Although genetic variations in several genes encoding for synaptic adhesion proteins have been found to be associated with autism spectrum disorders, one of the most consistently replicated genes has been CNTNAP2, encoding for contactin-associated protein-like 2 (CASPR2), a multidomain transmembrane protein of the neurexin superfamily. Using immunofluorescence confocal microscopy and complementary biochemical techniques, we compared wild-type CASPR2 to 12 point mutations identified in individuals with autism. In contrast to the wild-type protein, localized to the cell surface, some of the mutants show altered cellular disposition. In particular, CASPR2-D1129H is largely retained in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in HEK-293 cells and in hippocampal neurons. BiP/Grp78, Calnexin and ERp57, key ER chaperones, appear to be responsible for retention of this mutant and activation of one signaling pathway of the unfolded protein response (UPR). The presence of this mutation also lowers expression and activates proteosomal degradation. A frame-shift mutation that causes a form of syndromic epilepsy (CASPR2-1253*), results in a secreted protein with seemingly normal folding and oligomerization. Taken together, these data indicate that CASPR2-D1129H has severe trafficking abnormalities and CASPR2-1253* is a secreted soluble protein, suggesting that the structural or signaling functions of the membrane tethered form are lost. Our data support a complex genetic architecture in which multiple distinct risk factors interact with others to shape autism risk and presentation.
The protective effects of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) have been demonstrated in a variety of renal disease models. However, the influence of G-CSF on diabetic nephropathy (DN) remains to be examined. In this study, we investigated the effect of G-CSF on DN and its possible mechanisms in a rat model.
Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats with early DN were administered G-CSF or saline intraperitoneally. Urine albumin creatinine ratio (UACR), creatinine clearance, mesangial matrix expansion, glomerular basement membrane (GBM) thickness, and podocyte foot process width (FPW) were measured. The levels of interleukin (IL)-1β, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, and type IV collagen genes expression in kidney tissue were also evaluated. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying G-CSF effects, we also assessed the expression of G-CSF receptor (G-CSFR) in glomeruli as well as mobilization of bone marrow (BM) cells to glomeruli using sex-mismatched BM transplantation.
After four weeks of treatment, UACR was lower in the G-CSF treatment group than in the saline group (p<0.05), as were mesangial matrix expansion, GBM thickness, and FPW (p<0.05). In addition, the expression of TGF-β1 and type IV collagen and IL-1β levels was lower in the G-CSF treatment group (p<0.05). G-CSFR was not present in glomerular cells, and G-CSF treatment increased the number of BM-derived cells in glomeruli (p<0.05).
G-CSF can prevent the progression of DN in OLETF rats and its effects may be due to mobilization of BM cells rather than being a direct effect.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is the major cause of chronic liver disease in Korea, but viral prevalence has decreased because of hepatitis B vaccination programs. In this study, we investigated longitudinal changes in HBV in fection in the general Korean population.
HBV surface antigen (hepatitis B surface antigen, HBsAg) seropositivity was assessed from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (I to V). In total, 50,140 subjects were tested for serum HBsAg positivity over a period of 12 years (1998 to 2010).
The prevalence of HBsAg seropositivity decreased over the study period. The rates of HBsAg carriers were 4.61% in 1998, 4.60% in 2001, 3.69% in 2005, 3.01% in 2008, and 2.98% in 2010 (p < 0.0001). The reduction in HBV infection rates was more prominent in younger age groups. Among teenagers (10 to 19 years), the percentage of HBsAg carriers decreased from 2.2% in 1998 to 0.12% in 2010 (p < 0.0001). Among those aged 10 to 39 years, the percentage of HBV infection decreased from 4.72% in 1998 to 2.29% in 2010 (p < 0.0001). However, no decreasing trend in HBsAg positivity was observed among those aged 50 or older (p > 0.05). Neither gender nor socioeconomic status were associated with the decreased prevalence of HBsAg carriers.
HBV infection has decreased in the Korean population since the advent of vaccination programs. However, the decrease is limited to the younger population, and viral persistence remains in the middle-aged and older population.
Age groups; Hepatitis B surface antigens; Hepatitis B virus; Prevalence; Korea
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is considered a hepatic manifestation of metabolic syndrome. In this study, we investigated histological and biochemical changes in NAFLD and the gene expression involving de novo lipogenesis in Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima fatty (OLETF) rats. We used OLETF rats and Long-Evans Tokushima Otsuka (LETO) rats as animal models of NAFLD and as controls, respectively. Consistent observations were made at 4-week intervals up to 50 weeks of age, and all rats were fed ad libitum with standard food. Biochemical and histological changes were observed, and gene expression involved in de novo lipogenesis was measured using real-time polymerase chain reactions. As a results hepatic micro- and macrovesicular steatosis and hepatocyte ballooning were evident in the OLETF rats at 22–38 weeks of age but disappeared after 42 weeks; no fibrosis or collagen deposition was observed. Gene expression involved in de novo lipogenesis followed a pattern similar to that of the histological changes. In conclusion, in the absence of dietary manipulation, hepatic steatosis in OLETF rats is evident at 22–38 weeks and declines after 42 weeks. Therefore, OLETF rats at 22–38 weeks are recommended as animal models of hepatic steatosis.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are known to be related to cardiovascular diseases. Many studies have demonstrated that angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors have beneficial effects against ROS. We investigated the antioxidant effect of captopril and enalapril in nitric oxide mediated vascular endothelium-dependent relaxations.
Materials and Methods
Isolated rabbit abdominal aorta ring segments were exposed to ROS by electrolysis of the organ bath medium (Krebs-Henseleit solution) after pretreatment with various concentrations (range, 10-5 to 3×10-4 M) of captopril and enalapril. Before and after electrolysis, the endothelial function was measured by preconstricting the vessels with norepinephrine (10-6 M) followed by the cumulative addition of acetylcholine (range, 3×10-8 to 10-6 M). The relevance of the superoxide anion and hydrogen peroxide scavenging effect of captopril and enalapril was investigated using additional pretreatments of diethyldithiocarbamate (DETCA, 0.5 mM), an inhibitor of Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase, and 3-amino-1,2,4-triazole (3AT, 50 mM), an inhibitor of catalase.
Both captopril and enalapril preserved vascular endothelium-dependent relaxation after exposure to ROS in a dose-dependent manner (p<0.0001). Pretreatment with DETCA attenuated the antioxidant effect of captopril and enalapril (p<0.0001), but pretreatment with 3AT did not have an effect.
Both captopril and enalapril protect endothelium against ROS in a dose-dependent fashion in isolated rabbit abdominal aortas. This protective effect is related to superoxide anion scavenging.
Reactive oxygen species; Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors; Captopril; Enalapril; Vasodilation
Pectus excavatum is rare, but it is the most common type of sternal congenital disorder. There are many surgical methods to correct pectus excavatum such as the Ravitch method, Wada method, Silastic mold method, and the Nuss operation. We report a case of minimal invasive surgery for pectus excavatum using a polyvinyl alcohol sponge.
Minimally invasive surgery; Funnel chest; Polyvinyl alcohol sponge
The percutaneous transcatheter closure of secundum atrial septal defect has recently become an increasingly widespread alternative to surgical closure in many centers. Although immediate, short, and intermediate term results of percutaneous transcatheter septal closure are promising, the procedure is not free from inherent complications that could be lethal. We report a case of device embolization necessitating emergent surgical retrieval.
Heart septal defects, atrial; Transcatheter closure; Device embolization
Plasmodium vivax re-emerged in 1993 and has now become a major public health problem during the summer season in South Korea. The aim of this study was to interpret and understand the meaning of seroepidemiological studies for developing the best malaria control programme in South Korea.
Blood samples were collected in Gimpo city, Paju city, Yeoncheon County, Cheorwon County and Goseong County of high risk area in South Korea. Microscopy was performed to identify patients infected with P. vivax. Antibody detection for P. vivax was performed using indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT).
A total of 1,574 blood samples was collected from participants in the study areas and evaluated against three parameters: IFAT positive rate, annual antibody positive index (AAPI), and annual parasite index (API). The IFAT positive rate was 7.24% (n = 114). Of the five study areas, Gimpo had the highest IFAT positive rate (13.68%) and AAPI (4.63). Yeongcheon had the highest API in 2005 (2.06) while Gimpo had the highest API in 2006 (5.00). No correlation was observed between any of the three parameters and study sites' distance from the demilitarized zone (DMZ).
These results showed that P. vivax antibody levels could provide useful information about the prevalence of malaria in endemic areas. Furthermore, AAPI results for each year showed a closer relationship to API the following year than the API of the same year and thus could be helpful in predicting malaria transmission risks.
The malaria aldolase is widely used as rapid diagnostic test (RDT), but the efficacy in aspect of its serological effectiveness in diagnosis is not known. The genetic variation of Korean isolates was analysed and recombinant aldolase was evaluated as a serological antigen in Plasmodium vivax malaria.
Genomic DNA was purified and the aldolase gene of P. vivax from 25 patients’ blood samples was amplified. The samples came from 5 epidemic areas; Bucheon-si, Gimpo-si, Paju-si of Gyeonggido, Gangwha-gun of Incheon metropolitan city, and Cheorwon of Gangwon-do, South Korea. The antigenicity of the recombinant aldolase was tested by western blot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
Sequence analysis of 25 Korean isolates of P. vivax showed that the open reading frame (ORF) of 1,110 nucleotides encoded a deduced protein of 369 amino acids (aa). This ORF showed 100% homology with the P. vivax Sal I strain (XM_00165894) and P. vivax WDK strain (AF247063), 87.4% homology with Plasmodium falciparum (AF179421), 90.6% homology with Plasmodium chabaudi (AF247060), 89.5% homology with Plasmodium vinckei (AF247061), and 96.7% homology with Plasmodium knowlesi. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) at nucleotide 180 (G to A, n = 5) was also observed in the isolates. The expressed recombinant protein had a molecular weight of approximately 31 kDa (monomeric form) and 62 kDa (dimeric form) as analysed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) analysis. Among 109 P. vivax patients, 32 (29.4%) had positive in an enzyme-linked absorbance assay (ELISA). This result showed significant correlation between ELISA and an indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) (P < 0.0001).
The aldolase gene from Korean isolates of P. vivax showed one SNP at nucleotide position 180; this SNP mutant was discovered in only the western part of Han River, and included the regions of Ganghwa, Gimpo, and Bucheon. Based on the results, the relationship between antibody production against aldolase and the pattern of disease onset should be more investigated before using aldolase for serodiagnosis.
We report a case of a postinfarction ventricular septal defect caused by an acute recurrent occlusion after the implantation of a covered stent, which was performed as a rescue procedure for the ruptured left anterior descending artery during a percutaneous coronary intervention. Although the emergent implantation of a covered stent for the ruptured coronary arteries such as the left main coronary artery or the origins of the left anterior descending artery can be performed during a percutaneous coronary intervention, and a coronary bypass surgery should be considered in order to decrease the risk of complete occlusion, thus providing a superior long term patency.
Postinfarction cardiac complications; Heart septal defects, ventricular; Coronary artery disease
The aim of this study was to investigate the profile of antibodies against several antigens of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum in Mandalay, Myanmar.
Malaria parasites were identified by microscopic examination. To test the antibodies against P. vivax and P. falciparum in sera, an indirect immunofluorescence antibody test (IFAT) was performed using asexual blood parasite antigens. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was performed with circumsporozoite protein (CSP), Pvs25 and Pvs28 recombinant proteins of transmission-blocking vaccine candidates for P. vivax, and liver stage specific antigen-1 and -3 (PfLSA-1, PfLSA-3) for P. falciparum.
Fourteen patients among 112 were found to be infected with P. vivax and 26 with P. falciparum by thick smear examination. Twenty-three patients were found to be infected with P. vivax, 19 with P. falciparum and five with both by thin smear examination. Blood samples were divided into two groups: Group I consisted of patients who were positive for infection by microscopic examination, and Group II consisted of those who showed symptoms, but were negative in microscopic examination. In P. falciparum, IgG against the blood stage antigen in Group I (80.8%) was higher than in Group II (70.0%). In P. vivax, IgG against the blood stage antigen in Group I (53.8%) was higher than in Group II (41.7%). However, the positivity rate of the PvCSP VK210 subtype in Group II (40.0%) was higher than in Group I (23.1%). Similarly for the PvCSP VK247 subtype, Group II (21.7%) was higher than that for Group I (9.6%). A similar pattern was observed in the ELISA using Pvs25 and Pvs28: positive rates of Group II were higher than those for Group I. However, those differences were not shown significant in statistics.
The positive rates for blood stage antigens of P. falciparum were higher in Group I than in Group II, but the positive rates for antigens of other stages (PfLSA-1 and -3) showed opposite results. Similar to P. falciparum, the positive rate of pre-blood stage (CSP VK210 and 247 subtype) and post-blood stage (Pvs25 and 28) antigens of P. vivax were higher in Group II than in Group I. Therefore, sero-diagnosis is not helpful to discriminate between malaria patients and symptomatic individuals during the epidemic season in Myanmar.
To develop a plant-based vaccine against Plasmodium vivax, two P. vivax candidate proteins were chosen. First, the merozoite surface protein-1 (MSP-1), a major asexual blood stage antigen that is currently considered a strong vaccine candidate. Second, the circumsporozoite protein (CSP), a component of sporozoites that contains a B-cell epitope.
A synthetic chimeric recombinant 516 bp gene encoding containing PvMSP-1, a Pro-Gly linker motif, and PvCSP was synthesized; the gene, named MLC, encoded a total of 172 amino acids. The recombinant gene was modified with regard to codon usage to optimize gene expression in Brassica napus. The Ti plasmid inducible gene transfer system was used for MLC chimeric recombinant gene expression in B. napus. Gene expression was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), beta-glucuronidase reporter gene (GUS) assay, and Western blot.
The MLC chimeric recombinant protein expressed in B. napus had a molecular weight of approximately 25 kDa. It exhibited a clinical sensitivity of 84.21% (n = 38) and a clinical specificity of 100% (n = 24) as assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Oral immunization of BALB/c mice with MLC chimeric recombinant protein successfully induced antigen-specific IgG1 production. Additionally, the Th1-related cytokines IL-12 (p40), TNF, and IFN-γ were significantly increased in the spleens of the BALB/c mice.
The chimeric MLC recombinant protein produced in B. napus has potential as both as an antigen for diagnosis and as a valuable vaccine candidate for oral immunization against vivax malaria.
To develop a vaccine to block the transmission of vivax malaria, the gene encoding the ookinete surface protein Pvs25 was cloned from a Korean malaria patient. The Pvs25 gene was 660 bp long, encoding 219 amino acids. It was subcloned into the expression vector pQE30 and expressed in Escherichia coli. The expressed recombinant protein, named rPvs25, showed a molecular mass of approximately 25 kDa by SDS-PAGE analysis. An anti-rPvs25 monoclonal antibody produced in BALB/c mice was able to inhibit sporozoite development in the mosquito Anopheles sinensis, which is known as the malaria transmission vector in the Republic of Korea. In addition, rPvs25 produced a relatively high antibody titer in BALB/c mice that lasted for more than 6 months. Based on these results, we suggest that recombinant Pvs25 could be a useful antigen in the development of a vaccine to prevent local malaria transmission in the Republic of Korea.
First reemerged malaria case was reported in 1993 after two decades absent in South Korea. Thereafter, Plasmodium vivax spreads out near demilitarized zone (DMZ). This study investigated the prevalence of P. vivax after the malaria transmission season in Gimpo-si where adjacent to DMZ of South Korea. An indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) was performed to evaluate anti-malaria antibodies in blood samples.
Microscopic examinations were performed to identify the presence of malaria parasites. Antibodies against P. vivax were detected using IFAT, and blood samples from antibody-positive cases were tested using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay that detects malaria parasites.
A total of 5,797 blood samples were collected from residents in Gimpo-si. The positivity rate by IFAT was 2.16% (n = 125). Yangchon-myeon (3.28%) had the highest positivity rate of the seven administrative districts tested. Positivity rates increased with age (P < 0.05). Sixteen of the IFAT positive samples (12.80%, n = 125) were positive for malaria DNA according to PCR. Blood samples with an antibody titer over 1:256 had high positivity rates in the PCR analysis (P < 0.05).
These results indicate that antibody titers obtained using IFAT may provide useful information about the prevalence of P. vivax in low endemic areas and could be used to detect asymptomatic patients. Finding asymptomatic patients is important in eliminating vivax malaria in South Korea.
To use pyrimethamine as an alternative anti-malarial drug for chloroquine-resistant malaria parasites, it was necessary to determine the enzyme's genetic variation in dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate syntase (DHFR-TS) among Korean strains.
Genetic variation of dhfr-ts genes of Plasmodium vivax clinical isolates from patients who did not respond to drug treatment (n = 11) in Korea were analysed. The genes were amplified using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with genomic DNA as a template.
Sequence analysis showed that the open reading frame (ORF) of 1,857 nucleotides encoded a deduced protein of 618 amino acids (aa). Alignment with the DHFR-TS genes of other malaria parasites showed that a 231-residue DHFR domain and a 286-residue TS domain were seperated by a 101-aa linker region. This ORF shows 98.7% homology with the P. vivax Sal I strain (XM001615032) in the DHFR domain, 100% in the linker region and 99% in the TS domain. Comparison of the DHFR sequences from pyrimethamine-sensitive and pyrimethamine-resistant P. vivax isolates revealed that nine isolates belonged to the sensitive strain, whereas two isolates met the criteria for resistance. In these two isolates, the amino acid at position 117 is changed from serine to asparagine (S117N). Additionally, all Korean isolates showed a deletion mutant of THGGDN in short tandem repetitive sequences between 88 and 106 amino acid.
These results suggest that sequence variations in the DHFR-TS represent the prevalence of antifolate-resistant P. vivax in Korea. Two of 11 isolates have the Ser to Asn mutation in codon 117, which is the major determinant of pyrimethamine resistance in P. vivax. Therefore, the introduction of pyrimethamine for the treatment of chloroquine-resistant vivax malaria as alternative drug in Korea should be seriously considered.
Plasmodium vivax is divided into two subtypes, a dominant form, VK210 and a variant form, VK247. This division is dependent on the amino acid composition of the circumsporozoite (CS) protein. In this study, the prevalence of the VK247 variant form of P. vivax was investigated in Myanmar.
The existence of malaria parasites in blood samples was determined by microscopic examination, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA hybridization assays. To test for antibodies against P. vivax and Plasmodium falciparum in blood samples, an indirect immunofluorescence antibody test (IFAT) was performed using asexual blood antigens. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with synthetic VK210 and VK247 antigens was carried out to discriminate between the P. vivax subtypes.
By thick smear examination, 73 (n = 100) patients were single infected with P. vivax, one with P. falciparum and 13 with both species. By thin smear, 53 patients were single infected with P. vivax, eight with only P. falciparum and 16 with both. Most of the collected blood samples were shown to be P. vivax positive (n = 95) by PCR. All cases that were positive for P. falciparum by PCR (n = 43) were also positive for P. vivax. However, 52 cases were single infected with P. vivax. IFAT showed antibody titres from 1:32 to 1:4,096. Additionally, using specific antibodies for VK210 and VK247, ELISA showed that 12 patients had antibodies for only the VK210 subtype, 4 patients had only VK247 subtype antibodies and 21 patients had antibodies for both subtypes. Using a DNA hybridization test, 47 patients were infected with the VK210 type, one patient was infected with VK247 and 23 patients were infected with both subtypes.
The proportion of the VK247 subtype in Myanmar was 43.1% (n = 25) among 58 positive cases by serodiagnosis and 25.6% (n = 24) among 94 positive cases by genetic diagnosis. In both diagnostic methods, the infection status of malaria patients is highly diverse with respect to malaria species, and multiple clonal infections are prevalent in Myanmar. Therefore, the complexity of the infection should be considered carefully when diagnosing malaria in Myanmar.
Iron oxide-based nanomagnets have attracted a great deal of attention in nanomedicine over the past decade. Down to the nanoscale, superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles can only be magnetized in the presence of an external magnetic field, which makes them capable of forming stable colloids in a physio-biological medium. Their superparamagnetic property, together with other intrinsic properties, such as low cytotoxicity, colloidal stability, and bioactive molecule conjugation capability, makes such nanomagnets ideal in both in-vitro and in-vivo biomedical applications. In this review, a chemical, physical, and biological synthetic approach to prepare iron oxide-based nanomagnets with different physicochemical properties was illustrated and compared. The growing interest in iron oxide-based nanomagnets with multifunctionalities was explored in cancer diagnostics and treatment, focusing on their combined roles in a magnetic resonance contrast agent, hyperthermia, and magnetic force assisted drug delivery. Iron oxides as magnetic carriers in gene therapy were reviewed with a focus on the sophisticated design and construction of magnetic vectors. Finally, the iron oxide-based nanomagnet also represents a very promising tool in particle/cell interfacing in controlling cellular functionalities, such as adhesion, proliferation, differentiation, and cell patterning, in stem cell therapy and tissue engineering applications.
iron oxide; coprecipitation; thermal decomposition; microemulsion; magnetosome; lithography; cancer targeting; stem cell; gene delivery; tissue engineering; cell actuation