ResearchPad - histochemistry-and-cytochemistry-techniques https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Mutations in <i>SPATA13/ASEF2</i> cause primary angle closure glaucoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15764 Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness globally. Angle closure glaucoma accounts for 50% of all glaucoma blindness impacting quality of life and burden on health services. A number of variations in DNA appear to influence the risk of the disease. However, the biological mechanism underlying this important disease remains unclear. In this paper, we report the identification and functional characterisation of the first gene, mutation in which causes primary angle closure glaucoma in a seven generation Caucasian family. We have identified other variants in the same gene in another family and individuals with the disease. This gene is involved in cell division and is highly expressed in parts of the eye affected by the disease. Mutations in this gene appear to affect important enzyme activity involved in cell division. Identification of the disease-causing role of mutations in this gene helps to further the understanding of glaucoma aetiology and identifies potential therapeutic targets for disease management.

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<![CDATA[Characterization of limbal explant sites: Optimization of stem cell outgrowth in <i>in vitro</i> culture]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14624 Simple limbal epithelial transplantation (SLET) and cultivated limbal epithelial transplantation (CLET) are proven techniques for treating limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD). However, the precise regions that are most suitable for preparing explants for transplantation have not been identified conclusively. Accordingly, this in vitro study aimed at determining ideal sites to be selected for tissue harvest for limbal stem cell culture and transplantation. We evaluated cell outgrowth potential and the expression of stem cell markers in cultures from 48 limbal explants from five cadaveric donors. The limbal explants were generated from the three specific sites: Lcor (located innermost and adjacent to the cornea), Lm (middle limbus), and Lconj (located outermost adjacent to the conjunctiva). We found that explants from the Lconj and Lm sites exhibited higher growth potential than those from the Lcor site. Transcript encoding the stem cell marker and p63 isoform, ΔNp63, was detected in cells from Lm and Lconj explants; expression levels were slightly, though significantly (p-value < 0.05), higher in Lm than in Lconj, although expression of ΔNp63α protein was similar in cells from all explants. Differential expression of ATP-Binding Cassette Subfamily G Member 2 (ABCG2) did not reach statistical significance. Immunohistochemistry by indirect immunofluorescence analysis of limbus tissue revealed that the basal layer in explant tissue from Lconj and Lm contained markedly more stem cells than found in Lcor explant tissue; these findings correlate with a higher capacity for growth. Collectively, our findings suggest that explants from the Lconj and Lm sites should be selected for limbal cell expansion for both CLET and SLET procedures. These new insights may guide surgeons toward specific limbal sites that are most suitable for stem cell culture and transplantation and may ultimately improve treatment outcomes in the patients with LSCD.

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<![CDATA[Distinct patterns of dentate gyrus cell activation distinguish physiologic from aberrant stimuli]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14621 Under physiologic conditions, the dentate gyrus (DG) exhibits exceptionally low levels of activity compared to other brain regions. A sparse activation pattern is observed even when the DG is engaged to process new information; for example, only ~1–3% of neurons in the DG granule cell layer (GCL) are activated after placing animals in a novel, enriched environment. Moreover, such physiologic stimulation of GCL neurons recruits young granule cells more readily than older cells. This sparse pattern of cell activation has largely been attributed to intrinsic circuit properties of the DG, such as reduced threshold for activation in younger cells, and increased inhibition onto older cells. Given these intrinsic properties, we asked whether such activation of young granule cells was unique to physiologic stimulation, or could be elicited by general pharmacological activation of the hippocampus. We found that administration of kainic acid (KA) at a low dose (5 mg/kg) to wildtype C57BL/6 mice activated a similarly sparse number of cells in the GCL as physiologic DG stimulation by exposure to a novel, enriched environment. However, unlike physiologic stimulation, 5 mg/kg KA activated primarily old granule cells as well as GABAergic interneurons. This finding indicates that intrinsic circuit properties of the DG alone may not be sufficient to support the engagement of young granule cells, and suggest that other factors such as the specificity of the pattern of inputs, may be involved.

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<![CDATA[Automatic three-dimensional reconstruction of fascicles in peripheral nerves from histological images]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14591 Computational studies can be used to support the development of peripheral nerve interfaces, but currently use simplified models of nerve anatomy, which may impact the applicability of simulation results. To better quantify and model neural anatomy across the population, we have developed an algorithm to automatically reconstruct accurate peripheral nerve models from histological cross-sections. We acquired serial median nerve cross-sections from human cadaveric samples, staining one set with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and the other using immunohistochemistry (IHC) with anti-neurofilament antibody. We developed a four-step processing pipeline involving registration, fascicle detection, segmentation, and reconstruction. We compared the output of each step to manual ground truths, and additionally compared the final models to commonly used extrusions, via intersection-over-union (IOU). Fascicle detection and segmentation required the use of a neural network and active contours in H&E-stained images, but only simple image processing methods for IHC-stained images. Reconstruction achieved an IOU of 0.42±0.07 for H&E and 0.37±0.16 for IHC images, with errors partially attributable to global misalignment at the registration step, rather than poor reconstruction. This work provides a quantitative baseline for fully automatic construction of peripheral nerve models. Our models provided fascicular shape and branching information that would be lost via extrusion.

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<![CDATA[Constitutive hydrogen inhalation prevents vascular remodeling via reduction of oxidative stress]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne1330967-900e-43ee-b1f2-140543b0d511

Molecular hydrogen is thought to have an inhibitory effect on oxidative stress, thereby attenuating the onset and progression of various diseases including cardiovascular disease; however, few reports have assessed the preventive effect of constitutive inhalation of hydrogen gas on of vascular remodeling. Here, we investigated the effect of constitutive inhalation of hydrogen gas on vascular neointima formation using a cuff-induced vascular injury mouse model. After constitutive inhalation of compressed hydrogen gas (O2 21%, N2 77.7%, hydrogen 1.3%) or compressed air only (O2 21%, N2 79%) by C57BL/6 mice for 2 weeks from 8 weeks of age in a closed chamber, inflammatory cuff injury was induced by polyethylene cuff placement around the femoral artery under anesthesia, and hydrogen gas administration was continued until sampling of the femoral artery. Neointima formation, accompanied by an increase in cell proliferation, was significantly attenuated in the hydrogen group compared with the control group. NADPH oxidase NOX1 downregulation in response to cuff injury was shown in the hydrogen group, but the expression levels of NADPH oxidase subunits, p40phox and p47phox, did not differ significantly between the hydrogen and control groups. Although the increase in superoxide anion production did not significantly differ between the hydrogen and control groups, DNA damage was decreased as a result of reduction of reactive oxygen species such as hydroxyl radical (⋅OH) and peroxynitrite (ONOO-) in the hydrogen group. These results demonstrate that constitutive inhalation of hydrogen gas attenuates vascular remodeling partly via reduction of oxidative stress, suggesting that constitutive inhalation of hydrogen gas at a safe concentration in the living environment could be an effective strategy for prevention of vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis.

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<![CDATA[Identification of Merkel cells associated with neurons in engineered skin substitutes after grafting to full thickness wounds]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823d9d5eed0c484639153

Engineered skin substitutes (ESS), prepared using primary human fibroblasts and keratinocytes with a biopolymer scaffold, were shown to provide stable closure of excised burns, but relatively little is known about innervation of ESS after grafting. This study investigated innervation of ESS and, specifically, whether Merkel cells are present in healed grafts. Merkel cells are specialized neuroendocrine cells required for fine touch sensation in skin. We discovered cells positive for keratin 20 (KRT20), a general marker for Merkel cells, in the basal epidermis of ESS after transplantation to mice, suggesting the presence of Merkel cells. Cells expressing KRT20 were not observed in ESS in vitro. However, widely separated KRT20-positive cells were observed in basal epidermis of ESS by 2 weeks after grafting. By 4 weeks, these cells increased in number and expressed keratins 18 and 19, additional Merkel cells markers. Putative Merkel cell numbers increased further between weeks 6 and 14; their densities varied widely and no specific pattern of organization was observed, similar to Merkel cell localization in human skin. KRT20-positive cells co-expressed epidermal markers E-cadherin and keratin 15, suggesting derivation from the epidermal lineage, and neuroendocrine markers synaptophysin and chromogranin A, consistent with their identification as Merkel cells. By 4 weeks after grafting, some Merkel cells in engineered skin were associated with immature afferents expressing neurofilament-medium. By 8 weeks, Merkel cells were complexed with more mature neurons expressing neurofilament-heavy. Positive staining for human leukocyte antigen demonstrated that the Merkel cells in ESS were derived from grafted human cells. The results identify, for the first time, Merkel cell-neurite complexes in engineered skin in vivo. This suggests that fine touch sensation may be restored in ESS after grafting, although this must be confirmed with future functional studies.

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<![CDATA[Ornithine decarboxylase antizyme inhibitor 2 (AZIN2) is a signature of secretory phenotype and independent predictor of adverse prognosis in colorectal cancer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c70673fd5eed0c4847c6c9d

Ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) is the rate-limiting enzyme of polyamine synthesis. The two ODC antizyme inhibitors (AZIN1) and (AZIN2) are regulators of the catalytic activity of ODC. While AZIN1 is a regulator of cell proliferation, AZIN2 is involved in intracellular vesicle transport and secretion. There are no previous reports on the impact of AZIN2 expression in human cancer. We applied immunohistochemistry with antibodies to human AZIN2 on tissue micro- arrays of colorectal cancers (CRC) from 840 patients with a median follow-up of 5.1 years (range 0–25.8). The 5-year disease-specific survival rate was 58.9% (95% Cl 55.0–62.8%). High AZIN2 expression was associated with mucinous histology (p = 0.002) and location in the right hemicolon (p = 0.021). We found no association with age, gender, stage, or histological tumor grade. High tumor expression of AZIN2 predicted an unfavorable prognosis (p<0.0001, log-rank test), compared to low AZIN2 expression. Cox multivariable analysis identified AZIN2 as an independent factor of an unfavorable prognosis in CRC. The strongest AZIN2 expression was seen in invasive tumor cells having morphological features of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Induction of EMT in HT-29 CRC cells lead to upregulated expression of endogenous AZIN2. Given that AZIN2 is a regulator of vesicle transport and secretion, we overexpressed human AZIN2 cDNA in T84 CRC cells, and found strongly enhanced accumulation of CD63-positive exosomes in the culture medium. These findings indicate that AZIN2 expression is a signature of EMT-associated secretory phenotype that is linked to an adverse prognosis in CRC.

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<![CDATA[Experimental Zika virus infection of Jamaican fruit bats (Artibeus jamaicensis) and possible entry of virus into brain via activated microglial cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e905d5eed0c48496f66d

The emergence of Zika virus (ZIKV) in the New World has led to more than 200,000 human infections. Perinatal infection can cause severe neurological complications, including fetal and neonatal microcephaly, and in adults there is an association with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). ZIKV is transmitted to humans by Aedes sp. mosquitoes, yet little is known about its enzootic cycle in which transmission is thought to occur between arboreal Aedes sp. mosquitos and non-human primates. In the 1950s and ‘60s, several bat species were shown to be naturally and experimentally susceptible to ZIKV with acute viremia and seroconversion, and some developed neurological disease with viral antigen detected in the brain. Because of ZIKV emergence in the Americas, we sought to determine susceptibility of Jamaican fruit bats (Artibeus jamaicensis), one of the most common bats in the New World. Bats were inoculated with ZIKV PRVABC59 but did not show signs of disease. Bats held to 28 days post-inoculation (PI) had detectable antibody by ELISA and viral RNA was detected by qRT-PCR in the brain, saliva and urine in some of the bats. Immunoreactivity using polyclonal anti-ZIKV antibody was detected in testes, brain, lung and salivary glands plus scrotal skin. Tropism for mononuclear cells, including macrophages/microglia and fibroblasts, was seen in the aforementioned organs in addition to testicular Leydig cells. The virus likely localized to the brain via infection of Iba1+ macrophage/microglial cells. Jamaican fruit bats, therefore, may be a useful animal model for the study of ZIKV infection. This work also raises the possibility that bats may have a role in Zika virus ecology in endemic regions, and that ZIKV may pose a wildlife disease threat to bat populations.

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<![CDATA[Early-stage serrated adenocarcinomas are divided into several molecularly distinct subtypes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fdead5eed0c484e5b080

Serrated adenocarcinoma (SAC) is considered the end stage of the serrated neoplasia pathway. Although SAC prognosis is not widely recognized, the serrated pathway-associated subtype consistently exhibits unfavorable prognosis in genetic studies. Herein, we classified molecularly distinct subtypes of serrated adenocarcinomas and clarified their associated clinicopathological characteristics and genetic changes. We examined 38 early-stage colorectal SACs. Of these, 24 were classified into three molecularly distinct groups by colon cancer subtyping (CCS). The clinicopathological characteristics, Ki 67 labeling index (LI), and SAC epithelial serration were assessed. The DNA from carcinomas and normal tissue/adenoma was extracted by laser microdissection and sequenced by next-generation sequencing, and mutation numbers and patterns of a 15-oncogene panel were determined. The CCS groups included CCS1 (CDX2+, HTR2B-, FRMD6-, ZEB1-, and microsatellite instable-low [MSI-L]/microsatellite stable [MSS]; 14 cases), CCS2 (microsatellite instable-high [MSI-H], 5 cases), and CCS3 (CDX2-, HTR2B+, FRMD6+, ZEB1+, and MSI-L/MSS; 5 cases). Invasive cancer was significantly more frequent in CCS3 than in CCS1 (5/5 versus 3/14, respectively). Ki67 LI and epithelial serration were higher in CCS3 than in CCS1 (83.0 ± 5.8 versus 65.4 ± 4.0 and 5/5 versus 3/14, respectively; p = 0.031 and 0.0048). CCS2 showed the highest mutation number, whereas KRAS and BRAF mutation numbers were higher in CCS3 than in CCS1. Early-stage SACs were classified into three molecularly distinct subtypes with different clinicopathological and genetic characteristics.

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<![CDATA[Deletion of the p16INK4a tumor suppressor and expression of the androgen receptor induce sarcomatoid carcinomas with signet ring cells in the mouse prostate]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c536a9fd5eed0c484a476f6

The tumor suppressor p16Ink4a, encoded by the INK4a gene, is an inhibitor of cyclin D-dependent kinases 4 and 6, CDK4 and CDK6. This inhibition prevents the phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma protein (pRb), resulting in cellular senescence through inhibition of E2F-mediated transcription of S phase genes required for cell proliferation. The p16Ink4a plays an important role in tumor suppression, whereby its deletion, mutation, or epigenetic silencing is a frequently observed genetic alteration in prostate cancer. To assess its roles and related molecular mechanisms in prostate cancer initiation and progression, we generated a mouse model with conditional deletion of p16Ink4a in prostatic luminal epithelium. The mice underwent oncogenic transformation and developed prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) from eight months of age, but failed to develop prostatic tumors. Given the prevalence of aberrant androgen signaling pathways in prostate cancer initiation and progression, we then generated R26hARL/wt:p16L/L: PB-Cre4 compound mice, in which conditional expression of the human AR transgene and deletion of p16Ink4a co-occur in prostatic luminal epithelial cells. While R26hARL/wt:PB-Cre4 mice showed no visible pathological changes, R26hARL/wt:p16L/L: PB-Cre4 compound mice displayed an early onset of high-grade PIN (HGPIN), prostatic carcinoma, and metastatic lesions. Strikingly, we observed tumors resembling human sarcomatoid carcinoma with intermixed focal regions of signet ring cell carcinoma (SRCC) in the prostates of the compound mice. Further characterization of these tumors showed they were of luminal epithelial cell origin, and featured characteristics of epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) with enhanced proliferative and invasive capabilities. Our results not only implicate a biological role for AR expression and p16Ink4a deletion in the pathogenesis of prostatic SRCC, but also provide a new and unique genetically engineered mouse (GEM) model for investigating the molecular mechanisms for SRCC development.

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<![CDATA[Clinical significance of cancer specific methylation of the CDO1 gene in small bowel cancer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c536ba8d5eed0c484a48f2d

Although small bowel cancer (SBC) is extremely rare, its prognosis is poor, and molecular mechanism of the SBC development remains unclear. The aim of our study is to elucidate whether DNA methylation of the promoter region of the cancer-specific methylation gene, cysteine dioxygenase 1 (CDO1), contributes to the carcinogenic process in SBC. The study group comprised patients with 53 patients with SBC, 107 colorectal cancer (CRC), and other rare tumors of the small intestine such as 4 malignant lymphomas, 2 leiomyosarcomas, and 9 gastrointestinal stromal tumors. We analyzed the extent of methylation in each tissue using quantitative TaqMan methylation-specific PCR for CDO1. Significantly higher CDO1 methylation was observed in cancer tissues compared with non-cancerous mucosa of the small intestine (ROC = 0.96). Among the various clinicopathological factors, positive correlation of CDO1 methylation with tumor diameter was observed (R = 0.31, p = 0.03), and the CDO1 methylation level was a possible prognostic factor for relapse-free survival (p = 0.09). Compared with CRC, SBC had a significantly poorer prognosis (p = 0.007) and displayed a significantly higher CDO1 methylation level (p < 0.0001). Intriguingly, especially in pStage I/II, there were robust prognostic difference between SBC and CRC (p = 0.08 / p < 0.0001), which may reflect CDO1 methylation status (p = 0.02 / p = 0.001). Among small bowel tumors, CDO1 methylation in SBC was higher in order of malignant lymphoma, cancer, and leiomyosarcoma/GIST (p = 0.002) by ANOVA. The CDO1 gene shows extremely cancer-specific hypermethylation, and it can be a prognostic marker in SBC.

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<![CDATA[Accumulation of exhausted CD8+ T cells in extramammary Paget’s disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e699d5eed0c484ef38f9

Cancer immunotherapy has highlighted the clinical relevance of enhancing anti-tumor response of CD8+ T cells in several cancer types. Little is known, however, about the involvement of the immune system in extramammary Paget’s disease (EMPD). We examined the cytotoxicity and the effector functions of CD8+ T cells using paired samples of peripheral blood and tumors by flow cytometry. Expression levels of perforin, granzyme B, IFN-g, TNF-a, and IL-2 in CD8+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) were significantly lower than those in CD8+ T cells of peripheral blood. Significantly higher expression of PD-1 was found in CD8+TILs than in CD8+ T cells of peripheral blood. A high number of CD8+ cells was significantly associated with poor overall survival (OS) adjusted with age, sex, and clinical stage (hazard ratio [HR] = 5.03, P = 0.045, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.03–24.4). On the other hand, the number of PD-1+ cells was not associated with OS or disease-free survival (DFS). Moreover, we found that tumor cells produced immunosuppressive molecule indoleamine 2,3-dyoxygenae (IDO). In conclusion, CD8+ TILs displayed an exhausted phenotype in EMPD. IDO expression seemed more relevant in inducing CD8 exhaustion than PD-1 upregulation or PD-L1 expression by immune cells. Restoring the effector functions of CD8+ TILs could be an effective treatment strategy for advanced EMPD.

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<![CDATA[Molecular characterization of the insecticidal activity of double-stranded RNA targeting the smooth septate junction of western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f769d5eed0c4843860d9

The western corn rootworm (WCR, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera) gene, dvssj1, is a putative homolog of the Drosophila melanogaster gene, snakeskin (ssk). This gene encodes a membrane protein associated with the smooth septate junction (SSJ) which is required for the proper barrier function of the epithelial lining of insect intestines. Disruption of DVSSJ integrity by RNAi technique has been shown previously to be an effective approach for corn rootworm control, by apparent suppression of production of DVSSJ1 protein leading to growth inhibition and mortality. To understand the mechanism that leads to the death of WCR larvae by dvssj1 double-stranded RNA, we examined the molecular characteristics associated with SSJ functions during larval development. Dvssj1 dsRNA diet feeding results in dose-dependent suppression of mRNA and protein; this impairs SSJ formation and barrier function of the midgut and results in larval mortality. These findings suggest that the malfunctioning of the SSJ complex in midgut triggered by dvssj1 silencing is the principal cause of WCR death. This study also illustrates that dvssj1 is a midgut-specific gene in WCR and its functions are consistent with biological functions described for ssk.

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<![CDATA[Prognostic value of uPAR expression and angiogenesis in primary and metastatic melanoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c466554d5eed0c484518a14

Angiogenesis is important for the progression of cutaneous melanoma. Here, we analyzed the prognostic impact of the angiogenic factor urokinase plasminogen activator resecptor (uPAR), vascular proliferation index (VPI) and tumor necrosis as a measure of hypoxia in a patient series of nodular melanomas (n = 255) and matched loco-regional metastases (n = 78). Expression of uPAR was determined by immunohistochemistry and VPI was assessed by dual immunohistochemistry using Factor-VIII/Ki67 staining. Necrosis was recorded based on HE-slides. As novel findings, high uPAR expression and high VPI were associated with each other, and with increased tumor thickness, presence of tumor necrosis, tumor ulceration, increased mitotic count and reduced cancer specific survival in primary melanoma. In matched cases, VPI was decreased in metastases, whereas the frequency of necrosis was increased. Our findings demonstrate for the first time the impact on melanoma specific survival of uPAR expression and VPI in primary tumors, and of increased necrosis as an indicator of tumor hypoxia in loco-regional metastases. These findings support the importance of tumor angiogenesis in melanoma aggressiveness, and suggest uPAR as an indicator of vascular proliferation and a potential biomarker in melanoma.

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<![CDATA[Comparison of the binding of the gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRP-R) antagonist 68Ga-RM2 and 18F-FDG in breast cancer samples]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478c7dd5eed0c484bd29e8

The Gastrin-Releasing Peptide Receptor (GRPR) is over-expressed in estrogen receptor (ER) positive breast tumors and related metastatic lymph nodes offering the opportunity of imaging and therapy of luminal tumors. 68Ga-RM2 binding and 18F-FDG binding in tumoral zones were measured and compared using tissue micro-imaging with a beta imager on 14 breast cancer samples (10 primaries and 4 associated metastatic lymph nodes). Results were then assessed against ER expression, progesterone receptor (PR) expression, HER2 over-expression or not and Ki-67 expression. GRPR immunohistochemistry (IHC) was also performed on all samples. We also retrospectively compared 68Ga-RM2 and 18F-FDG bindings to 18F-FDG SUVmax on the pre-therapeutic PET/CT examination, if available. 68Ga-RM2 binding was significantly higher in tumors expressing GRPR on IHC than in GRPR-negative tumors (P = 0.022). In ER+ tumors, binding of 68Ga-RM2 was significantly higher than 18F-FDG (P = 0.015). In tumors with low Ki-67, 68Ga-RM2 binding was also significantly increased compared to 18F-FDG (P = 0.029). Overall, the binding of 68Ga-RM2 and 18F-FDG displayed an opposite pattern in tumor samples and 68Ga-RM2 binding was significantly higher in tumors that had low 18F-FDG binding (P = 0.021). This inverse correlation was also documented in the few patients in whom a 18F-FDG PET/CT examination before surgery was available. Findings from this in vitro study suggest that GRPR targeting can be an alternative to 18F-FDG imaging in ER+ breast tumors. Moreover, because GRPR antagonists can also be labeled with lutetium-177 this opens new avenues for targeted radionuclide therapy in the subset of patients with progressive metastatic disease following conventional treatments.

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<![CDATA[GRP78 expression in tumor and perinephric adipose tissue is not an optimal risk stratification marker for clear cell renal cell carcinoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61b7d2d5eed0c484937fff

Objective

Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is the most common subtype of kidney cancer, which is difficult to treat and lacks a reliable prognostic marker. A previous study showed that the endoplasmic reticulum stress marker, glucose-regulated-protein-78 (GRP78), is a potential prognostic marker for ccRCC. The present study aimed to: (1) examine whether GRP78 was upregulated in ccRCC compared with matched non-neoplastic renal tissue; and (2) investigate whether GRP78 expression in ccRCC tissue or perinephric adipose tissue has any association with ccRCC aggressiveness.

Methods

A retrospective cross-sectional study of 267 patients who underwent nephrectomy for renal tumors between June 2013 and October 2017 was conducted at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Australia. Software-assisted quantification of average grey value of staining intensity (staining intensity method) and proportion of positive pixels (positive pixel method) was applied to measure expression of GRP78 in archived specimens of renal tumor tissues (n = 114), adjacent non-neoplastic renal tissues (n = 68), and perinephric adipose tissues (n = 60) in participants diagnosed with ccRCC.

Results

GRP78 was not upregulated in renal tumor tissue compared with paired normal renal tissue. In tumor tissue, GRP78 expression did not show any association with ccRCC aggressiveness using either quantification method. In adipose tissue, downregulation of GRP78 demonstrated poor correlation with increased probability of metastasis, with one unit increase in average grey value of GRP78 staining weakly correlating with a 17% increase in the odds ratio of metastasis (95% confidence interval: 0.99 to 1.38, p = 0.07).

Conclusion

GRP78 is not valuable as a risk stratification marker for ccRCC.

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<![CDATA[Pulp response of rats submitted to bleaching and the use of different anti-inflammatory drugs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3e503ad5eed0c484d7f09c

This study aimed to evaluate neuropeptide expression after bleaching treatment using histopathological and immunohistochemical analyses and the effects of hydrocortisone and acetaminophen on pulp inflammation, sine dental bleaching and inflammation first occur, and only then, the treatmentt. Sixty-three rats were divided into three groups (n = 21) according to the pain-relieving therapy used: I-control; II-topical application of Otosporin for 10 min after the bleaching treatment; III-oral administration of paracetamol 30 min before whitening and then every 12h. In all the study groups, placebo gel was applied to the left upper jaw (control) and a 35% H2O2-based whitening gel was applied to the right upper jaw for 45 min. Seven animals from each group were euthanized at different time points: 0h after treatment, 24h, and 48h. After euthanasia, the first molar on each side was analyzed by histology and immunohistochemistry to assess the degree of inflammation and verify the presence of the neuropeptides, substance P (SP) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). The data were analyzed using the statistical nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis test followed by Dunn's test for individual comparisons. Extensive areas of necrosis were observed in the groups that received bleaching treatment only, whereas reduced damage were obtained in the group treated with Otosporin. The immunohistochemical analysis showed positive immunolabeling in all groups, including the control, but this was stronger in the groups that received bleaching treatment. The best results were obtained in the group that received treatment with Otosporin. The use of Otosporin after dental bleaching minimized the side effects of this treatment.

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<![CDATA[Mismatch repair deficiency and aberrations in the Notch and Hedgehog pathways are of prognostic value in patients with endometrial cancer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c12cf7cd5eed0c484914705

The aim of this study was to investigate the prognostic value of the Hedgehog (Gli, Patched-1, Shh, Smo) and Notch (Jag1, Notch2, Notch3) pathway members, in comparison to a panel of proteins (ER, PgR, HER2/neu, Ki67, p53, p16, PTEN and MMR) previously suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis of endometrial cancer, in association with clinical outcome and standard clinicopathological characteristics. A total of 204 patients with histological diagnosis of endometrial cancer treated from 2004 to 2013 were included. The evaluation of protein expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry. Univariate analysis showed that higher Ki67 labeling, expression of PTEN, p16, Notch2 and Notch3 proteins, as well as MMR proficiency were associated with increased relapse and mortality rate. Additionally, Patched-1 protein expression was associated with worse DFS, while p53 overexpression was associated with worse OS. In multivariate analyses, patients with MMR proficient tumors had more than double risk for death than patients with MMR deficient (MMRd) tumors (adjusted HR = 2.19, 95% CI 1.05–4.58, p = 0.036). Jag1 positivity conferred reduced mortality risk (HR = 0.48, 95% CI 0.23–0.97, p = 0.042). However, as shown by hierarchical clustering, patients fared better when their tumors expressed high Jag1 protein in the absence of Notch2 and Notch3, while they fared worse when all three proteins were highly expressed. Patched-1 positivity conferred higher risk for relapse (HR = 2.04, 95% CI 1.05–3.96, p = 0.036).

Aberrant expression of key components of the Notch and Hedgehog signaling pathways, as well as MMRd may serve as independent prognostic factors for recurrence and survival in patients with endometrial cancer.

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<![CDATA[Small-molecule induction of Aβ-42 peptide production in human cerebral organoids to model Alzheimer's disease associated phenotypes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c21517bd5eed0c4843fa61e

Human mini-brains (MB) are cerebral organoids that recapitulate in part the complexity of the human brain in a unique three-dimensional in vitro model, yielding discrete brain regions reminiscent of the cerebral cortex. Specific proteins linked to neurodegenerative disorders are physiologically expressed in MBs, such as APP-derived amyloids (Aβ), whose physiological and pathological roles and interactions with other proteins are not well established in humans. Here, we demonstrate that neuroectodermal organoids can be used to study the Aβ accumulation implicated in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). To enhance the process of protein secretion and accumulation, we adopted a chemical strategy of induction to modulate post-translational pathways of APP using an Amyloid-β Forty-Two Inducer named Aftin-5. Secreted, soluble Aβ fragment concentrations were analyzed in MB-conditioned media. An increase in the Aβ42 fragment secretion was observed as was an increased Aβ42/Aβ40 ratio after drug treatment, which is consistent with the pathological-like phenotypes described in vivo in transgenic animal models and in vitro in induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neural cultures obtained from AD patients. Notably in this context we observe time-dependent Aβ accumulation, which differs from protein accumulation occurring after treatment. We show that mini-brains obtained from a non-AD control cell line are responsive to chemical compound induction, producing a shift of physiological Aβ concentrations, suggesting that this model can be used to identify environmental agents that may initiate the cascade of events ultimately leading to sporadic AD. Increases in both Aβ oligomers and their target, the cellular prion protein (PrPC), support the possibility of using MBs to further understand the pathophysiological role that underlies their interaction in a human model. Finally, the potential application of MBs for modeling age-associated phenotypes and the study of neurological disorders is confirmed.

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<![CDATA[Evaluation of the prognostic value of all four HER family receptors in patients with metastatic breast cancer treated with trastuzumab: A Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group (HeCOG) study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c12cf85d5eed0c484914844

In the current study, we performed a complete analysis, with four different methods, of all four HER family receptors, in a series of patients with metastatic breast cancer treated with trastuzumab-based regimens and evaluated their prognostic value. Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor tissue samples were collected from 227 patients, considered to be HER2-positive when assessed at the local laboratories. We evaluated gene amplification, copy number variations (CNVs), mRNA and protein expression of all four HER family members. In addition, our analysis included the evaluation of several other factors by immunohistochemistry (IHC), such as pHER2Tyr1221/1222, pHER2Tyr877 and PTEN. Central review of HER2 status by IHC and fluorescence in situ hybridization revealed that of the 227 patients, only 139 (61.2%) were truly HER2-positive. Regarding the 191 patients treated with trastuzumab as first-line therapy, median time to progression (TTP) was 15.3 and 10.4 months for HER2-positive and HER2-negative participants, respectively, whereas median survival was 50.4 and 38.1 months, respectively. In HER2-positive patients, high HER3 mRNA expression was of favorable prognostic significance for TTP and survival (HR = 0.43, 95% CI 0.21–0.88, Wald’s p = 0.022 and HR = 0.43, 95% CI 0.21–0.88, p = 0.021, respectively), while EGFR copy gain and EGFR protein expression were associated with higher risk for disease progression in HER2-negative patients (HR = 3.53, 95% CI 1.19–10.50, p = 0.023 and HR = 3.37, 95% CI 1.12–10.17, p = 0.031, respectively). Positive HER3 protein expression was a favorable factor for TTP in HER2-negative patients (HR = 0.43, 95% CI 0.22–0.84, p = 0.014). In the multivariate analysis, only EGFR copy gain retained its prognostic significance for TTP in the HER2-negative population (HR = 3.96, 95% CI 1.29–12.16, p = 0.016), while high HER3 mRNA expression retained its favorable prognostic significance for TTP in the HER2-positive subgroup (HR = 0.47, 95% CI 0.23–0.99, p = 0.048). The present study suggests that EGFR copy gain represents a negative prognostic factor for TTP in HER2-negative patients with metastatic breast cancer treated with trastuzumab. In addition, high HER3 mRNA expression appears to be of favorable prognostic significance for TTP in HER2-positive patients. Given the small number of patients included in the current analysis and the retrospective nature of the study, our findings should be validated in larger cohorts.

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