Objective: microRNAs (miRNAs) are highly conserved noncoding RNA molecules that mainly function to regulate
gene expressions, and have a significant role in tumourigenesis. Programmed cell death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) is a major co-inhibitory checkpoint signal that controls T cell activities, maintains peripheral tolerance and is contribute to the development of cancer. The aim of this study is to examine miRNA-601 and PD-L1 gene expression in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and its relation with Mycoplasma infection.
Materials and Methods: In this case-control study, respiratory secretions and blood samples were collected from 80 healthy people and 80 NSCLC patients. The expression levels of miRNA-601 and PD-L1 were evaluated using real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). The presence of Mycoplasma species in respiratory secretions was detected by biochemical assays and PCR.
Results: There was no significant difference in the expression level of miRNA-601 between control and patients with tumour stage I, but miRNA-601 expression was significantly downregulated in patients with tumour stages II, III, and IV(P<0.05). A significant, negative relationship was found between miRNA-601 expression and tumour stage (P<0.001). Overexpression of PD-L1 was found in all of the disease stages. PCR results showed the presence of Mycoplasma pneumoniae (M. pneumoniae) in respiratory secretions from patients with stages III and IV NSCLC. We observed that 72% of patients with stages III and IV NSCLC had a positive smoking history and 65.3% were positive for Mycoplasma.
Conclusion: Serum miRNA-601 may act as a potential noninvasive biomarker for lung cancer and Mycoplasma
Objective: Whereas prostate cancer (PrCa) may be unresponsive or moderately responsive to radiation therapy (RT)- most common modality for treatment of PrCa- patients must receive a high dose of RT In order to achieve appropriate tumour control. However, this increase in radiation dose may lead to severe adverse effects in normal tissues. Sensitization of PrCa to radiation provides an alternate approach to improve the therapeutic efficacy of RT. This study aims to assess the radiosensitisation effect of apigenin (Api) on a prostate cancer cell line (LNCaP).
Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, LNCaP cells were treated with 0-80 μM Api to investigate its effect on LNCaP cell viability and determine its half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50). Next, the cells were divided into four groups: i. Control, ii. Cells treated with the IC50 concentration of Api, iii. Cells treated with 2 Gy ionizing radiation (IR), and cells co-treated with Api and IR. The 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and an Annexin V-FITC/PI assay were performed to assess cell survival, Bax and Bcl-2 expressions, and presence of apoptosis and necrosis.
Results: Api inhibited cell survival in a dose-dependent, but not time-dependent manner. Cells treated with Api had
increased amounts of early apoptosis, late apoptosis, and secondary necrosis compared to the control group. This
group also had decreased Bcl-2 gene expression and up-regulated Bax gene expression. Co-treatment with Api and
IR significantly inhibited cell survival, and increased early apoptosis, late apoptosis and secondary necrosis compared to the other groups. There was a significant decrease in Bcl-2 gene expression along with up-regulation of Bax gene expression, and Bax/Bcl-2 ratio changes that favoured apoptosis.
Conclusion: Api inhibited PrCa cell survival and induced apoptosis as a single agent. In addition, Api significantly
sensitized the LNCaP cells to IR and enhanced radiation-induced apoptosis.
Objective: Activator of CREM in the testis (ACT) is a tissue specific transcription factor which activates cAMP
responsive element modulator (CREM), a key transcription factor in differentiation of round spermatids into mature
spermatozoa. They bind to CRE region in the promoters of transition protein genes (TNP1, TNP2) and protamine genes
(PRM1 and PRM2), which are essential for sperm chromatin compaction, and regulates their transcription. This study
was conducted to consider the expression of ACT and CREM and their regulatory roles on the expression of PRM1,
PRM2, TNP1 and TNP2 genes in testis tissues of infertile men.
Materials and Methods: In this case-control study, testicular biopsies were collected from 40 infertile men and
classified into three groups: obstructive azoospermia (OA, n=10, positive control), round spermatid maturation arrest
(SMA, n=20), Sertoli cell-only syndrome (SCOS, n=10, negative control group). Using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), the expression profile of ACT, CREM, TNP1, TNP2, PRM1 and PRM2 genes were assessed in
testicular samples and incorporation of ACT and CREM proteins on the promoters of PRM1, PRM2, TNP1 and TNP2
genes were also evaluated by ChIP-real time PCR.
Results: Our results demonstrated significant decrease in the expression levels of ACT, CREM and in their
incorporations on their target genes in SMA group in comparison to control groups (P≤0.05).
Conclusion: These data confirm that there is low expression and incorporation of ACT and CREM and of their target
genes in infertilities which are associated with post-meiotic arrest.
Objective: Bladder cancer is the 9th leading cause of human urologic malignancy and the 13th cause of death worldwide.
Increased collagen cross-linking, NIDOGEN1 expression and consequently stiffness of extracellular matrix (ECM) may
be responsible for the mechanotransduction and regulation of transcriptional co-activator with PDZ-binding motif (TAZ) and transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) signaling pathways, resulting in progression of tumorigenesis. The present study aimed to assess whether type 1 collagen expression is associated with TAZ nuclear localization.
Materials and Methods: In this case-control study, real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain
reaction (qRT-PCR) and immunohistochemical analysis were performed to evaluate the activation of the TAZ pathway
in patients with bladder cancer (n=40) and healthy individuals (n=20). The ELISA method was also conducted to
measure the serum concentrations of TGF-β1. Masson’s trichrome staining was carried out to histologically evaluate the density of type 1 collagen.
Results: Our findings that the expression levels of COL1A1, COL1A2, NIDOGEN1, TAZ, and TGF-β1 genes were
overexpressed in patients with bladder cancer, and their expression levels were positively associated with the grade
of bladder cancer. The immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated that the nuclear localization of TAZ was markedly correlated with high-grade bladder cancer. We also found that TAZ nuclear localization was substantially higher in cancerous tissues as compared with normal bladder tissues. Masson's trichrome staining showed that the tissue density of type I collagen was considerably increased in patients with bladder cancer as compared with healthy subjects.
Conclusion: According to our findings, it seems the alterations in the expression of type I collagen and NIDOGEN1, as well as TAZ nuclear localization influence the progression of bladder cancer. The significance of TGF-β1 and TAZ expression in tumorigenesis and progression to high-grade bladder cancer was also highlighted. However, a possible relationship between TGF-β1 expression and the Hippo pathway needs further investigations.
Objective: The early life environment is critical for normal growth and development for future reproductive function. This study aims to investigate the effect of neonatal maternal separation (MS) on gelatinase activity of mouse ovarian follicles.
Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, infants from female NMRI mice were randomly allocated into two
groups immediately after birth: i. MS isolated from their mothers for 6 hours per day, from postpartum days 2 to 16) and ii. Control (undisturbed during the 16 days). Ovarian tissues were dissected to perform differential counts of the ovarian follicle type by haematoxylin and eosin staining. The isolated follicles were cultured for 12 days. Gelatinase activity and the gene expressions of matrix metalloproteinases, MMP2 and MMP9, and their tissue inhibitors, TIMP1 and TIMP2, were evaluated by zymography and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), respectively.
Results: Follicle counts at the different developmental stages were significantly different between the control and MS groups. There was a significant decrease in gelatinase activity in the MS group compared to the control group. The
MS group showed significantly decreased gene expression levels of MMP2 and MMP9 compared to the control group.
In contrast, the gene expression levels of TIMP1 and TIMP2 significantly increased in the MS group compared to the
Conclusion: MS is a stressor agent that compromises ovarian follicle development, at least via disruption of gelatinase
activity and its related gene expressions.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of moderate-intensity training on the calcineurin/
nuclear factor of activated t-cells (NFAT) pathway and factors affecting it in the middle-age Wistar rats.
Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, 40 young (n=10, 4-month-old) and middle-aged (n=30, 13-15 months old) Wistar rats were included in this experimental study. All young and 10 middle-aged rats did not training
and served as a control comparision; while the remaining 20 middle-aged rats were trained at moderate intensity for
4-weeks (n=10) or 8-weeks (n=10) on a treadmill (speed: 16 m/minutes, slope: 0%, distance: 830 m, duration: 54
Results: Calcineurin tissue expression was increased in the middle-aged control rats compared to the young control
rats (P=0.001). Expression of sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERC2A), natriuretic peptide receptor-A
(NPR-A), phospholamban (PLB), plasma membrane Ca2+ ATPase (PMCA4b), and p-AKT was significantly decreased
in the heart tissue of middle-aged control compared to the young control rats (P=0.001). Furthermore, transforming
growth factor beta (TGF-β), including transient receptor potential canonical 6 (TRPC6), were up-regulated in the heart tissue of middle-aged control compared to the young control rats (P=0.001). However, aerobic training inhibited this pathway and reversed all changes in the trained middle-aged rats.
Conclusion: Aerobic training effectively inhibited the calcineurin/NFATc pathway and modulated intracellular Ca2+
levels at least partially by restoring NPR-A, SERCA2, p-PLB, and p-AKT, and decreasing TRPC6 and TGF-β levels.
Objective: Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a serious clinical condition that leads to disability. Following primary injury, proinflammatory cytokines play an important role in the subsequent secondary events. The thyroid hormone (TH) is known as the modulator of inflammatory cytokines and acts as a neuroprotective agent. Methylprednisolone (MP) is used for the early treatment of SCI. Fluoxetine (FLX), also is known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), has therapeutic potential in neurological disorders. The aim of the present study was to investigate the combined effects of MP and FLX on SCI in the rat hypothyroidism (hypo) model.
Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, 48 male Wistar rats with hypothyroidism were randomly divided
into 6 groups (n=8/group): control (Hypo), Hypo+Surgical sham, Hypo+SCI, Hypo+SCI+MP, Hypo+SCI+FLX, and
Hypo+SCI+MP+FLX. SCI was created using an aneurysm clip and Hypothyroidism was induced by 6-Propyl-2-thiouracil
(PTU) at a dose of 10 mg/kg/day administered intraperitoneally. Following SCI induction, rats received MP and FLX treatments via separate intraperitoneal injections at a dose of 30 and 10 mg/kg/day respectively on the surgery day
and FLX continued daily for 3 weeks. The expression levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-6
(IL-6) were quantified by Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Western blotting. Myelination and glutathione(GSH) levels were analyzed by Luxol Fast Blue (LFB) staining and ELISA respectively.
Results: Following combined MP and FLX treatments, the expression levels of TNF-α and IL-6 significantly decreased
and GSH level considerably increased in the trial animals.
Conclusion: Our results show the neuroprotective effects of MP and FLX with better results in Hypo+SCI+MP+FLX
group. Further study is required to identify the mechanisms involved.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder with very limited treatment options. Stem cells have been raised as a new treatment modality for these patients. We have designed a single-center, prospective, open-label, and single arm clinical trial to assess the safety, feasibility, and rather efficacy of administrating allogeneic adipose-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (Ad-MSCs) in ALS patients. We enrolled 17 patients with confirmed ALS
diagnosis with ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised (ALSFRS-R) ≥24 and predicted forced vital capacity (FVC) ≥40%.
Allogeneic Ad-MSCs were transplanted intravenously for all patients. Follow-ups were done at 24 hours, 2, 4, 6, and 12
months after cell infusion by checking adverse events, laboratory tests, and clinically by ALSFRS-R and FVC. Patients were also followed five years later and ALSFRS-R score was recorded in the survived individuals. There was no report of severe adverse events related to cell infusion. Two patients experienced dyspnea and chest pain 36 and 65 days after cell infusion due to pulmonary emboli. The progressive decrease in ALSFRS-R and FVC levels was recorded and three patients died in the first year. During five years follow up, despite a notable decrease in functional scores, 5 patients survived. Intravenous (IV) infusion of allogeneic Ad-MSCs in ALS patients is safe and feasible. The survival rate of the patients is more than IV autologous MSCs (Registration number: IRCT20080728001031N26).