Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research

Leiden, Netherlands

Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research

Leiden, Netherlands
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High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is considered an anti-atherogenic lipoprotein species due to its role in reverse cholesterol transport. HDL delivers cholesterol esters to the liver through selective uptake by scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI). In line with the protective role for HDL in the context of cardiovascular disease, studies in mice and recently also in humans have shown that a disruption of normal SR-BI function predisposes subjects to the development of atherosclerotic lesions and cardiovascular disease. Although SR-BI function has been studied primarily in the liver, it should be acknowledged that the SR-BI protein is expressed in multiple tissues and cell types across the body, albeit at varying levels between the different tissues. Given that SR-BI is widely expressed throughout the body, multiple cell types and tissues can theoretically contribute to the atheroprotective effect of SR-BI. In this review the different functions of SR-BI in normal physiology are highlighted and the (potential) consequences of cell type-specific disruption of SR-BI function for atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease susceptibility discussed. It appears that hepatocyte and platelet SR-BI inhibit respectively the development of atherosclerotic lesions and thrombosis, suggesting that SR-BI located on these cell compartments should be regarded as being a protective factor in the context of cardiovascular disease. The relative contribution of SR-BI present on endothelial cells, steroidogenic cells, adipocytes and macrophages to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease remains less clear, although proper SR-BI function in these cells does appear to influence multiple processes that impact on cardiovascular disease susceptibility. © 2017 The Author.


Cortes-Ciriano I.,CNRS Institute of Pharmacology and Structural Biology | Van Westen G.J.P.,European Bioinformatics Institute | Lenselink E.B.,Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research | Murrell D.S.,University of Cambridge | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Cheminformatics | Year: 2014

Proteochemometrics (PCM) is an approach for bioactivity predictive modeling which models the relationship between protein and chemical information. Gaussian Processes (GP), based on Bayesian inference, provide the most objective estimation of the uncertainty of the predictions, thus permitting the evaluation of the applicability domain (AD) of the model. Furthermore, the experimental error on bioactivity measurements can be used as input for this probabilistic model.In this study, we apply GP implemented with a panel of kernels on three various (and multispecies) PCM datasets. The first dataset consisted of information from 8 human and rat adenosine receptors with 10,999 small molecule ligands and their binding affinity. The second consisted of the catalytic activity of four dengue virus NS3 proteases on 56 small peptides. Finally, we have gathered bioactivity information of small molecule ligands on 91 aminergic GPCRs from 9 different species, leading to a dataset of 24,593 datapoints with a matrix completeness of only 2.43%.GP models trained on these datasets are statistically sound, at the same level of statistical significance as Support Vector Machines (SVM), with R 0 2 values on the external dataset ranging from 0.68 to 0.92, and RMSEP values close to the experimental error. Furthermore, the best GP models obtained with the normalized polynomial and radial kernels provide intervals of confidence for the predictions in agreement with the cumulative Gaussian distribution. GP models were also interpreted on the basis of individual targets and of ligand descriptors. In the dengue dataset, the model interpretation in terms of the amino-acid positions in the tetra-peptide ligands gave biologically meaningful results. © 2014 Cortes-Ciriano et al.; licensee Chemistry Central Ltd.


Van Der Stoep M.,Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research | Van Der Stoep M.,University Utrecht | Korporaal S.J.A.,University Utrecht | Van Eck M.,Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research
Cardiovascular Research | Year: 2014

Platelets and coagulation factors are involved in the process of haemostasis, which ensures undisturbed blood flow upon vessel wall damage. However, excessive platelet aggregation and/or coagulation may lead to arterial or venous thrombosis. Pro-atherogenic lipoproteins, including native and oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL), are associated with an increased susceptibility to thrombosis. In contrast, numerous epidemiological studies have established an inverse correlation between high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels and the risk for thrombosis. In addition to its role in reverse cholesterol transport, HDL also interacts with platelets, the coagulation cascade, and the vascular endothelium. Native HDL prevents platelet hyperreactivity by limiting intraplatelet cholesterol overload, as well as by modulating platelet signalling pathways after binding platelet HDL receptors such as scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI) and apoER2′. The antithrombotic properties of native HDL are also related to the suppression of the coagulation cascade and stimulation of clot fibrinolysis. Furthermore, HDL stimulates the endothelial production of nitric oxide and prostacyclin, which are potent inhibitors of platelet activation. Thus, HDL's antithrombotic actions are multiple and therefore, raising HDL may be an important therapeutic strategy to reduce the risk of arterial and venous thrombosis. © The Author 2014.


Quist J.,Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research | Vulto P.,Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research | Hankemeier T.,Leiden University
Analytical Chemistry | Year: 2014

Isotachophoresis (ITP) and electric field gradient focusing (EFGF) are two powerful approaches for simultaneous focusing and separation of charged compounds. Remarkably, in many EFGF methods, isotachophoretic hallmarks have been found, including observations of plateau concentrations and contiguous analyte bands. We discuss the similarities between ITP and EFGF and describe promising possibilities to transfer the functionality and applications developed on one platform to other platforms. Of particular importance is the observation that single-electrolyte isotachophoretic separations with tunable ionic mobility window can be performed, as is illustrated with the example of depletion zone isotachophoresis (dzITP). By exploiting the rapid developments in micro- and nanofluidics, many interesting combinations of ITP and EFGF features can be achieved, yielding powerful analytical platforms for sample preparation, biomarker discovery, molecular interaction assays, drug screening, and clinical diagnostics. © 2014 American Chemical Society.


van Diepen H.C.,Leiden University | Lucassen E.A.,Leiden University | Yasenkov R.,Leiden University | Groenen I.,Leiden University | And 3 more authors.
European Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2014

Caffeine is the most commonly used psychoactive stimulant worldwide. It reduces sleep and sleepiness by blocking access to the adenosine receptor. The level of adenosine increases during sleep deprivation, and is thought to induce sleepiness and initiate sleep. Light-induced phase shifts of the rest-activity circadian rhythms are mediated by light-responsive neurons of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus, where the circadian clock of mammals resides. Previous studies have shown that sleep deprivation reduces circadian clock phase-shifting capacity and decreases SCN neuronal activity. In addition, application of adenosine agonists and antagonists mimics and blocks, respectively, the effect of sleep deprivation on light-induced phase shifts in behaviour, suggesting a role for adenosine. In the present study, we examined the role of sleep deprivation in and the effect of caffeine on light responsiveness of the SCN. We performed in vivo electrical activity recordings of the SCN in freely moving mice, and showed that the sustained response to light of SCN neuronal activity was attenuated after 6 h of sleep deprivation prior to light exposure. Subsequent intraperitoneal application of caffeine was able to restore the response to light. Finally, we performed behavioural recordings in constant conditions, and found enhanced period lengthening during chronic treatment with caffeine in drinking water in constant light conditions. The data suggest that increased homeostatic sleep pressure changes circadian pacemaker functioning by reducing SCN neuronal responsiveness to light. The electrophysiological and behavioural data together provide evidence that caffeine enhances clock sensitivity to light. Neurons in the suprachiasmatic nuclei are responsive to light, synchronising the circadian clock with the external light-dark cycle. We show that after sleep deprivation this light responsiveness is reduced, and that caffeine, an adenosine receptor antagonist widely used in society to counter effects of sleep deprivation, can restore light responsiveness. The data suggest that increased sleep pressure affects circadian clock functioning, which may be mediated via adenosine receptors. © 2014 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Toni T.,Imperial College London | Dua P.,Pfizer | Van Der Graaf P.H.,Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research
CPT: Pharmacometrics and Systems Pharmacology | Year: 2014

The nerve growth factor (NGF) pathway has been shown to play a key role in pain treatment. Recently, a systems pharmacology model has been proposed that can aid in the identification and validation of drug targets in the NGF pathway. However, this model did not include the role of the p75 receptor, which modulates the signaling of NGF through the tropomyosin receptor kinase A (TrkA). The precise mechanism of the interaction between these two receptors has not been completely elucidated, and we therefore adopted a systems pharmacology modeling approach to gain understanding of the effect of p75 on the dynamics of NGF signal transduction. Specifically, models were developed for the so-called heterodimer and for the ligandpassing hypotheses. We used the model to compare the effect of inhibition of NGF and TrkA and its implication for drug discovery and development for pain treatment. © 2014 ASCPT All rights reserved.


Vicini P.,Pfizer | Van Der Graaf P.H.,Pfizer | Van Der Graaf P.H.,Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research
Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics | Year: 2013

Systems pharmacology is an emerging approach that sets out to use quantitative concepts rooted in the synergy between modeling and simulation on one hand and large-scale data collection and analysis on the other to investigate biological systems and design therapeutic interventions. Interest in this field has recently increased substantially, but so have perceived challenges and misunderstandings, especially related to implementation. This Commentary explores the opportunities and challenges in the rapidly evolving area of systems pharmacology from a drug discovery and development perspective. © 2013 American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.


van der Sluis R.J.,Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research | Van Eck M.,Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research | Hoekstra M.,Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research
Journal of Endocrinology | Year: 2015

Over 50% of the cholesterol needed by adrenocortical cells for the production of glucocorticoids is derived from lipoproteins. However, the overall contribution of the different lipoproteins and associated uptake pathways to steroidogenesis remains to be determined. Here we aimed to show the importance of LDL receptor (LDLR)-mediated cholesterol acquisition for adrenal steroidogenesis in vivo. Female total body LDLR knockout mice with a human-like lipoprotein profile were bilaterally adrenalectomized and subsequently provided with one adrenal either expressing or genetically lacking the LDLR under their renal capsule to solely modulate adrenocortical LDLR function. Plasma total cholesterol levels and basal plasma corticosterone levels were identical in the two types of adrenal transplanted mice. Strikingly, restoration of adrenal LDLR function significantly reduced the ACTH-mediated stimulation of adrenal steroidogenesis (P<0.001), with plasma corticosterone levels that were respectively 44-59% lower (P<0.01) as compared to adrenal LDLR negative controls. In addition, LDLR positive adrenal transplanted mice exhibited a significant decrease (-39%; P<0.001) in their plasma corticosterone level under fasting stress conditions. Biochemical analysis did not show changes in the expression of genes involved in cholesterol mobilization. However, LDLR expressing adrenal transplants displayed a marked 62% reduction (P<0.05) in the transcript level of the key steroidogenic enzyme HSD3B2. In conclusion, our studies in a mouse model with a human-like lipoprotein profile provide the first in vivo evidence for a novel inhibitory role of the LDLR in the control of adrenal glucocorticoid production. © 2015 Society for Endocrinology Printed in Great Britain.


Hoekstra M.,Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research | Van Eck M.,Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research
Journal of Lipid Research | Year: 2016

The contribution of HDL to adrenal steroidogenesis appears to be different between mice and humans. In the current study, we tested the hypothesis that a difference in lipoprotein profile may be the underlying cause. Hereto, we determined the impact of HDL deficiency on the adrenal glucocorticoid output in genetically modified mice with a human-like lipoprotein profile. Genetic deletion of APOA1 in LDL receptor (LDLR) knockout mice was associated with HDL deficiency and a parallel increase in the level of cholesterol associated with nonHDL fractions. Despite a compensatory increase in the adrenal relative mRNA expression levels of the cholesterol synthesis gene, HMG-CoA reductase, adrenals from APOA1/LDLR double knockout mice were severely depleted of neutral lipids, as compared with those of control LDLR knockout mice. However, basal corticosterone levels and the adrenal glucocorticoid response to stress were not different between the two types of mice. In conclusion, we have shown that HDL is not critical for proper adrenal glucocorticoid function when mice are provided with a human-like lipoprotein profile. Our findings provide the first experimental evidence that APOB-containing lipoproteins may facilitate adrenal steroidogenesis, in an LDLR-independent manner, in vivo in mice. Copyright © 2016 by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.


Westerhout J.,Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research | Van Den Berg D.-J.,Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research | Hartman R.,Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research | Danhof M.,Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research | De Lange E.C.M.,Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research
European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences | Year: 2014

Children and adults with malignant diseases have a high risk of prevalence of the tumor in the central nervous system (CNS). As prophylaxis treatment methotrexate is often given. In order to monitor methotrexate exposure in the CNS, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) concentrations are often measured. However, the question is in how far we can rely on CSF concentrations of methotrexate as appropriate surrogate for brain target site concentrations, especially under disease conditions. In this study, we have investigated the spatial distribution of unbound methotrexate in healthy rat brain by parallel microdialysis, with or without inhibition of Mrp/Oat/Oatp-mediated active transport processes by a co-administration of probenecid. Specifically, we have focused on the relationship between brain extracellular fluid (brainECF) and CSF concentrations. The data were used to develop a systems-based pharmacokinetic (SBPK) brain distribution model for methotrexate. This model was subsequently applied on literature data on methotrexate brain distribution in other healthy and diseased rats (brainECF), healthy dogs (CSF) and diseased children (CSF) and adults (brainECF and CSF). Important differences between brainECF and CSF kinetics were found, but we have found that inhibition of Mrp/Oat/Oatp-mediated active transport processes does not significantly influence the relationship between brainECF and CSF fluid methotrexate concentrations. It is concluded that in parallel obtained data on unbound brainECF, CSF and plasma concentrations, under dynamic conditions, combined with advanced mathematical modeling is a most valid approach to develop SBPK models that allow for revealing the mechanisms underlying the relationship between brainECF and CSF concentrations in health and disease. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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