Distribution of radioactive carbon from [U-14C]glucose in the mouse poisoned by hydrofluoric acid has been studied by whole-body autoradiography. Under normal conditions, the highest autoradiographic density was found in the Harder's gland, palatine gland, sublingual gland, large intestinal mucosa, and many regions of the central nervous system 30 minutes after intraperitoneal injection of [U-14C]glucose. On the other hand, after hydrofluoric acid poisoning, it was found that (1) the radioactivity of brain was unchanged throughout all the poisoning; (2) the liver, renal cortex, lung, and blood showed an increase in radioactivity at 180 minutes of poisoning; (3) the abdominal cavity showed a tendency to residual radioactivity with the poisoning; (4) by contrast, Harder's gland, the palatine gland, sublingual gland, and large intestinal mucosa showed a decrease in radioactivity at 180 minutes of poisoning.
Circulating tumour cells (CTCs) have an important role in metastatic processes, but details of their basic characteristics remain elusive. We hypothesised that CD44-expressing CTCs show a mesenchymal phenotype and high potential for survival in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Circulating CD44+CD90+ cells, previously shown to be tumour-initiating cells, were sorted from human blood and their genetic characteristics were compared with those of tumour cells from primary tissues. The mechanism underlying the high survival potential of CD44-expressing cells in the circulatory system was investigated in vitro.
CD44+CD90+ cells in the blood acquired epithelial–mesenchymal transition, and CD44 expression remarkably increased from the tissue to the blood. In Li7 and HLE cells, the CD44high population showed higher anoikis resistance and sphere-forming ability than did the CD44low population. This difference was found to be attributed to the upregulation of Twist1 and Akt signal in the CD44high population. Twist1 knockdown showed remarkable reduction in anoikis resistance, sphere formation, and Akt signal in HLE cells. In addition, mesenchymal markers and CD44s expression were downregulated in the Twist1 knockdown.
CD44s symbolises the acquisition of a mesenchymal phenotype regulating anchorage-independent capacity. CD44s-expressing tumour cells in peripheral blood are clinically important therapeutic targets in HCC.
CD44; epithelial–mesenchymal transition; Twist1; anoikis
The clinical significance of circulating tumour cell (CTC) detection in gastrointestinal (GI) cancer remains controversial and the molecular biological characteristics of CTCs are poorly understood.
A total of 87 patients with metastatic or recurrent GI cancer were prospectively enrolled. Circulating tumour cells and their HER2 status were assessed using the CellSearch System.
Among the 62 CTC-positive cases, we found 22 discordant cases (35.5%). Among the HER2-negative primary tumours, 17 of 54 developed HER2-positive CTCs. Five of eight had HER2-negative CTCs among the HER2-positive primary tumours.
The findings in the current study suggest that it is critical to evaluate the HER2 status of not only the primary tumour but also the CTCs because the metastasising tumour cells are the primary target of systemic therapy.
gastrointestinal cancer; circulating tumour cells; HER2
While statin intake has been proven to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), the mechanism of antitumor effects and clinical significance in survival benefits remain unclear. Statin-induced antiproliferative effects and its underlying mechanism were examined using six CRC cell lines. Statins except pravastatin showed antiproliferative effects (simvastatin ≥ fluvastatin > atorvastatin) even though both of simvastatin and pravastatin could activate mevalonate pathways, suggesting the statin-mediated antiproliferative effects depended on non-mevalonate pathway. Indeed, statin induced p27KIP1 expression by downregulation of histone methyltransferase enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), which acts as an epigenetic gene silencer. Additionally, the use of simvastatin plus classII histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor (MC1568) induced further overexpression of p27KIP1 by inhibiting HDAC5 induction originated from downregulated EZH2 in CRC cells and synergistically led to considerable antiproliferative effects. In the clinical setting, Statin intake (except pravastatin) displayed the downregulated EZH2 expression and inversely upregulated p27KIP1 expression in the resected CRC by immunohistochemical staining and resulted in the significantly better prognoses both in overall survival (p = 0.02) and disease free survival (p < 0.01) compared to patients without statin intake. Statins may inhibit tumor progression via an EZH2-mediated epigenetic alteration, which results in survival benefits after resected CRC. Furthermore, statin plus classII HDAC inhibitor could be a novel anticancer therapy by their synergistic effects in CRC.
colorectal cancer; statins; EZH2; HDAC; p27
LINE-1 methylation level is a surrogate marker of global DNA methylation. LINE-1 methylation in primary colorectal cancers (CRCs) is highly variable and strongly associated with a poor prognosis. However, no study has examined LINE-1 methylation levels of metastatic CRCs in relation to prognosis or assessed the heterogeneity of LINE-1 methylation level within the primary CRCs.
Pyrosequencing was used to quantify LINE-1 methylation level in 42 liver metastases, 26 matched primary tumours, and 6 matched lymph node (LN) metastases. KRAS, BRAF, and PIK3CA mutation status and microsatellite instability (MSI) status were also examined.
The distribution of LINE-1 methylation level in liver metastases was as follows: mean, 67.3; range, 37.1–90.1. Primary tumours showed LINE-1 methylation levels similar to those of matched liver and LN metastases. The difference in LINE-1 methylation level between superficial areas and invasive front areas was within 7.0 in all six cases evaluated. Prognostic impact of LINE-1 hypomethylation in liver metastases on overall survival was not observed. The concordance rate was 94% for KRAS, 100% for BRAF, 88% for PIK3CA, and 97% for MSI.
Alteration of LINE-1 methylation level may occur in early CRC tumorigenesis, and the LINE-1 methylation level is relatively stable during CRC progression.
LINE-1; colorectal cancer; epigenetics
Estrogens have important roles in ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of the breast. However, the significance of presurgical aromatase inhibitor treatment remains unclear. Therefore, we examined intratumoral concentration of estrogens and changes of clinicopathological factors in DCIS after letrozole treatment.
Ten cases of postmenopausal oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive DCIS were examined. They received oral letrozole before the surgery, and the tumour size was evaluated by ultrasonography. Surgical specimens and corresponding biopsy samples were used for immunohistochemistry. Snap-frozen specimens were also available in a subset of cases, and used for hormone assays and microarray analysis.
Intratumoral oestrogen levels were significantly lower in DCIS treated with letrozole compared with that in those without the therapy. A great majority of oestrogen-induced genes showed low expression levels in DCIS treated with letrozole by microarray analysis. Moreover, letrozole treatment reduced the greatest dimension of DCIS, and significantly decreased Ki-67 and progesterone receptor immunoreactivity in DCIS tissues.
These results suggest that estrogens are mainly produced by aromatase in DCIS tissues, and aromatase inhibitors potently inhibit oestrogen actions in postmenopausal ER-positive DCIS through rapid deprivation of intratumoral estrogens.
aromatase; breast carcinoma; DCIS; oestrogen; induced gene; letrozole
This phase III study, ACTS-CC, is the first study in which demonstrated the efficacy of S-1, an oral fluoropyrimidine, as adjuvant chemotherapy for stage III colon cancer by confirming its noninferiority to UFT/LV in terms of disease-free survival. S-1 could be a new treatment option as adjuvant chemotherapy for colon cancer.
S-1 is an oral fluoropyrimidine whose antitumor effects have been demonstrated in treating various gastrointestinal cancers, including metastatic colon cancer, when administered as monotherapy or in combination chemotherapy. We conducted a randomized phase III study investigating the efficacy of S-1 as adjuvant chemotherapy for colon cancer by evaluating its noninferiority to tegafur–uracil plus leucovorin (UFT/LV).
Patients and methods
Patients aged 20–80 years with curatively resected stage III colon cancer were randomly assigned to receive S-1 (80–120 mg/day on days 1–28 every 42 days; four courses) or UFT/LV (UFT: 300–600 mg/day and LV: 75 mg/day on days 1–28 every 35 days; five courses). The primary end point was disease-free survival (DFS) at 3 years.
A total of 1518 patients (758 and 760 in the S-1 and UFT/LV group, respectively) were included in the full analysis set. The 3-year DFS rate was 75.5% and 72.5% in the S-1 and UFT/LV group, respectively. The stratified hazard ratio for DFS in the S-1 group compared with the UFT/LV group was 0.85 (95% confidence interval: 0.70–1.03), demonstrating the noninferiority of S-1 (noninferiority stratified log-rank test, P < 0.001). In the subgroup analysis, no significant interactions were identified between the major baseline characteristics and the treatment groups.
Adjuvant chemotherapy using S-1 for stage III colon cancer was confirmed to be noninferior in DFS compared with UFT/LV. S-1 could be a new treatment option as adjuvant chemotherapy for colon cancer.
adjuvant chemotherapy; colon cancer; S-1; UFT/LV
A modified technique is required in patients with wide-necked aneurysms whose treatment by the single microcatheter technique is difficult. We developed a 6-Fr guiding catheter (Slim Guide®) that features a large lumen (0.072 inch) for performing the modified technique. To evaluate the usefulness of Slim Guide® we carried out experiments using three types of 6-Fr guiding catheter.
In experiment 1, the shaft hardness and kink resistance were compared among three different guiding catheters (Slim Guide®, Launcher®, Envoy®). In experiment 2, we inserted a microballoon catheter and a microcatheter into the three different guiding catheters and recorded the maximal infusion pressure. In experiment 3, we inserted 13 different types of microdevices into the three different guiding catheters and evaluated the resistance of the microdevices.
Although the shaft of the Slim Guide® was softer than that of the other two guiding catheters, its kink resistance was comparable. The maximal infusion pressure was significantly lower than with Launcher® or Envoy® catheters. Furthermore, with Slim Guide®, in 136 of 143 microdevice combinations examined (95.1%) there was no resistance; this was true for 125 (87.4%) and 116 (81.1%) combinations using the Launcher® - and the Envoy® guiding catheters, respectively. There was a significant difference between Slim Guide® and the other two guiding catheters with respect to their accommodation of double microsystems (p<0.05).
Although the inner diameter of Slim Guide® is slightly larger than of the other two guiding catheters, it significantly increased the combination of microdevices that could be used for the coil embolization of difficult aneurysms.
guiding catheter, interventional neurosurgery, embolization
We previously identified the mouse and human Glipr1 and GLIPR1/RTVP-1 (respectively) genes as direct p53 targets with proapoptotic activities in various cancer cell lines, including prostate cancer. Intratumoral injection of an adenoviral vector capable of efficient transduction and expression of Glipr1 (AdGlipr1) yielded promising therapeutic results in an orthotopic, metastatic mouse model of prostate cancer. AdGlipr1-transduced macrophages (Mϕ/Glipr1) generated greater surface expression of CD40, CD80, and MHC class II molecules and greater production of interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-6 in vitro than control macrophages did. Mechanistic analysis indicated that increased production of IL-12 in Mϕ/Glipr1 depends on activation of the p38 signaling cascade. Mϕ/Glipr1 injected into orthotopic 178-2BMA tumors in vivo resulted in significantly suppressed prostate tumor growth and spontaneous lung metastases and longer survival relative to those observed in control-treated mice. Furthermore, these preclinical data indicate the generation of systemic natural killer-cell activity and tumor-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses. Trafficking studies confirmed that intratumorally injected Mϕ/Glipr1 could migrate to draining lymph nodes. Overall, our data suggest that this novel gene-modified cell approach is an effective treatment avenue that induces antitumor immune responses in preclinical studies.
prostate cancer; gene-modified cell therapy; Glipr1; macrophages
The updated randomised phase 2/3 FIRIS study demonstrated the noninferiority of IRIS (irinotecan and S-1) to FOLFIRI (irinotecan, folinic acid, and 5-FU) for metastatic colorectal cancer. Meanwhile, in the subset analysis including patients who previously have undergone oxaliplatin-containing chemotherapy, the IRIS group showed longer survival than the FOLFIRI group. However, the molecular mechanism underlying this result is still unknown.
The National Cancer Institute 60 (NCI60) cell line panel data were utilised to build the hypothesis. A total of 45 irinotecan-naive metastatic colorectal cancer patients who had undergone hepatic resection were included for the validation study. The mRNA expressions of excision repair cross-complementing group 1 (ERCC1), dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD), and topoisomerase-1 (TOP1) were evaluated by quantitative RT–PCR. The expressions of ERCC1 and DPD were also evaluated by immunohistochemistry.
Sensitivity to oxaliplatin in 60 cell lines was significantly correlated with that of 5-FU. Resistant cells to oxaliplatin showed significantly higher ERCC1 and DPD expression than sensitive cells. In validation study, ERCC1 and DPD but not TOP1 expressions in cancer cells were significantly higher in FOLFOX (oxaliplatin, folinic acid, and 5-FU)-treated patients (N=24) than nontreated patients (N=21). The ERCC1 and DPD protein expressions were also significantly higher in FOLFOX-treated patients.
The ERCC1 and DPD expression levels at both mRNA and protein levels were significantly higher in patients with oxaliplatin as a first-line chemotherapy than those without oxaliplatin. The IRIS regimens with the DPD inhibitory fluoropyrimidine may show superior activity against DPD-high tumours (e.g., tumours treated with oxaliplatin) compared with FOLFIRI.
DPD; ERCC1; metastatic colorectal cancer; National Cancer Institute; oxaliplatin
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy – often using docetaxel in various combinatorial regimens – is a standard treatment choice for advanced oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) in Japan. However, no useful markers exist that predict docetaxel's effects on ESCC. Ribophorin II (RPN2) silencing, which reduces glycosylation of P-glycoproteins and decreases membrane localisation, promotes docetaxel-dependent apoptosis. We investigated whether RPN2 expression in ESCC biopsy specimens could be a predictive biomarker in docetaxel-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
We evaluated RPN2 expression immunohistochemically in biopsy specimens from 79 patients with node-positive ESCC, who received docetaxel-based adjuvant chemotherapy, and compared clinical and pathological responses between the RPN2-positive and RPN2-negative groups. We also studied susceptibility of RPN2-suppressed ESCC cells to docetaxel.
The RPN2-negative group had better clinical and pathological responses to docetaxel than the RPN2-positive group. We also found RPN2 suppression to alter docetaxel susceptibility in vitro.
Expression of RPN2 in biopsy specimens could be a useful predictive marker for response to docetaxel-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy in ESCC.
docetaxel; neoadjuvant chemotherapy; ESCC; RPN2; predictive marker
Optical pacing has been demonstrated to be a viable alternative to electrical pacing in embryonic hearts. In this study, the feasibility of optically pacing an adult rabbit heart was explored. Hearts from adult New Zealand White rabbits (n = 9) were excised, cannulated and perfused on a modified Langendorff apparatus. Pulsed laser light (λ = 1851 nm) was directed to either the left or right atrium through a multimode optical fiber. An ECG signal from the left ventricle and a trigger pulse from the laser were recorded simultaneously to determine when capture was achieved. Successful optical pacing was demonstrated by obtaining pacing capture, stopping, then recapturing as well as by varying the pacing frequency. Stimulation thresholds measured at various pulse durations suggested that longer pulses (8 ms) had a lower energy capture threshold. To determine whether optical pacing caused damage, two hearts were perfused with 30 µM of propidium iodide and analyzed histologically. A small number of cells near the stimulation site had compromised cell membranes, which probably limited the time duration over which pacing was maintained. Here, short-term optical pacing (few minutes duration) is demonstrated in the adult rabbit heart for the first time. Future studies will be directed to optimize optical pacing parameters to decrease stimulation thresholds and may enable longer-term pacing.
(140.3460) Lasers; (170.3890) Medical optics instrumentation
Clinical and experimental evidence demonstrates that endocannabinoids play either beneficial or adverse roles in many neurological and psychiatric disorders. Their medical significance may be best explained by the emerging concept that endocannabinoids are essential modulators of synaptic transmission throughout the central nervous system. However, the precise molecular architecture of the endocannabinoid signaling machinery in the human brain remains elusive. To address this issue, we investigated the synaptic distribution of metabolic enzymes for the most abundant endocannabinoid molecule, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), in the postmortem human hippocampus. Immunostaining for diacylglycerol lipase-α (DGL-α), the main synthesizing enzyme of 2-AG, resulted in a laminar pattern corresponding to the termination zones of glutamatergic pathways. The highest density of DGL-α-immunostaining was observed in strata radiatum and oriens of the cornu ammonis and in the inner third of stratum moleculare of the dentate gyrus. At higher magnification, DGL-α-immunopositive puncta were distributed throughout the neuropil outlining the immunonegative main dendrites of pyramidal and granule cells. Electron microscopic analysis revealed that this pattern was due to the accumulation of DGL-α in dendritic spine heads. Similar DGL-α-immunostaining pattern was also found in hippocampi of wild-type, but not of DGL-α knockout mice. Using two independent antibodies developed against monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL), the predominant enzyme inactivating 2-AG, immunostaining also revealed a laminar and punctate staining pattern. However, as observed previously in rodent hippocampus, MGL was enriched in axon terminals instead of postsynaptic structures at the ultrastructural level. Taken together, these findings demonstrate the post- and presynaptic segregation of primary enzymes responsible for synthesis and elimination of 2-AG, respectively, in the human hippocampus. Thus, molecular architecture of the endocannabinoid signaling machinery supports retrograde regulation of synaptic activity, and its similar blueprint in rodents and humans further indicates that 2-AG’s physiological role as a negative feed-back signal is an evolutionarily conserved feature of excitatory synapses.
2-arachidonoylglycerol; diacylglycerol lipase; monoacylglycerol lipase; CB1 cannabinoid receptor; glutamatergic synapse; hippocampus
The Adjuvant Chemotherapy Trial of TS-1 for Colon Cancer (ACTS-CC) is a phase III trial designed to validate the non-inferiority of S-1 to UFT/leucovorin (LV) as postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy for stage III colon cancer. We report the results of a planned safety analysis.
Patients aged 20–80 years with curatively resected stage III colon cancer were randomly assigned to receive UFT/LV (UFT, 300 mg m−2 per day as tegafur; LV, 75 mg per day on days 1–28, every 35 days, 5 courses) or S-1 (80, 100, or 120 mg per day on days 1–28, every 42 days, 4 courses). Treatment status and safety were evaluated.
Of 1535 enrolled patients, a total of 1504 (756 allocated to S-1 and 748 to UFT/LV) were analysed. The completion rate of protocol treatment was 77% in the S-1 group and 73% in the UFT/LV group. The overall incidence of adverse events (AEs) were 80% in S-1 and 74% in UFT/LV. Stomatitis, anorexia, hyperpigmentation, and haematological toxicities were common in S-1, whereas increased alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase were common in UFT/LV. The incidences of ⩾grade 3 AEs were 16% and 14%, respectively.
Although AE profiles differed between the groups, feasibility of the protocol treatment was good. Both S-1 and UFT/LV could be safely used as adjuvant chemotherapy.
colon cancer; adjuvant chemotherapy; phase III; S-1; UFT
Psychostimulants induce neuroadaptations in excitatory and fast inhibitory transmission in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Mechanisms underlying drug-evoked synaptic plasticity of slow inhibitory transmission mediated by GABAB receptors and G protein-gated inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK/Kir3) channels, however, are poorly understood. Here, we show that one day after methamphetamine (METH) or cocaine exposure, both synaptically-evoked and baclofen-activated GABABR-GIRK currents were significantly depressed in VTA GABA neurons, and remained depressed for 7 days. Presynaptic inhibition mediated by GABABRs on GABA terminals was also weakened. Quantitative immunoelectron microscopy revealed internalization of GABAB1R and GIRK2, which occurred coincident with dephosphorylation of Ser783 in GABAB2R, a site implicated in regulating GABABR surface expression. Inhibition of protein phosphatases recovered GABABR-GIRK currents in VTA GABA neurons of METH-injected mice. This psychostimulant-evoked impairment in GABABR signaling removes an intrinsic brake on GABA neuron spiking, which may augment GABA transmission in the mesocorticolimbic system.
The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) protein is important for cellular growth and homeostasis. The presence and prognostic significance of inappropriate mTOR activation have been reported for several cancers. Mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors, such as everolimus (RAD001), are in development and show promise as anti-cancer drugs; however, the therapeutic effect of everolimus on oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) remains unknown.
Phosphorylation of mTOR (p-mTOR) was evaluated in 167 resected OSCC tumours and 5 OSCC cell lines. The effects of everolimus on the OSCC cell lines TE4 and TE11 in vitro and alone or in combination with cisplatin on tumour growth in vivo were evaluated.
Mammalian target of rapamycin phosphorylation was detected in 116 tumours (69.5%) and all the 5 OSCC cell lines. Everolimus suppressed p-mTOR downstream pathways, inhibited proliferation and invasion, and induced apoptosis in both TE4 and TE11 cells. In a mouse xenograft model established with TE4 and TE11 cells, everolimus alone or in combination with cisplatin inhibited tumour growth.
The mTOR pathway was aberrantly activated in most OSCC tumours. Everolimus had a therapeutic effect both as a single agent and in combination with cisplatin. Everolimus could be a useful anti-cancer drug for patients with OSCC.
everolimus; RAD001; mTOR; oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma; proliferation
F-box and WD repeat domain-containing 7 (FBXW7) is a cell cycle regulatory gene whose protein product ubiquitinates positive cell cycle regulators such as c-Myc, cyclin E, and c-Jun, thereby acting as a tumour-suppressor gene. This study focused on microRNA-223 (miR-223), which is a candidate regulator of FBXW7 mRNA. The aim of this study was to clarify the clinical significance of miR-223 and FBXW7 in oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) patients, and to elucidate the mechanism by which FBXW7 is regulated by miR-223.
The expression levels of miR-223 and the expression of FBXW7 protein was examined using 109 resected specimens to determine the clinicopathological significance. We also investigated the role of miR-223 in the regulation of FBXW7 expression in ESCC cell lines in an in vitro analysis.
We found that miR-223 expression was significantly higher in cancerous tissues than in the corresponding normal tissues. There was a significant inverse relationship between the expression levels of miR-223 and FBXW7 protein. Moreover, patients with high miR-223 expression demonstrated a significantly poorer prognosis than those with low expression. On the basis of a series of gain-of-function and loss-of-function studies in vitro, we identified FBXW7 as a functional downstream target of miR-223.
Our present study indicates that high expression of miR-223 had a significant adverse impact on the survival of ESCC patients through repression of the function of FBXW7.
microRNA; FBXW7; ubiquitin ligase
Moraxella catarrhalis is an important pathogen in the exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The aim of this study was to assess the clinical and pulmonary thin-section CT findings in patients with acute M. catarrhalis pulmonary infection.
Thin-section CT scans obtained between January 2004 and March 2009 from 292 patients with acute M. catarrhalis pulmonary infection were retrospectively evaluated. Clinical and pulmonary CT findings in the patients were assessed. Patients with concurrent infection including Streptococcus pneumoniae (n = 72), Haemophilus influenzae (n = 61) or multiple pathogens were excluded from this study.
The study group comprised 109 patients (66 male, 43 female; age range 28–102 years; mean age 74.9 years). Among the 109 patients, 34 had community-acquired and 75 had nosocomial infections. Underlying diseases included pulmonary emphysema (n = 74), cardiovascular disease (n = 44) or malignant disease (n = 41). Abnormal findings were seen on CT scans in all patients and included ground-glass opacity (n = 99), bronchial wall thickening (n = 85) and centrilobular nodules (n = 79). These abnormalities were predominantly seen in the peripheral lung parenchyma (n = 99). Pleural effusion was found in eight patients. No patients had mediastinal and/or hilar lymph node enlargement.
M. catarrhalis pulmonary infection was observed in elderly patients, often in combination with pulmonary emphysema. CT manifestations of infection were mainly ground-glass opacity, bronchial wall thickening and centilobular nodules.
Carcinogenesis and cancer progression, driven by mutations in oncogenes and tumor-suppressor genes, result in biological differences between normal and cancer cells in various cellular processes. Specific genes and signaling molecules involved in such cellular processes may be potential therapeutic targets of agents that specifically interact with the key factors in cancer cells. Increased glucose uptake is fundamental to many solid tumors and well associated with increases in glycolysis and the overexpression of glucose transporters (GLUTs) such as GLUT1 and GLUT3 at the plasma membrane. Here, we used cell-based screening to identify glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) inhibitors that selectively target GLUT3-expressing tumorigenic HeLa cell hybrids as compared with non-tumorigenic hybrids that express GLUT1 alone. The GSK-3 inhibitors as well as GSK-3β RNAi suppressed GLUT3 expression at the level of transcription, leading to apoptosis. This suppression was associated with NF-κB in a p53-independent manner. Furthermore, GSK-3 inhibitors exhibited a synergistic effect with anticancer agents such as adriamycin and camptothecin in GULT3-overexpressing colon cancer cells, but little effect in non-producing A431 cells. These results suggest a potential use of GSK-3 inhibitors to selectively kill cancer cells that overexpress GLUT3.
glucose metabolism; glucose transporter; glycogen synthase kinase-3; NF-κB
Cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) allows the intracellular, maternally inherited bacterial symbiont Wolbachia to invade arthropod host populations by inducing infertility in crosses between infected males and uninfected females. The general pattern is consistent with a model of sperm modification, rescued only by egg cytoplasm infected with the same strain of symbiont. The predacious flower bug Orius strigicollis is superinfected with two strains of Wolbachia, wOus1 and wOus2. Typically, superinfections of CI Wolbachia are additive in their effects; superinfected males are incompatible with uninfected and singly infected females. In this study, we created an uninfected line, and lines singly infected with wOus1 and wOus2 by antibiotic treatment. Then, all possible crosses were conducted among the four lines. The results indicated that while wOus2 induces high levels of CI, wOus1 induces very weak or no CI, but can rescue CI caused by wOus2 to a limited extent. Levels of incompatibility in crosses with superinfected males did not show the expected pattern. In particular, superinfected males caused extremely weak CI when mated with either singly infected or uninfected females. An analysis of symbiont densities showed that wOus1 densities were significantly higher than wOus2 densities in superinfected males, and wOus2 densities were lower, but not significantly, in superinfected relative to singly infected males. These data lend qualified support for the hypothesis that wOus1 interferes with the ability of wOus2 to cause CI by suppressing wOus2 densities. To our knowledge, this is the first clear case of non-additive CI in a natural superinfection.
reproductive parasites; unidirectional cytoplasmic incompatibility; bidirectional cytoplasmic incompatibility; multiple infections; predacious flower bug
Transcatheter arterial chemoembolisation (TACE) has been widely used for inoperable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Super-selective TACE is preferable to non-selective therapy, because it maximises the impact of treatment on the tumour while minimising damage to tumour-free liver parenchyma. It is therefore important to advance the catheter tip as close as possible in the feeding artery. There is now a new microcatheter with a 1.9-Fr tip with no taper, which can be inserted into a 2.7-Fr microcatheter. In this study we describe the new technique of using the two microcatheters called the triaxial microcatheter method.
We evaluated 30 TACE procedures to investigate whether or not the catheter tip could be advanced closer to HCC with the triaxial microcatheter method than with previous TACE using a conventional microcatheter.
With conventional microcatheters, the level of embolisation was a lobar artery in 4 cases, segmental in 8 cases, subsegmental in 15 cases and sub-subsegmental in only 1 case. TACE could not be performed in two cases. When using the triaxial microcatheter method the level of embolisation was subsegmental in 8 cases, including 2 in which the level was the same as that with a conventional microcatheter, sub-subsegmental in 13 cases and more distal in 7 cases. In the two cases in which TACE could not be performed with the conventional microcatheter, it could be performed sufficiently using the new method. As a whole, in 28 of the 30 procedures (93%) we could successfully advance a catheter tip closer than with the previous TACE.
The triaxial microcatheter method appears to be useful.
A 68-year-old man with a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) later developed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which was confirmed at autopsy at age 72 years. Because neuronal loss and AD-type pathologies (Braak stage II for neurofibrillary tangles) were scant, TDP-43-positive intracytoplasmic inclusions in hippocampal dentate granular cells and in neurons in the subiculum and amygdala, even though small in amount, may represent the earliest lesions of ALS-related dementia and could be the cause of dementia in this patient. Although the persistent elevation of creatine kinase from the onset could be a pointer to the presence of motor involvement, more accurate characterization of dementia, which may differentiate ALS-related dementia and AD, is necessary.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Dementia; Alzheimer's disease; Creatine kinase
Nitric oxide produced by neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) in the spinal cord is required for development of hyperalgesia in inflammatory and neuropathic pain states. nNOS is expressed by some dorsal horn neurons, and an early study that used a histochemical method to identify these cells suggested that they were mainly inhibitory interneurons. We have carried out a quantitative analysis of nNOS-immunoreactivity in laminae I–III of the rat dorsal horn, to determine the proportion of inhibitory and excitatory neurons and axonal boutons that express the protein. nNOS was present in ∼5% of neurons in laminae I and III, and 18% of those in lamina II. Although most cells with strong nNOS immunostaining were GABA-immunoreactive, two-thirds of the nNOS-positive cells in lamina II and half of those in lamina III were not GABAergic, and some of these expressed protein kinase Cγ (PKCγ). We estimate that nNOS is present in 17–19% of the inhibitory interneurons in laminae I–II, and 6% of those in lamina III. However, our results suggest that nNOS is also expressed at a relatively low level by a significant proportion (∼17%) of excitatory interneurons in lamina II. nNOS was seldom seen in boutons that contained vesicular glutamate transporter 2, which is expressed by excitatory interneurons, but was co-localised with the vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT, a marker for GABAergic and glycinergic axons). nNOS was detected in 13% of VGAT boutons in lamina I and in 7–8% of those in laminae II–III. However, it was only found in 2–4% of the VGAT boutons that were presynaptic to PKCγ-expressing interneurons in this region. These results indicate that nNOS is more widely expressed than previously thought, being present in both inhibitory and excitatory neurons. They provide further evidence that axons of neurochemically defined populations of inhibitory interneuron are selective in their post-synaptic targets.
▶nNOS is expressed by nearly 20% of neurons in lamina II and 5% of those in laminae I and III. ▶The majority of nNOS neurons in laminae II and III are not GABAergic. ▶Between 7 and 13% of GABAergic boutons in laminae I–III are nNOS-immunoreactive. ▶nNOS axons form few synapses with PKCγ+ excitatory interneurons.
nNOS; GABA; PKCγ; inhibitory interneurons; confocal microscopy; cGMP, cyclic guanosine monophosphate; GAD67, 67 kDa molecular weight isoform of glutamic acid decarboxylase; GFP, green fluorescent protein; NADPH, reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate; NK1r, neurokinin 1 receptor; nNOS, neuronal nitric oxide synthase; NO, nitric oxide; NPY, neuropeptide Y; PKCγ, protein kinase Cγ; sGC, soluble guanylate cyclase; VGAT, vesicular GABA transporter; VGLUT2, vesicular glutamate transporter 2
Previously, we found fluoxetine reduces methamphetamine preference in mice. However, effects of fluoxetine on developed methamphetamine preference and on methamphetamine induced gene expression changes have been largely unknown. The present study investigates effects of post-treatment with fluoxetine on methamphetamine dependence and on gene expressions after long-term withdrawal in mice. First, we examined whether chronic post-treatment with fluoxetine attenuated methamphetamine-conditioned place preference. Next, we examined the changes in gene expression levels after long-term withdrawal (with saline or fluoxetine treatment) following chronic methamphetamine treatment. Using mRNA from the pooled frontal cortices of 10 mice per group, gene expression analyses were performed using a custom-developed cDNA array and a real-time quantitative reverse transcription-PCR. Chronic post-treatments with fluoxetine abolished the conditioned place preference developed by methamphetamine administrations. Even after long-term withdrawal from repeated methamphetamine administration, µ-opioid receptor (MOP) gene expression was significantly reduced in the frontal cortex. The reduced MOP gene expression in the frontal cortex was restored by chronic administration with fluoxetine. These changes were confirmed by Western blot analyses. These findings suggest that the chronic post-treatments with fluoxetine might be effective for restoring the reduction of MOP levels in the frontal cortex following long-term abstinence from methamphetamine.
Methamphetamine; conditioned place preference; gene expression; withdrawal; fluoxetine; mu-opioid receptor; frontal cortex; mice.
As HER2 is expressed in 30% of oesophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCCs), T-cell-based immunotherapy and monoclonal antibodies targeted against HER2 are attractive, novel approaches for ESCCs. However, it was shown that there is an inverse correlation between HER2 and MHC class I expression on tumours. Thus, the correlation between HER2 and MHC class I expressions on ESCC was evaluated.
Expressions of MHC class I and HER2 in ESCC tissues (n=80) and cell lines were assessed by immunohistochemistry, fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH), and flow cytometry. We investigated whether HER2 downregulation with small interfering RNA (siRNA) in ESCC cell lines could upregulate the expression of MHC class I and the antigen presentation machinery components, and could increase their sensitivity for tumour antigen-specific CTLs.
There was an inverse correlation between HER2 and MHC class I expressions in both tumour tissues and cell lines. Downregulation of HER2 with siRNA resulted in the upregulation of MHC class I expression, leading to increased CTL recognition by tumour antigen-specific CTLs.
HER2-overexpressing ESCC tumour cells showed a reduced sensitivity for CTLs through the downregulation of MHC class I.
MHC class I; oesophageal cancer; HER-2; CTL