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Background: In order to optimize outcomes of novel therapies for cerebellar ataxias (CAs), it is desirable to start these therapies while declined functions are restorable: i.e. while the so-called cerebellar reserve remains.
Objective: In this mini-review, we tried to define and discuss the cerebellar reserve from physiological and morphological points of view.
Method: The cerebellar neuron circuitry is designed to generate spatiotemporally organized outputs, regardless of the region. Therefore, the cerebellar reserve may be defined as a mechanism to restore its proper input-output organization of the cerebellar neuron circuitry, when it is damaged. Then, the following four components are essential for recruitment of the cerebellar reserve: operational local neuron circuitry; proper combination of mossy fiber inputs to be integrated; climbing fiber inputs to instruct favorable reorganization of the integration; deep cerebellar nuclei to generate reorganized outputs.
Results: We discussed three topics related to these resources, 1) principles of generating organized cerebellar outputs, 2) redundant mossy fiber inputs to the cerebellum, 3) plasticity of the cerebellar neuron circuitry.
Conclusion: To make most of the cerebellar reserve, it is desirable to start any intervention as early as possible when the cerebellar cell loss is minimal or even negligible. Therefore, an ideal future therapy for degenerative cerebellar diseases should start before consuming the cerebellar reserve at all. In the meantime, our real challenge is to establish a reliable method to identify the decrease in the cerebellar reserve as early as possible.
Cancer cells have a very different metabolism from that of normal cells from which they are derived. Their metabolism is elevated, which allows them to sustain higher proliferative rate and resist some cell death signals. This phenomenon, known as the “Warburg effect”, has become the focus of intensive efforts in the discovery of new therapeutic targets and new cancer drugs. Both glycolysis and glutaminolysis pathways are enhanced in cancer cells. While glycolysis is enhanced to satisfy the increasing energy demand of cancer cells, glutaminolysis is enhanced to provide biosynthetic precursors for cancer cells. It was recently discovered that there is a tyrosine phosphorylation of a specific isoform of pyruvate kinase, the M2 isoform, that is preferentially expressed in all cancer cells, which results in the generation of pyruvate through a unique enzymatic mechanism that is uncoupled from ATP production. Pyruvate produced through this unique enzymatic mechanism is converted primarily into lactic acid, rather than acetyl-CoA for the synthesis of citrate, which would normally then enter the citric acid cycle. Inhibition of key enzymes in glycolysis and glutaminolysis pathways with small molecules has provided a novel but emerging area of cancer research and has been proven effective in slowing the proliferation of cancer cells, with several inhibitors being in clinical trials. This review paper will cover recent advances in the development of chemotherapeutic agents against several metabolic targets for cancer therapy, including glucose transporters, hexokinase, pyruvate kinase M2, glutaminase, and isocitrate dehydrogenase.
Background: Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), a common disease involving the segmental expansion and rupture of the aorta, has a high mortality rate. Therapeutic options for AAA are currently limited to surgical repair to prevent catastrophic rupture. Non-surgical approaches, particularly pharmacotherapy, are lacking for the treatment of AAA.
Objective: We review both basic and clinical studies and discuss the current challenges to developing medical therapy that reduces AAA progression.
Results: Studies using animal models of AAA progression and human AAA explant cultures have identified several potential targets for preventing AAA growth. However, no clinical studies have convincingly confirmed the efficacy of any pharmacologic treatment against the growth of AAA. Thus, there is as yet no strong recommendation regarding pharmacotherapy to reduce the risk of AAA progression and rupture.
Conclusion: This review identifies concerns that need to be addressed for the field to progress and discusses the challenges that must be overcome in order to develop effective pharmacotherapy to reduce AAA progression in the future.
Background: Geissoschizine methyl ether (GM) is one of the indole alkaloids in Uncaria hook, and an active ingredient of yokukansan (YKS) that improves behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) in patients with several types of dementia. The pharmacological action of GM has been related to various serotonin (5-HT) receptor subtypes.
Objective: The aim of this article is to review the binding characteristics of GM to the 5-HT receptor subtypes in the brains using our own data and previous findings.
Method: Competitive receptor-binding and agonist/antagonist activity assays for several 5-HT receptor subtypes were performed. Moreover, the articles describing pharmacokinetics and brain distribution of GM were searched in PubMed.
Results: GM bound the following 5-HT receptor subtypes: 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B, 5-HT2A, 5-HT2B, 5-HT2C, 5- HT4, 5-HT5A, 5-HT6, and 5-HT7. Among these receptors, GM had partial agonistic activity for 5-HT1A receptors and antagonistic activity for 5-HT2A, 5-HT2B, 5-HT2C, and 5-HT7 receptors. Also, GM was metabolized by various CYP isoforms, mainly CYP3A4. Parent/unchanged GM was detected in both the blood and brain of rats after oral administration of YKS. In the brains, GM was presumed to bind to 5- HT1A, 5-HT2A, 5-HT2B, 5-HT2C, and 5-HT7 receptors on neuron-like large cells mainly in the frontal cortex.
Conclusion: These results suggest that GM is a pharmacologically important alkaloid that regulates various serotonergic activities or functions by binding to multiple 5-HT receptor subtypes. Thus, this review provides recent 5-HT receptor-related evidence that GM is partly responsible for pharmacological effects of YKS.
Ceruloplasmin (CP) is the major copper transport protein in plasma, mainly produced by the liver. Glycosylphosphatidylinositol-linked CP (GPI-CP) is the predominant form expressed in astrocytes of the brain. A growing body of evidence has demonstrated that CP is an essential protein in the body with multiple functions such as regulating the homeostasis of copper and iron ions, ferroxidase activity, oxidizing organic amines, and preventing the formation of free radicals. In addition, as an acute-phase protein, CP is induced during inflammation and infection. The fact that patients with genetic disorder aceruloplasminemia do not suffer from tissue copper deficiency, but rather from disruptions in iron metabolism shows essential roles of CP in iron metabolism rather than copper. Furthermore, abnormal metabolism of metal ions and oxidative stress are found in other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Wilson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Brain iron accumulation and decreased activity of CP have been shown to be associated with neurodegeneration. We hypothesize that CP may play a protective role in neurodegenerative diseases. However, whether iron accumulation is a cause or a result of neurodegeneration remains unclear. Further research on molecular mechanisms is required before a consensus can be reached regarding a neuroprotective role for CP in neurodegeneration. This review article summarizes the main physiological functions of CP and the current knowledge of its role in neurodegenerative diseases.
Ayahuasca, a traditional Amazonian decoction with psychoactive properties, is made from bark of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine (contains beta-carboline alkaloids) and leaves of the Psychotria viridis bush (supply the hallucinogen N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT)). Originally used by indigenous shamans for the purposes of spirit communication, magical experiences, healing, and religious rituals, across several South American countries ayahuasca has been incorporated into folk medicine and spiritual healing, and several Brazilian churches use it routinely to foster spiritual experience. More recently it is being used in Europe and North America, not only for religious or healing reasons, but also for recreation. Objective: To review ayahuasca’s behavioral effects, possible adverse effects, proposed mechanisms of action and potential clinical uses in mental illness. Method: We searched Medline, in English, using the terms ayahuasca, dimethytryptamine, Banisteriopsis caapi, and Psychotria viridis and reviewed the relevant publications. Results: The following aspects of ayahuasca are summarized: Political and legal factors; acute and chronic psychological effects; electrophysiological studies and imaging; physiological effects, safety and adverse effects; pharmacology; potential psychiatric uses. Conclusion: Many years of shamanic wisdom have indicated potential therapeutic uses for ayahuasca, and many present day studies suggest that it may be useful for treating various psychiatric disorders and addictions. The side effect profile appears to be relatively mild, but more detailed studies need to be done. Several prominent researchers feel that government regulations with regard to ayahuasca should be relaxed so that it could be provided more readily to recognized credible researchers to conduct comprehensive clinical trials.
Read more here: http://www.eurekaselect.com/159373
Journal: Current Diabetes Reviews
Introduction: Although hypovolemia remains the most relevant problem during acute decompensated diabetes in its clinical manifestations (diabetic ketoacidosis, DKA, and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar state, HHS), the electrolyte derangements caused by the global hydroelectrolytic imbalance usually complicate the clinical picture at presentation and may be worsened by the treatment itself.
Aim: This review article is focused on the management of dysnatremias during hyperglycemic hyperosmolar state with the aim of providing clinicians a useful tool to early identify the sodium derangement in order to address properly its treatment.
Discussion: The plasma sodium concentration is modified by most of the therapeutic measures commonly required in such patients and the physician needs to consider these interactions when treating HHS. Moreover, an improper management of plasma sodium concentration (PNa+) and plasma osmolality during treatment has been associated with two rare potentially life-threatening complications (cerebral edema and osmotic demyelination syndrome). Identifying the correct composition of the fluids that need to be infused to restore volume losses is crucial to prevent complications.
Conclusion: A quantitative approach based on the comparison between the measured PNa+ (PNa+M) and the PNa+ expected in the presence of an exclusive water shift (PNa+G) may provide more thorough information about the true hydroelectrolytic status of the patient and may therefore, guide the physician in the initial management of HHS. On the basis of data derived from our previous studies, we propose a 7-step algorithm to compute an accurate estimate of PNa+G.
Read more here: http://www.eurekaselect.com/160560/article
Journal: Medicinal Chemistry
Background: Seasonal and circadian changes are two factors described to affect blood levels of some biological molecules. The Total Antioxidant Capacity (TAC) is one global measure of the antioxidant capacity of a system. There is no agreement about the existence of day/night changes in TAC levels as well as there is no information about seasonal changes in TAC levels.
Objective: The aims of this research are studying if there are summer/winter changes in TAC concentrations or if TAC concentrations have day/night changes.
Method: Ninety-eight healthy subjects took part in the summer study of whom 64 participated in the winter one. Blood was sampled at 09:00, 12:00 and 00:00 h. TAC was measured by the ABTS radical cation technique. Results are expressed in mmol/L of trolox equivalents.
Results: The subjects had significantly higher TAC levels in summer than winter at the three-time point studied. Summer 09:00 TAC concentration was significantly higher than the 12:00 and 00:00 h concentrations (1.34±0.26 vs 0.83±0.19, 0.75±0.18). Summer TAC 12:00 h concentrations were significantly higher than the 00:00 h concentrations (0.83±0.19 vs. 0.75±0.18). Winter 09:00 TAC concentrations were significantly higher than the 12:00 and 00:00 h concentrations (1.24±0.16 vs. 0.73±0.10, 0.67±0.13). There were no significant differences between the 12:00 and 00:00 h TAC concentrations.
Conclusion: Strong methodological biases may be made if the seasonal and circadian changes in serum TAC concentration are not taken into account when researching in this area.
Read more here: http://www.eurekaselect.com/156053