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Exp Mol Pathol [journal]
- Activation of AMPK attenuates lipopolysaccharide-impaired integrity and function of blood-brain barrier in human brain microvascular endothelial cells. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Mol Pathol 2014 Sep 11.
The blood-brain barrier (BBB), formed by specialized brain endothelial cells that are interconnected by tight junctions, strictly regulates paracellular permeability to maintain an optimal extracellular environment for brain homeostasis. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is known to alter the integrity of the BBB in sepsis, although the underlying mechanism remains unknown. The aim of this study was to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the disruption of the BBB in LPS-induced sepsis and to determine whether the activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) prevents LPS-induced BBB dysfunction. The exposure of human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs) to LPS (1μg/ml) for 4 to 24h a week dramatically increased the permeability of the BBB in parallel with the lowered expression levels of occludin and claudin-5, which are essential to maintain tight junctions in HBMECs. In addition, LPS significantly increased the reactive oxygen species (ROS) productions. All effects induced by LPS in HBVMCs were reversed by adenoviral overexpression of superoxide dismutase, inhibition of NAD(P)H oxidase by apocynin or gain-function of AMPK by adenoviral overexpression of constitutively active mutant (AMPK-CA) or by 5-amino-4-imidazole carboxamide riboside (AICAR). Finally, the upregulation of AMPK by either AMPK-CA or AICAR abolished the levels of LPS-enhanced NAD(P)H oxidase subunit protein expressions. We conclude that AMPK activation improves the integrity of the BBB disrupted by LPS through suppressing the induction of NAD(P)H oxidase-derived ROS in HBMECs.
- A New Bispecific Antibody Targeting Non-overlapping Epitopes on IGF2: Design, in vitro Characterization and Pharmacokinetics in Macaques. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Mol Pathol 2014 Sep 11.
The insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) is an important target for cancer therapy. We have previously proposed an approach for fast and irreversible removal of IGF2 from the circulation by using monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that bind to two or more non-overlapping epitopes on the same molecule. We provided initial evidence for the formation of oligomeric antibody-ligand complexes that can bind to cells expressing Fc gamma receptors (FcγRs) with high avidity using an antibody domain with relatively low affinity as one of the anti-IGF2 mAbs. Recently, we identified a mAb, m708.5, in a scFv format which binds to both IGF2 and IGF1 with very high (pM) affinity. Interestingly, and rather surprisingly, this mAb did not compete with our other high affinity mAb, m610.27, for binding to IGF2. Therefore, we generated a new bispecific mAb, m67, by combining m708.5 and m610.27. As expected m67 potently inhibited binding of IGF2 to cells expressing the IGF1R and its phosphorylation, and resulted in formation of multimolecular complexes when incubated with IGF2 and bound with high avidity to cells expressing FcγRII; the complexes were internalized in a macrophage-like cell line. However, although m67 exhibited a reasonably long half-life (6.4±0.6days) in cynomolgus macaques and high stability in serum, its administration to three animals did not result in any measurable decrease in the IGF2 concentration likely due to the complexity of the IGF2 interactions in the blood and the relatively low (2mg/kg) dose of the mAb leading to a relatively low maximal blood concentration of 120 nM. In spite of the lack of effect on the IGF2 concentration in this particular experimental setup, m67 exhibited good drugability properties and could be highly effective in other animal models and in humans. Studies with animal models of cancer are ongoing to evaluate the potential of m67 as a new candidate mAb-based therapeutic.
- Digital quantitation of HCC-associated stem cell markers and protein quality control factors using tissue arrays of human liver sections. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Mol Pathol 2014 Sep 8.
The most common type of liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), affects over 500,000 people in the world. In the present study, liver tumor resections were used to prepare tissue arrays to examine the intensity of fluorescence of IHC stained stem cell markers in liver tissue from malignant HCC tumors and accompanying surrounding non-tumor liver. We hypothesized that a correlation exists between the fluorescence intensity of IHC stained HCC and surrounding non-tumor liver compared to liver tissue from a completely normal liver. 120 liver resection specimens (including four normal controls) were placed on a single slide to make a tissue array. They were examined by digitally quantifying the intensity of fluorescence using immuno-histochemically stained stem cell markers and protein quality control proteins. The stem cell markers were OCT3/4, Nanog, CD133, pEZH2, CD49F and SOX2. The protein quality control proteins were FAT10, UBA-6 and ubiquitin. The data collected was used to compare normal liver tissue with HCCs and parent liver tissue resected surgically using antibodies to stem cell markers and quality control protein markers. The measurements of the stem cell marker CD133 indicated an increase of fluorescence intensity for both the parent liver tissue and the HCC liver tissues. The other stem cell markers changed as follows: Nanog and OCT3/4 were decreased in both the HCCs and the parent livers; PEZH2 was reduced in the HCCs; SOX2 was increased in the parent livers compared to the controls; and CD49f was decreased in HCCs only. Protein quality control markers FAT10 and ubiquitin were downregulated in both the HCCs and the adjacent non-tumor tissue compared to the controls. UBA6 was increased in both the HCCs and the parent livers, and the levels were higher in the HCCs compared to the parent livers.
- Increased activity of the complement system in the liver of patients with alcoholic hepatitis. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Mol Pathol 2014 Sep 11.
Inflammation has been suggested as a mechanism underlying the development of alcoholic hepatitis (AH). The activation of the complement system plays an important role in inflammation. Although it has been shown that ethanol-induced activation of the complement system contributes to the pathophysiology of ethanol-induced liver injury in mice, whether ethanol consumption activates the complement system in the human liver has not been investigated. Using antibodies against C1q, C3, and C5, the immunoreactivity of the complement system in patients with AH was examined by immunohistochemistry and quantified by morphometric image analysis. The immunoreactivity intensity of C1q, C3, and C5 in patients with AH was significantly higher than that seen in normal controls. Further, the gene expression of C1q, C3, and C5 was examined using real-time PCR. There were increases in the levels of C1q and C5, but not C3 mRNA in AH. Moreover, the immunoreactivity of C5a receptor (C5aR) also increased in AH. To explore the functional implication of the activation of the complement system in AH, we examined the colocalization of C5aR in Mallory-Denk bodies (MDBs) forming balloon hepatocytes. C5aR was focally overexpressed in the MDB forming cells. Collectively, our study suggests that alcohol consumption increases the activity of the complement system in the liver cells, which contributes to the inflammation-associated pathogenesis of AH.
- Alcoholic and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. [REVIEW]
- Exp Mol Pathol 2014 Sep 10.
This paper is based upon the "Charles Lieber Satellite Symposia" organized by Manuela G. Neuman at the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) Annual Meetings, 2013 and 2014. The present review includes pre-clinical, translational and clinical research that characterize alcoholic liver disease (ALD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). In addition, a literature search in the discussed area was performed. Strong clinical and experimental evidence lead to recognition of the key toxic role of alcohol in the pathogenesis of ALD. The liver biopsy can confirm the etiology of NASH or alcoholic steatohepatitis (ASH) and assess structural alterations of cells, their organelles, as well as inflammatory activity. Three histological stages of ALD are simple steatosis, ASH, and chronic hepatitis with hepatic fibrosis or cirrhosis. These latter stages may also be associated with a number of cellular and histological changes, including the presence of Mallory's hyaline, megamitochondria, or perivenular and perisinusoidal fibrosis. Genetic polymorphisms of ethanol metabolizing enzymes, cytochrome p450 (CYP) 2E1 activation may change the severity of ASH and NASH. Alcohol mediated hepatocarcinogenesis, immune response to alcohol in ASH, as well as the role of other risk factors such as its co-morbidities with chronic viral hepatitis in the presence or absence of human deficiency virus are discussed. Dysregulation of hepatic methylation, as result of ethanol exposure, in hepatocytes transfected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), illustrates an impaired interferon signaling. The hepatotoxic effects of ethanol undermine the contribution of malnutrition to the liver injury. Dietary interventions such as micro and macronutrients, as well as changes to the microbiota are suggested. The clinical aspects of NASH, as part of metabolic syndrome in the aging population, are offered. The integrative symposia investigate different aspects of alcohol-induced liver damage and possible repair. We aim to (1) determine the immuno-pathology of alcohol-induced liver damage, (2) examine the role of genetics in the development of ASH, (3) propose diagnostic markers of ASH and NASH, (4) examine age differences, (5) develop common research tools to study alcohol-induced effects in clinical and pre-clinical studies, and (6) focus on factors that aggravate severity of organ-damage. The intention of these symposia is to advance the international profile of the biological research on alcoholism. We also wish to further our mission of leading the forum to progress the science and practice of translational research in alcoholism.
- Detection of circulating tumor cells in patients with breast cancer using the quantitative RT-PCR assay for monitoring of therapy efficacy. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Mol Pathol 2014 Sep 10.
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are an independent prognostic factor for patients with breast cancer. However, the role of CTCs in early breast cancer management is not yet clearly defined. The aim of this study was to isolate and characterize CTCs in blood sample of a breast cancer patient as a biomarker for monitoring treatments efficacy. In this study, 692 blood samples from 221 breast cancer patients and 376 healthy individuals was used to detect CTCs with multiple markers including epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM), cytokeratin (CK) 19, human epidermal growth factor (HER) 2, Ki67, human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT), and vimentin using quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR). A total of 153 (69.2%) blood samples of 221 patients with breast cancer were found to be positive for at least one of the cancer-associated marker gene before treatment. After chemotherapy, no CTCs were found in 28 (33.3%) of the 84 blood samples analyzed for the presence of CTCs using the RT-qPCR, whereas 56 (66.7%) blood samples were still found to be positive for at least one of the markers. After completing the therapy, the CTC positivity rate decreased to 7 (20.6%) in the neoadjuvant group, whereas this increased to 7 (14%) cases in the adjuvant group. There was no statistically significant relationship between TNM stage and detection of CTC-related markers. Data from this study suggest that RT-qPCR assay for the detection of CTC markers might be useful in selecting appropriate therapeutics and for monitoring treatment efficacy in breast cancer patients.
- Molecular concepts in the pathogenesis of ameloblastoma: Implications for therapeutics. [REVIEW]
- Exp Mol Pathol 2014 Sep 4.
Ameloblastoma is a benign odontogenic neoplasm that may exhibit aggressive biological behavior as evidenced by its rapid growth and significance recurrence rates following initial surgical resection. Currently, the only therapy for ameloblastoma is surgical, and adjunctive treatment modalities are needed to mitigate tumor growth and to reduce the need for extensive and disfiguring surgeries. Many studies have identified markers expressed by ameloblastoma and these lend insight to our understanding of tumor progression. This review provides a summary of the specific molecular pathways implicated in tumor pathogenesis, including those involved in bone remodeling, apoptosis, cell signaling, and tumor suppression. Based on these data, we identify several prognostic or therapeutic markers that have been used successfully in the treatment of other neoplastic processes that may also have diagnostic and prognostic utility for ameloblastoma. Thus, it is important to determine which markers hold the greatest promise for clinical management of this benign neoplasm in order to improve treatment options, particularly in patients with aggressive forms of ameloblastoma.
- The Inflammasome in Alcoholic Hepatitis: Its Relationship with Mallory-Denk Body Formation. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Mol Pathol 2014 Aug 19.
Recent studies indicate that the inflammasome activation plays important roles in the pathogenesis of alcoholic hepatitis (AH). Nod-like receptor protein 3 (NLRP3) is a key component of the macromolecular complex that is so called the inflammasome that triggers caspase 1-dependent maturation of the precursors of IL-1β and IL-18 cytokines. It is also known that the adaptor proteins including apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing CARD (ASC) and the mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein (MAVS) are necessary for NLRP3-dependent inflammasome function. Steatohepatitis frequently includes Mallory-Denk body (MDB) formation. In the case of alcoholic steatohepatitis, MDB formation occurs in 80% of biopsies (French 1981; French 1981). While previous studies have focused on in vitro cell lines and mouse models, we are the first group to investigate inflammasome activation in AH liver biopsy specimen and correlate it with MDB formation. Expression of NOD1, NLRP3, ASC, NAIP, MAVS, caspase 1, IL-1β, IL-18, and other inflammatory components including IL-6, IL-10, TNF-α, IFN-γ, STAT3, and p65 was measured in three to eight formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded AH specimens and control normal liver specimens by immunofluorescence staining and quantified by immunofluorescence intensity. The specimens were double stained with ubiquitin to demonstrate the relationship between inflammasome activation and MDB formation. MAVS, caspase1, IL-18, and TNF-α showed increases in expression in AH compared to the controls (p<0.05), and NAIP expression markedly increased in AH compared to the controls (p<0.01). There was a trend that levels of NLRP3, ASC, caspase1, IL-18, IL-10, and p65 expression correlated with the number of MDBs found in the same field of measurement (correlation coefficients were between 0.62 and 0.93, p<0.05). Our results demonstrate the activation of the inflammasome in AH and suggest that MDB could be an indicator of the extent of inflammasome activation.
- Assessment of molecular testing in Fine-needle aspiration biopsy samples: an experience in Chinese population. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Mol Pathol 2014 Aug 8.
Fine-needle aspiration biopsy remains the mainstay of the preoperative examination of thyroid nodules; however, it does not provide a definite diagnosis in up to 25% of nodules. Considerable studies have been done to find molecular markers to resolve this diagnostic dilemma. The aim of this study was to establish the distribution and frequency of common genetic alterations in a comprehensive set of benign and malignant thyroid nodules, also to illustrate the feasibility and role of testing for a panel of genetic alterations in improving the accuracy of cytology diagnosis in Chinese population. This study was conducted in 314 thyroid nodules comprising 104 papillary thyroid carcinoma, 13 suspicious nodules, 52 indeterminate nodules, and 145 benign nodules. Point mutations and RET/PTC rearrangements, were evaluated by pyrosequencing and TaqMan real-time PCR, respectively. After surgery, 115 nodules were confirmed to be conventional papillary thyroid carcinoma and 102 (88.70%) of these nodules harbored either BRAF(V600E) mutation (76.52%) or RET/PTC rearrangements (12.17%). RAS mutation was found in 1(33.33%) follicular thyroid carcinoma, 1(14.29%) follicular thyroid adenoma and 4 (10%) goiter. With the application of cytology and molecular testing, the diagnostic accuracy was further enhanced 98.82% in papillary thyroid carcinoma diagnosis, and was preoperatively increased to 76.92% and 84.00%, respectively, in nodules with suspicious and indeterminate cytology. In conclusion, molecular testing of a panel of genetic alterations in fine-needle aspiration biopsy can be effectively performed in clinical practice. It enhances the accuracy of cytology and is of particular value for indeterminate nodules in Chinese population.
- TNFα gene/protein in tumorigenesis of sporadic colon adenocarcinoma. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Mol Pathol 2014 Aug 4; 97(2):285-291.
Inherited polymorphisms in immunomodulatory genes such as cytokines may contribute to variation in immunological response and genetic susceptibility for complex diseases, including cancer. TNFα can mediate tumor progression by inducing proliferation, invasion and metastasis of tumor cells. The aim of our study was to examine the allelic frequencies of TNFα promoter SNPs, -1031 T/C, -857 C/T, -308 G/A and -238 G/A, in patients with sporadic colon adenocarcinoma in order to investigate the possible role of these SNPs in susceptibility to sporadic colon cancer. Another aim of this study was to examine the influence of TNFα SNPs on TNFα mRNA and protein expression in colon tumors and their possible role in the development and progression of this type of tumor.The distribution of all four TNFα SNP genotypes in patients showed no significant difference compared to controls. No statistically significant difference in TNFα mRNA expression in tumors and corresponding normal mucous tissue was found (p=0.14). A statistically significant (p=0.028) difference was found in TNFα mRNA expression between histological grade 1 and histological grade 2 and 3 tumors. Additionally, a statistically significant correlation (p=0.03) was found between TNFα-857 C/T genotypes and TNFα mRNA expression in tumor tissue. TNFα mRNA expression was significantly higher in the tumor tissue of patients with -857 CT and -857 TT genotypes. Most of the tumors (78.26%) were positive for TNFα protein. No correlation was found between the TNFα protein expression and clinicopathological characteristics as well as TNFα genotypes. However, patients with TNFα protein negative tumors had longer survival but the result was not statistically significant (p=0.365).Our results suggest the role of TNFα as one of the immunomodulatory genes in the progression of sporadic colon cancer.