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Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, Germany

The root extract, curcumin (diferuloylmethane), is a constituent of the ancient herbal medicine Jiawei-Xiaoyaosan that has been used for dyspepsia, stress, and mood disorders. Curcumin engenders a diverse profile of biological actions that result in changes in oxidative stress, inflammation, and cell-death pathways. Combined with its historical use in medical practice and its safety profile, curcumin has been studied for its potential therapeutic applications in cancer, aging, endocrine, immunological, gastrointestinal, and cardiac diseases. In addition, data in animal models and in humans have also begun to be collected in stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. A compelling new body of literature is also mounting to support the efficacy of curcumin in stress and mood disorders. Current understanding of the biological basis for antidepressant-relevant biochemical and behavioral changes shows convergence with some mechanisms known for standard antidepressants. In addition, the mechanisms of the antidepressant-like pharmacology of curcumin also appear to overlap with those of other disease states. Thus, ancient wisdom might be built into this interesting and newly-appreciated natural molecule. Although curcumin is a primary ingredient in anti-aging pills, cosmetic creams, eye treatments, diet products, etc, a key hurdle to the development of curcumin for disease treatment and prevention is overcoming its low oral bioavailability. Although multiple approaches to this problem are being examined, a solution to the bioavailability issue will be needed to ensure appropriate tissue exposures of curcumin in clinical investigation. Progress in this regard is underway. Source

Kubicky R.A.,Drexel University | Wu S.,Drexel University | Kharitonenkov A.,Lilly Research Laboratories | De Luca F.,Drexel University

Reduced caloric intakein mammals causes reduced skeletal growth and GH insensitivity. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are not fully elucidated. The aim of this study was to determine whether the increased activity of fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) during chronic undernutrition in mice causes GH insensitivity and growth failure. After 4 wk of food restriction, fgf21 knockout (KO) mice exhibited greater body and tibial growth than their wild-type (WT) littermates. Daily injections of recombinant human FGF21 in a subgroup of food-restricted fgf21 KO mice prevented these differences in body and tibial growth. At the end of the 4-wk food restriction, GH binding and GH receptor expression were reduced in the liver and in the growth plate of food-restricted WTmice (compared to WT mice fed ad libitum), whereas they were similar between food-restricted and ad libitum KO mice. In addition, a single injection of GH induced greater liver signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 phosphorylation and IGF-I mRNA in food-restricted KO mice than in WT mice. Lastly, in the tibial growth plate of food-restricted WT mice, FGF21 mRNA and protein expression was greater than that of WT mice fed ad libitum. In contrast, the IGF-I mRNA and protein expression was smaller. Our findings support a causative role for FGF21 in the inhibition of skeletal growth during prolonged undernutrition. Such role may be mediated by the antagonistic effect of FGF21 on GH action in the liver and, possibly, in the growth plate. © 2012 by The Endocrine Society. Source

Objectives: This study sought to investigate the efficacy, safety, and antiplatelet effect of prasugrel as compared with clopidogrel in patients with high on-treatment platelet reactivity (HTPR) after elective percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Background: The extent to which prasugrel can correct HTPR and improve clinical outcomes in patients undergoing elective PCI is unknown. Methods: Stable coronary artery disease (CAD) patients with HTPR (>208 P2Y 12 reaction units [PRU] by the VerifyNow test) after elective PCI with at least 1 drug-eluting stent (DES) were randomly assigned to either prasugrel 10 mg daily or clopidogrel 75 mg daily. Platelet reactivity of the patients on the study drug was reassessed at 3 and 6 months. The study was stopped prematurely for futility because of a lower than expected incidence of the primary endpoint. Results: In 212 patients assigned to prasugrel, PRU decreased from 245 (225 to 273) (median [interquartile range]) at baseline to 80 (42 to 124) at 3 months, whereas in 211 patients assigned to clopidogrel, PRU decreased from 249 (225 to 277) to 241 (194 to 275) (p < 0.001 vs. prasugrel). The primary efficacy endpoint of cardiac death or myocardial infarction at 6 months occurred in no patient on prasugrel versus 1 on clopidogrel. The primary safety endpoint of non-coronary artery bypass graft Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction major bleeding at 6 months occurred in 3 patients (1.4%) on prasugrel versus 1 (0.5%) on clopidogrel. Conclusions: Switching from clopidogrel to prasugrel in patients with HTPR afforded effective platelet inhibition. However, given the low rate of adverse ischemic events after PCI with contemporary DES in stable CAD, the clinical utility of this strategy could not be demonstrated. (Testing platelet Reactivity In patients underGoing elective stent placement on clopidogrel to Guide alternative thErapy with pRasugrel [TRIGGER-PCI]; NCT00910299). © 2012 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Source

Gombar V.K.,Lilly Research Laboratories | Hall S.D.,Lilly Research Laboratories
Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling

Reliable prediction of two fundamental human pharmacokinetic (PK) parameters, systemic clearance (CL) and apparent volume of distribution (Vd), determine the size and frequency of drug dosing and are at the heart of drug discovery and development. Traditionally, estimated CL and Vd are derived from preclinical in vitro and in vivo absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) measurements. In this paper, we report quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) models for prediction of systemic CL and steady-state Vd (Vdss) from intravenous (iv) dosing in humans. These QSAR models avoid uncertainty associated with preclinical-to-clinical extrapolation and require two-dimensional structure drawing as the sole input. The clean, uniform training sets for these models were derived from the compilation published by Obach et al. (Drug Metab. Disp.2008, 36, 1385-1405). Models for CL and Vdss were developed using both a support vector regression (SVR) method and a multiple linear regression (MLR) method. The SVR models employ a minimum of 2048-bit fingerprints developed in-house as structure quantifiers. The MLR models, on the other hand, are based on information-rich electro-topological states of two-atom fragments as descriptors and afford reverse QSAR (RQSAR) analysis to help model-guided, in silico modulation of structures for desired CL and Vdss. The capability of the models to predict iv CL and Vdss with acceptable accuracy was established by randomly splitting data into training and test sets. On average, for both CL and Vdss, 75% of test compounds were predicted within 2.5-fold of the value observed and 90% of test compounds were within 5.0-fold of the value observed. The performance of the final models developed from 525 compounds for CL and 569 compounds for Vdss was evaluated on an external set of 56 compounds. The predictions were either better or comparable to those predicted by other in silico models reported in the literature. To demonstrate the practical application of the RQSAR approach, the structure of vildagliptin, a high-CL and a high-Vdss compound, is modified based on the atomic contributions to its predicted CL and Vdss to propose compounds with lower CL and lower Vdss. © 2013 American Chemical Society. Source

Gimeno R.E.,Lilly Research Laboratories | Moller D.E.,Lilly Research Laboratories
Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism

Currently available therapies for diabetes or obesity produce modest efficacy and are usually used in combination with agents targeting cardiovascular risk factors. Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is a circulating protein with pleiotropic metabolic actions; pharmacological doses of FGF21 produce anti-diabetic, lipid-lowering, and weight-reducing effects in rodents. Several potential benefits have translated to non-human primates and obese humans with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Accumulating results point to a specific receptor complex and actions in adipose tissue, liver, and brain; several pathways lead to enhanced fatty acid oxidation, increased insulin sensitivity, and augmented energy expenditure. A range of strategies are being explored to derive potent, safe, and convenient therapies which could potentially represent novel approaches to prevent and treat a variety of metabolic disorders. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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