Displaying all 4 publications

  1. Cheong SL, Federico S, Spalluto G, Klotz KN, Pastorin G
    Drug Discov Today, 2019 09;24(9):1769-1783.
    PMID: 31102728 DOI: 10.1016/j.drudis.2019.05.003
    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by degeneration of dopaminergic neurons. Motor features such as tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia and postural instability are common traits of PD. Current treatment options provide symptomatic relief to the condition but are unable to reverse disease progression. The conventional single-target therapeutic approach might not always induce the desired effect owing to the multifactorial nature of PD. Hence, multitarget strategies have been proposed to simultaneously target multiple proteins involved in the development of PD. Herein, we provide an overview of the pathogenesis of PD and the current pharmacotherapies. Furthermore, rationales and examples of multitarget approaches that have been tested in preclinical trials for the treatment of PD are also discussed.
  2. Moo EK, Herzog W, Han SK, Abu Osman NA, Pingguan-Murphy B, Federico S
    Biomech Model Mechanobiol, 2012 Sep;11(7):983-93.
    PMID: 22234779 DOI: 10.1007/s10237-011-0367-2
    Experimental findings indicate that in-situ chondrocytes die readily following impact loading, but remain essentially unaffected at low (non-impact) strain rates. This study was aimed at identifying possible causes for cell death in impact loading by quantifying chondrocyte mechanics when cartilage was subjected to a 5% nominal tissue strain at different strain rates. Multi-scale modelling techniques were used to simulate cartilage tissue and the corresponding chondrocytes residing in the tissue. Chondrocytes were modelled by accounting for the cell membrane, pericellular matrix and pericellular capsule. The results suggest that cell deformations, cell fluid pressures and fluid flow velocity through cells are highest at the highest (impact) strain rate, but they do not reach damaging levels. Tangential strain rates of the cell membrane were highest at the highest strain rate and were observed primarily in superficial tissue cells. Since cell death following impact loading occurs primarily in superficial zone cells, we speculate that cell death in impact loading is caused by the high tangential strain rates in the membrane of superficial zone cells causing membrane rupture and loss of cell content and integrity.
  3. Moo EK, Han SK, Federico S, Sibole SC, Jinha A, Abu Osman NA, et al.
    J Biomech, 2014 Mar 21;47(5):1004-13.
    PMID: 24480705 DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2014.01.003
    Cartilage lesions change the microenvironment of cells and may accelerate cartilage degradation through catabolic responses from chondrocytes. In this study, we investigated the effects of structural integrity of the extracellular matrix (ECM) on chondrocytes by comparing the mechanics of cells surrounded by an intact ECM with cells close to a cartilage lesion using experimental and numerical methods. Experimentally, 15% nominal compression was applied to bovine cartilage tissues using a light-transmissible compression system. Target cells in the intact ECM and near lesions were imaged by dual-photon microscopy. Changes in cell morphology (N(cell)=32 for both ECM conditions) were quantified. A two-scale (tissue level and cell level) Finite Element (FE) model was also developed. A 15% nominal compression was applied to a non-linear, biphasic tissue model with the corresponding cell level models studied at different radial locations from the centre of the sample in the transient phase and at steady state. We studied the Green-Lagrange strains in the tissue and cells. Experimental and theoretical results indicated that cells near lesions deform less axially than chondrocytes in the intact ECM at steady state. However, cells near lesions experienced large tensile strains in the principal height direction, which are likely associated with non-uniform tissue radial bulging. Previous experiments showed that tensile strains of high magnitude cause an up-regulation of digestive enzyme gene expressions. Therefore, we propose that cartilage degradation near tissue lesions may be due to the large tensile strains in the principal height direction applied to cells, thus leading to an up-regulation of catabolic factors.
  4. Shao YM, Ma X, Paira P, Tan A, Herr DR, Lim KL, et al.
    PLoS One, 2018;13(1):e0188212.
    PMID: 29304113 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0188212
    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra of the human brain, leading to depletion of dopamine production. Dopamine replacement therapy remains the mainstay for attenuation of PD symptoms. Nonetheless, the potential benefit of current pharmacotherapies is mostly limited by adverse side effects, such as drug-induced dyskinesia, motor fluctuations and psychosis. Non-dopaminergic receptors, such as human A2A adenosine receptors, have emerged as important therapeutic targets in potentiating therapeutic effects and reducing the unwanted side effects. In this study, new chemical entities targeting both human A2A adenosine receptor and dopamine D2 receptor were designed and evaluated. Two computational methods, namely support vector machine (SVM) models and Tanimoto similarity-based clustering analysis, were integrated for the identification of compounds containing indole-piperazine-pyrimidine (IPP) scaffold. Subsequent synthesis and testing resulted in compounds 5 and 6, which acted as human A2A adenosine receptor binders in the radioligand competition assay (Ki = 8.7-11.2 μM) as well as human dopamine D2 receptor binders in the artificial cell membrane assay (EC50 = 22.5-40.2 μM). Moreover, compound 5 showed improvement in movement and mitigation of the loss of dopaminergic neurons in Drosophila models of PD. Furthermore, in vitro toxicity studies on compounds 5 and 6 did not reveal any mutagenicity (up to 100 μM), hepatotoxicity (up to 30 μM) or cardiotoxicity (up to 30 μM).
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