Estradiol has potent favorable effects on brain function and behavior in animals while in human trials, the results are inconsistent. A number of potential mediating variables influencing response to estradiol have been proposed to account for this variability, one of which includes stress. We conducted a placebo-controlled study to examine joint and independent effects of estradiol and elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol on cognition and biomarkers of aging and neurodegenerative disease. Thirty-nine healthy postmenopausal women (56-84 yrs) received 0.10 mg/d of transdermal 17β-estradiol (E2) or placebo for eight weeks. During the last four days of the trial, subjects also received 90 mg/d (30 mg TID) of oral hydrocortisone (CORT) to induce stress-level elevations in cortisol, or a matched placebo. The four groups thus included Placebo (placebo patch/placebo pill), CORT-alone (placebo patch/hydrocortisone), E2-alone (estradiol patch/placebo pill), and E2+CORT (estradiol patch/hydrocortisone). Eight weeks of E2 increased plasma estradiol by 167%, and four days of CORT increased plasma cortisol by 119%. Overall, E2 had favorable effects on verbal memory (p=0.03), working memory (p=0.02), and selective attention (p=0.04), and the magnitude of these effects was attenuated for E2+CORT. E2-alone and E2+CORT had opposing effects on plasma levels of the amyloid-β (Aβ) biomarker (Aβ40/42 ratio, p<0.05), with the more favorable response observed for E2-alone. CORT-induced increases in insulin-like growth factor-1 were blunted by E2 co-administration. Our findings indicate that cognitive and physiological responses to estradiol are adversely affected by elevated stress hormone levels of cortisol in healthy postmenopausal women.
estrogen; stress; HPA; cognition; executive function; memory; Aβ; amyloid; IGF; postmenopausal
To compare the effects of a 4-week high–saturated fat/high–glycemic index (HIGH) diet with a low–saturated fat/low–glycemic index (LOW) diet on insulin and lipid metabolism, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) markers of Alzheimer disease, and cognition for healthy adults and adults with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI).
Randomized controlled trial.
Veterans Affairs Medical Center clinical research unit.
Forty-nine older adults (20 healthy adults with a mean [SD] age of 69.3 [7.4] years and 29 adults with aMCI with a mean [SD] age of 67.6 [6.8] years).
Participants received the HIGH diet (fat, 45% [saturated fat, >25%]; carbohydrates, 35%–40% [glycemic index, >70]; and protein, 15%–20%) or the LOW diet (fat, 25%; [saturated fat, <7%]; carbohydrates, 55%–60% [glycemic index, <5]; and protein, 15%–20%) for 4 weeks. Cognitive tests, an oral glucose tolerance test, and lumbar puncture were conducted at baseline and during the fourth week of the diet.
Main Outcome Measures
The CSF concentrations of β-amyloid (Aβ42 and Aβ40), tau protein, insulin, F2-isoprostanes, and apolipoprotein E, plasma lipids and insulin, and measures of cognition.
For the aMCI group, the LOW diet increased CSF Aβ42 concentrations, contrary to the pathologic pattern of lowered CSF Aβ42 typically observed in Alzheimer disease. The LOW diet had the opposite effect for healthy adults, ie, decreasing CSF Aβ42, whereas the HIGH diet increased CSF Aβ42. The CSF apolipoprotein E concentration was increased by the LOW diet and decreased by the HIGH diet for both groups. For the aMCI group, the CSF insulin concentration increased with the LOW diet, but the HIGH diet lowered the CSF insulin concentration for healthy adults. The HIGH diet increased and the LOW diet decreased plasma lipids, insulin, and CSF F2-isoprostane concentrations. Delayed visual memory improved for both groups after completion of 4 weeks of the LOW diet.
Our results suggest that diet may be a powerful environmental factor that modulates Alzheimer disease risk through its effects on central nervous system concentrations of Aβ42, lipoproteins, oxidative stress, and insulin.
To examine the effects of intranasal insulin administration on cognition, function, cerebral glucose metabolism, and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers in adults with amnestic mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer disease (AD).
Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
Clinical research unit of a Veterans Affairs medical center.
The intent-to-treat sample consisted of 104 adults with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (n = 64) or mild to moderate AD (n = 40).
Participants received placebo (n = 30), 20 IU of insulin (n = 36), or 40 IU of insulin (n = 38) for 4 months, administered with a nasal drug delivery device (Kurve Technology, Bothell, Washington).
Main Outcome Measures
Primary measures consisted of delayed story recall score and the Dementia Severity Rating Scale score, and secondary measures included the Alzheimer Disease’s Assessment Scale–cognitive subscale (ADAS-cog) score and the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study–activities of daily living (ADCS-ADL) scale. A subset of participants underwent lumbar puncture (n = 23) and positron emission tomography with fludeoxyglucose F 18 (n = 40) before and after treatment.
Outcome measures were analyzed using repeated-measures analysis of covariance. Treatment with 20 IU of insulin improved delayed memory (P < .05), and both doses of insulin (20 and 40 IU) preserved caregiver-rated functional ability (P < .01). Both insulin doses also preserved general cognition as assessed by the ADAS-cog score for younger participants and functional abilities as assessed by the ADCS-ADL scale for adults with AD (P < .05). Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers did not change for insulin-treated participants as a group, but, in exploratory analyses, changes in memory and function were associated with changes in the Aβ42 level and in the tau protein–to–Aβ42 ratio in cerebrospinal fluid. Placebo-assigned participants showed decreased fludeoxyglucose F 18 uptake in the parietotemporal, frontal, precuneus, and cuneus regions and insulin-minimized progression. No treatment-related severe adverse events occurred.
These results support longer trials of intranasal insulin therapy for patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment and patients with AD.
Glutamate transporters regulate normal synaptic network interactions and prevent neurotoxicity by rapidly clearing extracellular glutamate. GLT-1, the dominant glutamate transporter in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus, is significantly reduced in Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the role GLT-1 loss plays in the cognitive dysfunction and pathology of AD is unknown. To determine the significance of GLT-1 dysfunction on AD-related pathological processes, mice lacking one allele for GLT-1(+/−) were crossed with transgenic mice expressing mutations of the amyloid-β protein precursor and presenilin-1 (AβPPswe/PS1ΔE9) and investigated at 6 or 9 months of age. Partial loss of GLT-1 unmasked spatial memory deficits in 6-month-old mice expressing AβPPswe/PS1ΔE9, with these mice also exhibiting an increase in the ratio of detergent-insoluble Aβ42/Aβ40. At 9 months both behavioral performance and insoluble Aβ42/Aβ40 ratios among GLT-1(+/+)/AβPPswe/PS1 E9 and GLT-1(+/−)/AβPPswe/PS1ΔE9 mice were comparable. These results suggest that deficits in glutamate transporter function compound the effects of familial AD AβPP/PS1 mutant transgenes in younger animals and thus may contribute to early occurring pathogenic processes associated with AD.
Amyloid-β; dementia; excitatory; excitotoxicity; neurotransmission
Insulin resistance is a causal factor in pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes (T2D), and also increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Reductions in cerebral glucose metabolic rate (CMRglu) as measured by fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG PET) in parietotemporal, frontal, and cingulate cortex are also associated with increased AD risk, and can be observed years before dementia onset.
We examined whether greater insulin resistance as indexed by the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR) would be associated with reduced resting CMRglu in areas known to be vulnerable in AD in a sample of cognitively normal adults with newly diagnosed pre-diabetes or T2D (P-D/T2D). We also determined whether P-D/T2D adults have abnormal patterns of CMRglu during a memory encoding task.
Randomized crossover design of resting and activation [F-18] FDG-PET.
University Imaging Center and VA Clinical Research Unit.
Participants included 23 older adults (mean age±SEM=74.4±1.4) with no prior diagnosis of or treatment for diabetes, but who met American Diabetes Association glycemic criteria for pre-diabetes (n=11) or diabetes (n=12) based on fasting or 2-h oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) glucose values, and 6 adults (mean age±SEM=74.3±2.8) with normal fasting glucose and glucose tolerance. No participant met Petersen criteria for mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Fasting participants rested with eyes open in a dimly lit room and underwent resting and cognitive activation [F-18]FDG PET imaging on separate days, in randomized order, at 9 am. Following a 30-min transmission scan, subjects received an intravenous injection of 5 mCi [F-18]FDG, and the emission scan commenced 40 min post-injection. In the activation condition, a 35-min memory encoding task was initiated at the time of tracer injection. Subjects were instructed to remember a repeating list of 20 words that were randomly presented in series through earphones. Delayed free recall for items on the word list was assessed once the emission scan was complete.
Main Outcome Measures
HOMA-IR was calculated for each participant using fasting glucose and insulin values obtained during OGTT screening, and then correlated with CMRglu values obtained during the resting scan. Resting CMRglu values were also subtracted from CMRglu values obtained during the memory encoding/activation scan to examine task-related patterns of CMRglu.
Greater insulin resistance as indexed by HOMA-IR was associated with an AD-like pattern of reduced CMRglu in frontal, temporal-parietal, and cingulate regions in adults with P-D/T2D. The relationship between CMRglu and HOMA-IR was independent of age, 2-h OGTT glucose concentration, or apolipoprotein E-ε4 allele carriage. During the memory encoding task, normal adults showed activation in right anterior and inferior prefrontal cortex, right inferior temporal cortex, and medial and posterior cingulate regions. Compared to the normal group, adults with P-D/T2D showed a different pattern during the memory encoding task, characterized by more diffuse and extensive activation, and recalled fewer items on the delayed memory test.
Our results suggest that insulin resistance may be a marker of AD risk that is associated with reduced CMRglu and subtle cognitive impairments at the earliest stage of disease, even before the onset of MCI.
Alzheimer’s disease; FDG PET; insulin; insulin resistance; diabetes; pre-diabetes; memory
We tested the hypothesis that levels of CSF biomarkers associated with dementia and cognitive impairment are correlated with cognitive performance in non-demented Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients. Twenty-two non-demented patients with PD underwent neuropsychological testing and lumbar puncture to collect CSF. We correlated performance scores on the Logical Memory (delayed), Category Fluency, Digit Symbol, and Trails B minus A with CSF concentrations of amyloid (A) β42, total tau (t-tau), Aβ42/t-tau, and Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). We observed significant associations between performance on the Digit Symbol test and CSF levels of Aβ42, Aβ42/t-tau, and BDNF, and between performance on the Category Fluency (vegetable) and Aβ42/t-tau. While several of these associations were attenuated by adjusting for age, our results suggest that it may be possible to use CSF biomarkers to characterize pathophysiologic processes underlying even mild cognitive deficits in non-demented PD patients.
Parkinson disease; cognition; dementia; Alzheimer disease
Preclinical modeling of Parkinson's disease using 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) has been valuable in developing and testing therapeutic strategies. Recent efforts have focused on modeling early stages of disease by infusing 6-OHDA into the striatum. The partial DA depletion that follows intrastriatal 6-OHDA is more variable than the near complete depletion following medial forebrain bundle infusion, and behavioral screening assays are not as well characterized in the partial lesion model. We compared relationships between amphetamine-elicited rotation behavior and DA depletion following intrastriatal 6-OHDA (12.5 μg) in 6 month vs. 18 month F344/BN rats, at 2-weeks and 6-weeks post-lesion. We compared the total number of rotations with within-session (bin-by-bin) parameters of rotation behavior as indicators of DA depletion. Striatal DA depletion was greater in the young adult than in the middle-aged rats at 2 weeks but not at 6 weeks post-lesion. The total number of rotations for the whole session and striatal DA depletion did not differ between the two age groups. Regression analysis revealed a greater relationship between within-session parameters of rotation behavior and DA depletion in the middle-aged group than in the young adult group. These results have implications for estimating DA depletion in preclinical studies using rats of different ages.
Parkinson's disease; animal models; behavioral assay; basal ganglia; rotation; striatum; amphetamine
We are presenting a common but interesting case of testicular torsion. Torsion is a common important urological emergency. History and examination is important for diagnosis. Urgent testicular exploration is an important message if in doubt.
Alzheimer disease (AD) is characterized by deposition of amyloid-β, tau, and other specific proteins that accumulate in the brain in detergent-insoluble complexes. AD also involves glutamatergic neurotransmitter system disturbances. Excitatory amino acid transporter 2 (EAAT2) is the dominant glutamate transporter in cerebral cortex and hippocampus. We investigated whether accumulation of detergent-insoluble EAAT2 is related to cognitive impairment and neuropathologic changes in AD by quantifying detergent-insoluble EAAT2 levels in hippocampus and frontal cortex of cognitively normal patients, patients with clinical dementia rating (CDR) = 0.5 (mildly impaired), and AD patients. Parkinson disease (PD) patients served as neurodegenerative disease controls. We found that Triton X-100-insoluble EAAT2 levels were significantly increased in patients with AD compared to controls, while Triton X-100-insoluble EAAT2 levels in CDR = 0.5 patients were intermediately elevated between control and AD subjects. Detergent-insolubility of Presenilin-1, a structurally similar protein, did not differ among the groups, thus arguing EAAT2 detergent-insolubility was not due to nonspecific cellular injury. These findings demonstrate that detergent-insoluble EAAT2 accumulation is a progressive biochemical lesion that correlates with cognitive impairment and neuropathologic changes in AD. These findings lend further support to the idea that dysregulation of the glutamatergic system may play a significant role in AD pathogenesis.
Glutamate; Alzheimer disease; EAAT2; Excitotoxicity; Mild cognitive impairment; Protein aggregation; Oxidative stress; SLC1A2
The present study examined the relationships among statin use, APOE genotype, and insulin resistance as measured by the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) in healthy older adults. APOE ε4- (i.e., not having an ε4 allele) statin users had higher HOMA-IR values compared with ε4+/statin users (p = 0.0169), and with non-users who were ε4- (p = 0. 0003) or ε4+ (p = 0.0006). These results suggest that statin use may modulate insulin levels for individuals without an APOE ε4 allele.
Statin; insulin; Alzheimer’s disease; dementia; diabetes
Cranberry crude extracts, in various vehicles, have shown inhibitory effects on the formation of oral biofilms in vitro. The presence of proanthocyanidins (PAC) in cranberry extracts has been linked to biological activities against specific virulence attributes of Streptococcus mutans, e.g. the inhibition of glucosyltransferase (Gtf) activity. The aim of the present study was to determine the influence of a highly purified and chemically defined cranberry PAC fraction on S. mutans biofilm formation on saliva-coated hydroxyapatite surface, and on dental caries development in Sprague-Dawley rats. In addition, we examined the ability of specific PAC (ranging from low-molecular-weight monomers and dimers to high-molecular-weight oligomers/polymers) to inhibit GtfB activity and glycolytic pH drop by S. mutans cells, in an attempt to identify specific bioactive compounds. Topical applications (60-second exposure, twice daily) with PAC (1.5 mg/ml) during biofilm formation resulted in less biomass and fewer insoluble polysaccharides than the biofilms treated with vehicle control had (10% ethanol, v/v; p < 0.05). The incidence of smooth-surface caries in rats was significantly reduced by PAC treatment (twice daily), and resulted in less severe carious lesions compared to the vehicle control group (p < 0.05); the animals treated with PAC also showed significantly less caries severity on sulcal surfaces (p < 0.05). Furthermore, specific A-type PAC oligomers (dimers to dodecamers; 0.1 mg/ml) effectively diminished the synthesis of insoluble glucans by GtfB adsorbed on a saliva-coated hydroxyapatite surface, and also affected bacterial glycolysis. Our data show that cranberry PAC reduced the formation of biofilms by S. mutans in vitro and dental caries development in vivo, which may be attributed to the presence of specific bioactive A-type dimers and oligomers.
Biofilm; Cranberry; Dental caries; Extracellular matrix; Glucans; Glucosyltransferases; Proanthocyanidins
Cognitive impairment (CI) is a common non-motor complication of Parkinson disease (PD) and is associated with significant disability for patients and burden for caregivers. Similar to motor symptoms, the characteristics of CI in PD can be quite variable, both in terms of what cognitive domains are impaired and the timing of onset and rate of progression. This review will examine the profile of cognitive domain impairments observed in PD, with a focus on early CI (without dementia). We will also discuss possible relationships between specific cognitive domain impairments in PD and pathologic processes such as Lewy related pathology and Alzheimer’s disease. It is our hypothesis that the specific characteristics of CI observed in individual PD patients provides clues to the underlying pathologic processes and that understanding the biologic basis of this clinical phenomenon will assist in directing disease-specific treatments. Given the high lifetime risk for CI in PD it is imperative that we improve our understanding and treatments for this common and disabling problem in PD.
Amyloid-β (Aβ) is cleared from the brain by both proteolytic digestion and transport across the blood-brain-barrier into the peripheral circulatory system. To investigate the role peripheral Aβ levels play in regulating Aβ brain clearance, we measured the clearance of [125I]-Aβ1–40 injected into the brains of liver-ligated rats that allowed peripheral Aβ levels to be maintained at elevated levels for approximately one hour with/without a single peripheral bolus of unlabeled Aβ1–40. We found that elevating peripheral Aβ levels significantly decreased [125I]-Aβ1–40 brain clearance, thus supporting the hypothesis that peripheral Aβ levels regulate Aβ clearance from the central nervous system.
Alzheimer’s disease; blood-brain-barrier; hepatic clearance; liver; passive immunization; peripheral sink
To examine the effects of aerobic exercise on cognition and other biomarkers associated with Alzheimer disease pathology for older adults with mild cognitive impairment, and assess the role of sex as a predictor of response.
Six-month, randomized, controlled, clinical trial.
Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System clinical research unit.
Thirty-three adults (17 women) with amnestic mild cognitive impairment ranging in age from 55 to 85 years (mean age,70 years).
Participants were randomized either to a high-intensity aerobic exercise or stretching control group. The aerobic group exercised under the supervision of a fitness trainer at 75% to 85% of heart rate reserve for 45 to 60 min/d, 4 d/wk for 6 months. The control group carried out supervised stretching activities according to the same schedule but maintained their heart rate at or below 50% of their heart rate reserve. Before and after the study, glucometabolic and treadmill tests were performed and fat distribution was assessed using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. At baseline, month 3, and month 6, blood was collected for assay and cognitive tests were administered.
Main Outcome Measures
Performance measures on Symbol-Digit Modalities, Verbal Fluency, Stroop, Trails B, Task Switching, Story Recall, and List Learning. Fasting plasma levels of insulin, cortisol, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, insulinlike growth factor-I, and β-amyloids 40 and 42.
Six months of high-intensity aerobic exercise had sex-specific effects on cognition, glucose metabolism, and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and trophic activity despite comparable gains in cardiorespiratory fitness and body fat reduction. For women, aerobic exercise improved performance on multiple tests of executive function, increased glucose disposal during the metabolic clamp, and reduced fasting plasma levels of insulin, cortisol, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor. For men, aerobic exercise increased plasma levels of insulinlike growth factor I and had a favorable effect only on Trails B performance.
This study provides support, using rigorous controlled methodology, for a potent nonpharma-cologic intervention that improves executive control processes for older women at high risk of cognitive decline. Moreover, our results suggest that a sex bias in cognitive response may relate to sex-based differences in glucometabolic and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis responses to aerobic exercise.
Impaired glucose regulation is a defining characteristic of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) pathology and has been linked to increased risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. Although the benefits of aerobic exercise for physical health are well-documented, exercise effects on cognition have not been examined for older adults with poor glucose regulation associated with prediabetes and early T2DM. Using a randomized controlled design, twenty-eight adults (57–83 y old) meeting 2-h tolerance test criteria for glucose intolerance completed 6 months of aerobic exercise or stretching, which served as the control. The primary cognitive outcomes included measures of executive function (Trails B, Task Switching, Stroop, Self-ordered Pointing Test, and Verbal Fluency). Other outcomes included memory performance (Story Recall, List Learning), measures of cardiorespiratory fitness obtained via maximal-graded exercise treadmill test, glucose disposal during hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp, body fat, and fasting plasma levels of insulin, cortisol, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, insulin-like growth factor-1, amyloid-β (Aβ40 and Aβ42). Six months of aerobic exercise improved executive function (MANCOVA, p = 0.04), cardiorespiratory fitness (MANOVA, p = 0.03), and insulin sensitivity (p = 0.05). Across all subjects, 6-month changes in cardiorespiratory fitness and insulin sensitivity were positively correlated (p = 0.01). For Aβ42, plasma levels tended to decrease for the aerobic group relative to controls (p = 0.07). The results of our study using rigorous controlled methodology suggest a cognition-enhancing effect of aerobic exercise for older glucose intolerant adults. Although replication in a larger sample is needed, our findings potentially have important therapeutic implications for a growing number of adults at increased risk of cognitive decline.
Aerobic exercise; Alzheimer’s disease; cognition; dementia; diabetes; executive function; glucose intolerance; prediabetes
Both insulin alone and the somatostatin analogue octreotide alone facilitate memory in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Since octreotide inhibits endogenous insulin secretion, the cognitive effects of insulin and octreotide may not be independent. This study tested the individual and interactive effects of insulin and octreotide on memory and plasma growth hormone (GH) levels in older adults. Participants were 16 memory-impaired (AD=7, amnestic mild cognitive impairment=9; apolipoprotein E [APOE] ε4- [no ε4 alleles]=9, ε4+ [1-2 ε4 alleles]=7) and 19 cognitively-intact older adults (APOE ε4-=17, ε4+=1). On separate days, fasting participants received counterbalanced infusions of (1) insulin (1 mU·kg-1·min-1) and dextrose to maintain euglycemia, (2) octreotide (150 μg/h), (3) insulin, dextrose, and octreotide, or (4) saline. Story recall was the principal endpoint. Insulin alone facilitated delayed recall for ε4-patients, relative to ε4+ patients (P=0.0012). Furthermore, ε4- patients with higher Mattis Dementia Rating Scale (DRS) scores had greater octreotide-induced memory facilitation (P=0.0298). For healthy adults, octreotide facilitated memory (P=0.0122). Unexpectedly, hyperinsulinemia with euglycemia increased GH levels in healthy controls (P=0.0299). Thus, insulin and octreotide appear to regulate memory in older adults. APOE ε4 genotype modulates responses to insulin and octreotide. Finally, insulin may regulate GH levels during euglycemia.
Alzheimer's disease (AD); apolipoprotein E (APOE); acetylcholine; growth hormone (GH); insulin; memory; mild cognitive impairment (MCI); octreotide; somatostatin
Intranasal insulin administration raises central nervous system (CNS) insulin levels in humans and acutely facilitates verbal memory in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), an effect that may differ by APOE genotype. The purpose of this study was to examine the cognitive dose response curves for intranasal insulin administration, and determine whether the effects of insulin differ between participants with (ε4+) and without (ε4−) the APOE- ε4 allele. On separate mornings, 33 memory-impaired adults with AD or amnestic mild cognitive impairment and 59 normal adults each underwent five intranasal treatment conditions consisting of insulin (10, 20, 40, or 60 IU) or placebo. Cognition was tested 15-minutes post-treatment, and blood was acquired at baseline and 45-minutes post-treatment. Plasma insulin and glucose levels were unaffected by treatment. Insulin administration facilitated recall on two measures of verbal memory in memory-impaired ε4− adults, with performance generally peaking at 20 IU. In contrast, memory-impaired ε4+ subjects demonstrated a relative decline in verbal memory. Insulin also differentially modulated plasma β-amyloid for memory-impaired subjects and normal controls, effects that again differed by APOE genotype. These findings suggest that groups with different genetic risks for AD may show differential dose-response curves following intranasal insulin administration.
Intranasal administration; insulin; memory; β-amyloid; Alzheimer’s disease; mild cognitive impairment
Apigenin (Api) and tt-farnesol (Far) are two naturally occurring agents that affect the development of cariogenic biofilms. Fluoride (F) interferes physicochemically with caries development and also exhibits antibacterial activity. We examined whether the association of Api and Far enhance the anti-caries properties of F by acting cooperatively on the expression of virulence of Streptococcus mutans. The biological effects of each of the agents were greatly enhanced when used in combination with F. In general, biofilms treated with Api and/or Far in combination with F displayed less biomass, insoluble glucans and iodophilic polysaccharides than did those treated with the test agents alone (P<0.05). The combination of the test agents with F was highly effective in preventing caries development in rats, especially Api+Far+F; and were comparable with those observed with chlorhexidine + F (positive control). Results from these studies show that apigenin and tt-farnesol may enhance the cariostatic effectiveness of fluoride.
Apigenin; tt-Farnesol; Fluoride; S. mutans; biofilms
lung; carcinoma; S100A2; preneoplasia; expression
The antiangiogenic factor METH-2 (ADAMTS-8) was identified in a previous dual-channel cDNA microarray analysis to be at least two-fold under-represented in 85% (28 out of 33) of primary non-small-cell lung carcinomas (NSCLCs). This observation has been validated in an independent series of NSCLCs and adjacent normal tissues by comparative multiplex RT—PCR, and METH-2 mRNA expression was dramatically reduced in all 23 tumour samples analysed. Immunohistochemical analysis of the same sample set demonstrated that METH-2 was strongly expressed in 14 out of 19 normal epithelial sites examined but only one out of 20 NSCLCs. DNA methylation analysis of the proximal promoter region of this gene revealed abnormal hypermethylation in 67% of the adenocarcinomas and 50% of squamous cell carcinomas, indicating that epigenetic mechanisms are involved in silencing this gene in NSCLC. No homozygous deletions of METH-2 were found in lung cancer cell lines. Allelic imbalance in METH-2 was assessed by an intronic single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) assay and observed in 44% of informative primary samples. In conclusion, the downregulation of METH-2 expression in primary NSCLC, often associated with promoter hypermethylation, is a frequent event, which may be related to the development of the disease.
angiogenesis; lung cancer; METH-2; methylation
To compare the effects of isocaloric, energy-restricted very low-carbohydrate ketogenic (VLCK) and low-fat (LF) diets on weight loss, body composition, trunk fat mass, and resting energy expenditure (REE) in overweight/obese men and women.
Randomized, balanced, two diet period clinical intervention study. Subjects were prescribed two energy-restricted (-500 kcal/day) diets: a VLCK diet with a goal to decrease carbohydrate levels below 10% of energy and induce ketosis and a LF diet with a goal similar to national recommendations (%carbohydrate:fat:protein = ~60:25:15%).
15 healthy, overweight/obese men (mean ± s.e.m.: age 33.2 ± 2.9 y, body mass 109.1 ± 4.6 kg, body mass index 34.1 ± 1.1 kg/m2) and 13 premenopausal women (age 34.0 ± 2.4 y, body mass 76.3 ± 3.6 kg, body mass index 29.6 ± 1.1 kg/m2).
Weight loss, body composition, trunk fat (by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry), and resting energy expenditure (REE) were determined at baseline and after each diet intervention. Data were analyzed for between group differences considering the first diet phase only and within group differences considering the response to both diets within each person.
Actual nutrient intakes from food records during the VLCK (%carbohydrate:fat:protein = ~9:63:28%) and the LF (~58:22:20%) were significantly different. Dietary energy was restricted, but was slightly higher during the VLCK (1855 kcal/day) compared to the LF (1562 kcal/day) diet for men. Both between and within group comparisons revealed a distinct advantage of a VLCK over a LF diet for weight loss, total fat loss, and trunk fat loss for men (despite significantly greater energy intake). The majority of women also responded more favorably to the VLCK diet, especially in terms of trunk fat loss. The greater reduction in trunk fat was not merely due to the greater total fat loss, because the ratio of trunk fat/total fat was also significantly reduced during the VLCK diet in men and women. Absolute REE (kcal/day) was decreased with both diets as expected, but REE expressed relative to body mass (kcal/kg), was better maintained on the VLCK diet for men only. Individual responses clearly show the majority of men and women experience greater weight and fat loss on a VLCK than a LF diet.
This study shows a clear benefit of a VLCK over LF diet for short-term body weight and fat loss, especially in men. A preferential loss of fat in the trunk region with a VLCK diet is novel and potentially clinically significant but requires further validation. These data provide additional support for the concept of metabolic advantage with diets representing extremes in macronutrient distribution.
weight loss; Atkins diet; hormones; abdominal fat; regional body composition; low-carbohydrate diet
PTEN, a putative tumour suppressor gene associated with prostate and other cancers, is known to be located within the chromosomal region 10q23.3. Transcription of the PTEN gives rise to multiple mRNA species. Analyses by Northern blots, using cell lines which express PTEN together with cell lines which have lost the PTEN or carry a truncated version of the gene, has allowed us to demonstrate that the pseudogene is not transcribed. In addition, 3′ RACE studies confirmed that the multiple mRNA species arising from the gene probably result from the use of alternative polyadenylation sites. No evidence for tissue- or cell-specific patterns of transcription was found. Analysis by 5′ RACE placed the putative site for the start of transcription around 830 bp upstream of the start codon. A map of the location of the PTEN gene with a series of overlapping YAC, BAC and PACs has been constructed and the relative position of eight microsatellite markers sited. Two known and one novel marker have been positioned within the gene, the others are in flanking regions. The more accurate location of these markers should help in future studies of the extent of gene loss. Several polymorphisms were also identified, all were within introns. Four of the common polymorphisms appear to be linked. In blood, DNA from 200 individuals, including normal, BPH and prostate cancer patients, confirmed this link. Only two samples of 200 did not carry the linked haplotype, both were patients with advanced prostate cancer. It is possible that such rearrangements within PTEN could be evidence of predisposition to prostate cancer in this small number of cases. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign
PTEN; microsatellite markers; polymorphisms; prostate; transcription
BACKGROUND: The mda-7 gene (melanoma differentiation associated gene-7) is a novel tumor suppressor gene. The anti-proliferative activity of MDA-7 has been previously reported. In this report, we analyze the anti-tumor efficacy of Ad-mda7 in a broad spectrum of cancer lines. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Ad-mda7-transduced cancer or normal cell lines were assayed for cell proliferation (tritiated thymidine incorporation assay, Alamar blue assay, and trypan-blue exclusion assay), apoptosis (TUNEL, and Annexin V staining visualized by fluorescent microscopy or FACs analysis), and cell cycle regulation (Propidium Iodide staining and FACs analysis). RESULTS: Ad-mda7 treatment of tumor cells resulted in growth inhibition and apoptosis in a temporal and dose-dependent manner. The anti-tumor effects were independent of the genomic status of p53, RB, p16, ras, bax, and caspase 3 in these cells. In addition, normal cell lines did not show inhibition of proliferation or apoptotic response to Ad-mda7. Moreover, Ad-mda7-transduced cancer cells secreted a soluble form of MDA-7 protein. Thus, Ad-mda7 may represent a novel gene-therapeutic agent for the treatment of a variety of cancers. CONCLUSIONS: The potent and selective killing activity of Ad-mda7 in cancer cells but not in normal cells makes this vector a potential candidate for cancer gene therapy.
Deep microbial biofilms are a major problem in many industrial, environmental, and medical settings. Novel approaches are needed to understand the structure and metabolism of these biofilms. Two-photon excitation microscopy (TPE) and conventional confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) were compared quantitatively for the ability to visualize bacteria within deep in vitro biofilms. pH gradients within these biofilms were determined by fluorescence lifetime imaging, together with TPE. A constant-depth film fermentor (CDFF) was inoculated for 8 h at 50 ml · h−1 with a defined mixed culture of 10 species of bacteria grown in continuous culture. Biofilms of fixed depths were developed in the CDFF for 10 or 11 days. The microbial compositions of the biofilms were determined by using viable counts on selective and nonselective agar media; diverse mixed-culture biofilms developed, including aerobic, facultative, and anaerobic species. TPE was able to record images four times deeper than CLSM. Importantly, in contrast to CLSM images, TPE images recorded deep within the biofilm showed no loss of contrast. The pH within the biofilms was measured directly by means of fluorescence lifetime imaging; the fluorescence decay of carboxyfluorescein was correlated with biofilm pH and was used to construct a calibration curve. pH gradients were detectable, in both the lateral and axial directions, in steady-state biofilms. When biofilms were overlaid with 14 mM sucrose for 1 h, distinct pH gradients developed. Microcolonies with pH values of below pH 3.0 were visible, in some cases adjacent to areas with a much higher pH (>5.0). TPE allowed resolution of images at significantly greater depths (as deep as 140 μm) than were possible with CLSM. Fluorescence lifetime imaging allowed the in situ, real-time imaging of pH and the detection of sharp gradients of pH within microbial biofilms.