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1.  Eight-strand Cross-locked Cruciate Flexor Tendon Repair Using Double-stranded Suture: A Description of the Surgical Technique 
This article describes a technique for improved repair of digital flexor tendon laceration. Eight-strand cross-locked cruciate repair using 4-0 caliber double-stranded suture is not bulky and has a smooth configuration for tendon gliding. Additionally, it has sufficient strength for early postoperative active motion exercise.
PMCID: PMC5142471  PMID: 27975005
2.  Transient Worsening of Photosensitivity due to Cholelithiasis in a Variegate Porphyria Patient 
Internal Medicine  2016;55(20):2965-2969.
Variegate porphyria (VP) is an autosomal dominant disease caused by mutations of the protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPOX) gene. This porphyria has unique characteristics which can induce acute neurovisceral attacks and cutaneous lesions that may occur separately or together. We herin report a 58-years-old VP patient complicated with cholelithiasis. A sequencing analysis indicated a novel c.40G>C mutation (p.G14R) in the PPOX gene. His cutaneous photosensitivity had been worsening for 3 years before the emergence of cholecystitis and it then gradually improved after cholecystectomy and ursodeoxycholic acid treatment with a slight decline in the porphyrin levels in his blood, urine and stool. In VP patients, a worsening of photosensitivity can thus be induced due to complications associated with some other disease, thereby affecting their porphyrin-heme biosynthesis.
PMCID: PMC5109563  PMID: 27746433
variegate porphyria; photosensitivity; cholelithiasis; PPOX gene; protoporphyrin
3.  Chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection-induced chronic bronchitis and emphysematous changes in CCSP-deficient mice 
The club cell secretory protein (CCSP) is a regulator of lung inflammation following acute respiratory infection or lung injury. Recently, the relationship between CCSP and COPD has been reported. Since COPD results from an abnormal inflammatory response, we hypothesized that CCSP could have a protective role against chronic inflammation-induced lung damage. To address this issue, the pathophysiology of chronic lung inflammation induced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa in CCSP-deficient mice was determined. A tube of 5 mm in length was soaked in a fluid containing P. aeruginosa (PAO01 strain) for 1 week and inserted into the trachea of CCSP-deficient mice. One week later, P. aeruginosa was administered into the trachea. Five weeks after insertion of tube, the mice were sacrificed. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluids were collected to determine the bacterial growth, and the lung histology and physiology were also examined. P. aeruginosa was continuously detected in bronchoalveolar lavage fluids during the study. Neutrophils were increased in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluids from the CCSP-deficient mice in comparison to wild-type mice. A histological study demonstrated chronic inflammation around bronchus, serious bronchial stenosis, and alveolar enlargement in the CCSP-deficient mice. The lung physiology study demonstrated an increase in the lung compliance of the CCSP-deficient mice. Chronic P. aeruginosa inflammation resulted in chronic bronchitis and emphysematous changes in the CCSP-deficient mice. CCSP could play an important role in protecting the host from the chronic inflammation-induced lung damage.
PMCID: PMC5036550  PMID: 27703342
chronic bronchitis; animal models; emphysema; inflammation
4.  Serum FGF23 levels may not be associated with serum phosphate and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels in patients with Fanconi syndrome–induced hypophosphatemia 
Clinical Kidney Journal  2016;9(5):677-681.
Fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) is regulated by sustained phosphate supplementation and restriction. However, few studies have investigated FGF23 levels in patients with Fanconi syndrome. Therefore, we evaluated intact and C-terminal FGF23 and FGF23-associated parameters in four patients with Fanconi syndrome. Serum intact and C-terminal FGF23 levels were extremely low. Although serum phosphate and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels improved to or above the normal range within 1 year of treatment with oral phosphate and calcitriol, serum FGF23 levels remained low. Serum FGF23 levels in patients with Fanconi syndrome might be regulated by novel factors other than serum phosphate and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels.
PMCID: PMC5036911  PMID: 27679714
CKD; FGF-23; vitamin D
5.  Critical role of tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 in the pathogenesis of pulmonary emphysema in mice 
COPD is a major cause of chronic morbidity and mortality throughout the world. Although tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) has a critical role in the development of COPD, the role of different TNF receptors (TNFRs) in pulmonary emphysema has not been resolved. We aimed to clarify the role of TNFRs in the development of pulmonary emphysema. TNF-α transgenic mice, a murine model of COPD in which the mice spontaneously develop emphysema with a large increase in lung volume and pulmonary hypertension, were crossed with either TNFR1-deficient mice or TNFR2-deficient mice. After 6 months, the gross appearance of the lung, lung histology, and pulmonary and cardiac physiology were determined. In addition, the relationship between apoptosis and emphysema was investigated. Pulmonary emphysema-like changes disappeared with deletion of TNFR1. However, slight improvements were attained with deletion of TNFR2. Apoptotic cells in the interstitium of the lung were observed in TNF-α transgenic mice. The apoptotic signals through TNFR1 appear critical for the pathogenesis of pulmonary emphysema. In contrast, the inflammatory process has a less important role for the development of emphysema.
PMCID: PMC4968668  PMID: 27555760
TNF-α; receptor; emphysema; apoptosis
6.  Two cases of pleuroparenchymal fibroelastosis diagnosed with transbronchial lung biopsy 
Idiopathic pleuroparenchymal fibroelastosis (PPFE) is a rare subset of idiopathic interstitial pneumonias (IIPs). Here we present two patients with PPFE in which the histology was confirmed with transbronchial lung biopsy (TBLB). The 25-year-old and 64-year-old men were both slender with a long history of pulmonary upper lobe fibrosis and a marked restrictive impairment. Although the imaging findings supported the diagnosis of PPFE, surgical lung biopsy (SLB) seemed to be needed to identify fibroelastosis for the definite diagnosis. However, we selected TBLB instead of SLB because of their general condition and the risk such as prolonged pneumothorax after TBLB. TBLB specimens in both patients showed aggregates of elastic fibers in the submucosa that were essential clues for the histological diagnosis of PPFE. TBLB may be an alternative tool for the histological diagnosis of PPFE, although a multidisciplinary discussion is necessary for the final diagnosis of PPFE as a clinicopathological entity.
PMCID: PMC4976608  PMID: 27536547
Pleuroparenchymal fibroelastosis; Transbronchial lung biopsy; Surgical lung biopsy; Idiopathic interstitial pneumonia
7.  Preliminary Evaluation of a Sitafloxacin-Containing Regimen for Relapsed or Refractory Pulmonary Mycobacterium avium Complex Disease 
Open Forum Infectious Diseases  2016;3(3):ofw147.
Although sitafloxacin (STFX) is known to have a favorable minimum inhibitory concentration for Mycobacterium avium, few studies have evaluated the clinical efficacy of an STFX-containing regimen for pulmonary M avium complex (MAC) disease. To evaluate the clinical efficacy of STFX-containing regimens for relapsed or refractory pulmonary MAC disease, we retrospectively reviewed 18 patients with pulmonary MAC disease who received STFX for at least 4 weeks for pulmonary MAC disease between January 2008 and February 2016. Of 18 patients, 10 (55.6%) showed improved radiological characteristics and 8 (44.4%) showed negative sputum cultures at 6 months. Regarding the clinical symptoms, improvements were observed in decreasing order in sputum production (77.8%), cough (72.2%), and malaise (55.6%). Common adverse events included nausea or vomiting (38.9%), followed by loose stool or diarrhea (27.8%) and sleepiness (11.1%). Although this study contained a small number of subjects, we describe a STFX-containing regimen that was effective in achieving sputum culture negative conversions and had an acceptable adverse events profile.
PMCID: PMC5047425  PMID: 27704005
fluoroquinolone; Mycobacterium avium complex; nontuberculous mycobacteria; salvage therapy; sitafloxacin
8.  Independent control of electrical and heat conduction by nanostructure designing for Si-based thermoelectric materials 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:22838.
The high electrical and drastically-low thermal conductivities, a vital goal for high performance thermoelectric (TE) materials, are achieved in Si-based nanoarchitecture composed of Si channel layers and epitaxial Ge nanodots (NDs) with ultrahigh areal density (~1012 cm−2). In this nanoarchitecture, the ultrasmall NDs and Si channel layers play roles of phonon scattering sources and electrical conduction channels, respectively. Electron conductivity in n-type nanoacrhitecture shows high values comparable to those of epitaxial Si films despite the existence of epitaxial NDs. This is because Ge NDs mainly scattered not electrons but phonons selectively, which could be attributed to the small conduction band offset at the epitaxially-grown Si/Ge interface and high transmission probability through stacking faults. These results demonstrate an independent control of thermal and electrical conduction for phonon-glass electron-crystal TE materials by nanostructure designing and the energetic and structural interface control.
PMCID: PMC4789645  PMID: 26973092
9.  Arbitrary cross-section SEM-cathodoluminescence imaging of growth sectors and local carrier concentrations within micro-sampled semiconductor nanorods 
Nature Communications  2016;7:10609.
Future one-dimensional electronics require single-crystalline semiconductor free-standing nanorods grown with uniform electrical properties. However, this is currently unrealistic as each crystallographic plane of a nanorod grows at unique incorporation rates of environmental dopants, which forms axial and lateral growth sectors with different carrier concentrations. Here we propose a series of techniques that micro-sample a free-standing nanorod of interest, fabricate its arbitrary cross-sections by controlling focused ion beam incidence orientation, and visualize its internal carrier concentration map. ZnO nanorods are grown by selective area homoepitaxy in precursor aqueous solution, each of which has a (0001):+c top-plane and six {1–100}:m side-planes. Near-band-edge cathodoluminescence nanospectroscopy evaluates carrier concentration map within a nanorod at high spatial resolution (60 nm) and high sensitivity. It also visualizes +c and m growth sectors at arbitrary nanorod cross-section and history of local transient growth events within each growth sector. Our technique paves the way for well-defined bottom-up nanoelectronics.
Semiconductor nanocrystals are potential nanoelectronic materials but often display nonuniform electric properties due to their anisotropic growths. Here, the authors report cross-sectional cathodoluminescence imaging of a single-crystalline ZnO nanowire to resolve its growth sectors with different carrier concentrations.
PMCID: PMC4757765  PMID: 26881966
10.  Extradural Dermoid Cyst of the Anterior Infratemporal Fossa. Case Report 
Dermoid cysts are rare in the skull base. There have been 10 reported cases of dermoid cysts in the cavernous sinus, two in the petrous apex, and one in the extradural Meckel cave. This is the first case report of a dermoid cyst in the anterior infratemporal fossa attached to the anterior dura of the foramen ovale. The clinical presentation, radiologic findings, histologic features, tumor origin, and operative technique are described along with a review of the literature.
PMCID: PMC4648720  PMID: 26623226
dermoid cyst; anterior infratemporal fossa; extradural
11.  Potent anti-HIV-1 activity of N-HR-derived peptides including a deep pocket-forming region without antagonistic effect on T-20 
Enfuvirtide (T20), a C-terminal heptad repeat (C-HR)-derived peptide of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) glycoprotein, gp41, effectively suppresses HIV-1 replication through a putative mechanism that involves its acting as a decoy and binding to the N-terminal heptad repeat (N-HR) of the virus. In this study, we address whether the anti-HIV-1 activity of T20 is antagonized by a variety of N-HR-derived peptides.
Multinuclear activation of galactosidase indicator assays were used to evaluate T-20 activity in the presence of N-HR derived peptides. The gp41-derived peptides were chemically synthesized.
We demonstrate additive anti-HIV activity whenT20 is used in combination with N-HR-derived peptides that do not have a putative binding region for the tryptophan-rich domain in T20. The presence of a deep pocket-forming region in the N-HR-derived peptides enhanced their anti-HIV-1 activity, but had little impact on the activity of T20.
These results indicate that T20-based antiviral therapies can be combined with N-HR-derived peptides.
PMCID: PMC4584145  PMID: 21860071
HIV-1; gp41; fusion inhibitor; combination
12.  Histological evolution of pleuroparenchymal fibroelastosis 
Histopathology  2014;66(4):545-554.
To investigate the histological evolution in the development of pleuroparenchymal fibroelastosis (PPFE).
Methods and results
We examined four patients who had undergone surgical lung biopsy twice, or who had undergone surgical lung biopsy and had been autopsied, and in whom the histological diagnosis of the first biopsy was not PPFE, but the diagnosis of the second biopsy or of the autopsy was PPFE. The histological patterns of the first biopsy were cellular and fibrotic interstitial pneumonia, cellular interstitial pneumonia (CIP) with organizing pneumonia, CIP with granulomas and acute lung injury in cases 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. Septal elastosis was already present in the non-specific interstitial pneumonia-like histology of case 1, but a few additional years were necessary to reach consolidated subpleural fibroelastosis. In case 3, subpleural fibroelastosis was already present in the first biopsy, but only to a small extent. Twelve years later, it was replaced by a long band of fibroelastosis. The septal inflammation and fibrosis and airspace organization observed in the first biopsies were replaced by less cellular subpleural fibroelastosis within 3–12 years.
Interstitial inflammation or acute lung injury may be an initial step in the development of PPFE.
PMCID: PMC4365730  PMID: 25234959
acute lung injury; cellular interstitial pneumonia; idiopathic interstitial pneumonia; idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; organizing pneumonia; pleuroparenchymal fibroelastosis; pulmonary upper lobe fibrosis
13.  Autopsy analyses in acute exacerbation of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis 
Respiratory Research  2014;15(1):109.
Acute exacerbation of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (AE-IPF) is associated with high mortality. However, few studies have so far reviewed analyses of autopsy findings in patients with AE-IPF.
We retrospectively reviewed 52 consecutive patients with AE-IPF who underwent autopsies at five university hospitals and one municipal hospital between 1999 and 2013. The following variables were abstracted from the medical records: demographic and clinical data, autopsy findings and complications during the clinical course until death.
The median age at autopsy was 71 years (range 47–86 years), and the subjects included 38 (73.1%) males. High-dose corticosteroid therapy was initiated in 45 (86.5%) patients after AE-IPF. The underling fibrotic lesion was classified as having the usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) pattern in all cases. Furthermore, 41 (78.8%) patients had diffuse alveolar damage (DAD), 15 (28.8%) exhibited pulmonary hemorrhage, nine (17.3%) developed pulmonary thromboembolism and six (11.5%) were diagnosed with lung carcinoma. In addition, six (11.5%) patients developed pneumothorax prior to death and 26 (53.1%) developed diabetes that required insulin treatment after the administration of high-dose corticosteroid therapy. In addition, 15 (28.8%) patients presented with bronchopneumonia during their clinical course and/or until death, including fungal (seven, 13.5%), cytomegalovirus (six, 11.5%) and bacterial (five, 9.6%) infections.
The pathological findings in patients with AE-IPF represent not only DAD, but also a variety of pathological conditions. Therefore, making a diagnosis of AE-IPF is often difficult, and the use of cautious diagnostic approaches is required for appropriate treatment.
PMCID: PMC4243719  PMID: 25176016
Acute exacerbation; Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; Autopsy; Diffuse alveolar damage
14.  Mechanism of Resistance to S138A Substituted Enfuvirtide and its Application to Peptide Design 
T-20 (enfuvirtide) resistance is caused by the N43D primary resistance mutation at its presumed binding site at the N-terminal heptad repeat (N-HR) of gp41, accompanied by the S138A secondary mutation at the C-terminal HR of gp41 (C-HR). We have discovered that modifying T-20 to include S138A (T-20S138A) allows it to efficiently block wild-type and T20-resistant viruses, by a mechanism that involves improved binding of T-20S138A to the N-HR that contains the N43D primary mutation. To determine how HIV-1 in turn escapes T-20S138A we used a dose escalation method to select T-20S138A-resistant HIV-1 starting with either wild-type (HIV-1WT) or T-20-resistant (HIV-1N43D/S138A) virus. We found that when starting with WT background, I37N and L44M emerged in the N-HR of gp41, and N126K in the C-HR. However, when starting with HIV-1N43D/S138A, L33S and I69L emerged in N-HR, and E137K in C-HR. T-20S138A-resistant recombinant HIV-1 showed cross-resistance to other T-20 derivatives, but not to C34 derivatives, suggesting that T-20S138A suppressed HIV-1 replication by a similar mechanism to T-20. Furthermore, E137K enhanced viral replication kinetics and restored binding affinity with N-HR containing N43D, indicating that it acts as a secondary, compensatory mutation. We therefore introduced E137K into T-20S138A (T-20E137K/S138A) and revealed that T-20E137K/S138A moderately suppressed replication of T-20S138A-resistant HIV-1. T-20E137K/S138A retained activity to HIV-1 without L33S, which seems to be a key mutation for T-20 derivatives. Our data demonstrate that secondary mutations can be consistently used for the design of peptide inhibitors that block replication of HIV resistant to fusion inhibitors.
PMCID: PMC4136414  PMID: 23357451
resistance; HIV-1; gp41; T-20; mutation; fusion inhibitor
15.  Pleuroparenchymal Fibroelastosis: Its Clinical Characteristics 
Pleuroparenchymal fibroelastosis (PPFE) is a rare pulmonary fibrosis that is clinically characterized by upper-lobe predominant fibrosis. PPFE is a slowly progressive disorder and its first symptom is dyspnea or dry cough. Chest pain because of pneumothorax may be the first symptom in some patients. Patients with PPFE are slender with a flat rib cage or abnormally narrowed anterior–posterior thoracic dimension. Decreases in forced vital capacity, total lung capacity, and diffusing capacity are respiratory-function characteristics of PPFE, similar to those seen in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The most remarkable difference in clinical features between PPFE and IPF is imaging findings, with upper-lobe-predominant lesions in PPFE and lower-lobe-predominant lesions in IPF.
PMCID: PMC3933942  PMID: 24578677
Pleuroparenchymal fibroelastosis (PPFE); pulmonary upper lobe fibrosis; pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
16.  Two patients with new granulomatous lung lesions during treatment of Crohn's disease 
Two patients with granulomatous lung lesions thought to be related to Crohn's disease (CD) are reported. Patient 1 was a 43-year-old man who was diagnosed with CD at age 11 years. He developed a fever in the 38 °C, and a chest X-ray and CT scan showed infiltrates with air bronchograms in the right upper lobe and left lingular segment. Transbronchial lung biopsy (TBLB) revealed granulomatous lesions. Patient 2 was a 76-year-old woman who was diagnosed with CD at age 44 years. Chest CT showed infiltrates and nodular shadows in both lung fields. Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) in June 2012 revealed granulomatous lesions. Tuberculosis, fungal infections, drug-induced lung disorder, and sarcoidosis were ruled out as a cause of the granulomatous lesions in both patients. The aetiology was thought to be CD.
PMCID: PMC4061430  PMID: 26029529
Crohn's disease; Sarcoidosis; Granulomatous lung lesions
17.  HIV-1 Resistance Mechanism to an Electrostatically Constrained Peptide Fusion Inhibitor That Is Active against T-20-Resistant Strains 
T-20EK is a novel fusion inhibitor designed to have enhanced α-helicity over T-20 (enfuvirtide) through engineered electrostatic interactions between glutamic acid (E) and lysine (K) substitutions. T-20EK efficiently suppresses wild-type and T-20-resistant variants. Here, we selected T-20EK-resistant variants. A combination of L33S and N43K substitutions in gp41 were required for high resistance to T-20EK. While these substitutions also caused resistance to T-20, they did not cause cross-resistance to other known fusion inhibitors.
PMCID: PMC3719727  PMID: 23689710
18.  Relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia with unusual multiple bone invasions: A case report 
Oncology Letters  2014;7(4):991-993.
The present study describes a unique pediatric case with multiple bone invasions of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) during remission. An eight-year-old male with a history of ALL was admitted complaining of intermittent and migrating pain in the limb 2 years following complete remission. Magnetic resonance imaging and whole-body positron emission tomography with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose revealed abnormal multifocal involvement in the bones and corresponding soft tissues. Repeated bone marrow (BM) aspiration indicated normal cellular marrow without leukemic cells, and marked leukemic cell infiltration in different sections of the ilium, respectively. These findings suggested isolated bone relapse, and it is probable that systematic BM relapse occurred as a consequence.
PMCID: PMC3961366  PMID: 24944655
acute lymphoblastic leukemia; bone relapse; positron emission tomography; computed tomography
19.  Low-molecular-weight lipoprotein (a) and low relative lymphocyte concentration are significant and independent risk factors for coronary heart disease in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: Lp(a) phenotype, lymphocyte, and coronary heart disease 
The aim of the present prospective study was to examine whether lipoprotein (a) [Lp(a)] phenotypes and/or low relative lymphocyte concentration (LRLC) are independently associated with coronary heart disease (CHD) in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
Serum Lp(a) concentration, Lp(a) phenotypes, and RLC were analyzed in 214 subjects. Lp(a) phenotypes were classified into 7 subtypes according to sodium dodecyl sulfate-agarose gel electrophoresis by Western blotting. Subjects were assigned to the low-molecular-weight (LMW (number of KIV repeats: 11–22) ) and high-molecular-weight (HMW( number of KIV repeats: >22 )) Lp(a) groups according to Lp(a) phenotype and to the LRLC (RLC: <20.3%) and normal RLC (NRLC; RLC: ≥20.3%) groups according to RLC. A CHD event was defined as the occurrence of angina pectoris or myocardial infarction during the follow-up period.
During the follow-up period, 30 cases of CHD events were verified. Neutrophil count showed no correlation with CHD, while relative neutrophil concentration and RLC showed positive and negative correlations, respectively, with CHD. The Cox proportional hazard model analysis revealed the following hazard ratios adjusted for LMW Lp(a), LRLC, and LMW Lp(a) + LRLC: (4.31; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.99-9.32; P < 0.01, 3.621; 95% CI, 1.50-8.75; P < 0.05, and 7.15; 95% CI, 2.17-23.56; P < 0.01, respectively).
Our results suggest that both LMW Lp(a) and LRLC are significant and independent risk factors for CHD and that the combination thereof more strongly predicts CHD in patients with T2DM.
PMCID: PMC3606419  PMID: 23496967
Lipoprotein (a) phenotype; Relative lymphocyte concentration; Coronary heart disease
20.  Relationship between postprandial glucose level and carotid artery stiffness in patients without diabetes or cardiovascular disease 
The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between postprandial glucose level and atherosclerosis in patients without diabetes and cardiovascular disease by determining carotid ultrasonographic variables and serum levels of 1,5-anhydroglucitol (1,5-AG).
The subjects were 72 patients without diabetes and cardiovascular disease being treated for hypertension or dyslipidemia. The clinical characteristics of all subjects, including the serum level of 1,5-AG, which appears to be well suited for monitoring postprandial hyperglycemia, were evaluated after an overnight fast. The average intima-media thickness (IMT) and the average pulsatility index (PI) of the right and left common carotid arteries were determined with high-resolution ultrasonography and used as ultrasonographic variables. The subjects were divided into a Lower 1,5-AG group (n = 36) and a Higher 1,5-AG group (n = 36). We evaluated the relationship between clinical characteristics and ultrasonographic variables of the carotid artery in both groups.
The average PI in the Lower 1,5-AG group was significantly higher than that in the Higher 1,5-AG group, but the average IMT did not differ between the groups. Linear regression analysis, with the ultrasonographic variables as the dependent variables, with 1,5-AG as the independent variable, and adjusted for other clinical characteristics, showed significant correlation between 1,5-AG and the PI but not between 1,5-AG and IMT.
Our results suggest that postprandial hyperglycemia increases carotid artery stiffness, but not morphological change, in patients without diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
PMCID: PMC3598373  PMID: 23442745
1,5-anhydroglucitol; Pulsatility index; Postprandial glucose; Nondiabetic patients
21.  Catalytic conversion of carbon dioxide into dimethyl carbonate using reduced copper-cerium oxide catalysts as low as 353 K and 1.3 MPa and the reaction mechanism 
Synthesis of dimethyl carbonate (DMC) from CO2 and methanol under milder reaction conditions was performed using reduced cerium oxide catalysts and reduced copper-promoted Ce oxide catalysts. Although the conversion of methanol was low (0.005–0.11%) for 2 h of reaction, DMC was synthesized as low as 353 K and at total pressure of as low as 1.3 MPa using reduced Cu–CeO2 catalyst (0.5 wt% of Cu). The apparent activation energy was 120 kJ mol−1 and the DMC synthesis rates were proportional to the partial pressure of CO2. An optimum amount of Cu addition to CeO2 was 0.1 wt% for DMC synthesis under the conditions at 393 K and total pressure of 1.3 MPa for 2 h (conversion of methanol: 0.15%) due to the compromise of two effects of Cu: the activation of H2 during reduction prior to the kinetic tests and the block (cover) of the surface active site. The reduction effects in H2 were monitored through the reduction of Ce4+ sites to Ce3+ based on the shoulder peak intensity at 5727 eV in the Ce L3-edge X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES). The Ce3+ content was 10% for reduced CeO2 catalyst whereas it increased to 15% for reduced Cu–CeO2 catalyst (0.5 wt% of Cu). Moreover, the content of reduced Ce3+ sites (10%) associated with the surface O vacancy (defect sites) decreased to 5% under CO2 at 290 K for reduced Cu–CeO2 catalyst (0.1 wt% of Cu). The adsorption step of CO2 on the defect sites might be the key step in DMC synthesis and thus the DMC synthesis rate dependence on the partial pressure of CO2 was proportional. Subsequent H atom subtraction steps from methanol at the neighboring surface Lewis base sites should combine two methoxy species to the adsorbed CO2 to form DMC, water, and restore the surface O vacancy.
PMCID: PMC3982563  PMID: 24790937
CO2; dimethyl carbonate; cerium oxide; partial reduction; X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES); oxygen vacancy; hydrogen subtraction; environmental catalyst
22.  The effects of postprandial glucose and insulin levels on postprandial endothelial function in subjects with normal glucose tolerance 
Previous studies have demonstrated that postprandial hyperglycemia attenuates brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) in prediabetic patients, in diabetic patients, and even in normal subjects. We have previously reported that postprandial hyperinsulinemia also attenuates FMD. In the present study we evaluated the relationship between different degrees of postprandial attenuation of FMD induced by postprandial hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia and differences in ingested carbohydrate content in non-diabetic individuals.
Thirty-seven healthy subjects with no family history of diabetes were divided into 3 groups: a 75-g oral glucose loading group (OG group) (n = 14), a test meal group (TM group) (n = 12; 400 kcal, carbohydrate content 40.7 g), and a control group (n = 11). The FMD was measured at preload (FMD0) and at 60 minutes (FMD60) and 120 (FMD120) minutes after loading. Plasma glucose (PG) and immunoreactive insulin (IRI) levels were determined at preload (PG0, IRI0) and at 30 (PG30, IRI30), 60 (PG60, IRI60), and 120 (PG120, IRI120) minutes after loading.
Percentage decreases from FMD0 to FMD60 were significantly greater in the TM group (−21.19% ± 17.90%; P < 0.001) and the OG group (−17.59% ± 26.64%) than in the control group (6.46% ± 9.17%; P < 0.01), whereas no significant difference was observed between the TM and OG groups. In contrast, the percentage decrease from FMD0 to FMD120 was significantly greater in the OG group (−18.91% ± 16.58%) than in the control group (6.78% ± 11.43%; P < 0.001) or the TM group (5.22% ± 37.22%; P < 0.05), but no significant difference was observed between the control and TM groups. The FMD60 was significantly correlated with HOMA-IR (r = −0.389; P < 0.05). In contrast, FMD120 was significantly correlated with IRI60 (r = −0.462; P < 0.05) and the AUC of IRI (r = −0.468; P < 0.05). Furthermore, the percentage change from FMD0 to FMD120 was significantly correlated with the CV of PG (r = 0.404; P < 0.05), IRI60 (r = 0.401; p < 0.05) and the AUC of IRI (r = 0.427; P < 0.05). No significant correlation was observed between any other FMDs and glucose metabolic variables.
Differences in the attenuation of postprandial FMD induced by different postprandial insulin levels may occur a long time postprandially but not shortly after a meal.
PMCID: PMC3471039  PMID: 22891922
Flow-mediated dilation; Carbohydrate content; Postprandial; Glucose metabolism; Non-diabetic individuals
23.  Prognostic value of immunohistochemical surfactant protein A expression in regenerative/hyperplastic alveolar epithelial cells in idiopathic interstitial pneumonias 
Diagnostic Pathology  2011;6:25.
It is difficult to predict survival in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Recently, several proteins, such as surfactant protein (SP) and KL-6, have been reported to be useful biologic markers for prediction of prognosis for interstitial pneumonias. It is not clear whether there is any relationship between expression of these proteins in regenerative/hyperplastic alveolar epithelial cells and prognosis of idiopathic interstitial pneumonias (IIPs).
This study aimed to elucidate the clinical significance of the expression of such lung secretory proteins as SP-A and KL-6 in lung tissues of patients with IIPs.
We retrospectively investigated the immunohistochemical expression of SP-A, KL-6, cytokeratin (CK), and epithelial membrane antigen (EMA) in alveolar epithelial cells in lung tissues obtained from surgical lung biopsy in 43 patients with IIPs, and analyzed the correlation between expression of these markers and the prognosis of each IIP patient. CK and EMA were used as general markers for epithelial cells.
In patients with usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP), the ratio of SP-A positive epithelial cells to all alveolar epithelial cells (SP-A positive ratio) in the collapsed and mural fibrosis areas varied, ranging from cases where almost all alveolar epithelial cells expressed SP-A to cases where only a few did. On the other hand, in many patients with nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP), many of the alveolar epithelial cells in the diseased areas expressed SP-A. The SP-A positive ratio was significantly lower in patients who died from progression of UIP than in patients with UIP who remained stable or deteriorated but did not die. In NSIP patients, a similar tendency was noted between the SP-A positive ratio and prognosis.
The results suggest that the paucity of immunohistochemical SP-A expression in alveolar epithelial cells in diseased areas (i.e. regenerative/hyperplastic alveolar epithelial cells) may predict a worse prognosis for patients with IIPs, especially patients with UIP. A prospective study is needed to confirm these results.
PMCID: PMC3072304  PMID: 21435274
24.  SC29EK, a Peptide Fusion Inhibitor with Enhanced α-Helicity, Inhibits Replication of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Mutants Resistant to Enfuvirtide ▿  
Peptides derived from the α-helical domains of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 (HIV-1) gp41 inhibit HIV-1 fusion to the cell membrane. Enfuvirtide (T-20) is a peptide-based drug that targets the step of HIV fusion, and as such, it effectively suppresses the replication of HIV-1 strains that are either wild type or resistant to multiple reverse transcriptase and/or protease inhibitors. However, HIV-1 variants with T-20 resistance have emerged; therefore, the development of new and potent inhibitors is urgently needed. We have developed a novel HIV fusion inhibitor, SC34EK, which is a gp41-derived 34-amino-acid peptide with glutamate (E) and lysine (K) substitutions on its solvent-accessible site that stabilize its α-helicity. Importantly, SC34EK effectively inhibits the replication of T-20-resistant HIV-1 strains as well as wild-type HIV-1. In this report, we introduce SC29EK, a 29-amino-acid peptide that is a shorter variant of SC34EK. SC29EK blocked the replication of T-20-resistant HIV-1 strains and maintained antiviral activity even in the presence of high serum concentrations (up to 50%). Circular dichroism analysis revealed that the α-helicity of SC29EK was well maintained, while that of the parental peptide, C29, which showed moderate and reduced inhibition of wild-type and T-20-resistant HIV-1 strains, was lower. Our results show that the α-helicity in a peptide-based fusion inhibitor is a key factor for activity and enables the design of short peptide inhibitors with improved pharmacological properties.
PMCID: PMC2650564  PMID: 19114674
25.  Drug interaction prediction using ontology-driven hypothetical assertion framework for pathway generation followed by numerical simulation 
BMC Bioinformatics  2008;9(Suppl 6):S11.
In accordance with the increasing amount of information concerning individual differences in drug response and molecular interaction, the role of in silico prediction of drug interaction on the pathway level is becoming more and more important. However, in view of the interferences for the identification of new drug interactions, most conventional information models of a biological pathway would have limitations. As a reflection of real world biological events triggered by a stimulus, it is important to facilitate the incorporation of known molecular events for inferring (unknown) possible pathways and hypothetic drug interactions. Here, we propose a new Ontology-Driven Hypothetic Assertion (OHA) framework including pathway generation, drug interaction detection, simulation model generation, numerical simulation, and hypothetic assertion. Potential drug interactions are detected from drug metabolic pathways dynamically generated by molecular events triggered after the administration of certain drugs. Numerical simulation enables to estimate the degree of side effects caused by the predicted drug interactions. New hypothetic assertions of the potential drug interactions and simulation are deduced from the Drug Interaction Ontology (DIO) written in Web Ontology Language (OWL).
The concept of the Ontology-Driven Hypothetic Assertion (OHA) framework was demonstrated with known interactions between irinotecan (CPT-11) and ketoconazole. Four drug interactions that involved cytochrome p450 (CYP3A4) and albumin as potential drug interaction proteins were automatically detected from Drug Interaction Ontology (DIO). The effect of the two interactions involving CYP3A4 were quantitatively evaluated with numerical simulation. The co-administration of ketoconazole may increase AUC and Cmax of SN-38(active metabolite of irinotecan) to 108% and 105%, respectively. We also estimates the potential effects of genetic variations: the AUC and Cmax of SN-38 may increase to 208% and 165% respectively with the genetic variation UGT1A1*28/*28 which reduces the expression of UGT1A1 down to 30%.
These results demonstrate that the Ontology-Driven Hypothetic Assertion framework is a promising approach for in silico prediction of drug interactions. The following future researches for the in silico prediction of individual differences in the response to the drug and drug interactions after the administration of multiple drugs: expansion of the Drug Interaction Ontology for other drugs, and incorporation of virtual population model for genetic variation analysis, as well as refinement of the pathway generation rules, the drug interaction detection rules, and the numerical simulation models.
PMCID: PMC2423434  PMID: 18541046

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