Mushroom worker's lung resulting from indoor cultivation of Pleurotus osteatus. (1/5744)

Indoor cultivation of oyster mushroom Pleurotus osteatus lead to an outbreak of extrinsic allergic alveolitis in two workers. High titer of indirect fluorescent antibody and positive precipitins against basidiospores of P. osteatus were demonstrated in sera of the patients. Mushroom workers should protect themselves from the basidiospores, being aware of their pathogenicity.  (+info)

Establishment and characterization of nurse cell-like stromal cell lines from synovial tissues of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. (2/5744)

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the features of synovial stromal cells established from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and to define these cells as nurse cells. METHODS: Synovial nurse-like stromal cell lines (RA-SNCs) were established from patients with RA. These cell lines were examined for morphology, pseudoemperipolesis activity, cell surface markers, and cytokine production. The interaction between these RA-SNCs and a synovial tissue B cell clone was also examined. RESULTS: RA-SNCs had nurse cell activity. They spontaneously produced interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-8, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor. Furthermore, they produced IL-1beta and tumor necrosis factor alpha and expressed higher levels of the other cytokines after coculture with the B cell clone. Proliferation and Ig production by the B cell clone were dependent on direct contact with RA-SNCs. CONCLUSION: These results indicate that the RA-SNCs were nurse cells. The findings suggest that RA-SNCs may play an important role in the pathogenesis of RA by producing large amounts of cytokines and maintaining infiltrating lymphocytes.  (+info)

Autoantibodies to RNA polymerases recognize multiple subunits and demonstrate cross-reactivity with RNA polymerase complexes. (3/5744)

OBJECTIVE: To determine the subunit specificity of autoantibody directed to RNA polymerases (RNAP) I, II, and III, which is one of the major autoantibody responses in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). METHODS: Thirty-two SSc sera with anti-RNAP antibodies (23 with anti-RNAP I/III, 5 with anti-RNAP I/III and II, and 4 with anti-RNAP II alone) were analyzed by immunoblotting using affinity-purified RNAP and by immunoprecipitation using 35S-labeled cell extracts in which RNAP complexes were dissociated. Antibodies bound to individual RNAP subunits were eluted from preparative immunoblots and were further analyzed by immunoblotting and immunoprecipitation. RESULTS: At least 15 different proteins were bound by antibodies in anti-RNAP-positive SSc sera in various combinations. All 9 sera immunoprecipitating RNAP II and all 28 sera immunoprecipitating RNAP I/III recognized the large subunit proteins of RNAP II and III, respectively. Reactivity to RNAP I large subunits was strongly associated with bright nucleolar staining by indirect immunofluorescence. Affinity-purified antibodies that recognized a 62-kd subunit protein cross-reacted with a 43-kd subunit protein and immunoprecipitated both RNAP I and RNAP III. Antibodies that recognized a 21-kd subunit protein obtained from sera that were positive for anti-RNAP I/III and II antibodies immunoprecipitated both RNAP II and RNAP III. CONCLUSION: Anti-RNAP antibodies recognize multiple subunits of RNAP I, II, and III. Moreover, the results of this study provide the first direct evidence that antibodies that recognize shared subunits of human RNAPs or epitopes present on different human RNAP subunits are responsible for the recognition of multiple RNAPs by SSc sera.  (+info)

Frequent nuclear/cytoplasmic localization of beta-catenin without exon 3 mutations in malignant melanoma. (4/5744)

Beta-Catenin has a critical role in E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion, and it also functions as a downstream signaling molecule in the wnt pathway. Mutations in the putative glycogen synthase kinase 3beta phosphorylation sites near the beta-catenin amino terminus have been found in some cancers and cancer cell lines. The mutations render beta-catenin resistant to regulation by a complex containing the glycogen synthase kinase 3beta, adenomatous polyposis coli, and axin proteins. As a result, beta-catenin accumulates in the cytosol and nucleus and activates T-cell factor/ lymphoid enhancing factor transcription factors. Previously, 6 of 27 melanoma cell lines were found to have beta-catenin exon 3 mutations affecting the N-terminal phosphorylation sites (Rubinfeld B, Robbins P, Elgamil M, Albert I, Porfiri E, Polakis P: Stabilization of beta-catenin by genetic defects in melanoma cell lines. Science 1997, 275:1790-1792). To assess the role of beta-catenin defects in primary melanomas, we undertook immunohistochemical and DNA sequencing studies in 65 melanoma specimens. Nuclear and/or cytoplasmic localization of beta-catenin, a potential indicator of wnt pathway activation, was seen focally within roughly one third of the tumors, though a clonal somatic mutation in beta-catenin was found in only one case (codon 45 Ser-->Pro). Our findings demonstrate that beta-catenin mutations are rare in primary melanoma, in contrast to the situation in melanoma cell lines. Nonetheless, activation of beta-catenin, as indicated by its nuclear and/or cytoplasmic localization, appears to be frequent in melanoma, and in some cases, it may reflect focal and transient activation of the wnt pathway within the tumor.  (+info)

Angiosarcomas express mixed endothelial phenotypes of blood and lymphatic capillaries: podoplanin as a specific marker for lymphatic endothelium. (5/5744)

Angiosarcomas apparently derive from blood vessel endothelial cells; however, occasionally their histological features suggest mixed origin from blood and lymphatic endothelia. In the absence of specific positive markers for lymphatic endothelia the precise distinction between these components has not been possible. Here we provide evidence by light and electron microscopic immunohistochemistry that podoplanin, a approximately 38-kd membrane glycoprotein of podocytes, is specifically expressed in the endothelium of lymphatic capillaries, but not in the blood vasculature. In normal skin and kidney, podoplanin colocalized with vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-3, the only other lymphatic marker presently available. Complementary immunostaining of blood vessels was obtained with established endothelial markers (CD31, CD34, factor VIII-related antigen, and Ulex europaeus I lectin) as well as podocalyxin, another podocytic protein that is also localized in endothelia of blood vessels. Podoplanin specifically immunolabeled endothelia of benign tumorous lesions of undisputed lymphatic origin (lymphangiomas, hygromas) and was detected there as a 38-kd protein by immunoblotting. As paradigms of malignant vascular tumors, poorly differentiated (G3) common angiosarcomas (n = 8), epitheloid angiosarcomas (n = 3), and intestinal Kaposi's sarcomas (n = 5) were examined for their podoplanin content in relation to conventional endothelial markers. The relative number of tumor cells expressing podoplanin was estimated and, although the number of cases in this preliminary study was limited to 16, an apparent spectrum of podoplanin expression emerged that can be divided into a low-expression group in which 0-10% of tumor cells contained podoplanin, a moderate-expression group with 30-60% and a high-expression group with 70-100%. Ten of eleven angiosarcomas and all Kaposi's sarcomas showed mixed expression of both lymphatic and blood vascular endothelial phenotypes. By double labeling, most podoplanin-positive tumor cells coexpressed endothelial markers of blood vessels, whereas few tumor cells were positive for individual markers only. From these results we conclude that (1) podoplanin is a selective marker of lymphatic endothelium; (2) G3 angiosarcomas display a quantitative spectrum of podoplanin-expressing tumor cells; (3) in most angiosarcomas, a varying subset of tumor cells coexpresses podoplanin and endothelial markers of blood vessels; and (4) all endothelial cells of Kaposi's sarcomas expressed the lymphatic marker podoplanin.  (+info)

Expression of CD44 in Apc and Tcf mutant mice implies regulation by the WNT pathway. (6/5744)

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)

Identification and localization of G protein subunits in human spermatozoa. (7/5744)

Antibodies to alpha and beta subunits of guanine nucleotide regulatory proteins (G proteins) were used to identify which G proteins are present in mature human spermatozoa and to determine their subcellular localization. Immunoblots of membranes from spermatozoa demonstrate the presence of Galphai2, Galphai3, Galphaq/11 and Gbeta35 and the absence of Galphai1, Galpha0, Galphas, Galpha12, Galpha13, Galpha16, Galpha and Gbeta36. Indirect immunofluorescence demonstrates the presence of Galphaq/11 in the acrosome, with the highest proportion in the equatorial segment. Galphai2 is present in the acrosome, midpiece and tailpiece and Galphai3 in the postnuclear cap, midpiece and tailpiece. The Gbeta35 subunit is found mostly in the midpiece, with marginal labelling of the head, tailpiece and the equatorial segment of the acrosome. The distinct pattern of distribution of G proteins suggests that they may couple to receptors or effectors which also have discrete regions of localization in spermatozoa. These highly localized signal transduction pathways may regulate discrete functions, such as activation of the acrosome reaction, fusion with the oocyte and motility.  (+info)

CD9 is involved in invasion of human trophoblast-like choriocarcinoma cell line, BeWo cells. (8/5744)

The CD9 molecule is expressed on human extravillous trophoblasts, which invade the endometrium during implantation and placentation. To elucidate the role of CD9 in trophoblastic function, we investigated the expression of CD9 protein and mRNA in BeWo cells, a human trophoblast-like choriocarcinoma cell line, using immunohistochemistry, Western blotting and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). When BeWo cells were cultured with anti-CD9 monoclonal antibodies (mAb), their invasion through the extracellular matrices was significantly enhanced in a dose-dependent manner. Cell proliferation and human chorionic gonadotrophin production were unaffected. On the other hand, culture in the presence of mAb against integrins alpha3, alpha5 and beta1, which partially block the interaction with the extracellular matrices, inhibited BeWo cell invasion. Anti-CD9 monoclonal antibody had a stimulatory effect on BeWo cell invasion in the presence of anti-integrin alpha3 antibody. In contrast, it had no effect in the presence of mAb against integrins alpha5 and beta1, which were also highly expressed on BeWo cells. These findings suggest that CD9 has a function connected with the invasive properties of BeWo cells, which is partially mediated by integrin alpha5beta1. This may relate to the involvement of CD9 in trophoblastic invasion.  (+info)