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 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
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The exact etiology and pathology of IBD remain unknown. Available evidence suggests that an abnormal immune response against the microorganisms in the intestine is responsible for the disease in genetically susceptible individuals. Dysregulation of immune response in the intestine plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of IBD, involving a wide range of molecules including cytokines. On the other hand, besides T helper (Th) 1 and Th2 cell immune responses, other subsets of T cells, namely Th17 and regulatory T cells, are likely associated with disease progression. Studying the interactions between various constituents of the innate and adaptive immune systems will certainly open new horizons of the knowledge about the immunologic mechanisms in IBD.
Crohn’s disease; Inflammatory bowel disease; Proinflammatory cytokines; T helper cells; T helper 17 cells; Ulcerative colitis
AIM: To determine the prognostic value of circulating indicators of cell death in acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection as the single etiology.
METHODS: Full length and caspase cleaved cytokeratin 18 (detected as M65 and M30 antigens) represent circulating indicators of necrosis and apoptosis. M65 and M30 were identified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 169 subjects including healthy controls (n = 33), patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB, n = 55) and patients with ACLF (n = 81). According to the 3-mo survival period, ACLF patients were defined as having spontaneous recovery (n = 33) and non-spontaneous recovery which included deceased patients and those who required liver transplantation (n = 48).
RESULTS: Both biomarker levels significantly increased gradually as liver disease progressed (for M65: P < 0.001 for all; for M30: control vs CHB, P = 0.072; others: P < 0.001 for all). In contrast, the M30/M65 ratio was significantly higher in controls compared with CHB patients (P = 0.010) or ACLF patients (P < 0.001). In addition, the area under receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) analysis demonstrated that both biomarkers had diagnostic value (AUC ≥ 0.80) in identifying ACLF from CHB patients. Interestingly, it is worth noting that the M30/M65 ratio was significantly different between spontaneous and non-spontaneous recovery in ACLF patients (P = 0.032). The prognostic value of the M30/M65 ratio was compared with the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) and Child-Pugh scores at the 3-mo survival period, the AUC of the M30/M65 ratio was 0.66 with a sensitivity of 52.9% and the highest specificity of 92.6% (MELD:AUC = 0.71; sensitivity, 79.4%; specificity, 63.0%; Child-Pugh: AUC = 0.77; sensitivity, 61.8%; specificity, 88.9%).
CONCLUSION: M65 and M30 are strongly associated with liver disease severity. The M30/M65 ratio may be a potential prognostic marker for spontaneous recovery in patients with HBV-related ACLF.
Acute-on-chronic liver failure; Chronic hepatitis B virus infection; Liver disease stage; Liver disease severity; Serum M65 level; Serum M30 level; Prognostic value
AIM: To investigate the mechanisms of chloride intracellular channel 1 (CLIC1) in the metastasis of colon cancer under hypoxia-reoxygenation (H-R) conditions.
METHODS: Fluorescent probes were used to detect reactive oxygen species (ROS) in LOVO cells. Wound healing assay and transwell assay were performed to examine the migration and invasion of LOVO cells. Expression of CLIC1 mRNA and protein, p-ERK, MMP-2 and MMP-9 proteins was analyzed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Western blot.
METHODS: H-R treatment increased the intracellular ROS level in LOVO cells. The mRNA and protein expression of CLIC1 was elevated under H-R conditions. Functional inhibition of CLIC1 markedly decreased the H-R-enhanced ROS generation, cell migration, invasion and phosphorylation of ERK in treated LOVO cells. Additionally, the expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9 could be regulated by CLIC1-mediated ROS/ERK pathway.
CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that CLIC1 protein is involved in the metastasis of colon cancer LOVO cells via regulating the ROS/ERK pathway in the H-R process.
Colon cancer; Intracellular chloride channel 1; Hypoxia-reoxygenation; Reactive oxygen species; Extracellular signal-regulated kinase; Cancer invasion
AIM: To determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) of capecitabine combined with postoperative radiotherapy for gastric cancer.
METHODS: We enrolled patients with any T stage and node-positive gastroesophageal or gastric adenocarcinoma after complete resection with negative margins (R0) or microscopic (R1) or macroscopic (R2) resection. Intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) using a five-to-seven-field, coplanar, sliding window technique was delivered to the tumor bed (T4b), anastomosis site, duodenal stump and regional lymph nodes (LNs) to a total dose of 45 Gy (1.8 Gy/fraction, 5 d/wk). Patients with R1 or R2 resection received 10.8 Gy as a boost. Capecitabine was administered twice daily on every radiotherapy treatment day in a dose-escalation schedule (mg/m2) of 625 (level I, n = 6), 700 (level II, n = 6), 800 (level III, n = 6), 900 (level IV, n = 0) and 1000 (level V, n = 0). DLT was defined as grade 4 leukopenia or neutropenia, grade 3-4 thrombocytopenia or anemia and grade 3-4 non-hematological toxicity.
RESULTS: Between October 2007 and August 2009, 18 patients (12 men, 6 women; median age, 54 years) were enrolled in the study. The median number of positive LNs was 6, and total number of resected LNs was 19. Twelve patients underwent R0 resection (66.7%). Fifteen patients received adjuvant chemotherapy under the leucovorin, fluorouracil and oxaliplatin (FOLFOX4) regimen. Six patients each were enrolled at dose levels I, II and III. Grade 1-3 leukopenia (16 patients, 88.9%), anorexia (15, 83.3%) and nausea (15, 83.3%) were the most common toxicities. Grade 3 anorexia/nausea and grade 4 vomiting occurred in one level-I patient. Grade 3 anorexia and nausea occurred in one level-II patient. One level-III patient developed grade 4 neutropenia, while another developed grade 3 radiation esophagitis. No abnormal liver or renal function examinations were observed. Three patients did not finish chemoradiotherapy because of DLTs and two without DLTs received sequential boosts (total dose, 55.8 Gy).
CONCLUSION: The MTD of capecitabine was 800 mg/m2 twice daily concurrent with IMRT for gastric cancer after surgery. The DLTs were anorexia/nausea, vomiting, neutropenia and radiation esophagitis.
Radiotherapy; Capecitabine; Gastric cancer; Maximum tolerated dose; Dose-limiting toxicity
AIM: To investigate whether autologous dendritic cell (DC)-cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cell therapy is able to improve the therapeutic efficacy of chemotherapy in colon cancer.
METHODS: We conducted a systematic review of published papers from the sources of MEDLINE, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, EMBASE, the Wanfang Database, the China Science and Technology Periodical Database and China Journal Net. Published data were extracted independently by two authors using predefined database templates. The quality of the data from individual papers was also assessed. The effects of chemotherapy were compared with those of chemotherapy in combination with DC-CIK immunotherapy. The pooled analysis was performed using the data from random or fixed-effect models.
RESULTS: Seven trials matched our inclusion criteria (n = 533). The overall analysis showed significant survival benefit [one-year overall survival (OS), P < 0.0001; two-year OS, P = 0.009; three-year OS, P = 0.002] in favor of DC-CIK immunotherapy combined with chemotherapy. Disease-free survival (DFS) rate was improved after the combination of DC-CIK immunotherapy and chemotherapy (one-year DFS, P < 0.0001; two-year DFS, P = 0.002; three-year DFS, P = 0.02). An improved overall response rate (P = 0.009) was also observed in patients who received DC-CIK therapy. Furthermore, the analysis of T-lymphocyte subsets in peripheral blood indicated that the number of CD4+ T cells significantly increased in the DC-CIK plus chemotherapy group (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: The combination of DC-CIK immunotherapy and chemotherapy was superior in prolonging the survival time and enhancing immunological responses.
Dendritic cells; Cytokine-induced killer cells; Meta-analysis; Colon cancer; Immunotherapy
AIM: To analyze the expression of kallikrein gene 10 (KLK10) in gastric cancer and to determine whether KLK10 has independent prognostic value in gastric cancer.
METHODS: We studied KLK10 expression in 80 histologically confirmed gastric cancer samples using real-time quantitative reverse transcription-PCR and hK10 expression using immunohistochemistry. Correlations with clinicopathological variables (lymph node metastasis, depth of invasion and histology) and with outcomes (disease-free survival and overall survival) during a median follow-up period of 31 mo were assessed. Gastric cancer tissues were then classified as KLK10 positive or negative.
RESULTS: KLK10 was found to be highly expressed in 57/80 (70%) of gastric cancer samples, while its expression was very low in normal gastric tissues. Positive relationships between KLK10 expression and lymph node metastasis (P = 0.048), depth of invasion (P = 0.034) and histology (P = 0.015) were observed. Univariate survival analysis revealed that gastric cancer patients with positive KLK10 expression had an increased risk for relapse/metastasis and death (P = 0.005 and 0.002, respectively). Cox multivariate analysis indicated that KLK10 was an independent prognostic indicator of disease-free survival and overall survival in patients with gastric cancer.
CONCLUSION: KLK10 expression is an independent biomarker of unfavorable prognosis in patients with gastric cancer.
Kallikrein gene 10; Gastric cancer; Survival analysis; Prognostic biomarkers
Autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) is a form of chronic pancreatitis that is categorized as type 1 or type 2 according to the clinical profile. Type 1 AIP, which predominantly presents in a few Asian countries, is a hyper-IgG4-related disease. We report a case of IgG4-related AIP overlapping with Mikulicz’s disease and lymphadenitis, which is rare and seldom reported in literature. A 63-year male from Northeast China was admitted for abdominal distension lasting for one year. He presented symmetric swelling of the parotid and submandibular glands with slight dysfunction of salivary secretion for 6 mo. He had a 2-year history of bilateral submandibular lymphadenopathy without pain. He underwent surgical excision of the right submandibular lymph node one year prior to admission. He denied any history of alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drug use. Serological examination revealed high fasting blood sugar level (8.8 mmol/L) and high level of IgG4 (15.2 g/L). Anti-SSA or anti-SSB were negative. Computed tomography of the abdomen showed a diffusely enlarged pancreas with loss of lobulation. Immunohistochemical stain for IgG4 demonstrated diffuse infiltration of IgG4-positive plasma cells in labial salivary gland and lymph node biopsy specimens. The patient received a dose of 30 mg/d of prednisone for three weeks. At this three-week follow-up, the patient reported no discomfort and his swollen salivary glands, neck lymph node and pancreas had returned to normal size. The patient received a maintenance dose of 10 mg/d of prednisone for 6 mo, after which his illness had not recurred.
IgG4-related disease; Type 1 autoimmune pancreatitis; Mikulicz’s disease; Lymphadenitis
AIM: To determine whether an elevated neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) is negatively associated with tumor recurrence in patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after liver transplantation (LT), and to determine the optimal predictive NLR cut-off value.
METHODS: The data of HCC patients who had undergone LT came from the China Liver Transplant Registry database. We collected data from 326 liver cancer patients who had undergone LT at our medical center. We divided the patients into groups based on their NLRs (3, 4 or 5). We then compared the clinicopathological data and long-time survival between these groups. Meanwhile, we used receiver operating characteristic analysis to determine the optimal NLR cut-off.
RESULTS: Of 280 HCC patients included in this study, 263 were HBV positive. Patients with an NLR < 3 and patients with an NLR ≥ 3 but < 4 showed no significant differences in overall survival (OS) (P = 0.212) or disease-free survival (DFS) (P = 0.601). Patients with an NLR ≥ 4 but < 5 and patients with an NLR ≥ 5 also showed no significant differences in OS (P = 0.208) or DFS (P = 0.618). The 1-, 3- and 5-year OS rates of patients with an NLR < 4 vs an NLR ≥ 4 were 87.8%, 63.8% and 61.5% vs 73.9%, 36.7% and 30.3%, respectively (P < 0.001). The 1-, 3- and 5-year DFS rates of patients with an NLR < 4 vs NLR ≥ 4 were 83.9%, 62.9% and 60.7% vs 64.9%, 30.1% and 30.1%, respectively (P < 0.001). Univariate and multivariate analyses demonstrated that three factors, including NLR ≥ 4 (P = 0.002), were significant predictors of tumor recurrence in HCC patients after LT.
CONCLUSION: A preoperative elevated NLR significantly increased the risk for tumor recurrence in HCC patients after LT.
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Liver transplantation; Inflammatory reaction; Neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio; Hepatitis B virus
AIM: To evaluate whether 8-bromo-7-methoxychrysin (BrMC), a synthetic analogue of chrysin, inhibits the properties of cancer stem cells derived from the human liver cancer MHCC97 cell line and to determine the potential mechanisms.
METHODS: CD133+ cells were sorted from the MHCC97 cell line by magnetic activated cell sorting, and amplified in stem cell-conditioned medium to obtain the enriched CD133+ sphere forming cells (SFCs). The stem cell properties of CD133+ SFCs were validated by the tumorsphere formation assay in vitro and the xenograft nude mouse model in vivo, and termed liver cancer stem cells (LCSCs). The effects of BrMC on LCSCs in vitro were evaluated by MTT assay, tumorsphere formation assay and transwell chamber assay. The effects of BrMC on LCSCs in vivo were determined using a primary and secondary xenograft model in Balb/c-nu mice. Expressions of the stem cell markers, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers and β-catenin protein were analyzed by western blotting or immunohistochemical analysis.
RESULTS: CD133+ SFCs exhibited stem-like cell properties of tumorsphere formation and tumorigenesis capacity in contrast to the parental MHCC97 cells. We found that BrMC preferentially inhibited proliferation and self-renewal of LCSCs (P < 0.05). Furthermore, BrMC significantly suppressed EMT and invasion of LCSCs. Moreover, BrMC could efficaciously eliminate LCSCs in vivo. Interestingly, we showed that BrMC decreased the expression of β-catenin in LCSCs. Silencing of β-catenin by small interfering RNA could synergize the inhibition of self-renewal of LCSCs induced by BrMC, while Wnt3a treatment antagonized the inhibitory effects of BrMC.
CONCLUSION: BrMC can inhibit the functions and characteristics of LCSCs derived from the liver cancer MHCC97 cell line through downregulation of β-catenin expression.
Liver cancer; Cancer stem cell; 8-bromo-7-methoxychrysin; Self-renewal; β-catenin
Except for the most organized mature hepatocytes, liver stem/progenitor cells (LSPCs) can differentiate into many other types of cells in the liver including cholangiocytes. In addition, LSPCs are demonstrated to be able to give birth to other kinds of extra-hepatic cell types such as insulin-producing cells. Even more, under some bad conditions, these LSPCs could generate liver cancer stem like cells (LCSCs) through malignant transformation. In this review, we mainly concentrate on the molecular mechanisms for controlling cell fates of LSPCs, especially differentiation of cholangiocytes, insulin-producing cells and LCSCs. First of all, to certificate the cell fates of LSPCs, the following three features need to be taken into account to perform accurate phenotyping: (1) morphological properties; (2) specific markers; and (3) functional assessment including in vivo transplantation. Secondly, to promote LSPCs differentiation, systematical attention should be paid to inductive materials (such as growth factors and chemical stimulators), progressive materials including intracellular and extracellular signaling pathways, and implementary materials (such as liver enriched transcriptive factors). Accordingly, some recommendations were proposed to standardize, optimize, and enrich the effective production of cholangiocyte-like cells out of LSPCs. At the end, the potential regulating mechanisms for generation of cholangiocytes by LSPCs were carefully analyzed. The differentiation of LSPCs is a gradually progressing process, which consists of three main steps: initiation, progression and accomplishment. It’s the unbalanced distribution of affecting materials in each step decides the cell fates of LSPCs.
Liver stem/progenitor cells; Cholangiocytes; Biliary differentiation; Unbalanced distribution of materials; Cell therapy
AIM: To investigate the mechanisms of how cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) regulates E-cadherin in gastric cancer cells.
METHODS: COX-2 expression in human gastric cancer cell lines SGC-7901, BGC-823, MGC-803 and AGS were measured at the mRNA and protein level. COX-2 rich cell line SGC-7901 was chosen for subsequent experiments. siRNA mediated gene knockdown was used to investigate the impact of COX-2 on nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), Snail, and E-cadherin in gastric cancer cells. Gene expression was determined by Western blot and real-time polymerase chain reaction. To analyze whether NF-κB inhibition could interrupt the modulatory effect of COX-2 or prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) on E-cadherin, gastric cancer cells were treated with celecoxib or PGE2, in the presence of NF-κB specific siRNA.
RESULTS: Highest expression level of COX-2 was found in SGC-7901 cells, both at mRNA and protein levels. siRNA mediated down-regulation of COX-2 led to a reduced expression of NF-κB and Snail, but an increased expression of E-cadherin in SGC-7901 cells. siRNA mediated down-regulation of NF-κB also led to a reduced expression of E-cadherin and Snail in SGC-7901 cells. However, COX-2 expression did not alter after cells were treated with NF-κB specific siRNA in SGC-7901 cells. Treatment of SGC-7901 cells with celecoxib led to a reduced expression of Snail but an increased expression of E-cadherin. In contrast, treatment of SGC-7901 cells with PGE2 led to an increased Snail and a decreased E-cadherin. However, siRNA-mediated knockdown of NF-κB partially abolished the effect of celecoxib and PGE2 on the regulation of E-cadherin and Snail in SGC-7901 cells.
CONCLUSION: COX-2 likely functions upstream of NF-κB and regulates the expression of E-cadherin via NF-κB/Snail signaling pathway in gastric cancer cells.
Cyclooxygenase-2; E-cadherin; celecoxib; Prostaglandin E2; Gastric cancer
AIM: To examine transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) promoter methylation in gastric cancer and to determine if Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) or interleukin (IL)-1β could induce TGF-β1 hypermethylation in vitro.
METHODS: We examined the frequency and extent of TGF-β1 promoter methylation using methylation-specific PCR in the gastric tissues from 47 gastric cancer patients and 39 non-gastric cancer subjects. H. pylori infection was confirmed by a positive result from either a serological test, histological analysis or C13 urea breath test. GES-1 and MKN-45 cells co-cultured with H. pylori or treated with IL-1β for 12, 24 and 48 h in vitro tested the effects of H. pylori or IL-1β on TGF-β1.
RESULTS: Twenty-four/forty-seven (51%) cases of gastric cancer (GC) tissues showed TGF-β1 promoter methylation, 15/47 (31.9%) cases of matched non-cancerous gastric mucosa tissues from the GC patients, and 11/39 (28%) case of the normal gastric mucosa tissues from non-GC subjects showed TGF-β1 promoter methylation (51% vs 28%, P < 0.05). Significantly higher levels of methylation of TGF-β1 were found in the tumor tissues than in non-tumor tissues from GC patients (0.24 ± 0.06 vs 0.17 ± 0.04, P < 0.05) and normal gastric tissues from non-GC subjects (0.24 ± 0.06 vs 0.15 ± 0.03, P < 0.05). TGF-β1 methylation was found in 48.3% of H. pylori-positive gastric mucosal tissues whereas only 23.1% of H. pylori-negative gastric mucosal tissues showed TGF-β1 methylation (48.3% vs 23.1%, P < 0.05). IL-1β appeared to induce a dose-dependent methylation of TGF-β1 and the strongest methylation was observed in GES-1 cells treated with 2.5 ng/mL of IL-1β for 48 h. Further studies showed that pre-treatment of GES-1 cells with 20 ng/mL IL-1RA for 1 h could partially abolish the effect of IL-1β on TGF-β1 methylation. Infection of GES-1 cells by H. pylori was not found to induce significant TGF-β1 promoter methylation.
CONCLUSION: Our data revealed that TGF-β1 promoter is methylated in GC patients. IL-1β may be an important mediator for H. pylori induced gene methylation during GC development.
Transforming growth factor-β1; Interleukin-1β; Methylation; Helicobacter pylori; Gastric cancer
AIM: To investigate the prevalence of minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) and to assess corresponding health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in hospitalized cirrhotic patients in China.
METHODS: This multi-center cross-sectional study included 16 teaching hospitals, which were members of “Hepatobiliary Cooperation Group, Society of Gastroenterology, Chinese Medical Association”, from different areas of China carried out between June and October in 2011. All the eligible hospitalized cirrhotic patients (n = 538) were required to complete triplicate number connection tests combined with one digit symbol test for diagnosing MHE. Patients’ clinical examination data were complemented by a modified questionnaire assessing HRQoL. Written informed consent was obtained from each patient.
RESULTS: Male was predominant (68.6%) in 519 patients who met the criteria of the study, with a mean age of 49.17 ± 11.02 years. The most common cause of liver cirrhosis was chronic hepatitis B (55.9%). The prevalence of MHE was 39.9% and varied by Child-Pugh-Classification score (CPC-A: 24.8%, CPC-B: 39.4% and CPC-C: 56.1%, P < 0.01). MHE (P < 0.01) and higher CPC scores (P < 0.01) were associated with a high HRQoL scores (reflecting poorer quality of life). The prevalence of MHE was proportionate to CPC (P = 0.01) and high quality of life scores (P = 0.01).
CONCLUSION: Hospitalized cirrhotic patients have a high prevalence of MHE that is proportionate to the degree of liver function and HRQoL impairment.
Minimal hepatic encephalopathy; Health-related quality of life; China; Child-Pugh Classification; Liver cirrhosis
AIM: To investigate Krüppel-like factor 8 (KLF8) expression in gastric cancer and its relationship with angiogenesis and prognosis of gastric cancer.
METHODS: One hundred and fifty-four patients with gastric cancer who underwent successful curative resection were retrospectively enrolled in the study. Fifty tumor-adjacent healthy gastric tissues (≥ 5 cm from the tumor margin) obtained during the original resection were randomly selected for comparative analysis. In situ expression of KLF8 and CD34 proteins were examined by immunohistochemistry. The intratumoral microvessel density (MVD) was determined by manually counting the immunostained CD34-positive endothelial cells in three consecutive high-magnification fields (× 200). The relationship between differential KLF8 expression and MVD was assessed using Spearman’s correlation coefficient test. χ2 test was performed to evaluate the effects of differential KLF8 expression on clinicopathologic factors. Kaplan-Meier and multivariate Cox survival analyses were used to assess the prognostic value of differential KLF8 expression in gastric cancer.
RESULTS: Significantly higher levels of KLF8 protein were detected in gastric cancer tissues than in the adjacent non-cancerous tissues (54.5% vs 34.0%, P < 0.05). KLF8 expression was associated with tumor size (P < 0.001), local invasion (P = 0.005), regional lymph node metastasis (P = 0.029), distant metastasis (P = 0.023), and tumor node metastasis (TNM) stage (P = 0.002), as well as the MVD (r = 0.392, P < 0.001). Patients with KLF8 positive expression had poorer overall survival (P < 0.001) and cancer-specific survival (P < 0.001) than those with negative expression. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that KLF8 expression independently affected both overall and cancer-specific survival of gastric cancer patients (P = 0.035 and 0.042, respectively).
CONCLUSION: KLF8 is closely associated with gastric tumor progression, angiogenesis and poor prognosis, suggesting it may represent a novel prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target for gastric cancer.
Gastric cancer; Krüppel-like factor 8; Angiogenesis; Prognosis
AIM: To investigate the effect of polydatin (PD), a resveratrol glucoside, on mast cell degranulation and anti-allergic activity.
METHODS: After the rats were orally sensitized with ovalbumin (OVA) for 48 d and underwent PD treatment for 4 d, all the rats were stimulated by 100 mg/mL OVA for 24 h and then sacrificed for the following experiments. The small intestines from all the groups were prepared for morphology examination by hematoxylin and eosin staining. We also used a smooth muscle organ bath to evaluate the motility of the small intestines. The OVA-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) production and interleukin-4 (IL-4) levels in serum or supernatant of intestinal mucosa homogenates were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Using toluidine blue stain, the activation and degranulation of isolated rat peritoneal mast cells (RPMCs) were analyzed. Release of histamine from RPMCs was measured by ELISA, and regulation of PD on intracellular Ca2+ mobilization was investigated by probing intracellular Ca2+ with fluo-4 fluorescent dye, with the signal recorded and analyzed.
RESULTS: We found that intragastric treatment with PD significantly reduced loss of mucosal barrier integrity in the small intestine. However, OVA-sensitization caused significant hyperactivity in the small intestine of allergic rats, which was attenuated by PD administration by 42% (1.26 ± 0.13 g vs OVA 2.18 ± 0.21 g, P < 0.01). PD therapy also inhibited IgE production (3.95 ± 0.53 ng/mL vs OVA 4.53 ± 0.52 ng/mL, P < 0.05) by suppressing the secretion of Th2-type cytokine, IL-4, by 34% (38.58 ± 4.41 pg/mL vs OVA 58.15 ± 6.24 pg/mL, P < 0.01). The ratio of degranulated mast cells, as indicated by vehicles (at least five) around the cells, dramatically increased in the OVA group by 5.5 fold (63.50% ± 15.51% vs phosphate-buffered saline 11.15% ± 8.26%, P < 0.001) and fell by 65% after PD treatment (21.95% ± 4.37% vs OVA 63.50% ± 15.51%, P < 0.001). PD mediated attenuation of mast cell degranulation was further confirmed by decreased histamine levels in both serum (5.98 ± 0.17 vs OVA 6.67 ± 0.12, P < 0.05) and intestinal mucosa homogenates (5.83 ± 0.91 vs OVA 7.35 ± 0.97, P < 0.05). Furthermore, we demonstrated that administration with PD significantly decreased mast cell degranulation due to reduced Ca2+ influx through store-operated calcium channels (SOCs) (2.35 ± 0.39 vs OVA 3.51 ± 0.38, P < 0.01).
CONCLUSION: Taken together, our data indicate that PD stabilizes mast cells by suppressing intracellular Ca2+ mobilization, mainly through inhibiting Ca2+ entry via SOCs, thus exerting a protective role against OVA-sensitized food allergy.
Polydatin; Food allergy; Mast cells; Store-operated calcium channels; Ca2+
AIM: To investigate the benefits of probiotics treatment in septic rats.
METHODS: The septic rats were induced by cecal ligation and puncture. The animals of control, septic model and probiotics treated groups were treated with vehicle and mixed probiotics, respectively. The mixture of probiotics included Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. We observed the survival of septic rats using different amounts of mixed probiotics. We also detected the bacterial population in ascites and blood of experimental sepsis using cultivation and real-time polymerase chain reaction. The severity of mucosal inflammation in colonic tissues was determined.
RESULTS: Probiotics treatment improved survival of the rats significantly and this effect was dose dependent. The survival rate was 30% for vehicle-treated septic model group. However, 1 and 1/4 doses of probiotics treatment increased survival rate significantly compared with septic model group (80% and 55% vs 30%, P < 0.05). The total viable counts of bacteria in ascites decreased significantly in probiotics treated group compared with septic model group (5.20 ± 0.57 vs 9.81 ± 0.67, P < 0.05). The total positive rate of hemoculture decreased significantly in probiotics treated group compared with septic model group (33.3% vs 100.0%, P < 0.05). The population of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus in ascites of probiotics treated group were decreased significantly compared with that of septic model group (3.93 ± 0.73 vs 8.80 ± 0.83, P < 0.05; 2.80 ± 1.04 vs 5.39 ± 1.21, P < 0.05). With probiotics treatment, there was a decrease in the scores of inflammatory cell infiltration into the intestinal mucosa in septic animals (1.50 ± 0.25 vs 2.88 ± 0.14, P < 0.01).
CONCLUSION: Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus may be primary pathogens in septic rats. Probiotics improve survival of septic rats by suppressing these conditioned pathogens.
Sepsis; Probiotics; Pathogens; Escherichia coli; Staphylococcus aureus