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1.  Physical Activity, Body Mass Index, and Cardiorespiratory Fitness among School Children in Taiwan: A Cross-Sectional Study 
There is evidence that cardiorespiratory fitness and physical activity significantly reduce cardiovascular risks in adults. A better understanding of the association between cardiorespiratory fitness, physical activity, and childhood obesity is vital in assessing the benefits of interventions to prevent obesity. This study was to examine the relationship between physical activity, body mass index, and cardiorespiratory fitness levels in Taiwanese children. A cross-sectional study was designed. Study participants consisted of 2419 school children (1230 males and 1189 females) aged 12 years old living in a southern Taiwan county with one the highest countrywide rates of childhood obesity. The weight status of the participants was defined as underweight, normal, overweight, or obese according to specific criteria. Cardiorespiratory fitness was then assessed by an 800-m run. Participants were queried on their physical activity habits via a questionnaire survey. The overall prevalence of overweight/obesity was 29.6%. Normal, underweight and overweight boys and girls had an increased odds ratio of being categorized with higher cardiorespiratory fitness than obese one for both gender. A significantly higher level of cardiorespiratory fitness was found in children who engaged in regular physical activity than in children who engaged only in irregular physical activity. Obese children are more likely to lack cardiorespiratory fitness. Physically active children have significantly better cardiorespiratory fitness levels than inactive children. This study supports the conclusion that BMI and physical activity are significantly correlated with cardiorespiratory fitness levels. Findings may provide educational professionals with information to assist their developing effective health promotion programs to healthy weight and improving cardiorespiratory fitness for children.
PMCID: PMC4113875  PMID: 25032742
children; obesity; cardiorespiratory; health promotion; school nursing
2.  Preventive effect of Qianggan-Rongxian Decoction on rat liver fibrosis 
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.
PMCID: PMC2716622  PMID: 18567088
Liver fibrosis; Qianggan-Rongxian Decoction; Prevention; Rat model; Dimethylnitrosamine
3.  Localization of ANP-synthesizing cells in rat stomach 
AIM: To study the morphological positive expression of antrial natriuretic peptide (ANP)-synthesizing cells and ultrastructural localization and the relationship between ANP-synthesizing cells and microvessel density in the stomach of rats and to analyze the distribution of the three histologically distinct regions of ANP-synthesizing cells.
METHODS: Using immunohistochemical techniques, we studied positive expression of ANP-synthesizing cells in rat stomach. A postembedding immunogold microscopy technique was used for ultrastructural localization of ANP-synthesizing cells. Microvessel density in the rat stomach was estimated using tannic acid-ferric chloride (TAFC) method staining. Distribution of ANP-synthesizing cells were studied in different regions of rat stomach histochemically.
RESULTS: Positive expression of ANP-synthesizing cells were localized in the gastric mucosa of rats. Localization of ANP-synthesizing cells identified them to be enterochrochromaffin cells (EC) by using a postembedding immunogold electron microscopy technique. EC cells were in the basal third of the cardiac mucosa region. ANP-synthesizing cells existed in different regions of rat stomach and its density was largest in the gastric cardiac region, and the distribution order of ANP-synthesizing cells in density was cardiac region, pyloric region and fundic region in mucosa layer. We have also found a close relationship between ANP-synthesizing cells and microvessel density in gastric mucosa of rats using TAFC staining.
CONCLUSION: ANP-synthesizing cells are expressed in the gastric mucosa. EC synthesize ANP. There is a close relationship between ANP-synthesizing cells and microvessel density in gastric mucosa of rats.The distribution density of ANP-synthesizing cells is largest in the gastric cardiac region.
PMCID: PMC4088169  PMID: 17007021
Antrial natriuretic peptide-synthesizing cells; Microvessel density; Close relationship; Gastric cardiac region
4.  Role of CTGF in sensitivity to hyperthermia in ovarian and uterine cancers 
Cell reports  2016;17(6):1621-1631.
Even though hyperthermia is a promising treatment for cancer, the relationship between specific temperatures and clinical benefits of and predictors of sensitivity of cancer to hyperthermia are poorly understood. Ovarian and uterine tumors have diverse hyperthermia sensitivities. Integrative analyses of the specific gene signatures in and the differences in response to hyperthermia between hyperthermia-sensitive and -resistant cancer cells identified CTGF as a key regulator of sensitivity. CTGF silencing sensitized resistant cells to hyperthermia. CTGF siRNA treatment also sensitized resistant cancers to localized hyperthermia induced by copper sulfide nanoparticles and near-infrared laser in orthotopic ovarian cancer models. CTGF silencing aggravated energy stress induced by hyperthermia and enhanced apoptosis of hyperthermia resistant cancers.
PMCID: PMC5123842  PMID: 27806300
Hyperthermia; ovarian cancer; CTGF; DOPC-liposome; thermosensitivity; copper sulfide nanoparticle
5.  Molecular Insight into Affinities of Gallated and Nongallated Proanthocyanidins Dimers to Lipid Bilayers 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:37680.
Experimental studies have proved the beneficial effects of proanthocyanidins (Pas) relating to interaction with the cell membrane. But the detailed mechanisms and structure-function relationship was unclear. In present study, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were used to study the interactions of four PA dimers with a lipid bilayer composed of 1:1 mixed 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl phosphatidylcholine (POPC) and 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl phosphatidylethanolamine (POPE). The results showed that the gallated PA dimers had much higher affinities to the bilayer with lower binding free energies compared with nongallated PA dimers. The gallated PA dimers penetrated deeper into the bilayer and formed more hydrogen bonds (H-bonds) with bilayer oxygen atoms, especially the deeper oxygen atoms of the lipids simultaneously, thus inducing stronger lateral expansion of the membrane and lipid tails disorder. The present results provided molecular insights into the interactions between PA dimers and bio-membranes and agreed with our experimental results well. These molecular interactions helped to elucidate the structure-function relationship of the PA dimers and provided a foundation for a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of the bioactivities of PA oligomers.
PMCID: PMC5118708  PMID: 27874097
6.  Synthetic nanoparticles for delivery of radioisotopes and radiosensitizers in cancer therapy 
Cancer Nanotechnology  2016;7(1):9.
Radiotherapy has been, and will continue to be, a critical modality to treat cancer. Since the discovery of radiation-induced cytotoxicity in the late 19th century, both external and internal radiation sources have provided tremendous benefits to extend the life of cancer patients. Despite the dramatic improvement of radiation techniques, however, one challenge persists to limit the anti-tumor efficacy of radiotherapy, which is to maximize the deposited dose in tumor while sparing the rest of the healthy vital organs. Nanomedicine has stepped into the spotlight of cancer diagnosis and therapy during the past decades. Nanoparticles can potentiate radiotherapy by specifically delivering radionuclides or radiosensitizers into tumors, therefore enhancing the efficacy while alleviating the toxicity of radiotherapy. This paper reviews recent advances in synthetic nanoparticles for radiotherapy and radiosensitization, with a focus on the enhancement of in vivo anti-tumor activities. We also provide a brief discussion on radiation-associated toxicities as this is an area that, up to date, has been largely missing in the literature and should be closely examined in future studies involving nanoparticle-mediated radiosensitization.
PMCID: PMC5112292  PMID: 27909463
Nanoparticles; Radiotherapy; Radiosensitization; Radioisotopes
7.  Qishen granules inhibit myocardial inflammation injury through regulating arachidonic acid metabolism 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:36949.
Qishen granules (QSG), a traditional Chinese medicine, have been prescribed widely in the treatment of coronary heart diseases. Previous studies demonstrated that QSG had anti-inflammatory and cardio-protective effects in mice with acute myocardial infarction (AMI). However, the mechanisms by which QSG attenuate inflammation and prevent post-AMI heart failure (HF) are still unclear. In this study, we explored the anti-inflammatory mechanisms of QSG by in vitro and in vivo experiments. A novel inflammatory injury model of H9C2 cells was induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated macrophage-conditioned media (CM). An animal model of AMI was conducted by ligation of left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery in mice. We found that QSG inhibited release of cytokines from LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages and protected H9C2 cardiac cells against CM-induced injury. In vivo results showed that QSG administration could improve cardiac functions and alter pathological changes in model of AMI. QSG regulated multiple key molecules, including phospholipases A2 (PLA2), cyclooxygenases (COXs) and lipoxygenases (LOXs), in arachidonic acid metabolism pathway. Interestingly, QSG also targeted TNF-α-NF-κB and IL-6-JAK2-STAT3 signaling pathways. Taken together, QSG achieve synergistic effects in mitigating post-AMI HF by regulating multiple targets in inflammatory pathways. This study provides insights into anti-inflammatory therapeutics in managing HF after AMI.
PMCID: PMC5105076  PMID: 27833128
8.  Erythropoietin Stimulates Tumor Growth via EphB4 
Cancer cell  2015;28(5):610-622.
While recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEpo) has been widely used to treat anemia in cancer patients, concerns about its adverse effects on patient survival have emerged. A lack of correlation between expression of the canonical EpoR and rhEpo’s effects on cancer cells prompted us to consider the existence of an alternative Epo receptor. Here, we identified EphB4 as an Epo receptor that triggers downstream signaling via STAT3 and promotes rhEpo induced tumor growth and progression. In human ovarian and breast cancer samples, expression of EphB4 rather than the canonical EpoR correlated with decreased disease-specific survival in rhEpo-treated patients. These results identify EphB4 as a critical mediator of erythropoietin-induced tumor progression and further provide clinically significant dimension to the biology of erythropoietin.
PMCID: PMC4643364  PMID: 26481148
9.  Height and Breast Cancer Risk: Evidence From Prospective Studies and Mendelian Randomization 
Zhang, Ben | Shu, Xiao-Ou | Delahanty, Ryan J. | Zeng, Chenjie | Michailidou, Kyriaki | Bolla, Manjeet K. | Wang, Qin | Dennis, Joe | Wen, Wanqing | Long, Jirong | Li, Chun | Dunning, Alison M. | Chang-Claude, Jenny | Shah, Mitul | Perkins, Barbara J. | Czene, Kamila | Darabi, Hatef | Eriksson, Mikael | Bojesen, Stig E. | Nordestgaard, Børge G. | Nielsen, Sune F. | Flyger, Henrik | Lambrechts, Diether | Neven, Patrick | Wildiers, Hans | Floris, Giuseppe | Schmidt, Marjanka K. | Rookus, Matti A. | van den Hurk, Katja | de Kort, Wim L. A. M. | Couch, Fergus J. | Olson, Janet E. | Hallberg, Emily | Vachon, Celine | Rudolph, Anja | Seibold, Petra | Flesch-Janys, Dieter | Peto, Julian | dos-Santos-Silva, Isabel | Fletcher, Olivia | Johnson, Nichola | Nevanlinna, Heli | Muranen, Taru A. | Aittomäki, Kristiina | Blomqvist, Carl | Li, Jingmei | Humphreys, Keith | Brand, Judith | Guénel, Pascal | Truong, Thérèse | Cordina-Duverger, Emilie | Menegaux, Florence | Burwinkel, Barbara | Marme, Frederik | Yang, Rongxi | Surowy, Harald | Benitez, Javier | Zamora, M. Pilar | Perez, Jose I. A. | Cox, Angela | Cross, Simon S. | Reed, Malcolm W. R. | Andrulis, Irene L. | Knight, Julia A. | Glendon, Gord | Tchatchou, Sandrine | Sawyer, Elinor J. | Tomlinson, Ian | Kerin, Michael J. | Miller, Nicola | Chenevix-Trench, Georgia | Haiman, Christopher A. | Henderson, Brian E. | Schumacher, Fredrick | Marchand, Loic Le | Lindblom, Annika | Margolin, Sara | Hooning, Maartje J. | Martens, John W. M. | Tilanus-Linthorst, Madeleine M. A. | Collée, J. Margriet | Hopper, John L. | Southey, Melissa C. | Tsimiklis, Helen | Apicella, Carmel | Slager, Susan | Toland, Amanda E. | Ambrosone, Christine B. | Yannoukakos, Drakoulis | Giles, Graham G. | Milne, Roger L. | McLean, Catriona | Fasching, Peter A. | Haeberle, Lothar | Ekici, Arif B. | Beckmann, Matthias W. | Brenner, Hermann | Dieffenbach, Aida Karina | Arndt, Volker | Stegmaier, Christa | Swerdlow, Anthony J. | Ashworth, Alan | Orr, Nick | Jones, Michael | Figueroa, Jonine | Garcia-Closas, Montserrat | Brinton, Louise | Lissowska, Jolanta | Dumont, Martine | Winqvist, Robert | Pylkäs, Katri | Jukkola-Vuorinen, Arja | Grip, Mervi | Brauch, Hiltrud | Brüning, Thomas | Ko, Yon-Dschun | Peterlongo, Paolo | Manoukian, Siranoush | Bonanni, Bernardo | Radice, Paolo | Bogdanova, Natalia | Antonenkova, Natalia | Dörk, Thilo | Mannermaa, Arto | Kataja, Vesa | Kosma, Veli-Matti | Hartikainen, Jaana M. | Devilee, Peter | Seynaeve, Caroline | Van Asperen, Christi J. | Jakubowska, Anna | Lubiński, Jan | Jaworska-Bieniek, Katarzyna | Durda, Katarzyna | Hamann, Ute | Torres, Diana | Schmutzler, Rita K. | Neuhausen, Susan L. | Anton-Culver, Hoda | Kristensen, Vessela N. | Grenaker Alnæs, Grethe I. | Pierce, Brandon L. | Kraft, Peter | Peters, Ulrike | Lindstrom, Sara | Seminara, Daniela | Burgess, Stephen | Ahsan, Habibul | Whittemore, Alice S. | John, Esther M. | Gammon, Marilie D. | Malone, Kathleen E. | Tessier, Daniel C. | Vincent, Daniel | Bacot, Francois | Luccarini, Craig | Baynes, Caroline | Ahmed, Shahana | Maranian, Mel | Healey, Catherine S. | González-Neira, Anna | Pita, Guillermo | Alonso, M. Rosario | Álvarez, Nuria | Herrero, Daniel | Pharoah, Paul D. P. | Simard, Jacques | Hall, Per | Hunter, David J. | Easton, Douglas F. | Zheng, Wei
Epidemiological studies have linked adult height with breast cancer risk in women. However, the magnitude of the association, particularly by subtypes of breast cancer, has not been established. Furthermore, the mechanisms of the association remain unclear.
We performed a meta-analysis to investigate associations between height and breast cancer risk using data from 159 prospective cohorts totaling 5216302 women, including 113178 events. In a consortium with individual-level data from 46325 case patients and 42482 control subjects, we conducted a Mendelian randomization analysis using a genetic score that comprised 168 height-associated variants as an instrument. This association was further evaluated in a second consortium using summary statistics data from 16003 case patients and 41335 control subjects.
The pooled relative risk of breast cancer was 1.17 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.15 to 1.19) per 10cm increase in height in the meta-analysis of prospective studies. In Mendelian randomization analysis, the odds ratio of breast cancer per 10cm increase in genetically predicted height was 1.22 (95% CI = 1.13 to 1.32) in the first consortium and 1.21 (95% CI = 1.05 to 1.39) in the second consortium. The association was found in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women but restricted to hormone receptor–positive breast cancer. Analyses of height-associated variants identified eight new loci associated with breast cancer risk after adjusting for multiple comparisons, including three loci at 1q21.2, DNAJC27, and CCDC91 at genome-wide significance level P < 5×10–8.
Our study provides strong evidence that adult height is a risk factor for breast cancer in women and certain genetic factors and biological pathways affecting adult height have an important role in the etiology of breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC4643630  PMID: 26296642
10.  Metallothinein 1E Enhances Glioma Invasion through Modulation Matrix Metalloproteinases-2 and 9 in U87MG Mouse Brain Tumor Model 
Malignant glioma cells invading surrounding normal brain are inoperable and resistant to radio- and chemotherapy, and eventually lead to tumor regrowth. Identification of genes related to motility is important for understanding the molecular biological behavior of invasive gliomas. According to our previous studies, Metallothionein 1E (MT1E) was identified to enhance migration of human malignant glioma cells. The purpose of this study was to confirm that MT1E could modulate glioma invasion in vivo. Firstly we established 2 cell lines; MTS23, overexpressed by MT1E complementary DNA construct and pV12 as control. The expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)-2, -9 and a disintegrin and metalloproteinase 17 were increased in MTS23 compared with pV12. Furthermore it was confirmed that MT1E could modulate MMPs secretion and translocation of NFkB p50 and B-cell lymphoma-3 through small interfering ribonucleic acid knocked U87MG cells. Then MTS23 and pV12 were injected into intracranial region of 5 week old male nude mouse. After 4 weeks, for brain tissues of these two groups, histological analysis, and immunohistochemical stain of MMP-2, 9 and Nestin were performed. As results, the group injected with MTS23 showed irregular margin and tumor cells infiltrating the surrounding normal brain, while that of pV12 (control) had round and clear margin. And regrowth of tumor cells in MTS23 group was observed in another site apart from tumor cell inoculation. MT1E could enhance tumor proliferation and invasion of malignant glioma through regulation of activation and expression of MMPs.
PMCID: PMC5106352  PMID: 27847566
Metallothionein 1E; Malignant glioma; Invasion; Brain tumor model; MMP-2; MMP-9
11.  Clinical characteristics of fetal and neonatal outcomes in twin pregnancy with preeclampsia in a retrospective case–control study 
Medicine  2016;95(43):e5199.
The aim of our study was to compare the clinical characteristics of fetal and neonatal outcomes in twin pregnancies between women with preeclampsia (PE) and those with normotension in a Chinese population.
There were 143 preeclamptic women and 367 normotensive women with twin pregnancies included in this retrospective case–control study. The baseline characteristics and perinatal outcomes were collected and compared between the groups. Multiple logistic regression and linear regression were used to assess the correlations between PE and the outcomes.
Significant increases were observed in the frequencies of preterm delivery (OR = 2.75, P < 0.001), iatrogenic preterm birth (OR = 3.52, P < 0.001), and IUGR (OR = 2.94, P = 0.001) in the PE group, and the PE group had more than a 2-fold risk of adverse neonatal outcomes. Preeclamptic twin neonates had lower birth weights (β = −147.34, P = 0.005; β = −169.47, P = 0.001). The comparison on the discordance of intertwin weight was not significantly different.
Twin pregnancies with PE are associated with worse perinatal outcomes. The adverse outcomes of preeclamptic twin pregnancies may be associated with lower birth weights rather than the discordance of the intertwin weight, which requires further confirmation. The results may provide helpful references for better clinical assessments, evaluations of prognosis, and a deeper understanding of preeclamptic twin pregnancies.
PMCID: PMC5089104  PMID: 27787375
birth weight; outcome; preeclampsia (PE); twin pregnancy
The pharmacogenomics journal  2016;10.1038/tpj.2016.29.
α1B- adrenergic receptors contribute to vasoconstriction in humans. We tested the hypothesis that variation in the ADRA1B gene contributes to interindividual variability and ethnic differences in adrenergic vasoconstriction. We measured dorsal hand vein responses to increasing doses of phenylephrine in 64 Caucasians and 41 African-Americans and genotyped 34 ADRA1B variants. We validated findings in another model of catecholamine-induced vasoconstriction, the increase in mean arterial pressure (ΔMAP) during a cold pressor test (CPT). One ADRA1B variant, rs10070745, present in 14 African-American heterozygotes but not in Caucasians, was associated with a lower phenylephrine ED50 (geometric mean [95% CI], 144 [69–299] ng/ml) compared to 27 African-American non-carriers (208 [130–334] ng/ml; P=0.015) and contributed to the ethnic differences in ED50. The same variant was also associated with a greater ΔMAP during CPT (P=0.008). In conclusion, ADRA1B rs10070745 was significantly associated with vasoconstrictor responses after adrenergic stimulation and contributed to the ethnic difference in phenylephrine sensitivity.
PMCID: PMC5071105  PMID: 27089938
13.  Imaging Intratumoral Nanoparticle Uptake after Combining Nanoembolization with Various Ablative Therapies in Hepatic VX2 Rabbit Tumors 
Combining image-guided therapy techniques for the treatment of liver cancers is a strategy that is being used to improve local tumor control rates. Here, we evaluate the intratumoral uptake of nanoparticles used in combination with radiofrequency ablation (RFA), irreversible electroporation (IRE), or laser induced thermal therapy (LITT). Eight rabbits with VX2 tumor in the liver underwent one of four treatments: (i) nanoembolization (NE) with radiolabeled, hollow gold nanoparticles loaded with doxorubicin (64Cu-PEG-HAuNS-DOX); (ii) NE+RFA; (iii) NE+IRE; (iv) NE+LITT. Positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) imaging was obtained 1-hr or 18-hrs after intervention. Tissue samples were collected for autoradiography and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis. PET/CT imaging at 1-hr showed focal deposition of oil and nanoparticles in the tumor only after NE+RFA but at 18-hrs, all animals had focal accumulation of oil and nanoparticles in the tumor region. Autoradiograph analysis demonstrated nanoparticle deposition in the tumor and in the ablated tissues adjacent to the tumor when NE was combined with ablation. TEM results showed the intracellular uptake of nanoparticles in tumor only after NE+IRE. Nanoparticles demonstrated a structural change, suggesting direct interaction, potentially leading to drug release, only after NE+LITT. The findings demonstrate that a combined NE and ablation treatment technique for liver tumors is feasible, resulting in deposition of nanoparticles in and around the tumor. Depending on the ablative energy applied, different effects are seen on nanoparticle localization and structure. These effects should be considered when designing nanoparticles for use in combination with ablation technologies.
PMCID: PMC5069970  PMID: 27305763
tumor; radiofrequency ablation; laser induced thermal therapy; electroporation; nanoparticles; intracellular delivery; transmission electron microscopy
14.  Poria Attenuates Idiosyncratic Liver Injury Induced by Polygoni Multiflori Radix Praeparata 
The hepatotoxicity induced by Polygoni Multiflori Radix Praeparata (PM) has aroused great concern throughout the world. Hence, it is worthwhile to perform studies on the detoxification with the combined use of medicinal herbs based on the compatibility theory of traditional Chinese medicine. In this work, the rat model of PM/LPS-induced idiosyncratic liver injury was used. The effects of Poria, Licorice, and Panax notoginseng on rats of PM/LPS-induced liver injury were investigated respectively, hoping to find the most effective herbal medicine to reduce the hepatotoxicity. According to results of biochemical and histological tests, PM could induce the idiosyncratic hepatotoxicity of rats which presented modest inflammation triggered by non-injurious dose of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). We also found that the combined use of Poria and PM in the ratio of 1:2 could significantly ameliorate the PM/LPS-induced liver injury and systemic inflammation. Furthermore, UPLC/QTOF-MS-based metabolomics was performed to identify possible biomarkers and underlying biological pathways. Ten metabolites were expressed differentially among LPS, PM/LPS, and detoxification-treated groups in terms of PCA and OPLS-DA analysis, which could be potential biomarkers. MetaboAnalyst and pathway enrichment analysis revealed that alterations of these metabolites were primarily involved in three pathways: arginine and proline metabolism, primary bile acid biosynthesis and sphingolipid metabolism. This research provides systematic experimental evidences for the hepatoprotective effect of Poria against PM/LPS-induced liver injury for the first time. And these findings may help better understand the underlying mechanisms of pathophysiologic changes in PM/LPS-induced liver injury.
PMCID: PMC5067826  PMID: 27803670
Polygoni Multiflori Radix Praeparata (PM); Poria; lipopolysaccharide (LPS); idiosyncratic liver injury; inflammation; compatibility
15.  Gelsolin decreases actin toxicity and inflammation in murine multiple sclerosis 
Journal of neuroimmunology  2015;287:36-42.
Gelsolin is the fourth most abundant protein in the body and its depletion in the blood has been found in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. How gelsolin affects the MS brain has not been studied. We found that while the secreted form of gelsolin (pGSN) decreased in the blood of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) mice, pGSN concentration increased in the EAE brain. Recombinant human pGSN (rhp-GSN) decreased extracellular actin and myeloperoxidase activity in the brain, resulting in reduced disease activity and less severe clinical disease, suggesting that gelsolin could be a potential therapeutic target for MS.
Graphical Abstract
PMCID: PMC4595933  PMID: 26439960
gelsolin; experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE); actin; inflammation; myeloperoxidase; magnetic resonance imaging
16.  Combination of three-gene immunohistochemical panel and magnetic resonance imaging-detected extramural vascular invasion to assess prognosis in non-advanced rectal cancer patients 
World Journal of Gastroenterology  2016;22(38):8576-8583.
To identify a small, clinically applicable immunohistochemistry (IHC) panel that could be combined with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-detected extramural vascular invasion (EMVI) for assessment of prognosis concerning the non-advanced rectal cancer patients prior to operation.
About 329 patients with pathologically confirmed rectal carcinoma (RC) were screened in this research, all of whom had been examined via an MRI and were treatment-naïve from July 2011 to July 2014. The candidate proteins that were reported to be altered by RC were examined in tissues by IHC. All chosen samples were adopted from the fundamental cores of histopathologically confirmed carcinomas during the initial surgeries.
Of the three proteins that were tested, c-MYC, PCNA and TIMP1 were detected with relatively significant expression in tumors, 35.9%, 23.7% and 58.7% respectively. The expression of the three proteins were closely connected with prognosis (P = 0.032, 0.003, 0.021). The patients could be classified into different outcome groups according to an IHC panel (P < 0.01) via these three proteins. Taking into consideration known survival covariates, especially EMVI, the IHC panel served as an independent prognostic factor. The EMVI combined with the IHC panel could categorize patients into different prognostic groups with distinction (P < 0.01).
These studies argue that this three-protein panel of c-MYC, PCNA, coupled with TIMP1 combined with MRI-detected EMVI could offer extra prognostic details for preoperative treatment of RC.
PMCID: PMC5064039  PMID: 27784970
Rectal cancer; Magnetic resonance imaging; Prognosis; Immunohistochemistry; Extramural vascular invasion
17.  Electroacupuncture Ameliorates Cerebral Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury by Regulation of Autophagy and Apoptosis 
Background. The therapeutic mechanisms of cerebral ischemia treatment by acupuncture are yet not well addressed. Objective. We investigated the effects of electroacupuncture (EA) at GV26 observing the expression of autophagy-related proteins Beclin-1 and LC3B and proportion of apoptotic cells and Bcl-2 positive cells in MCAO/R model rats. Methods. Sprague-Dawley (SD) male rats were randomly assigned to 7 groups: model groups (M6h, M24h, and M72h), EA treatment groups (T6h, T24h, and T72h), and sham operation group (S). Neurological deficit and cerebral infarction volume were measured to assess the improvement effect, while the expression of Beclin-1 and LC3B and proportion of Tunel-positive and Bcl-2 positive cells were examined to explore EA effect on autophagy and apoptosis. Results. EA significantly decreased neurological deficit scores and the volume of cerebral infarction. Beclin-1 was significantly decreased in T24h, while LC3B-II/LC3B-I ratio markedly reduced in 6th hour. EA groups markedly reduced the number of Tunel positive cells, especially in T24h. Meanwhile, the number of Bcl-2 positive cells obviously increased after EA treatment, especially in T6h and T24h. Conclusions. The alleviation of inadequate autophagy and apoptosis may be a key mechanism involved in the reflex regulation of EA at GV26 to treat cerebral ischemia.
PMCID: PMC5075311  PMID: 27800003
18.  Theranostic CuS Nanoparticles Targeting Folate Receptors for PET Image-Guided Photothermal Therapy 
Copper sulfide nanoparticles (CuS NPs) have been reported as a single-compartment theranostic nanosystem to visualize and treat tumors simultaneously. However, few studies have investigated the in vivo tumor-targeted delivery of this class of nanoparticles. In this study, we introduced a tumor-specific targeting ligand, folic acid (FA), onto the surface of CuS NPs as a model system to demonstrate the feasibility of actively targeted CuS NPs for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging and PET image-guided photothermal therapy (PTT). A one-pot synthetic method was used for introducing FA to CuS NPs to yield FA-CuS NPs. Biodistribution studies in mice bearing folate receptor-expressing KB tumor showed significantly higher tumor uptake of FA-CuS NPs than non-targeted polyethylene glycol (PEG)-coated PEG-CuS NPs after intravenous injection. Moreover, tumor uptake of FA-CuS NPs could be effectively blocked by free FA. Biodistribution and clearance of 64Cu-labeled FA-CuS NPs (FA-[64Cu]CuS NPs) could be readily visualized by microPET (μPET), which confirmed a significantly higher level of tumor uptake of FA-[64Cu]CuS NPs than non-targeted PEG-[64Cu]CuS NPs. μPET image-guided PTT with FA-CuS NPs mediated substantially greater tumor damage compared with PTT mediated by PEG-CuS NPs. Thus, FA-CuS NPs is a promising candidate for PTT of folate receptor-positive tumors.
TOC image
Targeted FA-CuS NPs can significantly improve the tumor uptake; the integration of 64Cu into NPs with strong near-infrared absorption makes them suitable for PET imaging, and image-guided photothermal therapy; targeted FA-CuS NPs mediated substantially greater therapeutic effect compared with photothermal therapy with non-targeted CuS NPs.
PMCID: PMC5055749  PMID: 27725882
folate targeting; theranostic; PET/CT imaging; photothermal therapy; CuS nanoparticles
19.  Cyclopamine-loaded Core-crosslinked Polymeric Micelles Enhance Radiation Response in Pancreatic Cancer and Pancreatic Stellate Cells 
Molecular pharmaceutics  2015;12(6):2093-2100.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most lethal cancers. Cyclopamine (CPA), a potent inhibitor for sonic hedgehog pathway (SHH), shows great promises in PDAC treatment, including the disruption of tumor-associated stroma, and enhancement of radiation therapy. However, CPA is insoluble in water; therefore requires a nanometric delivery platform to achieve satisfactory performance. We herein encapsulated CPA in a core-crosslinked polymeric micelle system (M-CPA). M-CPA was combined with Cs-137 radiation and evaluated in vitro in PDAC cell lines and a human pancreatic stellate cell line. The results showed M-CPA had higher cytotoxicity than CPA, abolished Gli-1 expression (a key component of SHH), and enhanced the radiation therapy of Cs-137. M-CPA radio-sensitization correlated with its ability to disrupt the repair of radiation-induced DNA damage. These findings indicate that the combination therapy of M-CPA and radiation is an effective strategy to simultaneously treat pancreatic tumors and tumor-associated stroma.
Graphical abstract
PMCID: PMC5055750  PMID: 25936695
Cyclopamine; radiation sensitization; pancreatic cancer; stroma disruption; DNA damage repair
20.  The genetic map of goldfish (Carassius auratus) provided insights to the divergent genome evolutions in the Cyprinidae family 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:34849.
A high-density linkage map of goldfish (Carassius auratus) was constructed using RNA-sequencing. This map consists of 50 linkage groups with 8,521 SNP markers and an average resolution of 0.62 cM. Approximately 84% of markers are in protein-coding genes orthologous to zebrafish proteins. We performed comparative genome analysis between zebrafish and medaka, common carp, grass carp, and goldfish to study the genome evolution events in the Cyprinidae family. The comparison revealed large synteny blocks among Cyprinidae fish and we hypothesized that the Cyprinidae ancestor undergone many inter-chromosome rearrangements after speciation from teleost ancestor. The study also showed that goldfish genome had one more round of whole genome duplication (WGD) than zebrafish. Our results illustrated that most goldfish markers were orthologous to genes in common carp, which had four rounds of WGD. Growth-related regions and genes were identified by QTL analysis and association study. Function annotations of the associated genes suggested that they might regulate development and growth in goldfish. This first genetic map enables us to study the goldfish genome evolution and provides an important resource for selective breeding of goldfish.
PMCID: PMC5052598  PMID: 27708388
21.  Dissection of brassinosteroid-regulated proteins in rice embryos during germination by quantitative proteomics 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:34583.
Brassinosteroids (BRs), essential plant-specific steroidal hormones, function in a wide spectrum of plant growth and development events, including seed germination. Rice is not only a monocotyledonous model plant but also one of the most important staple food crops of human beings. Rice seed germination is a decisive event for the next-generation of plant growth and successful seed germination is critical for rice yield. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms on how BR modulates seed germination in rice. In the present study, we used isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) based proteomic approach to study BR-regulated proteome during the early stage of seed germination. The results showed that more than 800 BR-responsive proteins were identified, including 88 reliable target proteins responsive to stimuli of both BR-deficiency and BR-insensitivity. Moreover, 90% of the 88 target proteins shared a similar expression change pattern. Gene ontology and string analysis indicated that ribosomal structural proteins, as well as proteins involved in protein biosynthesis and carbohydrate metabolisms were highly clustered. These findings not only enrich BR-regulated protein database in rice seeds, but also allow us to gain novel insights into the molecular mechanism of BR regulated seed germination.
PMCID: PMC5050409  PMID: 27703189
22.  Genetic Association Analysis of Drusen Progression 
Age-related macular degeneration is a common form of vision loss affecting older adults. The etiology of AMD is multifactorial and is influenced by environmental and genetic risk factors. In this study, we examine how 19 common risk variants contribute to drusen progression, a hallmark of AMD pathogenesis.
Exome chip data was made available through the International AMD Genomics Consortium (IAMDGC). Drusen quantification was carried out with color fundus photographs using an automated drusen detection and quantification algorithm. A genetic risk score (GRS) was calculated per subject by summing risk allele counts at 19 common genetic risk variants weighted by their respective effect sizes. Pathway analysis of drusen progression was carried out with the software package Pathway Analysis by Randomization Incorporating Structure.
We observed significant correlation with drusen baseline area and the GRS in the age-related eye disease study (AREDS) dataset (ρ = 0.175, P = 0.006). Measures of association were not statistically significant between drusen progression and the GRS (P = 0.54). Pathway analysis revealed the cell adhesion molecules pathway as the most highly significant pathway associated with drusen progression (corrected P = 0.02).
In this study, we explored the potential influence of known common AMD genetic risk factors on drusen progression. Our results from the GRS analysis showed association of increasing genetic burden (from 19 AMD associated loci) to baseline drusen load but not drusen progression in the AREDS dataset while pathway analysis suggests additional genetic contributors to AMD risk.
PMCID: PMC4849854  PMID: 27116550
age-related macular degeneration; drusen; genetic risk score analysis; image analysis
23.  The Rural-Urban Difference in BMI and Anemia among Children and Adolescents 
There is growing concern over the double burden of over- and under-nutrition in individuals, especially in children and adolescents, which could dwarf their growth and development. This study aims to explore the rural-urban difference in BMI and anemia among children and adolescents. A stratified cluster sampling technique was employed. Dietary data were collected through interviews, and anthropometric values were measured. There were 1534 children and adolescents who participated in this study, including 775 male and 759 female participants. The prevalence of obesity among children living in a city, township and rural area was 10.3%, 8.5% and 5.5%, and that among adolescents was 1.4%, 2.9% and 2.8%. The prevalence of anemia among children and living in a city, township and rural area was 4.3%, 2.5% and 4.5%, while that among adolescents was 6.1%, 3.7% and 11.3%, respectively, with significant difference (χ2 = 10.824, p = 0.004). The prevalence of being overweight, obesity and anemia was significant when comparing children with adolescents (χ2 = 37.861, p = 0.000; χ2 = 19.832, p = 0.000; χ2 = 8.611, p = 0.003). Findings of this study indicate the double burden of malnutrition in Zhejiang province, characterized by a high prevalence of being overweight, obesity and anemia among children and a high prevalence of anemia among adolescents living in townships.
PMCID: PMC5086759  PMID: 27763565
obesity; wasting; anemia; children; adolescent
24.  Hepatocyte isolation from resected benign tissues: Results of a 5-year experience 
World Journal of Gastroenterology  2016;22(36):8178-8186.
To analyze retrospectively a 5-year experience of human hepatocyte isolation from resected liver tissues with benign disease.
We established a method of modified four-step retrograde perfusion to isolate primary human hepatocytes. Samples were collected from the resected livers of patients with intrahepatic duct calculi (n = 7) and liver hemangioma (n = 17). Only the samples weighing ≥ 15 g were considered suitable for hepatocyte isolation. By using the standard trypan blue exclusion technique, hepatocyte viability and yield were immediately determined after isolation.
Twenty-four liver specimens, weighing 15-42 g, were immediately taken from the margin of the removed samples and transferred to the laboratory for hepatocyte isolation. Warm ischemia time was 5-35 min and cold ischemia time was 15-45 min. For the 7 samples of intrahepatic duct calculi, the method resulted in a hepatocyte yield of 3.49 ± 2.31 × 106 hepatocytes/g liver, with 76.4% ± 10.7% viability. The 17 samples of liver hemangioma had significantly higher yield of cells (5.4 ± 1.71 × 106 cells/g vs 3.49 ± 2.31 × 106 cells/g, P < 0.05) than the samples of intrahepatic duct calculi. However, there seems to be no clear difference in cell viability (80.3% ± 9.67% vs 76.4% ± 10.7%, P > 0.05). We obtained a cell yield of 5.31 ± 1.87 × 106 hepatocytes/g liver when the samples weighed > 20 g. However, for the tissues weighing ≤ 20 g, a reduction in yield was found (3.08 ± 1.86 × 106 cells/g vs 5.31 ± 1.87 × 106 cells/g, P < 0.05).
Benign diseased livers are valuable sources for large-number hepatocyte isolation. Our study represents the largest number of primary human hepatocytes isolated from resected specimens from patients with benign liver disease. We evaluated the effect of donor liver characteristics on cell isolation, and we found that samples of liver hemangioma can provide better results than intrahepatic duct calculi, in terms of cell yield. Furthermore, the size of the tissues can affect the outcome of hepatocyte isolation.
PMCID: PMC5037086  PMID: 27688659
Human hepatocyte; Primary hepatocyte; Cell isolation; Benign liver disease; Hepatocyte isolation
25.  Comparative genomic, transcriptomic and secretomic profiling of Penicillium oxalicum HP7-1 and its cellulase and xylanase hyper-producing mutant EU2106, and identification of two novel regulatory genes of cellulase and xylanase gene expression 
The filamentous fungus Penicillium oxalicum is a potential alternative to Trichoderma reesei for industrial production of a complete cellulolytic enzyme system for a bio-refinery. Comparative omics approaches can support rational genetic engineering and/or breeding of filamentous fungi with improved cellulase production capacity. In this study, comparative genomic, transcriptomic and secretomic profiling of P. oxalicum HP7-1 and its cellulase and xylanase hyper-producing mutant EU2106 were employed to screen for novel regulators of cellulase and xylanase gene expression.
The 30.62 Mb P. oxalicum HP7-1 genome was sequenced, and 9834 protein-coding genes were annotated. Re-sequencing of the mutant EU2106 genome identified 274 single nucleotide variations and 12 insertion/deletions. Comparative genomic, transcriptomic and secretomic profiling of HP7-1 and EU2106 revealed four candidate regulators of cellulase and xylanase gene expression. Deletion of these candidate genes and measurement of the enzymatic activity of the resultant mutants confirmed the identity of three regulatory genes. POX02484 and POX08522, encoding a putative Zn(II)2Cys6 DNA-binding domain and forkhead protein, respectively, were found to be novel, while PoxClrB is an ortholog of ClrB, a key transcriptional regulator of cellulolytic enzyme gene expression in filamentous fungi. ΔPOX02484 and ΔPOX08522 mutants exhibited significantly reduced β-glucosidase activity, increased carboxymethylcellulose cellulase and xylanase activities, and altered transcription level of cellulase and xylanase genes compared with the parent strain ΔPoxKu70, with Avicel as the sole carbon source.
Two novel genes, POX02484 and POX08522, were found and characterized to regulate the expression of cellulase and xylanase genes in P. oxalicum. These findings are important for engineering filamentous fungi to improve cellulase and xylanase production.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13068-016-0616-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC5035457  PMID: 27688806
Penicillium oxalicum; Genomics; Transcriptomics; Secretomics; Transcription factor; Cellulase; Xylanase; Regulation

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