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1.  T-cell-replete haploidentical stem cell transplantation is highly efficacious for relapsed and refractory childhood acute leukaemia 
Despite improvements in first-line therapies, the outcomes of relapsed or refractory childhood acute leukaemia that has not achieved complete remission after relapse, has relapsed after stem cell transplantation (SCT), has primary induction failure and has relapsed with a very unfavourable cytogenetic risk profile, are dismal.
Objectives and Methods
We evaluated the feasibility and efficacy of T-cell-replete haploidentical peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (haplo-SCT) with low-dose anti-human thymocyte immunoglobulin (ATG), tacrolimus, methotrexate and prednisolone (PSL) in 14 paediatric patients with high-risk childhood acute leukaemia.
All patients achieved complete engraftment. The median time to reaching an absolute neutrophil count of more than 0.5 × 109 L−1 was 14 days. Acute graft-vs-host disease (aGVHD) of grades II–IV and III–IV developed in 10 (71%) and 2 (14%) patients, respectively. Treatment-related mortality and relapse occurred in one (7%) patient and six (43%) patients, respectively. Eleven patients were alive and seven of them were disease-free with a median follow-up of 36 months (range: 30–159 months). The probability of event-free survival after 2 years was 50%.
These findings indicate that T-cell-replete haplo-SCT, with low-dose ATG and PSL, provides sustained remission with an acceptable risk of GVHD in paediatric patients with advanced haematologic malignancies.
PMCID: PMC4240737  PMID: 25224311
children; graft-vs-leukaemia effect; HLA-haploidentical stem cell transplantation; refractory leukaemia; T-cell-replete haploidentical stem cell transplantation
2.  The application of intraoperative near-infrared indocyanine green videoangiography and analysis of fluorescence intensity in cerebrovascular surgery 
To evaluate the usefulness and limitations of the intraoperative near-infrared (NIR) indocyanine green videoangiography (ICG-VA) and analysis of fluorescence intensity in cerebrovascular surgery.
Forty-eight patients received ICG-VA during various surgical procedures from May 2010 to August 2010. Included among them were 45 cases of cerebral aneurysms and 3 cases of cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). The infrared fluorescence module integrated into the surgical microscope was used to visualize fluorescent areas in the surgical field. An integrated analytical visualization tool constantly analyzed the fluorescence video sequence and generated it in the form of an intensity diagram for objective interpretation.
Overall, the procedure of ICG VA was done 158 times in 48 patients. There was no adverse effect of ICG dye. In cerebral aneurysm cases, the images obtained were of high resolution. In 4 cases, incomplete clipping was detected by ICG-VA and allowed suitable adjustment to completely obliterate the aneurysm. In 3 aneurysm cases, the intensity diagram of ICG VA provided valuable information. ICG-VA identified the feeding arteries, the draining veins, and nidus in all 3 AVM cases, which was confirmed by an immediate analysis of fluorescence intensity.
ICG-VA provides high resolution images allowing real-time assessment of the blood flow in surgical field. The intensity analysis function, in addition, is a useful adjunct to improve the accuracy of the clipping and decrease the complication rates in cerebral aneurysm cases. In cerebral AVM cases, with the help of color map and intensity diagram function, the superficial feeders, drainers, and nidus can be identified easily.
PMCID: PMC3075608  PMID: 21541008
Cerebral aneurysm; cerebral arteriovenous malformation; indocyanine green videoangiography
3.  Analysis of TBC1D4 in patients with severe insulin resistance 
Diabetologia  2010;53(6):1239-1242.
PMCID: PMC2860565  PMID: 20349035
AS160; Diabetes; Genetics; GLUT4; Insulin resistance; TBC1D4
4.  Expression of ZmMET1, a gene encoding a DNA methyltransferase from maize, is associated not only with DNA replication in actively proliferating cells, but also with altered DNA methylation status in cold-stressed quiescent cells 
Nucleic Acids Research  2000;28(17):3250-3259.
A cDNA fragment encoding part of a DNA methyltransferase was isolated from maize. The putative amino acid sequence identically matched that deduced from a genomic sequence in the database (accession no. AF063403), and the corresponding gene was designated as ZmMET1. Bacterially expressed ZmMET1 actively methylated DNA in vitro. Transcripts of ZmMET1 could be shown to exclusively accumulate in actively proliferating cells of the meristems of mesocotyls and root apices, suggesting ZmMET1 expression to be associated with DNA replication. This was confirmed by simultaneous decrease of transcripts of ZmMET1 and histone H3, a marker for DNA replication, in seedlings exposed to wounding, desiccation and salinity, all of which suppress cell division. Cold stress also depressed both transcripts in root tissues. In contrast, however, accumulation of ZmMET1 transcripts in shoot mesocotyls was not affected by cold stress, whereas those for H3 sharply decreased. Such a differential accumulation of ZmMET1 transcripts was consistent with ZmMET1 protein levels as revealed by western blotting. Expression of ZmMET1 is thus coexistent, but not completely dependent on DNA replication. Southern hybridization analysis with a methylation-sensitive restriction enzyme revealed that cold treatment induced demethylation of DNA in the Ac/Ds transposon region, but not in other genes, and that such demethylation primarily occurred in roots. These results suggested that the methylation level was decreased selectively by cold treatment, and that ZmMET1 may, at least partly, prevent such demethylation.
PMCID: PMC110715  PMID: 10954592
5.  Corticotropin releasing hormone in colonic mucosa in patients with ulcerative colitis. 
Gut  1995;37(4):544-551.
Corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) is a key hormone in integrated response to stress, acting as the major regulator of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Recently, local production of CRH has been detected in normal human colonic enterochromaffin cells. CRH is locally secreted in granulomatous and arthritic tissues in rats and humans, where it seems to act as a local proinflammatory agent. To find out if CRH is present in colonic tissues of patients with ulcerative colitis, this study examined the expression of this peptide in the large bowel of patients with ulcerative colitis. Colonic tissues of patients with ulcerative colitis obtained by endoscopic biopsy were immunostained with anti-CRH antibody. CRH messenger (m) RNA was also examined in biopsy specimens of ulcerative colitis by the reverse transcribed polymerase chain reaction method and by in situ hybridisation. Considerably enhanced expression of immunoreactive CRH was found in mucosal inflammatory cells. Intense staining with anti-CRH antibody was also shown in mucosal macrophages. CRH mRNA was expressed in mucosal epithelial cells. The expression of immunoreactive CRH in colonic mucosal epithelial cells of ulcerative colitis slightly increased, but not significantly, compared with normal colonic mucosal epithelial cells. These results suggest that CRH may play a part in the modulation of intestinal immune and inflammatory system, and as a modulator in the pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis.
PMCID: PMC1382908  PMID: 7489943
6.  Cyclooxygenase-1 and -2 expression in rheumatoid synovial tissues. Effects of interleukin-1 beta, phorbol ester, and corticosteroids. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1994;93(3):1095-1101.
High levels of immunoreactive cyclooxygenase (Cox; prostaglandin H synthase) are present in synovia from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We now show that the recently identified inducible isoform of Cox, Cox-2, is expressed in synovia from patients with RA. To further explore modulation of the Cox isoforms in RA synovial tissues, we examined the expression and modulation of Cox-1 and -2 in rheumatoid synovial explant cultures and cultured rheumatoid synovial fibroblast-like cells (synoviocytes). Immunoprecipitation of in vitro labeled proteins and Western blot analysis demonstrated the presence of both Cox-1 and -2 under basal conditions in freshly explanted rheumatoid synovial tissues. De novo synthesis of Cox-2 polypeptide was enhanced by IL-1 beta or PMA, and dramatically suppressed by dexamethasone (dex). Cox-1 expression, under the same conditions, showed only minor variation. Since mRNA for Cox-2 is highly unstable, we examined the regulation of Cox-2 transcripts in cultured rheumatoid synoviocytes. Under basal conditions both Cox-1 and -2 mRNAs were present at low levels, but Cox-2 mRNA was markedly increased by treatment with IL-1 beta or PMA. dex markedly suppressed the induction of Cox-2 mRNA. In sharp contrast, Cox-1 transcripts were not modulated by IL-1 beta or dex. These data suggest that modulation of Cox-2 expression by IL-1 beta and corticosteroids may be an important component of the inflammatory process in synovial tissues from patients with RA.
PMCID: PMC294048  PMID: 8132748
7.  Coexpression of phosphotyrosine-containing proteins, platelet-derived growth factor-B, and fibroblast growth factor-1 in situ in synovial tissues of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and Lewis rats with adjuvant or streptococcal cell wall arthritis. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1993;91(2):553-565.
Fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-1 and PDGF-B-like factors have been implicated in the pathobiology of RA and animal models of this disease. Since the receptors for FGF-1 and PDGF are tyrosine kinases, we examined the expression of tyrosine phosphorylated proteins (phosphotyrosine, P-Tyr) in synovial tissues from patients with RA and osteoarthritis (OA), and rats with streptococcal cell wall (SCW) and adjuvant arthritis (AA). Synovia from patients with RA and LEW/N rats with SCW and AA arthritis, in contrast to controls, stained intensely with anti-P-Tyr antibody. The staining colocalized with PDGF-B and FGF-1 staining. Comparative immunoblot analysis showed markedly enhanced expression of a 45-kD P-Tyr protein in the inflamed synovia. Treatment with physiological concentrations of dexamethasone suppressed both arthritis and P-Tyr expression in AA. P-Tyr was only transiently expressed in athymic nude Lewis rats and was not detected in relatively arthritis-resistant F344/N rats. These data suggest that (a) FGF-1 and PDGF-B-like factors are upregulated and may induce tyrosine phosphorylation of proteins in vivo in inflammatory joint diseases, (b) persistent high level P-Tyr expression is T lymphocyte dependent, correlates with disease severity, and is strain dependent in rats, (c) corticosteroids, in physiological concentrations, downregulate P-Tyr expression in these lesions.
PMCID: PMC287978  PMID: 7679410
8.  Local secretion of corticotropin-releasing hormone in the joints of Lewis rats with inflammatory arthritis. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1992;90(6):2555-2564.
Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), the principal regulator of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, is also secreted in peripheral inflammatory sites, where it acts as a local proinflammatory agent. Arthritis-susceptible LEW/N rats have profoundly deficient hypothalamic CRH responses to inflammatory stimuli and other stressors. Arthritis-resistant F344/N rats, on the other hand, have a robust increase in hypothalamic CRH in response to the same stimuli. Contrasting with these hypothalamic CRH responses, we now show that CRH expression is markedly increased in the joints and surrounding tissues of LEW/N rats with streptococcal cell wall- and adjuvant-induced arthritis, whereas it is not increased in similarly treated F344/N rats and is only transiently increased in congenitally athymic nude LEW.rnu/rnu rats. Glucocorticoid treatment suppressed, but did not eliminate, CRH immunoreactivity in the joints of LEW/N rats. CRH mRNA was present in inflamed synovia, as well as in spinal cord, and inflamed synovia also expressed specific CRH-binding sites. We compared CRH expression in inflamed joints with another well-characterized proinflammatory neuropeptide, substance P (SP), and found that SP immunoreactivity paralleled that of CRH. In summary, although LEW/N rats have deficient hypothalamic CRH responses to inflammatory stimuli compared with F344/N rats, they express relatively high levels of CRH at the site of inflammation. Analogous to SP, CRH may be delivered to the inflammatory site by peripheral nerves and/or synthesized at the inflammatory site. These data provide further support for the concept that CRH not only triggers the pituitary-adrenal antiinflammatory cascade, but also functions as an antithetically active local mediator of acute and chronic inflammatory arthritis. These data also illustrate the complex interrelationships of the nervous, endocrine, immune, and inflammatory systems.
PMCID: PMC443415  PMID: 1281840
9.  In vivo cyclooxygenase expression in synovial tissues of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis and rats with adjuvant and streptococcal cell wall arthritis. 
Cyclooxygenase (COX), or prostaglandin (PG) H synthase, plays a role in inflammatory diseases, but very limited data exist on the regulation of COX in vivo. We, therefore, studied the in vivo expression of COX in synovia from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA), as well as joints of rats with streptococcal cell wall (SCW) and adjuvant arthritis. Extensive and intense intracellular COX immunostaining, which correlated with the extent and intensity of mononuclear cell infiltration, was observed in cells throughout RA synovia. Significantly less or equivocal staining was noted in OA and normal human synovia. Similarly, COX immunostaining was equivocal in the joints of normal and arthritis-resistant F344/N rats. In contrast, high level expression developed rapidly in euthymic female Lewis (LEW/N) rats throughout the hindlimb joints and overlying tissues including skin, preceding or paralleling clinically apparent experimental arthritis. COX was expressed in the joints of athymic LEW.rnu/rnu rats 2-4 d after injection of SCW or adjuvant but was not sustained. Physiological doses of antiinflammatory glucocorticoids, but not progesterone, suppressed both arthritis and COX expression in LEW/N rats. These observations suggest that, in vivo, (a) COX expression is upregulated in inflammatory joint diseases, (b) the level of expression is genetically controlled and is a biochemical correlate of disease severity, (c) sustained high level up-regulation is T cell dependent, and (d) expression is down-regulated by antiinflammatory glucocorticoids.
PMCID: PMC442824  PMID: 1729286
10.  Transin/stromelysin expression in the synovium of rats with experimental erosive arthritis. In situ localization and kinetics of expression of the transformation-associated metalloproteinase in euthymic and athymic Lewis rats. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1989;84(6):1731-1740.
Transin is a neutral metalloproteinase initially isolated from malignantly transformed rat fibroblasts and subsequently shown to be homologous to human stromelysin. We performed Northern blot analysis on synovial tissue specimens from Lewis rats with proliferative and invasive streptococcal cell wall (SCW) arthritis. Transin mRNA was present in abundance, as was the mRNA of the c-myc oncogene, which is associated with cellular proliferation. Immunohistochemical staining of synovia from rats with chronic SCW arthritis showed high-level transin expression in the cells of the lining layer and underlying stroma, as well as in chondrocytes and osteoclasts in subchondral bone. Intense nuclear staining for the Myc oncoprotein was also detected with a cross-reactive antibody to v-Myc. Transin stained similarly in the early, rapid-onset, thymus-independent, acute phase of SCW arthritis. In the T cell-dependent adjuvant arthritis, transin expression was noted by day 4, 6 d before the influx of mononuclear cells and the onset of clinical disease. Athymic rats did not express transin. We concluded that transin is a marker of proliferative, invasive arthritis in rats and appears early in the course of disease development, but requires a competent immune system to sustain its expression in these model arthropathies.
PMCID: PMC304049  PMID: 2687329
11.  Cross-reactivity between haptenic muramyl di- or tripeptide derivatives and Mycobacterium bovis BCG: potential application for enhancing tumor immunity. 
Infection and Immunity  1986;54(3):768-773.
Muramyl di- or tripeptide (MDP or MTP) hapten derivatives bearing various structures were synthesized, and the correlation of these structures with cross-reactivity with Mycobacterium bovis BCG and their applicability to enhance induction of syngeneic tumor immunity were investigated. The cross-reactivity of MDP or MTP haptens to BCG was examined by T-cell proliferation responses of lymph node cells from BCG-primed C3H/He mice in the stimulation with MDP- or MTP-coupled syngeneic cells. A haptenic MDP derivative (designated L4-MDP) stimulated proliferative responses appreciably. Derivatives in which alanine in the peptide portion of L4-MDP was replaced by methylalanine or valine failed to induce stimulation. However, the cross-reactivity with BCG was regained in the MTP derivative that was formed by adding lysine to dipeptide containing methylalanine or valine. Whether this cross-reactive pattern was correlated with enhanced induction of tumor immunity was further investigated. According to the established protocol for the augmented induction of tumor immunity, BCG-primed C3H/He mice were immunized with various haptenic MDP-coupled syngeneic X5563 tumor cells. Immunization with tumor cells conjugating BCG-cross-reactive haptens resulted in enhanced tumor immunity, whereas immunization with tumor cells coupling non-cross-reactive haptens failed to produce anti-X5563 tumor immunity. These results indicate that the peptide portion in these haptenic structures is critical in the generation of BCG cross-reactivity leading to enhanced tumor immunity.
PMCID: PMC260235  PMID: 3491048
12.  Low expression of human histocompatibility leukocyte antigen-DR is associated with hypermethylation of human histocompatibility leukocyte antigen-DR alpha gene regions in B cells from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1985;76(4):1314-1322.
The relationship between the expression of HLA-DR antigens and the HLA-DR alpha gene methylation was examined in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Using permanent B cell lines, we found reduced DR expression in SLE. The low DR expression was correlated with high anti-DNA antibody titers in patients' sera. The amounts of DR alpha message were lower in SLE cells than in normal controls, suggesting that the low expression of DR antigens is associated with gene functions. The extent of DNA methylation was examined at five CCGG sites in the HLA-DR alpha locus. DNA from both SLE and normal cells showed variable methylation patterns. Since the DR alpha gene is a single-copy gene, such a variability is the result of assaying a mixture of transformed clones containing methylated DR alpha gene, with other clones containing unmethylated DR alpha gene. A distinctive feature of normal cells was a consistent methylation pattern: 12 normal cell lines showed exactly the same pattern. In contrast, 28 SLE cell lines showed a cell-line-specific methylation, and hypermethylation at the DR alpha locus. The hypermethylation is often associated with transcriptionally inactive genes. Thus, our results suggest that (a) B cells with hypermethylated DR genes might express no or few DR antigens; (b) the ratio of cells with differently methylated DR genes is consistent in normal individuals, while, in SLE patients, cells with hypermethylated DR genes predominate, resulting in apparently reduced DR antigen expression; and (c) the aberrant DR expression could be associated directly with immunoregulatory dysfunctions in SLE disease.
PMCID: PMC424064  PMID: 2997276
13.  Loss of chloroplast DNA methylation during dedifferentiation of Chlamydomonas reinhardi gametes. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1984;4(10):2103-2108.
In Chlamydomonas reinhardi the chloroplast DNA (ch;DNA) of mating type plus cells undergoes cyclical methylation and demethylation during the life cycle. Methylation occurs during gametogenesis, and fully differentiated gametes can be dedifferentiated back to vegetative cells which contain nonmethylated chlDNA by the addition of a nitrogen source for growth. We examined the dedifferentiation process and found that the mating ability of gametes was lost rapidly after the start of dedifferentiation at a time when the chlDNA was still methylated. The enzymatic activity of the 200-kilodalton DNA methyltransferase was lost at a rate consistent with the rate of dilution during cell division. Methylation of chlDNA decreased at a slower rate than was expected from cell division alone but was consistent with the continuing activity of the preexisting methyltransferase so long as it was present. These results support the hypothesis that demethylation of chlDNA occurs by dilution out of enzymatic methylating activity rather than by enzymatic demethylation.
PMCID: PMC369028  PMID: 6095040
15.  RNA nicking activity associated with DNA ligase of T4 infected E. coli: properties and influence on in vitro reactions of ligase. 
Nucleic Acids Research  1975;2(9):1609-1620.
Highly purified DNA ligase from T4 infected E. coli displays an RNA nicking activity which cleaves endonucleolytically the RNA of ribo-desoxy-and ribo-ribo type doublestranded structures to oligonucleotides with 5'phosphoryl-and 3'hydroxy termini. In the presence of ATP the generated nicks are repaired by the ligase except at the ends of the doublestranded regions where some short oligonucleotides are released before ligation can occur. As judged from its behaviour during the various purification steps and from some of its properties, the nicking activity seems to be different from known nicking enzymes.
PMCID: PMC343527  PMID: 1101228

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