Liposomal hamycin: reduced toxicity and improved antifungal efficacy in vitro and in vivo
Patients undergoing organ transplants, those being treated with chemotherapy for cancer, and those with diseases that destroy the immune system, such as AIDS, have an increased risk for developing infections. Candida albicans is a fungus that is normally found in the intestines. During treatment with certain antibiotic drugs or when the immune system becomes suppressed, this fungus can cause a serious infection called candidiasis. Candida albicans is responsible for causing more than 80 percent of all fatal infections that occur in patients with leukemia and lymphoma. This type of infection is difficult to treat because of problems with drug toxicity and poor drug stability, solubility and absorption. Therefore, new methods for treating fungal infections in immunocompromised patients are needed. Hamycin is a drug that has been shown to be effective against several different kinds of fungi, but it is very toxic. In an attempt to reduce its toxic effects and improve its absorption and solubility, the drug was placed inside of a small vesicle called a liposome. Liposomes are made from lipids (fats) and look similar to a drop of oil. By placing the drug inside of a liposome, higher doses of the drug can be delivered to the site of infection with less toxicity to the rest of the body. When liposomes containing hamycin were given to mice that were infected with Candida albicans, the drug reduced the amount of fungus in the kidneys and improved the survival time of the mice from 18 to 38 days. When multiple doses of the drug were given, the infections were cured and survival was increased to 100 percent. It is concluded that liposomal hamycin may be an effective treatment for candida infections. (Consumer Summary produced by Reliance Medical Information, Inc.)
Publication Name: Journal of Infectious Diseases
The activation of the contact phase of coagulation by physiologic surfaces in plasma: the effect of large negatively charged liposomal vesicles
Factor VII (VIIc) coagulant activity is associated with incidents of ischemic heart disease and triglyceride and cholesterol concentrations in plasma. In addition, such conditions as increasing age, obesity, diabetes, the use of oral contraceptives and hypertriglyceridemia are all associated with high levels of VIIc. In one study, rabbits fed a one percent cholesterol-supplemented diet showed an increase in plasma cholesterol concentration that was associated with an increase in VIIc. Another study indicated a correlation between the increased plasma concentration of triglycerides and cholesterol in women in late pregnancy and the fact that late pregnancy is now being associated with increased VIIc. This fact has been attributed to an increased reactivity of factor VII. In addition, plasmas taken from late-pregnant women showed a higher concentration of potential endogenous, negatively charged surface and a higher density of negative charge than plasmas from non-pregnant women of child-bearing years.
Publication Name: Blood
Extracoelomic fluid osmometry and electrolyte composition during early gestation in the baboon
The pregnant baboon may be an appropriate animal model for determining the osmotic and electrolyte composition of extracoelomic fluid in pregnant women. This fluid is found in the gestational sac in early pregnancy, outside of the amniotic and yolk sacs. Researchers collected extracoelomic fluid samples from six pregnant baboons at about 40 days gestation. The concentrations of electrolytes and the fluid osmolalities were similar to values obtained from pregnant women, but maternal blood had higher colloid osmotic pressure.
Publication Name: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
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