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Acinetobacter baumannii is a Gram-negative opportunistic pathogen and a leading cause of ventilator-associated pneumonia. Murine models of A. baumannii lung infection allow researchers to experimentally assess A. baumannii virulence and host response. Intranasal administration of A. baumannii models acute lung infection. This chapter describes the methods to test A. baumannii virulence in a murine model of lung infection, including assessing the competitive index of a bacterial mutant and the associated inflammatory responses.
AIMS - Well-differentiated small intestinal neuroendocrine tumours (SI-NETs) are often multifocal, and this has been suggested to impart worse disease-free survival. Practice guidelines have not been established for World Health Organisation (WHO) grading of multiple primary lesions.
METHODS AND RESULTS - We identified 68 patients with ileal/jejunal SI-NET for a combined total of 207 primary lesions. Each case was evaluated for patient age and sex; size of all tumours; presence of lymph node metastases, mesenteric tumour deposits or distant metastases; and disease-specific outcome. Ki67 staining was performed on all 207 primary lesions. The relationship between multifocality and clinicopathological factors was compared using Fisher's exact test. Outcome was tested using Cox proportional hazard regression. Forty-two patients had unifocal disease, and 26 had multifocal disease (median five lesions, range = 2-32). Most tumours were WHO grade 1 (201 of 207, 97%). Of the five patients with grades 2/3 tumours, three patients had unifocal disease, one patient had two subcentimetre grade 2 lesions (including the largest) and eight subcentimetre grade 1 lesions, and one patient had one 1.6-cm grade 3 lesion and one subcentimetre grade 1 lesion. There was a positive correlation between tumour size and Ki67 index (coefficient 0.28; 95% confidence interval 0.05-0.52, P = 0.017). There was no significant association between multifocality and nodal metastases, mesenteric tumour deposits, distant metastases or disease-specific survival.
CONCLUSIONS - In patients with multifocal SI-NET, unless a particular lesion has a high mitotic rate, only staining the largest lesion for Ki67 should serve to grade almost all cases accurately. Multifocality does not appear to significantly impact patient survival.
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
BACKGROUND - Wilms tumor (WT) is the most common childhood kidney cancer worldwide, yet its incidence and clinical behavior vary according to race and access to adequate healthcare resources. To guide and streamline therapy in the war-torn and resource-constrained city of Baghdad, Iraq, we conducted a first-ever molecular analysis of 20 WT specimens to characterize the biological features of this lethal disease within this challenged population.
METHODS - Next-generation sequencing of ten target genes associated with WT development and treatment resistance (WT1, CTNNB1, WTX, IGF2, CITED1, SIX2, p53, N-MYC, CRABP2, and TOP2A) was completed. Immunohistochemistry was performed for 6 marker proteins of WT (WT1, CTNNB1, NCAM, CITED1, SIX2, and p53). Patient outcomes were compiled.
RESULTS - Mutations were detected in previously described WT "hot spots" (e.g., WT1 and CTNNB1) as well as novel loci that may be unique to the Iraqi population. Immunohistochemistry showed expression domains most typical of blastemal-predominant WT. Remarkably, despite the challenges facing families and care providers, only one child, with combined WT1 and CTNNB1 mutations, was confirmed dead from disease. Median clinical follow-up was 40.5 months (range 6-78 months).
CONCLUSIONS - These data suggest that WT biology within a population of Iraqi children manifests features both similar to and unique from disease variants in other regions of the world. These observations will help to risk stratify WT patients living in this difficult environment to more or less intensive therapies and to focus treatment on cell-specific targets.
BACKGROUND - High cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 expression in ovarian tumors has been associated with poor prognosis, but the role of COX-1 expression and its relation to survival is less clear. Here, we evaluated COX expression and associations with survival outcomes between type I (clear cell, mucinous, low grade endometrioid and low grade serous) and type II (high grade serous and high grade endometrioid) ovarian tumors.
METHODS - We developed and validated a new COX-1 antibody, and conducted immunohistochemical (IHC) staining for COX-1 and COX-2 on a tissue microarray (TMA) of 190 primary ovarian tumors. In addition to standard IHC scoring and H-scores to combine the percentage of positive cells and staining intensity, we also measured COX-1 and COX-2 mRNA expression by QPCR. High expression was defined as greater than or equal to median values. Clinical characteristics and disease outcomes were ascertained from medical records. Associations with disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) were quantified by hazard ratios (HRs) and confidence intervals (CIs) from proportional hazards regression.
RESULTS - Type I tumors had high COX-2 expression, while type II tumors had high COX-1 expression. In multivariable adjusted regression models, higher COX-1 mRNA expression was associated with shorter DFS (HR: 6.37, 95% CI: 1.84-22.01) and OS (HR: 2.26, 95% CI: 1.04-4.91), while higher H-scores for COX-2 expression were associated with shorter DFS (HR: 1.92, 95% CI: 1.06-3.49). Stratified analysis indicated that COX-2 was significantly associated with DFS among cases with Type II tumors (HR: 1.93, 95% CI: 1.06-3.53).
CONCLUSIONS - These findings suggest that ovarian tumor type contributes to differences in COX expression levels and associations with survival.
A 2240 gram boy was born at 33.2 weeks gestation with nonblanching, deeply erythematous plaques and papules on the back, flanks, and scalp (Figure 1). His mother was GBS positive and on antibiotic suppression for prior cutaneous MRSA and urinary tract infections. Intrapartum intravenous Penicillin G was administered, and the amniotic sac was artificially ruptured 4 hours prior to delivery to facilitate labor. The delivery was uncomplicated without concern for chorioamnionitis, but the patient initially required CPAP for respiratory distress with 1-minute and 5-minute Apgar scores of 7 and 8, respectively. A skin punch biopsy is shown (Figure 2).
BACKGROUND - The management of peripheral nerve injuries remains a large challenge for plastic surgeons. With the inability to fuse axonal endings, results after microsurgical nerve repair have been inconsistent. Our current nerve repair strategies rely upon the slow and lengthy process of axonal regeneration (~1 mm/d). Polyethylene glycol (PEG) has been investigated as a potential axonal fusion agent; however, the percentage of axonal fusion has been inconsistent. The purpose of this study was to identify a PEG delivery device to standardize outcomes after attempted axonal fusion with PEG.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - We used a rat sciatic nerve injury model in which we completely transected and repaired the left sciatic nerve to evaluate the efficacy of PEG fusion over a span of 12 weeks. In addition, we evaluated the effectiveness of a delivery device's ability to optimize results after PEG fusion.
RESULTS - We found that PEG rapidly (within minutes) restores axonal continuity as assessed by electrophysiology, fluorescent retrograde tracer, and diffusion tensor imaging. Immunohistochemical analysis shows that motor axon counts are significantly increased at 1 week, 4 weeks, and 12 weeks postoperatively in PEG-treated animals. Furthermore, PEG restored behavioral functions up to 50% compared with animals that received the criterion standard epineurial repair (control animals).
CONCLUSIONS - The ability of PEG to rapidly restore nerve function after neurotmesis could have vast implications on the clinical management of traumatic injuries to peripheral nerves.
BACKGROUND - Human papillomavirus 16 (HPV16) E6 antibodies may be an early marker of the diagnosis and recurrence of human papillomavirus-driven oropharyngeal cancer (HPV-OPC).
METHODS - This study identified 161 incident oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) cases diagnosed at the University of Pittsburgh (2003-2013) with pretreatment serum. One hundred twelve had preexisting clinical HPV testing with p16 immunohistochemistry and HPV in situ hybridization (87 were dual-positive [HPV-OPC], and 25 were dual-negative [HPV-negative]); 62 had at least 1 posttreatment serum sample. Eighty-six of the 161 tumors were available for additional HPV16 DNA/RNA testing (45 were dual-positive [HPV16-OPC], and 19 were dual-negative [HPV16-negative). HPV16 E6 antibody testing was conducted with multiplex serology. The following were evaluated: 1) the sensitivity and specificity of HPV16 E6 serology for distinguishing HPV-OPC and HPV16-OPC from HPV-negative OPC, 2) HPV16 E6 antibody decay after treatment with linear models accommodating correlations in variance estimates, and 3) pre- and posttreatment HPV16 E6 levels and the risk of recurrence with Cox proportional hazards models.
RESULTS - Seventy-eight of 87 HPV-OPCs were HPV16 E6-seropositive (sensitivity, 89.7%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 81.3%-95.2%), and 24 of 25 HPV-negative OPCs were HPV16 E6-seronegative (specificity, 96.0%; 95% CI, 79.6%-99.9%). Forty-two of 45 HPV16-OPCs were HPV16 E6-seropositive (sensitivity, 93.3%; 95% CI, 81.7%-98.6%), and 18 of 19 HPV16-negative OPCs were HPV16 E6-seronegative (specificity, 94.7%; 95% CI, 74.0%-99.9%). Posttreatment HPV16 E6 antibody levels did not decrease significantly from the baseline (P = .575; median follow-up, 307 days) and were not associated with the risk of recurrence. However, pretreatment HPV16 E6 seropositivity was associated with an 86% reduced risk of local/regional recurrence (hazard ratio, 0.14; 95% CI, 0.03-0.68; P = .015).
CONCLUSIONS - HPV16 E6 antibodies may have potential clinical utility for the diagnosis and/or prognosis of HPV-OPC. Cancer 2017;123:4382-90. © 2017 American Cancer Society.
© 2017 American Cancer Society.
BACKGROUND - During pregnancy, as the mammary gland prepares for synthesis and delivery of milk to newborns, a luminal mammary epithelial cell (MEC) subpopulation proliferates rapidly in response to systemic hormonal cues that activate STAT5A. While the receptor tyrosine kinase ErbB4 is required for STAT5A activation in MECs during pregnancy, it is unclear how ErbB3, a heterodimeric partner of ErbB4 and activator of phosphatidyl inositol-3 kinase (PI3K) signaling, contributes to lactogenic expansion of the mammary gland.
METHODS - We assessed mRNA expression levels by expression microarray of mouse mammary glands harvested throughout pregnancy and lactation. To study the role of ErbB3 in mammary gland lactogenesis, we used transgenic mice expressing WAP-driven Cre recombinase to generate a mouse model in which conditional ErbB3 ablation occurred specifically in alveolar mammary epithelial cells (aMECs).
RESULTS - Profiling of RNA from mouse MECs isolated throughout pregnancy revealed robust Erbb3 induction during mid-to-late pregnancy, a time point when aMECs proliferate rapidly and undergo differentiation to support milk production. Litters nursed by ErbB3 dams weighed significantly less when compared to litters nursed by ErbB3 dams. Further analysis revealed substantially reduced epithelial content, decreased aMEC proliferation, and increased aMEC cell death during late pregnancy. Consistent with the potent ability of ErbB3 to activate cell survival through the PI3K/Akt pathway, we found impaired Akt phosphorylation in ErbB3 samples, as well as impaired expression of STAT5A, a master regulator of lactogenesis. Constitutively active Akt rescued cell survival in ErbB3-depleted aMECs, but failed to restore STAT5A expression or activity. Interestingly, defects in growth and survival of ErbB3 aMECs as well as Akt phosphorylation, STAT5A activity, and expression of milk-encoding genes observed in ErbB3 MECs progressively improved between late pregnancy and lactation day 5. We found a compensatory upregulation of ErbB4 activity in ErbB3 mammary glands. Enforced ErbB4 expression alleviated the consequences of ErbB3 ablation in aMECs, while combined ablation of both ErbB3 and ErbB4 exaggerated the phenotype.
CONCLUSIONS - These studies demonstrate that ErbB3, like ErbB4, enhances lactogenic expansion and differentiation of the mammary gland during pregnancy, through activation of Akt and STAT5A, two targets crucial for lactation.
AIMS/HYPOTHESIS - The Cre/loxP system, which enables tissue-specific manipulation of genes, is widely used in mice for diabetes research. Our aim was to develop a new Cre-driver mouse line for the specific and efficient manipulation of genes in pancreatic alpha cells.
METHODS - A Gcg knockin mouse, which expresses a tamoxifen-inducible form of Cre from the endogenous preproglucagon (Gcg) gene locus, was generated by homologous recombination. The new Gcg mouse line was crossed to the Rosa26 (R26 ) Cre reporter mouse line in order to evaluate the tissue specificity, efficiency and tamoxifen dependency of Gcg -mediated recombination. Cell types of pancreatic islets were identified using immunohistochemistry. Biochemical and physiological data, including blood glucose levels, plasma glucagon and glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 levels, and pancreatic glucagon content, were collected and used to assess the overall effect of Gcg gene targeting on Gcg heterozygous mice.
RESULTS - Tamoxifen-treated Gcg ;R26 mice displayed Cre reporter activity, i.e. expression of tdTomato red fluorescent protein (RFP) in all known cells that produce proglucagon-derived peptides. In the adult pancreas, RFP was detected in 94-97% of alpha cells, whereas it was detected in a negligible (~ 0.2%) proportion of beta cells. While more than 98% of cells labelled with tamoxifen-induced RFP were glucagon-positive cells, 14-25% of pancreatic polypeptide (PP)-positive cells were also positive for RFP, indicating the presence of glucagon/PP bihormonal cell population. Tamoxifen-independent expression of RFP occurred in approximately 6% of alpha cells. In contrast to alpha cells and GLP-1-producing neurons, in which RFP expression persisted for at least 5 months after tamoxifen administration (presumably due to rare neogenesis in these cell types in adulthood), nearly half of RFP-positive intestinal L cells were replaced with RFP-negative L cells over the first 2 weeks after tamoxifen administration. Heterozygous Gcg mice showed reduced Gcg mRNA levels in islets, but maintained normal levels of pancreatic and plasma glucagon. The mice did not exhibit any detectable baseline physiological abnormalities, at least in young adulthood.
CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION - The newly developed Gcg knockin mouse shows faithful expression of CreER in pancreatic alpha cells, intestinal L cells and GLP-1-producing neurons. This mouse line will be particularly useful for manipulating genes in alpha cells, due to highly specific and efficient CreER-mediated recombination in this cell type in the pancreas.