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1.  Micro-Flow Imaging: Flow Microscopy Applied to Sub-visible Particulate Analysis in Protein Formulations 
The AAPS Journal  2010;12(3):455-464.
ABSTRACT
The need to monitor, measure, and control sub-visible proteinaceous particulates in biopharmaceutical formulations has been emphasized in recent publications and commentaries. Some of these particulates can be highly transparent, fragile, and unstable. In addition, for much of the size range of concern, no practical measurement method with adequate sensitivity and repeatability has been available. A complication in measuring protein particulates in many formulations is the simultaneous presence of other particle types such as silicone micro-droplets, air bubbles, and extrinsic contaminants. The need has therefore been identified for new analytical methods which can accurately measure and characterize sub-visible particulates in formulations. Micro-flow imaging has been shown to provide high sensitivity in detecting and imaging transparent protein particles and a unique capability to independently analyze such populations even when other particle types are present.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9205-1
PMCID: PMC2895433  PMID: 20517661
light obscuration; micro-flow imaging; particle sizing; protein aggregation; protein formulation
2.  Assessment of a Spectrophotometric Assay for Monoacylglycerol Lipase Activity 
The AAPS journal  2010;12(2):197-201.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9180-6
PMCID: PMC2844520  PMID: 20186507
monoacylglycerol lipase; spectrophotometric assay
3.  Preservation of the Immunogenicity of Dry-powder Influenza H5N1 Whole Inactivated Virus Vaccine at Elevated Storage Temperatures 
The AAPS Journal  2010;12(2):215-222.
Stockpiling of pre-pandemic influenza vaccines guarantees immediate vaccine availability to counteract an emerging pandemic. Generally, influenza vaccines need to be stored and handled refrigerated to prevent thermal degradation of the antigenic component. Requirement of a cold-chain, however, complicates stockpiling and the logistics of vaccine distribution. We, therefore, investigated the effect of elevated storage temperatures on the immunogenicity of a pre-pandemic influenza A H5N1 whole inactivated virus vaccine. Either suspended in liquid or kept as a freeze-dried powder, vaccines could be stored for 1 year at ambient temperature (20°C) with minimal loss of immunogenicity in mice. Elevation of the storage temperature to 40°C, however, resulted in a significant loss of immunogenic potency within 3 months if vaccines were stored in liquid suspension. In sharp contrast, freeze-dried powder formulations were stable at 40°C for at least 3 months. The presence of inulin or trehalose sugar excipients during freeze-drying of the vaccine proved to be critical to maintain its immunogenic potency during storage, and to preserve the characteristic Th1-type response to whole inactivated virus vaccine. These results indicate that whole inactivated virus vaccines may be stored and handled at room temperature in moderate climate zones for over a year with minimal decline and, if converted to dry-powder, even in hot climate zones for at least 3 months. The increased stability of dry-powder vaccine at 40°C may also point to an extended shelf-life when stored at 4°C. Use of the more stable dry-powder formulation could simplify stockpiling and thereby facilitating successful pandemic intervention.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9179-z
PMCID: PMC2844510  PMID: 20195930
freeze-drying; inulin; pandemic influenza; vaccine stockpiling; whole inactivated influenza vaccine (H5N1)
4.  Assessment of a Spectrophotometric Assay for Monoacylglycerol Lipase Activity 
The AAPS Journal  2010;12(2):197-201.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9180-6
PMCID: PMC2844520  PMID: 20186507
monoacylglycerol lipase; spectrophotometric assay
5.  Intranasal Delivery of Influenza Subunit Vaccine Formulated with GEM Particles as an Adjuvant 
The AAPS Journal  2010;12(2):109-116.
Nasal administration of influenza vaccine has the potential to facilitate influenza control and prevention. However, when administered intranasally (i.n.), commercially available inactivated vaccines only generate systemic and mucosal immune responses if strong adjuvants are used, which are often associated with safety problems. We describe the successful use of a safe adjuvant Gram-positive enhancer matrix (GEM) particles derived from the food-grade bacterium Lactococcus lactis for i.n. vaccination with subunit influenza vaccine in mice. It is shown that simple admixing of the vaccine with the GEM particles results in a strongly enhanced immune response. Already after one booster, the i.n. delivered GEM subunit vaccine resulted in hemagglutination inhibition titers in serum at a level equal to the conventional intramuscular (i.m.) route. Moreover, i.n. immunization with GEM subunit vaccine elicited superior mucosal and Th1 skewed immune responses compared to those induced by i.m. and i.n. administered subunit vaccine alone. In conclusion, GEM particles act as a potent adjuvant for i.n. influenza immunization.
doi:10.1208/s12248-009-9168-2
PMCID: PMC2844513  PMID: 20058113
influenza vaccine; intranasal vaccine; Lactococcus lactis GEM particles
6.  Micro-Flow Imaging: Flow Microscopy Applied to Sub-visible Particulate Analysis in Protein Formulations 
The AAPS Journal  2010;12(3):455-464.
ABSTRACT
The need to monitor, measure, and control sub-visible proteinaceous particulates in biopharmaceutical formulations has been emphasized in recent publications and commentaries. Some of these particulates can be highly transparent, fragile, and unstable. In addition, for much of the size range of concern, no practical measurement method with adequate sensitivity and repeatability has been available. A complication in measuring protein particulates in many formulations is the simultaneous presence of other particle types such as silicone micro-droplets, air bubbles, and extrinsic contaminants. The need has therefore been identified for new analytical methods which can accurately measure and characterize sub-visible particulates in formulations. Micro-flow imaging has been shown to provide high sensitivity in detecting and imaging transparent protein particles and a unique capability to independently analyze such populations even when other particle types are present.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9205-1
PMCID: PMC2895433  PMID: 20517661
light obscuration; micro-flow imaging; particle sizing; protein aggregation; protein formulation
7.  Preservation of the Immunogenicity of Dry-powder Influenza H5N1 Whole Inactivated Virus Vaccine at Elevated Storage Temperatures 
The AAPS Journal  2010;12(2):215-222.
Stockpiling of pre-pandemic influenza vaccines guarantees immediate vaccine availability to counteract an emerging pandemic. Generally, influenza vaccines need to be stored and handled refrigerated to prevent thermal degradation of the antigenic component. Requirement of a cold-chain, however, complicates stockpiling and the logistics of vaccine distribution. We, therefore, investigated the effect of elevated storage temperatures on the immunogenicity of a pre-pandemic influenza A H5N1 whole inactivated virus vaccine. Either suspended in liquid or kept as a freeze-dried powder, vaccines could be stored for 1 year at ambient temperature (20°C) with minimal loss of immunogenicity in mice. Elevation of the storage temperature to 40°C, however, resulted in a significant loss of immunogenic potency within 3 months if vaccines were stored in liquid suspension. In sharp contrast, freeze-dried powder formulations were stable at 40°C for at least 3 months. The presence of inulin or trehalose sugar excipients during freeze-drying of the vaccine proved to be critical to maintain its immunogenic potency during storage, and to preserve the characteristic Th1-type response to whole inactivated virus vaccine. These results indicate that whole inactivated virus vaccines may be stored and handled at room temperature in moderate climate zones for over a year with minimal decline and, if converted to dry-powder, even in hot climate zones for at least 3 months. The increased stability of dry-powder vaccine at 40°C may also point to an extended shelf-life when stored at 4°C. Use of the more stable dry-powder formulation could simplify stockpiling and thereby facilitating successful pandemic intervention.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9179-z
PMCID: PMC2844510  PMID: 20195930
freeze-drying; inulin; pandemic influenza; vaccine stockpiling; whole inactivated influenza vaccine (H5N1)
8.  Intranasal Delivery of Influenza Subunit Vaccine Formulated with GEM Particles as an Adjuvant 
The AAPS Journal  2010;12(2):109-116.
Nasal administration of influenza vaccine has the potential to facilitate influenza control and prevention. However, when administered intranasally (i.n.), commercially available inactivated vaccines only generate systemic and mucosal immune responses if strong adjuvants are used, which are often associated with safety problems. We describe the successful use of a safe adjuvant Gram-positive enhancer matrix (GEM) particles derived from the food-grade bacterium Lactococcus lactis for i.n. vaccination with subunit influenza vaccine in mice. It is shown that simple admixing of the vaccine with the GEM particles results in a strongly enhanced immune response. Already after one booster, the i.n. delivered GEM subunit vaccine resulted in hemagglutination inhibition titers in serum at a level equal to the conventional intramuscular (i.m.) route. Moreover, i.n. immunization with GEM subunit vaccine elicited superior mucosal and Th1 skewed immune responses compared to those induced by i.m. and i.n. administered subunit vaccine alone. In conclusion, GEM particles act as a potent adjuvant for i.n. influenza immunization.
doi:10.1208/s12248-009-9168-2
PMCID: PMC2844513  PMID: 20058113
influenza vaccine; intranasal vaccine; Lactococcus lactis GEM particles
9.  Biochemical Modulation of Aracytidine (Ara-C) Effects by GTI-2040, a Ribonucleotide Reductase Inhibitor, in K562 Human Leukemia Cells 
The AAPS Journal  2010;13(1):131-140.
GTI-2040 is a potent antisense to the M2 subunit of the ribonucleotide reductase (RNR), an enzyme involved in the de novo synthesis of nucleoside triphosphates. We hypothesized that combination of GTI-2040 with the cytarabine (Ara-C) could result in an enhanced cytotoxic effect with perturbed intracellular deoxynucleotide/nucleotide (dNTP/NTP) pools including Ara-C triphosphate (Ara-CTP). This study aims to provide a direct experimental support of this hypothesis by monitoring the biochemical modulation effects, intracellular levels of Ara-CTP, dNTPs/NTPs following the combination treatment of Ara-C, and GTI-2040 in K562 human leukemia cells. GTI-2040 was introduced into cells via electroporation. A hybridization–ligation ELISA was used to quantify intracellular GTI-2040 concentrations. Real-time PCR and Western blot methods were used to measure the RNR M2 mRNA and protein levels, respectively. 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium, inner salt assay was used to measure the cytotoxicity following various drug treatments. A non-radioactive HPLC-UV method was used for measuring the intracellular Ara-CTP, while a LC-MS/MS method was used to quantify intracellular dNTP/NTP pools. GTI-2040 was found to downregulate M2 mRNA and protein levels in a dose-dependent manner and showed significant decrease in dNTP but not NTP pool. When combining GTI-2040 with Ara-C, a synergistic cytotoxicity was observed with no further change in dNTP/NTP pools. Importantly, pretreatment of K562 cells with GTI-2040 was found to increase Ara-CTP level for the first time, and this effect may be due to inhibition of RNR by GTI-2040. This finding provides a laboratory justification for the current phase I/II evaluation of GTI-2040 in combination with Ara-C in patients with acute myeloid leukemia.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9246-5
PMCID: PMC3032096  PMID: 21191677
Ara-CTP; GTI-2040; HPLC-UV
10.  Dopamine D2 Occupancy as a Biomarker for Antipsychotics: Quantifying the Relationship with Efficacy and Extrapyramidal Symptoms 
The AAPS Journal  2010;13(1):121-130.
For currently available antipsychotic drugs, blockade of dopamine D2 receptors is a critical component for achieving antipsychotic efficacy, but it is also a driving factor in the development of extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS). To inform the clinical development of asenapine, generic mathematical models have been developed for predicting antipsychotic efficacy and EPS tolerability based on D2 receptor occupancy. Clinical data on pharmacokinetics, D2 receptor occupancy, efficacy, and EPS for several antipsychotics were collected from the public domain. Asenapine data were obtained from in-house trials. D2 receptor occupancy data were restricted to published positron emission tomography studies that included blood sampling for pharmacokinetics. Clinical efficacy data were restricted to group mean endpoint data from short-term placebo-controlled trials, whereas EPS evaluation also included some non-placebo-controlled trials. A generally applicable model connecting antipsychotic dose, pharmacokinetics, D2 receptor occupancy, Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) response, and effect on Simpson–Angus Scale (SAS) was then developed. The empirical models describing the D2–PANSS and D2–SAS relationships were used successfully to aid dose selection for asenapine phase II and III trials. A broader use can be envisaged as a dose selection tool for new antipsychotics with D2 antagonist properties in the treatment of schizophrenia.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9247-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9247-4
PMCID: PMC3032087  PMID: 21184291
asenapine; dopamine D2 receptors; mathematical models
11.  The Coulter Principle for Analysis of Subvisible Particles in Protein Formulations 
The AAPS Journal  2010;13(1):54-58.
The Coulter principle can be used for analysis of subvisible particles in protein formulations. The approach has several advantages including: an orthogonal operating principle, high sensitivity, ability to detect very small particles, excellent reproducibility, and high-resolution size information. This minireview discusses some of the important considerations that must be taken into account when utilizing the Coulter principle for subvisible particle analysis in protein formulations.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9245-6
PMCID: PMC3032098  PMID: 21161461
Coulter principle; protein aggregates; subvisible; USP 788
12.  Implementation and Evaluation of the SAEM Algorithm for Longitudinal Ordered Categorical Data with an Illustration in Pharmacokinetics–Pharmacodynamics 
The AAPS Journal  2010;13(1):44-53.
Analysis of longitudinal ordered categorical efficacy or safety data in clinical trials using mixed models is increasingly performed. However, algorithms available for maximum likelihood estimation using an approximation of the likelihood integral, including LAPLACE approach, may give rise to biased parameter estimates. The SAEM algorithm is an efficient and powerful tool in the analysis of continuous/count mixed models. The aim of this study was to implement and investigate the performance of the SAEM algorithm for longitudinal categorical data. The SAEM algorithm is extended for parameter estimation in ordered categorical mixed models together with an estimation of the Fisher information matrix and the likelihood. We used Monte Carlo simulations using previously published scenarios evaluated with NONMEM. Accuracy and precision in parameter estimation and standard error estimates were assessed in terms of relative bias and root mean square error. This algorithm was illustrated on the simultaneous analysis of pharmacokinetic and discretized efficacy data obtained after a single dose of warfarin in healthy volunteers. The new SAEM algorithm is implemented in MONOLIX 3.1 for discrete mixed models. The analyses show that for parameter estimation, the relative bias is low for both fixed effects and variance components in all models studied. Estimated and empirical standard errors are similar. The warfarin example illustrates how simple and rapid it is to analyze simultaneously continuous and discrete data with MONOLIX 3.1. The SAEM algorithm is extended for analysis of longitudinal categorical data. It provides accurate estimates parameters and standard errors. The estimation is fast and stable.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9238-5
PMCID: PMC3032088  PMID: 21063925
categorical data; mixed models; MONOLIX; proportional odds model; SAEM
14.  Microcalorimetric Method to Assess Phagocytosis: Macrophage-Nanoparticle Interactions 
The AAPS Journal  2010;13(1):20-29.
This study evaluated the use of isothermal microcalorimetry (ITMC) to detect macrophage–nanoparticle interactions. Four different nanoparticle (NP) formulations were prepared: uncoated poly(isobutyl cyanoacrylate) (PIBCA), polysorbate-80-coated PIBCA, gelatin, and mannosylated gelatin NPs. Changes in NP formulations were aimed to either enhance or decrease macrophage–NP interactions via phagocytosis. Alveolar macrophages were cultured on glass slabs and inserted in the ITMC instrument. Thermal activities of the macrophages alone and after titration of 100 μL of NP suspensions were compared. The relative interactive coefficients of macrophage–NP interactions were calculated using the heat exchange observed after NP titration. Control experiments were performed using cytochalasin B (Cyto B), a known phagocytosis inhibitor. The results of NP titration showed that the total thermal activity produced by macrophages changed according to the NP formulation. Mannosylated gelatin NPs were associated with the highest heat exchange, 75.4 ± 7.5 J, and thus the highest relative interactive coefficient, 9,269 ± 630 M-1. Polysorbate-80-coated NPs were associated with the lowest heat exchange, 15.2 ± 3.4 J, and the lowest interactive coefficient, 890 ± 120 M-1. Cyto B inhibited macrophage response to NPs, indicating a connection between the thermal activity recorded and NP phagocytosis. These results are in agreement with flow cytometry results. ITMC is a valuable tool to monitor the biological responses to nano-sized dosage forms such as NPs. Since the thermal activity of macrophage–NP interactions differed according to the type of NPs used, ITMC may provide a method to better understand phagocytosis and further the development of colloidal dosage forms.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9240-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9240-y
PMCID: PMC3032094  PMID: 21057907
flow cytometry; isothermal microcalorimetry; macrophages; nanoparticles; phagocytosis
15.  Characterisation and Deposition Studies of Recrystallised Lactose from Binary Mixtures of Ethanol/Butanol for Improved Drug Delivery from Dry Powder Inhalers 
The AAPS Journal  2010;13(1):30-43.
Dry powder inhaler formulations comprising commercial lactose–drug blends can show restricted detachment of drug from lactose during aerosolisation, which can lead to poor fine particle fractions (FPFs) which are suboptimal. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the crystallisation of lactose from different ethanol/butanol co-solvent mixtures could be employed as a method of altering the FPF of salbutamol sulphate from powder blends. Lactose particles were prepared by an anti-solvent recrystallisation process using various ratios of the two solvents. Crystallised lactose or commercial lactose was mixed with salbutamol sulphate and in vitro deposition studies were performed using a multistage liquid impinger. Solid-state characterisation results showed that commercial lactose was primarily composed of the α-anomer whilst the crystallised lactose samples comprised a α/β mixture containing a lower number of moles of water per mole of lactose compared to the commercial lactose. The crystallised lactose particles were also less elongated and more irregular in shape with rougher surfaces. Formulation blends containing crystallised lactose showed better aerosolisation performance and dose uniformity when compared to commercial lactose. The highest FPF of salbutamol sulphate (38.0 ± 2.5%) was obtained for the lactose samples that were crystallised from a mixture of ethanol/butanol (20:60) compared to a FPF of 19.7 ± 1.9% obtained for commercial lactose. Engineered lactose carriers with modified anomer content and physicochemical properties, when compared to the commercial grade, produced formulations which generated a high FPF.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9241-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9241-x
PMCID: PMC3032097  PMID: 21057906
deposition study; dry powder inhaler; lactose; particle engineering; salbutamol sulphate
16.  Scientific Considerations for Generic Synthetic Salmon Calcitonin Nasal Spray Products 
The AAPS Journal  2010;13(1):14-19.
Under the Abbreviated New Drug Application pathway, a proposed generic salmon calcitonin nasal spray is required to demonstrate pharmaceutical equivalence and bioequivalence to the brand-name counterpart or the reference listed drug. This review discusses two important aspects of pharmaceutical equivalence for this synthetic peptide nasal spray product. The first aspect is drug substance sameness, in which a proposed generic salmon calcitonin product is required to demonstrate that it contains the same active ingredient as that in the brand-name counterpart. The second aspect is comparability in product- and process-related factors that may influence immunogenicity (i.e., peptide-related impurities, aggregates, formulation, and leachates from the container/closure system). The comparability of these factors helps to ensure the product safety, particularly with respect to immunogenicity. This review also highlights the key features of in vitro and/or in vivo studies for establishing bioequivalence for a solution nasal spray containing a systemically acting salmon calcitonin.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9242-9
PMCID: PMC3032093  PMID: 21052882
bioequivalence; generic; immunogenicity; nasal spray; pharmaceutical equivalence; salmon calcitonin
17.  Prediction of Exposure–Response Relationships to Support First-in-Human Study Design 
The AAPS Journal  2010;12(4):750-758.
In drug development, phase 1 first-in-human studies represent a major milestone as the drug moves from preclinical discovery to clinical development activities. The safety of human subjects is paramount to the conduct of these studies and regulatory considerations guide activities. Forces of evolution on the pharmaceutical industry are re-shaping the first-in-human dose selection strategy. Namely, high attrition rates in part due to lack of efficacy have led to the re-organization of research and development organizations around the umbrella of translational research. Translational research strives to bring basic research advances into the clinic and support the reverse transfer of information to enhance compound selection strategies. Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) modeling holds a unique position in translational research by attempting to integrate diverse sets of information. PK/PD modeling has demonstrated utility in dose selection and trial design for later stages of drug development and is now being employed with greater prevalence in the translational research setting to manage risk (i.e., oncology and inflammation/immunology). Moving from empirical Emax models to more mechanistic representations of the biological system, a higher fidelity of human predictions is expected. Strategies that have proven useful for PK predictions are being applied to PK/PD predictions. This review article examines examples of the application of PK/PD modeling in establishing target concentrations for supporting first-in-human study design.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9236-7
PMCID: PMC2976982  PMID: 20967521
biomarker; drug development; pharmacodynamics; pharmacokinetics; PK/PD; translation
18.  Paracellular Tightness and Claudin-5 Expression is Increased in the BCEC/Astrocyte Blood–Brain Barrier Model by Increasing Media Buffer Capacity During Growth 
The AAPS Journal  2010;12(4):759-770.
Most attempts to develop in vitro models of the blood–brain barrier (BBB) have resulted in models with low transendothelial electrical resistances (TEER), as compared to the native endothelium. The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of culture pH and buffer concentration on paracellular tightness of an established in vitro model of the BBB consisting of bovine brain capillary endothelial cells (BCEC) co-cultured with rat astrocytes. BCEC and rat astrocytes were isolated and co-cultured using astrocyte-conditioned media with cAMP increasing agonists and dexamethasone. The co-culture had average TEER values from 261 ± 26 Ω cm2 to 760 ± 46 Ω cm2 dependent on BCEC isolation batches. Furthermore, mRNA of occludin, claudin-1, claudin-5, JAM-1, and ZO-1 were detected. Increased buffer concentration by addition of HEPES, MOPS, or TES to the media during differentiation increased the TEER up to 1,638 ± 256 Ω cm2 independent of the type of buffer. This correlated with increased expression of claudin-5, while expression of the other tight junction proteins remained unchanged. Thus, we show for the first time that increased buffer capacity of the medium during differentiation significantly increases tightness of the BCEC/astrocyte in vitro BBB model. This regulation may be mediated by increased claudin-5 expression. The observations have practical implications for generating tighter BBB cell culture models, and may also have physiological implications, if similar sensitivity to pH-changes can be demonstrated in vivo.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9237-6
PMCID: PMC2976989  PMID: 20967520
blood–brain barrier; buffer capacity; drug delivery; in vitro model; tight junction regulation
19.  Are Cutaneous Microdialysis Cytokine Findings Supported by End Point Biopsy Immunohistochemistry Findings? 
The AAPS Journal  2010;12(4):741-749.
Insertion of a cutaneous microdialysis catheter into normal dermis has been shown to induce the production of IL1b, IL6 and IL8 in an innate response to minimal trauma. In the present study, skin biopsy for immunohistochemistry has been performed at the site of the microdialysis catheter to compare the findings with that of the microdialysis findings 24 h after insertion. Of the three named cytokines, concordance between the two investigated technologies was highest for IL8 (100%) followed by IL6 (70%) and IL1b (50%). For seven other pro-inflammatory and T cell-relevant cytokines studied, concordance ranged between 50% and 80%. The total number of positive (microdialysis or immunofluorescence) findings was similar between the two methodologies. Technical and biological phenomenon can explain the differences. We conclude that both methodologies illustrate important features of tissue biology and that a combination of the two methods in clinical research can provide the chronology of soluble mediator participation and the more classic, but also more invasive, biopsy-based methodology at a point which constitutes the end of the observation period. We conclude further that at the 24-h time period here studied, microdialysis catheters are still functional and thus capable of producing relevant data which can be corroborated and extended by the “end point biopsy”.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9235-8
PMCID: PMC2976991  PMID: 20967522
cutaneous microdialysis; cytokines; human; immunostaining; innate
20.  Anti-inflammatory/Anti-oxidative Stress Activities and Differential Regulation of Nrf2-Mediated Genes by Non-Polar Fractions of Tea Chrysanthemum zawadskii and Licorice Glycyrrhiza uralensis 
The AAPS Journal  2010;13(1):1-13.
Accumulating evidence from epidemiological studies indicates that chronic inflammation and oxidative stress play critical roles in neoplastic development. The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative stress activities, and differential regulation of Nrf2-mediated genes by tea Chrysanthemum zawadskii (CZ) and licorice Glycyrrhiza uralensis (LE) extracts. The anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative stress activities of hexane/ethanol extracts of CZ and LE were investigated using in vitro and in vivo approaches, including quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) and microarray. Additionally, the role of the transcriptional factor Nrf2 (nuclear erythroid-related factor 2) signaling pathways was examined. Our results show that CZ and LE extracts exhibited potent anti-inflammatory activities by suppressing the mRNA and protein expression levels of pro-inflammatory biomarkers IL-1β, IL-6, COX-2 and iNOS in LPS-stimulated murine RAW 264.7 macrophage cells. CZ and LE also significantly suppressed the NO production of LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells. Additionally, CZ and LE suppressed the NF-κB luciferase activity in human HT-29 colon cancer cells. Both extracts also showed strong Nrf2-mediated antioxidant/Phase II detoxifying enzymes induction. CZ and LE induced NQO1, Nrf2, and UGT and antioxidant response element (ARE)-luciferase activity in human hepatoma HepG2 C8 cells. Using Nrf2 knockout [Nrf2 (−/−)] and Nrf2 wild-type (+/+) mice, LE and CZ showed Nrf2-dependent transactivation of Nrf2-mediated antioxidant and phase II detoxifying genes. In summary, CZ and LE possess strong inhibitory effects against NF-κB-mediated inflammatory as well as strong activation of the Nrf2-ARE-anti-oxidative stress signaling pathways, which would contribute to their overall health promoting pharmacological effects against diseases including cancer.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9239-4
PMCID: PMC3032091  PMID: 20967519
anti-inflammatory; anti-oxidative stress; chrysanthemum; licorice; Nrf2; phase II drug metabolizing/detoxifying enzymes
21.  Pharmacodynamics-Mediated Drug Disposition (PDMDD) and Precursor Pool Lifespan Model for Single Dose of Romiplostim in Healthy Subjects 
The AAPS Journal  2010;12(4):729-740.
The objective of this study was to characterize the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics (PK-PD) of romiplostim after single-dose administration in healthy subjects. The mean serum romiplostim concentrations (PK data) and mean platelet counts (PD data) collected from 32 subjects receiving a single intravenous (0.3, 1 and 10 μg/kg) or subcutaneous (0.1, 0.3, 1, and 2 μg/kg) dose were fitted simultaneously to a mechanistic PK-PD model based on pharmacodynamics-mediated drug disposition (PDMDD) and a precursor pool lifespan concept. The two-compartment PK model incorporated receptor-mediated endocytosis and linear mechanisms as parallel elimination pathways. The maximal concentration of receptors (assumed to be proportional to the platelet count), the equilibrium dissociation constant, and the first-order internalization rate constant for endocytosis of the drug-receptor complex were 0.022 fg/platelet, 0.131 ng/mL, and 0.173 h−1, respectively. Romiplostim concentration stimulates the production of platelet precursors via the Hill function, where the SC50 was 0.052 ng/mL and Smax was 11.2. The estimated precursor cell and platelet lifespans were 5.9 and 10.5 days, respectively. Model-based simulations revealed that the romiplostim exposure and the platelet response are both dependent on the dose administered and the baseline platelet counts. Also, weekly dosing produced a sustained PD response while dosing intervals ≥2 weeks resulted in fluctuating platelet counts. Thus, the mechanistic PK-PD model was suitable for describing the romiplostim PK-PD interplay (PDMDD), the dose-dependent platelet stimulation, and the lifespans of thrombopoietic cell populations.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9234-9
PMCID: PMC2976980  PMID: 20963535
lifespan model; pharmacodynamics-mediated drug disposition (PDMDD); platelets; romiplostim; thrombopoiesis receptor agonist
22.  Multidimensional Atomic Force Microscopy: A Versatile Novel Technology for Nanopharmacology Research 
The AAPS Journal  2010;12(4):716-728.
Nanotechnology is giving us a glimpse into a nascent field of nanopharmacology that deals with pharmacological phenomena at molecular scale. This review presents our perspective on the use of scanning probe microscopy techniques with special emphasis to multidimensional atomic force microscopy (m-AFM) to explore this new field with a particular emphasis to define targets, design therapeutics, and track outcomes of molecular-scale pharmacological interactions. The approach will be to first discuss operating principles of m-AFM and provide representative examples of studies to understand human health and disease at the molecular level and then to address different strategies in defining target macromolecules, screening potential drug candidates, developing and characterizing of drug delivery systems, and monitoring target–drug interactions. Finally, we will discuss some future directions including AFM tip-based parallel sensors integrated with other high-throughput technologies which could be a powerful platform for drug discovery.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9232-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9232-y
PMCID: PMC2976997  PMID: 20957528
atomic force microscopy; drug discovery; multimodal AFM; nanopharmacology; nanotherapeutics
23.  Characterization of Particles in Protein Solutions: Reaching the Limits of Current Technologies 
The AAPS Journal  2010;12(4):708-715.
Recent publications have emphasized the lack of characterization methods available for protein particles in a size range comprised between 0.1 and 10 μm and the potential risk of immunogenicity associated with such particles. In the present paper, we have investigated the performance of light obscuration, flow microscopy, and Coulter counter instruments for particle counting and sizing in protein formulations. We focused on particles 2–10 μm in diameter and studied the effect of silicon oil droplets originating from the barrel of pre-filled syringes, as well as the effect of high protein concentrations (up to 150 mg/ml) on the accuracy of particle characterization. Silicon oil was demonstrated to contribute significantly to the particle counts observed in pre-filled syringes. Inconsistent results were observed between different protein concentrations in the range 7.5–150 mg/ml for particles <10 μm studied by optical techniques (light obscuration and flow microscopy). However, the Coulter counter measurements were consistent across the same studied concentration range but required sufficient solution conductivity from the formulation buffer or excipients. Our results show that currently available technologies, while allowing comparisons between samples of a given protein at a fixed concentration, may be unable to measure particle numbers accurately in a variety of protein formulations, e.g., at high concentration in sugar-based formulations.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9233-x
PMCID: PMC2977008  PMID: 20953747
biopharmaceuticals; protein; sub-visible particles
24.  Pulmonary Immunization of Guinea Pigs with Diphtheria CRM-197 Antigen as Nanoparticle Aggregate Dry Powders Enhance Local and Systemic Immune Responses 
The AAPS Journal  2010;12(4):699-707.
This study establishes the immune response elicited in guinea pigs after pulmonary and parenteral immunizations with diphtheria CRM-197 antigen (CrmAg). Several spray-dried powders of formalin-treated/untreated CrmAg nanoaggregates with L-leucine were delivered to the lungs of guinea pigs. A control group consisting of alum with adsorbed CrmAg in saline was administered by intramuscular injection. Animals received three doses of powder vaccines containing 20 or 40 μg of CrmAg. The serum IgG titers were measured for 16 weeks after the initial immunization; IgA titers were measured at the time of sacrifice in the broncho-alveolar lavage fluid. Further, toxin neutralization tests in naïve guinea pigs were performed for a few select serum samples. Histopathology of the lung tissues was conducted to evaluate inflammation or injury to the lung tissues. While the highest titer of serum IgG antibody was observed in guinea pigs immunized by the intramuscular route, those animals immunized with dry powder formulation by the pulmonary route, and without the adjuvant alum, exhibited high IgA titers. A pulmonary administered dry powder, compared to parenteral immunization, conferred complete protection in the toxin neutralization test. Mild inflammation was observed in lung tissues of animals receiving dry powder vaccines by the pulmonary route. Thus, administering novel CrmAg as dry powders to the lungs may be able to overcome some of the disadvantages observed with the existing diphtheria vaccine which is administered by the parenteral route. In addition, these powders will have the advantage of eliciting a high mucosal immune response in the lungs without using traditional adjuvants.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9229-6
PMCID: PMC2976983  PMID: 20878294
CRM-197; diphtheria vaccine; dry powder formulation; guinea pigs; pulmonary delivery
25.  Intracellular Gene Transfer in Rats by Tail Vein Injection of Plasmid DNA 
The AAPS Journal  2010;12(4):692-698.
In this study, we examined the effect of various factors on gene delivery efficiency of tail vein injection of plasmid DNA into rats. We measured the level of reporter gene expression in the internal organs including the lung, heart, spleen, kidney, and liver as function of injection volume, injection time, and DNA dose. Persistency of reporter gene expression in transfected animals was also examined. We demonstrated that plasmid delivery to rats by the tail vein is effective as long as the volume of injected DNA solution is adjusted to 7–8% of body weight with an injection time of less than 10 s. With the exception of a short-term increase in serum concentration of alanine aminotransferase and transient irregularity in cardiac function during and soon after the injection, the procedure is well tolerated. Lac Z staining of the liver from transfected animals showed approximately 5–10% positive cells. Persistency test for transgene expression in animals using plasmid carrying cDNA of human alpha 1 antitrypsin gene driven by chicken beta actin gene promoter with CMV enhancers showed peak level of transgene product 1 day after the injection followed by a gradual decline with time. Peak level was regained by a second injection performed on day 38 after the first injection. These results show that tail vein injection is an effective means for introducing plasmid DNA into liver cells in rats. We believe that this procedure will be extremely useful for gene function studies in the context of whole animal in rats.
doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9231-z
PMCID: PMC2976992  PMID: 20859713
gene delivery; gene therapy; hydrodynamic gene delivery; nonviral vectors; siRNA delivery

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