Combination chemotherapy is a standard treatment approach in advanced gastric cancer. However, combination chemotherapy for advanced gastric cancer is often associated with severe treatment-related toxicities and most oncologists are reluctant to perform combination chemotherapy in patients with a poor clinical condition. We retrospectively investigated the efficacy and tolerability of single-agent chemotherapy in patients with recurrent or metastatic gastric cancer with poor performance status (PS). We reviewed advanced gastric adenocarcinoma patients who received first-line single-agent palliative chemotherapy due to poor PS between June 2006 and December 2010. A total of 125 patients with Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) PS 2–3, whose general condition did not allow combination chemotherapy, were enrolled. Four single agents were used: TS-1 (n=63), paclitaxel (n=42), irinotecan (n=15) and capecitabine (n=5). The median age was 66 years, with a range of 25–81 years. The percent response rate and rate of stable disease (SD) were 19.2 and 35.2%, respectively, giving a disease control rate of 54.4%. The median progression-free survival (PFS) was 3.9 months (95% CI, 2.73–5.06). The median overall survival (OS) was 9.1 months (95% CI, 7.70–10.56) with a 1-year survival rate of 31.2%. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that the independent prognostic factors for OS were chemotherapy regimen (capecitabine) [reference: TS-1, hazard ratio (HR), 5.00; 95% CI, 1.81–13.81; P=0.002], no second-line chemotherapy (HR, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.48–3.57; P=0.001), bone metastasis (HR, 2.73; 95% CI, 1.22–6.09; P=0.014), ECOG PS 3 (HR, 38.10; 95% CI, 13.72–105.78; P=0.001), Glasgow prognostic score (GPS) ≥1 (HR, 1.88; 95% CI, 1.24–2.85; P=0.003) and chemotherapy response [SD + progressive disease (PD) + not evaluable (NE); HR, 2.37; 95% CI, 1.39–4.05; P=0.002)]. First-line single-agent palliative chemotherapy demonstrated a relatively good clinical efficacy for recurrent or metastatic gastric cancer patients with poor PS.
chemotherapy; stomach neoplasms; recurrence; metastasis
Neuropilin 1 (NP1) is a part of essential receptor complexes mediating both semaphorin3A (SEMA3A) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) which is one of important mediators involved in the pathogenesis of asthma. Therefore, it is possible that SEMA3A plays a role in the pathogenesis of asthma through attenuation of VEGF-mediated effects. In the present study, we aimed to evaluate expression levels of SEMA3A and NP1 using induced sputum of asthmatics and a murine model of asthma. Firstly, SEMA3A and NP1 expressions in induced sputum of asthmatics and SEMA3A and NP1 expression on bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells and lung homogenates of asthmatic mice were determined. Then we evaluated the immunolocalization of VEGF receptor 1 (VEGFR1), VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR2), and NP1 expressions on asthmatic mice lung tissue and their subcellular distributions using fibroblast and BEAS2B cell lines. Sputum SEMA3A and NP1 expressions were significantly higher in asthmatics than controls. Similarly, SEMA3A and NP1 expressions on BAL cells and lung homogenates were significantly elevated in asthmatic mice compared to control mice. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that VEGFR1, VEGFR2, and NP1 expressions were also uniformly increased in asthmatic mice. Our observations suggest that SEMA3A and NP1 may play important roles in the pathogenesis of asthma.
Asthma; Neuropilin; Semaphorin-3A (SEMA3A); Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor
Early diagnosis of active tuberculosis (TB) remains an elusive challenge, especially with disseminated TB and HIV co-infection. Recent studies have shown a promise for detection of pathogen biomarkers such as lipoarabinomannan (LAM) in the diagnosis of TB in HIV-positive individuals. Currently, immunoassay platforms that suffer from poor sensitivity and high non-specific interactions are used for biomarker detection. Herein, we demonstrate the development of sandwich immunoassays for the direct detection of three TB-specific biomarkers, namely LAM, early secretory antigenic target 6 (ESAT6) and antigen 85 complex (Ag85), using a waveguide-based optical biosensor. Combining detection within the evanescent field of an optical waveguide with functional surfaces that reduce non-specific interactions allows for the sensitive and quantitative detection of biomarkers in patient samples (urine, serum) within a short time. Using this approach, we demonstrate for the first time, the quantitative detection of LAM in urine from a small cohort of subjects with TB but without HIV co-infection, with excellent sensitivity and specificity. These results suggest that pathogen biomarkers can be applied for the rapid diagnosis of disease. It is likely that detection of a combination of biomarkers offers greater reliability of diagnosis, rather than any single biomarker alone. NCT00341601.
Tuberculosis; lipoarabinomannan; Early secretory antigenic target 6; antigen 85 complex; waveguide-based optical biosensor
Bone is the most frequent site of metastasis among breast cancer patients. We investigated prognostic factors affecting survival following bone-only metastasis in breast cancer patients.
Materials and Methods
The medical records of breast cancer patients who were treated and followed at Gangnam Severance Hospital retrospectively reviewed to identify patients with bone-only metastasis.
The median time from the diagnosis of bone-only metastasis to the last follow-up or death was 55.2 [95% confidence interval (CI), 38.6-71.9] months. The Kaplan-Meier overall survival estimate at 10 years for all patients was 34.9%. In the multivariate Cox regression model, bisphosphonate treatment [hazard ratio=0.18; 95% CI, 0.07-0.43], estrogen receptor positivity (hazard ratio=0.51; 95% CI, 0.28-0.94), and solitary bone metastasis (hazard ratio=0.32; 95% CI, 0.14-0.72) were significantly associated with longer overall survival in the bone-only recurrence group. Among the treatment modalities, only bisphosphonate treatment was identified as a significant prognostic factor.
Identifying the factors influencing breast cancer mortality after bone-only metastasis will help clarify the clinical course and improve the treatment outcome for patients with breast cancer and bone-only metastasis. Bisphosphonates, as a significant prognostic factor, warrant further investigation.
Breast neoplasm; bone metastses; bisphosphonate
The Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex comprises M. tuberculosis, M. bovis, M. bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) and M. africanum, and causes tuberculosis in humans and animals. Identification of Mycobacterium spp. and M. tuberculosis complex to the species level is important for practical use in microbiological laboratories, in addition to optimal treatment and public health.
Materials and Methods
A novel multiplex PCR assay targeting a conserved rpoB sequence in Mycobacteria spp., as well as regions of difference (RD) 1 and RD8, was developed and evaluated using 37 reference strains and 178 clinical isolates.
All mycobacterial strains produced a 518-bp product (rpoB), while other bacteria produced no product. Virulent M. tuberculosis complex strains, M. tuberculosis, M. bovis and M. africanum, produced a 254-bp product (RD1), while M. bovis BCG, M. microti and nontuberculous mycobacteria produced no RD1 region product. Additionally, M. tuberculosis and M. africanum produced a 150-bp product (RD8), while M. bovis and M. bovis BCG produced a 360-bp product (deleted form of RD8). M. microti and nontuberculous mycobacteria produced no RD8 region product. This assay identified all Mycobacterium spp. and all M. tuberculosis complex strains to the species level.
The multiplex PCR assay of the present study could be implemented as a routine test in microbiology laboratories, and may contribute to more effective treatment and surveillance of tuberculosis stemming from the M. tuberculosis complex.
M. tuberculosis complex; multiplex PCR; rpoB; RD1; RD8
The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between three major allergic diseases, asthma, allergic rhinitis (AR), and atopic dermatitis (AD), and psychological and behavioural problems in preschoolers based on a community survey.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted using a modified International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood questionnaire to determine the prevalence of symptoms and diagnosed allergic diseases, and a Korean version of the Child Behaviour Checklist to assess internalizing, externalizing, and sleep problems among 780 preschoolers. Five-hundred and seventy-five preschoolers with valid data were included in this study.
The prevalence of lifetime diagnosis and treatment in the past 12 months was 8.7% and 4.4% for asthma, 24.4% and 19.2% for AR, and 35.1% and 16.6% for AD, respectively. Scores for internalizing and sleep problems were significantly higher in those diagnosed with AR. Preschoolers who had been treated for AD in the past 12 months had higher attention problem and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder scores. Sleep problems were more severe in moderate to severe AD compared to control and mild AD groups, categorised according to SCOring index of AD. The severity of sleep problems correlated positively with the percentage of eosinophils in peripheral blood.
Psychological and behavioural problems differed among the three major allergic diseases, weaker association for asthma and stronger association for AR and AD. The results of this study may lead to the identification of potential underlying shared mechanisms common to allergic diseases and psychological and behavioural problems.
Preschool child; psychometrics; asthma; allergic rhinitis; atopic dermatitis
The relationship between surgical margin and local recurrence (LR) in osteosarcoma patients with poor responses to chemotherapy is unclear. Moreover, the incidences of LR according to three different resection planes (bone, soft tissue, and perineurovascular) are not commonly known.
We evaluated the incidence of LR in three areas. To assess whether there is a role of surgical margin on LR in patients resistant to preoperative chemotherapy, we designed a case (35 patients with LR) and control (70 patients without LR) study. Controls were matched for age, location, initial tumor volume, and tumor volume change during preoperative chemotherapy.
LR occurred at the soft tissues in 18 cases (51.4%), at the perineurovascular tissues in 11 cases (31.4%), and at the bones in six cases (17.2%). The proportion of inadequate perineurovascular margin was higher in the case group than in the control group (p = 0.01). Within case-control group (105 patients), a correlation between each margin status and LR at corresponding area was found in the bone (p < 0.001) and perineurovascular area (p = 0.001).
LR is most common in soft tissues. In patients showing similar unfavorable responses to chemotherapy, the losses of perineurovascular fat plane on preoperative magnetic resonance imaging may be a valuable finding in predicting LR.
Osteosarcoma; Local recurrence; Surgical margin
Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is one of the central players in asthma and allergic diseases. Although the serum IgE level, a useful endophenotype, is generally increased in patients with asthma, genetic factors influencing IgE regulation in asthma are still not fully understood. To identify the genetic variations associated with total serum and mite-specific IgEs in asthmatics, a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 657,366 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was performed in 877 Korean asthmatics. This study found that several new genes might be associated with total IgE in asthmatics, such as CRIM1 (rs848512, P = 1.18×10−6; rs711254, P = 6.73×10−6), ZNF71 (rs10404342, P = 7.60×10−6), TLN1 (rs4879926, P = 7.74×10−6), and SYNPO2 (rs1472066, P = 8.36×10−6; rs1038770, P = 8.66×10−6). Regarding the association of specific IgE to house dust mites, it was observed that intergenic SNPs nearby to OPRK1 and LOC730217 might be associated with Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (D.p.) and Dermatophagoides farinae (D.f.) in asthmatics, respectively. In further pathway analysis, the phosphatidylinositol signaling system and adherens junction pathways were estimated to play a role in the regulation of total IgE levels in asthma. Although functional evaluations and replications of these results in other populations are needed, this GWAS of serum IgE in asthmatics could facilitate improved understanding of the role of the newly identified genetic variants in asthma and its related phenotypes.
Although quantitative evaluation of myocardial blood flow (MBF) and myocardial flow reserve (MFR) has been perceived as an attractive advantage of positron emission tomography (PET) over other cardiac imaging technologies, application of the information to specific coronary lesions is a difficult task for nuclear cardiologists. We hypothesized that changes in MBF and MFR over a coronary lesion could be identified by use of a hybrid technology of CT coronary angiography (CTCA) and N-13 ammonia PET. To evaluate this hypothesis, we measured the gradient of MBF and MFR through coronary stenosis in seven patients (M:F=3:4, median age 56 years) with coronary artery disease who underwent N-13 ammonia PET, CTCA, and interventional coronary angiography. Two patients had proximal left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery disease and five patients had mid to distal LAD disease. Mean global stress and rest MBF were 2.62±0.58 and 1.03±0.19 ml/min/g, respectively. Mean global MFR was 2.6±0.73. Regional stress and rest MBF in the LAD territory were 2.36±0.75 and 0.96±0.21 ml/min/g, respectively. Regional MFR in the LAD territory was 2.55±0.83 ml/min/g. Stress MBF changed dramatically according to the location of coronary stenosis. It dropped acutely in proximal lesions, whereas it diminished gradually in mid to distal lesions. In conclusion, by use of a hybrid technology of CTCA and PET, it was feasible to make a direct correlation of coronary lesions with the gradient of MFR and CFR through coronary stenosis, which indicated the severity of the coronary lesion. We named this technique indirect radionuclide coronary angiography.
Radionuclide imaging; Coronary angiography; Mycocardium
There is evidence that the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) may play a certain role in decision making related to reward value and time perception and, in particular, in the inhibitory control of impulsive decision making. Using the theta burst stimulation (TBS) and a delay discounting (DD) task, we investigated the potential role of right DLPFC in impulsive decision making defined by the rate of discounting delayed reward. Healthy right-handed volunteers underwent three stimulation sessions, intermittent TBS (iTBS), continuous TBS (cTBS), and sham. The steepness of the discount function (k-value), reaction time for choice and consistency were measured for each subjects. cTBS of the DLPFC reduced by 36.88 % the k-value of the DD task compared to sham condition. In contrast, iTBS did not affect impulsivity level. There were no changes neither in reaction time for choice nor consistency after either the iTBS or cTBS compared with the sham stimulation. These results demonstrate that cTBS-induced modulation of cortical excitability of the right DLPFC may affect and reduce impulsive decision making. These observations may provide some insights into the role of the right DLPFC in modulating impulsivity level and calculating reward value at different time scales under less ambiguous circumstances.
PMID: 20633446 CAMSID: cams3169
rTMS; theta burst stimulation; dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; decision making; impulsivity; delay discounting task
Decision making is a cognitive function relaying on a complex neural network. In particular, the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) plays a key role within this network. We used positron emission tomography (PET) combined with continuous theta burst transcranial magnetic stimulation (cTBS) to investigate neuronal and behavioral changes in normal volunteers while performing a delay discounting (DD) task. We aimed to test whether stimulation of right DLPFC would modify the activation pattern of the neural circuit underlying decision making during the DD task and influence discounting behavior.
We found that cTBS of the right DLPFC influenced decision making by reducing impulsivity and inducing participants to favor large but delayed rewards instead of immediate but small rewards. Stimulation also affected activation in several prefrontal areas associated with DD. In particular, we observed a reduced regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in the ipsilateral DLPFC (BA 46) extending into the rostral part of the prefrontal cortex (BA 10) as well as a disrupted relationship between impulsivity (k-value) and rCBF in these and other prefrontal areas.
These findings suggest that transcranial magnetic stimulation of the DLPFC influences the neural network underlying impulsive decision making behavior.
PMID: 22494829 CAMSID: cams3170
rTMS; Theta burst stimulation; Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; Decision making; Impulsivity; Delay discounting task
Sputum eosinophilia is observed frequently in patients with rhinitis. Sputum eosinophilia in patients with non-asthmatic allergic rhinitis has been suggested to be related to nonspecific airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). However, the clinical significance of sputum eosinophilia in patients with non-asthmatic rhinitis without AHR has not been determined. We conducted a retrospective study examining the influence of sputum eosinophilia in patients with non-asthmatic rhinitis without AHR on pulmonary function and expression of fibrosis-related mediators.
Eighty-nine patients with moderate-to-severe perennial rhinitis without AHR were included. All underwent lung function tests (forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV1] and forced vital capacity [FVC]), skin tests to inhalant allergens, methacholine bronchial challenge tests, and hypertonic saline-induced sputum to determine eosinophil counts. Sputum mRNA levels for transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) were also examined. Patients were divided into two groups according to the presence of sputum eosinophilia (≥3%, eosinophilia-positive [EP] and <3%, eosinophilia-negative [EN] groups).
FEV1 was significantly lower (P=0.04) and FEV1/FVC tended to be lower (P=0.1) in the EP group than in the EN group. In sputum analyses, the MMP-9 mRNA level (P=0.005) and the ratio of MMP-9 to TIMP-1 expression (P=0.01) were significantly higher in the EP group than in the EN group. There was no significant difference in TGF-β mRNA expression between the two groups.
Sputum eosinophilia in patients with moderate-to-severe perennial rhinitis without AHR influenced FEV1 and the expression pattern of fibrosis-related mediators.
Sputum; eosinophil; rhinitis; forced expiratory volume; matrix metalloproteinase-9
The prevalence of allergic diseases has been increasing rapidly, especially in developing countries. Various adverse health outcomes such as allergic disease can be attributed to rapidly increasing air pollution levels. Rapid urbanization and increased energy consumption worldwide have exposed the human body to not only increased quantities of ambient air pollution, but also a greater variety of pollutants. Many studies clearly demonstrate that air pollutants potently trigger asthma exacerbation. Evidence that transportation-related pollutants contribute to the development of allergies is also emerging. Moreover, exposure to particulate matter, ozone, and nitrogen dioxide contributes to the increased susceptibility to respiratory infections. This article focuses on the current understanding of the detrimental effects of air pollutants on allergic disease including exacerbation to the development of asthma, allergic rhinitis, and eczema as well as epigenetic regulation.
Allergy; Air pollution; Tobacco smoke pollution; Environmental exposure
We reported that level of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposure determined the type of airway inflammation in a murine model of asthma.
The purpose of this study is to evaluated the role of IL-13 in low dose LPS induced murine model of asthma using IL-13 and signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 (STAT6) deficient mice.
Mice were sensitized with an intranasal application of LPS-depleted ovalbumin (OA) and different doses of LPS (0.1 and 10 µg), and then challenged intranasally with OA alone. The phenotype changes between wild type (WT) and IL-13-/- mice and between WT and STAT6-/- mice were evaluated.
We confirmed again that low and high dose LPS resulted in different phenotypes of murine asthma. In the present study, we observed that phenotypes of murine asthma induced by low dose LPS were abolished in the homozygous null mutation of the IL-13 and STAT6 gene. However, those changes were not shown in mice sensitized OA plus high dose LPS.
IL-13 plays an important role in low dose LPS induced murine model of asthma. Our results provided a new insight in understanding of the potential role of IL-13 in innate immunity in human allergic asthma.
Asthma; Animal model; IL-13; STAT6; Lipopolysaccharide
Even though the primo vascular system (PVS) has been observed in large caliber lymph vessels by several independent teams, the presence of the PVS in the thoracic duct has been reported by only one team, probably because reproducing the experiment is technically difficult. This brief report presents a new, relatively straightforward method, which is a simple modification of the previous method of dye injection into the lumbar node, to observe the PVS in a thoracic duct of a rat by injecting Alcian blue into the renal node. When this new method was applied to a rat, the branching of the primo vessel in the thoracic duct was clearly displayed. Thus, this new method is expected to extend the network of the PVS from abdominal lymph ducts to thoracic ones.
Airway remodeling and exacerbated airway narrowing in asthma have been attributed to the regulation of intracellular Ca2+ by sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) of the airway smooth muscle cells. The protein encoded by obscurin, cytoskeletal calmodulin and titin-interacting RhoGEF (OBSCN) is a crucial factor in determining the SR architecture in Obscn−/− mice. This study genotyped a total of 55 common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 592 Korean asthmatics including 163 aspirin exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD) cases and 429 aspirin-tolerant asthma (ATA) controls. Eight SNPs, including two nonsynonymous polymorphisms rs1188722C>T (Leu2116Phe) and rs1188729G>C (Cys4642Ser), and one haplotype BL2_ht1 showed statistically significant associations with AERD development (p=0.003–0.03). Two variants, rs1188722C>T (Leu2116Phe) and rs369252C>A, also revealed nominal association with FEV1 decline by aspirin provocation in asthmatics (p=0.03–0.04). Intriguingly, rs1188722C>T (Leu2116Phe) is a highly conserved amino acid residue among species, suggesting its functional relevance to AERD. In addition, the A allele of rs369252C>A, which was more prevalent in AERD than in ATA, was predicted as a potential branch point (BP) site for alternative splicing (BP score=4.29). Although further functional evaluation is required, our findings suggest that OBSCN polymorphisms, in particular, highly conserved nonsynonymous Leu2116Phe variant, might contribute to aspirin hypersensitivity in asthmatics.
Rifampicin, discovered more than 50 years ago, represents the last novel class of antibiotics introduced for the first-line treatment of tuberculosis. Drugs in this class form part of a 6-month regimen that is ineffective against MDR and XDR TB, and incompatible with many antiretroviral drugs. Investments in R&D strategies have increased substantially in the last decades. However, the number of new drugs approved by drug regulatory agencies worldwide does not increase correspondingly. Ruthenium complexes (SCAR) have been tested in our laboratory and showed promising activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. These complexes showed up to 150 times higher activity against MTB than its organic molecule without the metal (free ligand), with low cytotoxicity and high selectivity. In this study, promising results inspired us to seek a better understanding of the biological activity of these complexes. The in vitro biological results obtained with the SCAR compounds were extremely promising, comparable to or better than those for first-line drugs and drugs in development. Moreover, SCAR 1 and 4, which presented low acute toxicity, were assessed by Ames test, and results demonstrated absence of mutagenicity.
Probability of recurrence in patients with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer remains constant for long periods. We compared tumor burden impact on late versus early recurrence in our cohort with long-term follow-up.
Five hundred and ninety five patients diagnosed with ER-positive breast cancer between 1989 and 2001 were classified into three groups: early recurrence within 5 years, late recurrence after 5 years, and no recurrence. We identified prognostic factors among the groups using logistic regression analysis.
At median follow-up of 11.7 years, among 595 ER-positive women, 98 (16.4%) had early recurrence and 58 (9.7%) had late recurrence. On multivariate analysis, higher nodal stage (N0 vs. N2, odds ratio [OR] 3.189; N0 vs. N3, OR 9.948), higher histologic grade (grade 1 vs. grade 2, OR 3.896; grade 1 vs. grade 3, OR 5.945), age >35 years (OR 0.295), and receiving endocrine therapy (OR 0.293) affected early recurrence. Compared to no recurrence, receiving endocrine therapy (OR 0.285) was solely related to decreased risk of late recurrence. Increased risk of early recurrence was noted with the higher nodal stage when early and no recurrences were compared. This phenomenon was not found in late recurrence. In the last comparison between the early and late recurrence, higher nodal stage (N0 vs. N3, OR 16.779) and higher histologic grade (grade 1 vs. grade 3, OR 18.111) repeatedly weighted for early recurrence.
Nodal burden had an attenuated influence on late recurrence, which suggests that, unlike early recurrence, tumor biology might have a more important role than tumor load for late recurrence in ER-positive disease.
Leprosy is not eradicable with currently available diagnostics or interventions as evidenced by its stable incidence. Early diagnosis of Mycobacterium leprae infection should therefore be emphasized in leprosy-research. It remains challenging to develop tests based on immunological biomarkers that distinguish individuals controlling bacterial replication from those developing disease.
To identify biomarkers for field-applicable diagnostics, we determined cytokines/chemokines induced by M. leprae proteins in blood of leprosy patients and controls (EC) from high leprosy-prevalence areas (Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia) and from South Korea where leprosy is not endemic anymore.
M. leprae- sonicate induced IFN-γ was similar for all groups, excluding M. leprae/IFN-γ as a diagnostic read-out. By contrast, ML2478 and ML0840 induced high IFN-γ concentrations in Bangladeshi EC, which were completely absent for South Korean controls. Importantly, ML2478/IFN-γ could indicate distinct degrees of M. leprae exposure, and thereby the risk of infection and transmission, in different parts of Brazilian and Ethiopian cities.
Notwithstanding these discriminatory responses, M. leprae proteins did not distinguish patients from EC in one leprosy endemic area based on IFN-γ. Analyses of additional cytokines/chemokines showed that M. leprae and ML2478 induced significantly higher concentrations of MCP-1, MIP-1β and IL-1β in patients compared to EC, whereas IP-10, like IFN-γ, differed between EC from areas with dissimilar leprosy prevalence.
This study identifies M. leprae-unique antigens, particularly ML2478, as biomarker tools to measure M. leprae exposure using IFN-γ or IP-10, and also shows that MCP-1, MIP-1β and IL-1β can potentially distinguish pathogenic immune responses from those induced during asymptomatic exposure to M. leprae.
Mycobacterium leprae (M. leprae); biomarkers; leprosy; multiplex analysis
Guinea pig is one of the most suitable animal models for Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb) infection since it shows similarities to pulmonary infection in humans. Although guinea pig shows hematogenous spread of M. tb infection into the whole body, immunological studies have mainly focused on granulomatous tissues in lungs and spleens. In order to investigate the time-course of disease pathogenesis and immunological profiles in each infected organ, we performed the following approaches with guinea pigs experimentally infected with M. tb over a 22-week post-infection period.
Materials and Methods
We examined body weight changes, M. tb growth curve, cytokine gene expression (IFN-γ and TNF-α), and histopathology in liver, spleen, lungs and lymph nodes of infected guinea pigs.
The body weights of infected guinea pigs did not increase as much as uninfected ones and the number of M. tb bacilli in their organs increased except bronchotracheal lymph node during the experimental period. The gene expression of IFN-γ and TNF-α was induced between 3 and 6 weeks of infection; however, kinetic profiles of cytokine gene expression showed heterogeneity among organs over the study period. Histophathologically granulomatous lesions were developed in all four organs of infected guinea pigs.
Although IFN-γ and TNF-α gene expression profiles showed heterogeneity, the granuloma formation was clearly observed in every organ regardless of whether the number of bacilli increased or decreased. However, this protective immunity was accompanied with severe tissue damage in all four organs, which may lead to the death of guinea pigs.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis; pathogenesis; guinea pigs; IFN-γ and TNF-α
Recent literature suggests that Staphylococcal enterotoxin specific IgE may be a risk factor for asthma.
To investigate the associations between Staphylococcal enterotoxin sensitization and asthma.
A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed for relevant case-control or population-based studies, published in the peer-reviewed journals until February 2013. Data were extracted on study designs, subjects, definitions and the prevalence of Staphylococcal enterotoxin sensitization.
A total of 683 studies were initially identified, of which 7 studies finally met the inclusion criteria (5 case-control and 2 population-based studies). All the included studies reported higher prevalence of the sensitization in asthmatics than in controls, despite clinical and methodological heterogeneity. In a meta-analysis, the pooled odds ratio of the sensitization for asthma was 2.95 (95% confidence intervals 2.28-3.82).
Staphylococcal enterotoxin sensitization was significantly associated with asthma. The mechanisms of associations warrant further elucidation.
Asthma; Staphylococcus; Meta-analysis
Transglutaminase 2 (TG2) is a post-translational protein-modifying enzyme that catalyzes the transamidation reaction, producing crosslinked or polyaminated proteins. Increased TG2 expression and activity have been reported in various inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation-associated pulmonary fibrosis, and autoimmune encephalitis. In particular, TG2 from epithelial cells is important during the initial inflammatory response in the lung. In this study, we evaluated the role of TG2 in the pathogenesis of allergic asthma, particularly whether TG2 affects initial activation signaling leading to Th2 differentiation against antigens.
We induced allergic asthma by ovalbumin sensitization and intranasal challenge in wild-type (WT) BALB/c and TG2-deficient mice. Broncheoalveolar lavage fluid cells and intracellular cytokine production were analyzed by flow cytometry. Interleukin (IL)-33 and TG2 expression in lung epithelial cells was detected by confocal microscopy.
Airway responsiveness was attenuated in TG2-deficient mice compared to that in the WT control. In addition, recruitment of eosinophils and Th2 and Th17 differentiation decreased in TG2-deficient mice. Treatment with cysteamine, a transglutaminase inhibitor, also reduced airway hypersensitivity, inflammatory cell recruitment, and T helper cell differentiation. TG2-deficient mice showed reduced IL-33 expression following induction of allergic asthma compared to those in the WT control.
We found that pulmonary epithelial cells damaged by allergens triggered TG2-mediated IL-33 expression leading to type 2 responses by recruiting both innate and adaptive arms of the immune system.
Epithelium; IL-33; Transglutaminase 2; Asthma; Animal models
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of weekly docetaxel, cisplatin, and S-1 (weekly TPS) as induction chemotherapy for patients with locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).
A total of 35 patients with previously untreated, locally advanced HNSCC were enrolled. Seven patients (20%) were diagnosed with stage III HNSCC and 28 patients (80%) were diagnosed with stage IV. Induction treatment included 30 mg/m2 docetaxel on day 1 and 8, 60 mg/m2 cisplatin on day 1, and 70 mg/m2 S-1 on days 1 to 14. The regimen was repeated every 21 days. After three courses of induction chemotherapy, patients received concurrent chemoradiotherapy.
Among the 35 patients, 30 (85.7%) completed induction chemotherapy. The response to induction chemotherapy was as follows: nine patients (25.7%) achieved a complete response (CR) and the overall response rate (ORR) was 85.7%. Grades 3–4 toxicity during induction therapy included neutropenia (28.5%), neutropenic fever (8.5%), and diarrhea (17.1%). After completion of concurrent chemoradiotherapy, the CR rate was 62.8% and the partial response (PR) was 22.8%. Estimates of progression-free and overall survival at 2 years were 73.2% and 79.3%, respectively.
Weekly TPS is a promising regimen that is well-tolerated, causes minimal myelosuppression and is effective as an outpatient regimen for locally advanced HNSCC.
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; Induction chemotherapy; Cisplatin-based regimen containing S-1; Weekly docetaxel