Erythropoietin (EPO) stimulates red blood cell production, in part by inhibiting apoptosis of the red blood cell precursors. The erythropoietic effects of EPO are circadian stage dependent. Retinal injury due to light occurs through oxidative mechanisms and is manifest by retinal and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells apoptosis. The visual cycle might be circadian coordinated as a means of effectively protecting the retina from the detrimental effects of light-induced, oxygen-dependent, free radical–mediated damage, especially at the times of day when light is more intense. We show that the retinal expression of EPO and its receptor (EPOR), as well as subsequent Janus kinase 2 (Jak2) phosphorylations, are each tightly linked to a specific time after oxidative stress and in anticipation of daily light onset. This is consistent with physiological protection against daily light-induced, oxidatively mediated retinal apoptosis. In vitro, we verify that EPO protects RPE cells from light, hyperoxia, and hydrogen peroxide–induced retinal cell apoptosis, and that these stimuli increase EPO and EPOR expression in cultured RPE cells. Together, these data support the premise that EPO and its EPOR interactions represent an important retinal shield from physiologic and pathologic light-induced oxidative injury.
erythropoietin; retina; neuroprotection; retinal pigment epithelium; oxidative stress
The regeneration of the 11-cis-retinyl imine chromophore of rhodopsin during the visual cycle and mechanisms that control this process are central questions in the field of vision research. The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE)-specific protein RPE65 is centrally involved in the isomerization and hydrolysis of alltrans-retinyl esters. In this study, we investigated RPE65 cleavage and potential regulatory mechanisms under oxidative stress conditions. The D407 RPE cell cultures were exposed to H2O2 (100–1000 µM). Changes in the levels of RPE65 and proteins related to apoptosis were investigated using gel electrophoresis and western blotting. Mass spectrometry was used to confirm the identity of RPE65. C57BL/6J (M450) and C3HeB/FeJ (L450) mice were used for in vivo experiments. We found that a novel 45 kDa truncated fragment of the RPE65 protein, designated RPE45, appears in RPE cells upon light exposure or oxidative stress. RPE45 is generated in vitro by recombinant caspases via an ubiquitination-dependent mechanism. Collectively, our results indicate that oxidative stress during the visual cycle results in cleavage of RPE65.
Visual cycle; RPE65; Retinal pigment epithelium; Oxidative stress; Light
Researchers have consistently documented a gap between the large number of US youth meeting criteria for a mental health disorder with significant associated impairment, and the comparatively few youth receiving services. School-based mental health care may address the need–services gap by offering services more equitably to youth in need, irrespective of family economic resources, availability of transportation, and other factors that can impede access to community clinics. However, diagnoses alone do not fully capture the severity of an individual's mental health status and need for services. Studying service use only in relation to diagnoses may restrict our understanding of the degree to which service use is reflective of service need, and inhibit our ability to compare school and non-school-based outpatient settings on their responsiveness to service need. The present study evaluated predictors of mental health service use in school- and community-based settings for youth who had had an active case in one of two public sectors of care, comparing empirically-derived dimensional measurements of youth mental health service need and impairment ratings against non-need variables (e.g., ethnicity, income). Three dimensions of youth mental health service need were identified. Mental health service need and non-need variables each played a significant predictive role. Parent-rated impairment was the strongest need-based predictor of service use across settings. The impact of non-need variables varied by service setting, with parental income having a particularly noticeable effect on school-based services. Across time, preceding service use and impairment each significantly predicted future service use.
Mental Health; Service Use; Psychopathology; Youth; School
Colorectal cancer risk is increased in shift workers with presumed circadian disruption. Intestinal epithelial cell proliferation is gated throughout each day by the circadian clock. Period 2 (Per2) is a key circadian clock gene. Per2 mutant (Per2m/m) mice show an increase in lymphomas and deregulated expression of cyclin D and c-Myc genes that are key to proliferation control. We asked whether Per2 clock gene inactivation would accelerate intestinal and colonic tumorigenesis. The effects of PER2 on cell proliferation and β-catenin were studied in colon cancer cell lines by its down-regulation following RNA interference. The effects of Per2 inactivation in vivo on β-catenin and on intestinal and colonic polyp formation were studied in mice with Per2 mutation alone and in combination with an Apc mutation using polyp-prone ApcMin/+ mice. Down-regulation of PER2 in colon cell lines (HCT116 and SW480) increases β-catenin, cyclin D, and cell proliferation. Down-regulation of β-catenin along with Per2 blocks the increase in cyclin D and cell proliferation. Per2m/m mice develop colonic polyps and show an increase in small intestinal mucosa β-catenin and cyclin D protein levels compared with wild-type mice. ApcMin/+Per2m/m mice develop twice the number of small intestinal and colonic polyps, with more severe anemia and splenomegaly, compared with ApcMin/+ mice. These data suggest that Per2 gene product suppresses tumorigenesis in the small intestine and colon by down-regulation of β-catenin and β-catenin target genes, and this circadian core clock gene may represent a novel target for colorectal cancer prevention and control.
This study tests a model of reciprocal influences between absenteeism and youth psychopathology using three longitudinal datasets (Ns= 20745, 2311, and 671). Participants in 1st through 12th grades were interviewed annually or bi-annually. Measures of psychopathology include self-, parent-, and teacher-report questionnaires. Structural cross-lagged regression models were tested. In a nationally representative dataset (Add Health), middle school students with relatively greater absenteeism at study year 1 tended towards increased depression and conduct problems in study year 2, over and above the effects of autoregressive associations and demographic covariates. The opposite direction of effects was found for both middle and high school students. Analyses with two regionally representative datasets were also partially supportive. Longitudinal links were more evident in adolescence than in childhood.
We have recently shown that American ginseng (AG) prevents and treats mouse colitis. Because both mice and humans with chronic colitis have a high colon cancer risk, we tested the hypothesis that AG can be used to prevent colitis-driven colon cancer. Using the azoxymethane (AOM)/dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) mouse model of ulcerative colitis, we show that AG can suppress colon cancer associated with colitis. To explore the molecular mechanisms of the anticancer effects of AG, we also carried out antibody array experiments on colon cells isolated at a precancerous stage. We found there were 82 protein end points that were either significantly higher (41 proteins) or significantly lower (41 proteins) in the AOM + DSS group compared with the AOM-alone (control) group. In contrast, there were only 19 protein end points that were either significantly higher (10 proteins) or significantly lower (9 proteins) in the AOM + DSS + AG group compared with the AOM-alone (control) group. Overall, these results suggest that AG keeps the colon environment in metabolic equilibrium when mice are treated with AOM + DSS and gives insight into the mechanisms by which AG protects from colon cancer associated with colitis.
Sphingolipid metabolism is driven by inflammatory cytokines. These cascade of events include the activation of sphingosine kinase (SK), and subsequent production of the mitogenic and proinflammatory lipid sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P). Overall, S1P is one of the crucial components in inflammation, making SK an excellent target for the development of new anti-inflammatory drugs. We have recently shown that SK inhibitors suppress colitis and hypothesize here that the novel SK inhibitor, ABC294640, prevents the development of colon cancer. In an azoxymethane (AOM)/dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) mouse model, there was a dose-dependent decrease in tumor incidence with SK inhibitor treatment. The tumor incidence (number of animals with tumors per group) in the vehicle, ABC294640 (20 mg/kg) and ABC294640 (50 mg/kg) groups were 80, 40 and 30%, respectively. Tumor multiplicity (number of tumors per animal) also decreased from 2.1 ± 0.23 tumors per animal in the AOM + DSS + vehicle group to 1.2 ± 0 tumors per animal in the AOM + DSS + ABC294640 (20 mg/kg) and to 0.8 ± 0.4 tumors per animal in the AOM + DSS + ABC294640 (50 mg/kg) group. Importantly, with ABC294640, there were no observed toxic side effects. To explore mechanisms, we isolated cells from the colon (CD45−, representing primarily colon epithelial cells) and (CD45+, representing primarily colon inflammatory cells) then measured known targets of SK that control cell survival. Results are consistent with the hypothesis that the inhibition of SK activity by our novel SK inhibitor modulates key pathways involved in cell survival and may be a viable treatment strategy for the chemoprevention colitis-driven colon cancer.
Cancer patients routinely develop symptoms consistent with profound circadian disruption, which causes circadian disruption diminished quality of life. This study was initiated to determine the relationship between the severity of potentially remediable cancer-associated circadian disruption and quality of life among patients with advanced lung cancer.
We concurrently investigated the relationship between the circadian rhythms of 84 advanced lung cancer patients and their quality of life outcomes as measured by the EORTC QLQ C30 and Ferrans and Powers QLI. The robustness and stability of activity/sleep circadian daily rhythms were measured by actigraphy. Fifty three of the patients in the study were starting their definitive therapy following diagnosis and thirty one patients were beginning second-line therapy. Among the patients who failed prior therapy, the median time between completing definitive therapy and baseline actigraphy was 4.3 months, (interquartile range 2.1 to 9.8 months).
We found that circadian disruption is universal and severe among these patients compared to non-cancer-bearing individuals. We found that each of these patient's EORTC QLQ C30 domain scores revealed a compromised capacity to perform the routine activities of daily life. The severity of several, but not all, EORTC QLQ C30 symptom items correlate strongly with the degree of individual circadian disruption. In addition, the scores of all four Ferrans/Powers QLI domains correlate strongly with the degree of circadian disruption. Although Ferrans/Powers QLI domain scores show that cancer and its treatment spared these patients' emotional and psychological health, the QLI Health/Function domain score revealed high levels of patients' dissatisfaction with their health which is much worse when circadian disruption is severe. Circadian disruption selectively affects specific Quality of Life domains, such as the Ferrans/Powers Health/Function domain, and not others, such as EORTC QLQ C30 Physical Domain.
These data suggest the testable possibility that behavioral, hormonal and/or light-based strategies to improve circadian organization may help patients suffering from advanced lung cancer to feel and function better.
Many cancer patients report poor sleep quality, despite having adequate time and opportunity for sleep. Satisfying sleep is dependent on a healthy circadian time structure and the circadian patterns among cancer patients are quite abnormal. Wrist actigraphy has been validated with concurrent polysomnography as a reliable tool to objectively measure many standard sleep parameters, as well as daily activity. Actigraphic and subjective sleep data are in agreement when determining activity-sleep patterns and sleep quality/quantity, each of which are severely affected in cancer patients. We investigated the relationship between actigraphic measurement of circadian organization and self-reported subjective sleep quality among patients with advanced lung cancer.
This cross-sectional and case control study was conducted in 84 patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer in a hospital setting for the patients at Midwestern Regional Medical Center (MRMC), Zion, IL, USA and home setting for the patients at WJB Dorn Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), Columbia, SC, USA. Prior to chemotherapy treatment, each patient's sleep-activity cycle was measured by actigraphy over a 4-7 day period and sleep quality was assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) questionnaire.
The mean age of our patients was 62 years. 65 patients were males while 19 were females. 31 patients had failed prior treatment while 52 were newly diagnosed. Actigraphy and PSQI scores showed significantly disturbed daily sleep-activity cycles and poorer sleep quality in lung cancer patients compared to healthy controls. Nearly all actigraphic parameters strongly correlated with PSQI self-reported sleep quality of inpatients and outpatients.
The correlation of daily activity/sleep time with PSQI-documented sleep indicates that actigraphy can be used as an objective tool and/or to complement subjective assessments of sleep quality in patients with advanced lung cancer. These results suggest that improvements to circadian function may also improve sleep quality.
Circadian disruption has been linked with inflammation, an established cancer risk factor. Per3 clock gene polymorphisms have also been associated with circadian disruption and with increased cancer risk. Patients completed a questionnaire and provided a blood sample prior to undergoing a colonoscopy (n = 70). Adjusted mean serum cytokine concentrations (IL-6, TNF-alpha, gamma-INF, IL-I ra, IL-I-beta, VEGF) were compared among patients with high and low scores for fatigue (Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory), depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory II), or sleep disruption (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index), or among patients with different Per3 clock gene variants. Poor sleep was associated with elevated VEGF, and fatigue-related reduced activity was associated with elevated TNF-alpha concentrations. Participants with the 4/5 or 5/5 Per3 variable tandem repeat sequence had elevated IL-6 concentrations compared to those with the 4/4 genotype. Biological processes linking circadian disruption with cancer remain to be elucidated. Increased inflammatory cytokine secretion may playa role.
circadian rhythm; clock gene; cytokine; inflammation
We evaluate the influence of housing, services, and individual characteristics on housing loss among formerly homeless mentally ill persons who participated in a five-site (4-city) study in the U.S. Housing and service availability were manipulated within randomized experimental designs and substance abuse and other covariates were measured with a common protocol. Findings indicate that housing availability was the primary predictor of subsequent ability to avoid homelessness, while enhanced services reduced the risk of homelessness if housing was also available. Substance abuse increased the risk of housing loss in some conditions in some projects, but specific findings differed between projects and with respect to time spent in shelters and on the streets. We identify implications for research on homeless persons with mental illness that spans different national and local contexts and involves diverse ethnic groups.
Homelessness; mental illness; substance abuse
This position paper documents the merit of including for basic and clinical investigations the mapping of circadian and other rhythms and yet broader chronomes, time structures in and around us. Chronobiometry used herein relies on inferential statistical methods and on materials documented earlier. The circadian amplitude of melatonin is shown to relate both to cancer risk and to the presence of overt cancer, when no differences are found in the 24-hour average of melatonin. Optimization of treatment by timing, thoroughly documented along the circadian scale earlier, could be broadened to include optimization along the scale of the week, and eventually beyond. In both cases, reliance on marker rhythmometry is advocated. More generally, the limits of knowledge are expanded by considering already mapped spectral components and their characteristics that can be influenced by the dynamics of heliogeomagnetic signals heretofore unassessed.
chronome; chronotherapy; circadian; circaseptan; heliogeomagnetics; L1210 leukemia; marker rhythmometry; mitotic activity
Ulcerative colitis is a dynamic, chronic inflammatory condition of the colon associated with an increased colon cancer risk. Ginkgo biloba is a putative antioxidant and has been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of ailments. The aim of this study was to test whether the standardized G.biloba extract, EGb 761, is an antioxidant that can be used to prevent and treat colitis in mice. Here, we show that EGb 761 suppresses the activation of macrophages and can be used to both prevent and treat mouse colitis. Markers of inflammation (iNOS, Cox-2 and tumor necrosis factor-α) and inflammatory stress (p53 and p53-phospho-serine 15) are also downregulated by EGb 761. Furthermore, we show that EGb 761 reduces the numbers of CD4+/CD25−/Foxp3− effector T cells in the colon. Interestingly, EGb 761 drives CD4+ effector T cell apoptosis in vitro and in vivo, providing a mechanistic explanation to the reduction in numbers of this cell type in the colon. This current study is in agreement with previous studies supporting a use of EGb 761 as a complementary and alternative strategy to abate colitis and associated colon cancer.
Circadian clocks gate cellular proliferation and, thereby, therapeutically target availability within proliferative pathways. This temporal coordination occurs within both cancerous and noncancerous proliferating tissues. The timing within the circadian cycle of the administration of drugs targeting proliferative pathways necessarily impacts the amount of damage done to proliferating tissues and cancers. Concurrently measuring target levels and associated key pathway components in normal and malignant tissues around the circadian clock provides a path toward a fuller understanding of the temporal relationships among the physiologic processes governing the therapeutic index of antiproliferative anticancer therapies. The temporal ordering among these relationships, paramount to determining causation, is less well understood using two- or three-dimensional representations. We have created multidimensional multimedia depictions of the temporal unfolding of putatively causative and the resultant therapeutic effects of a drug that specifically targets these ordered processes at specific times of the day. The systems and methods used to create these depictions are provided, as well as three example supplementary movies.
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a dynamic, idiopathic, chronic inflammatory condition associated with a high colon cancer risk. American ginseng has antioxidant properties and targets many of the players in inflammation. The aim of this study was to test whether American ginseng extract prevents and treats colitis. Colitis in mice was induced by the presence of 1% dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) in the drinking water or by 1% oxazolone rectally. American ginseng extract was mixed in the chow at levels consistent with that currently consumed by humans as a supplement (75 p.p.m., equivalent to 58 mg daily). To test prevention of colitis, American ginseng extract was given prior to colitis induction. To test treatment of colitis, American ginseng extract was given after the onset of colitis. In vitro studies were performed to examine mechanisms. Results indicate that American ginseng extract not only prevents but it also treats colitis. Inducible nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase-2 (markers of inflammation) and p53 (induced by inflammatory stress) are also downregulated by American ginseng. Mucosal and DNA damage associated with colitis is at least in part a result of an oxidative burst from overactive leukocytes. We therefore tested the hypothesis that American ginseng extract can inhibit leukocyte activation and subsequent epithelial cell DNA damage in vitro and in vivo. Results are consistent with this hypothesis. The use of American ginseng extract represents a novel therapeutic approach for the prevention and treatment of UC.
To investigate rates of psychotropic medication use by youths served in public service sectors as a function of race/ethnicity.
Logistic regression models were used to examine racial/ethnic differences in caregiver report of psychotropic medication use for a random stratified sample of 1,342 children who were served in public service sectors during the second half of fiscal year 1996–97.
Race/ethnicity predicted caregiver report of past-year and lifetime psychotropic medication use when all other factors were held constant. Specifically, caregivers of African-American and Latino children were less likely to report past-year use compared to white children; caregivers of Latino children and “others” were less likely to report lifetime use. Additional factors predictive of medication use in regression models included younger age, male gender, higher household income, insurance type, active to mental health sector at time of enumeration into the study, impairment and diagnosis of mood, and anxiety or attentional disorder.
Racial/ethnic differences in use of psychotropic medication occur in children served in public service sectors and need to be considered in clinical diagnosis and treatment.
psychotropics; pediatrics; race; ethnicity
To 1) investigate the status of policies for comprehensive health assessments of children entering out-of-home care, 2) develop a profile for each primary sampling unit (PSU) regarding the comprehensiveness of its assessment policies with respect to physical, mental, and developmental health, and 3) examine the relationship between inclusiveness and the estimated percentage of children assessed, primary assessment location, and principal assessment provider type.
In collaboration with the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being, a national probability sample of 92 PSUs was identified. Detailed telephone survey data, addressing policies for the assessment of physical, mental, and developmental needs of children on entry into out-of-home care, were collected from child welfare key informants. Descriptive statistics were used for analyses, and were weighted to account for the sampling strategy.
Over 94% of PSUs surveyed assessed all children for physical health problems. The percentage of PSUs with inclusive policies regarding mental health and developmental assessment was much lower (47.8% and 57.8%, respectively). Only 42.6% of PSUs provided comprehensive physical, mental health, and developmental examinations inclusive of all children entering out-of-home care. Community locations and primary care providers were most often used to conduct assessments for physical and developmental problems.
Despite the publication of national guidelines regarding assessment, many PSUs do not have comprehensive policies or routine practices that address all children entering out-of-home care. Given the high use of primary care providers, these providers must be educated regarding the prevalence and types of problems experienced by children entering foster care.
foster care; health care; mental health services; developmental delay; child health; CWLA, Child Welfare League of America; AAP, American Academy of Pediatrics; PSU, primary sampling unit; CCCW, Caring for Children in Child Welfare; NSCAW, National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being; CI, confidence interval; CASRC, Child and Adolescent Services Research Group
By using the basic methodology initially published by Kretschmer et al. (J. Bacteriol. 124:225-231, 1975), we have been able to introduce phenotypically cryptic plasmids from Streptococcus ferus (formerly Streptococcus mutans subsp. ferus) into Streptococcus sanguis by genetic transformation. In this system, the entry of the cryptic plasmids is selected indirectly. This is effected with transforming deoxyribonucleic acid mixtures in which the cryptic plasmid deoxyribonucleic acid is present in an approximate 10-fold molar excess with respect to a plasmid (pVA1) known to confer erythromycin resistance. Under such conditions, 5 to 10% of the pVA1-containing erythromycin-resistant transformants were cotransformed with cryptic plasmid deoxyribonucleic acid. pVA1 may be selectively eliminated by growth of its S. sanguis host strain at 42°C, enabling the construction of isogenic strains with and without S. ferus cryptic plasmids. Comparative physiological studies of such strains have failed to reveal any plasmid-conferred phenotypes in S. sanguis. With this procedure, we have been able to physically separate two small cryptic plasmids (2.4 × 106 and 2.8 × 106 daltons) of S. ferus. Although these plasmids were found naturally to exist in a single S. ferus host, they were able to replicate independently of one another in S. sanguis. Restriction enzyme fingerprinting indicated that these plasmids did not share a common ancestry.