Epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) is known to be associated with chemoresistance as well as increased invasion/metastasis. However, the relationship between EMT and resistance to an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) -targeting drug in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) remains unknown. In this study, we investigated the acquisition of EMT by gefitinib in HNSCC cell line (UMSCC81B).
We isolated fibroblastoid variant (81B-Fb) from gefitinib-resistant UMSCC81B-GR3 cells obtained after increasing the doses of gefitinib treatment in vitro and examined EMT and its underlying mechanism.
81B-Fb cells exhibited fibroblast-like morphology, increased motility, loss of E-cadherin, acquisition of vimentin and snail expression. In 81B-Fb cells, downregulation of EGFR, which is mediated by increased ubiquitination, and activation of downstream protein kinase B (Akt), glycogen synthase kinase-beta (GSK-3β) signalling and upregulation of snail expression were observed compared with UMSCC81B cells. LY294002, but not U0126, suppressed foetal bovine serum or heregulin-β1-induced phosphorylation of Akt/GSK-3β and snail expression together with the inhibition of 81B-Fb cell motility. Furthermore, forced expression of EGFR resulted in partial restoration of gefitinib sensitivity and reversal of EMT.
These results suggest that EMT in the gefitinib-resistant cells is mediated by the downregulation of EGFR and compensatory activation of Akt/GSK-3β/snail pathway.
EMT; gefitinib; EGFR; Akt; GSK-3β; snail
To evaluate the effects of employing a 10B-carrier and manipulating intratumour hypoxia on local tumour response and lung metastatic potential in boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) by measuring the response of intratumour quiescent (Q) cells.
B16-BL6 melanoma tumour-bearing C57BL/6 mice were continuously given 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) to label all proliferating (P) cells. The tumours received reactor thermal neutron beam irradiation following the administration of a 10B-carrier [L-para-boronophenylalanine-10B (BPA) or sodium mercaptoundecahydrododecaborate-10B (BSH)] in combination with an acute hypoxia-releasing agent (nicotinamide) or mild temperature hyperthermia (MTH). Immediately after the irradiation, cells from some tumours were isolated and incubated with a cytokinesis blocker. The responses of the Q and total (P+Q) cell populations were assessed based on the frequency of micronuclei using immunofluorescence staining for BrdU. In other tumour-bearing mice, macroscopic lung metastases were enumerated 17 days after irradiation.
BPA-BNCT increased the sensitivity of the total tumour cell population more than BSH-BNCT. However, the sensitivity of Q cells treated with BPA was lower than that of BSH-treated Q cells. With or without a 10B–carrier, MTH enhanced the sensitivity of the Q cell population. Without irradiation, nicotinamide treatment decreased the number of lung metastases. With irradiation, BPA-BNCT, especially in combination with nicotinamide treatment, showed the potential to reduce the number of metastases more than BSH-BNCT.
BSH-BNCT in combination with MTH improves local tumour control, while BPA-BNCT in combination with nicotinamide may reduce the number of lung metastases.
Persistence of foetal anastomoses between carotid and vertebrobasilar arteries is well recognised, but their bilateral presence is rare. We report a case of bilateral persistent hypoglossal arteries. Absence of bilateral vertebral arteries was incidentally noted on neck ultrasound examination. Subsequent MRI confirmed this and revealed persistent hypoglossal arteries that arose bilaterally from the cervical internal carotid artery, entered the cranium through the hypoglossal canal and joined the lower portion of the basilar artery.
The aim was to evaluate the influence of bevacizumab on intratumour oxygenation status and lung metastasis following radiotherapy, with specific reference to the response of quiescent (Q) cell populations within irradiated tumours.
B16-BL6 melanoma tumour-bearing C57BL/6 mice were continuously given 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine (BrdU) to label all proliferating (P) cells. They received γ-ray irradiation following treatment with the acute hypoxia-releasing agent nicotinamide or local mild temperature hyperthermia (MTH) with or without the administration of bevacizumab under aerobic conditions or totally hypoxic conditions, achieved by clamping the proximal end of the tumours. Immediately after the irradiation, cells from some tumours were isolated and incubated with a cytokinesis blocker. The responses of the Q and total (P + Q) cell populations were assessed based on the frequency of micronuclei using immunofluorescence staining for BrdU. In the other tumour-bearing mice, macroscopic lung metastases were enumerated 17 days after irradiation.
3 days after bevacizumab administration, acute hypoxia-rich total cell population in the tumour showed a remarkably enhanced radiosensitivity to γ-rays, and the hypoxic fraction (HF) was reduced, even after MTH treatment. However, the hypoxic fraction was not reduced after nicotinamide treatment. With or without γ-ray irradiation, bevacizumab administration showed some potential to reduce the number of lung metastases as well as nicotinamide treatment.
Bevacizumab has the potential to reduce perfusion-limited acute hypoxia and some potential to cause a decrease in the number of lung metastases as well as nicotinamide.
An 83-year-old woman was referred to our emergency department with acute urticaria and sudden shortness of breath approximately 30 min after taking rectal diclofenac potassium for lumbago. After treatment with adrenaline and corticosteroids, the patient became hemodynamically stable and left the hospital on the next day. She attended our hospital 1 week after the onset of anaphylaxis because of repeated postprandial epigastric pain. No abnormal lesions were found in endoscopy. Radiographic selective catheter angiography revealed chronic mesenteric ischemia caused by atherosclerosis and abundant collateral arteries between the celiac trunk, the superior mesenteric artery and the inferior mesenteric artery. Patients with chronic mesenteric ischemia usually present with a clinical syndrome characterized by painful abdominal cramps and colic occurring typically during the postprandial phase. Fear of eating resulted in malnutrition. She was prescribed proton pump inhibitor, digestants, anticholinergic agents, serine protease inhibitors, prokinetics, antiplatelet agents and transdermal nitroglycerin intermittently, but these had no beneficial effects. It was most probable that this patient with chronic atherosclerotic mesenteric ischemia was suffering from functional abdominal pain syndrome induced by anaphylaxis. Since psychiatric disorders were associated with alterations in the processing of visceral sensation, we facilitated the patient's understanding of functional abdominal pain syndrome with the psychologist. Postprandial abdominal pain gradually faded after administration of these drugs and the patient left the hospital. Developing a satisfactory patient-physician relationship was considered more effective for the management of persistent abdominal pain caused by complicated mechanisms.
Atherosclerosis; Mesenteric ischemia; Anaphylaxis; Functional abdominal pain syndrome; Patient-physician relationship
Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid required for the synthesis of catecholamines including dopamine. Altered levels of phenylalanine and its metabolites in blood and cerebrospinal fluid have been reported in schizophrenia patients. This study attempted to examine for the first time whether phenylalanine kinetics is altered in schizophrenia using L-[1-13C]phenylalanine breath test (13C-PBT). The subjects were 20 chronically medicated schizophrenia patients (DSM-IV) and the same number of age- and sex-matched controls. 13C-phenylalanine (99 atom% 13C; 100 mg) was administered orally and the breath 13CO2 /12CO2 ratio was monitored for 120 min. The possible effect of antipsychotic medication (risperidone (RPD) or haloperidol (HPD) treatment for 21 days) on 13C-PBT was examined in rats. Body weight (BW), age and diagnostic status were significant predictors of the area under the curve of the time course of Δ13CO2 (‰) and the cumulative recovery rate (CRR) at 120 min. A repeated measures analysis of covariance controlled for age and BW revealed that the patterns of CRR change over time differed between the patients and controls and that Δ13CO2 was lower in the patients than in the controls at all sampling time points during the 120 min test, with an overall significant difference between the two groups. Chronic administration of RPD or HPD had no significant effect on 13C-PBT indices in rats. Our results suggest that 13C-PBT is a novel laboratory test that can detect altered phenylalanine kinetics in chronic schizophrenia patients. Animal experiments suggest that the observed changes are unlikely to be attributable to antipsychotic medication.
13C-phenylalanine breath test; dopamine; metabolism; phenylalanine hydroxylase; schizophrenia; stable isotope
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of manipulating intratumour oxygenation status and radiation dose rate on local tumour response and lung metastases following radiotherapy, referring to the response of quiescent cell populations within irradiated tumours. B16-BL6 melanoma tumour-bearing C57BL/6 mice were continuously given 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) to label all proliferating (P) cells. They received γ-ray irradiation at high dose rate (HDR) or reduced dose rate (RDR) following treatment with the acute hypoxia-releasing agent nicotinamide or local hyperthermia at mild temperatures (MTH). Immediately after the irradiation, cells from some tumours were isolated and incubated with a cytokinesis blocker. The responses of the quiescent (Q) and total (proliferating + Q) cell populations were assessed based on the frequency of micronuclei using immunofluorescence staining for BrdU. In other tumour-bearing mice, 17 days after irradiation, macroscopic lung metastases were enumerated. Following HDR irradiation, nicotinamide and MTH enhanced the sensitivity of the total and Q-cell populations, respectively. The decrease in sensitivity at RDR irradiation compared with HDR irradiation was slightly inhibited by MTH, especially in Q cells. Without γ-ray irradiation, nicotinamide treatment tended to reduce the number of lung metastases. With γ-rays, in combination with nicotinamide or MTH, especially the former, HDR irradiation decreased the number of metastases more remarkably than RDR irradiation. Manipulating both tumour hypoxia and irradiation dose rate have the potential to influence lung metastasis. The combination with the acute hypoxia-releasing agent nicotinamide may be more promising in HDR than RDR irradiation in terms of reducing the number of lung metastases.
Intracellular phosphoprotein activation significantly regulates cancer progression. However, the significance of circulating phosphoproteins in the blood remains unknown. We investigated the serum phosphoprotein profile involved in pancreatic cancer (PaCa) by a novel approach that comprehensively measured serum phosphoproteins levels, and clinically applied this method to the detection of PaCa.
We analysed the serum phosphoproteins that comprised cancer cellular signal pathways by comparing sera from PaCa patients and benign controls including healthy volunteers (HVs) and pancreatitis patients.
Hierarchical clustering analysis between PaCa patients and HVs revealed differential pathway-specific profiles. In particular, the components of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signalling pathway were significantly increased in the sera of PaCa patients compared with HVs. The positive rate of p-ERK1/2 (82%) was found to be superior to that of CA19-9 (53%) for early stage PaCa. For the combination of these serum levels, the area under the receiver-operator characteristics curves was showing significant ability to distinguish between the two populations in independent validation set, and between cancer and non-cancer populations in another validation set.
The comprehensive measurement of serum cell signal phosphoproteins is useful for the detection of PaCa. Further investigations will lead to the implementation of tailor-made molecular-targeted therapeutics.
serum marker; pancreatic cancer; phospho-extracellular signal-regulated kinase; early diagnosis; cell signalling
Oestrogen receptor-alpha (ERα) is highly expressed in diffuse-type gastric cancer and oestrogen increases the proliferation of ERα-positive gastric cancer. However, a detailed mechanism by which oestrogen increases the proliferation of these cells is still unclear.
We used 17-β-oestradiol (E2) as a stimulator against the ERα pathway. Pure anti-oestrogen drug ICI 182 780 (ICI) and small interfering RNA against ERα (ERα siRNA) were used as inhibitors. Cyclopamine (Cyc) was used as the hedgehog (Hh) pathway inhibitor. Two human ERα-positive gastric cancer cells were used as target cells. Effects of the stimulator and inhibitor on E2-induced cell proliferation were also examined.
In ERα-positive cells, E2 increased not only cell proliferation but also one of the ligands of the Hh pathway, Shh expression. 17-β-Oestradiol-induced cell proliferation was suppressed by ICI, ERα siRNA or Cyc. The increased expression of Shh induced by E2 was suppressed by ICI and ERα siRNA but not by Cyc. Furthermore, recombinant Shh activated the Hh pathway and increased cell proliferation, whereas anti-Shh antibody suppressed E2-induced cell proliferation. When a relationship between ERα and Shh expressions was analysed using surgically resected gastric cancer specimens, a positive correlation was found, suggesting a linkage between the ERα and Hh pathways.
Our data indicate that activation of the ERα pathway promotes cell proliferation by activating the Hh pathway in a ligand-dependent manner through Shh induction of ERα-positive gastric cancer.
gastric cancer; hedgehog signalling pathway; Sonic hedgehog; oestrogen receptor-α; proliferation
Hepatocyte growth factor activator inhibitor type 2‐related small peptide (H2RSP) is a small nuclear protein abundantly expressed in the gastrointestinal epithelium. However, its functions remain unknown.
To investigate the expression and localisation of H2RSP in normal, injured and neoplastic human intestinal tissue.
Immunohistochemical examination and in situ hybridisation for H2RSP were performed using normal and diseased intestinal specimens. Its subcellular localisation and effects on the cellular proliferation and invasiveness were examined using cultured cells.
In the normal intestine, H2RSP was observed in the nuclei of surface epithelial cells and this nuclear localisation was impaired in regenerating epithelium. In vitro, the nuclear translocation of H2RSP was observed along with increasing cellular density, and an overexpression of H2RSP resulted in a reduced growth rate and enhanced invasiveness. H2RSP expression was down regulated in well‐differentiated colorectal adenocarcinomas. However, a marked up regulation of the cytoplasmic H2RSP immunoreactivity was observed in cancer cells at the invasive front. These cells showed low MIB‐1 labelling, an enhanced p16 expression and nuclear β‐catenin. The number of H2RSP‐positive cells in the invasive front of well‐differentiated adenocarcinomas was considerably higher in the cases with lymph node metastases than in node‐negative ones.
In the normal intestine, the nuclear accumulation of H2RSP is a marker of differentiated epithelial cells. Although H2RSP was down regulated in colorectal adenocarcinomas, a paradoxical up regulation was observed in actively invading carcinoma cells. H2RSP immunoreactivity at the invasive front may serve as a marker of invasive phenotype of well‐differentiated colon cancers.
Little information is available on the effect of strength training on vascular function, particularly in older people.
To determine the effect of resistance training on arterial stiffness and endothelial function in older adults.
Eleven healthy men (mean (SEM) age 64 (1) years) performed 12 weeks of resistance training involving knee flexion and extension (three sets a day, two days a week).
Resistance training increased maximal muscle power by 16% (p<0.0001). Arterial stiffness as assessed by aortic pulse wave velocity did not change with resistance training. Plasma concentration of nitric oxide (NO), measured as its stable end product (nitrite/nitrate), had increased (p<0.05) after resistance training (61.2 (10.4) v 39.6 (3.2) μmol/l). There was no change in plasma concentration of endothelin‐1.
The results suggest that short term resistance training may increase NO production without stiffening central arteries in healthy older men.
strength training; arterial stiffness; endothelial function; nitric oxide
Although the oxidative stress frequently occurs in patients with chronic hepatitis C, its role in future hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development is unknown. Hepatic 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) was quantified using liver biopsy samples from 118 naïve patients who underwent liver biopsy from 1995 to 2001. The predictability of 8-OHdG for future HCC development and its relations to epidemiologic, biochemical and histological baseline characteristics were evaluated. During the follow-up period (mean was 6.7±3.3 years), HCC was identified in 36 patients (30.5%). Univariate analysis revealed that 16 variables, including 8-OHdG counts (65.2±20.2 vs 40.0±23.5 cells per 105 μm2, P<0.0001), were significantly different between patients with and without HCC. Cox proportional hazard analysis showed that the hepatic 8-OHdG (P=0.0058) and fibrosis (P=0.0181) were independent predicting factors of HCC. Remarkably, 8-OHdG levels were positively correlated with body and hepatic iron storage markers (vs ferritin, P<0.0001 vs hepatic iron score, P<0.0001). This study showed that oxidative DNA damage is associated with increased risk for HCC and hepatic 8-OHdG levels are useful as markers to identify the extreme high-risk subgroup. The strong correlation between hepatic DNA damage and iron overload suggests that the iron content may be a strong mediator of oxidative stress and iron reduction may reduce HCC incidence in patients with chronic hepatitis C.
oxidative stress; free radicals; 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine; iron; hepatitis C virus; immunohistochemistry
vasoconstriction; rho-kinase; fasudil; pulmonary hypertension; pulmonary vascular resistance
chronic graft versus host disease
myocardial infarction; arterial remodelling
Objective: To clarify the characteristics of sympathetic vasomotor function in Parkinson's disease by sympathetic neurographic analysis.
Methods: Muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) was recorded using a microneurographic technique at rest and during head up tilt in 18 patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease and 21 healthy controls.
Results: Heart rate and blood pressure at rest did not differ between index and control subjects. The increase in these variables and MSNA in response to tilting was slightly blunted in the Parkinson's group. Resting MSNA showed a negative correlation with age in patients with Parkinson's disease (p<0.05) and a positive correlation with age in controls (p<0.01). There was a negative correlation between duration of disease or disability levels and MSNA (p<0.01).
Conclusions: Sympathetic vasomotor function may be related to age and disease duration in Parkinson's disease.
Objectives: To examine the relation between working hours and hours of sleep and the risk of acute myocardial infarction (AMI), with special reference to the joint effect of these two factors.
Method: Case-control study in Japan. Cases were 260 men aged 40–79 admitted to hospitals with AMI during 1996–8. Controls were 445 men free from AMI matched for age and residence who were recruited from the resident registers. Odds ratios of AMI relative to mean weekly working hours and daily hours of sleep in the past year or in the recent past were calculated.
Results: Weekly working hours were related to progressively increased odds ratios of AMI in the past year as well as in the past month, with a twofold increased risk for overtime work (weekly working hours ≥61) compared with working hours ≤40. Short time sleep (daily hours of sleep ≤5) and frequent lack of sleep (2 or more days/week with <5 hours of sleep) were also associated with a two to threefold increased risk. Frequent lack of sleep and few days off in the recent past showed greater odds ratios than those in the past year.
Conclusions: Overtime work and insufficient sleep may be related to increased risk of AMI.
CYFRA 21-1; tumour marker; primary liver carcinoma; intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma
BACKGROUND/AIMS—Postoperative vomiting occurs frequently after strabismus surgery in children. Granisetron, a selective 5-hydroxytryptamine type 3 receptor antagonist, is effective for the prevention of vomiting following paediatric strabismus surgery. Ramosetron, another new antagonist of 5-hydroxytryptamine type 3 receptor, has more potent and longer acting properties than granisetron against cisplatin induced emesis. This study was undertaken to compare the efficacy and safety of granisetron and ramosetron for the prevention of vomiting following strabismus surgery in children.
METHODS—In a randomised, double blinded manner 80 children, aged 4-10 years, received intravenously granisetron 40 µg/kg or ramosetron 6 µg/kg (n=40 each) at the end of surgery. A standard general anaesthetic technique and postoperative analgesia were used. Emetic episodes and safety assessment were performed during the first 24 hours and the next 24 hours after anaesthesia.
RESULTS—The percentage of patients who were emesis free during 0-24 hours after anaesthesia was 85% with granisetron and 90% with ramosetron, respectively (p = 0.369); the corresponding rate during 24-48 hours after anaesthesia was 70% and 95% (p = 0.003). No clinically serious adverse events caused by the study drug were observed in any of the groups.
CONCLUSION—Prophylactic antiemetic therapy with ramosetron is comparable with granisetron for the prevention of vomiting during 0-24 hours after anaesthesia in children undergoing strabismus surgery. During 24-48 hours after anaesthesia, ramosetron is more effective than granisetron for prophylaxis against postoperative vomiting.
mutant p21; T-cells; peptide vaccination; pancreatic cancer; colon cancer