Publications by authors named "Wajahat Mahmood"

17 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Molecular drug targets for scabies: a medicinal chemistry perspective.

Future Med Chem 2020 12 27;12(24):2225-2238. Epub 2020 Nov 27.

Department of Pharmacy, Comsats Institute of Information Technology, University Road, Abbottabad 22010, Pakistan.

is a causative organism for scabies that affects an estimated global population of 300 million and remains a disease of significant concern. Recently, a number of potential drug targets were identified for scabies, including hydrolytic enzymes, inactivated paralogues of hydrolytic enzymes, inhibitors of host proteolytic enzymes and other proteins of interest. These discoveries remain confined to academic laboratories and institutions, failing to attract interest from researchers in commercial drug development. Here, we summarize the latest developments in the scabies mite biology and the drug targets that were subsequently identified, and we propose several peptide and nonpeptide ligands targeting the hot spots for protein-protein interactions. We also identify gaps in the development of ligands as inhibitors or modulators of these macromolecules.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4155/fmc-2020-0182DOI Listing
December 2020

Evaluation of the Effect of Atenolol Induced Depression in Cardiac Output on Its Own Excretion through Urine Analysis.

Iran J Pharm Res 2019 ;18(1):523-530

Department of Pharmacy, Comsats Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) Abbottabad, Khyber Pakhtun Khwa, Pakistan.

The role of Pharmacist in making the therapeutic decisions for safe and effective therapy is increasing all over the world. However, there are many aspects of drugs in making these decisions that are less commonly studied such as the correlation of cardiac output with pharmacokinetics of drugs. The cardiac output, besides the other factors, is also affected by drugs like atenolol. Therefore, the objective of the present open labeled study was to know the effect of reduced cardiac output induced by atenolol on its own excretion parameters. After taking the informed consent, five healthy volunteers were selected for the study. Atenolol tablet at a dose of 50 mg, 75 mg and 100 mg for three consecutive days were given to all the volunteers. The echocardiography and renal function clinical tests were conducted prior and 5 h after dosing and the urine samples were collected at 5 and 10 h post dosing. The prepared samples were analyzed for atenolol by High-Performance Liquid chromatography. For comparison of atenolol excretion for three days, One-way repeated measure Analysis of Variance statistical test was used as Wilks' Lambda = 0.2, F (2, 3) = 5.986, < 0.1, multivariate partial squared = 0.8. These results showed that atenolol affects its own pharmacokinetics by prolonging its excretion half-life.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6487397PMC
January 2019

Total antioxidant capacity of commonly used fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices of Pakistan.

Pak J Pharm Sci 2017 Nov;30(6):2147-2150

Pharmacology Section, HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry, International Center for Chemical & Biological Sciences, University of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan.

The current study was aimed at investigating the total antioxidant activity (TAC) of various fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices habitat in Pakistan. The ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) assay was used to measure the TAC of various extracts (aqueous, ethanolic and aqueous-ethanolic). Following is the potency order for fruits (guava >strawberry >Pomegranate >apple >kinnow >melon >lemon >banana), vegetables (spinach >Cabbage (Purple) >Jalapeno >Radish >Brinjal >Bell Pepper >Lettuce >Carrot >Cabbage (White) >Onion >Potato >Tomato >Cucumber) and herbs/spices (clove >Rosemary >Thyme >Oregano >Cinnamon >Cumin >Kalonji >Paprika >Neem (Flower) >Fennel >Black Cardamom >Turmeric >Coriander >Ginger >Garlic). In conclusion, the guava, spinach and clove provide the best natural dietary option for treatment / prevention of oxidative stress and thus could alleviate several associated ailments.
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November 2017

Can memory exist outside of brain and be transferred? Historical review, issues & ways forward.

Med Hypotheses 2017 Nov 6;109:106-110. Epub 2017 Oct 6.

Dr. Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine & Drug Research, International Center for Chemical & Biological Sciences, University of Karachi, Karachi 75270, Pakistan.

Learning and memory are among the executive functions attributed to intelligent forms of life. Unfortunately, there is a lack of clear understanding regarding the underlying mechanisms governing these functions. Most of the modern day scientists attribute these functions solely to brain. However, in the latter half of last century, a number of reports suggested existence of extra-cranial memory and potential of its transfer between animals. Some have linked this phenomenon to RNA while others believed that peptides were responsible. The terms like "educated RNA" and "scotophobin" were coined. This atypical work involving flatworms, yeast RNA and scotophobin was received with deep skepticism and ultimately disregarded. However, the recent reproduction of some of this earlier work by scientists at Tufts University has reignited the debate on the mechanisms of learning and memory. Keeping this in view, we believe it is high time to summarize this historical work and discuss the possibilities to delineate these atypical claims. The objective is to incite the present day researchers to explore this opportunity under the perspective of newer advancements in science.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2017.10.003DOI Listing
November 2017

Gamma-linolenic acid ameliorated glycation-induced memory impairment in rats.

Pharm Biol 2017 Dec;55(1):1817-1823

c Pharmacology Section, H.E.J. Research Institute of Chemistry , International Center for Chemical & Biological Sciences, University of Karachi , Karachi , Pakistan.

Context: γ-Linolenic acid (GLA) is an important constituent of anti-ageing supplements.

Objective: The current study investigates the anti-ageing effect of GLA in Sprague-Dawley rats.

Materials And Methods: GLA (0.1, 0.2, 0.4, 2, 10, 20 and 24 μM) was initially evaluated for its effect on the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in vitro. For in vivo assessment (1, 5 or 15 mg/kg), the rat model of accelerated ageing was developed using d-fructose (1000 mg/kg (i.p.) plus 10% in drinking water for 40 days). Morris water maze was used to evaluate impairment in learning and memory. The blood of treated animals was used to measure glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) levels. The interaction of GLA with active residues of receptor of AGE (RAGE) was analyzed using AutoDock Vina.

Results: Our data showed that GLA inhibited the production of AGEs (IC = 1.12 ± 0.05 μM). However, this effect was more significant at lower tested doses. A similar pattern was also observed in in vivo experiments, where the effect of fructose was reversed by GLA only at lowest tested dose of 1 mg/kg. The HbA1c levels also revealed significant reduction at lower doses (1 and 5 mg/kg). The in silico data exhibited promising interaction of GLA with active residues (Try72, Arg77 and Gln67) of RAGE.

Conclusion: The GLA, at lower doses, possesses therapeutic potential against glycation-induced memory decline.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13880209.2017.1331363DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7012036PMC
December 2017

6-Methoxyflavanone attenuates mechanical allodynia and vulvodynia in the streptozotocin-induced diabetic neuropathic pain.

Biomed Pharmacother 2016 Dec 17;84:962-971. Epub 2016 Oct 17.

Department of Pharmacy, University of Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan. Electronic address:

Background: Diabetic neuropathy is the most prevalent, persistent and debilitating complication of diabetes mellitus often coupled with vulvodynia that may present as an isolated symptom or as a part of constellation of other neuropathic abnormalities.

Objective: Flavonoids have selective affinity for GABA receptors and 6-methoxyflavanone (6-MeOF) is a positive allosteric modulator of GABA responses at human recombinant GABA receptors. GABAergic and opioidergic system inhibition have been shown to facilitate neuropathic pain.

Methods: 6-MeOF was evaluated for analgesic effect in the hot plate test and streptozotocin-induced diabetic neuropathic pain in female rats using von Frey hairs. The possible involvement of opioidergic and GABAergic mechanisms was investigated using naloxone and pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) antagonists, respectively. The biodistribution of 6-MeOF in plasma and CNS was examined using a validated HPLC/UV analytical method. The binding affinity of 6-MeOF with opioid and GABA receptors was studied using molecular docking simulation approach.

Results: 6-MeOF (10 and 30mg/kg) attenuated the acute phasic thermal nociception in the hot plate test while in the case of streptozotocin-induced diabetic neuropathy model, 6-MeOF (10 and 30mg/kg) produced static/dynamic anti-allodynic (increased paw withdrawal threshold and latency) as well as static/dynamic anti-vulvodynic effects (increased flinching response threshold and latency), when compared to the vehicle and standard gabapentin (75mg/kg). In silico studies depicted the preference of 6-MeOF for the delta- and kappa-opioid and GABA receptors. Moreover, the pharmacokinetic profile revealed a quick appearance of 6-MeOF in the systemic circulation and brain areas with maximum concentration observed after 30min in the amygdala, brain stem and cerebral cortex.

Conclusion: 6-MeOF readily crosses the blood brain barrier and may be effective in attenuating the diabetes-induced allodynia as well as vulvodynia, probably through interactions with the GABAergic and opioidergic systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2016.10.017DOI Listing
December 2016

COMPARATIVE BIOAVAILABILITY ANALYSIS OF ORAL ALENDRONATE SODIUM FORMULATIONS IN PAKISTAN.

Acta Pol Pharm 2016 07;73(4):999-1007

Alendronate sodium, a bisphosphonate drug, it is used to treat osteoporosis and other bone diseases. The present study was designed to conduct comparative bioavailability analysis of oral formulations of aledronate sodium through an open-label, randomized, 2-sequence, 2-period crossover study. Healthy adult male Pakistani volunteers received a single 70 mg dose of the test or reference formulation of alendronate sodium followed by a 7 day washout period. Plasma drug concentrations were determined using a validated HPLC post column fluorescence derivatization method. AUC(01,) AUC(0-8,) C(max). and T(max) were determined by non-compartmental analysis and were found within the permitted range of 80% to 125% set by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Results show that both in vitio and in vivo assays of all test brands were within the spec- ification of the US Pharmacopoeial limits and were statistically bioequivalent. No adverse events were reported in this study.
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July 2016

β-glucan attenuated scopolamine induced cognitive impairment via hippocampal acetylcholinesterase inhibition in rats.

Brain Res 2016 08 11;1644:141-8. Epub 2016 May 11.

Pharmacology Section, H.E.J. Research Institute of Chemistry, International Center for Chemical & Biological Sciences, University of Karachi, Karachi 75270, Pakistan. Electronic address:

β-glucan (polysaccharide) rich diet has been reported to enhance cognition in humans but the mechanism remained elusive. Keeping this in mind, the present study was designed to investigate the interaction of β-glucan with central cholinergic system. Briefly, in-silico analysis revealed promising interactions of β-glucan with the catalytic residues of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) enzyme. In line with this outcome, the in vitro assay (Ellman's method) also exhibited inhibition of AChE by β-glucan (IC50=0.68±0.08μg/µl). Furthermore, the in vivo study (Morris water maze) showed significant dose dependent reversal of the amnesic effect of scopolamine (2mg/kg i.p.) by β-glucan treatment (5, 25, 50 and 100mg/kg, i.p.). Finally, the hippocampi of aforementioned treated animals also revealed dose dependent inhibition of AChE enzyme. Hence, it can be deduced that β-glucan possesses potential to enhance central cholinergic tone via inhibiting AChE enzyme. In conclusion, the present study provides mechanistic insight to the cognition enhancing potential of β-glucan. Keeping in mind its dietary use and abundance in nature, it can be considered as economic therapeutic option against cognitive ailments associated with decline in cholinergic neurotransmission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2016.05.017DOI Listing
August 2016

Recent progress on the role of GABAergic neurotransmission in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease.

Rev Neurosci 2016 06;27(4):449-55

Despite their possible causative role, targeting amyloidosis, tau phosphorylation, acetylcholine esterase, glutamate, oxidative stress and mitochondrial metabolism have not yet led to the development of drugs to cure Alzheimer's disease (AD). Recent preclinical and clinical reports exhibit a surge in interest in the role of GABAergic neurotransmission in the pathogenesis of AD. The interaction among GABAergic signaling, amyloid-β and acetylcholine is shown to affect the homeostasis between excitation (glutamate) and inhibition (GABA) in the brain. As a consequence, over-excitation leads to neurodegeneration (excitotoxicity) and impairment in the higher level functions. Previously, the glutamate arm of this balance received the most attention. Recent literature suggests that over-excitation is primarily mediated by dysfunctional GABA signaling and can possibly be restored by rectifying anomalous metabolism observed in the GABAergic neurons during AD. Additionally, neurogenesis and synaptogenesis have also been linked with GABAergic signaling. This association may provide a basis for the needed repair mechanism. Furthermore, several preclinical interventional studies revealed that targeting various GABA receptor subtypes holds potential in overcoming the memory deficits associated with AD. In conclusion, the recent scientific literature suggests that GABAergic signaling presents itself as a promising target for anti-AD drug development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/revneuro-2015-0062DOI Listing
June 2016

Thymoquinone Inhibition of Acquisition and Expression of Alcohol-Induced Behavioral Sensitization.

Phytother Res 2015 Oct 14;29(10):1610-5. Epub 2015 Jul 14.

Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, CF10 3NB, UK.

Repeated low doses of alcohol have been shown to progressively enhance locomotor activity in mice, and this phenomenon is designated as behavioral sensitization. Thymoquinone, a major active component of Nigella sativa oil has been investigated in a number of studies for its neuroprotective effects against a variety of ailments. This study was conducted to explore the therapeutic potential of thymoquinone on the acquisition and expression of alcohol-induced behavioral sensitization. Mice treated with alcohol (2.2 g/kg/day) or saline for 13 days and subsequently challenged with an acute alcohol dose (2.2 g/kg) 5 days later were orally administered acute doses of thymoquinone (10, 20 and 30 mg/kg). Thymoquinone subacute treatment with all doses throughout alcohol exposure significantly inhibited both the development and expression phases of alcohol behavioral sensitization in a dose-dependent manner. However, acute treatment with thymoquinone (30 mg/kg) only reversed the expression phase of sensitization. These findings are explained in terms of the known GABA promoting action of thymoquinone in relation to the motive circuit within the limbic component of the basal ganglia. It is concluded that thymoquinone may be a potential therapeutic option for the treatment and prevention of alcohol induced behavioral sensitization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ptr.5409DOI Listing
October 2015

Cinnamomum cassia: an implication of serotonin reuptake inhibition in animal models of depression.

Nat Prod Res 2016 2;30(10):1212-4. Epub 2015 Jul 2.

a Department of Pharmacy , COMSATS Institute of Information Technology , Abbottabad 22060 , K.P.K , Pakistan.

The aim of the study was to explore the traditional use of Cinnamomum cassia against depression. The standardised methanolic extract of the bark of C. cassia was evaluated for antidepressant activity using various behavioural tests, i.e. tail suspension test (TST), forced swim test (FST) and locomotor activity test. The serotonergic and noradrenergic modulation was assessed using 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)-induced head twitches and yohimbine potentiation tests, respectively. The fluoxetine and phenelzine were used as positive controls in the study. The C. cassia extract significantly decreased the immobility time in TST (maximum effective dose tested was 50 mg/kg) while no effect was observed in FST and locomotor activity test. The extract significantly increased the 5-HTP-induced head twitches while yohimbine-induced lethality remained unaltered. The aforementioned results are similar to that caused by fluoxetine. The standardised methanolic extract of C. cassia demonstrated antidepressant activity that can be attributed to rise in serotonin levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14786419.2015.1047776DOI Listing
November 2016

Fungal biotransformation of ezetimibe.

Biotechnol Biotechnol Equip 2014 Sep 17;28(5):934-940. Epub 2014 Nov 17.

Department of Pharmacy, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology , Abbottabad Pakistan.

Structural transformation of ezetimibe was performed by fungi and . The metabolites were identified by different spectroscopic techniques as (3R,4S)-1-(4-fluorophenyl)-3-((E)-3-(4-fluorophenyl) allyl)-4-(4-hydroxyphenyl) azetidin-2-one (2), (3R, 4S)-1-(4-fluorophenyl)-3-(3-(4fluorophenyl)-3-oxopropyl)-4-(4-hydroxyphenyl) azetidin-2-one (3), (3R,4S) 1-(4-fluorophenyl)-3-(3-(4-fluorophenyl) propyl)-4-(4-hydroxyphenyl) azetidin-2-one (4) and (2R,5S)-N, 5-bis (4-fluorophenyl)-5-hydroxy-2-(4-hydroxybenzyl) pentanamide (5). This study displays two important features of these fungi, viz., their ability to metabolize halogenated compounds, and their capacity to metabolize drugs that are targets of the UDP-Glucuronyl Transferase System, a phenomenon not commonly observed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13102818.2014.966948DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4433922PMC
September 2014

Bioequivalence Study of Atorvastatin Tablets in Healthy Pakistani Volunteers.

Therapie 2015 Jul-Aug;70(4):329-35. Epub 2015 Feb 16.

Department of Pharmacy, Comsats Institute of Information Technology, Abbottabad, Pakistan.

A two way, randomized cross-over bioequivalence study was conducted to analyse the rate and extent of absorption of atorvastatin after a single dose of 80 mg atorvastatin as atorvastatin calcium tablets. The study was carried out using healthy male volunteers (N = 24). A high performance liquid chromatography method was employed to determine the level of drug in human plasma. It was concluded that the test and the reference drug exhibited comparable values of pharmacokinetic parameters. It was also concluded that since there was no significant difference between the rate and extent of absorption of the drug from the test and the reference formulations: these two formulations could thus be declared bioequivalent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2515/therapie/2014224DOI Listing
August 2015

Saponins: the phytochemical with an emerging potential for curing clinical depression.

Nat Prod Res 2015 30;29(4):302-7. Epub 2014 Jul 30.

a Department of Pharmacy , COMSATS Institute of Information Technology , Abbottabad , KPK 22060 , Pakistan.

Depression is on the rise globally and expected to lead in global burden of diseases by 2030. The current therapy has serious limitations in terms of safety, efficacy, tolerability and therapeutic success. This review, based on the literature of the last decade, is aimed at exploring the preclinical profile of plant-based saponins (the abundant secondary metabolite) as an emerging therapy for depression. Enough scientific evidences reflect that saponins promote neurogenesis, restore monoaminergic tone and enhance neurotrophic factors. In multiple stress models, they have exhibited adaptogenic effects via normalising hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, corticosterone levels and oxidative stress. Scientific data revealed neuroprotective effect of saponins by inhibiting apoptosis and intraneuronal calcium dynamics. Many plants possessing saponins as their principal antidepressant moiety need investigation at clinical level. Last decade literature revealed numerous preclinical reports supporting the role of saponins as natural cure for depression and justified their inclusion in antidepressant drug discovery programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14786419.2014.942661DOI Listing
April 2015

2-(Hetero(aryl)methylene)hydrazine-1-carbothioamides as potent urease inhibitors.

Chem Biol Drug Des 2015 Feb 10;85(2):225-30. Epub 2014 Jul 10.

Department of Chemistry, Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad, 45320, Pakistan.

A small series of 2-(hetero(aryl)methylene) hydrazine-1-carbothioamides including two aryl derivatives was synthesized and tested for their inhibitory activity against urease. Compound (E)-2-(Furan-2-ylmethylene) hydrazine-1-carbothioamide (3f), having a furan ring, was the most potent inhibitor of urease with an IC50 value of 0.58 μM. Molecular modeling was carried out through docking the designed compounds into the urease binding site to predict whether these derivatives have analogous binding mode to the urease inhibitors. The study revealed that all of the tested compounds bind with both metal atoms at the active site of the enzyme. The aromatic ring of the compounds forms ionic interactions with the residues, Ala(440), Asp(494), Ala(636), and Met(637).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cbdd.12379DOI Listing
February 2015

An aspartic protease of the scabies mite Sarcoptes scabiei is involved in the digestion of host skin and blood macromolecules.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2013 Nov 7;7(11):e2525. Epub 2013 Nov 7.

Global and Tropical Health Division, Menzies School of Health Research, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Australia.

Background: Scabies is a disease of worldwide significance, causing considerable morbidity in both humans and other animals. The scabies mite Sarcoptes scabiei burrows into the skin of its host, obtaining nutrition from host skin and blood. Aspartic proteases mediate a range of diverse and essential physiological functions such as tissue invasion and migration, digestion, moulting and reproduction in a number of parasitic organisms. We investigated whether aspartic proteases may play role in scabies mite digestive processes.

Methodology/principle Findings: We demonstrated the presence of aspartic protease activity in whole scabies mite extract. We then identified a scabies mite aspartic protease gene sequence and produced recombinant active enzyme. The recombinant scabies mite aspartic protease was capable of digesting human haemoglobin, serum albumin, fibrinogen and fibronectin, but not collagen III or laminin. This is consistent with the location of the scabies mites in the upper epidermis of human skin.

Conclusions/significance: The development of novel therapeutics for scabies is of increasing importance given the evidence of emerging resistance to current treatments. We have shown that a scabies mite aspartic protease plays a role in the digestion of host skin and serum molecules, raising the possibility that interference with the function of the enzyme may impact on mite survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0002525DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3820722PMC
November 2013

Intestinal proteases of free-living and parasitic astigmatid mites.

Cell Tissue Res 2013 Feb 17;351(2):339-52. Epub 2012 Mar 17.

Menzies School of Health Research, Charles Darwin University, PO Box 41096, Casuarina, NT, 0811, Australia.

Among arthropod pests, mites are responsible for considerable damage to crops, humans and other animals. However, detailed physiological data on these organisms remain sparse, mainly because of their small size but possibly also because of their extreme diversity. Focusing on intestinal proteases, we draw together information from three distinct mite species that all feed on skin but have separately adapted to a free-living, a strictly ecto-parasitic and a parasitic lifestyle. A wide range of studies involving immunohistology, molecular biology, X-ray crystallography and enzyme biochemistry of mite gut proteases suggests that these creatures have diverged considerably as house dust mites, sheep scab mites and scabies mites. Each species has evolved a particular variation of a presumably ancestral repertoire of digestive enzymes that have become specifically adapted to their individual environmental requirements.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00441-012-1369-9DOI Listing
February 2013