[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report findings from an autopsy of a male in his 40s who died of a brain stem hemorrhage associated with cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), senile plaques (SPs) and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), which are histopathological changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Our immunohistochemical study demonstrated amyloid β (Aβ) deposition in the small cerebral arteries and SPs. Although hypertension (178/132 mmHg) was detected, the subject was not treated accordingly. CAA coupled with hypertension might have caused the intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH).
Legal Medicine 03/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.legalmed.2014.01.003 · 1.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Short insertion/deletion (Indel) polymorphisms of approximately 2-6 bp are useful as biallelic markers for forensic analysis, and the application of Indel genotyping as a supplementary tool would improve human identification accuracy. We examined the allele frequencies of 37 autosomal Indels in the Japanese population and developed a novel dual-color genotyping method for human identification on the basis of universal fluorescent PCR, including the sex-typing amelogenin locus. Target genomic fragment sizes for 38 Indels were 49-143 bp. We analyzed these Indels in 100 Japanese individuals using the M13(-47) sequence as a universal primer. For dual-color genotyping, we designed a novel universal primer with high amplification efficiency and specificity. Using FAM-labeled M13(-47) and HEX-labeled modified M13(-47) primers, fluorescent signals at all loci were clearly distinguished in two independent multiplex PCRs. Average minor allele frequency was 0.39, and accumulated matching probability was 2.12 × 10(-15). Complete profiles were successfully amplified with as little as 0.25 ng of DNA. This method provides robust, sensitive, and cost-effective genotyping for human identification.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Paraquat is a commonly used herbicide; however, it is highly toxic to humans and animals. Exposure to paraquat causes severe lung damage, leading to pulmonary fibrosis. However, it has not been well clarified as how paraquat causes cellular damage, and there is no established standard therapy for paraquat poisoning. Meanwhile, endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) is reported to be one of the causative factors in many diseases, although mammalian cells have a defense mechanism against ERS-induced apoptosis (unfolded protein response). Here, we demonstrated that paraquat changed the expression levels of unfolded protein response-related molecules, resulting in ERS-related cell death in human lung epithelial A549 cells. Moreover, treatment with sodium tauroursodeoxycholate (TUDCA), a chemical chaperone, crucially rescued cells from death caused by exposure to paraquat. These results indicate that paraquat toxicity may be associated with ERS-related molecules/events. Through chemical chaperone activity, treatment with TUDCA reduced paraquat-induced ERS and mildly suppressed cell death. Our findings also suggest that TUDCA treatment represses the onset of pulmonary fibrosis caused by paraquat, and therefore chemical chaperones may have novel therapeutic potential for the treatment of paraquat poisoning.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 02/2013; 432(4). DOI:10.1016/j.bbrc.2013.01.131 · 2.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amplification/hybridization-based genetic analyses using primers containing locked nucleic acids (LNAs) present many benefits. Here, we developed a novel design for universal fluorescent PCR using LNAs. Universal fluorescent PCR generates intermediate non-labeled fragments and final fluorescent fragments in a two-step amplification process that uses locus-specific primers with universal tails and universal fluorescent primers. In this study, a few standard nucleotides were replaced with LNAs only in the fluorescent universal primers. The sequence of the fluorescent universal primer significantly affected the amplification efficiency. For primers with three LNAs, the fluorescent primers with stable M13(-47) sequences provided the most efficient signal (approximately 10-fold higher than the primers with M13(-21) sequences at lower Tm values). Moreover, AT-rich LNA substitutions in the fluorescent primers produced much lower amplification efficiencies than GC-rich substitutions. GC-rich LNAs produced greater differences in Tm values among primers, and resulted in the preferential production of fluorescently labeled amplicons. The specificity and sensitivity of LNA-containing fluorescent primers were assessed by genotyping eight short tandem repeats (STRs) in Japanese individuals, and full STR profiles could be generated using as little as 0.25 ng of genomic DNA. The method permitted clear discrimination of alleles and represents sensitive STR genotyping at a reduced cost.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: When the population parameters of drug pharmacokinetics in the human body system are known, the time-course of a certain drug in an individual can generally be estimated by pharmacokinetics. In the present two cases where methamphetamine abusers were suspected to have inflicted mortalities in traffic accidents, the time-elapse or duration immediately after methamphetamine injection to the time when the accidents occurred became points of contention. In each case, we estimated the time-course of blood methamphetamine after the self-administration in the suspects using a 2-compartment pharmacokinetic model with known pharmacokinetic parameters from the literatures. If the injected amount can be determined to a certain extent, it is easy to calculate the average time-elapse after injection by referring to reference values. However, there is considerable individual variability in the elimination rate based on genetic polymorphism and a considerably large error range in the estimated time-elapse results. To minimize estimation errors in such cases, we also analyzed genotype of CYP2D6, which influenced methamphetamine metabolism. Estimation based on two time-point blood samples would usefully benefit legal authorities in passing ruling sentences in cases involving similar personalities and circumstances as those involved in the present study.
Legal Medicine 04/2012; 14(4):191-6. DOI:10.1016/j.legalmed.2012.01.013 · 1.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Discrimination of Alu insertions is a useful tool for geographic ancestry analysis, and is usually performed by Alu element amplification and agarose gel electrophoresis. Here, we have developed a new fluorescence-based method for multiple Alu genotyping in forensic identification. Allele frequencies were determined in 70 Japanese individuals, and we selected 30 polymorphic Alu insertions. Three primers were designed for each Alu locus to discriminate alleles using the 3-6 bp differences in amplicon sizes. Furthermore, we classified the amplification primers for the 30 loci into three different sets, and PCR using each set of primers provided 10 loci fragments ranging from 50 to 137 bp. Based on population data, the probability of incorrectly assigning a match was 3.7×10(-13). Three independent amplifications and subsequent capillary electrophoresis enabled the sensitive genotyping of small amounts of DNA, indicating that this method is suitable for identifying individuals of Japanese ethnicity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Zonisamide, which is commonly prescribed at high doses (200-400 mg/day) for the treatment of partial seizures, has recently been used at a low dose (25 mg/day) for improving parkinsonian syndrome. However, the molecular mechanisms that underlie the antiparkinsonian effects of zonisamide have not been clarified. Here we show that low micromolar concentrations of zonisamide prevented cleavage of caspase-3 and cell death in human dopaminergic SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells that were subjected to endoplasmic reticulum stress induced by tunicamycin or 6-hydroxydopamine. Hypodense zonisamide increased the expression levels of SEL1L, which is known to stabilize the ubiquitin ligase HRD1. Indeed, upregulation of HRD1 protein was observed. Thus, the results of this study strongly suggest that low concentrations of zonisamide inhibit neuronal cell death by increasing HRD1 protein levels in patients with Parkinson's disease. Consequently, in addition to the treatment of Parkinson's disease, the therapeutic potential of zonisamide should be considered for the treatment of several neurodegenerative disorders with pathophysiological mechanisms involving endoplasmic reticulum stress.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ligase detection reaction (LDR) is a highly specific genotyping method for single nucleotide variations. Although LDR typically discriminates single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) alleles at the 3' end of so-called LDR discriminating probes, we designed probes in which the position of nucleotide differences for discrimination was shifted to the second and third nucleotides from the 3' end. Using the 3'-modified probes, we targeted SNPs of the human ABO group and investigated the specificity and efficiency of ligation by a universal LDR assay. We demonstrated that one or two nucleotide shifts of differences in discriminating probes improve the allele balance in detecting both base substitutions and short deletions. In regard to short deletions, moreover, the shifts of nucleotide differences in discriminating probes form the perfect-machted or multiple-mismatched structures (the bulge structures) in the discriminating probe-target DNA duplex and may contribute to enhance ligation efficiency.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We developed a new method for forensic ABO genotyping based on a universal reporter primer (URP) system. This allows for the simultaneous detection of six single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) sites in the ABO gene (nucleotide positions 261, 297, 526, 703, 796, and 803). This URP system provides obvious peaks, ranging from 82 to 151 bp in length. ABO genotypes were classified and successfully genotyped by our method, including minor alleles that may cause a discrepancy between the genetic data and serological phenotypes. Full profiles were identified using as little as 0.1 ng (0.05 ng ⁄ reaction) of standard K562 and 9947A DNA. Moreover, the success rate of genotyping from a URP system was much higher than that from a conventional primer extension method in degraded DNA. This method enables simple and rapid detection of multiple SNP sites on human ABO genes and is highly specific and sensitive when using limited and degraded DNA.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) is informative for human identification, and much shorter regions are targeted in analysis of biallelic SNP compared with highly polymorphic short tandem repeat (STR). Therefore, SNP genotyping is expected to be more sensitive than STR genotyping of degraded human DNA. To achieve simple, economical, and sensitive SNP genotyping for identification of degraded human DNA, we developed 18 loci for a SNP genotyping technique based on the mini-primer allele-specific amplification (ASA) combined with universal reporter primers (URP). The URP/ASA-based genotyping consisted of two amplifications followed by detection using capillary electrophoresis. The sizes of the target genome fragments ranged from 40 to 67bp in length. In the Japanese population, the frequencies of minor alleles of 18 SNPs ranged from 0.36 to 0.50, and these SNPs are informative for identification. The success rate of SNP genotyping was much higher than that of STR genotyping of artificially degraded DNA. Moreover, we applied this genotyping method to case samples and showed successful SNP genotyping of severely degraded DNA from a 4-year buffered formalin-fixed tissue sample for human identification.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the present study, we investigated the effect of various carbohydrates on the ability of bovine spermatozoa to bind to the bovine oviduct epithelial cells (OECs). We also examined the fertilization competence and motility of spermatozoa that bind to OECs in the presence of carbohydrates. Frozen-thawed spermatozoa were incubated with OECs, with and without various carbohydrates. The sperms were then divided into two fractions: OEC-binding sperms (B-sperm) and non-OEC binding sperms (NB-sperm). The fertilization rate, ability to bind the zona pellucida, and membrane integrity of the spermatozoa as determined using a hypo-osmotic-swelling test (HOST) were lower in NB-sperm than in the unseparated spermatozoa (control). The motility of the B-sperm was maintained for a longer time than that of the control spermatozoa. The addition of N-acetyl-d-glucosamine (GlcNAc, 5 mm) to the sperm-OEC mixture increased the number of B-sperm. D-mannose (5 mm) and D-fucose (5 mm) had no effect on the number of B-sperm. The motility of B-sperm, which bound to OECs in the presence of GlcNAc, however, was not maintained. When either OECs or the spermatozoa were treated with GlcNAc prior to sperm-OEC co-incubation, only sperm-side treatment enhanced sperm-OEC binding, but B-sperm motility was not maintained. The motility of spermatozoa incubated with GlcNAc was lower than that of controls. These results indicate that GlcNAc enhances sperm binding to OECs, probably via sperm surface modification, but does not promote increased sperm survival.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report the first autopsy case of fatal gastric dilatation without rupture. A 31-year-old woman who lived alone was found dead in her living room. Despite being very thin, she showed marked abdominal distention. Autopsy and histological findings revealed that a severely distended stomach, of which walls notably thin and displayed transmural necrosis, occupied the entire abdominal cavity. Severe congestion was observed in the intestine and cecum. Theses findings suggest that bulimia nervosa together with anorexia nervosa resulted in rapid dilation of the stomach. We conclude that the cause of death was acute circulatory failure from hypovolemic shock that occurred following compression of the inferior vena cava and superior mesenteric vein, and by loss of circulatory volume to the third space.
Forensic science international 09/2008; 180(2-3):e6-e10. DOI:10.1016/j.forsciint.2008.07.005 · 2.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The duration of sperm-oocyte co-incubation has been observed to affect the sex ratio of in vitro produced bovine embryos. The purpose of this study was to investigate some factors that may be responsible for the skewed sex ratio. The factors studied were selected combinations of the duration of co-incubation, the presence or absence of cumulus cells, and the level of hyaluronic acid (HA) in the culture medium. Experiment 1 examined the effect of selected combinations of different factors during the fertilization phase of in vitro oocyte culture. The factors were the nature of the sperm or its treatment, the duration of the sperm-oocyte co-incubation, and the level of hyaluronic acid in the culture medium. In experiment 2, the capacitation of frozen-thawed-Percoll-washed sperm (control), pre-incubated, and non-binding sperm was evaluated by the zona pellucida (ZP) binding assay and the hypo-osmotic swelling test (HOST). The purpose of experiment 3 was to determine the oocyte cleavage rate and sex ratio of the embryos (>5 cells) produced as a consequence of the 10 treatments used in experiment 1. In treatments 1-3 (experiments 1 and 3) COC were co-cultured with sperm for 1, 5 or 18 h. Polyspermic fertilization rose as the co-incubation period increased (1 h 6.5%, 5 h 15.9%, 18 h 41.8%; P<0.05), and the highest rate of normal fertilization was observed for 5h culture (73.4%; P<0.05). The sex ratio was significantly (P<0.05) skewed from the expected 50:50 towards males following 1 h (64.4%) and 5 h (67.3%) co-incubation, but was not affected by 18 h incubation (52.3%). In treatment 4, sperm was pre-incubated for 1h and cultured with COC for 5 h. Relative to control sperm, pre-incubation of sperm increased ZP binding (116 versus 180 per ZP; P<0.05) and decreased the proportion of HOST positive sperm (65.8-48.6%; P<0.05; experiment 2). Pre-incubation did not affect the rates of polyspermy, normal fertilization or the sex ratio of the embryos (experiments 1 and 3). The oocytes used in treatments 5-10 of experiments 1 and 3 were denuded prior to fertilization. Co-incubation of denuded oocytes for 1h (treatment 5) or 5h (treatment 6) resulted in levels of polyspermic fertilization similar to that for treatment 2 with significantly lower levels of normal fertilization (41.7% and 52.6%, respectively; P<0.05), and the 1h co-incubation significantly skewed (P<0.05) the proportion of male embryos to 70.0%. Denuded oocytes were fertilized for 5h with sperm unable to bind to cumulus cells (NB sperm) in treatment 7 or those that bound to cumulus cells (B) in treatment 8. These two treatments had similar rates of polyspermic, normal and non-fertilization. However, the B sperm caused the sex ratio of the embryos to be significantly skewed to males (63.9%; P<0.05). Fertilization of denuded oocytes in medium containing hyaluronic acid (0.1 mg/ml, treatment 9; 1.0 mg/ml treatment 10) significantly (P<0.05) reduced the incidence of polyspermic fertilization relative to treatments 2 and 6, and normal fertilization relative to treatment 2, but did not affect the sex ratio of the embryos. It was concluded that exposure of sperm to cumulus cells, either before fertilization of denuded oocytes or during the process of fertilization of complete COC, increased the proportion of male embryos produced by in vitro culture. It was hypothesized that this may be due to the capacitation state of the sperm, the cumulus-sperm interaction, and/or the ability of the sperm to bind to cumulus cells or oocytes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sequence analysis of HV2 in mitochondrial DNA has been performed as a tool for forensic identification, in addition to that of HV1. HV2 contains length heteroplasmy, which shows high variability within an individual or in maternal relatives. In this study, we used cloning analysis and PCR direct sequencing to compare, between mothers and their children, HV2 length heteroplasmic profiles in different tissues. For two mother-child pairs, different types of variant distribution were observed by cloning analysis. In pair 1, length heteroplasmic patterns in most tissues were similar (predominantly 9 and 10Cs variants), but different length heteroplasmic levels, with shifts in predominant genotype, were observed for some hairs in both mother and child. In pair 2, genotype distribution was similar for all tissues, with a predominant 8Cs genotype, but varying in the proportion of minor component. The proportion of one minor length variant (9Cs) in blood from the child was significantly higher than that from the mother, but the proportions of minor components (7 and/or 9Cs) in other tissue samples decreased from mother to child. Moreover, we could confirm that sequence types of PCR products were reflected by the distribution of length variants, which were observed especially in high proportion, in cloning analysis. Our results reveal variable changes in length heteroplasmic level in various tissues between generations. Variability between tissues, especially among hairs, within an individual would result in complicated differences in genotype distribution between maternal generations, and correlate with longer length of Cs for predominant variants.
Forensic science international 04/2008; 175(2-3):155-9. DOI:10.1016/j.forsciint.2007.06.015 · 2.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In addition to stabilizing the RNA-DNA hybrid, conserved sequence block (CSB) II, which is located at nucleotides 299-315 on mitochondrial DNA, relates with the transcription termination for initiation of heavy strand synthesis in human mitochondrial replication. Due to length polymorphisms at nucleotides 303-315, individuals contain homo- or heteroplasmic profiles with length variants from C(5)TC(6) to C(15)TC(6) or from C(9) to C(13). Using in vitro transcription with templates containing these variations, we demonstrated that the production of prematurely terminated (PT) transcripts depends on the 303-315 sequences, and that longer templates result in relatively higher levels of PT transcripts. The 3' ends of PT transcripts were observed within or downstream of CSB II. Termination positions downstream of nucleotide 303 were shifted upstream by longer variations, but not shifted by shorter variations. We found that length variations between 303 and 315 generate quantitative and qualitative differences in PT transcripts.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 10/2007; 361(3):641-4. DOI:10.1016/j.bbrc.2007.07.055 · 2.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sequence analysis of the hypervariable regions (HVRs) of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) are routinely performed in forensic casework, however, there are still issues to be resolved, such as the existence of multiple errors in published databases or the limitations of individual discrimination in certain populations. Here, we analyzed the coding region of mtDNA in detail by examining 36 haplogroup (HG)-defining single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) using amplified product-length polymorphisms (APLP) method in conjunction with sequence analysis of HVR1 and HVR2 to establish a methodology for forensically reliable and practical mtDNA testing. The mtDNAs from 217 unrelated Japanese were examined and could be classified into 27 haplogroups. By combining the data of the coding region with those of HVRs, genetic diversity was slightly increased from 0.9817 to 0.9888 for HVR1/HG and from 0.9967 to 0.9970 for HVR1/HVR2/HG, as compared to the results of HVRs only. Moreover, in most cases, reliability of the HVR data could be confirmed by haplogroup motif analysis. Our mtDNA profiling method can provide reliable data in a time and cost-saving way due to the rapid and economical nature of APLP analysis.
Legal Medicine 10/2007; 9(5):237-40. DOI:10.1016/j.legalmed.2007.01.007 · 1.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The attachment of sperm to the oviductal epithelium is one of the major factors responsible for successful in vivo fertilization. Carbohydrates are reported to be involved in this attachment. In the present study, sperm were separated into 2 fractions based on their ability to bind to the oviductal epithelial cells (OECs; sperm that do not bind to OECs, UB-sperm; sperm that bind to OECs, B-sperm). Subsequently, the fertilization competence of these sperm fractions was examined. Furthermore, the effect of various monosaccharides on the ability of sperm to bind to OECs was investigated. Oviducts of cows whose ipsilateral ovaries demonstrated new clot formation (ovulation fossa) were collected from a slaughterhouse, and those that contained ovulated oocytes were further selected for experimentation. OECs were collected from these oviducts. OECs and frozen-thawed semen were each suspended in a medium (synthetic oviduct fluid, SOF, supplemented with 5 mg mL-1 of BSA and heparin), at a final concentration of 1 × 106/mL. These suspensions were mixed and centrifuged to separate the 2 abovementioned fractions. Immediately after the suspensions of sperm and OECs were mixed, d-mannose, d-fucose, or n-acetyl-d-glucosamine (GlcNAc) was added (final concentration of each monosaccharide, 5 mM). Next, the number of live sperm in each sperm population was estimated at 0 and 3 h. In addition, the oocytes collected from the ovaries were fertilized with the UB-sperm or non-separated (control) sperm, and the percentage of fertilization was examined. The percentage of fertilization and the number of sperm binding to the zona pellucida (ZP) were lower (P < 0.05) for the UB-sperm than for the control sperm. When sperm (106) were separated in the presence of GlcNAc, the number of motile sperm attached to OECs was significantly higher than that among sperm that were separated in the absence of monosaccharides (0.49 × 106 cells vs. 0.16 × 106 cells). The motility of B-sperm that were separated in the absence of monosaccharides was maintained for a longer time than that of the control sperm (percentage of motile sperm: 74.6% vs. 38.4%, P < 0.05). The B-sperm separated in the presence of GlcNAc or d-fucose lost their motility to a greater extent than the B-sperm separated in the absence of monosaccharaides (27.3% vs. 49.9%, P < 0.05). Further, when GlcNAc (5 mM) was added to the suspension for sperm cryopreservation, the number of sperm that bound to the OECs also increased. In conclusion, it was shown that sperm with low ability to bind to OECs have low fertilization competence, and GlcNAc increased the number of sperm binding to the OECs.
Reproduction Fertility and Development 01/2007; 19(1). DOI:10.1071/RDv19n1Ab302 · 2.58 Impact Factor