AIM: To evaluate human gastric submucosal vascular dysfunction and its mechanism during the aging process.
METHODS: Twenty male patients undergoing subtotal gastrectomy were enrolled in this study. Young and elderly patient groups aged 25-40 years and 60-85 years, respectively, were included. Inclusion criteria were: no clinical evidence of cardiovascular, renal or diabetic diseases. Conventional clinical examinations were carried out. After surgery, gastric submucosal arteries were immediately dissected free of fat and connective tissue. Vascular responses to acetylcholine (ACh) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP) were measured by isolated vascular perfusion. Morphological changes in the gastric mucosal vessels were observed by hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining and Verhoeff van Gieson (EVG) staining. The expression of xanthine oxidase (XO) and manganese-superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD) was assessed by Western blotting analysis. The malondialdehyde (MDA) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) content and the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) were determined according to commercial kits.
RESULTS: The overall structure of vessel walls was shown by HE and EVG staining, respectively. Disruption of the internal elastic lamina or neointimal layers was not observed in vessels from young or elderly patients; however, cell layer number in the vessel wall increased significantly in the elderly group. Compared with submucosal arteries in young patients, the amount of vascular collagen fibers, lumen diameter and media cross-sectional area were significantly increased in elderly patients. Ach- and SNP-induced vasodilatation in elderly arterioles was significantly decreased compared with that of gastric submucosal arterioles from young patients. Compared with the young group, the expression of XO and the contents of MDA and H2O2 in gastric submucosal arterioles were increased in the elderly group. In addition, the expression of Mn-SOD and the activities of SOD and GSH-Px in the elderly group decreased significantly compared with those in the young group.
CONCLUSION: Gastric vascular dysfunction and senescence may be associated with increased oxidative stress and decreased antioxidative defense in the aging process.
Aging; Vascular dysfunction; Gastric blood flow; Oxidative stress; Human
AIM: To determine how the oncogene miR-21 regulates the RAS signaling pathways and affects colon cancer cell behaviors.
METHODS: RAS p21 GTPase activating protein 1 (RASA1) protein expression in six colon cancer cell lines was assessed by Western blot. Colon cancer RKO cells were chosen for transfection because they are KRAS wild type colon cancer cells whose RASA1 expression is significantly decreased. RKO cells were transfected with vectors overexpressing or down-regulating either miR-21 or RASA1. Furthermore, a luciferase reporter assay was used to determine whether RASA1 is a gene target of miR-21. Then, changes in mRNA and protein levels of RASA1, RAS-GTP, and other components of the RAS signaling pathways were assessed in transfected RKO cells by real-time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, Western blot and immunoprecipitation. Finally, cell proliferation, apoptosis, invasion, and tumor formation ability were assessed by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide dye assay, flow cytometry, transwell assay, and animal experiment, respectively.
RESULTS: RASA1 protein levels were significantly decreased in RKO cells compared with the other 5 colon cancer cell lines, and RASA1 was confirmed as a target gene of miR-21. Interestingly, RASA1 mRNA and protein levels in pre-miR-21-LV (up-regulation of miR-21) cells were lower than those in anti-miR-21-LV (down-regulation of miR-21) cells (P < 0.05). In addition, pre-miR-21-LV or siRASA1 (down-regulation of RASA1) cells showed higher cell proliferation, reduced apoptosis, increased expression of RAS-GTP, p-AKT, Raf-1, KRAS, and p-ERK1/2, and higher invasion and tumor formation ability, compared with control, anti-miR-21-LV or pcDNA3.1-RASA1 (up-regulation of RASA1) cells (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: RASA1 is a target gene of miR-21, which promotes malignant behaviors of RKO cells through regulation of RASA1 expression.
Colon cancer; miR-21; RAS; RASA1; RAS signaling pathways
AIM: To investigate the effects of dihydromyricetin (DHM) on the migration and invasion of human hepatic cancer cells.
METHODS: The hepatoma cell lines SK-Hep-1 and MHCC97L were used in this study. The cells were cultured in RPIM-1640 medium supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum at 37 °C in a humidified 5% CO2 incubator. DHM was dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide and diluted to various concentrations in medium before applying to cells. MTT assays were performed to measure the viability of the cells after DHM treatment. Wound healing and Boyden transwell assays were used to assess cancer cell motility. The invasive capacity of cancer cells was measured using Matrigel-coated transwell chambers. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2/9 activity was examined by fluorescence analysis. Western blot was carried out to analyze the expression of MMP-2, MMP-9, p-38, JNK, ERK1/2 and PKC-δ proteins. All data were analyzed by Student’s t tests in GraphPad prism 5.0 software and are presented as mean ± SD.
RESULTS: DHM was found to strongly inhibit the migration of the hepatoma cell lines SK-Hep-1 (without DHM, 24 h: 120 ± 8 μmol/L vs 100 μmol/L DHM, 24 h: 65 ± 10 μmol/L, P < 0.001) and MHCC97L (without DHM, 24 h: 126 ± 7 μmol/L vs 100 μmol/L DHM, 24 h: 74 ± 6 μmol/L, P < 0.001). The invasive capacity of the cells was reduced by DHM treatment (SK-Hep-1 cells without DHM, 24 h: 67 ± 4 μmol/L vs 100 μmol/L DHM, 24 h: 9 ± 3 μmol/L, P < 0.001; MHCC97L cells without DHM, 24 h: 117 ± 8 μmol/L vs 100 μmol/L DHM, 24 h: 45 ± 2 μmol/L, P < 0.001). MMP2/9 activity was also inhibited by DHM exposure (SK-Hep-1 cells without DHM, 24 h: 600 ± 26 μmol/L vs 100 μmol/L DHM, 24 h: 100 ± 6 μmol/L, P < 0.001; MHCC97L cells without DHM, 24 h: 504 ± 32 μmol/L vs 100 μmol/L DHM 24 h: 156 ± 10 μmol/L, P < 0.001). Western blot analysis showed that DHM decreased the expression level of MMP-9 but had little effect on MMP-2. Further investigation indicated that DHM markedly reduced the phosphorylation levels of p38, ERK1/2 and JNK in a concentration-dependent manner but had no impact on the total protein levels. In addition, PKC-δ protein, a key protein in the regulation of MMP family protein expression, was up-regulated with DHM treatment.
CONCLUSION: These findings demonstrate that DHM inhibits the migration and invasion of hepatoma cells and may serve as a potential candidate agent for the prevention of HCC metastasis.
Dihydromyricetin; Migration; Invasion; Hepatic cancer; Matrix metalloproteinase-9
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) refers to the accumulation of fat (mainly triglycerides) within hepatocytes. Approximately 20%-30% of adults in the general population in developed countries have NAFLD; this trend is increasing because of the pandemicity of obesity and diabetes, and is becoming a serious public health burden. Twenty percent of individuals with NAFLD develop chronic hepatic inflammation [nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)], which can be associated with the development of cirrhosis, portal hypertension, and hepatocellular carcinoma in a minority of patients. And thus, the detection and diagnosis of NAFLD is important for general practitioners. Liver biopsy is the gold standard for diagnosing NAFLD and confirming the presence of NASH. However, the invasiveness of this procedure limits its application to screening the general population or patients with contraindications for liver biopsy. The development of noninvasive diagnostic methods for NAFLD is of paramount importance. This review focuses on the updates of noninvasive diagnosis of NAFLD. Besides, we review clinical evidence supporting a strong association between NAFLD and the risk of cardiovascular disease because of the cross link between these two disorders.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; Noninvasive diagnosis; Laboratory biochemistry; Image assessment; Cardiovascular disease
AIM: To evaluate potential risk factors in the development of ulcerative colitis (UC) in China.
METHODS: A total of 1308 patients with UC and 1308 age-matched and sex-matched controls were prospectively studied in China. The UC cases were collected from 17 hospitals in China from April 2007 to April 2010. Uniform questionnaires were designed to investigate risk factors including smoking, appendectomy, stress, socio-economic conditions, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), oral contraceptives, diet, breastfeeding, infections and family sanitary conditions. Group comparisons by each factor were done using simple logistic regression analysis. Conditional logistic regression was used for multivariate analysis.
RESULTS: By univariate analysis, the variables predictive of UC included feeling stress, light and heavy alcoholic drinking, spicy food, sugar consumption and infectious diarrhea, while heavy tea intake and tap water consumption were protective against UC. On multivariate analysis, the protective factor for UC was tap water consumption [odds ratios (OR) = 0.424, 95%CI: 0.302-0.594, P < 0.001]; while the potential risk factors for UC were heavy sugar consumption (OR = 1.632, 95%CI: 1.156-2.305, P < 0.001), spicy food (light intake: OR = 3.329, 95%CI: 2.282-4.857, P < 0.001; heavy intake: OR = 3.979, 95%CI: 2.700-5.863, P < 0.001), and often feeling stress (OR = 1.981, 95%CI: 1.447-2.711, P < 0.001). Other factors, such as smoking habit, appendectomy, breastfeeding, a history of measles, rural or urban residence, education, oral contraceptives, and NSAID use have not been found to have a significant association with the development of UC in the present study.
CONCLUSION: Our study showed tap water consumption was a protective factor for UC, while spicy food, heavy sugar consumption and often feeling stress were risk factors for UC in this Chinese population.
Ulcerative colitis; Risk factors; Case-control study
AIM: To investigate the effect of probiotics on regulating T regulatory cells and reducing the severity of experimental colitis in mice.
METHODS: Forty C57/BL mice were randomly divided into four groups. Colitis was induced in the mice using 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS). After 10-d treatment with Bifico capsules (combined bifidobacterium, lactobacillus and enterococcus), body weight, colonic weight, colonic weight index, length of colon, and histological scores were evaluated. CD4+CD25+Foxp3+T cell in mesenteric lymph nodes were measured by flow cytometry, and cytokines in colonic tissue homogenates were analyzed by a cytometric bead array.
RESULTS: The colonic weight index and the colonic weight of colitis mice treated with Bifico were lower than that of TNBS-induced mice without treatment. However, colonic length and percent of body weight amplification were higher than in TNBS-induced mice without treatment. Compared with TNBS-induced mice without treatment, the level of CD4+CD25+Foxp3+T cells in mesenteric lymph nodes, the expression of interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4 and IL-10 in colonic tissues from colitis mice treated with Bifico were upregulated, and tumor necrosis factor-α and interferon-γ were downregulated.
CONCLUSION: Probiotics effectively treat experimental colitis by increasing CD4+CD25+Foxp3+T cell and regulating the balance of Th1 and Th2 cytokines in the colonic mucosa.
Probiotics; Ulcerative colitis; CD4+CD25+T cell; Cytokine
AIM: To study the effects of combined early fluid resuscitation and hydrogen inhalation on septic shock-induced lung and intestine injuries.
METHODS: Wistar male rats were randomly divided into four groups: control group (Group A, n = 15); septic shock group (Group B, n = 15); early fluid resuscitation-treated septic shock group (Group C, n = 15); and early fluid resuscitation and inhalation of 2% hydrogen-treated septic shock group (Group D, n = 15). The activity of hydroxyl radicals, myeloperoxidase (MPO), superoxide dismutase (SOD), diamine oxidase (DAO), and the concentration of malonaldehyde (MDA) in the lung and intestinal tissue were assessed according to the corresponding kits. Hematoxylin and eosin staining was carried out to detect the pathology of the lung and intestine. The expression levels of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in lung and intestine tissue were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method. The expression levels of Fas and Bcl2 in lung tissues were determined by immunohistochemistry and Western blotting.
RESULTS: Septic shock elicited a significant increase in the levels of MDA (10.17 ± 1.12 nmol/mg protein vs 2.98 ± 0.64 nmol/mg protein) and MPO (6.79 ± 1.02 U/g wet tissue vs 1.69 ± 0.14 U/g wet tissue) in lung tissues. These effects were not significantly decreased by Group C pretreatment, but were significantly reduced by Group D pretreatment (MDA: 4.45 ± 1.13 nmol/mg protein vs 9.56 ± 1.37 nmol/mg protein; MPO: 2.58 ± 0.21 U/g wet tissue vs 6.02 ± 1.16 U/g wet tissue). The activity of SOD (250.32 ± 8.56 U/mg protein vs 365.78 ± 10.26 U/mg protein) in lung tissues was decreased after septic shock, and was not significantly increased by Group C pretreatment, but was significantly enhanced by Group D pretreatment (331.15 ± 9.64 U/mg protein vs 262.98 ± 5.47 U/mg protein). Histological evidence of lung hemorrhage, neutrophil infiltration and overexpression of IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α was observed in lung tissues, all of which were attenuated by Group C and further alleviated by Group D pretreatment. Septic shock also elicited a significant increase in the levels of MDA, MPO and DAO (6.54 ± 0.68 kU/L vs 4.32 ± 0.33 kU/L) in intestinal tissues, all of which were further increased by Group C, but significantly reduced by Group D pretreatment. Increased Chiu scoring and overexpression of IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-α were observed in intestinal tissues, all of which were attenuated by Group C and further attenuated by Group D pretreatment.
CONCLUSION: Combined early fluid resuscitation and hydrogen inhalation may protect the lung and intestine of the septic shock rats from the damage induced by oxidative stress and the inflammatory reaction.
Early fluid resuscitation; Inhalation of hydrogen gas; Septic shock; Lung; Intestine; Oxidative damage
AIM: To explore the prognostic value in the monitoring of treatment efficacy of serial α-fetoprotein (AFP) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients.
METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE and COCHRANE LIBRARY through April 21, 2012, to find qualifying articles. Our overall search strategy included terms for HCC, AFP, treatment response, and prognosis. Literature was limited to English-language, human studies. Studies reporting cumulative survival rates were summarized qualitatively. For the prognostic meta-analysis, we undertook a series of meta-analyses that summarised the Cox proportional hazard ratios (HRs) by assuming a random effects model. With regards to the correlation of AFP change with radiologic response, the categorical dichotomous variables were assessed using Poisson relative risks (RRs), which were incorporated into the random effects model meta-analysis of accuracy prediction. Between-study heterogeneity was estimated by use of the I² statistic. Publication bias was evaluated using the Begg funnel plot and Egger plot. Sensitivity analyses were conducted first by separating systemic treatment estimates from locoregional therapy estimates, evaluating different AFP response cut-off point effects, and exploring the impact of different study sizes.
RESULTS: Of 142 titles identified in our original search, 11 articles (12 clinical studies) met our criteria. Six studies investigated outcome in a total of 464 cases who underwent systemic treatment, and six studies investigated outcome in a total of 510 patients who received locoregional therapy. A random-effects model meta-analysis showed that AFP response was associated with an mortality HR of 0.55 (95%CI, 0.47-0.65) across HCC in overall survival (OS) and 0.50 (95%CI, 0.38-0.65) in progression-free survival. Restricting analysis to the six eligible analyses of systemic treatment, the pooled HRs were 0.64 (95%CI, 0.53-0.77) for OS. Limiting analysis to the six analyses of locoregional therapy, the pooled HRs for OS was 0.39 (95%CI, 0.29-0.53). We showed a larger pooled HR in the 50% definition studies (HR, 0.67, 95%CI, 0.55-0.83) compared with that from the 20% definition studies (HR, 0.41, 95%CI, 0.32-0.53). Restricting analysis to the four studies including over 100 patients individually, the pooled HR was 0.65 (95%CI, 0.54-0.79), with a pooled HR for OS of 0.35 (95%CI, 0.23-0.46) in the studies of less than 100 patients. As to radiological imaging, 43.1% (155/360) of the patients in the AFP response group presented with a radiological overall response, while the response rate decreased to 11.5% (36/313) in the patients from the AFP nonresponse group. The RR of having no overall response was significantly lower in the AFP response group than the AFP nonresponse group (RR, 0.67; 95%CI, 0.61-0.75). In terms of disease control rate, 86.9% (287/330) in the AFP response group and 51.0% (153/300) in the AFP nonresponse group showed successful disease control, respectively. The RR of disease control failure, similarly, was significantly lower in the AFP response group (RR, 0.37; 95%CI, 0.23-0.58). But these ﬁndings could be overestimates because of publication and reporting bias.
CONCLUSION: HCC patients presenting with an AFP response are at decreased risk of mortality. In addition, patients with an AFP response also present with a higher overall response rate and disease control rate.
Liver cancer; α-fetoprotein; Response; Prognosis; Monitoring
AIM: To investigate the prevalence of gallstone disease (GSD) and to evaluate the risk of symptomatic GSD among diabetic patients.
METHODS: The study was conducted by analyzing the National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) dataset of ambulatory care patients, inpatient claims, and the updated registry of beneficiaries from 2000 to 2008. A total of 615 532 diabetic patients without a prior history of hospital treatment or ambulatory care visits for symptomatic GSD were identified in the year 2000. Age- and gender-matched control individuals free from both GSD and diabetes from 1997 to 1999 were randomly selected from the NHIR database (n = 614 871). The incidence densities of symptomatic GSD were estimated according to the subjects’ diabetic status. The distributions of age, gender, occupation, income, and residential area urbanization were compared between diabetic patients and control subjects using Cox proportion hazards models. Differences between the rates of selected comorbidities were also assessed in the two groups.
RESULTS: Overall, 60 734 diabetic patients and 48 116 control patients developed symptomatic GSD and underwent operations, resulting in cumulative operation rates of 9.87% and 7.83%, respectively. The age and gender distributions of both groups were similar, with a mean age of 60 years and a predominance of females. The diabetic group had a significantly higher prevalence of all comorbidities of interest. A higher incidence of symptomatic GSD was observed in females than in males in both groups. In the control group, females under the age of 64 had a significantly higher incidence of GSD than the corresponding males, but this difference was reduced with increasing age. The cumulative incidences of operations for symptomatic GSD in the diabetic and control groups were 13.06 and 9.52 cases per 1000 person-years, respectively. Diabetic men exhibited a higher incidence of operations for symptomatic GSD than did their counterparts in the control group (12.35 vs 8.75 cases per 1000 person-years).
CONCLUSION: The association of diabetes with increased symptomatic GSD may provide insight to the treatment or management of diabetes in clinical settings.
Gallstone disease; Diabetes; Symptomatic; Incidence density; Hazard ratio
AIM: To analyze the possible protective role of Arctium lappa L. (AL) in a murine model of ulcerative colitis (UC).
METHODS: BALB/c mice were administered 100 mg/kg AL powder orally each day. After 7 d, colitis was induced by administration of dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) (5% W/V) in drinking water for a further 8 consecutive days. Diarrhea and bloody stools as well as colonic histology were observed. The level of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in colonic sections were detected by immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: There were significant differences in mean body weight values and disease activity indices between controls and AL-treated animals. Moreover, the histological findings showed that AL treatment can prevent mucosal edema, submucosal erosions, ulceration, inflammatory cell infiltration and colon damage. In addition, immunohistochemistry analysis showed that the levels of the inflammatory cytokines, IL-6 and TNF-α were also decreased in AL-treated groups.
CONCLUSION: We suggest that AL can prevent intestinal damage and decrease inflammatory cytokines in mice with DSS-induced colitis. Thus, AL could prove to be a useful food for UC.
Arctium lappa L.; Colitis; Cytokine; Inflammatory bowel disease; Ulcerative colitis
AIM: To evaluate the value of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication mouse model with regard to several aspects of the study of HBV biology.
METHODS: To evaluate the HBV replication mouse model in detecting the efficacy of anti-HBV agents, the interferon inducer polyinosinic-polytidylin acid (polyIC) and nucleotide analogues adefovir and entecavir were administered to mice injected with wild type pHBV4.1, and the inhibiting effect of these agents on HBV DNA replication was evaluated. To identify the model’s value in a replication ability study of HBV drug-resistant mutants and a HBx-minus mutant, telbivudine resistance mutants (rtM204I, ayw subtype), adefovir resistance mutants (rtA181V + rtN236T, ayw subtype) and HBx-minus mutants were injected respectively, and their corresponding HBV DNA replication intermediates in mouse liver were assessed.
RESULTS: Compared with the wild type HBV replication mouse model without antiviral agent treatment, the HBV DNA replication intermediates of the polyIC-treated group were decreased 1-fold; while in the entecavir- and adefovir-treated groups, the levels of HBV DNA replication intermediates were inhibited 13.6-fold and 1.4-fold, respectively. For the mouse models injected with telbivudine resistance mutant, adefovir resistance mutant and HBx-minus mutant, HBV DNA replication intermediates could still be detected, but the levels of HBV DNA replication intermediates of these mutants decreased 4.5-fold, 5.6-fold and 2.9-fold respectively, compared with the mouse model with wild type HBV plasmid.
CONCLUSION: The HBV replication mouse model we established was a useful and convenient tool to detect the efficacy of antiviral agents and to study the replication ability of HBV mutants in vivo.
Hepatitis B virus; Antiviral agents; Drug resistance; Mutants; Mouse model
AIM: To investigate and evaluate the pathological features and diagnostic value of focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH) with multi-section spiral computed tomography (MSCT) and postprocessing.
METHODS: A total of 25 patients with FNH who had undergone MSCT and postprocessing were included in the investigation. All patients had been pathologically or clinically confirmed with FNH. A number of 75 cases of hepatic carcinomas, hemangiomas and adenomas were randomly selected at a same period for a comparative study.
RESULTS: There was a single focus in 22 cases and multiple foci in 3 cases. On the plain scan, 17 lesions showed hypodensity, 7 isodensity and 4 hyperdensity (the case with fatty liver). With contrast, 28 lesions were enhanced evenly or in the nodules in the arterial phase; 13 lesions still showed hyperdensity, 11 lesions isodensity and 4 lesions hypodensity in the parenchymatous phase; in the delayed phase only 5 lesions showed hyperdensity but 9 lesions showed isodensity or slight hypodensity and 14 lesions showed hypodensity. Twelve lesions of 28 had central asteroid scars. Thickened feeding arteries in postprocessing were seen in 24 lesions, and were integrated into the parenchymatous lesions with a gradual and smooth course. On the contrary, there were no artery penetrated into the lesion found in any of comparative hepatic tumors.
CONCLUSION: Doctors could make a correct diagnosis and differentiation of FNH on evaluation of the characteristic appearance on MSCT with postprocessing.
Angiography; Computer-assisted image processing; Focal nodular hyperplasia; Liver diseases; X-ray; Computed tomography
AIM: To establish a rapid and convenient animal model with hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication.
METHODS: A naked DNA solution of HBV-replication-competent plasmid was transferred to BALB/C mice via the tail vein, using a hydrodynamic in vivo transfection procedure. After injection, these mice were sacrificed on d 1, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 10. HBV DNA replication intermediates in the liver were analyzed by Southern blot hybridization. The expression of hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg) and hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in the liver was checked by immunohistochemistry. Serum HBsAg and hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) was detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Inhibition of HBV replication was compared in HBV replication model mice treated intraperitoneally with polyinosinic-polytidylin acid (polyIC) or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS).
RESULTS: After hydrodynamic in vivo transfection, HBV DNA replication intermediates in the mouse liver were detectable on d 1 and abundant on d 3 and 4, the levels were slightly decreased and remained relatively stable between d 5 and 7, and were almost undetectable on d 10. The expression patterns of HBcAg and HBsAg were similar to that of HBV replication intermediate DNA, except that they reached a peak on d 1 after injection. No obvious differences in HBV DNA replication intermediates were observed in the left, right and middle lobes of the liver. After treatment with polyIC, the level of HBV intermediate DNA in the liver was lower than that in the control mice injected with PBS.
CONCLUSION: A rapid and convenient mouse model with a high level of HBV replication was developed and used to investigate the inhibitory effect of polyIC on HBV replication, which provides a useful tool for future functional studies of the HBV genome.
Animal model; Gene expression; Hepatitis B Virus; Hydrodynamic transfection; Polyinosinic-polytidylin acid; Virus replication
AIM: To study the efficacy and safety of Fuzhenghuayu capsule (FZHY capsule, a capsule for strengthening body resistance to remove blood stasis) against liver fibrosis due to chronic hepatitis B.
METHODS: Multicenter, randomized, double blinded and parallel control experiment was conducted in patients (aged from 18 to 65 years) with liver fibrosis due to chronic hepatitis B. Hepatic histologic changes and HBV markers were examined at wk 0 and 24 during treatment. Serologic parameters (HA, LM, P-III-P, IV-C) were determined and B ultrasound examination of the spleen and liver was performed at wk 0, 12 and 24. Liver function (liver function and serologic parameters for liver fibrosis) was observed at wk 0, 6, 12, 18 and 24. Blood and urine routine test, renal function and ECG were examined before and after treatment.
RESULTS: There was no significant difference between experimental group (110 cases) and control group (106 cases) in demographic features, vital signs, course of illness, history for drug anaphylaxis and previous therapy, liver function, serologic parameters for liver fibrosis, liver histologic examination (99 cases in experimental group, 96 cases in control group), HBV markers, and renal function. According to the criteria for liver fibrosis staging, mean score of fibrotic stage(s) in experimental group after treatment (1.80) decreased significantly compared to the previous treatment (2.33, P<0.05), but there was no significant difference in mean score of fibrotic stage(s) (2.11 and 2.14 respectively). There was a significant difference in reverse rate between experimental group (52%) and control group (23.3%) in liver biopsy. With marked effect on decreasing the mean value of inflammatory activity and score of inflammation (P<0.05), Fuzhenghuayu capsule had rather good effects on inhibiting inflammatory activity and was superior to that of Heluoshugan capsule. Compared to that of pretreatment, there was a significant decrease in HA, LM, P-III-P and IV-C content in experimental group after 12 and 24 wk of treatment. The difference in HA, LM, P-III-P and IV-C content between 12 and 24 wk of treatment and pretreatment in experimental group was significantly greater than that in control group (P<0.01-0.05). The effect, defined as two of four parameters lowering more than 30% of the baseline, was 72.7% in experimental group and 27.4% in control group (P<0.01). Obvious improvement in serum Alb, ALT, AST and GGT was seen in two groups. Compared to that of control group, marked improvement in GGT and Alb was seen in experimental group (P<0.05). The effective rate of improvement in serum ALT was 72.7% in experimental group and 59.4% in control group. No significant difference was seen in blood and urine routine and ECG before and after treatment. There was also no significant difference in stable rate in ALT and serologic parameters for liver fibrosis between experimental group and control group after 12 wk of withdrawal.
CONCLUSION: Fuzhenghuayu capsule has good therapeutic effects on alleviating liver fibrosis due to chronic hepatitis B without any adverse effect and is superior to that of Heluoshugan capsule.
Chronic hepatitis B; Fuzhenghuayu capsule
AIM: To describe the effect of Rheum tanguticum polysaccharide (RTP) on hydrogen peroxide-induced human intestinal epithelial cell injury.
METHODS: Hydrogen peroxide (100 μmol/L) was introduced to induce human intestinal epithelial cell injury. Cells were pretreated with RTP (30,100,300 μg/mL) for 24 h before exposure to hydrogen peroxide. Cell viability was detected by MTT assay and morphological observation. Acridine orange staining and flow cytometry were performed to assess cell apoptosis. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity, production of malondialdehyde (MDA) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity were measured by spectrophotometry with corresponding assay kits.
RESULTS: Following exposure to H2O2, a marked decrease in cell survival and SOD activity, increased production of MDA, LDH leakage and cell apoptosis were found. Pretreatment of the cells with RTP could significantly elevate cell survival, SOD activity and decrease the level of MDA, LDH activity and cell apoptosis.
CONCLUSION: RTP may have cytoprotective and anti-oxidant effects against H2O2-induced intestinal epithelial cell injury by inhibiting cell apoptosis and necrosis. This might be one of the possible mechanisms of RTP for the treatment of ulcerative colitis in rats.
Rheum tanguticum polysaccharide; Intestinal epithelial cells; Apoptosis; Necrosis; Catalase
AIM: To introduce an air insufflation procedure and to investigate the effectiveness of air insufflation in preventing pancreatic fistula (PF).
METHODS: From March 2010 to August 2013, a total of 185 patients underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) at our institution, and 74 patients were not involved in this study for various reasons. The clinical outcomes of 111 patients were retrospectively analyzed. The air insufflation test was performed in 46 patients to investigate the efficacy of the pancreaticojejunal anastomosis during surgery, and 65 patients who did not receive the air insufflation test served as controls. Preoperative assessments and intraoperative outcomes were compared between the 2 groups. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify the risk factors for PF.
RESULTS: The two patient groups had similar baseline demographics, preoperative assessments, operative factors, pancreatic factors and pathological results. The overall mortality, morbidity, and PF rates were 1.8%, 48.6%, and 26.1%, respectively. No significant differences were observed in either morbidity or mortality between the two groups. The rate of clinical PF (grade B and grade C PF) was significantly lower in the air insufflation test group, compared with the non-air insufflation test group (6.5% vs 23.1%, P = 0.02). Univariate analysis identified the following parameters as risk factors related to clinical PF: estimated blood loss; pancreatic duct diameter ≤ 3 mm; invagination anastomosis technique; and not undergoing air insufflation test. By further analyzing these variables with multivariate logistic regression, estimated blood loss, pancreatic duct diameter ≤ 3 mm and not undergoing air insufflation test were demonstrated to be independent risk factors.
CONCLUSION: Performing an air insufflation test could significantly reduce the occurrence of clinical PF after PD. Not performing an air insufflation test was an independent risk factor for clinical PF.
Pancreatic fistula; Pancreaticoduodenectomy; Air insufflation test; Surgery; Morbidity
AIM: To evaluate the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of laparoscopic pancreaticoduodenectomy (LPD) using a reverse-“V” approach with four ports.
METHODS: This is a retrospective study of selected patients who underwent LPD at our center between April 2011 and April 2012. The following data were collected and reviewed: patient characteristics, tumor histology, surgical outcome, resection margins, morbidity, and mortality. All patients were thoroughly evaluated preoperatively by complete hematologic investigations, triple-phase helical computed tomography, upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, and biopsy of ampullary lesions (when present). Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography was performed for doubtful cases of lower common bile duct lesions.
RESULTS: There was no perioperative mortality. LPD was performed with tumor-free margins in all patients, including patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (n = 6), ampullary carcinoma (n = 6), intra-ductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (n = 2), pancreatic cystadenocarcinoma (n = 2), pancreatic head adenocarcinoma (n = 3), and bile duct cancer (n = 2). The mean patient age was 65 years (range, 42-75 years). The median blood loss was 240 mL, and the mean operative time was 368 min.
CONCLUSION: LPD using a reverse-“V” approach can be performed safely and yields good results in elective patients. Our preliminary experience showed that LDP can be performed via a reverse-“V” approach. This approach can be used to treat localized malignant lesions irrespective of histopathology.
Laparoscopic pancreaticoduodenectomy; Operation; Indications
AIM: To investigate whether central obesity is associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) formation after adjusting for general obesity.
METHODS: The online databases PubMed, EMBASE, and ISI Web of Science were searched for studies estimating the influence of central obesity on NAFLD occurrence published through April 2014. Studies that did not adjust for body mass index (BMI) were excluded. In addition, the independent effect of BMI was also assessed with the included studies. The pooled effect sizes and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using random- or fixed-effects models based on the degree of heterogeneity. Furthermore, subgroup analyses, meta-regression, sensitivity analyses, and publication bias were performed.
RESULTS: Twenty eligible studies were identified. The summary odds ratio (OR) values per-unit increase in waist circumference (WC) and BMI for NAFLD formation were 1.07 (95%CI: 1.03-1.10, I2 = 73.9%, n = 11 studies) and 1.25 (95%CI: 1.13-1.38, I2 = 88.7%, n = 11 studies), respectively. When the indices were expressed as binary variables (with the non-obesity group as reference), the pooled OR in WC, waist-to-hip ratio, and BMI were 2.34 (95%CI: 1.83-3.00, I2 = 41.8%, n = 7 studies), 4.06 (95%CI: 1.53-10.79, I2 = 65.7%, n = 3 studies), and 2.85 (95%CI: 1.60-5.08, I2 = 57.8%, n = 5 studies), respectively. Using the same studies as the latter (n = 5), pooled OR in WC was 3.14 (95%CI: 2.07-4.77), which is greater than that in BMI.
CONCLUSION: Central obesity may pose a greater threat to national health than general obesity, although both are independently associated with increased risk of NAFLD.
Central obesity; General obesity; Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; Body mass index; Waist circumference
AIM: To study the “hospital type-outcome” and “volume-outcome” relationships in patients with esophageal cancer who receive non-surgical treatments.
METHODS: A total of 6106 patients with esophageal cancer diagnosed between 2008 and 2011 were identified from a national population-based cancer registry in Taiwan. The hospital types were defined as medical center and non-medical center. The threshold for high-volume hospitals was based on a median volume of 225 cases between 2008 and 2011 (annual volume, > 56 cases) or an upper quartile (> 75%) volume of 377 cases (annual volume > 94 cases). Cox regression analyses were used to determine the effects of hospital type and volume outcome on patient survival.
RESULTS: A total of 3955 non-surgically treated patients were included in the survival analysis. In the unadjusted analysis, the significant prognostic factors included cT, cN, cM stage, hospital type and hospital volume (annual volume, > 94 vs ≤ 94). The 1- and 3-year overall survival rates in the non-medical centers (36.2% and 13.2%, respectively) were significantly higher than those in the medical centers (33.5% and 11.3%, respectively; P = 0.027). The 1- and 3-year overall survival rates in hospitals with an annual volume of ≤ 94 (35.3% and 12.6%, respectively) were significantly higher than those with an annual volume of > 94 (31.1% and 9.4%, respectively; P = 0.001). However, in the multivariate analysis, the hospital type was not statistically significant. Only cT, cN, and cM stages and hospital volume (annual volume > 94 vs ≤ 94) were independent prognostic factors.
CONCLUSION: Whether the treatment occurs in medical centers is not a significant prognostic factor. High-volume hospitals were not associated with better survival rates compared with low-volume hospitals.
Cancer registry; Esophageal cancer; Hospital volume; Hospital type; Survival
AIM: To investigate the expression of forkhead box protein M1 (FoxM1) in the process of epithelial mesenchymal transition in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and its role in metastasis.
METHODS: FoxM1 and E-cadherin expression in HCC tissue microarray specimens was evaluated by immunohistochemical staining, and statistical methods were applied to analyze the correlation between FoxM1 and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Kaplan-Meier analysis of the correlation between the FoxM1 expression level and recurrence or overall survival of HCC patients was performed. The expression of FoxM1, E-cadherin and snail homologue 1 (SNAI1) in HCC cell lines was evaluated by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Western blot. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) was used to induce EMT and stimulate cell migration in HCC cells. The expression of FoxM1 and SNAI1 was regulated by transfection with plasmids pcDNA3.1 and siRNAs in vitro. The occurrence of EMT was evaluated by Transwell assay, morphologic analysis and detection of the expression of EMT markers (E-cadherin and vimentin). Luciferase and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays were used to evaluate whether SNAI1 is a direct transcriptional target of FoxM1.
RESULTS: FoxM1 expression was increased significantly in HCC compared with para-carcinoma (10.7 ± 0.9 vs 8.2 ± 0.7, P < 0.05) and normal hepatic (10.7 ± 0.9 vs 2.7 ± 0.4, P < 0.05) tissues. Overexpression of FoxM1 was correlated with HCC tumor size, tumor number, macrovascular invasion and higher TNM stage, but was negatively correlated with E-cadherin expression in microarray specimens and in cell lines. FoxM1 overexpression was correlated significantly with HCC metastasis and EMT. In vitro, we found that FoxM1 plays a key role in HGF-induced EMT, and overexpression of FoxM1 could suppress E-cadherin expression and induce EMT changes, which were associated with increased HCC cell invasiveness. Next, we confirmed that FOXM1 directly binds to and activates the SNAI1 promoter, and we identified SNAI1 as a direct transcriptional target of FOXM1. Moreover, inhibiting the expression of SNAI1 significantly inhibited FoxM1-mediated EMT.
CONCLUSION: FoxM1 overexpression promotes EMT and metastasis of HCC, and SNAI1 plays a critical role in FoxM1-mediated EMT.
Forkhead box protein M1; Epithelial-mesenchymal transition; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Snail homolog 1; E-cadherin
AIM: To investigate the value of computed tomography (CT) spectral imaging in the evaluation of intestinal hemorrhage.
METHODS: Seven blood flow rates were simulated in vitro. Energy spectral CT and mixed-energy CT scans were performed for each rate (0.5, 0.4, 0.3, 0.2, 0.1, 0.05 and 0.025 mL/min). The detection rates and the contrast-to-noise ratios (CNRs) of the contrast agent extravasation regions were compared between the two scanning methods in the arterial phase (AP) and the portal venous phase (PVP). Comparisons of the CNR values between the PVP and the AP were made for each energy level and carried out using a completely random t test. A χ2 test was used to compare the detection rates obtained from the two scanning methods.
RESULTS: The total detection rates for energy spectral CT and mixed-energy CT in the AP were 88.57% (31/35) and 65.71% (23/35), respectively, and the difference was significant (χ2 = 5.185, P = 0.023); the total detection rates in the PVP were 100.00% (35/35) and 91.4% (32/35), respectively, and the difference was not significant (χ2 = 1.393, P = 0.238). In the AP, the CNR of the contrast agent extravasation regions was 3.58 ± 2.09 on the mixed-energy CT images, but the CNRs were 8.78 ± 7.21 and 8.83 ± 6.75 at 50 and 60 keV, respectively, on the single-energy CT images, which were significantly different (3.58 ± 2.09 vs 8.78 ± 7.21, P = 0.031; 3.58 ± 2.09 vs 8.83 ± 6.75, P = 0.029). In the PVP, the differences between the CNRs at 40, 50 and 60 keV different monochromatic energy levels and the polychromatic energy images were significant (19.35 ± 10.89 vs 11.68 ± 6.38, P = 0.010; 20.82 ± 11.26 vs 11.68 ± 6.38, P = 0.001; 20.63 ± 10.07 vs 11.68 ± 6.38, P = 0.001). The CNRs at the different energy levels in the AP and the PVP were significantly different (t = -2.415, -2.380, -2.575, -2.762, -2.945, -3.157, -3.996 and -3.189).
CONCLUSION: Monochromatic energy imaging spectral CT is superior to polychromatic energy images for the detection of intestinal hemorrhage, and the detection was easier in the PVP compared with the AP.
Spectral imaging; Computed tomography; Monochromatic energy imaging; Small bowel bleeding
AIM: To investigate the prevalence of autoantibodies and their associations with clinical features in Chinese patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB).
METHODS: A total of 325 Chinese patients with CHB were enrolled in this retrospective, hospital-based study. Patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC), autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), or primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) were included, with healthy donors acting as controls. A panel of autoantibodies that serologically define AIH and PBC was tested by indirect immunofluorescence assay and line immunoassay. The AIH-related autoantibody profile included homogeneous anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA-H), smooth-muscle antibodies, anti-liver kidney microsome type 1, anti-liver cytosolic antigen type 1, and anti-soluble liver antigen/liver pancreas; the PBC-related antibodies were characterized by ANA-nuclear dots/membranous rim-like, anti-mitochondrial antibodies-M2 (AMA-M2), anti-BPO (recombinant antigen targeted by AMA-M2), anti-Sp100, anti-promyelocytic leukemia protein (anti-PML), and anti-gp210. The dichotomization of clustering was used to unequivocally designate the AIH or PBC profiles for each case. Anti-Ro52 antibodies were also tested.
RESULTS: The prevalence of any autoantibody in CHB amounted to 58.2%, which was similar to the 66.2% prevalence in CHC, significantly higher than the 6.7% in the healthy controls (P < 0.001), and lower than the 100% found in AIH and PBC (P = 0.004 and P < 0.001, respectively). There were more anti-PML and anti-gp210 antibodies among the CHB patients than the CHC patients (11.1% vs 0%, P = 0.003; 12.6% vs 0%, P < 0.001, respectively). The prevalence and titer of AMA, anti-BPO, anti-PML, and anti-gp210 were higher in PBC than in those with CHB. Among the CHB patients, the prevalence of ANA, especially ANA-H, was significantly lower in patients with compensated and decompensated cirrhosis compared with patients without cirrhosis. Thirty-eight cases of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in CHB showed a significant difference compared with non-HCC patients in the prevalence of anti-PML (0% vs 12.5%, P = 0.013). Dichotomization of the autoantibodies revealed that the PBC profile was more prevalent in patients with CHB than in those with CHC, and that it was strongly correlated with both compensated and decompensated cirrhosis. In contrast, the prevalence of the AIH profile was significantly higher in non-cirrhosis patients with CHB than in those with compensated cirrhosis (18.5% vs 8.2%, P = 0.039). Moreover, the AIH profile was also closely associated with hepatitis B e-antigen positivity.
CONCLUSION: ANA-H could be an indicator of early-stage CHB. Dichotomizing the autoantibody profiles revealed that the PBC profile is strongly associated with cirrhosis in CHB.
Autoantibodies; Chronic hepatitis B; Autoimmune hepatitis; Primary biliary cirrhosis; Cirrhosis; Hepatocellular carcinoma
AIM: To investigate ethanol-induced hepatic steatosis after liver resection and the mechanisms behind it.
METHODS: First, the preliminary examination was performed on 6 sham-operated (Sham) and 30 partial hepatectomy (PH) male Wistar rats (8-wk-old) to evaluate the recovery of the liver weight and liver function after liver resection. PH rats were sacrificed at the indicated time points (4, 8, and 12 h; 1, 3, and 7 d) after PH. Second, the time point for the beginning of the chronic ethanol exposure (1 wk after sham- or PH-operation) was determined based on the results of the preliminary examination. Finally, pair-feeding was performed with a controlled diet or with a 5-g/dL ethanol liquid diet for 28 d in another 35 age-matched male Wistar rats with a one-week recovery after undergoing a sham- (n = 15) or PH-operation (n = 20) to evaluate the ethanol-induced liver injury after liver resection. Hepatic steatosis, liver function, fatty acid synthase (Fas) gene expression level, the expression of lipid metabolism-associated enzyme regulator genes [sterol regulatory element binding protein (Srebp)-1 and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (Ppar)-α], the mediators that alter lipid metabolism [plasminogen activator (Pai)-1 gene expression level and tumor necrosis factor (Tnf)-α production], and hepatic class-1 alcohol dehydrogenase (Adh1)-associated ethanol elimination were investigated in the 4 groups based on histological, immunohistochemical, biochemical, Western blotting, reverse transcriptase chain reaction, and blood ethanol concentration analyses. The relevant gene expression levels, liver weight, and liver function were assessed before and 1 wk after surgery to determine the subject’s recovery from the liver resection using the rats that had been subjected to the preliminary examination.
RESULTS: In the PH rats, ethanol induced marked hepatic steatosis with impaired liver functioning, as evidenced by the accumulation of fatty droplets within the hepatocytes, the higher increases in their hepatic triglyceride and blood alanine aminotransferase and blood aspartate aminotransferase levels after the 28-d pair-feeding period. The Sham-ethanol rats, not the PH-ethanol rats, demonstrated the up-regulation of Srebp-1 and the down-regulation of Ppar-α mRNA expression levels after the 28-d pair-feeding period. The 28-d ethanol administration induced the up-regulation of Pai-1 gene expression level and an overproduction of TNF-α in the Sham and the PH rats; however, the effect was more significant in the PH rats. The PH-ethanol rats (n = 4) showed higher residual blood ethanol concentrations than did the Sham-ethanol rats (n = 6) after a 5-h fast (0.66 ± 0.4 mg/mL vs 0.2 ± 0.1 mg/mL, P < 0.05); these effects manifested without up-regulation of Adh1 gene expression, which was present in the Sham-ethanol group after the 28-d pair-feeding period. One week after the liver resection, the liver weight, function, the gene expression levels of Fas, Srebp-1, Ppar-α, Pai-1 and Tnf-α recovered; however, the Adh1 gene expression did not recover in rats.
CONCLUSION: Desensitization to post-hepatectomy ethanol treatment and slow recovery from PH in Adh1 gene expression enhanced the susceptibility to ethanol-induced hepatic steatosis after PH in rats.
Ethanol; Hepatic class-1 alcohol dehydrogenase; Ethanol elimination; Hepatic steatosis; Liver function; Liver resection
AIM: To determine the effect of different Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedures in gastric carcinoma patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
METHODS: A retrospective analysis of the clinical data of 54 patients with gastric cancer and type 2 diabetes mellitus treated in the Department of General Surgery from January 2006 to June 2013 was conducted. The patients underwent gastrectomy using different Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedures (traditional, n = 26; modified, n = 28). Fasting plasma glucose (FPG), two hour postprandial blood glucose (2 h PBG) and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) were analyzed before surgery (0 mo) and 1, 3 and 6 mo after surgery.
RESULTS: FPG and 2 h PBG levels were significantly decreased 1 mo after surgery in the traditional Roux-en-Y gastric bypass group (FPG 7.5 ± 1.3 vs 10.7 ± 1.2, P < 0.05) (2 h PBG 10.2 ± 1.8 vs 13.8 ± 3.2, P < 0.05). FPG and 2 h PBG levels were significantly decreased after surgery in the modified Roux-en-Y gastric bypass group (FPG 6.9 ± 1.2 vs 10.5 ± 1.1, 6.5 ± 1.3 vs 10.5 ± 1.1, 6.4 ± 1.2 vs 10.5 ± 1.1, P < 0.05) (2 h PBG 9.9 ± 2.2 vs 14.1 ± 2.9, 9.2 ± 2.4 vs 14.1 ± 2.9, 8.9 ± 2.6 vs 14.1 ± 2.9, P < 0.05). Compared with the levels before surgery, HbA1c levels were significantly decreased 3 and 6 mo after surgery (7.2 ± 1.1 vs 10.5 ± 1.1, 5.5 ± 1.1 vs 10.5 ± 1.1, P < 0.05). Significant differences between the two groups regarding FPG, 2 h PBG and HbA1c concentration were observed 3 and 6 mo after surgery (FPG 10.1 ± 1.5 vs 6.5 ± 1.3, 10.3 ± 1.4 vs 6.4 ± 1.2, P < 0.05) (2 h PBG 13.1 ± 2.8 vs 9.2 ± 2.4, 13.6 ± 3.1 vs 8.9 ± 2.6, P < 0.05) (HbA1c 10.1 ± 1.4 vs 7.2 ± 1.1, 10.5 ± 1.3 vs 5.5 ± 1.1, P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Modified Roux-en-Y gastric bypass can improve glucose metabolism in type 2 diabetic patients with gastric cancer.
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass; Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Gastric cancer; Fasting plasma glucose; Hemoglobin A1C
The significant influence of tumor stroma on malignant cells has been extensively investigated in this era of targeted therapy. The tumor microenvironment, as a dynamic system, is orchestrated by various cells including tumor vascular composing cells, inflammatory cells and fibroblasts. As a major and important component in tumor stroma, increasing evidence has shown that spindle-shaped cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are a significant modifier of cancer evolution, and promote tumorigenesis, tumor invasion and metastasis by stimulating angiogenesis, malignant cell survival, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and proliferation via direct cell-to-cell contact or secretion of soluble factors in most digestive solid tumors. CAFs are thought to be activated, characterized by the expression of α-smooth muscle actin, fibroblast activated protein, fibroblast specific protein, vimentin, fibronectin, etc. They are hypothesized to originate from normal or aged fibroblasts, bone marrow-derived mesenchymal cells, or vascular endothelial cells. EMT may also be an important process generating CAFs, and most probably, CAFs may originate from multiple cells. A close link exists between EMT, tumor stem cells, and chemo-resistance of tumor cells, which is largely orchestrated by CAFs. CAFs significantly induce immunosuppression, and may be a prognostic marker in various malignancies. Targeted therapy toward CAFs has displayed promising anticancer efficacy, which further reinforces the necessity to explore the relationship between CAFs and their hosts.
Cancer-associated fibroblast; Tumor progression; Epithelial-mesenchymal transition; Tumor immunity; Targeted therapy