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1.  Primary adenocarcinoma of the stomach in von Recklinghausen's disease with high serum levels of multiple tumor markers: a case report 
Gastric tumors in patients affected by neurofibromatosis type 1 are usually carcinoids or stromal tumors, and rarely adenocarcinomas.
Case presentation
We report a case of an adenocarcinoma of the stomach in a 53-year-old Japanese man with neurofibromatosis type 1. An abdominal computed tomography scan and ultrasonography showed tumors in his liver. Gastric fibroscopy revealed a Borrmann type III tumor on his cardia that had spread to his esophagus and was highly suspicious for malignancy. Multiple biopsies showed an adenocarcinoma of the stomach, which was evaluated as gastric cancer, stage IV. Chemotherapy with TS-1 was performed. Our patient died four weeks after initial admission. Histological examination of a liver needle biopsy showed metastatic adenocarcinoma in his liver.
To the best of our knowledge, high serum levels of α-fetoprotein, carcinoembryonic antigen, and carbohydrate antigen 72-4, resulting from gastric adenocarcinoma, have not been reported previously in a patient with neurofibromatosis type 1. We report this rare case along with a review of the literature.
PMCID: PMC3212996  PMID: 22018031
2.  Inhibition of Quorum Sensing in Serratia marcescens AS-1 by Synthetic Analogs of N-Acylhomoserine Lactone▿  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2007;73(20):6339-6344.
Quorum sensing is a regulatory system for controlling gene expression in response to increasing cell density. N-Acylhomoserine lactone (AHL) is produced by gram-negative bacteria, which use it as a quorum-sensing signal molecule. Serratia marcescens is a gram-negative opportunistic pathogen which is responsible for an increasing number of serious nosocomial infections. S. marcescens AS-1 produces N-hexanoyl homoserine lactone (C6-HSL) and N-(3-oxohexanoyl) homoserine lactone and regulates prodigiosin production, swarming motility, and biofilm formation by AHL-mediated quorum sensing. We synthesized a series of N-acyl cyclopentylamides with acyl chain lengths ranging from 4 to 12 and estimated their inhibitory effects on prodigiosin production in AS-1. One of these molecules, N-nonanoyl-cyclopentylamide (C9-CPA), had a strong inhibitory effect on prodigiosin production. C9-CPA also inhibited the swarming motility and biofilm formation of AS-1. A competition assay revealed that C9-CPA was able to inhibit quorum sensing at four times the concentration of exogenous C6-HSL and was more effective than the previously reported halogenated furanone. Our results demonstrated that C9-CPA was an effective quorum-sensing inhibitor for S. marcescens AS-1.
PMCID: PMC2075062  PMID: 17675425
3.  Identification of an Interaction between VWF rs7965413 and Platelet Count as a Novel Risk Marker for Metabolic Syndrome: An Extensive Search of Candidate Polymorphisms in a Case-Control Study 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0117591.
Although many single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been identified to be associated with metabolic syndrome (MetS), there was only a slight improvement in the ability to predict future MetS by the simply addition of SNPs to clinical risk markers. To improve the ability to predict future MetS, combinational effects, such as SNP—SNP interaction, SNP—environment interaction, and SNP—clinical parameter (SNP × CP) interaction should be also considered. We performed a case-control study to explore novel SNP × CP interactions as risk markers for MetS based on health check-up data of Japanese male employees. We selected 99 SNPs that were previously reported to be associated with MetS and components of MetS; subsequently, we genotyped these SNPs from 360 cases and 1983 control subjects. First, we performed logistic regression analyses to assess the association of each SNP with MetS. Of these SNPs, five SNPs were significantly associated with MetS (P < 0.05): LRP2 rs2544390, rs1800592 between UCP1 and TBC1D9, APOA5 rs662799, VWF rs7965413, and rs1411766 between MYO16 and IRS2. Furthermore, we performed multiple logistic regression analyses, including an SNP term, a CP term, and an SNP × CP interaction term for each CP and SNP that was significantly associated with MetS. We identified a novel SNP × CP interaction between rs7965413 and platelet count that was significantly associated with MetS [SNP term: odds ratio (OR) = 0.78, P = 0.004; SNP × CP interaction term: OR = 1.33, P = 0.001]. This association of the SNP × CP interaction with MetS remained nominally significant in multiple logistic regression analysis after adjustment for either the number of MetS components or MetS components excluding obesity. Our results reveal new insight into platelet count as a risk marker for MetS.
PMCID: PMC4315519  PMID: 25646961
4.  A Cancer-specific Monoclonal Antibody Recognizes the Aberrantly Glycosylated Podoplanin 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:5924.
Podoplanin (PDPN/Aggrus/T1α), a platelet aggregation-inducing mucin-like sialoglycoprotein, is highly expressed in many cancers and normal tissues. A neutralizing monoclonal antibody (mAb; NZ-1) can block the association between podoplanin and C-type lectin-like receptor-2 (CLEC-2) and inhibit podoplanin-induced cancer metastasis, but NZ-1 reacts with podoplanin-expressing normal cells such as lymphatic endothelial cells. In this study, we established a cancer-specific mAb (CasMab) against human podoplanin. Aberrantly glycosylated podoplanin including keratan sulfate or aberrant sialylation, which was expressed in LN229 glioblastoma cells, was used as an immunogen. The newly established LpMab-2 mAb recognized both an aberrant O-glycosylation and a Thr55-Leu64 peptide from human podoplanin. Because LpMab-2 reacted with podoplanin-expressing cancer cells but not with normal cells, as shown by flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry, it is an anti-podoplanin CasMab that is expected to be useful for molecular targeting therapy against podoplanin-expressing cancers.
PMCID: PMC4118152  PMID: 25080943
5.  Molecular Cloning of Rat and Porcine Retina-derived POU Domain Factor 1 (POU6F2) from a Pituitary cDNA Library 
Homeobox transcription factors are known to play crucial roles in the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland. During molecular cloning with the Yeast One-Hybrid System using a 5’-upstream region of the porcine Fshβ as a bait sequence, we have cloned a cDNA encoding a partial sequence of the retina-derived POU domain factor 1 (RPF1) from the porcine pituitary cDNA library and confirmed its specific binding to the bait sequence. In situ hybridization was performed to examine localization of Rpf1 and showed that this gene is expressed in the stem/progenitor cells of the rat pituitary primordium as well as the diencephalon and retina. In addition, real-time PCR demonstrated that Rpf1 transcripts are abundant in early embryonic periods but that this is followed by a decrease during pituitary development, indicating that this factor plays a role in differentiating cells of the pituitary. The transcriptional activity of RPF1 for genes of Prop1, Prrx1 and Prrx2, which were characterized as genes participating in the pituitary stem/progenitor cells by our group, was then examined with full-length cDNA obtained from the rat pituitary. RPF1 showed regulatory activity for Prop1 and Prrx2, but not for Prrx1. These results indicate the involvement of this retina-derived factor in pituitary development.
PMCID: PMC4139503  PMID: 24804940
Differentiation; Gene regulation; Pituitary; POU6F2; Retina; RPF1
6.  Characterization of Murine Pituitary-Derived Cell Lines Tpit/F1, Tpit/E and TtT/GF 
The pituitary is an important endocrine tissue of the vertebrate that produces and secretes many hormones. Accumulating data suggest that several types of cells compose the pituitary, and there is growing interest in elucidating the origin of these cell types and their roles in pituitary organogenesis. Therein, the histogenous cell line is an extremely valuable experimental tool for investigating the function of derived tissue. In this study, we compared gene expression profiles by microarray analysis and real-time PCR for murine pituitary tumor-derived non-hormone-producing cell lines TtT/GF, Tpit/F1 and Tpit/E. Several genes are characteristically expressed in each cell line: Abcg2, Nestin, Prrx1, Prrx2, CD34, Eng, Cspg4 (Ng2), S100β and nNos in TtT/GF; Cxcl12, Raldh1, Msx1 and Twist1 in Tpit/F1; and Cxadr, Sox9, Cdh1, EpCAM and Krt8 in Tpit/E. Ultimately, we came to the following conclusions: TtT/GF cells show the most differentiated state, and may have some properties of the pituitary vascular endothelial cell and/or pericyte. Tpit/F1 cells show the epithelial and mesenchymal phenotypes with stemness still in a transiting state. Tpit/E cells have a phenotype of epithelial cells and are the most immature cells in the progression of differentiation or in the initial endothelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Thus, these three cell lines must be useful model cell lines for investigating pituitary stem/progenitor cells as well as organogenesis.
PMCID: PMC4139504  PMID: 24881870
Differentiation; Pituitary cell line; Stem/progenitor cell; SOX2
7.  Expression of Krüppel-Like Factor 6, KLF6, in Rat Pituitary Stem/Progenitor Cells and Its Regulation of the PRRX2 Gene 
Paired-related transcription factors, PRRX1 and PRRX2, which are present in mesenchymal tissues and participate in mesenchymal cell differentiation, were recently found in the stem/progenitor cells of the pituitary gland of ectodermal origin. To clarify the role of PRRX1 and PRRX2 in the pituitary gland, the present study first aimed to identify transcription factors that regulate Prrx1 and Prrx2 expression. A promoter assay for the upstream regions of both genes was performed by co-transfection of the expression vector of several transcription factors, many of which are frequently found in the pituitary stem/progenitor cells. The results for the promoter activity of both genes showed expression in a cell type-dependent manner. Comprehensive comparison of transcriptional activity of several transcription factors was performed with CHO cells, which do not show Prrx1 and Prrx2 expression, and the results revealed the presence of common and distinct factors for both genes. Among them, KLF6 showed specific and remarkable stimulation of Prrx2 expression. In vitro experiments using an electrophoretic mobility shift assay and siRNA interference revealed a potential ability for regulation of Prrx2 expression by KLF6. Finally, immunohistochemistry confirmed the presence of KLF6 in the SOX2/PRRX2 double-positive stem/progenitor cells of the postnatal pituitary gland. Thus, the finding of KLF6 might provide a novel clue to clarify the maintenance of stem/progenitor cells of the postnatal pituitary gland.
PMCID: PMC4139505  PMID: 24881871
Differentiation; KLF6; Pituitary; PRRX2; Stem cell
8.  Recombinant anti-podoplanin (NZ-1) immunotoxin for the treatment of malignant brain tumors 
Current study demonstrates the glioma tumor antigen podoplanin to be present at very high levels (>90%) in both glioblastoma (D2159MG, D08-0308MG, and D08-0493MG) and medulloblastoma (D283MED, D425MED, and DAOY) xenografts and cell line. We constructed a novel recombinant single-chain antibody variable region fragment (scFv), NZ-1, specific for podoplanin from the NZ-1 hybridoma. NZ-1-scFv was then fused to Pseudomonas exotoxin A, carrying a C-terminal KDEL peptide (NZ-1-PE38KDEL). The immunotoxin was further stabilized by a disulfide (ds) bond between the heavy-chain and light-chain variable regions as the construct NZ-1-(scdsFv)-PE38KDEL. NZ-1-(scdsFv)-PE38KDEL exhibited significant reactivity to glioblastoma and medulloblastoma cells. The affinity of NZ-1-(scdsFv), NZ-1-(scdsFv)-PE38KDEL and NZ-1 antibody, for podoplanin peptide was 2.1×10−8 M, 8.0×10−8 M, and 3.9×10−10 M, respectively. In a protein stability assay, NZ-1-(scdsFv)-PE38KDEL retained 33-98% of its activity while that of NZ-1-PE38KDEL declined to 13% of its initial levels after incubation at 37°C for 3 days. In vitro cytotoxicity of the NZ-1-(scdsFv)-PE38KDEL was measured in cells isolated from glioblastoma xenografts, D2159MG, D08-0308MG, D08-0493MG, and in the medulloblastoma D283MED, D425MED, and DOAY xenografts and cell line. The NZ-1-(scdsFv)-PE38KDEL immunotoxin was highly cytotoxic, with an IC50 in the range of 1.6–29 ng/mL. Significantly, NZ-1-(scdsFv)-PE38KDEL demonstrated tumor-growth delay, averaging 24 days (P<0.001) and 21 days (P<0.001) in D2159MG and D283MED in vivo tumor models, respectively. Crucially, in the D425MED intracranial tumor model, NZ-1-(scdsFv)-PE38KDEL caused a 41% increase in survival (P≤0.001). In preclinical studies, NZ-1-(scdsFv)-PE38KDEL exhibited significant potential as a targeting agent for malignant brain tumors.
PMCID: PMC3809846  PMID: 23115013
podoplanin; glioblastoma multiforme; medulloblastoma; recombinant immunotoxin; single-chain disulfide Fv
9.  Dexamethasone Palmitate Ameliorates Macrophages-Rich Graft-versus-Host Disease by Inhibiting Macrophage Functions 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e96252.
Macrophage infiltration of skin GVHD lesions correlates directly with disease severity, but the mechanisms underlying this relationship remain unclear and GVHD with many macrophages is a therapeutic challenge. Here, we characterize the macrophages involved in GVHD and report that dexamethasone palmitate (DP), a liposteroid, can ameliorate such GVHD by inhibiting macrophage functions. We found that host-derived macrophages could exacerbate GVHD in a mouse model through expression of higher levels of pro-inflammatory TNF-α and IFN-γ, and lower levels of anti-inflammatory IL-10 than resident macrophages in mice without GVHD. DP significantly decreased the viability and migration capacity of primary mouse macrophages compared to conventional dexamethasone in vitro. DP treatment on day 7 and day 14 decreased macrophage number, and attenuated GVHD score and subsequent mortality in a murine model. This is the first study to provide evidence that therapy for GVHD should be changed on the basis of infiltrating cell type.
PMCID: PMC4012982  PMID: 24806147
10.  Pathologic Reappraisal of Wallenberg Syndrome: A Pathologic Distribution Study and Analysis of Literature 
Yonago Acta Medica  2014;57(1):1-14.
Wallenberg syndrome was first reported by Adolf Wallenberg as arising due to the obstruction of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA), which caused an infarct in the lateral medulla oblongata (MO).
This study was carried out on brain tissue from 2 patients with typical Wallenberg syndrome and 10 autopsy cases without central nervous system disturbances.
Patient 1 exhibited the 3 major neurological symptoms of right crossed sensory disturbance, right cerebellar ataxia and bulbar palsy. There was the pathological obstruction of the right vertebral artery (VA). Regarding the histopathlogical distribution, the infarct extended on the right side to the lateral spinothalamic tract, nucleus of the spinal tract of the trigeminal nerve, spinal tract of the trigeminal nerve, inferior cerebellar peduncle, spinocerebellar tract and nucleus ambiguous. Moreover, a clear infarct in the left lateral MO was pathologically identified, but pathological obstruction of the left PICA or left VA could not be found. The left cerebellar ataxia and bulbar palsy were observed among these 3 major symptoms. Patient 2 showed the 3 major symptoms of right crossed sensory disturbance, right cerebellar ataxia and bulbar palsy. A pathological luminal occlusion was identified in the right PICA. Regarding the histopathological lesion, the infarct disturbed on the right side the lateral spinothalamic tract, nucleus of the spinal tract of the trigeminal nerve, spinal tract of the trigeminal nerve, spinocerebellar tract, inferior cerebellar peduncle and nucleus ambiguus.
Based on our investigation of pathological lesions using our 2 autopsies, we suggest calling the cases that satisfy the following 3 criteria “definite pathologic Wallenberg syndrome”: i) identifiable pathological obstruction of the PICA or VA; ii) infarction in the lateral MO based on PICA or VA obstruction; and iii) a 1-to-1 correspondence between clinical symptoms and neuropathological lesions.
PMCID: PMC4110344  PMID: 25067873
infarct; lateral medulla oblongata; posterior inferior cerebellar artery; vertebral artery; Wallenberg syndrome
11.  Cerebellar Expression of Copper Chaperone for Superoxide, Cytosolic Cu/Zn-Superoxide Dismutase, 4-Hydroxy-2-Nonenal, Acrolein and Heat Shock Protein 32 in Patients with Menkes Kinky Hair Disease: Immunohistochemical Study 
Yonago Acta Medica  2014;57(1):23-35.
To clarify the pathogenesis of cerebellar Purkinje cell death in patients with Menkes kinky hair disease (MD), a disorder of copper absorption, we investigated the morphological and functional abnormalities of residual Purkinje cells in MD patients and the mechanism of cell death.
Seven MD patients and 39 neurologically normal autopsy cases were studied. We performed histopathological and quantitative analyses of the Purkinje cells. In addition, we used immunohistochemistry to detect copper-dependent enzymes [cytosolic Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1) and copper chaperone for superoxide dismutase (CCS)], oxidative stress markers [4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE) and acrolein] and heat shock protein 32 (hsp 32).
The surviving MD Purkinje cells showed abnormal development, such as somatic sprouts and heterotopic location. Due to maldevelopment and degeneration, dendrites showed the cactus and weeping willow patterns. Axonal degeneration led to the formation of torpedoes. Quantitative analysis revealed loss of approximately 50% of the Purkinje cells in MD patients. Almost all of the normal Purkinje cells were positive for immunostaining by anti-CCS and anti-SOD1 antibodies, with staining of the cell bodies, dendrites and axons. Normal Purkinje cells were not stained by antibodies for HNE, acrolein or hsp 32. In MD patients, the majority of Purkinje cells were positive for CCS, but the positive rate for SOD1 was only about 23%. Approximately 56%, 42% and 40% of the Purkinje cells of MD patients were positive for HNE, acrolein and hsp 32, respectively.
In MD patients, about 50% of the Purkinje cells have been lost due to maldevelopment and degeneration. In the residual Purkinje cells, CCS expression seems to be nearly normal as a protective response to decreased SOD1 activity due to copper deficiency. Because oxidative stress is elevated secondary to decreased SOD1 activity, hsp 32 is induced as another protective mechanism.
PMCID: PMC4110693  PMID: 25067875
copper chaperone for superoxide dismutase; cytosolic Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase; immunohistochemistry; Menkes kinky hair disease; Purkinje cell
12.  Applying spatial epidemiology to hematological disease using R: a guide for hematologists and oncologists 
“Spatial statistics” is an academic field that deals with the statistical analysis of spatial data, and has been applied to econometrics and various other policy fields. These methods are easily applied by hematologists and oncologists using better and much less expensive software. To encourage physicians to use these methods, this review introduces the methods and demonstrates the analyses using R and FleXScan, which can be freely downloaded from the website, with sample data. It is demonstrated that spatial analysis can be used by physicians to analyze hematological diseases. In addition, applying the technique presented to the investigation of patient prognoses may enable generation of data that are also useful for solving health policy-related problems, such as the optimal distribution of medical resources.
PMCID: PMC3949695  PMID: 24624001
leukemia; malignant lymphoma; Tango’s index; spatial regression model
13.  A Single-Cell and Feeder-Free Culture System for Monkey Embryonic Stem Cells 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88346.
Primate pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), including embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), hold great potential for research and application in regenerative medicine and drug discovery. To maximize primate PSC potential, a practical system is required for generating desired functional cells and reproducible differentiation techniques. Much progress regarding their culture systems has been reported to date; however, better methods would still be required for their practical use, particularly in industrial and clinical fields. Here we report a new single-cell and feeder-free culture system for primate PSCs, the key feature of which is an originally formulated serum-free medium containing FGF and activin. In this culture system, cynomolgus monkey ESCs can be passaged many times by single-cell dissociation with traditional trypsin treatment and can be propagated with a high proliferation rate as a monolayer without any feeder cells; further, typical PSC properties and genomic stability can be retained. In addition, it has been demonstrated that monkey ESCs maintained in the culture system can be used for various experiments such as in vitro differentiation and gene manipulation. Thus, compared with the conventional culture system, monkey ESCs grown in the aforementioned culture system can serve as a cell source with the following practical advantages: simple, stable, and easy cell maintenance; gene manipulation; cryopreservation; and desired differentiation. We propose that this culture system can serve as a reliable platform to prepare primate PSCs useful for future research and application.
PMCID: PMC3915054  PMID: 24505480
14.  Tet3 CXXC Domain and Dioxygenase Activity Cooperatively Regulate Key Genes for Xenopus Eye and Neural Development 
Cell  2012;151(6):1200-1213.
Ten-Eleven Translocation (Tet) family of dioxygenases offers a new mechanism for dynamic regulation of DNA methylation and has been implicated in cell lineage differentiation and oncogenesis. Yet their functional roles and mechanisms of action in gene regulation and embryonic development are largely unknown. Here, we report that Xenopus Tet3 plays an essential role in early eye and neural development by directly regulating a set of key developmental genes. Tet3 is an active 5mC hydroxylase regulating the 5mC/5hmC status at target gene promoters. Biochemical and structural studies further reveal a novel DNA binding mode of the Tet3 CXXC domain that is critical for specific Tet3 targeting. Finally, we show that the enzymatic activity and CXXC domain are crucial for Tet3’s biological function. Together, these findings define Tet3 as a novel transcription factor and reveal a molecular mechanism by which the 5mC hydroxylase and DNA binding activities of Tet3 cooperate to control target gene expression and embryonic development.
PMCID: PMC3705565  PMID: 23217707
15.  Isocitrate dehydrogenase 2 mutation is a frequent event in osteosarcoma detected by a multi-specific monoclonal antibody MsMab-1 
Cancer Medicine  2013;2(6):803-814.
Somatic mutations of isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) 1 and IDH2 occur in gliomas, acute myeloid leukemia, and cartilaginous tumors. Somatic mosaic IDH1/2 mutations are also reported in Ollier disease and Maffucci syndrome, which are characterized by multiple central cartilaginous tumors. Although IDH1/2 mutation analysis against osteosarcoma has been performed in several studies, no IDH1/2 mutation has been reported. Herein, we newly report the IDH2-R172S mutation in three of 12 (25%) osteosarcoma patients, which was detected by direct DNA sequencing. No monoclonal antibody (mAb) has been reported against IDH2-R172S mutation. However, we demonstrate that the IDH2-R172S peptide was recognized by our established multi-specific anti-mutated IDH1/2 mAb, MsMab-1, in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Western blot analysis revealed that MsMab-1 reacts with PA tag combined recombinant proteins of IDH2-R172S. Furthermore, MsMab-1 stained IDH2-R172S-expressing osteosarcoma tissues in immunohistochemistry. The MsMab-1 stained nine of 32 (28.1%) osteosarcomas in a tissue microarray. This report is the first describing IDH2 mutations in osteosarcoma, which can be detected by MsMab-1 mAb. Taken together, these results show that MsMab-1 can be anticipated for use in immunohistochemical determination of IDH1/2 mutation-bearing osteosarcoma.
PMCID: PMC3892385  PMID: 24403254
Isocitrate dehydrogenase 1; isocitrate dehydrogenase 2; monoclonal antibody; mutations; osteosarcoma
16.  Effects of KIR ligand incompatibility on clinical outcomes of umbilical cord blood transplantation without ATG for acute leukemia in complete remission 
Blood Cancer Journal  2013;3(11):e164-.
To clarify the effect of killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) ligand incompatibility on outcomes of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients in complete remission after single cord blood transplantation (CBT), we assessed the outcomes of CBT registered in the Japan Society for Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation (JSHCT) database. A total of 643 acute leukemia (357 AML and 286 ALL) patient and donor pairs were categorized according to their KIR ligand incompatibility by determining whether or not they expressed HLA-C, Bw4 or A3/A11 by DNA typing. A total of 128 patient–donor pairs were KIR ligand-incompatible in the graft-versus-host (GVH) direction and 139 patient–donor pairs were incompatible in the host-versus-graft (HVG) direction. Univariate and multivariate analyses showed no significant differences between the KIR ligand-incompatible and compatible groups in the GVH direction for both AML and ALL patients of overall survival, disease-free survival, relapse incidence, non-relapse mortality and acute GVH disease. However, KIR incompatibility in the HVG direction ameliorated engraftment in ALL patients (hazard ratio 0.66, 95% confidence interval 0.47–0.91, P=0.013). Therefore, there were no effects of KIR ligand incompatibility in the GVH direction on single CBT outcomes for acute leukemia patients without anti-thymocyte globulin use. However, it is necessary to pay attention to KIR incompatibility in the HVG direction for engraftment.
PMCID: PMC3880445  PMID: 24292416
17.  Targeted Gene Deletion of miRNAs in Mice by TALEN System 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e76004.
Mice are among the most valuable model animal species with an enormous amount of heritage in genetic modification studies. However, targeting genes in mice is sometimes difficult, especially for small genes, such as microRNAs (miRNAs) and targeting genes in repeat sequences. Here we optimized the application of TALEN system for mice and successfully obtained gene targeting technique in mice for intergenic region and series of microRNAs. Microinjection of synthesized RNA of TALEN targeting each gene in one cell stage of embryo was carried out and injected oocytes were transferred into pseudopregnant ICR female mice, producing a high success rate of the targeted deletion of miRNA genes. In our condition, TALEN RNA without poly(A) tail worked better than that of with poly(A) tail. This mutated allele in miRNA was transmitted to the next generation, suggesting the successful germ line transmission of this targeting method. Consistent with our notion of miRNAs maturation mechanism, in homozygous mutant mice of miR-10a, the non- mutated strand of miRNAs expression was completely diminished. This method will lead us to expand and accelerate our genetic research using mice in a high throughput way.
PMCID: PMC3797721  PMID: 24146809
18.  Detection of Human Herpesviruses (HHVs) in Semen of Human Male Infertile Patients 
Recently we demonstrated an ectopic expression of the human herpesvirus 1 thymidine kinase (HHV1-TK) gene by functioning of an intrinsic endogenous promoter in the transgenic rat (TG-rat), suggesting that HHV1 infection in humans induces expression of the TK gene with the ectopic promoter in the testis and results in accumulation of HHV1-TK protein, triggering male infertility similar to that in the TG-rat. Hence, in this study, we started to investigate a relationship between infection of herpesvirus and human male infertility. Semen was donated by Chinese male infertile patients (153 men, aged 21–49 years) with informed consent, followed by DNA preparation and analysis by PCR and DNA sequencing. Semen volume, sperm number and density, and sperm motility were examined. DNAs of HHV1, HHV4, HHV5 and HHV6 were confirmed by PCR, electrophoresis and DNA sequencing. Finally, virus DNA was identified in 59 patients (39%). The number of carriers was 39 (25%) for HHV1, 6 (4%) for HHV4, 33 (22%) for HHV5 and 3 (2%) for HHV6, respectively. Moreover, double-infection was found in 22 out of 59 specimens (37%), most of which were double-infection of HHV1 and HHV5 (15 out of 22 carriers). Though slight severity was present in some of the carriers, the relationship between virus infection and sperm impairment was not conclusive. Accordingly, it is essential to examine whether the viral HHV1-TK gene is expressed in the testis of the infertile human HHV carrier.
PMCID: PMC3934121  PMID: 23748714
Human herpesvirus (HHV); Human; Male infertility; Spermatogenesis; Thymidine kinase
19.  Clinical efficacy of abatacept compared to adalimumab and tocilizumab in rheumatoid arthritis patients with high disease activity 
Clinical Rheumatology  2013;33(1):39-47.
Favourable clinical results in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients with high disease activity (HDA) are difficult to achieve. This study evaluated the clinical efficacy of abatacept according to baseline disease activity compared to adalimumab and tocilizumab. This study included all patients registered in a Japanese multicenter registry treated with abatacept (n = 214), adalimumab (n = 175), or tocilizumab (n = 143) for 24 weeks. Clinical efficacy of abatacept in patients with HDA (DAS28-CRP > 4.1) and low and moderate disease activity was compared. Clinical efficacy of abatacept, adalimumab, and tocilizumab was compared in patients with HDA at baseline. In patients treated with abatacept, multivariate logistic regression identified HDA at baseline as an independent predictor for achieving low disease activity (LDA; DAS28-CRP < 2.7) [OR 0.26, 95 % CI 0.14–0.50] or remission (DAS28-CRP < 2.3) [OR 0.26, 95 % CI 0.12–0.56] at 24 weeks. In patients with HDA at baseline, logistic regression did not identify treatment with adalimumab or tocilizumab as independent predictors of LDA or remission compared to abatacept. Retention rates based on insufficient efficacy were significantly higher in patients treated with abatacept compared to adalimumab and lower than tocilizumab. Retention rates based on adverse events in patients treated with abatacept were significantly lower compared to tocilizumab. Clinical efficacy of abatacept was affected by baseline disease activity. There were no significant differences between the three different classes of biologics regarding clinical efficacy for treating RA patients with HDA, although definitive conclusions regarding long-term efficacy will require further research.
PMCID: PMC3890049  PMID: 24057092
Abatacept; Adalimumab; High disease activity; Japanese multicenter registry system; Rheumatoid arthritis; Tocilizumab
20.  Structured self‐monitoring of blood glucose reduces glycated hemoglobin in insulin‐treated diabetes 
The aim of the preset study was to investigate the effectiveness of structured self‐monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) in insufficiently controlled insulin‐treated diabetes. A total of 86 insulin‐treated patients were randomized to a routine testing group (RTG; n = 43) and a structured testing group (STG; n = 43). The STG used a chart to record seven‐point blood glucose (BG) profile on three consecutive days per month. The primary end‐point was the glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) at 3 months and 6 months. There were no significant differences of HbA1c between the RTG and STG at 3 months. However, the STG had significantly improved HbA1c at 6‐month follow‐up compared with the RTG (P = 0.002). In the STG, HbA1c decreased by 0.5% from 7.9 (SD 0.5) to 7.4 (0.7)%, whereas it decreased by 0.1% in the RTG from 7.9 (0.5) to 7.8 (0.7)%. In the STG, 55% of the patients were willing to continue structured SMBG and they achieved a 0.7% decrease of HbA1c. The present findings suggest that structured SMBG significantly improves glycemic control.
PMCID: PMC4025113  PMID: 24843694
Glycemic control; Insulin‐treated diabetes; Self‐monitoring of blood glucose
21.  Frequency of elevated biomarkers in patients with cryptogenic hepatocellular carcinoma 
The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) continues to increase in Japan, but the clinical characteristics of Japanese patients with HCC have not been well described. The aim of this study was to determine the frequencies and utilities of elevated α-fetoprotein (AFP) and des-gamma-carboxy prothrombin (DCP) levels as biomarkers in cryptogenic HCC.
A total of 2638 patients with HCC diagnosed between 1999 and 2010 in the Nagasaki Association Study of Liver (NASLD) were recruited for this study. The cause of HCC was categorized into 4 groups; HCC-B, HCC-C, HCC-BC, and HCC-nonBC. The significance of factors was examined for HCC-nonBC using logistic regression analysis in all patients.
Multivariate analysis identified age, sex, BMI, alcohol consumption, platelet count, AST, ALT, AFP, DCP, and TNM stage as independent and significant risk factors for HCC-nonBC. According to TNM stage, the median AFP levels in HCC-nonBC with TNM stages I, II, and III were significantly lower than in either HCC-B or HCC-C. In TNM stage IV, the median AFP level in HCC-nonBC was significantly lower than in either HCC-B or HCC-BC. The median DCP levels in HCC-nonBC with TNM stages I and II were significantly higher than those in either HCC-B or HCC-C. In TNM stage III, the median DCP level in HCC-nonBC was significantly higher than that in HCC-C.
DCP was more sensitive than AFP for the diagnosis of early stage cryptogenic HCC. DCP should be used as the main serum test for cryptogenic HCC detection.
PMCID: PMC3775616  PMID: 24008520
22.  Extension of lifespan and protection against oxidative stress by an antioxidant herb mixture complex (KPG-7) in Caenorhabditis elegans 
Excessive generation of reactive oxygen species within cells results in oxidative stress. Furthermore, accumulation of reactive oxygen species has been shown to reduce cell longevity. Many dietary supplements are believed to have anti-aging effects. The herb mixture KPG-7 contains several components with antioxidant activity. We aim to clarify the mechanisms responsible for the antioxidant activity of KPG-7 and to establish whether KPG-7 has an anti-aging effect. We examined whether dietary supplementation with KPG-7 could provide protection against oxidative stress, extend lifespan, and delay aging in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). We found that KPG-7 extended lifespan and delayed aging in adult C. elegans. The expression of oxidation resistance 1 protein was induced by juglone and this effect was significantly suppressed in KPG-7-treated. In addition, the amount of oxidized protein was significantly lower in KPG-7-treated worms than untreated worms. Furthermore, locomotive activity was increased in C. elegans at 3 days of age following the treatment with KPG-7. On the other hand, the level of cellular ATP was lower at 3 days of age in worms treated with KPG-7 than in untreated worms. KPG-7 increases lifespan and delays aging in C. elegans, well corresponding to its activity to protect against oxidative stress.
PMCID: PMC3774924  PMID: 24062604
oxidative stress; C. elegans; aging; herb mixture; antioxidant
23.  1α,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 Modulates the Hair-Inductive Capacity of Dermal Papilla Cells: Therapeutic Potential for Hair Regeneration 
This study examined the effects and signaling pathways associated with the actions of 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (VD3) on dermal papilla cells (DPCs). Results suggest that VD3 may promote functional differentiation of DPCs and be useful in preserving the hair follicle-inductive capacity of cultured DPCs for hair regeneration therapies.
Dermal papilla cells (DPCs) have the potential to induce differentiation of epithelial stem cells into hair, and Wnt signaling is deeply involved in the initiation process. The functional limitation of expanded adult DPCs has been a difficult challenge for cell-based hair regrowth therapy. We previously reported that 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (VD3) upregulates expression of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β2 and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, both features of hair-inducing human DPCs (hDPCs). In this study, we further examined the effects and signaling pathways associated with VD3 actions on DPCs. VD3 suppressed hDPC proliferation in a dose-dependent, noncytotoxic manner. Among the Wnt-related genes investigated, Wnt10b expression was significantly upregulated by VD3 in hDPCs. Wnt10b upregulation, as well as upregulation of ALPL (ALP, liver/bone/kidney) and TGF-β2, by VD3 was specific in hDPCs and not detected in human dermal fibroblasts. Screening of paracrine or endocrine factors in the skin indicated that all-trans retinoic acid (atRA) upregulated Wnt10b gene expression, although synergistic upregulation (combined atRA and VD3) was not seen. RNA interference with vitamin D receptor (VDR) revealed that VD3 upregulation of Wnt10b, ALPL, and TGF-β2 was mediated through the genomic VDR pathway. In a rat model of de novo hair regeneration by murine DPC transplantation, pretreatment with VD3 significantly enhanced hair folliculogenesis. Specifically, a greater number of outgrowing hair shafts and higher maturation of regenerated follicles were observed. Together, these data suggest that VD3 may promote functional differentiation of DPCs and be useful in preserving the hair follicle-inductive capacity of cultured DPCs for hair regeneration therapies.
PMCID: PMC3659730  PMID: 23197867
Cell culture; Cell signaling; Cellular therapy; Clinical translation; Gene expression; Signal transduction; Stem cell-microenvironment interactions; Tissue regeneration
24.  Use of in-vitro experimental results to model in-situ experiments: bio-denitrification under geological disposal conditions 
SpringerPlus  2013;2:339.
Some of the low level radioactive wastes from reprocessing of spent nuclear fuels contain nitrates. Nitrates can be present in the form of soluble salts and can be reduced by various reactions. Among them, reduction by metal compounds and microorganisms seems to be important in the underground repository. Reduction by microorganism is more important in near field area than inside the repository because high pH and extremely high salt concentration would prevent microorganism activities. In the near field, pH is more moderate (pH is around 8) and salt concentration is lower. However, the electron donor may be limited there and it might be the control factor for microorganism's denitrification activities. In this study, in-vitro experiments of the nitrate reduction reaction were conducted using model organic materials purported to exist in underground conditions relevant to geological disposal. Two kinds of organic materials were selected. A super plasticizer was selected as being representative of the geological disposal system and humic acid was selected as being representative of pre-existing organic materials in the bedrock. Nitrates were reduced almost to N2 gas in the existence of super plasticizer. In the case of humic acids, although nitrates were reduced, the rate was much lower and, in this case, dead organism was used as an electron donor instead of humic acids. A reaction model was developed based on the in-vitro experiments and verified by running simulations against data obtained from in-situ experiments using actual groundwaters and microorganisms. The simulation showed a good correlation with the experimental data and contributes to the understanding of microbially mediated denitrification in geological disposal systems.
PMCID: PMC3755790  PMID: 24010028
Geological disposal; Nitrates; Denitrification; Microorganism; Modeling
25.  Comparison of Barium and Arsenic Concentrations in Well Drinking Water and in Human Body Samples and a Novel Remediation System for These Elements in Well Drinking Water 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e66681.
Health risk for well drinking water is a worldwide problem. Our recent studies showed increased toxicity by exposure to barium alone (≤700 µg/L) and coexposure to barium (137 µg/L) and arsenic (225 µg/L). The present edition of WHO health-based guidelines for drinking water revised in 2011 has maintained the values of arsenic (10 µg/L) and barium (700 µg/L), but not elements such as manganese, iron and zinc. Nevertheless, there have been very few studies on barium in drinking water and human samples. This study showed significant correlations between levels of arsenic and barium, but not its homologous elements (magnesium, calcium and strontium), in urine, toenail and hair samples obtained from residents of Jessore, Bangladesh. Significant correlation between levels of arsenic and barium in well drinking water and levels in human urine, toenail and hair samples were also observed. Based on these results, a high-performance and low-cost adsorbent composed of a hydrotalcite-like compound for barium and arsenic was developed. The adsorbent reduced levels of barium and arsenic from well water in Bangladesh and Vietnam to <7 µg/L within 1 min. Thus, we have showed levels of arsenic and barium in humans and propose a novel remediation system.
PMCID: PMC3689667  PMID: 23805262

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