Atsuko Murai

Gifu University, Gihu, Gifu, Japan

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Publications (13)16.9 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: A 4-year and 2-month-old male capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma on the buttocks after chronic recurrent dermatosis. The capybara was euthanized, examined by computed tomography and necropsied; the tumor was examined histologically. Computed tomography showed a dense soft tissue mass with indistinct borders at the buttocks. Histological examination of the tumor revealed islands of invasive squamous epithelial tumor cells with a severe desmoplastic reaction. Based on the pathological findings, the mass was diagnosed as a squamous cell carcinoma. This is the first study to report squamous cell carcinoma in a capybara.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Journal of Veterinary Medical Science
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    ABSTRACT: A necropsy was performed on an adult European lynx, Lynx lynx (Linnaeus, 1758), held in captivity until its death, to determine level of parasitism. Examination of the eyes revealed the oriental eyeworm, Thelazia callipaeda, in the conjunctival sac and the third eyelid of both eyes. The species was confirmed by location and morphology. Intact worms were fixed, mounted, and identified. Examination of the alimentary tract revealed the common ascaroid nematode, Toxocara cati. Species was confirmed by the arrow-like anterior end. One hundred and forty-one adult worms were collected. The presence of these nematodes indicated the importance of eliminating the contact of zoo animals with Amiota spp. vectors and to prevent contamination with the infective T. cati eggs.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Canine hemangiosarcoma (HSA) is a malignant tumor with poor long-term prognosis due to development of metastasis despite aggressive treatment. The phosphatidyl-inositol-3 kinase/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (PI3K/Akt/mTOR) pathway is involved in its endothelial pathologies; however, it remains unknown how this pathway plays a role in canine HSA. Here, we characterized new canine HSA cell lines derived from nude mice-xenografted canine HSAs and investigated the deregulation of the signaling pathways in these cell lines. Seven canine HSA cell lines were established from 3 xenograft canine HSAs and showed characteristics of endothelial cells (ECs), that is, uptake of acetylated low-density lipoprotein and expression of canine-specific CD31 mRNA. They showed varied morphologies and mRNA expression levels for VEGF-A, bFGF, HGF, IGF-I, EGF, PDGF-B, and their receptors. Cell proliferation was stimulated by these growth factors and fetal bovine serum (FBS) in 1 cell line and by FBS alone in 3 cell lines. However, cell proliferation was not stimulated by growth factors and FBS in the remaining 3 cell lines. Phosphorylated p44/42 Erk1/2 was increased by FBS stimulation in 4 cell lines. In contrast, phosphorylation of Akt at Ser473, mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) at Ser2448, and eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1) at Ser65 was high in serum-starved condition and not altered by FBS stimulation in 6 cell lines, despite increased phosphorylation of these residues in normal canine ECs. This suggested that the mTORC2/Akt/4E-BP1 pathway was constitutively activated in these 6 canine HSA cell lines. After cell inoculation into nude mice, canine HSA tumors were formed from 4 cell lines and showed Akt and 4E-BP1 phosphorylation identical to the parental cell lines. Our findings suggest that the present cell lines may be useful tools for investigating the role of the mTORC2/Akt/4E-BP1 pathway in canine HSA formation both in vivo and in vitro.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2012 · BMC Veterinary Research
  • A Murai · S Abou Asa · A Kodama · H Sakai · A Hirata · T Yanai
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    ABSTRACT: The specific signalling pathways that are deregulated in canine endothelial tumours have not yet fully elucidated. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to examine activation of the Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)/eukaryotic initiation factor 4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1) signalling pathway in spontaneously arising canine haemangiomas (HAs) and haemangiosarcomas (HSAs) in order to identify novel molecular targets for treatment. Surgically-resected samples of HA (n = 27), HSA (n = 37), granulation tissue (n = 4) and normal skin (n = 4) were investigated by immunohistochemistry. Approximately 80% of the HSA samples had moderate to intense expression of phosphorylated Akt at Ser473 (p-Akt Ser473), p-Akt Thr308, p-4E-BP1 Thr37/46 and eukaryotic initiation factor 4E, which was significantly higher than in the HAs and was similar to the expression in activated endothelial cells (ECs). Although p-mTOR complex1 (p-mTORC1) Ser2448 was expressed by most of the activated ECs, only 35% of the HSA samples had weak to moderate expression. Because mTORC2 and phosphorylates Akt Ser473 was activated in HSA samples, the present findings suggest that the mTORC2/Akt/4E-BP1 pathway, regulated independently of mTORC1, may be important for targeting therapy in canine HSAs.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2012 · Journal of comparative pathology
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    ABSTRACT: Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) is a malignant neoplasia of vascular endothelial cells (ECs). Our previous report on the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor, basic fibroblast growth factor, and their receptors in canine HSA suggested an autocrine/ paracrine mechanism of tumor growth. However, the influence of other angiogenic growth factors in canine HSA was not elucidated; therefore, the expression of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and its receptors was investigated by immunohistochemical analysis. Forty-six canine HSAs and 21 canine cutaneous hemangiomas (HAs) were analyzed. For immunohistochemistry, anti-PDGF-BB, anti-PDGFR-α, and anti-PDGFR-β antibodies were utilized as primary antibodies. Immunoreactivities were scored as strongly positive (>25% positive neoplastic cells), weakly positive (1-25% positive neoplastic cells), and negative if not staining at all. In cutaneous HA, 33.3% and 57.1% of cases were strongly and weakly positive, respectively, and 43.5% and 13.0% of HSAs were strongly and weakly positive for PDGF-BB, respectively. Moreover, 38.1% and 28.6% of cutaneous HAs cases were strongly and weakly positive, respectively, and 23.9% and 4.3% of HSAs cases were strongly and weakly positive, respectively, for PDGFR-α. Thirty-five HSAs cases (76.1%) were strongly positive, and the remaining 11 (23.9%) were weakly positive for PDGFR-β. In contrast, 18 (72.0%) cutaneous HAs were negative, and only 3 cases (12.0%) were weakly positive, for PDGFR-β. The proportion of strongly positive cases of HSAs was significantly higher than that of cutaneous HA for PDGFR-β (P<0.01), while PDGFR-α was highly expressed in cutaneous HA and may be related to pathogenesis of cutaneous HA. Therefore, PDGFR-β may be associated with the malignant nature of canine HSA.
    No preview · Article · May 2012 · Histology and histopathology
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    ABSTRACT: Two black bearded sakis (Chiropotes satanas), kept in the same cage in a zoological park, developed multifocal subcutaneous nodular lesions and were diagnosed as having mycobacterial infection by microscopical examination of tissues and 16S rRNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and subsequent sequencing of amplicons. One animal died despite both being treated with prolonged antimicrobial therapy. This animal had disseminated disease with lesions in the liver, spleen, lymph nodes and brain. The lesions were granulomatous in nature, but organisms were not identified by acid-fast staining other than on an impression smear of one of the skin nodules. The granulomatous lesions lacked epithelioid macrophages, multinucleated giant cells and fibrous encapsulation. Mycobacterium kansasii was identified by PCR in the lymph nodes of the animal with disseminated disease. Mycobacterial speciation was not as readily achieved in the animal with cutaneous nodules only.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Journal of comparative pathology
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    ABSTRACT: Glomerular lipidosis is a disease characterized by lipid accumulation in mesangial cells but that has not been fully investigated in avian species. We examined four wild and two laboratory-reared Japanese rock ptarmigans (Lagopus mutus japonicus)--an endangered avian species--presenting vacuolar deposits in the glomeruli. All cases had vacuolar deposits in the glomeruli. In the wild cases, fewer than 30% of all glomeruli were affected, compared with more than 90% in the laboratory-reared cases. In the wild cases, most deposits were mild and restricted to the mesangial areas of glomeruli. In the laboratory-reared cases, nearly all of the deposits covered entire glomeruli. Electron microscopy of mild deposits revealed vacuoles in the cytoplasm of mesangial cells. These vacuoles were positive for Sudan III, Sudan black B, oil red O, Nile blue, periodic acid-Schiff, Schultz test, and digitonin stain and were negative for performaric acid-Schiff stains. Based on these results, we diagnosed the glomerular lesion as glomerular lipidosis caused by uptake of low-density lipoprotein in mesangial cells. Except for one wild case, all cases exhibited renal tubular oxalosis. The severity of tubular oxalosis tended to be related to the severity of glomerular lipidosis: In cases of mild glomerular lipidosis, tubular oxalosis was also mild or absent. We therefore diagnosed the primary lesion as glomerular lipidosis accompanied by tubular oxalosis. The four wild cases came from different zones and therefore had no opportunities to interbreed and no common relatives. We believe these data support the hypothesis that glomerular lipidosis is a disease of the general population ofJapanese rock ptarmigans. This is the first report of glomerular lipidosis accompanied by renal tubular oxalosis in an avian species.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Avian Diseases
  • A. Murai · A. Kodama · K. Maruo · T. Yanai · H. Sakai

    No preview · Article · Nov 2010 · Journal of Comparative Pathology
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    ABSTRACT: Human hemangiosarcoma (HSA) tends to have a poor prognosis; its tumorigenesis has not been elucidated, as there is a dearth of HSA clinical specimens and no experimental model for HSA. However, the incidence of spontaneous HSA is relatively high in canines; therefore, canine HSA has been useful in the study of human HSA. Recently, the production of angiogenic growth factors and their receptors in human and canine HSA has been reported. Moreover, the growth-factor environment of HSA is very similar to that of pathophysiological angiogenesis, which some homeobox genes regulate in the transcription of angiogenic molecules. In the present study, we established 6 xenograft canine HSA tumors and detected the expression of growth factors, their receptors, and angiogenic homeobox genes. Six primary canine HSAs were xenografted to nude mice subcutaneously and serially transplanted. Subsequently, the expressions of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A, basic fibroblast growth factors (bFGF), flt-1 and flk-1 (receptors of VEGF-A), FGFR-1, and angiogenic homeobox genes HoxA9, HoxB3, HoxB7, HoxD3, Pbx1, and Meis1 were investigated in original and xenograft tumors by histopathology, immunostaining, and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), using canine-specific primer sets. Histopathologically, xenograft tumors comprised a proliferation of neoplastic cells that were varied in shape, from spindle-shaped and polygonal to ovoid; some vascular-like structures and vascular clefts of channels were observed, similar to those in the original tumors. The expression of endothelial markers (CD31 and vWF) was detected in xenograft tumors by immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR. Moreover, the expression of VEGF-A, bFGF, flt-1, flk-1, FGFR-1, HoxA9, HoxB3, HoxB7, HoxD3, Pbx1, and Meis1 was detected in xenograft tumors. Interestingly, expressions of bFGF tended to be higher in 3 of the xenograft HSA tumors than in the other tumors. We established 6 xenograft canine HSA tumors in nude mice and found that the expressions of angiogenic growth factors and their receptors in xenograft HSAs were similar to those in spontaneous HSA. Furthermore, we detected the expression of angiogenic homeobox genes; therefore, xenograft models may be useful in analyzing malignant growth in HSA.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2009 · BMC Cancer
  • A Kodama · H Sakai · M Murakami · A Murai · T Mori · K Maruo · T Yanai · T Masegi
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    ABSTRACT: Angiogenic homeobox genes regulate the behaviour of endothelial cells (ECs) during angiogenesis, so the aim of this study was to determine whether expression of these genes may be a determinant of malignancy in canine haemangiosarcoma (HSA). Homeobox proteins were evaluated immunohistochemically in tissue samples from canine HSAs (n=78), haemangiomas (HAs; n=30) and samples of granulation tissue (n=8). Active ECs in granulation tissue were positively labelled by antisera specific for HoxA9, HoxB3, HoxD3, HoxB7, Pbx1 and Meis1. Quiescent ECs in granulation tissue did not express HoxD3 and Pbx1. There were significantly more neoplastic cells positively labelled for HoxA9, HoxB3, HoxD3 and Pbx1 in HSA compared with HA. Almost all tumours were positive for HoxB7 and Meis1. HoxB3, HoxD3, Pbx1 and Meis1 proteins were detected in 80-90% of the HSAs, but in <20% of the HAs. Overall, homeobox protein expression in HSA appears to have a phenotype similar to that of active ECs in angiogenesis. The expression of homeobox genes associated with angiogenesis might be associated with the malignant growth of HSA.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2009 · Journal of comparative pathology
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    ABSTRACT: GM2 gangliosidosis variant 0 (human Sandhoff disease) is a lysosomal storage disease caused by simultaneous deficiencies of acid beta-hexosaminidase (Hex) A and Hex B due to an abnormality of beta-subunit, a common component in these enzyme molecules, which is coded by the HEXB gene. In the present study, a retrospective diagnosis was performed in 2 previous suspected cases of feline Sandhoff-like disease using a DNA test to detect the causative mutation identified previously in 4 cats in 2 other families of Japanese domestic cats. Enzymic analysis was also performed using stored leukocytes and plasma collected from the subject families in order to investigate the usefulness of enzymic diagnosis and genotyping of carriers. The DNA test suggested that the 2 cases were homozygous recessive for the mutation. Consequently, 6 cats homozygous for the same mutation have been found in 4 separate locations of Japan, suggesting that this mutant allele may be spread widely in the Japanese domestic cat populations. In enzymic analysis, Hex A and Hex B activities in leukocytes and plasma measured using 4-methylumbelliferyl N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminide as a substrate were negligible in affected cats, compared with those in normal and carrier cats. However, there was a wide overlap in enzyme activity between normal and carrier cats. Therefore, it was concluded that enzymic analysis is useful for diagnosis of affected cats, but is not acceptable for genotyping of carriers.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2008 · Journal of Veterinary Medical Science
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    A Murai · T Yanai · M Kato · K Yonemaru · H Sakai · T Masegi
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    ABSTRACT: A 12-year-old pregnant female giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) died approximately 2 months prior to her anticipated parturition date. At necropsy, a mass measuring approximately 20 x 36 x 20 cm was observed, attached to the umbilical cord, the latter being otherwise normal in appearance. Histologically, the mass contained 3 germinal tissue components with areas of squamous epithelium, respiratory epithelium, primitive neural tissues, glial tissue, peripheral nerve, adipose tissue, cartilage, and smooth muscle. Based on these findings, the tumor was diagnosed as a teratoma originating from the umbilical cord. This is possibly the second reported case of umbilical cord teratoma in animals.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2007 · Veterinary Pathology

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Publication Stats

43 Citations
16.90 Total Impact Points


  • 2007-2014
    • Gifu University
      • • Faculty of Applied Biological Sciences
      • • Laboratory of Veterinary Pathology
      • • Department of Veterinary Medicine
      Gihu, Gifu, Japan