Fibroblasts, the majority of non-cardiomyocytes in the heart, are known to release several kinds of substances such as cytokines and hormones that affect cell and tissue functions. We hypothesized that undefined substance(s) derived from cardiac fibroblasts may have the potential to protect against ischemic myocardium. To assess our hypothesis, using rats, we investigated: 1) the effect of cardiac fibroblast-conditioned medium (CM) on the viability of hypoxic cardiomyocytes in vitro, 2) the effect of CM on left ventricular (LV) function in global ischemia-reperfusion in an ex vivo model, 3) the mechanism underlying cardioprotection by CM. Seventy-two hours after starting a hypoxic culture, the viability of cardiomyocytes was higher (P < 0.05) in the CM treated group (41.4%) compared to the control (20.5%). In Langendorff's preparation, 30 min after ischemia-reperfusion, LV end-diastolic pressure was lower, and LV developed pressure and −LVdP/dt were higher (P < 0.01 or P < 0.05) in the CM group than in the control, although coronary flow did not differ between the two groups. Pretreatment with a protein kinase C inhibitor or a mitochondrial ATP-sensitive K+ channel blocker attenuated these changes of LV function in the CM group. Such cardioprotection was achieved by a fraction of the CM having a molecular weight (MW) > 50,000, but not by that of the CM with a lower MW. In addition, a specific antibody against hepatocyte growth factor (HGF, MW is 84,000) did not reduce the cardioprotection afforded by CM. There may be an unknown cardioprotective substance other than HGF in rats, which mimics ischemic preconditioning and has MW > 50,000.
Although several studies have indicated that (−)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and lycopene, representative dietary antioxidants, inhibit chemically induced animal tumorigenesis, only a few studies have examined the inhibitory effects of these compounds on spontaneous liver tumorigenesis in rodents. In this study, we investigated the inhibitory effects of these compounds on the formation of spontaneous liver tumors in C3H/HeN mice. We used xeroderma pigmentosum group A (XPA) gene-deficient mice to simultaneously examine whether the knockout mice could be used as a sensitive animal model. In addition, we examined the levels of 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG)—a marker of reactive oxygen species-induced DNA injury—in liver tissue. Male XPA +/+, XPA +/−, and XPA −/− mice with a C3H/HeN genetic background were divided into 3 groups: control, EGCG, and lycopene. Autopsy at 18 months of age revealed that EGCG and lycopene did not exhibit obvious suppressive effects on the development of liver tumors in any XPA genotype; further, the XPA genotype did not influence any susceptibility to liver tumors. With regard to 8-OHdG levels in non-tumorous liver tissue at 8 months of age, EGCG showed no significant inhibitory effects and lycopene showed significant inhibitory effects only in XPA +/− mice. The present study demonstrates that contrary to previous reports of the inhibitory effects of EGCG and lycopene on the development of various carcinogen-induced animal tumors, these compounds exert no chemopreventive effects on spontaneous liver tumorigenesis in C3H/HeN mice. EGCG and lycopene may inhibit carcinogen-induced tumors through properties other than their antioxidant abilities.
The occurrence of drug resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae) is very high in Japan. Unnecessary use of antibiotics had been thought to cause this problem but previous studies had not clearly showed that the decreasing rate of antibiotic use had been related to the reduction of the prevalence of resistant strains. In this study, we tried to prove that non-antibiotic treatment for common cold would reduce the antibiotic resistant S. pneumoniae in nasopharynx in children. Forty-five children with the common cold were randomly selected from pediatric patients who had taken antibiotics within the past three months. We collected nasopharyngeal swabs from all of the participants and once again after a period of 2 to 3 months without using any antibiotics. Twenty-four of these patients had the S. pneumoniae strains isolated. Then these strains were undergone a susceptibility test and drug-resistant gene detection. The susceptibility test reveled that patients with penicillin-resistant strains decreased from 17 to 7 (p< 0.01). The test also reveled that the decreased number of patients had strains that were resistant to cefditren. The gene detection revealed that none of the patients acquired a higher resistance to penicillin. Our study suggests that the treatment without antibiotics reduces the drug-resistant S. pneumoniae. Controlled antibiotic use in children might prevent children from carrying the antibiotic resistant S. pneumoniae.
We report a schwannoma of the gallbladder in a 58-year-old man who was diagnosed as cholecystolithiasis. He presented with recurrent episodes of abdominal pain in the right upper quadrant. The abdominal computed tomography scan and ultrasonography revealed stones about 15 mm in diameter in the gallbladder. Under the diagnosis of cholecystolithiasis, laparoscopic cholecystectomy was performed. The resected specimen showed chronic cholecystitis and no suspicion of neoplasm. Pathological examination revealed that the tumor consist of spindle cells without atypical appearance at small area of fundus. Immunohistologically, tumor cells were positive for S-100 protein and negative for alpha-SMA and c-kit, the lesion was diagnosed as schwannoma.
Congenital partial absence of a fallopian tube has rarely been reported in the literature. A 29-year-old nulligravida woman presented with a two-year history of infertility. Hysterosalpingography revealed an obstructed left fallopian tube with a normal uterine cavity and right fallopian tube. After several AIH treatments, diagnostic laparoscopy was performed, revealing segmental absence of the mid portion of the left fallopian tube. Only a 1-cm stump of the left fallopian tube remained, the majority of the isthmic portion was absent. A 3-cm distal ampullary portion with normal-appearing fimbria was attached to the left pelvic sidewall near the pelvic brim. No other abnormal findings were observed for the uterus, right fallopian tube, and ligaments surrounding the uterus. There are two possible etiologies of partial absence of the fallopian tube: congenital absence associated with developmental alterations of the Müllerian ducts or asymptomatic torsion followed by autoamputation and reabsorption.
Henoch-Schoenlein purpura (HSP) is a systemic disorder characterized by leukocytoclastic vasculitis involving the capillaries with IgA immune complexes deposition, and about 7% of patients with HSP experience recurrence. Most patients with recurring of HSP nephritis show a recurrence of clinical symptoms over a period ranging from 2 to 5 months, even after the disappearance of initial symptoms. Here we report a 9-year-old girl diagnosed with recurrent HSP and severe crescentic glomerulonephritis 3 years after complete resolution of the initial symptoms of HSP. Our case is unique in respect of the recurrence at more than 3 years after the complete resolution of initial symptoms, suggesting that careful follow-up is required in spite of improved renal symptoms in cases of HSP.
We report a case of diabetic mastopathy in an elderly woman with type II diabetes. The patient, a 66-year-old woman with a 6-year history of diabetes mellitus, has been received an oral diabetic agent. She noticed a lump in her right breast two months previously. Mammography of the breast showed a low density mass, but there was no microcalcification or architectural distortion. Ultrasonography of the lesion revealed a hypoechoic mass with a distinct margin. Fine needle aspiration cytology was performed but sufficient tissue was not obtained. However, a cluster of small epithelial cells with nucleus swelling and increased chromatin was demonstrated. Excisional biopsy was performed and diabetic mastopathy was demonstrated histologically.
Recently, the importance of research capacity development has been rediscovered as a vital approach to help strengthen health systems for improved global health. The University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Ho Chi Minh City (UMP) in Vietnam in collaboration with the Department of Public Health at the Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine (PHFMU) developed an epidemiology training course for mid-career Vietnamese physicians. We trained a total of 128 participants over four courses since 2004. In order to balance basic and advanced course content for first-time and returning participants, we encouraged active participation of past graduates in teaching Course IV in 2009. Not only did this provide further training opportunities for advanced learners, it also increased project ownership by Vietnamese participants. Although more rigorous evaluation is needed, we believe that this summary of our past activities presents a useful example for others undertaking similar initiatives. To further upgrade the project in Vietnam, institutional support is required to nurture a strong scientific emphasis as well as self-sustainability in research capacity development.
The purpose of this study is to identify the problems in operating an emergency medical service helicopter with an emergency medicine doctor on board (doctor-helicopter) in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, which covers wide regions and many rural areas. The study looked at the numbers of flights and patients during the 523 days since the start of the doctor-helicopter service at the Fukushima Medical University Hospital. The items investigated were: number of flights, number of helicopter dispatches per month, number of patients, the hospitals where patients were taken to, the fire department dispatch centers that requested the doctor-helicopter, and the number of times each doctor flew on the helicopter. There were 450 flights. When the service was started, there were a few flights, but they gradually increased. The majority of the flights were to emergency scenes (295), while 75 flights were interfacility transports of critically ill patients, 79 flights were cancelled after take-off, and one flight was for a disaster relief operation. The nature of requests differed greatly depending on the fire department dispatch center requesting the service. The majority of patients were trauma patients (62.2%). Stroke (8.5%) and acute coronary syndrome (5.2%) patients requiring emergency treatment were fewer than anticipated. The final destination hospitals were appropriate hospitals in the region. Because the number of flight doctors is small, the burden on individual doctors is large. A system for early on-site diagnosis and helicopter request by emergency rescue team is required to maintain a high quality of emergency care.
The number of children with undesirable lifestyles has recently increased. We tested the hypothesis that maternal feelings about pregnancy might be associated with their attitude towards promoting healthy lifestyles in their children. We used a city database collected from guardians of 204 randomly selected children aged 1 to 3 years in Nihonmatsu City, Fukushima. Maternal feeling about pregnancy was measured using a 10-point scale, and a child lifestyle score was calculated as the sum of desirable lifestyle habits (sleeping, eating, watching TV/videos, and tooth brushing). Associations between maternal feeling and her child's lifestyles were examined with multiple logistic regression analysis. For all lifestyle items, proportion of children with undesirable lifestyle habits was higher in the “ unhappy group” (those who scored 1 to 9) than in the “ happy group” (those who scored 10). In particular, a child's short sleeping hours (odds ratio [OR]=3.01) and lifestyle score of less than 3 ([OR]=3.60) were significantly associated with unhappy feelings. This was apparent among mothers aged 29 (median age) or younger. Our results indicate an association between a mother's unhappy feelings about pregnancy and her child's undesirable lifestyle, especially among relatively younger mothers. These findings provide public health implications important for early familial intervention to improve children's lifestyles.