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Browsing by master's degree program "Proviisorin koulutusohjelma"

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  • Silmu, Veera (2021)
    Parkinsonin tauti on hitaasti etenevä hermorappeumasairaus, jossa mustatumakkeen dopamiinihermosolut tuhoutuvat. Taudille on tyypillistä dopamiinihermosoluissa esiintyvät Lewyn kappaleet, jotka koostuvat pääasiassa väärin laskostuneesta ja kasautuneesta alfasynukleiiniproteiinista. Myös neuroinflammaation uskotaan olevan osa Parkinsonin taudin patofysiologiaa. Nykyiset lääkkeet vaikuttavat ainoastaan taudin oireisiin, joten tarve uusille lääkkeille on suuri. Pilottikokeen tarkoituksena oli selvittää aiheuttaako adenoassosioidun virus- (AAV) vektorin alfasynukleiinin ja alfasynukleiinifibrillien yhdistelmämalli rotilla liikehäiriöitä ja tyrosiinihydroksylaasi- (TH) positiivisten dopamiinihermosolujen tuhoutumista mustatumakkeessa ja hermopäätteiden tuhoutumista aivojuoviossa sekä saadaanko mallilla aikaan neuroinflammatorinen vaste. Varsinaisen pitkän kokeen tarkoituksena oli selvittää aivojen dopamiinihermokasvutekijän (CDNF) mahdollinen neurorestoratiivinen vaikutus tässä mallissa. Alfasynukleiinin kasautumispatologian tasoa ja CDNF:n neurorestoratiivista vaikutusta selvitettiin käyttäytymiskokeilla sekä mustatumakkeen ja aivojuovion TH-vasta-ainevärjäyksillä. Yhdistelmämallista aiheutuvaa neuroinflammatorista vastetta selvitettiin ionisoidun kalsiumia sitovan adapterimolekyylin 1 (Iba1) ja gliaalisen fibrillaarisen happaman proteiinin (GFAP) vasta-ainevärjäyksillä. Pilottikokeen sylinterikokeessa yhdistelmämalli ei indusoinut liikehäiriötä, mutta pitkän kokeen askel- ja sylinterikokeessa mallin osoitettiin aiheuttavan unilateraalille leesiolle tyypillinen liikehäiriö. Pilottikokeen ja pitkän kokeen TH-vasta-ainevärjäyksissä mallin osoitettiin aiheuttavan TH-positiivisten dopamiinihermosolujen tuhoutumista mustatumakkeessa ja hermopäätteiden tuhoutumista aivojuoviossa. Nämä tulokset osoittavat, että yhdistelmämallilla saadaan aikaan alfasynukleiinin kasautumispatologiaa. Pilottikokeessa osoitettiin myös, että yhdistelmämallilla saadaan aikaan neuroinflammatorinen vaste, mikä osoittaa, että malli soveltuu hyvin uusien lääkkeiden vaikutuksen tutkimiseen Parkinsonin tautiin liittyvässä neuroinflammaatiossa. Pitkän kokeen sylinterikokeessa AAV-CDNF:llä ei ollut vaikutusta mallista aiheutuvaan liikehäiriöön. Sen sijaan askeltestissä kämmenen suunnan mittauksessa AAV-CDNF korjasi liikehäiriötä. AAV-CDNF ei kuitenkaan suojannut TH-positiivisia hermosoluja mustatumakkeessa tai hermopäätteitä aivojuoviossa, minkä perusteella johtopäätöstä CDNF:n neurorestoratiivisesta vaikutuksesta ei voida tehdä.
  • Kylkilahti, Sanni (2022)
    Chilit ovat Capsicum-sukuun kuuluvia yleensä korkean kapsaisiinipitoisuuden omaavia paprikalajeja. Niitä käytetään mausteena. Lisäksi chilien sisältämillä kapsaisinoideilla on todettu olevan useita farmakologisia ominaisuuksia, kuten analgeettisia ja antioksidanttisia vaikutuksia. Niiden antimikrobisia ominaisuuksia on myös hieman tutkittu, mutta tutkimuksia on vielä verrattain vähän. Tämän työn tarkoituksena oli selvittää muutamien eri chililajikkeista valmistettujen uutteiden antimikrobisia vaikutuksia Escherichia colia ja Staphylococcus aureusta vastaan. Uutteet testattiin dimetyylisulfoksidiin (DMSO) ja veteen liuotettuina. Lisäksi testattiin myös kahden puhdasaineen, kapsiaatin ja solaniinin, vaikutuksia kyseisiä bakteereita vastaan. Antimikrobiakokeet suoritettiin 96-kuoppalevyllä noudattaen aseptisia työtapoja. Testattuja chiliuutteita oli 19. Uutteita valmistettiin eri chililajikkeiden versoista (1 kpl) siemenistä (3 kpl), lehdistä (10 kpl) ja hedelmistä (5 kpl). Dimetyylisulfoksidiin liuotetut uutteet testattiin pitoisuuksilla 2,0 mg/ml ja 4,0 mg/ml. Veteen liuotetut uutteet testattiin pitoisuudella 4,0 mg/ml. Solaniini- ja kapsiaattiuutteet testattiin kahdeksalla eri pitoisuudella (0,001172–0,15 μg/ml). Tutkimuksen tuloksena on, että testatut chiliuutteet eikä solaniini- ja kapsiaattiuutteet estäneet E. colin tai S. aureuksen kasvua. DMSO:iin liuotetuista uutteista korkeimmat estoprosentit kumpaakin bakteeria vastaan saatiin nuorilla Pimento-lehdillä. Veteen liuotetuista uutteista korkein estoprosentti E. colia vastaan saatiin Dulcen versoilla (30 % esto) ja S. aureusta vastaan Dulcen hedelmillä (50 % esto). Aiemmat tutkimustulokset chilien antimikrobisista vaikutuksista ovat ristiriitaisia, joten yhteneviä johtopäätöksiä chilien vaikutuksista bakteereihin ei voida tehdä. Johtopäätöksenä voidaan todeta, että chileillä on lukuisia terveysvaikutuksia. Antimikrobisen tehon varmistamiseksi tarvittaisi kuitenkin lisää tutkimuksia. Antibioottiresistenssi on maailmanlaajuinen ongelma, koska yhä useammat bakteerit ovat resistenttejä käytetyille antibiooteille. Tulevaisuudessa onkin erittäin tärkeää löytää uusia yhdisteitä bakteerien tappamiseksi, joten tutkimuksia uusien antimikrobisten aineiden löytämiseksi tarvitaan jatkuvasti lisää
  • Sipola, Kirsi (2021)
    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by degeneration of motor neurons in brain and spinal cord. The degeneration of motor neurons leads to muscle atrophy and paralysis. Currently there is no cure for ALS. Available drugs for ALS can lengthen the survival time by a couple of months. Several factors involve the pathophysiology of ALS, such as endoplasmic reticulum stress and neuroinflammation. Mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) is a protein which has shown neuroprotective effects on animal models of Parkinson disease and brain ischemia. C-terminal fragment of MANF can cross the blood-brain barrier, allowing it to be administered subcutaneously instead of injected directly into the brain. The experimental part consists of two parts. The aim of the first part was to study the pharmacokinetic properties of next generation MANF (C-MANF). The aim of the second part was to elucidate the effect of twice a week administered subcutaneous injection of C-MANF in genetic SOD1-G93A mouse model and its neuroprotective effects by assessing protection of lumbar motor neurons. Pharmacokinetic properties of C-MANF were determined in wild type mice after a single subcutaneous injection of C-MANF at different time points by using indirect ELISA assay. The effects of C-MANF in SOD1-G93A mouse model were assessed by subcutaneous injection of either C-MANF or PBS twice a week and by monitoring clinical score and motor behavior of mice from 10 weeks of age to clinical endpoint. Hematoxylin eosin staining was used to study neuroprotective effects of C-MANF. C-MANF administered subcutaneously is absorbed into the blood circulation and the highest serum concentration of C-MANF is after 60 minutes of dosing. Subcutaneously injected C-MANF also crosses the blood-brain barrier and reach the brain in 120 minutes. C-MANF did not preserve motor function or ameliorated ALS symptoms in SOD1-G93A mouse model. In this study C-MANF did not increase the survival of SOD1-G93A mice. C-MANF did not significantly protect motor neurons from degeneration even though there was a slight trend between the groups. No beneficial effects were observed with C-MANF in SOD1-G93A mouse model and therefore the dose and frequency of administration of C-MANF were not optimal. Subcutaneously injected C-MANF provides a safer dosing option for neurodegenerative disorders.
  • Cavonius, Karin (2021)
    Huntington’s disease (HD) is a rare but devastating neurodegenerative disease, progressively culminating in severe brain atrophy and death. The disease is caused by an inherited mutation resulting in a CAG trinucleotide repeat expansion in the huntingtin gene, leading to the production of a neurotoxic protein, known as mutant huntingtin, with an abnormally long polyglutamine stretch. Even though the genetic background of HD is known, the cellular pathways affected in the disease are complex and not completely understood. Increasing evidence indicates that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress – a condition of disturbances in normal ER activity, leading to accumulation and aggregation of misfolded proteins in the ER lumen – is a central factor in the pathogenesis of HD and other neurodegenerative diseases. In the literature review of this thesis, known pathogenic cellular mechanisms of HD and how these cellular mechanisms are connected to ER stress, are discussed. Unpublished data from previous studies in our laboratory have indicated that the ER luminal protein canopy homolog 2 (CNPY2) could play a role in the regulation of neuronal survival, including the viability of mutant huntingtin expressing neurons. The aim of the experimental part of this study was to gain insight into a possible function of CNPY2 in HD, by examining the levels of the protein in neuronal models of HD under various conditions, such as ER stress, and by searching for potential interacting partners of CNPY2 amongst known ER stress regulators. The obtained results show that the levels of CNPY2 are increased in striatal neurons expressing mutant huntingtin, and that the secretion of CNPY2 is increased by these neurons, compared to control neurons expressing normal huntingtin. Further, we show that CNPY2 interacts with the major ER stress regulator binding immunoglobulin protein (BiP) in human neuroblastoma cells treated with the ER stress inducer tunicamycin, and that the intracellular levels of CNPY2 are altered by tunicamycin treatment. Together, these findings indicate that CNPY2 could be involved in the pathogenesis of HD. However, further research on the functions of CNPY2 and its role in ER stress regulation is required to understand the nature of this involvement.
  • Backman, Heidi (2020)
    Theoretical framework: The consolidated pharmaceutical market is becoming increasingly global and the same international pharmaceutical companies operate around the world in different countries, responsible for drug development and production. The high costs of developing novel medicines and the motive for higher profits has led to elevating price level of pharmaceuticals and health care services. Finland and the U.S. offer two extremes at the pharmaceutical market. The pharmaceutical market field in Finland is very structural and rigid, and medicine prices are regulated by law. In the U.S. the prices are based on the laws of supply and demand and the prices differ by different states, retailers and insurance policies. A small-scale longitudal price comparison is also reviewed to showcase the effect of continuously rising medicine prices. Study objective: The idea of this study is to describe and compare pricing mechanisms of pharmaceuticals and price differences between two very different market structures and review how these might affect the cost-effectiveness of national health care spending. These divergences are also mirrored to survey recent global pharmaceutical market problems such as drug shortages, possibly due to less appealing markets of higher price regulation policies. Materials and methods: Price data were collected from national, official, open-source databases. National health care expenditure and comparison to GDP was collected from publications by the OECD. All monetary values have been presented in both currencies (EUR and USD) to present more comparable values. Results: When compared to other OECD-countries the U.S. spent distinctly the largest amount of funds on health care per capita. Finland’s national health care costs were thousand times minor in total spending and less than a half per capita when compared to those of the U.S. With lower expenditure Finland manages to offer access to public, government-funded health insurance program. Meanwhile the prices of prescription medicines in Finland have decreased significantly, the prices for have continuously elevated in the U.S. Conclusions: The outcome of this study is that free markets and a complex supply chain, compared to more regulated markets with more transparency, have higher overall price level in pharmaceuticals and health care services. Free markets and sufficient intellectual property rights are more enticing to pharmaceutical companies. They promote new innovations and developing of much-needed novel therapies to modern health problems, such as AIDS and the global threat of worsening situation of antibiotic resistance. More regulated markets may create problems such as drug shortages and are often considered complex and less appealing market systems due to high level of administrative work but conserve the cost-effectiveness of the use of public funds.
  • Virtanen, Sonja (2020)
    Parenteral products are sterile products that are administered as injection, infusion or implantation. Administration of the contaminated parenteral product can cause severe consequences such as sepsis meningitis and even death. Most of the parenteral products used at the hospitals needs to be compounded (e.g. dissolved, diluted) before administration. Whenever possible, compounding should be done in biological safety cabinet using aseptic techniques. According to previous studies errors in aseptic techniques are quite common. Aim of this study was to compare three different environments as compounding area and their effect to the sterility of the compounded parenteral product. Based on the results of this study, changes to the protocols of the hospital could be made. Altogether 220 samples were compounded at two pediatric wards at HUS Helsinki University Hospital. Six volunteers (one pharmacist and five nurses) participated from both wards and each compounded 18 samples in three different environments (patient room, medicine room, biological safety cabinet). The samples were tested for the sterility by membrane filtration within 4 hours or after 24 hours of storage in the refrigerator. The investigator used an observation form to observe the compounding procedures. Environmental monitoring (settle plates) and monitoring of personnel (glove samples) were conducted. Almost all compounded samples (99%, n=213/215) were sterile. There were no significant differences in the contamination rate of the compounded samples between different environments. Five of the collected samples were excluded, because they were contaminated during the sterility test. According to observations, aseptic techniques were well followed. However, disinfection of the septum of the medicine bottle, hand hygiene and cleaning of the compounding area were observed to be deficiently completed. Even though there were lot of variation in the environmental and personnel monitoring the results were quite good. Results from the environmental monitoring were compared to the recommended limits of EU GMP for clean areas. One compounded sample was contaminated with Diezia maris and Corynebacterium mycetoides but the contaminants from the other contaminated sample could not be identified. Aseptic techniques were mainly well followed, however compounding should be done in the biological safety cabinet, since the environmental monitoring results show that the biological safety cabinet was only environment which was within the recommendation limits of the EU GMP for the compounding area of parenteral products. Protocols of the hospital could be changed, since there was no correlation between higher contamination rate of settle plates or compounded samples and not wearing mask and hair cover while compounding in the biological safety cabinet.
  • Laurikkala, Nella (2022)
    Digitalization of health care and the corona pandemic have increased availability and use of online services provided by community pharmacies. In Finland, willingness to use online pharmacy services has been studied from population approach. Less is known about the user satisfaction with the core online pharmacy services such as dispensing and medication counseling services. This study aimed to investigate satisfaction with the University Pharmacy’s online services (ya.fi) from customers’ approach. Primarily, customer satisfaction with dispensing and medication counseling services was assessed. In addition, characteristics affecting customer satisfaction were analyzed. The conceptual framework of the study was Andersen's Model of Health Services Use. The data for this study was collected by a cross-sectional survey conducted in August 2020 among University Pharmacy’s online pharmacy customers who had made a purchase during the last three months. The survey instrument consisted mainly of structured Likert-scale questions, which were used to form two sum variables: satisfaction on online dispensing services (3 variables, Cronbach's alpha 0.803) and satisfaction on online counseling services (2 variables, Cronbach's alpha 0.883). Satisfaction on online dispensing services was studied through willingness to recommend and use the services in the future. Satisfaction on online counseling services was studied through a comparison of medication counseling on an online pharmacy and a conventional pharmacy. IBM SPSS (28) -software was used for statistical analysis consisting of bivariate (Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney U tests) and multivariate (generalized linear model) analyses to identify factors affecting satisfaction with dispensing and medication counseling services. Of 15 172 invitations sent to fill out the survey, 2555 eligible responses were received (16 %). Of the respondents, 92 % had concomitantly used the services of a conventional pharmacy. . The mean of satisfaction on online dispensing services on a scale from 1 to 5 (5 being the most positive option "completely agree") was 4.3 (SD 0.8). Similarly, the mean of satisfaction on online counseling services was 3.7 (SD 0.9). According to the multivariate analyses, significant characteristics affecting satisfaction on online dispensing services were age, form of living (alone/family with children/couple), purchase of prescription or OTC medicine, frequency of internet use and previous visits to a conventional pharmacy. Characteristics affecting satisfaction on online counseling services were education, purchase of prescription medicine, use of chat information service, frequency of internet use and previous visits to a conventional University Pharmacy outlet. The services on ya.fi online pharmacy rated most important by the respondents were services about medicine availabilities (in conventional University Pharmacy outlets and during a shortage) and information about medicines (prices, Kela reimbursements and information about customers' prescriptions). Customers were satisfied with online dispensing and counseling services. Online dispensing services received a higher satisfaction rate than online counseling services. Customers who had used the chat service and purchased a prescription medicine online were more likely to assess online counseling services to be equal or better than in a conventional pharmacy. Active use of internet and purchases of medicines online were factors connected to higher satisfaction with online dispensing services. Most online pharmacy customers had also visited conventional pharmacies. The results from this study can be utilized in the development of online and other pharmacy services.
  • Suominen, Laura (2020)
    Background: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a worldwide challenge for health care professionals and researchers. Every year, AD causes dementia for millions of patients. No preventive or curative medication is available despite continuous research. Amyloid-beta (Aβ) deposits in brain are one of the main pathological findings in AD. Accumulating Aβ peptides are thought to be the reason behind further disease progression. If the Aβ accumulation could be restricted or Aβ degradation increased their toxic effects would be prevented. Soluble oligomers and protofibrils are the most toxic species of Aβ. Most of the Aβ targeting drugs developed so far have not specifically targeted these toxic species. Neprilysin (NEP) is a major Aβ degrading enzyme that targets mostly the smallest species (monomers and dimers) of Aβ. Another common challenge for protein drugs has been passing the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Different strategies, such as utilising transferrin receptor (TfR) mediated transcytosis, have been studied for drug transport. For example, a rat anti-mouse TfR antibody, 8D3, or its fragments can be used for drug transportation. Objectives: To produce a recombinant protein, sNEP-scFv8D3, combining soluble NEP and single chain variable fragment of 8D3. Testing its ability to degrade different species and isoforms of Aβ in vitro and study in vivo brain uptake. Evaluate whether it is a promising model for future AD treatments. Methods: The recombinant protein was expressed in Expi293 cells and purified with affinity chromatography. The TfR binding was studied with TfR ELISA and enzymatic activity with MCA assay. Aβ ELISA was used for determining the Aβ degradation. Recombinant protein was compared to sNEP. In in vivo studies the brain uptake and blood half-life of radiolabeled sNEP-scFv8D3 of were studied on NLGF mice. Immunohistochemical analyses of brain cryo sections were done to evaluate the co-localisation of Aβ aggregates and sNEP-scFv8D3. Results and discussion: sNEP-scFv8D3 bound to TfR and showed similar enzymatic activity as sNEP. Both sNEP-scFv8D3 and sNEP were able to degrade monomeric Aβ-40 and Aβ-42 but no significant effect was seen on larger aggregates. In mice brain, sNEP-scFv8D3 was detected in same areas as Aβ aggregates. Compared to sNEP, our recombinant protein had better brain uptake. The blood half-life of sNEP-scFv8D3 was approximately 9.5 h and it was cleared fast from the brain. Already 6 h post injection, levels in the brain had dropped more than by half. Further studies are needed to determine whether sNEP-scFv8D3 is effectively transported across the BBB and if it can reduce brain Aβ levels in vivo. Conclusions: In the future, sNEP-scFv8D3 or its improved version could be used at the earliest stages of AD to prevent disease progression. Since sNEP-scFv8D3 degrades only small Aβ aggregates it could be combined with another drug targeting larger oligomers. Together they would decrease the total Aβ deposition in brain.
  • Granqvist, Riikka (2021)
    Parkinson´s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the world after Alzheimer´s disease. There is still no drug that alters the state of the disease. It has been found that Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is one mechanism in PD. ER stress occurs due to accumulation of unfolded proteins. ER stress triggers Unfolded protein response (UPR) that protects against ER stress by decreasing unfolding of proteins. In the beginning, UPR has protective effect, but in prolonged ER stress UPR triggers apoptotic cell death. There are several key mediators in the UPR pathway. Characterisation of ER stress in PD models may be important for the current and future drug development of PD. If ER stress is a significant factor that affects the disease development, it would be important to find a drug that alters these mechanisms and UPR. This may be a way to halt the disease development. Different animal models of PD, like 6-OHDA (6-hydroxydopamine) and MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine) model, have similarities in their mechanisms. It has been found that ER stress occurs both in the brain of PD patients and animal models of PD. That is why studying and further characterisation in animal models is relevant. The aim of this study was to characterize ER stress in 6-OHDA rat model. The expression of some key mediators of the UPR were determined in this study. There were male and female Spraque Dawley rats in this experiment. 6-OHDA or saline was injected intrastriatally in 3 spots by stereotaxic surgery. Two weeks after 6-OHDA lesions, amphetamine-induced rotation test was conducted to the rats. The rats were divided into groups based on lesion size according to the results. For this study, the rats were euthanised at week 2 or week 4 post lesion. The rats were euthanised by carbondioxide, and the death was confirmed by decapitation. The brains were collected and stored in -80°C. Striatum and substantia nigra were collected later. Total RNA was isolated from these samples. Part of the RNA sample was used to conduct cDNA synthesis. Finally, the gene expression of Atf4, Ire1α, Xbp1s, Xbp1t, Grp78 and Chop was measured from these cDNA samples by qPCR (quantitative polymerase chain reaction). The qPCR data describes the expression of exact gene. The data was processed prior to statistical analysis. By statistical analysis, it was possible to compare the expression of these genes between 6-OHDA group and vehicle group. In addition, comparison was made between 6-OHDA treated groups at week 2 and 4. According to the results, only Chop expression had increased in 6-OHDA lesioned rats at week 2 compared to the vehicle group. In other genes there were no statistical differences, unlike in several other studies where the expression was found to be increased. Thus, the characterisation of this model requires further studying, possibly by increasing the sample size and studying later time points as well.
  • Grazhdankin, Evgeni (2018)
    We have developed a software for homology modelling by satisfaction of distance restraints using MODELLER back-end. The protocols used extend exploration of distance restraints and conformational space. We drive the models in optimization cycle towards better structures as assessed by the used metrics on DOPE score, retrospective distance restraint realization and others. Hydrogen bond networks are optimized for their size and connectivity density. The performance of the method is evaluated for its ability to reconstruct GPCR structures and an extracellular loop 2. The software is written in object-oriented Python (v.2.7) and supports easy extension with additional modules. We built a relational PostgreSQL database for the restraints to allow for data-driven machine and deep learning applications. An important part of the work was the visualization of the distance restraints with custom PyMOL scripts for three-dimensional viewing. Additionally, we automatically generate a plethora of diagnostic plots for assessing the performance of the modelling protocols. The software utilizes parallelism and is computationally practical with compute requirements on an order of magnitude lower than those typically seen in molecular dynamics simulations. The main challenges left to be solved is the evaluation of restraint goodness, assigning secondary structures, restraint interconditioning, and water and ligand placement.
  • Reunanen, Saku (2020)
    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease in which dopaminergic neurons that form the nigrostriatal pathway gradually die. This causes the main motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease: tremor, rigidity and bradykinesia. While PD affects 1-2% of total population, all currently used medicines are symptomatic, and there is no disease modifying therapy available at present. Although several different animal models for Parkinson’s disease exist, the lack of adequate animal models is often cited as a major obstacle for predicting the clinical success of potential drug candidates. Lewy bodies (LBs) are abnormal aggregates that develop and spread inside nerve cells of human PD patients, their main structural component being α-synuclein. Because α-synuclein is thought to play a major role in the pathology of PD, much research has been focused on it. Different α-synuclein-based animal models of PD exist today, of which the most recent are based on using direct injections of preformed α-synuclein fibrils (PFFs). These new α-synuclein based disease models have helped to understand the disease process in PD better, but cell death in these models takes longer to achieve and is often less pronounced compared to traditional neurotoxin based animal models of PD. The aim of this study was to participate in the development and characterization of a novel mouse model of PD. This new model combines PFF-injections with the commonly used neurotoxin 6-OHDA, which should result in more robust dopamine pathway degeneration than what is seen with the current PFF-based models. The main hypothesis of this study was that the combination of intrastriatal injections of PFFs and a low dose of 6-OHDA would cause gradual spreading of the α-synuclein aggregation pathology in the nigrostriatal dopamine pathway and progressive dopamine neuron loss leading to motor deficits. C57BL/6 mice were stereotactically injected unilaterally with both PFF and 6-OHDA, and their performance was assessed every other week with different behavioral tests until week 12. At the end, brains were collected and optical density of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and dopamine transporter (DAT) was measured from striatal sections, and TH and DAT positive cells in the substantia nigra were counted. The amount of Lewy bodies present in the brain slices was also counted from the cortex and substantia nigra areas of the brain. In the histological assays, statistically significant reductions of both TH and DAT were found in the brain sections of the PFF + 6-OHDA combination group and the amount of TH and DAT positive cells were lower in this group compared to the group receiving vehicle treatment only. However, the results of behavioral tests were non-significant, although a non-statistical positive trend in the amphethamine-induced rotations test was observed where mice receiving PFF + 6-OHDA rotated the most. Taken together, combination model that utilizes both PFF and 6-OHDA injections seems like a promising candidate in modelling PD in mice, but much more research and further development of the model is required before this combination model is ready and robust for use in drug development.
  • Anttila, Emmi (2021)
    Mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as an injury that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain and is the result of external force to the head. It is the most common type of traumatic head injury, and it is common especially in contact sports and within military personnel. Mild TBI typically causes no clear structural changes to the head, but it can induce persistent clinical symptoms, as well as microscopic pathological changes to the brain that may eventually lead to neurodegeneration and increase the risk for several diseases. Mild TBI is a risk factor for several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The primary objective of this study was to develop a repetitive mild TBI mouse model for future research purposes in the field of head trauma and neurodegeneration. The injury was induced as a closed head injury with an electromagnetic impactor. Literature and pilot experiments were used to define the parameters of the impactor required to induce a brain injury of desired severity. The characterization criteria of the mild TBI model considered the criteria used to define human mild TBI, as well as long term effects often reported after repetitive mild TBI: neurodegeneration as tau protein related pathology, neuroinflammation, and memory deficits. The secondary objective of this study was to tentatively test a prolyl oligopeptidase (PREP) inhibitor on the behavioral and histological effects of mild TBI. The functioning of the mild TBI model was studied by histopathological and behavioral assessments. After baseline behavioral assessment and repetitive (1 injury every 24 hours altogether 5 times) mild TBI inductions, the mice were monitored for approximately 3 months, during which several rounds of behavioral tests were performed. Barnes maze and novel object recognition tests were used to assess memory functions, and locomotor activity test was used to assess general locomotor activity. After euthanasia, brain histopathology was performed to study the amount of tau protein and the level of neuroinflammation. Due to the low number of animals in the study, the results are directional and need to be confirmed in subsequent studies. The histopathology showed greater amount of neuroinflammation and tau protein in the brains of injured mice, but statistical evaluations could not be made. Memory functions were slightly worse in the injured mice compared to controls, but significance of the results is unclear. Locomotor activity was not influenced by the mild TBIs. PREP inhibition treatment increased the locomotor activity of the mice, but the significance is unclear. The mild TBI model seems promising and the characterization criteria were partially met. The results of the study need to be verified in subsequent studies with a greater amount of animals. The model developed here can be used to study the involvement of head trauma in neurodegeneration, as well as treatment alternatives to changes caused by mild TBIs. As there currently are no curative treatments to neurodegenerative diseases, research regarding neurodegeneration and its risk factors is highly important.
  • Katajamäki, Jani (2021)
    Cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzyme inhibition is one of the most common reasons for adverse drug-drug interactions. An especially harmful form of inhibition is time-dependent inhibition (TDI) in which the inhibition potency increases over time and persists even after discontinuation of the drug. Both direct and time-dependent inhibition can be efficiently screened with the so-called cocktail method containing several CYP-selective probe substrates in a single reaction mixture. This method is practical especially in ADME studies of drug development, as it offers lower costs, consumption of fewer reagents and faster implementation in comparison to conventional methods. In addition, the cocktail method can be used to establish new diagnostic CYP inhibitors in vitro. The aim of this Master’s thesis was to participate in the development and optimization of a new cocktail assay method. The method was developed for screening of major drug-metabolizing CYP enzymes in vitro both in a direct and time-dependent manner using pooled human liver microsomes. Based on preliminary testing, included probe substrates were divided into two cocktails to avoid significant inter-substrate interactions: cocktail I containing tacrine/CYP1A2, bupropion/CYP2B6, amodiaquine/CYP2C8, tolbutamide/CYP2C9 and midazolam/CYP3A4, and cocktail II containing coumarin/CYP2A6, (S)-mephenytoin/CYP2C19, dextromethorphan/CYP2D6 and astemizole/CYP2J2. First, cocktail incubation conditions were optimized, followed by the determination of probe reaction kinetics, kinetic parameters (Km, Vmax) and inter-substrate interactions with single- or dual-substrate incubations. Finally, suitable probe substrate concentrations and the composition of cocktails was evaluated based on the obtained results. As a result of assay optimization, optimal incubation conditions for yet unoptimized cocktail II were established. In optimized incubation conditions, all probe reactions exhibited saturable Michaelis-Menten kinetics except for tacrine 1-hydroxylation (CYP1A2), which exhibited biphasic kinetics instead (Km1: 7.36, Km2: 517). The selected probe substrate concentrations were all below or near their respective Km values except for (S)-mephenytoin 4’-hydroxylation (40 µM vs. Km of 12.5 µM); however, its concentration could not be reduced in order to maintain sufficient metabolite formation for UHPLC-MS/MS-analysis. Dual-substrate incubation assays demonstrated a need for the reduction of bupropion concentration below 100 µM due to its inhibitory effects on CYP2C8 and CYP3A4. In addition, chlorzoxazone/CYP2E1 and testosterone/CYP3A4 were tested as complementary probe substrates for the cocktails; however, they proved to be unsuitable for both cocktails due to significant interactions (>40% inhibition). Prior to the deployment of the method, some adjustments of probe substrate concentrations are still required in addition to consideration of the suitability of less commonly used CYP3A4 and CYP2E1 probe reactions to improve cocktail coverage. Lastly, validation of the method with known time-dependent model inhibitors should also be conducted. Besides to improvement of the cocktails, new information was generated on inter-cocktail probe-probe interactions and enzyme kinetics of probe reactions, especially for the less-studied astemizole O-demethylation (CYP2J2) and tacrine 1-hydroxylation (CYP1A2). Generated information can be used, for example, in the development of new cocktails.
  • Uoti, Arttu (2021)
    Background and objectives: Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and resistance to current treatments demands the continuous development of novel cancer therapies. Cancer immunotherapy aims to induce anticancer immune responses that selectively target cancer cells. Viruses can also be harnessed to elicit tumor-specific immune responses and to improve the response rates of other concomitant cancer therapies. The purpose of this study was to develop a novel viral vector-based cancer vaccine for intratumoral immunotherapy. By using the previously developed PeptiENV cancer vaccine platform, the vector viruses were coated with cell-penetrating peptide (CPP) sequence-containing tumor peptides in an attempt to further drive the immune responses elicited by the vector against cancer cells. The efficacy of the PeptiENV complex as a cancer vaccine was assessed by following its effects on tumor growth and the development of local and systemic antitumor immune responses. Methods: The PeptiENV complex formation was assessed by a surface plasmon resonance (SPR) analysis. Dendritic cell (DC) activation and antigen cross-presentation were studied using the murine JAWS II dendritic cell line. The development of cellular immune responses against tumor antigens was first studied by immunizing mice with the PeptiENV complex. The antitumor efficacy and immunity of intratumoral PeptiENV administration were then studied using the murine melanoma models B16.OVA and B16.F10.9/K1. In addition to intratumoral PeptiENV treatment, some of the B16.F10.9/K1-implanted mice were also treated with an anti-PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) to study the PeptiENV complex as a biological adjuvant for ICIs. Results: The SPR analysis confirmed that CPP-containing peptides can be stably anchored onto the viral envelope of the viral vector. The in vitro results showed that the PeptiENV complex does not hamper the presentation of antigens at the surface of DCs. Additionally, the viral vector was found to activate DCs seen as a change in the cells’ morphology and surface protein expression. Immunizing mice with the PeptiENV complex induced a robust antigen-specific cytotoxic T cell response. Upon intratumoral administration in vivo, the PeptiENV cancer vaccine was not capable of inducing tumor growth control against B16.OVA melanoma, although it did still elicit robust systemic and local antitumor T cell responses. In the treatment of B16.F10.9/K1 melanoma, however, the PeptiENV complex induced efficient tumor growth control, which resulted in a significant survival benefit. Additionally, co-administration of anti-PD-1 resulted in an additive therapeutic effect. Discussion and conclusions: The present study describes a novel, highly immunogenic viral vector-based cancer vaccine that has the potential to be used as an adjuvant treatment for ICI therapy. Subsequent studies could be conducted to gain a deeper understanding of the immunological mechanisms underlying the antitumor efficacy of the cancer vaccine complex. Moreover, this novel PeptiENV complex could also be further developed as an infectious disease vaccine platform against emerging pandemics. However, the effects of pre-existing antiviral immunity on the efficacy of the cancer vaccine should be explored in future studies.
  • Lähdeniemi, Veera (2021)
    Drug metabolism is a series of enzyme catalysed processes that modify foreign compounds into a form that is more easily excreted from the body. Compounds can affect the activity of metabolizing enzymes and this may lead to toxic concentrations of a drug that is metabolized via the enzyme. With prodrugs, on the other hand, the drug might not achieve its biologically active form and therefore the treatment will not be effective. Recognizing and preventing metabolic interactions is important already in the early stages of drug discovery and development. Cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzyme inhibition is one of the major reasons for adverse drug-drug interactions (DDIs). The inhibition can be time-dependent (TDI), which means that the potency of inhibition increases over time. TDI may be reversible or irreversible, latter being more severe as new enzymes need to be produced in the body to restore the enzymatic activity. IC50 shift assay is a method that gives information of new compounds potential to cause TDI. IC50 shift assay does not show whether the TDI is reversible or irreversible, however further studies, e.g. dialysis assay, can be conducted to find it out. If the study compound is irreversibly bound to the enzyme, the enzyme activity should not recover in the dialysis. The aim of this master’s thesis was to develop a dialysis method that could determine the reversibility of the TDI observed in the IC50 shift assay. A dialysis method conducted with microsomes is described in earlier literature. Known inhibitors (both time-dependent and direct) for four CYP isoforms were studied in this work: CYP1A2 (furafylline and fluvoxamine), CYP2C9 (tienilic acid and sulphaphenazole), CYP2D6 (paroxetine and quinidine) and CYP3A4 (verapamil, azamulin and ketoconazole). IC50 shift assays were conducted to each inhibitor before the dialysis experiment. The studied compounds behaved in the dialysis assay mostly as assumed based on the literature. The workflow from IC50 shift assay to dialysis assay worked successfully and the IC50 shift data could be utilized when choosing the test concentrations for dialysis assay. Both the IC50 shift assay and dialysis assay were reproducible and the deviations between replicates and separate studies were relatively low. The method still requires some optimizing, but so far, the results are promising. In the future the dialysis method may be part of in vitro CYP inhibition studies at Orion Pharma.
  • Tuominen, Elsi (2021)
    Neurodegenerative diseases and neuronal injury after trauma are common causes of neuronal loss. Adult brain has only a limited regenerative capability to replace the lost neurons caused by several distinct brain diseases. Direct reprogramming of brain resident cells into neurons could provide a promising strategy for efficiently replacing non-functional neurons. To date, the focus has been put largely on astrocyte-to-neuron reprogramming despite the relatively low yield of newly generated neurons reported in vivo. According to our hypothesis oligodendrocytes possess a more diverge transcriptomic profile when compared to neurons and astrocytes thus allowing better cell-specific targeting of reprogramming. Here, we establish the molecular tools for direct neuronal reprogramming of human oligodendrocytes to neurons. We investigate whether the expression of a known neural fate specification factor under selected oligodendrocyte-specific promoters is sufficient to induce oligodendrocyte-to-neuron transformation. Furthermore, we test the established tools in vitro using an immortalized human oligodendrocyte cell line. Our preliminary data shows that the human ERBB3 promoter and a single transcription factor transfected cells express doublecortin (DCX), an early marker of neuronal identity. Only recently, the direct in vitro reprogramming of human oligodendrocyte precursor cells into functional neurons has been reported. The direct reprogramming of oligodendrocytes into neurons provides an exciting alternative of neuronal replacement for astrocyte-to-neuron reprogramming. Overall, the field of direct reprogramming offers interesting possibilities for regenerative medicine providing a method for the production of newly generated disease and patient-specific cells.
  • Pohjavaara, Saana (2021)
    Dilated cardiomyopathy is a non-ischemic cardiac disorder predisposing to heart failure, and the characteristics of dilated cardiomyopathy emerge under normal loading conditions. Dilated cardiomyopathy can be consequence of various conditions e.g. genetic mutations, virus infection or toxin exposures. One of the significant causes of familial dilated cardiomyopathy in Finland is mutation S143P in LMNA-gene, coding for A type lamins. Current drug therapy for dilated cardiomyopathy aims to alleviation of symptoms, prevention of complications and progression of the disease, however, efficacy of current therapy is insufficient, and novel therapy strategies are urgently required. Transcription factors are fundamental regulators of gene expression, and GATA4 is a crucial transcription factor both in embryonic and in adult heart and thus an intriguing target for therapeutic manipulation. Compounds targeting GATA4 have shown anti-hypertrophic and cardioprotective effects. Here, effects of two different hypertrophic stimuli, endothelin-1 and mechanical stretch, on human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) were examined with high-content analysis and quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR), respectively. One hiPSC-CM line was used as a healthy control, whereas the other carried the S143P mutation in LMNA-gene (DCM-CMs). Additionally, effects of GATA4-targeting compound C-2021 on cardiomyocytes were investigated. In summary, according to proBNP staining, DCM-CMs are more hypertrophied at baseline. DCM-CMs seemed to be less susceptible to mechanical stretch-induced enhancement in BNP gene expression. In addition, compound C 2021 may have anti-hypertrophic properties suggesting it to be a potential drug candidate in cardiac diseases. Finally, lamin A seemed to mislocalize to nucleoplasm instead of nuclear lamina in DCM-CMs.
  • Savola, Mirjam (2022)
    Ischemic heart disease (IHD) and subsequent heart failure are caused by irreversible loss of contractile cardiomyocytes due to low oxygen supply to the heart. As the leading cause of death worldwide, IHD raises an urgent need for regenerative therapies that prevent or reverse loss of cardiomyocytes. The fetal mammalian heart grows by cardiomyocyte proliferation and utilizes glycolysis as main energy metabolism pathway, until it is introduced to increased oxygen and fatty acid supply at birth. Subsequently, cardiac energy metabolism shifts from glycolysis to β-oxidation of fatty acids and cardiomyocytes exit the mitotic cell cycle. Due to cessation of proliferation the heart can no longer regenerate after ischemic injury and responds to it by introduction of maladaptive pathological processes leading to heart failure. To gain deeper insight on the roles of cardiac metabolism pathways and hypoxia in cell cycle activation, we evaluated the effects of pharmacological metabolic modulation and oxygen supply on cardiomyocyte phenotype and hypoxia response. Furthermore, we studied the changes in the metabolic genotype of cardiomyocytes under alterations of oxygen supply. We utilized quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) to evaluate the effects of hypoxia and metabolic maturation on the expression of genes involved in hypoxia signaling and metabolism of human induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs). Additionally, we investigated the effects of five metabolism-modulating compounds on cell cycle and phenotype of both metabolically matured and unmatured hiPSC-CMs, by utilizing high content analysis. We observed presence of hypoxia signaling as an increase in vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) expression following 3-hour hypoxic exposure. High expression of succinate dehydrogenase complex flavoprotein subunit A (SDHA) in hiPSC-CMs, which was downregulated at hypoxia, confirmed occurrence of oxidative metabolism induced by metabolic maturation. Surprisingly, metabolic maturation tended to increase proliferation and decrease stress response signaling of hiPSC-CMs. Introduction of the TCA cycle intermediate succinate decreased proliferation of metabolically unmatured hypoxic hiPSC-CMs by 8.2 %. Finally, inhibition of the mevalonate pathway and ketogenesis caused no alterations in hiPSC-CM phenotype or cell cycle, but introduction of the ketone body β-hydroxybutyrate tended to increase proliferation, supporting current evidence that ketogenesis plays a role in cardiomyocyte cell cycle regulation. Our observations suggest that hypoxic hiPSC-CMs can be useful in investigating gene expression and phenotype. Even so, additional methodologies are needed for in-depth evaluation of metabolic reprogramming and its effects on cardiomyocyte phenotype.
  • Järvelä, Jasper (2021)
    Lääketieteen kehittyessä yksilöllisen lääkehoidon tarpeeseen on kiinnitetty enemmän huomiota kuin aikaisemmin ja etenkin lapsille lääkkeiden tarkka annostelu on erityisen tärkeää. Kaupallisilla valmisteilla tarpeeksi pienet annokset eivät usein ole mahdollisia eikä tablettien puolittaminen takaa tarkkaa lääkkeiden annostelua. 3D-tulostamista on ajateltu mahdollisena vaihtoehtona ex tempore -lääkkeiden tuotantoon ja sen mahdollisuuksia on tutkittu laajalti viime vuosien aikana. Tämän tutkimuksen tavoitteena on selvittää, miten ekstruusiomenetelmällä tulostetut varfariinikalvot vertautuvat sairaala-apteekin käyttämiin varfariiniannosjauheisiin, sekä olisiko kyseistä menetelmää mahdollista hyödyntää sairaala-apteekeissa. Tutkimuksessa valmistettiin puolikiinteän aineen ekstruusiolla 0,1 mg:n, 0,5 mg:n ja 2 mg:n varfariinikalvoja, jotka kuivattiin 85 ℃:ssa valmistusprosessin nopeuttamiseksi. Kalvoja verrattiin saman vahvuisiin varfariinia sisältäviin sairaala-apteekin valmistamiin annosjauheisiin. Kalvoissa käytettiin hydroksipropyylimetyyliselluloosaa kalvonmuodostaja-aineena ja glyserolia tuomaan plastisuutta. Annosjauheet koostuivat kaupallisesta 5 mg:n Marevan-valmisteesta ja täyteaineena käytetystä laktoosista. Molemmista lääkevalmisteista mitattiin liukenemisnopeus ja annosyksiköiden yhdenmukaisuus. Molempien valmisteiden toimivuus nenä-mahaletkussa tutkittiin myös, sillä kalvojen on tärkeää soveltua erilaisille potilasryhmille. Kalvot olivat kovia, mikä aiheutti niiden hitaan liukenemisen. Puolikiinteän aineen valmistus ja tulostuksen toteuttaminen tavoitteiden mukaisesti osoittautui oletettua vaikeammaksi. Kalvoissa mitattiin annosjauheita tasaisempi lääkeainepitoisuus. Molempien lääkevalmisteiden kohdalla huomattiin, että kaikki varfariini ei pääse nenä-mahaletkujen läpi. Tärkein huomio oli, että hyvin yksinkertaisella formulaatiolla on mahdollista tuottaa lupaavia lääkevalmisteita. Tämä tutkimus esittelee syitä, joiden vuoksi 3D-tulostusta on hyvä tutkia mahdollisena ex tempore -valmistuksen menetelmänä.
  • Rissanen, Johanna (2020)
    Lääkevaihto ja sitä täydentävä viitehintajärjestelmä ovat laskeneet lääkekustannuksia Suomessa. Epilepsialääkkeet eivät ole aiemmin kuuluneet lääkevaihdon piiriin, sillä epilepsian hoidossa eri valmisteet eivät välttämättä ole terapeuttisesti tarpeeksi samanarvoisia, ja pienikin muutos hoitotasapainossa voi altistaa epilepsiakohtauksille. Nykyisin epilepsialääkkeitä käytetään kuitenkin usein muihinkin käyttöaiheisiin, kuten psykiatrisiin sairauksiin ja kivun hoitoon. Vuonna 2017 lääkekorvausjärjestelmään tehtiin säästötoimenpiteitä, joiden yhteydessä epilepsialääkkeet sisällytettiin lääkevaihdon piiriin muissa käyttöaiheissa kuin epilepsian hoidossa. Lisäksi otettiin käyttöön poikkeava viitehintaryhmä, joka koski epilepsialääkkeistä pregabaliinia neuropaattisen kivun käyttöaiheessa. Tutkimuksen tavoitteena oli tarkastella epilepsialääkkeiden (pregabaliinin, gabapentiinin, topiramaatin, lamotrigiinin ja valproiinihapon) vaihtamista sekä hintojen kehitystä lääkevaihtoon ja viitehintajärjestelmään sisällyttämisen jälkeen vuoden 2017 alusta vuoden 2019 puoliväliin. Lisäksi tarkasteltiin näiden lääkeaineiden kustannusten, korvausmenojen sekä käyttäjä- ja reseptimäärien kehitystä. Aineistona käytettiin Kansaneläkelaitoksen reseptirekisteriin pohjautuvia tilastoja epilepsialääkkeiden lääkeostoista sekä lääkkeiden hintalautakunnan päätöksiä epilepsialääkkeiden viitehintaryhmistä ja viitehinnoista. Epilepsialääkkeiden vaihtaminen yleistyi tarkastelujakson aikana kaikilla lääkevaihdon piirissä olleilla viidellä lääkeaineella, ja vaihtokieltojen osuus resepteistä laski useimmilla lääkeaineista. Viitehinnat laskivat useimmissa tarkastelluista viitehintaryhmistä, mutta lähes yhtä usein viitehinta ei muuttunut. Viitehinnat laskivat enemmän viitehintaryhmissä, joissa oli useampia vaihtokelpoisia valmisteita. Lääkevaihdon ensimmäisenä vuonna 2017 lääkevaihtoon kuuluvien epilepsialääkkeiden kustannukset ja korvausmenot pääosin laskivat, vaikka lääkkeiden käyttö ei vähentynyt. Lääkevaihdon toisena vuonna kustannukset eivät juuri laskeneet. Pregabaliinin poikkeavan viitehintaryhmän vuoksi vaihtamatta jääneet reseptit aiheuttivat merkittävän osan lääkevaihtoon kuuluvien epilepsialääkkeiden kustannuksista. Pregabaliinille jäi siten todennäköisesti yhä säästöpotentiaalia poikkeavan viitehintaryhmän voimassaolon päätyttyä vuoden 2019 heinäkuussa, mitä on syytä tarkastella jatkotutkimuksissa.