You do not have subscription access to articles in this section. Learn more about access.

  JoVE Biology

You do not have subscription access to articles in this section. Learn more about access.

  JoVE Neuroscience

You do not have subscription access to articles in this section. Learn more about access.

  JoVE Immunology and Infection

You do not have subscription access to articles in this section. Learn more about access.

  JoVE Clinical and Translational Medicine

You do not have subscription access to articles in this section. Learn more about access.

  JoVE Bioengineering

You do not have subscription access to articles in this section. Learn more about access.

  JoVE Applied Physics

You do not have subscription access to articles in this section. Learn more about access.

  JoVE Chemistry

You do not have subscription access to articles in this section. Learn more about access.

  JoVE Behavior

You do not have subscription access to articles in this section. Learn more about access.

  JoVE Environment


JoVE Science Education

General Laboratory Techniques

You do not have subscription access to videos in this collection. Learn more about access.

Basic Methods in Cellular and Molecular Biology

You do not have subscription access to videos in this collection. Learn more about access.

Model Organisms I

You do not have subscription access to videos in this collection. Learn more about access.

Model Organisms II

You have trial access to videos in this collection until May 31, 2014.

In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (199)

Articles by Arun Handa in JoVE

 JoVE Immunology and Infection

Quantitative Measurement of the Immune Response and Sleep in Drosophila

1Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

JoVE 4355

To understand a link between the immune response and behavior, we describe a method to measure locomotor behavior in Drosophila during bacterial infection as well as the ability of flies to mount an immune response by monitoring survival, bacterial load, and real-time activity of a key regulator of innate immunity, NFκB.

Other articles by Arun Handa on PubMed

Two-dimensional Gratings-based Phase-contrast Imaging Using a Conventional X-ray Tube

A Talbot-Lau interferometer using two-dimensional gratings and a conventional x-ray tube has been used to investigate a phase-contrast imaging technique that is sensitive to phase gradients in two orthogonal directions. Fourier analysis of Moiré fringe patterns was introduced to obtain differential phase images and scattering images from a single exposure. Two-dimensional structures of plastic phantoms and characteristic features of soft tissue were clearly obtained at 17.5 keV. The phase-stepping technique was also examined to investigate the spatial resolution of different phase retrieval methods. In the presented setup we found that the choice of phase retrieval method made little difference in image blur, and a large effective source size was found to give a high intensity in the image plane.

Postgraduate Fellowships: a Joint Clinical and Managerial Approach

Utility of Ultrasound-guided Fine-needle Aspiration in Splenic Lesions

Indications of fine-needle aspiration (FNA) of spleen have increased as more splenic lesions are detected because of advanced imaging techniques. A retrospective analysis of cytological material of 36 patients on whom ultrasound-guided splenic FNA was performed was done. No complications were noted. There were 16 inflammatory lesions, 12 neoplastic and 8 cases were reported as descriptive either because of scant cellularity, blood only, or normal splenic cytology. Inflammatory lesions included nine cases of acute abscess, five cases of tuberculosis, and one case each of leishmaniasis and infarct. Neoplastic lesions included two benign (benign cyst and inflammatory pseudotumor) and 10 malignant lesions. Among malignant lesions, eight were non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), one suspicious of NHL, and one desmoplastic small round cell tumor. FNA proved to be an effective procedure for reaching a microscopic tissue diagnosis and thus a splenectomy could be avoided in cases where it was not required. Diagn. Cytopathol. 2011;. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Clinical Results of a Surgical Technique Using Endobuttons for Complete Tendon Tear of Pectoralis Major Muscle: Report of Five Cases

We herein describe a surgical technique for the repair of complete tear of the pectoralis major (PM) tendon using endobuttons to strengthen initial fixation.

Engagement of Overexpressed Her2 with GEP100 Induces Autonomous Invasive Activities and Provides a Biomarker for Metastases of Lung Adenocarcinoma

Overexpression of Her2/ErbB2/Neu in cancer is often correlated with recurrent distant metastasis, although the mechanism still remains largely elusive. We have previously shown that EGFR, when tyrosine-phosphorylated, binds to GEP100/BRAG2 to activate Arf6, which induces cancer invasion and metastasis. We now show that overexpressed Her2 in lung adenocarcinoma cells also employs GEP100. Like EGFR-GEP100 binding, this association is primarily mediated by the pleckstrin homology (PH) domain of GEP100 and Tyr1139/Tyr1196 of Her2. Tyr1139/Tyr1196 are autonomously phosphorylated, when Her2 is overexpressed. Accordingly, invasive activities mediated by the Her2-GEP100 pathway are not dependent on external factors. Blocking Her2-GEP100 binding, as well as its signaling pathway all inhibit cancer invasive activities. Moreover, our clinical study indicates that co-overexpression of Her2 with GEP100 in primary lung adenocarcinomas of patients is correlated with the presence of their node-metastasis with a statistical significance. Since the GEP100 PH domain interacts with both Her2 and EGFR, targeting this domain may provide novel cancer therapeutics.

Long-term Remission of Ocular and Extraocular Manifestations in Behçet's Disease Using Infliximab

To investigate the long-term effect of infliximab on ocular and extraocular manifestations in patients with Behçet's disease.

Vasoactive Properties of Keratin-derived Compounds

Keratin proteins have been utilized as biomaterials for decades, and are currently under investigation for a variety of tissue regeneration and trauma applications. It has been suggested that certain keratins may have the capacity to act as a colloid in fluid resuscitation applications, providing viscosity and oncotic properties that may be beneficial during acute ischemic events. Oxidized keratin derivatives, also known as keratoses, show good blood and cardiovascular compatibility and thus are the subject of this study.

Complement Factor H Binds Malondialdehyde Epitopes and Protects from Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress and enhanced lipid peroxidation are linked to many chronic inflammatory diseases, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the leading cause of blindness in Western societies, but its aetiology remains largely unknown. Malondialdehyde (MDA) is a common lipid peroxidation product that accumulates in many pathophysiological processes, including AMD. Here we identify complement factor H (CFH) as a major MDA-binding protein that can block both the uptake of MDA-modified proteins by macrophages and MDA-induced proinflammatory effects in vivo in mice. The CFH polymorphism H402, which is strongly associated with AMD, markedly reduces the ability of CFH to bind MDA, indicating a causal link to disease aetiology. Our findings provide important mechanistic insights into innate immune responses to oxidative stress, which may be exploited in the prevention of and therapy for AMD and other chronic inflammatory diseases.

Rebamipide Promotes Healing of Colonic Ulceration Through Enhanced Epithelial Restitution

To investigate the efficacy of rebamipide in a rat model of colitis and restitution of intestinal epithelial cells in vitro.

Comparative Evaluation of Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology, Culture, and PCR in Diagnosis of Tuberculous Lymphadenitis

In developing countries, where tuberculosis (TB) is still rampant, tuberculous lymphadenopathy (TB LAP) is one of the most common causes of LAP. Rapid diagnosis and adequate treatment are very important. As a primary diagnostic tool, fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) has provided an efficient alternative to excision. Cytologic diagnosis can be made with cytomorphologic features of well-formed epithelioid granulomas and the presence of caseous necrosis. However, bacteriological confirmation is essential because of the presence of various granulomatous inflammation. This study was performed to evaluate and compare the role of FNAC, mycobacterial culture, and PCR in diagnosing tuberculous lymphadenitis. FNA material was collected from 50 patients and was subjected to analysis by cytomorphology, ZN stain, M. tuberculosis culture, and PCR. Out of 50 cases, 36 cases showed cytological features consistent with TB. The most common cytomorphological pattern was epithelioid cell granulomas along with necrosis seen in 17 cases (34%), followed by necrosis only in 13 cases(26%). TBLAP was correctly diagnosed by acid-fast bacilli (AFB) smear in 26 cases, by culture in 30 cases and by PCR in 30 cases. Overall sensitivity of AFB smear was 76.47% and that of culture as well as PCR was 88.23%. In conclusion, presence of granulomas and caseation necrosis are highly suggestive of tubercular etiology, especially in scenario of developing countries where incidence of TB is high. Cytomorphology can be supplemented with AFB smear and culture wherever required and PCR should be kept as a reserve method for equivocal cases.

Crystal Structures of the Armadillo Repeat Domain of Adenomatous Polyposis Coli and Its Complex with the Tyrosine-rich Domain of Sam68

Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) is a tumor suppressor protein commonly mutated in colorectal tumors. APC plays important roles in Wnt signaling and other cellular processes. Here, we present the crystal structure of the armadillo repeat (Arm) domain of APC, which facilitates the binding of APC to various proteins. APC-Arm forms a superhelix with a positively charged groove. We also determined the structure of the complex of APC-Arm with the tyrosine-rich (YY) domain of the Src-associated in mitosis, 68 kDa protein (Sam68), which regulates TCF-1 alternative splicing. Sam68-YY forms numerous interactions with the residues on the groove and is thereby fixed in a bent conformation. We assessed the effects of mutations and phosphorylation on complex formation between APC-Arm and Sam68-YY. Structural comparisons revealed different modes of ligand recognition between the Arm domains of APC and other Arm-containing proteins.

Erythroid Crisis Caused by Parvovirus B19 Transmitted Via Red Blood Cell Transfusion

A 41-year-old man with hairy cell leukemia developed erythroid crisis after the transfusion of red cell concentrate. He was diagnosed with Parvovirus B19 infection based upon the presence of B19-specific IgM antibody and viral DNA in the sera. The repository sample from the corresponding red cell concentrate was negative for B19 antigen by red cell hemo-agglutination method, but was found to contain B19 virus DNA. Furthermore, a genomic PCR direct sequencing showed that B19 in both patient's sera and repository sample were identical. This is the first report directly demonstrating the transmission of B19 through B19 antigen-negative red cell concentrate transfusion. Further accumulation of the cases is warranted to estimate its incidence and to reconsider the screening methods of blood products.

Unified Detection and Tracking in Retinal Microsurgery

Traditionally, tool tracking involves two subtasks: (i) detecting the tool in the initial image in which it appears, and (ii) predicting and refining the configuration of the detected tool in subsequent images. With retinal microsurgery in mind, we propose a unified tool detection and tracking framework, removing the need for two separate systems. The basis of our approach is to treat both detection and tracking as a sequential entropy minimization problem, where the goal is to determine the parameters describing a surgical tool in each frame. The resulting framework is capable of both detecting and tracking in situations where the tool enters and leaves the field of view regularly. We demonstrate the benefits of this method in the context of retinal tool tracking. Through extensive experimentation on a phantom eye, we show that this method provides efficient and robust tool tracking and detection.

Involvement of O-glycosylation Defining Oncofetal Fibronectin in Epithelial-mesenchymal Transition Process

The process termed "epithelial-mesenchymal transition" (EMT) was originally discovered in ontogenic development, and has been shown to be one of the key steps in tumor cell progression and metastasis. Recently, we showed that the expression of some glycosphingolipids (GSLs) is down-regulated during EMT in human and mouse cell lines. Here, we demonstrate the involvement of GalNAc-type (or mucin-type) O-glycosylation in EMT process, induced with transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) in human prostate epithelial cell lines. We found that: (i) TGF-β treatment caused up-regulation of oncofetal fibronectin (onfFN), which is defined by mAb FDC6, and expressed in cancer or fetal cells/tissues, but not in normal adult cells/tissues. The reactivity of mAb FDC6 requires the addition of an O-glycan at a specific threonine, inside the type III homology connective segment (IIICS) domain of FN. (ii) This change is associated with typical EMT characteristics; i.e., change from epithelial to fibroblastic morphology, enhanced cell motility, decreased expression of a typical epithelial cell marker, E-cadherin, and enhanced expression of mesenchymal markers. (iii) TGF-β treatment up-regulated mRNA level of FN containing the IIICS domain and GalNAc-T activity for the IIICS domain peptide substrate containing the FDC6 onfFN epitope. (iv) Knockdown of GalNAc-T6 and T3 inhibited TGF-β-induced up-regulation of onfFN and EMT process. (v) Involvement of GSLs was not detectable with the EMT process in these cell lines. These findings indicate the important functional role of expression of onfFN, defined by site-specific O-glycosylation at IIICS domain, in the EMT process.

Dexamethasone Induces Apoptosis in the Developing Rat Amygdala in an Age-, Region-, and Sex-specific Manner

Exposure to glucocorticoids (GCs) in early development can lead to long-term changes in brain function and behavior, although little is known about the underlying neural mechanisms. Perinatal exposure to GCs alters adult anxiety and neuroendocrine responses to stress. Therefore, we investigated the effects of either late gestational or neonatal exposure to the GC receptor agonist dexamethasone (DEX), on apoptosis within the amygdala, a region critical for emotional regulation. DEX was administered to timed-pregnant rat dams from gestational day 18 until parturition, or postnatal day 4-6. Offspring were sacrificed the day following the last DEX treatment, and tissue was processed for immunohistochemical detection of cleaved caspase-3, a marker for apoptotic cells. Prenatal DEX treatment significantly increased the number of cleaved caspase-3-positive cells in the amygdala of both sexes, largely due to increases within the medial and basomedial subregions. Postnatal DEX treatment also increased cleaved caspase-3 immunoreactivity within the amygdala, although effects reached significance only in the central nucleus of females. Overall, DEX induction of cleaved caspase-3 in the amygdala was greater following prenatal compared with postnatal treatment, yet in both instances, elevations in cleaved caspase-3 correlated with an increase in pro-apoptotic Bax mRNA expression. Dual-label immunohistochemistry of cleaved caspase-3 and the neuronal marker NeuN confirmed that virtually all cleaved caspase-3-positive cells in the amygdala were neurons, and a subset of these cells (primarily following postnatal treatment) expressed a GABAergic calcium-binding protein phenotype (calbindin or calretinin). Together these results indicate that early developmental GC exposure induces neuronal apoptosis within the amygdala in an age-, sex-, and region-dependent manner.

Daikenchuto, a Kampo Medicine, Regulates Intestinal Fibrosis Associated with Decreasing Expression of Heat Shock Protein 47 and Collagen Content in a Rat Colitis Model

Heat shock protein (HSP) 47 may play an important role in the pathogenesis of intestinal fibrosis. Daikenchuto (DKT), a traditional Japanese herbal (Kampo) medicine, has been reported to ameliorate intestinal inflammation. The aims of this study were to determine time-course profiles of several parameters of fibrosis in a rat model, to confirm the HSP47-expressing cells in the colon, and finally to evaluate DKT's effects on intestinal fibrosis. Colitis was induced in male Wistar rats weighing 200 g using an enema of trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS). HSP47 localization was determined by immunohistochemistry. Colonic inflammation and fibrosis were assessed by macroscopic, histological, morphometric, and immunohistochemical analyses. Colonic mRNA expression of transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1), HSP47, and collagen type I were assessed by real time-polymerase chain reaction (PCR). DKT was administered orally once a day from 8 to 14 d after TNBS administration. The colon was removed on the 15th day. HSP47 immunoreactivity was coexpressed with α-smooth muscle actin-positive cells located in the subepithelial space. Intracolonic administration of TNBS resulted in grossly visible ulcers. Colonic inflammation persisted for 6 weeks, and fibrosis persisted for 4 weeks after cessation of TNBS treatment. The expression levels of mRNA and proteins for TGF-β1, HSP47, and collagen I were elevated in colonic mucosa treated with TNBS. These fibrosis markers indicated that DKT treatment significantly inhibited TNBS-induced fibrosis. These findings suggest that DKT reduces intestinal fibrosis associated with decreasing expression of HSP47 and collagen content in the intestine.

Differences in the JAK2 and MPL Mutation Status in the Cell Lineages of the Bcr/abl-negative Chronic Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Subtypes

While the somatic mutation of Janus Kinase 2 (JAK2) and the thrombopoietin receptor (c-MPL) gene are thought to affect the pathogenesis of bcr/abl negative chronic myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN), the relationship between the mutation and the clinical features remain obscure.


A CD40 Single-nucleotide Polymorphism Affects the Lymphocyte Profiles in the Bronchoalveolar Lavage of Japanese Patients with Sarcoidosis

CD40 plays a critical role in adaptive immunity, and alveolar macrophages in patients with sarcoidosis express higher levels of CD40. This study investigated the association of rs1883832, a functional single-nucleotide polymorphism in the CD40 gene with susceptibility to sarcoidosis and phenotypes of sarcoidosis. Genotyping of rs1883832 in 175 Japanese patients with sarcoidosis and 150 age- and sex-matched controls revealed no significant difference between the genotypes of the patient and control groups (CC/CT/TT, 32.8/52.0/14.7% in the patients; 37.3/48.0/14.7% in the controls, P = 0.66; allele C, 59.1% in the patients, 61.3% in the controls, P = 0.57). T-cell and CD4+ cell counts in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid were significantly higher in the TT genotype group than in the CC and CT genotype group.

Assessment of Individual Radionuclide Distributions from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Covering Central-east Japan

A tremendous amount of radioactivity was discharged because of the damage to cooling systems of nuclear reactors in the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011. Fukushima and its adjacent prefectures were contaminated with fission products from the accident. Here, we show a geographical distribution of radioactive iodine, tellurium, and cesium in the surface soils of central-east Japan as determined by gamma-ray spectrometry. Especially in Fukushima prefecture, contaminated area spreads around Iitate and Naka-Dori for all the radionuclides we measured. Distributions of the radionuclides were affected by the physical state of each nuclide as well as geographical features. Considering meteorological conditions, it is concluded that the radioactive material transported on March 15 was the major contributor to contamination in Fukushima prefecture, whereas the radioactive material transported on March 21 was the major source in Ibaraki, Tochigi, Saitama, and Chiba prefectures and in Tokyo.

Emerging Treatments for Choroidal Metastases

It has been over a century since Perls described the first case of choroidal metastasis. For the next six decades only 230 cases were described in the literature. Today, however, ocular metastasis is recognized as the most common intraocular malignancy. Thanks to recent advances in treatment options for metastatic disease, patients are living longer, and choroidal metastases will become an increasingly important issue for oncologists and ophthalmologists alike. We summarize the current knowledge of choroidal metastases and examine their emerging systemic and local therapies. Targeted therapies for metastatic lung, breast, and colon cancer--the most common causes of choroidal metastases--are reviewed in detail with the goal of identifying the most effective treatment strategies.

Heat Shock Protein 70-dependent Protective Effect of Polaprezinc on Acetylsalicylic Acid-induced Apoptosis of Rat Intestinal Epithelial Cells

Protection of the small intestine from mucosal injury induced by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including acetylsalicylic acid is a critical issue in the field of gastroenterology. Polaprezinc an anti-ulcer drug, consisting of zinc and L-carnosine, provides gastric mucosal protection against various irritants. In this study, we investigated the protective effect of polaprezinc on acetylsalicylic acid-induced apoptosis of the RIE1 rat intestinal epithelial cell line. Confluent rat intestinal epithelial cells were incubated with 70 µM polaprezinc for 24 h, and then stimulated with or without 15 mM acetylsalicylic acid for a further 15 h. Subsequent cellular viability was quantified by fluorometric assay based on cell lysis and staining. Acetylsalicylic acid-induced cell death was also qualified by fluorescent microscopy of Hoechst33342 and propidium iodide. Heat shock proteins 70 protein expression after adding polaprezinc or acetylsalicylic acid was assessed by western blotting. To investigate the role of Heat shock protein 70, Heat shock protein 70-specific small interfering RNA was applied. Cell viability was quantified by fluorometric assay based on cell lysis and staining and apoptosis was analyzed by fluorescence-activated cell sorting. We found that acetylsalicylic acid significantly induced apoptosis of rat intestinal epithelial cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Polaprezinc significantly suppressed acetylsalicylic acid-induced apoptosis of rat intestinal epithelial cells at its late phase. At the same time, polaprezinc increased Heat shock protein 70 expressions of rat intestinal epithelial cells in a time-dependent manner. However, in Heat shock protein 70-silenced rat intestinal epithelial cells, polaprezinc could not suppress acetylsalicylic acid -induced apoptosis at its late phase. We conclude that polaprezinc-increased Heat shock protein 70 expression might be an important mechanism by which polaprezinc suppresses acetylsalicylic acid-induced small intestinal apoptosis, a hallmark of acetylsalicylic acid-induced enteropathy.

Long-term Follow-up of EBV-positive Lymphoproliferative Disorders in a Patient with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

We report a woman in her early thirties with a long-term history of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and prednisolone administration, who progressed to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-positive lymphoproliferative disorder (LPD). Treatment for SLE consisted of 1 mg/kg/ day prednisolone followed by 5 mg/day of maintenance therapy. Lymph node biopsies were performed when the patient was in her early thirties, mid-forties, and late fifties. Histologically, the initial lymph node lesion was characterized by numerous enlarged, coalescing lymphoid follicles. The second biopsy showed effacement of the follicles and expansion of the paracortical area. A polymorphous population of small- to medium-sized lymphocytes, plasma cells, and immunoblasts had diffusely infiltrated the paracortical area. In the third lymph node biopsy, fibrous collagen bands divided the epithelioid cell granulomas into nodules. There were numerous Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg cells in the epithelioid cell granuloma. In situ hybridization demonstrated there were no EBV-infected lymphocytes in the first biopsy; however, EBER(+) cells were detected in the second and third biopsy specimens. The current findings illustrate the natural progression in a patient with a long-term history of EBV(+) B-cell LPD in which the immunodeficiency was caused by SLE and probably her aging, which together resulted in histological change.

[A Case of Slowly Progressive Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus Developing Myeloperoxidase-specific Anti-neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody-associated Vasculitis with Hypertrophic Pachymeningitis Manifesting As Multiple Cranial Nerve Palsy]

We report a 63-year-old man with a 35-year history of slowly progressive type 1 diabetes mellitus (SPIDDM), complicated with myeloperoxidase-specific anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (MPO-ANCA)-associated vasculitis presenting alveolar hemorrhage and pachymeningitis. The patient was first diagnosed as having DM at age of 28 years old and deteriorated secretion of insulin and the typical clinical course led us to the diagnosis of SPIDDM. When he was 58 years old, he suffered from fever, headache, and alveolar hemorrhage. He was diagnosed as having MPO-ANCA associated vasculitis based on a high titer of MPO-ANCA and histological findings of lung biopsy. Treatment with steroid pulse therapy, followed by oral prednisolone and oral cyclophosohamide, resulted in clinical improvement. Five years later, he complained of double vision. A gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study of the brain showed normal. Two months later, he developed right cranial nerve V~XII palsy. A second MRI study revealed thickening of the right temporal region and cerebellar dura mater, leading us to the diagnosis of hypertrophic pachymeningitis. He responded well to oral prednisolone (50 mg/day) and intravenous cyclophosohamide (500 mg). This is the first case report of SPIDDM complicated with MPO-ANCA-associated vasculitis, manifesting as alveolar hemorrhage and hypertrophic pachymeningitis.

Use of Clinical Disease Activity Index Score for Assessment of Disease Activity in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients: an Indian Experience

Introduction. Serial objective assessment of disease activity in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is imperative to achieve remission. The CDAI score appears more practical than DAS-28 in routine assessment of disease activity in RA patients. Objective. To evaluate correlation and agreement of the DAS-28 with CDAI in RA patients. Methods. A total of 200 patients of RA were evaluated by DAS-28 and CDAI and divided into 4 categories of disease activity i.e. Group-I: Remission (DAS-28 < 2.6; CDAI < 2.8), Group II: Low disease activity (DAS-28 = 2.6-3.2; CDAI = 2.8-10), Group III: Moderate disease activity (DAS-28 = 3.2- 5.1; CDAI = 10-22), Group IV: High disease activity (DAS-28 > 5.1; CDAI > 22). DAS-28 was compared to CDAI in each group using spearman correlation coefficient and kappa statistics. Results. Group I shows mean DAS-28 of 1.99 ± 0.38; mean CDAI of 0.90 ± 0.65, (P = 0.0001). Group II shows mean DAS-28 of 3.04 ± 0.17; mean CDAI of 6.45 ± 02.35, (P = 0.0001). Group III shows mean DAS-28 of 4.25 ± 0.58; mean CDAI of 16.46 ± 3.31 (P < 0.0001). Group IV shows mean DAS-28 of 6.38 ± 0.87; mean CDAI of 38.56 ± 11.88 (P < 0.0001). Kappa statistics (κ) of the above comparison was 0.533. Conclusion. Our findings indicate that CDAI-a composite score that employs only clinical variables and omits assessment of Acute Phase Reactant (APR), has moderate to good correlation (Kappa value = 0.533) to DAS-28 for assessment of disease activity in RA patients.

Dementia with Lewy Bodies: Diagnosis and Management for Primary Care Providers

Objective: The purpose of this review is to aid primary care providers in distinguishing dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) from Alzheimer's disease and from Parkinson's disease with dementia. Differentiating these entities has important treatment implications.Data Sources: A PubMed search was undertaken using the keywords Lewy body dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, and Lewy body disease. There were no date restrictions. Only articles in the English language were reviewed. References of selected articles were reviewed for additional sources.Data Selection and Extraction: Initially, 2,967 articles were retrieved. All 3 authors participated in data selection and extraction. Articles were further selected for content specific to epidemiology, clinical presentation, diagnostic studies, treatment, and prognosis. For articles with repetitive information, the most current article was used. This resulted in a total of 62 articles included in the review.Data Synthesis: Dementia with Lewy bodies is the second leading cause of dementia after Alzheimer's disease. The core symptoms of DLB, including cognitive fluctuations, visual hallucinations, and parkinsonism, may not always be present as a triad, and clinicians may be unaware of associated symptoms. Thus, this diagnosis is frequently missed by primary care providers. Often, DLB is misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, or a primary psychiatric illness. Treatments for DLB include cholinesterase inhibitors and N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonists. Antipsychotics should be avoided or used with caution.Conclusions: Dementia with Lewy bodies is an often missed diagnosis. Symptoms are often attributed to other disorders. A high clinical suspicion is helpful in accurate diagnosis, and presence of any of the core symptoms should initiate clinical suspicion of DLB. Distinguishing DLB from other disorders has important treatment implications.

Airborne Contact Dermatitis - Current Perspectives in Etiopathogenesis and Management

The increasing recognition of occupational origin of airborne contact dermatitis has brought the focus on the variety of irritants, which can present with this typical morphological picture. At the same time, airborne allergic contact dermatitis secondary to plant antigens, especially to Compositae family, continues to be rampant in many parts of the world, especially in the Indian subcontinent. The recognition of the contactant may be difficult to ascertain and the treatment may be even more difficult. The present review focuses on the epidemiological, clinical and therapeutic issues in airborne contact dermatitis.

Repeat Intradetrusor Injections of Onabotulinum Toxin a for Refractory Idiopathic Overactive Bladder Patients: a Single-center Experience

: The objective of the study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of repeat intradetrusor onabotulinum toxin A injection in patients with idiopathic overactive bladder refractory to anticholinergic medications. Furthermore, 2 doses, 100 and 150 U, were compared.

Overexpression of the Pathogen-inducible Wheat TaWRKY45 Gene Confers Disease Resistance to Multiple Fungi in Transgenic Wheat Plants

Recently we cloned and characterized the gene for the wheat transcription factor TaWRKY45 and showed that TaWRKY45 was upregulated in response to benzothiadiazole (BTH) and Fusarium head blight (FHB) and that its overexpression conferred enhanced resistance against F. graminearum. To characterize the functional role of TaWRKY45 in the disease resistance of wheat, in the present study we conducted expression analyses of TaWRKY45 with inoculations of powdery mildew and leaf rust and evaluated TaWRKY45-overexpressing wheat plants for resistance to these diseases. TaWRKY45 was upregulated in response to infections with Blumeria graminis, a causal fungus for powdery mildew, and Puccinia triticina, a causal fungus for leaf rust. Constitutive overexpression of the TaWRKY45 transgene conferred enhanced resistance against these two fungi on transgenic wheat plants grown under greenhouse conditions. However, the expression of two resistance-related genes, Pm3 and Lr34, was not induced by the inoculation with powdery mildew in TaWRKY45-overexpressing wheat plants. These results suggest that TaWRKY45 is involved in the defense responses for multiple fungal diseases in wheat but that resistance involving TaWRKY45 differs from at least Pm3 and/or Lr34-related resistance. Our present and previous studies indicate that TaWRKY45 may be potentially utilized to improve a wide range of disease resistance in wheat.

A Significant Relationship Between Plasma Vitamin C Concentration and Physical Performance Among Japanese Elderly Women

Maintenance of physical performance could improve the quality of life in old age. Recent studies suggested a beneficial relationship between antioxidant vitamin (eg, vitamin C) intake and physical performance in elderly people. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between plasma vitamin C concentration and physical performance among Japanese community-dwelling elderly women.

Plasma Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulphate and Insulin-like Growth Factor I Levels in Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome

We aimed to assess whether obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS) affects plasma IGF-1 and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEA-S) levels in men, factors implicated in the development of age-related metabolic disorders.

Relationship Between Circulating Cytokine Levels and Physical or Psychological Functioning in Patients with Advanced Cancer

To investigate the relation between functional impairments of cancer patients and circulating cytokines using a multiplex technique.

Glycation-altered Proteolysis As a Pathobiologic Mechanism That Links Dietary Glycemic Index, Aging, and Age-related Disease (in Nondiabetics)

Epidemiologic studies indicate that the risks for major age-related debilities including coronary heart disease, diabetes, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are diminished in people who consume lower glycemic index (GI) diets, but lack of a unifying physiobiochemical mechanism that explains the salutary effect is a barrier to implementing dietary practices that capture the benefits of consuming lower GI diets. We established a simple murine model of age-related retinal lesions that precede AMD (hereafter called AMD-like lesions). We found that consuming a higher GI diet promotes these AMD-like lesions. However, mice that consumed the lower vs. higher GI diet had significantly reduced frequency (P < 0.02) and severity (P < 0.05) of hallmark age-related retinal lesions such as basal deposits. Consuming higher GI diets was associated with > 3 fold higher accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in retina, lens, liver, and brain in the age-matched mice, suggesting that higher GI diets induce systemic glycative stress that is etiologic for lesions. Data from live cell and cell-free systems show that the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) and lysosome/autophagy pathway [lysosomal proteolytic system (LPS)] are involved in the degradation of AGEs. Glycatively modified substrates were degraded significantly slower than unmodified substrates by the UPS. Compounding the detriments of glycative stress, AGE modification of ubiquitin and ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes impaired UPS activities. Furthermore, ubiquitin conjugates and AGEs accumulate and are found in lysosomes when cells are glycatively stressed or the UPS or LPS/autophagy are inhibited, indicating that the UPS and LPS interact with one another to degrade AGEs. Together, these data explain why AGEs accumulate as glycative stress increases.

Novel Multimodality Imaging and Physiologic Assessments Clarify Choke-point Physiology and Airway Wall Structure in Expiratory Central Airway Collapse

Choke points and airway wall structure in expiratory central airway collapse are poorly defined. Computed tomography, white light bronchoscopy, endobronchial ultrasound, vibration response imaging, spirometry, impulse oscillometry, negative expiratory pressure, and intraluminal catheter airway pressure measurements were used in a patient with cough, dyspnea, and recurrent pulmonary infections. Computed tomography and white light bronchoscopy identified dynamic collapse of the trachea and mainstem bronchi, consistent with severe crescent tracheobronchomalacia. Spirometry showed severe obstruction. Endobronchial ultrasound revealed collapse of the airway cartilage, and vibration response imaging revealed fluttering at both lung zones. Impulse oscillometry and negative expiratory pressure suggested tidal expiratory flow limitation in the intrathoracic airways. Intraluminal catheter airway pressure measurements identified the choke point in the lower trachea. After Y-stent insertion, the choke point migrated distally. Imaging studies revealed improved airway dynamics, airway patency, and ventilatory function. Novel imaging and physiologic assessments could be used to localize choke points and airway wall structure in tracheobronchomalacia.

The Differential Expression of HvCO9, a Member of the CONSTANS-like Gene Family, Contributes to the Control of Flowering Under Short-day Conditions in Barley

HvCO9 was characterized to elucidate the barley flowering control mechanisms and to investigate the functional diversification of the barley CONSTANS-like (CO-like) genes in flowering. HvCO9 was located on the same chromosome, 1HL, as Ppd-H2 (HvFT3), which is a positive regulator of short-day (SD) flowering. A phylogenetic analysis showed that HvCO9 was located on the same branch of the CO-like gene tree as rice Ghd7 and the barley and wheat VRN2 genes, which are all negative regulators of flowering. High level HvCO9 expressions were observed under SD conditions, whereas its expression levels were quite low under long-day (LD) conditions. HvCO9 expression correlated with HvFT1 and HvFT2 expression under SD conditions, although no clear effect of HvCO9 on HvFT3 expression, or vice versa, under SD conditions was observed. The over-expression of HvCO9 in rice plants produced a remarkable delay in flowering. In transgenic rice, the expression levels of the flowering-related Ehd1 gene, which is a target gene of Ghd7, and its downstream genes were suppressed, causing a delay in flowering. These results suggest that HvCO9 may act as a negative regulator of flowering under non-inductive SD conditions in barley; this activity is similar to that of rice Ghd7 under non-inductive LD conditions, but the functional targets of these genes may be different. Our results indicate that barley has developed its own pathways to control flowering by using homologous genes with modifications for the timing of expression. Further, it is hypothesized that each pathway may target different genes after gene duplication or species diversification.

Gluconacetobacter Tumulicola Sp. Nov. and Gluconacetobacter Asukensis Sp. Nov., Isolated from the Stone Chamber Interior of the Kitora Tumulus

Six Gram-negative, rod-shaped, non-spore-forming bacterial strains were isolated from small holes on plaster walls of the stone chamber interior of the Kitora Tumulus in Asuka village, Nara Prefecture, Japan. These were investigated by means of a polyphasic approach. All the isolates were strictly aerobic and motile by peritrichous flagella. Phylogenetic trees generated based on 16S rRNA gene sequences identified two novel lineages (comprising five isolates and one isolate, respectively) within the genus Gluconacetobacter. The isolates were characterized by having Q-10 as the major ubiquinone system and C(18:1)ω7c (58.7-63.1% of the total) as the predominant fatty acid. DNA-DNA hybridization experiments endorsed the species rank for the two lineages, for which the names Gluconacetobacter tumulicola sp. nov. (type strain K5929-2-1b(T) = JCM 17774(T) = NCIMB 14760(T)) and Gluconacetobacter asukensis sp. nov. (type strain K8617-1-1b(T) = JCM 17772(T) = NCIMB 14759(T)) are proposed.

Prenatal Dexamethasone Exposure Potentiates Diet-induced Hepatosteatosis and Decreases Plasma IGF-I in a Sex-specific Fashion

The clinical use of synthetic glucocorticoids in preterm infants to promote lung development has received considerable attention due to the potential for increased risk of developing metabolic disease in adulthood after such treatment. In this study, we examined the hypothesis that exposure to the synthetic glucocorticoid, dexamethasone (DEX), during late gestation in the rat results in the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in adult offspring. Pregnant Sprague Dawley dams were treated with 0.4 mg/kg DEX beginning on gestational d 18 until parturition (gestational d 23). At postnatal d 21, offspring were weaned onto either a standard chow or high-fat (60% fat-derived calories) diet. In adulthood (postnatal d 60-65), hepatic tissue was harvested and examined for pathology. Liver steatosis, or fat accumulation, was found to be more severe in the DEX-exposed female offspring that were weaned onto the high-fat diet. This finding corresponded with decreased plasma IGF-I concentrations, as well as decreased hypothalamic expression of GHRH mRNA. Morphological measurements on body and long bone length further implicate a GH signaling deficit after fetal DEX exposure. Collectively, these data indicate suppression of GH axis function in the female DEX/high-fat cohort but not in the male offspring. Because deficits in the GH signaling can be linked to the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, our results suggest that the prominent liver injury noted in female offspring exposed to DEX during late gestation may stem from abnormal development of the GH axis at the hypothalamic level.

"Fruiting Bodies" of Aspergillus Flavus: a Rare Finding in Histopathology

Procedure- and Age-specific Risk Stratification of Single Aortic Valve Replacement in Elderly Patients Based on Japan Adult Cardiovascular Surgery Database

Successful introduction of trans-catheter aortic valve implantation for selected patients with critical aortic stenosis has raised the question of how to identify appropriate high-risk candidates.

Polyamines Attenuate Ethylene-mediated Defense Responses to Abrogate Resistance to Botrytis Cinerea in Tomato

Transgenic tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) lines overexpressing yeast spermidine synthase (ySpdSyn), an enzyme involved in polyamine (PA) biosynthesis, were developed. These transgenic lines accumulate higher levels of spermidine (Spd) than the wild-type plants and were examined for responses to the fungal necrotrophs Botrytis cinerea and Alternaria solani, bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato DC3000, and larvae of the chewing insect tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta). The Spd-accumulating transgenic tomato lines were more susceptible to B. cinerea than the wild-type plants; however, responses to A. solani, P. syringae, or M. sexta were similar to the wild-type plants. Exogenous application of ethylene precursors, S-adenosyl-Met and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid, or PA biosynthesis inhibitors reversed the response of the transgenic plants to B. cinerea. The increased susceptibility of the ySpdSyn transgenic tomato to B. cinerea was associated with down-regulation of gene transcripts involved in ethylene biosynthesis and signaling. These data suggest that PA-mediated susceptibility to B. cinerea is linked to interference with the functions of ethylene in plant defense.

Examination of Facilitators and Barriers to Home-based Supplemental Feeding with Ready-to-use Food for Underweight Children in Western Uganda

Poor complementary feeding practices and low-quality complementary foods are significant causes of growth faltering and child mortality throughout the developing world. Ready-to-use foods (RUF) are energy-dense, lipid-based products that do not require cooking or refrigeration that have been used to prevent and treat malnutrition among vulnerable children. The effectiveness of these products in improving child nutritional status depends on household use by caregivers. To identify the key facilitators and barriers that influence appropriate in-home RUF consumption by supplemental feeding program beneficiaries, we conducted individual interviews among caregivers (n = 80), RUF producers (n = 8) and program staff (n = 10) involved in the Byokulia Bisemeye mu Bantu supplemental feeding program in Bundibugyo, Uganda. By documenting caregiver perceptions and feeding practices related to RUF, we developed a conceptual framework of factors that affect appropriate feeding with RUF. Findings suggest that locally produced RUF is well received by caregivers and children, and is perceived by caregivers and the community to be a healthy supplemental food for malnourished children. However, child feeding practices, including sharing of RUF within households, compromise the nutrient delivery to the intended child. Interventions and educational messages informed by this study can help to improve RUF delivery to targeted beneficiaries.

The Detection of Surface Patterns by Flexible Spectral Imaging Color Enhancement Without Magnification for Diagnosis of Colorectal Polyps

Flexible spectral imaging color enhancement (FICE), or image-enhanced endoscopy, can enhance visualization of surface and vascular patterns of colorectal polyps. Resolution of FICE has recently been improved. We evaluated diagnostic accuracy for neoplastic and non-neoplastic colorectal polyp differentiation with detection of surface patterns by FICE without magnification.

Effect of Cholesterol on Binding of Amphipathic Helices to Lipid Emulsions

Plasma triglyceride-rich lipoproteins vary in their lipid composition during metabolism. We investigated the effects of cholesterol (Chol) on the surface properties of lipid emulsions and on the interactions with two amphipathic peptides, acetyl-DWLKAFYDKVAEKLKEAF-amide (Ac-18A-NH(2)) and acetyl-KWLDAFYDEVAEKLKKAF-amide (Ac-18G*-NH(2)), which differ in charge distribution. The fluorescence lifetimes of N-dansyl phosphatidylethanolamine (dansyl-PE) and n-(9-anthroyloxy)stearic acid (n-AS, n = 2, 6, and 12) were used to assess the water penetration into the headgroup and acyl chain regions of phosphatidylcholine (PC), respectively. Steady-state fluorescence anisotropy of n-AS was also performed to evaluate the acyl chain fluidity in emulsion surface monolayers. Chol decreased the fluorescence lifetime of dansyl-PE and increased the lifetimes and anisotropy values of n-AS. These results demonstrated that Chol alters the surface properties of emulsions, i.e., induces PC headgroup separation and acyl chain condensation. The two peptides showed different responses to Chol in several experiments: Addition of Chol to emulsions decreased and increased the dissociation constants of Ac-18A-NH(2) and Ac-18G*-NH(2), respectively. Furthermore, the α-helical content of Ac-18A-NH(2) was decreased by Chol, whereas that of Ac-18G*-NH(2) was unchanged. The higher reduction in helicity for Ac-18A-NH(2) is probably due to its deeper penetration than Ac-18G*-NH(2) into the hydrocarbon region of surface monolayers in the absence of Chol, which was demonstrated by Trp quenching experiments with n-AS. From these results, the charge distribution of the amphipathic helices is suggested to be a determining factor in their response to Chol enrichment in emulsions.

Prognostic Significance of Preexisting Interstitial Lung Disease in Japanese Patients with Small-cell Lung Cancer

We retrospectively investigated patients with small-cell lung cancer with or without interstitial lung disease (ILD). Response rates and median progression-free survival of first-line chemotherapy in patients with or without preexisting ILD was not significantly different. However, pneumonitis associated with chemotherapy was significantly increased in patients with preexisting ILD, and preexisting ILD is an independent prognostic factor for poorer survival.

Anxiolytic Effects and Neuroanatomical Targets of Estrogen Receptor-β (ERβ) Activation by a Selective ERβ Agonist in Female Mice

The dichotomous anxiogenic and anxiolytic properties of estrogens have been reported to be mediated by two distinct neural estrogen receptors (ER), ERα and ERβ, respectively. Using a combination of pharmacological and genetic approaches, we confirmed that the anxiolytic actions of estradiol are mediated by ERβ and extended and these observations to demonstrate the neuroanatomical targets involved in ERβ activation in these behavioral responses. We examined the effects of the biologically active S-enantiomer of diarylpropionitrile (S-DPN) on anxiety-related behavioral measures, the corresponding stress hormonal response to hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis reactivity, and potential sites of neuronal activation in mutant female mice carrying a null mutation for ERβ gene (βERKO). S-DPN administration significantly reduced anxiety-like behaviors in the open field, light-dark exploration, and the elevated plus maze (EPM) in ovariectomized wild-type (WT) mice, but not in their βERKO littermates. Stress-induced corticosterone (CORT) and ACTH were also attenuated by S-DPN in the WT mice but not in the βERKO mice. Using c-fos induction after elevated plus maze, as a marker of stress-induced neuronal activation, we identified the anterodorsal medial amygdala and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis as the neuronal targets of S-DPN action. Both areas showed elevated c-fos mRNA expression with S-DPN treatment in the WT but not βERKO females. These studies provide compelling evidence for anxiolytic effects mediated by ERβ, and its neuroanatomical targets, that send or receive projections to/from the paraventricular nucleus, providing potential indirect mode of action for the control of hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis function and behaviors.

TCL1A Gene Involvement in T-cell Prolymphocytic Leukemia in Japanese Patients

T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL) is a rare type of peripheral T-cell leukemia. In this study, we examined the clinical and biological characteristics of 11 Japanese patients with T-PLL. Median age was 74 years, with male predominance. Median lymphocyte frequency was 85.3% in blood. Physical characteristics were splenomegaly (36.4%), tiny lymph adenopathy (63.6%), skin lesion (9.1%) and pleural effusion (27.3%). Median survival was 30.1 months, despite treatment with various chemotherapeutic modalities. Although complex chromosomal abnormalities were observed in 5 of 11 cases (45.5%), typical 14q32 and Xq28 abnormalities were not detected. TCL1A mRNA expression was observed in 6 of 11 cases (54.5%) on real-time quantitative PCR. In 5 of these 6 cases, flow cytometric analysis and/or immunohistochemistry confirmed the expression of TCLA1 protein. Split signals for the TCL1 region on fluorescence in situ hybridization confirmed rearrangement in 3 out of 7 cases evaluated. These cases corresponded to cases that were positive for TCL1A expression, suggesting that rearrangement of the TCL1 region induced high expression of TCL1A gene. In summary, a substantial number of T-PLL cases in Japan had abnormal expression of TCL1A, probably due to rearrangement of TCL1 region. Expression and/or rearrangement of TCL1A may, therefore, be a useful marker for diagnosing T-PLL, regardless of chromosomal abnormalities.

The Utility of Noncontrast Computed Tomography in the Prompt Diagnosis of Postoperative Complications After Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy

Noncontrast computed tomography (CT) is commonly utilized after percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PNL) to assess stone-free (SF) status. In addition to assessing SF status, CT is useful in the recognition of complications after PNL. We characterized complications demonstrated by postoperative CT scan and compared hospital re-admission rates based on whether or not CT was performed.

The Effect of an Octacalcium Phosphate Co-precipitated Gelatin Composite on the Repair of Critical-sized Rat Calvarial Defects

This study was designed to investigate the extent to which an octacalcium phosphate/gelatin (OCP/Gel) composite can repair rat calvarial critical-sized defects (CSD). OCP crystals were grown with various concentrations of gelatin molecules and the OCP/Gel composites were characterized by chemical analysis, X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), selected area electron diffraction (SAED) and mercury intrusion porosimetry. The OCP/Gel composite disks received vacuum dehydrothermal treatment, were implanted in Wistar rat calvarial CSD for 4, 8 and 16 weeks, and then subjected to radiologic, histologic, histomorphometric and histochemical assessment. The attachment of mouse bone marrow stromal ST-2 cells on the disks of the OCP/Gel composites was also examined after 1 day of incubation. OCP/Gel composites containing 24 wt.%, 31 wt.% and 40 wt.% of OCP and with approximate pore sizes of 10-500 μm were obtained. Plate-like crystals were observed closely associated with the Gel matrices. TEM, XRD, FTIR and SAED confirmed that the plate-like crystals were identical to those of the OCP phase, but contained a small amount of sphere-like amorphous material adjacent to the OCP crystals. The OCP (40 wt.%)/Gel composite repaired 71% of the CSD in conjunction with material degradation by osteoclastic cells, which reduced the percentage of the remaining implant to less than 3% within 16 weeks. Of the seeded ST-2 cells, 60-70% were able to migrate and attach to the OCP/Gel composites after 1 day of incubation, regardless of the OCP content. These results indicate that an OCP/Gel composite can repair rat calvarial CSD very efficiently and has favorable biodegradation characteristics. Therefore, it is hypothesized that host osteoblastic cells can easily migrate into an OCP/Gel composite.

Natural History of Age-related Retinal Lesions That Precede AMD in Mice Fed High or Low Glycemic Index Diets

Epidemiologic data indicate that people who consume low glycemic index (GI) diets are at reduced risk for the onset and progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The authors sought corroboration of this observation in an animal model.

Circulating Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells in Patients with Primary and Helicobacter Pylori-associated Immune Thrombocytopenia

Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is an autoimmune disorder characterized by the production of autoreactive antibodies against platelet antigens. Although dysfunction of multiple aspects of cellular immunity is considered to be important in the pathogenesis of ITP, it has not been clarified which cell types play a principal role.

Pelvic Floor Disorders After Vaginal Birth: Effect of Episiotomy, Perineal Laceration, and Operative Birth

To investigate whether episiotomy, perineal laceration, and operative delivery are associated with pelvic floor disorders after vaginal childbirth.

Notch Signaling Promotes Growth and Invasion in Uveal Melanoma

To determine whether uveal melanoma, the most common primary intraocular malignancy in adults, requires Notch activity for growth and metastasis.

Predictors of 5-year Mortality in Pulmonary Mycobacterium Avium-intracellulare Complex Disease

Kyoto, Japan.

Nodal Tuberculosis Revisited: a Review

Lymphadenitis is the most common extrapulmonary manifestation of tuberculosis. Tuberculous lymphadenitis is considered to be the local manifestation of the systemic disease, whereas lymphadenitis due to nontuberculous mycobacteria is truly a localized disease. A high index of suspicion is needed for the diagnosis of tuberculous lymphadenitis which is known to mimic a number of pathological conditions. Over the last two to three decades, fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) has emerged as a simple out-patient diagnostic procedure for the evaluation of tuberculous lymphadenitis and has replaced lymph node biopsy for histopathology. A number of molecular methods have also been introduced in diagnostics which have greatly improved the diagnostic accuracy. This article provides a review of epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and pathogenesis and emphasizes current trends in pathologic diagnosis of nodal tuberculosis.

Detection of N-(hexanoyl)lysine in the Tropomyosin 1 Protein in N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine-induced Rat Gastric Cancer Cells

N(ε)-(Hexanoyl)lysine, formed by the reaction of lysine with n-6 lipid hydroperoxide, is a lipid peroxidation marker during the initial stage of oxidative stress. The aim of the present study is to indentify N(ε)-(hexanoyl)lysine-modified proteins in neoplastic transformed gastric mucosal cells by N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine, and to compare the levels of these proteins between gastric mucosal cells and normal gastric cells. Much greater fluorescence of 2-[6-(4'-hydroxy)phenoxyl-3H-xanthen-3-on-9-yl]benzoic acid, an index of the intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species, was observed for gastric mucosal cells compared to normal gastric cells. N(ε)-(Hexanoyl)lysine-modified proteins were detected by SDS-PAGE or two-dimensional electrophoresis and Western blotting using anti-N(ε)-(hexanoyl)lysine polyclonal antibody, and a protein band of between 30-40 kDa was clearly increased in gastric mucosal cells compared to normal gastric cells. Two N(ε)-(hexanoyl)lysine-modified protein spots in gastric mucosal cells were identified as the tropomyosin 1 protein by mass spectrometry using a MASCOT search. The existence of N(ε)-(hexanoyl)lysine modification in tropomyosin 1 was confirmed by Western blotting of SDS-PAGE-separated or two-dimensional electrophoresis-separated proteins as well as by the immunoprecipitation with anti-tropomyosin 1 antibody. These data indicate that N(ε)-(hexanoyl)lysine modification of tropomyosin 1 may be related to neoplastic transformation by N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine in gastric epithelial cells.

Tools and Methodologies Capable of Isolating and Identifying a Target Molecule for a Bioactive Compound

Elucidating the mechanism of action of bioactive compounds, such as commonly used pharmaceutical drugs and biologically active natural products, in the cells and the living body is important in drug discovery research. To this end, isolation and identification of target protein(s) for the bioactive compound are essential in understanding its function fully. And, development of reliable tools and methodologies capable of addressing efficiently identification and characterization of the target proteins based on the bioactive compounds accelerates drug discovery research. Affinity-based isolation and identification of target molecules for the bioactive compounds is a classic, but still powerful approach. This paper introduces recent progress on affinity chromatography system, focusing on development of practical affinity matrices and useful affinity-based methodologies on target identification. Beneficial affinity chromatography systems with using practical tools and useful methodologies facilitate chemical biology and drug discovery research.

Enantioselective Alkynylbenzaldehyde Cyclizations Catalyzed By Chiral Gold(I) Acyclic Diaminocarbene Complexes Containing Weak Au-Arene Interactions

Creating an asymmetric environment at Au(I) is a challenge because of the linear coordination geometry of the ion. In their Communication (DOI: 10.1002/anie.201107789), S. Handa and L. M. Slaughter report the highly enantioselective catalysis of a tandem addition/cycloisomerization reaction of alkynylbenzaldehydes by chiral gold carbene complexes containing weak metal-Ï€ interactions. These secondary interactions help to create an asymmetric pocket around the gold atom that is analogous to a baseball glove gripping a ball. (Picture by L. M. Slaughter and S. Ball.).

Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT) for Solitary Pulmonary Nodules Clinically Diagnosed As Lung Cancer with No Pathological Confirmation: Comparison with Non-small-cell Lung Cancer

In non-surgical candidates with solitary pulmonary nodules (SPNs) and no histological confirmation, optimal management remains uncertain.

ICH Guidance in Practice: Degradation Behaviour of Oseltamivir Phosphate Under Stress Conditions

Oseltamivir phosphate was subjected to stress degradation conditions prescribed by ICH guideline Q1A (R2). A total of five degradation products (Os I to Os V) were generated under hydrolytic (acid and alkaline) stress conditions. Their unambiguous structural elucidation was carried out using LC-MS, LC-NMR and HR-NMR data. First, accurate masses of Os I, Os II, Os IV and Os V were determined by LC-MS/TOF. Subsequently, (1)H and COSY NMR studies were carried on the drug and these four degradation products using LC-NMR. The structure of Os III was elucidated after preparative isolation and purification, followed by MS/TOF and HR-NMR studies. The degradation products, Os II, Os IV and Os V were characterized as 4-acetamido-5-amino-3-(pentan-3-yloxy)cyclohex-1-ene carboxylic acid, 4,5-diamino-3-(pentan-3-yloxy)cyclohex-1-ene carboxylic acid and ethyl 4,5-diamino-3-(pentan-3-yloxy)cyclohex-1-ene carboxylate, respectively. Os I and Os III were identified as positional isomers of Os II and the drug, respectively, involving N,N-acyl migration from 4-amino to 5-amino position in the ring. Two degradation products (Os IV and Os V) were found to be new and previously unreported. The degradation pathway for all five was outlined and justified mechanistically. In silico toxicity of the drug and degradation products was also assessed using TOPKAT and DEREK software and compared.

Heat Shock Protein 27 and P16 Immunohistochemistry in Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia and Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Heat shock protein 27 (hsp27) is expressed by squamous cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix. Results from an earlier study by our group indicted that hsp27 may be a diagnostic marker for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and carcinoma. p16 expression is known to be elevated in intraepithelial uterine cervical cancer and grades 2 and 3 lesions (CIN2, CIN3), but has also been reported to be negative in 5-20% of cervical cancer and CIN lesions. The aim of our study was to confirm immunohistochemically the expression of hsp27 and p16 in cervical lesions. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded cervical tissue specimens obtained between 2002 and 2010 were investigated for hsp27 and p16 expression. Positive staining was detected for hsp27 in 63% of normal cervical tissues, 47% of CIN1 lesions, 75% of CIN2 lesions, 92% of CIN3 lesions, and 100% of squamous cell carcinomas (SCC); the corresponding rates for p16 positivity were 29, 47, 67, 92, and 75%, respectively. Positive staining for both hsp27 and p16 was observed in 6% of normal cervical tissues and in 19% of CIN1, 18% of CIN2, 85% of CIN3, and 75% of SCC specimens. Hsp27 or p16 positivity had a sensitivity of 95.6 or 84.7% and a specificity of 37.2 or 70.5%, respectively, for the identification of CIN3 or SCC lesions; when both hsp27 and p16 were assessed, both the sensitivity and specificity were improved. In conclusion, both hsp27 and p16 immunohistochemistry is a useful tool for the diagnosis of CIN3 lesions or cervical SCC.

A Novel Pim-1 Kinase Inhibitor Targeting Residues That Bind the Substrate Peptide

A new screening method using fluorescent correlation spectroscopy was developed to select kinase inhibitors that competitively inhibit the binding of a fluorescently labeled substrate peptide. Using the method, among approximately 700 candidate compounds selected by virtual screening, we identified a novel Pim-1 kinase inhibitor targeting its peptide binding residues. X-ray crystal analysis of the complex structure of Pim-1 with the inhibitor indicated that the inhibitor actually binds to the ATP-binding site and also forms direct interactions with residues (Asp128 and Glu171) that bind the substrate peptide. These interactions, which cause small side-chain movements, seem to affect the binding ability of the fluorescently labeled substrate. The compound inhibited Pim-1 kinase in vitro, with an IC(50) value of 150 nM. Treatment of cultured leukemia cells with the compound reduced the amount of p21 and increased the amount of p27, due to Pim-1 inhibition, and then triggered apoptosis after cell-cycle arrest at the G(1)/S phase. This screening method may be widely applicable for the identification of various new Pim-1 kinase inhibitors targeting the residues that bind the substrate peptide.

Identification of NIPSNAP1 As a Nocistatin-interacting Protein Involving Pain Transmission

4-Nitrophenylphosphatase domain and non-neuronal SNAP25-like protein homolog 1 (NIPSNAP1) is a molecule of physiologically unknown function, although it is predominantly expressed in the brain, spinal cord, liver, and kidney. We identified NIPSNAP1 as a protein that interacts with the neuropeptide nocistatin (NST) from synaptosomal membranes of mouse spinal cord using high-performance affinity latex beads. NST, which is produced from the same precursor protein as an opioid-like neuropeptide nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ), has opposite effects on pain transmission evoked by N/OFQ. The calculated full-length pre-protein of NIPSNAP1 was 33 kDa, whereas the N-terminal truncated form of NIPSNAP1 (29 kDa) was ubiquitously expressed in the neuronal tissues, especially in synaptic membrane and mitochondria of brain. The 29-kDa NIPSNAP1 was distributed on the cell surface, and NST interacted with the 29-kDa but not the 33-kDa NIPSNAP1. Although intrathecal injection of N/OFQ induced tactile allodynia in both wild-type and NIPSNAP1-deficient mice, the inhibition of N/OFQ-evoked tactile allodynia by NST seen in wild-type mice was completely lacking in the deficient mice. These results suggest that NIPSNAP1 is an interacting molecule of NST and plays a crucial role in pain transmission.

[Giant Malignant Solitary Fibrous Tumor Successfully Resected Via Clamshell Incision and Lower Door Open Thoracotomy]

We report a case of a giant intrathoracic tumor successfully resected via clamshell incision and lower door open thoracotomy. A 62-year-old woman presented with cough and dyspnea on exertion. A chest computed tomography (CT) revealed a giant mass occupying nearly whole of the right hemithorax. Since the tumor infiltrated deeply into the lung parenchyma, we performed a right pneumonectomy. The 1st thoracotomy was performed at 4th intercostal clamshell incision. Then we divided lower sternum vertically and opened the right lower chest wall laterally. These procedures provided wide operative view from the apex to the diaphragm and excellent access to hilar constructions, and enabled enbloc resction of giant tumor with the right lung. The resected specimen was 25×19×12 cm in size, 2,830 g in weight, and histologically diagnosed as a malignant solitary fibrous tumor. We conclude that this approach is effective for excision of giant intrathoracic tumor.

Multicenter Validation of a Reproducible Flow Cytometric Score for the Diagnosis of Low-grade Myelodysplastic Syndromes: Results of a European LeukemiaNET Study

The current World Health Organization classification of myelodysplastic syndromes is based morphological evaluation of bone marrow dysplasia. In clinical practice, the reproducibility of the recognition of dysplasia is usually poor especially in cases that lack specific markers such as ring sideroblasts and clonal cytogenetic abnormalities.

Induction of Mitochondrial Uncoupling Enhances VEGF₁₂₀ but Reduces MCP-1 Release in Mature 3T3-L1 Adipocytes: Possible Regulatory Mechanism Through Endogenous ER Stress and AMPK-related Pathways

Although white adipocytes contain a larger number of mitochondria per cytoplasmic volume, adipocyte mitochondrial uncoupling to reduce the efficiency of ATP production on cellular function including secretory regulation of bioactive molecules such as VEGF and MCP-1 remains to be elucidated. Here we induce mitochondrial uncoupling under hypoxia-independent conditions in mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes using a metabolic uncoupler, dinitrophenol (DNP). MCP-1 release was significantly decreased by 26% (p<0.01) in 24h DNP (30 μmol/L)-treated adipocytes compared to control cells. In contrast, secreted VEGF(120) lacking a heparin-binding domain was markedly increased 2.0-fold (p<0.01). CHOP content in these cells also were augmented (p<0.01), but no significant increase of endogenous oxidative stress was observed. Treatment with thapsigargin, which can induce exogenous endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, clearly attenuated MCP-1 release (p<0.01), but exhibited no effects on VEGF(120) secretion. On the other hand, exogenous H(2)O(2) amplified both MCP-1 and VEGF(120) secretion (p<0.05). In addition, under chronic activation of AMPK by AICAR, MCP-1 release was significantly diminished (p<0.05) but VEGF(120) secretion was increased (p<0.01). JNK phosphorylation in mature adipocytes was decreased by treatment with either DNP or AICAR (p<0.01). Enhanced VEGF(120) secretion with either DNP or AICAR was markedly suppressed by PI3K inhibitor LY294002 (p<0.01). Thus, induced mitochondrial uncoupling in adipocytes can reduce MCP-1 release through induction of endogenous ER stress and by reduced JNK activities via chronic activation of AMPK. Under this condition, VEGF(120) secretion was increased through PI3K-dependent pathways, which were chronically activated by AMPK, and not through ER stress. Because the decrease of MCP-1 secretion under mitochondrial uncoupling might attenuate chronic low-grade inflammation by suppressing macrophages recruitment to adipose tissue, clarification of the mechanism might reveal novel therapeutic targets for ameliorating obesity-associated insulin resistance in metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

Deciphering the Mystery of Thalidomide Teratogenicity

Thalidomide was originally developed in 1954 as a sedative that was commonly used to ameliorate morning sickness. However, thalidomide exposure during the first trimester of pregnancy caused multiple birth defects (e.g. phocomelia and amelia), affecting ≈ 10,000 children worldwide in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Thalidomide is now recognized as a clinically effective, albeit strictly restricted, drug for the treatment of leprosy and multiple myeloma. Investigators have studied thalidomide teratogenicity for half a century, proposing over 30 hypotheses to account for its actions. Among these, the anti-angiogenesis and oxidative stress models have gained widespread support. Nonetheless, the precise molecular mechanisms and direct targets of thalidomide have not heretofore been elucidated. We developed ferrite-glycidyl methacrylate beads that enable magnetic separation and efficient purification of ligand-binding molecules; the beads were recently employed to identify cereblon as a primary target of thalidomide. Cereblon forms an E3 ubiquitin ligase complex with DDB1, Cul4A, and Roc1, which is important for the expression of fibroblast growth factor 8, an essential regulator of limb development. Expression of a drug binding-deficient mutant of cereblon suppressed thalidomide-induced effects in zebrafish and chicks. This suggests that thalidomide downregulates fibroblast growth factor 8 expression and induces limb malformation by binding to wild-type cereblon, inhibiting the function of the associated E3 ubiquitin ligase. The present review summarizes the teratogenicity of thalidomide, including existing models for its mode of action, and discusses the identification of cereblon as a key molecule for deciphering the longstanding mystery of thalidomide teratogenicity.

Structural Basis for the Altered Drug Sensitivities of Non-small Cell Lung Cancer-associated Mutants of Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor

The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has an essential role in multiple signaling pathways, including cell proliferation and migration, through extracellular ligand binding and subsequent activation of its intracellular tyrosine kinase (TK) domain. The non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)-associated EGFR mutants, L858R and G719S, are constitutively active and oncogenic. They display sensitivity to TK inhibitors, including gefitinib and erlotinib. In contrast, the secondary mutation of the gatekeeper residue, T790M, reportedly confers inhibitor resistance on the oncogenic EGFR mutants. In this study, our biochemical analyses revealed that the introduction of the T790M mutation confers gefitinib resistance on the G719S mutant. The G719S/T790M double mutant has enhanced activity and retains high gefitinib-binding affinity. The T790M mutation increases the ATP affinity of the G719S mutant, explaining the acquired drug resistance of the double mutant. Structural analyses of the G719S/T790M double mutant, as well as the wild type and the G719S and L858R mutants, revealed that the T790M mutation stabilizes the hydrophobic spine of the active EGFR-TK conformation. The Met790 side chain of the G719S/T790M double mutant, in the apo form and gefitinib- and AMPPNP-bound forms, adopts different conformations that explain the accommodation of these ligands. In the L858R mutant structure, the active-site cleft is expanded by the repositioning of Phe723 within the P-loop. Notably, the introduction of the F723A mutation greatly enhanced the gefitinib sensitivity of the wild-type EGFR in vivo, supporting our hypothesis that the expansion of the active-site cleft results in enhanced gefitinib sensitivity. Taken together, our results provide a structural basis for the altered drug sensitivities caused by distinct NSCLC-associated EGFR mutations.Oncogene advance online publication 20 February 2012; doi:10.1038/onc.2012.21.

Insulinoma May Mask the Existence of Type 1 Diabetes

Insulinoma is a tumour of insulin-producing cells of the pancreas and is known to be one of the causes of hypoglycaemia. Usually, appropriate removal of the insulinoma results in normalization of blood glucose levels. However, we found novel cases of insulinoma, in which hyperglycaemia developed soon after resection of the insulinoma.

Heme-containing Dioxygenases Involved in Tryptophan Oxidation

Heme iron is often used in biology for activation of oxygen. The mechanisms of oxygen activation by heme-containing monooxygenases (the cytochrome P450s) are well known, and involve formation of a Compound I species, but information on the heme-containing dioxygenase enzymes involved in tryptophan oxidation lags far behind. In this review, we gather together information emerging recently from structural, mechanistic, spectroscopic, and computational approaches on the heme dioxygenase enzymes involved in tryptophan oxidation. We explore the subtleties that differentiate various heme enzymes from each other, and use this to piece together a developing picture for oxygen activation in this particular class of heme-containing dioxygenases.

[CAG-GO Therapy for Patients with Relapsed or Primary Refractory CD33-positive Acute Myelogenous Leukemia]

We previously tested a less toxic CAG regimen consisting of low-dose cytarabine, aclarubicin and granulocyte-colony stimulating factor for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory myeloid malignancies or elderly patients with untreated ones, obtaining a satisfactory complete remission rate of 62%. Gemtuzumab ozogamicin, an anti-CD33 monoclonal antibody conjugated to calicheamicin, has recently been approved as a single agent in Japan for the treatment of relapsed/refractory CD33-positive acute myelogenous leukemia (9 mg/m(2) on days1 and 15). Complete remission rate was reported as 30% in a phase 2 trial in Japan. In this study, effectiveness and safety of combining dose-attenuated gemtuzumab ozogamicin (3 mg/m(2) on day5) and original CAG regimen were assessed in nine patients with relapsed/refractory CD33-positive acute myelogenous leukemia and a median age of 70 years. Rate of complete remission with or without platelet recovery was 44% (4/9). The median duration of complete remission and overall survival were 5.5 and 16 months, respectively. Reversible myelosuppression and liver toxicity were the main adverse events, but no regimen-related death was recorded. Although only a small number of cases were included in this preliminary study, this CAG-GO regimen was found to be feasible and useful even in high-risk relapsed or refractory patients.

Cytologic Diagnosis of Intravascular Papillary Endothelial Hyperplasia: a Report of Two Cases and Review of Cytologic Literature

Intravascular papillary endothelial hyperplasia (IPEH), previously known as 'Masson's hemangioma', is a reactive endothelial proliferation that occurs most commonly in the vessels of the head, neck, and extremities. The cytologic findings of the lesion are varied and depend on the age of the lesion.

Utility of Plasma Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 As a Possible Diagnostic Marker of Endoleak Post Endovascular Aneurysm Repair

Perinatal Dexamethasone-induced Alterations in Apoptosis Within the Hippocampus and Paraventricular Nucleus of the Hypothalamus Are Influenced by Age and Sex

Exposure to high levels of glucocorticoids (GCs) during development leads to long-term changes in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis regulation, although little is known about the neural mechanisms that underlie these alterations. In this study, we investigated the effects of late gestational (days 18-22) or postnatal (days 4-6) administration of the GC receptor agonist dexamethasone (DEX) on an apoptosis marker in two brain regions critical to HPA axis regulation, the hippocampus and the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN). One day after the final DEX injection, male and female rats were sacrificed, and brains were processed for immunohistochemical detection of cleaved caspase-3, an apoptotic cell death indicator. DEX increased cleaved caspase-3 immunoreactivity in the CA1 hippocampal region of both sexes following prenatal but not postnatal treatment. Prenatal DEX also increased caspase-3 immunoreactivity in the CA3 region, an elevation that tended to be greater in females. In contrast, postnatal DEX resulted in a much smaller, albeit significant, induction in CA3 caspase-3 compared with prenatal treatment. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis revealed that prenatal but not postnatal DEX-induced hippocampal cleaved caspase-3 correlated with elevated mRNA of the proapoptotic gene Bad. Few caspase-3-ir cells were identified within the PVN regardless of treatment age, although postnatal but not prenatal DEX increased this number. However, the region immediately surrounding the PVN (peri-PVN) showed significant increases in caspase-3-ir cells following pre- and postnatal DEX. Together these findings indicate that developmental GC exposure increases apoptosis in HPAaxis-associated brain regions in an age- and sex-dependent manner.

Continuous Monitoring of Phospholipid Vesicle Hydrolysis by Phospholipase D (PLD) Reveals Differences in Hydrolysis by PLDs from 2 Streptomyces Species

Phospholipase D (PLD)-mediated hydrolysis of phosphatidylcholine (PC) in large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs) consisting of PC and either glycerol monooleate (GMO) or methyl oleate (MeO) were monitored in situ and in real time by using a choline oxidase-immobilized oxygen electrode. This technique revealed reaction differences between 2 bacterial PLDs. PLD from Streptomyces chromofuscus, which is closely homologous to bacterial alkaline phosphatase, hydrolyzed only 6% of surface PC owing to product inhibition. The catalytic activity of this enzyme was not sensitive to the addition of GMO. On the other hand, typical bacterial PLD from Streptomyces sp. was found to hydrolyze all the PC molecules at the outer surface of LUVs suggesting that this enzyme is free from product inhibition. Introduction of GMO or MeO into the bilayer increased exposure of the PC headgroup and facilitated PC hydrolysis mediated by PLD from Streptomyces sp. GMO and MeO have the same lipophilic tail but the latter lacks hydroxyl groups on its polar head. From kinetic analysis by using the Michaelis-Menten model extended to the reaction at the interface, these compounds were found to activate PLD from Streptomyces sp. in different ways, i.e., MeO increased the protein binding to membranes and GMO stimulated the enzyme-substrate complex formation at membrane surface.

Thromboresistance Characterization of Extruded Nitric Oxide-releasing Silicone Catheters

Intravascular catheters used in clinical practice can activate platelets, leading to thrombus formation and stagnation of blood flow. Nitric oxide (NO)-releasing polymers have been shown previously to reduce clot formation on a number of blood contacting devices. In this work, trilaminar NO-releasing silicone catheters were fabricated and tested for their thrombogenicity. All catheters had specifications of L = 6 cm, inner diameter = 21 gauge (0.0723 cm), outer diameter = 12 gauge (0.2052 cm), and NO-releasing layer thickness = 200 ± 11 µm. Control and NO-releasing catheters were characterized in vitro for their NO flux and NO release duration by gas phase chemiluminescence measurements. The catheters were then implanted in the right and left internal jugular veins of (N = 6 and average weight = 3 kg) adult male rabbits for 4 hours thrombogenicity testing. Platelet counts and function, methemoglobin (metHb), hemoglobin (Hb), and white cell counts and functional time (defined as patency time of catheter) were monitored as measured outcomes. Nitric oxide-releasing catheters (N = 6) maintained an average flux above (2 ± 0.5) × 10(-10) mol/min/cm for more than 24 hours, whereas controls showed no NO release. Methemoglobin, Hb, white cell, and platelet counts and platelet function at 4 hours were not significantly different from baseline (α = 0.05). However, clots on controls were visibly larger and prevented blood draws at a significantly (p < 0.05) earlier time (2.3 ± 0.7 hours) into the experiment, whereas all NO-releasing catheters survived the entire 4 hours test period. Results indicate that catheter NO flux levels attenuated thrombus formation in a short-term animal model.

A Fully Human, Allosteric Monoclonal Antibody That Activates the Insulin Receptor and Improves Glycemic Control

Many patients with diabetes mellitus (both type 1 and type 2) require therapy to maintain normal fasting glucose levels. To develop a novel treatment for these individuals, we used phage display technology to target the insulin receptor (INSR) complexed with insulin and identified a high affinity, allosteric, human monoclonal antibody, XMetA, which mimicked the glucoregulatory, but not the mitogenic, actions of insulin. Biophysical studies with cultured cells expressing human INSR demonstrated that XMetA acted allosterically and did not compete with insulin for binding to its receptor. XMetA was found to function as a specific partial agonist of INSR, eliciting tyrosine phosphorylation of INSR but not the IGF-IR. Although this antibody activated metabolic signaling, leading to enhanced glucose uptake, it neither activated Erk nor induced proliferation of cancer cells. In an insulin resistant, insulinopenic model of diabetes, XMetA markedly reduced elevated fasting blood glucose and normalized glucose tolerance. After 6 weeks, significant improvements in HbA(1c), dyslipidemia, and other manifestations of diabetes were observed. It is noteworthy that hypoglycemia and weight gain were not observed during these studies. These studies indicate, therefore, that allosteric monoclonal antibodies have the potential to be novel, ultra-long acting, agents for the regulation of hyperglycemia in diabetes.

Enantioselective Alkynylbenzaldehyde Cyclizations Catalyzed by Chiral Gold(I) Acyclic Diaminocarbene Complexes Containing Weak Au-arene Interactions

Serpin B1 Protects Colonic Epithelial Cell Via Blockage of Neutrophil Elastase Activity and Its Expression is Enhanced in Patients with Ulcerative Colitis

Serpin B1 is a monocyte neutrophil elastase (NE) inhibitor and is one of the most efficient inhibitors of NE. In the present study, we investigated the role of serpin B1 in the pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis by using clinical samples and an experimental model. The colonic expression of serpin B1 was determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), Western blot analysis, and immunohistological studies in both normal and inflamed mucosa from patients with ulcerative colitis. Serpin B1 mRNA expression was determined by real-time PCR in the mouse dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis model. Young adult mouse colonic epithelial (YAMC) cells were used to determine the role of serpin B1. Serpin B1 gene transfected YAMC cells were treated with H(2)O(2) to measure cell viability. The expression of NE was determined in YAMC cells treated with H(2)O(2). NE-silenced YAMC cells were also treated with H(2)O(2) and then measured for viability. Upregulated expression of serpin B1 in colonic mucosa was confirmed from patients with active ulcerative colitis. Immunohistochemical studies showed that serpin B1 expression was localized not only in inflammatory infiltration cells but also in epithelial cells. Serpin B1 mRNA expression was also increased in colonic mucosa of mouse DSS-induced colitis. Serpin B1-transfected YAMC cells were resistant against the treatment of H(2)O(2). H(2)O(2) treatment significantly induced NE in YAMC cells, and NE-silenced YAMC cells were also resistant against the treatment of H(2)O(2). These results suggest that serpin B1 may be a novel marker of active ulcerative colitis and may play an important role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease.

Hand Eczema: Correlation of Morphologic Patterns, Atopy, Contact Sensitization and Disease Severity

Hand eczema is a common distressing condition aggravated by a number of endogenous and exogenous factors. Various morphological forms of hand eczema have been described, but categorization into one of them is not always possible.

Factors Affecting Commencement and Cessation of Smoking Behaviour in Malaysian Adults

Tobacco consumption peak in developed countries has passed, however, it is on the increase in many developing countries. Apart from cigarettes, consumption of local hand-rolled cigarettes such as bidi and rokok daun are prevalent in specific communities. Although factors associated with smoking initiation and cessation has been investigated elsewhere, the only available data for Malaysia is on prevalence. This study aims to investigate factors associated with smoking initiation and cessation which is imperative in designing intervention programs.

Men and Women Exhibit a Differential Bias for Processing Movement Versus Objects

Sex differences in many spatial and verbal tasks appear to reflect an inherent low-level processing bias for movement in males and objects in females. We explored this potential movement/object bias in men and women using a computer task that measured targeting performance and/or color recognition. The targeting task showed a ball moving vertically towards a horizontal line. Before reaching the line, the ball disappeared behind a masking screen, requiring the participant to imagine the movement vector and identify the intersection point. For the color recognition task, the ball briefly changed color before disappearing beneath the mask and participants were required only to identify the color shade. Results showed that targeting accuracy for slow and fast moving balls was significantly better in males compared to females. No sex difference was observed for color shade recognition. We also studied a third, dual attention task comprised of the first two, where the moving ball briefly changed color randomly just before passing beneath the masking screen. When the ball changed color, participants were required only to identify the color shade. If the ball didn't change color, participants estimated the intersection point. Participants in this dual attention condition were first tested with the targeting and color tasks alone and showed results that were similar to the previous groups tested on a single task. However, under the dual attention condition, male accuracy in targeting, as well as color shade recognition, declined significantly compared to their performance when the tasks were tested alone. No significant changes were found in female performance. Finally, reaction times for targeting and color choices in both sexes correlated highly with ball speed, but not accuracy. Overall, these results provide evidence of a sex-related bias in processing objects versus movement, which may reflect sex differences in bottom up versus top-down analytical strategies.

The ERβ Ligand 5α-androstane, 3β,17β-diol (3β-diol) Regulates Hypothalamic Oxytocin (Oxt) Gene Expression

The endocrine component of the stress response is regulated by glucocorticoids and sex steroids. Testosterone down-regulates hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity; however, the mechanisms by which it does so are poorly understood. A candidate testosterone target is the oxytocin gene (Oxt), given that it too inhibits HPA activity. Within the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, oxytocinergic neurons involved in regulating the stress response do not express androgen receptors but do express estrogen receptor-β (ERβ), which binds the dihydrotestosterone metabolite 3β,17β-diol (3β-diol). Testosterone regulation of the HPA axis thus appears to involve the conversion to the ERβ-selective ligand 5α-androstane, 3β-diol. To study mechanisms by which 3β-diol could regulate Oxt expression, we used a hypothalamic neuronal cell line derived from embryonic mice that expresses Oxt constitutively and compared 3β-diol with estradiol (E2) effects. E2 and 3β-diol elicited a phasic response in Oxt mRNA levels. In the presence of either ligand, Oxt mRNA levels were increased for at least 60 min and returned to baseline by 2 h. ERβ occupancy preceded an increase in Oxt mRNA levels in the presence of 3β-diol but not E2. In tandem with ERβ occupancy, 3β-diol increased occupancy of the Oxt promoter by cAMP response element-binding protein and steroid receptor coactivator-1 at 30 min. At the same time, 3β-diol led to the increased acetylation of histone H4 but not H3. Taken together, the data suggest that in the presence of 3β-diol, ERβ associates with cAMP response element-binding protein and steroid receptor coactivator-1 to form a functional complex that drives Oxt gene expression.

A Retrospective, Longitudinal Study to Evaluate Healing Lower Extremity Wounds in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus and Ischemia Using Standard Protocols of Care and Platelet-rich Plasma Gel in a Japanese Wound Care Program

Chronic wounds, especially in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM), are a major health challenge in Japan. The goal of wound care centers (WCCs) in Japan is to facilitate healing and prevent lower extremity amputations (LEAs) using standardized protocols of patient and wound care. The standard treatment algorithm includes a complete patient and wound assessment, history, physical exam, and a variety of diagnostic tests that determine the need for infection control intervention, revascularization, excision and debridement, growth factor/platelet rich plasma (PRP) gel therapy, skin graft/ flap, wound protection, and education. All patient and wound data are entered in a secure central database for all WCCs. To evaluate the outcomes of standard care regimens compared to the use of a topical PRP gel treatment in patients with a variety of complex wounds, a retrospective, longitudinal study was conducted. Wound outcomes from 39 patients with 40 chronic, nonhealing, lower extremity wounds were evaluated between two time periods: between first presentation at the WCC (T1) and after using standard topical treatments (T2) and between T2 and after using the PRP gel treatment (T3). Patient average age was 66.8 years (SD: 10.60) and mean wound duration was 99.7 days before treatment (SD: 107.73); and the majority of patients (85%) had DM. Wounds were classified as ischemic diabetic (n = 24), diabetic (n = 10), ischemic (n = 5), and pressure ulcer (n = 1). DFUs were Wagner III (77%) and lV (23%). Of those, 60% were in patients with arteriosclerotic obliterans (ASO). Infection (abscess, cellulitis, osteomyelitis, and/or gangrene) was present in all wounds and treated using debridement, antibiotic therapy, and surgery as deemed appropriate. During the first treatment period (T1 to T2) of 75.3 days, which included revascularization and/or debridement along with standard of care, none of the wounds healed and the average wound area, depth, and volume increased. Following topical PRP gel treatment, 83% of wounds healed within 145.2 days (T2 to T3) (P = 0.00002). Only one patient required an LEA. The results of this study suggest that good healing outcomes and a low amputation rate can be obtained with a protocol of supportive care (including revascularization procedures) and the PRP gel treatment. Prospective controlled studies comparing the use of this PRP gel to other advanced treatments are warranted.

Apolipoprotein A-I Attenuates Palmitate-mediated NF-κB Activation by Reducing Toll-like Receptor-4 Recruitment into Lipid Rafts

While high-density lipoprotein (HDL) is known to protect against a wide range of inflammatory stimuli, its anti-inflammatory mechanisms are not well understood. Furthermore, HDL's protective effects against saturated dietary fats have not been previously described. In this study, we used endothelial cells to demonstrate that while palmitic acid activates NF-κB signaling, apolipoprotein A-I, (apoA-I), the major protein component of HDL, attenuates palmitate-induced NF-κB activation. Further, vascular NF-κB signaling (IL-6, MCP-1, TNF-α) and macrophage markers (CD68, CD11c) induced by 24 weeks of a diabetogenic diet containing cholesterol (DDC) is reduced in human apoA-I overexpressing transgenic C57BL/6 mice compared to age-matched WT controls. Moreover, WT mice on DDC compared to a chow diet display increased gene expression of lipid raft markers such as Caveolin-1 and Flotillin-1, and inflammatory Toll-like receptors (TLRs) (TLR2, TLR4) in the vasculature. However apoA-I transgenic mice on DDC show markedly reduced expression of these genes. Finally, we show that in endothelial cells TLR4 is recruited into lipid rafts in response to palmitate, and that apoA-I prevents palmitate-induced TLR4 trafficking into lipid rafts, thereby blocking NF-κB activation. Thus, apoA-I overexpression might be a useful therapeutic tool against vascular inflammation.

Hemopexin is Upregulated in Rat Intestinal Mucosa Injured by Indomethacin

Recent advancements in capsule endoscopy and double-balloon endoscopy have revealed that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as indomethacin, can induce small intestinal mucosal damage. However, the precise pathogenesis and therapeutic strategy have not been fully revealed. The aim of the present study was to determine the upregulated proteins in the small intestine exposed to indomethacin.

Plaque Features Associated with Increased Cerebral Infarction After Minor Stroke and TIA: a Prospective, Case-control, 3-T Carotid Artery MR Imaging Study

The goal of this study was to determine whether a 3-T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) protocol combining carotid atherosclerotic plaque and brain imaging can identify features of high-risk acutely symptomatic plaque that correlate with brain injury.

[Retrospective Survey on the Clinical Features of Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas in Gunma Prefecture, Japan]

We retrospectively investigated pathological types, clinical backgrounds, treatments and prognoses in 726 adult patients with newly diagnosed malignant lymphoma in Gunma Prefecture. They consisted of 679 patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-cell type, 603; T- and NK-cell type, 76) of which 376 patients had diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and 47 patients with Hodgkin lymphoma. When comparing the prognosis of DLBCL between patients receiving rituximab (R-CHOP group; n=212) and not using rituximab (CHOP group; n=126), both 3-year overall survival (73.5% vs 61.7%, p=0.010) and 3-year progression-free survival (65.1% vs 45.8%, p<0.001) were statistically better in the R-CHOP group compared to the CHOP group. Our results suggest that more than half of patients were DLBCL and the rituximab-containing regimen results in an improved prognosis for DLBCL patients.

How Does the Macula Protect Itself from Oxidative Stress?

Oxidative stress has been hypothesized to contribute to the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common cause of blindness in the United States. At present, there is no treatment for early disease. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a physiological role in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), a key cell type in this disease, but with excessive ROS, oxidative damage or excessive innate immune system activation can result. The RPE has developed a robust antioxidant system driven by the transcription factor Nrf2. Impaired Nrf2 signaling can lead to oxidative damage or activate the innate immune response, both of which can lead to RPE apoptosis, a defining change in AMD. Several mouse models simulating environmental stressors or targeting specific antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase or Nrf2, have simulated some of the features of AMD. While ROS are short-lived, oxidatively damaged molecules termed oxidation specific epitopes (OSEs), can be long-lived and a source of chronic stress that activates the innate immune system through pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). The macula accumulates a number of OSEs including carboxyethylpyrrole, malondialdehyde, 4-hydroxynonenal, and advanced glycation endproducts, as well as their respective neutralizing PRRs. Excessive accumulation of OSEs results in pathologic immune activation. For example, mice immunized with the carboxyethylpyrrole develop cardinal features of AMD. Regulating ROS in the RPE by modulating antioxidant systems or neutralizing OSEs through an appropriate innate immune response are potential modalities to treat or prevent early AMD.

Prophylactic Platelet Transfusions

Evaluation of Shock Wave Lithotripsy Injury in the Pig Using a Narrow Focal Zone Lithotriptor

What's known on the subject? and What does the study add? Of all the SW lithotriptors manufactured to date, more research studies have been conducted on and more is known about the injury (both description of injury and how to manipulate injury size) produced by the Dornier HM-3 than any other machine. From this information have come suggestions for treatment protocols to reduce shock wave (SW)-induced injury for use in stone clinics. By contrast, much less is known about the injury produced by narrow-focus and high-pressure lithotriptors like the Storz Modulith SLX. In fact, a careful study looking at the morphology of the injury produced by the SLX itself is lacking, as is any study exploring ways to reduce renal injury by manipulating SW delivery variables of this lithotriptor. The present study quantitates the lesion size and describes the morphology of the injury produced by the SLX. In addition, we report that reducing the SW delivery rate, a manoeuvre known to lower injury in the HM-3, does not reduce lesion size in the SLX.

A Critical Review on the Use of Modern Sophisticated Hyphenated Tools in the Characterization of Impurities and Degradation Products

With ever increasing regulatory and compendial stringency on the control of impurities (IMPs) and degradation products (DPs) (including genotoxic impurities) in drug substances and finished pharmaceutical formulations, a profound emphasis is being paid on their characterization and analysis at trace levels. Fortunately, there have been parallel tremendous advancements in the instrumental techniques that allow rapid characterization of IMPs and/or DPs at the prescribed levels of ∼0.1%. With this, there is perceptible shift from conventional protocol of isolation and spectral analysis to on-line analysis using modern sophisticated hyphenated tools, like GC-MS, LC-MS, CE-MS, SFC-MS, LC-NMR, CE-NMR, LC-FTIR, etc. These are already being extensively used by industry and also there is tremendous increase in publications in the literature involving their use. This write-up critically reviews the literature for application of hyphenated tools in impurity and degradation product profiling of small molecules. A brief mention is made on possible pitfalls in the experimentation and data interpretation. Appropriate strategies are proposed, following which one can obtain unambiguous characterization of the unidentified IMPs and/or DPs.

The Identification of Quantitative Trait Loci That Control the Paternal Inheritance of a Mitochondrial Plasmid in Rapeseed (Brassica Napus L.)

Some varieties of Brassica napus (rapeseed) and B. rapa contain a liner mitochondrial plasmid that is unique in that it can be inherited from the male parent through the pollen. We found that two rapeseed cultivars, Norin 16 and Westar, showed different rates of plasmid inheritance from the paternal parent (78.8% and 27.5%, respectively). To identify nuclear genes controlling the inheritance of the plasmid, we carried out quantitative trait locus (QTL) analyses using F(2) populations derived from a cross between these two cultivars. The F1 plants transmitted the plasmid from the paternal plant at a frequency of approximately 60%; the transmission rates of the F2 lines varied greatly, from 0 to 100%, with an average of 68.2%. A genetic map was constructed based on the segregation of 175 loci in the 102 F2 plants. A total of 22 linkage groups were obtained, all of which could be assigned to the 19 rapeseed chromosomes. The total map length was 1374.7 cM, with an average distance of 7.9 cM between the markers. We found that three quantitative trait loci for plasmid paternal transfer, qPpt1, qPpt2 and qPpt3, located on chromosomes A5, C2 and C9, respectively, were significantly linked to the transmission frequency, whose the logarithm of odds (LOD) score were 4.97, 3.49 and 3.57, respectively. Their explained phenotypic variances were 25.0%, 22.2% and 37.1%, respectively. These results suggest that the paternal inheritance of the mitochondrial plasmid is controlled by a relatively small number of nuclear genes.

Genome-wide Survey of Mutual Homologous Recombination in a Highly Sexual Bacterial Species

The nature of a species remains a fundamental and controversial question. The era of genome/metagenome sequencing has intensified the debate in prokaryotes because of extensive horizontal gene transfer. In this study, we conducted a genome-wide survey of outcrossing homologous recombination in the highly sexual bacterial species Helicobacter pylori. We conducted multiple genome alignment and analyzed the entire data set of one-to-one orthologous genes for its global strains. We detected mosaic structures due to repeated recombination events and discordant phylogenies throughout the genomes of this species. Most of these genes including the "core" set of genes and horizontally transferred genes showed at least one recombination event. Taking into account the relationship between the nucleotide diversity and the minimum number of recombination events per nucleotide, we evaluated the recombination rate in every gene. The rate appears constant across the genome, but genes with a particularly high or low recombination rate were detected. Interestingly, genes with high recombination included those for DNA transformation and for basic cellular functions, such as biosynthesis and metabolism. Several highly divergent genes with a high recombination rate included those for host interaction, such as outer membrane proteins and lipopolysaccharide synthesis. These results provide a global picture of genome-wide distribution of outcrossing homologous recombination in a bacterial species for the first time, to our knowledge, and illustrate how a species can be shaped by mutual homologous recombination.

Safety, Tolerability, and Bioavailability of Topical SAR 1118, a Novel Antagonist of Lymphocyte Function-associated Antigen-1: a Phase 1b Study

A growing body of evidence points to a role for inflammation mediated by lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) and its ligand intercellular adhesion molecule-1 in the pathogenesis of diabetic macular oedema. This phase 1b clinical trial assessed the safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of topically administered SAR 1118, a novel LFA-1 antagonist, in human subjects.

Estrogen Receptors and the Regulation of Neural Stress Responses

It is now well established that estrogens can influence a panoply of physiological and behavioral functions. In many instances, the effects of estrogens are mediated by the 'classical' actions of two different estrogen receptors (ERs), ERα or ERβ. ERα and ERβ appear to have opposing actions in the control of stress responses and modulate different neurotransmitter or neuropeptide systems. Studies elucidating the molecular mechanisms for such regulatory processes are currently in progress. Furthermore, the use of ERα and ERβ knockout mouse lines has allowed the exploration of the importance of these receptors in behavioral responses such as anxiety-like and depressive-like behaviors. This review examines some of the recent advances in our knowledge of hormonal control of neuroendocrine and behavioral responses to stress and underscore the importance of these receptors as future therapeutic targets for control of stress-related signaling pathways.

Estrogen Receptor Beta Dependent Attenuation of Cytokine-induced Cyclooxygenase-2 by Androgens in Human Brain Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells and Rat Mesenteric Arteries

Androgens may provide protective effects in the vasculature under pathophysiological conditions. Our past studies have shown that dihydrotestosterone (DHT) decreases expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) during cytokine, endotoxin, or hypoxic stimulation in human vascular smooth muscle cells, in an androgen receptor (AR)-independent fashion. Classically DHT is regarded as a pure AR agonist; however, it can be endogenously metabolized to 5α-androstane-3β, 17β-diol (3β-diol), which has recently been shown to be a selective estrogen receptor (ERβ) agonist. Therefore, we hypothesized that DHT's anti-inflammatory properties following cytokine stimulation are mediated through ERβ. Using primary human brain vascular smooth muscle cells (HBVSMC), we tested whether DHT's effect on IL-1β induced COX-2 expression was mediated via AR or ERβ. The metabolism of DHT to 3β-diol is a viable pathway in HBVSMC since mRNA for enzymes necessary for the synthesis and metabolism of 3β-diol [3alpha-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (HSD), 3β-HSD, 17β-HSD, CYP7B1] was detected. In addition, the expression of AR, ERα, and ERβ mRNA was detected. When applied to HBVSMC, DHT (10nM; 18 h) attenuated IL-1β-induced increases in COX-2 protein expression. The AR antagonist bicalutamide did not block DHT's ability to reduce COX-2. Both the non-selective estrogen receptor antagonist ICI 182,780 (1 μM) and the selective ERβ antagonist PHTPP (1 μM) inhibited the effect of DHT, suggesting that DHT actions are ERβ-mediated. In HBVSMC and in rat mesenteric arteries, 3β-diol, similar to DHT, reduced cytokine-induced COX-2 levels. In conclusion, DHT appears to be protective against the progression of vascular inflammation through metabolism to 3β-diol and activation of ERβ.

How Did Rehabilitation Professionals Act when Faced with the Great East Japan Earthquake and Disaster? Descriptive Epidemiology of Disability and an Interim Report of the Relief Activities of the Ten Rehabilitation-Related Organizations

Inter-organizational coordination is important for rehabilitation disaster relief. The 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Disaster was unprecedented, being geographically widespread and multifaceted. Faced with the crisis, rehabilitation professionals established the 10 Rehabilitation-Related Organizations of Rehabilitation Support Service (10-RRO). The objectives of this paper are to provide descriptive epidemiology and assess the activities of 10-RRO.

Cereblon is a Direct Protein Target for Immunomodulatory and Antiproliferative Activities of Lenalidomide and Pomalidomide

Thalidomide and the immunomodulatory drug, lenalidomide, are therapeutically active in hematological malignancies. The ubiquitously expressed E3 ligase protein cereblon (CRBN) has been identified as the primary teratogenic target of thalidomide. Our studies demonstrate that thalidomide, lenalidomide and another immunomodulatory drug, pomalidomide, bound endogenous CRBN and recombinant CRBN-DNA damage binding protein-1 (DDB1) complexes. CRBN mediated antiproliferative activities of lenalidomide and pomalidomide in myeloma cells, as well as lenalidomide- and pomalidomide-induced cytokine production in T cells. Lenalidomide and pomalidomide inhibited autoubiquitination of CRBN in HEK293T cells expressing thalidomide-binding competent wild-type CRBN, but not thalidomide-binding defective CRBN(YW/AA). Overexpression of CRBN wild-type protein, but not CRBN(YW/AA) mutant protein, in KMS12 myeloma cells, amplified pomalidomide-mediated reductions in c-myc and IRF4 expression and increases in p21(WAF-1) expression. Long-term selection for lenalidomide resistance in H929 myeloma cell lines was accompanied by a reduction in CRBN, while in DF15R myeloma cells resistant to both pomalidomide and lenalidomide, CRBN protein was undetectable. Our biophysical, biochemical and gene silencing studies show that CRBN is a proximate, therapeutically important molecular target of lenalidomide and pomalidomide.

Endoscopic Mucosal Resection with 0.13% Hyaluronic Acid Solution for Colorectal Polyps Less Than 20 Mm: a Randomized Controlled Trial

Adequate mucosal elevation by submucosal injection is important for definitive en bloc resection and prevention of perforation during endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR). The objective of this study is to determine the efficacy of 0.13% hyaluronic acid (HA) solution for high and sustained mucosal elevation during colorectal EMR.

Production of the Catalytic Core of Human Peptidylglycine α-hydroxylating Monooxygenase (hPHMcc) in Escherichia Coli

Most mammalian bioactive peptides possess a C-terminal amino acid amide moiety. The presence of the C-terminal amide is a significant impediment to the recombinant production of α-amidated peptides. α-Amidated peptides are produced in vivo by the enzymatic cleavage of a precursor with a C-terminal glycine residue. Peptidylglycine α-hydroxylating monooxygenase catalyzes the key step in the oxidation of the glycine-extended precursors to the α-amidated peptide. Herein, we detail the production of the catalytic core of human peptidylglycine α-hydroxylating monooxygenase (hPHMcc) in Escherichia coli possessing a N-terminal fusion to thioredoxin (Trx). Trx was fused to hPHMcc to enhance the yield of the resulting 52 kDa protein as a soluble and catalytically active enzyme. The Trx-hPHMcc-His(6) fusion was purified to homogeneity and exhibited steady-state kinetic parameters that were similar to purified rat PHMcc. The bacterial production of recombinant hPHMcc will foster efforts to generate α-amidated peptides by the co-expression of hPHMcc and the α-amidated peptide precursors in E. coli or the in vitro amidation of recombinantly expressed α-amidated peptide precursors.

Preoperative Assessment and Perioperative Management of Cardiovascular Risk

Preoperative cardiovascular evaluation of patients scheduled to undergo surgery requires a multidisciplinary approach involving anesthetists, surgeons, and cardiologists. Within the last 5 to 10 years, there have been considerable scientific advances in this field, and the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association(ACC/AHA) have updated their guidelines.(1,11) Greater emphasis now lies on preoperative clinical risk stratification and less on routine cardiac testing. Prophylactic coronary revascularization is now also seen as rarely indicated simply to lower the risk of surgery.(1) This review will give a brief summary of the guidelines and suggests a practical stepwise approach to evaluate the patient preoperatively.

Role of Pectin Methylesterases in Cellular Calcium Distribution and Blossom-end Rot Development in Tomato Fruit

Blossom-end rot (BER) in tomato fruit (Solanum lycopersicum) is believed to be a calcium (Ca²⁺) deficiency disorder, but the mechanisms involved in its development are poorly understood. Our hypothesis is that high expression of pectin methylesterases (PMEs) increases Ca²⁺ bound to the cell wall, subsequently decreasing Ca²⁺ available for other cellular functions and thereby increasing fruit susceptibility to BER. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effect of PME expression, and amount of esterified pectins and Ca²⁺ bound to the cell wall on BER development in tomato fruit. Wild-type and PME-silenced tomato plants were grown in a greenhouse. At full bloom, flowers were pollinated and Ca²⁺ was no longer provided to the plants to induce BER. Our results show that suppressing expression of PMEs in tomato fruit reduced the amount of Ca²⁺ bound to the cell wall, and also reduced fruit susceptibility to BER. Both the wild-type and PME-silenced fruit had similar total tissue, cytosolic and vacuolar Ca²⁺ concentrations, but wild-type fruit had lower water-soluble apoplastic Ca²⁺ content and higher membrane leakage, one of the first symptoms of BER. Our results suggest that apoplastic water-soluble Ca²⁺ concentration influences fruit susceptibility to Ca²⁺ deficiency disorders.

Clinical Significance of Granulocytic Sarcoma in Adult Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia

To investigate the clinical significance of granulocytic sarcoma (GS) in adults with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), 434 consecutive patients with AML were analyzed retrospectively. Forty-five patients (10.4%) with GS at diagnosis were younger (P < 0.001), presented with higher white blood cell counts (P = 0.03) and were more likely to conform to French-American-British M4 (P = 0.001) and M5 (P = 0.045) classifications than those without GS. In contrast, no significant difference in frequency of cytogenetic abnormalities was found between the GS and non-GS groups. Treatment outcomes in 260 patients (40 with GS) who underwent intensive chemotherapy, excluding patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia, were investigated. Complete remission rates did not differ significantly between the GS and non-GS groups (75.0% vs 79.1%; P = 0.192, respectively) or the 5-year overall survival (OS) rates (39.9% vs 38.7%; P = 0.749, respectively). However, the GS group had a significantly higher relapse rate than the non-GS group (74.2% vs 55.3%; P = 0.048) and a significantly lower 5-year disease-free survival rate (8.2% vs 25.7%, respectively; P = 0.005). When considered together with the results of multivariate analysis, which identified the presence of GS as an independent predictor for disease-free survival time, these findings indicate that GS might identify a high-risk subset of patients with AML.

Sex, Stress, and Mood Disorders: at the Intersection of Adrenal and Gonadal Hormones

The risk for neuropsychiatric illnesses has a strong sex bias, and for major depressive disorder (MDD), females show a more than 2-fold greater risk compared to males. Such mood disorders are commonly associated with a dysregulation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Thus, sex differences in the incidence of MDD may be related with the levels of gonadal steroid hormone in adulthood or during early development as well as with the sex differences in HPA axis function. In rodents, organizational and activational effects of gonadal steroid hormones have been described for the regulation of HPA axis function and, if consistent with humans, this may underlie the increased risk of mood disorders in women. Other developmental factors, such as prenatal stress and prenatal overexposure to glucocorticoids can also impact behaviors and neuroendocrine responses to stress in adulthood and these effects are also reported to occur with sex differences. Similarly, in humans, the clinical benefits of antidepressants are associated with the normalization of the dysregulated HPA axis, and genetic polymorphisms have been found in some genes involved in controlling the stress response. This review examines some potential factors contributing to the sex difference in the risk of affective disorders with a focus on adrenal and gonadal hormones as potential modulators. Genetic and environmental factors that contribute to individual risk for affective disorders are also described. Ultimately, future treatment strategies for depression should consider all of these biological elements in their design.

Alteration of χ Recognition by RecBCD Reveals a Regulated Molecular Latch and Suggests a Channel-bypass Mechanism for Biological Control

The RecBCD enzyme is a complex heterotrimeric helicase/nuclease that initiates recombination at double-stranded DNA breaks. In Escherichia coli, its activities are regulated by the octameric recombination hotspot, χ (5'-GCTGGTGG), which is read as a single-stranded DNA sequence while the enzyme is unwinding DNA at over ∼1,000 bp/s. Previous studies implicated the RecC subunit as the "χ-scanning element" in this process. Site-directed mutagenesis and phenotypic analyses identified residues in RecC responsible for χ recognition [Handa N, et al., (2012) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 10.1073/pnas.1206076109]. The genetic analyses revealed two classes of mutants. Here we use ensemble and single-molecule criteria to biochemically establish that one class of mutants (type 1) has lost the capacity to recognize χ (lost-recognition), whereas the second class (type 2) has a lowered specificity for recognition (relaxed-specificity). The relaxed-specificity mutants still recognize canonical χ, but they have gained the capacity to precociously recognize single-nucleotide variants of χ. Based on the RecBCD structure, these mutant classes define an α-helix responsible for χ recognition that is allosterically coupled to a structural latch. When opened, we propose that the latch permits access to an alternative exit channel for the single-stranded DNA downstream of χ, thereby avoiding degradation by the nuclease domain. These findings provide a unique perspective into the mechanism by which recognition of a single-stranded DNA sequence switches the translocating RecBCD from a destructive nuclease to a constructive component of recombinational DNA repair.

Molecular Determinants Responsible for Recognition of the Single-stranded DNA Regulatory Sequence, χ, by RecBCD Enzyme

The RecBCD enzyme is important for both restriction of foreign DNA and recombinational DNA repair. Switching enzyme function from the destructive antiviral state to the productive recombinational state is regulated by the recombination hotspot, χ (5'-GCTGGTGG-3'). Recognition of χ is unique in that it is recognized as a specific sequence within single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) during DNA translocation and unwinding by RecBCD. The molecular determinants of χ recognition and the subsequent alteration in function are unknown. Consequently, we mutated residues within the RecC subunit that comprise a channel where ssDNA is thought to be scanned for a χ sequence. These mutants were characterized in vivo with regard to χ recognition, UV-sensitivity, phage degradation, and recombination proficiency. Of 38 residues mutated, 11 were previously undescribed mutations that altered χ recognition. The mutants fell into two classes: five that failed to respond to χ, and six that suggested a relaxed specificity for χ recognition. The location of the first set of mutations defines a recognition structure responsible for sequence-specific binding of ssDNA. The second set defines a highly conserved structure, linked to the recognition structure, which we hypothesize regulates conversion of RecBCD from a molecular machine that destroys DNA to one that repairs it. These findings offer insight into the evolution of enzymes with alternate χ recognition specificities.

Carbohydrate to Carbohydrate Interaction in Development Process and Cancer Progression

Two types of carbohydrate to carbohydrate interaction (CCI) have been known to be involved in biological processes. One is the CCI between molecules expressed on interfacing cell membranes of different cells to mediate cell to cell adhesion, and subsequently induce cell signaling, and is termed trans-CCI. It has been indicated that the Le(x) to Le(x) interaction at the morula stage in mouse embryos plays an important role in the compaction process in embryonic development. GM3 to Gg3 or GM3 to LacCer interaction has been suggested to be involved in adhesion of tumor cells to endothelial cells, which is considered a crucial step in tumor metastasis. The other is the CCI between molecules expressed within the same microdomain of the cell surface membrane, and is termed cis-CCI. The interaction between ganglioside GM3, and multi (>3) GlcNAc termini of N-linked glycans of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), has been indicated as the molecular mechanism for the inhibitory effect of GM3 on EGFR activation. Also, the complex with GM3 and GM2 has been shown to inhibit the activation of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) receptor, cMet, through its association with tetraspanin CD82, and results in the inhibition of cell motility. Since CCI research is still limited, more examples of CCI in biological processes in development, and cancer progression will be revealed in the future.

Optimising an Escalating Shockwave Amplitude Treatment Strategy to Protect the Kidney from Injury During Shockwave Lithotripsy

Study Type - Therapy (case series) Level of Evidence 4 What's known on the subject? and What does the study add? Animal studies have shown that one approach to reduce SWL-induced renal injury is to pause treatment for 3-4 min early in the SWL-treatment protocol. However, there is typically no pause in treatment during clinical lithotripsy. We show in a porcine model that a pause in SWL treatment is unnecessary to achieve a reduction in renal injury if treatment is begun at a low power setting that generates low-amplitude SWs, and given continuously for ≈4 min before applying higher-amplitude SWs. OBJECTIVE: •  To test the idea that a pause (≈3 min) in the delivery of shockwaves (SWs) soon after the initiation of SW lithotripsy (SWL) is unnecessary for achieving a reduction in renal injury, if treatment is begun at a low power setting that generates low-amplitude SWs. MATERIALS AND METHODS: •  Anaesthetised female pigs were assigned to one of three SWL treatment protocols that did not involve a pause in SW delivery of >10 s (2000 SWs at 24 kV; 100 SWs at 12 kV +≈10-s pause + 2000 SWs at 24 kV; 500 SWs at 12 kV +≈10-s pause + 2000 SWs at 24 kV). •  All SWs were delivered at 120 SWs/min using an unmodified Dornier HM3 lithotripter. •  Renal function was measured before and after SWL. •  The kidneys were then processed for quantification of the SWL-induced haemorrhagic lesion. Values for lesion size were compared to previous data collected from pigs in which treatment included a 3-min pause in SW delivery. RESULTS: •  All SWL treatment protocols produced a similar degree of vasoconstriction (23-41% reduction in glomerular filtration rate and effective renal plasma flow) in the SW-treated kidney. •  The mean renal lesion in pigs treated with 100 low-amplitude SWs delivered before the main dose of 2000 high-amplitude SWs (2.27% functional renal volume [FRV]) was statistically similar to that measured for pigs treated with 2000 SWs all at high-amplitude (3.29% FRV). •  However, pigs treated with 500 low-amplitude SWs before the main SW dose had a significantly smaller lesion (0.44% FRV) that was comparable with the lesion in pigs from a previous study in which there was a 3-min pause in treatment separating a smaller initial dose of 100 low-amplitude SWs from the main dose of 2000 high-amplitude SWs (0.46% FRV). The time between the initiation of the low - and high-amplitude SWs was ≈4 min for these latter two groups compared with ≈1 min when there was negligible pause after the initial 100 low-amplitude SWs in the protocol. CONCLUSIONS: •  Pig kidneys treated by SWL using a two-step low-to-high power ramping protocol were protected from injury with negligible pause between steps, provided the time between the initiation of low-amplitude SWs and switching to high-amplitude SWs was ≈4 min. •  Comparison with results from previous studies shows that protection can be achieved using various step-wise treatment scenarios in which either the initial dose of SWs is delivered at low-amplitude for ≈4 min, or there is a definitive pause before resuming SW treatment at higher amplitude. •  Thus, we conclude that renal protection can be achieved without instituting a pause in SWL treatment. It remains prudent to consider that renal protection depends on the acoustic and temporal properties of SWs administered at the beginning stages of a SWL ramping protocol, and that this may differ according to the lithotripter being used.

Laminar and Blazed Type Holographic Gratings for a Versatile Soft X-ray Spectrograph Attached to an Electron Microscope and Their Evaluation in the 50-200 EV Range

Laminar and blazed type holographic varied-line-spacing spherical gratings for use in a versatile soft x-ray flat-field spectrograph attached to an electron microscope are designed, fabricated, and evaluated. The absolute diffraction efficiencies of laminar (or blazed) master and replica gratings at 86.00° incidence evaluated by synchrotron radiation show over 5% (or 8%) in the 50-200 eV range with the maxima of 22% (or 26%-27%). Also the resolving power evaluated by a laser produced plasma source is in excess of 700 at the energy near the K emission spectrum of lithium (~55 eV) for all gratings. Moreover, the K emission spectrum of metallic Li with high spectral resolution is successfully observed with the spectrograph attached to a transmission electron microscope.

Non-circumferential Tracheal Resection with Muscle Flap Reconstruction for Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma

Circumferential airway resection with primary anastomosis has been widely adopted as a treatment for adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) of the trachea. However, carinal resection is a complicated procedure with high mortality and morbidity rates. We describe a technique of non-circumferential tracheal resection performed to treat ACC arising from the lower membranous trachea adjacent to the carina. The tumor was resected while preserving the tracheo-carinal cartilage. A silicone Y-stent was placed at the bifurcation to ensure airway patency before closing the defect. The airway defect, measuring 4 × 2.5 cm, was closed using an autologous pericardial patch and pedicled latissimus dorsi muscle flap. These procedures were technically easy, and no postoperative airway complication occurred.

Follicular Lymphoma Presenting with Marked Splenomegaly: Report of Three Cases

Marked splenomegaly as the main presenting sign in follicular lymphoma (FL) is rare. The clinical and morphologic findings of 3 FL patients with massive splenomegaly and slight or no lymphadenopathy are presented. All cases had massive splenomegaly, and 2 had minimal peripheral lymphadenopathy with bone marrow infiltration, which is the major involved site besides the spleen. Histologically, various sizes of micronodules, composed of medium-sized centrocytes, were present in the white pulp in 2 cases in whom splenectomy was performed. The other case was complicated by nephrotic syndrome and showed aggregates of packed small lymphocytes in the spleen and renal parenchyma. Tumor cells were positive for CD10, CD20, bcl-2, and bcl-6. Since these cases are clinically similar to splenic marginal zone lymphoma, recognition of this disease and selection of the appropriate therapy are needed.

Discovery of Novel PI3-kinase δ Specific Inhibitors for the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis: Taming CYP3A4 Time-dependent Inhibition

PI3Kδ is a lipid kinase and a member of a larger family of enzymes, PI3K class IA(α, β, δ) and IB (γ), which catalyze the phosphorylation of PIP2 to PIP3. PI3Kδ is mainly expressed in leukocytes, where it plays a critical, nonredundant role in B cell receptor mediated signaling and provides an attractive opportunity to treat diseases where B cell activity is essential, e.g., rheumatoid arthritis. We report the discovery of novel, potent, and selective PI3Kδ inhibitors and describe a structural hypothesis for isoform (α, β, γ) selectivity gained from interactions in the affinity pocket. The critical component of our initial pharmacophore for isoform selectivity was strongly associated with CYP3A4 time-dependent inhibition (TDI). We describe a variety of strategies and methods for monitoring and attenuating TDI. Ultimately, a structure-based design approach was employed to identify a suitable structural replacement for further optimization.

CCR9+ Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells in the Small Intestine Suppress Development of Intestinal Inflammation in Mice

Almost all mice lacking specific molecules associated with regulatory T cells or barrier function develop intestinal inflammation in the colon, but not in the small intestine (SI). Therefore, intestinal homeostasis of the SI may be tightly controlled by other mechanisms. To determine the role of CCR9(+) plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) in intestinal homeostasis of the SI we transferred CD4(+)CD45RB(high) T cells into ccr9(-/-)×rag-2(-/-) mice. We showed that CCL25, a counterpart chemokine for CCR9, is constitutively expressed in the SI but not the colon and spleen of rag-2(-/-) or ccr9(-/-)×rag-2(-/-) mice before or after transfer of CD4(+)CD45RB(high) T cells. The ccr9(-/-)×rag-2(-/-) mice did not develop spontaneous intestinal inflammation in the SI and colon. Mice of both genotype where CD4(+)CD45RB(high) T cells were transferred developed colitis. However, the ccr9(-/-)×rag-2(-/-) mice also developed ileitis with marked infiltration of Th1 cells. These results suggest that CCR9(+) pDCs are possibly small, regulatory, antigen-presenting cells of the intestine that suppress intestinal inflammation.

Poly(β-amino Ester)-nanoparticle Mediated Transfection of Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells in Vitro and in Vivo

A variety of genetic diseases in the retina, including retinitis pigmentosa and leber congenital amaurosis, might be excellent targets for gene delivery as treatment. A major challenge in non-viral gene delivery remains finding a safe and effective delivery system. Poly(beta-amino ester)s (PBAEs) have shown great potential as gene delivery reagents because they are easily synthesized and they transfect a wide variety of cell types with high efficacy in vitro. We synthesized a combinatorial library of PBAEs and evaluated them for transfection efficacy and toxicity in retinal pigment epithelial (ARPE-19) cells to identify lead polymer structures and transfection formulations. Our optimal polymer (B5-S5-E7 at 60 w/w polymer:DNA ratio) transfected ARPE-19 cells with 44±5% transfection efficacy, significantly higher than with optimized formulations of leading commercially available reagents Lipofectamine 2000 (26±7%) and X-tremeGENE HP DNA (22±6%); (p<0.001 for both). Ten formulations exceeded 30% transfection efficacy. This high non-viral efficacy was achieved with comparable cytotoxicity (23±6%) to controls; optimized formulations of Lipofectamine 2000 and X-tremeGENE HP DNA showed 15±3% and 32±9% toxicity respectively (p>0.05 for both). Our optimal polymer was also significantly better than a gold standard polymeric transfection reagent, branched 25 kDa polyethyleneimine (PEI), which achieved only 8±1% transfection efficacy with 25±6% cytotoxicity. Subretinal injections using lyophilized GFP-PBAE nanoparticles resulted in 1.1±1×10(3)-fold and 1.5±0.7×10(3)-fold increased GFP expression in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE)/choroid and neural retina respectively, compared to injection of DNA alone (p = 0.003 for RPE/choroid, p<0.001 for neural retina). The successful transfection of the RPE in vivo suggests that these nanoparticles could be used to study a number of genetic diseases in the laboratory with the potential to treat debilitating eye diseases.

Induction of Epithelial-mesenchymal Transition with O-glycosylated Oncofetal Fibronectin

Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) has been shown to play a key role in embryogenesis and cancer progression. We previously found that fibronectin (FN) carrying O-GalNAc at a specific site is selectively expressed in cancer and fetal cells/tissues, and termed oncofetal FN (onfFN). Here, we show that (i) a newly-established monoclonal antibody against FN lacking the O-GalNAc, termed normalFN (norFN), is useful for isolation of onfFN, (ii) onfFN, but not norFN, can induce EMT in human lung carcinoma cells, (iii) onfFN has a synergistic effect with transforming growth factor (TGF)β1 in EMT induction.

[Thymic Carcinoid Associated with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 1]

We report a case of a thymic carcinoid associated with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1( MEN-1). A 37-year-old man was referred to our hospital for further examination of an abnormal chest shadow. A chest computed tomography (CT) showed an anterior mediastinal mass measuring 6.5 cm in diameter. A pathological diagnosis of thymic carcinoid was made from a CT-guided needle biopsy specimen. Preoperative workup including endocrinological examination revealed a pituitary adenoma and hyperparathyroidism, and MEN-1 was clinically diagnosed. We performed total parathyroidectomy with autotransplantation and thymectomy with lymph node dissection through cervical collar incision and median sternotomy. The diagnosis of MEN-1 was confirmed by the genomic analysis postoperatively. Since 25% of thymic carcinoids are MEN-1 related and 95% of MEN-1 patients develop hyperparathyroidism, it should be kept in mind that this condition can be treated by thymectomy and concurrent parathyroidectomy.

Change in Biomass of Symbiotic Ants Throughout the Ontogeny of a Myrmecophyte, Macaranga Beccariana (Euphorbiaceae)

Macaranga myrmecophytes (ant-plants) provide their partner symbiotic ants (plant-ants) with food bodies as their main food, and they are protected by the plant-ants from herbivores. The amount of resource allocated to food bodies determines the plant-ant colony size and consequently determines the intensity of ant defense (anti-herbivore defense by plant-ants). As constraints in resource allocation change as plants grow, the plant-ant colony size is hypothesized to change with the ontogenesis of Macaranga myrmecophyte. To determine the ontogenetic change in the relative size of the plant-ant colony, we measured the dry weights of the whole plant-ant colony and all of the aboveground parts of trees at various ontogenetic stages for a myrmecophytic species (Macaranga beccariana) in a Bornean lowland tropical rain forest. Ant biomass increased as plant biomass increased. However, the rate of increase gradually declined, and the ant biomass appeared to reach a ceiling once trees began to branch. The ant/plant biomass ratio consistently decreased as plant biomass increased, with the rate of decrease gradually accelerating. We infer that the ontogenetic reduction in ant/plant biomass ratio is caused by an ontogenetic change in resource allocation to food rewards for ants related to the physiological changes accompanying the beginning of branching.

Prenatal Dexamethasone Selectively Decreases Calretinin Expression in the Adult Female Lateral Amygdala

Exposure to high levels of glucocorticoids (GCs) during early development results in lasting disturbances in emotional behavior in rodents. Inhibitory GABAergic neurons, classified by their expression of calcium binding proteins (CBPs), also contribute to stress-related behaviors and may be GC sensitive during development. Therefore, in the present study we investigated the effects of prenatal treatment with the glucocorticoid receptor agonist dexamethasone (DEX) on expression of calbindin and calretinin in brain areas critical to emotional regulation (basolateral/lateral amygdala and hippocampal CA1 and CA3 regions). Late gestational treatment with DEX (gestational days 18-22) significantly decreased the density of calretinin immunoreactive cells in the lateral amygdala of adult female offspring with no differences in the basolateral amygdala, hippocampal CA1, or CA3 regions. Moreover, there were no effects of gestational DEX treatment on calretinin expression in males. Calbindin expression in adulthood was unaltered within either amygdala or hippocampal subregion of either sex following prenatal DEX treatment. Together these findings indicate that late gestational DEX treatment causes a targeted reduction of calretinin within the lateral amygdala of females and this may be one mechanism through which developmental glucocorticoid exposure contributes to lasting alterations in emotional behavior.

Analysis of Systemic and Airway Inflammation in Obstructive Sleep Apnea

PURPOSE: The presence of both systemic and airway inflammation has been suggested in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) by increased levels of inflammatory biomarkers in the circulation and respiratory specimens. We aimed to investigate the relationship between systemic and airway inflammation in OSA. METHODS: This study was conducted by simultaneously measuring various biomarkers both in serum and induced sputum of 43 patients. We compared the relationships of these biomarker levels with polysomnographic data and obesity measurements and also investigated their interrelationships between systemic and local compartments. We also assessed the relation of inflammatory markers with proximal airway resistance measured by impulse oscillometry. RESULTS: In multiple regression analyses, each measured serum biomarker [leptin, interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-8, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)] significantly correlated with waist circumference or fat area determined by computed tomography. In contrast, regarding airway inflammation, sputum IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α, and VEGF significantly correlated with OSA severity as indicated by the respiratory disturbance index or oxygen desaturation indices. Sputum IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α, and VEGF were significantly related to sputum neutrophil number, and sputum IL-8 and TNF-α were related to proximal airway resistance independently of body mass index. There were no significant interrelationships between the same biomarkers in serum and induced sputum. CONCLUSIONS: Systemic and airway inflammation in OSA might be differently regulated by OSA itself and comorbid obesity, depending on the type of cytokine. Although we did not find apparent interrelationships between systemic and local compartments, further studies are needed to clarify this concept.

Trabeculotomy in a Behçet's Disease Patient One Week After Infliximab Administration

To describe a patient with Behçet's disease and anterior uveitis, which was not cured by local and systemic corticosteroid treatments, who underwent trabeculotomy one week after infliximab administration.

The Effect of Chronic Immobilization Stress on Leptin Signaling in the Ovariectomized (OVX) Rat

Previous studies have shown that both 17β-estradiol (E2) treatment and chronic stress may attenuate post-OVX weight gain in the female rat. However, the interaction between E2 and stress is unclear. This study examined the effect of E2 treatment and chronic immobilization stress on body weight. Adult OVX Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups in a 2X2 factorial design examining hormone treatment [vehicle (VEH) or E2, sc] and stress (no stress vs stress 60 min/day for 22 days). After 22 days, E2 significantly inhibited weight gain and food intake in OVX rats. In contrast, chronic stress reduced body weight only in control OVX animals but did not affect food intake. E2 reduced circulating leptin levels in non-stressed animals, but not in animals subjected to chronic immobilization. Western blot analysis indicated that E2 treatment increased leptin receptor (Ob-Rb) expression in the medial basal hypothalamus (MBH); however, this treatment also increased suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3), which is an inhibitor of leptin signaling. Chronic immobilization stress blunted the E2-induced increase in Ob-Rb and SOCS3 levels. These results suggest that chronic stress counteracts E2 effects on leptin signaling in the MBH without altering body weight.

DNA Polymerization-independent Functions of DNA Polymerase Epsilon in Assembly and Progression of the Replisome in Fission Yeast

DNA polymerase epsilon (Pol ε) synthesizes the leading strands, following the CMG (Cdc45, Mcm2-7, and GINS [Go-Ichi-Nii-San]) helicase that translocates on the leading-strand template at eukaryotic replication forks. Although Pol ε is essential for the viability of fission and budding yeasts, the N-terminal polymerase domain of the catalytic subunit, Cdc20/Pol2, is dispensable for viability, leaving the following question: what is the essential role(s) of Pol ε? In this study, we investigated the essential roles of Pol ε using a temperature-sensitive mutant and a recently developed protein-depletion (off-aid) system in fission yeast. In cdc20-ct1 cells carrying mutations in the C-terminal domain of Cdc20, the CMG components, RPA, Pol α, and Pol δ were loaded onto replication origins, but Cdc45 did not translocate from the origins, suggesting that Pol ε is required for CMG helicase progression. In contrast, depletion of Cdc20 abolished the loading of GINS and Cdc45 onto origins, indicating that Pol ε is essential for assembly of the CMG complex. These results demonstrate that Pol ε plays essential roles in both the assembly and progression of CMG helicase.

A Study of Voice Profiles and Acoustic Signs in Patients with Parkinson's Disease in North India

We aimed to study the voice profiles of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and correlate the profiles with disease severity. A total of 133 patients with PD were recruited. Patients were divided into two groups: Group 1 with a Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) score of ≤45; and Group 2 with a UPDRS >45. Speech was analyzed using the Indian Speech and Hearing Association (ISHA) articulation assessment and Vaghmi software. A total of 87 patients (65.41%) reported a history of speech problems. Examination revealed slow reading speed (64.7% of patients), hoarseness of voice (60.2%), articulatory defect (39.8%) and jerky speech (32.3%) as common abnormalities. Misarticulation was most often observed among the labial (42.1%), followed by lingual and palatal syllables. The ISHA articulation test demonstrated significant differences in mean numbers of words distorted (p<0.001) and intelligible speech (p=0.004) between patients with early and advanced PD. Vaghmi software analysis (Speech and Voice Systems, Bangalore, India) also revealed significant difference between the two groups in maximum phonation duration (p=0.034), inability to phonate (noiseless speech, Z; p=0.002) and the mean noise-to-noiseless speech (S/Z) ratio (p=0.006).

Reassessment of Declines in Pulmonary Function 1 Year or More After Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT)

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND:Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is standard care for patients with inoperable early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer. However, clinicians may hesitate to use SBRT in patients with severe COPD because of potential negative effects on pulmonary function. We quantitatively analyzed long-term declines in pulmonary function after SBRT to ascertain lifelong tolerability to SBRT. METHODS:Between 2005 and 2010 at Ofuna Chuo Hospital, 292 patients with lung tumors were treated with SBRT. Among them, patients who underwent pulmonary function tests (PFTs) both pre-treatment and at 1 year or more after SBRT were evaluated in this retrospective analysis. Decline ratio in FEV1 and FVC was assessed (i.e., dFEV1/preFEV1 and dFVC/preFVC). Predictors were identified using univariate and multivariate analyses. RESULTS:The 141 eligible patients had follow-up PFT at a median of 21.0 (range, 12.0-74.8) months after SBRT. Among groups with normal function, mild-moderate, or severe COPD, the median values for dFEV1/preFEV1 were 7.9%, 7.9%, and 7.4%, respectively, and for dFVC/preFVC they were 5.1%, 3.4%, and 0.5%, respectively. Low body mass index (BMI) was the only predictor for dFEV1/preFEV1 > 10%. Low BMI, high lung volume receiving >20 Gy (V20), and high pre-treatment FVC were predictors for dFVC/preFVC > 10%. CONCLUSIONS:Declines in FEV1 and FVC were small, but statistically significant in patients with normal function or mild-moderate COPD, however, non-significant in patients with severe COPD. These declines were primarily due to physiologic aging. SBRT had a limited effect on decline in long-term pulmonary function and may be an acceptable alternative to surgery for patients with comorbid lung cancer and COPD.

Highly Consistent Effects of Plant Litter Identity and Functional Traits on Decomposition Across a Latitudinal Gradient

Plant litter decomposition is a key process in terrestrial carbon cycling, yet the relative importance of various control factors remains ambiguous at a global scale. A full reciprocal litter transplant study with 16 litter species that varied widely in traits and originated from four forest sites covering a large latitudinal gradient (subarctic to tropics) showed a consistent interspecific ranking of decomposition rates. At a global scale, variation in decomposition was driven by a small subset of litter traits (water saturation capacity and concentrations of magnesium and condensed tannins). These consistent findings, that were largely independent of the varying local decomposer communities, suggest that decomposer communities show little specialisation and high metabolic flexibility in processing plant litter, irrespective of litter origin. Our results provide strong support for using trait-based approaches in modelling the global decomposition component of biosphere-atmosphere carbon fluxes.

Erratum To: Carbohydrate to Carbohydrate Interaction in Development Process and Cancer Progression

A Case of Inoperable Duodenal Cancer Achieving Long-term Survival After Multidisciplinary Treatment

A 50-year-old female became aware of skin yellowing and consulted another hospital where she was diagnosed intraoperatively with duodenal cancer because of lymph node metastases around the aorta. Endoscopy revealed type IIa + IIc cancer distal to the duodenal papilla, and biopsy allowed a diagnosis of well-differentiated adenocarcinoma. Computed tomography revealed a large number of lymph node metastases around the aorta and in the left supraclavicular cavity. The patient was given many regimens of chemotherapy, mainly containing S-1, and multidisciplinary treatment, and achieved long-term survival for 6 years and 1 month. This is a valuable case suggesting the usefulness of this therapeutic approach. In view of the fact that duodenal cancer is a relatively rare disease and the possibility that the incidence of this disease may increase in the future, it seems essential to collect additional data from multicenter prospective studies towards the goal of establishing a standard method of treatment for this disease.

CCR9+ Macrophages Are Required for Eradication of Peritoneal Bacterial Infections and Prevention of Polymicrobial Sepsis

Sepsis is a systemic inflammatory response to infection associated with multiple organ dysfunction syndrome and a high mortality rate. In septic shock induced by severe peritonitis, early response of peritoneal macrophages against infected microbes is vital in preventing the spread of infection. We found that the mucosal homing receptor CCR9, is induced in peritoneal macrophages in response to inflammatory stimulation. We used a cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) model of sepsis to determine the role of CCR9 with respect to peritoneal macrophages, and controlling peritoneal infection and systemic inflammation. CCR9(-/-) mice showed aggravated septic shock with higher mortality rates compared with wild-type (WT) mice. Six hours after CLP, CCR9(-/-) mice demonstrated a greater inflammatory response. This was associated with higher production of inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-6, TNF and IP-10 in peritoneal lavage compared with WT mice. Although the numbers of peritoneal bacteria were elevated in CCR9(-/-) mice subjected to CLP compared with WT mice, this was normalized in CCR9(-/-) mice subjected to CLP through the adoptive transfer of WT peritoneal macrophages. We conclude that CCR9 is required for recruitment of peritoneal macrophages in the steady state to control systemic sepsis during early phases of peritoneal infection.

Advances in Neuroendocrine Mechanisms

Possibility of Ex Vivo Animal Training Model for Colorectal Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection

PURPOSE: Colorectal endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) has not been standardized due to technical difficulties and requires extensive training for reliability. Ex vivo animal model is convenient, but has no blood flow. The objective of this study is to evaluate the characteristics of various ex vivo animal models including a blood flow model for colorectal ESD training and the usefulness of practicing endoscopic hemostasis and closure using an animal model. METHODS: Harvested porcine cecum, rectum, and stomach and bovine cecum and rectum were analyzed regarding ease of mucosal injection, degree of submucosal elevation, and status of the proper muscle layer. Ex vivo animal model with blood flow was made using the bovine cecum. The vessel around the cecum was detached, and red ink was injected. Endoscopic hemostasis for perioperative hemorrhage and endoscopic closure for perforation were performed in this model. RESULTS: Mucosal injection was easily performed in the bovine cecum and rectum. Submucosal elevation was low in the bovine cecum, while the proper muscle layer was not tight in the porcine rectum and bovine cecum. Endoscopic hemostasis were accomplished in six (60 %) out of ten procedures of the ex vivo blood flow model. In two non-experts, the completion rates of endoscopic closure were 40 and 60 % in the first five procedures. These rates became 100 % in the last five procedures. CONCLUSIONS: We have evaluated the characteristics of various ex vivo animal models and shown the possibility of training for endoscopic hemostasis and endoscopic closure in the ex vivo animal model.

Longitudinal Changes in Pelvic Organ Support Among Parous Women

The objective of this study was to characterize changes in pelvic organ support and symptoms of prolapse over time and identify characteristics associated with worsening of support.

Distribution and Estrogen Regulation of Membrane Progesterone Receptor-β in the Female Rat Brain

Although several studies have reported the localization of membrane progesterone (P(4)) receptors (mPR) in various tissues, few have attempted to describe the distribution and regulation of these receptors in the brain. In the present study, we investigated expression of two mPR subtypes, mPRα and mPRβ, within regions of the brain, known to express estradiol (E(2))-dependent [preoptic area (POA) and hypothalamus] and independent (cortex) classical progestin receptors. Saturation binding and Scatchard analyses on plasma membranes prepared from rat cortex, hypothalamus, and POA demonstrated high-affinity, specific P(4)-binding sites characteristic of mPR. Using quantitative RT-PCR, we found that mPRβ mRNA was expressed at higher levels than mPRα, indicating that mPRβ may be the primary mPR subtype in the rat brain. We also mapped the distribution of mPRβ protein using immunohistochemistry. The mPRβ-immunoreactive neurons were highly expressed in select nuclei of the hypothalamus (paraventricular nucleus, ventromedial hypothalamus, and arcuate nucleus), forebrain (medial septum and horizontal diagonal band), and midbrain (oculomotor and red nuclei) and throughout many areas of the cortex and thalamus. Treatment of ovariectomized female rats with E(2) benzoate increased mPRβ immunoreactivity within the medial septum but not the medial POA, horizontal diagonal band, or oculomotor nucleus. Together, these findings demonstrate a wide distribution of mPRβ in the rodent brain that may contribute to functions affecting behavioral, endocrine, motor, and sensory systems. Furthermore, E(2) regulation of mPRβ indicates a mechanism through which estrogens can regulate P(4) function within discrete brain regions to potentially impact behavior.

[Opinion-a Proposed Framework for Chemical Management in Japan]

Tracheo-Innominate Artery Fistula: Two Case Reports and a Clinical Review

Tracheo-innominate artery fistula (TIF) is a surgical emergency with high mortality rates. Reported incidence is 0.1%-1.0% after tracheostomy with peak incidence 3 days to 6 weeks post procedure. TIF is usually fatal once it bleeds. For the successful management of TIF, treatment should be initiated immediately with the special considerations kept in mind. We describe two cases of TIF, and its clinical characteristics are reviewed in accordance with relevant literature.

The Role of Heart Rate Variability in Assessing the Evolution of Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (CPOD) is an important cause of morbidity and mortality. Cardiovascular involvement is the most common complication of the disease. Abnormalities of autonomic system, caused by this involvement, can lead to cardiac arrhythmias and sudden death. An important tool in assessing the dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system is the measurement of heart rate variability (HRV). In this article we systematically review the literature that addresses the role of heart rate variability as a maker of clinical evolution in patients with COPD. We focused on correlations between heart rate variability and pulmonary, muscular, cognitive and functional impairment. Heart rate variability has proven an important tool in assessing the cardiac function, the respiratory function, the muscular force, the cognitive capacity and the life quality of these patients. Until recently the problem of the cardiac autonomic dysfunction in patients with COPD could be identified only by invasive measures. At present the simple measuring of HRV is used as a noninvasive method in assessing the cardiac problems of these patients. HRV can be correlated with the severity of the disease, knowing that a dysfunction in autonomic nervous system can lead to potential fatal arrhythmias. Understanding the role of HRV in the evolution of COPD could be important in clinical practice and should be used more frequently.

Ectopic Thymoma Presenting As a Giant Intrathoracic Mass: a Case Report

Thymoma is an epithelial neoplasm of the thymus, which commonly lies in the anterior mediastinum and, therefore, an intrathoracic origin is considered to be rare. This report presents a case of giant thymoma arising in the thoracic cavity. A 61-year-old male presented with a chronic cough and breathlessness. Chest CT revealed a well enhanced giant mass approximately 18 cm in diameter in the right thoracic cavity. FDG-PET showed that the SUVmax of the tumor was 5.0 in the center and almost 2.5 in the surrounding area. A trans- bronchial needle biopsy was performed to find atypical cells. Surgery was scheduled based on the radiological and histological findings. A well-defined giant mass in the thoracic cavity, measuring 18 × 14.5 × 11 cm had undergone expansive growth without apparent invasion. The tumor was completely resected without combined resection of the other organs. The weight of the tumor was 1350 g. The tumor was histologically diagnosed to be type AB thymoma according to the World Health Organization classification and Masaoka stage IIB.

Three-dimensional Shape Differences in the Bony Pelvis of Women with Pelvic Floor Disorders

INTRODUCTION AND HYPOTHESIS: The objective of this study was to determine whether the three-dimensional shape of the bony pelvis differs between women with and without pelvic floor disorders (PFDs). We predict that the levator ani attachment points for the pelvic floor are further displaced from one another in affected relative to unaffected women. METHODS: Pelvic shape was quantified by collecting coordinate data from landmarks located on three-dimensional reconstructions of magnetic resonance images of 19 PFD cases and 16 matched controls. Euclidean distance matrix analysis (EDMA) was used to quantify and compare pelvic shape using these landmark data. RESULTS: There were no significant group differences in age, parity, body mass, racial attribution, cesarean section, or hysterectomy status. After controlling for size as a confounding factor, EDMA results identified significant differences (p = 0.05) in the bispinous diameter (4 % proportionally larger) and distances defining lateral displacement of ischia from pubis (5-6 % proportionally larger) in cases compared to controls. CONCLUSIONS: Pelvic shape in women with PFDs is characterized by the proportional mediolateral enlargement of the pelvic midplane and ischial eversion near the subpubic arch, consistent with inferolateral migration of the attachment points for the levator ani and correspondingly lateral displacement. These movements may result in increased strain on the pelvic floor's muscular and connective tissues, increasing the risk of failure over a woman's lifetime.


PURPOSE:: To test the sensitivity and reproducibility of a 25-gauge force-sensing micropick during microsurgical maneuvers that are below tactile sensation. METHODS:: Forces were measured during membrane peeling in a "raw egg" and the chick chorioallantoic membrane models (N = 12) of epiretinal membranes. Forces were also measured during posterior hyaloid detachment and creation of retinal tears during vitrectomy in live rabbits (n = 6). RESULTS:: With the raw egg model, 0.5 ± 0.4 mN of force was detected during membrane peeling. In the chorioallantoic membrane model, delaminating the upper membrane produced 2.8 ± 0.2 mN of force. While intentionally rupturing the lower membrane to simulate a retinal tear, 7.3 ± 0.5 mN (range, 5.1-9.2 mN; P < 0.001) of force was generated while peeling the upper membrane. During vitrectomy, the minimum force that detached the posterior hyaloid was 6.7 ± 1.1 mN, which was similar to the force of 6.4 ± 1.4 mN that caused a retinal tear. The rate of force generation, as indicated by the first derivative of force generation, was 3.4 ± 1.2 mN/second during posterior hyaloid detachment, compared with 7.7 ± 2.4 mN/second during the creation of a retinal tear (P = 0.04). CONCLUSION:: Force-sensing microsurgical instruments can detect forces below tactile sensation, and importantly, they can distinguish the forces generated during normal maneuvers from those that cause a surgical complication.

Cell Therapy with Adipose Tissue-derived Stem/stromal Cells for Elastase-induced Pulmonary Emphysema in Rats

The purpose of this study was to elucidate the mechanism underlying the effects of adipose tissue-derived stem/stromal cell (ASC) transplantation on porcine pancreatic elastase-induced emphysema.

Obstetrical Anal Sphincter Laceration and Anal Incontinence 5-10 Years After Childbirth

The purpose of this study was to investigate the long-term impact of anal sphincter laceration on anal incontinence.

Phase II Trial of Combined Regional Hyperthermia and Gemcitabine for Locally Advanced or Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer

Purpose: Despite advances in cancer therapy, treating pancreatic cancer remains one of the major challenges in the field of medical oncology. We conducted this phase II study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of regional hyperthermia combined with gemcitabine for the treatment of unresectable advanced pancreatic cancer. Methods: Eligibility criteria included histologically proven, locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer. Gemcitabine was administered intravenously at a dose of 1000 mg/m(2) on days 1, 8, and 15 every 4 weeks. Regional hyperthermia was performed once weekly, 1 day preceding or following gemcitabine administration. The primary end point was the 1-year survival rate. Secondary objectives were determination of tumour response and safety. Results: We enrolled 18 patients with advanced pancreatic cancer between November 2008 and May 2010. The major grade 3-4 adverse events were neutropenia and anaemia; however, there were no episodes of infection. The objective response rate (ORR) and disease control rate (ORR + stable disease) were 11.1% and 61.1%, respectively. Median overall survival (OS) was 8 months, and the 1-year survival rate was 33.3%. Median OS of patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer was 17.7 months. Conclusions: Regional hyperthermia combined with gemcitabine is well tolerated and active in patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer.

A New Method for Quantifying Ocular Dominance Using the Balancing Technique

To develop a chart for the clinical setting that can quantify ocular dominance by using the modified balancing technique, a method based on binocular rivalry.

Measurement of Dyspnea in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea

PURPOSE: Patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) frequently complain of exertional dyspnea. We aimed to assess its related factors and the significance of its measurement in OSA. METHODS: We evaluated 301 subjects with suspected OSA for dyspnea during activities of daily living using the Medical Research Council (MRC) scale. We analyzed the relationships between MRC grades and various subjective and objective indices. Further, the relationship of disease severity based on the apnea/hypopnea index (AHI) with these indices was examined. Results were compared between those obtained using MRC grades and the AHI. RESULTS: Of 301 subjects, 265 were diagnosed with OSA. Their MRC scores were worse than in non-OSA patients. Among OSA patients, 125 had MRC grade 1 (mild), 121 had MRC grade 2 (moderate), and 19 had MRC grade 3 or more (severe) dyspnea. Various measurements differed significantly between groups categorized according to the MRC scale although determinants between mild and moderate groups and between moderate and severe groups differed. AHI categorizations were not significantly related to patient-reported measurements such as the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item short form, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale scores, unlike categorization based on the MRC scale. CONCLUSIONS: Dyspnea is an important outcome in OSA although dyspnea in OSA patients is unrelated to the sleep disorder per se. Measurement of dyspnea in patients with OSA might provide further insights into the health of these patients and clinical manifestations of this disease.

Nano-hydroxyapatite-coated PEEK Implants: A Pilot Study in Rabbit Bone

Osseointegration of surface-modified polyetheretherketone (PEEK) implants was studied in vivo. A total of 18 cylinder-shaped PEEK implants were inserted in the femurs of nine New Zealand rabbits; half were coated with nanocrystalline hydroxyapatite (nanoHA) and half were uncoated controls. Healing time was 6 weeks. Samples were retrieved with the implant and surrounding tissue, processed to cut and ground sections, and analyzed histomorphometrically. The implant surfaces were analyzed with optical interferometry, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). NanoHA-coated PEEK surfaces had lower height deviation (Sa) than controls [mean ± SD: 0.41 μm (±0.14) vs. 0.96 μm (±0.28)]. SEM images showed the nanoHA crystals as a thin layer on the polymer surface. XPS analysis of the coated implants showed a Ca/P ratio of 1.67. Histomorphometry indicated that the nanoHA-coated implants had more bone-to-implant contact [16% (±4.7) vs. 13% (±9.3)] and more bone area [52% (±9.5) vs. 45% (±11.9)]. We found no difference between smooth nanoHA-coated cylinder-shaped PEEK implants and uncoated controls. However, higher mean bone-to-implant contact indicated better osseointegration in the coated implants than in the uncoated controls. The large number of lost implants was interpreted as a lack of primary stability due to implant design. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A, 2012.

Long-term Clinical Outcome After Intramuscular Transplantation of Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor-mobilized CD34 Positive Cells in Patients with Critical Limb Ischemia

Our phase I/IIa clinical trial revealed that intramuscular transplantation of autologous, GCSF-mobilized CD34+ cells was safe, feasible and potentially effective at week 4 and 12 post cellular therapy in 17 patients with chronic critical limb ischemia (CLI) (5 patients with atherosclerotic peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and 12 with Buerger's disease). However, long-term outcome of the cell therapy has yet to be reported.

Exposure to Dexamethasone During Late Gestation Causes Female-specific Decreases in Core Body Temperature and Prepro-thyrotropin-releasing Hormone Expression in the Paraventricular Nucleus of the Hypothalamus in Rats

Synthetic glucocorticoids (GC) have been used to promote lung development in preterm infants, thereby decreasing respiratory distress syndrome and mortality, yet, concern has arisen from reports that such treatment predisposes individuals to disease in adulthood. Given the variety of preclinical studies that show metabolic and behavioral abnormalities in adulthood following fetal exposure to synthetic GC, we examined the effect of in utero exposure to the synthetic GC, dexamethasone (DEX), on hypothalamic expression of thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) a central neuropeptide involved in mediating behavior and metabolic balance. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats were administered 0.4mg/kg DEX on gestational days 18-21. As adults (postnatal day (PD) 60), the offspring were fitted with temperature sensing transmitters allowing real-time monitoring of core body temperature (CBT) across the 24h light dark period. This revealed a significant decrease in CBT throughout the day in prenatal DEX-treated females on estrus and diestrus, but not in male offspring. The reduction in CBT by prenatal DEX exposure was accompanied by a significant decrease in the expression of Trh transcript in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) of female rats at PD 60 and this effect was also present on PD7. There was also a female-specific reduction in the number of preproTRH-immunoreactive (ir) neurons in the PVN, with ppTRH-ir nerve fibers decreases that were present in both male and female offspring. No changes in thyroid hormone (triiodothyronine, T3; thyroxine, T4) were observed in adult offspring, but during development, both males and females (PD14) had lower T3 and T4 levels. These data indicate abnormal expression of TRH results from fetal DEX exposure during late gestation, possibly explaining the decreased CBT observed in the female offspring.

A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials on Curative and Health Enhancement Effects of Forest Therapy

To summarize the evidence for curative and health enhancement effects through forest therapy and to assess the quality of studies based on a review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

Recognition of Endoscopic Diagnosis in Differentiated-type Early Gastric Cancer by Flexible Spectral Imaging Color Enhancement with Indigo Carmine

To evaluate the usefulness of flexible spectral imaging color enhancement with indigo carmine (I-FICE) in early gastric cancer (EGC) demarcation.

Joint Hypermobility, Obstetrical Outcomes, and Pelvic Floor Disorders

INTRODUCTION AND HYPOTHESIS: Benign joint hypermobility syndrome may be a risk factor for pelvic floor disorders. It is unknown whether hypermobility impacts the progress of childbirth, a known risk factor for pelvic floor disorders. Our objective was to investigate the association between joint hypermobility syndrome, obstetrical outcomes, and pelvic floor disorders. Our hypotheses were: (1) women with joint hypermobility are less likely to experience operative delivery and prolonged second-stage labor; and (2) pelvic floor disorders are associated with benign hypermobility syndrome, controlling for obstetrical history. METHODS: Joint hypermobility was measured in 587 parous women (participants in a longitudinal cohort study of pelvic floor disorders after childbirth). Their obstetrical histories were obtained from review of hospital records. Pelvic floor disorders were assessed using validated questionnaires and a structured examination for prolapse. Joint hypermobility and pelvic floor disorders were evaluated at enrollment (5-10 years after first delivery). We compared obstetrical outcomes and pelvic floor disorders between women with and without joint hypermobility, defined as a Beighton score ≥4. RESULTS: Hypermobility was diagnosed in 46 women (7.8 %) and was associated with decreased odds of cesarean after complete cervical dilation or operative vaginal delivery [odds ratio (OR) = 0.51; 95 % confidence interval (CI):0.27-0.95]. Anal sphincter laceration was unlikely to occur in women with hypermobility (OR = 0.19; 95 % CI 0.04-0.80). However, hypermobility was not associated with any pelvic floor disorder considered. CONCLUSIONS: Benign joint hypermobility syndrome may facilitate spontaneous vaginal birth but does not appear to be a risk factor for pelvic floor disorders in the first decade after childbirth.

Role of Nociceptors/Neuropeptides in the Pathogenesis of Visceral Hypersensitivity of Nonerosive Reflux Disease

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Esophageal visceral hypersensitivity has been proposed to be a pathogenesis of heartburn in nonerosive reflux disease (NERD), but its further mechanisms are unclear. Recently, it has been suggested that nociceptors and neuropeptides control sensory and pain mechanisms. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to estimate expression of acid-sensitive nociceptors such as transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) and acid-sensing ion channel 3, protease-activated receptor 2 (PAR2), neuropeptides such as substance P and calcitonin-gene-related peptide, and their receptors such as neurokinin 1 receptor (NK1R) and receptor activity-modifying protein 1 in the esophageal mucosa of NERD patients. METHODS: Biopsy samples were taken from NERD patients and healthy control subjects without heartburn. The expression level of nociceptors, neuropeptides, and their receptors were assessed by real-time RT-PCR and enzyme immunoassay. Localization of substance P and CGRP in the esophageal mucosa was determined by immunohistochemical staining. RESULTS: Expression of mRNA for TRPV1 and PAR2 was significantly elevated in the esophageal mucosa of NERD patients. Substance P protein level and its receptor NK1R mRNA also increased in NERD patients. A positive correlation between the substance P protein level and reflux symptoms was observed. Immunohistochemical study revealed the presence of substance P-positive nerves in the lamina propria of the esophagus. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that visceral hypersensitivity in NERD patients is involved in neurogenic inflammation showing the increase in both substance P release and NK1R expression, which may be associated with the activation of TRPV1 and PAR2.

Antisense Morpholino Targeting Just Upstream from a Poly(A) Tail Junction of Maternal MRNA Removes the Tail and Inhibits Translation

Gene downregulation by antisense morpholino oligonucleotides (MOs) is achieved by either hybridization around the translation initiation codon or by targeting the splice donor site. In the present study, an antisense MO method is introduced that uses a 25-mer MO against a region at least 40-nt upstream from a poly(A) tail junction in the 3'-untranslated region (UTR) of maternal mRNA. The MO removed the poly(A) tail and blocked zebrafish cdk9 (zcdk9) mRNA translation, showing functional mimicry between miRNA and MO. A PCR-based assay revealed MO-mediated specific poly(A) tail removal of zebrafish mRNAs, including those for cyclin B1, cyclin B2 and tbp. The MO activity targeting cyclins A and B mRNAs was validated in unfertilized starfish oocytes and eggs. The MO removed the elongated poly(A) tail from maternal matured mRNA. This antisense method introduces a new application for the targeted downregulation of maternal mRNAs in animal oocytes, eggs and early embryos.

Fibrinogen γ-chain Peptide-coated, ADP-encapsulated Liposomes Rescue Thrombocytopenic Rabbits from Non-compressible Liver Hemorrhage

We developed a fibrinogen γ-chain (dodecapeptide HHLGGAKQAGDV [H12])-coated, ADP-encapsulated liposome (H12-[ADP]-liposome) that accumulates at bleeding sites via interaction with activated platelets via glycoprotein IIb-IIIa and augments platelet aggregation by releasing ADP.

Pelvic Floor Disorders Following Vaginal or Cesarean Delivery

Pelvic floor disorders affect women of all ages and are associated with significant economic burden and poor quality of life. Current literature suggests an association between childbirth and these disorders. In this review, we summarize recent advancements in our understanding of this association.

Acetyl Salicylic Acid Induces Damage to Intestinal Epithelial Cells by Oxidation-related Modifications of ZO-1

Acetyl salicylic acid (ASA) is one of the most frequently prescribed medications for the secondary prevention of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events. It has recently been reported to cause small intestinal mucosal injury at a considerably higher rate than previously believed. The aim of this study is to investigate the mechanism by which this occurs using an in vitro small intestine model focusing on the role of oxidative stress and cell permeability. Differentiated Caco-2 exhibits a phenotype similar to human small intestinal epithelium. We measured whether ASA induced the increase of differentiated Caco-2 permeability, the decrease of tight junction protein expression, the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and the expression of ROS-modified zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) protein. In some experiments, Mn(III) tetrakis(1-methyl-4-pyridyl)porphyrin (MnTMPyP, a superoxide dismutase mimetic) was used. The nontoxic concentration of ASA decreased transepithelial electrical resistance and increased the flux of fluorescein isothiocyanate-conjugated dextran across Caco-2 in a time-dependent manner. The same concentration of ASA significantly decreased ZO-1 expression among TJ proteins as assessed by Western blot and immunocytochemistry and increased ROS production and the expression of oxidative stress-modified ZO-1 protein. However, MnTMPyP suppressed the ASA-induced increased intercellular permeability and the ASA-induced ROS-modified ZO-1 expression. Our findings indicate that ASA-induced ROS production can specifically modify the expression of ZO-1 protein and induce increased cell permeability, which may ultimately cause small intestinal mucosal injury.

Elevated, Combined Serum Free Light Chain Levels and Increased Mortality: a 5-year Follow-up, UK Study

Abnormal serum free light chain (FLC) ratios are diagnostically important in almost all plasma cell disorders. However, absolute increases in polyclonal FLC levels are often discarded as inconsequential. Here we report an association between increased combined polyclonal FLC (cFLC: FLCκ plus FLCλ) concentrations and mortality.

Changes in Maternal Weight 5-10 Years After a First Delivery

The objective of this study was to identify maternal, obstetrical and reproductive factors associated with long-term changes in maternal weight after delivery.

[Right Lower Lobectomy with Flap Bronchoplasty for Primary Lung Cancer]

A 59-year-old man was referred to our hospital for further investigation of an abnormal chest shadow. A chest computed tomography( CT) revealed a tumor shadow originating in the superior segment( S6)of the right lower lobe. Bronchoscopy showed no visible tumor, but adenocarcinoma cells were detected in brush cytology samples. We diagnosed primary lung cancer, classified as cT2aN0M0, and planned a radical operation. Intraoperatively, since the tumor had invaded the outer wall of intermediate bronchus, we considered a flap bronchoplasty to preserve the middle lobe. The right lower lobectomy and partial resection of intermediate bronchus were made with preserving unaffected ventral wall of lower bronchus. The lower bronchus remnant was used as a flap to cover the defect in the intermediate bronchus. The postoperative course was uneventful, and bronchoscopic findings revealed good healing of the suture line and sufficient airway patency.

Colonic Insufflation with Carbon Monoxide Gas Inhibits the Development of Intestinal Inflammation in Rats


Effect of Immediate Loading on the Biomechanical Properties of Bone Surrounding the Miniscrew Implants

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of immediate loading on the biomechanical properties of bone surrounding a miniscrew implant. Forty titanium alloy miniscrew implants were placed on the buccal side of the maxillae and mandibles in four beagle dogs. Twelve pairs of miniscrew implants were immediately loaded with approximately 150g of continuous force using nickel-titanium coil springs and the remaining 16 implants were left unloaded for 8 weeks. Nanoindentation testing was performed (peak load 10 mN) and the hardness and elastic modulus were calculated. Two series of indentations (in cortical and trabecular bone) for both the compression and tension sides were made. For each site, five indentations were placed approximately 25 μm from the implant-bone interface and 250 μm from the screw thread. The mean hardness and elastic modulus were generally higher in mandibles than maxillae and were higher in cortical bone than in trabecular bone. The trabecular bone near the implant-bone interface on the compression side was significantly harder than that at other locations in trabecular bone. In conclusion, this is the first study that has investigated the biomechanical properties of bone surrounding a miniscrew implant under immediate loading using nanoindentation testing. The mechanical properties of bone surrounding a miniscrew implant may be influenced by immediate loading.

Filaggrin Mutations and the Skin

Filaggrin is very important in the terminal differentiation of the skin and the formation of cornified envelope in the stratum corneum. Several mutations in the filaggrin gene have been identified in the last decade, mostly from the European countries. Loss of function mutations in the filaggrin gene results in reduced production of filaggrin, depending on the type and site of mutation. Such mutations in the filaggrin gene have been shown to be the most significant genetic risk factor for development of atopic dermatitis and undoubtedly has a role in the pathogenesis of ichthyosis vulgaris. Though there is theoretical possibility of association with hand eczema and allergic contact dermatitis; in clinical studies, the strength of these associations was not significantly strong. In this review, we have discussed the structure and function of filaggrin, basic genetics, type of mutations in filaggrin gene, and association of such mutations with different dermatoses.

Contact Dermatitis to Hair Dye: an Update

Exposure to hair dyes has long been known as a significant risk factor for development of allergic contact dermatitis among the exposed population as these lead to severe eczema of face and upper trunk in the consumer and hand eczema in hair-dressers. Currently, para-phenylenediamine (PPD) is the main ingredient used in permanent hair color products in the market and is the most important allergen. Prevalence of PPD sensitization is high in patients with contact dermatitis across all continents, with hair dye use being the commonest cause. In order to decrease the burden of disease, use of alternative natural dyeing agents among consumers and use of barrier neoprene gloves among hairdressers should be encouraged apart from stringent legislation to reduce the amount of PPD reaching the consumer.

Thyroid Storm with Multiple Organ Failure, Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation, and Stroke with a Normal Serum FT3 Level

Thyroid storm is a rare disorder with a sudden onset, rapid progression and high mortality. We experienced a case of thyroid storm which had a devastating course, including multiple organ failure (MOF), severe hypoglycemia, disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), and stroke. It was difficult to make a diagnosis of thyroid storm in the present patient, because she did not have a history of thyroid disease and her serum FT3 level was normal. Clinicians should be aware that thyroid storm can occur even when there is an almost normal level of thyroid hormones, and that intensive anticoagulation is required for patients with atrial fibrillation to prevent stroke after thyroid storm.

[CD20-positive Peripheral T-cell Lymphoma, Not Otherwise Specified]

We report a 69-year-old male with CD3-positive peripheral T-cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified (PTCL-nos). Interestingly, tumor cells slightly expressed CD20 as well. Southern analyses of the tumor cells showed rearrangement for only the T cell receptor gene but not the immunoglobulin genes. This patient achieved partial remission with a treatment regimen of THP-COP excluding prednisolone, but died of pneumonia. Although CD20-positive PTCL is rare, a review of the reported cases suggests that CD20-positive PTCL has a poor prognosis and that bone marrow infiltration of tumor cells results in a poorer prognosis in CD20-positive PTCL than in usual PTCL. By accumulating cases of this rare entity of lymphoma, we need to clarify the biological nature of the tumor cells and usefulness of rituximab combined with standard chemotherapy.

Development of a New Distyrylbenzene-derivative Amyloid-β-aggregation and Fibril Formation Inhibitor

Several new amyloid-β (Aβ) aggregation inhibitors were synthesized according to our theory that a hydrophilic moiety could be attached to the Aβ-recognition unit for the purpose of preventing amyloid plaque formation. A distyrylbenzene-derivative, DSB(EEX)(3), which consider the Aβ recognition unit (DSB, 1,4-distyrylbenzene) and expected to bind to amyloid fibrils (β-sheet structure), was combined with the hydrophilic aggregation disrupting element (EEX) (E, Glu; X, 2-(2-(2-aminoethoxy)ethoxy)acetic acid). This DSB(EEX)(3) compound, compared to several others synthesized similarly, was found to be the most active for reducing Aβ toxicity toward IMR-32 human neuroblastoma cells. Moreover, its inhibition of Aβ-aggregation or fibril formation was directly confirmed by transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. These results suggest that the Aβ aggregation inhibitor DSB(EEX)(3) disrupts clumps of Aβ protein and is a likely candidate for drug development to treat Alzheimer's disease.

Electrical Stimulation of the Abdomen Preserves Motor Performance in the Inactive Elderly: a Randomized Controlled Trial

Abdominal muscle strength declines easily with the process of aging and/or disuse, and it is difficult to strengthen weak abdominal muscles in the inactive elderly. In the present study, we applied surface electrical stimulation (ES) to the abdomen of inactive elderly people to investigate its chronic effects. Twenty inactive elderly people (65-89 years) who spent most of the day in their bedroom participated in the study. The subjects were assigned to ES and non-ES groups in a random order. In addition to conventional physical therapy and occupational therapy, ES was applied to both sides of the flank of 10 subjects (ES group) for 8 weeks. For evaluation of the abdominal muscles, the cross-sectional area (CSA) was measured with computed tomography and the electrical muscle activity (iEMG) was measured by electromyography. Functional examinations were performed at 2, 4, and 8 weeks after the beginning of the study with the following parameters: grip strength; maximum walking speed (WS); movement time for sitting up (MSU); number of trunk flexions (NTF); flexibility of the trunk; sit-to-stand time (STS); and Barthel index (BI) score. In the ES group, the NTF and MSU were significantly improved at 4 weeks and thereafter. Furthermore, the STS and WS were also improved significantly after 8 weeks (p < 0.05). The CSA and iEMG both increased significantly (p < 0.05). However, the flexibility of the trunk and BI score did not change. In conclusion, ES to the abdomen has the potential to improve motor function in the inactive elderly.

Prepro-thyrotropin Releasing Hormone Expressing Neurons in the Juxtaparaventricular Region of the Lateral Hypothalamus Are Activated by Leptin and Altered by Prenatal Glucocorticoid Exposure

The neuropeptide thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) is recognized to play an important role in controlling energy balance through direct effects on the CNS, although mechanisms explaining the phenomenon are poorly understood. To begin to understand the effects of TRH on CNS control of energy balance, we first mapped neurons expressing the TRH precursor peptide, prepro-TRH (ppTRH) in the paraventricular nucleus of the rat hypothalamus and the surrounding regions. We identified a population of ppTRH-expressing neurons in the juxtaparaventricular region of the lateral hypothalamus (LHAjp) which were stimulated by the satiety signal leptin (2.5μg/kg, IP). Using a model of fetal glucocorticoid (GC) exposure in which pregnant rats were treated with the synthetic GC dexamethasone (DEX) during gestational days 18-21, it was observed that such exposure resulted in reduced numbers of ppTRH-ir neurons in the LHAjp in adult male and female rats, and was accompanied by increased food intake. Our data provide further insight into the biological role of the LHAjp, as well as the potential involvement of TRH neurons within this region in metabolic disease associated with fetal glucocorticoid exposure.

Ability of Fibrinogen γ-derived Dodecapeptides with Different Sequences to Bind to Rat Platelets

A dodecapeptide (γ400-411) derived from a fibrinogen γ-chain carboxyl-terminal sequence recognizes specifically the active form of GPIIb/IIIa on the surface of activated platelets. For the purpose of efficient hemostasis, we previously developed ADP-encapsulated liposomes modified with human-dodecapeptide (HHLGGAKQAGDV, human-H12). On the other hand, the amino-acid sequence of H12 from rats is HHMGGSKQVGDM, having only 67% homology to that from humans. Here, we investigated the ability of rat-H12 in comparison with human-H12 to bind to platelets. Firstly, rat platelets were activated with phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA), and the activation was confirmed by flow cytometry. Next, we evaluated the dissociation constant (K(d)) of human-H12 and rat-H12 for dissociation from rat platelets by using FACS. As a result, the K(d) of human-H12 and rat-H12 with respect to rat platelets was 2.78±0.21 and 2.91±0.22μM, respectively. Furthermore, H12 from both species inhibited quite similarly the aggregation of rat platelets in platelet-rich plasma (PRP). These results suggest that H12 from different species with different amino acid sequences interacts similarly with GPIIb/IIIa on platelets.

Two Novel Sandwich ELISAs Identify PAD4 Levels and PAD4 Autoantibodies in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

OBJECTIVE: The peptidylarginine deiminase 4 (PAD4) gene and PAD4 autoantibodies have been associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and its pathogenesis. Therefore, methods for accurately determining their levels in the peripheral blood of these patients would be a diagnostic asset. The objective of our study was to adapt the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method for evaluating PAD4 levels in human blood. METHODS: We prepared recombinant human (h)PAD1, -2, -3, and -4 proteins to develop mouse monoclonal antibodies specific to hPAD4. We then generated six monoclonal antibodies against hPAD4 and developed two new sandwich ELISA methods for evaluating hPAD4 and PAD4 autoantibodies in the peripheral blood from 32 patients with RA, ten patients with osteoarthrosis, and 20 healthy individuals. RESULTS: The distribution of hPAD4 in the patients' plasma was determined. Two populations were identified: one group with high hPAD4 levels (>0.57 ng/mL) and a second group with near-zero levels (<0.1 ng/mL). Most patients approximating zero hPAD4 levels had PAD4 autoantibodies. In contrast, most of those with higher plasma hPAD4 levels did not have detectable PAD4 autoantibodies. CONCLUSION: The combination of these sandwich ELISA methods may be a potentially beneficial clinical tool for diagnosing RA.

[A Case of Trimethoprim-induced Hyperkalemia Complicating ANCA-associated Vasculitis]

A 76-year-old man was admitted to our hospital because of severe anemia. Routine screening revealed a sigmoid adenocarcinoma, and he underwent sigmoidectomy. Post-operatively, he developed rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis. He was positive for myeloperoxidase anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody. A renal biopsy revealed idiopathic crescentic glomerulonephritis of the pauci-immune type. He was treated with methylprednisolone semi-pulse therapy with clinical improvement. After the steroid pulse therapy, he was given oral prednisolone, 40 mg per day, and oral trimethoprim (TMP), 160 mg, and sulfamethoxazole (SMX), 800 mg twice weekly for chemoprophylaxis against pneumocystis pneumonia. One month after the initiation of TMP/SMX, he developed hyperkalemia and hyponatremia. His transtubular K gradient was low, and urinary potassium excretion was decreased. On the other hand, plasma renin activity and plasma aldosterone concentrations were within normal limits. These results suggested that TMP acted similarly to a potassium-sparing diuretic amiloride and reduced renal potassium excretion. Administration of calcium polystyrene sulfonate resulted in correction of the hyperkalemia without discontinuation of TMP/SMX. We emphasize that patients with impaired renal function are at the significant risk of developing trimethoprim-induced hyperkalemia even with chemoprophylaxis.

Rebamipide Ameliorates Indomethacin-induced Small Intestinal Injury in Rats Via the Inhibition of Matrix Metalloproteinases Activity

The pathogenesis of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)-induced small intestinal lesions remains unclear, although it is considered to be quite different from that of upper gastrointestinal tract ulcers due to the absence of acid and the presence of bacteria and bile in the small intestine. The aim of this study was to characterize specific gene expression profiles of intestinal mucosa in indomethacin-induced small intestinal injury, and to investigate the effects of rebamipide on the expression of these genes.

Factors Associated with Mobility Outcomes in Older People Post-ankle Fracture: An Observational Cohort Study Focussing on Peripheral Vessel Function

INTRODUCTION: There are increasing numbers of older persons sustaining ankle fractures. This injury often results in a degree of functional limitation, particularly in older patients. There is currently limited research into factors associated with mobility outcomes. DESIGN: Observational cohort study. SETTING: Hospital Trauma Department, UK. PARTICIPANTS: Persons aged 60 years or over who sustained an unstable ankle fracture with no established peripheral arterial disease pre-injury. METHODS: This study investigated the association between ankle-brachial pressure index (ABPI) and extended timed 'up and go' (TUG) measures. Associations between TUG outcomes and age, pre-morbid functional mobility (Olerud-Molander Ankle Score) and fracture severity (number of malleoli injured) were also explored. ANALYSIS: Complete cases (n=76; 84% of cohort) were entered into univariate and multivariate linear regression. RESULTS: No association was found between ABPI and TUG at 6 months in unadjusted and adjusted analyses. Pre-morbid functional mobility (B=-0.34, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.45 to -0.23, p<0.001) and age (B=0.46, 95% CI 0.25-0.66, p<0.001) were associated with extended TUG values (r(2)=0.53, p<0.001). Fracture severity was not a significant independent predictor variable. CONCLUSIONS: Peripheral vessel function and fracture severity may have a limited independent influence on mobility outcome after ankle fracture in those patients who do not have established pre-injury peripheral arterial disease. Age and pre-morbid mobility gave an indication of mobility outcome, but a substantial amount of variance remains unexplained. Limitations of this study, including missing data and potential residual confounding, indicate the need for caution in generalising these results. The study provides a basis on which to plan larger studies of the factors associated with mobility outcome after ankle fracture in older populations.

Dysregulated Balance of Retinoid-related Orphan Receptor γt-dependent Innate Lymphoid Cells is Involved in the Pathogenesis of Chronic DSS-induced Colitis

Retinoid-related orphan receptor (ROR) γt-expressing and IL-22-producing NKp46(+) innate lymphoid (ILC22) cells reside in the lamina propria of the intestine in mice, suggesting that ILC22 cells contribute to host defense during intestinal damage in models of colitis in mice. Nevertheless, another set of pathological interferon (IFN)-γ and/or IL-17A-producing innate lymphoid cells (ILC1 and ICL17) may participate in the pathogenesis in different models of colitis. We here showed that RORγt(+)IL-22(+) ILC22 cells were localized in Thy-1(high)SCA-1(high) and/or Thy-1(high)SCA-1(low) subpopulations of the intestine in normal and dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitic RORγt-sufficient Rag-2(-/-) mice. RORγt-deficient Rag-2(-/-) mice developed more severe DSS-induced colitis accompanied with lower expression of REG3β and REG3γ in the colon, but with a lower ratio and absolute number of IFN-γ-producing ILC1 cells as compared to control RORγt-sufficient Rag-2(-/-) mice. Collectively, not only the presence of ILC22 cells but also the balance of protective and pathogenic ILCs may be involved in the prevention of colitis.

MicroRNA-181a is Associated with Poor Prognosis of Colorectal Cancer

miRNAs regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level by degradation of mRNA and translational repression. Recent studies have shown that miR-181a is dysregulated in several types of cancer; however, the clinical significance of miR‑181a in colorectal cancer (CRC) remains unclear. We addressed this question by using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) to analyze miR-181a expression in 162 CRC patients. There was no significant difference in miR-181a expression in normal colon vs. colorectal cancer tissue. The cancer tissue samples were categorized into a low and high expression group based on miR-181a expression. Comparison of the clinicopathological factors and prognosis in these two groups showed that the high expression group had a significantly poorer prognosis than the low expression group (P=0.011). Multivariate analysis indicated that high miR-181a expression was an independent significant prognostic factor for CRC. However, there no correlation was observed between miR-181a expression and clinicopathological parameters. In vitro analysis revealed that the overexpression of miR-181a repressed the expression of the tumor suppressor, phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) located on chromosome 10, at the mRNA level. These data suggest that miR-181a may be a new independent prognostic factor for CRC patients.

Corticosteroids in Rheumatology: Use, Misuse or Plain Abuse?

Toxic Megacolon Associated with Cytomegalovirus Infection in a Patient with Steroid-naïve Ulcerative Colitis

Most cases of cytomegalovirus (CMV) colitis in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) occur in those treated with immunosuppressants and/or corticosteroids. We herein present the case of a 57-year-old man with toxic megacolon associated with CMV colitis in corticosteroid-naïve ulcerative colitis (UC). To date, there have been only eight previous case reports of CMV colitis in steroid-naïve UC. We discuss the need to consider CMV colitis when making a differential diagnosis of patients with refractory UC who are not receiving corticosteroid treatment.

Sarcoidosis Complicated with Major Pulmonary Artery Obstruction and Stenosis

A 34-year-old woman with bilateral pulmonary infiltrates was diagnosed with sarcoidosis. She refused corticosteroid treatment despite a worsening of the pulmonary infiltrate, and thereafter developed dyspnea following hemoptysis 6 years later. The upper lobe branches of the pulmonary artery were obstructed and the left main pulmonary artery was narrowed by mediastinal soft tissue, thus complications of granulomatous mediastinitis and fibrosing mediastinitis were suspected. The mediastinal soft tissue regressed, following the administration of corticosteroids, whereas the vascular obstruction and narrowing remained unchanged. Although the obstruction or stenosis of major pulmonary vessels is rare in sarcoidosis, such potential developments should be considered when mediastinal soft tissue appears in follow-up examinations.

Hypocholesterolemia in Patients with Polycythemia Vera

Polycythemia vera (PV) is characterized by low serum total cholesterol despite its association with vascular events such as myocardial and cerebral infarction. Serum cholesterol level has not been used as a diagnostic criterion for PV since the 2008 revision of the WHO classification. Therefore, we revisited the relationship between serum lipid profile, including total cholesterol level, and erythrocytosis. The medical records of 34 erythrocytosis patients (hemoglobin : men, > 18.5 g/dL ; women, > 16.5 g/dL) collected between August 2005 and December 2011 were reviewed for age, gender, and lipid profiles. The diagnoses of PV and non-PV erythrocytosis were confirmed and the in vitro efflux of cholesterol into plasma in whole blood examined. The serum levels of total cholesterol, low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-Ch), and apolipoproteins A1 and B were lower in PV than in non-PV patients. The in vitro release of cholesterol into the plasma was greater in PV patients than in non-PV and non-polycythemic subjects. Serum total cholesterol, LDL-Ch, and apolipoproteins A1 and B levels are lower in patients with PV than in those with non-PV erythrocytosis. The hypocholesterolemia associated with PV may be attributable to the sequestration of circulating cholesterol into the increased number of erythrocytes.

DSIF Restricts NF-κB Signaling by Coordinating Elongation with MRNA Processing of Negative Feedback Genes

NF-κB is central for immune response and cell survival, and its deregulation is linked to chronic inflammation and cancer through poorly defined mechanisms. IκBα and A20 are NF-κB target genes and negative feedback regulators. Upon their activation by NF-κB, DSIF is recruited, P-TEFb is released, and their elongating polymerase II (Pol II) C-terminal domain (CTD) remains hypophosphorylated. We show that upon DSIF knockdown, mRNA levels of a subset of NF-κB targets are not diminished; yet much less IκBα and A20 protein are synthesized, and NF-κB activation is abnormally prolonged. Further analysis of IκBα and A20 mRNA revealed that a significant portion is uncapped, unspliced, and retained in the nucleus. Interestingly, the Spt5 C-terminal repeat (CTR) domain involved in elongation stimulation through P-TEFb is dispensable for IκBα and A20 regulation. These findings assign a function for DSIF in cotranscriptional mRNA processing when elongating Pol II is hypophosphorylated and define DSIF as part of the negative feedback regulation of NF-κB.

Pelvic Muscle Strength After Childbirth

OBJECTIVE:: The objective was to estimate the effect of vaginal childbirth and other obstetric exposures on pelvic muscle strength 6-11 years after delivery and to investigate the relationship between pelvic muscle strength and pelvic floor disorders. METHODS:: Among 666 parous women, pelvic muscle strength was measured with a perineometer 6-11 years after delivery. Obstetric exposures were classified by review of hospital records. Pelvic floor outcomes, including stress incontinence, overactive bladder, anal incontinence, and prolapse symptoms, were assessed with a validated questionnaire. Pelvic organ support was assessed using the Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification system. Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to estimate the univariable associations of obstetric exposures and pelvic floor outcomes with peak muscle strength. Stepwise multivariable linear regression models were used to estimate the association between obstetric exposures and muscle strength. RESULTS:: In comparison with women who delivered all of their children by cesarean, peak muscle strength and duration of contraction were reduced among women with a history of vaginal delivery (39 compared with 29 cm H2O, P<.001). Pelvic muscle strength was further reduced after history of forceps delivery (17 cm H2O, P<.001). After vaginal delivery, reduced pelvic muscle strength was associated with symptoms of anal incontinence (P=.028) and pelvic organ prolapse on examination (P=.025); these associations were not observed among those who had delivered exclusively by cesarean. CONCLUSION:: Pelvic muscle strength almost a decade after childbirth is affected by vaginal delivery and by forceps delivery. Although statistically significant, some of the differences observed were small in magnitude. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:: II.

Development of a Wide-field, Binocular, Open-view Type Electronic Pupillometer

Efficacy and Safety of Systemic Methotrexate Vs. Acitretin in Psoriasis Patients with Significant Palmoplantar Involvement: a Prospective, Randomized Study

Background  Palmoplantar psoriasis (PP) is a chronic, inflammatory and proliferative dermatosis of the palms and/or soles with significant morbidity. It is notoriously difficult to treat and unresponsive to traditional topical agents. Material and methods  This was a prospective, randomized study involving 111 patients of psoriasis with significant palmoplantar disease. Patients meeting the eligibility criteria were randomly assigned to one of the two treatment groups. Patients in Group I received methotrexate in doses of 0.4 mg/kg weekly, and patients in Group II received acitretin in doses of 0.5 mg/kg daily. Patients were evaluated by modified PPPASI (m-PPPASI) score for palm and sole involvement at baseline, at two weekly intervals for the first 4 weeks and then four weekly for next 8 weeks. Treatment protocol was continued for a period till patient achieved 75% reduction in m-PPPASI from baseline or 12 weeks whichever was earlier. Results  There was a statistically significant difference in reduction of m-PPPASI of patients on methotrexate at weeks 8 and 12. The mean m-PPPASI at week 8 was 15.38 ± 6.08 in methotrexate group and 17.23 ± 5.25 in acitretin group (P = 0.04). The mean m-PPPASI at week 12 was 10.30 ± 5.97 in methotrexate group and 12.40 ± 5.31 in acitretin group (P = 0.03). Marked improvement (m-PPPASI 75) was achieved in 12 (24%) patients in methotrexate group compared with 4 (8%) in acitretin group which was statistically significant (P = 0.029). Adverse events were generally mild and were seen in 14 patients in methotrexate group and 15 patients in acitretin group (P = 0.080). Conclusion  Methotrexate is relatively inexpensive, safe and efficacious drug for the treatment of psoriasis patients with significant palmoplantar involvement. Acitretin can be used as an alternative therapy and with a good safety profile.

How is the Distal Pocket of a Heme Protein Optimized for Binding of Tryptophan?

Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase and tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase catalyze the O(2) -dependent oxidation of l-tryptophan to N-formylkynurenine. Both are heme-containing enzymes, with a proximal histidine ligand, as found in the globins and peroxidases. From the structural information available so far, the distal heme pockets of these enzymes can contain a histidine residue (in tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenases), an arginine residue and numerous hydrophobic residues that line the pocket. We have examined the functional role of each of these residues in both human indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase and human tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase. We found that the distal histidine does not play an essential catalytic role, although substrate binding can be affected by removing the distal arginine and reducing the hydrophobic nature of the binding pocket. We collate the information obtained in the present study with that reported in the available literature to draw comparisons across the family and to provide a more coherent picture of how the heme pocket is optimized for tryptophan binding.

Improving Cardiovascular Prevention Through Patient Awareness

Patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) or coronary artery disease (CAD) must have their risk factors rigorously controlled, but there is a gap between practice and ideal. This study aimed to demonstrate how cardiovascular prevention is performed for these patients in a Brazilian university hospital, and to identify predictors of good practice.

Pelvic Muscle Strength After Childbirth

: The objective was to estimate the effect of vaginal childbirth and other obstetric exposures on pelvic muscle strength 6-11 years after delivery and to investigate the relationship between pelvic muscle strength and pelvic floor disorders.

Decreased Membrane Complement Regulators in the Retinal Pigmented Epithelium Contributes to Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Dysregulated complement is thought to play a central role in Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) pathogenesis, but the specific mechanisms have yet to be determined. In maculas of AMD specimens, we found that the complement regulatory protein, CD59, was increased in regions of uninvolved retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) of early AMD, but decreased in the RPE overlying drusen and in geographic atrophy, an advanced form of AMD. While CD46 immunostaining was basolaterally distributed in the RPE of unaffected controls, it was decreased in diseased areas of early AMD samples. Since oxidized low density lipoproteins (oxLDL) collect in drusen of AMD and are a known complement trigger, we treated ARPE-19 cells with oxLDL and found that cellular CD46 and CD59 proteins were decreased by 2.9-fold and 9-fold (p<0.01), respectively. OxLDLs increased complement factor B mRNA and Bb protein, but not factor D, I, or H. OxLDLs increased C3b, but not C3a, C5 or C5b-9. C5b-9 was increased by 27% (p<0.01) when medium was supplemented with human serum, which was sufficient to induce poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage, a marker of apoptosis. The decreased levels of CD46 and CD59 were in part explained by their release in exosomal and apoptotic membranous particles. In addition, CD59 was partially degraded through activation of IRE1α. Collectively, these results suggest that a combination of impaired complement regulators results in inadequately controlled complement by the RPE in AMD that induces RPE damage. Copyright © 2012 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Evaluating Quantitative Approaches to Dynamic Susceptibility Contrast MRI Among Carotid Endarterectomy Patients

PURPOSE: To evaluate two dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC) quantification methods in symptomatic carotid artery disease patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy (CEA) surgery by comparing methods directly and assessing the reliability of each method in the hemisphere contralateral to surgery. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Absolute cerebral blood flow (CBF) and volume (CBV) was calculated in putamen and sensorimotor gray matter of 17 patients using two methods: 1) The Bookend method that scales relative DSC images to CBV values calculated from the ratio of pre- and postcontrast T1-weighted images, and 2) the Tail-scaling method that uses the ratio of area under the tails of the venous and arterial concentration time-courses to scale the DSC images. RESULTS: There was a positive correlation between the methods with significant correlation post-CEA (P < 0.035). Intersession correlation was greater when using the Tail-scaling method contralateral to surgery (P < 0.004). CONCLUSION: We have demonstrated correlation between methods that is significant after surgery and have found that the Tail-scaling method produces better test-retest reliability than our implementation of the Bookend method. Results from this study suggest that DSC has the potential to measure hemodynamic changes after endarterectomy and future work is required to establish clinical value. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2012;. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Impaired Endothelium-dependent Vasodilator Response in Patients with Pulmonary Fibrosis

BACKGROUND: Recent epidemiological evidence indicates an association between cardiovascular diseases and pulmonary fibrosis. The vascular endothelium acts to maintain vascular homeostasis through multiple mechanisms and impaired endothelial function can contribute to the development, progression and clinical expression of atherosclerosis. METHODS: We consecutively recruited 39 newly-diagnosed chronic interstitial pneumonitis/fibrosis patients without any specific etiology. We assessed endothelium-dependent vasodilator response of patients using digital pulse amplitude tonometry and compared the reactive hyperemia index (RHI) with age-, sex- and body mass index-matched control subjects (n = 30). We further investigated the relationships between RHI and clinical characteristics, laboratory cardiovascular risk factors, disease-related factors and circulating levels of inflammatory biomarkers. RESULTS: RHI was significantly lower in patients with chronic interstitial pneumonitis/fibrosis than in control subjects (p = 0.02). While circulating levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, HbA1c and fasting glucose did not differ significantly between groups, patients with chronic interstitial pneumonitis/fibrosis had significantly lower high density lipoprotein levels and higher low density lipoprotein levels as compared with control subjects. Regarding disease-related factors, RHI was significantly associated with the diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide, alveolar-arterial oxygen pressure difference, 6-min walk distance and end-exercise oxygen saturation. Additionally, circulating levels of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 were inversely correlated with RHI. CONCLUSIONS: We confirmed a possible link between pulmonary fibrosis and cardiovascular disease by demonstrating an impairment of endothelium-dependent vasodilator response, which was significantly associated with the severity of pulmonary fibrosis and circulating levels of adhesion molecules.

The Androgen Metabolite, 5α-androstane-3β,17β-diol, Decreases Cytokine-Induced Cyclooxygenase-2, Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 Expression, and P-Glycoprotein Expression in Male Human Brain Microvascular Endothelial Cells

P-glycoprotein (Pgp), a multiple drug resistance transporter expressed by vascular endothelial cells, is a key component of the blood-brain barrier and has been shown to increase after inflammation. The nonaromatizable androgen, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), decreases inflammatory markers in vascular smooth muscle cells, independent of androgen receptor (AR) stimulation. The principal metabolite of DHT, 5α-androstane-3β,17β-diol (3β-diol), activates estrogen receptor (ER)β and similarly decreases inflammatory markers in vascular cells. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that either DHT or 3β-diol decrease cytokine-induced proinflammatory mediators, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), to regulate Pgp expression in male primary human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs). Using RT-qPCR, the mRNAs for AR, ERα, and ERβ and steroid metabolizing enzymes necessary for DHT conversion to 3β-diol were detected in male HBMECs demonstrating that the enzymes and receptors for production of and responsiveness to 3β-diol are present. Western analysis showed that 3β-diol reduced COX-2 and Pgp expression; the effect on Pgp was inhibited by the ER antagonist, ICI-182,780. IL-1β-caused an increase in COX-2 and VCAM-1 that was reduced by either DHT or 3β-diol. 3β-diol also decreased cytokine-induced Pgp expression. ICI-182,780 blocked the effect of 3β-diol on COX-2 and VCAM-1, but not Pgp expression. Therefore, in cytokine-stimulated male HBMECs, the effect of 3β-diol on proinflammatory mediator expression is ER dependent, whereas its effect on Pgp expression is ER independent. These studies suggest a novel role of 3β-diol in regulating blood-brain barrier function and support the concept that 3β-diol can be protective against proinflammatory mediator stimulation.

Cereblon is a Direct Protein Target for Immunomodulatory and Antiproliferative Activities of Lenalidomide and Pomalidomide

[Diagnosis and Prognostic Factors in Patients with Multiple Myeloma]

[Revascularization for Peripheral Arterial Disease in Diabetic Patients]

Technologies for Global Health

A Case of Kartagener's Syndrome: Importance of Early Diagnosis and Treatment

Kartagener's syndrome is a very rare congenital malformation comprising of a classic triad of sinusitis, situs inversus and bronchiectasis. Primary ciliary dyskinesia is a genetic disorder with manifestations present from early life and this distinguishes it from acquired mucociliary disorders. Approximately one half of patients with primary ciliary dyskinesia have situs inversus and, thus are having Kartagener syndrome. We present a case of 12 year old boy with sinusitis, situs inversus and bronchiectasis. The correct diagnosis of this rare congenital autosomal recessive disorder in early life is important in the overall prognosis of the syndrome, as many of the complications can be prevented if timely management is instituted, as was done in this in this case.

β-Lactam Synthon-interceded Diastereoselective Synthesis of Functionalized Octahydroindole-based Molecular Scaffolds and Their In vitro Cytotoxic Evaluation

A convenient and unprecedented synthesis of functionally enriched octahydroindole-based scaffolds has been developed via inter- and intra-molecular amidolysis of C-3 functionalized β-lactams. The cytotoxic evaluation on oesophageal cancer cell line WHCO1 has revealed 7d as the most potent of the test compounds exhibiting an IC(50) value of 12.97μM. The developed strategy further assumes significance as it entails the preparation of highly functionalized indoles without the aid of transition metal catalysis or pre-functionalization of substrates.

Impact of Helicobacter Pylori Eradication on Circulating Adiponectin in Humans

BACKGROUND: The relationship between Helicobacter pylori infection and metabolic syndrome is not well understood. Adiponectin is an adipose-derived protein considered to play a significant role in the development of metabolic syndrome. The aim of this study was to clarify the influence of H. pylori infection on circulating adiponectin in humans. METHODS: In a prospective study, 456 patients underwent endoscopy and H. pylori testing. All of the 338 H. pylori -positive patients received eradication therapy. Treatment was successful in 241 patients. Circulating adiponectin and other metabolic parameters were measured at baseline in all patients and 12 weeks after eradication therapy in those initially positive for H. pylori. RESULTS: Circulating adiponectin levels were not different between H. pylori -positive and H. pylori -negative patients. In the group with successful eradication, levels of total adiponectin and each multimer form were significantly increased after therapy. Conversely, the levels of total adiponectin and high-molecular-weight adiponectin, but not middle-molecular-weight and low-molecular-weight adiponectin, were increased in the group with unsuccessful eradication after the therapy. CONCLUSIONS: Eradication therapy of H. pylori increased circulating adiponectin levels in Japanese individuals and could be beneficial for preventing metabolic syndrome conditions.

Atrazine Inhibits Pulsatile Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH) Release Without Altering GnRH Messenger RNA or Protein Levels in the Female Rat

Atrazine (ATR) is a commonly used pre-emergence/early post-emergence herbicide. Previous work has shown that exposure to high doses of ATR in rats results in blunting of the hormone-induced LH surge and inhibition of pulsatile LH release without significantly reducing pituitary sensitivity to a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist. Accompanying the reduction in the LH surge was an attenuation of GnRH neuronal activation. These findings suggest that ATR exposure may be acting to inhibit GnRH release. In this study, we examined GnRH directly to determine the effect of high doses of ATR on GnRH pulsatile release, gene expression and peptide levels in the female rat. Ovariectomized adult female Wistar rats were treated with ATR (200 mg/kg) or vehicle for 4 days via gavage. Following the final treatment, GnRH release was measured from ex vivo hypothalamic explants for 3 h. In another experiment, animals were administered either vehicle or ATR (50, 100, 200 mg/kg) daily for 4 days. Following treatment, in situ hybridization was performed to examine total GnRH mRNA and the primary GnRH heterogeneous nuclear RNA (hnRNA) transcript. Finally, GnRH immunoreactivity and total peptide levels were measured in hypothalamic tissue of treated animals. ATR treatment resulted in no changes to GnRH gene expression, peptide levels or immunoreactivity but a reduction in GnRH pulse frequency and increased pulse amplitude. These findings suggest that ATR acts to inhibit the secretory dynamics of GnRH pulses without interfering with GnRH mRNA and protein synthesis.

Transcription Elongation Factors DSIF and NELF: Promoter-proximal Pausing and Beyond

DRB sensitivity-inducing factor (DSIF) and negative elongation factor (NELF) were originally identified as factors responsible for transcriptional inhibition by 5,6-dichloro-1-beta-D-ribofuranosyl-benzimidazole (DRB) and were later found to control transcription elongation, together with P-TEFb, at the promoter-proximal region. Although there is ample evidence that these factors play roles throughout the genome, other data also suggest gene- or tissue-specific roles for these factors. In this review, we discuss how these apparently conflicting data can be reconciled. In light of recent findings, we also discuss the detailed mechanism by which these factors control the elongation process at the molecular level.

Identification of a Rho Family Specific Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factor, FLJ00018, As a Novel Actin-binding Protein

FLJ00018/PLEKHG2 is a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for the Rho family small GTPases. FLJ00018 is directly activated by heterotrimeric G protein Gβγ subunits. Using two-hybrid screening, we have identified non-muscle cytosolic actin as a binding partner of FLJ00018. We found that there were two actin-binding regions in FLJ00018 at the N-terminal region (150-283 amino acids) and at the C-terminal region (465-1386 amino acids). The overexpression of non-muscle cytosolic actin attenuated the FLJ00018-induced serum response element-dependent gene transcription. These results suggest that non-muscle cytosolic actin may be a negative regulator of FLJ00018 through its interaction with the Dbl homology domain.

Role of the Pediatrician in Breastfeeding Management

The pediatrician plays a major role in advocating, promoting, and managing breastfeeding, beginning in the prenatal period by providing facts and discussing questions and concerns regarding breastfeeding with the expectant mother and continuing after delivery in the hospital and during infant health supervision visits. The early weeks after birth require education, support, and encouragement. The pediatrician sets the standard that breastfeeding is norm. The pediatrician is in the optimal place to advocate and formulate hospital policies conducive to lactation and the provision of human milk and must be knowledgeable about the breastfeeding support provided by the office and community.

simple hit counter