Shortly before the Second World War time, Nishina reported on a series of prominent nuclear physical and radiochemical studies in collaboration with Kimura. They artificially produced 231Th, a member of the natural actinium series of nuclides, by bombarding thorium with fast neutrons. This resulted in the discovery of 237U, a new isotope of uranium, by bombarding uranium with fast neutrons, and confirmed that 237U disintegrates into element 93 with a mass number of 237. They also identified the isotopes of several middle-weighted elements produced by the symmetric fission of uranium. In this review article, the highlights of their work are briefly summarized along with some explanatory commentaries.
Silicon (Si) is the most abundant minerals in soil and exerts beneficial effects on plant growth by alleviating various stresses. The transport of Si from soil to the panicles is mediated by different transporters. Lsi1, belonging to a NIP group of the aquaporin family, is responsible for the uptake of Si from soil into the root cells in both dicots and monocots although its expression patterns and cellular localization differ with plant species. The subsequent transport of Si out of the root cells towards the stele is medicated by an active efflux transporter, Lsi2. Lsi1 and Lsi2 are polarly localized at the distal and proximal sides, respectively, of both exodermis and endodermis in rice root. Silicon in the xylem sap is presented in the form of monosilicic acid and is unloaded by Lsi6, a homolog of Lsi1 in rice. Lsi6 is also involved in the inter-vascular transfer of Si at the node, which is necessary for preferential Si distribution to the panicles.
In IgM paraproteinemia and peripheral neuropathy, IgM M-protein secretion by B cells leads to a T helper cell response, suggesting that it is antibody-mediated autoimmune disease involving carbohydrate epitopes in myelin sheaths. An immune response against sulfoglucuronosyl glycosphingolipids (SGGLs) is presumed to participate in demyelination or axonal degeneration in the peripheral nervous system (PNS). SGGLs contain a 3-sulfoglucuronic acid residue that interacts with anti-myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG) and the monoclonal antibody anti-HNK-1. Immunization of animals with sulfoglucuronosyl paragloboside (SGPG) induced anti-SGPG antibodies and sensory neuropathy, which closely resembles the human disease. These animal models might help to understand the disease mechanism and lead to more specific therapeutic strategies. In an in vitro study, destruction or malfunction of the blood-nerve barrier (BNB) was found, resulting in the leakage of circulating antibodies into the PNS parenchyma, which may be considered as the initial key step for development of disease.
The current status of screening for gastric cancer-risk (gastritis A, B, C, D) method using combined assay for serum anti-Helicobacter pylori (Hp) IgG antibody and serum pepsinogen (PG) levels, “ABC method”, was reviewed and the latest results of our ongoing trial are reported. It was performed using the following strategy: Subjects were classified into 1 of 4 risk groups based on the results of the two serologic tests, anti-Hp IgG antibody titers and the PG I and II levels: Group A [Hp(−)PG(−)], infection-free subjects; Group B [Hp(+)PG(−)], chronic atrophic gastritis (CAG) free or mild; Group C [Hp(+)PG(+)], CAG; Group D [Hp(−)PG(+)]), severe CAG with extensive intestinal metaplasia. Continuous endoscopic follow-up examinations are required to detect early stages of gastric cancer. Asymptomatic Group A, which accounts for 50–80% of all the subjects may be excluded from the secondary endoscopic examination, from the viewpoint of efficiency. Hp-infected subjects should be administered eradication treatment aimed at the prevention of gastric cancer.
Sulfatide is a myelin glycolipid that functions in the formation of paranodal axo-glial junctions in vivo and in the regulation of oligodendrocyte differentiation in vitro. Cerebroside sulfotransferase (CST) catalyzes the production of two sulfated glycolipids, sulfatide and proligodendroblast antigen, in oligodendrocyte lineage cells. Recent studies have demonstrated significant increases in oligodendrocytes from the myelination stage through adulthood in brain and spinal cord under CST-deficient conditions. However, whether these result from excess migration or in situ proliferation during development is undetermined. In the present study, CST-deficient optic nerves were used to examine migration and proliferation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) under sulfated glycolipid-deficient conditions. In adults, more NG2-positive OPCs and fully differentiated cells were observed. In developing optic nerves, the number of cells at the leading edge of migration was similar in CST-deficient and wild-type mice. However, BrdU+ proliferating OPCs were more abundant in CST-deficient mice. These results suggest that sulfated glycolipids may be involved in proliferation of OPCs in vivo.
In order to improve the fat suppression performance of in vivo13C-MRS operating at 3.0 Tesla, a phantom model study was conducted using a combination of two fat suppression techniques; a set of pulses for frequency (chemical shift) selective suppression (CHESS), and spatial saturation (SAT). By optimizing the slab thickness for SAT and the irradiation bandwidth for CHESS, the signals of the –13CH3 peak at 49 ppm and the –13CH2– peak at 26 ppm simulating fat components were suppressed to 5% and 19%, respectively. Combination of these two fat suppression pulses achieved a 53% increase of the height ratio of the glucose C1β peak compared with the sum of all other peaks, indicating better sensitivity for glucose signal detection. This method will be applicable for in vivo13C-MRS by additional adjustment with the in vivo relaxation times of the metabolites.