A positive association between handgrip strength and bone mineral density was demonstrated, but not all the investigations confirmed these results. We conducted a screening programme for osteoporosis in a large cohort of postmenopausal women to investigate the relationship between handgrip strength, other nutritional parameters and bone density.
This investigation involved 1,300 white volunteers. All participants underwent a bone mineral density evaluation at the heel and a handgrip strength measurement.
The mean T-score value was -1.15 ± 1; a total of 181 participants reported at least one osteoporotic fracture. In the univariate analysis, both handgrip strength and body mass index were associated with the T-score value. Adjustment for confounding factors confirmed this relationship showing, in the multivariate analysis, that the body mass index was positively correlated to the T-score (B = 0.034; p = 0.001) and, in the logistic regression analysis, that handgrip strength was associated with the presence of osteoporosis (P = 0.005).
Both body mass index and handgrip strength were strongly correlated to bone mineral density, assessed with ultrasound, suggesting a possible key role as bone disease predictors.
The primary aim of this pilot study was to determine the feasibility and safety of an adoptive transfer and in vivo expansion of human haploidentical γδ T lymphocytes.
Patients with advanced haematological malignancies who are not eligible for allogeneic transplantation received peripheral blood mononuclear cells from half-matched family donors. For that, a single unstimulated leukapheresis product was incubated with both the anti-CD4 and anti-CD8 antibodies conjugated to paramagnetic particles. The depletion procedure was performed on a fully automated CliniMACS® device according to the manufacturer’s instructions. On average, patients received 2.17 × 106/kg (range 0.9-3.48) γδ T cells with <1% CD4- or CD8-positive cells remaining in the product. All patients received prior lymphopenia-inducing chemotherapy (fludarabine 20-25 mg/m2 day -6 until day -2 and cyclophosphamide 30-60 mg/kg day -6 and -5) and were treated with 4 mg zoledronate on day 0 and 1.0x106 IU/m2 IL-2 on day +1 until day +6 for the induction of γδ T cell proliferation in vivo.
This resulted in a marked in vivo expansion of donor γδ T cells and, to a lower extent, natural killer cells and double-negative αβ T cells (mean 68-fold, eight-fold, and eight-fold, respectively). Proliferation peaked by around day +8 and donor cells persisted up to 28 days. Although refractory to all prior therapies, three out of four patients achieved a complete remission, which lasted for 8 months in a patient with plasma cell leukaemia. One patient died from an infection 6 weeks after treatment.
This pilot study shows that adoptive transfer and in vivo expansion of haploidentical γδ T lymphocytes is feasible and suggests a potential role of these cells in the treatment of haematological diseases.
Haploidentical γδ T lymphocytes; NK cells; Interleukin-2; Bisphosphonate; Innate immunity; Adoptive transfer; in vivo cell expansion
Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection has traditionally been regarded as a sexually transmitted disease (STD), but recent evidence implicates that an infected mother can transmit HPV to her newborn during pregnancy, at delivery, perinatal period or later. Given the lack of any studies on HPV-specific immune responses in children, we conducted HPV16-specific cell-mediated immune (CMI) monitoring of the mother-child pairs with known oral and genital HPV follow-up (FU) data since the delivery. In the Finnish Family HPV Study, 10 out of 331 mothers developed incident cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) during their 14-year FU. Our hypothesis according to the common dogma is that there is no HPV16 specific immune response in offspring of the CIN mother as she/he has not started the sexual life yet.
We used overlapping 30–35 mer peptides covering the entire HPV16 E2, E6 and E7 protein sequences. Assays for lymphocyte proliferation capacity, cytokine production and HPV16-specific Foxp3 + CD25 + CD4+ regulatory T-cells were performed.
HPV16-specific proliferative T-cell responses were broader in children than in their mothers. Nine of 10 children had responses against both E2 peptide pools compared to only 4 of the 10 mothers. Six of the 10 children and only 2 mothers displayed reactivity to E6 and/or E7. The cytokine levels of IL-2 (p = 0.023) and IL-5 (p = 0.028) induced by all peptide pools, were also higher among children than their mothers. The children of the mothers with incident CIN3 had significantly higher IFN-γ (p = 0.032) and TNF-α (p = 0.008) levels than other children.
Our study is the first to show that also children could have HPV-specific immunity. These data indicate that the children have circulating HPV16-specific memory T-cells which might have been induced by previous HPV16 exposure or ongoing HPV 16 infection.
HPV16; T-cell immunity; Cytokines; Children; Mothers
Epidemiological evidence confirmed that raw cow’s milk consumption in the first year of life protects against the development of atopic diseases and increases the number of regulatory T-cells (Tregs). However, milk’s atopy-protective mode of action remains elusive.
This review supported by translational research proposes that milk-derived microRNAs (miRs) may represent the missing candidates that promote long-term lineage commitment of Tregs downregulating IL-4/Th2-mediated atopic sensitization and effector immune responses. Milk transfers exosomal miRs including the ancient miR-155, which is important for the development of the immune system and controls pivotal target genes involved in the regulation of FoxP3 expression, IL-4 signaling, immunoglobulin class switching to IgE and FcϵRI expression. Boiling of milk abolishes milk’s exosomal miR-mediated bioactivity. Infant formula in comparison to human breast- or cow’s milk is deficient in bioactive exosomal miRs that may impair FoxP3 expression. The boost of milk-mediated miR may induce pivotal immunoregulatory and epigenetic modifications required for long-term thymic Treg lineage commitment explaining the atopy-protective effect of raw cow’s milk consumption.
The presented concept offers a new option for the prevention of atopic diseases by the addition of physiological amounts of miR-155-enriched exosomes to infant formula for mothers incapable of breastfeeding.
Atopy prevention; DNA demethylation; Exosome; FoxP3; MicroRNA; Milk; MiR-155; Regulatory T cell
Body image perception depends on anthropometric and psychological factors. Body dissatisfaction is influenced by the socio-cultural environment and is associated with eating disorders and low self-esteem. This study examined the body image perception, the degree of dissatisfaction and the weight status perception inconsistency in relation to sex, weight status and amount of physical activity in a sample of university students.
The participants were 734 university students (354 females aged 21.5 ± 2.9 yrs and 380 males aged 22.1 ± 3.6 yrs) recruited from the second year of the Sport Sciences degree program. A self-administered questionnaire was used to acquire socio-demographic and sport participation information. Height, weight, BMI and weight status were considered for each subject. Body image perception was assessed by a silhouette matching technique. A new index, FAI (Feel status minus Actual status Inconsistency), was used to assess weight status perception inconsistency.
A large proportion of the sample had normal weight status. On average, females chose as feel status a significantly higher figure than the males (4.7 versus 3.8) and they would have liked to have a significantly thinner figure than the males (3.4 versus 3.6). Therefore, the mean FID (Feel minus Ideal Discrepancy) values (positive in both sexes) were significantly higher in females than in males, meaning higher dissatisfaction. The mean FAI values were positive in females and negative in males, indicating a tendency of the women to overestimate their weight status and of the men to underestimate it. Men were more physically active than women. Less active women showed significantly lower body weight and BMI than more active women. Men less engaged in physical activity showed significantly higher FID than more active men.
These results show greater dissatisfaction and higher weight status perception consistency in females than in males among Italian university students examined. Our findings suggest that the FAI index can be very useful to evaluate the perceived weight status by body image in comparison to actual weight status assessed anthropometrically.
Body image; Physical activity; Weight status; FID; FAI
Stents are recommended in patients with dysphagia caused by esophageal stricture, but an ideal stent does not currently exist. Thus, studies on new esophageal stents are necessary, and suitable animal models are desperately needed for these studies. The aim of this study was to establish a model of malignant esophageal stricture in rabbit for studies on stent innovation.
A total of 38 New Zealand white rabbits were used in this study. Using the endoscopic submucosal injection technique, VX2 fragments were inoculated into the submucosal layer of the rabbit thoracic esophagus, and an endoscopic follow-up was subsequently performed to observe the tumor development and progression. The self-expandable metal stents were randomly deployed in rabbits with severe esophageal stricture to investigate the safety and feasibility of the animal models for stenting.
An endoscopic implantation procedure for VX2 tumors was completed in 34/38 rabbits, and tumor development was confirmed in 30/34 animals. The success rate of the endoscopic implantation and tumor development were 89.4% (95% CI, 79.6% to 99.2%) and 88.2% (95% CI, 76.9% to 99.5%) respectively. During the endoscopic follow-up period, severe esophageal stricture occurred in 22/30 rabbits with a rate of 73.3% (95% CI, 57.5% to 89.1%), and 12/22 models received stent placement. During and after stent implantation, no severe stent-related complication or mortality occurred in the animal models. The rabbits that received stent placement survived longer than those without stent implantation (the mean survival time: 53.9 days versus 40.3 days, P = 0.016).
The endoscopic method is a safe and effective method for establishing a malignant esophagostenosis model in rabbits. This model can simulate the human body environment for stent deployment and is an excellent tool for the study of stent innovation for the treatment of esophageal cancer.
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; Animal model; Endoscopic surgical procedure; Rabbit; Stent therapy
Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) is the most common sarcoma and its treatment with imatinib has served as the paradigm for developing targeted anti-cancer therapies. Despite this success, imatinib-resistance has emerged as a major problem and therefore, the clinical efficacy of other drugs has been investigated. Unfortunately, most clinical trials have failed to identify efficacious drugs despite promising in vitro data and pathological responses in subcutaneous xenografts. We hypothesized that it was feasible to develop orthotopic patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) from resected GIST that could recapitulate the genetic heterogeneity and biology of the human disease.
Fresh tumor tissue from three patients with pathologically confirmed GISTs was obtained immediately following tumor resection. Tumor fragments (4.2-mm3) were surgically xenografted into the liver, gastric wall, renal capsule, and pancreas of immunodeficient mice. Tumor growth was serially assessed with ultrasonography (US) every 3-4 weeks. Tumors were also evaluated with positron emission tomography (PET). Animals were sacrificed when they became moribund or their tumors reached a threshold size of 2500-mm3. Tumors were subsequently passaged, as well as immunohistochemically and histologically analyzed.
Herein, we describe the first model for generating orthotopic GIST PDXs. We have successfully xenografted three unique KIT-mutated tumors into a total of 25 mice with an overall success rate of 84% (21/25). We serially followed tumor growth with US to describe the natural history of PDX growth. Successful PDXs resulted in 12 primary xenografts in NOD-scid gamma or NOD-scid mice while subsequent successful passages resulted in 9 tumors. At a median of 7.9 weeks (range 2.9-33.1 weeks), tumor size averaged 473±695-mm3 (median 199-mm3, range 12.6-2682.5-mm3) by US. Furthermore, tumor size on US within 14 days of death correlated with gross tumor size on necropsy. We also demonstrated that these tumors are FDG-avid on PET imaging, while immunohistochemically and histologically the PDXs resembled the primary tumors.
We report the first orthotopic model of human GIST using patient-derived tumor tissue. This novel, reproducible in vivo model of human GIST may enhance the study of GIST biology, biomarkers, personalized cancer treatments, and provide a preclinical platform to evaluate new therapeutic agents for GIST.
GIST; Imatinib; KIT; NOD-scid; NOD-scid gamma; PDX; Sarcoma; Targeted therapy
Although reperfusion injury has been shown to be responsible for cardiomyocytes death after an acute myocardial infarction, there is currently no drug on the market that reduces this type of injury. TRO40303 is a new cardioprotective compound that was shown to inhibit the opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore and reduce infarct size after ischemia-reperfusion in a rat model of cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury.
In the rat model, the therapeutic window and the dose effect relationship were investigated in order to select the proper dose and design for clinical investigations. To evaluate post-ischemic functional recovery, TRO40303 was tested in a model of isolated rat heart. Additionally, TRO40303 was investigated in a Phase I randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study to assess the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of single intravenous ascending doses of the compound (0.5 to 13 mg/kg) in 72 healthy male, post-menopausal and hysterectomized female subjects at flow rates from 0.04 to 35 mL/min (EudraCT number: 2010-021453-39). This work was supported in part by the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche.
In the vivo model, TRO40303 reduced infarct size by 40% at 1 mg/kg and by 50% at 3 and 10 mg/kg given by intravenous bolus and was only active when administered before reperfusion. Additionally, TRO40303 provided functional recovery and reduced oxidative stress in the isolated rat heart model.
These results, together with pharmacokinetic based allometry to human and non-clinical toxicology data, were used to design the Phase I trial. All the tested doses and flow rates were well tolerated clinically. There were no serious adverse events reported. No relevant changes in vital signs, electrocardiogram parameters, laboratory tests or physical examinations were observed at any time in any dose group. Pharmacokinetics was linear up to 6 mg/kg and slightly ~1.5-fold, hyper-proportional from 6 to 13 mg/kg.
These data demonstrated that TRO40303 can be safely administered by the intravenous route in humans at doses expected to be pharmacologically active. These results allowed evaluating the expected active dose in human at 6 mg/kg, used in a Phase II proof-of-concept study currently ongoing.
Acute myocardial infarction; Functional recovery; Mitochondrial permeability transition pore; Phase I clinical trial
We aim to develop a rat model of veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO).
VA-ECMO was established in twelve Male Sprague-Dawley rats (250-350 g) through cannulation of the right jugular vein for venous drainage and the right femoral artery for arterial reinfusion. Arterial blood pressure was measured using a conductance catheter through cannulation of the left carotid artery. Heart rate was monitored by electrocardiography and arterial blood gas parameters with a blood gas analyzer. The VA-ECMO circuit was tested by subjecting the rats to hypoxic cardiac arrest with resuscitation using VA-ECMO. Both load-dependent and load-independent measures of myocardial contractility were measured using pressure-volume loop analysis to confirm restoration of myocardial function post-resuscitation.
Following hypoxic cardiac arrest VA-ECMO provided sufficient oxygenation to support the circulation. The haemodynamic and blood gas parameters were maintained at transition and during ECMO. All animals were resuscitated, regained cardiac function and were able to be weaned off ECMO post-resuscitation.
We have established a safe, high-throughput, economical, functioning rat model of VA-ECMO.
ECMO; Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; Resuscitation; Cardiac arrest
Oxidative stress and DNA damage have been implicated in the pathogenesis of renovascular hypertension induced by renal artery stenosis in the two-kidney, one-clip (2K1C) Goldblatt model. Considering our previous report indicating that the chronic blockade of phosphodiesterase 5 with sildenafil (Viagra®) has marked beneficial effects on oxidative stress and DNA damage, we tested the hypothesis that sildenafil could also protect the stenotic kidneys of 2K1C hypertensive mice against oxidative stress and genotoxicity.
The experiments were performed with C57BL6 mice subjected to renovascular hypertension by left renal artery clipping. Two weeks after clipping, the mice were treated with sildenafil (40 mg/kg/day for 2 weeks, 2K1C-sildenafil group) or the vehicle (2K1C). These mice were compared with control mice not subjected to renal artery clipping (Sham). After hemodynamic measurements, the stenotic kidneys were assessed using flow cytometry to evaluate cell viability and the comet assay to evaluate DNA damage. Measurements of intracellular superoxide anions and hydrogen peroxide levels as well as nitric oxide bioavailability were also obtained.
Sildenafil treatment significantly reduced mean arterial pressure (15%), heart rate (8%), intrarenal angiotensin II (50%) and renal atrophy (36%). In addition, it caused a remarkable decrease of reactive oxygen species production. On the other hand, sildenafil increased nitric oxide levels relative to those in the nontreated 2K1C mice. Sildenafil treatment also significantly reduced the high level of kidney DNA damage that is a characteristic of renovascular hypertensive mice.
Our data reveal that sildenafil has a protective effect on the stenotic kidneys of 2K1C mice, suggesting a new use of phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors for protection against the DNA damage observed in the hypoperfused kidneys of individuals with renovascular hypertension. Further translational research is necessary to delineate the mechanisms involved in the prevention of renal stenosis in the clinical setting.
Sildenafil; DNA damage; Oxidative stress; Comet assay; Renovascular hypertension; Angiotensin; Stenotic kidney
Nephrolithiasis is more frequent and severe in obese patients from different western nations. This may be supported by higher calcium, urate, oxalate excretion in obese stone formers. Except these parameters, clinical characteristics of obese stone formers were not extensively explored.
In the present paper we studied the relationship between obesity and its metabolic correlates and nephrolithiasis.
Materials and methods
We studied 478 Caucasian subjects having BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2. The presence of nephrolithiasis, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome were noted. They underwent measurements of anthropometry (BMI and waist circumference, body composition), serum variables (fasting glucose, serum lipids and serum enzymes) and Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) nutritional questionnaire.
45 (9.4%) participants were stone formers. Subjects with high serum concentrations of triglycerides (≥150 mg/dl), fasting glucose (> 100 mg/dl) and AST (>30 U/I in F or >40 U/I in M) were more frequent among stone formers than non-stone formers.
Multinomial logistic regression confirmed that kidney stone production was associated with high fasting glucose (OR = 2.6, 95% CI 1.2-5.2, P = 0.011), AST (OR = 4.3, 95% CI 1.1-16.7, P = 0.033) and triglycerides (OR = 2.7, 95% CI 1.3-5.7, P = 0.01).
MedDiet score was not different in stone formers and non-stone formers. However, stone formers had a lower consumption frequency of olive oil and nuts, and higher consumption frequency of wine compared with non-stone formers.
Overweight and obese stone formers may have a defect in glucose metabolism and a potential liver damage. Some foods typical of Mediterranean diet may protect against nephrolithiasis.
According to cancer-related microRNA (miRNA) expression microarray research available in public databases, miR-362 expression is elevated in gastric cancer. However, the expression and biological role of miR-362 in gastric progression remain unclear.
miR-362 expression levels in gastric cancer tissues and cell lines were determined using real-time PCR. The roles of miR-362, in promoting gastric cancer cell proliferation and apoptosis resistance, were assessed by different biological assays, such as colony assay, flow cytometry and TUNEL assay. The effect of miR-362 on NF-κB activation was investigated using the luciferase reporter assay, fluorescent immunostaining.
MiR-362 overexpression induced cell proliferation, colony formation, and resistance to cisplatin-induced apoptosis in BGC-823 and SGC-7901 gastric cancer cells. MiR-362 increased NF-κB activity and relative mRNA expression of NF-κB–regulated genes, and induced nuclear translocation of p65. Expression of the tumor suppressor CYLD was inhibited by miR-362 in gastric cancer cells; miR-362 levels were inversely correlated with CYLD expression in gastric cancer tissue. MiR-362 downregulated CYLD expression by binding its 3′ untranslated region. NF-κB activation was mechanistically associated with siRNA-mediated downregulation of CYLD. MiR-362 inhibitor reversed all the effects of miR-362.
The results suggest that miR-362 plays an important role in repressing the tumor suppressor CYLD and present a novel mechanism of miRNA-mediated NF-κB activation in gastric cancer.
miR-362; NF-κB; CYLD; Gastric cancer; Proliferation; Apoptosis
The editors of Journal of Translational Medicine would like to thank all our reviewers who have contributed to the journal in Volume 11 (2013).
Although a lower methylation level of whole genome has been demonstrated in Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) patients, little is known regarding changes in specific gene DNA methylation profiles and the possible associations with TOF. In current study, the promoter methylation statuses of congenital heart defect (CHD) candidate genes were measured in order to further understand epigenetic mechanisms that may play a role in the development of TOF.
The methylation levels of CHD candidate genes were measured using the Sequenom MassARRAY platform. QRT-PCR was used to analyze the mRNA levels of CHD candidate genes in the right ventricular myocardium of TOF cases and normal controls.
Methylation status analysis was performed on the promoter regions of 71 CHD candidate genes (113 amplicons). We found significant differences in methylation status, between TOF cases and controls, in 26 amplicons (26 genes) (p < 0.05). Of the 26 amplicons, 17 were up regulated and 9 were down regulated. Additionally, 14 of them were located in the CpG islands, 7 were located in the CpG island shores, and 5 were covering the regions near the transcription start site (TSS). The methylation status was subsequently confirmed and mRNA levels were measured for 7 represented candidate genes, including EGFR, EVC2, NFATC2, NR2F2, TBX5, CFC1B and GJA5. The methylation values of EGFR, EVC2, TBX5 and CFC1B were significantly correlated with their mRNA levels (p < 0.05).
Aberrant promoter methylation statuses of CHD candidate genes presented in TOF cases may contribute to the TOF development and have potential prognostic and therapeutic significance for TOF disease.
DNA methylation; Congenital heart defect candidate genes; Tetralogy of Fallot
The presence of increased B-cell tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) was seen in mouse prostate cancer (PCa) but has not been fully documented in human PCa. We, therefore, investigated the density of infiltrating B cells within human PCa utilizing a quantitative computational method.
Archived radical prostatectomy specimens from 53 patients with known clinical outcome and D’Amico risk category were obtained and immunohistochemically (IHC) stained for the B cell marker, CD20. Slides were reviewed by a genitourinary pathologist who manually delineated the tumoral regions of PCa. Slides were digitally scanned and a computer algorithm quantified the area of CD20 stained B-cells as a measure of B cell density within the outlined regions of prostate cancer (intra-tumoral region), versus extra-tumoral prostate tissue. Correlations were analyzed between B-cell density and demographic and clinical variables, including D’Amico risk groups and disease recurrence.
For the entire cohort, the mean intra-tumoral B cell density was higher (3.22 SE = 0.29) than in the extra-tumoral region of each prostatectomy section (2.24, SE = 0.19) (paired t test; P < 0.001). When analyzed according to D’Amico risk group, the intra-tumoral B cell infiltration in low risk (0.0377 vs. 0.0246; p = 0.151) and intermediate risk (0.0260 vs. 0.0214; p = 0.579) patient prostatectomy specimens did not show significantly more B-cells within the PCa tumor. However, patient specimens from the high-risk group (0.0301 vs. 0.0197; p < 0.001) and from those who eventually had PCa recurrence or progression (0.0343 vs. 0.0246; p = 0.019) did show significantly more intra-tumoral CD20+ B-cell staining. Extent of B-cell infiltration in the prostatectomy specimens did not correlate with any other clinical parameters.
Our study shows that higher B-cell infiltration was present within the intra-tumoral PCa regions compared to the extra-tumoral benign prostate tissue regions in prostatectomy sections. For this study we developed a new method to measure B-cells using computer-assisted digitized image analysis. Accurate, consistent quantitation of B-cells in prostatectomy specimens is essential for future clinical trials evaluating the effect of B cell ablating antibodies. The interaction of B-cells and PCa may serve as the basis for new therapeutic targets.
CRPC: castrate-resistant prostate cancer; TIL: tumor infiltrating lymphocyte; B-cells; CD20; Immunohistochemistry; Prostatectomy; D’Amico risk stratification; Digital IHC image analysis
PAD is a disabling, chronic condition of the lower extremities that affects approximately 8 million people in the United States. The purpose of this study was to determine whether an innovative home-based walking exercise program for patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) improves self-efficacy for walking, desire for physical competence, satisfaction for physical functioning, social functioning, and acceptance of PAD related pain and discomfort.
The design was a 6-month randomized controlled clinical trial of 194 patients with PAD. Participants were randomized to 1 of 2 parallel groups: a home-based group-mediated cognitive behavioral walking intervention or an attention control condition.
Of the 194 participants randomized, 178 completed the baseline and 6-month follow-up visit. The mean age was 70.66 (±9.44) and was equally represented by men and women. Close to half of the cohort was African American. Following 6-months of treatment, the intervention group experienced greater improvement on self-efficacy (p = .0008), satisfaction with functioning (p = .0003), pain acceptance (p = .0002), and social functioning (p = .0008) than the control group; the effects were consistent across a number of potential moderating variables. Change in these outcomes was essentially independent of change in 6-minute walk performance.
[ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00693940]
Peripheral artery disease; Group-mediated intervention; Physical activity; Social function; Psychological function
Effective methods for eradicating cancer stem cells (CSCs), which are highly tumorigenic and resistant to conventional therapies, are urgently needed. Our previous studies demonstrated that survivin-responsive conditionally replicating adenoviruses regulated with multiple factors (Surv.m-CRAs), which selectively replicate in and kill a broad range of cancer-cell types, are promising anticancer agents. Here we examined the therapeutic potentials of a Surv.m-CRA against rhabdomyosarcoma stem cells (RSCs), in order to assess its clinical effectiveness and usefulness.
Our previous study demonstrated that fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) is a marker of RSCs. We examined survivin mRNA levels, survivin promoter activities, relative cytotoxicities of Surv.m-CRA in RSC-enriched (serum-minus) vs. RSC-exiguous (serum-plus) and FGFR3-positive vs. FGFR3-negative sorted rhabdomyosarcoma cells, and the in vivo therapeutic effects of Surv.m-CRAs on subcutaneous tumors in mice.
Both survivin mRNA levels and survivin promoter activities were significantly elevated under RSC-enriched relative to RSC-exiguous culture conditions, and the elevation was more prominent in FGFR3-positive vs. FGFR3-negative sorted cells than in RSC-enriched vs. RSC-exiguous conditions. Although Surv.m-CRA efficiently replicated and potently induced cell death in all populations of rhabdomyosarcoma cells, the cytotoxic effects were more pronounced in RSC-enriched or RSC-purified cells than in RSC-exiguous or progeny-purified cells. Injections of Surv.m-CRAs into tumor nodules generated by transplanting RSC-enriched cells induced significant death of rhabdomyosarcoma cells and regression of tumor nodules.
The unique therapeutic features of Surv.m-CRA, i.e., not only its therapeutic effectiveness against all cell populations but also its increased effectiveness against CSCs, suggest that Surv.m-CRA is promising anticancer agent.
Cancer stem cells; Conditionally replicating adenovirus; Fibroblast growth factor receptor 3; Gene therapy; Oncolytic adenovirus; Promoter; Rhabdomyosarcoma; Survivin; Tumor-initiating cell; Virotherapy
T regulatory cell (Treg) plays a critical role in respiratory allergy and allergen-specific immunotherapy (SIT), and γδ T cells might participate in mediating Treg quantity and/or function in some immunological diseases. To further characterize whether γδ T cells could influence Treg in allergic rhinitis (AR) and SIT, we investigated the expression pattern of Treg’s Foxp3 gene and γδ T cell receptor (TCR) Vγ subfamily genes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of AR patients before and after SIT.
Eighteen AR patients undergoing effective SIT with house dust mite extract for one year were recruited. Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) was applied to evaluate the severity. Immunofluorescence quantification analysis was performed to determine the serum specific IgE (sIgE) content. Real-time PCR was used to detect the expression levels of Foxp3 and TCR Vγ subfamilies. Ten healthy volunteers were recruited as the controls.
Nasal uni-VAS score after SIT was significantly lower than that before SIT, while serum sIgE content was similar before and after SIT. Expression levels of Foxp3 and TCR Vγ subfamilies in AR patients before treatment were significantly lower than those in healthy subjects. Expression levels of VγI and II were similar before and after SIT, while expression levels of Foxp3 and VγIII after SIT were significantly higher than those before. Before SIT, the significant positive correlation was observed between expression levels of Foxp3 and VγI, II, III, while negative correlation was observed between Foxp3, VγIII and VAS. After SIT, the significant positive correlation between expression levels of Foxp3 and VγIII and negative correlation between Foxp3, VγIII and VAS were observed.
Treg and Vγ subfamily T cells were in a dynamic equilibrium in AR patients before and after effective immunotherapy for one year. The early improvement of symptoms following immunotherapy might be independent of the serum sIgE content in AR patients, but associated with the reconstitution of T cell immunity.
Allergic rhinitis; Specific immunotherapy; Foxp3; Treg; γδ T cells
Self-complementary adeno-associated virus (scAAV) vectors have become a desirable vector for therapeutic gene transfer due to their ability to produce greater levels of transgene than single-stranded AAV (ssAAV). However, recent reports have suggested that scAAV vectors are more immunogenic than ssAAV. In this study, we investigated the effects of a self-complementary genome during gene therapy with a therapeutic protein, human factor IX (hF.IX).
Hemophilia B mice were injected intramuscularly with ss or scAAV1 vectors expressing hF.IX. The outcome of gene transfer was assessed, including transgene expression as well as antibody and CD8+ T cell responses to hF.IX.
Self-complementary AAV1 vectors induced similar antibody responses (which eliminated systemic hF.IX expression) but stronger CD8+ T cell responses to hF.IX relative to ssAAV1 in mice with F9 gene deletion. As a result, hF.IX-expressing muscle fibers were effectively eliminated in scAAV-treated mice. In contrast, mice with F9 nonsense mutation (late stop codon) lacked antibody or T cell responses, thus showing long-term expression regardless of the vector genome.
The nature of the AAV genome can impact the CD8+ T cell response to the therapeutic transgene product. In mice with endogenous hF.IX expression, however, this enhanced immunogenicity did not break tolerance to hF.IX, suggesting that the underlying mutation is a more important risk factor for transgene-specific immunity than the molecular form of the AAV genome.
AAV; Gene therapy; Hemophilia B; Factor IX; Immune response
This is a report on the 4th international conference in ‘Quantitative Biology and Bioinformatics in Modern Medicine’ held in Belfast (UK), 19–20 September 2013. The aim of the conference was to bring together leading experts from a variety of different areas that are key for Systems Medicine to exchange novel findings and promote interdisciplinary ideas and collaborations.
Computational genomics; Systems medicine; Genomics; Translational bioinformatics; Network medicine; Pharmacogenomics
Mixed cryoglobulinemia (MC) is a HCV-related lymphoproliferative disorder generally associated with advanced liver disease. Liver stiffness has been significantly correlated with histopathological stage of fibrosis. Moreover, it was influenced by necroinflammatory activity. Rituximab (RTX) is a chimeric anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody inducing transient B lymphocytes depletion that was shown to be useful and safe in the majority of HCV MC patients, leading also to improvement of cirrhotic syndrome. Aim of this study was to evaluate the modifications of liver stiffness following RTX treatment in HCV-related MC patients.
Materials and methods
Fourteen consecutive patients (10 F, 4 M; mean age 60.43 ± 43) with HCV-related chronic hepatitis (n = 10) or cirrhosis (n = 4) and MC, eligible for RTX treatment, were prospectively enrolled. Intravenous injection of 1 g of RTX was performed at day 0 and at day 15. Assessment of stiffness was carried out by Fibroscan® (Echosens, Paris-France) at baseline, 15 days after the first infusion, and at month 1, 3 and 6 after therapy.
MC symptoms significantly improved during the study, especially during the first 3 months. Liver stiffness observed 3 months after treatment was significantly reduced when compared with pre-treatment values (p = 0.01). This difference disappeared after 6 months of follow-up. Cytofluorimetric analysis showed a decrease of CD19+ peripheral blood cells, with the nadir at month 3 after therapy and B cell compartment reconstitution after 6 months.
This study, for the first time showed that RTX-treatment in HCV-related MC induces a reduction of liver stiffness that is strictly associated with the B-cell depletion.
Hepatitis C virus infection; Elastography; Rituximab; Mixed cryoglobulinemia
The insufficient metabolic adaptation to exercise in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is still being debated and poorly understood.
We analysed the cardiopulmonary exercise tests of CFS patients, idiopathic chronic fatigue (CFI) patients and healthy visitors. Continuous non-invasive measurement of the cardiac output by Nexfin® (BMEYE B.V. Amsterdam, the Netherlands) was added to the cardiopulmonary exercise tests. The peak oxygen extraction by muscle cells and the increase of cardiac output relative to the increase of oxygen uptake (ΔQ’/ΔV’O2) were measured, calculated from the cardiac output and the oxygen uptake during incremental exercise.
The peak oxygen extraction by muscle cells was 10.83 ± 2.80 ml/100ml in 178 CFS women, 11.62 ± 2.90 ml/100 ml in 172 CFI, and 13.45 ± 2.72 ml/100 ml in 11 healthy women (ANOVA: P=0.001), 13.66 ± 3.31 ml/100 ml in 25 CFS men, 14.63 ± 4.38 ml/100 ml in 51 CFI, and 19.52 ± 6.53 ml/100 ml in 7 healthy men (ANOVA: P=0.008).
The ΔQ’/ΔV’O2 was > 6 L/L (normal ΔQ’/ΔV’O2 ≈ 5 L/L) in 70% of the patients and in 22% of the healthy group.
Low oxygen uptake by muscle cells causes exercise intolerance in a majority of CFS patients, indicating insufficient metabolic adaptation to incremental exercise. The high increase of the cardiac output relative to the increase of oxygen uptake argues against deconditioning as a cause for physical impairment in these patients.
Chronic fatigue syndrome; Exercise test; Exercise intolerance; Oxygen extraction
E1694 tested GM2-KLH-QS21 vaccine versus high-dose interferon-α2b (HDI) as adjuvant therapy for operable stage IIB-III melanoma. We tested banked serum specimens from patients in the vaccine arm of E1694 for prognostic biomarkers.
Aushon Multiplex Platform was used to quantitate baseline serum levels of 115 analytes from 40 patients. Least absolute shrinkage and selection operator proportional hazard regression (Lasso PH) was used to select markers that are most informative for relapse-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS). Regular Cox PH models were then fit with the markers selected by the Lasso PH. Survival receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to evaluate the ability of the models to predict 1-year RFS and 5-year OS.
Four markers that include Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha Receptor II (TNF-RII), Transforming Growth Factor alpha (TGF-α), Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinases 1 (TIMP-1), and C-reactive protein (CRP) were found to be most informative for the prediction of OS (high levels correlate with worse prognosis). The dichotomized risk score based on the four markers could significantly separate the OS curves (p = 0.0005). When using the four-marker PH model to predict 5-year OS, we achieved an area under the curve (AUC) of 89% (cross validated AUC = 72%). High baseline TNF-RII was also significantly associated with worse RFS. The RFS with high (above median) TNF-RII was significantly lower than low TNF-RII (p = 0.01).
The biomarker signature consisting of TNFR-II, TGF-α, TIMP-1 and CRP is significantly prognostic of survival in patients with high-risk melanoma and warrants further investigation.
Melanoma; Adjuvant; TNF-RII; TGF-α; TIMP-1; CRP; E1694
Bone marrow (BM) aspiration is largely used for relapse assessment in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). It remains unclear what roles that BM trephine biopsy plays on relapse assessment.
Bone marrow (BM) sections during complete remission (CR) from 60 acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients were retrospectively analyzed. Computer image processing technology was performed for detection of the distance between precursors and endosteum, and density of precursors was also calculated under light microscopic image. Immunohistochemistry was used to identify the immunophenotype of clustered precursors.
Except for single and double precursors, there existed clustered precursors of 3-5 cells during CR. Here, we demonstrated that clustered precursors, but not single and double precursors, were useful in risk factor of relapse. Area under the receiving operator curve (ROC) was of 0.007 (CI 95%, from 0.572 to 0.851). Using a standard cut-off value of >4.0/mm2 for cluster density, early relapse was detected with a sensitivity of 51.5% and a specificity of 85.7%.
Multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that clustered precursor is an independent risk factor for early relapse (Adjusted HR: 0.325, 95% CI: 0.156-0.679, p = 0.003).
Cumulatively, clustered precursors in BM sections during CR may serve as an independent risk factor of early relapse and poor outcome for AML patients in cluster density > 4.0/mm2 in sections. Early aggressive interventions are needed to prevent hematologic relapse.
Bone marrow; Biopsy; Relapse; Acute myeloid leukemia
miR-200b has been reported to be a tumor suppressor and a promising therapeutic target in cancer. miR-200b has been associated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition and chemo-resistance in cancer. The aim of this study is to investigate the expression of miR-200b, its prognostic roles and its potential targets in breast cancer.
qRT-PCR was used to detect miR-200b expression in breast cancer tissues and cell lines. In situ hybridization of miR-200b on tissue microarray including 134 breast cancer samples was used to evaluate its prognostic role. Novel targets of miR-200b in breast cancer were predicted and confirmed by luciferase reporter assay and western bloting. Immunohistochemical staining was used for protein detection. The biological effects of miR-200b in breast cancer cells were further confirmed by ectopic expression of its mimics followed by MTT assay and invasion test.
miR-200b was downregulated in breast cancer tissues and cell lines and its low-expression correlated with poor outcome in breast cancer patients. Members of RAB family, RAB21, RAB23, RAB18 and RAB3B were predicted to be the targets of miR-200b. The luciferase reporter assay was performed to certificate this prediction. The expressions of RAB21, RAB23, RAB18 and RAB3B were suppressed by transfection of miR-200b in breast cancer cells. Over-expression of miR-200b or knock-down of RAB21, RAB23, RAB18 and RAB3B inhibited breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion in vitro.
Our study provides evidence that miR-200b is a prognostic factor in breast cancer targeting multiple members of RAB family. MiR-200b could be a potential therapeutic target in breast cancer.
miR-200b; RAB family; Breast cancer; Prognosis