Brain metastatic breast cancer (BMBC) is uniformly fatal and increasing in frequency. Despite its devastating outcome, mechanisms causing BMBC remain largely unknown. The mechanisms that implicate circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in metastatic disease, notably in BMBC, remain elusive. Here we characterize CTCs isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of patients with breast cancer, and also develop CTC lines from three of these patients. In epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM)–negative CTCs, we identified a potential signature of brain metastasis comprising “brain metastasis selected markers (BMSM)” HER2+/EGFR+/HPSE+/Notch1+. These CTCs—which are not captured by the CellSearch platform because of their EpCAM negativity—were analyzed for cell invasiveness and metastatic competency in vivo. CTC lines expressing the BMSM signature were highly invasive and capable of generating brain and lung metastases when xenografted in nude mice. Notably, increased brain metastatic capabilities, frequency, and quantitation were detected in EpCAM− CTCs overexpressing the BMSM signature. The presence of proteins of the BMSM CTC signature was also detected in the metastatic lesions of animals. Collectively, we provide evidence of isolation, characterization, and long-term culture of human breast cancer CTCs, leading to the description of a BMSM protein signature that is suggestive of CTC metastatic competency to the brain.
Older, obese, and sedentary individuals are at high risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Exercise training improves metabolic anomalies associated with such diseases, but the effects of caloric restriction in addition to exercise in such a high risk group are not known. Changes in body composition and metabolism during a lifestyle intervention were investigated in twenty three older, obese men and women (aged 66 ± 1 years, BMI 33.2 ± 1.4 kg.m−2) with impaired glucose tolerance. All volunteers undertook twelve weeks of aerobic exercise training (5 days per week for 60 min @ 75% VO2max) with either normal caloric intake (eucaloric group, 1901 ± 277 kcal.day−1, n = 12) or a reduced-calorie diet (hypocaloric group, 1307 ± 70 kcal.day−1, n = 11), as dictated by nutritional counseling. Body composition (decreased fat mass; maintained fat-free mass), aerobic fitness (VO2max), leptinemia, insulin sensitivity, and intramyocellular lipid accumulation (IMCL) in skeletal muscle improved in both groups (P < 0.05). Improvements in body composition, leptin and basal fat oxidation were greater in the hypocaloric group. Following the intervention there was a correlation between the increase in basal fat oxidation and the decrease in IMCL (r = −0.53, P = 0.04). In addition, basal fat oxidation was associated with circulating leptin after (r = 0.65, P = 0.0007), but not before the intervention (r = 0.05, P = 0.84). In conclusion, these data show that exercise training improves resting substrate oxidation and creates a metabolic milieu that appears to promote lipid utilization in skeletal muscle, thus facilitating a reversal of insulin resistance. We also demonstrate that leptin sensitivity is improved, but that such a trend may rely on reducing caloric intake in addition to exercise training.
obesity; leptin; substrate oxidation; insulin sensitivity
Bevacizumab plus chemotherapy prolongs progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Although there is strong evidence to suggest that the mutational status of the K-ras oncogene has a role as a predictive factor for activity in patients treated with cetuximab and panitumumab, few data have been obtained in patients treated with bevacizumab. We conducted an additional retrospective analysis to investigate the prognostic value of K-ras mutation relative to mCRC first-line treatment with bevacizumab.
Materials and methods
A total of 108 patients were retrospectively reviewed. K-ras status was assessed in the overall population by sequencing. Statistical association for PFS and OS was analyzed using the Kaplan–Meier method, and the prognostic role of K-ras was determined using the logrank test.
Median PFS was 10 months both for patients with wild-type (WT) K-ras and mutated (MT) K-ras (hazard ratio [HR] 0.94, P=0.75); neither difference in median OS was significant (27 months WT K-ras versus 26 months MT K-ras, HR 0.92; P=0.70). A further analysis was carried out in the two groups according to metastatic sites. No statistically significant difference in terms of PFS and OS was demonstrated between WT K-ras and MT K-ras with liver metastases only and in those with extrahepatic disease.
Although further study is required, our results seem to confirm that K-ras mutation does not have a prognostic role in mCRC patients receiving first-line treatment with bevacizumab.
K-ras; bevacizumab; prognostic factor; metastatic colorectal cancer; liver metastases; extrahepatic disease
Immunological non-responders (INRs) lacked CD4 increase despite HIV-viremia suppression on HAART and had an increased risk of disease progression. We assessed immune reconstitution profile upon intensification with maraviroc in INRs.
We designed a multi-centric, randomized, parallel, open label, phase 4 superiority trial. We enrolled 97 patients on HAART with CD4+<200/µL and/or CD4+ recovery ≤25% and HIV-RNA<50 cp/mL. Patients were randomized 1:1 to HAART+maraviroc or continued HAART. CD4+ and CD8+ CD45+RA/RO, Ki67 expression and plasma IL-7 were quantified at W0, W12 and W48.
By W48 both groups displayed a CD4 increase without a significant inter-group difference. A statistically significant change in CD8 favored patients in arm HAART+maraviroc versus HAART at W12 (p=.009) and W48 (p=.025). The CD4>200/µL and CD4>200/µL + CD4 gain ≥25% end-points were not satisfied at W12 (p=.24 and p=.619) nor at W48 (p=.076 and p=.236). Patients continuing HAART displayed no major changes in parameters of T-cell homeostasis and activation. Maraviroc-receiving patients experienced a significant rise in circulating IL-7 by W48 (p=.01), and a trend in temporary reduction in activated HLA-DR+CD38+CD4+ by W12 (p=.06) that was not maintained at W48.
Maraviroc intensification in INRs did not have a significant advantage in reconstituting CD4 T-cell pool, but did substantially expand CD8. It resulted in a low rate of treatment discontinuations.
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00884858 http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT00884858
Vulvar cancer represents approximately 3%–5% of all gynecological malignancies. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most frequent histotype, whereas melanomas, adenocarcinomas, basal cell carcinomas, and sarcomas are much less common. Intestinal-type adenocarcinoma is a rare variant of vulvar carcinoma with only few cases found in the literature. The origin of this neoplasia is still much debated, but the most reliable hypothesis is the origin from cloacal remnants that may persist in the adult in different organs. Because of its extremely low incidence, the optimal management of this kind of vulvar cancer is still debated. We report the case of a woman affected by advanced intestinal-type vulvar adenocarcinoma, who achieved a complete clinical and pathological response after neoadjuvant chemotherapeutic treatment with platinum and paclitaxel.
In pathological conditions, the amount of DJ-1 determines whether a cell can survive or engage a cell death program. This is exemplified in epithelial cancers, in which DJ-1 expression is increased, while autosomal recessive early onset Parkinson's disease mutations of DJ-1 generally lead to decreased stability and expression of the protein. We have shown previously that DJ-1 is cleaved by caspase-6 during induction of apoptosis. We demonstrate here that the N-terminal cleaved fragment of DJ-1 (DJ-1 Nt) is specifically expressed in the nucleus and promotes apoptosis in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cell lines. In addition, overexpression of DJ-1 Nt in different cell lines leads to a loss of clonogenic potential and sensitizes to staurosporin and 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+)-mediated caspase activation and apoptosis. Importantly, inhibition of endogenous DJ-1 expression with sh-RNA or DJ-1 deficiency mimics the effect of DJ-1 Nt on cell growth and apoptosis. Moreover, overexpression of DJ-1 Nt increases reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and sensitizes to MPP+-mediated apoptosis and DJ-1 oxidation. Finally, specific exclusion of DJ-1 Nt from the nucleus abrogates its pro-apoptotic effect. Taken together, our findings identify an original pathway by which generation of a nuclear fragment of DJ-1 through caspase 6-mediated cleavage induces ROS-dependent amplification of apoptosis.
DJ-1; caspase 6; apoptosis; ROS production
Induction of the C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) is considered a key event for endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-mediated apoptosis. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is characterized by an autoimmune destruction of the pancreatic β-cells. Pro-inflammatory cytokines are early mediators of β-cell death in T1D. Cytokines induce ER stress and CHOP overexpression in β-cells, but the role for CHOP overexpression in cytokine-induced β-cell apoptosis remains controversial. We presently observed that CHOP knockdown (KD) prevents cytokine-mediated degradation of the anti-apoptotic proteins B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) and myeloid cell leukemia sequence 1 (Mcl-1), thereby decreasing the cleavage of executioner caspases 9 and 3, and apoptosis. Nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) is a crucial transcription factor regulating β-cell apoptosis and inflammation. CHOP KD resulted in reduced cytokine-induced NF-κB activity and expression of key NF-κB target genes involved in apoptosis and inflammation, including iNOS, FAS, IRF-7, IL-15, CCL5 and CXCL10. This was due to decreased IκB degradation and p65 translocation to the nucleus. The present data suggest that CHOP has a dual role in promoting β-cell death: (1) CHOP directly contributes to cytokine-induced β-cell apoptosis by promoting cytokine-induced mitochondrial pathways of apoptosis; and (2) by supporting the NF-κB activation and subsequent cytokine/chemokine expression, CHOP may contribute to apoptosis and the chemo attraction of mononuclear cells to the islets during insulitis.
CHOP; Bcl-2 proteins; ER stress; apoptosis; pancreatic β-cell; inflammation
Environmental factors such as diets rich in saturated fats contribute to dysfunction and death of pancreatic β-cells in diabetes. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is elicited in β-cells by saturated fatty acids. Here we show that palmitate-induced β-cell apoptosis is mediated by the intrinsic mitochondrial pathway. By microarray analysis, we identified a palmitate-triggered ER stress gene expression signature and the induction of the BH3-only proteins death protein 5 (DP5) and p53-upregulated modulator of apoptosis (PUMA). Knockdown of either protein reduced cytochrome c release, caspase-3 activation, and apoptosis in rat and human β-cells. DP5 induction depends on inositol-requiring enzyme 1 (IRE1)–dependent c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase and PKR–like ER kinase (PERK)–induced activating transcription factor (ATF3) binding to its promoter. PUMA expression is also PERK/ATF3-dependent, through tribbles 3 (TRB3)–regulated AKT inhibition and FoxO3a activation. DP5−/− mice are protected from high fat diet–induced loss of glucose tolerance and have twofold greater pancreatic β-cell mass. This study elucidates the crosstalk between lipotoxic ER stress and the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis that causes β-cell death in diabetes.
The aim of the study was to determine which kind of physical activity could be useful to inmate populations to improve their health status and fitness levels. A repeated measure design was used to evaluate the effects of two different training protocols on subjects in a state of detention, tested pre- and post-experimental protocol.Seventy-five male subjects were enrolled in the studyand randomly allocated to three groups: the cardiovascular plus resistance training protocol group (CRT) (n = 25; mean age 30.9 ± 8.9 years),the high-intensity strength training protocol group (HIST) (n = 25; mean age 33.9 ± 6.8 years), and a control group (C) (n = 25; mean age 32.9 ± 8.9 years) receiving no treatment. All subjects underwent a clinical assessmentandfitness tests. MANOVA revealed significant multivariate effects on group (p < 0.01) and group-training interaction (p < 0.05). CRT protocol resulted the most effective protocol to reach the best outcome in fitness tests. Both CRT and HIST protocols produced significant gains in the functional capacity (cardio-respiratory capacity and cardiovascular disease risk decrease) of incarcerated males. The significant gains obtained in functional capacity reflect the great potential of supervised exercise interventions for improving the health status of incarcerated people.
prison; aerobic and resistance training; cardiovascular disease; wellbeing
We describe a new syndrome of young onset diabetes, short stature and microcephaly with intellectual disability in a large consanguineous family with three affected children. Linkage analysis and whole exome sequencing were used to identify the causal nonsense mutation, which changed an arginine codon into a stop at position 127 of the tRNA methyltransferase homolog gene TRMT10A (also called RG9MTD2). TRMT10A mRNA and protein were absent in lymphoblasts from the affected siblings. TRMT10A is ubiquitously expressed but enriched in brain and pancreatic islets, consistent with the tissues affected in this syndrome. In situ hybridization studies showed that TRMT10A is expressed in human embryonic and fetal brain. TRMT10A is the mammalian ortholog of S. cerevisiae TRM10, previously shown to catalyze the methylation of guanine 9 (m1G9) in several tRNAs. Consistent with this putative function, in silico topology prediction indicated that TRMT10A has predominant nuclear localization, which we experimentally confirmed by immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy. TRMT10A localizes to the nucleolus of β- and non-β-cells, where tRNA modifications occur. TRMT10A silencing induces rat and human β-cell apoptosis. Taken together, we propose that TRMT10A deficiency negatively affects β-cell mass and the pool of neurons in the developing brain. This is the first study describing the impact of TRMT10A deficiency in mammals, highlighting a role in the pathogenesis of microcephaly and early onset diabetes. In light of the recent report that the type 2 diabetes candidate gene CDKAL1 is a tRNA methylthiotransferase, the findings in this family suggest broader relevance of tRNA methyltransferases in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes.
The inherited predisposition to type 2 diabetes is attributed to common variants in over 60 loci. Among these risk variants is CDKAL1, which has recently been shown to be a tRNA modifying enzyme (methylthiotransferase). Genetic variants of different severity can generate a spectrum of monogenic and polygenic forms of diabetes. Here we describe a new syndrome of young onset diabetes, short stature and microcephaly (small brain size) with intellectual disability in a large consanguineous family. By linkage analysis and whole exome sequencing we identified a nonsense mutation in TRMT10A, a gene that has hitherto not been studied in mammals. The yeast homolog TRM10 has been shown to be a tRNA modifying enzyme with methyltransferase activity. We demonstrate that TRMT10A mRNA and protein are absent in cells from the affected siblings. TRMT10A localizes to the nucleolus, where tRNA modifications occur. TRMT10A silencing induces cell death in insulin-producing pancreatic β-cells, suggesting that TRMT10A deficiency may reduce β-cell mass and the pool of neurons in the brain. This is the first study describing the impact of TRMT10A deficiency in man. Our findings may have broader relevance for the understanding of the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes and microcephaly.
Solid dispersions (SDs) are an approach to increasing the water solubility and bioavailability of lipophilic drugs such as ursolic acid (UA), a triterpenoid with trypanocidal activity. In this work, Gelucire 50/13, a surfactant compound with permeability-enhancing properties, and silicon dioxide, a drying adjuvant, were employed to produce SDs with UA. SDs and physical mixtures (PMs) in different drug/carrier ratios were characterized and compared using differential scanning calorimetry, hot stage microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), particle size, water solubility values, and dissolution profiles. Moreover, LLC-MK2 fibroblast cytotoxicity and trypanocidal activity evaluation were performed to determine the potential of SD as a strategy to improve UA efficacy against Chagas disease. The results demonstrated the conversion of UA from the crystalline to the amorphous state through XRD. FTIR experiments provided evidence of intermolecular interactions among the drug and carriers through carbonyl peak broadening in the SDs. These findings helped explain the enhancement of water solubility from 75.98 μg/mL in PMs to 293.43 μg/mL in SDs and the faster drug release into aqueous media compared with pure UA or PMs, which was maintained after 6 months at room temperature. Importantly, improved SD dissolution was accompanied by higher UA activity against trypomastigote forms of Trypanosoma cruzi, but not against mammalian fibroblasts, enhancing the potential of UA for Chagas disease treatment.
Chagas disease; Gelucire 50/13; solid dispersions; solvent evaporation method; ursolic acid
Vascular networks develop from a growing vascular front that responds to VEGF and other guidance cues. Angiogenesis is required for normal tissue function, but, under conditions of stress, inappropriate vascularization can lead to disease. Therefore, inhibition of angiogenic sprouting may prevent neovascularization in patients with blinding neovascular eye diseases, including macular degeneration. VEGF antagonists have therapeutic benefits but also can elicit off-target effects. Here, we found that the Ras pathway, which functions downstream of a wide range of cytokines including VEGF, is active in the growing vascular front of developing and pathological vascular networks. The endogenous Ras inhibitor p120RasGAP was expressed predominately in quiescent VEGF-insensitive endothelial cells and was ectopically downregulated in multiple neovascular models. MicroRNA-132 negatively regulated p120RasGAP expression. Experimental delivery of α-miR-132 to developing mouse eyes disrupted tip cell Ras activity and prevented angiogenic sprouting. This strategy prevented ocular neovascularization in multiple rodent models even more potently than the VEGF antagonist, VEGF-trap. Targeting microRNA-132 as a therapeutic strategy may prove useful for treating multiple neovascular diseases of the eye and for preventing vision loss regardless of the neovascular stimulus.
Free fibula flap is the most common free tissue transfer for maxillary and mandibular reconstructions. The distal part of the harvested bone is transferred, while the proximal part is removed by sub-periosteum dissection. The vascularized periosteum attached to the vascular pedicle has osteogenic potential. 61 patients reconstructed with free fibula flaps were divided in 2 groups: 41 flaps performed with a standard technique and 20 flaps performed by dissecting the periosteum from the pedicle. Patients were followed up with orthopantomography and CT scan at 6, 12, 18 and 24 months after surgery. The minimum follow-up time was 18 months. With retrospective analysis of the first group we diagnosed 7 pedicle ossifications on 41 reconstructions (17%). In the second group, no pedicle ossification was observed (p < 0.05). The dissection of periosteum from the vascular pedicle of free fibula flaps avoids the risk of ossification.
Free fibula flap; Vascular pedicle ossification; Mandibular reconstruction; Maxillary reconstruction; Microsurgery
Leukotrienes have been implicated in the pathogenesis of acute exacerbations of COPD, but leukotriene modifiers have not been studied as a possible therapy for exacerbations.
We sought to test the safety and efficacy of adding oral zileuton (a 5-lipoxygenase inhibitor) to usual treatment for acute exacerbations of COPD requiring hospitalization.
Randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group study of zileuton 600 mg orally, 4 times daily versus placebo for 14 days starting within 12 hours of hospital admission for COPD exacerbation. Primary outcome measure was hospital length of stay; secondary outcomes included treatment failure and biomarkers of leukotriene production.
Sixty subjects were randomized to zileuton and 59 to placebo (the study was stopped short of enrollment goals because of slow recruitment). There was no difference in hospital length of stay (3.75±2.19 vs. 3.86±3.06 days for zileuton vs. placebo, p=0.39) or treatment failure (23% vs. 27% for zileuton vs. placebo, p=0.63) despite a decline in urinary LTE4 levels in the zileuton-treated group as compared to placebo at 24 hours (change in natural log-transformed ng/mg creatinine −1.38± 1.19 vs. 0.14±1.51, p<0.0001) and 72 hours (−1.32±2.08 vs. 0.26±1.93, p<0.006). Adverse events were similar in both groups.
While oral zileuton during COPD exacerbations that require hospital admission is safe and reduces urinary LTE4 levels, we found no evidence suggesting that this intervention shortened hospital stay, with the limitation that our sample size may have been insufficient to detect a modest but potentially meaningful clinical improvement.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD); Acute exacerbation of COPD (AECOPD); Leukotrienes; Zileuton; Clinical trial
Exosomes are small membrane vesicles released by most cell types including tumor cells. The intercellular exchange of proteins and genetic material via exosomes is a potentially effective approach for cell-to-cell communication and it may perform multiple functions aiding to tumor survival and metastasis. We investigated microRNA and protein profiles of brain metastatic (BM) versus non-brain metastatic (non-BM) cell-derived exosomes. We studied the cargo of exosomes isolated from brain-tropic 70W, MDA-MB-231BR, and circulating tumor cell brain metastasis-selected markers (CTC1BMSM) variants, and compared them with parental non-BM MeWo, MDA-MB-231P and CTC1P cells, respectively. By performing microRNA PCR array we identified one up-regulated (miR-210) and two down-regulated miRNAs (miR-19a and miR-29c) in BM versus non-BM exosomes. Second, we analyzed the proteomic content of cells and exosomes isolated from these six cell lines, and detected high expression of proteins implicated in cell communication, cell cycle, and in key cancer invasion and metastasis pathways. Third, we show that BM cell-derived exosomes can be internalized by non-BM cells and that they effectively transport their cargo into cells, resulting in increased cell adhesive and invasive potencies. These results provide a strong rationale for additional investigations of exosomal proteins and miRNAs towards more profound understandings of exosome roles in brain metastasis biogenesis, and for the discovery and application of non-invasive biomarkers for new therapies combating brain metastasis.
The Food and Drug Adminstration recently approved a diphtheria-conjugated pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine for adults, although its long-term immunogenicity is unknown. We report that, in patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, conjugate vaccination elicits a superior immune response to free-polysaccharide vaccine that persists for >2 years.
Background. Although the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) protects against invasive disease in young healthy persons, randomized controlled trials in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have demonstrated no benefit in the intention-to-treat population. We previously reported that the 7-valent diphtheria-conjugated pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PCV7) is safe and induced greater serotype-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) and functional antibody than did PPSV23 1 month after vaccination. We hypothesized that these advantages would persist at 1 and 2 years.
Methods. One hundred eighty-one patients with moderate to severe COPD were randomized to receive PPSV23 (n = 90) or PCV7 (1.0 mL; n = 91). We measured IgG by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and assessed functional antibody activity by a standardized opsonophagocytosis assay, reported as a killing index (OPK). We determined differences in IgG and OPK between vaccine groups at 1 and 2 years.
Results. Relative to PPSV23, PCV7 induced greater OPK at both 1 and 2 years for 6 of 7 serotypes (not 19F). This response was statistically greater for 5 of 7 serotypes at 1 year and 4 of 7 at 2 years. Comparable differences in IgG were observed but were less often statistically significant. Despite meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for PPSV23 administration, almost 50% of individuals had never been vaccinated. No differences in the frequency of acute exacerbations, pneumonia, or hospitalization were observed.
Conclusions. PCV7 induces a greater functional antibody response than PPSV23 in patients with COPD that persists for 2 years after vaccination. This superior functional response supports testing of conjugate vaccination in studies examining clinical end points.
Clinical Trials Registration: NCT00457977.
Polygenic type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a multi-factorial disease due to the interplay between genes and the environment. Over the years, several genes/loci have been associated with this type of diabetes, with the majority of them being related to β cell dysfunction. In this review, the available information on how polymorphisms in T2DM-associated genes/loci do directly affect the properties of human islet cells are presented and discussed, including some clinical implications and the role of epigenetic mechanisms.
genes; genotype; polymorphism; type 2 diabetes; β cell
Chest ultrasonography can be a useful diagnostic tool for respiratory physicians. It can be used to complete and widen the general objective examination also in emergency situations, at the patient’s bedside. The aim of this document is to promote better knowledge and more widespread use of thoracic ultrasound among respiratory physicians in Italy. This document I is focused on basic knowledge of chest ultrasonography technique, physical basis, aims and characteristics, fields of application. Document I shows how chest ultrasonography can be useful to detect and monitor pleural diseases, pleural effusions and pneumothorax and how it can assess diaphragmatic kinetics and pathologies.
Chest ultrasonography; Diaphragm; Pleural diseases; Pneumothorax
Chest ultrasonography can be a useful diagnostic tool for respiratory physicians. It can be used to complete and widen the general objective examination also in emergency situations, at the patient’s bedside. The aim of this document is to promote better knowledge and more widespread use of thoracic ultrasound among respiratory physicians in Italy.
This document II is focused on advanced approaches to chest ultrasonography especially in diagnosing sonographic interstitial syndrome with physical hypotheses about the genesis of vertical artifacts, differential diagnosis of cardiogenic pulmonary edema and non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema, raising diagnostic suspicion of pulmonary embolism, ultrasound characterization of lung consolidations and the use of ultrasonography to guide procedural interventions in pulmonology.
Finally, document II focuses on chest ultrasonography as useful diagnostic tool in neonatal and pediatric care.
Chest ultrasonography; Interventional pulmonology; Pulmonary consolidations; Pulmonary edema; Pulmonary embolism; Sonographic interstitial syndrome
Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is an acquired thrombophilia with clinical manifestations associated with the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) in patient plasma. Obstetrical APS is a complex entity that may affect both mother and fetus throughout the entire pregnancy with high morbidity. Clinical complications are as various as recurrent fetal losses, stillbirth, intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), and preeclampsia. Pathogenesis of aPL targets trophoblastic cells directly, mainly via proapoptotic, proinflammatory mechanisms, and uncontrolled immunomodulatory responses. Actual first-line treatment is limited to low-dose aspirin (LDA) and low-molecular weight heparin (LMWH) and still failed in 30% of the cases. APS pregnancies should be a major field in obstetrical research, and new therapeutics are still in progress.
Genome wide association studies revealed that variation in the Melatonin Receptor 1B gene (MTNR1B) is associated with insulin and glucose concentrations. Here we show that the risk genotype of this SNP predicts future type 2 diabetes (T2D) in two large prospective studies. Specifically, the risk genotype was associated with impairment of early insulin response to both oral and intravenous glucose and with faster deterioration of insulin secretion over time. We also show that the Melatonin Receptor 1B mRNA is expressed in human islets, and immunocytochemistry confirms that it is primarily localized in β-cells in islets. Non-diabetic individuals carrying the risk allele and patients with T2D showed increased expression of the receptor in islets. Insulin release from clonal β-cells in response to glucose was inhibited in the presence of melatonin. These data suggest that the circulating hormone melatonin, which is predominantly released from the pineal gland in the brain, is involved in the pathogenesis of T2D. Given the increased expression of Melatonin Receptor 1B in individuals at risk of T2D, the pathogenic effects are likely exerted via a direct inhibitory effect on β-cells. In view of these results, blocking the melatonin ligand-receptor system could be a therapeutic avenue in T2D.
In reconstructive surgery, the fresh frozen homologous bone (FFB) represents a valid alternative to the autologous bone, because FFB allows bone regeneration thanks to its osteoinductive and osteoconductive properties. The purpose of this work is to describe the surgical-implant-prosthetic treatment of two complex cases using FFB. In particular, fresh frozen homologous bone grafts were used to correct the severe atrophy of the maxilla, and, then, once the graft integration was obtained, implant therapy was performed and implants placed in native bone were immediately loaded.
ρ-Da1a is a three-finger fold toxin from green mamba venom that is highly selective for the α1A-adrenoceptor. This toxin has atypical pharmacological properties, including incomplete inhibition of 3H-prazosin or 125I-HEAT binding and insurmountable antagonist action. We aimed to clarify its mode of action at the α1A-adrenoceptor. The affinity (pKi 9.26) and selectivity of ρ-Da1a for the α1A-adrenoceptor were confirmed by comparing binding to human adrenoceptors expressed in eukaryotic cells. Equilibrium and kinetic binding experiments were used to demonstrate that ρ-Da1a, prazosin and HEAT compete at the α1A-adrenoceptor. ρ-Da1a did not affect the dissociation kinetics of 3H-prazosin or 125I-HEAT, and the IC50 of ρ-Da1a, determined by competition experiments, increased linearly with the concentration of radioligands used, while the residual binding by ρ-Da1a remained stable. The effect of ρ-Da1a on agonist-stimulated Ca2+ release was insurmountable in the presence of phenethylamine- or imidazoline-type agonists. Ten mutations in the orthosteric binding pocket of the α1A-adrenoceptor were evaluated for alterations in ρ-Da1a affinity. The D1063.32A and the S1885.42A/S1925.46A receptor mutations reduced toxin affinity moderately (6 and 7.6 times, respectively), while the F862.64A, F2886.51A and F3127.39A mutations diminished it dramatically by 18- to 93-fold. In addition, residue F862.64 was identified as a key interaction point for 125I-HEAT, as the variant F862.64A induced a 23-fold reduction in HEAT affinity. Unlike the M1 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor toxin MT7, ρ-Da1a interacts with the human α1A-adrenoceptor orthosteric pocket and shares receptor interaction points with antagonist (F862.64, F2886.51 and F3127.39) and agonist (F2886.51 and F3127.39) ligands. Its selectivity for the α1A-adrenoceptor may result, at least partly, from its interaction with the residue F862.64, which appears to be important also for HEAT binding.
Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a common side effect that can be very disabling and can limit or delay the dose of chemotherapy that can be administered. Acupuncture may be effective for treating peripheral neuropathy. The aim of this study was to review the available literature on the use of acupuncture for CIPN. The systematic literature search was performed using MEDLINE, Google Scholar, Cochrane Database, CINHAL, and ISI Proceedings. Hand searching was conducted, and consensus was reached on all extracted data. Only papers in the English language were included, irrespective of study design. From 3989 retrieved papers, 8 relevant papers were identified. One was an experimental study which showed that electroacupuncture suppressed CIPN pain in rats. In addition, there were 7 very heterogeneous clinical studies, 1 controlled randomised study using auricular acupuncture, 2 randomized controlled studies using somatic acupuncture, and 3 case series/case reports which suggested a positive effect of acupuncture in CIPN. Conclusions. Only one controlled randomised study demonstrated that acupuncture may be beneficial for CIPN. All the clinical studies reviewed had important methodological limitations. Further studies with robust methodology are needed to demonstrate the role of acupuncture for treating CIPN resulting from cancer treatment.