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2014 Anniversary Issue


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Molecular Medicine 2014

Articles from this Volume

Posted by Leah Caracappa on Dec 16, 2014 10:02 AM CST
Posted by Leah Caracappa on Dec 16, 2014 10:01 AM CST
Posted by Leah Caracappa on Dec 16, 2014 10:01 AM CST
Joshua J Field and David G Nathan

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Posted by Leah Caracappa on Dec 16, 2014 10:01 AM CST
Posted by Leah Caracappa on Dec 16, 2014 10:00 AM CST
Takahiro Minato, Mikihiro Tsutsumi, Mutsumi Tsuchishima, Nobuhiko Hayashi, Takashi Saito, Yasuhiro Matsue, Nobuyuki Toshikuni, Tomiyasu Arisawa, and Joseph George

The pathogenesis of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a two-stage process in which steatosis is the “first hit” and an unknown “second hit.” We hypothesized that “a binge” could be a “second hit” to develop NASH from obesity-induced simple steatosis. Thirty-week-old male Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima fatty (OLETF) rats were administered 10 mL of 10% ethanol orally for 5, 3, 2, and 1 d/wk for 3 consecutive weeks. As control, male Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima (OLET) rats were administered the same amount of alcohol. Various biochemical parameters of obesity, steatosis and NASH were monitored in serum and liver specimens in untreated and ethanol-treated rats. The liver sections were evaluated for histopathological alterations of NASH and stained for cytochrome P-4502E1 (CYP2E1) and 4-hydroxy-nonenal (4-HNE). Simple steatosis, hyperinsulinemia, hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, hypertriglycemia and marked increases in hepatic CYP2E1 and 4-HNE were present in 30-wk-old untreated OLETF rats. Massive steatohepatitis with hepatocyte ballooning was observed in the livers of all OLETF rats treated with ethanol. Serum and hepatic triglyceride levels as well as tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α mRNA were markedly increased in all ethanol-treated OLETF rats. Staining for CYP2E1 and 4-NHE demonstrated marked increases in the hepatic tissue of all the groups of OLETF rats treated with ethanol compared with OLET rats. Our data demonstrated that “a binge” serves as a “second hit” for development of NASH from obesity-induced simple steatosis through aggravation of oxidative stress. The enhanced levels of CYP2E1 and increased oxidative stress in obesity play a significant role in this process.

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Posted by Sheila Platt on Dec 4, 2014 8:15 AM CST
Chiara Sonnino, Sanah Christopher, Claudia Oddi, Stefano Toldo, Raquel Appa Falcao, Ryan D Melchior, George H Mueller, Nayef A Abouzaki, Amit Varma, Michael L Gambill, Benjamin W Van Tassell, Charles A Dinarello, and Antonio Abbate

Anakinra, the recombinant form of the human interleukin (IL)-1 receptor antagonist, blunts the acute systemic inflammatory response in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), by determining a fall in peripheral blood leukocyte and plasma C-reactive protein levels. The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of anakinra on the activity of leukocytes measured ex vivo. Blood was collected 72 h after admission in 17 patients enrolled in the Virginia Commonwealth University - Anakirna Remodeling Trial (2) (VCU-ART2) and randomly treated with anakinra (N = 7) or placebo (N = 10). Whole blood was cultured at 37°C for 24 h to measure spontaneous production of IL-6 or stimulated with Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS) for toll-like receptor (TLR)-4 or heat-killed Staphylococcus epidermidis (SE) for TLR-2 activation. The cultures of anakinra-treated patients produced significantly less IL-6 spontaneously (71 pg/mL [27–114]) compared with placebo-treated patients (290 pg/mL [211–617], p = 0.005). LPS- or SE-induced IL-6 production, on the other hand, was not statistically different between anakinra- versus placebo-treated patients (344 pg/mL [94–560] versus 370 pg/mL [306–991], p = 0.32 for LPS, and 484 pg/mL [77–612] versus 615 pg/mL [413–871], p = 0.31 for SE, respectively). IL-1 blockade with anakinra in STEMI patients results in reduced spontaneous leukocyte activity ex vivo without impairing the responsiveness to bacterial stimuli.

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Posted by Sheila Platt on Nov 18, 2014 12:37 PM CST
David J Weatherall

Real innovations in medicine and science are historic and singular; the stories behind each occurrence are precious. At Molecular Medicine we have established the Anthony Cerami Award in Translational Medicine to document and preserve these histories. The monographs recount the seminal events as told in the voice of the original investigators who provided the crucial early insight. These essays capture the essence of discovery, chronicling the birth of ideas that created new fields of research; and launched trajectories that persisted and ultimately influenced how disease is prevented, diagnosed, and treated. In this volume, the Cerami Award Monograph is by David J Weatherall, Founder, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, Oxford University, John Radcliffe Hospital. A visionary in the field of hemoglobin, this is the story of Professor Weatherall’s scientific journey.

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Posted by Sheila Platt on Nov 11, 2014 12:09 PM CST
Rui Kang, Michael T Lotze, Herbert J Zeh, Timothy R Billiar, and Daolin Tang

Cell death and inflammation are key pathologic responses of acute pancreatitis (AP), the leading cause of hospital admissions for gastrointestinal disorders. It is becoming increasingly clear that damage-associated molecular pattern molecules (DAMPs) play an important role in the pathogenesis of AP by linking local tissue damage to systemic inflammation syndrome. Endogenous DAMPs released from dead, dying or injured cells initiate and extend sterile inflammation via specific pattern recognition receptors. Inhibition of the release and activity of DAMPs (for example, high mobility group box 1, DNA, histones and adenosine triphosphate) provides significant protection against experimental AP. Moreover, increased serum levels of DAMPs in patients with AP correlate with disease severity. These findings provide novel insight into the mechanism, diagnosis and management of AP. DAMPs might be an attractive therapeutic target in AP.

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Posted by Sheila Platt on Oct 29, 2014 8:08 AM CDT
Leif Å Söderström, Karl Gertow, Lasse Folkersen, Maria Sabater-Lleal, Eva Sundman, Yuri Sheikine, Anuj Goel, Damiano Baldassarre, Steve E Humphries, Ulf de Faire, Hugh Watkins, Elena Tremoli, Fabrizio Veglia, Anders Hamsten, Göran K Hansson, and Peder S Olofsson

Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease and the main cause of cardiovascular disease. Inflammation promotes plaque instability and clinical disease, such as myocardial infarction, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. Subclinical atherosclerosis begins with thickening of the arterial intimal layer, and increased intima-media thickness (IMT) in the carotid artery is a widely used measurement of subclinical atherosclerosis. Activation of CD137 (tumor necrosis factor receptor super family 9) promotes inflammation and disease development in murine atherosclerosis. CD137 is expressed in human atherosclerosis, but its role is largely unknown. This study uses a genetic approach to investigate CD137 in human atherosclerotic disease. In publicly available data on genotype and gene expression from the HapMap project, the minor T allele of rs2453021, a single nucleotide polymorphism in CD137, was significantly associated with CD137 gene expression. In the PROCARDIS and Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (WTCCC) cohorts of 13,029 cases and controls, no significant association was detected between the minor T allele of rs2453021 and risk for coronary artery disease or myocardial infarction. However, in the IMPROVE multicenter study of 3,418 individuals, the minor T allele of rs2453021 was associated with increased IMT of the common carotid artery (CCA), as measured by ultrasonography, with presence of plaque in CCA and with increased incidence of adverse noncardiac vascular events. Taken together, this study shows that the minor T allele of rs2453021 is associated with increased IMT in the CCA and increased risk of incident noncardiac vascular events, thus providing the first human genetic evidence for involvement of CD137 in atherosclerosis.

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Posted by Sheila Platt on Oct 14, 2014 12:04 PM CDT
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