The optimal conditions for hepatocyte proliferation should be clarified in an attempt to improve the impaired liver regeneration observed in patients with acute liver failure (ALF). In order to evaluate the significance of the serum AFP level and PT-INR as possible biomarkers of the proliferation of liver stem/progenitor cells (LPCs) and mature hepatocytes (MHs), respectively, we focused on donors of living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) and patients with acute liver injury (ALI), including ALF.
Childhood trauma may have longstanding effects on individuals' propensity to react adversely to stress, and also predisposes individuals to suffer from depression. The current study aimed to examine stress reactivity in individuals with and without a history of childhood trauma by measuring cortisol responses to the passive viewing of stressful images, specifically including images relevant to childhood trauma. In addition, participants with and without a diagnosis of current depression were studied to investigate whether cortisol stress reactivity may underlie resilience or vulnerability to depression.
The impact of early initiation of diabetes care soon after the identification of hyperglycaemia rather than leaving diabetes untreated on changes in glycaemic control has not been fully clarified. We aimed to quantify the effect of initiating and continuing diabetes care compared with not starting management of diabetes on short-term changes in glycaemic control among the Japanese with newly screening-detected diabetes.
Eradication of Helicobacter pylori (HP) is an effective approach to improve intestinal symptoms and prevent gastric cancer. However, there has been concern that the presence of diabetes reduces the effectiveness of antibiotics. We performed this meta-analysis to investigate the effect of diabetes on the risk of failing eradication in patients with diabetes.
Interleukin-13 Pseudomonas exotoxin (IL-13PE), a targeted agent for interleukin-13 receptor ?2 (IL-13R?2)-expressing tumors, has been administered intracranially by convection-enhanced delivery (CED) for glioma therapy in several clinical trials including a randomized phase 3 clinical trial. However, its intracranial distribution was not optimally evaluated. We investigated the intracranial distribution of radiolabeled IL-13PE after CED in a murine model of glioblastoma multiforme.
Cholangiocarcinoma is categorized into intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) and extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ECC). The prognosis of ICC is far worse than that of ECC. In this pilot trial, the efficacy of hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy (HAIC) using 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) combined with subcutaneous administration of pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) ?-2b in patients with advanced ICC was evaluated.
A 69-year-old male complained of general fatigue and presented with elevation of liver enzymes without any cause of liver injury. We diagnosed him with hepatocellular drug-induced liver injury (DILI). Liver stiffness, which was evaluated according to the shear wave velocity (SWV) using virtual touch tissue quantification, was serially observed during hospitalization. A fast SWV was noted on the date of admission, indicating a "hard" degree of liver stiffness. The SWV gradually decreased until the 20th hospital day. However, the patient's liver enzymes again became elevated on the 20th hospital day, and the SWV simultaneously increased in association with a rise in the total bilirubin level. The laboratory data for the second peak of the SWV indicated mixed-type DILI; therefore, the patient's pathological state transitioned from the hepatocellular type to the mixed type. A liver biopsy performed before discharge revealed a state of recovery from acute inflammation without fibrotic changes. We conclude that the second peak of the SWV?may be affected by the presence of intrahepatic cholestasis. We herein report the occurrence of bimodal peaks of liver stiffness in a patient with DILI. In such cases, each peak of liver stiffness may be the result of a different pathological mechanism, namely acute inflammation versus acute intrahepatic cholestasis. Although the detailed mechanisms underlying the development of liver stiffness due to intrahepatic cholestasis remain unclear, this case presented a limitation of virtual touch tissue quantification for evaluation of liver stiffness as fibrosis marker in the liver with intrahepatic cholestasis.
Understanding the interaction mechanism between polymeric flocculants and solid particles in two oppositely charged solutions: bentonite and calcium fluoride, is of great practical and fundamental importance. In this work, inorganic flocculants based on aluminum(III) or iron(III); cationic, anionic and non-ionic organic flocculants were used. The solution pH, which highly influenced the flocculation performance of the system, has been used as a function of turbidity removal, sediment volume and velocity. Results show that the flocculation of inorganic polymers does not depend on the zeta potential but on the solution pH, contrary for cationic and anionic polymers. Non-ionic polymer was independent on both. By varying the final pH of the heterogeneous solution formed of flocs-liquid, it was found for inorganic polymers, the optimum condition of pH < 3 to separate inorganic flocculant particles from flocs. Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometer and X-ray fluorescence analysis proved the reversibility of flocculation process by indicating the concentration of flocculant representative atom (Al or Fe) in the flocs and in the emerging solutions when the flocculation was optimized and the reversibility was effective. As results, weak forces were suggested as responsible for inorganic polymers flocculation where electrostatic interaction and hydrogen bonds may enroll the mechanism of organic flocculants.
Vascular endothelial cells are exposed to an acidic pH, and CXC chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) is a key protective molecule against acidosis. We investigated the effect of coupling factor 6 (CF6), a novel proton import activator, on CXCR4 signaling and its molecular mechanism. CF6 decreased CXCR4 expression in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Pretreatment with small interfering RNA (siRNA) for hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1? or PP1, a specific c-Src inhibitor, attenuated the CF6-induced decrease in CXCR4 without affecting CF6-induced intracellular acidosis. Chromatin immunoprecipitation revealed that CF6 enhanced the interaction between HIF-1? and the CXCR4 promoter at the hypoxia response element. CF6 also enhanced protein-protein interactions between phospho-c-Src and histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3), but did not affect the binding of HDAC3 to the CXCR4 promoter at the hypoxia response element. Apoptotic cells, as measured by an Annexin-V-FITC Propidium Iodide Kit, were increased by CF6 in normoxia and hypoxia at 24?h; however, this increase was abolished by pretreatment with either siRNA for HIF-1? or the CXCR4 ligand. The coronary arteries and perivascular tissues obtained from CF6-overexpressing transgenic mice showed a lower expression of CXCR4 in the heart, increased wall thickness and infiltration of CD16-positive, CD206-positive or apoptotic cells. CF6 decreases CXCR4 expression through both HIF-1?- and c-Src-mediated mechanisms in vascular endothelial cells. Because CXCR4 has an important role in survival function, CF6 may have a role in the progression of arteriosclerosis via these complex mechanisms.
Clefting of the soft palate occurs as a congenital defect in humans and adversely affects the physiological function of the palate. However, the molecular and cellular mechanism of clefting of the soft palate remains unclear because few animal models exhibit an isolated cleft in the soft palate. Using three-dimensional microCT images and histological reconstruction, we found that loss of TGF? signaling in the palatal epithelium led to soft palate muscle defects in Tgfbr2(fl/fl);K14-Cre mice. Specifically, muscle mass was decreased in the soft palates of Tgfbr2 mutant mice, following defects in cell proliferation and differentiation. Gene expression of Dickkopf (Dkk1 and Dkk4), negative regulators of WNT-?-catenin signaling, is upregulated in the soft palate of Tgfbr2(fl/fl);K14-Cre mice, and WNT-?-catenin signaling is disrupted in the palatal mesenchyme. Importantly, blocking the function of DKK1 and DKK4 rescued the cell proliferation and differentiation defects in the soft palate of Tgfbr2(fl/fl);K14-Cre mice. Thus, our findings indicate that loss of TGF? signaling in epithelial cells compromises activation of WNT signaling and proper muscle development in the soft palate through tissue-tissue interactions, resulting in a cleft soft palate. This information has important implications for prevention and non-surgical correction of cleft soft palate.
OBJECTIVE. To assess the association between Helicobacter pylori (HP) infection and glycemic control in patients with diabetes through a meta-analytic approach. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS. Electronic literature searches were conducted for cross-sectional studies that examined the hemoglobin A1c (A1C) level by whether patients with diabetes were or were not carriers of HP. Mean differences in A1C between groups with and without HP infection were pooled with a random-effects model. RESULTS. Thirteen eligible studies were included in this meta-analysis. Overall, the HP carriers did not have significantly higher A1C levels compared with HP noncarriers (mean difference (95% CI), 0.19% (-0.18 to 0.46), P = 0.16). When the analysis was limited to studies targeting patients with type 1 diabetes, there was also no significant difference in A1C (0.69% (-0.31 to 1.68), P = 0.18). CONCLUSIONS. There was insufficient evidence that HP infection worsened glycemic control in patients with diabetes.
Although it is well known that the maternal prepregnancy BMI is a strong contributor to fetal growth, our results showed that a low postload glucose level, although within normal range, independent of maternal BMI was strongly associated with an increased risk of low birth weight births among Japanese mothers.
Endogenous Cushing's syndrome is an endocrine disease resulting from chronic exposure to excessive glucocorticoids produced in the adrenal cortex. Although the ultimate outcome remains uncertain, functional and morphological brain changes are not uncommon in patients with this syndrome, and generally persist even after resolution of hypercortisolemia. We present an adolescent patient with Cushing's syndrome who exhibited cognitive impairment with brain atrophy. A 19-year-old Japanese male visited a local hospital following 5 days of behavioral abnormalities, such as money wasting or nighttime wandering. He had hypertension and a 1-year history of a rounded face. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed apparently diffuse brain atrophy. Because of high random plasma cortisol levels (28.7 ?g/dL) at 10 AM, he was referred to our hospital in August 2011. Endocrinological testing showed adrenocorticotropic hormone-independent hypercortisolemia, and abdominal computed tomography demonstrated a 2.7 cm tumor in the left adrenal gland. The patient underwent left adrenalectomy in September 2011, and the diagnosis of cortisol-secreting adenoma was confirmed histologically. His hypertension and Cushingoid features regressed. Behavioral abnormalities were no longer observed, and he was classified as cured of his cognitive disturbance caused by Cushing's syndrome in February 2012. MRI performed 8 months after surgery revealed reversal of brain atrophy, and his subsequent course has been uneventful. In summary, the young age at onset and the short duration of Cushing's syndrome probably contributed to the rapid recovery of both cognitive dysfunction and brain atrophy in our patient. Cushing's syndrome should be considered as a possible etiological factor in patients with cognitive impairment and brain atrophy that is atypical for their age.
Anticoagulant therapy is widely used for the prevention and treatment of thromboembolism. In addition to established agents such as warfarin, unfractionated heparin and low-molecular-weight heparins, a variety of new anticoagulant drugs has been introduced for clinical use, including direct thrombin inhibitors and factor Xa inhibitors. These new drugs can be given at fixed doses without the need for routine monitoring of the coagulation profile. However, an assays to evaluate anticoagulant strength would be valuable to prevent undesired hemorrhagic or thromboembolic events during treatment. In the present study, we examined the feasibility of several laboratory monitoring tests, including chromogenic-based anti-factor Xa assay and the thrombin generation test to determine the anticoagulant effect of low-molecular-weight heparins and fonda-parinux. Dose-dependent relationship between anti-factor Xa activity and the concentration of fondaparinux was observed by the chromogenic assays. In the thrombin generation test, the peak parameter seemed to be more informative than the endogenous thrombin potential, which corresponds to the total amount of thrombin activity, to assess the pharmacodynamic effects. In summary, our study suggested that both assays may be useful for quantitative determination of factor Xa activity. Further studies are necessary to develop and establish simpler methods that can be used in routine laboratory testing to monitor treatment with the newer anticoagulant drugs.
Nonsyndromic orofacial clefts are common birth defects whose etiology is influenced by complex genetic and environmental factors and gene-environment interactions. Although these risk factors are not yet fully elucidated, it is known that alterations in transforming growth factor-beta (TGF?) signaling can cause craniofacial abnormalities, including cleft palate, in mammals. To elucidate the downstream targets of TGF? signaling in palatogenesis, we analyzed the gene expression profiles of Tgfbr2(fl/fl) ;Wnt1-Cre mouse embryos with cleft palate and other craniofacial deformities resulting from the targeted inactivation of the Tgfbr2 gene in their cranial neural crest (CNC) cells. Relative to controls, palatal tissues obtained from Tgfbr2(fl/fl) ;Wnt1-Cre mouse embryos at embryonic day 14.5 (E14.5) of gestation have a robust gene expression signature reflective of known defects in CNC-derived mesenchymal cell proliferation. Groups of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were involved in diverse cellular processes and components associated with orofacial clefting, including the extracellular matrix, cholesterol metabolism, ciliogenesis, and multiple signaling pathways. A subset of the DEGs are known or suspected to be associated with an increased risk of orofacial clefting in humans and/or genetically engineered mice. Based on bioinformatics analyses, we highlight the functional relationships among differentially expressed transcriptional regulators of palatogenesis as well as transcriptional factors not previously associated with this process. We suggest that gene expression profiling studies of mice with TGF? signaling defects provide a valuable approach for identifying candidate mechanisms by which this pathway controls cell fate during palatogenesis and its role in the etiology of human craniofacial abnormalities.
Aims. High prevalence of sleep apnea syndrome (SAS) has been reported in patients with diabetes. However, whether diabetic neuropathy (DN) contributes to this high prevalence is controversial. Our aim of this study is to compare the prevalence of SAS between patients with and without DN. Methods. Systematic literature searches were conducted for cross-sectional studies that reported the number of patients with DN and SAS using MEDLINE (from 1966 to Nov 5, 2012) and EMBASE (from 1974 to Nov 5, 2012). Odds ratios (ORs) of SAS related to DN were pooled with the Mantel-Haenszel method. Results. Data were obtained from 5 eligible studies (including 6 data sets, 880 participants, and 429 cases). Overall, the pooled OR of SAS in patients with DN compared with that in non-DN patients was significant (OR (95% CI), -1.95 (1.03-3.70)). The pooled OR of SAS was 1.90 (0.97-3.71) in patients with type 2 diabetes. Excluding data on patients with type 1 diabetes, a higher OR was observed in younger patients (mean age <60 years) than in those ?60 years among whom the OR remained significant (3.82; 95% CI, 2.24-6.51 and 1.17; 95% CI, 0.81-1.68). Conclusions. Current meta-analysis suggested the association of some elements of neuropathy with SAS in type 2 diabetes. Further investigations are needed to clarify whether the association is also true for patients with type 1 diabetes.
Mutations in transforming growth factor beta (TGF?) receptor type II (TGFBR2) cause Loeys-Dietz syndrome, characterized by craniofacial and cardiovascular abnormalities. Mice with a deletion of Tgfbr2 in cranial neural crest cells (Tgfbr2(fl/fl);Wnt1-Cre mice) develop cleft palate as the result of abnormal TGF? signaling activation. However, little is known about metabolic processes downstream of TGF? signaling during palatogenesis. Here, we show that Tgfbr2 mutant palatal mesenchymal cells spontaneously accumulate lipid droplets, resulting from reduced lipolysis activity. Tgfbr2 mutant palatal mesenchymal cells failed to respond to the cell proliferation stimulator sonic hedgehog, derived from the palatal epithelium. Treatment with p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibitor or telmisartan, a modulator of p38 MAPK activation and lipid metabolism, blocked abnormal TGF?-mediated p38 MAPK activation, restoring lipid metabolism and cell proliferation activity both in vitro and in vivo. Our results highlight the influence of alternative TGF? signaling on lipid metabolic activities, as well as how lipid metabolic defects can affect cell proliferation and adversely impact palatogenesis. This discovery has broader implications for the understanding of metabolic defects and potential prevention of congenital birth defects.
Microglossia is a congenital birth defect in humans and adversely impacts quality of life. In vertebrates, tongue muscle derives from the cranial mesoderm, whereas tendons and connective tissues in the craniofacial region originate from cranial neural crest (CNC) cells. Loss of transforming growth factor ? (TGF?) type II receptor in CNC cells in mice (Tgfbr2(fl/fl);Wnt1-Cre) causes microglossia due to a failure of cell-cell communication between cranial mesoderm and CNC cells during tongue development. However, it is still unclear how TGF? signaling in CNC cells regulates the fate of mesoderm-derived myoblasts during tongue development. Here we show that activation of the cytoplasmic and nuclear tyrosine kinase 1 (ABL1) cascade in Tgfbr2(fl/fl);Wnt1-Cre mice results in a failure of CNC-derived cell differentiation followed by a disruption of TGF?-mediated induction of growth factors and reduction of myogenic cell proliferation and differentiation activities. Among the affected growth factors, the addition of fibroblast growth factor 4 (FGF4) and neutralizing antibody for follistatin (FST; an antagonist of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)) could most efficiently restore cell proliferation, differentiation, and organization of muscle cells in the tongue of Tgfbr2(fl/fl);Wnt1-Cre mice. Thus, our data indicate that CNC-derived fibroblasts regulate the fate of mesoderm-derived myoblasts through TGF?-mediated regulation of FGF and BMP signaling during tongue development.
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) has antiarrhythmic effects. The J-wave on an electrocardiogram is associated with a high incidence of ventricular tachycardia/fibrillation (VT/VF). We evaluated relationships between EPA and J-waves, and their involvement in the occurrence of VT/VF in acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Two hundred consecutive patients undergoing successful percutaneous coronary intervention within 12 h after AMI onset were enrolled. Serum EPA level and J-waves at admission were evaluated. The patients were divided into two groups according to the optimal cutoff value (2.94) of serum EPA level (% of total fatty acids): LOW (<2.94, 61 ± 11 years, n = 103) and HIGH groups (?2.94, 70 ± 13 years, n = 81). J-waves were observed more frequently in the LOW (36/103, 35 %) than in HIGH group (16/81, 20 %) (P = 0.020). The 30-day incidence of VT/VF including those occurring before admission was higher in the LOW (19.5 %) than in HIGH group (6.2 %) (P = 0.009). The patients with J-waves showed a higher incidence of VT/VF (23.1 %) than those without J-waves (9.9 %) (P = 0.019). Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that the highest incidence of VT/VF was observed in the LOW with J-wave group (27.8 %), followed by the LOW without J-wave (15.0 %), HIGH with J-wave (12.5 %), and HIGH without J-wave (4.6 %) (P = 0.013). Cox proportional hazard analysis revealed that Killip grade and low serum EPA level or presence of J-waves were significantly associated with the incidence of VT/VF. Low serum EPA level is a risk for incidence of VT/VF in the acute phase of myocardial infarction. Involvement of the J-wave and its possible link with EPA in the pathogenesis of ischemia-induced VT/VF are suggested.
Hemorrhage through the pancreatic duct into the duodenum, the so-called "hemosuccus pancreaticus", is a rare cause of gastrointestinal bleeding. A 75-year-old man, who was treated with anticoagulation agents for an old myocardial infarction, was admitted to our hospital for sudden tarry stools and abdominal pain. His hemoglobin level slightly dropped to 12.6g/dL. His liver function tests results and the serum amylase level were elevated. A second upper gastrointestinal endoscopy revealed continuous bleeding from the ampulla of Vater. A rupture of an aneurysm of the splenic artery to the pancreatic duct was suggested by abdominal computed tomographic scan, abdominal magnetic resonance imaging, celiac arteriography, and endoscopic ultrasonography. The conservative treatment of stopping the bleeding with anticoagulation agents was successful.
Transforming growth factor ? (TGF-?) signaling plays crucial functions in the regulation of craniofacial development, including palatogenesis. Here, we have identified connective tissue growth factor (Ctgf) as a downstream target of the TGF-? signaling pathway in palatogenesis. The pattern of Ctgf expression in wild-type embryos suggests that it may be involved in key processes during palate development. We found that Ctgf expression is downregulated in both Wnt1-Cre; Tgfbr2(fl/fl) and Osr2-Cre; Smad4(fl/fl) palates. In Tgfbr2 mutant embryos, downregulation of Ctgf expression is associated with p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) overactivation, whereas loss of function of Smad4 itself leads to downregulation of Ctgf expression. We also found that CTGF regulates its own expression via TGF-? signaling. Osr2-Cre; Smad4(fl/fl) mice exhibit a defect in cell proliferation similar to that of Tgfbr2 mutant mice, as well as cleft palate. We detected no alteration in bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) downstream targets in Smad4 mutant palates, suggesting that the reduction in cell proliferation is due to defective transduction of TGF-? signaling via decreased Ctgf expression. Significantly, an exogenous source of CTGF was able to rescue the cell proliferation defect in both Tgfbr2 and Smad4 mutant palates. Collectively, our data suggest that CTGF regulates proliferation as a mediator of the canonical pathway of TGF-? signaling during palatogenesis.
Cleft palate represents one of the most common congenital birth defects in humans. TGF? signaling, which is mediated by Smad-dependent and Smad-independent pathways, plays a crucial role in regulating craniofacial development and patterning, particularly in palate development. However, it remains largely unknown whether the Smad-independent pathway contributes to TGF? signaling function during palatogenesis. In this study, we investigated the function of TGF? activated kinase 1 (Tak1), a key regulator of Smad-independent TGF? signaling in palate development. We show that Tak1 protein is expressed in both the epithelium and mesenchyme of the developing palatal shelves. Whereas deletion of Tak1 in the palatal epithelium or mesenchyme did not give rise to a cleft palate defect, inactivation of Tak1 in the neural crest lineage using the Wnt1-Cre transgenic allele resulted in failed palate elevation and subsequently the cleft palate formation. The failure in palate elevation in Wnt1-Cre;Tak1(F/F) mice results from a malformed tongue and micrognathia, resembling human Pierre Robin sequence cleft of the secondary palate. We found that the abnormal tongue development is associated with Fgf10 overexpression in the neural crest-derived tongue tissue. The failed palate elevation and cleft palate were recapitulated in an Fgf10-overexpressing mouse model. The repressive effect of the Tak1-mediated noncanonical TGF? signaling on Fgf10 expression was further confirmed by inhibition of p38, a downstream kinase of Tak1, in the primary cell culture of developing tongue. Tak1 thus functions to regulate tongue development by controlling Fgf10 expression and could represent a candidate gene for mutation in human PRS clefting.
Cleft palate is one of the most common human birth defects and is associated with multiple genetic and environmental risk factors. Although mutations in the genes encoding transforming growth factor beta (TGF?) signaling molecules and interferon regulatory factor 6 (Irf6) have been identified as genetic risk factors for cleft palate, little is known about the relationship between TGF? signaling and IRF6 activity during palate formation. Here, we show that TGF? signaling regulates expression of Irf6 and the fate of the medial edge epithelium (MEE) during palatal fusion in mice. Haploinsufficiency of Irf6 in mice with basal epithelial-specific deletion of the TGF? signaling mediator Smad4 (Smad4(fl/fl);K14-Cre;Irf6(+/R84C)) results in compromised p21 expression and MEE persistence, similar to observations in Tgfbr2(fl/fl);K14-Cre mice, although the secondary palate of Irf6(+/R84C) and Smad4(fl/fl);K14-Cre mice form normally. Furthermore, Smad4(fl/fl);K14-Cre;Irf6(+/R84C) mice show extra digits that are consistent with abnormal toe and nail phenotypes in individuals with Van der Woude and popliteal pterygium syndromes, suggesting that the TGF?/SMAD4/IRF6 signaling cascade might be a well-conserved mechanism in regulating multiple organogenesis. Strikingly, overexpression of Irf6 rescued p21 expression and MEE degeneration in Tgfbr2(fl/fl);K14-Cre mice. Thus, IRF6 and SMAD4 synergistically regulate the fate of the MEE, and TGF?-mediated Irf6 activity is responsible for MEE degeneration during palatal fusion in mice.
To estimate the radiation dose and biodistribution of (18)F-5-fluorouracil ([(18)F]-5-FU) from positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) data, and to extrapolate mouse data to human data in order to evaluate cross-species consistency.
Cleft palate represents one of the most common congenital birth defects. Transforming growth factor ? (TGF?) signaling plays crucial functions in regulating craniofacial development, and loss of TGF? receptor type II in cranial neural crest cells leads to craniofacial malformations, including cleft palate in mice (Tgfbr2(fl/fl);Wnt1-Cre mice). Here we have identified candidate target genes of TGF? signaling during palatal formation. These target genes were selected based on combining results from gene expression profiles of embryonic day 14.5 palates from Tgfbr2(fl/fl);Wnt1-Cre mice and previously identified cleft palate phenotypes in genetically engineered mouse models. We found that fibroblast growth factor 9 (Fgf9) and transcription factor pituitary homeobox 2 (Pitx2) expressions are significantly down-regulated in the palate of Tgfbr2(fl/fl);Wnt1-Cre mice, and Fgf9 and Pitx2 loss of function mutations result in cleft palate in mice. Pitx2 expression is down-regulated by siRNA knockdown of Fgf9, suggesting that Fgf9 is upstream of Pitx2. We detected decreased expression of both cyclins D1 and D3 in the palates of Tgfbr2(fl/fl);Wnt1-Cre mice, consistent with the defect in cell proliferation. Significantly, exogenous FGF9 restores expression of cyclins D1 and D3 in a Pitx2-dependent manner and rescues the cell proliferation defect in the palatal mesenchyme of Tgfbr2(fl/fl);Wnt1-Cre mice. Our study indicates that a TGF?-FGF9-PITX2 signaling cascade regulates cranial neural crest cell proliferation during palate formation.
We report a case of primary cutaneous Aspergillus caldioustus infection caused by nerve block therapy. A 67-year-old Japanese woman had been treated with oral predonisolon and tacrolimus for adult-onset Still disease and interstitial pneumonia. She presented with a 2-month-history of the lesions on the left back. A biopsy specimen from the skin lesion revealed granulomatous inflammation with hyphae. Culture of the pus and the skin specimen confirmed the diagnosis of cutaneous Aspergillus infection. The sequence of ?- tubulin gene was analyzed to confirm the mycological diagnosis and the causative agent was identified as A. caldioustus. The patient was treated with surgical removal of the lesions and oral 200 mg/day itraconazole but she died of infectious interstitial pneumonia due to Pneumocystis jiroveci and Cytomegalovirus infection Percutaneous infection may have been responsible for the incidence of localized infection. There was no evidence of systemic aspergillosis. A. caldioustus is an emerging opportunistic fungal pathogen in immunocompromised patients. Immunocompromised patients who have persistent traumatic atypical skin lesion need to be ruled out of such rare fungus infection. An opportunistic infection in Immunocompromised patients can be life-threatening and prompt treatment based on accurate diagnosis is important.
The articular disc is a dense collagenous tissue containing disc cells that are phenotypically described as chondrocyte-like cells or fibrochondrocytes. Despite the possible existence of these phenotypes in systemic joints, little is known about the detailed classification of the articular disc cells in the temporomandibular joint. In this immunocytochemical study we examined the localization and distribution patterns of nestin and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in the articular disc of the rat temporomandibular joint at postnatal day 1, and weeks 1, 2, 4 and 8, based on the status of tooth eruption and occlusion. Nestin and GFAP are intermediate filament proteins whose expression patterns are closely related to cell differentiation and cell migration. Both types of immunopositive cell greatly increased postnatally to a stable level after postnatal week 4, but they showed different distribution patterns and cell morphologies. Nestin-reactive disc cells, which were characterized by a meagre cytoplasm and thin cytoplasmic processes, were scattered in the articular disc, whereas GFAP-positive cells, characterized by broader processes, existed exclusively in the deeper area. In mature discs, the major proportion of articular disc cells exhibited GFAP immunoreactivity. Furthermore, a double-immunostaining demonstrated that the nestin-negative cells, consisting of GFAP-positive and -negative cells, exhibited immunoreactions for heat shock protein 25. These findings indicate that the articular disc cells comprise at least three types in the rat temporomandibular joint and suggest that their expressions closely relate to mechanical loading forces within the joint, including occlusal force, as observed through postnatal development.
CCN family proteins play diverse roles in many aspects of cellular processes such as proliferation, differentiation, adhesion, migration, angiogenesis and survival. In the bone tissue of vertebrate species, the expression of most CCN family members has been observed in osteoblasts. However, their spatial and temporal distributions, as well as their functions, are still only partially understood. In this study, we evaluated the localization of CCN family members in skeletal tissue in vivo and comparatively analyzed the gene expression patterns and functions of the members in murine osteoblasts in primary culture. Immunofluorescent analyses revealed that the CCN family members were differentially produced in osteoblasts and osteocytes. The presence of all Ccn transcripts was confirmed in those osteoblasts. Among the members, CCN1, CCN2, CCN4 and CCN5 were found in osteocytes. CCN4 and CCN5 were distributed in osteocytes located inside of bone matrix as well. Next, we investigated the expression pattern of Ccn family members during osteoblast differentiation. Along with differentiation, most of the members followed proper gene expression patterns; whereas, Ccn4 and Ccn5 showed quite similar patterns. Furthermore, we evaluated the effects of CCN family members on the osteoblastic activities by using recombinant CCN proteins and RNA interference method. Five members of this family displayed positive effects on osteoblast proliferation or differentiation. Of note, CCN3 drastically inhibited the osteoblast activities. Each Ccn specific siRNA could modulate osteoblast activities in a manner expected by the observed effect of respective recombinant CCN protein. In addition, we found that extracellular signal-regulated kinase1/2 and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways were critically involved in the CCN family member-mediated modification of osteoblast activities. Collectively, all Ccn family members were found to be differentially expressed along with differentiation and therefore could participate in progression of the osteoblast lineage.
We tested a hypothesis that the spinal plasticity induced within a few hours after nerve injury may produce changes in cortical activities and an initial phase of neuropathic pain. Somatosensory cortical responses elicited by vibratory stimulation were visualized by transcranial flavoprotein fluorescence imaging in mice. These responses were reduced immediately after cutting the sensory nerves. However, the remaining cortical responses mediated by nearby nerves were potentiated within a few hours after nerve cutting. Nerve injury induces neuropathic pain. In the present study, mice exhibited tactile allodynia 1-2 weeks after nerve injury. Lesioning of the ipsilateral dorsal column, mediating tactile cortical responses, abolished somatic cortical responses to tactile stimuli. However, nontactile cortical responses appeared in response to the same tactile stimuli within a few hours after nerve injury, indicating that tactile allodynia was acutely initiated. We investigated the trigger mechanisms underlying the cortical changes. Endogenous glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), found in the Meissner corpuscles, induced basal firing ?0.1 Hz or less in its A? tactile afferents, and disruption of the basal firing triggered the potentiation of nontactile cortical responses. Application of 10 nm LY341495 [(2S)-2-amino-2-[(1S,2S)-2-carboxycycloprop-1-yl]-3-(xanth-9-yl) propanoic acid], a specific antagonist of group II metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs), on to the surface of the spinal cord also induced the potentiation of nontactile cortical responses. Together, it is suggested that low-frequency afferent firing produced by GDNF in touch-sensitive nerve fibers continuously activated spinal group II mGluRs and that failure of this activation triggered tactile allodynia.
We previously cloned a cDNA for sorbitol dehydrogenase (SDH1) from Bombyx mori. In the present study we cloned two additional cDNAs encoding SDHs (designated as SDH2a and SDH2b). The amino acid sequences of SDH2ab were almost the same and had higher similarity to the SDHs of other organisms than to B. mori SDH1. The SDH2ab and SDH1genes were located in tandem within about 40 kbp on chromosome 21. SDH2ab mRNAs increased after exposing diapause eggs to 5 °C for 40 days, beginning at 2 days post-oviposition, to break diapause. However, they were at very low levels in diapausing eggs incubated at 25 °C continuously from oviposition. These changes in expression pattern of SDH2ab mRNA were almost the same as that of SDH1 mRNA. To understand whether SDH1 and SDH2 were responsible for the SDH activity seen in diapause eggs exposed to 5 °C for more than 60 days, we expressed a His-tagged SDH2a fusion protein in Escherichia coli and examined its enzymatic parameters. The maximum activity of SDH2a observed at pH 8.4?9.0, and the Km value for sorbitol was 12.6 mM, similar to the kinetic properties of other SDHs. Due to the significantly higher similarity between SDH2a and b, they were thought to have similar kinetic properties. Therefore, we purified SDH from B. mori diapause-terminated eggs exposed to 5 °C for 300 days which showed higher SDH activity using two-step affinity chromatography. The highly purified SDH showed a higher Km value (125 mM) for sorbitol, being similar to the value (136 mM) determined previously from Eadie-Hofstee plots using egg crude extract as an enzyme source; additionally, the plots showed one slope indicating one Km value. Moreover, in silico analysis indicated that no SDH genes other than SDH1 and 2ab are present in B. mori genomic DNA. These results suggest that SDH1 activity may be responsible for the majority of the increased SDH activity seen in diapause eggs after acclimation to 5 °C rather than SDH2ab. Further, the relative sequence divergence among these genes is consistent with the idea/hypothesis that the original SDH gene was first duplicated into SDH1 and SDH2, and then SDH2 was duplicated into the SDH2a and SDH2b genes.
A phase III observational study evaluating a single-dose of an inactivated, split-virus, unadjuvanted AH1pdm vaccine in HCW was conducted. A safe and effective vaccine was needed after the emergence of AH1pdm in April 2009. We analyzed the immunogenicity and safety of the vaccine. A total of 409 subjects were enrolled and given 15 ?g hemagglutinin antigen by s.c. injection. Antibody titers were measured using hemagglutination-inhibition antibody assays before vaccination and 28 days after. The co-primary immunogenicity end-points were the proportion of subjects with antibody titers of 1:40 or more, the proportion of subjects with either seroconversion or a significant increase in antibody titer, and the factor increase in geometric mean titer. We collected 389 pair samples. Antibody titers of 1:40 or more were observed in 148 of 389 subjects (38.0%, 95% CI: 33.2-42.9). The immunogenicity was also confirmed in other end-points, but was not sufficient and was lower than in previous reports. A total of 96 of adverse events was reported: 51 local events and 57 systemic events. There were 12 subjects with both local and systemic events. Nearly all events were mild to moderate except in four subjects. A single 15-?g dose of AH1pdm vaccine did not induce sufficient immunogenicity in HCW, with mild-to-moderate vaccine-associated adverse events. We need to consider further improvement of the AH1pdm vaccine program in HCW for the prevention of nosocomial infection, as well as for the benefit of HCW.
Multikinase inhibitor (MKI) is a promising drug for treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). We explained the usefulness of [¹?F]-2-fluoro-2-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography/contrast-enhanced computed tomography (FDG PET/CECT) for mRCC in evaluating the early response to MKI and in predicting progression-free survival (PFS).
The acid-sensing ion channel 3 (ASIC3), a member of the epithelial sodium channel/degenerin (ENaC/DEG) superfamily, has been reported to participate in acid sensing, mechanosensation, and nociception. However, no information is available regarding the precise localization and function of this molecule in the periodontal ligament, which contains abundant sensory nerves originating from the trigeminal ganglion. The present study examined the expression of ASIC3 in the lingual periodontal ligament of mouse incisors by immunohistochemistry. Furthermore, the expression of ASIC3 in the trigeminal ganglion - which innervates the periodontal ligament - was investigated at protein (immunohistochemistry and quantitative analysis) and mRNA levels (RT-PCR technique and in situ hybridization histochemistry). Immunohistochemistry for ASIC3 was able to demonstrate dendritic profiles of the periodontal Ruffini endings in the mouse incisors. No thin fibers terminating as nociceptive free nerve endings exhibited ASIC3 immunoreactivity. Double immunofluorescent staining revealed ASIC3 immunoreaction in the axoplasm but not in the ordinary Schwann cells - including the associated terminal Schwann cells. Observation of the trigeminal ganglia showed variously sized neurons expressing ASIC3 immunoreaction; the most intense immunopositivity was found in the small and medium-sized neurons, as confirmed by in situ hybridization histochemistry using a specific cRNA probe. Quantitative analysis on trigeminal ganglion neurons showed that 38.0% of ASIC3 neurons could be categorized as medium-sized neurons which mediate mechanotransduction. These findings suggest that ASIC3 functions as a molecule for mechanosensation in the periodontal Ruffini endings.
The reversal rate from clustering of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors-components of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) is not known. Methods and Results. Among 35,534 subjects who received the annual health examinations at the NiigataHealth Foundation (Niigata, Japan), 4,911 subjects had clustering of 3 or more of the following CVD risk factors: (1) body mass index (BMI) ?25?Kg/m(2), (2) blood pressure ?130?mm Hg in systolic and/or ?85?mm Hg in diastolic, (3) triglycerides ?150?mg/dL, (4) high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ?40?mg/dL in men, ?50?mg/dL in women, and (5) fasting blood glucose ?100?mg/dL. After 5 years 1,929 subjects had a reversal of clustering (39.4%). A reversal occurred more often in males. The subjects with a reversal of clustering had milder level of each risk factor and a smaller number of risk factors, while BMI was associated with the least chance of a reversal. Conclusion. We concluded that a reversal of clustering CVD risk factors is possible in 4/10 subjects over a 5-year period by habitual or medical interventions. Gender and each CVD risk factor affected the reversal rate adversely, and BMI was associated with the least chance of a reversal.
The aim of our study was to evaluate detectability of bone metastatic lesions and evaluate the correlation between (18)F-fluoride uptake patterns on positron emission tomography (PET) and morphologic changes on CT using integrated PET/CT.
The objective of this study was to clarify the growth and proliferation style of human lung cancer grown in an orthotopic transplantation model. The human lung squamous cell carcinoma SQ5 and adenocarcinoma A549 cell lines were used. Tumor cells suspended in serum-free medium were directly injected into the main bronchi of anesthetized female Balb/c athymic nude mice with simultaneous administration of 0.01 M ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid. Bromodeoxyuridine was injected into mice 20 min before sacrifice. Lung tissue with tumor nodules and subcutaneous tumors were fixed and confirmed by histological examinations. Bromodeoxyuridine-labeled cells in the tumor area were counted, and the proliferation index was calculated. Lung tumor colonies of various sizes were obtained in the SQ5- and A549-cell orthotopically transplanted mice. Orthotopic SQ5 tumors whose minor diameter was 40-700 ?m and major diameter was 80-830 ?m showed no definite necrosis. Orthotopic SQ5 tumors whose minor diameter was 540-5,200 ?m and major diameter was 600-6,100 ?m showed definite necrosis in the tumor center. Similar results were also found in the orthotopic A549 tumors. The proliferation index was 7.38 (3.03)/10.63 (3.10) in the orthotopic SQ5 tumors with/without necrosis and 6.99 (2.10) in the subcutaneous SQ5 tumors with necrosis, respectively. The proliferation index was 2.70 (0.88)/3.53 (1.70) in the orthotopic A549 tumors with/without necrosis and 3.91 (0.63) in the subcutaneous A549 tumors with necrosis, respectively. The data suggest that this orthotopic transplantation model may provide the proper organ microenvironment for lung cancer growth and may be suitable for the target therapy research of human lung cancer.
Epithelial sodium channels (ENaCs) are a subfamily of ion channels within the degenerin/ENaC (DEG/ENaC) superfamily. Previous studies have shown the immunolocalization of ENaC in the neural elements of the cutaneous mechanoreceptors as well as dorsal root and trigeminal ganglion neurons, indicating the involvement of this molecule in mechanotransduction. The present study examined the expression of ENaCbeta, a major component of ENaC protein, in the mechanoreceptive Ruffini endings in the periodontal ligament of the rat incisors by immunohistochemistry. The expression of ENaCbeta in the trigeminal ganglion--which innervates the periodontal Ruffini endings--was also investigated at the mRNA and protein levels. Furthermore, double staining and a nerve injury experiment were applied to clarify its detailed localization in the periodontal Ruffini endings. ENaCbeta immunoreaction in the trigeminal ganglion was recognizable in the comparatively large neurons which have been considered to mediate mechanotransduction. Immunohistochemistry for ENaCbeta demonstrated dendritic ramifications of the Ruffini endings as well as the rounded cells in the periodontal ligament. Double staining with ENaCbeta and either PGP9.5 or S-100 protein showed immunoreaction for ENaCbeta in both the axonal and glial elements in the periodontal ligament. Some ENaCbeta positive cells with rounded profiles were reactive to non-specific cholinesterase activity. Furthermore, a transection of the inferior alveolar nerve failed to eliminate the rounded cells with ENaCbeta reaction, indicating that they were the terminal Schwann cells associated with the periodontal Ruffini endings. These findings suggest that ENaCbeta is a key mechanotransducing channel in the periodontal Ruffini endings. Probably, the terminal Schwann cells together with the axon terminals regulate mechanotransduction in the periodontal endings.
Nestin is an intermediate filament which was first identified in neuroepithelial stem cells. This expression has also been reported in restricted locations in adults. Previous studies have suggested that the periodontal Ruffini endings remain immature in nature even in adulthood. The present study reports on a characteristic expression of immunoreaction for nestin in the periodontal Ruffini endings during postnatal development. RT-PCR analysis detected nestin mRNA in a reverse transcripted cDNA sample from both the rat trigeminal ganglion and periodontal ligament. The nestin immunoreaction existed in the periodontal ligament at postnatal day 3 (PO 3 days), when many spindle-shaped Schwann cells were positive for nestin immunoreaction. At PO 1 week, when periodontal nerve fibers displayed a dendritic fashion, the round cells came to show the nestin immunoreaction. These immunopositive cells were also reactive for S-100 protein and non-specific cholinesterase, indicating that these cells could be categorized as terminal Schwann cells associated with the periodontal Ruffini endings. Some ordinary Schwann cells also exhibited nestin immunoreaction. From PO 2 to 3 weeks, nestin positive terminal Schwann cells increased in number in accordance with the postnatal development of the periodontal Ruffini endings, while this immuno-expression pattern remained unchanged. Nestin immunoreaction was also recognizable in the satellite cells - but never in the neurons - in the trigeminal ganglion throughout this observation period. This immuno-expression pattern suggests that nestin serves as an intermediate filament for mechanical stability in the periodontal Ruffini endings against external stimuli.
Living-donor pancreas transplants (LDPs) were introduced at Chiba-East National Hospital in 2004, and 12 LDPs have been performed at this institution to date. Based on the outcome of these 12 LDPs, the efficacy and safety of LDPs are herein discussed.
The aim of our study was to prospectively evaluate whether intravenous contrast media in integrated positron emission tomography and computed tomography (PET/CT) with (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose ((18)F-FDG) significantly contributes to evaluation of primary head and neck cancers compared with unenhanced PET/CT, regional contrast-enhanced CT of head and neck (neck CE-CT) and regional magnetic resonance imaging of head and neck (neck MRI).
In the course of screening leishmanicidal active compounds from Asian and South American medicinal plants, a Nepalese medicinal plant, Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum L.), showed strong activity. We therefore studied the isolation and structural elucidation of the active constituents from O. sanctum L. From the ethyl acetate soluble fraction of the plant, seven new novel neolignan derivatives were isolated along with 16 known compounds. The structures of the new compounds (1-7) were elucidated as 6-allyl-3,8-dimethoxy-flavan-3,4-diol (1), 6-allyl-3-(4-allyl-2-methoxyphenoxy)-3,8-dimethoxyflavan-4-ol (2), 5-allyl-3-(4-allyl-2-methoxyphenoxymethyl)-2-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-7-methoxy-2,3-dihydrobenzofuran (3), 1,2-bis(4-allyl-2-methoxyphenoxy)-3-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-3-methoxypropane (4), 1-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-1,2,3-tris(4-allyl-2-methoxyphenoxy)propane (5), 1-allyl-4-(5-allyl-2-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenoxy)-3-(4-allyl-2-methoxyphenoxy)-5-methoxybenzene (6), and 3-(5-allyl-2-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-1-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenoxy)-prop-1-ene (7) by means of (1)H-NMR, (13)C-NMR, and 2D-NMR spectral data. Some of these compounds showed leishmanicidal activity.
Uncontrolled proliferation of synovial fibroblasts is characteristic of the pathology of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Since synovial tissues in the rheumatoid joints are hypoxic, we investigated how hypoxia affects RA synovial fibroblast (RASF) proliferation.
Caveolae are involved in clathrin-independent endocytosis, transcytosis, signal transduction, and tumor suppression - all of which depend on their main constituent protein caveolin families. The periodontal Ruffini ending has been reported to develop a caveola-like structure on the cell membrane of both the axon terminals and Schwann sheaths, suggesting the existence of an axon-Schwann cell interaction in the periodontal Ruffini endings. However, little information is available concerning the functional significance of these caveolae. The present study was undertaken to examine the immunolocalization of caveolin-1, -3 (Cav-1, Cav-3) and Ca(2+)-ATPase in the periodontal Ruffini endings of the rat incisor. Decalcified sections of the upper jaws were processed for immunocytochemistry at the levels of light and electron microscopy. Some immunostained sections were treated with histochemistry for nonspecific cholinesterase (nChE) activity. Observations showed the periodontal Ruffini endings were immunopositive for Cav-1, but not Cav-3. Immunoreactive products for Cav-1 were confined to caveola-like structures in the cell membranes of the cytoplasmic extensions and cell bodies of the terminal Schwann cells associated with the periodontal Ruffini endings. However, the axonal membranes of the terminals did not express any Cav-1 immunoreaction. Double staining with Ca(2+)-ATPase and either protein gene product 9.5 (PGP 9.5) or S-100 protein disclosed the co-localization of immunoreactions in the axonal branches of the periodontal Ruffini endings, but not in the terminal Schwann cells. As Ca(2+) plays an important role in mechanotransduction, these characteristic immunolocalizations show Cav-1/Ca(2+)-ATPase might be involved in the quick elimination of intracellular Ca(2+) in mechanotransduction.
In spite of the sharp increase in both private and government R&D fund, the number of newly approved medicines for market had decreased since the 1990s. This is attributed to a large extent to the bottleneck in the critical path arising from the great disparity between animal model in pre-clinical trial and human model in clinical trial. This bottleneck may be expected to be gotten rid of by change in paradigm of drug development based on microdosing, which is enabled by radiation-related imaging technology. However, this is impossible without being accompanied by interdisciplinary joint researches, in which clinical investigators belonging to medical schools or hospitals play the most decisive role. In this article, authors verify based on bibliometrics that Japan has not employed the opportunity for revitalizing drug research activities because Japanese researchers attitude toward radiation technology may not be so positive in comparison with the US, and because the role which clinical investigators play in the phase of pre-clinical trial is smaller in Japan than in the US.
This study evaluates the clinical significance of re-elevation of T-wave in patients with ST segment elevation acute myocardial infarction (STEMI) undergoing successful percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Resolution of ST elevation within 24 h after reperfusion is associated with better outcome. However, little is known about the serial electrocardiography (ECG) changes and their significance. Seventy-five patients (52 men; 66 ± 1 years) with the first anterior STEMI in whom 12-lead ECG was recorded every day from day 0 to day 8 after PCI were studied. JT interval was quartered (points 1-5), and the deviations from isoelectric line at each point were analyzed in leads V2, V3, and V4. Serial ECG showed ST resolution and T-wave inversion within 2 days after PCI in all patients at the middle of JT interval (point 3), and subsequent re-elevation of T-wave on day 4 in 73 patients (97.3 %). The patients were divided into two groups: Group A (n = 37) with less JT deviation changes (<0.25 mV) from day 2 to day 4 at point 3; and Group B (n = 38) with greater JT deviation changes (?0.25 mV). Group B had less retrograde collateral flow and longer JT interval in the acute phase, and lower left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), worse regional contractility, and higher plasma brain natriuretic peptide levels at 6 months after the onset than Group A (all P < 0.05). The JT deviation change was negatively correlated with and an independent predictor for LVEF in the chronic phase. Re-elevation ?0.25 mV of T-wave at the middle of JT interval after successful PCI predicts chronic cardiac systolic dysfunction in patients with first anterior STEMI.
Generalized pustular psoriasis (GPP) is a rare form of psoriasis characterized by the presence of variable numbers of sterile pustules appearing in erythematous and scaly lesions, which are associated with moderate to severe constitutional symptoms. It can be life-threatening especially in the elderly; therefore, medical care must be performed in rapid succession of treatment especially in refractory cases. We have performed granulocyte and monocyte adsorption apheresis (GCAP) on three GPP cases associated with several systemic and laboratory findings. As a result, the edema, erythema and numbers of sterile pustules on the skin lesions were reduced dramatically in all three patients after the first sessions of GCAP therapy. The sizes of the psoriatic lesions were reduced in all three patients following a weekly GCAP treatment for 5 consecutive weeks. Psoriasis area and severity index on discharge had improved in all three patients. No serious adverse effects were observed for up to at least 8 months after treatment. We therefore considered GCAP as one effective alternative to currently existing therapies, especially for recalcitrant cases of GPP.
Vitamin E (tocopherol: Toc) is an important lipid-soluble antioxidant synthesized in chloroplasts. Among the 8 isoforms of vitamin E, ?-Toc has the highest activity in humans. To generate transgenic plants with enhanced vitamin E activity, we applied a chloroplast transformation technique. Three types of the transplastomic tobacco plants (pTTC, pTTMT and pTTC-TMT) carrying the Toc cyclase (TC) or ?-Toc methyltransferase (?-TMT) gene and the TC plus ?-TMT genes as an operon in the plastid genome, respectively, were generated. There was a significant increase in total levels of Toc due to an increase in ?-Toc in the pTTC plants. Compared to the wild-type plants, Toc composition was altered in the pTTMT plants. In the pTTC-TMT plants, total Toc levels increased and ?-Toc was a major Toc isoform. Furthermore, to use chloroplast transformation to produce ?-Toc-rich vegetable, TC-overexpressing transplastomic lettuce plants (pLTC) were generated. Total Toc levels and vitamin E activity increased in the pLTC plants compared with the wild-type lettuce plants. These findings indicated that chloroplast genetic engineering is useful to improve vitamin E quality and quantity in plants.
Increased expression of the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channels, following nerve injury, may facilitate the entry of QX-314 into nociceptive neurons in order to achieve effective and selective pain relief. In this study we hypothesized that the level of QX-314/capsaicin (QX-CAP)--induced blockade of nocifensive behavior could be used as an indirect in-vivo measurement of functional expression of TRPV1 channels. We used the QX-CAP combination to monitor the functional expression of TRPV1 in regenerated neurons after inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) transection in rats. We evaluated the effect of this combination on pain threshold at different time points after IAN transection by analyzing the escape thresholds to mechanical stimulation of lateral mental skin. At 2 weeks after IAN transection, there was no QX-CAP mediated block of mechanical hyperalgesia, implying that there was no functional expression of TRPV1 channels. These results were confirmed immunohistochemically by staining of regenerated trigeminal ganglion (TG) neurons. This suggests that TRPV1 channel expression is an essential necessity for the QX-CAP mediated blockade. Furthermore, we show that 3 and 4 weeks after IAN transection, application of QX-CAP produced a gradual increase in escape threshold, which paralleled the increased levels of TRPV1 channels that were detected in regenerated TG neurons. Immunohistochemical analysis also revealed that non-myelinated neurons regenerated slowly compared to myelinated neurons following IAN transection. We also show that TRPV1 expression shifted towards myelinated neurons. Our findings suggest that nerve injury modulates the TRPV1 expression pattern in regenerated neurons and that the effectiveness of QX-CAP induced blockade depends on the availability of functional TRPV1 receptors in regenerated neurons. The results of this study also suggest that the QX-CAP based approach can be used as a new behavioral tool to detect dynamic changes in TRPV1 expression, in various pathological conditions.
The immunogenicity of pandemic influenza A H1N1 virus (A/H1pdm) vaccine might be modified by prior seasonal trivalent influenza vaccine (sTIV) administration. We conducted a retrospective analysis of immunogenicity of 243 health care workers (number of sTIV-positive [sTIV(+)] subjects, 216; number of sTIV(-) subjects, 27) by hemagglutination inhibition. There was no significant difference in the ratios of antibody titers of ?40 (41.2% versus 48.1%; P = 0.49) and fold increases in geometric mean titer (3.8 versus 4.5; P = 0.37). sTIV injected 7 to 10 days prior to A/H1pdm vaccine administration did not interfere with the immunogenicity of the latter.
The ability to selectively and efficiently target transgene delivery to specific cell types in vitro and in vivo remains one of the formidable challenges in gene therapy. Lentiviral vectors have several advantages that make them attractive as gene delivery vehicles and their tropism can be altered through pseudotyping, allowing transgene delivery to specific populations of cells. The human interleukin-13 receptor ?2 (IL-13R?2) is uniquely overexpressed in many different human tumors, making it an attractive target for cancer therapy. In this study, we examined whether IL-13R?2-positive tumor cells can be specifically targeted with lentiviral vector pseudotypes containing a truncated fusion (F) protein derived from measles virus (MV) and a tail-truncated and receptor-blind MV hemagglutinin (H) protein bearing IL-13 at the C terminus. The retargeted lentiviral vector efficiently transduced cells that express high levels of IL-13R?2, but not cells expressing low levels of IL-13R?2 in vitro. In vivo, it specifically targeted IL-13R?2-positive glioma cell xenografts in immunodeficient mice in the context of subcutaneous and intracranial glioma models. Similar lentiviral vectors may be developed for targeting other tumors expressing specific cell surface receptors.
Cysteamine, an anti-oxidant aminothiol, is the treatment of choice for nephropathic cystinosis, a rare lysosomal storage disease. Cysteamine is a chemo-sensitization and radioprotection agent and its antitumor effects have been investigated in various tumor cell lines and chemical induced carcinogenesis. Here, we investigated whether cysteamine has anti-tumor and anti-metastatic effects in transplantable human pancreatic cancer, an aggressive metastatic disease.
The articular disc in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) that serves in load relief and stabilizing in jaw movements is a dense collagenous tissue consisting of extracellular matrices and disc cells. The various morphological configurations of the disc cells have given us diverse names, such as fibroblasts, chondrocyte-like cells and fibrochondrocytes; however, the characteristics of these cells have remained to be elucidated in detail. The disc cells have been reported to exhibit heterogeneous immunoreaction patterns for intermediate filaments including glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), nestin and vimentin in the adult rat TMJ. Because these intermediate filaments accumulate in the disc cells as tooth eruption proceeds during postnatal development, it might be surmised that the expression of these intermediate filaments in the disc cells closely relates to mechanical stress. The present study was therefore undertaken to examine the effect of a continuous compressive force on the immunoexpression of these intermediate filaments and an additional intermediate filament - muscle-specific desmin - in the disc cells of the TMJ disc using a rat experimental model. The rats wore an appliance that exerts a continuous compressive load on the TMJ. The experimental period with the appliance was 5 days as determined by previous studies, after which some experimental animals were allowed to survive another 5 days after removal of the appliance. Histological observations demonstrated that the compressive force provoked a remarkable acellular region and a decrease in the thickness of the condylar cartilage of the mandible, and a sparse collagen fiber distribution in the articular disc. The articular disc showed a significant increase in the number of desmin-positive cells as compared with the controls. In contrast, immunopositive cells for GFAP, nestin and vimentin remained unchanged in number as well as intensity. At 5 days after removal of the appliance, both the disc and cartilage exhibited immunohistological and histological features in a recovery process. These findings indicate that the mature articular cells are capable of producing desmin instead of the other intermediate filaments against mechanical stress. The desmin-positive disc cells lacked ?-smooth muscle actin (?-SMA) in this study, even though desmin usually co-exists with ?-SMA in the vascular smooth muscle cells or pericytes. Because the precursor of a pericyte has such an immunoexpression pattern during angiogenesis, there is a further possibility that the formation of new vessels commenced in response to the extraordinary compressive force.
Patients with mutations in either TGF-? receptor type I (TGFBR1) or TGF-? receptor type II (TGFBR2), such as those with Loeys-Dietz syndrome, have craniofacial defects and signs of elevated TGF-? signaling. Similarly, mutations in TGF-? receptor gene family members cause craniofacial deformities, such as cleft palate, in mice. However, it is unknown whether TGF-? ligands are able to elicit signals in Tgfbr2 mutant mice. Here, we show that loss of Tgfbr2 in mouse cranial neural crest cells results in elevated expression of TGF-?2 and TGF-? receptor type III (T?RIII); activation of a T?RI/T?RIII-mediated, SMAD-independent, TRAF6/TAK1/p38 signaling pathway; and defective cell proliferation in the palatal mesenchyme. Strikingly, Tgfb2, Tgfbr1 (also known as Alk5), or Tak1 haploinsufficiency disrupted T?RI/T?RIII-mediated signaling and rescued craniofacial deformities in Tgfbr2 mutant mice, indicating that activation of this noncanonical TGF-? signaling pathway was responsible for craniofacial malformations in Tgfbr2 mutant mice. Thus, modulation of TGF-? signaling may be beneficial for the prevention of congenital craniofacial birth defects.
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