Connexin 26 (Cx26, GJB2) mutations can induce congenital deafness and are responsible for ~50 % of nonsyndromic hearing loss in children. Mouse models show that Cx26 deficiency induces cochlear development disorder, hair cell loss, and spiral ganglion (SG) neuron degeneration. Hair cell loss and cell degeneration have been considered as a primary causer responsible for Cx26 deficiency associated hearing loss. In this study, by coincidental examination of cochlear postnatal development with recording of auditory brainstem response (ABR) and hair cell function, we found that occurrence of hearing loss in Cx26 knockout (KO) mice was ahead of hair cell loss and cochlear cell degeneration. ABR was absent at any frequencies (8 – 40 kHz) after birth. However, cochlear cells including SG neurons had no significant degeneration throughout postnatal development. Severe cochlear hair cell loss and SG neuron degeneration were only visible in middle and basal turns, i.e., in middle and high frequency regions, in the adult Cx26 KO mouse cochlea. Functional tests show that hair cells in Cx26 KO mice functioned normally; outer hair cells retained electromotility. These data suggest that cell degeneration is not a primary causer of Cx26 deficiency associated hearing loss. Some mechanisms other than cell degeneration, such as cochlear development disorders, may play an essential role in this common hereditary deafness.
GJB2; gap junction; connexin; hair cell loss; deafness; inner ear
ATP is an important extracellular signaling molecule and can activate both ionotropic (P2X) and metabotropic purinergic (P2Y) receptors to influence cellular function in many aspects. Gap junction is an intercellular channel and plays a critical role in hearing. Here, we report that stimulation of ATP reduced gap junctional coupling between cochlear supporting cells. This uncoupling effect could be evoked by nanomolar physiological levels of ATP. A P2X receptor agonist benzoylbenzoyl-ATP (BzATP) but not a P2Y receptor agonist UTP stimulated this uncoupling effect. Application of P2X receptor antagonists pyridoxalphosphate-6-azophenyl-2′,4′-disulfonic acid (PPADS, 50 μM) or oxidized ATP (oATP, 0.1 mM) eliminated this uncoupling effect. We further found that ATP activated P2X receptors in the cochlear supporting cells allowing Ca++ influxing, thereby increasing intracellular Ca++ concentration to mediate gap junctions. These data suggest that ATP can mediate cochlear gap junctions at the physiological level by the activation of P2X receptors rather than P2Y receptors. This P2X receptor-mediated purinergic control on the cochlear gap junctions may play an important role in the regulation of K+-recycling for ionic homeostasis in the cochlea and the reduction of hearing sensitivity under noise stress for protection.
ATP; gap junction; purinergic receptor; potassium; inner ear
Burkitt lymphoma (BL) can often be cured by intensive chemotherapy, but the toxicity of such therapy precludes its use in the elderly and in patients with endemic BL in developing countries, necessitating new strategies. We used high throughput RNA sequencing and RNA interference screening to discover essential regulatory pathways that cooperate with MYC, the defining oncogene of this cancer. In 38% of sporadic BL (sBL) cases, oncogenic CCND3 mutations produced highly stable cyclin D3 isoforms that drive cell cycle progression. In 70% of sBL cases, mutations affecting the transcription factor TCF3 (E2A) or its negative regulator ID3 fostered TCF3 dependency. TCF3 activated the pro-survival PI(3) kinase pathway in BL, in part by augmenting constitutive B cell receptor signaling. These findings suggest opportunities to improve therapy for patients with BL.
454 pyrosequencing, a massively parallel sequencing (MPS) technology, is often used to study HIV genetic variation. However, the substantial mismatch error rate of the PCR required to prepare HIV-containing samples for pyrosequencing has limited the detection of rare variants within viral populations to those present above ~1%. To improve detection of rare variants, we varied PCR enzymes and conditions to identify those that combined high sensitivity with a low error rate. Substitution errors were found to vary up to 3-fold between the different enzymes tested. The sensitivity of each enzyme, which impacts the number of templates amplified for pyrosequencing, was shown to vary, although not consistently across genes and different samples. We also describe an amplicon-based method to improve the consistency of read coverage over stretches of the HIV-1 genome. Twenty-two primers were designed to amplify 11 overlapping amplicons in the HIV-1 clade B gag-pol and env gp120 coding regions to encompass 4.7 kb of the viral genome per sample at sensitivities as low as 0.01-0.2%.
DNA methylation disturbance is associated with defective human sperm. However, oligozoospermia (OZ) and asthenozoospermia (AZ) usually present together, and the relationship between the single-phenotype defects in human sperm and DNA methylation is poorly understood. In this study, 20 infertile OZ patients and 20 infertile AZ patients were compared with 20 fertile normozoospermic men. Bisulfate-specific PCR was used to analyze DNA methylation of the H19-DMR and the DAZL promoter in these subjects. A similar DNA methylation pattern of the H19-DMR was detected in AZ and NZ(control), with only complete methylation and mild hypomethylation(<50% unmethylated CpGs) identified, and there was no significant difference in the occurrence of these two methylation patterns between AZ and NZ (P>0.05). However, the methylation pattern of severe hypomethylation (>50% unmethylated CpGs ) and complete unmethylation was only detected in 5 OZ patients, and the occurrence of these two methylation patterns was 8.54±10.86% and 9±6.06%, respectively. Loss of DNA methylation of the H19-DMR in the OZ patients was found to mainly occur in CTCF-binding site 6, with occurrence of 18.15±14.71%, which was much higher than that in patients with NZ (0.84±2.05%) and AZ (0.58±1.77%) (P<0.001).Additional, our data indicated the occurrence of >20% methylated clones in the DAZL promoter only in infertile patients, there was no significant difference between the AZ and OZ patients in the proportion of moderately-to-severely hypermethylated clones (p>0.05). In all cases, global sperm genome methylation analyses, using LINE1 transposon as the indicator, showed that dysregulation of DNA methylation is specifically associated with the H19-DMR and DAZL promoter. Therefore, abnormal DNA methylation status of H19-DMR, especially at the CTCF-binding site 6, is closely associated with OZ. Abnormal DNA methylation of the DAZL promoter might represent an epigenetic marker of male infertility.
C-reactive protein (CRP) is inversely related to prognosis in many cancers, however, no studies regarding the predictive value of CRP in small cell carcinoma of the esophagus (SCCE) are available. The aim of this study was to determine the prognostic value of preoperative CRP in patients with SCCE.
From January 2001 to December 2010, a retrospective analysis of 43 consecutive patients with SCCE was conducted. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to evaluate the prognostic parameters.
In our study, elevated CRP levels (>10 mg/L) were found in 16 patients (37.2%). CRP levels were significantly higher in patients with deeply invasive tumors (P = 0.018) and those associated with nodal metastasis (P = 0.018). Patients with CRP ≤10 mg/L had a significantly better overall survival than patients with CRP >10 mg/L (25.9% vs 6.3%, P = 0.004). Multivariate analyses showed that CRP was a significant predictor for overall survival. CRP >10 mg/L had a hazard ratio of 2.756 (95% confidence interval: 1.115–6.813, P = 0.028) for overall survival.
Preoperative CRP is an independent predictive factor for long-term survival in patients with SCCE.
C-reactive protein; esophageal cancer; small cell carcinoma; survival
Mutations of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes which activate mTOR through several downstream signaling pathways are common to cancer. Activation of mTOR when combined with inhibition of cell cycle progression or DNA replication stress has previously been shown to promote cell senescence. In the present study, we examined the conditions under which human non-small cell lung carcinoma A549 cells can undergo senescence when treated with the DNA alkylating agent mitomycin C (MMC). While exposure of A549 cells to 0.1 or 0.5 µg/ml of MMC led to their arrest in S phase of the cell cycle and subsequent apoptosis, exposure to 0.01 or 0.02 µg/ml for 6 d resulted in induction of cell senescence and near total (0.01 µg/ml) or total (0.02 µg/ml) elimination of their reproductive potential. During exposure to these low concentrations of MMC, the cells demonstrated evidence of DNA replication stress manifested by expression of γH2AX, p21WAF1 and a very low level of EdU incorporation into DNA. The data are consistent with the notion that enduring DNA replication stress in cells known to have activated oncogenes leads to their senescence. It is reasonable to expect that tumors having constitutive activation of oncogenes triggering mTOR signaling may be particularly predisposed to undergoing senescence following prolonged treatment with low doses of DNA damaging drugs.
cell cycle; human non-small cell lung carcinoma; mTOR; metronomic chemotherapy; oncogenes; personalized cancer treatment; senescence; γH2AX
Hepatitis B reactivation is a well-described complication in patients with inactive chronic hepatitis B receiving chemotherapy. Screening for HBV and preemptive therapy are recommended. However, the rates of HBV screening, prophylaxis and reactivation during rituximab-containing chemotherapy are unknown.
Patients and methods
We performed a retrospective study of patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) who received rituximab between August 1997 and September 2009. We evaluated patients for hepatitis B serologies, antiviral prophylaxis and hepatitis B reactivation during or up to 6 months after chemotherapy.
One thousand four hundred twenty nine patients underwent rituximab-containing chemotherapy for NHL. Hepatitis B serologies were documented in 524 (36.6%) patients. Of these, 20 (3.8 %) were HBsAg positive and 10 (50%) experienced HBV reactivation. Only half (5/10) had HBV serology documented prior to reactivation. Only 3/8 (37.5%) of patients with newly documented HBsAg positivity received antiviral prophylaxis. Virologic breakthrough occurred in 2 of the patients on chronic therapy, in one of three inactive carriers on prophylaxis and in 2 of 5 patients not receiving prophylaxis. Reactivation developed in another 5 patients not previously screened for hepatitis B. One patient developed ALF and died. Reactivation did not occur in 25 patients with isolated positive core antibody.
At tertiary care institutions hepatitis B serologies are infrequently assessed prior to rituximab-based chemotherapy and prophylaxis is uncommon. Greater adherence to recommendations for screening and prophylaxis is necessary. This suboptimal screening rate could be even lower in community hospitals and could result in significant harm to unscreened and unprophylaxed patients.
Chemotherapy; HBV Reactivation; Hepatitis B; HBV prophylaxis; Non-Hodgkin lymphoma; Rituximab
Human DNA polymerase δ (Pol δ) is involved in various DNA damage responses in addition to its central role in DNA replication. The Pol δ4 holoenzyme consists of four subunits, p125, p50, p68 and p12. It has been established that the p12 subunit is rapidly degraded in response to DNA damage by UV leading to the in vivo conversion of Pol δ4 to Pol δ3, a trimeric form lacking the p12 subunit. We provide the first analysis of the time-dependent recruitment of the individual Pol δ subunits to sites of DNA damage produced by UV irradiation through 5 μm polycarbonate filters by immunofluorescence microscopy and laser scanning cytometry (LSC). Quantitative analysis demonstrates that the recruitments of the three large subunits was near complete by 2 h and did not change significantly up to 4 h after UV exposure. However, the recruitment of p12 was incomplete even at 4 h, with about 70% of the Pol δ lacking the p12 subunit. ChIP analysis of Pol δ after global UV irradiation further demonstrates that only p125, p50 and p68 were present. Thus, Pol δ3 is the predominant form of Pol δ at sites of UV damage as a result of p12 degradation. Using LSC, we have further confirmed that Pol δ was recruited to CPD damage sites in all phases of the cell cycle. Collectively, our results show that Pol δ at the DNA damage site is the Pol δ trimer lacking p12 regardless of the cell cycle phase.
DNA damage foci; DNA replication; POLD1; POLD4; UV damage; cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer; polymerase δ
Berberine (BRB), a natural alkaloid, has a long history of medicinal use in both Ayurvedic and old Chinese medicine. Recently, available as a dietary supplement, Berberine is reported to have application in treatment of variety diseases. Previously we observed that BRB inhibited mTOR/S6 signaling concurrently with reduction of the level of endogenous oxidants and constitutive DNA damage response. We currently tested whether Berberine can affect premature, stress-induced cellular senescence caused by mitoxantrone. The depth of senescence was quantitatively measured by morphometric parameters, senescence-associated β-galactosidase, induction of p21WAF1, replication stress (γH2AX expression), and mTOR signaling; the latter revealed by ribosomal S6 protein (rpS6) phosphorylation. All these markers of senescence were distinctly diminished, in a concentration-dependent manner, by Berberine. In view of the evidence that BRB localizes in mitochondria, inhibits respiratory electron chain and activates AMPK, the observed attenuation of the replication stress-induced cellular senescence most likely is mediated by AMPK that leads to inhibition of mTOR signaling. In support of this mechanism is the observation that rhodamine123, the cationic probe targeting mitochondrial electron chain, also suppressed rpS6 phosphorylation. The present findings reveal that: (a) in cells induced to senescence BRB exhibits gero-suppressive properties by means of mTOR/S6 inhibition; (b) in parallel, BRB reduces the level of constitutive DNA damage response, previously shown to report oxidative DNA damage by endogenous ROS; (c) there appears to a causal linkage between the (a) and (b) activities; (d) the in vitro model of premature stress-induced senescence can be used to assess effectiveness of potential gero-suppressive agents targeting mTOR/S6 and ROS signaling; (e) since most of the reported beneficial effects of BRB are in age-relate diseases, it is likely that gero-suppression is the primary activity of this traditional medicine.
Berberine; Cellular senescence; H2AX phosphorylation; ROS; ribosomal protein S6; calorie restriction; metformin; rapamycin; 2-deoxyglucose; replication stress; cell cycle
The acute effects of grape polyphenols on endothelial function in adults are inconsistent. Here, we performed meta-analyses to determine these acute effects as measured by flow-mediated dilation (FMD).
Trials were searched in PubMed, Embase and the Cochrane Library database. Summary estimates of weighted mean differences (WMDs) and 95% CIs were obtained by using random-effects models. Meta-regression and subgroup analyses were performed to identify the source of heterogeneity. The protocol details of our meta-analysis have been submitted to the PROSPERO register and our registration number is CRD42013004157.
Nine studies were included in the present meta-analyses. The results showed that the FMD level was significantly increased in the initial 120 min after intake of grape polyphenols as compared with controls. Meta-regression and subgroup analyses were performed and showed that a health status was the main effect modifier of the significant heterogeneity. Subgroups indicated that intake of grape polyphenols could significantly increase FMD in healthy subjects, and the increased FMD appeared to be more obviously in subjects with high cardiovascular risk factors. Moreover, the peak effect of grape polyphenols on FMD in healthy subjects was found 30 min after ingestion, which was different from the effect in subjects with high cardiovascular risk factors, in whom the peak effect was found 60 min after ingestion.
Endothelial function can be significantly improved in healthy adults in the initial 2 h after intake of grape polyphenols. The acute effect of grape polyphenols on endothelial function may be more significant but the peak effect is delayed in subjects with a smoking history or coronary heart disease as compared with the healthy subjects.
Women with breast cancer treated with aromatase inhibitors (AIs) may experience musculoskeletal symptoms that lead to discontinuation of effective therapy. The purpose of the current study is to evaluate the clinical and genetic predictors for AIs-related musculoskeletal adverse events(MS-AEs).
Methodology and Principal Findings
We recruited 436 postmenopausal Chinese Han women receiving adjuvant AIs therapy for early-stage hormone-sensitive breast cancer. Patients completed a self-administered questionnaire assessing the presence of musculoskeletal symptoms that started or worsened after initiating AIs. 27 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) of ESR1, ESR2 and PGR were analyzed by Sequenom MassARRAY assays and /or PCR-based TaqMan assays.Of the 436 enrolled women, 206 cases experienced musculoskeletal symptoms.Patients who received taxane chemotherapy were more than two times more likely than other patients to have AIs-related MS-AEs. Genetic assay had showed that only two ESR1 SNPs, rs2234693 and rs9340799 were associated with AIs-related MS-AEs.TT genotype and the T allele in rs2234693 was statistically significantly lower in AIs-Related MS-AEs group than controls (P = 0.001; P = 9.49E-7). The frequency of AA genotype and the A allele in rs9340799 was higher (P = 2.20E-5; P = 3.09E-4).
Conclusions and Significance
Our results suggested that prior taxane-based chemotherapy was the clinical predictor, while rs2234693 and rs9340799 were the genetic predictors for AIs-related MS-AEs.
Isoascorbic acid is a stereoisomer of L-ascorbic acid, and widely used as a food antioxidant. However, its highly hydrophilic behavior prevents its application in cosmetics or fats and oils-based foods. To overcome this problem, D-isoascorbyl palmitate was synthesized in the present study for improving the isoascorbic acid’s oil solubility with an immobilized lipase in organic media. The structural information of synthesized product was clarified using LC-ESI-MS, FT-IR, 1H and 13C NMR analysis, and process parameters for high yield of D-isoascorbyl palmitate were optimized by using One–factor-at-a-time experiments and response surface methodology (RSM).
The synthesized product had the purity of 95% and its structural characteristics were confirmed as isoascorbyl palmitate by LC-ESI-MS, FT-IR, 1H, and 13C NMR analysis. Results from “one–factor-at-a-time” experiments indicated that the enzyme load, reaction temperature and D-isoascorbic-to-palmitic acid molar ratio had a significant effect on the D-isoascorbyl palmitate conversion rate. 95.32% of conversion rate was obtained by using response surface methodology (RSM) under the the optimized condition: enzyme load of 20% (w/w), reaction temperature of 53°C and D- isoascorbic-to-palmitic acid molar ratio of 1:4 when the reaction parameters were set as: acetone 20 mL, 40 g/L of molecular sieves content, 200 rpm speed for 24-h reaction time.
The findings of this study can become a reference for developing industrial processes for the preparation of isoascorbic acid ester, which might be used in food additives, cosmetic formulations and for the synthesis of other isoascorbic acid derivatives.
Isoascorbyl palmitate; Enzymatic synthesis; Structural characteristic; Response surface methodology; Optimization
Licochalcone A (LCA), a licorice chalconoid, is considered to be a bioactive agent with chemopreventive potential. This study investigated the mechanisms involved in LCA-induced apoptosis in human bladder cancer T24 cells. LCA significantly inhibited cells proliferation, increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, and caused T24 cells apoptosis. Moreover, LCA induced mitochondrial dysfunction, caspase-3 activation, and poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) cleavage, which displayed features of mitochondria-dependent apoptotic signals. Besides, exposure of T24 cells to LCA triggered endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress; as indicated by the enhancement in 78 kDa glucose-regulated protein (GRP 78), growth arrest and DNA damage-inducible gene 153/C/EBP homology protein (GADD153/CHOP) expression, ER stress-dependent apoptosis is caused by the activation of ER-specific caspase-12. All the findings from our study suggest that LCA initiates mitochondrial ROS generation and induces oxidative stress that consequently causes T24 cell apoptosis via the mitochondria-dependent and the ER stress-triggered signaling pathways.
Mammalian hearing relies upon active cochlear mechanics, which arises from outer hair
cell (OHC) electromotility and hair bundle movement, to amplify acoustic stimulations increasing
hearing sensitivity and frequency selectivity. Here we describe the novel finding that gap junctions
between cochlear supporting cells also have a critical role in active cochlear amplification
in vivo. We find that targeted-deletion of connexin26 (Cx26) in Deiters cells (DCs)
and outer pillar cells (OPCs), which constrain OHCs standing on the basilar membrane, causes a
leftward shift in OHC electromotility towards hyperpolarization, and reduces active cochlear
amplification with hearing loss. Coincident with large reduction in distortion product otoacoustic
emission (DPOAE) and severe hearing loss at high frequencies, the shift is larger in shorter OHCs.
Our study demonstrates that active cochlear amplification in vivo is dependent on
supporting cell gap junctions. These new findings also show that Cx26 deficiency can reduce active
cochlear amplification to induce hearing loss.
gap junction; connexin26; outer hair cell electromotility; hearing; cochlea; deafness
AIM: To assess endoscopic papillary balloon dilatation (EPBD) and endoscopic sphincteropapillotomy (EST) for common bile duct (CBD) stone removal using a meta-analysis.
METHODS: Randomized controlled trials published from 1990 to 2012 comparing EPBD with EST for CBD stone removal were evaluated. This meta-analysis was performed to estimate short-term and long-term complications of these two treatments. The fixed random effect model or random effect model was established to analysis the data. Results were obtained by analyzing the relative risk, odds ratio, and 95%CI for a given comparison using RevMan 5.1. Statistical significance was defined as P < 0.05. Risk of bias was evaluated using a funnel plot.
RESULTS: Of the 1975 patients analyzed, 980 of them were treated with EPBD and 995 were treated with EST. Of the patient population, patients in the EPBD group were younger (OR = -1.16, 95%CI: -1.49 to 0.84, P < 0.01). There were no significant differences in gender proportion, average size of stones, number of gallstones, previous cholecystectomy, the incidence of duodenal diverticulum, CBD diameter or the total follow-up time between EST and EPBD groups. Compared with EST, the total stone clearance in the EPBD group decreased (OR = 0.64, 95%CI: 0.42 to 0.96, P = 0.03), the use of stone extraction baskets significantly increased (OR = 1.91, 95%CI: 1.41 to 2.59, P < 0.01), and the incidence of pancreatitis significantly increased (OR = 2.79, 95%CI: 1.74 to 4.45, P < 0.0001). The incidence of bleeding (OR = 0.12, 95%CI: 0.04 to 0.34, P < 0.01) and cholecystitis (OR = 0.41, 95%CI: 0.20 to 0.84, P = 0.02) significantly decreased. The stone recurrence rate also was significantly reduced in EPBD (OR = 0.48, 95%CI: 0.26 to 0.90, P = 0.02). There were no significant differences between the two groups with the incidence of stone removal at first attempt, hours of operation, total short-term complications and infection, perforation, or acute cholangitis.
CONCLUSION: Although the incidence of pancreatitis was higher, the overall stone clearance rate and risk of bleeding was lower with EPBD compared to EST.
Common bile duct stone; Endoscopic papillary balloon dilatation; Endoscopic sphincteropapillotomy; Meta-analysis
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of mild hypothermia on the coagulation-fibrinolysis system and physiological anticoagulants after cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). A total of 20 male Wuzhishan miniature pigs underwent 8 min of untreated ventricular fibrillation and CPR. Of these, 16 were successfully resuscitated and were randomized into the mild hypothermia group (MH, n = 8) or the control normothermia group (CN, n = 8). Mild hypothermia (33°C) was induced intravascularly, and this temperature was maintained for 12 h before pigs were actively rewarmed. The CN group received normothermic post-cardiac arrest (CA) care for 72 h. Four animals were in the sham operation group (SO). Blood samples were taken at baseline, and 0.5, 6, 12, 24, and 72 h after ROSC. Whole-body mild hypothermia impaired blood coagulation during cooling, but attenuated blood coagulation impairment at 72 h after ROSC. Mild hypothermia also increased serum levels of physiological anticoagulants, such as PRO C and AT-III during cooling and after rewarming, decreased EPCR and TFPI levels during cooling but not after rewarming, and inhibited fibrinolysis and platelet activation during cooling and after rewarming. Finally, mild hypothermia did not affect coagulation-fibrinolysis, physiological anticoagulants, or platelet activation during rewarming. Thus, our findings indicate that mild hypothermia exerted an anticoagulant effect during cooling, which may have inhibitory effects on microthrombus formation. Furthermore, mild hypothermia inhibited fibrinolysis and platelet activation during cooling and attenuated blood coagulation impairment after rewarming. Slow rewarming had no obvious adverse effects on blood coagulation.
Tumor-specific antigens (TSAs) are central elements in the immune control of cancers. To systematically explore the TSA genome, we developed a computational technology called Heterogeneous Expression Profile Analysis (HEPA), which can identify genes relatively uniquely expressed in cancer cells in contrast to normal somatic tissues. Rating human genes by their HEPA score enriched for clinically useful TSA genes, nominating candidate targets whose tumor-specific expression was verified by RT-PCR. Coupled with HEPA, we designed a novel assay termed Protein A/G based Reverse Serological Evaluation (PARSE) for quick detection of serum autoantibodies against an array of putative TSA genes. Remarkably, highly tumor-specific autoantibody responses against seven candidate targets were detected in 4–11% of patients, resulting in distinctive autoantibody signatures in lung and stomach cancers. Interrogation of a larger cohort of 149 patients and 123 healthy individuals validated the predictive value of the autoantibody signature for lung cancer. Together, our results establish an integrated technology to uncover a cancer-specific antigen genome offering a reservoir of novel immunological and clinical targets.
Tumor specific antigen; TSA; Gene expression profiling; New algorithims; Immunodiagnosis; Autoantibody signatures
Patients with ALK gene rearrangements often manifest dramatic responses to crizotinib, an ALK inhibitor. Accurate identification of patients with ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is essential for the clinical application of ALK-targeted therapy. However, assessing EML4-ALK rearrangement in NSCLC remains challenging in routine pathology practice. The aim of this study was to compare the diagnostic accuracy of FISH, immunohistochemistry (IHC), and real-time quantitative RT-PCR (QPCR) methodologies for detection of EML4-ALK rearrangement in NSCLC and to appraise immunohistochemistry as a pre-screening tool. In this study, a total of 473 paraffin-embedded NSCLC samples from surgical resections and biopsies were analyzed by IHC with ALK antibody. ALK rearrangement was further confirmed by FISH and QPCR. ALK protein expression was detected in twenty patients (20/473, 4.2%). Of the 20 ALK-positive cases by IHC, 15 cases were further confirmed as ALK rearrangement by FISH, and 5 cases were not interpretable. Also, we evaluated 13 out of the 20 IHC-positive tissues by QPCR in additional to FISH, and found that 9 cases were positive and 2 cases were equivocal, whereas 2 cases were negative although they were positive by both IHC and FISH. The ALK status was concordant in 5 out of 8 cases that were interpretable by three methods. Additionally, none of the 110 IHC-negative cases with adenocarcinoma histology showed ALK rearrangements by FISH. Histologically, almost all the ALK-rearranged cases were adenocarcinoma, except that one case was sarcomatoid carcinoma. A solid signet-ring cell pattern or mucinous cribriform pattern was presented at least focally in all ALK-positive tumors. In conclusion, our findings suggested that ALK rearrangement was associated with ALK protein expression. The conventional IHC assay is a valuable tool for the pre-screening of patients with ALK rearrangement in clinical practice and a combination of FISH and QPCR is required for further confirmation.
Adulthood weight gain predicts estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Because local estrogen excess in the breast likely contributes to cancer development, and aromatase is the key enzyme in estrogen biosynthesis, we investigated the role of local aromatase expression in weight gain-associated breast cancer risk in a humanized aromatase (Aromhum) mouse model containing the coding region and the 5′-regulatory region of the human aromatase gene. Compared with littermates on normal chow, female Aromhum mice on a high fat diet gained more weight, and had a larger mammary gland mass with elevated total human aromatase mRNA levels via promoters I.4 and II associated with increased levels of their regulators TNFα and C/EBPβ. There was no difference in total human aromatase mRNA levels in gonadal white adipose tissue. Our data suggest that diet-induced weight gain preferentially stimulates local aromatase expression in the breast, which may lead to local estrogen excess and breast cancer risk.
aromatase; overweight; weight gain; obesity; mammary; breast cancer
Recent advances in automated high-resolution fluorescence microscopy and robotic handling have made the systematic and cost effective study of diverse morphological changes within a large population of cells possible under a variety of perturbations, e.g., drugs, compounds, metal catalysts, RNA interference (RNAi). Cell population-based studies deviate from conventional microscopy studies on a few cells, and could provide stronger statistical power for drawing experimental observations and conclusions. However, it is challenging to manually extract and quantify phenotypic changes from the large amounts of complex image data generated. Thus, bioimage informatics approaches are needed to rapidly and objectively quantify and analyze the image data. This paper provides an overview of the bioimage informatics challenges and approaches in image-based studies for drug and target discovery. The concepts and capabilities of image-based screening are first illustrated by a few practical examples investigating different kinds of phenotypic changes caEditorsused by drugs, compounds, or RNAi. The bioimage analysis approaches, including object detection, segmentation, and tracking, are then described. Subsequently, the quantitative features, phenotype identification, and multidimensional profile analysis for profiling the effects of drugs and targets are summarized. Moreover, a number of publicly available software packages for bioimage informatics are listed for further reference. It is expected that this review will help readers, including those without bioimage informatics expertise, understand the capabilities, approaches, and tools of bioimage informatics and apply them to advance their own studies.
Currently, the donor-recipient matching process for vascularized composite tissue allotransplantation (VCTA) closely follows the standard practices for solid organ transplantation. Sensitization is considered a contraindication to VCTA. However, the role of sensitization in VCTA rejection is largely unstudied.
Major histocompatibility-mismatched ACI (RT1a) donors and WF (RT1u) recipients were used to determine if sensitization would lead to hyperacute rejection in VCTA as in other organs, such as kidneys. WF rats were presensitized to ACI antigens by skin transplantation and received heterotopic osteomyocutaneous VCTA flaps. Kidney transplants served as controls.
Production of anti-donor antibody was detected in WF recipients after rejection of the ACI skin grafts. Sensitized WF rats rejected VCTA grafts from ACI rats significantly faster (P < 0.05) than unsensitized recipients, but not hyperacutely. Rejection in the sensitized recipients was not prevented by immunosuppression with FK506 and mycophenolate mofetil. In contrast, kidney allografts from ACI rats were hyperacutely rejected within 30 minutes by sensitized recipients. To confirm the role of antibody-mediated rejection in the sensitized recipients, serum from presensitized rats was adoptively transferred into naïve WF rats. Hyperacute rejection occurred only in transplanted kidneys but not VCTA. Histological examination of tissues from acceleratedly rejected VCTA showed dense lymphocytic infiltrates, and no antibody deposition.
VCTA are rejected in an accelerated fashion but not hyperacutely in the presence of allosensitization and preformed anti-donor antibody. The rejection of VCTA in sensitized recipients is mainly cell-mediated and differs mechanistically from that for renal transplants.
sensitization; vascularized composite tissue allotransplantation; rejection
The RV144 trial demonstrated 31% vaccine efficacy (VE) at preventing HIV-1 infection1. Antibodies against the HIV-1 envelope variable loops 1 and 2 (V1/V2) domain correlated inversely with infection risk2. We hypothesized that vaccine-induced immune responses against V1/V2 would selectively impact, or sieve, HIV-1 breakthrough viruses. 936 HIV-1 genome sequences from 44 vaccine and 66 placebo recipients were examined. We show that vaccine-induced immune responses were associated with two signatures in V1/V2 at amino-acid positions 169 and 181. VE against viruses matching the vaccine at position 169 was 48% (CI: 18 to 66%; p=0.0036), whereas VE against viruses mismatching the vaccine at position 181 was 78% (CI: 35% to 93%; p=0.0028). Residue 169 is in a cationic glycosylated region recognized by broadly neutralizing and RV144-derived antibodies. The predicted distance between the two signatures sites (21±7 Å), and their match/mismatch dichotomy, suggest that multiple factors may be involved in the protection observed in RV144. Genetic signatures of RV144 vaccination in V2 complement the finding of an association between high V1/V2 binding antibodies and reduced risk of HIV-1 acquisition and provide evidence that vaccine-induced V2 responses plausibly played a role in the partial protection conferred by the RV144 regimen.
BACKGROUND & AIMS
5-hydroxytryptamine receptor (5-HT4R) agonists promote gastrointestinal motility and attenuate visceral pain, but concerns about adverse reactions have restricted their availability. We tested the hypotheses that 5-HT4 receptors are expressed in the colonic epithelium and that 5-HT4R agonists can act intraluminally to increase motility and reduce visceral hypersensitivity.
Mucosal expression of the 5-HT4R was evaluated by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical analysis of tissues from 5-HT4R(BAC)-enhanced green fluorescent protein mice. Amperometry, histology, and short-circuit current measurements were used to study 5-HT, mucus, and Cl− secretion, respectively. Propulsive motility was measured in guinea pig distal colon, and visceromotor responses were recorded in a rat model of colonic hypersensitivity. 5-HT4R compounds included cisapride, tegaserod, naronapride, SB204070, and GR113808.
Mucosal 5-HT4 receptors were present in the small and large intestines. In the distal colon, 5-HT4 receptors were expressed by most epithelial cells, including enterochromaffin and goblet cells. Stimulation of 5-HT4Rs evoked mucosal 5-HT release, goblet cell degranulation, and Cl− secretion. Luminal administration of 5-HT4R agonists accelerated propulsive motility; a 5-HT4R antagonist blocked this effect. Bath application of 5-HT4R agonists did not affect motility. Oral or intracolonic administration of 5-HT4R agonists attenuated visceral hypersensitivity. Intracolonic administration was more potent than oral administration, and was inhibited by a 5-HT4R antagonist.
Mucosal 5-HT4 receptor activation can mediate the prokinetic and antinociceptive actions of 5-HT4R agonists. Colon-targeted, intraluminal delivery of 5-HT4R agonists might be used to promote motility and alleviate visceral pain, while restricting systemic bioavailability and resulting adverse side effects.
Constipation; ATI-7505; Peristaltic Reflex; Cavitation
Design and fabrication of noble metal nanocrystals have attracted much attention due to their wide applications in catalysis, optical detection and biomedicine. However, it still remains a challenge to scale-up the production in a high-quality, low-cost and eco-friendly way. Here we show that single crystalline silver nanobelts grow abundantly on the surface of biomass-derived monolithic activated carbon (MAC), using [Ag(NH3)2]NO3 aqueous solution only. By varying the [Ag(NH3)2]NO3 concentration, silver nanoplates or nanoflowers can also be selectively obtained. The silver growth was illustrated using a galvanic-cell mechanism. The lowering of cell potential via using [Ag(NH3)2]+ precursor, together with the AgCl crystalline seed initiation, and the releasing of OH− in the reaction process, create a stable environment for the self-compensatory growth of silver nanocrystals. Our work revealed the great versatility of a new type of template-directed galvanic-cell reaction for the controlled growth of noble metal nanocrystals.