Metabolomics is the study of a unique fingerprint of small molecules present in biological systems under healthy and disease conditions. One of the major challenges in metabolomics is validation of fingerprint molecules to identify specifically perturbed pathways in metabolic aberrations. This step is crucial to the understanding of budding metabolic pathologies and the ability to identify early indicators of common diseases such as obesity, diabetes mellitus type II, metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome, and cancer. We present a novel approach to diagnosing aberrations in glucose utilization including metabolic pathway switching in a disease state.
We used a well-defined prenatally exposed glucocorticoid mouse model that results in adult females with metabolic dysfunction. We applied the complementary technologies of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and cavity ringdown spectroscopy to analyze serial plasma samples and real-time breath measurements following selective 13C-isotope assisted labeling (SIAL). These platforms allowed us to trace metabolic markers in whole animals and identify key metabolic pathway switching in prenatally glucocorticoid-treated animals.
Total glucose flux is significantly proportionally increased through the major oxidative pathways of glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway in the prenatally glucocorticoid-treated animals relative to the control animals.
This novel diagnostics approach is fast, non-invasive and sensitive for determining specific pathway utilization, and provides a direct translational application in the healthcare field.
glucose; metabolomics; pentose phosphate pathway; glycolysis
Primary adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) of the lung is an extremely rare malignant lung neoplasm. ACC of salivary glands of the head and neck, lachrymal glands, breast, skin, vulva and trachea have been frequently reported disease patterns in the literature, but it is unique to see this rare lung tumour in a patient as young as 14 years old. No double blind placebo, multicentre treatment data are available. Surgery is considered as the cornerstone of the treatment. Prognosis is variable and adjuvant radiotherapy has been found beneficial for prolonged survival.
Our report of primary lung ACC in a young girl is a complex case due to young age, a different way of presentation and staging on diagnosis. It has been a quite challenging clinical scenario for the multidisciplinary lung cancer treating team involved in the clinical care. Prognosis remains unpredictable and uncertain despite the best present day evidence-based treatment.
Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a debilitating disease characterized by chronic inflammation of the urinary bladder, yet specific cellular mechanisms of inflammation in IC are largely unknown. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that β-adrenergic receptor (AR) signaling is increased in the inflamed urothelium, however the precise effects of these urothelial cell signals have not been studied. In order to better elucidate the AR signaling mechanisms of inflammation associated with IC, we have examined the effects of β-AR stimulation in an immortalized human urothelial cell line (UROtsa). For these studies, UROtsa cells were treated with effective concentrations of the selective β-AR agonist isoproterenol, in the absence or presence of selective inhibitors of protein kinase A (PKA). Cell lysates were analyzed by radioimmunoassay for generation of cAMP or by Western blotting for induction of protein products associated with inflammatory responses.
Radioligand binding demonstrated the presence of β-ARs on human urothelial UROtsa cell membranes. Stimulating UROtsa cells with isoproterenol led to concentration-dependent increases of cAMP production that could be inhibited by pretreatment with a blocking concentration of the selective β-AR antagonist propranolol. In addition, isoproterenol activation of these same cells led to significant increases in the amount of phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (pERK), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and the induced form of cyclooxygenase (COX-2) when compared to control. Moreover, preincubation of UROtsa cells with the selective PKA inhibitors H-89 or Rp-cAMPs did not diminish this isoproterenol mediated phosphorylation of ERK or production of iNOS and COX-2.
Functional β-ARs expressed on human urothelial UROtsa cell membranes increase the generation of cAMP and production of protein products associated with inflammation when activated by the selective β-AR agonist isoproterenol. However, the increased production of iNOS and COX-2 by isoproterenol is not blocked when UROtsa cells are preincubated with inhibitors of PKA. Therefore, UROtsa cell β-AR activation significantly increases the amount of iNOS and COX-2 produced by a PKA-independent mechanism. Consequently, this immortalized human urothelial cell line can be useful in characterizing potential AR signaling mechanisms associated with chronic inflammatory diseases of the bladder.
Human parainfluenza virus 3 replicates well in the noses and lungs of two species of cotton rats, Sigmodon hispidus and Sigmodon fulviventer. Peak viral titers of nearly 10(6) PFU/g are reached 2 days after infection in both tissues, are maintained through day 5, and are equivalent in the two species. Infectious virus is eliminated by day 8 after infection. Both species produce a strong neutralizing antibody response with titers of 1:10,000 4 weeks after infection. Viral replication in the nasal epithelium results in only minor histological changes, and viral antigen is found only in the apical portion of epithelial cells. Infection of S. hispidus causes a bronchiolitis with a peribronchiolar lymphoid cell infiltration that reaches a peak 6 days after infection, and there is only a minor component of interstitial pneumonia. In contrast, infection of S. fulviventer causes an interstitial pneumonia, and this lesion reaches its maximal extent by 6 days after infection. There is minimal peribronchiolar lymphoid cell infiltration in infected S. fulviventer. Lung lesions in both species of cotton rats are largely healed 9 days after infection, and the lungs are indistinguishable from those of uninfected controls 16 days after infection. These species of cotton rats offer separate models for the two major pulmonary manifestations of human parainfluenza virus 3 infection. The models may be useful for basic studies of the pathogenesis of this infection and for initial evaluation of candidate vaccines.
A second nonstructural protein of the Aleutian disease parvovirus was predicted from nucleotide sequence analysis and a detailed transcription map. Western immunoblotting analysis showed that infected mink and ferrets show an antibody response to this predicted protein.
Aleutian disease virus (ADV), an autonomous parvovirus, persistently infects mink and induces very high levels of virus-specific antibody. All strains of ADV infect all mink, but only highly virulent strains cause progressive disease in non-Aleutian mink. The development of antibody to individual ADV proteins was evaluated by Western blotting by using the sera of 22 uninfected mink and 163 naturally or experimentally infected mink. ADV has virion proteins of 86,000 and 78,000 daltons that are closely related. A new, possibly nonvirion protein of 143,000 daltons was observed, as well as a known nonvirion protein of 71,000 daltons. Sera from mink experimentally or naturally infected with ADV of high or low virulence generally reacted about equally with all four proteins. The only exceptions noted were that 8 of 15 sera of mink infected transplacentally preferentially reacted with the two virion proteins and sera from mink with the monoclonal gammopathy of Aleutian disease reacted preferentially with either virion (10 of 12) or nonvirion (2 of 12) proteins.
Aleutian disease virus (ADV) persistently infects mink and causes marked hypergammaglobulinemia. Immunoglobulin class-specific antisera were used to define the total immunoglobulin of each class by radial immunodiffusion and the immunoglobulin class of ADV-specific antibody by immunofluorescence in experimentally and naturally infected mink. Electrophoretic gamma globulin closely reflects the immunoglobulin G (IgG) level in mink, and the majority of the increased immunoglobulin and ADV antibody in infected mink is IgG. IgM becomes elevated within 6 days after infection, reaches peak levels by 15 to 18 days, and returns to normal by 60 days after infection. The first ADV antibody demonstrable is IgM, and most mink have virus-specific IgM antibody for at least 85 days postinfection. Serum IgA levels in normal mink are not normally distributed, and ADV infection causes a marked elevation of IgA. Low levels of ADV-specific IgA antibody can be shown throughout the course of infection. Failure of large amounts of virus-specific IgG antibody to inhibit the reaction of virus-specific IgM and IgA antibodies suggests that the various classes of antibodies are directed against spatially different antigenic determinants. The IgM and IgA were shown not to be rheumatoid factors.
When 32 antibody-free ferrets were inoculated with the highly mink-virulent Utah-1 strain of Aleutian disease virus (ADV), most developed ADV antibody starting 15 days after infection, but the antibody titers were much lower than those seen in mink. Relatively small amounts of ADV were demonstrated in CRFK cell culture, using ferret spleen and lymph node homogenates only 4 to 10 days after experimental infection, but low-level viral persistence for 180 days was shown by mink inoculation. The ferrets inoculated with the Utah-1 strain of ADV did not develop elevated gamma globulin levels, but did have mild tissue lesions. Forty-two percent of a group of 214, approximately 1-year-old, recently pregnant, female ferrets were found to have antibody to ADV. An analysis of the serum proteins of the ferrets with ADV antibody showed that they had a significant, but mild, elevation of their serum gamma globulin. Serial ferret-to-ferret transmission of a ferret strain of ADV by inoculation of spleen homogenates was demonstrated, and some of these ferrets developed liver lesions. Mink inoculated with ferret ADV made antibody, but did not develop hypergammaglobulinemia or tissue lesions. Although both ferret and mink strains of ADV replicate and persist in the ferret, they fail to cause severe disease of the type usually seen in the closely related mink. Mink and ferret ADV strains appear to be biologically distinct.
Medical practice in a British and French town was compared. The British and French general practitioners (GPs) and specialists were observed for one session each, and questionnaires were presented to the doctors and to samples of the inhabitants. Style of practice may largely determined by fiscal factors.
Mink inoculated with 1 x 105 ID50 of Aleutian disease virus revealed very high virus titers in the tissues 8–18 days later. The highest virus titers observed were 5 x 108 ID50 per g of spleen and 1 x 109 ID50 per g of liver 10 days after inoculation. Concomitant with the increase in infectious virus titers, viral antigen(s) was found in the cytoplasm of macrophages in the spleen and lymph nodes and in Kupffer cells in the liver. Antiviral antibody was assayed by indirect immunofluorescence, using sections of infected liver as the source of antigen. A few mink infected for 9 days and all those infected 10 days or more developed antibody to Aleutian disease virus antigen(s). By 60 days after infection, when hypergammaglobulinemia was marked, the mink had an exceptionally high mean antibody titer of 100,000. The pathogenesis of the glomerulonephritis of Aleutian disease is apparently related to formation of viral antigen-antibody-complement complexes which lodge in glomerular capillaries. No evidence was found that viral infection of the kidney took place, and no autoimmune responses were found. In this "slow-virus" disease the virus replicates rapidly and the morphologic and biochemical manifestations of disease are apparently due to the continuing interplay between a replicating antigen and the host immune response.
Exenatide has been demonstrated to improve glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes, with no effect on heart rate corrected QT (QTc) at therapeutic concentrations. This randomized, placebo- and positive-controlled, crossover, thorough QT study evaluated the effects of therapeutic and supratherapeutic exenatide concentrations on QTc.
Intravenous infusion was employed to achieve steady-state supratherapeutic concentrations in healthy subjects within a reasonable duration (i.e. days). Subjects received exenatide, placebo and moxifloxacin, with ECGs recorded pre-therapy and during treatment. Intravenous exenatide was expected to increase heart rate to a greater extent than subcutaneous twice daily or once weekly formulations. To assure proper heart rate correction, a wide range of baseline heart rates was assessed and prospectively defined methodology was applied to determine the optimal QT correction.
Targeted steady-state plasma exenatide concentrations were exceeded (geometric mean ± SEM 253 ± 8.5 pg ml−1, 399 ± 11.9 pg ml−1 and 627 ± 21.2 pg ml−1). QTcP, a population-based method, was identified as the most appropriate heart rate correction and was prespecified for primary analysis. The upper bound of the two-sided 90% confidence interval for placebo-corrected, baseline-adjusted QTcP (ΔΔQTcP) was <10 ms at all time points and exenatide concentrations. The mean of three measures assessed at the highest steady-state plasma exenatide concentration of ∼500 pg ml−1 (ΔΔQTcPavg) was −1.13 [−2.11, −0.15). No correlation was observed between ΔΔQTcP and exenatide concentration. Assay sensitivity was confirmed with moxifloxacin.
These results demonstrated that exenatide, at supratherapeutic concentrations, does not prolong QTc and provide an example of methodology for QT assessment of drugs with an inherent heart rate effect.
cardiac repolarization; exenatide; thorough QT/QTc study
Background and Purpose
The Sigma-1 receptor (Sig1R) impacts on calcium ion signalling and has a plethora of ligands. This study investigated Sig1R and its ligands in relation to endogenous calcium events of endothelial cells and transient receptor potential (TRP) channels.
Intracellular calcium and patch clamp measurements were made from human saphenous vein endothelial cells and HEK 293 cells expressing exogenous human TRPC5, TRPM2 or TRPM3. Sig1R ligands were applied and short interfering RNA was used to deplete Sig1R. TRP channels tagged with fluorescent proteins were used for subcellular localization studies.
In endothelial cells, 10–100 μM of the Sig1R antagonist BD1063 inhibited sustained but not transient calcium responses evoked by histamine. The Sig1R agonist 4-IBP and related antagonist BD1047 were also inhibitory. The Sig1R agonist SKF10047 had no effect. Sustained calcium entry evoked by VEGF or hydrogen peroxide was also inhibited by BD1063, BD1047 or 4-IBP, but not SKF10047. 4-IBP, BD1047 and BD1063 inhibited TRPC5 or TRPM3, but not TRPM2. Inhibitory effects of BD1047 were rapid in onset and readily reversed on washout. SKF10047 inhibited TRPC5 but not TRPM3 or TRPM2. Depletion of Sig1R did not prevent the inhibitory actions of BD1063 or BD1047 and Sig1R did not co-localize with TRPC5 or TRPM3.
Conclusions and Implications
The data suggest that two types of Sig1R ligand (BD1047/BD1063 and 4-IBP) are inhibitors of receptor- or chemically activated calcium entry channels, acting relatively directly and independently of the Sig1R. Chemical foundations for TRP channel inhibitors are suggested.
calcium channels; cationic channels; TRP channels; endothelial cells; Sigma-1 receptor; histamine; hydrogen peroxide; vascular endothelial growth factor
A prevalent means of regulating gene expression in bacteria is by riboswitches found within mRNA leader sequences. Like protein repressors these RNA elements must bind an effector molecule with high specificity against a background of other cellular metabolites of similar chemical structure to elicit the appropriate regulatory response. Current crystal structures of the lysine riboswitch do not provide a complete understanding of selectivity as recognition is substantially mediated through main chain atoms of the amino acid. Using a directed set of lysine analogs and other amino acids, the relative contributions of the polar functional groups to binding affinity and the regulatory response have been determined. Our results reveal that the lysine riboswitch has >1,000-fold specificity for lysine over other amino acids. To achieve this specificity, the aptamer is highly sensitive to the precise placement of the ε-amino group and relatively tolerant of alterations to the main chain functional groups. At low NTP concentrations, we observe good agreement between the half-maximal regulatory activity (T50) and the affinity of the receptor for lysine (KD) as well many of its analogs. However, above 400 µM [NTP] the concentration of lysine required to elicit transcription termination rises, moving into the riboswitch into a kinetic control regime. These data demonstrate that under physiologically relevant conditions riboswitches can integrate both effector and NTP concentrations to generate a regulatory response appropriate for global metabolic state of the cell.
riboswitch; transcriptional regulation; RNA structure; X-ray crystallography; kinetics
Ischemic heart disease (IHD) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in Western society. Although interventions such as thrombolysis and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) have proven efficacious in ischemia and reperfusion (IR) injury, the underlying pathologic process of IHD, laboratory studies suggest further protection is possible, and an expansive research effort is aimed at bringing new therapeutic options to the clinic.
Mitochondrial dysfunction plays a key role in the pathogenesis of IR injury and cardiomyopathy (CM). However, despite promising mitochondria-targeted drugs emerging from the lab, very few have successfully completed clinical trials. As such, the mitochondrion is a potential untapped target for new IHD and CM therapies. Notably, there are a number of overlapping therapies for both these diseases, and as such novel therapeutic options for one condition may find use in the other. This review summarizes efforts to date in targeting mitochondria for IHD and CM therapy, and outlines emerging drug targets in this field.
ischemia; reperfusion; therapeutics; bioenergetics; pt pore; clinical trial
Benzoyl-CoA is the signature central metabolite associated with the anaerobic metabolism of a diverse range of compounds such as humic acid, lignin, amino acids, and industrial chemicals. Aromatic chemicals with different upstream degradation pathways all funnel into the downstream benzoyl-CoA pathway. Different genes encoding enzymes of the benzoyl-CoA pathway could be used as biomarkers for the anaerobic benzoyl-CoA pathway, however, the ring opening hydrolase, encoded by the bamA gene, is ideal because it is detected under a range of respiratory conditions, including under denitrifying, iron-reducing, sulfate-reducing, and fermentative conditions. This work evaluated DNA samples from six diverse environments for the presence of the bamA gene, and had positive results for every sample. Individual bamA gene clones from these sites were compared to published genome sequences. The clone sequences were distributed amongst the genome sequences, although there were clone sequences from two of the analyzed sites that formed a unique clade. Clone sequences were then grouped by site and analyzed with a functional operational taxonomic unit based clustering program to compare the bamA gene diversity of these sites to that of several locations reported in the literature. The results showed that the sequence diversity of the sites separated into two clusters, but there was no clear trend that could be related to the site characteristics. Interestingly, two pristine freshwater sites formed a subgroup within one of the larger clusters. Thus far the bamA gene has only been examined within the context of contaminated environments, however, this study demonstrates that the bamA gene is also detected in uncontaminated sites. The widespread presence of the bamA gene in diverse environments suggests that the anaerobic benzoyl-CoA pathway plays an important role in the global carbon cycle that has thus far been understudied.
anaerobic benzoyl-CoA pathway; bamA gene; 6-oxocylcohex-1-ene-1-carbonyl-CoA hydrolase; monoaromatic degradation; anaerobic hydrocarbon biodegradation
Chronic infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a common cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer. We performed RNA-sequencing in primary human hepatocytes activated with synthetic dsRNA to mimic HCV infection. Upstream of IFNL3 (IL28B) on chromosome 19q13.13, we discovered a novel, transiently induced region that harbors dinucleotide variant ss469415590 (TT/ΔG), which is in high linkage disequilibrium with rs12979860, a genetic marker strongly associated with HCV clearance. ss469415590-ΔG is a frame-shift variant that creates a novel primate-specific gene, designated interferon lambda 4 (IFNL4), which encodes a protein of moderate similarity with IFNL3. Compared to rs12979860, ss469415590 is more strongly associated with HCV clearance in individuals of African ancestry, whereas it provides comparable information in Europeans and Asians. Transient over-expression of IFNL4 in a hepatoma cell line induced STAT1/STAT2 phosphorylation and expression of interferon-stimulated genes. Our findings provide new insights into the genetic regulation of HCV clearance and its clinical management.
No studies have tested interventions addressing the sexual concerns of colorectal cancer patients and their partners. We report findings from a pilot feasibility study of a novel telephone-based Intimacy Enhancement protocol that addresses the intimacy and sexual concerns of couples facing colorectal cancer. Based on a flexible coping model (Reese, Keefe, Somers, & Abernethy, 2010), the intervention was designed to help couples make cognitive and behavioral shifts in their intimate relationships. Eighteen individuals (9 dyads) completed the intervention and completed measures of feasibility (frequency, ease of use, and helpfulness of skills, ratings of rapport), program evaluations, and measures of sexual and relationship functioning. Most participants reported that the intervention was “quite a bit” or “extremely helpful” and that they had used the skills taught within the past week. The skills most commonly practiced and perceived as most helpful tended to be behavioral (e.g., trying a new sexual activity). The largest effect sizes (≥ .60) were found for sexual distress, sexual function (female), and sexual communication. Findings from this pilot study suggest that the Intimacy Enhancement protocol is feasible and holds promise for improving sexual and intimacy outcomes in colorectal cancer patients and their partners. Research and clinical implications are discussed.
Colorectal cancer; Sexuality; Sexual Dysfunctions; Couple Therapy; Feasibility Studies
The Ewing Sarcoma Family of Tumors (ESFTs) comprises a group of aggressive, malignant bone and soft tissue tumors that predominantly affect children and young adults. These tumors frequently share expression of the EWS-FLI-1 translocation, which is central to tumor survival but not present in healthy cells. In this study, we examined EWS-FLI-1 antigens for their capacity to induce immunity against a range of ESFT types.
Computer prediction analysis of peptide binding, HLA-A2.1 stabilization assays, and induction of Cytotoxic T-Lymphocytes (CTL) in immunized HLA-A2.1 transgenic mice were used to assess the immunogenicity of native and modified peptides derived from the fusion region of EWS-FLI-1 type 1. CTL-killing of multiple ESFT family members in vitro, and control of established xenografts in vivo, was assessed. We also examined whether these peptides could induce human CTLs in vitro.
EWS-FLI-1 type 1 peptides were unable to stabilize cell surface HLA-A2.1 and induced weak CTL activity against Ewing Sarcoma cells. In contrast, peptides with modified anchor residues induced potent CTL killing of Ewing Sarcoma cells presenting endogenous (native) peptides. The adoptive transfer of CTL specific for the modified peptide YLNPSVDSV resulted in enhanced survival of mice with established Ewing Sarcoma xenografts. YLNPSVDSV-specific CTL displayed potent killing of multiple ESFT types in vitro: Ewing Sarcoma, pPNET, Askin’s Tumor, and Biphenotypic Sarcoma. Stimulation of human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells with YLNPSVDSV peptide resulted in potent CTL-killing.
These data show that YLNPSVDSV peptide is a promising antigen for ESFT immunotherapy and warrants further clinical development.
Ewing Sarcoma Family of Tumors; Ewing Sarcoma; pPNET; Askin’s Tumor; Biphenotypic sarcoma; EWS-FLI-1; Immunotherapy; vaccine; cancer; HLA-A2.1; HLA-A*0201
To estimate the magnitude of the association between overweight, moderate, and extreme childhood obesity and the risk of idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH).
Risk estimates were obtained from the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Children’s Health Study (n = 913 178). Weight classes were assigned by body mass index specific for age and sex. A combination of electronic database searches followed by complete medical records review was used to identify all children diagnosed with IIH between 2006 and 2009.
We identified 78 children with IIH, the majority of whom were girls (n = 66, 84.5%), age 11-19 (n = 66, 84.5%), non-Hispanic Whites (n = 37, 47.4%), and overweight or obese (n = 57, 73.1%). The adjusted ORs and 95% CIs of IIH with increasing weight class were 1.00, 3.56 (1.72-7.39), 6.45 (3.10-13.44), and 16.14 (8.18-31.85) for underweight/normal weight (reference category), overweight, moderately obese and extremely obese 11-19 year olds, respectively (P for trend < .001). Other independent IIH risk factors included White non-Hispanic race/ethnicity for all age groups and female sex, but only in older children. Overweight/obese children also had more IIH symptoms at onset than normal weight children.
We found that childhood obesity is strongly associated with an increased risk of pediatric IIH in adolescents. Our findings suggest that the childhood obesity epidemic is likely to lead to increased morbidity from IIH particularly among extremely obese, White non-Hispanic teenage girls. Our findings also suggest careful screening of these at risk individuals may lead to earlier detection and opportunity for treatment of IIH.