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Ghrelin, a novel growth-hormone-releasing peptide, was discovered in rat and human stomach tissues. However, its physiological and pharmacological actions in the gastric function remain to be determined. Therefore, we studied the effects of rat ghrelin on gastric functions in urethane-anesthetized rats. Intravenous administrations of rat ghrelin at 0.8 to(More)
Hirschsprung's disease (HSCR) is a congenital intestinal disease, characterized by the absence of ganglion cells in the distal portion of the intestinal tract. Recently, three susceptibility genes have been identified in HSCR, namely the RET protooncogene, the endothelin B (ETB) receptor gene (EDNRB), and the endothelin-3 (ET-3) gene (EDN3). To investigate(More)
PURPOSE Patients with high-risk neuroblastoma who have multiple copies of MYCN fare much worse than do those without MYCN amplification; however, it has not been clarified whether intensified chemotherapy with or without blood stem cell transplantation can alter the extremely poor prognosis of patients with amplified MYCN. METHODS AND RESULTS Between 1985(More)
Despite the progress of therapy, outcomes of advanced hepatoblastoma patients who are refractory to standard preoperative chemotherapy remain unsatisfactory. To improve the mortality rate, novel prognostic markers are needed for better therapy planning. We examined the methylation status of 13 candidate tumor suppressor genes in 20 hepatoblastoma tumors by(More)
Most umbilical hernias in children close spontaneously. Complications associated with umbilical hernias are rarely observed during follow-up. We report herein a 5-month-old girl with a strangulated umbilical hernia. Her umbilicus was hard, reddish, and irreducible. Plain radiography of the abdomen showed signs of mechanical ileus. The patient was thus(More)
Hepatoblastoma is one of the most common malignant liver tumors in young children. Recent evidences have suggested that the abnormalities in Wnt signaling pathway, as seen in frequent mutation of the beta-catenin gene, may play a role in the genesis of hepatoblastoma. However, the precise mechanism to cause the tumor has been elusive. To identify novel(More)
Evidence is presented for the existence of a new C-23 oxidation pathway for the metabolism of the hormonally active form of vitamin D3, namely 1 alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3). Homogenates of intestinal mucosa or kidney, but not liver, from rats and chicks convert 1,25(OH)2[26,27-3H]D3 into two new metabolites, 1(More)