WIL Research Laboratories LLC

Hillsborough, NC, United States

WIL Research Laboratories LLC

Hillsborough, NC, United States
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Draganov D.I.,WIL Research Laboratories LLC
Chemico-Biological Interactions | Year: 2010

Serum paraoxonase (PON1) is well recognized for its ability to hydrolyze arylesters, toxic oxon metabolites of organophosphate insecticides and nerve agents. PON1 is a member of gene family including also PON2 and PON3; however, the later two enzymes have very limited arylesterase and practically no organophosphatase activity. We have established that all three PONs are lactonases/lactonyzing enzymes with overlapping, but also distinct substrate specificity. Dihydrocoumarin (DHC), long chain fatty acid lactones and acylhomoserine lactones (AHLs) are hydrolyzed by all three PONs and likely represent their natural substrates. The 3D structure of PON1 is a six-bladed β-propeller containing two Ca2+ ions necessary for the enzyme stability and enzymatic activity. Senescence marker protein (SMP30), another putative six-bladed β-propeller, hydrolyzes DFP, sarin and soman in the presence of Mg2+ or Mn2+. More recently, SMP30 was characterized as a gluconolactonase with a role in vitamin C metabolism. Bacterial phosphotriesterases (PTEs) are members of the amidohydrolase superfamily and differ in their structure from the eukaryotic organophosphatases; PTEs are (β/α)8 barrels with an active site containing two transition metal ions such as Co2+, Mn2+ or Zn2+. PTE from Pseudomonas diminuta hydrolyzes paraoxon extremely efficiently; this enzyme was shown to hydrolyze also DHC and other lactones. At least 3 more bacterial lactonases, dubbed PTE-like lactonases (or PLL), have been identified to possess both lactonase and organophosphatase activities. Lactones are natural compounds, many of them with high biological activity, while organophosphates are human-made chemicals introduced in the 20th century. Thus, it is plausible that lactonase is the primary activity for which the enzymes discussed here evolved for, while the organophosphatase activity arose as a promiscuous activity during their evolution. Laboratory (directed) evolution studies provided mechanisms for their catalytic versatility and demonstrated experimentally the evolvability of promiscuous enzyme functions. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Himmelstein M.W.,United Health Centers | Serex T.L.,United Health Centers | Buck R.C.,DuPont Company | Weinberg J.T.,WIL Research Laboratories LLC | And 2 more authors.
Toxicology | Year: 2012

8:2 fluorotelomer alcohol (8:2 FTOH) inhalation exposure was investigated to (1) compare plasma metabolites to oral data, (2) conduct a route-to-route extrapolation (oral to inhalation), (3) develop a human equivalent air concentration (HEC) from a 90-day oral sub-chronic study in rats using BMD analysis, and (4) calculate a margin of exposure (MOE) between the HEC and measured air concentrations. Male and female rats were exposed nose-only for 6h at 3 or 30mg/m 3. Blood was collected at 1, 3 and 6h during exposure and 6 and 18h post exposure. Alcohol, perfluorocarboxylic acid and polyfluorinated acid metabolites were determined in plasma by LC-MS/MS. 8:2 FTOH was


Hovey R.C.,University of California at Davis | Coder P.S.,WIL Research Laboratories LLC | Wolf J.C.,Experimental Pathology Laboratories Inc. | Sielken Jr. R.L.,Sielken and Associates Consulting Inc. | And 2 more authors.
Toxicological Sciences | Year: 2011

In this study, we quantified the effects of in utero exposure to the herbicide atrazine on subsequent mammary gland development. Atrazine was administered to pregnant female Long Evans rats from gestation days 13-19 at doses of 0, 6.5, 50, or 100 mg/kg/day. A pair-fed control group was yoked to the high-dose atrazinetreated group. Litter size was standardized to 10 pups on postnatal day (PND) 4. Whole mounts of the left fourth mammary gland and histologic sections of the right fourth gland were obtained from a subgroup of offspring on PND1, 21, 33, on day of vaginal opening (VO), or around PND65 at diestrus. A blinded, quantitative analysis of key morphological features in mammary gland whole mounts (ductal elongation, ductal network area, epithelial area, terminal end bud [TEB] incidence, and epithelial density) as well as epithelial proliferation within different parenchymal structures was conducted. There was no effect of atrazine exposure on any of the measures of mammary gland development at the maternal dose of 6.5 mg/kg/day. On PND1, ductal elongation was increased by approximately 20% (p < 0.05) in the female offspring born to dams exposed to 50 and 100 mg/kg/day atrazine, coincident with decreased epithelial proliferation in the 100 mg/kg/day group at this age. These differences were not present on PND21, or thereafter. An increased incidence of TEB in the mammary glands from females that were born to both the pair-fed and 50 mg/kg/day-treated dams at the time of VO indicated that this response was a specific result of maternal caloric restriction. Collectively, these data indicate that maternal atrazine exposure has no long-term effects on mammary gland development in female offspring beyond a transitory response to high doses at PND1. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Toxicology. All rights reserved.


Gannon S.A.,DuPont Company | Johnson T.,WIL Research Laboratories LLC | Nabb D.L.,DuPont Company | Serex T.L.,DuPont Company | And 2 more authors.
Toxicology | Year: 2011

The absorption, tissue distribution, elimination, and metabolism of [1- 14C]-PFHx in rats and mice dosed orally at 2 or 100mg/kg was evaluated following a single dose or after 14 consecutive doses. Absorption was rapid in rats as evidenced by a short time to maximum concentration (C max) of 30min in male rats and 15min in female rats at both the 2 and 100mg/kg dose level. The plasma elimination half-life was somewhat longer in males (1.5-1.7h) than in females (0.5-0.7h). Absorption in the mouse was also rapid with the maximum plasma concentration occurring between 15 and 30min after dosing. The maximum concentration was not appreciably different between male and female mice (8μgequiv./g at 2mg/kg; ∼350μgequiv./g at 100mg/kg). The primary route of elimination was via the urine. PFHx was not metabolized in rat or mouse hepatocytes, nor were any metabolites observed after oral dosing in either rodent species. Essentially 100% of the dose was eliminated in urine within 24h demonstrating that PFHx is readily absorbed and bioavailability approaches 100%, even at a dose as high as 100mg/kg. The route and extent of elimination was unchanged after 14days of daily dosing. Tissues were collected at three time points (rat: 0.5, 2, and 24h; mice: 0.25, 1, and 24h) after dosing to investigate the tissue clearance kinetics of PFHx following a single dose at 2 or 100mg/kg. In all tissues except skin, PFHx was not quantifiable 24h after dosing in both sexes of the two species. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Tawde S.A.,Akorn | Tawde S.A.,Mercer University | Chablani L.,St. John Fisher College | Akalkotkar A.,Wil Research Laboratories LLC | D'Souza M.J.,Mercer University
Journal of Controlled Release | Year: 2016

Ovarian cancer is the fifth most commonly occurring malignancy in women, with the highest mortality rate among all the gynecological tumors. Microparticulate vaccine can serve as an immunotherapeutic approach with a promising antigenic delivery system without a need for conventional adjuvants. In this study, a microparticulate vaccine using whole cell lysate of a murine ovarian cancer cell line, ID8 was prepared by spray drying. Further, the effect of interleukins (ILs) such as IL-2 and IL-12 was evaluated in a separate study group by administering them with vaccine particles to enhance the immune response. The vaccine microparticles were administered to C57BL/6 female mice via transdermal alone and in combination with the oral route. The transdermal vaccine was delivered using a metallic microneedle device, AdminPen™. Orally administered microparticles also included an M-cell targeting ligand, Aleuria aurantia lectin, to enhance the targeted uptake from microfold cells (M-cells) in Peyer's patches of small intestine. In case of combination of routes, mice were given 5 transdermal doses and 5 oral doses administered alternatively, beginning with transdermal dose. At the end of vaccination, mice were challenged with live tumor cells. Vaccine alone resulted in around 1.5 times tumor suppression in case of transdermal and combination of routes at the end of 15th week when compared to controls. Inclusion of interleukins resulted in 3 times tumor suppression when administered with transdermal vaccine and around 9 times tumor suppression for the combination route of delivery in comparison to controls. These results were further potentiated by serum IgG, IgG1 and IgG2a titers. Moreover, CD8 + T-cell, CD4 + T-cell and NK (natural killer) cell populations in splenocytes were elevated in case of vaccinated mice. Thus, vaccine microparticles could trigger humoral as well as cellular immune response when administered transdermally and via combination of route of delivery. However overall, vaccine administered with interleukins, via combination of route, was found to be the most efficacious to suppress the tumor growth and lead to a protective immune response. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.


Werley M.S.,Altria Client Services Inc. | McDonald P.,Charles River Laboratories | Lilly P.,Altria Client Services Inc. | Kirkpatrick D.,WIL Research Laboratories LLC | And 3 more authors.
Toxicology | Year: 2011

Aerosolized propylene glycol (PG) was generated as log-normally distributed particulate clouds in different concentrations using a novel capillary aerosol generator (CAG) and evaluated in a battery of non-clinical studies intended to assess its potential inhalation and systemic toxicity in 2 species before ICH-compliant " first-time-in-man" studies. Exposures were nose-only in rats, and via face mask with oropharyngeal tube in dogs. The CAG-generated PG aerosol had a mass median aerodynamic diameter (MMAD) of 2.29. μm, with a 1.56 geometric standard deviation (GSD) in the rat studies, and a MMAD of 1.34. μm (1.45 GSD) in the dog studies, consistent with expected particle size exposures in man. International Congress on Harmonization (ICH) Guidelines were followed, which recommend preliminary non-clinical safety studies using the vehicle and device (CAG-PG) prior to the first human exposure including safety pharmacology, pharmacokinetic (PK) studies, single dose toxicity studies, and repeated dose toxicity studies in two species. In the rat, the only biologically relevant findings included clinical signs of ocular and nasal irritation indicated by minor bleeding around the eyes and nose, and minimal laryngeal squamous metaplasia. This finding is commonly observed in inhalation studies in the rat, and likely related to the unique sensitivity of the tissue, as well as the circuitous airflow pathway through the larynx which increases particle deposition. In the female Beagle dog, treatment-related decreases in hemoglobin, red blood cells and hematocrit were observed in the two highest exposure groups, equivalent to approximately 18 and 60. mg/kg/day. In male dogs from the high dose group, similar small decreases, albeit, non-statistically significant decreases were observed in these hematological markers as well. PK studies in rats and dogs showed that the absorption of PG following pulmonary inhalation exposure occurs rapidly, and equilibrium between lung tissue and plasma is achieved quickly. With daily inhalations of PG aerosols, there is evidence of minor tissue accumulation of PG in each species. Inhalation exposure to CAG-generated PG aerosols achieved PG concentrations in the systemic circulation that were similar to those attained via the oral route. Systemic elimination of PG appears to be saturable, presumably via hepatic metabolism. PG elimination in the high dose groups for both species showed terminal plasma and lung concentration-time profiles suggesting a zero-order elimination process. There was no apparent tissue toxicity of the lung, liver and kidney in these studies. Under the conditions of these studies, the NOEL for the rat was determined to be 20. mg/kg/day for the 28-day study. In the Beagle dog, the NOEL was approximately 6.05. mg/kg/day for the 28-day study. Overall, these studies allowed us to conclude that PG aerosol generated with the capillary aerosol generator could be administered safely in man, with an adequate margin of safety needed to conduct " first-time-in-man" human exposure studies. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Thomas J.,WIL Research Laboratories LLC | Fishovitz J.,Case Western Reserve University | Lee I.,Case Western Reserve University
Biochemistry and Cell Biology | Year: 2010

Lon protease, also known as protease La, is an ATP-dependent serine protease. Despite the presence of a proteolytic Ser-Lys dyad, the enzyme only catalyzes protein degradation in the presence of ATP. Lon possesses an intrinsic ATPase activity that is stimulated by protein and certain peptide substrates. Through sequence alignment and analysis, it is concluded that Lon belongs to the AAA+ protein family. Previous kinetic characterization of the ATPase domain of Escherichia coli Lon protease implicates a half-site reactivity model in which only 50% of the ATP bound to Lon are hydrolyzed to yield ADP; the remaining ATPase sites remain bound with ATP and are considered non-catalytic. In this model, it is implied that ATP hydrolysis is irreversible. To further evaluate the proposed half-site reactivity model, the reversibility of the ATPase activity of E. coli Lon was evaluated by positional isotope exchange experiments. The ATPase reactions were conducted in the 18O-enriched buffer such that the extent of 18O incorporation into inorganic phosphate generated from ATP hydrolysis could be used to evaluate the extent of reversibility in ATP hydrolysis. Collectively, our experimental data reveal that the ATPase reaction catalyzed by E. coli Lon in the presence and absence of peptide substrate that stimulated the enzyme's ATPase activity is irreversible. Therefore, the half-site ATPase reactivity of E. coli Lon is validated, and can be used to account for the kinetic mechanism of the ATP-dependent peptidase activity of the enzyme.


Parker G.A.,WIL Research Laboratories LLC | Picut C.A.,WIL Research Laboratories LLC
Toxicologic Pathology | Year: 2012

The liver is the primary hematopoietic organ of the mammalian body during the fetal stage. The postnatal liver retains immunologically important functions and contains a substantial population of immunologically active cells, including T and B lymphocytes, Kupffer cells, liver-adapted natural killer (NK) cells (pit cells), natural killer cells expressing T cell receptor (NKT cells), stellate cells, and dendritic cells. The liver is the major site of production of the acute phase proteins that are associated with acute inflammatory reactions. Kupffer cells have an important role in the nonspecific phagocytosis that comprises a major component of the barrier to invasion of pathogenic organisms from the intestine. Hepatic NK and NKT cells are important in the nonspecific cell killing that is important in resistance to tumor cell invasion. The liver has a major role in deletion of activated T cells and induction of tolerance to ingested and self-antigens. Disposal of waste molecules generated through inflammatory, immunologic, or general homeostatic processes is accomplished via the action of specific endocytic receptors on sinusoidal endothelial cells of the liver. Age-related changes in sinusoids (pseudocapillarization), autophagy, and functions of various hepatic cell populations result in substantial alterations in many of these immunologically important functions. © 2012 Society of Toxicologic Pathology.


Boyce R.W.,WIL Research Laboratories LLC
Toxicologic pathology | Year: 2010

In regulatory toxicology studies, qualitative histopathological evaluation is the reference standard for assessment of test article-related morphological changes. In certain cases, quantitative analysis may be required to detect more subtle morphological changes, such as small changes in cell number. When the detection of subtle test article-related morphological changes is critical to the decision-making process, sensitive quantitative methods are needed. Design-based stereology provides the tools for obtaining accurate, precise quantitative structural data from tissue sections. These tools have the sensitivity necessary to detect small changes by combining statistical sampling principles with geometric analysis of the tissue microstructure. It differs from other morphometric methods based on tissue section analysis by providing estimates that are statistically valid, truly three-dimensional, and referent to the entire organ. Further, because the precision of the stereological analysis procedure can be predicted, studies can be designed and powered to detect subtle, potentially toxicologically significant changes. Although stereological methods have not been widely applied in toxicologic pathology, recent advances have made it feasible to implement these methods in a regulatory toxicology setting, particularly methods for estimation of total cell number.


Boyce J.T.,WIL Research Laboratories LLC
Toxicologic pathology | Year: 2010

In certain cases, quantitative tissue structural data derived from tissue sections may be required to make critical decisions in the drug development or risk assessment process. Most frequently, these questions center on test article-related effects on cell number. In this opinion article, the limitations of estimating cell number by standard cell or nuclear profile counts from sections/blocks collected for routine histopathology are discussed from both a scientific and regulatory perspective and contrasted with the robust, sensitive, statistically based methods of design-based stereology. Specific existing industry practices are reviewed. Recent advances in stereological theory, software, hardware, and automated immunohistochemical staining now make it feasible to implement unbiased stereological methods to assess test article-related effects on cell number in a regulatory toxicology setting. These design-based stereological methods for counting cells are recommended when the quantification of small changes in cell number is critical to the risk assessment or decision-making process. These methods provide levels of sensitivity and statistical guarantees of accuracy that no other currently available tissue section-based methodology can provide.

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