JAK2/STAT3 pathway was reported to play an essential role in the neointima formation after vascular intima injury. However, little is known regarding this pathway to the whole layer injury after end-to-end arterial anastomosis (AA). Here, we investigated the role of JAK2/STAT3 pathway in common carotid arterial (CCA) anastomosis-induced cell proliferation, phenotypic change of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and re-endothelialization.
CCAs of adult male Wistar rats were resected at 3, 7, 14, and 30 days after end-to-end CCA anastomosis. Activation of JAK2/STAT3 pathway was detected by Western blotting and Immunofluorescence, and expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) was detected by Q-PCR and Western blotting. Under the treatment with AG490 (a JAK2 inhibitor), protein levels of JAK2, STAT3 and PCNA, morphological changes of artery, phenotypic change of VSMCs, and re-endothelialization were measured by Western blotting, H&E, Q-PCR, and Evans blue staining respectively.
The protein levels of p-JAK2, p-STAT3, and PCNA were up-regulated, peaked on the 7th day in the vessel wall after AA. AG490 down-regulated the levels of p-JAK2, p-STAT3, and PCNA on the 7th-day-group, resulting in reduced vessel wall proliferation on the 7th and 14th day after AA. Besides, AG490 switched the phenotypic change of VSMCs after AA representing inhibited mRNA levels of synthetic phase markers (osteopoitin and SMemb) and up-regulated contractile phase markers (ASMA, SM2 and SM22α). Furthermore, AG490 did not affect the re-endothelialization process on all indicated time points after AA (the 3rd, 7th, 14th, and 30th day).
Our study indicated that JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway played an important role on cell proliferation of the injured vessel wall, and probably a promising target for the exploration of drugs increasing the patency or reducing the vascular narrowness after AA.
Comprehensive discovery of genetic mechanisms of drug resistance and identification of in vivo drug targets represent significant challenges. Here we present a functional variomics technology in the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This tool analyzes numerous genetic variants and effectively tackles both problems simultaneously. Using this tool, we discovered almost all genes that, due to mutations or modest overexpression, confer resistance to rapamycin, cycloheximide, and amphotericin B. Most significant among the resistance genes were drug targets, including multiple targets of a given drug. With amphotericin B, we discovered the highly conserved membrane protein Pmp3 as a potent resistance factor and a possible novel target. Widespread application of this tool should allow rapid identification of conserved resistance mechanisms and targets of many more compounds. New genes and alleles that confer resistance to other stresses can also be discovered. Similar tools in other systems such as human cell lines will also be useful.
Stem cell transplantation has been investigated for repairing damaged tissues in various injury models. Monitoring the safety and fate of transplanted cells using noninvasive methods is important to advance this technique into clinical applications.
In this study, lower-limb ischemia models were generated in nude mice by femoral artery ligation. As negative-contrast agents, positively charged magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (aminopropyltriethoxysilane-coated Fe2O3) were investigated in terms of in vitro labeling efficiency, effects on human mesenchymal stromal cell (hMSC) proliferation, and in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) visualization. Ultimately, the mice were sacrificed for histological analysis three weeks after transplantation.
With efficient labeling, aminopropyltriethoxysilane-modified magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (APTS-MNPs) did not significantly affect hMSC proliferation. In vivo, APTS-MNP-labeled hMSCs could be monitored by clinical 3 Tesla MRI for at least three weeks. Histological examination detected numerous migrated Prussian blue-positive cells, which was consistent with the magnetic resonance images. Some migrated Prussian blue-positive cells were positive for mature endothelial cell markers of von Willebrand factor and anti-human proliferating cell nuclear antigen. In the test groups, Prussian blue-positive nanoparticles, which could not be found in other organs, were detected in the spleen.
APTS-MNPs could efficiently label hMSCs, and clinical 3 Tesla MRI could monitor the labeled stem cells in vivo, which may provide a new approach for the in vivo monitoring of implanted cells.
hind-limb ischemia; magnetic resonance imaging; iron oxide particles; stem cell implant
Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome is a rare pediatric genetic syndrome with an incidence of one per eight million live births. The disorder is characterized by premature aging, generally leading to death due to myocardial infarction or stroke at approximately 13.4 years of age. The genetic diagnosis and special clinical manifestation in two Han Chinese siblings observed at our clinic for genetic counseling are described in this report. We screened the LMNA gene in these two siblings as well as in their unaffected parents. A homozygous mutation R527C was identified in the affected siblings, and both parents were heterozygous for this variant.
In case 1, the elder 10-year-old female sibling showed the classic physical and radiological changes of Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome in addition to a considerable overlap with the phenotype of mandibuloacral dysplasia.
In case 2, the younger male sibling had begun to show some early physical changes at age six months.
The phenotypic findings in the patients we describe here widen the clinical spectrum of Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome symptoms, providing further recognition of the phenotypic range of LMNA-associated diseases.
Accurate segmentation of prostate is the key to the success of external beam radiotherapy of prostate cancer. However, accurate segmentation of prostate in computer tomography (CT) images remains challenging mainly due to three factors: (1) low image contrast between the prostate and its surrounding tissues, (2) unpredictable prostate motion across different treatment days, and (3) large variations of intensities and shapes of bladder and rectum around the prostate. In this paper, an online-learning and patient-specific classification method based on the location-adaptive image context is presented to deal with all these challenging issues and achieve the precise segmentation of prostate in CT images. Specifically, two sets of location-adaptive classifiers are placed, respectively, along the two coordinate directions of the planning image space of a patient, and further trained with the planning image and also the previous-segmented treatment images of the same patient to jointly perform prostate segmentation for a new treatment image (of the same patient). In particular, each location-adaptive classifier, which itself consists of a set of sequential sub-classifiers, is recursively trained with both the static image appearance features and the iteratively-updated image context features (extracted at different scales and orientations) for better identification of each prostate region. The proposed learning-based prostate segmentation method has been extensively evaluated on 161 images of 11 patients, each with more than 9 daily treatment 3D CT images. Our method achieves the mean Dice value 0.908 and the mean ± SD of average surface distance (ASD) value 1.40 ± 0.57 mm. Its performance is also compared with three prostate segmentation methods, indicating the best segmentation accuracy by the proposed method among all methods under comparison.
Radiotherapy; prostate segmentation; learning-based classification; image context
Seed development in Arabidopsis and in many dicots involves an early proliferation of the endosperm to form a large embryo sac or seed cavity close to the size of the mature seed, followed by a second phase during which the embryo grows and replaces the endosperm. SHORT HYPOCOTYL UNDER BLUE1 (SHB1) is a member of the SYG1 protein family in fungi, Caenorhabditis elegans, flies, and mammals. SHB1 gain-of-function enhances endosperm proliferation, increases seed size, and up-regulates the expression of the WRKY transcription factor gene MINISEED3 (MINI3) and the LRR receptor kinase gene HAIKU2 (IKU2). Mutations in either IKU2 or MINI3 retard endosperm proliferation and reduce seed size. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the establishment of the seed cavity and hence the seed size remain largely unknown. Here, we show that the expression of MINI3 and IKU2 is repressed before fertilization and after 4 days after pollination (DAP), but is activated by SHB1 from 2 to 4 DAP prior to the formation of the seed cavity. SHB1 associates with their promoters but without a recognizable DNA binding motif, and this association is abolished in mini3 mutant. MINI3 binds to W-boxes in, and recruits SHB1 to, its own and IKU2 promoters. Interestingly, SHB1, but not MINI3, activates transcription of pMINI3::GUS or pIKU2::GUS. We reveal a critical developmental switch through the activation of MINI3 expression by SHB1. The recruitment of SHB1 by MINI3 to its own and IKU2 promoters represents a novel two-step amplification to counter the low expression level of IKU2, which is a trigger for endosperm proliferation and seed cavity enlargement.
Seed development in many dicots is characterized by a rapid proliferation of the endosperm and growth of integument to form a large embryo sac or seed cavity. In Arabidopsis, the seed cavity is generated at the globular stage or 4 days after pollination. The subsequent growth of the embryo replaces the endosperm during the second phase. Therefore, the volume of the initial seed cavity correlates closely with the final seed size. In shb1-D, an even larger seed cavity is created at 4 DAP due to an up-regulated expression of MINI3 and IKU2 by SHB1. We report that the expression of MINI3 and IKU2 coincides with the formation of the seed cavity. SHB1 is anchored to these promoters by MINI3 to activate their expression in a W-box-dependent manner. Spatiotemporal regulation of gene expression is a crucial mechanism that controls embryo development in many organisms. This interaction of SHB1 with MINI3 should impact studies of their homologs in many other organisms, including humans. Seed development in major seed crops, such as soybean and canola, follows a very similar path to that of Arabidopsis. Our results should lead to an increase in agricultural yields and concomitant increases in the proteins and oil content per seed.
The formation of compulsive pattern of drug use is related to abnormal regional neural activity and functional reorganization in the heroin addicts’ brain, but the relationship between heroin-use-induced disrupted local neural activity and its functional organization pattern in resting-state is unknown.
With fMRI data acquired during resting state from 17 male heroin dependent individuals (HD) and 15 matched normal controls (NC), we analyzed the changes of amplitude of low frequency fluctuation (ALFF) in brain areas, and its relationship with history of heroin use. Then we investigated the addiction related alteration in functional connectivity of the brain regions with changed ALFF using seed-based correlation analysis. Compared with NC, the ALFF of HD was obviously decreased in the right caudate, right dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), right superior medial frontal cortex and increased in the bilateral cerebellum, left superior temporal gyrus and left superior occipital gyrus. Of the six regions, only the ALFF value of right caudate had a negative correlation with heroin use. Setting the six regions as “seeds”, we found the functional connectivity between the right caudate and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) was reduced but that between the right caudate and cerebellum was enhanced. Besides, an abnormal lateral PFC-dACC connection was also observed in HD.
The observations of dysfunction of fronto-striatal and fronto-cerebellar circuit in HD implicate an altered balance between local neuronal assemblies activity and their integrated network organization pattern which may be involved in the process from voluntary to habitual and compulsive drug use.
Although intracellular beta amyloid (Aβ) accumulation is known as an early upstream event in the degenerative course of UDP-N-acetylglucosamine 2-epimerase/N-acetylmannosamine kinase (GNE) myopathy, the process by which Aβdeposits initiate various degradative pathways, and their relationship have not been fully clarified. We studied the possible secondary responses after amyloid beta precursor protein (AβPP) deposition including unfolded protein response (UPR), ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) activation and its correlation with autophagy system. Eight GNE myopathy patients and five individuals with normal muscle morphology were included in this study. We performed immunofluorescence and immunoblotting to investigate the expression of AβPP, phosphorylated tau (p-tau) and endoplasmic reticulum molecular chaperones. Proteasome activities were measured by cleavage of fluorogenic substrates. The expression of proteasome subunits and linkers between proteasomal and autophagy systems were also evaluated by immunoblotting and relative quantitative real-time RT-PCR. Four molecular chaperones, glucose-regulated protein 94 (GRP94), glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78), calreticulin and calnexin and valosin containing protein (VCP) were highly expressed in GNE myopathy. 20S proteasome subunits, three main proteasome proteolytic activities, and the factors linking UPS and autophagy system were also increased. Our study suggests that AβPP deposition results in endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) and highly expressed VCP deliver unfolded proteins from endoplasmic reticulum to proteosomal system which is activated in endoplasmic reticulum associated degradation (ERAD) in GNE myopathy. Excessive ubiquitinated unfolded proteins are exported by proteins that connect UPS and autophagy to autophagy system, which is activated as an alternative pathway for degradation.
Aux/IAAs interact with auxin response factors (ARFs) to repress their transcriptional activity in the auxin signaling pathway. Previous studies have focused on gain-of-function mutations of domain II and little is known about whether the expression level of wild-type Aux/IAAs can modulate auxin homeostasis. Here we examined the perturbation of auxin homeostasis by ectopic expression of wild-type IAA15. Root gravitropism and stem cell differentiation were also analyzed. The transgenic lines were less sensitive to exogenous auxin and exhibited low-auxin phenotypes including failures in gravity response and defects in stem cell differentiation. Overexpression lines also showed an increase in auxin concentration and reduced polar auxin transport. These results demonstrate that an alteration in the expression of wild-type IAA15 can disrupt auxin homeostasis.
Extracellular Hsp90 proteins, including “membrane-bound”, “released” and “secreted”, were first reported more than two decades ago. Only studies of the past seven years have begun to reveal a picture for when, how and why Hsp90 get exported by both normal and tumor cells. Normal cells secrete Hsp90 in response to tissue injury. Tumor cells have managed to constitutively secrete Hsp90 for tissue invasion. In either case, sufficient supply of the extracellular Hsp90 can be guaranteed by its unusually abundant storage inside the cells. A well-characterized function of secreted Hsp90α is to promote cell motility, a crucial event for both wound healing and cancer. The reported targets for extracellular Hsp90α include MMP2, LRP-1, tyrosine kinase receptors and possibly more. The pro-motility activity of secreted Hsp90α resides within a fragment at the boundary between linker region and middle domain. Inhibition of its secretion, neutralization of its extracellular action or interruption of its signaling through LRP-1 block wound healing and tumor invasion in vitro and in vivo. In normal tissue, topical application of F-5 promotes acute and diabetic wound healing far more effectively than US FDA-approved conventional growth factor therapy in mice. In cancer, drugs that selectively target the F-5 region of secreted Hsp90 by cancer cells may be more effective and less toxic than those that target the ATPase of the intracellular Hsp90.
The importance of apoptosis during the process of inhibiting tumorigenesis has been recognized. The role of BH3-only proapoptotic protein Bcl-2–associated death (BAD) in tumor growth remains controversial. The aim of this study was to explore the role of BAD in lung cancer cells. Our study showed that expression of BAD was upregulated in A549 cells by a recombinant lentivirus overexpressing BAD. In vitro, BAD overexpression significantly inhibited A549 cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in cell proliferation and apoptosis assays, respectively. The effect of BAD on A549 cells was studied in tumor xenograft of nude mice and the results showed that the tumor volume in the experimental group was smaller than the control groups. Further, immunohistochemical technique was used to determine the cell proliferation and apoptosis status of the lung tumor xenograft cells. This demonstrated that the in vivo and in vitro results were consistent. Taken together, our results indicate that overexpression of BAD inhibits the growth of A549 cells in vitro and in vivo, through inhibiting cell proliferation and inducing apoptosis. Thus, BAD could be a potential therapeutic target.
apoptosis; BAD; human A549 lung adenocarcinoma cells; lentiviral vector; overexpression; proliferation
To define the potential utility of 20-hydroxyvitamin D3 (20(OH)D3) as a tumorostatic agent, we assessed its in vitro antiproliferative activity and its in vivo toxicity.
Materials and Methods
The antitumor activity of 20(OH)D3 was tested against breast and liver cancer cell lines using colony formation assays. To assess in vivo toxicity, mice were injected with 5–30 μg/kg 20(OH)D3 intraperitoneally each day for 3 weeks. Blood and organ samples were collected for clinical pathology analyses.
20(OH)D3 displays similar tumorostatic activity towards MDA-MB-453 and MCF7 breast carcinomas, and HepG2 hepatocarcinoma, in a dose-dependent manner. This compound is not hypercalcemic, does not cause detectable toxicities in liver, kidney, or blood chemistry in mice at a dose as high as 30 μg/kg. In contrast, both 25(OH)D3 and 1,25(OH)2D3 caused severe hypercalcemia at a dose of 2 μg/kg.
20(OH)D3 possesses high efficacy for inhibiting cancer cell proliferation in vitro and is non-toxic in vivo, supporting its further development as a potential anticancer therapeutic agent.
20-Hydroxyvitamin D3; antiproliferative activity; hypercalcemic effect; colony formation
To investigate the value of 3-dimensional (3D) CT virtual anatomy imaging (VAI) in the complex foreign body (FB) retrieval of the soft tissues.
Materials and Methods
Four hundred and seventy-five patients with radiopaque FB(s) diagnosed by radiograph underwent contrast-enhanced 3D CT examination. VAI was reconstructed by volume-rendering opacity software, by sliding down the lowest threshold from -600 to 100 HU. The imaging was grouped into three groups: A (axial and multi-planar reformation [MPR] images), B (standard 3D imaging with axial and MPR images), and C (VAI with axial and MPR images). They were analyzed to reveal the type, size, number, location, complications, and the interventional removability of the object, with the comparisons in the management and clinical outcomes on the patient follow-up studies. The data were subjected to chi-square tests, with p value < 0.05 indicating significant statistical difference.
The FB shape, size, number, site distribution and vessels around FB, as well as the FB-associated vascular complications and the FB interventional removability were assessed more accurately in Group C than in Group B or Group A (p < 0.005). There was no significant difference in disclosing the type and depth of the FB among the three groups (p > 0.75). On the basis of the 3D CT, especially the enhanced 3D CT VAI, the followings were processed: the recommendation of interventional removal in 286 (60.47%) and non-intervention in 187 (39.53%) of the 473 patients with soft-tissue FB(s); in 352 (56.50%) of the 623 radiopaque FBs patients, 258 (54.55%) patients accurately detected on 3D CT and the successful removal by intervention (343 FBs) or surgery (9 FBs) without any sequela; and 215 (45.45%) patients with 271 FBs lost in the follow-up, with their departure from the hospital.
The 3D CT, especially 3D enhanced CT VAI, has great incremental value in further diagnosis and management of complex FB extraction from soft tissues.
Foreign body; Tomography, X-ray computer; Image processing, Computer-assisted; Regional anatomy; Interventional radiology
An investigation of safety issues regarding information on contraindications related to cross allergy was conducted to promote clinical awareness and prevent medical errors in a 2200-bed tertiary care teaching hospital.
Prescribing information on contraindications concerning cross allergy was collected from an information system and package inserts. Data mining and descriptive analysis were performed. A risk register was used for project management and risk assessment. A Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle was used as part of continuous quality improvement. Records of drug counseling and medical errors were collected from an online reporting system. A pharmacist-led multidisciplinary team initiated an intervention program on cross allergy in August 2008.
Four years of risk management at our hospital achieved successful outcomes, ie, the number of medical errors related to cross allergies decreased by 97% (10 cases monthly before August 2008 versus three cases yearly in 2012) and risk rating decreased significantly [initial risk rating: 25(high-risk) before August 2008 versus final risk rating:6 (medium-risk) in December 2012].
We conclude that comprehensive clinical interventions are very effective through team cooperation. Medication use has potential for safety risks if sufficient attention is not paid to contraindications concerning cross allergy. The potential for cross allergy involving drugs which belong to completely different pharmacological classes is easily overlooked and can be dangerous. Pharmacists can play an important role in reducing the risk of cross allergy as well as recommending therapeutic alternatives.
clinical pharmacy; contraindications; cross allergy; prescribing information; risk management; safe medication use
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are a heterogeneous family of myeloid cells that suppress T cell immunity in tumor-bearing hosts. In patients with colon cancer, MDSCs have recently been described as Lin−/lowHLA-DR−CD11b+CD33+ cells correlating with cancer stage, metastasis and chemotherapy response. To learn in more detail the dynamic change and clinical relevance of circulating and tumor-infiltrating Lin−/lowHLA-DR−CD11b+CD33+ MDSC in colorectal cancer, we harvested the blood from 64 patients with varying stage of colorectal cancer and tumor and matched paraneoplastic tissues from 5 patients with advanced colorectal cancer, subjected them to multicolor flow cytometric analysis of percentage, absolute number and phenotype of MDSC and finally characterized their immunosuppressive functions. Our results demonstrate that peripheral blood from colorectal cancer patients contains markedly increased percentage and absolute number of Lin−/lowHLA-DR−CD11b+CD33+ MDSCs compared with healthy individuals, and this increase is closely correlated with clinical cancer stage and tumor metastasis but not primary tumor size and serum concentrations of cancer biomarker. A similar increase of MDSCs was also observed in the tumor tissues. Phenotyping MDSCs shows that they express high CD13 and CD39, low CD115, CD117, CD124 and PD-L1, and devoid of CD14, CD15 and CD66b, reminiscent of precursor myeloid cells. MDSCs from cancer patients but not healthy donors have the immunosuppressive activity and were able to inhibit in vitro autologous T-cell proliferation. Collectively, this study substantiates the presence of increased immunosuppressive circulating and tumor-resident Lin−/lowHLA-DR−CD11b+CD33+ MDSCs in patients with colorectal cancers correlating with cancer stage and metastasis, and suggests that pharmacologic blockade of MDSCs should be considered in future clinical trials.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been shown to be involved in different aspects of cancer biology including tumor angiogenesis. In this study, we identified that two miRNAs, miR-199a and miR-125b were downregulated in ovarian cancer tissues and cell lines. Overexpression of miR-199a and miR-125b inhibited tumor-induced angiogenesis associated with the decrease of HIF-1α and VEGF expression in ovarian cancer cells. Moreover, the levels of miR-199a and miR-125b were negatively correlated with VEGF mRNA levels in ovarian tissues. We further showed that direct targets of miR-199a and miR-125b HER2 and HER3 were functionally relevant. Forced expression of HER2 and HER3 rescued miR-199a- and miR-125b-inhibiting angiogenesis responses and Akt/p70S6K1/HIF-1α pathway. This study provides a rationale for new therapeutic approach to suppress tumor angiogenesis using miR-199a, miR-125b, or their mimics for ovarian cancer treatment in the future.
A length polymorphism of GT repeats in the promoter region of the human heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) gene modulates its gene transcription to protect against myocardial injury. The present study investigated the association between HO-1 promoter polymorphisms and the outcomes of catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF). The allelic frequencies of GT repeats in the HO-1 gene promoter were screened in 205 random individuals who underwent catheter ablation for drug refractory AF.In the patients who received catheter ablation, those with AF recurrence had fewer GT repeats (53.4±7.1 vs. 56.1±6.5, p = 0.004), a lower incidence of hyperlipidemia, more non-paroxysmal AF, and a larger left atrial diameter. After conducting a multivariate logistic analysis, the number of GT repeats (Odds ratio: 0.94, 95% CI 0.90–0.99, p = 0.01) and the diameter of the left atrium (Odds ratio: 1.08, 95% CI 1.02–1.15, p = 0.01) remained independent predictors. The carriers of GT repeats, which were <29 in both alleles, were associated with a lower sinus maintenance rate after catheter ablation (38.5% vs. 60.1%, p = 0.003). The patients were divided into paroxysmal and non-paroxysmal AF groups; the number of GT repeats was associated with AF recurrence only in the patients with paroxysmal AF. The number of GT repeats, combined with LAD, was significant for predicting AF recurrence after catheter ablation (p = 0.01). The number of GT repeats was not found to be associated with differences in the left atrial diameter, the biatrial voltage, or the levels of bilirubin, ferritin, iron, C-reactive protein, or von-Willibrand factor. In conclusions, HO-1 gene promoter polymorphisms were associated with AF recurrence after catheter ablation.
To compare the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness and macular thickness in the amblyopic eye with that in the sound eye of children with hyperopic anisometropic amblyopia using optical coherence tomography (OCT).
A prospective, nonrandom, intraindividual comparative cohort study includes 72 children with hyperopic anisometropic amblyopia in a single center. Macular thickness, macular foveola thickness, and peripapillary RNFL thickness were compared between the amblyopia eyes and the contralateral sound eyes.
There were 38 male and 34 female patients, with a mean age as 9.7±1.9 years (range, 5–16 years). Hyperopic was +3.62±1.16D (range +2.00D to +6.50D) in the amblyopic eyes, which was significantly higher in the control eyes with +0.76±0.90D (range 0D to +2.00D) (P < 0.01). The mean peripapillary RNFL thickness was 113.9±7.2µm and 109.2±6.9µm in the amblyopic eye and the normal eye, respectively, reaching statistical significance (P = 0.02). The mean macular foveola thickness was significantly thicker in the amblyopic eyes than the contralateral sound eyes (181.4±14.2µm vs 175.2±13.3µm, P < 0.01), but the 1mm, 3mm or 6mm macular thickness central macular thickness was not significantly different. Degree of anisometropia in the contralateral eyes was not significantly correlated with differences of peripapillary RNFL, macular foveola thickness or central macular thickness.
Eyes with hyperopic anisometropic amblyopia are found thicker macular foveola and peripapillary RNFL than the contralateral eyes in children.
hyperopic anisometropic amblyopia; retinal nerve fiber thickness; macular thickness; optical coherence tomography; children
Presynaptic structural modifications are thought to accompany activity-dependent synaptic plasticity and learning. This may involve the conversion of nonfunctional synapses into active ones or the generation of entirely new synapses. Here, using an in vitro neural analog of classical conditioning, we investigated presynaptic structural changes restricted to auditory nerve synapses that convey the conditioned stimulus (CS) by tract tracing using fluorescent tracers combined with immunostaining for the synaptic vesicle-associated protein synaptophysin. The results show that the size of presynaptic auditory boutons increased and the area and fluorescence intensity of punctate staining for synaptophysin were enhanced after conditioning. This occurred only for auditory nerve boutons apposed to the dendrites but not the somata of abducens motor neurons. Conditioning increased the percentage of boutons that were immunopositive for synaptophysin and enhanced the number of synaptophysin puncta they contained. Pretreatment with antibodies against brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) inhibited these conditioning-induced structural changes. There was also a net increase in the number of boutons apposed to abducens motor neurons after conditioning or BDNF treatment. These data indicate that the rapid enrichment of presynaptic boutons with proteins required for neurotransmitter recycling and release occurs during classical conditioning and that these processes are mediated by BDNF.
classical conditioning; synaptophysin; presynaptic; structural plasticity; BDNF
AIM: To investigate the effects of early enteral nutrition (EEN) on the immune function and clinical outcome of patients with severe acute pancreatitis (SAP).
METHODS: Patients were randomly allocated to receive EEN or delayed enteral nutrition (DEN). Enteral nutrition was started within 48 h after admission in EEN group, whereas from the 8th day in DEN group. All the immunologic parameters and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels were collected on days 1, 3, 7 and 14 after admission. The clinical outcome variables were also recorded.
RESULTS: Sixty SAP patients were enrolled to this study. The CD4+ T-lymphocyte percentage, CD4+/CD8+ ratio, and the CRP levels in EEN group became significantly lower than in DEN group from the 7th day after admission. In contrast, the immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels and human leukocyte antigen-DR expression in EEN group became significantly higher than in DEN group from the 7th day after admission. No difference of CD8+ T-lymphocyte percentage, IgM and IgA levels was found between the two groups. The incidences of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, and pancreatic infection as well as the duration of intensive care unit stay were significantly lower in EEN group than in DEN group. However, there was no difference of hospital mortality between the two groups.
CONCLUSION: EEN moderates the excessive immune response during the early stage of SAP without leading to subsequent immunosuppression. EEN can improve the clinical outcome, but not decrease the hospital mortality of SAP patients.
Early enteral nutrition; Immune; Severe acute pancreatitis
We conducted a preliminary study to examine whether Chinese readers’ spontaneous word segmentation processing is consistent with the national standard rules of word segmentation based on the Contemporary Chinese language word segmentation specification for information processing (CCLWSSIP). Participants were asked to segment Chinese sentences into individual words according to their prior knowledge of words. The results showed that Chinese readers did not follow the segmentation rules of the CCLWSSIP, and their word segmentation processing was influenced by the syntactic categories of consecutive words. In many cases, the participants did not consider the auxiliary words, adverbs, adjectives, nouns, verbs, numerals and quantifiers as single word units. Generally, Chinese readers tended to combine function words with content words to form single word units, indicating they were inclined to chunk single words into large information units during word segmentation. Additionally, the “overextension of monosyllable words” hypothesis was tested and it might need to be corrected to some degree, implying that word length have an implicit influence on Chinese readers’ segmentation processing. Implications of these results for models of word recognition and eye movement control are discussed.
Metallic aluminum (Al) is of interest as a reducing agent because of its low standard reduction potential. However, its surface is invariably covered with a dense aluminum oxide film, which prevents its effective use as a reducing agent in wet-chemical synthesis. Pitting corrosion, known as an undesired reaction destroying Al and is enhanced by anions such as F−, Cl−, and Br− in aqueous solutions, is applied here for the first time to activate Al as a reducing agent for wet-chemical synthesis of a diverse array of metals and alloys. Specifically, we demonstrate the synthesis of highly dispersed palladium nanoparticles on carbon black with stabilizers and the intermetallic Cu2Sb/C, which are promising candidates, respectively, for fuel cell catalysts and lithium-ion battery anodes. Atomic hydrogen, an intermediate during the pitting corrosion of Al in protonic solvents (e.g., water and ethylene glycol), is validated as the actual reducing agent.
MicroRNAs are major post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. Here we show in the ancient protozoan Giardia lamblia a snoRNA-derived 26-nucleotide microRNA, miR3, which represses the translation of histone H2A mRNA containing an imperfect target but enhances translation when the target is made fully complementary. A stepwise mutational analysis of the fully complementary target showed that the activating effect of miR3 was significantly reduced when a single nucleotide at the 5′-end of the target was altered. The effect of miR3 became repressive when 12 of the nucleotides lost their complementation to miR3 with maximum repression reached when only 8 base-pairs remained between the miR3 seed sequence and the target. A synthetic 8-nucleotide RNA oligomer of the miR3 seed sequence was found capable of exerting a similar Argonaute-dependent translational repression. This is the first report showing a correlation between the extent of base-pairing with the target and a change in miRNA function.
Based on regional-scale studies, aboveground production and litter decomposition are thought to positively covary, because they are driven by shared biotic and climatic factors. Until now we have been unable to test whether production and decomposition are generally coupled across climatically dissimilar regions, because we lacked replicated data collected within a single vegetation type across multiple regions, obfuscating the drivers and generality of the association between production and decomposition. Furthermore, our understanding of the relationships between production and decomposition rests heavily on separate meta-analyses of each response, because no studies have simultaneously measured production and the accumulation or decomposition of litter using consistent methods at globally relevant scales. Here, we use a multi-country grassland dataset collected using a standardized protocol to show that live plant biomass (an estimate of aboveground net primary production) and litter disappearance (represented by mass loss of aboveground litter) do not strongly covary. Live biomass and litter disappearance varied at different spatial scales. There was substantial variation in live biomass among continents, sites and plots whereas among continent differences accounted for most of the variation in litter disappearance rates. Although there were strong associations among aboveground biomass, litter disappearance and climatic factors in some regions (e.g. U.S. Great Plains), these relationships were inconsistent within and among the regions represented by this study. These results highlight the importance of replication among regions and continents when characterizing the correlations between ecosystem processes and interpreting their global-scale implications for carbon flux. We must exercise caution in parameterizing litter decomposition and aboveground production in future regional and global carbon models as their relationship is complex.