Studies in Western countries have repeatedly shown that women with a history of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) are at increased risk for developing major depression (MD). Would this relationship be found in China?
Three levels of CSA (non-genital, genital, and intercourse) were assessed by self-report in two groups of Han Chinese women: 1970 clinically ascertained with recurrent MD and 2597 matched controls. Diagnostic and other risk factor information was assessed at personal interview. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated by logistic regression and regression coefficients by linear or Poisson regression.
Any form of CSA was significantly associated with recurrent MD [OR 3.26, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.95–5.45]. This association strengthened with increasing CSA severity: non-genital (OR 2.47, 95% CI 1.17–5.23), genital (OR 2.77, 95% CI 1.32–5.83) and intercourse (OR 13.35, 95% CI 1.83–97.42). The association between any form of CSA and MD remained significant after accounting for parental history of depression, childhood emotional neglect (CEN), childhood physical abuse (CPA) and parent–child relationship. Among the depressed women, those with CSA had an earlier age of onset, longer depressive episodes and an increased risk for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD; OR 1.92, 95% CI 1.39–2.66) and dysthymia (OR 2.16, 95% CI 1.52–3.09).
In Chinese women CSA is strongly associated with MD and this association increases with greater severity of CSA. Depressed women with CSA have an earlier age of onset, longer depressive episodes and increased co-morbidity with GAD and dysthymia. Although reporting biases cannot be ruled out, our results are consistent with the hypothesis that, as in Western countries, CSA substantially increases the risk for MD in China.
Childhood sexual abuse; co-morbidity; major depression
To elucidate the mechanism by which rosiglitazone regulates adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL).
Male C57Bl/6 mice were treated with rosiglitazone daily (10 mg/kg body weight), and adipose tissues were weighed and preserved for mRNA and protein analysis of ATGL. In parallel, preadipocyte (3T3-L1) cells were differentiated with insulin/dexamethasone/3-isobutyl-1-methlxanthine cocktail or rosiglitazone, and ATGL levels were measured with real-time PCR, western blotting and immunohistochemistry.
Rosiglitazone concomitantly promoted differentiation of pre-adipocytes to functional adipocytes and induced mRNA levels of ATGL. The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) antagonist bisphenol A diglycidyl ether significantly abrogated the induction of mRNA, but not protein levels of ATGL by rosiglitazone in differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes. In the presence of epinephrine rosiglitazone stimulated free fatty acid release and increased diacylglycerol acyltransferase-1 (DGAT-1) mRNA suggest that ATGL and DGAT-1 may be cooperatively involved in rosiglitazone-stimulated triglyceride hydrolysis and fatty acid re-esterification in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Treatment of 3T3-L1 adipocytes with rosiglitazone or insulin did not appear to alter localization of ATGL staining surrounding lipid droplets. Finally, we found that rosiglitazone increased ATGL mRNA levels in 3T3-L1 adipocytes in the presence of cycloheximide, an inhibitor of protein synthesis, suggesting that rosiglitazone regulation of ATGL occurs at the transcriptional level.
Rosiglitazone directly regulates transcription of ATGL, likely through a PPARγ-mediated mechanism.
adipocyte; ATGL; PPARγ; rosiglitazone
Tissue-specific amplification of glucocorticoid action through 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) affects the development of the metabolic syndrome. Hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (H6PDH) mediates intracellular NADPH availability for 11β-HSD1 and depends on the glucose-6-phosphate transporter (G6PT). Little is known about the tissue-specific alterations of H6PDH and G6PT and their contributions to local glucocorticoid action in db/db mice.
We characterised the role of H6PDH and G6PT in pre-receptor metabolism of glucocorticoids by examining the production of the hepatic 11β-HSD1-H6PDH–G6PT system in db/db mice.
We observed that increased production of hepatic H6PDH in db/db mice was paralleled by upregulation of hepatic G6PT production and responded to elevated circulating levels of corticosterone. Treatment of db/db mice with the glucocorticoid antagonist RU486 markedly reduced production of both H6PDH and 11β-HSD1 and improved hyperglycaemia and insulin resistance. The reduction of H6PDH and 11β-HSD1 production by RU486 was accompanied by RU486-induced suppression of hepatic G6pt (also known as Slc37a4) mRNA. Incubation of mouse primary hepatocytes with corticosterone enhanced G6PT and H6PDH production with corresponding activation of 11β-HSD1 and PEPCK: effects that were blocked by RU486. Knockdown of H6pd by small interfering RNA showed effects comparable with those of RU486 for attenuating the corticosterone-induced H6PDH production and 11β-HSD1 reductase activity in these intact cells. Addition of the G6PT inhibitor chlorogenic acid to primary hepatocytes suppressed H6PDH production.
These findings suggest that increased hepatic H6PDH and G6PT production contribute to 11β-HSD1 upregulation of local glucocorticoid action that may be related to the development of type 2 diabetes.
11β-HSD1; G6PT; G6PT inhibitor; H6PDH; H6PDH siRNA; Insulin resistance; NADPH; Type 2 diabetes
To assess the value of contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) in differentiating hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) from non-neoplastic lesion in cirrhotic liver in comparison with baseline ultrasound.
A total of 147 nodules (diameter ≤5.0 cm) in 133 cirrhotic patients (mean age±standard deviation: 52±13 years, range 20–82 years; gender: 111 males and 22 females) were examined with CEUS. There were 116 HCCs, 26 macroregenerative nodules and 5 high-grade dysplastic nodules. CEUS was performed with a real-time contrast-specific mode and a sulphur hexafluoride-filled microbubble contrast agent.
Hypervascularity was observed in 94.8% (110/116) HCCs, 3.8% (1/26) macroregenerative nodules and 60.0% (3/5) high-grade dysplastic nodules during arterial phase on CEUS. Detection rates of typical vascular pattern (i.e. hypervascularity during arterial phase and subsequent washout) in HCCs with a diameter of ≤2.0 cm, 2.1–3.0 cm and 3.1–5.0 cm were 69.2% (27/39), 97.1% (33/34) and 100.0% (43/43), respectively. CEUS significantly improved the sensitivity [88.8% (103/116) vs 37.1% (43/116), p<0.001], negative predictive value [70.5% (31/44) vs 31.5% (29/92), p<0.001], and accuracy [91.2% (134/147) vs 49.0% (72/147), p<0.001] in differentiating HCCs from non-neoplastic lesions when compared with baseline ultrasound. However, the sensitivity and accuracy of CEUS for HCCs ≤2.0 cm in diameter were significantly lower than those for HCCs of 2.1–3.0 cm and 3.1–5.0 cm in diameter.
CEUS improves diagnostic performance in differentiating HCCs from non-neoplastic nodules in cirrhotic patients compared with baseline ultrasound. Diagnosis of HCCs ≤2.0 cm diameter by CEUS is still a clinical concern, and thus needs further investigation.
Recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma, which represents a small proportion of head-and-neck cancers, has a unique set of patho-clinical characteristics. The management of recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma remains a challenging clinical problem. Traditional treatments offer limited local control and survival benefits; more seriously, they frequently induce severe late complications. Recently, novel treatment techniques and strategies—including precision radiotherapy, endoscopic surgery or transoral robotic resection, third-generation chemotherapy regimens, and targeted therapies and immunotherapy—have provided new hope for patients with recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Some of these patients can potentially be cured with modern treatments. However, a lack of adequate evidence makes it difficult for clinicians to apply these powerful techniques and strategies. Individualized management guidelines, full evaluation of quality of life in these patients, and a further understanding of the mechanisms underlying recurrence are future directions for research into recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; recurrence; surgery; radiotherapy; chemotherapy; biotherapy
Recent studies have linked acute respiratory and cardiovascular outcomes to measurements or estimates of traffic-related air pollutants at homes or schools. However, few studies have evaluated these outdoor measurements and estimates against personal exposure measurements. We compared measured and modeled home outdoor concentrations with personal measurements of traffic-related air pollutants in the Los Angeles air basin (Whittier and Riverside). Personal exposure of 63 children with asthma and 15 homes were assessed for particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 µm (PM2.5), elemental carbon (EC), and organic carbon (OC) during sixteen 10-day monitoring runs. Regression models to predict daily home outdoor PM2.5, EC, and OC were constructed using home outdoor measurements, geographical and meteorological parameters, as well as CALINE4 estimates at outdoor home sites, which represent the concentrations from local traffic sources. These home outdoor models showed the variance explained (R2) was 0.97 and 0.94 for PM2.5, 0.91 and 0.83 for OC, and 0.76 and 0.87 for EC in Riverside and Whittier, respectively. The PM2.5 outdoor estimates correlated well with the personal measurements (Riverside R2=0.65 and Whittier R2=0.69). However, excluding potentially inaccurate samples from Riverside, the correlation between personal exposure to carbonaceous species and home outdoor estimates in Whittier was moderate for EC (R2=0.37) and poor for OC (R2=0.08). The CALINE4 estimates alone were not correlated with personal measurements of EC or other pollutants. While home outdoor estimates provide good approximations for daily personal PM2.5 exposure, they may not be adequate for estimating daily personal exposure to EC and OC.
Air pollution; Elemental carbon; Organic carbon; Exposure modeling; Traffic exhaust
The quantitative parameters in the contrast-enhanced ultrasonography time–intensity
curve of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) were studied to explore
their possible implication for histological grading of HCC.
A total of 130 HCC patients (115 males and 15 females; age: 48.13±11.00
years) were studied using contrast-enhanced ultrasonography time–intensity
curve and histological pathology. The quantification software Sonoliver® (TomTec
Imaging Systems, Unterschleissheim, Germany) was applied to derive time–intensity
curves of regions of interest in the interior of HCCs and in reference. Quantitative
parameters of 115 patients were successfully obtained, including maximum of
intensity (IMAX), rise time (RT), time to peak (TTP),
rise slope (RS) and washout time (WT). Histological grading
of HCC was performed using haematoxylin–eosin staining, and monoclonal
antibodies specific for smooth muscle actin were used to observe unpaired
There were significant differences among WTs in the three differentiated
HCC groups (p<0.05). However, there were no
significant differences among RT, TTP, RS and IMAX in the differentiated HCC
groups. Moreover, the number of UAs in the differentiated HCC groups showed
no statistical significance.
WT plays an important role in predicting well, moderately and poorly differentiated
Alveolar elastic fibres are key targets of proteases during the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In the current study, we hypothesised that a response to injury leads to enhanced alveolar elastin gene expression in very severe COPD.
Lung samples obtained from 43 patients, including 11 with very severe COPD (stage 4), 10 donors, 10 with moderate/severe COPD (stage 2–3) and 12 non-COPD subjects, were analysed for elastin mRNA expression by real-time RT-PCR and in situ hybridisation. Alveolar elastic fibres were visualised using Hart's staining of sections of frozen inflated lungs obtained from 11 COPD stage 4 patients and three donor lungs.
Compared with donors, non-COPD and stage 2–3 COPD, elastin mRNA expression was significantly increased in very severe COPD lungs (12-fold change), and localised in situ hybridisation induced elastin expression to alveolar walls. Compared with donors, alveolar elastic fibres also comprised a greater volume fraction of total lung tissue in very severe COPD lungs (p<0.01), but elastic fibre content was not increased per lung volume, and desmosine content was not increased.
The present study demonstrates enhanced alveolar elastin expression in very severe COPD. The efficiency of this potential repair mechanism and its regulation remain to be demonstrated.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; elastin; emphysema; gene expression
To evaluate the safety, pharmacokinetics (PKs), and pharmacodynamics of aflibercept, and to identify the recommended phase II dose (RP2D) of aflibercept in combination with pemetrexed and cisplatin.
Aflibercept was administered at escalating doses of 2, 4, or 6 mg kg−1 in combination with fixed doses of pemetrexed (500 mg m−2) plus cisplatin (75 mg m−2) every 3 weeks. Blood samples were collected for PK analyses. Serum antiaflibercept antibodies were quantified to assess their impact on systemic aflibercept concentrations.
Eighteen patients were enrolled. One patient dosed at 4 mg kg−1 experienced grade 3 hypophosphatemia (dose-limiting toxicity; DLT), which prompted a cohort expansion. No further DLTs were observed in the 4 mg kg−1 cohort or the 6 mg kg−1 dose cohort. Most common adverse events (AEs) of all grades included (%): fatigue (89), anaemia (89), nausea (83), hyponatremia (78), and neutropenia (72). Grade ⩾3 AEs consistent with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy included (%): hypertension (22), pulmonary embolism (11), and deep vein thrombosis (6). Five patients (28%) experienced mild neurocognitive disturbance. No episodes of reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome (RPLS) were noted.
The results of this phase I study allowed further evaluation of the combination of aflibercept with pemetrexed and cisplatin in a phase II study. The RP2D of aflibercept was 6 mg kg−1, to be administered intravenously every 3 weeks in combination with pemetrexed and cisplatin.
aflibercept; phase I; cisplatin; pemetrexed; angiogenesis; pharmacokinetic
The objective of this study was to evaluate the treatment efficacy and overall survival (OS) of percutaneous ultrasound-guided thermal ablation by means of microwave ablation or radiofrequency ablation for intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC).
18 patients with 25 ICC nodules underwent ultrasound-guided thermal ablation with curative intention. 8 patients were primary cases and 10 were recurrent cases after curative resection. The local treatment response, complications and survivals were analysed.
Complete ablation was achieved in 23 (92.0%, 23/25) nodules (diameter, 0.7–4.3 cm; mean, 2.5±0.9 cm) and incomplete ablation was found in 2 (8.0%, 2/25) larger tumours (6.4 and 6.9 cm in diameter). No death associated with the treatment was found. The major complication rate was 5.5% (1/18). The follow-up periods ranged from 1.3 to 86.2 months (mean, 20.5±26.3 months; median, 8.7 months). OS rates for all patients at 6, 12, 36 and 60 months were 66.7%, 36.3%, 30.3% and 30.3%, respectively. By univariate analysis, the patient source (primary or recurrent case) was found to be a significant prognostic factor for OS rates (p=0.001). The patient source (p=0.001) and the number of nodules (p=0.038) were found to be significant prognostic factors for recurrence-free survival. OS rates for the primary ICC at 6, 12, 36 and 60 months were 87.5%, 75.0%, 62.5% and 62.5%, respectively.
Percutaneous ultrasound-guided thermal ablation is a safe and effective therapeutic technique for ICC. Acceptable survival can be achieved in primary ICCs, whereas the prognosis of recurrent ICCs is relatively poor.
To investigate the correlation between enhancement patterns of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) on contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) and pathological findings.
The CEUS enhancement patterns of 40 pathologically proven ICC lesions were retrospectively analysed. Pathologically, the degree of tumour cell and fibrosis distribution in the lesion was semi-quantitatively evaluated.
4 enhancement patterns were observed in the arterial phase for 32 mass-forming ICCs: peripheral rim-like hyperenhancement (n=19); heterogeneous hyperenhancement (n=6); homogeneous hyperenhancement (n=3); and heterogeneous hypo-enhancement (n=4). Among the four enhancement patterns, the differences in tumour cell distribution were statistically significant (p<0.05). The hyperenhancing area on CEUS corresponded to more tumour cells for mass-forming ICCs. Heterogeneous hyperenhancement (n=2) and heterogeneous hypo-enhancement (n=2) were observed in the arterial phase for four periductal infiltrating ICCs. In this subtype, fibrosis was more commonly found in the lesions. Heterogeneous hyperenhancement (n=1) and homogeneous hyperenhancement (n=3) were observed in the arterial phase for four intraductal growing ICCs. This subtype tended to have abundant tumour cells.
The CEUS findings of ICC relate to the degree of carcinoma cell proliferation at pathological examination. Hyperenhancing areas in the tumour always indicated increased density of cancer cells.
This study examined the risk of third cancer of non-breast origin (TNBC) among women with bilateral breast cancer (BBC; either synchronous or metachronous), focussing on the relation with breast cancer treatment.
Risk was assessed, among 8752 Dutch women diagnosed with BBC between 1989 and 2008, using standardised incidence ratios (SIR) and Cox regression analyses to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) of TNBC for different treatment modalities.
Significant increased SIRs were observed for all TNBCs combined, haematological malignancies, stomach, colorectal, non-melanoma skin, lung, head and neck, endometrial, and ovarian cancer. A 10-fold increased risk was found for ovarian cancer among women younger than 50 years (SIR=10.0, 95% confidence interval (CI)=5.3–17.4). Radiotherapy was associated with increased risks of all TNBCs combined (HR=1.3; 95%CI=1.1–1.6, respectively). Endocrine therapy was associated with increased risks of all TNBCs combined (HR=1.2; 95%CI=1.0–1.5), haematological malignancies (HR=2.0; 95%CI=1.1–3.9), and head and neck cancer (HR=3.3; 95%CI=1.1–10.4). After chemotherapy decreased risks were found for all TNBCs combined (HR=0.63; 95%CI=0.5–0.87).
Increased risk of TNBC could be influenced by genetic factors (ovarian cancer) or an effect of treatment (radiotherapy and endocrine therapy). More insight in the TNBC risk should further optimise and individualise treatment and surveillance protocols in (young) women with BBC.
bilateral breast cancer; third primary cancer; risk; radiotherapy; chemotherapy; endocrine therapy
An intravenous formulated extract of the venom of the wild toad Bufo bufo gargarizans Cantor or Bufo melanostictus Schneider, huachansu, is currently used in China for the treatment of lung, liver, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers. We performed a randomised, single-blinded, phase II clinical study of huachansu plus gemcitabine versus placebo plus gemcitabine in patients with locally advanced and/or metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinomas.
Patients with tissue-proven locally advanced and/or metastatic pancreatic adenocarinoma were randomly assigned to receive either gemcitabine 1000 mg m−2 on days 1, 8, and 15 with huachansu 20 ml m−2 daily for 21 days (arm A) or placebo (arm B); treatment cycles were 28 days in length. Primary end point was 4-month progression-free overall survival (PFS); secondary end points were objective radiographical response rate (ORR), time to progression (TTP), and toxicity.
A total of 80 subjects were enrolled; 76 patients were evaluable (received at least 1 week therapy). Median overall survival was 160 days for arm A and 156 days for arm B (P=0.339); ORR was 9 and 3% in arms A and B, respectively (P=0.332), median TTP was 98 and 115 days, respectively (P=0.825); the median 4-month PFS was 99 and 98 days, respectively (P=0.679).
Huachansu when combined with gemcitabine did not improve the outcome of patients with locally advanced and/or metastatic pancreatic cancer.
huachansu; gemcitabine; pancreatic cancer; traditional Chinese medicine
To compare the image quality, radiation dose and diagnostic accuracy of 320-detector CT coronary angiography with prospective and retrospective electrocardiogram (ECG) gating in a single heartbeat.
Two independent reviewers separately scored image quality of coronary artery segment for 480 cardiac CT studies in a prospective group and a retrospective group (240 patients with a heart rate <65 beats per minute in each group). The two groups matched well for clinical characteristics and CT parameters. There was good agreement for image quality scores of coronary artery segment between the independent reviewers (κ = 0.73). Of the 7023 coronary artery segments, the image quality scores of the prospective group and retrospective group were not significantly different (p>0.05). The mean radiation dose was 10.0±3.5 mSv (range 6.2–21.6 mSv) for prospective ECG gating at 65–85% of R–R interval (the interval between the R-wave of one heartbeat to the R-wave of the next). The mean radiation dose for retrospective ECG-triggered modulated scans was 23.2±3.4 mSv (range 17–27.4 mSv). The mean radiation dose was 57% lower for prospective gating than for retrospective gating (p<0.01).
Compared with coronary angiography, the results for prospective vs retrospective ECG gating were 92% vs 90% for sensitivity (p = 0.23), 89% vs 91% for specificity (p = 0.19), 90% vs 93% for positive predictive value (p = 0.25) and 92% vs 95% for negative predictive value (p = 0.21) for lesions with ≥50% stenosis, respectively.
320-detector CT coronary angiography performed with prospective ECG gating has similar subjective image quality scores, but a 57% lower radiation dose than retrospective ECG gating in a single heartbeat.
Autophagy is an important cellular process that controls cells in a normal homeostatic state by recycling nutrients to maintain cellular energy levels for cell survival via the turnover of proteins and damaged organelles. However, persistent activation of autophagy can lead to excessive depletion of cellular organelles and essential proteins, leading to caspase-independent autophagic cell death. As such, inducing cell death through this autophagic mechanism could be an alternative approach to the treatment of cancers. Recently, we have identified a novel autophagic inducer, saikosaponin-d (Ssd), from a medicinal plant that induces autophagy in various types of cancer cells through the formation of autophagosomes as measured by GFP-LC3 puncta formation. By computational virtual docking analysis, biochemical assays and advanced live-cell imaging techniques, Ssd was shown to increase cytosolic calcium level via direct inhibition of sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase pump, leading to autophagy induction through the activation of the Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase kinase–AMP-activated protein kinase–mammalian target of rapamycin pathway. In addition, Ssd treatment causes the disruption of calcium homeostasis, which induces endoplasmic reticulum stress as well as the unfolded protein responses pathway. Ssd also proved to be a potent cytotoxic agent in apoptosis-defective or apoptosis-resistant mouse embryonic fibroblast cells, which either lack caspases 3, 7 or 8 or had the Bax-Bak double knockout. These results provide a detailed understanding of the mechanism of action of Ssd, as a novel autophagic inducer, which has the potential of being developed into an anti-cancer agent for targeting apoptosis-resistant cancer cells.
Saikosaponin-d; autophagy; SERCA inhibitor; autophagic cell death; apoptosis-resistant
Brain ischemia often results in neuronal necrosis, which may spread death to neighboring cells. However, the molecular events of neuronal necrosis and the mechanisms of this spreading death are poorly understood due to the limited genetic tools available for deciphering complicated responses in mammalian brains. Here, we engineered a Drosophila model of necrosis in a sub-population of neurons by expressing a leaky cation channel in the Drosophila eye. Expression of this channel caused necrosis in defined neurons as well as extensive spreading of cell death. Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)-mediated, caspase-independent apoptosis was the primary mechanism of cell death in neurons, while caspase-dependent apoptosis was primarily involved in non-neuronal cell death. Furthermore, the JNK activation in surrounding neurons was triggered by reactive oxygen species (ROS) and Eiger (Drosophila tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα)) released from necrotic neurons. Because the Eiger/ROS/JNK signaling was also required for cell death induced by hypoxia and oxidative stress, our fly model of spreading death may be similar to brain ischemia in mammals. We performed large-scale genetic screens to search for novel genes functioning in necrosis and/or spreading death, from which we identified several classes of genes. Among them, Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) had been reported as a promising drug target for stroke treatment with undefined mechanisms. Our data indicate that ROCK and the related trafficking pathway genes regulate neuronal necrosis. We propose the suppression of the function of the trafficking system, ROS and cytokines, such as TNFα, as translational applications targeting necrosis and spreading death.
neuronal necrosis; spreading death; Drosophila; apoptosis; Eiger
Tuberculosis (TB) is a global pandemic requiring sustained therapy to facilitate curing and to prevent the emergence of drug resistance. There are few adequate tools to evaluate drug dynamics within infected tissues in vivo. In this report, we evaluated a fluorinated analog of isoniazid (INH), 2-[18F]fluoroisonicotinic acid hydrazide (2-[18F]-INH), as a probe for imaging Mycobacterium tuberculosis-infected mice by dynamic positron emission tomography (PET). We developed a tail vein catheter system to safely deliver drugs to M. tuberculosis aerosol-infected mice inside sealed biocontainment devices. Imaging was rapid and noninvasive, and it could simultaneously visualize multiple tissues. Dynamic PET imaging demonstrated that 2-[18F]-INH was extensively distributed and rapidly accumulated at the sites of infection, including necrotic pulmonary TB lesions. Compared to uninfected animals, M. tuberculosis-infected mice had a significantly higher PET signal within the lungs (P < 0.05) despite similar PET activity in the liver (P > 0.85), suggesting that 2-[18F]-INH accumulated at the site of the pulmonary infection. Furthermore, our data indicated that similar to INH, 2-[18F]-INH required specific activation and accumulated within the bacterium. Pathogen-specific metabolism makes positron-emitting INH analogs attractive candidates for development into imaging probes with the potential to both detect bacteria and yield pharmacokinetic data in situ. Since PET imaging is currently used clinically, this approach could be translated from preclinical studies to use in humans.
Our previous studies have shown that microRNA-383 (miR-383) expression is downregulated in the testes of infertile men with maturation arrest (MA). Abnormal testicular miR-383 expression may potentiate the connections between male infertility and testicular germ cell tumors. However, the mechanisms underlying the targeting and functions of miR-383 during spermatogenesis remain unknown. In this study, we found that fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) was associated with 88 miRNAs in mouse testis including miR-383. Knockdown of FMRP in NTERA-2 (NT2) (testicular embryonal carcinoma) cells enhanced miR-383-induced suppression of cell proliferation by decreasing the interaction between FMRP and miR-383, and then affecting miR-383 binding to the 3′-untranslated region of its target genes, including interferon regulatory factor-1 (IRF1) and Cyclin D1 both in vivo and in vitro. On the other hand, FMRP levels were also downregulated by overexpression of miR-383 in NT2 cells and GC1 (spermatogonia germ cell line). miR-383 targeted to Cyclin D1 directly, and then inhibited its downstream effectors, including phosphorylated pRb and E2F1, which ultimately resulted in decreased FMRP expression. Reduced miR-383 expression, dysregulated cyclin-dependent kinase 4 expression (one of the downstream genes of miR-383) and increased DNA damage were also observed in the testes of Fmr1 knockout mice and of MA patients with a downregulation of FMRP. A potential feedback loop between FMRP and miR-383 during spermatogenesis is proposed, and FMRP acts as a negative regulator of miR-383 functions. Our data also indicate that dysregulation of the FMRP–miR-383 pathway may partially contribute to human spermatogenic failure with MA.
FMRP; miRNA; spermatogenesis
Streptococcus mutans, a dental caries pathogen, also causes endocarditis and is detected in atheroscelerotic plaque. We investigated the potential for an invasive strain of S. mutans, OMZ175, to accelerate plaque growth in apolipoprotein E deficient (ApoEnull) mice without and with balloon angioplasty (BA) injury, a model of restenosis. ApoEnull mice were divided into 4 groups (N = 10), 2 with and 2 without BA. One each of the BA and non-BA groups was infected with S. mutans (Sm). S. mutans DNA, plaque area, inflammatory cell invasion, and Toll-like receptor (TLR) expression were measured at 6-20 weeks post-infection. S. mutans genomic DNA was detected in the aorta, liver, spleen, and heart. Plaque growth was significantly increased in infected mice with BA (Sm+BA) vs. those in the non-infected groups (p < 0.03). Plaque size was increased after infection without BA (Sm), but did not reach significance. Aortic specimens from both S. mutans and Sm+BA groups displayed increased numbers of macrophages, and TLR4 expression was increased in BA mice. In conclusion, S. mutans infection accelerated plaque growth, macrophage invasion, and TLR4 expression after angioplasty. S. mutans may also be associated with atherosclerotic plaque growth in non-injured arteries.
Streptococcus mutans; atherosclerosis; balloon angioplasty; macrophage invasion; Toll-like receptor 4; antibody response
Benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC) is one of the compounds of ITCs' family that has attracted a great deal of interest because of its ability to exhibit anticancer activity. In this study, we investigated the effects of BITC on cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human leukemia cell lines, primary leukemia cells, and nude mice Jurkat xenograft. Exposure of Jurkat cells to BITC resulted in dose- and time-dependent increase in apoptosis, caspase activation, cytochrome c release, nuclear apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) accumulation, Bcl2-associated X protein (Bax) translocation, and myeloid cell leukemia-1 (Mcl-1) downregulation. Treatment with these cells also resulted in cell cycle arrest at the G2/M phase. The G2/M-arrested cells are more sensitive to undergoing Mcl-1 downregulation and apoptosis mediated by BITC. BITC downregulates Mcl-1 expression through inhibition of translation, rather than through a transcriptional, post-translational, or caspase-dependent mechanism. Dephosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 4G could contribute to the inhibition of Mcl-1 translation mediated by BITC. Furthermore, ectopic expression of Mcl-1 substantially attenuates BITC-mediated lethality in these cells, whereas knockdown of Mcl-1 through small interfering RNA significantly enhances BITC-mediated lethality. Finally, administration of BITC markedly inhibited tumor growth and induced apoptosis in Jurkat xenograft model in association with the downregulation of Mcl-1. Taken together, these findings represent a novel mechanism by which agents targeting Mcl-1 potentiate BITC lethality in transformed and primary human leukemia cells and inhibitory activity of tumor growth of Jurkat xenograft model.
benzyl isothiocyanate; apoptosis; Mcl-1; translation; leukemia
Tumor interstitial fluid pressure (TIFP) has the potential to predict tumor response to nonsurgical cancer treatments, including radiation therapy. At present the only quantitative measures available are of limited use, since they are invasive and yield only point measurements. We present the mathematical framework for a quantitative, noninvasive measure of TIFP. The model describes the distribution of interstitial fluid pressure in three distinct tumor regions: vascularized tumor rim, central tumor region, and normal tissue. A relationship between the TIFP and the fluid flow velocity at the periphery of a tumor is presented. This model suggests that a measure of fluid flow rate from a tumor into normal tissue reflects TIFP. We demonstrate that the acquisition of serial images of a tumor after the injection of a contrast agent can provide a noninvasive and potentially quantitative measure of TIFP.
Epidemiological studies that assess the health effects of long-term exposure to ambient air pollution are used to inform public policy. These studies rely on exposure models that use data collected from pollution monitoring sites to predict exposures at subject locations. Land use regression (LUR) and universal kriging (UK) have been suggested as potential prediction methods. We evaluate these approaches on a dataset including measurements from three seasons in Los Angeles, CA.
The measurements of gaseous oxides of nitrogen (NOx) used in this study are from a “snapshot” sampling campaign that is part of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and Air Pollution (MESA Air). The measurements in Los Angeles were collected during three two-week periods in the summer, autumn, and winter, each with about 150 sites. The design included clusters of monitors on either side of busy roads to capture near-field gradients of traffic-related pollution.
LUR and UK prediction models were created using geographic information system (GIS)-based covariates. Selection of covariates was based on 10-fold cross-validated (CV) R2 and root mean square error (RMSE). Since UK requires specialized software, a computationally simpler two-step procedure was also employed to approximate fitting the UK model using readily available regression and GIS software.
UK models consistently performed as well as or better than the analogous LUR models. The best CV R2 values for season-specific UK models predicting log(NOx) were 0.75, 0.72, and 0.74 (CV RMSE 0.20, 0.17, and 0.15) for summer, autumn, and winter, respectively. The best CV R2 values for season-specific LUR models predicting log(NOx) were 0.74, 0.60, and 0.67 (CV RMSE 0.20, 0.20, and 0.17). The two-stage approximation to UK also performed better than LUR and nearly as well as the full UK model with CV R2 values 0.75, 0.70, and 0.70 (CV RMSE 0.20, 0.17, and 0.17) for summer, autumn, and winter, respectively.
High quality LUR and UK prediction models for NOx in Los Angeles were developed for the three seasons based on data collected for MESA Air. In our study, UK consistently outperformed LUR. Similarly, the 2-step approach was more effective than the LUR models, with performance equal to or slightly worse than UK.
Universal kriging; land use regression; spatial modeling; air pollution; exposure assessment; Los Angeles