Inflammatory mediators have been recognized as being important in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Interleukin (IL)-17 is an important regulator of immune and inflammatory responses, including the induction of proinflammatory cytokines and osteoclastic bone resorption. Evidence for the expression and proinflammatory activity of IL-17 has been demonstrated in RA synovium and in animal models of RA. Although some cytokines (IL-15 and IL-23) have been reported to regulate IL-17 production, the intracellular signaling pathways that regulate IL-17 production remain unknown. In the present study, we investigated the role of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway in the regulation of IL-17 production in RA. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from patients with RA (n = 24) were separated, then stimulated with various agents including anti-CD3, anti-CD28, phytohemagglutinin (PHA) and several inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. IL-17 levels were determined by sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction. The production of IL-17 was significantly increased in cells treated with anti-CD3 antibody with or without anti-CD28 and PHA (P < 0.05). Among tested cytokines and chemokines, IL-15, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and IL-6 upregulated IL-17 production (P < 0.05), whereas tumor necrosis factor-α, IL-1β, IL-18 or transforming growth factor-β did not. IL-17 was also detected in the PBMC of patients with osteoarthritis, but their expression levels were much lower than those of RA PBMC. Anti-CD3 antibody activated the PI3K/Akt pathway; activation of this pathway resulted in a pronounced augmentation of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) DNA-binding activity. IL-17 production by activated RA PBMC is completely or partly blocked in the presence of the NF-κB inhibitor pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate and the PI3K/Akt inhibitor wortmannin and LY294002, respectively. However, inhibition of activator protein-1 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 did not affect IL-17 production. These results suggest that signal transduction pathways dependent on PI3K/Akt and NF-κB are involved in the overproduction of the key inflammatory cytokine IL-17 in RA.
interleukin-17; nuclear factor κB; PI3K/Akt pathway; peripheral blood mononuclear cells; rheumatoid arthritis
We conducted a phase II study of docetaxel and ifosfamide chemotherapy for patients with platinum-resistant or refractory non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) to evaluate the response and toxicity profiles as a salvage treatment.
Materials and Methods
Between July 2000 and July 2004, 40 patients who had previously received platinum-based regimen as the first-line or second-line therapy were enrolled in this study. The treatment consisted of a docetaxel 75 mg/m2 intravenous infusion on day 1 and intravenous ifosfamide 3 g/m2 with Mesna® uroprotectione on day 1 through 3. This regimen was repeated every 3 weeks.
One hundred thirty cycles of treatment were given, with a median of 3 cycles (range: 2~6 cycles). All the patients were evaluable for the response rate and toxicity profile. The major toxicity was myelosuppression. Grade 3~4 neutropenia occurred in 30 patients (75%) during treatment. Febrile neutropenia occurred in 16 patients (40%). Five of 40 patients (12.5%) had a partial response (95% confidence interval, 3.3~21.7%). The median time to disease progression was 2.65 months (range: 2.02~3.20 months), and the median survival was 5.24 months (range: 2.99~7.49 months).
Salvage chemotherapy with docetaxel and ifosfamide showed a low efficacy and a high proportion of severe neutropenia in patients with platinum-resistant or refractory advanced NSCLC.
Non-small cell lung cancer; Chemotherapy; Docetaxel; Ifosfamide; Salvage therapy
The purpose of this study was to investigate the prognostic significance of the expression of EGFR and C-erbB-2 gene products by immunohistochemical analysis for curatively resected gastric adenocarcinoma.
Materials and Methods
Between January 1996 and December 2001, 739 patients with curatively resected gastric cancer patients underwent immunohistochemical staining for EGFR and C-erbB-2 proteins, and we retrospectively analyzed their correlation with the clinical outcome.
The overexpressions of EGFR and C-erbB-2 were 25.4% and 26.2%, respectively. The overexpressions of EGFR was associated with the more poorly differentiated tumor (p=0.000) and with neuronal invasion (p=0.03). Overexpression of C-erbB-2 was associated with less vascular invasion (p=0.001). Tumor depth or node metastasis was not related to the overexpression of EGFR or C-erbB-2. The seven-year overall survival and relapse-free survival rates were 87.2% and 75.8%, respectively. Upon multivariate Cox regression analysis, the tumor stage, tumor size and patient age were important prognostic factors for overall survival, and tumor stage was the important factor for relapse-free survival. Overexpressions of EGFR or c-erbB-2 were not significant prognostic factors.
Immunohistochemical staining of EGFR and C-erbB-2 gene products were not independent prognostic factors for predicting the overall survival and the relapse-free survival in curatively resected gastric cancer.
Gastric cancer; Prognosis; Immunohistochemistry; EGFR; C-erbB-2
Sclerosing hemangiomas (SH) of the lung are uncommon tumors and are thought to be benign. However, the biologic behavior of this tumor has not yet been characterized adequately. The clinicopathologic features were reviewed and analyzed for 16 cases of SH. The age of the patients ranged from 37 to 73 yr (mean 50.6 yr). There were fifteen female and one male patient. The SH located at the intraparenchyme in 14 cases, the interlobar fissure in one case and the visceral pleura in one case. The size of SH ranged from 0.3 cm to 8 cm (mean 2.6 cm). There were five unusual presentations of SH including a case having two SH with multiple nodules of atypical adenomatous hyperplasia in the same lobe, a case showing adenocarcinoma-like area within the SH, a case showing one peribronchial lymph node metastasis (N1 nodal stage) with location of interlobar major fissure, a case showing alveolar adenoma-like area within the SH, and one case with a large visceral pleural-based pedunculated mass presenting as mediastinal mass. All patients were alive and well without recurrence at the last follow up. Here, we reviewed previously published literatures and discussed the histogenesis of SH.
Lung Neoplasms; Sclerosing Hemangioma; Dermatofibroma; Transcription Factors; Immuno-histochemistry
Various genetic and environmental factors appear to be involved in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) is among the environmental factors that are suspected of predisposing to SLE, based on the characteristics of EBV itself and on sequence homologies between autoantigens and EBV antigens. In addition, higher titers of anti-EBV antibodies and increased EBV seroconversion rates have been observed in SLE patients as compared with healthy control individuals. Serologic responses do not directly reflect EBV status within the body. Clarification of the precise status of EBV infection in SLE patients would help to improve our understanding of the role played by EBV in this disease. In the present study we determined EBV types in SLE patients (n = 66) and normal control individual (n = 63) by direct PCR analysis of mouthwash samples. We also compared EBV load in blood between SLE patients (n = 24) and healthy control individuals (n = 29) using semiquantitative PCR assay. The number of infections and EBV type distribution were similar between adult SLE patients and healthy control individuals (98.5% versus 94%). Interestingly, the EBV burden in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was over 15-fold greater in SLE patients than in healthy control individuals (mean ± standard deviation: 463 ± 570 EBV genome copies/3 μg PBMC DNA versus 30 ± 29 EBV genome copies/3 μg PBMC DNA; P = 0.001), suggesting that EBV infection is abnormally regulated in SLE. The abnormally increased proportion of EBV-infected B cells in the SLE patients may contribute to enhanced autoantibody production in this disease.
Epstein–Barr virus; Epstein–Barr virus type; systemic lupus erythematosus; virus burden
A major Bacillus anthracis spore coat protein of 13.4 kDa, designated Cotα, was found only in the Bacillus cereus group. A stable ca. 30-kDa dimer of this protein was also present in spore coat extracts. Cotα, which is encoded by a monocistronic gene, was first detected late in sporulation, consistent with a σK-regulated gene. On the basis of immunogold labeling, the protein is in the outer spore coat and absent from the exosporium. In addition, disruption of the gene encoding Cotα resulted in spores lacking a dark-staining outer spore coat in thin-section electron micrographs. The mutant spores were stable upon heating or storage, germinated at the same rate as the wild type, and were resistant to lysozyme. They were, however, more sensitive than the wild type to phenol, chloroform, and hypochlorite but more resistant to diethylpyrocarbonate. In all cases, resistance or sensitivity to these reagents was restored by introducing a clone of the cotα gene into the mutant. Since Cotα is an abundant outer spore coat protein of the B. cereus group with a prominent role in spore resistance and sensitivity, it is a promising target for the inactivation of B. anthracis spores.
Arterial thrombosis is relatively rare compared with venous thrombosis in nephrotic syndrome. However, the assessment of its pathogenesis and risk factors in individual patient with nephrotic syndrome is necessary to allow appropriate prophylactic management because it is a potentially serious problem. Hereby, with review of the literature, we report a case of a 53 yr-old man with cerebral infarction associated with nephrotic syndrome due to focal segmental glomerulosclerosis during the course of treatments with diuretics and steroid. It reveals that the hypercoagulable state in nephrotic syndrome can be associated with cerebral infarction in adults. Prophylactic anticoagulants can be considered to reduce the risk of serious cerebral infarction in nephrotic patients with risk factors such as severe hypoalbuminemia and on diuretics or steroid treatment, even in young patients regardless of types of underlying glomerular diseases.
Nephrotic Syndrome; Cerebral Infarction; Risk Factors; Anticoagulants
Induction of oral tolerance has long been considered a promising approach to the treatment of chronic autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Oral administration of type II collagen (CII) has been proven to improve signs and symptoms in RA patients without troublesome toxicity. To investigate the mechanism of immune suppression mediated by orally administered antigen, we examined changes in serum IgG subtypes and T-cell proliferative responses to CII, and generation of IL-10-producing CD4+CD25+ T-cell subsets in an animal model of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). We found that joint inflammation in CIA mice peaked at 5 weeks after primary immunization with CII, which was significantly less in mice tolerized by repeated oral feeding of CII before CIA induction. Mice that had been fed with CII also exhibited increased serum IgG1 and decreased serum IgG2a as compared with nontolerized CIA animals. The T-cell proliferative response to CII was suppressed in lymph nodes of tolerized mice also. Production of IL-10 and of transforming growth factor-β from mononuclear lymphocytes was increased in the tolerized animals, and CD4+ T cells isolated from tolerized mice did not respond with induction of IFN-γ when stimulated in vitro with CII. We also observed greater induction of IL-10-producing CD4+CD25+ subsets among CII-stimulated splenic T cells from tolerized mice. These data suggest that when these IL-10-producing CD4+CD25+ T cells encounter CII antigen in affected joints they become activated to exert an anti-inflammatory effect.
collagen-induced arthritis; IL-10; oral tolerance; type II collagen
Recent studies of the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have revealed that both synovial fibroblasts and T cells participate in the perpetuation of joint inflammation as dynamic partners in a mutual activation feedback, via secretion of cytokines and chemokines that stimulate each other. In this study, we investigated the role of IL-17, a major Th1 cytokine produced by activated T cells, in the activation of RA synovial fibroblasts. Transcripts of IL-17R (IL-17 receptor) and IL-17RB (IL-17 receptor B) were present in fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) of RA patients. IL-17R responded with increased expression upon in vitro stimulation with IL-17, while the level of IL-17RB did not change. IL-17 enhanced the production of IL-6 and IL-8 in FLS, as previously shown, but did not affect the synthesis of IL-15. IL-17 appears to be a stronger inducer of IL-6 and IL-8 than IL-15, and even exerted activation comparable to that of IL-1β in RA FLS. IL-17-mediated induction of IL-6 and IL-8 was transduced via activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt and NF-κB, while CD40 ligation and p38 MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) are not likely to partake in the process. Together these results suggest that IL-17 is capable of more than accessory roles in the activation of RA FLS and provide grounds for targeting IL-17-associated pathways in therapeutic modulation of arthritis inflammation.
fibroblast-like synoviocytes; IL-17; phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase; rheumatoid arthritis
To determine the diagnostic accuracy of CT arthrography and virtual arthroscopy in the diagnosis of anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus pathology.
Materials and Methods
Thirty-eight consecutive patients who underwent CT arthrography and arthroscopy of the knee were included in this study. The ages of the patients ranged from 19 to 52 years and all of the patients were male. Sagittal, coronal, transverse and oblique coronal multiplanar reconstruction images were reformatted from CT arthrography. Virtual arthroscopy was performed from 6 standard views using a volume rendering technique. Three radiologists analyzed the MPR images and two orthopedic surgeons analyzed the virtual arthroscopic images.
The sensitivity and specificity of CT arthrography for the diagnosis of anterior cruciate ligament abnormalities were 87.5%-100% and 93.3-96.7%, respectively, and those for meniscus abnormalities were 91.7%-100% and 98.1%, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of virtual arthroscopy for the diagnosis of anterior cruciate ligament abnormalities were 87.5% and 83.3-90%, respectively, and those for meniscus abnormalities were 83.3%-87.5% and 96.1-98.1%, respectively.
CT arthrography and virtual arthroscopy showed good diagnostic accuracy for anterior cruciate ligament and meniscal abnormalities.
Knee, CT; Knee, arthrography; Knee, ligaments, menisci, and cartilage