To overcome the limitations of monomeric pH probes for acidic tumor environments, this study designed a mixed micelle pH probe composed of polyethylene glycol (PEG)-b- poly(L-histidine) (PHis) and PEG-b-poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA), which is well-known as an effective antitumor drug carrier. Unlike monomeric histidine and PHis derivatives, the mixed micelles can be structurally destabilized by changes in pH, leading to a better pH sensing system in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques. The acidic pH-induced transformation of the mixed micelles allowed pH detection and pH mapping of 0.2–0.3 pH unit differences by pH-induced “on/off”-like sensing of NMR and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). The micellar pH probes sensed pH differences in non-biological phosphate buffer and biological buffers such as cell culture medium and rat whole blood. In addition, the pH-sensing ability of the mixed micelles was not compromised by loaded doxorubicin. In conclusion, PHis-based micelles could have potential as a tool to simultaneously treat and map the pH of solid tumors in vivo.
pH imaging; poly(L-histidine); micelle pH probe; NMR; MRS
Steady state visual evoked potentials (SSVEP) are assumed to be regulated by multiple brain areas, yet the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. In this study, we utilized multi-channel intracranial recordings together with network analysis to investigate the underlying relationships between SSVEP and brain networks in anesthetized rat. We examined the relationship between SSVEP amplitude and the network topological properties for different stimulation frequencies, the synergetic dynamic changes of the amplitude and topological properties in each rat, the network properties of the control state, and the individual difference of SSVEP network attributes existing among rats. All these aspects consistently indicate that SSVEP response is closely correlated with network properties, the reorganization of the background network plays a crucial role in SSVEP production, and the background network may provide a physiological marker for evaluating the potential of SSVEP generation.
Glycyrrhetinic acid (GA) is the active compound in Glycyrrhizae radix, a famous traditional Chinese medicine. Recently the anticancer activity of GA became the focus of scientific interest and many GA derivatives were developed as anti-tumor lead compounds. We previously reported that AEGA, a GA derivative, has proliferation inhibition and apoptosis-inducing activity in various human tumor cells. The present study was undertaken to further investigate the molecular mechanisms involved in AEGA-induced apoptosis in human leukemia K562 cells. AEGA can inhibit the growth of K562 cells in dose- and time-dependent manners determined by the MTT assay. Induction of apoptosis was evidenced by morphological changes and biochemical markers such as cell shrinkage, chromatin condensation and DNA ladder formation. Further mechanistic analysis revealed that AEGA induced apoptosis through the collapse of mitochondrial membrane potential, the accumulation of the cytosolic cytochrome c and the activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3. The apoptosis induction by AEGA was associated with the alteration in the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax protein expression. These results suggest that AEGA may induce apoptosis through a mitochondria-mediated pathway, and might have the therapeutic value against hematological malignancies.
AEGA; Glycyrrhetinic acid derivative; Apoptosis; Mitochondrial membrane potential; Bcl-2/Bax; Human leukemic cells
The 21-residue compact tertiapin-Q (TPNQ) toxin, a derivative of honey bee toxin tertiapin (TPN), is a potent blocker of inward-rectifier K+ channel subtype, rat Kir1.1 (rKir1.1) channel, and their interaction mechanism remains unclear.
Based on the flexible feature of potassium channel turrets, a good starting rKir1.1 channel structure was modeled for the accessibility of rKir1.1 channel turrets to TPNQ toxin. In combination with experimental alanine scanning mutagenesis data, computational approaches were further used to obtain a reasonable TPNQ toxin-rKir1.1 channel complex structure, which was completely different from the known binding modes between animal toxins and potassium channels. TPNQ toxin mainly adopted its helical domain as the channel-interacting surface together with His12 as the pore-blocking residue. The important Gln13 residue mainly contacted channel residues near the selectivity filter, and Lys20 residue was surrounded by a polar “groove” formed by Arg118, Thr119, Glu123, and Asn124 in the channel turret. On the other hand, four turrets of rKir1.1 channel gathered to form a narrow pore entryway for TPNQ toxin recognition. The Phe146 and Phe148 residues in the channel pore region formed strong hydrophobic protrusions, and produced dominant nonpolar interactions with toxin residues. These specific structure features of rKir1.1 channel vestibule well matched the binding of potent TPNQ toxin, and likely restricted the binding of the classical animal toxins.
The TPNQ toxin-rKir1.1 channel complex structure not only revealed their unique interaction mechanism, but also would highlight the diverse animal toxin-potassium channel interactions, and elucidate the relative insensitivity of rKir1.1 channel towards animal toxins.
Based on the life cycle cost (LCC) approach, this paper presents an integral mathematical model and particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm for the heating system planning (HSP) problem. The proposed mathematical model minimizes the cost of heating system as the objective for a given life cycle time. For the particularity of HSP problem, the general particle swarm optimization algorithm was improved. An actual case study was calculated to check its feasibility in practical use. The results show that the improved particle swarm optimization (IPSO) algorithm can more preferably solve the HSP problem than PSO algorithm. Moreover, the results also present the potential to provide useful information when making decisions in the practical planning process. Therefore, it is believed that if this approach is applied correctly and in combination with other elements, it can become a powerful and effective optimization tool for HSP problem.
Programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) has been identified as a factor associated with poor prognosis in a range of cancers, and was reported to be mainly induced by PTEN loss in gliomas. However, the clinical effect of PD-L1 and its regulation by PTEN has not yet been determined in colorectal cancer (CRC). In the present study, we verified the regulation of PTEN on PD-L1 and further determined the effect of PTEN on the correlation between PD-L1 expression and clinical parameters in CRC.
RNA interference approach was used to down-regulate PTEN expression in SW480, SW620 and HCT116 cells. It was showed that PD-L1 protein, but not mRNA, was significantly increased in cells transfected with siRNA PTEN compared with the negative control. Moreover, the capacity of PTEN to regulate PD-L1 expression was not obviously affected by IFN-γ, the main inducer of PD-L1. Tissue microarray immunohistochemistry was used to detect PD-L1 and PTEN in 404 CRC patient samples. Overexpression of PD-L1 was significantly correlated with distant metastasis (P<0.001), TNM stage (P<0.01), metastatic progression (P<0.01) and PTEN expression (P<0.001). Univariate analysis revealed that patients with high PD-L1 expression had a poor overall survival (P<0.001). However, multivariate analysis did not support PD-L1 as an independent prognostic factor (P = 0.548). Univariate (P<0.001) and multivariate survival (P<0.001) analysis of 310 located CRC patients revealed that high level of PD-L1 expression was associated with increased risks of metastatic progression. Furthermore, the clinical effect of PD-L1 on CRC was not statistically significant in a subset of 39 patients with no PTEN expression (distant metastasis: P = 0.102; TNM stage: P = 0.634, overall survival: P = 0.482).
PD-L1 can be used to identify CRC patients with high risk of metastasis and poor prognosis. This clinical manifestation may be partly associated with PTEN expression.
Codon 72 (Arg/Pro), the most frequently studied single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) of p53 to date, is associated with the ability of the gene to induce cell apoptosis. The PI3K/Akt pathway plays an essential role in the transcriptional activation function of p53, and is an important factor in radiotherapy resistance. The present study was designed to evaluate the prediction of response to radiotherapy based on p53 codon 72 SNP and pAkt expression in biopsy specimens of locoregional nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) before treatment.
Materials and methods
In total, 75 consecutive patients with locoregional NPC were enrolled. The p53 codon 72 SNP was identified from retrospectively collected paraffin-embedded biopsy specimens using Sanger sequencing. Expression patterns of p53, p21, 14-3-3σ, and pAkt proteins were investigated using immunohistochemical analyses. The effects of genetic polymorphisms and protein expression on progression-free survival (PFS) were evaluated using the Cox proportional hazards model, Kaplan–Meier method, and log-rank test.
The p53 codon 72 Pro/Pro carriers showed lower risk of disease progression (local recurrence and distant metastases) (HR: 0.300; 95% CI: 0.092–0.983; p=0.047). However, this association between the p53 codon 72 polymorphism and PFS was not significant in the pAkt-positive subgroup. No association was observed between protein expression of p53, p21 or 14-3-3σ and p53 codon72 polymorphisms. Notably, positive expression of p53 protein appeared to be correlated with poorer PFS among patients diagnosed as local regional lymph node metastasis (N+) before treatment (p=0.032).
The p53 codon 72 Pro/Pro genotype may be an effective independent prognostic marker for better outcome in patients with locoregional NPC. Based on the current findings, we hypothesize that pAkt weakens the predictive value of p53 codon 72 SNP in NPC. A combination of positive p53 protein expression and local regional lymph node metastasis may additionally be predictive of high risk of disease progression.
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; p53 codon 72 polymorphism; pAkt; Radiotherapy
In the pregnene fragment of the title compound, C27H38ClN, the three six-membered rings exhibit chair conformations and the five-membered ring has a distorted envelope form with the fused C atom not bearing a methyl group as the flap atom. The amino group is involved in the formation of an intramolecular N—H⋯Cl hydrogen bond. The crystal packing exhibits no short intermolecular contacts.
Although embryonic stem (ES) cell-derived hepatocytes have the capacity for liver engraftment and repopulation, their in vivo hepatic function has not been analyzed yet. We aimed to determine the metabolic function and therapeutic action of ES cell-derived hepatocytes after serial liver repopulations in fumaryl acetoacetate hydrolase knockout (Fah−/−) mice. Albumin expressing (Alb+) cells were obtained by hepatic differentiation of ES cells using two frequently reported methods. After transplantation, variable levels of liver repopulation were found in Fah−/− mice recipients. FAH expressing (FAH+) hepatocytes were found either as single cells or as nodules with multiple hepatocytes. After serial transplantation, the proportion of the liver that was repopulated by the re-transplanted FAH+ hepatocytes increased significantly. ES cell-derived FAH+ hepatocytes were found in homogenous nodules and corrected the liver metabolic disorder of Fah−/− recipients and rescued them from death. ES cell-derived hepatocytes had normal karyotype, hepatocytic morphology and metabolic function both in vitro and in vivo. In conclusion, ES cell-derived hepatocytes were capable of liver repopulation and correction of metabolic defects after serial transplantation. Our results are an important piece of evidence to support future clinical applications of ES cell-derived hepatocytes in treating liver diseases.
Embryonic stem cell; Hepatocyte; Metabolic function; Liver repopulation; Cell transplantation
Serine protease inhibitors act as modulators of serine proteases, playing important roles in protecting animal toxin peptides from degradation. However, all known serine protease inhibitors discovered thus far from animal venom belong to the Kunitz-type subfamily, and whether there are other novel types of protease inhibitors in animal venom remains unclear.
Here, by screening scorpion venom gland cDNA libraries, we identified the first Ascaris-type animal toxin family, which contains four members: Scorpiops jendeki Ascaris-type protease inhibitor (SjAPI), Scorpiops jendeki Ascaris-type protease inhibitor 2 (SjAPI-2), Chaerilus tricostatus Ascaris-type protease inhibitor (CtAPI), and Buthus martensii Ascaris-type protease inhibitor (BmAPI). The detailed characterization of Ascaris-type peptide SjAPI from the venom gland of scorpion Scorpiops jendeki was carried out. The mature peptide of SjAPI contains 64 residues and possesses a classical Ascaris-type cysteine framework reticulated by five disulfide bridges, different from all known protease inhibitors from venomous animals. Enzyme and inhibitor reaction kinetics experiments showed that recombinant SjAPI was a dual function peptide with α-chymotrypsin- and elastase-inhibiting properties. Recombinant SjAPI inhibited α-chymotrypsin with a Ki of 97.1 nM and elastase with a Ki of 3.7 μM, respectively. Bioinformatics analyses and chimera experiments indicated that SjAPI contained the unique short side chain functional residues “AAV” and might be a useful template to produce new serine protease inhibitors.
To our knowledge, SjAPI is the first functionally characterized animal toxin peptide with an Ascaris-type fold. The structural and functional diversity of animal toxins with protease-inhibiting properties suggested that bioactive peptides from animal venom glands might be a new source of protease inhibitors, which will accelerate the development of diagnostic and therapeutic agents for human diseases that target diverse proteases.
The Pediatric Quality of Life InventoryTM (PedsQLTM) is a widely used instrument to measure pediatric health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in children aged 2 to 18 years. The current study aimed to evaluate the reliability and validity of the Chinese version of the PedsQLTM 3.0 Neuromuscular Module in children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).
The PedsQLTM 3.0 Neuromuscular Module was translated into Chinese following PedsQLTM Measurement Model Translation Methodology. The Chinese version scale was administered to 56 children with DMD and their parents, and the psychometric properties were evaluated.
The missing value percentages for each item of the Chinese version scale ranged from 0.00% to 0.54%. Internal consistency reliability approached or exceeded the minimum reliability standard of α = 0.7 (child α = 0.81, parent α = 0.86). Test-retest reliability was satisfactory, with intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) of 0.66 for children and 0.88 for parents (P < 0.01). Correlation coefficients between iteims and their hypothesized subscales were higher than those with other subscales (P < 0.05). The subscale of “About My/My Child’s Neuromuscular Disease” significantly related to mobility and stair climbing status (Child t = 2.21, Parent t = 2.83, P < 0.05). The inter-correlations among the Chinese version of the PedsQLTM 3.0 Neuromuscular Module and the PedsQLTM 4.0 Generic Core Scales had medium to large effect sizes (P < 0.05). The child self-report scores were in moderate agreement with the parent proxy-report scores (ICC = 0.51, P < 0.05).
The Chinese version of the PedsQLTM 3.0 Neuromuscular Module has acceptable psychometric properties. It is a reliable measure of disease-specific HRQOL in Chinese children with DMD.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy; Pediatric quality of life inventoryTM; Neuromuscular module; Chinese version; Reliability; Validity
The title compound, C11H12O3, is potentially a butane-2,3-dione derivative but exists in the enol form in the solid state. In the molecule, the 3-hydroxybut-3-en-2-one, benzene and methoxyl fragments are almost co-planar. The 3-hydroxybut-3-en-2-one fragment is almost planar with an r.m.s. deviation of 0.040 Å. The dihedral angle between this plane and that of the benzene ring is 5.88 (4)°. The 4-methoxy group also lies close to the benzene ring plane, with deviations of 0.0206 (11) Å for the O and 0.087 (2) Å for methyl C atoms. Hence, the whole molecule is almost planar with an r.m.s. deviation of 0.0617 Å from a plane through all 14 non-H atoms. In the crystal, the molecules are linked by O—H⋯O hydrogen bonds, generating  chains.
Prediction of ovarian responses prior to stimulation is not only useful for patient counseling, but also important in tailoring the optimal dosage of gonadotrophin for individual patients. By prospectively study of 214 women undergoing in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET) treatment, we obtained data supporting that antral follicle size could be an additional valuable predictive marker other than the antral follicle count (AFC) in predicting ovarian response. Our studies revealed that AFC achieved the best predictive value in relation to the number of oocyte obtained, followed by antral follicle size, basal follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and body mass index (BMI). Unlike AFC, antral follicle size was noted to be negatively correlated with the dosage (R = -0.493) and duration (R = -0.465) of rFSH stimulation. Antral follicle size was also found with higher negative regression coefficient (B = -0.661) as compared with that of basal FSH concentration (B = -0.326) and BMI (b = -0.281). More importantly, women with antral follicle size 6-7mm showed significantly higher AFC, oocytes retrieved, fertilized oocytes and grade I/II embryos along with much lower transfer cycle cancellation rate (7.5% vs. 16-17%). Together, our data suggest that basal antral follicle size could be a valued predictive marker in women with IVF-ET treatment, in which women with antral follicle size 6-7mm are likely predisposed to better IVF-ET outcomes.
IVF-ET; antral follicle count; antral follicle size; ovarian response; oocytes
The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of berberine (BBR) on thermoregulation in mice exposed to hot (40°C) and cold (4°C) environmental conditions. Four groups of mice were assembled with three different dosages of BBR (0.2, 0.4, and 0.8 mg/kg) and normal saline (control). In room temperature, our largest dosage of BBR (0.8 mg/kg) can reduce rectal temperatures (Tc) of normal mice. In hot conditions, BBR can antagonize the increasing core body temperature and inhibit the expression of HSP70 and TNFα in mice; conversely, in cold conditions, BBR can antagonize the decreasing core body temperature and enhance the expression of TRPM8. This study demonstrates the dual ability of BBR in maintaining thermal balance, which is of great relevance to the regulation of HSP70, TNFα and TRPM8.
Oxidative stress plays an important role in the pathological processes of ischemic brain damage. Many antioxidants have been shown to protect against cerebral ischemia injury by inhibiting oxidative stress both in vitro and in vivo. 20-Hydroxyecdysone (20E), an ecdysteroid hormone, exhibits antioxidative effects. For the work described in this paper, we used an in vitro oxidative damage model and an in vivo ischemic model of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) to investigate the neuroprotective effects of 20E and the mechanisms related to these effects. Treatment of cells with H2O2 led to neuronal injury, intracellular ROS/RNS generation, mitochondrial membrane potential dissipation, cellular antioxidant potential descent, an increase in malondialdehyde (MDA) and an elevation of intracellular [Ca2+], all of which were markedly attenuated by 20E. Inhibition of the activation of the ASK1-MKK4/7-JNK stress signaling pathway and cleaved caspase-3 induced by oxidative stress were involved in the neuroprotection afforded by 20E. In addition, 20E reduced the expression of iNOS protein by inhibition of NF-κB activation. The neuroprotective effect of 20E was also confirmed in vivo. 20E significantly decreased infarct volume and the neurological deficit score, restored antioxidant potential and inhibited the increase in MDA and TUNEL-positive and cleaved caspase-3-positive cells in the cerebral cortex in MCAO rats. Together, these results support that 20E protects against cerebral ischemia injury by inhibiting ROS/RNS production and modulating oxidative stress-induced signal transduction pathways.
Aim. The study was to investigate the metabolic profile of urine metabolites and to elucidate their clinical significance in patients with colorectal cancer.
Methods. Colorectal cancers from early stage and advanced stage were used in this study. Urine samples of colorectal cancer patients and healthy adults were collected and subjected to capillary
electrophoresis mass spectrometry based on moving reaction boundary analysis. The metabolic data were analyzed by SPSS 17.0 to find urinary biomarkers for colorectal cancer.
Results. The results indicated that the urine metabolic profiling of colorectal cancer patients had significant changes compared with the normal controls, and there were also differences between early stage and advanced colorectal cancer patients. Compared with the control group, the levels of isoleucine, valine, arginine, lactate acid and leucine increased (P < 0.05), but those of histidine, methionine, serine, aspartic acid, citric acid, succinate, and malic acid decreased in urine samples from colorectal cancer (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the levels of isoleucine and valine were lower in urine of patients with advanced colorectal cancer than those in early stage colorectal cancer
(P < 0.05). Conclusion. The technique of capillary electrophoresis mass spectrometry based on MRB could reveal the significant metabolic alterations during progression of colorectal cancer, and the method is feasible and may be useful for the early diagnosis of colorectal cancer.
Since the first description in 1989 of CD4-Fc-fusion antagonists that inhibit human immune deficiency virus entry into T cells, Fc-fusion proteins have been intensely investigated for their effectiveness to curb a range of pathologies, with several notable recent successes coming to market. These promising outcomes have stimulated the development of novel approaches to improve their efficacy and safety, while also broadening their clinical remit to other uses such as vaccines and intravenous immunoglobulin therapy. This increased attention has also led to non-clinical applications of Fc-fusions, such as affinity reagents in microarray devices. Here we discuss recent results and more generally applicable strategies to improve Fc-fusion proteins for each application, with particular attention to the newer, less charted areas.
clinical tools; Fc-fusion proteins; Fc-receptors; immunoglobulins; therapeutic impact
To investigate the prognostic significance of tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR),-associated factor 6 (TRAF6),-and ubiquitin in gastric cancer patients.
Biopsies of the rectus abdominis muscle were obtained intra operatively from 102 gastric cancer patients and 29 subjects undergoing surgery for benign abdominal diseases, and muscle TRAF6 and ubiquitin mRNA expression and proteasome proteolytic activities were assessed.
TRAF6 was significantly upregulated in muscle of gastric cancer compared with the control muscles. TRAF6 was upregulated in 67.65% (69/102) muscle of gastric cancer. Over expression of TRAF6 in muscles of gastric cancer were associated with TNM stage, level of serum albumin and percent of weight loss. Ubiquitin was significantly upregulated in muscle of gastric cancer compared with the control muscles. Ubiquitin was upregulated in 58.82% (60/102) muscles of gastric cancer. Over expression of ubiquitin in muscles of gastric cancer were associated with TNM (Tumor-Node-Metastasis) stage and weight loss. There was significant relation between TRAF6 and ubiquitin expression.
We found a positive correlation between TRAF6 and ubiquitin expression, suggesting that TRAF6 may up regulates ubiquitin activity in cancer cachexia. While more investigations are required to understand its mechanisms of TRAF6 and ubiquitin in skeletal muscle. Correct the catabolic-anabolic imbalance is essential for the effective treatment of cancer cachexia.
Gastric cancer; TRAF6; Ubiquitin; Mrna; Skeletal muscle; Cachexia
Two new species of the genus Stenohya Beier, 1967 are described from China: Stenohya pengaesp. n. (male and female; type locality Daming Mountain, Nanning City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region) and Stenohya huangi
sp. n. (female; type locality Gushan Mountain, Fuzhou City, Fujian Prov.).The presence of Stenohya pengae
sp. n. in the tree crown of Castanopsis fabri represents a new habitat for Neobisiidae. A key and a distribution map of the Chinese Stenohya species are also provided.
Pseudoscorpions; Neobisiidae; Stenohya; new species; China
Aim. Amino acid metabolism in cancer patients differs from that in healthy people. In the study, we performed urine-free amino acid profile of gastric cancer at different stages and health subjects to explore potential biomarkers for diagnosing or screening gastric cancer. Methods. Forty three urine samples were collected from inpatients and healthy adults who were divided into 4 groups. Healthy adults were in group A (n = 15), early gastric cancer inpatients in group B (n = 7), and advanced gastric cancer inpatients in group C (n = 16); in addition, two healthy adults and three advanced gastric cancer inpatients were in group D (n = 5) to test models. We performed urine amino acids profile of each group by applying ion chromatography (IC) technique and analyzed urine amino acids according to chromatogram of amino acids standard solution. The data we obtained were processed with statistical analysis. A diagnostic model was constructed to discriminate gastric cancer from healthy individuals and another diagnostic model for clinical staging by principal component analysis. Differentiation performance was validated by the area under the curve (AUC) of receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curves. Results. The urine-free amino acid profile of gastric cancer patients changed to a certain degree compared with that of healthy adults. Compared with healthy adult group, the levels of valine, isoleucine, and leucine increased (P < 0.05), but the levels of histidine and methionine decreased (P < 0.05), and aspartate decreased significantly (P < 0.01). The urine amino acid profile was also different between early and advanced gastric cancer groups. Compared with early gastric cancer, the levels of isoleucine and valine decreased in advanced gastric cancer (P < 0.05). A diagnosis model constructed for gastric cancer with AUC value of 0.936 tested by group D showed that 4 samples could coincide with it. Another diagnosis model for clinical staging with an AUC value of 0.902 tested by 3 advanced gastric cancer inpatients of group D showed that all could coincide with the model. Conclusions. The noticeable differences of urine-free amino acid profiles between gastric cancer patients and healthy adults indicate that such amino acids as valine, isoleucine, leucine, methionine, histidine and aspartate are important metabolites in cell multiplication and gene expression during tumor growth and metastatic process. The study suggests that urine-free amino acid profiling is of potential value for screening or diagnosing gastric cancer.
In order to monitor the effectiveness of HPV vaccination in Canada the linkage of multiple data registries may be required. These registries may not always be managed by the same organization and, furthermore, privacy legislation or practices may restrict any data linkages of records that can actually be done among registries. The objective of this study was to develop a secure protocol for linking data from different registries and to allow on-going monitoring of HPV vaccine effectiveness.
A secure linking protocol, using commutative hash functions and secure multi-party computation techniques was developed. This protocol allows for the exact matching of records among registries and the computation of statistics on the linked data while meeting five practical requirements to ensure patient confidentiality and privacy. The statistics considered were: odds ratio and its confidence interval, chi-square test, and relative risk and its confidence interval. Additional statistics on contingency tables, such as other measures of association, can be added using the same principles presented. The computation time performance of this protocol was evaluated.
The protocol has acceptable computation time and scales linearly with the size of the data set and the size of the contingency table. The worse case computation time for up to 100,000 patients returned by each query and a 16 cell contingency table is less than 4 hours for basic statistics, and the best case is under 3 hours.
A computationally practical protocol for the secure linking of data from multiple registries has been demonstrated in the context of HPV vaccine initiative impact assessment. The basic protocol can be generalized to the surveillance of other conditions, diseases, or vaccination programs.
Objective and design
The design and implementation of ImageMiner, a software platform for performing comparative analysis of expression patterns in imaged microscopy specimens such as tissue microarrays (TMAs), is described. ImageMiner is a federated system of services that provides a reliable set of analytical and data management capabilities for investigative research applications in pathology. It provides a library of image processing methods, including automated registration, segmentation, feature extraction, and classification, all of which have been tailored, in these studies, to support TMA analysis. The system is designed to leverage high-performance computing machines so that investigators can rapidly analyze large ensembles of imaged TMA specimens. To support deployment in collaborative, multi-institutional projects, ImageMiner features grid-enabled, service-based components so that multiple instances of ImageMiner can be accessed remotely and federated.
The experimental evaluation shows that: (1) ImageMiner is able to support reliable detection and feature extraction of tumor regions within imaged tissues; (2) images and analysis results managed in ImageMiner can be searched for and retrieved on the basis of image-based features, classification information, and any correlated clinical data, including any metadata that have been generated to describe the specified tissue and TMA; and (3) the system is able to reduce computation time of analyses by exploiting computing clusters, which facilitates analysis of larger sets of tissue samples.
Computer-assisted diagnosis; biomedical imaging; informatics; tissue microarray; content-based image retrieval; bioinformatics; data management; data integration; RFID, temporal database; spatial database; Emory; biomedical informatics; imaging, high end computing; middleware, pathology
This study primarily focused on the anti-metastatic activity of doxorubicin (DOX) loaded in a pH-sensitive mixed polymeric micelle formed from two block polymers: poly(L-lactide) (PLLA) (Mn 3000)-b-poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) (Mn 2000)-folate and poly(L-histidine) (PHis) (Mn 4700)-b-PEG (Mn 2000). Tumor formation and metastasis in mice were examined using a murine mammary carcinoma cell of 4T1 which is one of the most aggressive metastatic cancer cell lines. The efficacy was evaluated by tumor size, body weight change, survival rate, dorsal skin fold window chamber model, and histological observation of the lung, heart, liver and spleen after treatment with various DOX formulations. When the tumor reached 50–100 mm3 in size, the mice were treated by 4 times at a 3-day interval at a dose of 10 mg DOX/kg. The mixed micelle formulation resulted in retarded tumor growth, no weight loss, and no death for 4–5 weeks. In another set of the in vivo test for histological evaluation of the organs, the mice were similarly treated but the formulations were injected one day after 4T1 cell inoculation. The treatment by DOX loaded mixed micelle showed no apparent metastasis till 28 days. However, significant metastasis to the lung and heart was observed on Day 28 when the mice were treated with DOX carried by PBS, PLLA-b-PEG micelle and PHis-b-PEG micelle.
breast cancer; 4T1 mammary carcinoma; folate; pH-sensitive micelle; poly(L-histidine-b-PEG); metastasis model
Although evidence suggests that the prevalence of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is lower in smokers than in non-smokers, the mechanisms of nicotine-induced neuroprotection remain unclear. Stimulation of the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7-nAChR) seems to be a crucial mechanism underlying the anti-inflammatory potential of cholinergic agonists in immune cells, including astrocytes, and inhibition of astrocyte activation has been proposed as a novel strategy for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders such as PD. The objective of the present study was to determine whether nicotine-induced neuroprotection in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) mouse model occurs via α7-nAChR-mediated inhibition of astrocytes.
Both in vivo (MPTP) and in vitro (1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium ion (MPP+) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)) models of PD were used to investigate the role(s) of and possible mechanism(s) by which α7-nAChRs protect against dopaminergic neuron loss. Multiple experimental approaches, including behavioral tests, immunochemistry, and stereology experiments, astrocyte cell cultures, reverse transcriptase PCR, laser scanning confocal microscopy, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α assays, and western blotting, were used to elucidate the mechanisms of the α7-nAChR-mediated neuroprotection.
Systemic administration of nicotine alleviated MPTP-induced behavioral symptoms, improved motor coordination, and protected against dopaminergic neuron loss and the activation of astrocytes and microglia in the substantia nigra. The protective effects of nicotine were abolished by administration of the α7-nAChR-selective antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA). In primary cultured mouse astrocytes, pretreatment with nicotine suppressed MPP+-induced or LPS-induced astrocyte activation, as evidenced by both decreased production of TNF-α and inhibition of extracellular regulated kinase1/2 (Erk1/2) and p38 activation in astrocytes, and these effects were also reversed by MLA.
Taken together, our results suggest that α7-nAChR-mediated inhibition of astrocyte activation is an important mechanism underlying the protective effects of nicotine.
α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor; Parkinson’s disease; Astrocyte; Neuroinflammation; Neuroprotection
There are two independent molecules in the asymmetric unit of the title compound, C30H44O5. They comprise a triterpenoid skeleton of five six-membered rings and a five-membered lactone ring. The five six-membered rings are all trans-fused. In both independent molecules the D rings adopt a slightly distorted half-chair conformation due the presence of the lactone ring while the other four six-membered rings all adopt chair conformations. The characteristic carbon–carbon double bond of the oleanoic skeleton is absent. Intermolecular O—H⋯O hydrogen bonds between the hydroxy and carbonyl groups occur in the crystal structure.