 200 mg/kg) could prevent decrease of body weight in rats. In combination treatments with rutin (50, 100 and 200 mg/kg), vitamin E (200 mg/kg) and ACR, gait abnormalities significantly decreased in a dose-dependent manner (P < 0.01 and P < 0.001). The level of malondialdehyde significantly decreased in the brain tissue of rats in both preventive and therapeutic groups that received rutin (100 and 200 mg/kg).
Conclusion
It seems that rutin could be effective in reducing neurotoxicity and the neuroprotective effect of it might be mediated via antioxidant activity.
doi:10.1186/2008-2231-22-27
PMCID: PMC3927829  PMID: 24524427
Rutin; Acrylamide; MTT assay; Neural toxicity; Antioxidant
6.  The effect of adipose derived stromal cells on oxidative stress level, lung emphysema and white blood cells of guinea pigs model of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
Background
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a worldwide epidemic disease and a major cause of death and disability. The present study aimed to elucidate pharmacological effects of adipose derived stromal cells (ASCs) on pathological and biochemical factors in a guinea pig model of COPD. Guinea pigs were randomized into 5 groups including: Control, COPD, COPD + intratracheal delivery of PBS as a vehicle (COPD-PBS), COPD + intratracheal delivery of ASCs (COPD-ITASC) and COPD + intravenous injection of ASCs (COPD-IVASC). COPD was induced by exposing animals to cigarette smoke for 3 months. Cell therapy was performed immediately after the end of animal exposure to cigarette smoke and 14 days after that, white blood cells, oxidative stress indices and pathological changes of the lung were measured.
Results
Compared with control group, emphysema was clearly observed in the COPD and COPD-PBS groups (p < 0.001). Lung histopathologic changes of COPD-ITASC and COPD-IVASC groups showed non-significant improvement compared to COPD-PBS group. The COPD-ITASC group showed a significant increase in total WBC compared to COPD-PBS group but there was not a significant increase in this regard in COPD-IVASC group. The differential WBC showed no significant change in number of different types of leukocytes. The serum level of malondialdehyde (MDA) significantly decreased but thiol groups of broncho-alveolar lavage fluid (BALF) increased in both cell treated groups (p < 0.05 for all cases). Weight of animals decreased during smoke exposure and improved after PBS or cell therapy. However, no significant change was observed between the groups receiving PBS and the ones receiving ASCs.
Conclusion
Cell therapy with ASCs can help in reducing oxidative damage during smoking which may collectively hold promise in attenuation of the severity of COPD although the lung structural changes couldn’t be ameliorated with these pharmacological therapeutic methods.
doi:10.1186/2008-2231-22-26
PMCID: PMC3922605  PMID: 24495506
COPD; Stromal cells; Malondialdehyde; Thiol; Emphysema; WBC; Guinea pigs
7.  Binary Solvents Dispersive Liquid—Liquid Microextraction (BS-DLLME) Method for Determination of Tramadol in Urine Using High-Performance Liquid Chromatography 
Background
Tramadol is an opioid, synthetic analog of codeine and has been used for the treatment of acute or chronic pain may be abused. In this work, a developed Dispersive liquid liquid microextraction (DLLME) as binary solvents-based dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction (BS-DLLME) combined with high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with fluorescence detection (FD) was employed for determination of tramadol in the urine samples. This procedure involves the use of an appropriate mixture of binary extraction solvents (70 μL CHCl3 and 30 μL ethyl acetate) and disperser solvent (600 μL acetone) for the formation of cloudy solution in 5 ml urine sample comprising tramadol and NaCl (7.5%, w/v). After centrifuging, the small droplets of extraction solvents were precipitated. In the final step, the HPLC with fluorescence detection was used for determination of tramadol in the precipitated phase.
Results
Various factors on the efficiency of the proposed procedure were investigated and optimized. The detection limit (S/N = 3) and quantification limit (S/N = 10) were found 0.2 and 0.9 μg/L, respectively. The relative standard deviations (RSD) for the extraction of 30 μg L of tramadol was found 4.1% (n = 6). The relative recoveries of tramadol from urine samples at spiking levels of 10, 30 and 60 μg/L were in the range of 95.6 – 99.6%.
Conclusions
Compared with other methods, this method provides good figures of merit such as good repeatability, high extraction efficiency, short analysis time, simple procedure and can be used as microextraction technique for routine analysis in clinical laboratories.
doi:10.1186/2008-2231-22-25
PMCID: PMC3924918  PMID: 24495475
Dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction; Tramadol; HPLC; Urine
8.  Silymarin effect on amyloid-β plaque accumulation and gene expression of APP in an Alzheimer’s disease rat model 
Background
The deposition of amyloid peptides is associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). These amyloid peptides are derived from the amyloid protein precursor (APP). Silymarin, a standardized extract of milk thistle, which is currently used in liver diseases, may be effective in the inhibition of amyloid formation. However, its effect has not been assessed on APP expression.
Results
In this study, first, the effect of silymarin was examined on the passive avoidance learning in a rat model of AD. This model was induced by the intracerebroventricular injection of Aβ peptide (Aβ1–42) in Wistar rats. Rats were treated with 70 and 140 mg/kgof the extract, once a day, for 4 weeks. Memory function that was evaluated in a shuttle-cage test, showed improvement upon administration of this extract. Brain amyloid plaques had also decreased upon administration of the extract. Furthermore, APP gene expression was compared in treated and untreated groups. The result showed that silymarin was able to suppress APP expression.
Conclusion
Our results are in accordance with the in vitro tests concerning the positive antiamyloidogenic property of the main component of silymarin, namely silibinin. We suggest that the beneficial effect of sylimarin in the AD model is related to its capacity to disaggregate amyloid plaques and to suppress APP expression. Considering the limited side effects of silymarin, this compound could be of use in AD therapy.
doi:10.1186/2008-2231-22-24
PMCID: PMC3904165  PMID: 24460990
Silymarin; RT-PCR; Passive avoidance learning; Alzheimer’s disease; Beta amyloid
9.  Synthesis, analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of new methyl-imidazolyl-1,3,4-oxadiazoles and 1,2,4-triazoles 
Background
Long-term clinical employment of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is associated with significant side effects including gastrointestinal (GI) lesions and kidney toxicity. In this paper we designed and synthesized new imidazolyl-1,3,4-oxadiazoles and 1,2,4-triazoles by molecular hybridization of previously described anti-inflammatory compounds in the hope of obtaining new safer analgesic and anti-inflammatory agents.
Methods
The target structures were synthesized by preparation of 5-methyl-1H-imidazole-4-carboxylic acid ethyl ester 5. The reaction of hydrazine hydrate with this ester afforded the 5-methyl-1H-imidazole-4-carboxylic acid hydrazide 6 which was converted to target compounds 7-15 according to the known procedures. In silico toxicity risk assessment and drug likeness predictions were done, in order to consider the privileges of the synthesized structures as drug candidates.
Results and discussion
The analgesic and anti-inflammatory profile of the synthesized compounds were evaluated by writhing and carrageenan induced rat paw edema tests respectively. Compounds 8, 9 and 11-13 and 15 were active analgesic agents and compounds 8, 9 and 11-13 showed significant anti-inflammatory response in comparison with control. Compounds 11 and 13 were screened for their ulcerogenic activities and none of them showed significant ulcerogenic activity. The active Compounds 11 and 12 showed the highest drug likeness and drug score.
Conclusions
The analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of title compounds were comparable to that of standard drug indomethacin with a safer profile of activity. The results revealed that both of oxadiazole and triazole scaffolds can be determined as pharmacophores. The in silico predictions and pharmacological evaluations showed that compounds 11 and 12 can be chosen as lead for further investigations.
doi:10.1186/2008-2231-22-22
PMCID: PMC3914383  PMID: 24450412
Analgesic; Anti-inflammatory; Non ulcerogenic; Imidazole; Oxadiazole; Triazole
10.  Amitriptyline, clomipramine, and doxepin adsorption onto sodium polystyrene sulfonate 
Purpose of the study
Comparative in vitro studies were carried out to determine the adsorption characteristics of 3 drugs on activated charcoal (AC) and sodium polystyrene sulfonate (SPS). Activated charcoal (AC) has been long used as gastric decontamination agent for tricyclic antidepressants (TCA).
Methods
Solutions containing drugs (amitriptyline, clomipramine, or doxepin) and variable amount of AC or SPS were incubated for 30 minutes.
Results
At pH 1.2 the adsorbent: drug mass ratio varied from 2 : 1 to 40 : 1 for AC, and from 0.4 : 1 to 8 : 1 for SPS. UV–VIS spectrophotometer was used for the determination of free drug concentrations. The qmax of amitriptyline was 0.055 mg/mg AC and 0.574 mg/mg SPS, qmax of clomipramine was 0.053 mg/mg AC and 0.572 mg/mg SPS, and qmax of doxepin was 0.045 mg/mg AC and 0.556 mg/mg SPS. The results of adsorption experiments with SPS revealed higher values for the qmax parameters in comparison with AC.
Conclusion
In vitro gastric decontamination experiments for antidepressant amitriptyline, clomipramine, and doxepin showed that SPS has higher qmax values than the corresponding experiments with AC. Therefore, we suggest SPS is a better gastric decontaminating agent for the management of acute TCA intoxication.
doi:10.1186/2008-2231-22-21
PMCID: PMC3902433  PMID: 24450391
Adsorption; Tricyclic antidepressants; Activated charcoal; Sodium polystyrene sulfonate
11.  Safety concerns to application of graphene compounds in pharmacy and medicine 
Graphene, the new allotrope of carbon is a single layer of monocrystalline graphite with sp2 hybridized carbon atoms. This compound has received worldwide attention due to its extraordinary physical and chemical properties. Duo to the widespread application of geraphenes, concerns are raising about its environmental safety or the safety protocols for handling and waste of graphene-based materials. The generation of reactive free radicals, adsorption of important biomolecules, and physical toxicity of graphene also matter. Hereby we criticize the concerns on the toxicity of graphenes to provide some perspective on the potential hazards of future development in graphene-based biomaterials.
doi:10.1186/2008-2231-22-23
PMCID: PMC3922742  PMID: 24450435
Graphene; Graphene oxide; Membrane; Reactive oxygen species; Safety; Toxicity
12.  A case report of hearing loss post use of hydroxychloroquine in a HIV-infected patient 
Objective
A case with reversible symmetrical sensorineural hearing loss following hydroxychloroquine therapy is described.
Case summary
A 57-year-old, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive man was referred to the HIV clinic of Imam Khomeini Hospital, Tehran with chief complaint of bilateral slowly progressive hearing loss starting from two months ago. The man had history of rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed from 3 months ago and was administered hydroxychloroquine 200 mg and prednisolone 5 mg twice daily. Audiometry test showed moderate to severe neuronal hearing loss and reduced speech recognition in both ears of the patient. With suspicion of hydroxychloroquine-induced hearing loss, this drug was discontinued. After 2 months of hydroxychloroquine discontinuation, his audiometry findings were improved.
Discussion
A few cases of hydroxychloroquine-induced hearing loss have been reported. All of the cases were non-HIV positive individuals. Irreversible hearing loss was developed following long-term therapy with hydroxychloroquine. The present case was a HIV-positive man who developed hearing loss following short course (one month) hydroxychloroquine therapy and his problem was resolved following discontinuation of hydroxychloroquine and continuation of prednisolone.
Conclusions
Hydroxychloroquine-induced hearing loss may reversibly occur following short term therapy in HIV patients.
doi:10.1186/2008-2231-22-20
PMCID: PMC3922799  PMID: 24450358
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; Case report; Hearing loss; Human immunodeficiency virus; Hydroxychloroquine
13.  The hypoglycemic effect of Juglans regia leaves aqueous extract in diabetic patients: A first human trial 
Background
Juglans regia L. (J. regia ) is one of the medicinal plants traditionally used for treatment of diabetes in Iranian medicine. The effect of this plant has already been investigated on animal models; however, this is the first study conducted on human subjects. The aim of this study is to investigate the hypoglycemic effect of J. regia leaves aqueous extract in type 2 diabetes patients. Fifty eight Iranian male and female patients with type 2 diabetes were enrolled. The patients were randomly allocated into two groups. One group (n = 30) received J. regia leaves extract while the other group (n = 28) received placebo. Fasting blood samples were collected at the beginning of the study and after two months for determination of HbA1c and blood glucose level as a main outcome and insulin, SGOT, SGPT, and ALP level as secondary outcome.
Results
Our analysis showed that serum fasting HbA1C and blood glucose levels were significantly decreased and the insulin level was increased in patients in the J. regia arm.
Conclusions
The results indicate that J. regia aqueous extract favorably affects blood levels of glucose, insulin and HbA1C in type 2 diabetic patients.
doi:10.1186/2008-2231-22-19
PMCID: PMC3913956  PMID: 24447826
J. regia; Insulin; Diabetes mellitus; Glucose; Liver enzymes
14.  Unraveling the cytotoxic potential of Temozolomide loaded into PLGA nanoparticles 
Background
Nanotechnology has received great attention since a decade for the treatment of different varieties of cancer. However, there is a limited data available on the cytotoxic potential of Temozolomide (TMZ) formulations. In the current research work, an attempt has been made to understand the anti-metastatic effect of the drug after loading into PLGA nanoparticles against C6 glioma cells.
Nanoparticles were prepared using solvent diffusion method and were characterized for size and morphology. Diffusion of the drug from the nanoparticles was studied by dialysis method. The designed nanoparticles were also assessed for cellular uptake using confocal microscopy and flow cytometry.
Results
PLGA nanoparticles caused a sustained release of the drug and showed a higher cellular uptake. The drug formulations also affected the cellular proliferation and motility.
Conclusion
PLGA coated nanoparticles prolong the activity of the loaded drug while retaining the anti-metastatic activity.
doi:10.1186/2008-2231-22-18
PMCID: PMC3896810  PMID: 24410831
C6 cell line; Gliomas; PLGA nanoparticles; Temozolomide
15.  Sudden hearing loss subsequent to diarrhea: what is the missing link? 
Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) is a debilitating condition with an incidence of nearly 20 per 100,000 in populations. Metronidazole-induced ototoxicity is an extremely rare etiology of SSNHL. In this report, we describe a young female with bilateral SSNHL due to oral use of metronidazole. A 23 years old female presented to the emergency department with acute bilateral hearing loss. We found out that her hearing loss had started 4 days after initiation of metronidazole which was administered for treatment of diarrhea. This case report shows that physicians should be aware of the uncommon side effects while prescribing metronidazole to patients in order to manage the possible adverse events on time.
doi:10.1186/2008-2231-22-15
PMCID: PMC3892061  PMID: 24401329
Diarrhea; Hearing loss; Metronidazole; Ototoxicity
16.  A preliminary investigation of anticholinesterase activity of some Iranian medicinal plants commonly used in traditional medicine 
Background
The aim of this study was to evaluate acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity of some commonly used herbal medicine in Iran to introduce a new source for management of Alzheimer’s disease. A total of 18 aqueous-methanolic extract (1:1; v/v) from the following plants: Brassica alba, Brassica nigra, Camellia sinensis, Cinchona officinalis, Citrus aurantifolia, Citrus x aurantium, Ferula assafoetida, Humulus lupulus, Juglans regia, Juniperus sabina, Myristica fragrans, Pelargonium graveolens, Pistacia vera, Punica granatum, Rheum officinale, Rosa damascena, Salix alba, and Zizyphus vulgaris were prepared and screened for their acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity using in vitro Ellman spectrophotometric method.
Results
According to the obtained results, the order of inhibitory activity (IC50 values, μg /ml) of extracts from highest to the lowest was: C. sinensis (5.96), C. aurantifolia (19.57), Z. vulgaris (24.37), B. nigra (84.30) and R. damascena (93.1).
Conclusions
The results indicated and confirmed the traditional use of these herbs for management of central nervous system disorders. C. sinensis showed the highest activity in inhibition of acetylcholinesterase. However, further investigations on identification of active components in the extracts are needed.
doi:10.1186/2008-2231-22-17
PMCID: PMC3896674  PMID: 24401532
Plant extracts; Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor; Alzheimer’s disease; Camellia sinensis; Citrus aurantifolia
17.  Genome expression analysis by suppression subtractive hybridization identified overexpression of Humanin, a target gene in gastric cancer chemoresistance 
Background
In cancer cells, apoptosis is an important mechanism that influences the outcome of chemotherapy and the development of chemoresistance. To find the genes involved in chemoresistance and the development of gastric cancer, we used the suppression subtractive hybridization method to identify the genes that are overexpressed in gastric cancer tissues compared to normal gastric tissues.
Results
In the suppression subtractive hybridization library we constructed, the most highly overexpressed genes were humanin isoforms. Humanin is a recently identified endogenous peptide that has anti-apoptotic activity and has been selected for further study due to its potential role in the chemoresistance of gastric cancer. Upregulation of humanin isoforms was also observed in clinical samples by using quantitative real-time PCR. Among the studied isoforms, humanin isoform 3, with an expression level of 4.166 ± 1.44 fold, was the most overexpressed isoform in GC.
Conclusions
The overexpression of humanin in gastric cancer suggests a role for chemoresistance and provides new insight into the biology of gastric cancer. We propose that humanin isoforms are novel targets for combating chemoresistance in gastric cancer.
doi:10.1186/2008-2231-22-14
PMCID: PMC3896685  PMID: 24401285
Apoptosis; Chemoresistance; Gastric cancer; Suppression subtractive hybridization; Humanin
18.  Antidepressant effects of crocin and its effects on transcript and protein levels of CREB, BDNF, and VGF in rat hippocampus 
Background
Antidepressants have been shown to affect levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and VGF (non-acronymic) whose transcriptions are dependent on cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) in long term treatment. The aim of this study was to verify the subacute antidepressant effects of crocin, an active constituent of saffron (Crocus sativus L.), and its effects on CREB, BDNF, and VGF proteins, transcript levels and amount of active, phosphorylated CREB (P-CREB) protein in rat hippocampus.
Methods
Crocin (12.5, 25, and 50 mg/kg), imipramine (10 mg/kg; positive control) and saline (1 mL/kg; neutral control) were administered intraperitoneally (IP) to male Wistar rats for 21 days. The antidepressant effects were studied using the forced swimming test (FST) on day 21 after injection. Protein expression and transcript levels of genes in the rat hippocampus were evaluated using western blot and quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), respectively.
Results
Crocin significantly reduced the immobility time in the FST. Western blot analysis showed that 25 and 50 mg/kg of crocin increased the levels of CREB and BDNF significantly and dose dependently. All doses of crocin increased the VGF levels in a dose-dependent manner. Levels of p-CREB increased significantly by 50 mg/kg dose of crocin. Only 12.5 mg/kg crocin could significantly increase the transcript levels of BDNF. No changes in CREB and VGF transcript levels were observed in all groups.
Conclusions
These results suggest that crocin has antidepressant-like action by increasing CREB, BDNF and VGF levels in hippocampus.
doi:10.1186/2008-2231-22-16
PMCID: PMC3927874  PMID: 24401376
Crocin; Antidepressant; Forced swimming test; qRT-PCR; Western blot
19.  Effects of atorvastatin on plasma matrix metalloproteinase-9 concentration after glial tumor resection; a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trial 
Background
Neurosurgical procedures such as craniotomy and brain tumor resection could potentially lead to unavoidable cerebral injuries. Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) is up-regulated in neurological injuries. Statins have been suggested to reduce MMP- 9 level and lead to neuroprotection. Atorvastatin preoperatively administered to evaluate its neuroprotective effects and outcome assessment in neurosurgical-induced brain injuries after glial tumor resection. In this prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 42 patients undergoing glial tumor surgery randomly received 40 mg atorvastatin or placebo twice daily from seven days prior to operation and continued for a 3 weeks period. Plasma MMP-9 concentration measured 4 times, immediately before starting atorvastatin or placebo, immediately before surgery, 24 hours and two weeks after the surgery. Karnofsky performance score was assessed before first dose of atorvastatin as a baseline and 2 months after the surgery.
Results
Karnofsky performance scale after surgery raised significantly more in Atorvastatin group (11.43 +/- 10.62 vs. 4.00 +/- 8.21) (p = 0.03). Atorvastatin did not significantly reduce MMP-9 plasma concentration 24 hours after surgery in comparison to placebo. No statistical significance detected regarding length of hospital stay among the groups. Significant reduction in MMP-9 plasma concentration was recorded in atorvastatin group two weeks after surgery (p = 0.048).
Conclusions
Significant statistical differences detected with atorvastatin group regarding MMP-9 plasma concentration, clinical outcome and Karnofsky performance score. Consequently, atorvastatin use may lead to better outcome after neurosurgical procedures.
doi:10.1186/2008-2231-22-10
PMCID: PMC3896688  PMID: 24397933
Atorvastatin; Matrix metalloproteinase-9; Neuroprotective effects; Brain injuries; Glial tumor resection
20.  The effect of piperine on midazolam plasma concentration in healthy volunteers, a research on the CYP3A-involving metabolism 
Some studies showed that piperine (the alkaloid of piper nigrum) can change the activities of microsomal enzymes. Midazolam concentration is applied as a probe to determine the CYP3A enzyme activity. This study was done to determine piperine pretreatment role on midazolam plasma concentration.
Twenty healthy volunteers (14 men and 6 women) received oral dose of piperine (15 mg) or placebo for three days as pretreatment and midazolam (10 mg) on fourth day of study and the blood samples were taken at 0.5, 2.5 and 5 h after midazolam administration. The midazolam plasma levels were assayed using HPLC method (C18 analytical column, 75:25 methanol:water as mobile phase, UV detector at 242 nm wavelength and diazepam as internal standard). Data were fit in a “one-compartment PK model” using P-Pharm 1.5 software and analyzed under statistical tests.
The mean ±SD of the age and body mass index were 24.3 ± 1.83 years (range: 21–28 years) and 23.46± 2.85, respectively. The duration of sedation in piperine receiving group was greater that the placebo group (188±59 vs. 102±43 min, p<0.0001). Half-life and clearance of midazolam were higher in piperine pretreatment group compared to placebo [1.88±0.03 vs. 1.71± 0.04 h (p<0.0001) and 33.62 ± 0.4 vs. 37.09 ± 1.07 ml/min (p<0.0001), respectively].
According to the results, piperine can significantly increases half-life and decreases clearance of midazolam compared to placebo. It is suggested that piperine can demonstrate those effects by inhibition CYP3A4 enzyme activity in liver microsomal system.
doi:10.1186/2008-2231-22-8
PMCID: PMC3904487  PMID: 24398010
Piperine; Midazolam; CYP3A; Clearance; Half-life; Microsomal hepatic metabolism; HPLC
21.  Pharmacokinetics of mirtazapine and its main metabolites after single intravenous and oral administrations in rats at two dose rates 
Background
Mirtazapine (MRZ) is a human antidepressant drug metabolized to 8-OH mirtazapine (8-OH) and dimethylmirtazapine (DMR) metabolites. Recently, this drug has been proposed as a potential analgesic for use in a multidrug analgesic regime in the context of veterinary medicine. The aim of this study was to assess the pharmacokinetics of MRZ and its metabolites DMR and 8-OH in rats.
Findings
Eighteen fasted, healthy male rats were randomly divided into 3 groups (n = 6). Animals in these groups were respectively administered MRZ at 2 and 10 mg/kg orally and 2 mg/kg intravenously. Plasma MRZ and metabolite concentrations were evaluated by HPLC-FL detection method. After intravenous administration, MRZ was detected in all subjects, while DMR was only detected in three. 8-OH was not detected. After oral administration, MRZ was detected in 3 out of 6 rats treated with 2 mg/kg, it was detected in 6 out of 6 animals in the 10 mg/kg group. DMR was only detectable in the latter group, while 8-OH was not detected in either group. The oral bioavailability was about 7% in both groups.
Conclusions
The plasma concentration of the MRZ metabolite 8-OH was undetectable, and the oral bioavailability of the parental drug was very low.
doi:10.1186/2008-2231-22-13
PMCID: PMC3896718  PMID: 24397986
Mirtazapine; Metabolites; Rats; Pharmacokinetics; Bioavailability
22.  Potential effects of omega-3 fatty acids on anemia and inflammatory markers in maintenance hemodialysis patients 
Background
Anemia is a common complication among hemodialysis (HD) patients. Although intravenous iron and erythropoiesis-stimulating agents revolutionized anemia treatment, about 10% of HD patients show suboptimal response to these agents. Systemic inflammation and increased serum hepcidin level may contribute to this hyporesponsiveness. Considering the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids, this study aimed to evaluate potential role of these fatty acids in improving anemia and inflammation of chronic HD patients.
Methods
In this randomized, placebo-controlled trial, 54 adult patients with HD duration of at least 3 months were randomized to ingest 1800 mg of either omega-3 fatty acids or matching placebo per day for 4 months. Anemia parameters including blood hemoglobin, serum iron, transferrin saturation (TSAT), erythropoietin resistance index, and required dose of intravenous iron and erythropoietin, and serum concentrations of inflammatory/anti-inflammatory markers including interleukin (IL)-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, IL-10, C-reactive protein (CRP), hepcidin, ferritin, intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH), and ratios of IL-10 to IL-6 and IL-10 to TNF-α were measured at baseline and after 4 months of the intervention.
Results
45 subjects (25 in the omega-3 and 20 in the placebo group) completed the study. No significant changes were observed in blood hemoglobin, serum iron, TSAT, and required dose of intravenous iron in either within or between group comparisons. Additionally, erythropoietin resistance index as well as required dose of intravenous erythropoietin showed no significant change in the omega-3 group compared to the placebo group. Although a relative alleviation in inflammatory state appeared in the omega-3 group, the mean differences of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory markers between the two groups did not reach statistically significant level except for IL-10-to-IL-6 ratio and serum ferritin level which showed significant changes in favor of omega-3 treatment (P <0.001 and P = 0.003, respectively).
Conclusion
Omega-3 fatty acids relatively improved systemic inflammation of chronic HD patients without any prominent benefits on anemia. However, future well-designed studies on larger number of patients may determine utility of omega-3 fatty acids in HD patients with respect to inflammation and anemia.
doi:10.1186/2008-2231-22-11
PMCID: PMC3922959  PMID: 24397938
Anemia; Hemodialysis; Inflammation; Omega-3 fatty acids
23.  Synthesis and anti-proliferative activity evaluation of N3-acyl-N5-aryl-3,5-diaminoindazole analogues as anti-head and neck cancer agent 
Background
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is the 11th leading cancer by incidence worldwide. Surgery and radiotherapy have been the major treatment for patients with HNSCC while chemotherapy has become an important treatment option for locally advanced HNSCC. Understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying HNSCC impelled the development of targeted therapeutic agents. The development and combinations of targeted therapies in different cellular pathways may be needed to fulfill the unmet needs of current HNSCC chemotherapy.
Results
A series of N3-acyl-N5-aryl-3,5-diaminoindazoles were synthesized and their anti-proliferative activities were evaluated against human cancer cell lines, Caki, A549, AMC-HN1, AMC-HN3, AMC-HN4, AMC-HN6, and SNU449. The cellular selectivity of compound was obtained by the modification of substituent at N5-aryl group of 3,5-diaminoindazole. Compound 9a and 9b showed more than 7-fold selectivity for AMC-HN4 and AMC-HN3, respectively.
Conclusions
N3-acyl-N5-aryl-3,5-diaminoindazole analogues can be used as hits in the development of anticancer drug for HNSCC.
doi:10.1186/2008-2231-22-4
PMCID: PMC3896709  PMID: 24393135
Indazole; 3,5-diaminoindazole; Anticancer; HNSCC
24.  The cytotoxic activities of 7-isopentenyloxycoumarin on 5637 cells via induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in G2/M stage 
Background
Bladder cancer is the second common malignancy of genitourinary tract, and transitional cell carcinomas (TCCs) account for 90% of all bladder cancers. Due to acquired resistance of TCC cells to a wide range of chemotherapeutic agents, there is always a need for search on new compounds for treatment of these cancers. Coumarins represent a group of natural compounds, which some of them have exerted valuable anti-tumor activities. The current study was designed to evaluate anti-tumor properties and mechanism of action of 7-isopentenyloxycoumarin, a prenyloxycoumarin, on 5637 cells (a TCC cell line).
Results
MTT results revealed that the cytotoxic effects of 7-isopentenyloxycoumarin on 5637 cancerous cells were more prominent in comparison to HDF-1 normal cells. This coumarin increased the amount of chromatin condensation and DNA damage in 5637 cells by 58 and 33%, respectively. The results also indicated that it can induce apoptosis most probably via activation of caspase-3 in these cells. Moreover, propidium iodide staining revealed that 7-isopentenyloxycoumarin induced cell cycle arrest at G2/M stage, after 24 h of treatment.
Conclusion
Our results indicated that 7-isopentenyloxycoumarin had selective toxic effects on this bladder cancer cell line and promoted its effects by apoptosis induction and cell cycle arrest. This coumarin can be considered for further studies to reveal its exact mechanism of action and also its anti-cancer effects in vivo.
doi:10.1186/2008-2231-22-3
PMCID: PMC3898598  PMID: 24393601
Bladder cancer; Cytotoxicity; 7-isopentenyloxycoumarin; Apoptosis; Cell cycle
25.  Determination of melatonin content in traditional Thai herbal remedies used as sleeping aids 
Background
Melatonin content was screened in leaves of seven edible herbs used as sleeping aids in Thai traditional medicine. These plants are Piper nigrum L, Sesbania glandiflora (L.) Desv., Sesbania sesban (L.) Merr., Senna tora (L.) Roxb., Moringa oleifera Lam., Momordica charantia L. and Baccaurea ramiflora Lour. Dried leaves were extracted by sonication in methanol for six hours at room temperature, and then melatonin was purified by C18 solid phase extraction (SPE). Melatonin was then quantified by a validated RP-C18 HPLC method with fluorescent detection.
Findings
Melatonin contents in extracts of B. ramiflora, S. glandiflora, M. charantia, S. tora and S. sesban were 43.2, 26.3, 21.4, 10.5 and 8.7 ng/g of dry sample weight, respectively. The highest melatonin content was from P. nigrum extract (1092.7 ng/g of dry sample weight). Melatonin was not detected in the extract of M. oleifera. Melatonin identification was confirmed by ELISA.
Conclusions
Melatonin was found in six of the seven herbs in the traditional Thai sleeping recipe. One of these, P. nigrum, exhibited an encouragingly high amount of melatonin.
doi:10.1186/2008-2231-22-6
PMCID: PMC3913336  PMID: 24393215
Melatonin; Sleep aids; Thai herb; Solid phase extraction; HPLC

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