EMBO molecular medicine: fast forward
- These are exciting times for translational medicine as the convergence between fundamental and clinical research comes of age. The new EMBO Press publishing platform reinforces the standing of EMBO Molecular Medicine as the journal that matches high quality, novel research with rigorous editorial and ethical standards. It will also cement the journal's global reach and relevance - whether in highly active fields or explorative forays into emerging areas.
Müller glia cells regulate Notch signaling and retinal angiogenesis via the generation of 19,20-dihydroxydocosapentaenoic acid
Ralf H. Adams
- Cytochrome P450 (CYP) epoxygenases generate bioactive lipid epoxides which can be further metabolized to supposedly less active diols by the soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH). As the role of epoxides and diols in angiogenesis is unclear, we compared retinal vasculature development in wild-type and sEH−/− mice. Deletion of the sEH significantly delayed angiogenesis, tip cell, and filopodia formation, a phenomenon associated with activation of the Notch signaling pathway. In the retina, sEH was localized in Müller glia cells, and Müller cell–specific sEH deletion reproduced the sEH−/− retinal phenotype. Lipid profiling revealed that sEH deletion decreased retinal and Müller cell levels of 19,20–dihydroxydocosapentaenoic acid (DHDP), a diol of docosahexenoic acid (DHA). 19,20-DHDP suppressed endothelial Notch signaling in vitro via inhibition of the γ-secretase and the redistribution of presenilin 1 from lipid rafts. Moreover, 19,20-DHDP, but not the parent epoxide, was able to rescue the defective angiogenesis in sEH−/− mice as well as in animals lacking the Fbxw7 ubiquitin ligase, which demonstrate strong basal activity of the Notch signaling cascade. These studies demonstrate that retinal angiogenesis is regulated by a novel form of neuroretina–vascular interaction involving the sEH-dependent generation of a diol of DHA in Müller cells.
Certolizumab pegol in rheumatoid arthritis patients with low to moderate activity: the CERTAIN double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial
Josef S. Smolen
Owen R. Davies
- This 52-week, randomised, double-blind phase IIIb study assessed efficacy and safety of certolizumab pegol (CZP) as add-on therapy to non-biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients with low to moderate disease activity, and stopping therapy in patients in sustained remission.
METHODS:Patients were randomised 1:1 to CZP (400 mg at weeks 0, 2 and 4, then 200 mg every 2 weeks) or placebo (every 2 weeks) plus current non-biologic DMARDs. At week 24, patients who achieved the primary endpoint of Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI) remission at both weeks 20 and 24 stopped study treatment and continued in the study until week 52.
RESULTS: Of 194 patients (CZP=96; placebo=98), >90% had moderate disease activity at baseline. Significantly more CZP patients met the primary endpoint than placebo patients (week 20 and 24 CDAI remission rates: 18.8% vs 6.1%; p≤0.05). At week 24, 63.0% vs 29.7% of CZP versus placebo patients (p<0.001) achieved LDA. Disease activity score (ESR) based on 28-joint count and Simplified Disease Activity Index remission rates were also significantly higher with CZP versus placebo (19.8% vs 3.1%; p≤0.01 and 14.6% vs 4.1%; p≤0.05). CZP patients reported improvements in physical function versus placebo (mean Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability-Index change from baseline: CZP, -0.25 vs placebo, -0.03; p≤0.01). During the period following withdrawal of CZP or placebo, only 3/17 prior CZP patients and 2/6 prior placebo patients maintained CDAI remission until week 52, but CZP reinstitution allowed renewed improvement. Adverse and serious adverse event rates were comparable between CZP and placebo groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Addition of CZP to non-biologic DMARDs is an effective treatment in RA patients with predominantly moderate disease activity, allowing low-disease activity or remission to be reached in a majority of the patients. However, the data suggest that CZP cannot be withdrawn in patients achieving remission.
Comparison of the TruView infant EVO2 PCD™ and C-MAC video laryngoscopes with direct Macintosh laryngoscopy for routine tracheal intubation in infants with normal airways
- OBJECTIVE: Videolaryngoscopy has mainly been developed to facilitate difficult airway intubation. However, there is a lack of studies demonstrating this method's efficacy in pediatric patients. The aim of the present study was to compare the TruView infant EVO2 and the C-MAC videolaryngoscope with conventional direct Macintosh laryngoscopy in children with a bodyweight ≤10 kg in terms of intubation conditions and the time to intubation.
METHODS: In total, 65 children with a bodyweight ≤10 kg (0-22 months) who had undergone elective surgery requiring endotracheal intubation were retrospectively analyzed. Our database was screened for intubations with the TruView infant EVO2, the C-MAC videolaryngoscope, and conventional direct Macintosh laryngoscopy. The intubation conditions, the time to intubation, and the oxygen saturation before and after intubation were monitored, and demographic data were recorded. Only children with a bodyweight ≤10 kg were included in the analysis.
RESULTS: A total of 23 children were intubated using the C-MAC videolaryngoscope, and 22 children were intubated using the TruView EVO2. Additionally, 20 children were intubated using a standard Macintosh blade. The time required for tracheal intubation was significantly longer using the TruView EVO2 (52 sec vs. 28 sec for C-MAC vs. 26 sec for direct LG). However, no significant difference in oxygen saturation was found after intubation.
CONCLUSION: All devices allowed excellent visualization of the vocal cords, but the time to intubation was prolonged when the TruView EVO2 was used. The absence of a decline in oxygen saturation may be due to apneic oxygenation via the TruView scope and may provide a margin of safety. In sum, the use of the TruView by a well-trained anesthetist may be an alternative for difficult airway management in pediatric patients.
Early postoperative serum cystatin C predicts severe acute kidney injury following cardiac surgery: a post-hoc analysis of a randomized controlled trial
Ulrich A. Stock
- OBJECTIVE: Acute kidney injury (AKI) after cardiac surgery procedures is associated with poor patient outcomes. Cystatin C as a marker for renal failure has been shown to be of prognostic value; however, a wide range of its predictive accuracy has been reported. The aim of the study was to evaluate whether the measurement of pre- and postoperative serum cystatin C improves the prediction of AKI.
METHODS: In a single-centre, prospective study of 70 patients (74 ± 9ys; range 47-85ys; 77% male), cystatin C was measured six times: (T1 = preoperative, T2 = start cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), T3 = 20 min after CPB, T4 = end of operation; T5 = 24 h postoperatively; T6 = 7d postoperatively). Predictive property, in terms of the need for renal replacement therapy (RRT), was analysed by receiver operating characteristics (ROC) statistics and described by the area under the curve (AUC).
RESULTS: With respect to RRT (n = 8), serum cystatin C was significantly higher at the end of the operation (T4), 24 h postoperatively at T5 and at T6. The AUCs for preoperative T1 and intraoperative T2/3 cystatin C were <0.7 (95% CI, 0.47-0.85). The earliest significant predictive AUCs were found at the end of the operation (T4: p = 0.03 95% CI 0.58-0.88 AUC 0.73) and 24 h postoperatively (T5: p = 0.003 95% CI 0.74-0.96 AUC 0.85).
CONCLUSIONS: Early postoperative serum cystatin C increase appears to be a moderate biomarker in the prediction of AKI, whereas a preoperative and intraoperative cystatin C increase has only a limited diagnostic and predictive value.
Evaluation of a virucidal quantitative carrier test for surface disinfectants
- Surface disinfectants are part of broader preventive strategies preventing the transmission of bacteria, fungi and viruses in medical institutions. To evaluate their virucidal efficacy, these products must be tested with appropriate model viruses with different physico-chemical properties under conditions representing practical application in hospitals.
The aim of this study was to evaluate a quantitative carrier assay. Furthermore, different putative model viruses like adenovirus type 5 (AdV-5) and different animal parvoviruses were evaluated with respect to their tenacity and practicability in laboratory handling. To evaluate the robustness of the method, some of the viruses were tested in parallel in different laboratories in a multi-center study. Different biocides, which are common active ingredients of surface disinfectants, were used in the test. After drying on stainless steel discs as the carrier, model viruses were exposed to different concentrations of three alcohols, peracetic acid (PAA) or glutaraldehyde (GDA), with a fixed exposure time of 5 minutes. Residual virus was determined after treatment by endpoint titration.
All parvoviruses exhibited a similar stability with respect to GDA, while AdV-5 was more susceptible. For PAA, the porcine parvovirus was more sensitive than the other parvoviruses, and again, AdV-5 presented a higher susceptibility than the parvoviruses. All parvoviruses were resistant to alcohols, while AdV-5 was only stable when treated with 2-propanol. The analysis of the results of the multi-center study showed a high reproducibility of this test system.
In conclusion, two viruses with different physico-chemical properties can be recommended as appropriate model viruses for the evaluation of the virucidal efficacy of surface disinfectants: AdV-5, which has a high clinical impact, and murine parvovirus (MVM) with the highest practicability among the parvoviruses tested.
Reduced migration of MLH1 deficient colon cancer cells depends on SPTAN1
Benjamin Philipp Ernst
- Introduction: Defects in the DNA mismatch repair (MMR) protein MLH1 are frequently observed in sporadic and hereditary colorectal cancers (CRC). Affected tumors generate much less metastatic potential than the MLH1 proficient forms. Although MLH1 has been shown to be not only involved in postreplicative MMR but also in several MMR independent processes like cytoskeletal organization, the connection between MLH1 and metastasis remains unclear. We recently identified non-erythroid spectrin αII (SPTAN1), a scaffolding protein involved in cell adhesion and motility, to interact with MLH1. In the current study, the interaction of MLH1 and SPTAN1 and its potential consequences for CRC metastasis was evaluated.
Methods: Nine cancer cell lines as well as fresh and paraffin embedded colon cancer tissue from 12 patients were used in gene expression studies of SPTAN1 and MLH1. Co-expression of SPTAN1 and MLH1 was analyzed by siRNA knock down of MLH1 in HeLa, HEK293, MLH1 positive HCT116, SW480 and LoVo cells. Effects on cellular motility were determined in MLH1 deficient HCT116 and MLH1 deficient HEK293T compared to their MLH1 proficient sister cells, respectively.
Results: MLH1 deficiency is clearly associated with SPTAN1 reduction. Moreover, siRNA knock down of MLH1 decreased the mRNA level of SPTAN1 in HeLa, HEK293 as well as in MLH1 positive HCT116 cells, which indicates a co-expression of SPTAN1 by MLH1. In addition, cellular motility of MLH1 deficient HCT116 and MLH1 deficient HEK293T cells was impaired compared to the MLH1 proficient sister clones. Consequently, overexpression of SPTAN1 increased migration of MLH1 deficient cells while knock down of SPTAN1 decreased cellular mobility of MLH1 proficient cells, indicating SPTAN1-dependent migration ability.
Conclusions: These data suggest that SPTAN1 levels decreased in concordance with MLH1 reduction and impaired cellular mobility in MLH1 deficient colon cancer cells. Therefore, aggressiveness of MLH1-positive CRC might be related to SPTAN1.
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.
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.