Background and Purpose
The aim was to identify the risk factors for renal scarring and deteriorating renal function in children with primary vesico-ureteral reflux (VUR).
Materials and Methods
Patients with primary VUR admitted to the National Cheng Kung University Hospital were retrospectively analyzed. The outcomes were renal scarring, assessed by technetium-99 m dimercaptosuccinic acid scanning, and renal function, assessed by estimated glomerular filtration rate. Univariate and multivariate models were applied to identify the corresponding independent predictors.
A total of 173 patients with primary VUR were recruited. The median age of VUR diagnosis was 10.0 months (IQR: 4.0–43.0 months). After adjusting for confounding factors, it was found that older age of VUR diagnosis (≥5 years vs. <1 year, adjusted OR = 2.78, 95% CI = 1.00–7.70, p = 0.049), higher grade of VUR (high grade [IV–V] vs. none, adjusted OR = 15.17, 95% CI = 5.33–43.19, p<0.0001; low grade [I–III] vs. none, adjusted OR = 5.72, 95% CI = 2.43–13.45, p<0.0001), and higher number of UTI (≥2 vs. 0, adjusted OR = 3.21, 95% CI = 1.06–9.76, p = 0.039) were risk factors for renal scarring, whereas a younger age of VUR diagnosis (≥5 years vs. <1 year, adjusted HR = 0.16, 95% CI: 0.05–0.51, p = 0.002), renal scarring (yes vs. no, adjusted HR = 3.66, 95% CI: 1.32–10.16, p = 0.013), and APN (yes vs. no, adjusted HR = 3.10, 95% CI: 1.05–9.14, p = 0.041) were risk factors for developing chronic kidney disease stage 2 or higher.
Our findings expand on the current knowledge of risk factors for renal scarring and deteriorating renal function, and this information can be used to modify the management and treatment of VUR.
Mammography screening rates among Chinese American women have been reported to be low. This study examines whether and how culture views and language ability influence mammography adherence in this mostly immigrant population. Asymptomatic Chinese American women (n = 466) aged 50 and older, recruited from the Washington, D.C. area, completed a telephone interview. Regular mammography was defined as having two mammograms at age-appropriate recommended intervals. Cultural views were assessed by 30 items, and language ability measured women’s ability in reading, writing, speaking, and listening to English. After controlling for risk perception, worry, physician recommendation, family encouragement, and access barriers, women holding a more Chinese/Eastern cultural view were significantly less likely to have had regular mammograms than those having a Western cultural view. English ability was positively associated with mammography adherence. The authors’ results imply that culturally sensitive and language-appropriate educational interventions are likely to improve mammography adherence in this population.
breast cancer screening; culture; minority health
BGLF4 of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) encodes a serine/threonine protein kinase that phosphorylates multiple viral and cellular substrates to optimize the cellular environment for viral DNA replication and the nuclear egress of viral nucleocapsids. BGLF4 is expressed predominantly in the nucleus at early and late stages of virus replication, while a small portion of BGLF4 is distributed in the cytoplasm at the late stage of virus replication and packaged into the virion. Here, we analyzed systematically the functional domains crucial for nuclear localization of BGLF4 and found that both the N and C termini play important modulating roles. Analysis of amino acid substitution mutants revealed that the C terminus of BGLF4 does not contain a conventional nuclear localization signal (NLS). Additionally, deletion of the C-terminal putative helical regions at amino acids 386 to 393 and 410 to 419 diminished the nuclear translocation of BGLF4, indicating that the secondary structure of the C terminus is important for the localization of BGLF4. The green fluorescent protein-fused wild-type or C-terminal helical regions of BGLF4 associate with phenylalanine/glycine repeat-containing nucleoporins (Nups) in nuclear envelope fractionation. Both coimmunoprecipitation and in vitro pull-down assays further demonstrated that BGLF4 binds to Nup62 and Nup153. Remarkably, nuclear import assay with permeabilized HeLa cells demonstrated that BGLF4 translocated into nucleus independent of cytosolic factors. Data presented here suggest that BGLF4 employs a novel mechanism through direct interactions with nucleoporins for its nuclear targeting.
Many studies have indicated that most immigrant women come from underdeveloped countries, and this can have negative effects on their lives, children’s adaptation to school, and medical care utilization. However, there is insufficient literature about differences in infant caretaking, pre-postpartum health care, and health outcome between immigrant and native Taiwanese populations. The aim of this study was to investigate the differences between Southern Asia immigrants and Taiwanese women in their access to medical care, postnatal growth, and infant care throughout the first six months postpartum.
Comparative and descriptive designs were applied. Immigrant women were eligible if they visited three suburban settings of the Outpatient Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Outpatient Department of Pediatrics in Northern Taiwan during the period up to six months postpartum.
Immigrant women appeared to have a lower frequency of antenatal examinations and obtained less health information from health care providers. However, they did not differ significantly from native Taiwanese women in maternal body size, postnatal growth curves, exclusive breastfeeding rates or vaccination awareness at the 6th month postpartum.
Learning strengths from cultural differences between immigrant and native women and closing the gaps in health inequality are important issues. Despite the limitation of small sample size, the present findings can be used as references to help health care providers to develop further health policies in Taiwan.
Immigrant; Infant health; Women's health; Lactation; Maternal-child health
EBA is a rare, acquired, chronic subepidermal bullous disease of the skin and mucosa characterized by autoantibodies to type VII collagen structures, a major component of anchoring fibrils, that attach the epidermis onto the dermis. EBA patients have tissue-bound as well as circulating anti-type VII collagen autoantibodies that attack type VII collagen and result in a reduction or perturbation of normally functioning anchoring fibrils. Patients with EBA have skin fragility, blisters, erosions, scars, milia, and nail loss: all features reminiscent of genetic dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. These anti-type VII collagen antibodies are “pathogenic” because when injected into mice, the mice develop an EBA-like blistering disease. In addition to the classical mechanobullous presentation, EBA also has several other distinct clinical syndromes similar to bullous pemphigoid, Brunsting-Perry pemphigoid, or cicatricial pemphigoid. Although treatment for EBA is often unsatisfactory, some therapeutic success has been achieved with colchicine, dapsone, plasmaphoresis, photopheresis, infliximab, and intravenous immunoglobulin.
This study investigated the hypothesis that adherence to colon cancer screening guidelines among Chinese women was associated with Eastern cultural views and anxiety about developing colon cancer.
Cross-sectional data from a community-based longitudinal study were used to examine the hypothesis of this study. Measures of sociodemographics, medical access factors, cultural views of health care, cancer worry, and practices of colon cancer screening were administered by a computer assisted telephone interview.
Four hundred and thirty-three Chinese-American women from Metropolitan Washington, DC age 50 years and older and without a history of colon cancer completed the telephone interview.
Main Outcome Measure
Adherence to utilization of either fecal occult blood test (FOBT) within a year, sigmoidoscopy within five years, or colonoscopy within 10 years was used to define two outcome categories: current screeners and noncurrent screeners.
Controlling for covariates, this study found that: 1) women with more Eastern cultural views were less likely to be current screeners; 2) women who thought about the chance of getting colon cancer had approximately three-fold greater odds of being current screeners than women who never thought about colon cancer; and 3) women receiving physician recommendation for colon cancer screening had more than three-fold increased odds of being current screeners than those who had not received a recommendation.
In addition to the lack of physician recommendation, older Chinese women face cultural and psychological barriers to obtaining timely colon cancer screening. These barriers may be reduced through culturally sensitive intervention studies.
Cancer Worry; Chinese-American Women; Colon Cancer Screening; Colonoscopy; Cultural Views of Health Care; FOBT; Physician Recommendation; Sigmoidoscopy
Retinoic acid (RA) has been believed to be an anticancer drug for a long history. However, the molecular mechanisms of RA actions on cancer cells remain diverse. In this study, the dose-dependent inhibition of RA on DU145 cell proliferation was identified. Interestingly, RA treatment triggered p35 cleavage (p25 formation) and Cdk5 overactivation, and all could be blocked by Calpain inhibitor, Calpeptin (CP). Subsequently, RA-triggered DU145 apoptosis detected by sub-G1 phase accumulation and Annexin V staining could also be blocked by CP treatment. Furthermore, RA-triggered caspase 3 activation and following Cdk5 over-activation were destroyed by treatments of both CP and Cdk5 knockdown. In conclusion, we report a new mechanism in which RA could cause apoptosis of androgen-independent prostate cancer cells through p35 cleavage and Cdk5 over-activation. This finding may contribute to constructing a clearer image of RA function and bring RA as a valuable chemoprevention agent for prostate cancer patients.
Microglia-mediated inflammation is implicated in pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Oroxylin A, a flavonoid isolated from Scutellariae baicalensis, has been shown to ameliorate microglia activation-mediated neurodegeneration in vivo. The molecular mechanism underlying the inhibitory effects of oroxylin A on microglia activation, however, remains unknown. In the present study, effects of oroxylin A co-treated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 100 ng/ml) on LPS-induced activation of cultured microglial BV-2 cells were examined. Nitric oxide (NO) production was determined by Greiss method. Expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6 was assessed using real-time RT-PCR or Western blot analysis. Furthermore, activation of the nuclear factor κB (NFκB) and the signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) was examined by Western blot analysis and transcription factor DNA-binding activity assay. Our results indicated that oroxylin A (10–100 µM) in a concentration-dependent manner inhibited LPS-induced NO production via blocking iNOS expression at both mRNA and protein levels without affecting the degradation rate of iNOS mRNA. Moreover, oroxylin A significantly attenuated LPS-induced late expression (20 hours after LPS challenge) of IL-1β and IL-6. Furthermore, oroxylin A significantly suppressed LPS-induced JAK2-mediated STAT1 phosphorylation without affecting LPS-induced NFκB-p65 nuclear translocation or NFκB-p65 DNA-binding activity. This is consistent with the finding that AG490, a specific JAK2 inhibitor, significantly inhibited LPS-induced STAT1 phosphorylation with almost completely diminished iNOS expression. These results suggest that oroxylin A, via suppressing STAT1 phosphorylation, inhibits LPS-induced expression of pro-inflammatory genes in BV-2 microglial cells.
Background and Objective
Hyperdopaminergic signaling and an upregulated brain arachidonic acid (AA) cascade may contribute to bipolar disorder (BD). Lithium and carbamazepine, FDA-approved for the treatment of BD, attenuate brain dopaminergic D2-like (D2, D3, and D4) receptor signaling involving AA when given chronically to awake rats. We hypothesized that valproate (VPA), with mood-stabilizing properties, would also reduce the D2-like-mediated signaling via AA.
An acute dose of quinpirole (1 mg/kg) or saline was administered to unanesthetized rats that had been treated for 30 days with a therapeutically relevant dose of VPA (200 mg/kg/day) or vehicle. Regional brain AA incorporation coefficients, k*, and incorporation rates, Jin, markers of AA signaling and metabolism, were measured by quantitative autoradiography after intravenous [1-14C]AA infusion. Whole brain concentrations of prostaglandin (PG)E2 and thromboxane (TX)B2 also were measured.
Quinpirole compared to saline significantly increased k* in 40 of 83 brain regions, and increased brain concentrations of PGE2 in chronic vehicle-treated rats. VPA treatment by itself reduced concentrations of plasma unesterified AA and whole brain PGE2 and TXB2, and blocked the quinpirole-induced increments in k* and PGE2.
These results further support our hypothesis that similar to lithium and carbamazepine, VPA downregulates brain dopaminergic D2-like receptor-signaling involving AA.
arachidonic acid; phospholipase A2; valproate; D2-like receptor; quinpirole; bipolar disorder
To investigate the characteristics of ectopic automaticity and cation current (If) of cardiac myocytes from pulmonary vein sleeves (PVs) in canines with atrial fibrillation.
The canines (8–10 years old) were subjected to long-term, rapid atrial pacing (RAP) for 10 weeks, which induced the atrial fibrillation model. Disassociation of PVs of canines yielded single cardiac myocytes from a Landengorff column. Action potential, If and hyperpolarisation activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) currents were measured with the patch-clamp technique.
Compared with the control group, cardiac myocytes from the RAP canine PVs had spontaneous diastolic depolarization, shorter action potential duration, and larger If densities. In the group of RAP cells, the half maximal activation potential (V1/2) was found to be less negative (−105.5 ± 5.2 mV) compared to control cells (−87.3 ± 4.9 mV). Current densities of If were increased significantly by β-adrenergic receptor stimulation with isoproterenol and caused an acceleration of current activation. In contrast, If currents in the RAP were reduced by carvedilol, a selective beta-adrenergic receptor. Another important finding is that HCN4-based channels may make a significant contribution to If in PVs cells, but not HCN2. Meanwhile, HCN4 current significantly increases in canine PVs cardiac myocytes with RAP.
The spontaneous action potential and larger If current were observed in the PVs cardiac myocytes using RAP, which may contribute to more ectopic activity events to trigger and maintain atrial fibrillation.
Cation current; Cardiac myocytes; Canine; Atrial fibrillation; β-receptor
The mortality in septic patients with myocardial dysfunction is higher than those without it. Beneficial effects of flavonoid oroxylin A (Oro-A) on endotoxemic hearts were evaluated and compared with that of arginine vasopressin (AVP) which is used to reverse hypotension in septic patients. Endotoxemia in rats was induced by one-injection of lipopolysaccharides (LPS, 10 mg/kg, i.p.), and hearts were isolated 5-hrs or 16-hrs later. Isolated hearts with constant-pressure or constant-flow mode were examined by Langendorff technique. Rate and force of contractions of isolated atrial and ventricular strips were examined by tissue myography. Isolated endotoxemic hearts were characterized by decreased or increased coronary flow (CF) in LPS-treated-for-5hr and LPS-treated-for-16-hr groups, respectively, with decreased inotropy in both groups. Oro-A-perfusion ameliorated while AVP-perfusion worsened the decreased CF and inotropy in both preparations. Oro-A and AVP, however, did not affect diminished force or rate of contraction of atrial and ventricular strips of endotoxemic hearts. Oro-A-induced CF increase was not affected following coronary endothelium-denudation with saponin. These results suggest that Oro-A ameliorates LPS-depressed cardiac functions by increasing CF, leading to positive inotropy. In contrast, AVP aggravates cardiac dysfunction by decreasing CF. Oro-A is a potentially useful candidate for treating endotoxemia complicated with myocardial dysfunction.
HIV-1 transgenic (Tg) rats, a model for human HIV-1 associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND), show upregulated markers of brain arachidonic acid (AA) metabolism with neuroinflammation after 7 months of age. Since lithium decreases AA metabolism in a rat lipopolysaccharide model of neuroinflammation, and may be useful in HAND, we hypothesized that lithium would dampen upregulated brain AA metabolism in HIV-1 Tg rats.
Regional brain AA incorporation coefficients k* and rates Jin, markers of AA signaling and metabolism, were measured in 81 brain regions using quantitative autoradiography, after intravenous [1-14C] AA infusion in unanesthetized 10-month-old HIV-1 Tg and age-matched wildtype rats that had been fed a control or LiCl diet for 6 weeks.
k* and Jin for AA were significantly higher in HIV-1 Tg than wildtype rats fed the control diet. Lithium feeding reduced plasma unesterified AA concentration in both groups and Jin in wildtype rats, and blocked increments in k* (19 of 54 regions) and Jin (77 of 81 regions) in HIV-1 Tg rats.
These in vivo neuroimaging data indicate that lithium treatment dampened upregulated brain AA metabolism in HIV-1 Tg rats. Lithium may improve cognitive dysfunction and be neuroprotective in HIV-1 patients with HAND through a comparable effect.
HIV-1; lithium; arachidonic acid; brain imaging; phospholipase A2; metabolism
Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a common and sometimes fatal complication in pediatric intensive care units (PICU). The aim of our study was to characterize the distribution and drug susceptibility of the pathogens isolated from the sputum of patients with VAP in the PICU of our hospital and to provide support to the administration of antibiotics early and reasonably in the clinic. Our study was conducted between January 2007 and December 2011 at the PICU of the Children’s Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine. The endotracheal aspirates were collected and transported to a microbiology laboratory within 15 min. The pathogens were routinely analyzed and identified with Vitek 60 and Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion methods. Among the 121 VAP patients, 127 pathogenic strains were isolated from sputum specimens. Gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria and fungi accounted for 64.57% (82/127), 29.92% (38/127) and 5.51% (7/127), respectively. Acinetobacter baumannii (25.61%), Escherichia coli (20.27%), Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (20.27%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (16.22%) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (9.46%) were frequently identified isolates among gram-negative bacteria. Staphylococci were susceptible to vancomycin and linezolid. All fungi were sensitive to the antimicrobial agents. The gram-negative bacteria were more prevalent than gram-positive bacteria and fungi in VAP and demonstrated a higher drug resistance. It is important to administer antimicrobial agents early and reasonably for children with VAP. Knowledge of antibiotic resistance and the characteristics of drug resistance is important for VAP prophylaxis and treatment.
pediatric intensive care unit; ventilator associated pneumonia; sputum; drug susceptibility
Herpesviruses, which are major human pathogens, establish life-long persistent infections. Although the α-, β-, and γ-herpesviruses infect different tissues and cause distinct diseases, they each encode a conserved serine/threonine kinase critical for virus replication and spread. The extent of substrate conservation and the key common cell signalling pathways targeted by these kinases are unknown. Using a human protein microarray high-throughput approach we identify shared substrates of the conserved kinases from herpes simplex virus, human cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and Kaposi's sarcoma associated herpesvirus. DNA damage response (DDR) proteins were statistically enriched and the histone acetyltransferase TIP60, an upstream regulator of the DDR pathway, was required for efficient herpesvirus replication. During EBV replication, TIP60 activation by the BGLF4 kinase triggers EBV-induced DDR and also mediates induction of viral lytic gene expression. Identification of key cellular targets of the conserved herpesvirus kinases will facilitate the development of broadly effective anti-viral strategies.
Background and Purpose
Successful drug treatment for sepsis-related acute lung injury (ALI) remains a major clinical problem. This study was designed to assess the beneficial effects of post-treatment of oroxylin A (OroA), a flavonoid, in ameliorating lipopolysaccharides (LPS)-induced lung inflammation and fatality.
Rats were injected with LPS (10 mg/kg, iv) to induce ALI, and OroA was given (15 mg/kg, iv) 1 hr or 6 hrs after LPS challenge. Twenty four hrs after LPS challenge, biochemical changes in the blood and lung tissues, and morphological/histological alterations in the lung associated with inflammation and injury were examined. Therapeutic effect of OroA was assessed by measuring the survival rate in endotoxemic mice.
LPS (10 mg/kg, iv) significantly altered WBC counts, elevated plasma tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and nitric oxide (NO), increased pulmonary edema, thickened alveolar septa, and decreased survival rate. These changes were ameliorated by OroA (15 mg/kg, iv) administered 1 hr or 6 hrs after LPS challenge. This post-treatment also significantly attenuated LPS-induced activation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and the release of high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) in lung tissues. Furthermore, post-treatment with OroA (60 mg/kg, ip) administered 1 hr or 6 hrs after LPS challenge in mice significantly increased survival rate.
Conclusion and Implication
OroA administered after induction of ALI by LPS significantly prevent and revere lung tissues injuries with increased survival rate. Positive post-treatment effects of OroA suggest that OroA is a potentially useful candidate for managing lung inflammation in LPS-induced endotoxemia and septic shock.
The prevalence of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) colonization or infection in the hospital setting has increased globally. Many previous studies had analysed the risk factors for acquiring VRE, based on cross-sectional studies or prevalent cases. However, the actual incidence of and risk factors for VRE remain unclear. The present study was conducted in order to clarify the incidence of and risk factors for VRE in the intensive care unit (ICU). From 1st April 2008 to 31st March 2009, all patients admitted to a surgical ICU (SICU) were put on active surveillance for VRE. The surveillance cultures, obtained by rectal swab, were taken on admission, weekly while staying in the SICU, and on discharge from the SICU. A total of 871 patients were screened. Among them, 34 were found to carry VRE before their admission to the SICU, and 47 acquired VRE during their stay in the SICU, five of whom developed VRE infections. The incidence of newly acquired VRE during ICU stay was 21.9 per 1000 patient-days (95% confidence interval [CI], 16.4–29.1). Using multivariate analysis by logistic regression, we found that the length of ICU stay was an independent risk factor for new acquisition of VRE. In contrast, patients with prior exposure to first-generation cephalosporin were significantly less likely to acquire VRE. Strategies to reduce the duration of ICU stay and prudent usage of broad-spectrum antibiotics are the keys to controlling VRE transmission.
MALT1 belongs to a family of paracaspase and modulates NF-κB signaling pathways through its scaffolding function and proteolytic activity. MALT1 cleaves protein substrates after a positively charged Arginine residue. BCL10, a 233 amino acids polypeptide, is identified as one of the MALT1 proteolytic substrates. MALT1 cleaves BCL10 at the C-terminal end of Arg228. A mere 5 amino acids difference between the substrate and the proteolytic product made it difficult to tell whether the cleavage event took place by using a simple western blot analysis. Here, BCL10GFP was constructed and utilized to examine the specificity and domain determinants for MALT1 cleavage in cells.
Various BCL10GFP constructs were transfected into HEK293T cell with MALT1 construct by using calcium phosphate-DNA precipitation method. Lysates of transfectants were resolved by SDS/PAGE and analyzed by western blot analysis.
BCL10GFP was proteolytically processed by MALT1 as BCL10. The integrity of caspase recruitment domain (CARD) and MALT1-interacting domain on BCL10 were required for MALT1 proteolytic activity. Besides the invariant P1 cleavage site Arg228, P4 Leu225 played a role in defining BCL10 as a good substrate for MALT1.
We offered a way of monitoring the catalytic activity of MALT1 in HEK293T cells using BCL10GFP as a substrate. BCL10GFP can be utilized as a convenient tool for studying the determinants for efficient MALT1 cleavage in HEK293T cells
Paracaspase; MALT1; BCL10GFP; In vivo; Processing
Zerumbone, a sesquiterpene compound isolated from subtropical ginger, Zingiber zerumbet Smith, has been documented to exert antitumoral and anti- inflammatory activities. In this study, we demonstrate that zerumbone induces apoptosis in human glioblastoma multiforme (GBM8401) cells and investigate the apoptotic mechanism.
We added a caspase inhibitor and transfected wild-type (WT) IKK and Akt into GBM 8401 cells, and measured cell viability and apoptosis by MTT assay and flow cytometry. By western blotting, we evaluated activation of caspase-3, dephosphorylation of IKK, Akt, FOXO1 with time, and change of IKK, Akt, and FOXO1 phosphorylation after transfection of WT IKK and Akt.
Zerumbone (10∽50 μM) induced death of GBM8401 cells in a dose-dependent manner. Flow cytometry studies showed that zerumbone increased the percentage of apoptotic GBM cells. Zerumbone also caused caspase-3 activation and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) production. N-benzyloxycarbonyl -Val-Ala-Asp- fluoromethylketone (zVAD-fmk), a broad-spectrum caspase inhibitor, hindered zerumbone-induced cell death. Transfection of GBM 8401 cells with WT IKKα inhibited zerumbone-induced apoptosis, and zerumbone significantly decreased IKKα phosphorylation levels in a time-dependent manner. Similarly, transfection of GBM8401 cells with Akt suppressed zerumbone-induced apoptosis, and zerumbone also diminished Akt phosphorylation levels remarkably and time-dependently. Moreover, transfection of GBM8401 cells with WT IKKα reduced the zerumbone-induced decrease in Akt and FOXO1 phosphorylation. However, transfection with WT Akt decreased FOXO1, but not IKKα, phosphorylation.
The results suggest that inactivation of IKKα, followed by Akt and FOXO1 phosphorylation and caspase-3 activation, contributes to zerumbone-induced GBM cell apoptosis.
Zerumbone; IKK; Akt; FOXO1; Glioblastoma multiforme
Dopamine transporter (DAT) homozygous knockout (DAT−/−) mice have a 10-fold higher extracellular DA concentration in the caudate-putamen and nucleus accumbens than do wildtype (DAT+/+) mice, but show reduced presynaptic DA synthesis and fewer postsynaptic D2 receptors. One aspect of neurotransmission involves DA binding to postsynaptic D2-like receptors coupled to cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2), releasing second messenger arachidonic acid (AA) from synaptic membrane phospholipid. We hypothesized that tonic overactivation of D2-like receptors in DAT−/− mice due to elevated DA would not increase brain AA signaling, because of compensatory downregulation of postsynaptic signaling mechanisms.
[1-14C]AA was infused intravenously for 3 min in unanesthetized DAT+/+, heterozygous (DAT+/−) and DAT−/− mice. AA incorporation coefficients k* and rates Jin, markers of AA metabolism and signaling, were imaged in 83 brain regions using quantitative autoradiography brain cPLA2-IV activity also was measured.
Neither k* nor Jin for AA in any brain region, or in brain cPLA2-IV activity, differed significantly between DAT−/−, DAT+/− and DAT+/+ mice.
These results differ from reported increases in k* and Jin for AA, and brain cPLA2 expression, in serotonin reuptake transporter (5-HTT) knockout mice, and suggest that postsynaptic dopaminergic neurotransmission mechanisms involving AA are downregulated despite elevated DA in DAT−/− mice.
arachidonic acid; phospholipase A2; dopamine; dopamine transporter; knockout; mouse
We address a novel problem domain in the analysis of optical coherence tomography (OCT) images: the diagnosis of multiple macular pathologies in retinal OCT images. The goal is to identify the presence of normal macula and each of three types of macular pathologies, namely, macular edema, macular hole, and age-related macular degeneration, in the OCT slice centered at the fovea. We use a machine learning approach based on global image descriptors formed from a multi-scale spatial pyramid. Our local features are dimension-reduced Local Binary Pattern histograms, which are capable of encoding texture and shape information in retinal OCT images and their edge maps, respectively. Our representation operates at multiple spatial scales and granularities, leading to robust performance. We use 2-class Support Vector Machine classifiers to identify the presence of normal macula and each of the three pathologies. To further discriminate sub-types within a pathology, we also build a classifier to differentiate full-thickness holes from pseudo-holes within the macular hole category. We conduct extensive experiments on a large dataset of 326 OCT scans from 136 subjects. The results show that the proposed method is very effective (all AUC > 0.93).
computer-aided diagnosis (CAD); optical coherence tomography (OCT); macular pathology; multi-scale spatial pyramid (MSSP); local binary patterns (LBP); principle component analysis (PCA); Support Vector Machine (SVM)
When skin is wounded, migration of epidermal keratinocytes at the wound edge initiates within hours, whereas migration of dermal fibroblasts toward the wounded area remains undetectable until several days later. This “cell type traffic” regulation ensures proper healing of the wound, as disruptions of the regulation could either cause delay of wound healing or result in hypertrophic scars. TGFβ3 is the critical traffic controller that selectively halts migration of the dermal, but not epidermal, cells to ensure completion of wound re-epithelialization prior to wound remodeling. However, the mechanism of TGFβ3's anti-motility signaling has never been investigated. We report here that activated TβRII transmits the anti-motility signal of TGFβ3 in full to TβRI, since expression of the constitutively activated TβRI-TD mutant was sufficient to replace TGFβ3 to block PDGF-bb-induced dermal fibroblast migration. Second, the three components of R-Smad complex are all required. Individual downregulation of Smad2, Smad3 or Smad4 prevented TGFβ3 from inhibiting dermal fibroblast migration. Third, Protein Kinase Array allowed us to identify the protein kinase A (PKA) as a specific downstream effector of R-Smads in dermal fibroblasts. Activation of PKA alone blocked PDGF-bb-induced dermal fibroblast migration, just like TGFβ3. Downregulation of PKA's catalytic subunit nullified the anti-motility signaling of TGFβ3. This is the first report on anti-motility signaling mechanism by TGFβ family cytokines. Significance of this finding is not only limited to wound healing but also to other human disorders, such as heart attack and cancer, where the diseased cells have often managed to avoid the anti-motility effect of TGFβ.
TGFβ3; Anti-motility; PKA; Cell migration; Wound healing
The cellular endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) machinery participates in membrane scission and cytoplasmic budding of many RNA viruses. Here, we found that expression of dominant negative ESCRT proteins caused a blockade of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) release and retention of viral BFRF1 at the nuclear envelope. The ESCRT adaptor protein Alix was redistributed and partially colocalized with BFRF1 at the nuclear rim of virus replicating cells. Following transient transfection, BFRF1 associated with ESCRT proteins, reorganized the nuclear membrane and induced perinuclear vesicle formation. Multiple domains within BFRF1 mediated vesicle formation and Alix recruitment, whereas both Bro and PRR domains of Alix interacted with BFRF1. Inhibition of ESCRT machinery abolished BFRF1-induced vesicle formation, leading to the accumulation of viral DNA and capsid proteins in the nucleus of EBV-replicating cells. Overall, data here suggest that BFRF1 recruits the ESCRT components to modulate nuclear envelope for the nuclear egress of EBV.
Herpesviruses are large DNA viruses associated with human and animal diseases. After viral DNA replication, the herpesviral nucleocapsids egress through the nuclear membrane for subsequent cytoplasmic virion maturation. However, the mechanism by which the virus regulates the nuclear membrane and cellular machinery involved in this process remained elusive. The cellular endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) machinery is known to participate in the biogenesis of multivesicular bodies, cytokinesis and the release of enveloped viruses from cytoplasmic membranes. Here, we show that functional ESCRT machinery is required for the maturation of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). ESCRT proteins are redistributed close to the nucleus-associated membrane through interaction with the viral BFRF1 protein, leading to vesicle formation and structural changes of the nuclear membrane. Remarkably, inhibition of ESCRT machinery abolishes BFRF1-induced vesicle formation, and leads to the accumulation of viral DNA and capsid proteins in the nucleus. Specific interactions between BFRF1 and Alix are required for BFRF1-derived vesicle formation and crucial for the nuclear egress of EBV.
We address a novel problem domain in the analysis of optical coherence tomography (OCT) images: the diagnosis of multiple macular pathologies in retinal OCT images. The goal is to identify the presence of normal macula and each of three types of macular pathologies, namely, macular hole, macular edema, and age-related macular degeneration, in the OCT slice centered at the fovea. We use a machine learning approach based on global image descriptors formed from a multi-scale spatial pyramid. Our local descriptors are dimension-reduced Local Binary Pattern histograms, which are capable of encoding texture information from OCT images of the retina. Our representation operates at multiple spatial scales and granularities, leading to robust performance. We use 2-class Support Vector Machine classifiers to identify the presence of normal macula and each of the three pathologies. We conducted extensive experiments on a large dataset consisting of 326 OCT scans from 136 patients. The results show that the proposed method is very effective.
Small hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) affects millions of individuals worldwide. Surveillance of high-risk patients increases the early detection of small HCC.
To identify prognostic factors affecting the overall survival (OS) and recurrence-free survival (RFS) of patients with small HCC.
The present prospective study enrolled 140 Taiwanese patients with stage I or stage II small HCC. Clinical parameters of interest included operation type, tumour size, tumour histology, Child-Pugh class, presence of hepatitis B surface antigen and liver cirrhosis, hepatitis C status, alpha-fetoprotein, total bilirubin and serum albumin levels, and administration of antiviral and salvage therapies.
Tumour size correlated significantly with poorer OS in patients with stage I small HCC (P=0.014); however, patients with stage II small HCC experienced a significantly poorer RFS (P=0.033). OS rates did not differ significantly between patients with stage I and stage II small HCC. Tumour margins, tumour histology and cirrhosis did not significantly affect OS or RFS (P>0.05).
Increasing tumour size has generally been associated with poorer prognoses in cases of HCC. The present study verified the relationship between small HCC tumour size and OS; however, a reduction in OS with increasing tumour size was demonstrated for patients with stage I – but not for stage II – small HCC.
Patients with stage II small HCC may benefit from aggressive surveillance for tumour recurrence and appropriate salvage treatment. Further studies are needed for additional stratification of stage I patients to identify those at increased risk of death.
Prognosis; Small hepatocellular carcinoma; Tumour size
Regulatory approaches for evaluating therapeutic equivalence of multisource (or generic) drug products vary among different countries and/or regions. Harmonization of these approaches may decrease the number of in vivo bioequivalence studies and avoid unnecessary drug exposure to humans. Global harmonization for regulatory requirements may be promoted by a better understanding of factors underlying product performance and expectations from different regulatory authorities. This workshop provided an opportunity for pharmaceutical scientists from academia, industry and regulatory agencies to have open discussions on current regulatory issues and industry practices, facilitating harmonization of regulatory approaches for establishing therapeutic equivalence and interchangeability of multisource drug products.
bioequivalence; harmonization; interchangeability; regulatory standards; therapeutic equivalence