Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a grade IV astrocytoma, is the most common and deadly type of primary malignant brain tumor, with a patient’s median survival rate ranging from 15 to 17 months. The current treatment for GBM involves tumor resection surgery based on MRI image analysis, followed by radiotherapy and treatment with temozolomide. However, the gradual development of tumor resistance to temozolomide is frequent in GBM patients leading to subsequent tumor regrowth/relapse. For this reason, the development of more effective therapeutic approaches for GBM is of critical importance. Low tumor oxygenation, also known as hypoxia, constitutes a major concern for GBM patients, since it promotes cancer cell spreading (invasion) into the healthy brain tissue in order to evade this adverse microenvironment. Tumor invasion not only constitutes a major obstacle to surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, but it is also the main cause of death in GBM patients. Understanding how hypoxia triggers the GBM cells to become invasive is paramount to developing novel and more effective therapies against this devastating disease. In this review, we will present a comprehensive examination of the available literature focused on investigating how GBM hypoxia triggers an invasive cancer cell phenotype and the role of these invasive proteins in GBM progression.
We have previously reported that exogenous bradykinin activates immature dendritic cells (DCs) via the bradykinin B(2) receptor (B(2)R), thereby stimulating adaptive immunity. In this study, we show that these premises are met in a model of s.c. infection by Trypanosoma cruzi, a protozoan that liberates kinins from kininogens through its major protease, cruzipain. Intensity of B(2)R-dependent paw edema evoked by trypomastigotes correlated with levels of IL-12 produced by CD11c(+) dendritic cells isolated from draining lymph nodes. The IL-12 response induced by endogenously released kinins was vigorously increased in infected mice pretreated with inhibitors of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), a kinin-degrading metallopeptidase. Furthermore, these innate stimulatory effects were linked to B(2)R-dependent up-regulation of IFN-gamma production by Ag-specific T cells. Strikingly, the trypomastigotes failed to up-regulate type 1 immunity in TLR2(-/-) mice, irrespective of ACE inhibitor treatment. Analysis of the dynamics of inflammation revealed that TLR2 triggering by glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored mucins induces plasma extravasation, thereby favoring peripheral accumulation of kininogens in sites of infection. Further downstream, the parasites generate high levels of innate kinin signals in peripheral tissues through the activity of cruzipain. The demonstration that the deficient type 1 immune responses of TLR2(-/-) mice are rescued upon s.c. injection of exogenous kininogens, along with trypomastigotes, supports the notion that generation of kinin "danger" signals is intensified through cooperative activation of TLR2 and B(2)R. In summary, we have described a s.c. infection model where type 1 immunity is vigorously up-regulated by bradykinin, an innate signal whose levels in peripheral tissues are controlled by an intricate interplay of TLR2, B(2)R, and ACE.
 We describe spatiotemporal variation in land cover over 80,000 km 2 in central Rondônia. We use a multistage process to map primary forest, pasture, second growth, urban, rock/savanna, and water using 33 Landsat scenes acquired over three contiguous areas between 1975 and 1999. Accuracy of the 1999 classified maps was assessed as exceeding 85% based on digital airborne videography. Rondônia is highly fragmented, in which forests outside of restricted areas consist of numerous, small irregular patches. Pastures in Rondônia persist over many years and are not typically abandoned to second growth, which when present rarely remains unchanged longer than 8 years. Within the state, annual deforestation rates, pasture area, and ratio of second growth to cleared area varied spatially. Highest initial deforestation rates occurred in the southeast (Luiza), at over 2%, increasing to 3% by the late 1990s. In this area, the percentage of cleared land in second growth averaged 18% and few pastures were abandoned. In central Rondônia (Ji-Paraná), deforestation rates rose from 1.2% between 1978 and 1986 to a high of 4.2% in 1999. In the northwest (Ariquemes), initial deforestation rates were lowest at 0.5% but rose substantially in the late 1990s, peaking at 3% in 1998. The ratio of second growth to cleared area was more than double the ratio in Luiza and few pastures remained unchanged beyond 8 years. Land clearing was most intense close to the major highway, BR364, except in Ariquemes. Intense forest clearing extended at least 50 km along the margins of BR364 in Ji-Paraná and Luiza. Spatial differences in land use are hypothesized to result from a combination of economic factors and soil fertility.
The Sertoli cells are critical regulators of testis differentiation and development. In the adult, however, their known function is restricted largely to maintenance of spermatogenesis. To determine whether the Sertoli cells regulate other aspects of adult testis biology we have used a novel transgenic mouse model in which Amh-Cre induces expression of the receptor for Diphtheria toxin (iDTR) specifically within Sertoli cells. This causes controlled, cell-specific and acute ablation of the Sertoli cell population in the adult animal following Diphtheria toxin injection. Results show that Sertoli cell ablation leads to rapid loss of all germ cell populations. In addition, adult Leydig cell numbers decline by 75% with the remaining cells concentrated around the rete and in the sub-capsular region. In the absence of Sertoli cells, peritubular myoid cell activity is reduced but the cells retain an ability to exclude immune cells from the seminiferous tubules. These data demonstrate that, in addition to support of spermatogenesis, Sertoli cells are required in the adult testis both for retention of the normal adult Leydig cell population and for support of normal peritubular myoid cell function. This has implications for our understanding of male reproductive disorders and wider androgen-related conditions affecting male health.
Sertoli cells (SCs) regulate testicular fate in the differentiating gonad and are the main regulators of spermatogenesis in the adult testis; however, their role during the intervening period of testis development, in particular during adult Leydig cell (ALC) differentiation and function, remains largely unknown. To examine SC function during fetal and prepubertal development we generated two transgenic mouse models that permit controlled, cell-specific ablation of SCs in pre-and postnatal life. Results show that SCs are required: (1) to maintain the differentiated phenotype of peritubular myoid cells (PTMCs) in prepubertal life; (2) to maintain the ALC progenitor population in the postnatal testis; and (3) for development of normal ALC numbers. Furthermore, our data show that fetal LCs function independently from SC, germ cell or PTMC support in the prepubertal testis. Together, these findings reveal that SCs remain essential regulators of testis development long after the period of sex determination. These findings have significant implications for our understanding of male reproductive disorders and wider androgen-related conditions affecting male health.
Intestinal barrier function is regulated by epithelial tight junctions, structures that control paracellular permeability. JAM-A regulates epithelial permeability through association with ZO-2, afadin, and PDZ-GEF1 to activate Rap2c and control contraction of the apical cytoskeleton.
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