Publications by authors named "Maria A Potenza"

9 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Discovery of N-{3-[(ethanimidoylamino)methyl]benzyl}-l-prolinamide dihydrochloride: A new potent and selective inhibitor of the inducible nitric oxide synthase as a promising agent for the therapy of malignant glioma.

Eur J Med Chem 2018 May 13;152:53-64. Epub 2018 Apr 13.

Department of Pharmacy - University of Chieti "G. d'Annunzio", Italy.

In mammalian cells, aberrant iNOS induction may have detrimental consequences, and seems to be involved in the proliferation and progression of different tumors, such as malignant gliomas. Therefore, selective inhibition of iNOS could represent a feasible therapeutic strategy to treat these conditions. In this context, we have previously disclosed new acetamidines able to inhibit iNOS with a very high selectivity profile over eNOS or nNOS. Here we report the synthesis of a new series of compounds structurally related to the leading scaffold of N-[(3-aminomethyl)benzyl] acetamidine (1400 W), together with their in vitro activity and selectivity. Compound 39 emerged as the most promising molecule of this series, and it was ex vivo evaluated on isolated and perfused resistance arteries, confirming a high selectivity toward iNOS inhibition. Moreover, C6 rat glioma cell lines biological response to 39 was investigated, and preliminary MTT assay showed a significant decrease in cell metabolic activity of C6 rat glioma cells. Finally, results of a docking study shed light on the binding mode of 39 into NOS catalytic site.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmech.2018.04.027DOI Listing
May 2018

Infliximab therapy restores adiponectin expression in perivascular adipose tissue and improves endothelial nitric oxide-mediated vasodilation in mice with type 1 diabetes.

Vascul Pharmacol 2016 12 24;87:83-91. Epub 2016 Aug 24.

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, Pharmacology Section, Medical School, University of Bari "Aldo Moro", Bari, Italy. Electronic address:

Increased TNFα-mediated JNK signaling in the perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) may contribute to the pathogenesis of vascular complications in T1DM by reducing adiponectin (Ad) synthesis and therefore impairing Ad-mediated activity in the contiguous blood vessel system. We evaluated whether in vivo treatment with the TNFα blocking antibody infliximab normalized expression of Ad and Ad receptors in various fat depots, and whether this effect correlated with improved endothelial activity and vasodilator function in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mice. STZ mice were studied at 1 and 2weeks after diabetes onset, and compared to age-matched infliximab-treated diabetic (I-STZ) and control animals (CTRL) (n=10 each group). In STZ mice, activation of pro-inflammatory JNK signaling was faster in PVAT (P<0.01) than in visceral (VAT), epididymal (EAT) and subcutaneous (SAT) adipose depots, and associated with decreased Ad synthesis and dysregulated AdipoR1/R2 levels. In parallel, activation of JNK in aortic endothelial cells and mesenteric arteries was associated with decreased expression/phosphorylation of eNOS and impaired ACh-mediated vasodilation (P<0.05 vs. CTRL). Treatment with infliximab abrogated JNK activation, ameliorated Ad protein expression, and normalized expression of both AdipoR1 and AdipoR2 in PVAT, concomitantly improving eNOS expression and vessel relaxation in mesenteric arteries from I-STZ mice (P<0.01 vs. STZ). These observations underline the early susceptibility of PVAT to activation of pro-inflammatory JNK signaling, and highlight its potential importance in early vascular changes of T1DM. Further elucidation of the role of PVAT in cardiovascular complications may allow for the design of novel therapeutic strategies directly addressing PVAT pathophysiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vph.2016.08.007DOI Listing
December 2016

Selective Acetamidine-Based Nitric Oxide Synthase Inhibitors: Synthesis, Docking, and Biological Studies.

ACS Med Chem Lett 2015 Jun 28;6(6):635-40. Epub 2015 Apr 28.

Department of Pharmacy, University of Chieti "G. d'Annunzio" , 66100 Chieti, Italy.

N-[(3-Aminomethyl)benzyl]acetamidine derivatives were synthesized and in vitro evaluated as inhibitors of the inducible isoform of nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). Because of the high potency of action and the excellent selectivity over the endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), compound 10 was ex vivo evaluated on isolated and perfused resistance arteries. The results confirm that compound 10 selectively inhibits the iNOS, without affecting the endothelial isoform. The outcome of the docking studies showed that the hydrophobic interaction is the driving force of the binding process, especially for iNOS, where the binding pocket is characterized by a significant lipophilic region.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsmedchemlett.5b00149DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4468396PMC
June 2015

In-vivo administration of CLC-K kidney chloride channels inhibitors increases water diuresis in rats: a new drug target for hypertension?

J Hypertens 2012 Jan;30(1):153-67

Section of Pharmacology, Department of Pharmacobiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.

Objective: The human kidney-specific chloride channels ClC-Ka (rodent ClC-K1) and ClC-Kb (rodent ClC-K2) are important determinants of renal function, participating to urine concentration and blood pressure regulation mechanisms. Here we tested the hypothesis that these chloride channels could represent new drug targets for inducing diuretic and antihypertensive effects.

Methods: To this purpose, the CLC-K blockers benzofuran derivatives MT-189 and RT-93 (10, 50, 100 mg/kg), were acutely administered by gavage in Wistar rats, and pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic parameters determined by functional, bioanalytical, biochemical and molecular biology assays.

Results: Plasma concentration values for MT-189 and RT-93 were indicative of good bioavailability. Both MT-189 and RT-93 dose-dependently increased urine volume without affecting electrolyte balance. A comparable reduction of SBP was observed in rats after MT-189, RT-93 or furosemide administration. Benzofuran derivatives treatment did not affect kidney CLC-K mRNA level or inner medulla osmolality, whereas a significant vasopressin-independent down-regulation of aquaporin water channel type 2 was observed at protein and transcriptional levels. In rats treated with benzofuran derivatives, the observed polyuria was mainly water diuresis; this finding indirectly supports a cross-talk between chloride and water transport in nephron. Moreover, preliminary in-vitro evaluation of the drugs capability to cross the blood-inner ear barrier suggests that these compounds have a limited ability to induce potential auditory side effects.

Conclusion: CLC-K blockers may represent a new class of drugs for the treatment of conditions associated with expanded extracellular volume, with a hopeful high therapeutic potential for hypertensive patients carrying ClC-K gain-of-function polymorphisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0b013e32834d9eb9DOI Listing
January 2012

Treatment of spontaneously hypertensive rats with rosiglitazone ameliorates cardiovascular pathophysiology via antioxidant mechanisms in the vasculature.

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2009 Sep 16;297(3):E685-94. Epub 2009 Jun 16.

Dept. of Pharmacology and Human Physiology, Medical School, Univ. of Bari, Policlinico-Piazza G. Cesare, 11, 70124 Bari, Italy.

Oxidative stress contributes to cardiovascular complications of diabetes, in part, by reducing the bioavailability of nitric oxide (NO). We investigated the mechanisms whereby the insulin sensitizer rosiglitazone may ameliorate oxidative stress in the vasculature of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Nine-week-old SHR were treated by gavage for 7 wk with rosiglitazone (5 mg x kg(-1) x day(-1)) or vehicle control. Treatment of SHR with rosiglitazone lowered systolic blood pressure, reduced fasting plasma insulin and asymmetrical dimethylarginine, and increased insulin sensitivity (when compared with vehicle treatment). In vessel homogenates and serum from rosiglitazone-treated SHR, SOD activity was enhanced, while 8-iso-PGF(2alpha) (lipid peroxidation product) was reduced (when compared with samples from vehicle-treated SHR). Moreover, expression of p22phox (catalytic subunit of NADPH oxidase) as well as nitrotyrosine and superoxide content were all reduced in the aortas of rosiglitazone-treated SHR. In mesenteric vascular beds (MVB) isolated ex vivo from rosiglitazone-treated SHR, NO-dependent vasodilator actions of insulin were improved when compared with MVB from vehicle-treated SHR. Acute pretreatment of MVB from vehicle-treated SHR with apocynin (NADPH oxidase inhibitor) enhanced vasodilator actions of insulin (results comparable to those in MVB from rosiglitazone-treated SHR). In Langendorff heart preparations from rosiglitazone-treated SHR, ischemia/reperfusion injury caused infarcts 40% smaller than in hearts from vehicle-treated SHR. Acute pretreatment of hearts from vehicle-treated SHR with apocynin produced similar results. Finally, rosiglitazone treatment of endothelial cells in primary culture reduced superoxide induced by insulin-resistant conditions. We conclude that rosiglitazone therapy in SHR increases SOD activity and decreases p22phox expression in the vasculature to reduce oxidant stress leading to an improved cardiovascular phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00291.2009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2739701PMC
September 2009

Epigallocatechin gallate, a green tea polyphenol, mediates NO-dependent vasodilation using signaling pathways in vascular endothelium requiring reactive oxygen species and Fyn.

J Biol Chem 2007 May 15;282(18):13736-45. Epub 2007 Mar 15.

Diabetes Unit, NCCAM, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.

Green tea consumption is associated with reduced cardiovascular mortality in some epidemiological studies. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a bioactive polyphenol in green tea, mimics metabolic actions of insulin to inhibit gluconeogenesis in hepatocytes. Because signaling pathways regulating metabolic and vasodilator actions of insulin are shared in common, we hypothesized that EGCG may also have vasodilator actions to stimulate production of nitric oxide (NO) from endothelial cells. Acute intra-arterial administration of EGCG to mesenteric vascular beds isolated ex vivo from WKY rats caused dose-dependent vasorelaxation. This was inhibitable by L-NAME (NO synthase inhibitor), wortmannin (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor), or PP2 (Src family kinase inhibitor). Treatment of bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAEC) with EGCG (50 microm) acutely stimulated production of NO (assessed with NO-specific fluorescent dye DAF-2) that was inhibitable by l-NAME, wortmannin, or PP2. Stimulation of BAEC with EGCG also resulted in dose- and time-dependent phosphorylation of eNOS that was inhibitable by wortmannin or PP2 (but not by MEK inhibitor PD98059). Specific knockdown of Fyn (but not Src) with small interfering RNA inhibited both EGCG-stimulated phosphorylation of Akt and eNOS as well as production of NO in BAEC. Treatment of BAEC with EGCG generated intracellular H(2)O(2) (assessed with H(2)O(2)-specific fluorescent dye CM-H(2)DCF-DA), whereas treatment with N-acetylcysteine inhibited EGCG-stimulated phosphorylation of Fyn, Akt, and eNOS. We conclude that EGCG has endothelial-dependent vasodilator actions mediated by intracellular signaling pathways requiring reactive oxygen species and Fyn that lead to activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, Akt, and eNOS. This mechanism may explain, in part, beneficial vascular and metabolic health effects of green tea consumption.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M609725200DOI Listing
May 2007

EGCG, a green tea polyphenol, improves endothelial function and insulin sensitivity, reduces blood pressure, and protects against myocardial I/R injury in SHR.

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2007 May 16;292(5):E1378-87. Epub 2007 Jan 16.

Departments of Pharmacology and Human Physiology, Medical School, University of Bari, 70124 Bari, Italy.

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a bioactive polyphenol in green tea, may augment metabolic and vascular actions of insulin. Therefore, we investigated effects of EGCG treatment to simultaneously improve cardiovascular and metabolic function in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR; model of metabolic syndrome with hypertension, insulin resistance, and overweight). In acute studies, EGCG (1-100 microM) elicited dose-dependent vasodilation in mesenteric vascular beds (MVB) isolated from SHR ex vivo that was inhibitable by N(omega)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME; nitric oxide synthase antagonist) or wortmannin [phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase inhibitor]. In chronic studies, 9-wk-old SHR were treated by gavage for 3 wk with EGCG (200 mg.kg(-1).day(-1)), enalapril (30 mg.kg(-1).day(-1)), or vehicle. A separate group of SHR receiving L-NAME (80 mg/l in drinking water) was treated for 3 wk with either EGCG or vehicle. Vasodilator actions of insulin were significantly improved in MVB from EGCG- or enalapril-treated SHR (when compared with vehicle-treated SHR). Both EGCG and enalapril therapy significantly lowered systolic blood pressure (SBP) in SHR. EGCG therapy of SHR significantly reduced infarct size and improved cardiac function in Langendorff-perfused hearts exposed to ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury. In SHR given L-NAME, beneficial effects of EGCG on SBP and I/R were not observed. Both enalapril and EGCG treatment of SHR improved insulin sensitivity and raised plasma adiponectin levels. We conclude that acute actions of EGCG to stimulate production of nitric oxide from endothelium using PI 3-kinase-dependent pathways may explain, in part, beneficial effects of EGCG therapy to simultaneously improve metabolic and cardiovascular pathophysiology in SHR. These findings may be relevant to understanding potential benefits of green tea consumption in patients with the metabolic syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00698.2006DOI Listing
May 2007

Treatment of spontaneously hypertensive rats with rosiglitazone and/or enalapril restores balance between vasodilator and vasoconstrictor actions of insulin with simultaneous improvement in hypertension and insulin resistance.

Diabetes 2006 Dec;55(12):3594-603

Department of Pharmacology and Human Physiology, Section of Pharmacology, Medical School, University of Bari, Policlinico-Piazza G. Cesare 11, 70124 Bari, Italy.

Spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) exhibit endothelial dysfunction and insulin resistance. Reciprocal relationships between endothelial dysfunction and insulin resistance may contribute to hypertension by causing imbalanced regulation of endothelial-derived vasodilators (e.g., nitric oxide) and vasoconstrictors (e.g., endothelin-1 [ET-1]). Treatment of SHRs with rosiglitazone (insulin sensitizer) and/or enalapril (ACE inhibitor) may simultaneously improve hypertension, insulin resistance, and endothelial dysfunction by rebalancing insulin-stimulated production of vasoactive mediators. When compared with WKY control rats, 12-week-old vehicle-treated SHRs were hypertensive, overweight, and insulin resistant, with elevated fasting levels of insulin and ET-1 and reduced serum adiponectin levels. In mesenteric vascular beds (MVBs) isolated from vehicle-treated SHRs and preconstricted with norepinephrine (NE) ex vivo, vasodilator responses to insulin were significantly impaired, whereas the ability of insulin to oppose vasoconstrictor actions of NE was absent (versus WKY controls). Three-week treatment of SHRs with rosiglitazone and/or enalapril significantly reduced blood pressure, insulin resistance, fasting insulin, and ET-1 levels and increased adiponectin levels to values comparable with those observed in vehicle-treated WKY controls. By restoring phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-dependent effects, rosiglitazone and/or enalapril therapy of SHRs also significantly improved vasodilator responses to insulin in MVB preconstricted with NE ex vivo. Taken together, our data provide strong support for the existence of reciprocal relationships between endothelial dysfunction and insulin resistance that may be relevant for developing novel therapeutic strategies for the metabolic syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/db06-0667DOI Listing
December 2006

Insulin resistance in spontaneously hypertensive rats is associated with endothelial dysfunction characterized by imbalance between NO and ET-1 production.

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 2005 Aug 25;289(2):H813-22. Epub 2005 Mar 25.

Department of Pharmacology and Human Physiology, Univ. of Bari Medical School, Policlinico, Piazza G. Cesare 11, 70124 Bari, Italy.

Insulin stimulates production of NO in vascular endothelium via activation of phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase, Akt, and endothelial NO synthase. We hypothesized that insulin resistance may cause imbalance between endothelial vasodilators and vasoconstrictors (e.g., NO and ET-1), leading to hypertension. Twelve-week-old male spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) were hypertensive and insulin resistant compared with control Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats (systolic blood pressure 202 +/- 11 vs. 132 +/- 10 mmHg; fasting plasma insulin 5 +/- 1 vs. 0.9 +/- 0.1 ng/ml; P < 0.001). In WKY rats, insulin stimulated dose-dependent relaxation of mesenteric arteries precontracted with norepinephrine (NE) ex vivo. This depended on intact endothelium and was blocked by genistein, wortmannin, or N(omega)-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (inhibitors of tyrosine kinase, PI3-kinase, and NO synthases, respectively). Vasodilation in response to insulin (but not ACh) was impaired by 20% in SHR (vs. WKY, P < 0.005). Preincubation of arteries with insulin significantly reduced the contractile effect of NE by 20% in WKY but not SHR rats. In SHR, the effect of insulin to reduce NE-mediated vasoconstriction became evident when insulin pretreatment was accompanied by ET-1 receptor blockade (BQ-123, BQ-788). Similar results were observed during treatment with the MEK inhibitor PD-98059. In addition, insulin-stimulated secretion of ET-1 from primary endothelial cells was significantly reduced by pretreatment of cells with PD-98059 (but not wortmannin). We conclude that insulin resistance in SHR is accompanied by endothelial dysfunction in mesenteric vessels with impaired PI3-kinase-dependent NO production and enhanced MAPK-dependent ET-1 secretion. These results may reflect pathophysiology in other vascular beds that directly contribute to elevated peripheral vascular resistance and hypertension.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00092.2005DOI Listing
August 2005