We’ve previously shown that high levels of selenoprotein P (SeP), a major selenoprotein in plasma, can be a risk factor of type 2 diabetes. It was also thought that inhibition of insulin secretion caused by over-supplementation of selenium by SeP to pancreatic β cells contributed to the progress of diabetes. On the other hand, methylmercury, which is an environmental pollutant, is known to cancel the action of selenium via the covalent modification. Therefore, we thought that the interaction between selenium and methylmercury could be associated with the pathogenesis of diabetes. To address the hypothesis, MIN6 cells, a mouse pancreatic β-cell line, were treated with selenocystine (as a selenium donner) and methylmercury then examined insulin release from the cells. Selenocystine (400–1200 nM), which corresponds to the concentration of selenium in SeP of diabetic patients, shows cytotoxicity and inhibited glucose-driven insulin secretion. Methylmercury rescued the cytotoxicity that induced by selenocystine, however it affected the insulin secretion that is depressed by selenocystine at little intense. These data indicate that the mechanisms underlying inhibition of insulin secretion by selenocystine are independent of cytotoxicity, and methylmercury cannot be expected to restore insulin secretion or suppress diabetes as selenium neutlizer.
The third vaccination for coronavirus disease 2019 is recommended; however, the vaccination rate is not increasing. This is due to a lack of information on the effectiveness of the booster vaccination and the fact that some people assume that they have acquired sufficient immunity after the second vaccination. Therefore, this study examined whether a system could be established in which a community pharmacy could act as a starting point to conduct antibody tests. The study was conducted between November 18, 2021 and February 28, 2022. Thirty-eight subjects collected their own samples in the Greenmedic pharmacy or at home using a self-blood collection kit and submitted them to the pharmacy. Samples were transported from the pharmacy to the AC clinic within 2 days for measuring anti-SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies (NAbs). There were eight men and 30 women with a mean age (mean ± standard deviation) of 33.6 ± 15.3 years. Of the subjects, 12 had completed the third vaccination; the median (interquartile range) blood NAbs after the second vaccination was 34.9 (23.3–59.4) AU/mL, which increased to 994.1 (974.7–1042.1) AU/mL after the third vaccination (p = 0.0022). Significant negative correlations were also observed for both blood NAbs and age after the second vaccination (rs = −0.579, p = 0.00014). Since these results were similar to those of previous studies conducted at hospitals, this study seems to be the first to demonstrate that anti-SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody test flow can be established at a community pharmacy.
Helium is the most frequently used carrier gas for GC/MS, which is the official standardized test method in Japan to assess chemical substances in indoor air. However, recent global challenges in the supply chain for helium have led to a need to validate GC/MS using alternative carrier gases. In this study, we examined the applicability of hydrogen and nitrogen as helium-alternative carrier gases in the standardized GC/MS analytical test method for volatile organic compounds (VOC) and phthalate esters in indoor air. Comparison of the signal-to-noise ratios of standard solutions showed that detection sensitivities of hydrogen and nitrogen analysis were enough for the standard test method, although these gases, especially nitrogen, were less sensitive than helium. Measurements using these alternative carrier gases showed good linearity and could quantify around 1/100th of Japanese guideline values for indoor air concentrations. Therefore, hydrogen and nitrogen gases can be applied to the standard GC/MS analysis test method for VOC and phthalate esters in indoor air as alternative carrier gases to helium.
The cysteine protease papain was shown to induce production of IL-4 and other cytokines in murine basophils, a critical event for initiating and promoting type 2 immune responses. However, the papain ‘sensor(s)’ and the intracellular signaling pathway for IL-4 production triggered by the protease remained unknown. Here we show that basophils lacking FcRγ or expressing dominant negative Syk failed to produce IL-4 in response to papain, indicating the involvement of the FcRγ-Syk pathway that was essential also for IL-3-induced IL-4 production. While IL-3, IgE cross-linkage and papain induced production of IL-4, IFN-β production was induced only by papain, indicating that papain sensor(s) or its downstream signaling pathways for production of IL-4 seemed to be distinct from those for IFN-β production. We further showed using the artificial papain sensor CD8-FcRγ fusion protein that IL-3 potentiated, independently of FcRγ, basophil response to FcRγ-dependent papain signals. Thus, our current study showed that papain sensing and/or downstream signaling are unique for cytokines to be induced and regulated through cross-talk with other signals such as IL-3 signals.