Staphylococcal toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (TSST-1), a superantigenic toxin produced by Staphylococcus (S.) aureus, is a major cause of septic shock and toxic shock syndrome. To investigate whether vaccination with a plasmid DNA encoding a non-toxic mutant TSST-1 (mTSST-1) can protect mice against wild-type TSST-1-induced lethal shock, the mice were intranasally immunized with the plasmid DNA (named pcDNA-mTSST-1) plus a mucosal adjuvant, a non-toxic mutant labile toxin (mLT). After the immunization, the mice were challenged with TSST-1 and lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The survival rate of mice immunized with pcDNA-mTSST-1 plus mLT was higher than that of the control mice immunized with PBS alone, mLT alone, pcDNA-mTSST-1 alone, or a parent plasmid plus mLT. The titers of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) in the sera of mice immunized with pcDNA-mTSST-1 plus mLT were significantly lower than those of the mLT control mice. Immunization with pcDNA-mTSST-1 plus mLT increased the serum levels of TSST-1-specific antibodies, especially immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) and IgG2a subclasses. Furthermore, the sera obtained from mice immunized with pcDNA-mTSST-1 plus mLT significantly inhibited the TSST-1-induced secretion of IFN-γ and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in murine spleen cells in vitro. These results indicate that immunization with pcDNA-mTSST-1 plus mLT provides protection against the lethal toxic shock of mice induced by wild-type TSST-1. The protective effect could be due to TSST-1-specific neutralizing antibodies as well as the inhibition of IFN-γ and TNF-α secretions. Since TSST-1 is commonly released by invasive S. aureus, the pcDNA-mTSST-1 should be useful in preventing toxin-induced shock resulting from S. aureus infection.
Mitochondrial disorder (MtD) is usually a multisystem disease due to impaired mitochondrial energy production. Severe hypokalemia resulting in muscle weakness and rhabdomyolysis has not been reported as a phenotypic feature of MtD. Here we describe a 60-year-old male patient who developed myalgias followed by generalized muscle weakness a few days before admission. Symptoms were attributed to severe hypokalemia that occurred after the patient had discontinued spironolactone, a competitive antagonist of the aldosterone receptor, four months earlier on his own judgment. Spironolactone was given for 10 years to treat suspected primary hyperaldosteronism (Conn’s syndrome). He presented with myopathic face, bilateral ptosis, hypertelorism, brachydactylia, weakness of the axial and limb muscles, and bilateral leg edema. Hypertelorism and brachydactylia are known as physical traits of MtD. Laboratory investigations revealed hypokalemia of 1.7 mmol/l and elevated serum levels of creatine kinase (2,772 U/l). Electrocardiogram showed sinus rhythm, left bundle-branch-block, repolarization abnormalities, and prolonged QTc (571 ms), which is associated with a propensity to ventricular arrhythmias. Diagnostic work-up revealed bilateral adenomas of the suprarenal glands. Conn’s syndrome was regarded as a manifestation of MtD, since MtDs are frequently associated with endocrine abnormalities. The patient also presented with occasional double vision, ptosis, renal insufficiency, bilateral renal cysts, hypertriglyceridemia, arterial hypertension, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Taken together, we have made the diagnosis of MtD. In conclusion, MtD may be associated with adrenal adenomas, which may cause severe symptomatic hypokalemia, manifesting as generalized weakness and myalgias due to rhabdomyolysis. Endocrine involvement may be a phenotypic feature of MtD.
Recently, aging population and immuno-compromised patients have been rising in Japan. Accordingly, patients with pyogenic spondylitis have been increasing and may present atypical clinical features. University hospitals treat many elderly patients and patients with poor general condition. Therefore, patients with pyogenic spondylitis treated at two university hospitals were retrospectively investigated to clarify the recent clinical and radiologic characteristics of this infection. There were 30 patients (average age: 68 years) treated in two university hospitals between 2009 and 2010. The onset was acute or subacute in 15 patients, insidious in 7 and unclassified in 8. Culture tests were performed in 25 patients, and the causative microorganisms were identified in 20 patients with the identification rate of 80%, including 4 patients infected by methicillin-resistant staphylococci. Classically, active pyogenic spondylitis is characterized by typical findings on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): obvious signal decrease in T1-weighted image (WI) and increase in T2WI with contrast enhancement found in most of the bodies of two adjacent vertebrae and the intervening intervertebral disc. Among 29 patients with active pyogenic spondylitis, whose lesions were not in the healing stage, 16 patients demonstrated at least one of the atypical MRI findings; 9 patients showed involvement ≥ 3 vertebrae or only 1 vertebra, 5 showed the signal changes of the lesions involving small, spotty, or faint areas, and 3 showed small vertebral lesions but larger epidural or paraspinal abscesses. In conclusion, currently, about half of the patients with pyogenic spondylitis demonstrate atypical MRI findings in the university hospitals in Japan.
Adenocarcinoma arising from the ampulla of Vater is a rare disease and has limited data regarding outcome of chemotherapy. The ampulla of Vater is a heterogeneous junctional structure located at the union of the common bile duct, the pancreatic duct, and the small intestine. Thus, ampullary adenocarcinoma is classified as either intestinal type or pancreatobiliary type. We investigated the efficacy of the XELOX (capecitabine plus oxaliplatin) chemotherapy in patients with recurrent or metastatic ampullary adenocarcinoma, and analyzed the histopathologic features and outcomes. From November 2009 to December 2011, 21 patients were treated with XELOX regimen. XELOX was administered in outpatient clinic every 3 weeks according to the following protocol: oral administration of capecitabine 750 mg/m2 twice a day on days 1-14 and intravenous injection of oxaliplatin 130 mg/m2 on day 1. With follow-up of median 16.6 months, median time to progression (TTP) was 7.6 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 6.7-8.5), and median overall survival was 19.7 months (95% CI, 14.8-23.6). Two patients (9%) achieved complete response and 6 patients (29%) showed partial response. In subgroup analysis with tissue specimens obtained from 17 patients, median TTP was longer among patients with the intestinal-type adenocarcinoma (n = 7), compared to those with the pancreatobiliary type (n = 10) (13.1 vs. 6.4 months, P = 0.038). The most common grade 3-4 adverse event was neutropenia (27%), and most events were mild. XELOX chemotherapy shows favorable efficacy with manageable toxicity for advanced intestinal-type ampullary adenocarcinoma.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can cause dyspeptic symptoms, including abdominal pain. Gastric mucus is important as the first line of defense against luminal irritants. In the present study, we investigated whether gastric mucus secretion could influence the severity of gastric mucosal injuries or NSAID-induced dyspeptic symptoms. Fifteen Helicobacter pylori-negative, healthy males were administered two types of NSAIDs, a non-selective cyclooxygenase inhibitor, naproxen (300 mg, twice a day), or a cyclooxygenase-2-selective inhibitor, etodolac (200 mg, twice a day), for 1 week in a crossover study, with an interval of ≥ 4 weeks. Study participants underwent endoscopic examinations before and after treatment. Pentagastrin-stimulated gastric secretions were collected for 10 min during endoscopic examinations, and were analyzed for gastric acid levels (mEq/10 min) and mucus output (mg hexose/10 min). The grade of gastric mucosal injury was assessed endoscopically. Among 29 subjects who completed the crossover study, 11 individuals reported abdominal pain following the administration of naproxen or etodolac for 1 week, as judged by elevated pain scores, while 18 individuals did not report abdominal pain. The occurrence of symptoms was not associated with the type of NSAIDs administered or the occurrence of erosive injury visualized by endoscopy. Gastric mucus secretion was significantly increased in subjects without drug-induced abdominal pain (P < 0.05), whereas it was significantly reduced in those with drug-induced abdominal pain (P < 0.05). In conclusion, the occurrence of NSAID-induced abdominal pain is associated with reduced levels of gastric mucus secretion rather than the occurrence of endoscopic mucosal injury.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is marked by difficulty in falling asleep, difficulty in maintaining sleep, and/or early morning awakening. Difficulty in falling asleep is particularly common in young adults, and sleep onset is affected by psychological factors. The purpose of the present study was to identify the physical and mental factors related to the subjective evaluation of falling asleep among Japanese university students. The participants were 366 students, including 197 (53.8%) females, with a mean age of 20.6 ± 1.7 years. The questionnaire battery mainly covered items about sleep onset, sleep quality, trait anxiety, and general mental state. Sleep onset was categorized as “easy to achieve” for 121 (33.1%) subjects, “difficult” for 38 (10.4%), and “intermediate” for 207 (56.6%). For example, “difficult” was defined as taking a longer time to fall asleep. The subjects with difficult sleep onset reported significantly higher awareness of the smell and noises in the bedroom, body sensations such as a heavy stomach feeling and frequent rolling over, mental agitation and excitement, unstable mental state, negative state, and strain. The subjects with difficult sleep onset also showed less sleep comfort and less recovery from fatigue. A multinominal logistic regression analysis revealed that each of body sensation, sleep comfort, unstable mental state, and fatigue influenced whether an individual had the difficult type. Anxiety-related factors at bedtime, in particular, may delay the sleep onset. The results of the present study indicate that many university students may be at risk of sleep-onset insomnia.
Glomerular epithelial cells (GECs) are known to play a key role in maintaining the structure and function of the glomerulus. GEC injury induced by hyperglycemia is present in early-stage diabetic nephropathy (DN), which is the most common cause of renal failure. In an attempt to identify target proteins involved in the pathogenesis of GEC injury at early DN, we performed the proteomic analysis using primary cultures of GECs, prepared from the dissected rat glomeruli. The protein expression profiles in the two-dimensional electrophoresis gels were compared between GECs treated for three days with normal glucose (5 mM) and those with high glucose (30 mM) concentrations. These concentrations correspond to blood glucose concentrations under normoglycemia and hyperglycemia, respectively. Proteins with differential expression levels were identified using ESI-Q-TOF tandem mass spectrometry. The primary GECs cultured in hyperglycemic conditions showed cellular hypertrophy and increased production of reactive oxygen species, both of which reflect the GEC injury. Our proteomic analysis identified eight proteins with differential expression profiles, depending on glucose concentrations. Among them, we selected ATP synthase β subunit and enolase 2 that are related to energy metabolism and are down-regulated under hyperglycemia, and confirmed that hyperglycemia decreased the expression levels of ATP synthase β subunit and enolase 2 proteins by western blotting analysis. Hyperglycemia may impair mitochondrial function and alter glycolysis in GECs by down-regulating the expression of ATP synthase β subunit and enolase 2. The present study may provide a better understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms of GEC injury in early DN.
Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is one of the incretins, gut hormones released from the intestine in response to food intake. GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonists have been used to treat type 2 diabetes. Here, we studied the effect of the administration of a GLP-1R agonist, liraglutide, on proteinuria and the progression of overt DN in type 2 diabetic patients. Twenty-three type 2 diabetic patients with overt DN, who had already been treated with blockade of renin-angiotensin system under dietary sodium restriction, were given liraglutide for a period of 12 months. Treatment with liraglutide caused a significant decrease in HbA1c from 7.4 ± 0.2% to 6.9 ± 0.3% (p = 0.04), and in body mass index (BMI) from 27.6 ± 0.9 kg/m2 to 26.5 ± 0.8 kg/m2 after 12 months (p < 0.001), while systolic blood pressure did not change. The progression of DN was determined as the rate of decline in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). The 12-month administration of liraglutide caused a significant decrease in proteinuria from 2.53 ± 0.48 g/g creatinine to 1.47 ± 0.28 g/g creatinine (p = 0.002). The administration of liraglutide also substantially diminished the rate of decline in eGFR from 6.6 ± 1.5 mL/min/1.73 m2/year to 0.3 ± 1.9 mL/min/1.73 m2/year (p = 0.003). Liraglutide can be used not only for reducing HbA1c and BMI, but also for attenuating the progression of nephropathy in type 2 diabetic patients.
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are ω3-polyunsaturated fatty acids mainly contained in the blue-backed fish oil, and are effective in decreasing the lipids disorder and the cardiovascular incidence among diabetic patients. Moreover, it has been suggested that EPA and DHA may improve the insulin resistance and glucose metabolism. However, the clinical effects of EPA and DHA on glucose metabolism remain unclear. We aimed to clarify the effects of EPA/DHA treatment on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus. This study was a multicenter prospective randomized controlled trial involving 30 elderly type 2 diabetic patients on a liquid diet. Their exercises were almost zero and the content of their meals was strictly managed and understood well. Therefore, the difference by the individual's life was a minimum. The subjects were divided into two groups: those receiving EPA/DHA-rich liquid diet [EPA/DHA (+)] or liquid diet lacking EPA/DHA [EPA/DHA (−)]. Changes in factors related to glucose and lipid metabolism were assessed after the three-month study. Serum concentrations of EPA rose in EPA/DHA (+), although the levels of DHA and fasting C-peptide remained unchanged in EPA/DHA (+). In addition, there was a significant decline in the fasting plasma glucose (FPG), hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), fasting remnant-like particles and apolipoprotein (apo) B in EPA/DHA (+), compared with the values in EPA/DHA (−). EPA/DHA-rich diet might improve glucose metabolism in elderly type 2 diabetic patients on a liquid diet. This phenomenon may be due to the improved insulin resistance mediated by the rise in serum EPA concentrations.