Takuma Arai

Shinshu University, Shonai, Nagano, Japan

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Publications (9)37.57 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background/objective: No previous study has quantitatively investigated the degree of enhancement of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNETs) using a routine preoperative modality. The aim of this study was to evaluate the contrast-enhancement ratio (CER) of pNETs using multiphase enhanced CT and to assess the impact of the CER on disease recurrence after surgery. Methods: A retrospective study was performed using data from 47 consecutive patients with pNETs who had undergone curative surgery. The CER of the tumor was calculated by dividing the CT attenuation value obtained during the maximum-enhanced phase by that obtained during the pre-enhanced phase. A region of interest was placed in the largest tumor dimension plane so as to cover as much surface of the tumor as possible while avoiding adjacent normal structures, calcification, and necrotic areas of the tumor. Results: During a median follow-up period of 51 months (range, 1-132 months), a total of 4 patients (8.5%) developed disease recurrence. The median CER value was significantly lower for the patients with recurrence than for the patients without recurrence (2.9 vs. 4.3, P = 0.013). Univariate analyses showed that a CER ≤3.2 was significantly associated with disease recurrence (P < 0.001). All the patients with disease recurrence had tumors that were both large (>20 mm) and weakly enhanced (CER ≤ 3.2), whereas no recurrences were observed even in patients with tumors >20 mm when the CER was greater than 3.2. Conclusions: CER might be a useful predictor of disease recurrence in patients with pNETs.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Pancreatology
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of the pancreatic signal intensity (SI) on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings for predicting the development of pancreatic fistula (PF) after a distal pancreatectomy (DP) involving a triple-row stapler closure. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to identify risk factors for clinical PF, as defined by the International Study Group on Pancreatic Fistula grade B or C. The pancreas-to-muscle SI ratio was evaluated using fat-suppressed T1-weighted MRI. Of the 41 enrolled patients, 8 (19.5%) developed clinical PF. The pancreatic thickness (≥15 mm) and SI ratio (≥1.3) were identified as independent predictors of clinical PF in a multivariate analysis. Clinical PF was observed in one patient with a thick pancreas and a low SI ratio (14.3%), whereas it was observed in 60% of the patients with a thick pancreas and a high SI ratio. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for a predictive model consisting of the two factors was 0.87 (95% confidence interval, 0.75 to 0.99), the level of which tended to be greater than that for pancreatic thickness alone (0.81, p = 0.09). The SI ratio as evaluated using MRI might be useful for predicting clinical PF in patients with the pancreatic thickness ≥15 mm after DP involving a stapler closure. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Pancreatology
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    ABSTRACT: Adrenomedullin (AM) is a vasoactive peptide that possesses various bioactivities. AM receptors are dimers consisting of CLR with one of two accessory proteins, RAMP2 or RAMP3. The functional difference between CLR/RAMP2 and CLR/RAMP3 and the relationship between the two receptors remain unclear. To address these issues, we generated RAMP2 and RAMP3 knockout (-/-) mice and have been studying their physiological activities in the vascular system. AM-/- and RAMP2-/- mice die in utero due to blood vessel abnormalities, which is indicative of their essential roles in vascular development. In contrast, RAMP3-/- mice were born normally without any major abnormalities. In adult RAMP3-/- mice, postnatal angiogenesis was normal, but lymphangiography using indocyanine green (ICG) showed delayed drainage of subcutaneous lymphatic vessels. Moreover, chyle transport by intestinal lymphatics was delayed in RAMP3-/- mice, which also showed more severe interstitial edema than wild-type mice in a tail lymphedema model, with characteristic dilatation of lymphatic capillaries and accumulation of inflammatory cells. In scratch-wound assays, migration of isolated RAMP3-/- lymphatic endothelial cells was delayed as compared to wild-type cells, and AM administration failed to enhance the re-endothelialization. The delay in re-endothelialization was due to a primary migration defect rather than a decrease in proliferation. These results suggest that RAMP3 regulates drainage through lymphatic vessels, and that the AM-RAMP3 system could be a novel therapeutic target for controlling postoperative lymphedema.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
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    ABSTRACT: Background The purpose of this study was to analyze the influence of age on both the risk of hepatectomy and the prognosis in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Methods Patients undergoing an initial hepatectomy for HCC were classified into two age groups: ≥ 75 years (n = 113) and < 75 years (n = 499). Results A zero 90-day mortality was achieved in the elderly. Although the recurrence rate and recurrence sites were almost similar between the two groups, the 5-year survival rate in the elderly patients was significantly lower than that in the younger patients (46.0% vs. 57.6%; P = .018), possibly because of the higher incidence of deaths from other causes (26.8% vs. 10.4%; P = .011) in the elderly. Conclusions Selected elderly HCC patients can undergo a hepatectomy safely and can benefit from long-term HCC control comparable to that of their younger counterparts.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · The American Journal of Surgery
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and des-gamma-carboxy prothrombin (DCP) trends might be correlated with overall survival rates in patients with recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) undergoing trans-catheter arterial chemo-embolization (TACE). We performed a retrospective cohort study of 142 patients with recurrent HCC who were treated by TACE at our hospital from April 1990 to December 2011. Patients were divided into three groups, as follows, according to the trends of the two tumor markers AFP and DCP: the low group, comprising patients with tumor marker levels below the cutoff values (AFP 100 ng/mL and DCP 100 mAU/mL) both pre- and post-TACE; the decreased group, comprising patients with elevated tumor marker levels pre-TACE in whom the levels decreased post-TACE; and the elevated group, comprising patients with elevated tumor marker levels post-TACE. Analysis using a Cox proportional hazards model identified the DCP trend (elevated group vs. low group, hazard ratio 8.47, 95 % confidence interval 4.53-15.84, p < 0.0001), but not the AFP trend, as an independent prognostic factor for survival. While the AFP trend was correlated only with the overall response rate assessed using the modified Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (mRECIST; p = 0.041), the DCP trend was strongly associated with both the overall response rate (p = 0.009) and the disease control rate (p = 0.004). The DCP trend might be useful for assessing treatment outcomes after TACE in patients with recurrent HCC.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2013 · International Journal of Clinical Oncology
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    ABSTRACT: Adrenomedullin (ADM), originally identified as a vasodilating peptide, is now recognized to be a pleiotropic molecule involved in both the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases and circulatory homeostasis. Homozygotes of ADM knockout mice (ADM-/-) were lethal at mid-gestation with abnormalities of vascular development and this finding clarified the angiogenic potency of ADM. Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), which has a structure and function similar to that of ADM, has been identified as a family peptide of ADM. Unlike ADM-/-, CGRP-/- were apparently normal. Therefore, the study of knockout mice first clarified the distinctly different physiological roles between ADM and CGRP. In contrast, heterozygotes of ADM knockout mice (ADM+/-) were alive but showed blood pressure elevation, reduced neovascularization, and enhanced neointimal formation by arterial injury. Based on these observations, there was hope ADM would have a therapeutic use. However, ADM has a short half-life in the blood stream and its application in chronic disease has limitations. Therefore, we focused on the ADM receptor system. The calcitonin-receptor-like receptor (CLR), which is the ADM receptor, associates with one of the accessory proteins, called receptor activity-modifying proteins (RAMPs). By interacting with RAMP1, CLR exhibits a high affinity for CGRP, whereas by interacting with either RAMP2 or -3, CLR exhibits a high affinity for ADM. We generated RAMP knockout mice and found that vascular phenotypes similar to ADM-/- were reproduced only in RAMP2-/-. This shows that RAMP2 is the key determinant of the vascular functions of ADM. RAMP2 could be an attractive therapeutic target in cardiovascular diseases.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Current Protein and Peptide Science
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Revealing the mechanisms underlying the functional integrity of the vascular system could make available novel therapeutic approaches. We previously showed that knocking out the widely expressed peptide adrenomedullin (AM) or receptor activity-modifying protein 2 (RAMP2), an AM-receptor accessory protein, causes vascular abnormalities and is embryonically lethal. Our aim was to investigate the function of the vascular AM-RAMP2 system directly. Methods and results: We generated endothelial cell-specific RAMP2 and AM knockout mice (E-RAMP2(-/-) and E-AM(-/-)). Most E-RAMP2(-/-) mice died perinatally. In surviving adults, vasculitis occurred spontaneously. With aging, E-RAMP2(-/-) mice showed severe organ fibrosis with marked oxidative stress and accelerated vascular senescence. Later, liver cirrhosis, cardiac fibrosis, and hydronephrosis developed. We next used a line of drug-inducible E-RAMP2(-/-) mice (DI-E-RAMP2(-/-)) to induce RAMP2 deletion in adults, which enabled us to analyze the initial causes of the aforementioned vascular and organ damage. Early after the induction, pronounced edema with enhanced vascular leakage occurred. In vitro analysis revealed the vascular leakage to be caused by actin disarrangement and detachment of endothelial cells. We found that the AM-RAMP2 system regulates the Rac1-GTP/RhoA-GTP ratio and cortical actin formation and that a defect in this system causes the disruption of actin formation, leading to vascular and organ damage at the chronic stage after the gene deletion. Conclusions: Our findings show that the AM-RAMP2 system is a key determinant of vascular integrity and homeostasis from prenatal stages through adulthood. Furthermore, our models demonstrate how endothelial cells regulate vascular integrity and how their dysregulation leads to organ damage.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Circulation
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    ABSTRACT: Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are a useful source for various cell lineages. So far, however, progress toward reconstitution of mature liver morphology and function has been limited. We have shown that knockout mice deficient in adrenomedullin (AM), a multifunctional endogenous peptide, or its receptor-activity modifying protein (RAMP2) die in utero due to poor vascular development and hemorrhage within the liver. In this study, using embryoid bodies (EBs)-culture system, we successfully induced liver sinusoidal endothelial-like cells by modulation of AM-RAMP2. In an EB differentiation system, we found that co-administration of AM and SB431542, an inhibitor of transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) receptor type 1, markedly enhanced differentiation of lymphatic vessel endothelial hyaluronan receptor-1 (LYVE-1)/stabilin-2-positive endothelial cells. These cells showed robust endocytosis of acetylated low-density lipoprotein (Ac-LDL) and upregulated expression of liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs)-specific markers, including factor 8 (F8), Fc-γ receptor 2b (Fcgr2b), and mannose receptor C type 1 (Mrc1), and also possessed fenestrae-like structure, a key morphological feature of LSECs. In RAMP2-null liver, by contrast, LYVE-1 was downregulated in LSECs, and the sinusoidal structure was disrupted. Our findings highlight the importance of AM-RAMP2 signaling for development of LSECs.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2011 · Peptides
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    ABSTRACT: Donor organ damage caused by cold preservation is a major problem affecting liver transplantation. Cold preservation most easily damages liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs), and information about the molecules modulating LSECs function can provide the basis for new therapeutic strategies. Adrenomedullin (AM) is a peptide known to possess anti-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory properties. AM is abundant in vascular endothelial cells, but levels are comparatively low in liver, and little is known about its function there. In this study, we demonstrated both AM and its receptors are expressed in LSECs. AM treatment reduced LSECs loss and apoptosis under cold treatment. AM also downregulated cold-induced expression of TNFalpha, IL1beta, IL6, ICAM1 and VCAM1. AM reduced apoptosis and expression of ICAM1 and VCAM1 in an in vivo liver model subjected to cold storage. Conversely, apoptosis was exacerbated in livers from AM and RAMP2 (AM receptor activity-modifying protein) knockout mice. These results suggest that AM expressed in LSECs exerts a protective effect against cold-organ damage through modulation of apoptosis and inflammation.
    Full-text · Article · May 2010 · Peptides