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1.  On-line monitoring of oxygen in Tubespin, a novel, small-scale disposable bioreactor 
Cytotechnology  2011;63(4):345-350.
A novel, optical sensor was fixed in a new type of disposable bioreactor, Tubespin, for the on-line (real-time) monitoring of dissolved oxygen concentrations during cell culture. The cell density, viability and volumetric mass transfer coefficient were also determined to further characterize the bioreactors. The kLa value of the Tubespin at standard conditions was 24.3 h−1, while that of a spinner flask was only 2.7 h−1. The maximum cell density in the Tubespin bioreactor reached 6 × 106 cells mL−1, which was two times higher than the cell density in a spinner flask. Furthermore, the dynamic dissolved oxygen level was maintained above 90% air-saturation in the Tubespin, while the value was only 1.9% in a spinner flask. These results demonstrate the competitive advantage of using the Tubespin system over spinner flasks for process optimization and scale-down studies of oxygen transfer and cell growth.
PMCID: PMC3140833  PMID: 21574065
Tubespin; Spinner flask; Dissolved oxygen; kLa
2.  Improving High-Resolution MR Bold Venographic Imaging Using a T1 Reducing Contrast Agent 
Recently, a new imaging method was proposed by Reichenbach et al (Radiology 1997;204:272–277) to image small cerebral venous vessels specifically. This method, referred to as high-resolution blood oxygen level-dependent venography (HRBV), relies on the susceptibility difference between the veins and the brain parenchyma. The resulting phase difference between the vessels and the brain parenchyma leads to signal losses over and above the usual T2* effect. At 1.5 T, a rather long TE (roughly 40 msec) is required for this cancellation to become significant, leading to enhanced susceptibility artifacts and a long data acquisition time. In this study, we examine the utility of incorporating a clinically available T1 reducing contrast agent, Omniscan (Sanofi Winthrop Pharmaceuticals, NY, NY), with the HRBV imaging approach to reduce susceptibility artifacts and imaging time while maintaining the visibility of cerebral veins. Using a double-dose injection of Omniscan, we were able to reduce TE from 40 to 25 msec. This led to a decrease in TR from 57 to 42 msec, allowing a 26% reduction in data acquisition time while maintaining the visibility of cerebral venous vessels and reducing susceptibility artifacts.
PMCID: PMC4102700  PMID: 10441013
BOLD; venogram; contrast agent
3.  Effects of Biochar on Soil Microbial Biomass after Four Years of Consecutive Application in the North China Plain 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e102062.
The long term effect of biochar application on soil microbial biomass is not well understood. We measured soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and nitrogen (MBN) in a field experiment during a winter wheat growing season after four consecutive years of no (CK), 4.5 (B4.5) and 9.0 t biochar ha−1 yr−1 (B9.0) applied. For comparison, a treatment with wheat straw residue incorporation (SR) was also included. Results showed that biochar application increased soil MBC significantly compared to the CK treatment, and that the effect size increased with biochar application rate. The B9.0 treatment showed the same effect on MBC as the SR treatment. Treatments effects on soil MBN were less strong than for MBC. The microbial biomass C∶N ratio was significantly increased by biochar. Biochar might decrease the fraction of biomass N mineralized (KN), which would make the soil MBN for biochar treatments underestimated, and microbial biomass C∶N ratios overestimated. Seasonal fluctuation in MBC was less for biochar amended soils than for CK and SR treatments, suggesting that biochar induced a less extreme environment for microorganisms throughout the season. There was a significant positive correlation between MBC and soil water content (SWC), but there was no significant correlation between MBC and soil temperature. Biochar amendments may therefore reduce temporal variability in environmental conditions for microbial growth in this system thereby reducing temporal fluctuations in C and N dynamics.
PMCID: PMC4098902  PMID: 25025330
4.  GSK3β controls epithelial-mesenchymal transition and tumor metastasis by CHIP-mediated degradation of Slug 
Oncogene  2013;33(24):3172-3182.
Glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3β) is highly inactivated in epithelial cancers and is known to inhibit tumor migration and invasion. The zinc-finger-containing transcriptional repressor, Slug, represses E-cadherin transcription and enhances epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). In this study, we find that the GSK3β-pSer9 level is associated with the expression of Slug in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). GSK3β-mediated phosphorylation of Slug facilitates Slug protein turnover. Proteomic analysis reveals that the C-terminus of Hsc70-interacting protein (CHIP) interacts with wild-type Slug (wtSlug). Knockdown of CHIP stabilizes the wtSlug protein and reduces Slug ubiquitylation and degradation. In contrast, nonphosphorylatable Slug-4SA is not degraded by CHIP. The accumulation of nondegradable Slug may further lead to the repression of E-cadherin expression and promote cancer cell migration, invasion, and metastasis. Our findings provide evidence of a de novo GSK3β-CHIP-Slug pathway that may be involved in the progression of metastasis in lung cancer.
PMCID: PMC4096338  PMID: 23851495
GSK3β; Slug; CHIP; post-translational modification
5.  Enantioselective cyclization of enamide-ynes and application to the synthesis of the kopsifoline core 
Tetrahedron  2013;69(27-28):5640-5646.
We report the palladium-catalyzed enantioselective cyclization of 1,6-enamidynes to form spirocyclic ring systems. We applied this methodology to the concise synthesis of the skeletal core of the kopsifoline alkaloids.
PMCID: PMC3678774  PMID: 23772095
Palladium catalysis; enantioselective synthesis; electrophilic activation; spirocyclization; natural product synthesis
6.  The Relationship between Frontal Lobe Lesions, Course of Post-Stroke Depression, and 1-year Prognosis in Patients with First-Ever Ischemic Stroke 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e100456.
Background and Purpose
Most studies on post-stroke depression (PSD) have focused on a certain time point after stroke instead of the time course of PSD. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between frontal lobe lesions, course of PSD over a year following the stroke onset, and the 1-year prognosis in patients with first-ever ischemic stroke.
A total of 1067 patients from the prospective cohort study on the incidence and outcome of patients with post stroke depression in China who were diagnosed with first-ever ischemic stroke and attended 4 follow-up visits at 14±2 days, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year after stroke onset, were enrolled in the study. PSD was diagnosed according to DSM-IV. The course of PSD was divided into the following two categories: persistent/recurrent depression and no/transient depression. Patients with any ischemic lesion responsible for the indexed stroke event located in the frontal lobe were defined as patients with frontal lobe lesions. Modified Rankin Scale (mRS) ≥2 at 1-year was considered to be poor prognosis.
There were 109 patients with and 958 patients without frontal lobe lesions that formed the frontal lobe (FL) and no-frontal lobe (NFL) groups, respectively. After adjusting for confounding variables, frontal lobe lesion was significantly associated with persistent/recurrent PSD (OR 2.025, 95%CI 1.039–3.949). Overall, 32.7% of patients in the FL group had poor prognosis at 1- year compared with 22.7% in the NFL group (P = 0.021). Compared with no/transient depression, persistent/recurrent depression was found to be an independent predictor of poor prognosis at 1-year both in FL and NFL groups.
Long-term and periodical screening, evaluation and treatment are needed for PSD after the onset of ischemic stroke, particularly for patients with frontal lobe infarction.
PMCID: PMC4086722  PMID: 25003990
7.  Molecular Switch Role of Akt in Polygonatum odoratum Lectin-Induced Apoptosis and Autophagy in Human Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer A549 Cells 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e101526.
Polygonatum odoratum lectin (POL), isolated from traditional Chinese medicine herb (Mill.) Druce, has drawn rising attention due to its wide biological activities. In the present study, anti-tumor effects, including apoptosis- and autophagy-inducing properties of POL, were determined by a series of cell biology methods such as MTT, cellular morphology observation, flow cytometry, immunoblotting. Herein, we found that POL could simultaneously induce apoptosis and autophagy in human non-small cell lung cancer A549 cells. POL initiated apoptosis through inhibiting Akt-NF-κB pathway, while POL triggered autophagy via suppressing Akt-mTOR pathway, suggesting the molecular switch role of Akt in regulating between POL-induced apoptosis and autophagy. Moreover, ROS was involved in POL-induced inhibition of Akt expression, and might therefore mediate both apoptosis and autophagy in A549 cells. In addition, POL displayed no significant cytotoxicity toward normal human embryonic lung fibroblast HELF cells. Due to the anti-tumor activities, POL might become a potent anti-cancer drug in future therapy, which might pave the way for exploring GNA-related lectins into effective drugs in cancer treatment.
PMCID: PMC4081584  PMID: 24992302
8.  Central GLP-2 enhances hepatic insulin sensitivity via activating PI3K signaling in POMC neurons 
Cell metabolism  2013;18(1):86-98.
Glucagon-like peptides (GLP-1/2) are co-produced and highlighted as key modulators to improve glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity after bariatric surgery. However, it is unknown if CNS GLP-2 plays any physiological role in the control of glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity. We show that mice lacking GLP-2 receptor (GLP-2R) in POMC neurons display glucose intolerance and hepatic insulin resistance. GLP-2R activation in POMC neurons is required for GLP-2 to enhance insulin-mediated suppression of hepatic glucose production (HGP) and gluconeogenesis. GLP-2 directly modulates excitability of POMC neurons in GLP-2R- and PI3K-dependent manners. GLP-2 initiates GLP-2R-p85α interaction and facilitates PI3K-Akt-dependent FoxO1 nuclear exclusion in POMC neurons. Central GLP-2 suppresses basal HGP and enhances insulin sensitivity, which are abolished in POMC-p110α KO mice. Thus, CNS GLP-2 plays a key physiological role in the control of hepatic glucose production through activating PI3K-dependent modulation of membrane excitability and nuclear transcription of POMC neurons in the brain.
PMCID: PMC3752162  PMID: 23823479
Glucagon-like peptides and receptors; Glucose homeostasis; Hypothalamus; Insulin sensitivity
9.  Drinking-Water Disinfection By-products and Semen Quality: A Cross-Sectional Study in China 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2014;122(7):741-746.
Background: Exposure to disinfection by-products (DBPs) has been demonstrated to impair male reproductive health in animals, but human evidence is limited and inconsistent.
Objective: We examined the association between exposure to drinking-water DBPs and semen quality in a Chinese population.
Methods: We recruited 2,009 men seeking semen analysis from the Reproductive Center of Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, China, between April 2011 and May 2012. Each man provided a semen sample and a urine sample. Semen samples were analyzed for sperm concentration, sperm motility, and sperm count. As a biomarker of exposure to drinking-water DBPs, trichloroacetic acid (TCAA) was measured in the urine samples.
Results: The mean (median) urinary TCAA concentration was 9.58 (7.97) μg/L (interquartile range, 6.01–10.96 μg/L). Compared with men with urine TCAA in the lowest quartile, increased adjusted odds ratios (ORs) were estimated for below-reference sperm concentration in men with TCAA in the second and fourth quartiles (OR = 1.79; 95% CI: 1.19, 2.69 and OR = 1.51; 95% CI: 0.98, 2.31, respectively), for below-reference sperm motility in men with TCAA in the second and third quartiles (OR = 1.46; 95% CI: 1.12, 1.90 and OR = 1.30; 95% CI: 1.00, 1.70, respectively), and for below-reference sperm count in men with TCAA in the second quartile (OR 1.62; 95% CI: 1.04, 2.55). Nonmonotonic associations with TCAA quartiles were also estimated for semen parameters modeled as continuous outcomes, although significant negative associations were estimated for all quartiles above the reference level for sperm motility.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that exposure to drinking-water DBPs may contribute to decreased semen quality in humans.
Citation: Zeng Q, Wang YX, Xie SH, Xu L, Chen YZ, Li M, Yue J, Li YF, Liu AL, Lu WQ. 2014. Drinking-water disinfection by-products and semen quality: a cross-sectional study in China. Environ Health Perspect 122:741–746;
PMCID: PMC4080533  PMID: 24695319
11.  Enrichment of MTHFR 677 T in a Chinese long-lived cohort and its association with lipid modulation 
Variants in the Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene may result in a lowered catalytic activity and associate with subsequent elevated serum homocysteine (Hcy) concentration, abnormal DNA synthesis and methylation, cardiovascular risk, and unhealthy aging. Several investigations on the relationship of MTHFR C677T polymorphism with serum lipid profile and longevity have been conducted in some populations, but the findings remain mixed. Herein, we sought to look at the association between MTHFR C677T and lipid profile in a longevous cohort in Bama, a well-known home of longevity in China.
Genotyping of MTHFR C677T was undertaken in 516 long-lived inhabitants (aged 90 and older, long-lived group, LG) and 493 healthy controls (aged 60–75, non-long-lived group, non-LG) recruited from Bama area. Correlation between MTHFR genotypes and lipids was then evaluated.
T allele and TT genotype were significantly more prevalent in LG (P = 0.001 and 0.002, respectively), especially in females, than in non-LG. No difference in the tested lipid measures among MTHFR C677T genotypes was observed in LG, non-LG and total population (P > 0.05 for all). However, female but not male T carriers exhibited higher TC and LDL-C levels than did T noncarriers in the total population and in LG after stratification by sex (P < 0.05 for each). These differences did not however remain through further subdivision by hyperlipidemia and normolipidemia.
The higher prevalence of MTHFR 677 T genotypes and its modest unfavorable impact on lipids in Bama long-lived individuals may imply an existence of other protective genotypes which require further determination.
PMCID: PMC4092207  PMID: 24968810
12.  Fumanjian, a Classic Chinese Herbal Formula, Can Ameliorate the Impairment of Spatial Learning and Memory through Apoptotic Signaling Pathway in the Hippocampus of Rats with Aβ1–40-Induced Alzheimer's Disease 
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia and lacks disease-altering treatments. Fumanjian (FMJ), a famous classic Chinese herbal prescription for dementia, was first recorded in the Complete Works of Jingyue during the Ming Dynasty. This study aimed to investigate whether FMJ could prevent cognitive deficit and take neuroprotective effects in Aβ1–40-induced rat model through apoptotic signaling pathway. AD model was established by bilateral injection of Aβ1–40 into hippocampus in rat. All rats were tested for their capabilities of spatial navigation and memorization by Morris water maze. Apoptosis was tested using TUNEL staining in hippocampus neuronal cells; RT-PCR tested expression of Bcl-2 and Bax mRNA; western blotting tested protein level of cleaved caspase-3. After 14 days of treatment, FMJ significantly improved the escape latency and enhanced platform-cross number compared with the Aβ1–40-injected group (P < 0.05 or P < 0.01). FMJ also significantly decreased number of TUNEL-positive neuronal apoptosis and the expressions of Bax and cleaved Caspase-3 and increased the expression of Bcl-2 (P < 0.01) compared with AD model group. In conclusion, FMJ exerts a protective effect against Aβ1–40-induced learning and memory deficits and neuronal apoptosis, suggesting that FMJ could be used as a potential therapeutic formula for AD.
PMCID: PMC4090451  PMID: 25050129
13.  AGROBEST: an efficient Agrobacterium-mediated transient expression method for versatile gene function analyses in Arabidopsis seedlings 
Plant Methods  2014;10:19.
Transient gene expression via Agrobacterium-mediated DNA transfer offers a simple and fast method to analyze transgene functions. Although Arabidopsis is the most-studied model plant with powerful genetic and genomic resources, achieving highly efficient and consistent transient expression for gene function analysis in Arabidopsis remains challenging.
We developed a highly efficient and robust Agrobacterium-mediated transient expression system, named AGROBEST (Agrobacterium-mediated enhanced seedling transformation), which achieves versatile analysis of diverse gene functions in intact Arabidopsis seedlings. Using β-glucuronidase (GUS) as a reporter for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation assay, we show that the use of a specific disarmed Agrobacterium strain with vir gene pre-induction resulted in homogenous GUS staining in cotyledons of young Arabidopsis seedlings. Optimization with AB salts in plant culture medium buffered with acidic pH 5.5 during Agrobacterium infection greatly enhanced the transient expression levels, which were significantly higher than with two existing methods. Importantly, the optimized method conferred 100% infected seedlings with highly increased transient expression in shoots and also transformation events in roots of ~70% infected seedlings in both the immune receptor mutant efr-1 and wild-type Col-0 seedlings. Finally, we demonstrated the versatile applicability of the method for examining transcription factor action and circadian reporter-gene regulation as well as protein subcellular localization and protein–protein interactions in physiological contexts.
AGROBEST is a simple, fast, reliable, and robust transient expression system enabling high transient expression and transformation efficiency in Arabidopsis seedlings. Demonstration of the proof-of-concept experiments elevates the transient expression technology to the level of functional studies in Arabidopsis seedlings in addition to previous applications in fluorescent protein localization and protein–protein interaction studies. In addition, AGROBEST offers a new way to dissect the molecular mechanisms involved in Agrobacterium-mediated DNA transfer.
PMCID: PMC4076510  PMID: 24987449
Agrobacterium; Arabidopsis; Transient transformation; Gene expression; Innate immunity; Gain-of-function
14.  The Use of Mixed Generalized Additive Modeling to Assess the Effect of Temperature on the Usage of Emergency Electrocardiography Examination among the Elderly in Shanghai 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e100284.
Acute coronary artery diseases have been observed to be associated with some meteorological variables. But few of the previous studies considered autocorrelated outcomes. Electrocardiography is a widely used tool in the initial diagnosis of acute cardiovascular events, and emergency electrocardiography counts were shown to be highly correlated with acute myocardial infarction in our pilot study, hence a good index of prediction for acute cardiovascular events morbidity among the elderly. To indirectly assess the impact of temperature on the number of acute cardiovascular events, we studied the association between temperature and emergency electrocardiography counts while considering autocorrelated nature of the response variables.
We collected daily emergency electrocardiography counts for elderly females and males in Shanghai from 2007 to middle 2012, and studied temperature and other effects on these data using Mixed Generalized Additive Modelling methods. Delayed temperature effect distribution was described as the weighted average of the temperatures within 3 days before the counts was recorded. Autoregressive random effects were used in the model to describe the autocorrelation of the response variables.
Main Results
Temperature effect was observed to be piecewise linearly associated with the logarithm of emergency electrocardiography counts. The optimal weights of the delayed temperature effect distribution were obtained from the model estimation. The weights of lag-1 were the maximums, significantly greater than the weights of lag-2 and lag-3 for both females and males. The model showed good fit with R2 values of 0.860 for females and 0.856 for males.
From the mixed generalized additive model, we infer that during cold and mild days, the number of emergency electrocardiography counts increase as temperature effect decreases, while during hot days, counts increase as temperature effect increases. Similar properties could be inferred for the occurrence of cardiovascular events.
PMCID: PMC4061122  PMID: 24936868
15.  Development of Pinhole-Free Amorphous Aluminum Oxide Protective Layers for Biomedical Device Applications 
Surface & coatings technology  2013;224:101-108.
This paper describes synthesis of ultrathin pinhole-free insulating aluminum oxide layers for electronic device protection in corrosive liquid environments, such as phosphate buffered saline (PBS) or clinical fluids, to enable emerging biomedical applications such as biomolecular sensors. A pinhole-free 25-nm thick amorphous aluminum oxide layer has been achieved using ultra-high vacuum DC magnetron reactive sputtering of aluminum in oxygen/argon plasma followed by oxygen plasma post-processing. Deposition parameters were optimized to achieve the best corrosion protection of lithographically defined device structures. Electrochemical deposition of copper through the aluminum oxide layers was used to detect the presence (or absence) of pinholes. FTIR, XPS, and spectroscopic ellipsometry were used to characterize the material properties of the protective layers. Electrical resistance of the copper device structures protected by the aluminum oxide layers and exposed to a PBS solution was used as a metric to evaluate the long-term stability of these device structures.
PMCID: PMC3652471  PMID: 23682201
biosensor; corrosion; ultrathin coating; aluminum oxide; DC magnetron sputtering
16.  Effect of Tai-chi exercise on lower limb muscle strength, bone mineral density and balance function of elderly women 
Abstract: To study the effect of Tai-chi exercise on lower limb muscle strength, bone mineral density and balance function of elderly female, 105 urban elderly women, who do insufficient exercise in daily life, are selected as the subject and randomly divided into an observation group (Tai Chi Group), a control group I (Dance Group) and a control group II (Walking Group). Each group is consists of 35 women. Among them, the women in the observation group do Tai-chi exercise once a day, while the women in the control group I dance once a day and in the control group II stick to brisk walking once a day. All women in the three groups do the above said exercises for 40 minutes and the exercise intensity is controlled to be medium. At the time of selection and after 4, 8 and 12 months upon their exercises, respectively detect and compare the lower limb skeletal muscle mass, lower limb muscle strength, bone mineral density and balance function of the subject. Results: At the time of selection, the general information of the subjects in the three groups show no significant difference (P > 0.05); however, after 4 months’ exercise, most of the study indexes in the control group I and group II are improved significantly (P < 0.05), while most of the study indexes in the observation group show no significant difference (P > 0.05) in comparison with those at the time of selection and their general improvement effect is slightly lower than that in the control group; after 8 months, relevant study indexes of the subjects in the three groups are significantly improved (P < 0.05) in comparison with those at the time of selection, especially, the effect in the observation group is more obvious and is better than that of the control group II (P < 0.05). 12 months later, the effect of the observation group is improved significantly from day to day when comparing to theose in the control group I and group II (P < 0.05 or P < 0.01). Conclusion: Compared with the senile dance and walking exercises, the short-term Tai-chi exercise effect is not obvious, however, once the exercise period is extended, that is, continuous exercise for 8 months or even above 12 months, the advantage of Tai Chi is more and more significant. The study suggests that as a fitness measure, Tai Chi is more suitable for long-term exercise and its short-term effect is not obvious.
PMCID: PMC4100967  PMID: 25035781
Tai-chi; elderly women; lower limb muscle strength; bone mineral density; balance function
17.  Public funding and private investment for R&D: a survey in China’s pharmaceutical industry 
In recent years, China has experienced tremendous growth in its pharmaceutical industry. Both the Chinese government and private investors are motivated to invest into pharmaceutical research and development (R&D). However, studies regarding the different behaviors of public and private investment in pharmaceutical R&D are scarce. Therefore, this paper aims to investigate the current situation of public funding and private investment into Chinese pharmaceutical R&D.
The primary data used in the research were obtained from the China High-tech Industry Statistics Yearbook (2002–2012) and China Statistical Yearbook of Science and Technology (2002–2012). We analyzed public funding and private investment in five aspects: total investment in the industry, funding sources of the whole industry, differences between provinces, difference in subsectors, and private equity/venture capital investment.
The vast majority of R&D investment was from private sources. There is a significantly positive correlation between public funding and private investment in different provinces of China. However, public funding was likely to be invested into less developed provinces with abundant natural herbal resources. Compared with the chemical medicine subsector, traditional Chinese medicine and biopharmaceutical subsectors obtained more public funding. Further, the effect of the government was focused on private equity and venture capital investment although private fund is the mainstream of this type of investment.
Public funding and private investment play different but complementary roles in pharmaceutical R&D in China. While being less than private investment, public funding shows its significance in R&D investment. With rapid growth of the industry, the pharmaceutical R&D investment in China is expected to increase steadily from both public and private sources.
PMCID: PMC4066693  PMID: 24925505
China; Pharmaceutical industry; Private investment; Public funding; Research and development
18.  Hydrogen sulfide reduces kidney injury due to urinary-derived sepsis by inhibiting NF-κB expression, decreasing TNF-α levels and increasing IL-10 levels 
The present study aimed to investigate the effect of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) on kidney injury induced by urinary-derived sepsis. Rabbits were randomly divided into control, sham, sepsis, NaHS 2.8 μmol/kg and NaHS 8.4 μmol/kg groups, with six rabbits in each group. Upper urinary tract obstruction and acute infection was induced to establish the sepsis model. Blood was collected to carry out a white blood cell (WBC) count, and creatinine (Cr) and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) analysis. Morphological changes were observed by hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining and transmission electron microscopy. Immunohistochemical staining was used to detect the expression levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-10 and nuclear factor κ-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB). Cystathionine-γ-lyase (CSE) activity was measured by the spectrophotometric methylene blue method and the blood H2S concentration was measured by deproteinization. WBC, Cr and BUN levels were significantly elevated in the sepsis group compared with those in the control group (P<0.05). Following treatment with NaHS, the WBC, Cr and BUN levels were significantly decreased in the NaHS groups compared with those in the sepsis group (P<0.05). The pathological features of kidney injury were also alleviated by NaHS. In the sepsis group, the levels of TNF-α, IL-10 and NF-κB were significantly increased compared with those in the control group (P<0.05). In the NaHS groups, the TNF-α and NF-κB levels were significantly reduced whereas the IL-10 level was significantly increased compared with the respective levels in the sepsis group (P<0.05). The H2S concentration was significantly decreased in the sepsis group and this reduction was attenuated in the NaHS groups (P<0.05). Furthermore, the NaHS 8.4 μmol/kg dose revealed a more potent effect than the NaHS 2.8 μmol/kg dose. Thus, exogenous H2S reduced kidney injury from urinary-derived sepsis by decreasing the levels of NF-κB and TNF-α, and increasing the level of IL-10.
PMCID: PMC4079422  PMID: 25009602
hydrogen sulfide; kidney injury; urinary-derived sepsis; NF-κB; TNF-α; IL-10
19.  The maximum specific hydrogen-producing activity of anaerobic mixed cultures: definition and determination 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:5239.
Fermentative hydrogen production from wastes has many advantages compared to various chemical methods. Methodology for characterizing the hydrogen-producing activity of anaerobic mixed cultures is essential for monitoring reactor operation in fermentative hydrogen production, however there is lack of such kind of standardized methodologies. In the present study, a new index, i.e., the maximum specific hydrogen-producing activity (SHAm) of anaerobic mixed cultures, was proposed, and consequently a reliable and simple method, named SHAm test, was developed to determine it. Furthermore, the influences of various parameters on the SHAm value determination of anaerobic mixed cultures were evaluated. Additionally, this SHAm assay was tested for different types of substrates and bacterial inocula. Our results demonstrate that this novel SHAm assay was a rapid, accurate and simple methodology for determining the hydrogen-producing activity of anaerobic mixed cultures. Thus, application of this approach is beneficial to establishing a stable anaerobic hydrogen-producing system.
PMCID: PMC4050381  PMID: 24912488
20.  The impact of orthodontic treatment on the quality of life a systematic review 
BMC Oral Health  2014;14:66.
Although a great number of specific quality of life measures have been developed to analyze the impact of wearing fixed appliances, there is still a paucity of systematic appraisal of the consequences of orthodontics on quality of life. To assess the current evidence of the relationship between orthodontic treatment and quality of life.
Four electronic databases were searched for articles concerning the impact of orthodontic treatment on quality of life published between January 1960 and December 2013. Electronic searches were supplemented by manual searches and reference linkages. Eligible literature was reviewed and assessed by methodologic quality as well as by analytic results.
From 204 reviewed articles, 11 met the inclusion criteria and used standardized health related quality of life and orthodontic assessment measures. The majority of studies (7/11) were conducted among child/adolescent populations. Eight of the papers were categorized as level 1 or 2 evidence based on the criteria of the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine. An observed association between quality of life and orthodontic treatment was generally detected irrespective of how they were assessed. However, the strength of the association could be described as modest at best. Key findings and future research considerations are described in the review.
Findings of this review suggest that there is an association (albeit modest) between orthodontic treatment and quality of life. There is a need for further studies of their relationship, particularly studies that employ standardized assessment methods so that outcomes are uniform and thus amenable to meta-analysis.
PMCID: PMC4060859  PMID: 24913619
Malocclusion; Orthodontic treatment; Quality of life; Oral health–related quality of life
21.  Platycodin D from Platycodonis Radix enhances the anti-proliferative effects of doxorubicin on breast cancer MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells 
Chinese Medicine  2014;9:16.
It has been demonstrated that platycodin D (PD) exhibits anti-cancer activities. This study aims to investigate the anti-proliferative effects of the combination of PD and doxorubicin (DOX) on human breast cancer cells (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells).
The anti-proliferative effects of different dosages of PD, DOX, and PD + DOX on MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells were determined by the MTT assay. The 10 μM PD, 5 μM DOX, and 10 μM PD + 5 μM DOX induced-protein expression of apoptosis-related molecules on MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells were detected by western blot. The 10 μM PD, 5 μM DOX and 10 μM PD + 5 μM DOX-induced mitochondrial membrane potential changes on MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells were stained with JC-1 before visual determination. The intracellular accumulations of DOX, induced by 10 μM PD, 5 μM DOX and 10 μM PD + 5 μM DOX, were detected by flow cytometry.
PD enhanced anti-cancer activities of DOX were observed in both MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cell lines. Compared with mono treatment, the combined treatment increased the protein expression of cleaved poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase and decreased the mitochondrial membrane potential. The combined treatment with PD did not obviously increase the accumulation of DOX in MCF-7 cells (1.66 ± 0.13 in DOX-treated group, and 1.69 ± 0.06 in PD + DOX-treated group, P = 0.76), but it significantly increased the accumulation of DOX in MDA-MB-231 cells (1.76 ± 0.17 in DOX-treated group, 2.09 ± 0.02 in PD + DOX-treated group, P = 0.027).
The combined treatment of DOX and PD exhibited stronger anti-proliferative effects on MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells than DOX and PD treatment did.
PMCID: PMC4075934  PMID: 24982689
22.  Mitral Apparatus Assessment by Delayed Enhancement CMR – Relative Impact of Infarct Distribution on Mitral Regurgitation 
JACC. Cardiovascular imaging  2013;6(2):220-234.
To assess patterns and functional consequences of mitral apparatus infarction after acute MI (AMI).
The mitral apparatus contains two myocardial components – papillary muscles and the adjacent LV wall. Delayed-enhancement CMR (DE-CMR) enables in-vivo study of inter-relationships and potential contributions of LV wall and papillary muscle infarction (PMI) to mitral regurgitation (MR).
Multimodality imaging was performed: CMR was used to assess mitral geometry and infarct pattern, including 3D DE-CMR for PMI. Echocardiography (echo) was used to measure MR. Imaging occurred 27±8 days post-AMI (CMR, echo within 1 day).
153 patients with first AMI were studied. PMI was present in 30% (n=46; 72% posteromedial, 39% anterolateral). When stratified by angiographic culprit vessel, PMI occurred in 65% of patients with left circumflex, 48% with right coronary, and only 14% of patients with left anterior descending infarctions (p<0.001). Patients with PMI had more advanced remodeling as measured by LV size and mitral annular diameter (p<0.05). Increased extent of PMI was accompanied by a stepwise increase in mean infarct transmurality within regional LV segments underlying each papillary muscle (p<0.001). Prevalence of lateral wall infarction was 3.0 fold higher among patients with, compared to those without, PMI (65% vs. 22%, p<0.001). Infarct distribution also impacted MR, with greater MR among patients with lateral wall infarction (p=0.002). Conversely, MR severity did not differ based on presence (p=0.19) or extent (p=0.12) of PMI, or by angiographic culprit vessel. In multivariable analysis, lateral wall infarct size (OR=1.20[CI=1.05–1.39], p=0.01) was independently associated with substantial (≥moderate) MR even after controlling for mitral annular (OR=1.22[1.04–1.43], p=0.01) and LV end-diastolic diameter (OR=1.11 [0.99–1.23], p=0.056).
PMI is common post-AMI, affecting nearly one-third of patients. PMI extent parallels adjacent LV wall injury, with lateral infarction – rather than PMI - associated with increased severity of post-AMI MR.
PMCID: PMC4048744  PMID: 23489536
23.  Evidence for solar cycles in a late Holocene speleothem record from Dongge Cave, China 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:5159.
The association between solar activity and Asian monsoon (AM) remains unclear. Here we evaluate the possible connection between them based on a precisely-dated, high-resolution speleothem oxygen isotope record from Dongge Cave, southwest China during the past 4.2 thousand years (ka). Without being adjusted chronologically to the solar signal, our record shows a distinct peak-to-peak correlation with cosmogenic nuclide 14C, total solar irradiance (TSI), and sunspot number (SN) at multi-decadal to centennial timescales. Further cross-wavelet analyses between our calcite δ18O and atmospheric 14C show statistically strong coherence at three typical periodicities of ~80, 200 and 340 years, suggesting important roles of solar activities in modulating AM changes at those timescales. Our result has further indicated a better correlation between our calcite δ18O record and atmospheric 14C than between our record and TSI. This better correlation may imply that the Sun–monsoon connection is dominated most likely by cosmic rays and oceanic circulation (both associated to atmospheric 14C), instead of the direct solar heating (TSI).
PMCID: PMC4044623  PMID: 24894978
24.  Conserved recurrent gene mutations correlate with pathway deregulation and clinical outcomes of lung adenocarcinoma in never-smokers 
BMC Medical Genomics  2014;7:32.
Novel and targetable mutations are needed for improved understanding and treatment of lung cancer in never-smokers.
Twenty-seven lung adenocarcinomas from never-smokers were sequenced by both exome and mRNA-seq with respective normal tissues. Somatic mutations were detected and compared with pathway deregulation, tumor phenotypes and clinical outcomes.
Although somatic mutations in DNA or mRNA ranged from hundreds to thousands in each tumor, the overlap mutations between the two were only a few to a couple of hundreds. The number of somatic mutations from either DNA or mRNA was not significantly associated with clinical variables; however, the number of overlap mutations was associated with cancer subtype. These overlap mutants were preferentially expressed in mRNA with consistently higher allele frequency in mRNA than in DNA. Ten genes (EGFR, TP53, KRAS, RPS6KB2, ATXN2, DHX9, PTPN13, SP1, SPTAN1 and MYOF) had recurrent mutations and these mutations were highly correlated with pathway deregulation and patient survival.
The recurrent mutations present in both DNA and RNA are likely the driver for tumor biology, pathway deregulation and clinical outcomes. The information may be used for patient stratification and therapeutic target development.
PMCID: PMC4060138  PMID: 24894543
Lung adenocarcinoma of never smoker; Somatic mutations; Pathway deregulation; Patient survival
25.  Cadmium Treatment Alters the Expression of Five Genes at the Cda1 Locus in Two Soybean Cultivars [Glycine Max (L.) Merr] 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:979750.
Westag 97 has larger capacity of Cd accumulation in roots which prevents Cd from translocating into stems and leaves; conversely, AC Hime has smaller capacity of Cd accumulation in roots; more Cd is transported into stems and leaves. The different capacity of Cd in roots between Westag 97 and AC Hime causes the different Cd concentration in seeds. Meanwhile, according to the different expression levels of RSTK, ISCP, and H+-ATPase between Westag 97 and AC Hime, RSTK may be involved in transporting Cd into stems and leaves; H+-ATPase may be correlated to the capacity of Cd accumulation in roots; and Cd caused some changes of fundamental life process which leaded to the different expression patterns of ISCP between Westag 97 and AC Hime.
PMCID: PMC4060588  PMID: 24987750

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