Elimination of EVE protein by CALI in the short germ band insect Tribolium suggests a conserved pair-rule function for even skipped.
The question of the degree of evolutionary conservation of the pair-rule patterning mechanism known from Drosophila is still contentious. We have employed chromophore-assisted laser inactivation (CALI) to inactivate the function of the pair-rule gene even skipped (eve) in the short germ embryo of the flour beetle Tribolium. We show that it is possible to generate pair-rule type phenocopies with defects in alternating segments. Interestingly, we find the defects in odd numbered segments and not in even numbered ones as in Drosophila. However, this apparent discrepancy can be explained if one takes into account that the primary action of eve is at the level of parasegments and that different cuticular markers are used for defining the segment borders in the two species. In this light, we find that eve appears to be required for the formation of the anterior borders of the same odd numbered parasegments in both species. We conclude that the primary function of eve as a pair rule gene is conserved between the two species. (+info)
Lessons learned from 500 cases of lymphatic mapping for breast cancer.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the factors affecting the identification and accuracy of the sentinel node in breast cancer in a single institutional experience. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Few of the many published feasibility studies of lymphatic mapping for breast cancer have adequate numbers to assess in detail the factors affecting failed and falsely negative mapping procedures. METHODS: Five hundred consecutive sentinel lymph node biopsies were performed using isosulfan blue dye and technetium-labeled sulfur colloid. A planned conventional axillary dissection was performed in 104 cases. RESULTS: Sentinel nodes were identified in 458 of 492 (92%) evaluable cases. The mean number of sentinel nodes removed was 2.1. The sentinel node was successfully identified by blue dye in 80% (393/492), by isotope in 85% (419/492), and by the combination of blue dye and isotope in 93% (458/492) of patients. Success in locating the sentinel node was unrelated to tumor size, type, location, or multicentricity; the presence of lymphovascular invasion; histologic or nuclear grade; or a previous surgical biopsy. The false-negative rate of 10.6% (5/47) was calculated using only those 104 cases where a conventional axillary dissection was planned before surgery. CONCLUSIONS: Sentinel node biopsy in patients with early breast cancer is a safe and effective alternative to routine axillary dissection for patients with negative nodes. Because of a small but definite rate of false-negative results, this procedure is most valuable in patients with a low risk of axillary nodal metastases. Both blue dye and radioisotope should be used to maximize the yield and accuracy of successful localizations. (+info)
Inhibition of the activities of matrix metalloproteinases 2, 8, and 9 by chlorhexidine.
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a host cell-derived proteolytic enzyme family which plays a major role in tissue-destructive inflammatory diseases such as periodontitis. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the inhibitory effect of chlorhexidine (CHX) on MMP-2 (gelatinase A), MMP-9 (gelatinase B), and MMP-8 (collagenase 2) activity. Heat-denatured type I collagen (gelatin) was incubated with pure human MMP-2 or -9 activated with p-aminophenylmercuric acetate (APMA), and the proteolytic degradation of gelatin was monitored by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and Coomassie blue staining. The effect of CHX on MMP-8 activity was also studied with a cellular model addressing the ability of phorbol myristate acetate (PMA)-triggered human peripheral blood neutrophils (polymorphonuclear leukocytes [PMNs]) to degrade native type I collagen. CHX inhibited the activities of both gelatinases (A and B), but MMP-2 appeared to be more sensitive than MMP-9. Adding calcium chloride to the assay mixtures almost completely prevented the inhibition of MMP-9 activity by CHX, while the inhibition of MMP-2 activity could be reversed only when CHX was used at a low concentration. This observation suggests that CHX may act via a cation-chelating mechanism. CHX dose-dependently inhibited collagenolytic activity of MMP-8 released by PMA-triggered PMNs. MMP-8 without APMA activation was inhibited clearly more efficiently than APMA-activated MMP-8. Our study suggests that the direct inhibition of the MMPs' activities by CHX may represent a new valuable effect of this antimicrobial agent and explains, at least in part, the beneficial effects of CHX in the treatment of periodontitis. (+info)
Laser-mediated, site-specific inactivation of RNA transcripts.
The biological function of specific gene products often is determined experimentally by blocking their expression in an organism and observing the resulting phenotype. Chromophore-assisted laser inactivation using malachite green (MG)-tagged antibodies makes it possible to inactivate target proteins in a highly restricted manner, probing their temporally and spatially resolved functions. In this report, we describe the isolation and in vitro characterization of a MG-binding RNA motif that may enable the same high-resolution analysis of gene function specifically at the RNA level (RNA-chromophore-assisted laser inactivation). A well-defined asymmetric internal bulge within an RNA duplex allows high affinity and high specificity binding by MG. Laser irradiation in the presence of low concentrations of MG induces destruction of the MG-binding RNA but not of coincubated control RNA. Laser-induced hydrolysis of the MG-binding RNA is restricted predominantly to a single nucleotide within the bulge. By appropriately incorporating this motif into a target gene, transcripts generated by the gene may be effectively tagged for laser-mediated destruction. (+info)
Two-colour flow-cytometric analysis of pulmonary alveolar macrophages from smokers.
The study of alveolar macrophages (AM) from smokers by flow cytometry (FCM) has been limited by strong autofluorescence and the lack of reliable markers to identify macrophages. Crystal violet quenching was reported to be effective in reducing autofluorescence of AM. CD68 is a marker for macrophages in immunohistochemistry, but has been less useful in FCM because of poor surface expression. This study evaluated the effectiveness of a method for two-colour FCM analysis of AM combined with membrane permeabilization and crystal violet quenching. Bronchoalveolar lavage cells, fixed in 4% paraformaldehyde and permeabilized using 0.5% Triton X100, were incubated with fluorescent-labelled antibodies for 30 min and quenched with a saturated crystal violet solution. Two-colour FCM was then performed using forward/side scatter gating to select AM. Autofluorescence at 525 nm (fluorescein isothiocyanate) and 575 nm (phycoerythrin) markedly decreased after quenching. After permeabilization, 97.1+/-2.8% of the gated cells were CD68+, while 53.9+/-18.6% of the AM were positive without permeabilization. CD68+ cells were sorted and proved to be AM morphologically. Analysis of CD71 (transferrin receptor) expression by FCM correlated with immunocytochemistry (r=0.77, p<0.05). The permeabilization/quenching technique, therefore, represents a satisfactory means to evaluate alveolar macrophages by flow cytometry. (+info)
Subareolar versus peritumoral injection for location of the sentinel lymph node.
BACKGROUND: Sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy is fast becoming the standard for testing lymph node involvement in many institutions. However, questions remain as to the best method of injection. The authors hypothesized that a subareolar injection of material would drain to the same lymph node as a peritumoral injection, regardless of the location of the tumor. METHODS: To test this theory, 68 patients with 69 operable invasive breast carcinomas and clinically node-negative disease were enrolled in this single-institution Institutional Review Board-approved trial. Patients were injected with 1.0 mCi of technetium-99 sulfur colloid (unfiltered) in the subareolar area of the tumor-bearing breast. Each patient received an injection of 2 to 5 cc of isosulfan blue around the tumor. Radioactive SLNs were identified using a hand-held gamma detector probe. RESULTS: The average age of patients entered into this trial was 55.2 +/- 13.4 years. The average size of the tumors was 1.48 +/- 1.0 cm. Thirty-two percent of the patients had undergone previous excisional breast biopsies. Of the 69 lesions, 62 (89.9%) had SLNs located with the blue dye and 65 (94.2%) with the technetium. In four patients, the SLN was not located with either method. All blue SLNs were also radioactive. All located SLNs were in the axilla. Of the 62 patients in which the SLNs were located with both methods, an average of 1.5 +/- 0.7 SLNs were found per patient, of which 23.2% had metastatic disease. All four patients in which no SLN was located with either method had undergone prior excisional biopsies. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that subareolar injection of technetium is as accurate as peritumoral injection of blue dye. Central injection is easy and avoids the necessity for image-guided injection of nonpalpable breast lesions. Finally, subareolar injection of technetium avoids the problem of overlap of the radioactive zone of diffusion of the injection site with the radioactive sentinel lymph node, particularly in medial and upper outer quadrant lesions. (+info)
Environmental factors and chemical agents affecting the growth of the pathogenic marine ciliate Uronema nigricans.
The scuticociliate Uronema nigricans is an opportunistically parasitic marine ciliate known to cause disease in some aquacultural environments with epizootics documented from marine larval rearing systems, marine aquaria and in southern bluefin tuna Thunnus macoyii growout enclosures. This study examined growth responses of laboratory cultures of the ciliate and prey bacteria to variations in temperature and salinity, and the efficacy of potential chemotherapeutants for control of U. nigricans infections. Differences in ciliate growth responses were marginal at temperatures of 10 to 25 degrees C and at salinities between 15 and 35 ppt, though 3.5 ppt or less was lethal. Ciliates were found to be sensitive to fluctuations in bacterial densities, which may be a factor in the seasonal occurrence of the ciliate-related disease in tuna. Commonly used chemotherapeutants such as formalin, malachite green and hydrogen peroxide were all effective against the ciliate during in vitro trials. (+info)
99mTc-human serum albumin: an effective radiotracer for identifying sentinel lymph nodes in melanoma.
Sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy has emerged as a novel approach for identifying patients with melanoma and regional nodal micrometastasis who may benefit from full nodal basin resection. To identify the pattern of tumor lymphatic drainage and the SLN, lymphoscintigraphy has been performed using primarily 99mTc-sulfur colloid (SC). In this study, we compare the efficacy of SLN biopsy using 99mTc-human serum albumin (HSA) with SLN biopsy after SC-based lymphoscintigraphy. METHODS: One hundred and six patients with localized cutaneous melanoma were studied. Lymphoscintigraphy was performed after intradermal injection of HSA in 85 patients and SC in 21 patients. Four patients underwent lymphoscintigraphy twice, once with SC and once with HSA. Dynamic images were acquired for up to 1 h, followed by high-count images of the SLN in various projections so that the most likely site was marked on the skin for biopsy. Intraoperatively, blue dye was injected around the primary site. Twenty-four patients underwent SLN dissection directed by preoperative lymphoscintigraphy and vital blue dye mapping; in the remaining 80 patients, a gamma probe was added intraoperatively to the localization procedure. Two patients underwent mapping with gamma probe alone. RESULTS: Draining lymphatic basins and nodes were identified by lymphoscintigraphy in all patients. The SLN was identified in 95% of patients when both blue dye and intraoperative gamma probe were used. When 99mTc-HSA was used for imaging, 98% of the SLNs ultimately identified were radiolabeled, and 82% were both hot and blue. Of the SLN recovered with SC, all the nodes were radiolabeled; however, there was only 58% hot and blue concordance. Greater numbers of SLNs were removed in the SC group (median 2.0 versus 1.0, P = 0.02); however, the incidence of micrometastasis was statistically similar in both HSA and SC cohorts. In the 4 patients examined with both tracers, SLN mapping was similar. CONCLUSION: Although SC has been the radiotracer of choice for SLN mapping in melanoma, HSA appears to be a suitable alternative, with identical success rates. In fact, the higher concordance between hot and blue nodes using HSA suggests superiority of this tracer for this purpose. (+info)