Development of a vaccine against congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is a public health priority, but CMVs encode immune evasion genes that complicate live virus vaccine design. To resolve this problem, this study employed guanosyl phosphoribosyl transferase (gpt) mutagenesis to generate a recombinant guinea pig CMV (GPCMV) with a knockout of a viral chemokine gene, GPCMV MIP (gp1). MIP deletion virus replicated with wild-type kinetics in cell culture but was attenuated in nonpregnant guinea pigs, demonstrating reduced viremia and reduced inflammation and histopathology (compared to a control virus with an intact GPCMV MIP gene) following footpad inoculation. In spite of attenuation, the vaccine was immunogenic, eliciting antibody responses comparable to those observed in natural infection. To assess its protective potential as a vaccine, either recombinant virus or placebo was used to immunize seronegative female guinea pigs. Dams were challenged in the early 3rd trimester with salivary gland-adapted GPCMV. Immunization protected against DNAemia (1/15 in vaccine group versus 12/13 in the control group, P < 0.01). Mean birth weights were significantly higher in pups born to vaccinated dams compared to controls (98.7 g versus 71.2 g, P < 0.01). Vaccination reduced pup mortality, from 35/50 (70%) in controls to 8/52 (15%) in the immunization group. Congenital GPCMV infection was also reduced, from 35/50 (70%) in controls to 9/52 (17%) in the vaccine group (P < 0.0001). We conclude that deletion of an immune modulation gene can attenuate the pathogenicity of GPCMV while resulting in a viral vaccine that retains immunogenicity and demonstrates efficacy against congenital infection and disease.
The average pH of surface oceans has decreased by 0.1 unit since industrialization and is expected to decrease by another 0.3–0.7 units before the year 2300 due to the absorption of anthropogenic CO2. This human-caused pH change is posing serious threats and challenges to the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas), especially to their larval stages. Our knowledge of the effect of reduced pH on C. gigas larvae presently relies presumptively on four short-term (<4 days) survival and growth studies. Using multiple physiological measurements and life stages, the effects of long-term (40 days) exposure to pH 8.1, 7.7 and 7.4 on larval shell growth, metamorphosis, respiration and filtration rates at the time of metamorphosis, along with the juvenile shell growth and structure of the C. gigas, were examined in this study. The mean survival and growth rates were not affected by pH. The metabolic, feeding and metamorphosis rates of pediveliger larvae were similar, between pH 8.1 and 7.7. The pediveligers at pH 7.4 showed reduced weight-specific metabolic and filtration rates, yet were able to sustain a more rapid post-settlement growth rate. However, no evidence suggested that low pH treatments resulted in alterations to the shell ultrastructures (SEM images) or elemental compositions (i.e., Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca ratios). Thus, larval and post-larval forms of the C. gigas in the Yellow Sea are probably resistant to elevated CO2 and decreased near-future pH scenarios. The pre-adapted ability to resist a wide range of decreased pH may provide C. gigas with the necessary tolerance to withstand rapid pH changes over the coming century.
Synovial chondromatosis of the temporomandibular joint is a rare benign joint disorder that has been reported in only a few studies. However, we recently encountered a pathologically proven case of this disorder. This case also showed the typical imaging findings on panoramic radiographs and on CT and MR images. Therefore, we report this case and the imaging and pathological findings.
The guinea pig cytomegalovirus (GPCMV) co-linear gene and potential functional homolog of HCMV UL84 (GP84) was investigated. The GP84 gene had delayed early transcription kinetics and transient expression studies of GP84 protein (pGP84) demonstrated that it targeted the nucleus and co-localized with the viral DNA polymerase accessory protein as described for HCMV pUL84. Additionally, pGP84 exhibited a transdominant inhibitory effect on viral growth as described for HCMV. The inhibitory domain could be localized to a minimal peptide sequence of 99 aa. Knockout of GP84 generated virus with greatly impaired growth kinetics. Lastly, the GP84 ORF was capable of complementing for the loss of the UL84 coding sequence in a chimeric HCMV. Based on this research and previous studies we conclude that GPCMV is similar to HCMV by encoding single copy co-linear functional homologs of HCMV UL82 (pp71), UL83 (pp65) and UL84 genes.
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is best known for its selective cytotoxicity against transformed tumor cells. Most non-transformed primary cells and several cancer cell lines are not only resistant to death receptor-induced apoptosis, but also subject to inflammatory responses in a nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB)-dependent manner. Although the involvement of TRAIL in a variety of vascular disorders has been proposed, the exact molecular mechanisms are unclear. Here, we aimed to delineate the role of TRAIL in inflammatory vascular response. We also sought possible molecular mechanisms to identify potential targets for the prevention and treatment of post-angioplastic restenosis and atherosclerosis. Treatment with TRAIL increased the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 by primary human vascular smooth muscle cells via protein kinase C (PKC)δ and NF-κB activation. Following detailed analysis using various PKCδ mutants, we determined that PKCδ activation was mediated by caspase-dependent proteolysis. The protective role of PKCδ was further confirmed in post-traumatic vascular remodeling in vivo. We propose that the TRAIL/TRAIL receptor system has a critical role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory vascular disorders by transducing pro-inflammatory signals via caspase-mediated PKCδ cleavage and subsequent NF-κB activation.
TRAIL; caspase; signal transduction; inflammation
During mineralization, unbound water within the collagen matrix is replaced by apatite. This study tested the null hypothesis that there is no difference in the status of in vitro biomimetic remineralization of hybrid layers, regardless of their moisture contents. Acid-etched dentin was bonded with One-Step with ethanol-wet-bonding, water-wet-bonding, and water-overwet-bonding protocols. Composite-dentin slabs were subjected to remineralization for 1-4 months in a medium containing dual biomimetic analogs, with set Portland cement as the calcium source and characterized by transmission electron microscopy. Remineralization was either non-existent or restricted to the intrafibrillar mode in ethanol-wet-bonded specimens. Extensive intrafibrillar and interfibrillar remineralization was observed in water-wet-bonded specimens. Water-overwet specimens demonstrated partial remineralization of hybrid layers and precipitation of mineralized plates within water channels. The use of ethanol-wet-bonding substantiates that biomimetic remineralization is a progressive dehydration process that replaces residual water in hybrid layers with apatite crystallites.
biomimetics; dentin bonding; ethanol; hybrid layer; intrafibrillar; interfibrillar; remineralization; water
The objective of this study was to compare intravaginal (ivg) and subcutaneous (sc) administration of the guinea pig cytomegalovirus (GPCMV) in pregnant and non-pregnant guinea pigs. These studies tested the hypotheses that ivg infection would elicit immune responses, produce maternal viremia, and lead to vertical transmission, with an efficiency similar to the traditionally employed sc route.
Four groups of age- and size-matched guinea pigs were studied. Two groups were pregnant, and two groups were not pregnant. Animals received 5x105 plaque-forming units (PFU) of a GPCMV reconstituted from an infectious bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) construct containing the full-length GPCMV genome. Seroconversion was compared by IgG ELISA, and viremia (DNAemia) was monitored by PCR. In both pregnant and non-pregnant animals, sc inoculation resulted in significantly higher serum ELISA titers than ivg inoculation at 8 and 12 weeks post-infection. Patterns of viremia (DNAemia) were similar in animals inoculated by either sc or ivg route. However, in pregnant guinea pigs, animals inoculated by both routes experienced an earlier onset of DNAemia than did non-pregnant animals. Neither the percentage of dead pups nor the percentage of GPCMV positive placentas differed by inoculation route.
In the guinea pig model of congenital CMV infection, the ivg route is as efficient at causing congenital infection as the conventional but non-physiologic sc route. This finding could facilitate future experimental evaluation of vaccines and antiviral interventions in this highly relevant animal model.
In many settings, molecular testing is needed but unavailable due to complexity and cost. Simple, rapid, and specific DNA detection technologies would provide important alternatives to existing detection methods. Here we report a novel, rapid nucleic acid detection method based on the accelerated photobleaching of the light-sensitive cyanine dye, 3,3′-diethylthiacarbocyanine iodide (DiSC2(3) I−), in the presence of a target genomic DNA and a complementary peptide nucleic acid (PNA) probe. On the basis of the UV–vis, circular dichroism, and fluorescence spectra of DiSC2(3) with PNA–DNA oligomer duplexes and on characterization of a product of photolysis of DiSC2(3) I−, a possible reaction mechanism is proposed. We propose that (1) a novel complex forms between dye, PNA, and DNA, (2) this complex functions as a photosensitizer producing 1O2, and (3) the 1O2 produced promotes photobleaching of dye molecules in the mixture. Similar cyanine dyes (DiSC3(3), DiSC4(3), DiSC5(3), and DiSCpy(3)) interact with preformed PNA–DNA oligomer duplexes but do not demonstrate an equivalent accelerated photobleaching effect in the presence of PNA and target genomic DNA. The feasibility of developing molecular diagnostic assays based on the accelerated photobleaching (the smartDNA assay) that results from the novel complex formed between DiSC2(3) and PNA–DNA is under way.
In lieu of a licensed vaccine, antivirals are being considered as an intervention to prevent congenital human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection. Ideally, antiviral therapies should undergo pre-clinical evaluation in an animal model prior to human use. Guinea pig cytomegalovirus (GPCMV) is the only small animal model for congenital CMV. However, GPCMV is not susceptible to the most commonly used HCMV antiviral, ganciclovir (GCV), rendering in vivo study of this agent problematic in the guinea pig model. Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) susceptibility to GCV is linked to the UL97 gene. We hypothesized that GPCMV susceptibility to GCV could be improved by inserting the HCMV (Towne) UL97 gene into the GPCMV genome in place of the homolog, GP97. A chimeric GPCMV (GPCMV::UL97) expressed UL97 protein, and replicated efficiently in cell culture, with kinetics similar to wild-type GPCMV. In contrast, deletion of GP97 resulted in a virus (GPCMVdGP97) that grew poorly in culture. GPCMV::UL97 had substantially improved susceptibility to the inhibitory effects of GCV in comparison to wild-type GPCMV. Additionally, GPCMV::UL97 exhibited improved susceptibility to another antiviral undergoing clinical trials, maribavir (MBV; benzimidazole riboside 1263W94), which also acts through UL97.
Guinea pig cytomegalovirus; ganciclovir; maribavir; congenital CMV infection; antiviral therapy; bacterial artificial chromosome
Objective To investigate the intention of the Hong Kong general population to take up vaccination against influenza A/H1N1.
Setting Cross sectional population based anonymous survey.
Participants Random sample of 301 adults interviewed by telephone (response rate 80%).
Main outcome measure Intention to take up vaccination against influenza A/H1N1 under five hypothetical scenarios: vaccination is free; vaccination per dosage costs less than $HK100 (£8; €9; $13), $HK101-200, or more than $HK200; and no data are available on the efficacy and safety of the vaccine.
Results 45% (n=135) of the participants reported that they would be highly likely take up vaccination if it was free. When vaccination incurred a cost, however, the prevalence of uptake decreased: 36% (n=108) would take up vaccination if it cost less than $HK100, 24% (n=72) if it cost $HK101-200, and 15% (n=45) if it cost more than $HK200; and in absence of proved efficacy and safety decreased to 5% (n=14). Moreover, 32% (n=95) considered universal A/H1N1 vaccination unnecessary. Overall, 39% (n=117) of participants believed that A/H1N1 vaccination would prevent the virus being contracted; 63% (n=189) erroneously believed that efficacy of the vaccine had been confirmed by clinical trials, and 16% (n=49) believed that it is necessary for everyone in Hong Kong to take up vaccination against influenza A/H1N1.
Conclusions The uptake of vaccination against influenza A/H1N1 by the general population of Hong Kong is unlikely to be high and would be sensitive to personal cost. Evidence about safety and efficacy is critical in determining the prevalence of uptake of vaccination.
A 51 year old man with paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration from gastric adenocarcinoma showed cerebellar hypermetabolism and increased perfusion on brain FDG‐PET scan and SPECT during the acute stage of his illness. The patient underwent subtotal gastrectomy. The intensity of the hypermetabolism had decreased markedly on follow‐up FDG‐PET 3 months later following two cycles of chemotherapy. We suggest that the cerebellar hypermetabolism may have been due to an acute inflammatory process associated with an immunological reaction.
cerebellar hypermetabolism; FDG PET; paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration
In this report we describe the genomic sequence of guinea pig cytomegalovirus (GPCMV) assembled from a tissue culture-derived bacterial artificial chromosome clone, plasmid clones of viral restriction fragments, and direct PCR sequencing of viral DNA. The GPCMV genome is 232,678 bp, excluding the terminal repeats, and has a GC content of 55%. A total of 105 open reading frames (ORFs) of > 100 amino acids with sequence and/or positional homology to other CMV ORFs were annotated. Positional and sequence homologs of human cytomegalovirus open reading frames UL23 through UL122 were identified. Homology with other cytomegaloviruses was most prominent in the central ~60% of the genome, with divergence of sequence and lack of conserved homologs at the respective genomic termini. Of interest, the GPCMV genome was found in many cases to bear stronger phylogenetic similarity to primate CMVs than to rodent CMVs. The sequence of GPCMV should facilitate vaccine and pathogenesis studies in this model of congenital CMV infection.
We investigated the risk of gastric cancer by subsite in relation to cigarette smoking and alcohol in a large population-based cohort of 669 570 Korean men in an insurance plan followed for an average 6.5 years, yielding 3452 new cases of gastric cancer, of which 127 were cardia and upper-third gastric cancer, 2409 were distal gastric cancer and 1007 were unclassified. A moderate association was found between smoking, cardia and upper-third (adjusted relative risk (aRR) 2.2; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.4–3.5) and distal cancers (aRR=1.4; 95% CI=1.3–1.6). We also found a positive association between alcohol consumption and distal (aRR=1.3; 95% CI=1.2–1.5) and total (aRR=1.2; 95% CI=1.1–1.4) gastric cancer. Combined exposure to high levels of tobacco and alcohol increased the risk estimates further; cardia and upper-third gastric cancers were more strongly related to smoking status than distal gastric cancer.
cigarette smoking; alcohol intake; gastric cancer; subsite
Retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4) is a recently identified adipokine that is elevated in the serum in several insulin-resistant states. We investigated the relationship between non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and serum RBP4 in nondiabetic adults.
One hundred and fifty-nine nondiabetic, non-alcoholic subjects (95 males and 64 females) participated in this study. Division of subjects into a NAFLD group (n = 73; 45 males and 28 females) or a normal group (n = 86; 50 males and 36 females) was based on the presence of fatty liver disease determined by sonography.
Serum RBP4 levels in the NAFLD group were significantly higher than those in the normal group (62·8 ± 16·0 mg/l vs. 51·7 ± 14·6 mg/l, P < 0·0001). Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that the RBP4 level was an independent factor associated with NAFLD (P = 0·0042). In addition, serum RBP4 levels were positively correlated with serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and γ-glutamyltranspeptidase (GGT) levels. The significant association between serum RBP4 and GGT levels remained even after adjusting for age, gender, body mass index, the homeostasis model of assessment (HOMA) value and the presence of NAFLD (r = 0·3097, P = 0·0002).
Serum RBP4 levels are significantly associated with NAFLD and liver enzymes.
Fecal viral concentrations of 40 patients infected with norovirus genogroup GII.4 correlated with diarrhea duration and frequency of vomiting. Higher viral concentration and older age were independently associated with prolonged diarrhea (>4 days). These findings provide information on the pathogenesis and transmission of norovirus infections.
Norovirus; viral concentration; diarrhea; gastroenteritis; Hong Kong; dispatch
The cis-acting elements for Brome mosaic virus (BMV) RNA synthesis have been characterized primarily for RNA3. To identify additional replicase-binding elements, nested fragments of all three of the BMV RNAs, both plus- and minus-sense fragments, were constructed and tested for binding enriched BMV replicase in a template competition assay. Ten RNA fragments containing replicase-binding sites were identified; eight were characterized further because they were more effective competitors. All eight mapped to noncoding regions of BMV RNAs, and the positions of seven localized to sequences containing previously characterized core promoter elements (C. C. Kao, Mol. Plant Pathol. 3:55-62, 2001), thus suggesting the identities of the replicase-binding sites. Three contained the tRNA-like structures that direct minus-strand RNA synthesis, three were within the 3′ region of each minus-strand RNA that contained the core promoter for genomic plus-strand initiation, and one was in the core subgenomic promoter. Single-nucleotide mutations known previously to abolish RNA synthesis in vitro prevented replicase binding. When tested in the context of the respective full-length RNAs, the same mutations abolished BMV RNA synthesis in transfected barley protoplasts. The eighth site was within the intercistronic region (ICR) of plus-strand RNA3. Further mapping showed that a sequence of 22 consecutive adenylates was responsible for binding the replicase, with 16 being the minimal required length. Deletion of the poly(A) sequence was previously shown to severely debilitate BMV RNA replication in plants (E. Smirnyagina, Y. H. Hsu, N. Chua, and P. Ahlquist, Virology 198:427-436, 1994). Interestingly, the B box motif in the ICR of RNA3, which has previously been determined to bind the 1a protein, does not bind the replicase. These results identify the replicase-binding sites in all of the BMV RNAs and suggest that the recognition of RNA3 is different from that of RNA1 and RNA2.
Information on precise effects of deflazacort on bone cell function, especially osteoclasts, is quite limited. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to test effects of deflazacort on osteoclast-like cell formation in mouse bone marrow cultures and on the regulation of osteoprotegerin (OPG) and its ligand (RANKL) mRNA expressions by RT-PCR in the ST2 marrow stromal cells. TRAP-positive mononuclear cells increased after the treatment of deflazacort at 10(-9) to 10(-7) M alone for 6 days in a dose-dependent manner. Number of TRAP-positive multi-nucleated cells (MNCs) increased significantly with combined treatment of deflazacort at 10(-7) M and 1,25-(OH)2D3 at 10(-9) M compared to that of cultures treated with 1,25-(OH)2D3 alone (p<0.05). Exposure to deflazacort at 10(-7) M in the presence of 1,25-(OH)2D3 at 10(-9) M in the last 3-day culture had greater stimulatory effect on osteoclast-like cell formation than that of the first 3-day culture did. Deflazacort at 10(-10) -10(-6) M downregulated OPG and upregulated RANKL in mRNA levels in a dose-dependent manner. These observations suggest that deflazacort stimulate osteoclast precursor in the absence of 1,25-(OH)2D3 and enhance differentiation of osteoclasts in the presence of 1,25-(OH)2D3. These effects are, in part, thought to be mediated by the regulation of the expression of OPG and RANKL mRNA in marrow stromal cells.
We had an opportunity to evaluate a child who developed fever approximately two to three weeks after the open heart surgery for tetralogy of Fallot. His peripheral blood smear showed rings and various stages of Plasmodium vivax. The patient had received packed red blood cells during the surgery and postoperative care, one unit of which was later proved sero-positive for malaria. The possibility of malaria should be included in the differential diagnosis of the patients with unexplained fever after multiple blood product transfusions for the open heart surgery.
A retrospective analysis of clinical data of 71 patients with constrictive pericarditis (CP) diagnosed by echo-Doppler technique (mean age, 49+/-17) was done. In 27 patients (38%), the etiology was unknown, and the three most frequent identifiable causes were tuberculosis (23/71, 32%), cardiac surgery (8/71, 11%), and mediastinal irradiation (6/71, 9%). Pericardiectomy was performed in 35 patients (49%) with a surgical mortality of 6% (2/35), and 11 patients (15%, 11/ 71) showed complete resolution of constrictive physiology with medical treatment. Patients with transient CP were characterized by absence of pericardial calcification, shorter symptom duration, and higher incidence of fever, weight loss, and tuberculosis. The 5-yr survival rates of patients with transient CP and those undergoing pericardiectomy were 100% and 85+/-6%, respectively, which were significantly higher than that of patients without undergoing pericardiectomy (33+/-17%, p=0.0083). Mediastinal irradiation, higher functional class, low voltage in ECG, low serum albumin, and old age were the independent variables associated with a higher mortality. Tuberculosis is still the most important etiology of CP in Korea, and not infrequently, it may cause transient CP. Early diagnosis and decision-making using follow-up echocardiography are crucial to improve the prognosis of patients with CP.
The volumetric caudal epidural steroid injection has been advocated to facilitate the delivery of medications to the lesion site. This study was aimed to examine the actual spreading patterns of this technique, using epidurogram. A total of 32 patients with chronic low back pain accompanied by radiculopathy of various causes (degenerative spondylosis, herniated nucleus pulposus, spondylolisthesis, and spinal stenosis) were included. The volumetric caudal epidural injection of the 10 mL mixture of contrast medium 5 mL, 0.5% bupivacaine 1 mL, triamcinolone 1.5 mL (60 mg) and normal saline 25 mL was performed. Immediately after the cessation of the first spread, the subsequent solution of another 10 mL of contrast medium 5 mL, 0.5% bupivacaine 1 mL and normal saline 4 mL was injected. This procedure was repeated serially until the total volume to be 50 mL. Continuous fluoroscopic imaging was obtained after each injection. Average time taken to complete the study was 37 sec per every 10 mL. The spreading levels of the mixture were distributed mainly at mid to lower lumbar area in the majority of the patients. During the subsequent injections, the levels were not changed significantly. This was thought to be due to the minimal resistance in cephalad direction, anatomic variations and Starling effect of epidural space.
Soluble mediators such as interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) produced from activated macrophages play an important role in the destruction of pancreatic β cells in mice infected with a low dose of the D variant of encephalomyocarditis (EMC-D) virus. The tyrosine kinase signaling pathway was shown to be involved in EMC-D virus-induced activation of macrophages. This investigation was initiated to determine whether the Src family of kinases plays a role in the activation of macrophages, subsequently resulting in the destruction of β cells, in mice infected with a low dose of EMC-D virus. We examined the activation of p59/p56Hck, p55Fgr, and p56/p53Lyn in macrophages from DBA/2 mice infected with the virus. We found that p59/p56Hck showed a marked increase in both autophosphorylation and kinase activity at 48 h after infection, whereas p55Fgr and p56/p53Lyn did not. The p59/p56Hck activity was closely correlated with the tyrosine phosphorylation level of Vav. Treatment of EMC-D virus-infected mice with the Src kinase inhibitor, PP2, resulted in the inhibition of p59/p56Hck activity and almost complete inhibition of the production of TNF-α and iNOS in macrophages and the subsequent prevention of diabetes in mice. On the basis of these observations, we conclude that the Src kinase, p59/p56Hck, plays an important role in the activation of macrophages and the subsequent production of TNF-α and nitric oxide, leading to the destruction of pancreatic β cells, which results in the development of diabetes in mice infected with a low dose of EMC-D virus.
Abnormal expression of E-cadherin/catenin complex in cancer has been associated with poor differentiation and acquisition of invasiveness, suggesting a possible role of this protein as an invasion suppressor. In this study, we conducted an immunohistochemical investigation of all components of the E-cadherin/catenin complex in 65 gastric cancer patients. Abnormal expression of E-cadherin and, alpha- and gamma-catenin occurred more frequently in diffuse than in intestinal type of gastric cancer, and correlated with poor differentiation. Abnormal expression of E-cadherin and beta-catenin correlated with poor survival. Abnormal expression of all four components of the complex was associated with poorly differentiated and diffuse-type carcinoma, and poor survival. In the multivariate analysis, abnormal expression of the E-cadherin/catenin complex was not an independent prognostic factor. These results suggest that the E-cadherin/catenin complex may be a useful marker of differentiation and prognosis in gastric cancer. Further studies are warranted to clarify the impact of the E-cadherin/catenin complex on prognostic factor of gastric cancer.