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1.  Vascular BK channel deficiency exacerbates organ damage and mortality in endotoxemic mice 
We determined the contribution of vascular BK channels to endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide, LPS)-induced hypotension, organ damage, and mortality using smooth muscle BK channel deficiency (BK channel β1-subunit knockout, BK β1-KO) mice. BK β1-KO mice were more sensitive to LPS-induced mortality compared to wild-type mice. After LPS (20 mg/kg, intraperitoneally), BK β1-KO mice had a more rapid fall in heart rate and blood pressure (measured by radiotelemetry), shorter latency to mortality, and higher mortality rate than wild-type mice. Twenty-two hours after LPS treatment, wild-type and BK β1-KO mice had reduced norepinephrine reactivity and impaired constrictor responses to the BK channel blocker paxilline in mesenteric arteries in vitro; and higher iNOS expression in the heart, but not in mesenteric arteries. Endotoxemic BK β1-KO mice also showed more severe lung and intestinal injury, higher myeloperoxidase activity and polymorphonuclear neutrophil infiltration in lung and liver. Endotoxemic BK β1-KO mice had higher plasma tumor necrosis α and interleukin 6 levels at 22 hours, but not 6 hours post-LPS. Exaggerated mortality in BK β1-KO mice also occurred in the cecal ligation/puncture model of septic shock. Reduced vascular BK channel function does not protect against hypotension in the early stage of septic shock; in the later stage, smooth muscle BK channel deficiency enhances organ damage and mortality.
PMCID: PMC4327844  PMID: 21997262
BK β1-knockout; endotoxemia; hypotension; organ damage; mortality
2.  High Incidence and Endemic Spread of NDM-1-Positive Enterobacteriaceae in Henan Province, China 
The emergence and spread of New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase 1 (NDM-1)-producing carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) present an urgent threat to human health. In China, the blaNDM-1 gene has been reported mostly in Acinetobacter spp. but is rarely found in Enterobacteriaceae. Here, we report a high incidence and endemic spread of NDM-1-producing CRE in Henan Province in China. Sixteen (33.3%) of the 48 CRE isolates obtained from patients during June 2011 to July 2012 were positive for blaNDM-1, and the gene was found to be carried on plasmids of various sizes (∼55 to ∼360 kb). These plasmids were readily transferrable to recipient Escherichia coli by conjugation, conferred resistance to multiple antibiotics, and belonged to multiple replicon types. The blaNDM-1-positive CRE isolates were genetically diverse, and six new multilocus sequence typing (MLST) sequence types were linked to the carriage of NDM-1. Five of the isolates were classified as extensively drug-resistant (XDR) isolates, four of which also carried the fosA3 gene conferring resistance to fosfomycin, an alternative drug for treating infections by CRE. In each blaNDM-1-positive CRE isolate, the blaNDM-1 gene was downstream of an intact ISAba125 element and upstream of the bleMBL gene. Furthermore, gene environment analysis suggested the possible transmission of blaNDM-1-containing sequences from Acinetobacter spp. to Klebsiella pneumoniae and Klebsiella oxytoca. These findings reveal the emergence and active transmission of NDM-1-positive CRE in China and underscore the need for heightened measures to control their further spread.
PMCID: PMC4136005  PMID: 24777095
3.  Development and characterization of microsatellite loci for the pseudometallophyte Commelina communis (Commelinaceae)1 
Applications in Plant Sciences  2015;3(2):apps.1400098.
• Premise of the study: Microsatellite primers were developed for the pseudometallophyte Commelina communis (Commelinaceae), an important pioneer plant for phytoremediation of copper-contaminated soil. Two wild populations collected from metalliferous and nonmetalliferous sites were used to assess the polymorphism at each locus.
• Methods and Results: Based on the Fast Isolation by AFLP of Sequences COntaining repeats (FIASCO) method, a total of 34 pairs of simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers were designed. When 40 specimens from two populations were screened, 12 microsatellite loci were found to be highly polymorphic. The number of alleles per locus ranged from one to 11 and the observed and expected heterozygosity per locus ranged from 0.000 to 1.000 and from 0.195 to 0.941, respectively.
• Conclusions: These markers will be useful for examining genetic diversity, population structure, and gene flow in populations of C. communis under different edaphic conditions and guiding sustainable management plans for phytoremediation.
PMCID: PMC4332143
Commelina communis; Commelinaceae; genetic diversity; microsatellites; pseudometallophyte
4.  Spot Urine Estimations Are Equivalent to 24-Hour Urine Assessments of Urine Protein Excretion for Predicting Clinical Outcomes 
Background. The use of spot urine protein to creatinine ratios in estimating 24 hr urine protein excretion rates for diagnosing and managing chronic kidney disease (CKD) predated the standardization of creatinine assays. The comparative predictive performance of spot urine ratios and 24 hr urine collections (of albumin or protein) for the clinical outcomes of CKD progression, end-stage renal disease (ESRD), and mortality in Asians is unclear. We compared 4 methods of assessing urine protein excretion in a multiethnic population of CKD patients. Methods. Patients with CKD (n = 232) provided 24 hr urine collections followed by spot urine samples the next morning. We created multiple linear regression models to assess the factors associated with GFR decline (median follow-up: 37 months, IQR 26–41) and constructed Cox proportional-hazards models for predicting the combined outcome of ESRD and death. Results. The linear regression models showed that 24 hr urine protein excretion was most predictive of GFR decline but all other methods were similar. For the combined outcomes of ESRD and death, the proportional hazards models had similar predictive performance. Conclusions. We showed that all methods of assessments were comparable for clinical end-points, and any method can be used in clinical practice or research.
PMCID: PMC4306405  PMID: 25649135
5.  SNP Typing for Germplasm Identification of Amomum villosum Lour. Based on DNA Barcoding Markers 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e114940.
Amomum villosum Lour., produced from Yangchun, Guangdong Province, China, is a Daodi medicinal material of Amomi Fructus in traditional Chinese medicine. This herb germplasm should be accurately identified and collected to ensure its quality and safety in medication. In the present study, single nucleotide polymorphism typing method was evaluated on the basis of DNA barcoding markers to identify the germplasm of Amomi Fructus. Genomic DNA was extracted from the leaves of 29 landraces representing three Amomum species (A. villosum Lour., A. xanthioides Wall. ex Baker and A. longiligulare T. L. Wu) by using the CTAB method. Six barcoding markers (ITS, ITS2, LSU D1–D3, matK, rbcL and trnH-psbA) were PCR amplified and sequenced; SNP typing and phylogenetic analysis were performed to differentiate the landraces. Results showed that high-quality bidirectional sequences were acquired for five candidate regions (ITS, ITS2, LSU D1–D3, matK, and rbcL) except trnH-psbA. Three ribosomal regions, namely, ITS, ITS2, and LSU D1–D3, contained more SNP genotypes (STs) than the plastid genes rbcL and matK. In the 29 specimens, 19 STs were detected from the combination of four regions (ITS, LSU D1–D3, rbcL, and matK). Phylogenetic analysis results further revealed two clades. Minimum-spanning tree demonstrated the existence of two main groups: group I was consisting of 9 STs (ST1–8 and ST11) of A. villosum Lour., and group II was composed of 3 STs (ST16–18) of A. longiligulare T.L. Wu. Our results suggested that ITS and LSU D1–D3 should be incorporated with the core barcodes rbcL and matK. The four combined regions could be used as a multiregional DNA barcode to precisely differentiate the Amomi Fructus landraces in different producing areas.
PMCID: PMC4274006  PMID: 25531885
6.  MicroRNAs in Human Pituitary Adenomas 
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of recently identified noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression at posttranscriptional level. Due to the large number of genes regulated by miRNAs, miRNAs play important roles in many cellular processes. Emerging evidence indicates that miRNAs are dysregulated in pituitary adenomas, a class of intracranial neoplasms which account for 10–15% of diagnosed brain tumors. Deregulated miRNAs and their targets contribute to pituitary adenomas progression and are associated with cell cycle control, apoptosis, invasion, and pharmacological treatment of pituitary adenomas. To provide an overview of miRNAs dysregulation and functions of these miRNAs in pituitary adenoma progression, we summarize the deregulated miRNAs and their targets to shed more light on their potential as therapeutic targets and novel biomarkers.
PMCID: PMC4274667  PMID: 25548562
7.  Radiofrequency Ablation Before Intratumoral Injection of 131I-chTNT Improves the Tumor-to-Normal Tissue Ratio in Solid VX2 Tumor 
This study was aimed to investigate whether the tumor necrosis induced by radiofrequency ablation (RFA) can improve the ratio of tumor-to-normal tissue (T/NT) after intratumoral injection of 131I-chTNT.
Materials and Method
Eighteen New Zealand rabbits bearing VX2 tumor on the thigh were randomly divided into two treatment groups (control group: intratumoral injection of 131I-chTNT alone; RFA group: RFA + intratumoral injection of 131I-chTNT 3 days after RFA) and each group was further divided into three subgroups I, II, and III (1–2 cm, 2–3 cm, and 3–4 cm in maximum diameter, respectively), by the tumor size. SPECT was performed to evaluate the T/NT on days 1, 8, and 15 after 131I-chTNT injection.
After treatment, all rabbits underwent the SPECT whole-body scan and the T/NT was analyzed. The results showed that T/NT in the RFA group (55.45±41.83) was significantly higher compared with the control group (7.23±5.61) (F=18.89, p=0.001). Meanwhile, a linear ascending trend was found for T/NT in the RFA group along with the follow-up time (r=0.47, p=0.01). The tumor size or the dose of 131I-TNT injection had no significant effect on the variation of T/NT in both groups (p>0.05).
RFA before intratumoral injection of 131I-chTNT can dramatically improve T/NT, demonstrating the potential application of this combination therapy.
PMCID: PMC3833304  PMID: 23964639
radioimmunotherapy; radiofrequency ablation; ratio of tumor to normal tissue; tumor necrosis therapy
8.  Which is the best postoperative chemotherapy regimen in patients with rectal cancer after neoadjuvant therapy? 
BMC Cancer  2014;14(1):888.
There is no general agreement about whether patients who have already received neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy need further postoperative chemotherapy based on 5-fluorouracil(5-FU) or 5-FU plus oxaliplatin.
Medicare beneficiaries from 1992 to 2008 with Union for International Cancer Control ypStages I to III primary carcinoma of the rectum who underwent 5-FU-based neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy and surgery for curative intent were identified through the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare-linked database. A Cox proportional hazards model and propensity score-matched techniques were used to evaluate the effect of treatment on survival.
For patients with resected rectal cancer who have already received 5-FU-based neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy, postoperative 5-FU-based chemotherapy did not prolong cancer-specific survival (CSS) in ypStage I (P = 0.960) and ypStage II (P = 0.134); however, it significantly improved the CSS in ypStage III (hazard ratio = 1.547, 95% CI = 1.101-2.173, P = 0.012). No significant differences in survival between the 5-FU group and oxaliplatin group were observed.
For patients with resected rectal cancer who have already received 5-FU-based neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy, postoperative 5-FU-based chemotherapy prolongs the CSS of groups in ypStage III. Adding oxaliplatin to fluoropyrimidines in the postoperative chemotherapy did not improve the CSS for patients who received neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-888) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4255436  PMID: 25428401
Rectal neoplasms; SEER program; Chemotherapy; Neoadjuvant therapy
9.  The GLP-1 Analogue Exenatide Improves Hepatic and Muscle Insulin Sensitivity in Diabetic Rats: Tracer Studies in the Basal State and during Hyperinsulinemic-Euglycemic Clamp 
Journal of Diabetes Research  2014;2014:524517.
Objective. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogues (e.g., exenatide) increase insulin secretion in diabetes but less is known about their effects on glucose production or insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in peripheral tissues. Methods. Four groups of Sprague-Dawley rats were studied: nondiabetic (control, C); nondiabetic + exenatide (C + E); diabetic (D); diabetic + exenatide (D + E) with diabetes induced by streptozotocin and high fat diet. Infusion of 3-3H-glucose and U-13C-glycerol was used to measure basal rates of appearance (Ra) of glucose and glycerol and gluconeogenesis from glycerol (GNG). During hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp, glucose uptake into gastrocnemius muscles was measured with 2-deoxy-D-14C-glucose. Results. In the diabetic rats, exenatide reduced the basal Ra of glucose (P < 0.01) and glycerol (P < 0.01) and GNG (P < 0.001). During the clamp, Ra of glucose was also reduced, whereas the rate of disappearance of glucose increased and there was increased glucose uptake into muscle (P < 0.01) during the clamp. In the nondiabetic rats, exenatide had no effect. Conclusion. In addition to its known effects on insulin secretion, administration of the GLP-1 analogue, exenatide, is associated with increased inhibition of gluconeogenesis and improved glucose uptake into muscle in diabetic rats, implying improved hepatic and peripheral insulin sensitivity.
PMCID: PMC4279913  PMID: 25580440
10.  PSMA Ligand Conjugated PCL-PEG Polymeric Micelles Targeted to Prostate Cancer Cells 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e112200.
In this content, a small molecular ligand of prostate specific membrane antigen (SMLP) conjugated poly (caprolactone) (PCL)-b-poly (ethylene glycol) (PEG) copolymers with different block lengths were synthesized to construct a satisfactory drug delivery system. Four different docetaxel-loaded polymeric micelles (DTX-PMs) were prepared by dialysis with particle sizes less than 60 nm as characterized by dynamic light scattering (DLS) and transmission electron microscope (TEM). Optimization of the prepared micelles was conducted based on short-term stability and drug-loading content. The results showed that optimized systems were able to remain stable over 7 days. Compared with Taxotere, DTX-PMs with the same ratio of hydrophilic/hydrophobic chain length displayed similar sustained release behaviors. The cytotoxicity of the optimized targeted DTX-PCL12K-PEG5K-SMLP micelles (DTX-PMs2) and non-targeted DTX-PCL12K-mPEG5K micelles (DTX-PMs1) were evaluated by MTT assays using prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) positive prostate adenocarcinoma cells (LNCaP). The results showed that the targeted micelles had a much lower IC50 than their non-targeted counterparts (48 h: 0.87±0.27 vs 13.48±1.03 µg/ml; 72 h: 0.02±0.008 vs 1.35±0.54 µg/ml). In vitro cellular uptake of PMs2 showed 5-fold higher fluorescence intensity than that of PMs1 after 4 h incubation. According to these results, the novel nano-sized drug delivery system based on DTX-PCL-PEG-SMLP offers great promise for the treatment of prostatic cancer.
PMCID: PMC4227701  PMID: 25386942
11.  Transcriptional specialization of human dendritic cell subsets in response to microbial vaccines 
Nature Communications  2014;5:5283.
The mechanisms by which microbial vaccines interact with human APCs remain elusive. Herein, we describe the transcriptional programs induced in human DCs by pathogens, innate receptor ligands and vaccines. Exposure of DCs to influenza, Salmonella enterica and Staphylococcus aureus allows us to build a modular framework containing 204 transcript clusters. We use this framework to characterize the responses of human monocytes, monocyte-derived DCs and blood DC subsets to 13 vaccines. Different vaccines induce distinct transcriptional programs based on pathogen type, adjuvant formulation and APC targeted. Fluzone, Pneumovax and Gardasil, respectively, activate monocyte-derived DCs, monocytes and CD1c+ blood DCs, highlighting APC specialization in response to vaccines. Finally, the blood signatures from individuals vaccinated with Fluzone or infected with influenza reveal a signature of adaptive immunity activation following vaccination and symptomatic infections, but not asymptomatic infections. These data, offered with a web interface, may guide the development of improved vaccines.
The effects of vaccines on human dendritic cells (DCs) are incompletely understood. Here the authors build a transcriptional modular network based on in vitro infection of human DCs and apply it for the characterization of the DC response to 13 different vaccines.
PMCID: PMC4206838  PMID: 25335753
12.  Interleukin-3 plays dual roles in osteoclastogenesis by promoting the development of osteoclast progenitors but inhibiting the osteoclastogenic process 
Biochemical and biophysical research communications  2013;440(4):10.1016/j.bbrc.2013.09.098.
Interleukin (IL)-3, a multilineage hematopoietic growth factor, is implicated in the regulation of osteoclastogenesis. However, the role of IL-3 in osteoclastogenesis remains controversial; whereas early studies showed that IL-3 stimulates osteoclastogenesis, recent investigations demonstrated that IL-3 inhibits osteoclast formation. The objective of this work is to further address the role of IL-3 in osteoclastogenesis. We found that IL-3 treatment of bone marrow cells generated a population of cells capable of differentiating into osteoclasts in tissue culture dishes in response to the stimulation of the monocyte/macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF) and the receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B ligand (RANKL). The IL-3-dependent hematopoietic cells were able to further proliferate and differentiate in response to M-CSF stimulation and the resulting cells were also capable of forming osteoclasts with M-CSF and RANKL treatment. Interestingly, IL-3 inhibits M-CSF-/RANKL-induced differentiation of the IL-3-dependent hematopoietic cells into osteoclasts. The flow cytometry analysis indicates that while IL-3 treatment of bone marrow cells slightly affected the percentage of osteoclast precursors in the surviving populations, it considerably increased the percentage of osteoclast precursors in the populations after subsequent M-CSF treatment. Moreover, osteoclasts derived from IL-3-dependent hematopoietic cells were fully functional. Thus, we conclude that IL-3 plays dual roles in osteoclastogenesis by promoting the development of osteoclast progenitors but inhibiting the osteoclastogenic process. These findings provide a better understanding of the role of IL-3 in osteoclastogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3856188  PMID: 24103757
Interleukin-3; Osteoclastogenesis; Osteoclast progenitor; Osteoclast precursor; M-CSF; RANKL
13.  Western blot analysis of BK channel β1‐subunit expression should be interpreted cautiously when using commercially available antibodies 
Physiological Reports  2014;2(10):e12189.
Large conductance Ca2+‐activated K+ (BK) channels consist of pore‐forming α‐ and accessory β‐subunits. There are four β‐subunit subtypes (β1–β4), BK β1‐subunit is specific for smooth muscle cells (SMC). Reduced BK β1‐subunit expression is associated with SMC dysfunction in animal models of human disease, because downregulation of BK β1‐subunit reduces channel activity and increases SMC contractility. Several anti‐BK β1‐subunit antibodies are commercially available; however, the specificity of most antibodies has not been tested or confirmed in the tissues from BK β1‐subunit knockout (KO) mice. In this study, we tested the specificity and sensitivity of six commercially available antibodies from five manufacturers. We performed western blot analysis on BK β1‐subunit enriched tissues (mesenteric arteries and colons) and non‐SM tissue (cortex of kidney) from wild‐type (WT) and BK β1‐KO mice. We found that antibodies either detected protein bands of the appropriate molecular weight in tissues from both WT and BK β1‐KO mice or failed to detect protein bands at the appropriate molecular weight in tissues from WT mice, suggesting that these antibodies may lack specificity for the BK β1‐subunit. The absence of BK β1‐subunit mRNA expression in arteries, colons, and kidneys from BK β1‐KO mice was confirmed by RT‐PCR analysis. We conclude that these commercially available antibodies might not be reliable tools for studying BK β1‐subunit expression in murine tissues under the denaturing conditions that we have used. Data obtained using commercially available antibodies should be interpreted cautiously. Our studies underscore the importance of proper negative controls in western blot analyses.
Commercially available anti‐BK β1‐subunit antibodies either detected protein bands of the appropriate molecular weight in tissues from both WT and BK β1‐KO mice or failed to detect protein bands at the appropriate molecular weight in tissues from WT mice. These commercially available antibodies are not reliable tools for studying BK β1‐subunit expression in murine tissues. Data obtained using these antibodies should be interpreted cautiously.
PMCID: PMC4254108  PMID: 25355855
Anti‐BK channel β1‐subunit antibody; BK β1‐subunit expression; BK β1‐subunit knockout; sensitivity and specificity; smooth muscle cell
14.  Protection of Tong-Sai-Mai Decoction against Apoptosis Induced by H2O2 in PC12 Cells: Mechanisms via Bcl-2-Mitochondria-ROS-INOS Pathway 
Tong-Sai-Mai decoction (TSM) is a Chinese materia medica polyherbal formulation that has been applied in treating brain ischemia for hundreds of years. Because it could repress the oxidative stress in in vivo studies, now we focus on the in vitro studies to investigate the mechanism by targeting the oxidative stress dependent signaling. The relation between the neurogenesis and the reactive oxygen species (ROS) production remains largely unexamined. PC12 cells are excitable cell types widely used as in vitro model for neuronal cells. Most marker genes that are related to neurotoxicity, apoptosis, and cell cycles are expressed at high levels in these cells. The aim of the present study is to explore the cytoprotection of TSM against hydrogen peroxide- (H2O2-) induced apoptosis and the molecular mechanisms underlying PC12 cells. Our findings revealed that TSM cotreatment with H2O2 restores the expression of bcl-2, inducible nitric oxide synthase (INOS), and mitochondria membrane potential. Meanwhile, it reduces intracellular [Ca2+] concentration, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release, and the expression of caspase-3 and bax. The results of the present study suggested that the cytoprotective effects of the TSM might be mediated, at least in part, by the bcl-2-mitochondria-ROS-INOS pathway. Due to its nontoxic characteristics, TSM could be further developed to treat the neurodegenerative diseases which are closely associated with the oxidative stress.
PMCID: PMC4227446  PMID: 25404948
15.  Kit (W-sh) mice develop earlier and more severe experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis due to absence of immune suppression 
Mast cells (MCs) have been thought to play a pathogenic role in the development of autoimmune diseases, including experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of MS. However, an immunoregulatory function of these cells has been recently suggested. We investigated the role of MCs in EAE using the W-sh mouse strain, which is MC deficient. W-sh mice developed earlier and more severe clinical and pathological disease, with extensive demyelination and inflammation in the CNS. The inflammatory cells were mainly comprised of CD4+ T cells, monocyte/macrophages, neutrophils and dendritic cells (DCs). Compared to wild-type mice, MC-deficient mice exhibited an increased level of MCP-1/CCR2, and CD44 expression on CD4+ T cells, in addition to decreased production of Treg, IL-4, IL-5, IL-27 and IL-10. We also found that levels of IL-17, IFN-γ, and GM-CSF were significantly increased in peripheral lymphocytes from immunized W-sh mice compared with wild-type mice. Reconstitution of W-sh mice downregulated susceptibility to EAE, which correlated with MC recruitment and Treg cells activation in the CNS. These findings indicate that responsiveness is not required in the pathogenesis of inflammatory demyelination in the CNS, and that, in the absence of MCs, increased MCP-1, CCR2, IL-17, IFN-γ, CD44 and other inflammatory molecules may be responsible for increased severity of EAE.
PMCID: PMC4201114  PMID: 21646293
Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE); Demyelination; CNS; mast cells
16.  Relevance of LIG4 gene polymorphisms with cancer susceptibility: Evidence from a meta-analysis 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:6630.
Polymorphisms of LIG4 gene may influence DNA repair ability, thus altering the genetic stability and resulting in carcinogenesis. A growing number of studies have investigated the relevance of LIG4 T9I (rs1805388) and D501D (rs1805386) polymorphisms with cancer risk, however, the results are conflicting. To obtain a comprehensive conclusion, we searched relevant literatures from PubMed, Web of Science, Ovid and Embase databases on May 15, 2014 and performed a meta-analysis. In this meta-analysis, a total of 17 articles were included. Of them, there were 15 studies with 5873 cases and 5771 controls for rs1805388 and 6 studies with 4161 cases and 4881 controls for rs1805386. Overall, our results suggested that there was no obvious relevance of LIG4 T9I polymorphism with cancer susceptibility. However, in subgroup analysis, we found the LIG4 T9I was associated with a slightly decreased cancer risk among Caucasians. As to the rs1805386, the genetic variant had no significant association with cancer risk. In conclusion, despite several limitations, this meta-analysis suggested that LIG4 T9I genetic variant is associated with a decreased risk of cancer among Caucasians, however, the rs1805386 gene polymorphism is not a risk factor of cancer.
PMCID: PMC4197418  PMID: 25314918
17.  An Active Component of Achyranthes bidentata Polypeptides Provides Neuroprotection through Inhibition of Mitochondrial-Dependent Apoptotic Pathway in Cultured Neurons and in Animal Models of Cerebral Ischemia 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e109923.
An active component has been isolated by reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) from Achyranthes bidentata Blume polypeptides that are extracted from Achyranthes bidentata Blume, a Chinese medicinal herb. The active component is called ABPPk based on the order of HPLC elution. In this study, we used in vitro and in vivo experimental models of cerebral ischemia to investigate the possible neuroprotective effect of ABPPk. ABPPk treatment promoted neuronal survival and inhibited neuronal apoptosis in primary cortical neurons exposed to oxygen and glucose deprivation and in rats subjected to transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. The role of ABPPk in protection against ischemia-induced neuronal damage might be mediated by mitochondrial-dependent pathways, including modulation of apoptosis-related gene expression, regulation of mitochondrial dysfunction through restoring mitochondrial membrane potential, reducing release of mitochondrial apoptogenic factors, and inhibiting intracellular ROS production. The neuroprotective effect of ABPPk may suggest the possible use of this agent in the treatment and prevention of cerebral ischemic stroke.
PMCID: PMC4198176  PMID: 25334016
18.  Acoustic radiation force impulse elastography in differentiating renal solid masses: a preliminary experience 
New diagnostic methods are required to diagnose renal mass. Thus, we assessed virtual tissue quantification (VTQ) of acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) elastography in differentiation of renal solid masses. Forty-two patients with renal masses were assessed by VTQ in terms of measurement of the shear wave velocity (SWV). The masses were divided into three groups. They were clear cell carcinoma (CCC) angiomyolipoma (AML), and pseudotumor. The differences among the three groups in SWV, as well as between masses and its surrounding parenchyma, were investigated. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was plotted to evaluate the diagnostic performance. We found that the SWV among the three groups were significant different (F = 6.976, P = 0.003) and the SWV of pseudotumor (3.14 ± 0.75 m/s) was significantly higher than CCC (2.46 ± 0.45 m/s) and AML (2.49 ± 0.63 m/s) (P = 0.007 and 0.001 respectively). There were no significant difference between CCC and AML in SWV (P = 0.719). For each group, there was no significant difference between the mass and its surrounding parenchyma (P = 0.693, 0.892, and 0.714, respectively). Between pseudotumor and CCC, the optimal cut-off value of SWV for differential diagnoses was 3.07 m/s; and the area under the ROC curve (AUC) was 0.78 (95% CI: 0.560 to 0.924) (P = 0.004), the sensitivity and specificity were 100% and 58.3%, respectively. Between pseudotumor and AML, the optimal cut-off value of SWV for differential diagnoses was 3.03 m/s, thus AUC curve was 0.786 (95% CI: 0.591 to 0.918) (P = 0.002), the sensitivity and specificity were 100% and 58.3%, respectively. No significant difference was found between AML and CCC (P = 0.587) and the AUC was 0.562. To conclude, our results support that ARFI has potential value in differentiation between CCC and pseudotumor, or between AML and pseudotumor, however, it fails to make a distinction between CCC and AML.
PMCID: PMC4270564  PMID: 25550782
Acoustic radiation force impulse elastography; renal solid mass; ultrasound
19.  Role of TGF-β1/p38 MAPK pathway in hepatitis B virus-induced tubular epithelial-myofibroblast transdifferentiation 
Objective: This study is to investigate the hepatitis B virus (HBV)-induced tubular epithelial-myofibroblast transdifferentiation (TEMT) in human renal tubular epithelial HK-2 cells. Methods: Human proximal tubular epithelial HK-2 cells were cultured. These HK-2 cells were divided into 4 groups: the blank control group, the vector control group, the HBV-transfected group, and the inhibitor-treated group. Transfection was performed with lipofectamine. Measurements of hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) and hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in culture supernatant were determined by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Immunocytochemical staining, reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR), and Western blot analysis were performed to detect the mRNA and protein expression levels, respectively. Results: The immunocytochemical staining showed that, the expression level of E-cadherin was dramatically decreased, while the α-SMA expression level was significantly elevated, in HBV-transfected HK-2 cells. The mRNA level of TGF-β1 and the protein level of p-p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) were elevated in HK-2 cells transfected with HBV. When treated with the p38 MAPK-specific inhibitor, the activation of p38 MAPK was eliminated in HBV-transfected HK-2 cells. In addition, the altered expression levels of E-cadherin and α-SMA, the increased contents of HBeAg and HBsAg in the culture supernatant, as well as the morphological changes of TEMT in HBV-transfected HK-2 cells, were all reversed by the inhibiter treatment. Conclusion: HBV transfection could induce TEMT in HK-2 cells, which was mediated by the TGF-β1/p38 MAPK pathway. These findings provide new insights into the prevention and treatment of HBV-associated glomerulonephritis.
PMCID: PMC4270596  PMID: 25550833
Hepatitis B virus (HBV); tubular epithelial-myofibroblast transdifferentiation (TEMT); human tubular epithelial cells; TGF-β1/p38 MAPK pathway
20.  Comprehensive Assessment of the Association of WNK4 Polymorphisms with Hypertension: Evidence from a Meta-Analysis 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:6507.
The relationship between with-no-lysine [K] kinase 4 (WNK4) gene polymorphisms and hypertension has been widely investigated, However, the studies yielded contradictory results. To evaluate these inconclusive findings comprehensively, we therefore performed a meta-analysis. Ten articles encompassing 16 independent case-control studies with 6089 hypertensive cases and 4881 normotensive controls were selected for this meta-analysis. Four WNK4 gene polymorphisms were identified (G1155942T, G1156666A, T1155547C, and C6749T). The results showed statistically significant associations of G1155942T polymorphism (allelic genetic model: odds ration or OR = 1.62, 95% confidence interval or CI: 1.11–2.38, P = 0.01; dominant model: OR = 1.85, 95% CI: 1.07–3.19, P = 0.03) and C6749T polymorphism (allele contrast: OR = 2.04, 95% CI: 1.60–2.59, P<0.01; dominant model: OR = 2.04, 95%CI: 1.59–2.62, P<0.01; and homozygous model: OR = 5.01, 95% CI: 1.29–19.54, P = 0.02) with hypertension risk. However, neither C1155547T nor G1156666A was associated significantly with hypertension susceptibility. In conclusion, this meta-analysis suggested that WNK4 G1155942T and C6749T gene polymorphisms may contribute to the susceptibility and development of hypertension. Further well-designed studies with larger sample size are required to elucidate the association of WNK4 gene multiple polymorphisms with hypertension risk.
PMCID: PMC4195396  PMID: 25266424
21.  Relationship between parameters from virtual touch tissue quantification (VTQ) imaging with clinicopathologic prognostic factors in women with invasive ductal breast cancer 
Objectives: To investigate the association of shear wave velocity (SWV) and its ratio (SWV ratio) using virtual touch tissue quantification (VTQ) imaging with clinicopathologic prognostic factors in women with invasive ductal breast cancer. Methods: 138 consecutive women with invasive ductal breast cancer, who were diagnosed by pathological examination, were recruited between September 2011 and October 2013. Clinicopathologic findings were investigated in each participant, including age, invasive size, lymph node status, histological grade, estrogen receptor (ER) expression, progesterone receptor (PR) expression and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (C-erbB-2) expression. SWV and its ratio (breast mass/adjacent breast tissue) were measured by the VTQ imaging, and univariate analysis and multivariate regression analyses were applied to investigate their relationship with all clinicopathologic abnormalities. Results: In univariate analyses, large mass size (P < 0.001), lymph node involvement (P < 0.001), High histological grade (P = 0.001) and C-erbB-2 expression (P = 0.029) were significantly associated with SWV, whereas large invasive size (P < 0.001), lymph node involvement (P = 0.001) and high histological grade (P = 0.007) were significantly related to SWV ratio. Multiple linear regression indicated that invasive size was the strongest pathologic determinant of SWV and its ratio (P < 0001). Conclusion: SWV and its ratio by the VTQ imagining were significantly associated with clinicopathologic abnormalities, and may therefore provide prognostic information in patients with invasive ductal breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC4230154  PMID: 25400743
Invasive ductal breast cancers; shear wave velocity; shear wave velocity ratio
22.  Anaerobic respiration and antioxidant responses of Corythucha ciliata (Say) adults to heat-induced oxidative stress under laboratory and field conditions 
Cell Stress & Chaperones  2013;19(2):255-262.
High temperature often induces oxidative stress and antioxidant response in insects. This phenomenon has been well documented under controlled laboratory conditions, but whether it happens under fluctuating field conditions is largely unknown. In this study, we used an invasive lace bug (Corythucha ciliata) as a model species to compare the effects of controlled thermal treatments (2 h at 33–43 °C with 2 °C intervals in the laboratory) and naturally fluctuating thermal conditions (08:00–14:00 at 2-h intervals (29.7–37.2 °C) on a hot summer day in a field in Shanghai, China) on lipid peroxidation (malondialdehyde (MDA) was the marker) and anaerobic respiration (lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) was the marker), as well as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione (GSH), and glutathione reductase (GR). The results show that MDA concentration increased significantly in response to heat stresses with similar trend in the laboratory and field. LDH activities did not significantly vary across temperatures in the laboratory-exposed individuals, but they significantly increased by rising temperature in the field. The activities or concentrations of SOD, CAT, GSH, and GR all significantly increased with increasing temperature in the two populations. These findings indicate that high temperature induces oxidative stress, resulting in high anaerobic respiration and antioxidant defenses in C. ciliata under both the laboratory and field conditions, which likely provide a defense mechanism against oxidative damage due to the accumulation of ROS.
PMCID: PMC3933624  PMID: 23943359
Antioxidative defense; Heat shock; High temperature; Thermal stress; Sycamore lace bug
23.  MicroRNA-107 promotes proliferation of gastric cancer cells by targeting cyclin dependent kinase 8 
Diagnostic Pathology  2014;9(1):164.
The biological processes and molecular mechanisms underlying miR-107 remain unclear in gastric cancer(GC). In this study, we aimed to investigate the expression, biological functions and mechanisms of miR-107 in GC.
Quantitative real-time RT-PCR was used to test miR-107 expression. MTT and colony formation assays were conducted to explore the potential function of miR-107 in human GC cell line SGC7901. The target gene was determined by bioinformatic algorithms, dual luciferase reporter assay, RT-PCR and Western blot.
Expression of miR-107 was significantly elevated in GC cell line than that in gastric epithelial cell line(p = 0.012). We found that miR-107 inhibitor transfection significantly decreased the proliferation of GC cell line, and clone formation rate of miR-107 inhibitor transfected group was significantly lower than that of control group. Luciferase assays using a reporter carrying a putative miR-107 target site in the 3′untranslated region (3′-UTR) of cyclin dependent kinase 8 (CDK8) revealed that miR-107 directly targets CDK8. The expression level of CDK8 mRNA and protein in miR-107 inhibitor transfected GC cell line was significantly decreased compared with control group.
Our findings indicate that miR-107 is upregulated in GC and affects the proliferation of GC cells, partially through the regulation of CDK8.
Virtual Slides
The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here:
PMCID: PMC4169227  PMID: 25163571
MiRNA-107; Proliferation; CDK8; Gastric cancer
24.  Fast-track surgery versus traditional perioperative care in laparoscopic colorectal cancer surgery: a meta-analysis 
BMC Cancer  2014;14(1):607.
Both laparoscopic and fast-track surgery (FTS) have shown some advantages in colorectal surgery. However, the effectiveness of using both methods together is unclear. We performed this meta-analysis to compare the effects of FTS with those of traditional perioperative care in laparoscopic colorectal cancer surgery.
We searched the PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and Ovid databases for eligible studies until April 2014. The main end points were the duration of the postoperative hospital stay, time to first flatus after surgery, time of first bowel movement, total postoperative complication rate, readmission rate, and mortality.
Five randomized controlled trials and 5 clinical controlled trials with 1,317 patients were eligible for analysis. The duration of the postoperative hospital stay (weighted mean difference [WMD], –1.64 days; 95% confidence interval [CI], –2.25 to –1.03; p < 0.001), time to first flatus (WMD, –0.40 day; 95% CI, –0.77 to –0.04; p = 0.03), time of first bowel movement (WMD, –0.98 day; 95% CI, –1.45 to –0.52; p < 0.001), and total postoperative complication rate (risk ratio [RR], 0.67; 95% CI, 0.56–0.80; p < 0.001) were significantly reduced in the FTS group. No significant differences were noted in the readmission rate (RR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.41–1.01; p = 0.06) or mortality (RR, 1.55; 95% CI, 0.42–5.71; p = 0.51).
Among patients undergoing laparoscopic colorectal cancer surgery, FTS is associated with a significantly shorter postoperative hospital stay, more rapid postoperative recovery, and, notably, greater safety than is expected from traditional care.
PMCID: PMC4161840  PMID: 25148902
Fast track surgery; Laparoscopic surgery; Colorectal cancer
25.  Identity and Specificity of Rhizoctonia-Like Fungi from Different Populations of Liparis japonica (Orchidaceae) in Northeast China 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e105573.
Mycorrhizal association is known to be important to orchid species, and a complete understanding of the fungi that form mycorrhizas is required for orchid ecology and conservation. Liparis japonica (Orchidaceae) is a widespread terrestrial photosynthetic orchid in Northeast China. Previously, we found the genetic diversity of this species has been reduced recent years due to habitat destruction and fragmentation, but little was known about the relationship between this orchid species and the mycorrhizal fungi. The Rhizoctonia-like fungi are the commonly accepted mycorrhizal fungi associated with orchids. In this study, the distribution, diversity and specificity of culturable Rhizoctonia-like fungi associated with L. japonica species were investigated from seven populations in Northeast China. Among the 201 endophytic fungal isolates obtained, 86 Rhizoctonia-like fungi were identified based on morphological characters and molecular methods, and the ITS sequences and phylogenetic analysis revealed that all these Rhizoctonia-like fungi fell in the same main clade and were closely related to those of Tulasnella calospora species group. These findings indicated the high mycorrhizal specificity existed in L. japonica species regardless of habitats at least in Northeast China. Our results also supported the wide distribution of this fungal partner, and implied that the decline of L. japonica in Northeast China did not result from high mycorrhizal specificity. Using culture-dependent technology, these mycorrhizal fungal isolates might be important sources for the further utilizing in orchids conservation.
PMCID: PMC4139347  PMID: 25140872

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