2018 Vol. 32, No. 5
In recent years immune checkpoint inhibitors have garnered attention as being one of the most promising types of immunotherapy on the horizon. There has been particular focus on the immune checkpoint molecules, cytotoxic Tlymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) and programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) which have been shown to have potent immunomodulatory effects through their function as negative regulators of T cell activation. CTLA-4, through engagement with its ligands B7-1 (CD80) and B7-2 (CD86), plays a pivotal role in attenuating the activation of na?ve and memory T cells. In contrast, PD-1 is primarily involved in modulating T cell activity in peripheral tissues via its interaction with PD-L1 and PD-L2. The discovery of these negative regulators of the immune response was crucial in the development of checkpoint inhibitors. This shifted the focus from developing therapies that targeted activation of the host immune system against cancer to checkpoint inhibitors, which aimed to mediate tumor cell destruction through the removal of coinhibitory signals blocking anti tumor T cell responses.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) comprises a spectrum of metabolic states ranging from simple steatosis o inflammation with associated fibrosis to cirrhosis. Though accumulation of hepatic fat is not associated with a ignificant increase in mortality rates, hepatic inflammation is, as this augments the risk of terminal liver disease, i.e., cirrhosis, hepatic decompensation (liver failure) and/or hepatocellular carcinoma. Disease progression is usually low, over a decade or more and, for the most part, remains asymptomatic. Recent estimates suggest that the global prevalence of NAFLD is high, about one in four. In most cases, NAFLD overlaps with overweight, obesity, cardiovascular disease and the metabolic syndrome with numerous contributing parameters including a dysregulation of adipose tissue, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, changes in the gut microbiome, neuronal and hormonal dysregulation and metabolic stress. NAFLD is diagnosed incidentally, despite its high prevalence. Non-invasive maging techniques have emerged, making it possible to determine degree of steatosis as well asfibrosis. Despite this, he benefit of routine diagnostics remains uncertain. A better understanding of the (molecular) pathogenesis of NAFLD is needed combined with long-term studies where benefits of treatment can be assessed to determine cost benefit ratios. This review summarizes the current state of knowledge and possible areas of treatment.
While obesity and fat intake have been associated with the risk and prognosis of epithelial ovarian cancer, the association between the lipid levels and epithelial ovarian cancer phenotype remains controversial. We conducted a retrospective study of 349 epithelial ovarian cancer patients who received treatment at Jiangsu Cancer Hospital, China between 2011 and 2017. We analyzed age at diagnosis, blood pressure, plasma glucose content, body mass index (BMI), lipid levels and clinical parameters. Severity of epithelial ovarian cancer was classified according to the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) grading system. Univariate analysis of the clinical factors according to the severity of epithelial ovarian cancer was followed by logistic regression analysis to identify clinical factors significantly associated with epithelial ovarian cancer severity. Univariate analysis indicated that age, BMI, triglyceride (TG), and high density lipoproteins (HDL) differed significantly among different stages of epithelial ovarian cancer (P < 0.05). In the logistic regression model, elevated TG (OR: 1.883; 95% CI = 1.207– 2.937), and low HDL (OR: 0.497; 95% CI = 0.298–0.829) levels were significantly associated with the high severity epithelial ovarian cancer. Our data indicate that high TG and low HDL levels correlate with a high severity of epithelial ovarian cancer. These data provide important insight into the potential relationship between the lipid pathway and epithelial ovarian cancer phenotype and development.
Prostate cancer preferentially metastasizes to the bone. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are still unclear. To explore the effects of a bone-mimicking microenvironment on PC3 prostate cancer cell growth and metastasis, we used osteoblast differentiation medium (ODM; minimal essential medium alpha supplemented with L-ascorbic acid) to mimic the bone microenvironment. PC3 cells grown in ODM underwent epithelial-mesenchymal transition and showed enhanced colony formation, migration, and invasion abilities compared to the cells grown in normal medium. PC3 cells grown in ODM showed enhanced metastasis when injected in mice. A screening of signaling pathways related to invasion and metastasis revealed that the NF-kB pathway was activated, which could be reversed by Bay 11-7082, a NF-kB pathway inhibitor. These results indicate that the cells in different culture conditions manifested significantly different biological behaviors and the NF-kB pathway is a potential therapeutic target for prostate cancer bone metastasis.
Inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductases, collectively known as statins, have been shown to minimize cerebral ischemic events in patients. We assessed the mechanisms of simvastatin pretreatment in preventing cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury in rats using a model of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Rats were pretreated with simvastatin 14 days prior to MCAO induction. At 3, 24, and 48 hours after reperfusion, bradykinin levels in the ischemic penumbra were assayed by ELISA, mRNA levels of bradykinin B2 receptors (BK-2Rs) and CD11b were measured by fluorescent quantitative real-time PCR (RT-PCR), and co-expression of microglia and BK-2Rs was determined by immunofluorescence. Simvastatin had no effect on bradykinin expression in the ischemic penumbra at any time point. However, the levels of BK-2R and CD11b mRNA in the ischemic penumbra, which were significantly decreased 3 hours after ischemia-reperfusion, were increased in simvastatin-pretreated rats. Moreover, the co-expression of BK-2Rs and microglia was confirmed by immunofluorescence analysis. These results suggest that the beneficial effects of simvastatin pretreatment before cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury in rats may be partially due to increased expression of BK-2R and CD11b in the ischemic penumbra.
Sleepiness affects normal social life, which attracts more and more attention. Circadian phenotypes contribute to obvious individual differences in susceptibility to sleepiness. We aimed to identify candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) which may cause circadian phenotypes, elucidate the potential mechanisms, and generate corresponding SNP-gene-pathways. A genome-wide association studies (GWAS) dataset of circadian phenotypes was utilized in the study. Then, the Identify Candidate Causal SNPs and Pathways analysis was employed to the GWAS dataset after quality control filters. Furthermore, genotype-phenotype association analysis was performed with HapMap database. Four SNPs in three different genes were determined to correlate with usual weekday bedtime, totally providing seven hypothetical mechanisms. Eleven SNPs in six genes were identified to correlate with usual weekday sleep duration, which provided six hypothetical pathways. Our results demonstrated that fifteen candidate SNPs in eight genes played vital roles in six hypothetical pathways implicated in usual weekday bedtime and six potential pathways involved in usual weekday sleep duration.
Myocardial infarction triggers massive biochemical changes, even cardiac cell death. Endoplasmic reticulum stress is involved in the pathology of myocardial infarction-mediated apoptosis. In the present study, myocardial cell line H9c2 cells were treated with cobalt chloride (CoCl2) to induce hypoxia. Isoproterenol was used for two successive days to induce myocardial infarction in SD rats. The cardioprotective effect of olive leaf extract (OLE) and its main constituent hydroxytyrosol and the underlying mechanisms were evaluated. The results showed that hydroxytyrosol markedly protected H9c2 cells against CoCl2-induced apoptosis. Hydroxytyrosol could reduce the mRNA and protein expression of GRP78 and CHOP induced by CoCl2 in vitro. In vivo, the decreased ejection fraction and fractional shortening, increased heart weight/body ratio, the formation of infarction, disordered cardiac muscle fibers and infiltration of inflammatory cells induced by isoproterenol could be significantly ameliorated by pretreatment with OLE for a month. Similarly, OLE could also reverse the increase of GRP78 and CHOP expression induced by isoproterenol. Therefore, OLE and hydroxytyrosol exert a cardioprotective effect through endoplasmic reticulum stress, which could be a new target for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases.
BiOBr nanosheets are important photocatalytic nanomaterials. However, their biological effects remain to be explored. In this study, we investigated the antifungal effect of BiOBr nanosheets on Candida albicans. Strikingly, the nanosheets strongly inhibited the growth of C. albicans [IC50=(964.7) mg/L], hyphal development and biofilm formation. Compareed to the antifungal effect of the cationic surfactant cetyltrimethylammonium bromide, the inhibitory effect of the nanosheets on fungal pathogen was attributed to cetyltrimethylammonium bromide adsorbed by the nanosheets. Thermal gravity analysis and cetyltrimethylammonium bromide release experiment indicated that only 0.42% cetyltrimethylammonium bromide on BiOBr nanosheets was released. Taken together, this study uncovers the contribution of surfactant released from the nanosheets to their antifungal activity