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1.  Increased serum levels of lipocalin-1 and -2 in patients with stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
Despite a number of studies on biomarkers in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), only a few disease-related markers have been identified, yet we still have no satisfactory markers specific to innate immune system and neutrophil activation, which is essential in airway inflammation in COPD. Recent biological studies indicated that lipocalins (LCNs) might be involved in airway inflammation and innate immunity; however, results from available studies on the association of LCNs with COPD are not consistent. We carried out a multicenter prospective observational cohort study to investigate the differences in serum levels of LCN1 and LCN2 between subjects with COPD (n=58) and healthy controls (n=29). Several validated inflammatory markers, including C-reactive protein, tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6, and interleukin-8, were measured. The correlation of LCN1 and LCN2 with clinical features such as smoking habits, lung function, symptoms, and disease category was also analyzed. When comparing with healthy controls, serum levels of LCN1 (66.35±20.26 ng/mL versus 41.16±24.19 ng/mL, P<0.001) and LCN2 (11.29±3.92 ng/mL versus 6.09±5.13 ng/mL, P<0.001) were both elevated in subjects with COPD after adjusting for age, sex, smoking habits, and inflammatory biomarkers. Smoking history and tobacco exposure, as quantified by pack-year, had no impact on systemic expressions of LCN1 and LCN2 in our study. Blood levels of LCN1 and LCN2, respectively, were negatively correlated to COPD Assessment Test and Modified Medical British Research Council score (P<0.001). Disease category by Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease grade 1–4 or group A–D was not associated with levels of LCNs. Patient-reported exacerbations and body mass index were also tested, but no relationship with LCNs was found. In summary, serum concentrations of LCN1 and LCN2 were both elevated in patients with COPD, with their levels correlating to COPD Assessment Test and Modified Medical British Research Council score. These findings warrant large-scale and longitudinal studies to validate LCNs as circulating biomarkers for COPD.
PMCID: PMC4043430  PMID: 24920892
lipocalin-1; lipocalin-2; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; biomarkers
2.  Induction of Rapid Cell Death by an Environmental Isolate of Legionella pneumophila in Mouse Macrophages 
Infection and Immunity  2013;81(9):3077-3088.
Legionella pneumophila, the etiological agent for Legionnaires' disease, is ubiquitous in the aqueous environment, where it replicates as an intracellular parasite of free-living protozoa. Our understanding of L. pneumophila pathogenicity is obtained mostly from study of derivatives of several clinical isolates, which employ almost identical virulent determinants to exploit host functions. To determine whether environmental L. pneumophila isolates interact similarly with the model host systems, we analyzed intracellular replication of several recently isolated such strains and found that these strains cannot productively grow in bone marrow-derived macrophages of A/J mice, which are permissive for all examined laboratory strains. By focusing on one strain called LPE509, we found that its deficiency in intracellular replication in primary A/J macrophages is not caused by the lack of important pathogenic determinants because this strain replicates proficiently in two protozoan hosts and the human macrophage U937 cell. We also found that in the early phase of infection, the trafficking of this strain in A/J macrophages is similar to that of JR32, a derivative of strain Philadelphia 1. Furthermore, infection of these cells by LPE509 caused extensive cell death in a process that requires the Dot/Icm type IV secretion system. Finally, we showed that the cell death is caused neither by the activation of the NAIP5/NLRC4 inflammasome nor by the recently described caspase 11-dependent pathway. Our results revealed that some environmental L. pneumophila strains are unable to overcome the defense conferred by primary macrophages from mice known to be permissive for laboratory L. pneumophila strains. These results also suggest the existence of a host immune surveillance mechanism differing from those currently known in responding to L. pneumophila infection.
PMCID: PMC3754228  PMID: 23753633
3.  Efficacy and safety of moxifloxacin in acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis and COPD: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
Journal of Thoracic Disease  2014;6(3):221-229.
To evaluate the efficacy and safety of moxifloxacin in acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis (AECB) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD).
We searched PubMed, EMBASE, and the Web of Science for relevant studies. Two reviewers extracted data and reviewed the quality of the studies independently. The primary outcome was clinical success at early follow-up. Study-level data were pooled using a random-effects model when I2 was >50% or a fixed-effects model when I2 was <50%.
Eleven randomized controlled studies were considered. There was no difference between moxifloxacin and comparator agents with regard to treatment success in intention-to-treat (ITT) [odds ratio (OR) =1.18, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.98-1.42], clinically evaluable (CE) (OR 1.13, 95% CI, 0.93-1.37) patients, or adverse effects in general (OR 1.00, 95% CI, 0.86-1.17). Moxifloxacin was associated with better microbiological success (OR 1.45; 95% CI, 1.14-1.85).
Moxifloxacin was as clinically equivalent and bacteriologically superior to the antibiotic regimens routinely used in patients with AECB and AECOPD. Moxifloxacin therapy may be a promising and safe alternative to empirical treatment for AECB and AECOPD.
PMCID: PMC3949192  PMID: 24624286
Moxifloxacin; chronic bronchitis; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); meta-analysis; systematic review
4.  Low Dose Theophylline Showed an Inhibitory Effect on the Production of IL-6 and IL-8 in Primary Lung Fibroblast from Patients with COPD 
Mediators of Inflammation  2012;2012:492901.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by the abnormal and chronic lung inflammation. We hypothesized that lung fibroblasts could contribute to the local inflammation and investigated whether low dose theophylline had a beneficial effect on fibroblasts inflammation. Subjects undergoing lobectomy for bronchial carcinoma were enrolled and divided into COPD and control groups according to spirometry. Primary human lung fibroblasts were cultured from peripheral lung tissue distant to tumor tissue. There was a significant increase in both the mRNA expressions and protein levels for IL-6 and IL-8 in fibroblasts in COPD group, and the values were negatively correlated with lung function (P < 0.05). For COPD fibroblasts, the protein levels of IL-6 and IL-8 decreased from 993.0 ± 738.9 pg/mL to 650.1 ± 421.9 pg/mL (P = 0.014) and from 703.1 ± 278.0 pg/mL to 492.0 ± 214.9 pg/mL (P = 0.001), respectively, with 5 μg/mL theophylline treatment. In addition, theophylline at the dose of 5 μg/mL reduced the increased production of IL-6 and IL-8 induced by 1 μg/mL LPS in primary human lung fibroblasts. Our data suggest that lung fibroblasts participate in the chronic inflammation in COPD by releasing IL-6 and IL-8, and low dose theophylline can alleviate the proinflammatory mediators' production by fibroblasts.
PMCID: PMC3272862  PMID: 22363103
5.  Novel Interventional Approaches for ALI/ARDS: Cell-Based Gene Therapy 
Mediators of Inflammation  2011;2011:560194.
Acute lung injury (ALI) and its more severe form, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), continue to be a major cause of morbidity and mortality in critically ill patients. The present therapeutic strategies for ALI/ARDS including supportive care, pharmacological treatments, and ventilator support are still controversial. More scientists are focusing on therapies involving stem cells, which have self-renewing capabilities and differentiate into multiple cell lineages, and, genomics therapy which has the potential to upregulate expression of anti-inflammatory mediators. Recently, the combination of cell and gene therapy which has been demonstrated to provide additive benefit has opened up a new chapter in therapeutic strategy and provides a basis for the development of an innovative approach for the prevention and treatment of ALI/ARDS.
PMCID: PMC3139183  PMID: 21785528
6.  Plasma Orexin-A Levels in COPD Patients with Hypercapnic Respiratory Failure 
Mediators of Inflammation  2011;2011:754847.
Orexins have previously been shown to promote wakefulness, regulate lipid metabolism and participate in energy homeostasis. The aim of the study was to determine the relationship between plasma orexin-A and body composition in COPD in-patients with hypercapnic respiratory failure. 40 patients with hypercapnic respiratory failure and 22 healthy individuals were enrolled prospectively in this study. Plasma orexin-A levels, BMI, SaO2, PaCO2 and PaO2 were noted for all the patients. Plasma orexin-A levels were higher in the underweight (UW) group, normal weight (NW) group and overweight (OW) group of COPD patients as compared with UW, NW and OW group of the control group (P < .05). Plasma orexin-A in COPD patients were higher in the OW group than in the NW group and the UW group. Plasma orexin-A levels showed significant correlation with body mass index (BMI), independent of PaO2 (r = 0.576; P < .05) and %fat (r = 0.367; P < .05); a negative correlation was noted between plasma orexin-A levels and PaO2 (r = −0.738; P < .05) and SaO2 (r = −0.616; P < .05). Our results suggest that orexin-A levels are high in COPD patients with hypercapnic respiratory failure, and vary according to BMI and body composition. Orexin-A may be associated with the severity of hypoxemia in COPD patients with hypercapnic respiratory failure.
PMCID: PMC3134321  PMID: 21765621
7.  Biomarkers: A Definite Plus in Pneumonia 
Mediators of Inflammation  2009;2009:675753.
During the past few years, biomarkers have emerged as an indispensible tool in the diagnosis of pneumonia. To find an ideal diagnostic biomarker for pneumonia is not an easy task. Not only should it allow an early diagnosis of the condition, but it should also allow differential diagnosis from other noninfectious conditions. Ongoing research is being done in this field so as to put an array of biomarkers at the disposal of doctors to improve the diagnosis of pneumonia when patients present to them with cough or nonspecific symptoms which could easily be misinterpreted as symptoms of other conditions. Procalcitonin and soluble triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-1 have emerged as reliable diagnostic markers in pneumonia, and are better when compared to other markers, namely, C-reactive protein, leukocyte count, and proinflammatory cytokines. Many other biomarkers are being studied for their probable use in diagnosing pneumonia but have yet to prove their benefit.
PMCID: PMC2786247  PMID: 20011658
8.  Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Microvesicles for Treatment of E.coli Endotoxin-Induced Acute Lung Injury in Mice 
Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio)  2014;32(1):116-125.
We previously found that human mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) or its conditioned medium restored lung protein permeability and reduced alveolar inflammation following E.coli endotoxin-induced acute lung injury (ALI) in an ex vivo perfused human lung in part through the secretion of soluble factors such as keratinocyte growth factor (KGF). Recently, MSC were found to release microvesicles (MV) that were biologically active because of the presence of mRNA or miRNA with reparative properties. MVs are circular fragments of membrane released from the endosomal compartment as exosomes or shed from the surface membranes. The current studies were designed to determine if MVs released by human bone marrow derived MSCs would be effective in restoring lung protein permeability and reducing inflammation in E.coli endotoxin-induced ALI in C57BL/6 mice. The intra-tracheal instillation of MVs improved several indices of ALI at 48 h. Compared to endotoxin-injured mice, MVs reduced extravascular lung water by 43% and reduced total protein levels in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid by 35%, demonstrating a reduction in pulmonary edema and lung protein permeability. MVs also reduced the influx of neutrophils and macrophage inflammatory protein-2 levels in the BAL fluid by 73% and 49% respectively, demonstrating a reduction in inflammation. KGF siRNA-pretreatment of MSC partially eliminated the therapeutic effects of MVs released by MSCs, suggesting that KGF protein expression was important for the underlying mechanism. In summary, human MSC derived microvesicles were therapeutically effective following E.coli endotoxin-induced ALI in mice in part through the expression of KGF mRNA in the injured alveolus.
PMCID: PMC3947321  PMID: 23939814
Acute Lung injury; Keratinocyte growth factor; Lipopolysaccharide; Mesenchymal stem cell; Microvesicles
9.  Lower Socioeconomic Status Is Associated with Worse Outcomes in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension 
Rationale: Lower socioeconomic status (SES) confers a heightened risk of common cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases and increased mortality. The association of SES with outcomes in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is less clear.
Objectives: To determine the association between SES and outcomes in patients with PAH.
Methods: We performed a prospective cohort study at a national referral center for patients with PAH in China. Two hundred sixty-two consecutive incident patients aged 18 to 65 years with a diagnosis of idiopathic PAH were recruited between January 2007 and June 2011 and followed up until November 2011. The primary endpoint was all-cause mortality. An SES score for each patient was derived from their educational level, annual household income, occupation, and medical reimbursement rate.
Measurements and Main Results: Patients with a lower SES had higher unadjusted mortality rates, with 3-year survival estimates of 50.1, 70.8, and 86.0% in increasing tertiles of SES (P for trend < 0.001). After adjustment for clinical features, hemodynamics, and type of PAH treatment, the hazard ratios for death were 2.98 (95% confidence interval, 1.51–5.89) in the lowest tertile of SES and 1.80 (95% confidence interval, 0.89–3.63) in the middle tertile of SES compared with the upper tertile (P for trend = 0.006).
Conclusions: A lower SES is strongly associated with a higher risk of death in idiopathic PAH. This association was independent of clinical characteristics, hemodynamics, and treatment. Addressing the health disparities associated with a lower SES may improve the outcomes of patients with PAH.
PMCID: PMC3603556  PMID: 23220911
pulmonary arterial hypertension; socioeconomic status; survival
10.  Probiotics for Preventing Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of High-Quality Randomized Controlled Trials 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e83934.
Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is considered to be a worldwide issue along with the development of supportive ventilation. The preventing strategy is of great importance for its poor prognostic and difficulties in treatment. Probiotics have been advocated as one of the possible preventive measures. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to explore the potential benefits of probiotics.
The databases, Web of science, PubMed, Ovid and Cochrane lib were searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) publications that compared the effectiveness of probiotics with placebo in the prevention of VAP. The incidence of VAP was considered as the primary endpoint, mortality, length of stay in intensive care units (ICUs), etiology of the infections were considered as secondary endpoints.
A total of 844 patients from 5 trials were subjected to meta-analysis. Probiotics did not significantly decrease the incidence of VAP (RR 0.94, 95%CI 0.85-1.04, p=0.22), however, the administration of probiotics reduced the risk of VAP caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) (RR 0.30, 95%CI 0.11-0.91, P=0.03). It failed to affect any other endpoints.
Probiotic prophylaxis of ventilator-associated pneumonia remained inconclusive and it failed to improve the prognosis of general mechanically ventilated patients. It was noteworthy that infections caused by P. aeruginosa was reduced by administration of probiotics. In further, it is recommended that advanced studies should exploit transformation in pathogenic microorganisms owing to administration of probiotics as well as the specific population.
PMCID: PMC3867481  PMID: 24367620
11.  Involvement of TRPC Channels in Lung Cancer Cell Differentiation and the Correlation Analysis in Human Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e67637.
The canonical transient receptor potential (TRPC) channels are Ca2+-permeable cationic channels controlling the Ca2+ influx evoked by G protein-coupled receptor activation and/or by Ca2+ store depletion. Here we investigate the involvement of TRPCs in the cell differentiation of lung cancer. The expression of TRPCs and the correlation to cancer differentiation grade in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) were analyzed by real-time PCR and immunostaining using tissue microarrays from 28 patient lung cancer samples. The association of TRPCs with cell differentiation was also investigated in the lung cancer cell line A549 by PCR and Western blotting. The channel activity was monitored by Ca2+ imaging and patch recording after treatment with all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA). The expression of TRPC1, 3, 4 and 6 was correlated to the differentiation grade of NSCLC in patients, but there was no correlation to age, sex, smoking history and lung cancer cell type. ATRA upregulated TRPC3, TRPC4 and TRPC6 expression and enhanced Ca2+ influx in A549 cells, however, ATRA showed no direct effect on TRPC channels. Inhibition of TRPC channels by pore-blocking antibodies decreased the cell mitosis, which was counteracted by chronic treatment with ATRA. Blockade of TRPC channels inhibited A549 cell proliferation, while overexpression of TRPCs increased the proliferation. We conclude that TRPC expression correlates to lung cancer differentiation. TRPCs mediate the pharmacological effect of ATRA and play important roles in regulating lung cancer cell differentiation and proliferation, which gives a new understanding of lung cancer biology and potential anti-cancer therapy.
PMCID: PMC3695899  PMID: 23840757
12.  Statins and Pulmonary Fibrosis 
Rationale: The role of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (statins) in the development or progression of interstitial lung disease (ILD) is controversial.
Objectives: To evaluate the association between statin use and ILD.
Methods: We used regression analyses to evaluate the association between statin use and interstitial lung abnormalities (ILA) in a large cohort of smokers from COPDGene. Next, we evaluated the effect of statin pretreatment on bleomycin-induced fibrosis in mice and explored the mechanism behind these observations in vitro.
Measurements and Main Results: In COPDGene, 38% of subjects with ILA were taking statins compared with 27% of subjects without ILA. Statin use was positively associated in ILA (odds ratio, 1.60; 95% confidence interval, 1.03–2.50; P = 0.04) after adjustment for covariates including a history of high cholesterol or coronary artery disease. This association was modified by the hydrophilicity of statin and the age of the subject. Next, we demonstrate that statin administration aggravates lung injury and fibrosis in bleomycin-treated mice. Statin pretreatment enhances caspase-1–mediated immune responses in vivo and in vitro; the latter responses were abolished in bone marrow–derived macrophages isolated from Nlrp3−/− and Casp1−/− mice. Finally, we provide further insights by demonstrating that statins enhance NLRP3-inflammasome activation by increasing mitochondrial reactive oxygen species generation in macrophages.
Conclusions: Statin use is associated with ILA among smokers in the COPDGene study and enhances bleomycin-induced lung inflammation and fibrosis in the mouse through a mechanism involving enhanced NLRP3-inflammasome activation. Our findings suggest that statins may influence the susceptibility to, or progression of, ILD.
Clinical trial registered with (NCT 00608764).
PMCID: PMC3297101  PMID: 22246178
statins; interstitial lung disease; pulmonary fibrosis; inflammasome; mitochondrial reactive oxygen species
13.  Probiotics' effects on the incidence of nosocomial pneumonia in critically ill patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
Critical Care  2012;16(3):R109.
To evaluate the efficacy of probiotics in preventing nosocomial pneumonia in critically ill patients.
We searched PubMed, EMBASE, and the Web of Science for relevant studies. Two reviewers extracted data and reviewed the quality of the studies independently. The primary outcome was the incidence of nosocomial pneumonia. Study-level data were pooled using a random-effects model when I2 was > 50% or a fixed-effects model when I2 was < 50%.
Twelve randomized controlled studies with a total of 1,546 patients were considered. Pooled analysis showed a statistically significant reduction in nosocomial pneumonia rates due to probiotics (odd ratio [OR]= 0.75, 95% CI 0.57 to 0.97, P = 0.03, I2 = 46%). However, no statistically significant difference was found between groups regarding in-hospital mortality (OR = 0.93, 95% CI 0.50 to 1.74, P = 0.82, I2 = 51%), intensive care unit mortality (OR = 0.84, 95% CI 0.55 to 1.29, P = 0.43, I2 = 0%), duration of stay in the hospital (mean difference [MD] in days = -0.13, 95% CI -0.93 to 0.67, P = 0.75, I2 = 46%), or duration of stay in the intensive care units (MD = -0.72, 95% CI -1.73 to 0.29, P = 0.16, I2 = 68%).
The use of probiotics was associated with a statistically significant reduction in the incidence of nosocomial pneumonia in critically ill patients. However, large, well-designed, randomized, multi-center trials are needed to confirm any effects of probiotics clinical endpoints such as mortality and length of ICU and hospital stay.
PMCID: PMC3580667  PMID: 22731894
14.  Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor variants associated with susceptibility to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a meta-analysis 
Respiratory Research  2011;12(1):158.
Only 10-15% of smokers develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which indicates genetic susceptibility to the disease. Recent studies suggested an association between COPD and polymorphisms in CHRNA coding subunits of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Herein, we performed a meta-analysis to clarify the impact of CHRNA variants on COPD.
We searched Web of Knowledge and Medline from 1990 through June 2011 for COPD gene studies reporting variants on CHRNA. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) were calculated using the major allele or genotype as reference group.
Among seven reported variants in CHRNA, rs1051730 was finally analyzed with sufficient studies. Totally 3460 COPD and 11437 controls from 7 individual studies were pooled-analyzed. A-allele of rs1051730 was associated with an increased risk of COPD regardless of smoking exposure (pooled OR = 1.26, 95% CI 1.18-1.34, p < 10-5). At the genotypic level, the ORs gradually increased per A-allele (OR = 1.27 and 1.50 for GA and AA respectively, p < 10-5). Besides, AA genotype exhibited an association with reduced FEV1% predicted (mean difference 3.51%, 95%CI 0.87-6.16%, p = 0.009) and increased risk of emphysema (OR 1.93, 95%CI 1.29-2.90, p = 0.001).
Our findings suggest that rs1051730 in CHRNA is a susceptibility variant for COPD, in terms of both airway obstruction and parenchyma destruction.
PMCID: PMC3283485  PMID: 22176972
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD); Nicotine acetylcholine receptor (nAChR); CHRNA -; ; Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)
15.  Pleural fluid soluble triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-1 as a marker of bacterial infection: a meta-analysis 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2011;11:280.
Pleural infection is a common clinical problem. Its successful treatment depends on rapid diagnosis and early initiation of antibiotics. The measurement of soluble triggering receptor expressed in myeloid cells-1 (sTREM-1) level in pleural effusions has proven to be a valuable diagnostic tool for differentiating bacterial effusions from effusions of other etiologies. Herein, we performed a meta-analysis to assess the accuracy of pleural fluid sTREM-1 in the diagnosis of bacterial infection.
We searched Web of Knowledge and Medline from 1990 through March 2011 for studies reporting diagnostic accuracy data regarding the use of sTREM-1 in the diagnosis of bacterial pleural effusions. Pooled sensitivity and specificity and summary measures of accuracy and Q* were calculated.
Overall, the sensitivity of sTREM-1was 78% (95% CI: 72%-83%); the specificity was 84% (95% CI: 80%-87%); the positive likelihood ratio was 6.0 (95% CI: 3.3-10.7); and the negative likelihood ratio was 0.22 (95% CI: 0.12-0.40). The area under the SROC curve for sTREM-1 was 0.92. Statistical heterogeneity and inconsistency were found for sensitivity (p = 0.015, χ2 = 15.73, I2 = 61.9%), specificity (p = 0.000, χ2 = 29.90, I2 = 79.9%), positive likelihood ratio (p = 0.000, χ2 = 33.09, I2 = 81.9%), negative likelihood ratio (p = 0.008, χ2 = 17.25, I2 = 65.2%), and diagnostic odds ratio (p = 0.000, χ2 = 28.49, I2 = 78.9%). A meta-regression analysis performed showed that the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies score (p = 0.3245; RDOR, 4.34; 95% CI, 0.11 to 164.01), the Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy score (p = 0.3331; RDOR, 1.70; 95% CI, 0.44 to 6.52), lack of blinding (p = 0.7439; RDOR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.01 to 33.80), and whether the studies were prospective or retrospective studies (p = 0.2068; RDOR, 7.44; 95% CI, 0.18 to 301.17) did not affect the test accuracy. A funnel plot for publication bias suggested a remarkable trend of publication bias.
Our findings suggest that sTREM-1 has a good diagnostic accuracy and may provide a useful adjunctive tool for the diagnosis of bacterial pleural effusions. However, further studies are needed in order to identify any differences in the diagnostic performance of sTREM-1 of parapneumonic effusions and empyemas.
PMCID: PMC3209451  PMID: 22014385
16.  Intrapleural delivery of mesenchymal stem cells: a novel potential treatment for pleural diseases 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2011;32(5):581-590.
To develop a method to deliver mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into the pleural cavity for the treatment of pleural diseases.
MSCs were isolated from rat bone marrow of rats and labeled with 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole dihydrochloride (DAPI) or green fluorescent protein (GFP) using a lentiviral vector. Eighteen Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were inoculated intrapleurally with 1×106 MSCs-DAPI. The distribution of the fluorescent cells was observed using fluorescent microscopy for the following 30 d. Another 12 rats inoculated intrapleurally with 1×106 MSCs-GFP were observed for 14 d.
The isolated cells were typical MSC phenotypes and could differentiate into adipocytes, osteoblasts, and chondroblasts in vitro. Microscopic analysis revealed that the labeled cells adhered to the surface of the pleural cavity. The highest number of the labeled cells was found to be adhered to all specimens from the mediastinal pleura, but no labeled cells were detected in the lung parenchyma or other tissues/organs, such as the liver, kidney, spleen, and mesenterium. Incidentally, stomas were found in the mediastinal pleura. The recovered MSCs-GFP from the pleural cavity retained their ability to adhere and proliferate.
We have established a novel method for intrapleural delivery of MSCs. The distribution of intrapleurally delivered MSCs was found to be limited to the pleurae and the pleural cavity, thereby providing us with a new approach to further investigation of the therapeutic roles of MSCs in pleural diseases.
PMCID: PMC4002516  PMID: 21532612
mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs); stem cells transplantation; pleural cavity; pleural diseases; lung
17.  NAC is associated with additional alleviation of lung injury induced by invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in a neutropenic model 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2009;30(7):980-986.
Neutropenic individuals are at high risk for invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA), a life-threatening infection. To evaluate the therapeutic potential of antioxidants, IPA was induced in neutropenic mice and the effect of N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC) on oxidative stress levels and lung injury was analyzed.
Mice were pretreated with three daily intraperitoneal injections of 150 mg/kg cyclophosphamide, followed by intratracheal inoculation with 4.5×106 conidia of Asperǵillus fumiǵatus. The infected mice were then randomly assigned to an amphotericin B (AMB) group, an AMB plus NAC group, or an untreated control (C) group. In each group, the duration of treatment was 24, 48, or 72 h, and activities such as appearance, feeding, and dermal temperature were observed throughout the experiment. Sera and lung tissues were collected and analyzed by quantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for total protein, superoxide dismutase (SOD), malondialdehyde (MDA), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and interleukin-10 (IL-10) levels. The wet/dry weight ratio of the lung was also calculated and lung sections were stained with hematoxylin-eosin for pathological examination and with methenamine silver stain for fungus detection.
Compared with the mice untreated with NAC, mice in the AMB plus NAC group had increased SOD and reduced MDA levels both systemically and locally at 24, 48, and 72 h after inoculation with conidia. NAC treatment also decreased the pulmonary protein content at 48 and 72 h and the lung wet/dry weight ratio at 24 and 48 h. Additionally, NAC enhanced pulmonary production of TNF-α and IL-10 at 24 h and 48 h.
In combination with antifungal therapy, NAC treatment can alleviate oxidative stress and lung injury associated with IPA in neutropenic mice.
PMCID: PMC4006662  PMID: 19575001
invasive pulmonary aspergillosis; neutropenia; amphotericin B; N-acetyl-l-cysteine; oxidant/antioxidant therapy
18.  IL-12 suppression, enhanced endocytosis and up-regulation of MHC-II and CD80 in dendritic cells during experimental endotoxin tolerance 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2009;30(5):582-588.
The aim of this study was to investigate endocytosis, MHC-II expression and co-stimulatory molecule expression, as well as interleukin-12 (IL-12) production, in bone marrow dendritic cells (DCs) derived from endotoxin tolerant mice.
Endotoxin tolerance was induced in C57BL/10J mice through four consecutive daily intraperitoneal injections of 1.0 mg/kg of 055:B5 Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Bone marrow DCs were isolated in the presence of GM-CSF and IL-4 and purified by anti-CD11c Micro beads. FITC–dextran uptake by DCs was tested by flow cytometric analysis and the percentage of dextran-containing cells was calculated using a fluorescence microscope. The expression of surface MHC-II, CD40, CD80, and CD86 was also detected by flow cytometric analysis. An ELISA was used for the measurement of IL-12 production by DCs with or without LPS stimulation.
Endotoxin tolerance was successfully induced in C57BL/10J mice, evidenced by an attenuated elevation of systemic TNF-α. DCs from endotoxin tolerant mice possessed enhanced dextran endocytosis ability. The expression of surface MHC-II and CD80 was higher in DCs from endotoxin tolerant mice than in DCs from control mice, whereas the expression of CD40 and CD86 was not altered. Compared with DCs from normal control mice, DCs from endotoxin tolerant mice produced less IL-12 after subsequent in vitro stimulation with LPS.
These data suggest enhanced endocytosis, selective up-regulation of MHC-II and CD80 and IL-12 suppression in DCs during in vivo induction of endotoxin tolerance.
PMCID: PMC4002821  PMID: 19349963
endotoxin tolerance; dendritic cells; endocytosis; MHC-II; co-stimulatory molecules; interleukin-12

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