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Leflunomide (LEF) is a synthetic isoxazole derivative with anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, which has been reported to prevent acute rejection and delay progression of chronic allograft nephropathy (CAN) in animal models. We performed a pilot, crossover trial in 22 renal transplant recipients who were converted from azathioprine (AZA) or mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) to LEF in an effort to slow progression of renal dysfunction [deteriorating renal function (n = 5), cyclosporine (CyA) nephrotoxicity (n = 4) or biopsy-proven CAN (n = 13)]. Baseline maintenance immunosuppression consisted of CyA, AZA or MMF and prednisone. Six-month postconversion patient and graft survival was 100% and 91%, respectively. Mean serum creatinine 6months preconversion was 2.2 +/- 0.6mg/dL, at initiation was 3.0 +/- 1.1 mg/dL, and 6 months postconversion was 2.8 +/- 1.3 mg/dL. The rate of change in serum creatinine was 35 +/- 39%/6 months preconversion and -5 +/- 21%/6 months postconversion to LEF (p = 0.003). Two patients discontinued LEF for diarrhea and myalgia. No readmissions, increase in liver function tests, infections or acute rejection episodes occurred. Mean CyA levels did not change, 146 +/- 72 ng/ mL pre-LEF vs. 132 +/- 51 ng/mL post-LEF, p = NS. Conversion to LEF reversed progression of chronic renal allograft dysfunction with minimal toxicity.
Recent research has shown that in the processes of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), interleukin-1 (IL-1) is one of the pivotal cytokines in initiating and driving the disease, and the body's natural response, IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra), has been shown conclusively to block its effects. Several agents used to treat RA such as disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), as well as glucocorticoids (GC), affect the transcription, synthesis, release, and/or activity of cytokines, including the IL-1Ra. A higher ratio of IL-1Ra:IL-1 production by the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of RA patients successfully treated with methotrexate (MTX) is observed when compared with the PBMC of untreated patients or healthy controls. Recent studies have also shown a significant increase in IL-1Ra with low-dose MTX treatment of cultured monocytic cells. Antimalarials (hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine) have been found to increase the monocyte production of IL-1Ra and these changes might explain at least some of their mechanisms of action. Various studies have shown that leflunomide (LF) tends to favor the inhibition of pro-inflammatory and matrix-destructive factors over that of anti-inflammatory factors (i.e. IL-1Ra) and metalloproteinase inhibitors, thus interfering with both inflammation and tissue destruction. Further studies should investigate the effects of LF on synovial tissue/fluid expression of the IL-1Ra in treated RA patients. Regarding cyclosporin A (CyA), considerable evidence shows that the treatment of RA patients induces a decrease in IL-1Ra levels. Similar results with the inhibition of IL-1Ra mRNA and protein have been observed following RA treatment with glucocorticoids. In addition, the oral administration of cortisol to normal subjects also decreased LPS-induced IL-1Ra synthesis in cultured monocytes. The effects of different DMARDs and GC on IL-1Ra levels in RA patients, as reviewed in this paper, support the important role that selected anticytokine treatments might exert in the pathophysiology of the disease.
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At week 24, the percent of patients achieving PsARC in MTX, LEF and MTX + LEF group were 75.0%, 68.8%, 83.3% respectively, and the percent of patients achieving ACR20 were 66.7%, 50.0%, 83.3% respectively. At week 24, tender joint counts, swollen joint counts, patient's assessment of pain, patient's global assessment (PGA), physician's global assessment, health assessment questionnaire (HAQ) were significantly improved compared with base-line values (P < 0.05). At week 24, the improvement of patient's assessment of pain, HAQ, ESR were better in the MTX + LEF group compared with LEF group while the improvement of patient's assessment of pain, PGA, HAQ, ESR were better in the MTX group compared with LEF group (P < 0.05). The incidence of treatment related adverse events was 38.5%, 38.9% and 35% in MTX, LEF and MTX + LEF group respectively. There was no serious adverse reactions.
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Study 1: Both CTSs and rats had α-Gal expression in hearts and kidneys. ELISA showed CTSs do not have anti-Gal nAb, and flow cytometry indicated CTSs have anti-non-Gal IgM and IgG nAb in serum. Study 2: Rat hearts in CTSs were uniformly rejected within 35 mins, while CTS hearts in rats continued beating until day 5 without immunosuppression, and up to day 8 with immunosuppression.
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Sixty-five patients completed 20 weeks of treatment, and 71.6% were responders based on the ACR20 criteria. After 20 weeks, the mean changes were -16.3 for tender joint count, -12.0 for swollen joint count, -44.0 for physician global assessment, -34.3 for patient global assessment, -22.7 for erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and -0.65 for the Health Assessment Questionnaire score. Adverse events occurred in 40.5% of the patients, and were considered serious in four patients who discontinued therapy. Abnormal liver function was noted for 16 patients (21.6%). Two of these patients were withdrawn from the study; after discontinuing the medication, their liver function recovered fully.
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To investigate the effects of the active metabolite of leflunomide, A77 1726, on fibroblast-like synoviocytes. In rheumatoid arthritis (RA) synoviocytes participate in tissue destruction by producing metalloproteinases (MMP), prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) and interleukin (IL) 6, which are involved in extracellular matrix degradation, resorption of the mineral phase and osteoclast-mediated bone resorption.
The cost effectiveness of treatments that have changed the "natural history" of a chronic progressive disease needs to be evaluated over the long term. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are the standard treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and should be started as early as possible. A number of studies have shown that they are effective in improving disease activity and function, and in joint damage. Our review was focused on revision and critical evaluation of the studies including the literature on cost effectiveness of DMARDs (cyclosporine A, sulphasalazine, leflunomide, and methotrexate). The European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) recommendations showed that traditional DMARDs are cost effective at the time of disease onset. They are less expensive than biological DMARDs and can be useful in controlling disease activity in early RA.
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Cartilage damage appears to be the more clearly associated with irreversible physical disability than bony damage. These data suggest that particular attention should be given to therapeutic interference with cartilage destruction.
To test if leflunomide, an immunomodulator, could impede the growth of an ectopic uterine tissue.
15 patients with pSS with early and active disease received LEF 20 mg once daily for 24 weeks. Tolerability, safety and efficacy of LEF were evaluated every 8 weeks. Additional safety visits were performed every fortnight.
We searched the Cochrane Cystic Fibrosis and Genetic Disorders Group Trials Register which comprises references identified from comprehensive electronic database handsearches of relevant journal and abstract books of conference proceedings.Date of most recent search: May 2008
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The contribution of humoral immune response in allograft and xenograft rejection has been clearly demonstrated in recent years. For this reason, inhibition of alloantibody production has become essential in managing transplanted patients. Here, we assessed the effects of the leflunomide derivative FK778 (FK778) in the control of antibody production resulting from semiallogeneic cognate T-B-cell interactions.
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To compare methotrexate and methotrexate-based DMARD combinations for rheumatoid arthritis in patients naïve to or with an inadequate response (IR) to methotrexate.
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Heart transplants were performed in rats (Brown Norway [BN] to Lewis) and treated with varying doses of FK778 or leflunomide for 28 days. At 28 days, at the time of rejection or at the death of the animal, the allograft and other vital organs were obtained for study by light microscopy and immunohistochemistry. In separate experiments, Lewis rats were given sublethal irradiation, inoculated with rat CMV (Maastricht strain), and treated with varying doses of FK778 and leflunomide. In both the transplant and CMV studies, IP uridine was given at 250 mg/kg to cohorts or animals receiving FK778 and leflunomide.
New developments in the treatment of lupus have been lacking until recently. It is hoped that new immunomodulating therapies, including a synthetic form of dehydroepiandrosterone (prasterone), will help reduce the need for steroid treatment among patients with mild-to-moderate disease, thereby reducing the morbidity and cost associated with steroid-related side effects. In addition, newer treatments for more severe systemic lupus erythematosus appear to be on the horizon, the most promising of which include biologic agents. Meanwhile, several improvements have been made to traditional therapies that may also benefit patients.
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Plants have been used for medical purposes since the beginning of human history and are the basis of modern medicine. Most chemotherapeutic drugs for cancer treatment are molecules identified and isolated from plants or their synthetic derivatives. Our hypothesis was that whole plant extracts selected according to ethnobotanical sources of historical use might contain multiple molecules with antitumor activities that could be very effective in killing human cancer cells. This study examined the effects of three whole plant extracts (ethanol extraction) on human tumor cells. The extracts were from Urtica membranacea (Urticaceae), Artemesia monosperma (Asteraceae), and Origanum dayi post (Labiatae). All three plant extracts exhibited dose- and time-dependent killing capabilities in various human derived tumor cell lines and primary cultures established from patients' biopsies. The killing activity was specific toward tumor cells, as the plant extracts had no effect on primary cultures of healthy human cells. Cell death caused by the whole plant extracts is via apoptosis. Plant extract 5 (Urtica membranacea) showed particularly strong anticancer capabilities since it inhibited actual tumor progression in a breast adenocarcinoma mouse model. Our results suggest that whole plant extracts are promising anticancer reagents.
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The method was shown to be reliable, with good accuracy and precision statistics, and acceptable quantitation using 4 different collection tube types. Mean accuracy over 6 control concentrations was within 5.4%, over 5 validation runs, whereas %coefficient of variation (CV) was within 8.15%. Evaluation of sodium heparin, KEDTA, NaF/K oxalate, and plain serum tubes from 6 separate individuals at the lower limit of quantification (LLOQ) showed no influence on the ability to quantify teriflunomide accurately. Regression equations for a curve range of 0.005-1 mcg/mL gave R values of 0.998 or better, whereas the range 0.8-200 mcg/mL had R values of 0.997 or better.
The clinical activity of leflunomide, a drug used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, is due to its active metabolite, teriflunomide. In vitro studies indicate that at least 99% of teriflunomide is expected to be protein bound in human plasma in vivo, leaving<1% in the unbound or 'free' state for clinical activity. To examine details of the relationships between leflunomide dosing and patient response, it is necessary to have an assay that is sufficiently sensitive to measure the minor fraction of free teriflunomide in patient samples. Therefore, we aimed to develop and validate an LC-MS/MS method for the measurement of teriflunomide, and use it to determine the total and free teriflunomide concentration in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Teriflunomide and its deuterated internal standard were extracted from human plasma and separated using a reversed phase method with a C18 column. Detection was conducted with an API 3000 LC-MS/MS System by monitoring selected ions in negative ion MRM. Optimal detection occurred at m/z 269.1/160.0 (teriflunomide) and m/z 273.1/164.0 (teriflunomide-D4). Over a linear range of 5-500 μg/L, the inter-batch precision ranged from 1.9 to 8.8% and accuracy from -8.4 to 8.0%. The intra- and inter-batch assay precision for quality control samples ranged from 2.1-5.4% and 5.7-7.1% respectively. The procedure was applied to assess total and free plasma concentrations of teriflunomide in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Free teriflunomide was approximately 0.11% of total teriflunomide, and there was a significant correlation (r2=0.724) between free and total teriflunomide concentrations. A validated, accurate and sensitive method was developed and successfully applied for the measurement of total and free teriflunomide concentration in human plasma samples. This method has been shown to be reproducible and sensitive and can be applied to clinical samples.
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Isoxazoles are an important class of compounds of potential therapeutic value. The aim of this study was to determine immunotropic effects of 5-amino-3-methyl-4-isoxazolecarboxylic acid hydrazide derivatives on spontaneous and mitogen-induced lymphocyte proliferation in young and old mice, cytokine production by peritoneal cells as well as possible mechanism of action in a model of Jurkat cells. Three-month-old and 13-month-old BALB/c mice were used as donors of the cells from a thymus, a spleen, mesenteric lymph nodes, and a peritoneal cavity. Spontaneous and concanavalin A or lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced cell proliferation was measured by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide colorimetric method. IL-1β and TNF-α production induced by LPS in macrophage-enriched peritoneal cell cultures was measured by enzyme-linked immunoassay. 5-amino-3-methyl-4-isoxazolecarboxylic acid hydrazide, 01K (4-phenyl-1-(5-amino-3-methylisoxazole-4-carbonyl)-thiosemicarbazide), and 06K (4-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(5-amino-3-methylisoxazole-4-carbonyl)-thiosemicarbazide) exhibited regulatory activity in the proliferation tests. Prevailing stimulatory activity of the hydrazide and inhibitory activity of 01K and 06K was observed. Those effects were connected with different influence of the compounds on signaling proteins expression in Jurkat cells. The regulatory effects of the compounds on IL-1β production were more profound than those on TNF-α. Differences in the compound activity in young versus old mice were mainly restricted to 01K. Immunosuppressive isoxazole leflunomide and a stimulatory RM-11 (1,7-dimethyl-8-oxo-1,2H-isoxazole [5,4-e]triazepine) were applied as reference drugs.
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A total of 48 patients underwent semi-rigid thoracoscopy between August 2012 and December 2013 for undiagnosed pleural effusion. Mean age was 50.9 ± 14.1 years (range: 17-78 years). Pre-procedure clinico-radiological diagnoses were malignant pleural effusion [36 patients (75%)], tuberculosis (TB) [10 (20.83%) patients], and empyema [2 patients (4.17%)]. Patients with empyema underwent the procedure for pleural biopsy, optimal placement of intercostal tube and adhesiolysis. Thoracoscopic pleural biopsy diagnosed pleural malignancy in 30 (62.5%) patients and TB in 2 (4.17%) patients. Fourteen (29.17%) patients were diagnosed with non-specific pleuritis and normal pleura was diagnosed on a pleural biopsy in 2 (4.17%) patients. Overall, a definitive diagnosis of either pleural malignancy or TB was obtained in 32 (66.7%) patients. Combined overall sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value of thoracoscopic pleural biopsy for malignant pleural effusion were 96.77%, 100%, 100% and 66.67%, respectively. There was no procedure-related mortality. On performing a systematic review of literature, four studies on semi-rigid thoracoscopy from India were identified.
Human DHODH has two domains: an alpha/beta-barrel domain containing the active site and an alpha-helical domain that forms the opening of a tunnel leading to the active site. Both inhibitors share a common binding site in this tunnel, and differences in the binding region govern drug sensitivity or resistance. The active site of human DHODH is generally similar to that of the previously reported bacterial active site. The greatest differences are that the catalytic base removing the proton from dihydroorotate is a serine rather than a cysteine, and that packing of the flavin mononucleotide in its binding site is tighter.
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Leflunomide and methotrexate are clinically efficacious drugs that interfere with mechanisms involved in joint inflammation and destruction of joint integrity.
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Head-to-head trials (n = 23), mostly examining synthetic DMARDs, showed no clinically important differences in efficacy among synthetic DMARDs (limited to methotrexate, leflunomide, and sulfasalazine) or among anti-tumor necrosis factor drugs (adalimumab, etanercept, and infliximab). Monotherapy with anti-tumor necrosis factor drugs resulted in better radiographic outcomes than did methotrexate but no important differences in clinical outcomes (for example, 20%, 50%, or 70% improvement according to American College of Rheumatology response criteria). Various combinations of biological DMARDs plus methotrexate improved clinical response rates and functional outcomes more than monotherapy with either methotrexate or biological DMARDs. In patients whose monotherapy failed, combination therapy with synthetic DMARDs improved response rates. Numbers and types of short-term adverse events were similar for biological and synthetic DMARDs. The evidence was insufficient to draw conclusions about differences for rare but serious adverse events for biological DMARDs.
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Immunosuppression is currently the major approach used for the prevention and management of transplant rejection. In this overview, preclinical and clinical studies of the small molecule immunosuppressive agents are reviewed from the discovery of cyclosporine. More recently it was demonstrated that certain agents, namely tacrolimus (FK506), sirolimus (rapamycin), and mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept, MMF), act selectively on adaptive host responses at different stages of T- and B-cell cycles and spare nonspecific host resistance. Because each agent has its specific and significant toxic effects, it has been difficult to optimize the use of individual agents in monotherapy. Therefore, drug combination therapy has been of great interest in addition to the introduction of new small molecule agents, such as malononitrilamides [MNAs (leflunomide, FK778, FK779)], 15-deoxyspergualin (DSG) and its analogues, FTY720 and inhibitors of signal transduction, which offer promising modes of immunosuppression.
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During the 10-year period since the last review was done by Gardner and Furst, studies have furthered our knowledge of use of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) in the elderly rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patient. This article will briefly review the clinical pharmacology of human as they age, and detail the effects of aging on the specific pharmacokinetics and responses to commonly used DMARDs. There has been some progress in understanding the elderly RA patient, however, there is insufficient data for much confidence in DMARDs effects in the elderly.