Background. Development of non-deqi control is still a challenge. This study aims to set up a potential approach to non-deqi control by using lidocaine anesthesia at ST36. Methods. Forty healthy volunteers were recruited and they received two fMRI scans. One was accompanied with manual acupuncture at ST36 (DQ group), and another was associated with both local anesthesia and manual acupuncture at the same acupoint (LA group). Results. Comparing to DQ group, more than 90 percent deqi sensations were reduced by local anesthesia in LA group. The mainly activated regions in DQ group were bilateral IFG, S1, primary motor cortex, IPL, thalamus, insula, claustrum, cingulate gyrus, putamen, superior temporal gyrus, and cerebellum. Surprisingly only cerebellum showed significant activation in LA group. Compared to the two groups, bilateral S1, insula, ipsilateral IFG, IPL, claustrum, and contralateral ACC were remarkably activated. Conclusions. Local anesthesia at ST36 is able to block most of the deqi feelings and inhibit brain responses to deqi, which would be developed into a potential approach for non-deqi control. Bilateral S1, insula, ipsilateral IFG, IPL, claustrum, and contralateral ACC might be the key brain regions responding to deqi.
Loss of Fhit expression, encoded at chromosome fragile site FRA3B, leads to increased replication stress, genome instability and accumulation of genetic alterations. We have proposed that Fhit is a genome ‘caretaker’ whose loss initiates genome instability in preneoplastic lesions. We have characterized allele copy number alterations and expression changes observed in Fhit-deficient cells in conjunction with alterations in cellular proliferation and exome mutations, using cells from mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs), mouse kidney, early and late after establishment in culture, and in response to carcinogen treatment. Fhit-/- MEFs escape senescence to become immortal more rapidly than Fhit+/+ MEFs; -/- MEFs and kidney cultures show allele losses and gains, while +/+ derived cells show few genomic alterations. Striking alterations in expression of p53, p21, Mcl1 and active caspase 3 occurred in mouse kidney -/- cells during progressive tissue culture passage. To define genomic changes associated with preneoplastic changes in vivo, exome DNAs were sequenced for +/+ and -/- liver tissue after treatment of mice with the carcinogen, 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene, and for +/+ and -/- kidney cells treated in vitro with this carcinogen. The -/- exome DNAs, in comparison with +/+ DNA, showed small insertions, deletions and point mutations in more genes, some likely related to preneoplastic changes. Thus, Fhit loss provides a ‘mutator’ phenotype, a cellular environment in which mild genome instability permits clonal expansion, through proliferative advantage and escape from apoptosis, in response to pressures to survive.
Daclatasvir (DCV; BMS-790052) is a hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS5A replication complex inhibitor (RCI) with picomolar to low nanomolar potency and broad genotypic coverage in vitro. Viral RNA declines have been observed in the clinic for both alpha interferon-ribavirin (IFN-α–RBV) and IFN-RBV-free regimens that include DCV. Follow-up specimens (up to 6 months) from selected subjects treated with DCV in 14-day monotherapy studies were analyzed for genotype and phenotype. Variants were detected by clonal sequencing in specimens from baseline and were readily detected by population sequencing following viral RNA breakthrough and posttreatment. The major amino acid substitutions generating resistance in vivo were at residues M28, Q30, L31, and Y93 for genotype 1a (GT-1a) and L31 and Y93 for GT-1b, similar to the resistance substitutions observed with the in vitro replicon system. The primary difference in the resistance patterns observed in vitro and in vivo was the increased complexity of linked variant combinations observed in clinical specimens. Changes in the percentage of individual variants were observed during follow-up; however, the overall percentage of variants in the total population persisted up to 6 months. Our results suggest that during the 14-day monotherapy, most wild-type virus was eradicated by DCV. After the end of DCV treatment, viral fitness, rather than DCV resistance, probably determines which viral variants emerge as dominant in populations.
Mammalian testis development and spermatogenesis play critical roles in male fertility and continuation of a species. Previous research into the molecular mechanisms of testis development and spermatogenesis has largely focused on the role of protein-coding genes and small non-coding RNAs, such as microRNAs and piRNAs. Recently, it has become apparent that large numbers of long (>200 nt) non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are transcribed from mammalian genomes and that lncRNAs perform important regulatory functions in various developmental processes. However, the expression of lncRNAs and their biological functions in post-natal testis development remain unknown. In this study, we employed microarray technology to examine lncRNA expression profiles of neonatal (6-day-old) and adult (8-week-old) mouse testes. We found that 8,265 lncRNAs were expressed above background levels during post-natal testis development, of which 3,025 were differentially expressed. Candidate lncRNAs were identified for further characterization by an integrated examination of genomic context, gene ontology (GO) enrichment of their associated protein-coding genes, promoter analysis for epigenetic modification, and evolutionary conservation of elements. Many lncRNAs overlapped or were adjacent to key transcription factors and other genes involved in spermatogenesis, such as Ovol1, Ovol2, Lhx1, Sox3, Sox9, Plzf, c-Kit, Wt1, Sycp2, Prm1 and Prm2. Most differentially expressed lncRNAs exhibited epigenetic modification marks similar to protein-coding genes and tend to be expressed in a tissue-specific manner. In addition, the majority of differentially expressed lncRNAs harbored evolutionary conserved elements. Taken together, our findings represent the first systematic investigation of lncRNA expression in the mammalian testis and provide a solid foundation for further research into the molecular mechanisms of lncRNAs function in mammalian testis development and spermatogenesis.
Continuous evaluation of child survival is needed in sub-Saharan Africa where HIV prevalence among women of reproductive age continues to be high. We examined mortality levels and trends over a period of ~20 years among HIV-unexposed and exposed children in Blantyre, Malawi.
Data from five prospective cohort studies conducted at a single research site from 1989-2009 were analyzed. In these studies, children born to HIV-infected and uninfected mothers were enrolled at birth and followed longitudinally for at least two years. Information on socio-demographic, HIV infection status, survival and associated risk factors was collected in all studies. Mortality rates were estimated using birth-cohort analyses stratified by maternal and infant HIV status. Multivariate Cox regression models were used to determine risk factors associated with mortality.
The analysis included 8,286 children. From 1989-1995, overall mortality rates (per 100 person-years) in these clinic-based cohorts remained comparable among HIV-uninfected children born to HIV-uninfected mothers (range 3.3-6.9) or to HIV-infected mothers (range 2.5-7.5). From 1989-2009, overall mortality remained high among all children born to HIV-infected mothers (range 6.3-19.3), and among children who themselves became infected (range 15.6-57.4, 1994-2009). Only lower birth weight was consistently and significantly (P<0.05) associated with higher child mortality.
HIV infection among mothers and children contributed to high levels of child mortality in the African setting in the pre-treatment era. In addition to services that prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, other programs are needed to improve child survival by lowering HIV-unrelated mortality through innovative interventions that strengthen health infrastructure.
birth weight; child mortality; cohort effect; HIV; Malawi; Sub-Saharan Africa
Gemcitabine, a third-generation anticancer agent, has been shown to be active in several solid tumors. High-grade hemorrhage (grade≥3) has been reported with this drug, although the overall risk remains unclear. We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials evaluating the incidence and risk of high-grade hemorrhage associated with gemcitabine.
Pubmed was searched for articles published from January 1, 1990 to December 31, 2012. Eligible studies included prospective randomized controlled phase II and III trials evaluating gemcitabine-based vs non-gemcitabine-based therapy in patients with solid tumors. Data on high-grade hemorrhage were extracted. Overall incidence rates, relative risk (RR), and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated employing fixed- or random-effects models depending on the heterogeneity of included trials.
A total of 6433 patients from 20 trials were included. Among patients treated with gemcitabine-based chemotherapy, the overall incidence of high-grade hemorrhage was 1.7% (95%CI: 0.9–3.1%), and the RR of high-grade hemorrhage was 2.727 (95%CI: 1.581–4.702, p<0.001). Exploratory subgroup analysis revealed the highest RR of hemorrhage in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients (RR: 3.234; 95%CI, 1.678–6.233; p<0.001), phase II trials (RR 7.053, 95%CI: 1.591–31.27; p = 0.01), trials reported during 2006–2012 (RR: 3.750; 95%CI: 1.735–8.108, p<0.001) and gemcitabine used as single agent (RR 7.48; 95%CI: 0.78–71.92, p = 0.081).
Gemcitabine is associated with a significant increase risk of high-grade hemorrhage in patients with solid tumors when compared with non-gemcitabine-based therapy.
Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors either alone or in combination with hypomethylating agents have limited clinical effect in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Previously we demonstrated that AML patients with higher miR-29b expression had better response to the hypomethylating agent decitabine. Therefore, an increase in miR-29b expression preceding decitabine treatment may provide a therapeutic advantage. We previously showed that miR-29b expression is suppressed by a repressor complex that includes HDACs. Thus, HDAC inhibition may increase miR-29b expression. We hypothesized that priming AML cells with the novel HDAC inhibitor (HDACI) AR-42 would result in increased response to decitabine treatment via upregulation of miR-29b. Here we show that AR-42 is a potent HDACI in AML, increasing miR-29b levels and leading to downregulation of known miR-29b targets (i.e., SP1, DNMT1, DNMT3A, and DNMT3B). We then demonstrated that the sequential administration of AR-42 followed by decitabine resulted in a stronger anti-leukemic activity in vitro and in vivo than decitabine followed by AR-42 or either drug alone. These preclinical results with AR-42 priming before decitabine administration represents a promising, novel treatment approach and a paradigm shift with regard to the combination of epigenetic-targeting compounds in AML, where decitabine has been traditionally given before HDAC inhibitors.
acute myeloid leukemia; HDACI; AR-42; decitabine; miR-29b
First-line antiretroviral treatment regimens in resource-limited settings used in breastfeeding mothers often include stavudine (d4T). Limited data describing d4T concentrations in breast milk are available. We analyzed d4T concentrations in 52 mother-infant pairs using ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (lower limit of quantification: 5 ng/ml in plasma, 20 ng/ml in breast milk). Median (interquartile range) d4T concentrations were 86 (36–191) ng/ml in maternal plasma, 151 (48–259) ng/ml in whole milk, 190 (58–296) ng/ml in skim milk, and <5 (<5-<5) ng/ml in infant plasma. While d4T is concentrated in breast milk relative to maternal plasma, the infant d4T dose received from breast milk is very small and not clinically significant.
stavudine concentrations; breast milk; mother-to-child transmission; HIV
The heavy metal cadmium is a non-degradable pollutant. By screening the effects of a panel of metal ions on the phosphatase activity, we unexpectedly identified cadmium as a potent inhibitor of PPM1A and PPM1G. In contrast, low micromolar concentrations of cadmium did not inhibit PP1 or tyrosine phosphatases. Kinetic studies revealed that cadmium inhibits PPM phosphatases through the M1 metal ion binding site. In particular, the negative charged D441 in PPM1G specific recognized cadmium. Our results suggest that cadmium is likely a potent inhibitor of most PPM family members except for PHLPPs. Furthermore, we demonstrated that cadmium inhibits PPM1A-regulated MAPK signaling and PPM1G-regulated AKT signaling potently in vivo. Cadmium reversed PPM1A-induced cell cycle arrest and cadmium insensitive PPM1A mutant rescued cadmium induced cell death. Taken together, these findings provide a better understanding of the effects of the toxicity of cadmium in the contexts of human physiology and pathology.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of biopolymer encapsulation on the digestion of total lipids and cholesterol in egg yolk using an in vitro human digestion model. Egg yolks were encapsulated with 1% cellulose, pectin, or chitosan. The samples were then passed through an in vitro human digestion model that simulated the composition of mouth saliva, stomach acid, and the intestinal juice of the small intestine by using a dialysis tubing system. The change in digestion of total lipids was monitored by confocal fluorescence microscopy. The digestion rate of total lipids and cholesterol in all egg yolk samples dramatically increased after in vitro human digestion. The digestion rate of total lipids and cholesterol in egg yolks encapsulated with chitosan or pectin was reduced compared to the digestion rate of total lipids and cholesterol in other egg yolk samples. Egg yolks encapsulated with pectin or chitosan had lower free fatty acid content, and lipid oxidation values than samples without biopolymer encapsulation. Moreover, the lipase activity decreased, after in vitro digestion, in egg yolks encapsulated with biopolymers. These results improve our understanding of the effects of digestion on total lipids and cholesterol in egg yolk within the gastrointestinal tract.
egg yolk; cholesterol; biopolymers; in vitro human digestion; lipase activity
The usefulness of mechanical bowel preparation (MBP) in colon surgery was recently challenged by many multicenter clinical trials and meta-analyses. The objectives of this study were to investigate current national opinions about MBP and prophylactic antibiotics (PA) and to provide preliminary data for developing future Korean guidelines for MBP and PA administration in colorectal surgery.
A questionnaire was mailed to 129 colorectal specialists. The questionnaires addressed the characteristics of the hospital, the MBP methods, and the uses of oral and intravenous antibiotics.
A total of 73 questionnaires (56.6%) were returned. First, in regard to MBP methods, most surgeons (97.3%) used MBP for a mean of 1.36 days. Most surgeons (98.6%) implemented whole bowel irrigation and used polyethylene glycol (83.3%). Oral antibiotic use was indicated in over half (52.1%) of the responses, the average number of preoperative doses was three, and the mean time of administration was 24.2 hours prior to the operation. Finally, the majority of responders stated that they used intravenous antibiotics (95.9%). The responses demonstrated that second-generation cephalosporin-based regimens were most commonly prescribed, and 75% of the surgeons administered these regimens until three days after the operation.
The results indicate that most surgeons used MBP and intravenous antibiotics and that half of them administered oral PA in colorectal surgery preparations. The study recommends that the current Korean guidelines should be adapted to adequately reflect the medical status in Korea, to consider the medical environment of the various hospitals, and to establish more accurate and relevant guidelines.
Questionnaires; Colorectal surgery; Mechanical bowel preparation; Prophylactic antibiotics
In order to search for new structural modification strategies on fluoroquinolones, we have designed and synthesized a series of fluoroquinolone derivatives by linking various hydrazine compounds to the C-3 carboxyl group of levofloxacin and assessed their anticancer activities. Several novel levofloxacin derivatives displayed potent cytotoxicity against the tested cancer cell lines in vitro. In the present study, we investigated the effect of 1-Cyclopropyl-6-fluoro-4-oxo-7- piperazin-1, 4-dihydro- quinoline- 3-carboxylic acid benzo [1,3] dioxol-5- ylmethylene- hydrazide (QNT11) on the apoptosis of human hepatocarcinoma cells in vitro.
The inhibition effects of QNT11 on cell proliferation were examined by MTT assay. Cell apoptosis was determined by TUNEL and DNA agarose gel electrophoresis method. The topoisomerase ΙΙ activity was measured by agarose gel electrophoresis using Plasmid pBR322 DNA as the substrate. Cell cycle progression was analyzed using flow cytometry in conjunction with ethanol fixation and propidium iodide staining. Mitochondrial membrane potential (△ψm) was measured by high content screening image system. The caspase-9, caspase-8, caspase-3, Bcl-2, Bax, CDK1, Cyclin B1and cytochrome c protein expressions were detected by Western blot analysis.
QNT11 showed selective cytotoxicity against Hep3B, SMMC-7721, MCF-7 and HCT-8 cell lines with IC50 values of 2.21 μM, 2.38 μM, 3.17 μM and 2.79 μM, respectively. In contrast, QNT11 had weak cytotoxicity against mouse bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) with IC50 value of 7.46 μM. Treatment of Hep3B cells with different concentrations of QNT11 increased the percentage of the apoptosis cells significantly, and agarose gel electrophoresis revealed the ladder DNA bands typical of apoptotic cells, with a decrease in the mitochondrial membrane potential. Compared to the control group, QNT11 could influence the DNA topoisomerase IIactivity and inhibit the religation of DNA strands, thus keeping the DNA in fragments. There was a significant increase of cytochrome c in the cytosol after 24 h of treatment with QNT11 and a decrease in the mitochondrial compartment. Observed changes in cell cycle distribution by QNT11 treated might be caused by insufficient preparation for G2/M transition. In addition, QNT11 increased the protein expression of Bax, caspase-9, caspase-8, caspase-3, as well as the cleaved activated forms of caspase-9, caspase-8 and caspase-3 significantly, whereas the expression of Bcl-2 decreased.
Our results showed that QNT11 as a fluoroquinolone derivative exerted potent and selectively anticancer activity through the mechanism of eukaryotic topoisomerase II poisoning. The growth inhibition was in large part mediated via apoptosis-associated mitochondrial dysfunction and regulation of Bcl-2 signaling pathways.
Fluoroquinolone derivatives; Hepatocarcinoma cell line; DNA topoisomerase II; Mitochondrial dysfunction; Apoptosis
Two studies were conducted to determine the effects of dietary cholesterol (CHO) and cholesterol oxides (COPs) on the development of atherosclerosis and the changes in fatty acid and blood characteristics in rabbits. In the first study, forty male New Zealand white rabbits were divided into 5 groups and fed commercial rabbit chow with no added CHO or COPs, 1 g CHO, 0.9 g CHO + 0.1 g COPs, 0.8 g CHO + 0.2 g COPs, or 0.5 g CHO + 0.5 g COPs per kg diet. In the second study, 24 male New Zealand White rabbits were divided into 3 groups and fed a diet containing 2 g CHO, 1.6 g CHO + 0.4 g COPs, or 1.2 g CHO + 0.8 g COPs per kg diet. All diets induced atherosclerotic lesions in the rabbits’ ascending thoracic aorta. The serum CHO and triglyceride levels (p < 0.05) increased significantly with the increased levels of CHO in the diets. Dietary CHO or COPs did not influence high-density lipoprotein CHO levels. The ratio of saturated fatty acid to unsaturated fatty acid increased as the level of dietary CHO and COPs increased.
dietary cholesterol; cholesterol oxides; atherosclerosis; serum cholesterol; HDL
Although most eggs are intensely predated, the aerial egg clutches from the aquatic snail Pomacea canaliculata have only one reported predator due to unparalleled biochemical defenses. These include two storage-proteins: ovorubin that provides a conspicuous (presumably warning) coloration and has antinutritive and antidigestive properties, and PcPV2 a neurotoxin with lethal effect on rodents. We sequenced PcPV2 and studied whether it was able to withstand the gastrointestinal environment and reach circulation of a potential predator. Capacity to resist digestion was assayed using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), fluorescence spectroscopy and simulated gastrointestinal proteolysis. PcPV2 oligomer is antinutritive, withstanding proteinase digestion and displaying structural stability between pH 4.0–10.0. cDNA sequencing and protein domain search showed that its two subunits share homology with membrane attack complex/perforin (MACPF)-like toxins and tachylectin-like lectins, a previously unknown structure that resembles plant Type-2 ribosome-inactivating proteins and bacterial botulinum toxins. The protomer has therefore a novel AB toxin combination of a MACPF-like chain linked by disulfide bonds to a lectin-like chain, indicating a delivery system for the former. This was further supported by observing PcPV2 binding to glycocalix of enterocytes in vivo and in culture, and by its hemaggutinating, but not hemolytic activity, which suggested an interaction with surface oligosaccharides. PcPV2 is able to get into predator’s body as evidenced in rats and mice by the presence of circulating antibodies in response to sublethal oral doses. To our knowledge, a lectin-pore-forming toxin has not been reported before, providing the first evidence of a neurotoxic lectin in animals, and a novel function for ancient and widely distributed proteins. The acquisition of this unique neurotoxic/antinutritive/storage protein may confer the eggs a survival advantage, opening new perspectives in the study of the evolution of animal defensive strategies.
We analyzed birth outcomes among infants of treatment-naïve, HIV-infected women from a series of mother-to-child transmission of HIV studies in Blantyre, Malawi.
Data from six prospective studies at one research site were analyzed. Mean birth weight (BW) and gestational age (GA), and frequency of low birth weight (LBW; <2500 g) and preterm (PT) birth (GA<37 weeks) were estimated. We assessed risk factors for LBW and PT birth using mixed-effects logistic regression. Adjusted odds ratios (AOR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) from earlier studies (1989-94) and later studies (2000-07) are presented separately.
The analysis included 8874 HIV-exposed infants. Mean BW and GA ranged from 2793 to 3079 g, and 37.8 to 39.0 weeks. Greater maternal age was consistently (during both the early and late periods) associated with lower odds of LBW and PT birth; AOR (95% CI) for both outcomes in the early and late periods, respectively, were 0.98 (0.96-1.00) and 0.97 (0.95-0.99). Female infant gender was consistently associated with higher odds of PT birth during both periods and with higher odds of LBW during the later period. During the early period, higher maternal education was associated with lower odds of LBW (AOR 0.67 (0.48-0.95)) and PT birth (AOR 0.70 (0.51-0.95)) and later birth year was associated with lower odds of PT birth (AOR 0.35 (0.19-0.70)).
BW and GA remained stable within each time period. This analysis provides important baseline information for monitoring HIV treatment effects on birth outcomes. Modifiable factors affecting BW and GA should continue to be explored.
antiretroviral therapy; pregnancy outcomes; HIV; Malawi; trends
Forty mice were randomly divided into four groups on the basis of the diet to be fed as follows: 5% (low) fat diet (T1: LF); 20% (high) fat diet (T2: HF); 20% fat containing 1% conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) (T3: HFC); and 20% fat containing 1% CLA with 0.5% biopolymers (T4: HFCB). The high-fat with CLA diet groups (HFC and HFCB) and the low-fat diet group (LF) tended to have lower body weights and total adipose tissue weights than those of the high-fat diet group (HF). Serum leptin and triglyceride were significantly lower in the high fat with CLA-fed groups (HFC and HFCB) and the low-fat diet group (LF) than those in the high-fat diet group (HF). It is noteworthy that the high-fat with CLA and biopolymers group (HFCB) showed the lowest serum triglyceride and cholesterol concentrations. In the high-fat-fed group (HF), voluntary travel distance as a measure of physical activity decreased after three weeks of feeding. However, the CLA-fed groups showed increased physical activity. The groups fed high-fat diets supplemented with CLA alone and with CLA and biopolymers had higher viscosity of small intestinal contents than that in the low- and high-fat dietary groups.
conjugated linoleic acid; biopolymers encapsulation; energy expenditure; adipose tissue; lipid metabolism
Excessive use of the Internet has been linked to a variety of negative psychosocial consequences. This study used resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate whether functional connectivity is altered in adolescents with Internet gaming addiction (IGA).
Seventeen adolescents with IGA and 24 normal control adolescents underwent a 7.3 minute resting-state fMRI scan. Posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) connectivity was determined in all subjects by investigating synchronized low-frequency fMRI signal fluctuations using a temporal correlation method. To assess the relationship between IGA symptom severity and PCC connectivity, contrast images representing areas correlated with PCC connectivity were correlated with the scores of the 17 subjects with IGA on the Chen Internet Addiction Scale (CIAS) and Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11 (BIS-11) and their hours of Internet use per week.
There were no significant differences in the distributions of the age, gender, and years of education between the two groups. The subjects with IGA showed longer Internet use per week (hours) (p<0.0001) and higher CIAS (p<0.0001) and BIS-11 (p = 0.01) scores than the controls. Compared with the control group, subjects with IGA exhibited increased functional connectivity in the bilateral cerebellum posterior lobe and middle temporal gyrus. The bilateral inferior parietal lobule and right inferior temporal gyrus exhibited decreased connectivity. Connectivity with the PCC was positively correlated with CIAS scores in the right precuneus, posterior cingulate gyrus, thalamus, caudate, nucleus accumbens, supplementary motor area, and lingual gyrus. It was negatively correlated with the right cerebellum anterior lobe and left superior parietal lobule.
Our results suggest that adolescents with IGA exhibit different resting-state patterns of brain activity. As these alterations are partially consistent with those in patients with substance addiction, they support the hypothesis that IGA as a behavioral addiction that may share similar neurobiological abnormalities with other addictive disorders.
The Post-exposure Prophylaxis in Infants (PEPI)-Malawi trial evaluated infant antiretroviral regimens for prevention of post-natal HIV transmission. A multi-assay algorithm (MAA) that includes the BED capture immunoassay, an avidity assay, CD4 cell count, and viral load was used to identify women who were vs. were not recently infected at the time of enrollment (MAA recent, N = 73; MAA non-recent, N = 2,488); a subset of the women in the MAA non-recent group known to have been HIV infected for at least 2 years before enrollment (known non-recent, N = 54). Antibody maturation and viral diversification were examined in these women.
Samples collected at enrollment (N = 2,561) and 12–24 months later (N = 1,306) were available for serologic analysis using the BED and avidity assays. A subset of those samples was used for analysis of viral diversity, which was performed using a high resolution melting (HRM) diversity assay. Viral diversity analysis was performed using all available samples from women in the MAA recent group (61 enrollment samples, 38 follow-up samples) and the known non-recent group (43 enrollment samples, 22 follow-up samples). Diversity data from PEPI-Malawi were also compared to similar data from 169 adults in the United States (US) with known recent infection (N = 102) and known non-recent infection (N = 67).
In PEPI-Malawi, results from the BED and avidity assays increased over time in the MAA recent group, but did not change significantly in the MAA non-recent group. At enrollment, HIV diversity was lower in the MAA recent group than in the known non-recent group. HRM diversity assay results from women in PEPI-Malawi were similar to those from adults in the US with known duration of HIV infection.
Antibody maturation and HIV diversification patterns in African women provide additional support for use of the MAA to identify populations with recent HIV infection.
Epidemiological studies have evaluated the association between tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and duodenal ulcer (DU), but the results remain inconclusive. The aim of this study was to perform a meta-analysis to investigate a more authentic association between TNF-α SNPs and DU.
We performed the meta-analysis by searching PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science databases from the first available year to Sep. 5, 2012. Additionally, checking reference lists from identified articles, reviews, and the abstracts presented at related scientific societies meetings were also performed. All case-control studies investigating the association between TNF-α SNPs and DU risk were included. The association was assessed by odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI). Publication bias was analyzed by Begg's funnel plot and Egger's regression test.
A total of sixteen studies reporting TNF-α −308G/A, −1031T/C, −863C/A, −857C/T, and −238G/A polymorphism were included in our final meta-analysis. There was no statistically significant association between −308G/A polymorphism and DU in the overall study population, as well as subgroup analyses by ethnicity, study design, and H. pylori status. As for −1031T/C, −863C/A, −857C/T, and −238G/A, results of our meta-analyses showed no statistical evidence of significant association. Power calculation on the combined sample size showed that the statistical powers were all lower than 80% for all the meta-analyses.
The data suggests that there is no statistical evidence of significant association between the studied TNF-α SNPs and DU. However, this conclusion should be interpreted with caution as low statistical powers were revealed by power calculations. In future, larger sample-size studies with homogeneous DU patients and well-matched controls are required.
Aluminum hydroxide (alum) is the most widely used adjuvant in human vaccines. Nevertheless, it is virtually unknown whether alum acts on B cells. In the present study, we explored the direct effect of alum on Ig expression by murine B cells in vitro. LPS-activated mouse spleen B cells were cultured with alum, and the level of isotype-specific Ig secretion, IgG1 secreting cell numbers, and Ig germ-line transcripts (GLT) were measured using ELISA, ELISPOT, and RT-PCR, respectively. Alum consistently enhanced total IgG1 production, numbers of IgG1 secreting cells, and GLTγ1 expression. These results demonstrate that alum can directly cause IgG1 isotype switching leading to IgG1 production.
Alum; IgG1; B lymphocyte; Isotype switch
Thioredoxin (Trx) is a small redox protein existing ubiquitously in all living organisms and plays an important role in multiple cellular processes, including transcriptional regulation and immune response. To date very few studies have been carried out to examine the function of piscine Trx. In this study, we identified and analyzed the function of a Trx homologue, CsTrx1, from half-smooth tongue sole (Cynoglossus semilaevis). The deduced amino acid sequence of CsTrx1 is composed of 107 residues and shares 54.1−60.8% overall identities with the Trx of other teleosts. CsTrx1 contains the highly conserved CXXC motif, which in mammals is known to be the active site, in the form of CQPC. Expression of CsTrx1 as determined by quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase PCR was highest in liver and upregulated in time-dependent manners by bacterial infection and by exposure to iron, copper, and hydrogen peroxide. Purified recombinant CsTrx1 (rCsTrx1) exhibited insulin disulfide reductase activity and antioxidant activity, both which, however, were lost when the two cysteine residues in the CQPC motif were mutated to serine. Further analysis showed that rCsTrx1 was able to stimulate the proliferation of head kidney leukocytes, upregulate the expression of immune relevant genes, and enhance the resistance of leukocytes against bacterial infection. Taken together, these results indicate that CsTrx1 is a biologically active reductase and an antioxidant that requires the CXXC motif for activity and that CsTrx1 possesses cytokine-like immunoregulatory property. These results suggest a role for CsTrx1 in protecting cells against oxidative stress caused by oxidant exposure and pathogen infection.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12192-012-0322-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Thioredoxin; Cynoglossus semilaevis; Redox; Antioxidant; Oxidative stress; Immunoregulatory
It is clinically important to be able to detect influenza A/H1N1 virus using a fast, portable, and accurate system that has high specificity and sensitivity. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to develop a highly specific primer set that recognizes only influenza A viral genes and a rapid real-time PCR system that can detect even a single copy of the viral gene. In this study, we developed and validated a novel fluidic chip-type real-time PCR (LabChip real-time PCR) system that is sensitive and specific for the detection of influenza A/H1N1, including the pandemic influenza strain A/H1N1 of 2009. This LabChip real-time PCR system has several remarkable features: (1) It allows rapid quantitative analysis, requiring only 15 min to perform 30 cycles of real-time PCR. (2) It is portable, with a weight of only 5.5 kg. (3) The reaction cost is low, since it uses disposable plastic chips. (4) Its high efficiency is equivalent to that of commercially available tube-type real-time PCR systems. The developed disposable LabChip is an economic, heat-transferable, light-transparent, and easy-to-fabricate polymeric chip compared to conventional silicon- or glass-based labchip. In addition, our LabChip has large surface-to-volume ratios in micro channels that are required for overcoming time consumed for temperature control during real-time PCR. The efficiency of the LabChip real-time PCR system was confirmed using novel primer sets specifically targeted to the hemagglutinin (HA) gene of influenza A/H1N1 and clinical specimens. Eighty-five human clinical swab samples were tested using the LabChip real-time PCR. The results demonstrated 100% sensitivity and specificity, showing 72 positive and 13 negative cases. These results were identical to those from a tube-type real-time PCR system. This indicates that the novel LabChip real-time PCR may be an ultra-fast, quantitative, point-of-care-potential diagnostic tool for influenza A/H1N1 with a high sensitivity and specificity.
We experienced a case of wide necrosis of the cervical gastric conduit during esophageal cancer surgery. We attempted to repair this defect with various methods including conservative care, stents two times, and sternocleidomastoid muscle flap without successful results. Finally, we were able to reconstruct the gastric conduit defect with rotational pectoralis major musculocutaneous (PMM) flap. PMM flap is thought to be a reconstruction method applicable to the intractable gastric conduit defect.
Esophageal cancer; Gastric conduit necrosis; Pectoralis musculocutaneous flap
Clinical staging of gastric cancer appears to be important more and more for tailored therapy. This study aimed to verify the accuracy of clinical T staging in a low-volume institute.
Materials and Methods
We retrospectively reviewed prospectively collected data of gastric cancer patients who underwent resection. A total of 268 patients of gastric cancer were enrolled from March 2004 to June 2012. These demographics, tumor characteristics, and clinical stages were analyzed for identification of diagnostic value of clinical T staging.
The predictive values for pT1 of endoscopy and computed tomography were 90.0% and 89.4%, respectively. In detail, the predictive values of endoscopy for pT1a, pT1b, and pT2 or more were 87%, 58.5%, and 90.6%, respectively. The predictive values of computed tomography for pT1a, pT1b, and pT2 or more were 68.8%, 73.9%, and 84.4%, respectively. The factors leading to underestimation of pT2 or more lesions by gastroscopy were the middle third location, the size greater than 2 cm, and younger age. Those for overestimation of pT1 lesion by computed tomography were male, age more than 70 years, elevated type, and size greater than 3 cm.
Diagnostic accuracy of early gastric cancer was 90%, which is comparable to those of high volume center. In patients with early gastric cancer, limited gastrectomy or minimal invasive surgery can be safely introduced at a low volume center also. However, the surgeon of low-volume institute should consider the accuracy of clinical staging before extending the indication of limited treatment.
Stomach neoplasms; Neoplasm staging; Gastroscopy; Technology, radiologic