Cervical radiculopathy is a common disease in clinical practice. However, the symptoms are not confined to the affected spinal cord segment indicated by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings. In the present study, we measured c-Fos and c-Jun expression in ipsilateral and adjacent cervical spinal cord segments following C7 nerve root rhizotomy, to determine whether there is a neural pathway between adjacent cervical spinal cord segments. Forty-eight adult male Wistar rats were randomly divided into two groups: the C7 rhizotomy group (rhizotomy group, n=24) and the sham-operated group (sham group, n=24). The right C7 nerve root was completely cut off in the rhizotomy group, while it was exposed but not cut in the sham group. The expression of c-Fos and c-Jun in cervical spinal cord segments was detected by immunohistochemistry at 2 and 4 h after surgery. We observed that the number of c-Fos- and c-Jun-positive neurons in ipsilateral C5–7 segments were significantly increased at 2 and 4 h after C7 nerve root rhizotomy (P<0.05 vs. the sham group). The location of c-Fosand c-Jun-positive neurons in C5–7 gray matter was similar in the rhizotomy and sham groups, which was mainly in lamina IX of the anterior horn and laminae I–II of the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. However, the number of c-Fos- and c-Jun-positive neurons in the C5–7 gray matter was significantly reduced at 4 h after surgery compared with the number 2 h after surgery. The location of c-Fos- and c-Jun-positive neurons at 4 h was similar with that at 2 h. Therefore, there may be a neural pathway between ipsilateral adjacent cervical spinal cord segments. This may be one possible explanation as to why the radicular symptoms of cervical radiculopathy are not confined to the affected spinal cord segment shown by MRI.
cervical radiculopathy; neural pathway; c-Fos; c-Jun; spinal cord
Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite infecting humans and other warm-blooded animals, resulting in serious public health problems and economic losses worldwide. Rhoptries are involved in T. gondii invasion and host cell interaction and have been implicated as important virulence factors. In the present study, a DNA vaccine expressing rhoptry protein 13 (ROP13) of T. gondii inserted into eukaryotic expression vector pVAX I was constructed, and the immune protection it induced in Kunming mice was evaluated. Kunming mice were immunized intramuscularly with pVAX-ROP13 and/or with interleukin-18 (IL-18). Then, we evaluated the immune response using a lymphoproliferative assay, cytokine and antibody measurements, and the survival times of mice challenged with the virulent T. gondii RH strain (type I) and the cyst-forming PRU strain (type II). The results showed that pVAX-ROP13 alone or with pVAX/IL-18 induced a high level of specific anti-T. gondii antibodies and specific lymphocyte proliferative responses. Coinjection of pVAX/IL-18 significantly increased the production of gamma interferon (IFN-γ), IL-2, IL-4, and IL-10. Further, challenge experiments showed that coimmunization of pVAX-ROP13 with pVAX/IL-18 significantly (P < 0.05) increased survival time (32.3 ± 2.7 days) compared with pVAX-ROP13 alone (24.9 ± 2.3 days). Immunized mice challenged with T. gondii cysts (strain PRU) had a significant reduction in the number of brain cysts, suggesting that ROP13 could trigger a strong humoral and cellular response against T. gondii cyst infection and that it is a potential vaccine candidate against toxoplasmosis, which provided the foundation for further development of effective vaccines against T. gondii.
Transcription of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) within gene regulatory elements can modulate gene activity in response to external stimuli, but the scope and functions of such activity are not known. Here we use an ultra-high density array that tiles the promoters of 56 cell cycle genes to interrogate 108 samples representing diverse perturbations. We identify 216 transcribed regions that encode putative lncRNAs--many with RT-PCR-validated periodic expression during the cell cycle, show altered expression in human cancers, and are regulated in expression by specific oncogenic stimuli, stem cell differentiation, or DNA damage. DNA damage induces five lncRNAs from the CDKN1A promoter, and one such lncRNA, named PANDA, is induced in a p53- dependent manner. PANDA interacts with the transcription factor NF-YA to limit expression of pro-apoptotic genes; PANDA depletion markedly sensitized human fibroblasts to apoptosis by doxorubicin. These findings suggest potentially widespread roles for promoter lncRNAs in cell growth control.
Intestinal barrier dysfunction occurs in many intestinal diseases, in which proinflammatory cytokines play critical roles. However, researchers are still on the way to defining the underlying mechanisms and to evaluate therapeutic strategies for restoring intestinal barrier function. Berberine, a drug that has clinically been used to treat gastroenteritis and diarrhea for thousands of years, has been shown to protect barrier function in both endothelial and epithelial cells, but the mechanisms are completely unknown. In this study, we investigate the protective actions of berberine on barrier function and the underlying mechanisms in Caco-2 monolayers challenged with IFN-γ and TNF-α. Caco-2 monolayers were treated without or with simultaneous IFN-γ and TNF-α in the absence or presence of berberine. Both transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) and paracellular permeability were measured to evaluate barrier function. The expression and distribution of tight junction proteins ZO-1, occluding, and claudin-1 were respectively analyzed by immunoblot or immunofluorescence. The expressions of phosphorylated myosin light chain (pMLC), MLC kinase (MLCK) and hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) were determined by immunoblot. The translocation of NF-κB p65 to nuclei was analyzed by immunofluorescence and immunoblot, respectively. The results showed that berberine significantly attenuated TER decrease and paracellular permeability increase in Caco-2 monolayers treated with IFN-γ and TNF-α. Berberine also dramatically alleviated IFN-γ and TNF-α-induced morphological alteration of tight junction proteins ZO-1, occluding, and claudin-1. The increase of both MLC phosphorylation and MLCK protein expression induced by IFN-γ and TNF-α was significantly inhibited by berberine treatment. Additionally, berberine suppressed the activation of HIF-1α, but not NF-κB. Taken together, it is suggested that berberine attenuates IFN-γ and TNF-α-induced intestinal epithelial barrier dysfunction by inhibiting the signaling pathway of MLCK-dependent MLC phosphorylation mediated by HIF-1α.
Whether the well-known metabolic switch AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is involved in the insulin-sensitizing effect of calorie restriction (CR) is unclear. In this study, we investigated the role of AMPK in the insulin-sensitizing effect of CR in skeletal muscle. Wild-type (WT) and AMPK-α2−/− mice received ad libitum (AL) or CR (8 weeks at 60% of AL) feeding. CR increased the protein level of AMPK-α2 and phosphorylation of AMPK-α2. In WT and AMPK-α2−/− mice, CR induced comparable changes of body weight, fat pad weight, serum triglycerides, serum nonesterified fatty acids, and serum leptin levels. However, decreasing levels of fasting/fed insulin and fed glucose were observed in WT mice but not in AMPK-α2−/− mice. Moreover, CR-induced improvements of whole-body insulin sensitivity (evidenced by glucose tolerance test/insulin tolerance test assays) and glucose uptake in skeletal muscle tissues were abolished in AMPK-α2−/− mice. Furthermore, CR-induced activation of Akt-TBC1D1/TBC1D4 signaling, inhibition of mammalian target of rapamycin−S6K1−insulin receptor substrate-1 pathway, and induction of nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase−NAD+−sirtuin-1 cascade were remarkably impaired in AMPK-α2−/− mice. CR serum increased stability of AMPK-α2 protein via inhibiting the X chromosome-linked ubiquitin-specific protease 9–mediated ubiquitylation of AMPK-α2. Our results suggest that AMPK may be modulated by CR in a ubiquitylation-dependent manner and acts as a chief dictator for the insulin-sensitizing effects of CR in skeletal muscle.
Five new diketopiperazine derivatives, (3Z,6E)-1-N-methyl-3-benzylidene-6-(2S-methyl-3-hydroxypropylidene)piperazine-2,5-dione (1), (3Z,6E)-1-N-methyl-3-benzylidene-6-(2R-methyl-3-hydroxypropylidene)piperazine-2,5-dione (2), (3Z,6Z)-3-(4-hydroxybenzylidene)-6-isobutylidenepiperazine-2,5-dione (3), (3Z,6Z)-3-((1H-imidazol-5-yl)-methylene)-6-isobutylidenepiperazine-2,5-dione (4), and (3Z,6S)-3-benzylidene-6-(2S-but-2-yl)piperazine-2,5-dione (5), were isolated from the marine-derived actinomycete Streptomyces sp. FXJ7.328. The structures of 1–5 were determined by spectroscopic analysis, CD exciton chirality, the modified Mosher’s, Marfey’s and the C3 Marfey’s methods. Compound 3 showed modest antivirus activity against influenza A (H1N1) virus with an IC50 value of 41.5 ± 4.5 μM. In addition, compound 6 and 7 displayed potent anti-H1N1 activity with IC50 value of 28.9 ± 2.2 and 6.8 ± 1.5 μM, respectively. Due to the lack of corresponding data in the literature, the 13C NMR data of (3Z,6S)-3-benzylidene-6-isobutylpiperazine-2,5-dione (6) were also reported here for the first time.
Streptomyces; diketopiperazine derivatives; antivirus activity; H1N1
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), members of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) superfamily, have been shown to play important roles in the nervous system, including neuronal survival and synaptogenesis. However, the physiological functions of BMP signaling in the mammalian neuromuscular system are not well understood. In this study, we found that proteins of the type II bone morphogenetic receptors (BMPRII) were detected at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ), and one of its ligands, BMP4, was expressed by Schwann cells and skeletal muscle fibers. In double-ligated nerves, BMP4 proteins accumulated at the proximal and distal portions of the axons, suggesting that Schwann cell- and muscle fiber-derived BMP4 proteins were anterogradely and retrogradely transported by motor neurons. Furthermore, BMP4 mRNA was down-regulated in nerves but up-regulated in skeletal muscles following nerve ligation. The motor neuron-muscle interactions were also demonstrated using differentiated C2C12 muscle cells and NG108-15 neurons in vitro. BMP4 mRNA and immunoreactivity were significantly up-regulated in differentiated C2C12 muscle cells when the motor neuron-derived factor, agrin, was present in the culture. Peripherally-derived BMP4, on the other hand, promotes embryonic motor neuron survival and protects NG108-15 neurons from glutamate-induced excitotoxicity. Together, these data suggest that BMP4 is a peripherally-derived factor that may regulate the survival of motor neurons.
The killing effect of nitrogen-doped titanium dioxide (N-TiO2) nanoparticles on human cervical carcinoma (HeLa) cells by visible light photodynamic therapy (PDT) was higher than that of TiO2 nanoparticles. To study the mechanism of the killing effect, the reactive oxygen species produced by the visible-light-activated N-TiO2 and pure-TiO2 were evaluated and compared. The changes of the cellular parameters, such as the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), intracellular Ca2+, and nitrogen monoxide (NO) concentrations after PDT were measured and compared for N-TiO2- and TiO2-treated HeLa cells. The N-TiO2 resulted in more loss of MMP and higher increase of Ca2+ and NO in HeLa cells than pure TiO2. The cell morphology changes with time were also examined by a confocal microscope. The cells incubated with N-TiO2 exhibited serious distortion and membrane breakage at 60 min after the PDT.
Nitrogen-doped TiO2; Visible-light-activated; Photodynamic therapy; Reactive oxygen species
The Toll-like receptor (TLR)-mediated NF-κB pathway is tightly controlled because overactivation may result in severe damage to the host, such as in the case of chronic inflammatory diseases and cancer. In mammals, sterile-alpha and armadillo motif-containing protein (SARM) plays an important role in negatively regulating this pathway. While Caenorhabditis elegans SARM is crucial for an efficient immune response against bacterial and fungal infections, it is still unknown whether Drosophila SARM participates in immune responses. Here, Litopenaeus vannamei SARM (LvSARM) was cloned and functionally characterized. LvSARM shared signature domains with and exhibited significant similarities to mammalian SARM. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis indicated that the expression of LvSARM was responsive to Vibrio alginolyticus and white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) infections in the hemocyte, gill, hepatopancreas and intestine. In Drosophila S2 cells, LvSARM was widely distributed in the cytoplasm and could significantly inhibit the promoters of the NF-κB pathway-controlled antimicrobial peptide genes (AMPs). Silencing of LvSARM using dsRNA-mediated RNA interference increased the expression levels of Penaeidins and antilipopolysaccharide factors, which are L.vannamei AMPs, and increased the mortality rate after V. alginolyticus infection. Taken together, our results reveal that LvSARM may be a novel component of the shrimp Toll pathway that negatively regulates shrimp AMPs, particularly Penaeidins and antilipopolysaccharide factors.
There are limited studies on the role of interaction between exposure to ambient air pollution and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) P1 on the risk of asthma/wheezing among children, which provided suggestive, but inconclusive results.
To assess the joint effect of air pollutants and GSTP1 on asthma/wheezing, we conducted a nationwide cross-sectional study of 3,825 children in Taiwan Children Health Study. The studied determinants were three GSTP1 Ile105Val (rs 1695) genotypes (Ile-Ile; Ile-Val and Val-Val) and expoure to ambient air pollutants. We used routine air-pollution monitoring data for ozone (O3) and particles with an aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 µm or less (PM2.5). The effect estimates were presented as odds ratios (ORs) per interquartile changes for PM2.5 and O3.
In a two-stage hierarchical model adjusting for confounding, the risk of asthma was negatively associated with PM2.5 (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 0.60; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.45, 0.82) and O3 (OR 0.74; 95% CI 0.60, 0.90) among Ile105 homozygotes, but positively associated with PM2.5 (OR 1.52; 95% CI 1.01, 2.27) and O3 (OR 1.19; 95% CI 0.91, 1.57) among those with at least one val105 allele (interaction p value = 0.001 and 0.03, respectively). A similar tendency of effect modification between PM2.5 and O3 and GSTP1 on wheezing was found.
Children who carried Ile105 variant allele and exposed to PM2.5 and O3 may be less likely to occurrence of asthma/wheezing.
In oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), metastasis to lymph nodes is associated with a 50% reduction in 5-year survival. To identify a metastatic gene set based on DNA copy number abnormalities (CNAs) of differentially expressed genes, we compared DNA and RNA of OSCC cells laser-microdissected from non-metastatic primary tumors (n = 17) with those from lymph node metastases (n = 20), using Affymetrix 250K Nsp single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays and U133 Plus 2.0 arrays, respectively. With a false discovery rate (FDR)<5%, 1988 transcripts were found to be differentially expressed between primary and metastatic OSCC. Of these, 114 were found to have a significant correlation between DNA copy number and gene expression (FDR<0.01). Among these 114 correlated transcripts, the corresponding genomic regions of each of 95 transcripts had CNAs differences between primary and metastatic OSCC (FDR<0.01). Using an independent dataset of 133 patients, multivariable analysis showed that the OSCC–specific and overall mortality hazards ratio (HR) for patients carrying the 95-transcript signature were 4.75 (95% CI: 2.03–11.11) and 3.45 (95% CI: 1.84–6.50), respectively. To determine the degree by which these genes impact cell survival, we compared the growth of five OSCC cell lines before and after knockdown of over-amplified transcripts via a high-throughput siRNA–mediated screen. The expression-knockdown of 18 of the 26 genes tested showed a growth suppression ≥30% in at least one cell line (P<0.01). In particular, cell lines derived from late-stage OSCC were more sensitive to the knockdown of G3BP1 than cell lines derived from early-stage OSCC, and the growth suppression was likely caused by increase in apoptosis. Further investigation is warranted to examine the biological role of these genes in OSCC progression and their therapeutic potentials.
Neck lymph node metastasis is the most important prognostic factor in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). To identify genes associated with this critical step of OSCC progression, we compared DNA copy number aberrations and gene expression differences between tumor cells found in metastatic lymph nodes versus those in non-metastatic primary tumors. We identified 95 transcripts (87 genes) with metastasis-specific genome abnormalities and gene expression. Tested in an independent cohort of 133 OSCC patients, the 95 gene signature was an independent risk factor of disease-specific and overall death, suggesting a disease progression phenotype. We knocked down the expression of over-amplified genes in five OSCC cell lines. Knockdown of 18 of the 26 tested genes suppressed the cell growth in at least one cell line. Interestingly, cell lines derived from late-stage OSCC were more sensitive to the knockdown of G3BP1 than cell lines derived from early-stage OSCC. The knockdown of G3BP1 increased programmed cell death in the p53-mutant but not wild-type OSCC cell lines. Taken together, we demonstrate that CNA–associated transcripts differentially expressed in carcinoma cells with an aggressive phenotype (i.e., metastatic to lymph nodes) can be biomarkers with both prognostic information and functional relevance. Moreover, results suggest that G3BP1 is a potential therapeutic target against late-stage p53-negative OSCC.
isoAsp-Gly-Arg (isoDGR) is a derivative of the Asn-Gly-Arg (NGR) motif, which is used as a targeted delivery tool to aminopeptidase N (CD13) positive cells. Recent studies have shown that cyclic isoDGR (CisoDGRC) has a more efficient affinity with αvβ3, a type of integrin that overexpresses in tumor cells. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are an efficient antitumor peptide that specifically kills tumor cells. In the present study, we designed antimicrobial peptides containing the CisoDGRC motif (CDAK) and assessed its antitumor activity for CD13−/αvβ3+ breast cancer cells (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231) in vitro and in vivo.
In vitro: We assessed the cytotoxicity of CDAK for MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, the human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC), and human foreskin fibroblasts (HFF). We performed an apoptosis assay using Annexin-V/PI, DNA ladder, mitochondrial membrane potential, and Caspase-3 and Bcl-2. The effect on cell cycles and affinity with cell were tested using flow cytometry and fluorescent microscopy and the effect on invasion was analyzed using an invasion assay. CDAK was injected intravenously into tumor-bearing athymic nude mice in vivo experiment.
CDAK showed cytotoxic activity in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells, whereas HUVEC and HFF were less sensitive to the peptides. CDAK induced apoptosis, reduced mitochondrial membrane potential, promoted Caspase-3, and inhibited Bcl-2 expression in the two breast cancer cell lines. In addition, CDAK inhibited proliferation of cancer cell through S phase arrest, and own selective affinity with MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231cells, inhibited the invasion of MDA-MB-231 cells. In vivo, CDAK significant inhibited the progression of the tumor and the generation of neovascularization.
Antimicrobial peptides containing the CisoDGRC (CDAK) motif could efficiently exhibit the antitumor activity for CD13−/αvβ3+ breast cancer cells.
Since the activated hepatic stellate cell (HSC) is the predominant event in the progression of liver fibrosis, selective clearance of HSC should be a potential strategy in therapy. Salvia miltiorrhiza roots ethanol extract (SMEE) remarkably ameliorates liver fibrogenesis in DMN-administrated rat model. Next, tanshinone IIA (Tan IIA), the major compound of SMEE, significantly inhibited rat HSC viability and led to cell apoptosis. Proteome tools elucidated that increased prohibitin is involved in cell cycle arrest under Tan IIA is the treatment while knockdown of prohibitin could attenuate Tan IIA-induced apoptosis. In addition, Tan IIA mediated translocation of C-Raf which interacted with prohibitin activating MAPK and inhibiting AKT signaling in HSC. MAPK antagonist suppressed ERK phosphorylation which was necessary for Tan IIA-induced expression of Bax and cytochrome c. PD98059 also abolished Tan IIA-modulated cleavage of PARP. Our findings suggested that Tan IIA could contribute to apoptosis of HSC by promoting ERK-Bax-caspase pathways through C-Raf/prohibitin complex.
Exome sequencing constitutes an important technology for the study of human hereditary diseases and cancer. However, the ability of this approach to identify copy number alterations in primary tumor samples has not been fully addressed. Here we show that somatic copy number alterations can be reliably estimated using exome sequencing data through a strategy that we have termed exome2cnv. Using data from 86 paired normal and primary tumor samples, we identified losses and gains of complete chromosomes or large genomic regions, as well as smaller regions affecting a minimum of one gene. Comparison with high-resolution comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) arrays revealed a high sensitivity and a low number of false positives in the copy number estimation between both approaches. We explore the main factors affecting sensitivity and false positives with real data, and provide a side by side comparison with CGH arrays. Together, these results underscore the utility of exome sequencing to study cancer samples by allowing not only the identification of substitutions and indels, but also the accurate estimation of copy number alterations.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play important roles in modulating the neoplastic process of cancers including head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). A genetic polymorphism (rs2292832, C>T) has been recently identified in the precursor of miR-149; nevertheless its clinicopathological implications remain obscure. In this study, we showed that miR-149 is down-regulated in HNSCC compared to normal mucosa and this is associated with a poorer patient survival. In addition, HNSCC patients with the T/T genotype have more advanced tumors and a worse prognosis. Multivariate analysis indicated that patients carried the T/T genotype have a 2.81-fold (95% CI: 1.58–4.97) increased risk of nodal metastasis and 1.66-fold (95% CI: 1.05–2.60) increased risk of mortality compared to other groups. T/T genotype also predicted the worse prognosis of buccal mucosa carcinoma subset of HNSCC. In vitro analysis indicated that exogenous miR-149 expression reduces the migration of HNSCC cells. Moreover, HNSCC cell subclones carrying the pri-mir-149 sequence containing the T variant show a low processing efficacy when converting the pre-mir-149 to mature miR-149. These findings suggest that miR-149 suppresses tumor cell mobility, and that the pre-mir-149 polymorphism may affect the processing of miR-149, resulting in a change in the abundance of the mature form miRNA, which, in turn, modulates tumor progression and patient survival.
Skin aging is an important issue in geriatric and cosmetic dermatology. To quantitatively analyze changes in keratinocytes related to intrinsic aging, we exploited a 1230 nm-based in vivo harmonic generation microscopy, combining second- and third-harmonic generation modalities. 52 individuals (21 men and 31 women, age range 19–79) were examined on the sun-protected volar forearm. Through quantitative analysis by the standard algorithm provided, we found that the cellular and nuclear size of basal keratinocytes, but not that of granular cells, was significantly increased with advancing age. The cellular and nuclear areas, which have an increase of 0.51 μm2 and 0.15 μm2 per year, respectively, can serve as scoring indices for intrinsic skin aging.
(110.0180) Microscopy; (170.1530) Cell analysis; (170.1610) Clinical applications; (170.1870) Dermatology; (170.3880) Medical and biological imaging; (190.4160) Multiharmonic generation
This study was to investigate the effect of nicotine on insulin sensitivity and explore the underlying mechanisms. Treatment of Sprague-Dawley rats with nicotine (3 mg/kg/day) for 6 weeks reduced 43% body weight gain and 65% blood insulin level, but had no effect on blood glucose level. Both insulin tolerance test and glucose tolerance test demonstrated that nicotine treatment enhanced insulin sensitivity. Pretreatment of rats with hexamethonium (20 mg/kg/day) to antagonize peripheral nicotinic receptors except for α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7-nAChR) had no effect on the insulin sensitizing effect of nicotine. However, the insulin sensitizing effect but not the bodyweight reducing effect of nicotine was abrogated in α7-nAChR knockout mice. Further, chronic treatment with PNU-282987 (0.53 mg/kg/day), a selective α7-nAChR agonist, significantly enhanced insulin sensitivity without apparently modifying bodyweight not only in normal mice but also in AMP-activated kinase-α2 knockout mice, an animal model of insulin resistance with no sign of inflammation. Moreover, PNU-282987 treatment enhanced phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) in skeletal muscle, adipose tissue and liver in normal mice. PNU-282987 treatment also increased glucose uptake by 25% in C2C12 myotubes and this effect was total abrogated by STAT3 inhibitor, S3I-201. All together, these findings demonstrated that nicotine enhanced insulin sensitivity in animals with or without insulin resistance, at least in part via stimulating α7-nAChR-STAT3 pathway independent of inflammation. Our results contribute not only to the understanding of the pharmacological effects of nicotine, but also to the identifying of new therapeutic targets against insulin resistance.
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups may contribute to the development of aging-related diseases. A reliable in vitro cellular system for investigating the physiologic significance of mtDNA haplogroups is essential. This study aims to construct and characterize a series of cybrid cell lines harboring variant mtDNA haplogroups collected from healthy Taiwanese volunteers. Cybrid cells harboring different mtDNA haplogroups like B4a, B4b, B4c, B4d, B5, R, F1a, F2, D4e, D4a, D5b, D5a, E, M8, C, and N9a were prepared. Luminex 1000 and full-length mtDNA sequencing were used to confirm that mtDNA haplogroups of transmitochondrial cybrids were identical to their original donors. Cybrid B4b had a significantly lower oxygen consumption rate and higher mitochondrial membrane potential compared to F1a, B5, D5a, D4a, and N9a but had more susceptibility to H2O2-induced oxidative stress than cybrid F1a, D4a, and N9a. Cybrid N9a had better oxygen consumption and H2O2-challenged viability compared to B4b, F1a, B5, D5a, and D4a. A series of cybrid cells harboring the main haplogroups of the Taiwanese population with ethnic Chinese background has been developed in vitro. With this mtDNA haplogroup population, the underlying mechanisms of aging-related diseases may be better understood, and therapeutic interventions can be accelerated.
Famine provides quasi-experimental conditions for testing the hypothesis of “programming” health effects by poor nutrition in early life. It remains uncertain whether early life exposure to famine increases the risk of hypertension in adulthood. There is a lack of data on the relative impact of exposure to famine during fetal development versus infancy (<2 years postnatal). We sought to assess the impact of exposure to the 1959–1961 Chinese Great Famine (the largest in human history) during fetal development and infancy on the risks of hypertension, short stature and obesity in adulthood.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 12,065 adults (46–53 years of age) born 1957–1964 in the Zhongshan and Nanhai municipalities of Guangdong province, China. Adjusting for socio-demographic and lifestyle characteristics, as compared to subjects who were unexposed to famine, the risk of hypertension was not significantly elevated in subjects exposed to famine during fetal development only overall, but was 1.36-fold higher in those exposed during the first trimester of pregnancy only [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.36 (95% confidence intervals 1.03–1.79)], 1.83-fold higher in those exposed during infancy only [adjusted OR 1.83 (1.61–2.08)], and 1.31-fold higher in those exposed during both fetal development and infancy [adjusted OR 1.31 (1.14–1.51)]. Exposure to famine during infancy increased the risk of short stature. Early life exposure to famine did not increase the risk of obesity.
Exposure to the Chinese Great Famine during the first trimester of pregnancy only, or during infancy only, or during both fetal development and infancy increased the risk of hypertension in adulthood, suggesting an important role of changes in exposure to famine during fetal development and from prenatal to early postnatal life in developmental “programming” cardiovascular disease risk.
Myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88) is a universal and essential signaling protein in Toll-like receptor/interleukin-1 receptor-induced activation of nuclear factor-kappa B. In this study, two MyD88 protein variants (LvMyD88 and LvMyD88-1) were identified in Litopenaeus vannamei. The LvMyD88 cDNA is 1,848 bp in length and contains an open reading frame (ORF) of 1,428 bp, whereas the LvMyD88-1 cDNA is 1,719 bp in length and has an ORF of 1,299 bp. Both variants encode proteins with death and Toll/interleukin-1 receptor domains and share 91% sequence identity. In healthy L. vannamei, the LvMyD88 genes were highly expressed in hemocytes but at a low level in the hepatopancreas. The LvMyD88s expression was induced in hemocytes after challenge with lipopolysaccharide, CpG-ODN2006, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Staphyloccocus aureus, and white spot syndrome virus, but not by poly I∶C. Overexpression of LvMyD88 and LvMyD88-1 in Drosophila Schneider 2 cells led to activation of antimicrobial peptide genes and wsv069 (ie1), wsv303, and wsv371. These results suggested that LvMyD88 may play a role in antibacterial and antiviral response in L. vannamei. To our knowledge, this is the first report on MyD88 in shrimp and a variant of MyD88 gene in invertebrates.
The energy status of a cell plays a key role in its survival, and the exposure of eukaryotic cells to the hypoxia that accompanies the depletion of intracellular ATP triggers specific systemic adaptive responses. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) has emerged as a key regulator of energy metabolism in the heart and plays a critical role in inducing these responses. However, the specific mechanism responsible for AMPK activation in cardiomyocytes at very early stages of hypoxia remain unclear. The goals of this study were to assess the relative contribution to AMPK activation of phosphorylation by AMPK kinase (AMPKK) and of positive allosterism due to AMP:ATP ratios in the early stages of hypoxia. Our results demonstrated that, compared with normoxic controls, neither intracellular AMP concentrations nor AMP:ATP ratios significantly increased within 1h of hypoxia onset. In contrast, a SAMS peptide phosphorylation assay and an immunoblot analysis revealed significant increases in both AMPK activity and ACC phosphorylation within 5min of hypoxic treatment. Furthermore, exposure of cardiomyocytes to hypoxia significantly increased AMPK phosphorylation within 5min, by 3- to 4-fold compared with controls (P<0.01), while overall levels of AMPKα protein did not differ between aerobic and anoxic cardiomyocytes. We also observed increased AMPKK activity in anoxic cardiomyocytes, through use of an α312 substrate. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that in the early stage of hypoxia in cardiomyocytes, increases in AMPK activity occur prior to and independently of increases in AMP concentration or in the AMP:ATP ratio. Instead, under these circumstances, AMPK is primarily activated by phosphorylation of the conserved Thr-172 residue in its activation loop by its upstream kinase AMPKK.
Cardiomyocytes; hypoxia; AMPK; AMP; AMPK kinase
Oral and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) are among the most common cancers worldwide, with approximately 60% 5-yr survival rate. To identify potential markers for disease progression, we used Affymetrix U133 plus 2.0 arrays to examine the gene expression profiles of 167 primary tumor samples from OSCC patients, 58 uninvolved oral mucosae from OSCC patients and 45 normal oral mucosae from patients without oral cancer, all enrolled at one of the three University of Washington-affiliated medical centers between 2003 to 2008. We found 2,596 probe sets differentially expressed between 167 tumor samples and 45 normal samples. Among 2,596 probe sets, 71 were significantly and consistently up- or down-regulated in the comparison between normal samples and uninvolved oral samples and between uninvolved oral samples and tumor samples. Cox regression analyses showed that 20 of the 71 probe sets were significantly associated with progression-free survival. The risk score for each patient was calculated from coefficients of a Cox model incorporating these 20 probe sets. The hazard ratio (HR) associated with each unit change in the risk score adjusting for age, gender, tumor stage, and high-risk HPV status was 2.7 (95% CI: 2.0–3.8, p = 8.8E-10). The risk scores in an independent dataset of 74 OSCC patients from the MD Anderson Cancer Center was also significantly associated with progression-free survival independent of age, gender, and tumor stage (HR 1.6, 95% CI: 1.1–2.2, p = 0.008). Gene Set Enrichment Analysis showed that the most prominent biological pathway represented by the 71 probe sets was the Integrin cell surface interactions pathway. In conclusion, we identified 71 probe sets in which dysregulation occurred in both uninvolved oral mucosal and cancer samples. Dysregulation of 20 of the 71 probe sets was associated with progression-free survival and was validated in an independent dataset.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) induces a complex sequence of apopototic cascades that contribute to secondary tissue damage. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of salidroside, a phenolic glycoside with potent anti-apoptotic properties, on behavioral and histological outcomes, brain edema, and apoptosis following experimental TBI and the possible involvement of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/protein kinase B (PI3K)/Akt signaling pathway.
Mice subjected to controlled cortical impact injury received intraperitoneal salidroside (20, or 50 mg/kg) or vehicle injection 10 min after injury. Behavioral studies, histology analysis and brain water content assessment were performed. Levels of PI3K/Akt signaling-related molecules, apoptosis-related proteins, cytochrome C (CytoC), and Smac/DIABLO were also analyzed. LY294002, a PI3K inhibitor, was administered to examine the mechanism of protection. The protective effect of salidroside was also investigated in primary cultured neurons subjected to stretch injury. Treatment with 20 mg/kg salidroside_significantly improved functional recovery and reduced brain tissue damage up to post-injury day 28. Salidroside_also significantly reduced neuronal death, apoptosis, and brain edema at day 1. These changes were associated with significant decreases in cleaved caspase-3, CytoC, and Smac/DIABLO at days 1 and 3. Salidroside increased phosphorylation of Akt on Ser473 and the mitochondrial Bcl-2/Bax ratio at day 1, and enhanced phosphorylation of Akt on Thr308 at day 3. This beneficial effect was abolished by pre-injection of LY294002. Moreover, delayed administration of salidroside at 3 or 6 h post-injury reduced neuronal damage at day 1. Salidroside treatment also decreased neuronal vulnerability to stretch-induced injury in vitro.
Post-injury salidroside improved long-term behavioral and histological outcomes and reduced brain edema and apoptosis following TBI, at least partially via the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway.
Recent advances in tissue microarray technology have allowed immunohistochemistry to become a powerful medium-to-high throughput analysis tool, particularly for the validation of diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers. However, as study size grows, the manual evaluation of these assays becomes a prohibitive limitation; it vastly reduces throughput and greatly increases variability and expense. We propose an algorithm—Tissue Array Co-Occurrence Matrix Analysis (TACOMA)—for quantifying cellular phenotypes based on textural regularity summarized by local inter-pixel relationships. The algorithm can be easily trained for any staining pattern, is absent of sensitive tuning parameters and has the ability to report salient pixels in an image that contribute to its score. Pathologists’ input via informative training patches is an important aspect of the algorithm that allows the training for any specific marker or cell type. With co-training, the error rate of TACOMA can be reduced substantially for a very small training sample (e.g., with size 30). We give theoretical insights into the success of co-training via thinning of the feature set in a high dimensional setting when there is “sufficient” redundancy among the features. TACOMA is flexible, transparent and provides a scoring process that can be evaluated with clarity and confidence. In a study based on an estrogen receptor (ER) marker, we show that TACOMA is comparable to, or outperforms, pathologists’ performance in terms of accuracy and repeatability.
Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) can reduce liver fibrosis. Apart from the paracrine mechanism by which the antifibrotic effects of BMSCs inhibit activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), the effects of direct interplay and juxtacrine signaling between the two cell types are poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to explore the underlying mechanisms by which BMSCs modulate the function of activated HSCs.
We used BMSCs directly and indirectly co-culture system with HSCs to evaluate the anti-fibrosis effect of BMSCs. Cell proliferation and activation were examined in the presence of BMSCs and HGF. c-met was knockdown in HSCs to evaluate the effect of HGF secreted by BMSCs. The TLR4 and Myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88(MyD88) mRNA levels and the NF-kB pathway activation were determined by real-time PCR and western blotting analyses. The effect of BMSCs on HSCs activation was investigated in vitro in either MyD88 silencing or overexpression in HSCs. Liver fibrosis in rats fed CCl4 with and without BMSCs supplementation was compared. Histopathological examinations and serum biochemical tests were compared between the two groups.
BMSCs remarkably inhibited the proliferation and activation of HSCs by interfering with LPS-TLR4 pathway through a cell–cell contact mode that was partially mediated by HGF secretion. The NF-kB pathway is involved in HSCs activation inhibition by BMSCs. MyD88 over expression reduced the BMSC inhibition of NF-kB luciferase activation. BMSCs protected liver fibrosis in vivo.
BMSCs modulate HSCs in vitro via TLR4/MyD88/NF-kB signaling pathway through cell–cell contact and secreting HGF. BMSCs have therapeutic effects on cirrhosis rats. Our results provide new insights into the treatment of hepatic fibrosis with BMSCs.