Dr. Higgins is a surgical pathologist with a subspecialty focus in renal pathology, hepatopathology and gastrointestinal pathology. In each of these areas he also focuses on transplant pathology.

Clinical Focus

  • Liver pathology
  • GI pathology
  • Renal Pathology
  • transplant pathology
  • Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
  • Anatomic and Clinical Pathology

Academic Appointments

  • Professor - University Medical Line, Pathology
  • Member, Bio-X

Professional Education

  • Board Certification: American Board of Pathology, Anatomic Pathology (1998)
  • Medical Education: Stanford University School of Medicine (1994) CA
  • Fellowship: Stanford University Pathology Fellowships (1999) CA
  • Residency: Stanford University Pathology Residency (1998) CA
  • Internship: Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Internal Medicine Residency (1995) CA
  • Board Certification: American Board of Pathology, Pathology (2014)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

I work as a diagnostic surgical pathologist doing translational research in renal neoplasia and medical renal disease and neoplastic and medical liver disease. Subspecialty areas of clinical interest include diagnostic immunohistochemistry, renal, hepatic and transplant pathology.

2023-24 Courses

All Publications

  • Abatacept in Steroid-Dependent Minimal Change Disease and CD80-uria. Kidney international reports Isom, R., Shoor, S., Higgins, J., Cara-Fuentes, G., Johnson, R. J. 2019; 4 (9): 1349–53

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ekir.2019.05.1155

    View details for PubMedID 31517155

  • Molecular Characterization of Metanephric Adenomas Beyond BRAF: Are All Benign? Chan, E., Stohr, B., Croom, N., Cho, S., Garg, K., Troxell, M., Higgins, J., Bean, G. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 2019
  • Molecular Characterization of Metanephric Adenomas Beyond BRAF: Are All Benign? Chan, E., Stohr, B., Croom, N., Cho, S., Garg, K., Troxell, M., Higgins, J., Bean, G. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 2019
  • A Case Report of Pediatric Clear Cell Carcinoma of the Urinary Bladder Associated With Polyomavirus AJSP-REVIEWS AND REPORTS Saleem, A., Brown, R. A., Higgins, J. T., Troxell, M. L., Kunder, C. A., Pinsky, B. A., Zambrano, E., Kao, C. 2018; 23 (6): 291–95
  • IgA-dominant glomerulonephritis with a membranoproliferative pattern of injury. Human pathology Andeen, N. K., Jefferson, J. A., Akilesh, S., Alpers, C. E., Bissonnette, M. L., Finn, L. S., Higgins, J., Houghton, D. C., Kambham, N., Magil, A., Najafian, B., Nicosia, R. F., Troxell, M. L., Smith, K. D. 2018; 81: 272–80


    Immunoglobulin A (IgA)-dominant membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN) is a descriptive term for renal biopsies in which differential diagnoses of unusual IgA nephropathy (IgAN), infection-related GN, or other etiologies are considered. We sought to understand clinical and pathologic features of this finding. Native kidney biopsies with IgA-dominant immune deposits and diffuse MPGN features without significant exudative features or subepithelial deposits were retrospectively reviewed. Two groups (n = 27, 33 biopsies) were identified: patients with chronic liver disease and those without. Patients without chronic liver disease (n = 15) were men (73%, age 40) who presented with nephrotic-range proteinuria, hematuria, renal insufficiency, negative serologic studies, and no history of infection. At a median interval of 3 years, 11 had available follow-up information. Three (27%) progressed to end-stage renal disease. One had recurrent IgA-dominant GN in the renal allograft less than 1 year posttransplant. Four of 5 patients with repeat biopsies had persistent IgA-dominant MPGN. Patients with chronic liver disease (n = 12) had similar biopsy findings, but 42% had concurrent infections, some occult. At a median interval of 7 weeks, 8 patients (80% of those with follow-up) had died and 2 were dialysis dependent. In conclusion, IgA-dominant MPGN was seen in 2 clinical cohorts in this study. In patients without chronic liver disease, this appears to represent either a unique clinicopathologic entity with a poorer prognosis than IgAN or an aggressive variant of IgAN. Patients with chronic liver disease often have underlying infection, and regardless of treatment, die within 1 year because of complex medical conditions.

    View details for PubMedID 30420049

  • Thrombotic microangiopathy with intraglomerular IgM pseudothrombi in Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia and IgM monoclonal gammopathy. Journal of nephrology Tan, S. Y., Sibley, R. K., Belani, S., Iwasaki, S., Yankulin, L., Jonelis, T., Higgins, J. P., Kambham, N., Troxell, M. L. 2018


    IgM secreting myelomas or lymphomas, including Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia, are associated with a varied spectrum of renal pathology, including intracapillary hyaline deposits, cryoglobulin, membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis, amyloid, monoclonal immunoglobulin deposition disease, cast nephropathy, and lymphoma infiltration. We report our single institution experience, and describe five cases with distinctive glomerular pathology: intracapillary IgM pseudothrombi and thrombotic microangiopathic change, with glomerular intracellular crystals in two biopsies. Two patients were hypocomplementemic at presentation. This series adds to the recent literature on paraprotein associated thrombotic microangiopathy.

    View details for PubMedID 30334170

  • Adrenal Myelolipomas Involved by Plasma Cell Myeloma. American journal of clinical pathology Lin, C., Levy, D., Higgins, J. P., Kunder, C. A., Kao, C. 2018


    Objectives: To report the presence and evaluate the frequency of plasma cell neoplasms within adrenal myelolipomas.Methods: Adrenal myelolipomas within our institution were reviewed for the presence of hematologic neoplasia, and a review of the literature was performed.Results: Two (9%) of 23 adrenal myelolipomas were involved by plasma cell myeloma. The patients were 71 and 81 years old, one woman and one man, with tumors measuring 7 cm and 8.5 cm, respectively. Both tumors contained large aggregates of dysplastic plasma cells occupying at least one *10 field and demonstrated light chain restriction. Neither had an established diagnosis of plasma cell neoplasm previously. After receiving therapy, one patient exhibited a stable clinical course 1 year after diagnosis while the other died of disease 3 years later.Conclusions: We report the first two cases of adrenal myelolipoma involved by plasma cell myeloma, a rare and subtle finding that has significant clinical implications.

    View details for PubMedID 30052719

  • Thrombotic Microangiopathy with Intraglomerular Monoclonal IgM Pseudothrombi Tan, S., Sibley, R., Higgins, J., Kambham, N., Troxell, M. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 2018: 618
  • What's Hiding In Your Hemorrhoids? A Review of 1,015 Hemorrhoids Levy, D. R., Higgins, J., Louie, C. Y. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 2018: 280
  • Correspondence. American journal of clinical pathology Schaberg, K. B., Higgins, J. P., Kambham, N., Sibley, R. K., Troxell, M. L. 2017; 148 (5): 460-462

    View details for DOI 10.1093/ajcp/aqx069

    View details for PubMedID 29106460

  • Adenovirus Hepatitis Clinicopathologic Analysis of 12 Consecutive Cases From a Single Institution AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SURGICAL PATHOLOGY Schaberg, K. B., Kambham, N., Sibley, R. K., Higgins, J. P. 2017; 41 (6): 810-819


    Adenoviruses are common pathogens that usually cause self-limited infections. However, in the immunocompromised host they can cause severe infections involving multiple organs including the liver. A search of the pathology database at Stanford University Medical Center (1995 to 2016) identified 12 cases of adenovirus hepatitis including biopsy and autopsy specimens. There were 8 pediatric patients, 7 of which had received orthotropic liver transplants and 1 of which was receiving chemotherapy for lymphoblastic leukemia. There were 4 adult patients, of which 1 was actively receiving chemotherapy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia and 2 had undergone hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for hematologic malignancies. One patient had lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma and had received chemotherapy over a year prior but was not receiving therapy at the time he contracted adenovirus hepatitis. In all cases, histologic sections showed nonzonal coagulative hepatocyte necrosis and characteristic intranuclear inclusions. Hepatocyte necrosis ranged from spotty to massive. The majority of cases (7/12; 58%) had no associated inflammation. If present, inflammation was focal and lymphohistiocytic. In 1 case, findings were focal within the liver, requiring an image-guided biopsy. This patient underwent a simultaneous nontargeted liver biopsy that lacked histologic evidence of adenovirus. Among the pediatric patients, 63% (5/8) died secondary to organ failure, while there was 100% (4/4) mortality in the adult population.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000401096800011

    View details for PubMedID 28296681

  • Crescentic Glomerulonephritis With Immunoglobulin G4-Related Disease. The American journal of the medical sciences Raber, I. n., Ediriwickrema, A. n., Higgins, J. n., Kambham, N. n., Pao, A. C. 2017; 354 (3): 236–39


    Immunoglobulin G4 (IgG4)-related disease is an uncommon autoimmune disease that affects multiple organ systems. Renal involvement typically presents as tubulointerstitial nephritis and less commonly as membranous glomerulonephritis. In this case report, we discuss a 68-year-old patient who presented with rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis. His renal biopsy revealed a membranoproliferative pattern of injury with fibrocellular crescents and extensive infiltration of the tubulointerstitium with IgG4-positive plasma cells. We treated the patient with both corticosteroids and rituximab because of the aggressive nature of crescentic glomerulonephritis. The patient demonstrated a partial improvement in kidney function after 2 cycles of rituximab with a decrease in serum creatinine levels from 6.9-4.7mg/dL after 6 months from presentation. This case illustrates the importance of considering IgG4-related disease in cases of rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis and the need for effective treatments for more aggressive forms of this recently recognized disease entity.

    View details for PubMedID 28918828

  • Renal cell carcinoma in kidney allografts: histologic types, including biphasic papillary carcinoma. Human pathology Troxell, M. L., Higgins, J. P. 2016; 57: 28-36


    Kidney transplant recipients are at increased risk for malignancy, with about 5% incidence of cancer in native end-stage kidneys. Carcinoma in the renal allograft is far less common. Prior studies have demonstrated a propensity for renal cell carcinomas (RCCs) of papillary subtypes in end-stage kidneys, and perhaps in allograft kidneys, but most allograft studies lack detailed pathologic review and predate the current classification system. We reviewed our experience with renal carcinoma in kidney allografts at 2 academic centers applying the International Society of Urological Pathology classification, informed by immunohistochemistry. The incidence of renal allograft carcinoma was about 0.26% in our population. Of 12 allograft carcinomas, 6 were papillary (50%), 4 were clear cell (33%), 1 was clear cell (tubulo)papillary, and 1 chromophobe. Two of the papillary carcinomas had distinctive biphasic glomeruloid architecture matching the newly named "biphasic squamoid alveolar" pattern and were difficult to classify on core biopsies. The 2 cell types had different immunophenotypes in our hands (eosinophilic cells: RCC-/CK34betaE12+ weight keratin +/cyclin D1+; clear cells: RCC+/cytokeratin high molecular weight negative to weak/cyclin D1-). None of the patients experienced cancer recurrences or metastasis. Our study confirms the predilection for papillary RCCs in kidney allografts and highlights the occurrence of rare morphologic variants. Larger studies are needed with careful pathologic review, which has been lacking in the literature.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.humpath.2016.06.018

    View details for PubMedID 27396934

  • Antineoplastic Treatment and Renal Injury: An Update on Renal Pathology Due to Cytotoxic and Targeted Therapies. Advances in anatomic pathology Troxell, M. L., Higgins, J. P., Kambham, N. 2016; 23 (5): 310-329


    Cancer patients experience kidney injury from multiple sources, including the tumor itself, diagnostic procedures, hypovolemia, infection, and drug exposure, superimposed upon baseline chronic damage. This review will focus on cytotoxic or targeted chemotherapy-associated renal injury. In this setting, tubulointerstitial injury and thrombotic microangiopathy (vascular injury) are more common than other forms of kidney injury including glomerular. Cisplatin, pemetrexed, and ifosfamide are well-known causes of acute tubular injury/necrosis. Acute interstitial nephritis seems underrecognized in this clinical setting. Interstitial nephritis is emerging as an "immune-related adverse effect" (irAE's) with immune checkpoint inhibitors in small numbers of patients. Acute kidney injury is rarely reported with targeted therapies such as BRAF inhibitors (vemurafinib, dabrafenib), ALK inhibitors (crizotinib), and mTOR inhibitors (everolimus, temsirolimus), but additional biopsy data are needed. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies that block the vascular endothelial growth factor pathway are most commonly associated with thrombotic microangiopathy. Other causes of thrombotic microangiopathy in the cancer patients include cytotoxic chemotherapies such as gemcitabine and mitomycin C, hematopoietic stem cell transplant, and cancer itself (usually high-stage adenocarcinoma with marrow and vascular invasion). Cancer patients are historically underbiopsied, but biopsy can reveal type, acuity, and chronicity of renal injury, and facilitate decisions concerning continuation of chemotherapy and/or initiation of renoprotective therapy. Biopsy may also reveal unrelated and unanticipated findings in need of treatment.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/PAP.0000000000000122

    View details for PubMedID 27403615

  • Clinicopathologic Threshold of Acute Colorectal Graft-versus-Host Disease ARCHIVES OF PATHOLOGY & LABORATORY MEDICINE Gomez, A. J., Arai, S., Higgins, J. P., Kambham, N. 2016; 140 (6): 570-577


    -Colon biopsies are often used to determine the presence and severity of acute gastrointestinal graft-versus-host disease following bone marrow transplant.-To establish a threshold consensus within our institution on the number of crypt apoptotic bodies (CAB) indicative of grade 1 acute colorectal graft-versus-host disease, we retrospectively reviewed colon biopsies from posttransplant patients and incorporated clinical and endoscopic findings to validate recently proposed minimum criteria for grade 1 graft-versus-host disease as 7 or more CAB per 10 contiguous crypts.-Eighty-one biopsies performed for suspected graft-versus-host disease from 74 individual patients were initially stratified based on their prior (prestudy) diagnoses: no significant abnormality, grade 1 graft-versus-host disease, and descriptive diagnoses mentioning increased apoptosis. A chart review was performed to assess the clinical and endoscopic impression at the time of biopsy and to determine the subsequent management and outcome.-Twenty-six biopsies with an average of 3 CAB were considered true-negative cases, and 32 biopsies with an average of 9.75 CAB were considered true-positive cases (t = 3.95999, P < .001). True-negative cases had an average density of 1.36 CAB per crypt, and true-positive cases had an average density of 2.97 CAB per crypt (t = 3.950178, P < .001).-A threshold of 7 or more CAB per 10 contiguous crypts promotes appropriate treatment of grade 1 acute graft-versus-host disease after other diagnostic entities are excluded. Although this threshold is 100% specific to grade 1 acute colorectal graft-versus-host disease after other histologic mimics are excluded, this threshold has a low sensitivity (59.4%) as patients with less than 7 CAB per 10 contiguous crypts constitute a heterogeneous group.

    View details for DOI 10.5858/arpa.2015-0187-OA

    View details for Web of Science ID 000377101500013

    View details for PubMedID 27232349

  • Eosinophilic, Solid, and Cystic Renal Cell Carcinoma Clinicopathologic Study of 16 Unique, Sporadic Neoplasms Occurring in Women AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SURGICAL PATHOLOGY Trpkov, K., Hes, O., Bonert, M., Lopez, J. I., Bonsib, S. M., Nesi, G., Comperat, E., Sibony, M., Berney, D. M., Martinek, P., Bulimbasic, S., Suster, S., Sangoi, A., Yilmaz, A., Higgins, J. P., Zhou, M., Gill, A. J., Przybycin, C. G., Magi-Galluzzi, C., McKenney, J. K. 2016; 40 (1): 60-71


    A unique renal neoplasm characterized by eosinophilic cytoplasm and solid and cystic growth was recently reported in patients with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). We searched multiple institutional archives and consult files in an attempt to identify a sporadic counterpart. We identified 16 morphologically identical cases, all in women, without clinical features of TSC. The median age was 57 years (range, 31 to 75 y). Macroscopically, tumors were tan and had a solid and macrocystic (12) or only solid appearance (4). Average tumor size was 50 mm (median, 38.5 mm; range, 15 to 135 mm). Microscopically, the tumors showed solid areas admixed with variably sized macrocysts and microcysts that were lined by cells with a pronounced hobnail arrangement. The cells had voluminous eosinophilic cytoplasm with prominent granular cytoplasmic stippling and round to oval nuclei with prominent nucleoli. Scattered histiocytes and lymphocytes were invariably present. Thirteen of 16 patients were stage pT1; 2 were pT2, and 1 was pT3a. The cells demonstrated a distinct immunoprofile: nuclear PAX8 expression, predominant CK20-positive/CK7-negative phenotype, patchy AMACR staining, but no CD117 reactivity. Thirteen of 14 patients with follow-up were alive and without disease progression after 2 to 138 months (mean: 53 mo; median: 37.5 mo); 1 patient died of other causes. Although similar to a subset of renal cell carcinomas (RCCs) seen in TSC, we propose that sporadic "eosinophilic, solid, and cystic RCC," which occurs predominantly in female individuals and is characterized by distinct morphologic features, predominant CK20-positive/CK7-negative immunophenotype, and indolent behavior, represents a novel subtype of RCC.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000367135400008

    View details for PubMedID 26414221

  • A New Standard of Care? Standard Dose Sofosbuvir in an HCV-Infected Liver Transplant Recipient Undergoing Hemodialysis. Digestive diseases and sciences Perumpail, R. B., Wong, R. J., Pham, E. A., Higgins, J. P., Daugherty, T. J., Ahmed, A. 2016; 61 (1): 39-41

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10620-015-3756-z

    View details for PubMedID 26082077

  • Tuberous sclerosis complex: Hamartin and tuberin expression in renal cysts and its discordant expression in renal neoplasms PATHOLOGY RESEARCH AND PRACTICE Bonsib, S. M., Boils, C., Gokden, N., Grignon, D., Gu, X., Higgins, J. P., Leroy, X., McKenney, J. K., Nasr, S. H., Phillips, C., Sangoi, A. R., Wilson, J., Zhang, P. L. 2016; 212 (11): 972-979


    Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) results from mutation of TSC1 or TSC2 that encode for hamartin and tuberin. It affects the kidneys often in advance of extra-renal stigmata. We studied 14 TSC cases, and 4 possible TSC cases with multiple angiomyolipomas (AMLs) for hamartin and tuberin protein expression to determine if the staining profile could predict mutation status or likelihood of TSC with renal-limited disease. The 18 cases included 15 nephrectomies and 1 section of 6 TSC-associated renal cell carcinomas (RCC). Controls included the non-neoplastic kidney in 5 tumor nephrectomies, 4 sporadic cases of AML and 6 clear cell RCCs. In the 14 TSC cases, 9 had AMLs, 9 had RCCs, 5 had polycystic kidney disease and 8 had eosinophilic cysts (EC) lined by large eosinophilic cells. The controls and study cases showed luminal staining of proximal tubules (PT) and peripheral membrane staining in distal tubules/collecting ducts for hamartin and cytoplasmic staining for tuberin. Eosinophilic cysts had a luminal PT-like stain with hamartin and a cytoplasmic reaction for tuberin. Hamartin stained myoid cells in all AMLs. Tuberin was negative in all but 1AML, an epithelioid AML. All but 1 RCC were positive for tuberin; 13 RCCs (7 TSC/6 non-TSC) were negative for hamartin and 4 showed a weak reaction. We conclude that the ECs of TSC are proximal tubule-derived. The hamartin and tuberin staining profiles of AMLs and most RCCs are reciprocal precluding prediction of the mutation in TSC, and fail to predict if a patient with multifocal AML has TSC.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.prp.2016.04.005

    View details for Web of Science ID 000389159500003

    View details for PubMedID 27640314

  • The Inflammatory Transcription Factors NF kappa B, STAT1 and STAT3 Drive Age-Associated Transcriptional Changes in the Human Kidney PLOS GENETICS O'Brown, Z. K., Van Nostrand, E. L., Higgins, J. P., Kim, S. K. 2015; 11 (12)


    Human kidney function declines with age, accompanied by stereotyped changes in gene expression and histopathology, but the mechanisms underlying these changes are largely unknown. To identify potential regulators of kidney aging, we compared age-associated transcriptional changes in the human kidney with genome-wide maps of transcription factor occupancy from ChIP-seq datasets in human cells. The strongest candidates were the inflammation-associated transcription factors NFκB, STAT1 and STAT3, the activities of which increase with age in epithelial compartments of the renal cortex. Stimulation of renal tubular epithelial cells with the inflammatory cytokines IL-6 (a STAT3 activator), IFNγ (a STAT1 activator), or TNFα (an NFκB activator) recapitulated age-associated gene expression changes. We show that common DNA variants in RELA and NFKB1, the two genes encoding subunits of the NFκB transcription factor, associate with kidney function and chronic kidney disease in gene association studies, providing the first evidence that genetic variation in NFκB contributes to renal aging phenotypes. Our results suggest that NFκB, STAT1 and STAT3 underlie transcriptional changes and chronic inflammation in the aging human kidney.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005734

    View details for Web of Science ID 000368518400063

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4682820

  • The Inflammatory Transcription Factors NFκB, STAT1 and STAT3 Drive Age-Associated Transcriptional Changes in the Human Kidney. PLoS genetics O'Brown, Z. K., Van Nostrand, E. L., Higgins, J. P., Kim, S. K. 2015; 11 (12): e1005734


    Human kidney function declines with age, accompanied by stereotyped changes in gene expression and histopathology, but the mechanisms underlying these changes are largely unknown. To identify potential regulators of kidney aging, we compared age-associated transcriptional changes in the human kidney with genome-wide maps of transcription factor occupancy from ChIP-seq datasets in human cells. The strongest candidates were the inflammation-associated transcription factors NFκB, STAT1 and STAT3, the activities of which increase with age in epithelial compartments of the renal cortex. Stimulation of renal tubular epithelial cells with the inflammatory cytokines IL-6 (a STAT3 activator), IFNγ (a STAT1 activator), or TNFα (an NFκB activator) recapitulated age-associated gene expression changes. We show that common DNA variants in RELA and NFKB1, the two genes encoding subunits of the NFκB transcription factor, associate with kidney function and chronic kidney disease in gene association studies, providing the first evidence that genetic variation in NFκB contributes to renal aging phenotypes. Our results suggest that NFκB, STAT1 and STAT3 underlie transcriptional changes and chronic inflammation in the aging human kidney.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005734

    View details for PubMedID 26678048

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4682820

  • Primary Gastric Hodgkin's Lymphoma: An Extremely Rare Entity and A Diagnostic Challenge. Digestive diseases and sciences Sethi, S., Higgins, J. P., Arber, D. A., Visser, B., Banerjee, S. 2015; 60 (10): 2923-2926

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10620-015-3616-x

    View details for PubMedID 25761826

  • Fatal Accelerated Cirrhosis after Imported HEV Genotype 4 Infection EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES Perumpail, R. B., Ahmed, A., Higgins, J. P., So, S. K., Cochran, J. L., Drobeniuc, J., Mixson-Hayden, T. R., Teo, C. 2015; 21 (9): 1679-1681

    View details for DOI 10.3201/eid2109.150300

    View details for Web of Science ID 000359894000036

    View details for PubMedID 26291424

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4550159

  • The liver in heart failure: a biopsy and explant series of the histopathologic and laboratory findings with a particular focus on pre-cardiac transplant evaluation. Modern pathology Louie, C. Y., Pham, M. X., Daugherty, T. J., Kambham, N., Higgins, J. P. 2015; 28 (7): 932-943


    The pathologic liver changes in chronic heart failure have been characterized mostly based on autopsy series and include sinusoidal dilation and congestion progressing to pericellular fibrosis, bridging fibrosis, and ultimately to cardiac cirrhosis or sclerosis. Liver biopsies are commonly obtained as part of the work up before heart transplantation in patients with longstanding right heart failure, particularly if ascites, abnormal liver function tests or abnormal abdominal imaging are noted as part of the pre-transplant evaluation. In these cases, the liver biopsy findings may be used to further risk stratify patients for isolated heart or combined heart and liver transplantation. Thus, it is important to be able to correlate the histologic changes with post-transplant outcomes. We report the pathologic and clinical findings in liver explants from six patients who underwent combined heart-liver transplantation. We also report preoperative liver biopsy findings from 21 patients who underwent heart transplantation without simultaneous liver transplantation. We staged the changes related to chronic passive congestion as follows: stage 0-no fibrosis; stage I-pericellular fibrosis; stage II-bridging fibrosis; and stage III-regenerative nodules. Nineteen biopsies showed fibrosis with bridging fibrosis in 13 and regenerative nodules in 6. Fifteen patients were alive at 1 year post transplant. Only three patients had a post-operative course that was characterized by signs and symptoms of chronic liver disease. Pre-transplant liver biopsies from these patients all showed at least stage II fibrosis. These patients survived for 3, 6, and 10 months after cardiac transplant. The presence of bridging fibrosis was not significantly associated with post-operative survival (P=0.336) or post-operative liver failure (P=0.257). We conclude that patients with bridging fibrosis may still be considered viable candidates for isolated heart transplantation. Because the pattern of fibrosis due to passive congestion is highly variable throughout the liver, a diagnosis of cirrhosis, which implies fibrosis and regenerative nodules throughout the liver, should be made with great caution on biopsy.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/modpathol.2015.40

    View details for PubMedID 25793895

  • Acute Liver Failure: A Potential Complication of Antithyroid Medication Use. Digestive diseases and sciences Chou, C., Wong, R. J., Higgins, J. P., Perumpail, R. B., Ahmed, A. 2015; 60 (7): 1924-1927

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10620-014-3389-7

    View details for PubMedID 25366145

  • Androgen receptor immunohistochemistry in genitourinary neoplasms INTERNATIONAL UROLOGY AND NEPHROLOGY Williams, E. M., Higgins, J. P., Sangoi, A. R., McKenney, J. K., Troxell, M. L. 2015; 47 (1): 81-85


    Androgen receptor (AR) is a recognized immunohistochemical marker of prostate cancer. However, the sensitivity and specificity of AR for prostate cancer in the setting of other genitourinary neoplasms has not been rigorously studied.We employed tissue microarrays containing prostate carcinomas, urothelial carcinomas, renal cell carcinomas, and testicular neoplasms. Slides were stained immunohistochemically for AR.Androgen receptor was positive in 95% of prostate carcinomas (n=230), but 19% of invasive urothelial carcinomas of the bladder (n=190) and 33% of non-invasive bladder urothelial carcinomas were also AR positive (N=107). Furthermore, 16% of renal pelvis urothelial carcinomas (n=43) were positive. Of primary renal cell carcinomas, 19% were AR positive (n=307). From a metastatic renal cell carcinoma cohort, 28% of metastases were AR positive (N=126). Six percent of non-teratomatous testicular germ cell tumors stained for AR (n=103).Our data show that the sensitivity of AR immunohistochemistry for prostate cancer is 94.8%. However, the specificity of AR is only 81.4%, among our cohort of invasive genitourinary tumors. Thus, we find the specificity of AR suboptimal, yet AR may remain useful as a component of an immunostain panel.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11255-014-0834-7

    View details for PubMedID 25218615

  • Tuberous Sclerosis-associated Renal Cell Carcinoma A Clinicopathologic Study of 57 Separate Carcinomas in 18 Patients AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SURGICAL PATHOLOGY Guo, J., Tretiakova, M. S., Troxell, M. L., Osunkoya, A. O., Fadare, O., Sangoi, A. R., Shen, S. S., Lopez-Beltran, A., Mehra, R., Heider, A., Higgins, J. P., Harik, L. R., Leroy, X., Gill, A. J., Trpkov, K., Campbell, S. C., Przybycin, C., Magi-Galluzzi, C., McKenney, J. K. 2014; 38 (11): 1457-1467


    Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is an autosomal dominant disorder with characteristic tumors involving multiple organ systems. Whereas renal angiomyolipoma (AML) is common in TSC, renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is rarely reported. Fifty-seven RCCs from 13 female and 5 male TSC patients were reviewed. Age at surgery ranged from 7 to 65 years (mean: 42 y). Nine patients (50%) had multiple synchronous and/or metachronous RCCs (range of 2 to 20 RCCs) and 5 had bilateral RCCs (28%). Seventeen patients (94%) had histologically confirmed concurrent renal AMLs, including 15 with multiple AMLs (88%) and 9 (50%) with AMLs with epithelial cysts. None of the 15 patients with available clinical follow-up information had evidence of distant metastatic disease from 6 to 198 months after their initial surgery (mean: 52 mo). The 57 RCCs exhibited 3 major distinct morphologies: (1) 17 RCCs (30%) had features similar to tumors previously described as "renal angiomyoadenomatous tumor" or "RCC with smooth muscle stroma"; (2) 34 RCCs (59%) showed features similar to chromophobe RCC; and (3) 6 RCCs (11%) showed a granular eosinophilic-macrocystic morphology. Distinct histologic changes were also commonly present in the background kidney parenchyma and included cysts or renal tubules lined by epithelial cells with prominent eosinophilic cytoplasm, nucleomegaly, and nucleoli. Immunohistochemically, all RCCs tested showed strong nuclear reactivity for PAX8 and HMB45 negativity. Compared with sporadic RCCs, TSC-associated RCCs have unique clinicopathologic features including female predominance, younger age at diagnosis, multiplicity, association with AMLs, 3 recurring histologic patterns, and an indolent clinical course. Awareness of the morphologic and clinicopathologic spectrum of RCC in this setting will allow surgical pathologists to better recognize clinically unsuspected TSC patients.

    View details for PubMedID 25093518

  • Abnormal Hepatocellular Mitochondria in Methylmalonic Acidemia ULTRASTRUCTURAL PATHOLOGY Wilnai, Y., Enns, G. M., Niemi, A., Higgins, J., Vogel, H. 2014; 38 (5): 309-314


    Methylmalonic acidemia (MMA) is one of the most frequently encountered forms of branched-chain organic acidemias. Biochemical abnormalities seen in some MMA patients, such as lactic acidemia and increased tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediate excretion, suggest mitochondrial dysfunction. In order to investigate the possibility of mitochondrial involvement in MMA, we examined liver tissue for evidence of mitochondrial ultrastructural abnormalities. Five explanted livers obtained from MMA mut(0) patients undergoing liver transplantation were biopsied. All patients had previous episodes of metabolic acidosis, lactic acidemia, ketonuria, and hyperammonemia. All biopsies revealed a striking mitochondriopathy by electron microscopy. Mitochondria were markedly variable in size, shape, and conformation of cristae. The inner matrix appeared to be greatly expanded and the cristae were diminutive and disconnected. No crystalloid inclusions were noted. This series clearly documents extensive mitochondrial ultrastructure abnormalities in liver samples from MMA patients undergoing transplantation, providing pathological evidence for mitochondrial dysfunction in the pathophysiology of MMA mut(0). Considering the trend to abnormally large mitochondria, the metabolic effects of MMA may restrict mitochondrial fission or promote fusion. The correlation between mitochondrial dysfunction and morphological abnormalities in MMA may provide insights for better understanding and monitoring of optimized or novel therapeutic strategies.

    View details for DOI 10.3109/01913123.2014.921657

    View details for Web of Science ID 000345348700003

  • Abnormal hepatocellular mitochondria in methylmalonic acidemia. Ultrastructural pathology Wilnai, Y., Enns, G. M., Niemi, A., Higgins, J., Vogel, H. 2014; 38 (5): 309-314


    Methylmalonic acidemia (MMA) is one of the most frequently encountered forms of branched-chain organic acidemias. Biochemical abnormalities seen in some MMA patients, such as lactic acidemia and increased tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediate excretion, suggest mitochondrial dysfunction. In order to investigate the possibility of mitochondrial involvement in MMA, we examined liver tissue for evidence of mitochondrial ultrastructural abnormalities. Five explanted livers obtained from MMA mut(0) patients undergoing liver transplantation were biopsied. All patients had previous episodes of metabolic acidosis, lactic acidemia, ketonuria, and hyperammonemia. All biopsies revealed a striking mitochondriopathy by electron microscopy. Mitochondria were markedly variable in size, shape, and conformation of cristae. The inner matrix appeared to be greatly expanded and the cristae were diminutive and disconnected. No crystalloid inclusions were noted. This series clearly documents extensive mitochondrial ultrastructure abnormalities in liver samples from MMA patients undergoing transplantation, providing pathological evidence for mitochondrial dysfunction in the pathophysiology of MMA mut(0). Considering the trend to abnormally large mitochondria, the metabolic effects of MMA may restrict mitochondrial fission or promote fusion. The correlation between mitochondrial dysfunction and morphological abnormalities in MMA may provide insights for better understanding and monitoring of optimized or novel therapeutic strategies.

    View details for DOI 10.3109/01913123.2014.921657

    View details for PubMedID 24933007

  • Renal pathology associated with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Advances in anatomic pathology Troxell, M. L., Higgins, J. P., Kambham, N. 2014; 21 (5): 330-340


    The kidney is subject to a large variety of injurious factors before, during, and after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT), leading to a high incidence of acute kidney injury in the peritransplant period. Chronic kidney disease is estimated to impact 15% to 20% of HCT recipients. Although renal biopsies may be deferred in the setting of thrombotic microangiopathy, acute self-limited impairment, or slowly progressive functional decline, in many patients renal biopsy yields important diagnostic insight to guide treatment. Light microscopic, immunofluorescence, and ultrastructural analysis often reveals a number of concurrent abnormalities in glomeruli, tubules, interstitium, and vessels. Meta-analysis of the literature reveals that membranous nephropathy is the most commonly reported glomerular lesion in the setting of HCT, followed by minimal change disease. Autopsy and biopsy studies show that clinical criteria lack sensitivity and specificity for renal acute and chronic thrombotic microangiopathy. Viral infection and other causes of interstitial nephritis and tubular injury are important findings in HCT renal biopsies, which in many instances may not be clinically suspected. Given the complexity and variability of HCT protocols, clinicopathologic correlation is needed.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/PAP.0000000000000034

    View details for PubMedID 25105935

  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: graft versus host disease and pathology of gastrointestinal tract, liver, and lung. Advances in anatomic pathology Kambham, N., Higgins, J. P., Sundram, U., Troxell, M. L. 2014; 21 (5): 301-320


    Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT), formerly known as bone marrow transplantation, is an integral part of treatment for many hematological malignancies. HCT is associated with several complications and comorbidities with differential effects on a wide spectrum of organs and tissues. We present an update on HCT-associated complications such as graft versus host disease (GVHD) and infection, with focus on the surgical pathology of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, liver, and lung. Although the grading system for GI tract acute GVHD was proposed 40 years ago, recent studies have shed light on minimal histologic criteria for diagnosis of GVHD, as well as its differential diagnosis, including histologic effects of various medications. GI dysfunction in autologous transplant recipients is increasingly appreciated and patients are often biopsied. Acute liver injury in HCT is often due to sinusoidal obstruction syndrome (previously known as venoocclusive disease), or acute GVHD. Liver dysfunction at later time posttransplantation may be associated with acute or chronic GVHD, iron overload, or other causes of hepatitis. Lung injury in HCT is multifactorial, and it remains crucially important to diagnose and treat pulmonary infections. The pulmonary biopsy yields clinically unsuspected diagnoses in the majority of cases and its utilization is likely to increase. The pathology of the skin and kidney in HCT patients are detailed in accompanying articles.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/PAP.0000000000000032

    View details for PubMedID 25105933

  • Identification and Characterization of 2 Testicular Germ Cell Markers, Glut3 and CyclinA2 APPLIED IMMUNOHISTOCHEMISTRY & MOLECULAR MORPHOLOGY Howitt, B. E., Brooks, J. D., Jones, S., Higgins, J. P. 2013; 21 (5): 401-407


    Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT) are the most common type of testicular tumor and encompass different histologic types that greatly influence treatment and prognosis. Immunohistochemical studies may be required for accurate classification, particularly when these tumors present at extragonadal sites, and to aid in distinguishing histologic types. Traditional markers for identifying and distinguishing TGCT include PLAP, CD117, AFP, and CD30. More recently, the addition of OCT3/4 and SALL4 has increased sensitivity for immunohistochemical detection of germ cell tumors. We examined gene expression data from a previously published microarray study that compared normal testis mRNA expression to various TGCT. We also performed a search of the literature to identify less well-characterized markers. Glut3 and cyclinA2 showed promise as TGCT markers. Therefore, we evaluated expression of glut3 and cyclinA2 by immunohistochemistry using tissue microarrays (TMAs). Of 66 seminomas included in the TMA, 64 (97%) showed positive nuclear staining for cyclinA2 and 58 (88%) were strongly positive. Strong positive staining for cyclinA2 was also seen in the spermatocytic seminoma. All 20 of the embryonal carcinomas stained positively with cyclinA2, and 19 (95%) displayed strong nuclear staining for cyclinA2. Twenty of the 20 embryonal carcinomas stained for glut3 in a strong membranous pattern. Of 8 yolk sac tumors, 100% stained with glut3. We also evaluated glut3 and cyclinA2 staining on a general TMA containing 486 samples representing 156 different tumors. CyclinA2 stained a number of other tumor types, but the majority of these were weak or focal staining. Glut3 was rarely positive in other tumors; interestingly, most of these were of ovarian origin. We conclude that glut3 is a sensitive (96%) and specific (92%) marker for embryonal carcinomas and yolk sac tumors. Although cyclinA2 is a sensitive marker of seminomas and embryonal carcinomas (98%), its specificity is lower if focal and weak staining of nongerm cell tumors is considered positive. The sensitivity and specificity of glut3 are comparable with that seen for SALL4.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/PAI.0b013e31827b505f

    View details for Web of Science ID 000324837800004

    View details for PubMedID 23343953

  • Multiple hepatic adenomas in a child with microvillus inclusion disease. Digestive diseases and sciences Burgis, J. C., Pratt, C. A., Higgins, J. P., Kerner, J. A. 2013; 58 (10): 2784-2788

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10620-013-2646-5

    View details for PubMedID 23525737

  • Evaluation of SF-1 Expression in Testicular Germ Cell Tumors: A Tissue Microarray Study of 127 Cases. Applied immunohistochemistry & molecular morphology Sangoi, A. R., McKenney, J. K., Brooks, J. D., Higgins, J. P. 2013; 21 (4): 318-321


    Differentiating testicular germ cell tumors from sex-cord stromal tumors can be difficult in certain cases because of overlapping morphologic features and/or an absence of clinically apparent hormonal symptoms. Immunohistochemistry may be needed as an ancillary diagnostic tool in this differential diagnostic setting. Steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1) is a nuclear transcription factor controlling steroidogenesis and is expressed in developing Sertoli and Leydig cells. Although 1 recent study has reported SF-1 nuclear immunoreactivity in testicular sex-cord stromal tumors, the specificity for this marker in germ cell tumors has not been evaluated. After encountering several problematic cases (including some on testicular biopsy), we sought to determine the diagnostic specificity of SF-1 in a large series of germ cell tumors. Nuclear immunohistochemical expression of SF-1 was evaluated in 127 germ cell tumors using tissue microarray technology with 23 non-germ cell tumor tissues as positive internal controls. No nuclear SF-1 expression was identified in any of the 127 germ cell tumors [including choriocarcinoma (3), embryonal carcinoma (25), epidermal inclusion cyst (1), intratubular germ cell neoplasia unclassified (4), seminoma (72), spermatocytic seminoma (2), teratoma (8), and yolk sac tumor (12)]. All 23 non-germ cell tumor tissues showed strong nuclear SF-1 expression in Sertoli and/or Leydig cells [including testicular atrophy (10), cryptorchidism (2), normal testis (4), hypospermatogenesis (1), immature testis (1), intratubular large cell calcifying Sertoli cell tumor (1), Leydig cell tumor (3), and Sertoli only (1)]. This study documents the absence of SF-1 expression in testicular germ cell tumors and supports its specificity for sex-cord stromal lesions in this diagnostic context.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/PAI.0b013e318277cf5a

    View details for PubMedID 23165333

  • FXR agonist INT-747 upregulates DDAH expression and enhances insulin sensitivity in high-salt fed Dahl rats. PloS one Ghebremariam, Y. T., Yamada, K., Lee, J. C., Johnson, C. L., Atzler, D., Anderssohn, M., Agrawal, R., Higgins, J. P., Patterson, A. J., Böger, R. H., Cooke, J. P. 2013; 8 (4)


    Genetic and pharmacological studies have shown that impairment of the nitric oxide (NO) synthase (NOS) pathway is associated with hypertension and insulin-resistance (IR). In addition, inhibition of NOS by the endogenous inhibitor, asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), may also result in hypertension and IR. On the other hand, overexpression of dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH), an enzyme that metabolizes ADMA, in mice is associated with lower ADMA, increased NO and enhanced insulin sensitivity. Since DDAH carries a farnesoid X receptor (FXR)-responsive element, we aimed to upregulate its expression by an FXR-agonist, INT-747, and evaluate its effect on blood pressure and insulin sensitivity.In this study, we evaluated the in vivo effect of INT-747 on tissue DDAH expression and insulin sensitivity in the Dahl rat model of salt-sensitive hypertension and IR (Dahl-SS). Our data indicates that high salt (HS) diet significantly increased systemic blood pressure. In addition, HS diet downregulated tissue DDAH expression while INT-747 protected the loss in DDAH expression and enhanced insulin sensitivity compared to vehicle controls.Our study may provide the basis for a new therapeutic approach for IR by modulating DDAH expression and/or activity using small molecules.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0060653

    View details for PubMedID 23593273

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3617194

  • Integrative bioinformatics links HNF1B with clear cell carcinoma and tumor-associated thrombosis. PloS one Cuff, J., Salari, K., Clarke, N., Esheba, G. E., Forster, A. D., Huang, S., West, R. B., Higgins, J. P., Longacre, T. A., Pollack, J. R. 2013; 8 (9)


    Clear cell carcinoma (CCC) is a histologically distinct carcinoma subtype that arises in several organ systems and is marked by cytoplasmic clearing, attributed to abundant intracellular glycogen. Previously, transcription factor hepatocyte nuclear factor 1-beta (HNF1B) was identified as a biomarker of ovarian CCC. Here, we set out to explore more broadly the relation between HNF1B and carcinomas with clear cell histology. HNF1B expression, evaluated by immunohistochemistry, was significantly associated with clear cell histology across diverse gynecologic and renal carcinomas (P<0.001), as was hypomethylation of the HNF1B promoter (P<0.001). From microarray analysis, an empirically-derived HNF1B signature was significantly enriched for computationally-predicted targets (with HNF1 binding sites) (P<0.03), as well as genes associated with glycogen metabolism, including glucose-6-phophatase, and strikingly the blood clotting cascade, including fibrinogen, prothrombin and factor XIII. Enrichment of the clotting cascade was also evident in microarray data from ovarian CCC versus other histotypes (P<0.01), and HNF1B-associated prothrombin expression was verified by immunohistochemistry (P = 0.015). Finally, among gynecologic carcinomas with cytoplasmic clearing, HNF1B immunostaining was linked to a 3.0-fold increased risk of clinically-significant venous thrombosis (P = 0.043), and with a 2.3-fold increased risk (P = 0.011) in a combined gynecologic and renal carcinoma cohort. Our results define HNF1B as a broad marker of clear cell phenotype, and support a mechanistic link to glycogen accumulation and thrombosis, possibly reflecting (for gynecologic CCC) derivation from secretory endometrium. Our findings also implicate a novel mechanism of tumor-associated thrombosis (a major cause of cancer mortality), based on the direct production of clotting factors by cancer cells.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0074562

    View details for PubMedID 24040285

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3767734

  • FXR agonist INT-747 upregulates DDAH expression and enhances insulin sensitivity in high-salt fed Dahl rats. PloS one Ghebremariam, Y. T., Yamada, K., Lee, J. C., Johnson, C. L., Atzler, D., Anderssohn, M., Agrawal, R., Higgins, J. P., Patterson, A. J., Böger, R. H., Cooke, J. P. 2013; 8 (4): e60653


    Genetic and pharmacological studies have shown that impairment of the nitric oxide (NO) synthase (NOS) pathway is associated with hypertension and insulin-resistance (IR). In addition, inhibition of NOS by the endogenous inhibitor, asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), may also result in hypertension and IR. On the other hand, overexpression of dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH), an enzyme that metabolizes ADMA, in mice is associated with lower ADMA, increased NO and enhanced insulin sensitivity. Since DDAH carries a farnesoid X receptor (FXR)-responsive element, we aimed to upregulate its expression by an FXR-agonist, INT-747, and evaluate its effect on blood pressure and insulin sensitivity.In this study, we evaluated the in vivo effect of INT-747 on tissue DDAH expression and insulin sensitivity in the Dahl rat model of salt-sensitive hypertension and IR (Dahl-SS). Our data indicates that high salt (HS) diet significantly increased systemic blood pressure. In addition, HS diet downregulated tissue DDAH expression while INT-747 protected the loss in DDAH expression and enhanced insulin sensitivity compared to vehicle controls.Our study may provide the basis for a new therapeutic approach for IR by modulating DDAH expression and/or activity using small molecules.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0060653

    View details for PubMedID 23593273

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3617194

  • Integrative Bioinformatics Links HNF1B with Clear Cell Carcinoma and Tumor-Associated Thrombosis. PloS one Cuff, J., Salari, K., Clarke, N., Esheba, G. E., Forster, A. D., Huang, S., West, R. B., Higgins, J. P., Longacre, T. A., Pollack, J. R. 2013; 8 (9)

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0074562

    View details for PubMedID 24040285

  • Fibronectin Glomerulopathy: An Unusual Cause of Adult-Onset Nephrotic Syndrome AMERICAN JOURNAL OF KIDNEY DISEASES Nadamuni, M., Piras, R., Mazbar, S., Higgins, J. P., Kambham, N. 2012; 60 (5): 839-842


    We report the case of a 50-year-old woman with nephrotic-range proteinuria and lobular glomerulopathy on kidney biopsy. Homogenous glomerular deposits were non-immune reactive, but immunofluorescence microscopy for fibronectin was strongly positive. Ultrastructurally, the deposits were granular with focal fibril formation, leading to a diagnosis of fibronectin glomerulopathy. Mutational analysis revealed a heterozygous missense mutation in fibronectin (leading to the tyrosine at amino acid 973 being replaced by cysteine [Y973C]), confirming the diagnosis. This mutation affects Hep-III, one of the heparin-binding domains of fibronectin, and results in functional abnormalities.

    View details for DOI 10.1053/j.ajkd.2012.04.029

    View details for Web of Science ID 000310508100037

    View details for PubMedID 22721928

  • Evaluation of Putative Renal Cell Carcinoma Markers PAX-2, PAX-8, and hKIM-1 in Germ Cell Tumors: A Tissue Microarray Study of 100 Cases APPLIED IMMUNOHISTOCHEMISTRY & MOLECULAR MORPHOLOGY Sangoi, A. R., McKenney, J. K., Brooks, J. D., Bonventre, J. V., Higgins, J. P. 2012; 20 (5): 451-453


    In a subset of cases, metastatic renal cell carcinoma can demonstrate significant morphologic overlap with germ cell neoplasms, making accurate diagnosis challenging. In such cases, immunohistochemistry is often used as an adjunct diagnostic tool. Expression of the putative renal cell carcinoma markers PAX-2, PAX-8, and hKIM-1 has been reported in a small series of certain germ cell tumors, raising doubt about their specificity for renal cell carcinoma. To further characterize these markers, we evaluated PAX-2, PAX-8, and hKIM-1 staining in 100 germ cell tumors using tissue microarrays. PAX-2 and PAX-8 staining was identified in 50% and 25% of yolk sac tumors (respectively), with hKIM-1 staining identified in 48% of embryonal carcinomas and 50% of yolk sac tumors. All other germ tumor cells (notably including 62 seminomas) were negative for all 3 markers, in contrast to prior reports of PAX-8 reactivity in seminoma. This study indicates that PAX-2, PAX-8, and hKIM-1 should be used cautiously in distinguishing renal cell carcinoma from nonseminomatous germ cell neoplasia and also adds to the growing list of nonrenal tumors that express these 3 markers.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/PAI.0b013e31824bb404

    View details for Web of Science ID 000309551700003

    View details for PubMedID 22495365

  • Statistical Analysis of Surgical Pathology Data Using the R Program ADVANCES IN ANATOMIC PATHOLOGY Cuff, J., Higgins, J. P. 2012; 19 (3): 131-139


    An understanding of statistics is essential for analysis of many types of data including data sets typically reported in surgical pathology research papers. Fortunately, a relatively small number of statistical tests apply to data relevant to surgical pathologists. An understanding of when to apply these tests would greatly benefit surgical pathologists who read and/or write papers. In this review, we show how the publicly available statistical program R can be used to analyze recently published surgical pathology papers to replicate the p-values and survival curves presented in these papers. Areas covered include: T-test, chi-square and Fisher exact tests of proportionality, Kaplan-Meier survival curves, the log rank test, and Cox proportional hazards.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/PAP.0b013e318254d842

    View details for Web of Science ID 000302815000001

    View details for PubMedID 22498578

  • Deficiency in Mammalian Histone H2B Ubiquitin Ligase Bre1 (Rnf20/Rnf40) Leads to Replication Stress and Chromosomal Instability CANCER RESEARCH Chernikova, S. B., Razorenova, O. V., Higgins, J. P., Sishc, B. J., Nicolau, M., Dorth, J. A., Chernikova, D. A., Kwok, S., Brooks, J. D., Bailey, S. M., Game, J. C., Brown, J. M. 2012; 72 (8): 2111-2119


    Mammalian Bre1 complexes (BRE1A/B (RNF20/40) in humans and Bre1a/b (Rnf20/40) in mice) function similarly to their yeast homolog Bre1 as ubiquitin ligases in monoubiquitination of histone H2B. This ubiquitination facilitates methylation of histone H3 at K4 and K79, and accounts for the roles of Bre1 and its homologs in transcriptional regulation. Recent studies by others suggested that Bre1 acts as a tumor suppressor, augmenting expression of select tumor suppressor genes and suppressing select oncogenes. In this study, we present an additional mechanism of tumor suppression by Bre1 through maintenance of genomic stability. We track the evolution of genomic instability in Bre1-deficient cells from replication-associated double-strand breaks (DSB) to specific genomic rearrangements that explain a rapid increase in DNA content and trigger breakage-fusion-bridge cycles. We show that aberrant RNA-DNA structures (R-loops) constitute a significant source of DSBs in Bre1-deficient cells. Combined with a previously reported defect in homologous recombination, generation of R-loops is a likely initiator of replication stress and genomic instability in Bre1-deficient cells. We propose that genomic instability triggered by Bre1 deficiency may be an important early step that precedes acquisition of an invasive phenotype, as we find decreased levels of BRE1A/B and dimethylated H3K79 in testicular seminoma and in the premalignant lesion in situ carcinoma.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-11-2209

    View details for Web of Science ID 000302905700022

    View details for PubMedID 22354749

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3328627

  • A Tri-Marker Proliferation Index Predicts Biochemical Recurrence after Surgery for Prostate Cancer PLOS ONE Malhotra, S., Lapointe, J., Salari, K., Higgins, J. P., Ferrari, M., Montgomery, K., van de Rijn, M., Brooks, J. D., Pollack, J. R. 2011; 6 (5)


    Prostate cancer exhibits tremendous variability in clinical behavior, ranging from indolent to lethal disease. Better prognostic markers are needed to stratify patients for appropriately aggressive therapy. By expression profiling, we can identify a proliferation signature variably expressed in prostate cancers. Here, we asked whether one or more tissue biomarkers might capture that information, and provide prognostic utility. We assayed three proliferation signature genes: MKI67 (Ki-67; also a classic proliferation biomarker), TOP2A (DNA topoisomerase II, alpha), and E2F1 (E2F transcription factor 1). Immunohistochemical staining was evaluable on 139 radical prostatectomy cases (in tissue microarray format), with a median clinical follow-up of eight years. Each of the three proliferation markers was by itself prognostic. Notably, combining the three markers together as a "proliferation index" (0 or 1, vs. 2 or 3 positive markers) provided superior prognostic performance (hazard ratio = 2.6 (95% CI: 1.4-4.9); P = 0.001). In a multivariate analysis that included preoperative serum prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels, Gleason grade and pathologic tumor stage, the composite proliferation index remained a significant predictor (P = 0.005). Analysis of receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curves confirmed the improved prognostication afforded by incorporating the proliferation index (compared to the clinicopathologic data alone). Our findings highlight the potential value of a multi-gene signature-based diagnostic, and define a tri-marker proliferation index with possible utility for improved prognostication and treatment stratification in prostate cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0020293

    View details for PubMedID 21629784

  • Immunohistochemical Distinction of Primary Adrenal Cortical Lesions From Metastatic Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma: A Study of 248 Cases AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SURGICAL PATHOLOGY Sangoi, A. R., Fujiwara, M., West, R. B., Montgomery, K. D., Bonventre, J. V., Higgins, J. P., Rouse, R. V., Gokden, N., McKenney, J. K. 2011; 35 (5): 678-686


    The diagnosis of metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma (CC-RCC) can be difficult because of its morphologic heterogeneity and the increasing use of small image-guided biopsies that yield scant diagnostic material. This is further complicated by the degree of morphologic and immunophenotypic overlap with nonrenal neoplasms and tissues, such as adrenal cortex. In this study, a detailed immunoprofile of 63 adrenal cortical lesions, which included 54 cortical neoplasms, was compared with 185 metastatic CC-RCCs using traditional [anticalretinin, CD10, antichromogranin, antiepithelial membrane antigen, anti-inhibin, antimelanA, anticytokeratins (AE1/AE3 and AE1/CAM5.2), antirenal cell carcinoma marker, and antisynaptophysin)] and novel [anticarbonic anhydrase-IX, antihepatocyte nuclear factor-1b, antihuman kidney injury molecule-1 (hKIM-1), anti-PAX-2, anti-PAX-8, antisteroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1), and anti-T-cell immunoglobulin mucin-1] antibodies. Tissue microarray methodology was used to simulate small image-guided biopsies. Staining extent and intensity were scored semiquantitatively for each antibody. In comparing different intensity thresholds required for a "positive" result, a value of ≥2+ was identified as optimal for diagnostic sensitivity/specificity. For the distinction of adrenal cortical lesions from metastatic CC-RCCs, immunoreactivity for the adrenal cortical antigens SF-1 (86% adrenal; 0% CC-RCC), calretinin (89% adrenal; 10% CC-RCC), inhibin (86% adrenal; 9% CC-RCC), and melanA (86% adrenal; 10% CC-RCC) and for the renal epithelial antigens hKIM-1 (0% adrenal; 83% CC-RCC), PAX-8 (0% adrenal; 83% CC-RCC), hepatocyte nuclear factor-1b (0% adrenal; 76% CC-RCC), epithelial membrane antigen (0% adrenal; 78% CC-RCC), and carbonic anhydrase-IX (3% adrenal; 87% CC-RCC) had the most potential use. Use of novel renal epithelial markers hKIM-1 (clone AKG7) and/or PAX-8 and the adrenocortical marker SF-1 in an immunohistochemical panel for distinguishing adrenal cortical lesions from metastatic CC-RCC offers improved diagnostic sensitivity and specificity.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/PAS.0b013e3182152629

    View details for Web of Science ID 000289506600007

    View details for PubMedID 21490444

  • Specificity of brachyury in the distinction of chordoma from clear cell renal cell carcinoma and germ cell tumors: a study of 305 cases MODERN PATHOLOGY Sangoi, A. R., Karamchandani, J., Lane, B., Higgins, J. P., Rouse, R. V., Brooks, J. D., McKenney, J. K. 2011; 24 (3): 425-429


    Brachyury is recognized as a specific marker for notochord-derived tissues and neoplasms, and has become a defining immunohistochemical feature of chordoma. The main differential diagnostic consideration for chordoma is chondrosarcoma, which is known to lack brachyury expression. However, within the spectrum of genitourinary neoplasia, metastatic germ cell tumors and clear cell renal cell carcinoma may also be close morphological mimics of chordoma, particularly given the increasing prevalence of small tissue samples from image-guided biopsies. Although immunoreactivity for brachyury has been reported in a few germ cell tumors, a thorough characterization of staining by specific subtype has not been performed in a large series. Additionally, brachyury expression in clear cell renal cell carcinoma has not been well studied. In this study, immunohistochemical expression with the brachyury antibody was evaluated in 111 germ cell tumors, 30 non-neoplastic and neoplastic (non-germ cell) testicular tissues, and 184 metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinomas using tissue microarray technology. In addition, immunoreactivity for PAX-8 and SALL-4 was evaluated in 12 chordomas on whole section. No nuclear brachyury expression was identified in any of the 101 germ cell tumors within the tissue microarray (including choriocarcinoma (1), embryonal carcinoma (20), intratubular germ cell neoplasia unclassified (2), seminoma (64), spermatocytic seminoma (1), teratoma (5) and yolk sac tumor (8)), in any of the 30 non-neoplastic and neoplastic (non-germ cell) testicular tissues, or in any of the 10 whole-section seminomas. All 184 metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinomas were also non-reactive for brachyury. All 12 chordomas showed strong nuclear immunoreactivity for brachyury, but no expression of SALL-4. In all, 1 of 12 chordoma cases showed patchy, 1+ nuclear immunoreactivity for PAX-8. This study confirms the specificity of brachyury for chordoma in the differential diagnostic distinction from the potential genitourinary mimics, germ cell tumors and metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/modpathol.2010.196

    View details for Web of Science ID 000287986600010

    View details for PubMedID 21102418

  • C1q-Fixing Human Leukocyte Antigen Antibodies Are Specific for Predicting Transplant Glomerulopathy and Late Graft Failure After Kidney Transplantation TRANSPLANTATION Yabu, J. M., Higgins, J. P., Chen, G., Sequeira, F., Busque, S., Tyan, D. B. 2011; 91 (3): 342-347


    Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) antibodies, especially those that fix complement, are associated with antibody-mediated rejection and graft failure. The C1q assay on single antigen beads detects a subset of HLA antibodies that can fix complement and precede C4d deposition. The aim of this study was to determine whether C1q-fixing antibodies distinguish de novo donor-specific antibodies (DSA) that are clinically relevant and harmful.We retrospectively studied 31 of 274 kidney transplant recipients who had pretransplant and concurrent biopsy and serum specimens, 13 with C4d-positive and 18 with C4d-negative staining. We measured IgG and C1q DSA pretransplant and at the time of biopsy using single antigen bead assays. We identified 13 recipients who developed de novo DSA by IgG or C1q and examined associations with C4d deposition, transplant glomerulopathy, and graft failure.Testing for DSA by IgG is more sensitive for C4d deposition (IgG: 100%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.60-1; C1q: 75%, 95% CI 0.36-0.96). Testing for DSA by C1q is more specific for transplant glomerulopathy (C1q: 81%, 95% CI 0.57-0.94; IgG: 67%, 95% CI 0.43-0.85) and graft loss (C1q: 79%, 95% CI 0.54-0.93; IgG: 63%, 95% CI 0.39-0.83). Absence of de novo DSA by IgG and C1q has a high negative predictive value for the absence of C4d deposition (IgG: 100%, 95% CI 0.73-1; C1q: 88%, 95% CI 0.62-0.98), transplant glomerulopathy (IgG: 100%, 95% CI 0.73-1; C1q: 100%, 95% CI 0.77-1), and graft failure (IgG: 86%, 95% CI 0.56-0.97; C1q: 88%, 95% CI 0.62-0.98).Monitoring patients with the C1q assay, which detects antibodies that fix complement, offers a minimally invasive means of identifying patients at risk for transplant glomerulopathy and graft loss.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/TP.0b013e318203fd26

    View details for Web of Science ID 000286624400014

    View details for PubMedID 21116220

  • Identification and Characterization of Two Novel Testicular Germ Cell Markers, Glut3 and cyclinA2. 100th Annual Meeting United States-and-Canadian-Academy-of-Pathology Lane, B. E., Jones, S. B., Brooks, J. D., Higgins, J. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 2011: 205A–205A
  • Identification and Characterization of Two Novel Testicular Germ Cell Markers, Glut3 and cyclinA2 100th Annual Meeting of the United-States-and-Canadian-Academy-of-Pathology Lane, B. E., Jones, S. B., Brooks, J. D., Higgins, J. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 2011: 205A–205A
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4 Contributes to Small Intestine Allograft Rejection TRANSPLANTATION Krams, S. M., Wang, M., Castillo, R. O., Ito, T., Phillips, L., Higgins, J., Kambham, N., Esquivel, C. O., Martinez, O. M. 2010; 90 (12): 1272-1277


    Although outcomes for small intestine transplantation (SIT) have improved in recent years, allograft rejection rates remain among the highest of solid organ grafts. The high load of commensal bacteria in the small intestine may contribute through activation of the toll-like receptor (TLR) pathway. In this study, we examine the participation of TLR4 in acute allograft rejection in an orthotopic mouse model of SIT.Wild-type C57Bl/6 (H-2b) or TLR49(-/-) (H-2b) mice were transplanted with syngeneic (C57Bl/6), allogeneic (BALB/c; H-2d), or F1 (BALB/cxC57Bl/6; H-2d/b) vascularized, orthotopic small intestine grafts. Graft recipients were killed on days 2 to 6 posttransplant. Serum cytokines were measured by Luminex, and tissue was obtained for histology and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction.BALB/c grafts transplanted into C57Bl/6 recipients exhibited mixed inflammatory infiltrates, destruction of the mucosa, and significant apoptosis. TLR2 and TLR4 transcripts were modestly increased in syngeneic grafts on days 2 and 6 compared with native bowel, whereas TLR2 and TLR4 were significantly increased on days 2 and 6 in allogeneic grafts. Although fully mismatched and F1 grafts were rejected by C57Bl/6 recipients (mean survival time=8.2 and 9.3 days, respectively), graft survival was significantly prolonged in TLR4(-/-) recipients (mean survival time=10.6 and 14.3 days, respectively). Proinflammatory cytokines were markedly reduced in TLR4(-/-) graft recipients.Small intestine graft survival is prolonged in the absence of TLR4, suggesting that gut flora associated with the graft may augment alloimmune responses through TLR4. Thus, the TLR pathway may be a novel therapeutic target for improving SIT allograft survival.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/TP.0b013e3181fdda0d

    View details for Web of Science ID 000285377100006

    View details for PubMedID 21197709

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3799863

  • Ribonucleotide reductase subunit M1 expression in resectable, muscle-invasive urothelial cancer correlates with survival in younger patients BJU INTERNATIONAL Harshman, L. C., Bepler, G., Zheng, Z., Higgins, J. P., Allen, G. I., Srinivas, S. 2010; 106 (11): 1805-1811


    To assess whether high ribonucleotide reductase subunit M1 (RRM1) expression in patients with resected, muscle-invasive (T2-4NxM0) urothelial carcinoma (UC) correlated with longer overall survival (OS). RRM1 is the primary cellular target of gemcitabine and previous studies in resected early-stage lung cancer have shown a survival benefit for patients with high expression.In all, 84 radical cystectomy specimens with muscle-invasive UC were identified from existing tissue microarrays. The patients' medical records were retrospectively reviewed to confirm pathology and stage. Specimens were analysed for RRM1 expression using automated quantitative analysis. The median value of RRM1 was established a priori as the threshold for high and low expression.The median age of the patients was 69 years. Stages were nearly equally distributed: 30%, 38%, and 32% for stage II, III, and IV, respectively. Most were high grade (99%) with no nodal involvement (69%). The median (range) OS was 2.0 (0-13.1) years. Tumoral RRM1 levels did not correlate with OS for the entire cohort, but when adjusted for age, high tumoral RRM1 expression in younger patients (aged <70 years) correlated with increased survival. Younger patients with high RRM1 expression had a median OS of 10.6 years compared with 1.6 years in older patients (P= 0.001). There was no difference in OS among low RRM1 expressors: 2.3 vs 1.6 years in younger and older patients, respectively (P= 0.22).Our results suggest that high RRM1 expression may be prognostic for improved survival in patients with muscle-invasive UC aged <70 years.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2010.09327.x

    View details for PubMedID 20438561

  • Acute Rejection of Small Intestine Allografts Is Associated With Increased Expression of Toll-like Receptors TRANSPLANTATION PROCEEDINGS Castillo, R. O., Wang, M., Ito, T., Higgins, J., Esquivel, C. O., Krams, S. M., Martinez, O. M. 2010; 42 (7): 2676-2678


    Although outcomes after intestinal transplantation have steadily improved owing to advances in immunosuppressive therapy, operative techniques, and postoperative medical management, rejection of the intestinal allograft continues to be a major clinical problem and constitutes the primary reason for graft loss. Although the adaptive immune system has been the major focus of investigation regarding regulation of rejection of the intestinal allograft, the role of the innate immune system has recently become of increased interest. We hypothesized that microbial products of the microflora associated with the intestinal allograft may engage the Toll-like receptor pathway of the innate immune system to potentiate alloimmune responses and rejection of the allograft. To investigate this, we established a murine model for orthotopic intestinal transplantation and allograft rejection. Using this model, we show that the expression of Toll-like receptor 2 is increased 50-fold and the expression of Toll-like receptor 4 is increased 200-fold during rejection of the allograft. We then performed survival studies that showed increased survival of mice, which had the Toll-like receptor knocked out. These preliminary studies suggest an important role for in innate immune system in acute rejection of the small intestinal allografts, and as such represents an emerging and promising area of investigation.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.transproceed.2010.05.157

    View details for Web of Science ID 000281942200052

    View details for PubMedID 20832568

  • A 30-month-old Child With Acute Renal Failure Due to Primary Renal Cytotoxic T-cell Lymphoma AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SURGICAL PATHOLOGY Paladugu, S., Garro, R., Schrijver, I., Kambham, N., Higgins, J. P. 2010; 34 (7): 1066-1070


    We present a case of a 30-month-old child who presented with anemia and acute renal failure, and was found to have bilateral renal involvement by primary cytotoxic T-cell lymphoma. This was characterized by a monotonous interstitial lymphoid infiltrate with extensive necrosis. The tumor cells showed a CD8, granzyme, and TIA1-positive phenotype with no evidence of Epstein-Barr virus by in situ hybridization. The differential diagnosis based on the biopsy findings included a reactive interstitial nephritis; however, molecular studies confirmed T-cell clonality. She was started on induction chemotherapy and subsequently received maintenance therapy with methotrexate and 6-mercaptopurine. The patient had a complete response after chemotherapy and at 21 months of follow-up, she has no evidence of residual lymphoma; however, she has developed a dilated cardiomyopathy and she remains in renal failure. We discuss the morphologic, immunophenotypic, and molecular features of our case and describe the clinical course of our patient. We review the literature on primary renal lymphoma with an emphasis on T-lineage lymphomas and those that occur in children.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/PAS.0b013e3181de693c

    View details for Web of Science ID 000279167400021

    View details for PubMedID 20495447

  • Treatment with a Toll-like receptor inhibitory GpG oligonucleotide delays and attenuates lupus nephritis in NZB/W mice AUTOIMMUNITY Graham, K. L., Lee, L. Y., Higgins, J. P., Steinman, L., Utz, P. J., Ho, P. P. 2010; 43 (2): 140-155


    Activation of the innate immune system by DNA containing hypomethylated CpG motifs has been implicated in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Here, we examined the consequences of immunostimulatory CpG-oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) and inhibitory GpG-ODN treatment in the NZB x NZW F1 (NZB/W) murine model of SLE. Beginning at 5 months of age, we administered CpG-ODN or GpG-ODN at regular intervals to female NZB/W animals. We also determined the effects of ODN administration on NZB/W mouse lymphocyte function, and the specificity of ODN binding to Toll-like receptors (TLRs) other than TLR-9. While CpG-ODN treatment did not appear to have a major impact on disease severity, GpG-ODN treatment significantly delayed the onset of proteinuria in NZB/W mice. Interestingly, short-term GpG-ODN treatment promoted Th2-type T and B cell responses, and inhibited B lymphocyte proliferation in vitro. On the other hand, extended GpG-ODN treatment did not result in sustained Th2 responses or significantly reduced renal disease. Moreover, the binding of CpG-ODN and GpG-ODN was not restricted to TLR-9 as both ODNs also interacted with TLR-3, TLR-7, and TLR-8. Taken together, the data indicate that the protective mechanism of GpG-ODN treatment in the NZB/W model of lupus nephritis involves modulating T cell cytokine profiles and B lymphocyte activation through the inhibition of several TLRs, including TLR-7 and TLR-9.

    View details for DOI 10.3109/08916930903229239

    View details for Web of Science ID 000275059900004

    View details for PubMedID 19845477

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4150612

  • Liver Abscesses, Pylephlebitis, and Appendicitis in an Adolescent Male DIGESTIVE DISEASES AND SCIENCES Patel, A. J., Ong, P. V., Higgins, J. P., Kerner, J. A. 2009; 54 (12): 2546-2548

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10620-009-0880-7

    View details for Web of Science ID 000271923300002

    View details for PubMedID 19575293

  • Microtubule-associated Protein-2 is a Sensitive Marker of Primary and Metastatic Neuroblastoma AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SURGICAL PATHOLOGY Krishnan, C., Higgins, J. P., West, R. B., Natkunam, Y., Heerema-McKenney, A., Arber, D. A. 2009; 33 (11): 1695-1704


    Microtubule-associated protein-2 (MAP-2) is a protein expressed in high levels in cells derived from the neural crest. To the best of our knowledge, MAP-2 expression has not been thoroughly evaluated in tissues outside of the central nervous tissue. We examined the diagnostic utility of MAP-2 as a marker of neuroblastoma and attempted to characterize the expression of this protein in other tumors in the morphologic differential diagnosis of neuroblastoma.MAP-2 showed significant cytoplasmic reactivity in 95% of primary and 100% of metastatic neuroblastomas. Included within this set of tumors were 3 undifferentiated neuroblastomas, all of which showed strong staining. MAP-2 did not show significant staining in the majority of other small round blue cell tumors within the morphologic differential. Additionally, MAP-2 showed comparable sensitivity in staining primary neuroblastomas as compared with synaptophysin, chromogranin, CD56, and beta-catenin. In contrast to other markers of neuroblastoma, MAP-2 did not show significant cross reactivity to native bone marrow precursors, thus eliminating a potential source of confusion. In normal tissues, MAP-2 staining was essentially restricted to organs derived from the neural crest (adrenal medulla, endocrine organs). Variant patterns of staining were seen in exocrine organs, monocyte/macrophages and solitary fibrous tumor/hemangiopericytoma family of tumors. Rarely, high-grade adult sarcomas exhibiting strong cytoplasmic MAP-2 staining were seen.MAP-2 is a sensitive and specific marker of neuroblastoma, both in the primary tumor and bone marrow biopsy settings. We think that MAP-2, in conjunction with synaptophysin, is a very powerful immunohistochemical marker in differentiating neuroblastoma from its morphologic mimics.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000271795800016

    View details for PubMedID 19701075

  • Sequential Use of Transcriptional Profiling, Expression Quantitative Trait Mapping, and Gene Association Implicates MMP20 in Human Kidney Aging PLOS GENETICS Wheeler, H. E., Metter, E. J., Tanaka, T., Absher, D., Higgins, J., Zahn, J. M., Wilhelmy, J., Davis, R. W., Singleton, A., Myers, R. M., Ferrucci, L., Kim, S. K. 2009; 5 (10)


    Kidneys age at different rates, such that some people show little or no effects of aging whereas others show rapid functional decline. We sequentially used transcriptional profiling and expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) mapping to narrow down which genes to test for association with kidney aging. We first performed whole-genome transcriptional profiling to find 630 genes that change expression with age in the kidney. Using two methods to detect eQTLs, we found 101 of these age-regulated genes contain expression-associated SNPs. We tested the eQTLs for association with kidney aging, measured by glomerular filtration rate (GFR) using combined data from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) and the InCHIANTI study. We found a SNP association (rs1711437 in MMP20) with kidney aging (uncorrected p = 3.6 x 10(-5), empirical p = 0.01) that explains 1%-2% of the variance in GFR among individuals. The results of this sequential analysis may provide the first evidence for a gene association with kidney aging in humans.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000685

    View details for Web of Science ID 000272032100023

    View details for PubMedID 19834535

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2752811

  • RRM1 expression in muscle invasive, locally advanced urothelial cancer is associated with survival in younger patients Annual Meeting of the EORTC/NCI/ASCO on Molecular Markers in Cancer Harshman, L., Bepler, G., Zheng, Z., Higgins, J., Allen, G., Srinivas, S. PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD. 2009: 19–19
  • Alteration of Gene Expression Signatures of Cortical Differentiation and Wound Response in Lethal Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinomas PLOS ONE Zhao, H., Ma, Z., Tibshirani, R., Higgins, J. P., Ljungberg, B., Brooks, J. D. 2009; 4 (6)


    Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is the most common malignancy of the adult kidney and displays heterogeneity in clinical outcomes. Through comprehensive gene expression profiling, we have identified previously a set of transcripts that predict survival following nephrectomy independent of tumor stage, grade, and performance status. These transcripts, designated as the SPC (supervised principal components) gene set, show no apparent biological or genetic features that provide insight into renal carcinogenesis or tumor progression. We explored the relationship of this gene list to a set of genes expressed in different anatomical segments of the normal kidney including the cortex (cortex gene set) and the glomerulus (glomerulus gene set), and a gene set expressed after serum stimulation of quiescent fibroblasts (the core serum response or CSR gene set). Interestingly, the normal cortex, glomerulus (part of the normal renal cortex), and CSR gene sets captured more than 1/5 of the genes in the highly prognostic SPC gene set. Based on gene expression patterns alone, the SPC gene set could be used to sort samples from normal adult kidneys by the anatomical regions from which they were dissected. Tumors whose gene expression profiles most resembled the normal renal cortex or glomerulus showed better survival than those that did not, and those with expression features more similar to CSR showed poorer survival. While the cortex, glomerulus, and CSR signatures predicted survival independent of traditional clinical parameters, they were not independent of the SPC gene list. Our findings suggest that critical biological features of lethal ccRCC include loss of normal cortical differentiation and activation of programs associated with wound healing.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0006039

    View details for Web of Science ID 000267356900003

    View details for PubMedID 19557179

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2698218

  • Correlation of RRM1 expression in muscle invasive locally advanced urothelial cancer with age 45th Annual Meeting of the American-Society-of-Clinical-Oncology (ASCO) Harshman, L. C., Bepler, G., Zheng, Z., Higgins, J. P., ALLEN, G. I., Tibshirani, R., Srinivas, S. AMER SOC CLINICAL ONCOLOGY. 2009
  • Immunohistochemical comparison of MUC1, CA125, and Her2Neu in invasive micropapillary carcinoma of the urinary tract and typical invasive urothelial carcinoma with retraction artifact MODERN PATHOLOGY Sangoi, A. R., Higgins, J. P., Rouse, R. V., Schneider, A. G., McKenney, J. K. 2009; 22 (5): 660-667


    On the basis of recent clinical studies, some urologic oncologists do not offer bladder-sparing therapy for patients diagnosed with micropapillary carcinoma of the urinary bladder, even in the setting superficially invasive disease. Unfortunately, the distinction of invasive micropapillary carcinoma from typical invasive urothelial carcinoma with prominent retraction artifact may be difficult in some cases. In this study, we compared the immunophenotype of invasive micropapillary carcinoma to invasive urothelial carcinoma with retraction artifact using antibodies previously reported as specific for micropapillary carcinoma. Immunohistochemical staining was performed on 24 invasive micropapillary carcinomas of the urinary tract and 24 case controls of invasive urothelial carcinoma with retraction artifact using monoclonal antibodies MUC1, CA125, and Her2Neu. The staining extent and intensity for MUC1 and CA125 were scored on one representative section per case. Immunostaining for Her2Neu was scored based on the 2007 CAP/ASCO guidelines for breast carcinoma. Basal ('reverse-apical') MUC1 staining was identified in 23 of the 24 (96%) invasive micropapillary carcinomas and in 15 of the 24 (63%) invasive urothelial carcinomas with retraction artifact (P=0.0102). Membranous reactivity with CA125 was seen in 8 of the 24 (33%) invasive micropapillary carcinomas and in 3 of the 24 (13%) invasive urothelial carcinomas with retraction artifact (P=0.1681). Positive (3+) membranous Her2Neu staining was present in 6 of 24 (25%) invasive micropapillary carcinomas and in 2 of the 24 (8%) invasive urothelial carcinomas with retraction artifact (P=0.2448). The specificity for invasive micropapillary carcinoma vs invasive urothelial carcinoma with retraction artifact using antibodies MUC1, CA125, and Her2Neu was 37, 87, and 92%, respectively. Invasive micropapillary carcinoma more commonly showed immunoreactivity for MUC1, CA125, and Her2Neu compared to invasive urothelial carcinoma with retraction artifact, but only MUC1 reached statistical significance. The lack of specificity of these evaluated markers for invasive micropapillary carcinoma limits their utility in the distinction from invasive urothelial carcinoma with retraction artifact, especially given the potentially significant therapeutic implications.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/modpathol.2009.16

    View details for Web of Science ID 000265640200007

    View details for PubMedID 19270645

  • Recommendations for the Reporting of Surgically Resected Specimens of Renal Cell Carcinoma AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PATHOLOGY Higgins, J. P., McKenney, J. K., Brooks, J. D., Argani, P., Epstein, J. I. 2009; 131 (5): 623-?

    View details for DOI 10.1309/AJCP84ESGXKXYNRA

    View details for Web of Science ID 000265264200003

    View details for PubMedID 19369620

  • Recommendations for the reporting of surgically resected specimens of renal cell carcinoma The Association of Directors of Anatomic and Surgical Pathology HUMAN PATHOLOGY Higgins, J. P., McKenney, J. K., Brooksd, J. D., Argani, P., Epstein, J. I. 2009; 40 (4): 456-463


    A checklist based approach to reporting the relevant pathologic details of renal cell carcinoma resection specimens improves the completeness of the report. Karyotypic evaluation of renal neoplasms has refined but also complicated their classification. The number of diagnostic possibilities has increased and the importance of distinguishing different tumor types has been underscored by dramatic variation in prognosis and the development of targeted therapies for specific subtypes. The increasing number of recognized renal neoplasms has implications for handling renal resection specimens. Furthermore, the prognostic significance of other features of renal neoplasms related to grade and stage has been demonstrated. This guideline for the handling of renal resection specimens will focus on problem areas in the evolving practice of diagnosis, grading, and staging of renal neoplasms. The accompanying checklist will serve to ensure that all necessary details of the renal resection specimen are included in the surgical pathology report.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.humpath.2008.12.004

    View details for Web of Science ID 000264990200002

    View details for PubMedID 19289184

  • Expression of the Urothelial Differentiation Markers GATA3 and Placental S100 (S100P) in Female Genital Tract Transitional Cell Proliferations AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SURGICAL PATHOLOGY Esheha, G. E., Longacre, T. A., Atkins, K. A., Higgins, J. P. 2009; 33 (3): 347-353


    The degree of urothelial differentiation in putative transitional (urothelial) proliferations in the female genital tract is still controversial. To further investigate the similarities (or dissimilarities) between female genital tract transitional proliferations and bladder urothelium, we evaluated the expression of S100P and GATA3, 2 proteins that we previously found to be strongly expressed in bladder urothelial tumors, in 25 benign ovarian Brenner tumors, 19 Walthard cell nests (17 tubal and 2 ovarian hilus), 1 mature teratoma with a benign urothelial proliferation, 2 proliferating (borderline) ovarian Brenner tumors, 1 malignant Brenner tumor, and 12 ovarian transitional cell carcinomas (TCC). Each lesion was also evaluated for p63 expression by immunohistochemistry. Immunostaining was performed on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections using the avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex method. Eighty-eight percent of Brenner tumors were positive for S100P, whereas 96% and 100% were positive for GATA3 and p63, respectively. One of 2 proliferating Brenner tumors was positive for S100P, whereas both cases were positive for GATA3 and p63; the malignant Brenner tumor was positive for S100P and p63, but negative for GATA3. Only 17% of TCC were positive for S100p, whereas 33% and 50% of TCC were positive for GATA3 and p63, respectively. Tubal Walthard cell nests were either completely negative or showed only scattered positive staining for S100P; in contrast, 89.5% and 100% of Walthard nests, including the 2 ovarian cases were positive for GATA3 and p63. The teratoma-associated benign urothelial proliferation was also negative for S100P, but positive for GATA3 and p63. Although proliferating and malignant Brenner tumors may exhibit a more intermediate immunoprofile, expression of S100P, GATA3, and p63 by a majority of ovarian Brenner tumors underscores the similarity between these neoplasms and urothelial proliferations of bladder origin. The indeterminate phenotype seen in Walthard nests and ovarian TCC suggests that these proliferations may represent an incomplete or alternate form of differentiation.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000263765800003

    View details for PubMedID 19092634

  • CD 9 and vimentin distinguish clear cell from chromophobe renal cell carcinoma. BMC clinical pathology Williams, A. A., Higgins, J. P., Zhao, H., Ljunberg, B., Brooks, J. D. 2009; 9: 9-?


    Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) and chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (chRCC) can usually be distinguished by histologic characteristics. Occasionally, diagnosis proves challenging and diagnostic difficulty will likely increase as needle biopsies of renal lesions become more common.To identify markers that aid in differentiating ccRCC from chRCC, we used gene expression profiles to identify candidate markers that correlate with histology. 39 antisera and antibodies, including 35 for transcripts identified from gene expression profiling, were evaluated. Promising markers were tested on a tissue microarray (TMA) containing 428 renal neoplasms. Strength of staining of each core on the TMA was formally scored and the distribution of staining across different types of renal neoplasms was analyzed.Based on results from initial immunohistochemical staining of multitissue titer arrays, 23 of the antisera and antibodies were selected for staining of the TMA. For 7 of these markers, strength of staining of each core on the TMA was formally scored. Vimentin (positive in ccRCC) and CD9 (positive in chRCC) best distinguished ccRCC from chRCC. The combination of vimentin negativity and CD9 positivity was found to distinguish chRCC from ccRCC with a sensitivity of 100.0% and a specificity of 95.2%.Based on gene expression analysis, we identify CD9 and vimentin as candidate markers for distinguishing between ccRCC and chRCC. In difficult cases and particularly when the amount of diagnostic tissue is limited, vimentin and CD9 staining could serve as a useful adjunct in the differential diagnosis of ccRCC and chRCC.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/1472-6890-9-9

    View details for PubMedID 19922654

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2788570

  • Identification of candidate prostate cancer genes through comparative expression-profiling of seminal vesicle PROSTATE Thompson, M., Lapointe, J., Choi, Y., Ong, D. E., Higgins, J. P., Brooks, J. D., Pollack, J. R. 2008; 68 (11): 1248-1256


    Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among men in the United States. In contrast, cancer of the seminal vesicle is exceedingly rare, despite that the prostate and seminal vesicle share similar histology, secretory function, androgen dependency, blood supply, and (in part) embryonic origin. We hypothesized that gene-expression differences between prostate and seminal vesicle might inform mechanisms underlying the higher incidence of prostate cancer.Whole-genome DNA microarrays were used to profile gene expression of 11 normal prostate and 7 seminal vesicle specimens (including six matched pairs) obtained from radical prostatectomy. Supervised analysis was used to identify genes differentially expressed between normal prostate and seminal vesicle, and this list was then cross-referenced to genes differentially expressed between normal and cancerous prostate. Expression patterns of selected genes were confirmed by immunohistochemistry using a tissue microarray.We identified 32 genes that displayed a highly statistically significant expression pattern with highest levels in seminal vesicle, lower levels in normal prostate, and lowest levels in prostate cancer. Among these genes was the known candidate prostate tumor suppressor GSTP1 (involved in xenobiotic detoxification). The expression pattern of GSTP1 and four other genes, ABCG2 (xenobiotic transport), CRABP2 (retinoic acid signaling), GATA3 (lineage-specific transcription), and SLPI (immune response), was confirmed by immunohistochemistry.Our findings identify candidate prostate cancer genes whose reduced expression in prostate (compared to seminal vesicle) may be permissive to prostate cancer initiation. Such genes and their pathways may inform mechanisms of prostate carcinogenesis, and suggest new opportunities for prostate cancer prevention.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/pros.20792

    View details for Web of Science ID 000258021300012

    View details for PubMedID 18500686

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2516917

  • Failure of oral atorvastatin to modulate a murine model of systemic lupus erythematosus ARTHRITIS AND RHEUMATISM Graham, K. L., Lee, L. Y., Higgins, J. P., Steinman, L., Utz, P. J., Ho, P. P. 2008; 58 (7): 2098-2104


    Inhibitors of the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase enzyme (statins) are cholesterol-lowering drugs that have shown promise as therapeutic agents in various animal models of autoimmune disease. The results of initial clinical trials with statins in multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis have also been encouraging. In this study, we attempted to treat a widely studied murine model of spontaneous systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) with atorvastatin.(NZB x NZW)F1 (NZB/NZW) mice received daily oral doses of atorvastatin for 20 weeks. The mice were monitored weekly for survival and proteinuria. Anti-double-stranded DNA (anti-dsDNA) antibody levels in sera were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). T lymphocyte cytokine production in vitro, as well as cytokine levels in vivo, were measured by ELISA. T cell proliferation was assessed by thymidine incorporation assay. Serum cholesterol levels were determined using a standard fluorometric assay. Kidney tissue was harvested and evaluated for pathologic changes.In NZB/NZW mice, oral atorvastatin had significant effects on T cell proliferation and cytokine production in vitro. Atorvastatin also induced significant increases in serum levels of interleukin-4. However, atorvastatin treatment in NZB/NZW mice had no significant impact on proteinuria, survival, serum anti-dsDNA antibody and cholesterol levels, or extent of renal disease.Monotherapy with oral atorvastatin has no protective effects in a murine model of spontaneous SLE. The efficacy of atorvastatin in human SLE remains to be determined.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/art.23605

    View details for Web of Science ID 000257469800024

    View details for PubMedID 18576356

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4143381

  • IRF9 and STAT1 are required for IgG autoantibody production and B cell expression of TLR7 in mice JOURNAL OF CLINICAL INVESTIGATION Thibault, D. L., Chu, A. D., Graham, K. L., Balboni, I., Lee, L. Y., Kohlmoos, C., Landrigan, A., Higgins, J. P., Tibshirani, R., Utz, P. J. 2008; 118 (4): 1417-1426


    A hallmark of SLE is the production of high-titer, high-affinity, isotype-switched IgG autoantibodies directed against nucleic acid-associated antigens. Several studies have established a role for both type I IFN (IFN-I) and the activation of TLRs by nucleic acid-associated autoantigens in the pathogenesis of this disease. Here, we demonstrate that 2 IFN-I signaling molecules, IFN regulatory factor 9 (IRF9) and STAT1, were required for the production of IgG autoantibodies in the pristane-induced mouse model of SLE. In addition, levels of IgM autoantibodies were increased in pristane-treated Irf9 -/- mice, suggesting that IRF9 plays a role in isotype switching in response to self antigens. Upregulation of TLR7 by IFN-alpha was greatly reduced in Irf9 -/- and Stat1 -/- B cells. Irf9 -/- B cells were incapable of being activated through TLR7, and Stat1 -/- B cells were impaired in activation through both TLR7 and TLR9. These data may reveal a novel role for IFN-I signaling molecules in both TLR-specific B cell responses and production of IgG autoantibodies directed against nucleic acid-associated autoantigens. Our results suggest that IFN-I is upstream of TLR signaling in the activation of autoreactive B cells in SLE.

    View details for DOI 10.1172/JCI30065

    View details for Web of Science ID 000254588600035

    View details for PubMedID 18340381

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2267033

  • Renal pathology in hematopoietic cell transplantation recipients 96th Annual Meeting of the United-States-and-Canadian-Academy-of-Pathology Troxell, M. L., Pilapil, M., Miklos, D. B., Higgins, J. P., Kambham, N. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 2008: 396–406


    Hematopoietic cell transplantation-associated renal injury may be related to a combination of factors including chemotherapy, radiation, infection, immunosuppressive agents, ischemia, and graft-versus-host disease. Renal biopsy specimens from hematopoietic cell transplant recipients at two institutions (Stanford University Medical Center and Oregon Health & Science University) were reviewed in correlation with clinical data. Fifteen cases were identified (post hematopoietic cell transplant time 0.7-14.5 years), including six with autologous hematopoietic cell transplant. Indications for renal biopsy included proteinuria (n=13; nephrotic range in 8), increased serum creatinine (n=10), or both (n=6). Many patients had multiple pathologic findings on renal biopsy. Membranous glomerulonephritis was the most common diagnosis (n=7), including two patients with autologous hematopoietic cell transplant and five with evidence of chronic graft-versus-host disease elsewhere. Four membranous glomerulonephritis patients achieved sustained remission with rituximab therapy. Other glomerular pathology included focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (n=1) and minimal change disease (n=1). Evidence of thrombotic microangiopathy was common (in isolation or combined with other pathology), as was acute tubular necrosis and tubulointerstitial nephritis. Of 14 patients with follow-up (2-64 months, mean 19 months), 6 had chronic renal insufficiency (serum creatinine >1.5 mg/dl), 2 had end stage renal disease, and 6 had essentially normal renal function. Our retrospective study shows that renal dysfunction in hematopoietic cell transplant recipients is often multifactorial, and biopsy may reveal treatable causes. Membranous glomerulonephritis is seen in autologous and allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant recipients, and may respond to anti-B-cell therapy, which has implications regarding pathogenesis and relationship to graft-versus-host disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/modpathol.3801011

    View details for PubMedID 18223556

  • hCAP-D3 expression marks a prostate cancer subtype with favorable clinical behavior and androgen signaling signature AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SURGICAL PATHOLOGY Lapointe, J., Malhotra, S., Higgins, J. P., Bair, E., Thompson, M., Salari, K., Giacomini, C. P., Ferrari, M., Montgomery, K., Tibshirani, R., van de Rijn, M., Brooks, J. D., Pollack, J. R. 2008; 32 (2): 205-209


    Growing evidence suggests that only a fraction of prostate cancers detected clinically are potentially lethal. An important clinical issue is identifying men with indolent cancer who might be spared aggressive therapies with associated morbidities. Previously, using microarray analysis we defined 3 molecular subtypes of prostate cancer with different gene-expression patterns. One, subtype-1, displayed features consistent with more indolent behavior, where an immunohistochemical marker (AZGP1) for subtype-1 predicted favorable outcome after radical prostatectomy. Here we characterize a second candidate tissue biomarker, hCAP-D3, expressed in subtype-1 prostate tumors. hCAP-D3 expression, assayed by RNA in situ hybridization on a tissue microarray comprising 225 cases, was associated with decreased tumor recurrence after radical prostatectomy (P=0.004), independent of pathologic tumor stage, Gleason grade, and preoperative prostate-specific antigen levels. Simultaneous assessment of hCAP-D3 and AZGP1 expression in this tumor set improved outcome prediction. We have previously demonstrated that hCAP-D3 is induced by androgen in prostate cells. Extending this finding, Gene Set Enrichment Analysis revealed enrichment of androgen-responsive genes in subtype-1 tumors (P=0.019). Our findings identify hCAP-D3 as a new biomarker for subtype-1 tumors that improves prognostication, and reveal androgen signaling as an important biologic feature of this potentially clinically favorable molecular subtype.

    View details for PubMedID 18223322

  • Bilateral mixed epithelial stromal tumor in an end-stage renal disease patient: the first case report HUMAN PATHOLOGY Sangoi, A. R., Higgins, J. P. 2008; 39 (1): 142-146


    Although first intimated in the 1970s, mixed epithelial stromal tumor has been recognized as a diagnostic entity for less than 10 years, with an identity that has been challenged by overlap between other cystic renal neoplasms, most notably with cystic nephroma. We report the first case of a bilateral mixed epithelial stromal tumor occurring in a 41-year-old dialysis-dependent woman, notably also the first case reported in a patient with end-stage renal disease. The neoplasms occurred 5 years apart and were diagnosed as mixed epithelial stromal tumor in both instances. We describe the presentation and pertinent radiologic, histologic, and immunophenotypic findings of these neoplasms with a review of the current debate regarding mixed epithelial stromal tumor and cystic nephroma taxonomy.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.humpath.2007.08.001

    View details for Web of Science ID 000251895500019

    View details for PubMedID 18070633

  • The utility of PAX5 immunohistochemistry in the diagnosis of undifferentiated malignant neoplasms MODERN PATHOLOGY Jensen, K. C., Higgins, J. P., Montgomery, K., Kaygusuz, G., van de Rijn, M., Natkunam, Y. 2007; 20 (8): 871-877


    PAX5 is a B-cell transcription factor whose expression at the protein level is reliably detected by immunohistochemistry in routine biopsies. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether PAX5 immunohistochemistry has diagnostic benefit as a B-cell marker in the work-up of undifferentiated malignant neoplasms. Twenty-five cases previously diagnosed as undifferentiated malignant neoplasms were selected. In addition, 59 hematolymphoid and 884 non-hematolymphoid malignancies were studied such that the specificity of PAX5 immunohistochemistry could be addressed. Two of the 25 (8%) undifferentiated neoplasms showed diffuse staining for PAX5, which indicated a B-cell derivation for these neoplasms that was not appreciated at the time of initial diagnosis. PAX5 staining was detected in the vast majority of hematolymphoid tumors of B-cell derivation but only in 5 of 884 (less than 1%) non-hematolymphoid tumors. Our results further show that PAX5 may be the only detectable marker of B lineage in lymphomas that lack or show equivocal CD45RB and CD20 expression. We conclude that the addition of PAX5 to a panel of immunohistologic markers used in the interrogation of undifferentiated neoplasms is of diagnostic benefit. Its expression can also facilitate the diagnosis of classical and nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma with atypical morphologic and immunohistologic features. Lastly, we have shown that the lack of its expression at the protein level in many epithelial and mesenchymal neoplasms renders PAX5 expression an extremely specific marker of the B lineage.

    View details for PubMedID 17529924

  • Placental S100 (S100P) and GATA3: Markers for transitional epithelium and urothelial carcinoma discovered by complementary DNA microarray AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SURGICAL PATHOLOGY Higgins, J. P., Kaygusuz, G., Wang, L., Montgomery, K., Mason, V., Zhu, S. X., Marinelli, R. J., Presti, J. C., van de Rijn, M., Brooks, J. D. 2007; 31 (5): 673-680


    The morphologic distinction between prostate and urothelial carcinoma can be difficult. To identify novel diagnostic markers that may aid in the differential diagnosis of prostate versus urothelial carcinoma, we analyzed expression patterns in prostate and bladder cancer tissues using complementary DNA microarrays. Together with our prior studies on renal neoplasms and normal kidney, these studies suggested that the gene for placental S100 (S100P) is specifically expressed in benign and malignant urothelial cells. Using tissue microarrays, a polyclonal antiserum against S100P protein stained 86% of 295 urothelial carcinomas while only 3% of 260 prostatic adenocarcinomas and 1% of 133 renal cell carcinomas stained. A commercially available monoclonal antibody against S100P stained 78% of 300 urothelial carcinomas while only 2% of 256 prostatic adenocarcinomas and none of 137 renal cell carcinomas stained. A second gene, GATA3, also showed high level expression in urothelial tumors by cDNA array. A commercially available monoclonal antibody against GATA3 stained 67% of 308 urothelial carcinomas, but none of the prostate or renal carcinomas. For comparison, staining was also performed for p63 and cytokeratin 5/6. p63 stained 87% of urothelial carcinomas whereas CK5/6 stained 54%. Importantly, when S100P and p63 were combined 95% of urothelial carcinomas were labeled by one or both markers. We conclude that the detection of S100P and GATA3 protein expression may help distinguish urothelial carcinomas from other genitourinary neoplasms that enter into the differential diagnosis.

    View details for PubMedID 17460449

  • Overexpression of NDRG1 is an indicator of poor prognosis in hepatocellular carcinoma MODERN PATHOLOGY Chua, M., Sun, H., Cheung, S. T., Mason, V., Higgins, J., Ross, D. T., Fan, S. T., So, S. 2007; 20 (1): 76-83


    Hepatocellular carcinoma is a highly lethal cancer that typically has poor prognosis. Prognostic markers can help in its clinical management and in understanding the biology of poor prognosis. Through an earlier gene expression study, we identified N-Myc downregulated gene 1 (NDRG1) to be significantly highly expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma compared to nontumor liver. As NDRG1 is a differentiation-related gene with putative metastasis suppressor activity, we investigated the clinical significance of its overexpression. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction using an independent set of patient samples confirmed the significant overexpression of NDRG1 in hepatocellular carcinoma compared to nontumor liver samples (P<0.001). Additionally, high levels of NDRG1 transcript correlated with shorter overall survival (P<0.001), late tumor stage (P=0.001), vascular invasion (P=0.003), large tumor size (P=0.011), and high Edmondson-Steiner histological grade (P=0.005). Using immunohistochemistry, NDRG1 protein was found to be significantly overexpressed in hepatocellular carcinoma samples compared to nontumor liver or cirrhotic and benign liver lesions (P<0.001). Among the hepatocellular carcinoma samples, those which are moderately and poorly differentiated express higher levels of NDRG1 protein than those which are well-differentiated (P<0.005). Additionally, hepatocellular carcinomas with vascular invasion also express elevated levels of NDRG1 protein compared to those without vascular invasion (significant at P<0.005). Our results suggest NDRG1 to be a likely tumor marker for hepatocellular carcinoma, the overexpression of which is correlated with tumor differentiation, vascular invasion, and overall survival. Its significantly elevated expression in hepatocellular carcinoma could be a useful indicator of tumor aggressiveness and therefore patient prognosis.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/modpathol.3800711

    View details for Web of Science ID 000243005000010

    View details for PubMedID 17170744

  • Tolerizing DNA vaccines for autoimmune arthritis AUTOIMMUNITY Ho, P. P., Higgins, J. P., Kidd, B. A., Tomooka, B., Digennaro, C., Lee, L. Y., De Vegvar, H. E., Steinman, L., Robinson, W. H. 2006; 39 (8): 675-682


    Current therapies for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other autoimmune diseases non-specifically suppress immune function, and there is great need for fundamental approaches such as antigen-specific tolerizing therapy. In this paper we describe development of antigen-specific tolerizing DNA vaccines to treat collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) in mice, and use of protein microarrays to monitor response to therapy and to identify potential additional autoimmune targets for next generation vaccines. We demonstrate that tolerizing DNA vaccines encoding type II collagen (CII) reduced the incidence and severity of CIA. Atorvastatin, a statin drug found to reduce the severity of autoimmunity, potentiated the effect of DNA vaccines encoding CII. Analysis of cytokines produced by collagen-reactive T cells derived from mice receiving tolerizing DNA encoding CII, as compared to control vaccines, revealed reduced production of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha. Arthritis microarray analysis demonstrated reduced spreading of autoantibody responses in mice treated with DNA encoding CII. The development of tolerizing DNA vaccines, and the use of antibody profiling to guide design of and to monitor therapeutic responses to such vaccines, represents a promising approach for the treatment of RA and other autoimmune diseases.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/08916930601061603

    View details for PubMedID 17178564

  • Intravenous Tamm-Horsfall protein polyps: report of a case in association with a hematoma that mimicked a renal neoplasm. American journal of kidney diseases Higgins, J. P., Huie, P., Rigaud, G., Sibley, R. K. 2006; 48 (5): e67-71


    Tamm-Horsfall protein (THP) is a glycoprotein produced only in the thick ascending limb of the loop of Henle. Its primary physiological function is unknown, but it may have a role in host defense against infectious organisms. THP is the primary scaffolding protein in all varieties of tubular casts. Under certain conditions, THP may be extruded from tubular lumens into the interstitium and lymphatic channels. It even may be found within lymph nodes sampled for staging of neoplastic conditions. THP deposits were described in lumens of large veins. The pathogenetic basis of this finding is not known, but obstruction of renal outflow was suggested, and several cases were associated with macroscopic hematuria. We report a case of intravenous THP polyposis in which, in addition to abundant hemorrhage, there was formation of a hematoma. This measured 12 cm in diameter and caused clinical concern for the possibility of renal cell carcinoma. Although the cause of the hematoma was not apparent, the association with striking intravenous polyps of THP is noteworthy because this represents the first association of intravenous THP polyps with a large intraparenchymal hematoma.

    View details for PubMedID 17059985

  • Selective tyrosine kinase inhibition by imatinib mesylate for the treatment of autoimmune arthritis JOURNAL OF CLINICAL INVESTIGATION Paniagua, R. T., Sharpe, O., Ho, P. P., Chan, S. M., Chang, A., Higgins, J. P., Tomooka, B. H., Thomas, F. M., Song, J. J., Goodman, S. B., Lee, D. M., Genovese, M. C., Utz, P. J., Steinman, L., Robinson, W. H. 2006; 116 (10): 2633-2642


    Tyrosine kinases play a central role in the activation of signal transduction pathways and cellular responses that mediate the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. Imatinib mesylate (imatinib) is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor developed to treat Bcr/Abl-expressing leukemias and subsequently found to treat c-Kit-expressing gastrointestinal stromal tumors. We demonstrate that imatinib potently prevents and treats murine collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). We further show that micromolar concentrations of imatinib abrogate multiple signal transduction pathways implicated in RA pathogenesis, including mast cell c-Kit signaling and TNF-alpha release, macrophage c-Fms activation and cytokine production, and fibroblast PDGFR signaling and proliferation. In our studies, imatinib attenuated PDGFR signaling in fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) and TNF-alpha production in synovial fluid mononuclear cells (SFMCs) derived from human RA patients. Imatinib-mediated inhibition of a spectrum of signal transduction pathways and the downstream pathogenic cellular responses may provide a powerful approach to treat RA and other inflammatory diseases.

    View details for DOI 10.1172/JCI28546

    View details for PubMedID 16981009

  • Evaluation of C4d staining in liver and small intestine allografts 93rd Annual Meeting of the United-States-and-Canadian-Academy-of-Pathology Troxell, M. L., Higgins, J. P., Kambham, N. COLLEGE AMER PATHOLOGISTS. 2006: 1489–96


    Antibody-mediated humoral rejection in kidney and heart allografts is well recognized and is often associated with poor outcome. C4d deposition in allograft biopsy specimens occurs at sites of antibody-mediated complement activation and has become one of the histopathologic criteria for diagnosis of humoral rejection in the kidney and the heart.To study immunohistochemical C4d staining as a potential diagnostic marker in liver and small intestine allograft biopsy specimens.Thirty-six small intestine and 71 liver specimens, including native specimens, allografts with and without histologic features of acute cellular rejection, and explants, were stained with antisera to C4d using an immunohistochemical method on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue.In small intestine, C4d labeled capillaries in 27% of cases with no evidence of rejection, 36% of cases with evidence of acute rejection, and 2 (28%) of 7 specimens of native normal small intestine. In liver allograft biopsy specimens, C4d stained endothelium of veins, arteries, and/or sinusoids in 2 (8%) of 25 cases of acute rejection with central vein involvement; C4d staining was negative in biopsy specimens with no evidence of rejection. C4d stained the endothelium in a subset of explanted liver allografts with ductopenic rejection or chronic vascular rejection and strongly stained 1 explant with features of hyperacute rejection.The clinical utility of C4d staining in solid organ transplantation may vary by organ. Our data show C4d is unlikely to have utility in small intestine allograft biopsy specimens; however, further study in liver allografts, in conjunction with donor-specific antibody testing, is warranted.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000241049200013

    View details for PubMedID 17090190

  • Upregulation of histidine decarboxylase expression in superficial cortical nephrons during pregnancy in mice and women KIDNEY INTERNATIONAL Morgan, T. K., Montgomery, K., Mason, V., West, R. B., Wang, L., van de Rijn, M., Higgins, J. P. 2006; 70 (2): 306-314


    Mechanisms regulating pregnancy-induced changes in renal function are incompletely understood. Few candidate genes have been identified and data suggest that alternate mechanisms remain to be elucidated. Our objective was to screen thousands of genes expressed in kidneys from mice throughout gestation to identify possible key regulators of renal function during pregnancy. Mouse complementary DNA microarrays were used to screen for differences in expression during pregnancy in C57BL/6 mice. Interesting candidate genes whose expression varied with pregnancy were further analyzed by reverse transcription-PCR and Northern blot. Expression was localized by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. Follow-up immunohistochemical analyses in archival human kidney sections from the fetus, non-pregnant, and pregnant women were also performed. Histidine decarboxylase (HDC), the enzyme that synthesizes histamine, was markedly upregulated in the mouse kidney during pregnancy. HDC expression localized to proximal tubule cells of fetal and adult mice. Females showed strong expression in the juxtamedullary zone before pregnancy and upregulation in the superficial cortical zone (SCZ) by mid-gestation. Histamine colocalized with HDC. Male mice showed only low HDC expression. Similar expression patterns were observed in human kidneys. Our results show that HDC expression and histamine production are increased in the SCZ during pregnancy. If histamine acts as a vasodilator, we speculate that increasing production in the SCZ may increase renal blood flow to this zone and recruit superficial cortical nephrons during pregnancy.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/

    View details for Web of Science ID 000239118900011

    View details for PubMedID 16760908

  • Comparison of C4d immunostaining methods in renal allograft biopsies 8th Banff Conference on Allograft Pathology Troxell, M. L., Weintraub, L. A., Higgins, J. P., Kambham, N. AMER SOC NEPHROLOGY. 2006: 583–91


    Immunostaining of renal allograft biopsies for C4d deposition has become an important diagnostic tool in the recognition of humoral-mediated graft rejection. The majority of studies have been performed on frozen tissue sections with one of several commercially available antibody reagents. However, only a single small series that compared reagents or methods, including staining of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue, has been published. Two different staining methods in 138 renal allograft biopsies were compared directly: A mAb (Quidel, San Diego, CA) on frozen tissue sections with indirect immunofluorescence (IF) and a polyclonal antibody (Biomedica Gruppe, distributed by ALPCO, Windham, NH) applied to formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue with immunohistochemical (IHC) detection. An initial data set of 107 consecutive cases showed complete agreement between staining methods in 104 (97%) cases. Overall, nine of 107 cases were positive with one or both methods, representing 8.4% of all allograft biopsies tested, 15% of clinically indicated biopsies, and 24% of biopsies with a histologic diagnosis of acute cellular rejection. A second set of 31 cases included 17 cases that were positive by either method, with concordance in 29 of 31 cases. Combining the two data sets, the overall specificity of the IHC method compared with IF was 98%, and sensitivity was 87.5%. Direct comparison demonstrates that IHC staining of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue with anti-C4d polyclonal antibody has acceptable sensitivity and specificity, as compared with IF staining of frozen tissue with the Quidel mAb.

    View details for PubMedID 17699262

  • Gene array studies in renal neoplasia THESCIENTIFICWORLDJOURNAL Higgins, J. P. 2006; 6: 502-511


    Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is comprised of several distinct histologic subtypes many of which have characteristic cytogenetic abnormalities. The molecular pathogenesis of some of these neoplasms is beginning to be elucidated. Yet renal cell carcinoma is often discovered at an advanced clinical stage and effective pharmacologic therapies for this disease remain to be discovered. For these reasons, renal cell carcinoma is ideally suited to the genome scale investigation made possible by DNA microarrays. A number of DNA array studies of renal cell carcinoma have been published. Renal cell carcinomas have also been studied by array based comparative genomic hybridization. The purpose of this review will be to summarize these studies, to compare the results of the different studies, and to suggest future areas of investigation with a particular emphasis on clinically relevant advances.

    View details for DOI 10.1100/tsw.2006.109

    View details for Web of Science ID 000242386800013

    View details for PubMedID 16648909

  • CD10 expression in peripheral T-cell lymphomas complicated by a proliferation of large B-cells MODERN PATHOLOGY Reichard, K. K., Schwartz, E. J., Higgins, J. P., Narasimhan, B., Warnke, R. A., Natkunam, Y. 2006; 19 (3): 337-343


    CD10 expression by the neoplastic T cells in angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma was recently described. As cases of peripheral T-cell lymphoma, unspecified, fail to show similar CD10 expression, this feature helps discriminate between these two entities, particularly in cases exhibiting morphologic overlap. Given these findings, we studied CD10 expression in a subtype of peripheral T-cell lymphoma known as peripheral T-cell lymphoma complicated by a proliferation of large B cells and compared it with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma and angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma with a large B-cell proliferation. A total of 33 cases were identified including peripheral T-cell lymphoma complicated by a proliferation of large B cells (10), angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (10) and angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma with a large B-cell proliferation (13). Diagnoses were established by hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stain, immunohistochemistry and/or molecular findings (polymerase chain reaction for T-cell receptor-gamma gene rearrangement). Two of 10 cases of peripheral T-cell lymphoma complicated by a proliferation of large B cells showed aberrant CD10 expression (20%) compared to 9/10 cases of angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (90%) and 8/13 of angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma with a large B-cell proliferation (62%). One case each of angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma and angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma with a large B-cell proliferation showed a rare, but not unequivocal, CD10+ atypical cell. Four cases of angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma with a large B-cell proliferation were CD10 negative. Of the 2 CD10+ peripheral T-cell lymphoma complicated by a proliferation of large B cells, one had no H&E or IHC features of angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma and showed only a rare positive cell. The second case, a lung biopsy, exhibited diffuse CD10 tumor cell positivity. The predominant staining pattern in the CD10+ cases was characterized by scattered, mostly individual, morphologically neoplastic cells. A rare case showed clusters of positive cells. Our data indicate that only 20% of cases of peripheral T-cell lymphoma complicated by a proliferation of large B cells show CD10 expression by the neoplastic T cells in contrast to angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma and angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma with a large B-cell proliferation which exhibit CD10 staining in 90 and 62% of cases, respectively. This finding does not reach statistical significance with a P-value of 0.57 (Fisher's exact test). As these entities appear to be biologically distinct and may portend different overall survivals, CD10 expression may serve as an additional discriminating criterion.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/modpathol.3800536

    View details for Web of Science ID 000235592800001

    View details for PubMedID 16400325

  • Glomerular and tubular basement membrane calcinosis: Case report and literature review AMERICAN JOURNAL OF KIDNEY DISEASES Troxell, M. L., Higgins, J. P., Sibley, R. K. 2006; 47 (2)


    Nephrocalcinosis most commonly manifests as renal calculi or deposition within the tubulointerstitial compartment. Conversely, calcium deposition within glomeruli is extremely rare. We present the case of a 50-year-old man with multiple medical problems, including hepatitis C, diabetes, hypertension, proteinuria, and chronic renal failure. Renal biopsy showed impressive calcium deposits along glomerular basement membranes and tubular basement membranes, within intracellular organelles, and in the interstitium in the setting of a normal serum calcium level. Seven months after biopsy, the patient is on hemodialysis therapy. Although serological and medical examination failed to show a treatable cause for this patient's glomerular calcinosis, individual case reports in the literature have described resolution of calcinosis-associated nephrotic syndrome with treatment of the primary cause of hypercalcemia.

    View details for DOI 10.1053/j.ajkd.2005.10.030

    View details for Web of Science ID 000235189300026

    View details for PubMedID 16431246

  • Selective tyrosine kinase inhibition by imatinib as a novel treatment strategy for rheumatoid arthritis. 6th Annual Meeting of the Federation-of-Clinical-Immunology-Societies Paniagua, R., Sharpe, O., Chang, A., Ho, P., Chang, S., Higgins, J., Tamooka, B., Robinson, W. ACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE. 2006: S49–S49
  • Combined use of the JAK3 inhibitor CP-690,550 with mycophenolate mofetil to prevent kidney allograft rejection in nonhuman primates TRANSPLANTATION Borie, D. C., Larson, M. J., Flores, M. G., Campbell, A., Rousvoal, G., Zhang, S., Higgins, J. P., Ball, D. J., Kudlacz, E. M., Brissette, W. H., Elliott, E. A., Reitz, B. A., Changelian, P. S. 2005; 80 (12): 1756-1764


    Immunosuppression via Janus kinase (JAK) 3 inhibition affords significant prolongation of allograft survival. We investigated the effects of an immunosuppressive regimen combining the JAK3 inhibitor CP-690,550 with mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) in nonhuman primates (NHPs).Life-supporting kidney transplantations were performed between ABO-compatible, MLR-mismatched NHPs. Animals were treated orally twice a day with CP-690,550 and MMF (n=8) or MMF alone (n=2) and were euthanized at day 90 or earlier due to allograft rejection.Mean survival time (+/-SEM) in animals treated with MMF alone (23+/-1 days) was significantly extended in animals that concurrently received CP-690,550 (59.5+/-9.8 days, P=0.02). Combination animals exposed to higher levels of CP-690,550 had a significantly better survival (75.2+/-8.7 days) than animals that received less CP-690,550 (33.3+/-12.6 days, P=0.02). Three combination therapy animals were euthanized at day 90 with a subnormal renal function and early-stage acute graft rejection. Rejection, delayed by treatment, ultimately developed in other animals. Anemia and gastrointestinal intolerance was seen in combination therapy animals that otherwise did not show evidence of viral or bacterial infection besides signs consistent with subclinical pyelonephritis (n=3). One incidental lymphosarcoma was noted.Addition of CP-690,550 to MMF significantly improved allograft survival. The observed side effects appear amenable to improvements upon alteration of dosing strategies. Efficacy of this combination regimen suggests that it could become the backbone of calcineurin inhibitor-free regimens.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/

    View details for Web of Science ID 000234364200021

    View details for PubMedID 16378072

  • Follicular dendritic cell immunohistochemical markers in angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma APPLIED IMMUNOHISTOCHEMISTRY & MOLECULAR MORPHOLOGY Troxell, M. L., Schwartz, E. J., van de Ruin, M., Ross, D. T., Warnke, R. A., Higgins, J. P., Natkunam, Y. 2005; 13 (4): 297-303


    Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma is characterized by a paracortical proliferation of medium to large neoplastic T cells, often with clear cytoplasm, in a background of arborizing high endothelial venules, many surrounded by follicular dendritic cells (FDCs). IHC staining may be applied to highlight these extrafollicular FDCs, traditionally using CD21, or CD23. Several alternative FDC markers have been described, including CNA.42, cystatin A/acid cysteine proteinase inhibitor (ACPI, involved in antigen presentation), and fascin (an actin binding protein). The authors stained a collection of 45 angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphomas with CD21, CD23, CNA.42, cystatin A, and fascin for direct comparison of FDC staining characteristics in this setting. CD21 highlighted the expected dendritic network of cell processes, within residual follicles and outside of follicles, often adjacent to proliferating vessels. CD23 exhibited similar staining quality but was less sensitive than CD21. CNA.42 showed only diffuse weak labeling of FDCs. Cystatin A stained the cytoplasm of follicular dendritic cells within and outside of follicles; however, staining was often not sharply localized to dendritic cell processes, and scoring was further complicated by reactivity with other cell types in over half of the cases. Likewise, fascin stained a variety of cell types, including strong staining of interdigitating dendritic-like cells, moderate staining of endothelial cells, and only weak staining of follicular dendritic cells within and outside of follicles. Thus, CD21 remains the most reliable marker of follicular dendritic cells in angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma.

    View details for PubMedID 16280657

  • TMA-combiner, a simple software tool to permit analysis of replicate cores on tissue microarrays MODERN PATHOLOGY Liu, C. L., Montgomery, K. D., Natkunam, Y., West, R. B., Nielsen, T. O., Cheang, M. C., Turbin, D. A., Marinelli, R. J., van de Rijn, M., Higgins, J. P. 2005; 18 (12): 1641-1648


    We have previously published a suite of software tools that facilitates the reformulation of tissue microarray (TMA) data so that it may be analyzed using techniques originally devised for analysis of cDNA microarray data. However, current microarray data often feature multiple scores for a given tissue sample and antibody combination. Furthermore, an efficient and systematic method for combining scores that takes into account the differing staining properties of tissue epitopes has not been described. We thus present the TMA-Combiner, a new Microsoft Excel-based macro that permits analysis of data for which tissues may have two or more scores per antibody, and permits combination of data from multiple different tissue microarrays. It accomplishes this by rendering one score per tissue per antibody from two or more scores, using one of multiple user-selectable combination rules developed to account for the differing staining properties of tissue epitopes. This greatly facilitates analysis of tissue microarrays, particularly for users with large repositories of data, and may facilitate discovery of biological trends and help refine diagnostic accuracy of tissue markers in clinical samples.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/modpathol.3800491

    View details for Web of Science ID 000233372100016

    View details for PubMedID 16258508

  • Immunosuppression by the JAK3 inhibitor CP-690,550 delays rejection and significantly prolongs kidney allograft survival in nonhuman primates TRANSPLANTATION Borie, D. C., Changelian, P. S., Larson, M. J., Si, M. S., Paniagua, R., Higgins, J. P., Holm, B., Campbell, A., Lau, M., Zhang, S., Flores, M. G., Rousvoal, G., Hawkins, J., Ball, D. A., Kudlacz, E. M., Brissette, W. H., Elliott, E. A., Reitz, B. A., Morris, R. E. 2005; 79 (7): 791-801


    Janus kinase 3 (JAK3) mediates signal transduction from cytokine receptors using the common chain (gammac). Because mutations in genes encoding gammac or JAK3 result in immunodeficiency, we investigated the potential of a rationally designed inhibitor of JAK3, CP-690,550, to prevent renal allograft rejection in nonhuman primates.Life-supporting kidney transplantations were performed between mixed leukocyte reaction-mismatched, ABO blood group-matched cynomolgus monkeys. Animals were treated with CP-690,550 (n = 18) or its vehicle (controls, n = 3) and were euthanized at day 90 or earlier if there was allograft rejection.Mean survival time (+/- standard error of mean) in animals treated with CP-690,550 (53 +/- 7 days) was significantly longer than in control animals (7 +/- 1 days, P=0.0003) and was positively correlated with exposure to the drug (r = 0.79, P < 0.01). Four treated animals were euthanized at 90 days with a normal renal function and low-grade rejection at final pathology. Occurrence of rejection was significantly delayed in treated animals (46 +/- 7 days from transplantation vs. 7 +/- 1 days in controls, P = 0.0003). Persistent anemia, polyoma virus-like nephritis (n = 2), and urinary calcium carbonate accretions (n = 3) were seen in animals with high exposure. Natural killer cell and CD4 and CD8 T-cell numbers were significantly reduced in treated animals. Blood glucose, serum lipid levels, and arterial blood pressure were within normal range in treated animals, and no cancers were demonstrated.CP-690,550 is the first reported JAK3 inhibitor combining efficacy and good tolerability in a preclinical model of allotransplantation in nonhuman primates and thus has interesting potential for immunosuppression in humans.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/01.TP.0000157117.30290.6F

    View details for Web of Science ID 000228373100006

    View details for PubMedID 15818321

  • Only the CD62L(+) subpopulation of CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells protects from lethal acute GVHD BLOOD Ermann, J., Hoffmann, P., Edinger, M., Dutt, S., Blankenberg, F. G., Higgins, J. P., Negrin, R. S., Fathman, C. G., Strober, S. 2005; 105 (5): 2220-2226


    CD4+CD25+ regulatory T (Treg) cells are potent modulators of alloimmune responses. In murine models of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation, adoptive transfer of donor CD4+CD25+ Treg cells protects recipient mice from lethal acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) induced by donor CD4+CD25- T cells. Here we examined the differential effect of CD62L+ and CD62L- subsets of CD4+CD25+ Treg cells on aGVHD-related mortality. Both subpopulations showed the characteristic features of CD4+CD25+ Treg cells in vitro and did not induce aGVHD in vivo. However, in cotransfer with donor CD4+CD25- T cells, only the CD62L+ subset of CD4+CD25+ Treg cells prevented severe tissue damage to the colon and protected recipients from lethal aGVHD. Early after transplantation, a higher number of donor-type Treg cells accumulated in host mesenteric lymph node (LN) and spleen when CD4+CD25+CD62L+ Treg cells were transferred compared with the CD62L- subset. Subsequently, CD4+CD25+CD62L+ Treg cells showed a significantly higher capacity than their CD62L- counterpart to inhibit the expansion of donor CD4+CD25- T cells. The ability of Treg cells to efficiently enter the priming sites of pathogenic allo-reactive T cells appears to be a prerequisite for their protective function in aGVHD.

    View details for DOI 10.1182/blood-2004-05-2044

    View details for PubMedID 15546950

  • Fibrinogen-induced arthritis in mice as a novel model for rheumatoid arthritis. 5th Annual Meeting of the Federation-of-Clinical-Immunology-Societies Ho, P. P., Tomooka, B. H., Higgins, J. P., Lee, L. Y., Genovese, M., Robinson, W. H. ACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE. 2005: S32–S32
  • PAX5 protein expression in bladder tumors by tissue microarray immunohistochemistry 94th Annual Meeting of the United-States-and-Canadian-Academy-of-Pathology Jensen, K. C., Kaygusuz, G., Montgomery, K., van de Rijn, M., Higgins, J. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 2005: 148A–148A
  • The effect of soluble complement receptor type 1 on acute humoral xenograft rejection in hDAF-transgenic pig-to-primate life-supporting kidney xenografts XENOTRANSPLANTATION Lam, T. T., Hausen, B., Hook, L., Lau, M., Higgins, J., Christians, U., Jacobsen, W., Baluom, M., Duthaler, R., Katopodis, A., Chavez, G., Cozzi, E., Harrison, R., Schuurman, H. J., Borie, D., Morris, R. E. 2005; 12 (1): 20-29


    In pig-to-nonhuman primate solid organ xenotransplantation using organs from donors transgenic for human decay-accelerating factor (hDAF), the main type of rejection is antibody-mediated (acute humoral xenograft rejection, AHXR). This occurs despite the complement-regulatory function of the transgene, neutralization of natural antibodies to Galalpha1-3Gal (Gal) using soluble glycoconjugates, and chronic immunosuppression. As complement components play a major role in graft destruction after antibody binding, we evaluated the efficacy of chronic complement inhibition by soluble complement receptor type 1 (TP10).Life-supporting hDAF-transgenic kidney transplantation was performed in cynomolgus monkeys, using cyclophosphamide induction, and maintenance immunosuppression with cyclosporin A, mycophenolate sodium, and tapering steroids. Rejection was treated with bolus steroid injections: if not successful animals were terminated. Three groups were studied: in group 1 (n=4) GAS914 (a soluble glycoconjugate comprising Gal on a poly-L-lysine backbone) was added before and after transplantation; group 2 (n=2) received GAS914 as in group 1 and in addition TP10 before and after transplantation; in group 3 (n=4) GAS914 was only given before transplantation and TP10 as in group 2. Monitoring included the regular assessment of anti-porcine antibodies, complement activity (soluble C5b-9), therapeutic drug monitoring, and graft histology. Results: Survival in group 1 was 6, 12, 31 and 37 days, respectively, and in all four cases graft histology showed AHXR. The two animals in groups 2 survived 3 and 15 days, respectively, and similarly showed AHXR in graft histology. In group 3 two animals showed AHXR (10 and 37 days survival, respectively), and two others did not show AHXR (20 and 32 days survival, respectively). The diagnosis AHXR included the deposition of complement activation products in the graft, which were present at lower intensity in animals treated with TP10. In all animals GAS914 effectively neutralized circulating anti-Gal antibody. Antibodies were detectable in the circulation of all animals using porcine erythrocytes in a hemolytic assay, although at lower levels than before transplantation. Soluble C5b-9 was not detectable in the circulation of animals receiving TP10, and circulating TP10 concentrations in these animals were in a presumed pharmacologically active range.The inclusion of TP10 in the immunosuppressive protocol does not clearly lead to improved xenograft survival. Despite effective neutralization of anti-Gal antibodies and effective inhibition of systemic complement activity, AHXR was apparent in four of six animals under chronic TP10 treatment, including deposits of complement activation products in the graft. Apparently, effective systemic complement inhibition by TP10 in combination with local complement regulation by the hDAF transgene product does not necessarily result in effective inhibition of complement activation at locations in the xenograft upon binding of anti-porcine antibodies to the grafted endothelium.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1399-3089.2004.00184.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000225747500004

    View details for PubMedID 15598270

  • A DNA microarray survey of gene expression in normal human tissues GENOME BIOLOGY Shyamsundar, R., Kim, Y. H., Higgins, J. P., Montgomery, K., Jorden, M., Sethuraman, A., van de Rijn, M., Botstein, D., Brown, P. O., Pollack, J. R. 2005; 6 (3)


    Numerous studies have used DNA microarrays to survey gene expression in cancer and other disease states. Comparatively little is known about the genes expressed across the gamut of normal human tissues. Systematic studies of global gene-expression patterns, by linking variation in the expression of specific genes to phenotypic variation in the cells or tissues in which they are expressed, provide clues to the molecular organization of diverse cells and to the potential roles of the genes.Here we describe a systematic survey of gene expression in 115 human tissue samples representing 35 different tissue types, using cDNA microarrays representing approximately 26,000 different human genes. Unsupervised hierarchical cluster analysis of the gene-expression patterns in these tissues identified clusters of genes with related biological functions and grouped the tissue specimens in a pattern that reflected their anatomic locations, cellular compositions or physiologic functions. In unsupervised and supervised analyses, tissue-specific patterns of gene expression were readily discernable. By comparative hybridization to normal genomic DNA, we were also able to estimate transcript abundances for expressed genes.Our dataset provides a baseline for comparison to diseased tissues, and will aid in the identification of tissue-specific functions. In addition, our analysis identifies potential molecular markers for detection of injury to specific organs and tissues, and provides a foundation for selection of potential targets for selective anticancer therapy.

    View details for PubMedID 15774023

  • A transcriptional profile of aging in the human kidney PLOS BIOLOGY Rodwell, G. E., Sonu, R., Zahn, J. M., Lund, J., Wilhelmy, J., Wang, L. L., Xiao, W. Z., Mindrinos, M., Crane, E., Segal, E., Myers, B. D., Brooks, J. D., Davis, R. W., Higgins, J., Owen, A. B., Kim, S. K. 2004; 2 (12): 2191-2201


    In this study, we found 985 genes that change expression in the cortex and the medulla of the kidney with age. Some of the genes whose transcripts increase in abundance with age are known to be specifically expressed in immune cells, suggesting that immune surveillance or inflammation increases with age. The age-regulated genes show a similar aging profile in the cortex and the medulla, suggesting a common underlying mechanism for aging. Expression profiles of these age-regulated genes mark not only age, but also the relative health and physiology of the kidney in older individuals. Finally, the set of aging-regulated kidney genes suggests specific mechanisms and pathways that may play a role in kidney degeneration with age.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pbio.0020427

    View details for PubMedID 15562319

  • Hyperacute rejection of hDAF-transgenic pig organ xenografts in cynomolgus monkeys: influence of pre-existing anti-pig antibodies and prevention by the alpha GAL glycoconjugate GAS914 XENOTRANSPLANTATION Lam, T. T., Hausen, B., Boeke-Purkis, K., Paniagua, R., Lau, M., Hook, L., Berry, G., Higgins, J., Duthaler, R. O., Katopodis, A. G., Robbins, R., Reitz, B., Borie, D., Schuurman, H. J., Morris, R. E. 2004; 11 (6): 517-524


    Our introductory pig-to-cynomolgus monkey heart or kidney transplantation using organs from pigs transgenic for human decay-accelerating factor (hDAF), showed a high incidence of hyperacute rejection (HAR), which was ascribed to extraordinary high levels of anti-pig antibodies. We evaluated the efficacy of GAS914, a Gal alpha 1-3Gal trisaccharide linked to a poly-l-lysine backbone, in inhibition of HAR.hDAF transgenic heterotopic heart (n = 15) or life-supporting kidney (n = 8) transplantation included induction with cyclophosphamide or anti-thymocyte globulin, and maintenance with cyclosporine or tacrolimus, steroids and mycophenolate sodium/mofetil. Four doses of GAS914 were given before transplantation. Rejection was confirmed by graft histology, and anti-pig antibody levels were determined in various assays.Four of six heart transplants without GAS914 treatment showed HAR. Nine subsequent transplants with GAS914 pre-treatment, did not show HAR (chi-square, P < 0.05). Two of four kidney transplants without GAS914 treatment ended with HAR. Four subsequent transplants with GAS914 did not show HAR. Animals with HAR showed extremely high antibody levels. Samples just before transplantation showed significantly higher antibody levels in recipients presenting with HAR. In all assays antibody levels were significantly lowered by GAS914 pre-treatment.HAR of hDAF solid organs could be ascribed to high levels of anti-pig antibodies. It is hypothesized that the hDAF transgene shows a threshold in efficacy, above which an overwhelming attack by antibodies and complement activation cannot be modulated to prevent HAR. HAR does not occur when animals with lower levels are used, or when antibodies are effectively depleted from the circulation by GAS914 treatment.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1399-3089.2004.00173.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000224432900005

    View details for PubMedID 15479461

  • Novel endothelial cell markers in hepatocellular carcinoma MODERN PATHOLOGY Chen, X., Higgins, J., Cheung, S. T., Li, R., Mason, V., Montgomery, K., Fan, S. T., van de Rijn, M., So, S. 2004; 17 (10): 1198-1210


    Hepatocellular carcinoma is characterized by hypervascularity and a propensity for vascular invasion. Detailed analysis of complementary DNA (cDNA) microarray global gene expression data and further validation on a smaller independent sample set by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction established the presence of two endothelial gene clusters in hepatocellular carcinoma. Cluster I, consists of 20 cDNA clones, representing 15 unique genes. Cluster II consists of nine unique genes. The expression of the cluster I genes appeared to be significantly upregulated in hepatocellular carcinoma compared with normal liver, cirrhotic liver, or nontumor liver tissues adjacent to the hepatocellular carcinoma. The pattern of gene expression of cluster I genes correlated positively with the 'proliferation gene cluster' and 'stromal cells cluster 2'. Expression of cluster II genes, in contrast, was not significantly different between hepatocellular carcinoma and non-neoplastic liver tissues. Studies conducted to localize the protein products of these genes by immunohistochemical staining of tissue arrays with up to 350 cores of tissues, and by in situ hybridization led to the discovery of novel sinusoidal endothelial cell markers in hepatocellular carcinoma: podocalyxin-like and regulator of G protein signaling-5. Our results underscore fundamental differences not only between neoplastic vs non-neoplastic liver cells but also between the hepatic sinusoidal endothelium of hepatocellular carcinoma and normal liver.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/modpathol.3800167

    View details for Web of Science ID 000224094600004

    View details for PubMedID 15154008

  • Biochemical remission after resection of prostate cancer lung metastasis UROLOGY Chao, D. H., Higgins, J. P., Brooks, J. D. 2004; 63 (3)


    Once metastatic, prostate cancer was regarded as a systemic disease that is not amenable to surgical therapy. We present a case of a solitary pulmonary recurrence of prostate cancer after radical prostatectomy that was resected, resulting in 12 years of biochemical remission without additional therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.urology.2003.10.069

    View details for Web of Science ID 000220223500041

    View details for PubMedID 15028469

  • Gene expression in the normal adult human kidney assessed by complementary DNA microarray MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE CELL Higgins, J. P., Wang, L. L., Kambham, N., Montgomery, K., Mason, V., Vogelmann, S. U., Lemley, K. V., Brown, P. O., Brooks, J. D., van de Rijn, M. 2004; 15 (2): 649-656


    The kidney is a highly specialized organ with a complex, stereotyped architecture and a great diversity of functions and cell types. Because the microscopic organization of the nephron, the functional unit of the kidney, has a consistent relationship to the macroscopic anatomy of the kidney, knowledge of the characteristic patterns of gene expression in different compartments of the kidney could provide insight into the functions and functional organization of the normal nephron. We studied gene expression in dissected renal lobes of five adult human kidneys using cDNA microarrays representing approximately 30,000 different human genes. Total RNA was isolated from sections of the inner and outer cortex, inner and outer medulla, papillary tips, and renal pelvis and from glomeruli isolated by sieving. The results revealed unique and highly distinctive patterns of gene expression for glomeruli, cortex, medulla, papillary tips, and pelvic samples. Immunohistochemical staining using selected antisera confirmed differential expression of several cognate proteins and provided histological localization of expression within the nephron. The distinctive patterns of gene expression in discrete portions of the kidney may serve as a resource for further understanding of renal physiology and the molecular and cellular organization of the nephron.

    View details for DOI 10.1091/mbc.E03-06-0432

    View details for PubMedID 14657249

  • Gene expression profiling identifies clinically relevant subtypes of prostate cancer PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Lapointe, J., Li, C., Higgins, J. P., van de Rijn, M., Bair, E., Montgomery, K., Ferrari, M., Egevad, L., Rayford, W., Bergerheim, U., Ekman, P., DeMarzo, A. M., Tibshirani, R., Botstein, D., Brown, P. O., Brooks, J. D., Pollack, J. R. 2004; 101 (3): 811-816


    Prostate cancer, a leading cause of cancer death, displays a broad range of clinical behavior from relatively indolent to aggressive metastatic disease. To explore potential molecular variation underlying this clinical heterogeneity, we profiled gene expression in 62 primary prostate tumors, as well as 41 normal prostate specimens and nine lymph node metastases, using cDNA microarrays containing approximately 26,000 genes. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering readily distinguished tumors from normal samples, and further identified three subclasses of prostate tumors based on distinct patterns of gene expression. High-grade and advanced stage tumors, as well as tumors associated with recurrence, were disproportionately represented among two of the three subtypes, one of which also included most lymph node metastases. To further characterize the clinical relevance of tumor subtypes, we evaluated as surrogate markers two genes differentially expressed among tumor subgroups by using immunohistochemistry on tissue microarrays representing an independent set of 225 prostate tumors. Positive staining for MUC1, a gene highly expressed in the subgroups with "aggressive" clinicopathological features, was associated with an elevated risk of recurrence (P = 0.003), whereas strong staining for AZGP1, a gene highly expressed in the other subgroup, was associated with a decreased risk of recurrence (P = 0.0008). In multivariate analysis, MUC1 and AZGP1 staining were strong predictors of tumor recurrence independent of tumor grade, stage, and preoperative prostate-specific antigen levels. Our results suggest that prostate tumors can be usefully classified according to their gene expression patterns, and these tumor subtypes may provide a basis for improved prognostication and treatment stratification.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.0304146101

    View details for PubMedID 14711987

  • Prevention of organ allograft rejection by a specific Janus kinase 3 inhibitor SCIENCE Changelian, P. S., Flanagan, M. E., Ball, D. J., Kent, C. R., Magnuson, K. S., Martin, W. H., Rizzuti, B. J., Sawyer, P. S., Perry, B. D., Brissette, W. H., McCurdy, S. P., Kudlacz, E. M., Conklyn, M. J., Elliott, E. A., Koslov, E. R., Fisher, M. B., Strelevitz, T. J., Yoon, K., Whipple, D. A., Sun, J. M., Munchhof, M. J., Doty, J. L., Casavant, J. M., Blumenkopf, T. A., Hines, M., Brown, M. F., Lillie, B. M., Subramanyam, C., Shang-Poa, C., MILICI, A. J., Beckius, G. E., Moyer, J. D., Su, C. Y., Woodworth, T. G., Gaweco, A. S., Beals, C. R., Littman, B. H., Fisher, D. A., Smith, J. F., Zagouras, P., Magna, H. A., Saltarelli, M. J., Johnson, K. S., Nelms, L. F., Des Etages, S. G., Hayes, L. S., Kawabata, T. T., Finco-Kent, D., Baker, D. L., Larson, M., Si, M. S., Paniagua, R., Higgins, J., Holm, B., Reitz, B., Zhou, Y. J., Morris, R. E., O'Shea, J. J., Borie, D. C. 2003; 302 (5646): 875-878


    Because of its requirement for signaling by multiple cytokines, Janus kinase 3 (JAK3) is an excellent target for clinical immunosuppression. We report the development of a specific, orally active inhibitor of JAK3, CP-690,550, that significantly prolonged survival in a murine model of heart transplantation and in cynomolgus monkeys receiving kidney transplants. CP-690,550 treatment was not associated with hypertension, hyperlipidemia, or lymphoproliferative disease. On the basis of these preclinical results, we believe JAK3 blockade by CP-690,550 has potential for therapeutically desirable immunosuppression in human organ transplantation and in other clinical settings.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000186258000052

    View details for PubMedID 14593182

  • Common lymphoid progenitors rapidly engraft and protect against lethal murine cytomegalovirus infection after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation BLOOD Arber, C., Bitmansour, A., Sparer, T. E., Higgins, J. P., Mocarski, E. S., Weissman, I. L., Shizuru, J. A., Brown, J. M. 2003; 102 (2): 421-428


    Lymphoid deficiency after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) results in increased susceptibility to infection; however, transplantation of mature lymphocytes frequently results in a serious complication known as graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Here we demonstrate in mice that both congenic as well as allogeneic transplantation of low numbers of highly purified common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs)-a rare population of lymphoid-lineage-committed bone marrow cells-accelerates immune reconstitution after lethal irradiation and rescue with hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). After congenic transplantation, 3 x 10(3) CLPs protected against murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) infection at a level roughly equivalent to 107 unfractionated lymph node cells. In the allogeneic model of matched unrelated donor HSC transplantation, cotransplantation of 3 x 10(3) CLPs protected thymus-bearing as well as thymectomized hosts from MCMV infection and attenuated disease severity. Immunohistochemistry in combination with antibody depletion of T and natural killer (NK) cells confirmed that CLP-derived as well as residual host lymphocytes contribute to antiviral protection. Importantly, transplantation of allogeneic CLPs provided a durable antiviral immunity without inducing GVHD. These data support the potential for composing grafts with committed progenitors to reduce susceptibility to viral infection following HCT.

    View details for DOI 10.1182/blood-2002-12-3834

    View details for Web of Science ID 000184083500010

    View details for PubMedID 12663447

  • Treatment with humanized monoclonal antibodies against CD80 and CD86 combined with sirolimus prolongs renal allograft survival in cynomolgus monkeys TRANSPLANTATION Birsan, T., Hausen, B., Higgins, J. P., Hubble, R. W., Klupp, J., Stalder, M., Celniker, A., Friedrich, S., O'Hara, R. M., Morris, R. E. 2003; 75 (12): 2106-2113


    Co-stimulatory blockade has been shown to prolong allograft survival in different transplant models. We investigated the effect of combining humanized anti-CD80 and anti-CD86 monoclonal antibodies (mAb) with sirolimus in cynomolgus monkey renal transplant recipients.After renal transplantation, groups of four animals were treated daily with sirolimus, sirolimus and nine weekly doses of mAb, two weekly doses of mAb, or sirolimus and two weekly doses of mAb.Survival was significantly better in monkeys treated with the combination of sirolimus and mAb when compared with treatment with either agent alone (P=0.0067 by log-rank analysis). When combined with sirolimus, nine weekly doses of mAb did not result in an additional survival benefit compared with only two mAb doses (P=0.74). None of the treatment regimens used in this study resulted in development of transplantation tolerance.Sirolimus can be successfully combined with humanized mAb against CD80 and CD86. Induction with a short course of mAb is effective in prolonging allograft survival in combination with sirolimus.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/01.TP.0000066806.10029.7A

    View details for Web of Science ID 000183910400033

    View details for PubMedID 12829920

  • Host conditioning with total lymphoid irradiation and antithymocyte globulin prevents graft-versus-host disease: The role of CD1-reactive natural killer T cells BIOLOGY OF BLOOD AND MARROW TRANSPLANTATION Lan, F. S., Zeng, D. F., Higuchi, M., Higgins, J. P., Strober, S. 2003; 9 (6): 355-363


    Our previous studies in mice showed that the nonmyeloablative conditioning regimen of fractionated irradiation of the lymphoid tissues (total lymphoid irradiation; TLI) and depletive anti-T-cell antibodies (anti-thymocyte serum) markedly increased the percentage of regulatory DX5+ and natural killer 1.1+ T cells in the mouse spleen, and prevented acute lethal graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in BALB/c mice (H-2(d)) following the transplantation of bone marrow (BM) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from C57BL/6 (H-2(b)) donors. The object of the current study was to determine whether the TLI and anti-thymocyte serum regimen protected natural killer T-cell deficient CD1(-/-) BALB/c mice against GVHD after BM and PBMC transplantation from C57BL/6 donors, and whether a similar conditioning regimen of TLI and anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG) can prevent GVHD in Lewis rat (RT1(l)) hosts after BM and PBMC transplantation from ACI rat (RT1(a)) donors. The experimental results in mice showed that, although wild-type BALB/c hosts are protected in association with a marked increase in CD1- reactive T cells expressing the invariant TCR identified with a CD1 tetramer reagent; CD1(-/-) BALB/c hosts are not. Studies of chimeric donor cells in mice protected from GVHD showed donor T-cell polarization to a Th2 cytokine pattern. Results in rats showed that approximately 1000 fold more donor PBMC cells were required to induce a similar incidence of lethal GVHD in TLI and ATG conditioned hosts as compared with hosts conditioned with single-dose total-body irradiation or total-body irradiation and ATG. Surviving TLI and ATG conditioned rat hosts were complete chimeras. In conclusion, the TLI and ATG/anti-thymocyte serum conditioning regimen protects against GVHD in rats and mice, and regulatory natural killer T cells are required for protection.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/S1083-8791(03)00108-3

    View details for Web of Science ID 000183955700001

    View details for PubMedID 12813443

  • Distribution of monoclonal antiferritin antibody in Kaposi's sarcoma, Hodgkin's disease, and hepatocellular carcinoma HUMAN PATHOLOGY Yuen, A. R., Higgins, J. P., Baker, R., Kamel, O. W., Warnke, R. A., Knox, S. J. 2003; 34 (4): 381-384


    The immunotherapeutic treatment of cancers using antibodies (naked or conjugated to a drug, toxin, or radionuclide) relies upon the preferential expression of a targeted antigen on the cancer cell compared to normal tissues. Polyclonal antiferritin antisera have shown selective distribution and therapeutic efficacy when radiolabeled in Hodgkin's disease and hepatoma. In this immunohistochemical study, we investigated the distribution of ferritin in tumors from 6 patients with Kaposi's sarcoma, 12 patients with Hodkgin's disease, and 9 patients with hepatoma, as well as in selected normal tissues. We found that the monoclonal antiferritin antibody binds primarily to histiocytes in samples from Kaposi's sarcoma and Hodgkin's disease. One hepatocellular carcinoma showed diffuse cytoplasmic staining with ferritin. Deposition of the monoclonal antibody was not detectable in the remaining hepatocellular carcinoma samples.

    View details for DOI 10.1053/hupa.2003.62

    View details for Web of Science ID 000182556800014

    View details for PubMedID 12733120

  • Gene expression patterns in renal cell carcinoma assessed by complementary DNA microarray AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PATHOLOGY Higgins, J. P., Shinghal, R., Gill, H., Reese, J. H., Terris, M., Cohen, R. J., Fero, M., Pollack, J. R., van de Rijn, M., Brooks, J. D. 2003; 162 (3): 925-932


    Renal cell carcinoma comprises several histological types with different clinical behavior. Accurate pathological characterization is important in the clinical management of these tumors. We describe gene expression profiles in 41 renal tumors determined by using DNA microarrays containing 22,648 unique cDNAs representing 17,083 different UniGene Clusters, including 7230 characterized human genes. Differences in the patterns of gene expression among the different tumor types were readily apparent; hierarchical cluster analysis of the tumor samples segregated histologically distinct tumor types solely based on their gene expression patterns. Conventional renal cell carcinomas with clear cells showed a highly distinctive pattern of gene expression. Papillary carcinomas formed a tightly clustered group, as did tumors arising from the distal nephron and the normal kidney samples. Surprisingly, conventional renal cell carcinomas with granular cytoplasm were heterogeneous, and did not resemble any of the conventional carcinomas with clear cytoplasm in their pattern of gene expression. Characterization of renal cell carcinomas based on gene expression patterns provides a revised classification of these tumors and has the potential to supply significant biological and clinical insights.

    View details for PubMedID 12598325

  • Expression of FKBP12 in benign and malignant vascular endothelium - An immunohistochemical study on conventional sections and tissue microarrays AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SURGICAL PATHOLOGY Higgins, J. P., Montgomery, K., Wang, L. L., Domanay, E., Warnke, R. A., Brooks, J. D., van de Rijn, M. 2003; 27 (1): 58-64


    FKBP12 is a cytosolic FK506 binding protein that interacts with calcineurin and thereby mediates the immunosuppressive effects of FK506. Because initial immunohistochemical staining showed abundant expression of FKBP12 in vascular endothelial cells, we evaluated whether it could serve as a marker for vascular neoplasms. We performed immunohistochemical staining of conventional sections from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue from 59 benign and malignant vascular neoplasms using a polyclonal rabbit antiserum against FKBP12. Western blot analysis of tissue from 6 angiosarcomas showed a single band at 12 kD, consistent with the published molecular weight for the FKBP12 protein. Together, CD31, CD34, and FKBP12 identified all 59 vascular neoplasms in this study. Specificity of immunohistochemical staining was assessed on 1,321 tissues represented on 7 tissue microarrays. All proteins were occasionally expressed in non-vascular tissue. Six of 8 vascular neoplasms represented on the arrays stained for FKBP12, as did normal vessels in numerous cores. The polyclonal antiserum shows comparable sensitivity (94.9%) and specificity (96.5%) to CD34 and CD31 and may be a useful additional marker for vascular differentiation. Because we have evaluated a large number of tissues by tissue microarray, we anticipate that our estimate of the specificity of immunostaining for FKBP12 as a marker for vascular endothelium will be accurate. In addition, our findings may explain the toxic effects of FK506 on vascular endothelium of the kidney.

    View details for PubMedID 12502928

  • Gene expression patterns in human liver cancers MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE CELL Chen, X., Cheung, S. T., So, S., Fan, S. T., Barry, C., Higgins, J., Lai, K. M., Ji, J. F., Dudoit, S., Ng, I. O., van de Rijn, M., Botstein, D., Brown, P. O. 2002; 13 (6): 1929-1939


    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a leading cause of death worldwide. Using cDNA microarrays to characterize patterns of gene expression in HCC, we found consistent differences between the expression patterns in HCC compared with those seen in nontumor liver tissues. The expression patterns in HCC were also readily distinguished from those associated with tumors metastatic to liver. The global gene expression patterns intrinsic to each tumor were sufficiently distinctive that multiple tumor nodules from the same patient could usually be recognized and distinguished from all the others in the large sample set on the basis of their gene expression patterns alone. The distinctive gene expression patterns are characteristic of the tumors and not the patient; the expression programs seen in clonally independent tumor nodules in the same patient were no more similar than those in tumors from different patients. Moreover, clonally related tumor masses that showed distinct expression profiles were also distinguished by genotypic differences. Some features of the gene expression patterns were associated with specific phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of the tumors, including growth rate, vascular invasion, and p53 overexpression.

    View details for DOI 10.1091/mbc.02-02-0023

    View details for PubMedID 12058060

  • Unique patterns of surface receptors, cytokine secretion, and immune functions distinguish T cells in the bone marrow from those in the periphery: impact on allogeneic bone marrow transplantation BLOOD Zeng, D. F., Hoffmann, P., Lan, F. S., Huie, P., Higgins, J., Strober, S. 2002; 99 (4): 1449-1457


    The "conventional" NK1.1(-) T cells from mouse blood and marrow were compared with regard to surface receptors, cytokine secretion, and function. Most blood NK1.1(-) CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells expressed the naive CD44(int/lo)CD62L(hi)CD45RB(hi) T-cell phenotype typical of those in the peripheral lymphoid tissues. In contrast, most marrow NK1.1(-) CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells expressed an unusual CD44(hi)CD62L(hi)CD45RB(hi) phenotype. The blood NK1.1(-) CD4(+) T cells had a naive T-helper cytokine profile and a potent capacity to induce lethal graft versus host (GVH) disease in a C57BL/6 donor to a BALB/c host bone marrow transplantation model. In contrast, the marrow NK1.1(-) CD4(+) T cells had a Th0 cytokine profile and failed to induce lethal GVH disease, even at 20-fold higher numbers than those from the blood. NK1.1(-) CD8(+) T cells from the blood but not the marrow induced lethal GVH disease. Nevertheless, the marrow NK1.1(-) CD8(+) T cells induced potent antitumor activity that was augmented by marrow NK1.1(-) CD4(+) T cells and facilitated hematopoietic progenitor engraftment. The inability of marrow CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells to induce GVH disease was associated with their inability to expand in the blood and gut of allogeneic recipients. Because neither the purified marrow CD4(+) or CD8(+) T cells induced GVH disease, their unique features are desirable for inclusion in allogeneic bone marrow or hematopoietic progenitor transplants.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000173787600050

    View details for PubMedID 11830499

  • Maintenance and recovery stages of postischemic acute renal failure in humans AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-RENAL PHYSIOLOGY Ramaswamy, D., Corrigan, G., Polhemus, C., Boothroyd, D., Scandling, J., Sommer, F. G., Alfrey, E., Higgins, J., Deen, W. M., Olshen, R., Myers, B. D. 2002; 282 (2): F271-F280


    Postischemic injury in 38 recipients of 7-day-old cadaveric renal allografts was classified into sustained (n = 15) or recovering (n = 23) acute renal failure (ARF) according to the prevailing inulin clearance. Recipients of long-standing allografts that functioned optimally (n = 16) and living transplant donors undergoing nephrectomy (n = 10) served as functional and structural controls, respectively. A combination of physiological and morphometric techniques were used to evaluate glomerular filtration rate and its determinants 1-3 h after reperfusion and again on day 7 to elucidate the mechanism for persistent hypofiltration in ARF that is sustained. Glomerular filtration rate in the sustained ARF group on day 7 was depressed by 90% (mean +/- SD); the corresponding fall in renal plasma flow was proportionately less. Neither plasma oncotic pressure nor the single-nephron ultrafiltration coefficient differed between the sustained ARF and the control group, however. A model of glomerular ultrafiltration and a sensitivity analysis were used to compute the prevailing transcapillary hydraulic pressure gradient (DeltaP), the only remaining determinant of DeltaP. This revealed that DeltaP varied between 27 and 28 mmHg in sustained ARF and 32-38 mmHg in recovering ARF on day 7 vs. 47-54 mmHg in controls. Sustained ARF was associated with persistent tubular dilatation. We conclude that depression of DeltaP, perhaps due partially to elevated tubule pressure, is the predominant cause of hypofiltration in the maintenance stage of ARF that is sustained for 7 days.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000173348100011

    View details for PubMedID 11788441

  • Expression of FKBP12 in benign and malignant vascular endothelium: An immunohistochemical study using conventional sections and tissue microarrays Higgins, J. P., Montgomery, K., Wang, L., Brooks, J. D., van de Rijn, M. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 2002: 16A–16A
  • Long-term plasmapheresis and protein A column treatment of recurrent FSGS PEDIATRIC NEPHROLOGY Belson, A., Yorgin, P. D., Al-Uzri, A. Y., Salvatierra, O., Higgins, J., Alexander, S. R. 2001; 16 (12): 985-989


    Transient or intermittent plasmapheresis with concurrent immunosuppressive therapy is thought to be beneficial in the treatment of recurrent focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) in the early post-transplant period. The results of long-term (6-year) plasmapheresis therapy, in a 9-year-old female with an immediate recurrence of FSGS [urinary protein/urinary creatinine (UP/UC)=17.7] after cadaveric renal transplant, are presented. A 4-week plasmapheresis course induced a decline in the proteinuria, but a relapse occurred after cessation of plasmapheresis. Addition of protein A column therapy led to a further decrease in the proteinuria, to a non-nephrotic range. Long-term control of the nephrotic syndrome was established using a chronic treatment regimen consisting of a single-volume plasmapheresis, followed by a protein A column treatment, performed on sequential days every 3-4 weeks. Mean UP/UC values decreased to 1.15+/-0.9. A course of cyclophosphamide was successfully used to control a worsening of proteinuria 4 years post transplant. Although sequential renal biopsies demonstrated progressive glomerular sclerosis, the patient's mean calculated creatinine clearance only modestly declined from 78.3 ml/min per 1.73 m2, at the time of transplantation, to 62.7 ml/min per 1.73 m2, 6 years later. This patient demonstrated dependence on plasmapheresis/protein A column therapy to maintain a clinical remission of her FSGS recurrence. While long-term plasmapheresis and protein A column therapy in combination with immunosuppressive therapy reversed the effects of uncontrolled nephrosis and possibly facilitated long-term renal allograft survival, the glomerular sclerosis continued to progress.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000173174300008

    View details for PubMedID 11793085

  • Ovarian non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: A clinicopathologic study of eight primary cases MODERN PATHOLOGY Vang, R., Medeiros, L. J., Warnke, R. A., Higgins, J. P., Deavers, M. T. 2001; 14 (11): 1093-1099


    Primary (localized) non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) of the ovary is rare. We studied eight cases of primary ovarian NHL to better understand the clinicopathologic and immunophenotypic features of these tumors. The patients ranged in age from 29 to 62 years (mean 47 years). Pelvic complaints were the most common symptoms; however, three of eight neoplasms were discovered incidentally. All tumors were unilateral and Ann Arbor stage I(E). The three incidental NHL were microscopic (largest 1.2 cm), whereas the grossly evident lesions ranged from 7.5 to 20 cm (mean 13.3). Each tumor was classified according to the World Health Organization Classification as follows: diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (three cases), follicular lymphoma (two cases), Burkitt lymphoma (one case), T-cell anaplastic large cell lymphoma (one case), and precursor T-lymphoblastic lymphoma (one case). Six tumors were of B-cell lineage, and two tumors were of T-cell lineage. All three diffuse large B-cell lymphomas were positive for BCL-6, two were positive for CD10, and two were positive for BCL-2. Estrogen and progesterone receptors were negative in all NHLs assessed. Patients were treated by various combinations of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. Clinical follow-up ranged from 1.3 to 11.7 years (mean 5.2) and all patients were alive without disease at last follow-up. We conclude that most patients with primary ovarian NHL present with symptoms attributable to an ovarian mass, but in a subset of patients ovarian NHL may be detected incidentally. With appropriate therapy, patients appear to have a favorable prognosis although follow-up is short for some patients in this study.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000172160400004

    View details for PubMedID 11706069

  • Coadministration of either cyclosporine or steroids with humanized monoclonal antibodies against CD80 and CD86 successfully prolong allograft survival after life supporting renal transplantation in cynomolgus monkeys TRANSPLANTATION Hausen, B., Klupp, J., Christians, U., Higgins, J. P., Baumgartner, R. E., Hook, L. E., Friedrich, S., Celnicker, A., Morris, R. E. 2001; 72 (6): 1128-1137


    Recent studies have shown some efficacy using monotherapy with monoclonal antibodies (mAb) against CD80 and CD86 receptors after life-supporting renal transplantation in non-human primates. Our study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of combinations of the same mAbs with either microemulsion cyclosporine (CsA) or steroids.Unilateral renal transplantation was performed in 16 blood group-matched and MLR-mismatched cynomolgus monkeys that were assigned to four different treatment groups. All monkeys in groups I, II, and IV were treated with the combination of a CD80 (h1F1) and CD86 (h3D1) mAb given at 20 mg/kg each preoperatively, then 5 mg/kg at weekly intervals starting postoperative (po) day 0 until poday 56 (9 doses). In group I the animals (n=4) were treated with mAbs only. In group II (n=4) mAbs were combined with a CsA regimen adjusted daily to maintain target 24 hr trough levels of 150-300 ng/ml CsA for poday 0 to poday 56. In group III (n=4) the animals received CsA monotherapy according to the same regimen as group II. In group IV methylprednisone was administered at 2 mg/kg IV on poday 0-2, then at 0.5 mg/kg/day prednisone per gavage that was and tapered to 0.2 mg/kg/day on which they were maintained until poday 56. All animals were off all immunosuppressive treatment after poday 56 and were then followed until poday 119.The mean survival of groups I-IV was 74 (range 9-119 days), 113 (96-119 days), 39 (22-71 days), and 79 days (6 to 119), respectively. All animals in group I showed clinical evidence of acute severe rejection (fever, creatinine increase, anuria) within the first week posttransplant, including those that retained renal function until poday 119. Only one animal in group II had a moderate clinical rejection during the treatment period and three of four animals survived the intended follow-up period. All animals in group III had multiple biopsy proven or severe clinical rejection episodes within the first 21 days and only one animal survived beyond poday 40. Moderate or severe acute rejection was diagnosed in three of four animals of group IV within the first 28 days post transplant and only one animal survived until poday 119.Our data show that combining a calcineurin inhibitor or prednisone with mAbs designed to block costimulatory signals does not antagonize the immunosuppressive efficacy of these mAbs. In addition, combining CsA with mAbs directed against the CD80 and CD86 receptors significantly prolongs graft survival when compared to CsA monotherapy. Therefore clinical trials of humanized mAbs to CD80 and CD86 used in combination with conventional immunosuppression can be considered.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000171239500025

    View details for PubMedID 11579312

  • Predominance of NK1.1(+)TCR alpha beta(+) or DX5(+)TCR alpha beta(+) T cells in mice conditioned with fractionated lymphoid irradiation protects against graft-versus-host disease: "Natural suppressor" cells JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY Lan, F. S., Zeng, D. F., Higuchi, M., Huie, P., Higgins, J. P., Strober, S. 2001; 167 (4): 2087-2096


    We developed a nonmyeloablative host conditioning regimen in a mouse model of MHC-mismatched bone marrow transplantation that not only reduces radiation toxicity, but also protects against graft-vs-host disease. The regimen of fractionated irradiation directed to the lymphoid tissues and depletive anti-T cell Abs results in a marked change in the residual host T cells, such that NK1.1+ or DX5+asialo-GM1+ T cells become the predominant T cell subset in the lymphoid tissues of C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice, respectively. The latter "natural suppressor" T cells protect hosts from graft-vs-host disease after the infusion of allogeneic bone marrow and peripheral blood cells that ordinarily kill hosts conditioned with sublethal or lethal total body irradiation. Protected hosts become stable mixed chimeras, but fail to show the early expansion and infiltration of donor T cells in the gut, liver, and blood associated with host tissue injury. Cytokine secretion and adoptive transfer studies using wild-type and IL-4(-/-) mice showed that protection afforded by NK1.1+ and DX5+asialo-GM1+ T cells derived from either donors or hosts conditioned with lymphoid irradiation is dependent on their secretion of high levels of IL-4.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000170949600034

    View details for PubMedID 11489992

  • Apoptosis and allograft rejection in the absence of CD8(+) T cells TRANSPLANTATION Ogura, Y., Martinez, O. M., Villanueva, J. C., Tait, J. F., Strauss, H. W., Higgins, J. P., Tanaka, K., Esquivel, C. O., Blankenberg, F. G., Krams, S. M. 2001; 71 (12): 1827-1834


    The requirement for cytotoxic T lymphocytes during allograft rejection is controversial. We previously demonstrated that CD8+ T cells are not necessary for allograft rejection or for the induction of apoptosis in rat small intestinal transplantation. In this study, we examined the mechanisms of apoptosis and rejection after liver transplantation in the absence of CD8+ T cells.Either Lewis or dark agouti rat liver grafts were transplanted into Lewis recipients to create syngeneic and allogeneic combinations. CD8+ T cells were depleted in an additional allogeneic group by treatment with OX-8 mAb on day -1 and day 1 after liver transplant.Apoptosis and rejection were observed in both the CD8+ T cell-depleted allogeneic and allogeneic grafts by hematoxylin and eosin staining, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling staining, and radiolabeled-annexin V in vivo imaging. Granzyme B and FasL were expressed in all allogeneic transplants, including those depleted of CD8+ T cells, indicating that a mononuclear cell other than a CD8+ T cell can be the source of these molecules during allograft rejection. Activation of the caspase cascade was detected in all rejecting allografts. Caspases 3, 8, and 9 were activated at similar significantly elevated levels in both allogeneic and CD8+ T cell-depleted liver grafts.These data indicate that in the absence of CD8+ T cells an alternative pathway, associated with granzyme B and FasL expression and activation of the caspase cascade, can mediate apoptosis and graft rejection.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000169753800020

    View details for PubMedID 11455265

  • Pulse methylprednisolone, cyclosporine, and ACE inhibitor therapy decreases proteinuria in two siblings with familial focal segmental glomerulosclerosis AMERICAN JOURNAL OF KIDNEY DISEASES Yorgin, P. D., Belson, A., Higgins, J., Alexander, S. R. 2001; 37 (6)


    Familial focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is a heterogeneous renal disease characterized by proteinuria and an unremitting deterioration of renal excretory function. Previous studies showed corticosteroid unresponsiveness and a variable response to cyclophosphamide therapy. We hypothesized that treatment with pulse methylprednisolone therapy (PMT), alternate-day corticosteroids, and cyclosphosphamide or cyclosporine would decrease proteinuria in patients with familial FSGS. Two adolescent brothers, 13 and 16 years old, presented with nephrotic range proteinuria, but with normal renal excretory function. Both brothers had renal biopsies that showed FSGS with mesangial hypercellularity and tubular atrophy. Intravenous PMT, at doses of 1 g, was initiated per the Tune-Mendoza protocol. Both patients received lisinopril therapy. One brother (case 1) was treated with PMT, alternate-day corticosteroids, and cyclophosphamide (total cumulative cyclophosphamide dose was 154.3 mg/kg). Urinary protein-to-urinary creatinine (UP/UC) ratios decreased from 6.79 to 3.79. Cyclosporine therapy decreased the UP/UC further from 2.48 to 0.76 at the end of PMT. The other brother (case 2), treated with PMT, alternate-day corticosteroids, and cyclosporine, experienced a decrease in UP/UC from 7.27 to 1.14. At the time of last evaluation, approximately 7 months after the last PMT dose, the UP/UC ratios were 0.27 (case 1) and 0.37 (case 2). PMT-attributable adverse effects were not severe. Both patients continued to receive oral cyclosporine and lisinopril after completion of PMT. PMT and cyclosporine therapy may reduce proteinuria, without decreasing renal excretory function, in some patients with familial FSGS. Further evaluation of cyclosporine therapy and PMT of patients with familial FSGS is warranted.

    View details for DOI 10.1053/ajkd.2001.24544

    View details for Web of Science ID 000169729400001

    View details for PubMedID 11382715

  • Allogeneic bone marrow cells that facilitate complete chimerism and eliminate tumor cells express both CD8 and T-cell antigen receptor-alpha beta BLOOD Lan, F. S., Zeng, D. F., Huie, P., Higgins, J. P., Strober, S. 2001; 97 (11): 3458-3465


    Nonmyeloablative host conditioning regimens have been used in clinical allogeneic bone marrow and hematopoietic progenitor transplantation to effectively treat lymphohematopoietic tumors and reduce early toxicity. However, severe graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) remains a major problem. The goal of the current study was to determine whether specific subsets of cells in allogeneic bone marrow transplants can effectively treat the BCL(1) B-cell lymphoma in nonmyeloablated BALB/c mouse hosts given a single dose of sublethal (450 cGy) total body irradiation, without inducing severe GVHD. The experimental results show that high doses of whole bone marrow cells from major histocompatiblity complex (MHC)-mismatched donors eliminate both normal and malignant host-type lymphohematopoietic cells without causing injury to nonlymphohematopoietic host tissues. The CD8(+)T-cell antigen receptor-alphabeta+ (TCRalphabeta+) T cells within the marrow transplants mediated the killing of the tumor cells via both perforin- and FasL-dependent pathways. Cells present in marrow transplants from either CD8-/- or TCRalpha-/- donors failed to eliminate malignant and normal host lymphohematopoietic cells. Addition of small numbers of blood mononuclear cells to the marrow inoculum caused lethal GVHD. Thus, the resident allogeneic bone marrow CD8(+) TCRalphabeta+ T cells had the unique capacity to eliminate the host lymphohematopoietic cells without nonlymphohematopoietic tissue injury. (Blood. 2001;97:3458-3465)

    View details for Web of Science ID 000168927900020

    View details for PubMedID 11369637

  • Genetic analysis of a papillary thyroid carcinoma in a patient with MEN1 ANNALS OF SURGICAL ONCOLOGY Desai, D., McPherson, L. A., Higgins, J. P., Weigel, R. J. 2001; 8 (4): 342-346


    MENI is an inherited tumor syndrome characterized by the development of tumors of the parathyroid, the anterior pituitary and the pancreatic islets. Tumors of these endocrine glands in MEN1 patients demonstrate loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at the locus of the MEN1 tumor suppressor gene. Menin, the protein encoded by the MEN1 gene, is ubiquitously expressed in endocrine tissue, and less commonly these patients can present with tumors of other endocrine tissues, including thyroid and adrenal. We hypothesize that MEN1 gene mutation may be involved in the oncogenesis of other less common tumors.We report a MEN1 patient who was found to have metastatic papillary thyroid cancer at the time of neck exploration for hyperparathyroidism. Genetic analysis of tumor tissue was performed using one intragenic (D11S4946) and two flanking (D11S4945 and D11S4940) polymorphic markers.Two of the markers were informative. Consistent with previous studies, there was LOH in the parathyroid adenoma identified with the intragenic marker D11S4946. However, the papillary cancer was found to be heterozygous at two informative markers.The lack of obvious LOH of the MEN1 locus in the papillary cancer suggests that, in contrast to parathyroid adenoma, deletion of the MEN1 tumor suppressor gene is not etiologically related to the oncogenesis of the papillary cancer in this patient.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000168532700011

    View details for PubMedID 11352308

  • Peripheral T-cell lymphoma complicated by a proliferation of large B cells 88th Annual Meeting of the United-States-and-Canadian-Academy-of-Pathology Higgins, J. P., van de Rijn, M., Jones, C. D., Zehnder, J. L., Warnke, R. A. AMER SOC CLINICAL PATHOLOGY. 2000: 236–47


    We studied 14 cases that showed a morphologic appearance of peripheral T-cell lymphoma and contained substantial numbers of CD20+ large B cells. In all but 2 cases, the CD20+ large cells showed a mix of kappa and lambda light chain expression. Two cases showed a focal predominance of kappa expression. In situ hybridization using the EBER1 probe for detection of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) RNA was performed on every case. EBV RNA was present in 10 cases. Of 8 cases with EBV RNA stained by immunohistochemistry for the latent membrane protein of EBV, 6 were positive. Double-labeling immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization confirmed that EBV was present in the large B cells. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis showed a clonal rearrangement of the T-cell receptor (TCR)-gamma chain gene in 12 of 13 cases tested. One additional case showed a clonal rearrangement of the TCR-beta chain gene by Southern blot hybridization. PCR analysis showed a clonal immunoglobulin gene rearrangement in 5 cases, a suggestion of a clonal rearrangement in 1, an oligoclonal pattern in 4, and a polyclonal pattern in 4. The finding of large B and T cells may result in a misdiagnosis of a reactive process or of T-cell-rich B-cell lymphoma. The presence of EBV in some cases could cause further confusion with the reactive T- and B-immunoblastic proliferation of infectious mononucleosis.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000088460700010

    View details for PubMedID 10941339

  • Large B-cell lymphoma of thyroid - Two cases with a marginal zone distribution of the neoplastic cells AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PATHOLOGY Higgins, J. P., Warnke, R. A. 2000; 114 (2): 264-270


    We report 2 cases of B-cell lymphoma of the thyroid in which although a marginal zone distribution of the neoplastic cells was present, the cytologic features of the cells indicated large cell lymphoma. One of the cases showed an accumulation of crystalline inclusions within the cytoplasm of the neoplastic cells. Many of these inclusion-bearing cells showed plasmacytoid features. By immunohistochemical studies performed on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue, both of the cases showed a B-cell phenotype as indicated by CD20 expression, and 1 showed kappa light chain restriction. In both cases, Ki-67 staining corroborated the impression of an aggressive neoplasm with staining of 50% and 90% of the tumor cells. Both patients received cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone with radiation therapy, and both are without evidence of disease after 17 and 18 months of follow-up. It is important to recognize this pattern of large B-cell lymphoma of the thyroid gland. While the indolent course typical of most low-grade extranodal marginal zone lymphomas is not likely in these cases, the outcome may be favorable if patients are treated aggressively with therapy for large cell lymphoma.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000088460700013

    View details for PubMedID 10941342

  • Radiolabeled annexin V imaging: Diagnosis of allograft rejection in an experimental rodent model of liver transplantation RADIOLOGY Ogura, Y., Krams, S. M., Martinez, O. M., Kopiwoda, S., Higgins, J. P., Esquivel, C. O., Strauss, H. W., Tait, J. F., Blankenberg, F. G. 2000; 214 (3): 795-800


    To assess the value of imaging rejection-induced apoptosis with technetium 99m and annexin V, a human protein-based radiopharmaceutical used in the diagnosis of acute rejection of a liver transplant, in a well-characterized rodent model of orthotopic liver transplantation.99mTc-radiolabeled annexin V was intravenously administered to six allografted (immunologically mismatched) and five isografted (immunologically matched) recipient rats on days 2, 4, and 7 after orthotopic liver transplantation. Animals were imaged 1 hour after injection of 0.2-2.0 mCi (8.0-74.0 MBq) of radiolabeled annexin V by use of clinical nuclear scintigraphic equipment.All animals in the allografted group demonstrated marked increases of 55% and 97% above the activity in the isografted group in hepatic uptake of annexin V on days 4 and 7, respectively. Severe acute rejection was histologically detected in all allografted livers on day 7. There was no histologic evidence of acute rejection in isografted animals. Dynamic hepatobiliary imaging with 99mTc and mebrofenin, an iminodiacetic acid derivative, demonstrated no correlation with the presence or absence of acute rejection or with annexin V uptake.Noninvasive imaging with radiolabeled annexin V is more sensitive and specific than imaging with 99mTc-mebrofenin in the diagnosis of acute rejection of a liver transplant.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000085478800029

    View details for PubMedID 10715048

  • IQGAP1 and calmodulin modulate E-cadherin function JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Li, Z. G., Kim, S. H., Higgins, J. M., Brenner, M. B., Sacks, D. B. 1999; 274 (53): 37885-37892


    Ca(2+)-dependent cell-cell adhesion is mediated by the cadherin family of transmembrane proteins. Adhesion is achieved by homophilic interaction of the extracellular domains of cadherins on adjacent cells, with the cytoplasmic regions serving to couple the complex to the cytoskeleton. IQGAP1, a novel RasGAP-related protein that interacts with the cytoskeleton, binds to actin, members of the Rho family, and E-cadherin. Calmodulin binds to IQGAP1 and regulates its association with Cdc42 and actin. Here we demonstrate competition between calmodulin and E-cadherin for binding to IQGAP1 both in vitro and in a normal cellular milieu. Immunocytochemical analysis in MCF-7 (E-cadherin positive) and MDA-MB-231 (E-cadherin negative) epithelial cells revealed that E-cadherin is required for accumulation of IQGAP1 at cell-cell junctions. The cell-permeable calmodulin antagonist CGS9343B significantly increased IQGAP1 at areas of MCF-7 cell-cell contact, with a concomitant decrease in the amount of E-cadherin at cell-cell junctions. Analysis of E-cadherin function revealed that CGS9343B significantly decreased homophilic E-cadherin adhesion. On the basis of these data, we propose that disruption of the binding of calmodulin to IQGAP1 enhances the association of IQGAP1 with components of the cadherin-catenin complex at cell-cell junctions, resulting in impaired E-cadherin function.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000084528000054

    View details for PubMedID 10608854

  • Herpes lymphadenitis in association with chronic lymphocytic leukemia CANCER Higgins, J. P., Warnke, R. A. 1999; 86 (7): 1210-1215


    Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections range in severity from common cutaneous outbreaks to life-threatening central nervous system and deep organ involvement. HSV lymphadenitis is extremely rare but occurs both as a component of widely disseminated disease and as a localized, mild illness.Five patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) underwent lymph node biopsy and were found to have histologic and immunophenotypic evidence of HSV infection in association with CLL.The patients were 3 males and 2 females ranging in age from 50 to 86 years. Only 1 patient had clinical evidence of cutaneous herpes at any time; in that patient, herpes lymphadenitis preceded the cutaneous herpes by 3 years. Four patients received no therapy for herpes at any time, whereas one was treated with intravenous and oral acyclovir. One patient died of CLL approximately 20 months after herpes lymphadenitis was diagnosed. The remaining four patients are alive with CLL. No patient had a fulminant clinical course related to HSV or developed disseminated infection.Herpes lymphadenitis may not have a fulminant course even in immunosuppressed CLL patients, even if they receive no antiviral therapy.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000082749200016

    View details for PubMedID 10506706

  • CD81 gene expression is lost in hepatocellular carcinoma. Drazan, K. E., Higgins, J., Fisher, G. A., Keefe, E., Barry, C. T., So, S. S., Wieczorek, A., Keeffe, E., Levy, S., Esquivel, C. O. WILEY-BLACKWELL. 1999: 248A–248A
  • CD30 expression is common in mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PATHOLOGY Higgins, J. P., Warnke, R. A. 1999; 112 (2): 241-247


    Large B-cell lymphoma manifesting in the mediastinum shows distinctive clinical and immunophenotypic features and is recognized as a unique type of large B-cell lymphoma in the Revised European-American Lymphoma classification. Fifty-one cases of primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma were retrieved from the immunodiagnosis laboratory database files and were stained with anti-CD30 (Ber-H2). Of the 51 cases, 35 (69%) stained for CD30. This staining ranged from strong membrane staining of all or almost all of the neoplastic cells to positivity of rare individual cells. Eleven cases (22%) were negative; 4 (8%) were equivocal. Only 1 case was uninterpretable owing to B-5 fixation and lack of a positive internal control. Thus, the majority of mediastinal large B-cell lymphomas express the Hodgkin marker CD30. This finding may result in misdiagnosis of large cell lymphoma as Hodgkin disease.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000081664800012

    View details for PubMedID 10439805

  • Testicular Sertoli cell tumors NOS, the final word? ADVANCES IN ANATOMIC PATHOLOGY Higgins, J. P., Rouse, R. V. 1999; 6 (2): 103-113

    View details for Web of Science ID 000084341800005

    View details for PubMedID 10331073

  • Management of the clinically positive neck in organ preservation for advanced head and neck cancer 44th Annual Meeting of the Society-of-Head-and-Neck-Surgeons Dagum, P., Pinto, H. A., Newman, J. P., Higgins, J. P., Terris, D. J., Goffinet, D. R., Fee, W. E. EXCERPTA MEDICA INC-ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC. 1998: 448–52


    To investigate clinicopathologic predictive criteria for the optimal management of neck metastases in patients with advanced head and neck cancers treated with combined chemoradiotherapy.Prospective study, 48 patients. Mean length follow-up, 23 months.Neck stage predicted neck response to chemoradiotherapy; N3 necks showed more partial responses (P = 0.04), and N1 necks showed more complete responses (P = 0.12). Primary tumor site strongly predicted the pathologic response found on neck dissection in patients with a clinical partial response (cPR) following chemoradiotherapy. There was no difference in survival between patients with a clinical complete response (cCR) after chemoradiotherapy, and patients with a pathologic complete response (pCR) after neck dissection (P = 0.20); however, when grouped together, these patients survived longer than did patients with a pPR at neck dissection (P = 0.06).Clinical response to induction chemotherapy is a poor predictor of ultimate neck control. Induction chemotherapy followed by chemoradiotherapy, and planned neck dissection for patients with persistent cervical lymphadenopathy, provides good regional control.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000077441400013

    View details for PubMedID 9874431