Infants with Down syndrome (DS) are at risk of developing a transient myeloproliferative disorder during the neonatal period, known as transient abnormal myelopoiesis (TAM). It is characterized by clonal myeloproliferation and is typically self-limiting. However, TAM can be a life-threatening disorder, when complicated by liver fibrosis. Here, we evaluated cytokine profiles in two male DS infants having TAM with or without liver dysfunction. The first patient, Patient 1, had hyperleukocytosis with cholestatic liver dysfunction, coagulopathy, and increased counts of blasts and was treated with exchange transfusion (ExT) due to the serious general condition. In Patient 1, serum interleukin (IL)-8 and plasma transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 levels were markedly elevated before ExT (1,518.2 pg/mL and 17,635 pg/mL, respectively). After ExT, serum IL-8 and plasma TGF-β1 levels decreased to 40.7 pg/mL and 6,847 pg/mL, respectively. However, Patient 1 died on day 56 due to cholestatic liver dysfunction; namely, this patient represents fatal TAM. The second patient, Patient 2, had hyperleukocytosis with increased counts of blasts without liver dysfunction and was treated with cytarabine. In Patient 2, plasma TGF-β1 levels, but not plasma IL-8, were elevated (9,068 pg/mL and 28 pg/mL, respectively). Patient 2 was discharged on day 47. In summary, plasma TGF-β1 levels were elevated in the two DS infants with TAM, regardless of the presence or absence of hepatic fibrosis. Importantly, fatal TAM is assoicated with the elevated serum level of IL-8. We thus propose that IL-8 may be involved in the pathogenesis of liver fibrosis.
Surgical ligation for patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in extremely low birth weight infants (ELBWIs) has been shown a possible association with neurodevelopmental impairment (NDI) because of its invasiveness. However, we have undergone surgical ligation for ELBWIs immediately after cyclooxygenase inhibitor failed to close a hemodynamically significant PDA (hsPDA) to maintain proper systemic circulation. We aimed to determine the effect of surgical ligation for hsPDA on NDI in ELBWIs. In enrolled 71 ELBWIs, the clinical parameters, including the developmental quotient (DQ), were collected and compared among three groups that were divided by closure mode: spontaneous closure (n = 11), cyclooxygenase inhibitor therapy (n = 37) and surgical ligation (n = 23). No significant differences in DQ at the age of 36 months among the three groups were found: Median (interquartile range): 92.0 (31.0), 89.0 (22.0) and 92.0 (24.5), respectively. In a comparison between groups of DQ < 70 (n = 15) and DQ ≥ 70 (n = 56), a significant difference was found in the parameters related to prematurity (p < 0.05 for each): gestational age [23.9 (1.70) vs. 25.4 (2.50) weeks], birth weight [595 (183) vs. 714 (192) g], Apgar score < 5 (1 min) (67% vs. 36%), and laser photocoagulation for retinopathy of prematurity (73% vs. 43%), but there was no significant association with hsPDA. Therefore, we propose that surgical ligation for hsPDA in ELBWIs should be immediately carried out for preventing future neurodevelopmental deterioration if the cyclooxygenase inhibitor failed to close hsPDA.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), manifesting as Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), is characterized by recurring episodes of inflammation in gastrointestinal tract, in which aberrant production of regulatory cytokine interleukin-10 (IL-10) presumably plays important role. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that affect IL-10 production, such as rs1800896 (G/A) at position -1082 and rs1800871 (C/T) at position -819 in the promoter region of the IL10 gene, have been associated with CD and/or UC, but the results were inconsistent. Another SNP that may alter IL-10 production, rs3024505 (C/T) located immediately downstream of the IL10 gene has been recently identified. T allele of rs3024505 was associated with both UC and CD in Western populations, but the studies from East European countries are lacking. Therefore, our aim was to assess the association of rs3024505, rs1800896 and rs1800871 with Serbian IBD patients. To this end, 107 CD and 99 UC patients and 255 healthy controls were genotyped. As a result, T allele of rs3024505 was associated with CD at allelic, genotypic (GT genotype) and haplotypic (GCCT haplotype) level, suggesting potential role of this variant in susceptibility to CD. In contrast, CD patients carrying C allele of rs3024505 had significantly increased risk of anemia and stricturing/penetrating behavior. No association was observed between rs3024505 and UC or SNPs in IL10 promoter region and any form of IBD. In conclusion, rs3024505 SNP flanking the IL10 gene is associated with susceptibility and severity of disease in Serbian CD patients, further validating its role as a potential biomarker in IBD.
Balkan endemic nephropathy (BEN) is a chronic familial form of interstitial nephritis that might eventually lead to end stage renal disease. This nephropathy affects individuals living along of the Danube River and its tributaries in Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania. The increased incidence of urinary tract tumors in the BEN areas is well described, but its specific genetic predisposition is still unclear. Certain nephrocarcinogenic compounds, including those associated with BEN, are metabolized by glutathione S-transferase (GST) superfamily of phase II detoxication enzymes. Importantly, the GST-mediated detoxification may result in formation of more toxic compounds. We examined the association of common GST polymorphisms and bladder cancer (BC) risk in individuals from BEN areas in Serbia. A hospital-based case-control study included 201 BC cases (67 from BEN region) and 122 controls. Each polymorphism was identified by a PCR-based method. Individuals from BEN region with low-expression GSTA1 genotype (AB+BB) exhibited a 2.6-fold higher BC risk compared to those with GSTA1 (AA) genotype who were from non-BEN region (OR = 2.60, p = 0.015). In contrast, carriers of GSTM1-active genotype from BEN region had a 2.9-fold increased BC risk compared to those with GSTM1-active genotype from non-BEN region (OR = 2.90, p = 0.010). Likewise, carriers with GSTT1-active genotype from BEN region exhibited 2.1-fold higher BC risk compared to those from non-BEN region with GSTT1-active genotype (OR = 2.10, p = 0.027). Thus, common polymorphisms in GSTA1, GSTM1 and GSTT1 are associated with susceptibility to BC in individuals from BEN areas of Serbia.
Omega-6 (n-6) and omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are essential nutrients for normal brain development. The principal dietary n-6 and n-3 PUFAs are linoleic acid (LA) and α-linolenic acid (ALA), respectively, We have previously shown that maternal dietary imbalance between these PUFAs, i.e., rich in LA and poor in ALA, affected brain development and increased anxiety-related behavior in the mouse offspring. Here we further addressed sex difference in anxiety-related behavior in the offspring exposed to maternal LA:ALA imbalance. We fed pregnant mice a LA excess/ALA deficient (LAex/ALAdef) diet, and raised their offspring on a well-balanced LA:ALA diet from an early lactation period. When the offspring were grown to adulthood, they were subjected to behavioral and biochemical analyses. We found that both male and female offspring exposed to the LAex/ALAdef diet showed increased anxiety-related behavior compared to those exposed to the control diet, which was differently observed between the sexes. The female offspring also exhibited hyperactivity by maternal intake of the LAex/ALAdef diet. On the other hand, abnormal depressive behavior was undetected in both sexes. We also found that the ratio of n-6 to n-3 PUFAs in the brain was unaffected regardless of maternal diet or offspring’s sex. Since the n-6/n-3 ratio is known to influence emotional behavior, it is reasonable to assume that LA:ALA imbalance exposed during brain development is the key for causing enhanced anxiety in adulthood. The present study indicates that maternal dietary imbalance between LA and ALA increases offspring’s anxiety-related behavior with a sex-dependent manner.
Colorectal carcinoma (CRC) is one of the most common cancers globally. It is essential to identify a prognostic predictor for CRC. Pentraxin 3 (PTX3) is a glycoprotein that is secreted by a variety of human cells. It plays an important role in inflammation and immune regulation. Increasing evidence reveals that elevated PTX3 expression is related to poor prognosis in various cancers. The aim of the study was to determine the usefulness of plasma PTX3 level as a prognostic predictor in CRC. Total 184 CRC patients and 216 controls were included. Plasma levels of PTX3 were determined using Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. On admission, plasma PTX3 levels in CRC patients were higher than those in controls (11.8 ± 2.5 ng/ml vs. 3.1 ± 0.9 ng/ml, P < 0.001). After resection, plasma PTX3 levels in patients were decreased (6.0 ± 1.4 ng/ml, P = 0.007), and were elevated at the time of relapse (10.8 ± 2.8 ng/ml, P < 0.001). During the 60-month follow-up period, 108 patients suffered from relapse. Plasma PTX3 levels of ≥ 12 ng/ml on admission were associated with relapse (OR: 3.11, 95% CI: 1.74 ~ 6.29), and tumor-free survival rate in those patients with plasma PTX3 levels of ≥ 12 ng/ml was lower than that in other patients (P = 0.001). Furthermore, plasma PTX3 levels on admission showed positive linear correlations with plasma complement 3, 4 and 5b9 levels (P < 0.001, P < 0.001, P < 0.001). Therefore, we propose that PTX3 is an independent prognostic indicator in CRC.
The interleukin (IL)-17 family, consisting of six homodimeric cytokines IL-17A, IL-17B, IL-17C, IL-17D, IL-17E/IL-25, and IL-17F, mediates a variety of biological activities including regulation of chemokine secretion and angiogenesis. Among the IL-17 family members, IL-17A and IL-17E/IL-25 are angiogenesis stimulators, while IL-17B and IL-17F are angiogenesis inhibitors. Recently, IL-17A/F heterodimer, comprised of the IL-17A and IL-17F subunits, was found as another member of the IL-17 cytokine family. However, to date, it has been unknown whether IL-17A/F has biological actions to affect the angiogenesis-related vascular endothelial functions. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the biological effects of IL-17A/F on the growth, migration and capillary-like tube formation of vascular endothelial cells. Recombinant IL-17A/F protein had no direct effects on the growth of human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HMVECs), whereas, after 4-hour incubation in a modified Boyden Chemotaxicell chamber, IL-17A/F significantly induced migration of HMVECs over a wide range of doses via the phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K) signaling pathway. We further investigated the biological effect of IL-17A/F on capillary-like tube formation using a co-culture system of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs), which mimicked the in vivo microenvironment. In this co-culture system, IL-17A/F significantly promoted capillary-like endothelial tube formation in a dose-dependent fashion via the PI3K and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling pathways. Additionally, IL-17A/F up-regulated secretion of angiogenic growth factors such as IL-8 and growth-related oncogene (GRO)-α by HDFs. These findings identify a novel biological function for IL-17A/F as an indirect angiogenic agent.
Increased aortic stiffness may be an important cause of acute heart failure (AHF). Clinical scenario (CS), which classifies the pathophysiology of AHF based on the initial systolic blood pressure (sBP), was proposed to provide the most appropriate therapy for AHF patients. In CS, elevated aortic stiffness, vascular failure, has been considered as a feature of patients categorized as CS1 (sBP > 140 mmHg at initial presentation). However, whether elevated aortic stiffness, vascular failure, is present in such patients has not been fully elucidated. Therefore, we assessed aortic stiffness in AHF patients using the cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI), which is considered to be independent of instantaneous blood pressure. Sixty-four consecutive AHF patients (mean age, 70.6 ± 12.8 years; 39 men) were classified with CS, based on their initial sBP: CS1: sBP > 140 mmHg (n = 29); CS2: sBP 100-140 mmHg (n = 22); and CS3: sBP < 100 mmHg (n = 13). There were significant group differences in CAVI (CS1 vs. CS2 vs. CS3: 9.7 ± 1.4 vs. 8.4 ± 1.7 vs. 8.3 ± 1.7, p = 0.006, analysis of variance). CAVI was significantly higher in CS1 than in CS2 (p = 0.02) and CS3 (p = 0.04). CAVI did not significantly correlate with sBP at the time of measurement of CAVI (r = 0.24 and p = 0.06). Aortic stiffness assessed using blood pressure-independent methodology apparently increased in CS1 AHF patients. We conclude that vascular failure is a feature of CS1 AHF initiation.
Oxidative stress is the consequence of an imbalance between the production of harmful reactive oxygen species and the cellular antioxidant system for neutralization, and it activates multiple intracellular signaling pathways, including apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1). Protein phosphatase 5 (PP5) is a serine/threonine phosphatase involved in oxidative stress responses. Previously, we reported that S100 proteins activate PP5 in a calcium-dependent manner. S100 proteins belong to a family of small EF-hand calcium-binding proteins involved in many processes such as cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, and inflammation. Therefore, we investigated the effects of oxidative stress on S100 proteins, their interaction with PP5, and PP5 enzyme activity. Recombinant S100A2 was easily air-oxidized or Cu-oxidized, and oxidized S100A2 formed cross-linked dimers and higher molecular-mass complexes. The binding of oxidized S100A2 to PP5 was reduced, resulting in decreased PP5 activation in vitro. Oxidation also impaired S100A1, S100A6, S100B, and S100P to activate PP5, although the low dose of oxidized S100 proteins still activated PP5. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) induced S100A2 oxidation in human keratinocytes (HaCaT) and human hepatocellular carcinoma (Huh-7) cells. Furthermore, H2O2 reduced the binding of S100A2 to PP5 and decreased PP5 activation in HaCaT and Huh-7 cells. Importantly, even the low dose of S100A2 achieved by knocking down increased dephosphorylation of ASK1 and reduced caspase 3/7 activity in Huh-7 cells treated with H2O2. These results indicate that oxidative stress impairs the ability of S100 proteins to bind and activate PP5, which in turn modulates the ASK1-mediated signaling cascades involved in apoptosis.
T cells from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) show a decreased activation threshold and increased apoptosis. These processes seem to be regulated by glycosylated molecules on the T cell surface. Here, we determined through flow cytometry the expression of mucin-type O-glycans on T helper cells in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from 23 SLE patients and its relation with disease activity. We used lectins specific for the disaccharide Gal-GalNAc, such as Amaranthus leucocarpus lectin (ALL), Artocarpus integrifolia lectin (jacalin) and Arachis hypogaea lectin (peanut agglutinin, PNA), as well as lectins for sialic acid such as Sambucus nigra agglutinin (SNA) and Maakia amurensis agglutinin (MAA). The results showed that ALL, but not jacalin or PNA, identified significant differences in O-glycan expression on T helper cells from active SLE patients (n = 10). Moreover, an inverse correlation was found between the frequency of T helper cells recognized by ALL and SLE Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) score in SLE patients. In contrast, SNA and MAA lectins did not identify any differences between CD4+ T cells from SLE patients. There was no difference in the recognition by ALL on activated T helper cells and T regulatory (Treg) cells. Our findings point out that activation of SLE disease diminishes the expression of O-glycans in T helper cells; ALL could be considered as a marker to determine activity of the disease.