de-qi, comprising mostly subjective sensations during acupuncture, is traditionally considered as a very important component for the possible therapeutic effects of acupuncture. However, the neural correlates of de-qi are still unclear. In this paper, we reviewed previous fMRI studies from the viewpoint of the neural responses of de-qi. We searched on Pubmed and identified 111 papers. Fourteen studies distinguishing de-qi and sharp pain and eight studies with the mixed sensations were included in further discussions. We found that the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) responses associated with de-qi were activation dominated, mainly around cortical areas relevant to the processing of somatosensory or pain signals. More intense and extensive activations were shown for the mixed sensations. Specific activations of sharp pain were also shown. Similar BOLD response patterns between de-qi evoked by acupuncture stimulation and de-qi-like sensations evoked by deep pain stimulation were shown. We reckon that a standardized method of qualification and quantification of de-qi, deeper understanding of grouping strategy of de-qi and sharp pain, and making deep pain stimulation as a control, as well as a series of improvements in the statistical method, are crucial factors for revealing the neural correlates of de-qi and neural mechanisms of acupuncture.
Online gaming addiction, as the most popular subtype of Internet addiction, had gained more and more attention from the whole world. However, the structural differences in cortical thickness of the brain between adolescents with online gaming addiction and healthy controls are not well unknown; neither was its association with the impaired cognitive control ability. High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging scans from late adolescence with online gaming addiction (n = 18) and age-, education- and gender-matched controls (n = 18) were acquired. The cortical thickness measurement method was employed to investigate alterations of cortical thickness in individuals with online gaming addiction. The color-word Stroop task was employed to investigate the functional implications of the cortical thickness abnormalities. Imaging data revealed increased cortical thickness in the left precentral cortex, precuneus, middle frontal cortex, inferior temporal and middle temporal cortices in late adolescence with online gaming addiction; meanwhile, the cortical thicknesses of the left lateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), insula, lingual gyrus, the right postcentral gyrus, entorhinal cortex and inferior parietal cortex were decreased. Correlation analysis demonstrated that the cortical thicknesses of the left precentral cortex, precuneus and lingual gyrus correlated with duration of online gaming addiction and the cortical thickness of the OFC correlated with the impaired task performance during the color-word Stroop task in adolescents with online gaming addiction. The findings in the current study suggested that the cortical thickness abnormalities of these regions may be implicated in the underlying pathophysiology of online gaming addiction.
Susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI) is a new MRI technique which has been proved very useful in the diagnosis of brain diseases, but few study was performed on its value in prostatic diseases. The aim of the present study was to investigate the value of SWI in distinguishing prostate cancer from benign prostatic hyperplasia and detecting prostatic calcification.
23 patients with prostate cancer and 53 patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia proved by prostate biopsy were scanned on a 3.0T MR and a 16-row CT scanner. High-resolution SWI, conventional MRI and CT were performed on all patients. The MRI and CT findings, especially SWI, were analyzed and compared. The analyses revealed that 19 out of 23 patients with prostate cancer presented hemorrhage within tumor area on SWI. However, in 53 patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia, hemorrhage was detected only in 1 patient in prostate by SWI. When comparing SWI, conventional MRI and CT in detecting prostate cancer hemorrhage, out of the 19 patients with prostate cancer who had prostatic hemorrhage detected by SWI, the prostatic hemorrhage was detected in only 7 patients by using conventional MRI, and none was detected by CT. In addition, CT demonstrated calcifications in 22 patients which were all detected by SWI whereas only 3 were detected by conventional MRI. Compared to CT, SWI showed 100% in the diagnostic sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, positive predictive value(PPV) and negative predictive value(NPV) in detecting calcifications in prostate but conventional MRI demonstrated 13.6% in sensitivity, 100% in specificity, 75% in accuracy, 100% in PPV and 74% in NPV.
More apparent prostate hemorrhages were detected on SWI than on conventional MRI or CT. SWI may provide valuable information for the differential diagnosis between prostate cancer and prostatic hyperplasia. Filtered phase images can identify prostatic calcifications as well as CT.
Photoacoustic imaging (PAI) has been employed to reconstruct endogenous optical contrast present in tissues. At the cost of longer calculations, a compressive sensing reconstruction scheme can achieve artifact-free imaging with fewer measurements. In this paper, an effective acceleration framework using the alternating direction method (ADM) was proposed for recovering images from limited-view and noisy observations. Results of the simulation demonstrated that the proposed algorithm could perform favorably in comparison to two recently introduced algorithms in computational efficiency and data fidelity. In particular, it ran considerably faster than these two methods. PAI with ADM can improve convergence speed with fewer ultrasonic transducers, enabling a high-performance and cost-effective PAI system for biomedical applications.
Previous studies have defined low-frequency, spatially consistent intrinsic connectivity networks (ICN) in resting functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data which reflect functional interactions among distinct brain areas. We sought to explore whether and how repeated migraine attacks influence intrinsic brain connectivity, as well as how activity in these networks correlates with clinical indicators of migraine.
Resting-state fMRI data in twenty-three patients with migraines without aura (MwoA) and 23 age- and gender-matched healthy controls (HC) were analyzed using independent component analysis (ICA), in combination with a “dual-regression” technique to identify the group differences of three important pain-related networks [default mode network (DMN), bilateral central executive network (CEN), salience network (SN)] between the MwoA patients and HC. Compared with the HC, MwoA patients showed aberrant intrinsic connectivity within the bilateral CEN and SN, and greater connectivity between both the DMN and right CEN (rCEN) and the insula cortex - a critical region involving in pain processing. Furthermore, greater connectivity between both the DMN and rCEN and the insula correlated with duration of migraine.
Our findings may provide new insights into the characterization of migraine as a condition affecting brain activity in intrinsic connectivity networks. Moreover, the abnormalities may be the consequence of a persistent central neural system dysfunction, reflecting cumulative brain insults due to frequent ongoing migraine attacks.
Nowadays, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has become one of the most important ways to explore the central mechanism of acupuncture. Among these studies, activations around the somatosensory-related brain network had the most robust blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) responses. However, due to the insufficient control of the subjective sensations during acupuncture stimulation, whether these robust activations reflected the pattern of de-qi, sharp pain, or mixed (de-qi + sharp pain) sensations was largely unknown. The current study recruited 50 subjects and grouped them into two groups according to whether he/she experienced sharp pain during acupuncture stimulation to give a definite answer to the aforesaid question. Our results indicated that BOLD responses associated with de-qi during acupuncture stimulation at ST36 were activation dominated. Furthermore, both the quantitative and qualitative differences of BOLD responses between de-qi and mixed sensations evoked by acupuncture stimulation were significant. The pattern of BOLD responses of sharp pain might be partly separated from that of de-qi in the spatial distribution. Therefore, we proposed that in order to explore the specific central mechanism of acupuncture, subjects with sharp pain should be excluded from those with only de-qi.
Global normalization is often used as a preprocessing step for dispelling the “nuisance effects.” However, it has been shown in cognitive and emotion tasks that this preprocessing step might greatly distort statistical results when the orthogonality assumption of global normalization is violated. The present study examines this issue in fMRI acupuncture studies. Thirty healthy subjects were recruited to evaluate the impacts of the global normalization on the BOLD responses evoked by acupuncture stimulation during De-qi sensation and tactile stimulation during nonpainful sensations. To this end, we compared results by conducting global normalization (PSGS) and not conducting global normalization (NO PSGS) based on a proportional scaling model. The orthogonality assumption of global normalization was violated, and significant changes between BOLD responses for NO PSGS and PSGS were shown in most subjects. Extensive deactivations of acupuncture in fMRI were the non-specifically pernicious consequences of global normalization. The central responses of acupuncture during De-qi are non-specifically activation-dominant at the somatosensory-related brain network, whose statistical power is specifically enhanced by PSGS. In conclusion, PSGS should be unjustified for acupuncture studies in fMRI. The differences including the global normalization or not may partly contribute to conflicting results and interpretations in previous fMRI acupuncture studies.
Little is known about the changes of brain structural and functional connectivity networks underlying the pathophysiology in migraine. We aimed to investigate how the cortical network reorganization is altered by frequent cortical overstimulation associated with migraine.
Gray matter volumes and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging signal correlations were employed to construct structural and functional networks between brain regions in 43 female patients with migraine (PM) and 43 gender-matched healthy controls (HC) by using graph theory-based approaches. Compared with the HC group, the patients showed abnormal global topology in both structural and functional networks, characterized by higher mean clustering coefficients without significant change in the shortest absolute path length, which indicated that the PM lost optimal topological organization in their cortical networks. Brain hubs related to pain-processing revealed abnormal nodal centrality in both structural and functional networks, including the precentral gyrus, orbital part of the inferior frontal gyrus, parahippocampal gyrus, anterior cingulate gyrus, thalamus, temporal pole of the middle temporal gyrus and the inferior parietal gyrus. Negative correlations were found between migraine duration and regions with abnormal centrality. Furthermore, the dysfunctional connections in patients' cortical networks formed into a connected component and three dysregulated modules were identified involving pain-related information processing and motion-processing visual networks.
Our results may reflect brain alteration dynamics resulting from migraine and suggest that long-term and high-frequency headache attacks may cause both structural and functional connectivity network reorganization. The disrupted information exchange between brain areas in migraine may be reshaped into a hierarchical modular structure progressively.
Since the 1960s, the stem cells have been extensively studied including embryonic stem cells, neural stem cells, bone marrow hematopoietic stem cells, and mesenchymal stem cells. In the recent years, several stem cells have been initially used in the treatment of diseases, such as in bone marrow transplant. At the same time, isolation and culture experimental technologies for stem cell research have been widely developed in recent years. In addition, molecular imaging technologies including optical molecular imaging, positron emission tomography, single-photon emission computed tomography, and computed tomography have been developed rapidly in recent the 10 years and have also been used in the research on disease mechanism and evaluation of treatment of disease related with stem cells. This paper will focus on recent typical isolation, culture, and observation techniques of stem cells followed by a concise introduction. Finally, the current challenges and the future applications of the new technologies in stem cells are given according to the understanding of the authors, and the paper is then concluded.
As an ancient Chinese healing modality which has gained increasing popularity in modern society, acupuncture involves stimulation with fine needles inserted into acupoints. Both traditional literature and clinical data indicated that modulation effects largely depend on specific designated acupoints. However, scientific representations of acupoint specificity remain controversial. In the present study, considering the new findings on the sustained effects of acupuncture and its time-varied temporal characteristics, we employed an electrophysiological imaging modality namely magnetoencephalography with a temporal resolution on the order of milliseconds. Taken into account the differential band-limited signal modulations induced by acupuncture, we sought to explore whether or not stimulation at Stomach Meridian 36 (ST36) and a nearby non-meridian point (NAP) would evoke divergent functional connectivity alterations within delta, theta, alpha, beta and gamma bands. Whole-head scanning was performed on 28 healthy participants during an eyes-closed no-task condition both preceding and following acupuncture. Data analysis involved calculation of band-limited power (BLP) followed by pair-wise BLP correlations. Further averaging was conducted to obtain local and remote connectivity. Statistical analyses revealed the increased connection degree of the left temporal cortex within delta (0.5–4 Hz), beta (13–30 Hz) and gamma (30–48 Hz) bands following verum acupuncture. Moreover, we not only validated the closer linkage of the left temporal cortex with the prefrontal and frontal cortices, but further pinpointed that such patterns were more extensively distributed in the ST36 group in the delta and beta bands compared to the restriction only to the delta band for NAP. Psychophysical results for significant pain threshold elevation further confirmed the analgesic effect of acupuncture at ST36. In conclusion, our findings may provide a new perspective to lend support for the specificity of neural expression underlying acupuncture.
Clinical studies show that estrogen receptor-α (ER) expressing tumors tend to have better prognosis, respond to antiestrogen therapy and have wild-type p53. Conversely, tumors with inactivating mutations in p53 tend to have worse outcomes and to be ER-negative and unresponsive to antihormone treatment. Previous studies from our laboratory have shown that p53 regulates ER expression transcriptionally, by binding the ER promoter and forming a complex with CARM1, CBP, c-Jun, RNA polymerase II and Sp1. In this study, the MMTV-Wnt-1 transgenic mouse model was used to demonstrate that p53 regulation of ER expression and function is not solely an in vitro phenomenon, but it is also operational in mammary tumorigenesis in vivo. The expression of ER and the ability to respond to tamoxifen were determined in mammary tumors arising in p53 wild type (WT) or p53 heterozygous (HT) animals carrying the Wnt-1 transgene. In p53 WT mice, development of ER-positive tumors was delayed by tamoxifen treatment, while tumors arising in p53 HT mice had significantly reduced levels of ER and were not affected by tamoxifen. P53 null tumors were also found in the p53 HT mice and these tumors were ER-negative. ER expression was upregulated in mouse mammary tumor cell lines following transfection with WT p53 or treatment with doxorubicin. These data demonstrate that p53 regulates ER expression in vivo, and affects response to tamoxifen. Results also provide an explanation for the concordant relationship between these prognostic proteins in human breast tumors.
p53; Estrogen receptor; MMTV-Wnt-1; Tamoxifen; Breast cancer; Mammary cancer
The present study was the first to use the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) methodology to investigate the neural correlates of race categorization of own- and other-race faces. We found that Chinese participants categorized the race of Caucasian faces more accurately and faster than that of Chinese faces, replicating the robust effect of the other-race categorization advantage. Regions of interest (ROI) analyses revealed greater neural activations when participants were categorizing own-race faces than other-race faces in the bilateral ventral occipito-temporal cortex (VOT) such as the fusiform face areas (FFA) and the occipital face areas (OFA). Within the left FFA, there was also a significant negative correlation between the behavioral difference of own- and other-race face categorization accuracy and the activation difference between categorizing own- and other-race faces. Whole brain analyses showed that categorizing own-race faces induced greater activations in the right medial frontal cortex (MFC) and right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) than categorizing other-race faces. Psychophysiological interaction (PPI) analyses revealed that the frontal cortical regions interacted more strongly with the posterior VOT during the categorization of own-race faces than that of other-race faces. Overall, our findings suggest that relative to the categorization of other-race faces, more cortical resources are engaged during the categorization of own-race faces with which we have a higher level of processing expertise. This increased involvement of cortical neural sources perhaps serves to provide more in-depth processing of own-race faces (such as individuation), which in turn paradoxically results in the behavioral other-race categorization advantage.
face processing; other-race effect; face categorization; face recognition; fusiform face area; occipital face area; fMRI; cortical neural resources
Inverse source reconstruction is the most challenging aspect of bioluminescence tomography
(BLT) because of its ill-posedness. Although many efforts have been devoted to this problem, so
far, there is no generally accepted method. Due to the ill-posedness property of the BLT
inverse problem, the regularization method plays an important role in the inverse
reconstruction. In this paper, six reconstruction algorithms based on
lp regularization are surveyed. The effects of the permissible
source region, measurement noise, optical properties, tissue specificity and source locations
on the performance of the reconstruction algorithms are investigated using a series of single
source experiments. In order to further inspect the performance of the reconstruction
algorithms, we present the double sources and the in vivo mouse experiments to
study their resolution ability and potential for a practical heterogeneous mouse experiment. It
is hoped to provide useful guidance on algorithm development and application in the related
(170.3880) Medical and biological imaging; (170.6960) Tomography; (100.3190) Inverse problems
β-Glucans have been shown to function as a potent immunomodulator to stimulate innate and adaptive immune responses, which contributes to their anti-tumor property. However, their mechanisms of action are still elusive. Glucocorticoid-induced TNF receptor ligand (GITRL), a member of the TNF superfamily, binds to its receptor, GITR, on both effector and regulatory T cells, generates a positive co-stimulatory signal implicated in a wide range of T cell functions, which is important for the development of immune responses.
In this study, we found that whole β-glucan particles (WGPs) could activate dendritic cells (DCs) via dectin-1 receptor, and increase the expression of GITRL on DCs in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the increased GITRL on DCs could impair the regulartory T cell (Treg)-mediated suppression and enhance effector T cell proliferation in a GITR/GITRL dependent way. In tumor models, DCs with high levels of GITRL were of great potential to prime cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses and down-regulate the suppressive activity of Treg cells, thereby leading to the delayed tumor progression.
These findings suggest that particulate β-glucans can be used as an immunomodulator to stimulate potent T cell-mediated adaptive immunity while down-regulate suppressive immune activity via GITR/GITRL interaction, leading to a more efficient defense mechanism against tumor development.
Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) study revealed reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) values in the corpus callosum (CC) in migraine patients without aura. Abnormalities in white matter integrity, particularly in the CC, may affect inter-hemispheric resting state functional connectivity (RSFC). Unfortunately, relatively little is known about the alterations in functional interactions between the cerebral hemispheres during resting state in migraine patients without aura, and even less about how the inter-hemispheric RSFC are affected by the abnormalities of the CC.
Methods and findings
Twenty-one migraine patients without aura and 21 healthy controls participated in this study, age-, sex-, and education-matched. Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) was employed to investigate the white matter alterations of the CC. Meanwhile, voxel-mirrored homotopic connectivity (VMHC) was used to compare the inter-hemispheric RSFC differences between the patients and controls. TBSS analysis revealed reduced FA values in the genu and the splenium of CC in patient group. VMHC analysis showed decreased inter-hemispheric RSFC of anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in migraine patients without aura relative to that of the controls. Furthermore, in migraine patients without aura, the reduced FA values of the genu of CC correlated with the decreased inter-hemispheric RSFC of the ACC.
Our findings demonstrated that the migraine patients without aura showed reduced FA values of the genu of CC and decreased inter-hemispheric RSFC of the ACC. The correlation between the above structural and functional changes suggested that the reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) of CC modulates inter-hemispheric VMHC in migraine patients without aura. Our results demonstrated that the VMHC alterations of ACC can reflect the FA changes of the genu of CC in migraine patients without aura.
Although adipose-derived stromal cell (ADSC) transplantation has been demonstrated as a promising therapeutic strategy for peripheral arterial disease (PAD), the mechanism of action behind the observed therapeutic efficacy of ADSCs remains unclear. This study was designed to investigate the long-term outcome and therapeutic behavior of engrafted ADSCs in a murine hindlimb ischemia model using multimodality molecular imaging approaches. ADSCs (1.0×107) were isolated from Tg(Fluc-egfp) mice which constitutively express dual-reporter firefly luciferase and enhanced green fluorescent protein (Fluc+-eGFP+, mADSCsFluc+GFP+), then intramuscularly injected into the hindlimb of BALB/c-nu mice after unilateral femoral artery ligation and excision. Abbreviated survival (∼5 weeks) of post-transplant mADSCs within the ischemic hindlimb was longitudinally monitored using noninvasive bioluminescence imaging (BLI), fluorescence imaging (FRI), and bioluminescence tomography with micro-computed tomography (BLT/micro-CT). Use of the BLT/micro-CT system enabled quantitative 3-dimensional (3D) imaging of the cells’ distribution and kinetics in vivo. Engrafted mADSCs improved blood perfusion recovery, ambulatory performance and prognosis of the ischemic hindlimb, probably by inducing angiogenesis and formation of collateral vessels, which could be visualized using laser Doppler perfusion imaging (LDPI), micro-CT angiography, vascular-cast imaging, and immunofluorescence. mADSCs augmented activation of the pro-angiogenic VEGF/mTOR/Akt pathway in vivo, even though the cells failed to incorporate into the host microvasculature as functional components. Downregulation of VEGF/mTOR/Akt signaling using small molecule inhibitors counteracted mADSC-induced angiogenesis and perfusion restoration. This study demonstrates for the first time the spatiotemporal kinetics and functional survival of transplanted mADSCs in a PAD model using in vivo 3D multimodality imaging. Our study indicates that mADSCs potentiate pro-angiogenic signal amplification via a VEGF/mTOR/Akt-dependent pathway, and thereby promote recovery from hindlimb ischemia.
This study focuses on how acupoints ST 36 (Zu San Li) and SP 9 (Yin Ling Quan) and their sham acupoints act acutely on the limbic system via dopamine to affect satiety, glucose (GLU) blood levels, and core body temperature (CBT).
This controlled clinical trial compared real acupuncture (ACU) versus minimal sham acupuncture (min SHAM) effects on metabolic physiology using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
The study took place at the West China Hospital in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China.
The study subjects were 19 right-handed healthy, “overweight,” nondieting adult Chinese males ages 21–45 (10 for ACU treatment and 9 for min SHAM) who had abstained from eating 12 hours prior to the fMRI experiment.
Values for GLU and CBT indicated no significant differences (P>0.05) in both inter- and intragroup comparisons resulting from variable individual responses to treatment. Hunger survey feedback was significant (P<0.05) between the ACU and min SHAM groups. Soreness, or De Qi, was the only significant (P<0.05) intergroup sensation.
Acupuncture stimulation activated neurophysiological pathways involving dopamine, basal metabolic rate, heart rate, and satiety regulation. This project will be of great importance in helping scientists understand how acupuncture can be studied as a safe inexpensive treatment modality for weight control.
Acupuncture; Dopamine; Glucose; Core Body Temperature; Satiety; De Qi; Overweight; fMRI
Rationale and Objective
Drug cues can induce craving for drugs of abuse. Dysfunctional regulation of emotion and motivation regarding rewarding objects appears to be an integral part of addiction. It has been found that cognitive strategies decreased the intensity of craving in addicts. Reappraisal strategy is a type of cognitive strategy that requires participants to reinterpret the meaning of an emotional situation. In addition, studies have found that activation of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) is associated with the selection and application of cognitive reappraisal. In present study, we sought to determine whether such cognitive regulation engages the dACC and improves inhibition of craving in smokers.
Sixteen smokers underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during performance of a cigarette reward-conditioning procedure with cognitive reappraisal. We focused our analyses on the dACC as a key structure of cognitive control of craving. Cue induced craving under different conditions was obtained. Correlational analysis between the functional response in the dACC and the subjective craving was performed.
We found that using a cognitive reappraisal was successful in decreasing the conditioned craving. Right dACC (BA 24/32) engaged in the cognitive reappraisal. In addition, the individual’s subjective craving was negatively correlated with the right dACC activation.
These findings suggest that the dACC are important substrates of Inhibition of cue induced craving in smokers. Cognitive regulation by cognitive reappraisal may help addicted individuals avoid the anticipated situations where they are exposed to conditioned cues.
Bioluminescence tomography (BLT) is a molecular imaging modality which can three-dimensionally resolve the molecular processes in small animals in vivo. The ill-posedness nature of BLT problem makes its reconstruction bears nonunique solution and is sensitive to noise. In this paper, we proposed a sparse BLT reconstruction algorithm based on semigreedy method. To reduce the ill-posedness and computational cost, the optimal permissible source region was automatically chosen by using an iterative search tree. The proposed method obtained fast and stable source reconstruction from the whole body and imposed constraint without using a regularization penalty term. Numerical simulations on a mouse atlas, and in vivo mouse experiments were conducted to validate the effectiveness and potential of the method.
Following voxel-based morphometry (VBM), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism (rs6265) has been shown to affect human brain morphology in Caucasians. However, little is known about the specific role of the Met/Met genotype on brain structure. Moreover, the relationship between BDNF Val66Met polymorphism and Chinese brain morphology has not been studied.
The present study investigated brain structural differences among three genotypes of BDNF (rs6265) for the first time in healthy young Chinese adults via cortical thickness analysis and VBM. Brain differences in Met carriers using another grouping method (combining Val/Met and Met/Met genotypes into a group of Met carriers as in most previous studies) were also investigated using VBM. Dual-approach analysis revealed less gray matter (GM) in the frontal, temporal, cingulate and insular cortices in the Met/Met group compared with the Val/Val group (corrected, P<0.05). Areas with less GM in the Val/Met group were included in the Met/Met group. VBM differences in Met carriers were only found in the middle cingulate cortex.
The current results indicated a unique pattern of brain morphologic differences caused by BDNF (rs6265) in young Chinese adults, in which the Met/Met genotype markedly affected the frontal, temporal, cingulate, and insular regions. The grouping method with Met carriers was not suitable to detect the genetic effect of BDNF Val66Met polymorphism on brain morphology, at least in the Chinese population, because it may hide some specific roles of Met/Met and Val/Met genotypes on brain structure.
Cerenkov luminescence tomography (CLT) provides the three-dimensional (3D) radiopharmaceutical biodistribution in small living animals, which is vital to biomedical imaging. However, existing single-spectral and multispectral methods are not very efficient and effective at reconstructing the distribution of the radionuclide tracer. In this paper, we present a semi-quantitative Cerenkov radiation spectral characteristic-based source reconstruction method named the hybrid spectral CLT, to efficiently reconstruct the radionuclide tracer with both encouraging reconstruction results and less acquisition and image reconstruction time.
We constructed the implantation mouse model implanted with a 400 µCi Na131I radioactive source and the physiological mouse model received an intravenous tail injection of 400 µCi radiopharmaceutical Iodine-131 (I-131) to validate the performance of the hybrid spectral CLT and compared the reconstruction results, acquisition, and image reconstruction time with that of single-spectral and multispectral CLT. Furthermore, we performed 3D noninvasive monitoring of I-131 uptake in the thyroid and quantified I-131 uptake in vivo using hybrid spectral CLT. Results showed that the reconstruction based on the hybrid spectral CLT was more accurate in localization and quantification than using single-spectral CLT, and was more efficient in the in vivo experiment compared with multispectral CLT. Additionally, 3D visualization of longitudinal observations suggested that the reconstructed energy of I-131 uptake in the thyroid increased with acquisition time and there was a robust correlation between the reconstructed energy versus the gamma ray counts of I-131 (). The ex vivo biodistribution experiment further confirmed the I-131 uptake in the thyroid for hybrid spectral CLT.
Results indicated that hybrid spectral CLT could be potentially used for thyroid imaging to evaluate its function and monitor its treatment for thyroid cancer.
Follicular helper T (Tfh) cells are recognized as a distinct CD4+ helper T-cell subset, which provides for B-cell activation and production of specific antibody responses, and play a critical role in the development of autoimmune disease. So far, only one study investigated the circulating Tfh cells increased in a subset of SLE patients. Since relatively little is known about the Tfh cells in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, in this study, Tfh-cell frequency, related cytokine IL-21, and transcription factor Bcl-6 were investigated in 53 patients with RA and 31 health controls. Firstly, we found that the frequency of CD4+CXCR5+ICOShigh
Tfh cells was increased significantly in the peripheral blood of RA patients, compared with that in healthy controls. It is known that Tfh cells are critical for directing the development of an antibody response by germinal centers B cells; secondly, we observed that the Tfh-cell frequency is accompanied by the level of anti-CCP antibody in RA patients. Furthermore, expression of Bcl-6 mRNA and plasma IL-21 concentrations in RA patients was increased. Taken together, these findings have shown that the increased frequency of circulating Tfh cells is correlated with elevated levels of anti-CCP antibody, indicating the possible involvement of Tfh cells in the disease progression of RA.
Fingerprint recognition with identical twins is a challenging task due to the closest genetics-based relationship existing in the identical twins. Several pioneers have analyzed the similarity between twins' fingerprints. In this work we continue to investigate the topic of the similarity of identical twin fingerprints. Our study was tested based on a large identical twin fingerprint database that contains 83 twin pairs, 4 fingers per individual and six impressions per finger: 3984 (83*2*4*6) images. Compared to the previous work, our contributions are summarized as follows: (1) Two state-of-the-art fingerprint identification methods: P071 and VeriFinger 6.1 were used, rather than one fingerprint identification method in previous studies. (2) Six impressions per finger were captured, rather than just one impression, which makes the genuine distribution of matching scores more realistic. (3) A larger sample (83 pairs) was collected. (4) A novel statistical analysis, which aims at showing the probability distribution of the fingerprint types for the corresponding fingers of identical twins which have same fingerprint type, has been conducted. (5) A novel analysis, which aims at showing which finger from identical twins has higher probability of having same fingerprint type, has been conducted. Our results showed that: (a) A state-of-the-art automatic fingerprint verification system can distinguish identical twins without drastic degradation in performance. (b) The chance that the fingerprints have the same type from identical twins is 0.7440, comparing to 0.3215 from non-identical twins. (c) For the corresponding fingers of identical twins which have same fingerprint type, the probability distribution of five major fingerprint types is similar to the probability distribution for all the fingers' fingerprint type. (d) For each of four fingers of identical twins, the probability of having same fingerprint type is similar.
Local features in volumetric images have been used to identify correspondences of localized anatomical structures for brain morphometry. However, the correspondences are often sparse thus ineffective in reflecting the underlying structures, making it unreliable to evaluate specific morphological differences. This paper presents a morphometry method (MEACOLP) based on correspondences with improved effectiveness and accuracy. A novel two-level scale-invariant feature transform is used to enhance the detection repeatability of local features and to recall the correspondences that might be missed in previous studies. Template patterns whose correspondences could be commonly identified in each group are constructed to serve as the basis for morphometric analysis. A matching algorithm is developed to reduce the identification errors by comparing neighboring local features and rejecting unreliable matches. The two-sample t-test is finally adopted to analyze specific properties of the template patterns. Experiments are performed on the public OASIS database to clinically analyze brain images of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and normal controls (NC). MEACOLP automatically identifies known morphological differences between AD and NC brains, and characterizes the differences well as the scaling and translation of underlying structures. Most of the significant differences are identified in only a single hemisphere, indicating that AD-related structures are characterized by strong anatomical asymmetry. In addition, classification trials to differentiate AD subjects from NC confirm that the morphological differences are reliably related to the groups of interest.
Aims: To determine the effects of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) on cardiac perfusion, cardiac function, and quality of life in patients with chronic total occlusion (CTO) lesion in left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery.
Methods and Results: Patients (n=99) with CTO lesion in the LAD coronary artery who had successfully undergone PCI were divided into three groups based on the SPECT/CTCA fusion imaging: (a) no severe cardiac perfusion defects (n=9); (b) reversible cardiac perfusion defects (n=40); or (c) fixed cardiac perfusion defects (n=50). No statistical difference of perfusion abnormality was observed at 6 months and 1 year after PCI in group (a). In group (b), SPECT/CTCA fusion imaging demonstrated that cardiac perfusion abnormality was significantly decreased 6 month and 1 year after PCI. Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) increased significantly at 6 months and 1 year follow up. Quality of life improved at 6 months and 1 year after PCI procedure. Moreover, patients in group (c) also benefited from PCI therapy: a decrease in cardiac perfusion abnormality, an increase in LVEF, and an improvement in quality of life. PCI of coronary arteries in addition to LAD did not significantly affect cardiac function and quality of life improvement in each group.
Conclusions: PCI exerts functional and clinical benefits in patients with CTO lesion in LAD coronary artery, particularly in patients with reversible cardiac perfusion defects. SPECT/CTCA fusion imaging may serve as a useful tool to evaluate the outcomes of patients with CTO lesion in LAD coronary artery.
Percutaneous coronary intervention; PCI; Chronic total occlusion; CTO; Single-photon emission computed tomography; SPECT; Computed tomography coronary angiography; CTCA.