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1.  Drug-eluting balloon: Initial experience in patients with in-stent restenosis (ISR) 
Background
In-stent restenosis is the most important limitation of modern coronary angioplasty. Drug-eluting stents solve this problem but at the cost of late stent thrombosis and longer duration of dual-antiplatelet therapy. Drug-eluting balloon (DEB) technology is now available and offers an attractive option for treatment of restenosis.
Methods
A cohort of 20 patients with in-stent restenosis after stenting were treated with a drug-eluting balloon and were followed up clinically and angiographically for 6 months.
Results and conclusion
Procedural success was achieved in all patients. 6 month clinical follow-up was available for all and 6 month angiographic follow up for 17 patients. On 6 month follow-up, 5 of the 20 patients had recurrence of angina and 4 patients had angiographic restenosis (2 focal, 2 diffuse). The mean Canadian Cardiovascular Society angina score improved significantly from 3.1 to 1.1. DEB offers a novel method of treatment for patients with in-stent restenosis with a good safety and efficacy profile.
doi:10.1016/j.mjafi.2014.01.001
PMCID: PMC4213889  PMID: 25378777
In-stent restenosis; Drug-eluting balloon; Angina score
2.  Differential signaling mechanism for HIV-1 Nef-mediated production of IL-6 and IL-8 in human astrocytes 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:9867.
Variety of HIV-1 viral proteins including HIV-1 Nef are known to activate astrocytes and microglia in the brain and cause the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which is thought to be one of the mechanisms leading to HIV-1- mediated neurotoxicity. IL-6 and IL-8 have been found in the CSF of patients with HIV-1 associated dementia (HAD), suggesting that they might play important roles in HIV-1 neuropathology. In the present study we examined the effects of HIV-1 Nef on IL-6 and IL-8 induction in astrocytes. The results demonstrate that both IL-6 and IL-8 are significantly induced in HIV-1 Nef-transfected SVGA astrocytes and HIV-1 Nef-treated primary fetal astrocytes. We also determined the molecular mechanisms responsible for the HIV-1 Nef-induced increased IL-6 and IL-8 by using chemical inhibitors and siRNAs against PI3K/Akt/PKC, p38 MAPK, NF-κB, CEBP and AP-1. Our results clearly demonstrate that the PI3K/PKC, p38 MAPK, NF-κB and AP-1 pathways are involved in HIV-1 Nef-induced IL-6 production in astrocytes, while PI3K/PKC and NF-κB pathways are involved in HIV-1 Nef-induced IL-8 production. These results offer new potential targets to develop therapeutic strategy for treatment of HIV-1 associated neurological disorders, prevalent in > 40% of individuals infected with HIV-1.
doi:10.1038/srep09867
PMCID: PMC4467202  PMID: 26075907
3.  Reactions of 5-methylcytosine cation radicals in DNA and model systems: thermal deprotonation from the 5-methyl group vs. excited state deprotonation from sugar 
Purpose
To study the formation and subsequent reactions of the 5-methyl-2′-deoxycytidine cation radical (5-Me-2′-dC•+) in nucleosides and DNA-oligomers and compare to one electron oxidized thymidine.
Materials and methods
Employing electron spin resonance (ESR), cation radical formation and its reactions were investigated in 5-Me-2′-dC, thymidine (Thd) and their derivatives, in fully double stranded (ds) d[GC*GC*GC*GC*]2 and in the 5-Me-C/A mismatched, d[GGAC*AAGC:CCTAATCG], where C* = 5-Me-C.
Results
We report 5-Me-2′-dC•+ production by one-electron oxidation of 5-Me-2′-dC by Cl2•− via annealing in the dark at 155 K. Progressive annealing of 5-Me-2′-dC•+ at 155 K produces the allylic radical (C-CH2•). However, photoexcitation of 5-Me-2′-dC•+ by 405 nm laser or by photoflood lamp leads to only C3′• formation. Photoexcitation of N3-deprotonated thyminyl radical in Thd and its 5′-nucleotides leads to C3′• formation but not in 3′-TMP which resulted in the allylic radical (U-CH2•) and C5′• production. For excited 5-Me-2′,3′-ddC•+, absence of the 3′-OH group does not prevent C3′• formation. For d[GC*GC*GC*GC*]2 and d[GGAC*AAGC:CCTAATCG], intra-base paired proton transferred form of G cation radical (G(N1-H)•:C(+H+)) is found with no observable 5-Me-2′-dC•+ formation. Photoexcitation of (G(N1-H)•:C(+H+)) in d[GC*GC*GC*GC*]2 produced only C1′• and not the expected photoproducts from 5-Me-2′-dC•+. However, photoexcitation of (G(N1-H)•:C(+H+)) in d[GGAC*AAGC:CCTAATCG] led to C5′• and C1′• formation.
Conclusions
C-CH2• formation from 5-Me-2′-dC•+ occurs via ground state deprotonation from C5-methyl group on the base. In the excited 5-Me-2′-dC•+ and 5-Me-2′,3′-ddC•+, spin and charge localization at C3′ followed by deprotonation leads to C3′• formation. Thus, deprotonation from C3′ in the excited cation radical is kinetically controlled and sugar C-H bond energies are not the only controlling factor in these deprotonations.
doi:10.3109/09553002.2014.884293
PMCID: PMC4266391  PMID: 24428230
5-Methylcytosine; DNA-oligomers; Thymidine; ESR; TD-DFT calculations; HFCC values; cation radical; one-electron oxidation
4.  Alteration of Genetic Make-up in Karnal Bunt Pathogen (Tilletia indica) of Wheat in Presence of Host Determinants 
The Plant Pathology Journal  2015;31(2):97-107.
Alteration of genetic make-up of the isolates and monosporidial strains of Tilletia indica causing Karnal bunt (KB) disease in wheat was analyzed using DNA markers and SDS-PAGE. The generation of new variation with different growth characteristics is not a generalized feature and is not only dependant on the original genetic make up of the base isolate/monosporidial strains but also on interaction with host. Host determinant(s) plays a significant role in the generation of variability and the effect is much pronounced in monosporidial strains with narrow genetic base as compared to broad genetic base. The most plausible explanation of genetic variation in presence of host determinant(s) are the recombination of genetic material from two different mycelial/sporidia through sexual mating as well as through para-sexual means. The morphological and development dependent variability further suggests that the variation in T. indica strains predominantly derived through the genetic rearrangements.
doi:10.5423/PPJ.OA.10.2014.0106
PMCID: PMC4454003  PMID: 26060428
Fungal variability; Genetic divergence; ISSR; Karnal bunt; RAPD
5.  ‘Legal high’ associated Wallenberg syndrome 
BMJ Case Reports  2013;2013:bcr2013009693.
‘Legal highs’ are substances of synthetic or natural origin having psychotropic properties. ‘Legal highs’ are often new and, in many cases, the actual chemical ingredients in a branded product can be changed without notifications and the risks are unpredictable. Acute recreational drug toxicity is a common reason for presentation to both hospital and prehospital medical services. It appears that, generally, the pattern of toxicity associated with ‘legal highs’ is broadly similar to that seen with classical stimulant recreational drugs such as cocaine, MDMA (3,4 methylenedioxy-N-methyl amphetamine) and amphetamine. Lack of clear literature pertaining to their chemical properties, pharmacology and toxicology makes an evaluation of their effects difficult. We describe a unique case in which consumption of such a substance led to hospital admission and a diagnosis of ‘lateral medullary stroke’ or ‘Wallenberg syndrome’. We believe that this is the first described case of a ‘legal high’ intake linked to a posterior circulation stroke.
doi:10.1136/bcr-2013-009693
PMCID: PMC3669865  PMID: 23709150
6.  Ultrasmall Gold Nanoparticles as Carriers for Nucleus-Based Gene Therapy Due to Size-Dependent Nuclear Entry 
ACS Nano  2014;8(6):5852-5862.
The aim of this study was to determine the size-dependent penetration ability of gold nanoparticles and the potential application of ultrasmall gold nanoparticles for intranucleus delivery and therapy. We synthesized gold nanoparticles with diameters of 2, 6, 10, and 16 nm and compared their intracellular distribution in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Nanoparticles smaller than 10 nm (2 and 6 nm) could enter the nucleus, whereas larger ones (10 and 16 nm) were found only in the cytoplasm. We then investigated the possibility of using ultrasmall 2 nm nanoparticles as carriers for nuclear delivery of a triplex-forming oligonucleotide (TFO) that binds to the c-myc promoter. Compared to free TFO, the nanoparticle-conjugated TFO was more effective at reducing c-myc RNA and c-myc protein, which resulted in reduced cell viability. Our result demonstrated that the entry of gold nanoparticles into the cell nucleus is critically dependent on the size of the nanoparticles. We developed a strategy for regulating gene expression, by directly delivering TFOs into the nucleus using ultrasmall gold nanoparticles. More importantly, guidelines were provided to choose appropriate nanocarriers for different biomedical purposes.
doi:10.1021/nn5008572
PMCID: PMC4076024  PMID: 24824865
ultrasmall gold nanoparticles; cancer cell nucleus; size-dependent; gene regulation; cancer therapy
7.  HIV-1, HCV and Alcohol in the CNS: Potential Interactions and Effects on Neuroinflammation 
Current HIV research  2014;12(4):282-292.
Approximately 25% of the HIV-1 positive population is also infected with HCV. The effects of alcohol on HIV-1 or HCV infection have been a research topic of interest due to the high prevalence of alcohol use in these infected patient populations. Although it has long been known that HIV-1 infects the brain, it has only been a little more than a decade since HCV infection of the CNS has been characterized. Both viruses are capable of infecting and replicating in microglia and increasing the expression of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, including IL-6 and IL-8. Investigations focusing on the effects of HIV-1, HCV or alcohol on neuroinflammation have demonstrated that these agents are capable of acting through overlapping signaling pathways, including MAPK signaling molecules. In addition, HIV-1, HCV and alcohol have been demonstrated to increase permeability of the blood-brain barrier. Patients infected with either HIV-1 or HCV, or those who use alcohol, exhibit metabolic abnormalities in the CNS that result in altered levels of n-acetyl aspartate, choline and creatine in various regions of the brain. Treatment of HIV/HCV co-infection in alcohol users is complicated by drug-drug interactions, as well as the effects of alcohol on drug metabolism. The drug-drug interactions between the antiretrovirals and the antivirals, as well as the effects of alcohol on drug metabolism, complicate existing models of CNS penetration, making it difficult to assess the efficacy of treatment on CNS infection.
PMCID: PMC4428332  PMID: 25053363
AIDS; alcohol; CNS; HCV; HIV-1; neuroinflammation
8.  Drug–drug interactions between anti-retroviral therapies and drugs of abuse in HIV systems 
Introduction
Substance abuse is a common problem among HIV-infected individuals. Importantly, addictions as well as moderate use of alcohol, smoking, or other illicit drugs have been identified as major reasons for non-adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) among HIV patients. The literature also suggests a decrease in the response to ART among HIV patients who use these substances, leading to failure to achieve optimal virological response and increased disease progression.
Areas covered
This review discusses the challenges with adherence to ART as well as observed drug interactions and known toxicities with major drugs of abuse, such as alcohol, smoking, methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, and opioids. The lack of adherence and drug interactions potentially lead to decreased efficacy of ART drugs and increased ART, and drugs of abuse-mediated toxicity. As CYP is the common pathway in metabolizing both ART and drugs of abuse, we discuss the possible involvement of CYP pathways in such drug interactions.
Expert opinion
We acknowledge that further studies focusing on common metabolic pathways involving CYP and advance research in this area would help to potentially develop novel/alternate interventions and drug dose/regimen adjustments to improve medication outcomes in HIV patients who consume drugs of abuse.
doi:10.1517/17425255.2015.996546
PMCID: PMC4428551  PMID: 25539046
antiretroviral therapy; CYP; drug interactions; drugs of abuse; HIV
9.  Proton Transfer Induced SOMO-to-HOMO Level Switching in One-Electron Oxidized A-T and G-C Base Pairs: A Density Functional Theory Study 
The Journal of Physical Chemistry. B  2014;118(20):5453-5458.
In the present study, we show that for one-electron oxidized A-T or G-C base pairs the singly occupied molecular orbital (SOMO) is located on A or G and is lower in energy than the doubly occupied highest-occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) localized to the pyrimidines, T or C. This directs second ionizations to the pyrimidine bases resulting in triplet state diradical dications, (A•+-T•+) and (G•+-C•+). On interbase proton transfer, the SOMO and HOMO levels switch and the second oxidation is redirected to G and A. For G-C, the doubly oxidized singlet G(-H)+-C(H+) is more stable than its triplet (G•+-C•+); however, for A-T, the triplet (A•+-T•+) lies lowest in energy. The study demonstrates that double ionization of the A-T base pair results in a triplet dication diradical, which is more stable than the proton-transferred triplet or singlet species; whereas, double ionization of the G-C base pair, the proton transferred doubly oxidized singlet, G(-H)+-C(H+), is more stable and has both oxidations on guanine. In DNA, with both A-T and G-C, multiple oxidations would transfer to the guanine base alone.
doi:10.1021/jp5028004
PMCID: PMC4032191  PMID: 24798145
10.  Invasive Mycosis Due to Species of Blastobotrys in Immunocompromised Patients with Reduced Susceptibility to Antifungals 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2014;52(11):4094-4099.
Cases of invasive mycosis due to Blastobotrys serpentis and B. proliferans identified by sequencing in a preterm patient and a rhabdomyosarcoma patient, respectively, are reported. Both species revealed elevated fluconazole and echinocandin MICs by the CLSI broth microdilution method. Additionally, B. serpentis exhibited high amphotericin B MICs, thus posing serious therapeutic challenges.
doi:10.1128/JCM.01977-14
PMCID: PMC4313262  PMID: 25165080
11.  Effect of Mild-to-Moderate Smoking on Viral Load, Cytokines, Oxidative Stress, and Cytochrome P450 Enzymes in HIV-Infected Individuals 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(4):e0122402.
Mild-to-moderate tobacco smoking is highly prevalent in HIV-infected individuals, and is known to exacerbate HIV pathogenesis. The objective of this study was to determine the specific effects of mild-to-moderate smoking on viral load, cytokine production, and oxidative stress and cytochrome P450 (CYP) pathways in HIV-infected individuals who have not yet received antiretroviral therapy (ART). Thirty-two human subjects were recruited and assigned to four different cohorts as follows: a) HIV negative non-smokers, b) HIV positive non-smokers, c) HIV negative mild-to-moderate smokers, and d) HIV positive mild-to-moderate smokers. Patients were recruited in Cameroon, Africa using strict selection criteria to exclude patients not yet eligible for ART and not receiving conventional or traditional medications. Those with active tuberculosis, hepatitis B or with a history of substance abuse were also excluded. Our results showed an increase in the viral load in the plasma of HIV positive patients who were mild-to-moderate smokers compared to individuals who did not smoke. Furthermore, although we did not observe significant changes in the levels of most pro-inflammatory cytokines, the cytokine IL-8 and MCP-1 showed a significant decrease in the plasma of HIV-infected patients and smokers compared with HIV negative non-smokers. Importantly, HIV-infected individuals and smokers showed a significant increase in oxidative stress compared with HIV negative non-smoker subjects in both plasma and monocytes. To examine the possible pathways involved in increased oxidative stress and viral load, we determined the mRNA levels of several antioxidant and cytochrome P450 enzymes in monocytes. The results showed that the levels of most antioxidants are unaltered, suggesting their inability to counter oxidative stress. While CYP2A6 was induced in smokers, CYP3A4 was induced in HIV and HIV positive smokers compared with HIV negative non-smokers. Overall, the findings suggest a possible association of oxidative stress and perhaps CYP pathway with smoking-mediated increased viral load in HIV positive individuals.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0122402
PMCID: PMC4399877  PMID: 25879453
12.  Grafting Triggers Differential Responses between Scion and Rootstock 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(4):e0124438.
Grafting is a well-established practice to facilitate asexual propagation in horticultural and agricultural crops. It has become a method for studying molecular aspects of root-to-shoot and/or shoot-to-root signaling events. The objective of this study was to investigate differences in gene expression between the organs of the scion and rootstock of a homograft (Arabidopsis thaliana). MapMan and Gene Ontology enrichment analysis revealed differentially expressed genes from numerous functional categories related to stress responses in the developing flower buds and leaves of scion and rootstock. Meta-analysis suggested induction of drought-type responses in flower buds and leaves of the scion. The flower buds of scion showed over-representation of the transcription factor genes, such as Homeobox, NAC, MYB, bHLH, B3, C3HC4, PLATZ etc. The scion leaves exhibited higher accumulation of the regulatory genes for flower development, such as SEPALLATA 1–4, Jumonji C and AHL16. Differential transcription of genes related to ethylene, gibberellic acid and other stimuli was observed between scion and rootstock. The study is useful in understanding the molecular basis of grafting and acclimation of scion on rootstock.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0124438
PMCID: PMC4395316  PMID: 25874958
13.  In Vitro Antioxidant and In Vivo Hepatoprotective Activity of Leave Extract of Raphanus Sativus in Rats Using CCL4 Model 
Background
Raphanus sativus is reported to have a variety of biological activities. This work screened the hepato-protective and antioxidant activity of ethanol (ERS), and aqueous (ARS), extracts of leaves of Raphanus sativus in Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), model in rats.
Material and Methods
The extracts were subjected to antioxidant tests (Total reducing power and Total phenolic content), and preliminary phytochemical screening. A pilot study was done on 100 and 300 mg/kg extracts, form which 300 mg was chosen for further experiments. The albino rats (200–250 grams), were divided into 5 groups of 6 animals each (n=6). There were three control groups comprising of normal control (normal saline −1ml/kg), negative control group (CCl4 1ml/kg in olive oil in a ratio of 1:1 v/v), and positive control group (Silymarin 50mg/kg). The Test drugs were given in a dose of 300 mg/kg for both ERS and ARS extract for 7 days. Biochemical parameters (AST, ALT, Alkaline phosphatase, Total Bilirubin), histo-pathological examination of liver and in vivo antioxidant tests [CAT, GSH and MDA] were done.
Results
The phytochemical study showed the presence of flavanoids, terpenoids, alkaloids, saponins and sterols. A dose dependent increase in the oxidative potential was observed in both the extracts with total phenolic content 70.1 and 44.4 GAE/g extract for ERS and ARS respectively. ERS 300mg/kg showed a significant (p<0.001) increase in levels of AST, ALT and alkaline phosphatase as compared to negative control (percentage hepatoprotection =45.3%) while ARS 300 mg/kg (p<.01) group showed 30% hepatoprotection. The GSH (p<0.001) and CAT (p<0.05) in ERS and ARS were significantly increased while MDA levels were decreased (P< 0.01), as compared negative control. The findings were confirmed histo-pathological examination.
Conclusion
The ethanol and aqueous extract of Raphanus sativus have partial hepatoprotection against CCl4 toxicity.
PMCID: PMC4202426  PMID: 25371570
Raphanus sativus; hepatoprotection; CCl4; antioxidant
14.  Autochthonous Blastomycosis of the Adrenal: First Case Report from Asia 
Systemic endemic mycoses, such as blastomycosis, are rare in Asia and have been reported as health risks among travelers who visit or reside in an endemic area. Adrenal involvement is rarely seen in blastomycosis and has never been reported from Asia. We report the first case of blastomycosis with bilateral involvement of the adrenals in a diabetic patient residing in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, India.
doi:10.4269/ajtmh.13-0444
PMCID: PMC3973522  PMID: 24493676
15.  Clinical profile, predisposing factors, and associated co-morbidities of children with cerebral palsy in South India 
Introduction:
Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common physical disorder of children. Causes like jaundice and birth injury though are decreasing; complications resulting from the survival of low birth weight babies are replacing some of the older etiologies. Hence, this study was planned.
Objectives:
The objective was to study the clinical patterns, predisposing factors, and co-morbidities in children with CP.
Materials and Methods:
The present study is a hospital based prospective study conducted from January 2012 to January 2013 in children presenting to neurodevelopmental clinic at a tertiary care teaching hospital in India. Hundred cases with clinical features suggestive of CP were included in the study. Cases were evaluated by history, clinical examination, and necessary investigations.
Results:
Results of the study showed 81% of spastic, 12% of hypotonic, 5% of dystonic, and 2% of mixed CP cases. The mean age of presentation was 2 year, 2 month, and male to female ratio of 1:2. Pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) was the most common antenatal complication observed in 6%. Four percent had neonatal sepsis and 19% were born premature. Associated co-morbidities were mental retardation (55%), seizure disorder (46%), visual problems (26%), hearing problems (19%), and failure to thrive (47%).
Discussion:
Sex distribution observed in our study was male to female ratio of 1.2, which was comparable with a multicenter study in Europe. PIH was observed in 6% of cases, which was comparable with prior studies. Birth asphyxia was observed in 43% of cases. Eighty-one percent of the cases constituted a spastic variety of CP which was comparable to other studies.
Conclusion:
Perinatal asphyxia was the important etiological factor. We found preventable intranatal causes (60%) and antenatal causes (20%) forming a significant proportion. Co-morbidities were significantly observed in our study.
doi:10.4103/1817-1745.159191
PMCID: PMC4489050  PMID: 26167210
Cerebral palsy; clinical profile; co-morbidities; predisposing factors; South India
16.  Highly Sensitive Simultaneous Detection of Mercury and Copper Ions by Ultrasmall Fluorescent DNA-Ag Nanoclusters 
Fluorescent metal nanoclusters (NCs) have given rise to a new class of fluorescent nanomaterials for the detection of heavy metals. Here, we design a simple, rapid and highly sensitive sensing nanosystem for the detection of Hg2+ and Cu2+ based on fluorescence quenching of ultrasmall DNA-Ag NCs. The fluorescence intensity of DNA-Ag NCs was selectively quenched by Hg2+ and Cu2+, and the limit of detection (LOD) was found to be 5 nM and 10 nM, respectively. The technique was renewable employment by EDTA addition and successfully applied to detection of Hg2+ and Cu2+ in domestic water samples. The quantum yield (QY) of DNA-Ag NCs was significantly higher to ~30% compared to traditional water-soluble fluorescent metal NCs. The DNA-Ag NC detection system make it potentially suitable for detecting Hg2+ and Cu2+ and monitoring water quality in a wide range of samples regulated under the Environmental Protection Agency.
doi:10.1039/C3NJ01019H
PMCID: PMC4019454  PMID: 24839391
17.  Characterization of the Mode of Action of a Potent Dengue Virus Capsid Inhibitor 
Journal of Virology  2014;88(19):11540-11555.
ABSTRACT
Dengue viruses (DV) represent a significant global health burden, with up to 400 million infections every year and around 500,000 infected individuals developing life-threatening disease. In spite of attempts to develop vaccine candidates and antiviral drugs, there is a lack of approved therapeutics for the treatment of DV infection. We have previously reported the identification of ST-148, a small-molecule inhibitor exhibiting broad and potent antiviral activity against DV in vitro and in vivo (C. M. Byrd et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 57:15–25, 2013, doi:10 .1128/AAC.01429-12). In the present study, we investigated the mode of action of this promising compound by using a combination of biochemical, virological, and imaging-based techniques. We confirmed that ST-148 targets the capsid protein and obtained evidence of bimodal antiviral activity affecting both assembly/release and entry of infectious DV particles. Importantly, by using a robust bioluminescence resonance energy transfer-based assay, we observed an ST-148-dependent increase of capsid self-interaction. These results were corroborated by molecular modeling studies that also revealed a plausible model for compound binding to capsid protein and inhibition by a distinct resistance mutation. These results suggest that ST-148-enhanced capsid protein self-interaction perturbs assembly and disassembly of DV nucleocapsids, probably by inducing structural rigidity. Thus, as previously reported for other enveloped viruses, stabilization of capsid protein structure is an attractive therapeutic concept that also is applicable to flaviviruses.
IMPORTANCE Dengue viruses are arthropod-borne viruses representing a significant global health burden. They infect up to 400 million people and are endemic to subtropical and tropical areas of the world. Currently, there are neither vaccines nor approved therapeutics for the prophylaxis or treatment of DV infections, respectively. This study reports the characterization of the mode of action of ST-148, a small-molecule capsid inhibitor with potent antiviral activity against all DV serotypes. Our results demonstrate that ST-148 stabilizes capsid protein self-interaction, thereby likely perturbing assembly and disassembly of viral nucleocapsids by inducing structural rigidity. This, in turn, might interfere with the release of viral RNA from incoming nucleocapsids (uncoating) as well as assembly of progeny virus particles. As previously reported for other enveloped viruses, we propose the capsid as a novel tractable target for flavivirus inhibitors.
doi:10.1128/JVI.01745-14
PMCID: PMC4178822  PMID: 25056895
18.  Role of buprenorphine in prolonging the duration of post-operative analgesia in percutaneous nephrolithotomy: Comparison between bupivacaine versus bupivacaine and buprenorphine combination 
Introduction:
Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) is the treatment of choice for large renal calculi. Pain around the nephrostomy tube is a clinical problem and we have previously reported alleviation of pain by peritubal block with bupivacaine, which lasted for 14 hours. The present study aimed to investigate the role of buprenorphine and bupivacaine combination in prolonging the duration of analgesia in peritubal block.
Materials and Methods:
A prospective, randomized controlled study was undertaken in 40 American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) grade I and II patients who were scheduled for PCNL. Group I patients received 20 mL of 0.25% bupivacaine and group II patients received 20 mL of 0.25% bupivacaine with 100 μg of buprenorphine. Peritubal infiltration was given under fluoroscopic guidance along the nephrostomy tube from the renal capsule to the skin. Post-operative pain was assessed by Visual Analog Score (VAS), dynamic VAS (DVAS), sedation score, duration of analgesia and number of rescue analgesic demands. Rescue analgesia was inj tramadol 1 mg/kg IV if pain score exceeded 3.
Results:
Demographic data were comparable between the groups. Median duration of analgesia was 16 h in group I and 20 h in group II (P = 0.002). The maximum median VAS was 4 in group I and 2 in group II (P = 0.002). The median area under curve (AUC) for VAS was 7 and 5 in groups I and II, respectively (P = 0.047). The median maximum DVAS in group I was 6 and 4 in group II. The median AUC for DVAS in 24 h was 16 in group I and 15 in group II (P = 0.017).
Conclusions:
Peritubal infiltration of 0.25% bupivacaine with 100 μg buprenorphine around a nephrostomy tube increased the duration of analgesia following PCNL without any side-effects.
doi:10.4103/0970-1591.152815
PMCID: PMC4397550  PMID: 25878415
Buprenorphine; percutaneous nephrolithotomy; peritubal block; post-operative analgesia
19.  Duodenal perforation caused by a bird feather 
BMJ Case Reports  2013;2013:bcr2013008635.
Ingestion of gastrointestinal (GI) foreign bodies represents a challenging clinical scenario. The greater risk is at extremes of age, in those wearing dentures, alcoholics and mentally handicapped. We present a case of duodenal perforation caused by a bird feather. A 64-year-old man was presented with abdominal pain for 4 days. Abdominal examination showed signs of peritonitis. The erect abdominal x-ray showed free gas under diaphragm. Exploratory laparotomy showed purulent fluid, but no definite site of perforation could be found. So the abdomen was closed with a drain in Morison's pouch. The postoperative recovery was uneventful. He came for a repeat check-up at 4 weeks with dull aching pain in the upper abdomen and was advised for a routine upper GI endoscopy which revealed a feather penetrating the first part of the duodenum, which was removed with a foreign body removing forceps. GI foreign bodies represent a significant problem and an increased level of suspicion is important for timely diagnosis and treatment.
doi:10.1136/bcr-2013-008635
PMCID: PMC3603951  PMID: 23417953
20.  WHO Multidrug Therapy for Leprosy: Epidemiology of Default in Treatment in Agra District, Uttar Pradesh, India 
BioMed Research International  2015;2015:705804.
Aim. To study the magnitude of default, time of default, its causes, and final clinical outcome. Methods. Data collected in active surveys in Agra is analyzed. Patients were given treatment after medical confirmation and were followed up. The treatment default and other clinical outcomes were recorded. Results. Patients who defaulted have comparable demographic characteristics. However, among defaulters more women (62.7% in PB, 42.6% in MB) were seen than those in treatment completers (PB 52.7% and MB 35.9%). Nerve involvement was high in treatment completers: 45.7% in PB and 91.3% in MB leprosy. Overall default rate was lower (14.8%) in ROM than (28.8%) in standard MDT for PB leprosy (χ12 = 11.6, P = 0.001) and also for MB leprosy: 9.1% in ROM compared to 34.5% in MDT (χ12 = 6.0, P = 0.015). Default rate was not different (28.8% versus 34.5%, P > 0.05) in both types of leprosy given MDT. Most patients defaulted at early stage of treatment and mainly due to manageable side effects. Conclusion. The default in standard MDT both for PB and MB leprosy was observed to be significantly higher than in ROM treatment. Most defaults occurred at early stage of treatment and major contribution of default is due to side effects like drowsiness, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and so forth, related to poor general health. Although about half of the defaulters were observed to be cured 2.2% in PB-MDT and 10.9% of MB-MDT developed disability. This is an issue due to default. Attempts are needed to increase treatment compliance. The use of specially designed disease related health education along with easily administered drug regimens may help to reduce default.
doi:10.1155/2015/705804
PMCID: PMC4331159  PMID: 25705679
21.  Objectively Measured Sleep and β-amyloid Burden in Older Adults: A Pilot Study 
SAGE open medicine  2014;2:10.1177/2050312114546520.
Background/Aims
Although disturbed sleep is associated with cognitive deficits, the association between sleep disturbance and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology is unclear. In this pilot study, we examined the extent to which sleep duration, sleep quality, and sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) are associated with β-amyloid (Aβ) deposition in the brains of living humans.
Methods
We studied 13 older adults (8 with normal cognition and 5 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI)). Participants completed neuropsychological testing, polysomnography and Aβ imaging with [11C]-Pittsburgh compound B.
Results
Among participants with MCI, higher apnea-hypopnea index and oxygen desaturation index were associated with greater Aβ deposition, globally and regionally in the precuneus. There were no significant associations between SDB and Aβ deposition among cognitively normal participants. There were no significant associations between sleep duration or sleep fragmentation and Aβ deposition.
Conclusion
These preliminary results suggest that, among older adults with MCI, greater SDB severity is associated with greater Aβ deposition.
PMCID: PMC4304392  PMID: 25621174
sleep; sleep apnea; mild cognitive impairment; Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid; positron emission tomography
22.  Therapeutic potential of mGluR5 targeting in Alzheimer's disease 
Decades of research dedicated toward Alzheimer's disease (AD) has culminated in much of the current understanding of the neurodegeneration associated with disease. However, delineating the pathophysiology and finding a possible cure for the disease is still wanting. This is in part due to the lack of knowledge pertaining to the connecting link between neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory pathways. Consequently, the inefficacy and ill-effects of the drugs currently available for AD encourage the need for alternative and safe therapeutic intervention. In this review we highlight the potential of mGluR5, a metabotropic glutamatergic receptor, in understanding the mechanism underlying the neuronal death and neuroinflammation in AD. We also discuss the role of mGlu5 receptor in mediating the neuron-glia interaction in the disease. Finally, we discuss the potential of mGluR5 as target for treating AD.
doi:10.3389/fnins.2015.00215
PMCID: PMC4460345  PMID: 26106290
Alzheimer's disease; MPEP; amyloid-β; glia; mGluR; neurodegeneration
23.  Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Residues in Serum Samples of Autopsied Individuals from Tennessee 
This study reports the concentrations of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in human blood sera samples (n = 650) obtained at autopsy from individuals who died of drug abuse, alcohol toxicity, homicide, suicide and other unknown causes. The analyzed samples from decedents revealed the presence of PAHs of which B(a)P was the most predominant one, followed by benzo(b)fluoranthene and benzo(k)fluoranthene. The other PAHs detected sporadically and measured were benzo(g,h,i)perylene, acenaphthene, anthracene, phenanthrene, and fluoranthene The mean concentrations of PAHs were greater in the twenties to fifties age groups compared to others. The PAH residue levels detected were high in African Americans compared to Caucasians, Asians, and Hispanics. It appears that environmental exposure, dietary intake and in some cases occupational exposure may have contributed to the PAH body burden. While the PAH residue concentrations measured fall within the range of those reported for healthy adults elsewhere, in isolated cases, the concentrations detected were high, calling the need for a reduction in PAH emissions and human biomonitoring studies for purposes of risk assessment.
doi:10.3390/ijerph120100322
PMCID: PMC4306864  PMID: 25547400
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; benzo(a)pyrene; body burden; autopsy; serum; postmortem
24.  Molecular mechanisms involved in HIV-1 Tat-mediated induction of IL-6 and IL-8 in astrocytes 
Background
HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) exist in approximately 50% of infected individuals even after the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy. HIV-1 Tat has been implicated in HIV-associated neurotoxicity mediated through production of pro-inflammatory cytokines like IL-6 and IL-8 by astrocytes among others as well as oxidative stress. However, the underlying mechanism(s) in the up-regulation of IL-6 and IL-8 are not clearly understood. The present study was designed to determine the mechanism(s) responsible for IL-6 and IL-8 up-regulation by HIV-1 Tat.
Methods
SVG astrocytes were transiently transfected with a plasmid encoding HIV-1 Tat. The HIV-1 Tat-mediated mRNA and protein expression levels of both IL-6 and IL-8 in SVG astrocytes were quantified using real time RT-PCR and multiplex cytokine assay respectively. We also employed immunocytochemistry for staining of IL-6 and IL-8. The underlying signaling mechanism(s) were identified using pharmacological inhibitors and siRNA for different intermediate steps involved in PI3K/Akt, p38 MAPK and JNK MAPK pathways. Appropriate controls were used in the experiments and the effect of pharmacological antagonists and siRNA were observed on both mRNA expression and protein levels.
Results
Both IL-6/IL-8 mRNA and protein showed peak expressions at 6 hours and 96 hours post-transfection, respectively. Elevated levels of IL-6/IL-8 were also confirmed by immunocytochemistry. Our studies indicated that both NF-kB and AP-1 transcription factors were involved in IL-6 and IL-8 expression mediated by HIV-1 Tat; however, AP-1 was differentially activated for either cytokine. In the case of IL-6, p38δ activated AP-1 whereas JNK but not p38 MAPK was involved in AP-1 activation for IL-8 production. On the other hand both PI3K/Akt and p38 MAPK (β subunit) were found to be involved in activation of NF-κB that led to IL-6 and IL-8 production.
Conclusion
Our results demonstrate HIV-1 Tat-mediated induction of both IL-6 and IL-8 in a time-dependent manner in SVG astrocytes. Furthermore, we also showed the involvement of NF-κB and AP-1 transcription factors regulated by PI3/Akt, p38 MAPK and JNK MAPK upstream signaling molecules. These results present new therapeutic targets that could be used in management of HAND.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12974-014-0214-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12974-014-0214-3
PMCID: PMC4302610  PMID: 25539898
HIV-1 Tat; Astrocytes; IL-6/IL-8; NF-κB; AP-1; PI3K/Akt; p38 MAPK; JNK MAPK
25.  Identification and molecular characterization of SIV Vpr R50G mutation associated with long term survival in SIV-infected morphine dependent and control macaques 
Virology  2013;446(0):10.1016/j.virol.2013.07.027.
Viral protein R (Vpr) is an accessory protein of HIV and SIV involved in the pathogenesis of viral infection. In this study, we monitored SIV evolution in the central nervous system and other organs from morphine-dependent and control animals by sequencing vpr in an attempt to understand the relationship between drug abuse, disease progression, and compartmentalization of viral evolution. Animals in the morphine group developed accelerated disease and died within twenty weeks post-infection. A unique mutation, R50G, was identified in the macaques that survived regardless of morphine exposure. Functional studies revealed that the R50G mutation exhibited altered cellular localization and decreased the expression levels of both IL-6 and IL-8. Our results, therefore, suggest that sequence changes within the SIV/17E-Fr vpr occur regardless of drug abuse but correlate with survival, and that they alter disease progression rates by affecting Vpr functions.
doi:10.1016/j.virol.2013.07.027
PMCID: PMC3844929  PMID: 24074576
HIV; SIV; vpr; viral evolution; morphine; brain; PBMC; proviral; IL-6; IL-8

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