The Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network (NEPTUNE) is a North American multi-center collaborative consortium established to develop a translational research infrastructure for Nephrotic Syndrome. This includes a longitudinal observational cohort study, a pilot and ancillary studies program, a training program, and a patient contact registry. NEPTUNE will enroll 450 adults and children with minimal change disease, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and membranous nephropathy for detailed clinical, histopathologic, and molecular phenotyping at the time of clinically-indicated renal biopsy. Initial visits will include an extensive clinical history, physical examination, collection of urine, blood and renal tissue samples, and assessments of quality of life and patient-reported outcomes. Follow-up history, physical measures, urine and blood samples, and questionnaires will be obtained every 4 months in the first year and bi-annually, thereafter. Molecular profiles and gene expression data will be linked to phenotypic, genetic, and digitalized histologic data for comprehensive analyses using systems biology approaches. Analytical strategies were designed to transform descriptive information to mechanistic disease classification for Nephrotic Syndrome and to identify clinical, histological, and genomic disease predictors. Thus, understanding the complexity of the disease pathogenesis will guide further investigation for targeted therapeutic strategies.
TMPRSS2/ERG rearrangement, PTEN gene deletion, and androgen receptor (AR) gene amplification have been observed in various stages of human prostate cancer. We hypothesized that using these markers as a combined panel would allow better differentiation between low-risk and high-risk prostate cancer. We analyzed 110 primary prostate cancer samples, 70 metastatic tumor samples from 11 patients, and 27 xenograft tissues derived from 22 advanced prostate cancer patients using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis with probes targeting the TMPRSS2/ERG, PTEN, and AR gene loci. Heterogeneity of the aberrations detected was evaluated. Genetic patterns were also correlated with transcript levels. Among samples with complete data available, the three-marker FISH panel detected chromosomal abnormalities in 53% of primary prostate cancers and 87% of metastatic (Met) or castration-resistant (CRPC) tumors. The number of markers with abnormal FISH result had a different distribution between the two groups (P<0.001). At the patient level, Met/CRPC tumors are 4.5 times more likely to show abnormalities than primary cancer patients (P<0.05). Heterogeneity among Met/CRPC tumors is mostly inter-patient. Intra-patient heterogeneity is primarily due to differences between the primary prostate tumor and the metastases while multiple metastatic sites show consistent abnormalities. Intra-tumor variability is most prominent with the AR copy number in primary tumors. AR copy number correlated well with the AR mRNA expression (rho = 0.52, P<0.001). Especially among TMPRSS2:ERG fusion-positive CRPC tumors, AR mRNA and ERG mRNA levels are strongly correlated (rho = 0.64, P<0.001). Overall, the three-marker FISH panel may represent a useful tool for risk stratification of prostate cancer patients.
Simultaneous treatment of multilevel aortic disease is controversial due to the theoretic increase in morbidity. This study was conducted to define the outcomes in patients treated electively with simultaneous thoracic endovascular aortic aneurysm repair (TEVAR) and abdominal aortic endovascular endografting for synchronous aortic pathology.
Patients treated with simultaneous TEVAR and endovascular aneurysm repair (T&E) at the University of Florida were identified from a prospectively maintained endovascular aortic registry and compared with those treated with TEVAR alone (TA). The study excluded patients with urgent or emergency indications, thoracoabdominal or mycotic aneurysm, and those requiring chimney stents, fenestrations, or visceral debranching procedures. Demographics, anatomic characteristics, operative details, and periprocedural morbidity were recorded. Mortality and reintervention were estimated using life-table analysis.
From 2001 to 2011, 595 patients underwent TEVAR, of whom 457 had elective repair. Twenty-two (18 men, 82%) were identified who were treated electively with simultaneous T&E. Mean ± standard deviation age was 66 ± 9 years, and median follow-up was 8.8 months (range, 1–34 months). Operative indications for the procedure included dissection-related pathology in 10 (45%) and various combinations of degenerative etiologies in 12 (55%). Compared with TA, T&E patients had significantly higher blood loss (P < .0001), contrast exposure (P < .0001), fluoroscopy time (P < .0001), and operative time (P < .0001). The temporary spinal cord ischemia rate was 13.6% (n = 3) for the T&E group and 6.0% for TA (P = .15); however, the permanent spinal cord ischemia rate was 4% for both groups (P = .96). The 30-day mortality for T&E was 4.5% (n = 1) compared with 2.1% (n = 10) for TA. Temporary renal injury (defined by a 25% increase over baseline creatinine) occurred in two T&E patients (9.1%), with none requiring permanent hemodialysis; no significant difference was noted between the two groups (P = .14). One-year mortality and freedom from reintervention in the T&E patients were 81% and 91%, respectively.
Acceptable short-term morbidity and mortality can be achieved with T&E compared with TA, despite longer operative times, greater blood loss, and higher contrast exposure. There was a trend toward higher rates of renal and spinal cord injury, so implementation of strategies to reduce the potential of these complications or consideration of staged repair is recommended. Short-term reintervention rates are low, but longer follow-up and greater patient numbers are needed to determine procedural durability and applicability.
Androgen deprivation therapy remains the primary treatment modality for patients with metastatic prostate cancer but is uniformly marked by progression to castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) after a period of regression. Continued activation of androgen receptor (AR) signaling is attributed as one of the most important mechanisms underlying failure of therapy. Recently, the discovery of constitutively active AR splice variants (AR-Vs) adds more credence to this idea. Expression of AR-Vs in metastases portends a rapid progression of the tumor. However, the precise role of the AR-Vs in CRPC still remains unknown. ARv567es is one of the two AR variants frequently found in human CRPC xenografts and metastases. Herein, we developed a probasin (Pb) promoter-driven ARv567es transgenic mouse, Pb-ARv567es, to evaluate the role of ARv567es in both autonomous prostate growth and progression to CRPC. We found that expression of ARv567es in the prostate results in epithelial hyperplasia by 16 weeks and invasive adenocarcinoma is evident by 1 year of age. The underlying genetic cellular events involved a cell cycle-related transcriptome and differential expression of a spectrum of genes that are critical for tumor initiation and progression. These findings indicate that ARv567es could induce tumorigenesis de novo and signifies the critical role of AR-Vs in CRPC. Thus, the Pb-ARv567es mouse could provide a novel model in which the role of AR variants in prostate cancer progression can be examined.
Cellular therapy is a promising therapeutic strategy for malignant diseases. The efficacy of this therapy can be limited by poor infiltration of the tumor by immune effector cells. In particular, NK cell infiltration is often reduced relative to T cells. A novel class of fusion proteins was designed to enhance the recruitment of specific leukocyte subsets based on their expression of a given chemokine receptor. The proteins are composed of an N-terminal chemokine head, the mucin domain taken from the membrane-anchored chemokine CX3CL1, and a C-terminal glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) membrane anchor replacing the normal transmembrane domain allowing integration of the proteins into cell membranes when injected into a solid tumor. The mucin domain in conjunction with the chemokine head acts to specifically recruit leukocytes expressing the corresponding chemokine receptor.
A fusion protein comprising a CXCL10 chemokine head (CXCL10-mucin-GPI) was used for proof of concept for this approach and expressed constitutively in Chinese Hamster Ovary cells. FPLC was used to purify proteins. The recombinant proteins efficiently integrated into cell membranes in a process dependent upon the GPI anchor and were able to activate the CXCR3 receptor on lymphocytes. Endothelial cells incubated with CXCL10-mucin-GPI efficiently recruited NK cells in vitro under conditions of physiologic flow, which was shown to be dependent on the presence of the mucin domain. Experiments conducted in vivo using established tumors in mice suggested a positive effect of CXCL10-mucin-GPI on the recruitment of NK cells.
The results suggest enhanced recruitment of NK cells by CXCL10-mucin-GPI. This class of fusion proteins represents a novel adjuvant in cellular immunotherapy. The underlying concept of a chemokine head fused to the mucin domain and a GPI anchor signal sequence may be expanded into a broader family of reagents that will allow targeted recruitment of cells in various settings.
The armamentarium of therapeutics used to treat cancer patients relies heavily on ionizing radiation and chemotherapeutic drugs that severely damage DNA. The responses of tumor cells to these treatments is heavily influenced by their environment: physical contacts with structural elements such as extracellular matrix, associations with resident and transitory benign cells such as fibroblasts and leukocytes, and interactions with numerous soluble endocrine and paracrine-acting factors all modulate tumor cell behavior. Importantly, this complex tumor microenvironment is not static and dynamically responds to a variety of stimuli. Here, we describe emerging data indicating that genotoxic cancer treatments activate highly conserved damage response programs in benign constituents of the tumor microenvironment. These damage signals, transmitted via master regulators such as NFkB, culminate in a powerful and diverse secretory program that generates a pro-angiogenic, pro-inflammatory microenvironment. Constituents of this program include Interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, hepatocyte growth factor, amphiregulin, matrix metalloproteinases, and other factors demonstrated to promote adverse tumor cell phenotypes including enhanced resistance to treatment and rapid tumor repopulation. A detailed understanding of these survival signals induced in the context of genotoxic stress provides a platform to develop combinatorial strategies to improve outcomes that consider malignant cells, the tumor microenvironment, and the dynamics exerted by the treatment itself.
DNA damage response; therapy resistance; senescence; paracrine; stroma
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small (∼22 nucleotide) non-coding RNAs that regulate a myriad of biological processes and are frequently dysregulated in cancer. Cancer-associated microRNAs have been detected in serum and plasma and hold promise as minimally invasive cancer biomarkers, potentially for assessing disease characteristics in patients with metastatic disease that is difficult to biopsy. Here we used miRNA profiling to identify cancer-associated miRNAs that are differentially expressed in sera from patients with metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) as compared to healthy controls. Of 365 miRNAs profiled, we identified five serum miRNAs (miR-141, miR-200a, miR-200c, miR-210 and miR-375) that were elevated in cases compared to controls across two independent cohorts. One of these, miR-210, is a known transcriptional target of the hypoxia-responsive HIF-1α signaling pathway. Exposure of cultured prostate cancer cells to hypoxia led to induction of miR-210 and its release into the extracellular environment. Moreover, we found that serum miR-210 levels varied widely amongst mCRPC patients undergoing therapy, and correlated with treatment response as assessed by change in PSA. Our results suggest that (i) cancer-associated hypoxia is a frequent, previously under-appreciated characteristic of mCRPC, and (ii) serum miR-210 may be further developed as a predictive biomarker in patients with this distinct disease biology.
Continued androgen receptor (AR) signaling is an established mechanism underlying castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), and suppression of AR signaling remains a therapeutic goal of CRPC therapy. Constitutively active androgen receptor splice variants (AR-Vs) lack the AR ligand-binding domain (AR-LBD), the intended target of androgen deprivation therapies (ADT) including CRPC therapies such as abiraterone and MDV3100. While the canonical full-length AR (AR-FL) and AR-Vs are both increased in CRPC, their expression regulation, associated transcriptional programs, and functional relationships have not been dissected. In this study, we show that suppression of ligand-mediated AR-FL signaling by targeting AR-LBD leads to increased AR-V expression in two cell line models of CRPC. Importantly, treatment-induced AR-Vs activated a distinct expression signature enriched for cell cycle genes without requiring the presence of AR-FL. Conversely, activation of AR-FL signaling suppressed the AR-V signature and activated expression programs mainly associated with macromolecular synthesis, metabolism, and differentiation. In prostate cancer cells and CRPC xenografts treated with MDV3100 or abiraterone, increased expression of two constitutively active AR-Vs, AR-V7 and ARV567ES, but not AR-FL, paralleled increased expression of the AR-driven cell cycle gene UBE2C. Expression of AR-V7, but not AR-FL, was positively correlated with UBE2C in clinical CRPC specimens. Together, our findings support an adaptive shift toward AR-V-mediated signaling in a subset of CRPC tumors as the AR-LBD is rendered inactive, suggesting an important mechanism contributing to drug resistance to CRPC therapy.
androgen receptor; castration-resistant prostate cancer; androgen receptor splice variants; MDV3100; abiraterone
Risk factors for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia are often investigated without accounting for the competing risk of mortality, which can bias results and lead to spurious conclusions, particularly regarding protective factors. Here, we apply a semi-Markov modeling approach to 531 participants in the University of Kentucky Biologically Resilient Adults in Neurological Studies (BRAiNS) longitudinal cohort, over one-third of whom died without transitioning to a cognitively impaired clinical state. A semi-Markov approach enables a statistical study of clinical state transitions while accounting for the competing risk of death and facilitates insights into both the odds that a risk factor will affect clinical transitions as well as the age at which the transition to MCI or dementia will occur. Risk factors assessed in the current study were identified by matching those reported in the literature with the data elements collected on participants. The presence of Type II diabetes at baseline shortens the time it takes cognitively intact individuals to transition to MCI by seven years on average while use of estrogen replacement therapy at enrollment (baseline) decreases the time required to convert from MCI to dementia by 1.5 years. Finally, smoking and being overweight do not promote transitions to impaired states but instead hasten death without a dementia. In contrast, conventional statistical analyses based on Cox proportional hazards models fail to recognize diabetes as a risk and show that being overweight increases the risk of clinical MCI while high blood pressure at baseline increases the risk of a dementia.
MCI; dementia; multi-state models; semi-Markov; risk factors; competing events
Acquired resistance to anticancer treatments is a substantial barrier to reducing the morbidity and mortality that is attributable to malignant tumors. Components of tissue microenvironments are recognized to profoundly influence cellular phenotypes, including susceptibilities to toxic insults. Using a genome-wide analysis of transcriptional responses to genotoxic stress induced by cancer therapeutics, we identified a spectrum of secreted proteins derived from the tumor microenvironment that includes the Wnt family member wingless-type MMTV integration site family member 16B (WNT16B). We determined that WNT16B expression is regulated by nuclear factor of κ light polypeptide gene enhancer in B cells 1 (NF-κB) after DNA damage and subsequently signals in a paracrine manner to activate the canonical Wnt program in tumor cells. The expression of WNT16B in the prostate tumor microenvironment attenuated the effects of cytotoxic chemotherapy in vivo, promoting tumor cell survival and disease progression. These results delineate a mechanism by which genotoxic therapies given in a cyclical manner can enhance subsequent treatment resistance through cell nonautonomous effects that are contributed by the tumor microenvironment.
Oxidative stress is involved in age-related cognitive decline. The dietary antioxidants, carotenoids, tocopherols, and vitamin A may play a role in the prevention or delay in cognitive decline. In this study, sera were obtained from 78 octogenarians and 220 centenarians from the Georgia Centenarian Study. Brain tissues were obtained from 47 centenarian decedents. Samples were analyzed for carotenoids, α-tocopherol, and retinol using HPLC. Analyte concentrations were compared with cognitive tests designed to evaluate global cognition, dementia, depression and cognitive domains (memory, processing speed, attention, and executive functioning). Serum lutein, zeaxanthin, and β-carotene concentrations were most consistently related to better cognition (P < 0.05) in the whole population and in the centenarians. Only serum lutein was significantly related to better cognition in the octogenarians. In brain, lutein and β-carotene were related to cognition with lutein being consistently associated with a range of measures. There were fewer significant relationships for α-tocopherol and a negative relationship between brain retinol concentrations and delayed recognition. These findings suggest that the status of certain carotenoids in the old may reflect their cognitive function. The protective effect may not be related to an antioxidant effect given that α-tocopherol was less related to cognition than these carotenoids.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide and causes over 250,000 deaths each year1. Overtreatment of indolent disease also results in significant morbidity2. Common genetic alterations in prostate cancer include losses of NKX3.1 (8p21)3,4 and PTEN (10q23)5,6, gains of the androgen receptor gene (AR)7,8 and fusion of ETS-family transcription factor genes with androgen-responsive promoters9–11. Recurrent somatic base-pair substitutions are believed to be less contributory in prostate tumorigenesis12,13 but have not been systematically analyzed in large cohorts. Here we sequenced the exomes of 112 prostate tumor/normal pairs. Novel recurrent mutations were identified in multiple genes, including MED12 and FOXA1. SPOP was the most frequently mutated gene, with mutations involving the SPOP substrate binding cleft in 6–15% of tumors across multiple independent cohorts. SPOP-mutant prostate cancers lacked ETS rearrangements and exhibited a distinct pattern of genomic alterations. Thus, SPOP mutations may define a new molecular subtype of prostate cancer.
There is an urgent need to identify non-invasive biomarkers for the detection of sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We previously studied microRNAs (miRNAs) in AD autopsy brain samples and reported a connection between miR-137, -181c, -9, -29a/b and AD, through the regulation of ceramides. In this study, the potential role of these miRNAs as diagnostic markers for AD was investigated. We identified that these miRNAs were down-regulated in the blood serum of probable AD patients. The levels of these miRNAs were also reduced in the serum of AD risk factor models. Although the ability of these miRNAs to conclusively diagnose for AD is currently unknown, our findings suggest a potential use for circulating miRNAs, along with other markers, as non-invasive and relatively inexpensive biomarkers for the early diagnosis of AD, however, with further research and validation.
Alzheimer’s disease; microRNA; blood serum
The androgen receptor (AR) is the principal therapeutic target in prostate cancer. For the past 70 years, androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) has been the major therapeutic focus. However, some patients do not benefit, and those tumors that do initially respond to ADT eventually progress. One recently described mechanism of such an effect is growth and survival-promoting effects of the AR that are exerted independently of the AR ligands, testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. However, specific ligand-independent AR target genes that account for this effect were not well characterized. We show here that c-Myc, which is a key mediator of ligand-independent prostate cancer growth, is a key ligand-independent AR target gene. Using microarray analysis, we found that c-Myc and AR expression levels strongly correlated with each other in tumors from patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) progressing despite ADT. We confirmed that AR directly regulates c-Myc transcription in a ligand-independent manner, that AR and c-Myc suppression reduces ligand-independent prostate cancer cell growth, and that ectopic expression of c-Myc attenuates the anti-growth effects of AR suppression. Importantly, treatment with the bromodomain inhibitor JQ1 suppressed c-Myc function and suppressed ligand-independent prostate cancer cell survival. Our results define a new link between two critical proteins in prostate cancer – AR and c-Myc – and demonstrate the potential of AR and c-Myc-directed therapies to improve prostate cancer control.
Dementia pugilistica (DP) is associated with chronic traumatic brain injury (CTBI), and leads to a “punch drunk” syndrome characterized by impairments in memory and executive function, behavioral changes, and motor signs. Microscopic features include the accumulation of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), beta-amyloid (Aβ), and TAR DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) pathology. Here we describe detailed clinical and neuropathological data about a 55-year-old retired boxer (ApoE3/4), who presented with executive dysfunction and behavioral impairments. At autopsy, significant Aβ pathology was seen, primarily in the form of diffuse plaques. Tau pathology was extensive and was determined to be of Braak and Braak stage VI. Frontal white matter showed evidence of glial tau inclusions (astrocytes and oligodendroglia). Cerebrovascular pathology was minimal with patchy amyloid angiopathy. Inflammation was another key feature, including microglial activation and significant C1q labeling of neurons, along with NFTs. TDP-43-positive pathology was also observed. Inflammation may be a key inciting as well as propagating feature of DP neuropathology.
beta-amyloid; C1q; chronic traumatic encephalopathy; tauopathy; TDP-43
Innate or acquired resistance to cancer therapeutics remains an important area of biomedical investigation that has clear ramifications for improving cancer specific death rates. Importantly, clues to key resistance mechanisms may lie in the well-orchestrated and highly conserved cellular and systemic responses to injury and stress. Many anti-neoplastic therapies typically rely on DNA damage, which engages potent DNA damage response signaling pathways that culminate in apoptosis or growth arrest at checkpoints to allow for damage repair. However, an alternative cellular response, senescence, can also be initiated when challenged with these internal/external pressures and in ideal situations acts as a self-protecting mechanism. Senescence-induction therapies are an attractive concept in that they represent a normal, highly conserved and commonly-invoked tumor-suppressing response to overwhelming genotoxic stress or oncogene activation. Yet, such approaches should ensure that senescence by-pass or senescence re-emergence does not occur, as emergent cells appear to have highly drug resistant phenotypes. Further, cell non-autonomous senescence responses may contribute to therapy-resistance in certain circumstances. Here we provide an overview of mechanisms by which cellular senescence plausibly contributes to therapy resistance and concepts by which senescence responses can be influenced to improve cancer treatment outcomes.
DNA damage response; oncogene induced senescence; microenvironment
The ability to interrogate circulating tumor cells (CTC) and disseminated tumor cells (DTC) is restricted by the small number detected and isolated (typically <10). To determine if a commercially available technology could provide a transcriptomic profile of a single prostate cancer (PCa) cell, we clonally selected and cultured a single passage of cell cycle synchronized C4-2B PCa cells. Ten sets of single, 5-, or 10-cells were isolated using a micromanipulator under direct visualization with an inverted microscope. Additionally, two groups of 10 individual DTC, each isolated from bone marrow of 2 patients with metastatic PCa were obtained. RNA was amplified using the WT-Ovation™ One-Direct Amplification System. The amplified material was hybridized on a 44K Whole Human Gene Expression Microarray. A high stringency threshold, a mean Alexa Fluor® 3 signal intensity above 300, was used for gene detection. Relative expression levels were validated for select genes using real-time PCR (RT-qPCR).
Using this approach, 22,410, 20,423, and 17,009 probes were positive on the arrays from 10-cell pools, 5-cell pools, and single-cells, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of gene detection on the single-cell analyses were 0.739 and 0.972 respectively when compared to 10-cell pools, and 0.814 and 0.979 respectively when compared to 5-cell pools, demonstrating a low false positive rate. Among 10,000 randomly selected pairs of genes, the Pearson correlation coefficient was 0.875 between the single-cell and 5-cell pools and 0.783 between the single-cell and 10-cell pools. As expected, abundant transcripts in the 5- and 10-cell samples were detected by RT-qPCR in the single-cell isolates, while lower abundance messages were not. Using the same stringency, 16,039 probes were positive on the patient single-cell arrays. Cluster analysis showed that all 10 DTC grouped together within each patient.
A transcriptomic profile can be reliably obtained from a single cell using commercially available technology. As expected, fewer amplified genes are detected from a single-cell sample than from pooled-cell samples, however this method can be used to reliably obtain a transcriptomic profile from DTC isolated from the bone marrow of patients with PCa.
Prostate cancer; Single-cell; Transcriptome; Disseminated tumor cells
Clinicopathologic correlation studies are critically important for the field of Alzheimer disease (AD) research. Studies on human subjects with autopsy confirmation entail numerous potential biases that affect both their general applicability and the validity of the correlations. Many sources of data variability can weaken the apparent correlation between cognitive status and AD neuropathologic changes. Indeed, most persons in advanced old age have significant non-AD brain lesions that may alter cognition independently of AD. Worldwide research efforts have evaluated thousands of human subjects to assess the causes of cognitive impairment in the elderly, and these studies have been interpreted in different ways. We review the literature focusing on the correlation of AD neuropathologic changes (i.e. β-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles) with cognitive impairment. We discuss the various patterns of brain changes that have been observed in elderly individuals to provide a perspective for understanding AD clinicopathologic correlation and conclude that evidence from many independent research centers strongly supports the existence of a specific disease, as defined by the presence of Aβ plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Although Aβ plaques may play a key role in AD pathogenesis, the severity of cognitive impairment correlates best with the burden of neocortical neurofibrillary tangles.
Aging; Alzheimer disease; Amyloid; Dementia; Epidemiology; Neuropathology; MAPT; Neurofibrillary tangles
The current consensus criteria for the neuropathologic diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), known as the National Institute on Aging/Reagan Institute of the Alzheimer Association Consensus Recommendations for the Postmortem Diagnosis of AD or NIA-Reagan Criteria , were published in 1997 (hereafter referred to as “1997 Criteria”). Knowledge of AD and the tools used for clinical investigation of cognitive impairment and dementia have advanced substantially since then and have prompted this update on the neuropathologic assessment of AD.
We present a practical guide for the implementation of recently revised National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer’s Association guidelines for the neuropathologic assessment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Major revisions from previous consensus criteria are: (i) recognition that AD neuropathologic changes may occur in the apparent absence of cognitive impairment, (ii) an “ABC” score for AD neuropathologic change that incorporates histopathologic assessments of amyloid β deposits (A), staging of neurofibrillary tangles (B), and scoring of neuritic plaques (C), and (iii) more detailed approaches for assessing commonly co-morbid conditions such as Lewy body disease, vascular brain injury, hippocampal sclerosis, and TAR DNA binding protein (TDP)-43 immunoreactive inclusions. Recommendations also are made for the minimum sampling of brain, preferred staining methods with acceptable alternatives, reporting of results, and clinico-pathologic correlations.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the elderly. While advancements have been made in understanding the genetic and molecular basis of AD, the clinical diagnosis of AD remains difficult, and post-mortem confirmation is often required. Furthermore, the onset of neurodegeneration precedes clinical symptoms by approximately a decade. Consequently, there is a crucial need for an early and accurate diagnosis of AD, which can potentially lead to strategies that can slow down or stop the progression of neurodegeneration and dementia. Recent advances in the non-coding RNA field have shown that microRNAs (miRNAs) can function as powerful biomarkers in human diseases. Studies are emerging suggesting that circulating miRNAs in the cerebrospinal fluid and blood serum have characteristic changes in AD patients. Whether miRNAs can be used in AD diagnosis, alone or in combination with other AD biomarkers (e.g., amyloid and tau), warrants further investigation.
microRNA; Alzheimer’s disease; biomarker; diagnosis; mild cognitive impairment
Although 5HT2A receptors mediate contractions of normal arteries to serotonin (5HT), in some cardiovascular diseases, other receptor subtypes contribute to the marked increase in serotonin contractions. We hypothesized that enhanced contractions of arteries from diabetics to 5HT are mediated by an increased contribution from multiple 5HT receptor subtypes. We compared responses to selective 5HT receptor agonists and expression of 5HT receptor isoforms (5HT1B, 5HT2A, and 5HT2B) in aorta from nondiabetic (ND) compared to type 2 diabetic mice (DB, BKS.Cg-Dock7m+/+Leprdb/J). 5HT, 5HT2A (TCB2 and BRL54443), and 5HT2B (norfenfluramine and BW723C86) receptor agonists produced concentration-dependent contractions of ND arteries that were markedly increased in DB arteries. Neither ND nor DB arteries contracted to a 5HT1B receptor agonist. MDL11939, a 5HT2A receptor antagonist, and LY272015, a 5HT2B receptor antagonist, reduced contractions of arteries from DB to 5HT more than ND. Expression of 5HT1B, 5HT2A, and 5HT2B receptor subtypes was similar in ND and DB. Inhibition of rho kinase decreased contractions to 5HT and 5HT2A and 5HT2B receptor agonists in ND and DB. We conclude that in contrast to other cardiovascular diseases, enhanced contraction of arteries from diabetics to 5HT is not due to a change in expression of multiple 5HT receptor subtypes.
Androgen receptor (AR) is reactivated in castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) through mechanisms including marked increases in AR gene expression. We identify an enhancer in the AR second intron contributing to increased AR expression at low androgen levels in CRPC. Moreover, at increased androgen levels the AR binds this site and represses AR gene expression through recruitment of lysine specific demethylase 1 (LSD1) and H3K4me1,2 demethylation. AR similarly represses expression of multiple genes mediating androgen synthesis, DNA synthesis and proliferation, while stimulating genes mediating lipid and protein biosynthesis. Androgen levels in CRPC appear adequate to stimulate AR activity on enhancer elements, but not suppressor elements, resulting in increased expression of AR and AR repressed genes that contribute to cellular proliferation.
prostate cancer; androgen receptor; androgen deprivation therapy; H3K4 methylation; LSD1
Relapse of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) that occurs after androgen deprivation therapy of primary prostate cancer can be mediated by reactivation of the androgen receptor (AR). One important mechanism mediating this AR reactivation is intratumoral conversion of the weak adrenal androgens DHEA and androstenedione into the AR ligands testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHEA and androstenedione are synthesized by the adrenals through the sequential actions of the cytochrome P450 enzymes CYP11A1 and CYP17A1, so that CYP17A1 inhibitors such as abiraterone are effective therapies for CRPC. However, the significance of intratumoral CYP17A1 and de novo androgen synthesis from cholesterol in CRPC, and the mechanisms contributing to CYP17A1 inhibitor resistance/relapse, remain to be determined. We report that AR activity in castration-resistant VCaP tumor xenografts can be restored through CYP17A1-dependent de novo androgen synthesis, and that abiraterone treatment of these xenografts imposes selective pressure for increased intratumoral expression of CYP17A1, thereby generating a mechanism for development of resistance to CYP17A1 inhibitors. Supporting the clinical relevance of this mechanism, we found that intratumoral expression of CYP17A1 was markedly increased in tumor biopsies from CRPC patients after CYP17A1 inhibitor therapy. We further show that CRPC cells expressing a progesterone responsive T877A mutant AR are not CYP17A1 dependent, but that AR activity in these cells is still steroid dependent and mediated by upstream CYP11A1 dependent intraturmoral pregnenolone/progesterone synthesis. Together, our results indicate that CRPCs resistant to CYP17A1 inhibition may remain steroid dependent and therefore responsive to therapies that can further suppress de novo intratumoral steroid synthesis.
prostate cancer; androgen receptor; CYP17A1; steroid synthesis; androgen deprivation therapy