5,074 research outputs found

    Dietary geranylgeraniol can limit the activity of pitavastatin as a potential treatment for drug-resistant ovarian cancer

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    Pre-clinical and retrospective studies of patients using statins to reduce plasma cholesterol have suggested that statins may be useful to treat cancer. However, prospective clinical trials have yet to demonstrate significant efficacy. We have previously shown that this is in part because a hydrophobic statin with a long half-life is necessary. Pitavastatin, the only statin with this profile, has not undergone clinical evaluation in oncology. The target of pitavastatin, hydroxymethylglutarate coenzyme-A reductase (HMGCR), was found to be over-expressed in all ovarian cancer cell lines examined and upregulated by mutated TP53, a gene commonly altered in ovarian cancer. Pitavastatin-induced apoptosis was blocked by geranylgeraniol and mevalonate, products of the HMGCR pathway, confirming that pitavastatin causes cell death through inhibition of HMGCR. Solvent extracts of human and mouse food were also able to block pitavastatin-induced apoptosis, suggesting diet might influence the outcome of clinical trials. When nude mice were maintained on a diet lacking geranylgeraniol, oral pitavastatin caused regression of Ovcar-4 tumour xenografts. However, when the animal diet was supplemented with geranylgeraniol, pitavastatin failed to prevent tumour growth. This suggests that a diet containing geranylgeraniol can limit the anti-tumour activity of pitavastatin and diet should be controlled in clinical trials of statins

    Observation of second-harmonic generation induced by pure spin currents

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    Extensive efforts are currently being devoted to developing a new electronic technology, called spintronics, where the spin of electrons is explored to carry information. [1,2] Several techniques have been developed to generate pure spin currents in many materials and structures. [3-10] However, there is still no method available that can be used to directly detect pure spin currents, which carry no net charge current and no net magnetization. Currently, studies of pure spin currents rely on measuring the induced spin accumulation with optical techniques [5, 11-13] or spin-valve configurations. [14-17] However, the spin accumulation does not directly reflect the spatial distribution or temporal dynamics of the pure spin current, and therefore cannot monitor the pure spin current in a real-time and real-space fashion. This imposes severe constraints on research in this field. Here we demonstrate a second-order nonlinear optical effect of the pure spin current. We show that such a nonlinear optical effect, which has never been explored before, can be used for the non-invasive, non-destructive, and real-time imaging of pure spin currents. Since this detection scheme does not rely on optical resonances, it can be generally applied in a wide range of materials with different electronic bandstructures. Furthermore, the control of nonlinear optical properties of materials with pure spin currents may have potential applications in photonics integrated with spintronics.Comment: 19 pages, 3 figures, supplementary discussion adde

    A universal tool for determining the time delay and the frequency shift of light: Synge's world function

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    In almost all of the studies devoted to the time delay and the frequency shift of light, the calculations are based on the integration of the null geodesic equations. However, the above-mentioned effects can be calculated without integrating the geodesic equations if one is able to determine the bifunction Ω(xA,xB)\Omega(x_A, x_B) giving half the squared geodesic distance between two points xAx_A and xBx_B (this bifunction may be called Synge's world function). In this lecture, Ω(xA,xB)\Omega(x_A, x_B) is determined up to the order 1/c31/c^3 within the framework of the PPN formalism. The case of a stationary gravitational field generated by an isolated, slowly rotating axisymmetric body is studied in detail. The calculation of the time delay and the frequency shift is carried out up to the order 1/c41/c^4. Explicit formulae are obtained for the contributions of the mass, of the quadrupole moment and of the internal angular momentum when the only post-Newtonian parameters different from zero are β\beta and γ\gamma. It is shown that the frequency shift induced by the mass quadrupole moment of the Earth at the order 1/c31/c^3 will amount to 101610^{-16} in spatial experiments like the ESA's Atomic Clock Ensemble in Space mission. Other contributions are briefly discussed.Comment: 18 pages, To appear in: "Lasers, Clocks and Drag-Free control: Exploration of Relativistic Gravity in Space", Springer Series on Astrophysics and Space Science Library, vol 349, p 15

    Locomotor adaptability in persons with unilateral transtibial amputation

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    Background Locomotor adaptation enables walkers to modify strategies when faced with challenging walking conditions. While a variety of neurological injuries can impair locomotor adaptability, the effect of a lower extremity amputation on adaptability is poorly understood. Objective Determine if locomotor adaptability is impaired in persons with unilateral transtibial amputation (TTA). Methods The locomotor adaptability of 10 persons with a TTA and 8 persons without an amputation was tested while walking on a split-belt treadmill with the parallel belts running at the same (tied) or different (split) speeds. In the split condition, participants walked for 15 minutes with the respective belts moving at 0.5 m/s and 1.5 m/s. Temporal spatial symmetry measures were used to evaluate reactive accommodations to the perturbation, and the adaptive/de-adaptive response. Results Persons with TTA and the reference group of persons without amputation both demonstrated highly symmetric walking at baseline. During the split adaptation and tied post-adaptation walking both groups responded with the expected reactive accommodations. Likewise, adaptive and de-adaptive responses were observed. The magnitude and rate of change in the adaptive and de-adaptive responses were similar for persons with TTA and those without an amputation. Furthermore, adaptability was no different based on belt assignment for the prosthetic limb during split adaptation walking. Conclusions Reactive changes and locomotor adaptation in response to a challenging and novel walking condition were similar in persons with TTA to those without an amputation. Results suggest persons with TTA have the capacity to modify locomotor strategies to meet the demands of most walking conditions despite challenges imposed by an amputation and use of a prosthetic limb

    Does self-monitoring reduce blood pressure? Meta-analysis with meta-regression of randomized controlled trials

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    Introduction. Self-monitoring of blood pressure (BP) is an increasingly common part of hypertension management. The objectives of this systematic review were to evaluate the systolic and diastolic BP reduction, and achievement of target BP, associated with self-monitoring. Methods. MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane database of systematic reviews, database of abstracts of clinical effectiveness, the health technology assessment database, the NHS economic evaluation database, and the TRIP database were searched for studies where the intervention included self-monitoring of BP and the outcome was change in office/ambulatory BP or proportion with controlled BP. Two reviewers independently extracted data. Meta-analysis using a random effects model was combined with meta-regression to investigate heterogeneity in effect sizes. Results. A total of 25 eligible randomized controlled trials (RCTs) (27 comparisons) were identified. Office systolic BP (20 RCTs, 21 comparisons, 5,898 patients) and diastolic BP (23 RCTs, 25 comparisons, 6,038 patients) were significantly reduced in those who self-monitored compared to usual care (weighted mean difference (WMD) systolic −3.82 mmHg (95% confidence interval −5.61 to −2.03), diastolic −1.45 mmHg (−1.95 to −0.94)). Self-monitoring increased the chance of meeting office BP targets (12 RCTs, 13 comparisons, 2,260 patients, relative risk = 1.09 (1.02 to 1.16)). There was significant heterogeneity between studies for all three comparisons, which could be partially accounted for by the use of additional co-interventions. Conclusion. Self-monitoring reduces blood pressure by a small but significant amount. Meta-regression could only account for part of the observed heterogeneity

    A bispecific diabody directed against prostate-specific membrane antigen and CD3 induces T-cell mediated lysis of prostate cancer cells

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    BACKGROUND: Although cancer of the prostate is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in men, no curative treatment currently exists after its progression beyond resectable boundaries. Therefore, new agents for targeted treatment strategies are needed. Cross-linking of tumor antigens with T-cell associated antigens by bispecific monoclonal antibodies have been shown to increase antigen-specific cytotoxicity in T-cells. Since the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) represents an excellent tumor target, immunotherapy with bispecific diabodies could be a promising novel treatment option for prostate cancer. METHODS: A heterodimeric diabody specific for human PSMA and the T-cell antigen CD3 was constructed from the DNA of anti-CD3 and anti-PSMA single chain Fv fragments (scFv). It was expressed in E. coli using a vector containing a bicistronic operon for co-secretion of the hybrid scFv V<sub>H</sub>CD3-V<sub>L</sub>PSMA and V<sub>H</sub>PSMA-V<sub>L</sub>CD3. The resulting PSMAxCD3 diabody was purified from the periplasmic extract by immobilized metal affinity chromatography (IMAC). The binding properties were tested on PSMA-expressing prostate cancer cells and PSMA-negative cell lines as well as on Jurkat cells by flow cytometry. For in vitro functional analysis, a cell viability test (WST) was used. For in vivo evaluation the diabody was applied together with human peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) in a C4-2 xenograft-SCID mouse model. RESULTS: By Blue Native gel electrophoresis, it could be shown that the PSMAxCD3 diabody is mainly a tetramer. Specific binding both to CD3-expressing Jurkat cells and PSMA-expressing C4-2 cells was shown by flow cytometry. In vitro, the diabody proved to be a potent agent for retargeting PBL to lyze C4-2 prostate cancer cells. Treatment of SCID mice inoculated with C4-2 tumor xenografts with the diabody and PBL efficiently inhibited tumor growth. CONCLUSIONS: The PSMAxCD3 diabody bears the potential for facilitating immunotherapy of prostate cancer and for the elimination of minimal residual disease

    A Microsoft HoloLens Mixed Reality Surgical Simulator for Patient-Specific Hip Arthroplasty Training

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    Surgical simulation can offer novice surgeons an opportunity to practice skills outside the operating theatre in a safe controlled environment. According to literature evidence, nowadays there are very few training simulators available for Hip Arthroplasty (HA). In a previous study we have presented a physical simulator based on a lower torso phantom including a patient-specific hemi-pelvis replica embedded in a soft synthetic foam. This work explores the use of Microsoft HoloLens technology to enrich the physical patient-specific simulation with the implementation of wearable mixed reality functionalities. Our HA multimodal simulator based on mixed reality using the HoloLens is described by illustrating the overall system, and by summarizing the main phases of the design and development. Finally, we present a preliminary qualitative study with seven subjects (5 medical students, and 2 orthopedic surgeons) showing encouraging results that suggest the suitability of the HoloLens for the proposed application. However, further studies need to be conducted to perform a quantitative test of the registration accuracy of the virtual content, and to confirm qualitative results in a larger cohort of subjects

    Subcellular fractionation method to study endosomal trafficking of Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus

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    Background Virus entry involves multiple steps and is a highly orchestrated process on which successful infection collectively depends. Entry processes are commonly analyzed by monitoring internalized virus particles via Western blotting, polymerase chain reaction, and imaging techniques that allow scientist to track the intracellular location of the pathogen. Such studies have provided abundant direct evidence on how viruses interact with receptor molecules on the cell surface, induce cell signaling at the point of initial contact with the cell to facilitate internalization, and exploit existing endocytic mechanisms of the cell for their ultimate infectious agenda. However, there is dearth of knowledge in regards to trafficking of a virus via endosomes. Herein, we describe an optimized laboratory procedure to isolate individual organelles during different stages of endocytosis by performing subcellular fractionation. This methodology is established using Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) infection of human foreskin fibroblast (HFF) cells as a model. With KSHV and other herpesviruses alike, envelope glycoproteins have been widely reported to physically engage target cell surface receptors, such as integrins, in interactions leading to entry and subsequent infection. Results Subcellular fractionation was used to isolate early and late endosomes (EEs and LEs) by performing a series of centrifugations steps. Specifically, a centrifugation step post-homogenization was utilized to obtain the post-nuclear supernatant containing intact intracellular organelles in suspension. Successive fractionation via sucrose density gradient centrifugation was performed to isolate specific organelles including EEs and LEs. Intracellular KSHV trafficking was directly traced in the isolated endosomal fractions. Additionally, the subcellular fractionation approach demonstrates a key role for integrins in the endosomal trafficking of KSHV. The results obtained from fractionation studies corroborated those obtained by traditional imaging studies. Conclusions This study is the first of its kind to employ a sucrose flotation gradient assay to map intracellular KSHV trafficking in HFF cells. We are confident that such an approach will serve as a powerful tool to directly study intracellular trafficking of a virus, signaling events occurring on endosomal membranes, and dynamics of molecular events within endosomes that are crucial for uncoating and virus escape into the cytosol