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1.  Positive Association Between Serum Level of Glyceraldehyde-Derived Advanced Glycation End Products and Vascular Inflammation Evaluated by [18F]Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography 
Diabetes Care  2012;35(12):2618-2625.
OBJECTIVE
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) evoke inflammatory reactions, contributing to the development and progression of atherosclerosis. We investigated the relationship between serum AGE level and vascular inflammation.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
The study involved 275 outpatients at Kurume University, Japan (189 males and 86 females; mean age 61.2 ± 8.8 years) who underwent complete history and physical examinations and determinations of blood chemistry and anthropometric variables, including AGEs. Serum AGE level was examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Vascular [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) uptake, an index of vascular inflammation, was measured as blood-normalized standardized uptake value, known as the target-to-background ratio (TBR), by FDG–positron emission tomography (FDG-PET). Furthermore, we examined whether the changes in serum AGE level after treatment with oral hypoglycemia agents (OHAs) were correlated with those of TBR in another 18 subjects whose AGE value was >14.2 units/mL (mean ± 2 SD).
RESULTS
Mean serum AGE level and carotid TBR values were 9.15 ± 2.53 and 1.43 ± 0.22 units/mL, respectively. Multiple stepwise regression analysis revealed that TBR was independently correlated with AGEs (P < 0.001), carotid intima-media thickness (P < 0.01), and BMI (P < 0.02). When age- and sex-adjusted AGE values stratified by TBR tertiles were compared using ANCOVA, a significant trend was observed (P < 0.01). In addition, the changes in AGEs after OHA treatment were positively (r = 0.50, P < 0.05) correlated with those in TBR value.
CONCLUSIONS
The current study reveals that serum AGE level is independently associated with vascular inflammation evaluated by FDG-PET, suggesting that circulating AGE value may be a biomarker that could reflect vascular inflammation within an area of atherosclerosis.
doi:10.2337/dc12-0087
PMCID: PMC3507595  PMID: 22912424
2.  Comparison of the Invasiveness Between Reduced-Port Laparoscopy-Assisted Distal Gastrectomy and Conventional Laparoscopy-Assisted Distal Gastrectomy 
International Surgery  2013;98(3):247-253.
It is unknown whether reduced-port gastrectomy has a less invasive nature than conventional laparoscopy-assisted distal gastrectomy (C-LADG). So we compared 30 cases of dual-port laparoscopy-assisted distal gastrectomy (DP-LADG; using an umbilical port plus a right flank 5-mm port) as a reduced-port gastrectomy with 30 cases of C-LADG alternately performed by a single surgeon. No significant differences were observed in blood loss, intraoperative complications, the number of dissected lymph nodes, postoperative complications, the day of first defecation, analgesic agents required, changes in body temperature, heart rate, white blood cell count, serum albumin level, or lymphocyte count between the 2 groups. The amounts of oral intake in the DP-LADG group were significantly higher on postoperative days 9 and 10. We concluded that the amount of oral intake in the DP-LADG group was superior to that in the C-LADG group; however, no other evidence of DP-LADG being less invasive than C-LADG was obtained.
doi:10.9738/INTSURG-D-12-00025
PMCID: PMC3756848  PMID: 23971779
Laparoscopy; Gastrectomy; Single incision; Single port; Reduced port
3.  Rationale and design of LUX-Head & Neck 1: a randomised, Phase III trial of afatinib versus methotrexate in patients with recurrent and/or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma who progressed after platinum-based therapy 
BMC Cancer  2014;14:473.
Background
Patients with recurrent and/or metastatic (R/M) head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) receiving platinum-based chemotherapy as their first-line treatment have a dismal prognosis, with a median overall survival (OS) of ~7 months. Methotrexate is sometimes used following platinum failure or in patients not fit enough for platinum therapy, but this agent has not demonstrated any OS improvement. Targeted therapies are a novel approach, with the EGFR-targeting monoclonal antibody cetuximab (plus platinum-based chemotherapy) approved in the US and Europe in the first-line R/M setting, and as monotherapy following platinum failure in the US. However, there is still a high unmet medical need for new treatments that improve outcomes in the second-line R/M setting following failure on first-line platinum-containing regimens. Afatinib, an irreversible ErbB family blocker, was recently approved for the first-line treatment of EGFR mutation-positive metastatic non-small cell lung cancer. Afatinib has also shown clinical activity similar to cetuximab in a Phase II proof-of-concept HNSCC trial. Based on these observations, the Phase III, LUX-Head & Neck 1 study is evaluating afatinib versus methotrexate in R/M HNSCC patients following progression on platinum-based chemotherapy in the R/M setting.
Methods/Design
Patients with progressive disease after one first-line platinum-based chemotherapy are randomised 2:1 to oral afatinib (starting dose 40 mg once daily) or IV methotrexate (starting dose 40 mg/m2 once weekly) administered as monotherapy with best supportive care until progression or intolerable adverse events. Efficacy of afatinib versus methotrexate will be assessed in terms of progression-free survival (primary endpoint). Disease progression will be evaluated according to RECIST v1.1 by investigator and independent central review. Secondary endpoints include OS, tumour response and safety. Health-related quality of life and biomarker assessments will also be performed.
Discussion
If the LUX-Head & Neck 1 trial meets its primary endpoint, it will demonstrate the ability of afatinib to elicit an improved treatment benefit versus a commonly used chemotherapy agent in the second-line treatment of R/M HNSCC patients who have failed on first-line platinum-based therapy, confirm the clinical efficacy of afatinib observed in the Phase II proof-of-concept study, and establish a new standard of care for this patient population.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-473
PMCID: PMC4079914  PMID: 24973959
Afatinib; Methotrexate; Head and neck; Phase III; Recurrent; Metastatic
4.  PPARβ/δ activation of CD300a controls intestinal immunity 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:5412.
Macrophages are important for maintaining intestinal immune homeostasis. Here, we show that PPARβ/δ (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor β/δ) directly regulates CD300a in macrophages that express the immunoreceptor tyrosine based-inhibitory motif (ITIM)-containing receptor. In mice lacking CD300a, high-fat diet (HFD) causes chronic intestinal inflammation with low numbers of intestinal lymph capillaries and dramatically expanded mesenteric lymph nodes. As a result, these mice exhibit triglyceride malabsorption and reduced body weight gain on HFD. Peritoneal macrophages from Cd300a−/− mice on HFD are classically M1 activated. Activation of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)/MyD88 signaling by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) results in prolonged IL-6 secretion in Cd300a−/− macrophages. Bone marrow transplantation confirmed that the phenotype originates from CD300a deficiency in leucocytes. These results identify CD300a-mediated inhibitory signaling in macrophages as a critical regulator of intestinal immune homeostasis.
doi:10.1038/srep05412
PMCID: PMC4067692  PMID: 24958459
5.  Warm Water Bath Stimulates Phase-Shifts of the Peripheral Circadian Clocks in PER2::LUCIFERASE Mouse 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e100272.
Circadian clocks in the peripheral tissues of mice are known to be entrained by pulse stimuli such as restricted feeding, novel wheel running, and several other agents. However, there are no reports on high temperature pulse-mediated entrainment on the phase-shift of peripheral clocks in vivo. Here we show that temperature treatment of mice for two days at 41°C, instead of 37°C, for 1–2 h during the inactive period, using a temperature controlled water bath stimulated phase-advance of peripheral clocks in the kidney, liver, and submandibular gland of PER2::LUCIFERASE mice. On the other hand, treatment for 2 days at 35°C ambient room temperature for 2 h did not cause a phase-advance. Maintenance of mice at 41°C in a water bath, sustained the core body temperature at 40–41°C. However, the use of 37°C water bath or the 35°C ambient room temperature elevated the core body temperature to 38.5°C, suggesting that at least a core body temperature of 40–41°C is necessary to cause phase-advance under light-dark cycle conditions. The temperature pulse stimulation at 41°C, instead of 37°C water bath for 2 h led to the elevated expression of Per1 and Hsp70 in the peripheral tissue of mice. In summary, the present study demonstrates that transient high temperature pulse using water bath during daytime causes phase-advance in mouse peripheral clocks in vivo. The present results suggest that hot water bath may affect the phase of peripheral clocks.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0100272
PMCID: PMC4059754  PMID: 24933288
6.  Reduction of Reactive Oxygen Species Ameliorates Metabolism-Secretion Coupling in Islets of Diabetic GK Rats by Suppressing Lactate Overproduction 
Diabetes  2013;62(6):1996-2003.
We previously demonstrated that impaired glucose-induced insulin secretion (IS) and ATP elevation in islets of Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rats, a nonobese model of diabetes, were significantly restored by 30–60-min suppression of endogenous reactive oxygen species (ROS) overproduction. In this study, we investigated the effect of a longer (12 h) suppression of ROS on metabolism-secretion coupling in β-cells by exposure to tempol, a superoxide (O2−) dismutase mimic, plus ebselen, a glutathione peroxidase mimic (TE treatment). In GK islets, both H2O2 and O2− were sufficiently reduced and glucose-induced IS and ATP elevation were improved by TE treatment. Glucose oxidation, an indicator of Krebs cycle velocity, also was improved by TE treatment at high glucose, whereas glucokinase activity, which determines glycolytic velocity, was not affected. Lactate production was markedly increased in GK islets, and TE treatment reduced lactate production and protein expression of lactate dehydrogenase and hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF1α). These results indicate that the Warburg-like effect, which is characteristic of aerobic metabolism in cancer cells by which lactate is overproduced with reduced linking to mitochondria metabolism, plays an important role in impaired metabolism-secretion coupling in diabetic β-cells and suggest that ROS reduction can improve mitochondrial metabolism by suppressing lactate overproduction through the inhibition of HIF1α stabilization.
doi:10.2337/db12-0903
PMCID: PMC3661648  PMID: 23349483
7.  Heat-shock protein 70-2 BB genotype is associated with reduced risks of the steroid-dependent and refractory phenotypes of ulcerative colitis 
Biomedical Reports  2014;2(4):555-558.
Previous studies have demonstrated the protective role of inducible heat-shock protein (HSP) 70 in intestinal cells. The HSP70-2 gene has a PstI site due to an A–G transition at the 1,267 position and different genotypes are associated with various levels of mRNA expression. The present study aimed to clarify the effect of the HSP70-2 polymorphism on the risk of ulcerative colitis (UC), including its clinical phenotypes. A total of 121 patients with UC and 500 healthy control (HC) subjects participated in the study. To assess the polymorphisms at the 1,267 position of the HSP70-2 gene, restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis was performed. The subjects in the study were classified by disease behavior, severity and extent of disease. Although no significant difference of the HSP70-2 genotype distribution was identified between the HC and UC groups, the BB genotype exhibited a lower risk of the steroid-dependent phenotype [odds ratio (OR), 0.12; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.02–0.95; P=0.02]. The same genotype was also associated with a lower risk of the refractory phenotype (OR, 0.16; 95% CI, 0.04–0.73; P=0.01). There was no direct correlation between the polymorphism of the HSP70-2 gene and UC susceptibility. However, there was an association between a reduced risk of the steroid-dependent and refractory phenotypes of UC and the BB genotype.
doi:10.3892/br.2014.288
PMCID: PMC4051472
ulcerative colitis; heat-shock protein 70-2; polymorphism
8.  Effect of RANTES gene promoter genotypes in patients with ulcerative colitis 
Biomedical Reports  2014;2(4):602-606.
A complex interaction of genetic and environmental factors is closely associated with the development of inflammatory bowel disease. Previous studies reported that the expression of the regulated upon activation, normal T-cell expressed and secreted (RANTES) gene is enhanced in the colonic mucosa of ulcerative colitis (UC). Quantitative differences in RANTES gene expression among numerous promoter genotypes have also been reported. The aim of the present study was to clarify the effect of RANTES promoter polymorphism on the risk of UC, including its clinical phenotypes. A total of 150 UC patients and 372 healthy control (HC) subjects participated in the study. The UC patients were classified by disease behavior, severity and extent of disease. Restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis was performed for polymorphisms at −28 C/G in the RANTES gene promoter region. Although no significant difference of the RANTES promoter genotype distribution was observed between the HC and UC groups, the G/G genotype was significantly higher among female (OR=3.95, 95% CI=1.22–12.82, P=0.03), non-steroid dependent (OR=3.37, 95% CI=1.16–9.85, P=0.03) and non-refractory (OR=3.76, 95% CI=1.29–10.98, P=0.02) UC patients. The G carrier was also found to be associated with an increased risk of rectal colitis (OR=2.21, 95% CI=1.12–4.39, P=0.03). The data indicate that the polymorphism of the RANTES promoter is not directly associated with the susceptibility to UC, but the −28 G allele is associated with female UC patients and mild clinical phenotypes of UC, including non-steroid dependency, non-refractory and rectal colitis.
doi:10.3892/br.2014.287
PMCID: PMC4051492  PMID: 24944817
ulcerative colitis; RANTES promoter; polymorphism
9.  Feasibility of Cisplatin/5-Fluorouracil and Panitumumab in Japanese Patients with Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck 
This study demonstrates the feasibility of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck Japanese patients in international clinical trials investigating use of cisplatin/5-fluorouracil 100/1000 by evaluating tolerability through the prospective analysis of global trial.
Objective
In Japan, cisplatin/5-fluorouracil 80/800 (cisplatin 80 mg/m2, 5-fluorouracil 800 mg/m2) is widely used to treat recurrent/metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, whereas cisplatin/5-fluorouracil 100/1000 (1000 mg/m2/24 h by continuous intravenous infusion on Days 1–4 plus cisplatin 100 mg/m2 on Day 1 in 3-week cycles) is the standard treatment in Europe and North America.
Methods
We prospectively evaluated the feasibility of cisplatin/5-fluorouracil 100/1000 in Japanese patients enrolled in the global Phase 3 study of panitumumab 9 mg/kg combined with cisplatin/5-fluorouracil 100/1000 (Arm 1) versus cisplatin/5-fluorouracil 100/1000 alone (Arm 2).
Results
Twenty Japanese patients were enrolled and received treatment (Arm 1, n = 13; Arm 2, n = 7). Grade 3/4 adverse events included neutropenia, hypomagnesemia, stomatitis, hyponatremia, paronychia, febrile neutropenia, decreased appetite and hypokalemia. There were no fatal adverse events. Median overall survival was not estimable in Arm 1 and 15.4 months in Arm 2. Median progression-free survival was 6.9 months in Arm 1 and 5.7 months in Arm 2. The median number of infusions (cycles) of cisplatin was 5 in Arm 1 and 4 in Arm 2; the median number of infusions (cycles) of 5-fluorouracil was 6 in both arms. The mean administered dose for cisplatin was 93.6 mg/m2 in Arm 1 and 97.2 mg/m2 in Arm 2, and 3732.6 and 3880 mg/m2 in Arm 1 and Arm 2, respectively, for 5-fluorouracil.
Conclusions
These results suggested that cisplatin/5-fluorouracil 100/1000 was feasible for recurrent/metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck in Japanese patients.
doi:10.1093/jjco/hyu063
PMCID: PMC4071043  PMID: 24837597
head and neck; Japanese subgroup analysis; cisplatin/5-fluorouracil-100/1000
10.  TMPRSS2 Is an Activating Protease for Respiratory Parainfluenza Viruses 
Journal of Virology  2013;87(21):11930-11935.
Here, we show that human parainfluenza viruses and Sendai virus (SeV), like other respiratory viruses, use TMPRSS2 for their activation. The membrane fusion proteins of respiratory viruses often possess serine and glutamine residues at the P2 and P3 positions, respectively, but these residues were not critical for cleavage by TMPRSS2. However, mutations of these residues affected SeV growth in specific epithelial cell lines, suggesting the importance of these residues for SeV replication in epithelia.
doi:10.1128/JVI.01490-13
PMCID: PMC3807344  PMID: 23966399
11.  A phase ΙI study of five peptides combination with oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy as a first-line therapy for advanced colorectal cancer (FXV study) 
Background
We previously conducted a phase I trial for advanced colorectal cancer (CRC) using five HLA-A*2402-restricted peptides, three derived from oncoantigens and two from vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors, and confirmed safety and immunological responses. To evaluate clinical benefits of cancer vaccination treatment, we conducted a phase II trial using the same peptides in combination with oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy as a first-line therapy.
Methods
The primary objective of the study was the response rates (RR). Progression free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and immunological parameters were evaluated as secondary objective. The planned sample size was more than 40 patients for both HLA2402-matched and -unmatched groups. All patients received a cocktail of five peptides (3 mg each) mixed with 1.5 ml of IFA which was subcutaneously administered weekly for the first 12 weeks followed by biweekly administration. Presence or absence of the HLA-A*2402 genotype were used for classification of patients into two groups.
Results
Between February 2009 and November 2012, ninety-six chemotherapy naïve CRC patients were enrolled under the masking of their HLA-A status. Ninety-three patients received mFOLFOX6 and three received XELOX. Bevacizumab was added in five patients. RR was 62.0% and 60.9% in the HLA-A*2402-matched and -unmatched groups, respectively (p = 0.910). The median OS was 20.7 months in the HLA-A*2402-matched group and 24.0 months in the unmatched group (log-rank, p = 0.489). In subgroup with a neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (NLR) of < 3.0, patients in the HLA-matched group did not survive significantly longer than those in the unmatched group (log-rank, p = 0.289) but showed a delayed response.
Conclusions
Although no significance was observed for planned statistical efficacy endpoints, a delayed response was observed in subgroup with a NLR of < 3.0. Biomarkers such as NLR might be useful for selecting patients with a better treatment outcome by the vaccination.
Trial registration
Trial registration: UMIN000001791.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-12-108
PMCID: PMC4021539  PMID: 24884643
Peptide vaccine; Peptide cocktail; Colorectal cancer; Phase II study; FOLFOX; Chemotherapy
12.  Disruption of the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus Blunts a Time of Day-Dependent Variation in Systemic Anaphylactic Reaction in Mice 
Journal of Immunology Research  2014;2014:474217.
Anaphylaxis is a severe systemic allergic reaction which is rapid in onset and potentially fatal, caused by excessive release of mediators including histamine and cytokines/chemokines from mast cells and basophils upon allergen/IgE stimulation. Increased prevalence of anaphylaxis in industrialized countries requires urgent needs for better understanding of anaphylaxis. However, the pathophysiology of the disease is not fully understood. Here we report that the circadian clock may be an important regulator of anaphylaxis. In mammals, the central clock located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus synchronizes and entrains peripheral circadian clock present in virtually all cell types via neural and endocrine pathways, thereby driving the daily rhythms in behavior and physiology. We found that mechanical disruption of the SCN resulted in the absence of a time of day-dependent variation in passive systemic anaphylactic (PSA) reaction in mice, associated with loss of daily variations in serum histamine, MCP-1 (CCL2), and IL-6 levels. These results suggest that the central SCN clock controls the time of day-dependent variation in IgE-mediated systemic anaphylactic reaction, which may provide a novel insight into the pathophysiology of anaphylaxis.
doi:10.1155/2014/474217
PMCID: PMC4016877  PMID: 24860835
13.  Use of P450 cytochrome inhibitors in studies of enokipodin biosynthesis 
Brazilian Journal of Microbiology  2014;44(4):1285-1290.
Enokipodins A, B, C, and D are antimicrobial sesquiterpenes isolated from the mycelial culture medium of Flammulina velutipes, an edible mushroom. The presence of a quaternary carbon stereocenter on the cyclopentane ring makes enokipodins A-D attractive synthetic targets. In this study, nine different cytochrome P450 inhibitors were used to trap the biosynthetic intermediates of highly oxygenated cuparene-type sesquiterpenes of F. velutipes. Of these, 1-aminobenzotriazole produced three less-highly oxygenated biosynthetic intermediates of enokipodins A-D; these were identified as (S)-(−)-cuparene-1,4-quinone and epimers at C-3 of 6-hydroxy-6-methyl-3-(1,2,2-trimethylcyclopentyl)-2-cyclohexen-1-one. One of the epimers was found to be a new compound.
PMCID: PMC3958200  PMID: 24688524
Antimicrobial compound; cuparene-1; 4-quinone; edible mushroom; enokitake; Flammulina velutipes
14.  Development of a Sweetness Sensor for Aspartame, a Positively Charged High-Potency Sweetener 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2014;14(4):7359-7373.
Taste evaluation technology has been developed by several methods, such as sensory tests, electronic tongues and a taste sensor based on lipid/polymer membranes. In particular, the taste sensor can individually quantify five basic tastes without multivariate analysis. However, it has proven difficult to develop a sweetness sensor, because sweeteners are classified into three types according to the electric charges in an aqueous solution; that is, no charge, negative charge and positive charge. Using membrane potential measurements, the taste-sensing system needs three types of sensor membrane for each electric charge type of sweetener. Since the commercially available sweetness sensor was only intended for uncharged sweeteners, a sweetness sensor for positively charged high-potency sweeteners such as aspartame was developed in this study. Using a lipid and plasticizers, we fabricated various lipid/polymer membranes for the sweetness sensor to identify the suitable components of the sensor membranes. As a result, one of the developed sensors showed responses of more than 20 mV to 10 mM aspartame and less than 5 mV to any other taste. The responses of the sensor depended on the concentration of aspartame. These results suggested that the developed sweetness sensor had high sensitivity to and high selectivity for aspartame.
doi:10.3390/s140407359
PMCID: PMC4029720  PMID: 24763213
taste sensor; high-potency sweetener; sweetness sensor; aspartame; lipid/polymer membrane
16.  Palmitate induces reactive oxygen species production and β‐cell dysfunction by activating nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase through Src signaling 
Abstract
Aims/Introduction
Chronic hyperlipidemia impairs pancreatic β‐cell function, referred to as lipotoxicity. We have reported an important role of endogenous reactive oxygen species (ROS) overproduction by activation of Src, a non‐receptor tyrosine kinase, in impaired glucose‐induced insulin secretion (GIIS) from diabetic rat islets. In the present study, we investigated the role of ROS production by Src signaling in palmitate‐induced dysfunction of β‐cells.
Materials and Methods
After rat insulinoma INS‐1D cells were exposed to 0.6 mmol/L palmitate for 24 h (palmitate exposure); GIIS, ROS production and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase (NOX) activity were examined with or without exposure to10 μmol/L 4‐amino‐5‐(4‐chlorophenyl)‐7‐(t‐butyl)pyrazolo[3,4‐d]pyrimidine (PP2), a Src inhibitior, for 30 or 60 min.
Results
Exposure to PP2 recovered impaired GIIS and decreased ROS overproduction as a result of palmitate exposure. Palmitate exposure increased activity of NOX and protein levels of NOX2, a pathological ROS source in β‐cells. Palmitate exposure increased the protein level of p47phox, a regulatory protein of NOX2, in membrane fraction compared with control, which was reduced by PP2. Transfection of small interfering ribonucleic acid of p47phox suppressed the augmented p47phox protein level in membrane fraction, decreased augmented ROS production and increased impaired GΙIS by palmitate exposure. In addition, exposure to PP2 ameliorated impaired GIIS and decreased ROS production in isolated islets of KK‐Ay mice, an obese diabetic model with hyperlipidemia.
Conclusions
Activation of NOX through Src signaling plays an important role in ROS overproduction and impaired GΙIS caused by chronic exposure to palmitate, suggesting a lipotoxic mechanism of β‐cell dysfunction of obese mice.
doi:10.1111/jdi.12124
PMCID: PMC4025235  PMID: 24843732
Lipotoxicity; Pancreatic β‐cells; Reactive oxygen species
17.  Regulation of LH/FSH expression by secretoglobin 3A2 in the mouse pituitary gland 
Cell and Tissue Research  2014;356:253-260.
Secretoglobin (SCGB) 3A2 was originally identified as a downstream target for the homeodomain transcription factor NKX2-1 in the lung. NKX2-1 plays a role in the genesis and expression of genes in the thyroid, lung and ventral forebrain; Nkx2-1-null mice have no thyroid and pituitary and severely hypoplastic lungs and hypothalamus. To demonstrate whether SCGB3A2 plays any role in pituitary hormone production, NKX2-1 and SCGB3A2 expression in the mouse pituitary gland was examined by immunohistochemical analysis and RT-PCR. NKX2-1 was localized in the posterior pituitary lobe, whereas SCGB3A2 was observed in both anterior and posterior lobes as shown by immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR. Expression of CCAAT-enhancer binding proteins (C/EBPs), which regulate mouse Scgb3a2 transcription, was also examined by RT-PCR. C/EBPβ, γ, δ and ζ were expressed in the adult mouse pituitary gland. SCGB3A2 was expressed in the anterior and posterior lobes from postnatal days 1 and 5, respectively and the areas where SCGB3A2 expression was found coincided with the area where FSH-secreting cells were found. Double-staining for SCGB3A2 and pituitary hormones revealed that SCGB3A2 was mainly localized in gonadotrophs in 49 % of FSH-secreting cells and 47 % of LH-secreting cells. In addition, SCGB3A2 dramatically inhibited LH and FSH mRNA expression in rat pituitary primary cell cultures. These results suggest that SCGB3A2 regulates FSH/LH production in the anterior pituitary lobe and that transcription factors other than NKX2-1 may regulate SCGB3A2 expression.
doi:10.1007/s00441-014-1794-z
PMCID: PMC3975077  PMID: 24514953
SCGB3A2; Nkx2-1; C/EBP; LH/FSH; Pituitary
18.  Obituary 
Journal of Extracellular Vesicles  2014;3:10.3402/jev.v3.23842.
doi:10.3402/jev.v3.23842
PMCID: PMC3914122
19.  Generation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) Cells in Serum- and Feeder-Free Defined Culture and TGF-β1 Regulation of Pluripotency 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e87151.
Human Embryonic Stem cells (hESCs) and human induced Pluripotent Stem cells (hiPSCs) are commonly maintained on inactivated mouse embryonic fibroblast as feeder cells in medium supplemented with FBS or proprietary replacements. Use of culture medium containing undefined or unknown components has limited the development of applications for pluripotent cells because of the relative lack of knowledge regarding cell responses to differentiating growth factors. In addition, there is no consensus as to the optimal formulation, or the nature of the cytokine requirements of the cells to promote their self-renewal and inhibit their differentiation. In this study, we successfully generated hiPSCs from human dental pulp cells (DPCs) using Yamanaka's factors (Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc) with retroviral vectors in serum- and feeder-free defined culture conditions. These hiPSCs retained the property of self-renewal as evaluated by the expression of self-renewal marker genes and proteins, morphology, cell growth rates, and pluripotency evaluated by differentiation into derivatives of all three primary germ layers in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we found that TGF-β1 increased the expression levels of pluripotency markers in a dose-dependent manner. However, increasing doses of TGF-β1 suppressed the growth rate of hiPSCs cultured under the defined conditions. Furthermore, over short time periods the hiPSCs cultured in hESF9 or hESF9T exhibited similar morphology, but hiPSCs maintained in hESF9 could not survive beyond 30 passages. This result clearly confirmed that hiPSCs cultured in hESF9 medium absolutely required TGF-β1 to maintain pluripotency. This simple serum-free adherent monoculture system will allow us to elucidate the cell responses to growth factors under defined conditions and can eliminate the risk might be brought by undefined pathogens.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0087151
PMCID: PMC3906124  PMID: 24489856
20.  An Efficient Large-Scale Retroviral Transduction Method Involving Preloading the Vector into a RetroNectin-Coated Bag with Low-Temperature Shaking 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e86275.
In retroviral vector-mediated gene transfer, transduction efficiency can be hampered by inhibitory molecules derived from the culture fluid of virus producer cell lines. To remove these inhibitory molecules to enable better gene transduction, we had previously developed a transduction method using a fibronectin fragment-coated vessel (i.e., the RetroNectin-bound virus transduction method). In the present study, we developed a method that combined RetroNectin-bound virus transduction with low-temperature shaking and applied this method in manufacturing autologous retroviral-engineered T cells for adoptive transfer gene therapy in a large-scale closed system. Retroviral vector was preloaded into a RetroNectin-coated bag and incubated at 4°C for 16 h on a reciprocating shaker at 50 rounds per minute. After the supernatant was removed, activated T cells were added to the bag. The bag transduction method has the advantage of increasing transduction efficiency, as simply flipping over the bag during gene transduction facilitates more efficient utilization of the retroviral vector adsorbed on the top and bottom surfaces of the bag. Finally, we performed validation runs of endoribonuclease MazF-modified CD4+ T cell manufacturing for HIV-1 gene therapy and T cell receptor-modified T cell manufacturing for MAGE-A4 antigen-expressing cancer gene therapy and achieved over 200-fold (≥1010) and 100-fold (≥5×109) expansion, respectively. In conclusion, we demonstrated that the large-scale closed transduction system is highly efficient for retroviral vector-based T cell manufacturing for adoptive transfer gene therapy, and this technology is expected to be amenable to automation and improve current clinical gene therapy protocols.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086275
PMCID: PMC3893289  PMID: 24454964
21.  Circadian dysfunction in response to in vivo treatment with the mitochondrial toxin 3-nitropropionic acid 
ASN NEURO  2014;6(1):e00133.
Sleep disorders are common in neurodegenerative diseases including Huntington's disease (HD) and develop early in the disease process. Mitochondrial alterations are believed to play a critical role in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases. In the present study, we evaluated the circadian system of mice after inhibiting mitochondrial complex II of the respiratory chain with the toxin 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NP). We found that a subset of mice treated with low doses of 3-NP exhibited severe circadian deficit in behavior. The temporal patterning of sleep behavior is also disrupted in some mice with evidence of difficulty in the initiation of sleep behavior. Using the open field test during the normal sleep phase, we found that the 3-NP-treated mice were hyperactive. The molecular clockwork responsible for the generation of circadian rhythms as measured by PER2::LUCIFERASE was disrupted in a subset of mice. Within the SCN, the 3-NP treatment resulted in a reduction in daytime firing rate in the subset of mice which had a behavioral deficit. Anatomically, we confirmed that all of the treated mice showed evidence for cell loss within the striatum but we did not see evidence for gross SCN pathology. Together, the data demonstrates that chronic treatment with low doses of the mitochondrial toxin 3-NP produced circadian deficits in a subset of treated mice. This work does raise the possibility that the neural damage produced by mitochondrial dysfunction can contribute to the sleep/circadian dysfunction seen so commonly in neurodegenerative diseases.
doi:10.1042/AN20130042
PMCID: PMC3891360  PMID: 24328694
circadian; clock; suprachiasmatic; ACSF, artificial CSF (cerebrospinal fluid); CT, circadian time; DD, constant dark; DIC, differential interference contrast; HD, Huntingon’s disease; i.p., intraperitoneally; LD, light-dark; 3-NP, 3-nitropropionic acid; PD, Parkinson’s disease; SCN, suprachiasmatic nucleus; SFR, spontaneous firing rate; ZT, Zeitgeber time
22.  Effects of the Amino Acid Constituents of Microcystin Variants on Cytotoxicity to Primary Cultured Rat Hepatocytes 
Toxins  2013;6(1):168-179.
Microcystins, which are cyclic heptapeptides produced by some cyanobacterial species from algal blooms, strongly inhibit serine/threonine protein phosphatase and are known as hepatotoxins. Microcystins have many structural variations, yet insufficient information is available on the differences in the cytotoxic potentials among the structural variants. In this study, the cytotoxicities of 16 microcystin variants at concentrations of 0.03–10 μg/mL to primary cultured rat hepatocytes were determined by measuring cellular ATP content, and subsequently determined by their 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50). Differences in the amino acid constituents were associated with differences in cytotoxic potential. [d-Asp3, Z-Dhb7] microcystin-LR exhibited the strongest cytotoxicity at IC50 of 0.053 μg/mL among the microcystin variants tested. Furthermore, [d-Asp3, Z-Dhb7] microcystin-HtyR was also highly cytotoxic. These results suggest that both d-Asp and Z-Dhb residues are important in determining the cytotoxic potential of microcystin variants.
doi:10.3390/toxins6010168
PMCID: PMC3920255  PMID: 24380975
microcystin; variants; cytotoxicity; primary cultured rat hepatocytes; environmental water
23.  Evaluation of Nanodispersion of Iron Oxides Using Various Polymers 
In order to create Fe2O3 and Fe2O3·H2O nanoparticles, various polymers were used as dispersing agents, and the resulting effects on the dispersibility and nanoparticulation of the iron oxides were evaluated. It was revealed that not only the solution viscosity but also the molecular length of the polymers and the surface tension of the particles affected the dispersibility of Fe2O3 and Fe2O3·H2O particles. Using the dispersing agents 7.5% hydroxypropylcellulose-SSL, 6.0% Pharmacoat 603, 5.0% and 6.5% Pharmacoat 904 and 7.0% Metolose SM-4, Fe2O3 nanoparticles were successfully fabricated by wet milling using Ultra Apex Mill. Fe2O3·H2O nanoparticles could also be produced using 5.0% hydroxypropylcellulose-SSL and 4.0 and 7.0% Pharmacoat 904. The index for dispersibility developed in this study appears to be an effective indicator of success in fabricating nanoparticles of iron oxides by wet milling using Ultra Apex Mill.
PMCID: PMC4007256  PMID: 24799739
Dispersibility; iron oxide; nanoparticle; polymer; wet-milling
24.  Architecture of epigenetic reprogramming following Twist1-mediated epithelial-mesenchymal transition 
Genome Biology  2013;14(12):R144.
Background
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is known to impart metastasis and stemness characteristics in breast cancer. To characterize the epigenetic reprogramming following Twist1-induced EMT, we characterized the epigenetic and transcriptome landscapes using whole-genome transcriptome analysis by RNA-seq, DNA methylation by digital restriction enzyme analysis of methylation (DREAM) and histone modifications by CHIP-seq of H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 in immortalized human mammary epithelial cells relative to cells induced to undergo EMT by Twist1.
Results
EMT is accompanied by focal hypermethylation and widespread global DNA hypomethylation, predominantly within transcriptionally repressed gene bodies. At the chromatin level, the number of gene promoters marked by H3K4me3 increases by more than one fifth; H3K27me3 undergoes dynamic genomic redistribution characterized by loss at half of gene promoters and overall reduction of peak size by almost half. This is paralleled by increased phosphorylation of EZH2 at serine 21. Among genes with highly altered mRNA expression, 23.1% switch between H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 marks, and those point to the master EMT targets and regulators CDH1, PDGFRα and ESRP1. Strikingly, Twist1 increases the number of bivalent genes by more than two fold. Inhibition of the H3K27 methyltransferases EZH2 and EZH1, which form part of the Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2), blocks EMT and stemness properties.
Conclusions
Our findings demonstrate that the EMT program requires epigenetic remodeling by the Polycomb and Trithorax complexes leading to increased cellular plasticity. This suggests that inhibiting epigenetic remodeling and thus decrease plasticity will prevent EMT, and the associated breast cancer metastasis.
doi:10.1186/gb-2013-14-12-r144
PMCID: PMC4053791  PMID: 24367927
25.  Radioactive cesium accumulation in seaweeds by the Fukushima 1 Nuclear Power Plant accident—two years’ monitoring at Iwaki and its vicinity 
Journal of Plant Research  2013;127:23-42.
Accumulations of radionuclides in marine macroalgae (seaweeds) resulting from the Fukushima 1 Nuclear Power Plant (F1NPP) accident in March 2011 have been monitored for two years using high-purity germanium detectors. Algal specimens were collected seasonally by snorkeling at Nagasaki, Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture (Pref.), Japan, ca. 50 km perimeter from the F1NPP. Additional collections were done at Soma, Hironocho, Hisanohama and Shioyazaki in Fukushima Pref. as well as at Chiba Pref. and Hyogo Pref. as controls. In May 2011, specimens of most macroalgal species showed 137Cs levels greater than 3,000 Bq kg−1 at Shioyazaki and Nagasaki. The highest 137Cs level recorded 7371.20 ± 173.95 Bq kg−1 in Undariapinnatifida (Harvey) Suringar on 2 May 2011, whereas seawater collected at the same time at Shioyazaki and Nagasaki measured 8.41 ± 3.21 and 9.74 ± 3.43 Bq L−1, respectively. The concentration factor of marine macroalgae was estimated to be ca. 8–50, depending on taxa and considering a weight ratio of wet/dry samples of ca. 10. 137Cs level declined remarkably during the following 5–6 months. In contrast, the 137Cs level remained rather stable during the following 12–16 months, and maintained the range of 10–110 Bq kg−1. Contamination was still detectable in many samples in March 2013, 24 months after the most significant pollution.
doi:10.1007/s10265-013-0603-1
PMCID: PMC3882568  PMID: 24310613
134Cs; 137Cs; F1NPP; 40K; Radionuclide accumulation; Seaweeds

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