ABSTRACT Recent development of biomedical engineering as well as basic biology and medicine has enabled us to induce cell-based regeneration of body tissue to self-repair defective tissue or substitute biological functions of damaged organs. For successful tissue regeneration, it is indispensable to give cells an environment suitable for regeneration induction. Tissue engineering is a newly emerging biomedical technology for creating an environment for tissue regeneration with various biomaterials. The paper presented here overviews recent research data on tissue regeneration based on tissue engineering, and briefly explains the key technology of tissue engineering.
ABSTRACT Although thalidomide was withdrawn in the 1960s after its teratogenic property was recognized, it was subsequently found that this drug possesses immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects. Recent studies have also demonstrated that thalidomide has antineoplastic activity via an antiangiogenic mechanism. Observations in the late 1990s that the microenvironment in the bone marrow plays a role in tumor progression in multiple myeloma provided an impetus to use thalidomide for the treatment of this disease. It is known that thalidomide monotherapy is effective in one-third of refractory cases, and in combination with glucocorticoids and/or antineoplastic drugs, thalidomide provides a response rate of more than 50%. Thus, thalidomide therapy is considered a standard approach for the treatment of relapsed and refractory myeloma. The exact mechanism of the antimyeloma effect of thalidomide is not yet clearly understood. Anti-angiogenic effects, direct activity in tumor cells such as the induction of apoptosis or G1 arrest of the cell cycle, the inhibition of growth factor production, the regulation of interactions between tumor and stromal cells, and the modulation of tumor immunity have been considered as possible mechanisms. In addition to its teratogenicity, the adverse effects of thalidomide have been general symptoms such as somnolence and headache, peripheral neuropathy, constipation, skin rash, and other symptoms. Although these adverse effects are generally reversible and mild, grade 3 and 4 toxicities such as peripheral neuropathy, deep venous thrombosis, neutropenia, and toxic dermal necrosis have occasionally been reported. The application of thalidomide therapy in patients with multiple myeloma is being broadened to include not only cases of refractory myeloma, but also previously untreated cases, as well as for maintenance therapy after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and for the treatment of other hematological diseases. The safe use of this drug will depend on the establishment of diagnostic and treatment guidelines. In addition, the establishment of a nation-wide regulation system is urgently needed in Japan.
ABSTRACT The human faciogenital dysplasia 1 (FGD1) gene product plays an important role in morphogenesis. Its dysfunction causes Aarskog–Scott syndrome (MIM ♯305400). To characterize the FGD1, we investigated its expression by RT–PCR and Southern blot analysis in normal tissues. We found novel alternative forms of the FGD1. One has a novel exon located in intron 8, named exon 8B (8B FDG1) and the other has an exon in intron 7, exon 7B (7B FGD1). The 8B FDG1 is expressed strongly in the brain, testis, spinal cord, trachea and stomach, and weakly in the thymus and lymphocytes. However, expression of the 7B FGD1 is weak and restricted in the testis and salivary gland. Insertion of each novel exon results in production of a premature termination codon, respectively, and the predicted proteins generated from them have only a proline-rich domain and an incomplete DH domain which potentially compete with the wild type of FGD1.
ABSTRACT Fetal nucleated cells in maternal peripheral blood are a non-invasive source of fetal DNA for prenatal genetic diagnosis. However, the number of fetal cells present in maternal peripheral blood is very small. Therefore, fetal cell enrichment is generally considered necessary to allow detection and subsequent genetic analysis of the rare fetal cells. In the study presented here, we performed fetal cell separation from maternal blood using galactose-specific lectin to concentrate fetal nucleated red blood cells (FNRBCs), and attempted paternal diagnosis using polymerase chain reaction–single strand conformation polymorphism (PCR–SSCP). Fetal cell separation was performed using galactose-specific lectin on a PV-MeA coated slide. Twenty cells consisting of an NRBC and its surrounding 19 maternal cells were collected using laser microdissection for stable DNA amplification. DNA analysis was performed using three sequence tagged site markers (D13S270, D17S5, and D18S474) by PCR–SSCP. All seven cases were informative because they showed heterozygosity at least one locus in D13S270, D17S5, or D18S474, and paternal-specific bands were detected in all cases. These results suggest that our proposed lectin-laser–micromanipulation–PCR–SSCP method may contribute to the development of prenatal diagnosis.
ABSTRACT Protocadherin (Pcad) is a group of molecules obtained by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) utilizing the sequence that is well preserved in the extracellular domain of cadherin. Sano et al. analyzed Pcad (PC42,43) that had been cloned from rats, and found that it basically had homology to cadherin, but contained more than six cadherin repeats with a completely different intracellular domains (Sano et al. 1993). In the present study, of the Pcad (Pcad-1,2) cloned from a human cDNA library, as-yet-unspecified Pcad-2 was analyzed for expression in the human fetal central nervous system (CNS). Northern blot analysis of adult human tissue showed that Pcad-2 was expressed in the brain and the placenta, and that Pcad-2 mRNA was expressed in actively dividing neural tumor cell lines. Monoclonal antibodies against Pcad-2 were then made, and the CNS of fetuses were immunohistochemically stained. The expression was hardly visible at the 6th week of pregnancy, and began to become visible along the nerve fiber in the brain stem at the 8th week, and spread over the entire brain at the 11th week. At the 18th week, however, expression in the nerve fascicles, which had been visible by that time, was no longer visible or had decreased. These results suggest that Pcad-2 appears relatively early in the critical stage of development of the fetal CNS, and is involved in the induction, fasciculation, and extension of axons.
ABSTRACT In September 2003, a new revision of the draft guideline (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD] Guideline for the Testing of Chemicals, Proposal for a New Guideline 426, Developmental Neurotoxicity Study) was distributed. The draft guideline consists of 51 paragraphs and an appendix. The National Coordinators were requested to arrange national expert reviews of the guideline proposal in their member countries. The member of the Behavioral Teratology (BT) Committee of the Japanese Teratology Society (JTS) reviewed, discussed and commented on the draft Test Guideline proposal. The BT Committee of the JTS also commented that the International Collaborative Study to validate this protocol should be definitely performed. These comments were sent to the OECD Secretariat. The BT Committee of the JTS expects that the comments are useful for further discussion.