Ulcerative colitis (UC) often occurs in women of childbearing age. Compared to Western countries, however, few studies have investigated the impact of UC on the progress of pregnancy in Asian populations.
We retrospectively examined 91 pregnancies in 64 patients with UC experienced at our hospital and related institutions from 1991 to 2011, focusing on the relationship between the progression of UC during pregnancy, progress of the pregnancy itself, and the treatment of UC.
In 80 of 91 pregnancies the patient had already been diagnosed with UC at the time she became pregnant, of whom 31 (38.8%) experienced exacerbation during pregnancy. Regarding severity, moderate or severe active-stage disease during pregnancy was seen in 13.7% of those who had been in remission at the onset of pregnancy versus 58.6% of those who had been in the active stage at onset (OR 8.9: 95%CI 3.0~26.4; P<0.01). The incidence of miscarriage or abortion was 9.8% in pregnancies in which UC was in remission at onset versus 31% in those in which it was in the active stage at onset (OR 4.1: 95%CI 1.2~13.9; P=0.02). Among patients, 62.5% were receiving pharmaceutical treatment at onset of pregnancy. Exacerbation during pregnancy occurred in 26.5% of the group who continued to receive the same treatment during pregnancy versus 56.3% of those with a dose decrease or discontinuation after onset (OR 3.6: 95%CI 1.0~12.4; P=0.04).
UC patients wishing to conceive should do so when in remission and continue appropriate pharmaceutical treatment during pregnancy.
Ulcerative colitis; Pregnancy; Clinical course; Treatment
All-trans-retinal and its condensation-products can cause retinal degeneration in a light–dependent manner and contribute to the pathogenesis of human macular diseases such as Stargardt’s disease and age–related macular degeneration (AMD). Although these toxic retinoid by–products originate from rod and cone photoreceptor cells, the contribution of each cell type to light–induced retinal degeneration is unknown. Here the primary objective was to learn whether rods or cones are more susceptible to light–induced, all–trans–retinal–mediated damage. Previously, we reported that mice lacking enzymes that clear all–trans–retinal from the retina, ATP–binding cassette transporter 4 (ABCA4) and retinol dehydrogenase 8 (RDH8), manifested light-induced retinal dystrophy. We first examined early-stage-AMD patients and found retinal degenerative changes in rod-rich rather than cone-rich regions of the macula. We then evaluated transgenic mice with rod–only and cone–like–only retinas in addition to progenies of such mice inbred with Rdh8−/− Abca4−/− mice. Of all these strains, Rdh8−/− Abca4−/− mice with a mixed rod–cone population showed the most severe retinal degeneration under regular cyclic light conditions. Intense light exposure induced acute retinal damage in Rdh8−/− Abca4−/− and rod–only mice but not cone–like–only mice. These findings suggest that progression of retinal degeneration in Rdh8-/- Abca4-/- mice is affected by differential vulnerability of rods and cones to light.
visual cycle; photoreceptor; retinoid; retina; Stargardt’s disease; age-related macular degeneration
Knowledge concerning palliative care and the associated skills, including effective pain control, is essential for surgeons who treat cancer patients in daily practice. This study focuses on a palliative care training course that has been mandatorily conducted for all surgical residents of our hospital since 2009.
We evaluated the effectiveness of our mandatory palliative care training course by conducting a retrospective study of the patients' medical records and participants' questionnaire results and discussed the importance of palliative care education for surgical residents.
All 12 surgical residents who participated in the course in 2009 had graduated 4–9 years back. They were assigned to look after a total of 92 cases (average, 7.66 cases per resident) during the course. The purpose of care in most cases (92.3%) was to mitigate pain. Introducing analgesic adjuvants such as gabapentin or amitriptyline accounted for the largest part of initial interventions (23.9%) aimed at controlling cancer pain, followed by changes in route of administration or doses of prior opioid analgesics (21.7%). Interventions with opioid analgesics were conducted most frequently (47.7%). The overall pain improvement rate was 89.1%. We used a questionnaire after the course to evaluate its effectiveness.
The surgical residents stated that it was a meaningful course through which they gained practical knowledge on palliative care and that the experience would change their approach to home care.
palliative care; surgeon; postgraduate training
Vertebrate vision is initiated by photoisomerization of the visual pigment chromophore, 11-cis-retinal, and is maintained by continuous regeneration of this retinoid through a series of reactions termed the retinoid cycle. However, toxic side reaction products, especially those involving reactive aldehyde groups of the photoisomered product, all-trans-retinal, can cause severe retinal pathology. Here we lowered peak concentrations of free all-trans-retinal with primary amine-containing FDA-approved drugs that did not inhibit chromophore regeneration in mouse models of retinal degeneration. Schiff base adducts between all-trans-retinal and these amines were identified by mass spectrometry. Adducts were observed in mouse eyes only when an experimental drug protected the retina from degeneration in both short-term and long-term treatment experiments. This study demonstrates a molecular basis of all-trans-retinal-induced retinal pathology and identifies an assemblage of FDA-approved compounds with protective effects against this pathology in a mouse model that displays features of Stargardt’s and age-related retinal degeneration.
Photoreceptor cells; A2E; RPE; retina; Stargardt’s disease; age-related macular degeneration; retinal degeneration; retinal condensation products
A novel investigational antidepressant with high affinity for the serotonin transporter and the serotonin 1A (5-HT1A) receptor, called Wf-516 (structural formula: (2S)-1-[4-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)piperidin-1-yl]-3-[2-(5-methyl-1,3,4-oxadiazol-2-yl)benzo[b]furan-4-yloxy]propan-2-ol monohydrochloride), has been found to exert a rapid therapeutic effect, although the mechanistic basis for this potential advantage remains undetermined. We comparatively investigated the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of Wf-516 and pindolol by positron emission tomographic (PET) and autoradiographic assays of rat brains in order to elucidate their molecular interactions with presynaptic and postsynaptic 5-HT1A receptors. In contrast to the full receptor occupancy by pindolol in PET measurements, the binding of Wf-516 to 5-HT1A receptors displayed limited capacity, with relatively high receptor occupancy being achieved in regions predominantly containing presynaptic receptors. This selectivity was further proven by PET scans of neurotoxicant-treated rats deficient in presynaptic 5-HT1A receptors. In addition, [35S]guanosine 5′-O-[γ-thio]triphosphate autoradiography indicated a partial agonistic ability of Wf-516 for 5-HT1A receptors. This finding has lent support to reports that diverse partial agonists for 5-HT1A receptors exert high sensitivity for presynaptic components. Thus, the present PET data suggest a relatively high capacity of presynaptic binding sites for partial agonists. Since our in vitro and ex vivo autoradiographies failed to illustrate these distinct features of Wf-516, in vivo PET imaging is considered to be, thus far, the sole method capable of pharmacokinetically demonstrating the unique actions of Wf-516 and similar new-generation antidepressants.
GATA-1-dependent transcription is essential for erythroid differentiation and maturation. Suppression of programmed cell death is also thought to be critical for this process; however, the link between these two features of erythropoiesis has remained elusive. Here, we show that the POZ-Krüppel family transcription factor, LRF (also known as Zbtb7a/Pokemon), is a direct target of GATA1 and plays an essential anti-apoptotic role during terminal erythroid differentiation. We find that loss of Lrf leads to lethal anemia in embryos, due to increased apoptosis of late stage erythroblasts. This programmed cell death is Arf- and p53-independent and is instead mediated by up-regulation of the pro-apoptotic factor Bim. We identify Lrf as a direct repressor of Bim transcription. In strong support of this mechanism, genetic Bim-loss delays the lethality of Lrf-deficient embryos and rescues their anemia-phenotype. Thus, our data defines a key transcriptional cascade for effective erythropoiesis, whereby GATA-1 suppresses BIM-mediated apoptosis via LRF.
B cells play a central role in immune system function. Deregulation of normal B cell maturation can lead to the development of autoimmune syndromes as well as B cell malignancies. Elucidation of the molecular features of normal B cell development is important for the development of new target therapies for autoimmune diseases and B cell malignancies. Employing B cell–specific conditional knockout mice, we have demonstrated here that the transcription factor leukemia/lymphoma-related factor (LRF) forms an obligate dimer in B cells and regulates mature B cell lineage fate and humoral immune responses via distinctive mechanisms. Moreover, LRF inactivation in transformed B cells attenuated their growth rate. These studies identify what we believe to be a new key factor for mature B cell development and provide a rationale for targeting LRF dimers for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and B cell malignancies.
Multi–photon excitation fluorescence microscopy (MPM) can image certain molecular processes in vivo. In the eye, fluorescent retinyl esters in sub–cellular structures called retinosomes mediate regeneration of the visual chromophore, 11–cis–retinal, by the visual cycle. But harmful fluorescent condensation products were also identified previously. We report that in wild type mice, excitation with λ ~730 nm identified retinosomes in the retinal pigment epithelium, whereas excitation with λ ~910 nm revealed at least one additional retinal fluorophore. The latter fluorescence was absent in eyes of genetically modified mice lacking a functional visual cycle, but accentuated in eyes of older WT mice and mice with defective clearance of all–trans–retinal, an intermediate in the visual cycle. MPM, a noninvasive imaging modality that facilitates concurrent monitoring of retinosomes along with potentially harmful products in aging eyes, has the potential to detect early molecular changes due to age–related macular degeneration and other defects in retinoid metabolism.
Photoreceptor cells; fluorescence microscopy; retinosomes; retinyl esters; A2E; RPE; retina; two–photon fluorescence excitation microscopy; three–photon fluorescence excitation microscopy
Many West Nile (WN) virus isolates associated with significant outbreaks possess a glycosylation site on the envelope (E) protein. E-protein glycosylated variants of New York (NY) strains of WN virus are more neuroinvasive in mice than the non-glycosylated variants. To determine how E protein glycosylation affects the interactions between WN virus and avian hosts, we inoculated young chicks with NY strains of WN virus containing either glycosylated or non-glycosylated variants of the E protein. The glycosylated variants were more virulent and had higher viremic levels than the non-glycosylated variants. The glycosylation status of the variant did not affect viral multiplication and dissemination in mosquitoes in vivo. Glycosylated variants showed more heat-stable propagation than non-glycosylated variants in mammalian (BHK) and avian (QT6) cells but not in mosquito (C6/36) cells. Thus, E-protein glycosylation may be a requirement for efficient transmission of WN virus from avian hosts to mosquito vectors.
Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is a thromboembolic complication that can occur with unfractionated heparin (UFH) or low molecular weight heparin (LMWH). Our objective was to determine and compare the incidence of IgG-class HIT antibodies in patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty (THA) or total knee arthroplasty (TKA) with different antithrombotic prophylaxis therapies and their contributions to the occurrence of venous thromboembolism (VTE).
A prospective observational study was performed for 374 Japanese patients undergoing THA or TKA to determine the incidence of VTE. IgG-class anti-PF4/heparin antibodies were measured using IgG-specific EIA before and after the operation.
In the clinical outcome, the incidence of symptomatic deep vein thrombosis (DVT) was 15.0% (56/374, TKA; 35, THA; 21) and pulmonary emboli (PE) were not observed. The total seroconversion incidence of IgG-class PF4/heparin antibodies was 19.8% (74/374). The seroconversion incidence of IgG-class PF4/heparin antibodies was higher in patients receiving UFH (32.7%) compared to those receiving LMWH (9.5%) or fondaparinux (14.8%). Furthermore, the seroconversion incidence was significantly higher in patients undergoing TKA compared to those undergoing THA. Based on multivariate analysis, seroconversion of the IgG-class PF4/heparin antibodies was independent a risk factor for symptomatic DVT.
Our findings show that the seroconversion of IgG-class anti-PF4/heparin antibodies differed with various anti-thrombotic prophylaxis therapeutics and was associated with the risk of DVT in a subset of patients undergoing total joint arthroplasty (TKA and THA).
Hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow give rise to lymphoid progenitors, which subsequently differentiate into B and T lymphocytes. Here we show that the proto-oncogene LRF plays an essential role in the B versus T lymphoid cell fate decision. We demonstrate that LRF is key for instructing early lymphoid progenitors to develop into B lineage cells by repressing T cell-instructive signals produced by the cell fate signal protein, Notch. We propose a new model for lymphoid lineage commitment, in which LRF acts as a master regulator of B versus T lineage fate decision.
Inactivating mutations in the retinoid isomerase (RPE65) or lecithin:retinol acyltransferase (LRAT) genes cause Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), a severe visual impairment in humans. Both enzymes participate in the retinoid (visual) cycle, the enzymatic pathway that continuously generates 11-cis-retinal, the chromophore of visual pigments in rod and cone photoreceptor cells needed for vision. We investigated human RPE65–LCA patients and mice with visual cycle abnormalities to determine the impact of chronic chromophore deprivation on cones. Young patients with RPE65 mutations showed foveal cone loss along with shortened inner and outer segments of remaining cones; cone cell loss also was dramatic in young mice lacking Rpe65 or Lrat gene function. To selectively evaluate cone pathophysiology, we eliminated the rod contribution to electroretinographic (ERG) responses by generating double knockout mice lacking Lrat or Rpe65 together with an inactivated rod-specific G protein transducin gene (Gnat1−/−). Cone ERG responses were absent in Gnat1−/−Lrat−/− mice which also showed progressive degeneration of cones. Cone ERG responses in Gnat1−/−Rpe65−/− mice were markedly reduced and declined over weeks. Treatment of these mice with the artificial chromophore pro-drug, 9-cis-retinyl acetate, partially protected inferior retinal cones as evidenced by improved ERGs and retinal histochemistry. Gnat1−/− mice chronically treated with retinylamine, a selective inhibitor of RPE65, also showed a decline in the number of cones that was ameliorated by 9-cis-retinyl acetate. These results suggest that chronic lack of chromophore leads to progressive loss of cones in mice and humans. Therapy for LCA patients should be geared toward early adequate delivery of chromophore to cone photoreceptors.
Rhodopsin is palmitylated at two cysteine residues in its carboxyl terminal region. We have looked at the effects of palmitylation on the molecular interactions formed by rhodopsin using single-molecule force spectroscopy and the function of rhodopsin using both in vitro and in vivo approaches. A knockin mouse model expressing palmitate-deficient rhodopsin was used for live animal in vivo studies and to obtain native tissue samples for in vitro assays. We specifically looked at the effects palmitylation has on the chromophore-binding pocket, interactions of rhodopsin with transducin, and molecular interactions stabilizing the receptor structure. The structure of rhodopsin is largely unperturbed by the absence of palmitate linkage. The binding pocket for the chromophore 11-cis-retinal is minimally altered as palmitate-deficient rhodopsin exhibited the same absorbance spectrum as wild-type rhodopsin. Similarly, the rate of release of all-trans-retinal after light activation was the same both in the presence and absence of palmitylation. Significant differences were observed in the rate of transducin activation by rhodopsin and in the force required to unfold the last stable structural segment in rhodopsin at its carboxyl terminal region. A 1.3-fold reduction in the rate of transducin activation by rhodopsin was observed in the absence of palmitylation. Single-molecule force spectroscopy revealed a 2.1-fold reduction in normalized force required to unfold the carboxyl terminal end of rhodopsin. The absence of palmitylation in rhodopsin therefore destabilizes the molecular interactions formed in the carboxyl terminal end of the receptor, which appears to hinder the activation of transducin by light-activated rhodopsin.
Although the retinoid cycle is essential for vision, all-trans-retinal and the side products of this cycle are toxic. Delayed clearance of all-trans-retinal causes accumulation of its condensation products, A2E, and all-trans-retinal dimer (RALdi), both associated with human macular degeneration. The protective roles were examined of the all-trans-RDHs, Rdh8 and Rdh12, and the ATP-binding cassette transporter Abca4, retinoid cycle enzymes involved in all-trans-retinal clearance.
Mice genetically engineered to lack Rdh8, Rdh12, and Abca4, either singly or in various combinations, were investigated because all-trans-retinal clearance is achieved by all-trans-RDHs and Abca4. Knockout mice were evaluated by spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT), electroretinography, retinal morphology, and visual retinoid profiling with HPLC and MS. ARPE19 cells were examined to evaluate A2E and RALdi oxidation and toxicity induced by exposure to UV and blue light.
Rdh8−/−Abca4−/− and Rdh8−/−Rdh12−/−Abca4−/− mice displayed slowly progressive, severe retinal degeneration under room light conditions. Intense light-induced acute retinal degeneration was detected by SD-OCT in Rdh8−/−Rdh12−/− Abca4−/− mice. Amounts of A2E in the RPE correlated with diminished all-trans-retinal clearance, and the highest A2E amounts were found in Rdh8−/−Rdh12−/−Abca4−/− mice. However oxidized A2E was not found in any of these mice, and A2E oxidation was not induced by blue light and UV illumination of A2E-loaded ARPE19 cells. Of interest, addition of all-trans-retinal did activate retinoic acid receptors in cultured cells.
Rdh8, Rdh12, and Abca4 all protect the retina and reduce A2E production by facilitating all-trans-retinal clearance. Delayed all-trans-retinal clearance contributes more than A2E oxidation to light-induced cellular toxicity.
Evaluate the efficacy of potential therapeutics in Rdh8−/− Abca4−/−mice, a rodent model of human age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Therapeutic efficacy of several antioxidant agents (ascorbic acid, α-lipoic acid, α-tocopherol, Mn(III)-tetrakis(4-benzoic acid)-porphyrin, and butylated hydroxytoluene), an immunosuppressive agent with antivascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) activity (sirolimus, also known as rapamycin), a retinoid cycle inhibitor (retinylamine), and an artificial chromophore (9-cis-retinyl acetate) were evaluated side by side in a recently described murine model of AMD, the Rdh8−/− Abca4−/−mouse. This animal exhibits a retinopathy caused by delayed all-trans-retinal clearance resulting from the absence of both ATP-binding cassette transporter 4 (Abca4) and retinol dehydrogenase 8 (Rdh8) activities. Drug efficacy was evaluated by retinal histologic analyses and electroretinograms (ERGs).
All tested agents partially prevented atrophic changes in the Rdh8−/− Abca4−/−retina with retinylamine demonstrating the greatest efficacy. A significant reduction of complement deposition on Bruch’s membrane was observed in sirolimus-treated mice, although the severity of retinal degeneration was similar to that observed in antioxidant- and 9-cis-retinyl acetate–treated mice. Sirolimus treatment of 6-month-old Rdh8−/− Abca4−/−mice for 4 months prevented choroidal neovascularization without changing retinal VEGF levels.
Mechanism-based therapy with retinylamine markedly attenuated degenerative retinopathy in Rdh8−/− Abca4−/−mice. Further understanding of pathogenic mechanisms involved in AMD is needed to develop more effective therapeutics.
Mice lacking retinal pigment epithelium–specific 65-kDa protein (RPE65) develop retinopathy and blindness resembling Leber congenital amaurosis. Effects of 9-cis-retinyl acetate (9-cis-R-Ac) on visual function and retinopathy progression were tested in Rpe65−/− mice.
Young C57Bl/6 mice were given 9-cis-R-Ac in each of four different oil-based vehicle solutions by gastric gavage to identify the vehicle most suitable for drug delivery by measuring retinoid levels in plasma. Then doses of 9-cis-R-Ac ranging from 1 to 100 mg/kg were administered to 5- to 12-week-old Rpe65−/− mice by different treatment regimens, including single doses and either intermittent or daily doses for various periods up to 8 weeks. Retinoid effects on visual function were evaluated by electroretinography, retinoid analyses, histologic methods, and vision-dependent behavioral testing.
Soybean oil vehicle provided the highest 9-cis-R-Ac metabolite levels in plasma. Single doses of 9-cis-R-Ac (6.25–50 mg/kg) provided significant dose-dependent improvement in electroretinographic responses. Well-tolerated daily doses (1–12.5 mg/kg) for 2 weeks induced remarkable improvement of retinal function. Significant dose-dependent improvement of electroretinographic responses was observed 6 days after administration of 9-cis-R-Ac daily for 3 days at 1 to 12.5 mg/kg. Mice given either daily or intermittent 9-cis-R-Ac treatment at 1 and 4 mg/kg and evaluated 8 weeks later displayed dose-dependent improvement of retinal function and morphology, whereas retinal function deteriorated in control animals. Treated mice also performed better than control animals in vision-dependent behavioral tests.
Treatment with 9-cis-R-Ac improves visual function and preserves retinal morphology in Rpe65−/− mice.
From 2003 through to 2004, an outbreak of tuberculosis was identified at a university campus in Yokohama City, located in the southern part of the Tokyo Metropolitan Area (TMA). All Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) strains detected with regards to this outbreak turned out to be Streptomycin resistant with matched patterns of 14 IS6110 bands of Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP). The M. tuberculosis bacilli, which had the matched IS6110 band patterns with resistance to Streptomycin to those of bacilli isolated in the outbreak, were also concurrently detected through either the population-based or the hospital-based DNA fingerprinting surveillance of M. tuberculosis either in Shinjuku City or in Kawasaki City respectively.
The aim of the present study is to describe the spread of the specific genotype strains of M. tuberculosis in the TMA as observed in the above incident, and to identify the possible transmission routes of the strains among people living in urban settings in Japan.
We applied Variable Numbers of Tandem Repeats (VNTR) analysis to all M. tuberculosis isolates which were resistant to Streptomycin with a matched IS6110-RFLP band pattern (M-strains). They were isolated either from cases related to the tuberculosis outbreak that happened at a university, or through DNA fingerprinting surveillance of M. tuberculosis both in Shinjuku City and in Kawasaki City. For VNTR analysis, 12MIRU loci, 4ETR loci, seven loci by Supply, four loci by Murase (QUB15, Mtub24, VNTR2372, VNTR3336) were selected.
Out of a total of 664 isolates collected during the study period, 46 isolates (6.9%) were identified as M-strains. There was a tendency that there was a higher proportion of those patients whose isolates belonged to M4-substrains, with four copies of tandem repeat at the ETR-C locus, to have visited some of the internet-cafés in the TMA than those whose isolates belonged to M5-substrains, with five copies at the ETR-C locus, although statistically not significant (38.1% vs. 10.0%, Exact p = 0.150).
Although firm conclusions could not be reached through the present study, it suggested that we have to take into consideration that tuberculosis can be transmitted in congregated facilities like internet cafés where tuberculosis high-risk people and general people share common spaces.
We have developed a mulch sheet made by inflation molding of PLA, Ecoflex® and modified starch, which all have different biodegradabilities. A field test of use as an agricultural mulch sheet for mandarin oranges was carried out over two years. The mechanical properties of the mulch sheet were weakened with time during the field test, but the quality of the mandarin oranges increased, a result of the controlled degradation of the sheet. The most degradable modified starch degraded first, allowing control of the moisture on the soil. Accelerator mass spectroscopy was used for evaluation of the biomass carbon ratio. The biomass carbon ratio decreased by degradation of the biobased materials, PLA and modified starch in the mulch sheet.
poly(lactic acid); modified starch; mulch sheet; mandarin orange; biodegradable materials; biomass carbon ratio
Antibodies to the heparin-platelet factor-4 (HPF-4) complex (HIT antibodies) have been observed in patients with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). These antibodies are thought to be involved in thrombosis through activation of platelet/endothelial cells. This prospective study was conducted to determine the incidence of post-operative HIT antibodies to assess the associated risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA) or total hip arthroplasty (THA).
We studied 104 patients who underwent unilateral primary TKA (n = 44) and primary THA (n = 60) with short-duration prophylaxis (1–2 days of a fixed dose of unfractionated heparin). HIT antibodies were assayed using a sandwich-type ELISA before the operation and after heparin treatment (post-operative day 7).
In the clinical outcome, the incidence of symptomatic DVT was 15.4% (16/104, TKA; 10, THA 6) and pulmonary embolism (PE) was not observed. The total seroconversion rate of HIT antibodies at post-operative day 7 was 34.6% (36/104). Among 36 seroconverted patients, 11 (30.6%) developed symptomatic DVT and 5 out of 68 of the non-seroconverted patients (7.4%) developed symptomatic DVT. The incidence for DVT was significantly higher in the seroconverted patients compared with that of the non-seroconverted patients (odds ratio 5.5, 95%CI: 1.7–17.6 p = 0.0028). Furthermore, in the patients with symptomatic DVT, the titer of HIT antibodies at post-operative day 7 was significantly higher compared with those without symptomatic DVT.
Our data therefore suggest that seroconversion for HIT antibodies generated by heparin is associated with a risk of DVT in patients undergoing total joint replacement.
Long-term effects of treatment with 9-cis-retinyl acetate (9-cis-R-Ac), an artificial retinoid prodrug, were tested on changes in rod and cone visual functions in mice.
The acetyl ester of the functional geometric chromophore 9- cis-retinal was delivered by oral gavage to C57BL/6 female mice. In initial experiments, 10-month-old mice were employed for the single treatment with 9-cis-R-Ac or the control vehicle. In long-term experiments, 4-month-old mice were treated with 9-cis-R-Ac monthly for 6 and 10 months. Photoreceptor status was evaluated by various electroretinographic (ERG) techniques, retinoid analyses, and retinal morphology. Opsin, the predicted target of oxidized 9-cis-R-Ac, was purified and its chromophore characterized.
As compared to 4-month-old mice, age-related changes observed in vehicle treated mice at 10 months of age included a progressive decline in ERG responses, such as a decreased rate of dark adaptation, and a lowered rhodopsin/opsin ratio. Administration of 9-cis-R-Ac increased the rhodopsin regeneration ratio, and improved ERG responses, dark adaptation. Compared to vehicle treated controls, 10- and 14-month-old mice treated monthly with 9-cis-R-Ac for 6 or 10 months exhibited improved dark adaptation. For 14-month-old mice treated monthly we observed changes in the expression of retina-specific genes in the eye by mRNA expression profiling, but no significant differences in gene expression were detected in the liver and kidney.
Deteriorating photoreceptor function documented in mice at 10 and 14 versus 4 months of age was improved significantly by long-term, monthly administration of 9-cis-R-Ac. These findings suggest a potential therapeutic approach to prevent age-related retinal dysfunction.
rhodopsin; aging; vision; chromophore; phototransduction; retina
In vertebrate retinal photoreceptors, the absorption of light by rhodopsin leads to photoisomerization of 11-cis-retinal to its all-trans isomer. To sustain vision, a metabolic system evolved that recycles all-trans-retinal back to 11-cis-retinal. The importance of this visual (retinoid) cycle is underscored by the fact that mutations in genes encoding visual cycle components induce a wide spectrum of diseases characterized by abnormal levels of specific retinoid cycle intermediates. In addition, intense illumination can produce retinoid cycle by-products that are toxic to the retina. Thus, inhibition of the retinoid cycle has therapeutic potential in physiological and pathological states. Four classes of inhibitors that include retinoid and nonretinoid compounds have been identified. We investigated the modes of action of these inhibitors by using purified visual cycle components and in vivo systems. We report that retinylamine was the most potent and specific inhibitor of the retinoid cycle among the tested compounds and that it targets the retinoid isomerase, RPE65. Hydrophobic primary amines like farnesylamine also showed inhibitory potency but a short duration of action, probably due to rapid metabolism. These compounds also are reactive nucleophiles with potentially high cellular toxicity. We also evaluated the role of a specific protein-mediated mechanism on retinoid cycle inhibitor uptake by the eye. Our results show that retinylamine is transported to and taken up by the eye by retinol-binding protein-independent and retinoic acid-responsive gene product 6-independent mechanisms. Finally, we provide evidence for a crucial role of lecithin: retinol acyltransferase activity in mediating tissue specific absorption and long lasting therapeutic effects of retinoid-based visual cycle inhibitors.
To assess changes in rod and cone visual functions in a mouse model of Fundus albipunctatus with disrupted 11-cis-retinol dehydrogenase (RDH) genes after pharmacologic treatment with an artificial retinal chromophore.
Retinoid levels and photoreceptor functions of Rdh5−/−Rdh11−/− mice at a variety of light intensities were analyzed with normal-phase HPLC and ERG techniques. Production of 11-cis-retinal, the visual pigment chromophore, was suppressed with a potent inhibitor of the retinoid cycle, all-trans-retinylamine (Ret-NH2). The chromophore was replaced by a functional geometric isomer, 9-cis-retinal, delivered by oral gavage.
Aberrant cone responses were detected in 12-month-old Rdh5−/−Rdh11−/− mice raised in a 12-hour light/12-hour dark cycle. This cone defect was exacerbated in conditions of low levels of 11-cis-retinal. Administration of 9-cis-retinal increased the rate of dark adaptation and improved cone function in Rdh5−/−Rdh11−/− mice.
Disruption of 11-cis-RDHs causes a slowly developing cone dystrophy caused by inefficient cone pigment regeneration. Rod and cone visual function improved significantly in the mouse model of F. albipunctatus after treatment with 9-cis-retinal, suggesting a potential approach to slow the progression of cone dystrophy in affected humans.
Regeneration of the visual chromophore, 11-cis-retinal, is a critical step in restoring photoreceptors to their dark-adapted conditions. This regeneration process, called the retinoid cycle, takes place in the photoreceptor outer segments and the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Disabling mutations in nearly all of the retinoid cycle genes are linked to human conditions that cause congenital or progressive defects in vision. Several mouse models with disrupted genes related to this cycle contain abnormal fatty acid retinyl ester levels in the RPE. To investigate the mechanisms of retinyl ester accumulation, we generated single or double knockout mice lacking retinoid cycle genes. All-trans-retinyl esters accumulated in mice lacking RPE65, but they are reduced in double knockout mice also lacking opsin, suggesting a connection between visual pigment regeneration and the retinoid cycle. Only Rdh5-deficient mice accumulate cis-retinyl esters, regardless of the simultaneous disruption of RPE65, opsin, and prRDH. 13-cis-Retinoids are produced at higher levels when the flow of retinoid through the cycle was increased, and these esters are stored in specific structures called retinosomes. Most importantly, retinylamine, a specific and effective inhibitor of the 11-cis-retinol formation, also inhibits the production of 13-cis-retinyl esters. The data presented here support the idea that 13-cis-retinyl esters are formed through an aberrant enzymatic isomerization process.
The retinoid cycle is a recycling system that replenishes the 11-cis-retinal chromophore of rhodopsin and cone pigments. Photoreceptor-specific retinol dehydrogenase (prRDH) catalyzes reduction of all-trans-retinal to all-trans-retinol and is thought to be a key enzyme in the retinoid cycle. We disrupted mouse prRDH (human gene symbol RDH8) gene expression by targeted recombination and generated a homozygous prRDH knock-out (prRDH−/−) mouse. Histological analysis and electron microscopy of retinas from 6- to 8-week-old prRDH−/− mice revealed no structural differences of the photoreceptors or inner retina. For brief light exposure, absence of prRDH did not affect the rate of 11-cis-retinal regeneration or the decay of Meta II, the activated form of rhodopsin. Absence of prRDH, however, caused significant accumulation of all-trans-retinal following exposure to bright lights and delayed recovery of rod function as measured by electroretinograms and single cell recordings. Retention of all-trans-retinal resulted in slight overproduction of A2E, a condensation product of all-trans-retinal and phosphatidylethanolamine. We conclude that prRDH is an enzyme that catalyzes reduction of all-trans-retinal in the rod outer segment, most noticeably at higher light intensities and prolonged illumination, but is not an essential enzyme of the retinoid cycle.