Despite intensive treatment, steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (NS) often progresses to endstage renal disease. Therefore, a more accurate and quick histological diagnosis is required to properly treat such patients. The aim of this study was to introduce a novel approach to the histological diagnosis of pediatric NS by low vacuum scanning electron microscopy (LVSEM) and to describe the morphological differences in glomeruli between steroid-sensitive and steroid-resistant NS specimens. The subjects were three patients with steroid-sensitive NS and four patients with steroid-resistant NS. Conventional renal biopsy paraffin sections were stained with platinum-blue (Pt-blue) or periodic acid methenamine silver (PAM) and directly observed under LVSEM at magnifications between ×50 and ×10,000. The Pt-blue-stained sections showed three-dimensional structural alterations in glomerular podocytes and foot processes. PAM-stained sections showed changes in the structure and thickness of the glomerular basement membrane (GBM). Consequently, many round-shaped podocytes and elongated primary foot processes were exclusively recognized in steroid-resistant NS, although irregularities in foot process interdigitation, fusions, effacements, and microvillus transformations were observed in both steroid-sensitive and steroidresistant NS. Irregularities in thickness and the wrinkling of GBMs were clearly detected in steroid-resistant NS. The evaluation by LVSEM is probably useful for the renal histological diagnosis of pediatric NS.
Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), an oncofetal cell surface glycoprotein, has been widely used as a human tumor marker due to its high expression in tumors and secretion to serum. It belongs to the immunoglobulin superfamily named CEA-related cell adhesion molecule (CEACAM) family. Members of this family are detected in various cancers and have been shown to be involved in cancer growth and invasion. In this study, we examined the mRNA expression profiles of CEACAM family members including CEACAM1, CEACAM3, CEACAM4, CEACAM5 (CEA), CEACAM6, CEACAM7, and CEACAM8 in various tumor cell lines. Our screening data indicated that the mRNA expression patterns of CEACAMs in TT cells, which are derived from medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), were distinct from other tumor cell lines. Additionally, CEACAM4 was only expressed in TT cells, in which two novel splice variants of CEACAM4 were expressed. These findings suggested that production of CEA and CEA-related molecules in MTC may be distinct from other tumor-based production of those molecules and that the specific expression of CEACAM4 would make possible to differentiate between MTC and other CEA-producing tumors.
S100A1 and S100B are induced by the SOX trio transcription factors (SOX9, SOX5, and SOX6) in chondrocytes, and inhibit their hypertrophic differentiation in culture. However, functional roles of S100A1 and S100B during in vivo skeletal development are yet to be determined. Here we show that mice deficient of both the S100a1 and S100b genes displayed normal skeletal growth from embryonic stage to adulthood. Although no compensatory upregulation of other S100 family members was observed in S100a1/S100b double mutants, the related S100a2, S100a4, S100a10, and S100a11 were expressed at similarly high levels to S100a1 and S100b in mouse primary chondrocytes. Furthermore, overexpression of these other S100 members suppressed the hypertrophic differentiation of chondrocytes in vitro as efficiently as S100A1 and S100B. Taken together, the present study demonstrates that S100A1 and S100B are dispensable for endochondral ossification during skeletal development, most likely because their deficiency may be masked by other S100 proteins which have similar functions to those of S100A1 and S100B.
Gastrointestinal dysmotility is frequently observed under septic conditions, yet its precise mechanisms remain to be elucidated. In this study, we have investigated the mechanisms of intestinal dysmotility by lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and the role of the interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs) in motility disorders using a mouse endotoxin model. The injection of LPS caused time- and dose-dependent decreases in the intestinal contractility, which was associated with similar time- and dose-dependent decreases in the number of KIT-positive fibroblast-like cells located in the intermuscular layer. iNOS inhibitors, L-NAME and aminoguanidine (AG), but not 7-nitroindazole (7NI), a specific nNOS inhibitor, inhibited the LPS-induced decreases in both the contractility and the number of KIT-positive cells. A spontaneous NO releaser, FK409, not only diminished spontaneous electrical potential and phasic contractions, but also decreased the number of KIT-positive cells. Pretreatment with gadolinium inhibited the activation of macrophages and the induction of iNOS in intestinal resident macrophages, and restored the number of KIT-positive cells and intestinal contractions. These results suggested that NO produced from intestinal macrophages via iNOS induced by LPS, may be involved in the ICCs injury and intestinal dysmotility under septic conditions.
Superficial zone (SFZ) cells, which are morphologically and functionally distinct from chondrocytes in deeper zones, play important roles in the maintenance of articular cartilage. Here, we established an easy and reliable method for performance of laser microdissection (LMD) on cryosections of mature rat articular cartilage using an adhesive membrane. We further examined gene expression profiles in the SFZ and the deeper zones of articular cartilage by performing RNA sequencing (RNA-seq). We validated sample collection methods, RNA amplification and the RNA-seq data using real-time RT-PCR. The combined data provide comprehensive information regarding genes specifically expressed in the SFZ or deeper zones, as well as a useful protocol for expression analysis of microsamples of hard tissues.
Previous studies using mice having defective VEGF signaling have demonstrated that vascular development is indispensable for early hepatic organogenesis. However, not only whether its action lasts during later hepatic development, but also what molecules are involved in that action remains to be determined. The present study was undertaken to examine the effects of primitive sinusoidal endothelial cells on hepatic growth and maturation in primary culture of fetal mouse liver cells, and to determine their molecular mechanisms. When endothelial cells were excluded from E12.5 liver cell cultures by using PECAM-1-antibody-coated magnetic beads, the growth of hepatoblasts and stellate cells was conspicuously reduced and hepatic maturation was also suppressed. Conditioned medium prepared from fetal liver cell cultures containing almost all hepatic cell types stimulated the growth and gene expression of hepatoblasts and stellate cells similarly to the cultures in the presence of endothelial cells. HGF mRNA expression was downregulated in endothelial cellfree cultures of fetal liver cells, and the addition of HGF to the culture medium rescued the cells from the effects of endothelial cell depletion. These data suggest that humoral factors, including HGF, which are produced by endothelial cells or stellate cells, are involved in fetal hepatocyte growth and maturation.
Neuro-immune interaction in the gut is substantially involved in the maintenance of intestinal immune homeostasis and the pathology of intestinal immune diseases. We have previously demonstrated that mucosal mast cells and nerve fibers containing CGRP, a neurotransmitter of intrinsic enteric sensory neurons, are markedly increased and exist in close proximity to each other in the colon of food allergy (FA) mice. In the present study, a CGRP-receptor antagonist BIBN4096BS significantly alleviated allergic symptoms in the murine FA model. In addition, the elevated numbers of mucosal mast cells in the proximal colon of FA mice were significantly decreased in that of BIBN4096BS-treated FA mice. Thus, we investigated the effects of CGRP on calcium-independent process in degranulation of mucosal mast cells since CGRP increases intracellular cAMP levels, but not Ca2+ concentration. CGRP did not alter a calcium ionophore A23187-increased cytosolic Ca2+ concentration in mucosal-type bone marrow-derived mast cells (mBMMCs), but did augment microtubule reorganization in resting and A23187-activated mBMMCs. Furthermore, CGRP alone failed to cause the degranulation of mBMMCs, but CGRP significantly enhanced the degranulation of mBMMCs induced by A23187. Together, these data indicate that CGRP- enhanced microtubule reorganization augments IgE-independent/non-antigenic stimuli-induced mucosal mast cell degranulation, thereby contributing to the development of FA.