Recently, we showed that post cyclophosphamide (CTX) microenvironment benefits the function of transferred T cells. Analysis of the kinetics of cellular recovery after CTX treatment showed that a single 4 mg/mouse CTX treatment decreased the absolute number of leukocytes in the peripheral blood (PBL) at days 3-15, and in the spleen and bone marrow (BM) at days 3-6. The absolute numbers of CD11c+CD11b− and CD11c+CD11b+ dendritic cells (DCs), CD11b+ and Ly6G+ myeloid cells, T and B cells, CD4+CD25+ T regulatory (Treg) cells, and NK1.1+ cells also decreased. The cell numbers returned to control levels during the recovery phase. The absolute numbers of B cells remained low for 3 weeks. The numbers of DCs increased in PBL and spleen at day 9 but returned to control levels at day 15. These data indicate that CTX alters the cellular microenvironment in kinetics that might be precisely targeted to benefit the host.
Cyclophosphamide; Chemotherapy; Dendritic cells; Lymphocytes; Regulatory T cells; Natural Killer cells; Blood; Bone marrow; Spleen
Clinical application of adoptive T cell therapy (ACT) has been hindered by an inability to generate adequate numbers of non-tolerized, functionally active tumor-specific T cells which can persist in vivo. In order to address this, we evaluated the impact of IL-12 signaling during tumor-specific CD8+ T cell priming in terms of persistence and anti-tumor efficacy using an established B16 melanoma tumor adoptive therapy model.
B6 mice were injected subcutaneously with B16 melanoma tumor cells. On day 12 of tumor growth, mice were preconditioned with cyclophosphamide (4mg dose, i.p.), and one day later, treated by adoptive transfer of tumor-specific pmel-1 CD8+ T cells primed ex vivo 3 days earlier with (i) both IL-12 and antigen (hGP10025–33 peptide) or (ii) antigen only. Tumors were measured biweekly and infused donor T cells were analyzed for persistence, localization to the tumor, phenotype, and effector function.
Adoptive transfer of tumor-specific CD8+ T cells primed with IL-12 was significantly more effective in reducing tumor burden in mice preconditioned with cyclophosphamide compared with transfer of T cells primed without IL-12. This enhanced anti-tumor response was associated with increased frequencies of infused T cells in the periphery and tumor as well as elevated expression of effector molecules including granzyme B and interferon-γ (IFNγ).
Our findings demonstrate that ex vivo priming of tumor-specific CD8+ T cells with IL-12 dramatically improves their in vivo persistence and therapeutic ability upon transfer to tumor-bearing mice. These findings can be directly applied as novel clinical trial strategies.
Malignant epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (EH) is a rare tumor of vascular origin. We report a case of a woman who was found to have multiple hepatic masses in the right lobe of the liver on radiologic investigations, initially misdiagnosed as a metastatic carcinoma. The diagnosis of EH was made on histopathological study and confirmed by immunohistochemistry, which showed diffuse response for CD34 marker and no response to tissue CEA, HMB-45 or S-100 protein. Partial hepatectomy was made with good results.
Epithelioid; Liver; Histopathology; Immunohistochemistry
Abnormal accumulation of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) is an important mechanism of tumor immune evasion. Cyclophosphamide (CTX) has also been shown in non-tumor bearing animals to cause transient surges in MDSC. Knowledge of MDSC is primarily based on preclinical work, and to date only few published studies have involved cancer patients. The goal of this study was to test the hypothesis that circulating MDSC levels correlate with clinical cancer stage, CTX-based chemotherapy, and metastatic tumor burden. Whole blood was collected from 106 newly diagnosed solid tumor patients (stages I–IV). Percentages of circulating MDSC (Lin−/Lo, HLA DR−, CD33+CD11b+) were determined prior to initiation of systemic therapy. In 17 early stage breast cancer patients receiving doxorubicin–cyclophosphamide chemotherapy every 14 days (ddAC) blood was collected on day 1 of each cycle. Circulating MDSC were significantly increased in cancer patients of all stages relative to healthy volunteers. A significant correlation between circulating MDSC and clinical cancer stage was also observed. Moreover, among stage IV patients, those with extensive metastatic tumor burden had the highest percent and absolute number of MDSC. Significant increases in circulating MDSC were observed with ddAC when compared with pretreatment levels. Circulating MDSC levels correlate with clinical cancer stage, ddAC, and metastatic tumor burden. This information must be incorporated into the design of future trials exploring immune-based therapeutic strategies. Pharmacologic modulation of MDSC should also be tested in future clinical trials.
Immature myeloid cells; Myeloid-derived suppressor cells; Breast cancer; Cancer; Cyclophosphamide; Tumor burden; Cytokines; PBMC; T cells
Intramuscular administration of plasmid DNA vaccines is one of the main delivery approaches that can generate antigen specific T cell responses. However, major limitations of the intramuscular delivery strategy are the low level of myocyte transfection, resulting in a minimal level of protein expression; the inability to directly target antigen presenting cells, in particular dendritic cells, which are critical for establishment of efficacious antigen-specific immune responses. Although several viral vectors have been designed to improve plasmid DNA delivery, they have limitations, including the generation of neutralizing antibodies in addition to lacking the simplicity and versatility required for universal clinical application. We have developed an inexpensive non-viral delivery vector based on the polysaccharide polymer poly-N-acetyl glucosamine with the capability to target dendritic cells. This vector is fully biocompatible, biodegradable, and nontoxic. The advantage of the application of this delivery system relative to other approaches is discussed.
Cytokines; IL-12; paracrine treatment; Schistosoma mansoni; SWAP; systemic treatment; vaccination
Fast growth is an important and highly desired trait, which affects the profitability of food animal production, with feed costs accounting for the largest proportion of production costs. Traditional phenotype-based selection is typically used to select for growth traits; however, genetic improvement is slow over generations. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) explain 90% of the genetic differences between individuals; therefore, they are most suitable for genetic evaluation and strategies that employ molecular genetics for selective breeding. SNPs found within or near a coding sequence are of particular interest because they are more likely to alter the biological function of a protein. We aimed to use SNPs to identify markers and genes associated with genetic variation in growth. RNA-Seq whole-transcriptome analysis of pooled cDNA samples from a population of rainbow trout selected for improved growth versus unselected genetic cohorts (10 fish from 1 full-sib family each) identified SNP markers associated with growth-rate. The allelic imbalances (the ratio between the allele frequencies of the fast growing sample and that of the slow growing sample) were considered at scores >5.0 as an amplification and <0.2 as loss of heterozygosity. A subset of SNPs (n = 54) were validated and evaluated for association with growth traits in 778 individuals of a three-generation parent/offspring panel representing 40 families. Twenty-two SNP markers and one mitochondrial haplotype were significantly associated with growth traits. Polymorphism of 48 of the markers was confirmed in other commercially important aquaculture stocks. Many markers were clustered into genes of metabolic energy production pathways and are suitable candidates for genetic selection. The study demonstrates that RNA-Seq at low sequence coverage of divergent populations is a fast and effective means of identifying SNPs, with allelic imbalances between phenotypes. This technique is suitable for marker development in non-model species lacking complete and well-annotated genome reference sequences.
Duffy blood group polymorphisms are important in areas where Plasmodium vivax is present because this surface antigen is thought to act as a key receptor for this parasite. In the present study, Duffy blood group genotyping was performed in febrile uninfected and P. vivax-infected patients living in the city of Nouakchott, Mauritania.
Plasmodium vivax was identified by real-time PCR. The Duffy blood group genotypes were determined by standard PCR followed by sequencing of the promoter region and exon 2 of the Duffy gene in 277 febrile individuals. Fisher's exact test was performed in order to assess the significance of variables.
In the Moorish population, a high frequency of the FYBES/FYBES genotype was observed in uninfected individuals (27.8%), whereas no P. vivax-infected patient had this genotype. This was followed by a high level of FYA/FYB, FYB/FYB, FYB/FYBES and FYA/FYBES genotype frequencies, both in the P. vivax-infected and uninfected patients. In other ethnic groups (Poular, Soninke, Wolof), only the FYBES/FYBES genotype was found in uninfected patients, whereas the FYA/FYBES genotype was observed in two P. vivax-infected patients. In addition, one patient belonging to the Wolof ethnic group presented the FYBES/FYBES genotype and was infected by P. vivax.
This study presents the Duffy blood group polymorphisms in Nouakchott City and demonstrates that in Mauritania, P. vivax is able to infect Duffy-negative patients. Further studies are necessary to identify the process that enables this Duffy-independent P. vivax invasion of human red blood cells.
Plasmodium vivax; Duffy blood group; Mauritania; polymorphism; malaria
The optimal time sequences for chemotherapy and radiation therapy after breast surgery for patients with breast cancer remains unknown. Most of published studies were done for early breast cancer patients. However, in Egypt advanced stages were the common presentation. This retrospective analysis aimed to assess the optimum sequence for our population.
267 eligible patients planned to receive adjuvant chemotherapy [FAC] and radiotherapy. Majority of patients (87.6%) underwent modified radical mastectomy while, 12.4% had conservative surgery.
We divided the patients into 3 groups according to the sequence of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Sixty-seven patients (25.1%) received postoperative radiotherapy before chemotherapy [group A]. One hundred and fifty patients (56.2%) were treated in a sandwich scheme (group B), which means that 3 chemotherapy cycles were given prior to radiotherapy followed by 3 further chemotherapy cycles. A group of 50 patients (18.7%) was treated sequentially (group C), which means that radiotherapy was supplied after finishing the last chemotherapy cycle. Patients' characteristics are balanced between different groups.
Disease free survival was estimated at 2.5 years, and it was 83.5%, 82.3% and 80% for patient receiving radiation before chemotherapy [group A], sandwich [group B] and after finishing chemotherapy [group C] respectively (p > 0.5). Grade 2 pneumonitis, which necessitates treatment with steroid, was detected in 3.4% of our patients, while grade 2 radiation dermatitis was 17.6%. There are no clinical significant differences between different groups regarded pulmonary or skin toxicities.
Regarding disease free survival and treatment toxicities, in our study, we did not find any significant difference between the different radiotherapy and chemotherapy sequences.
breast cancer; chemotherapy; radiotherapy; sequence
Adoptive T-cell therapy holds great promise for the treatment of metastatic melanoma. However, prohibitive costs associated with current technology required for culture and expansion of tumor-reactive T-cells, the need for intense preconditioning regimens to induce lymphopenia, and the unpredictable anti-tumor effect of adoptively transferred T-cells remain significant impediments for its clinical implementation. Here we report a simplified combinatorial approach that involves short activation of CD8+ T cells in the presence of IL-12 followed by adoptive transfer into tumor bearing animals after a single injection of cyclophosphamide. This approach resulted in complete eradication of B16 melanoma, and the establishment of long term immunological memory capable of fully protecting mice after a second B16 melanoma challenge. The activated donor cells were unique because they simultaneously exhibited traits for cytotoxic effector function, central memory-like, homing, and senescence. After tumor eradication and within three months after transfer, CD8+ cells exhibited a conventional memory CTL phenotype. Moreover, these memory CTLs acquired functional attributes characteristic of memory stem cells, including the ability to resist chemotherapy-induced toxicity. Our results suggest that short-term T-cell receptor signaling in the presence of IL-12 promotes promiscuous qualities in naïve CTL which – upon transfer into lymphopenic hosts– are sufficient to eradicate tumors and generate life-long tumor-specific memory.
Pmel; melanoma; IL-12; ACT; T cell therapy; memory; CD8
Adoptive T-cell therapy holds great promise for the treatment of metastatic melanoma. However, prohibitive costs associated with current technology required for culture and expansion of tumor-reactive T-cells, the need for intense preconditioning regimens to induce lymphopenia, and the unpredictable anti-tumor effect of adoptively transferred T-cells remain significant impediments for its clinical implementation. Here we report a simplified combinatorial approach that involves short activation of CD8+ T cells in the presence of IL-12 followed by adoptive transfer into tumor bearing animals after a single injection of cyclophosphamide. This approach resulted in complete eradication of B16 melanoma, and the establishment of long term immunological memory capable of fully protecting mice after a second B16 melanoma challenge. The activated donor cells were unique because they simultaneously exhibited traits for cytotoxic effector function, central memory-like, homing, and senescence. After tumor eradication and within three months after transfer, CD8+ cells exhibited a conventional memory CTL phenotype. Moreover, these memory CTLs acquired functional attributes characteristic of memory stem cells, including the ability to resist chemotherapy-induced toxicity. Our results suggest that short-term T-cell receptor signaling in the presence of IL-12 promotes promiscuous qualities in naïve CTL which - upon transfer into lymphopenic hosts- are sufficient to eradicate tumors and generate life-long tumor-specific memory.
Pmel; melanoma; IL-12; ACT; T cell therapy; memory; CD8
We have recently reported that the toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) agonist poly(I:C) induces adjuvant effects to post vaccination CD8+ T cells responses through rapid induction of innate mediators, including NK cells, macrophages, dendritic cells (DCs), and inflammatory cytokines. However, whether this TLR3 agonist directly targets CD8+ T cells needs to be carefully investigated. In this study, we found that optimal post vaccination CD8+ T cell responses to ex vivo DC-based vaccination requires triggering of TLR3 signaling pathway in DCs in vitro as well as in the recipient host, indicating a role for other cell types. Real-time PCR analysis revealed that TLRs (TLR1–TLR13) are expressed in purified (>99% pure) CD4+ and CD8+ T cells from C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice, where the magnitude of the expression was strain and cell type dependent. In vitro, treatment of these purified T cells with poly(I:C) modulated the expression of TLRs including TLR3. Furthermore, non-specific and antigen-specific stimulation of CD8+ T cells by phorbol myristate acetate and MHC class I peptide-pulsed splenocytes, respectively, modulated TLR expression in purified CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Importantly, brief conditioning of purified naïve TCR transgenic OT-1 (CD8+) T cells in vitro with poly(I:C) induced activation of these cells in absence of antigen stimulation. Interestingly, when these in vitro poly(I:C)-conditioned OT-1 cells were adoptively transferred into naïve recipient followed by peptide vaccination, they showed superior expansion and activation to their naïve counterparts. These results suggest that CD8+ T cells can be activated by triggering their TLR3. Furthermore, the data support the notion of direct involvement of TLRs in adaptive immune responses.
Adoptive transfer; BALB/c; CD4; CD8; TLR; C57B6/L; OT-1; OVA peptide; Poly(I:C); TLR3 agonist; TLR3 ligand; T cells; Vaccination
Adoptive transfer of autologous tumor-reactive T cells holds promise as a cancer immunotherapy. In this approach, T cells are harvested from a tumor-bearing host, expanded in vitro and infused back to the same host. Conditioning of the recipient host with a lymphodepletion regimen of chemotherapy or radiotherapy before adoptive T cell transfer has been shown to substantially improve survival and anti-tumor responses of the transferred cells. These effects are further enhanced when the adoptive T cell transfer is followed by vaccination with tumor antigens in combination with a potent immune adjuvant. Although significant progress has been made toward an understanding of the reasons underlying the beneficial effects of lymphodepletion to T cell adoptive therapy, the precise mechanisms remain poorly understood. Recent studies, including ours, would indicate a more central role for antigen presenting cells, in particular dendritic cells. Unraveling the exact role of these important cells in mediation of the beneficial effects of lymphodepletion could provide novel pathways toward the rational design of more effective anti-cancer immunotherapy. This article focuses on how the frequency, phenotype, and functions of dendritic cells are altered during the lymphopenic and recovery phases post-induction of lymphodepletion, and how they affect the anti-tumor responses of adoptively transferred T cells.
Adoptive T cell transfer; Cancer; Chemotherapy; Dendritic cells; Lymphodepletion; Tumor; Vaccination
Preconditioning a recipient host with lymphodepletion can markedly augment adoptive T cell therapy. However, the precise mechanisms involved are poorly understood. In a recent study, we observed a significant increase in the circulating levels of dendritic cells (DCs; CD11c+CD11b+) during the recovery from cyclophosphamide (CTX)-induced lymphodepletion. Herein, we demonstrate that the CTX-induced DC expansion was not altered by adjuvant chemotherapy or tumor burden but was augmented by coadministration of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor. Although the increase in the number of DCs was preceded by a systemic expansion of a population expressing the phenotype of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (Gr-1+CD11b+), depletion of these Gr-1+ cells had no effect on the noted expansion. Moreover, when Gr-1highCD11bhigh cells were sorted from CTX-treated mice and adoptively transferred into control or CTX-treated recipients, they did not differentiate into DCs. Post-CTX expansion of DCs was associated with proliferation of DCs in bone marrow (BM) during the lymphopenic phase and in the blood and spleen during the recovery phase. Furthermore, adoptive transfer of BM cells from CTX-treated mice produced equal numbers of DCs in the blood of either CTX-treated or untreated recipients. CTX induced a dynamic surge in the expression of growth factors and chemokines in BM, where CCR2 and Flt3 signaling pathways were critical for DC expansion. In sum, our data suggest that CTX induces proliferation of DCs in BM prior to their expansion in the periphery. Targeting DCs at these phases would significantly improve their contribution to the clinical application of lymphodepletion to adoptive immunotherapy
Recent preclinical studies suggest that vaccination following adoptive transfer of CD8+ T cells into a lymphopenic host can augment the therapeutic antitumor responses of the transferred cells. However, the mechanism by which the lymphopenic microenvironment benefits Ag-specific CD8+ T cell responses remains elusive. We show herein that induction of lymphodepletion by a single 4 mg cyclophosphamide (CTX) treatment induces a marked expansion of immature dendritic cells (DCs) in the peripheral blood on days 8–16 post-CTX (termed restoration phase). In vitro, these DCs were functional, because they showed normal phagocytosis and effective Ag presentation capability upon activation. In vivo, administration of the TLR3 agonist poly(I:C) at the peak of DC expansion (day 12 postlymphopenia) induced inflammatory cytokine production and increases in the number of activated DCs in lymph nodes. Importantly, boosting with gp10025–33 melanoma peptide combined with poly(I:C) 12 days after an initial priming with the same regimen significantly increased the expansion and the antitumor efficacy of adoptively transferred pmel-1 CD8+ T cells. These responses were abrogated after depletion of activated DCs during Ag boosting. In conclusion, our data show that CTX treatment induces, during the restoration phase, expansion of immature DCs, which are functional and can be exploited in vivo to foster more effective antitumor adoptive immunotherapy strategies.
Abdominal Non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL) are the most common extra nodal presentation of pediatric NHL. Our aim is to assess the role of surgery as a risk factor and to evaluate the impact of risk-adjusted systemic chemotherapy on survival of patients with stages II and III disease. This study included 35 pediatric patients with abdominal NHL treated over five years at South Egypt Cancer Institute (SECI), Assiut University, between January 2005 and January 2010. The data of every patient included: Age, sex, and presentation, staging work up to determine extent of the disease and the type of resection performed, histopathological examination, details of chemotherapy, disease free survival and overall survival. The study included 25 boys and 10 girls with a median age of six years (range: 2.5:15). Thirty patients (86%) presented with abdominal pain, 23 patients (66%) presented with abdominal mass and distention, 13 patients (34%) presented with weight loss, and intestinal obstruction occurred in six patients (17%). The ileo-cecal region and abdominal lymph nodes were the commonest sites (48.5%, 21% respectively). Burkitt's lymphoma was the most common histological type in 29 patients (83%). Ten (28.5%) stage II (group A) and 25 (71.5%) stage III (group B). Complete resections were performed in 10 (28.5%), debulking in 6 (17%) and imaging guided biopsy in 19 (54%). A11 patients received systemic chemotherapy. The median follow up duration was 63 months (range 51-78 months). The parameters that significantly affect the overall survival were stage at presentation complete resection for localized disease. In conclusion, the extent of disease at presentation is the most important prognostic factor in pediatric abdominal NHL. Surgery is restricted to defined situations such as; abdominal emergencies, diagnostic biopsy and total tumor extirpation in localized disease. Chemotherapy is the cornerstone in the management of pediatric abdominal NHL.
non-hodgkin lymphoma; pediatric; abdominal; surgery
We have shown recently that cyclophosphamide (CTX) treatment induced a marked increase in the numbers of immature dendritic cells (DCs) in blood, coinciding with enhanced antigen-specific responses of the adoptively transferred CD8+ T cells. Because this DC expansion was preceded by DC proliferation in bone marrow (BM), we tested whether BM post CTX treatment can generate higher numbers of functional DCs. BM was harvested three days after treatment of C57BL/6 mice with PBS or CTX and cultured with GM-CSF/IL-4 in vitro. Compared with control, BM from CTX-treated mice showed faster generation and yielded higher numbers of DCs with superior activation in response to toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists. Vaccination with peptide-pulsed DCs generated from BM from CTX-treated mice induced comparable adjuvant effects to those induced by control DCs. Taken together, post CTX BM harbors higher numbers of DC precursors capable of differentiating into functional DCs, which be targeted to create host microenvironment riches in activated DCs upon treatment with TLR agonists.
Dendritic cells; Bone marrow; Cyclophosphamide; Toll-like receptor ligands; TLR; Vaccination
Rainbow trout are important fish for aquaculture and recreational fisheries and serves as a model species for research investigations associated with carcinogenesis, comparative immunology, toxicology and evolutionary biology. However, to date there is no genome reference sequence to facilitate the development of molecular technologies that utilize high-throughput characterizations of gene expression and genetic variation. Alternatively, transcriptome sequencing is a rapid and efficient means for gene discovery and genetic marker development. Although a large number (258,973) of EST sequences are publicly available, the nature of rainbow trout duplicated genome hinders assembly and complicates annotation.
High-throughput deep sequencing of the Swanson rainbow trout doubled-haploid transcriptome using 454-pyrosequencing technology yielded ~1.3 million reads with an average length of 344 bp, a total of 447 million bases. De novo assembly of the sequences yielded 151,847 Tentative Consensus (TC) sequences (average length of 662 bp) and 224,391 singletons. A combination assembly of both the 454-pyrosequencing ESTs and the pre-existing sequences resulted in 161,818 TCs (average length of 758 bp) and 261,071 singletons. Gene Ontology analysis of the combination assembly showed high similarities to transcriptomes of other fish species with known genome sequences.
The 454 library significantly increased the suite of ESTs available for rainbow trout, allowing improved assembly and annotation of the transcriptome. Furthermore, the 454 sequencing enables functional genome research in rainbow trout, providing a wealth of sequence data to serve as a reference transcriptome for future studies including identification of paralogous sequences and/or allelic variation, digital gene expression and proteomic research.
Caspases are key intracellular molecules in the control of apoptosis, but little is known concerning their relative contribution to the cascade of events leading to eosinophil apoptosis. We examined caspase-3, -8, and -9 activities in receptor ligation dependent apoptosis induction in the cultured eosinophils (CE). CE cultured alone for 48 hours exhibited constitutive apoptosis (12% ± 1.2). Significant (P < 0.05) enhancement of eosinophil apoptosis was observed following monoclonal antibody (Mab) treatment with CD45 (40% ± 0.7), CD95 (36% ± 1.6), or CD69 (34% ± 0.2). Caspase activity was analysed using the novel CaspaTagTM technique and flow cytometry. CE ligated with CD45 (Bra55), CD95 (Fas) and CD69 Mab resulted in caspase-3 and -9 activation after 16 hours post-ligation. This trend in caspase-3 and -9 activation continued to increase significantly through to the 20 and 24 hours time points when compared to isotype control. Activated up-stream caspase-8 was detected 16 and 20 hours after treatment with CD45, CD95 and CD69 Mab followed by a trend toward basal levels at 24 hours. Ligation of CD95 was followed by mitochondrial permeabilization, as demonstrated by marked increase in mitochondrial transmembrane potential (ΔΨm) at all time points. However, ligation with CD45 and CD69 failed to induce a change in ΔΨm at 16 hours post-treatment compared to isotype control even though there was an alteration in mitochondrial downstream-caspase activity following ligation with these Mab(s) at this time point. At 20 and 24 hours post-ligation, CD45 or CD69 induce significantly altered levels of ΔΨm. Thus, the intrinsic and extrinsic caspase pathways are involved in controlling receptor ligation-mediated apoptosis induction in human eosinophils, findings that may aid the development of a more targeted, anti inflammatory therapy for asthma.
Eosinophils; Apoptosis; Mitochondria; Asthma; Caspases
A 38-year-old multiparous woman with post thyroidectomy hypoparathyroidism developed pruritic erythematous patches with multiple pustules on its margins on her thighs and groin accompanied by fever few days after delivery by caesarean section. Impetigo herpetiformis was diagnosed based on the typical clinicopathological findings. The patient was treated with intravenous fluids, calcium, Calcitrol and corticosteroids. The correction of hypocalcaemia was accompanied with rapid improvement of her skin disease and general condition. Our case is the fourth case of impetigo herpetiformis initially presented during puerperium and the first case of puerperal impetigo herpetiformis that is precipitated by secondary hypoparathyroidism. The awareness of the possible occurrence of impetigo herpetiformis during the puerperium allows early diagnosis, treatment and prevention of maternal complications.
To enhance capabilities for genomic analyses in rainbow trout, such as genomic selection, a large suite of polymorphic markers that are amenable to high-throughput genotyping protocols must be identified. Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs) have been used for single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) discovery in salmonids. In those strategies, the salmonid semi-tetraploid genomes often led to assemblies of paralogous sequences and therefore resulted in a high rate of false positive SNP identification. Sequencing genomic DNA using primers identified from ESTs proved to be an effective but time consuming methodology of SNP identification in rainbow trout, therefore not suitable for high throughput SNP discovery. In this study, we employed a high-throughput strategy that used pyrosequencing technology to generate data from a reduced representation library constructed with genomic DNA pooled from 96 unrelated rainbow trout that represent the National Center for Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture (NCCCWA) broodstock population.
The reduced representation library consisted of 440 bp fragments resulting from complete digestion with the restriction enzyme HaeIII; sequencing produced 2,000,000 reads providing an average 6 fold coverage of the estimated 150,000 unique genomic restriction fragments (300,000 fragment ends). Three independent data analyses identified 22,022 to 47,128 putative SNPs on 13,140 to 24,627 independent contigs. A set of 384 putative SNPs, randomly selected from the sets produced by the three analyses were genotyped on individual fish to determine the validation rate of putative SNPs among analyses, distinguish apparent SNPs that actually represent paralogous loci in the tetraploid genome, examine Mendelian segregation, and place the validated SNPs on the rainbow trout linkage map. Approximately 48% (183) of the putative SNPs were validated; 167 markers were successfully incorporated into the rainbow trout linkage map. In addition, 2% of the sequences from the validated markers were associated with rainbow trout transcripts.
The use of reduced representation libraries and pyrosequencing technology proved to be an effective strategy for the discovery of a high number of putative SNPs in rainbow trout; however, modifications to the technique to decrease the false discovery rate resulting from the evolutionary recent genome duplication would be desirable.
Self renewal and apoptosis of haemopoietic stem cells (HSC) represent major factors that determine the size of the haemopoietic cell mass. Changes in self renewal above or below the steady state value of 0.5 will result in either bone marrow expansion or aplasia, respectively. Despite the growing body of research that describes the potential role of HSC, there is still very little information on the mechanisms that govern HSC self renewal and apoptosis. Considerable insight into the role of HSC in many diseases has been gained in recent years. In light of their crucial importance, this article reviews recent developments in the understanding of the molecular, biological, and physiological characteristics of haemopoietic stem cells.
To study all psychiatric referrals by General Practitioners (GPs) to the psychiatric service at Al-Ain Hospital for 7 years starting from July 1997 till December 2003. The study examined the appropriateness of referrals and the quality of information presented in the referral document. Also, it studied the outcome of this referral including the response of the psychiatrist.
The case notes of all patients referred from the Primary Health Centres to the psychiatric service of Al-Ain Hospital for the period specified were studied. The data related to the GP referral were obtained from the copy of the referral letter, in the case notes. The information included: identifying data, reason for referral, symptomatology, relevant medical history and investigations, provisional diagnosis, recommended action, and the response of the psychiatrist. The diagnosis in the referral letter was compared to the International Classification of Diseases, 10th edition, Primary Health Care version [ICD-10 (PHC)], and to the final diagnosis in the case notes for agreement.
among the whole sample of 503 GP referrals there were 309 males (61.4%) and 179 (35.6%) females and 15 (3%) missing data. The mean age was 32.8 years (SD=13.7), with mean age for UAE nationals 31.4 years (SD=15.58) and expatriates as 34.3 years (SD=11.32) with significant difference between the two groups (t=2.253, p=0.03), 74.2% expatriates males with significant difference, and 15 missing data. Analysis of the referral letters showed that Diagnosis was clearly indicated in 380 (77.2%), was not mentioned in 112 (22.8%) of the referral letters, with 11 missed data. Psychiatrists agreed with the GP diagnosis in 205 of them (41.7%), but considered diagnosis inaccurate in 175 (35.6%) of these cases. All the referred patients had been seen by psychiatrists. However, replies of the psychiatrists to the GPs referrals were made only in 29 patients (5.9%); 4 of these replies were written and the 2 copies of the letter were kept in the file. No reply was written in 460 cases and 14 missing data. Also physical examination and investigations were not mentioned in the majority of referrals.
There is poor quality of GP referral letters and obvious poor response rate of psychiatrists to the GPs. This is an indication for urgent need for intensive training to GPs advising them to include particular items of information in future referrals.
Current literature and our previous results on expression patterns of oocyte-specific genes and transcription factors suggest a global but highly regulated maternal mRNA degradation at the time of embryonic genome activation (EGA). MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding regulatory RNAs (19–23 nucleotides) that regulate gene expression by guiding target mRNA cleavage or translational inhibition. These regulatory RNAs are potentially involved in the degradation of maternally inherited mRNAs during early embryogenesis.
To identify miRNAs that might be important for early embryogenesis in rainbow trout, we constructed a miRNA library from a pool of unfertilized eggs and early stage embryos. Sequence analysis of random clones from the library identified 14 miRNAs, 4 of which are novel to rainbow trout. Real-time PCR was used to measure the expression of all cloned miRNAs during embryonic development. Four distinct expression patterns were observed and some miRNAs showed up-regulated expression during EGA. Analysis of tissue distribution of these miRNAs showed that some are present ubiquitously, while others are differentially expressed among different tissues. We also analyzed the expression patterns of Dicer, the enzyme required for the processing of miRNAs and Stat3, a transcription factor involved in activating the transcription of miR-21. Dicer is abundantly expressed during EGA and Stat3 is up-regulated before the onset of EGA.
This study led to the discovery of 14 rainbow trout miRNAs. Our data support the notion that Dicer processes miRNAs and Stat3 induces expression of miR-21 and possibly other miRNAs during EGA. These miRNAs in turn guide maternal mRNAs for degradation, which is required for normal embryonic development.
Fast, efficiently growing animals have increased protein synthesis and/or reduced protein degradation relative to slow, inefficiently growing animals. Consequently, minimizing the energetic cost of protein turnover is a strategic goal for enhancing animal growth. Characterization of gene expression profiles associated with protein turnover would allow us to identify genes that could potentially be used as molecular biomarkers to select for germplasm with improved protein accretion.
We evaluated changes in hepatic global gene expression in response to 3-week starvation in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Microarray analysis revealed a coordinated, down-regulated expression of protein biosynthesis genes in starved fish. In addition, the expression of genes involved in lipid metabolism/transport, aerobic respiration, blood functions and immune response were decreased in response to starvation. However, the microarray approach did not show a significant increase of gene expression in protein catabolic pathways. Further studies, using real-time PCR and enzyme activity assays, were performed to investigate the expression of genes involved in the major proteolytic pathways including calpains, the multi-catalytic proteasome and cathepsins. Starvation reduced mRNA expression of the calpain inhibitor, calpastatin long isoform (CAST-L), with a subsequent increase in the calpain catalytic activity. In addition, starvation caused a slight but significant increase in 20S proteasome activity without affecting mRNA levels of the proteasome genes. Neither the mRNA levels nor the activities of cathepsin D and L were affected by starvation.
These results suggest a significant role of calpain and 20S proteasome pathways in protein mobilization as a source of energy during fasting and a potential association of the CAST-L gene with fish protein accretion.