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PubMed | Noxamet Ltd., Siena Biotech Medicine Research Center and Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies
Type: | Journal: European journal of pharmaceutical sciences : official journal of the European Federation for Pharmaceutical Sciences | Year: 2016

Preclinical imaging modalities represent an essential tool to develop a modern and translational biomedical research. To date, Optical Imaging (OI) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) are used principally in separate studies for molecular imaging studies. We decided to combine OI and MRI together through the development of a lentiviral vector to monitor the Wnt pathway response to Lithium Chloride (LiCl) treatment. The construct was stably infected in glioblastoma cells and, after intracranial transplantation in mice, serial MRI and OI imaging sessions were performed to detect human ferritin heavy chain protein (hFTH) and firefly luciferase enzyme (FLuc) respectively. The system allowed also ex vivo analysis using a constitutive fluorescence protein expression. In mice, LiCl administration has shown significantly increment of luminescence signal and a lower signal of T2 values (P<0.05), recorded noninvasively with OI and a 7 Tesla MRI scanner. This study indicates that OI and MRI can be performed in a single in vivo experiment, providing an in vivo proof-of-concept for drug discovery projects in preclinical phase.


Sanna M.D.,University of Florence | Monti M.,University of Siena | Monti M.,Noxamet Ltd | Casella L.,Noxamet Ltd | And 5 more authors.
Pharmacological Research | Year: 2015

In the brain, NO is a very important molecule in the regulation of cerebral and extra cerebral cranial blood flow and arterial diameters. It is also importantly involved in many neuronal functions and innumerable roles of NO in many brain related disorders including epilepsy, schizophrenia, drug addiction, anxiety, major depression, have been postulated. The present study aimed to explore the neuronal role exerted by the metal-nonoate compound Ni(PipNONO)Cl, a novel NO donor whose vascular protective effects have been recently demonstrated. Ni(PipNONO)Cl showed antidepressant-like properties in the tail suspension test and antiamnesic activity in the passive avoidance test in the absence of any hypernociceptive response to a mechanical stimulus. These effects were related to the NO-releasing properties of the compound within the central nervous system as demonstrated by the increase of iNOS levels in the brain, spinal cord and dura mater. The modulation of neuronal functions appeared after acute and repeated treatment, showing the lack of any tolerance to neuronal effects. At the dose used (10 mg/kg i.p.), Ni(PipNONO)Cl did not induce any visible sign of toxicity and experiments were performed in the absence of locomotor impairments. In addition to the NO-related neuronal activities of Ni(PipNONO)Cl, the decomposition control compound Ni(Pip)Cl2 showed anxiogenic-like and procognitive effects. The present findings showed neuronal modulatory activity of Ni(PipNONO)Cl through a NO-mediated mechanism. The activities of the decomposition compound Ni(Pip)Cl2 attributed to Ni(PipNONO)Cl the capability to modulate additional neuronal functions independently from NO releasing properties extending and improving the therapeutic perspectives of the NO donor. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


PubMed | Noxamet Ltd, University of Pavia, University of Florence and University of Siena
Type: | Journal: Pharmacological research | Year: 2015

In the brain, NO is a very important molecule in the regulation of cerebral and extra cerebral cranial blood flow and arterial diameters. It is also importantly involved in many neuronal functions and innumerable roles of NO in many brain related disorders including epilepsy, schizophrenia, drug addiction, anxiety, major depression, have been postulated. The present study aimed to explore the neuronal role exerted by the metal-nonoate compound Ni(PipNONO)Cl, a novel NO donor whose vascular protective effects have been recently demonstrated. Ni(PipNONO)Cl showed antidepressant-like properties in the tail suspension test and antiamnesic activity in the passive avoidance test in the absence of any hypernociceptive response to a mechanical stimulus. These effects were related to the NO-releasing properties of the compound within the central nervous system as demonstrated by the increase of iNOS levels in the brain, spinal cord and dura mater. The modulation of neuronal functions appeared after acute and repeated treatment, showing the lack of any tolerance to neuronal effects. At the dose used (10 mg/kg i.p.), Ni(PipNONO)Cl did not induce any visible sign of toxicity and experiments were performed in the absence of locomotor impairments. In addition to the NO-related neuronal activities of Ni(PipNONO)Cl, the decomposition control compound Ni(Pip)Cl2 showed anxiogenic-like and procognitive effects. The present findings showed neuronal modulatory activity of Ni(PipNONO)Cl through a NO-mediated mechanism. The activities of the decomposition compound Ni(Pip)Cl2 attributed to Ni(PipNONO)Cl the capability to modulate additional neuronal functions independently from NO releasing properties extending and improving the therapeutic perspectives of the NO donor.


Monti M.,University of Siena | Monti M.,Noxamet Ltd. | Solito R.,University of Siena | Puccetti L.,University of Siena | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics | Year: 2014

At the cardiovascular level, nitric oxide (NO) controls smooth muscle functions, maintains vascular integrity, and exerts an antihypertensive effect. Metal-nonoates are a recently discovered class of NO donors, with NO release modulated through the complexation of the N-aminoethylpiperazine N-diazeniumdiolate ligand to metal ions, and thus representing a significant innovation with respect to the drugs traditionally used. In this study, we characterized the vascular protective effects of the most effective compound of this class, Ni(PipNONO)Cl, compared with the commercial N-diazeniumdiolate group derivate, diethylenetriamine/nitric oxide (DETA/NO). Ni(PipNONO)Cl induced a concentration-dependent relaxation of precontracted rat aortic rings. The ED50 was 0.67 μM, compared with 4.3 μM obtained with DETA/NO. When tested on cultured microvascular endothelial cells, Ni (PipNONO)Cl exerted a protective effect on the endothelium, promoting cell proliferation and survival in the picomolar range. The administration of Ni(PipNONO)Cl to vascular smooth muscle cells reduced the cell number, promoting their apoptosis at a high concentration (10 mM). Inhibition of smooth muscle cell migration, a hallmark of atherosclerosis, was accompanied by cytoskeletal rearrangement and loss of lamellipodia. When added to isolated platelets, Ni(PipNONO)Cl significantly reduced ADP-induced aggregation. Since atherosclerosis is accompanied by an inflammatory environment, cultured endothelial cells were exposed to interleukin (IL)-1β. In the presence of IL-1β, Ni(PipNONO)Cl inhibited cyclooxygenase-2 and inducible nitric oxide synthase upregulation, and reduced endothelial permeability and the platelet and monocyte adhesion markers CD31 and CD40 at the plasma membrane. Overall, these data indicate that Ni (PipNONO)Cl exerts vascular protective effects relevant for vascular dysfunction and prevention of atherosclerosis and thrombosis. Copyright © 2014 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

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