Oxaliplatin-induced enteric neuronal loss and intestinal dysfunction is prevented by co-treatment with BGP-15.

Authors: McQuade RM, Stojanovska V, Stavely R, Timpani C, Petersen AC, Abalo R, Bornstein JC, Rybalka E, Nurgali K.
Publisher: Br J Pharmacol. 2018 Feb;175(4):656-677.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Gastrointestinal side effects of chemotherapy are an under-recognized clinical problem, leading to dose reduction, delays and cessation of treatment, presenting a constant challenge for efficient and tolerated anti-cancer treatment. We have found that oxaliplatin treatment results in intestinal dysfunction, oxidative stress and loss of enteric neurons. BGP-15 is a novel cytoprotective compound with potential HSP72 co-inducing and PARP inhibiting properties. In this study, we investigated the potential of BGP-15 to alleviate oxaliplatin-induced enteric neuropathy and intestinal dysfunction. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: Balb/c mice received oxaliplatin (3 mg·kg-1 ·day-1 ) with and without BGP-15 (15 mg·kg-1 ·day-1 : i.p.) tri-weekly for 14 days. Gastrointestinal transit was analysed via in vivo X-ray imaging, before and after treatment. Colons were collected to assess ex vivo motility, neuronal mitochondrial superoxide and cytochrome c levels and for immunohistochemical analysis of myenteric neurons. KEY RESULTS: Oxaliplatin-induced neuronal loss increased the proportion of neuronal NO synthase-immunoreactive neurons and increased levels of mitochondrial superoxide and cytochrome c in the myenteric plexus. These changes were correlated with an increase in PARP-2 immunoreactivity in the colonic mucosa and were attenuated by BGP-15 co-treatment. Significant delays in gastrointestinal transit, intestinal emptying and pellet formation, impaired colonic motor activity, reduced faecal water content and lack of weight gain associated with oxaliplatin treatment were restored to sham levels in mice co-treated with BGP-15. CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS: Our results showed that BGP-15 ameliorated oxidative stress, increased enteric neuronal survival and alleviated oxaliplatin-induced intestinal dysfunction, suggesting that BGP-15 may relieve the gastrointestinal side effects of chemotherapy.

Activation of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Granulosa Cells from Patients with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Contributes to Ovarian Fibrosis.

Authors: Takahashi N, Harada M, Hirota Y, Nose E, Azhary JM, Koike H, Kunitomi C, Yoshino O, Izumi G, Hirata T, Koga K, Wada-Hiraike O, Chang RJ, Shimasaki S, Fujii T, Osuga Y.
Publisher: Sci Rep. 2017 Sep 7;7(1):10824.

Recent studies report the involvement of intra-ovarian factors, such as inflammation and oxidative stress, in the pathophysiology of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the most common endocrine disorder of reproductive age women. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is a local factor that affects various cellular events during a broad spectrum of physiological and pathological conditions. It may also be an important determinant of pro-fibrotic remodeling during tissue fibrosis. In the present study, we showed that ER stress was activated in granulosa cells of PCOS patients as well as in a well-established PCOS mouse model. Pharmacological inducers of ER stress, tunicamycin and thapsigargin, were found to increase the expression of pro-fibrotic growth factors, including transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, in human granulosa cells, and their expression also increased in granulosa cells of PCOS patients. By contrast, treatment of PCOS mice with an ER stress inhibitor, tauroursodeoxycholic acid or BGP-15, decreased interstitial fibrosis and collagen deposition in ovaries, accompanied by a reduction in TGF-β1 expression in granulosa cells. These findings suggest that ER stress in granulosa cells of women with PCOS contributes to the induction of pro-fibrotic growth factors during ovarian fibrosis, and that ER stress may serve as a therapeutic target in PCOS.

Chaperone co-inducer BGP-15 inhibits histone deacetylases and enhances the heat shock response through increased chromatin accessibility.

Authors: Budzyński MA, Crul T, Himanen SV, Toth N, Otvos F, Sistonen L, Vigh L.
Publisher: Cell Stress Chaperones. 2017 Sep;22(5):717-728.

Defects in cellular protein homeostasis are associated with many severe and prevalent pathological conditions such as neurodegenerative diseases, muscle dystrophies, and metabolic disorders. One way to counteract these defects is to improve the protein homeostasis capacity through induction of the heat shock response. Despite numerous attempts to develop strategies for chemical activation of the heat shock response by heat shock transcription factor 1 (HSF1), the underlying mechanisms of drug candidates' mode of action are poorly understood. To lower the threshold for the heat shock response activation, we used the chaperone co-inducer BGP-15 that was previously shown to have beneficial effects on several proteinopathic disease models. We found that BGP-15 treatment combined with heat stress caused a substantial increase in HSF1-dependent heat shock protein 70 (HSPA1A/B) expression already at a febrile range of temperatures. Moreover, BGP-15 alone inhibited the activity of histone deacetylases (HDACs), thereby increasing chromatin accessibility at multiple genomic loci including the stress-inducible HSPA1A. Intriguingly, treatment with well-known potent HDAC inhibitors trichostatin A and valproic acid enhanced the heat shock response and improved cytoprotection. These results present a new pharmacological strategy for restoring protein homeostasis by inhibiting HDACs, increasing chromatin accessibility, and lowering the threshold for heat shock response activation.

BGP-15 Protects against Oxaliplatin-Induced Skeletal Myopathy and Mitochondrial Reactive Oxygen Species Production in Mice.

Authors: Sorensen JC, Petersen AC, Timpani CA, Campelj DG, Cook J, Trewin AJ, Stojanovska V, Stewart M, Hayes A, Rybalka E.
Publisher: Front Pharmacol. 2017 Apr 10;8:137. 2017.

Chemotherapy is a leading intervention against cancer. Albeit highly effective, chemotherapy has a multitude of deleterious side-effects including skeletal muscle wasting and fatigue, which considerably reduces patient quality of life and survivability. As such, a defense against chemotherapy-induced skeletal muscle dysfunction is required. Here we investigate the effects of oxaliplatin (OXA) treatment in mice on the skeletal muscle and mitochondria, and the capacity for the Poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor, BGP-15, to ameliorate any pathological side-effects induced by OXA. To do so, we investigated the effects of 2 weeks of OXA (3 mg/kg) treatment with and without BGP-15 (15 mg/kg). OXA induced a 15% (p < 0.05) reduction in lean tissue mass without significant changes in food consumption or energy expenditure. OXA treatment also altered the muscle architecture, increasing collagen deposition, neutral lipid and Ca2+ accumulation; all of which were ameliorated with BGP-15 adjunct therapy. Here, we are the first to show that OXA penetrates the mitochondria, and, as a possible consequence of this, increases mtROS production. These data correspond with reduced diameter of isolated FDB fibers and shift in the fiber size distribution frequency of TA to the left. There was a tendency for reduction in intramuscular protein content, albeit apparently not via Murf1 (atrophy)- or p62 (autophagy)- dependent pathways. BGP-15 adjunct therapy protected against increased ROS production and improved mitochondrial viability 4-fold and preserved fiber diameter and number. Our study highlights BGP-15 as a potential adjunct therapy to address chemotherapy-induced skeletal muscle and mitochondrial pathology.

BGP-15 prevents the death of neurons in a mouse model of familial dysautonomia.

Authors: Ohlen SB, Russell ML, Brownstein MJ, Lefcort F.
Publisher: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 May 9;114(19):5035-5040.

Hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy type III, or familial dysautonomia [FD; Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) 223900], affects the development and long-term viability of neurons in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and retina. FD is caused by a point mutation in the gene IKBKAP/ELP1 that results in a tissue-specific reduction of the IKAP/ELP1 protein, a subunit of the Elongator complex. Hallmarks of the disease include vasomotor and cardiovascular instability and diminished pain and temperature sensation caused by reductions in sensory and autonomic neurons. It has been suggested but not demonstrated that mitochondrial function may be abnormal in FD. We previously generated an Ikbkap/Elp1 conditional-knockout mouse model that recapitulates the selective death of sensory (dorsal root ganglia) and autonomic neurons observed in FD. We now show that in these mice neuronal mitochondria have abnormal membrane potentials, produce elevated levels of reactive oxygen species, are fragmented, and do not aggregate normally at axonal branch points. The small hydroxylamine compound BGP-15 improved mitochondrial function, protecting neurons from dying in vitro and in vivo, and promoted cardiac innervation in vivo. Given that impairment of mitochondrial function is a common pathological component of neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases, our findings identify a therapeutic approach that may have efficacy in multiple degenerative conditions.

BGP-15 Protects against Oxidative Stress- or Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Mitochondrial Destabilization and Reduces Mitochondrial Production of Reactive Oxygen Species.

Authors: Sumegi K, Fekete K, Antus C, Debreceni B, Hocsak E, Gallyas F Jr, Sumegi B, Szabo A.
Publisher: PLoS One. 2017 Jan 3;12(1):e0169372.

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a critical role in the progression of mitochondria-related diseases. A novel insulin sensitizer drug candidate, BGP-15, has been shown to have protective effects in several oxidative stress-related diseases in animal and human studies. In this study, we investigated whether the protective effects of BGP-15 are predominantly via preserving mitochondrial integrity and reducing mitochondrial ROS production. BGP-15 was found to accumulate in the mitochondria, protect against ROS-induced mitochondrial depolarization and attenuate ROS-induced mitochondrial ROS production in a cell culture model, and also reduced ROS production predominantly at the complex I-III system in isolated mitochondria. At physiologically relevant concentrations, BGP-15 protected against hydrogen peroxide-induced cell death by reducing both apoptosis and necrosis. Additionally, it attenuated bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced collapse of mitochondrial membrane potential and ROS production in LPS-sensitive U-251 glioma cells, suggesting that BGP-15 may have a protective role in inflammatory diseases. However, BGP-15 did not have any antioxidant effects as shown by in vitro chemical and cell culture systems. These data suggest that BGP-15 could be a novel mitochondrial drug candidate for the prevention of ROS-related and inflammatory disease progression.

BGP-15 Improves Aspects of the Dystrophic Pathology in mdx and dko Mice with Differing Efficacies in Heart and Skeletal Muscle.

Authors: Kennedy TL, Swiderski K, Murphy KT, Gehrig SM, Curl CL, Chandramouli C, Febbraio MA, Delbridge LM, Koopman R, Lynch GS.
Publisher: Am J Pathol. 2016 Dec;186(12):3246-3260.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a severe and progressive striated muscle wasting disorder that leads to premature death from respiratory and/or cardiac failure. We have previously shown that treatment of young dystrophic mdx and dystrophin/utrophin null (dko) mice with BGP-15, a coinducer of heat shock protein 72, ameliorated the dystrophic pathology. We therefore tested the hypothesis that later-stage BGP-15 treatment would similarly benefit older mdx and dko mice when the dystrophic pathology was already well established. Later stage treatment of mdx or dko mice with BGP-15 did not improve maximal force of tibialis anterior (TA) muscles (in situ) or diaphragm muscle strips (in vitro). However, collagen deposition (fibrosis) was reduced in TA muscles of BGP-15-treated dko mice but unchanged in TA muscles of treated mdx mice and diaphragm of treated mdx and dko mice. We also examined whether BGP-15 treatment could ameliorate aspects of the cardiac pathology, and in young dko mice it reduced collagen deposition and improved both membrane integrity and systolic function. These results confirm BGP-15's ability to improve aspects of the dystrophic pathology but with differing efficacies in heart and skeletal muscles at different stages of the disease progression. These findings support a role for BGP-15 among a suite of pharmacological therapies for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and related disorders.

BGP-15 improves contractile function of regenerating soleus muscle.

Authors: Nascimento TL, Silva MT, Miyabara EH.
Publisher: J Muscle Res Cell Motil. 2018 Apr;39(1-2):25-34.

This study investigated the effect of the heat shock protein inducer O-[3-piperidino-2-hydroxy-1-propyl]-nicotinic amidoxime (BGP-15) on the morphology and contractile function of regenerating soleus muscles from mice. Cryolesioned soleus muscles from young mice treated daily with BGP-15 (15 mg/Kg) were evaluated on post-cryolesion day 10. At this time point, there was a significant decrease in the cross-sectional area of regenerating myofibers, maximal force, specific tetanic force, and fatigue resistance of regenerating soleus muscles. BGP-15 did not reverse the decrease in myofiber cross-sectional area but effectively prevented the reduction in tetanic force and fatigue resistance of regenerating muscles. In addition, BGP-15 treatment increased the expression of embryonic myosin heavy chain (e-MyHC), MyHC-II and MyHC-I in regenerating muscles. Although BGP-15 did not alter voltage dependent anion-selective channel 2 (VDAC2) expression in cryolesioned muscles, it was able to increase inducible 70-kDa heat shock protein (HSP70) expression. Our results suggest that BGP-15 improves strength recovery in regenerating soleus muscles by accelerating the re-expression of adult MyHC-II and MyHC-I isoforms and HSP70 induction. The beneficial effects of BGP-15 on the contractile function of regenerating muscles reinforce the potential of this molecule to be used as a therapeutic agent.

Mitochondrial regulation of [Ca2+]i oscillations during cell cycle resumption of the second meiosis of oocyte.

Authors: Wang F, Yuan RY, Li L, Meng TG, Fan LH, Jing Y, Zhang RR, Li YY, Liang QX, Dong F, Hou Y, Schatten H, Sun QY, Ou XH.
Publisher: Cell Cycle. 2018;17(12):1471-1486.

Oocyte is arrested at metaphase of the second meiosis until fertilization switching on [Ca2+]i oscillations. Oocyte activation inefficiency is the most challenging problem for failed fertilization and embryonic development. Mitochondrial function and intracellular [Ca2+]i oscillations are two critical factors for the oocyte's developmental potential. We aimed to understand the possible correlation between mitochondrial function and [Ca2+]i oscillations in oocytes. To this end, mitochondrial uncoupler CCCP which damages mitochondrial function and two small molecule mitochondrial agonists, L-carnitine (LC) and BGP-15, were used to examine the regulation of [Ca2+]i by mitochondrial functions. With increasing CCCP concentrations, [Ca2+]i oscillations were gradually diminished and high concentrations of CCCP led to oocyte death. LC enhanced mitochondrial membrane potential and [Ca2+]i oscillations and even improved the damage induced by CCCP, however, BGP-15 had no beneficial effect on oocyte activation. We have found that mitochondrial function plays a vital role in the generation of [Ca2+]i oscillations in oocytes, and thus mitochondria may interact with the ER to generate [Ca2+]i oscillations during oocyte activation. Improvement of mitochondrial functions with small molecules can be expected to improve oocyte activation and embryonic development in infertile patients without invasive micromanipulation.

The Drug Candidate BGP-15 Delays the Onset of Diastolic Dysfunction in the Goto-Kakizaki Rat Model of Diabetic Cardiomyopathy.

Authors: Bombicz M, Priksz D, Gesztelyi R, Kiss R, Hollos N, Varga B, Nemeth J, Toth A, Papp Z, Szilvassy Z, Juhasz B.
Publisher: Molecules. 2019 Feb 7;24(3).

Background and Aims: Diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM) is an emerging problem worldwide due to an increase in the incidence of type 2 diabetes. Animal studies have indicated that metformin and pioglitazone can prevent DCM partly by normalizing insulin resistance, and partly by other, pleiotropic mechanisms. One clinical study has evidenced the insulin-senzitizing effect of the drug candidate BGP-15, along with additional animal studies that have confirmed its beneficial effects in models of diabetes, muscular dystrophy and heart failure, with the drug affecting chaperones, contractile proteins and mitochondria. Our aim was to investigate whether the inzulin-senzitizer BGP-15 exert any additive cardiovascular effects compared to metformin or pioglitazone, using Goto-Kakizaki (GotoK) rats. Methods: Rats were divided into five groups: (I) healthy control (Wistar), (II) diseased (GotoK), and GotoK rats treated with: (III) BGP-15, (IV) metformin, and (V) pioglitazone, respectively, for 12 weeks. Metabolic parameters and insulin levels were determined at the endpoint. Doppler echocardiography was carried out to estimate diabetes-associated cardiac dysfunction. Thoracotomy was performed after the vascular status of rats was evaluated using an isolated aortic ring method. Furthermore, western blot assays were carried out to determine expression or phosphorylation levels of selected proteins that take part in myocyte relaxation. Results: BGP-15 restored diastolic parameters (e'/a', E/e', LAP, E and A wave) and improved Tei-index compared to untreated GotoK rats. Vascular status was unaffected by BGP-15. Expression of sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA2a) and phosphodiesterase 9A (PDE9A) were unchanged by the treatments, but the phosphorylation level of vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) and phospholamban (PLB) increased in BGP-15-treated rats, in comparison to GotoK. Conclusions: Even though the BGP-15-treatment did not interfere significantly with glucose homeostasis and vascular status, it considerably enhanced diastolic function, by affecting the SERCA/phospholamban pathway in GotoK rats. Although it requires further investigation, BGP-15 may offer a new therapeutic approach in DCM.