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1.  The National Institutes of Health Microphysiological Systems Program focuses on a critical challenge in the drug discovery pipeline 
Stem Cell Research & Therapy  2013;4(Suppl 1):I1.
The National Institutes of Health has partnered with the US Food and Drug Administration and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to accelerate the development of human microphysiological systems (MPS) that address challenges faced in predictive toxicity assessment and efficacy analysis of new molecular entities during the preclinical phase of drug development. Use of human MPS could provide better models for predicting the efficacy of new molecular entities in clinical trials. It is also anticipated that improvements in predicting drug toxicities early in the drug development process through the use of MPS or human organs-on-a-chip will decrease the need to withdraw new therapies from the market and minimize or eliminate deaths due to unidentified drug toxicities.
doi:10.1186/scrt361
PMCID: PMC4029183  PMID: 24565163
2.  Deletion of galectin-3 exacerbates microglial activation and accelerates disease progression and demise in a SOD1G93A mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 
Brain and Behavior  2012;2(5):563-575.
Galectins are pleiotropic carbohydrate-binding lectins involved in inflammation, growth/differentiation, and tissue remodeling. The functional role of galectins in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is unknown. Expression studies revealed increases in galectin-1 mRNA and protein in spinal cords from SOD1G93A mice, and in galectin-3 and -9 mRNAs and proteins in spinal cords of both SOD1G93A mice and sporadic ALS patients. As the increase in galectin-3 appeared in early presymptomatic stages and increased progressively through to end stage of disease in the mouse, it was selected for additional study, where it was found to be mainly expressed by microglia. Galectin-3 antagonists are not selective and do not readily cross the blood–brain barrier; therefore, we generated SOD1G93A/Gal-3−/− transgenic mice to evaluate galectin-3 deletion in a widely used mouse model of ALS. Disease progression, neurological symptoms, survival, and inflammation were assessed to determine the effect of galectin-3 deletion on the SOD1G93A disease phenotype. Galectin-3 deletion did not change disease onset, but resulted in more rapid progression through functionally defined disease stages, more severely impaired neurological symptoms at all stages of disease, and expiration, on average, 25 days earlier than SOD1G93A/Gal-3+/+ cohorts. In addition, microglial staining, as well as TNF-α, and oxidative injury were increased in SOD1G93A/Gal-3−/− mice compared with SOD1G93A/Gal-3+/+ cohorts. These data support an important functional role for microglial galectin-3 in neuroinflammation during chronic neurodegenerative disease. We suggest that elevations in galectin-3 by microglia as disease progresses may represent a protective, anti-inflammatory innate immune response to chronic motor neuron degeneration.
doi:10.1002/brb3.75
PMCID: PMC3489809  PMID: 23139902
Alternative activation; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; microglia; motor neuron disease; SOD1

Results 1-2 (2)