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Pregnancy-specific beta-1-glycoprotein 6 is a potential novel diagnostic biomarker of placenta accreta spectrum.

Early diagnosis is essential for the safer perinatal management of placenta accreta spectrum (PAS). We used transcriptome analysis to investigate diagnostic maternal serum biomarkers and the mechanisms of PAS development. We analyzed eight formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded placental specimens from two placenta increta and three placenta percreta cases who underwent cesarean hysterectomy at Sapporo Medical University Hospital between 2013 and 2019. Invaded placental regions were isolated from the uterine myometrium and RNA was extracted. The transcriptome difference between normal placenta and PAS was analyzed by microarray analysis. The PAS group showed markedly decreased expression of placenta-specific genes such as LGALS13 and the pregnancy-specific beta-1-glycoprotein (PSG) family. Term enrichment analysis revealed changes in genes related to cellular protein catabolic process, female pregnancy, autophagy, and metabolism of lipids. From the highly dysregulated genes in the PAS group, we investigated the expression of PSG family members, which are secreted into the intervillous space and can be detected in maternal serum from the early stage of pregnancy. The gene expression level of PSG6 in particular was progressively decreased from placenta increta to percreta. The PSG family, especially PSG6, is a potential biomarker for PAS diagnosis.

Morphological and etiological analyses of C3 and non-C3 glomerulonephritis in primary membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis using periodic acid-methenamine silver stain electron microscopy: a retrospective multicentered study.

This study elucidated the etiology of C3 glomerulonephritis (C3GN) and non-C3GN with primary membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN) using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and periodic acid-methenamine silver stain (PAM-EM). Thirty-one primary MPGN cases were analyzed by TEM and PAM-EM to distinguish among MPGN I, MPGN II, MPGN III Burkholder subtype (MPGN IIIB), and Anders and Strife subtype (MPGN IIIA/S). Each case was also classified into C3GN or non-C3GN according to the standard C3GN definition using immunostaining. Four cases of MPGN II met C3 glomerulopathy; whereas, four cases of MPGN IIIB did not meet C3 glomerulopathy. Seven of 11 cases (64%) of MPGN I without GBM disruption and 7 of 12 cases (58%) of MPGN IIIA/S with GBM disruption met the non-C3GN criteria with significant immunoglobulins' deposition. Regardless of the C3GN or non-C3GN diagnosis, the deposits in primary MPGN I and MPGN IIIA/S exhibited ill-defined, amorphous, and foggy characteristics similar to those found in postinfectious GN but were different from immune complex (IC) deposits seen in MPGN IIIB. Not only C3GN but also non-C3GN was due to mechanisms other than IC deposition as found in postinfectious GN. Consequently, GBM disruption of MPGN IIIA/S was not due to IC deposition.

Loss of SATB2 and CDX2 expression is associated with DNA mismatch repair protein deficiency and BRAF mutation in colorectal cancer.

The relationship between the expression of the SATB2 and CDX2 proteins and common molecular changes and clinical prognosis in colorectal cancer (CRC) still needs further clarification. We collected 1180 cases of CRC and explored the association between the expression of SATB2 and CDX2 and clinicopathological characteristics, molecular alterations, and overall survival of CRC using whole-slide immunohistochemistry. Our results showed that negative expression of SATB2 and CDX2 was more common in MMR-protein-deficient CRC than in MMR-protein-proficient CRC (15.8% vs. 6.0%, P = 0.001; 14.5% vs. 4.0%, P = 0.000, respectively). Negative expression of SATB2 and CDX2 was more common in BRAF-mutant CRC than in BRAF wild-type CRC (17.2% vs. 6.1%, P = 0.003; 13.8% vs. 4. 2%; P = 0.004, respectively). There was no relationship between SATB2 and/or CDX2 negative expression and KRAS, NRAS, and PIK3CA mutations. The lack of expression of SATB2 and CDX2 was associated with poor histopathological features of CRC. In multivariate analysis, negative expression of SATB2 (P = 0.030), negative expression of CDX2 (P = 0.043) and late clinical stage (P = 0.000) were associated with decreased overall survival of CRC. In conclusion, the lack of SATB2 and CDX2 expression in CRC was associated with MMR protein deficiency and BRAF mutation, but not with KRAS, NRAS and PIK3CA mutation. SATB2 and CDX2 are prognostic biomarkers in patients with CRC.

Open Access
Subcellular expression pattern and clinical significance of CBX2 and CBX7 in breast cancer subtypes.

Chromobox (CBX)2 and CBX7, members of CBX family protein, show diverse expression patterns and contrasting roles in certain cancers. We aimed to investigate the subcellular expression patterns and clinical significances of CBXs in breast cancer (BC) subtypes, which have heterogeneous clinical course and therapeutic responses. Among the subtypes, the triple-negative BC (TNBC) is a heterogeneous group that lacks specific markers. We categorized TNBC into quadruple-negative BC (QNBC) and TNBC, based on androgen receptor (AR) status, to make the groups more homogeneous. Immunohistochemistry for CBX proteins was performed on 323 primary invasive BC tissues and their clinical significances were analyzed. Cytoplasmic CBX2 (CBX2-c) was linked to adverse clinicopathological factors and TNBC and QNBC subtypes. In contrast, nuclear CBX7 (CBX7-n) was associated with favorable parameters and luminal A subtype. CBX2-c expression increased progressively from that in benign lesions to that in in situ carcinomas and invasive cancers, whereas CBX7-n and AR expressions showed sequential downregulation. AR was lower in metastatic tissues compared to matched primary cancer tissues. We speculate that the upregulation of CBX2-c and downregulation of CBX7-n could play a role in breast oncogenesis and an adverse clinical course, suggesting them as potential prognostic markers and therapeutic targets in invasive BCs.

Micromorphological observation of HLE cells under knockdown of Fascin using LV-SEM.

Liver cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in Japan with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) as the major histological subtype. Successful novel treatments for HCC have been reported; however, recurrences or metastasis may occur, which results in poor prognoses and high mortality of HCC patients. Fascin, an actin-bundling protein, regulates cell adhesion, migration, and invasion. Its overexpression positively correlates with poor prognosis of malignant tumors, and Fascin is considered as one of the tumor biomarkers and therapeutic target proteins. In this study, we attempted to reveal the relationship between Fascin and HCC using HLE, one of the human HCC cell lines. We performed the study with classical immunocytochemistry and recently developed techniques, such as wound-healing assay, spheroid cultivation, and low-vacuum scanning electron microscopy (LV-SEM). Non-Fascin-knockdown (FKD) cell spheroid had a regular spherical appearance with tight cell-cell connections, while FKD cell spheroid had an irregular shape with loose cell-cell connections. Cells of non-FKD spheroid presented fibrous protrusions on the cell surface, contrarily, cells of FKD spheroids showed bulbous-shaped protrusions. Morphological observation of FKD and non-FKD HLE spheroids were performed using LV-SEM. Our study may help to reveal the roles of Fascin in the process of HCC formation and its malignancy.

Immunohistological evaluation of patients treated with intra-arterial chemoradiotherapy and surgery for oral cancer.

Preoperative intra-arterial chemoradiotherapy (IACRT) can improve the outcome and reduce the extent of surgery in patients with advanced oral cancer. However, the response to this regimen varies among patients, which may be related to the immune status of the tumor. We investigated the effects of proteins involved in tumor immunity on the outcomes of combined IACRT and surgery for oral cancer. We examined CD8 + and FoxP3 + tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression on immune cells and tumor cells in pretreatment biopsy samples from 69 patients diagnosed with oral cancer treated with IACRT at our institution during 2000-2020. Patients with abundant CD8 + TILs had significantly better 5-year disease-specific survival (DSS) compared to that of patients with less infiltration of these cells (P = 0.016). Patients with higher FoxP3 + T-cells invasion had significantly better DSS compared to that of less FoxP3 (P = 0.005). Patients with high PD-L1 expression in tumor cells and immune cells had significantly better DSS than that of patients with low PD-L1 expression in these cells (P = 0.009 and P = 0.025, respectively). Collectively, these results suggest that the tumor immune microenvironment could affect outcomes of IACRT treatment in oral cancer.

Aquaporins contribute to vacuoles formation in Nile grass type II diabetic rats.

Regulation of ion and water microcirculation within the lens is tightly controlled through aquaporin channels and connexin junctions. However, cataracts can occur when the lens becomes cloudy. Various factors can induce cataracts, including diabetes which is a well-known cause. The most common phenotype of diabetic cataracts is a cortical and/or posterior subcapsular opacity. In addition to the three main types and two subtypes of cataracts, a vacuole formation is frequently observed; however, their origin remains unclear. In this study, we focused on the aquaporins and connexins involved in diabetes-induced cataracts and vacuoles in Nile grass type II diabetes. The results showed that the expression of aquaporin 0 and aquaporin 5 increased, and that of connexin 43 decreased in diabetic rat lenses. Additionally, aquaporin 0 and 5 were strongly localized in peripheral of vacuoles, suggesting that aquaporins are involved in vacuoles formation. Transillumination photography revealed large vacuoles at the tip of the Y-suture in the anterior capsule of the diabetic lens, and several small vacuoles were observed in the posterior capsule. Within the vacuoles, cytoplasmic degradation and aggregation of fibrous material were observed. Our findings suggest that aquaporins are potential candidate proteins for preventing vacuole formation.

Fast-track preparation of lung specimens for electron microscope observations of the pulmonary endothelial glycocalyx.

The glycocalyx (GCX) covers the luminal surface of blood vessels and regulates vascular permeability. As GCX degradation predicts various types of vasculopathy, confirming the presence of this structure is useful for diagnosis. Since the GCX layer is very fragile, careful fixation is necessary to preserve its structure. We explored appropriate and feasible methodologies for visualizing the GCX layer using lung tissue specimens excised from anesthetized mice. Each specimen was degassed and immersed in Alcian blue (ALB) fixative solution, and then observed using electron microscopy. Specimens from septic mice were prepared as negative GCX controls. Using these immersion-fixed specimens, the GCX layer was successfully observed using both transmission and scanning electron microscopy; these observations were similar to those obtained using the conventional method of lanthanum perfusion fixation. Spherical aggregates of GCX were observed in the septic mouse specimens, and the GCX density was lower in the septic specimens than in the non-septic specimens. Of note, the presently reported methodology reduced the specimen preparation time from 6 to 2days. We, therefore, concluded that our novel method could be applied to human lung specimens and could potentially contribute to the further elucidation of vasculopathies.