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1.  Isolation and Characterization of a Bacteriophage Preying an Antifungal Bacterium 
The Plant Pathology Journal  2016;32(6):584-588.
Several Bacillus species were isolated from rice field soils, and 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis showed that Bacillus cereus was the most abundant. A strain named BC1 showed antifungal activity against Rhizoctonia solani. Bacteriophages infecting strain BC1 were isolated from the same soil sample. The isolated phage PK16 had an icosahedral head of 100 ± 5 nm and tail of 200 ± 5 nm, indicating that it belonged to the family Myoviridae. Analysis of the complete linear dsDNA genome revealed a 158,127-bp genome with G + C content of 39.9% comprising 235 open reading frames as well as 19 tRNA genes (including 1 pseudogene). Blastp analysis showed that the proteins encoded by the PK16 genome had the closest hits to proteins of seven different bacteriophages. A neighbor-joining phylogenetic tree based on the major capsid protein showed a robust clustering of phage PK16 with phage JBP901 and BCP8-2 isolated from Korean fermented food.
doi:10.5423/PPJ.NT.07.2016.0153
PMCID: PMC5117869  PMID: 27904467
antifungal; Bacillus; interaction; multifactorial; Myoviridae
2.  A systematic review on current status of health technology reassessment: insights for South Korea 
Background
To systematically investigate the current status and methodology of health technology reassessment (HTR) in various countries to draw insights for the healthcare system in South Korea.
Methods
A systematic literature search was conducted on the articles published between January 2000 and February 2015 on Medline, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, CINAHL, and PubMed. The titles and abstracts of retrieved records were screened and selected by two independent reviewers. Data related to HTR were extracted using a pre-standardised form. The review was conducted using narrative synthesis to understand and summarise the HTR process and policies.
Results
Forty five studies, conducted in seven countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, and the United States of America, fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Informed by the literature review, and complemented by informant interviews, we focused on HTR activities in four jurisdictions: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Spain. There were similarities in the HTR processes, namely the use of existing health technology assessment agencies, reassessment candidate technology identification and priority setting, stakeholder involvement, support for reimbursement coverage, and implementation strategies. Considering the findings of the systematic review in the context of the domestic healthcare environment in Korea, an appropriate HTR model was developed. This model included four stages, those of identification, prioritisation, reassessment and decision.
Conclusions
Disinvestment and reinvestment through the HTR was used to increase the efficiency and quality of care to help patients receive optimal treatment. Based on the lessons learnt from other countries’ experiences, Korea should make efforts to establish an HTR process that optimises the National Healthcare Insurance system through revision of the existing Medical Service Act.
doi:10.1186/s12961-016-0152-x
PMCID: PMC5106773  PMID: 27835964
Health technology reassessment; Disinvestment; Systematic review
3.  Aldehyde dehydrogenase is used by cancer cells for energy metabolism 
We found that non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells express high levels of multiple aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) isoforms via an informatics analysis of metabolic enzymes in NSCLC and immunohistochemical staining of NSCLC clinical tumor samples. Using a multiple reaction-monitoring mass spectrometry analysis, we found that multiple ALDH isozymes were generally abundant in NSCLC cells compared with their levels in normal IMR-90 human lung cells. As a result of the catalytic reaction mediated by ALDH, NADH is produced as a by-product from the conversion of aldehyde to carboxylic acid. We hypothesized that the NADH produced by ALDH may be a reliable energy source for ATP production in NSCLC. This study revealed that NADH production by ALDH contributes significantly to ATP production in NSCLC. Furthermore, gossypol, a pan-ALDH inhibitor, markedly reduced the level of ATP. Gossypol combined with phenformin synergistically reduced the ATP levels, which efficiently induced cell death following cell cycle arrest.
doi:10.1038/emm.2016.103
PMCID: PMC5133370  PMID: 27885254
4.  Discrepancy between short-term and long-term effects of bone marrow-derived cell therapy in acute myocardial infarction: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
Background
Bone marrow-derived cell therapy has been used to treat acute myocardial infarction. However, the therapeutic efficacy of this approach remains controversial. Here, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate short-term and long-term effectiveness of bone marrow-derived therapy.
Methods
We searched eight databases (Ovid-Medline, Ovid-EMBASE, Cochrane Library, KoreaMed, KMBASE, KISS, RISS, and KisTi) up to December 2014. Demographic characteristics, clinical outcomes, and adverse events were analyzed. We identified 5534 potentially relevant studies; 405 were subjected to a full-text review. Forty-three studies with 2635 patients were included in this review.
Results
No safety issues related to cell injection were reported during follow-up. At 6 months, cell-injected patients showed modest improvements in left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) compared with the control group. However, there were no differences between groups at other time points. In the cardiac MRI analysis, there were no significant differences in infarct size reduction between groups. Interestingly, mortality tended to be reduced at the 3-year follow-up, and at the 5-year follow-up, cell injection significantly decreased all-cause mortality.
Conclusions
This meta-analysis demonstrated discrepancies between short-term LV functional improvement and long-term all-cause mortality. Future clinical trials should include long-term follow-up outcomes to validate the therapeutic efficacy of cell therapy.
doi:10.1186/s13287-016-0415-z
PMCID: PMC5072331  PMID: 27765070
Cell therapy; Acute myocardial infarction; Survival; Bone marrow
5.  Effect of Probiotics on Central Nervous System Functions in Animals and Humans: A Systematic Review 
To systematically review the effects of probiotics on central nervous system function in animals and humans, to summarize effective interventions (species of probiotic, dose, duration), and to analyze the possibility of translating preclinical studies. Literature searches were conducted in Pubmed, Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane Library. Only randomized controlled trials were included. In total, 38 studies were included: 25 in animals and 15 in humans (2 studies were conducted in both). Most studies used Bifidobacterium (eg, B. longum, B. breve, and B. infantis) and Lactobacillus (eg, L. helveticus, and L. rhamnosus), with doses between 109 and 1010 colony-forming units for 2 weeks in animals and 4 weeks in humans. These probiotics showed efficacy in improving psychiatric disorder-related behaviors including anxiety, depression, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), obsessive-compulsive disorder, and memory abilities, including spatial and non-spatial memory. Because many of the basic science studies showed some efficacy of probiotics on central nervous system function, this background may guide and promote further preclinical and clinical studies. Translating animal studies to human studies has obvious limitations but also suggests possibilities. Here, we provide several suggestions for the translation of animal studies. More experimental designs with both behavioral and neuroimaging measures in healthy volunteers and patients are needed in the future.
doi:10.5056/jnm16018
PMCID: PMC5056568  PMID: 27413138
Animals; Anxiety; Depression; Humans; Probiotics
6.  Comparison of Robot-Assisted Radical Prostatectomy and Open Radical Prostatectomy Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2016;57(5):1165-1177.
Purpose
To systematically update evidence on the clinical efficacy and safety of robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) versus retropubic radical prostatectomy (RRP) in patients with prostate cancer.
Materials and Methods
Electronic databases, including ovidMEDLINE, ovidEMBASE, the Cochrane Library, KoreaMed, KMbase, and others, were searched, collecting data from January 1980 to August 2013. The quality of selected systematic reviews was assessed using the revised assessment of multiple systematic reviews and the modified Cochrane Risk of Bias tool for non-randomized studies.
Results
A total of 61 studies were included, including 38 from two previous systematic reviews rated as best available evidence and 23 additional studies that were more recent. There were no randomized controlled trials. Regarding safety, the risk of complications was lower for RARP than for RRP. Among functional outcomes, the risk of urinary incontinence was lower and potency rate was significantly higher for RARP than for RRP. Regarding oncologic outcomes, positive margin rates were comparable between groups, and although biochemical recurrence (BCR) rates were lower for RARP than for RRP, recurrence-free survival was similar after long-term follow up.
Conclusion
RARP might be favorable to RRP in regards to post-operative complications, peri-operative outcomes, and functional outcomes. Positive margin and BCR rates were comparable between the two procedures. As most of studies were of low quality, the results presented should be interpreted with caution, and further high quality studies controlling for selection, confounding, and selective reporting biases with longer-term follow-up are needed to determine the clinical efficacy and safety of RARP.
doi:10.3349/ymj.2016.57.5.1165
PMCID: PMC4960383  PMID: 27401648
Prostatic neoplasms; robotics; prostatectomy; meta-analysis
7.  Asian Sand Dust Enhances the Inflammatory Response and Mucin Gene Expression in the Middle Ear 
Objectives.
Asia sand dust (ASD) is known to cause various human diseases including respiratory infection. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of ASD on inflammatory response in human middle ear epithelial cells (HMEECs) in vitro and in vivo.
Methods.
Cell viability was assessed using the cell counting kit-8 assay. The mRNA levels of various genes including COX-2, TNF-a, MUC 5AC, MUC 5B, TP53, BAX, BCL-2, NOX4, and SOD1 were analyzed using semiquantitative realtime polymerase chain reaction. COX-2 protein levels were determined by western blot analysis. Sprague Dawley rats were used for in vivo investigations of inflammatory reactions in the middle ear epithelium as a result of ASD injection.
Results.
We observed dose-dependent decrease in HMEEC viability. ASD exposure significantly increased COX-2, TNF-a, MUC5AC, and MUC5B mRNA expression. Also, ASD affected the mRNA levels of apoptosis- and oxidative stress-related genes. Western blot analysis revealed a dose-dependent increase in COX-2 production. Animal studies also demonstrated an ASD-induced inflammatory response in the middle ear epithelium.
Conclusion.
Environmental ASD exposure can result in the development of otitis media.
doi:10.21053/ceo.2015.01060
PMCID: PMC4996096  PMID: 27095518
Asian Sand Dust; Otitis Media; Cyclooxygenase 2; Muc5ac; Muc5b
8.  Relationship between pulmonary function and bone mineral density in the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 
Background/Aims:
Osteoporosis is common in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. The relationship between osteoporosis and COPD has been primarily reported in patients with moderate to severe COPD, but there is no report in the general population. The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between bone mineral density (BMD) and lung function in the general Korean population.
Methods:
This study was based on data acquired from the Fourth and Fifth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (KNHANES IV and V), conducted from 2008 to 2010. The study population included 4,501 subjects (aged ≥ 50 years) who underwent both spirometry and BMD. The study populations were divided into two groups by sex to correct for the effects of gender on BMD. All female participants were postmenopausal women.
Results:
The BMD values of the femur neck, total femur, and L-spine tended to decrease with degree of airflow limitation in both genders. To correct confounding factors, data were analyzed and adjusted for age, body mass index, fat free mass index, body fat percentage, smoking amount, parathyroid hormone levels, daily calcium and phosphorus intake, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels. While the BMD of the femur neck, total femur, and L-spine was reduced significantly as age and ALP increased, the correlation between airway obstruction and BMD of all regions disappeared in both genders.
Conclusions:
In the general population aged 50 years and older, diminution of BMD is not associated with airway obstruction. Further investigation along other factors is needed to determine the possible role of pulmonary function and BMD.
doi:10.3904/kjim.2015.127
PMCID: PMC5016283  PMID: 27604798
Respiratory function tests; Bone density; Osteoporosis
9.  The Relationship between the Blood Level of Persistent Organic Pollutants and Common Gastrointestinal Symptoms 
Korean Journal of Family Medicine  2016;37(5):267-272.
Background
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are toxic materials that cannot be broken down naturally and that easily accumulate in the body. Although several studies have attempted to reveal the effects of POPs on the endocrine and nervous system and on cancer, few studies focus on the relationship between low-dose POPs and public health. We attempted to find a relationship between the level of POPs and common gastrointestinal symptoms, including abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and constipation.
Methods
We recruited 121 subjects who visited Kyungpook National University Hospital for a health screening. Plasma concentrations were evaluated for 40 kinds of POPs including 17 types of polychlorinated biphenyls and 23 types of organochlorine pesticides. Furthermore, the Korean version of the Rome III criteria was used to identify gastrointestinal symptoms.
Results
Our results showed that abdominal discomfort had an inverse relationship with several polychlorinated biphenyls. Moreover, an inverted U-shaped relationship was observed between abdominal discomfort and several other organochlorine pesticides including p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane and p,p'-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, and the effects of these pesticides on abdominal discomfort were similar to that of organochlorine pesticides on obesity and metabolic syndrome.
Conclusion
Our results suggest that mild and unspecified gastrointestinal symptoms with no clear cause could be related to POPs levels.
doi:10.4082/kjfm.2016.37.5.267
PMCID: PMC5039117  PMID: 27688859
Persistent Organic Pollutants; Abdominal Discomfort; Diarrhea; Constipation
10.  Anti-cancer effect of pristimerin by inhibition of HIF-1α involves the SPHK-1 pathway in hypoxic prostate cancer cells 
BMC Cancer  2016;16(1):701.
Background
Hypoxia is a typical character of locally advanced solid tumours. The transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) is the main regulator under the hypoxic environment. HIF-1α regulates various genes to enhance tumour progression, angiogenesis, and metastasis. Sphingosine kinase 1 (SPHK-1) is a modulator of HIF-1α.
Methods
To investigate the molecular mechanisms of pristimerin in association with SPHK-1 pathways in hypoxic PC-3 cancer cells. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) production, cell cycles, and SPHK-1 activity were measured, and western blotting, an MTT assay, and an RNA interference assay were performed.
Results
Pristimerin inhibited HIF-1α accumulation in a concentration- and-time-dependent manner in hypoxic PC-3 cells. Pristimerin suppressed the expression of HIF-1α by inhibiting SPHK-1. Moreover, inhibiting SPHK-1 with a sphingosine kinase inhibitor enhanced the suppression of HIF-1α, phosphorylation AKT, and glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) by pristimerin under hypoxia. Furthermore, a reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenger enhanced the inhibition of HIF-1α and SPHK-1 by pristimerin.
Conclusion
Taken together, these findings suggest that pristimerin can exert an anti-cancer activity by inhibiting HIF-1α through the SPHK-1 pathway.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12885-016-2730-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12885-016-2730-2
PMCID: PMC5007821  PMID: 27581969
Hypoxia; Pristimerin; SPHK-1; Prostate cancer; HIF-1α
11.  Triclosan Resistome from Metagenome Reveals Diverse Enoyl Acyl Carrier Protein Reductases and Selective Enrichment of Triclosan Resistance Genes 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:32322.
Triclosan (TCS) is a widely used antimicrobial agent and TCS resistance is considered to have evolved in diverse organisms with extensive use of TCS, but distribution of TCS resistance has not been well characterized. Functional screening of the soil metagenome in this study has revealed that a variety of target enoyl acyl carrier protein reductases (ENR) homologues are responsible for the majority of TCS resistance. Diverse ENRs similar to 7-α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (7-α-HSDH), FabG, or the unusual YX7K-type ENR conferred extreme tolerance to TCS. The TCS-refractory 7-α HSDH-like ENR and the TCS-resistant YX7K-type ENR seem to be prevalent in human pathogenic bacteria, suggesting that a selective enrichment occurred in pathogenic bacteria in soil. Additionally, resistance to multiple antibiotics was found to be mediated by antibiotic resistance genes that co-localize with TCS resistance determinants. Further comparative analysis of ENRs from 13 different environments has revealed a huge diversity of both prototypic and metagenomic TCS-resistant ENRs, in addition to a selective enrichment of TCS-resistant specific ENRs in presumably TCS-contaminated environments with reduced ENR diversity. Our results suggest that long-term extensive use of TCS can lead to the selective emergence of TCS-resistant bacterial pathogens, possibly with additional resistance to multiple antibiotics, in natural environments.
doi:10.1038/srep32322
PMCID: PMC5006077  PMID: 27577999
12.  Genetic Determinants for Pyomelanin Production and Its Protective Effect against Oxidative Stress in Ralstonia solanacearum 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(8):e0160845.
Ralstonia solanacearum is a soil-borne plant pathogen that infects more than 200 plant species. Its broad host range and long-term survival under different environmental stress conditions suggest that it uses a variety of mechanisms to protect itself against various types of biotic and abiotic stress. R. solanacearum produces a melanin-like brown pigment in the stationary phase when grown in minimal medium containing tyrosine. To gain deeper insight into the genetic determinants involved in melanin production, transposon-inserted mutants of R. solanacearum strain SL341 were screened for strains with defective melanin-producing capability. In addition to one mutant already known to be involved in pyomelanin production (viz., strain SL341D, with disruption of the hydroxphenylpyruvate dioxygenase gene), we identified three other mutants with disruption in the regulatory genes rpoS, hrpG, and oxyR, respectively. Wild-type SL341 produced pyomelanin in minimal medium containing tyrosine whereas the mutant strains did not. Likewise, homogentisate, a major precursor of pyomelanin, was detected in the culture filtrate of the wild-type strain but not in those of the mutant strains. A gene encoding hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase exhibited a significant high expression in wild type SL341 compared to other mutant strains, suggesting that pyomelanin production is regulated by three different regulatory proteins. However, analysis of the gene encoding homogentisate dioxygenase revealed no significant difference in its relative expression over time in the wild-type SL341 and mutant strains, except for SL341D, at 72 h incubation. The pigmented SL341 strain also exhibited a high tolerance to hydrogen peroxide stress compared with the non-pigmented SL341D strain. Our study suggests that pyomelanin production is controlled by several regulatory factors in R. solanacearum to confer protection under oxidative stress.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0160845
PMCID: PMC4981395  PMID: 27513990
13.  Pulse Wave Variation during the Menstrual Cycle in Women with Menstrual Pain 
BioMed Research International  2016;2016:1083208.
Objective. This study is performed to obtain objective diagnostic indicators associated with menstrual pain using pulse wave analysis. Methods. Using a pulse diagnostic device, we measured the pulse waves of 541 women aged between 19 and 30 years, placed in either an experimental group with menstrual pain (n = 329) or a control group with little or no menstrual pain (n = 212). Measurements were taken during both the menstrual and nonmenstrual periods, and comparative analysis was performed. Results. During the nonmenstrual period, the experimental group showed a significantly higher value in the left radial artery for the radial augmentation index (RAI) (p = 0.050) but significantly lower values for pulse wave energy (p = 0.021) and time to first peak from baseline (T1) (p = 0.035) in the right radial artery. During the menstrual period, the experimental group showed significantly lower values in the left radial artery for cardiac diastole and pulse wave area during diastole and significantly higher values for pulse wave area during systole, ratio of systolic phase to the full heartbeat, and systolic-diastolic ratio. Conclusion. We obtained indicators of menstrual pain in women during the menstrual period, including prolonged systolic and shortened diastolic phases, increases in pulse wave energy and area of representative pulse wave, and increased blood vessel resistance.
doi:10.1155/2016/1083208
PMCID: PMC4992516  PMID: 27579304
15.  Anti-Cancer Effect of Lambertianic Acid by Inhibiting the AR in LNCaP Cells 
Lambertianic acid (LA) is known to have anti-allergic and antibacterial effects. However, the anticancer activities and mechanism of action of LA have not been investigated. Therefore, the anticancer effects and mechanism of LA are investigated in this study. LA decreased not only AR protein levels, but also cellular and secretory levels of PSA. Furthermore, LA inhibited nuclear translocation of the AR induced by mibolerone. LA suppressed cell proliferation by inducing G1 arrest, downregulating CDK4/6 and cyclin D1 and activating p53 and its downstream molecules, p21 and p27. LA induced apoptosis and the expression of related proteins, including cleaved caspase-9 and -3, c-PARP and BAX, and inhibited BCl-2. The role of AR in LA-induced apoptosis was assessed by using siRNA. Collectively, these findings suggest that LA exerts the anticancer effect by inhibiting AR and is a valuable therapeutic agent in prostate cancer treatment.
doi:10.3390/ijms17071066
PMCID: PMC4964442  PMID: 27399684
LNCaP; lambertianic acid; androgen receptor; anticancer
16.  Amelioration of autoimmune arthritis by adoptive transfer of Foxp3-expressing regulatory B cells is associated with the Treg/Th17 cell balance 
Background
Foxp3 is a key regulator of the development and function of regulatory T cells (Tregs), and its expression is thought to be T cell-restricted. We found that B cells in mice can express Foxp3 and B cells expressing Foxp3 may play a role in preventing the development of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) in DBA/1J mice.
Methods
Foxp3 expression was modulated in CD19+ B cells by transfection with shRNA or using an over-expression construct. In addition, Foxp3-transfected B cells were adoptively transferred to CIA mice. We found that LPS or anti-IgM stimulation induced Foxp3 expression in B cells. Foxp3-expressing B cells were found in the spleens of mice.
Results
Over-expression of Foxp3 conferred a contact-dependent suppressive ability on proliferation of responder T cells. Down-regulation of Foxp3 by shRNA caused a profound induction in proliferation of responder T cells. Adoptive transfer of Foxp3+CD19+ B cells attenuated the clinical symptoms of CIA significantly with concomitant suppression of IL-17 production and enhancement of Foxp3 expression in CD4+ T cells from splenocytes.
Conclusion
Our data indicate that Foxp3 expression is not restricted to T cells. The expression of Foxp3 in B cells is critical for the immunoregulation of T cells and limits autoimmunity in a mouse model.
doi:10.1186/s12967-016-0940-7
PMCID: PMC4924280  PMID: 27350539
Foxp3; Regulatory B cell; Th17; Arthritis
17.  Rebamipide prevents peripheral arthritis and intestinal inflammation by reciprocally regulating Th17/Treg cell imbalance in mice with curdlan-induced spondyloarthritis 
Background
Spondyloarthritis (SpA) usually manifests as arthritis of the axial and peripheral joints but can also result in extra-articular manifestations such as inflammatory bowel disease. Proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-17 (IL-17) plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of SpA. Rebamipide inhibits signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 that controls IL-17 production and Th17 cell differentiation. This study examined the effect of rebamipide on SpA development.
Methods
SKG ZAP-70W163C mice were immunized with curdlan to induce SpA features. The mice were then intraperitoneally injected with rebamipide or vehicle 3 times a week for 14 weeks and their clinical scores were evaluated. Histological scores of the paw and spine and the length of the gut were measured at sacrifice. Immunohistochemical staining of IL-17 and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) was performed using tissue samples isolated from the axial joints, peripheral joints, and gut. Spleen tissue samples were isolated from both rebamipide- or vehicle-treated mice with SpA at 14 weeks after curdlan injection to determine the effect of rebamipide on Th17 and regulatory T (Treg) cell differentiation.
Results
Rebamipide decreased the clinical and histological scores of the peripheral joints. The total length of the gut was preserved in rebamipide-treated mice. IL-17 and TNF-α expression in the spine, peripheral joints, and gut was lower in rebamipide-treated mice than in control mice. Th17 cell differentiation was suppressed whereas Treg cell differentiation was upregulated in the spleen of rebamipide-treated mice.
Conclusion
Rebamipide exerted beneficial effects in mice with SpA by preventing peripheral arthritis and intestinal inflammation and by regulating Th17/Treg cell imbalance, suggesting that it can be used as a potential therapeutic agent for treating arthritis to SpA patients.
doi:10.1186/s12967-016-0942-5
PMCID: PMC4924325  PMID: 27350608
Spondyloarthritis; Rebamipide; Type 17 helper T cell; Regulatory T cell
18.  Distal vessel stiffening is an early and pivotal mechanobiological regulator of vascular remodeling and pulmonary hypertension 
JCI insight  2016;1(8):e86987.
Pulmonary arterial (PA) stiffness is associated with increased mortality in patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH); however, the role of PA stiffening in the pathogenesis of PH remains elusive. Here, we show that distal vascular matrix stiffening is an early mechanobiological regulator of experimental PH. We identify cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) suppression and corresponding reduction in prostaglandin production as pivotal regulators of stiffness-dependent vascular cell activation. Atomic force microscopy microindentation demonstrated early PA stiffening in experimental PH and human lung tissue. Pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMC) grown on substrates with the stiffness of remodeled PAs showed increased proliferation, decreased apoptosis, exaggerated contraction, enhanced matrix deposition, and reduced COX-2–derived prostanoid production compared with cells grown on substrates approximating normal PA stiffness. Treatment with a prostaglandin I2 analog abrogated monocrotaline-induced PA stiffening and attenuated stiffness-dependent increases in proliferation, matrix deposition, and contraction in PASMC. Our results suggest a pivotal role for early PA stiffening in PH and demonstrate the therapeutic potential of interrupting mechanobiological feedback amplification of vascular remodeling in experimental PH.
doi:10.1172/jci.insight.86987
PMCID: PMC4918638  PMID: 27347562
19.  Grim19 Attenuates DSS Induced Colitis in an Animal Model 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(6):e0155853.
DSS induced colitis is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, which destabilizes the gut and induces an uncontrolled immune response. Although DSS induced colitis is generally thought to develop as a result of an abnormally active intestinal immune system, its pathogenesis remains unclear. Gene associated with retinoid interferon induced mortality (Grim) 19 is an endogenous specific inhibitor of STAT3, which regulates the expression of proinflammatory cytokines. In this study, we investigated the influence of GRIM19 in a DSS induced colitis mouse model. We hypothesized that Grim19 would ameliorate DSS induced colitis by altering STAT3 activity and intestinal inflammation. Grim19 ameliorated DSS induced colitis severity and protected intestinal tissue. The expression of STAT3 and proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β and TNF-α in colon and lymph nodes was decreased significantly by Grim19. Moreover, DSS induced colitis progression in a Grim19 transgenic mouse line was inhibited in association with a reduction in STAT3 and IL-17 expression. These results suggest that Grim19 attenuates DSS induced colitis by suppressing the excessive inflammatory response mediated by STAT3 activation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0155853
PMCID: PMC4892643  PMID: 27258062
20.  Distal vessel stiffening is an early and pivotal mechanobiological regulator of vascular remodeling and pulmonary hypertension 
JCI Insight  null;1(8):e86987.
Pulmonary arterial (PA) stiffness is associated with increased mortality in patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH); however, the role of PA stiffening in the pathogenesis of PH remains elusive. Here, we show that distal vascular matrix stiffening is an early mechanobiological regulator of experimental PH. We identify cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) suppression and corresponding reduction in prostaglandin production as pivotal regulators of stiffness-dependent vascular cell activation. Atomic force microscopy microindentation demonstrated early PA stiffening in experimental PH and human lung tissue. Pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMC) grown on substrates with the stiffness of remodeled PAs showed increased proliferation, decreased apoptosis, exaggerated contraction, enhanced matrix deposition, and reduced COX-2–derived prostanoid production compared with cells grown on substrates approximating normal PA stiffness. Treatment with a prostaglandin I2 analog abrogated monocrotaline-induced PA stiffening and attenuated stiffness-dependent increases in proliferation, matrix deposition, and contraction in PASMC. Our results suggest a pivotal role for early PA stiffening in PH and demonstrate the therapeutic potential of interrupting mechanobiological feedback amplification of vascular remodeling in experimental PH.
Distal pulmonary arterial stiffening promotes vascular remodeling and pulmonary hypertension development via suppression of cyclooxygenase-2–dependent prostaglandin production.
doi:10.1172/jci.insight.86987
PMCID: PMC4918638  PMID: 27347562
21.  Comparison of perioperative and short-term outcomes between robotic and conventional laparoscopic surgery for colonic cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
Purpose
Reports from several case series have described the feasibility and safety of robotic surgery (RS) for colonic cancer. Experience is still limited in robotic colonic surgery, and a few meta-analysis has been conducted to integrate the results for colon cancer specifically. We conducted a systematic review of the available evidence comparing the surgical safety and efficacy of RS with that of conventional laparoscopic surgery (CLS) for colonic cancer.
Methods
We searched English databases (MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane Library), and Korean databases (KoreaMed, KMbase, KISS, RISS, and KisTi). Dichotomous variables were pooled using the risk ratio, and continuous variables were pooled using the mean difference (MD).
Results
The present study found that the RS group had a shorter time to resumption of a regular diet (MD, –0.62 days; 95% CI, –0.97 to –0.28), first passage of flatus (MD, –0.44 days; 95% CI, –0.66 to –0.23) and defecation (MD, –0.62 days; 95% CI, –0.77 to –0.47). Also, RS was associated with a shorter hospital stay (MD, –0.69 days; 95% CI, –1.12 to –0.26), a lower estimated blood loss (MD, –19.49 mL; 95% CI, –27.10 to –11.89) and a longer proximal margin (MD, 2.29 cm; 95% CI, 1.11-3.47). However, RS was associated with a longer surgery time (MD, 51.00 minutes; 95% CI, 39.38–62.62).
Conclusion
We found that the potential benefits of perioperative and short-term outcomes for RS than for CLS. For a more accurate understanding of RS for colonic cancer patients, robust comparative studies and randomized clinical trials are required.
doi:10.4174/astr.2016.90.6.328
PMCID: PMC4891524  PMID: 27274509
Robotic surgical procedures; Colonic neoplasms
22.  Cornu cervi pantotrichum Pharmacopuncture Solution Facilitate Hair Growth in C57BL/6 Mice 
Journal of Pharmacopuncture  2016;19(2):122-128.
Objectives:
Cornu cervi pantotrichum (CCP) has been widely used in Korean and China, as an anti-fatigue, anti-aging, and tonic agent to enhance the functions of the reproductive and the immune systems. Because CCP has various growth factors that play important roles in the development of hair follicles, we examined whether CCP pharmacopuncture solution (CCPPS) was capable of promoting hair growth in an animal model.
Methods:
One day after hair depilation, CCPPS were topically applied to the dorsal skin of C57BL/6 mice once a day for 15 days. Hair growth activity was evaluated by using macro- and microscopic observations. Dorsal skin tissues were stained with hematoxylin and eosin. Expressions of bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), and fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-7 were examined by using immunohistochemical staining. A reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis was also conducted to measure the messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of FGF-7.
Results:
CCPPS induced more active hair growth than normal saline. Histologic analysis showed enlargement of the dermal papilla, elongation of the hair shaft, and expansion of hair thickness in CCPPS treated mice, indicating that CCPPS effectively induced the development of anagen. CCPPS treatment markedly increased the expressions of BrdU and PCNA in the hair follicles of C57BL/6 mice. In addition, CCPPS up regulated the expression of FGF-7, which plays an important role in the development of hair follicles.
Conclusion:
These results reveal that CCPPS facilitates hair re-growth by proliferation of hair follicular cells and up-regulation of FGF-7 and suggest that CCPPS can potentially be applied as an alternative treatment for patients with alopecia.
doi:10.3831/KPI.2016.19.013
PMCID: PMC4931297  PMID: 27386145
anagen;  Cornu cervi pantotrichum pharmacopuncture solution;  fibroblast growth factor-7;  hair;  hair loss;  proliferating cell nuclear antigen
23.  Development and validation of novel digitalized cervicography system 
Obstetrics & Gynecology Science  2016;59(3):227-232.
Objective
Digital cervicography systems would be expected to reduce the costs of film cervicography, and provide the opportunity for "telemedicine-based" screening. We aimed to develop web-based digital cervicography system, and validate it compared with conventional film cervicography.
Methods
A hundred cases from five centers were prospectively included, and cervical images (analogue, digitalized by scanning analogue, and digital) were taken separately using both analogue (Cerviscope) and digital camera (Dr. Cervicam) in each patient. Nine specialists evaluated the three kinds of images of each case with time interval between evaluations of each image. To validate novel digitalized system, we analyzed intra-observer variance among evaluation results of three kinds of images.
Results
Sixty-three cases were finally analyzed after excluding technically defective cases that cannot be evaluable on analogue images. The generalized kappa for analogue versus digital image was 0.83, for analogue versus scanned image 0.72, and for digital versus scanned image was 0.71; all were in excellent consensus.
Conclusion
Digitalized cervicography system can be substituted for the film cervicography very reliably, and can be used as a promising telemedicine tool for cervical cancer screening.
doi:10.5468/ogs.2016.59.3.227
PMCID: PMC4871940  PMID: 27200314
Cervicography; Diagnosis; Digital; Telemedicine; Uterine cervical neoplasms
24.  Case report of solitary giant hepatic lymphangioma 
A hepatic lymphangioma is a rare benign neoplasm that is usually associated with systemic lymphangiomatosis. A solitary hepatic lymphangioma is extremely rare. Therefore, we present a rare case of a female patient who underwent right hepatectomy for solitary giant hepatic lymphangioma. A 42-year-old female presented to the emergency department with complaint of severe abdominal pain of the right upper quadrant. Abdominal computed tomography showed an approximately 23×30-cm sized, giant, relatively well-defined, homogenous cystic mass with few septa in the right liver (segments VII and VIII). The preoperative diagnosis was a giant hepatic cystadenoma or cystadenocarcinoma. We performed right hepatectomy. The permanent histopathological report revealed cystic lymphangioma of the liver. Although the prognosis of solitary hepatic lymphangioma after surgical resection is favorable, recurrence has been reported in literature.
doi:10.14701/kjhbps.2016.20.2.71
PMCID: PMC4874048  PMID: 27212994
Lymphangioma; Liver
25.  Impact of a Recombinant Biocontrol Bacterium, Pseudomonas fluorescens pc78, on Microbial Community in Tomato Rhizosphere 
The Plant Pathology Journal  2016;32(2):136-144.
Pseudomonas fluorescens pc78 is an effective biocontrol agent for soil-borne fungal diseases. We previously constructed a P43-gfp tagged biocontrol bacteria P. fluorescens pc78-48 to investigate bacterial traits in natural ecosystem and the environmental risk of genetically modified biocontrol bacteria in tomato rhizosphere. Fluctuation of culturable bacteria profile, microbial community structure, and potential horizontal gene transfer was investigated over time after the bacteria treatment to the tomato rhizosphere. Tagged gene transfer to other organisms such as tomato plants and bacteria cultured on various media was examined by polymerase chain reaction, using gene specific primers. Transfer of chromosomally integrated P43-gfp from pc78 to other organisms was not apparent. Population and colony types of culturable bacteria were not significantly affected by the introduction of P. fluorescens pc78 or pc78-48 into tomato rhizosphere. Additionally, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism profiles were investigated to estimate the influence on the microbial community structure in tomato rhizosphere between non-treated and pc78-48-treated samples. Interestingly, rhizosphere soil treated with strain pc78-48 exhibited a significantly different bacterial community structure compared to that of non-treated rhizosphere soil. Our results suggest that biocontrol bacteria treatment influences microbial community in tomato rhizosphere, while the chromosomally modified biocontrol bacteria may not pose any specific environmental risk in terms of gene transfer.
doi:10.5423/PPJ.OA.08.2015.0172
PMCID: PMC4853103  PMID: 27147933
gene transfer; microbial community; Pseudomonas fluorescens; T-RFLP; tomato rhizosphere

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