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Internet Interv ; 35: 100720, 2024 Mar.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38328277


Background: Loneliness is a widespread phenomenon associated with a number of negative health outcomes. Older individuals may constitute one important target group with a need for effective interventions. However, despite evidence showing that addressing maladaptive social cognition (e.g., via cognitive behavioral therapy [CBT]) is the most effective intervention strategy for reducing loneliness, most existing programs aimed at older individuals do not use that method. Further, in terms of mental health service use, older individuals have been found to be an extremely undertreated population. When developing interventions, active involvement of end users in the development process is essential to increase later uptake. Objective: The aim of the present study was to develop an internet-based CBT intervention for loneliness in older individuals (i.e., aged ≥65 years) applying a user-centered design. The present report provides an in-depth description of the development process. Methods: Two phases of qualitative data collection were conducted in parallel with intervention development using a sample of N = 12 participants including both potential end users (i.e., older adults) as well as experts (i.e., psychotherapists). Measures included semi-structured interviews and usability testing. Results: In Phase 1 interviews, participants indicated that they were predominantly positive about the idea of an internet-based program for loneliness targeting older individuals. Individualization and interactivity were named as crucial features. In Phase 2, usability testing of a prototype program provided important insights into technical barriers to intervention use. Further, participants reported that they were missing content on philosophy/theology and the role of descendants/relatives. Valuable insights from Phase 1 and Phase 2 were incorporated into the intervention program resulting in a 7-module internet-based self-help CBT intervention. Discussion: Findings of this study highlight the significance of including relevant stakeholders in the development process of an intervention. Additionally, results emphasize the high acceptance of internet-based interventions in this population, but also underline the need for considering age-specific aspects when developing treatments.

PLoS Pathog ; 14(8): e1007246, 2018 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30142226


Chronic activation of the immune system in HIV infection is one of the strongest predictors of morbidity and mortality. As such, approaches that reduce immune activation have received considerable interest. Previously, we demonstrated that administration of a type I interferon receptor antagonist (IFN-1ant) during acute SIV infection of rhesus macaques results in increased virus replication and accelerated disease progression. Here, we administered a long half-life PASylated IFN-1ant to ART-treated and ART-naïve macaques during chronic SIV infection and measured expression of interferon stimulated genes (ISG) by RNA sequencing, plasma viremia, plasma cytokines, T cell activation and exhaustion as well as cell-associated virus in CD4 T cell subsets sorted from peripheral blood and lymph nodes. Our study shows that IFN-1ant administration in both ART-suppressed and ART-untreated chronically SIV-infected animals successfully results in reduction of IFN-I-mediated inflammation as defined by reduced expression of ISGs but had no effect on plasma levels of IL-1ß, IL-1ra, IL-6 and IL-8. Unlike in acute SIV infection, we observed no significant increase in plasma viremia up to 25 weeks after IFN-1ant administration or up to 15 weeks after ART interruption. Likewise, cell-associated virus measured by SIV gag DNA copies was similar between IFN-1ant and placebo groups. In addition, evaluation of T cell activation and exhaustion by surface expression of CD38, HLA-DR, Ki67, LAG-3, PD-1 and TIGIT, as well as transcriptome analysis showed no effect of IFN-I blockade. Thus, our data show that blocking IFN-I signaling during chronic SIV infection suppresses IFN-I-related inflammatory pathways without increasing virus replication, and thus may constitute a safe therapeutic intervention in chronic HIV infection.

Antirretrovirais/farmacologia , Inflamação/prevenção & controle , Interferon Tipo I/antagonistas & inibidores , Síndrome de Imunodeficiência Adquirida dos Símios , Linfócitos T/efeitos dos fármacos , Replicação Viral/efeitos dos fármacos , Animais , Antirretrovirais/uso terapêutico , Doença Crônica , Inflamação/imunologia , Inflamação/virologia , Interferon Tipo I/metabolismo , Ativação Linfocitária/efeitos dos fármacos , Macaca mulatta , Receptores de Interferon/antagonistas & inibidores , Transdução de Sinais/efeitos dos fármacos , Transdução de Sinais/imunologia , Síndrome de Imunodeficiência Adquirida dos Símios/tratamento farmacológico , Síndrome de Imunodeficiência Adquirida dos Símios/imunologia , Síndrome de Imunodeficiência Adquirida dos Símios/virologia , Vírus da Imunodeficiência Símia/efeitos dos fármacos , Vírus da Imunodeficiência Símia/imunologia , Vírus da Imunodeficiência Símia/fisiologia , Linfócitos T/imunologia
Blood ; 129(8): 970-980, 2017 02 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28028023


Eculizumab inhibits the terminal, lytic pathway of complement by blocking the activation of the complement protein C5 and shows remarkable clinical benefits in certain complement-mediated diseases. However, several reports suggest that activation of C5 is not always completely suppressed in patients even under excess of eculizumab over C5, indicating that residual C5 activity may derogate the drug's therapeutic benefit under certain conditions. By using eculizumab and the tick-derived C5 inhibitor coversin, we determined conditions ex vivo in which C5 inhibition is incomplete. The degree of such residual lytic activity depended on the strength of the complement activator and the resulting surface density of the complement activation product C3b, which autoamplifies via the alternative pathway (AP) amplification loop. We show that at high C3b densities required for binding and activation of C5, both inhibitors reduce but do not abolish this interaction. The decrease of C5 binding to C3b clusters in the presence of C5 inhibitors correlated with the levels of residual hemolysis. However, by employing different C5 inhibitors simultaneously, residual hemolytic activity could be abolished. The importance of AP-produced C3b clusters for C5 activation in the presence of eculizumab was corroborated by the finding that residual hemolysis after forceful activation of the classical pathway could be reduced by blocking the AP. By providing insights into C5 activation and inhibition, our study delivers the rationale for the clinically observed phenomenon of residual terminal pathway activity under eculizumab treatment with important implications for anti-C5 therapy in general.

Anticorpos Monoclonais Humanizados/farmacologia , Ativação do Complemento/efeitos dos fármacos , Complemento C5/antagonistas & inibidores , Anticorpos Monoclonais Humanizados/uso terapêutico , Complemento C3b/imunologia , Complemento C5/imunologia , Via Alternativa do Complemento/efeitos dos fármacos , Hemoglobinúria Paroxística/tratamento farmacológico , Hemoglobinúria Paroxística/imunologia , Hemólise/efeitos dos fármacos , Humanos
Bioconjug Chem ; 27(10): 2359-2371, 2016 10 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27598771


The Ornithodoros moubata Complement Inhibitor (OmCI) binds complement component 5 (C5) with high affinity and, thus, selectively prevents proteolytic activation of the terminal lytic complement pathway. A recombinant version of OmCI (also known as Coversin and rEV576) has proven efficacious in several animal models of complement-mediated diseases and successfully completed a phase Ia clinical trial. Coversin is a small 17 kDa lipocalin protein which has a very short plasma half-life if not bound to C5; therefore, the drug requires frequent dosing. We have improved the pharmacokinetics of Coversin by N-terminal translational conjugation with a 600 residue polypeptide composed of Pro, Ala, and Ser (PAS) residues. To this end, PAS-Coversin as well as the unmodified Coversin were functionally expressed in the cytoplasm of E. coli and purified to homogeneity. Both versions showed identical affinity to human C5, as determined by surface plasmon resonance measurements, and revealed similar complement inhibitory activity, as measured in ELISAs with human serum. In line with the PEG-like biophysical properties, PASylation dramatically prolonged the plasma half-life of uncomplexed Coversin by a factor ≥50 in mice. In a clinically relevant in vitro model of the complement-mediated disease paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) both versions of Coversin effectively reduced erythrocyte lysis. Unexpectedly, while the IC50 values were comparable, PAS-Coversin reached a substantially lower plateau of residual lysis at saturating inhibitor concentrations. Taken together, our data demonstrate two clinically relevant improvements of PASylated Coversin: markedly increased plasma half-life and considerably reduced background hemolysis of erythrocytes with PNH-induced phenotype.

Inativadores do Complemento/química , Inativadores do Complemento/farmacologia , Animais , Dicroísmo Circular , Complemento C5/antagonistas & inibidores , Inativadores do Complemento/farmacocinética , Eritrócitos/efeitos dos fármacos , Feminino , Hemoglobinúria Paroxística/tratamento farmacológico , Hemólise/efeitos dos fármacos , Humanos , Camundongos Endogâmicos BALB C , Camundongos Endogâmicos C57BL , Engenharia de Proteínas/métodos , Proteínas Recombinantes/química , Proteínas Recombinantes/genética , Proteínas Recombinantes/farmacologia , Ressonância de Plasmônio de Superfície
J Biol Chem ; 289(42): 29014-29, 2014 Oct 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25193661


IFNß is a common therapeutic option to treat multiple sclerosis. It is unique among the family of type I IFNs in that it binds to the interferon receptors with high affinity, conferring exceptional biological properties. We have previously reported the generation of an interferon superagonist (dubbed YNSα8) that is built on the backbone of a low affinity IFNα but modified to exhibit higher receptor affinity than even for IFNß. Here, YNSα8 was fused with a 600-residue hydrophilic, unstructured N-terminal polypeptide chain comprising proline, alanine, and serine (PAS) to prolong its plasma half-life via "PASylation." PAS-YNSα8 exhibited a 10-fold increased half-life in both pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic assays in a transgenic mouse model harboring the human receptors, notably without any detectable loss in biological potency or bioavailability. This long-lived superagonist conferred significantly improved protection from MOG35-55-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis compared with IFNß, despite being injected with a 4-fold less frequency and at an overall 16-fold lower dosage. These data were corroborated by FACS measurements showing a decrease of CD11b(+)/CD45(hi) myeloid lineage cells detectable in the CNS, as well as a decrease in IBA(+) cells in spinal cord sections determined by immunohistochemistry for PAS-YNSα8-treated animals. Importantly, PAS-YNSα8 did not induce antibodies upon repeated administration, and its biological efficacy remained unchanged after 21 days of treatment. A striking correlation between increased levels of CD274 (PD-L1) transcripts from spleen-derived CD4(+) cells and improved clinical response to autoimmune encephalomyelitis was observed, indicating that, at least in this mouse model of multiple sclerosis, CD274 may serve as a biomarker to predict the effectiveness of IFN therapy to treat this complex disease.

Encefalomielite Autoimune Experimental/tratamento farmacológico , Interferon Tipo I/agonistas , Interferon Tipo I/farmacologia , Peptídeos/química , Animais , Separação Celular , Encefalomielite Autoimune Experimental/metabolismo , Feminino , Citometria de Fluxo , Humanos , Interferon beta/farmacologia , Camundongos , Camundongos Endogâmicos C57BL , Camundongos Transgênicos , Esclerose Múltipla/tratamento farmacológico , Engenharia de Proteínas/métodos , Proteínas Recombinantes/química , Ressonância de Plasmônio de Superfície , Resultado do Tratamento