The immune function test is an integrated measure of total mitogen-inducible CD4+ T cell metabolic activity in the peripheral blood, and it is used to guide the dosing of immunosuppressive medications after solid organ transplantation. Recently, low CD4+ T cell metabolic activity due to pharmacologic immunosuppression has been linked to rapidly progressive cirrhosis in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected liver transplant recipients. We speculate that either cirrhosis or HCV might adversely affect the CD4+ T cell reactivity even in the absence of immunosuppressive medications. We thus performed this assay on a cohort of untransplanted hepatology patients who were not taking immunomodulatory drugs. Low mitogen-stimulated CD4+ T cell metabolic reactivity was more commonly seen in untransplanted patients with HCV cirrhosis or with cirrhosis due to other causes but not in control patients or in those with chronic HCV in the absence of cirrhosis. The lowest mean CD4+ T cell reactivities were seen in patients with both cirrhosis and HCV. Caution should be exercised when immune function test results are used to guide immunomodulatory therapy in transplant recipients with suspected cirrhosis, as low immune function test results may be a consequence of hepatic cirrhosis or of pharmacologic immunosuppression.
Presence of heavy metals in agriculture soils above the permissible limit poses threats to public health. In this study, concentrations of seven metals were determined in agricultural soils from Yuhang county, Zhejiang, China. Multivariate statistical approaches were used to study the variation of metals in soils during summer and winter seasons. Contamination of soils was evaluated on the basis of enrichment factor (EF), geoaccumulation index (Igeo), contamination factor (Cf), and degree of contamination (Cdeg). Heavy metal concentrations were observed higher in winter as compared to summer season. Cr and Cd revealed random distribution with diverse correlations in both seasons. Principal component analysis and cluster analysis showed significant anthropogenic intrusions of Zn, Cd, Pb, Cr, and Cu in the soils. Enrichment factor revealed significant enrichment (EF > 5) of Zn, Cd, and Pb, whereas geoaccumulation index and contamination factor exhibited moderate to high contamination for Zn, Cr, Cd, and Pb. In light of the studied parameters, permissible limit to very high degree of contamination (Cdeg > 16) was observed in both seasons.
In this retrospective study, we evaluated the treatment effect of ankle joint fracture surgery involving the posterior malleolus, and discuss relevant factors influencing the occurrence of traumatic arthritis of the ankle joint.
A total of 102 cases of ankle joint fractures involving the posterior malleolus in five large-scale skeletal trauma centres in China, from January 2000 to July 2009, were retrospectively analysed in terms of surgical treatment and complete follow-up. Ankle joint mobility, posterior malleolus fragment size, articular surface evenness, Ankle-Hindfoot Scale of the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) score, and imaging scale score for arthritis were recorded. The degree of fracture pain during rest, active movement, and weight-bearing walking, and satisfaction with treatment were evaluated using a visual analogue scale (VAS).
The average AOFAS score was 95.9, excellence rate was 92.2 %, and average VAS scores for degree of fracture pain during rest, active movement, and weight-bearing walking were 0.15, 0.31, and 0.68, respectively. Thirty-six cases showed arthritic manifestations. Ankle joint mobility along all directions on the injured side was lower than that on the unaffected side. There was no obvious difference in treatment effect between the fixed and unfixed posterior malleolus fragment groups for all and for fragment size of <25 %; between fixing the posterior malleolus fragment from front to back or from back to front; or between elderly patients (≥60 years old) and young patients (<60 years old). There was a distinct difference in the treatment effect between articular surface evenness and unevenness for all and for fragment size of ≥25 %.
For all 102 cases of ankle joint fracture involving the posterior malleolus, the treatment effect was satisfactory. Restoration of an even articular surface, especially when fragment size ≥25 %, should be attempted during treatment.
Cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF) is a recently discovered protein, which belongs to the evolutionarily conserved CDNF/MANF family of neurotrophic factors. CDNF has been shown to promote the survival of midbrain dopamine neurons in vivo. The degeneration of dopamine neurons following 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) -treatment is well characterized and efficacy in this model is considered a standard criterion for development of parkinsonian therapies. MPTP is a neurotoxin, which produces parkinsonian symptoms in humans, and in C57/Bl6 mice. To date, there are no reports about the effects of CDNF on dopamine neuron survival or function in the MPTP rodent model, a critical gap. Therefore, we studied whether CDNF has neuroprotective and neurorestorative properties for the nigrostriatal dopamine system after MPTP injections in C57/Bl6 mice. We found that bilateral striatal CDNF injections, given 20-h before MPTP, improved horizontal and vertical motor behavior. CDNF pre-treatment increased tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-immunoreactivity in the striatum and in the substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNpr), as well as the number of TH-positive cells in substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc). Post-treatment with CDNF, given 1 week after MPTP injections, increased horizontal and vertical behavior of mice, as well as dopamine fiber densities in the striatum and the number of TH-positive cells in SNpc. CDNF did not alter any of the analyzed dopaminergic biomarkers or locomotor behavior in MPTP-untreated animals. We conclude that striatal CDNF administration is both neuroprotective and neurorestorative for the TH-positive cells in the nigrostriatal dopamine system in the MPTP model, which supports the development of CDNF-based treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
CDNF; MANF; MPTP; Parkinson’s disease
Major depression and schizophrenia are two of the most serious psychiatric disorders and share similar behavioral symptoms. Whether these similar behavioral symptoms underlie any convergent psychiatric pathological mechanisms is not yet clear. To address this issue, this study sought to investigate the whole-brain resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of major depression and schizophrenia by using multivariate pattern analysis. Thirty-two schizophrenic patients, 19 major depressive disorder patients and 38 healthy controls underwent resting-state functional MRI scanning. A support vector machine in conjunction with intrinsic discriminant analysis was used to solve the multi-classification problem, resulting in a correct classification rate of 80.9% via leave-one-out cross-validation. The depression and schizophrenia groups both showed altered functional connections associated with the medial prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, thalamus, hippocampus, and cerebellum. However, the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and temporal poles were found to be affected differently by major depression and schizophrenia. Our preliminary study suggests that altered connections within or across the default mode network and the cerebellum may account for the common behavioral symptoms between major depression and schizophrenia. In addition, connections associated with the prefrontal cortex and the affective network showed promise as biomarkers for discriminating between the two disorders.
α4βδ GABAA receptors (GABARs) have low CNS expression, but their expression is increased by 48 h exposure to the neurosteroid THP (3α-OH-5α[β]-pregnan-20-one). THP also increases the efficacy of δ-containing GABARs acutely, where GABA is a partial agonist. Thus, we examined effects of THP (100 nM) and full GABA agonists at α4β2δ (gaboxadol, 10 μM, and β-alanine, 10 μM – 1 mM), on surface expression of α4β2δ. To this end, we used an α4 construct tagged with a 3XFLAG (F) epitope or measured expression of native α4 and δ. HEK-293 cells or cultured hippocampal neurons were transfected with α4Fβ2δ and treated 24 h later with GABA agonists, THP, GABA plus THP or vehicle (0.01% DMSO) for 0.5 h – 48 h. Immunocytochemistry was performed under both non-permeabilized and permeabilized conditions to detect surface and intracellular labeling, respectively, using confocal microscopy. The high efficacy agonists and GABA (1 or 10μM) plus THP increased α4β2δ surface expression up to 3-fold after 48 h, an effect first seen by 0.5 h. This effect was not dependent upon the polarity of GABAergic current, although expression was increased by KCC2. Intracellular labeling was decreased while functional expression was confirmed by whole cell patch clamp recordings of responses to GABA agonists. GABA plus THP treatment did not alter the rate of receptor removal from the surface membrane, suggesting that THP-induced α4β2δ expression is likely via receptor insertion. Surface expression of α4β2δ was decreased by rottlerin (10 μM), suggesting a role for PKC- δ. These results suggest that trafficking of α4β2δ GABARs is regulated by high efficacy states.
α4; δ; GABAA receptor; trafficking; pregnanolone; β-alanine; KCC2
Atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and brain NP (BNP) belong to the NP family that regulates mammalian blood volume and blood pressure. ANP signaling through NP receptor A (NPR-A)/cyclic guanosine 3′5′-monophosphate (cGMP)/ cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) activates various downstream effectors involved in cell growth, apoptosis, proliferation and inflammation. Evidence has shown the critical role of plasma K+ channels in the regulation of tumor cell proliferation. However, the role of ANP in the proliferation of gastric cancer cells is not clear. In the present study, the expression of NPR-A in the human gastric cancer cell line, AGS, and the effect of ANP on the proliferation of AGS cells were investigated using western blotting, immunofluorescence, qPCR and patch clamp assays. The K+ current was also analyzed in the effect of ANP on the proliferation of AGS cells. NPR-A was expressed in the human gastric cancer AGS cell line. Lower concentrations of ANP promoted the proliferation of the AGS cells, although higher concentrations decreased their proliferation. Significant increases in the levels of cGMP activity were observed in the AGS cells treated with 10−10, 10−9 and 10−8 M ANP compared with the controls, but no significant differences were observed in the 10−7 and 10−6 M ANP groups. The patch clamp results showed that 10−9 M ANP significantly increased the tetraethylammonium (TEA)- and 293B-sensitive K+ current, while 10−6 M ANP significantly decreased the TEA- and 293B-sensitive K+ current. The results showed that 10−10 and 10−9 M ANP significantly upregulated the expression of potassium voltage-gated channel, KQT-like subfamily, member 1 (KCNQ1) at the protein and mRNA levels, although 10−7 and 10−6 M ANP significantly downregulated the expression of KCNQ1. The data indicated that lower and higher concentrations of ANP have opposite effects on the proliferation of AGS cells through cGMP-dependent or -independent pathways. KCNQ1 upregulation and downregulation by lower and higher concentrations of ANP, respectively, have separate effects on the promotion and inhibition of proliferation.
atrial natriuretic peptide; KCNQ1; proliferation; gastric cancer
We report a draft genome sequence of Dickeya zeae strain MS1, which is the causative agent of banana soft rot in China, and we show several of its specific properties compared with those of other D. zeae strains. Genome sequencing provides a tool for understanding the genomic determination of the pathogenicity and phylogeny placement of this pathogen.
Methamphetamine is a commonly abused drug and dopaminergic neurotoxin. Repeated administration of high doses of methamphetamine induces programmed cell death, suppression of dopamine release, and reduction in locomotor activity. Previous studies have shown that pretreatment with Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor gamma (PPARγ) agonist reduced Methamphetamine -induced neurodegeneration.
The purpose of this study was to examine the role of endogenous PPARγ in protecting against methamphetamine toxicity.
Adeno-associated virus (AAV) encoding the Cre recombinase gene was unilaterally injected into the left substantia nigra of loxP-PPARγ or control wild type mice. Animals were treated with high doses of methamphetamine 1-month after viral injection. Behavioral tests were examined using Rotarod and rotometer. In vivo voltammetry was used to examine dopamine release/clearance and at 2 months after methamphetamine injection.
Administration of AAV-Cre selectively removed PPARγ in left nigra in loxP-PPARγ mice but not in the wild type mice. The loxP-PPARγ/AAV-Cre mice that received methamphetamine showed a significant reduction in time on the rotarod and exhibited increased ipislateral rotation using a rotometer. The peak of dopamine release induced by local application of KCl and the rate of dopamine clearance were significantly attenuated in the left striatum of loxP-PPARγ/AAV-Cre animals. Tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity was reduced in the left, compared to right, nigra and dorsal striatum in loxP-PPARγ/AAV-Cre mice receiving high doses of methamphetamine.
A deficiency in PPARγ increases vulnerability to high doses of methamphetamine. Endogenous PPARγ may play an important role in reducing methamphetamine toxicity in vivo.
Lignocellulosic biomass is one of the most promising renewable and clean energy resources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels. However, the resistance to accessibility of sugars embedded in plant cell walls (so-called recalcitrance) is a major barrier to economically viable cellulosic ethanol production. A recent report from the US National Academy of Sciences indicated that, “absent technological breakthroughs”, it was unlikely that the US would meet the congressionally mandated renewable fuel standard of 35 billion gallons of ethanol-equivalent biofuels plus 1 billion gallons of biodiesel by 2022. We here describe the properties of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) biomass that has been genetically engineered to increase the cellulosic ethanol yield by more than 2-fold.
We have increased the cellulosic ethanol yield from switchgrass by 2.6-fold through overexpression of the transcription factor PvMYB4. This strategy reduces carbon deposition into lignin and phenolic fermentation inhibitors while maintaining the availability of potentially fermentable soluble sugars and pectic polysaccharides. Detailed biomass characterization analyses revealed that the levels and nature of phenolic acids embedded in the cell-wall, the lignin content and polymer size, lignin internal linkage levels, linkages between lignin and xylans/pectins, and levels of wall-bound fucose are all altered in PvMYB4-OX lines. Genetically engineered PvMYB4-OX switchgrass therefore provides a novel system for further understanding cell wall recalcitrance.
Our results have demonstrated that overexpression of PvMYB4, a general transcriptional repressor of the phenylpropanoid/lignin biosynthesis pathway, can lead to very high yield ethanol production through dramatic reduction of recalcitrance. MYB4-OX switchgrass is an excellent model system for understanding recalcitrance, and provides new germplasm for developing switchgrass cultivars as biomass feedstocks for biofuel production.
Switchgrass; Bioenergy; Biofuel; Feedstock; Cellulosic ethanol; PvMYB4; Transcription factor; Cell wall; Recalcitrance; Lignin; Hemicellulose; Pectin
Increased plasmalemmal localization of α4βδ GABAA receptors (GABARs) occurs in the hippocampal pyramidal cells of female mice at pubertal onset (Shen et al., 2010). This increase occurs on both dendritic spines and shafts of CA1 pyramidal cells and is in response to hormone fluctuations that occur at pubertal onset. However, little is known about how the α4 and δ subunits individually mediate the formation of functional, plasmalemmal α4βδ GABARs. To determine whether expression of the α4 subunit is necessary for plasmalemmal δ subunit localization at pubertal onset, electron microscopic-immunocytochemistry (EM-ICC) was employed. CA1 pyramidal cells of female α4 knockout (KO) mice were tested for plasmalemmal levels of the δ subunit within dendritic spine and shaft profiles at the onset of puberty. EM-ICC revealed that the α4 and δ subunits localize on dendritic spines and shafts at sites extrasynaptic to GABAergic input at pubertal onset in tissue of wild-type (WT) mice. At pubertal onset, plasmalemmal localization of the δ subunit is reduced 45.9% on dendritic spines, and 56.7% on dendritic shafts with KO of the α4 subunit, as compared to WT tissue, yet levels of intracellular δ immunoreactivity remain unchanged. The decline in plasmalemmal localization is manifested as decreased responsiveness to the GABA agonist gaboxadol at concentrations that are selective for δ-containing GABARs. Additionally, α4 KO mice have larger dendritic spine and shaft profiles. Our findings demonstrate that α4 subunit expression strongly influences the pubertal increase of δ subunits at the plasma membrane, and that genetic deletion of α4 serves as a functional knock-down of δ-containing GABARs.
Puberty; GABA type A receptor; THP; tonic inhibition; alpha 4; delta; allopregnanolone
Whole genome sequencing studies are essential to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the vast pattern of human genomic variations. Here we report the results of a high-coverage whole genome sequencing study for 44 unrelated healthy Caucasian adults, each sequenced to over 50-fold coverage (averaging 65.8×). We identified approximately 11 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), 2.8 million short insertions and deletions, and over 500,000 block substitutions. We showed that, although previous studies, including the 1000 Genomes Project Phase 1 study, have catalogued the vast majority of common SNPs, many of the low-frequency and rare variants remain undiscovered. For instance, approximately 1.4 million SNPs and 1.3 million short indels that we found were novel to both the dbSNP and the 1000 Genomes Project Phase 1 data sets, and the majority of which (∼96%) have a minor allele frequency less than 5%. On average, each individual genome carried ∼3.3 million SNPs and ∼492,000 indels/block substitutions, including approximately 179 variants that were predicted to cause loss of function of the gene products. Moreover, each individual genome carried an average of 44 such loss-of-function variants in a homozygous state, which would completely “knock out” the corresponding genes. Across all the 44 genomes, a total of 182 genes were “knocked-out” in at least one individual genome, among which 46 genes were “knocked out” in over 30% of our samples, suggesting that a number of genes are commonly “knocked-out” in general populations. Gene ontology analysis suggested that these commonly “knocked-out” genes are enriched in biological process related to antigen processing and immune response. Our results contribute towards a comprehensive characterization of human genomic variation, especially for less-common and rare variants, and provide an invaluable resource for future genetic studies of human variation and diseases.
Femoral neck geometric parameters (FNGPs), which include cortical thickness (CT), periosteal diameter (W), buckling ratio (BR), cross-sectional area (CSA), and section modulus (Z), contribute to bone strength and may predict hip fracture risk. Age at menarche (AAM) is an important risk factor for osteoporosis and bone fractures in women. Some FNGPs are genetically correlated with AAM. In this study, we performed a bivariate genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify new candidate genes responsible for both FNGPs and AAM. In the discovery stage, we tested 760,794 SNPs in 1,728 unrelated Caucasian subject, followed by replication analyses in independent samples of US Caucasians (with 501 subjects) and Chinese (with 826 subjects). We found six SNPs that were associated with FNGPs and AAM. These SNPs are located in three genes (i.e. NRCAM, IDS and LOC148145), suggesting these three genes may co-regulate FNGPs and AAM. Our findings may help improve the understanding of genetic architecture and pathophysiological mechanisms underlying both osteoporosis and AAM.
The interleukin-23 (IL-23) pathway plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of multiple chronic inflammatory disorders, however, inter-individual variability in IL-23-induced signal transduction in circulating human lymphocytes has not been well-defined. In this study, we observed marked, reproducible inter-individual differences in IL-23 responsiveness (measured by STAT3 phosphorylation) in peripheral blood CD8+CD45RO+ memory T and CD3+CD56+ NKT cells. Age, but not gender, was a significant (Pearson’s correlation coefficient, r = −0.37, p = 0.001) source of variability observed in CD8+CD45RO+ memory T cells, with IL-23 responsiveness gradually decreasing with increasing age. Relative to cells from individuals demonstrating low responsiveness to IL-23 stimulation, CD8+CD45RO+ memory T cells from individuals demonstrating high responsiveness to IL-23 stimulation showed increased gene expression for IL-23 receptor (IL-23R), RORC (RORγt) and CD161 (KLRB1), whereas RORA (RORα) and STAT3 expression were equivalent. Similar to CD4+ memory T cells, IL-23 responsiveness is confined to the CD161+ subset in CD8+CD45RO+ memory T cells, suggesting a similar CD161+ precursor as has been reported for CD4+ Th17 cells. We observed a very strong positive correlation between IL-23 responsiveness and the fraction of CD161+, CD8+CD45RO+ memory T cells (r = 0.80, p<0.001). Moreover, the fraction of CD161+, CD8+CD45RO+ memory T cells gradually decreases with aging (r = −0.34, p = 0.05). Our data define the inter-individual differences in IL-23 responsiveness in peripheral blood lymphocytes from the general population. Variable expression of CD161, IL-23R and RORC affects IL-23 responsiveness and contributes to the inter-individual susceptibility to IL-23-mediated defenses and inflammatory processes.
LIV-1, a zinc transporter, is a mediator downstream of STAT3 both in zebrafish and mammalian cells, and is involved in epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Despite LIV-1 participates in cancer growth and metastasis, little is known about the association of LIV-1 with human liver cancer development. Therefore, the expression of LIV-1 mRNA was analyzed by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in 4 cultured cell lines (3 carcinoma and 1 normal liver cell lines), and the localization of LIV-1 protein was investigated by immunohistochemistry. Expression of LIV-1 protein was analyzed by Western blot both in 4 cultured cell lines and 120 liver tissues (100 carcinoma and 20 histologically normal tissues), and the relationship between its expression and clinicopathological finding was investigated in 100 hepatocellular carcinoma(HCC) tissues. Then stable siRNA expressing Hep-G2 cells were generated to assess the function of LIV-1 in liver cancer cells. We found that LIV-1 mRNA was more highly expressed in liver cancer cell lines compared to normal liver cell line. Western blot showed the expression of LIV-1 was higher in 61% liver carcinoma tissues than that in normal liver tissues. Down-regulated LIV-1 cells showed significant inhibition of proliferation in vitro and reduction of tumor growth in vivo. Furthermore, E-cadherin expression increased in LIV-1 siRNA expressing Hep-G2. These findings indicated that LIV-1 may induce the EMT in HCC cells.
Recently, a growing number of neuroimaging studies have begun to investigate the brains of schizophrenic patients and their healthy siblings to identify heritable biomarkers of this complex disorder. The objective of this study was to use multiclass pattern analysis to investigate the inheritable characters of schizophrenia at the individual level, by comparing whole-brain resting-state functional connectivity of patients with schizophrenia to their healthy siblings.
Twenty-four schizophrenic patients, twenty-five healthy siblings and twenty-two matched healthy controls underwent the resting-state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (rs-fMRI) scanning. A linear support vector machine along with principal component analysis was used to solve the multi-classification problem. By reconstructing the functional connectivities with high discriminative power, three types of functional connectivity-based signatures were identified: (i) state connectivity patterns, which characterize the nature of disruption in the brain network of patients with schizophrenia; (ii) trait connectivity patterns, reflecting shared connectivities of dysfunction in patients with schizophrenia and their healthy siblings, thereby providing a possible neuroendophenotype and revealing the genetic vulnerability to develop schizophrenia; and (iii) compensatory connectivity patterns, which underlie special brain connectivities by which healthy siblings might compensate for an increased genetic risk for developing schizophrenia.
Our multiclass pattern analysis achieved 62.0% accuracy via leave-one-out cross-validation (p < 0.001). The identified state patterns related to the default mode network, the executive control network and the cerebellum. For the trait patterns, functional connectivities between the cerebellum and the prefrontal lobe, the middle temporal gyrus, the thalamus and the middle temporal poles were identified. Connectivities among the right precuneus, the left middle temporal gyrus, the left angular and the left rectus, as well as connectivities between the cingulate cortex and the left rectus showed higher discriminative power in the compensatory patterns.
Based on our experimental results, we saw some indication of differences in functional connectivity patterns in the healthy siblings of schizophrenic patients compared to other healthy individuals who have no relations with the patients. Our preliminary investigation suggested that the use of resting-state functional connectivities as classification features to discriminate among schizophrenic patients, their healthy siblings and healthy controls is meaningful.
Schizophrenia; Healthy siblings; Functional magnetic resonance imaging; Resting-state; Functional connectivity; Multiclass pattern analysis
Utilizing a classic stroke model in rodents, middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo), we describe a novel neuroregenerative approach using the repeated intranasal administration of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) peptide starting from day 3 poststroke for enhancing the functional recovery of injured brain. Adult rats were separated into two groups with similar infarction sizes, measured by magnetic resonance imaging on day 2 after MCAo, and were treated with CART or vehicle. The CART treatment increased CART level in the brain, improved behavioral recovery, and reduced neurological scores. In the subventricular zone (SVZ), CART enhanced immunolabeling of bromodeoxyuridine, a neural progenitor cell marker Musashi-1, and the proliferating cell nuclear antigen, as well as upregulated brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA. AAV–GFP was locally applied to the SVZ to examine migration of SVZ cells. The CART enhanced migration of GFP(+) cells from SVZ toward the ischemic cortex. In SVZ culture, CART increased the size of neurospheres. The CART-mediated cell migration from SVZ explants was reduced by anti-BDNF blocking antibody. Using 1H-MRS (proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy), increases in N-acetylaspartate levels were found in the lesioned cortex after CART treatment in stroke brain. Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript increased the expression of GAP43 and fluoro-ruby fluorescence in the lesioned cortex. In conclusion, our data suggest that intranasal CART treatment facilitates neuroregeneration in stroke brain.
BDNF; CART; MRI; neuroregeneration; stroke
Genome-wide pathway association studies provide novel insight into the biological mechanism underlying complex diseases. Current pathway association studies primarily focus on single important disease phenotype, which is sometimes insufficient to characterize the clinical manifestations of complex diseases. We present a multi-phenotypes pathway association study(MPPAS) approach using principle component analysis(PCA). In our approach, PCA is first applied to multiple correlated quantitative phenotypes for extracting a set of orthogonal phenotypic components. The extracted phenotypic components are then used for pathway association analysis instead of original quantitative phenotypes. Four statistics were proposed for PCA-based MPPAS in this study. Simulations using the real data from the HapMap project were conducted to evaluate the power and type I error rates of PCA-based MPPAS under various scenarios considering sample sizes, additive and interactive genetic effects. A real genome-wide association study data set of bone mineral density (BMD) at hip and spine were also analyzed by PCA-based MPPAS. Simulation studies illustrated the performance of PCA-based MPPAS for identifying the causal pathways underlying complex diseases. Genome-wide MPPAS of BMD detected associations between BMD and KENNY_CTNNB1_TARGETS_UP as well as LONGEVITYPATHWAY pathways in this study. We aim to provide a applicable MPPAS approach, which may help to gain deep understanding the potential biological mechanism of association results for complex diseases.
ABT-737 is a BH3 mimetic small molecule inhibitor that can effectively inhibit the activity of antiapoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins including Bcl2, Bcl-xL and Bcl-w, and further enhances the effect of apoptosis by activating the proapoptotic proteins (t-Bid, Bad, Bim). In this study, we demonstrate that ABT-737 improved the radiation sensitivity of cervical cancer HeLa cells and thereby provoked cell apoptosis. Our results show that ABT-737 inhibited HeLa cell proliferation and activated JNK and its downstream target c-Jun, which caused the up-regulation of Bim expression. Blockade of JNK/c-Jun signaling pathway resulted in significant down-regulation of ABT-737-induced Bim mRNA and protein expression level. Also, ABT-737 could evoke the Bim promoter activity, and enhance the radiation sensitivity of HeLa cells via JNK/c-Jun and Bim signaling pathway. Our data imply that combination of ABT-737 and conventional radiation therapy might represent a highly effective therapeutic approach for future treatment of cervical cancer.
There is an increasing demand for accurate biomarkers for early non-invasive colorectal cancer detection. We employed a genome-scale marker discovery method to identify and verify candidate DNA methylation biomarkers for blood-based detection of colorectal cancer.
We used DNA methylation data from 711 colorectal tumors, 53 matched adjacent-normal colonic tissue samples, 286 healthy blood samples and 4,201 tumor samples of 15 different cancer types. DNA methylation data were generated by the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation27 and the HumanMethylation450 platforms, which determine the methylation status of 27,578 and 482,421 CpG sites respectively. We first performed a multistep marker selection to identify candidate markers with high methylation across all colorectal tumors while harboring low methylation in healthy samples and other cancer types. We then used pre-therapeutic plasma and serum samples from 107 colorectal cancer patients and 98 controls without colorectal cancer, confirmed by colonoscopy, to verify candidate markers. We selected two markers for further evaluation: methylated THBD (THBD-M) and methylated C9orf50 (C9orf50-M). When tested on clinical plasma and serum samples these markers outperformed carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) serum measurement and resulted in a high sensitive and specific test performance for early colorectal cancer detection.
Our systematic marker discovery and verification study for blood-based DNA methylation markers resulted in two novel colorectal cancer biomarkers, THBD-M and C9orf50-M. THBD-M in particular showed promising performance in clinical samples, justifying its further optimization and clinical testing.
Previous reports have indicated that adenosine A3 receptor (A3R) knockout mice are more sensitive to ischemic or hypoxic brain injury. The purpose of this study was to examine if suppression of A3R expression is associated with increase in sensitivity to injury induced by a high dose of methamphetamine (Meth). Adult male A3R null mutant (−/−) mice and their controls (+/+) were injected with 4 doses (2 hours apart) of Meth (10 mg/kg) or saline. Animals were placed in a behavioral activity chamber, equipped with food and water, for 52 hours starting from one day after injections. The first 4 hours were used for studying exploratory behaviors and the next 48 hours were used to measure locomotor activity. High doses of Meth equally reduced the 4-hour exploratory behavior in −/− and +/+ mice. Meth suppressed locomotor activity between 4 and 52 hours in both groups, with a greater reduction being found in the −/− mice. Brain tissues were collected at 3 days after the Meth or saline injections. Meth treatment reduced striatal dopamine (DA) levels in both +/+ and −/− mice, examined by HPLC, with an increase in DOPAC/DA ratio being found only in −/− animals. Meth also significantly increased ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule 1 (Iba-1) and cleaved caspase-3 level in striatum as well as Iba-1 and TNFα mRNA expression in nigra in −/−, compared to +/+, mice. Previous studies have shown that pharmacological suppression of VMAT2 by reserpine enhanced Meth toxicity by increasing cytosolic DA and inflammation. A significant reduction in striatal VMAT2 expression was found in −/− mice, compared to +/+ mice, suggesting that increase in sensitivity to Meth injury in −/− mice may be related to a reduction in VMAT2 expression in these mice. In conclusion, our data suggest that A3R −/− mice are more sensitive to high doses of Meth.
Retinoic acid (RA) is a biologically active derivative of vitamin A. Previous studies have demonstrated that RA has protective effects against damage caused by H2O2 or oxygen-glucose deprivation in mesangial and PC12 cells. Pretreatment with 9-cis-retinoic acid (9cRA) reduced infarction and TUNEL labeling in cerebral cortex as well as attenuated neurological deficits after distal middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats. The purpose of this study was to examine a protective role of 9cRA in dopaminergic (DA) neurons in a typical rodent model of Parkinson’s disease (PD).
The protective role of 9cRA was first examined in rat primary ventromesencephalic culture. Treatment with 9cRA significantly reduced 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-mediated cell death and TUNEL labeling in cultured dopaminergic neurons. The protective effect was also examined in adult male rats. Animals received unilateral 6-OHDA lesioning at the left medial forebrain bundle on day 0. Methamphetamine -induced rotational behavior was examined on days 6, 20 and 30 after lesioning. Animals were separated into 2 groups to balance rotational behavior and lesion extent on day 6 and were treated with either 9cRA or vehicle (i.c.v. on day 7 + intra-nasal from day 8 to day 14). Post-treatment with 9cRA significantly reduced methamphetamine –mediated ipislateral rotation at 20 and 30 days after lesioning. In vivo voltammetry was used to examine DA overflow in striatum. Treatment with 9cRA significantly increased KCl -evoked DA release in the lesioned striatum. 9cRA also increased tyrosine hydroxylase (+) cell number in the lesioned nigra as determined by unbiased stereology.
Our data suggests that early post-treatment with 9cRA has a protective effect against neurodegeneration in nigrostriatal DA neurons in an animal model of PD.
Upon sensing cytosolic double-stranded DNA (dsDNA), the murine Aim2 (encoded by the Aim2 gene) protein forms an inflammasome and promotes the secretion of proinflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1β and IL-18. In contrast, the p202 protein (encoded by the Ifi202 gene) does not form an inflammasome. Previously, we have reported that the interferon (IFN) and female sex hormone-induced increased nuclear levels of p202 protein in immune cells are associated with increased susceptibility to develop a lupus-like disease. However, signaling pathways that regulate the expression of Aim2 protein remain unknown. Here we report that the expression of Aim2 gene is induced in bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) by IFN-α treatment and the expression is, in part, STAT1-dependent. However, treatment of splenic T or B cells with IFN-α or their stimulation, which induced the expression of Ifi202 gene, did not induce the expression of Aim2 gene. Furthermore, treatment of cells with the male hormone androgen increased levels of Aim2 mRNA and protein. Moreover, treatment of murine macrophage cell lines (RAW264.7 and J774A.1) with IFN-α differentially induced the expression of Aim2 and p202 proteins and regulated their sub-cellular localization. Additionally, activation of Toll-like receptors (TLR3, 4, and 9) in BMDMs and cell lines also differentially regulated the expression of Aim2 and Ifi202 genes. Our observations demonstrate that cell type and gender-dependent factors differentially regulate the expression of the Aim2 and p202 proteins, thus, suggesting opposing roles for these two proteins in innate immune responses in lupus disease.
Aim2 inflammasome; p202; interferon; inflammation; SLE
Magnetic resonance imaging studies have reported significant functional and structural differences between depressed patients and controls. Little attention has been given, however, to the abnormalities in anatomical connectivity in depressed patients. In the present study, we aim to investigate the alterations in connectivity of whole-brain anatomical networks in those suffering from major depression by using machine learning approaches. Brain anatomical networks were extracted from diffusion magnetic resonance images obtained from both 22 first-episode, treatment-naive adults with major depressive disorder and 26 matched healthy controls. Using machine learning approaches, we differentiated depressed patients from healthy controls based on their whole-brain anatomical connectivity patterns and identified the most discriminating features that represent between-group differences. Classification results showed that 91.7% (patients = 86.4%, controls = 96.2%; permutation test, p<0.0001) of subjects were correctly classified via leave-one-out cross-validation. Moreover, the strengths of all the most discriminating connections were increased in depressed patients relative to the controls, and these connections were primarily located within the cortical-limbic network, especially the frontal-limbic network. These results not only provide initial steps toward the development of neurobiological diagnostic markers for major depressive disorder, but also suggest that abnormal cortical-limbic anatomical networks may contribute to the anatomical basis of emotional dysregulation and cognitive impairments associated with this disease.