The increased discharge of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) from hypothalamic neurons after castration specifically stimulates pituitary gonadotropes. To elucidate the putative effects of GnRH on the three-dimensional ultrastructure of gonadotropes, we examined osmium-macerated pituitary tissues of male rats at various time points after castration by high resolution scanning electron microscopy (SEM) combined with immunocytochemistry. Two days after castration, the Golgi apparatus was disassembled into small stacks; patch-like, tubuloreticular clusters of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membranes were present; and spherically enlarged mitochondria were accumulated in the central area of the stimulated gonadotropes. These acute changes were indiscernible by 1 week after castration, and then the pituitary gonadotropes of castrated animals gradually became hypertrophic, finally exhibiting the characteristic “signet-ring” appearance, with markedly dilated cisterns of the rough ER. Upon SEM observation, the inner surface of the cavity was mostly flat, and openings connecting adjacent lumens of the ER were sparse. Proliferation of the osmiophilic tubular network of the ER-Golgi intermediate compartment was observed in the persistently stimulated gonadotropes, indicating a marked increase in trafficking of secretory proteins between the Golgi and ER. The acute and chronic changes in the gonadotropes after castration revealed in the present study by SEM provide evidence for a putative link between the intracellular signaling events evoked by GnRH and the ultrastructural dynamics of the organelles of the secretory pathway.
The gene mutation and expression profiles of gastric neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC) have not been comprehensively determined. Here, we examined the gene mutation and expression profiles of NEC using whole exome sequencing (WES) and microarray analysis. Six patients with gastric NEC and 13 with gastric adenocarcinoma (GAD) were included in this study. Single nucleotide variants were compared and multivariate statistical investigation with orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) was performed to compare the difference in expression profiles between NEC and GAD. NEC showed a significantly higher mutation rate than GAD and the percentage difference in the mutation pattern of NEC compared with GAD was 92.8%. OPLSDA clearly discriminated between NEC and GAD. We identified 35 genes, including CPLX2 (Complexin 2), which were expressed more strongly in NEC than in GAD, of which 14 were neural-related. Immunohistochemical analysis showed the strong expression of CPLX2 in all NECs, versus expression in only 2 of 13 GADs. Gastric NEC had a specific mutation pattern with a significantly higher gene mutation rate than GAD, and completely differed from GAD on the basis of gene expression profile. CPLX2 might be a potential novel biomarker for the diagnosis of NEC.
The mechanisms of action of gemcitabine (GEM) and paclitaxel (PTX) have been well investigated, and shown to be the inhibition of DNA polymerase and polymerization of tubulin, respectively. Meanwhile, genomic research has revealed that mutations in the K-RAS oncogene occur in over 90% of pancreatic cancer. Oncogenic alteration rewires alternative metabolic pathways to satisfy the demands of growth. The K-RAS oncogene also has been shown to upregulate glycolysis and glutaminolysis. However, it is still unclear whether K-RAS independently plays a central role in controlling tumor metabolism. Here, we conducted a metabolomic analysis of a simple oncogenic K-RAS cell line model constructed using human telomerase catalytic subunit-immortalized human pancreatic epithelial nestin-expressing cell lines with and without K-RASG12D. We also investigated the effect of GEM and PTX on these cells. As a result, it was shown in the cell with K-RASG12D that the level of lactate was increased and glutamic acid, glutamine, and aspartic acid levels were decreased. In the nucleotide metabolism, GEM-treated cells showed metabolic changes, whereas these phenomena were not observed in PTX-treated cells. In conclusion, it was suggested that K-RASG12D independently modified tumor metabolism and the difference between GEM and PTX in the nucleotide metabolism was revealed.
CD44 variant 9 (CD44v9) and the heavy chain of 4F2 cell-surface antigen (CD98hc) appear important for regulation of reactive oxygen species defence and tumor growth in gastric cancer. This study examined the roles of CD44v9 and CD98hc as markers of gastric cancer recurrence, and investigated associations with energy metabolism. We applied capillary electrophoresis time-of-flight mass spectrometry to metabolome profiling of gastric cancer specimens from 103 patients who underwent resection with no residual tumor or microscopic residual tumor, and compared metabolite levels to immunohistochemical staining for CD44v9 and CD98hc. Positive expression rates were 40.7% for CD44v9 and 42.7% for CD98hc. Various tumor characteristics were significantly associated with CD44v9 expression. Five-year recurrence-free survival rate was significantly lower for CD44v9-positive tumors (39.1%) than for CD44v9-negative tumors (73.5%; P < 0.0001), but no significant differences in recurrence-free survival were seen according to CD98hc expression. Uni- and multivariate analyses identified positive CD44v9 expression as an independent predictor of poorer recurrence-free survival. Metabolome analysis of 110 metabolites found that levels of glutathione disulfide were significantly lower and reduced glutathione (GSH)/ glutathione disulfide (GSSG) ratio was significantly higher in CD44v9-positive tumors than in CD44v9-negative tumors, suggesting that CD44v9 may enhance pentose phosphate pathway flux and maintain GSH levels in cancer cells.
Heat processes, low temperature for long time (LTLT) pasteurization and ultra-heat treatment (UHT) sterilization, are essential for commercial market milk to improve the shelf life of raw milk and ensure microbial safety. We evaluated the effects of heat experience on the molecular properties of α-lactalbumin (α-LA) and β-lactoglobulin (β-LG) isolated from four types of market milk such as LTLT-A (66°C for 30 min), LTLT-B (65°C for 30 min), UHT-I (130°C for 2 s, indirect heating) and UHT-D (135°C for 2 s, direct heating) samples. We examined molecular conformations using circular dichroism spectrum measurement and cell growth activity using the WST-1 method for the proteins. α-LA isolated from each of these four types of market milk displayed no significant structural difference as compared to raw milk α-LA, while α-LA of UHT-I only inhibited cell growth of an intestinal epithelial cell line more potently than raw milk α-LA. In the case of β-LG, only the UHT-I sample demonstrated a drastic change in structure, while it did not exhibit any cytotoxicity. We found that cell viability effects of α-LA and β-LG are attributable to the type of UHT; indirect and direct. These findings indicate that the effect of heat treatment on whey proteins should carefully be investigated further.
In tooth root development, periodontal ligament (PDL) and cementum are formed by the coordination with the fragmentation of Hertwig’s epithelial root sheath (HERS) and the differentiation of dental follicle mesenchymal cells. However, the function of the dental epithelial cells after HERS fragmentation in the PDL is not fully understood. Here, we found that TGF-β regulated HERS fragmentation via epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and the fragmented epithelial cells differentiated into PDL fibroblastic cells with expressing of PDL extracellular matrix (ECM). In the histochemical analysis, TGF-β was expressed in odontoblast layer adjacent of HERS during root development. Periostin expression was detected around fragmented epithelial cells on the root surface, but not in HERS. In the experiment using an established mouse HERS cell line (HERS01a), TGF-β1 treatment decreased E-cadherin and relatively increased N-cadherin expression. TGF-β1 treatment in HERS01a induced further expression of important ECM proteins for acellular cementum and PDL development such as fibronectin and periostin. Taken together, activation of TGF-βsignaling induces HERS fragmentation through EMT and the fragmented HERS cells contribute to formation of PDL and acellular cementum through periostin and fibronectin expression.
The effects of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) on osteoclastogenesis were examined using fish scales that had both osteoclasts and osteoblasts. The binding of the receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) in osteoblasts to the receptor activator of NF-κB (RANK) in osteoclasts induced osteoclastogenesis. Therefore, we focused on RANK/RANKL signaling. After 6 h of incubation following LIPUS treatment, mRNA expression of RANKL increased significantly. Resulting from the increased RANKL mRNA level, the expression of transcription-regulating factors significantly increased after 6 h of incubation, and then the mRNA expression of functional genes was significantly up-regulated after 12 h of incubation. However, the mRNA expression of osteoprotegerin (OPG), which is known as an osteoclastogenesis inhibitory factor, also significantly increased after 6 h of incubation and tended to further increase after 12 h of incubation. At 24 h of incubation, osteoclastic functional genes’ mRNA expression decreased to the level of the control. Furthermore, we performed an in vivo experiment with goldfish. Two weeks after daily LIPUS exposure, osteoclastic marker enzymes tended to decrease while osteoblastic marker enzymes were activated. The regeneration rate of the LIPUS-treated scales was significantly higher than that of the control scales. Thus, LIPUS moderately activates osteoclasts and induces bone formation.
Oocyte maturation in medaka is induced by the maturation-inducing hormone (MIH) via its membrane receptor. The most likely candidates for the membrane receptor are membrane progestin receptors (mPRs). In order to characterize the mPRα subtype of medaka, a human cell line expressing the mPRα gene of medaka was established and its steroid binding property was assessed. The α subtype exhibited high binding affinity for 17,20β-DHP, the MIH in medaka. Treatment with a morpholino antisense oligonucleotide to mPRα blocked oocyte maturation in vivo. These results suggest that the medaka mPRα protein acts as an intermediary during MIH-induced oocyte maturation in medaka in a manner similar to that described previously for fish species.