ResearchPad - biopsy https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Digestibility of black soldier fly larvae (<i>Hermetia illucens</i>) fed to leopard geckos (<i>Eublepharis macularius</i>)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7714 Black soldier fly (BSF) larvae have been marketed as an excellent choice for providing calcium to reptiles without the need of dusting or gut loading. However, previous studies have indicated that they have limited calcium digestibility and are deficient in fat soluble vitamins (A, D3, and E). In this feeding and digestibility trial, 24 adult male leopard geckos were fed one of three diets for 4 months: 1) whole, vitamin A gut loaded larvae; 2) needle pierced, vitamin A gut loaded larvae; or 3) whole, non-gut loaded larvae. Fecal output from the geckos was collected daily and apparent digestibility was calculated for dry matter, protein, fat, and minerals. There were no differences in digestibility coefficients among groups. Most nutrients were well digested by the leopard geckos when compared to previous studies, with the exception of calcium (digestibility co-efficient 43%), as the calcium-rich exoskeleton usually remained intact after passage through the GI tract. Biochemistry profiles revealed possible deficits occurring over time for calcium, sodium, and total protein. In regards to vitamin A digestibility, plasma and liver vitamin A concentrations were significantly higher in the supplemented groups (plasma- gut loaded groups: 33.38 ± 7.11 ng/ml, control group: 25.8 ± 6.72 ng/ml, t = 1.906, p = 0.04; liver- gut loaded groups: 28.67 ± 18.90 μg/g, control group: 14.13 ± 7.41 μg/g, t = 1.951, p = 0.03). While leopard geckos are able to digest most of the nutrients provided by BSF larvae, including those that have been gut loaded, more research needs to be performed to assess whether or not they provide adequate calcium in their non-supplemented form.

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<![CDATA[Investigating gene-microRNA networks in atrial fibrillation patients with mitral valve regurgitation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7684 Atrial fibrillation (AF) is predicted to affect around 17.9 million individuals in Europe by 2060. The disease is associated with severe electrical and structural remodelling of the heart, and increased the risk of stroke and heart failure. In order to improve treatment and find new drug targets, the field needs to better comprehend the exact molecular mechanisms in these remodelling processes.ObjectivesThis study aims to identify gene and miRNA networks involved in the remodelling of AF hearts in AF patients with mitral valve regurgitation (MVR).MethodsTotal RNA was extracted from right atrial biopsies from patients undergoing surgery for mitral valve replacement or repair with AF and without history of AF to test for differentially expressed genes and miRNAs using RNA-sequencing and miRNA microarray. In silico predictions were used to construct a mRNA-miRNA network including differentially expressed mRNAs and miRNAs. Gene and chromosome enrichment analysis were used to identify molecular pathways and high-density AF loci.ResultsWe found 644 genes and 43 miRNAs differentially expressed in AF patients compared to controls. From these lists, we identified 905 pairs of putative miRNA-mRNA interactions, including 37 miRNAs and 295 genes. Of particular note, AF-associated miR-130b-3p, miR-338-5p and miR-208a-3p were differentially expressed in our AF tissue samples. These miRNAs are predicted regulators of several differentially expressed genes associated with cardiac conduction and fibrosis. We identified two high-density AF loci in chromosomes 14q11.2 and 6p21.3.ConclusionsAF in MVR patients is associated with down-regulation of ion channel genes and up-regulation of extracellular matrix genes. Other AF related genes are dysregulated and several are predicted to be targeted by miRNAs. Our novel miRNA-mRNA regulatory network provides new insights into the mechanisms of AF. ]]> <![CDATA[Effect of minimally invasive autopsy and ethnic background on acceptance of clinical postmortem investigation in adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7646 Autopsy rates worldwide have dropped significantly over the last five decades. Imaging based autopsies are increasingly used as alternatives to conventional autopsy (CA). The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of the introduction of minimally invasive autopsy, consisting of CT, MRI and tissue biopsies on the overall autopsy rate (of CA and minimally invasive autopsy) and the autopsy rate among different ethnicities.MethodsWe performed a prospective single center before-after study. The intervention was the introduction of minimally invasive autopsy as an alternative to CA. Minimally invasive autopsy consisted of MRI, CT, and CT-guided tissue biopsies. Autopsy rates over time and the effect of introducing minimally invasive autopsy were analyzed with a linear regression model. We performed a subgroup analysis comparing the autopsy rates of two groups: a group of western-European ethnicity versus a group of other ethnicities.ResultsAutopsy rates declined from 14.0% in 2010 to 8.3% in 2019. The linear regression model showed a significant effect of both time and availability of minimally invasive autopsy on the overall autopsy rate. The predicted autopsy rate in the model started at 15.1% in 2010 and dropped approximately 0.1% per month (β = -0.001, p < 0.001). Availability of minimally invasive autopsy increased the overall autopsy rate by 2.4% (β = 0.024, p < 0.001). The overall autopsy rate of people with an ethnic background other than western-European was significantly higher in years when minimally invasive autopsy was available compared to when it was not (22/176 = 12.5% vs. 81/1014 (8.0%), p = 0.049).ConclusionsThe introduction of the minimally invasive autopsy had a small, but significant effect on the overall autopsy rate. Furthermore, the minimally invasive autopsy appears to be more acceptable than CA among people with an ethnicity other than western-European. ]]> <![CDATA[Considerations and quality controls when analyzing cell-free tumor DNA]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5ca25e8dd5eed0c4846d69e0

Circulating cell-free tumor DNA (ctDNA) is a promising biomarker in cancer. Ultrasensitive technologies enable detection of low (< 0.1%) mutant allele frequencies, a pre-requisite to fully utilize the potential of ctDNA in cancer diagnostics. In addition, the entire liquid biopsy workflow needs to be carefully optimized to enable reliable ctDNA analysis. Here, we discuss important considerations for ctDNA detection in plasma. We show how each experimental step can easily be evaluated using simple quantitative PCR assays, including detection of cellular DNA contamination and PCR inhibition. Furthermore, ctDNA assay performance is also demonstrated to be affected by both DNA fragmentation and target sequence. Finally, we show that quantitative PCR is useful to estimate the required sequencing depth and to monitor DNA losses throughout the workflow. The use of quality control assays enables the development of robust and standardized workflows that facilitate the implementation of ctDNA analysis into clinical routine.

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<![CDATA[Methods of olfactory ensheathing cell harvesting from the olfactory mucosa in dogs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89778fd5eed0c4847d2ff8

Olfactory ensheathing cells are thought to support regeneration and remyelination of damaged axons when transplanted into spinal cord injuries. Following transplantation, improved locomotion has been detected in many laboratory models and in dogs with naturally-occurring spinal cord injury; safety trials in humans have also been completed. For widespread clinical implementation, it will be necessary to derive large numbers of these cells from an accessible and, preferably, autologous, source making olfactory mucosa a good candidate. Here, we compared the yield of olfactory ensheathing cells from the olfactory mucosa using 3 different techniques: rhinotomy, frontal sinus keyhole approach and rhinoscopy. From canine clinical cases with spinal cord injury, 27 biopsies were obtained by rhinotomy, 7 by a keyhole approach and 1 with rhinoscopy. Biopsy via rhinoscopy was also tested in 13 cadavers and 7 living normal dogs. After 21 days of cell culture, the proportions and populations of p75-positive (presumed to be olfactory ensheathing) cells obtained by the keyhole approach and rhinoscopy were similar (~4.5 x 106 p75-positive cells; ~70% of the total cell population), but fewer were obtained by frontal sinus rhinotomy. Cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea was observed in one dog and emphysema in 3 dogs following rhinotomy. Blepharitis occurred in one dog after the keyhole approach. All three biopsy methods appear to be safe for harvesting a suitable number of olfactory ensheathing cells from the olfactory mucosa for transplantation within the spinal cord but each technique has specific advantages and drawbacks.

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<![CDATA[The role of embryo contact and focal adhesions during maternal recognition of pregnancy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823f5d5eed0c484639429

Maternal recognition of pregnancy (MRP) in the mare is an unknown process. In a non-pregnant mare on day 14 post-ovulation (PO), prostaglandin F (PGF) is secreted by the endometrium causing regression of the corpus luteum. Prior to day 14, MRP must occur in order to attenuate secretion of PGF. The embryo is mobile throughout the uterus due to uterine contractions from day of entry to day 14. It is unknown what signaling is occurring. Literature stated that infusing oil or placing a glass marble into the equine uterus prolongs luteal lifespan and that in non-pregnant mares, serum exosomes contain miRNA that are targeting the focal adhesion (FA) pathway. The hypothesis of this study is embryo contact with endometrium causes a change in abundance of focal adhesion molecules (FA) in the endometrium leading to decrease in PGF secretion. Mares (n = 3/day) were utilized in a cross-over design with each mare serving as a pregnant and non-pregnant (non-mated) control on days 9 and 11 PO. Mares were randomly assigned to collection day and endometrial samples and embryos were collected on the specified day. Biopsy samples were divided into five pieces, four for culture for 24 hours and one immediately snap frozen. Endometrial biopsies for culture were placed in an incubator with one of four treatments: [1] an embryo in contact on the luminal side of the endometrium, [2] beads in contact on the luminal side of the endometrium, [3] peanut oil in contact on the luminal side of the endometrium or [4] the endometrium by itself. Biopsies and culture medium were frozen for further analysis. RNA and protein were isolated from biopsies for PCR and Western blot analysis for FA. PGF assays were performed on culture medium to determine concentration of PGF. Statistics were performed using SAS (P ≤ 0.05 indicated significance). The presence of beads on day 9 impacted samples from pregnant mares more than non-pregnant mares and had very little impact on day 11. Presence of oil decreased FA in samples from pregnant mares on day 9. On day 11, oil decreased FA abundance in samples from non-pregnant mares. Embryo contact caused multiple changes in RNA and protein abundance in endometrium from both pregnant and non-pregnant mares. The PGF secretion after 24 hours with each treatment was also determined. On day 9, there was no change in PGF secretion compared to any treatments. On day 11, presence of peanut oil increased PGF secretion in samples from non-pregnant mares. In samples from non-pregnant mares, presence of an embryo decreased PGF secretion compared to control samples from non-pregnant mares. Results revealed that while beads and peanut oil may impact abundance of FA RNA and protein in endometrial samples, it does not appear to impact PGF secretion. Conversely, embryo contact for 24 hours with endometrium from a non-pregnant mare causes a decrease in PGF secretion. These results suggest that it is not just contact of any substance/object causing attenuation of PGF secretion, but the embryo itself is necessary to decrease PGF secretion.

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<![CDATA[A natural history model for planning prostate cancer testing: Calibration and validation using Swedish registry data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f1520d5eed0c48467ae2e

Recent prostate cancer screening trials have given conflicting results and it is unclear how to reduce prostate cancer mortality while minimising overdiagnosis and overtreatment. Prostate cancer testing is a partially observable process, and planning for testing requires either extrapolation from randomised controlled trials or, more flexibly, modelling of the cancer natural history. An existing US prostate cancer natural history model (Gulati et al, Biostatistics 2010;11:707-719) did not model for differences in survival between Gleason 6 and 7 cancers and predicted too few Gleason 7 cancers for contemporary Sweden. We re-implemented and re-calibrated the US model to Sweden. We extended the model to more finely describe the disease states, their time to biopsy-detectable cancer and prostate cancer survival. We first calibrated the model to the incidence rate ratio observed in the European Randomised Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) together with age-specific cancer staging observed in the Stockholm PSA (prostate-specific antigen) and Biopsy Register; we then calibrated age-specific survival by disease states under contemporary testing and treatment using the Swedish National Prostate Cancer Register. After calibration, we were able to closely match observed prostate cancer incidence trends in Sweden. Assuming that patients detected at an earlier stage by screening receive a commensurate survival improvement, we find that the calibrated model replicates the observed mortality reduction in a simulation of ERSPC. Using the resulting model, we predicted incidence and mortality following the introduction of regular testing. Compared with a model of the current testing pattern, organised 8 yearly testing for men aged 55–69 years was predicted to reduce prostate cancer incidence by 14% and increase prostate cancer mortality by 2%. The model is open source and suitable for planning for effective prostate cancer screening into the future.

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<![CDATA[Structured reporting of prostate magnetic resonance imaging has the potential to improve interdisciplinary communication]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75abfdd5eed0c484d07f7d

Background

Effective interdisciplinary communication of imaging findings is vital for patient care, as referring physicians depend on the contained information for the decision-making and subsequent treatment. Traditional radiology reports contain non-structured free text and potentially tangled information in narrative language, which can hamper the information transfer and diminish the clarity of the report. Therefore, this study investigates whether newly developed structured reports (SRs) of prostate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can improve interdisciplinary communication, as compared to non-structured reports (NSRs).

Methods

50 NSRs and 50 SRs describing a single prostatic lesion were presented to four urologists with expert level experience in prostate cancer surgery or targeted MRI TRUS fusion biopsy. They were subsequently asked to plot the tumor location in a 2-dimensional prostate diagram and to answer a questionnaire focusing on information on clinically relevant key features as well as the perceived structure of the report. A validated scoring system that distinguishes between “major” and “minor” mistakes was used to evaluate the accuracy of the plotting of the tumor position in the prostate diagram.

Results

The mean total score for accuracy for SRs was significantly higher than for NSRs (28.46 [range 13.33–30.0] vs. 21.75 [range 0.0–30.0], p < 0.01). The overall rates of major mistakes (54% vs. 10%) and minor mistakes (74% vs. 22%) were significantly higher (p < 0.01) for NSRs than for SRs. The rate of radiologist re-consultations was significantly lower (p < 0.01) for SRs than for NSRs (19% vs. 85%). Furthermore, SRs were rated as significantly superior to NSRs in regard to determining the clinical tumor stage (p < 0.01), the quality of the summary (4.4 vs. 2.5; p < 0.01), and overall satisfaction with the report (4.5 vs. 2.3; p < 0.01), and as more valuable for further clinical decision-making and surgical planning (p < 0.01).

Conclusions

Structured reporting of prostate MRI has the potential to improve interdisciplinary communication. Through SRs, expert urologists were able to more accurately assess the exact location of single prostate cancer lesions, which can facilitate surgical planning. Furthermore, structured reporting of prostate MRI leads to a higher satisfaction level of the referring physician.

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<![CDATA[Histogram analysis of prostate cancer on dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging: A preliminary study emphasizing on zonal difference]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c75d9d5eed0c4843d02ed

Background

This study evaluated the performance of histogram analysis in the time course of dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) for differentiating cancerous tissues from benign tissues in the prostate.

Methods

We retrospectively analyzed the histograms of DCE-MRI of 30 patients. Histograms within regions of interest(ROI) in the peripheral zone (PZ) and transitional zone (TZ) were separately analyzed. The maximum difference wash-in slope (MWS) and delay phase slope (DPS) were defined for each voxel. Differences in histogram parameters, namely the mean, standard deviation (SD), the coefficient of variation (CV), kurtosis, skewness, interquartile range (IQR), percentile (P10, P25, P75, P90, and P90P10), Range, and modified full width at half-maximum (mFWHM) between cancerous and benign tissues were assessed.

Results

In the TZ, CV for ROIs of 7.5 and 10mm was the only significantly different parameter of the MWS (P = 0.034 and P = 0.004, respectively), whereas many parameters of the DPS (mean, skewness, P10, P25, P50, P75 and P90) differed significantly (P = <0.001–0.016 and area under the curve [AUC] = 0.73–0.822). In the PZ, all parameters of the MWS exhibited significant differences, except kurtosis and skewness in the ROI of 7.5mm(P = <0.001–0.017 and AUC = 0.865–0.898). SD, IQR, mFWHM, P90P10 and Range were also significant differences in the DPS (P = 0.001–0.035).

Conclusion

The histogram analysis of DCE-MRI is a potentially useful approach for differentiating prostate cancer from normal tissues. Different histogram parameters of the MWS and DPS should be applied in the TZ and PZ.

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<![CDATA[Association of small fiber neuropathy and post treatment Lyme disease syndrome]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c75a6d5eed0c4843cff72

Objectives

To examine whether post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS) defined by fatigue, cognitive complaints and widespread pain following the treatment of Lyme disease is associated with small fiber neuropathy (SFN) manifesting as autonomic and sensory dysfunction.

Methods

This single center, retrospective study evaluated subjects with PTLDS. Skin biopsies for assessment of epidermal nerve fiber density (ENFD), sweat gland nerve fiber density (SGNFD) and functional autonomic testing (deep breathing, Valsalva maneuver and tilt test) were performed to assess SFN, severity of dysautonomia and cerebral blood flow abnormalities. Heart rate, end tidal CO2, blood pressure, and cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFv) from middle cerebral artery using transcranial Doppler were monitored.

Results

10 participants, 5/5 women/men, age 51.3 ± 14.7 years, BMI 27.6 ± 7.3 were analyzed. All participants were positive for Lyme infection by CDC criteria. At least one skin biopsy was abnormal in all ten participants. Abnormal ENFD was found in 9 participants, abnormal SGNFD in 5 participants, and both abnormal ENFD and SGNFD were detected in 4 participants. Parasympathetic failure was found in 7 participants and mild or moderate sympathetic adrenergic failure in all participants. Abnormal total CBFv score was found in all ten participants. Low orthostatic CBFv was found in 7 participants, three additional participants had abnormally reduced supine CBFv.

Conclusions

SFN appears to be associated with PTLDS and may be responsible for certain sensory symptoms. In addition, dysautonomia related to SFN and abnormal CBFv also seem to be linked to PTLDS. Reduced orthostatic CBFv can be associated with cerebral hypoperfusion and may lead to cognitive dysfunction. Autonomic failure detected in PTLDS is mild to moderate. SFN evaluation may be useful in PTLDS.

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<![CDATA[Serum Axl predicts histology-based response to induction therapy and long-term renal outcome in lupus nephritis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b261bd5eed0c484289315

Axl is a receptor tyrosine kinase with important functions in immune regulation. We investigated serum levels of soluble (s)Axl in lupus nephritis (LN) in association with renal disease activity, tissue damage and treatment response. We surveyed 52 patients with International Society of Nephrology/Renal Pathology Society (ISN/RPS) class III/IV LN and 20 healthy controls. Renal biopsies were performed at the time of active LN and post-treatment. Patients were classified as clinical responders (CRs) or clinical non-responders based on the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria. Improvement by ≥50% in renal activity index scores defined histological responders (HRs). sAxl levels were elevated in patients compared to controls (median: 18.9 ng/mL), both at baseline (median: 45.7; P<0.001) and post-treatment (median: 41.2 ng/mL; P<0.001). Baseline sAxl levels were higher in patients with class IV (median: 47.7 ng/mL) versus class III (median: 37.5 ng/mL) nephritis (P = 0.008), and showed moderate correlations with albuminuria (r = 0.30, P = 0.030) and creatinine (r = 0.35, P = 0.010). Baseline sAxl levels decreased in CRs (P = 0.002) and HRs (P<0.001), but not in non-responders; levels ≥36.6 ng/mL yielded a >5 times higher probability of histology-based response (odds ratio, OR: 5.5; 95% confidence interval, CI: 1.2–25.1). High post-treatment sAxl levels were associated with worsening in chronicity index scores (P = 0.025); low levels predicted favourable renal outcome (creatinine ≤88.4 μmol/L) 10 years after the baseline renal biopsy (area under the curve: 0.71; 95% CI: 0.54–0.89). In conclusion, sAxl may prove useful as a marker of renal activity, histological response to immunosuppression, and renal damage progression in LN. Persistently high sAxl levels after completion of treatment may be indicative of a need for treatment intensification.

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<![CDATA[Immunomagnetic isolation of circulating melanoma cells and detection of PD-L1 status]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c673061d5eed0c484f37a3b

Personalised medicine targeted to specific biomarkers such as BRAF and c-Kit has radically improved the success of melanoma therapy. More recently, further advances have been made using therapies targeting the immune response. In particular, therapies targeting the PD-1/PD-L1 or CTLA-4 axes alone or in combination have shown more sustained responses in 30–60% of patients. However, these therapies are associated with considerable toxicities and useful biomarkers to predict responders and non-responders are slow to emerge. Here we developed a reliable melanoma circulating tumor cell (CTC) detection method with PD-L1 evaluation on CTCs. A set of melanoma cell surface markers was tested as candidates for targeted melanoma CTC isolation and a melanoma specific immunostaining-based CTC identification protocol combined with PD-L1 detection was established. In vitro testing of the effect of exposure to blood cells on melanoma cell PD-L1 expression was undertaken. Immunomagnetic targeting isolated melanoma CTCs in up to 87.5% of stage IV melanoma patient blood samples and 3 8.6% of these had some PD-L1 expressing CTCs. Our in vitro data demonstrate PD-L1 induction on melanoma cells in the blood.This study established a robust, reliable method to isolate melanoma CTCs and detect expression of PD-L1 on these cells.

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<![CDATA[Serological and molecular detection of Bartonella henselae in specimens from patients with suspected cat scratch disease in Italy: A comparative study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c673073d5eed0c484f37b74

Cat scratch disease (CSD) is an infectious disease caused by Bartonella henselae, usually characterized by self-limiting regional lymphadenopathy and fever. Given the low clinical diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of conventional anti-B. henselae indirect immunofluorescence assays (IFAs), real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based detection of B. henselae is now being proposed as a more sensitive tool to diagnose CSD. Thus, here we have assessed the efficacy of real-time PCR in detecting B. henselae in different specimens from patients with suspected CSD and compared it to that of IFA. From March 2011 to May 2016, at the Microbiology and Virology Unit, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino, Turin, Italy, 115 clinical specimens (56 aspirated pus, 39 fresh lymph node biopsies, and 20 whole blood samples) and 99 sera from 115 patients with suspected CSD (62 females and 53 males between the ages of 3 months and 68 years) were analyzed by both real-time PCR, used in a qualitative way, and IFA (IgM and IgG) for the presence of B. henselae. For 16 patients, serological results were not available due to a clinical decision not to request the test. B. henselae DNA positivity was detected by real-time PCR in 37.39% of patients, while 62.61% of them were negative. Thus, patients were divided into two groups: real-time PCR+ (n = 43) and real-time PCR- (n = 72). Real-time PCR screening of whole blood, biopsies, and aspirated pus revealed B. henselae positivity in 40%, 38.46%, and 35.71% of patients, respectively. When we analyzed samples by IFA, we found the presence of B. henselae in 28 out of 99 (28.28%) patients, of which 11 (11.11%) belonged to the real-time PCR+ group and 17 (17.17%) to the real-time PCR- group. Among the 71 seronegative subjects, 16 (16.16%) were found positive for B. henselae by real-time PCR. Thus, by combining the results of both assays, we were able to increase the percentage of B. henselae positive specimens from 27.27% (real-time PCR) or 28.28% (IFA) to 44.44% (real-time PCR+IFA). Altogether, these findings indicate that the early detection of B. henselae in patients with suspicious CSD through combined real-time PCR and serological analyses can lead to a more accurate diagnosis of CSD, thereby allowing prompt and appropriate disease management.

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<![CDATA[Fc gamma RIIb expression levels in human liver sinusoidal endothelial cells during progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59fedbd5eed0c48413572f

Liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs) play a pivotal role in hepatic function and homeostasis. LSEC dysfunction has been recognized to be closely involved in various liver diseases, including non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), but not much is known about the fate of the scavenger receptors in LSECs during NASH. Fc gamma receptor IIb (FcγRIIb), known as a scavenger receptor, contributes to receptor-mediated endocytosis and immune complexes clearance. In this study, to elucidate the fate of FcγRIIb in the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), we examined FcγRIIb levels in NAFLD biopsy specimens by immunohistochemistry, and investigated their correlation with the exacerbation of biological indexes and clinicopathological scores of NASH. The FcγRIIb expression levels indicated significant negative correlations with serum levels of blood lipids (triglyceride, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol), type 4 collagen and hyaluronic acid, which are involved in hepatic lipid metabolism disorder, fibrosis, and inflammation, respectively. However, there was no significant difference of FcγRIIb expression levels among the pathological grades of NAFLD. During NAFLD progression, inflammation and fibrosis may influence the expression of FcγRIIb and their scavenger functions to maintain hepatic homeostasis.

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<![CDATA[Characterisation and validation of Mel38; A multi-tissue microRNA signature of cutaneous melanoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c633964d5eed0c484ae65d3

Background

Histopathologic examination of melanocytic neoplasms can be challenging and subjective, with no specific circulating or tissue-based biomarkers currently available. Recently, a circulating 38-microRNA profile of melanoma (Mel38) was described. In this study, Mel38 expression and its impact on downstream mRNA regulation in solid tissue is examined.

Methods

Mel38 was applied to archival, clinically-annotated, solid-tissue genomic datasets representing benign naevi, primary and metastatic melanoma. Statistical analysis of the signature in relation to disease status, patient outcome and molecular pathways was performed.

Results

Mel38 is able to stratify genomic data from solid tissue biopsies on the basis of disease status and differences in melanoma-specific survival. Experimentally-verified messenger-RNA targets of Mel38 also exhibit prognostic expression patterns and represent key molecular pathways and events in melanoma development and progression.

Conclusion

The Mel38 microRNA profile may have diagnostic and prognostic utility in solid tissue as well as being a robust circulating biomarker of melanoma.

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<![CDATA[Sleeping through anything: The effects of unpredictable disruptions on mouse sleep, healing, and affect]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca2b9d5eed0c48441e977

Many aspects of the laboratory environment are not tailored to the needs of rodents, which may cause stress. Unpredictable stressors can cause ulcers, prolonged pituitary-adrenal activation, and anhedonia. Similarly, pain has been demonstrated to slow wound healing, and mice experiencing pain exhibit altered behavior. However it is unknown how husbandry, which occurs when the mice are inactive, and lack of analgesia, specifically in a punch biopsy procedure, effects animal physiology, behavior, and welfare, particularly as it relates to sleep fragmentation. We hypothesized that sleep fragmentation, induced by unpredictable husbandry and lack of pain management will slow wound healing. Two main treatments were tested in a factorial design in C57BL/6 mice of both sexes (64 mice total); 1) analgesia (carprofen and saline) and 2) sleep disruptions (random and predictable). Mice were singly housed in a non-invasive sleep monitoring apparatus on arrival (Day -4). Disruption treatments were applied from Day -3 to 2. All mice received a punch biopsy surgery (Day 0) with topical lidocaine gel and their analgesic treatment prior to recovery, and on Days 1 and 2. Nesting behavior was assessed daily and a sugar cereal consumption test, as a measure of anhedonia, was conducted on Days -1 to 2. On Day 3, mice were euthanized and wound tissue and adrenal glands were collected. We found that the disruption predictability had no effect on mouse sleep, wound healing, or adrenal cortex:medulla ratio. It’s possible that the disruption period was not long enough to induce chronic stress. However, male mice who received analgesia slept more than their female counterparts; this may be related to sex differences in pain perception. Overall, it does not appear that the predictability of disturbance effects sleep fragmentation or stress responses, indicating that husbandry activities do not need to occur at set predictable times to improve welfare.

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<![CDATA[Intensity-modulated radiotherapy for prostate cancer with seminal vesicle involvement (T3b): A multicentric retrospective analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c79b004d5eed0c4841e3c37

Objectives

No study has reported clinical results of external-beam radiotherapy specifically for T3b prostate cancer. The possibility of escalating the dose to the involved seminal vesicles (ISV) while respecting the dose constraints in the organs at risk is thus so far not clearly demonstrated. The objective of the study was to analyze the dose distribution and the clinical outcome in a large series of patients who received IMRT for T3b prostate cancer.

Materials and methods

This retrospective analysis included all patients who received IMRT and androgen deprivation therapy for T3b prostate cancer, between 2008 and 2017, in six French institutions, with available MRI images and dosimetric data.

Results

A total of 276 T3b patients were included. The median follow-up was 26 months. The median (range) prescribed doses (Gy) to the prostate and to the ISV were 77 (70–80) and 76 (46–80), respectively. The dose constraint recommendations were exceeded in less than 12% of patients for the rectum and the bladder. The 5-year risks of biochemical and clinical recurrences and cancer-specific death were 24.8%, 21.7%, and 10.3%, respectively. The 5-year risks of local, pelvic lymph node, and metastatic recurrences were 6.4%, 11.3%, and 15%, respectively. The number of involved lymph nodes (≤ 2 or ≥ 3) on MRI was the only significant prognostic factor in clinical recurrence (HR 9.86) and death (HR 2.78). Grade ≥ 2 acute and 5-year late toxicity rates were 13.2% and 12% for digestive toxicity, and 34% and 31.5% for urinary toxicity, respectively. The dose to the pelvic lymph node and the age were predictive of late digestive toxicity.

Conclusion

IMRT for T3b prostate cancer allows delivery of a curative dose in the ISV, with a moderate digestive toxicity but a higher urinary toxicity. Lymph node involvement increases the risk of recurrence and death.

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<![CDATA[Different operators and histologic techniques in the assessment of germinal center-like structures in primary Sjögren’s syndrome minor salivary glands]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c644913d5eed0c484c2f56d

Objective

A standardization of minor salivary gland (MSG) histopathology in primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS) has been recently proposed. Although there is strong agreement that germinal center (GC)-like structures should be routinely identified, due to their prognostic value, a consensus regarding the best protocol is still lacking. Aim of this study was to compare the performance of different histological techniques and operators to identify GC-like structures in pSS MSGs. MSG biopsies from 50 pSS patients were studied.

Methods

Three blinded operators (one pathologist and two rheumatologists with different years of experience in pSS MSG assessment) assessed 50 MSGs of which one slide was stained with haematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and consecutive slides were processed to investigate CD3/CD20, CD21 and Bcl-6 expression.

Results

By assessing 225 foci, the best agreement was between H&E-stained sections evaluated by the rheumatologist with more years of experience in pSS MSG assessment and CD3/CD20 segregation. In the foci with CD21 positivity, the agreement further increased. Bcl-6- foci could display a GC, detected with other staining, but not vice versa.

Conclusion

GC assessment on H&E-stained sections should be performed with caution, being operator-dependent. The combination of H&E with CD3/CD20 and CD21 staining should be recommended as it is reliable, feasible, able to overcome the bias of operator experience and easily transferrable into routine practice.

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<![CDATA[Liver regeneration therapy through the hepatic artery-infusion of cultured bone marrow cells in a canine liver fibrosis model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c521890d5eed0c484798f50

Background

We previously reported regenerative therapies for decompensated cirrhosis based on peripheral venous drip infusion using non-cultured whole bone marrow (BM) cells, or the less invasive cultured BM-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs). Here, we assessed the efficacy and safety of hepatic arterial infusion using cultured autologous BMSCs, comparing it with peripheral infusion, using our established canine liver fibrosis model.

Methods

Canine BM cells were harvested and cultured, and the resultant BMSCs were returned to carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced liver cirrhosis model canines via either a peripheral vein (Vein group) or hepatic artery (Artery group). A variety of assays were performed before and 4, 8, and 12 weeks after BMSC infusion, and liver fibrosis and indocyanine green (ICG) half-life (t1/2) were compared to those in a control group that received CCl4 but not BMSCs. The safety of this approach was evaluated by contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) and serial blood examinations after infusion.

Results

Four weeks after infusing BMSCs, a significant improvement was observed in the Vein group (n = 8) compared to outcome in the Control group (n = 10), along with a decrease in ICG t1/2. In the Artery group (n = 4), ICG t1/2 was significantly shorter than that in the Vein group at 8 weeks (Δt1/2: −3.8 ± 1.7 min vs. +0.4 ± 2.4 min; p < 0.01) and 12 weeks (Δt1/2: −4.2 ± 1.7 min vs. +0.4 ± 2.7 min; p < 0.01) after BMSC administration. Post-infusion contrast-enhanced CT showed no liver infarction, and blood tests showed no elevations in either serum lactate dehydrogenase concentrations or hypercoagulability.

Conclusions

We confirmed the efficacy and safety of the hepatic arterial infusion of cultured autologous BMSCs using a canine model, thereby providing non-clinical proof-of-concept.

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<![CDATA[Topical treatment with gallium maltolate reduces Treponema pallidum subsp. pertenue burden in primary experimental lesions in a rabbit model of yaws]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c366801d5eed0c4841a6d64

Background

Gallium is a semi-metallic element known since the 1930s to have antimicrobial activity. This activity stems primarily from gallium's ability to mimic trivalent iron and disrupt specific Fe(III)-dependent pathways, particularly DNA synthesis (due to inhibition of ribonucleotide reductase). Because of its novel mechanism of action, gallium is currently being investigated as a new antibacterial agent, particularly in light of the increasing resistance of many pathogenic bacteria to existing antibiotics. Gallium maltolate (GaM) is being developed as an orally and topically administrable form of gallium. Yaws is a neglected tropical disease affecting mainly the skin and skeletal system of children in underprivileged settings. It is currently the object of a WHO-promoted eradication campaign using mass administration of the macrolide azithromycin, an antibiotic to which the yaws agent Treponema pallidum subsp. pertenue has slowly begun to develop genetic resistance.

Methods

Because yaws transmission is mainly due to direct skin contact with an infectious skin lesion, we evaluated the treponemicidal activity of GaM applied topically to skin lesions in a rabbit model of yaws. Treatment efficacy was evaluated by measuring lesion diameter, treponemal burden in lesion aspirates as determined by dark field microscopy and amplification of treponemal RNA, serology, and immunohistochemistry of biopsied tissue samples.

Results

Our results show that topical GaM was effective in reducing treponemal burden in yaws experimental lesions, particularly when applied at the first sign of lesion appearance but, as expected, did not prevent pathogen dissemination.

Conclusion

Early administration of GaM to yaws lesions could reduce the infectivity of the lesions and thus yaws transmission, potentially contributing to current and future yaws control campaigns.

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