Learning and memory with neuropathic pain: impact of old age and progranulin deficiency
David P. Wolfer
- Persistent neuropathic pain is a frequent consequence of peripheral nerve injuries, particularly in the elderly. Using the IntelliCage we studied if sciatic nerve injury obstructed learning and memory in young and aged mice, each in wild type and progranulin deficient mice, which develop premature signs of brain aging. Both young and aged mice developed long-term nerve injury-evoked hyperalgesia and allodynia. In both genotypes, aged mice with neuropathic pain showed high error rates in place avoidance acquisition tasks. However, once learnt, these aged mice with neuropathic pain showed a significantly stronger maintenance of the aversive memory. Nerve injury did not affect place preference behavior in neither genotype, neither in young nor aged mice. However, nerve injury in progranulin deficient mice impaired the learning of spatial sequences of awarded places, particularly in the aged mice. This task required a discrimination of clockwise and anti-clockwise sequences. The chaining failure occurred only in progranulin deficient mice after nerve injury, but not in sham operated or wildtype mice, suggesting that progranulin was particularly important for compensatory adaptations after nerve injury. In contrast, all aged mice with neuropathic pain, irrespective of the genotype, had a long maintenance of aversive memory suggesting a negative alliance and possibly mutual aggravation of chronic neuropathic pain and aversive memory at old age.
Endothelial Wnt/β-catenin signaling inhibits glioma angiogenesis and normalizes tumor blood vessels by inducing PDGF-B expression
Cathrin J. Czupalla
Makoto M. Taketo
Karl H. Plate
- Endothelial Wnt/β-catenin signaling is necessary for angiogenesis of the central nervous system and blood–brain barrier (BBB) differentiation, but its relevance for glioma vascularization is unknown. In this study, we show that doxycycline-dependent Wnt1 expression in subcutaneous and intracranial mouse glioma models induced endothelial Wnt/β-catenin signaling and led to diminished tumor growth, reduced vascular density, and normalized vessels with increased mural cell attachment. These findings were corroborated in GL261 glioma cells intracranially transplanted in mice expressing dominant-active β-catenin specifically in the endothelium. Enforced endothelial β-catenin signaling restored BBB characteristics, whereas inhibition by Dkk1 (Dickkopf-1) had opposing effects. By overactivating the Wnt pathway, we induced the Wnt/β-catenin–Dll4/Notch signaling cascade in tumor endothelia, blocking an angiogenic and favoring a quiescent vascular phenotype, indicated by induction of stalk cell genes. We show that β-catenin transcriptional activity directly regulated endothelial expression of platelet-derived growth factor B (PDGF-B), leading to mural cell recruitment thereby contributing to vascular quiescence and barrier function. We propose that reinforced Wnt/β-catenin signaling leads to inhibition of angiogenesis with normalized and less permeable vessels, which might prove to be a valuable therapeutic target for antiangiogenic and edema glioma therapy.
The Inhibition of Stat5 by a Peptide Aptamer Ligand Specific for the DNA Binding Domain Prevents Target Gene Transactivation and the Growth of Breast and Prostate Tumor Cells
- The signal transducer and activator of transcription Stat5 is transiently activated by growth factor and cytokine signals in normal cells, but its persistent activation has been observed in a wide range of human tumors. Aberrant Stat5 activity was initially observed in leukemias, but subsequently also found in carcinomas. We investigated the importance of Stat5 in human tumor cell lines. shRNA mediated downregulation of Stat5 revealed the dependence of prostate and breast cancer cells on the expression of this transcription factor. We extended these inhibition studies and derived a peptide aptamer (PA) ligand, which directly interacts with the DNA-binding domain of Stat5 in a yeast-two-hybrid screen. The Stat5 specific PA sequence is embedded in a thioredoxin (hTRX) scaffold protein. The resulting recombinant protein S5-DBD-PA was expressed in bacteria, purified and introduced into tumor cells by protein transduction. Alternatively, S5-DBD-PA was expressed in the tumor cells after infection with a S5-DBD-PA encoding gene transfer vector. Both strategies impaired the DNA-binding ability of Stat5, suppressed Stat5 dependent transactivation and caused its intracellular degradation. Our experiments describe a peptide based inhibitor of Stat5 protein activity which can serve as a lead for the development of a clinically useful compound for cancer treatment.
Proliferation and estrogen signaling can distinguish patients at risk for early versus late relapse among estrogen receptor positive breast cancers
Catherine M. Kelly
Gianluca Del Conte
W. Fraser Symmans
- INTRODUCTION: We examined if a combination of proliferation markers and estrogen receptor (ER) activity could predict early versus late relapses in ER-positive breast cancer and inform the choice and length of adjuvant endocrine therapy.
METHODS: Baseline affymetrix gene-expression profiles from ER-positive patients who received no systemic therapy (n = 559), adjuvant tamoxifen for 5 years (cohort-1: n = 683, cohort-2: n = 282) and from 58 patients treated with neoadjuvant letrozole for 3 months (gene-expression available at baseline, 14 and 90 days) were analyzed. A proliferation score based on the expression of mitotic kinases (MKS) and an ER-related score (ERS) adopted from Oncotype DX® were calculated. The same analysis was performed using the Genomic Grade Index as proliferation marker and the luminal gene score from the PAM50 classifier as measure of estrogen-related genes. Median values were used to define low and high marker groups and four combinations were created. Relapses were grouped into time cohorts of 0-2.5, 0-5, 5-10 years.
RESULTS: In the overall 10 years period, the proportional hazards assumption was violated for several biomarker groups indicating time-dependent effects. In tamoxifen-treated patients Low-MKS/Low-ERS cancers had continuously increasing risk of relapse that was higher after 5 years than Low-MKS/High-ERS cancers [0 to 10 year, HR 3.36; p = 0.013]. High-MKS/High-ERS cancers had low risk of early relapse [0-2.5 years HR 0.13; p = 0.0006], but high risk of late relapse which was higher than in the High-MKS/Low-ERS group [after 5 years HR 3.86; p = 0.007]. The High-MKS/Low-ERS subset had most of the early relapses [0 to 2.5 years, HR 6.53; p < 0.0001] especially in node negative tumors and showed minimal response to neoadjuvant letrozole. These findings were qualitatively confirmed in a smaller independent cohort of tamoxifen-treated patients. Using different biomarkers provided similar results.
CONCLUSIONS: Early relapses are highest in highly proliferative/low-ERS cancers, in particular in node negative tumors. Relapses occurring after 5 years of adjuvant tamoxifen are highest among the highly-proliferative/high-ERS tumors although their risk of recurrence is modest in the first 5 years on tamoxifen. These tumors could be the best candidates for extended endocrine therapy.
Radiotherapy in langerhans cell histiocytosis - a rare indication in a rare disease
Hans Theodor Eich
- INTRODUCTION: Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH) represents a rare benign disorder, previously designated as "Histiocytosis X", "Type II Histiocytosis" or "Langerhans Cell Granulomatosis". Clinical presentation includes osteolysis, ulcerations of skin and soft tissues but also involvement of the CNS is described.Because treatment concepts are not well defined the German Cooperative Group on Radiotherapy for Benign Diseases performed a retrospective analysis.
METHODS AND MATERIAL: Eight closely cooperating centres collected patients' data of the past 45 years. As study endpoints disease free survival, recurrent disease, death and therapy related side effects were defined.
RESULTS: A total of 80 patients with histologically proven LCH were irradiated within the past 45 years. According to the LCH classification of Greenberger et al. 37 patients had stage Ia, 21 patients stage Ib, 13 patients stage II and 9 patients stage IIIb and the median age was 29 years. The median Follow up was 54 months (range 9-134 months). A total of 39 patients had a surgical intervention and 23 patients a chemotherapy regimen.Radiation treatment was carried out with a median total dose of 15 Gy (range 3-50.4 Gy). The median single fraction was 2 Gy (range 1.8-3 Gy).Overall, 77% patients achieved a complete remission and 12.5% achieved a partial remission. The long-term control rate reached 80%. Within an actuarial overall 5-year survival of 90% no radiogenic side and late effects ≥EORTC/RTOG II° were observed.
CONCLUSION: In the present study a large collective of irradiated patients was analysed. Radiotherapy (RT) is a very effective and safe treatment option and even low RT doses show sufficient local control.
Yellow fever disease: density equalizing mapping and gender analysis of international research output
Jan David Alexander Groneberg
- Background: A number of scientific papers on yellow fever have been published but no broad scientometric analysis on the published research of yellow fever has been reported. The aim of the article based study was to provide an in-depth evaluation of the yellow fever field using large-scale data analysis and employment of bibliometric indicators of production and quantity.
Methods: Data were retrieved from the Web of Science database (WoS) and analyzed as part of the NewQis platform. Then data were extracted from each file, transferred to databases and visualized as diagrams. Partially by means of density-equalizing mapping makes the findings clear and emphasizes the output of the analysis.
Results: In the study period from 1900 to 2012 a total of 5,053 yellow fever-associated items were published by 79 countries. The United States (USA) having the highest publication rate at 42% (n = 751) followed by far from Brazil (n = 203), France (n = 149) and the United Kingdom (n = 113). The most productive journals are the "Public Health Reports", the "American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene" and the "Journal of Virology". The gender analysis showed an overall steady increase of female authorship from 1950 to 2011. Brazil is the only country of the five most productive countries with a higher proportion of female scientists.
Conclusions: The present data shows an increase in research productivity over the entire study period, in particular an increase of female scientists. Brazil shows a majority of female authors, a fact that is confirmed by other studies.
Expression of VPAC1 in a murine model of allergic asthma
Jan David Alexander Groneberg
- Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) is a putative neurotransmitter of the inhibitory non-adrenergic non-cholinergic nervous system and influences the mammalian airway function in various ways. Hence known for bronchodilatory, immunomodulatory and mucus secretion modulating effects by interacting with the VIP receptors VPAC1 and VPAC2, it is discussed to be a promising target for pharmaceutical intervention in common diseases such as COPD and bronchial asthma. Here we examined the expression and transcriptional regulation of VPAC1 in the lungs of allergic mice using an ovalbumin (OVA) -induced model of allergic asthma. Mice were sensitized to OVA and challenged with an OVA aerosol. In parallel a control group was sham sensitized with saline. VPAC1 expression was examined using RT-PCR and real time-PCR studies were performed to quantify gene transcription. VPAC1 mRNA expression was detected in all samples of OVA-sensitized and challenged animals and control tissues. Further realtime analysis did not show significant differences at the transcriptional level.
Although the present studies did not indicate a major transcriptional regulation of VPAC1 in states of allergic airway inflammation, immunomodulatory effects of VPAC1 might still be present due to regulations at the translational level.
Differential Effects of Selective Inhibitors Targeting the PI3K/AKT/mTOR Pathway in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Bart A. Nijmeijer
J. H. Frederik Falkenburg
Oliver Gerhard Ottmann
- Purpose: Aberrant PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling has been linked to oncogenesis and therapy resistance in various malignancies including leukemias. In Philadelphia chromosome (Ph) positive leukemias, activation of PI3K by dysregulated BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase (TK) contributes to the pathogenesis and development of resistance to ABL-TK inhibitors (TKI). The PI3K pathway thus is an attractive therapeutic target in BCR-ABL positive leukemias, but its role in BCR-ABL negative ALL is conjectural. Moreover, the functional contribution of individual components of the PI3K pathway in ALL has not been established.
Experimental Design: We compared the activity of the ATP-competitive pan-PI3K inhibitor NVP-BKM120, the allosteric mTORC1 inhibitor RAD001, the ATP-competitive dual PI3K/mTORC1/C2 inhibitors NVP-BEZ235 and NVP-BGT226 and the combined mTORC1 and mTORC2 inhibitors Torin 1, PP242 and KU-0063794 using long-term cultures of ALL cells (ALL-LTC) from patients with B-precursor ALL that expressed the BCR-ABL or TEL-ABL oncoproteins or were BCR-ABL negative.
Results: Dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitors profoundly inhibited growth and survival of ALL cells irrespective of their genetic subtype and their responsiveness to ABL-TKI. Combined suppression of PI3K, mTORC1 and mTORC2 displayed greater antileukemic activity than selective inhibitors of PI3K, mTORC1 or mTORC1 and mTORC2.
Conclusions: Inhibition of the PI3K/mTOR pathway is a promising therapeutic approach in patients with ALL. Greater antileukemic activity of dual PI3K/mTORC1/C2 inhibitors appears to be due to the redundant function of PI3K and mTOR. Clinical trials examining dual PI3K/mTORC1/C2 inhibitors in patients with B-precursor ALL are warranted, and should not be restricted to particular genetic subtypes.
High Calcium Bioglass Enhances Differentiation and Survival of Endothelial Progenitor Cells, Inducing Early Vascularization in Critical Size Bone Defects
Christina Nguyen Ngoc
- Early vascularization is a prerequisite for successful bone healing and endothelial progenitor cells (EPC), seeded on appropriate biomaterials, can improve vascularization. The type of biomaterial influences EPC function with bioglass evoking a vascularizing response. In this study the influence of a composite biomaterial based on polylactic acid (PLA) and either 20 or 40% bioglass, BG20 and BG40, respectively, on the differentiation and survival of EPCs in vitro was investigated. Subsequently, the effect of the composite material on early vascularization in a rat calvarial critical size defect model with or without EPCs was evaluated. Human EPCs were cultured with β-TCP, PLA, BG20 or BG40, and seeding efficacy, cell viability, cell morphology and apoptosis were analysed in vitro. BG40 released the most calcium, and improved endothelial differentiation and vitality best. This effect was mimicked by adding an equivalent amount of calcium to the medium and was diminished in the presence of the calcium chelator, EGTA. To analyze the effect of BG40 and EPCs in vivo, a 6-mm diameter critical size calvarial defect was created in rats (n = 12). Controls (n = 6) received BG40 and the treatment group (n = 6) received BG40 seeded with 5×105 rat EPCs. Vascularization after 1 week was significantly improved when EPCs were seeded onto BG40, compared to implanting BG40 alone. This indicates that Ca2+ release improves EPC differentiation and is useful for enhanced early vascularization in critical size bone defects.
Nodular Lymphocyte Predominant Hodgkin Lymphoma and T Cell/Histiocyte Rich Large B Cell Lymphoma - Endpoints of a Spectrum of One Disease?
Chris de Wolf-Peeters
- In contrast to the commonly indolent clinical behavior of nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (NLPHL), T cell/histiocyte rich large B cell lymphoma (THRLBCL) is frequently diagnosed in advanced clinical stages and has a poor prognosis. Besides the different clinical presentations of these lymphoma entities, there are variants of NLPHL with considerable histopathologic overlap compared to THRLBCL. Especially THRLBCL-like NLPHL, a diffuse form of NLPHL, often presents a histopathologic pattern similar to THRLBCL, suggesting a close relationship between both lymphoma entities. To corroborate this hypothesis, we performed gene expression profiling of microdissected tumor cells of NLPHL, THRLBCL-like NLPHL and THRLBCL. In unsupervised analyses, the lymphomas did not cluster according to their entity. Moreover, even in supervised analyses, very few consistently differentially expressed transcripts were found, and for these genes the extent of differential expression was only moderate. Hence, there are no clear and consistent differences in the gene expression of the tumor cells of NLPHL, THRLBCL-like NLPHL and THRLBCL. Based on the gene expression studies, we identified BAT3/BAG6, HIGD1A, and FAT10/UBD as immunohistochemical markers expressed in the tumor cells of all three lymphomas. Characterization of the tumor microenvironment for infiltrating T cells and histiocytes revealed significant differences in the cellular composition between typical NLPHL and THRLBCL cases. However, THRLBCL-like NLPHL presented a histopathologic pattern more related to THRLBCL than NLPHL. In conclusion, NLPHL and THRLBCL may represent a spectrum of the same disease. The different clinical behavior of these lymphomas may be strongly influenced by differences in the lymphoma microenvironment, possibly related to the immune status of the patient at the timepoint of diagnosis.