Publications by authors named "Isabelle Courdier-Fruh"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

NQO1-dependent redox cycling of idebenone: effects on cellular redox potential and energy levels.

PLoS One 2011 Mar 31;6(3):e17963. Epub 2011 Mar 31.

Santhera Pharmaceuticals, Liestal, Switzerland.

Short-chain quinones are described as potent antioxidants and in the case of idebenone have already been under clinical investigation for the treatment of neuromuscular disorders. Due to their analogy to coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a long-chain quinone, they are widely regarded as a substitute for CoQ10. However, apart from their antioxidant function, this provides no clear rationale for their use in disorders with normal CoQ10 levels. Using recombinant NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase (NQO) enzymes, we observed that contrary to CoQ10 short-chain quinones such as idebenone are good substrates for both NQO1 and NQO2. Furthermore, the reduction of short-chain quinones by NQOs enabled an antimycin A-sensitive transfer of electrons from cytosolic NAD(P)H to the mitochondrial respiratory chain in both human hepatoma cells (HepG2) and freshly isolated mouse hepatocytes. Consistent with the substrate selectivity of NQOs, both idebenone and CoQ1, but not CoQ10, partially restored cellular ATP levels under conditions of impaired complex I function. The observed cytosolic-mitochondrial shuttling of idebenone and CoQ1 was also associated with reduced lactate production by cybrid cells from mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes (MELAS) patients. Thus, the observed activities separate the effectiveness of short-chain quinones from the related long-chain CoQ10 and provide the rationale for the use of short-chain quinones such as idebenone for the treatment of mitochondrial disorders.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0017963PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3069029PMC
March 2011

Omigapil ameliorates the pathology of muscle dystrophy caused by laminin-alpha2 deficiency.

J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2009 Dec 16;331(3):787-95. Epub 2009 Sep 16.

Santhera Pharmaceuticals, Liestal, Switzerland.

Laminin alpha2-deficient congenital muscular dystrophy, called MDC1A, is a rare, devastating genetic disease characterized by severe neonatal hypotonia ("floppy infant syndrome"), peripheral neuropathy, inability to stand or walk, respiratory distress, and premature death in early life. Transgenic overexpression of the apoptosis inhibitor protein BCL-2, or deletion of the proapoptotic Bax gene in a mouse model for MDC1A prolongs survival and mitigates pathology, indicating that apoptotic events are involved in the pathology. Here we demonstrate that the proapoptotic glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH)-Siah1-CBP/p300-p53 pathway is activated in a mouse model for MDC1A. Moreover, we show that omigapil, which inhibits GAPDH-Siah1-mediated apoptosis, ameliorates several pathological hallmarks in the MDC1A mouse model. Specifically, we demonstrate that treatment with omigapil inhibits apoptosis in muscle, reduces body weight loss and skeletal deformation, increases locomotive activity, and protects from early mortality. These data qualify omigapil, which is in late phase of clinical development for human use, as a drug candidate for the treatment of MDC1A.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1124/jpet.109.160754DOI Listing
December 2009

Orally available selective melanocortin-4 receptor antagonists stimulate food intake and reduce cancer-induced cachexia in mice.

PLoS One 2009 19;4(3):e4774. Epub 2009 Mar 19.

Santhera Pharmaceuticals (Switzerland) Ltd, Liestal, Switzerland.

Background: Cachexia is among the most debilitating and life-threatening aspects of cancer. It represents a metabolic syndrome affecting essential functional circuits involved in the regulation of homeostasis, and includes anorexia, fat and muscle tissue wasting. The anorexigenic peptide alpha-MSH is believed to be crucially involved in the normal and pathologic regulation of food intake. It was speculated that blockade of its central physiological target, the melanocortin (MC)-4 receptor, might provide a promising anti-cachexia treatment strategy. This idea is supported by the fact that in animal studies, agouti-related protein (AgRP), the endogenous inverse agonist at the MC-4 receptor, was found to affect two hallmark features of cachexia, i.e. to increase food intake and to reduce energy expenditure.

Methodology/principal Findings: SNT207707 and SNT209858 are two recently discovered, non peptidic, chemically unrelated, orally active MC-4 receptor antagonists penetrating the blood brain barrier. Both compounds were found to distinctly increase food intake in healthy mice. Moreover, in mice subcutaneously implanted with C26 adenocarcinoma cells, repeated oral administration (starting the day after tumor implantation) of each of the two compounds almost completely prevented tumor induced weight loss, and diminished loss of lean body mass and fat mass.

Conclusions/significance: In contrast to the previously reported peptidic and small molecule MC-4 antagonists, the compounds described here work by the oral administration route. Orally active compounds might offer a considerable advantage for the treatment of cachexia patients.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0004774PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2654097PMC
May 2009

Long-term blinded placebo-controlled study of SNT-MC17/idebenone in the dystrophin deficient mdx mouse: cardiac protection and improved exercise performance.

Eur Heart J 2009 Jan 10;30(1):116-24. Epub 2008 Sep 10.

Department of Pediatric Neurology, University Hospitals Leuven, Herestraat, Leuven, Belgium.

Aims: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a severe and still incurable disease, with heart failure as a leading cause of death. The identification of a disease-modifying therapy may require early-initiated and long-term administration, but such type of therapeutic trial is not evident in humans. We have performed such a trial of SNT-MC17/idebenone in the mdx mouse model of DMD, based on the drug's potential to improve mitochondrial respiratory chain function and reduce oxidative stress.

Methods And Results: In this study, 200 mg/kg bodyweight of either SNT-MC17/idebenone or placebo was given from age 4 weeks until 10 months in mdx and wild-type mice. All evaluators were blinded to mouse type and treatment groups. Idebenone treatment significantly corrected cardiac diastolic dysfunction and prevented mortality from cardiac pump failure induced by dobutamine stress testing in vivo, significantly reduced cardiac inflammation and fibrosis, and significantly improved voluntary running performance in mdx mice.

Conclusion: We have identified a novel potential therapeutic strategy for human DMD, as SNT-MC17/idebenone was cardioprotective and improved exercise performance in the dystrophin-deficient mdx mouse. Our data also illustrate that the mdx mouse provides unique opportunities for long-term controlled prehuman therapeutic studies.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehn406DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2639086PMC
January 2009

Effect of calpain and proteasome inhibition on Ca2+-dependent proteolysis and muscle histopathology in the mdx mouse.

FASEB J 2008 Dec 26;22(12):4190-200. Epub 2008 Aug 26.

Santhera Pharmaceuticals (Switzerland) Ltd, Hammerstrasse 47, CH-4410 Liestal, Switzerland.

Dystrophin deficiency is the underlying molecular cause of progressive muscle weakness observed in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Loss of functional dystrophin leads to elevated levels of intracellular Ca(2+), a key step in the cellular pathology of DMD. The cysteine protease calpain is activated in dystrophin-deficient muscle, and its inhibition is regarded as a potential therapeutic approach. In addition, previous work has shown that the ubiquitin-proteasome system also contributes to muscle protein breakdown in dystrophic muscle and, therefore, also qualifies as a potential target for therapeutic intervention in DMD. The relative contribution of calpain- and proteasome-mediated proteolysis induced by increased Ca(2+) levels was characterized in cultured muscle cells and revealed initial Ca(2+) influx-dependent calpain activity and subsequent Ca(2+)-independent activity of the ubiquitin-proteasome system. We then set out to optimize novel small-molecule inhibitors that inhibit both calpain as well as the 20S proteasome in a cellular system with impaired Ca(2+) homeostasis. On administration of such inhibitors to mdx mice, quantitative histological parameters improved significantly, in particular with compounds strongly inhibiting the 20S proteasome. To investigate the role of calpain inhibition without interfering with the ubiquitin-proteasome system, we crossed mdx mice with transgenic mice, overexpressing the endogenous calpain inhibitor calpastatin. Although our data show that proteolysis by calpain is strongly inhibited in the transgenic mdx mouse, this calpain inhibition did not ameliorate muscle histology. Our results indicate that inhibition of the proteasome rather than calpain is required for histological improvement of dystrophin-deficient muscle. In conclusion, we have identified novel proteasome inhibitors that qualify as potential candidates for pharmacological intervention in muscular dystrophy.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.07-099036DOI Listing
December 2008

Utrophin is a calpain substrate in muscle cells.

Muscle Nerve 2006 Jun;33(6):753-9

Santhera Pharmaceuticals, Hammerstrasse 25, CH-4410 Liestal, Switzerland.

Calpains are Ca2+ -dependent cytosolic cysteine proteases that participate in the pathology of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Utrophin is a functional homolog of dystrophin that partially compensates for dystrophin deficiency in myofibers of mdx mice. In this study, we investigated the susceptibility of utrophin to cleavage by calpain in vitro and in muscle cells. We found that utrophin is a direct in vitro substrate of purified calpain I and II. Cleavage of utrophin by calpain I or II generates specific degradation products that are also found in cultured control and DMD myotubes under conditions with elevated intracellular Ca2+ levels. In addition, we showed that activation of cellular calpains by Ca2+ ionophore treatment reduces utrophin protein levels in muscle cells and that calpain inhibition prevents this Ca2+ -induced reduction in utrophin levels. These observations suggest that, beside its known effect on general muscle protein degradation, calpain contributes to DMD pathology by specifically degrading the compensatory protein utrophin.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mus.20549DOI Listing
June 2006

Novel cell-penetrating alpha-keto-amide calpain inhibitors as potential treatment for muscular dystrophy.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2005 Dec 26;15(23):5176-81. Epub 2005 Sep 26.

Medicinal Chemistry Department, Santhera Pharmaceuticals, Hammerstrasse 25, CH-4410 Liestal, Switzerland.

Dipeptide-derived alpha-keto-amide compounds with potent calpain inhibitory activity have been identified. These reversible covalent inhibitors have IC(50) values down to 25nM and exhibit greatly improved activity in muscle cells compared to the reference compound MDL28170. Several novel calpain inhibitors have shown positive effects on histological parameters in an animal model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy demonstrating their potential as a treatment option for this fatal disease.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2005.08.064DOI Listing
December 2005

A multidisciplinary evaluation of the effectiveness of cyclosporine a in dystrophic mdx mice.

Am J Pathol 2005 Feb;166(2):477-89

Sezione di Farmacologia, Dipartimento Farmacobiologico, Facoltà di Farmacia, Università degli Studi di Bari, Via Orabona 4, Campus, 70125 Bari, Italy.

Chronic inflammation is a secondary reaction of Duchenne muscular dystrophy and may contribute to disease progression. To examine whether immunosuppressant therapies could benefit dystrophic patients, we analyzed the effects of cyclosporine A (CsA) on a dystrophic mouse model. Mdx mice were treated with 10 mg/kg of CsA for 4 to 8 weeks throughout a period of exercise on treadmill, a protocol that worsens the dystrophic condition. The CsA treatment fully prevented the 60% drop of forelimb strength induced by exercise. A significant amelioration (P < 0.05) was observed in histological profile of CsA-treated gastrocnemius muscle with reductions of nonmuscle area (20%), centronucleated fibers (12%), and degenerating area (50%) compared to untreated exercised mdx mice. Consequently, the percentage of normal fibers increased from 26 to 35% in CsA-treated mice. Decreases in creatine kinase and markers of fibrosis were also observed. By electrophysiological recordings ex vivo, we found that CsA counteracted the decrease in chloride conductance (gCl), a functional index of degeneration in diaphragm and extensor digitorum longus muscle fibers. However, electrophysiology and fura-2 calcium imaging did not show any amelioration of calcium homeostasis in extensor digitorum longus muscle fibers. No significant effect was observed on utrophin levels in diaphragm muscle. Our data show that the CsA treatment significantly normalized many functional, histological, and biochemical endpoints by acting on events that are independent or downstream of calcium homeostasis. The beneficial effect of CsA may involve different targets, reinforcing the usefulness of immunosuppressant drugs in muscular dystrophy.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1602333PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0002-9440(10)62270-5DOI Listing
February 2005

Histological parameters for the quantitative assessment of muscular dystrophy in the mdx-mouse.

Neuromuscul Disord 2004 Oct;14(10):675-82

MyoContract Ltd, Hammerstrasse 25, CH-4410 Liestal, Switzerland.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a severe X-linked hereditary disease caused by the absence of functional dystrophin. The dystrophin-deficient mdx-mouse strain is a widely used animal model for dystrophin-deficiency. Several therapeutic approaches for muscular dystrophy have been proposed by different laboratories. In order to compare the efficacy of these therapies in the mdx-mouse, it is essential to implement standardized protocols for the assessment of functional and histological parameters in this mouse model. Here, we determine that the minimal 'Feret's diameter' is a geometrical parameter that allows for reliable measure of muscle fiber cross-sectional size. Using this geometrical parameter we calculate variance coefficients of the muscle fiber size and provide reference values for the quantitative assessment of dystrophic symptoms in frequently investigated muscles of wild-type and mdx-mouse. In addition, we compare the variance coefficients of the muscle fiber size with the percentage of muscle fibers with centralized nuclei; another histological hallmark of muscular dystrophy.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nmd.2004.06.008DOI Listing
October 2004

Reduced expression of nicotinic AChRs in myotubes from spinal muscular atrophy I patients.

Lab Invest 2004 Oct;84(10):1271-8

Laboratoire de Pathologie des Communications entre Cellules Nerveuses et Musculaires (LPCCNM), EA 3429, Université Louis Pasteur, Faculté de Pharmacie, Illkirch, France.

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by degeneration of motoneurons and skeletal muscle atrophy. In its most severe form, it leads to death before the age of 2 years. While primary degeneration of motor neurons is well established in this disease, and this results in neurogenic atrophy of skeletal muscle, we have previously reported evidence for a primary muscle defect. In this study, we used primary cultures of embryonic human skeletal muscle cells from patients with SMA and from controls to examine the effects of muscle fiber differentiation in the absence of a nerve component. Cultured SMA skeletal muscle cells are unable to fuse correctly to form multinuclear myotubes, the precursors of the myofibers. We also show that agrin-induced aggregates of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, one of the earliest steps of neuromuscular junction formation, cannot be visualized by confocal microscopy on cells from SMA patients. In binding experiments, we demonstrate that this lack of clustering is due to defective expression of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the myotubes of SMA patients whereas the affinity of alpha-bungarotoxin for its receptor remains unchanged regardless of muscle cell type (SMA or control). These observations suggest that muscle cells from SMA patients have intrinsic abnormalities that may affect proper formation of the neuromuscular junction.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/labinvest.3700163DOI Listing
October 2004

Detection of glucocorticoid-like activity in traditional Chinese medicine used for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Neuromuscul Disord 2003 Nov;13(9):699-704

MyoContract Ltd., Hammerstrasse 25, CH-4410, Liestal, Switzerland

Anecdotal reports of positive influence of certain traditional Chinese medicines on the progression of neuromuscular diseases in general and Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) in particular has raised interest in patient support groups and clinical experts alike. However, clinical signs of steroid-specific side effects in patients treated with a particular form of Chinese medicine raised the concern that they may contain glucocorticoids, which in turn could also explain the mild beneficial effects seen in some of the patients. We have extracted and fractionated capsules containing pulverized Chinese medicine that had been used for the treatment of DMD patients and analyzed their content for glucocorticoid-like activity using promoter-reporter assays. We demonstrate that extracts from this Chinese medicine activate a prototype glucocorticoid-response element, increase the level of utrophin protein in human muscle cells and activate the utrophin promoter A. Based on our bioassays we conclude that this particular Chinese medicine used for the treatment of muscular dystrophy patients contains glucocorticoids as one of its active ingredients.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0960-8966(03)00117-2DOI Listing
November 2003

Glucocorticoid-mediated regulation of utrophin levels in human muscle fibers.

Neuromuscul Disord 2002 Oct;12 Suppl 1:S95-104

MyoContract Pharmaceutical Research Ltd., Klingelbergstrasse 70, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.

Previous studies on transgenic mice indicate that upregulation of utrophin protein may offer a potential treatment strategy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. We have analyzed the effect of the glucocorticoid 6alpha-methylprednisolone-21 sodium succinate on utrophin protein levels, using a cell-based assay with differentiated human myotubes, derived from biopsies of healthy individuals or Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients. We found that within 5-7 days 6alpha-methylprednisolone-21 sodium succinate increases utrophin protein up to approximately 40% in both normal and dystrophin-deficient myotubes compared to untreated control cultures. When analyzed in promoter-reporter assays 6alpha-methylprednisolone-21 sodium succinate activated a utrophin promoter A-fragment but did not activate a utrophin promoter B-fragment. Surprisingly, endogenous levels of utrophin mRNA in 6alpha-methylprednisolone-21 sodium succinate-treated muscle cells were unaltered indicating that the utrophin-inducing effect of glucocorticoids may be a result of post-transcriptional mechanisms. We have also analyzed 66 glucocorticoids for their effect on utrophin protein levels and found that glucocorticoids in general are able to induce utrophin protein in human myotubes.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0960-8966(02)00089-5DOI Listing
October 2002