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1.  Automatic Blastomere Recognition from a Single Embryo Image 
The number of blastomeres of human day 3 embryos is one of the most important criteria for evaluating embryo viability. However, due to the transparency and overlap of blastomeres, it is a challenge to recognize blastomeres automatically using a single embryo image. This study proposes an approach based on least square curve fitting (LSCF) for automatic blastomere recognition from a single image. First, combining edge detection, deletion of multiple connected points, and dilation and erosion, an effective preprocessing method was designed to obtain part of blastomere edges that were singly connected. Next, an automatic recognition method for blastomeres was proposed using least square circle fitting. This algorithm was tested on 381 embryo microscopic images obtained from the eight-cell period, and the results were compared with those provided by experts. Embryos were recognized with a 0 error rate occupancy of 21.59%, and the ratio of embryos in which the false recognition number was less than or equal to 2 was 83.16%. This experiment demonstrated that our method could efficiently and rapidly recognize the number of blastomeres from a single embryo image without the need to reconstruct the three-dimensional model of the blastomeres first; this method is simple and efficient.
PMCID: PMC4122070  PMID: 25126108
2.  PHD2 Silencing Enhances the Survival and Paracrine Function of Transplanted Adipose-Derived Stem Cells in Infarcted Myocardium 
Circulation research  2013;113(3):288-300.
Transplantation of stem cells into damaged hearts has had modest success as a treatment for ischemic heart disease. One of the limitations is the poor stem cell survival in the diseased microenvironment. Prolyl hydroxylase domain protein 2 (PHD2) is a cellular oxygen sensor that regulates two key transcription factors involved in cell survival and inflammation, hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB).
We studied if and how PHD2 silencing in human adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) enhances their cardioprotective effects after transplantation into infarcted hearts.
Methods and Results
ADSCs were transduced with lentiviral shPHD2 to silence PHD2. ADSCs with or without shPHD2 were transplanted after myocardial infarction (MI) in mice. ADSCs reduced cardiomyocyte apoptosis, fibrosis and infarct size and improved cardiac function. shPHD2-ADSCs exerted significantly more protection. PHD2 silencing induced greater ADSCs survival, which was abolished by shHIF-1α. Conditioned medium (CM) from shPHD2-ADSCs decreased cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) levels were significantly higher in the CM of shPHD2-ADSCs versus ADSCs, and depletion of IGF-1 attenuated the cardioprotective effects of shPHD2-ADSCs-CM. NF-κB activation was induced by shPHD2 to induce IGF-1 secretion via binding to IGF-1 gene promoter.
PHD2 silencing promotes ADSCs survival in MI hearts and enhances their paracrine function to protect cardiomyocytes. The pro-survival effect of shPHD2 on ADSCs is HIF-1α dependent and the enhanced paracrine function of shPHD2-ADSCs is associated with NF-κB-mediated IGF-1 up-regulation. PHD2 silencing in stem cells may be a novel strategy for enhancing the effectiveness of stem cell therapy after MI.
PMCID: PMC3744216  PMID: 23694817
Myocardial infarction; stem cell; survival; paracrine effect; cardiomyocyte
3.  The Relative Contribution of Paracine Effect versus Direct Differentiation on Adipose-Derived Stem Cell Transplantation Mediated Cardiac Repair 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e59020.
Recent studies have demonstrated that transplantation of adipose-derived stem cell (ADSC) can improve cardiac function in animal models of myocardial infarction (MI). However, the mechanisms underlying the beneficial effect are not fully understood. In this study, we characterized the paracrine effect of transplanted ADSC and investigated its relative importance versus direct differentiation in ADSC transplantation mediated cardiac repair.
Methodology/Principal Findings
MI was experimentally induced in mice by ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery. Either human ADSC, conditioned medium (CM) collected from the same amount of ADSC or control medium was injected into the peri-infarct region immediately after MI. Compared with the control group, both ADSC and ADSC-CM significantly reduced myocardial infarct size and improved cardiac function. The therapeutic efficacy of ADSC was moderately superior to ADSC-CM. ADSC-CM significantly reduced cardiomyocyte apoptosis in the infarct border zone, to a similar degree with ADSC treatment. ADSC enhanced angiogenesis in the infarct border zone, but to a stronger degree than that seen in the ADSC-CM treatment. ADSC was able to differentiate to endothelial cell and smooth muscle cell in post-MI heart; these ADSC-derived vascular cells amount to about 9% of the enhanced angiogenesis. No cardiomyocyte differentiated from ADSC was found.
ADSC-CM is sufficient to improve cardiac function of infarcted hearts. The therapeutic function of ADSC transplantation is mainly induced by paracrine-mediated cardioprotection and angiogenesis, while ADSC differentiation contributes a minor benefit by being involved in angiogenesis.
Highlights 1 ADSC-CM is sufficient to exert a therapeutic potential. 2. ADSC was able to differentiate to vascular cells but not cardiomyocyte. 3. ADSC derived vascular cells amount to about 9% of the enhanced angiogenesis. 4. Paracrine effect is the major mechanism of ADSC therapeutic function for MI.
PMCID: PMC3602597  PMID: 23527076
4.  Tonic Glutamatergic Input in The Rostral Ventrolateral Medulla is Increased in Rats With Chronic Heart Failure 
Hypertension  2008;53(2):370-374.
Chronic heart failure (CHF) is characterized by increased sympathetic tone. The glutamatergic input in the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM), which is a key region involved in sympathetic outflow, seems not to be involved in the generation of sympathetic tone in the normal state. The aim of this study was to determine the role of the RVLM glutamate receptors in generation of sympathetic tone in CHF. CHF was produced by left coronary artery ligation. Bilateral microinjection of the glutamate receptor antagonist kynurenic acid (KYN), the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist D-AP5, or the non-NMDA receptor antagonist CNQX into the RVLM dose-dependently reduced resting blood pressure and renal sympathetic nerve activity in CHF but not in sham rats. Picoinjection of KYN (100 pmol in 5 nl) significantly decreased the basal discharge by 47% in 25 RVLM presympathetic neurons in CHF rats, In contrast, KYN had no effect on the discharge in all 22 RVLM presympathetic neurons tested in sham rats. These data suggest that upregulated glutamate receptors, including NMDA and non-NMDA, in the RVLM are involved in tonic control of elevated sympathetic tone in CHF.
PMCID: PMC3574554  PMID: 19029485
sympathoexcitation; glutamate receptors; micro/picoinjection; extracellular recording; presympathetic neuron
5.  The time interval between hCG priming and oocyte retrieval in ART program: a meta-analysis 
To evaluate the relationship between different hCG priming-to-oocyte retrieval intervals and assisted reproductive technology (ART) outcome.
We systematically searched PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, Science Citation Index, Chinese biomedicine (CBM) literature database, and Chinese Journal Full-text Database for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published up to November 2010. Data was extracted from the studies by two independent reviewers. Statistical analysis was performed with Cochrane Collaboration’s Review Manager (RevMan) 5.0.2. From extracted data, Risk Ratio (RR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was calculated.
5 RCTs totaling 895 participants were included. Oocyte maturation rate was higher in the long interval group compared with short interval group (RR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.62–0.73). There were no significant difference between the two groups with regard to fertilization rate (RR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.94–1.04), implantation rate (RR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.40–2.04), and pregnancy rate (RR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.58–1.08).
The percentage of mature (MII) oocytes can be increased by prolonging the interval between hCG priming and oocyte retrieval. The prolonged interval could not increase the fertilization rate, implantation rate, and pregnancy rate. Although there was evidence to confirm the results, they still need to be confirmed by large-sample, multicenter, randomized controlled trials. The time interval dependent mechanisms responsible for ART performance need to be elucidated.
PMCID: PMC3220445  PMID: 21792666
Human chorionic gonadotropin; Oocyte retrieval; Time interval; Infertility; Assisted reproductive technology; Meta-analysis
Hypertension  2008;52(4):708-714.
Up-regulation of Angiotensin type 1 receptors (AT1R) in the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) contributes to the sympatho-excitation in the chronic heart failure (CHF). However, the role of AT2R is not clear. In this study, we measured AT1R and AT2R protein expression in the RVLM and determined their effects on renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA), blood pressure (BP), and heart rate (HR) in anaesthetized sham and CHF rats. We found that: (1) while AT1R expression in the RVLM was up-regulated, the AT2R was significantly down-regulated (CHF: 0.06 ± 0.02 vs sham: 0.15 ± 0.02, P < 0.05); (2) simultaneously stimulating RVLM AT1R and AT2R by Ang II evoked sympatho-excitation, hypertension, and tachycardia in both sham and CHF rats, with greater responses in CHF; (3) stimulating RVLM AT1R with Ang II plus the specific AT2R antagonist PD123319 induced a larger sympatho-excitatory response than simultaneously stimulating AT1R and AT2R in sham rats, but not in CHF; (4) activating RVLM AT2R with CGP42112 induced a sympatho-inhibition, hypotension, and bradycardia only in sham rats (RSNA: 36.4 ± 5.1 % of baseline vs 102 ± 3.9 % of baseline in aCSF, P < 0.05); (5) pretreatment with ETYA, a general inhibitor of AA metabolism, into the RVLM attenuates the CGP42112 induced sympatho-inhibition. These results suggest that AT2R in the RVLM exhibits an inhibitory effect on sympathetic outflow, which is, at least partially, mediated by an AA metabolic pathway. These data implicate a down regulation in the AT2R as a contributory factor in the sympatho-excitation in CHF.
PMCID: PMC2760297  PMID: 18768398
Angiotensin II type 2 receptor; Angiotensin II type 1 receptor; rostral ventrolateral medulla; sympathetic outflow
7.  2-[3-(Trifluoro­meth­yl)phen­oxy]ethyl 1-oxo-2,6,7-trioxa-1λ5-phosphabicyclo­[2.2.2]octane-4-carboxyl­ate 
In the crystal structure of the title compound, C14H14F3O7P, the central chain, which connects the phosphate bicyclic system and the benzene ring, is made up of an approximately planar C—C(O)—O—C(H2) fragment and a C(H2)—O—C(Ph) link; the mean planes make a dihedral angle of 75.9 (2)°. The F atoms are disordered over two positions; the site occupancy factors are ca 0.6 and 0.4.
PMCID: PMC2960863  PMID: 21201921
8.  Differential effects of cardiac sympathetic afferent stimulation on neurons in the nucleus tractus solitarius 
Neuroscience letters  2006;409(2):146-150.
Activation of the cardiac “sympathetic afferent” reflex (CSAR) has been reported to depress the arterial baroreflex and enhance the arterial chemoreflex via a central mechanism. In the present study, we used single-unit extracellular recording techniques to examine the effects of stimulation of cardiac sympathetic afferents on baro- or chemosensitive neurons in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) in anesthetized rats. Of 54 barosensitive NTS neurons tested for their response to epicardial application of capsaicin (0.4 μg), 38 were significantly (P<0.01) inhibited by 38 % while 16 did not respond. Of 42 NTS chemosensitive neurons tested for their response to capsaicin, 33 were significantly (P<0.01) excited by 47 % while 9 did not respond. In addition, of 12 both barosensitive and chemosensitive NTS neurons tested for capsaicin, 2 were excited, 7 were inhibited, and 3 did not respond. In conclusion, this study indicates that CSAR activation inhibited NTS barosensitive neurons and excited NTS chemosensitive neurons, suggesting that the NTS plays an important role in processing the interactions between these cardiovascular reflexes.
PMCID: PMC1904510  PMID: 17014954
cardiovascular reflexes; sympathetic activity; capsaicin; extracellular recording; baro-/chemosensitive neuron
9.  Exercise Training Prevents Arterial Baroreflex Dysfunction in Rats Treated With Central Angiotensin II 
Hypertension  2007;49(3):519-527.
Angiotensin II (Ang II)–induced arterial baroreflex dysfunction is associated with superoxide generation in the brain. Exercise training (EX) improves baroreflex function and decreases oxidative stress in cardiovascular diseases linked to elevated central Ang II. The aim of this study was to determine whether previous EX prevents baroreflex impairment caused by central administration of exogenous Ang II via an Ang II–superoxide mechanism. Four groups of rats were used: non-EX artificial cerebrospinal fluid infused, non-EX Ang II infused, EX artificial cerebrospinal fluid infused, and EX Ang II infused. Rats were treadmill trained for 3 to 4 weeks and subjected to intracerebroventricular infusion of Ang II over the last 3 days of EX. Twenty-four hours after the end of EX, the arterial baroreflex was assessed in anesthetized rats. Compared with non-EX artificial cerebrospinal fluid–infused rats, Ang II significantly decreased baroreflex sensitivity (maximum gain: 3.0 ± 0.2% of maximum per millimeter of mercury versus 1.6 ± 0.1% of maximum per millimeter of mercury; P < 0.01), which was abolished by acute intracerebroventricular infusion of the Ang II type 1 receptor antagonist losartan and the reduced nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase inhibitor apocynin. EX prevented the decrease in baroreflex sensitivity and downregulated Ang II type 1 receptor and NADPH oxidase subunit protein expression in the paraventricular nucleus of Ang II–infused rats. Finally, EX decreased superoxide production in the paraventricular nucleus of Ang II–infused rats. These results indicate that EX improves arterial baroreflex function in conditions of high brain Ang II, which is mediated by the central Ang II type 1 receptor and associated with a reduction in central oxidative stress.
PMCID: PMC1904508  PMID: 17224469
exercise; baroreflex; sympathetic nerve activity; reactive oxygen species; AT1 receptor
10.  The Phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4) Inhibitor Rolipram Decreases Ethanol Seeking and Consumption in Alcohol-preferring Fawn-Hooded Rats 
Alcohol dependence is a complex psychiatric disorder demanding development of novel pharmacotherapies. Since the cyclic AMP (cAMP) signaling cascade has been implicated in mediating behavioral responses to alcohol, key components in this cascade may serve as potential treatment targets. Phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4), an enzyme that specifically catalyzes the hydrolysis of cAMP, represents as a key point in regulating intracellular cAMP levels. Thus, it was of interest to determine whether PDE4 was involved in the regulation of alcohol use and abuse.
Male Fawn-Hooded (FH/Wjd) rats were tested for 5% (v/v) ethanol and 10% (w/v) sucrose operant oral self-administration following treatment with the selective PDE4 inhibitor rolipram (0.0125, 0.025, or 0.05 mg/kg, s.c.); rolipram at higher doses (0.05, 0.1, and 0.2 mg/kg, s.c.) was tested to determine its impact on the intake of ethanol, sucrose, or water using the two-bottle choice drinking paradigm. Subsequent open-field testing was performed to evaluate the influence of higher doses of rolipram on locomotor activity.
Acute administration of rolipram dose-dependently reduced operant self-administration of 5% ethanol, but had no effect on 10% sucrose responding. Time-course assessment revealed significant decreases in ethanol consumption after rolipram (0.1, 0.2 mg/kg) treatment in continuous- and intermittent-access to ethanol at 5% or 10%, respectively. Moreover, chronic rolipram treatment time-dependently decreased 5% ethanol consumption and preference during treatment days and after the termination of rolipram administration. Rolipram at the highest doses (0.1 and 0.2 mg/kg) did decrease locomotor activity, but the effect lasted only 10 and 20 min, respectively, which did not likely alter long-term ethanol drinking.
These results suggest that PDE4 plays a role in alcohol seeking and consumption behavior. Drugs interfering with PDE4 may be a potential pharmacotherapy for alcohol dependence.
PMCID: PMC4335658  PMID: 22671516
Cyclic AMP Signaling; Phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4); Rolipram; FH/Wjd Rat; Ethanol Intake
11.  Clinical implications of the quantitative detection of ID4 gene methylation in myelodysplastic syndrome 
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) eventually transforms into acute leukemia (AL) in about 30% of patients. Hypermethylation of the inhibitor of DNA binding 4 (ID4) gene may play an important role in the initiation and development of MDS and AL. The aim of this study was to quantitatively assess ID4 gene methylation in MDS and to establish if it could be an effective method of evaluating MDS disease progression.
We examined 142 bone marrow samples from MDS patients, healthy donors and MDS-AL patients using bisulfite sequencing PCR and quantitative real-time methylation-specific PCR. The ID4 methylation rates and levels were assessed.
ID4 methylation occurred in 27 patients (27/100). ID4 gene methylation was more frequent and at higher levels in patients with advanced disease stages and in high-risk subgroups according to WHO (P < 0.001, P < 0.001, respectively) and International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS) (P = 0.002, P = 0.007, respectively) classifications. ID4 methylation levels changed during disease progression. Both methylation rates and methylation levels were significantly different between healthy donor, MDS patients and patients with MDS-AL (P < 0.001, P < 0.001, respectively). Multivariate analysis indicated that the level of ID4 methylation was an independent factor influencing overall survival. Patients with MDS showed decreased survival time with increased ID4 methylation levels (P = 0.011, hazard ratio (HR) = 2.371). Patients with ID4 methylation had shorter survival time than those without ID4 methylation (P = 0.008).
Our findings suggest that ID4 gene methylation might be a new biomarker for MDS monitoring and the detection of minimal residual disease.
PMCID: PMC4336702
ID4 gene; DNA methylation; Myelodysplastic syndrome; Leukemia
13.  Prognostic factors and survival in patients with gastric stump cancer 
AIM: To elucidate the clinicopathological characteristics and prognostic factors of gastric stump cancer (GSC).
METHODS: The clinical data for 92 patients with GSC were collected at Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center. The prognostic factors were analyzed with Cox proportional hazard models.
RESULTS: GSC tended to occur within 25 years following the primary surgery, when the initial disease is benign, whereas it primarily occurred within the first 15 years post-operation for gastric cancer. Patients with regular follow-up after primary surgery had a better survival rate. The multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that Borrmann type I/II (HR = 3.165, 95%CI: 1.055-9.500, P = 0.040) and radical resection (HR = 1.780, 95%CI: 1.061-2.987, P = 0.029) were independent prognostic factors for GSC. The overall 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates of the 92 patients were 78.3%, 45.6% and 27.6%, respectively. The 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates of those undergoing radical resection were 79.3%, 52.2%, and 37.8%, respectively. The 5-year survival rates for stages I, II, III, and IV were 85.7%, 47.4%, 16.0%, and 13.3%, respectively (P = 0.005).
CONCLUSION: The appearance of GSC occurs sooner in patients with primary malignant cancer than in patients with a primary benign disease. Therefore, close follow-up is necessary. The overall survival of patients with GSC is poor, and curative resection can improve their prognosis.
PMCID: PMC4323464
Gastric stump cancer; Clinicopathological characteristics; Prognosis
14.  Measuring the Refractive Index of Highly Crystalline Monolayer MoS2 with High Confidence 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8440.
Monolayer molybdenum disulphide (MoS2) has attracted much attention, due to its attractive properties, such as two-dimensional properties, direct bandgap, valley-selective circular dichroism, and valley Hall effect. However, some of its fundamental physical parameters, e.g. refractive index, have not been studied in detail because of measurement difficulties. In this work, we have synthesized highly crystalline monolayer MoS2 on SiO2/Si substrates via chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method and devised a method to measure their optical contrast spectra. Using these contrast spectra, we extracted the complex refractive index spectrum of monolayer MoS2 in the wavelength range of 400 nm to 750 nm. We have analyzed the pronounced difference between the obtained complex refractive index spectrum and that of bulk MoS2. The method presented here is effective for two-dimensional materials of small size. Furthermore, we have calculated the color contour plots of the contrast as a function of both SiO2 thickness and incident light wavelength for monolayer MoS2 using the obtained refractive index spectrum. These plots are useful for both fundamental study and device application.
PMCID: PMC4326697  PMID: 25676089
15.  Realizing and characterizing chiral photon flow in a circuit quantum electrodynamics necklace 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8352.
Gauge theory plays the central role in modern physics. Here we propose a scheme of implementing artificial Abelian gauge fields via the parametric conversion method in a necklace of superconducting transmission line resonators (TLRs) coupled by superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs). The motivation is to synthesize an extremely strong effective magnetic field for charge-neutral bosons which can hardly be achieved in conventional solid-state systems. The dynamic modulations of the SQUIDs can induce effective magnetic fields for the microwave photons in the TLR necklace through the generation of the nontrivial hopping phases of the photon hopping between neighboring TLRs. To demonstrate the synthetic magnetic field, we study the realization and detection of the chiral photon flow dynamics in this architecture under the influence of decoherence. Taking the advantages of its simplicity and flexibility, this parametric scheme is feasible with state-of-the-art technology and may pave an alternative way for investigating the gauge theories with superconducting quantum circuits. We further propose a quantitative measure for the chiral property of the photon flow. Beyond the level of qualitative description, the dependence of the chiral flow on external pumping parameters and cavity decay is characterized.
PMCID: PMC4322363  PMID: 25666884
16.  Repeated functional convergent effects of NaV1.7 on acid insensitivity in hibernating mammals 
Hibernating mammals need to be insensitive to acid in order to cope with conditions of high CO2; however, the molecular basis of acid tolerance remains largely unknown. The African naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber) and hibernating mammals share similar environments and physiological features. In the naked mole-rat, acid insensitivity has been shown to be conferred by the functional motif of the sodium ion channel NaV1.7. There is now an opportunity to evaluate acid insensitivity in other taxa. In this study, we tested for functional convergence of NaV1.7 in 71 species of mammals, including 22 species that hibernate. Our analyses revealed a functional convergence of amino acid sequences, which occurred at least six times independently in mammals that hibernate. Evolutionary analyses determined that the convergence results from both parallel and divergent evolution of residues in the functional motif. Our findings not only identify the functional molecules responsible for acid insensitivity in hibernating mammals, but also open new avenues to elucidate the molecular underpinnings of acid insensitivity in mammals.
PMCID: PMC3871328  PMID: 24352952
SCN9A; adaptation; convergent evolution; acid insensitivity
17.  The effect of nilotinib plus arsenic trioxide on the proliferation and differentiation of primary leukemic cells from patients with chronic myoloid leukemia in blast crisis 
To determine the effects of arsenic trioxide (ATO) and nilotinib (AMN107, Tasigna) alone or in combination on the proliferation and differentiation of primary leukemic cells from patients with chronic myeloid leukemia in the blast crisis phase (CML-BC).
Cells were isolated from the bone marrow of CML-BC patients and were treated with 1 μM ATO and 5 nM nilotinib, either alone or in combination. Cell proliferation was evaluated using a MTT assay. Cell morphology and the content of hemoglobin were examined with Wright-Giemsa staining and benzidine staining, respectively. The expression of cell surface markers was determined using flow cytometric analysis. The levels of mRNA and protein were analyzed using RT-PCR and Western blotting, respectively.
ATO and nilotinib alone or in combination suppressed cell proliferation in a dose- and time-dependent pattern (P < 0.01 vs. control). Drug treatments promoted erythroid differentiation of CML-BC cells, with a decreased nuclei/cytoplasm ratio but increased hemoglobin content and glycophorin A (GPA) expression (P < 0.01 compared with control). In addition, macrophage and granulocyte lineage differentiation was also induced after drug treatment. The mRNA and protein levels of basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor T-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia protein 1 (TAL1) and B cell translocation gene 1 (BTG1) were both upregulated after 3 days of ATO and Nilotinib treatment.
Our findings indicated that ATO and nilotinib treatment alone or in combination greatly suppressed cell proliferation but promoted the differentiation of CML-BC cells towards multiple-lineages. Nilotinib alone preferentially induced erythroid differentiation while combined treatment with ATO preferentially induced macrophage and granulocyte lineage differentiation.
PMCID: PMC4334604
Arsenic trioxide; Nilotinib; AMN107; CML-BC; Proliferation; Differentiation
18.  Systematic Confirmation Study of GWAS-Identified Genetic Variants for Kawasaki Disease in A Chinese Population 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8194.
Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified multiple single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with Kawasaki disease (KD). In this study, we replicated the associations of 10 GWAS-identified SNPs with KD in a Han Chinese population. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated by logistic regression, and cumulative effect of non-risk genotypes were also performed. Although none of the SNPs reached the corrected significance level, 4 SNPs showed nominal associations with KD risk. Compared with their respective wild type counterparts, rs1801274 AG+GG genotypes and rs3818298 TC+CC genotypes were nominally associated with the reduced risk of KD (OR = 0.77, 95% CI = 0.59–0.99, P = 0.045; OR = 0.74, 95% CI = 0.56–0.98, P = 0.038). Meanwhile, rs1801274 GG genotype, rs2736340 CC genotype or rs4813003 TT genotype showed a reduced risk trend (OR = 0.57, 95% CI = 0.35–0.93, P = 0.024; OR = 0.46, 95% CI = 0.26–0.83, P = 0.010; OR = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.43–0.94, P = 0.022), compared with rs1801274 AG+AA genotypes, rs2736340 CT+TT genotypes or rs4813003 TC+CC genotypes, respectively. Furthermore, a cumulative effect was observed with the ORs being gradually decreased with the increasing accumulative number of non-risk genotypes (Ptrend<0.001). In conclusion, our study suggests that 4 GWAS-identified SNPs, rs2736340, rs4813003, rs3818298 and rs1801274, were nominally associated with KD risk in a Han Chinese population individually and jointly.
PMCID: PMC4314627  PMID: 25645453
21.  Antibodies to Antigenic Site A of Influenza H7 Hemagglutinin Provide Protection against H7N9 Challenge 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(1):e0117108.
Identifying major antigenic and protective epitopes of the H7 hemagglutinin (HA) will be important for understanding the antibody response to vaccines developed against the novel influenza H7N9 viruses that emerged in China in 2013. To facilitate antigenic characterization of the H7N9 HA and to develop reagents for evaluation of H7N9 candidate vaccines, we generated a panel of murine monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to the HA of A/Shanghai/2/2013 using mammalian cell-derived virus-like particles (VLP) containing the H7 HA. Neutralizing antibodies identified an HA epitope corresponding to antigenic site A on the structurally similar influenza H3 hemagglutinin. Importantly, the neutralizing antibodies protect against A/Shanghai/2/2013 challenge. This antigenic site is conserved among many H7 viruses, including strains of both Eurasian and North American lineage, and the isolated neutralizing antibodies are cross-reactive with older H7 vaccine strains. The results indicate that the identified antigenic site is a potentially important protective epitope and suggest the potential benefit of cross-reactive antibody responses to vaccination with H7 candidate vaccines.
PMCID: PMC4309539  PMID: 25629172
23.  Relationship between Personality Disorder Functioning Styles and the Emotional States in Bipolar I and II Disorders 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(1):e0117353.
Bipolar disorder types I (BD I) and II (BD II) behave differently in clinical manifestations, normal personality traits, responses to pharmacotherapies, biochemical backgrounds and neuroimaging activations. How the varied emotional states of BD I and II are related to the comorbid personality disorders remains to be settled.
We therefore administered the Plutchick – van Praag Depression Inventory (PVP), the Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ), the Hypomanic Checklist-32 (HCL-32), and the Parker Personality Measure (PERM) in 37 patients with BD I, 34 BD II, and in 76 healthy volunteers.
Compared to the healthy volunteers, patients with BD I and II scored higher on some PERM styles, PVP, MDQ and HCL-32 scales. In BD I, the PERM Borderline style predicted the PVP scale; and Antisocial predicted HCL-32. In BD II, Borderline, Dependant, Paranoid (-) and Schizoid (-) predicted PVP; Borderline predicted MDQ; Passive-Aggressive and Schizoid (-) predicted HCL-32. In controls, Borderline and Narcissistic (-) predicted PVP; Borderline and Dependant (-) predicted MDQ.
Besides confirming the different predictability of the 11 functioning styles of personality disorder to BD I and II, we found that the prediction was more common in BD II, which might underlie its higher risk of suicide and poorer treatment outcome.
PMCID: PMC4307975  PMID: 25625553
24.  Synthesis and Properties of a Clean and Sustainable Deicing Additive for Asphalt Mixture 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(1):e0115721.
A clean and sustainable deicing additive was prepared via the adsorption of acetate anions (Ac-) by magnesium (Mg) and aluminum (Al) calcined layered double hydroxide (Mg/Al-CLDH). Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy spectrums proved that Ac- had intercalated into LDH structure. X-ray diffraction patterns, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy images showed that the intercalation spacing and platelet thickness of Mg and Al layered double hydroxide containing Ac- anions (Mg/Al-Ac- LDH) had been enlarged due to substitution of divalent CO32- anions by a larger quantity of monovalent Ac– anions. Differential scanning calorimetry tests testified that the insoluble Mg2/Al-Ac- LDH evidently decreased the freeze point (FP) of water to -10.68°C. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analyses confirmed that the Ac- were strongly confined by the metal layers of LDHs. FP test of asphalt mixtures confirmed that Mg/Al-Ac- LDHs reduced FP to -5.5°C. Immersion test results indicated that Mg/Al-Ac- LDH had a good deicing durability and Ac- did not released from asphalt mixture. Snow melting observation was conducted further testified that Mg/Al-Ac- LDH melted snow or ice sustainably.
PMCID: PMC4307978  PMID: 25625279
25.  Long-Term Treatment of Clonidine, Atenolol, Amlodipine and Dihydrochlorothiazide, but Not Enalapril, Impairs the Sexual Function in Male Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(1):e0116155.
This study was designed to investigate the impact of representative antihypertensive drugs of 5 classes on the sexual function in male spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) at doses that achieved similar blood pressure (BP) reduction. The experiment was performed in 6 groups of male SHR. The dose are 20 μg/kg/day for clonidine, 3 mg/kg/day for enalapril, 20 mg/kg/day for atenolol, 2 mg/kg/day for amlodipine, and 10 mg/kg/day for dihydrochlorothiazide. SHR were treated for 3 months, and then the penile erection and sexual behavior were detected. After BP recording, SHR were killed to evaluate the organ-damage, weight of accessory sex organs and levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone in serum. Five drugs had the similar efficacy on BP reduction. All drugs except of enalapril, significantly prolonged the mount latency, and decreased the mount frequency (P<0.05). Clonidine also reduced the conception rate (45% vs. 80% in control group, P<0.05). Amlodipine and dihydrochlorothiazide significantly increased the testosterone level (0.79±0.30, 0.80±0.34 vs. 0.49±0.20 in control group, unit: ng/dl, P<0.05). Enalapril, atenolol and amlodipine also significantly decreased the BP variability (systolic, 8.2±2.5, 7.6±1.8, 8.9±2.0 vs. 12.2±3.8 in control group, unit: mm Hg). All these drugs significantly decreased the organ-damage (P<0.05). In conclusion, long-term treatment with 5 common antihypertensive drugs possessed obvious organ protection in SHR. Clonidine, atenolol, amlodipine and dihydrochlorothiazide, but not enalapril, impair sexual function.
PMCID: PMC4304790  PMID: 25615941

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