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1.  Immunomodulatory Effect of Linezolid on Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Supernatant-Induced MUC5AC Overexpression in Human Airway Epithelial Cells 
Linezolid is the first member of the oxazolidinones and is active against drug-resistant Gram-positive pathogens, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Additionally, linezolid shows an immunomodulatory effect, such as inhibition of inflammatory cytokine production. In this study, we examined the effect of linezolid on MRSA-induced MUC5AC overexpression in airway epithelial cells. In this study, an MRSA supernatant was used to avoid the direct effect of linezolid on MRSA. MUC5AC protein production was significantly increased with a 40-fold dilution of MRSA supernatant. At the mRNA level, MUC5AC gene expression was significantly increased 6 and 9 h after stimulation. In an inhibition study, linezolid significantly reduced MRSA-induced MUC5AC protein and mRNA overexpression at concentrations of 5 and 20 μg/ml, which were the same as the trough and peak concentrations in human epithelial lining fluid. In an analysis of cell signaling, among the mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitors, only the extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) inhibitor reduced the MUC5AC protein production to the same level as that of the control; on Western blot analysis, only ERK1/2 was phosphorylated by the MRSA supernatant. In addition, the ERK1/2 phosphorylation was inhibited by linezolid. MUC5AC and MUC5B are the major barrier that traps inhaled microbial organisms, particulates, and foreign irritants. However, in patients with chronic respiratory diseases, pathogen-induced MUC5AC overexpression causes many problems, and control of the overexpression is important. Thus, this study revealed that linezolid showed a direct immunomodulatory effect in airway epithelial cells.
PMCID: PMC4068536  PMID: 24820080
2.  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
3.  New Insights into Therapeutic Strategies for the Treatment of Peritoneal Fibrosis: Learning from Histochemical Analyses of Animal Models 
Acta Histochemica et Cytochemica  2014;47(4):133-143.
Encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis (EPS) is a fatal complication that can occur in patients undergoing long-term peritoneal dialysis. It is characterized by bowel obstruction and marked sclerotic thickening of the peritoneal membrane. Although the mechanisms underlying the development of EPS are complex, angiogenesis, inflammation, and peritoneal fibrosis are known to be essential factors. Now, several animal models that exhibit EPS have pathophysiology similar to that of human EPS and have been proposed for use in research to provide insights into it. Recent histochemical methods also help us to understand the pathophysiology of EPS. Advances in basic research based on the findings in those animal models have enabled the development of several strategies for the prevention and treatment of EPS. We describe here interventional studies in some animal models for peritoneal fibrosis, one of the histological disorders findings characteristic to EPS, and we highlight the need for a sophisticated animal model that closely resembles human conditions.
PMCID: PMC4164701  PMID: 25392567
peritoneal dialysis; encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis; angiogenesis; inflammation; peritoneal fibrosis
4.  Autoimmune pulmonary alveolar proteinosis co-existing with breast cancer: a case report 
Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis is a rare pulmonary disease characterized by excessive alveolar accumulation of surfactant due to defective alveolar clearance by macrophages. There are only a few published case reports of pulmonary alveolar proteinosis occurring in association with solid cancers. To the best of our knowledge, there are no previously reported cases of pulmonary alveolar proteinosis associated with breast cancer.
Case presentation
A 48-year-old Asian woman, a nonsmoker, presented to our institution with a right breast mass. Biopsy examination of the lesion revealed scirrhous carcinoma. A chest computed tomography scan for metastases showed abnormal shadows in both upper lung fields. As a result of flexible fiberscopic bronchoscopy, this patient was diagnosed as having pulmonary alveolar proteinosis. This case was categorized as autoimmune pulmonary alveolar proteinosis due to the positive anti-granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor antibody. Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis decreased gradually after mastectomy.
The present case involved the coincident occurrence of autoimmune pulmonary alveolar proteinosis with breast cancer; breast cancer may be a factor during pulmonary alveolar proteinosis development.
PMCID: PMC4140142  PMID: 25139636
Breast cancer; Co-existing; Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis
5.  Acute exacerbation of airspace enlargement with fibrosis 
In 2008, Kawabata et al. described a lesion which they termed “airspace enlargement with fibrosis” that could be included on the spectrum of smoking-related interstitial lung diseases. This group also reported that patients with airspace enlargement with fibrosis but without coexisting interstitial pneumonia of another type had no acute exacerbations and favorable prognoses on clinical follow-up. Here we describe the first case, to our knowledge, of acute exacerbation of airspace enlargement with fibrosis without coexisting interstitial pneumonia of another type. An 82-year-old man was referred to our department for worsening dyspnea and new alveolar opacities on chest radiograph following left pulmonary segmentectomy (S6) for cancer. A diagnosis of acute exacerbation of airspace enlargement with fibrosis without coexisting interstitial pneumonia of other types was made, based on pathological evidence of airspace enlargement with fibrosis and organizing diffuse alveolar damage. Treatment with high-dose methylprednisolone followed by tapered oral prednisolone resulted in gradual improvement of the clinical condition and chest radiographic findings. Clinicians should be aware that patients with airspace enlargement with fibrosis may experience acute exacerbation.
PMCID: PMC4246254
Acute exacerbation; Airspace enlargement with fibrosis; Smoking-related interstitial lung disease
6.  Prevotella intermedia Induces Severe Bacteremic Pneumococcal Pneumonia in Mice with Upregulated Platelet-Activating Factor Receptor Expression 
Infection and Immunity  2014;82(2):587-593.
Streptococcus pneumoniae is the leading cause of respiratory infection worldwide. Although oral hygiene has been considered a risk factor for developing pneumonia, the relationship between oral bacteria and pneumococcal infection is unknown. In this study, we examined the synergic effects of Prevotella intermedia, a major periodontopathic bacterium, on pneumococcal pneumonia. The synergic effects of the supernatant of P. intermedia (PiSup) on pneumococcal pneumonia were investigated in mice, and the stimulation of pneumococcal adhesion to human alveolar (A549) cells by PiSup was assessed. The effects of PiSup on platelet-activating factor receptor (PAFR) transcript levels in vitro and in vivo were analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR, and the differences between the effects of pneumococcal infection induced by various periodontopathic bacterial species were verified in mice. Mice inoculated with S. pneumoniae plus PiSup exhibited a significantly lower survival rate, higher bacterial loads in the lungs, spleen, and blood, and higher inflammatory cytokine levels in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (macrophage inflammatory protein 2 and tumor necrosis factor alpha) than those infected without PiSup. In A549 cells, PiSup increased pneumococcal adhesion and PAFR transcript levels. PiSup also increased lung PAFR transcript levels in mice. Similar effects were not observed in the supernatants of Porphyromonas gingivalis or Fusobacterium nucleatum. Thus, P. intermedia has the potential to induce severe bacteremic pneumococcal pneumonia with enhanced pneumococcal adhesion to lower airway cells.
PMCID: PMC3911379  PMID: 24478074
7.  Serum heat shock protein 47 levels are elevated in acute interstitial pneumonia 
Heat shock protein (HSP) 47, a collagen-specific molecular chaperone, is involved in the processing and/or secretion of procollagen. We hypothesized that HSP47 could be a useful marker for fibrotic lung disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate serum levels of HSP47 in patients with various idiopathic interstitial pneumonias (IIPs).
Subjects comprised 9 patients with acute interstitial pneumonia (AIP), 12 with cryptogenic organizing pneumonia (COP), 16 with nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP), 19 with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), and 19 healthy adult volunteers.
Patients with AIP had serum HSP47 levels that were significantly higher than those of COP, NSIP or IPF patients and those of healthy volunteers. In contrast, serum levels of HSP47 among patients with COP, NSIP, IPF, and healthy volunteers did not differ significantly. Receiver operating characteristic curves revealed that the cut-off level for HSP47 that resulted in the highest diagnostic accuracy for discriminating between AIP and COP, NSIP, IPF, and healthy controls was 859.3 pg/mL. The sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic accuracy were 100.0%, 98.5%, and 98.7%, respectively.
The present results demonstrate that, among patients with various IIPs, serum levels of HSP47 were elevated specifically in patients with AIP.
PMCID: PMC3994423  PMID: 24650086
Heat shock protein 47; Acute interstitial pneumonia; Idiopathic interstitial pneumonia
8.  Efficacy of Combination Therapy with Oseltamivir Phosphate and Azithromycin for Influenza: A Multicenter, Open-Label, Randomized Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91293.
Macrolides have antibiotic and immunomodulatory activities, which may have a favorable effect on the clinical outcome of patients with infections, including influenza. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of combination therapy with an anti-influenza agent, oseltamivir, and a single-dose formulation of azithromycin (AZM), which has been used for influenza-related secondary pneumonia, on influenza patients. The primary endpoint was a change in the expression levels of inflammatory cytokines. Secondary endpoints were the time required for resolution of influenza-related symptoms, incidence of complications, and adverse reactions.
Patients with seasonal influenza were enrolled in this multicenter, open-label, randomized study. Patients were stratified according to the presence of a high risk factor and were randomized to receive combination therapy with oseltamivir plus an extended-release formulation of AZM (combo-group) or oseltamivir monotherapy (mono-group).
We enrolled 107 patients and randomized them into the mono-group (56 patients) or the combo-group (51 patients). All patients were diagnosed with influenza A infection, and none of the patients had comorbid pneumonia. Statistically significant differences were not observed in the expression levels of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines between the 2 groups. The maximum temperature in the combo-group was lower than that in the mono-group on day 3 through day 5 (p = 0.048), particularly on day 4 (p = 0.037).
To our knowledge, this is the first prospective, randomized, clinical trial of oseltamivir and AZM combination therapy for influenza. Although the difference in inflammatory cytokine expression level was not statistically significant, combination therapy showed an early resolution of some symptoms.
Name of registry
University hospital Medical Information Network (UMIN).
Trial Registration no
PMCID: PMC3954629  PMID: 24632748
9.  22-Oxacalcitriol Prevents Progression of Peritoneal Fibrosis in a Mouse Model 
♦ Objective: Vitamin D plays an important role in calcium homeostasis and is used to treat secondary hyperparathyroidism among dialysis patients. The biologic activity of vitamin D and its analogs is mediated by vitamin D receptor (VDR), which is distributed widely throughout the body. Recent papers have revealed that low vitamin D levels are correlated with severe fibrosis in chronic diseases, including cystic fibrosis and hepatitis. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the protective effects of vitamin D against the progression of peritoneal fibrosis.
♦ Methods: Peritoneal fibrosis was induced by injection of chlorhexidine gluconate (CG) into the peritoneal cavity of mice every other day for 3 weeks. An analog of vitamin D, 22-oxacalcitriol (OCT), was administered subcutaneously daily from initiation of the CG injections. The peritoneal tissue was excised at 3 weeks. Changes in morphology were assessed by hematoxylin and eosin staining. Expression of VDR, alpha smooth muscle actin (as a marker of myofibroblasts), type III collagen, transforming growth factor β(TGF-β), phosphorylated Smad2/3, F4/80 (as a marker of macrophages), and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) was examined by immunohistochemistry. Southwestern histochemistry was used to detect activated nuclear factor κB (NF-κB).
♦ Results: In the CG-injected mice, immunohistochemical analysis revealed expression of VDR in mesothelial cells, myofibroblasts, and macrophages in the thickened submesothelial zone. Treatment with OCT significantly prevented peritoneal fibrosis and reduced the accumulation of type III collagen in CG-treated mice. Among the markers of fibrosis, the numbers of myofibroblasts, cells positive for TGF-β, and cells positive for phosphorylated Smad2/3 were significantly decreased in the OCT-treated group compared with the vehicle-treated group. Furthermore, OCT suppressed inflammatory mediators of fibrosis, as shown by the reduced numbers of activated NF-κB cells, macrophages, and MCP-1-expressing cells.
♦ Conclusions: Our results indicate that OCT attenuates peritoneal fibrosis, an effect accompanied by reduced numbers of myofibroblasts, infiltrating macrophages, and TGF-β-positive cells, suggesting that vitamin D has potential as a novel therapeutic agent for preventing peritoneal sclerosis.
PMCID: PMC3598103  PMID: 23032084
Vitamin D; 22-oxacalcitriol; peritoneal fibrosis; TGF-β; MCP-1; NF-κB; southwestern histochemistry
10.  Serum heat shock protein 47 levels are elevated in acute exacerbation of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis 
Cell Stress & Chaperones  2013;18(5):581-590.
Little is known about the pathophysiology of acute exacerbation (AE) of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Heat shock protein 47 (HSP47), a collagen-specific molecular chaperone, is essential for biosynthesis and secretion of collagen molecules. Previous studies in experimental animal fibrosis models have shown that downregulation of HSP47 expression reduces collagen production and diminishes fibrosis progression. In this study, serum HSP47 levels were evaluated to elucidate pathogenic differences involving HSP47 between AE-IPF and stable (S)-IPF. Subjects comprised 20 AE-IPF and 33 S-IPF patients. Serum levels of HSP47, Krebs von den Lungen-6 (KL-6), surfactant protein (SP)-A, SP-D, and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) were measured. Immunohistochemical analysis of lung HSP47 expression was determined in biopsy and autopsy tissues diagnosed as diffuse alveolar damage (DAD) and usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP). Serum levels of HSP47 were significantly higher in AE-IPF than in S-IPF patients, whereas serum levels of KL-6, SP-A, and SP-D did not differ significantly. Receiver operating characteristic curves revealed that HSP47 was superior for discriminating AE-IPF and S-IPF. The cutoff for HSP47 resulting in the highest diagnostic accuracy was 559.4 pg/mL; sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic accuracy were 100.0 %, 93.9 %, and 96.2 %, respectively. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that pulmonary HSP47 expression was greater in DAD than UIP tissues. Serum HSP47 was significantly higher in AE-IPF than in S-IPF patients, suggesting that underlying fibrogenic mechanisms involving HSP47 differ in the two conditions.
PMCID: PMC3745258  PMID: 23435730
Acute exacerbation of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; Heat shock protein 47; Krebs von den Lungen-6; Surfactant protein A; Surfactant protein D
11.  Paradoxical response to disseminated non-tuberculosis mycobacteriosis treatment in a patient receiving tumor necrosis factor-α inhibitor: a case report 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2014;14:114.
Biological agents such as tumor necrosis factor-α inhibitors are known to cause mycobacterium infections. Here, we report a disseminated non-tuberculosis case caused by TNF-α inhibitor therapy and a probable paradoxical response to antimycobacterial therapy.
Case presentation
A 68-year-old man with relapsing polychondritis was refractory to glucocorticoid therapy; adalimumab was therefore administered in combination with oral glucocorticoids. Treatment with 40 mg of adalimumab led to rapid improvement of his clinical manifestations. The administration of tacrolimus (1 mg) was started as the dosage of oral glucocorticoids was tapered. However, the patient developed an intermittent high fever and productive cough 15 months after starting adalimumab treatment. A chest computed tomography scan revealed new granular shadows and multiple nodules in both lung fields with mediastinal lymphadenopathy, and Mycobacterium intracellulare was isolated from 2 sputum samples; based on these findings, the patient was diagnosed with non-tuberculosis mycobacteriosis. Tacrolimus treatment was discontinued and oral clarithromycin (800 mg/day), rifampicin (450 mg/day), and ethambutol (750 mg/day) treatment was initiated. However, his condition continued to deteriorate despite 4 months of treatment; moreover, paravertebral and subcutaneous abscesses developed and increased the size of the mediastinal lymphadenopathy. Biopsy of the mediastinal lymphadenopathy and a subcutaneous abscess of the right posterior thigh indicated the presence of Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC), and the diagnosis of disseminated non-tuberculosis mycobacteriosis was confirmed. Despite 9 months of antimycobacterial therapy, the mediastinal lymphadenopathy and paravertebral and subcutaneous abscesses had enlarged and additional subcutaneous abscesses had developed, although microscopic examinations and cultures of sputum and subcutaneous abscess samples yielded negative results. We considered this a paradoxical reaction similar to other reports in tuberculosis patients who had discontinued biological agent treatments, and increased the dose of oral glucocorticoids. The patient’s symptoms gradually improved with this increased dose and his lymph nodes and abscesses began to decrease in size.
Clinicians should consider the possibility of a paradoxical response when the clinical manifestations of non-tuberculosis mycobacteriosis worsen in spite of antimycobacterial therapy or after discontinuation of tumor necrosis factor-α inhibitors. However, additional evidence is needed to verify our findings and to determine the optimal management strategies for such cases.
PMCID: PMC3942211  PMID: 24576098
Non-tuberculosis mycobacteriosis; Mycobacterium intracellulare; Disseminated infection; Relapsing polychondritis; Paradoxical response; Tumor necrosis factor-α inhibitor; Immune reconstitution inflammation syndrome; Non-HIV
12.  Cysteinyl leukotriene receptor antagonist regulates allergic airway inflammation in an organ- and cytokine-specific manner 
Cysteinyl leukotrienes (cys-LTs) are very important factors in the pathophysiology of bronchial asthma. Cys-LT receptor antagonists (LTRAs) decrease allergic airway inflammation. The aim of the present study was to determine the differential effects of LTRAs and corticosteroids on allergic airway inflammation and allergen-specific cytokine production from lymphoid tissues using a murine model of asthma.
Four groups of female BALB/c mice [control (Cont); Dermatophagoides farinae allergen-sensitized (AS); pranlukast (Prl), an LTRA-treated AS; and dexamethasone (Dex)-treated AS] were examined. Lung pathology and cytokine production by prepared mononuclear cells isolated from mediastinal lymph nodes (MLNs) and spleen were compared among these groups.
AS mice exhibited allergic airway inflammation and significant increases in allergen-specific Th1 and Th2 cytokines in MLNs and spleen. Prl-treated mice showed significant attenuation of allergic airway inflammation concomitant with reduction of Th2 cytokines and IFN-γ in MLNs but not in spleen. In contrast, Dex significantly decreased Th1 and Th2 cytokines in MLNs and also decreased them (except IL-13 and IL-2) in spleen.
The inflammatory effects of cys-LTs could differ in lymphoid organs. LTRAs potentially regulate allergic airway inflammation in an organ- and cytokine-specific manner, while systemic corticosteroid shows nonspecific effects.
PMCID: PMC3937047  PMID: 24561545
Leukotriene Antagonists; Lymphoid Tissue; Pranlukast; Asthma
13.  Spontaneous bladder rupture diagnosis based on urinary appearance of mesothelial cells: a case report 
Spontaneous bladder rupture is an extremely rare clinical event that is associated with urinary ascites and apparent acute renal failure. This event is difficult to diagnose clinically, even with advanced techniques such as computed tomography; however, the timely diagnosis of this condition is critical. Here, we report a case of a patient who experienced a spontaneous intraperitoneal bladder rupture 10 years after postoperative pelvic irradiation for the treatment of uterine cancer. In this report of a rare case, we describe the contribution of the appearance of mesothelial cells in the urine to the diagnosis of this condition.
Case presentation
Our patient was a 71-year-old Asian woman who experienced lower abdominal pain and vomiting of two days duration. On admission, abdominal computed tomography showed intraperitoneal fluid collection and her blood tests revealed acute renal failure and hyperkalemia. She underwent hemodialysis and a transurethral catheter was inserted. The transurethral catheter was removed three days after her admission. Four days after the catheter removal, her symptoms recurred and her serum creatinine and blood urea nitrogen levels were elevated. We noted the presence of mesothelial cells in her urine, which led to a diagnosis of intraperitoneal bladder rupture. She underwent surgical repair of her bladder and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and was discharged after her renal function returned to normal.
Urine analysis is a simple and non-invasive test and we believe that a thorough urine analysis may contribute to the early diagnosis of an intraperitoneal bladder rupture. We think that the findings presented in this case report will significantly enhance our understanding of the etiology of bladder rupture. Moreover, these case findings may help nephrologists and urologists to rapidly diagnose this condition.
PMCID: PMC3943372  PMID: 24521453
Acute renal failure; Mesothelial cells; Spontaneous bladder rupture; Urinary ascites
14.  Azithromycin Attenuates Lung Inflammation in a Mouse Model of Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia by Multidrug-Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii 
Acinetobacter baumannii is one of the main pathogens that cause ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and is associated with a high rate of mortality. Little is known about the efficacy of macrolides against A. baumannii. In order to confirm the efficacy of azithromycin (AZM) against VAP caused by multidrug-resistant A. baumannii (MDRAB), we used a mouse model that mimics VAP by placement of a plastic tube in the bronchus. AZM (10 and 100 mg/kg of body weight) was administered subcutaneously every 24 h beginning at 3 h after inoculation. Phosphate-buffered saline was administered as the control. Survival was evaluated over 7 days. At 48 h postinfection, mice were sacrificed and the numbers of viable bacteria in lungs and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid were compared. Histopathological analysis of lung specimens was also performed. The treatment groups displayed significantly longer survival than the control group (P < 0.05). AZM did not have an antimicrobial effect. Histopathological examination of lung specimens indicated that the progression of lung inflammation was prevented in the AZM-treated groups. Furthermore, total cell and neutrophil counts, as well as cytokine levels, in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid were significantly decreased (P < 0.05) in the AZM-treated groups. AZM may have a role for the treatment of VAP with MDRAB because of its anti-inflammatory effects.
PMCID: PMC3719704  PMID: 23733468
15.  Efficacy of AiiM, an N-Acylhomoserine Lactonase, against Pseudomonas aeruginosa in a Mouse Model of Acute Pneumonia 
Quorum sensing (QS) in Pseudomonas aeruginosa regulates the production of many virulence factors and plays an important role in the pathogenesis of P. aeruginosa infection. N-acyl homoserine lactones (AHL) are major QS signal molecules. Recently, a novel AHL-lactonase enzyme, AiiM, has been identified. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of AiiM on the virulence of P. aeruginosa in a mouse model of acute pneumonia. We developed a P. aeruginosa PAO1 strain harboring an AiiM-expressing plasmid. The production of several virulence factors by the AiiM-expressing strain was examined. Mice were intratracheally infected with an AiiM-expressing PAO1 strain. Lung histopathology, bacterial burden, and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid were assessed at 24 h postinfection. AiiM expression in PAO1 reduced production of AHL-mediated virulence factors and attenuated cytotoxicity against human lung epithelial cells. In a mouse model of acute pneumonia, AiiM expression reduced lung injury and greatly improved the survival rates. The levels of proinflammatory cytokines and myeloperoxidase activity in BAL fluid were significantly lower in mice infected with AiiM-expressing PAO1. Thus, AiiM can strongly attenuate P. aeruginosa virulence in a mammalian model and is a potential candidate for use as a therapeutic agent against P. aeruginosa infection.
PMCID: PMC3719763  PMID: 23689715
16.  Toll-Like Receptor 4 Agonistic Antibody Promotes Innate Immunity against Severe Pneumonia Induced by Coinfection with Influenza Virus and Streptococcus pneumoniae 
Coinfection with bacteria is a major cause of mortality during influenza epidemics. Recently, Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists were shown to have immunomodulatory functions. In the present study, we investigated the effectiveness and mechanisms of the new TLR4 agonistic monoclonal antibody UT12 against secondary pneumococcal pneumonia induced by coinfection with influenza virus in a mouse model. Mice were intranasally inoculated with Streptococcus pneumoniae 2 days after influenza virus inoculation. UT12 was intraperitoneally administered 2 h before each inoculation. Survival rates were significantly increased and body weight loss was significantly decreased by UT12 administration. Additionally, the production of inflammatory mediators was significantly suppressed by the administration of UT12. In a histopathological study, pneumonia in UT12-treated mice was very mild compared to that in control mice. UT12 increased antimicrobial defense through the acceleration of macrophage recruitment into the lower respiratory tract induced by c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and nuclear factor kappaB (NF-κB) pathway-dependent monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) production. Collectively, these findings indicate that UT12 promoted pulmonary innate immunity and may reduce the severity of severe pneumonia induced by coinfection with influenza virus and S. pneumoniae. This immunomodulatory effect of UT12 improves the prognosis of secondary pneumococcal pneumonia and makes UT12 an attractive candidate for treating severe infectious diseases.
PMCID: PMC3697446  PMID: 23637040
17.  ER stress response mechanisms in the pathogenic yeast Candida glabrata and their roles in virulence 
Virulence  2013;5(2):365-370.
The maintenance of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) homeostasis is critical for numerous aspects of cell physiology. Eukaryotic cells respond to the accumulation of misfolded proteins in the ER (ER stress) by activating the unfolded protein response (UPR), an intracellular signaling pathway that adjusts the folding capacity of the ER. Recent studies of several pathogenic fungi have revealed that the UPR is important for antifungal resistance and virulence; therefore, the pathway has attracted much attention as a potential therapeutic target. While the UPR is highly conserved among eukaryotes, our group recently discovered that the pathogenic yeast Candida glabrata lacks the typical fungal UPR, but possesses alternative mechanisms to cope with ER stress. This review summarizes how C. glabrata responds to ER stress and discusses the impacts of ER quality control systems on antifungal resistance and virulence.
PMCID: PMC3956515  PMID: 24335436
Candida glabrata; endoplasmic reticulum stress; unfolded protein response; regulated Ire1-dependent decay; Ire1; Hac1; calcineurin; Slt2; antifungal resistance; virulence
18.  In Vivo Efficacy of Daptomycin against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in a Mouse Model of Hematogenous Pulmonary Infection 
Daptomycin is inactivated by pulmonary surfactant, but its effectiveness in hematogenous pulmonary infection has been poorly studied. The potential therapeutic application was evaluated in a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) hematogenous pulmonary infection mouse model. Compared with control results, daptomycin improved survival (P < 0.001) and decreased the number of abscesses and bacteria in the lungs (P < 0.01). Daptomycin may be an effective therapeutic option for MRSA hematogenous pulmonary infection.
PMCID: PMC3716188  PMID: 23507279
19.  Serum heat shock protein 47 levels in patients with drug-induced lung disease 
Respiratory Research  2013;14(1):133.
Heat shock protein (HSP) 47 is a collagen-specific molecular chaperone that is required for molecular maturation of various types of collagens. We recently reported that HSP47 serum levels were markedly higher in patients with acute exacerbations of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) when compared with patients with stable IPF, suggesting that serum HSP47 levels correlate with interstitial pneumonia activity. The aim of this study was to evaluate serum HSP47 levels in patients with drug-induced lung disease (DILD).
Findings from high-resolution computed tomographic chest scans of 47 patients with DILD were classified into one of four predominant patterns: organizing pneumonia (OP) (n = 4), nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP) (n = 24), hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) (n = 11), and diffuse alveolar damage (DAD) (n = 8). Serum levels of HSP47, Krebs von den Lungen-6 (KL-6), surfactant protein (SP)-A, and SP-D were measured in these patients.
The PaO2/fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO2) (P/F) ratios were significantly lower and the alveolar-arterial difference of oxygen (A-a DO2) was significantly higher in the DAD group than in the other groups. Patients with DAD had the worst outcomes among the different subgroups. Patients in the DAD group had significantly higher serum HSP47 levels than those in other groups. Receiver operating characteristic curves revealed that HSP47 was superior to KL-6, SP-A, and SP-D for discriminating between the DAD group and the other groups. The cut-off level for HSP47 that resulted in the highest diagnostic accuracy was 1711.5 pg/mL. The sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic accuracy were 87.5%, 97.4%, and 95.7%, respectively. Serum levels of HSP47 in the group of patients requiring glucocorticoids were significantly higher than those in patients who experienced clinical improvement without glucocorticoid administration. Serum HSP47 levels also significantly correlated with various respiratory parameters.
This study demonstrated that serum HSP47 levels were elevated in patients with DILD with a DAD pattern who had the worst outcomes among the different subgroups, and that this was correlated with P/F ratio and A-a DO2.
PMCID: PMC4176100  PMID: 24256690
Drug-induced lung disease; Krebs von den Lungen-6; Serum marker; Surfactant protein A; Surfactant protein D
20.  Macrolides Inhibit Fusobacterium nucleatum-Induced MUC5AC Production in Human Airway Epithelial Cells 
Fusobacterium nucleatum is one of the most common anaerobic bacteria in periodontitis and is responsible for several extraoral infections, including respiratory tract diseases. In this study, we examined whether F. nucleatum induces mucin secretion in airway epithelial cells. We also examined the effects of macrolides on F. nucleatum-induced mucus production compared with the effects of other antibiotics that exert anti-anaerobic activities. The production of MUC5AC, the major core protein of mucin secreted from the airway surface epithelium, in bronchial epithelial cells after stimulation with culture supernatants (Sup) of F. nucleatum was analyzed by performing enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and quantitative RT-PCR. The cell-signaling pathway of F. nucleatum Sup stimulation was also analyzed by Western blotting. For inhibition studies, cells were treated with azithromycin, clarithromycin, clindamycin (CLDM), and metronidazole (MTZ). The F. nucleatum Sup induced NCI-H292 cells to express MUC5AC at both the protein level and the mRNA level in both a time- and dose-dependent manner. Macrolides inhibited F. nucleatum Sup-induced MUC5AC production, while CLDM and MTZ were less effective. F. nucleatum Sup induced the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), and this induction was suppressed by macrolides. F. nucleatum Sup-induced MUC5AC production was blocked by the ERK pathway inhibitor U0126. F. nucleatum is likely to contribute to excessive mucin production, which suggests that periodontitis may correlate with the pathogenesis of chronic respiratory tract infection. Macrolides seem to reduce this mucin production and might represent an additional means of therapeutic intervention for F. nucleatum respiratory tract infections other than CLDM and MTZ.
PMCID: PMC3623308  PMID: 23380724
21.  Retrospective cohort study of leukotriene receptor antagonist therapy for preventing upper respiratory infection-induced acute asthma exacerbations 
Allergy & Rhinology  2013;4(3):e127-e131.
Upper respiratory tract infections (URIs) represent the most frequent cause of acute asthma exacerbations. It has yet to be determined whether leukotriene receptor antagonist (LTRA) treatment prevents URI-induced acute asthma exacerbations in adults. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the preventive effects of LTRA treatment on URI-induced acute asthma exacerbations. The incidences of URI alone, acute asthma exacerbation without URI, and URI-induced acute asthma exacerbation were determined retrospectively by analyzing diary and medical records of 321 adult asthmatic patients (mean age, 56.3 ± 17.2 years; male/female ratio, 117:204) over 1 year. Results were compared between patients who had been taking an LTRA (n = 137) and those who had never taken any LTRA (n = 184) during the study periods. Significantly fewer URIs alone and acute asthma exacerbations without URI occurred in patients with than in those without prophylactic daily use of LTRA. LTRA treatment significantly reduced the durations of URIs alone and of total acute asthma exacerbations, as well as the incidence of mild exacerbations of asthma. In contrast, in patients with URI-induced acute asthma exacerbations, LTRA treatment failed to significantly reduce the interval between URI onset and acute asthma exacerbation, as well as the duration and severity of both URIs and acute asthma exacerbations. Use of an LTRA for adult asthmatic patients appears to reduce the incidences of URIs alone and acute asthma exacerbations without URI, but it failed to prevent URI-induced acute asthma exacerbations once a URI occurred.
PMCID: PMC3911801  PMID: 24498517
Acute asthma exacerbation; bronchial asthma; inhaled corticosteroids; inhaled long-acting beta2-agonist; leukotriene receptor antagonist; montelukast; pranlukast; retrospective cohort study; short-acting beta2-agonist; upper respiratory tract infection
22.  Severe, but manageable hypoxia caused by bronchospasm induced by bevacizumab 
Respirology Case Reports  2013;1(1):14-16.
Bevacizumab has a lower risk of treatment-related infusion reactions than other humanized monoclonal antibodies, and bronchospasm induced by bevacizumab has not been reported. We administered bevacizumab 15 mg/kg over 90 min infusion to a 34 year-old man with lung adenocarcinoma and childhood asthma. Then, grade 3 hypoxia developed and improved spontaneously. This reversible obstructive lung disorder was confirmed using a flow-volume loop, and the patient was diagnosed as having a bronchospasm due to infusion reaction of bevacizumab. This bronchospasm was easily manageable and preventable using an oral bronchodilator and an inhalant combination product, and the patient continued with bevacizumab therapy until the disease progression.
PMCID: PMC4184640  PMID: 25473529
bevacizumab; bronchospasm; infusion reaction; non-small cell lung cancer
23.  Involvement of Leptin in the Progression of Experimentally Induced Peritoneal Fibrosis in Mice 
Leptin is a hormone mainly produced by white adipose cells, and regulates body fat and food intake by acting on hypothalamus. Leptin receptor is expressed not only in the hypothalamus but in a variety of peripheral tissues, suggesting that leptin has pleiotropic functions. In this study, we investigated the effect of leptin on the progression of peritoneal fibrosis induced by intraperitoneal injection of chlorhexidine gluconate (CG) every other day for 2 or 3 weeks in mice. This study was conducted in male C57BL/6 mice and leptin-deficient ob/ob mice. Peritoneal fluid, blood, and peritoneal tissues were collected 15 or 22 days after CG injection. CG injection increased the level of leptin in serum and peritoneal fluid with thickening of submesothelial compact zone in wild type mice, but CG-injected ob/ob mice attenuate peritoneal fibrosis, and markedly reduced the number of myofibroblasts, infiltrating macrophages, and blood vessels in the thickened submesothelial area. The 2-week leptin administration induced a more thickened peritoneum in the CG-injected C57BL/6 mice than in the PBS group. Our results indicate that an upregulation of leptin appears to play a role in fibrosis and inflammation during peritoneal injury, and reducing leptin may be a therapeutically potential for peritoneal fibrosis.
PMCID: PMC3661781  PMID: 23720606
leptin; peritoneal fibrosis; peritoneal dialysis; angiogenesis; macrophage infiltration
24.  Novel serine/threonine kinase 11 gene mutations in Peutz-Jeghers syndrome patients and endoscopic management 
AIM: To explore mutations in serine/threonine kinase 11 (STK11) gene in Peutz-Jeghers syndrome (PJS) with gastrointestinal (GI) hamartomatous polyps.
METHODS: Six Japanese PJS patients in 3 families were enrolled in this study. Each of the cases had hamartomatous polyposis in the gastrointestinal tract, including the small intestine, along with mucocutaneous hyperpigmentation. Narrow-band imaging (NBI)-magnification endoscopy was employed to detect microvascular and microsurface irregularities in the GI lesions. NBI magnification findings could be classified into three groups (type A, type B, or type C). Endoscopic polypectomy was performed using double-balloon enteroscopy or colonoscopy. Genomic DNA was extracted from a whole blood sample from each subject. All of the coding exons of STK11 gene, its boundary regions, and the promoter region containing the polymorphic regions were amplified by polymerase chain reaction, and direct sequencing was performed to assess the germline mutations.
RESULTS: NBI-magnification endoscopic observation could detect the abnormalities in microvessels and microsurface structures of GI polyps. Overall, we found 5 cases of type A and one case without the examination for the gastric polyps, while there were 4 cases of type B and 2 case of type A for the colorectal polyps. Seventy-nine small-bowel and 115 colorectal polyps over 27 sessions for each were resected endoscopically without significant complications. The only delayed complication included the occurrence of bleeding in a case, and this was successfully managed with hemoclips. Resected polyps contained no malignant components. Based on mutation analysis, all 3 cases in Family I exhibited the +658C>T nonsense mutation in exon 5, which resulted in the production of a truncated protein (Q220X). In Family II, a case had -252C>A and -193C>A in the promoter region. In Family III, a case was found to have the +1062C>G (F342L) mutation in exon 8.
CONCLUSION: We found two novel mutations of STK11 in association with PJS. Endoscopic polypectomy of GI polyps in PJS patients appears to be useful to prevent emergency laparotomies and reduce the cancer risk.
PMCID: PMC3600545  PMID: 23515270
Peutz-Jeghers syndrome; Serine/threonine kinase 11; Gastrointestinal hamartomatous polyps; Double-balloon enteroscopy; Narrow-band imaging
25.  Multiple Lung Abscesses Caused by Actinomyces graevenitzii Mimicking Acute Pulmonary Coccidioidomycosis 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2012;50(9):3125-3128.
Actinomyces graevenitzii is a newly recognized Actinomyces species that is seldom isolated from clinical specimens. A case of multiple pulmonary abscesses mimicking acute pulmonary coccidioidomycosis is described in this study, and the findings indicate that this organism is an opportunistic human pathogen.
PMCID: PMC3421796  PMID: 22760049

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