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26.  A penalized EM algorithm incorporating missing data mechanism for Gaussian parameter estimation 
Biometrics  2014;70(2):312-322.
Missing data rates could depend on the targeted values in many settings, including mass spectrometry-based proteomic profiling studies. Here we consider mean and covariance estimation under a multivariate Gaussian distribution with non-ignorable missingness, including scenarios in which the dimension (p) of the response vector is equal to or greater than the number (n) of independent observations. A parameter estimation procedure is developed by maximizing a class of penalized likelihood functions that entails explicit modeling of missing data probabilities. The performance of the resulting ‘penalized EM algorithm incorporating missing data mechanism (PEMM)’ estimation procedure is evaluated in simulation studies and in a proteomic data illustration.
PMCID: PMC4061266  PMID: 24471933
Expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm; maximum penalized likelihood estimate; not-missing-at-random (NMAR)
27.  Therapeutic effect and mechanism of electroacupuncture at Zusanli on plasticity of interstitial cells of Cajal: a study of rat ileum 
Electroacupuncture (EA) is one of the techniques of acupuncture and is believed to be an effective alternative and complementary treatment in many disorders. The aims of this study were to investigate the effects and mechanisms of EA at acupoint Zusanli (ST36) on the plasticity of interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs) in partial bowel obstruction.
A Sprague Dawley rat model of partial bowel obstruction was established and EA was conducted at Zusanli (ST36) and Yinglingquan (SP9) in test and control groups, respectively. Experiments were performed to study the effects and mechanisms of EA at Zusanli on intestinal myoelectric activity, distribution and alteration of ICCs, expression of inflammatory mediators, and c-Kit expression.
1) EA at Zusanli somewhat improved slow wave amplitude and frequency in the partial obstruction rats. 2) EA at Zusanli significantly stimulated the recovery of ICC networks and numbers. 3) the pro-inflammatory mediator TNF-α and NO activity were significantly reduced after EA at Zusanli, However, no significant changes were observed in the anti-inflammatory mediator IL-10 activity. 4) EA at Zusanli re-expressed c-Kit protein. However, EA at the control acupoint, SP9, significantly improved slow wave frequency and amplitude, but had no effect on ICC or inflammatory mediators.
We concluded that EA at Zusanli might have a therapeutic effect on ICC plasticity, and that this effect might be mediated via a decrease in pro-inflammatory mediators and through the c-Kit signaling pathway, but that the relationship between EA at different acupoints and myoelectric activity needs further study.
PMCID: PMC4096531  PMID: 24908398
Electroacupuncture; Plasticity; DOG1; Inflammatory mediators; c-Kit signaling
28.  The Effects and Measures of Auricular Acupressure and Interactive Multimedia for Smoking Cessation in College Students 
The earlier one starts to smoke, the more likely it is that one's tobacco use will increase. Either auricular acupressure or multimedia education could improve physiological health status and reduce smoking for young smokers. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of a 10-week auricular acupressure (AA) and interactive multimedia (IM) on smoking cessation in college smokers. A pre- and posttest control research design with two experiments (AA and IM) and one control was used. Thirty-two participants were in each of three groups. A significant difference from pretest to posttest among three groups was exhibited on carbon monoxide (CO), cotinine, and nicotine dependence. Scheffe's post hoc test found significances on CO in the AA between the IM and the control and cotinine and nicotine dependence between the AA and the control. After controlling the covariates, the main effect of the group was no difference in all outcomes. The interventions, especially AA, may contribute to a decrease of CO, cotinine, and nicotine dependence along with the time change. An analysis without controlling influences may overestimate interventional effects.
PMCID: PMC4060388  PMID: 24987436
29.  Altered Contractile Phenotypes of Intestinal Smooth Muscle in Mice Deficient in Myosin Phosphatase Target Subunit 1 
Gastroenterology  2013;144(7):1456-1465.e5.
The regulatory subunit of myosin light chain phosphatase, MYPT1, has been proposed to control smooth muscle contractility by regulating phosphorylation of the Ca2+-dependent myosin regulatory light chain. We generated mice with a smooth muscle–specific deletion of MYPT1 to investigate its physiologic role in intestinal smooth muscle contraction.
We used the CreloxP system to establish Mypt1-floxed mice, with the promoter region and exon 1 of Mypt1 flanked by 2 loxP sites. These mice were crossed with SMA-Cre transgenic mice to generate mice with smooth muscle–specific deletion of MYPT1 (Mypt1SMKO mice). The phenotype was assessed by histologic, biochemical, molecular, and physiologic analyses.
Young adult Mypt1SMKO mice had normal intestinal motility in vivo, with no histologic abnormalities. On stimulation with KCl or acetylcholine, intestinal smooth muscles isolated from Mypt1SMKO mice produced robust and increased sustained force due to increased phosphorylation of the myosin regulatory light chain compared with muscle from control mice. Additional analyses of contractile properties showed reduced rates of force development and relaxation, and decreased shortening velocity, compared with muscle from control mice. Permeable smooth muscle fibers from Mypt1SMKO mice had increased sensitivity and contraction in response to Ca2+.
MYPT1 is not essential for smooth muscle function in mice but regulates the Ca2+ sensitivity of force development and contributes to intestinal phasic contractile phenotype. Altered contractile responses in isolated tissues could be compensated by adaptive physiologic responses in vivo, where gut motility is affected by lower intensities of smooth muscle stimulation for myosin phosphorylation and force development.
PMCID: PMC3782749  PMID: 23499953
Mouse Model; Development; Calcium Signaling; Phosphorylation
30.  Active and passive smoking with breast cancer risk for Chinese females: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
Chinese Journal of Cancer  2014;33(6):306-316.
Previous studies suggested that smoking and passive smoking could increase the risk of breast cancer, but the results were inconsistent, especially for Chinese females. Thus, we systematically searched cohort and case-control studies investigating the associations of active and passive smoking with breast cancer risk among Chinese females in four English databases (PubMed, Embase, ScienceDirect, and Wiley) and three Chinese databases (CNKI, WanFang, and VIP). Fifty-one articles (3 cohort studies and 48 case-control studies) covering 17 provinces of China were finally included in this systematic review. Among Chinese females, there was significant association between passive smoking and this risk of breast cancer [odds ratio (OR): 1.62; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.39–1.85; I2 = 75.8%, P < 0.001; n = 26] but no significant association between active smoking and the risk of breast cancer (OR: 1.04; 95% CI: 0.89–1.20; I2 = 13.9%, P = 0.248; n = 31). The OR of exposure to husband's smoking and to smoke in the workplace was 1.27 (95% CI: 1.07–1.50) and 1.66 (95% CI: 1.07–2.59), respectively. The OR of light and heavy passive smoking was 1.11 and 1.41, respectively, for women exposed to their husband's smoke (< 20 and ≥ 20 cigarettes per day), and 1.07 and 1.87, respectively, for those exposed to smoke in the workplace (< 300 and ≥ 300 min of exposure per day). These results imply that passive smoking is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, and the risk seems to increase as the level of passive exposure to smoke increases among Chinese females. Women with passive exposure to smoke in the workplace have a higher risk of breast cancer than those exposed to their husband's smoking.
PMCID: PMC4059868  PMID: 24823992
Systematic review; meta-analysis; active smoking; passive smoking; breast cancer; Chinese females
31.  High dosage of agmatine alleviates pentylenetetrazole-induced chronic seizures in rats possibly by exerting an anticonvulsive effect 
The aim of the present study was to investigate the mechanism underlying the effects of different doses of agmatine in rats with chronic epilepsy. To generate chronic epilepsy models, rats pretreated with different doses of agmatine (20, 40 and 80 mg/kg) were intraperitoneally injected with pentylenetetrazole (35 mg/kg) for 28 consecutive days. Epileptic behavior was observed using behavioral measurements of convulsion for 1 h after each treatment with pentylenetetrazole. Morphological alterations of the hippocampal neurons were also observed using hematoxylin and eosin staining. In addition, the expression levels of glial fibrillary acidic protein and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in the hippocampus were detected by immunohistochemistry. Furthermore, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction was performed to detect the mRNA expression of two subunits (NR1 and NR2B) of the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor in the rat hippocampus. The results demonstrated that administration of agmatine (80 mg/kg) significantly decreased the daily average grade of epileptic seizures and also reduced neuronal loss and astrocyte hyperplasia in the hippocampal area. Furthermore, agmatine (80 mg/kg) affected the mRNA expression levels of the NR1 subunit of the NMDA receptor, however, agmatine had no effect on the expression of iNOS in the hippocampus. Higher doses of agmatine inhibited the effect of pentylenetetrazole in rats, reduced astrocytic hyperplasia and neuronal damage in the hippocampus caused by seizures and selectively reduced the expression of the NR1 subunit of NMDA. Our results suggest that agmatine has an anticonvulsive effect in chronic epilepsy.
PMCID: PMC4061208  PMID: 24944600
agmatine; chronic seizures; pentylenetetrazole; N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor
32.  A Randomized, Prospective Pilot Study of Patient Expectancy and Antidepressant Outcome 
Psychological medicine  2012;43(5):975-982.
This study is a randomized, prospective, investigation of the relationships between clinical trial design, patient expectancy, and the outcome of treatment with antidepressant medication.
Adult outpatients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) were randomized to either Placebo-Controlled (PC, 50% probability of receiving active medication) or Comparator (COMP, 100% probability of receiving active medication) administration of antidepressant medication. Independent samples t tests and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) were employed to determine whether the probability of receiving active medication influenced patient expectancy and to compare medication response in the PC vs. COMP conditions. We also tested the correlations between baseline expectancy score and final improvement in depressive symptoms across study groups.
Subjects randomized to the COMP condition reported greater expectancy of improvement compared to subjects in the PC condition (t = 2.60, df 27, p = 0.015). There were no statistically significant differences in the analyses comparing antidepressant outcomes between subjects receiving medication in the COMP condition and those receiving medication in the PC condition. Higher baseline expectancy of improvement was correlated with lower final depression severity scores (r = 0.53, p = 0.021) and greater improvement in depressive symptoms over the course of the study (r = 0.44, p = 0.058).
The methods described represent a promising way of subjecting patient expectancy to scientific study. Expectancy of improvement is affected by the probability of receiving active antidepressant medication and appears to influence antidepressant response.
PMCID: PMC3594112  PMID: 22971472
antidepressant; placebo effect; expectancy; clinical trial; depression
33.  Culture Qualitatively but Not Quantitatively Influences Performance in the Boston Naming Test in a Chinese-Speaking Population 
The Boston Naming Test (BNT) is the most frequently administered confrontational naming test, but the cultural background of the patients may influence their performance in the BNT. The aim of this study was to identify differences in performance in the BNT between a Chinese population in Taiwan, Chinese populations in other areas and a Caucasian population.
A total of 264 native, Chinese-speaking, cognitively normal elders aged >60 years were enrolled in our study and conducted the 30-item Chinese version of the BNT. Another 10 BNT studies were categorized, analyzed and compared with the present study.
Higher education was associated with higher scores, whereas age and gender had no effect on performance in the BNT. The score of the Chinese-speaking population was equivalent to the English-speaking population. A disparity in difficulties with items was not only apparent between the Taiwanese and Caucasian populations, but also between the Chinese-speaking populations in the different geographic areas.
For the most part, the impact of culture on performance in the BNT may not be quantitative but qualitative. Attention should be paid to a potential effect of culture on difficulties with items when administering the BNT to non-English-speaking populations. Understanding differences in performance in the BNT in distinct cultural settings improves the clinical application of the BNT.
PMCID: PMC4024970  PMID: 24847347
Boston Naming Test; Chinese-speaking population; Cross-cultural comparison; Elderly; Taiwan

34.  Laminoplasty and Laminectomy Hybrid Decompression for the Treatment of Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy with Hypertrophic Ligamentum Flavum: A Retrospective Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e95482.
To report the outcomes of a posterior hybrid decompression protocol for the treatment of cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) associated with hypertrophic ligamentum flavum (HLF).
Laminoplasty is widely used in patients with CSM; however, for CSM patients with HLF, traditional laminoplasty does not include resection of a pathological ligamentum flavum.
This study retrospectively reviewed 116 CSM patients with HLF who underwent hybrid decompression with a minimum of 12 months of follow-up. The procedure consisted of reconstruction of the C4 and C6 laminae using CENTERPIECE plates with spinous process autografts, and resection of the C3, C5, and C7 laminae. Surgical outcomes were assessed using Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) score, recovery rate, cervical lordotic angle, cervical range of motion, spinal canal sagittal diameter, bone healing rates on both the hinge and open sides, dural sac expansion at the level of maximum compression, drift-back distance of the spinal cord, and postoperative neck pain assessed by visual analog scale.
No hardware failure or restenosis was noted. Postoperative JOA score improved significantly, with a mean recovery rate of 65.3±15.5%. Mean cervical lordotic angle had decreased 4.9 degrees by 1 year after surgery (P<0.05). Preservation of cervical range of motion was satisfactory postoperatively. Bone healing rates 6 months after surgery were 100% on the hinge side and 92.2% on the open side. Satisfactory decompression was demonstrated by a significantly increased sagittal canal diameter and cross-sectional area of the dural sac together with a significant drift-back distance of the spinal cord. The dural sac was also adequately expanded at the time of the final follow-up visit.
Hybrid laminectomy and autograft laminoplasty decompression using Centerpiece plates may facilitate bone healing and produce a comparatively satisfactory prognosis for CSM patients with HLF.
PMCID: PMC3989326  PMID: 24740151
35.  Correlation between serum IGF-1 and blood lead level in short stature children and adolescent with growth hormone deficiency 
This study aimed to investigate correlation between serum insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and blood lead level in short stature children with growth hormone deficiency (GHD), and IGF-1 signal molecules were investigated in lead exposed rats. Our findings may provide evidence for clarifying pathogenesis of lead induced short stature in children. Methods: 880 short stature children were recruited from clinics and divided into GHD group and idiopathic short stature (ISS) group according to the GH peak in growth hormone stimulation test. The height, body weight, serum IGF-1 level and blood lead level were determined. A rat model of lead poisoning was used to establish and western blot assay was employed to detect the phosphorylation of signaling molecules (MAPK and PI3K/Akt) related to IGF-1 signaling pathway. Results: In GHD group, the height, body weight and serum IGF-1 level were significantly lower, but the blood lead level was significantly higher than those in ISS group (P<0.05). Western blot assay confirmed that the protein expression of phosphorylated ERK1/2, JNK, p38, Akt473 and Akt308 increased significantly (P<0.01) in lead exposure rats. Conclusion: Our study suggesting that reduction in IGF-1 in children with GHD is associated with blood lead level. Lead exposure may induce expression of phosphorylated MAPK and Akt signaling molecules. The activation of these molecules may influence binding of IGF-1 and tyrosine kinase receptor IGFIR to regulate cell growth via the MAPK and Akt signaling pathways, which then interfere with growth-promoting effect of IGF-1 in short children.
PMCID: PMC4057833  PMID: 24955154
Growth hormone deficiency; insulin-like growth factor I; lead exposure animal model; short stature; signaling pathway
36.  The relationship between regional abdominal fat distribution and both insulin resistance and subclinical chronic inflammation in non-diabetic adults 
Obesity is associated with a high risk of insulin resistance (IR) and its metabolic complications. It is still debated that distributions of adipose tissue relate to an excess risk of IR and chronic inflammation in different race. This study was designed to examine the relation between insulin sensitivity, chronic inflammation and central fat distribution in non-diabetic volunteers in Taiwanese.
There were 328 volunteers without family history of diabetes mellitus and with normal oral glucose tolerance test enrolled. Total body fat and abdominal fat were measured. Abdominal fat was categorized into intraperitoneal (IP), retroperitoneal (RP) and subcutaneous (SC) fat. The IR index was estimated by homeostatic model assessment. Five inflammatory markers: adiponectin, leptin, tumor necrosing factor-α (TNF-α), resistin and high sensitive CRP (hs-CRP) were measured.
IR was related to IP fat (r = 0.23, p < 0.001), but not RP fat, SC fat or total body fat. After correcting for age and sex, IP fat was the only significant predictor of IR (r2 = 58%, p = 0.001). Leptin showed the strongest relationship with all fat compartments (IP fat: r = 0.44, p = 0.001; RP fat: r = 0.36, p = 0.005, SC fat: r = 0.54, p < 0.001; total body fat: r = 0.61, p < 0.001). The hs-CRP and adiponectin were closely related both to IP (r = 0.29, p = 0.004; r = -0.20, p = 0.046, respectively) and total body fat (r = 0.29, p = 0.004; r = -0.29, p = 0.005, respectively), but not RP, or SC fat. TNF-α and resistin were not correlated to any fat compartment. After correcting for age and sex, leptin variance was mostly explained by SC fat (41.3%), followed by IP fat (33.6%) and RP fat (25.3%). The hs-CRP and adiponectin variance were mostly explained by IP fat (40% and 49% respectively).
IP fat is better predictors of IR and subclinical chronic inflammation in Taiwanese adults. A disproportionate accumulation of abdominal fat is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.
PMCID: PMC3978053  PMID: 24684833
Subcutaneous fat; Intra-peritoneal fat; Retroperitoneal fat; Insulin resistance; High sensitive C-reactive protein; Adiponectin
37.  Astragaloside IV reduces the expression level of P-glycoprotein in multidrug-resistant human hepatic cancer cell lines 
Molecular Medicine Reports  2014;9(6):2131-2137.
Astragaloside is a saponin widely used in traditional Chinese medicine and has been reported to be a potent multidrug resistance (MDR) reversal agent. The present study investigated the role of astragaloside IV (ASIV) in the regulation of P-glycoprotein (P-gp, encoded by the mdr1 gene) and its effect on the reversal of MDR. The activity of ASIV was evaluated using human hepatic cancer cells Bel-7402 and the corresponding 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) resistant cells Bel-7402/FU. ASIV (0.08 mg/ml) potentiated the cytotoxicity of 5-FU which was demonstrated using the MTT assay on Bel-7402/FU cells. ASIV reduced the expression of P-gp as was revealed by immunocytochemistry. Accumulation and efflux studies with the P-gp substrate, rhodamine 123 (Rh123), demonstrated that ASIV inhibited P-gp-mediated drug efflux. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that ASIV enhanced the drug accumulation of 5-FU using a high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) assay for drug resistant cells. Furthermore, ASIV may downregulate the expression of P-gp, which was examined using western blot analysis and polymerase chain reaction. In conclusion, the results of the present study indicated that ASIV reverses the drug resistance of Bel-7402/FU cells by downregulating the expression of mdr1. ASIV may represent a potent modulator of P-gp-mediated MDR in hepatic cancer therapy.
PMCID: PMC4055740  PMID: 24676670
astragaloside IV; P-glycoprotein; multidrug resistance; ABCB1
38.  Spatial variations of community structures and methane cycling across a transect of Lei-Gong-Hou mud volcanoes in eastern Taiwan 
This study analyzed cored sediments retrieved from sites distributed across a transect of the Lei-Gong-Hou mud volcanoes in eastern Taiwan to uncover the spatial distributions of biogeochemical processes and community assemblages involved in methane cycling. The profiles of methane concentration and carbon isotopic composition revealed various orders of the predominance of specific methane-related metabolisms along depth. At a site proximal to the bubbling pool, the methanogenic zone was sandwiched by the anaerobic methanotrophic zones. For two sites distributed toward the topographic depression, the methanogenic zone overlaid the anaerobic methanotrophic zone. The predominance of anaerobic methanotrophy at specific depth intervals is supported by the enhanced copy numbers of the ANME-2a 16S rRNA gene and coincides with high dissolved Fe/Mn concentrations and copy numbers of the Desulfuromonas/Pelobacter 16S rRNA gene. Assemblages of 16S rRNA and mcrA genes revealed that methanogenesis was mediated by Methanococcoides and Methanosarcina. pmoA genes and a few 16S rRNA genes related to aerobic methanotrophs were detected in limited numbers of subsurface samples. While dissolved Fe/Mn signifies the presence of anaerobic metabolisms near the surface, the correlations between geochemical characteristics and gene abundances, and the absence of aerobic methanotrophs in top sediments suggest that anaerobic methanotrophy is potentially dependent on iron/manganese reduction and dominates over aerobic methanotrophy for the removal of methane produced in situ or from a deep source. Near-surface methanogenesis contributes to the methane emissions from mud platform. The alternating arrangements of methanogenic and methanotrophic zones at different sites suggest that the interactions between mud deposition, evaporation, oxidation and fluid transport modulate the assemblages of microbial communities and methane cycling in different compartments of terrestrial mud volcanoes.
PMCID: PMC3971192  PMID: 24723919
mud volcano; methanogenesis; methanotrophy; metal reduction; ANME group; Taiwan
39.  Unusual Compression Behavior of Nanocrystalline CeO2 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:4441.
The x-ray diffraction study of 12 nm CeO2 was carried out up to ~40 GPa using an angle dispersive synchrotron-radiation in a diamond-anvil cell with different pressure transmitting medium (PTM) (4:1 methanol: ethanol mixture, silicone oil and none) at room temperature. While the cubic fluorite-type structure CeO2 was retained to the highest pressure, there is progressive broadening and intensity reduction of the reflections with increasing pressure. At pressures above 12 GPa, an unusual change in the compression curve was detected in all experiments. Significantly, apparent negative volume compressibility was observed at P = 18–27 GPa with silicone oil as PTM, however it was not detected in other circumstances. The expansion of the unit cell volume of cubic CeO2 was about 1% at pressures of 15–27 GPa. To explain this abnormal phenomenon, a dual structure model (hard amorphous shell and relatively soft crystalline core) has been proposed.
PMCID: PMC3963033  PMID: 24658049
40.  Effects of Metformin on the Cerebral Metabolic Changes in Type 2 Diabetic Patients 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:694326.
Metformin, a widely used antidiabetic drug, has numerous effects on human metabolism. Based on emerging cellular, animal, and epidemiological studies, we hypothesized that metformin leads to cerebral metabolic changes in diabetic patients. To explore metabolism-influenced foci of brain, we used 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-D-glucose (FDG) positron emission tomography for type 2 diabetic patients taking metformin (MET, n = 18), withdrawing from metformin (wdMET, n = 13), and not taking metformin (noMET, n = 9). Compared with the noMET group, statistical parametric mapping showed that the MET group had clusters with significantly higher metabolism in right temporal, right frontal, and left occipital lobe white matter and lower metabolism in the left parahippocampal gyrus, left fusiform gyrus, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex. In volume of interest (VOI-) based group comparisons, the normalized FDG uptake values of both hypermetabolic and hypometabolic clusters were significantly different between groups. The VOI-based correlation analysis across the MET and wdMET groups showed a significant negative correlation between normalized FDG uptake values of hypermetabolic clusters and metformin withdrawal durations and a positive but nonsignificant correlation in the turn of hypometabolic clusters. Conclusively, metformin affects cerebral metabolism in some white matter and semantic memory related sites in patients with type 2 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3982461  PMID: 24782665
41.  Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography of skeletal muscles for type 2 diabetes mellitus patients with microvascular complications 
Purpose: To explore the applicability of contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) as a new method to detect impaired microcirculation in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients with microvascular complications (DM+MC). Methods: Ultrasound contrast agent was injected into peripheral vein of 28 patients with DM+MC, 30 uncomplicated type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) patients, and 30 control subjects. Its appearance in the calf muscle was detected by contrast-enhanced ultrasound. Time-intensity curves were established based on mathematical modeling, particularly in small artery, muscular tissue and small vein. Times to peak intensity (TTPs), arrival times (ATs) and contrast transit times (CTTs) were analyzed. CTTs were calculated as the differences between arrival times. With patients under fasting conditions, plasma glucose and rheologic parameters of erythrocyte deformability and plasma viscosity were measured. Results: DM and DM+MC groups tended to have longer TTPs than the control group, but without significant differences between DM group and DM+MC group. The median artery-vein and muscle-vein CTTs were statistically significantly highest in the DM+MC group (P < 0.05). Blood viscosity in the DM+MC group was higher than two other groups (P < 0.05). Blood viscosity correlated positively with both blood glucose and C-reactive peptide (P < 0.01). Conclusion: CEUS is potentially reliable to detect changes in the microvascular bed. Abnormalities in capillary recruitment may be related to abnormal hemorheology.
PMCID: PMC3992395  PMID: 24753750
Contrast-enhanced ultrasound; type 2 diabetes mellitus; microvascular complications; microcirculation
42.  A 13-gene signature prognostic of HPV-negative OSCC: discovery and external validation 
To identify a prognostic gene signature for HPV-negative OSCC patients.
Experimental Design
Two gene expression datasets were used; a training dataset from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) (n=97), and a validation dataset from the MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) (n=71). We applied L1/L2-penalized Cox regression models to the FHCRC data on the 131–gene signature previously identified to be prognostic in OSCC patients to identify a prognostic model specific for high-risk HPV-negative OSCC patients. The models were tested with the MDACC dataset using a receiver operating characteristic analysis.
A 13-gene model was identified as the best predictor of HPV-negative OSCC-specific survival in the training dataset. The risk score for each patient in the validation dataset was calculated from this model and dichotomized at the median. The estimated 2-year mortality (± SE) of patients with high risk scores was 47.1 (±9.24)% compared with 6.35 (± 4.42)% for patients with low risk scores. ROC analyses showed that the areas under the curve for the age, gender, and treatment modality-adjusted models with risk score (0.78, 95%CI: 0.74-0.86) and risk score plus tumor stage (0.79, 95%CI: 0.75-0.87) were substantially higher than for the model with tumor stage (0.54, 95%CI: 0.48-0.62).
We identified and validated a 13-gene signature that is considerably better than tumor stage in predicting survival of HPV-negative OSCC patients. Further evaluation of this gene signature as a prognostic marker in other populations of patients with HPV-negative OSCC is warranted.
PMCID: PMC3593802  PMID: 23319825
gene signature; prognosis; HPV-negative; OSCC
43.  Activation of VCAM-1 and Its Associated Molecule CD44 Leads to Increased Malignant Potential of Breast Cancer Cells 
VCAM-1 (CD106), a transmembrane glycoprotein, was first reported to play an important role in leukocyte adhesion, leukocyte transendothelial migration and cell activation by binding to integrin VLA-1 (α4β1). In the present study, we observed that VCAM-1 expression can be induced in many breast cancer epithelial cells by cytokine stimulation in vitro and its up-regulation directly correlated with advanced clinical breast cancer stage. We found that VCAM-1 over-expression in the NMuMG breast epithelial cells controls the epithelial and mesenchymal transition (EMT) program to increase cell motility rates and promote chemoresistance to doxorubicin and cisplatin in vitro. Conversely, in the established MDAMB231 metastatic breast cancer cell line, we confirmed that knockdown of endogenous VCAM-1 expression reduced cell proliferation and inhibited TGFβ1 or IL-6 mediated cell migration, and increased chemosensitivity. Furthermore, we demonstrated that knockdown of endogenous VCAM-1 expression in MDAMB231 cells reduced tumor formation in a SCID xenograft mouse model. Signaling studies showed that VCAM-1 physically associates with CD44 and enhances CD44 and ABCG2 expression. Our findings uncover the possible mechanism of VCAM-1 activation facilitating breast cancer progression, and suggest that targeting VCAM-1 is an attractive strategy for therapeutic intervention.
PMCID: PMC3975354  PMID: 24583847
VCAM-1; breast cancer progression; EMT; metastasis; chemoresistance
The annals of applied statistics  2013;7(1):391-417.
Gaussian Graphical Models (GGMs) have been used to construct genetic regulatory networks where regularization techniques are widely used since the network inference usually falls into a high–dimension–low–sample–size scenario. Yet, finding the right amount of regularization can be challenging, especially in an unsupervised setting where traditional methods such as BIC or cross-validation often do not work well. In this paper, we propose a new method — Bootstrap Inference for Network COnstruction (BINCO) — to infer networks by directly controlling the false discovery rates (FDRs) of the selected edges. This method fits a mixture model for the distribution of edge selection frequencies to estimate the FDRs, where the selection frequencies are calculated via model aggregation. This method is applicable to a wide range of applications beyond network construction. When we applied our proposed method to building a gene regulatory network with microarray expression breast cancer data, we were able to identify high-confidence edges and well-connected hub genes that could potentially play important roles in understanding the underlying biological processes of breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC3930359  PMID: 24563684
high dimensional data; GGM; model aggregation; mixture model; FDR
Journal of statistical research  2010;44(1):103-107.
In a recent paper [4], Efron pointed out that an important issue in large-scale multiple hypothesis testing is that the null distribution may be unknown and need to be estimated. Consider a Gaussian mixture model, where the null distribution is known to be normal but both null parameters-the mean and the variance-are unknown. We address the problem with a method based on Fourier transformation. The Fourier approach was first studied by Jin and Cai [9], which focuses on the scenario where any non-null effect has either the same or a larger variance than that of the null effects. In this paper, we review the main ideas in [9], and propose a generalized Fourier approach to tackle the problem under another scenario: any non-null effect has a larger mean than that of the null effects, but no constraint is imposed on the variance. This approach and that in [9] complement with each other: each approach is successful in a wide class of situations where the other fails. Also, we extend the Fourier approach to estimate the proportion of non-null effects. The proposed procedures perform well both in theory and on simulated data.
PMCID: PMC3928715  PMID: 24563569
empirical null; Fourier transformation; generalized Fourier transformation; proportion of non-null effects; sample size calculation
46.  Genetic Polymorphism of Apolipoprotein A5 Gene and Susceptibility to Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Meta-Analysis of 15,137 Subjects 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e89167.
Several studies have investigated whether the polymorphism in the apolipoprotein A5 (APOA5) is associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) risk. However, those studies have produced inconsistent results. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the APOA5 -1131T/C polymorphism (rs662799) confers significant susceptibility to T2DM using a meta-analysis.
PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Cochrane database, CBMdisc, CNKI and Google Scholar were searched to get the genetic association studies. All statistical analyses were done with Stata 11.0.
A total of 19 studies included 4,767 T2DM cases and 10,370 controls (four studies involving 555 T2DM cases and 2958 controls were performed among Europeans and 15 studies involving 4212 T2DM cases and 7412 controls were performed among Asians) were combined showing significant association between the APOA5 -1131T/C polymorphism and T2DM risk (for C allele vs. T allele: OR = 1.28, 95% CI = 1.17–1.40, p<0.00001; for C/C vs. T/T: OR = 1.57, 95% CI = 1.35–1.83, p<0.00001; for C/C vs. T/C+T/T: OR = 1.36, 95% CI = 1.18–1.57, p<0.0001; for C/C+T/C vs. T/T: OR = 1.32, 95% CI = 1.16–1.51, p<0.0001). In the subgroup analysis by ethnicity, significant association was also found among Asians (for C allele vs. T allele: OR = 1.31, 95% CI = 1.22–1.40, p<0.00001; for C/C vs. T/T: OR = 1.61, 95% CI = 1.38–1.88, p<0.00001; for C/C vs. T/C+T/T: OR = 1.39, 95% CI = 1.20–1.61, p<0.0001; for C/C+T/C vs. T/T: OR = 1.42, 95% CI = 1.25–1.62, p<0.00001). However, no significant association was found between the APOA5 -1131T/C polymorphism and T2DM risk among Europeans.
The present meta-analysis suggests that the APOA5 -1131T/C polymorphism is associated with an increased T2DM risk in Asian population.
PMCID: PMC3929635  PMID: 24586566
47.  Nephroprotective effect of astaxanthin against trivalent inorganic arsenic-induced renal injury in wistar rats 
Inorganic arsenic (iAs) is a toxic metalloid found ubiquitously in the environment. In humans, exposure to iAs can result in toxicity and cause toxicological manifestations. Arsenic trioxide (As2O3) has been used in the treatment for acute promyelocytic leukemia. The kidney is the critical target organ of trivalent inorganic As (iAsIII) toxicity. We examine if oral administration of astaxanthin (AST) has protective effects on nephrotoxicity and oxidative stress induced by As2O3 exposure (via intraperitoneal injection) in rats. Markers of renal function, histopathological changes, Na+-K+ ATPase, sulfydryl, oxidative stress, and As accumulation in kidneys were evaluated as indicators of As2O3 exposure. AST showed a significant protective effect against As2O3-induced nephrotoxicity. These results suggest that the mechanisms of action, by which AST reduces nephrotoxicity, may include antioxidant protection against oxidative injury and reduction of As accumulation. These findings might be of therapeutic benefit in humans or animals suffering from exposure to iAsIII from natural sources or cancer therapy.
PMCID: PMC3944156  PMID: 24611105
Astaxanthin; trivalent inorganic arsenic; arsenic accumulation; nephrotoxicity; oxidative stress
48.  Regularized Multivariate Regression for Identifying Master Predictors with Application to Integrative Genomics Study of Breast Cancer 
In this paper, we propose a new method remMap — REgularized Multivariate regression for identifying MAster Predictors — for fitting multivariate response regression models under the high-dimension-low-sample-size setting. remMap is motivated by investigating the regulatory relationships among different biological molecules based on multiple types of high dimensional genomic data. Particularly, we are interested in studying the influence of DNA copy number alterations on RNA transcript levels. For this purpose, we model the dependence of the RNA expression levels on DNA copy numbers through multivariate linear regressions and utilize proper regularization to deal with the high dimensionality as well as to incorporate desired network structures. Criteria for selecting the tuning parameters are also discussed. The performance of the proposed method is illustrated through extensive simulation studies. Finally, remMap is applied to a breast cancer study, in which genome wide RNA transcript levels and DNA copy numbers were measured for 172 tumor samples. We identify a trans-hub region in cytoband 17q12–q21, whose amplification influences the RNA expression levels of more than 30 unlinked genes. These findings may lead to a better understanding of breast cancer pathology.
PMCID: PMC3905690  PMID: 24489618
sparse regression; MAP(MAster Predictor) penalty; DNA copy number alteration; RNA transcript level; v-fold cross validation
49.  Revision of three camaenid and one bradybaenid species (Gastropoda, Stylommatophora) from China based on morphological and molecular data, with description of a new bradybaenid subspecies from Inner Mongolia, China 
ZooKeys  2014;1-16.
We have revised the taxonomy of three camaenid and one bradybaenid species from China and described one new subspecies of the genus Bradybaena (Family Bradybaenidae) from Inner Mongolia, China. The genitalia of three Satsuma (Family Camaenidae) species S. mellea stenozona (Moellendorff, 1884), S. meridionalis (Moellendorff, 1884), comb. n. and S. uncopila (Heude, 1882), comb. n. assigned to the genus Bradybaena previously,lack a dart sac and mucous glands. Moreover, the molecular phylogeny has revealed close relationships between the three species and the genus Satsuma. Two species, S. stenozona (Moellendorff, 1884) from Fuzhou and Ganesella citrina Zilch, 1940 from Wuyi Mountain, are considered as synonymous and should be a subspecies of S. mellea mellea (Pfeiffer, 1866) because of the morphological and molecular similarities. Meanwhile, the other two are placed in the genus Satsuma: S. meridionalis (Moellendorff, 1884), comb. n. and S. uncopila (Heude, 1882), comb. n. G. virgo Pilsbry, 1927 differs from species of the genera Ganesella and Satsuma not only in its shell, but also in anatomical characters, such as having a dart sac and mucous gland, and lacking a flagellum. Additionally, phylogenetic analyses highly support the sister relationship with other Bradybaena species. Thus, placement of G. virgo Pilsbry, 1927 in the genus Bradybaena issuggested.
PMCID: PMC3909801  PMID: 24493955
Satsuma; Ganesella; Bradybaena; revision; new subspecies
50.  Patterns of striatal degeneration in frontotemporal dementia 
Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia and semantic dementia have been associated with striatal degeneration, but few studies have delineated striatal subregion volumes in vivo or related them to clinical phenotype. We traced caudate, putamen, and nucleus accumbens on MR images to quantify volumes of these structures in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia, semantic dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and healthy controls (n = 12 per group). We further related these striatal volumes to clinical deficits and neuropathological findings in a subset of patients. Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia and semantic dementia showed significant overall striatal atrophy compared with controls. Moreover, behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia showed panstriatal degeneration whereas semantic dementia featured a more focal pattern involving putamen and accumbens. Right-sided striatal atrophy, especially in the putamen, correlated with overall behavioral symptom severity and with specific behavioral domains. At autopsy, patients with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia and semantic dementia showed striking and severe tau or TAR DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa pathology, especially in ventral parts of the striatum. These results demonstrate that ventral striatum degeneration is a prominent shared feature in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia and semantic dementia and may contribute to social-emotional deficits common to both disorders.
PMCID: PMC3389579  PMID: 22367382

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