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Kenji Kashima, Shigeo Yokoyama, Tsutomu Daa, Kenji Takahashi, Iwao Nakayama and Shiro Noguchi

Kashima K, Yokoyama S, Daa T, Takahashi K, Nakayama I, Noguchi S. c-myc Expression is associated with increased proliferation activity in thyroid follicular cells of Graves' disease as stimulated by autoantibodies. Eur J Endocrinol 1996:135:69–76. ISSN 0804–4643

Expression on thyroid follicular cells of HLA-DR, c-myc protein and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) was examined immunohistochemically in 28 cases of Graves' disease (GD) and in 29 cases of Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT). Immunoreactivity for PCNA in GD was seen not only in follicular cells adjacent to a lymphocytic infiltration, where the follicular cells were positive for HLA-DR, but also in hyperplastic follicular cells without the infiltration. The distribution of expressed c-myc protein was similar to that of PCNA in GD but not in HT. Semiquantitatively graded degrees of lymphocytic infiltration and expression of HLA-DR, c-myc and PCNA in GD showed a high correlation with one another. However, the degrees of c-myc expression in HT showed no significant correlation with any other degrees. Intraperitoneal injection of bovine TSH or of immunoglobulins derived from a patient with GD in rabbits induced hyperplastic change of thyroid follicular cells, as reflected in PCNA and c-myc immunoreactivity, as well as strong peroxidase and acid phosphatase activity. Immunization with synthesized peptide of thyrotropin receptor also exhibited the same results in the rabbit thyroids. Our results indicate that c-myc expression on follicular cells of GD may reflect a stimulation by autoantibodies mediated through the thyrotropin receptor.

Kenji Kashima, Department of Pathology, Oita Medical University, 1-1 Oita-gun, Oita 879-55, Japan

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Naoshi Ohta, Takayuki Takahashi, Takao Mori, Min Kyun Park, Seiichiro Kawashima, Kenji Takahashi and Hideshi Kobayashi

Prolyl endopeptidase and dipeptidyl peptidase IV are proline-specific peptidases, and are ubiquitously distributed in various tissues in mammals. The specific activities of these peptidases in both uterus and ovary were examined in the SHN strain of mice at estrus or diestrus. A marked change in prolyl endopeptidase activity was found in the uterus and ovary in intact mice during the estrous cycle, the activity being high at estrus and low at diestrus. In ovariectomized mice, prolyl endopeptidase activity was significantly higher in the uterus treated with progesterone or estradiol than in the uterus treated with vehicle oil only or a dopamine antagonist (perphenazine) which stimulates prolactin secretion. On the other hand, notable change in dipeptidyl peptidase IV activity during the estrous cycle was found only in the uterus of intact mice. The activity was low at estrus and high at diestrus. In ovariectomized mice, the uterus exposed to estradiol showed a lower dipeptidyl peptidase IV activity than the uteri treated with progesterone, the dopamine antagonist or vehicle oil. These findings reveal that there is a close correlation between the circulating level of ovarian steroids and the activities of these prolinespecific enzymes.

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Akiko Imamura, Ryotaro Takahashi, Ryuichiro Murakami, Hiroki Kataoka, Xian Wu Cheng, Yasushi Numaguchi, Toyoaki Murohara and Kenji Okumura


Genetic variants of the endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) gene, Glu298Asp and T–786C, have been reported to be associated with cardiovascular disease. Adiponectin is an adipocyte-derived plasma protein with insulin-sensitizing and vascular protective effects; its levels are typically low in metabolic syndrome. Therefore, eNOS gene polymorphisms may also be associated with specific metabolic profiles, including plasma adiponectin levels and atherogenic lipids.


We evaluated the functional significance of eNOS gene Glu298Asp and T–786C polymorphisms on endothelial function and metabolic profiles in 101 healthy young men (mean age 30.3 years) before the progression of atherosclerotic lesions.


No linkage disequilibrium was found between the two genotypes. The Asp298 allele carriers of the eNOS gene presented significantly higher plasma low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, LDL particle size, malondialdehyde-modified LDL (MDA-LDL), and fasting insulin levels and lower plasma high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, apolipoprotein A-I levels, and endothelium-dependent vasodilation when compared with noncarriers. In spite of higher MDA-LDL levels, Asp298 carriers had significantly larger LDL particle size. By contrast, in C–786 allele carriers, systolic blood pressure was significantly higher, and plasma high-molecular-weight adiponectin levels and endothelium-dependent vasodilation were significantly lower than those in non-carriers.


Although both eNOS polymorphisms induced endothelial dysfunction, the eNOS T–786C polymorphism may be associated with adiponectin levels, whereas the Glu298Asp polymorphism may be associated with atherogenic lipid levels.