Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a common, inherited, incurable, fatal muscle wasting disease caused by deletions that disrupt the reading frame of the DMD gene such that no functional dystrophin protein is produced. Antisense oligonucleotide (AO)-directed exon skipping restores the reading frame of the DMD gene, and truncated, yet functional dystrophin protein is expressed. The aim of this study was to assess the efficiency of two novel rigid, cationic carotenoid lipids, C30-20 and C20-20, in the delivery of a phosphorodiamidate morpholino (PMO) AO, specifically designed for the targeted skipping of exon 45 of DMD mRNA in normal human skeletal muscle primary cells (hSkMCs). The cationic carotenoid lipid/PMO-AO lipoplexes yielded significant exon 45 skipping relative to a known commercial lipid, 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-ethylphosphocholine (EPC). Molecules 2012, 17(2), 1138-1148
The Role of Carotenoids in Human Skin
The human skin, as the boundary organ between the human body and the environment, is under the constant influence of free radicals (FR), both from the outside in and from the inside out. Carotenoids are known to be powerful antioxidant substances playing an essential role in the reactions of neutralization of FR (mainly reactive oxygen species ROS). Carotenoid molecules present in the tissue are capable of neutralizing several attacks of FR, especially ROS, and are then destroyed. Human skin contains carotenoids, such as α-, γ-, β-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene and their isomers, which serve the living cells as a protection against oxidation. Recent studies have reported the possibility to investigate carotenoids in human skin quickly and non-invasively by spectroscopic means. Results obtained from in-vivo studies on human skin have shown that carotenoids are vital components of the antioxidative protective system of the human skin and could serve as marker substances for the overall antioxidative status. Reflecting the nutritional and stress situation of volunteers, carotenoids must be administered by means of antioxidant-rich products, e.g., in the form of fruit and vegetables. Carotenoids are degraded by stress factors of any type, inter alia, sun radiation, contact with environmental hazards, illness, etc. The kinetics of the accumulation and degradation of carotenoids in the skin have been investigated. Molecules 2011, 16(12),10491-10506
The Effect of β-Carotene Supplementation on the Pharmacokinetics of Nelfinavir and Its Active Metabolite M8 in HIV-1-infected Patients
β-Carotene supplements are often taken by individuals living with HIV-1. Contradictory results from in vitro studies suggest that β-carotene may inhibit or induce cytochrome P450 enzymes and transporters. The study objective was to investigate the effect of β-carotene on the steady-state pharmacokinetics of nelfinavir and its active metabolite M8 in HIV-1 infected individuals. Twelve hour nelfinavir pharmacokinetic analysis was conducted at baseline and after 28 days of β-carotene supplementation (25,000 IU twice daily). Nelfinavir and M8 concentrations were measured with validated assays. Non-compartmental methods were used to calculate the pharmacokinetic parameters. Geometric mean ratios comparing day 28 to day 1 area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC0–12 h), maximum (Cmax) and minimum (Cmimn) concentrations of nelfinavir and M8 are presented with 90% confidence intervals. Eleven subjects completed the study and were included in the analysis. There were no significant differences in nelfinavir AUC0–12 h and Cmin (−10%, +4%) after β-carotene supplementation. The M8 Cmin was increased by 31% while the M8 AUC0–12 h and Cmax were unchanged. During the 28 day period, mean CD4+ % and CD4+: CD8+ ratio increased significantly (p < 0.01). β-carotene supplementation increased serum carotene levels but did not cause any clinically significant difference in the nelfinavir and M8 exposure. Molecules 2012, 17(1), 688-702.
The Metal Cation Chelating Capacity of Astaxanthin. Does This Have Any Influence on Antiradical Activity?
In this Density Functional Theory study, it became apparent that astaxanthin (ASTA) may form metal ion complexes with metal cations such as Ca+2, Cu+2, Pb+2, Zn+2, Cd+2 and Hg+2. The presence of metal cations induces changes in the maximum absorption bands which are red shifted in all cases. Therefore, in the case of compounds where metal ions are interacting with ASTA, they are redder in color. Moreover, the antiradical capacity of some ASTA-metal cationic complexes was studied by assessing their vertical ionization energy and vertical electron affinity, reaching the conclusion that metal complexes are slightly better electron donors and better electron acceptors than ASTA. Molecules 2012, 17(1), 1039-1054.