Ming-Che Lee

Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital, T’ai-pei, Taipei, Taiwan

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Publications (24)45.76 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is among the most lethal cancers. Mounting studies highlighted the essential role of the HGF/c-MET axis in driving HCC tumor progression. Therefore, c-Met is a potential therapeutic target for HCC. However, several concerns remain unresolved in c-Met targeting. First, the status of active c-Met in HCC must be screened to determine patients suitable for therapy. Second, resistance and side effects have been observed frequently when using conventional c-Met inhibitors. Thus, a preclinical system for screening the status of c-Met signaling and identifying efficient and safe anti-HCC agents is urgently required. In this study, immunohistochemical staining of phosphorylated c-Met (Tyr1234) on tissue sections indicated that HCCs with positive c-Met signaling accounted for approximately 46% in 26 cases. Second, many patient-derived HCC cell lines were established and characterized according to motility and c-Met signaling status. Moreover, LZ8, a medicinal peptide purified from the herb Lingzhi, featuring immunomodulatory and anticancer properties, was capable of suppressing cell migration and slightly reducing the survival rate of both c-Met positive and negative HCCs, HCC372, and HCC329, respectively. LZ8 also suppressed the intrahepatic metastasis of HCC329 in SCID mice. On the molecular level, LZ8 suppressed the expression of c-Met and phosphorylation of c-Met, ERK and AKT in HCC372, and suppressed the phosphorylation of JNK, ERK, and AKT in HCC329. According to receptor array screening, the major receptor tyrosine kinase activated in HCC329 was found to be the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Moreover, tyrosine-phosphorylated EGFR (the active EGFR) was greatly suppressed in HCC329 by LZ8 treatment. In addition, LZ8 blocked HGF-induced cell migration and c-Met-dependent signaling in HepG2. In summary, we designed a preclinical trial using LZ8 to prevent the tumor progression of patient-derived HCCs with c-Met-positive or -negative signaling.
    PLoS ONE 01/2015; 10(1):e0114495. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0114495 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Transplantation 10/2014; 98(7):e71-e73. DOI:10.1097/TP.0000000000000374 · 3.78 Impact Factor
  • Kuei-Chun Chou, Ming-Che Lee
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    ABSTRACT: Kidney transplantation is one strategy for treating end-stage renal disease. Recent advances in perioperative management and immunosuppressive agents as well as improved understanding of transplant immunology have improved the post-surgery quality of life of kidney recipients dramatically. However, lifelong monitoring of renal functions and potential complications is essential to ensure optimal medical outcomes. Furthermore, the self-care competency of transplant recipients is a significant factor affecting survival of the graft and the patient over the long term. All kidney transplant recipients should comply with the self-care instructions provided by transplantation medical personnel and work to improve their self-care abilities in order to prevent / detect post-transplant complications such as rejection, infection, and medical comorbidities as early as possible. The purpose of this study is to explore the current management and care issues faced by kidney transplant recipients.
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    ABSTRACT: Adiponectin is a fat-derived hormone produced and secreted exclusively by adipocytes that have anti-atherosclerotic effects. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between fasting serum adiponectin levels and arterial stiffness among kidney transplant (KT) patients.
    Clinical and Experimental Nephrology 07/2014; DOI:10.1007/s10157-014-1010-1 · 1.71 Impact Factor
  • Gastroenterology 05/2014; 146(5):S-363. DOI:10.1016/S0016-5085(14)61314-7 · 13.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Peripheral arterial diseases associated with an increased risk of death in kidney transplant patients. Natriuretic peptide has anti-atherosclerotic effects. We sought to evaluate the relation between ankle-brachial index and fasting serum long-acting natriuretic peptide concentrations in kidney transplant patients. Fasting blood samples were obtained from 69 kidney transplant patients. Serum long-acting natriuretic peptide concentrations were measured using a commercially available enzyme immunoassay kit. Left or right ankle-brachial index values that were < 0.9 were included in the low ankle-brachial index group. Fifteen patients (21.7%) were enrolled in the low ankle-brachial index group. Increased waist circumference (P = .013), higher serum total cholesterol levels (P = .019), higher triglyceride levels (P = .002), and decreased serum long-acting natriuretic peptide concentrations (P = .006) were noted in the low ankle-brachial index group. Univariate linear regression analysis indicated that the left/right ankle-brachial index values of the subjects were negatively correlated with serum triglycerides (P = .008 or P < .001) and fasting glucose levels (P = .034 or P = .012), but were positively correlated with long-acting natriuretic peptide concentrations (P = .011 or P = .011). Multivariate forward stepwise linear regression analyses of the significant variables revealed that serum triglycerides and long-acting natriuretic peptide levels were independent predictors of the left/right ankle-brachial index values of kidney transplant patients. Serum long-acting natriuretic peptide concentrations correlate positively with anklebrachial index values among the kidney transplant patients.
    08/2013; 11(4):303-9. DOI:10.6002/ect.2012.0224
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives Renal transplant patients receive calcineurin inhibitors to suppress the calcineurin-nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) pathway. The DNA binding activity of NFAT and its relationship to the reactivation of BK virus (BKV) has not been evaluated in renal transplant patients.Patients and Methods The DNA binding activity of NFAT cytoplasmic 1 (NFATc1) was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 26 renal transplant patients and 26 healthy controls. At the same time, their urinary BKV viral load was measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction.ResultsThe activity of NFATc1 was lower in renal transplant patients without BKV viruria [BKV (−)] than in healthy controls, while it trended to be higher in renal transplant patients with BKV viruria [BKV (+)] than in BKV (−) patients. The tacrolimus blood levels did not differ between BKV (+) and BKV (−) renal transplant patients or correlate with NFATc1 activity.ConclusionNFATc1 DNA binding activity was lower in renal transplant patients without BKV viruria than in those who were BKV (+). However, there was no relationship between tacrolimus blood levels and NFATc1 activity in renal transplant patients.
    Tzu Chi Medical Journal 06/2013; 25(2):112–116. DOI:10.1016/j.tcmj.2013.04.001
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    ABSTRACT: Aim: Arterial stiffness is an established cardiovascular risk marker and an independent predictor of cardiovascular events and mortality in various groups of patients, including renal transplant recipients. Recent studies have noted that B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) acts as a local paracrine molecule that modulates endothelial permeability and regeneration. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between the serum N-terminal pro-BNP (NT-pro-BNP) level and arterial stiffness in renal transplant recipients.Methods: Fasting blood samples were obtained from 66 renal transplant recipients. The cardio-ankle vascular index was calculated using the waveform device (CAVI-VaSera VS-1000). The serum NTpro-BNP levels were measured using an electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. A CAVI value of ≥9 was used to define a high level of arterial stiffness.Results: Thirty-two patients (48.5%) were classified into the high arterial stiffness group. Diabetes (p=0.030), smoking (p<0.001), duration of kidney transplantation (p=0.001), body weight (p=0.014), waist circumference (p=0.022), body mass index (p=0.001) and the fasting glucose (p=0.021) and serum NT-pro-BNP (p<0.001) levels were higher in the high arterial stiffness group than in the low arterial stiffness group. A multivariate forward stepwise linear regression analysis showed that the log-NT-pro-BNP level (β: 0.459, p<0.001) remained an independent predictor of the CAVI value in the renal transplant recipients.Conclusions: The serum fasting NT-pro-BNP level is associated with arterial stiffness in renal transplant recipients.
    Journal of atherosclerosis and thrombosis 05/2013; DOI:10.5551/jat.17780 · 2.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective. Muscarinic receptors mediate contraction of the human gallbladder through unclear receptor subtypes. The aim of the present study was to characterize muscarinic acetylcholine receptors mediating contraction of the human gallbladder. Materials and methods. Contraction of human gallbladder muscle strips caused by agonists carbachol and muscarine was measured and the inhibition of carbachol-induced contraction by muscarinic receptor antagonists was evaluated. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction was performed to determine the existence of muscarinic receptor subtypes. Results. Carbachol and muscarine caused concentration-dependent contraction of gallbladder strips. Four receptor antagonists, including atropine, 4-diphenylacetoxy-N-methylpiperidine methiodide (4-DAMP), methoctramine, and pirenzepine, inhibited the carbachol-induced contraction. The relative inhibitory potency of these receptor antagonists was atropine > 4-DAMP > methoctramine > pirenzepine. The antagonist affinity estimates (pA(2) values) correlated with the known affinities at M(3), M(4), and M(5) muscarinic receptors. In addition, the M(4)-selective antagonist muscarinic toxin 3 did not inhibit and the M(5)-selective positive allosteric modulator VU0238429 did not potentiate carbachol-induced gallbladder contraction. This suggests that M(3) muscarinic receptors mediate the muscarinic response predominantly. The contractile response of carbachol was attenuated by the voltage-gated Ca(2+) channel inhibitor nifedipine and Rho-kinase inhibitor H-1152, but not affected by protein kinase C inhibitor chelerythrine. This implies the involvement of voltage-gated Ca(2+) channel and Rho kinase but not protein kinase C. Conclusions. These results suggest a major role of M(3) muscarinic receptors mediating the human gallbladder contraction through voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels and Rho kinase. M(3)-selective muscarinic receptor antagonists could be of therapeutic importance in the treatment of biliary motility disorders.
    Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology 12/2012; DOI:10.3109/00365521.2012.741615 · 2.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Surgical portosystemic shunts are safe and effective for treating rebleeding gastric varices (GV) in portal hypertensive patients with well-preserved liver function. The aim of this study is to investigate the clinical outcomes of using selected surgical shunts for managing rebleeding GV at a single institution in eastern Taiwan.Materials and Methods We retrospectively recruited 12 patients who received distal splenorenal shunts (DSRS) following the indication of rebleeding GV or hypersplenism from January 2001 through December 2010. Their demographic data, etiology of portal hypertension, associated treatments, perioperative complications and clinical outcomes were reviewed.ResultsAll patients received DSRS, including 10 adults and two children, and were examined for a median follow-up period of 53 months. No postoperative encephalopathy, major complications, or surgical mortality occurred. Two of the patients were waiting for liver transplants. Late rebleeding in esophageal varices developed in two patients who were successfully managed using endoscopic treatment. The etiology of portal hypertension had no significant impact on the postoperative complications.Conclusion Although there were a limited number of cases in this series, our results indicate that the DSRS is an effective treatment for rebleeding GV, especially for patients with well-preserved liver function and taking into account the realities of organ shortages.
    Tzu Chi Medical Journal 06/2012; 24(2):61-64. DOI:10.1016/j.tcmj.2012.02.005
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: BK virus (BKV) is known to be associated with nephropathy. Here, we investigated the relationships between BKV levels, T-cell activation, and kidney function in kidney transplant recipients. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In renal transplant patients and controls, urine BKV levels were detected by quantitative real-time PCR, and the percentage of activated T lymphocytes in blood was determined by flow cytometry. The correlations between viral load, activated T cell percentage, and renal function were determined. RESULTS: Urine BKV viral loads and the activated T cell percentage were significantly elevated in transplant recipients. Correlational analysis indicated that transplant recipients that had BKV levels of more than 10(6) copies/mL and an activated T lymphocyte percentage of less than 20% were likely to have poor renal function. CONCLUSIONS: Urine BKV levels and the percentage of activated T lymphocytes can be used as clinical indices to optimize the dosage of immunosuppressive drugs.
    Journal of Surgical Research 05/2012; DOI:10.1016/j.jss.2012.04.064 · 2.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Reduced bladder capacity and compliance in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) may affect storage and voiding function after kidney transplantation. This study evaluated the bladder capacity, compliance, and lower urinary tract dysfunction in ESRD patients with duration after dialysis and anuria. Adults with ESRD on kidney transplantation waiting list were consecutively enrolled. The survey items included videourodynamic study (VUDS), renal ultrasound, and cystoscopy. The analytical variables assessed included the duration of dialysis, the duration of anuria, cystometric bladder capacity and bladder compliance, voiding phases in VUDS, and cystoscopic findings. A total of 62 patients with a mean dialysis duration of 58.9 ± 6.3 months were enrolled. The mean cystometric bladder capacity was 178 ± 14 mL and decreased significantly with duration of dialysis (p < 0.001). Anuria was diagnosed in 26 patients, and the mean cystometric bladder capacity decreased significantly with the duration of anuria (p = 0.002). Among the 26 patients with anuria, 16 had a poor bladder compliance. VUDS revealed abnormal storage function in 44 (71.0%) patients and bladder outlet obstruction due to bladder neck dysfunction or urethral narrowing in the voiding phase in 32 (51.6%). Abnormal cystoscopic findings were also noted in 30 (48.4%) patients. Cystometric bladder capacity and bladder compliance decreased with longer duration of dialysis, and the presence of anuria contributed to further decreases in cystometric bladder capacity and bladder compliance. More than two-thirds of patients with ESRD had abnormal findings on VUDS.
    Journal of the Formosan Medical Association 04/2012; 111(4):209-13. DOI:10.1016/j.jfma.2011.09.023 · 1.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) metastatic to the pancreas is relatively uncommon, and RCC metastatic to the duodenum is extremely rare, with only a small number of case reports in the literature. We describe a 76-year-old woman with a history of RCC who had been treated by radical left nephrectomy 6 years earlier. The patient presented with anemia, hematochezia, and a bulging mass in the pancreaticoduodenal area, and was treated by pancreaticoduodenectomy. Histopathology confirmed metastatic RCC of the duodenum, the pancreas, and one of the dissected regional lymph nodes. The patient remains healthy to date without recurrence more than 24 months after pancreaticoduodenectomy. Our case report and review of the literature supports the curative surgical treatment in this rare group of patients.
    Tzu Chi Medical Journal 03/2012; 24(1):24–27. DOI:10.1016/j.tcmj.2011.11.001
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    ABSTRACT: Our aim was to evaluate the relationship between bone mineral density (BMD) and fasting serum long-acting natriuretic peptide (LANP) concentration in renal transplant recipients. Fasting blood samples were obtained from 65 renal transplant recipients. BMD was measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry in lumbar vertebrae (L2-L4). Serum LANP levels were measured using a commercial enzyme immunoassay kit. Six patients (9.2%) had osteoporosis and 28 patients (43.1%) had osteopenia in renal transplant recipients. Increased serum LANP (p<0.001) was significantly correlated with low lumbar T-score cut-off points between groups (normal, osteopenia, and osteoporosis) in renal transplant recipients. Female patients had lower lumbar BMD than male renal transplant recipients (p=0.027). Univariate linear regression analysis indicated that lumbar BMD were positively correlated with height (p=0.038), body weight (p=0.003), and body mass index (BMI; p=0.019), whereas negatively correlated with LANP (p=0.004) among the renal transplant recipients. Multivariate forward stepwise linear regression analysis of the significant variables revealed that body weight (R(2) change=0.132; p=0.006) and LANP (R(2) change=0.093; p=0.008) were the independent predictors of lumbar BMD values in the renal transplant recipients. Serum LANP concentration correlates negatively with lumbar BMD values in renal transplant recipients.
    Clinical Transplantation 12/2011; 26(2):E105-10. DOI:10.1111/j.1399-0012.2011.01575.x · 1.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The poor prognosis and recurrence of HCC are majorly caused by intrahepatic metastasis. Delineating the molecular pathways mediating these processes may benefit developing effective targeting therapies. Using human hepatoma HepG2 as a model, we have found reactive oxygen species (ROS) may cooperate with protein kinase C (PKC) for sustained ERK phosphorylation and migration of HepG2 induced by 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate (TPA). We further investigated whether integrin signaling is involved. Various antagonists of integrin signaling prevented TPA-induced activation of ERK and PKC, ROS generation and migration of HepG2. On the other hand, TPA-induced phosphorylation of integrin signaling components including focal adhesion kinase (FAK), Src (Tyr416) and paxillin (Tyr31 and Ser178) can be prevented by PKC inhibitor Bisindolylmaleimides (BIS) and antioxidant dithiotheritol (DTT). HepG2 overexpressing PKCα contained elevated phosphorylated paxillin. Also, ROS generator phenazine methosulfate and tert-Butyl hydroperoxide may induce phosphorylation of paxillin and activation of PKC. Taken together, ROS mediated cross talk of PKC and integrin for migration of HepG2 induced by TPA. Furthermore, TPA induced intrahepatic metastasis of HepG2 in SCID mice, which was prevented by BIS or (BIS plus DTT). Elevated phosphorylation of paxillin was observed in tumor of mice treated with TPA as compared with those co-treated with TPA/BIS. In summary, the signal pathways for tumor progression of hepatoma induced by TPA can be established both in vitro and in vivo.
    Clinical and Experimental Metastasis 08/2011; 28(8):851-63. DOI:10.1007/s10585-011-9416-6 · 3.46 Impact Factor
  • Tzu Chi Medical Journal 09/2010; 22(3):131-136. DOI:10.1016/S1016-3190(10)60057-2
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    ABSTRACT: To determine whether the John Cunningham virus (JCV) viral load and the multigenotypes in viruria are correlated with transplant patients. The urine of 60 renal transplant patients and 60 healthy controls were screened. We used quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and capillary electrophoresis to assess viral load and genotype respectively. The incidence of viruria and viral load were higher in transplant patients with P = .0092 and P = .0094, respectively. The incidence of different genotype in transplant patients versus controls was 8.3% versus 13.3% for single genotype, 26.7% versus 5% for 2 genotypes, and 5% versus 0% for multigenotypes (P = .0004). The incidence of more than 2 genotypes was high in people with a high viral load and closely related with the transplant patients (P = .007). Not only viral load but also genotypes are important as a screening parameter to understand the immune milieu of the patients to prevent subsequent complications like polyomavirus nephropathy, infection, and malignancy.
    American journal of surgery 07/2010; 200(1):53-8. DOI:10.1016/j.amjsurg.2009.03.017 · 2.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Our aim was to evaluate the relationship between metabolic syndrome and fasting serum leptin concentration in renal transplant recipients. Fasting blood samples were obtained from 55 renal transplant recipients. Metabolic syndrome and its components were defined using the diagnostic criteria of the International Diabetes Federation. Thirteen patients (23.6%) had metabolic syndrome. Fasting leptin concentrations were positively correlated with metabolic syndrome (p=0.003). Univariate linear regression analysis indicated fasting serum leptin values were positively correlated with waist circumference (r=0.284; p=0.036), body mass index (r=0.358; p=0.007), body fat mass (r=0.610; p<0.001), triglycerides (r=0.268; p=0.048), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) (r=0.377; p=0.005), triceps skinfold (r=0.335; p=0.012), and mid-arm fat area (r=0.351; p=0.009). Multivariate forward stepwise linear regression analysis of the significant variables revealed that body fat mass (R2 change=0.373; p<0.001) and hs-CRP (R2 change=0.045; p=0.049) were the independent predictors of fasting serum leptin concentration. Serum leptin concentration correlates positively with metabolic syndrome in renal transplant recipients.
    Clinical Transplantation 03/2010; 24(4):E124-9. DOI:10.1111/j.1399-0012.2010.01215.x · 1.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ObjectiveA higher incidence of urinary tract transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) has been reported in both long-term hemodialysis patients and kidney transplant (KTX) recipients in Taiwan than in other countries. Herein, we report a high incidence of urinary tract malignancy, especially TCC, in KTX recipients in eastern Taiwan.
    Tzu Chi Medical Journal 06/2009; 21(2):118-122. DOI:10.1016/S1016-3190(09)60022-7
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Prediction of the survival time for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) by a clinical staging system could influence treatment planning. The aim of this study was to evaluate the predictive power of the Cancer of the Liver Italian Program (CLIP) and the Okuda staging system in the prognosis of patients with HCC in eastern Taiwan.
    Tzu Chi Medical Journal 03/2009; 21(1):34-39. DOI:10.1016/S1016-3190(09)60006-9