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.
A novel enzyme which catalyzes the oxidation of nucleosides to nucleoside-5(prm1)-carboxylic acids, forming hydrogen peroxide, was purified to homogeneity from Flavobacterium meningosepticum T-2799. The enzyme has a molecular weight of about 500,000, and four nonidentical subunits (molecular weights of 81,000, 69,000, 33,000, and 16,000) were detected on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. On the basis of visible absorption spectra of the purified enzyme, the enzyme is concluded to be a hemoprotein. It also contains covalently bound flavin adenine dinucleotide. The various nucleosides, such as adenosine (K(infm) = 48 (mu)M), inosine (K(infm) = 66 (mu)M), guanosine (K(infm) = 21 (mu)M), thymidine (K(infm) = 50 (mu)M), uridine (K(infm) = 80 (mu)M), and cytidine (K(infm) = 50 (mu)M), were oxidized by the enzyme, but nucleotides, bases, and ribose were not.
The MIC of norfloxacin for the norA-disrupted mutant termed RDN1, obtained from quinolone-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus RN4220, was eightfold lower than that for RN4220. The increase in susceptibility was related to an increase of drug accumulation by RDN1. These results indicate that NorA plays an important role in the susceptibility of quinolone-susceptible S. aureus to selected quinolones.
We have isolated the gene encoding L-allo-threonine aldolase (L-allo-TA) from Aeromonas jandaei DK-39, a pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP)-dependent enzyme that stereospecifically catalyzes the interconversion of L-allo-threonine and glycine. The gene contains an open reading frame consisting of 1,014 nucleotides corresponding to 338 amino acid residues. The protein molecular weight was estimated to be 36,294, which is in good agreement with the subunit molecular weight of the enzyme determined by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The enzyme was overexpressed in recombinant Escherichia coli cells and purified to homogeneity by one hydrophobic column chromatography step. The predicted amino acid sequence showed no significant similarity to those of the currently known PLP-dependent enzymes but displayed 40 and 41% identity with those of the hypothetical GLY1 protein of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the GLY1-like protein of Caenorhabditis elegans, respectively. Accordingly, L-allo-TA might represent a new type of PLP-dependent enzyme. To determine the PLP-binding site of the enzyme, all of the three conserved lysine residues of L-allo-TA were replaced by alanine by site-directed mutagenesis. The purified mutant enzymes, K51A and K224A, showed properties similar to those of the wild type, while the mutant enzyme K199A was catalytically inactive, with corresponding disappearance of the absorption maximum at 420 nm. Thus, Lys199 of L-allo-TA probably functions as an essential catalytic residue forming an internal Schiff base with PLP of the enzyme to catalyze the reversible aldol reaction.
To analyze the correlation between asbestos lung burden and lung cancer, lungs of 211 female cases with and without lung cancer were examined. Phase-contrast microscopic (PCM) counting of ferruginous (FBs) and uncoated fibers (UFs), which had length longer than 5 microns and aspect ratios greater than 3:1, revealed a significantly higher level of FBs plus UFs in urban lung cancer cases than urban non-lung cancer cases (1380.5 vs. 550.3; p < 0.001). No difference was noted between rural lung cancer and non-lung cancer cases. Analytical electron microscopic studies identified various kinds of mineral fibers with an aspect ratio greater than 3:1 in the lung tissue including chrysotile, actinolite/tremolite, amosite/crocidolite, fibrous talc, mica, silica, iron, wollastonite, chlorite, kaoline, and others. The most frequently detected fibers were thin, short chrysotile fibers, most of which could not be found by PCM, followed by relatively thick, long actinolite/tremolite fibers, fibrous talc, and in a smaller number, amosite/crocidolite of intermediate length and width. Amosite/crocidolite and fibrous talc counts in urban lung cancer cases were greater than those of urban non-lung cancer cases, rural lung cancer, and rural non-lung cancer cases; these findings were consistent with PCM analysis. Therefore, it is suggested that fibers detected in PCM observation may be mainly amosite/crocidolite with some parts fibrous talc and that fibrous talc in urban environments may be another candidate for carcinogenic or cocarcinogenic factors of female lung cancer.
To examine the roles of auxiliary genes and the AP-1 binding site in the long terminal repeat of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) in vivo, three mutant viruses, which are defective in the vif gene ([delta]vif), ORF-A gene (deltaORF-A), and AP-1 binding site (deltaAP-1), and wild-type virus as a positive control were separately inoculated into three specific-pathogen-free cats. These cats were assessed by measuring the number of proviral DNA copies in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), the CD4/CD8 ratio and antibody responses to FIV for 16 weeks and then examining histological changes at necropsy. Although viral DNAs were detected in PBMCs from all 12 cats to various degrees until 16 weeks postinoculation, no virus was recovered from PBMCs of cats infected with (delta)vif virus during the observation period. However, a very weak antibody response was induced in one cat infected with the (delta)vif virus. In contrast, despite the successful recovery of virus from both groups of cats infected with deltaORF-A and deltaAP-1 virus, antibody responses and decrease in the CD4/CD8 ratio in the groups were milder than those in cats infected with wild-type virus. Furthermore, the numbers of proviral DNA copies in PBMCs from the two groups were not able to reach the level in cats infected with wild-type virus during the observation period. From these results, we conclude that these mutant viruses are still infectious for cats but failed in efficient viral replication and suggest that these auxiliary genes and enhancer element are important or essential to full viral replication kinetics and presumably to full pathogenicity during the early stage of infection in vivo.
Rat pancreatic AR42J cells possess exocrine and neuroendocrine properties. Activin A induces morphological changes and converts them into neuron-like cells. In activin-treated cells, mRNA for pancreatic polypeptide (PP) but not that for either insulin or glucagon was detected by reverse transcription-PCR. About 25% of the cells were stained by anti-PP antibody. When AR42J cells were incubated with betacellulin, a small portion of the cells were stained positively with antiinsulin and anti-PP antibodies. The effect of betacellulin was dose dependent, being maximal at 2 nM. Approximately 4% of the cells became insulin positive at this concentration, and mRNAs for insulin and PP were detected. When AR42J cells were incubated with a combination of betacellulin and activin A, approximately 10% of the cells became insulin positive. Morphologically, the insulin-positive cells were composed of two types of cells: neuron-like and round-shaped cells. Immunoreactive PP was found in the latter type of cells. The mRNAs for insulin, PP, glucose transporter 2, and glucokinase, but not glucagon, were detected. Depolarizing concentration of potassium, tolbutamide, carbachol, and glucagon-like peptide-1 stimulated the release of immunoreactive insulin. These results indicate that betacellulin and activin A convert amylase-secreting AR42J cells into cells secreting insulin. AR42J cells provide a model system to study the formation of pancreatic endocrine cells.