Lysostaphin is a peptidoglycan hydrolase secreted by Staphylococcus simulans. It can specifically lyse Staphylococcus aureus and is being tested as a novel antibacterial agent. The protein contains an N-terminal catalytic domain and a C-terminal cell wall targeting domain. Although the two domains from homologous enzymes were structurally determined, the structural organization of lysostaphin domains remains unknown. We used hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (H/DX-MS) and site-directed disulfide cross-linking to probe the interface between the lysostaphin catalytic and targeting domains. H/DX-MS-mediated comparison of peptides from full-length lysostaphin and the separated domains identified four peptides of lower solvent accessibility in the full-length protein. Cross-linking analysis using cysteine pair substitutions within those peptides showed that two pairs of cysteines can form disulfide bonds, supporting the domain association role of the targeted peptides. The cross-linked mutant exhibited a binding capacity to S. aureus that was similar to that of the wild-type protein but reduced bacteriolytic activity probably because of restraint in conformation. The diminished activity was further reduced with increasing NaCl concentrations that can cause contractions of bacterial peptidoglycan. The lytic activity, however, could be fully recovered by reducing the disulfide bonds. These results suggest that lysostaphin may require dynamic association of the two domains for coordinating substrate binding and target cleavage on the elastic peptidoglycan. Our study will help develop site-specific PEGylated lysostaphin to treat systemic S. aureus infections.
Numerous studies indicate that morphine suppresses pain-evoked activities in both spinal and supraspinal regions. However, little is known about the effect of morphine on the basal brain activity in the absence of pain. The present study was designed to assess the effects of single-dose morphine on the spontaneous discharge of many simultaneously recorded single units, as well as their functional connections, in the lateral pain pathway, including the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) and ventral posterolateral thalamus (VPL), and medial pain pathway, including the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and medial dorsal thalamus (MD), in awake rats. Morphine (5mg/kg) was administered intraperitoneally before the recording. Naloxone plus morphine and normal saline injections were performed respectively as controls. The results showed that morphine administration produced significant changes in the spontaneous neuronal activity in more than one third of the total recorded neurons, with primary activation in the lateral pathway while both inhibition and activation in the medial pathway. Naloxone pretreatment completely blocked the effects induced by morphine. In addition, the correlated activities between and within both pain pathways was exclusively suppressed after morphine injection. These results suggest that morphine may play different roles in modulating neural activity in normal versus pain states. Taken together, this is the first study investigating the morphine modulation of spontaneous neuronal activity within parallel pain pathways. It can be helpful for revealing neuronal population coding for the morphine action in the absence of pain, and shed light on the supraspinal mechanisms for preemptive analgesia.
morphine; spontaneous activity; the primary somatosensory cortex; the anterior cingulate cortex; thalamus
Having a child with a disability is considered a barrier to self-sufficiency among welfare recipients. This study examines the impact of children’s educational disability on single-mother families’ welfare exits and re-entries for a cohort of children in a metropolitan region in Missouri, who were born between 1982 and 1994, and received AFDC/TANF at least once from 1990 through 2008 (N=4,928). A semiparametric proportional hazards model for recurrent events is used to analyze the relationship between a child’s educational disability and family welfare exit and re-entry. Results show that families with children with disabilities (the disability group) are less likely to exit and more likely to re-enter the welfare system than families with children without disabilities (the nondisability group). After the 1996 welfare reform, the welfare exit rate increases more for the disability group than for the nondisability group, while the welfare re-entry rate decreases less for the disability group than for the nondisability group.
Children with disabilities; Poverty; Welfare reform; Single-parent families; Special education
Rationale: New vaccine approaches are needed for Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which continues to be a major cause of serious pulmonary infections. Although Th17 cells can protect against gram-negative pathogens at mucosal surfaces, including the lung, the bacterial proteins recognized by Th17 cells are largely unknown and could be potential new vaccine candidates.
Objectives: We describe a strategy to identify Th17-stimulating protein antigens of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to assess their efficacy as vaccines against pneumonia.
Methods: Using a library of in vitro transcribed and translated P. aeruginosa proteins, we screened for Th17-stimulating antigens by coculturing the library proteins with splenocytes from mice immunized with a live-attenuated P. aeruginosa vaccine that is protective via Th17-based immunity. We measured antibody and Th17 responses after intranasal immunization of mice with the purified proteins mixed with the Th17 adjuvant curdlan, and we tested the protective efficacy of vaccination in a murine model of acute pneumonia.
Measurements and Main Results: The proteins PopB, FpvA, FptA, OprL, and PilQ elicited strong IL-17 secretion in the screen, and purified versions of PopB, FpvA, and OprL stimulated high IL-17 production from immune splenocytes. Immunization with PopB, which is a highly conserved component of the type III secretion system and a known virulence factor, elicited Th17 responses and also enhanced clearance of P. aeruginosa from the lung and spleen after challenge. PopB-immunized mice were protected from lethal pneumonia in an antibody-independent, IL-17–dependent manner.
Conclusions: Screening for Th17-stimulating protein antigens identified PopB as a novel and promising vaccine candidate for P. aeruginosa.
vaccine; pneumonia; Th17; IL-17; Pseudomonas aeruginosa
To assess the clinical efficacy of targeted arterial perfusion of verapamil and chemotherapeutic agents in the interventional therapy of lung cancer.
Forty patients with advanced lung cancer underwent treatment with targeted arterial perfusion of verapamil and chemotherapeutic agents using Seldinger technique. Interventional therapy was performed once a month, and each subject received interventional treatment for 2 or more cycles. The therapeutic efficacy was evaluated 2 months post-treatment.
Out of 40 patients with advanced lung cancer, 5 cases achieved complete remission (CR) and 29 cases achieved partial remission (PR), with a total effectiveness (CR + PR) rate of 85 %. Besides, 32 cases achieved significantly alleviated clinical symptoms, and 29 cases had decreased clinical tumor stage. All subjects had stable karnofsky performance status score and body weight. Among the 40 patients, 13 cases had leucopenia, 10 cases had gastrointestinal reactions, 3 cases presented with elevated alanine aminotransferase/aspartate aminotransferase ratio, and 3 cases had fever. However, all these side effects relieved quickly. No elevation of BUN/Cr ratio and allergic reactions was observed. No significant changes in cardiac function and electrocardiogram were noticed after the treatment.
Targeted arterial perfusion of verapamil and chemotherapeutic drugs can improve the clinical symptoms of patients with advanced lung cancer and increase the efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents, thereby providing an opportunity for radiotherapy or surgical treatment for advanced lung cancer.
Verapamil; Advanced lung cancer; Arterial perfusion; Multidrug resistance
The I405V polymorphism of the cholesteryl ester transfer protein gene (CETP) has been suggested to be a protective factor conferring longevity in Ashkenazi Jews, although findings in other races are not supportive. This paper describes a case-control study and a meta-analysis conducted to derive a more precise estimation of the association between CETP 405V and longevity.
We enrolled 1,021 ethnic Han Chinese participants (506 in the longevity group and 515 controls), then performed a meta-analysis that integrated the current study and previously published ones. Pooled odds ratios (OR) were calculated for allele contrasts, dominant and recessive inheritance models to assess the association between CETP 405V and longevity according to the ethnic stratification.
Our case-control data indicated that CETP 405V is a longevity risk allele in all genetic models (Padditive=0.008; Pdominant=0.008, ORdominant=0.673; Precessive=0.017, ORrecessive=0.654) after adjustment for the apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele, body mass index and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. A synergy was detected between 405V and APOE ε4 (P=0.001, OR=0.530). Eight studies were eligible for meta-analysis, which confirmed 405V is the risky allele against longevity in all genetic models: allele contrasts (OR=0.81, 95%CI=0.74-0.88), dominant model (OR=0.72, 95%CI=0.64-0.82) and recessive model (OR=0.80, 95%CI=0.67-0.96). After ethnic stratification, 405V remained a risk allele in East Asians but no significant association was found in Europeans or white Americans.
Our case-control study suggests CETP 405V as a risk allele against longevity in Chinese. The meta-analysis suggests the involvement of CETP 405V is protective in Ashkenazi Jews but is a risk allele against longevity in the East Asian (Chinese) population.
Marfan syndrome is a systemic connective tissue disease that could affect the cardiovascular system and eventually lead to heart enlargement and heart failure with high mortality, mainly due to progressive heart failure and/or sudden cardiac death caused by malignant arrhythmia. Here we report that a patient received a cardiac resynchronization therapy-defibrillator (CRT-D) with a pre-monitor function for heart failure and experienced obvious improvements in his cardiac function. Postoperative follow-up showed that the patient had reduced morbidity and hospitalization for heart failure, and also experienced improved quality of life.
Since isoprostanes are thought to participate in the pathogenesis of thrombosis, presumably through their interaction with thromboxane receptors (TPRs), we examined the ability of 8-iso-PGF2α to bind/signal through TPRs. Using TPR expressing HEK cells, it was found that 8-iso-PGF2α mobilized calcium and bound TPRs with a dissociation constant (Kd) of 57 nM. Interestingly, site-directed-mutagenesis revealed that 8-iso-PGF2α has a unique coordination profile with TPRs. Thus, while Phe184 and Asp193 are shared by both 8-iso-PGF2α and classical TPR ligands, Phe196 was found to be required only for 8-iso-PGF2α binding. Functional studies also revealed interesting results. Namely, that 8-iso-PGF2α signals in human platelets through both a stimulatory (TPR-dependent) and an inhibitory (cAMP-dependent) pathway. Consistent with the existence of two signaling pathways, platelets were also found to possess two separate binding sites for 8-iso-PGF2α. While the stimulatory site is represented by TPRs, the second cAMP inhibitory site is presently unidentified, but does not involve receptors for PGI2, PGD2 or PGE2. In summary, these studies provide the first documentation that: (1) 8-iso-PGF2α coordinates with Phe184, Asp193 and Phe196 on platelet TPRs; (2) Phe196 serves as a unique TPR binding site for 8-iso-PGF2α; (3) 8-iso-PGF2α signals through both stimulatory and inhibitory pathways in platelets; (4) 8-iso-PGF2α inhibits human platelet activation through a cAMP-dependent mechanism; (5) 8-iso-PGF2α interacts with platelets at two separate binding sites. Collectively, these results provide evidence for a novel isoprostane function in platelets which is mediated through a cAMP-coupled receptor.
Thromboxane A2 receptor; Isoprostanes; Platelet; Site-directed mutagenesis; Radioligand binding; Calcium mobilization
Single-nucleotide polymorphisms located in the microRNA biogenesis pathway could alter the risk for developing prostate cancer. The present study was intended to identify common genetic variants responsible for prostate cancer susceptibility in the GEMIN4 gene. The high-resolution melting method was used to genotype seven polymorphisms (rs7813, rs4968104, rs3744741, rs2740348, rs1062923, rs910925, and rs910924) in the GEMIN4 gene in 300 prostate cancer patients and 244 matched controls. The encouraging discovery in this study was in the rs2740348. Patients carrying the variant heterozygote GC genotype in the rs2740348 were at a 36% decreased risk of prostate cancer (odds ratio [OR]=0.64; 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.42, 0.99). Similarly, this variant allele carrier showed significant risk for prostate cancer (OR=0.64). In addition, subjects carrying the homozygote TT genotype in the rs7813 had a significantly increased risk of prostate cancer (OR=2.53, 95% CI=1.07, 6.28). Two common haplotypes were found to be associated with decreased risk of prostate cancer. In the subgroup analysis, higher risk of more severity of prostate cancer (clinical stage III and IV) was observed in individuals with the rs7813 TT genotype (OR=2.64, 95% CI=1.02, 7.64), while lower risk of more severity of prostate cancer was observed in individuals with the rs3744741 T allele (OR=0.69, 95% CI=0.50, 0.96). Overall, our study provides substantial support for the association between the GEMIN4 gene and the risk of prostate cancer.
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) detection has previously been used for diagnosing gastric cancer. However, the previous studies failed to make an agreement whether the detection of CTCs contributes to the diagnosis of gastric cancer.
A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed to evaluate the overall accuracy of CTCs detection for diagnosing gastric cancer. PubMed, Embase and the Wanfang database were searched in all languages published up to Oct 2012. The pooled sensitivity (SEN), specificity (SPE), positive and negative likelihood ratios (PLR and NLR, respectively), diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) and summary receiver operating characteristic (sROC) curve were calculated to evaluate the overall test performance.
Twenty studies were included in this systematic review and meta-analysis. The diagnostic value of CTCs detection for the gastric cancer was calculated to evaluate the overall test performance. The summary estimates of The pooled sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative likelihood ratios, diagnostic odds ratio were 0.42 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.21-0.67), 0.99 (95% CI, 0.96-1.00), 58.2 (95% CI, 9.8-345.9), 0.58 (95% CI, 0.38-0.89), and 100 (95% CI, 15–663), respectively. The summary receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.97 (95% CI, 0.95–0.98). Deek’s funnel plot asymmetry test found no evidence of study publication bias in the current study (P = 0.49).
This systematic review suggests that CTCs detection alone cannot be recommended as a screening test for gastric cancer. However, it might be used as a noninvasive method for the confirmation of the gastric cancer diagnosis.
Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs); Gastric Cancer; Meta-analysis; Diagnostic Accuracy
Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease and represents the major cause of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. There is evidence that dihydrocapsaicin (DHC) can exert multiple pharmacological and physiological effects. Here, we explored the effect of DHC in atherosclerotic plaque progression in apoE−/− mice fed a high-fat/high-cholesterol diet.
Methods and Results
apoE−/− mice were randomly divided into two groups and fed a high-fat/high-cholesterol diet with or without DHC for 12 weeks. We demonstrated that cellular cholesterol content was significantly decreased while apoA1-mediated cholesterol efflux was significantly increased following treatment with DHC in THP-1 macrophage-derived foam cells. We also observed that plasma levels of TG, LDL-C, VLDL-C, IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α and CRP were markedly decreased while plasma levels of apoA1 and HDL-C were significantly increased, and consistent with this, atherosclerotic lesion development was significantly inhibited by DHC treatment of apoE−/− mice fed a high-fat/high-cholesterol diet. Moreover, treatment with both LXRα siRNA and PPARγ siRNA made the up-regulation of DHC on ABCA1, ABCG1, ABCG5, SR-B1, NPC1, CD36, LDLR, HMGCR, apoA1 and apoE expression notably abolished while made the down-regulation of DHC on SRA1 expression markedly compensated. And treatment with PPARγ siRNA made the DHC-induced up-regulation of LXRα expression notably abolished while treatment with LXRα siRNA had no effect on DHC-induced PPARγ expression.
These observations provide direct evidence that DHC can significantly decrease atherosclerotic plaque formation involving in a PPARγ/LXRα pathway and thus DHC may represent a promising candidate for a therapeutic agent for the treatment or prevention of atherosclerosis.
Monovalent aptamers can deliver drugs to target cells by specific recognition. However, different cancer subtypes are distinguished by heterogeneous biomarkers, and one single aptamer was unable to recognize all clinical samples from different patients with even the same type of cancers. To address heterogeneity among cancer subtypes for targeted drug delivery, as a model, we developed a drug carrier with broader recognition range of cancer subtypes. This carrier (SD) was self-assembled from two modified monovalent aptamers. It showed bi-specific recognition abilities to target cells in cell mixtures, thus broadening the recognition capabilities of its parent aptamers. The self-assembly of SD simultaneously formed multiple drug loading sites for anticancer drug Doxorubicin (Dox). The Dox-loaded SD (SD-Dox) also showed bi-specific abilities of target cell binding and drug delivery. Most importantly, SD-Dox induced bi-specific cytotoxicity in target cells in cell mixtures. Therefore, by broadening the otherwise limited recognition capabilities of monovalent aptamers, bi-specific aptamer-based drug carriers would facilitate aptamer applications for clinically heterogeneous cancer subtypes which respond to the same cancer therapy.
aptamer; drug delivery; self-assembly; cancer heterogeneity; bi-specific
A number of published comparative studies have been conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of intraoperative mitomycin C (MMC) in endoscopic dacryocystorhinostomy (EN-DCR). However, results have not always been consistent. Therefore, we carried out a meta-analysis to compare the clinical results of EN-DCR with and without MMC.
Methods and Findings
A comprehensive literature search of Cochrane Library, PubMed and EMBASE to identify relevant trials comparing EN-DCR with and without MMC. Eleven studies including 574 eyes were included in this meta-analysis. The success was defined as patency of the nasolacrimal canal and symptomatic improvement. There was significantly higher success rate in the MMC group in comparison with control group [RR = 1.12, 95% CI (1.04, 1.20), P = 0.004]. A sensitivity analysis after the non-randomized controlled trials were excluded from the meta-analysis demonstrated no differences compared with the overall results. Subgroup analyses showed that MMC group had a significantly higher success rate than control group in primary and revision EN-DCR, and EN-DCR without silicone intubation, but no difference in the subgroup of with silicone intubation. The size of the osteotomy site was bigger in the MMC group compared to the control group at 3 months [WMD = 7.65, 95% CI (0.33, 14.98), P = 0.041] and 6 months [WMD = 9.28, 95% CI (2.45, 16.11), P = 0.008] after surgery. However, there was statistically significant difference in the osteotomy surface area between the two groups at 12 months after surgery [WMD = 11.63, 95% CI (−1.04, 24.29), P = 0.072].
Intraoperative MMC application seems to be a safe adjuvant that could reduce the closure rate of the osteotomy and enhance the success rate after both primary and revision EN-DCR.
Altered expression of Twist, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 proteins has been identified in various types of human cancers. However, the correlation between Twist and these gelatinases in breast cancer remains unclear. In this study, immunohistochemical analysis of Twist, MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression was performed on tissue microarrays from 200 breast cancer cases. The association of Twist and gelatinase expression with clinicopathological factors and patient survival was analyzed. Altered expression of Twist, MMP-2 and MMP-9 proteins was observed in breast cancer tissue. The positive rates of Twist, MMP-2 and MMP-9 protein expression were 75.5, 97.0 and 96.0%, respectively. Increased expression of Twist was positively correlated with the status of axillary lymph node metastasis and higher tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) stage (P<0.01). Moreover, increased expression of Twist was correlated with poor overall survival (OS) and post-operative relapse-free survival (RFS), compared with those for the patients with reduced expression levels of Twist (P<0.05, P<0.01). The expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9 was positively correlated with Twist expression (P<0.001). Our results indicate that Twist may play an important role in the invasion, metastasis and prognosis of breast cancer. Additionally, our results suggest that Twist may be a regulator of gelatinases (MMP-2 and MMP-9).
breast neoplasms; pathology; gelatinases; matrix metalloproteinase 2; matrix metalloproteinase 9; immunohistochemistry
The nuclear factor Y (NF-Y), which is a ubiquitous transcription factor found in eukaryotes, is composed of three distinct subunits, namely, NF-YA, NF-YB, and NF-YC. Here, we firstly characterized the detailed function of the Arabidopsis NFYA1 factor. It is found that the 35S::AtNFYA1-overexpressed lines were hypersensitive to salt stress and Abscisic acid (ABA) during the early-postgermination growth stages. The transgenic lines exhibited a severe postgermination growth arrest compared with the wild-type (WT) under salt stress and ABA treatment. Interestingly, sodium tungstate, which is an ABA synthesis inhibitor, restored the salt-sensitive phenotype of the 35S::AtNFYA1 lines. Results of the qRT-PCR analysis showed that the mRNA levels of ABI3 and ABI5, as well as their downstream genes AtEM1 and AtEM6, were more greatly upregulated under salt stress during seed germination in the transgenic lines compared with those in WT. On the other hand, the NFYA1-RNAi lines were found to be insensitive to salt stress and exhibited decreased levels of ABI3, ABI5, EM1, and EM6 transcripts. Our results provide clear evidence supporting a role of AtNFYA1 in regulating postgermination growth arrest under salt stress.
Male breast cancer arising in ectopic axillary breast tissue is a rare occurrence and few cases have been reported in the literature. Due to its rarity, male axillary breast cancer is easy to misdiagnose. As for adenocarcinoma in the axilla, it is difficult to identify whether the origin is the mammary tissue or the skin appendages, particularly in cases where there is a poor differentiation. The present study reports the case of a male patient with a right axillary lesion that had been present for 6 months. A histological evaluation revealed the features of a poorly-differentiated adenocarcinoma with regards to the pathological report. The patient was diagnosed with a metastatic adenocarcinoma with unknown primary origin. However, following 4 cycles of intensive chemotherapy, the patient experienced bone metastasis while the local lesion was in partial remission. Further immunohistochemistry confirmed its mammary origin. There is limited literature relating to male ectopic axillary breast cancer, and a high probability of misdiagnosis of this disease.
male breast cancer; ectopic axillary breast tissue; diagnosis
To evaluate the short-term outcomes of video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) for thoracic tumors.
The data of 1,790 consecutive patients were retrospectively reviewed. These patients underwent VATS pulmonary resections, VATS esophagectomies, and VATS resections of mediastinal tumors or biopsies at the Cancer Institute & Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences between January 2009 and January 2012.
There were 33 patients converted to open thoracotomy (OT, 1.84%). The overall morbidity and mortality rate was 2.79% (50/1790) and 0.28% (5/1790), respectively. The overall hospitalization and chest tube duration were shorter in the VATS lobectomy group (n=949) than in the open thoracotomy (OT) lobectomy group (n=753). There were no significant differences in morbidity rate, mortality rate and operation time between the two groups. In the esophageal cancer patients, no significant difference was found in the number of nodal dissection, chest tube duration, morbidity rate, mortality rate, and hospital length of stay between the VATS esophagectomy group (n=81) and open esophagectomy group (n=81). However, the operation time was longer in the VATS esophagectomy group. In the thymoma patients, there was no significant difference in the chest tube duration, morbidity rate, mortality rate, and hospital length of stay between the VATS thymectomy group (n=41) and open thymectomy group (n=41). However, the operation time was longer in the VATS group. The median tumor size in the VATS thymectomy group was comparable with that in the OT group.
In early-stage (I/II) non-small cell lung cancer patients who underwent lobectomies, VATS is comparable with the OT approach with similar short-term outcomes. In patients with resectable esophageal cancer, VATS esophagectomy is comparable with OT esophagectomy with similar morbidity and mortality. VATS thymectomy for Masaoka stage I and II thymoma is feasible and safe, and tumor size is not contraindicated. Longer follow-ups are needed to determine the oncologic equivalency of VATS lobectomy, esophagectomy, and thymectomy for thymoma vs. OT.
Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS); non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); esophageal cancer; thymoma
Disabled youths are arrested, adjudicated, and recidivate at higher rates than their nondisabled peers. Although multiple theories have been offered to explain the relationship between disability and delinquency, the empirical evidence is limited and contradictory. Little is known about how disability may be associated with offending once poverty and family risks like maltreatment are controlled for. Using administrative data from a Midwest state, this article discusses results from a Cox regression of juvenile and young adult offending outcomes for low income disabled compared with nondisabled youths (N = 1,568). Youths with disabilities had higher rates of juvenile court petitions than similarly low-income peers. In models of adult offending, there was no relationship between disability status and adult arrest, but youths who had received educational services for emotional disturbance or other categories of health impairment had higher risk of entering adult corrections.
adolescents; delinquency; disability; learning disabilities; poverty
The -493G/T polymorphism in the microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP) gene is associated with lower serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and triglyceride (TG) levels and longevity in several populations, but the results are inconsistent in different racial/ethnic groups. The current study was to investigate the plausible association of MTP -493G/T polymorphism with serum lipid levels and longevity in Zhuang long-lived families residing in Bama area, a famous home of longevity in Guangxi, China.
The MTP -493G/T was genotyped by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism in 391 Bama Zhuang long-lived families (BLF, n = 1467, age 56.60 ± 29.43 years) and four control groups recruited from Bama and out-of-Bama area with or without a familial history of exceptional longevity: Bama non-long-lived families (BNLF, n = 586, age 44.81 ± 26.83 years), Bama non-Zhuang long-lived families (BNZLF, n = 444, age 52.09 ± 31.91 years), Pingguo long-lived families (PLF, n = 658, age 50.83 ± 30.30 years), and Pingguo non-long-lived families (PNLF, n = 539, age 38.74 ± 24.69 years). Correlation analyses between genotypes and serum lipid levels and longevity were then performed.
No particularly favorable lipoprotein and clinical phenotypes were seen in BLF as compared to general families in the same area. Instead, the levels of total cholesterol (TC), TG, LDL-C, and the prevalence of dyslipidemia were significantly higher in the three Bama families as compared to the two non-Bama families (P < 0.01 for all). There were no differences in the allelic and genotypic frequencies among the tested cohorts (P > 0.05 for all), but the TT genotype tended to enrich in the three long-lived cohorts from both areas. In addition, the individuals harboring TT genotype exhibited lower LDL-C and TC levels in the overall populations and Bama populations with a region- and sex-specific pattern. Multiple linear regression analyses unraveled that LDL-C levels were correlated with genotypes in Bama combined population, BNLF, and the total population (P < 0.05 for each) but not in Pingguo populations; TC and HDL-C levels were correlated with genotypes in Bama combined population and BLF, respectively (P < 0.05 for each).
MTP -493G/T polymorphism may play an important role in fashioning the serum lipid profiles of Bama populations, despite no direct association between MTP -493G/T and longevity was detected.
AIM: To identify the determinants of endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) operation time.
METHODS: This investigation was conducted as a single-center, prospective study in which ESD was performed by the same endoscopist at the Chinese PLA General Hospital. A total of 173 patients underwent ESD operations performed by Dr. Lu from July 2007 to December 2011, and 183 lesions were enrolled. Patient gender, age, tumor location, gross type, tumor size, pathological type and adhesions were recorded prospectively. The order of treatment represented the experience of the operator. Univariate analysis and multivariate analysis were performed to evaluate the relationships between these factors and ESD procedure time.
RESULTS: Univariate analysis showed the ESD time was closely related to the gender (P = 0.0210), tumor size (P < 0.0001), location (P < 0.0001), gross type (P < 0.0001) and adhesion (P = 0.0010). The surgical proficiency level was associated with ESD time in unit area (P < 0.0001). Multivariate analysis revealed that the ESD time was positively correlated with tumor size (P < 0.0001), adhesion (P < 0.0001) and location (P < 0.0001), but negatively correlated with surgical proficiency level (P = 0.0046).
CONCLUSION: Large tumor size, adjacency to the cardia, and adhesion are predictors of a long ESD time, whereas high surgical proficiency level predicts a short ESD time.
Endoscopic submucosal dissection; Procedure time; Gastric superficial neoplasia; Predictive factors
Background: Future climate change may cause air quality degradation via climate-induced changes in meteorology, atmospheric chemistry, and emissions into the air. Few studies have explicitly modeled the potential relationships between climate change, air quality, and human health, and fewer still have investigated the sensitivity of estimates to the underlying modeling choices.
Objectives: Our goal was to assess the sensitivity of estimated ozone-related human health impacts of climate change to key modeling choices.
Methods: Our analysis included seven modeling systems in which a climate change model is linked to an air quality model, five population projections, and multiple concentration–response functions. Using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Environmental Benefits Mapping and Analysis Program (BenMAP), we estimated future ozone (O3)-related health effects in the United States attributable to simulated climate change between the years 2000 and approximately 2050, given each combination of modeling choices. Health effects and concentration–response functions were chosen to match those used in the U.S. EPA’s 2008 Regulatory Impact Analysis of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for O3.
Results: Different combinations of methodological choices produced a range of estimates of national O3-related mortality from roughly 600 deaths avoided as a result of climate change to 2,500 deaths attributable to climate change (although the large majority produced increases in mortality). The choice of the climate change and the air quality model reflected the greatest source of uncertainty, with the other modeling choices having lesser but still substantial effects.
Conclusions: Our results highlight the need to use an ensemble approach, instead of relying on any one set of modeling choices, to assess the potential risks associated with O3-related human health effects resulting from climate change.
climate change; mortality; ozone; population projections; sensitivity analysis
Cocaine is one of the most abused drugs in the United States, and is potentially dangerous when consumed in excess. Its detection is thus important in many areas in the fight against drug trafficking. We have developed an amplified detection method for cocaine based on a strand-displacement polymerization reaction using aptamer recognition. The system mainly consists of a hairpin probe with Cy5 labeled on its 3' end, a primer with FAM labeled on its 5' end, and polymerase. The aptamer sequence is integrated into the 5'-section of the hairpin probe. The primer is designed complementary to the 3' end of the hairpin probe, which is also part of the hairpin stem region. The cocaine induced reaction cycle generates product for detection and thus for signal amplification. The detection limit of this method is 200 nM in about 16 min and the specificity of this approach is excellent. We believe that this strategy will be useful for the development of analytical schemes for a variety of aptamers for small molecules, metal ions, and proteins. This simple scheme employing the strand-displacement polymerization reaction may find wide application in forensic analysis, environmental monitoring, and clinical diagnostics.
Cocaine; Detection; Aptamer; Fluorescence resonance energy transfer; Strand-displacement polymerization
Mechanisms associated with cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5)-mediated heat hyperalgesia induced by inflammation remain undefined. This study was designed to examine whether Cdk5 mediates heat hyperalgesia resulting from peripheral injection of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) in the spinal dorsal horns of rats by interacting with synaptophysin, a well known membrane protein mediating the endocytosis-exocytosis cycle of synaptic vesicles as a molecular marker associated with presynaptic vesicle membranes. The role of Cdk5 in mediating synaptophysin was examined through the combined use of behavioral approaches, imaging studies, and immunoprecipitation following CFA-induced inflammatory pain. Results showed that Cdk5 colocalized with both synaptophysin and soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor (NSF) attachment protein receptors (SNAREs) consisting of VAMP-2, SNAP-25, and syntaxin 1A in spinal dorsal horn of rats. Increased synaptophysin expression of spinal cord horn neurons post intraplantar injection of CFA coincided with increased duration of heat hyperalgesia lasting from 6 h to 3 d. Intrathecal administration of roscovitine, a Cdk5 specific inhibitor, significantly depressed synaptophysin expression during peak heat hyperalgesia and heat hyperalgesia induced by peripheral injection of CFA. Data presented in this report indicated that calpain activity was transiently upregulated 6 h post CFA-treatment despite previous reports suggesting that calpain was capable of cleaving p35 into p25. Results from previous studies obtained by other laboratories demonstrated that significant changes in p35 expression levels within spinal cord horn neurons were not observed in the CFA-treated inflammatory pain model although significant upregulation of Cdk5 kinase was observed between 2 h to 7 d. Therefore, generation of p25 occurred in a calpain-independent fashion in a CFA-treated inflammatory pain model. Our results demonstrated that increased synaptophysin levels were involved in heat hyperalgesia mediated by Cdk5 in spinal cord dorsal horns of CFA-treated rats, suggesting that inhibiting abnormal activation of Cdk5-synaptophysin may present a novel target for diminishing inflammatory pain.
AIM: To evaluate the diagnosis of different differentiated gastric intraepithelial neoplasia (IN) by magnification endoscopy combined with narrow-band imaging (ME-NBI) and confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE).
METHODS: Eligible patients with suspected gastric IN lesions previously diagnosed by endoscopy in secondary hospitals and scheduled for further diagnosis and treatment were recruited for this study. Excluded from the study were patients who had liver cirrhosis, impaired renal function, acute gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, coagulopathy, esophageal varices, jaundice, and GI post-surgery. Also excluded were those who were pregnant, breastfeeding, were younger than 18 years old, or were unable to provide informed consent. All patients had all mucus and bile cleared from their stomachs. They then received upper GI endoscopy. When a mucosal lesion is found during observation with white-light imaging, the lesion is visualized using maximal magnification, employing gradual movement of the tip of the endoscope to bring the image into focus. Saved images are analyzed. Confocal images were evaluated by two endoscopists (Huang J and Li MY), who were familiar with CLE, blinded to the related information about the lesions, and asked to classify each lesion as either a low grade dysplasia (LGD) or high grade dysplasia (HGD) according to given criteria. The results were compared with the final histopathologic diagnosis. ME-NBI images were evaluated by two endoscopists (Lu ZS and Ling-Hu EQ) who were familiar with NBI, blinded to the related information about the lesions and CLE images, and were asked to classify each lesion as a LGD or HGD according to the “microvascular pattern and surface pattern” classification system. The results were compared with the final histopathologic diagnosis.
RESULTS: The study included 32 pathology-proven low grade gastric IN and 26 pathology-proven high grade gastric IN that were detected with any of the modalities. CLE and ME-NBI enabled clear visualization of the vascular microsurface patterns and microvascular structures of the gastric mucosa. The accuracy of the CLE and the ME-NBI diagnosis was 88% (95% CI: 78%-98%) and 81% (95% CI: 69%-93%), respectively. The kappa coefficient of agreement between the histopathology and the in vivo CLE imaging was 0.755; between the histopathology and the in vivo CLE imaging was 0.615. McNemar’s test (binomial distribution used) indicated that the agreement was significant (P < 0.05). When patients were diagnosed by ME-NBI with CLE, the overall accuracy of the diagnosis was 86.21% (95% CI: 73%-96%), and the kappa coefficient of agreement was 0.713, according to McNemar’s test (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Higher diagnostic accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of CLE over ME-NBI indicate the feasibility of these two techniques for the efficacious diagnostic classification of gastric IN.
Gastric intraepithelial neoplasia; Histological diagnosis; Confocal laser endomicroscopy; Magnification endoscopy; Narrow-band imaging; Gastric intraepithelial neoplasia lesion
The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is highly associated with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), and it regulates some microRNAs (miRNAs) that are involved in the development of cancer. The role of EBV in the deregulation of cellular miRNAs and how this affects the progression of NPC remain to be investigated. An analysis of the miRNA profile in an EBV-infected cell line revealed that miRNA 203 (miR-203) was downregulated. miR-203 is expressed specifically in epithelial cells. This downregulation of miR-203 was further verified and functionally analyzed. miR-203 was downregulated substantially in epithelial cells and NPC tissues that were latently infected with EBV. Downregulation of miR-203 also occurred during the early stage of EBV infection. Furthermore, the viral oncoprotein, latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1), was responsible for downregulation of miR-203. Removal of the latent EBV genome or suppression of LMP1 resulted in restoration of miR-203 expression. EBV-LMP1 mediated the downregulation of miR-203 at the primary transcript level. E2F3 and CCNG1 were identified as target genes of miR-203. Ectopic expression of miR-203 inhibited EBV-induced S-phase entry and transformation in vivo. Overexpression of the targets overcame the effects of miR-203 mimics on the cell cycle, and the expression of target genes in tumor models was inhibited by miR-203. Inhibitors of Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK) and NF-κB blocked miR-203 downregulation. These results imply that EBV promotes malignancy by downregulating cellular miR-203, which contributes to the etiology of NPC.