In Vitro Model Systems to Study Androgen Receptor Signaling in Prostate Cancer.

In vitro model systems to study androgen receptor signaling in prostate cancer.

Endocr Relat Cancer. 2013 Apr; 20(2): R49-64
Sampson N, Neuwirt H, Puhr M, Klocker H, Eder IE

Prostate cancer (PCa) is one of the most common causes of male cancer-related death in Western nations. The cellular response to androgens is mediated via the androgen receptor (AR), a ligand-inducible transcription factor whose dysregulation plays a key role during PCa development and progression following androgen deprivation therapy, the current mainstay systemic treatment for advanced PCa. Thus, a better understanding of AR signaling and new strategies to abrogate AR activity are essential for improved therapeutic intervention. Consequently, a large number of experimental cell culture models have been established to facilitate in vitro investigations into the role of AR signaling in PCa development and progression. These different model systems mimic distinct stages of this heterogeneous disease and exhibit differences with respect to AR expression/status and androgen responsiveness. Technological advances have facilitated the development of in vitro systems that more closely reflect the physiological setting, for example via the use of three-dimensional coculture to study the interaction of prostate epithelial cells with the stroma, endothelium, immune system and tissue matrix environment. This review provides an overview of the most commonly used in vitro cell models currently available to study AR signaling with particular focus on their use in addressing key questions relating to the development and progression of PCa. It is hoped that the continued development of in vitro models will provide more biologically relevant platforms for mechanistic studies, drug discovery and design ensuring a more rapid transfer of knowledge from the laboratory to the clinic HubMed – drug


In vivo antioxidant effect of aqueous root bark, stem bark and leaves extracts of Vitex doniana in CCl4 induced liver damage rats.

Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2013 May; 3(5): 395-400
Adetoro KO, Bolanle JD, Abdullahi SB, Ahmed OA, Makun HA

The antioxidant effects of aqueous root bark, stem bark and leaves of Vitex doniana (V. doniana) were evaluated in carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) induced liver damage and non induced liver damage albino rats.A total of 60 albino rats (36 induced liver damage and 24 non induced liver damage) were assigned into liver damage and non liver damage groups of 6 rats in a group. The animals in the CCl4 induced liver damage groups, were induced by intraperitoneal injection with a single dose of CCl4 (148 mg·ml(-1)·kg(-1) body weight) as a 1:1 (v/v) solution in olive oil and were fasted for 36 h before the subsequent treatment with aqueous root bark, stem bark and leaves extracts of V. doniana and vitamin E as standard drug (100 mg/kg body weighy per day) for 21 d, while the animals in the non induced groups were only treated with the daily oral administration of these extracts at the same dose. The administration of CCl4 was done once a week for a period of three weeks.The liver of CCl4 induced not treated group showed that the induction with CCl4, significantly (P<0.05) increased thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) and significantly (P<0.05) decreased superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT). However there was no significant (P>0.05) difference between TBARS, SOD and CAT in the liver of the induced treated groups and normal control group. In the kidney, TBARS showed no significant (P>0.05) difference between the normal and the induced groups, SOD was significantly (P<0.05) reduced in the CCl4 group compared to standard drug and normal control groups, CAT was significantly (P<0.05) increased in root and vitamin E groups when compared to induced not treated group. The studies also showed that when the extracts were administered to normal animals, there was no significant (P>0.05) change in the liver and kidney level of TBARS, SOD and CAT compared with the normal control except in the kidney of animals treated with stem extract where TBARS was significantly (P<0.05) lowered compared to control group.The result of the present study suggests that application of V. doniana plant would play an important role in increasing the antioxidant effect and reducing the oxidative damage that formed both in liver and in kidney tissues. However stem bark has potential to improve renal function in normal rats. HubMed – drug


The risks of epidural and transforaminal steroid injections in the Spine: Commentary and a comprehensive review of the literature.

Surg Neurol Int. 2013; 4(Suppl 2): S74-93
Epstein NE

Multiple type of spinal injections, whether epidural/translaminar or transforaminal, facet injections, are offered to patients with/without surgical spinal lesions by pain management specialists (radiologists, physiatrists, and anesthesiologists). Although not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), injections are being performed with an increased frequency (160%), are typically short-acting and ineffective over the longer-term, while exposing patients to major risks/complications.For many patients with spinal pain alone and no surgical lesions, the “success” of epidural injections may simply reflect the self-limited course of the disease. Alternatively, although those with surgical pathology may experience transient or no pain relief, undergoing these injections (typically administered in a series of three) unnecessarily exposes them to the inherent risks, while also delaying surgery and potentially exposing them to more severe/permanent neurological deficits.Multiple recent reports cite contaminated epidural steroid injections resulting in meningitis, stroke, paralysis, and death. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) specifically identified 25 deaths (many due to Aspergillosis), 337 patients sickened, and 14,000 exposed to contaminated steroids. Nevertheless, many other patients develop other complications that go unreported/underreported: Other life-threatening infections, spinal fluid leaks (0.4-6%), positional headaches (28%), adhesive arachnoiditis (6-16%), hydrocephalus, air embolism, urinary retention, allergic reactions, intravascular injections (7.9-11.6%), stroke, blindness, neurological deficits/paralysis, hematomas, seizures, and death.Although the benefits for epidural steroid injections may include transient pain relief for those with/without surgical disease, the multitude of risks attributed to these injections outweighs the benefits. HubMed – drug


Commentary on research of bone morphogenetic protein discussed in review article: Genetic advances in the regeneration of the intervertebral disc.

Surg Neurol Int. 2013; 4(Suppl 2): S106-8
Epstein NE

In Maerz, Herkowitz and Baker’s review, Molecular and Genetic Advances in the Regeneration of the Intervertebral Disc, they also included an assessment of both in vivo and in vitro complications attributed to Bone Morphogenetic Protein ((BMP): BMP-2, BMP-7). This topic is of particular interest to spinal surgeons, as INFUSE/BMP (Medtronic, Memphis, TN, USA) is utilized, mostly off-label in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine, where it has been associated with significant perioperative and postoperative complications.BMP-2 and BMP-7 are the only human recombinant growth factors approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) in combination with the Lumbar Tapered Fusion Device (LT Cage: Medtronic, Memphis, TN, USA). BMP, however, is more typically utilized “off-label” in many other areas of the spine, where it has been associated with numerous complications.Maerz, et al. documented multiple in vivo and in vitro laboratory-based animal studies dating back to the early 2000’s in which BMP (INFUSE is the clinically available product: Medtronic, Memphis, TN) contributed to multiple complications, especially when utilized at higher doses. These complications included; inflammation/inflammatory processes, increased vascularity, fibroblastic proliferation, and catabolism.Maerz, et al. reviewed the increased risks associated with utilizing high dose BMP=INFUSE in spinal surgery, particularly when utilized “off-label”. The authors clearly indicate that BMP/INFUSE should be further investigated (based on the old and new findings) to better determine/confirm its safety, efficacy, and dosing. HubMed – drug