The aim of this study was to investigate co-expression of des-γ-carboxy prothrombin (DCP) and c-Met in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and its significance in predicting tumor recurrence after surgical resection. Immunohistochemical techniques were used to examine DCP and c-Met expression in HCC samples collected from 153 patients. DCP and c-Met staining were observed in tumor areas in 63.4% (97/153) and 66.7% (102/153) of patients, respectively, and these figures are markedly higher than the rates at which adjacent nontumorous areas tested positive of 13.1% (20/154) and 28.8% (44/153). Furthermore, DCP and c-Met were consistently present or absent in HCC regions in 51.0% (78/153) and 20.9% (32/153) of patients, in adjacent nontumorous regions in 7.2% (11/153) and 65.4% (100/153) of patients, and in whole regions including HCC and adjacent nontumorous regions in 58.2% (89/153) and 19.6% (30/153) of patients. These results indicate that DCP and c-Met usually appeared or disappeared in HCC in a parallel manner. c-Met was found to be related to tumor recurrence in patients with HCC. When combined with DCP, c-Met is more effective at predicting non-recurrence of HCC than c-Met alone. Expression of neither DCP nor c-Met in HCC regions and adjacent regions signified a low rate of tumor recurrence after surgical resection. Results of the current study suggested that DCP and c-Met are commonly and concurrently expressed in HCC and their absence is associated with a low risk of tumor recurrence.
Staphylococci involve infections in association with a number of bacterial virulence factors. Extracellular enzymes play an important role in staphylococcal pathogenesis. In addition, biofilm is known to be associated with their virulence. In this study, 149 staphylococcal isolates from acne lesions were investigated for their virulence factors including lipase, protease, and biofilm formation. Coagulase-negative staphylococci were demonstrated to present lipase and protease activities more often than coagulase-positive staphylococci. A microtiter plate method (quantitative method) and a Congo red agar method (qualitative method) were comparatively employed to assess biofilm formation. In addition, biofilm forming ability was commonly detected in a coagulase-negative group (97.7%, microtiter plate method and 84.7%, Congo red agar method) more frequently than in coagulase-positive organisms (68.8%, microtiter plate method and 62.5%, Congo red agar method). This study clearly confirms an important role for biofilm in coagulase-negative staphylococci which is of serious concern as a considerable infectious agent in patients with acnes and implanted medical devices. The Congo red agar method proved to be an easy method to quickly detect biofilm producers. Sensitivity of the Congo red agar method was 85.54% and 68.18% and accuracy was 84.7% and 62.5% in coagulase-negative and coagulase-positive staphylococci, respectively, while specificity was 50% in both groups. The results clearly demonstrated that a higher percentage of coagulase-negative staphylococci isolated from acne lesions exhibited lipase and protease activities, as well as biofilm formation, than coagulase-positive staphylococci.
Low utilization of antenatal care (ANC) by pregnant women, particularly in rural areas, is an obstacle to ensuring safe motherhood in Bangladesh. Currently, Micro Health Insurance (MHI) is being considered in many developing countries as a potential method for assuring greater access to health care, especially for the poor. So far, there is only limited evidence evaluating MHI schemes. This study assesses the impact of MHI administered by Gonoshasthaya Kendra (GK) on ANC utilization by poor women in rural Bangladesh. We conducted a questionnaire survey and collected 321 valid responses from women enrolled in GK's MHI scheme and 271 from women not enrolled in any health insurance plan. We used a two-part model in which dependent variables were whether or not women utilized ANC and the number of times ANC was used. The model consisted of logistic regression analysis and ordinary least squares regression analysis. The main independent variables were dummies for socioeconomic classes according to GK, each of which represented the premiums and co-payments charged by class. The results showed that destitute, ultra-poor, and poor women enrolled in MHI used ANC significantly more than women not enrolled in health insurance. Women enrolled in MHI, except for those who were destitute or ultra-poor, utilized ANC significantly more times than women not enrolled in health insurance. We assume that GK's sliding premium and co-payment scales are key to ANC utilization by women. Expanding the MHI scheme may enhance ANC utilization among poor women in rural Bangladesh.
There is little evidence of socioeconomic differences in dietary intake in the Japanese population. This study examined the association between household expenditures and dietary intake using nationally representative surveys of Japan. We analyzed data from the Comprehensive Survey of Living Conditions and National Health and Nutrition Survey, 2003-2007. For subjects ages 18 to 74 years (11,240 men and 11,472 women), the sex-specific association between household expenditure quartiles and selected nutrient intake was examined using comparison of means and prevalence of a healthy intake. Higher household expenditures were associated with an increase in the mean levels of total energy, fat, protein, carbohydrates, calcium, vitamins A and C, niacin, and fiber for both men and women and salt for men. Prevalence comparison indicated that most of the recommendations for dietary intake were met for people with higher household expenditures than for those with lower household expenditures. There was no clear association between fat intake and expenditures. Higher household expenditures were associated with a healthy and balanced nutrient intake in Japanese adults. The findings suggest that socioeconomic differences in dietary patterns contribute to socioeconomic inequalities in mortality and morbidity in Japan.
Membrane rafts, rich in sphingolipids and cholesterol, play an important role in neuronal membrane domain-specific signaling events, maintaining synapses and dendritic spines. The purpose of this study is to examine the neuronal response to membrane raft disruption. Membrane rafts of 8 DIV primary neuronal cultures were isolated based on the resistance to Triton X-100 and ability to float in sucrose gradients. Membrane rafts from primary cortical neurons were also imaged using the membrane raft marker, cholera toxin subunit-B (CTxB), and were co-immunolabelled with the dendritic microtubule associated protein marker, MAP-2, the dendritic and axonal microtubule protein, β-III-Tubulin, and the axonal microtubule protein, Tau. Exposure of cortical neurons to either the cholesterol depleting compound, methyl-beta-cyclodextrin (MBC), or to the glycosphingolipid metabolism inhibiting agent D-threo-1-phenyl-2-decanoylamino-3-morpholino-1-propanol (D-PDMP), resulted in neuritic retraction prior to the appearance of neuronal death. Further investigation into the effects of MBC revealed a pronounced perturbation of microtubule protein association with membrane rafts during neuritic retraction. Interestingly, stabilizing microtubules with Paclitaxel did not prevent MBC-induced neuritic retraction, suggesting that neuritic retraction occurred independently of microtubule disassembly and that microtubule association with membrane rafts is critical for maintaining neuritic stability. Overall, the data indicated that membrane rafts play an important role in neurite stability and neuronal viability.
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and lethal type of primary brain tumor with a very poor prognosis. Current therapies for GBM remain palliative and advances made in decades have resulted in only a slight improvement in treatment outcome. Exploring new therapeutic agents for GBM treatment, therefore, is of prime importance. In the present study, we performed a high-throughput screening for GBM cell growth and invasion, with an attempt to identify novel potential anti-GBM agents. An annotated compound library (LOPAC1280) of 1,280 pharmacologically active compounds was screened and ten compounds were validated and identified as inhibitors of GBM cell growth and invasion. Four of them, i.e., 6-nitroso-1,2-benzopyrone, S-(p-azidophenacyl) glutathione, phenoxybenzamine hydrochloride, and SCH-28080 have not been implicated in GBM cell growth and invasion previously, suggesting that they may serve as novel potential therapeutic agents for GBM treatment. In conclusion, novel inhibitors of GBM cell growth and invasion were identified in the present study, which provides a basis for the development of therapies for GBM, and may shed light on the molecular mechanisms underlying GBM cell behavior.
Rhizoma Paridis (dried root and rhizome) has been an essential ingredient in traditional Chinese herbal medicine. In the past decade, active components of Rhizoma Paridis ‒ the Paris saponins have emerged as promising anti-cancer agents. Among these saponins, polyphyllin D (Paris saponin (PS) I), has been extensively studied and proposed to be a potent antitumor agent. In this study, we continue to establish the efficacy and mechanisms underlying the cytotoxic effects of the steroidal PS members, namely formosanin C (PSII) in ovarian cancer treatment. We isolated PSII and evaluated its effects on a panel of ten human cell lines. Isolated PSII has potent inhibitory effects on the growth of tumor cells without deleterious effects to different normal cell types or benign neoplastic derived cells. While PSII, PSI, and etoposide are effective promoting agents for cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, PSII appeared to be marginally more potent than the later two in inhibiting SKOV3 cell growth. In PSII-treated SKOV3 cells, there was an elevation in proapoptotic elements including Bax, cytosolic cytochrome c, activated-caspase-3, and activated-caspase-9. The treatment also reduced extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) phosphorylation and anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 expression. We also assessed the antitumor efficacy of intraperitoneal administration of PSII in human SKOV3 ovarian cancer xenografts in athymic mice. PSII treatment significantly inhibited the growth of xenograft tumors relative to controls by 70% (p < 0.05). These findings demonstrated that, in addition to the unique selectivity against cancer cells, PSII is a potent antitumor molecule that may be developed as a cancer therapeutic agent.
Many studies have indicated that a variety of neurotransmitters are implicated in the pathophysiology of Tourette syndrome (TS), including dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-TH), homovanillic acid (HVA), and gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA). Our previous studies found that Ningdong granule (NDG) is effective on a rat model with TS. NDG can regulate the metabolic disturbance of DA, 5-TH and HVA in the rat brain. However, the mechanisms of NDG in patients with TS are still not clear. To further evaluate the efficiency, safety, and possible mechanisms of NDG, a randomized and double-blind study was carried out. One hundred and twenty patients with TS were enrolled in thisstudy, that were randomly divided into 4 groups (NDG group, Haloperidol (Hal) group, NDG + Hal group and Control group). First, the efficiency of NDG was assessed using the Yale Global Tic Severity Score (YGTSS). Second, the concentration of DA, HVA, 5-TH, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) and GABA in sera were tested by ELISA. In addition, the influence of NDG on liver and renal function was recorded. We found that NDG could ameliorate tics significantly according the YGTSS score. The concentration of HVA and GABA were increased after treatment with NDG. Furthermore, we found that there was no liver or renal damage in children treated with NDG. We also found that the NDG + Hal group was more effective and safe compared with other groups. In conclusion, the current study indicates that NDG might be effective on patients with TS by regulating dopamine (DA)/serotonin (5-TH) and gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA).