Corneal transplantation is the most commonly performed tissue transplantation worldwide. Despite very high (above 90%) survival rates in recipients with nonvascularized and noninflamed graft beds, survival rates significantly decline (under 50%) when grafts are placed onto vascularized or inflamed host beds associated with conditions such as previous graft rejection, infection, or trauma. These results are seen despite treatment with high doses of nonspecific immunosuppressive medications, which often do not promote long-term survival. Therefore, new strategies are required to modulate the immune system without conventional immunosuppressive agents and improve transplant survival in “high-risk” patients with inflamed host beds. Regulatory T-cells (Treg) are key modulators of the immune response and may play a crucial role in a new therapy for high-risk corneal transplantation.
Here we introduce the murine high-risk corneal transplantation model and review the implications of Tregs for corneal transplantation.
Schizophrenia is a debilitating disorder with a prevalence of approximately 0.5%-1% within any given population. The pathophysiology of schizophrenia involves complex genetic, environmental, and psychological etiologies. Here we summarize 26 years of research completed by the Juntendo University Schizophrenia Projects study group on the “biopsychosocial model” of schizophrenia. Clinical brain morphological abnormalities in schizophrenia were detected with magnetic resonance imaging, and these findings led to gene expression analyses of neurotransmitters. The familial aggregation pattern in schizophrenia led to the completion of genetic studies, including linkage and genome-wide analyses, and studies on environmental factors, such as nutrition, aging, stress, and inflammation. Furthermore, we developed a collaborative multicenter study that consisted of a large number of samples. This study enabled us to clearly identify the relevant pathophysiology of schizophrenia, including genetics, altered neurotransmission, brain morphology, and clinical features.
Heat shock protein 27 (HSP27) is a multidimensional protein that acts as a protein chaperone and an antioxidant and plays a role in the inhibition of apoptosis and actin cytoskeletal remodeling. In each of these capacities, HSP27 has been implicated in protective roles in various disease states. The current review presents HSP27 in multiple disease contexts, including neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases, highlighting its role as a potential therapeutic target.
An appropriate dietary intake is critical to sustaining health and performance in chronic disease patients and highly active individuals such as athletes. Research has shown that chronic renal failure patients benefit greatly by complementing traditional medical treatments with medical nutrition therapy (MNT). The role of MNT is to reduce the risk of complications in pre-existing conditions as well as ameliorating any existing conditions. For highly active athletes it serves as preventative care.
Yabuki hospital has created an original MNT system for renal failure patients, high school athletes and a local restaurant. The MNT program involves a nutritional assessment of patient’s or athlete’s dietary patterns coupled with results of laboratory testing. Other aspects of the program include conducting daily or monthly one-on-one consultations with patients, serving low-salt, low-fat meals, and hosting cooking classes for renal patients and their families in the in-hospital restaurant and kitchen. For athletes, those with problematic assessments are counseled by a dietician with their parents present.
One result of the program is that renal patients who eat MNT meals provided by the in-hospital restaurant are less likely to gain weight. As well, both athletes and renal patients are more likely to comply with their recommended diets on their own.
Objective: Cerebrovascular impairment and secondary inflammatory responses are important in bacterial meningitis-associated brain damage. The purpose of the study was to evaluate matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) as a marker for brain damage in bacterial meningitis.
Materials: The subjects were 31 pediatric patients, including 12 with bacterial meningitis, 12 with aseptic meningitis, and 7 with other infections of the central nervous system.
Methods: Several potential markers, including MMP-9 in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), were measured in all the pediatric patients.
Results: Children with bacterial meningitis had a significantly higher level of CSF MMP-9 compared to those with other diseases aseptic meningitis and encephalitis/encephalopathy. CSF levels of MMP-9 in the 6 patients without complications markedly decreased in the recovery phase, while those of the 6 patients with complications remained high or re-elevated. CSF MMP-9 in the recovery phase was significantly higher (p<0.01) in patients with complications.
Conclusion: The CSF MMP-9 level may be a useful prognostic marker in pediatric patients with bacterial meningitis.
TIM family molecules may have an important role in diseases including autoimmunity and asthma. A PhD student in our class read journal reviews before contradictions in the study findings were discussed by a working group and all students.
Pluripotent stem cells have the potential to differentiate into all cell types in the mammalian body. Since human embryonic stem (ES) cells were established in 1998, they were expected to be an ideal cell source for regenerative medicine. To obtain genetically matched ES cells, somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) was considered to be the most promising technology; however, human SCNT was not performed until 2013. In 2006, Takahashi and Yamanaka reported that only four transcription factors are required to reprogram mouse fibroblasts into an ES cell-like state. These cells were termed induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and human iPSCs were successfully generated in 2007. Although neural stem cells (NSCs) derived from human iPSCs improve motor function in animal models of spinal cord injury, rapid preparation of patient-specific NSCs is required for future regenerative medicine using autografts. iPSCs are also useful in disease modeling using patient-specific iPSCs established from patients with various diseases. We recently showed that T-cell-derived iPSCs can be employed for neural disease modeling using a robust differentiation protocol and that the regional identity of neural cells can be controlled by adding small molecules. Thus, iPSC and reprogramming technologies are valuable in both cellular transplantation and disease modeling.