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Faculty of Pharmacy


Recent Submissions

  • Tiainen, Elina (2024)
    New drugs against malaria are required, as millions of people are still affected yearly by this deadly disease. The development of drug resistance to current antimalarials is an ongoing process. Membrane-bound pyrophosphatases (mPPases) are potential new drug targets against malaria and other protozoan diseases. mPPases play a crucial role in the survival of the malaria parasite, they couple the energy released from the hydrolysis of pyrophosphate into the transport of protons or ions against an electrochemical gradient. The aim of this study was to identify potential mPPase inhibitors through a docking-based virtual screen of the Tres Cantos Antimalarial Compound Set, which consists of over 13500 malaria-active compounds. The virtual screen against a Thermotoga maritima mPPase protein structure identified a 2,4-diamino-1,6-dihydrotriazine among the top-ranking scaffolds. Four compounds found among the docking results containing this scaffold were synthesised: three with a halophenyl substituent, and one with a hydroxyl substituent. The compounds in their hydrochloride salt forms were synthesised using a three-component method for the synthesis of 2,4-diamino-1,6-dihydrotriazines. The compounds were also freed from the hydrochloride salts into their corresponding molecular forms. The structural characterisation of the compounds, especially the molecular forms, presented challenges. The docking results were also searched to identify compounds containing previously identified mPPase-active substructures. From the docking results, several other interesting compounds were identified in addition to the synthesised compounds. The knowledge and results obtained from this study can be used as openings for potential future docking and synthesis projects in the development of mPPase inhibitors. The activity of the compounds synthesised in the project remains to be evaluated in subsequent investigations.
  • Vartiainen, Mira (2024)
    Current therapies for depression have limitations in efficacy and delayed onset of action. Rapid-acting antidepressants like ketamine, an N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDA-R) antagonist, have gathered attention as an improved treatment option. However, the neurobiological mechanism underlying their antidepressant effect remains uncertain. Integral mechanisms of action seem to be alterations in synaptic plasticity, global cortical excitation, and repair of neuronal dysfunctions prevalent in the pathophysiology of depression. Emerging evidence does suggest that antidepressant drugs act by facilitating brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mediated tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB) signaling. Interestingly, rapid-acting antidepressants seem to increase TrkB-associated signaling after their acute pharmacological effect has dissipated, and when animals become sedated and show various physiological changes associated with deep sleep (e.g., slow wave EEG activity, SWA). Indeed, recently a close relationship between sedation and molecular signaling implicated in antidepressant effects has been discovered. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between sedation and molecular signaling associated with antidepressant effect. This was carried out by assessing the localization of TrkB-associated phosphorylation signaling in the adult male mice medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) using dexmedetomidine, a sedative. Key signaling molecules such as ribosomal protein S6 kinase (p70S6K), ribosomal protein S6 (rpS6), glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3), mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and immediate early gene c-Fos, were examined through immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis. Two separate experiments were conducted using naïve adult 8-13-week-old (n=8 and n=10) male C57BL/6JRccHs mice. In the experiments mice were injected intraperitoneally with either dexmedetomidine (0,05 mg/kg, Dexdomitor®), or saline followed by a 30-minute recovery period whereafter mice were euthanized. In the first experiment, medial prefrontal cortex samples were collected immediately post decapitation for western blot (WB) analysis. The results showed that dexmedetomidine significantly activated TrkB-associated signaling in brain homogenates, consistent with expectations. In the second experiment, mice were perfused with 4% paraformaldehyde (PFA) before brain collection for IHC analysis. However in this experimental setting, no significant difference in the localization of TrkB-associated signaling induced by dexmedetomidine was observed compared to saline. Although, no significant results for signal localization were observed, the results provide insights into the neurobiological effect of sedation induced TrkB-signaling. Further research factoring in limitations is needed to uncover the involvement of physiological states in antidepressant mechanisms.
  • Kekki, Roosa (2024)
    Light-sensitive liposomes have gained attention for their ability to deliver cargo to tissues, offering spatiotemporal control over drug release. Red-light wavelengths have been utilized as an external trigger in light-sensitive reactive oxygen species (ROS)-mediated drug delivery, due to their favorable properties, such as the low light absorption by tissue chromophores. The ROS-sensitive drug delivery systems use photosensitizers (PS), which upon light exposure generate ROS in the presence of molecular oxygen. Palladium(II)phthalocyanine (Pd(II)PC), a new second-generation photosensitizer, can upon light irradiation generate relatively high singlet oxygen concentrations, enabling the efficient oxidation of the unsaturated lipids. The oxidation of the lipids leads to the disruption of the liposome bilayer and eventually, the release of the encapsulated cargo. To gain deeper insight on the phthalocyanine-labeled liposomes in drug delivery, a red light-triggered cationic liposome formulation encapsulating Pd(II)PC was formulated. The characteristics of the liposomes, the release mechanisms, and the release quantities of calcein (623 Da) and fluorescent-conjugated dextrans (4 000-70 000 Da) were studied following red-light exposer with 630 nm, 450 mW/cm2 laser while utilizing varying Pd(II)PC-loading quantities. Following oxygen removal and temperature-induced release studies, the mechanism of release of the liposomes was principally observed to be light-triggered reactive oxygen species-mediated. In the light-induced release studies an effective release of the calcein, and a relatively effective release of the Rhodamine B dextrans (10 kDa, 70 kDa) were observed from the liposomes via the Pd(II)PC-generated and reactive oxygen species-mediated oxidation of the unsaturated lipids. The release of the biomacromolecules from the liposomes was observed to require longer irradiation times than that of calcein. The longer irradiation times likely lead to deeper oxidation of the unsaturated phospholipids, resulting in a comprehensive eruption of the liposome bilayer. The comprehensive eruption of the liposome bilayer eventually enables the sufficient release of biomacromolecules from the liposomes.
  • Salminen, Emma (2024)
    Finland is one of the first countries in the world to introduce automatic substitution of biological medicines in community pharmacies. The automatic substitution for biological medicines will be introduced in stages in years 2024–2026. The successful and safe transition requires guidelines for implementing new operating practices and dispensing practices, including possible continuing education to community pharmacists to ensure their sufficient competence e.g. in advising patient how to use their administration devices. Therefore, the change process requires competence development and management. The purpose of competence management is to create, maintain and develop an organization. Competence management is part of strategic personnel management, which ensures that the organization has the core competence and other necessary competence to implement its mission. The aim of this master's thesis was to study the competence management while preparing for the automatic substitution of biologics in community pharmacies in Finland. The research focused on the competence management practices and competence development needs within the framework of 1) personnel management and competence development and 2) automatic substitution of biologics. The research was carried out as a qualitative focus group discussions (FGDs) (n = 6, altogether of 23 participants) in January 2023. Voluntary participant participated in the group discussions from community pharmacies of different sizes and from different parts of Finland. Of the participants there were pharmacy owners with M.Sc. (Pharm) degree (n = 5/23, 22 %), pharmacists with M.Sc. (Pharm) degree (n = 10/23, 43 %) and pharmacists with B.Sc. (Pharm) degree (n = 8/23, 35 %). Qualitative content analysis was carried out inductively, i.e. data oriented. In addition to the themes emerging from the research material, the main themes of the discussion body partially guided the analysis. SRQR checklist was used to support detailed reporting to evaluate the reliability of the study. The data analysis identified 1) factors related to the current practices and needs of competence management and needs for competence development, 2) methods applicable for competence development of pharmaceutical personnel, and 3) functions related to the delivery of the biological medicine, such as medication counselling, support for the patient's self-care and a possible substitution of biologics, as well as the functions and tools that support these. The results of this study indicated that competence management practices vary between community pharmacies, and the competence management actions were not always systematically planned. Community pharmacies did not yet have operating models or practices for implementing automatic substitution of biologics, although they perceived that automatic substitution practices for inhalable medicinal products could perform as a model for the substitution of biologics. Despite some perceived uncertainties concerning implementation of automatic substitution of biologics, community pharmacists and pharmacy owners had mainly positive attitude towards the coming changes.
  • Saharinen, Janne (2020)
    Prolyloligopeptidase (PREP) and alphasynuclein are linked to various neurological and psychiatric conditions of which the most relevant considering this study is parkinsonism. PREP cleaves small peptides after a proline residue. It has also protein-protein ineractions with alphatubulin, GAP-43 and alphasynuclein. PREP inhibitors have been shown to have an effect to elimination of alphasyuclein via autophagy. Thiazole is a heteroaromatic compound with two heteroatoms (sulphur and nitrogen). Thiazole can be found as a structural component among various active pharmaceutical ingredients with wide array of indications. Synthetic route for thiazole was published in 1887 and a considerable amount of literature regarding the use of thiazole in medicinal and synthetic chemistry has been published. The aim of the study was to extend the the scope of research done in the research group on small-molecular thiazole-based PREP inhibitors. The goal was to develop a synthetic route to access a series of molecules and gain information of the possible biological activities of the produced compounds by determining their IC50-values in vitro, effect on dimerization of alphasynuclein and removal of alphasynuclein via autophagy in a cell culture. Optimization of the synthetic route and search of alternative reactions were among the aims to some extent. During the course of study yields of some steps of the synthesis were improved and some new molecules had biological activity.