As letters form the vocabulary of a language, biochemical ‘symbols’ (the building blocks of oligo- and polymers) make writing molecular messages possible. Compared to nucleotides and amino acids, sugars have chemical properties that facilitate to reach an unsurpassed level of oligomer diversity. These glycans are a part of the ubiquitous cellular glycoconjugates. Cyto- and histochemically, the glycans’ structural complexity is mapped by glycophenotyping of cells and tissues using receptors (‘readers’, thus called lectins), hereby revealing its dynamic spatiotemporal regulation: these data support the concept of a sugar code. When proceeding from work with plant (haem)agglutinins as such tools to the discovery of endogenous (tissue) lectins, it became clear that a broad panel of biological meanings can indeed be derived from the sugar-based vocabulary (the natural glycome incl. post-synthetic modifications) by glycan-lectin recognition in situ. As consequence, the immunocyto- and histochemical analysis of lectin expression is building a solid basis for the steps toward tracking down functional correlations, for example in processes leading to cell adhesion, apoptosis, autophagy or growth regulation as well as targeted delivery of glycoproteins. Introduction of labeled tissue lectins to glycan profiling assists this endeavor by detecting counterreceptor(s) in situ. Combining these tools and their applications strategically will help to take the trip toward the following long-range aim: to compile a dictionary for the glycan vocabulary that translates each message (oligosaccharide) into its bioresponse(s), that is to crack the sugar code.
In pathological diagnosis, the cutting position of pathological materials is subjectively determined by pathologists. This leads to a low cutting accuracy, which in turn may lead to incorrect diagnoses. In this study, we developed a system that supports the determination of the cutting position by visualizing and analyzing the internal structure of pathological material using micro-computed tomography (CT) before cutting. This system consists of a dedicated micro-CT and cutting support software. The micro-CT system has a fixture for fixing the target, enabling the scanning of easily deformable pathological materials. In the cutting support software, a function that interactively selects the extraction plane while displaying the volume rendering image and outputs a pseudo-histological image was implemented. Our results confirmed that the pseudo-histological image showed the fine structure inside the organ and that the latter image was highly consistent with the pathological image.
It is unclear how immunohistochemical expression patterns of HLA class I in the pre-malignant phase of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) alter during the clinical follow-up period. The present study aimed to demonstrate the correlation between the immunohistochemical expression pattern of HLA class I and the CIN grade through repeated examinations during the clinical course. Expression patterns of HLA class I, p16INK4a, and PD-L1 were immunohistochemically examined using formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) sections of biopsy or conization samples that were obtained from 20 patients diagnosed with CIN. The mRNA expression levels of HLA class I were analyzed by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction using FFPE sections of 14 patients, who were examined metachronously during the follow-up period. HLA class I expression was limited to the lower part of the epithelial thickness (M1 pattern) in more than half of CIN1 cases, and was present throughout the epithelial thickness (M2 pattern) in one fourth of CIN1 and CIN2 cases approximately. Heterogeneous expression (H pattern) was detected in half of CIN2 and CIN3 cases and in the all of squamous cell carcinoma cases. Metachronous examinations revealed that these immunohistochemical patterns altered more frequently than the CIN grade. The rate of change of HLA class I mRNA expression level was higher in cases with a progressed immunohistochemical pattern compared to those with regressed immunohistochemical pattern. In conclusion, the immunohistochemical pattern of HLA class I expression is associated with the CIN grade, and it is alterable during the clinical course, especially in CIN2.
Spontaneous Raman spectroscopy, which senses changes in cellular contents of reduced cytochrome c, could be a powerful tool for label-free evaluation of ischemic hearts. However, undetermined is whether it is applicable to evaluation of myocardial viability in ischemic hearts. To address this issue, we investigated sequential changes in Raman spectra of the subepicardial myocardium in the Langendorff-perfused rat heart before and during ligation of the left coronary artery and its subsequent release and re-ligation. Under 532-nm wavelength excitation, the Raman peak intensity of reduced cytochrome c at 747 cm−1 increased quickly after the coronary ligation, and reached a quasi-steady state within 30 min. Subsequent reperfusion of the heart after a short-term (30-min) ligation that simulates reversible conditions resulted in quick recovery of the peak intensity to the baseline. Further re-ligation resulted in resurgence of the peak intensity to nearly the identical value to the first ischemia value. In contrast, reperfusion after prolonged (120-min) ligation that assumes irreversible states resulted in incomplete recovery of the peak intensity, and re-ligation resulted in inadequate resurgence. Electron microscopic observations confirmed the spectral findings. Together, the Raman spectroscopic measurement for cytochrome c could be applicable to evaluation of viability of the ischemic myocardium without labeling.
Diet-based prevention of malignant transformation contributes to the maintenance of quality of life by avoiding a battle against cancer. Invasion is one of the features of malignant breast cancer, and the prevention of invasion may reduce breast cancer malignancy. A recently established early breast cancer model system showed mammary ductal dysplasia with invasion in mice. This study utilized the model system and investigated the effect of fermented barley extract (FBE), a food material. The elastic fiber layer is the outermost layer of the mammary duct. A reduction in the elastic fiber layer was observed in the mammary glands of the model system, whereas supplementation with 8% FBE containing water prevented this reduction. Moreover, we found that FBE supplementation prevented mammary epithelial cell invasion. Based on our findings, FBE might be a candidate material for a diet-based prevention of early breast cancer invasion.