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Journal: Oncotarget


Suppressed adaptive immune function is one of the major concerns responsible for the development of opportunistic infections and subsequent sepsis with high mortality in severe burns. Endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) is the endogenous self-protective mechanism, and it plays an important role in almost every process of living by regulating the balance between homeostasis and apoptosis. The current study investigated the involvement of ERS in the pathogenesis of dysfunction of dendritic cells (DCs) in burn mice. Our results show a significant ERS response in splenic DC after burn injury. Treatment with salubrinal (Sal, reported to protect cells against ERS-induced apoptosis.) decrease the apoptotic rate of DC induced by burns, and promote maturation and activation of DC, as well as the ability to promote T cell proliferation and polarization towards Th1 immunity (all P<0.05). Gene silence of XBP-1 (key molecular in ERS response) results in the increased apoptosis and suppressed phenotypical maturation of splenic DC in burn mice. These results show that the excessive ERS is essential for immunosuppression during severe thermal injury. XBP-1 plays a pivotal role in DC functional immunomodulation in burn mice. Inhibition of apoptotic ERS response benefits mice from major burns.

Concepts: AIDS, Immune system, Gene, Bacteria, Endoplasmic reticulum, Apoptosis, Immunology, Dendritic cell


18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) and PET/CT have become two of the most powerful tools for malignant lymphoma exploration, but their diagnostic role in primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) is still disputed. The purpose of our study is to identify the usefulness of 18F-FDG PET and PET/CT for detecting PCNSL.

Concepts: Central nervous system, Nervous system, Brain, Positron emission tomography, Positron, Lymphoma, Primary central nervous system lymphoma, Fludeoxyglucose


Infection with Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is estimated to account for over 44,000 new cases of Kaposi sarcoma annually, with 84% occurring in Africa, where the virus is endemic. To date, there is no prophylactic vaccine against KSHV. KSHV gpK8.1, gB, and gH/gL glycoproteins, implicated in the virus entry into host cells, are attractive vaccine targets for eliciting potent neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) against virus infection. We incorporated gpK8.1, gB, or gH/gL on the surface of virus-like particles (VLPs) and characterized these VLPs for their composition, size, and functionality. To determine which viral glycoprotein(s) elicit the most effective serum-nAbs, we immunized BALB/c mice with gpK8.1, gB, or gH/gL VLPs individually or in combination. Neutralizing antibody assay revealed that sera from mice immunized with the VLPs inhibited KSHV infection of HEK-293 cells in a dose-dependent manner. As a single immunogen, gpK8.1 VLPs stimulated comparable nAb activity to that of UV-inactivated KSHV (UV-KSHV). In contrast, UV-KSHV stimulated higher titers of nAb compared to gB (p = 0.0316) or gH/gL (p = 0.0486). Mice immunized with the combination of gB and gH/gL VLPs had a better nAb response than those immunized with either gB (p = 0.0268), or gH/gL (p = 0.0397) as single VLP immunogens. Immunization with any VLP combination stimulated comparable nAb activity to UV-KSHV serum. Our data provide the first evidence that KSHV gpK8.1, gB, and gH/gL glycoproteins can be incorporated onto the surface of VLPs and used as prophylactic vaccine candidates, with potential to prevent KSHV infection.

Concepts: AIDS, Immune system, Antibody, Neutralizing antibody, Vaccine, Antigen, Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus, Virus-like particle


Mycotoxins are highly diverse secondary metabolites produced in nature by a wide variety of fungus which causes food contamination, resulting in mycotoxicosis in animals and humans. In particular, trichothecenes mycotoxin produced by genus fusarium is agriculturally more important worldwide due to the potential health hazards they pose. It is mainly metabolized and eliminated after ingestion, yielding more than 20 metabolites with the hydroxy trichothecenes-2 toxin being the major metabolite. Trichothecene is hazardously intoxicating due to their additional potential to be topically absorbed, and their metabolites affect the gastrointestinal tract, skin, kidney, liver, and immune and hematopoietic progenitor cellular systems. Sensitivity to this type of toxin varying from dairy cattle to pigs, with the most sensitive endpoints being neural, reproductive, immunological and hematological effects. The mechanism of action mainly consists of the inhibition of protein synthesis and oxidative damage to cells followed by the disruption of nucleic acid synthesis and ensuing apoptosis. In this review, the possible hazards, historical significance, toxicokinetics, and the genotoxic and cytotoxic effects along with regulatory guidelines and recommendations pertaining to the trichothecene mycotoxin are discussed. Furthermore, various techniques utilized for toxin determination, pathophysiology, prophylaxis and treatment using herbal antioxidant compounds and regulatory guidelines and recommendations are reviewed. The prospects of the trichothecene as potential hazardous agents, decontamination strategies and future perspectives along with plausible therapeutic uses are comprehensively described.

Concepts: Protein, Metabolism, Fungus, Fusarium, Toxicology, Digestion, Mycotoxins, Stachybotrys


During the last decades, the pleiotropic antitumor functions exerted by type I interferons (IFNs) have become universally acknowledged, especially their role in mediating interactions between the tumor and the immune system. Indeed, type I IFNs are now appreciated as a critical component of dendritic cell (DC) driven T cell responses to cancer. Here we focus on IFN-α and IFN-β, and their antitumor effects, impact on immune responses and their use as therapeutic agents. IFN-α/β share many properties, including activation of the JAK-STAT signaling pathway and induction of a variety of cellular phenotypes. For example, type I IFNs drive not only the high maturation status of DCs, but also have a direct impact in cytotoxic T lymphocytes, NK cell activation, induction of tumor cell death and inhibition of angiogenesis. A variety of stimuli, including some standard cancer treatments, promote the expression of endogenous IFN-α/β, which then participates as a fundamental component of immunogenic cell death. Systemic treatment with recombinant protein has been used for the treatment of melanoma. The induction of endogenous IFN-α/β has been tested, including stimulation through pattern recognition receptors. Gene therapies involving IFN-α/β have also been described. Thus, harnessing type I IFNs as an effective tool for cancer therapy continues to be studied.

Concepts: Immune system, White blood cell, Antibody, Cancer, Apoptosis, Immunology, Natural killer cell, Interferon


Along with the increasing application of nanoparticles (NPs) in many walks of life, environmental exposure to NPs has raised considerable health concerns. When NPs enter a pregnant woman’s body through inhalation, venous injection, ingestion or skin permeation, maternal toxic stress reactions such as reactive oxygen species (ROS), inflammation, apoptosis and endocrine dyscrasia are induced in different organs, particularly in the reproductive organs. Recent studies have shown that NPs disturb the developing oocyte by invading the protective barrier of theca cells, granulosa cell layers and zona pellucida. NPs disrupt sex hormone levels through the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis or by direct stimulation of secretory cells, such as granule cells, follicle cells, thecal cells and the corpus luteum. Some NPs can cross the placenta into the fetus by passive diffusion or endocytosis, which can trigger fetal inflammation, apoptosis, genotoxicity, cytotoxicity, low weight, reproductive deficiency, nervous damage, and immunodeficiency, among others. The toxicity of these NPs depend on their size, dosage, shape, charge, material and surface-coating. We summarize new findings on the toxic effect of various NPs on the ovary and on oogenesis and embryonic development. Meanwhile, we highlight the problems that need to be studied in the future. This manuscript will also provide valuable guidelines for protecting the female reproductive system from the toxicity of NPs and provide a certain reference value for NP application in the area of ovarian diseases.

Concepts: Embryo, Uterus, Developmental biology, Reproductive system, Ovarian follicle, Corpus luteum, Ovary, Sexual reproduction


Obesity is involved in tumor progression. However, the corresponding mechanisms remain largely unknown. Here, we report that adipocytes increase the invasive ability of tumor cells by producing exosomes with a high level of MMP3. Compared with 3T3-L1 cells, 3T3-L1 adipocytes are enriched in MMP3 protein and can transfer MMP3 to 3LL lung cancer cells. Then, MMP3 activates MMP9 activity in 3LL cells and promotes invasion in vitro and in vivo via MMP9. Furthermore, MMP3 protein levels in lung tumor tissues from obese patients are increased compared with those of non-obese patients. In addition, MMP3 protein levels are positively correlated with MMP9 activity in tumor tissues. Therefore, our results reveal a novel mechanism in the adipocyte-derived exosome-mediated promotion of lung tumor metastasis, which extends our knowledge regarding obesity and tumor progression.

Concepts: Cancer, Breast cancer, Metastasis, Oncology, Lung cancer, Obesity, Prostate cancer, Neoplasm


Electronic-cigarettes (e-cigs) represent a significant and increasing proportion of tobacco product consumption, which may pose an oral health concern. Oxidative/carbonyl stress via protein carbonylation is an important factor in causing inflammation and DNA damage. This results in stress-induced premature senescence (a state of irreversible growth arrest which re-enforces chronic inflammation) in gingival epithelium, which may contribute to the pathogenesis of oral diseases. We show that e-cigs with flavorings cause increased oxidative/carbonyl stress and inflammatory cytokine release in human periodontal ligament fibroblasts, Human Gingival Epithelium Progenitors pooled (HGEPp), and epigingival 3D epithelium. We further show increased levels of prostaglandin-E2 and cycloxygenase-2 are associated with upregulation of the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) by e-cig exposure-mediated carbonyl stress in gingival epithelium/tissue. Further, e-cigs cause increased oxidative/carbonyl and inflammatory responses, and DNA damage along with histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2) reduction via RAGE-dependent mechanisms in gingival epithelium. A greater response is elicited by flavored e-cigs. Increased oxidative stress, pro-inflammatory and pro-senescence responses (DNA damage and HDAC2 reduction) can result in dysregulated repair due to proinflammatory and pro-senescence responses in periodontal cells. These data highlight the pathologic role of e-cig aerosol and its flavoring to cells and tissues of the oral cavity in compromised oral health.

Concepts: Inflammation, DNA, Protein, Histone, Tobacco, Nicotine, Endothelium, Electronic cigarette


Treatment of advanced colorectal cancer (CRC) requires multimodal therapeutic approaches and need for monitoring tumor plasticity. Liquid biopsy biomarkers, including CTCs and ctDNA, hold promise for evaluating treatment response in real-time and guiding therapeutic modifications. From 15 patients with advanced CRC undergoing liver metastasectomy with curative intent, we collected 41 blood samples at different time points before and after surgery for CTC isolation and quantification using label-free Vortex technology. For mutational profiling, KRAS, BRAF, and PIK3CA hotspot mutations were analyzed in CTCs and ctDNA from 23 samples, nine matched liver metastases and three primary tumor samples. Mutational patterns were compared. 80% of patient blood samples were positive for CTCs, using a healthy baseline value as threshold (0.4 CTCs/mL), and 81.4% of captured cells were EpCAM+ CTCs. At least one mutation was detected in 78% of our blood samples. Among 23 matched CTC and ctDNA samples, we found a concordance of 78.2% for KRAS, 73.9% for BRAF and 91.3% for PIK3CA mutations. In several cases, CTCs exhibited a mutation that was not detected in ctDNA, and vice versa. Complementary assessment of both CTCs and ctDNA appears advantageous to assess dynamic tumor profiles.

Concepts: DNA, Cancer, Breast cancer, Metastasis, Mutation, Oncology, Evaluation, Colorectal cancer


The differential diagnosis between pleural malignant mesothelioma (MM) and lung cancer is often challenging. Immunohistochemical (IHC) stains used to distinguish these malignancies include markers that are most often positive in MM and less frequently positive in carcinomas, and vice versa. However, in about 10-20% of the cases, the IHC results can be confusing and inconclusive, and novel markers are sought to increase the diagnostic accuracy. We stained 45 non-small cell lung cancer samples (32 adenocarcinomas and 13 squamous cell carcinomas) with a monoclonal antibody for BRCA1-associated protein 1 (BAP1) and also with an IHC panel we routinely use to help differentiate MM from carcinomas, which include, calretinin, Wilms Tumor 1, cytokeratin 5, podoplanin D2-40, pankeratin CAM5.2, thyroid transcription factor 1, Napsin-A, and p63. Nuclear BAP1 expression was also analyzed in 35 MM biopsies. All 45 non-small cell lung cancer biopsies stained positive for nuclear BAP1, whereas 22/35 (63%) MM biopsies lacked nuclear BAP1 staining, consistent with previous data. Lack of BAP1 nuclear staining was associated with MM (two-tailed Fisher’s Exact Test, P = 5.4 x 10-11). Focal BAP1 staining was observed in a subset of samples, suggesting polyclonality. Diagnostic accuracy of other classical IHC markers was in agreement with previous studies. Our study indicated that absence of nuclear BAP1 stain helps differentiate MM from lung carcinomas. We suggest that BAP1 staining should be added to the IHC panel that is currently used to distinguish these malignancies.

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Lung cancer, Types of cancer, Carcinoma, Squamous cell carcinoma, Mesothelioma, Asbestos