Thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) has multiple functions, including tumor suppression and involvement in cell proliferation and apoptosis. However, its role in the inflammatory process remains unclear. In this report, we demonstrate that Txnip−/− mice are significantly more susceptible to lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced endotoxic shock. In response to LPS, Txnip−/− macrophages produced significantly higher levels of nitric oxide (NO) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), and an iNOS inhibitor rescued Txnip−/− mice from endotoxic shock-induced death, demonstrating that NO is a major factor in TXNIP-mediated endotoxic shock. This susceptibility phenotype of Txnip−/− mice occurred despite reduced IL-1β secretion due to increased S-nitrosylation of NLRP3 compared to wild-type controls. Taken together, these data demonstrate that TXNIP is a novel molecule that links NO synthesis and NLRP3 inflammasome activation during endotoxic shock.
TXNIP has many biological functions, including the inhibition of tumor growth, suppression of hepatocarcinogenesis, and regulation of glucose metabolism and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation in different cell types. However, little is known about its role in the inflammatory process. In this study, our results demonstrate that TXNIP plays a critical role in the control of lethal endotoxin-induced shock by controlling NO production in innate immune cells via the regulation of iNOS expression. This regulation is mediated through changes in the activation and translocation of NF-κB that affect the NF-κB/iNOS pathway. In addition, excessive NO reduces the production of IL-1β via S-nitrosylation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. Subsequently, the survival of Txnip−/− mice is significantly decreased due to hypothermia and hypoglycemia. Overall, these results suggest that TXNIP is a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of inflammatory diseases.
Atherosclerosis is a chronic and progressive inflammatory disease. Novel anti-inflammatory therapies may have promise as treatment strategies for cardiovascular risk reduction. Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis L.) has been used in folk medicine to treat headaches, epilepsy, poor circulation, and many other ailments. It was found that rosemary could act as a stimulant and mild analgesic and could reduce inflammation. However, the mechanisms underlying the anti-inflammatory and antiatherosclerotic effects of rosemary need more study. This study investigated effects of the rosemary components, carnosic acid (CA), and carnosol (CAR), on cell migration. Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) were determined by Western blot and gelatin zymography, respectively, in RAW 264.7 macrophages and vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). VSMC migration was assessed by a Matrigel migration assay. Active compounds of rosemary extracts were also analyzed using a reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. MMP-9 and MCP-1 activities were markedly diminished with methanol extract (RM), n-hexane fraction (RH), and CA in RAW 264.7 cells. RM, RH, CA, and CAR suppressed tumor necrosis factor-alpha–induced VSMC migration by inhibiting MMP-9 expression. Chromatograms of RM- and RH-containing CA and CAR revealed higher CA contents of RM (9.4%, 93.85 μg/mg dry wt.) and, especially, RH (18.4%, 184.00 μg/mg dry wt.), which were appreciably elevated compared with the similar CAR content in RM and RH (3.7%, 37.30 μg/mg dry wt.; and 2.5%, 25.05 μg/mg dry wt., respectively). Rosemary, especially its CA component, has potential antiatherosclerosis effects related to cell migration.
Rosemarinus officinalis L.; rosemary; matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9); monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1); migration; RAW 264.7 macrophages; vascular smooth muscle cell
Diet is one of the major lifestyle factors affecting incidence of colorectal cancer (CC), and despite accumulating evidence that numerous diet-derived compounds modulate CC incidence, definitive dietary recommendations are not available. We propose a strategy that could facilitate the design of dietary supplements with CC-preventive properties. Thus, nutrient combinations that are a source of apoptosis-inducers and inhibitors of compensatory cell proliferation pathways (e.g., AKT signaling) may produce high levels of programmed death in CC cells. Here we report the combined effect of butyrate, an apoptosis inducer that is produced through fermentation of fiber in the colon, and propolis, a honeybee product, on CC cells. We established that propolis increases the apoptosis of CC cells exposed to butyrate through suppression of cell survival pathways such as the AKT signaling. The programmed death of CC cells by combined exposure to butyrate and propolis is further augmented by inhibition of the JNK signaling pathway. Analyses on the contribution of the downstream targets of JNK signaling, c-JUN and JAK/STAT, to the apoptosis of butyrate/propolis-treated CC cells ascertained that JAK/STAT signaling has an anti-apoptotic role; whereas, the role of cJUN might be dependent upon regulatory cell factors. Thus, our studies ascertained that propolis augments apoptosis of butyrate-sensitive CC cells and re-sensitizes butyrate-resistant CC cells to apoptosis by suppressing AKT signaling and downregulating the JAK/STAT pathway. Future in vivo studies should evaluate the CC-preventive potential of a dietary supplement that produces high levels of colonic butyrate, propolis, and diet-derived JAK/STAT inhibitors.
We used HPLC and AdvanSure real-time PCR (LG Life Sciences, Korea) to retrospectively analyze non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) in 133 clinical specimens. The specimens were culture-positive for NTM and the HPLC method identified 130 strains of mycobacteria from the cultures (97.7%) at the species level. Among the isolates, 48 Mycobacterium. kansasii (36.1%), 39 M. intracellulare (29.3%), 17 M. avium (12.8%), 16 M. abscessus (12.0%), 6 M. fortuitum (4.5%), 2 M. szulgai (1.5%), 2 M. gordonae (1.5%), and 3 unclassified NTM strains (2.3%) were identified. The real-time PCR assay identified 60 NTM-positive specimens (45.1%), 65 negative specimens (48.9%), and 8 M. tuberculosis (TB)-positive specimens (6.0%). The real-time PCR assay is advantageous because of its rapid identification of NTM. However, in our study, the real-time PCR assay showed relatively low sensitivity (45.1%) when using direct specimens including sputum and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid. HPLC is useful as it discriminates NTM at the species level, although it is time-consuming and requires specific equipment and technical expertise. A combination of both methods will be helpful for the rapid and accurate identification of mycobacteria in clinical laboratories.
Non-tuberculous mycobacteria; Real-time PCR; HPLC
The microbial diversity in soil ecosystems is higher than in any other microbial ecosystem. The majority of soil microorganisms has not been characterized, because the dominant members have not been readily culturable on standard cultivation media; therefore, the soil ecosystem is a great reservoir for the discovery of novel microbial enzymes and bioactivities. The soil metagenome, the collective microbial genome, could be cloned and sequenced directly from soils to search for novel microbial resources. This review summarizes the microbial diversity in soils and the efforts to search for microbial resources from the soil metagenome, with more emphasis on the potential of bioprospecting metagenomics and recent discoveries.
bioprospecting; novel bioactivities; novel enzymes; soil metagenome
There are substantial variations of relative risks (RR) in smoking-related mortality by country and time. We hypothesized the RRs in smoking-related mortality might differ depending on serum concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). We evaluated the associations of cigarette smoking with total mortality in 610 elderly (aged ≥ 70 yr) (702 elderly for organochlorine pesticides [OCPs]) after stratification by serum concentration of POPs, in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2004 followed through 2006. Summary measures of POPs subclasses showed significant or marginally significant interaction with cigarette smoking on the risk of total mortality. P values for interaction were 0.069 for polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), 0.008 for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and 0.024 for OCPs. The effect of smoking on total mortality showed different patterns according to the serum concentration of some POPs. Former or current smokers had 1.4 to 2.9 times higher mortality rates compared with never smokers among participants with higher serum concentrations of POPs (2nd or 3rd tertiles). However, when the level of PCBs or OCPs were low (1st tertile), there were little positive associations between smoking and mortality. Our study suggests that the background exposure to several POPs may be related to variability in smoking-related total mortality.
Smoking; Mortality; Persistent Organic Pollutants; Polychlorinated Biphenyls; Organochlorine Pesticides
Background. The appropriate selection of acupoints is fundamental to obtain a therapeutic effect from clinical acupuncture. Objective. Using a network analysis method, we investigated the acupoints that are combined to treat low back pain (LBP). Methods. To analyze the patterns of the combinations of acupoints, we used acupoint information from clinical trials to calculate the modified mutual information (MI) value, integrated these data, and visualized the network. Results. Based on the highest MI values, we found two different types of acupoint pairs used in the treatment of LBP: pairs of distant acupoints and pairs of local acupoints. Using modular analysis, we found that three acupoint modules were applied in the treatment of LBP: local acupoints, distant acupoints along the meridian, and distant acupoints based on the symptom differentiations. Conclusion. Using the modified MI technique, we provide a systematic framework for the acupoint combination network, and reveal how the technique of acupoint combination is used in the treatment of LBP. Application of this knowledge in acupuncture research may help clarify the mechanisms underlying acupuncture treatment at the systems level, bridging the gap between traditional medicine and modern science.
A growing body of literature has linked vitamin D deficiency with allergic diseases, particularly atopic dermatitis (AD). In this study, we investigated the association between serum vitamin D status and the clinical manifestation of AD. We also developed an analytical method for the simultaneous determination of 25-hydroxy vitamin D3 (25(OH)D3), using liquid chromatography (LC) coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS).
This study included 157 patients (79 males and 78 females) with AD, aged 4 months to 56 years. We evaluated disease severity using the SCORing Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) index. Serum levels of 25(OH)D3 were determined by LC coupled with MS/MS. Total IgE and specific IgE levels were assayed using the immunoCAP system. ANOVA was used for statistical evaluation.
We found mild, moderate, and severe AD in 30 (11.1%), 87 (55.4%), and 40 (25.5%) patients, respectively. There was no significant correlation between serum levels of 25(OH)D3 and AD severity. However, among the 36 patients with food sensitization, the mean±SD serum levels of 25(OH)D3 were significantly higher (P<0.05) in patients with mild disease (21.2±5.18 ng/mL) compared with the levels in patients with moderate (17.9±4.02 ng/mL) or severe AD (13.3±5.11 ng/mL) disease.
These results suggest that vitamin D deficiency is related to the severity of AD associated with food sensitization. Thus, these data suggest a role for vitamin D in a select group of AD patients.
Atopic dermatitis; vitamin D; food allergy
Burkholderia pyrrocinia CH-67 was isolated from forest soil as a biocontrol agent to be utilized in agriculture. Here, we report the 8.05-Mb draft genome sequence of this bacterium. Its genome contains genes involved in biosynthesis of secondary metabolites and plant growth promotion, which may contribute to probiotic effects on plants.
The origin of the concept of the meridian system is closely connected with the treatment effects of acupuncture, and it serves as an empirical reference system in the clinical setting. Understanding the meridian channels would be a first step in enhancing the clinical efficacy of acupuncture treatment. To understand the relationship between the location of the disease and the sites of relevant acupoints, we investigated acupuncture treatment regimens for low-back pain in 37 clinical studies. We found that the most frequently used acupoints in the treatment of low-back pain were BL23 (51%), BL25 (43%), BL24 (32%), BL40 (32%), BL60 (32%), GB30 (32%), BL26 (28%), BL32 (28%), and GB34 (21%). For the example of low-back pain, we visualized the biomedical information (frequency rates) about acupuncture treatment on the meridians of a three-dimensional (3D) model of the human body. We found that both local and distal acupoints were used to treat low-back pain in clinical trials based on the meridian theory. We suggest a new model for the visualization of a data-driven 3D meridian system of biomedical information about the meridians and acupoints. These findings may be helpful in understanding the meridian system and revealing the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment.
C57BL/6 mice are known to be resistant to the development of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). However, they show a severe arthritic phenotype when the Ifng gene is deleted. Although it has been proposed that IFN-γ suppresses inflammation in CIA via suppressing Th17 which is involved in the pathogenesis of CIA, the exact molecular mechanism of the Th17 regulation by IFN-γ is poorly understood. This study was conducted to 1) clarify that arthritogenic condition of IFN-γ knockout (KO) mice is dependent on the disinhibition of Th17 and 2) demonstrate that IFN-γ-induced indoleamine2,3dioxgenase (IDO) is engaged in the regulation of Th17. The results showed that the IFN-γ KO mice displayed increased levels of IL-17 producing T cells and the exacerbation of arthritis. Also, production of IL-17 by the splenocytes of the IFN-γ KO mice was increased when cultured with type II collagen. When Il17 was deleted from the IFN-γ KO mice, only mild arthritis developed without any progression of the arthritis score. The proportion of CD44highCD62Llow memory-like T cells were elevated in the spleen, draining lymph node and mesenteric lymph node of IFN-γ KO CIA mice. Meanwhile, CD44lowCD62Lhigh naïve T cells were increased in IFN-γ and IL-17 double KO CIA mice. When Th17 polarized CD4+ T cells of IFN-γ KO mice were co-cultured with their own antigen presenting cells (APCs), a greater increase in IL-17 production was observed than in co-culture of the cells from wild type mice. In contrast, when APCs from IFN-γ KO mice were pretreated with IFN-γ, there was a significant reduction in IL-17 in the co-culture system. Of note, pretreatment of 1-methyl-DL- tryptophan, a specific inhibitor of IDO, abolished the inhibitory effects of IFN-γ. Given that IFN-γ is a potent inducer of IDO in APCs, these results suggest that IDO is involved in the regulation of IL-17 by IFN-γ.
Background. The rubber hand illusion (RHI) is an experimental paradigm that manipulates important aspects of body self-awareness. Objectives. We were interested in whether modifying bodily self-awareness by manipulation of body ownership and visual expectations using the RHI would change the subjective perception of pain as well as the autonomic response to acupuncture needle stimulation. Methods. Acupuncture needle stimulation was applied to the real hand during the RHI with (experiment 1) or without (experiment 2) visual expectation while measuring concurrent autonomic changes such as the skin conductance response (SCR). Subjective responses such as perception of the RHI and perceived pain were measured by questionnaires. Results. In experiment 1, the amplitude of the increase in SCR was visibly higher during the synchronous session compared with that of the asynchronous session. In experiment 2, the amplitude of the increase of SCR was lower for the synchronous session compared with that for the asynchronous session. Comparing these two experiments, the visual expectation of needle stimulation produced a greater autonomic response to acupuncture stimulation. Conclusions. Our findings suggest that the sympathetic response to acupuncture needle stimulation is primarily influenced by visual expectation rather than by modifications of body ownership.
Epithelial cell death plays a critical role in hyperoxia-induced lung injury. We investigated the involvement of the autophagic marker microtubule-associated protein-1 light chain-3B (LC3B) in epithelial cell apoptosis after hyperoxia. Prolonged hyperoxia (>95% O2), which causes characteristic lung injury in mice, activated morphological and biochemical markers of autophagy. Hyperoxia induced the time-dependent expression and conversion of LC3B-I to LC3B-II in mouse lung in vivo and in cultured epithelial cells (Beas-2B, human bronchial epithelial cells) in vitro. Hyperoxia increased autophagosome formation in Beas-2B cells, as evidenced by electron microscopy and increased GFP-LC3 puncta. The augmented LC3B level after hyperoxia was transcriptionally regulated and dependent in part on the c-Jun N-terminal kinase pathway. We hypothesized that LC3B plays a regulatory role in hyperoxia-induced epithelial apoptosis. LC3B siRNA promoted hyperoxia-induced cell death in epithelial cells, whereas overexpression of LC3B conferred cytoprotection after hyperoxia. The autophagic protein LC3B cross-regulated the Fas apoptotic pathway by physically interacting with the components of death-inducing signaling complex. This interaction was mediated by caveolin-1 tyrosine 14, which is a known target of phosphorylation induced by hyperoxia. Taken together, hyperoxia-induced LC3B activation regulates the Fas apoptotic pathway and thus confers cytoprotection in lung epithelial cells. The interaction of LC3B and Fas pathways requires cav-1.
apoptosis; autophagy; hyperoxia; lung injury; caveolin-1
Elevated levels of serum gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) levels have been found to predict the development of type 2 diabetes in adults. The role of GGT in insulin resistance (IR) among children is largely unknown. We investigated whether GGT among hepatic enzymes is independently associated with IR in obese Korean children. A total of 1308 overweight (above the 85th BMI percentile of Korean reference) boys (n = 822) and girls (n = 486), aged 9–15 years, were studied. Measures acquired included weight, height, percent body fat (BF%), waist circumference, blood pressure, blood glucose and insulin, C-reactive protein, total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL-Cholesterol, GGT, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alanine aminotransferase (ALT). IR was calculated using the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR). Serum GGT and ALT, but not AST, were positively correlated with HOMA-IR in boys (r = 0.222 for GGT; P < 0.05, r = 0.188 for ALT; P < 0.05) and girls (r = 0.292 for GGT; P < 0.05, r = 0.258 for ALT; P < 0.05). In multiple regression analysis for HOMA-IR as dependent variable, GGT (β = 0.068; P = 0.053 in boys, β = 0.145; P = 0.002 in girls) and ALT (β = 0.074; P = 0.034 in boys, β = 0.130; P = 0.005 in girls) emerged as determinants of HOMA-IR after adjusting age, BMI, tanner stage, and triglycerides. Serum GGT level is a strong marker of IR in obese Korean children.
Chloramphenicol and florfenicol are broad-spectrum antibiotics. Although the bacterial resistance mechanisms to these antibiotics have been well documented, hydrolysis of these antibiotics has not been reported in detail. This study reports the hydrolysis of these two antibiotics by a specific hydrolase that is encoded by a gene identified from a soil metagenome. Hydrolysis of chloramphenicol has been recognized in cell extracts of Escherichia coli expressing a chloramphenicol acetate esterase gene, estDL136. A hydrolysate of chloramphenicol was identified as p-nitrophenylserinol by liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy and proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The hydrolysis of these antibiotics suggested a promiscuous amidase activity of EstDL136. When estDL136 was expressed in E. coli, EstDL136 conferred resistance to both chloramphenicol and florfenicol on E. coli, due to their inactivation. In addition, E. coli carrying estDL136 deactivated florfenicol faster than it deactivated chloramphenicol, suggesting that EstDL136 hydrolyzes florfenicol more efficiently than it hydrolyzes chloramphenicol. The nucleotide sequences flanking estDL136 encode proteins such as amidohydrolase, dehydrogenase/reductase, major facilitator transporter, esterase, and oxidase. The most closely related genes are found in the bacterial family Sphingomonadaceae, which contains many bioremediation-related strains. Whether the gene cluster with estDL136 in E. coli is involved in further chloramphenicol degradation was not clear in this study. While acetyltransferases for chloramphenicol resistance and drug exporters for chloramphenicol or florfenicol resistance are often detected in numerous microbes, this is the first report of enzymatic hydrolysis of florfenicol resulting in inactivation of the antibiotic.
Fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) are a major cell population of the pannus that invades adjacent cartilage and bone in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The study was undertaken to determine the effect of interleukin-17 (IL-17) on the survival and/or proliferation of FLSs from RA patients and to investigate whether signal tranducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is implicated in this process.
Bcl-2 and Bax expression in FLSs was determined using the real-time PCR and western blot analysis. The expression of Bcl-2 and phosphoSTAT3 in synovial tissues was investigated by confocal microscope. Apoptosis of FLSs was detected by Annexin V/propidium iodide staining and/or phase contrast microscopy. The proliferation of FLSs was determined by CCK-8 ELISA assay.
The pro-apoptotic Bax is decreased and anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 is increased in FLSs from RA patients compared with those from patients with osteoarthritis (OA). IL-17 upregulated the expression of Bcl-2 in FLSs from RA patients, but not in FLSs from OA patients. STAT3 was found to mediate IL-17-induced Bcl-2 upregulation in FLSs from RA patients. Additionally, IL-17 promoted the survival and proliferation of FLSs from RA patients. Most importantly, treatment with STAT3 inhibitor reversed the protective effect of IL-17 on FLSs apoptosis induced by sodium nitroprusside (SNP).
Our data demonstrate that STAT3 is critical in IL-17-induced survival of FLS from RA patients. Therefore, therapeutic strategies that target the IL-17/STAT3 pathway might be strong candidates for RA treatment modalities.
The authors present a case in which macro-embolus from the ruptured atheromatous plaque developed during carotid artery stenting (CAS). A 63-year-old man who had suffered a left middle cerebral artery territory infarction had significant proximal left internal carotid artery stenosis required CAS procedure. Immediate after stent deployment, the patient showed abrupt neurological deterioration with 12 × 3 mm sized macro-embolus which was caught by the embolus protection device (EPD). Retrieval of the macro-embolus was performed safely and the patient recovered to pre-procedure status. Macro-embolus can be resulted during the CAS. The EPD can capture the macro-embolus and safe removal is technically feasible.
Carotid stenting; Embolus protection device; Atheromatous plaque
Heme oxygenase (HO)-1 is a cytoprotective molecule that is induced during the response to injury. An increase in HO-1 is an acute indicator of inflammation, and early induction of HO-1 has been suggested to correlate with severity of injury. While a great deal is known about the induction of HO-1 by inflammatory mediators and bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), much less is known about the effects of anti-inflammatory mediators on HO-1 expression. Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β is known to play a critical role in suppressing the immune response, and the TGF-β1 isoform is expressed in inflammatory cells. Thus, we wanted to investigate whether TGF-β1 could inhibit the expression of HO-1 during exposure to an inflammatory stimulus in macrophages. Here we demonstrate that TGF-β1 is able to downregulate LPS-induced HO-1 in mouse macrophages, and this reduction in HO-1 occurred through signaling of TGF-β1 via its type I receptor, and activation of Smad2. This TGF-β1 response is dependent on an intact Ets-binding site (EBS) located 93 base pairs upstream from the mouse HO-1 transcription start site. This EBS is known to be important for Ets-2 transactivation of HO-1 by LPS stimulation, and we show that TGF-β1 is able to suppress LPS-induced Ets-2 mRNA and protein levels in macrophages. Moreover, silencing of Smad2 is able to prevent the suppression of both HO-1 and Ets-2 by TGF-β1 during exposure to LPS. These data suggest that the return of HO-1 to basal levels during the resolution of an inflammatory response may involve its downregulation by anti-inflammatory mediators.
gene regulation; inflammatory response; cytoprotective molecule
A 43-year-old woman with breast cancer who was on neoadjuvant chemotherapy presented with cough, sputum and mild fever. High-resolution computed tomography showed diffuse ground glass opacities in bilateral lungs and subpleural patchy consolidations. Initially, she was thought to have pneumonia or interstitial lung diseases such as drug-induced pneumonitis and treated with antibiotics and steroids. She subsequently got breast cancer surgery because of disease progression, and concurrent thoracoscopic lung biopsy revealed metastatic carcinoma of the lung from breast cancer. The diagnosis of suspected interstitial lung disease can be made without lung biopsy, but malignancy should always be considered and lung biopsy should be performed in the absence of a definitive clinical diagnosis.
Neoplasm Metastasis; Lung Diseases, Interstitial; Diagnostic Imaging
A 55-year-old woman was admitted for an elevated serum carbohydrate antigen-125 (CA-125) level, and a left pleural effusion, which were detected at a routine health examination. Computed tomography of the chest was performed upon admission, revealing extensive bilateral paratracheal and mediastinal lymph node enlargement with a massive left-sided pleural effusion. Subsequent analysis of the pleural fluid demonstrated consistency with an exudate, no evidence of malignant cells, and a normal adenosine deaminase. However, the pleural fluid and serum CA-125 levels were 2,846.8 U/mL and 229.5 U/mL, respectively. A positron emission tomography did not reveal any primary focus of malignancy. Finally, a surgical mediastinoscopic biopsy of several mediastinal lymph nodes was performed, revealing non-necrotizing granulomas, consistent with sarcoidosis. After a month of treatment of prednisolone, the left pleural effusion had resolved, and after 2 months the serum CA-125 level was normalized.
Sarcoidosis; Pleural Effusion; CA-125 Antigen
Metamorphopsia includes a broad spectrum of visual perceptual distortions, such as alteration of perceived object size or, rarely, altered perception of faces, termed prosopometamorphopsia.
This report describes a patient who complained of metamorphopsia restricted to the center of the face, particularly the lower part of the face (nose and mouth), following infarction of the right medial temporooccipital lobe that included the fusiform face area.
The fusiform face area is commonly believed to be a face-selective cortical region dedicated to the visual analysis of face stimuli. We speculate that any injury to this brain area could bring about prosopometamorphopsia involving whole or unilateral face perception, or very rarely, as in our case, distortion restricted to the central area of the face. Furthermore, there could be topographical correspondences between facial structures and the fusiform face area.
prosopometamorphopsia; fusiform face area; face perception
Interleukin (IL)-32 and IL-17 play critical roles in pro-inflammatory responses and are highly expressed in the synovium of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We investigated the relations between these two cytokines (IL-17 and IL-32) for their ability to induce each other and to stimulate osteoclasts in RA fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) and T cells.
FLSs were isolated through surgical synovectomy obtained from patients with RA or osteoarthritis (OA). Real-time PCR were performed to evaluate the expression of IL-32, IL-17 and osteoclast-related genes. Immunohistochemical staining and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) staining were performed to determine the distribution of inflammatory cytokines and the presence of osteoclastogenesis.
IL-17 induced the expression of IL-32 in the FLSs from RA patients, as assessed by microarray. IL-32 production was increased by IL-17. IL-32 in the FLSs from RA patients induced the production of IL-17 in CD4+ T cells. IL-32 and IL-17 were colocalized near TRAP-positive areas in joint specimens. IL-17 and IL-32 synergistically induced the differentiation of osteoclasts, as demonstrated by the expression of osteoclast-related genes. IL-32 and IL-17 also could induce resorption by osteoclasts in a RANKL-dependent manner.
IL-17 affected the expression of IL-32 in FLSs of RA patients and IL-32 induced the production of IL-17 in CD4+ T cells. Both IL-17 and IL-32 cytokines can reciprocally influence each other's production and amplify the function of osteoclastogenesis in the in RA synovium. Separately, IL-17 and IL-32 each stimulated osteoclastogenesis without RANKL. Together, the two cytokines synergistically amplified the differentiation of osteoclasts, independent of RANKL stimulation.
Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain protein 2 (NOD2) stimulates diverse inflammatory responses resulting in differential cellular phenotypes. To identify the role of NOD2 in vascular arterial obstructive diseases, we investigated the expression and pathophysiological role of NOD2 in a vascular injury model of neointimal hyperplasia.
Methods and Results
We first analyzed for neointimal hyperplasia following femoral artery injury in NOD2+/+ and NOD2−/− mice. NOD2−/− mice showed a 2.86-fold increase in neointimal formation that was mainly composed of SM α-actin positive cells. NOD2 was expressed in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and NOD2−/− VSMCs showed increased cell proliferation in response to mitogenic stimuli, PDGF-BB or fetal bovine serum (FBS), compared with NOD2+/+ VSMCs. Furthermore, NOD2 deficiency markedly promoted VSMCs migration in response to PDGF-BB and this increased cell migration was attenuated by a PI3 kinase inhibitor. However, PKC and JNK inhibitors exerted negligible effects. Moreover, muramyl dipeptide-stimulated NOD2 prevented PDGF-BB-induced VSMCs migration.
Functional NOD2 is expressed in VSMCs, and NOD2 deficiency promoted VSMCs proliferation, migration, and neointimal formation after vascular injury. These results provide evidence for the involvement of NOD2 in vascular homeostasis and tissue injury, serving as a potential molecular target in the modulation of arteriosclerotic vascular disease.
Even though several epidemiological studies have observed positive associations between blood lead levels and homocysteine, no study has examined whether this association differs by the levels of micronutrients, such as folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12, which are involved in the metabolism of homocysteine. In this study, we examined the interactions between micronutrients and blood lead on homocysteine levels.
This study was performed with 4089 adults aged ≥20 years old in the US general population using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2004.
There were significant or marginally significant interactions between micronutrients and blood lead levels on mean homocysteine levels. Positive associations between blood lead and homocysteine were clearly observed among subjects with low levels of folate or low vitamin B6 (p-trend <0.01, respectively). However, in the case of vitamin B12, there was a stronger positive association between blood lead and homocysteine among subjects with high levels of vitamin B12, compared to those with low levels of vitamin B12. In fact, the levels of homocysteine were already high among subjects low in vitamin B12, irrespective of blood lead levels. When we used hyperhomocysteinemia (homocysteine>15 µmol/L) as the outcome, there were similar patterns of interaction, though p-values for each interaction failed to reach statistical significance.
In the current study, the association between blood lead and homocysteine differed based on the levels of folate, vitamin B6, or vitamin B12 present in the blood. It may be important to keep sufficient levels of these micronutrients to prevent the possible harmful effects of lead exposure on homocysteine levels.
Homocysteine; Lead; Folic acid; Vitamin B6; Vitamin B12
Autophagy, an autodigestive process that degrades cellular organelles and protein, plays an important role in maintaining cellular homeostasis during environmental stress. Carbon monoxide (CO), a toxic gas and candidate therapeutic molecule, confers cytoprotection in animal models of acute lung injury. The mechanisms underlying CO-dependent lung cell protection and the role of autophagy in this process remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate that CO exposure time-dependently increased the expression and activation of the autophagic protein, microtubule-associated protein–1 light chain-3B (LC3B) in mouse lung, and in cultured human alveolar (A549) or human bronchial epithelial cells. Furthermore, CO increased autophagosome formation in epithelial cells by electron microscopy and green fluorescent protein (GFP)-LC3 puncta assays. Recent studies indicate that reactive oxygen species (ROS) play an important role in the activation of autophagy. CO up-regulated mitochondria-dependent generation of ROS in epithelial cells, as assayed by MitoSOX fluorescence. Furthermore, CO-dependent induction of LC3B expression was inhibited by N-acetyl-L-cysteine and the mitochondria-targeting antioxidant, Mito-TEMPO. These data suggest that CO promotes the autophagic process through mitochondrial ROS generation. We investigated the relationships between autophagic proteins and CO-dependent cytoprotection using a model of hyperoxic stress. CO protected against hyperoxia-induced cell death, and inhibited hyperoxia-associated ROS production. The ability of CO to protect against hyperoxia-induced cell death and caspase-3 activation was compromised in epithelial cells infected with LC3B-small interfering (si)RNA, indicating a role for autophagic proteins. These studies uncover a new mechanism for the protective action of CO, in support of potential therapeutic application of this gas.
apoptosis; autophagy; carbon monoxide; epithelial cells; hyperoxia