AIM: To study the preventive effects of Qianggan-Rongxian Decoction on liver fibrosis induced by dimethylnitrosamine (DMN) in rats.
METHODS: Male Wistar rats were randomly divided into hepatic fibrosis model group, control group and 3 treatment groups (12 rats in each group). Except for the normal control group, all the rats received 1% DMN (10 μL/kg body weight, i.p), 3 times a week for 4 wk. The rats in the 3 treatment groups including a high-dose DMN group (10 mL/kg), a medium-dose DMN group (7 mL/kg), and a low-dose DMN group (4 mL/kg) were daily gavaged with Qianggan-Rongxian Decoction, and the rats in the model and normal control groups were given saline vehicle. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to determine the changes in serum hyaluronic acid (HA), laminin (LN), and type IV collagen levels. Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels were measured using routine laboratory methods. Pathologic changes, particularly fibrosis, were examined by hematoxylin and eosin (HE) and Sirius red staining. Hepatic stellate cells (HSC) were examined by transmission electron microscopy.
RESULTS: Compared with the model control group, the serum levels of HA, LN, type IV collagen, ALT and AST were decreased markedly in the other groups after treatment with Qianggan-Rongxian Decoction, especially in the medium-dose DMN group (P < 0.05). Moreover, the area-density percentage of collagen fibrosis was lower in the Qianggan-Rongxian Decoction treatment groups than in the model group, and a more significant drop was observed in the medium-dose DMN group (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Qianggan-Rongxian Decoction can inhibit hepatic fibrosis due to chronic liver injury, delay the development of cirrhosis, and notably ameliorate liver function. It may be used as a safe and effective thera-peutic drug for patients with fibrosis.
Liver fibrosis; Qianggan-Rongxian Decoction; Prevention; Rat model; Dimethylnitrosamine
The intercalated disc (ICD) is a unique structure to the heart and plays vital roles in communication and signaling among cardiomyocytes. ICDs are formed and matured during postnatal development through a profound redistribution of the intercellular junctions, as well as recruitment and assembly of more than 200 proteins at the termini of cardiomyocytes. The molecular mechanism underlying this process is not completely understood. The mouse orthologs (mXinα and mXinβ) of human cardiomyopathy-associated (CMYA)/Xin actin-binding repeat-containing protein (XIRP) genes (CMYA1/XIRP1 and CMYA3/XIRP2, respectively) encode proteins localized to ICDs. Ablation of mXinα results in adult late-onset cardiomyopathy with conduction defects and up-regulation of mXinβ. ICD structural defects are found in adult but not juvenile mXinα-null hearts. On the other hand, loss of mXinβ leads to ICD defects at postnatal day 16.5, a developmental stage when the heart is forming ICDs, suggesting mXinβ is required for ICD formation. Using quantitative Western blot, we showed in this study that mXinβ but not mXinα was uniquely up-regulated during the redistribution of intercellular junction from the lateral membrane of cardiomyocytes to their termini. In the absence of mXinβ, the intercellular junctions failed to be restricted to the termini of the cells, and the onset of such defect correlated with the peak expression of mXinβ. Immunofluorescence staining and subcellular fractionation showed that mXinβ preferentially associated with the forming ICDs, further suggesting that mXinβ functioned locally to promote ICD maturation. In contrast, the spatiotemporal expression profile of mXinα and the lack of more severe ICD defects in mXinα−/−;mXinβ−/− double knockout hearts than in mXinβ−/− hearts suggested that mXinα was not essential for the postnatal formation of ICDs. A two-step model for the development of ICD is proposed where mXinβ is essential for the redistribution of intercellular junction components from the lateral puncta to the cell termini.
Xin repeat-containing family of proteins; Intercalated disc; Development; Maturation; N-cadherin; mXinα−/−;; mXinβ−/− double knockout
Background and aims
Liraglutide treatment can improve glycemic control with a concomitant weight loss, but the underlying mechanism on weight loss is not completely understood. Cardiac natriuretic peptides (NPs) can resist body fat accumulation through increasing adipocytes lypolysis. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that liraglutide-induced weight loss was associated with increased plasma NPs concentrations.
Thirty-one outpatients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) treated with metformin and other oral antidiabetic drugs except for thiazolidinediones (TZDs) were subcutaneously administered with liraglutide for 12 weeks. Body composition, abdominal visceral adipose tissue areas (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue areas (SAT) were assessed at pre- and post-treatment by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scanning and abdominal computerized tomography (CT). Plasma atrial natriuretic peptides (ANP) and B-type ventricular natriuretic peptides (BNP) concentrations were tested by commercial ELISA Kit quantitatively.
Following 12-week liraglutide treatment, body weight, waist circumference, total fat and lean mass, fat percentage, SAT and VAT areas were significantly reduced from baseline. Concurrently, plasma ANP and BNP levels were significantly increased following 12-week liraglutide treatment. There were significant correlations between the reductions in body compositions and the increases in both plasma ANP and BNP levels.
There were significant correlations between increases in both plasma ANP and BNP levels and changes in liraglutide-induced body composition. Our data implied that increases in plasma NPs may add a novel dimension to explain how liraglutide induces weight loss.
Liraglutide; Body composition; Weight loss; Cardiac natriuretic peptides
Radix aconite lateralis preparata (Fuzi), a folk medicine, has long been used for the treatment of diabetes and paralysis in China. We examined the effect of Fuzi alone on diabetic rats and Schwann cells in high glucose and the components responsible for its activity. The major constituents of FZE were identified by HPLC-MS/MS data. Male Sprague Dawley rats (n = 36) were randomly divided into control, diabetic, FZE 1.75 g/kg, FZE 3.50 g/kg, FZE 7.00 g/kg, and methylcobalamin groups. After two weeks treatment, nerve conduction velocity and paw withdrawal latency were measured. In vitro, the Schwann cells were grouped according to exposure: normal glucose (NG), normal glucose plus mannitol (NG+M), high glucose (HG), and HG plus different concentrations of FZE (0.1 µg/ml, 1.0 µg/ml, and 10.0 µg/ml). Oxygen free radicals and apoptosis were evaluated through DCFH2DA, DHE and annexin-PE/7-AAD assay, respectively. Apoptosis factors (Bax, Bcl-2, CytoC, caspase-3, and caspase-9) were analyzed using immunofluorescence. Nine alkaloids were identified. The results from animal model showed that FZE was effective in accelerating nerve conduction velocity and shortening paw withdrawal latency in diabetic rats. And in vitro, FZE was also found to protect Schwann cells against high glucose injury. FZE could significantly decrease the apoptotic ratio, superoxide anion and peroxide level. Furthermore, the apoptosis factors, including Bax, Bcl-2, CytoC, caspase-3, and caspase-9 were ameliorated in FZE treated groups. The HPLC-MSn method is simple and suitable for the identification of alkaloids in Fuzi. FZE has a protective effect in diabetic neuropathic rats, which is probably achieved by the antiapoptotic effect of FZE on Schwann cells. Apoptosis factor data imply that FZE protected Schwann cells through the mitochondria pathway. Alkaloids are major components contributing to the protective effect.
Genetic variants of the enzyme that metabolizes warfarin, cytochrome P-450 2C9 (CYP2C9), and of a key pharmacologic target of warfarin, vitamin K epoxide reductase (VKORC1), contribute to differences in patients’ responses to various warfarin doses, but the role of these variants during initial anticoagulation is not clear.
In 297 patients starting warfarin therapy, we assessed CYP2C9 genotypes (CYP2C9 *1, *2, and *3), VKORC1 haplotypes (designated A and non-A), clinical characteristics, response to therapy (as determined by the international normalized ratio [INR]), and bleeding events. The study outcomes were the time to the first INR within the therapeutic range, the time to the first INR of more than 4, the time above the therapeutic INR range, the INR response over time, and the warfarin dose requirement.
As compared with patients with the non-A/non-A haplotype, patients with the A/A haplotype of VKORC1 had a decreased time to the first INR within the therapeutic range (P = 0.02) and to the first INR of more than 4 (P = 0.003). In contrast, the CYP2C9 genotype was not a significant predictor of the time to the first INR within the therapeutic range (P = 0.57) but was a significant predictor of the time to the first INR of more than 4 (P = 0.03). Both the CYP2C9 genotype and VKORC1 haplotype had a significant influence on the required warfarin dose after the first 2 weeks of therapy.
Initial variability in the INR response to warfarin was more strongly associated with genetic variability in the pharmacologic target of warfarin, VKORC1, than with CYP2C9.
50% of women had obvious abnormal emotions before hysterectomy and hysterectomy can cause strong mental stress reaction. This study was to investigate the impact of psychological health education based integrated interventions on the preoperative negative emotions and stress of patients younger than 45 years receiving total hysterectomy. Forty patients undergoing total hysterectomy were randomly divided into psychological intervention (PI) group and control group (n=20 per group). Patients in PI received peri-operative psychological intervention (supportive psychotherapy, health education, individual depth psychotherapy, family and society supportive care, education on anesthesia and surgery etc.); Interventions were not used in control group. Hamilton Anxiety Scale and Hamilton Depression Rating Scale were used to evaluate patients in two groups on admission (T1) and before surgery (T2; after interventions in PI group). Serum levels of cortisol and IL-6 were detected at T1, T2 and the second day after surgery (T3). Results showed that 1) Patients had obvious anxiety and depression symptoms before and after total hysterectomy. For patients in PI group, the Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA) score decreased from 14.4±5.9 to 9.1±4.2 and the Hamilton Depressing Scale (HAMD) score from 17.8±3.5 to 9.4±6.8 after interventions; 2) In PI group, the serum cortisol was 13.4±3.9 μg/dl at T2 and 14.2±4.8 μg/dl at T3 which were significantly lower than that at T1 (16.6±4.0 μg/dl) and that in the control group at T2 (13.4±3.9/15.5±4.3 μg/dl, t=2.10, P<0.05). Thus, preoperative integrated intervention based on psychological health education can improve peri-operative negative emotions and psychological stress in young patients undergoing hysterectomy.
Hysterectomy; interventions; negative emotion; randomized controlled trial; stress
Studies have suggested a possible correlation between the newly identified E3 ubiquitin ligase ring finger protein 146 (RNF146) and tumor development. However, until now, studies on RNF146 have been restricted to poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation and ubiquitin ligation, whereas the role of RNF146 in tumor biology has rarely been reported. In the present study, the role of RNF146 in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was investigated. The results showed that the expression of RNF146 was increased in clinical lung cancer samples and cell lines. RNF146 expression correlated with tumor size, differentiation level, lymphatic metastasis, pTNM staging, and prognosis of patients in stage I. RNF146 expression was negatively correlated with Axin expression but positively correlated with the nuclear expression of β-catenin in NSCLC tissues. RNF146 downregulated the expression of Axin in lung cancer cell lines and induced the expression and nuclear distribution of β-catenin. Overexpression of RNF146 in NSCLC cell lines increased the levels of cyclinD1, cyclinE, and CDK4, promoted cell cycle G0/G1-S transitions, and regulated cell proliferation. Overexpression of RNF146 led to upregulated levels of matrix metalloproteinases 2 and 7 and enhanced lung cancer cell invasiveness, events that were mediated by the classical Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. In summary, the data in the present study indicate that RNF146 regulated the development and progression of NSCLC by enhancing cell growth, invasion, and survival, suggesting that RNF146 may be a potential treatment target in NSCLC.
Overexpression or/and activating mutation of FLT3 kinase play a major driving role in the pathogenesis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Hence, pharmacologic inhibitors of FLT3 are of therapeutic potential for AML treatment. In this study, BPR1J-340 was identified as a novel potent FLT3 inhibitor by biochemical kinase activity (IC50 approximately 25 nM) and cellular proliferation (GC50 approximately 5 nM) assays. BPR1J-340 inhibited the phosphorylation of FLT3 and STAT5 and triggered apoptosis in FLT3-ITD+ AML cells. The pharmacokinetic parameters of BPR1J-340 in rats were determined. BPR1J-340 also demonstrated pronounced tumor growth inhibition and regression in FLT3-ITD+ AML murine xenograft models. The combination treatment of the HDAC inhibitor vorinostat (SAHA) with BPR1J-340 synergistically induced apoptosis via Mcl-1 down-regulation in MOLM-13 AML cells, indicating that the combination of selective FLT3 kinase inhibitors and HDAC inhibitors could exhibit clinical benefit in AML therapy. Our results suggest that BPR1J-340 may be further developed in the preclinical and clinical studies as therapeutics in AML treatments.
Haemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) is a severe, life-threatening disease with symptoms such as haemolytic anaemia, renal failure, and a low platelet count. Possible aetiology includes bacterial infections, medication, post-hematopoietic cell transplantation, pregnancy, autoimmune disease, and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
We report the case of a 21-year-old healthy man who developed acute renal failure caused by HUS. Typical symptoms of HUS combined with severe uraemia developed following a large local reaction after suspected Solenopsis invicta (fire ant) bites. He was successfully treated with plasma exchange and achieved complete recovery of renal function.
This is the first case illustrating a serious systemic reaction of HUS to fire ant bites, and highlights this severe complication in patients who sustain fire ant bites.
Fire ant; Haemolytic-uremic syndrome; Plasma exchange; Renal failure; Venomous insects
The aim of this study was to compare the long-term survival outcome and late toxicity in patients with FIGO (International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics) stage IIB cervical carcinoma after two treatment modalities, ie, concurrent chemoradiotherapy followed by radical surgery and concurrent chemoradiotherapy followed by high-dose-rate intracavitary brachytherapy.
Between November 2004 and November 2011, 240 patients with FIGO stage IIB cervical carcinoma were analyzed, comprising 119 patients treated with concurrent chemoradiotherapy followed by radical surgery (group 1) and 121 patients treated with concurrent chemoradiotherapy followed by high-dose-rate intracavitary brachytherapy (group 2). Local control, overall survival, progression-free survival, and treatment-related complications were compared between the two groups.
The median follow-up duration was 36 months. Concurrent chemoradiotherapy followed by radical surgery showed a survival benefit when comparing group 1 and group 2 (3-year overall survival, 94.9% versus 84.6%, P=0.011; 3-year progression-free survival, 91.0% versus 81.8%, P=0.049, respectively). Three-year local pelvic control was 94.6% in group 1 and 93.3% in group 2 (P=0.325). Prognostic factors in group 1 were: age (≤35 years versus >35 years), 3-year progression-free survival (74.1% versus 90.9%, P=0.037); tumor diameter (≥6 cm versus <6 cm); and 3-year progression-free survival, (60.6% versus 92.9%, P=0.004). Prognostic factors in group 2 were: tumor diameter (≥4 cm versus <4 cm); 3-year overall survival (78.0% versus 94.8%, P=0.043); tumor diameter (≥6 cm versus <6 cm); 3-year progression-free survival (42.9% versus 84.2%, P=0.032); and 3-year overall survival (42.9% versus 87.1%, P=0.013). Further, 50 patients (42.02%) in group 1 and 46 patients (38.02%) in group 2 suffered from late complications. Analysis of the difference in composition of late complications showed that the rate of leg edema was higher in group 1 (35.29% versus 4.96%, P=0.000) while the rate of radiation enteritis was higher in group 2 (30.58% versus 5.04%, P=0.000).
In patients with FIGO stage IIB cervical carcinoma, concurrent chemoradiotherapy followed by radical surgery achieved higher overall survival and progression-free survival rates in comparison with radical radiotherapy associated with concurrent chemotherapy. Tumor diameter could be a common prognostic factor in these two groups of patients.
cervical carcinoma; preoperative concurrent chemoradiotherapy; radical radiotherapy; prognostic factors; late toxicity
Diabetic polyneuropathy (DPN) presents as a wide variety of sensorimotor symptoms and affects approximately 50% of diabetic patients. Changes in the neural circuits may occur in the early stages in diabetes and are implicated in the development of DPN. Therefore, we aimed to detect changes in the expression of isolectin B4 (IB4, the marker for nonpeptidergic unmyelinated fibers and their cell bodies) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP, the marker for peptidergic fibers and their cell bodies) in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and spinal cord of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced type 1 diabetic rats showing alterations in sensory and motor function. We also used cholera toxin B subunit (CTB) to show the morphological changes of the myelinated fibers and motor neurons. STZ-induced diabetic rats exhibited hyperglycemia, decreased body weight gain, mechanical allodynia and impaired locomotor activity. In the DRG and spinal dorsal horn, IB4-labeled structures decreased, but both CGRP immunostaining and CTB labeling increased from day 14 to day 28 in diabetic rats. In spinal ventral horn, CTB labeling decreased in motor neurons in diabetic rats. Treatment with intrathecal injection of insulin at the early stages of DPN could alleviate mechanical allodynia and impaired locomotor activity in diabetic rats. The results suggest that the alterations of the neural circuits between spinal nerve and spinal cord via the DRG and ventral root might be involved in DPN.
diabetic polyneuropathy; neural circuit; spinal cord; dorsal root ganglion; primary afferent; rat
To explore spleen hemodynamic alteration in liver fibrosis with dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI), and to determine how to stage liver fibrosis with spleen DCE-MRI parameters.
Materials and Methods
Sixteen piglets were prospectively used to model liver fibrosis staged by liver biopsy, and underwent spleen DCE-MRI on 0, 5th, 9th, 16th and 21st weekend after modeling this disease. DCE-MRI parameters including time to peak (TTP), positive enhancement integral (PEI), maximum slope of increase (MSI) and maximum slope of decrease (MSD) of spleen were measured, and statistically analyzed to stage this disease.
Spearman's rank correlation tests showed that TTP tended to increase with increasing stages of liver fibrosis (r = 0.647, P<0.001), and that PEI tended to decrease from stage 0 to 4 (r = −0.709, P<0.001). MSD increased slightly from stage 0 to 2 (P>0.05), and decreased from stage 2 to 4 (P<0.05). MSI increased from stage 0 to 1, and decreased from stage 1 to 4 (all P>0.05). Mann-Whitney tests demonstrated that TTP and PEI could classify fibrosis between stage 0 and 1–4, between 0–1 and 2–4, between 0–2 and 3–4, or between 0–3 and 4 (all P<0.01). MSD could discriminate between 0–2 and 3–4 (P = 0.006), or between 0–3 and 4 (P = 0.012). MSI could not differentiate between any two stages. Receiver operating characteristic analysis illustrated that area under receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of TTP was larger than of PEI for classifying stage ≥1 and ≥2 (AUC = 0.851 and 0.783, respectively). PEI could best classify stage ≥3 and 4 (AUC = 0.903 and 0.96, respectively).
Spleen DCE-MRI has potential to monitor spleen hemodynamic alteration and classify liver fibrosis stages.
To evaluate the effects of near-infrared (NIR) laser irradiation of microspheres (MS) containing hollow gold nanospheres (HAuNS) and paclitaxel (PTX) administered intra-arterially in an animal model.
Materials and Methods
For the ex-vivo experiments, VX2 tumor-bearing rabbits underwent hepatic artery (HA) administration of MS-HAuNS or MS. The animals were killed, the liver tumors were subjected to NIR irradiation, and temperature changes were estimated with magnetic resonance imaging. For the in-vivo study, VX2 tumor-bearing rabbits were randomized to 3 groups: MS-HAuNS-PTX-plus-NIR, MS-HAuNS-PTX, and saline-plus-NIR. Laser irradiation was delivered at 1 hour and at 3 days after HA administration of saline or MS-HAuNS-PTX. Animals were euthanized and tumors were analyzed for necrosis and apoptosis. Plasma samples were collected from the MS-HAuNS-PTX-plus-NIR animals for PTX analysis.
Ex-vivo experiments showed intratumoral heating in animals that received MS-HAuNS but no temperature change in animals that received MS. Animals treated with MS-HAuNS-PTX-plus-NIR showed a transient increase in plasma PTX levels after each NIR irradiation and significantly greater tumor necrosis than did those that received MS-HAuNS-PTX or saline-plus-NIR (44.9% vs. 13.8% or 23.7%, respectively; P < .0001). The mean apoptotic index in the MS-HAuNS-PTX-NIR group (5.01 ± 1.66) was significantly higher than that in the MS-HAuNS-PTX (2.99 ± 0.97) or saline-plus-NIR (1.96 ± 0.40) groups (P = .0013).
NIR laser irradiation after MS-HAuNS-PTX administration results in intratumoral heating and increases the efficacy of treatment. Further studies are required to evaluate the optimal laser settings to maximize therapeutic efficacy.
Advances in nanotechnology for oncology will arise from an increased understanding of the interaction between nanomaterials and biological systems; refinement of multifunctional nanocomposites for applications such as simultaneous imaging and therapy (theranostics); and harnessing of the unique physicochemical properties arising from nanoscale effects which distinguish them from small-molecular-weight molecules in the detection and destruction of cancer cells with high selectivity and efficiency. The major challenges in successful clinical translation of tumor specific nanoparticle delivery include overcoming various biological barriers and demonstrating enhanced therapeutic efficacy over the current standard of care in the clinic. For many nanoparticle mediated theranostic applications, image guidance can play a crucial role not only in exploiting the cancer specific imaging capabilities of these novel particles, but in planning, targeting, monitoring and verifying treatment delivery, thus enhancing the safety and efficacy of these emerging procedures.
nanoparticles; targeting; barriers; photothermal ablation therapy
High recurrence rates after surgical resection remain a formidable challenge in many cancers. Although chemo- and/or radiotherapy are often applied following surgery to prevent tumor relapse, these treatments are generally accompanied by serious side effects and challenges in their delivery that limit their effectiveness. Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), which possess unique physicochemical properties, have the potential to enhance the efficacy of these conventional treatment modalities. In this review, we briefly describe the current state of AuNP research in the area of cancer theranostics. Recent studies have investigated AuNPs’ use as photothermal converters, drug carriers, radiosensitizers, and imaging probes in a wide range of applications for cancer diagnosis and therapy. AuNPs have promise in minimally invasive thermal ablation therapy, diagnostic imaging, intraoperative tumor margin delineation, and multimodal anticancer therapy. The successful translation of AuNPs into the clinic will have significant impact on the care of cancer patients using image-guided, minimally invasive approaches.
Cancer theranostics; gold nanoparticles (AuNPs); image-guided intervention
gold; porous silicon; nanoassembly; thermal therapy
Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) is one of the oldest oilseed crops. In order to investigate the evolutionary characters according to the Sesame Genome Project, apart from sequencing its nuclear genome, we sequenced the complete chloroplast genome of S. indicum cv. Yuzhi 11 (white seeded) using Illumina and 454 sequencing. Comparisons of chloroplast genomes between S. indicum and the 18 other higher plants were then analyzed. The chloroplast genome of cv. Yuzhi 11 contains 153,338 bp and a total of 114 unique genes (KC569603). The number of chloroplast genes in sesame is the same as that in Nicotiana tabacum, Vitis vinifera and Platanus occidentalis. The variation in the length of the large single-copy (LSC) regions and inverted repeats (IR) in sesame compared to 18 other higher plant species was the main contributor to size variation in the cp genome in these species. The 77 functional chloroplast genes, except for ycf1 and ycf2, were highly conserved. The deletion of the cp ycf1 gene sequence in cp genomes may be due either to its transfer to the nuclear genome, as has occurred in sesame, or direct deletion, as has occurred in Panax ginseng and Cucumis sativus. The sesame ycf2 gene is only 5,721 bp in length and has lost about 1,179 bp. Nucleotides 1–585 of ycf2 when queried in BLAST had hits in the sesame draft genome. Five repeats (R10, R12, R13, R14 and R17) were unique to the sesame chloroplast genome. We also found that IR contraction/expansion in the cp genome alters its rate of evolution. Chloroplast genes and repeats display the signature of convergent evolution in sesame and other species. These findings provide a foundation for further investigation of cp genome evolution in Sesamum and other higher plants.
Deqi sensation is believed to be important in clinical efficacy according to TCM theory. The measuring method of Deqi sensation has significant implications for the result of research trials. This study makes an investigation on acupuncture-experienced patients and expert acupuncturists in China and aims to find out the patient's needling sensations and acupuncturist's sensations which can be acceptable as descriptors of Deqi sensation, so as to provide foundation for more systematic and sensitive quantitative evaluation method of Deqi sensation. Results of this survey indicated that the Deqi sensation noted by both patient and acupuncturist is equally important to the treatment efficacy. It is found that there are some differences between the patients' real-life experience and the acupuncturists' expectations on patients' Deqi sensation. The “dull pain,” “aching,” “sore,” “numb,” “distended,” “heavy,” “electric,” “throbbing,” “warmness,” “coolness,” “spreading,” and “radiating” can be considered as the main manifestations of Deqi sensations. The acupuncturists believed that Deqi sensations were mainly “pulling,” “tight,” and “throbbing.” We suggest developing a questionnaire measuring the Deqi sensations which includes both the sensations of the patient and acupuncturist, and this would be very important and necessary for a better understanding of the relationship between Deqi sensation and acupuncture effects in future studies.
Reduced beta2-glycoprotein I (beta2-GPI) is a free thiol-containing form of beta2-GPI that displays a powerful effect in protecting endothelial cells from oxidative stress-induced cell death. The present study aims to investigate the effect of beta2-GPI or reduced beta2-GPI on ox-LDL-induced foam cell formation and on cell apoptosis and to determine the possible mechanisms.
The RAW264.7 macrophage cell line was selected as the experimental material. Oil red O staining and cholesterol measurement were used to detect cholesterol accumulation qualitatively and quantitatively, respectively. Flow cytometry was used to detect cell apoptosis. Real-time quantitative PCR was used to detect the mRNA expression of the main proteins that are associated with the transport of cholesterol, such as CD36, SRB1, ABCA1 and ABCG1. Western blot analysis was used to detect the protein expression of certain apoptosis-related proteins, such as caspase-9, caspase-3, p38 MAPK/p-p38 MAPK and JNK/p-JNK.
Beta2-GPI or reduced beta2-GPI decreased ox-LDL-induced cholesterol accumulation (96.45 ± 8.51 μg/mg protein vs. 114.35 ± 10.38 μg/mg protein, p < 0.05;74.44 ± 5.27 μg/mg protein vs. 114.35 ± 10.38 μg/mg protein, p < 0.01) and cell apoptosis (30.00 ± 5.10% vs. 38.70 ± 7.76%, p < 0.05; 20.66 ± 2.50% vs. 38.70 ± 7.76%, p < 0.01), and there are significant differences between beta2-GPI and reduced beta2-GPI (p < 0.05). Reduced beta2-GPI decreased the ox-LDL-induced expression of CD36 mRNA and ABCA1 mRNA (p < 0.05), as well as CD36, cleaved caspase-9, cleaved caspase-3, p-p38 MAPK and p-JNK proteins (p < 0.05 or p < 0.01). Beta2-GPI did not significantly decrease the expression of ABCA1 mRNA and the p-p38 MAPK protein.
Both beta2-GPI and reduced beta2-GPI inhibit ox-LDL-induced foam cell formation and cell apoptosis, and the latter exhibits a stronger inhibition effect. Both of these glycoproteins reduce the lipid intake of macrophages by downregulating CD36 as well as protein expression. Reduced beta2-GPI inhibits cell apoptosis by reducing the ox-LDL-induced phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and JNK, and the amount of cleaved caspase-3 and caspase-9. Beta2-GPI does not inhibit the ox-LDL-induced phosphorylation of p38 MAPK.
Reduced beta2-glycoprotein I; Beta2-glycoprotein I; Ox-LDL; Foam cell; Apoptosis
To determine the optimal standardized uptake value (SUV) of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, at which the PET-defined gross tumor volume (GTVPET) best matches with the pathological volume (GTVPATH) in the cervical cancer.
Materials and Methods
Ten patients with the cervical cancer who underwent surgery were enrolled in this study. The excised specimens were processed for whole-mount serial sections and H-E staining. The tumor borders were outlined in sections under a microscope, histopathological images were scanned and the GTVPATH calculated. The GTVPET was delineated automatically by using various percentages relative to the maximal SUV and absolute SUV. The optimal threshold SUV was further obtained as the value at which the GTVPET best matched with the GTVPATH.
An average of 85±10% shrinkage of tissue was observed after the formalin fixation. The GTVPATH was 13.38±2.80 cm3 on average. The optimal threshold on percentile SUV and absolute SUV were 40.50%±3.16% and 7.45±1.10, respectively. The correlation analysis showed that the optimal percentile SUV threshold was inversely correlated with GTVPATH (p<0.05) and tumor diameter (p<0.05). The absolute SUV was also positively correlated with SUVmax (p<0.05).
The pathological volume could provide the more accurate tumor volume. The optimal SUV of FDG for PET imaging by use of GTVPATH as standard for cervical cancer target volume delineation was thus determined in this study, and more cases are being evaluated to substantiate this conclusion.
Plasmodium vivax is the main malaria parasite in China, and China is now making efforts to eliminate malaria by 2020. Radical cure of vivax malaria is one of challenges for malaria elimination. The purpose is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of artemisinin-naphthoquine (ANQ) versus chloroquine-primaquine (CQ-PQ) in treatment of vivax malaria in Yunnan Province, China.
An open-label randomized and non-inferiority design, eligible patients with monoinfections of P. vivax were randomly assigned to receive either a total target dose of ANQ 24.5 mg/kg (naphthoquine 7 mg/kg and artemisinin 17.5 mg/kg), once a day for three days, or a total CQ dose of 24 mg base/kg, once a day for three days plus a PQ dose of 0.45 mg base/kg/day, once a day for eight days. Patients were followed up for one year. The difference in efficacy between ANQ and CQ-PQ was compared via Wilson’s test.
By day 42, the number of patients free of recurrence was 125 (98.4%; 95% Confidence interval, 94.4-99.8%) for ANQ arm and 123 (96.1%; 95%CI, 91.1-98.7%) for CQ-PQ, and non-significant (P = 0.4496). By day 365, the number was 101 (79.5%; 95%CI, 71.8-85.9%) for ANQ and 106 (82.8%; 95%CI, 75.1-88.9%) for CQ-PQ, and non-significant (P = 0.610). So the proportions of patients free of recurrence had no significant difference between ANQ and CQ-PQ groups by day 28, 42 and 365; compared with CQ-PQ, the side effect of ANQ was mild.
ANQ is non-inferior to CQ-PQ in terms of patients free of recurrence, and safer than CQ-PQ.
Plasmodium vivax; Artemisinin-naphthoquine; Efficacy; Safety
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation can affect phenotypic variation; therefore, knowing its distribution within and among individuals is of importance to understanding many human diseases. Intra-individual mtDNA variation (heteroplasmy) has been generally assumed to be random. We used massively parallel sequencing to assess heteroplasmy across ten tissues and demonstrate that in unrelated individuals there are tissue-specific, recurrent mutations. Certain tissues, notably kidney, liver and skeletal muscle, displayed the identical recurrent mutations that were undetectable in other tissues in the same individuals. Using RFLP analyses we validated one of the tissue-specific mutations in the two sequenced individuals and replicated the patterns in two additional individuals. These recurrent mutations all occur within or in very close proximity to sites that regulate mtDNA replication, strongly implying that these variations alter the replication dynamics of the mutated mtDNA genome. These recurrent variants are all independent of each other and do not occur in the mtDNA coding regions. The most parsimonious explanation of the data is that these frequently repeated mutations experience tissue-specific positive selection, probably through replication advantage.
DNA mutations are expected to be formed randomly, thus any reproducible pattern of DNA somatic mutations across multiple individuals or even across organs within each individual is highly unexpected. Using next generation sequencing of multiple tissues from the same individuals we found several somatic mutations in mitochondrial DNA that appear in a heteroplasmic state in all individuals examined, but only in particular tissues. These mutations were only found in known regions of replication control for the mitochondrial DNA. These data imply the presence of tissue-specific positive selection for these variants.
Although it is difficult in fully clarifying its mechanisms and effects, Deqi still can be considered as an instant “sign” of acupuncture response of the patient and acupuncturist, which has a significant value in clinic and research. This paper aims to take a history trace to the development of Deqi theory, understand the connotation of Deqi based on Chinese medicine theory, and establish an evaluation methodology accordingly. We believe that Deqi is not only the needling sensation, but also the perception of changes of qi′ flowing of the patient elicited by needling on acupoints. The signs of Deqi include the patient's subjective perception (needling sensation), the objective physiological changes (common referred to the skin redness around the acupoints and the response of brain), and the acupuncturists' perception. Although Deqi is essential for attaining the effect, it may not be the necessary sign of the ideal efficacy. It is found that the characteristics of Deqi sensations, Deqi's intensity, time duration, and the propagation will all affect the efficacy. Thus, acupuncturists should pay attention to elicit and control Deqi state, which is also the key point in modern research on the therapeutic implications of Deqi.
To document the causes of high signal intensity of the meniscus which is not caused by definite meniscal tears on MR imaging, through correlation with histological examination.
Materials and Methods
For the correlation between the MR image and histology, we obtained prospectively 31 meniscal specimens from 21 patients. Proton density-weighted turbo spin-echo MR images were used. Minimal tear, thinning of the lamellar layer, degeneration of the central layer, and radial tie fibers were detected upon histological examination, and were correlated with the corresponding MR images.
Minimal tear of the lamellar layer was seen in 60 zones out of 100 slides. On MR images, 29 (48.3%) of these 60 zones had high signal intensity. Thinning of the lamellar layer was seen in 24 zones, with 7 (29.2%) having high signal intensity. 57 central zones showed degenerative change in the central layer and high signal intensity on all corresponding MR images. Radial tie fibers in the central layer appeared as high signal intensity areas.
Minimal tear and thinning of the lamellar layer, degeneration and radial tie fibers of the central layer of the meniscus cause high signal intensity on MR images.
Knee Joint; Knee injuries; Menisci, tibial; MR