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Physiological roles of enterohormones such as secretion, absorption and digestion were supported by clinical data. Overexpression of cholecystokinin (CCK), neurotensin (NT) and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) receptors occur in gastrointestinal (GI) malignancies. The aim of the paper was to compare plasma levels of CCK, peptide YY (PYY), VIP and NT in patients with gastrointestinal malignancies and healthy controls. The study included 80 patients (37 men and 43 women) with GI malignancies (20 with gastric and 60 with colorectal cancers). Median age of the patients was 62.9 years (range: 40-85 years). Control group was comprised of 30 healthy persons with median age 59.8 years (range: 40-82 years). Fasting plasma concentrations of CKK, PYY, NT, and VIP were determined at rest, using ELISA kits for automated systems. Comparative analysis of enterohormone levels in patients with various types of gastrointestinal malignancies demonstrated presence of some cancer-specific alterations. Patients with gastric cancers presented with lower plasma concentrations of CCK than healthy controls and individuals from colorectal cancers (p = 0.02). The highest plasma concentrations of neurotensin was found in colorectal cancer patients in comparison to gastric (p = 0.02). The plasma levels of VIP observed in gastric cancer group were lower than in colorectal cancer patients (p = 0.01). Patients with GI malignancies may present with tumor-specific alterations in plasma enterohormone levels.


The skin is a unique site in the human body that has the capacity to synthesize the active form of vitamin D, 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1α,25(OH)2D3), from 7-dehydrocholesterol (7DHC) upon UV irradiation. Keratinocytes express both 25-hydroxylase (CYP27A1 and CYP2R1) and 1α-hydroxylase (CYP27B1), critical enzymes involved in active vitamin D synthesis. Here, we investigated the effect of skin-derived 1α,25(OH)2D3, synthesized purely within the keratinocytes, on MMP-1 expression. Treatment of human epidermal keratinocytes with 1α,25(OH)2D3, but not 7DHC or 25OHD3, significantly increased MMP-1 expression. UV irradiation increases 1α,25(OH)2D3 levels, and ketoconazole inhibits UV-induced production of 1α,25(OH)2D3. Upregulation of MMP-1 by UV was reversed by inhibition of 1α,25(OH)2D3 synthesis using ketoconazole or CYP27B1 siRNA. In keratinocytes, 7DHC is a substrate for both cholesterol and 1α,25(OH)2D3 synthesis. We demonstrated that UV irradiation leads to decreased expression of DHCR7 (7-dehydrocholesterol reductase), the enzyme that converts 7DHC to cholesterol. Inhibition of DHCR7 with its inhibitor BM15766 decreased cholesterol synthesis and increased UV-induced MMP-1 expression, which was attenuated by ketoconazole. These findings suggest that UV-induced reduction of DHCR7 leads to a decrease in cholesterol synthesis, thereby increasing 7DHC availability for 1α,25(OH)2D3 production, which enhances MMP-1 expression. Finally, UV irradiation in human skin in vivo significantly increased CYP27B1 mRNA and decreased DHCR7 mRNA expression. Taken together, we demonstrate here that skin-derived 1α,25(OH)2D3 significantly increases MMP-1 expression in human keratinocytes, a previously unappreciated function of 1α,25(OH)2D3. Moreover, UV irradiation upregulates the enzyme CYP27B1, which leads to 1α,25(OH)2D3 synthesis, but downregulates the cholesterol-producing enzyme DHCR7, both of which collectively lead to increased MMP-1 expression in human keratinocytes. This pathway may be exploited to develop a novel cutaneous anti-aging agent that blocks local cutaneous 1α,25(OH)2D3 synthesis.


Objectives: Maturation of dendritic cells (DCs) contributes to atherosclerosis (AS) development. Metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1 (MALAT1) is a long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) that is involved in tumorigenesis. This study was designed to explore the role of exosomes from oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL)-treated vascular endothelial cells (VECs) in regulating DCs maturation in AS, and to elucidate whether MALAT1 was involved in this process.

Methods: Human umbilical VECs (HUVECs) were treated with or without ox-LDL, after which exosomes were isolated and then co-cultured with immature DCs (iDCs). The phenotypic profile and cell endocytosis in DCs were examined to assess the degree of maturation of DCs. The interaction between MALAT1 and NRF2 protein in DCs was evaluated using RNA pull-down assay and RNA immunoprecipitation. A mouse model of AS was eatablished by feeding ApoE knockout (ApoE−/-) mice with a high-fat diet for 12 weeks.

Results: The ox-LDL-HUVECs-Exos exhibited lower MALAT1 expression when compared with HUVECs-Exos. Furthermore, exosomes from ox-LDL-treated MALAT1-overexpressing-HUVECs (ox-LDL-HUVECs-ExosLv-MALAT1) released elevated expression of MALAT1 to iDCs, which interacted with NRF2 and activated NRF2 signaling, and thereby inhibited ROS accumulation and DCs maturation. Further in vivo experiments showed that a decrease in MALAT1 content in mouse VECs-Exos might be associated with mouse AS progression.

Conclusion: Loss of exosomal MALAT1 from ox-LDL-treated VECs induces DCs maturation in atherosclerosis development.

Assessment of TLR-2 concentration in tick-borne encephalitis and neuroborreliosis

Posted by P Penza, P Czupryna, O Zajkowska, et al. on 2019-09-26 19:59:00


The aim of the study was to check whether measurement of TLR-2 in serum or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) can help differentiate between neuroborreliosis (NB) and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). Eighty patients with meningitis and meningoencephalitis were divided into two groups: Group I – patients with NB (n = 40) and Group II – patients with TBE (n = 40). Diagnosis was based on the clinical picture, CSF examination and presence of specific antibodies in serum and CSF. The control group (CG) consisted of healthy blood donors (n = 25) and patients in whom inflammatory process in central nervous system was excluded (n = 25). Concentration of TLR-2 was measured using a commercial kit [TLR-2 Elisa Kit (EIAab, China)]. The serum and CSF TLR-2 concentration of NB patients was significantly higher than in CG. The serum and CSF TLR-2 concentration in TBE patients was significantly higher than in the CG. Receiver operating characteristic analysis of the serum TLR-2 concentration showed significant differences between the group of patients with NB and a group of patients with TBE. TLR-2 is involved in the development of inflammatory process in the CNS caused by both tick-borne pathogens: viral and bacterial as TLR-2 concentration in both CSF and serum differentiates these groups from healthy patients. Although TLR-2 cannot be used as a sole and reliable biomarker differentiating NB from TBE, results of our study are a step forward toward discovering such biomarker in the future.

Effect of sample type and storage conditions on Golgi membrane protein 73 stability

Posted by M M. Esawy, M A. Shabana, N H. Ahmed on 2019-09-25 23:35:00


GP73 is a transmembrane glycoprotein that increases in viral and non-viral liver diseases, especially in hepatocellular carcinoma. This study aims to evaluate the effect of sample type and storage conditions on GP73 concentration. Twenty subjects were enrolled in this study. Serum and citrated plasma samples were collected. Both were subjected to different time intervals and storage temperature. Baseline GP73 concentrations ranged from 1.7 to 16.9 ng/mL in serum samples, and from 1.1 to 15.3 ng/mL in citrated plasma (Mann–Whitney U test, p = .1). The acceptable change limit for GP73 was 6.1%. As the highest value of the median percentage deviation was −5.3% in both sample types at different storage condition so, deviations were within the accepted limits. But there were considerable variations in the GP-73 concentrations after 2 cycles of freezing and thawing at −20 °C. This study shows that both serum and citrated plasma can be used for the measurement of GP73 concentration. GP73 seems to be stable under common storage conditions, but it may be unstable with frequent cycles of freezing and thawing.

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