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Exp Mol Pathol [journal]
- Comparative Analysis of Innate Immune System Function in Metastatic Breast, Colorectal, and Prostate Cancer Patients with Circulating Tumor Cells. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Mol Pathol 2014 Apr 11.
In recent years, circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in metastatic cancer patients have been found to be a promising biomarker to predict overall survival and tumor progression in these patients. A relatively high number of CTCs has been correlated with disease progression and poorer prognosis. This study was designed to assess innate immune system function, known to be responsible for the immune defense against developing neoplasms, in metastatic cancer patients with CTCs. Our aim is to provide a link between indication of poorer prognosis, represented by the number of CTCs to the cytotoxic activity of natural killer cells, an important component of the innate immune system, and to represent a promising expanded approach to management of metastatic cancer patients with CTCs. Seventy-four patients, with metastatic breast, colorectal, or prostate cancer, were recruited for this study. Using a flow cytometric assay, we measured natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity against K562 target cells; and CTCs were enumerated using the CellSearch System. Toll-like receptors 2 and 4 expression was also determined by flow cytometry. We found that within each of our three metastatic cancer patient groups, NK cell cytotoxic activity was decreased in patients with a relatively high number of CTCs in peripheral blood compared to patients with a relatively low number of CTCs. In the breast and prostate cancer group, patients with CTCs greater than 5 had decreased NK cell cytotoxicity when compared to patients with less than 5 CTCs. In the colorectal cancer group, we found that 3 or more CTCs in the blood was the level at which NK cell cytotoxicity is diminished. Additionally, we found that the toll-like receptors 2 and 4 expression was decreased in intensity in all the metastatic cancer patients when compared to the healthy controls. Furthermore, within each cancer group, the expression of both toll-like receptors was decreased in the patients with relatively high number of CTCs, i.e. greater than 5 for the breast and prostate cancer group and greater than 3 for the colorectal cancer group, compared to the patients with relatively low number, i.e. less than 5 or 3, respectively. Treatment options to increase NK cell cytotoxic activity should be considered in patients with relatively high numbers of CTCs.
- Detection of viral pathogens in high grade gliomas from unmapped next-generation sequencing data. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Mol Pathol 2014 Apr 1; 96(3):310-315.
Viral pathogens have been implicated in the development of certain cancers including human papillomavirus (HPV) in squamous cell carcinoma and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in Burkitt's lymphoma. The significance of viral pathogens in brain tumors is controversial, and human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) has been associated with glioblastoma (GBM) in some but not all studies, making the role of HCMV unclear. In this study we sought to determine if viral pathogen sequences could be identified in an unbiased manner from previously discarded, unmapped, non-human, next-generation sequencing (NGS) reads obtained from targeted oncology, panel-based sequencing of high grade gliomas (HGGs), including GBMs. Twenty one sequential HGG cases were analyzed by a targeted NGS clinical oncology panel containing 151 genes using DNA obtained from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue. Sequencing reads that did not map to the human genome (average of 38,000 non-human reads/case (1.9%)) were filtered and low quality reads removed. Extracted high quality reads were then sequentially aligned to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) non-redundant nucleotide (nt and nr) databases. Aligned reads were classified based on NCBI taxonomy database and all eukaryotic viral sequences were further classified into viral families. Two viral sequences (both herpesviruses), EBV and Roseolovirus were detected in 5/21 (24%) cases and in 1/21 (5%) cases, respectively. None of the cases had detectable HCMV. Of the five HGG cases with detectable EBV DNA, four had additional material for EBV in situ hybridization (ISH), all of which were negative for expressed viral sequence. Overall, a similar discovery approach using unmapped non-human NGS reads could be used to discover viral sequences in other cancer types.
- Piecemeal necrosis of the liver revisited a review. [REVIEW]
- Exp Mol Pathol 2014 Apr 1; 96(3):307-309.
Piecemeal necrosis of the liver is thought to lead to liver cell necrosis. However the process does not lead to necrosis but rather lead to gradual progressive piecemeal removal of liver cell cytoplasm by T lymphocytes which are sensitized to antigens presented on the liver cell surface to form the immunologic synapse. The cytoplasm is taken up by the T cell and digested by the lysosome in the lymphocyte. By this mechanism the liver cell gradually disappears like the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland.
- PTEN methylation involved in benzene-induced hematotoxicity. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Mol Pathol 2014 Mar 27; 96(3):300-306.
It is well known that benzene is a hematotoxic carcinogen. PTEN promoter methylation is a representative example of transcriptional silencing of tumor suppressor genes. However, the effect of PTEN methylation on benzene-induced hematotoxicity has not yet been elucidated. In this study, the animal model of benzene hematotoxicity was successfully established. WBC significantly decreased in experimental groups (P<0.01). Compared with the control group, the weight of rats increased slowly and even declined with increasing doses of benzene in the benzene-treated groups. An increase in the level of PTEN methylation was observed in the low dose group, and PTEN methylation level increased significantly in a dose-dependent manner. However, it was interesting that PTEN mRNA expression increased in the low dose group, but declined with increasing doses of benzene. The decrease of tumor suppressor function caused by PTEN methylation may be an important mechanism of benzene hematotoxicity. Furthermore, lymphoblast cell line F32 was incubated by benzene and then treated with 5-aza and TSA, alone or in combination. A dramatic decrease in the PTEN mRNA expression and a significant increase of PTEN methylation level in benzene-treated cells were also shown. PTEN mRNA expression was up regulated and PTEN methylation level was reduced by the epigenetic inhibitors, 5-aza and TSA. In conclusion, PTEN methylation is involved in benzene-induced hematotoxicity through suppressing PTEN mRNA expression.
- Pentraxin 3 promotes oxLDL uptake and inhibits cholesterol efflux from macrophage-derived foam cells. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Mol Pathol 2014 Mar 24; 96(3):292-299.
The objective of this study was to determine the effects of pentraxin3 (PTX3) on human oxidized low density lipoprotein (oxLDL) uptake and cholesterol efflux from human macrophage foam cells, which may play a critical role in atherogenesis.The effects of PTX3 on oxLDL uptake and cholesterol efflux were determined after transfection of human THP-1 macrophages with pSG5hPTX3 or PTX3siRNA plasmids. To evaluate the role of specific signaling pathways, human THP-1 cells were pre-treated with inhibitors of the extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2), phosphatidylinositide 3-kinases (PI3-K), and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways (PD98059, LY294002, and SB203580, respectively), and then exposed to oxLDL for the uptake assay or oxLDL and [(3)H]-cholesterol and apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) for the cholesterol efflux assay.PTX3 overexpression not only promoted oxLDL uptake but also significantly reduced cholesterol efflux to apoA-I; it also significantly decreased the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ), liver X receptor alpha (LXRα) and ATP-binding membrane cassette transporter A-1 (ABCA1), which was increased with PTX3 silencing. Furthermore, PTX3 significantly increased p-ERK1/2 levels in THP-1-derived foam cells, and inhibition of ERK1/2 by PD98059 significantly reduced the oxLDL uptake and promoted the cholesterol efflux induced by PTX3 overexpression.Here, we demonstrate that PTX3 affects lipid accumulation in human macrophages, increasing oxLDL uptake and inhibiting cholesterol efflux. That is the underlying possible mechanisms of PTX3 contribution to the progression of atherosclerosis.
- Single tube genotyping of TYMS 1494del6 polymorphism in the Chinese Han population by duplex scorpion primers. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Mol Pathol 2014 Mar 23; 96(3):269-273.
The development of pharmacogenomics has created an urgent need for robust molecular characterization. And it has become a challenge to develop suitable detecting methods for routine clinical use.The aim of the current study is to develop a simple and reliable TYMS 1494del6 polymorphism genotyping assay by duplex scorpion primers in the Chinese Han population.We evaluated the performance of the duplex scorpion primer assay in the genotyping of TYMS 1494del6 polymorphism and screened 54 DNA samples of the Chinese Han population. The results were further validated by pyrosequencing.The duplex scorpion primer assay showed high specificity and accuracy for genotyping TYMS 1494del6 polymorphism. Complete concordance was observed between the duplex scorpion primer assay and pyrosequencing. The frequency of the TYMS +6bp allele was 34% and the -6bp allele was 66% in 54 Chinese Han population DNA samples.The duplex scorpion primer assay provides a rapid, reliable and high-throughput method to genotype TYMS 1494del6 polymorphism in the Chinese Han population.
- Structural changes in hair follicles and sebaceous glands of hairless mice following exposure to sulfur mustard. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Mol Pathol 2014 Mar 21; 96(3):316-327.
Sulfur mustard (SM) is a bifunctional alkylating agent causing skin inflammation, edema and blistering. A hallmark of SM-induced toxicity is follicular and interfollicular epithelial damage. In the present studies we determined if SM-induced structural alterations in hair follicles and sebaceous glands were correlated with cell damage, inflammation and wound healing. The dorsal skin of hairless mice was treated with saturated SM vapor. One to seven days later, epithelial cell karyolysis within the hair root sheath, infundibulum and isthmus was apparent, along with reduced numbers of sebocytes. Increased numbers of utriculi, some with connections to the skin surface, and engorged dermal cysts were also evident. This was associated with marked changes in expression of markers of DNA damage (phospho-H2A.X), apoptosis (cleaved caspase-3), and wound healing (FGFR2 and galectin-3) throughout pilosebaceous units. Conversely, fatty acid synthase and galectin-3 were down-regulated in sebocytes after SM. Decreased numbers of hair follicles and increased numbers of inflammatory cells surrounding the utriculi and follicular cysts were noted within the wound 3-7days post-SM exposure. Expression of phospho-H2A.X, cleaved caspase-3, FGFR2 and galectin-3 was decreased in dysplastic follicular epidermis. Fourteen days after SM, engorged follicular cysts which expressed galectin-3 were noted within hyperplastic epidermis. Galectin-3 was also expressed in basal keratinocytes and in the first few layers of suprabasal keratinocytes in neoepidermis formed during wound healing indicating that this lectin is important in the early stages of keratinocyte differentiation. These data indicate that hair follicles and sebaceous glands are targets for SM in the skin.
- Involvement of mitochondrial dysfunction and ER-stress in the physiopathology of equine osteochondritis dissecans (OCD). [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Mol Pathol 2014 Mar 20; 96(3):328-338.
Osteochondrosis (OC) is a developmental bone disorder affecting several mammalian species including the horse. Equine OC is described as a focal disruption of endochondral ossification, leading to osteochondral lesions (osteochondritis dissecans, OCD) that may release free bodies within the joint. OCD lesions trigger joint swelling, stiffness and lameness and affects about 30% of the equine population. OCD is considered as multifactorial but its physiopathology is still poorly understood and genes involved in genetic predisposition are still unknown. Our study compared two healthy and two OC-affected 18-month-old French Trotters diagnosed with OCD lesions at the intermediate ridge of the distal tibia. A comparative shot-gun proteomic analysis of non-wounded cartilage and sub-chondral bone from healthy (healthy samples) and OC-affected foals (predisposed samples) identified 83 and 53 modulated proteins, respectively. These proteins are involved in various biological pathways including matrix structure and maintenance, protein biosynthesis, folding and transport, mitochondrial activity, energy and calcium metabolism. Transmission electron microscopy revealed typical features of mitochondrial swelling and ER-stress, such as large, empty mitochondria, and hyper-dilated rough endoplasmic reticulum, in the deep zone of both OC lesions and predisposed cartilage. Abnormal fibril organization surrounding chondrocytes and abnormal features at the ossification front were also observed. Combining these findings with quantitative trait loci and whole genome sequencing results identified about 140 functional candidate genes carrying putative damaging mutations in 30 QTL regions. In summary, our study suggests that OCD lesions may result from defective hypertrophic terminal differentiation associated with mitochondrial dysfunction and ER-stress, leading to impaired cartilage and bone biomechanical properties, making them prone to fractures. In addition, 11 modulated proteins and several candidate mutations located in QTL regions were identified, bringing new insight into the molecular physiopathology and genetic basis of OCD.
- Correlation between infiltration of FOXP3(+) regulatory T cells and expression of B7-H1 in the tumor tissues of gastric cancer. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Mol Pathol 2014 Mar 20; 96(3):284-291.
Substantial evidence suggests that the expansion of regulatory T cells (Tregs) plays a pivotal role in immunological evasion of tumors. Recent studies have demonstrated that a majority of tumor cells overexpress B7-H1, and this overexpression is associated with poor disease prognosis. Although an increase of Tregs and B7-H1 has been revealed in several malignancies, their correlation in gastric cancer has not been studied.Tumor sections from 111 gastric cancer patients were stained for FOXP3 and B7-H1 by immunohistochemistry. The expression levels of these two molecules were statistically associated with various factors involved in disease progression and prognosis. The correlation between their expression levels was analyzed.The infiltration of FOXP3(+) Tregs and expression of B7-H1 were observed in gastric cancer tissues, and there was a highly significant correlation between these two molecules (P<0.01). The expression of FOXP3(+) Tregs and B7-H1 was associated with lymph node metastasis and the clinicopathological stage and prognosis of gastric cancer patients. The expression levels of these two determinants in patients with lymph node metastasis and an advanced clinicopathological stage were distinctly higher (P<0.05). The patients with enhanced expression of FOXP3(+) Tregs and B7-H1 exhibited a lower overall survival rate and a worse prognosis (P<0.05).Increased expression of FOXP3(+) Tregs and B7-H1 was observed in gastric cancer tissues; the two molecules were closely correlated with each other, suggesting that they might be used as new biomarkers to predict the disease progression and prognosis. Combinatorial immunotherapeutic approaches based on depleting the Tregs and blocking B7-H1 might improve therapeutic efficacy in gastric cancer.
- Mechanism of hepatotoxicity due to black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa): Histological, immunohistochemical and electron microscopy analysis of two liver biopsies with clinical correlation. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Mol Pathol 2014 Mar 19; 96(3):279-283.
Consumption of herbal supplements in the developed world remains high. Cimicifuga racemosa (C. racemosa) extract, or black cohosh, is widely used as a hormone replacing and an anti-inflammatory agent, and has been shown to cause idiosyncratic hepatitis. The mechanism of acute liver injury in those cases is unclear. To date, hepatotoxic effects of C. racemosa have been studied mostly in vitro and in animal models. Data on human tissue is extremely limited, and mostly confined to histological findings of explanted livers.We evaluated clinical data and examined surgical diagnostic liver biopsy specimens obtained from two female patients, who developed acute submassive liver necrosis, following consumption of C. racemosa. Both patients presented with acute elevation of liver enzymes, cholestasis, absence of reactivity to hepatitis A, B and C antibodies, and weak non-specific positivity for autoimmune serological markers. Initial histological interpretation of the biopsies, with focus on hepatic parenchyma and portal tracts, was done by light microscopy, followed by special stain series and immunohistochemical studies, including Cam 5.2, AE1/AE3, reticulin, α-actin, sirius red, and PAS with diastase. Areas of prominent lymphocytic infiltration of the periportal liver plate, observed microscopically, were further evaluated by electron microscopy (EM). 4HNE adduction study, an immunofluorescent assay, was performed to detect products of the oxidative damage and their localization in the liver parenchyma.Oxidative damage was evident by accumulation of 4HNE protein adducts in the cytoplasm of hepatocytes, secondary lysosomes and macrophages. We hypothesize that the adducted proteins, accumulated in the liver parenchyma, serve as autoantigens, which provoke an autoimmune response, and cause migration of lymphocytes to the affected regions. The formation of immunological synapses between hepatocytes and lymphocytes, predominantly T-lymphocytes, is demonstrated by electron microscopy. The autoimmune response induces piecemeal, or troxis necrosis of hepatocytes, a well described biological phenomenon, where lymphocytes gradually remove hepatocytes in a piecemeal fashion, slowly consuming them and leaving fragments of liver cells, or nubbins of anuclear cytoplasm of liver cell, at the interface between lymphocytes and hepatocytes.The pattern of pathological injury of liver cells in both patients, following consumption of black cohosh, is identical to troxis necrosis, seen during autoimmune hepatitis. Recognition of the possibility of the acute hepatic injury by the herbal supplement black cohosh is essential for early accurate diagnosis, and timely patient management.