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1.  Pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and toxicities of methotrexate in healthy and collagen-induced arthritic rats 
Biopharmaceutics & drug disposition  2013;34(4):10.1002/bdd.1838.
Methotrexate (MTX) is an anchor drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but responsiveness is variable in effectiveness and toxicity. Methotrexate and its polyglutamate conjugates (MTXPGn) in red blood cells (RBC) have been associated with patient response. In the current study, 13 collagen-induced arthritic (CIA) rats and 12 healthy rats were given subcutaneous doses of either saline or 0.3 or 1.5 mg/kg per 2 days of MTX from day 21 to 43 post-induction. Blood samples were obtained at various times to measure MTX in plasma, and MTX and MTXPGn in RBC. Effects on disease progression were indicated by body weight and paw size. After multiple-doses, RBC MTX reached steady-state (82.4 nM) within 4 days. The MTXPG2 and MTXPG3 in RBC kept increasing until the end of the study attaining 12.5 and 17.7 nM. Significant weight loss was observed after dosing of 1.5 mg/kg/2 days, whereas moderate effectiveness was observed after dosing of 0.3 mg/kg/2 days. A pharmacokinetic/ pharmacodynamic/disease (PK/PD/DIS) model with indirect mechanisms and transduction components incorporating plasma MTX, RBC MTX, and RBC MTXPGn concentrations, and paw size was developed using naïve data pooling and ADAPT 5. The PK/PD in CIA rats dosed at 0.3 mg/kg/2 days were captured well by our proposed model. MTX showed modest (Imaxd = 0.16) but sensitive (IC50d = 0.712 nM) effectiveness on paw edema. The higher dose produced toxicity. The proposed model offers improved understanding of MTX effects on rheumatoid arthritis.
PMCID: PMC3656137  PMID: 23456770
Methotrexate; rheumatoid arthritis; pharmacokinetics; pharmacodynamics; disease progression
2.  Evidence for a Glucocorticoid Receptor Beta Splice Variant in the Rat and Its Physiological Regulation in Liver 
Steroids  2012;78(2):312-320.
Glucocorticoids are important regulators of metabolism and immune function. Synthetic glucocorticoids are extensively used for immunosuppression/anti-inflammatory therapy. Since the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is central to most hormone effects; its in vivo regulation will influence hormone/drug action. An alternative splice variant, GRβ, is present in humans and may function as a dominant negative regulator of GR transcriptional activity. Recently, a similar splice variant was reported in mouse, although the mechanism of alternative splicing differs from that in humans. We present evidence that a splice variant of GR with an alternative C-terminus also occurs in the rat by a mechanism of intron inclusion. A highly quantitative qRT-PCR assay for the simultaneous measurement of both splice variants in a single sample was developed in order to accurately measure their regulation. We used this assay to assess the tissue specific expression of both mRNAs, and demonstrate that GRα is predominant in all tissues. In addition, the regulation of both GRα and GRβ mRNA by various physiological factors in rat liver was assessed. GRα showed a robust circadian rhythm, which was entrained with the circadian oscillation of the endogenous hormone. Time series experiments showed that both corticosteroids and LPS but not insulin dosing resulted in the transient down-regulation of GRα mRNA. LPS treatment also resulted in down-regulation of GRβ expression. A modest up-regulation in GRβ expression was observed only in animals having chronically elevated plasma insulin concentrations. However the expression of GRβ was significantly lower than that of GRα in all cases.
PMCID: PMC3552070  PMID: 23257260
glucocorticoids; glucocorticoid receptor; GRβ; qRTPCR
3.  Meta-Modeling of Methylprednisolone Effects on Glucose Regulation in Rats 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e81679.
A retrospective meta-modeling analysis was performed to integrate previously reported data of glucocorticoid (GC) effects on glucose regulation following a single intramuscular dose (50 mg/kg), single intravenous doses (10, 50 mg/kg), and intravenous infusions (0.1, 0.2, 0.3 and 0.4 mg/kg/h) of methylprednisolone (MPL) in normal and adrenalectomized (ADX) male Wistar rats. A mechanistic pharmacodynamic (PD) model was developed based on the receptor/gene/protein-mediated GC effects on glucose regulation. Three major target organs (liver, white adipose tissue and skeletal muscle) together with some selected intermediate controlling factors were designated as important regulators involved in the pathogenesis of GC-induced glucose dysregulation. Assessed were dynamic changes of food intake and systemic factors (plasma glucose, insulin, free fatty acids (FFA) and leptin) and tissue-specific biomarkers (cAMP, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) mRNA and enzyme activity, leptin mRNA, interleukin 6 receptor type 1 (IL6R1) mRNA and Insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) mRNA) after acute and chronic dosing with MPL along with the GC receptor (GR) dynamics in each target organ. Upon binding to GR in liver, MPL dosing caused increased glucose production by stimulating hepatic cAMP and PEPCK activity. In adipose tissue, the rise in leptin mRNA and plasma leptin caused reduction of food intake, the exogenous source of glucose input. Down-regulation of IRS-1 mRNA expression in skeletal muscle inhibited the stimulatory effect of insulin on glucose utilization further contributing to hyperglycemia. The nuclear drug-receptor complex served as the driving force for stimulation or inhibition of downstream target gene expression within different tissues. Incorporating information such as receptor dynamics, as well as the gene and protein induction, allowed us to describe the receptor-mediated effects of MPL on glucose regulation in each important tissue. This advanced mechanistic model provides unique insights into the contributions of major tissues and quantitative hypotheses for the multi-factor control of a complex metabolic system.
PMCID: PMC3847111  PMID: 24312573
4.  Pharmacokinetics of salsalate and salicylic acid in normal and diabetic rats 
The pharmacokinetics (PK) of salsalate (SS) and salicylic acid (SA) was assessed in normal Wistar and diabetic Goto-Kakizaki rats. Three PK studies were conducted: 1) PK of SA in normal rats after intravenous dosing of SA at 20, 40, 80 mg/kg. 2) PK of SS and SA in normal rats after oral dosing of SS at 28, 56, 112 mg/kg. 3) PK during 4 months feeding of SS-containing diet in both normal and diabetic rats. The disposition of SS and SA were simultaneously evaluated using a pharmacokinetic model comprised of several transit absorption steps and linear and nonlinear dual elimination pathways for SA. The results indicated that the nonlinear elimination pathway of SA only accounted for a small fraction of the total clearance (< 12%) at therapeutic concentrations. A flat profile of SA was observed after oral dosing SS, particularly at a high dose. The possible reasons for this flat profile were posed. During the SS-diet feeding, diabetic rats achieved lower blood concentrations of SA than normal rats with a higher apparent clearance (CL/F) possibly due to incomplete (47%) bioavailability. Such CL/F decreased with age in both diabetic and normal rats. The effect of diabetes on SA pharmacokinetics may necessitate increased dosing in future usage of SS in diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3440557  PMID: 22782506
salsalate; salicylic acid; pharmacokinetics; diabetes
5.  Corticosteroid-regulated genes in rat kidney: mining time series array data 
Kidney is a major target for adverse effects associated with corticosteroids. A microarray dataset was generated to examine changes in gene expression in rat kidney in response to methylprednisolone. Four control and 48 drug-treated animals were killed at 16 times after drug administration. Kidney RNA was used to query 52 individual Affymetrix chips, generating data for 15,967 different probe sets for each chip. Mining techniques applicable to time series data that identify drug-regulated changes in gene expression were applied. Four sequential filters eliminated probe sets that were not expressed in the tissue, not regulated by drug, or did not meet defined quality control standards. These filters eliminated 14,890 probe sets (94%) from further consideration. Application of judiciously chosen filters is an effective tool for data mining of time series datasets. The remaining data can then be further analyzed by clustering and mathematical modeling. Initial analysis of this filtered dataset identified a group of genes whose pattern of regulation was highly correlated with prototype corticosteroid enhanced genes. Twenty genes in this group, as well as selected genes exhibiting either downregulation or no regulation, were analyzed for 5′ GRE half-sites conserved across species. In general, the results support the hypothesis that the existence of conserved DNA binding sites can serve as an important adjunct to purely analytic approaches to clustering genes into groups with common mechanisms of regulation. This dataset, as well as similar datasets on liver and muscle, are available online in a format amenable to further analysis by others.
PMCID: PMC3752664  PMID: 15985454
data mining; gene arrays; glucocorticoids; pharmacogenomics; evolutionary conservation
6.  Mechanism-based disease progression modeling of type 2 diabetes in Goto-Kakizaki rats 
The dynamics of aging and type 2 diabetes (T2D) disease progression were investigated in normal [Wistar-Kyoto (WKY)] and diabetic [Goto-Kakizaki (GK)] rats and a mechanistic disease progression model was developed for glucose, insulin, and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) changes over time. The study included 30 WKY and 30 GK rats. Plasma glucose and insulin, blood glucose and HbA1c concentrations and hematological measurements were taken at ages 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20 weeks. A mathematical model described the development of insulin resistance (IR) and β-cell function with age/growth and diabetes progression. The model utilized transit compartments and an indirect response model to quantitate biomarker changes over time. Glucose, insulin and HbA1c concentrations in WKY rats increased to a steady-state at 8 weeks due to developmental changes. Glucose concentrations at 4 weeks in GK rats were almost twice those of controls, and increased to a steady-state after 8 weeks. Insulin concentrations at 4 weeks in GK rats were similar to controls, and then hyperinsulinemia occurred until 12–16 weeks of age indicating IR. Subsequently, insulin concentrations in GK rats declined to slightly below WKY controls due to β-cell failure. HbA1c showed a delayed increase relative to glucose. Modeling of HbA1c was complicated by age-related changes in hematology in rats. The diabetes model quantitatively described the glucose/insulin inter-regulation and HbA1c production and reflected the underlying pathogenic factors of T2D—IR and β-cell dysfunction. The model could be extended to incorporate other biomarkers and effects of various anti-diabetic drugs.
PMCID: PMC3727409  PMID: 21127951
Type 2 diabetes; Disease progression modeling; Insulin resistance; β-cell function
7.  Quantitative Dynamic Models of Arthritis Progression in the Rat 
Pharmaceutical research  2008;26(1):196-203.
This comparison employs mathematical disease progression models to identify a rat model of arthritis with the least inter-animal variability and features lending to better study designs.
Arthritis was induced with either collagen (CIA) or mycobacterium (AIA) in either Lewis or Dark Agouti (DA) rats. Disease progression was monitored by paw edema and body weight. Models with production, loss, and feedback components were constructed and population analysis using NONMEM software was employed to identify inter-animal variability in the various disease progression parameters.
Onset time was the only parameter different within all four groups (DA–AIA 11.5 days, DA–CIA 16.5 days, Lewis–AIA 11.9 days, Lewis–CIA 13.9 days). The loss-of-edema rate constant was 20% slower in DA (0.362 h−1) than Lewis (0.466 h−1) rats. Most models exhibited peak paw edema 20 days post-induction. Edema in CIA returned to 150% of the initial value after the disease peaked. DA rats displayed more severe overall responses.
No statistical differences between groups were observed for inter-animal variation in disease onset, progression and severity parameters. Onset time varies and should be noted in the design of future studies. DA rats may offer a more dynamic range of edema response than Lewis rats.
PMCID: PMC3725549  PMID: 18758921
arthritis; disease; model; progression; rat
8.  Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic Modeling of Corticosterone Suppression and Lymphocytopenia by Methylprednisolone in Rats 
Journal of pharmaceutical sciences  2008;97(7):2820-2832.
Adrenal suppression and lymphocytopenia are commonly monitored pharmacological responses during systemic exposure to exogenously administered corticosteroids. The pharmacodynamics of plasma corticosterone (CS) and blood lymphocytes were investigated in 60 normal rats which received either 50 mg/kg methylprednisolone (MPL) or vehicle intramuscularly. Blood samples were collected between 0.5 and 96 h following treatment. Plasma CS displayed a transient suppression with re-establishment of a normal circadian rhythm 24 h following drug treatment. An indirect response model with suppression of production well captured plasma CS profiles. An early stress-induced rise in CS was also factored into the model. Blood lymphocyte numbers exhibited a sharp decline and then returned to a new circadian rhythm which was half of the original baseline level. An integrated pharmacodynamic (PD) model with inhibition of lymphocyte trafficking from tissue to blood by both MPL and CS and induction of cell apoptosis by MPL reasonably captured this lymphocytopenia. Rats and humans differ in lymphocyte responses with humans showing full recovery of baselines. Modeling provides a valuable tool in quantitative assessment of dual, complex drug responses.
PMCID: PMC3726057  PMID: 17828751
pharmacokinetics; pharmacodynamics; hormones; mathematical model; pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic models; corticosteroid; lymphocyte; cell trafficking; indirect response model; circadian rhythm
9.  Mechanistic population modeling of diabetes disease progression in Goto-Kakizaki rat muscle 
Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (PDK4) is a lipid status responsive gene involved in muscle fuel selection. Evidence is mounting in support of the therapeutic potential of PDK4 inhibitors to treat diabetes. Factors that regulate PDK4 mRNA expression include plasma corticosterone, insulin and free fatty acids. Our objective was to determine the impact of those plasma factors on PDK4 mRNA and to develop and validate a population mathematical model to differentiate aging, diet and disease effects on muscle PDK4 expression. The Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rat, a polygenic non-obese model of type 2 diabetes, was used as the diabetic animal model. We examined muscle PDK4 mRNA expression by real-time QRTPCR. Groups of GK rats along with controls fed with either a normal or high fat diet were sacrificed at 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 weeks of age. Plasma corticosterone, insulin and free fatty acid were measured. The proposed mechanism-based model successfully described the age, disease and diet effects and the relative contribution of these plasma regulators on PDK4 mRNA expression. Muscle growth reduced the PDK4 mRNA production rate by 14% per gram increase. High fat diet increased the initial production rate constant in GK rats by 2.19-fold. The model indicated that corticosterone had a moderate effect and PDK4 was more sensitive to free fatty acid than insulin fluxes, which was in good agreement with the literature data.
PMCID: PMC3080028  PMID: 21162119
population model; type 2 diabetes; disease progression; PDK4; Goto-Kakizaki rats
10.  Glucocorticoid Effects on Adiponectin Expression 
Vitamins and hormones  2012;90:163-186.
Maintenance of energy metabolism and glucose homeostasis is achieved by the regulatory effects of many hormones and their interactions. Glucocorticoids produced from adrenal cortex and adiponectin produced by adipose tissue play important roles in the production, distribution, storage, and utilization of energy substrates. Glucocorticoids are involved in the activation of a number of catabolic processes by affecting the expression of a plethora of genes, while adiponectin acts primarily as an insulin sensitizer. Both are regulated by a number of physiological and pharmacological factors. Although the effects of glucocorticoids on adiponectin expression have been extensively studied in different in vitro, animal and clinical study settings, no consensus has been reached. This report reviews the primary literature concerning the effects of glucocorticoids on adiponectin expression and identifies potential reasons for the contradictory results between different studies. In addition, methods to gain better insights pertaining to the regulation of adiponectin expression are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3693220  PMID: 23017716
11.  Population pharmacokinetic–pharmacodynamic–disease progression model for effects of anakinra in Lewis rats with collagen-induced arthritis 
A population pharmacokinetic–pharmacodynamic–disease progression (PK/PD/DIS) model was developed to characterize the effects of anakinra in collagen-induced arthritic (CIA) rats and explore the role of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) in rheumatoid arthritis. The CIA rats received either vehicle, or anakinra at 100 mg/kg for about 33 h, 100 mg/kg for about 188 h, or 10 mg/kg for about 188 h by subcutaneous infusion. Plasma concentrations of anakinra were assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Swelling of rat hind paws was measured. Population PK/PD/DIS parameters were computed for the various groups using non-linear mixed-effects modeling software (NONMEM® Version VI). The final model was assessed using visual predictive checks and nonparameter stratified bootstrapping. A two-compartment PK model with two sequential absorption processes and linear elimination was used to capture PK profiles of anakinra. A transduction-based feedback model incorporating logistic growth rate captured disease progression and indirect response model I captured drug effects. The PK and paw swelling versus time profiles in CIA rats were fitted well. Anakinra has modest effects (Imax = 0.28) on paw edema in CIA rats. The profiles are well-described by our PK/PD/DIS model which provides a basis for future mechanism-based assessment of anakinra dynamics in rheumatoid arthritis.
PMCID: PMC3407879  PMID: 22002845
Anakinra; Pharmacokinetics; Pharmacodynamics; Rheumatoid arthritis; Population model
12.  Effects of High Fat Feeding on Liver Gene Expression in Diabetic Goto-Kakizaki Rats 
Effects of high fat diet (HFD) on obesity and, subsequently, on diabetes are highly variable and modulated by genetics in both humans and rodents. In this report, we characterized the response of Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rats, a spontaneous polygenic model for lean diabetes and healthy Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) controls, to high fat feeding from weaning to 20 weeks of age. Animals fed either normal diet or HFD were sacrificed at 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20 weeks of age and a wide array of physiological measurements were made along with gene expression profiling using Affymetrix gene array chips. Mining of the microarray data identified differentially regulated genes (involved in inflammation, metabolism, transcription regulation, and signaling) in diabetic animals, as well as the response of both strains to HFD. Functional annotation suggested that HFD increased inflammatory differences between the two strains. Chronic inflammation driven by heightened innate immune response was identified to be present in GK animals regardless of diet. In addition, compensatory mechanisms by which WKY animals on HFD resisted the development of diabetes were identified, thus illustrating the complexity of diabetes disease progression.
PMCID: PMC3516129  PMID: 23236253
diabetes; high fat diet; gene expression; microarray
13.  Differential Muscle Gene Expression as a Function of Disease Progression in Goto-Kakizaki Diabetic Rats 
The Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rat, a polygenic non-obese model of type 2 diabetes, is a useful surrogate for study of diabetes-related changes independent of obesity. GK rats and appropriate controls were killed at 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20 weeks post-weaning and differential muscle gene expression along with body and muscle weights, plasma hormones and lipids, and blood cell measurements were carried out. Gene expression analysis identified 204 genes showing 2-fold or greater differences between GK and controls in at least 3 ages. Array results suggested increased oxidative capacity in GK muscles, as well as differential gene expression related to insulin resistance, which was also indicated by HOMA-IR measurements. In addition, potential new biomarkers in muscle gene expression were identified that could be either a cause or consequence of T2DM. Furthermore, we demonstrate here the presence of chronic inflammation evident both systemically and in the musculature, despite the absence of obesity.
PMCID: PMC3093670  PMID: 21356272
type 2 diabetes; skeletal muscle; inflammation; microarrays; gene expression
14.  Assessment of Pharmacologic Area Under the Curve When Baselines are Variable 
Pharmaceutical research  2011;28(5):1081-1089.
The area under the curve (AUC) is commonly used to assess the extent of exposure of a drug. The same concept can be applied to generally assess pharmacodynamic responses and the deviation of a signal from its baseline value. When the initial condition for the response of interest is not zero, there is uncertainty in the true value of the baseline measurement. This necessitates the consideration of the AUC relative to baseline to account for this inherent uncertainty and variability in baseline measurements.
An algorithm to calculate the AUC with respect to a variable baseline is developed by comparing the AUC of the response curve with the AUC of the baseline while taking into account uncertainty in both measurements. Furthermore, positive and negative components of AUC (above and below baseline) are calculated separately to allow for the identification of biphasic responses.
This algorithm is applied to gene expression data to illustrate its ability to capture transcriptional responses to a drug that deviate from baseline and to synthetic data to quantitatively test its performance.
The variable nature of the baseline is an important aspect to consider when calculating the AUC.
PMCID: PMC3152796  PMID: 21234658
AUC; baseline; bioinformatics; microarrays; pharmacogenomics
15.  Circadian Rhythms in Gene Expression: Relationship to Physiology, Disease, Drug Disposition and Drug Action 
Advanced drug delivery reviews  2010;62(9-10):904-917.
Circadian rhythms (24 h cycles) are observed in virtually all aspects of mammalian function from expression of genes to complex physiological processes. The master clock is present in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the anterior part of the hypothalamus and controls peripheral clocks present in other parts of the body. Components of this core clock mechanism regulate the circadian rhythms in genome-wide mRNA expression, which in turn regulate various biological processes. Disruption of circadian rhythms can be either the cause or the effect of various disorders including metabolic syndrome, inflammatory diseases and cancer. Furthermore, circadian rhythms in gene expression regulate both the action and disposition of various drugs and affect therapeutic efficacy and toxicity based on dosing time. Understanding the regulation of circadian rhythms in gene expression plays an important role in both optimizing the dosing time for existing drugs and in development of new therapeutics targeting the molecular clock.
PMCID: PMC2922481  PMID: 20542067
molecular clocks; metabolic disease; inflammation; cancer; drug targets; pharmacokinetics
16.  A New Symbolic Representation for the Identification of Informative Genes in Replicated Microarray Experiments 
Microarray experiments generate massive amounts of data, necessitating innovative algorithms to distinguish biologically relevant information from noise. Because the variability of gene expression data is an important factor in determining which genes are differentially expressed, analysis techniques that take into account repeated measurements are critically important. Additionally, the selection of informative genes is typically done by searching for the individual genes that vary the most across conditions. Yet because genes tend to act in groups rather than individually, it may be possible to glean more information from the data by searching specifically for concerted behavior in a set of genes. Applying a symbolic transformation to the gene expression data allows the detection overrepresented patterns in the data, in contrast to looking only for genes that exhibit maximal differential expression. These challenges are approached by introducing an algorithm based on a new symbolic representation that searches for concerted gene expression patterns; furthermore, the symbolic representation takes into account the variance in multiple replicates and can be applied to long time series data. The proposed algorithm's ability to discover biologically relevant signals in gene expression data is exhibited by applying it to three datasets that measure gene expression in the rat liver.
PMCID: PMC3133780  PMID: 20455749
17.  Adipose Tissue Deficiency and Chronic Inflammation in Diabetic Goto-Kakizaki Rats 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(2):e17386.
Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is a heterogeneous group of diseases that is progressive and involves multiple tissues. Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rats are a polygenic model with elevated blood glucose, peripheral insulin resistance, a non-obese phenotype, and exhibit many degenerative changes observed in human T2DM. As part of a systems analysis of disease progression in this animal model, this study characterized the contribution of adipose tissue to pathophysiology of the disease. We sacrificed subgroups of GK rats and appropriate controls at 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20 weeks of age and carried out a gene array analysis of white adipose tissue. We expanded our physiological analysis of the animals that accompanied our initial gene array study on the livers from these animals. The expanded analysis included adipose tissue weights, HbA1c, additional hormonal profiles, lipid profiles, differential blood cell counts, and food consumption. HbA1c progressively increased in the GK animals. Altered corticosterone, leptin, and adiponectin profiles were also documented in GK animals. Gene array analysis identified 412 genes that were differentially expressed in adipose tissue of GKs relative to controls. The GK animals exhibited an age-specific failure to accumulate body fat despite their relatively higher calorie consumption which was well supported by the altered expression of genes involved in adipogenesis and lipogenesis in the white adipose tissue of these animals, including Fasn, Acly, Kklf9, and Stat3. Systemic inflammation was reflected by chronically elevated white blood cell counts. Furthermore, chronic inflammation in adipose tissue was evident from the differential expression of genes involved in inflammatory responses and activation of natural immunity, including two interferon regulated genes, Ifit and Iipg, as well as MHC class II genes. This study demonstrates an age specific failure to accumulate adipose tissue in the GK rat and the presence of chronic inflammation in adipose tissue from these animals.
PMCID: PMC3045458  PMID: 21364767
18.  Modeling Corticosteroid Effects in a Rat Model of Rheumatoid Arthritis I: Mechanistic Disease Progression Model for the Time Course of Collagen-Induced Arthritis in Lewis Rats 
A mechanism-based model was developed to describe the time course of arthritis progression in the rat. Arthritis was induced in male Lewis rats with type II porcine collagen into the base of the tail. Disease progression was monitored by paw swelling, bone mineral density (BMD), body weights, plasma corticosterone (CST) concentrations, and TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) mRNA expression in paw tissue. Bone mineral density was determined by PIXImus II dual energy x-ray densitometry. Plasma CST was assayed by HPLC. Cytokine and GR mRNA were determined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Disease progression models were constructed from transduction and indirect response models and applied using S-ADAPT software. A delay in the onset of increased paw TNF-α and IL-6 mRNA concentrations was successfully characterized by simple transduction. This rise was closely followed by an up-regulation of GR mRNA and CST concentrations. Paw swelling and body weight responses peaked approximately 21 days post induction while bone mineral density changes were greatest at 23 days post induction. After peak response the time course in IL-1β, IL-6 mRNA, and paw edema slowly declined towards a disease steady-state. Model parameters indicate TNF-α and IL-1β mRNA most significantly induce paw edema while IL-6 mRNA exerted the most influence on BMD. The model for bone mineral density captures rates of turnover of cancellous and cortical bone and the fraction of each in the different regions analyzed. This small systems model integrates and quantitates multiple factors contributing to arthritis in rats.
PMCID: PMC2574807  PMID: 18448865
19.  Modeling Corticosteroid Effects in a Rat Model of Rheumatoid Arthritis II: Mechanistic Pharmacodynamic Model for Dexamethasone Effects in Lewis Rats with Collagen-Induced Arthritis 
A mechanism-based model for pharmacodynamic effects of dexamethasone (DEX) was incorporated into our model for arthritis disease progression in the rat to aid in identification of the primary factors responsible for edema and bone loss. Collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) was produced in male Lewis rats following injection of type II porcine collagen. DEX was given subcutaneously in single doses of 0.225 or 2.25 mg/kg or 7-day multiple doses of 0.045 or 0.225 mg/kg at 21 days post disease induction. Effects on disease progression were measured by paw swelling, bone mineral density (BMD), body weights, plasma corticosterone (CST), and TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and GR mRNA expression in paw tissue. Lumbar and femur BMD was determined by PIXImus-II dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. Plasma CST was assayed by HPLC. Cytokine and GR mRNA were assayed by quantitative real-time PCR. Indirect response models, drug-interaction models, transduction processes, and the 5th-generation model of corticosteroid dynamics were integrated and applied using S-ADAPT software to describe how dexamethasone binding to GR can regulate diverse processes. Cytokine mRNA, GR mRNA, plasma CST, and paw edema were suppressed following DEX administration. TNF-α mRNA expression and BMD appeared to increase immediately after dosing but were ultimately reduced. Model parameters indicated that IL-6 and IL-1β were most sensitive to inhibition by DEX. TNF-α appeared to primarily influence edema while IL-6 contributed the most to bone loss. Lower doses of corticosteroids may be sufficient to suppress the cytokines most relevant to bone erosion.
PMCID: PMC2574741  PMID: 18448864
20.  Pharmacogenomic Responses of Rat Liver to Methylprednisolone: An Approach to Mining a Rich Microarray Time Series 
The AAPS journal  2005;7(1):E156-E194.
A data set was generated to examine global changes in gene expression in rat liver over time in response to a single bolus dose of methylprednisolone. Four control animals and 43 drug-treated animals were humanely killed at 16 different time points following drug administration. Total RNA preparations from the livers of these animals were hybridized to 47 individual Affymetrix RU34A gene chips, generating data for 8799 different probe sets for each chip. Data mining techniques that are applicable to gene array time series data sets in order to identify drug-regulated changes in gene expression were applied to this data set. A series of 4 sequentially applied filters were developed that were designed to eliminate probe sets that were not expressed in the tissue, were not regulated by the drug treatment, or did not meet defined quality control standards. These filters eliminated 7287 probe sets of the 8799 total (82%) from further consideration. Application of judiciously chosen filters is an effective tool for data mining of time series data sets. The remaining data can then be further analyzed by clustering and mathematical modeling techniques.
PMCID: PMC2607485  PMID: 16146338
Data mining; gene arrays; glucocorticoids; mathematical modeling; pharmacogenomics
21.  Circadian Variations in Liver Gene Expression: Relationships to Drug Actions 
Chronopharmacology is an important but under-explored aspect of therapeutics. Rhythmic variations in biological processes can influence drug action, including pharmacodynamic responses, due to circadian variations in the availability or functioning of drug targets. We hypothesized that global gene expression analysis can be useful in the identification of circadian regulated genes involved in drug action. Circadian variations in gene expression in rat liver were explored using Affymetrix gene arrays. A rich time series involving animals analyzed at 18 time points within the 24 hour cycle was generated. Of the more than 15,000 probe sets on these arrays, 265 exhibited oscillations with a 24 hour frequency. Cluster analysis yielded 5 distinct circadian clusters, with approximately two-thirds of the transcripts reaching maximum expression during the animal’s dark/active period. Of the 265 probe sets, 107 of potential therapeutic importance were identified. The expression levels of clock genes were also investigated in this study. Five clock genes exhibited circadian variation in liver, and data suggest that these genes may also be regulated by corticosteroids.
PMCID: PMC2561907  PMID: 18562560
22.  Pharmacodynamic/Pharmacogenomic Modeling of Insulin Resistance Genes in Rat Muscle After Methylprednisolone Treatment: Exploring Regulatory Signaling Cascades 
Corticosteroids (CS) effects on insulin resistance related genes in rat skeletal muscle were studied. In our acute study, adrenalectomized (ADX) rats were given single doses of 50 mg/kg methylprednisolone (MPL) intravenously. In our chronic study, ADX rats were implanted with Alzet mini-pumps giving zero-order release rates of 0.3 mg/kg/h MPL and sacrificed at various times up to 7 days. Total RNA was extracted from gastrocnemius muscles and hybridized to Affymetrix GeneChips. Data mining and literature searches identified 6 insulin resistance related genes which exhibited complex regulatory pathways. Insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1), uncoupling protein 3 (UCP3), pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase isoenzyme 4 (PDK4), fatty acid translocase (FAT) and glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT) dynamic profiles were modeled with mutual effects by calculated nuclear drug-receptor complex (DR(N)) and transcription factors. The oscillatory feature of endothelin-1 (ET-1) expression was depicted by a negative feedback loop. These integrated models provide testable quantitative hypotheses for these regulatory cascades.
PMCID: PMC2733097  PMID: 19787081
corticosteroid; glucocorticoid; microarrays; mathematical modeling; insulin resistance
23.  Pharmacodynamic Modeling of Acute and Chronic Effects of Methylprednisolone on Hepatic Urea Cycle Genes in Rats* 
Corticosteroids (CS) regulate many enzymes at both mRNA and protein levels. This study used microarrays to broadly assess regulation of various genes related to the greater urea cycle and employs pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) modeling to quantitatively analyze and compare the temporal profiles of these genes during acute and chronic exposure to methylprednisolone (MPL). One group of adrenalectomized male Wistar rats received an intravenous bolus dose (50 mg/kg) of MPL, whereas a second group received MPL by a subcutaneous infusion (Alzet osmotic pumps) at a rate of 0.3 mg/kg/hr for seven days. The rats were sacrificed at various time points over 72 hours (acute) or 168 hours (chronic) and livers were harvested. Total RNA was extracted and Affymetrix® gene chips (RG_U34A for acute and RAE 230A for chronic) were used to identify genes regulated by CS. Besides five primary urea cycle enzymes, many other genes related to the urea cycle showed substantial changes in mRNA expression. Some genes that were simply up- or down-regulated after acute MPL showed complex biphasic patterns upon chronic infusion indicating involvement of secondary regulation. For the simplest patterns, indirect response models were used to describe the nuclear steroid-bound receptor mediated increase or decrease in gene transcription (e.g. tyrosine aminotransferase, glucocorticoid receptor). For the biphasic profiles, involvement of a secondary biosignal was assumed (e.g. ornithine decarboxylase, CCAAT/enhancer binding protein) and more complex models were derived. Microarrays were used successfully to explore CS effects on various urea cycle enzyme genes. PD models presented in this report describe testable hypotheses regarding molecular mechanisms and quantitatively characterize the direct or indirect regulation of various genes by CS.
PMCID: PMC2733100  PMID: 19787073
urea cycle; corticosteroids; methylprednisolone; pharmacodynamics; genomics
24.  Pharmacogenomic responses of rat liver to methylprednisolone: An approach to mining a rich microarray time series 
The AAPS Journal  2005;7(1):E156-E194.
A data set was generated to examine global changes in gene expression in rat liver over time in response to a single bolus dose of methylprednisolone. Four control animals and 43 drug-treated animals were humanely killed at 16 different time points following drug administration. Total RNA preparation from the livers of these animals were hybridized to 47 individual Affymetrix RU34A gene chips, generating data for 8799 different probe sets for each chip. Data mining techniques that are applicable to gene array time series data sets in order to identify drug-regulated changes in gene expression were applied to this data set. A series of 4 sequentially applied filters were developed that were designed to eliminate probe sets that were not expressed in the tissue, were not regulated by the drug treatment, or did not meet defined quality control standards. These filters eliminated 7287 probe sets of the 8799 total (82%) from further consideration. Application of judiciously chosen filters is an effective tool for data mining of time series data sets. The remaining data can then be further analyzed by clustering and mathematical modeling techniques.
PMCID: PMC2607485  PMID: 16146338
Data mining; gene arrays; glucocorticoids; mathematical modeling; pharmacogenomics
25.  The PEPR GeneChip data warehouse, and implementation of a dynamic time series query tool (SGQT) with graphical interface 
Nucleic Acids Research  2004;32(Database issue):D578-D581.
Publicly accessible DNA databases (genome browsers) are rapidly accelerating post-genomic research (see, with integrated genomic DNA, gene structure, EST/ splicing and cross-species ortholog data. DNA databases have relatively low dimensionality; the genome is a linear code that anchors all associated data. In contrast, RNA expression and protein databases need to be able to handle very high dimensional data, with time, tissue, cell type and genes, as interrelated variables. The high dimensionality of microarray expression profile data, and the lack of a standard experimental platform have complicated the development of web-accessible databases and analytical tools. We have designed and implemented a public resource of expression profile data containing 1024 human, mouse and rat Affymetrix GeneChip expression profiles, generated in the same laboratory, and subject to the same quality and procedural controls (Public Expression Profiling Resource; PEPR). Our Oracle-based PEPR data warehouse includes a novel time series query analysis tool (SGQT), enabling dynamic generation of graphs and spreadsheets showing the action of any transcript of interest over time. In this report, we demonstrate the utility of this tool using a 27 time point, in vivo muscle regeneration series. This data warehouse and associated analysis tools provides access to multidimensional microarray data through web-based interfaces, both for download of all types of raw data for independent analysis, and also for straightforward gene-based queries. Planned implementations of PEPR will include web-based remote entry of projects adhering to quality control and standard operating procedure (QC/SOP) criteria, and automated output of alternative probe set algorithms for each project (see
PMCID: PMC308738  PMID: 14681485

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