Yasuhiko Kimura

University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, United States

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Publications (13)56.36 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Responses of the liver to chronic injury include inflammation, regeneration and fibrosis, which finally lead to cirrhosis. The cause of liver cirrhosis appears to be impaired proliferative capability of hepatocytes caused by continuous hepatic damage, and subsequent accumulation of extracellular matrix produced by hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). Epidermal growth factor (EGF) and transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) play a crucial role in hepatocyte proliferation and hepatofibrogenesis, respectively. However, sequential analyses of the intrahepatic expression of EGF and TGF-beta1 in the course of cirrhosis development have not been examined fully. In the present study, liver cirrhosis was produced in rats by intraperitoneal administration of dimethylnitrosamine (DMN), and intrahepatic mRNA expression levels of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), EGF and TGF-beta1 were quantitatively estimated by a real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction method. Histological and semiquantitative densitometric examination of liver sections revealed that the accumulation of extracellular matrix components was increased according to the period of DMN treatment. Histological examination of liver sections of rats treated with DMN for 4 and 6 weeks revealed pre-cirrhosis and cirrhosis, respectively. Intrahepatic mRNA expression levels of PCNA and EGF correlated well. Expression levels of both molecules were increased significantly during the course of cirrhosis development, but decreased significantly at the time of complete cirrhosis manifestation. In contrast, intrahepatic TGF-beta1 expression was increased significantly according to the period of DMN treatment, and reached a peak at the time of cirrhosis manifestation. These results suggest that proliferative capability of hepatocytes was impaired by continuous liver damage due, in part, to the decrease of a hepatocyte mitogen EGF, and that increased intrahepatic TGF-beta1 activated HSCs to retrieve space lost by hepatocyte destruction, resulting in complete cirrhosis manifestation.
    International Journal of Molecular Medicine 03/2007; 19(2):317-24. · 1.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although the pathogenic mechanism underlying autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) remains unclear, the immune system is thought to be critical for the progression of the disease. Cellular immune responses may be linked to the hepatocellular damage in AIH. Recently, much attention has been focused on the critical functions of costimulatory molecules expressed on mononuclear cells in the generation of effective T cell-mediated immune responses. Analysis of costimulatory molecule expressed on mononuclear cells from the patients with AIH may give us insight into the pathogenic mechanism of hepatocellular damage in AIH. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were taken from the patients with AIH (34 cases) and healthy controls (25 cases). Liver infiltrating mononuclear cells (LIMCs) were taken from the patients with AIH (18 cases), the patient with chronic hepatitis C (CH-C) (13 cases) and the patients with fatty liver (2 cases). Using flow cytometry, the cells were analyzed for the expression of costimulatory molecules, such as CD80, CD86, and CD152 (CTLA-4). The results were compared with clinical data such as the level of gammaglobulin, histological grade, presence or absence of corticosteroids administration and the response to corticosteroids. The levels of CD80+, CD86+ and CD152+ PBMC were significantly reduced in the patients with AIH as compared with healthy controls. By contrast, those cells were significantly higher in LIMC than in PBMC of the patients with AIH. Especially, the level of CD86+ LIMC showed a marked increase irrespective of the degree of disease activity in the patients with AIH, although CD86+ cells were rarely present in PBMC. The levels of CD86+ cells were present in significantly higher frequency in patients with AIH than in the patients with CH-C. Furthermore, the patients with AIH with high levels of CD86+ LIMC showed good responses to corticosteroids, whereas 2 cases of AIH with low levels of CD86+ LIMC did not respond well. These results suggest that LIMC over-expressing costimulatory molecules such as CD80 and CD86 appears to play a role in the pathogenesis of AIH. Especially, CD86 molecule expressed on the LIMC may be useful for the diagnosis of AIH and for the prediction of the therapeutic effects of corticosteroids on AIH.
    World Journal of Gastroenterology 05/2006; 12(16):2523-9. · 2.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autoantibodies against tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) such as insulin-like growth factor II mRNA-binding proteins (IMPs), p53, c-myc, and survivin were analyzed in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), using recombinant proteins of these antigens. Eight of 86 (9.3%) HCC patients had one or more of these autoantibodies. However, serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels ranged within normal limits in HCC patients with anti-TAAs except for one case with anti-IMP1. One of the HCC patients had autoantibodies against IMP1, IMP3 and p53 before the diagnosis of HCC. These findings may indicate that anti-TAAs seem to be supplementary serological markers for the diagnosis of HCC in AFP-negative cases and that autoantibodies against IMP1, IMP3 and p53 are candidates for predictive markers of HCC development.
    International Journal of Oncology 11/2005; 27(4):1079-85. · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The serum hallmark of primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is the presence of anti-mitochondrial antibodies (AMA), found in 95% of patients. However, nearly every patient with PBC, including those who are AMA-negative, has an elevation in serum IgM. This hyper-IgM is neither representative of other Ig isoforms, nor is due to the levels of AMA. In fact, we have recently reported that the hyper-IgM is an innate immune response and can be induced with CpG-B with concurrent up-regulation of toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9). Based on these observations, we performed a two-tier study. First, we quantitated TLR9 genotypes in patients with PBC and controls and correlated these data with the B cell response to CpG-B. Second, based on these data, we performed an extensive TLR9 genotyping in a large cohort of patients and controls. We report herein that the 2848 AA TLR9 genotype is associated with enhanced gene expression and higher frequency of intracellular IgM(+) B cells following CpG stimulation. Interestingly, however, despite the functional association, there is no difference in the distribution of TLR9 genotypes between patients and controls. Our data emphasize the importance of dissecting the innate immune response in PBC.
    Journal of Autoimmunity 07/2005; 24(4):347-52. · 8.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Primary gastric lymphoma is relatively rare in the scope of gastric malignancies. Here we report a case of diffuse large B-cell primary gastric lymphoma treated successfully with the CD20 monoclonal antibody, rituximab, alone. Because the patient had a complication of severe liver dysfunction due to hepatitis C virus induced-liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, it was difficult to treat the primary gastric lymphoma using standard therapy such as surgical resection and cocktail chemotherapy. Therefore, rituximab was administered to the patient, resulting in complete remission of the primary gastric lymphoma. This case indicates that monotherapy using only rituximab may be a promising option for the treatment of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma accompanied by severe liver dysfunction.
    Oncology Reports 07/2005; 13(6):1065-8. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We examined whether retrograde intrabiliary adenoviral administration could induce safe and efficient transgene expression in hepatocytes. We administered recombinant adenovirus carrying a reporter lacZ gene retrogradely into the common bile duct of rats and evaluated the transduction efficiency of the lacZ gene in the liver histochemically by X-gal staining, and also quantitatively by a chemiluminescent reporter gene assay. Retrograde administration of adenovirus into the common bile duct was shown to successfully induce transgene expression in the liver. Although transgene expression induced by intrabiliary adenoviral administration was observed predominantly at periportal areas, a considerable number of cells expressing the transgene were detectable even in lobular and centrilobular areas. Furthermore, histochemical analysis revealed that intrabiliary adenoviral administration resulted in gene transfer into hepatocytes, but not into biliary epithelial cells. Transgene expression in the liver was transient, and pathological and biochemical analyses revealed that hepatic damage caused by intrabiliary adenoviral administration was not substantial. The results demonstrated in the present study suggest that retrograde administration of adenovirus into the common bile duct can induce safe and efficient transgene expression in hepatocytes without causing considerable adverse effects, supporting the feasibility of adenovirus-mediated gene transfer into hepatocytes in clinical settings by means of endoscopic retrograde cholangiography.
    Oncology Reports 06/2005; 13(5):825-30. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although a number of studies have shown that vitamins K1, K2 and K3 exerted antitumor effects on various types of rodent- and human-derived neoplastic cell lines, it has not been examined whether or not vitamin K5 also possesses antitumor activity. In the present study, we examined the antitumor effects of vitamin K5 on PLC/PRF/5 human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, we examined the mechanisms of antitumor actions of vitamin K5 not only in vitro but also in vivo. Vitamin K5 was shown to suppress the proliferation of PLC/PRF/5 cells at a concentration of 30 microM. By a flow cytometric analysis, it was shown that although vitamin K5 did not induce apoptosis on PLC/PRF/5 cells, it did induce G1 arrest on PLC/PRF/5 cells. Subsequent in vivo study using subcutaneous HCC-bearing athymic nude mice demonstrated that vitamin K5 markedly suppressed the growth of HCC tumors. Although protein expression levels of cyclin D1 and p16INK4a cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) inhibitor in HCC tumors were not decreased by vitamin K5 treatment, those of Cdk4 were reduced significantly by the treatment. Taken collectively, vitamin K5 could induce potent antitumor effects on HCC not only in vitro but also in vivo, at least in part by inducing G1 arrest of cell cycle through downregulation of Cdk4 expression. The results demonstrated here indicate that vitamin K5 may be a useful agent for the treatment of patients with HCC.
    International Journal of Oncology 06/2005; 26(5):1337-44. · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate (MARCKS) is a prominent substrate for protein kinase C (PKC) in a variety of cells. The aim of this study was not only to evaluate the expression and localization of MARCKS in various pathological liver tissues, including HCC, but also to analyze the difference in MARCKS expression between hepatitis virus-induced HCC and cirrhosis. The level of MARCKS and its phosphorylated proteins, as well as its localization, were determined using Western blot and/or immunohistochemistry in HCC and other pathological liver tissues. We also analyzed the change of MARCKS localization on the influence of MARCKS phosphorylation in the HLF cancer cell line by phosphorylation study. In addition, the relationship between MARCKS expression and proliferative activity was studied in HCC. In the immunohistochemical study, a very small amount of MARCKS protein was found along the contour of the hepatocellular membrane in normal liver and in cases of chronic hepatitis. MARCKS was up-regulated in liver cirrhosis tissue and was localized in the cytoplasm of hepatocytes. The expression of MARCKS was down-regulated in HCC tissues, as compared with non-tumorous liver cirrhosis tissues from the same patients. Furthermore, MARCKS was serine-phosphorylated in liver cirrhosis and HCC, and phosphorylated MARCKS was detected in a cytosolic fraction of these tissues. In a phosphorylation study using the HLF HCC cell line, MARCKS was displaced from the plasma membrane to the cytosol following the activation of protein kinase C (PKC) by phorbol 12-myristrate 13-acetate (PMA). Furthermore, the activity of cyclin D1 and cyclin E kinases was found to be higher in HCCs with low MARCKS expression than in HCCs with high MARCKS expression. These results suggest that up-regulation of MARCKS might be essential in the generation of cirrhotic nodules through chronic hepatitis from normal liver, and that the phosphorylation and/or down-regulation of MARCKS might play an important role in the development and progression of HCC from liver cirrhosis.
    International Journal of Oncology 04/2005; 26(3):661-71. · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the present study, the characteristics of PEI-RFA treatment were further elucidated by analyzing the relationship between the volume of coagulated necrosis and the energy requirement for ablation or the amount of ethanol injected into HCC. The volume of coagulated necrosis, total energy requirement and energy requirement for coagulation of per unit volume were examined in the groups of PEI-RFA and RFA alone using the Cool-tip RF system. The results showed that the volume of coagulated necrosis induced was significantly larger in PEI-RFA group than in routine RFA group, when the total energy administered was comparable in both groups. In PEI-RFA, enlargement of coagulated necrosis was admitted in 3 dimensions and the amount of energy requirement per unit volume of coagulated necrosis was negatively correlated with the amount of ethanol injected into HCC. These results suggest that, compared to RFA alone, PEI-RFA enables to induce comparable coagulated necrosis with smaller energy requirement, and that PEI-RFA is likely to be less invasive than RFA alone irrespective of inducing enhanced coagulated necrosis. Thus, simple prior injection of ethanol may make RFA treatment more effective and less invasive for the treatment of patients with HCC.
    World Journal of Gastroenterology 04/2005; 11(10):1426-32. · 2.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A 54-year-old male with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) underwent transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE) at a nearby hospital. He was then referred to our hospital for the purpose of additional treatment of HCC. Because TAE was not a complete therapy and HCC was growing and protruding from the left lobe of the liver, laparoscopic radio-frequency ablation (RFA) was chosen for the treatment of HCC. After inserting a laparoscope into the abdominal cavity, it was observed that HCC unexpectedly adhered to the mesentery as a result of TAE performed previously. After cutting off the adhered mesentery and removing it from the tumor, the combination therapy of percutaneous ethanol injection and RFA (PEI-RFA), developed at our department, was performed on the tumor. The tumor was successfully abrogated by PEI-RFA and the sufficient safety margin was confirmed by computed tomography after the treatment.
    Oncology Reports 02/2005; 13(1):65-8. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epidemiological data suggest that environmental factors may trigger autoimmunity in genetically susceptible individuals. In primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), it has been postulated that halogenated xenobiotics can modify self-molecules, facilitating the breakdown of tolerance to mitochondrial antigens. The transport and metabolism of xenobiotics is highly dependent on key genetic polymorphisms that alter enzymatic phenotype. We analyzed genomic DNA from 169 patients with PBC and 225 geographically and sex-matched healthy subjects for polymorphisms of genes coding for cytochromes P450 (CYPs) 2D6 (CYP2D6*4, CYP2D6*3, CYP2D6*5, and CYP2D6*6) and 2E1 (cl/c2), multidrug resistance 1 (MDR1 C3435T) P-glycoprotein, and pregnane X receptor (PXR C-25385T, C8055T, and A7635G). We compared the genotype frequencies in patients and controls and also correlated polymorphisms with PBC severity. The distributions of the studied genotypes did not significantly differ between patients and controls. However, when clinical characteristics of patients with PBC were compared according to genotype, the CYP2E1 c2 allele was associated with signs of more severe disease. In conclusion, genetic polymorphisms of CYP 2D6 and 2E1, PXR, and MDR1 do not appear to play a role in the onset of PBC.
    Hepatology 02/2005; 41(1):55-63. · 12.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To examine the feasibility of liver-directed in vivo gene therapy, we administered recombinant adenoviruses carrying a reporter lacZ gene retrogradely into the common bile duct of rats, as well as antegradely into the portal vein. Transduction efficiency of the lacZ gene in the liver was estimated not only histochemically by X-gal staining, but also quantitatively by a chemiluminescent reporter gene assay. Retrograde infusion of adenoviruses into the common bile duct was shown to successfully induce transgene expression in the liver. Transduction efficiency induced by intrabiliary adenoviral administration was not significantly different from that induced by intraportal adenoviral administration. Although transgene expression induced not only by intraportal, but also by intrabiliary adenoviral administration was observed predominantly at periportal areas, a considerable number of cells expressing the transgene were detectable even in lobular and centrilobular areas. Mild infiltration of inflammatory cells into the liver and mild hyperplastic changes of hepatocytes were observed after intrabiliary and intraportal adenoviral administration. However, hepatic damage estimated pathologically was not substantial. Furthermore, although intrabiliary and intraportal adenoviral administration resulted in very mild elevation of liver-related serum biochemical parameters, apparent complications were not observed in any rats. Our results demonstrated in the present study suggest that retrograde administration of adenoviruses into the common bile duct can induce efficient transgene expression in the liver without causing severe adverse effects, supporting the feasibility of adenovirus-mediated gene transfer into the liver in clinical settings by means of endoscopic retrograde cholangiography.
    Oncology Reports 02/2005; 13(1):69-74. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Intestinal trefoil factor (ITF) promotes epithelial cell migration and mucosal restitution during inflammation. We used real-time quantitative PCR, in situ nucleic acid hybridization, and immunohistochemistry to study the expression of the ITF gene and protein expression in the liver of primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) and controls. There were significantly higher levels of ITF messenger RNA (mRNA) in PBC liver compared with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) (P <.05) or normal controls (P <.001) and also higher in hepatitis C virus (HCV) liver (P <.05) and cryptogenic cirrhosis (P <.01) compared with normal controls. However, only in PBC was there a significant difference between small (interlobular and bile ductules) and large (intrahepatic and septal) bile ducts. Using in situ hybridization, the highest levels of ITF gene expression were localized to the large bile ducts in PBC. This differential expression of ITF was also noted at the protein level. Thus, in PBC, although 92% of large bile ducts expressed the ITF protein, only 2% of small bile ducts (P <.0001) expressed ITF. In contrast, in control livers, 34% of large bile ducts and 13% of small bile ducts expressed ITF. ITF protein is absent in small bile ducts in all stages of PBC. In conclusion, the expression of ITF may play an important role in bile duct damage. In small bile ducts, ITF production in response to damage is absent, making such cells vulnerable to damage and providing a thesis for the selective loss of small, but not large, bile ducts in PBC.
    Hepatology 11/2002; 36(5):1227-35. · 12.00 Impact Factor