Publications by authors named "Claudia Scholz"

10 Publications

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Reduced muscular fatigue after a 12-week leucine-rich amino acid supplementation combined with moderate training in elderly: a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial.

BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med 2016 8;2(1):e000156. Epub 2017 Mar 8.

Institute of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Stuttgart, StuttgartGermany.

Background: Age-related muscle loss is characterised by a progressing decrease in muscle mass, strength and function. Besides resistance training and physical activity, appropriate nutrition that is rich in protein, especially branched-chain amino acids, is very important to support training effects and positively influence the protein synthesis to degradation ratio.

Aim: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of a 12-week leucine-rich amino acid supplementation in combination with moderate training.

Methods: Forty-eight healthy subjects exercised for 30 min three times per week and received either a leucine-rich amino acid supplementation or a placebo. Before and after supplementation, volunteers performed an exhaustive eccentric exercise protocol. Maximal concentric strength, muscle soreness, creatine kinase (CK), type II collagen collagenase cleavage neoepitope (C2C), C propeptide of type II procollagen (CP2) and safety assessments were performed before exercise and after 3, 24, 48 and 72 hours.

Results: The supplementation with leucine resulted in reduced loss of strength at 0 and 3 hours after downhill walking compared with the placebo (p=0.0439). The reduction of C2C/CP2 ratio deflection was significantly increased (p=0.038) due to leucine compared with the placebo. The same tendency could be observed for the recovery phase. No significant supplement effects for muscle soreness and CK could be observed.

Conclusion: The principle findings show that leucine-rich amino acid supplementation can counteract the negative effects of eccentric exercise. The treatment resulted in a reduction of exercise-induced strength loss.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjsem-2016-000156DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569265PMC
March 2017

Design of Poly-l-Glutamate-Based Complexes for pDNA Delivery.

Macromol Biosci 2017 10 5;17(10). Epub 2017 Apr 5.

Polymer Therapeutics Lab, Centro de Investigación Príncipe Felipe (CIPF), C/Eduardo Primo Yúfera 3, Valencia, 46012, Spain.

Due to the polyanionic nature of DNA, typically cationic or neutral delivery vehicles have been used for gene delivery. As a new approach, this study focuses on the design, development, and validation of nonviral polypeptide-based carriers for oligonucleotide delivery based on a negatively charged poly-l-glutamic acid (PGA) backbone partly derivatized with oligoaminoamide residues. To this end, PGA-derivatives modified with different pentameric succinyl tetraethylene pentamines (Stp ) are designed. Optionally, histidines for modulation of endosomal buffer capacity and cysteines for pDNA complex stabilization are included, followed by characterization of biophysical properties and gene transfer efficiency in N2a neuroblastoma or 4T1 breast cancer cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mabi.201700029DOI Listing
October 2017

Oxytocin facilitates the extinction of conditioned fear in humans.

Biol Psychiatry 2015 Aug 30;78(3):194-202. Epub 2014 Oct 30.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.; Division of Medical Psychology, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.. Electronic address:

Background: Current neurocircuitry models of anxiety disorders posit a lack of inhibitory tone in the amygdala during acquisition of Pavlovian fear responses and deficient encoding of extinction responses in amygdala-medial prefrontal cortex circuits. Competition between these two responses often results in a return of fear, limiting control over anxiety. However, one hypothesis holds that a pharmacologic strategy aimed at reducing amygdala activity while simultaneously augmenting medial prefrontal cortex function could facilitate the extinction of conditioned fear.

Methods: Key among the endogenous inhibitors of amygdala activity in response to social fear signals is the hypothalamic peptide oxytocin. To address the question whether oxytocin can strengthen Pavlovian extinction beyond its role in controlling social fear, we conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment with 62 healthy male participants in a randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled design. Specifically, subjects were exposed to a Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm before receiving an intranasal dose (24 IU) of synthetic oxytocin or placebo.

Results: Oxytocin, when administered intranasally after Pavlovian fear conditioning, was found to increase electrodermal responses and prefrontal cortex signals to conditioned fear in the early phase of extinction and to enhance the decline of skin conductance responses in the late phase of extinction. Oxytocin also evoked an unspecific inhibition of amygdalar responses in both phases.

Conclusions: Collectively, our findings identify oxytocin as a differentially acting modulator of neural hubs involved in Pavlovian extinction. This specific profile of oxytocin action may open up new avenues for enhancing extinction-based therapies for anxiety disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.10.015DOI Listing
August 2015

Anti-stress effects of lemon balm-containing foods.

Nutrients 2014 Oct 30;6(11):4805-21. Epub 2014 Oct 30.

Vital Solutions GmbH, Hausinger Strasse 6, D-40764 Langenfeld, Germany.

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) has been used historically and contemporarily as a modulator of mood and cognitive function, with anxiolytic effects following administration of capsules, coated tablets and topical application. Following a pilot study with lemon balm extract administered as a water based drink, which confirmed absorption of rosmarinic acid effects on mood and cognitive function, we conducted two similar double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover studies. These evaluated the mood and cognitive effects of a standardised M. officinalis preparation administered in palatable forms in a beverage and in yoghurt. In each study a cohort of healthy young adults' self-rated aspects of mood were measured before and after a multi-tasking framework (MTF) administered one hour and three hours following one of four treatments. Both active lemon balm treatments were generally associated with improvements in mood and/or cognitive performance, though there were some behavioral "costs" at other doses and these effects depended to some degree on the delivery matrix.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu6114805DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4245564PMC
October 2014

Native chemical ligation for conversion of sequence-defined oligomers into targeted pDNA and siRNA carriers.

J Control Release 2014 Apr 22;180:42-50. Epub 2014 Feb 22.

Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Center for NanoScience (CeNS), Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) Munich, Butenandtstrasse 5-13, D-81377 Munich, Germany; Nanosystems Initiative Munich, Schellingstraße 4, D-80799 Munich, Germany. Electronic address:

Native chemical ligation (NCL) was established for the conversion of sequence-defined oligomers of different topologies into targeted and PEG shielded pDNA and siRNA carriers. From an existing library of non-targeted oligoethanamino amides, six oligomers containing N-terminal cysteines were selected as cationic cores, to which monodisperse polyethylene glycol (PEG) containing terminal folic acid as targeting ligand (or terminal alanine as targeting negative control ligand) were attached by NCL. Ligated conjugates plus controls (in sum 18 oligomers) were evaluated for pDNA or siRNA gene delivery. Biophysical characteristics including nucleic acid binding in the absence or presence of serum, as well as biological activities in cellular uptake and gene transfer (or gene silencing, respectively) were determined. In most cases, the folic acid-PEG-ligated oligomers displayed a strongly improved cellular binding, uptake and gene transfer into receptor-positive KB cells as compared to the alanine-PEG controls. Changing the topological structures by increasing the number of cationic arms, adding tyrosine trimers as polyplex stabilizing domains, or histidines facilitating endosomal escape resulted in beneficial gene transfer characteristics. The screen revealed different requirements for pDNA and siRNA delivery. A folate-PEG ligated histidinylated four-arm oligomer was most effective for pDNA delivery but inactive for siRNA, whereas a folate-PEG-ligated three-arm oligomer with tyrosine trimer modifications was most effective in siRNA mediated gene silencing. The results demonstrate the site-selective NCL reaction as powerful method to modify existing oligomers. Thus multifunctional targeted carriers can be obtained with ease and used to identify lead structures for subsequent in vivo delivery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jconrel.2014.02.015DOI Listing
April 2014

Correlation of length of linear oligo(ethanamino) amides with gene transfer and cytotoxicity.

ChemMedChem 2014 Sep 6;9(9):2104-10. Epub 2014 Feb 6.

Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Center for System-Based Drug Research & Center for NanoScience (CeNS), Ludwig Maximilians University, Butenandtstraße 5-13, 81377 Munich (Germany); Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM), Schellingstraße 4, 80799 Munich (Germany).

The optimization of synthetic carriers for gene transfer remains a major challenge. Cationic polymers such as polyethylenimine (PEI) often show increasing gene transfer activity with increasing molecular weight, but this favorable effect is accompanied by an undesired increase in cytotoxicity. Moreover, the polydispersity of polymers prevents accurate determination of optimum size. Herein we describe the step-by-step elongation of precise linear oligo(ethanamino) amides by making use of the artificial amino acid succinoyl-tetraethylene pentamine (Stp) for solid-phase-assisted synthesis. This procedure enabled us to identify the optimal oligomer Stp30-W (8.4 kDa) with a length of 30 Stp units, with which effective gene transfer occurs in the absence of cytotoxicity. The transfection efficiency of Stp30-W exceeded that of standard linear PEI (22 kDa) by sixfold; nevertheless, Stp30-W exhibited tenfold lower cytotoxicity. In addition to the lower molecular weight, the succinate spacer between the oligoamine units may also contribute to the favorable biocompatibility. The cytotoxicity of the cationic polymer PEI is a major concern for use as a carrier for gene delivery, so this comparison between linear PEI and the new Stp oligomers is particularly relevant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cmdc.201300483DOI Listing
September 2014

Comb-like oligoaminoethane carriers: change in topology improves pDNA delivery.

Bioconjug Chem 2014 Feb 6;25(2):251-61. Epub 2014 Jan 6.

Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Center for System-based Drug Research and Center for NanoScience (CeNS), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität , Butenandtstrasse 5-13, 81377 Munich, Germany.

Establishing precise structure-activity relationships is important for the optimization of synthetic carriers for gene delivery. Sequence-defined oligomers with branched or linear shapes were synthesized to investigate the influence of topology on their biophysical properties and biological performance. Comb-like structures were synthesized consisting of an oligolysine peptide backbone modified at the ε-amino groups with four different artificial oligoamino acids, succinyl-diethylene triamine (Sdt), succinyl-triethylene tetramine (Stt), succinyl-tetraethylene pentamine (Stp), and succinyl-pentaethylene hexamine (Sph). Optionally the amino acids histidine and alanine were inserted into the oligolysine backbone to assess a possible buffer or spacer effect. After the evaluation of biophysical properties, the best performing oligomers, containing the Stp or Sph building blocks, were compared to corresponding linear oligomers where Stp or Sph are directly integrated into the linear oligolysine row. Clear differences between the comb and linear carriers were observed in the comparison of properties such as DNA complexation ability, buffer capacity, cellular association and internalization, and gene transfer. For the Stp containing structures, the comb topology mediated an increased buffer capacity at endosomal pH. For the Sph containing structures, in sharp contrast, the linear topology displayed advantageous endosomal buffering. Interestingly, for both Stp and Sph carriers, the comb in comparison to the linear topologies mediated a higher overall cellular uptake despite a lower cell association. For Stp combs, the combined advantage in both buffering and cellular uptake resulted in a strong (10- to >100-fold) increase in DNA transfection efficiency. In the case of Sph carriers, comb topology mediated only moderately (maximum 4-fold) enhanced gene transfer over the linear topology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bc400392yDOI Listing
February 2014

Therapeutic plasmid DNA versus siRNA delivery: common and different tasks for synthetic carriers.

J Control Release 2012 Jul 23;161(2):554-65. Epub 2011 Nov 23.

Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Center for System-based Drug Research, and Center for NanoScience, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Butenandtstrasse 5-13, 81377 Munich, Germany.

Gene therapy offers great opportunities for the treatment of severe diseases including cancer. In recent years the design of synthetic carriers for nucleic acid delivery has become a research field of increasing interest. Studies on the delivery of plasmid DNA (pDNA) have brought up a variety of gene delivery vehicles. The more recently emerged gene silencing strategy by the intracellular delivery of small interfering RNA (siRNA) takes benefit from existing expertise in pDNA transfer. Despite common properties however, delivery of siRNA also faces distinct challenges due to apparent differences in size, stability of the formed nucleic acid complexes, the location and mechanism of action. This review emphasizes the common aspects and main differences between pDNA and siRNA delivery, taking into consideration a wide spectrum of polymer-based, lipidic and peptide carriers. Challenges and opportunities which result from these differences as well as the recent progress made in the optimization of carrier design are presented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jconrel.2011.11.014DOI Listing
July 2012

Polymorphisms in the interleukin-1 (IL1) gene cluster are not associated with aggressive periodontitis in a large Caucasian population.

Genomics 2008 Nov 18;92(5):309-15. Epub 2008 Sep 18.

POPGEN, University of Kiel, D-24105 Kiel, Germany.

Polymorphisms in the interleukin-1 (IL1) gene have been suggested to influence transcription of IL1A (interleukin-1alpha) and IL1B (interleukin-1beta) and thereby the pathophysiology of periodontitis. This case-control association study on 415 northern European Caucasian patients with aggressive periodontitis (AgP) and 874 healthy controls was conducted to examine 10 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the genes of the IL1 cluster for association with IL1A, IL1B, CKAP2L (cytoskeleton-associated protein 2-like), and IL1RN (IL-1 receptor antagonist). The results do not support an association between variants in the IL1 gene cluster and AgP. This case-control study had at least 95% power to detect genuine associations with variants carrying relative risks of at least 1.5 for heterozygous carriers and 2.25 for homozygous carriers. Previous reports of an association between IL1 promoter SNPs and periodontitis might reflect subpopulation effects and have to be interpreted with care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygeno.2008.07.004DOI Listing
November 2008