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Selective serotonin (5-HT, SERT) reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed treatments for depression. However, they have delayed efficacy and can induce side-effects that can encourage discontinuation. Recently, agents have been developed, including vortioxetine (Trintellix), that augment SERT blockade with interactions at other targets. At therapeutic doses, vortioxetine interacts with SERT as well as 5-HT, 5-HT, 5-HT, and 5-HT receptors. We assessed the SERT-dependency of vortioxetine action using the SERT Met172 mouse model, which disrupts high-affinity interactions of many antidepressants with the transporter. We demonstrate that the SERT Met172 substitution induces an ∼19-fold loss in vortioxetine potency for SERT inhibition in midbrain synaptosomes. Moreover, in these mice, we observed reduced SERT occupancy, a diminished ability to prolong 5-HT clearance, and a reduced capacity to elevate extracellular 5-HT. Despite reduced interactions with SERT, vortioxetine maintained its ability to enhance mobility in tail suspension and forced swim tests, reduce consumption latency in the novelty induced hypophagia test, and promoted proliferation and survival of subgranular zone hippocampal stem cells. Our findings suggest that the antidepressant actions of vortioxetine may be SERT-independent, and encourage consideration of agents that mimic one or more actions of the drug in the development of improved depression treatments.
A new microparticle-based delivery system was synthesized from reactive oxygen species (ROS)-responsive poly(propylene sulfide) (PPS) and tested for "on demand" antioxidant therapy. PPS is hydrophobic but undergoes a phase change to become hydrophilic upon oxidation and thus provides a useful platform for ROS-demanded drug release. This platform was tested for delivery of the promising anti-inflammatory and antioxidant therapeutic molecule curcumin, which is currently limited in use in its free form due to poor pharmacokinetic properties. PPS microspheres efficiently encapsulated curcumin through oil-in-water emulsion and provided sustained, on demand release that was modulated in vitro by hydrogen peroxide concentration. The cytocompatible, curcumin-loaded microspheres preferentially targeted and scavenged intracellular ROS in activated macrophages, reduced in vitro cell death in the presence of cytotoxic levels of ROS, and decreased tissue-level ROS in vivo in the diabetic mouse hind limb ischemia model of peripheral arterial disease. Interestingly, due to the ROS scavenging behavior of PPS, the blank microparticles also showed inherent therapeutic properties that were synergistic with the effects of curcumin in these assays. Functionally, local delivery of curcumin-PPS microspheres accelerated recovery from hind limb ischemia in diabetic mice, as demonstrated using non-invasive imaging techniques. This work demonstrates the potential for PPS microspheres as a generalizable vehicle for ROS-demanded drug release and establishes the utility of this platform for improving local curcumin bioavailability for treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Neovascular age-related macular degeneration is a leading cause of irreversible vision loss in the Western world. Cytokine-targeted therapies (such as anti-vascular endothelial growth factor) are effective in treating pathologic ocular angiogenesis, but have not led to a durable effect and often require indefinite treatment. Here, we show that Nutlin-3, a small molecule antagonist of the E3 ubiquitin protein ligase MDM2, inhibited angiogenesis in several model systems. We found that a functional p53 pathway was essential for Nutlin-3-mediated retinal antiangiogenesis and disruption of the p53 transcriptional network abolished the antiangiogenic activity of Nutlin-3. Nutlin-3 did not inhibit established, mature blood vessels in the adult mouse retina, suggesting that only proliferating retinal vessels are sensitive to Nutlin-3. Furthermore, Nutlin-3 inhibited angiogenesis in nonretinal models such as the hind limb ischemia model. Our work demonstrates that Nutlin-3 functions through an antiproliferative pathway with conceivable advantages over existing cytokine-targeted antiangiogenesis therapies.
The mouse hind limb ischemia (HLI) model is well established for studying collateral vessel formation and testing therapies for peripheral arterial disease, but there is a lack of quantitative techniques for intravitally analyzing blood vessel structure and function. To address this need, non-invasive, quantitative optical imaging techniques were developed to assess the time-course of recovery in the mouse HLI model. Hyperspectral imaging and optical coherence tomography (OCT) were used to non-invasively image hemoglobin oxygen saturation and microvessel morphology plus blood flow, respectively, in the anesthetized mouse after induction of HLI. Hyperspectral imaging detected significant increases in hemoglobin saturation in the ischemic paw as early as 3 days after femoral artery ligation (P < 0.01), and significant increases in distal blood flow were first detected with OCT 14 days postsurgery (P < 0.01). Intravital OCT images of the adductor muscle vasculature revealed corkscrew collateral vessels characteristic of the arteriogenic response to HLI. The hyperspectral imaging and OCT data significantly correlated with each other and with laser Doppler perfusion imaging (LDPI) and tissue oxygenation sensor data (P < 0.01). However, OCT measurements acquired depth-resolved information and revealed more sustained flow deficits following surgery that may be masked by more superficial measurements (LDPI, hyperspectral imaging). Therefore, intravital OCT may provide a robust biomarker for the late stages of ischemic limb recovery. This work validates non-invasive acquisition of both functional and morphological data with hyperspectral imaging and OCT. Together, these techniques provide cardiovascular researchers an unprecedented and comprehensive view of the temporal dynamics of HLI recovery in living mice.
The purpose of the present study was to partially phenotype male and female rats from generations 8-10 (G8-G10) that had been selectively bred to possess low (LVR) vs. high voluntary running (HVR) behavior. Over the first 6 days with wheels, 34-day-old G8 male and female LVRs ran shorter distances (P < 0.001), spent less time running (P < 0.001), and ran slower (P < 0.001) than their G8 male and female HVR counterparts, respectively. HVR and LVR lines consumed similar amounts of standard chow with or without wheels. No inherent difference existed in PGC-1α mRNA in the plantaris and soleus muscles of LVR and HVR nonrunners, although G8 LVR rats inherently possessed less NADH-positive superficial plantaris fibers compared with G8 HVR rats. While day 28 body mass tended to be greater in both sexes of G9-G10 LVR nonrunners vs. G9-G10 HVR nonrunners (P = 0.06), body fat percentage was similar between lines. G9-G10 HVRs had fat mass loss after 6 days of running compared with their prerunning values, while LVR did not lose or gain fat mass during the 6-day voluntary running period. RNA deep sequencing efforts in the nucleus accumbens showed only eight transcripts to be >1.5-fold differentially expressed between lines in HVR and LVR nonrunners. Interestingly, HVRs presented less Oprd1 mRNA, which ties in to potential differences in dopaminergic signaling between lines. This unique animal model provides further evidence as to how exercise may be mechanistically regulated.
RATIONALE - Central CB1 cannabinoid receptors regulate anxiety-like and appetitive consummatory behaviors. Pharmacological antagonism/inverse-agonism of CB1 receptors increases anxiety and decreases appetitive behaviors; however, neither well-defined dose nor context dependence of these effects has been simultaneously assessed in one behavioral assay.
OBJECTIVES - We sought to determine the context and dose dependence of the effects of CB1 receptor blockade on anxiety-like and consummatory behaviors in a model that allowed for simultaneous detection of anxiety-like and consummatory-related behaviors.
METHODS - We determined the effects of the CB1 receptor antagonist/inverse-agonist, rimonabant, in the novelty-induced hypophagia (NIH) assay in juvenile male ICR mice.
RESULTS - Rimonabant dose-dependently decreased consumption of a palatable reward solution completely independent of contextual novelty. Grooming and scratching behavior was also increased by rimonabant in a context-independent manner. In contrast, rimonabant increased feeding latency, a measure of anxiety-like behaviors, only in a novel, mildly anxiogenic context. The effects of rimonabant were specific since no effects of rimonabant on despair-like behavior were observed in the tail suspension assay. Blockade of CB2 receptors had no effect on novelty-induced increases in feeding latency or palatable food consumption.
CONCLUSIONS - Our findings indicate that CB1 receptor blockade decreases the hedonic value of palatable food irrespective of environmental novelty, whereas the anxiogenic-like effects are highly context-dependent. Blockade of CB2 receptors does not regulate either anxiety-like or consummatory behaviors in the NIH assay. These findings suggest that rimonabant modulates distinct and dissociable neural processes regulating anxiety and consummatory behavior to sculpt complex and context-dependent behavioral repertories.
Studies were carried out on conscious female non-pregnant (NP) and pregnant (P; third-trimester) dogs (n 16; eight animals per group) to define the role of the liver in mixed meal disposition with arteriovenous difference and tracer techniques. Hepatic and hindlimb substrate disposal was assessed for 390 min during and after an intragastric mixed meal infusion labelled with [¹⁴C]glucose. The P dogs exhibited postprandial hyperglycaemia compared with NP dogs (area under the curve (AUC; change from basal over 390 min) of arterial plasma glucose: 86 680 (sem 12 140) and 187 990 (sem 33 990) mg/l in NP and P dogs, respectively; P < 0·05). Plasma insulin concentrations did not differ significantly between the groups (AUC: 88 230 (sem 16 314) and 69 750 (sem 19 512) pmol/l in NP and P dogs, respectively). Net hepatic glucose uptake totalled 3691 (sem 508) v. 5081 (sem 1145) mg/100 g liver in NP and P dogs, respectively (P = 0·38). The AUC of glucose oxidation by the gut and hindlimb were not different in NP and P dogs, but hepatic glucose oxidation (84 (sem 13) v. 206 (sem 30) mg/100 g liver) and glycogen synthesis (0·4 (sem 0·5) v. 26 (sem 0·7) g/100 g liver) were greater in P dogs (P < 0·05). The proportion of hepatic glycogen deposited via the direct pathway did not differ between the groups. Hindlimb glucose uptake and skeletal muscle glycogen synthesis was similar between the groups, although final glycogen concentrations were higher in NP dogs (9·6 (sem 0·6) v. 70 (sem 0·6) mg/g muscle; P < 0·05). Thus, hepatic glucose oxidation and glycogen storage were augmented in late pregnancy. Enhanced hepatic glycogen storage following a meal probably facilitates the maintenance of an adequate glucose supply to maternal and fetal tissues during the post-absorptive period.
Glutamate and N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) dysfunction is strongly implicated in the pathophysiology of mood and anxiety disorders. Treatment with NMDAR antagonists has antidepressant efficacy in treatment-resistant depressives. In preclinical rodent models, NMDAR antagonist administration reduces anxiety- and stress-related behaviors in concert with increases in prefrontal cortical (PFC) dendritic spinogenesis and synaptic proteins. While these effects have been attributed to actions at the NMDAR GluN2B subunit, the precise role of cortical GluN2B in mediating emotional behaviors and stress-responsivity is not fully understood. Here, we employed a novel mutant model in which the GluN2B subunit is postnatally deleted in principal neurons in the cortex and the dorsal CA1 subregion of the hippocampus. GluN2BKO mice were phenotyped on a battery of tests for anxiety-related (light/dark exploration, stress-induced hyperthermia) and antidepressant-sensitive (sucrose preference, novelty-induced hypophagia, single-trial forced swim) behaviors. A novel repeated inescapable forced swim paradigm (riFS) was developed to assess behavioral responses to repeated stress in the GluN2BKO mice. For comparison, non-mutant C57BL/6J mice were tested for single-trial forced swim behavior after systemic Ro 25-6981 treatment and for riFS behavior after lesions of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. riFS-induced alterations in corticolimbic GluN2B expression were also examined in C57BL/6J mice. We found that GluN2BKO mice reduced "despair-like" behavior in the riFS procedure, as compared to GluN2BFLOX controls. By contrast, GluN2BKO mice showed minimal alterations on anxiety-like or antidepressant-sensitive assays, including the single-trial forced swim test. In C57BL/6J mice, induction of "despair-like" responses in the riFS test was attenuated by vmPFC lesions, and was associated with changes in limbic GluN2B expression. Collectively, these data suggest that cortical GluN2B plays a major role in modulating adaptive responses to stress. Current findings provide further support for GluN2B as a key mechanism underlying stress responsivity, and a novel pharmacotherapeutic target for stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders.
Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Acute myocardial infarction is still one of the leading causes of death in the industrial nations. Even after successful revascularization, myocardial ischemia results in a loss of cardiomyocytes and scar formation. Embryonic EPCs (eEPCs), retroinfused into the ischemic region of the pig heart, provided rapid paracrine benefit to acute and chronic ischemia in a PI-3K/Akt-dependent manner. In a model of acute myocardial ischemia, infarct size and loss of regional myocardial function decreased after eEPC application, unless cell pre-treatment with thymosin beta4 shRNA was performed. Thymosin beta4 peptide retroinfusion mimicked the eEPC-derived improvement of infarct size and myocardial function. In chronic ischemia (rabbit model), eEPCs retroinfused into the ischemic hindlimb enhanced capillary density, collateral growth, and perfusion. Therapeutic neovascularization was absent when thymosin beta4 shRNA was introduced into eEPCs before application. In conclusion, eEPCs are capable of acute and chronic ischemia protection in a thymosin beta4 dependent manner.