Noroviruses (NoVs) cause epidemic acute gastroenteritis, in which histo-blood group antigens (HBGAs) may play an important role in the host susceptibility. To further explore this issue, two outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis caused by a GII.4 and a GII.3 NoV, respectively, in China in 2009 were studied. Stool and saliva samples from symptomatic patients and water samples from the outbreak facilities were collected. RT-PCR showed that 23 out of 33 (GII.4 outbreak) and 12 out of 13 (GII.3outbreak) stool samples were NoV positive. For the GII.4 outbreak the NoV sequences of stool and water samples were from an identical GII.4 strain, while the same GII.3 NoV sequences were found in five stool samples from the GII.3 outbreak. The HBGA phenotypes (A, B, Lea, Leb, Lex, and Ley) of all saliva samples were determined, which revealed both secretors and nonsecretors in the symptomatic groups of the two outbreaks. In the GII.3 outbreak, type O individuals appeared less susceptible, while the type A may be more at risk of infection. However, No preference of HBGAs was observed in the GII.4 outbreak. The observation that nonsecretors were infected in both outbreaks differed from the previous results that nonsecretors are resistant to these two GII NoVs.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an age-related neurodegenerative disorder, characterized clinically by insidious onset of memory and cognition impairment, emergence of psychiatric symptoms and behavioral disorder, and impairment of activities of daily living (ADL). Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is practiced in the Chinese health care system for more than 2,000 years. In recent years, scientists have isolated many novel compounds from herbs, some of which improve dementia with fewer side effects than conventional drugs and are regarded as potential anti-AD drugs. In this review, we summarize the latest research progress on TCM showing their possible role of treatment of AD and other demented diseases and possible pharmacological actions.
Alzheimer’s disease; Chinese traditional medicine; Therapeutic approach
Food security and water scarcity have become two major concerns for future human's sustainable development, particularly in the context of climate change. Here we present a comprehensive assessment of climate change impacts on the production and water use of major cereal crops on a global scale with a spatial resolution of 30 arc-minutes for the 2030s (short term) and the 2090s (long term), respectively. Our findings show that impact uncertainties are higher on larger spatial scales (e.g., global and continental) but lower on smaller spatial scales (e.g., national and grid cell). Such patterns allow decision makers and investors to take adaptive measures without being puzzled by a highly uncertain future at the global level. Short-term gains in crop production from climate change are projected for many regions, particularly in African countries, but the gains will mostly vanish and turn to losses in the long run. Irrigation dependence in crop production is projected to increase in general. However, several water poor regions will rely less heavily on irrigation, conducive to alleviating regional water scarcity. The heterogeneity of spatial patterns and the non-linearity of temporal changes of the impacts call for site-specific adaptive measures with perspectives of reducing short- and long-term risks of future food and water security.
Pleural tuberculosis (TB), together with lymphatic TB, constitutes more than half of all extrapulmonary cases. Pleural effusions (PEs) in TB are representative of lymphocytic PEs which are dominated by T cells. However, the mechanism underlying T lymphocytes homing and accumulation in PEs is still incompletely understood. Here we performed a comparative analysis of cytokine abundance in PEs from TB patients and non-TB patients by protein array analysis and observed that MCP-2/CCL8 is highly expressed in the TB-PEs as compared to peripheral blood. Meanwhile, we observed that CCR5, the primary receptor used by MCP-2/CCL8, is mostly expressed on pleural CD4+ T lymphocytes. Furthermore, we found that infection with either Mycobacterium bovis Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) or Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv induced production of MCP-2/CCL8 at both transcriptional and protein level in Raw264.7 and THP-1 macrophage cells, mouse peritoneal macrophages as well as human PBMC monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs). The induction of MCP-2/CCL8 by mycobacteria is dependent on the activation of TLR2/PI3K/Akt and p38 signaling pathway. We conclude that accumulation of MCP-2/CCL8 in TB-PEs may function as a biomarker for TB diagnosis.
A cohort, double blind, and randomized study was conducted to investigate the effect of a single nucleotide polymorphism of the μ-opioid receptor at nucleotide position 118 (OPRM1:c.118A>G) on the association with the most common side effects (nausea or vomiting) induced by intravenous patient control analgesia (IVPCA) with morphine, including incidence and severity analysis. A total of 129 Taiwanese women undergoing gynecology surgery received IVPCA with pure morphine for postoperative pain relief. Blood samples were collected and sequenced with high resolution melting analysis to detect three different genotypes of OPRM1 (AA, AG, and GG). All candidates 24 h postoperatively will be interviewed to record the clinical phenotype with subjective complaints and objective observations. The genotyping after laboratory analysis showed that 56 women (43.4%) were AA, 57 (44.2%) were AG, and 16 (12.4%) were GG. The distribution of genotype did not violate Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium test. There was no significant difference neither between the severity and incidence of IVPCA morphine-induced side effects and genotype nor between the association between morphine consumption versus genotype. However, there was significant difference of the relation between morphine consumption and the severity and incidence of IVPCA morphine-induced nausea and vomiting. The genetic analysis for the severity and incidence of IVPCA morphine-induced nausea or vomiting showed no association between phenotype and genotype. It might imply that OPRM1:c.118A>G does not protect against IVPCA morphine-induced nausea or vomiting.
We detected Bartonella quintana in 48.6% of captive rhesus macaques from an animal facility in Beijing, China. Prevalence of infection increased over the period of observation. Our findings suggest that macaques may serve as reservoir hosts for B. quintana and that Pedicinus obtusus lice might act as efficient vectors.
Bartonella quintana; rhesus macaques; reservoir host; lice; transmission; China; vector-borne infections; Bartonella
For years, emerging infectious diseases have appeared worldwide and threatened the health of people. The emergence and spread of an infectious-disease outbreak are usually unforeseen, and have the features of suddenness and uncertainty. Timely understanding of basic information in the field, and the collection and analysis of epidemiological information, is helpful in making rapid decisions and responding to an infectious-disease emergency. Therefore, it is necessary to have an unobstructed channel and convenient tool for the collection and analysis of epidemiologic information in the field.
Baseline information for each county in mainland China was collected and a database was established by geo-coding information on a digital map of county boundaries throughout the country. Google Maps was used to display geographic information and to conduct calculations related to maps, and the 3G wireless network was used to transmit information collected in the field to the server. This study established a decision support system for the response to infectious-disease emergencies based on WebGIS and mobile services (DSSRIDE). The DSSRIDE provides functions including data collection, communication and analyses in real time, epidemiological detection, the provision of customized epidemiological questionnaires and guides for handling infectious disease emergencies, and the querying of professional knowledge in the field. These functions of the DSSRIDE could be helpful for epidemiological investigations in the field and the handling of infectious-disease emergencies.
The DSSRIDE provides a geographic information platform based on the Google Maps application programming interface to display information of infectious disease emergencies, and transfers information between workers in the field and decision makers through wireless transmission based on personal computers, mobile phones and personal digital assistants. After a 2-year practice and application in infectious disease emergencies, the DSSRIDE is becoming a useful platform and is a useful tool for investigations in the field carried out by response sections and individuals. The system is suitable for use in developing countries and low-income districts.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play important roles in the regulation of genes associated with cancer development and progression. By the more deeply characterization of miRNAs’ effect in cancer development, it requires a useful tool to investigate expression and distribution of a miRNA in cancer cells and tissues. To fulfill this application demand, we developed a miRNA in situ hybridization (MISH) approach using the 2′-Fluoro modified miRNA probe in combination with enzyme-labeled fluorescence (ELF) signal amplification approach. MISH was used to study expression of miR-375 in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) cell lines and tissues using a tissue microarray (TMA) containing 300 cases. The results showed that our MISH approach is a practical way to detect expression and distribution of a tested miRNA in both cultured cells and archive tissue sections. MISH results also showed that miR-375 was frequently downregulated in ESCCs, which was significantly associated with advanced clinical stage (p = 0.003) tumor metastasis (p = 0.04) and poor outcome (p = 0.04) of ESCC. Moreover, the accuracy of MISH results could be confirmed by QRT-PCR. Our results demonstrated that MISH is a useful and reliable tool to study miRNA expression in solid tumors. Downregulation of miR-375 can be used as a biomarker to predict the outcome of ESCC.
The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of non-neurologic complications following surgery for scoliosis and to identify factors that can increase this risk.
The demographic data, medical and surgical histories, and prevalence of non-neurologic complications were reviewed in a retrospective cohort of 602 patients, who had undergone corrective surgery for scoliosis between January 2001 and June 2011.
There were 450 patients under 20 years old (U20) and 152 of patients above 20 years old (A20) enrolled in this study. Forty-nine patients in U20 (10.9%) and 18 patients in A20 (11.8%) had post-operative complications. Respiratory complications were most common in U20 (4%) and gastrointestinal complications were most common in A20 (7%). There was no significant difference between the 2 groups in the prevalence of complications. Logistic regression revealed that factors that correlated with an increased odds for complications were Cobb angle (P = 0.001/P = 0.013, respectively), length of operation time (P = 0.003/P = 0.006, respectively), duration of anesthesia (P < 0.001/P = 0.005, respectively) and transfusion (P = 0.003/P = 0.015, respectively) in U20 and A20. Also, comorbidities (P = 0.021) in U20, and decreased body mass index (P = 0.030), pre-operative forced vital capacity (P = 0.001), forced expired volume in 1s (P = 0.001), increased numbers of vertebrae fused (P = 0.004), blood loss (P = 0.001) in A20 were associated with increased odds for complications.
There was no difference in the prevalence of complication in scoliosis patients by age. The prevalence of complication was dependent on Cobb angle, length of operation time, duration of anesthesia and transfusion of PRBC. Deterioration of preoperative pulmonary function significantly increased risk of post-operative complications in adult patients.
Anesthesia; Non-neurologic complication; Scoliosis
Peripheral blood natural killer (NK) cell therapy for acute myeloid leukemia has shown promise in clinical trials after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT). Cord blood (CB) is another potentially rich source of NK cells for adoptive immune therapy after SCT. Tightly regulated receptor signaling between NK cells and susceptible tumor cells is essential for NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity. However, despite expressing normal surface activating and inhibitory NK receptors, CB-derived NK cells have poor cytolytic activity. In this study, we investigate the cellular mechanism and demonstrate that unmanipulated CB-NK cells exhibit an impaired ability to form F-actin immunological synapses with target leukemia cells compared with peripheral blood-derived NK cells. In addition, there was reduced recruitment of the activating receptor CD2, integrin LFA-1, and the cytolytic molecule perforin to the CB-NK synapse site. Ex vivo IL-2 expansion of CB-NK cells enhanced lytic synapse formation including CD2 and LFA-1 polarization and activity. Furthermore, the acquired anti-leukemic function of IL-2-expanded CB-NK cells was validated using a NOD-SCID-IL2Rγnull mouse model. We believe our results provide important mechanistic insights for the potential use of IL-2-expanded CB-derived NK cells for adoptive immune therapy in leukemia.
Cholecystokinin (CCK) is a peptide hormone that induces bile release into the intestinal lumen which in turn aids in fat digestion and absorption in the intestine. While excretion of bile acids and cholesterol into the feces eliminates cholesterol from the body, this report examined the effect of CCK on increasing plasma cholesterol and triglycerides in mice. Our data demonstrated that intravenous injection of [Thr28, Nle31]-CCK at a dose of 50 ng/kg significantly increased plasma triglyceride and cholesterol levels by 22 and 31%, respectively, in fasting low-density lipoprotein receptor knockout (LDLR−/−) mice. The same dose of [Thr28, Nle31]-CCK induced 6 and 13% increases in plasma triglyceride and cholesterol, respectively, in wild-type mice. However, these particular before and after CCK treatment values did not achieve statistical significance. Oral feeding of olive oil further elevated plasma triglycerides, but did not alter plasma cholesterol levels in CCK-treated mice. The increased plasma cholesterol in CCK-treated mice was distributed in very-low, low and high density lipoproteins (VLDL, LDL and HDL) with less of an increase in HDL. Correspondingly, the plasma apolipoprotein (apo) B48, B100, apoE and apoAI levels were significantly higher in the CCK-treated mice than in untreated control mice. Ligation of the bile duct, blocking CCK receptors with proglumide or inhibition of Niemann-Pick C1 Like 1 transporter with ezetimibe reduced the hypercholesterolemic effect of [Thr28, Nle31]-CCK in LDLR−/− mice. These findings suggest that CCK-increased plasma cholesterol and triglycerides as a result of the reabsorption of biliary lipids from the intestine.
Though remissions have been observed following allo-HSCT for the treatment of CLL, many CLL patients are ineligible for transplant due to the lack of HLA-compatible donors. The use of umbilical cord blood (UCB) permits transplantation of many patients who lack HLA-compatible donors due to reduced requirements for stringent HLA matching between graft and recipient; however, disease relapse remains a concern with this modality. The generation of CLL-specific CTL from UCB T-cells, primed and expanded against the leukemic clone, might enhance the GVL effect and improve outcomes with UCB transplantation. Here we report the generation of functional, CLL-specific CTL using CD40-ligated CLL cells to prime partially-HLA matched UCB T-cells. Functionality and specificity were demonstrated by immune synapse assay, IFN-γ ELISpot, multi-parametric intracellular cytokine flow cytometry, and 51Cr release assay. The use of patient-specific, non-CLL controls demonstrated the generation of both alloantigen and CLL-specific responses. Subsequently, we developed a clinically-applicable procedure permitting separation of alloreactive CTL from leukemia-specific CTL. Leukemia-specific CTL were able to mediate in vivo killing of CLL in humanized mice without concurrent or subsequent development of xenoGVHD. Our results demonstrate that generation of CLL-specific effectors from UCB is feasible and practical, and the results support further exploration of this strategy as a treatment modality for CLL.
Coxsackieviruses A10 (CV-A10) and A6 (CV-A6) have been associated with increasingly occurred sporadic hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) cases and outbreak events globally. However, our understanding of epidemiological and genetic characteristics of these new agents remains far from complete. This study was to explore the circulation of CV-A10 and CV-A6 in HFMD and their genetic characteristics in China. A hospital based surveillance was performed in three heavily inflicted regions with HFMD from March 2009 to August 2011. Feces samples were collected from children with clinical diagnosis of HFMD. The detection and genotyping of enteroviruses was performed by real-time PCR and sequencing of 5′UTR/VP1 regions. Phylogenetic analysis and selection pressure were performed based on the VP1 sequences. Logistic regression model was used to identify the effect of predominant enterovirus serotypes in causing severe HFMD. The results showed 92.0% of 1748 feces samples were detected positive for enterovirus, with the most frequently presented serotypes as EV-71 (944, 54.0%) and CV-A16 (451, 25.8%). CV-A10 and CV-A6 were detected as a sole pathogen in 82 (4.7%) and 44 (2.5%) cases, respectively. Infection with CV-A10 and EV-71 were independently associated with high risk of severe HFMD (OR = 2.66, 95% CI: 1.40–5.06; OR = 4.81, 95% CI: 3.07–7.53), when adjusted for age and sex. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that distinct geographic and temporal origins correlated with the gene clusters based on VP1 sequences. An overall ω value of the VP1 was 0.046 for CV-A10 and 0.047 for CV-A6, and no positively selected site was detected in VP1 of both CV-A10 and CV-A6, indicating that purifying selection shaped the evolution of CV-A10 and CV-A6. Our study demonstrates variety of enterovirus genotypes as viral pathogens in causing HFMD in China. CV-A10 and CV-A6 were co-circulating together with EV-71 and CV-A16 in recent years. CV-A10 infection might also be independently associated with severe HFMD.
During the course of alcohol-induced liver damage, hepatic stellate cells are transformed into proliferative, fibrogenic, and contractile myofibroblasts. Aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a transcription factor that controls the expression of genes involved in the metabolism of xenobiotics, inflammation, cell proliferation, and death.
Immortal mouse hepatic stellate cells (MHSCs) were isolated from transgenic mice that expressed a thermolabile SV40 tumor antigen. Quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assays, Western blot analysis, promoter activity assays, and chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses were performed for studying the effect of ethanol (EtOH) on AhR expression and transcriptional activity.
Treatment of MHSCs with 50 to 200 mM EtOH for 6 hours induced AhR nuclear translocation, enhanced the promoter activity of cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1A1, increased the amount of AhR bound to the promoter of CYP1A1 and 1B1, and up-regulated the mRNA expression of these AhR target genes in a dose-dependent manner. In contrast, EtOH exposure down-regulated AhR mRNA and protein expression. Similarly, benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) at 10 nM reduced AhR and increased CYP1A1 and 1B1 mRNAs. Pretreatment of MHSCs with 50 mM EtOH for 7 days diminished the capacity of MHSCs to express CYP1A1 and 1B1 induced by a 200 mM EtOH challenge, or by 10 nM BaP. However, the up-regulatory effect of EtOH on solute carrier family 16, member 6 (SLC16a6) was unaffected by EtOH pretreatment. Similar to EtOH, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) at concentrations of 50 to 100 mM down-regulated AhR and up-regulated CYP1A1 mRNA expression in a dose-dependent manner.
These data, for the first time, demonstrate that EtOH activates MHSC AhR and down-regulates its expression. Chronic EtOH pretreatment lowers the availability of AhR, and specifically diminishes the inducibility of CYP genes. The effect on AhR appears to not be an EtOH-specific response, as DMSO alone (and possibly other organic solvents) was also able to activate AhR.
Ethanol; Mouse Hepatic Stellate Cells; Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor; Cytochrome P450 Protein
The rice leaf folder (RLF), Cnaphalocrocis medinalis (Guenee) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), is one of the most destructive pests affecting rice in Asia. Although several studies have been performed on the ecological and physiological aspects of this species, the molecular mechanisms underlying its developmental regulation, behavior, and insecticide resistance remain largely unknown. Presently, there is a lack of genomic information for RLF; therefore, studies aimed at profiling the RLF transcriptome expression would provide a better understanding of its biological function at the molecular level.
De novo assembly of the RLF transcriptome was performed via the short read sequencing technology (Illumina). In a single run, we produced more than 23 million sequencing reads that were assembled into 44,941 unigenes (mean size = 474 bp) by Trinity. Through a similarity search, 25,281 (56.82%) unigenes matched known proteins in the NCBI Nr protein database. The transcriptome sequences were annotated with gene ontology (GO), cluster of orthologous groups of proteins (COG), and KEGG orthology (KO). Additionally, we profiled gene expression during RLF development using a tag-based digital gene expression (DGE) system. Five DGE libraries were constructed, and variations in gene expression were compared between collected samples: eggs vs. 3rd instar larvae, 3rd instar larvae vs. pupae, pupae vs. adults. The results demonstrated that thousands of genes were significantly differentially expressed during various developmental stages. A number of the differentially expressed genes were confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR).
The RLF transcriptome and DGE data provide a comprehensive and global gene expression profile that would further promote our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying various biological characteristics, including development, elevated fecundity, flight, sex differentiation, olfactory behavior, and insecticide resistance in RLF. Therefore, these findings could help elucidate the intrinsic factors involved in the RLF-mediated destruction of rice and offer sustainable insect pest management.
Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) of Fe3O4 have been widely applied in many medical fields, but few studies have clearly shown the outcome of particles following intravenous injection. We performed a magnetic examination using scanning SQUID biosusceptometry (SSB). Based on the results of SSB analysis and those of established in vitro nonmagnetic bioassays, this study proposes a model of MNP metabolism consisting of an acute metabolic phase with an 8 h duration that is followed by a chronic metabolic phase that continues for 28 d following MNP injection. The major features included the delivery of the MNPs to the heart and other organs, the biodegradation of the MNPs in organs rich with macrophages, the excretion of iron metabolites in the urine, and the recovery of the iron load from the liver and the spleen. Increases in serum iron levels following MNP injection were accompanied by increases in the level of transferrin in the serum and the number of circulating red blood cells. Correlations between the in vivo and in vitro test results indicate the feasibility of using SSB examination for the measurement of MNP concentrations, implying future clinical applications of SSB for monitoring the hematological effects of MNP injection.
With antibody-mediated magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) applied in cancer examinations, patients must pay at least twice for MNP reagents in immunomagnetic reduction (IMR) of in vitro screening and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of in vivo tests. This is because the high maintenance costs and complex analysis of MRI have limited the possibility of in vivo screening. Therefore, this study proposes novel methods for in vivo screening of tumors by examining the AC susceptibility of bound MNPs using scanning superconducting-quantum-interference-device (SQUID) biosusceptometry (SSB), thereby demonstrating high portability and improved economy. The favorable agreement between in vivo tests using SSB and MRI demonstrated the feasibility of in vivo screening using SSB for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) targeted by anti-alpha fetoprotein (AFP)-mediated MNPs. The magnetic labeling was also proved by in vitro tests using SSB and biopsy assays. Therefore, patients receiving bioprobe-mediated MNPs only once can undergo in vivo screening using SSB in the future.
Intrathoracic anastomotic leakage following esophagectomy is extremely difficult to manage appropriately. The outcomes of conservative management strategies are often disappointing, particularly in patients who develop adhesions of the pleural cavity and multiloculated empyema. This study describes a novel approach using combined thoracoscopy and gastroscopy in two cases. Thoracoscopy under local anesthesia was used to dissect the septations within the multiloculated empyema and remove the infected focus by direct visualization, and gastroscopy was subsequently performed to place a nasogastric or sump tube around the leak. The outcomes of both procedures were satisfactory: the empyemas almost completely resolved, the anastomotic leak closed quickly and there was adequate lung re-expansion. Accordingly, the combination of thoracoscopy and gastroscopy for the treatment of intrathoracic anastomotic leak post-esophagectomy may be an effective, safe, minimally-invasive, simple and inexpensive procedure.
intrathoracic anastomotic leak; thoracoscopy; gastroscopy
In this study, we report the spin-lattice relaxation rate of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and normal liver tissue in rats using a high-Tc superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) based nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer. The resonance spectrometer used for discriminating liver tumors in rats via the difference in longitudinal relaxation time in low magnetic fields was set up in a compact and portable magnetic shielding box. The frequency-domain NMR signals of HCC tissues and normal liver tissues were analyzed to study their respective longitudinal relaxation rate T1−1. The T1−1 of liver tissues for ten normal rats and ten cancerous rats were investigated respectively. The averaged T1−1 value of normal liver tissue was (6.41±0.66) s−1, and the averaged T1−1 value of cancerous tissue was (3.38±0.15) s−1. The ratio of T1−1 for normal liver tissues and cancerous liver tissues of the rats investigated is estimated to be 1.9. Since this significant statistical difference, the T1−1 value can be used to distinguish the HCC tissues from normal liver tissues. This method of examining liver and tumor tissues has the advantages of being convenient, easy to operate, and stable.
A deviant motor behaviour at age 3 to 5 months is predictive of cerebral palsy (CP). Particular features of the early motor repertoire even proved predictive of the degree of functional limitations as classified on the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) in children with CP, born preterm.
We aimed to determine whether an association between the early motor repertoire and the GMFCS also holds true for children born at term.
79 infants (60 boys and 19 girls; 47 infants born at term; video recorded for the assessment of movements and posture at age 9 to 20 weeks postterm age) who developed CP.
The GMFCS was applied at age 2 to 5 years.
Motor optimality at age 3 to 5 months showed a significant correlation with functional mobility and activity limitation as classified on the GMFCS at age 2 to 5 years in both children born at term (Spearman rho = − 0.66, p < 0.001) and born preterm (rho = − 0.37, p < 0.05). Infants born preterm were more likely to show normal movement patterns than infants born at term. A normal posture and an abnormal, jerky (yet not monotonous) movement character resulted in better levels of function and mobility. With the exception of one, none of the infants showed fidgety movements. A cramped-synchronised movement character, repetitive opening and closing of the mouth, and abnormal finger postures characterised children who would show a poor self-mobility later.
Assessing the quality of motor performance at 9 to 20 weeks postterm age (irrespective of the gestational age) improves our ability to predict later functional limitations in children with CP.
Fidgety movements; General movements; Optimality concept; Spontaneous movements; Video analysis
To identify Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis infection in northeastern China, we tested blood samples from 622 febrile patients. We identified in 7 infected patients and natural foci for this bacterium. Field surveys showed that 1.6% of ticks and 3.8% of rodents collected from residences of patients were also infected.
Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis; bacteria; human infection; ticks; rodents; vector-borne infections; China
Magnetic nanoparticles biofunctionalized with antibodies against β-amyloid-40 (Aβ-40) and Aβ-42, which are promising biomarkers related to Alzheimer’s disease (AD), were synthesized. We characterized the size distribution, saturated magnetizations, and stability of the magnetic nanoparticles conjugated with anti-Aβ antibody. In combination with immunomagnetic reduction technology, it is demonstrated such biofunctionalized magnetic nanoparticles are able to label Aβs specifically. The ultralow-detection limits of assaying Aβs in vitro using the magnetic nanoparticles via immunomagnetic reduction are determined to a concentration of ∼10 ppt (10 pg/mL). Further, immunomagnetic reduction signals of Aβ-40 and Aβ-42 in human plasma from normal samples and AD patients were analyzed, and the results showed a significant difference between these two groups. These results show the feasibility of using magnetic nanoparticles with Aβs as reagents for assaying low-concentration Aβs through immunomagnetic reduction, and also provide a promising new method for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease from human blood plasma.
Magnetic nanoparticles; β-amyloid; immunomagnetic reduction
ATP binding cassette A1 (ABCA1) is a membrane protein that promotes cellular cholesterol efflux. Using RAW 264.7 macrophages, we studied the relative effects of apolipoprotein (apo) E3 and apoE4 on ABCA1 and on the signaling pathway that regulates its expression. Both lipid-associated and lipid-free apoE4 forms induced ∼30% lower levels of ABCA1 protein and mRNA than apoE3 forms. Phosphorylated levels of phosphoinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), protein kinase Cζ (PKCζ) and specificity protein 1 (Sp1) were also lower when treated with apoE4 compared to apoE3. The reduced ability of apoE4 to induce ABCA1 expression, PKCζ and Sp1 phosphorylation were confirmed in human THP-1 monocytes/macrophages. Sequential phosphorylation of PI3K, PKCζ and Sp1 has been suggested as a mechanism for upregulation of ABCA1 expression. Both apoE3 and apoE4 reduced total cholesterol and cholesterol esters in lipid-laden RAW 264.7 cells, and induced apoAI-mediated cholesterol efflux. However, the cholesterol esters and cholesterol efflux in apoE4-treated cells were ∼50% and ∼24% lower, respectively, compared to apoE3-treated cells. Accumulation of cholesterol esters in macrophages is a mechanism for foam cell formation. Thus the reduced ability of apoE4 to activate the PI3K-PKCζ-Sp1 signaling pathway and induce ABCA1 expression likely impairs cholesterol ester removal, and increases foam cell formation.
Smoking and obesity are known risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, while low serum levels of high density lipoprotein-cholesterol is an independent risk factor for mortality from ischemic heart diseases. This study examines changes in the serum level of high density lipoprotein-cholesterol depending on changes in the state of smoking and body mass index.
A survey and blood check-up were conducted on medical examination, along with acts of smoking among male adults of 25 years or older who visited the health promotion center of Daegu Medical Center from 2007 to 2010, and the results were analyzed. The subjects were divided into two different groups, current smokers and abstainers, and body mass index, total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein-cholesterol, low density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and triglycerides for three years were compared in both groups. Changes between the first and second visits in body mass index and lipid profiles of the two groups were compared to analyze changes after abstaining.
The subject group which showed a significant increase in high density lipoprotein-cholesterol level was only abstainers whose body mass index had decreased by more than 0.5 kg/m2.
Smoking cessation increases serum levels of high density lipoprotein-cholesterol. If reduction of body mass index and smoking cessation are combined, the risk of cardiovascular disease will be lower in proportion to the increase in serum high density lipoprotein.
Smoking Cessation; Body Mass Index; High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol
Increasing evidence supports a critical role of T cells in neurodegeneration associated with acute and subacute brain inflammatory disorders. Granzyme B (GrB), released by activated T cells, is a cytotoxic proteinase which may induce perforin-independent neurotoxicity. Here, we studied the mechanism of perforin-independent GrB toxicity by treating primary cultured human neuronal cells with recombinant GrB. GrBactivated the protease-activated receptor (PAR)-1 receptor on the neuronal cell surface leading to decreased intracellular cyclic AMP levels. This was followed by increased expression and translocation of the voltage gated potassium channel, Kv1.3 to the neuronal cell membrane. Similar expression of Kv1.3 was also seen in neurons of the cerebral cortex adjacent to active inflammatory lesions in patients with multiple sclerosis. Kv1.3 expression was followed by activation of Notch-1 resulting in neurotoxicity. Blocking PAR-1, Kv1.3 or Notch-1 activation using specific pharmacological inhibitors or siRNAs prevented GrB-induced neurotoxicity. Furthermore, clofazimine protected against GrB-induced neurotoxicity in rat hippocampus, in vivo. These observations indicate that GrB released from T cells induced neurotoxicity by interacting with the membrane bound Gi-coupled PAR-1 receptor and subsequently activated Kv1.3 and Notch-1. These pathways provide novel targets to treat T cell-mediated neuroinflammatory disorders. Kv1.3 is of particular interest since it is expressed on the cell surface, only under pathological circumstances, and early in the cascade of events making it an attractive therapeutic target.