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Wen-qing Huang, Shi-ju Zheng, Qing-sheng Tian, Jian-qing Huang, Yu-xia Li, Qing-zhong Xu, Zi-jun Liu and Wen-cui Zhang

✓ The authors present a statistical survey of the general incidence, age distribution, and preferential sites of 25,122 tumors of the central nervous system (CNS), from 12 centers in China. Of these tumors, 22,457 were intracranial and the rest intraspinal.

Of the 22,457 intracranial neoplasms collected, tumors of neuroepithelial tissue comprised 43.85%, meningiomas 16.58%, tumors of nerve sheath cells 9.5%, pituitary adenoma 9.52%, congenital tumors 8.46%, secondary tumors 6.8%, vascular malformations and tumors 3.82%, and primary sarcomas 0.72%. Neuroepithelial and meningeal tumors occurred first and second in all series, but the other tumors varied in frequency. There was a higher incidence of nerve-sheath tumors in southern than in northern regions. The age distribution of Chinese patients with tumors of the CNS was lower than that of Caucasians: nearly two-thirds (64.57%) had the clinical onset of their tumor between the ages of 31 and 40 years, with the peak incidence at 35 years. Nearly 20% of tumors of the CNS occurred before 20 years of age. The male:female ratio was 1.53:1; the only tumor with a definite preponderance of females over males was the meningioma.

Intraspinal tumors derived from nerve sheaths comprised 47.13% of all tumors within the spinal canal. Meningiomas were second with an incidence of 14.06%, then followed congenital tumors (12.06%) and neoplasms of neuroepithelial tissue (10.83%). Secondary tumors, vascular malformations and neoplasms, and sarcoma were next in order of frequency with 4.6%, 4.5%, and 4.16%, respectively.

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Qing Liu, Ran Liu, Meghana V. Kashyap, Rajnee Agarwal, Xiang'en Shi, Chung-cheng Wang and Shao-Hua Yang

Object

Brainstem gliomas are common in children and have the worst prognosis of any brain tumor in this age group. On the other hand, brainstem gliomas are rare in adults, and the authors of some clinical studies have suggested that this lesion behaves differently in adults than in children. In the present study, the authors test an orthotopic C6 brainstem glioma model in juvenile and adult rats, and investigate the biological behavior of this lesion in the 2 age groups.

Methods

The C6 glioma cells were stereotactically implanted into the pons of juvenile or adult male rats. Neurological presentation and survival time were recorded. Tumor proliferation and the number of apoptotic cells in brainstem gliomas of young and adult rats were determined by immunohistochemical staining with Ki 67 and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase 2′-deoxyuridine 5′-triphosphate-mediated nick-end labeling assay.

Results

Striking differences in the onset of neurological signs, duration of symptoms, survival time, tumor growth pattern, tumor proliferation, and number of apoptotic cells were found between the gliomas in the 2 groups of rats. The lesions were relatively focal in adult rats but more diffuse in young rats. Furthermore, brainstem gliomas in adult rats were less proliferative and had more apoptotic cells than those in young rats.

Conclusions

The authors found that the C6 brainstem glioma model in young and adult rats closely imitates the course of brainstem glioma in humans both in neurological findings and histopathological characteristics. Their findings also suggest that the different growth pattern and invasiveness of these lesions in children compared with that in adults could be due to different cellular environments in the 2 age groups, and warrants further investigation into the difference in the host response to brainstem gliomas in children and adults.

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Yu Shuang Tian, Di Zhong, Qing Qing Liu, Xiu Li Zhao, Hong Xue Sun, Jing Jin, Hai Ning Wang and Guo Zhong Li

OBJECTIVE

Ischemic stroke remains a significant cause of death and disability in industrialized nations. Janus tyrosine kinase (JAK) and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) of the JAK2/STAT3 pathway play important roles in the downstream signal pathway regulation of ischemic stroke–related inflammatory neuronal damage. Recently, microRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as major regulators in cerebral ischemic injury; therefore, the authors aimed to investigate the underlying molecular mechanism between miRNAs and ischemic stroke, which may provide potential therapeutic targets for ischemic stroke.

METHODS

The JAK2- and JAK3-related miRNA (miR-135, miR-216a, and miR-433) expression levels were detected by real-time quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and Western blot analysis in both oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD)–treated primary cultured neuronal cells and mouse brain with middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO)–induced ischemic stroke. The miR-135, miR-216a, and miR-433 were determined by bioinformatics analysis that may target JAK2, and miR-216a was further confirmed by 3′ untranslated region (3′UTR) dual-luciferase assay. The study further detected cell apoptosis, the level of lactate dehydrogenase, and inflammatory mediators (inducible nitric oxide synthase [iNOS], matrix metalloproteinase–9 [MMP-9], tumor necrosis factor–α [TNF-α], and interleukin-1β [IL-1β]) after cells were transfected with miR-NC (miRNA negative control) or miR-216a mimics and subjected to oxygen-glucose deprivation/reoxygenation (OGD/R) damage with 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, annexin V–FITC/PI, Western blots, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay detection. Furthermore, neurological deficit detection and neurological behavior grading were performed to determine the infarction area and neurological deficits.

RESULTS

JAK2 showed its highest level while miR-216a showed its lowest level at day 1 after ischemic reperfusion. However, miR-135 and miR-433 had no obvious change during the process. The luciferase assay data further confirmed that miR-216a can directly target the 3′UTR of JAK2, and overexpression of miR-216a repressed JAK2 protein levels in OGD/R-treated neuronal cells as well as in the MCAO model ischemic region. In addition, overexpression of miR-216a mitigated cell apoptosis both in vitro and in vivo, which was consistent with the effect of knockdown of JAK2. Furthermore, the study found that miR-216a obviously inhibited the inflammatory mediators after OGD/R, including inflammatory enzymes (iNOS and MMP-9) and cytokines (TNF-α and IL-1β). Upregulating miR-216a levels reduced ischemic infarction and improved neurological deficit.

CONCLUSIONS

These findings suggest that upregulation of miR-216a, which targets JAK2, could induce neuroprotection against ischemic injury in vitro and in vivo, which provides a potential therapeutic target for ischemic stroke.

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Liu Xue-Song, You Chao, Yang Kai-Yong, Huang Si-Qing and Zhang Heng

Object

An extensive sacrococcygeal chordoma is considered a challenge for neurosurgeons. Because of the complex anatomy of the sacral region, the risk of uncontrollable intraoperative hemorrhage, and the typically large tumor size at presentation, complete resections are technically difficult and the tumor recurrence rate is high. The aim of this study was to assess the value of using occlusion of the abdominal aorta by means of a balloon dilation catheter and electrophysiological monitoring when an extensive sacrococcygeal chordoma is removed.

Methods

Between 2004 and 2008, 9 patients underwent resection of extensive sacrococcygeal chordomas in the authors' department with the aid of occlusion of the abdominal aorta and electrophysiological monitoring. All of these operations were performed via the posterior approach. The records of the 9 patients were reviewed retrospectively.

Results

Wide resections were performed in 6 cases and marginal excisions in the other 3. Five patients underwent postoperative radiotherapy. Intraoperative hemorrhage was controlled at 100–400 ml. Postoperatively, none of the patients had any new neurological dysfunction, and 2 patients regained normal urinary and bowel function. The mean follow-up period was 31.4 months (range 10–57 months). No patient developed local recurrence or had metastatic spread of tumor during follow-up.

Conclusions

Occlusion of the abdominal aorta and electrophysiological monitoring are useful methods for assisting in resection of sacrococcygeal chordoma. They can reduce intraoperative hemorrhage and entail little chance of tumor cell contamination. They can also help surgeons to protect the organs in the pelvic cavity and neurological function. Use of these methods could give patients better quality of life.

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Da Liu, Jun Sheng, Hong-hua Wu, Xia Kang, Qing-yun Xie, Yang Luo, Jiang-jun Zhou and Wei Zheng

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to compare stability of injectable hollow pedicle screws with different numbers of holes using different volumes of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) in severely osteoporotic lumbar vertebrae and analyze the relationship between screw stability and distribution and volume of PMMA.

METHODS

Forty-eight severely osteoporotic cadaveric lumbar vertebrae were randomly divided into 3 groups—groups A, B, and C (16 vertebrae per group). The screws used in group A had 4 holes (2 pairs of holes, with the second hole of each pair placed 180° further along the thread than the first). The screws used in group B had 6 holes (3 pairs of holes, placed with the same 180° difference in position). Unmodified conventional screws were used in group C. Each group was randomly divided into subgroups 0, 1, 2, and 3, with different volumes of PMMA used in each subgroup. Type A and B pedicle screws were directly inserted into the vertebrae in groups A and B, respectively, and then different volumes of PMMA were injected through the screws into the vertebrae in subgroups 0, 1, 2, and 3. The pilot hole was filled with different volumes of PMMA followed by insertion of screws in groups C0, C1, C2, and C3. Distributions of PMMA were evaluated radiographically, and axial pull-out tests were performed to measure the maximum axial pullout strength (Fmax).

RESULTS

Radiographic examination revealed that PMMA surrounded the anterior third of the screws in the vertebral bodies (VBs) in groups A1, A2, and A3; the middle third of screws in the junction area of the vertebral body (VB) and pedicle in groups B1, B2, and B3; and the full length of screws evenly in both VB and pedicle in groups C1, C2, and C3. In addition, in groups A3 and B3, PMMA from each of the screws (left and right) was in contact with PMMA from the other screw and the PMMA was closer to the posterior wall and pedicle than in groups A1, A2, B1, and B2. One instance of PMMA leakage was found (in group B3). Two-way analysis of variance revealed that 2 factors—distribution and volume of PMMA—significantly influenced Fmax (p < 0.05) but that they were not significantly correlated (p = 0.078). The Fmax values in groups in which screws were augmented with PMMA were significantly better than those in groups in which no PMMA was used (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

PMMA can significantly improve stability of different injectable pedicle screws in severely osteoporotic lumbar vertebrae, and screw stability is significantly correlated with distribution and volume of PMMA. The closer the PMMA is to the pedicle and the greater the quantity of injected PMMA used, the greater the pedicle screw stability is. Injection of 3.0 mL PMMA through screws with 4 holes (2 pair of holes, with the screws in each pair placed on opposite sides of the screw) produces optimal stability in severely osteoporotic lumbar vertebrae.