Encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis (EPS) is a fatal complication that can occur in patients undergoing long-term peritoneal dialysis. It is characterized by bowel obstruction and marked sclerotic thickening of the peritoneal membrane. Although the mechanisms underlying the development of EPS are complex, angiogenesis, inflammation, and peritoneal fibrosis are known to be essential factors. Now, several animal models that exhibit EPS have pathophysiology similar to that of human EPS and have been proposed for use in research to provide insights into it. Recent histochemical methods also help us to understand the pathophysiology of EPS. Advances in basic research based on the findings in those animal models have enabled the development of several strategies for the prevention and treatment of EPS. We describe here interventional studies in some animal models for peritoneal fibrosis, one of the histological disorders findings characteristic to EPS, and we highlight the need for a sophisticated animal model that closely resembles human conditions.
We investigated the expression of p75NGFR, a proliferative and basal cell marker, in the mouse buccal mucosa epithelium during wound healing in order to elucidate the role of epithelial stem cells. Epithelial defects were generated in the epithelium of the buccal mucosa of 6-week-old mice using CO2 laser irradiation. BrdU was immediately administered to mice following laser irradiation. They were then sacrificed after 1, 3, 7, and 14 days. Paraffin sections were prepared and the irradiated areas were analyzed using immunohistochemistry with anti-p75NGFR, BrdU, PCNA, and CK14 antibodies. During re-epithelialization, PCNA (–)/p75NGFR (+) cells extended to the wound, which then closed, whereas PCNA (+)/p75NGFR (+) cells were not observed at the edge of the wound. In addition, p75NGFR (–)/CK14 (+), which reflected the presence of post-mitotic differentiating cells, was observed in the supra-basal layers of the extended epithelium. BrdU (+)/p75NGFR (+), which reflected the presence of epithelial stem cells, was detected sparsely in buccal basal epithelial cells after healing, and disappeared after 7 days. These results suggest that p75NGFR (+) keratinocytes are localized in the basal layer, which contains oral epithelial stem cells, and retain the ability to proliferate in order to regenerate the buccal mucosal epithelium.
Rats with estrogen-induced prolactin-producing pituitary adenoma (E2-PRLoma) have been employed as an animal model of human PRL-producing pituitary adenoma in a large number of studies. Presently, we found that long-term administration of estrogen to SD rats resulted in the development of E2-PRLomas, some of which included multi-hormone producing nodules. We herein report results of histopathological analyses of these lesions. PRLoma models were created in female SD rats by 22 weeks or longer administration of a controlled-release preparation of estradiol at a dose of 10 mg/kg/2 weeks. Ten of the 11 PRLoma model rats had proliferative nodular lesions composed of large eosinophilic cells like gonadotrophs inside the PRLoma. These lesions were positive for PRL, TSHβ, and α subunits and were negative for GH, LHβ, ACTH, and S-100. Double immunostaining revealed that these large eosinophilic cells showed coexpression of PRL and TSHβ, PRL and α subunits, and TSHβ and α subunits. Those results clarified that long-term estrogen administration to female SD rats induced multi-hormone producing neoplastic pituitary nodules that expressed PRL, TSHβ, and α subunits. We studied these neoplastic nodules obtained by laser microdissection to acquire findings similar to those of the immunohistochemical analysis. We consider that this animal model is useful for pathogenesis analyses and therapeutic agent development concerning human multi-hormone producing pituitary adenomas.
Glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is a ligand-activated nuclear receptor which is widely distributed in the brain. Many types of neurons and glial cells are known to express GR, but the expression of GR in ependymal cells has yet to be identified. The present study therefore was undertaken to determine whether ependymal cells express GR and coactivators of GR, such as steroid receptor coactivator 1 (SRC-1) and p300. GR immunoreactivity was found in cells immunopositive to vimentin, a marker of ependymal cells, around the third ventricle (3V), the lateral ventricle (LV), the cerebral aqueduct and the fourth ventricle (4V), whereas the expression of GR in vimentin-immunoreactive (ir) cells was significantly reduced by adrenalectomy (ADX) in male rats. Vimentin-ir cells also expressed both SRC-1 and p300 at around 3V, LV, the cerebral aqueduct and 4V. ADX had no effect on the expression of SRC-1 or p300 in vimentin-ir cells. These results suggest that glucocorticoid may exert effects on ependymal cells through binding to GR followed by association with SRC-1 and p300 to maintain brain environment under stressful conditions.
Localization of each keratin isoform differs among epidermal layers. Proliferating basal cells synthesize keratin 14 (K14) and suprabasal cells express keratin 10 (K10) in normal skin. Notch signaling is essential for keratinocyte differentiation. Notch1 is expressed in all epidermal layers, Notch2 in the basal cell layer and Notch3 in basal cell and spinous cell layers in normal epidermis. It has been poorly elucidated how localization and expression levels of Notch molecules are related to epidermal molecular markers K10 and K14 in psoriatic skin with abnormal differentiation of epidermal tissue. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between abnormal differentiation of epidermal cells in psoriatic skin and expression of Notch molecules. We investigated keratins (K14 and K10) and Notches (1, 2, 3 and 4) using immunohistochemistry in psoriatic skin (n=30) and normal skin (n=10). In normal skin, K14 and K10 were discretely observed in the basal cell layer and suprabasal layer, respectively. In psoriatic skin, K14 was expressed in the pan epidermal layer while it and K10 were co-expressed in some middle suprabasal layer cells. Notch1, 2, 3, and 4 localized in all epidermal layers in normal skin. In psoriatic skin, Notch1, 2, and 4 mainly localized in suprabasilar layers and Notch3 is lacalized in pan epidermal, suprabasilar, and basilar layers. Protein and mRNA of Notch1, 2, and 3 isoforms decreased in psoriatic epidermis compared with normal epidermis. These data suggest that decrements in these Notch molecules might cause aberrant expression of K10 and K14 leading to anomalous differentiation of the epidermis in psoriatic lesions.