Inhibition of the endocannabinoid catabolic enzymes, monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) or fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) attenuates naloxone-precipitated opioid withdrawal signs in mice via activation of CB1 receptors. Complete FAAH inhibition blocks only a subset of withdrawal signs, whereas complete MAGL inhibition elicits enhanced antiwithdrawal efficacy, but is accompanied with some cannabimimetic side effects. Thus, the primary objective of the present study was to determine whether combined, full FAAH inhibition and partial MAGL represents an optimal strategy to reduce opioid withdrawal. To test this hypothesis, we examined whether combined administration of high-dose of the FAAH inhibitor PF-3845 and low-dose of the MAGL inhibitor JZL184, as well as the novel dual FAAH-MAGL inhibitor SA-57, which is 100-fold more potent in inhibiting FAAH than MAGL, would prevent spontaneous withdrawal in morphine-dependent mice, a model with greater face validity than precipitating withdrawal with μ-opioid receptor antagonists. Strikingly, a combination of low-dose JZL184 and high-dose PF-3845 as well as the dual inhibitor SA-57 reduced all abrupt withdrawal signs (ie, platform jumping, paw flutters, head shakes, diarrhea, and total body weight loss), but did not elicit any cannabimimetic side effects. In addition, JZL184 or PF-3845 blocked naloxone-precipitated hypersecretion in morphine-dependent small intestinal tissue. Collectively, these results are the first to show that endocannabinoid catabolic enzyme inhibitors reduce abrupt withdrawal in morpine-dependent mice and are effective in a novel in vitro model of opioid withdrawal. More generally, these findings support the idea that joint MAGL and FAAH inhibition represents a promising approach for the treatment of opioid dependence.
anandamide; 2-AG; fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH); monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL); morphine withdrawal; endocannabinoid; 2-AG; anandamide; cannabinoids; CB1 receptor; fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH); monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL); morphine withdrawal; neurochemistry; opioids; psychopharmacology
Originally isolated as a result of its ability to interact with the movement protein of Tomato spotted wilt virus in a yeast two-hybrid system, the 4/1 protein is proving to be an excellent tool for studying intracellular protein trafficking and intercellular communication. Expression of 4/1 in vivo is tightly regulated, first appearing in the veins of the cotyledon and later in the vasculature of the leaf and stem in association with the xylem parenchyma and phloem parenchyma. Structural studies indicate that 4/1 proteins contain as many as five coiled–coil (CC) domains; indeed, the highest level of sequence identity among 4/1 proteins involves their C-terminal CC domains, suggesting that protein–protein interaction is important for biological function. Recent data predict that the tertiary structure of this C-terminal CC domain is strikingly similar to that of yeast protein She2p; furthermore, like She2p, 4/1 protein exhibits RNA-binding activity, and mutational analysis has shown that the C-terminal CC domain is responsible for RNA binding. The 4/1 protein contains a nuclear export signal. Additional microscopy studies involving leptomycin and computer prediction suggest the presence of a nuclear localization signal as well.
intracellular transport; cell-to-cell transport; long-distance signaling; phloem transport; RNA binding protein
Untreated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) co-existing with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), also known as overlap syndrome, has higher cardiovascular mortality than COPD alone but its underlying mechanism remains unclear. We hypothesize that the presence of overlap syndrome is associated with more extensive right ventricular (RV) remodeling compared to patients with COPD alone. Adult COPD patients (GOLD stage 2 or higher) with at least 10 pack-years of smoking history were included. Overnight laboratory-based polysomnography was performed to test for OSA. Subjects with an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) >10/h were classified as having overlap syndrome (n = 7), else classified as having COPD-only (n = 11). A cardiac MRI was performed to assess right and left cardiac chambers sizes, ventricular masses, and cine function. RV mass index (RVMI) was markedly higher in the overlap group than the COPD-only group (19 ± 6 versus 11 ± 6; p = 0.02). Overlap syndrome subjects had a reduced RV remodeling index (defined as the ratio between RVMI and RV end-diastolic volume index) compared to the COPD-only group (0.27 ± 0.06 versus 0.18 ± 0.08; p = 0.02). In the overlap syndrome subjects, the extent of RV remodeling was associated with severity of oxygen desaturation (R2 = 0.65, p = 0.03). Our pilot results suggest that untreated overlap syndrome may cause more extensive RV remodeling than COPD alone.
Sleep disordered breathing; Overlap syndrome; Cardiac MRI; Lung
Esophageal pressure can be used to approximate pleural pressure and might be clinically useful, particularly in the obese e.g to guide mechanical ventilator settings in critical illness. However, mediastinal artifact (the difference between true pleural pressure and esophageal pressure) may limit acceptance of the measurement, and reproducibility of esophageal pressure measurements remains unknown. Therefore, we aimed to assess the effect of body posture on esophageal pressure in a cohort of obese but healthy subjects, some of whom had multiple measurements, to address the clinical robustness of esophageal manometry. Twenty-five overweight and obese subjects (BMI>25kg/m2) and 11 control lean subjects (BMI<25kg/m2) underwent esophageal manometry with pressures measured seated and supine. Twenty overweight and obese subjects had measurements repeated after ~1-2 weeks. Anthropometric data and sitting and supine spirometry were recorded. The average end-expiratory esophageal pressures sitting and supine were greater in the overweight and obese group than the lean group (sitting −0.1±2.1 vs. −3.3±1.2cmH2O, supine 9.3±3.3 vs. 6.9±2.8cmH2O, respectively). The mean differences between repeated measurements were small (−0.3 ± 1.7cmH2O sitting and −0.1 ± 1.5cmH2O supine). Esophageal pressures correlated with a number of anthropometric and spirometric variables. In conclusion, esophageal pressures are slightly greater in overweight and obese subjects than lean subjects; but changes with position are similar in both groups. These data indicate that mediastinal weight and postural effects on esophageal pressure are within a clinically acceptable range, and suggest that esophageal manometry can be used to inform clinical decision making across wide range of body types.
Obesity; mediastinal artifact; pleural pressure; transpulmonary pressure; lung
Congestive heart failure; Sleep apnea; Positive airway pressure therapy; Cheyne-Stokes respiration
This study sought to determine whether reduced pulmonary function in obstructive airway disease (OAD) is an independent risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This was a prospective observational study conducted at an outpatient pulmonary clinic. Adults with a known diagnosis of COPD/asthma were enrolled as OAD group. Family members without a history of COPD/asthma who accompanied these patients to the clinic were enrolled as a control group. The Berlin Questionnaire (BQ) was used to assess OSA risk in the OAD group and controls. Forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1 % predicted) was determined from spirometry. The subjects at high risk for OSA were referred for a full overnight polysomnogram (PSG). The prevalence of patients with a high risk of OSA was 55.2% in the OAD group, which was higher than in the controls (7.5%, p < 0.0001). OAD subjects had a higher body mass index (BMI) and larger neck circumference than controls (p < 0.01). There was no difference in FEV1 % predicted between the OAD patients at high risk and low risk of OSA. On receiver operator curve (ROC) analysis, FEV1 % predicted was not a significant predictor of high OSA risk. Using logistic regression, FEV1 % predicted had no association with OSA risk. There was no correlation between FEV1 % predicted and total apnea-hypopnea index (AHI), oxygen desaturation index, % time spent below oxygen saturation 90%, and mean oxygen saturation on multiple regression analysis. OSA appears to be common in patients with COPD or asthma in an urban outpatient pulmonary clinic. However, the high prevalence of OSA in OAD patients appears to be due to obesity, and reduced pulmonary function is not an independent risk factor for OSA.
Asthma; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; COPD; Lung; Obstructive sleep apnea; OSA; Pulmonary function
Central sleep apnea (CSA) describes a group of conditions in which cessations in air flow occur without respiratory effort. In contrast, obstructive sleep apnea patients have ongoing respiratory effort during respiratory events. However, considerable overlap exists in the pathogenesis and clinical presentation of obstructive sleep apnea and CSA. A good working knowledge of the mechanisms underlying CSA is important for optimal clinical care. In general, CSA can be classified into those with excessive drive (eg, Cheyne-Stokes breathing) versus those with inadequate drive (eg, sleep hypoventilation syndrome). One critical factor contributing to the cessation of air flow during sleep is the concept of the apnea threshold, such that a PaCO2 value below a certain level will lead to cessations in breathing. PaCO2 can fall below the chemical apnea threshold when drive is excessive (eg, robust chemosensitivity) or when hyperventilation is occurring (eg, following arousal). Another important factor is the loss of the so-called wakefulness drive to breathe, such that some rise in PaCO2 is likely to occur at the onset of sleep. A variety of factors contribute to this rise, including upper-airway collapse and diminished chemosensitivity (particularly during rapid-eye-movement sleep). In patients with low central drive, this further loss of drive at sleep onset can lead to marked hypercapnia in some cases. The treatment of CSA is also reviewed in some detail, including a role for positive airway pressure (eg, bi-level positive airway pressure in hypoventilation patients) and optimization of medical therapy (eg, in Cheyne-Stokes breathing). A paucity of research exists in this area, emphasizing the opportunities for young investigators who are interested in this field.
central sleep apnea; CSA; obstructive sleep apnea; OSA; lung; Cheyne-Stokes breathing; sleep hypoventilation syndrome; sleep; continuous positive airway pressure; CPAP
Recent insights into sleep apnoea pathogenesis reveal that a low respiratory arousal threshold (awaken easily) is important for many patients. As most patients experience stable breathing periods mediated by upper-airway dilator muscle activation via accumulation of respiratory stimuli, premature awakening may prevent respiratory stimuli build up as well as the resulting stabilization of sleep and breathing. The aim of the present physiological study was to determine the effects of a non-benzodiazepine sedative, eszopiclone, on the arousal threshold and the AHI (apnoea/hypopnoea index) in obstructive sleep apnoea patients. We hypothesized that eszopiclone would increase the arousal threshold and lower the AHI in patients with a low arousal threshold (0 to −15 cmH2O). Following a baseline overnight polysomnogram with an epiglottic pressure catheter to quantify the arousal threshold, 17 obstructive sleep apnoea patients, without major hypoxaemia [nadir SaO2 (arterial blood oxygen saturation) >70%], returned on two additional nights and received 3 mg of eszopiclone or placebo immediately prior to each study. Compared with placebo, eszopiclone significantly increased the arousal threshold [−14.0 (−19.9 to −10.9) compared with −18.0 (−22.2 to −15.1) cmH2O; P < 0.01], and sleep duration, improved sleep quality and lowered the AHI without respiratory event prolongation or worsening hypoxaemia. Among the eight patients identified as having a low arousal threshold, reductions in the AHI occurred invariably and were most pronounced (25 ± 6 compared with 14 ± 4 events/h of sleep; P < 0.01). In conclusion, eszopiclone increases the arousal threshold and lowers the AHI in obstructive sleep apnoea patients that do not have marked overnight hypoxaemia. The greatest reductions in the AHI occurred in those with a low arousal threshold. The results of this single night physiological study suggest that certain sedatives may be of therapeutic benefit for a definable subgroup of patients. However, additional treatment strategies are probably required to achieve elimination of apnoea.
apnoea/hypopnoae index (AHI); lung; sedative medication; sleep-disordered breathing; therapeutic target; upper-airway physiology
Sleep-disordered breathing (mainly obstructive sleep apnea [OSA]) and COPD are among the most common pulmonary diseases, so a great number of patients have both disorders; this “overlap syndrome” causes more severe nocturnal hypoxemia than either disease alone. This common combination of OSA and COPD has important implications for diagnosis, treatment, and outcome. Specifically, patients with COPD and OSA have a substantially greater risk of morbidity and mortality, compared to those with either COPD or OSA alone. Only now are the interactions between these 2 systemic diseases being determined and appreciated. Many questions remain, however, with regard to disease definition, prognosis, and optimal treatment. Treatment currently consists of continuous positive airway pressure, and oxygen as needed. Noninvasive ventilation may be helpful in overlap syndrome patients, but this has not yet been well studied.
obstructive sleep apnea; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; COPD; overlap syndrome; nocturnal oxygen desaturation; hypercapnic COPD
A middle-aged woman developed fatal urosepsis due to a multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli strain representing sequence type ST131, a recently emerged, disseminated, multidrug-resistant extraintestinal pathogen, after presumably having acquired it from her extensively antibiotic-exposed sister with chronic recurrent cystitis. Susceptibility results (reported on day 4) showed resistance to the initially selected regimen.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common and deadly disease. One of the hallmarks of COPD is an accelerated decline in lung function, as measured by spirometry. Inflammation, oxidative stress and other pathways are hypothesized to be important in this deterioration. Because progressive airflow obstruction is associated with considerable morbidity and mortality, a major goal of COPD treatment has been to slow or prevent the accelerated decline in lung function. Until recently, the only known effective intervention was smoking cessation. However, newly reported large clinical trials have shown that commonly used medications may help slow the rate of lung function decline. The effect of these medications is modest (and thus required such large, expensive trials) and to be of clinical benefit, therapy would likely need to start early in the course of disease and be prolonged. Such a treatment strategy aimed at preservation of lung function would need to be balanced against the side effects and costs of prolonged therapy. A variety of newer classes of medications may help target other pathophysiologically important pathways, and could be used in the future to prevent lung function decline in COPD.
COPD; emphysema; pulmonary function; beta-agonist; anti-inflammatory; pharmacotherapy in COPD
Intra-abdominal hypertension is increasingly recognized to be both prevalent and clinically important in medical and surgical intensive care units. Intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) can impact organ function throughout the body, and it can also complicate standard measurements used in intensive care units. The article by Krebs and colleagues reports the effect of IAP on respiratory function, gas exchange and hemodynamic function. Their results show a relatively small effect of modestly elevated IAP on these variables in their patient population. However, their work raises several questions for clinicians and researchers regarding the pathophysiology and management of IAP.
Purpose of review
Obstructive sleep apnea is an increasingly prevalent disease, with a considerable societal burden. The disease is defined by recurrent intermittent collapse of the upper airway. Understanding of and treatment for the disease is largely confined to relief of the mechanical obstruction of the upper airway by application of continuous positive airway pressure, and less commonly weight loss or surgery. However, recent work has focused on the function, rather than structure alone, of the upper airway.
The following contributors to upper airway structure and function have been studied: traditional fixed anatomical abnormalities, dynamic anatomical changes, upper airway dilator muscle dysfunction, lung volumes, and instability in control of breathing. In each patient with obstructive sleep apnea, the relative contribution of each of these components may be quite variable. The studies reviewed here describe methods to evaluate these factors, and some attempts at treatment.
Ongoing studies are attempting to classify patients on the basis of the underlying pathophysiology. This work suggests that obstructive sleep apnea is a heterogeneous disease with multiple root causes. Ultimately, such a classification may allow more individualized treatment, not only relying on mechanical relief of the upper airway obstruction.
control of ventilation; lung; pharynx; upper airway; upper airway muscle activation
Despite the non-coding nature of their small RNA genomes, the visible symptoms of viroid infection resemble those associated with many plant virus diseases. Recent evidence indicates that viroid-derived small RNAs acting through host RNA silencing pathways play a key role in viroid pathogenicity. Host responses to viroid infection are complex, involving signaling cascades containing host-encoded protein kinases and crosstalk between hormonal and defense-signaling pathways. Studies of viroid-host interaction in the context of entire biochemical or developmental pathways are just beginning, and many working hypotheses have yet to be critically tested.
viroid pathogenicity; RNA silencing; disease induction
The US Institute of Medicine's focus on patient safety has motivated hospital administrators to facilitate a culture of safety. As a result, subcommittees of the pharmacy and therapeutics committee have emerged in many hospitals to focus on adverse events and patient safety. Antimicrobial harms have gained the attention of practicing clinicians and hospital formulary committees, because they top the list of drugs that are associated with adverse events and because of certain serious harms that have ultimately led to the withdrawal of some antimicrobial agents. In the near future, several antimicrobials in the late phase of development will become available for clinical use (ceftobiprole, ceftaroline, and telavancin), and others (doripenem and dalbavancin) have recently joined the armamentarium. Because new antimicrobials will become part of the treatment armamentarium, it is important to discuss our current understanding of antimicrobial harms in general. Although not thought of as traditional adverse events, Clostridium difficile infection and development of resistance during therapy are adverse events that occur as a result of antimicrobial exposure and therefore are discussed. In addition, a distillation of our current understanding of β-lactam specific adverse events will be provided. Finally, new methods of administration are being evaluated that may influence peak concentration-related antimicrobial adverse events.
To determine whether previously reported loci predisposing to nonsyndromic high myopia show linkage to common myopia in pedigrees from two ethnic groups: Ashkenazi Jewish and Amish. We hypothesized that these high myopia loci might exhibit allelic heterogeneity and be responsible for moderate /mild or common myopia.
Cycloplegic and manifest refraction were performed on 38 Jewish and 40 Amish families. Individuals with at least -1.00 D in each meridian of both eyes were classified as myopic. Genomic DNA was genotyped with 12 markers on chromosomes 12q21-23 and 18p11.3. Parametric and nonparametric linkage analyses were conducted to determine whether susceptibility alleles at these loci are important in families with less severe, clinical forms of myopia.
There was no strong evidence of linkage of common myopia to these candidate regions: all two-point and multipoint heterogeneity LOD scores were < 1.0 and non-parametric linkage p-values were > 0.01. However, one Amish family showed slight evidence of linkage (LOD>1.0) on 12q; another 3 Amish families each gave LOD >1.0 on 18p; and 3 Jewish families each gave LOD >1.0 on 12q.
Significant evidence of linkage (LOD> 3) of myopia was not found on chromosome 18p or 12q loci in these families. These results suggest that these loci do not play a major role in the causation of common myopia in our families studied.
Rifapentine is undergoing development for the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis. This study was conducted to characterize the single-dose pharmacokinetics of rifapentine and its 25-desacetyl metabolite and to assess the effect of food on the rate and extent of absorption in participants infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Twelve men and four women, mean age, 38.6 ± 6.9 years, received a single 600-mg oral dose of rifapentine in an open-label, randomized two-way, complete crossover study. Each volunteer received rifapentine following a high-fat breakfast or during a fasting period. Serial blood samples were collected for 72 h and both rifapentine and its metabolite were assayed by a validated high-performance liquid chromatography method. Pharmacokinetics of rifapentine and 25-desacetylrifapentine were determined by noncompartmental methods. Mean (± the standard deviation) maximum concentrations of rifapentine in serum and areas under the curve from time zero to infinity following a high-fat breakfast were 14.09 ± 2.81 and 373.63 ± 78.19 μg/ml, respectively, and following a fasting period they were 9.42 ± 2.67 and 256.10 ± 86.39 μg · h/ml, respectively. Pharmacokinetic data from a previously published healthy volunteer study were used for comparison. Administration of rifapentine with a high-fat breakfast resulted in a 51% increase in rifapentine bioavailability, an effect also observed in healthy volunteers. Although food increased the exposure of these patients to rifapentine, the infrequent dosing schedule for the treatment of tuberculosis (e.g., once- or twice-weekly dosing) would be unlikely to lead to accumulation. Additionally, autoinduction has been previously studied and has not been demonstrated with this compound, unlike with rifabutin and rifampin. Rifapentine was well tolerated by HIV-infected study participants. The results of our study suggest that no dosage adjustments may be required for rifapentine in HIV-infected patients (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classification A1, A2, B1, or B2) undergoing treatment for tuberculosis.
Gas chromatographic analyses of smoke condensate from commercial, unfiltered cigarettes spiked with penicillic acid (500 or 1,000 ppm), a reported carcinogenic substance from certain fungi, indicated approximately 3% of unchanged compound was transported in the smoke. Analysis of tobacco on which either Aspergillus ochraceus or Penicillium cyclopium was grown revealed microgram quantities of the compound. Small amounts of the material were also found in moldy tobacco from commercial storage. The results of these investigations suggest that fungi may be a source of carcinogenic compounds in tobacco and tobacco smoke.
A bioassay that can be carried out on thin-layer chromatograms is described for rapid detection of antifungal or general cytotoxic activity with microquantities of test compound.