Medical Center Begins Cryptogenic Stroke Study
A central Ohio man has become the first patient in the country to receive an advanced, implantable monitoring system as part of a long-term international study to assess the frequency of atrial fibrillation (AF) as a cause of cryptogenic, or unexplained, stroke.
The procedure was performed at Ohio State’s Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital by Emile Daoud, MD, director of Electrophysiology Services and clinical professor in the Division of Cardiovas-cular Medicine.
“It’s believed that as many as 20 percent of strokes occur in patients with atrial fibrillation, but it may remain undetected,” says Daoud, a principal investigator in the study. “This system allows us to perform long-term monitoring to determine if AF is present and then to make decisions about the most effective treatment options for stroke patients.”
miR Boost Enables Acute Leukemia Cells to Mature
A new study by Ohio State University cancer researchers shows that boosting the level of a molecule called miR-29b in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells can reverse gene changes that trap the cells in an immature, fast-growing state of development.
The study discovered how the miR reactivates silenced genes, which enables the leukemic cells to differentiate and mature, important steps that precede their death. The findings suggest that miR-29b could be a potent treatment for AML.
Ramiro Garzon, MD, a hematologist-oncologist and assistant professor of Internal Medicine at the OSUCCC – James, is first author of the study.
The study was reported online in the journal Blood.
Scientists Discover Key Event in Prostate Cancer Progression
A study led by researchers at Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute reveals how late-stage, hormone-independent prostate tumors gain the ability to grow without the need for hormones.
The onset of hormone-independent growth marks an advanced and currently incurable stage of prostate cancer.
The study, published in the journal Cell, focuses on androgen receptors, molecules located in the nucleus of cells of the prostate gland and other tissues.
“Some late-phase prostate cancer does not require androgen hormones for tumor growth, but it does require androgen receptors,” says first author and co-corresponding author Qianben Wang, PhD, assistant professor of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry.
NCI SPORE Grant to Boost Leukemia Research
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) a five-year, $11.5 million Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant to study and treat leukemia. The OSUCCC – James is only the second recipient of such an NCI grant directed at leukemia research.
Principal investigator John Byrd, MD, and co-principal investigators Clara D. Bloomfield, MD, and Guido Marcucci, MD, were involved in planning and applying for this award, which encompasses laboratory and clinical investigation in acute myeloid leukemia, acute lymphoid leukemia and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
The SPORE grant supports five research projects, each led by Ohio State cancer researchers including Byrd, Bloomfield, Michael Caligiuri, MD, Marcucci, Albert de la Chapelle, MD, PhD, William Blum, MD, Michael Grever, MD and Robert J. Lee, PhD.
Pretreated Stem Cells Adapt to Transplant Site
Researchers at The Ohio State University Medical Center have found that “pretreating” adult stem cells with an anti-angina drug allows them to better adapt to the harsh environment of their transplantation site.
Stem cell-based cardiac therapy is an experimental procedure in which stem cells are transplanted to the damaged region of the heart in patients who have suffered a heart attack.
“Transplanted stem cells can repair many types of tissue damage, including heart tissue,” says Periannan Kuppusamy, PhD, associate director of Ohio State’s Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute. “However, most of the stem cells transplanted in the heart die within a few days due to lack of oxygen and nutrients.”
Kuppusamy’s research is discussed in the journal Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
Researchers Identify Missing Target for Calcium Signaling
An international study led by Ohio State University neuroscience researchers describes one of the missing triggers that controls calcium inside cells, a process important for muscle contraction, nerve-cell transmission, insulin release and other functions.
The researchers believe the findings will enhance the understanding of how calcium signals are regulated in cells and shed light on new ways to treat many diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, immune diseases, metabolic diseases, cancer and brain disorders.
The study found that molecular structures called two-pore channels (TPCs) cause the release of calcium when stimulated by a substance called NAADP.
The research was posted online in the journal Nature by principal investigator Michael Xi Zhu, PhD, associate professor of Neuroscience and a researcher with Ohio State’s Center for Molecular Neurobiology.
Study Helps Explain Cause of Fatal Inflammatory Response
A new study is giving medical researchers insight into a cellular injury that leads to unexplained inflammation, extended hospital stays and increased mortality in intensive care units.
The study examined the causes of systemic inflammatory response syndrome, a bodily reaction to injury or illness that occurs in approximately one-fifth of patients admitted to intensive care units, and is associated with approximately 25 percent mortality.
The study, conducted by critical care researchers at Ohio State, found that necrosis, or unregulated cell death, leads to the activation of monocytes, or mononuclear inflammatory cells, through the release of factors normally found in specialized energy-producing organelles called mitochondria.
Elliott Crouser, MD, a pulmonologist and critical care specialist at Ohio State’s Medical Center, is first author of the study, which was published in the journal Critical Care Medicine.
Molecule Plays Early Role
in Nonsmoking Lung Cancer
The cause of lung cancer in never-smokers is poorly understood, but a study led by investigators at the Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) and at the National Cancer Institute has identified a molecule believed to play an early and important role in its development.
The study, published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examined lung tumors from people who had never smoked and found high levels of a molecule called miR-21. The levels were even higher in tumors that had mutations in a gene called EGFR, a common feature of lung cancer in never-smokers.
“Our study suggests that developing agents to inhibit miR-21 might improve anti-EGFR therapies,” says co-principal investigator Carlo Croce, MD, professor of Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics at the OSUCCC – James, and holder of the John W. Wolfe Chair in Human Cancer Genetics.
Beta Blockers May Slow
Growth of Melanoma Tumors
Stress might amplify the progression
of malignant melanoma for patients who have this aggressive form of skin cancer.
But research also suggests that the use of commonly prescribed blood pressure medicines might slow the development of those tumors and improve these patients’ quality of life.
Eric Yang, PhD, adjunct assistant professor and research scientist at the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research (IBMR) at Ohio State, exposed samples of three melanoma cell lines to the compound norepinephrine, a naturally occurring catecholamine that functions as a stress hormone. In times of increased stress, levels of norepinephrine increase in the bloodstream.
Yang and colleague Ronald Glaser, PhD, professor of Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics, director of IBMR, and holder of the Gilbert and Kathryn Mitchell Chair in Medicine, were looking for changes in the levels of three proteins released by the cells.
The study is published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity.
Sugar on Bacteria Serves as Base for Resistance
New research shows the bacteria responsible for chronic infections in cystic fibrosis patients use one of the sugars on the germs’ surface to start building a structure that helps the microbes resist efforts to kill them.
Scientists have determined that the bacterial cell-surface sugar, a polysaccharide called Psl, is anchored on the surface of each bacterium as a helix, providing a structure that encourages cell-to-cell interaction. When multiple bacterial cells join together with the help of such a structure, they form a biofilm, a persistent community of bacteria that is able to resist the effects of a human immune response, as well as antibiotic drugs.
Daniel Wozniak, PhD, professor of Internal Medicine and Microbiology at The Ohio State University, is senior author of the study.
Ohio State Seeks to Improve NCAA Asthma Care Standards
Very few athletic trainers associated with National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) programs said they were following best practice standards for managing asthma among their athletes, according to a new study.
For athletes with asthma, the dangers of the condition can be as mild as affecting athletic performance or so severe to be incapacitating or deadly. The report is published in the American College of Sports Medicine’s journal, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
“Since it’s impossible to predict an asthma attack, we need to be prepared for when it happens,” says Jonathan Parsons, MD, a pulmonologist and associate director of The Ohio State Asthma Center, lead author of the study.
This section was compiled by Justin Hoffman.