Dermatologists, Family Practitioner
22 years of experience

Accepting new patients
515 W Main St
Ste 102
Allen, TX 75013
972-747-5077
Locations and availability (1)

Education ?

Medical School Score
The University of Texas at Houston (1988)
  • Currently 2 of 4 apples

Awards & Distinctions ?

Awards  
Patients' Choice Award (2008)
Associations
American Board of Family Medicine

Affiliations ?

Dr. Allen is affiliated with 5 hospitals.

Hospital Affilations

Score

Rankings

  • Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen
    1105 Central Expy N, Allen, TX 75013
    • Currently 3 of 4 crosses
    Top 50%
  • Medical Center Of Plano
    3901 W 15th St, Plano, TX 75075
    • Currently 2 of 4 crosses
  • Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen
  • TX Health Allen
  • Medical Center Of Plano Through Ipc
  • Publications & Research

    Dr. Allen has contributed to 77 publications.
    Title A Hand and Glove Approach to Pharmacy Experiential Education and Residency Training.
    Date October 2010
    Journal American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education
    Title Report of the 2008-2009 Professional Affairs Committee: The Academy's Leadership Agenda for Meeting Academic and Practice Workforce Demands Through Postgraduate Professional Education.
    Date June 2010
    Journal American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education
    Title Efficiency and Sensitivity of Multidimensional Computerized Adaptive Testing of Pediatric Physical Functioning.
    Date June 2008
    Journal Disability and Rehabilitation
    Excerpt

    PURPOSE: Computerized adaptive tests (CATs) have efficiency advantages over fixed-length tests of physical functioning but may lose sensitivity when administering extremely low numbers of items. Multidimensional CATs may efficiently improve sensitivity by capitalizing on correlations between functional domains. Using a series of empirical simulations, we assessed the efficiency and sensitivity of multidimensional CATs compared to a longer fixed-length test. METHOD: Parent responses to the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory before and after intervention for 239 children at a pediatric rehabilitation hospital provided the data for this retrospective study. Reliability, effect size, and standardized response mean were compared between full-length self-care and mobility subscales and simulated multidimensional CATs with stopping rules at 40, 30, 20, and 10 items. RESULTS: Reliability was lowest in the 10-item CAT condition for the self-care (r = 0.85) and mobility (r = 0.79) subscales; all other conditions had high reliabilities (r > 0.94). All multidimensional CAT conditions had equivalent levels of sensitivity compared to the full set condition for both domains. CONCLUSIONS: Multidimensional CATs efficiently retain the sensitivity of longer fixed-length measures even with 5 items per dimension (10-item CAT condition). Measuring physical functioning with multidimensional CATs could enhance sensitivity following intervention while minimizing response burden.

    Title Norchloro-fluoro-homoepibatidine (ncfheb) - a Promising Radioligand for Neuroimaging Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors with Pet.
    Date May 2008
    Journal European Neuropsychopharmacology : the Journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
    Excerpt

    Cholinergic neurotransmission depends on the integrity of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), and impairment of both is characteristic for various neurodegenerative diseases. Visualization of specific receptor subtypes by positron emission tomography (PET) has potential to assist with diagnosis of such neurodegenerative diseases and with design of suitable therapeutic approaches. The goal of our study was to evaluate in vivo the potential of (18)F-labelled (+)- and (-)-norchloro-fluoro-homoepibatidine ([(18)F]NCFHEB) in comparison to 2-[(18)F]F-A-85380 as PET tracers. In the brains of NMRI mice, highest levels of radioactivity were detected at 20 min post-injection of (+)-[(18)F]NCFHEB, (-)-[(18)F]NCFHEB, and 2-F-[(18)F]-A-85380 (7.45, 5.60, and 3.2% ID/g tissue, respectively). No marked pharmacological adverse effects were observed at 25 mug NCFHEB/kg. Uptake studies in RBE4 cells and in situ perfusion studies suggest an interaction of epibatidine and NCFHEB with the carrier-mediated choline transport at the blood-brain barrier. The data indicate that (+)- and (-)-[(18)F]NCFHEB have potential for further development as PET tracers.

    Title Analysis of the Pediatric Outcomes Data Collection Instrument in Ambulatory Children with Cerebral Palsy Using Confirmatory Factor Analysis and Item Response Theory Methods.
    Date May 2008
    Journal Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: Traditional use of the Pediatric Outcomes Data Collection Instrument (PODCI) assumes that all items have the same structure, are measuring the intended constructs, and assess the right levels of function to show change after orthopaedic or neurological intervention. Item response theory (IRT) methods can statistically account for inherent differences in PODCI item characteristics and thus reveal attributes of the measure important to effectiveness research. Our study uses IRT methods to determine whether PODCI items fit the projected dimensional structure of the PODCI, assess function on each dimension at the right level for a population of ambulatory children with cerebral palsy (CP), and reveal changes after intervention in this population. METHODS: Proxy-reported PODCI questionnaires for 570 ambulatory children with CP were randomly divided into 2 groups for model creation and model testing using exploratory and then confirmatory factor analysis. The resulting model was compared with the projected dimensional structure, tested for fit of individual items, and examined for gaps and ceiling effects. Response changes at 1 year were compared between those with (n = 91) and without (n = 284) surgical intervention using paired t tests. RESULTS: Factor analysis reduced the projected dimensions from 5 to 4 for this population, resulting in dimensions for mobility, upper extremity function (UEF), comfort and general health, and self-worth. All but 3 items fit their respective dimensions; ceiling effects were noted in 3 dimensions. Responses showed changes in the comfort and general health, mobility, and UEF dimensions in those who had surgery; in those children who did not have surgery, only the UEF responses changed. CONCLUSIONS: The PODCI can show change after intervention when data are analyzed using IRT methods. Ceiling effects in 3 dimensions may limit the amount of change the PODCI can show in a population of ambulatory children with CP. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level II. This was a retrospective investigation of a diagnostic tool, the PODCI, using a randomized cross-sectional design for model development, and a case-control design to assess sensitivity to change.

    Title Carrier-mediated Transport of the Quaternary Ammonium Neuronal Nicotinic Receptor Antagonist N,n'-dodecylbispicolinium Dibromide at the Blood-brain Barrier.
    Date January 2008
    Journal The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
    Excerpt

    The quaternary ammonium compound N,N'-dodecyl-bispicolinium dibromide (bPiDDB) potently and selectively inhibits nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) mediating nicotine-evoked [(3)H]dopamine release and decreases nicotine self-administration, suggesting that this polar, charged molecule penetrates the blood-brain barrier (BBB). This report focuses on 1) BBB penetration of bPiDDB; 2) the mechanism of permeation; and 3) comparison of bPiDDB to the cations choline and N-octylnicotinium iodide (NONI), both of which are polar, charged molecules that undergo facilitated BBB transport. The BBB permeation of [(3)H]choline, [(3)H]NONI, and [(14)C]bPiDDB was evaluated using in situ rat brain perfusion methods. Cerebrovascular permeability surface-area product (PS) values for [(3)H]choline, [(3)H]NONI, and [(14)C]bPiDDB were comparable (1.33 +/- 0.1, 1.64 +/- 0.15, and 1.3 +/- 0.3 ml/s/g, respectively). To ascertain whether penetration was saturable, unlabeled substrate was added to the perfusion fluid. Unlabeled choline (500 microM) reduced the PS of [(3)H]choline to 0.15 +/- 0.06 microl/s/g (p < 0.01). Likewise, unlabeled bPiDDB (500 microM) reduced the PS of [(14)C]bPiDDB to 0.046 +/- 0.005 microl/s/g (p < 0.01), whereas unlabeled NONI reduced the PS for [(3)H]NONI by approximately 50% to 0.73 +/- 0.31 microl/s/g. The PS of [(14)C]bPiDDB was reduced (p < 0.05) in the presence of 500 microM choline, indicating that the BBB choline transporter may be responsible for the transport of bPiDDB into brain. Saturable kinetic parameters for [(14)C]bPiDDB were similar to those for [(3)H]choline. The current results suggest that bPiDDB uses the BBB choline transporter for approximately 90% of its permeation into brain, and they demonstrate the carrier-mediated BBB penetration of a novel bisquaternary ammonium nAChR antagonist.

    Title Voltage-gated Calcium Channels Provide an Alternate Route for Iron Uptake in Neuronal Cell Cultures.
    Date November 2007
    Journal Neurochemical Research
    Excerpt

    Recent studies suggest that iron enters cardiomyocytes via the L-type voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC). The neuronal VGCC may also provide iron entry. As with calcium, extraneous iron is associated with the pathology and progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. VGCCs, ubiquitously expressed, may be an important route of excessive entry for both iron and calcium, contributing to cell toxicity or death. We evaluated the uptake of (45)Ca(2+) and (55)Fe(2+) into NGF-treated rat PC12, and murine N-2alpha cells. Iron not only competed with calcium for entry into these cells, but iron uptake (similar to calcium uptake) was inhibited by nimodipine, a specific L-type VGCC blocker, and enhanced by FPL 64176, an L-VGCC activator, in a dose-dependent manner. Taken together, these data suggest that voltage-gated calcium channels are an alternate route for iron entry into neuronal cells under conditions that promote cellular iron overload toxicity.

    Title Brain Iron Toxicity: Differential Responses of Astrocytes, Neurons, and Endothelial Cells.
    Date September 2007
    Journal Neurochemical Research
    Excerpt

    Iron accumulation or iron overload in brain is commonly associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, and also plays a role in cellular damage following hemorrhagic stroke and traumatic brain injury. Despite the brain's highly regulated system for iron utilization and metabolism, these disorders often present following disruptions within iron metabolic pathways. Such dysregulation allows saturation of proteins involved in iron transport and storage, and may cause an increase in free ferrous iron within brain leading to oxidative damage. Not only do astrocytes, neurons, and brain endothelial cells serve unique purposes within the brain, but their individual cell types are equipped with distinct protective mechanisms against iron-induced injury. This review evaluates iron metabolism within the brain under homeostatic and pathological conditions and focuses on the mechanism(s) of brain cellular iron toxicity and differential responses of astrocytes, neurons, and brain vascular endothelial cells to excessive free iron.

    Title Responsiveness of the Movement Ability Measure: a Self-report Instrument Proposed for Assessing the Effectiveness of Physical Therapy Intervention.
    Date July 2007
    Journal Physical Therapy
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Designed as a self-report assessment, the Movement Ability Measure (MAM) may contribute to effectiveness research if it proves responsive to change. The purpose of this article is to report evidence of responsiveness of the MAM. SUBJECTS: Thirty-five adults starting outpatient physical therapy intervention completed the MAM at the initial visit, at 2 weeks, and at 2 months or discharge. Thirty-four no-intervention volunteers completed the MAM twice. METHODS: The MAM responses were analyzed with item response theory methods; t tests were used to compare responses across test occasions. RESULTS: Paired t tests revealed significant changes in the intervention group at both 2 weeks and 2 months, with an effect size of 0.90 and a responsiveness index of 5.62 at discharge. At 2 weeks and at discharge, 57% and 80% of participants, respectively, showed gains greater than the minimal clinically important difference. Participants in the no-intervention group showed no significant change. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: The MAM responses revealed significant and clinically important changes following intervention. The MAM shows promise as a self-report measure of the effectiveness of physical therapy intervention.

    Title Validity and Reliability of the Movement Ability Measure: a Self-report Instrument Proposed for Assessing Movement Across Diagnoses and Ability Levels.
    Date July 2007
    Journal Physical Therapy
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Physical therapists lack instruments that assess movement across diagnoses and ability levels while focusing on physical therapy-specific outcomes. This article describes the creation of a Movement Ability Measure (MAM) and initial evidence of validity and reliability. SUBJECTS: More than 300 adult volunteers with various movement levels completed the 24-item questionnaire. METHODS: Item response theory methods were used to create the MAM and gather evidence of content and construct validity, test-retest and other types of reliability, and concurrent validity with the California Functional Evaluation instrument and self-acknowledgement of movement problems. RESULTS: The intraclass correlation coefficient for test-retest reliability was .92. Person separation reliability was .98. Correlation (r) with the California Functional Evaluation instrument was .76. Respondents who denied having movement problems perceived a significantly higher level of movement ability than those who claimed to have a little, some, or a lot of movement problems in the preceding week. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: The MAM shows promise for documenting perceived movement ability across ability levels and diagnoses.

    Title Proposing 6 Dimensions Within the Construct of Movement in the Movement Continuum Theory.
    Date July 2007
    Journal Physical Therapy
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The Movement Continuum Theory (MCT) provides a potential basis for movement assessment and intervention, but "movement" lacks specificity. The purposes of this study were to propose and evaluate a subdivision of movement into multiple dimensions. SUBJECTS: A convenience sample of 318 adults completed a 24-item self-report measure of movement ability. METHODS: A multimethod approach was used to identify, operationalize, and test a multidimensional model of movement. Data analysis included a comparison of the fit of unidimensional and multidimensional models using item response theory methods and inspection of response patterns. RESULTS: A model specifying 6 dimensions--flexibility, strength, accuracy, speed, adaptability, and endurance--fit respondent data significantly better than the unidimensional model, even with high pair-wise correlations between dimensions. Response patterns showed large differences rather than uniform scores across dimensions for over half of the respondents. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Subdividing movement into the proposed dimensions fits the data and potentially strengthens the usefulness of the MCT as a theoretical foundation for managing movement effectively.

    Title Improving Measurement in Health Education and Health Behavior Research Using Item Response Modeling: Comparison with the Classical Test Theory Approach.
    Date May 2007
    Journal Health Education Research
    Excerpt

    This paper compares the approach and resultant outcomes of item response models (IRMs) and classical test theory (CTT). First, it reviews basic ideas of CTT, and compares them to the ideas about using IRMs introduced in an earlier paper. It then applies a comparison scheme based on the AERA/APA/NCME 'Standards for Educational and Psychological Tests' to compare the two approaches under three general headings: (i) choosing a model; (ii) evidence for reliability--incorporating reliability coefficients and measurement error--and (iii) evidence for validity--including evidence based on instrument content, response processes, internal structure, other variables and consequences. An example analysis of a self-efficacy (SE) scale for exercise is used to illustrate these comparisons. The investigation found that there were (i) aspects of the techniques and outcomes that were similar between the two approaches, (ii) aspects where the item response modeling approach contributes to instrument construction and evaluation beyond the classical approach and (iii) aspects of the analysis where the measurement models had little to do with the analysis or outcomes. There were no aspects where the classical approach contributed to instrument construction or evaluation beyond what could be done with the IRM approach. Finally, properties of the SE scale are summarized and recommendations made.

    Title Improving Measurement in Health Education and Health Behavior Research Using Item Response Modeling: Introducing Item Response Modeling.
    Date May 2007
    Journal Health Education Research
    Excerpt

    This paper is the first of several papers designed to demonstrate how the application of item response models in the behavioral sciences can be used to enhance the conceptual and technical toolkit of researchers and developers and to understand better the psychometric properties of psychosocial measures. The papers all use baseline data from the Behavior Change Consortium data archive. This paper begins with an introduction to item response models, including both dichotomous and polytomous versions. The concepts of respondent and item location, model interpretation, standard errors and testing model fit are introduced and described. A sample analysis based on data from the self-efficacy scale is used to illustrate the concepts and techniques.

    Title Introducing Multidimensional Item Response Modeling in Health Behavior and Health Education Research.
    Date May 2007
    Journal Health Education Research
    Excerpt

    When measuring participant-reported attitudes and outcomes in the behavioral sciences, there are many instances when the common measurement assumption of unidimensionality does not hold. In these cases, the application of a multidimensional measurement model is both technically appropriate and potentially advantageous in substance. In this paper, we illustrate the usefulness of a multidimensional approach to measurement using an empirical example taken from the Behavior Change Consortium. Data from the Treatment Self-Regulation Questionnaire have been analyzed to investigate whether self-regulation can be regarded as a single construct, or if it has multiple dimensions based on the type of regulation or motivation that participants say helps them consider an improvement in healthy behavior. Comparison with consecutive analyses shows the advantages of multidimensional measurement for interpreting participant-reported data.

    Title Does Participation in an Intervention Affect Responses on Self-report Questionnaires?
    Date May 2007
    Journal Health Education Research
    Excerpt

    There has been some concern that participation in an intervention and exposure to a measurement instrument can change participants' interpretation of the items on a self-report questionnaire thereby distorting subsequent responses and biasing results. Differential item functioning (DIF) analysis using item response modeling can ascertain possible differences in item interpretation by testing for differences in item location between groups. The DIF for treatment versus control group differences at post-intervention assessment and the Time 1 and Time 2 differences in a control group were analyzed using data from a dietary change intervention trial for Boy Scouts. The measures included fruit and vegetable (FV) frequency of consumption, preferences and self-efficacy. Treatment-control group DIF at post-intervention assessment was detected in a higher percentage of items for FV frequency than for preference or self-efficacy. Time 1 to Time 2 differences in items for the control group were detected in one item for each of the three scales. Further research will need to clarify whether the obtained DIFs reflected true changes in frequency, preference or self-efficacy or some reinterpretation of items by participants following an intervention or merely after previous exposure to the measure.

    Title Combating Alzheimer's Disease with Multifunctional Molecules Designed for Metal Passivation.
    Date May 2007
    Journal Angewandte Chemie (international Ed. in English)
    Title Administrative Retreats: a New Twist to Avoid "administrative Isolation".
    Date March 2007
    Journal American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education
    Title Nicotine Exposure Does Not Alter Plasma to Brain Choline Transfer.
    Date March 2007
    Journal Neurochemical Research
    Excerpt

    Acute and chronic nicotine exposure in rats is associated with an increase in brain acetylcholine (ACh) transmission. The acquisition of choline for neuronal ACh synthesis occurs primarily via two pathways; first, free choline is transported from the blood across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and/or second, from synaptic choline generated by either hydrolysis of non-bound ACh or membrane phosphatidylcholine catabolism. To determine if nicotine-induced cholinergic demand is associated with increased choline transport rates into brain, we measured BBB choline transport in naïve and S-(-) nicotine exposed rats (acute and chronic, 4.5 mg/kg/d for 1, 14, 21 and 28 d; osmotic minipumps) using the in situ rat brain perfusion technique. No significant changes in choline uptake after acute or chronic nicotine exposure were observed in whole brain or cortex. Of considerable interest was a significant decrease in regional brain choline uptake measured in the hippocampus after chronic nicotine exposure (28 d). Our data suggest that the increased ACh transmission observed after nicotine exposure does not correlate with increased blood-to-brain transfer of choline. Considering these data and previous literature reports, we propose that the additional free choline required under conditions of nicotine exposure (for ACh synthesis) is primarily recruited from membrane phospholipid metabolism.

    Title Interdisciplinary Healthcare Education: Fact or Fiction?
    Date February 2007
    Journal American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education
    Title Predictors of Academic Success in a Doctor of Pharmacy Program.
    Date January 2007
    Journal American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education
    Excerpt

    OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the correlation between specific prepharmacy college variables and academic success in the Texas Tech doctor of pharmacy degree program. METHODS: Undergraduate and pharmacy school transcripts for 424 students admitted to the Texas Tech doctor of pharmacy degree program between May 1996 and May 2001 were reviewed in August of 2005. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS Release 11.5. The undergraduate college variables included prepharmacy grade point-average (GPA), organic chemistry school type (2- or 4-year institution), chemistry, biology, and math courses beyond required prerequisites, and attainment of a bachelor of science (BS), bachelor of arts (BA), or master of science (MS) degree. Measurements of academic success in pharmacy school included cumulative first-professional year (P1) GPA, cumulative GPA (grade point average of all coursework finished to date), and graduation without academic delay or suspension. RESULTS: Completing advanced biology courses and obtaining a BS degree prior to pharmacy school were each significantly correlated with a higher mean P1 GPA. Furthermore, the mean cumulative GPA of students with a BS degree was 86.4 versus cumulative GPAs of those without a BS degree which were 84.9, respectively (p = 0.039). Matriculates with advanced prerequisite biology coursework or a BS degree prior to pharmacy school were significantly more likely to graduate from the doctor of pharmacy program without academic delay or suspension (p = 0.021 and p = 0.027, respectively). Furthermore, advanced biology coursework was significantly and independently associated with graduating on time (p = 0.044). CONCLUSIONS: Advanced biology coursework and a science baccalaureate degree were significantly associated with academic success in pharmacy school. On multivariate analysis, only advanced biology coursework remained a significant predictor of success.

    Title Knockdown of Amyloid Precursor Protein Normalizes Cholinergic Function in a Cell Line Derived from the Cerebral Cortex of a Trisomy 16 Mouse: An Animal Model of Down Syndrome.
    Date January 2007
    Journal Journal of Neuroscience Research
    Excerpt

    We have generated immortal neuronal cell lines from normal and trisomy 16 (Ts16) mice, a model for Down syndrome (DS). Ts16 lines overexpress DS-related genes (App, amyloid precursor protein; Sod1, Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase) and show altered cholinergic function (reduced choline uptake, ChAT expression and fractional choline release after stimulation). As previous evidence has related amyloid to cholinergic dysfunction, we reduced APP expression using specific mRNA antisense sequences in our neuronal cell line named CTb, derived from Ts16 cerebral cortex, compared to a cell line derived from a normal animal, named CNh. After transfection, Western blot studies showed APP expression knockdown in CTb cells of 36% (24 hr), 40.4% (48 hr), and 50.2% (72 hr) compared to CNh. Under these reduced APP levels, we studied 3H-choline uptake in CTb and CNh cells. CTb, as reported previously, expressed reduced choline uptake compared to CNh cells (75%, 90%, and 69% reduction at 1, 2, and 5 min incubation, respectively). At 72 hr of APP knockdown, choline uptake levels were essentially similar in both cell types. Further, fractional release of 3H-choline in response to glutamate, nicotine, and depolarization with KCl showed a progressive increase after APP knockdown, reaching values similar to those of CNh after 72 hr of transfection. The results suggest that APP overexpression in CTb cells contributes to impaired cholinergic function, and that gene knockdown in CTb cells is a relevant tool to study DS-related dysfunction.

    Title The Blood-brain Barrier and Brain Drug Delivery.
    Date December 2006
    Journal Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
    Excerpt

    The present report encompasses a thorough review of drug delivery to the brain with a particular focus on using drug carriers such as liposomes and nanoparticles. Challenges in brain drug delivery arise from the presence of one of the strictest barriers in vivo-the blood-brain barrier (BBB). This barrier exists at the level of endothelial cells of brain vasculature and its role is to maintain brain homeostasis. To better understand the principles of brain drug delivery, relevant knowledge of the blood-brain barrier anatomy and physiology is briefly reviewed. Several approaches to overcome the BBB have been reviewed including the use of carrier systems. In addition, strategies to enhance brain drug delivery by specific brain targeting are discussed.

    Title Neuronal Dysfunction in Down Syndrome: Contribution of Neuronal Models in Cell Culture.
    Date June 2006
    Journal Journal of Physiology, Paris
    Excerpt

    Down syndrome (DS) in humans, or trisomy of autosome 21, represents the hyperdiploidy that most frequently survives gestation, reaching an incidence of 1 in 700 live births. The condition is associated with multisystemic anomalies, including those affecting the central nervous system (CNS), determining a characteristic mental retardation. At a neuronal level, our group and others have shown that the condition determines marked alterations of action potential and ionic current kinetics, which may underlie abnormal processing of information by the CNS. Since the use of human tissue presents both practical and ethical problems, animal models of the human condition have been sought. Murine trisomy 16 (Ts16) is a model of the human condition, due to the great homology between human autosome 21 and murine 16. Both conditions share the same alterations of electrical membrane properties. However, the murine Ts16 condition is unviable (animals die in utero), thus limiting the quantity of tissue procurable. To overcome this obstacle, we have established immortal cell lines from normal and Ts16 mice with a method developed by our group that allows the stable in vitro immortalization of mammalian tissue, yielding cell lines which retain the characteristics of the originating cells. Cell lines derived from cerebral cortex, hippocampus, spinal cord and dorsal root ganglion of Ts16 animals show alterations of intracellular Ca2+ signals in response to several neurotransmitters (glutamate, acetylcholine, and GABA). Gene overdose most likely underlies these alterations in cell function, and the identification of the relative contribution of DS associated genes on such specific neuronal dysfunction should be investigated. This could enlighten our understanding on the contribution of these genes in DS, and identify new therapeutic targets.

    Title Cell Lines As in Vitro Models for Drug Screening and Toxicity Studies.
    Date June 2006
    Journal Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy
    Excerpt

    Cell culture is highly desirable, as it provides systems for ready, direct access and evaluation of tissues. The use of tissue culture is a valuable tool to study problems of clinical relevance, especially those related to diseases, screening, and studies of cell toxicity mechanisms. Ready access to the cells provides the possibility for easy studies of cellular mechanisms that may suggest new potential drug targets and, in the case of pathological-derived tissue, it has an interesting application in the evaluation of therapeutic agents that potentially may treat the dysfunction. However, special considerations must be addressed to establish stable in vitro function. In primary culture, these factors are primarily linked to greater demands of tissue to adequately survive and develop differentiated conditions in vitro. Additional requirements include the use of special substrates (collagen, laminin, extracellular matrix preparations, etc.), growth factors and soluble media supplements, some of which can be quite complex in their composition. These demands, along with difficulties in obtaining adequate tissue amounts, have prompted interest in developing immortalized cell lines which can provide unlimited tissue amounts. However, cell lines tend to exhibit problems in stability and/or viability, though they serve as a feasible alternative, especially regarding new potential applications in cell transplant therapy. In this regard, stem cells may also be a source for the generation of various cell types in vitro. This review will address aspects of cell culture system application, with focus on immortalized cell lines, in studying cell function and dysfunction with the primary aim being to identify cell targets for drug screening.

    Title Optimizing the Use of Open-source Software Applications in Drug Discovery.
    Date April 2006
    Journal Drug Discovery Today
    Excerpt

    Drug discovery is a time consuming and costly process. Recently, a trend towards the use of in silico computational chemistry and molecular modeling for computer-aided drug design has gained significant momentum. This review investigates the application of free and/or open-source software in the drug discovery process. Among the reviewed software programs are applications programmed in JAVA, Perl and Python, as well as resources including software libraries. These programs might be useful for cheminformatics approaches to drug discovery, including QSAR studies, energy minimization and docking studies in drug design endeavors. Furthermore, this review explores options for integrating available computer modeling open-source software applications in drug discovery programs.

    Title Tobacco Smoke Chemicals Attenuate Brain-to-blood Potassium Transport Mediated by the Na,k,2cl-cotransporter During Hypoxia-reoxygenation.
    Date March 2006
    Journal The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
    Excerpt

    Smoking tobacco, including cigarettes, has been associated with an increased incidence and relative risk for cerebral infarction in both men and women. Recently, we have shown that nicotine and cotinine attenuate abluminal (brain facing) K(+) uptake mediated by the Na,K,2Cl-cotransporter (NKCC) in bovine brain microvessel endothelial cells (BBMECs) after hypoxic/aglycemic exposure (stroke conditions). The purpose of the current study was to explore the effects of nicotine and tobacco smoke chemicals on K(+) movement through the blood-brain barrier during both hypoxia/aglycemia and reoxygenation. BBMECs were exposed to nicotine/cotinine, nicotine-containing cigarette smoke extract (N-CSE), or nicotine-free cigarette smoke extract (NF-CSE) in quantities designed to mimic plasma concentrations of smokers. Stroke conditions were mimicked in vitro in BBMECs through 6 h of hypoxia/aglycemia with or without 12 h of reoxygenation, after which NKCC-mediated K(+) uptake and paracellular integrity were measured with (86)Rb and [(14)C]sucrose, respectively. In addition, K(+) concentrations in brain extracellular fluid were estimated in (86)Rb-injected rats that were administered nicotine, N-CSE, or NF-CSE and on whom global ischemia/reperfusion by in vivo four-vessel occlusion was performed. Both in vitro and in vivo paradigms showed nicotine, the major alkaloid present in tobacco smoke, to be the determining factor of an inhibited response of abluminal NKCC in BBMECs during and after stroke conditions. This was measured as a decrease in abluminal brain endothelial cell NKCC activity and as an increase in brain extracellular K(+) concentration measured as the brain extracellular fluid (86)Rb/plasma ratio after in vivo four-vessel occlusion with reperfusion.

    Title Molecular Modeling of Blood-brain Barrier Nutrient Transporters: in Silico Basis for Evaluation of Potential Drug Delivery to the Central Nervous System.
    Date March 2006
    Journal Life Sciences
    Excerpt

    For drugs that act in the brain, the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a considerable physical barrier which influences the distribution of drugs to the brain. The BBB is essentially impermeable for hydrophilic and/or charged compounds. Nutrient membrane transporters have an important physiological role in the transport of essential substances across the BBB required for normal brain function. We and others have shown that these transporters may have utility as drug delivery vectors, thereby increasing brain distribution of these compounds via these systems. In this review, we evaluate molecular (in silico) models of BBB transport proteins. Few BBB membrane transporters have been crystallized, but their crystal structures have a possibility for use in homology modeling. Other techniques commonly used are 2D quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR), as well as 3D-QSAR techniques including comparative molecular field analysis (CoMFA) and comparative similarity index analysis (CoMSIA). Each of these models provides valuable information for ascertaining their potential basis for BBB transport and brain drug delivery.

    Title Inhibition of Choline Uptake by N-cyclohexylcholine, a High Affinity Ligand for the Choline Transporter at the Blood-brain Barrier.
    Date December 2005
    Journal Journal of Drug Targeting
    Excerpt

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) choline transporter (CHT) may have utility as a drug delivery vector for drugs that act in the central nervous system. Previous studies suggested the importance of hydrophobic moieties on the cationic nitrogen of choline for improved affinity for this transporter. In a pilot study, we therefore designed five novel N-cycloalkyl derivatives of choline, one of which showed promising inhibition properties. This choline analogue had a cyclohexyl (UMBB-5) moiety substituting one of the methyl groups attached to the cationic nitrogen in choline. In situ experimental data were obtained from in situ rat brain perfusion studies. The binding affinity for the BBB-choline transporter found for UMBB-5 was K(i)=1.9 microM. Comparative molecular field analysis (CoMFA) suggested that the cyclohexyl moiety orientates towards a steric favourable area. Taken together, the results of these in situ and in silico studies provide further evidence or restrictions that occur with binding to this brain drug delivery vector.

    Title Effect of Pretreatment of Food Gluten with Prolyl Endopeptidase on Gluten-induced Malabsorption in Celiac Sprue.
    Date November 2005
    Journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology : the Official Clinical Practice Journal of the American Gastroenterological Association
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND & AIMS: We sought to determine whether prolyl endopeptidase (PEP) treatment of food gluten would obviate the intestinal dysfunction produced by small amounts of dietary gluten supplement in patients with celiac sprue. METHODS: Twenty asymptomatic patients with histologically proven celiac sprue completed a randomized, double-blind, cross-over study involving two 14-day stages. Each patient consumed a low dose of a gluten supplement daily (5 g; equivalent to 1 slice of bread) in 1 stage and gluten pretreated with PEP in the other stage. Patients completed a daily symptom questionnaire and a D-xylose urine excretion and a 72-hour quantitative fecal fat were monitored before and after each stage. RESULTS: Despite clinical remission at baseline, 40% of patients had at least 1 abnormal celiac antibody, 20% had an abnormal urine xylose, and 63% had an abnormal fecal fat test result. There was no difference in symptoms as a function of the type of gluten consumed. In response to gluten not treated with PEP, an appreciable proportion of patients developed malabsorption of fat (7 of 17, 41%) or xylose (8 of 14, 57%). When the gluten was pretreated with PEP, fat malabsorption was avoided in 5 of 7 and xylose malabsorption in 4 of 8 of these same patients. CONCLUSIONS: A significant proportion of asymptomatic patients with celiac sprue have abnormal celiac antibodies and fat or carbohydrate malabsorption. Pretreatment of gluten with PEP avoided the development of fat or carbohydrate malabsorption in the majority of those patients who developed fat or carbohydrate malabsorption after a 2-week gluten challenge.

    Title Brain Uptake Kinetics of Nicotine and Cotinine After Chronic Nicotine Exposure.
    Date September 2005
    Journal The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
    Excerpt

    Blood-brain barrier (BBB) nicotine transfer has been well documented in view of the fact that this alkaloid is a cerebral blood flow marker. However, limited data are available that describe BBB penetration of the major tobacco alkaloids after chronic nicotine exposure. This question needs to be addressed, given long-term nicotine exposure alters both BBB function and morphology. In contrast to nicotine, it has been reported that cotinine (the major nicotine metabolite) does not penetrate the BBB, yet cotinine brain distribution has been well documented after nicotine exposure. Surprisingly, therefore, the literature indirectly suggests that central nervous system cotinine distribution occurs secondarily to nicotine brain metabolism. The aims of the current report are to define BBB transfer of nicotine and cotinine in naive and nicotine-exposed animals. Using an in situ brain perfusion model, we assessed the BBB uptake of [3H]nicotine and [3H]cotinine in naive animals and in animals exposed chronically to S-(-)nicotine (4.5 mg/kg/day) through osmotic minipump infusion. Our data demonstrate that 1) [3H]nicotine BBB uptake is not altered in the in situ perfusion model after chronic nicotine exposure, 2) [3H]cotinine penetrates the BBB, and 3) similar to [3H]nicotine, [3H]cotinine BBB transfer is not altered by chronic nicotine exposure. To our knowledge, this is the first report detailing the uptake of nicotine and cotinine after chronic nicotine exposure and quantifying the rate of BBB penetration by cotinine.

    Title 3d-qsar Study of Bis-azaaromatic Quaternary Ammonium Analogs at the Blood-brain Barrier Choline Transporter.
    Date September 2005
    Journal Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry
    Excerpt

    Previously, we have developed 3D-QSAR models of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) choline transporter, a transport system that may have utility as a vector for central nervous system drug delivery. In this study, we extended the model by evaluating five bis-azaaromatic quaternary ammonium compounds for their affinity for the choline binding site on the BBB-choline transporter. The compounds, and their affinities for the transporter, were then incorporated into our existing molecular model, in order to update our knowledge on the molecular recognition factors associated with interaction of ligands at the choline binding site. The current compounds are structurally related to previous substrates that we have evaluated, but offer additional three dimensional aspects compared to the series of compounds previously utilized to define the original models. The compounds showed good affinity for the BBB-choline transporter, exhibiting inhibition constants ranging from 10 to 68 microM, as determined by the in situ rat brain perfusion method. Comparative molecular field analysis (CoMFA) and comparative molecular similarity index analysis (CoMSIA) methods were used to build the new 3D QSAR models. When the new bis-azaaromatic quaternary ammonium compounds were included in the model, the best cross-validated CoMFA q2 was found to be 0.536 and the non-cross-validated r2 was 0.818. CoMSIA hydrophobic cross-validated q2 was 0.506 and the non-cross-validated r2 was 0.804. This new model was able to better predict BBB-choline transporter affinity of hemicholinium-3 (predicted 65 microM, actual 54 microM), when compared to an earlier model (predicted 316 microM).

    Title Chronic Nicotine Exposure Alters Blood-brain Barrier Permeability and Diminishes Brain Uptake of Methyllycaconitine.
    Date August 2005
    Journal Journal of Neurochemistry
    Excerpt

    Methyllycaconitine (MLA) is reported to be a selective antagonist for the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha7 subtype and has been found in animal behavioral studies to reduce nicotine self-administration and attenuate nicotine withdrawal symptoms. While MLA crosses the blood-brain barrier (BBB), no studies have assessed brain uptake in animals subjected to chronic nicotine exposure. Given that chronic nicotine administration has been reported to alter BBB parameters that may affect the kinetic BBB passage of MLA, we evaluated MLA brain uptake in naive and S-(-)nicotine-exposed rats (4.5 mg/kg/day for 28 days; osmotic minipumps) using in situ rat brain perfusions. Our results demonstrate that in situ(3)H-MLA brain uptake rates in naive animals approximate to intravenous kinetic data (K(in), 3.24 +/- 0.71 x 10(-4) mL/s/g). However, 28-day nicotine exposure diminished (3)H-MLA brain uptake by approximately 60% (K(in), 1.29 +/- 0.4 x 10(-4) mL/s/g). This reduction was not related to nicotine-induced (3)H-MLA brain efflux or BBB transport alterations. Similar experiments also demonstrated that the passive permeation of (14)C-thiourea was diminished approximately 24% after chronic nicotine exposure. Therefore, it appears that chronic nicotine exposure diminishes the blood-brain passive diffusion of compounds with very low extraction rates (i.e. permeability-limited compounds). These findings imply that the pharmacokinetics of neuropharmaceutical agents that are permeability limited may need to be re-evaluated in individuals exposed to nicotine.

    Title Novel D-penicillamine Carrying Nanoparticles for Metal Chelation Therapy in Alzheimer's and Other Cns Diseases.
    Date June 2005
    Journal European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics : Official Journal of Arbeitsgemeinschaft Für Pharmazeutische Verfahrenstechnik E.v
    Excerpt

    Metal ions accumulate in the brain with aging and in several neurodegenerative diseases. Aside from the copper storage disease, Wilson's disease, recent attention has focused on the accumulation of zinc, copper and iron in the Alzheimer's disease (AD) brain and the accumulation of iron in Parkinson's disease. In particular, the parenchymal deposition of beta-amyloid (Abeta) and its interaction with metal ions has been postulated to play a role in the progression of AD. Thus, the strategy of lowering brain metal ions and targeting the interaction of Abeta peptide and metal ions through the administration of chelators has merit. Our recent finding that nanoparticle delivery systems can cross the blood-brain barrier has led us to investigate whether chelators delivered conjugated to nanoparticles could act to reverse metal ion induced protein precipitation. In the present studies, the Cu (I) chelator D-penicillamine was covalently conjugated to nanoparticles via a disulfide bond or a thioether bond. Nanoparticle-chelator conjugates were stable between pH 6-8 in aqueous suspension if stored at 4 degrees C, and did not aggregate when challenged with salts and serum. Release of D-penicillamine from the nanoparticles was achieved using reducing agents such as dithiothreitol (as a model for glutathione). Nanoparticles treated only under reducing conditions that released the conjugated D-penicillamine were able to effectively resolubilize copper-Abeta (1-42) aggregates. These results indicate that nanoparticles have potential to deliver D-penicillamine to the brain for the prevention of Abeta (1-42) accumulation, as well as to reduce metal ion accumulation in other CNS diseases.

    Title Nanoparticle Surface Charges Alter Blood-brain Barrier Integrity and Permeability.
    Date May 2005
    Journal Journal of Drug Targeting
    Excerpt

    PURPOSE: The blood-brain barrier (BBB) presents both a physical and electrostatic barrier to limit brain permeation of therapeutics. Previous work has demonstrated that nanoparticles (NPs) overcome the physical barrier, but there is little known regarding the effect of NP surface charge on BBB function. Therefore, this work evaluated: (1) effect of neutral, anionic and cationic charged NPs on BBB integrity and (2) NP brain permeability. Methods: Emulsifying wax NPs were prepared from warm oil-in-water microemulsion precursors using neutral, anionic or cationic surfactants to provide the corresponding NP surface charge. NPs were characterized by particle size and zeta potential. BBB integrity and NP brain permeability were evaluated by in situ rat brain perfusion. RESULTS: Neutral NPs and low concentrations of anionic NPs were found to have no effect on BBB integrity, whereas, high concentrations of anionic NPs and cationic NPs disrupted the BBB. The brain uptake rates of anionic NPs at lower concentrations were superior to neutral or cationic formulations at the same concentrations. CONCLUSIONS: (1) Neutral NPs and low concentration anionic NPs can be utilized as colloidal drug carriers to brain, (2) cationic NPs have an immediate toxic effect at the BBB and (3) NP surface charges must be considered for toxicity and brain distribution profiles.

    Title Paclitaxel Nanoparticles for the Potential Treatment of Brain Tumors.
    Date April 2005
    Journal Journal of Controlled Release : Official Journal of the Controlled Release Society
    Excerpt

    Despite the advances in tumor therapy, patients with primary brain tumors and brain metastases have a very poor prognosis. Low responses to chemotherapy are mainly attributed to impermeability of the blood-brain barrier to cytotoxic agents. Paclitaxel has been shown to be active against gliomas and various brain metastases. However, its use in treatment of brain tumors is limited due to low blood-brain barrier permeability and serious side effects associated with administration of the paclitaxel solvent, Cremophor EL. Lack of paclitaxel brain uptake is thought to be associated with the p-glycoprotein (p-gp) efflux transporter. In this work, paclitaxel (PX) was entrapped in novel cetyl alcohol/polysorbate nanoparticles. Paclitaxel nanoparticles (PX NPs) were characterized by means of size, short-term stability, drug entrapment efficiency, and release profile. The PX NP cytotoxicity profile was monitored using two different cell lines, U-118 and HCT-15. Brain uptake of PX NPs was evaluated using an in situ rat brain perfusion model. The results suggest that entrapment of paclitaxel in nanoparticles significantly increases the drug brain uptake and its toxicity toward p-glycoprotein expressing tumor cells. It was hypothesized that PX NPs could mask paclitaxel characteristics and thus limit its binding to p-gp, which consequently would lead to higher brain and tumor cell uptake of the otherwise effluxed drug.

    Title Cation Transport Specificity at the Blood-brain Barrier.
    Date March 2005
    Journal Neurochemical Research
    Excerpt

    The molecular identification, expression and cloning of membrane-bound organic cation transporters are being completed in isolated in vitro membranes. In vivo studies, where cation specificity overlaps, need to complement this work. METHOD: Cross-inhibition of [3H]choline and [3H]thiamine brain uptake by in situ rat brain perfusion. RESULTS: [3H]Choline brain uptake was not inhibited by thiamine at physiologic concentrations (100 nM). However, choline ranging from 100 nM to 250 microM inhibited [3H]thiamine brain uptake, though not below levels observed at thiamine concentrations of 100 nM. CONCLUSION: (1) The molecular family of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) choline transporter may be elucidated in vitro by its interaction with physiologic thiamine levels, and (2) two cationic transporters at the BBB may be responsible for thiamine brain uptake.

    Title Molecular Modeling Studies on the Active Binding Site of the Blood-brain Barrier Choline Transporter.
    Date January 2005
    Journal Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters
    Excerpt

    The blood-brain barrier choline transporter may have utility as a drug delivery vector to the central nervous system. Surprisingly, this transporter has as yet not been cloned and expressed. We therefore initiated a 3D-QSAR study to develop predictive models for compound binding and identify structural features important for binding to this transporter. In vivo experimental data were obtained from in situ rat brain perfusion studies. Comparative molecular field analysis (CoMFA) and comparative molecular similarity index analysis (CoMSIA) methods were used to build the models. The best cross-validated CoMFA q(2) was found to be 0.47 and the non-cross-validated r(2) was 0.95. CoMSIA hydrophobic cross-validated q(2) was 0.37 and the non-cross-validated r(2) was 0.85. These models rendered a useful approximation for binding requirements in the BBB-choline transporter and, until such time as the cloned transporter becomes available, may have significant utility in developing a predictive model for the rational design of drugs targeted to the brain.

    Title Development of Subtype-selective Ligands As Antagonists at Nicotinic Receptors Mediating Nicotine-evoked Dopamine Release.
    Date November 2004
    Journal Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters
    Excerpt

    N-n-Alkylation of nicotine converts it from an agonist into an antagonist at neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes mediating nicotine-evoked dopamine release. Conformationally restricted analogues exhibit both high affinity and selectivity at this site, and are able to access the brain due to their ability to act as substrates for the blood-brain barrier choline transporter.

    Title Brain Uptake of Thiamine-coated Nanoparticles.
    Date August 2004
    Journal Journal of Controlled Release : Official Journal of the Controlled Release Society
    Excerpt

    Recently, a novel nanoparticle (NP) comprised of emulsifying wax and Brij 78 was shown to have significant brain uptake using the in-situ rat brain perfusion technique. To further these studies and to specifically target brain, we have incorporated thiamine as a surface ligand on the nanoparticles. Solid nanoparticles were prepared from oil-in-water microemulsion precursors. Nanoparticles were radiolabeled and a thiamine ligand (thiamine linked to distearoylphosphatidylethanolamine via a polyethylene glycol spacer) was coated on the surface of the nanoparticles. Initial experiments focused on assessing uptake of [3H]nanoparticles with and without thiamine surface ligands. Biodistribution nanoparticle studies were also carried out in BALB/c mice. The results showed: (1) the effectiveness of using microemulsions as precursors to engineer nanoparticles, (2) kinetic modeling for brain uptake of nanoparticles with and without the thiamine surface ligands, and (3) initial data suggesting mechanisms for nanoparticle brain entry. Comparison of NP brain uptake demonstrated that the thiamine-coated nanoparticle associated with the blood-brain barrier (BBB) thiamine transporter and had an increased K(in) between 45 and 120 s (thiamine coated NP 9.8 +/- 1.1 x 10(-3) ml/s/g versus uncoated NPs; 7.0 +/- 0.3 x 10(-3) ml/s/g). It was concluded that the thiamine ligand facilitated binding and/or association with blood-brain barrier thiamine transporters, which may be a viable mechanism for nanoparticle mediated brain drug delivery.

    Title In Situ Blood-brain Barrier Transport of Nanoparticles.
    Date July 2004
    Journal Pharmaceutical Research
    Excerpt

    PURPOSE: Two novel types of nanoparticles were evaluated as poten tial carriers for drugs across the blood-brain barrier (BBB). METHODS: Nanoparticles were composed of biocompatible materials including emulsifying wax (E. Wax) or Brij 72. Brij 78 and Tween 80 were used as surfactants for E. Wax nanoparticles (E78 NPs) and Brij 72 nanoparticles (E72 NPs), respectively. Both nanoparticle formulations were prepared from warm microemulsion precursors usin melted E. Wax or Brij 72 as the oil phase. Nanoparticles were radio-labeled by entrapment of [3H]cetyl alcohol, and entrapment efficiency and release of radiolabel were evaluated. The transport of E78 and E72 NPs across the BBB was measured by an in situ rat brai perfusion method. RESULTS: Both formulations were successfully radiolabeled by entrapment of [3H]cetyl alcohol; -98% of radiolabel remained associated with nanoparticles at experimental conditions. The transfer rate (Kin) of E78 NPs from perfusion fluid into the brain was 4.1 +/- 0.5 x 10(-3) ml/s/g, and the permeability-surface area product (PA) was 4.3 +/- 0.7 x 10(-3) ml/s/g. The values for Kin and PA for E72 NPs were 5.7 +/- 1.1 x 10(-3) ml/s/g and 6.1 +/- 1.4 x 10(-3) ml/s/g, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: For both nanoparticle types, statistically significant uptake was observed compared to [14C]sucrose, suggesting central nervous system uptake of nanoparticles. The mechanism underlying th nanoparticle brain uptake has yet to be fully understood.

    Title In Vivo and in Vitro Assessment of Baseline Blood-brain Barrier Parameters in the Presence of Novel Nanoparticles.
    Date February 2004
    Journal Pharmaceutical Research
    Excerpt

    PURPOSE: Nanoparticles have advantage as CNS drug delivery vehicles given they disguise drug permeation limiting characteristics. Conflicting toxicological data, however, is published with regard to blood-brain barrier integrity and gross mortality. METHODS: To address this issue two novel nanoparticle types: "emulsifying wax/Brij 78" and "Brij 72/Tween 80 nanoparticles were evaluated in vivo for effect on cerebral perfusion flow, barrier integrity, and permeability using the in situ brain perfusion technique. Additional evaluation was completed in vitro using bovine brain microvessel endothelial cells for effect on integrity, permeability, cationic transport interactions, and tight junction protein expression. RESULTS: In the presence of either nanoparticle formulation, no overall significant differences were observed for cerebral perfusion flow in vivo. Furthermore, observed in vitro and in vivo data showed no statistical changes in barrier integrity, membrane permeability, or facilitated choline transport. Western blot analyses of occludin and claudin-1 confirmed no protein expression changes with incubation of either nanoparticle. CONCLUSIONS: The nanoparticle formulations appear to have no effect on primary BBB parameters in established in vitro and in vivo blood-brain barrier models.

    Title In Situ Brain Perfusion Technique.
    Date November 2003
    Journal Methods in Molecular Medicine
    Title Evaluation of Blood-brain Barrier Thiamine Efflux Using the in Situ Rat Brain Perfusion Method.
    Date September 2003
    Journal Journal of Neurochemistry
    Excerpt

    Thiamine is an essential, positively charged (under physiologic conditions), water-soluble vitamin requiring transport into brain. Brain thiamine deficiency has been linked to neurodegenerative disease by subsequent impairment of thiamine-dependent enzymes used in brain glucose/energy metabolism. In this report, we evaluate brain uptake and efflux of [3H]thiamine using the in situ rat brain perfusion technique. To confirm brain distribution was not related to blood-brain barrier endothelial cell uptake, we compared parenchymal and cell distribution of [3H]thiamine using capillary depletion. Our work supports previous literature findings suggesting blood-brain barrier thiamine uptake is via a carrier-mediated transport mechanism, yet extends the literature by redefining the kinetics with more sensitive methodology. Significantly, [3H]thiamine brain accumulation was influenced by a considerable efflux rate. Evaluation of the efflux mechanism demonstrated increased stimulation by the presence of increased vascular thiamine. The influx transport mechanism and efflux rate were each comparable throughout brain regions despite documented differences in glucose and thiamine metabolism. The observation that [3H]thiamine blood-brain barrier influx and efflux is regionally homogenous may have significant relevance to neurodegenerative disease linked to thiamine deficiency.

    Title The Blood-brain Barrier Choline Transporter As a Brain Drug Delivery Vector.
    Date August 2003
    Journal Life Sciences
    Excerpt

    Choline is a ubiquitous molecule, found throughout almost every tissue in the body. Given it is a charged cation, nearly every cellular membrane has a transport mechanism to meet the intracellular and membrane need for choline. The blood-brain barrier is no exception in that a carrier-mediated transport mechanism is present to deliver choline from plasma to brain. The carrier consists of an anionic binding area that attracts positively charged quaternary ammonium groups or simple cations. Recent reports have shown this vector to be efficacious in delivering quaternary ammonium analogs of nicotine to brain. Future work is being completed to determine if other cationic or positively charged therapeutics can be effectively delivered to brain via this carrier.

    Title Active Transport of High-affinity Choline and Nicotine Analogs into the Central Nervous System by the Blood-brain Barrier Choline Transporter.
    Date April 2003
    Journal The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
    Excerpt

    Cigarette smoking is strongly implicated in the development of cardiovascular disorders. Recently identified nicotinium analogs may have therapeutic benefit as smoking cessation therapies but may have restricted entry into the central nervous system by the blood-brain barrier (BBB) due to their physicochemical properties. Using the in situ perfusion technique, lobeline, choline, and nicotinium analogs were evaluated for binding to the BBB choline transporter. Calculated apparent K(i) values for the choline transporter were 1.7 microM N-n-octyl choline, 2.2 microM N-n-hexyl choline, 27 microM N-n-decylnicotinium iodide, 31.9 microM N-n-octylpyridinium iodide, 49 microM N-n-octylnicotinium iodide (NONI), 393 microM lobeline, and >/=1000 microM N-methylnicotinium iodide. Nicotine and N-methylpyridinium iodide, however, do not apparently interact with the BBB choline transporter. Given NONI's apparent K(i) value determined in this study and its ability to inhibit nicotine-evoked dopamine release from superfused rat brain slices, potential brain entry of NONI via the BBB choline transporter was evaluated. [(3)H]NONI exhibited a BBB transfer coefficient value of approximately 1.6 x 10(-3) ml/s/g and a K(m) of approximately 250 microM. Unlabeled choline addition to the perfusion fluid reduced [(3)H]NONI brain uptake. We hypothesize the N-n-octyl group on the pyridinium nitrogen of NONI facilitates brain entry via the BBB choline transporter. Thus, NONI may have utility as a smoking cessation agent, given its ability to inhibit nAChRs mediating nicotine-evoked dopamine release centrally, and to be distributed to brain via the BBB choline transporter.

    Title Manganese Distribution Across the Blood-brain Barrier. I. Evidence for Carrier-mediated Influx of Managanese Citrate As Well As Manganese and Manganese Transferrin.
    Date March 2003
    Journal Neurotoxicology
    Excerpt

    Manganese (Mn) is an essential element and a neurotoxicant. Regulation of Mn movement across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) contributes to whether the brain Mn concentration is functional or toxic. In plasma, Mn associates with water, small molecular weight ligands and proteins. Mn speciation may influence the kinetics of its movement through the BBB. In the present work, the brain influx rates of 54Mn2+, 54Mn citrate and 54Mn transferrin (54Mn Tf) were determined using the in situ brain perfusion technique. The influx rates were compared to their predicted diffusion rates, which were determined from their octanol/aqueous partitioning coefficients and molecular weights. The in situ brain perfusion fluid contained 54Mn2+, 54Mn citrate or 54Mn Tf and a vascular volume/extracellular space marker, 14C-sucrose, which did not appreciably cross the BBB during these short experiments (15-180 s). The influx transfer coefficient (Kin) was determined from four perfusion durations for each Mn species in nine brain regions and the lateral ventricular choroid plexus. The brain Kin was (5-13) x 10(-5), (3-51) x 10(-5), and (2-13) x 10(-5) ml/s/g for 54Mn2+, 54Mn citrate, and 54Mn Tf, respectively. Brain Kin values for any one of the three Mn species generally did not significantly differ among the nine brain regions and the choroid plexus. However, the brain Kin for Mn citrate was greater than Mn2+ and Mn Tf Kin values in a number of brain regions. When compared to calculated diffusion rates, brain Kin values suggest carrier-mediated brain influx of 54Mn2+, 54Mn citrate and 54Mn Tf. 55Mn citrate inhibited 54Mn citrate uptake, and 55Mn2+ inhibited 54Mn2+ uptake, supporting the conclusion of carrier-mediated brain Mn influx. The greater Kin values for Mn citrate than Mn2+ and its presence as a major non-protein-bound Mn species in blood plasma suggest Mn citrate may be a major Mn species entering the brain.

    Title The Transport of Choline.
    Date March 2003
    Journal Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy
    Excerpt

    Choline has many physiological functions throughout the body that are dependent on its available local supply. However, since choline is a charged hydrophilic cation, transport mechanisms are required for it to cross biological membranes. Choline transport is required for cellular membrane construction and is the rate-limiting step for acetylcholine production. Transport mechanisms include: (1) sodium-dependent high-affinity uptake mechanism in synaptosomes, (2) sodium-independent low-affinity mechanism on cellular membranes, and (3) unique choline uptake mechanisms (e.g., blood-brain barrier choline transport). A comprehensive overview of choline transport studies is provided. This review article examines landmark and current choline transport studies, molecular mapping, and molecular identification of these carriers. Information regarding the choline-binding site is presented by reviewing choline structural analog (hemicholinium-3 and 15, and other nitrogen/methyl-hydroxyl compounds) inhibition studies. Choline transport in Alzheimer's disease, brain ischemic events, and aging is also discussed. Emphasis throughout the article is placed on targeting the choline transporter in disease and use of this carrier as a drug delivery vector.

    Title Novel Choline Transport Characteristics in Caco-2 Cells.
    Date March 2003
    Journal Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy
    Excerpt

    Choline transport is characterized by sodium-dependent high-affinity, sodium-independent low-affinity, and sodium-independent blood-brain barrier transport mechanisms. Each defined mechanism has specific characteristics with regard to affinity for choline, transport capacity, and inhibition by hemicholinium. The purpose of this study is to determine the characteristics of choline transport across Caco-2 monolayers. METHODS: Choline transport across Caco-2 cell monolayers was determined in both the apical to basal direction and the opposite direction. Further, the determination of calcium dependence and specific inhibitors was made. Determination of the apparent permeability of choline was calculated by established methods. RESULTS: The apical to basal Caco-2 permeability coefficient is 11.11 +/- 0.33 x 10(-6) cm/sec with 21.3% of the choline associating with the cells. Meanwhile the basal to apical value is approximately 50% less (5.55 +/- 0.14 x 10(-6) cm/sec), suggesting an active apical to basal transport mechanism. Choline transport in this system was inhibited by nifedipine (82%), verapamil (80%), EGTA (36%), and cyclosporin (15%). CONCLUSIONS: Choline transport across Caco-2 cells is demonstrated to be active and both pH- and Ca(2+)-dependent. Furthermore, choline transport across Caco-2 monolayers has unique characteristics when compared to traditional choline transport models.

    Title Cell Lines Derived from Hippocampal Neurons of the Normal and Trisomy 16 Mouse Fetus (a Model for Down Syndrome) Exhibit Neuronal Markers, Cholinergic Function, and Functional Neurotransmitter Receptors.
    Date December 2002
    Journal Experimental Neurology
    Excerpt

    We have established hippocampal cell lines from normal and trisomy 16 fetal mice, a model of human trisomy 21. Both cell lines, named H1b (derived from a normal animal) and HTk (trisomic) possess neuronal markers by immunohistochemistry (enolase, synaptophysin, microtubule associated protein-2, and choline acetyltransferase) and lack glial markers (glial fibrillary acidic protein and S-100). Also, we evaluated intracellular Ca(2+) levels ([Ca(2+)](i)) in response to neurotransmitter agonists, in cells loaded with the fluorescent Ca(2+) indicators Indo-1 and Fluo-3. Both cell lines responded to glutamatergic stimuli induced by glutamate, N-methyl-D-aspartate, I-amino-2,3-dihydro-5-methyl-3-oxo-4-isoxazole propanoic acid or kainate. Glutamate responses were only partially prevented by addition of 5 mM EGTA and the metabotropic glutamate receptor agonist, trans-(1S,3R)-1-amino-1,3-cyclopentanedicarboxylic acid (ACPD), increased [Ca(2+)](i) in both cell types. These results confirm the presence of glutamatergic metabotropic receptors. In glutamate-induced responses, HTk cells exhibited slower time-dependent decay kinetics than H1b cells. Cholinergic agonists (nicotine and muscarine) induced a rapid, transient increase in [Ca(2+)](i) in both cell types. Furthermore, some cells were sensitive to histamine and norepinephrine. All responses to the aforementioned agonists were prevented by addition of specific antagonists. We also studied incorporation and release of [(3)H]choline in the cells, and observed no differences in uptake parameters. However, release induced by K(+) and nicotine depolarization was greatly reduced in HTk cells. The results show that H1b and HTk cells retain neuronal characteristics and respond to specific neurotransmitter stimuli. The HTk differences could be related to neuronal pathophysiology in Down syndrome.

    Title Nanoparticle Technology for Drug Delivery Across the Blood-brain Barrier.
    Date August 2002
    Journal Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy
    Excerpt

    Nanoparticles (NP) are solid colloidal particles ranging in size from 1 to 1000 nm that are utilized as drug delivery agents. The use of NPs to deliver drugs to the brain across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) may provide a significant advantage to current strategies. The primary advantage of NP carrier technology is that NPs mask the blood-brain barrier limiting characteristics of the therapeutic drug molecule. Furthermore, this system may slow drug release in the brain, decreasing peripheral toxicity. This review evaluates previous strategies of brain drug delivery, discusses NP transport across the BBB, and describes primary methods of NP preparation and characterization. Further, influencing manufacturing factors (type of polymers and surfactants, NP size, and the drug molecule) are detailed in relation to movement of the drug delivery agent across the BBB. Currently, reports evaluating NPs for brain delivery have studied anesthetic and chemotherapeutic agents. These studies are reviewed for efficacy and mechanisms of transport. Physiological factors such as phagocytic activity of the reticuloendothelial system and protein opsonization may limit the amount of brain delivered drug and methods to avoid these issues are also discussed. NP technology appears to have significant promise in delivering therapeutic molecules across the BBB.

    Title A Dorsal Root Ganglia Cell Line Derived from Trisomy 16 Fetal Mice, a Model for Down Syndrome.
    Date June 2002
    Journal Neuroreport
    Excerpt

    We have established two immortalized cell lines from dorsal root ganglia of normal (G4b) and trisomy 16 mice (GT1), a model for Down syndrome. By immunohistochemistry, both cell lines exhibit neuronal traits and lack glial markers. GTl cells exhibited greater [3H]choline uptake than G4b cells. K+ and nicotine-mediated acetylcholine release was greater in GT1 cells. Basal intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) was significantly lower in GTl cells. More GTl cells responded to neurotransmitters with a transient [Ca2+]i increase compared to G4b cells, but both cell types showed similar amplitudes of [Ca2+]i responses. The results show that both cell lines retain neuronal characteristics and respond to specific neurotransmitter stimuli. Altered GT1 cell responses could be related to neuronal pathophysiology in Down's syndrome.

    Title Establishment and Characterization of Immortalized Neuronal Cell Lines Derived from the Spinal Cord of Normal and Trisomy 16 Fetal Mice, an Animal Model of Down Syndrome.
    Date June 2002
    Journal Journal of Neuroscience Research
    Excerpt

    We report the establishment of continuously growing cell lines from spinal cords of normal and trisomy 16 fetal mice. We show that both cell lines, named M4b (derived from a normal animal) and MTh (trisomic) possess neurological markers by immunohistochemistry (neuron specific enolase, synaptophysin, microtubule associated protein-2 [MAP-2], and choline acetyltransferase) and lack glial traits (glial fibrillary acidic protein and S100). MTh cells were shown to overexpress mRNA of Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase, whose gene is present in autosome 16. We also studied intracellular Ca2+ signals ([Ca2+]i) induced by different agonists in Indo-1 loaded cells. Basal [Ca2+]i was significantly higher in MTh cells compared to M4b cells. Glutamate (200 microM) and (1S,3R)-1-aminocyclopentane-1,3-dicarboxylic acid (ACDP) (100 microM) induced rapid, transient increases in [Ca2+]i in M4b and MTh cells, indicating the presence of glutamatergic metabotropic receptors. N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and kainate, but not alpha-amino-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA), produced [Ca2+)]i rises in both cell types. MTh cells exhibited faster time-dependent decay phase kinetics in glutamate-induced responses compared to M4b cells. Nicotine induced a transient increase in [Ca2+]i in M4b and MTh cells, with significantly greater amplitudes in the latter compared to the former. Further, both cell types responded to noradrenaline. Finally, we examined cholinergic function in both cell lines and found no significant differences in the [3H]-choline uptake, but fractional acetylcholine release induced by either K+, glutamate or nicotine was significantly higher in MTh cells. These results show that M4b and MTh cells have neuronal characteristics and the MTh line shows differences which could be related to neuronal pathophysiology in Down's syndrome.

    Title Inhibition of the Rat Blood-brain Barrier Choline Transporter by Manganese Chloride.
    Date December 2001
    Journal Journal of Neurochemistry
    Excerpt

    Choline transport has been characterized by multiple mechanisms including the blood-brain barrier (BBB), and high- and low-affinity systems. Each mechanism has unique locations and characteristics yet retain some similarities. Previous studies have demonstrated cationic competition by monovalent cations at the BBB and cation divalent manganese in the high-affinity system. To evaluate the effects of divalent manganese inhibition as well as other cationic metals at the BBB choline transporter, brain choline uptake was evaluated in the presence of certain metals of interest in Fischer-344 rats using the in situ brain perfusion technique. Brain choline uptake was inhibited in the presence of Cd(2+) (73 +/- 2%) and Mn(2+) (44 +/- 6%), whereas no inhibition was observed with Cu(2+) and Al(3+). Furthermore, it was found that manganese caused a reduction in brain choline uptake and significant regional choline uptake inhibition in the frontal and parietal cortex, the hippocampus and the caudate putamen (45 +/- 3%, 68 +/- 18%, 58 +/- 9% and 46 +/- 15%, respectively). These results suggest that choline uptake into the CNS can be inhibited by divalent cationic metals and monovalent cations. In addition, the choline transporter may be a means by which manganese enters the brain.

    Title Prepharmacy Predictors of Success in Pharmacy School: Grade Point Averages, Pharmacy College Admissions Test, Communication Abilities, and Critical Thinking Skills.
    Date December 2001
    Journal Pharmacotherapy
    Excerpt

    Good admissions decisions are essential for identifying successful students and good practitioners. Various parameters have been shown to have predictive power for academic success. Previous academic performance, the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT), and specific prepharmacy courses have been suggested as academic performance indicators. However, critical thinking abilities have not been evaluated. We evaluated the connection between academic success and each of the following predictive parameters: the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST) score, PCAT score, interview score, overall academic performance prior to admission at a pharmacy school, and performance in specific prepharmacy courses. We confirmed previous reports but demonstrated intriguing results in predicting practice-based skills. Critical thinking skills predict practice-based course success. Also, the CCTST and PCAT scores (Pearson correlation [pc] = 0.448, p < 0.001) were closely related in our students. The strongest predictors of practice-related courses and clerkship success were PCAT (pc=0.237, p<0.001) and CCTST (pc = 0.201, p < 0.001). These findings and other analyses suggest that PCAT may predict critical thinking skills in pharmacy practice courses and clerkships. Further study is needed to confirm this finding and determine which PCAT components predict critical thinking abilities.

    Title Characterization of the Blood-brain Barrier Choline Transporter Using the in Situ Rat Brain Perfusion Technique.
    Date March 2001
    Journal Journal of Neurochemistry
    Excerpt

    Choline enters brain by saturable transport at the blood-brain barrier (BBB). In separate studies, both sodium-dependent and passive choline transport systems of differing affinity have been reported at brain capillary endothelial cells. In the present study, we re-examined brain choline uptake using the in situ rat brain perfusion technique. Saturable brain choline uptake from perfusion fluid was best described by a model with a single transporter (V:(max) = 2.4-3.1 nmol/min/g; K(m) = 39-42 microM) with an apparent affinity (1/Km)) for choline five to ten-fold greater than previously reported in vivo, but less than neuronal 'high-affinity' brain choline transport (K(m) = 1-5 microM). BBB choline uptake from a sodium-free perfusion fluid using sucrose for osmotic balance was 50% greater than in the presence of sodium suggesting that sodium is not required for transport. Hemicholinium-3 inhibited brain choline uptake with a K(i) (57 +/- 11 microM) greater than that at the neuronal choline system. In summary, BBB choline transport occurs with greater affinity than previously reported, but does not match the properties of the neuronal choline transporter. The V:(max) of this system is appreciable and may provide a mechanism for delivering cationic drugs to brain.

    Title Pharmacotherapy of Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia: Time for a Different Paradigm?
    Date March 2001
    Journal Pharmacotherapy
    Excerpt

    Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia can occur in 60-80% of patients with Alzheimer's disease or other dementing illnesses, and are important in that they are a source of significant caregiver stress and often precipitate nursing home placement. These symptoms, namely, aggression, delusions, hallucinations, apathy, anxiety, and depression, are clinically managed with a variety of psychotropic drugs such as antipsychotics, antidepressants, antiepileptic drugs, and benzodiazepines. Various advances in the neuropathophysiology and pharmacotherapy must be considered in the optimal design of regimens for patients with these symptoms.

    Title Impaired Cholinergic Function in Cell Lines Derived from the Cerebral Cortex of Normal and Trisomy 16 Mice.
    Date November 2000
    Journal The European Journal of Neuroscience
    Excerpt

    Murine trisomy 16 is an animal model of human Down's syndrome. We have successfully established permanently growing cell lines from the cerebral cortex of normal and trisomy 16 foetal mice using an original procedure. These lines, named CNh (derived from a normal animal) and CTb (derived from a trisomic foetus), express neuronal markers. Considering that Down's syndrome exhibits cholinergic deficits, we examined cholinergic function in these lines, using incorporation of [3H]-choline and fractional release studies. After 1, 3 and 5 min of [3H]-choline incubation, CTb cell uptake was lower by approximately 50% compared to controls. Hemicholinium-3 significantly reduced the incorporation of [3H]-choline in both CNh and CTb cells at high concentration (10 microM), suggesting high-affinity choline transport. However, CTb cells exhibited greater sensitivity to the blocker. For fractional release experiments, the cells were stimulated by K+ depolarization, glutamate or nicotine. When depolarized, CTb cells showed a 68% reduction in fractional release of [3H]-acetylcholine compared to CNh cell line, and a 45% reduction when stimulated by nicotine. Interestingly, glutamate induced similar levels of release in both cell types. The results indicate the existence of cholinergic dysfunction in CTb cells when compared to CNh, similar to that reported for primary cultures of trisomy 16 brain tissue (Fiedler et al. 1994, Brain Res., 658, 27-32). Thus, the CTb cell line may serve as a model for the study of Down's syndrome pathophysiology.

    Title Blood-brain Barrier Choline Transport in the Senescent Rat.
    Date January 2000
    Journal Neuroscience Letters
    Excerpt

    Choline is an important membrane phospholipid constituent and a neurotransmitter precursor that is minimally synthesized in brain. The long-term maintenance of brain choline concentration is dependent on uptake from plasma, which occurs via saturable transporter at the blood-brain barrier. Previous studies have suggested that brain choline uptake declined with age. To reevaluate this, brain choline uptake in 3, 12, 24, and 28-month-old Fischer-344 rats was evaluated using the in situ brain perfusion technique. Minimal differences were found with uptake parameters differing by approximately 10% between aged and adult rats for tracer levels while similar trends were observed at higher choline concentrations. Further, estimated Vmax and Km values differed by <30% between the groups. The results suggest that blood-brain barrier choline uptake changes minimally with aging in the rat.

    Title The Distribution of Aluminum into and out of the Brain.
    Date January 2000
    Journal Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry
    Excerpt

    The extent, rate and possible mechanism(s) by which aluminum enters and is removed from the brain are presented. Introduction of Al into systemic circulation as Al.transferrin, the predominant Al species in plasma, resulted in about 7 x 10(-5) of the dose in the brain 1 day after injection. This brain Al entry could be mediated by transferrin-receptor-mediated endocytosis (TfR-ME). When Al.citrate, the predominant small molecular weight Al species in blood plasma, is introduced systemically, Al rapidly enters the brain. The rate of Al.citrate brain influx suggests a more rapid process than mediated by diffusion or TfR-ME. The question has been raised: "Is the brain a 'one-way sink' for aluminum?". Clinical observations are a basis for this suggestion. Rat brain 26Al concentrations decreased only slightly from 1 to 35 days after systemic 26Al injection, in the absence or presence of the aluminum chelator desferrioxamine, suggesting prolonged brain Al retention. However, studies of brain and blood extracellular Al at steady state, using microdialysis, suggest brain Al efflux exceeds influx, suggesting carrier-mediated brain Al efflux. The predominant brain extracellular fluid Al species is probably Al.citrate. The hypothesis that brain Al efflux, presumably of Al.citrate, is mediated by the monocarboxylate transporter was tested and supported. Although some Al that enters the brain is rapidly effluxed, it is suggested that a fraction enters brain compartments within 24 h from which it is only very slowly eliminated.

    Title Evaluation of Anesthetic Effects on Parameters for the in Situ Rat Brain Perfusion Technique.
    Date June 1999
    Journal Neuroscience Letters
    Excerpt

    Studies of drug distribution to brain should be controlled for the experimental method used. Numerous methods have been employed to ascertain brain distribution and many of these approaches use anesthetic agents. The in situ rat brain perfusion method is one of the most sensitive and widely used methods for evaluating brain distribution profiles. There has been no evaluation of the effects of anesthetic agents on parameters associated with this method (i.e. cerebral perfusion fluid flow, brain vascular volume and blood-brain barrier permeability). We evaluated the effects of the anesthetic agents pentobarbital and ketamine combinations on these baseline parameters. The results suggest that the anesthetic agent has no effect on these parameters and anesthetic selection is open to the choice of the investigator when using the perfusion method.

    Title Inhibition of Brain Choline Uptake by Isoarecolone and Lobeline Derivatives: Implications for Potential Vector-mediated Brain Drug Delivery.
    Date May 1999
    Journal Neuroscience Letters
    Excerpt

    Delivery of certain compounds to brain is restricted by the nature of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Many valuable pharmaceuticals are excluded from the CNS due to hydrophilicity or charge. These limitations have been overcome by numerous methods. One method we use is to take advantage of saturable nutrient transporters located at the barrier. These systems transport hydrophilic and charged nutrients into brain such as choline, a quaternized neurotransmitter precursor. Using knowledge of their substrate specificity, it is possible to deliver agents into brain using these nutrient carriers. In this report, derivatives of lobeline and isoarecolone were evaluated to determine if they may gain access to brain by the blood-brain barrier basic amine transporter using the in situ brain perfusion technique. These compounds do bind the blood-brain barrier basic amine transporter and may enter brain by this transport system.

    Title Beta-amyloid Induced Increase in Choline Flux Across Pc12 Cell Membranes.
    Date December 1997
    Journal Neuroscience Letters
    Excerpt

    Beta-amyloid peptide is the main constituent of senile plaques and is implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. It has been shown to be both neurotoxic and neurotrophic in vivo, and its effects have been suggested to be mediated in part by alterations in membrane transport. In the present study, we investigated the effect of beta-amyloid (1-40) on choline transport in cultured PC12 cells. We found that exposure to 46 or 92 microM beta-amyloid (1-40) increased [14C]choline flux in PC12 cells in a concentration-dependent manner, whereas exposure to reverse sequence beta-amyloid (40-1) had no effect. If there is a similar effect in vivo, the increased beta-amyloid dependent permeability to choline could lead to depletion of cellular choline stores and could contribute to the selective vulnerability of cholinergic neurons in Alzheimer's disease.

    Title Lithium Decreases Turnover of Arachidonate in Several Brain Phospholipids.
    Date April 1997
    Journal Neuroscience Letters
    Excerpt

    In vivo rates of incorporation and turnover of palmitate and arachidonate in brain phospholipids were measured in awake rats treated chronically with lithium, following intravenous infusion of radiolabeled palmitate and arachidonate, respectively. Chronic lithium, at a brain level considered to be therapeutic in humans, decreased turnover of arachidonate within brain phosphatidylinositol, phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine by up to 80% (P < 0.001). In contrast, lithium had a minimal effect on turnover of palmitate, causing only a 26% reduction in turnover in phosphatidylcholine (P < 0.01). These results suggest that a major therapeutic effect of lithium is to reduce turnover specifically of arachidonate, possibly by inhibiting phospholipase A2 involved in signal transduction. The effect may be secondary to the known action of lithium on the phosphoinositide cycle, by inhibiting the activity of inositol monophosphatase.

    Title Hippocampal Acetylcholine Increases During Eyeblink Conditioning in the Rabbit.
    Date March 1997
    Journal Physiology & Behavior
    Excerpt

    The classically conditioned rabbit nictitating membrane reflex (NMR) is modulated by the septohippocampal cholinergic system. Disruption of this system retards NMR acquisition. Aluminium (Al) is a neurotoxin that interferes with hippocampal acetylcholine (ACh) synthesis and release. Using microdialysis, this study tested the hypothesis that NMR acquisition in the rabbit is associated with hippocampal ACh release. This was conducted by measuring ACh release in control and A1-intoxicated rabbits during NMR training. NMR training consisted of four sessions of 100 conditioning trials/session in a delay paradigm. The percentage of conditioned responses (CRs) increased with each conditioning session for both groups, although percent CRs was significantly greater in the control group. Acetylcholine release in the ventral hippocampus increased significantly over baseline in the control group during the second and third conditioning sessions. In the Al-intoxicated group, ACh release did not increase significantly during any conditioning session. A separate group of rabbits was pseudoconditioned, receiving the same conditioning stimuli, although explicitly unpaired. This group did not acquire the CR. Acetylcholine release did not significantly increase during any conditioning session, suggesting that the increase in ACh release observed in the control group was not merely a product of conditioning stimuli presentation. The lack of increased ACh release in the Al-intoxicated rabbits was associated with a CR acquisition deficit. The results of this study are consistent with a role of hippocampal cholinergic function in NMR acquisition in the rabbit.

    Title The Pharmacokinetics and Blood-brain Barrier Permeation of the Chelators 1,2 Dimethly-, 1,2 Diethyl-, and 1-[ethan-1'ol]-2-methyl-3-hydroxypyridin-4-one in the Rat.
    Date July 1996
    Journal Toxicology
    Excerpt

    The 3-hydroxypyridin-4-ones (HPs) are iron and aluminum chelators. Their ability to enter the brain had not previously been directly determined. To determine whether they cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB), three HPs possessing a wide range of lipophilicity were examined: 1-[ethan-1'ol]-2-methyl-HP (CP40), 1,2-dimethyl-HP (CP20, L1, deferiprone), and 1,2-dimethyl-HP (CP94, EL1NEt). Their pharmacokinetics were determined in rats to establish dosing parameters for microdialysis studies of BBB permeation. Studies were then conducted with microdialysis probes in the blood, frontal cortex, and lateral ventricle to determine the rate and extent of HP BBB permeability. All three HPs were detectable in brain dialysate samples collected 0-7 min after HP injection, demonstrating rapid entry into the brain. The extent of unbound distribution (an indicator of the mechanism of BBB permeation) was 0.9 and 1.2 for the frontal cortex and lateral ventricle for CP20, and was 1.1 and 1.6 for CP94, suggesting diffusion across the BBB. The extent of unbound distribution of CP40 was 0.2 for both the frontal cortex and lateral ventricle, suggesting the presence of a transporter moving it out of brain extracellular fluid. Introduction of cyanide into the brain did not affect the brain to blood CP40 ratio, suggesting that the transporter is not energy-dependent. Both CP94 and CP40 caused death due to respiratory failure, whereas CP20 did not. The ability of less toxic bidentate HP chelators, such as CP20, to enter the brain may enable their use in the treatment of metal-induced diseases and iron-facilitated oxidative injury involving the central nervous system.

    Title Evaluation of 4,4'-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic Acid in the Inhibition of Rouleaux Formation.
    Date June 1996
    Journal Transfusion
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND: DIDS (4,4'-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid) inhibits the formation of serum-or plasma-induced rouleaux through its ability to bind to band 3 on red cell membranes. This property of DIDS was evaluated in the serologic testing of specimens exhibiting rouleaux. STUDY DESIGN and METHODS: Optimal test conditions for DIDS treatment of reagent red cells were determined by varying the volume and concentration of DIDS solution and the incubation temperature and duration and comparing the results of antibody screening procedures using specimens that exhibit macroscopically visible rouleaux. Blind titration studies compared untreated and DIDS-treated red cells to evaluate the maintenance of antigen integrity. The use of DIDS-treated red cells for antibody detection and identification was evaluated by comparing the results in donor specimens containing antibodies with those in untreated and DIDS-treated selected panel cells. In addition, 4-percent (wt/vol) dextran in serum was used to induce rouleaux formation as a way of determining the capability of DIDS to resolve ABO serum grouping discrepancies. RESULTS: Complete inhibition of rouleaux formation occurred when reagent red cells were treated by incubation at 37 degrees C for 10 minutes with 150 microliter (approx. 5 drops) of 0.05 mg per mL of DIDS in 0.9-percent NaCl. There were no significant differences in titration scores of untreated and DIDS-treated red cells tested with the 19 antisera used to assess antigen integrity. Antibody identification studies showed that DIDS-treated reagent red cells reacted similarly to untreated reagent red cells. In addition, DIDS resolved dextran-induced ABO serum grouping discrepancies. CONCLUSION: DIDS effectively resolved the serologic problems associated with the presence of rouleaux, without affecting the results of the test system itself. Implementation of this method to inhibit the rouleaux-forming properties of serum and plasma specimens can be useful in serologic testing.

    Title Studies of Aluminum Neurobehavioral Toxicity in the Intact Mammal.
    Date September 1995
    Journal Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology
    Excerpt

    1. Aluminum (Al) has been implicated in neurotoxic syndromes in several conditions, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). The developmental stage of the mammalian brain most susceptible to Al was determined in rabbits systematically exposed to Al during the prenatal, postnatal, or second month or for 1 month as adults or as aged subjects. Eyeblink reflex classical conditioning showed an Al-induced learning deficit only in the adult and aged rabbits. 2. 4-Aminopyridine, which was reported to improve learning in AD subjects, attenuated the Al-induced learning deficit. 3. Conditioned eyeblink acquisition is slower in AD subjects than controls, supporting the Al-loaded rabbit as a model of some AD effects. 4. To determine if the Al-loaded rabbit modeled the AD cholinergic deficit, acetylcholine (Ach) overflow was measured in rabbit hippocampus using microdialysis. Aluminum pretreatment reduced basal and potassium-stimulated Ach overflow compared to controls. 5. Acetylcholine overflow increased as control rabbits acquired the conditioned eyeblink reflex, then subsequently decreased, although conditioned eyeblink performance continued. In contrast, Al-loaded rabbits showed a delay in conditioned eyeblink acquisition and greatly attenuated Ach overflow. The Al-induced attenuation of Ach overflow may contribute to the Al-induced learning deficit. 6. Brain Al entry was studied using microdialysis of blood, brain, and lateral ventricle. Aluminum rapidly entered the brain and lateral ventricle. Frontal cortical Al was greater than lateral ventricular Al, suggesting that Al primarily enters the brain through the cerebral microvasculature. 7. The brain/blood Al ratio was always significantly less than 1. This ratio was influenced by the Al form administered, brain site and animal species. Thus, there appears to be an active process moving Al out of brain extracellular fluid (ECF). 8. Brain and blood dialysate Ach concentrations were not different after cyanide addition to the dialysate, supporting the conclusion that an active process moves Al out of brain ECF.

    Title Evidence for Energy-dependent Transport of Aluminum out of Brain Extracellular Fluid.
    Date June 1995
    Journal Toxicology
    Excerpt

    Aluminum (Al) can cause CNS toxicity. The mechanism of its blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeation is poorly understood. In this study, microdialysis was used to determine extracellular fluid (ECF) unbound aluminum distribution between frontal cortex (FC) and blood during steady-state aluminum concentrations. The brain/blood aluminum ratio was determined. Over a 16-fold range of aluminum concentrations (dosed as aluminum citrate), brain/blood aluminum ratios were 0.10-0.15, consistently and significantly < 1. Aluminum diffusion cannot account for these results, suggesting the presence of a carrier that moves aluminum out of brain extracellular fluid. These aluminum brain/blood ratios (BBRs) were not significantly different over the range of concentrations studied, suggesting an inability to saturate the carrier. Brain/blood aluminum ratios obtained with four aluminum-hydroxypyridinones were also significantly < 1 (0.1-0.3), and were generally significantly different among themselves and from the aluminum citrate BBR. Movement of a BBB permeability marker from blood into brain extracellular fluid suggested partial BBB opening. The aluminum BBRs obtained (all << 1), in the presence of a partially opened BBR, suggest an efficient carrier moving aluminum out of brain ECF. Addition of cyanide to the brain microdialysis probe solution significantly increased the Al (citrate) BBR to 1. These results suggest the presence of an efficient, energy-dependent carrier that removes aluminum from brain ECF, either into brain cells or blood.

    Title Pharmacokinetics and Distribution of Tris(maltolato)aluminum(iii) into the Central Nervous System.
    Date January 1995
    Journal Neurotoxicology
    Excerpt

    The maltolate compound of aluminum (Al), tris(maltolato)aluminum(III), has been demonstrated to be quite toxic after central administration and in cell cultures. However, reports of peripheral Al-maltolate administration in vivo demonstrated unimpressive neurological effects. We found no reports of Al-maltolate pharmacokinetics or its distribution into the central nervous system (CNS) after systemic administration. In the present study, we evaluated Al pharmacokinetics in serum and Al distribution into brain extracellular fluid (ECF) in rats following Al-maltolate administration. The pharmacokinetic studies revealed that systemic clearance, elimination half-life and mean residence time were 42 (+/- 5) ml/hr/kg, 2.2 (+/- 0.5) hr and 3.1 (+/- 0.7) hr [mean +/- SD), respectively. The steady state volume of distribution (Vss) for Al-maltolate was 130 ml/kg. This Vss suggests that Al-maltolate may exhibit limited distribution outside the vascular compartment, which is estimated to be approximately 80 ml/kg in these rats. Previously, we used microdialysis (MD) probes to assess Al-citrate distribution into the CNS. MD was utilized in the present study to evaluate the CNS distribution of Al as a result of Al-maltolate administration. MD probes were implanted into the frontal cortex (FC) and jugular vein to sample Al from brain and blood ECF, respectively. Al was not measurable in FC MD probe dialysates after a 0.5 mmol/kg Al (as maltolate) bolus, but could be measured after steady state blood and brain ECF Al concentrations had been achieved. The Al brain/blood ration calculated from Al-maltolate steady state brain and blood MD samples was 0.04, significantly less than those calculated for other Al salts at equimolar Al doses.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

    Title Pharmacokinetics of Aluminum 3-hydroxypyridin-4-one Complexes: Implications for Aluminum Redistribution Subsequent to Chelation Therapy.
    Date October 1994
    Journal Toxicology
    Excerpt

    The pharmacokinetics of selected aluminum-hydroxypyridinone (Al-HP complexes were determined in rats to better understand the relationship between their disposition and elimination parameters and the safety of HPs in the chelation therapy of Al intoxication. Five complexes were administered as i.v. bolus doses of Al-HP (0.25 mmol/kg Al-0.75 mmol/kg HP). The Al-HP steady state volumes of distribution ranged from 220 to 871 ml/kg, suggesting that each complex distributed out of the vascular compartment (which should have been approximately 65 ml/kg). Systemic clearances ranged from 189 to 906 ml/h per kg. Elimination half-lives (t1/2) and mean residence times ranged from 0.36 to 0.84 and 0.52 to 1.20 h, respectively. The Al-CP20 complex had a short t1/2 and a midrange volume of distribution. It demonstrated no apparent toxicity, whereas myoclonic seizures were observed after Al-CP22, Al-CP24 and Al-CP94 administration. The most appropriate choice for Al chelation among the HPs tested may be CP20. Characterization of the distribution and elimination of Al-HP complexes improves the understanding of potential toxicity that may be associated with HP therapy of Al intoxication.

    Title Effect of Including a Clinical Example on the Ability of Physical Therapists to Apply Information in a Technical Research Report.
    Date October 1994
    Journal Physical Therapy
    Excerpt

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE. The purpose of this study was to determine whether an example in a technical research report would affect application of content to hypothetical patient problems and to future patients. SUBJECTS. Subjects were 69 physical therapists who routinely used isokinetic equipment in the treatment of patients with knee joint pathologies. METHODS. Thirty-five subjects (group 1) read a research report that described mathematical models for predicting preinjury quadriceps femoris and hamstring muscle performance. The report included an example of applying the information. The remaining 34 subjects (group 2) read the same research report with the example omitted. Subjects were asked to select appropriate prediction models and determine preinjury knee torques for two hypothetical patients. Subjects were also contacted 6 to 12 weeks after initial data collection to determine whether they had applied research report results in their treatments of patients. RESULTS. Chi-square analyses indicated manuscript type was not related to the selection of correct models, but group 1 subjects computed correct torque values more frequently than did group 2 subjects. Insufficient data were available regarding application of research report content to patients. CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION. The results indicate application of technically oriented research reports may be enhanced by including examples of applications. (Gross MT, Sekerak DK, Allen DD. Effect of including a clinical example on the ability of physical therapists to apply information in a technical research report.

    Title 4-trimethylammonium Antipyrine: a Quaternary Ammonium Nonradionuclide Marker for Blood-brain Barrier Integrity During in Vivo Microdialysis.
    Date March 1993
    Journal Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods
    Excerpt

    The well-controlled microdialysis (MD) study of substance permeation into brain extracellular fluid (ECF) and cerebrospinal fluid requires consideration of blood-brain barrier (BBB) integrity, which might be compromised by microdialysis probe implantation. Others have assessed BBB integrity with radionuclide markers. A nonradionuclide marker may be desirable in many studies. A charged antipyrine analogue may be useful to determine BBB integrity with concomitant antipyrine characterization of probe efficiency (Yokel et al., 1992, J Pharmacol Toxicol Methods 27:135-142), and may not require another analytical technique. We synthesized, validated, and evaluated 4-trimethylammonium antipyrine (4TMA-AP) as a BBB integrity marker. BBB permeation was determined by calculation of a BBB integrity percentage (Pi) from brain/blood concentrations. The PiS of Evan's blue, which does not permeate the intact BBB, and 4TMA-AP were not significantly different in rats without known BBB disruption, suggesting a lack of 4TMA-AP permeation through the intact BBB. When MD probes were slowly implanted into the frontal cortex, 4TMA-AP PiS were usually zero. Intracarotid oleic acid injection to open the BBB significantly increased 4TMA-AP PiS, suggesting that 4TMA-AP entered brain ECF when the BBB was compromised. Rapid probe implantation produced increased 4TMA-AP PiS, suggesting BBB disruption. The predicted appearance of 4TMA-AP in brain ECF suggests that it is a BBB integrity marker.

    Title Antipyrine As a Dialyzable Reference to Correct Differences in Efficiency Among and Within Sampling Devices During in Vivo Microdialysis.
    Date September 1992
    Journal Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods
    Excerpt

    Antipyrine was investigated as a dialyzable substance that could be used to quantitate relative differences in the efficiency of dialysis among multiple microdialysis probes and by a single probe over time. The contribution of effective membrane surface area to recovery variability was tested by the introduction of air into microdialysis probes. Reduction of effective membrane surface area reduced antipyrine recovery. Dialysates from probes implanted in the jugular vein, brain, and liver of rats receiving antipyrine demonstrated differences in antipyrine concentration among probes within the same rat. These results suggest dissimilar efficiencies of the probes to recover antipyrine, which should be uniformly distributed throughout body water. Dialysates from blood, brain, and liver probes in rats that received both antipyrine and tritiated water (3H2O) showed differences in antipyrine and 3H2O concentrations among probes. Variability of antipyrine and 3H2O concentrations over time within a probe were positively correlated, suggesting that the cause(s) of temporal variability affected both of these markers of body water. Correction of antipyrine tissue/blood ratios, using 3H2O blood/tissue ratios from the same sampling period, reduced the variability in antipyrine tissue/blood ratios, producing ratios closer to the expected value of 1. Differences in probe efficiency contributing to the variability of antipyrine and 3H2O recovery would also be expected to influence the recovery of other substances during microdialysis. The administration of antipyrine during microdialysis experiments is suggested to enable reduction of temporal and site-related differences in substance recovery that are due to differences in probe efficiency. Other methods are necessary to determine the actual extracellular concentration of dialyzed substances and the integrity of the blood-brain barrier.

    Title Dissimilar Aluminum and Gallium Permeation of the Blood-brain Barrier Demonstrated by in Vivo Microdialysis.
    Date March 1992
    Journal Journal of Neurochemistry
    Excerpt

    Aluminum (Al) and gallium (Ga) permeations of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) were assessed in rats. Unbound extracellular Al and Ga concentrations were ascertained at the two potential sites of BBB permeation, cerebral capillaries and choroid plexuses, by implantation of microdialysis probes in the frontal cortex and lateral ventricle, respectively. A microdialysis probe implanted in the jugular vein revealed unbound blood Al or Ga concentrations. Al or 67Ga citrate was administered via the femoral vein. Peak Al and Ga concentrations were seen within the first 10 min at all three sites. Area under the curve (concentration vs. time to final sample) values were calculated using RSTRIP. Within-rat overall frontal cortical/blood and lateral ventricular/blood ratios [brain/blood ratios (oBBRs)] were calculated from area under the curve values. Aluminum frontal cortical oBBRs were significantly higher than those for the lateral ventricle. Ga oBBRs were not significantly different between the two sites. Al and Ga oBBRs were significantly different in the lateral ventricle. These results suggest that the primary site of A1 permeation across the BBB is at cerebral capillaries, whereas Ga permeation across the BBB does not significantly differ between cerebral capillaries and choroid plexuses. The use of Ga as a model to study Al pharmacokinetics may not be appropriate in the elucidation of the site or mechanism of Al entry into the brain.

    Title Heterologous Introns Can Enhance Expression of Transgenes in Mice.
    Date February 1991
    Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
    Excerpt

    In a previous study we showed that genomic constructs were expressed more efficiently in transgenic mice than constructs that were identical except for the lack of introns. Using the mouse metallothionein promoter-rat growth hormone gene construct as a model, we show that the first intron of the rat growth hormone gene is essential for high-level expression, whereas the other three introns are less effective. Several heterologous introns placed 3' of the coding region of an intronless rat growth hormone gene are also ineffective. However, insertion of some heterologous introns between the metallothionein promoter and the growth hormone gene improves expression. To determine whether addition of heterologous introns would provide a general strategy for improving expression, we have tested them in conjunction with other intronless genes and with different promoters.

    Title Motor Scores on the Functional Independence Measure After Pediatric Spinal Cord Injury.
    Date
    Journal Spinal Cord : the Official Journal of the International Medical Society of Paraplegia
    Excerpt

    Study design:Retrospective descriptive analysis.Objectives:The purpose of this study was to report the functional ability of children with spinal cord injury (SCI) as recorded on motor items of the functional independence measure (FIM) and to examine the factors associated with FIM motor admission and post-discharge gain scores.Methods:Scores on FIM motor items were analyzed from 941 children (age range: 0-21 years; mean: 13 years 4 months; s.d.: 4 years 8 months) admitted in acute-to-chronic time periods post-SCI to Shriners Hospitals for Children (USA). FIM motor scores at admission and gains at discharge were examined along with neurological level, completeness of injury, age, etiology of injury, and length of time between injury and admission and admission and discharge.Results:The FIM motor scores at admission were negatively correlated with age, neurological level and completeness of injury. Gain in FIM motor scores was significant across neurological levels, and was associated with lower admission FIM motor scores, lower neurological level, incomplete injury, traumatic injury and less time between injury and admission.Conclusions:The motor function of children after pediatric SCI depends on neurological level and completeness of injury, among other factors. FIM motor scores can improve with intervention even several years after the injury.Spinal Cord advance online publication, 5 August 2008; doi:10.1038/sc.2008.94.

    Title Bis-pyridinium Cyclophanes: Novel Ligands with High Affinity for the Blood-brain Barrier Choline Transporter.
    Date
    Journal Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters
    Excerpt

    A series of bis-pyridinium cyclophane analogs designed as conformationally restricted bis-quaternary ammonium compounds were evaluated for their affinity for the blood-brain barrier (BBB) choline transporter. All the cyclophanes investigated exhibited high affinity compared to choline. Of these compounds, N, N'-(1,10-decanediyl)3,3'-(1,9-decadiyn-1,10-diyl)-bis-pyridinium diiodide (5c) and N,N'-(1,9-nonanediyl)3,3'-(1,9-decadiyn-1,10-diyl)-bis-pyridinium dibromide (5b) exhibited highest affinity with K(i) values of 0.8 microM and 1.4 microM, respectively, and constitute some of the most potent BBB choline transporter ligands reported.


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