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PURPOSE - Non-invasive imaging is central to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) diagnosis; however, conventional modalities are limited by smaller tumors and other chronic diseases that are often present in patients with HCC, such as cirrhosis. This pilot study evaluated the feasibility of (4S)-4-(3-[F]fluoropropyl)-L-glutamic acid ([F]FSPG) positron emission tomography (PET)/X-ray computed tomography (CT) to image HCC. [F]FSPG PET/CT was compared to standard-of-care (SOC) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and CT, and [C]acetate PET/CT, commonly used in this setting. We report the largest cohort of HCC patients imaged to date with [F]FSPG PET/CT and present the first comparison to [C]acetate PET/CT and SOC imaging. This study represents the first in a US HCC population, which is distinguished by different underlying comorbidities than non-US populations.
PROCEDURES - x transporter RNA and protein levels were evaluated in HCC and matched liver samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas (n = 16) and a tissue microarray (n = 83). Eleven HCC patients who underwent prior MRI or CT scans were imaged by [F]FSPG PET/CT, with seven patients also imaged with [C]acetate PET/CT.
RESULTS - x transporter RNA and protein levels were elevated in HCC samples compared to background liver. Over 50 % of low-grade HCCs and ~70 % of high-grade tumors exceeded background liver protein expression. [F]FSPG PET/CT demonstrated a detection rate of 75 %. [F]FSPG PET/CT also identified an HCC devoid of typical MRI enhancement pattern. Patients scanned with [F]FSPG and [C]acetate PET/CT exhibited a 90 and 70 % detection rate, respectively. In dually positive tumors, [F]FSPG accumulation consistently resulted in significantly greater tumor-to-liver background ratios compared with [C]acetate PET/CT.
CONCLUSIONS - [F]FSPG PET/CT is a promising modality for HCC imaging, and larger studies are warranted to examine [F]FSPG PET/CT impact on diagnosis and management of HCC. [F]FSPG PET/CT may also be useful for phenotyping HCC tumor metabolism as part of precision cancer medicine.
Cysteinyl leukotrienes (CysLTs) and lipoxins (LXs) are lipid mediators that control inflammation, with the former inducing and the latter inhibiting this process. Because the role played by these mediators in paracoccidioidomycosis was not investigated, we aimed to characterize the role of CysLT in the pulmonary infection developed by resistant (A/J) and susceptible (B10.A) mice. 48 h after infection, elevated levels of pulmonary LTC4 and LXA4 were produced by both mouse strains, but higher levels were found in the lungs of susceptible mice. Blocking the CysLTs receptor by MTL reduced fungal loads in B10.A, but not in A/J mice. In susceptible mice, MLT treatment led to reduced influx of PMN leukocytes, increased recruitment of monocytes, predominant synthesis of anti-inflammatory cytokines, and augmented expression of 5- and 15-lipoxygenase mRNA, suggesting a prevalent LXA4 activity. In agreement, MTL-treated macrophages showed reduced fungal burdens associated with decreased ingestion of fungal cells. Furthermore, the addition of exogenous LX reduced, and the specific blockade of the LX receptor increased the fungal loads of B10.A macrophages. This study showed for the first time that inhibition of CysLTs signaling results in less severe pulmonary paracoccidioidomycosis that occurs in parallel with elevated LX activity and reduced infection of macrophages.
Comprehensive studies that consolidate selective ligands, quantitative comparisons of G protein versus arrestin-2/3 coupling, together with structure-activity relationship models for G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) systems are less commonly employed. Here we examine biased signaling at the nociceptin/orphanin FQ opioid receptor (NOPR), the most recently identified member of the opioid receptor family. Using real-time, live-cell assays, we identified the signaling profiles of several NOPR-selective ligands in upstream GPCR signaling (G protein and arrestin pathways) to determine their relative transduction coefficients and signaling bias. Complementing this analysis, we designed novel ligands on the basis of NOPR antagonist J-113,397 [(±)-1-[(3R*,4R*)-1-(cyclooctylmethyl)-3-(hydroxymethyl)-4-piperidinyl]-3-ethyl-1,3-dihydro-2H-benzimidazol-2-one] to explore structure-activity relationships. Our study shows that NOPR is capable of biased signaling, and further, the NOPR selective ligands MCOPPB [1-[1-(1-methylcyclooctyl)-4-piperidinyl]-2-(3R)-3-piperidinyl-1H-benzimidazole trihydrochloride] and NNC 63-0532 [8-(1-naphthalenylmethyl)-4-oxo-1-phenyl-1,3,8-triazaspiro[4.5]decane-3-acetic acid, methyl ester] are G protein-biased agonists. Additionally, minor structural modification of J-113,397 can dramatically shift signaling from antagonist to partial agonist activity. We explore these findings with in silico modeling of binding poses. This work is the first to demonstrate functional selectivity and identification of biased ligands at the nociceptin opioid receptor.
Copyright © 2015 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
Acetyl-CoA represents a central node of carbon metabolism that plays a key role in bioenergetics, cell proliferation, and the regulation of gene expression. Highly glycolytic or hypoxic tumors must produce sufficient quantities of this metabolite to support cell growth and survival under nutrient-limiting conditions. Here, we show that the nucleocytosolic acetyl-CoA synthetase enzyme, ACSS2, supplies a key source of acetyl-CoA for tumors by capturing acetate as a carbon source. Despite exhibiting no gross deficits in growth or development, adult mice lacking ACSS2 exhibit a significant reduction in tumor burden in two different models of hepatocellular carcinoma. ACSS2 is expressed in a large proportion of human tumors, and its activity is responsible for the majority of cellular acetate uptake into both lipids and histones. These observations may qualify ACSS2 as a targetable metabolic vulnerability of a wide spectrum of tumors.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Countering the diabetes pandemic and consequent complications, such as nephropathy, will require better understanding of disease mechanisms and development of new diagnostic methods. Animal models can be versatile tools in studies of diabetic renal disease when model pathology is relevant to human diabetic nephropathy (DN). Diabetic models using endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) knock-out mice develop major renal lesions characteristic of human disease. However, it is unknown whether they can also reproduce changes in urinary metabolites found in human DN. We employed Type 1 and Type 2 diabetic mouse models of DN, i.e. STZ-eNOS(-/-) C57BLKS and eNOS(-/-) C57BLKS db/db, with the goal of determining changes in urinary metabolite profile using proton nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Six urinary metabolites with significantly lower levels in diabetic compared to control mice have been identified. Specifically, major changes were found in metabolites from tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and aromatic amino acid catabolism including 3-indoxyl sulfate, cis-aconitate, 2-oxoisocaproate, N-phenyl-acetylglycine, 4-hydroxyphenyl acetate, and hippurate. Levels of 4-hydroxyphenyl acetic acid and hippuric acid showed the strongest reverse correlation to albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR), which is an indicator of renal damage. Importantly, similar changes in urinary hydroxyphenyl acetate and hippurate were previously reported in human renal disease. We demonstrated that STZ-eNOS(-/-) C57BLKS and eNOS(-/-) C57BLKS db/db mouse models can recapitulate changes in urinary metabolome found in human DN and therefore can be useful new tools in metabolomic studies relevant to human pathology.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes microglial activation and related neurotoxicity that contributes to chronic neurodegeneration and loss of neurological function. Selective activation of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) by the orthosteric agonist (RS)-2-chloro-5-hydroxyphenylglycine (CHPG), is neuroprotective in experimental models of TBI, and has potent anti-inflammatory effects in vitro. However, the therapeutic potential of CHPG is limited due to its relatively weak potency and brain permeability. Highly potent, selective and brain penetrant mGluR5 positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) have been developed and show promise as therapeutic agents. We evaluated the therapeutic potential of a novel mGluR5 PAM, VU0360172, after controlled cortical impact (CCI) in mice. Vehicle, VU0360172, or VU0360172 plus mGluR5 antagonist (MTEP), were administered systemically to CCI mice at 3 h post-injury; lesion volume, hippocampal neurodegeneration, microglial activation, and functional recovery were assessed through 28 days post-injury. Anti-inflammatory effects of VU0360172 were also examined in vitro using BV2 and primary microglia. VU0360172 treatment significantly reduced the lesion, attenuated hippocampal neurodegeneration, and improved motor function recovery after CCI. Effects were mediated by mGluR5 as co-administration of MTEP blocked the protective effects of VU0360172. VU0360172 significantly reduced CD68 and NOX2 expression in activated microglia in the cortex at 28 days post-injury, and also suppressed pro-inflammatory signaling pathways in BV2 and primary microglia. In addition, VU0360172 treatment shifted the balance between M1/M2 microglial activation states towards an M2 pro-repair phenotype. This study demonstrates that VU0360172 confers neuroprotection after experimental TBI, and suggests that mGluR5 PAMs may be promising therapeutic agents for head injury.
Infrared neural stimulation (INS) is a promising neurostimulation technique that can activate neural tissue with high spatial precision and without the need for exogenous agents. However, little is understood about how infrared light interacts with neural tissue on a cellular level, particularly within the living brain. In this study, we use calcium sensitive dye imaging on macroscopic and microscopic scales to explore the spatiotemporal effects of INS on cortical calcium dynamics. The INS-evoked calcium signal that was observed exhibited a fast and slow component suggesting activation of multiple cellular mechanisms. The slow component of the evoked signal exhibited wave-like properties suggesting network activation, and was verified to originate from astrocytes through pharmacology and 2-photon imaging. We also provide evidence that the fast calcium signal may have been evoked through modulation of glutamate transients. This study demonstrates that pulsed infrared light can induce intracellular calcium modulations in both astrocytes and neurons, providing new insights into the mechanisms of action of INS in the brain.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Multiple gas phase ion/ion covalent modifications of peptide and protein ions are demonstrated using cluster-type reagent anions of N-hydroxysulfosuccinimide acetate (sulfo-NHS acetate) and 2-formyl-benzenesulfonic acid (FBMSA). These reagents are used to selectively modify unprotonated primary amine functionalities of peptides and proteins. Multiple reactive reagent molecules can be present in a single cluster ion, which allows for multiple covalent modifications to be achieved in a single ion/ion encounter and at the 'cost' of only a single analyte charge. Multiple derivatizations are demonstrated when the number of available reactive sites on the analyte cation exceeds the number of reagent molecules in the anionic cluster (e.g., data shown here for reactions between the polypeptide [K10 + 3H](3+) and the reagent cluster [5R(5Na) - Na](-)). This type of gas-phase ion chemistry is also applicable to whole protein ions. Here, ubiquitin was successfully modified using an FBMSA cluster anion which, upon collisional activation, produced fragment ions with various numbers of modifications. Data for the pentamer cluster are included as illustrative of the results obtained for the clusters comprised of two to six reagent molecules.
CONTEXT - Growth of endometriotic lesions in rodent model of endometriosis is inhibited by resveratrol, a natural polyphenol with antiproliferative and antiinflammatory properties, and simvastatin, an inhibitor of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase (HMGCR) activity.
OBJECTIVE - The objective of the investigation was to study the mechanism of action of resveratrol and its interactions with simvastatin, focusing on cholesterol biosynthesis and HMGCR gene expression and protein activity in primary cultures of human endometrial stromal (HES) cells.
METHODS - HES cells were obtained from healthy volunteers. Biosynthesis of cholesterol was assessed by measuring the conversion of [(14)C]acetate to [(14)C]cholesterol. HMGCR mRNA transcripts were quantified by real-time PCR, protein expression by Western blot analysis, and enzyme activity by measuring the conversion of [3-(14)C]3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-coenzyme A to [(14)C]mevalonic acid lactone in HES cell microsomes.
RESULTS - Resveratrol inhibited cholesterol biosynthesis, HMGCR mRNA, and enzyme activity. Simvastatin inhibited cholesterol biosynthesis and enzyme activity but increased HMGCR mRNA and protein expression. Resveratrol potentiated the inhibitory effects of simvastatin on cholesterol biosynthesis and HMGCR enzyme activity and abrogated the stimulatory effects of simvastatin on HMGCR mRNA transcripts and protein expression.
CONCLUSIONS - Resveratrol inhibits key steps of the mevalonate pathway by mechanisms that are partly complementary to and partly comparable with simvastatin via reducing both expression and activity of HMGCR. A combination of resveratrol and simvastatin may be of potential clinical relevance to development new treatments of human endometriosis.
Alkyl acetates, as well as acetic acid and acetate salts, are widely used cosmetic ingredients, with a wide range of functions as fragrances, solvents, or skin-conditioning agents, depending on the specific ingredient. Available data on alkyl acetates, and acetic acid and the alcohol to which they could be metabolized, were considered adequate to support the safety of the entire group in the present practices of use and concentration in cosmetics.