Molecules that can be used to deliver a controlled amount of carbon monoxide (CO) have the potential to facilitate investigations into the roles of this gaseous molecule in biology and advance therapeutic treatments. This has led to the development of light-induced CO-releasing molecules (photoCORMs). A goal in this field of research is the development of molecules that exhibit a combination of controlled CO release, favorable biological properties (e.g., low toxicity and trackability in cells), and structural tunability to affect CO release. Herein, we report a new biologically-inspired organic photoCORM motif that exhibits several features that are desirable in a next-generation photoCORM. We show that 3-hydroxyflavone-based compounds are easily synthesized and modified to impart changes in absorption features and quantum yield for CO release, exhibit low toxicity, are trackable in cells, and can exhibit both O2-dependent and -independent CO release reactivity.
The objectives of this study were to determine the structural characteristics of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) that confer estrogen-like activity in vivo using juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) as an animal model and to determine whether these chemicals interact directly with the estrogen receptor (ER) using in vitro and in silico species comparison approaches. Perfluorooctanoic (PFOA), perfluorononanoic (PFNA), perfluorodecanoic (PFDA), and perfluoroundecanoic (PFUnDA) acids were all potent inducers of the estrogen-responsive biomarker protein vitellogenin (Vtg) in vivo, although at fairly high dietary exposures. A structure-activity relationship for PFAAs was observed, where eight to ten fluorinated carbons and a carboxylic acid end group were optimal for maximal Vtg induction. These in vivo findings were corroborated by in vitro mechanistic assays for trout and human ER. All PFAAs tested weakly bound to trout liver ER with half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC(50)) values of 15.2-289 μM. Additionally, PFOA, PFNA, PFDA, PFUnDA, and perlfuorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) significantly enhanced human ERα-dependent transcriptional activation at concentrations ranging from 10-1000 nM. Finally, we employed an in silico computational model based upon the crystal structure for the human ERα ligand-binding domain complexed with E2 to structurally investigate binding of these putative ligands to human, mouse, and trout ERα. PFOA, PFNA, PFDA, and PFOS all efficiently docked with ERα from different species and formed a hydrogen bond at residue Arg394/398/407 (human/mouse/trout) in a manner similar to the environmental estrogens bisphenol A and nonylphenol. Overall, these data support the contention that several PFAAs are weak environmental xenoestrogens of potential concern.
The delivery of controlled amounts of carbon monoxide (CO) to biological targets is of significant current interest. Very few CO-releasing compounds are currently known that can be rigorously controlled in terms of the location and amount of CO released. To address this deficiency, we report herein a new metal-free, visible-light-induced CO-releasing molecule (photoCORM) and its prodrug oxidized form, which offer new approaches to controlled, localized CO delivery. The new photoCORM, based on a 3-hydroxybenzo[ g]quinolone framework, releases 1 equiv of CO upon visible-light illumination under a variety of biologically relevant conditions. This nontoxic compound can be tracked prior to CO release using fluorescence microscopy and produces a nontoxic byproduct following CO release. An oxidized prodrug form of the photoCORM is reduced by cellular thiols, providing an approach toward activation in the reducing environment of cancer cells. Strong noncovalent affinity of the nonmetal photoCORM to albumin enables use of an albumin:photoCORM complex for targeted CO delivery to cancer cells. This approach produced cytotoxicity IC values among the lowest reported to date for CO delivery to cancer cells by a photoCORM. This albumin:photoCORM complex is also the first CO delivery system to produce significant anti-inflammatory effects when introduced at nanomolar photoCORM concentration.
Ectopic lymphoid structures (ELS) consist of B-cell and T-cell aggregates that are initiated de novo in inflamed tissues outside of secondary lymphoid organs. When organized within follicular dendritic cell (FDC) networks, ELS contain functional germinal centers that can yield autoantibody-secreting plasma cells and promote autoimmune disease. Intranasal instillation of lupus-prone mice with crystalline silica (cSiO2), a respirable particle linked to human lupus, triggers ELS formation in the lung, systemic autoantibodies, and early onset of glomerulonephritis. Here we tested the hypothesis that consumption of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid with anti-inflammatory properties, influences the temporal profile of cSiO2-induced pulmonary ectopic germinal center formation and development of glomerulonephritis. Female NZBWF1 mice (6-wk old) were fed purified isocaloric diets supplemented with 0, 4, or 10 g/kg DHA - calorically equivalent to 0, 2, or 5 g DHA per day consumption by humans, respectively. Beginning at age 8 wk, mice were intranasally instilled with 1 mg cSiO2, or saline vehicle alone, once per wk, for 4 wk. Cohorts were sacrificed 1, 5, 9, or 13 wk post-instillation (PI) of the last cSiO2 dose, and lung and kidney lesions were investigated by histopathology. Tissue fatty acid analyses confirmed uniform dose-dependent DHA incorporation across all cohorts. As early as 1 wk PI, inflammation comprising of B (CD45R+) and T (CD3+) cell accumulation was observed in lungs of cSiO2-treated mice compared to vehicle controls; these responses intensified over time. Marked follicular dendritic cell (FDC; CD21+/CD35+) networking appeared at 9 and 13 wk PI. IgG+ plasma cells suggestive of mature germinal centers were evident at 13 wk. DHA supplementation dramatically suppressed cSiO2-triggered B-cell, T-cell, FDC, and IgG+ plasma cell appearance in the lungs as well as anti-dsDNA IgG in bronchial lavage fluid and plasma over the course of the experiment. cSiO2 induced glomerulonephritis with concomitant B-cell accumulation in the renal cortex at 13 wk PI but this response was abrogated by DHA feeding. Taken together, realistic dietary DHA supplementation prevented initiation and/or progression of ectopic lymphoid neogenesis, germinal center development, systemic autoantibody elevation, and resultant glomerulonephritis in this unique preclinical model of environment-triggered lupus.
Traditionally, mouse humanization studies have used human fecal transfer to germ-free animals. This practice requires gnotobiotic facilities and is restricted to gnotobiotic mouse lines, which limits humanized mouse research. We have developed a generalizable method to humanize non germ-free mice using antibiotic treatment and human fecal transfer. The method involves depleting resident intestinal microbiota with broad-spectrum antibiotics, introducing human microbiota from frozen fecal samples by weekly gavage, and maintaining mice in HEPA-filtered microisolator cages. Pyrosequencing cecal microbiota 16S rRNA genes showed that recipient mice adopt a humanized microbiota profile analogous to their human donors, and distinct from mice treated with only antibiotics (no fecal transfer) or untreated control mice. In the humanized mice, 75% of the sequence mass was observed in their respective human donor and conversely, 68% of the donor sequence mass was recovered in the recipient mice. Principal component analyses of GC- and HPLC-separated cecal metabolites were performed to determine effects of transplanted microbiota on the metabolome. Cecal metabolite profiles of mice treated with only antibiotics (no fecal transfer) and control mice were dissimilar from each other and from humanized mice. Metabolite profiles for mice humanized from different donor samples clustered near each other, yet were sufficiently distinct that separate clusters were apparent for each donor. Also, cecal concentrations of 57 metabolites were significantly different between humanization treatments. These data demonstrate that our protocol can be used to humanize non germ-free mice and is sufficiently robust to generate metabolomic differences between mice humanized from different human donors.
Molecular structures capable of intracellular information processing that couple responses from biomarker signals to the release of drug molecules represent intelligent delivery systems. Herein we report a chemophotonically driven, sense-of-logic carbon monoxide-releasing molecule (SL-photoCORM). This extended flavonol motif operates via an AND logic gate by first sensing the cellular environment via detection of thiols and then releasing CO when triggered with visible light and O. Overall, this approach couples the detection of a cellular redox biomarker with the ability to release a small-molecule gasotransmitter known to trigger pathways involved in pro- and anti-inflammatory effects in a dose-dependent manner. Significantly, the fluorescence properties of the flavonol-based SL-photoCORM produce a series of chemophotonic input responses via two photochromatic switches (blue-to-green and green-to-colorless), leading to trackability and spatiotemporal control of CO release. Examination of the O requirements of the CO release step revealed that the SL-photoCORM is suitable for use under conditions of variable cellular levels of O. These combined properties within a single-molecular framework advance the field of CO-releasing molecules by providing feedback on the diversity and complexity of the cellular environment prior to CO release.
Rodent models have been invaluable for biomedical research. Preclinical investigations with rodents allow researchers to investigate diseases by using study designs that are not suitable for human subjects. The primary criticism of preclinical animal models is that results are not always translatable to humans. Some of this lack of translation is due to inherent differences between species. However, rodent models have been refined over time, and translatability to humans has improved. Transgenic animals have greatly aided our understanding of interactions between genes and disease and have narrowed the translation gap between humans and model animals. Despite the technological innovations of animal models through advances in genetics, relatively little attention has been given to animal diets. Namely, developing diets that replicate what humans eat will help make animal models more relevant to human populations. This review focuses on commonly used rodent diets that are used to emulate the Western dietary pattern in preclinical studies of obesity and type 2 diabetes, nonalcoholic liver disease, maternal nutrition, and colorectal cancer.
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