Abnormal endothelial proliferation and angiogenesis may contribute to brain arteriovenous malformation (BAVM) formation. G protein-coupled receptor 124 (GPR124) mediates embryonic CNS angiogenesis; thus we investigated the association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and haplotypes in GPR124 with risk of BAVM. Ten tagging SNPs spanning 39 kb of GPR124 were genotyped in 195 Caucasian BAVM patients and 243 Caucasian controls. SNP and haplotype association with risk of BAVM was screened using χ2 analysis. Associated variants were further evaluated using multivariable logistic regression, adjusting for age and sex. The minor alleles of 3 GPR124 SNPs adjacent to exon 2 and localized to a 16 kb region of high linkage disequilibrium were associated with reduced risk of BAVM (rs7015566 A, P=0.001; rs7823249 T, P=0.014; rs12676965 C, P=0.007). SNP rs7015566 (intron 1) remained associated after permutation testing (additive model P=0.033). Haplotype analysis revealed a significant overall association (χ2=12.55, 4 df, P=0.014); 2 haplotypes (ATCC, P=0.006 and GGCT, P=0.008) were associated with risk of BAVM. We genotyped a known synonymous SNP (rs16887051) in exon 2, however genotype frequency did not differ between cases and controls. Sequencing of conserved GPR124 regions revealed a novel indel polymorphism in intron 2. Immunohistochemistry confirmed GPR124 expression in the endothelium with no qualitative difference in expression between BAVM cases and controls. SNP rs7015566 mapping to intron 1 of GPR124 was associated with BAVM susceptibility among Caucasians. Future work is focused on investigating this gene region.
Angiogenesis; Genetics; Intracerebral hemorrhage; Risk factor; Vascular malformation
The aim of this study was to prospectively evaluate the initial application and value of prospective electrocardiogram (ECG)-triggered dual-source CT coronary angiography (DSCTCA) in the diagnosis of infants and children with coronary artery aneurysms due to Kawasaki disease.
19 children [12 males; mean age 13.47 months, range 3 months to 5 years; mean heart rate 112 beats per minute (bpm), range 83–141 bpm] underwent prospective ECG-triggered DSCTCA with free breathing. Subjective image quality was assessed on a five-point scale (1, excellent; 5, non-diagnostic) by two blinded observers. The location, number and size of each aneurysm were observed and compared with those of transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) performed within 1 week. Interobserver agreement concerning the subjective image quality was evaluated with Cohen's κ-test. Bland–Altman analysis was used to evaluate the agreement on measurements (diameter and length of aneurysms) between DSCTCA and TTE. The average effective dose required for DSCTCA was calculated for all children.
All interobserver agreement for subjective image quality assessment was excellent (κ=0.87). The mean±standard deviation (SD) aneurysm diameter with DSCTCA was 0.76±0.36 cm and with TTE was 0.76±0.39 cm. The mean±SD aneurysm length with DSCTCA was 2.06±1.35 cm and with TTE was 2.00±1.22 cm. The Bland–Altman plot for agreement between DSCTCA and TTE measurements showed good agreement. The mean effective dose was 0.36±0.06 mSv.
As an alternative diagnostic modality, prospective ECG-triggered DSCTCA with excellent image quality and low radiation exposure has been proved useful for diagnosing infants and children with coronary artery aneurysms due to Kawasaki disease.
Advances in knowledge
Prospective ECG–triggered DSCTCA for infants and children allows rapid, accurate assessment of coronary aneurysms due to Kawasaki diseases, compared with TTE.
The androgen receptor (AR) has a critical role in promoting androgen-dependent and -independent apoptosis in testicular cells. However, the molecular mechanisms that underlie the ligand-independent apoptosis, including the activity of AR in testicular stem cells, are not completely understood. In the present study, we generated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from bovine testicular cells by electroporation of octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (OCT4). The cells were supplemented with leukemia inhibitory factor and bone morphogenetic protein 4, which maintained and stabilized the expression of stemness genes and pluripotency. The iPSCs were used to assess the apoptosis activity following exposure to phthalate esters, including di (2-ethyhexyl) phthalates, di (n-butyl) phthalate, and butyl benzyl phthalate. Phthalate esters significantly reduced the expression of AR in iPSCs and induced a higher ratio of BAX/BCL-2, thereby favoring apoptosis. Phthalate esters also increased the expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1 (p21Cip1) in a p53-dependent manner and enhanced the transcriptional activity of p53. The forced expression of AR and knockdown of p21Cip1 led to the rescue of the phthalate-mediated apoptosis. Overall, this study suggests that testicular iPSCs are a useful system for screening the toxicity of environmental disruptors and examining their effect on the maintenance of stemness and pluripotency, as well as for identifying the iPSC signaling pathway(s) that are deregulated by these chemicals.
environmental hormone; nuclear reprogramming; p53; testis cells; toxicity screening
Recent studies have suggested a controversial role of Helicobacter pylori infection in gastric cancer prognosis. The aim of the present study was to investigate the potential impact of H. pylori status on the prognosis of patients with gastric cancer in a Chinese prospective cohort.
Between 2007 and 2009, 261 patients with curatively resected gastric cancer were enrolled in the study. H. pylori status was defined by means of immunohistochemical staining in tumour and non-neoplastic tissues. Treatment prognosis was measured in terms of cancer-specific survival and disease-free survival (dfs). Univariate and multivariate Cox regression models were used to assess the association between H. pylori status and patient prognosis.
Positivity for H. pylori infection was observed in 188 of the 261 patients (72.0%). In patients positive for H. pylori, mean cancer-specific survival was 55.2 months [95% confidence interval (ci): 53.4 to 56.9 months] and mean dfs was 53.9 months (95% ci: 51.8 to 56.0 months); the same survivals were, respectively, 45.1 months (95% ci: 42.2 to 47.9 months) and 43.7 months (95% ci: 40.4 to 47.0 months) in patients negative for H. pylori. In univariate analysis, positive H. pylori status was associated with better cancer-specific survival [hazard ratio (hr): 0.486; 95% ci: 0.271 to 0.870; p = 0.015] and dfs (hr: 0.540; 95% ci: 0.307 to 0.950; p = 0.033). In multivariate analysis, H. pylori was an independent prognostic factor for cancer-specific survival (hr: 0.485; 95% ci: 0.265 to 0.889; p = 0.019).
Our study demonstrates that positive H. pylori status is a beneficial prognostic indicator in patients with gastric cancer and might suggest possible therapeutic approaches for gastric cancer. Further research is required to better understand inflammation mechanisms and cancer progression.
Helicobacter pylori; gastric cancer; survival; relapse
The potential to use Schwann cells (SCs) in neural repair for patients suffering from neurotrauma and neurodegenerative diseases is well recognized. However, significant cell death after transplantation hinders the clinical translation of SC-based therapies. Various factors may contribute to the death of transplanted cells. It is known that prolonged activation of P2X7 purinoceptors (P2X7R) can lead to death of certain types of cells. In this study, we show that rat SCs express P2X7R and exposure of cultured SCs to high concentrations of ATP (3–5 mM) or a P2X7R agonist, 2′(3′)-O-(4-benzoylbenzoyl)ATP (BzATP) induced significant cell death rapidly. High concentrations of ATP and BzATP increased ethidium uptake by SCs, indicating increased membrane permeability to large molecules, a typical feature of prolonged P2X7R activation. SC death, as well as ethidium uptake, induced by ATP was blocked by an irreversible P2X7R antagonist oxidized ATP (oxATP) or a reversible P2X7R antagonist A438079. oxATP also significantly inhibits the increase of intracellular free calcium induced by minimolar ATP concentrations. Furthermore, ATP did not cause death of SCs isolated from P2X7R-knockout mice. All these results suggest that P2X7R is responsible for ATP-induced SC death in vitro. When rat SCs were treated with oxATP before transplantation into uninjured rat spinal cord, 35% more SCs survived than untreated SCs 1 week after transplantation. Moreover, 58% more SCs isolated from P2X7R-knockout mice survived after being transplanted into rat spinal cord than SCs from wild-type mice. This further confirms that P2X7R is involved in the death of transplanted SCs. These results indicate that targeting P2X7R on SCs could be a potential strategy to improve the survival of transplanted cells. As many other types of cells, including neural stem cells, also express P2X7R, deactivating P2X7R may improve the survival of other types of transplanted cells.
purinoceptor; ATP receptor; Schwann cell; cell death; cell transplantation; spinal cord injury
Cisplatin resistance remains one of the major obstacles when treating epithelial
ovarian cancer. Because oxaliplatin and nedaplatin are effective against
cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer in clinical trials and signal transducer and
activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is associated with cisplatin resistance, we
investigated whether overcoming cisplatin resistance by oxaliplatin and nedaplatin
was associated with the STAT3 pathway in ovarian cancer. Alamar blue, clonogenic, and
wound healing assays, and Western blot analysis were used to compare the effects of
platinum drugs in SKOV-3 cells. At an equitoxic dose, oxaliplatin and nedaplatin
exhibited similar inhibitory effects on colony-forming ability and greater inhibition
on cell motility than cisplatin in ovarian cancer. Early in the time course of drug
administration, cisplatin increased the expression of pSTAT3 (Tyr705), STAT3α, VEGF,
survivin, and Bcl-XL, while oxaliplatin and nedaplatin exhibited the
opposite effects, and upregulated pSTAT3 (Ser727) and STAT3β. The STAT3 pathway
responded early to platinum drugs associated with cisplatin resistance in epithelial
ovarian cancer and provided a rationale for new therapeutic strategies to reverse
Epithelial ovarian cancer; Cisplatin; Oxaliplatin; Nedaplatin; STAT3
Apogossypolone (ApoG2), a novel derivative of gossypol, exhibits superior antitumor activity in Bcl-2 transgenic mice, and induces autophagy in several cancer cells. However, the detailed mechanisms are not well known. In the present study, we showed that ApoG2 induced autophagy through Beclin-1- and reactive oxygen species (ROS)-dependent manners in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells. Incubating the HCC cell with ApoG2 abrogated the interaction of Beclin-1 and Bcl-2/xL, stimulated ROS generation, increased phosphorylation of ERK and JNK, and HMGB1 translocation from the nucleus to cytoplasm while suppressing mTOR. Moreover, inhibition of the ROS-mediated autophagy by antioxidant N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) potentiates ApoG2-induced apoptosis and cell killing. Our results show that ApoG2 induced protective autophagy in HCC cells, partly due to ROS generation, suggesting that antioxidant may serve as a potential chemosensitizer to enhance cancer cell death through blocking ApoG2-stimulated autophagy. Our novel insights may facilitate the rational design of clinical trials for Bcl-2-targeted cancer therapy.
ApoG2; ROS; autophagy; HCC
The purpose of this study was to detect postoperative persistent circulating tumour cells (CTCs) in stages II and III colon cancer patients undergoing curative resection and so identify a subgroup of patients who are at high risk for early relapse.
Four mRNA molecular markers including human telomerase reverse transcriptase, cytokeratin-19, cytokeratin-20, and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) mRNA were used to detect CTCs in 141 stages II and III colon cancer patients undergoing curative resection to determine the significance of CTCs in postoperative early relapse.
Out of 141 patients, postoperative early relapse and non-early relapse/no relapse was found in 48 (34.0%) patients and 93 (66.0%) patients, respectively. Univariately, postoperative early relapse was significantly correlated with lymph node metastasis (P=0.025), vascular invasion (P=0.002), perineural invasion (P=0.001), laparoscopic surgery (P=0.019), high postoperative serum CEA levels (P=0.001), and presence of persistent postoperative CTCs (P<0.001). Using a multivariate proportional hazards regression analysis, the presence of perineural invasion (P=0.034; HR, 1.974; 95% CI: 1.290–3.861), high postoperative serum CEA levels (P=0.020; HR, 2.377; 95% CI: 1.273–4.255), and the presence of persistent postoperative CTCs (P<0.001; HR, 11.035; 95% CI: 4.396–32.190), were demonstrated to be independent predictors for postoperative early relapse. Furthermore, the presence of persistent postoperative CTCs was strongly correlated with a poorer disease-free and overall survival (both P<0.001).
This study suggests that molecular detection of persistent postoperative CTCs is a prognostic predictor of early relapse in UICC stage II/III colon cancer patients, and thus could help to define patients with this tumour entity for an enhanced follow-up and therapeutic program.
molecular detection; colon cancer; postoperative early relapse; circulating tumour cells; UICC stage II/III
To determine the predictive value of cardiac T2* magnetic resonance (MR) for heart failure and arrhythmia in thalassemia major.
Methods and results
We analyzed cardiac and liver T2* MR, and serum ferritin on 652 thalassemia major patients from 21 UK centers, with 1,442 MR scans. The relative risk (95% CI) for heart failure with cardiac T2* values <10ms (compared with >10ms) was 160 (39, 653). Heart failure occurred in 47% of patients within one year of a cardiac T2* <6ms with relative risk 270 (64, 1129). The area under the ROC curve for predicting heart failure was significantly greater for cardiac T2* (0.948) than for liver T2* (0.589, P<0.001) or serum ferritin (0.629, P<0.001). Cardiac T2* was <10ms in 98% of scans in patients who developed heart failure. The relative risk for arrhythmia with cardiac T2* values <20ms (compared with >20ms), was 4.6 (2.66, 7.95). Arrhythmia occurred in 14% of patients within one year of a cardiac T2* of <6ms. The area under the ROC curve for predicting arrhythmia was significantly greater for cardiac T2* (0.747) than for liver T2* (0.514, P<0.001) or serum ferritin (0.518, P<0.001). The cardiac T2* was <20ms in 83% of scans in patients who developed arrhythmia.
Cardiac T2* MR identifies patients at high risk of heart failure and arrhythmia from myocardial siderosis in thalassemia major, and is superior to serum ferritin and liver iron. Using cardiac T2* for the early identification and treatment of patients at risk is a logical means towards reducing the high burden of cardiac mortality in myocardial siderosis.
Thalassaemia; Cardiac siderosis; T2 star; Magnetic resonance; Heart; Iron overload
Glutamate, acting through its N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) and non-NMDA receptors in the hypothalamus, regulates reproductive neuroendocrine functions via direct and indirect actions upon gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurones. Previous studies indicate that the NMDA receptor subunit NR2b undergoes changes in protein and gene expression in the hypothalamus in general, and on GnRH neurones in particular, during reproductive ageing. In the present study, we examined whether the NR2b-expressing cell population, both alone and in association with the NR1 subunit (i.e. the latter subunit is necessary for a functional NMDA receptor), is altered as a function of age and/or steroid hormone treatment. Studies focused on the anteroventral periventricular (AVPV) nucleus of the hypothalamus, a region critically involved in the control of reproduction. Young (3-5 months), middle-aged (9-12 months), and aged (approximately 22 months) female rats were ovariectomised and, 1 month later, they were treated sequentially with oestradiol plus progesterone, oestradiol plus vehicle, or vehicle plus vehicle, then perfused. Quantitative stereologic analysis of NR2b-immunoreactive cell numbers in the AVPV showed an age-associated decrease in the density of NR2b-immunoreactive cells, but no effect of hormone treatment. In a second study, immunofluorescent double labelling of NR2b and NR1 was analysed by confocal microscopy of fraction volume, a semi-quantitative measure of fluorescence intensity. No effect of ageing was detected for immunofluorescent NR1 or NR2b alone, whereas the NR2b fraction volume increased in the oestradiol plus vehicle group. With ageing, the fraction volume of the NR2b/NR1-colocalised subunits increased. Together with the stereology results, this suggests that, although fewer cells express the NR2b subunit in the ageing AVPV, a greater percentage of these subunits are co-expressed with NR1. Our results suggest that the subunit composition of NMDA receptors in the AVPV undergo both age- and hormonal-regulation, which may be related to previous observations of changes in functional responses of reproductive neuroendocrine systems to NMDA receptor modulators with ageing.
N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDA receptor); NR2b; reproductive ageing; oestrogen; gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH); glutamate
Therapy-induced cellular senescence describes the phenomenon of cell cycle arrest that can be invoked in cancer cells in response to chemotherapy. Sustained proliferative arrest is often overcome as a contingent of senescent tumor cells can bypass this cell cycle restriction. The mechanism regulating cell cycle re-entry of senescent cancer cells remains poorly understood. This is the first report of the isolation and characterization of two distinct transitional states in chemotherapy-induced senescent cells that share indistinguishable morphological senescence phenotypes and are functionally classified by their ability to escape cell cycle arrest. It has been observed that cell surface expression of coxsackie and adenovirus receptor (CAR) is downregulated in cancer cells treated with chemotherapy. We show the novel use of surface CAR expression and adenoviral transduction to differentiate senescent states and also show in vivo evidence of CAR downregulation in colorectal cancer patients treated with neoadjuvant chemoradiation. This study suggests that CAR is a candidate biomarker for senescence response to antitumor therapy, and CAR expression can be used to distinguish transitional states in early senescence to study fundamental regulatory events in therapy-induced senescence.
cellular senescence; coxsackie and adenovirus receptor; transition state; biomarker
This paper presents the latest development of a lead-free piezoelectric ceramic and its application to transducers suitable for high-frequency ultrasonic imaging. A lead-free piezoelectric ceramic with formula of (K0.5Na0.5)0.97Li0.03(Nb0.9 Ta0.1)O3 (abbreviated as KNLNT-0.03/0.10) was fabricated and characterized. The material was found to have a clamped dielectric constant ε33S = ε0 = 890, piezoelectric coefficient d33 = 245 pC/N, electromechanical coupling factor kt = 0.42 and Curie temperature Tc > 300 °C. High-frequency (40 MHz) ultrasound transducers were successfully fabricated with the lead-free material. A representative lead-free transducer had a bandwidth of 45%, two-way insertion loss of −18 dB. This performance is comparable to reported performances of popular lead-based transducers. The comparison results suggest that the lead-free piezoelectric material may serve as an alternative to lead-based piezoelectric materials for high-frequency ultrasonic transducer applications.
Piezoelectric materials; Lead-free; high frequency; ultrasound transducer
In a recent report in Science, Issigonis et al. (2009) demonstrate that an inhibitor of JAK-STAT signaling controls integrin-mediated niche adhesion in the Drosophila testis, thereby limiting competition between germline and somatic stem cells for niche space.
To introduce, implement, and assess an iterative modification to the active deformational image segmentation method as applied to cervical cancer tumors.
Materials and Methods
A comparison by Jaccard similarity (JS) between this active deformational method and manual segmentation was performed on tumors of various sizes across pre-radiation, three weeks post-radiation, and six weeks post-radiation using a General Linear Mixed Model across 121 studies from 52 patients with stage IIB-IV cervical cancers.
The deformable segmentation method produced promising levels of agreement including JS factors of 0.71 ± 0.11 in the pre-radiation studies. The analysis illustrated a rate of improvement in JS with increasing tumor volume that differed between the pre-radiation and six-weeks post-radiation stage (p=0.0474). In the large pre-radiated tumors each additional cm3 of volume was associated with an increase or improvement in JS of 0.0008 (95% CI: 0.0003, 0.0014). In the smaller post-radiation tumors, each additional cm3 of volume was associated with a more robust improvement in JS of 0.0046 (95% CI: 0.0009, 0.0082).
Agreement was strongly affected by tumor volume, and its performance was most impacted across volume in the later stages of radiation therapy. The deformation based segmentation method appears to demonstrate utility for delineating cervical cancer tumors, particularly in the earliest stages of radiation treatment where agreement is greatest.
Active Deformational Model; Volumetric Changes; Cervical Cancer; Radiation Therapy; Image Segmentation; Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
The intrinsically core/shell structured La0.6Sr0.4MnO3 nanoparticles with amorphous shells and ferromagnetic cores have been prepared. The magnetic, dielectric and microwave absorption properties are investigated in the frequency range from 1 to 12 GHz. An optimal reflection loss of −41.1 dB is reached at 8.2 GHz with a matching thickness of 2.2 mm, the bandwidth with a reflection loss less than −10 dB is obtained in the 5.5–11.3 GHz range for absorber thicknesses of 1.5–2.5 mm. The excellent microwave absorption properties are a consequence of the better electromagnetic matching due to the existence of the protective amorphous shells, the ferromagnetic cores, as well as the particular core/shell microstructure. As a result, the La0.6Sr0.4MnO3 nanoparticles with amorphous shells and ferromagnetic cores may become attractive candidates for the new types of electromagnetic wave absorption materials.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11671-009-9374-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
La0.6Sr0.4MnO3 nanoparticles; Core/shell structure; Microwave absorption; Electromagnetic matching
Fluconazole is being increasingly used to prevent and treat invasive candidiasis in neonates, yet dosing is largely empirical due to the lack of adequate pharmacokinetic (PK) data. We performed a multicenter population PK study of fluconazole in 23- to 40-week-gestation infants less than 120 days of age. We developed a population PK model using nonlinear mixed effect modeling (NONMEM) with the NONMEM algorithm. Covariate effects were predefined and evaluated based on estimation precision and clinical significance. We studied fluconazole PK in 55 infants who at enrollment had a median (range) weight of 1.02 (0.440 to 7.125) kg, a gestational age at birth (BGA) of 26 (23 to 40) weeks, and a postnatal age (PNA) of 2.3 (0.14 to 12.6) weeks. The final data set contained 357 samples; 217/357 (61%) were collected prospectively at prespecified time intervals, and 140/357 (39%) were scavenged from discarded clinical specimens. Fluconazole population PK was best described by a one-compartment model with covariates normalized to median values. The population mean clearance (CL) can be derived for this population by the equation CL (liter/h) equals 0.015 · (weight/1)0.75 · (BGA/26)1.739 · (PNA/2)0.237 · serum creatinine (SCRT)−4.896 (when SCRT is >1.0 mg/dl), and using a volume of distribution (V) (liter) of 1.024 · (weight/1). The relative standard error around the fixed effects point estimates ranged from 3 to 24%. CL doubles between birth and 28 days of age from 0.008 to 0.016 and from 0.010 to 0.022 liter/kg/h for typical 24- and 32-week-gestation infants, respectively. This population PK model of fluconazole discriminated the impact of BGA, PNA, and creatinine on drug CL. Our data suggest that dosing in young infants will require adjustment for BGA and PNA to achieve targeted systemic drug exposures.
1. S-3-(4-acetylamino-phenoxy)-2-hydroxy-2-methyl-N-(4-nitro-3-trifluoromethyl-phenyl)-propionamide (also known as S-4) is a non-steroidal selective androgen receptor modulator demonstrating tissue-selective androgenic and anabolic effects. The purpose of the present study was to examine the systemic pharmacokinetics, elimination and oral bioavailability of S-4 in rats.
2. Thirty-five male Sprague–Dawley rats weighing approximately 250 g were randomly assigned to one of seven treatment groups. Intravenous doses of 0.5, 1, 10, and 30 mg kg−1 were given via a jugular catheter. Oral doses of 1, 10 and 30 mg kg−1 were administered via gavage. Plasma concentrations were determined using a validated high-performance liquid chromatography or by a high-performance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry method.
3. Clearances ranged between 1.0 and 2.1 ml min−1 kg−1 and varied with dose. The volume of distribution was approximately 0.448 l kg−1 in all treatment groups. Oral bioavailability was also dose dependent, with the lower doses showing complete oral bioavailability. The half-life of S-4 over the dose range tested was between 2.6 and 5.3 h.
4. It was demonstrated that S-4 is rapidly absorbed, slowly cleared, and has a moderate volume of distribution in rats. The pharmacokinetics and oral bioavailability of S-4 indicate that it is an excellent candidate for clinical development.
Aims: To measure vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-A) mRNA in a large, diverse cohort of tumours and to investigate whether VEGF-A expression is associated with markers of hypoxia, including hypoxia inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) and carbonic anhydrase IX (CA9).
Methods: The expression of VEGF-A and CA9 was assessed in 5067 fresh frozen human tissue samples and 238 cell lines by DNA microarray analysis. In addition, tissue microarrays were constructed from 388 malignancies to investigate the expression of VEGF-A and HIF-1α by in situ hybridisation and immunohistochemistry, respectively.
Results: VEGF-A was significantly upregulated in primary malignancies of the breast, cervix, colon and rectum, oesophagus, head and neck, kidney, ovary, skin, urinary system, and white blood cells by DNA microarray analysis. However, VEGF-A expression only correlated with CA9 expression in renal tissues. In the tissue microarrays, HIF-1α positive cores showed a significant increase in VEGF-A expression in lung, ovary, soft tissue, and thyroid malignancies.
Conclusions: The expression of VEGF-A is upregulated in a large proportion of human malignancies, and may be associated with markers of hypoxia. VEGF-A expression can be induced in the absence of hypoxia and hypoxia does not always provoke VEGF-A upregulation in tumours.
vascular endothelial growth factor; hypoxia inducible factor one alpha; carbonic anhydrase IX; angiogenesis; neoplasia
oesophageal cancer; anatomic site; cigarette smoking; betel chewing
Dietary exposure to aflatoxins is one of the major risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma. Individual susceptibility to aflatoxin-induced hepatocarcinogenesis may be modulated by both genetic and environmental factors affecting metabolism. A cross-sectional study was performed to evaluate determinants of the formation of aflatoxin covalently bound to albumin (AFB1-albumin adducts). A total of 474 subjects who were free of liver cancer and cirrhosis and were initially selected as controls for previous case–control studies of aflatoxin-induced hepatocarcinogenesis in Taiwan, were employed in this study. Aflatoxin-albumin adducts were determined by competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, hepatitis B surface antigen and antibodies to hepatitis C virus by enzyme immunoassay, as well as genotypes of glutathione S-transferase M1-1 and T1-1 by polymerase chain reaction. The detection rate of AFB1-albumin adducts was significantly higher in males (42.5%) than in females (21.6%) (multivariate-adjusted odds ratio=2.6, 95% confidence interval=1.4–5.0). The formation of detectable albumin adducts was moderately higher in hepatitis B surface antigen carriers (42.8%) than in non-carriers (36.6%) (multivariate-adjusted odds ratio=1.4, 95% confidence interval=1.0–2.1). In addition, the detection rate of AFB1-albumin adducts tended to increase with the increasing number of null genotypes of glutathione S-transferase M1-1 and glutathione S-transferase T1-1. In conclusion, this cross-sectional study has assessed the relative contributions of environmental exposure and host susceptibility factors in the formation of AFB1-albumin adducts in a well characterised Chinese adult population. This study further emphasises the necessity to reduce aflatoxin exposure in people living in an area endemic for chronic hepatitis B virus infection.
British Journal of Cancer (2002) 87, 966–970. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6600584 www.bjcancer.com
© 2002 Cancer Research UK
aflatoxin-albumin adducts; glutathione S-transferase M1-1; glutathione S-transferase T1-1; hepatitis B surface antigen
Several in vitro studies have demonstrated that genetic polymorphisms result in functionally significant changes in cytochrome p4501A1 (either CYP1A1 MspI or exon 7) but the few epidemiologic studies of these polymorphisms in oesophageal squamous-cell carcinoma have been inconclusive. These inconclusive results motivated us to further examine the relationship between CYP1A1 MspI and exon 7 polymorphisms and risk of oesophageal cancer. In total, 146 cases of oesophageal squamous-cell-carcinoma and 324 control cases (a total of 470 cases) were genotyped from records at three Taiwan hospitals. No significant association was noted for the CYP1A1 MspI polymorphism variable between carcinoma and control cases. In contrast, the frequency of Ile/Ile, Ile/Val, and Val/Val in exon 7 was 68 (46.6%), 62 (42.5%), and 16 (11.0%) in carcinoma cases and 179 (55.3%), 127 (39.2%), and 18 (5.6%) in control cases, respectively. After factoring out other potential contributing factors, patients with Val/Val showed a 2.48 (95% CT=1.15–5.34) greater risk of developing oesophageal cancer than those with Ile/Ile. A slightly (albeit not significantly) greater risk was identified in subjects with Ile/Val (OR=1.34; 95% CI=0.86–2.07). These findings suggest that an exon 7 polymorphism, not a MspI polymorphism, in CYP1A1 may be pivotal in the development of oesophageal cancer.
British Journal of Cancer (2002) 87, 529–532. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6600499 www.bjcancer.com
© 2002 Cancer Research UK
oesophageal cancer; squamous-cell-carcinoma; cytochrome p4501A1; genetic polymorphism
Reproduction exacts a price in terms of decreased survival. Our analysis of the interplay between age patterns of fecundity and mortality for individual female medflies (Ceratitis capitata) revealed that individual mortality is associated with the time-dynamics of the egg-laying trajectory. In a sample of 531 medflies, we found that each individual has a characteristic rate of decline in egg laying with age. This defines an individual's rate of reproductive exhaustion. This rate was shown to predict subsequent mortality The larger the remaining reproductive potential, the lower the subsequent mortality An increased mortality risk was seen in flies for which egg production declined rapidly early on, irrespective of the level of egg production. Thus, reproductive potential and lifetime are coupled in such a way that those flies which are able to profit most from an extended life span in terms of increased egg output are indeed likely to live longer.
Among 104 cases of squamous-cell oesophageal carcinoma patients and 277 controls in Taiwan, after adjusting for cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, and other confounders, we found that subjects who chewed from 1 to 495 betel-year and more than 495 betel-years (about 20 betel quid per day for 20 years) had 3.6-fold (95% Cl = 1.3–10.1) and 9.2-fold risk (95% Cl = 1.8–46.7), respectively, of developing oesophageal cancer, compared to those who did not chew betel. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign http://www.bjcancer.com
oesophageal cancer; squamous-cell carcinoma; betel
STUDY OBJECTIVE: The accuracy of the official statistic on infant deaths in Taiwan has been questioned. This study aimed to survey infant deaths nationwide, to measure associated vital statistics, and compare them with the official statistics to assess accuracy. DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: A nationwide survey of all gestational outcomes occurring at > or = 20 weeks' gestation over a three day study period (15-17 May 1989) was conducted to collect data from 23 counties and cities nationwide using a two stage data collection procedure. MAIN RESULTS: The survey derived infant death rate was 9.72 per 1000 live births, which was higher than the reported official statistic of 5.71 per 1000 live births. A more detailed examination of data on infant deaths showed that the estimated neonatal death rate of 6.68 per 1000 live births (95% confidence intervals: 3.33, 11.96 per 1000 live births) was significantly higher than the published official statistic of 1.94 per 1000 live births, while the postneonatal mortality of 3.04 per 1000 live births was comparable to the reported statistic of 3.37 per 1000 live births. CONCLUSIONS: This study empirically documented the underregistration of infant deaths in Taiwan, particularly those occurring during the first 27 days of life.