Publications

2020
I.D. Small, M. Schallenberg-Rüdinger, M. Takenaka, H. Mireau, and O. Ostersetzer-Biran. 2020. “Plant organellar RNA editing: what 30 years of research has revealed.” Plant Journal, 101, 5, Pp. 1040-1056. Abstract
The central dogma in biology defines the flow of genetic information from DNA to RNA to protein. Accordingly, RNA molecules generally accurately follow the sequences of the genes from which they are transcribed. This rule is transgressed by RNA editing, which creates RNA products that differ from their DNA templates. Analyses of the RNA landscapes of terrestrial plants have indicated that RNA editing (in the form of C-U base transitions) is highly prevalent within organelles (that is, mitochondria and chloroplasts). Numerous C→U conversions (and in some plants also U→C) alter the coding sequences of many of the organellar transcripts and can also produce translatable mRNAs by creating AUG start sites or eliminating premature stop codons, or affect the RNA structure, influence splicing and alter the stability of RNAs. RNA-binding proteins are at the heart of post-transcriptional RNA expression. The C-to-U RNA editing process in plant mitochondria involves numerous nuclear-encoded factors, many of which have been identified as pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) proteins that target editing sites in a sequence-specific manner. In this review we report on major discoveries on RNA editing in plant organelles, since it was first documented 30 years ago. © 2019 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Infections caused by antibiotic-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus have reached epidemic proportions globally. Our previous study showed antimicrobial effects of anandamide (AEA) and arachidonoyl serine (AraS) against methicillin (MET)-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strains, proposing the therapeutic potential of these endocannabinoid/endocannabinoid-like (EC/EC-like) agents for the treatment of MRSA. Here, we investigated the potential synergism of combinations of AEA and AraS with different types of antibiotics against MRSA grown under planktonic growth or biofilm formation. The most effective combinations under planktonic conditions were mixtures of AEA and ampicillin (AMP), and of AraS and gentamicin (GEN). The combination with the highest synergy in the biofilm formation against all tested bacterial strains was AEA and MET. Moreover, the combination of AraS and MET synergistically caused default of biofilm formation. Slime production of MRSA was also dramatically impaired by AEA or AraS combined with MET. Our data suggest the novel potential activity of combinations of EC/EC-like agents and antibiotics in the prevention of MRSA biofilm formation. Copyright: © 2020 Feldman et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
C. Itin, D. Barasch, A.J. Domb, and A. Hoffman. 2020. “Prolonged oral transmucosal delivery of highly lipophilic drug cannabidiol.” International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 581. Abstract
Delivery of drugs through oral mucosa enables bypass of the gastrointestinal tract and “first pass“ metabolism in the liver and the gut. Thus, a higher and less variable bioavailability can be obtained. Mechanisms of this administration route for cannabidiol were investigated in the current research in pigs. Results show that cannabidiol has substantially low permeability rate over 8 h through oral mucosa and accumulates significantly within it. Furthermore, following the removal of the delivery device, residual prolongation of release from the oral mucosa into systemic blood circulation continues for several hours. This method of delivery enabled acquisition of clinically relevant plasma levels of cannabidiol. The absorption profile indicates that cannabidiol, as well as other lipophilic molecules, should be delivered through oral mucosa for systemic absorption from a device that conceals the drug and prevents its washout by the saliva flow and subsequent ingestion into gastrointestinal tract. © 2020 Elsevier B.V.
F. Piscitelli, F. Guida, L. Luongo, F.A. Iannotti, S. Boccella, R. Verde, A. Lauritano, R. Imperatore, R. Smoum, L. Cristino, A.H. Lichtman, L.A. Parker, R. Mechoulam, S. Maione, and V. Di Marzo. 2020. “Protective Effects of N-Oleoylglycine in a Mouse Model of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.” ACS Chemical Neuroscience, 11, 8, Pp. 1117-1128. Abstract
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the main causes of death in young people for which currently no efficacious treatment exists. Recently, we have reported that mice with mild-TBI with a specific injury in the insula showed elevated levels of a little investigated N-acyl amino acid, N-oleoylglycine (OlGly). N-acyl amino acids have recently experienced an increased interest because of their important biological activities. They belong to the endocannabinoidome family of lipids with structural similarities with the endocannabinoids (eCBs). The aim of this study was to test the neuroprotective and antihyperalgesic actions of OlGly in a model of mouse mild-TBI (mTBI) and its effect on levels of eCBs and N-acylethanolamines at the end of treatment. Following mTBI, mice were administered a daily injection of OlGly (10-50-100 mg/kg i.p.) for 14 days. Treatment with OlGly normalized motor impairment and behavior in the light/dark box test, ameliorated TBI-induced thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia, and normalized aggressiveness and depression. Moreover, levels of eCBs and some N-acylethanolamines underwent significant changes 60 days after TBI, especially in the prefrontal cortex and hypothalamus, and OlGly reversed some of these changes. In conclusion, our findings reveal that OlGly ameliorates the behavioral alterations associated with mTBI in mice, while concomitantly modulating eCB and eCB-like mediator tone. © 2020 American Chemical Society.
S. Azar, S. Udi, A. Drori, R. Hadar, A. Nemirovski, K.V. Vemuri, M. Miller, D. Sherill-Rofe, Y. Arad, D. Gur-Wahnon, X. Li, A. Makriyannis, D. Ben-Zvi, Y. Tabach, I.Z. Ben-Dov, and J. Tam. 2020. “Reversal of diet-induced hepatic steatosis by peripheral CB1 receptor blockade in mice is p53/miRNA-22/SIRT1/PPARα dependent.” Molecular Metabolism, 42. Abstract
Objective: The endocannabinoid (eCB) system is increasingly recognized as being crucially important in obesity-related hepatic steatosis. By activating the hepatic cannabinoid-1 receptor (CB1R), eCBs modulate lipogenesis and fatty acid oxidation. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are largely unknown. Methods: We combined unbiased bioinformatics techniques, mouse genetic manipulations, multiple pharmacological, molecular, and cellular biology approaches, and genomic sequencing to systematically decipher the role of the hepatic CB1R in modulating fat utilization in the liver and explored the downstream molecular mechanisms. Results: Using an unbiased normalized phylogenetic profiling analysis, we found that the CB1R evolutionarily coevolves with peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha (PPARα), a key regulator of hepatic lipid metabolism. In diet-induced obese (DIO) mice, peripheral CB1R blockade (using AM6545) induced the reversal of hepatic steatosis and improved liver injury in WT, but not in PPARα−/− mice. The antisteatotic effect mediated by AM6545 in WT DIO mice was accompanied by increased hepatic expression and activity of PPARα as well as elevated hepatic levels of the PPARα-activating eCB-like molecules oleoylethanolamide and palmitoylethanolamide. Moreover, AM6545 was unable to rescue hepatic steatosis in DIO mice lacking liver sirtuin 1 (SIRT1), an upstream regulator of PPARα. Both of these signaling molecules were modulated by the CB1R as measured in hepatocytes exposed to lipotoxic conditions or treated with CB1R agonists in the absence/presence of AM6545. Furthermore, using microRNA transcriptomic profiling, we found that the CB1R regulated the hepatic expression, acetylation, and transcriptional activity of p53, resulting in the enhanced expression of miR-22, which was found to specifically target SIRT1 and PPARα. Conclusions: We provide strong evidence for a functional role of the p53/miR-22/SIRT1/PPARα signaling pathway in potentially mediating the antisteatotic effect of peripherally restricted CB1R blockade. © 2020 The Authors
R. Rozner, J. Vernikov, S. Griess-Fishheimer, T. Travinsky, S. Penn, B. Schwartz, R. Mesilati-Stahy, N. Argov-Argaman, R. Shahar, and E. Monsonego-Ornan. 2020. “The role of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids from different sources in bone development.” Nutrients, 12, 11, Pp. 1-22. Abstract
N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are essential nutrients that must be obtained from the diet. We have previously showed that endogenous n-3 PUFAs contribute to skeletal development and bone quality in fat-1 mice. Unlike other mammals, these transgenic mice, carry the n-3 desaturase gene and thus can convert n-6 to n-3 PUFAs endogenously. Since this model does not mimic dietary exposure to n-3 PUFAs, diets rich in fish and flaxseed oils were used to further elucidate the role of n-3 PUFAs in bone development. Our investigation reveals that dietary n-3 PUFAs decrease fat accumulation in the liver, lower serum fat levels, and alter fatty acid (FA) content in liver and serum. Bone analyses show that n-3 PUFAs improve mechanical properties, which were measured using a three-point bending test, but exert complex effects on bone structure that vary according to its source. In a micro-CT analysis, we found that the flaxseed oil diet improves trabecular bone micro-architecture, whereas the fish oil diet promotes higher bone mineral density (BMD) with no effect on trabecular bone. The transcriptome characterization of bone by RNA-seq identified regulatory mechanisms of n-3 PUFAs via modulation of the cell cycle and peripheral circadian rhythm genes. These results extend our knowledge and provide insights into the molecular mechanisms of bone remodeling regulation induced by different sources of dietary n-3 PUFAs. © MDPI AG. All rights reserved.
E.C. Broner, H. Onallah, T. Tavor Re'em, B. Davidson, and R. Reich. 2020. “Role of the Exosome Secretion Machinery in Ovarian Carcinoma: In Vitro and in Vivo Models.” Journal of Oncology, 2020. Abstract
Objective. We recently reported on the expression and clinical role of molecules that mediate exosome secretion in high-grade serous carcinoma. In the present study, the biological role of these molecules was analyzed. Methods. OVCAR8 and ES-2 ovarian carcinoma cells were studied using a combination of CRISPR/Cas9 technology and two 3D in vitro models-spheroids emulating effusions and alginate scaffolds representing solid lesions. Isolation of exosomes was validated by electron microscopy. TSAP6, NSMASE2, RAB27A, and RAB27B mRNA and protein levels were analyzed using qRT-PCR and Western blotting, respectively. Tumor aggressiveness was studied in vitro using scratch assay, invasion assay, and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity assay and in vivo using a mouse model. Results. In OVCAR8 cells, mRNA expression of TSAP6 and RAB27A was significantly higher in spheroids compared to scaffolds, whereas the opposite was true for NSMASE2 mRNA. In ES-2 cells, TSAP6 and RAB27B mRNA expression was significantly higher in spheroids versus scaffolds. In addition, nSMase2 and TSAP6 protein expression was significantly higher in scaffolds compared to spheroids. CRISPR-edited cells with silencing of NSMASE2, TSAP6, and RAB27A/B had reduced migration, invasion, and MMP activity. Additionally, knockout (KO) of these molecules resulted in significantly diminished exosome secretion. In vivo assay showed that when injected to mice, OVCAR8 RAB27A/B KO cells, as opposed to control OVCAR8 cells, did not form ascites or visible tumor lesions and had reduced MMP expression. Conclusion. The present study provides evidence that different models for culturing ovarian carcinoma cells affect the expression of molecules mediating exosome secretion and that these molecules have a tumor-promoting role. Silencing these molecules may consequently have therapeutic relevance in this cancer. © 2020 Esther Channah Broner et al.
S. Ron-Doitch, Y. Soroka, M. Frusic-Zlotkin, D. Barasch, D. Steinberg, and R. Kohen. 2020. “Saturated and aromatic aldehydes originating from skin and cutaneous bacteria activate the Nrf2-keap1 pathway in human keratinocytes.” Experimental Dermatology. Abstract
Skin homeostasis is constantly challenged by environmental factors, affecting its delicate redox balance. The skin is also home to a wide variety of bacterial species, including Staphylococci. The cutaneous redox state is governed by the Nrf2-keap1 pathway, which is responsible for the induction of phase II cytoprotective enzymes, thus sustaining a healthy oxidative state. As part of normal metabolism, both bacteria and cutaneous tissue emit copious amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), one subgroup of which are aldehydes. α,β-unsaturated aldehydes are known activators of Nrf2-keap1 pathway by direct oxidation of the keap1 protein. However, we did not encounter reports of Nrf2 activation by saturated or aromatic aldehydes, neither bacteria nor skin-derived. We hypothesized that non–α,β-unsaturated aldehydes derived from skin or cutaneous bacteria may act as Nrf2-keap1 pathway activators and therefore afford protection against environmental insults. The saturated aldehydes nonanal and decanal (known skin metabolites) and the aromatic aldehyde benzaldehyde (known skin and Staphylococcus epidermidis metabolite) were shown to induce the Nrf2-keap1 pathway in human keratinocytes. We also identified a newly described aromatic aldehyde, 3-furaldehyde (3-FA), emitted from S. aureus and S. epidermidis cultures, which also activated the pathway. Moreover, Nrf2-keap1 induction led to a significant protection against UVB-induced apoptosis. The mechanism involved in this activation has been partially elucidated. This work emphasizes the importance of cutaneous bacteria, as well as healthy skin lipid peroxidation processes in the maintenance and regulation of the cellular antioxidant response, namely with regard to coping with environmental stressors. © 2020 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
R. Bulvik, R. Breuer, M. Dvir-Ginzberg, E. Reich, N. Berkman, and S.B. Wallach-Dayan. 2020. “Sirt1 deficiency, specifically in fibroblasts, decreases apoptosis resistance and is associated with resolution of lung-fibrosis.” Biomolecules, 10, 7, Pp. 1-12. Abstract
In contrast to normal regenerating tissue, resistance to Fas-and FasL-positive T cell-induced apoptosis were detected in myofibroblasts from fibrotic-lungs of humans and mice following bleomycin (BLM) exposure. In this study we show, decreased FLIP expression in lung-tissues with resolution of BLM-induced fibrosis and in isolated-lung fibroblasts, with decreased resistance to apoptosis. Using a FLIP-expression vector or a shFLIP-RNA, we further confirmed the critical need for FLIP to regain/lose susceptibility of fibrotic-lung myofibroblast to Fas-induced apoptosis. Our study further show that FLIP is regulated by SIRT1 (Sirtuin 1) deacetylase. Chimeric mice, with SIRT1-deficiency in deacetylase domain (H355Y-Sirt1y/y), specifically in mesenchymal cells, were not only protected from BLM-induced lung fibrosis but, as assessed following Ku70 immunoprecipitation, had also decreased Ku70-deacetylation, decreasedKu70/FLIP complex, and decreased FLIP levels in their lung myofibroblasts. In addition, myofibroblasts isolated from lungs of BLM-treated miR34a-knockout mice, exposed to a miR34a mimic, which we found here to downregulate SIRT1 in the luciferase assay, had a decreased Ku70-deacetylation indicating decrease in SIRT1 activity. Thus, SIRT1 may mediate, miR34a-regulated, persistent FLIP levels by deacetylation of Ku70 in lung myofibroblasts, promoting resistance to cell-death and lung fibrosis. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
E. Murillo-Rodríguez, G. Arankowsky-Sandoval, R.G. Pertwee, L. Parker, and R. Mechoulam. 2020. “Sleep and neurochemical modulation by cannabidiolic acid methyl ester in rats.” Brain Research Bulletin, 155, Pp. 166-173. Abstract
Cannabidiolic acid methyl ester (HU-580) is a more stable compound than cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) which has been shown to be effective in reducing nausea, anxiety, depression behaviors in animal models. Here we extend the investigation of this compound to determine its effect on the sleep-wake cycle in male Wistar rats. HU-580 dose-dependently (0.1, 1.0 or 100 μg/Kg, i.p.) prolonged wakefulness (W) and decreased slow wave sleep (SWS) duration whereas rapid eye movement sleep (REMS) showed no statistical change. In addition, the brain microdialysis probes either placed at nucleus accumbens (NAc) or into the basal forebrain in freely moving animals were used to evaluate the effects of HU-580 treatment on neurotransmitters related to the sleep-wake cycle modulation. HU-580 enhanced extracellular levels of dopamine, serotonin collected from NAc while adenosine and acetylcholine were increased in basal forebrain. In summary, HU-580 seems to possess wake-promoting pharmacological properties and enhances the levels of wake-related neurochemicals. This is the first report of effects of HU-580 on sleep modulation expanding the very limited existent data on the neurobiological effects of HU-580 on rats. © 2019 Elsevier Inc.
Y. Ben Shoshan-Galeczki and M.Y. Niv. 2020. “Structure-based screening for discovery of sweet compounds.” Food Chemistry, 315. Abstract
Sweet taste is a cue for calorie-rich food and is innately attractive to animals, including humans. In the context of modern diets, attraction to sweetness presents a significant challenge to human health. Most known sugars and sweeteners bind to the Venus Fly Trap domain of T1R2 subunit of the sweet taste heterodimer. Because the sweet taste receptor structure has not been experimentally solved yet, a possible approach to finding sweet molecules is virtual screening using compatibility of candidate molecules to homology models of sugar-binding site. Here, the constructed structural models, docking and scoring schemes were validated by their ability to rank known sweet-tasting compounds higher than properties-matched random molecules. The best performing models were next used in virtual screening, retrieving recently patented sweeteners and providing novel predictions. © 2020 Elsevier Ltd
A. Badihi, M. Frušić-Zlotkin, Y. Soroka, S. Benhamron, T. Tzur, T. Nassar, and S. Benita. 2020. “Topical nano-encapsulated cyclosporine formulation for atopic dermatitis treatment: Topical cyclosporine NCs for AD.” Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine, 24. Abstract
Systemic cyclosporine A (CsA) therapy shows efficacy in the treatment of recalcitrant severe atopic dermatitis (AD) but elicits severe side-effects. Thus, a topical formulation of CsA nanocapsules (NCs), able to potentially bypass these drawbacks, was developed. CsA-NCs were shown to enhance drug penetration into the various layers of porcine ear skin. Furthermore, the encapsulated CsA was biologically active, as shown in vitro on mouse splenocytes, reflected by inhibition of both cell proliferation and of interleukin (IL)-2 secretion. Ex-vivo efficacy was demonstrated on human skin organ culture by markedly reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines secretion. Finally, CsA-NCs topical formulation elicited improved efficacy in terms of better preservation of the skin barrier integrity, a decrease of the systemic pro-inflammation markers and reduced skin inflammation. The overall results suggest that this original topical platform may provide a novel therapeutic tool of clinical significance compared to the existing topical therapeutic drugs in AD. © 2019 Elsevier Inc.
K.N. Babu, F. Massarwe, R.R. Reddy, N. Eghbarieh, M. Jakob, and A. Masarwa. 2020. “Unsymmetrical 1,1-bisboryl species: Valuable building blocks in synthesis.” Molecules, 25, 4. Abstract
Unsymmetrical 1,1-bis(boryl)alkanes and alkenes are organo-bismetallic equivalents, which are synthetically important because they allow for sequential selective transformations of C-B bonds. We reviewed the synthesis and chemical reactivity of 1,1-bis(boryl)alkanes and alkenes to provide information for the synthetic community. In the first part of this review, we disclose the synthesis and chemical reactivity of unsymmetrical 1,1-bisborylalkanes. In the second part, we describe the synthesis and chemical reactivity of unsymmetrical 1,1-bis(boryl)alkenes. © 2020 by the authors.
D. Izgelov, A. Regev, A.J. Domb, and A. Hoffman. 2020. “Using the Absorption Cocktail Approach to Assess Differential Absorption Kinetics of Cannabidiol Administered in Lipid-Based Vehicles in Rats.” Molecular Pharmaceutics, 17, 6, Pp. 1979-1986. Abstract
Lipid-based drug delivery systems have been vastly investigated as a pharmaceutical method to enhance oral absorption of lipophilic drugs. However, these vehicles not only affect drug bioavailability but may also have an impact on gastric emptying, drug disposition, lymphatic absorption and be affected by lipid digestion mechanisms. The work presented here compared the pharmacokinetic (PK) behavior of the non-intoxicating cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) in sesame oil vs. a self-nano emulsifying drug delivery system (SNEDDS). This investigation was conducted with a unique tool termed the "absorption cocktail approach". In this concept, selected molecules: metoprolol, THC, and ibuprofen, were coadministered with CBD in the SNEDDS and sesame oil. This method was used to shed light on the complex absorption process of poorly soluble drugs in vivo, specifically assessing the absorption kinetics of CBD. It was found that the concentration vs. time curve following CBD-sesame oil oral administration showed extended input of the drug with a delayed Tmax compared to CBD-SNEDDS. Using the "cocktail"approach, a unique finding was observed when the less lipophilic compounds (metoprolol and ibuprofen) exited the stomach much earlier than the lipophilic cannabinoids in sesame oil, proving differential absorption kinetics. Findings of the absorption cocktail approach reflected the physiological process of the GI, e.g., gastric retention, stomach content separation, lipid digestion, drug precipitation and more, demonstrating its utility. Nonetheless, the search for more compounds as suitable probes is underway. © 2020 American Chemical Society.
2019
H. Neumann-Raizel, A. Shilo, S. Lev, M. Mogilevsky, B. Katz, D. Shneor, Y.D. Shaul, A. Leffler, A. Gabizon, R. Karni, A. Honigman, and A.M. Binshtok. 2019. “2-APB and CBD-mediated targeting of charged cytotoxic compounds into tumor cells suggests the involvement of TRPV2 channels.” Frontiers in Pharmacology, 10. Abstract
Targeted delivery of therapeutic compounds to particular cell types such that they only affect the target cells is of great clinical importance since it can minimize undesired side effects. For example, typical chemotherapeutic treatments used in the treatment of neoplastic disorders are cytotoxic not only to cancer cells but also to most normal cells when exposed to a critical concentration of the compound. As such, many chemotherapeutics exhibit severe side effects, often prohibiting their effective use in the treatment of cancer. Here, we describe a new means for facilitated delivery of a clinically used chemotherapy compound' doxorubicin, into hepatocellular carcinoma cell line (BNL1 ME). We demonstrate that these cells express a large pore, cation non-selective transient receptor potential (TRP) channel V2. We utilized this channel to shuttle doxorubicin into BNL1 ME cells. We show that co-application of either cannabidiol (CBD) or 2-APB, the activators of TRPV2 channels, together with doxorubicin leads to significantly higher accumulation of doxorubicin in BNL1 ME cells than in BNL1 ME cells that were exposed to doxorubicin alone. Moreover, we demonstrate that sub-effective doses of doxorubicin when co-applied with either 2-APB or CBD lead to a significant decrease in the number of living BNL1 ME cell and BNL1 ME cell colonies in comparison to application of doxorubicin alone. Finally, we demonstrate that the doxorubicin-mediated cell death is significantly more potent, requiring an order of magnitude lower dose, when co-applied with CBD than with 2-APB. We suggest that CBD may have a dual effect in promoting doxorubicin-mediated cell death by facilitating the entry of doxorubicin via TRPV2 channels and preventing its clearance from the cells by inhibiting P-glycoprotein ATPase transporter. Collectively, these results provide a foundation for the use of large pore cation-non selective channels as “natural” drug delivery systems for targeting specific cell types. Copyright © 2019 Neumann-Raizel, Shilo, Lev, Mogilevsky, Katz, Shneor, Shaul, Leffler, Gabizon, Karni, Honigman and Binshtok. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
H. Pahima, P.G. Puzzovio, and F. Levi-Schaffer. 2019. “2B4 and CD48: A powerful couple of the immune system.” Clinical Immunology, 204, Pp. 64-68. Abstract
The signaling lymphocytic activation molecule (SLAM) family of receptors (SLAMF) is a group of receptors belonging to the CD2 family. It is composed of several members expressed on many hematopoietic cells. Most of the receptors interact in a homophilic fashion with neighboring cells. Their distribution and binding properties, together with their ability to function as both activating and inhibitory receptors, put them as key players in the immune system regulation. Several SLAM family receptors have been extensively investigated. This review mainly focuses on CD244 (2B4 or SLAMF4,) and CD48, particularly as expressed by the key cells of allergy, mast cells and eosinophils. © 2018 Elsevier Inc.
L. Nimri, I. Peri, E. Yehuda-Shnaidman, and B. Schwartz. 2019. “Adipocytes Isolated from Visceral and Subcutaneous Depots of Donors Differing in BMI Crosstalk with Colon Cancer Cells and Modulate their Invasive Phenotype.” Translational Oncology, 12, 11, Pp. 1404-1415. Abstract
PURPOSE: Mechanisms related the crosstalk between adipocytes and colon cancer cells are still not clear. We hypothesize that molecules and adipocytokines generated from the adipose tissue of obese individuals accentuate the effect on the metabolic reprogramming in colon cancer cells, i.e. induce disarray in energy metabolism networks of the targeted affected colonic epithelial cells, prompting their malignant phenotype. METHODS: To explore the mechanistic behind this crosstalk we conducted a co-culture model system using human colon cancer cells having different malignant abilities and adipocytes from different depots and subjects. RESULTS: The results demonstrate that co-culturing aggressive colon cancer cells such as HM-7 cells, with Visceral or Subcutaneous adipocytes (VA or SA respectively) from lean/obese subjects significantly up-regulate the secretion of the adipokines IL-8, MCP1, and IL-6 from the adipocytes. Surprisingly, the response of co-culturing HM-7 cells with obese SA was substantially more significant. In addition, these effects were significantly more pronounced when using HM-7 cells as compared to the less malignant HCT116 colon cancer cells. Moreover, the results showed that HM-7 cells, co-cultured with VA or SA from obese subjects, expressed higher levels of fatty acid binding protein 4; thus, the conditioned media obtained from the wells contained HM-7 cells and adipocytes from obese subjects was significantly more efficient in promoting invasion of HM-7 cells. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that interaction between adipocytes and colon cancer cells, especially the highly malignant cells, results in metabolic alterations in colon cancer cells and in highly hypertrophy phenotype which characterized by increasing adipokines secretion from the adipocytes. © 2019 The Authors
R. Gallily and Z. Yekhtin. 2019. “Avidekel Cannabis extracts and cannabidiol are as efficient as Copaxone in suppressing EAE in SJL/J mice.” Inflammopharmacology, 27, 1, Pp. 167-173. Abstract
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease leading to the destruction of myelin with consequent axonal degeneration and severe physical debilitation. The disease can be treated with immunosuppressive drugs that alleviate the symptoms and retard disease aggravation. One such drug in clinical use is glatiramer acetate (Copaxone). The non-psychotropic immunosuppressive cannabinoid compound cannabidiol (CBD) has recently been shown to have beneficial effects on experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). The aim of our study was to compare the efficacy of CBD and standardized extracts from a CBD-rich, ∆ 9 -THC low Cannabis indica subspecies (Avidekel) with that of Copaxone. Our data show that CBD and purified Avidekel extracts are as efficient as Copaxone to alleviate the symptoms of proteolipid protein (PLP)-induced EAE in SJL/J mice. No synergistic effect was observed by combining CBD or Avidekel extracts with Copaxone. Our data support the use of Avidekel extracts in the treatment of MS symptoms. © 2018, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.
S. Ezrahi, A. Aserin, and N. Garti. 2019. “Basic principles of drug delivery systems – the case of paclitaxel.” Advances in Colloid and Interface Science, 263, Pp. 95-130. Abstract
Cancer is the second cause of death worldwide, exceeded only by cardiovascular diseases. The prevalent treatment currently used against metastatic cancer is chemotherapy. Among the most studied drugs that inhibit neoplastic cells from acquiring unlimited replicative ability (a hallmark of cancer) are the taxanes. They operate via a unique molecular mechanism affecting mitosis. In this review, we show this mechanism for one of them, paclitaxel, and for other (non-taxanes) anti-mitotic drugs. However, the use of paclitaxel is seriously limited (its bioavailability is <10%) due to several long-standing challenges: its poor water solubility (0.3 μg/mL), its being a substrate for the efflux multidrug transporter P-gp, and, in the case of oral delivery, its first-pass metabolism by certain enzymes. Adequate delivery methods are therefore required to enhance the anti-tumor activity of paclitaxel. Thus, we have also reviewed drug delivery strategies in light of the various physical, chemical, and enzymatic obstacles facing the (especially oral) delivery of drugs in general and paclitaxel in particular. Among the powerful and versatile platforms that have been developed and achieved unprecedented opportunities as drug carriers, microemulsions might have great potential for this aim. This is due to properties such as thermodynamic stability (leading to long shelf-life), increased drug solubilization, and ease of preparation and administration. In this review, we define microemulsions and nanoemulsions, analyze their pertinent properties, and review the results of several drug delivery carriers based on these systems. © 2018 Elsevier B.V.
M. Brandwein, I. Katz, A. Katz, and R. Kohen. 2019. “Beyond the gut: Skin microbiome compositional changes are associated with BMI.” Human Microbiome Journal, 13. Abstract
Microbiome compositional changes are associated with obesity in the gut. Emerging evidence points to a connection between gut and skin microbial communities. We hypothesized that skin microbiome compositional changes are associated with different BMI levels and that overweight or obese individuals would have reduced skin microbial diversity. We statistically analyzed gut, oral and skin microbiome samples to recapture previously observed partitioning between the microbiomes of these sites. We further analyzed 822 skin microbiome samples from the American Gut Project database and correlated BMI levels with community structure and composition using QIIME. Gut, oral and skin samples showed distinct community composition, and gut and skin microbial diversity was affected by BMI. Oral microbial diversity was not affected by BMI. Skin beta-diversity and community composition was correlated with BMI category, and Corynebacterium relative abundance was significantly correlated with BMI. In conclusion, non-cutaneous conditions affect the composition of the skin microbiome and the skin microbiome may therefore be used as a biomarker for disease manifestations beyond those with a cutaneous etiology. © 2019 Elsevier Ltd

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