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The senescent immune system responds poorly to new stimuli; thymic involution, accumulation of memory cells against other specificities, and general refractoriness to antigen signaling all may contribute to poor resistance to infection. These same changes may pose a significant clinical barrier to organ transplantation, as transplantation tolerance requires thymic participation and integrated, tolerance-promoting responses to novel antigens. We found that after the age of 12 months, mice became resistant to the tolerance-inducing capacity of the monoclonal antibody therapy anti-CD45RB. This resistance to tolerance to cardiac allografts could be overcome by surgical castration of male mice, a procedure that led to thymic regeneration and long-term graft acceptance. The potential for clinical translation of this endocrine-immune interplay was confirmed by the ability of Lupron Depot injections, which temporarily disrupt gonadal function, to restore tolerance in aged mice. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the restoration of tolerance after surgical or chemical castration depended on thymic production of regulatory T cells (T(regs)); thymectomy or T(reg) depletion abrogated tolerance restoration. The aging of the immune system ("immune senescence") is a significant barrier to immune tolerance, but this barrier can be overcome by targeting sex steroid production with commonly used clinical therapeutics.
OBJECTIVES - Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and HER-2 tyrosine kinases may be involved in activation of androgen receptor and progression of prostate cancer. They represent potential therapeutic targets in prostate cancer. Lapatinib is an oral inhibitor of EGFR and HER-2. The objective of this study is to assess the preliminary clinical efficacy of lapatinib in the therapy of castration-resistant prostate cancer.
METHODS - In this multicenter, open-label trial, patients with rising PSA on androgen deprivation therapy and not having received chemotherapy were eligible. They were treated with lapatinib at a dose of 1,500 mg once daily. The primary end point was a >50% confirmed PSA decline from baseline; safety, tolerability, and time to PSA progression were secondary outcomes.
RESULTS - Twenty-nine patients enrolled in the study had a median age of 73 years and a baseline PSA of 21.6 ng/ml. Seven patients had no radiologic evidence of metastatic disease, while the remaining patients had bone or measurable disease or both. Treatment was well tolerated with only grade 3 treatment-related toxicities being diarrhea (14%) and rash (3%). One of 21 evaluable patients had >50% reduction in PSA, while another patient had 47% reduction in PSA with an ongoing duration of response of 45+ months. The median time to PSA progression was 29 days.
CONCLUSIONS - Lapatinib showed single agent activity in a small subset of unselected patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer, as measured by PSA. Future trials should explore a trial design with time-to-event end points and predictive biomarkers and a combination with other agents.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Typically, the initial response of a prostate cancer patient to androgen ablation therapy is regression of the disease. However, the tumor will progress to an "androgen-independent" stage that results in renewed growth and spread of the cancer. Both nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) expression and neuroendocrine differentiation predict poor prognosis, but their precise contribution to prostate cancer progression is unknown. This report shows that secretory proteins from neuroendocrine cells will activate the NF-kappaB pathway in LNCaP cells, resulting in increased levels of active androgen receptor (AR). By blocking NF-kappaB signaling in vitro, AR activation is inhibited. In addition, the continuous activation of NF-kappaB signaling in vivo by the absence of the IkappaBalpha inhibitor prevents regression of the prostate after castration by sustaining high levels of nuclear AR and maintaining differentiated function and continued proliferation of the epithelium. Furthermore, the NF-kappaB pathway was activated in the ARR(2)PB-myc-PAI (Hi-myc) mouse prostate by cross-breeding into a IkappaBalpha(+/-) haploid insufficient line. After castration, the mouse prostate cancer continued to proliferate. These results indicate that activation of NF-kappaB is sufficient to maintain androgen-independent growth of prostate and prostate cancer by regulating AR action. Thus, the NF-kappaB pathway may be a potential target for therapy against androgen-independent prostate cancer.
The guinea pig exhibits cyclic and luteal similarities to the human, a feature not present in other small experimental animals such as rats, mice, or rabbits. Studies were undertaken to investigate the in vivo effects of three persistent environmental xenobiotics (nonylphenol, 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene [p,p'-DDE], and pentachlorophenol) on the microanatomy of the adult female guinea pig reproductive system. The effects brought about by these compounds (40 mg/kg/day) were compared to those caused by the synthetic estrogen diethylstilbestrol (DES; 50 microg/kg/day). Adult female guinea pigs, intact and castrated, were treated with 14 daily subcutaneous (s.c.) doses of one of these agents. The 50% decline in the weight of the tract that occurred following castration, was prevented by administration of nonylphenol, p,p'-DDE, and DES, but not of pentachlorophenol. Nonylphenol produced weak estrogenic stimulation of the tract of intact animals and maintained a relatively normal histologic appearance in castrated animals. Focal mucinous metaplasia of the endometrium, however, was observed in both groups. Treatment of intact and castrated animals with p,p'-DDE resulted in cystic hyperplasia and mucinous metaplasia of the endometrium, hyperplasia of the cervical epithelium, estrogenic stimulation of the vagina, and dilation of the rete ovarii. Treatment of intact or castrated animals with DES resulted in effects that were qualitatively similar to those caused by p,p'-DDE. The appearance of the vaginal epithelium, however, was abnormal and the rete ovarii were less dilated. Pentachlorophenol had minimal effect on the histology of the tract of castrated or intact animals. These data support our hypothesis that some environmental toxicants can substitute for estradiol in regulating the microanatomy of the female reproductive tract. They indicate the potential of these compounds to act as endocrine disrupting agents.
Hypertension is a leading cause of cardiovascular, cerebral, and renal disease morbidity and mortality. Here we show that disruption of the Cyp 4a14 gene causes hypertension, which is, like most human hypertension, more severe in males. Male Cyp 4a14 (-/-) mice show increases in plasma androgens, kidney Cyp 4a12 expression, and the formation of prohypertensive 20-hydroxyarachidonate. Castration normalizes the blood pressure of Cyp 4a14 (-/-) mice and minimizes Cyp 4a12 expression and arachidonate omega-hydroxylation. Androgen replacement restores hypertensive phenotype, Cyp 4a12 expression, and 20-hydroxy-arachidonate formation. We conclude that the androgen-mediated regulation of Cyp 4a arachidonate monooxygenases is an important component of the renal mechanisms that control systemic blood pressures. These results provide direct evidence for a role of Cyp 4a isoforms in cardiovascular physiology, establish Cyp 4a14 (-/-) mice as a monogenic model for the study of cause/effect relationships between blood pressure, sex hormones, and P450 omega-hydroxylases, and suggest the human CYP 4A homologues as candidate genes for the analysis of the genetic and molecular basis of human hypertension.
Electrophoresis of rat dorsal prostate mRNAs on agarose gels containing methyl mercury hydroxide indicates the presence of several highly abundant mRNAs. In vitro translation of the total mRNAs in a cell-free system, followed by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, yields protein products including two intense bands corresponding to 23,000 and 21,000 Da. Following castration of rats, these in vitro translation products of dorsal prostate mRNAs are absent. However, the dorsal prostate levels of these two proteins are returned to normal in castrated rats which have received testosterone. In order to investigate these abundant mRNAs of the dorsal prostate, we have constructed double-stranded cDNA clones using poly(A+) RNA extracted from that rat tissue. Clones containing sequences complementary to abundant mRNAs were selected kinetically by colony hybridization with 32P-labeled dorsal prostate cDNA. Further characterization of individual clones was accomplished by restriction mapping and Northern blot analysis. One clone, pM-40, was found to be near full length and was used for further studies. Interestingly, in hybrid-arrested cell-free translation, clone pM-40 completely arrests the translation of both the 23,000- and 21,000-Da protein products indicating close sequence homology between these two proteins. Furthermore, dot hybridization experiments demonstrate that, in the dorsal prostate, the pM-40-specific mRNAs decrease following castration and are restored by testosterone administration. However, the low levels of the same mRNAs in the ventral prostate are not altered by androgen manipulation. Thus, two closely related, androgen-dependent tissues maintain differential regulation of the pM-40 gene(s). This system provides an opportunity to study in two tissues the differential regulation of a gene that may be duplicated or that may code for two separate proteins.
Alteration of growth of dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced mammary tumors was caused by removal of estrogen (ovariectomy), or insulin (diabetes), or by inhibition of prolactin secretin (treatment with an ergoline derivative). The levels of cyclic AMP (cAMP) and cGMP were measured in carcinomas classified as growing, static, and regressing. The amount of cAMP, expressed as pmoles/mg tumor weight or pmoles/mg protein, was lowest in growing tumors, intermediate in static tumors, and highest in those regressing. No correlation was seen between tumor growth and cGMP levels. Cyclophosphamide-induced tumor stasis did not elevate cAMP levels. The data suggest a role of cAMP in arrest of hormone-induced tumor growth.