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1.  Diagnostic Accuracy of Intracellular Mycobacterium tuberculosis Detection for Tuberculous Meningitis 
Rationale: Early diagnosis and treatment of tuberculous meningitis saves lives, but current laboratory diagnostic tests lack sensitivity.
Objectives: We investigated whether the detection of intracellular bacteria by a modified Ziehl-Neelsen stain and early secretory antigen target (ESAT)-6 in cerebrospinal fluid leukocytes improves tuberculous meningitis diagnosis.
Methods: Cerebrospinal fluid specimens from patients with suspected tuberculous meningitis were stained by conventional Ziehl-Neelsen stain, a modified Ziehl-Neelsen stain involving cytospin slides with Triton processing, and an ESAT-6 immunocytochemical stain. Acid-fast bacteria and ESAT-6–expressing leukocytes were detected by microscopy. All tests were performed prospectively in a central laboratory by experienced technicians masked to the patients’ final diagnosis.
Measurements and Main Results: Two hundred and eighty patients with suspected tuberculous meningitis were enrolled. Thirty-seven had Mycobacterium tuberculosis cultured from cerebrospinal fluid; 40 had a microbiologically confirmed alternative diagnosis; the rest had probable or possible tuberculous meningitis according to published criteria. Against a clinical diagnostic gold standard the sensitivity of conventional Ziehl-Neelsen stain was 3.3% (95% confidence interval, 1.6–6.7%), compared with 82.9% (95% confidence interval, 77.4–87.3%) for modified Ziehl-Neelsen stain and 75.1% (95% confidence interval, 68.8–80.6%) for ESAT-6 immunostain. Intracellular bacteria were seen in 87.8% of the slides positive by the modified Ziehl-Neelsen stain. The specificity of modified Ziehl-Neelsen and ESAT-6 stain was 85.0% (95% confidence interval, 69.4–93.8%) and 90.0% (95% confidence interval, 75.4–96.7%), respectively.
Conclusions: Enhanced bacterial detection by simple modification of the Ziehl-Neelsen stain and an ESAT-6 intracellular stain improve the laboratory diagnosis of tuberculous meningitis.
doi:10.1164/rccm.201309-1686OC
PMCID: PMC3977721  PMID: 24450377
tuberculosis; central nervous system; cerebrospinal fluid; diagnosis
2.  Short term effects of different omega-3 fatty acid formulation on lipid metabolism in mice fed high or low fat diet 
Background
Bioactivities of Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) depend on their chemical forms. The present study was to investigate short term effects of triglyceride (TG), ethyl ester (EE), free fatty acid (FFA) and phospholipid (PL) forms of omega-3 fatty acid (FA) on lipid metabolism in mice, fed high fat or low fat diet.
Method
Male Balb/c mice were fed with 0.7% different Omega-3 fatty acid formulation: DHA bound free fatty acid (DHA-FFA), DHA bound triglyceride (DHA-TG), DHA bound ethyl ester (DHA-EE) and DHA bound phospholipid (DHA-PL) for 1 week, with dietary fat levels at 5% and 22.5%. Serum and hepatic lipid concentrations were analyzed, as well as the fatty acid composition of liver and brain.
Result
At low fat level, serum total cholesterol (TC) level in mice fed diets with DHA-FFA, DHA-EE and DHA-PL were significantly lower than that in the control group (P < 0.05). Hepatic TG level decreased significantly in mice fed diets with DHA-TG (P < 0.05), DHA-EE (P < 0.05) and DHA-PL (P < 0.05), while TC level in liver was significantly lower in mice fed diets with TG and EE compared with the control group (P < 0.05). At high fat level, mice fed diets with DHA-EE and DHA-PL had significantly lower hepatic TC level compared with the control diet (P < 0.05). Hepatic PL concentration experienced a significant increase in mice fed the diet with PL at high fat level (P < 0.05). Furthermore, both at low and high fat levels, hepatic DHA level significantly increased and AA level significantly decreased in all forms of DHA groups (P < 0.05), compared to control groups at two different fat levels, respectively. Additionally, cerebral DHA level in mice fed diets with DHA-FFA, DHA-EE and DHA-PL significantly increased compared with the control at high fat level (P < 0.05), but no significant differences were observed among dietary treatments for mice fed diets with low fat level.
Conclusion
The present study suggested that not only total dietary fat content but also the molecular forms of omega-3 fatty acids contributed to lipid metabolism in mice. DHA-PL showed effective bioactivity in decreasing hepatic and serum TC, TG levels and increasing omega-3 concentration in liver and brain.
doi:10.1186/1476-511X-11-70
PMCID: PMC3393618  PMID: 22676394
Omega-3 fatty acid; DHA; EPA; Lipid metabolism; Triglycerides; Ethyl ester; Phospholipids
3.  Ds-echinoside A, a new triterpene glycoside derived from sea cucumber, exhibits antimetastatic activity via the inhibition of NF-κB-dependent MMP-9 and VEGF expressions*  
Ds-echinoside A (DSEA), a non-sulfated triterpene glycoside, was isolated from the sea cucumber Pearsonothuria graeffei. In vitro and in vivo investigations were conducted on the effects of DSEA on tumor cell adhesion, migration, invasion, and angiogenesis. In this study, we found that DSEA inhibited the proliferation of human hepatocellular liver carcinoma cells Hep G2, with a half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 2.65 μmol/L, and suppressed Hep G2 cell adhesion, migration, and invasion in a dose-dependent manner. DSEA also reduced tube formation of human endothelial cells ECV-304 on matrigel in vitro and attenuated neovascularization in the chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay in vivo. Immunocytochemical analysis revealed that DSEA significantly decreased the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), which plays an important role in the degradation of basement membrane in tumor metastasis and angiogenesis. DSEA also increased the protein expression level of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1), an important regulator of MMP-9 activation. From the results of Western blotting, the expressions of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were found to be remarkably reduced by DSEA. These findings suggest that DSEA exhibits a significant anti-metastatic activity through the specific inhibition of NF-κB-dependent MMP-9 and VEGF expressions.
doi:10.1631/jzus.B1000217
PMCID: PMC3134607  PMID: 21726060
Triterpene glycoside; Ds-echinoside A (DSEA); Metastasis; Angiogenesis; Nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB); Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9); Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)
4.  Dietary saponins of sea cucumber alleviate orotic acid-induced fatty liver in rats via PPARα and SREBP-1c signaling 
Background
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common chronic liver disease in the world, and is becoming increasingly prevalent. Saponins of sea cucumber (SSC) are proven to exhibit various biological activities. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to examine the effect of saponins extracted from sea cucumber (Pearsonothuria graeffei) on the preventive activity of fatty liver in rats.
Methods
Male Wistar rats were randomly divided into five groups, including normal control group, fatty liver model group, SSC-treated group with SSC at levels of 0.01%, 0.03% and 0.05%. Model rats were established by administration with 1% orotic acid (OA). After the experiment period, serum total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), and hepatic lipid concentrations were determined. To search for a possible mechanism, we examined the changes of key enzymes and transcriptional factors involved in hepatic lipids biosynthesis, fatty acid β-oxidation.
Results
Both 0.03% and 0.05% SSC treatment alleviated hepatic steatosis and reduced serum TG and TC concentration significantly in OA fed rats. Hepatic lipogenic enzymes, such as fatty acid synthase (FAS), malic enzyme (ME), and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) activities were inhibited by SSC treatment. SSC also decreased the gene expression of FAS, ME, G6PDH and sterol-regulatory element binding protein (SREBP-1c). Otherwise, the rats feeding with SSC showed increased carnitine palmitoyl transferase (CPT) activity in the liver. Hepatic peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPARα), together with its target gene CPT and acyl-CoA oxidase (ACO) mRNA expression were also upregulated by SSC.
Conclusions
According to our study, the lipids-lowering effect of dietary SSC may be partly associated with the enhancement of β-oxidation via PPARα activation. In addition, the inhibited SREBP-1c- mediated lipogenesis caused by SSC may also contribute to alleviating fatty liver.
doi:10.1186/1476-511X-9-25
PMCID: PMC2846940  PMID: 20211032
5.  The mechanism of dietary cholesterol effects on lipids metabolism in rats 
Background
Cholesterol administration has been reported to influence hepatic lipid metabolism in rats. In the present study, the effect of dietary cholesterol on hepatic activity and mRNA expression of the enzymes involved in lipid metabolism were investigated. Fourteen male Wistar rats were randomly divided into 2 groups and fed 1% cholesterol or cholesterol free AIN76 diets for 4 weeks.
Results
The serum triglyceride and high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were significantly decreased but the total cholesterol and non high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were significantly increased in the cholesterol-fed rats compared with the control rats. And the concentrations of the hepatic total cholesterol and triglyceride increased about 4-fold and 20-fold separately by dietary cholesterol. The activities of hepatic malic enzyme, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, fatty acid synthase, phosphatidate phophatase and carnitine palmitoyl transferase were depressed by the cholesterol feeding (40%, 70%, 50%, 15% and 25% respectively). The results of mRNA expression showed that fatty acid synthase, carnitine palmitoyl transferase 1, carnitine palmitoyl transferase 2, and HMG-CoA reductase were down-regulated (35%, 30%, 50% and 25% respectively) and acyl-CoA: cholesterol acyltransferase and cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase were up regulated (1.6 and 6.5 folds) in liver by the cholesterol administration.
Conclusions
The dietary cholesterol increased the triglyceride accumulation in liver, but did not stimulate the activity and the gene expression of hepatic enzymes related to triglyceride and fatty acid biosynthesis.
doi:10.1186/1476-511X-9-4
PMCID: PMC2820024  PMID: 20070910

Results 1-5 (5)