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    Recent years have seen the emergence of research applying functional neuroimaging to the study of cue-elicited drug craving. This research has begun to identify a distributed system of brain activity during drug craving. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to examine the effects of smoking expectancy on the neural response to neutral (e.g., roll of tape) and smoking-related (holding a cigarette) stimuli in male cigarette smokers deprived of nicotine for 8 hours. As predicted, several brain regions exhibited differential activation during cigarette versus neutral cue exposure. Moreover, instructions about smoking opportunity affected cue-elicited activation in several regions. These results highlight the importance of perceived drug availability in the neurobiological response to drug cues

    SALL4 Expression in Gonocytes and Spermatogonial Clones of Postnatal Mouse Testes

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    The spermatogenic lineage is established after birth when gonocytes migrate to the basement membrane of seminiferous tubules and give rise to spermatogonial stem cells (SSC). In adults, SSCs reside within the population of undifferentiated spermatogonia (Aundiff) that expands clonally from single cells (Asingle) to form pairs (Apaired) and chains of 4, 8 and 16 Aaligned spermatogonia. Although stem cell activity is thought to reside in the population of Asingle spermatogonia, new research suggests that clone size alone does not define the stem cell pool. The mechanisms that regulate self-renewal and differentiation fate decisions are poorly understood due to limited availability of experimental tools that distinguish the products of those fate decisions. The pluripotency factor SALL4 (sal-like protein 4) is implicated in stem cell maintenance and patterning in many organs during embryonic development, but expression becomes restricted to the gonads after birth. We analyzed the expression of SALL4 in the mouse testis during the first weeks after birth and in adult seminiferous tubules. In newborn mice, the isoform SALL4B is expressed in quiescent gonocytes at postnatal day 0 (PND0) and SALL4A is upregulated at PND7 when gonocytes have colonized the basement membrane and given rise to spermatogonia. During steady-state spermatogenesis in adult testes, SALL4 expression overlapped substantially with PLZF and LIN28 in Asingle, Apaired and Aaligned spermatogonia and therefore appears to be a marker of undifferentiated spermatogonia in mice. In contrast, co-expression of SALL4 with GFRα1 and cKIT identified distinct subpopulations of Aundiff in all clone sizes that might provide clues about SSC regulation. Collectively, these results indicate that 1) SALL4 isoforms are differentially expressed at the initiation of spermatogenesis, 2) SALL4 is expressed in undifferentiated spermatogonia in adult testes and 3) SALL4 co-staining with GFRα1 and cKIT reveals distinct subpopulations of Aundiff spermatogonia that merit further investigation. © 2013 Gassei, Orwig

    PIP5KIβ Selectively Modulates Apical Endocytosis in Polarized Renal Epithelial Cells

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    Localized synthesis of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate [PtdIns(4,5)P2] at clathrin coated pits (CCPs) is crucial for the recruitment of adaptors and other components of the internalization machinery, as well as for regulating actin dynamics during endocytosis. PtdIns(4,5)P2 is synthesized from phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate by any of three phosphatidylinositol 5-kinase type I (PIP5KI) isoforms (α, β or γ). PIP5KIβ localizes almost exclusively to the apical surface in polarized mouse cortical collecting duct cells, whereas the other isoforms have a less polarized membrane distribution. We therefore investigated the role of PIP5KI isoforms in endocytosis at the apical and basolateral domains. Endocytosis at the apical surface is known to occur more slowly than at the basolateral surface. Apical endocytosis was selectively stimulated by overexpression of PIP5KIβ whereas the other isoforms had no effect on either apical or basolateral internalization. We found no difference in the affinity for PtdIns(4,5)P2-containing liposomes of the PtdIns(4,5)P2 binding domains of epsin and Dab2, consistent with a generic effect of elevated PtdIns(4,5)P2 on apical endocytosis. Additionally, using apical total internal reflection fluorescence imaging and electron microscopy we found that cells overexpressing PIP5KIβ have fewer apical CCPs but more internalized coated structures than control cells, consistent with enhanced maturation of apical CCPs. Together, our results suggest that synthesis of PtdIns(4,5)P2 mediated by PIP5KIβ is rate limiting for apical but not basolateral endocytosis in polarized kidney cells. PtdIns(4,5)P2 may be required to overcome specific structural constraints that limit the efficiency of apical endocytosis. © 2013 Szalinski et al

    Radiation therapy for primary carcinoma of the extrahepatic biliary system. An analysis of 63 cases.

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    From 1976 to 1988, 63 patients received radiation therapy for primary cancers of the extrahepatic biliary system (eight gallbladder and 55 extrahepatic biliary duct). Twelve patients underwent orthotopic liver transplantation. Chemotherapy was administered to 13 patients. Three patients underwent intraluminal brachytherapy alone (range, 28 to 55 Gy). Sixty patients received megavoltage external-beam radiation therapy (range, 5.4 to 61.6 Gy; median, 45 Gy), of whom nine received additional intraluminal brachytherapy (range, 14 to 45 Gy; median, 30 Gy). The median survival of all patients was 7 months. Sixty patients died, all within 39 months of radiation therapy. One patient is alive 11 months after irradiation without surgical resection, and two are alive 50 months after liver transplantation and irradiation. Symptomatic duodenal ulcers developed after radiation therapy in seven patients but were not significantly related to any clinical variable tested. Extrahepatic biliary duct cancers, the absence of metastases, increasing calendar year of treatment, and liver transplantation with postoperative radiation therapy were factors significantly associated with improved survival

    Histone Acetylation-Mediated Regulation of the Hippo Pathway

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    The Hippo pathway is a signaling cascade recently found to play a key role in tumorigenesis therefore understanding the mechanisms that regulate it should open new opportunities for cancer treatment. Available data indicate that this pathway is controlled by signals from cell-cell junctions however the potential role of nuclear regulation has not yet been described. Here we set out to verify this possibility and define putative mechanism(s) by which it might occur. By using a luciferase reporter of the Hippo pathway, we measured the effects of different nuclear targeting drugs and found that chromatin-modifying agents, and to a lesser extent certain DNA damaging drugs, strongly induced activity of the reporter. This effect was not mediated by upstream core components (i.e. Mst, Lats) of the Hippo pathway, but through enhanced levels of the Hippo transducer TAZ. Investigation of the underlying mechanism led to the finding that cancer cell exposure to histone deacetylase inhibitors induced secretion of growth factors and cytokines, which in turn activate Akt and inhibit the GSK3 beta associated protein degradation complex in drug-affected as well as in their neighboring cells. Consequently, expression of EMT genes, cell migration and resistance to therapy were induced. These processes were suppressed by using pyrvinium, a recently described small molecule activator of the GSK 3 beta associated degradation complex. Overall, these findings shed light on a previously unrecognized phenomenon by which certain anti-cancer agents may paradoxically promote tumor progression by facilitating stabilization of the Hippo transducer TAZ and inducing cancer cell migration and resistance to therapy. Pharmacological targeting of the GSK3 beta associated degradation complex may thus represent a unique approach to treat cancer. © 2013 Basu et al

    Liver Procurement for Orthotopic Transplantation: An Analysis of the Pittsburgh Experience

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    The incidence of prospective organ donors in the United States and the techniques which are to used to guarantee their optimal use after identification are analyzed. Attitudes of the public and health professionals toward organ donation are discussed. The organization of the Pittsburgh Organ Procurement Agency and its relationship to other such agencies is described. Finally, the presently used techniques of liver salvaging and preservation are outlined. Copyright © 1984 American Association for the Study of Liver Disease

    Small bowel and liver/small bowel transplantation in children.

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    A clinical trial of intestinal transplantation was initiated at the University of Pittsburgh in May 1990. Eleven children received either a combined liver/small bowel graft (n = 8) or an isolated small bowel graft (n = 3). Induction as well as maintenance immunosuppression was with FK-506 and steroids. Four patients were male, and seven were female; the age range was 6 months to 10.2 years. There were 3 deaths (all in recipients of the combined liver/small bowel graft), which were attributed to graft-versus-host disease (n = 1), posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease (n = 1), and biliary leak (n = 1). Transplantation of the intestine has evolved into a feasible operation, with an overall patient and graft survival rate of 73%. These survivors are free of total parenteral nutrition, and the majority are home. These encouraging results justify further clinical trials

    Indefinite survival of rat islet allografts following infusion of donor bone marrow without cytoablation

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    We have tested the effect of donor bone marrow cell (DBMC) infusion on the survival of pancreatic islet allografts in the rat, without the use of cytoablative recipient conditioning. Lewis and diabetic Brown Norway rats were used as donors and recipients, respectively. Donor islets were placed beneath the left renal capsule. Infusion of DBMC and temporary immunosuppression followed by delayed islet transplantation resulted in indefinite survival of all islet grafts (MST >180 days). Control animals demonstrated recurrent hyperglycemia (islet allografts rejection). Donor bone marrow derived cells were detected in the spleen and cervical lymph nodes of BN recipients of LEW bone marrow but not in the recipients of islet transplants alone. Second set full thickness skin grafts were performed in normal BN and in recipients of a previously successful ITX. Donor specific skin grafts were accepted in the animals that had received DBMC 40 days before the islet allograft, while animals receiving DBMC at the time of the islet allograft rejected the donor specific skin graft similarly to the controls. However, these animals did not reject a second set donor-specific islet transplant. The results indicate that radiation conditioning of the recipients was not necessary to induce microchimerism and graft acceptance in this rodent model of islet allotransplantation
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