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neprilysin - Top 30 Publications

Neprilysin and Heart Failure: A "Sympathetic" Relationship?

Renal Sympathetic Denervation Protects the Failing Heart Via Inhibition of Neprilysin Activity in the Kidney.

Sustained sympathetic activation contributes to the progression of myocardial cell injury, cardiac fibrosis, and left ventricular (LV) dysfunction in heart failure (HF).

Profile of sacubitril/valsartan in the treatment of heart failure: patient selection and perspectives.

With an estimated prevalence of 5.8 million in the USA and over 23 million people worldwide, heart failure (HF) is growing in epidemic proportions. Despite the use of guideline-directed medical therapies such as angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, beta-adrenergic blockers, angiotensin receptor blockers, and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists for chronic systolic HF for almost two decades, HF remains a leading cause of morbidity, mortality, and health care expenditures. The Prospective Comparison of Angiotensin Receptor-Neprilysin Inhibitor with Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitor to Determine Impact on Global Mortality and Morbidity in Heart Failure (PARADIGM-HF) trial provided compelling evidence for the cardiovascular and mortality benefit of sacubitril/valsartan when compared to enalapril in patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). Sacubitril/valsartan performed better than enalapril across various HFrEF patient characteristics and showed substantial benefit in patients with other common comorbidities. Following the trial, the US Food and Drug Administration approved this drug for the treatment of HF. Various international HF consensus guidelines endorse sacubitril/valsartan as a class I recommendation for the management of symptomatic HFrEF. Although this high-quality clinical study is the largest and the most globally represented trial in HFrEF patients, concerns have been raised regarding the generalizability of the trial results in real-world HF population. The gaps in US Food and Drug Administration labeling and guideline recommendations might lead to this medication being used in a larger population than it was studied in. In this review, we will discuss the current role of sacubitril/valsartan in the management of HF, concerns related to PARADIGM-HF and answers, shortcomings of this novel drug, effects on patient characteristics, real-world eligibility, and the role of ongoing and further investigations to clarify the profile of sacubitril/valsartan in the management of HF.

Angiotensin II Receptor-Neprilysin Inhibitor Sacubitril/Valsartan Improves Endothelial Dysfunction in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats.

We have previously demonstrated that antihypertensive treatment with renin-angiotensin system inhibitors restores the impaired endothelium-dependent hyperpolarization (EDH)-mediated responses in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs). Herein, we investigated whether the angiotensin II receptor-neprilysin inhibitor sacubitril/valsartan (LCZ696) would improve reduced EDH-mediated responses and whether LCZ696 would exert additional effects on endothelium-dependent and endothelium-independent vasorelaxation compared with an angiotensin II type 1 receptor blocker alone during hypertension.

Activation and Inhibition of Sodium-Hydrogen Exchanger Is a Mechanism That Links the Pathophysiology and Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus With That of Heart Failure.

The mechanisms underlying the progression of diabetes mellitus and heart failure are closely intertwined, such that worsening of one condition is frequently accompanied by worsening of the other; the degree of clinical acceleration is marked when the 2 coexist. Activation of the sodium-hydrogen exchanger in the heart and vasculature (NHE1 isoform) and the kidneys (NHE3 isoform) may serve as a common mechanism that links both disorders and may underlie their interplay. Insulin insensitivity and adipokine abnormalities (the hallmarks of type 2 diabetes mellitus) are characteristic features of heart failure; conversely, neurohormonal systems activated in heart failure (norepinephrine, angiotensin II, aldosterone, and neprilysin) impair insulin sensitivity and contribute to microvascular disease in diabetes mellitus. Each of these neurohormonal derangements may act through increased activity of both NHE1 and NHE3. Drugs used to treat diabetes mellitus may favorably affect the pathophysiological mechanisms of heart failure by inhibiting either or both NHE isoforms, and drugs used to treat heart failure may have beneficial effects on glucose tolerance and the complications of diabetes mellitus by interfering with the actions of NHE1 and NHE3. The efficacy of NHE inhibitors on the risk of cardiovascular events may be enhanced when heart failure and glucose intolerance coexist and may be attenuated when drugs with NHE inhibitory actions are given concomitantly. Therefore, the sodium-hydrogen exchanger may play a central role in the interplay of diabetes mellitus and heart failure, contribute to the physiological and clinical progression of both diseases, and explain certain drug-drug and drug-disease interactions that have been reported in large-scale randomized clinical trials.

Use of sacubitril/valsartan in acute decompensated heart failure: a case report.

Refractory heart failure typically requires costly long-term, continuous intravenous inodilator infusions while patients await mechanical circulatory support or cardiac transplantation. The combined angiotensin receptor blocker-neprilysin inhibitor, sacubitril/valsartan, is a novel therapy that can increase levels of endogenous vasoactive peptides. This therapy has been recommended as an alternative agent in patients with chronic heart failure with reduced ejection fraction and New York Heart Association class II-III symptoms. Here, we report a case of a patient with refractory stage D heart failure with reduced ejection fraction who was successfully weaned off continuous intravenous inodilator support using sacubitril/valsartan after prior failed attempts using standard therapies.

Pharmacogenetics of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors in patients with Alzheimer's disease dementia.

While the angiotensin-converting enzyme degrades amyloid-β, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEis) may slow cognitive decline by way of cholinergic effects, by increasing brain substance P and boosting the activity of neprilysin, and by modulating glucose homeostasis and augmenting the secretion of adipokines to enhance insulin sensitivity in patients with Alzheimer's disease dementia (AD). We aimed to investigate whether ACE gene polymorphisms rs1800764 and rs4291 are associated with cognitive and functional change in patients with AD, while also taking APOE haplotypes and anti-hypertensive treatment with ACEis into account for stratification.

The effect of sacubitril/valsartan compared to olmesartan on cardiovascular remodelling in subjects with essential hypertension: the results of a randomized, double-blind, active-controlled study.

Progressive aortic stiffening eventually leads to left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy and heart failure if left untreated. Anti-hypertensive agents have been shown to reverse this to some extent. The effects of sacubitril/valsartan (LCZ696), a dual-action angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB), and neprilysin inhibitor, on arterial stiffness and LV remodelling have not been investigated.

Sustained activation of guanylate cyclase-A with TDT, a natriuretic peptide derivative, exhibits cardiorenal protection in Dahl salt-sensitive hypertensive rats.

Heart failure often presents with prognosis-relevant impaired renal function. To investigate whether the chronic activation of guanylate cyclase-A (GC-A) protects both heart and kidney, we examined the effects of TDT, a neprilysin (NEP)-resistant natriuretic peptide (NP) derivative, on cardiac and renal dysfunction in Dahl salt-sensitive hypertensive rats (DS rats). Pretreatment with NEP or NEP inhibitor did not influence GC-A activation by TDT both in vitro and in vivo, resulting in a long-acting profile of TDT compared to native human atrial NP (hANP). The repeated administration of TDT to DS rats suppressed the progress of cardiac hypertrophy, systolic/diastolic dysfunction, and proteinuria in a dose-dependent manner without influencing blood pressure. Compared with vehicle and hANP, salt diet-induced podocyte injury was reduced by TDT, analyzed by urinary podocalyxin concentration, renal expression of nephrin mRNA, and glomerular expression of desmin protein. Since glomerular TRPC6 plays detrimental roles in podocyte homeostasis, we examined the renal expression of TRPC6 in DS rats and found that salt diet upregulated the expression of TRPC6. Importantly, TRPC6 induction was significantly decreased in TDT treated rats, compared with vehicle and hANP. Consistently, in primary cultured podocytes from DS rats, TDT inhibited ATP-induced calcium influx, similar to TRPC inhibitor SKF96365. Finally, TDT-mediated protection of podocytes was abolished by PKG inhibitor KT5823. In conclusion, TDT treatment attenuated heart and kidney dysfunction, accompanied by podocyte protection through inhibition of TRPC6. Thus, long-acting NPs could be new avenues for treatment of heart failure.

Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction: current management and future strategies : Expert opinion on the behalf of the Nucleus of the "Heart Failure Working Group" of the German Society of Cardiology (DKG).

About 50% of all patients suffering from heart failure (HF) exhibit a reduced ejection fraction (EF ≤ 40%), termed HFrEF. The others may be classified into HF with midrange EF (HFmrEF 40-50%) or preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF, EF ≥ 50%). Presentation and pathophysiology of HFpEF is heterogeneous and its management remains a challenge since evidence of therapeutic benefits on outcome is scarce. Up to now, there are no therapies improving survival in patients with HFpEF. Thus, the treatment targets symptom relief, quality of life and reduction of cardiac decompensations by controlling fluid retention and managing risk factors and comorbidities. As such, renin-angiotensin-aldosterone inhibitors, diuretics, calcium channel blockers (CBB) and beta-blockers, diet and exercise recommendations are still important in HFpEF, although these interventions are not proven to reduce mortality in large randomized controlled trials. Recently, numerous new treatment targets have been identified, which are further investigated in studies using, e.g. soluble guanylate cyclase stimulators, inorganic nitrates, the angiotensin receptor neprilysin inhibitor LCZ 696, and SGLT2 inhibitors. In addition, several devices such as the CardioMEMS, interatrial septal devices (IASD), cardiac contractility modulation (CCM), renal denervation, and baroreflex activation therapy (BAT) were investigated in different forms of HFpEF populations and some of them have the potency to offer new hopes for patients suffering from HFpEF. On the basic research field side, lot of new disease-modifying strategies are under development including anti-inflammatory drugs, mitochondrial-targeted antioxidants, new anti-fibrotic and microRNA-guided interventions are under investigation and showed already promising results. This review addresses available data of current best clinical practice and management approaches based on expert experiences and summarizes novel approaches towards HFpEF.

Efficacy and Safety of Sacubitril/Valsartan (LCZ696) Compared With Olmesartan in Elderly Asian Patients (≥65 Years) With Systolic Hypertension.

Systolic hypertension is common in elderly patients and remains a challenge to treat effectively. The efficacy and safety of sacubitril/valsartan (LCZ696), a first-in-class angiotensin receptor neprilysin inhibitor, vs. olmesartan was evaluated in elderly Asian patients (≥65 years) with systolic hypertension.

Neprilysin Inhibition and the Treatment of Heart Failure: Recent Steps in the Right Direction.

Numerous investigators have attempted to target the natriuretic peptide system in the treatment of heart failure since it was first described over 30 years ago. The history of neprilysin inhibition as a treatment for heart failure has been characterized by numerous setbacks. Recently, the PARADIGM-HF trial has shown favorable results, which may bring neprilysin inhibition into the mainstream of clinical practice. This article will review the history of the natriuretic peptide system and the investigations into it as a target for heart failure treatment, culminating in the positive results of the PARADIGM-HF trial, as well as planned and potential future directions for research.

Neprilysin inhibition and chronic kidney disease.

Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have a higher incidence of cardiovascular (acute and chronic) events, which in turn have an increased risk of progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) Inhibition of neprilysin, in addition to offering a new therapeutic target in patients with heart failure, could represent a potential improvement strategy in cardiovascular and renal outcome of patients with CKD. Inhibition of neprilysin by inhibiting the breakdown of natriuretic peptides, increases their bioavailability resulting in an increase in diuresis and sodium excretion and, in addition to exerting an inhibition of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone (RAAS) system. Inhibition of RAAS, in turn, generates a series of counter-regulations that can balance the adverse effects present in CKD and heart failure (HF). The idea of blocking neprilysin is not very recent, but the first drugs used as inhibitors had an inadmissible incidence of angioedema. Among the latest generation molecules that can perform a specific inhibitory action on the neprilysin receptor and, at the same time, on the angiotensin II receptor thanks to the association with valsartan there is the LCZ696 (sacubitril / valsartan). This drug has shown promising benefits both in the treatment arterial hypertension and heart failure. It is hoped that equally positive effects may occur in CKD patients, particularly those with macroproteinuria.

Current Drug Therapy in Chronic Heart Failure: the New Guidelines of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Congestive heart failure (HF) is a morbidity that is increasing worldwide due to the aging population and improvement in (acute) care for patients with cardiovascular diseases. The prognosis for patients with HF is very poor without treatment. Furthermore, (repeated) hospitalizations for cardiac decompensation cause an increasing economic burden. Modern drugs and the consequent implementation of therapeutic recommendations have substantially improved the morbidity and mortality of HF patients. This paper provides an overview of the current pharmacological management of HF patients, based on the 2016 guidelines of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Barcelona Bio-HF Calculator Version 2.0: incorporation of angiotensin II receptor blocker neprilysin inhibitor (ARNI) and risk for heart failure hospitalization.

Chronic heart failure.

The Combination of Valsartan and Sacubitril in the Treatment of Hypertension and Heart Failure - an Update.

A novel antihypertensive drug, LCZ696 (Entresto®), has recently been introduced, which combines the action of an antagonist of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), effectively decreasing the blood pressure, with an inhibition of neprilysin, which is responsible for metabolizing natriuretic peptides exerting antihypertensive and antifibrotic effects. In this MiniReview, we describe the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, efficacy and side effects of the combined angiotensin receptor antagonist and neprilysin inhibitor LCZ696. We summarize the effect of LCZ696 treatment of patients suffering from hypertension and heart failure (HF) and further highlight the role of this new drug as a treatment option in the future. In the earlier stages of the treatment of patients with heart failure, LCZ696 was superior in lowering the blood pressure compared to olmesartan, while the effect on blood pressure at long-term treatment was comparable for the two drugs. The numbers of adverse effects were comparable. LCZ696 was superior to enalapril in reducing mortality, hospitalizations and HF symptoms. Adverse effects were reduced with a slower up-titrating regimen of 6 weeks. The current results are promising and suggest that LCZ696 will be a new candidate for first-line treatment of HF. However, it needs to be explored whether LCZ696 is safe in pregnant women, what are the effects of long-term LCZ696 treatment on survival and whether the antifibrotic effects can be of major benefit in, for example HF with preserved ejection fraction.

Drosophila neprilysin 1 rescues memory deficits caused by amyloid-β peptide.

Neprilysins are type-II metalloproteinases known to degrade and inactivate a number of small peptides, in particular the mammalian amyloid-β peptide (Aβ). In Drosophila, several neprilysins expressed in the brain are required for middle-term (MTM) and long-term memory (LTM) in the dorsal paired medial (DPM) neurons, a pair of large neurons that broadly innervate the mushroom bodies (MB), the center of olfactory memory. These data indicate that one or several peptides need to be degraded for MTM and LTM. We have previously shown that the fly amyloid precursor protein (APPL) is required for memory in the MB. We show here that APPL is also required in adult DPM neurons for MTM and LTM formation. This finding prompted us to search for an interaction between neprilysins and Drosophila Aβ (dAβ), a cleavage product of APPL. To find out whether dAβ was a neprilysin's target, we used inducible drivers to modulate neprilysin 1 (Nep1) and dAβ expression in adult DPM neurons. Experiments were conducted either in both sexes or in females. We show that Nep1 inhibition makes dAβ expression detrimental to both MTM and LTM. Conversely, memory deficits displayed by dAβ-expressing flies are rescued by Nep1 overexpression. Consistent with behavioral data, biochemical analyses confirmed that Nep1 degrades dAβ. Taken together, our findings establish that Nep1 and dAβ expressed in DPM neurons are functionally linked for memory processes, suggesting that dAβ is a physiological target for Nep1.Significant statementNeprilysins are endopeptidases known to degrade a number of small peptides and in particular the amyloid peptide. We previously showed that all four neprilysins expressed in the Drosophila brain are involved in specific phases of olfactory memory. Here we show that an increase in the level of the neprilysin 1 peptidase overcomes memory deficits induced by amyloid peptide in young flies. Taken together the data reveal a functional interaction between neprilysin 1 and amyloid peptide, suggesting that neprilysin 1 degrades amyloid peptide. These findings raise the possibility that under non-pathological condition mammalian neprilysins degrade amyloid peptide to ensure memory formation.

The Initial Evaluation and Management of a Patient with Heart Failure.

The goal of this review is to summarize and discuss a thorough and effective manner in the evaluation of the patient with heart failure.

Acute and chronic heart failure.

The initial therapy of chronic heart failure is still based on diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, beta-blockers and in specific cases mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists. The new European Society of Cardiology (ESC) guidelines published in 2016 introduced angiotensin-receptor-neprilysin inhibitors, such as sacubitril/valsartan (LCZ 696) as new therapeutic agents in patients with chronic and progressive heart failure. New subgroup analyses for LCZ 696 have been published showing a beneficial effect in the context of various comorbidities, such as renal insufficiency, diabetes and hypotension. Furthermore, new data are available on intravenous iron substitution in chronic heart failure and on the indications for implantable converter defibrillators, cardiac resynchronization therapy and other cardiac devices. Medicinal therapy of acute heart failure is still limited. For patients who cannot be treated with medicinal therapy, mechanical circulatory support, such as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) should be recommended.

Serum Neprilysin and Recurrent Admissions in Patients With Heart Failure.

Our aim was to evaluate the association between the soluble form of neprilysin (sNEP) levels and long-term all-cause, cardiovascular, and acute heart failure (AHF) recurrent admissions in an ambulatory cohort of patients with heart failure. sNEP has emerged as a new biomarker with promising implications for prognosis and therapy in patients with heart failure. Reducing the recurrent admission rate of heart failure patients has become an important target of public health planning strategies.

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2 caused by homozygous MME gene mutation superimposed by chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy.

We report a 59-year-old Japanese male who developed gradually worsening weakness and numbness of distal four extremities since age 50. His parents were first cousins, and blood and cerebral spinal examinations were unremarkable. Homozygous mutation of MME gene was detected and thus he was diagnosed as autosomal-recessive Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease 2T (AR-CMT2T); however, electrophysiological examinations revealed scattered demyelinative changes including elongated terminal latency in several peripheral nerve trunks. Sural nerve biopsy showed endoneurial edema and a lot of thinly myelinated nerve fibers with uneven distribution of remnant myelinated fibers within and between fascicles. Immunoglobulin treatment was initiated considering the possibility of superimposed inflammation and demyelination, and immediate clinical as well as electrophysiological improvements were noted. Our findings indicate that AR-CMT2T caused by MME mutation predisposes to a superimposed inflammatory demyelinating neuropathy. This is the first report which documented the co-existence of CMT2 and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP); however, in the peripheral nervous system, neprilysin, a product of MME gene, is more abundant in myelin sheath than in axonal component. The fragility of myelin sheath due to mutated neprilysin may trigger the detrimental immune response against peripheral myelin in this patient.

Synergistic combinations of the dual enkephalinase inhibitor PL265 given orally with various analgesic compounds acting on different targets, in a murine model of cancer-induced bone pain.

The first line pharmacological treatment of cancer pain is morphine and surrogates but a significant pain relief and a reduction of the side-effects of these compounds makes it necessary to combine them with other drugs acting on different targets. The aim of this study was to measure the antinociceptive effect on cancer-induced bone pain resulting from the association of the endogenous opioids enkephalin and non-opioid analgesic drugs. For this purpose, PL265 a new orally active single dual inhibitor of the two degrading enkephalins enzymes, neprilysin (NEP) and aminopeptidase N (APN) was used. It strictly increased the levels of enkephalin at their sites of releases. The selected non-opioid compounds are: gabapentin, A-317491 (P2X3 receptor antagonist), ACEA (CB1 receptor antagonist), AM1241 (CB2 receptor antagonist), JWH-133 (CB2 receptor antagonist), URB937 (FAAH inhibitor), and NAV26 (Nav1.7 channel blocker).

Sacubitril/valsartan: An important piece in the therapeutic puzzle of heart failure.

Sacubitril/valsartan (LCZ696), a supramolecular sodium salt complex of the neprilysin inhibitor prodrug sacubitril and the angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) valsartan, was recently approved in the EU and the USA for the treatment of chronic heart failure (HF) with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) (NYHA class II-IV). Inhibition of chronically activated neurohormonal pathways (the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system [RAAS] and sympathetic nervous system [SNS]) is central to the treatment of chronic HFrEF. Furthermore, enhancement of the natriuretic peptide (NP) system, with favorable cardiovascular (CV) and renal effects in HF, is a desirable therapeutic goal to complement RAAS and SNS blockade. Sacubitril/valsartan represents a novel pharmacological approach that acts by enhancing the NP system via inhibition of neprilysin (an enzyme that degrades NPs) and by suppressing the RAAS via AT1 receptor blockade, thereby producing more effective neurohormonal modulation than can be achieved with RAAS inhibition alone. In the large, randomized, double-blind PARADIGM-HF trial, replacement of an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI) (enalapril) with sacubitril/valsartan resulted in a significant improvement in morbidity and mortality in patients with HFrEF. Sacubitril/valsartan was superior to enalapril in reducing the risk of CV death or HF hospitalization (composite primary endpoint) and all-cause death, and in limiting progression of HF. Sacubitril/valsartan was generally well tolerated, with a comparable safety profile to enalapril; symptomatic hypotension was more common with sacubitril/valsartan, whereas renal dysfunction, hyperkalemia and cough were less common compared with enalapril. In summary, sacubitril/valsartan is a superior alternative to ACEIs/ARBs in the treatment of HFrEF, a recommendation that is reflected in many HF guidelines.

Co-Administration of TiO2 Nanowired Mesenchymal Stem Cells with Cerebrolysin Potentiates Neprilysin Level and Reduces Brain Pathology in Alzheimer's Disease.

Neprilysin (NPL), the rate-limiting enzyme for amyloid beta peptide (AβP), appears to play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Since mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and/or cerebrolysin (CBL, a combination of neurotrophic factors and active peptide fragments) have neuroprotective effects in various CNS disorders, we examined nanowired delivery of MSCs and CBL on NPL content and brain pathology in AD using a rat model. AD-like symptoms were produced by intraventricular (i.c.v.) administration of AβP (1-40) in the left lateral ventricle (250 ng/10 μl, once daily) for 4 weeks. After 30 days, the rats were examined for NPL and AβP concentrations in the brain and related pathology. Co-administration of TiO2-nanowired MSCs (10(6) cells) with 2.5 ml/kg CBL (i.v.) once daily for 1 week after 2 weeks of AβP infusion significantly increased the NPL in the hippocampus (400 pg/g) from the untreated control group (120 pg/g; control 420 ± 8 pg/g brain) along with a significant decrease in the AβP deposition (45 pg/g from untreated control 75 pg/g; saline control 40 ± 4 pg/g). Interestingly, these changes were much less evident when the MSCs or CBL treatment was given alone. Neuronal damages, gliosis, and myelin vesiculation were also markedly reduced by the combined treatment of TiO2, MSCs, and CBL in AD. These observations are the first to show that co-administration of TiO2-nanowired CBL and MSCs has superior neuroprotective effects in AD probably due to increasing the brain NPL level effectively, not reported earlier.

Epigallocatechin gallate induces extracellular degradation of amyloid β-protein by increasing neprilysin secretion from astrocytes through activation of ERK and PI3K pathways.

Amyloid-β (Aβ) production and clearance in the brain is a crucial focus of investigations into the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease. Imbalance between production and clearance leads to accumulation of Aβ. The important Aβ-degrading enzymes in the brain are neprilysin (NEP) and insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE), and defective enzyme expression may facilitate Aβ deposition in sporadic late-onset AD patients. It has been suggested that epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a member of the catechin family, might be an effective treatment for AD, because it has been shown to elevate NEP expression. Therefore, we examined whether catechins, which are functional components of common foods, could regulate the degradation of Aβ by inducing NEP and IDE expression. We also investigated the role of catechins in activating intracellular signal transduction in astrocytes. Treatment of cultured rat astrocytes with EGCG significantly reduced the expression of NEP, but not IDE, in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. NEP expression in cultured astrocytes was suppressed by activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), and reduced NEP expression was accompanied by an increase of NEP release into the extracellular space (culture medium). Moreover, culture medium from EGCG-treated astrocytes facilitated the degradation of exogenous Aβ. These results suggest that EGCG may have a beneficial effect on AD by activating ERK-and PI3K-mediated pathways in astrocytes, thus increasing astrocyte secretion of NEP and facilitating degradation of Aβ.

Progranulin gene delivery reduces plaque burden and synaptic atrophy in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

Progranulin (PGRN) is a multifunctional protein that is widely expressed throughout the brain, where it has been shown to act as a critical regulator of CNS inflammation and also functions as an autocrine neuronal growth factor, important for long-term neuronal survival. PGRN has been shown to activate cell signaling pathways regulating excitoxicity, oxidative stress, and synaptogenesis, as well as amyloidogenesis. Together, these critical roles in the CNS suggest that PGRN has the potential to be an important therapeutic target for the treatment of various neurodegenerative disorders, particularly Alzheimer's disease (AD). AD is the leading cause of dementia and is marked by the appearance of extracellular plaques consisting of aggregates of amyloid-β (Aβ), as well as neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, neuronal loss and synaptic atrophy. The ability of PGRN to target multiple key features of AD pathophysiology suggests that enhancing its expression may benefit this disease. Here, we describe the application of PGRN gene transfer using in vivo delivery of lentiviral expression vectors in a transgenic mouse model of AD. Viral vector delivery of the PGRN gene effectively enhanced PGRN expression in the hippocampus of Tg2576 mice. This elevated PGRN expression significantly reduced amyloid plaque burden in these mice, accompanied by reductions in markers of inflammation and synaptic atrophy. The overexpression of PGRN was also found to increase activity of neprilysin, a key amyloid beta degrading enzyme. PGRN regulation of neprilysin activity could play a major role in the observed alterations in plaque burden. Thus, PGRN may be an effective therapeutic target for the treatment of AD.

Screening of genetic variants in ADCYAP1R1, MME and 14q21 in a Swedish cluster headache cohort.

We have genotyped a Swedish cluster headache case-control population for three genetic variants representing the most significant markers identified in a recently published genome wide association study on cluster headache. The genetic variants were two common polymorphisms; rs12668955 in ADCYAP1R1 (adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide 1 receptor type 1), rs1006417, an intergenic variant on chromosome 14q21 and one rare mutation, rs147564881, in MME (membrane metalloendopeptidase).

Is Entresto good for the brain?

The main stay pharmacotherapy for heart failure (HF) is targeted towards rennin-angiotensin-aldosterone (RAAS) and neprilysin pathways (NP). Both therapeutic strategies decreases morbidity and mortality but also carry considerable adverse effects. This review of the literature highlights the new generation of HF drug, sacubitril-valsartan (SV), trade name Entresto (researched as LCZ696, Novartis) which simultaneously blocks RAAS and NP. This dual action of angiotensin receptors blocker and neprilysin inhibitor (NPi) has improved HF prognosis and it is an evolution in the management of HF. Although the initial follow-up of patients treated with SV has yielded promising results, there are concerns regarding potential side effects especially an increase in the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and young onset of AD. NPi interferes with the breakdown and clearing of beta-amyloid peptides, the plaques seen in AD, raising concern for AD in SV patients. On the other hand, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases are established risk factors for AD which can be decreased by SV therapy. It is therefore essential that SV treated patients are followed up over an extended period of time to detect any adverse cognitive changes.

Expression and activity of angiotensin-regulating enzymes is associated with prognostic outcome in clear cell renal cell carcinoma patients.

The discovery of the intrarenal renin-angiotensin system (iRAS), which regulates angiogenesis, cell differentiation and proliferation, has opened new perspectives in the knowledge of kidney carcinogenesis. In this study we analyzed the immunohistochemical expression and fluorimetric activity of four key peptidases of iRAS in tumor tissue (n = 144) and serum samples (n = 128) from patients with renal neoplasms. Neutral endopeptidase (NEP/CD10), Angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2), and aminopeptidase A (APA) were expressed in tumor cells whilst Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) was expressed in the endothelial cells of intratumor blood vessels. The expression of ACE, ACE2 and NEP/CD10 was highest in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (CCRCC) and papillary renal cell carcinoma (PRCC). The expression of these enzymes correlated with CCRCC aggressiveness. In addition, NEP/CD10 correlated with 15-year overall survival. On the other hand, APA expression was decreased in CCRCC with higher grade and stage. The loss of expression of APA independently correlated with a worse 15-year overall survival. Serum activity of ACE2, NEP/CD10 and APA was significantly higher in renal tumor patients than in healthy subjects. Serum ACE activity was lower in high grade and metastatic CCRCC patients, and NEP/CD10 activity was negatively correlated with UISS (UCLA Integrated Staging System) and SSIGN (Mayo Clinic stage, size, grade and necrosis model) scores and with overall survival of CCRCC patients. These results suggest a metabolic imbalance of iRAS in renal tumors. This finding should be taken into account in the search of new diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic tools for this disease.