Farmasian tiedekunta


Recent Submissions

  • Parkkinen, Ilmari (2018)
    MicroRNAs are ~22 nucleotide long RNA strands which regulate gene expression by binding to the 3’UTRs of messenger RNAs. MicroRNAs are predicted to regulate about a half of all protein-coding genes in the human genome thus affecting many cellular processes. One crucial part of microRNA biogenesis is the cleaving of pre-miRNA strands into mature microRNAs by the type III RNase enzyme, Dicer. Dicer has been shown to be downregulated due to aging and in many disease states. Particularly central nervous system disorders are linked to dysregulated microRNA processing. According to the latest studies, Dicer is crucial to the survival of dopaminergic neurons and conditional Dicer knockout mice show severe nigrostriatal dopaminergic cell loss, which is a hallmark of Parkinson’s disease. By activating Dicer with a small-molecule drug, enoxacin, the survival of dopaminergic cells exposed to stress is significantly improved. However, enoxacin, which is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic, activates Dicer only at high concentrations (10-100 μM) and is polypharmacological, which may cause detrimental side effects. Therefore, enoxacin is not a suitable drug candidate for Dicer deficiencies and better Dicer-activating drug candidates are needed. The aim of this work was to develop a cell-based fluorescent assay to screen for Dicer-activating compounds. Assays which measure Dicer activity have already been developed, but they have some pitfalls which don’t make them optimal to use for high-throughput screening of Dicer-activating compounds. Some are cell-free enzyme-based assays and thus neglect Dicer in its native context. The RNA to be processed by Dicer does not represent a common mammalian RNA type. Most assays do not have internal normalizing factors, such as a second reporter protein to account for e.g. cell death, or the analysis method is not feasible for high-throughput screening data. Considering these disadvantages, the study started by designing a reporter plasmid in silico. The plasmid expresses two fluorescent proteins, mCherry (red) and EGFP (green), and a mCherry transcripttargeting siRNA implemented into a pre-miR155 backbone which is processed by Dicer. Thus, measuring the ratios of red and green fluorescence intensities will give an indication on Dicer activity. The plasmid also has additional regulatory elements for stabilizing expression levels. The plasmid was then produced by molecular cloning methods and its functionality was tested with Dicer-modulating compounds. The assay was optimised by testing it in different cell lines and varying assay parameters, and stable cell lines were created to make large-scale screening more convenient. Finally, a small-scale screen was done with ten pharmacologically active compounds. Transiently transfected, in Chinese hamster ovarian cells, mCherry silencing was too efficient for reliable detection of improvement in silencing efficiency due to floor effect. With an inducible, Tet-On, system in FLP-IN 293 T-Rex cells, the expression could be controlled by administering doxycycline and the improvement in silencing was quantifiable. The assay seemed to be functional after 72 hours and 120 hours of incubation using enoxacin (100 μM) as a positive control. However, the screening found no compounds to significantly reduce mCherry/EGFP fluorescence ratio and, additionally, the effect of enoxacin was abolished. Therefore, a more thorough analysis on the effects of enoxacin was done and, although statistically significant, enoxacin was only marginally effective in reducing mCherry/EGFP fluorescence ratio after 72 hours of treatment. It should be noted from the small-scale screening that metformin and BDNF, compounds previously shown to elevate Dicer levels, showed similar effects to enoxacin. The quality of the assay in terms of high-throughput screening was determined by calculating Zfactors and coefficients of variations for the experiments, which showed that the variability of the assay was acceptable, but the differences between controls was not large enough for reliable screening. In conclusion, the effects of metformin and BDNF should be further studied and regarding the assay, more optimisation is needed for large-scale, high-throughput, screening to be done with minimal resources.
  • Tepsell, Juhani (2018)
    During and after myocardial infarction, millions to a billion cells die off. Scar tissue formed by fibroblasts replaces the injured myocardium during recovery. While the newly formed tissue is durable and prevents rupture of the heart, it doesn´t contribute to pump function. Depending on the extent of cardiomyocyte loss, the remaining functional myocardium get strained. Adult mammalian heart has inadequate capacity to regenerate after such injury. In case of sustained substantial increase in workload, the compensatory mechanisms turn into pathological processes including excessive fibrosis and myocyte apoptosis. The progressive decline of hearts contractile function results in heart failure (HF). Current drug treatments for managing HF aim to prevent progression of the disease and relieve symptoms. ACE inhibitors, beta blockers and diuretics are effective along with healthy lifestyle. No practical treatments are available to restore cardiac function yet. Human myocardium normally regenerates, but only 1% or less of myocytes get replaced yearly. Heart’s resident stem/progenitor cells (CPCs) likely play a role in the turnover. The aim of this study was to develop a screening method to identify small molecules that possibly promote differentiation of cardiac progenitor cells to cardiomyocytes. Cell population differentiated from mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) was used as a model for CPCs. Directed differentiation protocol of mESCs used here promotes commitment to cells of cardiac mesoderm, part of which will further differentiate to cardiac progenitors. The resulting population at day 6 is heterogenous but many of these cells are progenitors that turn into cardiomyocytes (CMs) by day 8. 10 000 cells per well are plated on 384 well plates at day 5. Test compounds are added at day 6 and removed day 8 for effect in progenitors and day 7-9 for effect in early cardiomyocytes. 0,1% DMSO is used as vehicle and Wnt pathway inhibitor XAV939 as positive control. The effects are quantified with plate reader on day 9. E14 derived mESC reporter line was used. Myl2v-eGFP + SMyHC3-RFP double reporter line allows the specific identification of ventricular CMs with green fluorescence and atrial CMs with red fluorescence. Plate reader measures the total fluorescence of the wells at 485/520nm on day 9, which is used as a readout for ventricular CMs. The fluorescence intensity depends on the amount of GFP+ cells but also on the level of Myl2v expression. Atrial CMs could be quantified similarly but the population doesn´t contain enough RFP+ cells. The assay was shown to reliably point out ‘hits’ that have a strong effect. Any compounds that only produce a moderate effect could be a false negative, however. The effect on cardiac progenitors could likely be increased by simply adding the compounds earlier on day 5. Variability of key reagents causes the main technical troubles through unpredictably affecting cytokine concentrations which decreases the amount of cardiac progenitors. Partially similar screening assays are being used by the big pharma where they cryopreserve progenitors in bulk for later use, thus simplifying and speeding up their method. Same approach could be adopted.
  • Hynynen, Marko (2017)
    Smoking poses a significant threat to public health. Major public health benefits could be attained if we could increase the incidence of smoking cessation on the national level. However, smoking cessation is often difficult, therefore different medical means have been devised to make it easier for people to quit. One of these medical means is nicotine replacement therapy(NRT). Since NRT entered the market it has been contested which kind of role counselling should have when people purchase NRT. NRT was deregulated In Finland in 2006. Prior to this thesis there has not been carried out studies that would have tried to investigate where the retailer shops are located after deregulation. The aim of this thesis is to investigate how the deregulation affected to the distribution of NRT sales in different NRT-outlets and pharmacies in 2006-2015. It is also aim to investigate if the new outlets have tangibly increased the coverage of NRT-outlets network in diverse municipalities, more sparsely populated rural municipalities. Finnish Medical Agency‘s (FIMEA) data about NRT-outlets between the years of 2006-2015 was used as source data for this thesis. This data was analysed by comparing the number of NRToutlets and pharmacies in diverse municipalities. The municipalities have been classified regarding the area and population of diverse municipalities, among other parameters. The PDF sheet of FIMEA’s NRT-outlet data was converted into an Excel file, and using that as a basis different diagrams were made. The number of NRT-outlets grew steadily until during the year 2011 there was a slightly bigger increase in the number of NRT-outlets as NRT became available in restaurants too. Afterwards the growth of NRT-outlets diminished. It can be seen from the results that NRT-outlets, more than pharmacies, are concentrated to the crowded municipalities. On the other hand, there has hardly been an increase in the coverage of NRT-outlet network in more sparsely populated rural municipalities since deregulation took place. However, many of the municipalities that have a pharmacy and one or a few other NRT-outlets are located in Southern Finland surrounding bigger city municipalities or in Central Finland.
  • Peltonen, Anna (2018)
    Histamine acts as a neurotransmitter in the central and peripheral nervous system and it has a role in various body functions. Histamine neurons spread widely to most of the central nervous system where histamine has an important role in sleep-wake cycles, regulation of appetite, and motor functions. The effects of histamine are mediated mostly by H1-, H2- and H3-receptors in the central nervous system. The synthesis of histamine and the release of histamine from the presynaptic nerve endings are regulated by H3-receptor via negative feedback. H3-receptors are located also on the presynaptic cell membranes of other neurons where they regulate the release of other neurotransmitters. Several animal experiments have shown that H3-receptor-mediated mechanisms have been observed to have an important role in the regulation of the motor functions together with other neurotransmitter systems especially in the basal ganglia area. The histaminergic system is involved in the patophysiology of diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome and Huntington’s disease where motor performance is impaired. Functional, physiological and genetical changes in the histaminergic system have been observed in patients with these diseases. There are no clinically used histaminergic compounds for the treatment of these diseases, though recently in animal experiments the histaminergic compounds have proved to be promising. The aim of this Master’s thesis study was to examine the effects of histamine deficiency in the brain on the levodopainduced dyskinesias in histidine decarboxylase knock-out mice (HDC KO) (n=9) and wild-type mice (n=12) in a 6-OHDA mouse model of Parkinson’s disease. The mice were injected with a neurotoxic 6-OHDA solution (3 μg) into the right medial forebrain bundle to cause a unilateral dopaminergic lesion. The success of degeneration of dopaminergic neurons were measured by a rotating rod test and amphetamine-induced (2.5 mg/kg) and apomorphineinduced (0.5 mg/kg) rotameter tests. A daily treatment of levodopa and benserazide (4.5 mg/kg, 1.125 mg/kg) was initiated after the behavioural studies for 10 days. On the last day of the treatment the dyskinesias of the mice were filmed for one minute after 20, 40, 60, 80, 100 and 120 minutes after levodopa dose. After the filming, the mice were killed by decapitation and their middle brains were collected for immunohistochemical studies to measure the extent of the dopaminergic lesion. No statistically significant difference was observed between genotypes in levodopa-induced dyskinesias. In previous studies of our study group more severe levodopa-induced dyskinesias were observed in HDC KO mice when the dopaminergic lesion was caused in the striatum in the 6-OHDA mouse model. The degenerated brain area and thereby the extent of the lesion may have importance in observing the difference between levodopa-induced dyskinesias. In this Master’s thesis study the dopaminergic lesions were equally successful with both genotypes. Therefore differently successful lesions between the genotypes can not be the reason why the difference in genotypes in levodopa-induced dyskinesias was not observed. HDC KO mice were observed to have significantly increased ipsilateral rotational behaviour induced by amphetamine in amphetamine-induced rotametry. Previous studies have shown that HDC KO mice have increased dopamine release and high dopamine metabolite levels which might explain the increased rotational behaviour induced by amphetamine in this study. The observations of earlier studies and this Master’s thesis study verify the relation between histaminergic and dopaminergic systems in motor functions.
  • Herkkola, Hennariia (2018)
    The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is located in the ventral striatum and plays a critical role in drug addiction. NAc receives dopaminergic projections from ventral tegmental area (VTA) which is activated after administration of various abused drugs. Activation of VTA increases the release of dopamine in NAc. Increased dopamine levels induce the release of acetylcholine from striatal cholinergic interneurons. These cholinergic interneurons have been related to the development of addiction and other emotion-related disorders such as depression. Previous studies have shown that a lesion of cholinergic interneurons led to an increase in morphine-induced conditioned place preference in mice. Moreover, an activation of cholinergic interneurons by designer receptors (DREADD) has reduced food consumption motivated by food restriction. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether accumbal cholinergic interneurons mediate alcohol- and morphine-induced conditioned place preference and locomotor activity. The activation of cholinergic interneurons was controlled using DREADD (Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs) technology. DREADDs are G protein-coupled receptors. Cellular function and activation can be modulated by these receptors. DREADDs are activated by an otherwise inert synthetic ligand, clozapine-N-oxide (CNO). Fluorescent protein, mCherry, is attached to DREADDs so that the expression of receptors in brain tissue can be observed. Cre-spesific adeno-associated viruses (AAV) with DREADD gene were injected bilaterally to the nucleus accumbens of ChATcre mice in stereotactic surgery. The effects of alcohol and morphine were tested with conditioned place preference procedure. Mice were divided to three groups after DREADDs: activating receptor Gq (n = 10), inhibiting receptor Gi (n = 9) and control mC (n = 9). There were both male and female mice in every group. Alcohol did not induce conditioned place preference in any group. The locomotor activity of mice significantly increased after alcohol injection compared to saline injection. However, cholinergic interneurons had no effect on the increased locomotor activity. Morphine-induced conditioned place preference was expressed in every group but there were no significant differences between DREADDs and control group when the first 15 minutes and the whole 30 minutes of the place preference test was analysed. Though, Gq-receptor seemed to decrease the place preference compared to control group when the place preference test was observed in five minute intervals. Morphine also significantly increased the locomotor activity of mice, but there were no differences between the groups. Sex had no influence on the place preference, but female mice were more active than male mice during the alcohol conditioning and the alcohol place preference test. The locomotor activity of female mice also increased more than the activity of male mice after morphine injection. The effect of accumbal cholinergic interneurons on alcohol-induced conditioned place preference remained unclear. Activation of cholinergic interneurons suppressed morphine-induced conditioned place preference compared to control group but not enough so that the effect could be seen during the whole place preference test. The mice were same in the morphine test as in the alcohol test so the mice were conditioned to alcohol before morphine and therefore the results of morphine-induced conditioned place preference are not reliable.
  • Sarekoski, Jenna (2018)
    Most bacteria live as biofilms (99%), which is a population of cells attached to a natural or artificial surface and encased in self-produced exopolysaccharide matrix. The extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) in the matrix can vary greatly between species in chemical and physical properties, but primarily it consists of water, polysaccharides, proteins, nucleic acids and absorbed nutrients from the surrounding area. Biofilm formation appears to be a survival strategy of bacteria and the main purpose of the biofilm matrix is to protect the bacteria. In nature, biofilms have been found in variety of different environments, including humans. Bacterial biofilms demonstrate a decreased susceptibility to antimicrobial agents and several mechanisms have been proposed to be involved in this tolerance. One of the reasons why chronic infections develop is that the immune response fails to remove the biofilm. Most of the bacterial infections currently in developed countries are biofilm related and these infections are often recalcitrant and difficult to eradicate with available treatments. In addition to chronic infections, the treatment of acute infections is shadowed by increasing problems with highly resistant bacteria. The presence of dormant persisters in biofilms accounts for their tolerance to antimicrobials and likely are responsible for latent and chronic infections, such as tuberculosis. Persistence is not primarily an active mechanism of antibiotic tolerance, but a dormant state of the bacteria avoiding the mechanism of action of most antibiotics. Persisters form stochastically only in small numbers, and more relevant physiological explanation is related to the stress responses of the cells. Persisters are distinguish phenotypic variants of the normal population and it is not a heritable feature, as no mutations occur. The dormant, persistent state of the bacteria is largely responsible for the multidrug tolerance of recalcitrant infections. Biofilm cause various diseases in humans, as bacteria are able to attach to practically any surface, such as teeth, heart valves, lungs, middle ear, artificial prosthetics and instruments. Biofilms growing on prosthetic joints can cause also serious infections, which are painful for the patient with high risks for complications, expensive and laborious to replace. Biofilm infections are difficult to treat and a huge burden in the healthcare. Many acute infections can be cured with conventional antibiotic therapies, but this is not case with recalcitrant, chronic infections. B. cenocepacia belongs to the B. cepacia complex (Bcc) which consist of 20 closely related and phenotypically similar species. This species was chosen for this study because of its natural tolerance to antibiotics and ability to form biofilms easily. This species causes fatal lung infections in cystic fibrosis patients, and there is no treatment for it other than inadequate combination antibiotic treatment and lung transplant. In this thesis, a promising method was developed and validated for detecting anti-persister activity against B. cenocepacia. The assay is based on measuring the levels of ATP present in the cultures after treatment and it can be used quantify remaining persisters using B. cenocepacia biofilms. Utilizing the method validated, it was confirmed that mitomycin C is an effective anti-persister compound against highly tolerant B. cenocepacia biofilms even at low concentrations. Doxycycline was found to be ineffective against B. cenocepacia biofilms, although the bacteria are susceptible to it in planktonic form, and ciprofloxacin was proved to be effective at very high concentrations.
  • Elsilä, Lauri (2018)
    The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) is currently widely studied due to its impact in the anxiety-, stress-, and fearrelated behaviours, as well as in addiction. The BNST is highly heterogeneous brain area constituting of set of subnuclei and a variety of neuron populations, properties of which have only partially been revealed by the earlier research. One of the neuron populations, on which only a very little research has been conducted, is the somatostatin (Sst) expressing neurons, highly abundant in the anterodorsal part of the BNST (adBNST), especially in oval and juxtacapsular nuclei of the BNST. This work aims to elucidate the connectivity of this Sst-neuron population, and their role in the behaviours related to BNST activation, particularly the anxiety-, reward-, and drug withdrawal-related behaviours. To specifically study the somatostatin neuron population in the adBNST, I targeted the neurons using stereotaxic delivery of AAV-vectors encoding a myristylated green fluorescent protein (GFP) for neuronal tracing to Sst-Cre-tdTomato reporter line mice (n=2), and Cre-inducible hM3Dq-DREADDs to Sst-IRES-Cre mice (n=21), with Cre-inducible mCherry fluorescent protein as a control (n=20). The mice were treated with activation-inducing 1.0 mg/kg i.p. clozapine-N-oxide (CNO) 30 min prior to the behavioural tests. To assess acute anxiety-like behaviour, I used the elevated-plus maze paradigm and a modified open field test, in which a novel object is introduced to the arena in the middle of the trial. To study the potential effect on reward-associated behaviours, I used the biased conditioned place preference (CPP) test, and for the withdrawal-linked behaviours, we used a method to precipitate the withdrawal symptoms with naltrexone in subchronically morphine-treated mice (n=9 hM3Dq, n=8 control). The neuronal tracing revealed that the adBNST Sst-neurons project to areas known to partake in stress and fear reactions as well as in autonomic and homeostatic control. Namely, projections were seen in medial and central amygdaloidal nuclei, lateral hypothalamus, periaqueductal grey, ventral pallidum, and parabrachial nucleus. In the elevated-plus maze, the CNO-induced activation of the Sst-neurons did not have any effect on the locomotor activity of the mice between the groups. At the same time, Sst activation did not seem to have any significant effect on the time the mice spent in the open arms, nor in the exploratory activities, like the frequency of the head dips or the stretch-attend postures. In line with these results, no effect on the movement between the groups was observed in the open field test. Similarly, no differences in anxiety-related behaviours, like in the time spent in the centre of the arena or in the number of contacts with the novel object during the last phase of the test, were observed. The CPP test failed to show any meaningful rewarding or aversive properties of CNO-induced activation of the Sst-neurons, while the movement rates of the groups during the conditioning trials were not different in statistically significant way. As for the withdrawal symptoms, all the mice showed the predetermined symptoms, but the test failed to show any differences between the study groups. The neuronal tracing revealed connectivity for the adBNST Sst-neurons with brain regions involved in fear- and anxiety behaviour, social encounters, and autonomic control. In spite of this, the CNO-induced chemogenetic activation of the adBNST Sst-neurons failed to show any significant behavioural effects in the chosen paradigms for anxiety-, and reward-related behaviours, and for withdrawal symptoms. Further research is needed to dissect the Sst-subcircuitry of adBNST, both in order to verify the observed output regions, and to elucidate the role these neurons play in modification of behavioural phenotypes.
  • Huovila, Tiina (2017)
    Autophagy is a pathway for cells to degrade intracellular components that are no longer needed or are detrimental for the cells. It is essential for cell homeostasis and survival and has been related to various diseases and pathophysiology. Autophagy is a complex process and there are still several unclear und unknown aspects to it. Regulation of autophagy is essential to prevent unwanted and escess activation, and several pathways and molecules, both stimulatory and inhibitory, are included. Different signaling pathways are sensitive to a variety of environmental clues. Two main autophagy pathways are mTOR-dependent pathway and mTOR-independent pathway. Induction of autophagy in the latter pathway is dependent on the interaction of Bcl-2 and Beclin 1. Prolyl oligopeptidase (PREP) is a peptidase enzyme that has several substrates. PREP-inhibition by KYP-2047 can reduce aggregation of α-synuclein in two ways: by increasing rate of autophagy and by decreasing dimerization. The aim of this study was to find out how PREP affects the interaction between Bcl-2 and Beclin 1 and how this affects autophagy. Based on previous studies, PREP-inhibition seems to increase the amount of Beclin 1 and to affect the phosphorylation of Bcl-2 and Beclin 1, leading to dissociation of the complex. Hypothesis was to see differences in colocalization of Bcl-2 and Beclin 1 in cells treated with different PREP-modifications and for PREP-inhibition to decrease the colocalization. Human embryonic kidney cells 293 (HEK-293) and hPREP knockout cell line created from them by using CRISPR/Cas9-silencing were used in the experiments. Two experiments were performed on regular HEK-cells: inhibitor experiment with KYP-2047 (1 or 10 µM) and overexpression experiment (transfection with either active or inactive hPREP plasmid). After immunofluorescence staining, cells were analysed with confocal microscope and colocation analysis of Bcl-2 and Beclin 1 was performed. The intensity of Beclin 1 in the nuclei was stronger than in other parts of the cell in all samples, which could indicate a stronger activity of its nuclear tasks compared to autophagy. However, the antibody used for immunofluorescence has most likely caused this staining pattern. Based on previous knowledge, it was expected to see differences in colocalization of Bcl-2 and Beclin 1 in cells treated with different PREP-modifications. However, there were no significant differences in colocalization of Beclin 1 and Bcl-2 in any of the experiments but it was nearly 100 percent in all treatments. Since rate of autophagy in cells was not detected, it is impossible to determine, if there were changes in autophagy that were not reflected as changes in colocalization of these two proteins. It is possible that even a small change in colocalization can affect the rate of autophagy or there might be subpopulations where the interaction is interrupted and these changes are so small that they are not detectable with the methods used in this experiment. Both Bcl-2 and Beclin 1 also have functions not related to autophagy, which could be one reason behind the results gained in this study.
  • Kallio, Rosanna (2017)
    A large part of patient safety incidents in health care is related to medicines and medication treatment. Medication safety is an important part of patient safety. In particular, transitions of care endangers continuity of care and patient safety. A poor flow of information between health care units increases a risk of medication errors. An accurate and up-to-date medication list can improve transfer of correct medical information with the patient. In addition to the medication list other organization-level defences are important to patient and medication safety. This study is part of a larger regional development project concerning reformation of service delivery in health and social care. One of the purposes of the project is to integrate health and social services of municipalities in central Uusimaa (Hyvinkää, Mäntsälä, Pornainen, Järvenpää, Nurmijärvi and Tuusula). The aim of this study was to investigate what kinds of medication lists are available in these municipalities and to design a medication list maintained by the patient which is regionally shared. The second aim of the study was to identify defences used by the municipal healthcare systems and to develop a medication management process model for the municipalities. The material consisted of medication lists from the municipalities participating in the study. Twelve (12) lists were selected for analysis. The medication list of Lää was also included in the analysis (N=13). Data of the defences was collected by a questionnaire. In Hyvinkää the material was collected from primary health care and Hyvinkää hospital. Both the medication list and the defence data were systematically reviewed and collected in a Microsoft Excel table. The regional medication list for patients was developed based on the medication list data and the existing literature. The process model for medical treatment was developed based on the defence data. Almost every medication list contained space for personal data (n=11) and basic medication information, such as the name of the drug (n=12), strength (n=12) and dosage (n=13). Regular medication was usually separated from as-needed medication (n=8). Only two of the lists had a column for periodic medication. There were only two lists with columns for over-the-counter medicines and herbal products. Less than half of the lists (n=5) had space for indication. According to the survey, most of the defences listed in the questionnaire were used in all or almost all municipalities. According to the responses, medication lists, for example, are regularly reviewed. Some gaps in defences also emerged. Only in two municipalities high-alert medications were identified. Also only in two municipalities attention was paid to the storage of look-alike medicines. Written instructions for managing medication errors was available only in two municipalities. There are many different medication lists available in health care. A regionally shared medication list maintained by the patient can improve the transfer of the up-to-date medical information with the patient. The list must be comprehensive and easy to use. Both the patient and the healthcare professionals should be responsible for maintaining the accurate medication list. Most of the defences asked in the questionnaire have been taken into account in pharmacotherapy plans. In practice, however, the implementation of defences is unclear. For example patients' medication lists often contain errors even though lists should be reviewed regularly. There should be exact instructions as well as clearly defined roles and responsibilities for medication reconciliation. More attention should also be paid to the use of high-alert and look-alike medicines. Since errors occur despite the defenses, every health care unit should have written instructions in case of medication errors.
  • Somersalo, Petter (2017)
    Cells release different types of phospholipid bilayer-limited vesicles into the extracellular space. These are commonly referred to as extracellular vesicles (EVs). Exosomes (EXOs), ca 50-100 nm in diameter and microvesicles (MVs), ca 100-1000 nm in diameter, having different intracellular origin, are the two main subpopulations of EVs. EVs have been demonstrated to carry a range of proteins and nucleic acids subsequently delivered to recipient cells, making them attractive as drug delivery vehicles. Several mechanisms for the cellular uptake of EVs have been established. When a nanoparticle is introduced into blood plasma, plasma proteins are adsorbed to its surface, forming a protein corona. The formation of the corona is a dynamic process, governed by individual protein concentrations as well as their respective affinities for the surface. Proteins of the corona interact with surrounding cells, thus being able to influence the cellular uptake of the nanoparticle. In the current study, the uptake of PC-3-derived EVs into PC-3 cells was investigated. Moreover, the impact of a human blood plasma-derived protein corona on said uptake was assessed. EVs were isolated from collected PC-3 cell culture medium using differential centrifugation. Experiments were performed separately for MVs (20000xg EV-fraction) and EXOs (110000xg EVfraction). SDS-PAGE analysis revealed adsorption of plasma proteins to EVs, following their exposure to plasma. Prior to uptake experiments DiO-labelled EVs were either incubated or not incubated in plasma. Plasma incubation lasted overnight. PC-3 cells were then treated with either of the two EV-preparations. Following incubation, EV uptake was assessed using confocal microscopy by determining the percentage of positive fluorescent cells in cell cultures. Pre-study plasma incubation resulted in a reduced or unchanged uptake of MVs and in a reduced uptake of EXOs, when compared to their native counterparts. In conclusion, the plasma-derived protein corona was shown not to improve EV uptake. It is worth noting that the current study limits itself to the use of PC-3-derived EVs and PC-3 cells as recipient cells in uptake experiments.
  • Pihlaja, Tea (2017)
    Cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes are important catalysers in the first phase of drug metabolism. Roughly two thirds of drugs are oxidized via CYP enzymes, which enable the further modification of drugs, and their excretion. In this thesis, human liver microsomes containing the main hepatic CYP enzymes were immobilized on thiol-ene based micropillar arrays and their stability was evaluated using a CYP2C9 isoenzyme specific luminescent substrate, Luciferin-H. The aim of the study was to develop microfluidic immobilized enzyme reactors (IMERs) for studying enzyme kinetics and drug-drug interactions. For this purpose, the instability issues associated with previously reported CYP-IMERs were carefully addressed. The CYP immobilization protocol used was based on a protocol previously developed in the context of other research projects and relied on biotinylation of human liver microsomes (HLM) with help of fusogenic liposomes. The biotinylated HLMs were then attached to the streptavidin-modified thiol-ene surfaces. The CYP activity was determined by utilizing microfluidics under continuous flow conditions (typically 5 μL/min) in the presence of NADPH. The luminescent metabolite formed by the CYP2C9 enzymes was quantified with a commercial well-plate reader from fractions collected at the microreactor outlet. Half-life was used to compare the differences between enzyme stabilities reached via different immobilization conditions. The effects of flow rate and reaction temperature on the stability of the CYP-IMERs was evaluated together with addition of antioxidative agents and reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavengers. Different functionalization steps as well as storage time and conditions were studied. With Luciferin-H as the model substrate of CYP2C9, the CYP-IMERs showed higher activity and stability at room temperature than at +37 °C. The peak activity could be increased via optimization of the immobilization protocol, though long-term storage diminished the peak activity. The activity of the IMERs typically attenuated within 1-2 hours with little or no improvement achieved via optimization of the immobilization or operation conditions. Only upon addition of the ROS scavengers, the peak activity and stability of the CYP-IMERs could be slightly improved. After functionalization, the IMERs maintained their activity until the time of use when stored in +4 °C for up to 2 weeks, but re-use of IMERs was not possible.
  • Viljemaa, Kati (2017)
    The economic burden of adverse events (AEs) is substantial and in direct relation to current increasing drug utilisation. According to previous research, the annual cost of AEs in the U.S. may be as high as 22.9 billion euros. In Europe AEs are considered to contribute to 3.6 percent of hospital admissions, have an impact on 10 percent of inpatients during their hospital admission and are responsible for less than 0.5 percent of inpatient deaths. AEs thus clearly constitute a major clinical issue. Fluoroquinolones have been in clinical use since the 1980s and are globally among the most consumed antimicrobials. Fluoroquinolones are generally well tolerated antimicrobials. The most common AEs are mild and reversible, such as diarrhea, nausea and headaches. Nevertheless, fluoroquinolones are also associated with more serious AEs, including Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD), rate-corrected electrocardiographic prolonged QT interval, tendinitis and tendon rupture, dysglycemia, hepatic toxicity, phototoxicity, acute renal failure and serious AEs involving the central nervous system, such as seizures. Health service use and costs specifically associated with fluoroquinolone-related AEs have not been evaluated previously. The theory section of this Marter's thesis considers adverse events and fluoroquinolones. The main principles of conducting a systematic review are also discussed. The empirical section is a systematic review. The aim of this study is to identify health care use and costs associated with ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, norfloxacin and ofloxacin -related AEs. A literature search covering Medline, SCOPUS, Cinahl, Web of Science and Cochrane Library was performed in April 2017. Two independent reviewers systematically extracted the data and assessed the quality of the included studies. All costs were converted to 2016 euro in order to improve comparability. Of the 5,687 references found in the literature search, 19 observational studies, of which 5 were case-controlled, fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Hospitalization was an AE-related health care use outcome in 17 studies. Length of stay associated with AEs varied between <5 - 45 days. The estimated cost of an AE episode ranged between 140 and 18,252 €. CDAD was associated with the longest stays in hospital. However, a mere 10 studies reported AE-related length of stays and only 5 evaluated costs associated with AEs. Although rare, in particular serious fluoroquinolone-related AEs can have substantial economic implications, in addition to imposing potentially devastating health complications for patients. Further measures are required to prevent and reduce health service use and costs associated with fluoroquinolone-related AEs. Equally, better-quality reporting and additional published data on health service use and costs associated with AEs are essential. The strengths of this study are a comprehensive and systematic literature search and transparency of methodologies and reporting. The main weakness is the generalizability of the results.
  • Tilli, Irene (2017)
    Melanoma is the most severe case of skin cancer and there is no curative treatment if it has progressed. Despite the recent advances in drug therapy tens of thousands of patients die of melanoma annually. There is still need for new antimelanoma drugs for which marine compounds are a potential source. Halogens are common elements in drug molecules as they enhance their molecular properties. So far most of the halogenated drugs contain fluorine and/or chlorine but the role of bromine and iodine is probably growing in the future due to halogen bonding. Bromotyrosines are originally isolated from Verongiida-order sponges but whether they are truly of bacterial origin is under controversy. All bromotyrosine compounds consist of brominated tyrosine and/or tyramine residues or their derivatives. Purpurealidin I is one of the newest bromotyrosine derivatives extracted from Pseudoceratina purpurea and it has shown activity against melanoma. In this study eight new purpurealidin I derivatives were synthesized following a successful route previously designed. All synthesized derivatives contained the original N-oxime structure which's stereochemistry was determined to be E by X-ray crystallography. Cytotoxicity against A375 melanoma cells was determined for seven compounds synthesized here and for 15 compounds synthesized previously. All seven compounds and one previously synthesized purpurealidin I analog were active with CC50 values between 4,7 and 22,1 µM. The previously synthesized bromotyrosine derivative intermediates and aerophobin-1 analogs were not active. The selectivity of the active compounds was calculated by determining their CC50 value against Hs27 fibroblast cells. None of the compounds showed remarkable selectivity the most selective 2-pyridin containing derivative having four times better selectivity against melanoma. The tyrosine part and N-oxime seem to be important parts to preserve while the tyramine part can be modified more freely and maintain the activity. Still more derivatives need to be synthesized and tested to confirm these observations. More data is also needed considering the selectivity of the compounds.
  • Jakola, Janne (2017)
    The incidence of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is increasing with ageing. AMD leads to blindness if it is not treated properly. Common treatment is to administrate intravitreal growth factor inhibitors. An ageing population increases the number of patients which overloads the public health services and expands costs. Traditionally, injections have been administered by physicians but because of the limited recourses nurses have been trained to administer injections. In addition, injections can be administered as physician's clinical extra work to alleviate the queue and as an outsourcing service from the private sector. As the resources of the public health service are limited, it is important to evaluate used methods reliably. The target of this research was to investigate the administration costs of intravitreal injections which are administered by physicians, nurses, a physician or a nurse working extra to alleviate the queue or by a private sector. The used method was cost analysis because the effectiveness of the care is the same regardless of the administer of the injection. The source of costs was Ecomed database of HUS, the data of cost accounting and catalogue of billing from the outsourcing service. The costs were examined in perspective of the producer of the service. Based on the cost analysis, the administration costs per injection are following: administered by physicians 51,39 €, nurse-administered 51,19 €, administered by a physician to alleviate the queue 100,46 €, nurse-administered to alleviate the queue 72,87 €, administered by a physician in outsourcing service 276,19 and nurse-administered in outsourcing service 269,85 €. The annual total costs of the producer of the service were 4 563 726 €. By increasing the number of injections administered by a nurse of HUS the need for an outsourcing service can be decreased which may decrease the annual total costs by two million euro. It is important to find cost-effective solutions because the number of patients are increasing. Based on this research it is more profitable to increase the number of injections administered by a nurse of HUS than to train more nurses to administrate injections to alleviate the queue or to work in outsourcing services. The result of this research can be adapted in planning of the public health services.
  • Eteläinen, Tony (2017)
    lcohol addiction is a significant public health problem worldwide, and its treatment is extremely challenging. One major problem in the treatment of alcohol addiction are the later relapses to uncontrollable drinking. Approximately 60-70 % of addicts relapse to drinking within a year from the beginning of the treatment. The current treatment of alcohol addiction is based on a combined psychotheraphy and pharmacological treatments, but even at the best the efficacy remains quite modest. This is why further studies on the underlying mechanisms behind alcohol addiction and development of more effective pharmaceuticals to treat it are an important field of research. Chronic exposure to the rewarding effects of alcohol causes neurochemical adaptations in the brain reward system. These adaptations strive to restrain the recurring rewarding signals caused by alcohol and lead eventually to increased reward thresholds in the reward system. As the reward thresholds increase, the individual develops tolerance to the rewarding effects of alcohol, but also craving for the substance and a dysphoric mental state which are highlighted especially during periods of abstinence. It is known that the increase in reward thresholds is an important factor leading to relapses, but the exact nature of the neurochemical adaptations behind it are not known. According to recent studies dynorphin -peptides (DYN) and κ-opioid receptors (KOR) of the endogenous opioid system seem to have an important role in these neurochemical adaptations. It has been shown that chronic alcohol exposure increases the activity of DYN/ KOR -system especially within the nucleus accumbens (NAc), which is an essential structure of the brain reward system. The increased activity of the DYN/ KOR -system in the NAc has been shown to inhibit the development of rewarding signals. Previous studies have shown that inhibiting the increased activity of the DYN/ KOR -system with a selective KOR-antagonist, reduces voluntary alcohol intake and relapse-like alcohol seeking behavior during periods of abstinence, especially in physically addicted animals. In this study we studied the relapse-like alcohol drinking of Long-Evans rats in the alcohol deprivation effect (ADE) model. The effects of selective and long-acting KOR-antagonists, JDTic and nor-BNI, were tested on the ADE-effect which occurs after a period of deprivation. The ADE is defined as a transient increase in alcohol intake after a forced period of abstinence and it has been shown both in rodents with a history of alcohol consumption, and human alcohol addicts. In this study the rats were allowed to consume alcohol (10% ethanol-water solution) voluntarily during 90 minutes for 10 consecutive days after which followed a six days long deprivation period. According to results, both intra-accumbally (15 µg/ 0,3 µl/min/ site) or subcutaneously (10 mg/kg) administered JDTic decreased the ADEeffect significantly compared to vehicle, when administered 24 hours prior the end of the deprivation period. Also intra-accumbally administered nor-BNI (3 µg/0,3 µl/min/site) decreased the ADE-effect significantly compared to vehicle when administered 24 hour prior the end of deprivation. The results are in line with the theory that alcohol induces sensitization of the DYN/ KOR -system within the brain structures involved in reward. In theory it can be speculated that by suppressing the activity of the DYN/ KOR -system, KOR-antagonists can relieve craving for alcohol. This can be seen as a decrease in relapse-like consumption of alcohol. In conclusion, it can be suggested that by suppressing the increased activity of the DYN/ KOR -system induced by chronic alcohol exposure with a selective KOR-antagonist, like JDTic or nor-BNI, it could be possible to reduce the risk of relapse during abstinence and thus improve the efficacy of treatments for alcohol addiction.