In time-resolved CT angiography (4D-CTA), it is of substantial merit to detect the veins and sinuses of the whole brain with the simultaneous demonstration of the natural drainage flow in order to find occlusion or stenosis of the dural sinuses with collateral pathways. As preoperative information for patients with brain tumors, it is important to detect feeding arteries, incidentally found aneurysms or other vascular lesions, and to detect patency of the dural sinuses and the important cortical veins, whether they are compressed by tumors or not. On the other hand, cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) may occur in patients due to various causes, which has not been unusual in recent years. For patients with acute symptomatic or chronic non-symptomatic CVT, identification of dural sinus occlusion (DSO) or dural sinus stenosis (DSS) and compensatory collateral pathways is necessary for suitable thrombolytic therapy or careful investigation to avoid further CVT. This study reviews our experiences in 116 cases of 4D-CTA for 90 patients with brain tumors and 26 other patients including 11 with arteriovenous malformation, and four with acute CVT and other conditions. 4D-CTA presented DSO/DSS with compensatory venous collateral pathways, which was helpful to detect the severity of the venous abnormality, and see whether it was compressed by brain tumors, or due to other causes in patients with symptomatic or non-symptomatic CVT. 4D-CTA is a useful non-invasive diagnostic tool to detect cerebral venous abnormalities as an alternative to DSA.
4D-CTA; cerebral dural sinus; sinus occlusion; sinus stenosis; venous thrombosis
Bcl-xL has an important role in the control of cell death through its inhibition of apoptosis. The aim of this study was to investigate the clinicopathological significance of Bcl-xL in upper urinary tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC) and the therapeutic effect of targeting Bcl-xL protein in urothelial carcinoma (UC) cells.
We evaluated the immunohistochemical expression of Bcl-xL in 175 UTUC patients to determine the clinical role of Bcl-xL expression in clinical outcome. We used bafilomycin A1 (BMA) as a specific inhibitor of Bcl-xL to examine the biological effects in UC cells in vitro and in vivo.
Immunohistochemical analysis of Bcl-xL expression revealed that patients with a high Bcl-xL score had a significantly lower 5-year cancer-specific survival (CSS) rate (53.2%) than those with a low Bcl-xL score (77.2%) (P=0.0011). Multivariate analysis indicated that a high Bcl-xL score was an independent prognostic factor of CSS (P=0.023). BMA inhibited UMUC-3 cell proliferation in vitro by induction of apoptosis. Treatment with BMA significantly inhibited tumour growth in UMUC-3 tumours in this mouse xenograft model accompanied by an elevated apoptosis induction.
Bcl-xL appears to be a significant molecular marker for the prognosis of UTUCs. Targeting Bcl-xL may be a promising therapeutic strategy for patients with UC.
prognostic factor; Bcl-xL; upper urinary tract; urothelial carcinoma; bafilomycin; animal model
We recently isolated vasohibin-1 (VASH1), a novel angiogenic molecule that is specifically expressed in activated vascular endothelial cells (ECs), and the status of VASH1 expression has been documented in various cancer angiogenesis. The aim of this study was to assess the prognostic value of VASH1 expression in prostate cancer (PCa).
In this study, we retrospectively analysed the clinical records and evaluated the VASH1 expression of tumour microvessels in 167 patients with PCa who underwent radical prostatectomy. We immunohistochemically examined the microvessels positive for anti-CD34 as microvessel density (MVD) and the microvessels with activated ECs positive for VASH1 density.
We found that the VASH1 expression was restricted to ECs in the tumour stroma. VASH1 density was significantly associated with pathological T stage, Gleason score and MVD. The 5-year PSA recurrence-free survival rate was 58.8% in patients with higher VASH1 density (≧12 per mm2) and 89.1% in patients with lower VASH1 density (<12 per mm2), respectively (P<0.001). Microvessel density was not an independent predictor of PSA recurrence. Multivariate analysis revealed that high VASH1 density was an independent prognostic indicator of PSA recurrence (P=0.007, HR=2.950).
VASH1 density represents a clinically relevant predictor of patient prognosis and can be a new biomarker that would provide additional prognostic information in PCa.
vasohibin-1; prostate cancer; angiogenesis
Biological clocks regulate various behavioural and physiological traits; slower circadian clocks are expected to slow down the development, suggesting a potential genetic correlation between the developmental period and circadian rhythm. However, a correlation between natural genetic variations in the developmental period and circadian rhythm has only been found in Bactrocera cucurbitae. The number of genetic factors that contribute to this genetic correlation is largely unclear. In this study, to examine whether natural genetic variations in the developmental period and circadian rhythm are correlated in Drosophila melanogaster, we performed an artificial disruptive selection on the developmental periods using wild-type strains and evaluated the circadian rhythms of the selected lines. To investigate whether multiple genetic factors mediate the genetic correlation, we reanalyzed previously published genome-wide deficiency screening data based on DrosDel isogenic deficiency strains and evaluated the effect of 438 genomic deficiencies on the developmental periods. We then randomly selected 32 genomic deficiencies with significant effects on the developmental periods and tested their effects on circadian rhythms. As a result, we found a significant response to selection for longer developmental periods and their correlated effects on circadian rhythms of the selected lines. We also found that 18 genomic regions had significant effects on the developmental periods and circadian rhythms, indicating their potential for mediating the genetic correlation between the developmental period and circadian rhythm. The novel findings of our study might lead to a better understanding of how this correlation is regulated genetically in broader taxonomic groups.
circadian rhythm; deficiency screening; disruptive selection; free-running period
Prognosis of osteosarcoma (OS) with distant metastasis and local recurrence is still poor. Y-box binding protein-1 (YB-1) is a multifunctional protein that can act as a regulator of transcription and translation and its high expression of YB-1 protein was observed in OS, however, the role of YB-1 in OS remains unclear.
Y-box binding protein-1 expression in OS cells was inhibited by specific small interfering RNAs to YB-1 (si-YB-1). The effects of si-YB-1 in cell proliferation and cell cycle transition in OS cells were analysed in vitro and in vivo. The association of nuclear expression of YB-1 and clinical prognosis was also investigated by immunohistochemistry.
Proliferation of OS cell was suppressed by si-YB-1 in vivo and in vitro. The expression of cyclin D1 and cyclin A were also decreased by si-YB-1. In addition, si-YB-1 induced G1/S arrest with decreased cyclin D1 and cyclin A in OS cell lines. Direct binding of YB-1 in OS cell lines was also observed. Finally, the nuclear expression of YB-1 was significantly related to the poorer overall survival in OS patients.
Y-box binding protein-1 would regulate cell cycle progression at G1/S and tumour growth in human OS cells in vitro and in vivo. Nuclear expression of YB-1 was closely associated with the prognosis of OS, thus, YB-1 simultaneously could be a potent molecular target and prognostic biomarker for OS.
osteosarcoma (OS); Y-box binding protein-1 (YB-1); cell proliferation; atelocollagen
Cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1)-induced suppression of transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) activation provides a therapeutic option to reduce inflammation and pain in different animal disease models through mechanisms involving dampening of TRPV1 activation and signaling events. As we found in both mouse corneal epithelium and human corneal epithelial cells (HCEC) that there is CB1 and TRPV1 expression colocalization based on overlap of coimmunostaining, we determined in mouse corneal wound healing models and in human corneal epithelial cells (HCEC) if they interact with one another to reduce TRPV1-induced inflammatory and scarring responses. Corneal epithelial debridement elicited in vivo a more rapid wound healing response in wildtype (WT) than in CB1−/− mice suggesting functional interaction between CB1 and TRPV1. CB1 activation by injury is tenable based on the identification in mouse corneas of 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG) with tandem LC–MS/MS, a selective endocannabinoid CB1 ligand. Suppression of corneal TRPV1 activation by CB1 is indicated since following alkali burning, CB1 activation with WIN55,212-2 (WIN) reduced immune cell stromal infiltration and scarring. Western blot analysis of coimmunoprecipitates identified protein–protein interaction between CB1 and TRPV1. Other immunocomplexes were also identified containing transforming growth factor kinase 1 (TAK1), TRPV1 and CB1. CB1 siRNA gene silencing prevented suppression by WIN of TRPV1-induced TAK1–JNK1 signaling. WIN reduced TRPV1-induced Ca2+ transients in fura2-loaded HCEC whereas pertussis toxin (PTX) preincubation obviated suppression by WIN of such rises caused by capsaicin (CAP). Whole cell patch clamp analysis of HCEC showed that WIN blocked subsequent CAP-induced increases in nonselective outward currents. Taken together, CB1 activation by injury-induced release of endocannabinoids such as 2-AG downregulates TRPV1 mediated inflammation and corneal opacification. Such suppression occurs through protein–protein interaction between TRPV1 and CB1 leading to declines in TRPV1 phosphorylation status. CB1 activation of the GTP binding protein, Gi/o contributes to CB1 mediated TRPV1 dephosphorylation leading to TRPV1 desensitization, declines in TRPV1-induced increases in currents and pro-inflammatory signaling events.
Human corneal epithelial cells (HCEC); Currents; Cannabinoid receptor subtype 1 (CB1); Transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1); Inflammation; Small interfering RNA (siRNA) gene silencing
It is becoming increasingly recognised that opioids are responsible for tumour growth. However, the effects of opioids on tumour growth have been controversial.
The effects of κ-opioid receptor (KOR) agonist on the growth of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells were assessed by a cell proliferation assay. Western blotting was performed to ascertain the mechanism by which treatment with KOR agonist suppresses tumour growth.
Addition of the selective KOR agonist U50,488H to gefitinib-sensitive (HCC827) and gefitinib-resistant (H1975) NSCLC cells produced a concentration-dependent decrease in their growth. These effects were abolished by co-treatment with the selective KOR antagonist nor-BNI. Furthermore, the growth-inhibitory effect of gefitinib in HCC827 cells was further enhanced by co-treatment with U50,488H. With regard to the inhibition of tumour growth, the addition of U50, 488H to H1975 cells produced a concentration-dependent decrease in phosphorylated-glycogen synthase kinase 3β (p-GSK3β).
The present results showed that stimulation of KOR reduces the growth of gefitinib-resistant NSCLC cells through the activation of GSK3β.
κ-opioid receptor; non-small cell lung cancer; gefitinib
Although matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are implicated in tumourigenesis and cancer progression, the role of MMP-13 in melanoma cell metastases is poorly understood.
Lung metastases of mouse melanoma B16BL6 cells were analysed in MMP-13 knockout (KO) and wild-type (WT) mice after intravenous injection. The mRNA and protein expression of MMP-13 in lung tissues was analysed by RT–PCR, real-time PCR, immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry. The expression of SDF-1α, CXCR4 and endostatin, and effects of endostatin to cultured melanoma cells and lung metastases were also studied.
Lung metastases of B16BL6 cells were significantly higher by 2.5–5.7-fold in MMP-13 KO mice than in WT mice. The expression of MMP-13 in WT mouse lung tissue was stimulated on day 1 after intravenous injection of the melanoma cells and MMP-13 was immunolocalised to vascular endothelial cells in the lungs. Endostatin formation, but not degradation of SDF-1α, in the lung tissue was associated with reduced lung metastasis in WT mice. Endostatin significantly inhibited migration of B16BL6 cells in monolayer wounding assay and remarkably suppressed Matrigel invasion and transendothelial invasion of the cells. In addition, lung metastases of melanoma cells in MMP-13 KO mice were reduced by intraperitoneal administration of endostatin.
Our results suggest that MMP-13 is overproduced by endothelial cells in the lungs with melanoma cells and has a protective role in lung metastasis by local generation of endostatin.
matrix metalloproteinase-13; metastasis; melanoma; endostatin; SDF-1α; migration
Mu rhythm is an idling rhythm that originates in the sensorimotor cortex during rest. The frequency of mu rhythm, which is well established in adults, is 8–12 Hz, whereas the limited results available from children suggest a frequency as low as 5.4 Hz at 6 months of age, which gradually increases to the adult value. Understanding the normal development of mu rhythm has important theoretical and clinical implications since we still know very little about this signal in infants and how it develops with age. We measured mu rhythm over the left hemisphere using a pediatric magnetoencephalography (MEG) system in 25 infants (11–47 weeks), 18 preschool children (2–5 years) and 6 adults (20–39 years) for two 5-min sessions during two intermixed conditions: a rest condition in which the hands were at rest, and a prehension condition in which the subject squeezed a pipette with his/her right hand. In all participants, mu rhythm was present over the frontoparietal area during the rest condition, but was clearly suppressed during the prehension condition. Mu rhythm peak frequency, determined from the amplitude spectra, increased rapidly as a function of age from 2.75 Hz at 11 weeks to 8.25 Hz at 47 weeks (r2 = 0.83). It increased very slowly during the preschool period (3.1 ± 0.9 years; 8.5 ± 0.54 Hz). The frequency in these children was, however, lower than in adults (10.3 ± 1.2 Hz). Our results show a rapid maturation in spontaneous mu rhythm during the first year of life.
Spontaneous cortical oscillation; Human brain development; Maturation of cortical rhythm; Prehension; Pediatric magnetoencephalography
Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Japan. Seventeen Japanese institutions are participating in the Antihypertensive Treatment for Acute Cerebral Hemorrhage (ATACH) II Trial (ClinicalTrials.gov no. NCT01176565; UMIN 000006526). This phase III trial is designed to determine the therapeutic benefit of early intensive systolic blood pressure (BP) lowering for acute hypertension in ICH patients. This report explains the long run-up to reach the start of patient registration in ATACH II in Japan, including our preliminary study, a nationwide survey on antihypertensive treatment for acute ICH patients, a multicenter study for hyperacute BP lowering (the SAMURAI-ICH study), revision of the official Japanese label for intravenous nicardipine, and construction of the infrastructure for the trial.
acute stroke; antihypertensive treatment; blood pressure; clinical trial; hypertension; intracerebral hemorrhage; nicardipine
Ewing's sarcoma family of tumours (ESFT) is a malignant small round-cell tumour of the bone and soft tissues. It is characterised by a strong tendency to invade and form metastases. The microenvironment of the bone marrow is a large repository for many growth factors, including the basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). However, the role of bFGF in the invasive and metastatic phenotype of ESFT has not been investigated.
The motility and invasion of ESFT cells were assessed by a wound-healing assay, chemotaxis assay, and invasion assay. The expression and activation of FGF receptors (FGFRs) in ESFT cell lines and clinical samples were detected by RT–PCR, western blotting, and immunohistochemistry. The morphology of ESFT cells was investigated by phase-contrast microscopy and fluorescence staining for actin. Activation of Rac1 was analysed by a pull-down assay.
bFGF strongly induced the motility and invasion of ESFT cells. Furthermore, FGFR1 was found to be expressed and activated in clinical samples of ESFT. Basic FGF-induced cell motility was mediated through the FGFR1–phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)–Rac1 pathway. Conditioned medium from bone marrow stromal cells induced the motility of ESFT cells by activating bFGF/FGFR1 signalling.
The bFGF–FGFR1–PI3K–Rac1 pathway in the bone microenvironment may have a significant role in the invasion and metastasis of ESFT.
Ewing's sarcoma family of tumours; basic fibroblast growth factor; cell motility; bone microenvironment; PI3K; Rac1
Background and aim
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a multifactorial disease with both environmental and genetic factors contributing to its development. The incidence of CRC is increasing year by year in Japan. Patients with CRC in advanced stages have a poor prognosis, but detection of CRC at earlier stages can improve clinical outcome. Therefore, identification of epidemiologial factors that influence development of CRC would facilitate the prevention or early detection of disease.
To identify loci associated with CRC risk, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for CRC and sub-analyses by tumour location using 1583 Japanese CRC cases and 1898 controls. Subsequently, we conducted replication analyses using a total of 4809 CRC cases and 2973 controls including 225 Korean subjects with distal colon cancer and 377 controls.
We identified a novel locus on 6q26-q27 region (rs7758229 in SLC22A3, p=7.92×10−9, OR of 1.28) that was significantly associated with distal colon cancer. We also replicated the association between CRC and SNPs on 8q24 (rs6983267 and rs7837328, p=1.51×10−8 and 7.44×10−8, ORs of 1.18 and 1.17, respectively). Moreover, we found cumulative effects of three genetic factors (rs7758229, rs6983267, and rs4939827 in SMAD7) and one environmental factor (alcohol drinking) which appear to increase CRC risk approximately twofold.
We found a novel susceptible locus in SLC22A3 that contributes to the risk of distal colon cancer in an Asian population. These findings would further extend our understanding of the role of common genetic variants in the aetiology of CRC.
Cancer susceptibility; colorectal cancer; genetic polymorphisms
Background: S-1, a novel oral fluoropyrimidine, is well tolerated in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). The response rate of S-1 for colorectal cancer is high, ranging from 35% to 40%. This study aimed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of S-1 combined with oral leucovorin (LV) to enhance antitumor activity in chemotherapy-naive patients with mCRC.
Patients and methods: S-1 was given orally twice daily for two consecutive weeks at a daily dose of 80–120 mg, followed by a 2-week rest period, within a 4-week cycle. LV was given orally twice a day at a daily dose of 50 mg, simultaneously with S-1.
Results: Of the 56 patients with previously untreated mCRC, 32 (57%) had partial responses. The median follow-up period was 27.2 months. The median time to progression was 6.7 months (95% confidence interval 5.4–7.9). The median survival time was 24.3 months. There was no treatment-related death or grade 4 toxicity. The most common grade 3 toxic effects were diarrhea (32%), anorexia (21%), stomatitis (20%), and neutropenia (14%).
Conclusion: S-1 combined with LV therapy demonstrated promising efficacy and acceptable safety in chemotherapy-naive patients with mCRC without the concurrent use of irinotecan, oxaliplatin, or molecular-targeted drugs.
colorectal cancer; leucovorin; LV; phase II; S-1
Background and aim
1.4‐Dihydroxy‐2‐naphthoic acid (DHNA), a bifidogenic growth stimulator from Propionibacterium freudenreichii, is thought to have a beneficial effect as a prebiotic; however, its in vivo effect on intestinal inflammation remains unknown. The aim of this study was to determine whether oral administration of DHNA can ameliorate dextran sodium sulphate (DSS) induced colitis and to determine the possible underlying mechanisms.
Colitis was induced in mice by treatment with 2.0% DSS for seven days. DHNA (0.6 or 2.0 mg/kg) was given in drinking water prior to (preventive study) or after (therapeutic study) DSS administration. Colonic damage was histologically scored, and mucosal addressin cell adhesion molecule 1 (MAdCAM‐1) expression and β7 positive cell infiltration were determined by immunohistochemistry. mRNA levels of proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin (IL)‐1β, IL‐6 and tumour necrosis factor α (TNF‐α)) were determined by quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction. In addition, bacterial flora in the caecum, concentrations of short chain acids, and luminal pH were examined.
DHNA improved survival rate and histological damage score in mice administered DSS in both the preventive and therapeutic studies. DHNA significantly attenuated the enhanced expression of MAdCAM‐1, the increased β7 positive cell number, and the increased mRNA levels of IL‐1β, IL‐6, and TNF‐α in DSS treated colon. In addition, the decreased number of Lactobacillus and Enterobacteriaceae induced by DSS was recovered by DHNA. Preventive effects on decrease in butyrate concentration and decrease in pH level in mice administered DSS were also observed in the DHNA preventive study.
DHNA, a novel type of prebiotic, attenuates colonic inflammation not only by balancing intestinal bacterial flora but also by suppressing lymphocyte infiltration through reduction of MAdCAM‐1.
mucosal addressin cell adhesion molecule 1; β7 integrin; prebiotics; bacterial flora; short chain fatty acids
Intra-articular injection of hyaluronan (HA) has been suggested to have a disease-modifying effect in osteoarthritis, but little is known about the possible mechanisms.
To investigate the effects of HA species of different molecular mass, including 800 kDa (HA800) and 2700 kDa (HA2700), on the expression of aggrecanases (ie, ADAMTS species), which play a key role in aggrecan degradation.
The effects of HA species on the expression of ADAMTS1, 4, 5, 8, 9 and 15 in interleukin 1α (IL1α)-stimulated osteoarthritic chondrocytes were studied by reverse transcription PCR and real-time PCR. Expression of ADAMTS4 protein and aggrecanase activity and signal transduction pathways of IL1, CD44 and intracellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM1) were examined by immunoblotting.
IL1α treatment of chondrocytes induced ADAMTS4, and HA800 and HA2700 significantly decreased IL1α-induced expression of ADAMTS4 mRNA and protein. IL1α-stimulated aggrecanase activity in osteoarthritic chondrocytes was reduced by treatment with HA2700 or transfection of small interfering RNA for ADAMTS4. A similar result was obtained when HA2700 was added to explant cultures of osteoarthritic cartilage. HA2700 neither directly inhibited nor bound to ADAMTS4. Downregulation of ADAMTS4 expression by HA2700 was attenuated by treatment of IL1α-treated chondrocytes with antibodies to CD44 and/or ICAM1. The increased phosphorylation of IL1 receptor-associated kinase-1 and extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase1/2 induced by the IL1α treatment was downregulated by enhanced IRAK-M expression after HA2700 treatment.
These data suggest that HA2700 suppresses aggrecan degradation by downregulating IL1α-induced ADAMTS4 expression through the CD44 and ICAM1 signalling pathways in osteoarthritic chondrocytes.
Aim: To examine the histology of preserved anterior lens capsule in vitrectomised and lensectomised rabbit eyes with and without silicone oil tamponade.
Methods: Forty adult Japanese albino rabbits received two port vitrectomy and lensectomy with or without silicone oil tamponade in one eye under both general and topical anaesthesia. Anterior lens capsule was preserved during operation. After healing intervals residual anterior capsule was histologically observed under light or electron microscopy.
Results: Immediately after operation, cuboidal lens epithelial cells were observed on the posterior surface of the preserved anterior capsule. During healing intervals in eyes with or without silicone oil tamponade, regenerated lens structure of Sommerring’s ring and fibrous tissue formed in the peripheral and central areas of the residual capsule, respectively. Ultrastructural observation revealed the presence of many vacuoles amid matrix accumulation on the posterior capsular surface, suggesting the deposition of emulsified silicone oil droplets.
Conclusion: Lens epithelial cells produce regenerated lenticular structure and fibrous tissue on the residual capsule following vitrectomy and lensectomy in rabbits. Silicone oil droplets formed by its emulsification deposit in extracellular matrix accumulated on the posterior surface of the anterior capsule. Emulsified silicone may potentially enhance opacification of residual anterior capsule following pars plana vitrectomy by silicone oil deposition and subsequent activation of lens epithelial cells.
lensectomy; anterior capsule; opacification; silicone oil; extracellular matrix
A 60-year-old man presented with syncope and transient left-sided motor weakness. Cerebral angiography revealed multiple severe atherosclerotic stenoses of bilateral internal carotid arteries, bilateral intracranial vertebral artery (VA), and left VA origin. A SPECT study showed poor cerebral perfusion and vascular reserve in the right cerebral hemisphere and the posterior circulation. We performed angioplasty and stentings for the VA stenoses first by using balloon-expandable stents.
The patient had shown no syncope attack ever since, which might be due to an increased vascular reserve in the posterior circulation. The following bilateral carotid angioplasty and stentings could be performed safely. Angioplasty and stenting is feasible, and can improve cerebral perfusion even in a patient with multiple severe atherosclerotic stenoses by pre-operative appropriate haemodynamic assessment.
angioplasty, multiple lesions, stent
Objective: We performed 1H-MR spectroscopy (1H-MRS) on multiple brain regions to determine the metabolite pattern and diagnostic utility of 1H-MRS in multiple system atrophy (MSA).
Methods: Examining single voxels at 3.0 T, we studied metabolic findings of the putamen, pontine base, and cerebral white matter in 24 MSA patients (predominant cerebellar ataxia (MSA-C), n = 13), parkinsonism (MSA-P), n = 11), in 11 age and duration matched Parkinson's disease patients (PD) and in 18 age matched control subjects.
Results: The N-acetylaspartate to creatine ratio (NAA/Cr) in MSA patients showed a significant reduction in the pontine base (p<0.0001) and putamen (p = 0.02) compared with controls. NAA/Cr in cerebral white matter also tended to decline in long standing cases. NAA/Cr reduction in the pontine base was prominent in both MSA-P (p<0.0001) and MSA-C (p<0.0001), and putaminal NAA/Cr reduction was significant in MSA-P (p = 0.009). It was also significant in patients who were in an early phase of their disease, and in those who showed no ataxic symptoms or parkinsonism, or did not show any MRI abnormality of the "hot cross bun" sign or hyperintense putaminal rims. NAA/Cr in MSA-P patients was significantly reduced in the pontine base (p = 0.001) and putamen (p = 0.002) compared with PD patients. The combined 1H-MRS in the putamen and pontine base served to distinguish patients with MSA-P from PD more clearly.
Conclusions:1H-MRS showed widespread neuronal and axonal involvement in MSA. The NAA/Cr reduction in the pontine base proved highly informative in the early diagnosis of MSA prior to MRI changes and even before any clinical manifestation of symptoms.
An atomic-force microscope assisted technique is developed to control the position and size of self-assembled semiconductor quantum dots (QDs). Presently, the site precision is as good as ± 1.5 nm and the size fluctuation is within ± 5% with the minimum controllable lateral diameter of 20 nm. With the ability of producing tightly packed and differently sized QDs, sophisticated QD arrays can be controllably fabricated for the application in quantum computing. The optical quality of such site-controlled QDs is found comparable to some conventionally self-assembled semiconductor QDs. The single dot photoluminescence of site-controlled InAs/InP QDs is studied in detail, presenting the prospect to utilize them in quantum communication as precisely controlled single photon emitters working at telecommunication bands.
Quantum dot; Site-Control; Atomic-force microscope; Local oxidation; Quantum computer; Quantum communication
OBJECTIVE—Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are expressed in joint tissues of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). The objective of this study was to define the steady state levels of seven different MMPs and two tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) as well as the potential metalloproteinase activity in the synovial fluid (SF) to provide more insight into the role of MMPs in cartilage destruction in RA and OA.
METHODS—Levels of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-7, MMP-8, MMP-9, MMP-13, TIMP-1, and TIMP-2 in SF aspirated from knee joints of 97 patients with RA and 103 patients with OA were measured by the corresponding one step sandwich enzyme immunoassays. Proteolytic activity of MMPs in these SFs was examined in an assay using [3H]carboxymethylated transferrin substrate in the presence of inhibitors of serine and cysteine proteinases after activation with p-aminophenylmercuric acetate (APMA). Destruction of RA knee joints was radiographically evaluated.
RESULTS—Levels of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-8, and MMP-9 were significantly higher in RA SF than in OA SF. MMP-7 and MMP-13 were detectable in more than 45% of RA SFs and in less than 20% of OA SFs, respectively. Among the MMPs examined, MMP-3 levels were extremely high compared with those of other MMPs. Direct correlations were seen between the levels of MMP-1 and MMP-3 and between those of MMP-8 and MMP-9 in RA SF. Although the levels of MMP-1 and MMP-3 increased even in the early stage of RA, those of MMP-8 and MMP-9 were low in the early stage and increased with the progression of RA. Molar ratios of the total amounts of the MMPs to those of the TIMPs were 5.2-fold higher in patients with RA than in OA, which was significant. APMA-activated metalloproteinase activity in SF showed a similar result, and a direct correlation was seen between the molar ratios and the activity in RA SF.
CONCLUSIONS—Our results show that high levels of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-8, MMP-9, and TIMP-1 are present in RA SF and suggest that once these MMPs are fully activated, they have an imbalance against TIMPs, which may contribute to the cartilage destruction in RA.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS—Gastric metaplasia is frequently seen in biopsies of the duodenal cap, particularly when inflamed or ulcerated. In its initial manifestation small patches of gastric foveolar cells appear near the tip of a villus. These cells contain periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) positive neutral mucins in contrast with the alcian blue (AB) positive acidic mucins within duodenal goblet cells. Previous investigations have suggested that these PAS positive cells originate either in Brunner's gland ducts or at the base of duodenal crypts and migrate in distinct streams to the upper villus. To investigate the origin of gastric metaplasia in superficial patches, we used the PAS/AB stain to distinguish between neutral and acidic mucins and in addition specific antibodies to immunolocalise foveolar cell mucin MUC5AC, the foveolar cell secretory product, gastric trefoil factor (TFF1), the mature goblet cell mucin MUC2, and MUC2 core antigen.
RESULTS—Cells in focal patches of gastric metaplasia contained secretory granules of both gastric and goblet cell phenotypes. MUC5AC and TFF1 were present as expected in gastric foveolar cells but in addition, MUC2 core antigen, normally present only in the Golgi of intestinal goblet cells, was expressed in secretory granules. Goblet cells in the vicinity of metaplastic patches also expressed both gastric and intestinal antigens. MUC5AC/MUC2 containing goblet cells were most common near the villus tip but were also seen at the base of crypts. Where crypts and Brunner's gland ducts merged they were always seen on the crypt side of the junction. Goblet cells were the only cells to express gastric antigens in these areas. In advanced metaplastic lesions, dual phenotype goblet cells were less evident and fewer cells expressed intestinal mucin antigens.
CONCLUSIONS—We suggest that goblet cells that express both intestinal and gastric antigens may represent local precursors of gastric metaplasia undergoing a transition to foveolar-like cells of mixed phenotype at the site of early metaplastic patches. As metaplasia becomes more widespread, a more pure gastric phenotype emerges. This progression is likely to be controlled by local inflammatory signals.
Keywords: gastric metaplasia; goblet cells; mucin
BACKGROUND/AIM—Matrilysin is one of the matrix metalloproteinases that has a critical role in tumour invasion, and is often expressed in gastrointestinal cancers. The aim of this study was to examine the role of matrilysin in metastasis of human colorectal cancers.
PATIENTS (SUBJECTS)/METHODS—The relation between matrilysin expression and Dukes's type was investigated immunohistochemically in 83 surgically resected colorectal cancers, including five with liver metastasis. Moreover, the effects of matrilysin on the in vivo invasive and metastatic potential of colon cancer cells transfected with matrilysin cDNA were examined after subcutaneous injection into SCID mice.
RESULTS—In 46% of primary and all of metastatic liver tumours, over 10% of cancer cells were stained positively for matrilysin. The expression of matrilysin correlated significantly with the presence of nodal or distant metastases (p<0.05). In addition, matrilysin transfectants formed invasive tumours and multiple liver metastases in SCID mice, without producing any significant difference in the subcutaneous tumour growth from mock transfectants. Casein zymography showed that the invading and metastasised tumours showed conspicuous matrilysin activity, which correlated with the number of metastatic lesions (p<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS—Matrilysin showed a correlation with metastasis in a cohort of 83 colorectal cancer patients and marked metastatic potentiation in human colorectal cancer xenografts, indicating that it may play a critical role in the metastatic pathway of colorectal cancers.
Keywords: matrix metalloproteinase; matrilysin; MMP-7; colorectal cancer; metastasis; transfection; human
Oral administration of red ginseng extracts (1% in diet for 40 weeks) resulted in the significant suppression of spontaneous liver tumor formation in C3H/He male mice. Average number of tumors per mouse in control group was 1.06, while that in red ginseng extracts-treated group was 0.33 (p<0.05). Incidence of liver tumor development was also lower in red ginseng extracts-treated group, although the difference from control group was not statistically significant. Anti-carcinogenic activity of white ginseng extracts, besides red ginseng extracts, was also investigated. In the present study, the administration of white ginseng extracts was proven to suppress tumor promoter-induced phenomena in vitro and in vivo. It is of interest that oral administration of the extracts of Ren-Shen-Yang- Rong-Tang, a white ginseng-containing Chinese medicinal prescription, resulted in the suppression of skin tumor promotion by 12-o-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate in 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-initiated CD-1 mice. These results suggest the usefulness of ginseng in the field of cancer prevention.