Publications by authors named "Nazgol-Sadat Haddadi"

24 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

AIM2 regulates anti-tumor immunity and is a viable therapeutic target for melanoma.

J Exp Med 2021 Sep 29;218(9). Epub 2021 Jul 29.

Department of Dermatology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA.

The STING and absent in melanoma 2 (AIM2) pathways are activated by the presence of cytosolic DNA, and STING agonists enhance immunotherapeutic responses. Here, we show that dendritic cell (DC) expression of AIM2 within human melanoma correlates with poor prognosis and, in contrast to STING, AIM2 exerts an immunosuppressive effect within the melanoma microenvironment. Vaccination with AIM2-deficient DCs improves the efficacy of both adoptive T cell therapy and anti-PD-1 immunotherapy for "cold tumors," which exhibit poor therapeutic responses. This effect did not depend on prolonged survival of vaccinated DCs, but on tumor-derived DNA that activates STING-dependent type I IFN secretion and subsequent production of CXCL10 to recruit CD8+ T cells. Additionally, loss of AIM2-dependent IL-1β and IL-18 processing enhanced the treatment response further by limiting the recruitment of regulatory T cells. Finally, AIM2 siRNA-treated mouse DCs in vivo and human DCs in vitro enhanced similar anti-tumor immune responses. Thus, targeting AIM2 in tumor-infiltrating DCs is a promising new treatment strategy for melanoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1084/jem.20200962DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8329870PMC
September 2021

Upcoming treatments for morphea.

Immun Inflamm Dis 2021 Jul 17. Epub 2021 Jul 17.

Department of Dermatology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA.

Morphea (localized scleroderma) is a rare autoimmune connective tissue disease with variable clinical presentations, with an annual incidence of 0.4-2.7 cases per 100,000. Morphea occurs most frequently in children aged 2-14 years, and the disease exhibits a female predominance. Insights into morphea pathogenesis are often extrapolated from studies of systemic sclerosis due to their similar skin histopathologic features; however, clinically they are two distinct diseases as evidenced by different demographics, clinical features, disease course and prognosis. An interplay between genetic factors, epigenetic modifications, immune and vascular dysfunction, along with environmental hits are considered as the main contributors to morphea pathogenesis. In this review, we describe potential new therapies for morphea based on both preclinical evidence and ongoing clinical trials. We focus on different classes of therapeutics, including antifibrotic, anti-inflammatory, cellular and gene therapy, and antisenolytic approaches, and how these target different aspects of disease pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/iid3.475DOI Listing
July 2021

Antibiotics with therapeutic effects on spinal cord injury: a review.

Fundam Clin Pharmacol 2021 Apr 14;35(2):277-304. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

Department of Toxicology & Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran Medical Sciences, Islamic Azad University, No. 99, Yakhchal, Gholhak, Shariati St., Tehran, P. O. Box: 19419-33111, Iran.

Accumulating evidence indicates that a considerable number of antibiotics exert anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects in different central and peripheral nervous system diseases including spinal cord injury (SCI). Both clinical and preclinical studies on SCI have found therapeutic effects of antibiotics from different families on SCI. These include macrolides, minocycline, β-lactams, and dapsone, all of which have been found to improve SCI sequels and complications. These antibiotics may target similar signaling pathways such as reducing inflammatory microglial activity, promoting autophagy, inhibiting neuronal apoptosis, and modulating the SCI-related mitochondrial dysfunction. In this review paper, we will discuss the mechanisms underlying therapeutic effects of these antibiotics on SCI, which not only could supply vital information for investigators but also guide clinicians to consider administering these antibiotics as part of a multimodal therapeutic approach for management of SCI and its complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/fcp.12605DOI Listing
April 2021

Telemedicine and the battle for health equity: Translating temporary regulatory orders into sustained policy change.

J Am Acad Dermatol 2020 12 8;83(6):e467-e468. Epub 2020 Aug 8.

Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; Department of Dermatology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2020.08.016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7414778PMC
December 2020

The renin-angiotensin system in cutaneous hypertrophic scar and keloid formation.

Exp Dermatol 2020 09 5;29(9):902-909. Epub 2020 Aug 5.

Experimental Medicine Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Hypertrophic scar and keloid are two types of fibroproliferative conditions that result from excessive extracellular matrix production. The underlying pathological mechanism is not entirely clear. Activation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is associated with fibrosis in various organs. RAS components including angiotensin II (Ang II), angiotensin AT and AT receptors, and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) are expressed in the skin and act independently from the plasma RAS. AT receptors, which are usually the dominating receptor subtype, promote fibrosis and scar formation, while AT receptors inhibit the aforementioned AT receptor-coupled effects. Elevated angiotensin II (Ang II) levels acting on the AT receptor contribute to skin scar formation through increased expression of inflammatory factors such as interleukin-6 (IL-6), angiogenic factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and fibrinogenic factors such as transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), while at the same time suppressing the anti-fibrotic tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinase (TIMPs). First, small clinical trials have provided evidence that inhibition of the ACE/Ang II/ AT receptor axis may be effective in the treatment of hypertrophic scars/keloids. This review provides a detailed overview of the current literature on the RAS in skin, wound healing and scar formation and discusses the translational potential of targeting this hormonal system for treatment and prevention of hypertrophic scars and keloids.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/exd.14154DOI Listing
September 2020

Dapsone reduced acetic acid-induced inflammatory response in rat colon tissue through inhibition of NF-kB signaling pathway.

Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol 2019 Dec 17;41(6):607-613. Epub 2019 Oct 17.

Experimental Medicine Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

The purpose of this study is to examine the protective effects of Dapsone on inflammation of intestinal tissue through inhibition of NF-kB pathway in acetic acid-induced colitis in rats. Acute colitis was produced by intra-rectal instillation of 2 mL of 4% acetic acid diluted in normal saline. Then, two hours after induction of colitis, DMSO as vehicle, dexamethasone (2 mg/kg) and dapsone (12.5 mg/kg) were given to the animals intraperitoneally (i.p.) and continued for five following days. Evaluation of macroscopic and microscopic damages were done. Myeloid peroxidase enzyme (MPO) activity was measured by a biochemical technique. Moreover, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) activity was identified by ELISA, and the expression level of pNF-kB protein was evaluated by immunohistochemistry (IHC). Dexamethasone (2 mg/kg) and dapsone (12.5 mg/kg) decreased the macroscopic and microscopic damages compared with acetic acid group ( ˂ .001). Additionally, these agents decreased the activity of MPO ( ˂ .001), TNF-α ( ˂ .001) and the expression level of p-NF-kB ( ˂ .001) in rat colon tissue compared with the acetic acid group. It is proposed that the anti-inflammatory activity of dapsone on acetic acid-induced colitis in rats may involve the inhibition of NF-kB pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08923973.2019.1678635DOI Listing
December 2019

Beneficial effects of dapsone on ischemia/reperfusion injury following torsion/detorsion in ipsilateral and contralateral testes in rat.

Theriogenology 2019 Dec 21;140:136-142. Epub 2019 Aug 21.

Experimental Medicine Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:

Testicular torsion is a serious urologic emergency and one of the causes of infertility in males. Hence, prompt diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent testicular damages. It has been proved that dapsone (4, 40 diamino-diphenyl sulfone) has anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the influence of dapsone on ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury in bilateral testes after unilateral testicular torsion/detorsion (T/D) in rats. In this experiment, eighteen male Wistar rats were allocated into three groups, including sham-operated, T/D + vehicle, and T/D + dapsone (12.5 mg/kg). Testicular torsion was induced for 1 h by rotating right (ipsilateral) testis 720 in the clockwise direction. After 7 days of reperfusion, bilateral orchiectomy was conducted and evaluations of biochemical markers - tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) - and histological changes were performed. While induction of testicular T/D remarkably increased the level of TNF-α in the ipsilateral (torted) and contralateral (non-torted) testes, intraperitoneal (i.p) administration of dapsone (12.5 mg/kg) significantly lowered the TNF-α level (p < 0.001). Additionally, after induction of T/D, SOD activity was notably decreased, whereas administration of dapsone (12.5 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly raised SOD activity in the bilateral testes (p < 0.001). I/R injury also caused lesions in the microscopic pattern of the bilateral testicular tissues, while administration of dapsone (12.5 mg/kg, i.p.) led to a significant improvement in testicular damages. It was concluded that dapsone had a protective impact on I/R injury in the rat model of testicular T/D, and this effect was most likely induced by anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties of dapsone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2019.08.021DOI Listing
December 2019

Possible Involvement of Nitric Oxide in the Antipruritic Effect of Metformin on Chloroquine-Induced Scratching in Mice.

Dermatology 2020 22;236(2):151-159. Epub 2019 Aug 22.

Experimental Medicine Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran,

Background: Metformin ameliorates non-histamine-mediated itch. We have recently reported that the nitric oxide (NO) pathway is involved in chloroquine (CQ)-induced scratching behavior. Here we investigated the involvement of the NO pathway in the antipruritic effect of metformin on CQ-induced itch.

Methods: Metformin (5-200 mg/kg, given intraperitoneally [i.p.]) was injected 4 h before CQ (400 µg/site, given intradermally [i.d.]) or compound 48/80 (100 µg/site, i.d.). A nonspecific nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor, NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME; 1 and 10 mg/kg, i.p.), or an NO precursor, L-arginine (10 and 100 mg/kg, i.p.) was administered 30 min before injection of CQ. A neural NOS (nNOS) inhibitor, 7-nitroindazole (7-NI; 1 and 10 nmol/site, i.d.) was concurrently administered with CQ. The scratching behavior was recorded for 30 min following the injection of CQ. We studied the changes in skin and spinal nitrite levels after treatments.

Results: Our results showed that metformin (100 and 200 mg/kg) significantly reduced the CQ-induced scratching behavior but not the compound 48/80-induced scratching behavior. L-Arginine inhibited the antipruritic effect of metformin, while L-NAME and 7-NI significantly potentiated the inhibitory effects of a subeffective dose of metformin on the CQ-induced scratching behavior. The skin but not the spinal nitrite level was significantly increased after CQ administration. The elevated cutaneous nitrite level was reversed by effective doses of either metformin or 7-NI, but not by the subeffective doses of metformin + 7-NI.

Conclusion: Acute injection of metformin significantly inhibits CQ-induced scratching behavior. This effect is mediated through inhibition of the NO pathway, especially by inhibiting the dermal nNOS enzyme.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000501583DOI Listing
February 2021

Sumatriptan Increases Skin Flap Survival through Activation of 5-Hydroxytryptamine 1b/1d Receptors in Rats: The Mediating Role of the Nitric Oxide Pathway.

Plast Reconstr Surg 2019 07;144(1):70e-77e

From the School of Medicine, the Experimental Medicine Research Center, School of Public Health, Chronic Diseases Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Population Sciences Institute, the Department of Pathology, Dr. Shariati Hospital, and the Department of Pharmacology, Tehran University of Medical Sciences; and the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Background: Random pattern skin flaps are applicable for reconstructing any defect in plastic surgery. However, they are difficult to apply because of necrosis. Sumatriptan, a selective 5-hydroxytryptamine 1b/1d agonist, is routinely used to offset acute migraine attacks. Recent studies have suggested that sumatriptan may induce vasodilation at lower concentrations. The authors' aim is to investigate the effect of sumatriptan on skin flap survival and the role of nitric oxide in this phenomenon.

Methods: Seventy-two male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into eight groups. Increasing doses of sumatriptan (0.1, 0.3, and 1 mg/kg) were given intraperitoneally to three different groups after dorsal random pattern skin flaps were performed. To assess the exact role of 5-hydroxytryptamine 1b/1d receptors, GR-127935 was administered solely and with sumatriptan. N-ω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME, a nonselective nitric oxide synthase inhibitor) was used to evaluate any possible involvement of nitric oxide in this study. All rats were examined 7 days later.

Results: The authors' results demonstrated that flap survival was increased by lower doses of sumatriptan compared to a control group for both 0.3 mg/kg (p = 0.03, mean difference = 32, SE = 8) and 0.1 mg/kg (p = 0.02, mean difference = 26, SE = 8). This protective effect was eliminated by coadministration of GR-127935 or N-ω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester with sumatriptan. Histopathologic studies revealed a significant increase in capillary count and collagen deposition and a decreased amount of edema, inflammation, and degeneration.

Conclusions: Sumatriptan in lower concentration increases skin flap survival by means of activation of 5-hydroxytryptamine 1b/1d receptors. This effect is mediated through the nitric oxide synthase pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PRS.0000000000005740DOI Listing
July 2019

Protective effect of minocycline on LPS-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and decreased seizure threshold through nitric oxide pathway.

Eur J Pharmacol 2019 Sep 13;858:172446. Epub 2019 Jun 13.

Experimental Medicine Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, Neuroscience Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:

Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) increases inflammatory cytokines of the brain and deregulates the mitochondrial function, thus could increase the seizure susceptibility. Studies have shown that minocycline has neuroprotective and antioxidant properties. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the anticonvulsant properties of minocycline in LPS-treated animals and the possible involvement of nitric oxide and mitochondrial pathways. In a PTZ model of seizure in mice, minocycline was administrated to LPS-treated mice. Then followed by co-injection of its sub-effective dose and NOS inhibitors including 7-Nitroindazole (7-NI), aminoguanidine (AG) and L-N-Nitroarginine methyl ester (L-NAME) to evaluate the changes in seizure threshold and the possible involvement of nitrergic system. Molecular assessments were used to evaluate the effects of each treatment on inflammation and mitochondrial function in the brain. LPS-treated animals had lower seizure threshold compared to intact animals; injection of minocycline (80 mg/kg) to LPS-treated mice reversed this effect. Co-injection of sub-effective doses of minocycline (40 mg/kg) and L-NAME to LPS-treated animals significantly increased seizure threshold. We observed that co-treatment of minocycline and AG dissimilar to 7-NI could increase the seizure threshold of LPS-treated animals. L-arginine reversed the anticonvulsant effect of minocycline. Also, molecular evaluations showed that LPS could increase the ATP levels, GSH levels, and reactive oxygen species formation. However, minocycline at both doses significantly reversed the effect of LPS. Minocycline counteracts the proconvulsant effects of LPS through regulating of mitochondrial function and decreasing of neuro-inflammation. Also, co-administration of minocycline and i-NOS inhibitors could intensify anticonvulsant effects of minocycline.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2019.172446DOI Listing
September 2019

Natural flavonoids for the prevention of colon cancer: A comprehensive review of preclinical and clinical studies.

J Cell Physiol 2019 12 13;234(12):21519-21546. Epub 2019 May 13.

Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran.

Flavonoids comprise a group of natural polyphenols consisting of more than 5,000 subtypes mostly existing in fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids consumption could potentially attenuate the incidence and recurrence risk of colorectal cancers through their antiperoxidative, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, these compounds regulate the mitochondrial function, balance the bacterial flora and promote the apoptosis process in cancerous cells. However, some previous data failed to show the effectiveness of flavonoids in reducing the risk of colorectal cancer. In this study, we have reviewed the efficacy of different flavonoids subtypes on the risk of colon cancer and molecular mechanisms involved in this process in both clinical and animal studies. In addition, we tried to elucidate the potential synergy between these compounds and current colorectal cancer treatments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcp.28777DOI Listing
December 2019

Acute Activation of α7-Nicotinic Receptors by Nicotine Improves Rodent Skin Flap Survival Through Nitrergic System.

Ann Plast Surg 2019 08;83(2):211-216

Cancer Cell Signaling, Turku Center for Biotechnology, University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland.

Background: Recent reports have identified angiogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties of acute treatment with nicotine via activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). In addition, the nitric oxide (NO) pathway is involved in ischemic reperfusion injuries.

Objectives: We investigated the effects of acute pretreatment with nicotine in a rat model of random-pattern skin flap and the potential role of the NO pathway.

Methods: The Sprague-Dawley rats received increasing doses of (-)-nicotine (0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, and 3 mg/kg) before the procedure. Dorsal skin flaps with caudal pedicles were elevated at the midline, and flap survival was evaluated 7 days after surgery. In addition, animals received an α7-nAChR antagonist, methyllycaconitine, with nicotine. Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction was also applied to measure the dermal expression of α7-nAChR. Next, a nonselective NO synthase inhibitor, N-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride; a selective inducible NO synthase inhibitor, aminoguanidine; and an NO precursor, L-arginine, were administered with nicotine.

Results: Nicotine at doses of 1, 1.5, and 2 mg/kg significantly increased flap survival, whereas the protective effects of nicotine disappeared at higher doses. Methyllycaconitine completely reversed the protective effects of nicotine and the elevated cutaneous expression of α7-nAChR in nicotine-pretreated rats. In addition, systemic administration of N-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride or aminoguanidine with an effective dose of nicotine caused a significant decrease in flap survival. Conversely, coinjection of a subeffective dose of L-arginine with the subeffective dose of nicotine significantly boosted its protective effects.

Conclusions: Acute pretreatment with nicotine by stimulating the expression and activation of cutaneous α7-nAChR improves skin flap survival, which is partially mediated through modulation of the NO pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SAP.0000000000001809DOI Listing
August 2019

Evaluation of the pharmacological involvement of ATP-sensitive potassium (K) channels in the antidepressant-like effects of topiramate on mice.

Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol 2019 07 4;392(7):833-842. Epub 2019 Mar 4.

Experimental Medicine Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box13145-784, Tehran, Iran.

Acute doses of topiramate (TPM) have been shown to reduce immobility time in the mice forced swimming test (FST) through inhibition of the nitric oxide (NO) pathway. Adenosine triphosphate-sensitive potassium (K) channels are known to have an active role in depression. This study investigates the potential participation of K channels in the antidepressant-like effect of TPM through the stimulatory effects of NO. FST and tail suspension tests (TST) were applied to adult male mice for assessment of the antidepressant-like activity of TPM. Different doses of glibenclamide and cromakalim were also applied in order to investigate the involvement of K channels. Fluoxetine was used as a positive control for evaluation of antidepressant-like effects. In addition, each animal's locomotor activity was evaluated by the open-field test (OFT). TPM (30 mg/kg intraperitoneal (i.p.)) had a significant reductive effect on the immobility behavior similar to fluoxetine (20 mg/kg). Co-administration of sub-effective doses of glibenclamide (1 mg/kg i.p.) and TPM (10 mg/kg i.p.) led to significant synergistic effects in FST and TST. Additionally, the results showed that administration of the sub-effective dose of cromakalim (0.1 and 0.3 mg/kg i.p.) blocked the antidepressant-like effects of TPM (30 mg/kg i.p.) in both tests. These interventions had no impact on the locomotor movement of mice in OFT. This study shows that the antidepressant-like activity of TPM may potentially be mediated by the blocking of the K channels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00210-019-01636-zDOI Listing
July 2019

Activation of ATP-sensitive K-channel promotes the anticonvulsant properties of cannabinoid receptor agonist through mitochondrial ATP level reduction.

Epilepsy Behav 2019 04 16;93:1-6. Epub 2019 Feb 16.

Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, Neuroscience Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Experimental Medicine Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:

Cannabinoid receptor (CBR) agonist could act as a protective agent against seizure susceptibility in animal models of epilepsy. Studies have shown that potassium channels could play a key role in ameliorating neuronal excitability. In this study, we attempted to evaluate how CBRs and Adenosine Tri-Phosphate (ATP)-sensitive potassium channels collaborate to affect seizure susceptibility by changing the clonic seizure threshold (CST). We used male Naval Medical Research Institute (NMRI) mice and treated them with the following drugs: cromakalim (a potassium channel opener, 10 μg/kg), glibenclamide (a potassium channel blocker, 0.03 and 1 mg/kg), 0.5 mg/kg of AM-251 (a selective CB1 antagonist), AM-630 (a selective CB2 antagonist), and 0.5, 3, and 10 mg/kg of WIN 55,212-2 (a nonselective agonist of CBRs); and CST was appraised after each type of administration. Also, we evaluated the ATP level of the hippocampus in each treatment to clarify the interaction between the cannabinoid system and potassium channel. Our results showed that administration of WIN 55,212-2 at 10 mg/kg significantly increased CST (P < 0.001). This change could be reversed by using AM-251(P < 0.001) but not AM-630. Also, either cromakalim (10 μg/kg) or glibenclamide (0.03 and 1 mg/kg) could not significantly affect the CST. In addition, glibenclamide (1 mg/kg) could reverse the anticonvulsant effect of WIN 55,212-2 (10 mg/kg) on CST (P < 0.001). However, the anticonvulsant effect was observed when cromakalim (10 μg/kg) was added to WIN 55,212-2 at its subeffective dose (3 mg/kg) in comparison to single-treated animals. Interestingly, we observed that CB1 agonist could significantly decrease ATP level. In conclusion, CB1 agonist accomplishes at least a part of its anticonvulsant actions through ATP-sensitive potassium channels, probably by decreasing the mitochondrial ATP level to open the potassium channel to induce its anticonvulsant effect.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yebeh.2019.01.025DOI Listing
April 2019

Involvement of opioid system in behavioral despair induced by social isolation stress in mice.

Biomed Pharmacother 2019 Jan 5;109:938-944. Epub 2018 Nov 5.

Experimental Medicine Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:

Social isolation stress (SIS) as a type of chronic stress could induce depressive- and anxiety-like behaviors. Our study evaluates the role of opioid system on negative behavioral impacts of SIS in male NMRI mice. We investigated effects of morphine, a nonselective opioid receptor (OR) agonist, naltrexone (NLX), an OR antagonist, naltrindole (NLT), a delta opioid receptor (DOR) antagonist, SNC80, a DOR agonist, U-69593, a kappa opioid receptor (KOR) agonist, nor-Binaltorphimine, a selective KOR antagonist and cyprodime hydrochloride a selective mu opioid receptor (MOR) antagonist on depressive- and anxiety-like behaviors. Using RT-PCR we evaluated ORs gene expression in mice brain. Our findings showed that SIS induced anxiety- and depressive-like behavior in the forced swimming test, open field test, splash test and hole-board test. Moreover, administration of SNC-80 significantly mitigated anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors. NLT decreased grooming-activity in the splash test. Excitingly, administration of agents affecting KOR failed to alter the negative effects of SIS. RT-PCR demonstrated that MOR and KOR gene expression decreased in socially isolated mice; however, SIS did not affect DORs expression. Our findings suggest that SIS at least in part, probably via altering endogenous opioids particularly MORs and KORs but not DORs mediated negative impacts on behavior; also, it could be concluded that DORs might be considered as a novel target for studying depression and anxiety.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2018.10.144DOI Listing
January 2019

Anti-inflammatory effects of Metformin improve the neuropathic pain and locomotor activity in spinal cord injured rats: introduction of an alternative therapy.

Spinal Cord 2018 Nov 29;56(11):1032-1041. Epub 2018 Jun 29.

Experimental Medicine Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Study Design: This is an animal study.

Objectives: Metformin is a safe drug for controlling blood sugar in diabetes. It has been shown that metformin improves locomotor recovery after spinal cord injury (SCI). Neuropathic pain is also a disturbing component of SCI. It is indicated that metformin has neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects, which attenuate neuropathic pain and hyperalgesia in injured nerves. Thus, we evaluated metformin's therapeutic effects on SCI neuroinflammation and its sensory and locomotor complications. Meanwhile, results were compared to minocycline, an anti-neuroinflammation therapy in SCI.

Setting: Experimental Medicine Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran METHODS: In an animal model of SCI, 48 male rats were subjected to T9 vertebra laminectomy. Animals were divided into a SHAM-operated group and five treatment groups. The treatments included normal saline as a vehicle control group, minocycline 90 mg/kg and metformin at the doses of 10, 50 and 100 mg/kg. Locomotor scaling, behavioral tests for neuropathic pain and weight changes were evaluated and compared through a 28-days period. At the end of the study, tissue samples were taken to assess neuroinflammatory changes.

Results: Metformin 50 mg/kg improved the locomotors ability (p < 0.001) and decreased sensitivity to mechanical and thermal allodynia (p < 0.01). These results were compatible with minocycline effect on SCI (p > 0.05). While metformin led to weight loss, both metformin and minocycline significantly decreased neuroinflammation in the assessment of cord tissue histopathology, and levels of TNF-α and interleukin-1β (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Metformin could be considered as an alternative therapeutic agent for SCI, as it potentially attenuates neuroinflammation, sensory and locomotor complications of cord injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41393-018-0168-xDOI Listing
November 2018

Attenuation of serotonin-induced itch by sumatriptan: possible involvement of endogenous opioids.

Arch Dermatol Res 2018 Mar 19;310(2):165-172. Epub 2018 Jan 19.

Experimental Medicine Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT) is a neurotransmitter in itch and impaired serotonin signaling has been linked to a variety of itch conditions. Intradermal injection of 5-HT induces scratching behavior in mice through stimulation of 5-HT receptors. Previous studies have demonstrated that selective 5-HT1B/1D receptors agonists, including sumatriptan, inhibits neurotransmission. We have also reported that sumatriptan suppresses chloroquine-induced itch. Therefore, we investigated if sumatriptan has inhibitory effects on serotonin-induced itch in mice. Here, we show that intradermal and intraperitoneal administration of sumatriptan significantly reduce 5-HT-induced scratching behavior in mice. While intradermal injection of GR-127935, a selective 5-HT1B/1D receptors antagonist, reverses the anti-pruritic effects of sumatriptan. In addition, we show that intradermal and intraperitoneal naltrexone (NTX), a non-specific opioid receptor antagonist, and methylnaltrexone (MNTX), a peripherally acting opioid receptor antagonist, significantly decrease the 5-HT-induced scratching behavior. Additionally, combined treatment with sub-effective doses of sumatriptan and an opioid receptor antagonist, naltrexone, decreases 5-HT-evoked scratching responses. We conclude that sumatriptan inhibits 5-HT-induced itch by activating the peripheral 5-HT1B/1D receptors. Moreover, peripheral opioid receptors have a role in serotonin-induced itch, and anti-pruritic effects of sumatriptan seem to involve the opioid system. These data suggest that 5-HT1B/1D receptors agonists maybe useful to treat a variety of pathologic itch conditions with impaired serotonergic system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00403-018-1809-9DOI Listing
March 2018

Pharmacological evidence for the involvement of adenosine triphosphate sensitive potassium channels in chloroquine-induced itch in mice.

Pharmacol Rep 2017 Dec 3;69(6):1295-1299. Epub 2017 Jun 3.

Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, Neurosciences Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Experimental Medicine Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:

Background: Chloroquine (CQ) evokes itch in human and scratching behavior in rodents through a histamine-independent pathway. Chloroquine directly excites peripheral sensory neurons which convey itch signals to the central nervous system. It has been revealed that ATP-sensitive potassium channels (K channels) are important in regulating neuronal excitability. Thus, we aimed to investigate the involvement of K channels in CQ-induced itch which may also reveal a linkage between metabolic state of cells and itch.

Methods: Intradermal (id) injection of CQ at dose of 400μg/site induces the scratching behavior. K channel openers, diazoxide (DZX) and minoxidil (MIN), and a K channel blocker, glibenclamide (GLI), were administered intraperitoneally (ip) before CQ. Then the behavior was recorded for 30min, in an unmanned condition, and the scratching bouts were counted by an expert observer who was blinded to the experiments. Furthermore, quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) was used to investigate the possible changes in dermal expression of Kcnj8 and Kcnj11, the genes encoding the K channels.

Results: Our results show that either DZX (10mg/kg, ip) or MIN (10mg/kg, ip) significantly attenuated CQ-induced scratching behavior in mice. Moreover, pretreatment with GLI (3mg/kg, ip) significantly reversed the anti-pruritic effects of DZX and MIN. Our finding of qRT-PCR analysis also show that the expression of Kcnj8 is decreased after CQ injection.

Conclusions: We suggest that K channels are possibly involved in CQ-induced itch. While, further studies will be significant to better elucidate the association of metabolic state of cells and itch.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pharep.2017.05.021DOI Listing
December 2017

Pharmacological evidence of involvement of nitric oxide pathway in anti-pruritic effects of sumatriptan in chloroquine-induced scratching in mice.

Fundam Clin Pharmacol 2018 Feb 6;32(1):69-76. Epub 2017 Sep 6.

Experimental Medicine Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Poorsina St., Enghelab Ave., Tehran, Iran.

Chloroquine (CQ) induces histamine-independent itch in human and mice. We recently reported the role of intradermal nitric oxide (NO)/cyclic guanosine monophosphate pathway in CQ-evoked scratching in mice. Chloroquine stimulates neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) activity to over-producing NO in the skin. Sumatriptan, a 5-hydroxytryptamine 1b/1d receptors (5-HTR1b/1d) agonist, is involved in pain and used to treat migraine and cluster headaches. According to previous studies, sumatriptan inhibits NOS activity. Thus, we aimed to investigate the effect of sumatriptan on CQ-induced scratching. We used the rostral back model of itch. Chloroquine was injected intradermally into the rostral back of NMRI mice, and the scratching behavior was evaluated by measuring the number of bouts over 30 min. We evaluated the effect of sumatriptan and combination of sumatriptan and a non-selective NO synthase inhibitor, L-N-nitro arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), on the scratching behavior. Additionally, the changes of skin, hippocampus, and cortical nitrite level after different treatments were studied. Intraperitoneal and intradermal sumatriptan attenuates CQ-induced itch which reversed by GR-127935, the selective 5-HTR1b and 5-HTR1d antagonist. Co-administration of subeffective doses of sumatriptan and L-NAME significantly decreases the scratching behavior. Intradermal injection of CQ significantly increases the intradermal nitrite levels while it does not have any significant effects on hippocampal or cortical nitrite concentrations. Likewise, the effective doses of intraperitoneal and intradermal sumatriptan significantly reduce intradermal nitrite levels. We concluded that sumatriptan suppresses CQ-induced itch most likely by activating 5-HT1b/1d receptors. This effect probably mediates through NO pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/fcp.12317DOI Listing
February 2018

Development of resistance to serotonin-induced itch in bile duct ligated mice.

Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol 2017 Jun;44(6):680-685

Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, Neurosciences Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Cholestatic itch can be severe and significantly impair the quality of life of patients. The serotonin system is implicated in cholestatic itch; however, the pruritogenic properties of serotonin have not been evaluated in cholestatic mice. Here, we investigated the serotonin-induced itch in cholestatic mice which was induced by bile duct ligation (BDL). Serotonin, sertraline or saline were administered intradermally to the rostral back area in BDL and sham operated (SHAM) mice, and the scratching behaviour was videotaped for 1 hour. Bile duct ligated mice had significantly increased scratching responses to saline injection on the seventh day after surgery. Additionally, serotonin or sertraline significantly induced scratching behaviour in BDL mice compared to saline at day 7 after surgery, while it did not induce itch at day 5. The scratching behaviour induced by serotonin or sertraline was significantly less in BDL mice compared to SHAM mice. Likewise, the locomotor activity of BDL or SHAM mice was not significantly different from unoperated (UNOP) mice on the fifth and seventh day, suggesting that the scratching behaviour was not affected by motor dysfunctions. Our data suggest that despite the potentiation of evoked itch, a resistance to serotonin-induced itch is developed in cholestatic mice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1440-1681.12752DOI Listing
June 2017

Agmatine enhances the antidepressant-like effect of lithium in mouse forced swimming test through NMDA pathway.

Biomed Pharmacother 2017 Apr 6;88:931-938. Epub 2017 Feb 6.

Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Experimental Medicine Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:

Depression is one the world leading global burdens leading to various comorbidities. Lithium as a mainstay in the treatment of depression is still considered gold standard treatment. Similar to lithium another agent agmatine has also central protective role against depression. Since, both agmatine and lithium modulate various effects through interaction with NMDA receptor, therefore, in current study we aimed to investigate the synergistic antidepressant-like effect of agmatine with lithium in mouse force swimming test. Also to know whether if such effect is due to interaction with NMDA receptor. In our present study we found that when potent dose of lithium (30mg/kg) was administered, it significantly decreased the immobility time. Also, when subeffective dose of agmatine (0.01mg/kg) was coadministered with subeffective dose of lithium (3mg/kg), it potentiated the antidepressant-like effect of subeffective dose of lithium. For the involvement of NMDA receptor in such effect, we administered NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 (0.05mg/kg) with a combination of subeffective dose of lithium (3mg/kg) and agmatine (0.001mg/kg). A significant antidepressant-like effect was observed. Furthermore, when subeffective dose (50 and 75mg/kg) of NMDA was given it inhibited the synergistic effect of agmatine (0.01mg/kg) with lithium (3mg/kg). Hence, our finding demonstrate that agmatine have synergistic effect with lithium which is mediated by NMDA receptor pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2017.01.119DOI Listing
April 2017

Peripheral NMDA Receptor/NO System Blockage Inhibits Itch Responses Induced by Chloroquine in Mice.

Acta Derm Venereol 2017 May;97(5):571-577

Experimental Medicine Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, 13145-784 Tehran, Iran.

Intradermal administration of chloroquine (CQ) provokes scratching behavior in mice. Chloroquine-induced itch is histamine-independent and we have reported that the nitric oxide (NO)/cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) pathway is involved in CQ-induced scratching behavior in mice. Previous studies have demonstrated that activation of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) induces NO production. Here we show that NMDAR antagonists significantly decrease CQ-induced scratching in mice while a non-effective dose of an NMDAR agonist potentiates the scratching behavior provoked by sub-effective doses of CQ. In contrast, combined pre-treatment with sub-effective doses of an NMDAR antagonist, MK-801, and the NO synthase inhibitor, L-N-nitro arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), decreases CQ-induced scrat-ching behavior. While intradermal administration of CQ significantly increases the concentration of intradermal nitrite, the end product of NO metabolism, effective doses of intraperitoneal and intradermal MK-801 significantly decrease intradermal nitrite levels. Likewise, administration of an effective dose of L-NAME significantly decreases CQ-induced nitrite production. We conclude that the NMDA/NO pathway in the skin modulates CQ-induced scratching behavior.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2340/00015555-2617DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5524132PMC
May 2017

Methyl-CpG-Binding Protein 2 (MECP2) Polymorphism in Iranian Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

Inflammation 2015 Dec;38(6):2185-90

Rheumatology Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease which involves many organs and presents with various symptoms. It has been shown that genetic and environmental factors play a major role in this disease and may affect the onset, activity, damage, and mortality of the disease. According to recent studies, methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2) has been associated with SLE in various populations. Herein, we studied MECP2 polymorphism in Iranian lupus patients and controls. The study included a total of 884 samples of Iranian ancestry (492 independent SLE patients and 392 unrelated healthy controls). Healthy controls were gender-, ethnic-, and age-matched with the patients. Patient and control samples were genotyped for rs1734787, rs1734791, rs1734792, and rs17435 by applying the Allelic Discrimination Real-Time PCR System. Our results showed a significant association between rs1734787 and rs1734791 SNPs and the risk of SLE in the Iranian population (p = 0.028, p = 0.028), but did not show any significant association with rs1734792 and rs17435 SNPs (p = 075, p = 0.75). The rs1734787 C and the rs1734791 T allele frequencies in the patients were significantly higher than the control group (p = 0.014, p = 0.012). In addition, a significant CTAT haplotype frequency was observed in cases with SLE (p = 0.012), and a significant AAAT haplotype frequency was observed in the control group (p = 0.0003). However, there was no significant association between genotype frequencies and SLE patients. Also, there was no significant association between these SNPs and clinical features. The result of this study suggests that polymorphism in the MECP2 locus is associated with the susceptibility of Iranian SLE patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10753-015-0201-6DOI Listing
December 2015

Chloroquine-induced scratching is mediated by NO/cGMP pathway in mice.

Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2015 Jul 6;134:79-84. Epub 2015 May 6.

Experimental Medicine Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:

Chloroquine (CQ), a 4-aminoquinoline drug, has long been used in the treatment and prevention of malaria. However its side effect generalized pruritus contributes to treatment failures, and consequently results in the development of chloroquine resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum. It was proposed that the administration of CQ correlated with increase in nitric oxide (NO) production. Nitric oxide is involved in some pruritic disorders such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and scratching behavior evoked by pruritogens like substance P. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the involvement of NO/cGMP pathway in CQ-induced scratching in mice. Scratching behaviors were recorded by a camera after intradermal (ID) injection of CQ in the shaved rostral back of the mice. The results obtained show that CQ elicited scratching in a dose-dependent manner with a peak effective dose of 400μg/site. Injection of non-specific NOS inhibitor, N-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester or neuronal NOS selective inhibitor and 7-nitroindazole, reduced CQ-induced scratching significantly. On the other hand, administration of aminoguanidine as inducible NOS inhibitor has no inhibitory effect on this behavior. Also, injection of l-arginine as a precursor of NO significantly increased this response. Conversely, accumulation of cGMP by sildenafil as a selective phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor, potentiated the scratching behavior by CQ. This study therefore shows that CQ-induced scratching behavior is mediated by the NO/cGMP pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pbb.2015.04.016DOI Listing
July 2015
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