Skull base metastasis from differentiated thyroid carcinoma including follicular thyroid carcinoma (FTC) and papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) is a rare clinical entity. Eighteen FTC cases and 10 PTC cases showing skull base metastasis have been reported. The most common symptom of skull base metastasis from FTC and PTC is cranial nerve dysfunction. Bone destruction and local invasion to the surrounding soft tissues are common on radiological imaging. Skull base metastases can be the initial clinical presentation of FTC and PTC in the presence of silent primary sites. The possibility of skull base metastasis from FTC and PTC should be considered in patients with the clinical symptoms of cranial nerve dysfunction and radiological findings of bone destruction. A variety of genetic alterations in thyroid tumors have been identified to have a fundamental role in their tumorigenesis. Molecular histochemical studies are useful for elucidating the histopathological features of thyroid carcinoma. Recent molecular findings may provide novel molecular-based treatment strategies for thyroid carcinoma.
The primary function of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) is the storage of vitamin A. However, they are also responsible for liver fibrosis and are therapeutic targets for treatment of liver cirrhosis. Among the many molecular markers that define quiescent or activated states of HSCs, the characteristics of type III intermediate filaments are of particular interest. Whereas vimentin and desmin are upregulated in activated HSCs, glial fibrillary acidic protein is downregulated in activated HSCs. The functional differences between vimentin and desmin are poorly understood. By time-course quantifications of several molecular markers for HSC activation, we observed that the expression of vimentin preceded that of desmin during the transdifferentiation of HSCs. The immunoreactivity of vimentin in transdifferentiated HSCs was more intense in perinuclear regions compared to that of desmin. We propose that the delayed expression of desmin following the expression of vimentin and the peripheral localization of desmin compared to vimentin are both related to the more extended phenotype of transdifferentiating HSCs observed in vitro.
We previously discovered a splice variant of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) mRNA, and designated the variant protein pChAT because of its preferential expression in peripheral neuronal structures. In this study, we examined the immunohistochemical localization of pChAT in rat cochlea and compared the distribution pattern to those of common ChAT (cChAT) and acetylcholinesterase. Some neuronal cell bodies and fibers in the spiral ganglia showed immunoreactivity for pChAT, predominantly the small spiral ganglion cells, indicating outer hair cell type II neurons. In contrast, cChAT- and acetylcholinesterase-positive structures were localized to fibers and not apparent in ganglion cells. After ablation of the cochlear nuclei, many pChAT-positive cochlear nerve fibers became clearly visible, whereas fibers immunopositive for cChAT and acetylcholine esterase disappeared. These results suggested that pChAT and cChAT are localized in different systems of the rat cochlea; pChAT in the afferent and cChAT in the efferent structures.
Oxytalan fibers are distributed in the eye and periodontal ligaments (PDL). The ciliary zonule, known as Zinn’s zonule, in the eye is composed of oxytalan fibers, which are bundles of microfibrils consisting mainly of fibrillin-1 and fibrillin-2. As turnover of oxytalan fibers is slow during life, their degradation mechanism remains unclarified. This study was performed to examine degradation pattern of fibrillin-1 and fibrillin-2 by experimental MMP activation. We cultured human non-pigmented ciliary epithelial cells (HNPCEC) and PDL fibroblasts for 7 days, then treated them with concanavalin A to activate matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2, and examined the degradation of fibrillin-1 and fibrillin-2 for 72 hr using immunofluorescence. At 7 days of HNPCEC culture, fibrillin-1-positive fibers were observed, some of which merged with fibrillin-2. After MMP-2 activation, fibrillin-1-positive fibers became thin and disappeared by 72 hr, while fibrillin-2-positive fibers disappeared almost completely within 24 hr. At 7 days of PDL fibroblast culture, fibrillin-1-positive fibers were mostly merged with fibrillin-2. After MMP-2 activation, fibrillin-1-positive fibers became thin by 24 hr and had almost disappeared by 48 hr, while fibrillin-2-positive fibers decreased constantly after 24 hr. A MMP-2 inhibitor completely suppressed these degradations. These results suggest that the patterns of fibrillin-1 and fibrillin-2 degradation differ between the eye and the PDL, possibly reflecting the sensitivity of fibrillin-1 and fibrillin-2 of each type of oxytalan fiber against MMP-2.
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