(1/4752) Expression of CD44 in Apc and Tcf mutant mice implies regulation by the WNT pathway.

Overexpression of cell surface glycoproteins of the CD44 family is an early event in the colorectal adenoma-carcinoma sequence. This suggests a link with disruption of APC tumor suppressor protein-mediated regulation of beta-catenin/Tcf-4 signaling, which is crucial in initiating tumorigenesis. To explore this hypothesis, we analyzed CD44 expression in the intestinal mucosa of mice and humans with genetic defects in either APC or Tcf-4, leading to constitutive activation or blockade of the beta-catenin/Tcf-4 pathway, respectively. We show that CD44 expression in the non-neoplastic intestinal mucosa of Apc mutant mice is confined to the crypt epithelium but that CD44 is strongly overexpressed in adenomas as well as in invasive carcinomas. This overexpression includes the standard part of the CD44 (CD44s) as well as variant exons (CD44v). Interestingly, deregulated CD44 expression is already present in aberrant crypt foci with dysplasia (ACFs), the earliest detectable lesions of colorectal neoplasia. Like ACFs of Apc-mutant mice, ACFs of familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) patients also overexpress CD44. In sharp contrast, Tcf-4 mutant mice show a complete absence of CD44 in the epithelium of the small intestine. This loss of CD44 concurs with loss of stem cell characteristics, shared with adenoma cells. Our results indicate that CD44 expression is part of a genetic program controlled by the beta-catenin/Tcf-4 signaling pathway and suggest a role for CD44 in the generation and turnover of epithelial cells.  (+info)

(2/4752) MTHFR polymorphism, methyl-replete diets and the risk of colorectal carcinoma and adenoma among U.S. men and women: an example of gene-environment interactions in colorectal tumorigenesis.

Our studies on interactions of a folate-metabolizing gene polymorphism and dietary intake in colorectal tumorigenesis demonstrate the potential importance of studying interactions between genotype and environmental exposure in relation to cancer risk. We observed an inverse association of a polymorphism (667C --> T, ala --> val) in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene with colorectal cancer but not with colorectal adenomas. The inverse association of methionine and adverse association of alcohol with colorectal cancer were stronger among val/val individuals. These interactions were not present in studies of colorectal adenomas. Our studies illustrate that studying gene-environment interactions in relation to cancer can be of importance in clarifying cancer etiology as well as pointing to preventive dietary modifications.  (+info)

(3/4752) Expression of relaxin-like factor is down-regulated in human testicular Leydig cell neoplasia.

In addition to their role in steroidogenesis in the male, testicular Leydig cells constitutively express large amounts of the peptide relaxin-like factor (RLF), also known as Ley-IL. The Leydig cell-derived RLF belongs to the insulin-like superfamily, which also includes relaxin, insulin and the insulin-like growth factors, and within the testis is a specific marker of Leydig cells. Little information is available either on the regulation of gene expression or on the function of this Leydig cell-derived peptide. In the present study we have investigated the expression pattern of human RLF in patients with rare Leydig cell hyperplasia and adenoma. The expression of both mRNA and protein appear to be decreased in hyperplastic Leydig cells, whereas in the Leydig cell adenomas studied, large central areas of the adenoma were devoid of RLF mRNA and protein. Only Leydig cells located at the periphery of the adenoma displayed expression of RLF, with full agreement between in-situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. It thus appears that the expression of the RLF gene and its products are down-regulated in Leydig cell hyperplasia and adenoma, consistent with a concomitant dedifferentiation of these cells.  (+info)

(4/4752) Effect of retinoids on AOM-induced colon cancer in rats: modulation of cell proliferation, apoptosis and aberrant crypt foci.

We have previously reported that the retinoids, 4-(hydroxyphenyl)retinamide (4-HPR) and 9-cis-retinoic acid (RA) prevented azoxymethane (AOM)-induced colon tumors and along with 2-(carboxyphenyl)retinamide (2-CPR) prevented aberrant crypt foci (ACF). In this study, we evaluated the effect of 2-CPR on AOM-induced colon tumors and the effect of the three retinoids on apoptosis and cell proliferation. Male F344 rats were administrated 15 mg/kg AOM at weeks 7 and 8 of age. 2-CPR (315 mg/kg) was administered in the diet starting either 1 week before or at week 12 after the first dose of AOM. The rats continued to receive the 2-CPR until killed at week 46. Unlike the demonstrated prevention of colon cancer by the other two retinoids, both dosing schedules of 2-CPR resulted in an approximate doubling of the yield of colon tumors. In adenomas, 2-CPR, 4-HPR and 9-cis-RA were equally effective in reducing mitotic activity, while only 4-HPR and 9-cis-RA but not 2-CPR enhanced apoptosis. When administered for only the 6 days prior to killing 4-HPR but not 2-CPR decreased the Mitotic Index and increased the Apoptotic Index in adenomas. In non-involved crypts, chronic exposure to 4-HPR and 9-cis-RA in contrast to 2-CPR reduced the Mitotic Index and enhanced the Apoptotic Index. In concurrence with our previous study, both 2-CPR and 4-HPR were very potent in preventing ACF when administered in the diet starting 1 week before the first dose of AOM and continuing for the 5 weeks of the study. Hence, unlike the other two retinoids, 2-CPR, although very potent in preventing ACF, enhanced rather than prevented AOM-induced colon cancer. Furthermore, our results suggest that the effect of 2-CPR on tumor yield is different from 4-HPR and 9-cis-RA because, unlike them, it does not enhance apoptosis.  (+info)

(5/4752) Reduced lung tumorigenesis in human methylguanine DNA--methyltransferase transgenic mice achieved by expression of transgene within the target cell.

Human methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) transgenic mice expressing high levels of O6-alkylguanine-DNA alkyltransferase (AGT) in lung were crossbred to A/J mice that are susceptible to pulmonary adenoma to study the impact of O6-methylguanine (O6mG)-DNA adduct repair on NNK-induced lung tumorigenesis. Expression of the chimeric human MGMT transgene in lung was identified by northern and western blot analysis, immunohistochemistry assay and enzymatic assay. AGT activity was 17.6 +/- 3.2 versus 1.2 +/- 0.4 fmol/microg DNA in lung of MGMT transgenic mice compared with non-transgenic mice. Immunohistochemical staining with anti-human AGT antibody showed that human AGT was expressed throughout the lung. However, some epithelial cells of bronchi and alveoli did not stain for human AGT, suggesting that the human MGMT transgene expression was heterogeneous. After 100 mg/kg NNK i.p. injection in MGMT transgenic mice, lung AGT activity remained much higher and levels of lung O6mG-DNA adducts in MGMT transgenic mice were lower than those of non-transgenic mice. In the tumorigenesis study, mice received 100 mg/kg NNK at 6 weeks of age and were killed 44 weeks later. Ten of 17 MGMT transgenic mice compared with 16 of 17 non-transgenic mice had lung tumors, P < 0.05. MGMT transgenic mice had lower multiplicity and smaller sized lung tumors than non-transgenic mice. Moreover, a reduction in the frequency of K-ras mutations in lung tumors was found in MGMT transgenic mice (6.7 versus 50% in non-transgenic mice). These results indicate that high levels of AGT expressed in mouse lung reduce lung tissue susceptibility to NNK-induced tumorigenesis due to increased repair capacity for O6mG, subsequently, decreased mutational activation of K-ras oncogene. Heterogeneity in the level of AGT expressed in different lung cell populations or other forms of carcinogenic DNA damage caused by NNK may explain the residual incidence of lung tumors in MGMT transgenic mice.  (+info)

(6/4752) Possible carcinogenic effects of X-rays in a transgenerational study with CBA mice.

A lifetime experiment using 4279 CBA/J mice was carried out to investigate whether the pre-conceptual exposure of sperm cells to X-ray radiation or urethane would result in an increased cancer risk in the untreated progeny, and/or increased susceptibility to cancer following exposure to a promoting agent. The study consisted of four main groups, namely a control group (saline), a urethane group (1 mg/g body wt) and two X-ray radiation groups (1 Gy, 2 Gy). At 1, 3 and 9 weeks after treatment, the males of these four parental groups were mated with untreated virgin females. The offspring of each parental group was divided into two subgroups: one received s.c. urethane (0.1 mg/g body wt once) as a promoter, the other saline, at the age of 6 weeks. All animals were evaluated for the occurrence of tumours. K-ras oncogene and p53 tumour suppressor gene mutations were investigated in frozen lung tumour samples. The female offspring of male parents exposed to X-rays 1 week before their mating showed a trend towards a higher tumour incidence of the haematopoietic system than the F1 controls. In addition, a higher percentage of bronchioloalveolar adenocarcinomas in male offspring born to irradiated paternals mated 1 week after X-ray treatment points to a plausible increased sensitivity of post-meiotic germ cell stages towards transgenerational carcinogenic effects. On the other hand, no increased tumour incidence and malignancy were observed in the offspring born to irradiated paternals mated 3 and 9 weeks after X-ray treatment. Paternal urethane treatment 1, 3 and 9 weeks prior to conception did not result in significantly altered incidence or malignancy of tumours of the lung, liver and haematopoietic tissue in the offspring. K-ras mutations increased during tumour progression from bronchioloalveolar hyperplasia to adenoma. Codon 61 K-ras mutations were more frequent in lung tumours of urethane-promoted progeny from irradiated parents than from control parents. P53 mutations were absent from these lung alterations.  (+info)

(7/4752) Epithelial thyroid tumors in cows.

From 1964 to 1973, 370 tumors were collected from cows of unknown age. Ten (2.7%) of these were primary thyroid tumors. Three were malignant. The benign tumors were solitary encapsulated adenomas in the parenchyma with more or less defined trabeculae, tubular, and microfollicular pattern. One of the malignant tumors was a cystic papillary adenocarcinoma, and two were small cell carcinomas consisting of small, sometimes binuclear, pleomorphic cells.  (+info)

(8/4752) The elevated serum alkaline phosphatase--the chase that led to two endocrinopathies and one possible unifying diagnosis.

A 39-year-old Chinese man with hypertension being evaluated for elevated serum alkaline phosphatase (SAP) levels was found to have an incidental right adrenal mass. The radiological features were characteristic of a large adrenal myelolipoma. This mass was resected and the diagnosis confirmed pathologically. His blood pressure normalised after removal of the myelolipoma, suggesting that the frequently observed association between myelolipomas and hypertension may not be entirely coincidental. Persistent elevation of the SAP levels and the discovery of hypercalcaemia after surgery led to further investigations which confirmed primary hyperparathyroidism due to a parathyroid adenoma. The patient's serum biochemistry normalised after removal of the adenoma. The association of adrenal myelolipoma with primary hyperparathyroidism has been reported in the literature only once previously. Although unconfirmed by genetic studies this association may possibly represent an unusual variation of the multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 syndrome.  (+info)