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Cyclosporine A, a potent immunosuppressive agent extensively used to prevent allograft rejections, is under scrutiny due to severe toxic effects. CsA therapy is often continued during pregnancy in conditions such as organ transplantations and autoimmune diseases. Herein, we investigated the effects of CsA on early morphogenesis of zebrafish and identified a spectrum of proteins whose expression was altered in the drug treated embryos. Time-lapse fluorescence imaging of germ-line double transgenic zebrafish embryos treated with CsA revealed severe blood regurgitation in heart chambers, absence of blood circulation in vessels, pericardial and yolk sac edema. We also observed lack of mature blood vessels and down-regulation of endothelial markers in CsA treated embryos. Proteomic analysis using 2D-DIGE followed by mass-spectrometry led to the identification of 37 proteins whose expression was significantly modulated in presence of the drug. These proteins were mostly associated with cytoskeletal/structural assembly, lipid-binding, stress response and metabolism. Furthermore, mRNA expression analysis of eight proteins and Western blotting of actin revealed consistency between the changes observed in protein expression and its corresponding mRNA levels. Our findings demonstrate that CsA administration during early morphogenesis in zebrafish modulates the expression of some proteins which are known to be involved in important physiological processes.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Generic ciclosporin A modified (CsA) does not have an equivalent pharmacokinetic profile to branded CsA in some transplant populations, potentially leading to negative clinical consequences and increased long-term costs.
OBJECTIVE - To assess direct healthcare costs for de novo renal transplant recipients in the US receiving branded versus generic CsA in the first month after transplantation.
METHODS - Administrative claims data from eight private US health plans were linked to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network data. A total of 227 renal transplant cases between 1996 and 2004 were included: 183 were dispensed branded CsA and 44 received generic CsA. Log transformed multiple linear regression was used to model total first-year healthcare costs after the initial CsA claim, controlling for both patient demographics and clinical characteristics and clustering at the transplant centre level.
RESULTS - After controlling for patient factors and pre-CsA costs, total healthcare costs were significantly higher (p = 0.04) for patients receiving generic CsA versus branded CsA. The main driver for the difference was the cost associated with immunosuppressants other than CsA (p = 0.01).
CONCLUSION - Despite initial perceived cost savings associated with generic CsA, de novo renal transplant recipients incurred greater total healthcare costs than those treated with branded CsA. Patients receiving generic CsA may need higher doses or other immunosuppressants to maintain the transplanted kidney than patients receiving branded CsA. Providers and payers need to be aware of potential differences in total healthcare costs between formulations of bioequivalent critical-dose drugs to make the best choice for patient care.
Transplant recipients have an elevated risk of skin cancer, with a 65- to 250-fold increase in squamous cell carcinoma. Usage of the immunosuppressant cyclosporine A (CsA) is associated with the development of skin cancer. We hypothesized that the increased incidence of skin cancer was due to the action of CsA within keratinocyte mitochondria where it can inhibit mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP) opening. Normally, MPTP opening is induced by oxidative stress such as that caused by UV light and leads to cell death, thereby eliminating a cell that has been exposed to genotoxic insult. However, in the presence of CsA, damaged cells may survive and consequently form tumors. To test this hypothesis, we treated keratinocytes with levels of CsA used therapeutically in transplant patients and assessed their viability following UVA-irradiation. CsA prevented cell death by inhibiting MPTP opening, even though the levels of oxidative stress were increased markedly. Nim811, a non-immunosuppressive drug that can block the MPTP had a similar effect while the immunosuppressive drug tacrolimus that does not interact with the mitochondria had no effect. These findings suggest that CsA may promote skin cancer in transplant patients by allowing keratinocyte survival under conditions of increased genotoxic stress.
PURPOSE - P-glycoprotein limits the tissue penetration of many antiretroviral drugs. The aim of our study was to characterize the effects of the P-glycoprotein substrate cyclosporin A on T cell P-glycoprotein activity in human immunodeficiency virus-infected participants in the AIDS Clinical Trials Group study A5138.
METHODS - We studied P-glycoprotein activity on CD4 and CD8 T cells in 16 participants randomized to receive oral cyclosporin A (n=9) or not (n=7) during initiation antiretroviral therapy (ART) that did not include protease or non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors.
RESULTS - CD4 T cell P-glycoprotein activity decreased by a median of 8 percentage points with cyclosporin A/ART (difference between cyclosporin A/ART vs. ART only, P= 0.001). Plasma trough cyclosporin A concentrations correlated with the change in P-glycoprotein activity in several T cell subsets.
CONCLUSIONS - Oral cyclosporin A can inhibit peripheral blood CD4 T cell P-glycoprotein activity. Targeted P-glycoprotein inhibition may enhance the delivery of ART to T cells.
The long-term use of calcineurin inhibitors (CNI) leads to renal dysfunction in many liver transplant (LT) recipients. The purpose of this analysis is to evaluate renal function in patients converted from CNI to sirolimus (SRL). From May 2002-November 2006, 137 LT were performed in 125 patients, 72 of which were converted to SRL. Evaluation of SRL conversion was stratified by early conversion (<90 d from LT) (EC) vs. late conversion (LC). Renal function was evaluated using the six-point modification of diet in renal disease formula (estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR]). Forty-two patients on SRL and 40 on CNI had at least three months of follow-up and are included in the eGFR evaluation. At all time points after conversion, the EC group demonstrated a significantly higher mean eGFR than those in the LC group. A significant improvement in eGFR was seen within the EC group when comparing eGFR at time of conversion to eGFR at three, six, nine, and 12 months after conversion and last follow-up. The only improvement in the LC group was from conversion to the three-month time point. We conclude that EC to SRL results in a profound improvement in eGFR that begins at three months and is sustained beyond one yr.
Recovery from acute kidney injury requires regeneration of tubule cells. Because calcineurin induces nuclear transport of NFATc proteins, whose expression pattern correlates with the nephron segments injured by calcineurin inhibitors, we hypothesized that NFATc1 plays a role in modifying epithelial regeneration after injury. To test this, we induced proximal tubular cell (PTC) injury in Balb/c mice and Nfatc1(+/-) mice with mercuric chloride; the PTCs of Nfatc1(+/-) mice demonstrated increased apoptosis, sustained injury, and delayed regeneration. To attenuate NFATc1 activity further, we injected cyclosporin A daily. Cyclosporin A-treated Nfatc1(+/-) mice demonstrated rapid and severe injury after administration of mercuric chloride, with increased serum creatinine, increased apoptosis, decreased PTC proliferation, and increased mortality compared with similarly treated wild-type mice. Using a novel NFATc1 transgenic line that reports activation of an NFATc1 enhancer domain critical for NFATc1 autoamplification, we demonstrated accentuated NFATc1 expression in a PTC subpopulation after mercuric chloride-induced injury. In addition, NFATc1-labeled, apoptosis-resistant PTCs proliferated to repair the damaged proximal tubule segment. These data provide evidence for a resident progenitor PTC population and suggest a role for NFATc1 in the regeneration of injured proximal tubules.
There is growing clinical interest of thalidomide because of its immunomodulatory and antiangiogenic properties, despite its teratogenicity. However, little information about thalidomide has been reported regarding its precise effects on drug-metabolizing enzymes. We investigated the effects of thalidomide on cytochrome P450 (P450) enzymes in human liver microsomes to clarify the potential for possible drug interactions. Thalidomide inhibited S-mephenytoin 4'-hydroxylation activities of recombinant P450 2C19 and human liver microsomes: the apparent concentration of thalidomide producing 50% inhibition was approximately 270 microM for P450 2C19. Midazolam 4-hydroxylation activities were suppressed by thalidomide, but activities of 1'-hydroxylation and total midazolam oxidation and testosterone 6beta-hydroxylation were enhanced in the presence of thalidomide. Recombinant P450 3A5 was found to have altered kinetics at clinically relevant concentrations of thalidomide (10-30 microM). P450 3A4 was also affected, but only at higher thalidomide concentrations. Enhanced midazolam hydroxylation by thalidomide was also seen in liver microsomal samples harboring the CYP3A5*1 allele. Similarly enhanced rates of cyclosporine A clearance were observed in P450 3A5 and liver microsomes expressing P450 3A5 in the presence of thalidomide. A proposed effector constant for thalidomide corresponded roughly to its clinical plasma levels. Docking studies with a P450 3A5 homology model, based on the published structure of P450 3A4, revealed close interaction between thalidomide and the heme of P450 3A5. The present results suggest that total midazolam metabolism or cyclosporine A clearance may be increased by thalidomide in a dose-dependent manner. Unexpected drug interactions involving thalidomide might occur via heterotropic cooperativity of polymorphic P450 3A5.
The host protein TRIM5alpha inhibits retroviral infection at an early post-penetration stage by targeting the incoming viral capsid. While the detailed mechanism of restriction remains unclear, recent studies have implicated the activity of cellular proteasomes in the restriction of retroviral reverse transcription imposed by TRIM5alpha. Here, we show that TRIM5alpha is rapidly degraded upon encounter of a restriction-susceptible retroviral core. Inoculation of TRIM5alpha-expressing human 293T cells with a saturating level of HIV-1 particles resulted in accelerated degradation of the HIV-1-restrictive rhesus macaque TRIM5alpha protein but not the nonrestrictive human TRIM5alpha protein. Exposure of cells to HIV-1 also destabilized the owl monkey restriction factor TRIMCyp; this was prevented by addition of the inhibitor cyclosporin A and was not observed with an HIV-1 virus containing a mutation in the capsid protein that relieves restriction by TRIMCyp IVHIV. Likewise, human TRIM5alpha was rapidly degraded upon encounter of the restriction-sensitive N-tropic murine leukemia virus (N-MLV) but not the unrestricted B-MLV. Pretreatment of cells with proteasome inhibitors prevented the HIV-1-induced loss of both rhesus macaque TRIM5alpha and TRIMCyp proteins. We also detected degradation of endogenous TRIM5alpha in rhesus macaque cells following HIV-1 infection. We conclude that engagement of a restriction-sensitive retrovirus core results in TRIM5alpha degradation by a proteasome-dependent mechanism.
The HIV-1 accessory protein Nef enhances virus infectivity by facilitating an early post-entry step of infection. Nef acts in the virus producer cell, leading to a beneficial modification to HIV-1 particles. Nef itself is incorporated into HIV-1 particles, where it is cleaved by the viral protease during virion maturation. To probe the role of virion-associated Nef in HIV-1 infection, we generated a fusion protein consisting of the host protein cyclophilin A (CypA) linked to the amino terminus of Nef. The resulting CypA-Nef protein enhanced the infectivity of Nef-defective HIV-1 particles and was specifically incorporated into the virions via association with Gag during particle assembly. Pharmacologic or genetic inhibition of CypA-Nef binding to Gag prevented incorporation of CypA-Nef into virions and inhibited infectivity enhancement. Our results indicate that infectivity enhancement by Nef requires its association with a component of the assembling HIV-1 particle.
Human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-B27-positive subjects are uncommon in their ability to control infection with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). However, late viral escape from a narrowly directed immunodominant Gag-specific CD8(+) T-lymphocyte (CTL) response has been linked to AIDS progression in these individuals. Identifying the mechanism of the immune-mediated control may provide critical insights into HIV-1 vaccine development. Here, we illustrate that the CTL escape mutation R(264)K in the HLA-B27-restricted KK10 epitope in the capsid resulted in a significant defect in viral replication in vitro. The R(264)K variant was impaired in generating late reverse transcription products, indicating that replication was blocked at a postentry step. Notably, the R(264)K mutation was associated in vivo with the development of a rare secondary mutation, S(173)A, which restored viral replication in vitro. Furthermore, infectivity of the R(264)K variant was rescued by the addition of cyclosporine A or infection of a cyclophilin A-deficient cell line. These data demonstrate a severe functional defect imposed by the R(264)K mutation during an early step in viral replication that is likely due to the inability of this variant to replicate efficiently in the presence of normal levels of cyclophilin A. We conclude that the impact of the R(264)K substitution on capsid structure constrains viral escape and enables long-term maintenance of the dominant CTL response against B27-KK10, providing an explanation for the protective effect of HLA-B27 during HIV infection.