Attenuation of myocardial injury by HMGB1 blockade during ischemia/reperfusion is toll-like receptor 2-dependent
Ralf R. Schumann
- Genetic or pharmacological ablation of toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) protects against myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury (MI/R). However, the endogenous ligand responsible for TLR2 activation has not yet been detected. The objective of this study was to identify HMGB1 as an activator of TLR2 signalling during MI/R. C57BL/6 wild-type (WT) or TLR2(-/-)-mice were injected with vehicle, HMGB1, or HMGB1 BoxA one hour before myocardial ischemia (30 min) and reperfusion (24 hrs). Infarct size, cardiac troponin T, leukocyte infiltration, HMGB1 release, TLR4-, TLR9-, and RAGE-expression were quantified. HMGB1 plasma levels were measured in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. HMGB1 antagonist BoxA reduced cardiomyocyte necrosis during MI/R in WT mice, accompanied by reduced leukocyte infiltration. Injection of HMGB1 did, however, not increase infarct size in WT animals. In TLR2(-/-)-hearts, neither BoxA nor HMGB1 affected infarct size. No differences in RAGE and TLR9 expression could be detected, while TLR2(-/-)-mice display increased TLR4 and HMGB1 expression. Plasma levels of HMGB1 were increased MI/R in TLR2(-/-)-mice after CABG surgery in patients carrying a TLR2 polymorphism (Arg753Gln). We here provide evidence that absence of TLR2 signalling abrogates infarct-sparing effects of HMGB1 blockade.
Survival according to BRAF-V600 tumor mutations - an analysis of 437 patients with primary melanoma
Thomas K. Eigentler
Andreas von Deimling
- The prognostic impact of BRAF-V600 tumor mutations in stage I/II melanoma patients has not yet been analyzed in detail. We investigated primary tumors of 437 patients diagnosed between 1989 and 2006 by Sanger sequencing. Mutations were detected in 38.7% of patients and were associated with age, histological subtype as well as mitotic rate. The mutational rate was 36.7% in patients with disease-free course and 51.7% in those with subsequent distant metastasis (p = 0.031). No difference in overall survival (p = 0.119) but a trend for worse distant-metastasis-free survival (p = 0.061) was observed in BRAF mutant compared to BRAF wild-type patients. Independent prognostic factors for overall survival were tumor thickness, mitotic rate and ulceration. An interesting significant prognostic impact was observed in patients with tumor thickness of 1 mm or less, with the mutation present in 6 of 7 patients dying from melanoma. In conclusion, no significant survival differences were found according to BRAF-V600 tumor mutations in patients with primary melanoma but an increasing impact of the mutational status was observed in the subgroup of patients with tumor thickness of 1 mm or less. A potential role of the mutational status as a prognostic factor especially in this subgroup needs to be investigated in larger studies.
Silicosis: geographic changes in research: an analysis employing density-equalizing mapping
Jan David Alexander Groneberg
- Background: A critical evaluation of scientific efforts is needed in times of modified evaluation criteria for academic personnel and institutions.
Methods: Using scientometric benchmark procedures and density-equalizing mapping, we analysed the global scientific efforts on "silicosis" of the last 92 years focusing on geographical changes within the last 30 years, specifying the most productive authors, institutions, countries and the most successful cooperations.
Results: The USA as the most productive supplier have established their position as center of international cooperation, followed in considerable distance by the United Kingdom, Germany and China. Asian countries, particularly China, catch up and are expected to excel the USA still in this decade.
Conclusion: The combination of scientometric procedures with density-equalizing mapping reveals a distinct global pattern of research productivity and citation activity. Modified h-index, citationrate and impact factor have to be discussed critically due to distortion by bias of self-citation, language and co-authorship.
Smoking and pregnancy - a review on the first major environmental risk factor of the unborn
- Smoking cigarettes throughout pregnancy is one of the single most important avoidable causes of adverse pregnancy outcomes and it represents the first major environmental risk of the unborn. If compared with other risk factors in the perinatal period, exposure to tobacco smoke is considered to be amongst the most harmful and it is associated with high rates of long and short term morbidity and mortality for mother and child. A variety of adverse pregnancy outcomes are linked with cigarette consumption before and during pregnancy. Maternal prenatal cigarette smoke disturbs the equilibrium among the oxidant and antioxidant system, has negative impact on the genetic and cellular level of both mother and fetus and causes a large quantity of diseases in the unborn child. These smoking-induced damages for the unborn offspring manifest themselves at various times in life and for most only a very limited range of causal treatment exists. Education, support and assistance are of high importance to decrease maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality, as there are few other avoidable factors which influence a child's health that profoundly throughout its life. It is imperative that smoking control should be seen as a public health priority.
Unraveling the cellular and molecular mechanisms of repetitive magnetic stimulation
- Despite numerous clinical studies, which have investigated the therapeutic potential of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in various brain diseases, our knowledge of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying rTMS-based therapies remains limited. Thus, a deeper understanding of rTMS-induced neural plasticity is required to optimize current treatment protocols. Studies in small animals or appropriate in vitro preparations (including models of brain diseases) provide highly useful experimental approaches in this context. State-of-the-art electrophysiological and live-cell imaging techniques that are well established in basic neuroscience can help answering some of the major questions in the field, such as (i) which neural structures are activated during TMS, (ii) how does rTMS induce Hebbian plasticity, and (iii) are other forms of plasticity (e.g., metaplasticity, structural plasticity) induced by rTMS? We argue that data gained from these studies will support the development of more effective and specific applications of rTMS in clinical practice.
Thorax, trachea, and lung ultrasonography in emergency and critical care medicine: assessment of an objective structured training concept
Florian Hartmut Seeger
Tim Oliver Hirche
- Background and Study objective. Focused lung ultrasound (LUS) examinations are important tools in critical care medicine. There is evidence that LUS can be used for the detection of acute thoracic lesions. However, no validated training method is available. The goal of this study was to develop and assess an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) curriculum for focused thorax, trachea, and lung ultrasound in emergency and critical care medicine (THOLUUSE). Methods. 39 trainees underwent a one-day training course in a prospective educational study, including lectures in sonoanatomy and -pathology of the thorax, case presentations, and hands-on training. Trainees' pre- and posttest performances were assessed by multiple choice questionnaires, visual perception tests by interpretation video clips, practical performance of LUS, and identification of specific ultrasound findings. Results. Trainees postcourse scores of correct MCQ answers increased from 56 ± 4% to 82 ± 2% (mean± SD; P < 0.001); visual perception skills increased from 54 ± 5% to 78 ± 3% (P < 0.001); practical ultrasound skills improved, and correct LUS was performed in 94%. Subgroup analysis revealed that learning success was independent from the trainees' previous ultrasound experience. Conclusions. THOLUUSE significantly improves theoretical and practical skills for the diagnosis of acute thoracic lesions. We propose to implement THOLUUSE in emergency medicine training.
Upregulation of APP, ADAM10 and ADAM17 in the Denervated Mouse Dentate Gyrus
Domenico Del Turco
- The disintegrin and metalloproteinases ADAM10 and ADAM17 are regarded as the most important α-secretases involved in the physiological processing of amyloid precursor protein (APP) in brain. Since it has been suggested that processing of APP by α-secretases could be involved in the reorganization of the brain following injury, we studied mRNA expression of the two α-secretases Adam10 and Adam17, the ß-secretase Bace1, and the App-gene family (App, Aplp1, Aplp2) in the dentate gyrus of the mouse following entorhinal denervation. Using laser microdissection, tissue was harvested from the outer molecular layer and the granule cell layer of the denervated dentate gyrus. Expression levels of candidate genes were assessed using Affymetrix GeneChip Mouse Gene 1.0 ST arrays and reverse transcription-quantitative PCR, revealing an upregulation of Adam10 mRNA and Adam17 mRNA in the denervated outer molecular layer and an upregulation of Adam10 mRNA and App mRNA in the dentate granule cell layer. Immunolabeling for ADAM10 or ADAM17 in combination with markers for astro- and microglia revealed an increased labeling of ADAM10 and ADAM17 in the denervated outer molecular layer that was associated with reactive astrocytes but not with microglia. Collectively, these data show that denervation affects the expression level of APP and its two most important α-secretases. This suggests that APP-processing could be shifted towards the non-amyloidogenic pathway in denervated areas of the brain and, thus, towards the formation of neuroprotective APP cleavage products, such as APPsα.
Inflammatory conditions induce IRES-dependent translation of cyp24a1
Michael M. Kunze
Thilo F. Brauß
Magdalena M. Bajer
- Rapid alterations in protein expression are commonly regulated by adjusting translation. In addition to cap-dependent translation, which is e.g. induced by pro-proliferative signaling via the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)-kinase, alternative modes of translation, such as internal ribosome entry site (IRES)-dependent translation, are often enhanced under stress conditions, even if cap-dependent translation is attenuated. Common stress stimuli comprise nutrient deprivation, hypoxia, but also inflammatory signals supplied by infiltrating immune cells. Yet, the impact of inflammatory microenvironments on translation in tumor cells still remains largely elusive. In the present study, we aimed at identifying translationally deregulated targets in tumor cells under inflammatory conditions. Using polysome profiling and microarray analysis, we identified cyp24a1 (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 24-hydroxylase) to be translationally upregulated in breast tumor cells co-cultured with conditioned medium of activated monocyte-derived macrophages (CM). Using bicistronic reporter assays, we identified and validated an IRES within the 5′ untranslated region (5′UTR) of cyp24a1, which enhances translation of cyp24a1 upon CM treatment. Furthermore, IRES-dependent translation of cyp24a1 by CM was sensitive to phosphatidyl-inositol-3-kinase (PI3K) inhibition, while constitutive activation of Akt sufficed to induce its IRES activity. Our data provide evidence that cyp24a1 expression is translationally regulated via an IRES element, which is responsive to an inflammatory environment. Considering the negative feedback impact of cyp24a1 on the vitamin D responses, the identification of a novel, translational mechanism of cyp24a1 regulation might open new possibilities to overcome the current limitations of vitamin D as tumor therapeutic option.
Promoter methylation of MLH1, PMS2, MSH2 and p16 is a phenomenon of advanced-stage HCCs
Inga Malena Hinrichsen
- Epigenetic silencing of tumour suppressor genes has been observed in various cancers. Looking at hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) specific protein silencing was previously demonstrated to be associated with the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). However, the proposed HCV dependent promoter methylation of DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes and thereby enhanced progression of hepatocarcinogenesis has been the subject of controversial discussion. We investigated promoter methylation pattern of the MMR genes MLH1, MSH2 and PMS2 as well as the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A gene (p16) in 61 well characterized patients with HCCs associated with HCV, Hepatitis B virus infection or alcoholic liver disease. DNA was isolated from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumour and non-tumour adjacent tissue and analysed by methylation-specific PCR. Moreover, microsatellite analysis was performed in tissues showing methylation in MMR gene promoters. Our data demonstrated that promoter methylation of MLH1, MSH2, PMS2 and p16 is present among all considered HCCs. Hereby, promoter silencing was detectable more frequently in advanced-stage HCCs than in low-stage ones. However, there was no significant correlation between aberrant DNA methylation of MMR genes or p16 and HCV infection in related HCC specimens. In summary, we show that promoter methylation of essential MMR genes and p16 is detectable in HCCs most dominantly in pT3 stage tumour cases. Since loss of MMR proteins was previously described to be not only responsible for tumour development but also for chemotherapy resistance, the knowledge of mechanisms jointly responsible for HCC progression might enable significant improvement of individual HCC therapy in the future.
The small fibrinopeptide bβ15-42 as renoprotective agent preserving the endothelial and vascular integrity in early ischemia reperfusion injury in the mouse kidney and vascular integrity in early ischemia reperfusion injury in the mouse kidney
- Disruption of the renal endothelial integrity is pivotal for the development of a vascular leak, tissue edema and consequently acute kidney injury. Kidney ischemia amplifies endothelial activation and up-regulation of pro-inflammatory mechanisms. After restoring a sufficient blood flow, the kidney is damaged through complex pathomechanisms that are classically referred to as ischemia and reperfusion injury, where the disruption of the inter-endothelial connections seems to be a crucial step in this pathomechanism. Focusing on the molecular cell-cell interaction, the fibrinopeptide Bβ15–42 prevents vascular leakage by stabilizing these inter-endothelial junctions. The peptide associates with vascular endothelial-cadherin, thus preventing early kidney dysfunction by preserving blood perfusion efficacy, edema formation and thus organ dysfunction. We intended to demonstrate the early therapeutic benefit of intravenously administered Bβ15–42 in a mouse model of renal ischemia and reperfusion. After 30 minutes of ischemia, the fibrinopeptide Bβ15–42 was administered intravenously before reperfusion was commenced for 1 and 3 hours. We show that Bβ15–42 alleviates early functional and morphological kidney damage as soon as 1 h and 3 h after ischemia and reperfusion. Mice treated with Bβ15–42 displayed a significantly reduced loss of VE-cadherin, indicating a conserved endothelial barrier leading to less neutrophil infiltration which in turn resulted in significantly reduced structural renal damage. The significant reduction in tissue and serum neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin levels reinforced our findings. Moreover, renal perfusion analysis by color duplex sonography revealed that Bβ15–42 treatment preserved resistive indices and even improved blood velocity. Our data demonstrate the efficacy of early therapeutic intervention using the fibrinopeptide Bβ15–42 in the treatment of acute kidney injury resulting from ischemia and reperfusion. In this context Bβ15–42 may act as a potent renoprotective agent by preserving the endothelial and vascular integrity.