The goal of this study was to evaluate the 18F-labeled nonnatural amino acid (S)-2-amino-3-[1-(2-18F-fluoroethyl)-1H-[1,2,3]triazol-4-yl]propanoic acid (18F-AFETP) as a PET imaging agent for brain tumors and to compare its effectiveness with the more-established tracers O-(2-18F-fluoroethyl)-L-tyrosine (18F-FET) and 18F-FDG in a murine model of glioblastoma. The tracer 18F-AFETP is a structural analog of histidine and is a lead compound for imaging cationic amino acid transport, a relatively unexplored target for oncologic imaging.
18F-AFETP was prepared using the click reaction. BALB/c mice with intracranially implanted delayed brain tumor (DBT) gliomas (n = 4) underwent biodistribution and dynamic small-animal PET imaging for 60 min after intravenous injection of 18F-AFETP. Tumor and brain uptake of 18F-AFETP were compared with those of 18F-FDG and 18F-FET through small-animal PET analyses.
18F-AFETP demonstrated focally increased uptake in tumors with good visualization. Peak tumor uptake occurred within 10 min of injection, with stable or gradual decrease over time. All 3 tracers demonstrated relatively high uptake in the DBTs throughout the study. At late time points (47.5–57.5 min after injection), the average standardized uptake value with 18F-FDG (1.9 ± 0.1) was significantly greater than with 18F-FET (1.1 ± 0.1) and 18F-AFETP (0.7 ± 0.2). The uptake also differed substantially in normal brain, with significant differences in the standardized uptake values at late times among 18F-FDG (1.5 ± 0.2), 18F-FET (0.5 ± 0.05), and 18F-AFETP (0.1 ± 0.04). The resulting average tumor-to-brain ratio at the late time points was significantly higher for 18F-AFETP (7.5 ± 0.1) than for 18F-FDG (1.3 ± 0.1) and 18F-FET (2.0 ± 0.3).
18F-AFETP is a promising brain tumor imaging agent, providing rapid and persistent tumor visualization, with good tumor–to–normal-brain ratios in the DBT glioma model. High tumor-to-brain, tumor-to-muscle, and tumor-to-blood ratios were observed at 30 and 60 min after injection, with higher tumor-to-brain ratios than obtained with 18F-FET or 18F-FDG. These results support further development and evaluation of 18F-AFETP and its derivatives for tumor imaging.
click reaction; amino acid; glioma; 18F
Toxoplasma gondii is a widely prevalent protozoan parasite that causes serious toxoplasmosis in humans and animals. The present study aimed to determine the genetic diversity of T. gondii isolates from pigs in Jiangxi, Sichuan, Guangdong Provinces and Chongqing Municipality in China using multilocous polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) technology.
A total of 38 DNA samples were extracted from hilar lymph nodes of pigs with suspected toxoplasmosis, and were detected for the presence of T. gondii by semi-nested PCR of B1 gene. The positive DNA samples were typed at 11 genetic markers, including 10 nuclear loci, namely, SAG1, 5′-SAG2 and 3′-SAG2, alternative SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and an apicoplast locus Apico.
Twenty-five of the 38 DNA samples were T. gondii B1 gene positive. Complete genotyping data for all loci could be obtained for 17 of the 25 samples. Two genotypes were revealed (ToxoDB PCR-RFLP genotypes #9 and #3). Sixteen samples belong to genotype #9 which is the major lineage in mainland China and one sample belongs to genotype #3 which is Type II variant.
To our knowledge, this is the first report of genetic typing of T. gondii isolates from pigs in Jiangxi, Sichuan Province and Chongqing Municipality, and the first report of ToxoDB #3 T. gondii from pigs in China. These results have implications for the prevention and control of foodborne toxoplasmosis in humans.
Toxoplasma gondii; Toxoplasmosis; Genetic characterization; Pig; China
Our previous studies found that simvastatin treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in rats had beneficial effects on spatial learning functions. In the current study we wanted to determine whether simvastatin suppressed neuronal cell apoptosis after TBI, and if so, the underlying mechanisms of this process.
Saline or simvastatin (1 mg/kg) was administered orally to rats starting at Day 1 after TBI and then daily for 14 days. Modified neurological severity scores (NSS) were employed to evaluate the sensory motor functional recovery. Rats were sacrificed at 1, 3, 7, 14 and 35 days after treatment and brain tissue was harvested for TUNEL staining, caspase-3 activity assay and Western blot analysis. Simvastatin significantly decreased NSS from Days 7 to 35 after TBI, significantly reduced the number of TUNEL-positive cells at Day 3, suppressed the caspase-3 activity at Days 1 and 3 after TBI, and increased phosphorylation of Akt as well as FOXO1, IκB and eNOS, which are the downstream targets of the pro-survival Akt signaling protein.
These data suggested that simvastatin reduces the apoptosis in neuronal cells and improves the sensory motor function recovery after TBI. These beneficial effects of simvastatin may be mediated through activation of Akt, FOXO1 and NF-κB signaling pathways, which suppress the activation of caspase-3 and apoptotic cell death, and thereby lead to neuronal function recovery after TBI.
simvastatin; apoptosis; Akt; FOXO1; IκB; traumatic brain injury
A novel strategy based on metal-free click chemistry was developed for the copper-64 radiolabeling of the core in shell-crosslinked nanoparticles (SCK-NPs). Compared with Cu(I)-catalyzed click chemistry, this metal-free strategy provides the following advantages for Cu-64 labeling of the core of SCK-NPs: (1) elimination of copper exchange between non-radioactive Cu in the catalyst and DOTA-chelated Cu-64; (2) elimination of the internal “click” reactions between the azide and acetylene groups in the same NPs; and (3) increased efficiency of the “click” reaction because water soluble Cu(I) does not need to reach the hydrophobic core of the NPs. When 50 mCi Cu-64 was used for the radiolabeling, the specific activity of the radiolabelled product was 975 Ci/μmol at the end of synthesis, which represents the attachment of ca. 500 Cu-64 atoms per SCK-NP, giving in essence a 500-fold amplification of specific activity of the NP over that of the Cu-64 chelate. To the best of our knowledge, this is the highest specific activity obtained for Cu-64 labeled nanoparticles.
Copper-64 radiolabelling; Shell-crosslinked nanoparticles (SCK-NPs); High specific activity; Specific activity amplification; Metal-free click chemistry
Analyses of mitochondrial (mt) genome sequences in recent years challenge the current working hypothesis of Nematoda phylogeny proposed from morphology, ecology and nuclear small subunit rRNA gene sequences, and raise the need to sequence additional mt genomes for a broad range of nematode lineages.
We sequenced the complete mt genomes of three Ascaridia species (family Ascaridiidae) that infest chickens, pigeons and parrots, respectively. These three Ascaridia species have an identical arrangement of mt genes to each other but differ substantially from other nematodes. Phylogenetic analyses of the mt genome sequences of the Ascaridia species, together with 62 other nematode species, support the monophylies of seven high-level taxa of the phylum Nematoda: 1) the subclass Dorylaimia; 2) the orders Rhabditida, Trichinellida and Mermithida; 3) the suborder Rhabditina; and 4) the infraorders Spiruromorpha and Oxyuridomorpha. Analyses of mt genome sequences, however, reject the monophylies of the suborders Spirurina and Tylenchina, and the infraorders Rhabditomorpha, Panagrolaimomorpha and Tylenchomorpha. Monophyly of the infraorder Ascaridomorpha varies depending on the methods of phylogenetic analysis. The Ascaridomorpha was more closely related to the infraorders Rhabditomorpha and Diplogasteromorpha (suborder Rhabditina) than they were to the other two infraorders of the Spirurina: Oxyuridorpha and Spiruromorpha. The closer relationship among Ascaridomorpha, Rhabditomorpha and Diplogasteromorpha was also supported by a shared common pattern of mitochondrial gene arrangement.
Analyses of mitochondrial genome sequences and gene arrangement has provided novel insights into the phylogenetic relationships among several major lineages of nematodes. Many lineages of nematodes, however, are underrepresented or not represented in these analyses. Expanding taxon sampling is necessary for future phylogenetic studies of nematodes with mt genome sequences.
Mitochondrial genome; Ascaridia; Nematode; Gene arrangement; Phylogeny
The aim of the present study was to investigate the clinical effects of lamina replantation with ARCH plate fixation on patients with thoracic and lumbar intraspinal tumors, following laminectomy. Thirteen patients with thoracic and lumbar intraspinal tumors underwent total lamina replantation with ARCH plate fixation and repair of the supraspinous ligaments, following laminectomy and tumor enucleation. To investigate the clinical effect of lamina replantation with ARCH plate fixation, pre- and postoperative visual analog scale (VAS), and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) scores were determined, and pre- and postoperative X-ray and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations were conducted. Computed tomography (CT) examinations were also included in the follow-up. No complications were observed pre- or postoperatively. The VAS and ODI results 2 weeks following surgery and at the final follow-up examination demonstrated a significant improvement compared with the corresponding preoperative results. The X-ray examination results indicated a satisfactory internal fixation location, without any characteristics of a fracture, lumbar scoliosis, kyphosis or instability. Following the surgery, the CT and MRI examination results demonstrated that healing of the lamina bone and repair of the supraspinous ligament had occurred without tumor recurrence or spinal epidural scar recompression. Two of the 13 cases were lost to follow-up. The results indicated that in patients with thoracic and lumbar intraspinal tumors, lamina replantation with ARCH plate fixation following total laminectomy is effective and provides thoracolumbar stability. Furthermore, this has been identified to be an effective technique for preventing intraspinal scar proliferation.
laminoplasty; intradural tumor; internal fixation
(−)-Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and curcumin are two naturally derived agents that have been widely investigated worldwide. They exhibit their anti-tumor effects in many types of cancers. In the current study, the effect of the combination of the two agents on non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells was investigated. The results revealed that at low concentrations, the combination of the EGCG and curcumin strongly enhanced cell cycle arrest. Flow cytometry analysis showed that the cells were arrested at G1 and S/G2 phases. Two main cell cycle related proteins cyclin D1 and cyclin B1 were significantly inhibited at the present of EGCG and curcumin. EdU (5-ethynyl-2′-deoxyuridine) fluorescence staining showed that the DNA replication was significantly blocked. A clonal growth assay also confirmed a marked repression of cell growth. In a lung cancer xenograft node mice model, combination of EGCG and curcumin exhibited protective effect against weight loss due to tumor burden. Tumor growth was strongly repressed by the combination of the two agents, without causing any serious side-effect. Overall, these results strongly suggest that EGCG in combination with curcumin could be a candidate for chemoprevention agent of NSCLC.
EGCG; curcumin; cell cycle arrest; combination; chemoprevention
The prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in birds has epidemiological significance because birds are indeed considered as a good indicator of environmental contamination by T. gondii oocysts. In this study, the prevalence of T. gondii in 313 house sparrows in Lanzhou, northwestern China was assayed by the modified agglutination test (MAT). Antibodies to T. gondii were positive in 39 (12.46%) of 313 samples (MAT titer ≥ 1:5). Tissues of heart, brain, and lung from the 39 seropositive house sparrows were tested for T. gondii DNA, 11 of which were found to be positive for the T. gondii B1 gene by PCR amplification. These positive DNA samples were typed at 9 genetic markers, including 8 nuclear loci, i.e., SAG1, 5'- and 3'-SAG2, alternative SAG2, SAG3, GRA6, L358, PK1, c22-8 and an apicoplast locus Apico. Of them, 4 isolates were genotyped with complete data for all loci, and 2 genotypes (Type II variants; ToxoDB #3 and a new genotype) were identified. These results showed that there is a potential risk for human infection with T. gondii in this region. To our knowledge, this is the first report of T. gondii seroprevalence in house sparrows in China.
Toxoplasma gondii; sparrow; seroprevalence; PCR-RFLP typing; northwestern China
The obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii can interfere with host cell signaling pathways, alter host defense systems and cell cycle control, and establish a chronic infection in the central nervous system. T. gondii infection may alter the expression profile of host microRNAs (miRNAs) which have key regulatory functions at the post-transcriptional level.
Using high-throughput sequencing and real-time quantitative PCR technology, we compared the miRNA expression profiles of uninfected mouse brains with brains from mice at 14 days and 21 days after infection with cyst-forming T. gondii (Type II).
A total of 51.30 million raw reads were obtained from all samples and 495 (14d infected mouse sample), 511 (14d sham-infected control), 504 (21d infected mouse sample) and 514 (21d sham-infected control) miRNA candidates identified. Among these, 414 miRNAs were consistent across all the studied groups, 17 were specific to the 14d infected group and 32 were specific to the 21d infected group. In addition, 9 miRNAs were common to both the 14d- and 21d-infected groups. Enrichment analysis for the targets of these miRNAs showed a high percentage of “protein tag” functions. Immune related targets including chemokines, cytokines, growth factors and interleukins were also found.
These results not only showed that the miRNA expression of the host can be changed by the invasion of cyst-forming T. gondii, but also indicated that the host attempts to respond using two tactics: marking proteins with “protein tags” and adaptation of immune related systems.
Toxoplasma gondii; Toxoplasmosis; MicroRNA (miRNA); Mouse; Brain; Host regulation
Activation of β-catenin, the principal mediator of canonical Wnt signaling, is a common pathologic finding in a wide variety of chronic kidney diseases (CKD). While β-catenin is induced predominantly in renal tubular epithelium in CKD, surprisingly, depletion of tubular β-catenin had little effect on the severity of renal fibrosis. Interestingly, less apoptosis was detected in interstitial fibroblasts in knockout mice, which was accompanied by a decreased expression of Bax and Fas ligand (FasL). Tubule-specific knockout of β-catenin diminished renal induction of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP-7), which induced FasL expression in interstitial fibroblasts and potentiated fibroblast apoptosis in vitro. These results demonstrate that loss of tubular β-catenin resulted in enhanced interstitial fibroblast survival due to decreased MMP-7 expression. Our studies uncover a novel role of the tubular β-catenin/MMP-7 axis in controlling the fate of interstitial fibroblasts via epithelial-mesenchymal communication.
Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) are paroxysmal behaviors that resemble epileptic seizures but lack abnormal electrical activity. Recent studies suggest aberrant functional connectivity involving specific brain regions in PNES. Little is known, however, about alterations of topological organization of whole-brain functional and structural connectivity networks in PNES. We constructed functional connectivity networks from resting-state functional MRI signal correlations and structural connectivity networks from diffusion tensor imaging tractography in 17 PNES patients and 20 healthy controls. Graph theoretical analysis was employed to compute network properties. Moreover, we investigated the relationship between functional and structural connectivity networks. We found that PNES patients exhibited altered small-worldness in both functional and structural networks and shifted towards a more regular (lattice-like) organization, which could serve as a potential imaging biomarker for PNES. In addition, many regional characteristics were altered in structural connectivity network, involving attention, sensorimotor, subcortical and default-mode networks. These regions with altered nodal characteristics likely reflect disease-specific pathophysiology in PNES. Importantly, the coupling strength of functional-structural connectivity was decreased and exhibited high sensitivity and specificity to differentiate PNES patients from healthy controls, suggesting that the decoupling strength of functional-structural connectivity might be an important characteristic reflecting the mechanisms of PNES. This is the first study to explore the altered topological organization in PNES combining functional and structural connectivity networks, providing a new way to understand the pathophysiological mechanisms of PNES.
Chlamydiaceae is a family of obligate intracellular pathogens with a worldwide distribution in many animal species, including humans. No information exists on the prevalence of Chlamydia felis infections in cats and dogs in Lanzhou, the geographical center of China. The aim of this study was to carry out a census of cats and dogs in Lanzhou and document the seroprevalence of C. felis exposure in these companion animals.
In this study, blood samples were collected from 485 animals (221 cats and 264 pet dogs) in Lanzhou between November 2010 and July 2011 to identify antibodies against C. felis. Thirteen of 221 (5.9%) cats and 32 of 264 (12.1%) pet dogs were positive for C. felis infection using indirect hemagglutination at a cutoff of 1:16. The seroprevalence in household and stray cats was 3.9% and 14.3%, respectively, and the difference was statistically significant (P < 0.05). Among different age groups, the seroprevalence in cats varied from 1.9 to 7.9%, and that in dogs ranged from 9.6 to 20.4%; however, the differences were not statistically significant (P > 0.05).
This is the first report of the seroprevalence of C. felis exposure in cats and dogs in Lanzhou, northwestern China. Our results indicate that the presence of C. felis exposure in cats and dogs may pose a potential threat to human health.
Chlamydia felis; Chlamydiosis; Survey; Indirect hemagglutination (IHA) test; Cats; Dogs
The sigma-2 receptor, whose gene remains to be cloned, has been validated as a biomarker for tumor cell proliferation. Here we report the use of a novel photoaffinity probe, WC-21, to identify the sigma-2 receptor binding site. WC-21, a sigma-2 ligand containing both a photoactive moiety azide and a fluorescein isothiocyanate group, irreversibly labels sigma-2 receptors in rat liver; the membrane-bound protein was then identified as PGRMC1 (progesterone receptor membrane component-1). Immunocytochemistry reveals that both PGRMC1 and SW120, a fluorescent sigma-2 receptor ligand, colocalizes with molecular markers of the endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria in HeLa cells. Overexpression and knockdown of the PGRMC1 protein results in an increase and a decrease in binding of a sigma-2 selective radioligand, respectively. The identification of the putative sigma-2 receptor binding site as PGRMC1 should stimulate the development of unique imaging agents and cancer therapeutics that target the sigma-2 receptor/PGRMC1 complex.
Toxoplasma gondii is an opportunistic pathogenic protozoan parasite, which infects approximately one third of the human population worldwide, causing opportunistic zoonotic toxoplasmosis. The predilection of T. gondii for the central nervous system (CNS) causes behavioral disorders and fatal necrotizing encephalitis and thus constitutes a major threat especially to AIDS patients.
In the present study, we explored the proteomic profiles of brain tissues of the specific pathogen-free (SPF) Kunming mice at 7 d, 14 d and 21 d after infection with cysts of the Toxoplasma gondii Prugniaud (PRU) strain (Genotype II), by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) combined with MALDI-TOF/TOF tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS).
A total of 60 differentially expressed protein spots were selected. Fifty-six spots were successfully identified, which corresponded to 45 proteins of the mouse. Functional analysis using a Gene Ontology database showed that these proteins were mainly involved in metabolism, cell structure, signal transduction and immune responses, and will be beneficial for the understanding of molecular mechanisms of T. gondii pathogenesis.
This study identified some mouse brain proteins involved in the response with cyst-forming T. gondii PRU strain. These results provided an insight into the responsive relationship between T. gondii and the host brain tissues, which will shed light on our understanding of the mechanisms of pathogenesis in toxoplasmic encephalitis, and facilitate the discovery of new methods of diagnosis, prevention, control and treatment of toxoplasmic encephalopathy.
Toxoplasma gondii; Cyst; Brain; Proteome; Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE); Mass spectrometry (MS)
Methionine synthase (MTR), which plays a central role in maintaining adequate intracellular folate, methionine and normal homocysteine concentrations, was thought to be involved in the development of colorectal cancer (CRC) and colorectal adenoma (CRA) by affecting DNA methylation. However, studies on the association between MTR A2756G polymorphism and CRC/CRA remain conflicting. We conducted a meta-analysis of 27 studies, including 13465 cases and 20430 controls for CRC, and 4844 cases and 11743 controls for CRA. Potential sources of heterogeneity and publication bias were also systematically explored. Overall, the summary odds ratio of G variant for CRC was 1.03 (95% CI: 0.96–1.09) and 1.05 (95% CI: 0.99–1.12) for CRA. No significant results were observed in heterozygous and homozygous when compared with wild genotype for these polymorphisms. In the stratified analyses according to ethnicity, source of controls, sample size, sex, and tumor site, no evidence of any gene-disease association was obtained. Results from the meta-analysis of four studies on MTR stratified according to smoking and alcohol drinking status showed an increased CRC risk in heavy smokers (OR = 2.06, 95% CI: 1.32–3.20) and heavy drinkers (OR = 2.00, 95% CI: 1.28–3.09) for G allele carriers. This meta-analysis suggests that the MTR A2756G polymorphism is not associated with CRC/CRA susceptibility and that gene-environment interaction may exist.
This first-in-human study was designed to evaluate the safety and dosimetry of the progesterone analog 21-18F-fluoro-16α,17α-[(R)-(1′-α-furylmethylidene)dioxy]-19-norpregn-4-ene-3,20-dione (18F-FFNP), as well the feasibility of imaging tumor progesterone receptors (PRs) by PET in breast cancer.
Women with breast cancer underwent PET with 18F-FFNP. Tumor 18F-FFNP uptake was assessed semiquantitatively by determining maximum standardized uptake value and tumor-to-normal breast (T/N) activity ratio and by Logan graphical analysis. The PET results were correlated with estrogen receptor (ER) and PR status, assessed by in vitro assays of the tumor tissue. The biodistribution of 18F-FFNP was measured in patients by whole-body PET, and human dosimetry was estimated.
Twenty patients with 22 primary breast cancers (16 PR-positive [PR+] and 6 PR-negative [PR−]) were evaluated. Tumor maximum standardized uptake value was not significantly different in PR+ and PR− cancers (mean ± SD, 2.5 ± 0.9 vs. 2.0 ± 1.3, P = 0.386), but the T/N ratio was significantly greater in the PR+ cancers (2.6 ± 0.9 vs. 1.5 ± 0.3, P = 0.001). In addition, there was a significant correlation between distribution volume ratio and T/N ratio (r = 0.89; P = 0.001) but not between distribution volume ratio and either PR status or standardized uptake value, likely because of small sample size. On the basis of whole-body PET data in 12 patients, the gallbladder appeared to be the dose-limiting organ, with an average radiation dose of 0.113 mGy/MBq. The whole-body dose was 0.015 mGy/MBq, and the effective dose was 0.020 mSv/MBq. No adverse effects of 18F-FFNP were encountered.
18F-FFNP PET is a safe, noninvasive means for evaluating tumor PRs in vivo in patients with breast cancer. The relatively small absorbed doses to normal organs allow for the safe injection of up to 440 MBq of 18F-FFNP.
PET; progesterone receptor; breast cancer
β-catenin is a unique intracellular protein functioning as an integral component of the cell-cell adherens complex and a principal signaling protein mediating canonical Wnt signaling. Little is known about its function in adult kidneys in the normal physiologic state or after acute kidney injury (AKI). To study this, we generated conditional knockout mice in which the β-catenin gene was specifically disrupted in renal tubules (Ksp-β-cat−/−). These mice were phenotypically normal with no appreciable defects in kidney morphology and function. In the absence of β-catenin, γ-catenin functionally substituted it for E-cadherin binding, thereby sustaining the integrity of epithelial adherens junctions in the kidneys. In AKI induced by ischemia reperfusion or folic acid, the loss of tubular β-catenin substantially aggravated renal lesions. Compared with controls, Ksp-β-cat−/− mice displayed higher mortality, elevated serum creatinine and more severe morphologic injury. Consistently, apoptosis was more prevalent in kidneys of the knockout mice, which was accompanied by increased expression of p53 and Bax, and decreased phosphorylated Akt and survivin. In vitro, activation of β-catenin by Wnt1 or stabilization of β-catenin protected tubular epithelial cells from apoptosis, activated Akt, induced survivin, and repressed p53 and Bax expression. Hence, endogenous β-catenin is pivotal for renal tubular protection after AKI by promoting cell survival through multiple mechanisms.
Wnt; β-catenin; acute kidney injury; apoptosis
Chlamydia spp. are obligate intracellular gram-negative bacteria that cause a wide range of significant diseases in humans and animals worldwide, resulting in significant economic losses. Chlamydial infection in cattle has been reported in many countries including China. However, there has been no survey of chlamydial infection of dairy cattle in Guangzhou, southern China. The objective of the present investigation was to examine the chlamydial seroprevalence in dairy cattle in Guangzhou, subtropical southern China by using an indirect hemagglutination assay (IHA). The overall seroprevalence of chlamydial infection in dairy cattle was 7.25% (29/400). Greater than or equal to eight-yr-old dairy cattle had the highest seroprevalence (10.34%), followed by those that were ≥ 6 years old or < 7 years old dairy cattle (10.20%), although there were no statistically significant differences among different groups (P > 0.05). Dairy cattle with 5 pregnancies had the highest seroprevalence (10.81%). These results indicate that chlamydial infection was present in dairy cattle in Guangzhou, subtropical southern China, and integrated strategies and measures should be executed to control and prevent chlamydial infection and disease outbreak in the study region.
Chlamydia; Dairy cattle; Seroprevalence; Indirect hemagglutination antibody (IHA); Guangzhou; China
Human thelaziosis is an underestimated parasitic disease caused by Thelazia species (Spirurida: Thelaziidae). The oriental eyeworm, Thelazia callipaeda, infects a range of mammalian definitive hosts, including canids, felids and humans. Although this zoonotic parasite is of socio-economic significance in Asian countries, its genetics, epidemiology and biology are poorly understood. Mitochondrial (mt) DNA is known to provide useful genetic markers to underpin fundamental investigations, but no mt genome had been characterized for any members of the family Thelaziidae. In the present study, we sequenced and characterized the mt genome of T. callipaeda. This AT-rich (74.6%) mt genome (13,668 bp) is circular and contains 12 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes and two ribosomal RNA genes, but lacks an atp8 gene. All protein-coding genes are transcribed in the same direction; the gene order is the same as those of Dirofilaria immitis and Setaria digitata (Onchocercidae), but distinct from Dracunculus medinensis (Dracunculidae) and Heliconema longissimum (Physalopteridae). Phylogenetic analyses of the concatenated amino acid sequence data for all 12 protein-coding genes by Bayesian inference (BI) showed that T. callipaeda (Thelaziidae) is related to the family Onchocercidae. This is the first mt genome of any member of the family Thelaziidae and should represent a new source of genetic markers for studying the epidemiology, ecology, population genetics and systematics of this parasite of humans and other mammals.
Human thelaziosis is an underestimated parasitic disease caused by the eyeworm Thelazia callipaeda (Spirurida: Thelaziidae). Although this parasite is of significance in humans in many Asian countries, its genetics, epidemiology and biology are poorly understood. Mitochondrial (mt) DNA can provide useful genetic markers for fundamental investigations, but no mt genome had been characterized for any members of the family Thelaziidae. In this study, we sequenced and characterized the mt genome of T. callipaeda. This circular mt genome is 13,668 bp long and contains 12 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes and two ribosomal RNA genes, but lacks an atp8 gene. Phylogenetic analyses of the concatenated amino acid sequence data for all 12 protein-coding genes by Bayesian inference showed that T. callipaeda is closely related to the family Onchocercidae, consistent with previous study. This is the first mt genome of any member of the family Thelaziidae, and represents a new source of genetic markers for studies of the epidemiology, ecology, population genetics and systematics of this parasite of human and animal health significance.
Eurytrema pancreaticum is one of the most common flukes, which mainly infects ruminants globally and infects human beings accidentally; causing eurytremiasis that has high veterinary and economic importance. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs and are now considered as a key mechanism of gene regulation at the post-transcription level.
We investigated the global miRNA expression profile of E. pancreaticum adults using next-generation sequencing technology combined with real-time quantitative PCR.
By using the genome of the closely-related species Schistosoma japonicum as reference, we obtained 27 miRNA candidates out of 16.45 million raw sequencing reads, with 13 of them found as known miRNAs in S. japonicum and/or S. mansoni, and the remaining 14 miRNAs were considered as novel. Five out of the 13 known miRNAs coming from one family named as sja-miR-2, including family members from miR-2a to miR-2e. Targets of 19 miRNAs were successfully predicated out of the 17401 mRNA and EST non-redundant sequences of S. japonicum. It was found that a significant high number of targets were related to “chch domain-containing protein mitochondrial precursor” (n = 29), “small subunit ribosomal protein s30e” (n = 21), and “insulin-induced gene 1 protein” (n = 9). Besides, “egg protein cp3842” (n = 2), “fumarate hydratase” (n = 2), “ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme” (n = 2), and “sperm-associated antigen 6” (n = 1) were also found as targets of the miRNAs of E. pancreaticum.
The present study represents the first global characterization of E. pancreaticum miRNAs, which provides novel resources for a better understanding of the parasite, which, in turn, has implications for the effective control of the disease it causes.
MicroRNA (miRNA); Eurytrema pancreaticum; Profile; Pancreatic fluke; Trematoda
The present study aimed to evaluate the early effects of interspinous spacers on lumbar degenerative disease. The clinical outcomes of 23 patients with lumbar degenerative disease, treated using interspinous spacer implantation alone or combined with posterior lumbar fusion, were retrospectively studied and assessed with a visual analogue scale (VAS) and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). Pre-operative and post-operative interspinous distance, disc space height, foraminal width and height and segmental lordosis were determined. The early effects and complications associated with the interspinous spacers were recorded. The surgical procedures performed with the in-space treatment were easy and minimally invasive. The VAS scores and ODI were improved post-operatively compared with pre-operatively. Significant changes in the interspinous distance, disc space height, foraminal width and height and segmental lordosis were noted. In-space treatment for degenerative lumbar disease is easy and safe, with good early effects. The in-space system provides an alternative treatment for lumbar degenerative disease.
lumbar degenerative disease; In-space; interspinous dynamic stabilisation
One major challenge in the development of cancer therapeutics is the selective delivery of the drugs to their cellular targets. In the case of pancreatic cancer, the σ-2 receptor is a unique target that triggers apoptosis upon activation. We have previously developed a series of chemical compounds with high affinity for the σ-2 receptor and demonstrated rapid internalization of the ligands. One particular specific ligand of the σ-2 receptor, SV119, binds to pancreatic cancer cells and induces target cell death in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we characterized the ability of SV119 to selectively deliver other death-inducing cargos to augment the cytotoxic properties of SV119 itself. When conjugated to SV119, small molecules that are known to interfere with intracellular pro-survival pathways retained their ability to induce cell death, the efficiency of which was enhanced by the combinatorial effect of SV119 delivered with its small molecule cargo.
Our findings define a simple platform technology to increase the tumor-selective delivery of small molecule therapeutics via sigma-2 ligands, permitting chemotherapeutic synergy that can optimize efficacy and patient benefit.
apoptosis; drug delivery; pancreatic neoplasms; σ-2 receptor; sigma-2 conjugates
Noninvasive imaging methods that can distinguish apoptosis from necrosis may be useful in furthering our understanding of diseases characterized by apoptotic dysregulation as well as aiding drug development targeting apoptotic pathways. We evaluated the ability of radiolabeled isatins to quantify caspase-3 activity induced by the activation of the extrinsic apoptotic pathway by the anti-Fas antibody in mice.
The behavior of three different radiolabeled isatins ([18F]WC-II-89, [18F]WC-IV-3, and [11C]WC-98), was characterized in mice with and without anti-Fas antibody treatment by microPET imaging and biodistribution studies. The activity of [18F]WC-II-89 was also compared with [99mTc]mebrofenin. The effect of pan-caspase inhibition with Q-VD-OPH on [18F]WC-II-89 uptake was studied. Caspase-3 activity was confirmed by a fluorometric enzyme assay.
All three tracers behaved similarly in microPET and biodistribution studies. Increased retention of all tracers was observed in the livers of treated animals and several other organs, all of which demonstrated increased caspase-3 enzyme activity; however, impaired hepatobiliary excretion made attribution of these findings to caspase-3 activity difficult. The isatin [18F]WC-II-89 was retained at statistically significantly higher levels in the organs after anti-Fas antibody treatment while [99mTc]mebrofenin activity cleared, suggesting specific binding to activated caspase-3, but the magnitude of increased binding was still relatively low. Caspase inhibition with Q-VD-OPH partially blocked [18F]WC-II-89 retention but completely blocked caspase-3 enzyme activity in the liver.
The radiolabeled isatins appear to bind specifically to caspase-3 in vivo, but their sensitivity is limited. Further optimization is required for these tracers to be useful for clinical applications.
A systematic review of the effectiveness of rehabilitation for persons with unilateral neglect (UN) after stroke was conducted by searching the computerized databases from 1997 through 2012. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of neglect treatment strategies for stroke patients which used the Behavioral Inattention Test (BIT) as the primary outcome measure were eligible for inclusion. Out of 201 studies initially identified, 12 RCTs covering 277 participants were selected for analysis. All had the same weakness of low power with smaller samples and limitation in the blinding of the design. Prism Adaptation (PA) was the most commonly used intervention while continuous Theta-burst stimulation (cTBS) appeared to be a new approach. Meta-analysis showed that for immediate effects, the BIT conventional subscore had a significant and large mean effect size (ES = 0.76; 95% CI 0.28–1.23; p = 0.002) whereas the BIT total score showed a modestly significant mean ES (ES = 0.55; 95% CI 0.16–0.94; p = 0.006). No significant mean ES in sensitivity analysis was found for long-lasting effects across all BIT outcomes. PA appeared to be the most effective intervention based on the results of pooled analysis. More rigorous studies should be done on repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) before it can be concluded that it is a promising treatment for UN.
systematic review; stroke; unilateral neglect; rehabilitation; Behavioral Inattention Test
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are key regulators of gene expression at the post-transcription level. The present study specifically explored and compared the miRNA expression profiles of F. gigantica and F. hepatica using an integrated sequencing and bioinformatics platform and quantitative real-time PCR. Nineteen and 16 miRNA candidates were identified from F. gigantica and F. hepatica, respectively. The two parasites shared 11 miRNAs, with 8 also showing similarity to miRNAs of Schistosoma japonicum. Another 8 miRNAs were identified as F. gigantica-specific and 5 as F. hepatica-specific, most of which were novel. Predicted target analysis with 11465 mRNA and EST sequences of F. hepatica and F. gigantica revealed that all of the miRNAs had more than one target, ranging from 2 to 398 with an average of 51 targets. Some functions of the predicted targets were only found in F. gigantica, such as “transcription regulator”, while some others were only found in F. hepatica, such as “reproduction” and “response to stimulus”, indicating the different metabolism and gene regulation patterns of the two parasites. The present study represents the first global comparative characterization of miRNA expression profiles of F. gigantica and F. hepatica, which has provided novel valuable resources for a better understanding of the two zoonotic trematodes.