Saliva plays an important role in the protection of oral cavity and alterations in either salivary flow rate or protein composition may have dramatic effects on oral health. Prevention and management of oral complications of cancer and cancer therapy will improve oral function and quality of life, and reduce morbidity and the cost of care. The aim of this study was to investigate the saliva of patients with breast cancer biochemically and cytologically and compare with healthy controls. Accordingly, lipid peroxidation (LPO), total protein, salivary flow rate, and pH levels were measured in the saliva samples obtained from 20 breast cancer patients and 11 healthy individuals. Tissue factor (TF) is a major regulator of normal hemostasis and thrombosis, and TF activity of saliva samples was evaluated. Under the conditions used, patients with breast cancer present a significant reduction in total protein, pH and LPO levels. Salivary TF activity was higher in breast cancer patients than that in control subjects, but the degree of increase was not statistically significant. In addition, the analysis of saliva samples by SDS polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis showed the retarded mobility of the 66-kDa proteins and the increased proteins of about 36 kDa in the patient group. Some patients with breast cancer had increased number of leucocytes. Importantly, dysplastic cells and yeast cells were detected only in saliva samples of cancer patients. Decreased salivary LPO may be considered as a risk factor for breast cancer.
Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RQ-PCR) has been accepted as integral part of the management of patients with hematologic malignancies. Whereas standardization efforts of RQ-PCR, initiated by Europe Against Cancer (EAC) group, have been gradually widespread in the world, Japanese laboratories use their individual protocol for RQ-PCR analysis. Therefore, we assessed the variability of quantitative results obtained from 4 different laboratories in Japan, including 3 companies and Tohoku University Hospital, using identical peripheral blood or bone marrow samples of patients in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML; n = 11) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML; n = 2). RQ-PCR was designed to quantify the copy numbers of disease-specific fusion chimeras; BCR-ABL (CML) and AML1-ETO (AML). In 5 out of 13 samples, the quantitative results from 4 laboratories varied more than 10 times (up to 712 times). Thus, we next sought to determine factors affecting the variability of RQ-PCR results across laboratories, by sending back RNA and cDNA samples from each company to Tohoku University, and they were further proceed to yield quantitative data. The main difference between companies and Tohoku University was probably due to the difference of blood separation method (Blood lysis or Ficoll-Hypaque). On the other hand, the variability among 4 laboratories was the most noticeable in the PCR step, mainly attributable to the difference of primer/probe sequence among laboratories. In conclusion, our analyses indicate the importance to limit both preanalytical (sample processing) and analytical (RQ-PCR) interlaboratory variability for RQ-PCR protocol, and the need of further efforts on standardization program in Japan.
Excessive visceral fat area (VFA) is a major risk factor in such conditions as cardiovascular disease. In assessing VFA, computed tomography (CT) is adopted as the gold standard; however, this method is cost intensive and involves radiation exposure. In contrast, the bioelectrical impedance (BI) method for estimating body composition is simple and noninvasive and thus its potential application in VFA assessment is being studied. To overcome the difference in obtained impedance due to measurement conditions, we developed a more precise estimation method by selecting the optimum body posture, electrode arrangement, and frequency. The subjects were 73 healthy volunteers, 37 men and 36 women, who underwent CT scans to assess VFA and who were measured for anthropometry parameters, subcutaneous fat layer thickness, abdominal tissue area, and impedance. Impedance was measured by the tetrapolar impedance method using multi-frequency BI. Multiple regression analysis was conducted to estimate VFA. The results revealed a strong correlation between VFA observed by CT and VFA estimated by impedance (r = 0.920). The regression equation accurately classified VFA ≥ 100 cm2 in 13 out of 14 men and 1 of 1 woman. Moreover, it classified VFA ≥ 100 cm2 or < 100 cm2 in 3 out of 4 men and 1 of 1 woman misclassified by waist circumference (W) which was adopted as a simple index to evaluate VFA. Therefore, using this simple and convenient method for estimating VFA, we obtained an accurate assessment of VFA using the BI method.
Oseltamivir has been used for treatment of influenza A and B infections, but recent reports documented that it was less active against the latter. We compared the effectiveness of oseltamivir in children between laboratory confirmed influenza A and B over 4 influenza seasons from 2001 to 2005 in a pediatric clinic in Japan. Among 1,848 patients screened, 299 influenza A and 209 influenza B patients were administered oseltamivir (treated groups), and 28 influenza A and 66 influenza B patients were assigned as non-treated groups. The duration of fever, defined as period when patients had the maximum temperature higher than 37.5°C in three-time measurements in a day after the clinic visit, was evaluated among the four groups. In uni-variate analysis, the duration of fever was shorter for treated group than non-treated for influenza A (1.8 ± 0.9 days vs 2.6 ± 1.3 days, p < 0.01), but it was not significant for influenza B (2.4 ± 1.3 days vs 2.8 ± 1.2 days, p = 0.9). The fever duration was longer in treated influenza B than A patients (p < 0.01). Multi-variate analysis indicated younger age (< 6 years old) and higher body temperature at the clinic visit prolonged the duration of fever. Adjusted average duration of fever indicated that oseltamivir was effective for both types, but more effective on influenza A, and the benefit increased for younger children. Our data provide evidence that oseltamivir is beneficial for influenza infections, but the effectiveness is differed by type and age.
Biofilms can be defined as communities of microorganisms attached to a surface. Those bacterial biofilms cause serious problems, such as antibiotic resistance and medical device-related infections. Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is an important pathogen in respiratory infections, as it forms biofilms both in vitro and in vivo such as human middle ear. Recent reports indicate that otitis media, paranasal sinusitis and lower respiratory tract infections caused by Haemophilus influenzae have become more difficult to treat with oral antibiotic therapy. However, there has been no attention given to antibiotic eradication of NTHi biofilm. To investigate the antimicrobial effect of various antibiotics against NTHi biofilm formation, we conducted the following comparative study using both β-lactamase-negative ampicillin (AMP)-susceptible (BLNAS) and AMP-resistant (BLNAR) NTHi strains. In a microtiter biofilm assay, both levofloxacin and gatifloxacin, of the fluoroquinolone antibiotic group, significantly inhibited biofilm formation by BLNAS and BLNAR NTHi in a dose-dependent fashion compared to ampicillin of the penicillin antibiotic group, cefotaxime of the cephalosporin antibiotic group, and both erythromycin and clarithromycin of the macrolide antibiotic group. Furthermore, in flow cell chamber studies, confocal laser scanning microscopy counted survival bacteria in mature biofilm had been treated with gatifloxacin, ampicillin, cefotaxime and erythromycin. Only gatifloxacin completely killed the BLNAR NTHi isolates within biofilms without regard to the thickness of biofilm formation. The results of this study suggest that fluoroquinolones potentially have a role in therapy against diseases caused by both BLNAS and BLNAR NTHi isolates within biofilms.
In recent years, a dramatic increase of amantadine-resistant influenza A has occurred globally, but limited data have been available on the clinical course of patients developed amantadine-resistant viruses. We compared fever reduction between patients who developed resistance or remained sensitive in a pediatric clinic in Niigata, Japan, from 2000 to 2006. A total of 2,802 clinical samples were collected from patients who visited the pediatric outpatient clinic with influenza like illness during the seven influenza epidemic seasons. Patients were divided into 4 groups and analyzed for the fever reduction after amantadine treatment: emerged amantadine-resistant (n = 15); amantadine-sensitive (n = 35); patients administered no antiviral drugs (n = 42); and oseltamivir-treated patients (n = 320), which served as references. All 4 groups showed alleviation of fever up to day 3. The amantadine-resistant group had a significant recurrence of fever on day 4 and/or 5, and as a consequence, the course of illness was prolonged. Considering the pattern of fever, recurrent and persistent patterns were found significantly at higher rates in children with emerged resistant virus compared to other groups, and the age tended to be younger in amantadine-resistant compared to amantadine-sensitive group (3.9 ± 3.0 vs 6.7 ± 4.1 years old, n.s.). Therefore, we concluded that younger children were prone to develop amantadine-resistance after treatment and showed a significant recurrence of fever on day 4 and/or 5, and the course of illness was consequently prolonged.
Mucin, a major component of mucus, plays an important role in gallstone formation. The molecular mechanisms of mucin overproduction, however, still remain unknown. Several mucin genes (MUC) have been implicated in various diseases and gel-forming mucin genes (MUC2, MUC5AC, MUC5B, and MUC6) were recognized to be the important components of digestive mucus. Furthermore epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) might regulate the function of MUC5AC. The aim of this study was to investigate the expression of MUC5AC mRNA and the possible role of EGFR in the function of MUC5AC. Total twelve patients underwent elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy due to gallstone disease were enrolled (age: 64.6 ± 15.5 years). The control group included two patients who underwent cholecystectomy without stone. The expression levels of MUC5AC and EGFR mRNAs were analyzed in gallbladder tissues using real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assay. The expression levels of MUC5AC mRNA were increased in gallstone patients compared with those in control subjects, ranging from 2.5 to 1558 folds (mean 512.8 ± 493.6 folds, p = 0.004). In contrast, the expression levels of EGFR mRNA were decreased in all patients (mean 0.378 ± 0.322 fold, p = 0.002), and negative correlation was found between MUC5AC and EGFR (p = 0.02). There was no significant difference according to age, body mass index, and stone composition in the expression levels of MUC5AC and EGFR mRNAs. In conclusion, MUC5AC is over-expressed in gallstone disease, despite the decrease in the expression of EGFR mRNA. MUC5AC may be related to mucus hypersecretion.
Transcranial Doppler sonography (TCD) is a non-invasive diagnostic tool enabling evaluation of blood flow characteristics of basal intracerebral vessels via thin calvarian regions. Several factors may affect the normal values of cerebral hemodynamic parameters, and standard reference values for each laboratory are needed for precise interpretation of the results. The aims of this study were to determine normal values of flow velocities of basal cerebral arteries of our TCD laboratory, and to study the influence of age and gender on normal values. We studied 63 healthy volunteers (30 male and 33 females; age range, 5 - 69 years old) with TCD with a 2-MHz transcranial probe. The subjects were divided into 7 age groups: 5-10 years, 11-20 years, 21-30 years, 31-40 years, 41-50 years, 51-60 years and > 60 years. Mean velocity (V mean), peak systolic velocity (PSV), and end-diastolic velocities (EDV) were determined in middle, anterior and posterior cerebral arteries. No significant gender difference was found. However, there was a decrease in blood flow velocities in all vessels with advancing age, which was significant when subjects older than 40 years and ≤ 40 years old were compared. V mean, PSV and EDV values were highest in the age group of 5 - 10 years old and lowest in volunteers older than the age of 60 (p < 0.05). As a conclusion, flow velocities in basal cerebral arteries range widely and are significantly age-related. Age matching of TCD data is a requirement for clinically relevant conclusions.
We have recently demonstrated that the low-energy extracorporeal cardiac shock wave (SW) therapy improves myocardial perfusion and cardiac function in a porcine model of chronic myocardial ischemia and also ameliorates myocardial ischemia in patients with severe coronary artery disease. The present study was designed to examine whether our SW therapy also is effective to ameliorate hindlimb ischemia in rabbits. Hindlimb ischemia was made by surgical excision of the entire unilateral rabbit femoral artery. One week after the operation, we performed the SW (n = 9) or sham-therapy (n = 9) to the ischemic region 3 times a week for 3 weeks. Three weeks after the SW therapy, the development of collateral arteries, the flow ratio of the ischemic/non-ischemic common iliac arteries, the blood pressure ratio of the ischemic/non-ischemic hindlimb, and the capillary density in the ischemic muscles were all significantly increased in the SW group compared with the control group, indicating that the SW therapy induced therapeutic angiogenesis. Importantly, no adverse effect, such as muscle damage, hemorrhage, or thrombosis, was noted with the therapy. Finally, we examined the role of endothelial nitric oxide synthesis (eNOS) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the mechanisms of SW-induced angiogenesis on day 28. The expression levels of eNOS and VEGF proteins in ischemic hindlimb muscles tended to be increased in the SW group compared with the control group. These results suggest that our low-energy SW therapy also is effective and safe for the treatment of peripheral artery disease.
In allogeneic stem cell transplantation, immune reactions can occur in 2 directions. The recipient's lymphocytes can recognize the donor's cells as “foreign” and attempt to kill them, which results in the host-versus-graft (HVG) reaction that is commonly termed graft rejection. The other direction is the graft-versus-host (GVH) reaction. When the recipient is homozygous at a mismatched human leukocyte antigen (HLA) locus, HLA disparity is present only in the former direction and not in the latter direction. If transplants harvested from such an HVG-mismatched donor can be used to achieve stable engraftment with minimal toxicity, then these donors can potentially be a useful alternative donor source. Here, we report 2 patients (1 with acute myeloblastic leukemia and another with lymphoblastic lymphoma) who were transplanted with peripheral blood stem cells (PBSCs) obtained from related donors mismatched at 2 HLA loci in the HVG direction but completely matched in the GVH direction. Our conditioning regimen, consisting of busulfan, cyclophosphamide, low-dose total body irradiation (TBI) (4 Gy), and fludarabine, achieved successful engraftment with an acceptable level of regimen-related toxicity. Our experience suggests that PBSC transplantation with an HVG-mismatched related donor and an appropriate conditioning regimen may be a therapeutic option for patients in whom early transplantation is desirable.