5 research outputs found

    The macrocyclic lactone oxacyclododecindione reduces fibrosis progression

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    Background: Renal fibrosis is one of the most important triggers of chronic kidney disease (CKD), and only a very limited number of therapeutic options are available to stop fibrosis progression. As fibrosis is characterized by inflammation, myofibroblast activation, and extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition, a drug that can address all these processes might be an interesting therapeutic option.Methods: We tested in vivo in an ischemia–reperfusion (I/R) model in C57BL/6 mice and in kidney tubular epithelial cells (TEC) (HK2 cell line and primary cells) whether the natural product oxacyclododecindione (Oxa) reduces fibrosis progression in kidney disease. This was evaluated by Western blot, mRNA expression, and mass spectrometry secretome analyses, as well as by immunohistochemistry.Results: Indeed, Oxa blocked the expression of epithelial–mesenchymal transition marker proteins and reduced renal damage, immune cell infiltration, and collagen expression and deposition, both in vivo and in vitro. Remarkably, the beneficial effects of Oxa were also detected when the natural product was administered at a time point of established fibrotic changes, a situation close to the clinical situation. Initial in vitro experiments demonstrated that a synthetic Oxa derivative possesses similar features.Conclusion: Although open questions such as possible side effects need to be investigated, our results indicate that the combination of anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic effects of Oxa make the substance a promising candidate for a new therapeutic approach in fibrosis treatment, and thus in the prevention of kidney disease progression

    Identification of Phlogacantholide C as a Novel ADAM10 Enhancer from Traditional Chinese Medicinal Plants

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    Background: Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most prevalent dementias in the elderly population with increasing numbers of patients. One pivotal hallmark of this disorder is the deposition of protein aggregates stemming from neurotoxic amyloid-beta peptides. Synthesis of those peptides has been efficiently prevented in AD model mice by activation of an enzyme called alpha-secretase. Therefore, drugs with the capability to increase the expression of this enzyme, named ADAM10, have been suggested as a valuable therapeutic medication. Methods: We investigated 69 substances from a drug library derived from traditional Chinese medicine by luciferase reporter assay in human neuronal cells for their potential to selectively induce alpha-secretase expression. Western blot analysis was used to confirm results on the protein level. Results: Ten of the 69 investigated compounds led to induction of ADAM10 transcriptional activity while BACE-1 (beta-site APP cleaving enzyme 1) and APP (amyloid precursor protein) expression were not induced. Two of them—Norkurarinol and Phlogacantholide C—showed substantial elevation of ADAM10 protein levels and Phlogacantholide C also increased secretion of the ADAM10-derived cleavage product APPs-alpha. Conclusion: Phlogacantholide C represents a novel ADAM10 gene expression enhancer from traditional Chinese medicinal herbs that may lay the groundwork for evolving potential novel therapeutics in Alzheimer’s disease

    Drug Candidates for Autoimmune Diseases

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    Most of the immunosuppressive drugs used in the clinic to prevent organ rejection or to treat autoimmune disorders were originally isolated from fungi or bacteria. Therefore, in addition to plants, these are valuable sources for identification of new potent drugs. Many side effects of established drugs limit their usage and make the identification of new immunosuppressants necessary. In this review, we present a comprehensive overview of natural products with potent anti-inflammatory activities that have been tested successfully in different models of chronic inflammatory autoimmune diseases. Some of these candidates already have passed first clinical trials. The anti-inflammatory potency of these natural products was often comparable to those of established drugs, and they could be used at least in addition to standard therapy to reduce their dose to minimize unwanted side effects. A frequent mode of action is the inhibition of classical inflammatory signaling pathways, such as NF-ÎşB, in combination with downregulation of oxidative stress. A drawback for the therapeutic use of those natural products is their moderate bioavailability, which can be optimized by chemical modifications and, in addition, further safety studies are necessary. Altogether, very interesting candidate compounds exist which have the potential to serve as starting points for the development of new immunosuppressive drugs

    Tellurium-Containing Polymer Micelles: Competitive-Ligand-Regulated Coordination Responsive Systems

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    Nanomaterials capable of achieving tunable cargo release kinetics are of significance in a fundamental sense and various biological or medical applications. We report a competitive coordination system based on a novel tellurium-containing polymer and its ligand-regulated release manners. Tellurium was introduced to water-soluble polymers for the first time as drug delivery vehicles. The coordination chemistry between platinum and tellurium was designed to enable the load of platinum-based drugs. Through the competitive coordination of biomolecules, the drugs could be released in a controlled manner. Furthermore, the release kinetics could be modulated by the competitive ligands involved due to their different coordination ability. This tellurium-containing polymer may enrich the family of delivery systems and provide a new platform for future biomedical nanotechnologies