Preclinical Testing
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Biomedicines ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 9 (9) ◽  
pp. 1243
Tomaž Trobec ◽  
Kristina Sepčić ◽  
Monika Cecilija Žužek ◽  
Jerneja Kladnik ◽  
Nina Podjed ◽  

Cholinesterases (ChEs) show increased activities in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, and remain one of the main therapeutic targets for treatment of this neurodegenerative disorder. A library of organoruthenium(II) complexes was prepared to investigate the influence of their structural elements on inhibition of ChEs, and on another pharmacologically important group of enzymes, glutathione S-transferases (GSTs). Two groups of organoruthenium(II) compounds were considered: (i) organoruthenium(II) complexes with p-cymene as an arene ligand, and (ii) organoruthenium(II) carbonyl complexes as CO-releasing molecules. Eight organoruthenium complexes were screened for inhibitory activities against ChEs and GSTs of human and animal origins. Some compounds inhibited all of these enzymes at low micromolar concentrations, while others selectively inhibited either ChEs or GSTs. This study demonstrates the importance of the different structural elements of organoruthenium complexes for their inhibitory activities against ChEs and GSTs, and also proposes some interesting compounds for further preclinical testing as ChE or GST inhibitory drugs.

2021 ◽  
Vol 22 (18) ◽  
pp. 9983
Jintae Kim ◽  
Sera Park ◽  
Dongbo Min ◽  
Wankyu Kim

Drug discovery based on artificial intelligence has been in the spotlight recently as it significantly reduces the time and cost required for developing novel drugs. With the advancement of deep learning (DL) technology and the growth of drug-related data, numerous deep-learning-based methodologies are emerging at all steps of drug development processes. In particular, pharmaceutical chemists have faced significant issues with regard to selecting and designing potential drugs for a target of interest to enter preclinical testing. The two major challenges are prediction of interactions between drugs and druggable targets and generation of novel molecular structures suitable for a target of interest. Therefore, we reviewed recent deep-learning applications in drug–target interaction (DTI) prediction and de novo drug design. In addition, we introduce a comprehensive summary of a variety of drug and protein representations, DL models, and commonly used benchmark datasets or tools for model training and testing. Finally, we present the remaining challenges for the promising future of DL-based DTI prediction and de novo drug design.

Cancers ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 13 (18) ◽  
pp. 4628
Marjolein I. Priester ◽  
Sergio Curto ◽  
Gerard C. van Rhoon ◽  
Timo L. M. ten Hagen

Preclinical studies have shown that application of mild hyperthermia (40–43 °C) is a promising adjuvant to solid tumor treatment. To improve preclinical testing, enhance reproducibility, and allow comparison of the obtained results, it is crucial to have standardization of the available methods. Reproducibility of methods in and between research groups on the same techniques is crucial to have a better prediction of the clinical outcome and to improve new treatment strategies (for instance with heat-sensitive nanoparticles). Here we provide a preclinically oriented review on the use and applicability of basic hyperthermia systems available for solid tumor thermal treatment in small animals. The complexity of these techniques ranges from a simple, low-cost water bath approach, irradiation with light or lasers, to advanced ultrasound and capacitive heating devices.

2021 ◽  
Hayley Novak ◽  
Jennifer Doering ◽  
Dylan Ehrbar ◽  
Oreola Donini ◽  
Nicholas J. Mantis

ABSTRACTThe development of vaccines against biothreat toxins like ricin (RT) is considered an integral component of the United States national security efforts. RiVax® is a thermostable, lyophilized RT subunit vaccine adsorbed to aluminum salt adjuvant intended for use by military personnel and first responders. Phase 1 studies indicated that RiVax is safe and immunogenic, while a three dose, intramuscular vaccination regimen in non-human primates elicited protection against lethal dose RT challenge by aerosol. Here we investigated, in a mouse model, the durability of RiVax-induced antibody responses and corresponding immunity to lethal dose RT challenge. Groups of mice were subcutaneously administered 3 or 1 μg of RiVax on days 0 and 21 and challenged with 10 × LD50 RT by injection at six different intervals over the course of twelve months. Serum antibody titers and epitope-specific competition assays were determined prior to each challenge. We report that the two-dose, 3 μg regimen conferred near complete protection against RT challenge on day 35 and complete protection thereafter (challenge days 65, 95, 125, 245, and 365). The two-dose, 3 μg regimen was superior to the 1 μg regimen as revealed by slight differences in survival and morbidity scores (e.g., hypoglycemia, weight loss) on challenge days 35 and 365. In separate experiments, a single 3 μg RiVax vaccination proved only marginally effective at eliciting protective immunity to RT, underscoring the necessity of a prime-boost regimen to achieve full and long-lasting protection against RT.IMPORTANCERicin toxin (RT) is a notorious biothreat, as exposure to even trace amounts via injection or inhalation can induce organ failure and death within a matter of hours. In this study, we advance the preclinical testing of a candidate RT vaccine known as RiVax®. RiVax is a recombinant non-toxic derivative of RT’s enzymatic subunit that has been evaluated for safety in Phase I clinical trials and efficacy in a variety of animal models. We demonstrate that two doses of RiVax is sufficient to protect mice from lethal dose RT challenge for up to one year. We describe kinetics and other immune parameters of the antibody response to RiVax and discuss how these immune factors may translate to humans.

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Lorena Leonardelli ◽  
Giuseppe Lofano ◽  
Gianluca Selvaggio ◽  
Silvia Parolo ◽  
Stefano Giampiccolo ◽  

RNA vaccines represent a milestone in the history of vaccinology. They provide several advantages over more traditional approaches to vaccine development, showing strong immunogenicity and an overall favorable safety profile. While preclinical testing has provided some key insights on how RNA vaccines interact with the innate immune system, their mechanism of action appears to be fragmented amid the literature, making it difficult to formulate new hypotheses to be tested in clinical settings and ultimately improve this technology platform. Here, we propose a systems biology approach, based on the combination of literature mining and mechanistic graphical modeling, to consolidate existing knowledge around mRNA vaccines mode of action and enhance the translatability of preclinical hypotheses into clinical evidence. A Natural Language Processing (NLP) pipeline for automated knowledge extraction retrieved key biological evidences that were joined into an interactive mechanistic graphical model representing the chain of immune events induced by mRNA vaccines administration. The achieved mechanistic graphical model will help the design of future experiments, foster the generation of new hypotheses and set the basis for the development of mathematical models capable of simulating and predicting the immune response to mRNA vaccines.

2021 ◽  
Vanessa M Almonte ◽  
Unimunkh Uriyanghai ◽  
Lander Egaña-Gorroño ◽  
Dippal Parikh ◽  
Gustavo H Oliveira-Paula ◽  

Abstract Aims Graft vascular disease (GVD), a clinically important and highly complex vascular occlusive disease, arises from the interplay of multiple cellular and molecular pathways. While occlusive intimal lesions are composed predominantly of smooth muscle-like cells (SMLCs), the origin of these cells and the stimuli leading to their accumulation in GVD are uncertain. Macrophages have recently been identified as both potential drivers of intimal hyperplasia and as precursors that undergo transdifferentiation to become SMLCs in non-transplant settings. Colony stimulating factor-1 (CSF1) is a well-known regulator of macrophage development and differentiation, and prior preclinical studies have shown that lack of CSF1 limits GVD. We sought to identify the origins of SMLCs and of cells expressing the CSF1 receptor (CSF1R) in GVD, and to test the hypothesis that pharmacologic inhibition of CSF1 signaling would curtail both macrophage and SMLC activities and decrease vascular occlusion. Methods and Results We used genetically modified mice and a vascular transplant model with minor antigen mismatch to assess cell origins. We found that neointimal SMLCs derive from both donor and recipient, and that transdifferentiation of macrophages to SMLC phenotype is minimal in this model. Cells expressing CSF1R in grafts were identified as recipient-derived myeloid cells of Cx3cr1-lineage, and these cells rarely expressed smooth muscle marker proteins. Blockade of CSF1R activity using the tyrosine kinase inhibitor PLX3397 limited the expression of genes associated with innate immunity and decreased levels of circulating monocytes and intimal macrophages. Importantly, PLX3397 attenuated the development of GVD in arterial allografts. Conclusion These studies provide proof of concept for pharmacologic inhibition of the CSF1/CSF1R signaling pathway as a therapeutic strategy in GVD. Further preclinical testing of this pathway in GVD is warranted. Translational Perspective Graft vascular disease is a major limitation to the long-term success of clinical solid organ transplantation. Currently, there are no effective treatment options to prevent the development of neointimal lesions that obstruct blood flow to the graft. In this study we found that PLX3397, a selective inhibitor of CSF1R signaling, reduced the accumulation of macrophages and ACTA2+ cells within neointimal lesions in a preclinical model of graft vascular disease. Our study highlights a promising role for the pharmacologic targeting of CSF1R signaling to further study the molecular mechanisms that regulate allotransplantation-induced vascular remodeling.

Cancers ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 13 (17) ◽  
pp. 4284
Kamil Jozef Synoradzki ◽  
Ewa Bartnik ◽  
Anna M. Czarnecka ◽  
Michał Fiedorowicz ◽  
Wiktoria Firlej ◽  

The TP53 gene is mutated in 50% of human tumors. Oncogenic functions of mutant TP53 maintain tumor cell proliferation and tumor growth also in osteosarcomas. We collected data on TP53 mutations in patients to indicate which are more common and describe their role in in vitro and animal models. We also describe animal models with TP53 dysfunction, which provide a good platform for testing the potential therapeutic approaches. Finally, we have indicated a whole range of pharmacological compounds that modulate the action of p53, stabilize its mutated versions or lead to its degradation, cause silencing or, on the contrary, induce the expression of its functional version in genetic therapy. Although many of the described therapies are at the preclinical testing stage, they offer hope for a change in the approach to osteosarcoma treatment based on TP53 targeting in the future.

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
Gail P. Risbridger ◽  
Ashlee K. Clark ◽  
Laura H. Porter ◽  
Roxanne Toivanen ◽  
Andrew Bakshi ◽  

AbstractPreclinical testing is a crucial step in evaluating cancer therapeutics. We aimed to establish a significant resource of patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) of prostate cancer for rapid and systematic evaluation of candidate therapies. The PDX collection comprises 59 tumors collected from 30 patients between 2012–2020, coinciding with availability of abiraterone and enzalutamide. The PDXs represent the clinico-pathological and genomic spectrum of prostate cancer, from treatment-naïve primary tumors to castration-resistant metastases. Inter- and intra-tumor heterogeneity in adenocarcinoma and neuroendocrine phenotypes is evident from bulk and single-cell RNA sequencing data. Organoids can be cultured from PDXs, providing further capabilities for preclinical studies. Using a 1 x 1 x 1 design, we rapidly identify tumors with exceptional responses to combination treatments. To govern the distribution of PDXs, we formed the Melbourne Urological Research Alliance (MURAL). This PDX collection is a substantial resource, expanding the capacity to test and prioritize effective treatments for prospective clinical trials in prostate cancer.

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