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1.  Paracrine signaling between carcinoma cells and mesenchymal stem cells generates cancer stem cell niche via epithelial-mesenchymal transition 
Cancer discovery  2012;2(9):775-777.
Summary
Li and colleagues present data that cancer cell-derived intereleukin-1 induces prostaglandin E2 and cytokine secretion in mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) to activate β-catenin signaling in the cancer cell. This paracrine signaling between carcinoma cells and MSC leads to the creation of a cancer stem cell niche via epithelial-mesenchymal transition.
doi:10.1158/2159-8290.CD-12-0312
PMCID: PMC3646332  PMID: 22969117
2.  Fecal pancreatic elastase-1 levels in older individuals without known gastrointestinal diseases or diabetes mellitus 
BMC Geriatrics  2011;11:4.
Background
Structural changes occur in the pancreas as a part of the natural aging process. With aging, also the incidence of maldigestive symptoms and malnutrition increases, raising the possibility that these might be caused at least in part by inadequate pancreatic enzyme secretion due to degenerative processes and damage of the gland. Fecal elastase-1 is a good marker of pancreatic exocrine secretion. The aim of this study was to investigate the fecal elastase-1 levels among over 60 years old Finnish and Polish healthy individuals without any special diet, known gastrointestinal disease, surgery or diabetes mellitus.
Methods
A total of 159 patients participated in this cross-sectional study. 106 older individuals (aged 60-92 years) were recruited from outpatient clinics and elderly homes. They were divided to three age groups: 60-69 years old (n = 31); 70-79 years old (n = 38) and over 80 years old (n = 37). 53 young subjects (20-28 years old) were investigated as controls. Inclusion criteria were age over 60 years, normal status and competence. Exclusion criteria were any special diet, diabetes mellitus, any known gastrointestinal disease or prior gastrointestinal surgery. Fecal elastase-1 concentration was measured from stool samples with an ELISA that uses two monoclonal antibodies against different epitopes of human elastase-1.
Results
Fecal elastase-1 concentrations correlated negatively with age (Pearson r = -0,3531, P < 0.001) and were significantly lower among subjects over 70 years old compared to controls (controls vs. 70-79 years old and controls vs. over 80 years old, both P < 0.001). Among the over 60 years old subjects, the fecal elastase-1 concentrations were below the cut off level of 200 μg/g in 23 of 106 (21.7%) individuals [mean 112 (86-138) μg/g] indicating pancreatic exocrine insufficiency. Of those, 9 subjects had fecal elastase-1 level below 100 μg/g as a marker of severe pancreatic insufficiency.
Conclusion
In our study one fifth of healthy older individuals without any gastrointestinal disorder, surgery or diabetes mellitus suffer from pancreatic exocrine insufficiency and might benefit from enzyme supplementation therapy.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-11-4
PMCID: PMC3039595  PMID: 21266058
3.  Differences in the Nemosis Response of Normal and Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts from Patients with Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(9):e6879.
Background
Tumor-stroma reaction is associated with activation of fibroblasts. Nemosis is a novel type of fibroblast activation. It leads to an increased production of growth factors and proinflammatory and proteolytic proteins, while at the same time cytoskeletal proteins are degraded. Here we used paired normal skin fibroblasts and cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF) and primary and recurrent oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) cells to study the nemosis response.
Principal Findings
Fibroblast nemosis was analyzed by protein and gene expression and the paracrine regulation with colony formation assay. One of the normal fibroblast strains, FB-43, upregulated COX-2 in nemosis, but FB-74 cells did not. In contrast, CAF-74 spheroids expressed COX-2 but CAF-43 cells did not. Alpha-SMA protein was expressed in both CAF strains and in FB-74 cells, but not in FB-43 fibroblasts. Its mRNA levels were downregulated in nemosis, but the CAFs started to regain the expression. FSP1 mRNA was downregulated in normal fibroblasts and CAF-74 cells, but not in CAF-43 fibroblasts. Serine protease FAP was upregulated in all fibroblasts, more so in nemotic CAFs. VEGF, HGF/SF and FGF7 mRNA levels were upregulated to variable degree in nemosis. CAFs increased the colony formation of primary tumor cell lines UT-SCC-43A and UT-SCC-74A, but normal fibroblasts inhibited the anchorage-independent growth of recurrent UT-SCC-43B and UT-SCC-74B cells.
Conclusions
Nemosis response, as observed by COX-2 and growth factor induction, and expression of CAF markers α-SMA, FSP1 and FAP, varies between fibroblast populations. The expression of CAF markers differs between normal fibroblasts and CAFs in nemosis. These results emphasize the heterogeneity of fibroblasts and the evolving tumor-promoting properties of CAFs.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006879
PMCID: PMC2730537  PMID: 19721715

Results 1-3 (3)