Ketoconazole (KZ) is used widely for treating the superficial, systemic fungal activities and hyperandrogenemic states. Its uses are limited by its deleterious effect on histological structure and function of the adrenal cortex. This study investigates whether vitamin D3 supplement can ameliorate the morphological changes induced by KZ.Thirty four adult male albino rats were randomized into control group (Group I) which was subdivided into: control 1 (n=7) and control 2 (n=7): In control 1, rats were intraperitoneal (I.P) injected once with 1 ml of polyethylene glycol-400 for 15 consecutive days and control 2 rats were injected I.P with (1 μg/kg) of vitamin D3 for the same period. Group II (n=10): rats were I.P injected with KZ (10 mg/100 g of body weight) once daily for 15 days; Group III (n=10): rats were I.P concomitantly injected with KZ and vitamin D3 similar doses to animals in groups II and control 2 respectively. Blood samples were collected to determine plasma ACTH, corticosterone and aldosterone levels. The right adrenal specimens sections were stained with Haematoxylin & Eosin and Masson Trichrome for histological studies and treated with Bax, Ubiquitin and vitamin D receptors for immunohistochemical studies.KZ induced adrenal cortical morphological changes in forms of disturbed adrenocorticocyte cytological architecture, nuclear changes, and intracellular lipid accumulation. KZ also increased adrenal Bax and Ub but decreased the vitamin D receptors immunopositive staining expression, in addition to increased plasma ACTH as well as decreased corticosterone and aldosterone levels. These changes were ameliorated by supplementing with vitamin D3.
To explore the epigenetic mechanism that reactivates CDX2 (a homeobox transcription factor that serves as a tumor-suppressor gene) in intestinal-type gastric cancer during cancer progression, we examined the methylation status of the CDX2 gene promoter and the expression pattern of methyl-CpG binding protein-2 (MeCP2). From archives of the pathology records of surgically excised advanced stomach cancer cases in the Department of Molecular Pathology, Ehime University in a past decate (n=265), 10 cases of intestinal-type tubular adenocarcinoma, well-differentiated type (wel) with minor poorly-differentiated adenocarcinoma (por) components were selected. The expression pattern of CDX2, MUC2 and MeCP2 in these 10 cases was analyzed by immunohistochemistry. The cancerous and non-cancerous areas were selectively obtained by microdissection, and the methylation status of the CDX2 promoter of each area was assessed by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (MSP). In all 10 cases, CDX2 expression was clearly observed in the nucleus of the non-cancerous background of the intestinal metaplasic area, where the unmethylation pattern of the CDX2 gene promoter prevailed with reduced MeCP2 expression. In this metaplastic area, CDX2 expression was co-localized with its target gene, MUC2. CDX2 expression then disappeared from the deep invasive wel area. Reflecting the reduced CDX2 expression, microdissected samples from all the wel areas showed hypermethylation of the CDX2 gene promoter by MSP, with prominent MeCP2 expression. Interestingly, while hypermethylation of the CDX2 gene promoter was maintained in the por area in 8 of the 10 cases, CDX2 expression was restored in por areas where MeCP2 expression was markedly and selectively reduced. The other two cases, however, showed a constant MeCP2 expression level comparable to the surrounding deep invasive wel area with negative CDX2 expression. Therefore, gene silencing by hypermethylation may be overcome by the reduction of methyl-CpG binding proteins, resulting in apparent but non-functional reactivation of CDX2 as a mere molecular mark for gene silencing memory.
Microchiroptera (microbats) is a suborder of bats thought to have degenerated vision. However, many recent studies have shown that they have visual ability. In this study, we labeled neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS)—the synthesizing enzyme of the gaseous non-synaptic neurotransmitter nitric oxide—and co-localized it with calbindin D28K (CB), calretinin (CR), and parvalbumin (PV) in the visual cortex of the greater horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum, a species of microbats). nNOS-immunoreactive (IR) neurons were found in all layers of the visual cortex. Intensely labeled neurons were most common in layer IV, and weakly labeled neurons were most common in layer VI. Majority of the nNOS-IR neurons were round- or oval-type neurons; no pyramidal-type neurons were found. None of these neurons co-localized with CB, CR, or PV. However, the synthesis of nitric oxide in the bat visual cortex by nNOS does not depend on CB, CR, or PV.