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1.  L-Serine Treatment May Improve Neurorestoration of Rats after Permanent Focal Cerebral Ischemia Potentially Through Improvement of Neurorepair 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e93405.
The present study was conducted to clarify whether treatment with L-serine can improve the brain repair and neurorestoration of rats after permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO). After pMCAO, the neurological functions, brain lesion volume, and cortical injury were determined. GDNF, NGF, NCAM L1, tenascin-C, and Nogo-A levels were measured. Proliferation and differentiation of the neural stem cells (NSCs) and proliferation of the microvessels in the ischemic boundary zone of the cortex were evaluated. Treatment with L-serine (168 mg/kg body weight, i.p.) began 3 h after pMCAO and was repeated every 12 h for 7 days or until the end of the experiment. L-Serine treatment: 1) reduced the lesion volume and neuronal loss; 2) improved the recovery of neurological functions; 3) elevated the expression of nerve growth-related factors; and 4) facilitated the proliferation of endogenous NSCs and microvessels activated after pMCAO and increased the number of new-born neurons. 5) D-cycloserine, an inhibitor of serine hydroxymethyltransferase, blunted the effects of L-serine on NSC proliferation, differentiation, microvascular proliferation. In conclusions, L-serine treatment in pMCAO rats can reduce brain injury and facilitate neurorestoration which is partly associated with the improvement of proliferation of NSCs and microvessels, reconstruction of neurovascular units and resultant neurorepair. The effects of L-serine on endogenous NSC proliferation and microvascular proliferation are partly mediated by the action of L-serine as a substrate for the production of one-carbon groups used for purine and pyrimidine synthesis and modulation of the expression of some nerve growth-related factors.
PMCID: PMC3966884  PMID: 24671106
2.  Transperitoneal Approach versus Retroperitoneal Approach: A Meta-Analysis of Laparoscopic Partial Nephrectomy for Renal Cell Carcinoma 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91978.
To compare the efficiency and safety of the transperitoneal approaches with retroperitoneal approaches in laparoscopic partial nephrectomy for renal cell carcinoma and provide evidence-based medicine support for clinical treatment.
A systematic computer search of PUBMED, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library was executed to identify retrospective observational and prospective randomized controlled trials studies that compared the outcomes of the two approaches in laparoscopic partial nephrectomy. Two reviewers independently screened, extracted, and evaluated the included studies and executed statistical analysis by using software STATA 12.0. Outcomes of interest included perioperative and postoperative variables, surgical complications and oncological variables.
There were 8 studies assessed transperitoneal laparoscopic partial nephrectomy (TLPN) versus retroperitoneal laparoscopic partial nephrectomy (RLPN) were included. RLPN had a shorter operating time (SMD = 1.001,95%confidence interval[CI] 0.609–1.393,P<0.001), a lower estimated blood loss (SMD = 0.403,95%CI 0.015–0.791,P = 0.042) and a shorter length of hospital stay (WMD = 0.936 DAYS,95%CI 0.609–1.263,P<0.001) than TLPN. There were no significant differences between the transperitoneal and retroperitoneal approaches in other outcomes of interest.
This meta-analysis indicates that, in appropriately selected patients, especially patients with intraperitoneal procedures history or posteriorly located renal tumors, the RLPN can shorten the operation time, reduce the estimated blood loss and shorten the length of hospital stay. RLPN may be equally safe and be faster compared with the TLPN.
PMCID: PMC3962363  PMID: 24658032
3.  The sequence and de novo assembly of the giant panda genome 
Li, Ruiqiang | Fan, Wei | Tian, Geng | Zhu, Hongmei | He, Lin | Cai, Jing | Huang, Quanfei | Cai, Qingle | Li, Bo | Bai, Yinqi | Zhang, Zhihe | Zhang, Yaping | Wang, Wen | Li, Jun | Wei, Fuwen | Li, Heng | Jian, Min | Li, Jianwen | Zhang, Zhaolei | Nielsen, Rasmus | Li, Dawei | Gu, Wanjun | Yang, Zhentao | Xuan, Zhaoling | Ryder, Oliver A. | Leung, Frederick Chi-Ching | Zhou, Yan | Cao, Jianjun | Sun, Xiao | Fu, Yonggui | Fang, Xiaodong | Guo, Xiaosen | Wang, Bo | Hou, Rong | Shen, Fujun | Mu, Bo | Ni, Peixiang | Lin, Runmao | Qian, Wubin | Wang, Guodong | Yu, Chang | Nie, Wenhui | Wang, Jinhuan | Wu, Zhigang | Liang, Huiqing | Min, Jiumeng | Wu, Qi | Cheng, Shifeng | Ruan, Jue | Wang, Mingwei | Shi, Zhongbin | Wen, Ming | Liu, Binghang | Ren, Xiaoli | Zheng, Huisong | Dong, Dong | Cook, Kathleen | Shan, Gao | Zhang, Hao | Kosiol, Carolin | Xie, Xueying | Lu, Zuhong | Zheng, Hancheng | Li, Yingrui | Steiner, Cynthia C. | Lam, Tommy Tsan-Yuk | Lin, Siyuan | Zhang, Qinghui | Li, Guoqing | Tian, Jing | Gong, Timing | Liu, Hongde | Zhang, Dejin | Fang, Lin | Ye, Chen | Zhang, Juanbin | Hu, Wenbo | Xu, Anlong | Ren, Yuanyuan | Zhang, Guojie | Bruford, Michael W. | Li, Qibin | Ma, Lijia | Guo, Yiran | An, Na | Hu, Yujie | Zheng, Yang | Shi, Yongyong | Li, Zhiqiang | Liu, Qing | Chen, Yanling | Zhao, Jing | Qu, Ning | Zhao, Shancen | Tian, Feng | Wang, Xiaoling | Wang, Haiyin | Xu, Lizhi | Liu, Xiao | Vinar, Tomas | Wang, Yajun | Lam, Tak-Wah | Yiu, Siu-Ming | Liu, Shiping | Zhang, Hemin | Li, Desheng | Huang, Yan | Wang, Xia | Yang, Guohua | Jiang, Zhi | Wang, Junyi | Qin, Nan | Li, Li | Li, Jingxiang | Bolund, Lars | Kristiansen, Karsten | Wong, Gane Ka-Shu | Olson, Maynard | Zhang, Xiuqing | Li, Songgang | Yang, Huanming | Wang, Jian | Wang, Jun
Nature  2009;463(7279):311-317.
Using next-generation sequencing technology alone, we have successfully generated and assembled a draft sequence of the giant panda genome. The assembled contigs (2.25 gigabases (Gb)) cover approximately 94% of the whole genome, and the remaining gaps (0.05 Gb) seem to contain carnivore-specific repeats and tandem repeats. Comparisons with the dog and human showed that the panda genome has a lower divergence rate. The assessment of panda genes potentially underlying some of its unique traits indicated that its bamboo diet might be more dependent on its gut microbiome than its own genetic composition. We also identified more than 2.7 million heterozygous single nucleotide polymorphisms in the diploid genome. Our data and analyses provide a foundation for promoting mammalian genetic research, and demonstrate the feasibility for using next-generation sequencing technologies for accurate, cost-effective and rapid de novo assembly of large eukaryotic genomes.
PMCID: PMC3951497  PMID: 20010809
4.  MiR-182 is up-regulated and targeting Cebpa in hepatocellular carcinoma 
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous small non-coding RNAs that repress their targets at post transcriptional level. Existing studies have shown that miRNAs are important regulatory genes in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), as either tumor suppressors or oncogenes. MiR-122 is normally downregulated in HCC and regarded as a tumor suppressor. Recently miR-122 has been reported to be regulated by CEBPA, which is then involved in a novel pathway to influence proliferation of tumor cells. However it is unknown whether CEBPA is regulated by miRNAs in HCC. In this study, we find that miR-182 is upregulated in HCC model rat, and represses CEBPA in both rat and human. This further improves the current CEBPA/miR-122 pathway that controls the proliferation of tumor cells. These results suggest that miR-182 is a potential oncogene in HCC and could be used as a diagnostic marker and drug target of HCC.
PMCID: PMC3937760  PMID: 24653623
miR-182; Cebpa; miR-122; hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); oncogene
5.  ASDCD: Antifungal Synergistic Drug Combination Database 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e86499.
Finding effective drugs to treat fungal infections has important clinical significance based on high mortality rates, especially in an immunodeficient population. Traditional antifungal drugs with single targets have been reported to cause serious side effects and drug resistance. Nowadays, however, drug combinations, particularly with respect to synergistic interaction, have attracted the attention of researchers. In fact, synergistic drug combinations could simultaneously affect multiple subpopulations, targets, and diseases. Therefore, a strategy that employs synergistic antifungal drug combinations could eliminate the limitations noted above and offer the opportunity to explore this emerging bioactive chemical space. However, it is first necessary to build a powerful database in order to facilitate the analysis of drug combinations. To address this gap in our knowledge, we have built the first Antifungal Synergistic Drug Combination Database (ASDCD), including previously published synergistic antifungal drug combinations, chemical structures, targets, target-related signaling pathways, indications, and other pertinent data. Its current version includes 210 antifungal synergistic drug combinations and 1225 drug-target interactions, involving 105 individual drugs from more than 12,000 references. ASDCD is freely available at
PMCID: PMC3901703  PMID: 24475134
6.  Effect of aerobic exercise and low carbohydrate diet on pre-diabetic non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in postmenopausal women and middle aged men – the role of gut microbiota composition: study protocol for the AELC randomized controlled trial 
BMC Public Health  2014;14:48.
Pre-diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are associated with an unhealthy lifestyle and pose extremely high costs to the healthcare system. In this study, we aim to explore whether individualized aerobic exercise (AEx) and low carbohydrate diet (LCh) intervention affect hepatic fat content (HFC) in pre-diabetes via modification of gut microbiota composition and other post-interventional effects.
A 6-month randomized intervention with 6-month follow-up is conducted from January 2013 to December 2015. The target sample size for intervention is 200 postmenopausal women and middle-aged men aged 50–65 year-old with pre-diabetes and NAFLD. The qualified subjects are randomized into 4 groups with 50 subjects in each group: 1 = AEx, 2 = LCh, 3 = AEx + LCh, and 4 = control. In addition, two age-matched reference groups (5 = pre-diabetes without NAFLD (n = 50) and 6 = Healthy without pre-diabetes or NAFLD (n = 50)) are included. The exercise program consists of progressive and variable aerobic exercise (intensity of 60 to 75% of initial fitness level, 3–5 times/week and 30–60 min/time). The diet program includes dietary consultation plus supplementation with a special lunch meal (40% of total energy intake/day) which aims to reduce the amount of carbohydrate consumption (30%). The control and reference groups are advised to maintain their habitual habits during the intervention. The primary outcome measures are HFC, serum metabolomics and gut microbiota composition. The secondary outcome measures include body composition and cytokines. In addition, socio-psychological aspects, social support, physical activity and diet will be performed by means of questionnaire and interview.
Specific individualized exercise and diet intervention in this study offers a more efficient approach for liver fat reduction and diabetes prevention via modification of gut microbiota composition. Besides, the study explores the importance of incorporating fitness assessment and exercise in the management of patients with pre-diabetes and fatty liver disorders. If our program is shown to be effective, it will open new strategies to combat these chronic diseases.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials: ISRCTN42622771.
PMCID: PMC3897962  PMID: 24438438
Liver fat content; Glucose metabolism; Lipid metabolism; Gut microbiota; Metabonomics; Human; Clinical setting
7.  Activation of the IL-6/JAK/STAT3 signaling pathway in human middle ear cholesteatoma epithelium 
Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is one of the most important cytokines which has been shown to play a critical role in the pathogenesis of cholesteatoma. In this study, we aimed to investigate the expression of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (p-STAT3) in middle ear cholesteatoma epithelium in an effort to determine the role of IL-6/JAK/STAT3 signaling pathway in the pathogenesis of cholesteatoma. Immunohistochemistry was used to examine the expression of IL-6 and p-STAT3 in 25 human middle ear cholesteatoma samples and 15 normal external auditory canal (EAC) epithelium specimens. We also analyzed the relation of IL-6 and p-STAT3 expression levels to the degree of bone destruction in cholesteatoma. We found that the expression of IL-6 and p-STAT3 were significantly higher in cholesteatoma epithelium than in normal EAC epithelium (p<0.05). In cholesteatoma epithelium, a significant positive association was observed between IL-6 and p-STAT3 expression (p<0.05). However, no significant relationships were observed between the degree of bone destruction and the levels of IL-6 and p-STAT3 expression (p>0.05). To conclude, our results support the concept that IL-6/JAK/STAT3 signaling pathway is active and may play an important role in the mechanisms of epithelial hyper-proliferation responsible for cholesteatoma.
PMCID: PMC3925917  PMID: 24551293
Cholesteatoma; IL-6; STAT3
8.  Correction: A Dynamic Finite Element Analysis of Human Foot Complex in the Sagittal Plane during Level Walking 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):10.1371/annotation/ce351166-09b8-4a6b-bf8a-a0858670c034.
PMCID: PMC3881590
9.  An Evil Backstage Manipulator: Psychological Factors Correlated with Health-Related Quality of Life in Chinese Patients with Crohn's Disease 
The Scientific World Journal  2013;2013:464698.
Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is recommended as one of essential parameters to evaluate treatment effect and clinical outcome in patients with Crohn's disease (CD). Recent studies reported that psychological factors might play a role in HRQoL in Western and American CD patients. Sufficient evidences in Chinese CD patients are still unavailable. This study is dedicated to investigate the correlation of various psychological factors with HRQoL in Chinese CD patients. We prospectively collected 40 active and 40 quiescent CD patients in China and found that psychological factors, especially neuroticism and anxiety, significantly correlate with and affect HRQoL in both active and quiescent CD groups. This is the first report revealing correlation between psychological factors and HRQoL in Chinese CD patients. Therefore, we assume that our results can contribute to a better understanding of etiology and tailoring of management in Chinese patients with Crohn's disease and are beneficial to our colleagues to compare the heterogeneous characteristics of Crohn's disease in different ethnic groups.
PMCID: PMC3888728  PMID: 24453858
10.  Compound heterozygous hemophilia A in a female patient and the identification of a novel missense mutation, p.Met1093Ile 
Molecular Medicine Reports  2013;9(2):466-470.
Hemophilia A (HA) in females is rare. Female HA cases are often misdiagnosed as acquired HA (AHA) or as von Willebrand disease type 2N (vWD-2N). Here, we report the case of a 37-year-old female HA patient with a moderate factor VIII (FVIII) deficiency. The patient had no personal or family history of bleeding disorders, but presented with heavy uterine bleeding following surgery to remove an intrauterine device. IgG inhibitory antibodies against FVIII were undetected. A compound heterozygote mutation of the FVIII gene (F8) was found in this patient. The p.Val502Asp mutation, which has been reported previously, affects A2 domain function. A novel missense point mutation, p.Met1093Ile, was identified in the B domain. The compound heterozygote mutations in F8, p.Val502Asp and p.Met1093Ile, caused HA in this female patient, with a moderate phenotype.
PMCID: PMC3896510  PMID: 24317041
factor VIII; hemophilia A; female; F8; mutation
11.  A specific miRNA signature promotes radioresistance of human cervical cancer cells 
The mechanisms responsible for cervical cancer radioresistance are still largely unexplored. The present study aimed to identify miRNAs associated with radioresistance of cervical cancer cells.
The radioresistant cervical cancer cell variants were established by repeated selection with irradiation. The miRNA profiles of radioresistant cells and their corresponding controls were analyzed and compared using microarray. Differentially expressed miRNAs were confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR. Cervical cancer cells were transfected with miRNA-specific mimics or inhibitors. Radiosensitivity of cervical cancer cells were determined using colony-forming assay.
Among the differentially expressed miRNAs, 20 miRNAs showed the similar pattern of alteration (14 miRNAs were overexpressed whilst 6 were suppressed) in all three radioresistant cervical cancer cell variants compared to their controls. A miRNA signature consisting of 4 miRNAs (miR-630, miR-1246, miR-1290 and miR-3138) exhibited more than 5 folds of increase in radioresistant cells. Subsequent analysis revealed that these four miRNAs could be up-regulated in cervical cancer cells by radiation treatment in both time-dependent and dose-dependent manners. Ectopic expression of each of these 4 miRNAs can dramatically increase the survival fraction of irradiated cervical cancer cells. Moreover, inhibition of miR-630, one miRNA of the specific signature, could reverse radioresistance of cervical cancer cells.
The present study indicated that miRNA is involved in radioresistance of human cervical cancer cells and that a specific miRNA signature consisting of miR-630, miR-1246, miR-1290 and miR-3138 could promote radioresistance of cervical cancer cells.
PMCID: PMC3867218  PMID: 24283459
Cervical cancer; Radioresistance; miR-630; miR-1246; miR-1290; miR-3138
12.  A Dynamic Finite Element Analysis of Human Foot Complex in the Sagittal Plane during Level Walking 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e79424.
The objective of this study is to develop a computational framework for investigating the dynamic behavior and the internal loading conditions of the human foot complex during locomotion. A subject-specific dynamic finite element model in the sagittal plane was constructed based on anatomical structures segmented from medical CT scan images. Three-dimensional gait measurements were conducted to support and validate the model. Ankle joint forces and moment derived from gait measurements were used to drive the model. Explicit finite element simulations were conducted, covering the entire stance phase from heel-strike impact to toe-off. The predicted ground reaction forces, center of pressure, foot bone motions and plantar surface pressure showed reasonably good agreement with the gait measurement data over most of the stance phase. The prediction discrepancies can be explained by the assumptions and limitations of the model. Our analysis showed that a dynamic FE simulation can improve the prediction accuracy in the peak plantar pressures at some parts of the foot complex by 10%–33% compared to a quasi-static FE simulation. However, to simplify the costly explicit FE simulation, the proposed model is confined only to the sagittal plane and has a simplified representation of foot structure. The dynamic finite element foot model proposed in this study would provide a useful tool for future extension to a fully muscle-driven dynamic three-dimensional model with detailed representation of all major anatomical structures, in order to investigate the structural dynamics of the human foot musculoskeletal system during normal or even pathological functioning.
PMCID: PMC3823660  PMID: 24244500
13.  The Role of EGFR/PI3K/Akt/cyclinD1 Signaling Pathway in Acquired Middle Ear Cholesteatoma 
Mediators of Inflammation  2013;2013:651207.
Cholesteatoma is a benign keratinizing and hyper proliferative squamous epithelial lesion of the temporal bone. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is one of the most important cytokines which has been shown to play a critical role in cholesteatoma. In this investigation, we studied the effects of EGF on the proliferation of keratinocytes and EGF-mediated signaling pathways underlying the pathogenesis of cholesteatoma. We examined the expressions of phosphorylated EGF receptor (p-EGFR), phosphorylated Akt (p-Akt), cyclinD1, and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) in 40 cholesteatoma samples and 20 samples of normal external auditory canal (EAC) epithelium by immunohistochemical method. Furthermore, in vitro studies were performed to investigate EGF-induced downstream signaling pathways in primary external auditory canal keratinocytes (EACKs). The expressions of p-EGFR, p-Akt, cyclinD1, and PCNA in cholesteatoma epithelium were significantly increased when compared with those of control subjects. We also demonstrated that EGF led to the activation of the EGFR/PI3K/Akt/cyclinD1 signaling pathway, which played a critical role in EGF-induced cell proliferation and cell cycle progression of EACKs. Both EGFR inhibitor AG1478 and PI3K inhibitor wortmannin inhibited the EGF-induced EGFR/PI3K/Akt/cyclinD1 signaling pathway concomitantly with inhibition of cell proliferation and cell cycle progression of EACKs. Taken together, our data suggest that the EGFR/PI3K/Akt/cyclinD1 signaling pathway is active in cholesteatoma and may play a crucial role in cholesteatoma epithelial hyper-proliferation. This study will facilitate the development of potential therapeutic targets for intratympanic drug therapy for cholesteatoma.
PMCID: PMC3839121  PMID: 24311896
14.  A new lipid-rich microalga Scenedesmus sp. strain R-16 isolated using Nile red staining: effects of carbon and nitrogen sources and initial pH on the biomass and lipid production 
Biodiesel production from oleaginous microalgae shows great potential as a promising alternative to conventional fossil fuels. Currently, most research focus on algal biomass production with autotrophic cultivation, but this cultivation strategy induces low biomass concentration and it is difficult to be used in large-scale algal biomass production. By contrast, heterotrophic algae allows higher growth rate and can accumulate higher lipid. However, the fast-growing and lipid-rich microalgae that can be cultivated in heterotrophic system for the industrial application of biodiesel production are still few. Traditional solvent extraction and gravimetric determination to detect the microalgal total lipid content is time-consuming and laborious, which has become a major limiting factor for selecting large number of algae specimens. Thus, it is critical to develop a rapid and efficient procedure for the screening of lipid-rich microalgae.
A novel green microalga Scenedesmus sp. strain R-16 with high total lipid content was selected using the Nile red staining from eighty-eight isolates. Various carbon sources (fructose, glucose and acetate) and nitrogen sources (nitrate, urea, peptone and yeast extract) can be utilized for microalgal growth and lipid production, and the optimal carbon and nitrogen sources were glucose (10 g L-1) and nitrate (0.6 g L-1), respectively. Compared to autotrophic situation, the strain R-16 can grow well heterotrophically without light and the accumulated total lipid content and biomass reached 43.4% and 3.46 g L-1, respectively. In addition, nitrogen deficiency led to an accumulation of lipid and the total lipid content was as high as 52.6%, and it was worth noting that strain R-16 exhibited strong tolerance to high glucose (up to 100 g L-1) and a wide range of pH (4.0-11.0).
The newly developed ultrasonic-assisted Nile red method proved to be an efficient isolation procedure and was successfully used in the selection of oleaginous microalgae. The isolated novel green microalgal strain R-16 was rich in lipid and can live in varied and contrasting conditions. The algae appeared to have great potential for application in microalgae-based biodiesel production.
PMCID: PMC3853715  PMID: 24093331
Biodiesel; Heterotrophy; Isolation; Lipid; Microalga; Nile red
15.  Discovery and study of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Karamay of Xinjiang, West China 
Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) was discovered in the farms of the Karamay suburb, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the 1990s. Between 1992 and 1994, a house-to-house survey revealed a prevalence of 1.0-1.6% in the residents. The clinical types of skin lesions included papule, plaque, ulcer and nodular prurigo. Observations verified that, in some cases, the skin lesions healed spontaneously in 10–14 months, whilst in other cases, they persisted for several years. Sporadic cases of CL have continued to appear at the dermatology clinic of the local hospital since 2000. Phlebotomus wui (Ph. wui), subgenus Larroussius was confirmed as the transmitting vector. The causative agent is Leishmania infantum sensu lato.
PMCID: PMC3856449  PMID: 24010525
16.  Prophylactic antibiotics used in patients of hepatobiliary surgery 
Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences  2013;29(5):1199-1202.
Objective:To clarify the use of antibiotics in our hospital and to guide the prophylactic use in future hepatobiliary surgical procedures.
Methodology: A retrospective review of patients who underwent hepatobiliary surgery from January 2011 to June 2011 was included. Data were collected, and surgical site infection (SSI) was defined by the criteria of Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Patients were prescribed antibiotics for the clinical diagnosis of hepatobiliary system diseases.
Results: 1564 patients were identified, in which 784 patients (50.13%) did not receive preoperative antibiotic prophylaxis. Of these 355 patients with 784 surgical sites received either preoperative or both preoperative and postoperative antibiotic prophylaxis. The SSI rate of the patients who received prophylaxis alone (2.56%, 20 of 780 sites) was not statistically higher than that of the patients who have not received prophylaxis (2.68%, 21 of 784 sites), and the two groups were not statistically correlated (P=0.77).
Conclusion: The number of the patients who developed SSI was relatively low, and no reduction in the SSI rate was observed among the patients who have received antibiotic prophylaxis.
PMCID: PMC3858909  PMID: 24353719
Prophylactic; Antibiotics; Hepatobiliary; Surgical site infection
17.  Ponatinib suppresses the development of myeloid and lymphoid malignancies associated with FGFR1 abnormalities 
Leukemia  2012;27(1):32-40.
Myeloid and lymphoid malignancies associated with FGFR1 abnormalities are characterized by constitutive activated FGFR1 kinase and rapid transformation to acute myeloid leukemia and lymphoblastic lymphoma. Molecular targeted therapies have not been widely used for SCLL. Ponatinib (AP24534), that potently inhibits native and mutant BCR-ABL, also targets the fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) family. Using murine BaF3 cells stably transformed with six different FGFR1 fusion genes, as well as human KG1 cells expressing activated chimeric FGFR1 and five newly established murine SCLL cell lines, we show that Ponatinib (< 50 nM) can effectively inhibit phosphoactivation of the fusion kinases and their downstream effectors, such as PLCγ, Stat5 and Src. Ponatinib also significantly extended survival of mice transplanted with different SCLL cell lines. Ponatinib administered at 30 mg/kg daily also significantly delayed, or even prevented, tumorigenesis of KG1 cells in xenotransplanted mice. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Ponatinib specifically inhibits cell growth and clonogenicity of normal human CD34+ progenitor cells transformed by chimeric FGFR1 fusion kinases. Overall, our data provide convincing evidence to suggest that pharmacologic inhibition of FGFR1 fusion kinases with Ponatinib is likely to be beneficial for patients with SCLL and perhaps for other human disorders associated with dysregulated FGFR1 activity.
PMCID: PMC3629706  PMID: 22781593
myeloproliferative disease; ponatinib; FGFR1; preclinical trial
18.  Improvement in Regional CBF by L-Serine Contributes to Its Neuroprotective Effect in Rats after Focal Cerebral Ischemia 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e67044.
To investigate the mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective effect of L-serine, permanent focal cerebral ischemia was induced by occlusion of the middle cerebral artery while monitoring cerebral blood flow (CBF). Rats were divided into control and L-serine-treated groups after middle cerebral artery occlusion. The neurological deficit score and brain infarct volume were assessed. Nissl staining was used to quantify the cortical injury. L-serine and D-serine levels in the ischemic cortex were analyzed with high performance liquid chromatography. We found that L-serine treatment: 1) reduced the neurological deficit score, infarct volume and cortical neuron loss in a dose-dependent manner; 2) improved CBF in the cortex, and this effect was inhibited in the presence of apamin plus charybdotoxin while the alleviation of both neurological deficit score and infarct volume was blocked; and 3) increased the amount of L-serine and D-serine in the cortex, and inhibition of the conversion of L-serine into D-serine by aminooxyacetic acid did not affect the reduction of neurological deficit score and infarct volume by L-serine. In conclusion, improvement in regional CBF by L-serine may contribute to its neuroprotective effect on the ischemic brain, potentially through vasodilation which is mediated by the small- and intermediate-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels on the cerebral blood vessel endothelium.
PMCID: PMC3692549  PMID: 23825613
19.  Activated N-Ras signaling regulates arterial-venous specification in zebrafish 
The aberrant activation of Ras signaling is associated with human diseases including hematological malignancies and vascular disorders. So far the pathological roles of activated Ras signaling in hematopoiesis and vasculogenesis are largely unknown.
A conditional Cre/loxP transgenic strategy was used to mediate the specific expression of a constitutively active form of human N-Ras in zebrafish endothelial and hematopoietic cells driven by the zebrafish lmo2 promoter. The expression of hematopoietic and endothelial marker genes was analyzed both via whole mount in situ hybridization (WISH) assay and real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR). The embryonic vascular morphogenesis was characterized both by living imaging and immunofluorescence on the sections with a confocal microscopy, and the number of endothelial cells in the embryos was quantified by flow cytometry. The functional analyses of the blood circulation were carried out by fluorescence microangiography assay and morpholino injection.
In the activated N-Ras transgenic embryos, the primitive hematopoiesis appeared normal, however, the definitive hematopoiesis of these embryos was completely absent. Further analysis of endothelial cell markers confirmed that transcription of arterial marker ephrinB2 was significantly decreased and expression of venous marker flt4 excessively increased, indicating the activated N-Ras signaling promotes the venous development at the expense of arteriogenesis during zebrafish embryogenesis. The activated N-Ras-expressing embryos showed atrophic axial arteries and expansive axial veins, leading to no definitive hematopoietic stem cell formation, the blood circulation failure and subsequently embryonic lethality.
Our studies revealed for the first time that activated N-Ras signaling during the endothelial differentiation in vertebrates can disrupt the balance of arterial-venous specification, thus providing new insights into the pathogenesis of the congenital human vascular disease and tumorigenic angiogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3658992  PMID: 23663822
Vasculogenesis; Arteriogenesis; N-Ras
20.  Genotypic variants at 2q33 and risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in China: a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies 
Abnet, Christian C. | Wang, Zhaoming | Song, Xin | Hu, Nan | Zhou, Fu-You | Freedman, Neal D. | Li, Xue-Min | Yu, Kai | Shu, Xiao-Ou | Yuan, Jian-Min | Zheng, Wei | Dawsey, Sanford M. | Liao, Linda M. | Lee, Maxwell P. | Ding, Ti | Qiao, You-Lin | Gao, Yu-Tang | Koh, Woon-Puay | Xiang, Yong-Bing | Tang, Ze-Zhong | Fan, Jin-Hu | Chung, Charles C. | Wang, Chaoyu | Wheeler, William | Yeager, Meredith | Yuenger, Jeff | Hutchinson, Amy | Jacobs, Kevin B. | Giffen, Carol A. | Burdett, Laurie | Fraumeni, Joseph F. | Tucker, Margaret A. | Chow, Wong-Ho | Zhao, Xue-Ke | Li, Jiang-Man | Li, Ai-Li | Sun, Liang-Dan | Wei, Wu | Li, Ji-Lin | Zhang, Peng | Li, Hong-Lei | Cui, Wen-Yan | Wang, Wei-Peng | Liu, Zhi-Cai | Yang, Xia | Fu, Wen-Jing | Cui, Ji-Li | Lin, Hong-Li | Zhu, Wen-Liang | Liu, Min | Chen, Xi | Chen, Jie | Guo, Li | Han, Jing-Jing | Zhou, Sheng-Li | Huang, Jia | Wu, Yue | Yuan, Chao | Huang, Jing | Ji, Ai-Fang | Kul, Jian-Wei | Fan, Zhong-Min | Wang, Jian-Po | Zhang, Dong-Yun | Zhang, Lian-Qun | Zhang, Wei | Chen, Yuan-Fang | Ren, Jing-Li | Li, Xiu-Min | Dong, Jin-Cheng | Xing, Guo-Lan | Guo, Zhi-Gang | Yang, Jian-Xue | Mao, Yi-Ming | Yuan, Yuan | Guo, Er-Tao | Zhang, Wei | Hou, Zhi-Chao | Liu, Jing | Li, Yan | Tang, Sa | Chang, Jia | Peng, Xiu-Qin | Han, Min | Yin, Wan-Li | Liu, Ya-Li | Hu, Yan-Long | Liu, Yu | Yang, Liu-Qin | Zhu, Fu-Guo | Yang, Xiu-Feng | Feng, Xiao-Shan | Wang, Zhou | Li, Yin | Gao, She-Gan | Liu, Hai-Lin | Yuan, Ling | Jin, Yan | Zhang, Yan-Rui | Sheyhidin, Ilyar | Li, Feng | Chen, Bao-Ping | Ren, Shu-Wei | Liu, Bin | Li, Dan | Zhang, Gao-Fu | Yue, Wen-Bin | Feng, Chang-Wei | Qige, Qirenwang | Zhao, Jian-Ting | Yang, Wen-Jun | Lei, Guang-Yan | Chen, Long-Qi | Li, En-Min | Xu, Li-Yan | Wu, Zhi-Yong | Bao, Zhi-Qin | Chen, Ji-Li | Li, Xian-Chang | Zhuang, Xiang | Zhou, Ying-Fa | Zuo, Xian-Bo | Dong, Zi-Ming | Wang, Lu-Wen | Fan, Xue-Pin | Wang, Jin | Zhou, Qi | Ma, Guo-Shun | Zhang, Qin-Xian | Liu, Hai | Jian, Xin-Ying | Lian, Sin-Yong | Wang, Jin-Sheng | Chang, Fu-Bao | Lu, Chang-Dong | Miao, Jian-Jun | Chen, Zhi-Guo | Wang, Ran | Guo, Ming | Fan, Zeng-Lin | Tao, Ping | Liu, Tai-Jing | Wei, Jin-Chang | Kong, Qing-Peng | Fan, Lei | Wang, Xian-Zeng | Gao, Fu-Sheng | Wang, Tian-Yun | Xie, Dong | Wang, Li | Chen, Shu-Qing | Yang, Wan-Cai | Hong, Jun-Yan | Wang, Liang | Qiu, Song-Liang | Goldstein, Alisa M. | Yuan, Zhi-Qing | Chanock, Stephen J. | Zhang, Xue-Jun | Taylor, Philip R. | Wang, Li-Dong
Human Molecular Genetics  2012;21(9):2132-2141.
Genome-wide association studies have identified susceptibility loci for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). We conducted a meta-analysis of all single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that showed nominally significant P-values in two previously published genome-wide scans that included a total of 2961 ESCC cases and 3400 controls. The meta-analysis revealed five SNPs at 2q33 with P< 5 × 10−8, and the strongest signal was rs13016963, with a combined odds ratio (95% confidence interval) of 1.29 (1.19–1.40) and P= 7.63 × 10−10. An imputation analysis of 4304 SNPs at 2q33 suggested a single association signal, and the strongest imputed SNP associations were similar to those from the genotyped SNPs. We conducted an ancestral recombination graph analysis with 53 SNPs to identify one or more haplotypes that harbor the variants directly responsible for the detected association signal. This showed that the five SNPs exist in a single haplotype along with 45 imputed SNPs in strong linkage disequilibrium, and the strongest candidate was rs10201587, one of the genotyped SNPs. Our meta-analysis found genome-wide significant SNPs at 2q33 that map to the CASP8/ALS2CR12/TRAK2 gene region. Variants in CASP8 have been extensively studied across a spectrum of cancers with mixed results. The locus we identified appears to be distinct from the widely studied rs3834129 and rs1045485 SNPs in CASP8. Future studies of esophageal and other cancers should focus on comprehensive sequencing of this 2q33 locus and functional analysis of rs13016963 and rs10201587 and other strongly correlated variants.
PMCID: PMC3315211  PMID: 22323360
21.  Ischemic Preconditioning Protects against Spinal Cord Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury in Rabbits by Attenuating Blood Spinal Cord Barrier Disruption 
Ischemic preconditioning has been reported to protect against spinal cord ischemia-reperfusion (I-R) injury, but the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. To investigate this, Japanese white rabbits underwent I-R (30 min aortic occlusion followed by reperfusion), ischemic preconditioning (three cycles of 5 min aortic occlusion plus 5 min reperfusion) followed by I-R, or sham surgery. At 4 and 24 h following reperfusion, neurological function was assessed using Tarlov scores, blood spinal cord barrier permeability was measured by Evan’s Blue extravasation, spinal cord edema was evaluated using the wet-dry method, and spinal cord expression of zonula occluden-1 (ZO-1), matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were measured by Western blot and a real-time polymerase chain reaction. ZO-1 was also assessed using immunofluorescence. Spinal cord I-R injury reduced neurologic scores, and ischemic preconditioning treatment ameliorated this effect. Ischemic preconditioning inhibited I-R-induced increases in blood spinal cord barrier permeability and water content, increased ZO-1 mRNA and protein expression, and reduced MMP-9 and TNF-α mRNA and protein expression. These findings suggest that ischemic preconditioning attenuates the increase in blood spinal cord barrier permeability due to spinal cord I-R injury by preservation of tight junction protein ZO-1 and reducing MMP-9 and TNF-α expression.
PMCID: PMC3676842  PMID: 23685868
ischemic preconditioning; ischemia-reperfusion injury; spinal cord; blood spinal cord barrier
22.  Prognostic Significance of EBV Latent Membrane Protein 1 Expression in Lymphomas: Evidence from 15 Studies 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e60313.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection has been associated with lymphoma development. EBV latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) is essential for EBV-mediated transformation and progression of different human cells, including lymphocytes. This meta-analysis investigated LMP1 expression with prognosis of patients with lymphoma.
The electronic databases of PubMed, Embase, and Chinese Biomedicine Databases were searched. There were 15 published studies available for a random effects model analysis. Quality assessment was performed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale for cohort studies. A funnel plot was used to investigate publication bias, and sources of heterogeneity were identified by meta-regression analysis. The combined hazard ratios (HR) and their corresponding 95% confidence intervals of LMP1 expression were calculated by comparison to the overall survival.
Overall, there was no statistical significance found between LMP1 expression and survival of lymphoma patients (HR 1.25 [95% CI, 0.92–1.68]). In subgroup analyses, LMP1 expression was associated with survival in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) (HR  = 1.84, 95% CI: 1.02–3.34), but not with survival of patients with Hodgkin disease (HD) (HR  =  1.03, 95% CI: 0.74–1.44). In addition, significant heterogeneity was present and the meta-regression revealed that the outcome of analysis was mainly influenced by the cutoff value.
This meta-analysis demonstrated that LMP1 expression appears to be an unfavorable prognostic factor for overall survival of NHL patients. The data suggested that EBV infection and LMP1 expression may be an important factor for NHL development or progression.
PMCID: PMC3629080  PMID: 23613723
23.  Development of porcine rotavirus vp6 protein based ELISA for differentiation of this virus and other viruses 
Virology Journal  2013;10:91.
The context and purpose of the study included 1) bacterial expression of viral protein 6 (VP6) of porcine rotavirus (PRV) and generation of rabbit polyclonal antiserum to the VP6 protein; 3) establishment of a discrimination ELISA to distinguish PRV from a panel of other porcine viruses.
The VP6 gene of PRV isolate DN30209 amplified by reverse transcription-PCR was 1356 bp containing a complete open reading frame (ORF) encoding 397 amino acids. Sequence comparison and phylogenetic analysis indicated that PRV DN30209 may belong to group A of rotavirus. Bacterially expressed VP6 was expressed in E.coli and anti-VP6 antibody was capable of distinguishing PRV from Porcine transmissible gastroenteritis virus, Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, Porcine circovirus type II, Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, Porcine pseudorabies virus and Porcine parvovirus.
PRV VP6 expressed in E. coli can be used to generate antibodies in rabbit; anti-VP6 serum antibody can be used as good diagnostic reagents for detection of PRV.
PMCID: PMC3658953  PMID: 23517810
PRV; VP6 gene; Cloning; Expression
24.  Evaluation on the Efficacy and Immunogenicity of Recombinant DNA Plasmids Expressing Spike Genes from Porcine Transmissible Gastroenteritis Virus and Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e57468.
Porcine transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) and porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PDEV) can cause severe diarrhea in pigs. Development of effective vaccines against TGEV and PEDV is one of important prevention measures. The spike (S) protein is the surface glycoprotein of TGEV and PEDV, which can induce specific neutralization antibodies and is a candidate antigen for vaccination attempts. In this study, the open reading frames of the TGEV S1 protein and in addition of the S or S1 proteins of PEDV were inserted into the eukaryotic expression vector, pIRES, resulting in recombinant plasmids, pIRES-(TGEV-S1-PEDV-S1) and pIRES-(TGEV-S1-PEDV-S). Subsequently, 6–8 weeks old Kunming mice were inoculated with both DNA plasmids. Lymphocyte proliferation assay, virus neutralization assay, IFN-γ assay and CTL activity assay were performed. TGEV/PEDV specific antibody responses as well as kinetic changes of T lymphocyte subgroups of the immunized mice were analyzed. The results showed that the recombinant DNA plasmids increased the proliferation of T lymphocytes and the number of CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocyte subgroups. In addition, the DNA vaccines induced a high level of IFN-γ in the immunized mice. The specific CTL activity in the pIRES-(TGEV-S1-PEDV-S) group became significant at 42 days post-immunization. At 35 days post-immunization, the recombinant DNA plasmids bearing full-length S genes of TGEV and PEDV stimulated higher levels of specific antibodies and neutralizing antibodies in immunized mice.
PMCID: PMC3602451  PMID: 23526943
25.  Assessing the Effect of an Integrated Control Strategy for Schistosomiasis Japonica Emphasizing Bovines in a Marshland Area of Hubei Province, China: A Cluster Randomized Trial 
More than 80% of schistosomiasis patients in China live in the lake and marshland regions. The purpose of our study is to assess the effect of a comprehensive strategy to control transmission of Schistosoma japonicum in marshland regions.
Methodology/Principal Findings
In a cluster randomized controlled trial, we implemented an integrated control strategy in twelve villages from 2009 through 2011 in Gong'an County, Hubei Province. The routine interventions included praziquantel chemotherapy and controlling snails, and were implemented in all villages. New interventions, mainly consisting of building fences to limit the grazing area for bovines, building safe pastures for grazing, improving the residents' health conditions and facilities, were only implemented in six intervention villages. Results showed that the rate of S. japonicum infection in humans, bovines, snails, cow dung and mice in the intervention group decreased from 3.41% in 2008 to 0.81% in 2011, 3.3% to none, 11 of 6,219 to none, 3.9% to none and 31.7% to 1.7%, respectively (P<0.001 for all comparisons). In contrast, there were no statistically significant reductions of S. japonicum infection in humans, bovines and snails from 2008 to 2011 in the control group (P>0.05 for all comparisons). Moreover, a generalized linear model showed that there was a higher infection risk in humans in the control group than in the intervention group (OR = 1.250, P = 0.001) and an overall significant downward trend in infection risk during the study period.
The integrated control strategy, designed to reduce the role of bovines and humans as sources of S. japonicum infection, was highly effective in controlling the transmission of S. japonicum in marshland regions in China.
Trial Registration
Chinese Clinical Trial Registry ChiCTR-PRC-12002405.
Author Summary
More than 80% of schistosomiasis patients in China live in the lake and marshland regions. Hence, how to control transmission of Schistosoma japonicum in these regions is especially important. From 2009 through 2011, we implemented an integrated control strategy, designed to reduce the role of bovines and humans as sources of S. japonicum infection, in twelve villages Gong'an County of Hubei Province, which is located in typical marshland. After three years, the rate of S. japonicum infection in humans, bovines and snails significantly declined in the six intervention villages. In contrast, there was no significant decline in these indexes in the six control villages. Moreover, there was a higher infection risk in humans in the control group than the intervention group. Our study showed that the integrated control strategy was highly effective in controlling the transmission of S. japonicum in marshland regions of China.
PMCID: PMC3597472  PMID: 23516656

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