Comparisons between animal and human neurotoxicology studies are a foundation of risk assessment, but are hindered by differences in measured behaviors. The Radial Arm Maze (RAM), a rodent visuospatial learning and memory task, has a computerized version for use in children, which may help improve comparisons between animal and human studies.
To describe the characteristics and correlates of the Virtual Radial Arm Maze (VRAM) in 255 children age 10–15 years from Italy.
We administered the VRAM using a laptop computer and measured children’s performance using the latency, distance, and working/reference memory errors during eight trials. Using generalized linear mixed models, we described VRAM performance in relation to demographic factors, child activities, and several standard neuropsychologic tests (Italian translations), including the Conners Parent Rating Scales-Short Version (CPRS), California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT), Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children, finger tapping speed, reaction time, and motor skills.
Children’s VRAM performance tended to improve between trials 1–6 and then plateaued between trials 6–8. Males finished the task 14 seconds faster (95% Confidence Interval [CI]:-20, -9) than females. Children who played 2+ hours of video games per day finished 16 seconds faster (CI:-26, -6) and with 34% (CI:5, 54%) fewer working memory errors than children who reported not playing video games. Higher IQ and better CVLT scores were associated with better VRAM performance. Higher Cognitive/Inattention CPRS scores were associated with more working (11%; CI:1, 22) and reference memory errors (7%; CI:1, 12).
Consistent with animal studies, VRAM performance improved over the course of test trials and males performed better than females. Better VRAM performance was related to higher IQ, fewer inattentive behaviors, and better verbal memory. The VRAM may help improve the integration and comparison between animal and epidemiological studies of environmental neurotoxicants.
Child behavior; computerized tests; environmental chemicals; epidemiology; toxicology
Pediatric lead (Pb) exposure impacts cognitive function and behavior and co-exposure to manganese (Mn) may enhance neurotoxicity.
To assess cognitive and behavioral function in adolescents with environmental exposure to Pb and Mn.
In this cross sectional study, cognitive function and behavior were examined in healthy adolescents with environmental exposure to metals. The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) and the Conners-Wells’ Adolescent Self-Report Scale Long Form (CASS:L) were used to assess cognitive and behavioral function respectively. ALAD polymorphisms rs1800435 and rs1139488 were measured as potential modifiers.
We examined 299 adolescents (49.2% females) aged 11–14 years. Blood lead (BPb) averaged 1.71 μg/dL (median 1.5, range 0.44 – 10.2), mean Blood Manganese (BMn) was 11.1 μg/dL (median 10.9, range 4.00 – 24.1). Average total IQ was 106.3 (verbal IQ = 102, performance IQ = 109.3). According to a multiple regression model considering the effect of other covariates, a reduction of about 2.4 IQ points resulted from a two-fold increase of BPb. The Benchmark Level of BPb associated with a loss of 1 IQ-point (BML01) was 0.19 μg/dL, with a lower 95% confidence limit (BMLL01) of 0.11 μg/dL. A very weak correlation resulted between BPb and the ADHD-like behavior (Kendall’s tau rank correlation = 0.074, p =0.07). No influence of ALAD genotype was observed on any outcome. Manganese was not associated with cognitive and behavioral outcomes, nor was there any interaction with lead.
These findings demonstrate that very low level of lead exposure has a significant negative impact on cognitive function in adolescent children. Being an essential micro-nutrient, manganese may not cause cognitive effects at these low exposure levels.
Background and Objective
Increased prevalence of Parkinsonism was observed in Valcamonica, Italy, a region impacted by ferroalloy plants emissions containing manganese and other metals for a century until 2001. The aim of this study was to assess neurobehavioral functions in adolescents from the impacted region and the reference area of Garda Lake.
Adolescents age 11–14 yrs were recruited through the school system for neuro-behavioral testing. Metals including manganese, lead, iron, zinc, copper were measured in airborne particulate matter collected with 24-hour personal samplers, and in soil, tap water, blood, urine and hair. Independent variables included parental education and socio-economic status, children’s body mass index, number of siblings, parity order, smoking and drinking habits.
A total of 311 subjects (49.2% females), residing in either the exposed (n=154) or the reference (n=157) area participated. Average airborne and soil manganese were respectively 49.5 ng/m3 (median 31.4, range 1.24–517) and 958 ppm (median 897, range 465–1729) in the impacted area, and 27.4 ng/m3 (median 24.7, range 5.3–85.9) ng/m3 and 427 ppm (median 409 range 160–734) in the reference area. Regression models showed significant impairment of motor coordination (Luria-Nebraska test, p=0.0005), hand dexterity (Aiming Pursuit test, p= 0.0115) and odor identification (Sniffin’ task, p=0.003 ) associated with soil manganese. Tremor intensity was positively associated with blood (p=0.005) and hair (p=0.01) manganese.
Historical environmental exposure to manganese from ferroalloy emission reflected by the concentration in soil and the biomarkers was associated with subclinical deficits in olfactory and motor function among adolescents.
neuromotor changes; children; airborne particles; soil; metals; manganese
The search for potential biomarkers of psychiatric disorders is a central topic in biological psychiatry. This review concerns published studies on potential biomarkers of treatment-resistant depression (TRD). The search for biomarkers of TRD in the bloodstream has focused on cytokines and steroids as well as brain-derived neurotropic factor. Additional approaches to identifying biomarkers of TRD have dealt with cerebrospinal fluid analysis, magnetic resonance imaging, and positron emission tomography. Some studies have also investigated potential genetic and epigenetic factors in TRD. Most studies have, however, used a post hoc experimental design that failed to determine the association between biomarkers and the initial risk of TRD. Particular attention in future studies should be on shifting the experimental paradigm toward procedures that can determine the risk for developing treatment resistance in untreated depressed individuals.
depressive disorders; biomarkers; treatment resistance; immune system; cytokines; brain imaging; experimental design
Studies addressing health effects of manganese (Mn) excess or deficiency during prenatal development are hampered by a lack of biomarkers that can reconstruct fetal exposure. We propose a method using the neonatal line, a histological feature in deciduous teeth, to identify regions of mantle dentine formed at different prenatal periods. Micro-measurements of Mn in these regions may be used to reconstruct exposure at specific times in fetal development. To test our hypothesis, we recruited pregnant women before 20 weeks gestation from a cohort of farmworkers exposed to Mn-containing pesticides. We collected house floor dust samples and mother’s blood during the second trimester; umbilical cord blood at birth; and shed deciduous incisors when the child was ~7 years of age. Mn levels in mantle dentine formed during the second trimester (as 55Mn:43Ca area under curve) were significantly associated with floor dust Mn loading (rspearman=0.40; p=0.0005; n=72). Furthermore, 55Mn:43Ca in sampling points immediately adjacent the neonatal line were significantly associated to Mn concentrations in cord blood (rspearman=0.70; p=0.003; n=16). Our results support that Mn levels in mantle dentine are useful in discerning perinatal Mn exposure, offering a potentially important biomarker for the study of health effects due to environmental Mn exposure.
biomarker; dentine; enamel; manganese; prenatal exposure
There are an increasing number of indications for trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole use, including skin and soft tissue infections due to community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA). Assessing the relationship between rates of use and antibiotic resistance is important for maintaining the expected efficacy of this drug for guideline-recommended conditions. Using interrupted time series analysis, we aimed to determine whether the 2005 emergence of CA-MRSA and recommendations of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole as the preferred therapy were associated with changes in trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole use and susceptibility rates. The data from all VA Boston Health Care System facilities, including 118,863 inpatient admissions, 6,272,661 outpatient clinic visits, and 10,138 isolates were collected over a 10-year period. There was a significant (P = 0.02) increase in trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole prescriptions in the post-CA-MRSA period (1,605/year) compared to the pre-CA-MRSA period (1,538/year). Although the overall susceptibility of Escherichia coli and Proteus spp. to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole decreased over the study period, the rate of change in the pre- versus the post-CA-MRSA period was not significantly different. The changes in susceptibility rates of S. aureus to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and to methicillin were also not significantly different. The CA-MRSA period is associated with a significant increase in use of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole but not with significant changes in the rates of susceptibilities among clinical isolates. There is also no evidence for selection of organisms with increased resistance to other antimicrobials in relation to increased trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole use.
The classification of hepatitis E virus (HEV) variants is currently in transition without agreed definitions for genotypes and subtypes or for deeper taxonomic groupings into species and genera that could incorporate more recently characterized viruses assigned to the Hepeviridae family that infect birds, bats, rodents, and fish. These conflicts arise because of differences in the viruses and genomic regions compared and in the methodology used. We have reexamined published sequences and found that synonymous substitutions were saturated in comparisons between and within virus genotypes. Analysis of complete genome sequences or concatenated ORF1/ORF2 amino acid sequences indicated that HEV variants most closely related to those infecting humans can be consistently divided into six genotypes (types 1 to 4 and two additional genotypes from wild boar). Variants isolated from rabbits, closely related to genotype 3, occupy an intermediate position. No consistent criteria could be defined for the assignment of virus subtypes. Analysis of amino acid sequences from these viruses with the more divergent variants from chickens, bats, and rodents in three conserved subgenomic regions (residues 1 to 452 or 974 to 1534 of ORF1 or residues 105 to 458 of ORF2) provided consistent support for a division into 4 groups, corresponding to HEV variants infecting humans and pigs, those infecting rats and ferrets, those from bats, and those from chickens. This approach may form the basis for a future genetic classification of HEV into four species, with the more divergent HEV-like virus from fish (cutthroat trout virus) representing a second genus.
Lupus Mastitis (LM) is a rare presentation of lupus panniculitis involving the breast. Because it often presents as a tender palpable mass, a workup for malignancy usually ensues. It is well documented that surgery may worsen the condition; therefore, it is important to consider LM in the differential of a palpable breast mass in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Currently, management of LM remains primarily medical. We discuss the multi-disciplinary work-up of LM, and further describe its appearance on serial Magnetic Resonance (MR) exams.
lupus mastitis; mastitis; lupus; SLE
Molecular mechanisms in the brain are assumed to cause the symptoms and severity of neuropsychiatric disorders. This review concerns the elusive nature of relationships between the severity of depressive disorders and neuromolecular processes studied by positron emission tomography (PET). Recent PET studies of human depression have focused on serotonergic, dopaminergic, muscarinic, nicotinic, and GABAergic receptors, as well as central processes dependent on monoamine oxidase, phosphodiesterase type 4, amyloid plaques, neurofibrillar tangles, and P-glycoprotein. We find that reliable causal links between neuromolecular mechanisms and relief from depressive disorders have yet to be convincingly demonstrated. This situation may contribute to the currently limited use of PET for exploring the neuropathways that are currently viewed as being responsible for beneficial effects of antidepressant treatment regimes.
depressive disorders; symptom severity; negative emotions; positron emission tomography; brain imaging; neurobiology; neurotransmitters; reliability
We detected 2 hepatitis E virus (HEV) strains in an acutely infected immunocompetent patient. Two populations of genotype 3 virus were observed in the hypervariable regions and open reading frames 2 and 3, indicating multiple infection with hepatitis E virus. Persons with mixed infections may provide the opportunity for virus recombination.
Hepatitis E virus; mixed infection; viruses; immunocompetent
A recent publication described finding GB virus C (GBV-C) RNA in four of twenty two dromedary camel sera, and sequence analysis found that these viruses were phylogenetically clustered within human GBV-C isolates. Since all other GB viruses to date form monophyletic groups according to their host species, the close relationship between the sequences generated from camel sera and human GBV-C isolates seemed implausible, leading us to conduct an independent analysis of the sequences. Our investigation found three lines of evidence arguing against GBV-C infection in dromedary camels. First, strong evidence of artifactual sequence generation was identified for some of the sequences. Secondly, the sequence diversity within individual camel sera was ten- to one-hundred fifty two-fold greater than that described for GBV-C within a human host. Finally, GBV-C sequences generated from each camel shared near complete identity with human isolates previously described by the same laboratory. Taken together, these data strongly suggest laboratory contamination. We suggest that additional validation experiments are needed before it is possible to conclude that camels are permissive for GBV-C infection.
GB virus; Flavirirus; Dromedary Camel
The object of this study was to evaluate a novel surgical technique in the treatment of adult degenerative scoliosis and present our early experience with the minimally invasive lateral approach for anterior longitudinal ligament release to provide lumbar lordosis and examine its impact on sagittal balance. Methods. All patients with adult spinal deformity (ASD) treated with the minimally invasive lateral retroperitoneal transpsoas interbody fusion (MIS LIF) for release of the anterior longitudinal ligament were examined. Patient demographics, clinical data, spinopelvic parameters, and outcome measures were recorded. Results. Seven patients underwent release of the anterior longitudinal ligament (ALR) to improve sagittal imbalance. All cases were split into anterior and posterior stages, with mean estimated blood loss of 125 cc and 530 cc, respectively. Average hospital stay was 8.3 days, and mean follow-up time was 9.1 months. Comparing pre- and postoperative 36′′ standing X-rays, the authors discovered a mean increase in global lumbar lordosis of 24 degrees, increase in segmental lumbar lordosis of 17 degrees per level of ALL released, decrease in pelvic tilt of 7 degrees, and decrease in sagittal vertical axis of 4.9 cm. At the last followup, there was a mean improvement in VAS and ODI scores of 26.2% and 18.3%. Conclusions. In the authors' early experience, release of the anterior longitudinal ligament using the minimally invasive lateral retroperitoneal transpsoas approach may be a feasible alternative in correcting sagittal deformity.
The production of thromboxane A2 (TXA2) and prostacyclin (prostaglandin I2, PGI2) is known to be increased in patients with atherosclerosis. In this study, we evaluated the influence of gender on TXA2 and PGI2 production and their association with the progression of atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein E-null (ApoE−/−) mice maintained on a high fat diet for 3 months. En face analyses of aortas showed marked increases in plaque formation in female ApoE−/− mice. Quantification of the hematoxylin/eosin (H & E) stained cross sections of the aortic arch revealed 3 to 4-fold higher plaque thickness in female ApoE−/− mice. Analyses of 24-h urine samples for 11-dehydro TXB2 and 2, 3-dinor-6-keto PGF1α indicated that female ApoE−/− mice produce up to 15-fold more TXA2 and 50% less PGI2 than the age matched males. Interestingly, the serum cholesterol levels in ApoE−/− females were 20% lower than males on the high fat regimen. No gender-associated changes in the number of T lymphocytes, mast cells and macrophages were evident in the lesion areas of ApoE−/− mice. The results suggest that the markedly elevated TXA2 production and reduced PGI2 production are gender-related proatherogenic risk factors in female ApoE−/− mice.
ApoE−/− mice; Atherosclerosis; Gender difference; Thromboxane A2; Prostaglandin I2
Androgen ablation therapy represents the first line of therapeutic intervention in men with advanced or recurrent prostate tumors. However, the incomplete efficacy and lack of durable response to this clinical strategy highlights an urgent need for alternative treatment options to improve patient outcomes. Targeting the molecular chaperone heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) represents a potential avenue for therapeutic intervention as its inhibition results in the coordinate blockade of multiple oncogenic signaling pathways in cancer cells. Moreover, Hsp90 is essential for the stability and function of numerous client proteins, a number of which have been causally implicated in the pathogenesis of prostate cancer, including the androgen receptor (AR). Here, we examined the preclinical activity of ganetespib, a small molecule inhibitor of Hsp90, in a panel of prostate cancer cell lines. Ganetespib potently decreased viability in all lines, irrespective of their androgen sensitivity or receptor status, and more effectively than the ansamycin inhibitor 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG). Interestingly, while ganetespib exposure decreased AR expression and activation, the constitutively active V7 truncated isoform of the receptor was unaffected by Hsp90 inhibition. Mechanistically, ganetespib exerted concomitant effects on mitogenic and survival pathways, as well as direct modulation of cell cycle regulators, to induce growth arrest and apoptosis. Further, ganetespib displayed robust antitumor efficacy in both AR-negative and positive xenografts, including those derived from the 22Rv1 prostate cancer cell line that co-expresses full-length and variant receptors. Together these data suggest that further investigation of ganetespib as a new therapeutic treatment for prostate cancer patients is warranted.
Hsp90 inhibition; ganetespib; androgen receptor; prostate cancer; cancer therapy
The presence of a hypervariable (HVR) region within the genome of hepatitis E virus (HEV) remains unexplained. Previous studies have described the HVR as a proline-rich spacer between flanking functional domains of the ORF1 polyprotein. Others have proposed that the region has no function, that it reflects a hypermutable region of the virus genome, that it is derived from the insertion and evolution of host sequences or that it is subject to positive selection. This study attempts to differentiate between these explanations by documenting the evolutionary processes occurring within the HVR. We have measured the diversity of HVR sequences within acutely infected individuals or amongst sequences derived from epidemiologically linked samples and, surprisingly, find relative homogeneity amongst these datasets. We found no evidence of positive selection for amino acid substitution in the HVR. Through an analysis of published sequences, we conclude that the range of HVR diversity observed within virus genotypes can be explained by the accumulation of substitutions and, to a much lesser extent, through deletions or duplications of this region. All published HVR amino acid sequences display a relative overabundance of proline and serine residues that cannot be explained by a local bias towards cytosine in this part of the genome. Although all published HVRs contain one or more SH3-binding PxxP motifs, this motif does not occur more frequently than would be expected from the proportion of proline residues in these sequences. Taken together, these observations are consistent with the hypothesis that the HVR has a structural role that is dependent upon length and amino acid composition, rather than a specific sequence.
Little is known about the effects of manganese (Mn) exposure over neurodevelopment and whether these early insults result in effects lasting into adulthood. To determine if early Mn exposure produces lasting neurobehavioral and neurochemical effects, we treated neonate rats with oral Mn (0, 25, or 50 mg Mn/kg/d over PND 1–21) and evaluated 1) behavioral performance in the open arena in the absence (PND 97) and presence (PND 98) of a d-amphetamine challenge, 2) brain dopamine D1 and D2-like receptors and dopamine transporter densities in the prefrontal cortex, striatum, and nucleus accumbens (PND 107), and 3) astrocyte marker glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) levels in these same brain regions (PND 24 and 107). We found that pre-weaning Mn exposure did not alter locomotor activity or behavior disinhibition in adult rats, though Mn-exposed animals did exhibit an enhanced locomotor response to d-amphetamine challenge. Pre-weaning Mn exposure led to increased D1 and D2 receptor levels in the nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex, respectively, compared to controls. We also found increased GFAP expression in the prefrontal cortex in Mn-exposed PND 24 weanlings, and increased GFAP levels in prefrontal cortex, medial striatum and nucleus accumbens of adult (PND 107) rats exposed to pre-weaning Mn, indicating an effect of Mn exposure on astrogliosis that persisted and/or progressed to other brain regions in adult animals. These data show that pre-weaning Mn exposure leads to lasting molecular and functional impacts in multiple brain regions of adult animals, long after brain Mn levels returned to normal.
neonate exposure; lasting effects; dopamine; rat; astrocyte; D1; D2; DAT; GFAP
The neurotoxic amino acid, domoic acid (DA), is naturally produced by marine phytoplankton and presents a significant threat to the health of marine mammals, seabirds and humans via transfer of the toxin through the foodweb. In humans, acute exposure causes a neurotoxic illness known as amnesic shellfish poisoning characterized by seizures, memory loss, coma and death. Regular monitoring for high DA levels in edible shellfish tissues has been effective in protecting human consumers from acute DA exposure. However, chronic low-level DA exposure remains a concern, particularly in coastal and tribal communities that subsistence harvest shellfish known to contain low levels of the toxin. Domoic acid exposure via consumption of planktivorous fish also has a profound health impact on California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) affecting hundreds of animals yearly. Due to increasing algal toxin exposure threats globally, there is a critical need for reliable diagnostic tests for assessing chronic DA exposure in humans and wildlife. Here we report the discovery of a novel DA-specific antibody response that is a signature of chronic low-level exposure identified initially in a zebrafish exposure model and confirmed in naturally exposed wild sea lions. Additionally, we found that chronic exposure in zebrafish caused increased neurologic sensitivity to DA, revealing that repetitive exposure to DA well below the threshold for acute behavioral toxicity has underlying neurotoxic consequences. The discovery that chronic exposure to low levels of a small, water-soluble single amino acid triggers a detectable antibody response is surprising and has profound implications for the development of diagnostic tests for exposure to other pervasive environmental toxins.
High folate intake may increase the risk of cancer, especially in the elderly. The present study examined the effects of ageing and dietary folate on uracil misincorporation into DNA, which has a mutagenic effect, in the mouse colon and liver. Old (18 months; n 42) and young (4 months; n 42) male C57BL/6 mice were pair-fed with four different amino acid-defined diets for 20 weeks: folate deplete (0 mg/kg diet); folate replete (2 mg/kg diet); folate supplemented (8 mg/kg diet); folate deplete (0 mg/kg diet) with thymidine supplementation (1·8 g/kg diet). Thymidylate synthesis from uracil requires folate, but synthesis from thymidine is folate independent. Liver folate concentrations were determined by the Lactobacillus casei assay. Uracil misincorporation into DNA was measured by a GC/MS method. Liver folate concentrations demonstrated a stepwise increase across the spectrum of dietary folate levels in both old (P=0·003) and young (P<0·001) mice. Uracil content in colonic DNA was paradoxically increased in parallel with increasing dietary folate among the young mice (P trend=0·033), but differences were not observed in the old mice. The mean values of uracil in liver DNA, in contrast, decreased with increasing dietary folate among the old mice, but it did not reach a statistically significant level (P<0·1). Compared with the folate-deplete group, thymidine supplementation reduced uracil misincorporation into the liver DNA of aged mice (P=0·026). The present study suggests that the effects of folate and thymidine supplementation on uracil misincorporation into DNA differ depending on age and tissue. Further studies are needed to clarify the significance of increased uracil misincorporation into colonic DNA of folate-supplemented young mice.
Folate; Uracil; Thymidine; Colon; Liver; Mice
Lipo-chitooligosaccharides (LCOs), signal compounds produced by N2-fixing rhizobacteria after isoflavone induction, initiate nodule formation in host legumes. Given LCOs' structural similarity to pathogen-response-eliciting chitin oligomers, foliar application of LCOs was tested for ability to induce stress-related genes under optimal growth conditions. In order to study the effects of LCO foliar spray under stressed conditions, soybean (Glycine max) seedlings grown at optimal temperature were transferred to sub-optimal temperature. After a 5-day acclimation period, the first trifoliate leaves were sprayed with 10−7 M LCO (NodBj-V (C18∶1, MeFuc)) purified from genistein-induced Bradyrhizobium japonicum culture, and harvested at 0 and 48 h following treatment. Microarray analysis was performed using Affymetrix GeneChip® Soybean Genome Arrays. Compared to the control at 48 h after LCO treatment, a total of 147 genes were differentially expressed as a result of LCO treatment, including a number of stress-related genes and transcription factors. In addition, during the 48 h time period following foliar spray application, over a thousand genes exhibited differential expression, including hundreds of those specific to the LCO-treated plants. Our results indicated that the dynamic soybean foliar transcriptome was highly responsive to LCO treatment. Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) validated the microarray data.
Systemic chemotherapy using two-drug platinum-based regimens for the treatment of advanced stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has largely reached a plateau of effectiveness. Accordingly, efforts to improve survival and quality of life outcomes have more recently focused on the use of molecularly targeted agents, either alone or in combination with standard of care therapies such as taxanes. The molecular chaperone heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) represents an attractive candidate for therapeutic intervention, as its inhibition results in the simultaneous blockade of multiple oncogenic signaling cascades. Ganetespib is a non-ansamycin inhibitor of Hsp90 currently under clinical evaluation in a number of human malignancies, including NSCLC. Here we show that ganetespib potentiates the cytotoxic activity of the taxanes paclitaxel and docetaxel in NSCLC models. The combination of ganetespib with paclitaxel, docetaxel or another microtubule-targeted agent vincristine resulted in synergistic antiproliferative effects in the H1975 cell line in vitro. These benefits translated to improved efficacy in H1975 xenografts in vivo, with significantly enhanced tumor growth inhibition observed in combination with paclitaxel and tumor regressions seen with docetaxel. Notably, concurrent exposure to ganetespib and docetaxel improved antitumor activity in 5 of 6 NSCLC xenograft models examined. Our data suggest that the improved therapeutic indices are likely to be mechanistically multifactorial, including loss of pro-survival signaling and direct cell cycle effects resulting from Hsp90 modulation by ganetespib. Taken together, these findings provide preclinical evidence for the use of this combination to treat patients with advanced NSCLC.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10637-011-9790-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Hsp90 inhibition; Ganetespib; Taxanes; Non-small cell lung cancer; Cancer therapy
We compared six kinetic models with and without the requirement of arterial cannulation for estimating the binding potential of [N-methyl-11C]mirtazapine in the living human brain.
Distribution volumes of [N-methyl-11C]mirtazapine in brain regions were estimated using single- and two-tissue compartment models as well as a graphical plasma input model. The two-tissue compartment model provided a direct estimate of the binding potentials of [N-methyl-11C]mirtazapine in brain regions, while binding potentials of the single-tissue compartment model and the graphical plasma input model were estimated indirectly from ratios of distribution volumes in brain regions. We obtained also direct estimates of binding potentials using a graphical reference tissue model and two nonlinear reference tissue models.
The two-tissue compartment model required several fits with different initial guesses for avoiding negative values of parameters. Despite the extra fits, estimates of distribution volumes and binding potentials of [N-methyl-11C]mirtazapine obtained by the two-tissue compartment model were far more variable than those produced by the other methods. The graphical plasma input method and the graphical reference tissue method provided estimates of the binding potential that correlated closely, but differed in magnitude. The single-tissue compartment model provided relatively low estimates of binding potentials with curves that failed to fit the data as well as the three other methods that used the entire series of positron emission tomography data. The reference tissue method and the simplified reference tissue method provided similar, consistent estimates of binding potentials. However, certain assumptions of the simplified reference tissue method may not be fulfilled by the radioligand.
The reference tissue method is appropriate for estimating the binding potential of [N-methyl-11C]mirtazapine in regions of the human brain so that the binding potential of [N-methyl-11C]mirtazapine can be estimated without arterial cannulation.
[11C]mirtazapine; antidepressant; PET; kinetic models; distribution volume; binding potential; human brain
Dysregulation of myelin sulfatides is a risk factor for cognitive decline with age. Vitamin K is present in high concentrations in the brain and has been implicated in the regulation of sulfatide metabolism. Our objective was to investigate the age-related interrelation between dietary vitamin K and sulfatides in myelin fractions isolated from the brain regions of Fischer 344 male rats fed one of two dietary forms of vitamin K: phylloquinone or its hydrogenated form, dihydrophylloquinone for 28 days. Both dietary forms of vitamin K were converted to menaquinone-4 in the brain. The efficiency of dietary dihydrophylloquinone conversion to menaquinone-4 compared to dietary phylloquinone was lower in the striatum and cortex, and was similar to those in the hippocampus. There were significant positive correlations between sulfatides and menaquinone-4 in the hippocampus (phylloquinone-supplemented diet -12mo and 24mo; dihydrophylloquinone -supplemented diet - 12mo) and cortex (phylloquinone-supplemented diet -12mo and 24 mo). No significant correlations were observed in the striatum. Furthermore, sulfatides in the hippocampus were significantly positively correlated with MK-4 in serum. This is the first attempt to establish and characterize a novel animal model that exploits the inability of dietary dihydrophylloquinone to convert to brain menaquinone-4 to study the dietary effects of vitamin K on brain sulfatide in brain regions controlling motor and cognitive functions. Our findings suggest that this animal model may be useful for investigation of the effect of the dietary vitamin K on sulfatide metabolism, myelin structure, and behavior functions.
Myelin; Phylloquinone; Vitamin K; Menaquinone-4; Sulfatides; Diet
Research on the role of environmental lead exposure in the complex etiology of premature birth has yielded inconsistent results. We assessed the trimester-specific effect of prenatal lead exposure on gestational age and risk of premature delivery.
We used linear and logistic regression to identify critical windows of susceptibility to lead exposure upon gestational length.
In single-trimester models, decreases in gestational length were most strongly associated with first and second trimester blood lead. In adjusted logistic regression models a one-standard deviation increase in second trimester blood lead was associated with an odds ratio of prematurity of 1.75 (95%CI: 1.02, 3.02).
Maternal whole blood lead levels measured during first and second trimesters yielded the most prominent inverse association with length of gestation and increased the risk of prematurity. .