Like other fields of medicine, robotics and mechanization might be introduced into endovascular coil embolization of intracranial aneurysms for effective treatment. We have already reported that coil insertion force could be smaller and more stable when the coil delivery wire is driven mechanically at a constant speed. Another background is the difficulty in synchronizing operators' minds and hands when two operators control the microcatheter and the coil respectively. We have therefore developed a mechanical coil insertion system enabling a single operator to insert coils at a fixed speed while controlling the microcatheter.
Using our new system, the operator manipulated the microcatheter with both hands and drove the coil using foot switches simultaneously. A delivery wire force sensor previously reported was used concurrently, allowing the operator to detect excessive stress on the wire. In vitro coil embolization was performed using three methods: simple mechanical advance of the coil; simple mechanical advance of the coil with microcatheter control; and driving (forward and backward) of the coil using foot switches in addition to microcatheter control.
The system worked without any problems, and did not interfere with any procedures. In experimental coil embolization, delivery wire control using the foot switches as well as microcatheter manipulation helped to achieve successful insertion of coils. This system could offer the possibility of developing safer and more efficient coil embolization. Although we aim at total mechanization and automation of procedures in the future, microcatheter manipulation and synchronized delivery wire control are still indispensable using this system.
intracranial aneurysm, coil embolization, mechanical insertion system, force sensor
A well-studied index of reasoning and decision making is the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT). The IGT possesses many features important to medical decision making, such as weighing risks and benefits, dealing with unknown outcomes, and making decisions under uncertainty.
There exists a great deal of individual variability on the IGT, particularly among older adults, and the present study examines the role of personality in IGT performance. We explored which of the five-factor model of personality traits were predictive of decision-making performance, after controlling for relevant demographic variables.
One hundred and fifty-two healthy cognitively intact adults (aged 26–85) were individually administered the IGT and the NEO Five-Factory Inventory.
In the older adults, but not the younger, higher NEO neuroticism was associated with poorer IGT performance.
Our findings are discussed in the context of how stress may impact cognitive performance and cause dysfunction of neural systems in the brain important for decision making.
Neuroticism; Decision making; Aging; Frontal lobe; Personality; Stress
Fatty and fibrous connective tissue formation is a hallmark of diseased skeletal muscle and deteriorates muscle function. We previously identified non-myogenic mesenchymal progenitors that contribute to adipogenesis and fibrogenesis in mouse skeletal muscle. In this study, we report the identification and characterization of a human counterpart to these progenitors. By using PDGFRα as a specific marker, mesenchymal progenitors can be identified in the interstitium and isolated from human skeletal muscle. PDGFRα+ cells represent a cell population distinct from CD56+ myogenic cells, and adipogenic and fibrogenic potentials were highly enriched in the PDGFRα+ population. Activation of PDGFRα stimulates proliferation of PDGFRα+ cells through PI3K-Akt and MEK2-MAPK signaling pathways, and aberrant accumulation of PDGFRα+ cells was conspicuous in muscles of patients with both genetic and non-genetic muscle diseases. Our results revealed the pathological relevance of PDGFRα+ mesenchymal progenitors to human muscle diseases and provide a basis for developing therapeutic strategy to treat muscle diseases.
mesenchymal progenitors; PDGFRα; human muscle; adipogenesis; fibrosis
Prognosis of osteosarcoma (OS) with distant metastasis and local recurrence is still poor. Y-box binding protein-1 (YB-1) is a multifunctional protein that can act as a regulator of transcription and translation and its high expression of YB-1 protein was observed in OS, however, the role of YB-1 in OS remains unclear.
Y-box binding protein-1 expression in OS cells was inhibited by specific small interfering RNAs to YB-1 (si-YB-1). The effects of si-YB-1 in cell proliferation and cell cycle transition in OS cells were analysed in vitro and in vivo. The association of nuclear expression of YB-1 and clinical prognosis was also investigated by immunohistochemistry.
Proliferation of OS cell was suppressed by si-YB-1 in vivo and in vitro. The expression of cyclin D1 and cyclin A were also decreased by si-YB-1. In addition, si-YB-1 induced G1/S arrest with decreased cyclin D1 and cyclin A in OS cell lines. Direct binding of YB-1 in OS cell lines was also observed. Finally, the nuclear expression of YB-1 was significantly related to the poorer overall survival in OS patients.
Y-box binding protein-1 would regulate cell cycle progression at G1/S and tumour growth in human OS cells in vitro and in vivo. Nuclear expression of YB-1 was closely associated with the prognosis of OS, thus, YB-1 simultaneously could be a potent molecular target and prognostic biomarker for OS.
osteosarcoma (OS); Y-box binding protein-1 (YB-1); cell proliferation; atelocollagen
Perillae Herba (a leaf of Perilla frutescens) has been prescribed as one of the component herbs in certain Kampo (Japanese herbal) medicines that are used clinically for the improvement of depressive mood. l-Perillaldehyde (PAH) is a major component in the essential oil containing in Perillae Herba, but its antidepressant-like effect has not been reported. To clarify the antidepressant-like effect of PAH, the inhaled effect of PAH on stress-induced depression-like model mice prepared by subjection to a combination of forced swimming and chronic mild stresses was investigated. The degree of the depression-like state was measured by the animal's duration of immobility using a forced swimming test. Inhalation of PAH (0.0965 and 0.965 mg/mouse/day, 9 days) significantly shortened the duration of immobility of the depression-like model mice and did not affect locomotor activity. However, another odor substance, cinnamaldehyde containing in Cinnamomi Cortex, exhibited no reduction in the immobility. The reduction in the immobility induced by the inhalation of PAH was prevented on anosmia-induced mice prepared by intranasal irrigation with zinc sulfate. These results suggest that the inhalation of PAH shows antidepressant-like activity through the olfactory nervous function.
The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), a Ser/Thr protein kinase that mediates intracellular signalling related to cell growth, proliferation, and differentiation, has received considerable interest as a possible target for cancer treatment. We evaluated the correlation of mTOR expression with clinicopathological features, outcomes, and the expression of Akt, an upstream regulator of mTOR, in gastric cancer. Tumour samples were obtained from 109 patients with gastric adenocarcinomas who underwent a radical gastrectomy. The expressions of phosphorylated mTOR (p-mTOR) and phosphorylated Akt (p-Akt) in the cytoplasm and in the nucleus were analysed by immunohistochemical staining. Cytoplasmic p-mTOR expression positively correlated with the depth of tumour invasion (T1 vs T2–4, P=0.003), involved lymph nodes (P=0.010), and tumour stage (I vs II–IV, P=0.002). In contrast, nuclear p-mTOR expression negatively correlated with these variables (P<0.001,=0.035, and <0.001). Cytoplasmic p-mTOR expression was associated with significantly poorer relapse-free survival (RFS, P=0.037) and overall survival (OS, P=0.024), whereas nuclear p-mTOR expression was associated with better RFS and OS (P=0.029, 0.059). Neither cytoplasmic nor nuclear p-Akt expression was associated with any clinicopathological factor or with survival. Localisation of p-mTOR may play an important role in tumour progression and outcomes in patients with gastric cancer.
mTOR; Akt; gastric cancer
We investigated the long-term prognosis of borderline ovarian tumours and determined risk factors for recurrence. One hundred and twenty-one borderline ovarian tumours treated between 1994 and 2003 at the participating institutions in the Tohoku Gynecologic Cancer Unit were retrospectively investigated for clinical stage, histopathological subtype, surgical technique, postoperative chemotherapy, the presence or absence of recurrence, and prognosis. The median follow-up period was 57 months (1–126 months). One hundred and nine cases (90.6%) were at clinical stage I. The histopathological subtypes consisted of 91 cases of mucinous tumour (75.2%), 27 cases of serous tumour (22.3%), and three cases of endometrioid tumour. Conservative surgery was used in 53 cases (43.8%), radical surgery in 68 cases (56.2%), a staging laparotomy in 43 cases (35.5%), and postoperative adjuvant therapy in 30 cases (24.8%). Recurrence was found in eight cases, but no tumour-related deaths were reported. Although no significant difference in disease-free survival rate was seen between different clinical stages, the difference in disease-free survival rate between serous and nonserous (mucinous and endometrioid) types was significant (P<0.05). The 10-year disease-free survival rate was 89.1% for the radical surgery group and 57.4% for the conservative surgery group – this difference was significant (P<0.05). In the conservative surgery group, cystectomy and serous tumour were independent risk factors for recurrence. Although recurrence was observed, the long-term prognosis of borderline ovarian tumour was favourable, without tumour-related deaths. Considering the favourable prognosis, conservative surgery can be chosen as far as the patient has a nonserous tumour and receive adnexectomy. However, in cases of serous type and/or receiving cystectomy special care should be given as relative risk rates of recurrence elevate by 2–4-folds.
borderline ovarian tumour; conservative surgery; cystectomy; serous tumour; multivariate analysis
A dose-escalation study of irinotecan (CPT-11) combined with S-1, an oral dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase inhibitory fluoropyrimidine, was performed to determine the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD), recommended dose (RD), dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs), and objective response rate (RR) in advanced gastric cancer (AGC). S-1 was administered orally at 80 mg m−2 day−1 from day 1 to 14 of a 28-day cycle and CPT-11 was given intravenously on day 1 and 8 at an initial dose of 70 mg m−2 day−1, stepping up to 100 mg m−2. The treatment was repeated every 4 weeks, unless disease progression was observed. In the phase I portion, the MTD of CPT-11 was presumed to be 100 mg m−2, because 66.6% of patients (two of three) developed DLTs. All three patients at the initial RD of CPT-11 (90 mg m−2) experienced grade 4 haematological or grade 3 nonhaematological toxicities at second course, followed by the dose reduction of CPT-11 from the third course. Considering safety and the ability to continue treatment, the final RD was determined to be 80 mg m−2. In the phase II portion, 42 patients including seven patients in the final RD phase I portion were evaluated. The median treatment course was five (range: 1–13). The incidences of severe (grade 3–4) haematological and nonhaematological toxicities were 19 and 10%, respectively, but all were manageable. The RR was 62% (26 of 42, 95% confidence interval: 47.2–76.6%), and the median survival time was 444 days. Our phase I/II trial showed S-1 combined with CPT-11 is effective for AGC and is well tolerated, with acceptable toxicity.
S-1; irinotecan; combination chemotherapy; advanced gastric cancer
retinal aneurysm; neuroretinitis; retinal vasculitis; panretinal
Japanese herbal (Kampo) medicine, Hochuekkito (Bu-Zhong-Yi-Qi-Tang in Chinese, TJ-41) and Juzentaihoto (Shi-Quan-Da-Bu-Tang in Chinese, TJ-48) are well-known Kampo formulas used as tonic. Although these medicines have separately been applied to the patients clinically depending on their symptoms, the differences of the pharmacological activities for these medicines have not been fully understood. TJ-48 and TJ-41 were compared for their effects on antibody response in upper respiratory mucosal immune system in vivo. Oral administration of TJ-41 (100 mg kg−1 per day) to early aged BALB/c mice, which were nasally sensitized with influenza hemagglutinin vaccine, significantly enhanced influenza virus-specific IgA and IgG antibody titers in nasal cavity and sera, respectively. However, oral administration of TJ-48 (100 mg kg−1 per day) failed to show the enhancing activity. TJ-41 increased not only influenza virus-specific IgA antibody titer but also total IgA antibody titer in nasal cavity. The stimulating activity of TJ-41 disappeared after treatment with methotrexate. The present study strongly suggests that TJ-41 can stimulate the mucosal immune system of upper respiratory tract, and results in enhancement of antigen-specific antibody response in upper respiratory mucosal and systemic immune systems.
Hochuekkito; influenza virus; Japanese herbal (Kampo) medicine; mucosal immune system of upper respiratory tract; specific antibody response
occult outer retinopathy; altitudinal
orotate phosphoribosyl transferase; dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase; fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy; metastatic colorectal cancer
OBJECTIVE—To ascertain by cross sectional examination whether the concentration of procollagen IIC-peptide in joint fluid significantly correlates with mechanical risk factors of knee osteoarthritis (OA), such as obesity (body mass index) and varus alignment (lateral femorotibial angle).
METHODS—The concentrations of procollagen IIC-propeptide in synovial fluid were measured by a sandwich enzyme immunoassay of 65 patients with the same radiological stage of primary knee OA—that is, Ahlbäk stage I. The relations between procollagen IIC-peptide and body mass index and lateral femorotibial angle were examined using simple regression analysis and multiple regression analysis.
RESULTS—Significant positive correlations were found between procollagen IIC-propeptide concentrations and body mass index (r=0.479, p<0.0001), and between procollagen IIC-propeptide concentrations and lateral femorotibial angle (r=0.375, p=0.0021). Significant correlations were also found by multiple regression analysis. The multiple correlation coefficient of body mass index and femorotibial lateral angle to the procollagen IIC-propeptide concentrations was 0.547 (p<0.0001).
CONCLUSIONS—The findings suggest that synthesis of type II collagen by chondrocytes is enhanced by abnormal mechanical stress, in this case obesity and varus alignment. It is concluded that procollagen IIC-propeptide concentrations in joint fluid are a useful marker of early OA.
OBJECTIVE—Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are expressed in joint tissues of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). The objective of this study was to define the steady state levels of seven different MMPs and two tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) as well as the potential metalloproteinase activity in the synovial fluid (SF) to provide more insight into the role of MMPs in cartilage destruction in RA and OA.
METHODS—Levels of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-7, MMP-8, MMP-9, MMP-13, TIMP-1, and TIMP-2 in SF aspirated from knee joints of 97 patients with RA and 103 patients with OA were measured by the corresponding one step sandwich enzyme immunoassays. Proteolytic activity of MMPs in these SFs was examined in an assay using [3H]carboxymethylated transferrin substrate in the presence of inhibitors of serine and cysteine proteinases after activation with p-aminophenylmercuric acetate (APMA). Destruction of RA knee joints was radiographically evaluated.
RESULTS—Levels of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-8, and MMP-9 were significantly higher in RA SF than in OA SF. MMP-7 and MMP-13 were detectable in more than 45% of RA SFs and in less than 20% of OA SFs, respectively. Among the MMPs examined, MMP-3 levels were extremely high compared with those of other MMPs. Direct correlations were seen between the levels of MMP-1 and MMP-3 and between those of MMP-8 and MMP-9 in RA SF. Although the levels of MMP-1 and MMP-3 increased even in the early stage of RA, those of MMP-8 and MMP-9 were low in the early stage and increased with the progression of RA. Molar ratios of the total amounts of the MMPs to those of the TIMPs were 5.2-fold higher in patients with RA than in OA, which was significant. APMA-activated metalloproteinase activity in SF showed a similar result, and a direct correlation was seen between the molar ratios and the activity in RA SF.
CONCLUSIONS—Our results show that high levels of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-8, MMP-9, and TIMP-1 are present in RA SF and suggest that once these MMPs are fully activated, they have an imbalance against TIMPs, which may contribute to the cartilage destruction in RA.
OBJECTIVE—To explore in a cross sectional study in patients with primary knee osteoarthritis (OA) the relations between body mass index (BMI), disease stage, and the concentrations of a putative joint fluid marker of type II collagen synthesis, procollagen II C-propeptide.
PATIENTS AND METHODS—The study included 142 patients with knee OA (median age 68, median BMI 24.1). OA was staged radiologically. The concentrations in synovial fluid of procollagen II C-propeptide were measured by a sandwich enzyme immunoassay.
RESULTS—Joint fluid concentrations of procollagen II C-propeptide were increased in knees with OA (median 3.7 ng/ml), compared with published reference values for knees in healthy adult volunteers (median 1.3 ng/ml). The concentrations of procollagen II C-propeptide were independently related to both OA stage and BMI (rs = 0.343, p < 0.0001 and rs = 0.253, p = 0.002, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS—Joint fluid concentrations of this putative marker of collagen II synthesis are high in early and mid-stage OA, but decrease in end stage disease. In addition and for the first time it was shown that the concentrations in synovial fluid of procollagen II C-propeptide increase with increasing BMI in primary knee OA. The increased joint fluid values of this marker in patients with primary knee OA and a high BMI, may reflect increased rates of collagen synthesis in their joint cartilage and could relate to the previously shown increased risk for disease progression in such patients.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the influence of the absence of the pericardium on the left ventricular wall, particularly on interventricular septal motion, using M mode and cross sectional short axis echocardiography in patients with congenital total absence of the left pericardium. METHODS: 21 patients with, congenital total absence of the left pericardium were divided into three groups according to the interventricular septal motion; systolic type (n = 6) with paradoxical motion during systole, diastolic type (n = 11) with abnormal posterior motion during mid to late diastole, and mixed type (n = 4) with paradoxical motion during systole and abnormal posterior motion during diastole. RESULTS: On cross sectional short axis echocardiograms of the left ventricle, in the diastolic type the degree of angular displacement of the papillary muscles during end diastole to end systole showed excessive anticlockwise rotation about the long axis of the left ventricle without marked anteroposterior displacement. In the systolic type, there was shift of the left ventricle towards the anteromedial portion in systole and towards the posterolateral portion in diastole without significant rotation. There was a significantly positive correlation between the degree of angular displacement and the amplitude of diastolic interventricular septal motion during mid to late diastole in all patients. CONCLUSIONS: There was abnormal interventricular septal motion during systole and diastole in patients with total absence of the left pericardium. Abnormal systolic motion was induced by anteroposterior displacement of the left ventricle, and abnormal diastolic motion by left ventricular rotation about the long axis of the heart during the cardiac cycle. Analysis using cross sectional echocardiography was useful for elucidating the mechanisms of abnormal interventricular septal motion.
We report an unusual case of a 55 year old Japanese woman with a seminoma but relatively normal menses. The patient was a phenotypic female with late onset menarche (18 years of age), who was amenorrhoeic for the first year, followed by menses of one to three days' slight flow with dysmenorrhoea, but an otherwise normal menstrual history. A typical seminoma was removed from the left adnexal region and an immature testis was identified separately as an associated right adnexal mass. Repeated karyotypic studies on peripheral blood lymphocyte cultures showed only 46,X,-Y,t(Y;15)(q12;p13). Cytogenetic examination of the patient's younger brother, who had fathered three healthy children, showed an identical karyotype. Mosaicism of 46,X,-Y,t(Y;15)(q12;p13)/45,X cell lines was found in skin samples from the patient's elbow and genital regions, although there were no clinical stigmata of Turner syndrome. An androgen receptor binding assay of cultured genital skin fibroblasts was negative. Molecular analysis using Southern blot hybridisation, PCR, and direct DNA sequencing showed that neither the patient nor her brother had a detectable deletion or other abnormalities of Y chromosome sequences, including the SRY (sex determining region of the Y chromosome) gene sequence. These findings suggest that Turner mosaicism of the 45,X cell line may have contributed to this atypical presentation in an XY female, although we cannot exclude abnormalities of other genes related to sex differentiation.
The fungicidal mechanism of the triazole D0870 against Cryptococcus neoformans under acidic conditions was investigated. D0870 reduced the intracellular K+ content of C. neoformans at pH 4 to about half the value at pH 7 after 12 h of incubation. The 50% inhibitory concentrations of D0870 for ergosterol biosynthesis were almost the same at both pH 4 (0.017 microg/ml) and 7 (0.014 microg/ml); however, D0870 caused a marked accumulation of an unknown lipid and methylated sterols in C. neoformans cultured at pH 4. Extracted fractions containing the unknown lipid or methylated sterols showed strong fungicidal activities against C. neoformans both at pH 4 and 7 in phosphate-citrate buffer not containing D0870. Gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric analysis showed that the unknown lipid was obtusifolione. These results suggest that D0870 kills C. neoformans by disturbing the permeability of the cell membrane through the accumulation of obtusifolione and methylated sterols in the cell membrane under acidic conditions.