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1.  Life with too much polyprenol–polyprenol reductase deficiency 
Molecular genetics and metabolism  2011;105(4):642-651.
Congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDG) are caused by a dysfunction of glycosylation, an essential step in the manufacturing process of glycoproteins. This paper focuses on a 6-year-old patient with a new type of CDG-I caused by a defect of the steroid 5α reductase type 3 gene (SRD5A3). The clinical features were psychomotor retardation, pathological nystagmus, slight muscular hypotonia and microcephaly. SRD5A3 was recently identified encoding the polyprenol reductase, an enzyme catalyzing the final step of the biosynthesis of dolichol, which is required for the assembly of the glycans needed for N-glycosylation.
Although an early homozygous stop-codon (c.57G> A [W19X]) with no functional protein was found in the patient, about 70% of transferrin (Tf) was correctly glycosylated. Quantification of dolichol and unreduced polyprenol in the patient's fibroblasts demonstrated a high polyprenol/dolichol ratio with normal amounts of dolichol, indicating that high polyprenol levels might compete with dolichol for the initiation of N-glycan assembly but without supporting normal glycosylation and that there must be an alternative pathway for dolichol biosynthesis.
PMCID: PMC3428379  PMID: 22304929
Congenital disorders of glycosylation; SRD5A3-CDG; Polyprenol reductase; Dolichol; Psychomotor retardation; Consanguinity
2.  Enhancement of humoral immunity in mice by coupling pUCpGs10 and aluminium to the HCV recombinant immunogen 
Virology Journal  2011;8:507.
To investigate the enhancement of humoral immunity when CpG ODN (cytidine phosphate guanosine oligodeoxynucleotides) and aluminium adjuvants are complexed with the HCV (Hepatitis C virus) recombinant immunogen in mice.
After immunizing Balb/c mice with the recombination HCV antigen adjuvanted with pUCpGs10 and/or aluminium(antigen+CpG+alum, antigen+CpG, antigen+alum, antigen+PBS), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to measure the specific serum antibody titers of IgG, to determine the neutralization response to various peptide genotypes, and to determine the concentration of IL-6 and IL-10 in supernatants of in vitro cultured splenic lymphocytes. Enzyme-linked immunospot assay (ELISPOT) was used to quantify the non-specific and specific splenic antibody-secreting cells (ASCs), and flow cytometry (FCM) determined the ratio of different splenic lymphocytes. The serum of rabbits immunized with the recombinant pBVGST/HVR1 antigen immunoprecipitated the HCV isolated from 12 patients' serum.
The sera antibody titers were 1:51200, 1:9051, 1:18102, 1:6400 respectively after the final immunization and demonstrated good neutralization responses to the six gene peptide containing 1a, 1b, 2a, 3a, 4a and 6a. The aluminum adjuvant increased the population of both specific ASCs (P < 0.01) and total ASCs(P < 0.05), with a proportional rise in concentrations of CD19+CD27+ (P < 0.05), as well as levels of IL-6, IL-10 (P < 0.05) in splenic lymphocytes. The results clearly indicated a significantly higher number of CD19+CD38+ splenic lymphocytes with the aluminum and pUCpGs10 adjuvant present compared to the control group(P < 0.05). Anti-HVR1 antibody in induced mice can cross-reactively capture HCV particles (10/12).
1. The aluminum adjuvant induces a potent Th2-biased immune response by increasing both the populations of specific and total ASCs and the ratio of CD19+CD27+ cells. 2. The pUCpGs10 complexed with the aluminum adjuvant boosts the population of plasma cells and increase the efficiency of the immune response. 3. The two adjuvants have synergistic effects on humoral immunity. 4. The recombinant HVR1 protein has the possibility of generating broadly reactive anti-HVR1 antibody.
PMCID: PMC3261835  PMID: 22054420
HCV; humoral immunity; adjuvant; ELISPOT; FCM
3.  Macrophages Promote Axon Regeneration with Concurrent Neurotoxicity 
Activated macrophages can promote regeneration of CNS axons. However, macrophages also release factors that kill neurons. These opposing functions are likely induced simultaneously but are rarely considered together in the same experimental preparation. A goal of this study was to unequivocally document the concurrent neurotoxic and neuroregenerative potential of activated macrophages. To do so, we quantified the length and magnitude of axon growth from EGFP-expressing DRG neurons transplanted into the spinal cord in relationship to discrete foci of activated macrophages. Macrophages were activated via intraspinal injections of zymosan, a potent inflammatory stimulus known to increase axon growth and cause neurotoxicity. Using this approach, a significant increase in axon growth up to macrophage foci was evident. Within and adjacent to macrophages, DRG and spinal cord axons were destroyed. Macrophage toxicity became more evident when zymosan was injected closer to DRG soma. Under these conditions, DRG neurons were killed or their ability to extend axons was dramatically impaired. The concurrent induction of pro-regenerative and neurotoxic functions in zymosan-activated macrophages (ZAMs) was confirmed in vitro using DRG and cortical neurons. Importantly, the ability of ZAMs to stimulate axon growth was transient; prolonged exposure to factors produced by ZAMs enhanced cell death and impaired axon growth in surviving neurons. LPS, another potent macrophage activator, elicited a florid macrophage response but without enhancing axon growth or notable toxicity. Together, these data show that a single mode of activation endows macrophages with the ability to simultaneously promote axon regeneration and cell killing.
PMCID: PMC2693768  PMID: 19321792
spinal cord; microglia; toll-like receptors; zymosan; dorsal root ganglia; neuroinflammation
5.  Nitric oxide amplifies interleukin 1-induced cyclooxygenase-2 expression in rat mesangial cells. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1996;97(9):2051-2056.
Interleukin 1 and nitric oxide (NO) from infiltrating macrophages and activated mesangial cells may act in concert to sustain and promote glomerular damage. To evaluate if such synergy occurs, we evaluated the effect if IL-1 beta and NO on the formation of prostaglandin (PG)E2 and cyclooxygenase (COX) expression. The NO donors, sodium nitroprusside and S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine, alone did not increase basal PGE2 formation. However, these compounds amplified IL-1 beta-induced PGE2 production. Similarly, sodium nitroprusside and S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine by themselves did not induce mRNA and protein for COX-2, the inducible isoform of COX; however, they both potentiated IL-1 beta-induced mRNA and protein expression of COX-2. The stimulatory effect of NO is likely to be mediated by cGMP since (a) an inhibitor of the soluble guanylate cyclase, methylene blue, reversed the stimulatory effect of NO donors on COX-2 mRNA expression; (b) the membrane-permeable cGMP analogue, 8-Br-cGMP, mimicked the stimulatory effect of NO donors on COX-2-mRNA expression; and (c) atrial natriuretic peptide, which increases cellular cGMP by activating the membrane-bound guanylate cyclase, also amplified IL-1 beta-induced COX-2 mRNA expression. These data indicate a novel interaction between NO and COX pathways.
PMCID: PMC507279  PMID: 8621794
6.  Effects of flexible-dose fesoterodine on overactive bladder symptoms and treatment satisfaction: an open-label study 
To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of flexible-dose fesoterodine in subjects with overactive bladder (OAB) who were dissatisfied with previous tolterodine treatment.
This was a 12-week, open-label, flexible-dose study of adults with OAB (≥ 8 micturitions and ≥ 3 urgency episodes per 24 h) who had been treated with tolterodine (immediate- or extended-release) for OAB within 2 years of screening and reported dissatisfaction with tolterodine treatment. Subjects received fesoterodine 4 mg once daily for 4 weeks; thereafter, daily dosage was maintained at 4 mg or increased to 8 mg based on the subject’s and physician’s subjective assessment of efficacy and tolerability. Subjects completed 5-day diaries, the Patient Perception of Bladder Condition (PPBC) and the Overactive Bladder Questionnaire (OAB-q) at baseline and week 12 and rated treatment satisfaction at week 12 using the Treatment Satisfaction Question (TSQ). Safety and tolerability were assessed.
Among 516 subjects treated, approximately 50% opted for dose escalation to 8 mg at week 4. Significant improvements from baseline to week 12 were observed in micturitions, urgency urinary incontinence episodes, micturition-related urgency episodes and severe micturition-related urgency episodes per 24 h (all p< 0.0001). Approximately 80% of subjects who responded to the TSQ at week 12 reported satisfaction with treatment; 38% reported being very satisfied. Using the PPBC, 83% of subjects reported improvement at week 12 with 59% reporting improvement ≥ 2 points. Significant improvements from baseline (p< 0.0001) exceeding the minimally important difference (10 points) were observed in OAB-q Symptom Bother and Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQL) scales and all four HRQL domains. Dry mouth (23%) and constipation (5%) were the most common adverse events; no safety issues were identified.
Flexible-dose fesoterodine significantly improved OAB symptoms, HRQL, and rates of treatment satisfaction and was well tolerated in subjects with OAB who were dissatisfied with prior tolterodine therapy.
PMCID: PMC2705818  PMID: 19348029

Results 1-6 (6)