Sleep-disordered breathing with recurrent apnea produces chronic intermittent hypoxia (IH). We previously reported that IH leads to down-regulation of HIF-2α protein via a calpain-dependent signaling pathway resulting in oxidative stress. In the present study, we delineated the signaling pathways associated with calpain-dependent HIF-2α degradation in cell cultures and rats subjected to chronic IH. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavengers prevented HIF-2α degradation by IH and ROS mimetic decreased HIF-2α protein levels in rat pheochromocytoma PC12 cell cultures, suggesting that ROS mediate IH-induced HIF-2α degradation. IH activated xanthine oxidase (XO) by increased proteolytic conversion of xanthine dehydrogenase to XO. ROS generated by XO activated calpains, which contributed to HIF-2α degradation by IH. Calpain-induced HIF-2α degradation involves C-terminus but not the N-terminus of the HIF-2α protein. Pharmacological blockade as well as genetic knock down of XO prevented IH induced calpain activation and HIF-2α degradation in PC12 cells. Systemic administration of allopurinol to rats prevented IH-induced hypertension, oxidative stress and XO activation in adrenal medulla. These results demonstrate that ROS generated by XO activation mediates IH-induced HIF-2α degradation via activation of calpains.
Male clients of female sex workers (FSWs) serve as a potential bridge of HIV to the general population. Little is known about the characteristics and risk factors for HIV infection among male clients patronizing FSWs in Hekou County, Yunnan Province in southern China bordering with Vietnam.
Male clients were recruited through outreach of study staff, referrals by Vietnamese FSWs, their bosses, and snowball sampling. Each participant completed a questionnaire survey and donated a blood specimen to test for HIV, herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), and syphilis. Logistic regression models were fitted to identify factors associated with HIV infection.
Among 306 participants, 28 (9.2%) were HIV positive, 81 (26.5%) were HSV-2 positive, and none were infected with syphilis. Approximately half (n=149, 49.2%) reported always using condoms with sex workers in the past year; 36 (11.8%) reported a history of injection drug use (IDU). Compared to HIV negative men, HIV positive men were more likely to have a history of IDU (64.3% vs. 6.5%) and be co-infected with HSV-2 (50.0% vs. 24.1%).
IDU was the most salient risk factor for HIV infection in this study, which suggests that male clients may acquire HIV from routes other than commercial sex, but the significance of HSV-2 infection indicates that sexual transmission is also of concern. HIV prevention intervention programs for this often ignored and hard-to-reach risk group should be two-pronged, addressing both drug use and commercial sex.
HIV; HSV-2; injection drug use; male clients; female sex workers; China
Relatively little is known about the hepatotoxicity of pyrazinamide (PZA). PZA requires activation by amidase to form pyrazinoic acid (PA). Xanthine oxidase then hydroxylates PA to form 5-hydroxypyrazinoic acid (5-OH-PA). PZA can also be directly oxidized to form 5-OH-PZA. Before this study, it was unclear which metabolic pathway or PZA metabolites led to hepatotoxicity. This study determines whether PZA metabolites are responsible for PZA-induced hepatotoxicity. PZA metabolites were identified and cytotoxicity in HepG2 cells was assessed. Potential PZA and PA hepatotoxicity was then tested in rats. Urine specimens were collected from 153 tuberculosis (TB) patients, and the results were evaluated to confirm whether a correlation existed between PZA metabolite concentrations and hepatotoxicity. This led to the hypothesis that coadministration of amidase inhibitor (bis-p-nitrophenyl phosphate [BNPP]) decreases or prevents PZA- and PZA metabolite-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. PA and 5-OH-PA are more toxic than PZA. Electron microscopy showed that PZA and PA treatment of rats significantly increases aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity and galactose single-point (GSP) levels (P < 0.005). PA and 5-OH-PA levels are also significantly correlated with hepatotoxicity in the urine of TB patients (P < 0.005). Amidase inhibitor, BNPP, decreases PZA-induced, but not PA-induced, hepatotoxicity. This is the first report of a cell line, animal, and clinical trial confirming that the metabolite 5-OH-PA is responsible for PZA-induced hepatotoxicity.
Numerous studies indicate that morphine suppresses pain-evoked activities in both spinal and supraspinal regions. However, little is known about the effect of morphine on the basal brain activity in the absence of pain. The present study was designed to assess the effects of single-dose morphine on the spontaneous discharge of many simultaneously recorded single units, as well as their functional connections, in the lateral pain pathway, including the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) and ventral posterolateral thalamus (VPL), and medial pain pathway, including the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and medial dorsal thalamus (MD), in awake rats. Morphine (5mg/kg) was administered intraperitoneally before the recording. Naloxone plus morphine and normal saline injections were performed respectively as controls. The results showed that morphine administration produced significant changes in the spontaneous neuronal activity in more than one third of the total recorded neurons, with primary activation in the lateral pathway while both inhibition and activation in the medial pathway. Naloxone pretreatment completely blocked the effects induced by morphine. In addition, the correlated activities between and within both pain pathways was exclusively suppressed after morphine injection. These results suggest that morphine may play different roles in modulating neural activity in normal versus pain states. Taken together, this is the first study investigating the morphine modulation of spontaneous neuronal activity within parallel pain pathways. It can be helpful for revealing neuronal population coding for the morphine action in the absence of pain, and shed light on the supraspinal mechanisms for preemptive analgesia.
morphine; spontaneous activity; the primary somatosensory cortex; the anterior cingulate cortex; thalamus
The strategies of structured treatment interruptions (STIs) of antiretroviral therapies have been proposed for clinical management of HIV infected patients, but clinical studies on STIs failed to achieve a consistent conclusion for this strategy. To evaluate the STI strategies, in particular, CD4+ T cell count-guided STIs, and explain these controversial conclusions from different clinical studies, in this paper we propose to use piecewise HIV virus dynamic models to quantitatively explore the STI strategies and investigate their dynamic behaviors. Our analysis results indicate that CD4+ T cell counts can be maintained above a safe level using the STI with a single threshold or a threshold window. Numerical simulations show that the CD4+ T cell counts either fluctuate or approach a stable level for a patient, depending on the prescribed upper or lower threshold values. In particular, the CD4+ T cell counts can be stabilized at a desired level if the threshold policy control is applied. The durations of drug-on and drug-off are very sensitive to the prescribed upper or lower threshold levels, which possibly explains why the on-off strategy with fixed schedule or a STI strategy with frequent switches is associated with the high rate of failure. Our findings suggest that it is critical to carefully choose the thresholds of CD4+ T cell count and individualize the STIs for each individual patient based on initial CD4+ T cell counts.
HAART; Scheduled treatment interruption; Mathematical model; Threshold window; Durations of drug-on and drug-off
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent progenitors that can undergo osteogenic differentiation under proper stimuli. We demonstrated that BMP9 is one of the most osteogenic BMPs. However, the molecular mechanism underlying BMP9-initiated osteogenic signaling in MSCs remains unclear. Through gene expression profiling analysis we identified several candidate mediators of BMP9 osteogenic signaling. Here, we focus on one such signaling mediator and investigate the functional role of cysteine-rich with EGF-like domains 2 (Creld2) in BMP9-initiated osteogenic signaling. Creld2 was originally identified as an ER stress-inducible factor localized in the ER-Golgi apparatus. Our genomewide expression profiling analysis indicates that Creld2 is among the top up-regulated genes in BMP9-stimulated MSCs. We confirm that Creld2 is up-regulated by BMP9 in MSCs. ChIP analysis indicates that Smad1/5/8 directly binds to the Creld2 promoter in a BMP9-dependent fashion. Exogenous expression of Creld2 in MSCs potentiates BMP9-induced early and late osteogenic markers, and matrix mineralization. Conversely, silencing Creld2 expression inhibits BMP9-induced osteogenic differentiation. In vivo stem cell implantation assay reveals that exogenous Creld2 promotes BMP9-induced ectopic bone formation and matrix mineralization, whereas silencing Creld2 expression diminishes BMP9-induced bone formation and matrix mineralization. We further show that Creld2 is localized in ER and the ER stress inducers potentiate BMP9-induced osteogenic differentiation. Our results strongly suggest that Creld2 may be directly regulated by BMP9 and ER stress response may play an important role in regulating osteogenic differentiation.
In January of 2011, the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) and the Society for Physical Regulation in Biology and Medicine (SPRBM) held its inaugural Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering (CMBE) conference. The CMBE conference assembled worldwide leaders in the field of CMBE and held a very successful Round Table discussion among leaders. One of the action items was to collectively construct a white paper regarding the future of CMBE. Thus, the goal of this report is to emphasize the impact of CMBE as an emerging field, identify critical gaps in research that may be answered by the expertise of CMBE, and provide perspectives on enabling CMBE to address challenges in improving human health. Our goal is to provide constructive guidelines in shaping the future of CMBE.
Host–parasites interaction is a common phenomenon in nature. Diffusive coevolution might maintain stable cooperation in a fig–fig wasps system, in which the exploiter might diversify their genotype, phenotype, or behavior as a result of competition with pollinator, whereas the figs change flower syconia, fruits thickness, and syconia structure. In functionally dioecious Ficus auriculata, male figs and female figs contain two types of florets on separate plant, and share high similarities in outside morphology. Apocryptophagus (Sycophaginae, Chalcidoidea, Hymenoptera) is one of few groups of nonpollinating fig wasps that can reproduce within both male and female figs. On the basis of the morphology and DNA barcoding, evidence from partial sequences of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I and nuclear internal transcribed spacer 2, we found that there are two nonsibling Apocryptophagus species living on male and female F. auriculata figs, respectively. We estimated that these two species diverged about 19.2 million years ago. Our study suggests that the host shift from Ficus variegate or Ficus prostrata fig species to male figs is a preference way for Apocryptophagus wasps to adapt to the separation of sexual function in diecious figs. Furthermore, to escape the disadvantage or sanction impact of the host, the exploiter Apocryptophagus wasps can preferably adapt to exploiting each sex of the figs, by changing their oviposition, niche shift, and habitat.
Coevolution; dioecy; DNA barcoding; host shift; nonpollinating fig wasp
XRCC3 and RAD51 are two important members in homologous recombination repair pathway. This study was performed to detect the expressions of these two molecules in breast cancer and explore their correlations with clinicopathological factors.
Methods and Results
Immunohistochemistry was used to detect protein expressions of XRCC3 and RAD51 in 248 cases of breast cancer tissue and 78 cases of adjacent non-cancerous tissue. Data showed that expressions for both XRCC3 and RAD51 were significantly increased in breast cancer. High XRCC3 expression was associated with large tumor size and positive PR and HER2 status, while high RAD51 expression was associated with axillary lymph node metastasis and positive PR and HER2 status. The result of multivariate analysis demonstrated that HER2, PR and RAD51 were significantly association with XRCC3. And besides XRCC3, axillary lymph node metastasis and PR were significantly correlated with RAD51.
XRCC3 and RAD51 were significantly associated with clinicopathological factors and they might play important roles in the development and progress of breast cancer.
To date, scientists have obtained a substantial amount of knowledge with regard to genes and microRNAs (miRNAs) in pancreatic cancer (PC). However, deciphering the regulatory mechanism of these genes and miRNAs remains difficult. In the present study, three regulatory networks consisting of a differentially-expressed network, a related network and a global network, were constructed in order to identify the mechanisms and certain key miRNA and gene pathways in PC. The interactions between transcription factors (TFs) and miRNAs, miRNAs and target genes and an miRNA and its host gene were investigated. The present study compared and analyzed the similarities and differences between the three networks in order to distinguish the key pathways. Certain pathways involving the differentially-expressed genes and miRNAs demonstrated specific features. TP53 and hsa-miR-125b were observed to form a self-adaptation association. A further 16 significant differentially-expressed miRNAs were obtained and it was observed that an miRNA and its host gene exhibit specific features in PC, for example, hsa-miR-196a-1 and its host gene, HOXB7, form a self-adaptation association. The differentially-expressed network partially illuminated the mechanism of PC. The present study provides comprehensive data that is associated with PC and may aid future studies in obtaining pertinent data results with regards to PC. In the future, an improved understanding of PC may be obtained through an increased knowledge of the occurrence, mechanism, improvement, metastasis and treatment of the disease.
pancreatic cancer; microRNA; transcription factor; network; pathway; host gene
To investigate the accuracy of imaging-based gross tumor volume (GTV) compared with pathological volume in cervical cancer.
Ten patients with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage I–II cervical cancer were eligible for investigation and underwent surgery in this study. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (18F-FDG PET)/computed tomography (CT) scans were taken the day before surgery. The GTVs under MRI and 18F-FDG PET/CT (GTV-MRI, GTV-PET, GTV-CT) were calculated automatically by Eclipse treatment-planning systems. Specimens of excised uterine cervix and cervical cancer were consecutively sliced and divided into whole-mount serial sections. The tumor border of hematoxylin and eosin-stained sections was outlined under a microscope by an experienced pathologist. GTV through pathological image (GTV-path) was calculated with Adobe Photoshop.
The GTVs (average ± standard deviation) delineated and calculated under CT, MRI, PET, and histopathological sections were 19.41 ± 11.96 cm3, 12.66 ± 10.53 cm3, 11.07 ± 9.44 cm3, and 10.79 ± 8.71 cm3, respectively. The volume of GTV-CT or GTV-MR was bigger than GTV-path, and the difference was statistically significant (P < 0.05). No significant difference was observed between GTV-PET and GTV-path (P > 0.05). Spearman correlation analysis showed that GTV-CT, GTV-MRI, and GTV-PET were significantly correlated with GTV-path (P < 0.01). There was no significant difference in the lesion coverage factor among the three modalities.
The present study showed that GTV defined under 40% of maximum standardized uptake value in PET images was very similar to the pathological volume of cervical cancer. This result should be replicated in a larger number of patients with cervical cancer in a future study of ours.
MRI; 18F-FDG PET/CT; pathological tumor volume; gross tumor volume; cervical cancer
Objective. To conduct a comprehensive PRISMA-compliant systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Chinese medicines (CMs) as an adjuvant therapy for unresectable HCC during transarterial chemoembolization (TACE). Methods. Main databases were searched up to October 2012 for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating the effects of CMs plus TACE on unresectable HCC compared with TACE alone. References of relevant reviews and eligible studies were also assessed. Risk ratios with 95% confidence intervals and mean difference were calculated. Heterogeneity and publication bias were examined. Results. Sixty-seven trials (N = 5,211) were included in the meta-analysis. Sensitivity analysis and random-effects model were performed for assessing significant heterogeneity. CMs plus TACE showed beneficial effects on tumor response, survival at 6, 12, 18, 24, and 36 months, quality of life, and TACE toxicity reduction compared with TACE alone. Conclusion. The results show that the use of CMs may increase the efficacy and reduce the toxicity of TACE in treating patients with unresectable HCC. These findings suggest that CMs could be considered as an adjuvant therapy for unresectable HCC patients during TACE. Larger-scale RCTs using standard methods and long-term follow-up are warranted to confirm these findings.
Insulin resistance in obesity is associated with chronic systemic low-grade inflammation. Although it has been shown that Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) in the liver, muscle and adipose tissue plays an important role in obesity-associated inflammation and insulin resistance, the effect of TLR4 activation in the intestine has not been investigated. The aim of this study was to explore the activation of the mouse intestinal TLR4/NF-κB signaling pathway following the administration of a short-term high-fat diet, as well as the function of the signaling pathway in the local enteric inflammatory response. The effect of the high-fat diet on TLR4 activation, NF-κB and phosphorylated IκB (PIκB) activity, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and IL-6 expression in the intestinal tissues of diet-induced obese C57BL/6 mice was investigated. The results demonstrated that the high-fat diet induced TLR4 mRNA and protein expression in intestinal tissues. TLR4/NF-κB signaling pathway activation gradually increased as the number of days of high-fat diet administration increased, and peaked on day 7. Additionally, activation of the signaling pathway reduced PIκB expression levels and increased TNF-α and IL-6 expression levels in intestinal tissues. Our results demonstrated that a short-term high-fat diet induces activation of the TLR4/NF-κB signaling pathway in intestinal tissues, which causes local intestinal low-grade inflammation. These data improve our understanding of the molecular events involved in intestinal low-grade inflammation, which may be the triggering factor for chronic systemic low-grade inflammation.
Toll-like receptor 4/NF-κB; short-term high-fat diet; intestines; local inflammatory response
We demonstrate that single-layer graphene (SLG) decorated with a high density of Ag adatoms displays the unconventional phenomenon of negative quantum capacitance. The Ag adatoms act as resonant impurities and form nearly dispersionless resonant impurity bands near the charge neutrality point (CNP). Resonant impurities quench the kinetic energy and drive the electrons to the Coulomb energy dominated regime with negative compressibility. In the absence of a magnetic field, negative quantum capacitance is observed near the CNP. In the quantum Hall regime, negative quantum capacitance behavior at several Landau level positions is displayed, which is associated with the quenching of kinetic energy by the formation of Landau levels. The negative quantum capacitance effect near the CNP is further enhanced in the presence of Landau levels due to the magnetic-field-enhanced Coulomb interactions.
Atomic force microscope (AFM) probe with a long and rigid needle tip was fabricated and studied for high Q factor dynamic (tapping mode) AFM imaging of samples submersed in liquid. The extended needle tip over a regular commercially-available tapping mode AFM cantilever was sufficiently long to keep the AFM cantilever from submersed in liquid, which significantly minimized the hydrodynamic damping involved in dynamic AFM imaging of samples in liquid. Dynamic AFM imaging of samples in liquid at an intrinsic Q factor of over 100 and an operation frequency of over 200 kHz was demonstrated. The method has the potential to be extended to acquire viscoelastic materials properties and provide truly gentle imaging of soft biological samples in physiological environments.
Galliform birds (relatives of the chicken and turkey) have attracted substantial attention due to their importance to society and value as model systems. This makes understanding the evolutionary history of Galliformes, especially the species-rich family Phasianidae, particularly interesting and important for comparative studies in this group. Previous studies have differed in their conclusions regarding galliform phylogeny. Some of these studies have suggested that specific clades within this order underwent rapid radiations, potentially leading to the observed difficulty in resolving their phylogenetic relationships. Here we presented analyses of six nuclear intron sequences and two mitochondrial regions, an amount of sequence data larger than many previous studies, and expanded taxon sampling by collecting data from 88 galliform species and four anseriform outgroups. Our results corroborated recent studies describing relationships among the major families, and provided further evidence that the traditional division of the largest family, the Phasianidae into two major groups (“pheasants” and “partridges”) is not valid. Within the Phasianidae, relationships among many genera have varied among studies and there has been little consensus for the placement of many taxa. Using this large dataset, with substantial sampling within the Phasianidae, we obtained strong bootstrap support to confirm some previously hypothesized relationships and we were able to exclude others. In addition, we added the first nuclear sequence data for the partridge and quail genera Ammoperdix, Caloperdix, Excalfactoria, and Margaroperdix, placing these taxa in the galliform tree of life with confidence. Despite the novel insights obtained by combining increased sampling of taxa and loci, our results suggest that additional data collection will be necessary to solve the remaining uncertainties.
The aim of the present study was to explore protein expression profiles during cancer cell apoptosis induced by hyperthermia. A hyperthermia-induced apoptosis model was established using a Tca8113 cell line derived from a human tongue squamous cell carcinoma, which underwent fluorescent differential display two-dimensional (2D) gel electrophoresis at 2, 6, 8, 12 and 24 h following the induction of hyperthermia. Proteins were identified by mass spectrometry analysis. Expression changes in the proteins were detected by western blot analysis. A total of 107 proteins were detected that exhibited different expression levels in the hyperthermia-treated cells compared with the controls, and 57 of these proteins were identified. Expression changes in the representative proteins were further verified by western blot analysis. These 57 proteins were identified according to the following functional groups: energy metabolism-related enzymes, cytoskeleton-related proteins, chaperones, transcription factors, protein synthesis-related proteins and cell division- and proliferation-related proteins. These groups included 44 upregulated and 13 downregulated proteins. Among the 44 upregulated proteins, 27 were upregulated continuously, eight were upregulated at an early time-point and nine were upregulated at a middle to late time-point. Among the 13 downregulated proteins, five were downregulated continuously, six were downregulated at an early time-point and two were downregulated at a middle to late time-point. These results indicate that hyperthermia-induced Tca8113 cell apoptosis is controlled by multiple factors, which include time and regulatory proteins.
proteomic; hyperthermia; apoptosis; cancer; mass spectrometry analysis
We demonstrate that fluctuations of the local density of states (LDOS) in strongly disordered graphene play an important role in determining the quantum capacitance of the top-gate graphene devices. Depending on the strength of the disorder induced by metal-cluster decoration, the measured quantum capacitance of disordered graphene can dramatically decrease in comparison with pristine graphene. This is opposite to the common belief that quantum capacitance should increase with disorder. To explain this counterintuitive behavior, we present a two-parameter model which incorporates both the non-universal power law behavior for the ADOS and a lognormal distribution of LDOS. We find excellent quantitative agreements between the model and measured quantum capacitance for three disordered samples in a wide range of Fermi energies. Thus, by measuring the quantum capacitance, we can simultaneously determine the ADOS and its fluctuations. It is the LDOS fluctuations that cause the dramatic reduction of the quantum capacitance.
Although pterostilbene (PTE) has been shown to have potent antitumor activities against various cancer types, the molecular mechanisms of these activities remain unclear. In this study, we investigated the antitumor activity of PTE against human lung adenocarcinoma in vitro and in vivo and explored the role of the Notch1 signaling pathway in this process. PTE treatment resulted in a dose- and time-dependent decrease in the viability of A549 cells. Additionally, PTE exhibited strong antitumor activity, as evidenced not only by a reduced mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and a decreased intracellular glutathione content but also by increases in the apoptotic index and the level of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Furthermore, PTE treatment induced the activation of the Notch1 Intracellular Domain (NICD) protein and activated Hes1. DAPT (a gamma secretase inhibitor) and Notch1 siRNA prevented the induction of NICD and Hes1 activation by PTE treatment and sensitized the cells to PTE treatment. The down-regulation of Notch signaling also prevented the activation of pro-survival pathways (most notably the PI3K/Akt pathway) after PTE treatment. In summary, lung adenocarcinoma cells may enhance Notch1 activation as a protective mechanism in response to PTE treatment. Combining a gamma secretase inhibitor with PTE treatment may represent a novel approach for treating lung adenocarcinoma by inhibiting the survival pathways of cancer cells.
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) has been shown to be associated with high risk of diabetes in offspring. However, the mechanisms involved and the possibilities of transgenerational transmission are still unclear. We intercrossed male and female adult control and first-generation offspring of GDM (F1-GDM) mice to obtain the second-generation (F2) offspring in four groups: C♂-C♀, C♂-GDM♀, GDM♂-C♀, and GDM♂-GDM♀. We found that birth weight significantly increased in F2 offspring through the paternal line with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). Regardless of birth from F1-GDM with or without IGT, high risk of IGT appeared as early as 3 weeks in F2 offspring and progressed through both parental lineages, especial the paternal line. IGT in male offspring was more obvious than that in females, with parental characteristics and sex-specific transmission. In both F1 and F2 offspring of GDM, the expression of imprinted genes Igf2 and H19 was downregulated in pancreatic islets, caused by abnormal methylation status of the differentially methylated region, which may be one of the mechanisms for impaired islet ultrastructure and function. Furthermore, altered Igf2 and H19 gene expression was found in sperm of adult F1-GDM, regardless of the presence of IGT, indicating that changes of epigenetics in germ cells contributed to transgenerational transmission.
Children conceived via assisted reproductive technologies (ART) are nowadays a substantial proportion of the population. It is important to follow up these children and evaluate whether they have elevated health risks compared to naturally conceived (NC) children. In recent years there has been a lot of work in this field. This review will summarize what is known about the health of ART-conceived children, encompassing neonatal outcomes, birth defects, growth and gonadal developments, physical health, neurological and neurodevelopmental outcomes, psychosocial developments, risk for cancer, and epigenetic abnormalities. Most of the children conceived after ART are normal. However, there is increasing evidence that ART-conceived children are at higher risk of poor perinatal outcome, birth defects, and epigenetic disorders, and the mechanism(s) leading to these changes have not been elucidated. Continuous follow-up of children after ART is of great importance as they progress through adolescence into adulthood, and new ART techniques are constantly being introduced.
Assisted reproductive technologies (ART); Children; Follow-up
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is commonly used to solve male infertility problems. Previous studies showed that early environmental exposure of an embryo may influence postnatal development. To detect whether ICSI operations affect the reproductive health of a male or his offspring, we established assisted reproductive technologies (ART) conceived mouse models, and analyzed gene expression profiles in the testes of both ICSI and naturally conceived (NC) newborn F1 mice using micro-array analysis. Among the differentially expressed genes, we focused on the expression of eight male reproduction-related genes. Quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was used to analyze the expression of these genes in the testes of both adult and old F1 generation mice and adult F2 generation mice. Our results showed that down-regulated and somatic cell-expressed genes in newborn mice retained their differential expression patterns in adult and old F1 generation individuals, implying the persistence and fetal origin of the alteration in the expression of these genes. The intergenerational transmission of differential gene expression was observed, but most changes tended to be reduced in adult F2 generations. Controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) mice models were added to explore the precise factors contributing to the differences in ICSI offspring. The data demonstrated that superovulation, in vitro culture, and mechanical stimulation involved in ICSI had a cumulative effect on the differential expression of these male reproductive genes.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection; Testis; Intergenerational transmission
Plant-derived active constituents and their semi-synthetic or synthetic analogs have served as major sources of anticancer drugs. 20(S)-protopanaxadiol (PPD) is a metabolite of ginseng saponin of both American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer). We previously demonstrated that ginsenoside Rg3, a glucoside precursor of PPD, exhibits anti-proliferative effects on HCT116 cells and reduces tumor size in a xenograft model. Our subsequent study indicated that PPD has more potent antitumor activity than that of Rg3 in vitro although the mechanism underlying the anticancer activity of PPD remains to be defined. Here, we investigated the mechanism underlying the anticancer activity of PPD in human cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. PPD was shown to inhibit growth and induce cell cycle arrest in HCT116 cells. The in vivo studies indicate that PPD inhibits xenograft tumor growth in athymic nude mice bearing HCT116 cells. The xenograft tumor size was significantly reduced when the animals were treated with PPD (30 mg/kg body weight) for 3 weeks. When the expression of previously identified Rg3 targets, A kinase (PRKA) anchor protein 8 (AKAP8L) and phosphatidylinositol transfer protein α (PITPNA), was analyzed, PPD was shown to inhibit the expression of PITPNA while upregulating AKAP8L expression in HCT116 cells. Pathway-specific reporter assays indicated that PPD effectively suppressed the NF-κB, JNK and MAPK/ERK signaling pathways. Taken together, our results suggest that the anticancer activity of PPD in colon cancer cells may be mediated through targeting NF-κB, JNK and MAPK/ERK signaling pathways, although the detailed mechanisms underlying the anticancer mode of PPD action need to be fully elucidated.
ginseng; ginseng metabolites; 20(S)-protopanaxadiol; colorectal cancer; signaling pathway; natural products
The title compound, [Fe2(C7H6S3)(CO)6], was prepared as a biomimic for the active site of [FeFe]-hydrogenases. The central Fe2S2 core is in a butterfly conformation and each FeI atom has a pseudo-square-pyramidal coordination by three O atoms and two S atoms. The Fe—Fe distance is 2.471 (2) Å and the dihedral angle between the two Fe—S—Fe planes is 78.96 (7)°. The least-squares plane through the –S(C7H6S)S– bridge nearly bisects the molecular structure: except for the two Fe(CO)3 units, all atoms are in this plane with an average deviation from the plane of 0.028 (3) Å. In the crystal, the molecules are linked into chains along  by C—H⋯π(arene) interactions.
To evaluate the potential efficacy of preventive effect of ulinastatin in esophagectomy patients.
Eighty patients with esophageal cancer were preoperatively allocated at random into two equal groups. Ulinastatin was administered to the treatment group (U) whereas the control group (C) received a placebo. The arterial oxygen tension and carbon dioxide tension were measured and the respiratory index (RI) was calculated. Plasma levels of circulating T lymphocyte subsets and interleukin 6 (IL-6) were measured and clinical courses of patients in the two groups were compared.
RI in the U group was significantly lower than that in the C group. The rate of postoperative complications and the duration of ICU stay were significantly lower in the U group. Ulinastatin significantly increased the rate of CD3+ and CD4+ cells, and ratio of CD4+/CD8+, but decreased the rate of CD8+ cells and release of IL-6 compared to the C group on postoperative days 1 and 3. Patients within the C group showed worse recurrence free survival. Multivariate analysis revealed that ulinastatin administration significantly decreased the incidence of recurrence.
Ulinastatin had a preventive effect on postoperative complications and immunosuppression in esophagectomy patients, thereby prolongingrecurrence free survival.
Esophagectomy; Immunosuppression; Postoperative complications; Recurrence; Ulinastatin