The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Volatile anesthetics are used clinically to produce analgesia, amnesia, unconsciousness, blunted autonomic responsiveness, and immobility. Previous work has shown that the volatile anesthetic isoflurane, at concentrations that produce unconsciousness (250-500 microM), enhances fast synaptic inhibition in the brain mediated by GABA(A) receptors (GABA(A)-Rs). In addition, isoflurane causes sedation at concentrations lower than those required to produce unconsciousness or analgesia.
Zhongguo Yao Li Xue Bao = Acta Pharmacologica Sinica
Immunoregulatory properties of a novel antimalarial drug dihydroartemisinin (DHA) were investigated in vitro. DHA 0.5-5 mumol.L-1 enhanced the lymphocyte proliferation induced by Con A. Interleukin 2 (IL-2) production and its mRNA expression by both Con A-stimulated mouse splenocytes and a T cell line LBRM-33-1A5 were also augmented by DHA. In contrast, DHA 0.5-5 mumol.L-1 did not show any effect on the lipopolysaccharides (LPS)-induced lymphocyte proliferation and the spontaneous and mitogen-induced proliferation of transformed T cells.
AIMS: The study aimed to identify the specific human cytochrome P450 (CYP450) enzymes involved in the metabolism of artemisinin. METHODS: Microsomes from human B-lymphoblastoid cell lines transformed with individual CYP450 cDNAs were investigated for their capacity to metabolize artemisinin. The effect on artemisinin metabolism in human liver microsomes by chemical inhibitors selective for individual forms of CYP450 was investigated.
The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
The effect of artesunate and its metabolite dihydroartemisinin against the cerebral cysts of Toxoplasma gondii was studied. In vitro experiments were performed with the THP-1 cell line and showed an inhibition of parasite growth of approximately 70% with 0.1-0.5 microg/ml of dihydroartemisinin for 96 hr. However, with artesunate, dihydroartemisinin, or a combination (50:50) of them, the number of tachyzoites decreased approximately 40-50% and they appeared motionless. Fifty-eight to 72 hr after washing of the tachyzoites and THP-1 cells in culture, parasitized cells reappeared.
The in vitro potentiation of artemisinin by synthetic manganese porphyrin complexes has been recently reported (F. Benoit-Vical, A. Robert, and B. Meunier, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 43:2555-2558, 1999). Since the activity of artemisinin and synthetic antimalarial endoperoxides is related to their interaction with heme (S. R. Meshnick, A. Thomas, A. Ranz, C. M. Xu, and H. Z. Pan, Mol. Biochem. Parasitol. 49:181-190, 1991), an improvement of their efficiency may be expected in the presence of a synthetic metalloporphyrin having the same activating role as endogenous heme.
In the course of our screening program to discover antimalarial antibiotics, which are active against drug resistant Plasmodium falciparum in vitro and rodents infected with P. berghei in vivo, from the culture broth of microorganisms, we found a selective and potent active substance produced by an actinomycete strain K99-0413. It was identified as a known polyether antibiotic, X-206. We also compared the in vitro antimalarial activities and cytotoxicities of 12 known polyethers with X-206.
Overcoming MDR (multidrug resistance) phenomena is a crucial aspect of cancer chemotherapy research. Artemisinin and its derivatives have been found to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells in the microM range. They poorly inhibited the function of P-glycoprotein and did not inhibit the function of MRP1-protein. The concentrations required to inhibit by 50% the function of P-glycoprotein are 110+/-5 microM.
Artemisinin is a natural product used as an alternative drug in the treatment of severe and multidrug-resistant malaria. In the present work we show that artemisinin shares with other sesquiterpene lactones the ability to inhibit the activation of the nuclear factor NF-kB: by this mechanism, artemisinin, as well as parthenolide, inhibits nitric oxide synthesis in cytokine-stimulated human astrocytoma T67 cells. These results suggest that artemisinin, in addition to its antiparasitic properties, could also exert a therapeutic effect on neurological complications of malaria.
Artemisinin drugs are of utmost importance in the treatment of malaria, because they represent the sole class of therapeutically used antimalarial drugs to which malaria parasites have not yet developed resistance. The major disadvantage of these medicines is the comparatively high recrudescence rate, which has been attributed to the remarkable decrease of artemisinin plasma concentrations during multiple dosing. Autoinduction of CYP2B6-mediated metabolism has been implicated as the underlying mechanism. So far, the molecular mechanism of induction by artemisinin has not been resolved.
In the present study artemisinin (ART) was found to have potent anti-inflammatory effects in animal models of sepsis induced by CpG-containing oligodeoxy-nucleotides (CpG ODN), lipopolysaccharide (LPS), heat-killed Escherichia coli 35218 or live E. coli. Furthermore, we found that ART protected mice from a lethal challenge by CpG ODN, LPS, or heat-killed E. coli in a dose-dependent manner and that the protection was related to a reduction in serum tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha).