Caenorhabditis elegans SNAP-29 is required for the proper morphology and functions of the Golgi and endosomes and general exocytosis.
It is generally accepted that soluble N-ethylmaleimide–sensitive factor attachment protein receptors mediate the docking and fusion of transport intermediates with target membranes. Our research identifies Caenorhabditis elegans homologue of synaptosomal-associated protein 29 (SNAP-29) as an essential regulator of membrane trafficking in polarized intestinal cells of living animals. We show that a depletion of SNAP-29 blocks yolk secretion and targeting of apical and basolateral plasma membrane proteins in the intestinal cells and results in a strong accumulation of small cargo-containing vesicles. The loss of SNAP-29 also blocks the transport of yolk receptor RME-2 to the plasma membrane in nonpolarized oocytes, indicating that its function is required in various cell types. SNAP-29 is essential for embryogenesis, animal growth, and viability. Functional fluorescent protein–tagged SNAP-29 mainly localizes to the plasma membrane and the late Golgi, although it also partially colocalizes with endosomal proteins. The loss of SNAP-29 leads to the vesiculation/fragmentation of the Golgi and endosomes, suggesting that SNAP-29 is involved in multiple transport pathways between the exocytic and endocytic organelles. These observations also suggest that organelles comprising the endomembrane system are highly dynamic structures based on the balance between membrane budding and fusion and that SNAP-29–mediated fusion is required to maintain proper organellar morphology and functions.
AIM: To compare the outcome of surgical treatment of colorectal adenocarcinoma in elderly and younger patients.
METHODS: The outcomes of 122 patients with colorectal adenocarcinoma who underwent surgical treatment between January 2004 and June 2009 were analyzed. The clinicopathological and blood biochemistry data of the younger group (< 75 years) and the elderly group (≥ 75 years) were compared.
RESULTS: There were no significant differences between the two groups in operation time, intraoperative blood loss, hospital stay, time to resumption of oral intake, or morbidity. The elderly group had a significantly higher rate of hypertension and cardiovascular disease. The perioperative serum total protein and albumin levels were significantly lower in the elderly than in the younger group. The serum carcinoembryonic antigen level was lower in the elderly than in the younger group, and there was a significant decreasing trend after the operation in the elderly group.
CONCLUSION: The short-term outcomes of surgical treatment in elderly patients with colorectal adenocarcinoma were acceptable. Surgical treatment in elderly patients was considered a selectively effective approach.
Colorectal tumor; Elderly patient; Morbidity; Carcinoembryonic antigen; C-reactive protein
A randomized control trial was performed to test whether a lifestyle intervention program, carried out in a primary healthcare setting using existing resources, can reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes in Japanese with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). The results of 3 years' intervention are summarized.
Through health checkups in communities and workplaces, 304 middle-aged IGT subjects with a mean body mass index (BMI) of 24.5 kg/m2 were recruited and randomized to the intervention group or control group. The lifestyle intervention was carried out for 3 years by public health nurses using the curriculum and educational materials provided by the study group.
After 1 year, the intervention had significantly improved body weight (-1.5 ± 0.7 vs. -0.7 ± 2.5 kg in the control; p = 0.023) and daily non-exercise leisure time energy expenditure (25 ± 113 vs. -3 ± 98 kcal; p = 0.045). Insulin sensitivity assessed by the Matsuda index was improved by the intervention during the 3 years. The 3-year cumulative incidence tended to be lower in the intervention group (14.8% vs.8.2%, log-rank test: p = 0.097). In a sub-analysis for the subjects with a BMI > 22.5 kg/m2, a significant reduction in the cumulative incidence was found (p = 0.027).
The present lifestyle intervention program using existing healthcare resources is beneficial in preventing diabetes in Japanese with IGT. This has important implications for primary healthcare-based diabetes prevention.
Trial registration number
Melanogenesis substrate, N-propionyl-cysteaminylphenol (NPrCAP), is selectively incorporated into melanoma cells and inhibits their growth by producing cytotoxic free radicals. Magnetite nanoparticles also disintegrate cancer cells and generate heat shock protein (HSP) upon exposure to an alternating magnetic field (AMF). This study tested if a chemo-thermo-immunotherapy (CTI therapy) strategy can be developed for better management of melanoma by conjugating NPrCAP on the surface of magnetite nanoparticles (NPrCAP/M). We examined the feasibility of this approach in B16 mouse melanoma and evaluated the impact of exposure temperature, frequency, and interval on the inhibition of re-challenged melanoma growth. The therapeutic protocol against the primary transplanted tumor with or without AMF exposure once a day every other day for a total of three treatments not only inhibited the growth of the primary transplant but also prevented the growth of the secondary, re-challenge transplant. The heat-generated therapeutic effect was more significant at a temperature of 43°C than either 41°C or 46°C. NPrCAP/M with AMF exposure, instead of control magnetite alone or without AMF exposure, resulted in the most significant growth inhibition of the re-challenge tumor and increased the life span of the mice. HSP70 production was greatest at 43°C compared to that with 41°C or 46°C. CD8+T cells were infiltrated at the site of the re-challenge melanoma transplant.
peptide; cancer vaccine; immunotherapy; colon cancer; CTL
Considerable interest has been focused on telomerase because of its potential use in assays for cancer diagnosis, and for anti-telomerase drugs as a strategy for cancer chemotherapy. A number of assays based on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) have been developed for evaluation of telomerase activity. To overcome the disadvantages of the conventional telomerase assay [telomeric repeat amplification protocol (TRAP)] related to PCR artifacts and troublesome post-PCR procedures, we have developed a telomeric repeat elongation (TRE) assay which directly measures telomerase activity as the telomeric elongation rate by biosensor technology using surface plasmon resonance (SPR). 5′-Biotinylated oligomers containing telomeric repeats were immobilized on streptavidin-pretreated dextran sensor surfaces in situ using the BIACORE apparatus. Subsequently, the oligomers associated with the telomerase extracts were elongated in the BIACORE apparatus. The rate of TRE was calculated by measuring the SPR signals. We examined elongation rates by the TRE assay in 18 cancer and three normal human fibroblast cell lines, and 12 human primary carcinomas and matching normal tissues. The elongation rates increased in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Those of cancer cells were two to 10 times higher than fibroblast cell lines and normal tissues. Telomerase activities and its inhibitory effects of anti-telomerase agents as measured by both the TRE and TRAP assays showed a good correlation. Our assay allows precise quantitative comparison of a wide range of human cells from somatic cells to carcinoma cells. TRE assay is suitable for practical use in the assessment of telomerase activity in preclinical and clinical trials of telomerase-based therapies, because of its reproducibility, rapidity and simplicity.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a known risk factor for cardiovascular death in Western countries. Because Japan has a low cardiovascular death rate, the association between a lower level of forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and mortality in Japan’s general population is unknown. To clarify this, we conducted a community-based longitudinal study. This study included 3253 subjects, who received spirometry from 2004 to 2006 in Takahata, with a 7-year follow-up. The causes of death were assessed on the basis of the death certificate. In 338 subjects, airflow obstruction was observed by spirometry. A total of 127 subjects died. Cardiovascular death was the second highest cause of death in this population. The pulmonary functions of the deceased subjects were significantly lower than those of the subjects who were alive at the end of follow-up. The relative risk of death by all causes, respiratory failure, lung cancer, and cardiovascular disease was significantly increased with airflow obstruction. The Kaplan–Meier analysis showed that all-cause and cardiovascular mortality significantly increased with a worsening severity of airflow obstruction. After adjusting for possible factors that could influence prognosis, a Cox proportional hazard model analysis revealed that a lower level of FEV1 was an independent risk factor for all-cause and cardiovascular mortality (per 10% increase; hazard ratio [HR], 0.89; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.82–0.98; and HR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.61–0.86, respectively). In conclusion, airflow obstruction is an independent risk factor for all-cause and cardiovascular death in the Japanese general population. Spirometry might be a useful test to evaluate the risk of cardiovascular death and detect the risk of respiratory death by lung cancer or respiratory failure in healthy Japanese individuals.
Cell division is one of the most fundamental and evolutionarily conserved biological processes. Here, we report a synthetic system where we can control by design equal vs. unequal divisions. We synthesized a micro-scale inverse amphipathic droplet of which division is triggered by the increase of surface to volume ratio. Using this system, we succeeded in selectively inducing equal vs. unequal divisions of the droplet cells by adjusting the temperature or the viscosity of the solvent outside the droplet cell accordingly. Our synthetic division system may provide a platform for further development to a system where intracellular contents of the parent droplet cell could be divided into various ratios between the two daughter droplet cells to control their functions and fates.
Triacylglycerol is used for the production of commodities including food oils and biodiesel fuel. Microalgae can accumulate triacylglycerol under adverse environmental conditions such as nitrogen-starvation. This study explored the possibility of air-drying of green algal cells as a novel and simple protocol for enhancement of their triacylglycerol content. Chlorella kessleri cells were fixed on the surface of a glass fibre filter and then subjected to air-drying with light illumination. The dry cell weight, on a filter, increased by 2.7-fold in 96 h, the corresponding chlorophyll content ranging from 1.0 to 1.3-fold the initial one. Concomitantly, the triacylglycerol content remarkably increased to 70.3 mole% of fatty acids and 15.9% (w/w), relative to total fatty acids and dry cell weight, respectively, like in cells starved of nitrogen. Reduction of the stress of air-drying by placing the glass filter on a filter paper soaked in H2O lowered the fatty acid content of triacylglycerol to 26.4 mole% as to total fatty acids. Moreover, replacement of the H2O with culture medium further decreased the fatty acid content of triacylglycerol to 12.2 mole%. It thus seemed that severe dehydration is required for full induction of triacylglycerol synthesis, and that nutritional depletion as well as dehydration are crucial environmental factors. Meanwhile, air-drying of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii cells increased the triacylglycerol content to only 37.9 mole% of fatty acids and 4.8% (w/w), relative to total fatty acids and dry cell weight, respectively, and a marked decrease in the chlorophyll content, on a filter, of 33%. Air-drying thus has an impact on triacylglycerol synthesis in C. reinhardtii also, however, the effect is considerably limited, owing probably to instability of the photosynthetic machinery. This air-drying protocol could be useful for the development of a system for industrial production of triacylglycerol with appropriate selection of the algal species.
Dietary fat plays a major role in obesity, lipid metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases. To determine whether the intake of different types of dietary fats affect the muscle fiber types that govern the metabolic and contractile properties of the skeletal muscle, we fed male Wistar rats with a 15% fat diet derived from different fat sources. Diets composed of soybean oil (n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA)-rich), fish oil (n-3 PUFA-rich), or lard (low in PUFAs) were administered to the rats for 4 weeks. Myosin heavy chain (MyHC) isoforms were used as biomarkers to delineate the skeletal muscle fiber types. Compared with soybean oil intake, fish oil intake showed significantly lower levels of the fast-type MyHC2B and higher levels of the intermediate-type MyHC2X composition in the extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle, which is a fast-type dominant muscle. Concomitantly, MyHC2X mRNA levels in fish oil-fed rats were significantly higher than those observed in the soybean oil-fed rats. The MyHC isoform composition in the lard-fed rats was an intermediate between that of the fish oil and soybean oil-fed rats. Mitochondrial uncoupling protein 3, pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4, and porin mRNA showed significantly upregulated levels in the EDL of fish oil-fed rats compared to those observed in soybean oil-fed and lard-fed rats, implying an activation of oxidative metabolism. In contrast, no changes in the composition of MyHC isoforms was observed in the soleus muscle, which is a slow-type dominant muscle. Fatty acid composition in the serum and the muscle was significantly influenced by the type of dietary fat consumed. In conclusion, dietary fat affects the expression of genes related to the contractile and metabolic properties in the fast-type dominant skeletal muscle, where the activation of oxidative metabolism is more pronounced after fish oil intake than that after soybean oil intake.
To establish a safer and more effective vaccine against pneumococcal respiratory infections, current knowledge regarding the antigens common among pneumococcal strains and improvements to the system for delivering these antigens across the mucosal barrier must be integrated. We developed a pneumococcal vaccine that combines the advantages of pneumococcal surface protein A (PspA) with a nontoxic intranasal vaccine delivery system based on a nanometer-sized hydrogel (nanogel) consisting of a cationic cholesteryl group-bearing pullulan (cCHP). The efficacy of the nanogel-based PspA nasal vaccine (cCHP-PspA) was tested in murine pneumococcal airway infection models. Intranasal vaccination with cCHP-PspA provided protective immunity against lethal challenge with Streptococcus pneumoniae Xen10, reduced colonization and invasion by bacteria in the upper and lower respiratory tracts, and induced systemic and nasal mucosal Th17 responses, high levels of PspA-specific serum immunoglobulin G (IgG), and nasal and bronchial IgA antibody responses. Moreover, there was no sign of PspA delivery by nanogel to either the olfactory bulbs or the central nervous system after intranasal administration. These results demonstrate the effectiveness and safety of the nanogel-based PspA nasal vaccine system as a universal mucosal vaccine against pneumococcal respiratory infection.
The CDK8 kinase module (CKM) is a conserved, dissociable Mediator subcomplex whose component subunits were genetically linked to the RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) and individually recognized as transcriptional repressors before Mediator was identified as a preeminent complex in eukaryotic transcription regulation. We used macromolecular electron microscopy and biochemistry to investigate the subunit organization, structure, and Mediator interaction of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae CKM. We found that interaction of the CKM with Mediator’s Middle module interferes with CTD-dependent RNAPII binding to a previously unknown Middle module CTD-binding site targeted early on in a multi-step holoenzyme formation process. Taken together, our results reveal the basis for CKM repression, clarify the origin of the connection between CKM subunits and the CTD, and suggest that a combination of competitive interactions and conformational changes that facilitate holoenzyme formation underlie the Mediator mechanism.
Surgical trauma impairs intraoperative insulin sensitivity and is associated with postoperative adverse events. Recently, preprocedural statin therapy is recommended for patients with coronary artery disease. However, statin therapy is reported to increase insulin resistance and the risk of new-onset diabetes. Thus, we investigated the association between preoperative statin therapy and intraoperative insulin sensitivity in nondiabetic, dyslipidemic patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
In this prospective, nonrandomized trial, patients taking lipophilic statins were assigned to the statin group and hypercholesterolemic patients not receiving any statins were allocated to the control group. Insulin sensitivity was assessed by the hyperinsulinemic-normoglycemic clamp technique during surgery. The mean, SD of blood glucose, and the coefficient of variation (CV) after surgery were calculated for each patient. The association between statin use and intraoperative insulin sensitivity was tested by multiple regression analysis.
We studied 120 patients. In both groups, insulin sensitivity gradually decreased during surgery with values being on average ∼20% lower in the statin than in the control group. In the statin group, the mean blood glucose in the intensive care unit was higher than in the control group (153 ± 20 vs. 140 ± 20 mg/dL; P < 0.001). The oscillation of blood glucose was larger in the statin group (SD, P < 0.001; CV, P = 0.001). Multiple regression analysis showed that statin use was independently associated with intraoperative insulin sensitivity (β = −0.16; P = 0.03).
Preoperative use of lipophilic statins is associated with increased insulin resistance during cardiac surgery in nondiabetic, dyslipidemic patients.
The adhesion of leukocytes circulating in the blood to vascular endothelium is critical for their trafficking in the vasculature, and CD44 is an important cell surface receptor for rolling adhesion. In this study, we demonstrate the correlative observation of CD44 distribution at the lymphocyte cell surface in liquid by fluorescence optical microscopy and immuno-electron microscopy using an atmospheric scanning electron microscope (ASEM). The ultrastructure of the cell surface was clearly imaged by ASEM using positively charged Nanogold particles. ASEM analysis demonstrated microvilli projections around the cell surface and the localization of CD44 on the microvilli. Treatment of cells with cytochalasin D resulted in a loss of the microvilli projections and concomitantly abrogated CD44-mediated adhesion to its ligand hyaluronan. These results suggest the functional relevance of microvilli in CD44-mediated rolling adhesion under shear flow.
cell adhesion; cell surface; cytoskeleton; microvilli; immuno-electron microscopy; SEM; correlative microscopy; correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM); ASEM
A 77-year-old woman complained of epigastralgia, and a tumor (5 cm in diameter) of the gallbladder neck was detected by image analysis. Following cholecystectomy, the tumor was pathologically diagnosed as intraductal papillary neoplasm (IPN), gastric type, with associated invasive carcinoma. About 10 mo later, intraluminal multiple masses (3 foci, up to 1.8 cm) were noted in the extrahepatic bile duct, and the resected specimen showed that all tumors had similar gross and microscopic features as seen in gallbladder IPN without invasion, and they were synchronous multiple lesions. This case showed a papillary tumor of the gallbladder of gastric phenotype, and confirmed that the gallbladder is a target of IPN in addition to the bile ducts.
Intraductal papillary neoplasm; Intracystic papillary neoplasm; Gastric type; Metachronous occurrence; Synchronous occurrence
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a common disability among elderly subjects with a heavy cigarette smoking habit. In contrast to the population that is susceptible to smoking, in whom pulmonary function worsens with the length of exposure to cigarette smoke, there are elderly individuals whose pulmonary function is not impaired. However, to date, the characteristics of this resistant smoking population have not been investigated. We aimed to identify a biomarker in individuals in whom lung health is maintained despite smoking. Blood sampling and spirometry were performed on 3,257 subjects who participated in a community-based annual health check in Takahata, Japan, from 2004 to 2006. We selected 117 elderly smokers (age ≥70, Brinkman index ≥600, smoking years ≥30). The ‘smoking resistant’ group met the following criteria: FEV1/FVC ≥0.7, and FEV1%predicted ≥80. Spirometry was re-evaluated in 147 male, current smokers in 2009. Baseline serum iron (sFe) levels were higher in the smoke resistant group compared with the non-resistant group. In those with low sFe levels, FEV1/FVC was reduced in male subjects. These spirometric measures were positively associated with sFe levels in men. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that sFe levels were predictive for spirometric values, independent of other clinical factors. In addition, sFe levels were predictive for a decline in FEV1.Serum iron levels may be a biomarker for the spirometric susceptibility of individuals to cigarette smoke.
Alveolar macrophages (AMs) play an important role in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We previously demonstrated that the transcription factor, MafB, increased in the AMs of mice exposed to cigarette smoke, and in those of human patients with COPD. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of MafB in AMs using newly established transgenic (TG) mice that specifically express dominant negative (DN) MafB in macrophages under the control of macrophage scavenger receptor (MSR) enhancer-promoter. We performed cell differential analyses in bronchoalveolar lavage cells, morphological analyses with electron microscopy, and flow cytometry-based analyses of surface markers and a phagocytic capacity assay in macrophages. AM number in the TG mice was significantly decreased compared with wild-type (WT) mice. Morphologically, the high electron density area in the nucleus increased, the shape of pseudopods on the AMs was altered, and actin filament was less localized in the pseudopods of AMs of TG mice, compared with WT mice. The expression of surface markers, F4/80 and CD11b, on peritoneal macrophages in TG mice was reduced compared with WT mice, while those on AMs remained unchanged. Phagocytic capacity was decreased in AMs from TG mice, compared with WT mice. In conclusion, MafB regulates the phenotype of macrophages with respect to the number of alveolar macrophages, the nuclear compartment, cellular shape, surface marker expression, and phagocytic function. MSR-DN MafB TG mice may present a useful model to clarify the precise role of MafB in macrophages.
Patient: Female, 28
Final Diagnosis: Single intrauterine fetal death
Clinical Procedure: —
Specialty: Obstetrics and Gynecology
Single fetal death in monochorionic twin pregnancy may result in poor perinatal outcome of the surviving twin, including neurologic sequelae, other organ injury, and death. In most reported cases of poor perinatal outcome in the surviving twin, monochorionic co-twin death occured after more than 20 weeks of gestation, while few with earlier occurrence have been presented.
A 28-year-old primigravid woman was referred to our hospital at 18 3/7 weeks of gestation for perinatal management of single fetal death in a monochorionic-diamniotic twin pregnancy. Our first evaluation by ultrasonography revealed a dead twin sized at 16 weeks of gestation, and an alive one with normal size and appearance, together with 1 placenta and 2 amniotic cavities with normal fluid amounts. At 20 3/7 weeks of gestation, ultrasonography showed that the surviving twin had bilateral ventriculomegaly and dilatation all around the subarachnoid cavity despite a normal head size. Fetal magnetic resonance imaging revealed remarkable atrophy of the cerebral cortex. After counseling, the patient and family chose termination of pregnancy, and artificial abortion was performed at 21 weeks of gestation. The aborted fetuses were not anomalous. Autopsy pathological findings confirmed encephalomalacia in the surviving twin.
Recent development of imaging device make it possible that several abnormalities in central nervous system can be detected in detail at earlier gestational age. It is important to keep this condition in mind even though single fetal death occurred at early gestational age.
monochorionic twin; single intrauterine fetal death; encephalomalacia; fetal magnetic resonance imaging
There is considerable interest in using cell sheets for the treatment of various lesions as part of regenerative medicine therapy. Cell sheets can be prepared in temperature-responsive culture dishes and applied to injured tissue. For example, cartilage-derived cell sheets are currently under preclinical testing for use in treatment of knee cartilage injuries. The additional use of cryopreservation technology could increase the range and practicality of cell sheet therapies. To date, however, cryopreservation of cell sheets has proved impractical.
Here we have developed a novel and effective method for cryopreserving fragile chondrocyte sheets. We modified the vitrification method previously developed for cryopreservation of mammalian embryos to vitrify a cell sheet through use of a minimum volume of vitrification solution containing 20% dimethyl sulfoxide, 20% ethylene glycol, 0.5 M sucrose, and 10% carboxylated poly-L-lysine. The principal feature of our method is the coating of the cell sheet with a viscous vitrification solution containing permeable and non-permeable cryoprotectants prior to vitrification in liquid nitrogen vapor. This method prevented fracturing of the fragile cell sheet even after vitrification and rewarming. Both the macro- and microstructures of the vitrified cell sheets were maintained without damage or loss of major components. Cell survival in the vitrified sheets was comparable to that in non-vitrified samples.
We have shown here that it is feasible to vitrify chondrocyte cell sheets and that these sheets retain their normal characteristics upon thawing. The availability of a practical cryopreservation method should make a significant contribution to the effectiveness and range of applications of cell sheet therapy.
Cell sheet therapy; Chondrocyte sheet; Vitrification; Cryopreservation; Cartilage repair
In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process vs. those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process); thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from stimuli that result in increased autophagic activity, defined as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the field understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field.
LC3; autolysosome; autophagosome; flux; lysosome; phagophore; stress; vacuole
Ionizing radiation persistently reduces the pool of neural stem and progenitor cells (NSPCs) in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus, which may explain some of the learning deficits observed in patients treated with radiotherapy, particularly pediatric patients. A single dose of 8 Gy irradiation (IR) was administered to the brains of postnatal day 14 (P14) C57BL/6 mice and 1.0 × 105 bromodeoxyuridine-labeled, syngeneic NSPCs were injected into the hippocampus 1 day, 1 week or 6 weeks after IR. Cell survival and phenotype were evaluated 5 weeks after grafting. When grafted 1 day post-IR, survival and neuronal differentiation of the transplanted NSPCs were lower in irradiated brains, whereas the survival and cell fate of grafted cells were not significantly different between irradiated and control brains when transplantation was performed 1 or 6 weeks after IR. A young recipient brain favored neuronal development of grafted cells, whereas the older recipient brains displayed an increasing number of cells developing into astrocytes or unidentified cells. Injection of NSPCs, but not vehicle, induced astrogliosis and reduced thickness of the dorsal blade of the GCL after 5 months. In summary, we demonstrate that age and interval between IR and grafting can affect survival and differentiation of grafted NSPCs. The observed long-term gliosis and degeneration warrant caution in the context of NSPC grafting for therapeutical purposes.
neurogenesis; radiotherapy; transplantation; grafting; astrogliosis; differentiation
The structural characterization of copolymers by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOFMS) remains a challenging task, since their random comonomer distribution creates very complicated mass spectra. In this study, a high-resolution TOF mass spectrometer with a spiral ion trajectory was applied to the structural and compositional characterization of free radical copolymerized poly(methyl methacrylate-co-tert-butyl methacrylate), poly(MMA-co-tBMA)s in ethyl lactate acting as a chain transfer agent. Virtually complete peak assignments of the isobaric components within the poly(MMA-co-tBMA)s served to identify the end-group combinations and copolymer compositions of individual copolymer components, allowing the distributions of comonomer compositions and six types of end-group combinations to be evaluated.
MALDI spiral-TOFMS; copolymer characterization; chemical composition; end group structure
In vivo two-photon microscopy has revealed vital information on neural activity for brain function, even in light of its limitation in imaging events at depths greater than several hundred micrometers from the brain surface. We developed a novel semiconductor-laser-based light source with a wavelength of 1030 nm that can generate pulses of 5-picosecond duration with 2-W output power, and a 20-MHz repetition rate. We also developed a system to secure the head of the mouse under an upright microscope stage that has a horizontal adjustment mechanism. We examined the penetration depth while imaging the H-Line mouse brain and demonstrated that our newly developed laser successfully images not only cortex pyramidal neurons spreading to all cortex layers at a superior signal-to-background ratio, but also images hippocampal CA1 neurons in a young adult mouse.