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Morgan T.R.,Medical Healthcare Group | Morgan T.R.,University of California at Irvine | Osann K.,University of California at Irvine | Bottiglieri T.,Baylor Research Institute | And 12 more authors.
Cancer Prevention Research | Year: 2015

In animal models of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), deficiency of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) increased the risk of HCC whereas administration of SAMe reduced HCC. The aim of this trial was to determine whether oral SAMe administration to patients with hepatitis C cirrhosis would decrease serum a-fetoprotein (AFP) level, a biomarker of HCC risk in hepatitis C. This was a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial of SAMe, up to 2.4 g/d, for 24 weeks as compared with placebo among subjects with hepatitis C cirrhosis and a mildly elevated serum AFP. Primary outcome was change in AFP between baseline and week 24. Secondary outcomes included changes in routine tests of liver function and injury, other biomarkers of HCC risk, SAMe metabolites, markers of oxidative stress, and quality of life. One hundred ten subjects were randomized and 87 (44 SAMe and 43 placebo) completed treatment. There was no difference in the change in AFP during 24 weeks among subjects receiving SAMe as compared with placebo. Changes in markers of liver function, liver injury, and hepatitis C viral level were not significantly different between groups. Similarly, SAMe did not change markers of oxidative stress or serum glutathione level. SAMe blood level increased significantly among subjects receiving SAMe. Changes in quality of life did not differ between groups. Overall, this trial did not find that SAMe treatment improved serum AFP in subjects with advanced hepatitis C cirrhosis and a mildly elevated AFP. SAMe did not improve tests of liver function or injury or markers of oxidative stress or antioxidant potential. © 2015 American Association for Cancer Research. Source

Jones M.K.,Research Healthcare Group | Jones M.K.,University of California at Irvine | Padilla O.R.,Research Healthcare Group | Zhu E.,University of California at Irvine
Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology | Year: 2010

We previously demonstrated that the anti-apoptosis protein, survivin, plays a protective role against alcohol-induced gastric injury. Since the endothelium is a primary target of alcohol-induced gastric damage, we investigated whether survivin expression is a key factor in the greater susceptibility of gastric endothelial vs. epithelial cells to alcohol-induced injury. Here, we demonstrate that rat gastric epithelial cells (RGM1 cells, an epithelial cell line derived from normal rat gastric mucosa) expressed 7.5-fold greater survivin protein levels vs. rat gastric endothelial cells. Survivin expression correlated with resistance of gastric epithelial vs. endothelial cells to both alcohol-induced cell damage and alcohol-induced apoptosis. Suppression of survivin protein expression levels using siRNA rendered the gastric epithelial cells as susceptible to both alcohol-induced cell damage and apoptosis as the gastric endothelial cells. Conversely, forced overexpression of survivin by transient transfection rendered gastric endothelial cells as resistant to both alcohol-induced cell damage and apoptosis as mock-transfected gastric epithelial cells. Moreover, overexpression of a threonine-34 to glutamate phosphorylation mimic mutant survivin construct rendered gastric endothelial cells significantly more resistant to alcohol-induced damage and apoptosis vs. mock-transfected gastric epithelial cells. These findings indicate that disparate survivin expression levels can explain the discrepancy between gastric epithelial and endothelial cell susceptibility to alcohol-induced injury; and, that a negative charge at amino acid residue 34 on survivin, such as that which naturally occurs by phosphorylation of threonine-34, enhances its property in conferring gastric mucosal protection. Source

Jones M.K.,Research Healthcare Group | Jones M.K.,University of California at Irvine | Zhu E.,University of California at Irvine | Sarino E.V.,Research Healthcare Group | And 4 more authors.
American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology | Year: 2011

Mitochondrial superoxide dismutase (SOD2) prevents accumulation of the superoxide that arises as a consequence of oxidative phosphorylation. However, SOD2 is a target of oxidative/nitrosative inactivation, and reduced SOD2 activity has been demonstrated to contribute to portal hypertensive gastropathy. We investigated the consequences of gastric parietal cell-specific SOD2 deficiency on mitochondrial function and gastric injury susceptibility. Mice expressing Cre recombinase under control of the parietal cell Atpase4b gene promoter were crossed with mice harboring loxP sequences flanking the sod2 gene (SOD2 floxed mice). Cre-positive mice and Cre-negative littermates (controls) were used in studies of SOD2 expression, parietal cell function (ATP synthesis, acid secretion, and mitochondrial enzymatic activity), increased oxidative/nitrosative stress, and gastric susceptibility to acute injury. Parietal cell SOD2 deficiency was accompanied by a 20% (P < 0.05) reduction in total gastric SOD activity and a 93% (P < 0.001) reduction in gastric SOD2 activity. In SOD2-deficient mice, mitochondrial aconitase and ATP synthase activities were impaired by 36% (P < 0.0001) and 44% (P < 0.005), respectively. Gastric tissue ATP content was reduced by 34% (P < 0.002). Basal acid secretion and peak secretagogue (histamine)-induced acid secretion were reduced by 43% (P < 0.0001) and 40% (P < 0.0005), respectively. There was a fourfold (P < 0.02) increase in gastric mucosal apoptosis and 41% (P < 0.001) greater alcohol-induced gastric damage in the parietal cell SOD2-deficient mice. Our findings indicate that loss of parietal cell SOD2 leads to mitochondrial dysfunction, resulting in perturbed energy metabolism, impaired parietal cell function, and increased gastric mucosal oxidative stress. These alterations render the gastric mucosa significantly more susceptible to acute injury.© 2011 by the American Physiological Society. Source

Mee S.,Applied Innovative Psychiatry | Bunney B.G.,University of California at Irvine | Bunney W.E.,University of California at Irvine | Hetrick W.,Indiana University Bloomington | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Psychiatric Research | Year: 2011

Severe psychological or mental pain is defined as an experience of unbearable torment which can be associated with a psychiatric illness (e.g., major depressive disorder) or a tragic loss such as the death of a child. A brief self-rating scale (Mee-Bunney Psychological Pain Assessment Scale [MBPPAS]) was developed to assess the intensity of psychological pain. The scale was used to measure psychological pain in 73 major depressive episode (MDE) patients and 96 non-psychiatric controls. In addition to the MBPPAS, all subjects completed four additional instruments: Suicidal Behavior Questionnaire (SBQ), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS), and the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI). Known-groups, content and convergent validity, and internal reliability of the scale were established. MDE and control subjects were ranked according to MBPPAS scores. A threshold was set at 32 representing 0.5 SD above the mean for MDEs. MDE subjects above the threshold of 32 had significantly higher SBQ scores than those below. A significant linear correlation between psychological pain and SBQ suicidality scores was observed. This is the first study to contrast psychological pain in controls and patients with MDE. Our results suggest that psychological pain is a useful and unique construct in patients with MDE that can be reliably assessed and may aid in the evaluation of suicidal risk. © 2011. Source

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