Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) represent a novel source of hepatocytes for drug development, disease modeling studies, and regenerative therapy for the treatment of liver diseases. A number of protocols for generating functional hepatocytes have been reported worldwide; however, reproducible and efficient differentiation remained challenging under conventional two-dimensional (2D) culture. In this study, we describe an efficient differentiation protocol for generating functional hepatocyte-like cells from human iPSC-derived homogenous hepatic endoderm cells combined with three-dimensional (3D) microscale culture system. First, hepatic endoderm cells (iPSC-HEs) were directly differentiated using two-step approaches, and then cultured in the 3D micropattern plate. Human iPSC-HEs quickly reaggregated and formed hundreds of round-shaped spheroids at day 4 of cell plating. The size distribution of iPSC-HEs derived spheroids was relatively uniform around 100-200 ?m in diameter. After 14 days, iPSC-HEs efficiently differentiated into hepatocyte-like cells in terms of hepatic maker gene expression compared with conventional 2D approach. We conclude that our scalable and three-dimensional culture system would be one promising approach to generate a huge number of hepatocyte-like cells from human iPSCs aiming at future industrial and clinical applications.
In embryonic liver, hepatic progenitor cells are actively proliferating and generate a fundamental cellular pool for establishing parenchymal components. However, the molecular basis for the expansion of the progenitors maintaining their immature state remains elusive. Polycomb group proteins regulate gene expression throughout the genome by modulating of chromatin structure and play crucial roles in development. Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (Ezh2), a key component of polycomb group proteins, catalyzes tri-methylation of lysine 27 of histone H3 (H3K27me3), which trigger the gene suppression. In the present study, we investigated a role of Ezh2 in the regulation of the expanding hepatic progenitor population in vivo. We found that Ezh2 is highly expressed in the actively proliferating cells at the early developmental stage. Using a conditional knockout mouse model, we show that the deletion of the SET domain of Ezh2, which is responsible for catalytic induction of H3K27me3, results in significant reduction of the total liver size, absolute number of liver parenchymal cells, and hepatic progenitor cell population in size. A clonal colony assay in the hepatic progenitor cells directly isolated from in vivo fetal livers revealed that the bi-potent clonogenicity was significantly attenuated by the Ezh2 loss of function. Moreover, a marker expression based analysis and a global gene expression analysis showed that the knockout of Ezh2 inhibited differentiation to hepatocyte with reduced expression of a number of liver-function related genes. Taken together, our results indicate that Ezh2 is required for the hepatic progenitor expansion in vivo, which is essential for the functional maturation of embryonic liver, through its activity for catalyzing H3K27me3.
Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) programs have been reported to be feasible and useful for maintaining physiological function and facilitating recovery after colorectal surgery. The feasibility of such programs in gastric surgery remains unclear. This study assessed whether an ERAS program is feasible in patients who undergo gastric surgery.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a malignant tumor associated with a generally poor prognosis and a high rate of recurrence. HCC usually develops in the context of chronic liver diseases, and long-lasting premalignant conditions precede cancer development. A promising therapeutic approach is to eliminate precancerous cells, which are considered as the precursors of cancer stem cells, to prevent further malignant transformation. In this study, we identified a subpopulation of precancerous cells in a rat liver carcinogenesis model, which were enriched in CD133(+)CD44(+)CD45(-)HIS49(-) cells that formed part of the hepatic oval cells fraction. Prospective isolation of the precancerous cells using flow cytometry identified stem cell properties such as the ability to expand clonally and differentiate into bi-lineage cell types. Furthermore, an acyclic retinoid, which was recently shown to improve overall survival after HCC resection, directly inhibited the extensive expansion of the isolated precancerous cells in vitro and decreased the emergence of the precancerous cells and their progeny in vivo. Long-term follow-up after the acyclic retinoid treatment confirmed reduction in precancerous changes, ultimately resulting in suppression of HCC development. These findings, together with data from recent clinical trials showing marked reduction in intrahepatic recurrence, suggest that acyclic retinoid directly prevents de novo HCC by inhibiting the development of precancerous cells. Given recent advances in diagnostic techniques and the establishment of surveillance programs, the targeting of precancerous cells may have a huge impact on preventative cancer therapies.
Patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer have a high mortality rate relating to the highly malignant and refractory nature of their disease, and reputedly linked to the presence of cancerous pancreatic stem cells. These stem cells are believed to be deeply involved in distant metastasis. Therefore, the present study examined whether pancreatic cancer stem cells (CSCs) exhibit organ-specific migration patterns during metastasis.
Millions of patients worldwide are affected by craniofacial deformations caused by congenital defects or trauma. Current surgical interventions have limited therapeutic outcomes; therefore, methods that would allow cartilage restoration are of great interest. A number of studies on embryonic limb development have shown that chondrogenesis is initiated by cellular condensation, during which mesenchymal progenitors aggregate and form 3D structures. Here, we demonstrated efficient regeneration of avascular elastic cartilage from in vitro-grown mesenchymal condensation, which recapitulated the early stages of chondrogenesis, including transient vascularization. After transplantation of vascularized condensed progenitors into immunodeficient mice, we used an intravital imaging approach to follow cartilage maturation. We determined that endothelial cells are present inside rudimentary cartilage (mesenchymal condensation) prior to cartilage maturation. Recreation of endothelial interactions in culture enabled a recently identified population of adult elastic cartilage progenitors to generate mesenchymal condensation in a self-driven manner, without requiring the support of exogenous inductive factors or scaffold materials. Moreover, the culture-grown 3D condensed adult-derived progenitors were amenable to storage via simple freezing methods and efficiently reconstructed 3D elastic cartilage upon transplantation. Together, our results indicate that transplantation of endothelialized and condensed progenitors represents a promising approach to realizing a regenerative medicine treatment for craniofacial deformations.
Generation of functional and vascularized organs from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) will facilitate our understanding of human developmental biology and disease modeling, hopefully offering a drug-screening platform and providing novel therapies against end-stage organ failure. Here we describe a protocol for the in vitro generation of a 3D liver bud from human iPSC cultures and the monitoring of further hepatic maturation after transplantation at various ectopic sites. iPSC-derived specified hepatic cells are dissociated and suspended with endothelial cells and mesenchymal stem cells. These mixed cells are then plated onto a presolidified matrix, and they form a 3D spherical tissue mass termed a liver bud (iPSC-LB) in 1-2 d. To facilitate additional maturation, 4-d-old iPSC-LBs are transplanted in the immunodeficient mouse. Live imaging has identified functional blood perfusion into the preformed human vascular networks. Functional analyses show the appearance of multiple hepatic functions in a chronological manner in vivo.
Although absolute organ shortage highlights the needs of alternative organ sources for regenerative medicine, the generation of a three-dimensional (3D) and complex vital organ, such as well-vascularized liver, remains a challenge. To this end, tissue engineering holds great promise; however, this approach is significantly limited by the failure of early vascularization in vivo after implantation. Here, we established a stable 3D in vitro pre-vascularization platform to generate human hepatic tissue after implantation in vivo. Human fetal liver cells (hFLCs) were mixed with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) and were implanted into a collagen/fibronectin matrix composite that was used as a 3-D carrier. After a couple of days, the fluorescent HUVECs developed premature vascular networks in vitro, which were stabilized by hMSCs. The establishment of functional vessels inside the pre-vascularized constructs was proven using dextran infusion studies after implantation under a transparency cranial window. Furthermore, dynamic morphological changes during embryonic liver cell maturation were intravitaly quantified with high-resolution confocal microscope analysis. The engineered human hepatic tissue demonstrated multiple liver-specific features, both structural and functional. Our new techniques discussed here can be implemented in future clinical uses and industrial uses, such as drug testing.
Polycomb-group (PcG) proteins play crucial roles in self-renewal of stem cells by suppressing a host of genes through histone modifications. Identification of the downstream genes of PcG proteins is essential for elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of stem cell self-renewal. However, little is known about the PcG target genes in tissue stem cells. We found that the PcG protein, Ring1B, which regulates expression of various genes through monoubiquitination of histone H2AK119, is essential for expansion of hepatic stem/progenitor cells. In mouse embryos with a conditional knockout of Ring1B, we found that the lack of Ring1B inhibited proliferation and differentiation of hepatic stem/progenitor cells and thereby inhibited hepatic organogenesis. These events were characterized by derepression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors (CDKIs) Cdkn1a and Cdkn2a, known negative regulators of cell proliferation. We conducted clonal culture experiments with hepatic stem/progenitor cells to investigate the individual genetic functions of Ring1B, Cdkn1a, and Cdkn2a. The data showed that the cell-cycle inhibition caused by Ring1B depletion was reversed when Cdkn1a and Cdkn2a were suppressed simultaneously, but not when they were suppressed individually.
Avoiding drug-drug interactions (DDIs) mediated through inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) activity is highly desirable. Direct inhibition (DI) of CYP through new chemical entities (NCEs) or time-dependent inhibition (TDI) through reactive metabolites should be elucidated at an early stage of drug discovery research. Especially, TDI of CYP occurring through reactive metabolites may be irreversible and even sustained, causing far more serious DDIs for TDIs than for DIs. Furthermore, it is important to ascertain whether an NCE inhibits multiple CYP isoforms. Hence, using a cocktail-substrate approach that we previously established (in which the activity of 8 CYP isoforms is simultaneously evaluated in a single run), we evaluated the IC50 values of direct inhibitors and TDI parameters (kobs, shifted IC50, KI and kinact) of time-dependent inhibitors that affect multiple CYP isoforms. The IC50 values for 8 CYP isoforms obtained using the cocktail-substrate approach were nearly identical to values previously reported. The TDI parameters for CYP1A2, 2C9, 2C19, 2D6, and CYP3A4/5 obtained using the cocktail-substrate approach were also nearly identical to those obtained using a single-substrate approach. Thus, the cocktail-substrate approach is useful for evaluating DI and TDI in the early stages of drug discovery and development processes.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common cancers, and is also the leading cause of death worldwide. Studies have shown that cellular reprogramming contributes to chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy resistance and the recurrence of cancers. In this article, we summarize and discuss the latest findings in the area of cellular reprogramming in HCC. The aberrant expression of transcription factors OCT4, KLF4, SOX2, c-MYC, NANOG, and LIN28 have been also observed, and the expression of these transcription factors is associated with unfavorable clinical outcomes in HCC. Studies indicate that cellular reprogramming may play a critical role in the occurrence and recurrence of HCC. Recent reports have shown that DNA methylation, miRNAs, tumor microenvironment, and signaling pathways can induce the expression of stemness transcription factors, which leads to cellular reprogramming in HCC. Furthermore, studies indicate that therapies based on cellular reprogramming could revolutionize HCC treatment. Finally, a novel therapeutic concept is discussed: reprogramming control therapy. A potential reprogramming control therapy method could be developed based on the reprogramming demonstrated in HCC studies and applied at two opposing levels: differentiation and reprogramming. Our increasing understanding and control of cellular programming should facilitate the exploitation of this novel therapeutic concept and its application in clinical HCC treatment, which may represent a promising strategy in the future that is not restricted to liver cancer.
The case was a 35-year-old male patient. Upon visiting a local doctor with complaints of cough and pain in the left chest, he was diagnosed as having an anterior mediastinal tumor. A large tumor of 15 cm in size was found by computed tomography( CT) scanning at the anterior mediastinum extending to the left thoracic cavity. Surgical resection was considered to be feasible, and the tumor was removed combined with the left brachiocephalic vein. Partial resection of the pericardium and the left upper lobe was also necessary. The diagnosis was a sarcoma-like thymic cancer by pathology. Although adjuvant chemotherapy was planned, the patient died of cancer recurrence at the 3rd postoperative month.
A critical shortage of donor organs for treating end-stage organ failure highlights the urgent need for generating organs from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Despite many reports describing functional cell differentiation, no studies have succeeded in generating a three-dimensional vascularized organ such as liver. Here we show the generation of vascularized and functional human liver from human iPSCs by transplantation of liver buds created in vitro (iPSC-LBs). Specified hepatic cells (immature endodermal cells destined to track the hepatic cell fate) self-organized into three-dimensional iPSC-LBs by recapitulating organogenetic interactions between endothelial and mesenchymal cells. Immunostaining and gene-expression analyses revealed a resemblance between in vitro grown iPSC-LBs and in vivo liver buds. Human vasculatures in iPSC-LB transplants became functional by connecting to the host vessels within 48?hours. The formation of functional vasculatures stimulated the maturation of iPSC-LBs into tissue resembling the adult liver. Highly metabolic iPSC-derived tissue performed liver-specific functions such as protein production and human-specific drug metabolism without recipient liver replacement. Furthermore, mesenteric transplantation of iPSC-LBs rescued the drug-induced lethal liver failure model. To our knowledge, this is the first report demonstrating the generation of a functional human organ from pluripotent stem cells. Although efforts must ensue to translate these techniques to treatments for patients, this proof-of-concept demonstration of organ-bud transplantation provides a promising new approach to study regenerative medicine.
We developed an easy, quick and cost-effective detection method for lymph node metastasis called the semi-dry dot-blot (SDB) method, which visualizes the presence of cancer cells with washing of sectioned lymph nodes by anti-pancytokeratin antibody, modifying dot-blot technology. We evaluated the validity and efficacy of the SDB method for the diagnosis of lymph node metastasis in a clinical setting (Trial 1). To evaluate the validity of the SDB method in clinical specimens, 180 dissected lymph nodes from 29 cases, including breast, gastric and colorectal cancer, were examined. Each lymph node was sliced at the maximum diameter and the sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of the SDB method were determined and compared with the final pathology report. Metastasis was detected in 32 lymph nodes (17.8%), and the sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of the SDB method were 100, 98.0 and 98.3%, respectively (Trial 2). To evaluate the efficacy of the SDB method in sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy, 174 SLNs from 100 cases of clinically node-negative breast cancer were analyzed. Each SLN was longitudinally sliced at 2-mm intervals and the sensitivity, specificity, accuracy and time required for the SDB method were determined and compared with the intraoperative pathology report. Metastasis was detected in 15 SLNs (8.6%), and the sensitivity, specificity, accuracy and mean required time of the SDB method were 93.3, 96.9, 96.6 and 43.3 min, respectively. The SDB method is a novel and reliable modality for the intraoperative diagnosis of SLN metastasis.
Islet transplantation can induce a substantial improvement in the treatment of type 1 diabetes mellitus. However, the clinical application of islet transplantation is severely limited by the shortage of donor organs. It is thus essential to improve the engraftment rate to achieve the expected outcome in the treatment of diabetes mellitus using a limited amount of donor islets. In this manuscript, we describe the generation of ?-cell spheroids using mouse insulinoma cells (MIN6) as a model of ?-cells. We established a 3D culture system that simulates microgravity using a 3D clinostat. Using this method, we were able to produce 100 spheroids per mL of culture media. The optimization of the culture conditions in the clinostat produced spheroids with a size of approximately 250 ?m, which is a size that is known to induce good graft survival after islet transplantation. The spheroids produced in the clinostat expressed several ?-cell signature genes at higher levels than the levels that were found in MIN6 cells that were cultured in a standard 2D culture dish (MIN6-2D). The transplantation of the spheroids into the portal vein of streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice ameliorates hyperglycemia, whereas the transplantation of the equivalent number of 2D-cultured cells failed to cure diabetes. These results indicate that the clinostat culture provides a new method for the reconstitution of a large number of functional ?-cell spheroids for diabetes treatment.
Localized emphysema is difficult to detect on normal thoracoscopy. Indocyanine green (ICG) was used to precisely delineate an emphysematous lesion using an infrared camera system in a 75-year-old woman with a large emphysematous lesion in the right lower lobe. Due to repeated infections of the emphysematous lesion, right basal segmentectomy for localized lung emphysema was performed. During surgery, ICG (0.5 mg/kg) was injected intravenously, and the emphysematous lesion was detected as a fluorescence defect. This method could be used for precise resection of large emphysematous lesions because it permits clear detection with a small amount of ICG.
Endothelial cells (ECs) lining the blood vessels serve a variety of functions and play a central role in the homeostasis of the circulatory system. Since the ductus arteriosus (DA) has different arterial characteristics from its connecting vessels, we hypothesized that ECs of the DA exhibited a unique gene profile involved in the regulation of DA-specific morphology and function. Using a fluorescence-activated cell sorter, we isolated ECs from pooled tissues from the DA or the descending aorta of Wistar rat fetuses at full-term of gestation (F group) or neonates 30 minutes after birth (N group). Using anti-CD31 and anti-CD45 antibodies as cell surface markers for ECs and hematopoietic derived cells, respectively, cDNAs from the CD31-positive and CD45-negative cells were hybridized to the Affymetrix GeneChip® Rat Gene 1.0 ST Array. Among 26,469 gene-level probe sets, 82 genes in the F group and 81 genes in the N group were expressed at higher levels in DA ECs than in aortic ECs (p<0.05, fold change>2.0). In addition to well-known endothelium-enriched genes such as Tgfb2 and Vegfa, novel DA endothelium-dominant genes including Slc38a1, Capn6, and Lrat were discovered. Enrichment analysis using GeneGo MetaCore software showed that DA endothelium-related biological processes were involved in morphogenesis and development. We identified many overlapping genes in each process including neural crest-related genes (Hoxa1, Hoxa4, and Hand2, etc) and the second heart field-related genes (Tbx1, Isl1, and Fgf10, etc). Moreover, we found that regulation of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, cell adhesion, and retinol metabolism are the active pathways involved in the network via potential interactions with many of the identified genes to form DA-specific endothelia. In conclusion, the present study uncovered several significant differences of the transcriptional profile between the DA and aortic ECs. Newly identified DA endothelium-dominant genes may play an important role in DA-specific functional and morphologic characteristics.
Despite the great demands for treating craniofacial injuries or abnormalities, effective treatments are currently lacking. One promising approach involves human elastic cartilage reconstruction using autologous stem/progenitor populations. Nevertheless, definitive evidence of the presence of stem cells in human auricular cartilage remains to be established. Here, we demonstrate that human auricular perichondrium, which can be obtained via a minimally invasive approach, harbors a unique cell population, termed as cartilage stem/progenitor cells (CSPCs). The clonogenic progeny of a single CD44(+) CD90(+) CSPC displays a number of features characteristic of stem cells. Highly chondrogenic CSPCs were shown to reconstruct large (>2 cm) elastic cartilage after extended expansion and differentiation. CSPC-derived cartilage was encapsulated by a perichondrium layer, which contains a CD44(+) CD90(+) self-renewing stem/progenitor population and was maintained without calcification or tumor formation even after 10 mo. This is a unique report demonstrating the presence of stem cells in auricular cartilage. Utilization of CSPCs will provide a promising reconstructive material for treating craniofacial defects with successful long-term tissue restoration.
In recent years, various perioperative patient management programs have been proposed as "Enhanced recovery after surgery program" in order to improve patient prognosis. These programs are an evidence-based approach which does not use novel drugs or novel therapeutic intervention, but uses conventional medical therapy and skill. In the programs, primary outcome measure is "enhanced recovery after surgery", and secondary outcome measures are "reduced postoperative morbidity, improved safety, reduced hospital stay, and reduced cost". Specifically, early postoperative recovery will be carefully managed by evaluating clinical variables such as "postoperative pain, gut dysfunction, and immobility". These programs aim to keep the reduction of body functions as marginally as possible by minimizing surgical stress imposed on patients and then help shorten the recovery time after surgery.
Based on evidence from several other tissues, cartilage stem/progenitor cells in the auricular cartilage presumably contribute to tissue development or homeostasis of the auricle. However, no definitive studies have identified or characterized a stem/progenitor population in mice auricle.
Preoperative fluid and electrolyte management is usually performed by intravenous therapy. We investigated the safety and effectiveness of oral rehydration therapy (ORT) for preoperative fluid and electrolyte management of surgical patients.
In many countries, patients are generally allowed to have clear fluids until 2-3 h before surgery. In Japan, long preoperative fasting is still common practice. To shorten the preoperative fasting period in Japan, we tested the safety and efficacy of oral rehydration therapy until 2 h before surgery.
Radical gastrectomy for gastric cancer is among the most invasive procedures in gastrointestinal surgery. Several studies have found that an enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocol is useful in patients who undergo colorectal surgery, but its value in gastric surgery remains uncertain. The aim of this study was to assess the usefulness of an ERAS protocol for gastric surgery.
Reconstitution of tissue architecture in vitro is important because it enables researchers to investigate the interactions and mutual relationships between cells and cellular signals involved in the three-dimensional (3D) construction of tissues. To date, in vitro methods for producing tissues with highly ordered structure and high levels of function have met with limited success although a variety of 3D culture systems have been investigated. In this study, we reconstituted functional hepatic tissue including mature hepatocyte and blood vessel-like structures accompanied with bile duct-like structures from E15.5 fetal liver cells, which contained more hepatic stem/progenitor cells comparing with neonatal liver cells. The culture was performed in a simulated microgravity environment produced by a rotating wall vessel (RWV) bioreactor. The hepatocytes in the reconstituted 3D tissue were found to be capable of producing albumin and storing glycogen. Additionally, bile canaliculi between hepatocytes, characteristics of adult hepatocyte in vivo were also formed. Apart from this, bile duct structure secreting mucin was shown to form complicated tubular branches. Furthermore, gene expression analysis by semi-quantitative RT-PCR revealed the elevated levels of mature hepatocyte markers as well as genes with the hepatic function. With RWV culture system, we could produce functionally reconstituted liver tissue and this might be useful in pharmaceutical industry including drug screening and testing and other applications such as an alternative approach to experimental animals.
Mesenchymal-epithelial transition events are related to embryonic development, tissue construction, and wound healing. Stem cells are involved in all of these processes, at least in part. However, the direct evidence of mesenchymal-epithelial transition associated with stem cells is unclear. To determine whether mesenchymal-epithelial transition occurs in liver development and/or the differentiation process of hepatic stem cells in vitro, we analyzed a variety of murine liver tissues from embryonic day 11.5 to adults and the colonies derived from hepatic stem/progenitor cells isolated with flow cytometry. The results of gene expression, immunohistochemistry and Western blot showed that as liver develops, the expression of epithelial markers such as Cytokeratin18 and E-cadherin increase, while expression of mesenchymal markers such as vimentin and N-cadherin decreased. On the other hand, in freshly isolated hepatic stem cells, the majority of cells (65.0%) co-express epithelial and mesenchymal markers; this proportion is significantly higher than observed in hematopoietic cells, non-hematopoietic cells and non-stem cell fractions. Likewise, in stem cell-derived colonies cultured over time, upregulation of epithelial genes (Cytokeratin-18 and E-cadherin) occurred simultaneously with downregulation of mesenchymal genes (vimentin and Snail1). Furthermore, in the fetal liver, vimentin-positive cells in the non-hematopoietic fraction had distinct proliferative activity and expressed early the hepatic lineage marker alpha-fetoprotein.
The homeostatic renewal of the intestinal epithelium depends on regulation of proliferation and differentiation of stem/progenitor cells residing in a specific site, called the stem cell niche. Thus, the reconstitution of the microenvironment of the stem cell niche may allow us to maintain intestinal stem/progenitor cells in culture for a longer period. Although epidermal growth factor (EGF) is conventionally used as a supplement of intestinal epithelial cell culture, little has been known regarding a role of EGF signaling in a stem/progenitor cell population. In this study, we attempted to clarify the role of EGF signaling in intestinal stem/progenitor cells, and to establish a culture system in which these cells could be maintained with normal differentiation potential. We first examined the expression pattern of EGF and its receptor, EGFR, and inhibited EGF signaling in mouse intestines. Next, we cultured intestinal cells isolated from mouse and human intestines in the presence of EGF and analyzed the function of EGF signaling in cultured cells. In both embryonic and adult mouse intestines, EGFR and EGF were expressed in immature epithelial cells and adjacent fibroblasts, respectively, and EGF signaling was essential to activate proliferation and inhibit apoptosis of intestinal stem/progenitor cells. Activation of EGF signaling also stimulated proliferation and suppressed apoptosis, both of which are necessary to maintain mouse and human intestinal epithelial cells in culture. Moreover, in these cultured epithelial cells, putative intestinal stem/progenitor cells persisted longer, and gave rise to different types of differentiated intestinal epithelial cells. We conclude that EGF signaling is indispensable for activation of proliferation and inhibition of unexpected cell death, not only in the intestinal stem cell niche, but also in culture of primitive intestinal epithelial cells.
Polycomb group proteins initiate and maintain gene silencing through chromatin modifications and contribute to the maintenance of self-renewal in a variety of stem cells. Among polycomb repressive complexes (PRCs), PRC2 initiates gene silencing by methylating histone H3 lysine 27, and PRC1 maintains gene silencing through mono-ubiquitination of histone H2A lysine 119. We have previously shown that Bmi1, a core component of PRC1, tightly regulates the self-renewal of hepatic stem/progenitor cells.
A 56-year-old man was admitted to our hospital for gastric cancer. He had dyspnea before admission. Chest CT scan showed massive pericardial and pleural effusion. He was treated by cardiac drainage, and cytology of the effusion showed class V. We injected mitomycin C 10 mg into the pericardiac cavity, and also administered S-1 100 mg per day. His dyspnea improved and he was discharged. Afterward the dyspnea re-appeared, and he died 9 months after the diagnosis. We report this rare case of cardiac tamponade induced by gastric cancer responding to S-1 with a review of the literature.
Progressive loss of salivary gland function occurs in most patients undergoing head and neck radiotherapy. It is unclear whether adult salivary gland tissue contains stem/progenitor cells. In this study, we used a colony assay to clarify the presence of stem/progenitor cells in adult submandibular glands after irradiation. We developed a novel culture system that promotes single-cell colony formation with low density culture of irradiated and non-irradiated adult human submandibular gland cells using serum-free medium following serum-supplemented medium. The cells from all samples, except those obtained from the oldest patient who received the highest radiation dose, expressed acinar, ductal, and myoepithelial cell-lineage markers with reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunostaining. A sub-culture of these colonies with serum-free medium showed high multipotency. These results are the first description of presence of salivary gland stem/progenitor cells with self-renewal, high proliferation and multipotent differentiation activity in salivary glands, even after irradiation. The survival of the cells depends on radiation dose and cell aging.
We hypothesized that oral rehydration therapy using an oral rehydration solution may be effective for preoperative fluid and electrolyte management in surgical patients before the induction of general anesthesia, and we investigated the safety and effectiveness of oral rehydration therapy as compared with intravenous therapy.
Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells can differentiate into any cell type, which makes them an attractive resource in fields such as regenerative medicine, drug screening, or in vitro toxicology. The most important prerequisite for these industrial applications is stable supply and uniform quality of iPS cells. Variation in quality largely results from differences in handling skills between operators in laboratories. To minimize these differences, establishment of an automated iPS cell culture system is necessary.
The liver is an essential organ that maintains vital activity through its numerous important functions. It has a unique capability of fully regenerating after injury. Regulating a balance between self-renewal and differentiation of hepatic stem cells that are resources for functional mature liver cells is required for maintenance of tissue homeostasis.
Preoperative fasting is an established procedure to be practiced for patients before surgery, but optimal preoperative fasting time still remains controversial. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of "shortened preoperative fasting time" on the change in the amount of total body water (TBW) in elective surgical patients. TBW was measured by multi-frequency impedance method.
Enormous efforts have been made to establish pancreatic stem/progenitor cells as a source for regenerative medicine for the treatment of diabetes mellitus. In recent years, it has been recognized that the self-renewal of beta cells is the dominant process involved in postnatal beta-cell regeneration and expansion. Nevertheless, several in-vitro studies have suggested that ductal or as yet unidentified cells are candidates for pancreatic stem/progenitor cells that can differentiate into multilineage cells, including insulin(+) cells. The question remains as to whether beta cells are generated postnatally from stem/progenitor cells other than pre-existing beta cells. Furthermore, mutated pancreatic stem cells are considered to be prospective candidates for cancer stem cells or tumor-initiating cells. This review highlights recent progress in pancreatic stem/progenitor cell research.
One-third of patients with medulloblastoma die due to recurrence after various treatments including radiotherapy. Although it has been postulated that cancer stem-like cells are radio-resistant and play an important role in tumor recurrence, the "stemness" of medulloblastoma cells surviving irradiation has not yet been elucidated. Using a medulloblastoma cell line ONS-76, cells that survived gamma irradiation were investigated on their "stemness" in vitro. From 10 500 cells, 20 radio-resistant clones were selected after gamma ray irradiation (5 Gy × two fractions) using the replica micro-well technique. These 20 resistant clones were screened for CD133 positivity by flow cytometry followed by side population assay, tumor sphere formation assay and clonogenic survival assay. Results revealed CD133 fractions were significantly elevated in three clones, which also exhibited significantly increased levels of tumor sphere formation ability and side population fraction. Clonogenic survival assay demonstrated that their radio-resistance was significantly higher than the parental ONS-76. This may support the hypothesis that a small number of cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) are the main culprits in local recurrence after radiotherapy, and disruption of the resistance mechanism of these CSCs is a critical future issue in improving the outcome of patients with medulloblastoma.
Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide and mortality due to cancer continues to rise. Cancer cell resistance to chemoradiotherapy is hindering treatment efforts in clinics. Prevention strategies and early detection thus may reduce mortality. In this study, we have proposed the concept of using precancerous cells and their progeny in cancer therapy, which could provide unique insights for early cancer diagnosis, treatment, and preventive therapy. In addition to discussing the nature and characteristics of precancerous cells and their progeny, we have also introduced an effective precancerous cell-targeted therapy based on an animal model of hepatocellular carcinoma. Anti-precancerous cell drug development should be a major target during cancer elimination and it may lead to preventive therapies for individuals with a high risk of developing cancer.
This study examined the efficacy and tolerability of docetaxel(DOC)in combination with epirubicin(EPI)as the first-line treatment for patients with advanced and recurrent breast cancer. A total of 56 female patients with metastatic breast cancer not previously treated for metastatic disease received DOC(60mg/m²)and EPI(60mg/m2)on day 1 every 3 weeks. The patient characteristics included a median age of 53 years. Advanced disease was present in 86% of patients, and recurrent disease was found in 14%; 3 or more metastatic sites had been diagnosed in 38% of patients, and 59% patients were ER+. The median number of courses administered was 6. The median dose intensity was 18. 7mg/m²week for DOC and EPI, and the relative dose intensities were 93. 5%and 93. 3%, respectively. The clinical responses included a complete response in 5%, a partial response in 54%, and stable disease in 33% of patients, with a disease control rate of 92%. The progression-free survival was 78. 3%, and the overall survival was 91. 9% at 1 year. Grade 3/4 toxicities included neutropenia in 82%, leukopenia in 71%, febrile neutropenia in 16%, anorexia in 9%, and anemia in 7%of the patients. Neither congestive heart failure nor toxic death occurred. The D and E combination with doses of 60mg/m2 is an active and generally well-tolerated regimen that can be used as first-line chemotherapy for patients with metastatic breast cancer.
In recent years, specific approaches for perioperative patient management have been proposed based on the clinical evidence from various studies. The approaches are called "Enhanced recovery after surgery program", focusing on the early recovery of patients after surgery as the primary endpoint. Specifically, reduction of postoperative morbidity, improvement of safety, reduction of hospitalization period, and reduction of medical cost are sought in the program. The program is practiced in the clinical setting by a multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, caseworkers, and hospital clerks. In the practice, anesthesiologists provide stress-free treatment to patients in various situations, the surgically-associated reduction of various functions in patients, and help shorten the recovery period. In the program, anesthesiologists are responsible for making important decisions and play a pivotal role in the perioperative management team.
A significant number of new chemical entities (NCEs) disappear due to cytochrome P450 (CYP)-mediated clinical drug-drug interactions in drug discovery. Therefore, a high throughput assay of CYP activities is necessary in order to evaluate the inhibitory or inducible potencies of CYP isoforms with NCEs in early drug discovery. Here, we developed and validated a high-throughput assay to simultaneously monitor the in vitro activities of 8 CYP isoforms. A cocktail of 9 probe substrates for the 8 major CYPs (CYP1A2, CYP2A6, CYP2B6, CYP2C8, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2D6, and CYP3A4/5) was incubated with human liver microsomes. Each substrate-derived metabolite was simultaneously analyzed by multiple reactions monitoring with a single ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) run using stable isotope-labeled internal standards. The ultra-fast UPLC gradient allowed each metabolite to be separated within 1 min, providing quantitative linearity of over 2 orders of magnitude. CYP inhibition by 8 well-known inhibitors was confirmed by comparing single substrates with the substrate cocktail. The inhibition curve profiles and IC?? values for all CYPs in the cocktail substrate were similar to those of single substrates. UPLC-MS/MS using a CYP substrate cocktail is a reliable and robust high-throughput method to accurately assess CYP inhibition potencies of newly developed drugs.
Oral adjuvant chemotherapy without hospitalization might reduce the physiological and psychological burden on patients if effectiveness could be guaranteed. We conducted a multicenter feasibility study using S-1, an oral derivative of 5-fluorouracil, as postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with curatively resected pathologically stage IB-IIIA non-small-cell lung cancer.
This randomized Phase III trial will evaluate whether perioperative nutrition enriched with eicosapentaenoic acid can prevent body weight loss after total gastrectomy for gastric cancer. The patients who enroll in this study will be randomly assigned to Group A: no supplementation with oral nutrients (standard diet) or Group B: standard diet with eicosapentaenoic acid-enriched supplementation for 7 days before surgery and for 21 days after surgery. For both groups, patients will undergo total gastrectomy with Roux-en Y reconstruction. The extent of dissection will principally follow the third edition of the Gastric Cancer Treatment Guideline published by the Japanese Gastric Cancer Association. When patients are diagnosed with pathological Stage II or III disease, adjuvant chemotherapy with S-1 will be initiated within 6 weeks after surgery and administered for 1 year. The primary endpoint will be the body weight loss at 1 and 3 months after surgery (double primary endpoints). The secondary endpoints will be the relative performance of the supplement, loss of lean body mass at 1 and 3 months after surgery, the lowest serum albumin level, quality of life, the incidence of surgical morbidity and mortality, and the incidence of surgical site infection.
Several possible scenarios of cellular dynamics in human colonic crypts have been inferred from transgenic animal experiments. However, because of the discrepancy in size and physiology between humans and animals, quantitative predictions of tissue renewal and cancer development are difficult to execute.
In healthy joints, hyaline cartilage covering the joint surfaces of bones provides cushioning due to its unique mechanical properties. However, because of its limited regenerative capacity, age- and sports-related injuries to this tissue may lead to degenerative arthropathies, prompting researchers to investigate a variety of cell sources. We recently succeeded in isolating human cartilage progenitor cells from ear elastic cartilage. Human cartilage progenitor cells have high chondrogenic and proliferative potential to form elastic cartilage with long-term tissue maintenance. However, it is unknown whether ear-derived cartilage progenitor cells can be used to reconstruct hyaline cartilage, which has different mechanical and histological properties from elastic cartilage. In our efforts to develop foundational technologies for joint hyaline cartilage repair and reconstruction, we conducted this study to obtain an answer to this question. We created an experimental canine model of knee joint cartilage damage, transplanted ear-derived autologous cartilage progenitor cells. The reconstructed cartilage was rich in proteoglycans and showed unique histological characteristics similar to joint hyaline cartilage. In addition, mechanical properties of the reconstructed tissues were higher than those of ear cartilage and equal to those of joint hyaline cartilage. This study suggested that joint hyaline cartilage was reconstructed from ear-derived cartilage progenitor cells. It also demonstrated that ear-derived cartilage progenitor cells, which can be harvested by a minimally invasive method, would be useful for reconstructing joint hyaline cartilage in patients with degenerative arthropathies. Stem Cells 2013.
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