Publications by authors named "Wataru Morita"

19 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Mapping molar shapes on signaling pathways.

PLoS Comput Biol 2020 12 14;16(12):e1008436. Epub 2020 Dec 14.

Institute of Biotechnology and Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

A major challenge in evolutionary developmental biology is to understand how genetic mutations underlie phenotypic changes. In principle, selective pressures on the phenotype screen the gene pool of the population. Teeth are an excellent model for understanding evolutionary changes in the genotype-phenotype relationship since they exist throughout vertebrates. Genetically modified mice (mutants) with abnormalities in teeth have been used to explore tooth development. The relationship between signaling pathways and molar shape, however, remains elusive due to the high intrinsic complexity of tooth crowns. This hampers our understanding of the extent to which developmental factors explored in mutants explain developmental and phenotypic variation in natural species that represent the consequence of natural selection. Here we combine a novel morphometric method with two kinds of data mining techniques to extract data sets from the three-dimensional surface models of lower first molars: i) machine learning to maximize classification accuracy of 22 mutants, and ii) phylogenetic signal for 31 Murinae species. Major shape variation among mutants is explained by the number of cusps and cusp distribution on a tooth crown. The distribution of mutant mice in morphospace suggests a nonlinear relationship between the signaling pathways and molar shape variation. Comparative analysis of mutants and wild murines reveals that mutant variation overlaps naturally occurring diversity, including more ancestral and derived morphologies. However, taxa with transverse lophs are not fully covered by mutant variation, suggesting experimentally unexplored developmental factors in the evolutionary radiation of Murines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1008436DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7735603PMC
December 2020

The relationship between high-signal intensity changes in the glenohumeral joint capsule on MRI and clinical shoulder symptoms.

Asia Pac J Sports Med Arthrosc Rehabil Technol 2020 Oct 31;22:27-33. Epub 2020 Jul 31.

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, St. Luke's International Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.

Background/objective: High-signal intensity changes in the glenohumeral joint capsule on T2-and proton density-weighted magnetic resonance imaging are known as characteristic finding that is often observed in patients with frozen shoulder. We investigated the associations between high-signal intensity changes in the joint capsule on magnetic resonance imaging and the presence of rotator cuff tears and shoulder symptoms in patients with shoulder pain.

Methods: The medical records of 230 patients with shoulder pain who underwent magnetic resonance imaging at our hospital were reviewed. Patients were divided into three groups according to the presence and/or degree of rotator cuff tears (none, partial, or complete). The frequency of high-signal intensity changes in the joint capsule and its relationship with shoulder symptoms and the severity of rotator cuff tears were assessed. By quantitatively evaluating the intensity on MRI, the ratio between the joint capsule and the long head of the biceps (HSIC ratio) was calculated and compared with 15 healthy subjects.

Results: High-signal intensity changes were diagnosed in 165 (72%) patients, and it was significantly associated with night pain and range of motion limitation (p < 0.01). High-signal intensity changes were present in 66 patients (70%) with no rotator cuff tears, in 69 (71%) with partial rotator cuff tears, and in 36 (80%) with complete rotator cuff tears, without differences in their occurrence (p = 0.60), but were significantly associated with night pain in all the groups (p < 0.01) without differences in tear severity (p = 0.63). The ratio in the high-signal intensity changes (HSIC) positive group was approximately six times higher than that in the HSIC-negative and control groups (P < 0.01). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that night pain is significantly associated with high-signal intensity changes (p < 0.01).

Conclusion: Shoulder pain is a common and reliable clinical finding in patients with high-signal intensity changes, regardless of the presence and/or degree of rotator cuff tears, Such changes may indicate night pain and range of motion limitation in patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.asmart.2020.06.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7398897PMC
October 2020

ERK1/2 drives IL-1β-induced expression of TGF-β1 and BMP-2 in torn tendons.

Sci Rep 2019 12 12;9(1):19005. Epub 2019 Dec 12.

Botnar Research Centre, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS), University of Oxford, Windmill Road, Oxford, UK.

Diseased and injured tendons develop fibrosis, driven by factors including TGF-β, BMPs and CTGF. IL-1β and its signal transducer Erk1/2 are known to regulate TGF-β expression in animal tendons. We utilised tissues and cells isolated from patients with shoulder tendon tears and tendons of healthy volunteers to advance understanding of how inflammation induces fibrosis in diseased human tendons. ERK1/2 expression was reduced in torn (diseased) compared to healthy patient tendon tissues. We next investigated the fibrotic responses of tendon-derived cells isolated from healthy and diseased human tendon tissues in an inflammatory milieu. IL-1β treatment induced profound ERK1/2 signalling, TGFB1 and BMP2 mRNA expression in diseased compared to healthy tendon-derived cells. In the diseased cells, the ERK1/2 inhibitor (PD98059) completely blocked the IL-1β-induced TGFB1 and partially reduced BMP2 mRNA expression. Conversely, the same treatment of healthy cells did not modulate IL-1β-induced TGFB1 or BMP2 mRNA expression. ERK1/2 inhibition did not attenuate IL-1β-induced CTGF mRNA expression in healthy or diseased tendon cells. These findings highlight differences between ERK1/2 signalling pathway activation and expression of TGF-β1 and BMP-2 between healthy and diseased tendon tissues and cells, advancing understanding of inflammation induced fibrosis during the development of human tendon disease and subsequent repair.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-55387-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6908634PMC
December 2019

Metameric variation of upper molars in hominoids and its implications for the diversification of molar morphogenesis.

J Hum Evol 2020 01 27;138:102706. Epub 2019 Nov 27.

The University Museum, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

Metameric variation of molar size is in part associated with the dietary adaptations of mammals and results from slight alterations of developmental processes. Humans and great apes exhibit conspicuous variation in tooth morphology both between taxa and across tooth types. However, the manner in which metameric variation in molars emerged among apes and humans via evolutionary alterations in developmental processes remains largely unknown. In this study, we compare the enamel-dentine junction of the upper molars of humans-which closely correlates with morphology of the outer enamel surface and is less affected by wear-with that of the other extant hominoids: chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans, and gibbons. We used the morphometric mapping method to quantify and visualize three-dimensional morphological variation, and applied multivariate statistical analyses. Results revealed the following: 1) extant hominoids other than humans share a common pattern of metameric variation characterized by a largely linear change in morphospace; this indicates a relatively simple graded change in metameric molar shape; 2) intertaxon morphological differences become less distinct from the mesial to distal molars; and 3) humans diverge from the extant ape pattern in exhibiting a distinct metameric shape change trajectory in the morphospace. The graded shape change and lower intertaxon resolution from the mesial to distal molars are consistent with the concept of a 'key' tooth. The common metameric pattern observed among the extant nonhuman hominoids indicates that developmental patterns underlying metameric variation were largely conserved during ape evolution. Furthermore, the human-specific metameric pattern suggests considerable developmental modifications in the human lineage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2019.102706DOI Listing
January 2020

Craniofacial abnormality with skeletal dysplasia in mice lacking chondroitin sulfate N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase-1.

Sci Rep 2018 11 20;8(1):17134. Epub 2018 Nov 20.

Department of Medical Cell Biology, School of Medicine, Aichi Medical University, Nagakute, Aichi, 480-1195, Japan.

Chondroitin sulfate (CS) proteoglycan is a major component of the extracellular matrix and plays an important part in organogenesis. To elucidate the roles of CS for craniofacial development, we analyzed the craniofacial morphology in CS N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase-1 (T1) gene knockout (KO) mice. T1KO mice showed the impaired intramembranous ossification in the skull, and the final skull shape of adult mice included a shorter face, higher and broader calvaria. Some of T1KO mice exhibited severe facial developmental defect, such as eye defects and cleft lip and palate, causing embryonic lethality. At the postnatal stages, T1KO mice with severely reduced CS amounts showed malocclusion, general skeletal dysplasia and skin hyperextension, closely resembling Ehlers-Danlos syndrome-like connective tissue disorders. The production of collagen type 1 was significantly downregulated in T1KO mice, and the deposition of CS-binding molecules, Wnt3a, was decreased with CS in extracellular matrices. The collagen fibers were irregular and aggregated, and connective tissues were dysorganized in the skin and calvaria of T1KO mice. These results suggest that CS regulates the shape of the craniofacial skeleton by modulating connective tissue organization and that the remarkable reduction of CS induces hypoplasia of intramembranous ossification and cartilage anomaly, resulting in skeletal dysplasia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-35412-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6244165PMC
November 2018

Post-operative pain control following arthroscopic rotator cuff repair: peri-articular injection versus interscalene brachial plexus block.

Int Orthop 2019 06 15;43(6):1435-1441. Epub 2018 Aug 15.

Department of Orthopedics Surgery, St. Luke's International Hospital, 9-1 Akashi Cho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-8560, Japan.

Purpose: To compare post-operative pain relief with peri-articular injection (PI) versus interscalene brachial plexus block (IBPB) after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair (ARCR) surgery.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 121 consecutive patients undergoing ARCR surgery divided into two groups: the PI group and the IBPB group. We compared complications and self-reported pain score measured using a Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) during the initial 24 hours after surgery.

Results: The NRS scores recorded in the recovery room (0), 0.5, and four hours post-operatively were higher in the PI group (n = 38) than the IBPB group (n = 52) (2.1 vs. 0.8, p = 0.014; 1.4 vs. 0.5, p = 0.0069; and 1.3 vs. 0.5, p = 0.012, respectively). However, the NRS scores recorded at 16, 20, and 24 hours post-operatively were lower in the PI group than in the IBPB group (1.4 vs. 3.1, p < 0.0001; 1.4 vs. 3.2, p < 0.0001; and 1.7 vs. 3.2, p = 0.00046, respectively). The incidences of post-operative nausea and temporary numbness in the upper arm were significantly lower in the PI group than in the IBPB group (7.9% vs. 33%, p = 0.0052; and 13% vs. 85%, p < 0.0001, respectively).

Conclusions: Although IBPB provided superior pain control during the initial few hours after ARCR surgery, PI was superior from 16 to 24 hours post-operatively. The rates of side effects, such as nausea and temporary arm numbness, were also lower in the PI group than in the IBPB group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00264-018-4096-3DOI Listing
June 2019

Maternal undernutrition during early pregnancy inhibits postnatal growth of the tibia in the female offspring of rats by alteration of chondrogenesis.

Gen Comp Endocrinol 2018 05 23;260:58-66. Epub 2017 Dec 23.

Department of Anatomy, Shiga University of Medical Science, Shiga 520-2192, Japan. Electronic address:

Epidemiological research has suggested that birth weights are correlated with adult leg lengths. However, the relationship between prenatal undernutrition (UN) and postnatal leg growth remains controversial. We investigated the effects of UN during early pregnancy on postnatal hindlimb growth and determined whether early embryonic malnutrition affects the functions of postnatal chondrocytes in rats. Undernourished Wistar dams were fed 40% of the daily intake of rats in the control groups from gestational days 5.5-11.5, and femurs, tibias, and trunks or spinal columns were morphologically measured at birth and at 16 weeks of age in control and undernourished offspring of both sexes. We evaluated cell proliferation and differentiation of cultured chondrocytes derived from neonatal tibias of female offspring and determined chondrocyte-related gene expression levels in neonatal epiphysis and embryonic limb buds. Tibial lengths of undernourished female, but not male, offspring were longer at birth and shorter at 16 weeks of age (p < .05) compared with those of control rats. In chondrocyte culture studies, stimulating effects of IGF-1 on cell proliferation (p < .01) were significantly decreased and levels of type II collagen were lower in female undernourished offspring (p < .05). These phenomena were accompanied by decreased expression levels of Col2a1 and Igf1r and increased expression levels of Fgfr3 (p < .05), which might be attributable to the decreased expression of specificity protein 1 (p < .05), a key transactivator of Col2a1 and Igf1r. In conclusion, UN stress during early pregnancy reduces postnatal tibial growth in female offspring by altering the function of chondrocytes, likely reflecting altered expression of gene transactivators.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygcen.2017.12.008DOI Listing
May 2018

Intra- and inter-observer reproducibility of shoulder laxity tests: Comparison of the drawer, modified drawer and load and shift tests.

J Orthop Sci 2018 Jan 5;23(1):57-63. Epub 2017 Oct 5.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, St. Luke's International Hospital, 9-1 Akashi-Cho, Chuo-Ku, Tokyo 104-8560, Japan.

Background: Conventional tests of shoulder laxity have been shown to have poor reliability due to the difficulty in palpating the subtle movements of the shoulder joint beneath the musculature. Modified drawer test that is performed while the soft tissues surrounding the shoulder are loosened has been proposed to facilitate glenohumeral joint movement and improve reliability. We hypothesised that the modified drawer test would have an improved intra- and inter-observer reproducibility in comparison to the drawer and load and shift tests. Correlation of shoulder laxity measured by these tests with generalized joint laxity was also assessed.

Methods: Forty healthy volunteers underwent bilateral shoulder examination in the clinic using the three tests for anterior and posterior laxity assessment by a consultant shoulder surgeon and a resident. The examination was repeated three months later by the same examiners in the same cohort. Intra- and inter- observer reproducibility was calculated using Kappa values. The correlation of shoulder with generalized joint laxity was also investigated.

Results: The modified drawer test showed significantly improved intra-observer reproducibility compared to the drawer test, but not to the load and shift (κ = 0.173, -0.042, and 0.009, respectively). There were no significant differences in the inter-observer reproducibility between the three tests (κ = 0.054, 0.055, and 0.056, respectively). Moderate correlation was noted between shoulder and generalized joint laxity when modified drawer test was used (r = 0.417).

Conclusions: The modified drawer test improves intra- but not inter- observer reproducibility compared to the drawer test. Shoulder laxity assessed by the modified test correlated to generalized joint laxity. The modified drawer test has an improved reproducibility and correlation to generalized joint laxity over the conventional tests.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jos.2017.09.013DOI Listing
January 2018

Profibrotic mediators in tendon disease: a systematic review.

Arthritis Res Ther 2016 11 18;18(1):269. Epub 2016 Nov 18.

Botnar Research Centre, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Windmill Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7LD, UK.

Background: Tendon disease is characterized by the development of fibrosis. Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β), bone morphogenic proteins (BMPs) and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) are key mediators in the pathogenesis of fibrotic disorders. The aim of this systematic review was to investigate the evidence for the expression of TGF-β, BMPs and CTGF along tendon disease progression and the response of tendon cells to these growth factors accordingly.

Method: We conducted a systematic screen of the scientific literature using the Medline database. The search terms used were "tendon AND TGF-β," "tendon AND BMP" or "tendon AND CTGF." Studies of human samples, animal tendon injury and overuse models were included.

Results: Thirty-three studies were included. In eight studies the expression of TGF-β, BMPs or CTGF was dysregulated in chronic tendinopathy and tendon tear patient tissues in comparison with healthy control tissues. The expression of TGF-β, BMPs and CTGF was increased and showed temporal changes in expression in tendon tissues from animal injury or overuse models compared with the healthy control (23 studies), but the pattern of upregulation was inconsistent between growth factors and also the type of animal model. No study investigated the differences in the effect of TGF-β, BMPs or CTGF treatment between patient-derived cells from healthy and diseased tendon tissues. Tendon cells derived from animal models of tendon injury showed increased expression of extracellular matrix protein genes and increased cell signaling response to TGF-β and BMP treatments compared with the control cells (two studies).

Conclusion: The expression of TGF-β, BMPs and CTGF in tendon tissues is altered temporally during healing in animal models of tendon injury or overuse, but the transition during the development of human tendon disease is currently unknown. Findings from this systematic review suggest a potential and compelling role for TGF-β, BMPs and CTGF in tendon disease; however, there is a paucity of studies analyzing their expression and stimulated cellular response in well-phenotyped human samples. Future work should investigate the dynamic expression of these fibrotic growth factors and their interaction with tendon cells using patient samples at different stages of human tendon disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13075-016-1165-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5116130PMC
November 2016

MRI for the diagnosis of scapular dyskinesis: a report of two cases.

Skeletal Radiol 2017 Feb 10;46(2):249-252. Epub 2016 Nov 10.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, St Luke's International Hospital, 9-1 Akashi-cho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-8560, Japan.

Scapular dyskinesis describes the altered position of the scapula and/or abnormal movements of the scapulothoracic joint. It is caused by bony anatomical variations, bursitis, tumors, and muscular pathological conditions including loss of innervation and fibrosis. Scapular dyskinesis is just as often subclinical as it is symptomatic, and as the periscapular anatomical changes may not result in patient symptoms, a precise diagnosis of the etiology and pathophysiology has been a challenge. Scapular bony prominence is a common etiology of scapular dyskinesis, but does not always result in morbidity. We report a case of a 39-year-old man in whom an extensive MRI with fluid-sensitive imaging sequences covering the whole of the scapula was beneficial in diagnosing the inflammation adjacent to the bony deformity, which confirmed the etiology of scapular dyskinesis. Furthermore, in a 41-year old man without any anatomical variances, a similar MRI showed inflammation at the subscapular fossa that suggested altered scapular kinematics. An arthroscopic debridement of the lesion improved the symptoms. MRI in conjunction with plain radiographs, CT and physical examination enabled a precise diagnosis of the etiology. Fluid-sensitive MR images are important in defining the presence of inflammation, and are beneficial in determining the pathological significance of findings through other diagnostic measures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00256-016-2528-yDOI Listing
February 2017

Exploring metameric variation in human molars: a morphological study using morphometric mapping.

J Anat 2016 09 21;229(3):343-55. Epub 2016 Apr 21.

Division of Anatomy and Cell Biology of the Hard Tissue, Department of Tissue Regeneration and Reconstruction, Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Niigata, Japan.

Human molars exhibit a type of metameric variation, which is the difference in serially repeated morphology within an organism. Various theories have been proposed to explain how this variation is brought about in the molars. Actualistic data that support the theories, however, are still relatively scarce because of methodological limitations. Here we propose new methods to analyse detailed tooth crown morphologies. We applied morphometric mapping to the enamel-dentine junction of human maxillary molars and examined whether odontogenetic models were adaptable to human maxillary molars. Our results showed that the upper first molar is phenotypically distinct among the maxillary molars. The average shape of the upper first molar is characterized by four well-defined cusps and precipitous surface relief of the occlusal table. On the other hand, upper third molar is characterized by smooth surface relief of the occlusal table and shows greater shape variation and distinct distribution patterns in morphospace. The upper second molar represents an intermediate state between first and third molar. Size-related shape variation was investigated by the allometric vector analysis, and it appeared that human maxillary molars tend to converge toward the shape of the upper first molar as the size increases. Differences between the upper first molar and the upper second and third molar can thus be largely explained as an effect of allometry. Collectively, these results indicate that the observed pattern of metameric variation in human molars is consistent with odontogenetic models of molar row structure (inhibitory cascade model) and molar crown morphology (patterning cascade model). This study shows that morphometric mapping is a useful tool to visualize and quantify the morphological features of teeth, which can provide the basis for a better understanding of tooth evolution linking morphology and development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joa.12482DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4974549PMC
September 2016

The Relationships of the Maxillary Sinus With the Superior Alveolar Nerves and Vessels as Demonstrated by Cone-Beam CT Combined With μ-CT and Histological Analyses.

Anat Rec (Hoboken) 2016 May 4;299(5):669-78. Epub 2016 Mar 4.

Division of Anatomy and Cell Biology of the Hard Tissues, Department of Tissue Regeneration and Reconstruction, Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Niigata, Japan.

There are no available detailed data on the three-dimensional courses of the human superior alveolar nerves and vessels. This study aimed to clarify the relationships of the maxillary sinus with the superior alveolar nerves and vessels using cone-beam computed tomography (CT) combined with μ-CT and histological analyses. Digital imaging and communication in medicine data obtained from the scanned heads/maxillae of cadavers used for undergraduate/postgraduate dissection practice and skulls using cone-beam CT were reconstructed into three-dimensional (3D) images using software. The 3D images were compared with μ-CT images and histological sections. Cone-beam CT clarified the relationships of the maxillary sinus with the superior alveolar canals/grooves. The main anterior superior alveolar canal/groove ran anteriorly through the upper part of the sinus and terminated at the bottom of the nasal cavity near the piriform aperture. The main middle alveolar canal ran downward from the upper part of the sinus to ultimately join the anterior one. The main posterior alveolar canal ran through the lateral lower part of the sinus and communicated with the anterior one. Histological analyses demonstrated the existence of nerves and vessels in these canals/grooves, and the quantities of these structures varied across each canal/groove. Furthermore, the superior dental nerve plexus exhibited a network that was located horizontally to the occlusal plane, although these nerve plexuses appeared to be the vertical network that is described in most textbooks. In conclusion, cone-beam CT is suggested to be a useful method for clarifying the superior alveolar canals/grooves including the nerves and vessels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ar.23327DOI Listing
May 2016

Combined Arthroscopic Bankart Repair and Coracoid Process Transfer to Anterior Glenoid for Shoulder Dislocation in Rugby Players: Evaluation Based on Ability to Perform Sport-Specific Movements Effectively.

Arthroscopy 2015 Sep 25;31(9):1693-701. Epub 2015 Apr 25.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Division of Sports Medicine, University of Tennessee-Campbell Clinic, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.

Purpose: To evaluate the outcomes of a combination of an arthroscopic Bankart repair and an open Bristow procedure in relation to the subjective quality of performance in movements that are typical in rugby.

Methods: Forty shoulders in 38 players who underwent surgery for traumatic anterior instability of the shoulder were reviewed. In all cases, arthroscopic Bankart repair was followed by a Bristow procedure, with preservation of the repaired capsular ligaments, during the same operation. The mean age at the time of surgery was 21 years. Patients were asked to describe common rugby maneuvers (tackle, hand-off, jackal, and saving) preoperatively and postoperatively as "no problem," "insufficient," or "impossible."

Results: There were no recurrent dislocations at a mean follow-up of 30.5 months. The mean Rowe score improved significantly from 65.0 (range, 55 to 75) to 97.5 (range, 95 to 100) (P < .001) after surgery. Preoperatively, regarding the tackling motion, none of the patients reported having no problem, whereas the ability was described as insufficient for 23 shoulders and impossible for 17 shoulders. Postoperatively, no problem with tackling was reported for 36 shoulders, whereas insufficiency was reported for 4. The results for the hand-off, jackal, and saving maneuvers were similar (P < .001). No patient rated any of the motions as impossible postoperatively.

Conclusions: This combined surgical procedure clearly is effective in preventing recurrent dislocation in rugby players; however, some players complained of insufficiency in the quality of their play when they were tackling or performing other rugby-specific movements.

Level Of Evidence: Level IV, case series.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.arthro.2015.03.013DOI Listing
September 2015

Patterns of morphological variation in enamel-dentin junction and outer enamel surface of human molars.

J Anat 2014 Jun 1;224(6):669-80. Epub 2014 Apr 1.

Laboratory of Physical Anthropology, Department of Zoology, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.

Tooth crown patterning is governed by the growth and folding of the inner enamel epithelium (IEE) and the following enamel deposition forms outer enamel surface (OES). We hypothesized that overall dental crown shape and covariation structure are determined by processes that configurate shape at the enamel-dentine junction (EDJ), the developmental vestige of IEE. This this hypothesis was tested by comparing patterns of morphological variation between EDJ and OES in human permanent maxillary first molar (UM1) and deciduous second molar (um2). Using geometric morphometric methods, we described morphological variation and covariation between EDJ and OES, and evaluated the strength of two components of phenotypic variability, canalization and morphological integration, in addition to the relevant evolutionary flexibility, i.e. the ability to respond to selective pressure. The strength of covariation between EDJ and OES was greater in um2 than in UM1, and the way that multiple traits covary between EDJ and OES was different between these teeth. The variability analyses showed that EDJ had less shape variation and a higher level of morphological integration than OES, which indicated that canalization and morphological integration acted as developmental constraints. These tendencies were greater in UM1 than in um2. On the other hand, EDJ and OES had a comparable level of evolvability in these teeth. Amelogenesis could play a significant role in tooth shape and covariation structure, and its influence was not constant among teeth, which may be responsible for the differences in the rate and/or period of enamel formation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joa.12180DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4025894PMC
June 2014

Quantitative and qualitative analyses of subacromial impingement by kinematic open MRI.

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 2015 May 9;23(5):1489-97. Epub 2014 Feb 9.

Unit of Clinical Anatomy, Graduate School, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, 1-5-45 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-8519, Japan.

Purpose: Quantitative and qualitative kinematic analyses of subacromial impingement by 1.2T open MRI were performed to determine the location of impingement and the involvement of the acromioclavicular joint.

Methods: In 20 healthy shoulders, 10 sequential images in the scapular plane were taken in a 10-s pause at equal intervals from 30° to maximum abduction in neutral and internal rotation. The distances between the rotator cuff (RC) and the acromion and the acromioclavicular joint were measured. To comprehend the positional relationships, cadaveric specimens were also observed.

Results: Although asymptomatic, the RC came into contact with the acromion and the acromioclavicular joint in six and five cases, respectively. The superior RC acted as a depressor for the humeral head against the acromion as the shoulder elevated. The mean elevation angle and distance at the closest position between the RC and the acromion in neutral rotation were 93.5° and 1.6 mm, respectively, while those between the RC and the acromioclavicular joint were 86.7° and 2.0 mm. When comparing this distance and angle, there was no significant difference between the RC to the acromion and to the acromioclavicular joint. The minimum distance between the RC and the acromion was significantly shorter than that between the greater tuberosity and the acromion. The location of RC closest to the acromion and the acromioclavicular joint differed significantly.

Conclusion: Although asymptomatic, contact was found between the RC and the acromion and the acromioclavicular joint. The important role of the RC to prevent impingement was observed, and hence, dysfunction of the RC could lead to impingement that could result in a RC lesion. The RC lesions may differ when they are caused by impingement from either the acromion or the acromioclavicular joint.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00167-014-2876-xDOI Listing
May 2015

Genetic mapping of agenesis of the third molars in mice.

Biochem Genet 2013 Oct 5;51(9-10):728-36. Epub 2013 Jun 5.

Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Nihon University School of Dentistry at Matsudo, 2-870-1 Sakaecho-Nishi, Matsudo, Chiba, 271-0061, Japan,

EL/Sea mice are characterized by 100% incidence of agenesis of the third molars (M3). In a previous study, chromosomal mapping of the ninth generation EL/Sea congenic strains revealed a major locus for agenesis of M3, designated am3, in the 125-137 Mbp region of chromosome 3. In the present study, to determine the precise location of the am3 locus, we produced further generations of the EL/Sea congenic strains for am3 in which the restricted interval on chromosome 3 of EL/Sea was replaced by a MSM/Msf-derived homolog. The eleventh generation congenic mice that were either heterozygous or homozygous for the MSM/Msf-derived interval exhibited a significant decrease in the incidence of M3 agenesis (p < 0.00001). Results confined the am3 locus to an interval of 1 Mbp on chromosome 3, demonstrating that Lef1, one of the essential transcription factors for early tooth development, is the strongest candidate for am3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10528-013-9602-0DOI Listing
October 2013

A case study of a high-status human skeleton from Pacopampa in Formative Period Peru.

Anat Sci Int 2012 Dec 9;87(4):234-7. Epub 2011 Nov 9.

Department of Anatomy, St. Marianna University School of Medicine, Miyamae Ward, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan.

The Pacopampa site is located in the northern highlands of Peru and is an archaeological site belonging to the Formative Period (2500-1 BC). The excavation of the Pacopampa site yielded unusual human skeletons from the main platform of a ceremonial center of the site during the 2009 field season. The skeletal remains were associated with a pair of gold earplugs, a pair of gold earrings, and shell objects. This specimen is possibly a female aged 20-39 years. Detailed examination of the neurocranium revealed the presence of artificial cranial deformation with decreased cranial length, increased cranial breadth, and lateral bulging of the parietal bones. The estimated stature of this individual was 162 cm, which is about 15 cm higher than that of contemporary females of Pacopampa and about 20-25 cm higher than that of other Formative Period sites in northern Peru. The peculiarity of this individual, detected not only in the cultural artifacts but also in the physical features, is possible evidence for social stratification in the Formative Period.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12565-011-0120-zDOI Listing
December 2012

Penetrating injury to the cauda equina: a case report and review of the literature.

J Spinal Disord Tech 2012 Feb;25(1):64-7

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, St Luke's International Hospital, 9-1 Akashicho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan.

Study Design: Case report.

Objective: To report a rare case of a penetrating injury to the cauda equina, secondary to a stab wound.

Summary Of Background Data: Penetrating injuries affecting the cauda equina by stab wounds, not by gunshot wounds, are of extremely rare occurrence compared with penetrating spinal cord injuries and have been previously reported only in 2 studies since 1969.

Methods And Results: A 43-year-old man was presented with a stab wound to the right lumbar region, with immediate paralysis of the left lower extremity accompanied by loss of perineal sensation. Magnetic resonance imaging suggested rupture of the cauda equina nerves at the L3 to L4 level. The patient was taken immediately for surgery for irrigation and debridement. We identified several cut ends of the cauda equina nerves and attempted to repair them, but had to determine that accurate matching of the severed ends would be problematic. At 2 years follow-up, there were no significant improvements in the neurological status. The patient was ambulatory with an ankle-foot orthosis, and had already returned back to work.

Conclusions: We could not repair the cauda equina rootlets. However, similar to other central nervous system penetrating injuries, the priorities of treatment included an emphasis on infection control and sealing of the duro-cutaneous fistula, and we could easily manage both by the emergency surgery. Although there were no improvements in the neurological function, there were no complications and the patient returned to a reasonably good function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BSD.0b013e3182067a01DOI Listing
February 2012

Effect of sequence-directed nucleosome disruption on cell-type-specific repression by alpha2/Mcm1 in the yeast genome.

Eukaryot Cell 2006 Nov 15;5(11):1925-33. Epub 2006 Sep 15.

Department of Chemistry, Meisei University, 2-1-1 Hodokubo, Hino, Tokyo 191-8506, Japan.

In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a-cell-specific genes are repressed in MATalpha cells by alpha2/Mcm1, acting in concert with the Ssn6-Tup1 corepressors and the Isw2 chromatin remodeling complex, and nucleosome positioning has been proposed as one mechanism of repression. However, prior studies showed that nucleosome positioning is not essential for repression by alpha2/Mcm1 in artificial reporter plasmids, and the importance of the nucleosome positioning remains questionable. We have tested the function of positioned nucleosomes through alteration of genomic chromatin at the a-cell-specific gene BAR1. We report here that a positioned nucleosome in the BAR1 promoter is disrupted in cis by the insertion of diverse DNA sequences such as poly(dA) . poly(dT) and poly(dC-dG) . poly(dC-dG), leading to inappropriate partial derepression of BAR1. Also, we show that isw2 mutation causes loss of nucleosome positioning in BAR1 in MATalpha cells as well as partial disruption of repression. Thus, nucleosome positioning is required for full repression, but loss of nucleosome positioning is not sufficient to relieve repression completely. Even though disruption of nucleosome positioning by the cis- and trans-acting modulators of chromatin has a modest effect on the level of transcription, it causes significant degradation of the alpha-mating pheromone in MATalpha cells, thereby affecting its cell type identity. Our results illustrate a useful paradigm for analysis of chromatin structural effects at genomic loci.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/EC.00105-06DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1694797PMC
November 2006