Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-25 (92)

Clipboard (0)

Select a Filter Below

more »
Year of Publication
more »
1.  Qualitative Confirmation of 9 Synthetic Cannabinoids and 20 Metabolites in Human Urine Using LC–MS/MS and Library Search 
Analytical chemistry  2013;85(7):10.1021/ac3037365.
Synthetic cannabinoids are an emerging illicit drug class. The variety of available substances is large and ever-changing, making it difficult for laboratories to remain current. We present a qualitative LC–MS/MS method identifying urinary metabolites of JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-081, JWH-122, JWH-200, JWH-210, JWH-250, RCS-4, and AM2201 and the parent compounds JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-081, JWH-122, JWH-210, JWH-250, RCS-4, AM2201, and MAM2201.
After enzymatic hydrolysis, urinary proteins were precipitated with acetonitrile. Chromatography utilized a 10 min gradient on a Kinetex XB-C18 column with 0.1% formic acid in water and acetonitrile. Scheduled multiple reaction monitoring “survey scans” were followed by information-dependent acquisition-enhanced product ion scan experiments on an ABSciex 5500 QTRAP mass spectrometer. Analytes were identified by software-assisted library searching against reference spectra.
The method was fully validated, including proof of selectivity (no exogenous or endogenous interferences were observed), assessment of matrix effects (95–122%) and recovery (53–95%), determination of limits of detection (0.5–10 ng/mL), carry-over studies (thresholds between 100 and 1000 ng/mL), and determination of autosampler stability (samples were stable for at least 3 days). Hydrolysis efficiency was thoroughly investigated for a wide range of glucuronides and for the reference standard, JWH-018 5-hydroxypentyl glucuronide
PMCID: PMC3874406  PMID: 23458260
2.  Meta-analysis of the effect of percutaneous coronary intervention on chronic total coronary occlusions 
Background and purpose
Coronary chronic total occlusion (CTO) is the last stage of coronary artery atherosclerosis. Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is a therapeutic procedure used to recanalize vessels with total occlusion. However, successful recanalization of CTO is still not optimal, and the key influence factors are still uncertainty. Therefore, a scientific evaluation on the effective of PCI for CTO treatment is necessary.
Relevant studies of PCI treatment for CTO were examined. Data were extracted and assessed by two independent clinical experts. Embase, PubMed and Medline et al. were used as database. The main research key words include “CTO”, “PCI”, “Stent”, “Reopen”, “long-term”, “follow-up” and “outcome”. Quality assessment was carried out according to the Cochrane Handbook. The selected data were pooled and analyzed using fixed-effect model and random-effect model. Heterogeneity was assessed using the I2 test, Q test, L’abbe and Galbraith. Comprehensive Meta -Analysis 2.0 and Metanalysis 1.0 were used for statistics analysis in this research.
A total of 16 articles involving 6695 cases in successful CTO recanalization (CTO success group) and 2370 cases in failed CTO recanalization(CTO failure group) were included in this research. Low CTO success was associated with elder age, previous coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) history, multi-vessel diseases and right coronary artery disease lesion. Six follow-up variables including major adverse cardiac events (MACE), recurrent myocardial infarction (MI), all-cause death, incidence of angina, subsequent CABG and cumulative survival rate were found significantly reduced associated with CTO success.
Clinical baseline characteristics such as age, previous CABG history and lesion baseline characteristics such as lesion length, multi-vessel diseases might be important factors influencing the successful rate of CTO recanalization. Compared to CTO failure patients, all six follow-up variables showed advantage for CTO success patients.
PMCID: PMC3974033  PMID: 24580774
Coronary artery chronic total occlusion; Percutaneous coronary intervention; Meta-analysis
3.  Efficacy and Safety of Aldose Reductase Inhibitor for the Treatment of Diabetic Cardiovascular Autonomic Neuropathy: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e87096.
Aldose reductase inhibitors (ARIs) can block the metabolism of the polyol pathway, and have been used to slow or reverse the progression of diabetic cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy (DCAN). The purpose of this study was to review the effectiveness and safety of ARIs in the treatment of DCAN as determined by five cardiac autonomic neuropathy function tests.
CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, Scopus databases (inception to May 2012) were searched to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and non-randomized controlled trials (non-RCTs) investigating ARIs for the treatment of DCAN with an English-language restriction. The data were analyzed using RevMan 5.0, and the heterogeneity between the trials was evaluated using the Cochrane's Q-test as well as the I2 test. The type of model (random or fixed) used for analysis was based on heterogeneity. Weighted mean differences (WMD) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed for the five cardiac automatic neuropathy function tests to evaluate the effects.
Ten articles met the prerequisites for this review. Analysis of the results showed that ARIs significantly improved function in at least three of the five automatic neuropathy tests, including the resting heart rate variation coefficients (WMD = 0.25, 95%CI 0.02 to 0.48, P = 0.040); the 30∶15 ratio (WMD = 0.06, 95%CI 0.01 to 0.10, P = 0.010) and the postural systolic blood pressure change (WMD = −5.94, 95%CI −7.31 to −4.57, P = 0.001). The expiration/inspiration ratio showed a marginally significant benefit (WMD = 0.05, 95%CI 0.00 to 0.09, P = 0.040). Glycaemic control was not significantly affected by ARIs. Adverse effects of ARIs except for Tolerestat were minimal.
Based on these results, we conclude that ARIs could ameliorate cardiac automatic neuropathy especially mild or asymptomatic DCAN but need further investigation.
PMCID: PMC3922720  PMID: 24533052
4.  Classifications of clinical and bowel morphological changes and their relationship with characteristics of patients with incarcerated groin hernias 
There is currently no grading standard for the degree of clinical and bowel morphological changes. The objective of this study was to define clinical and bowel morphological classifications and investigate the possible relationship with the characteristics of patients with incarcerated groin hernias.
We retrospectively studied 195 patients who underwent emergency hernia repair with simultaneous bowel resection between January 1992 and January 2012. We classified the degree of clinical and bowel morphological changes into 3 grades based on the incarceration time, intestinal morphology after damage, hernia sac integrity, degree of inflammation, and the presence/absence of bacterial growth, peritonitis signs, mechanical obstruction, cellulitis, and systemic shock. We also recorded patient characteristics and analyzed their relationships with these degrees according to our grading system.
We identified 134, 42, and 19 cases of Grades I, II, and III of clinical and bowel morphological changes, respectively. Pearson’s chi-squared tests revealed that advanced age (P=0.001), presence of comorbid disease (P=0.002), and high American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score (P=0.017) were related to the degree. Morbidity and mortality also showed significant relationships with the degree (P<0.001, P=0.005, respectively), especially with regard to post-operative infection.
The proposed 3-stage classifications of clinical and bowel morphological changes can be used to objectively reflect the degree of bowel damage. Greater levels of the changes were associated with higher incidences of complications and increased mortality, especially for older patients with comorbid diseases and poor ASA scores. Urgent surgery should be performed to avoid bowel damage exacerbation.
PMCID: PMC3930600  PMID: 24509901
Incarceration; bowel morphological change; bowel resection; Hernia
5.  Lentivirus vector-mediated Rho guanine nucleotide dissociation inhibitor 2 induces beta-2 adrenergic receptor desensitization in β2AR desensitization mice model 
Journal of Thoracic Disease  2014;6(2):118-125.
It is well-known that chronic administration of β2AR agonists can induce β2AR desensitization. Our previous study showed that Rho guanine nucleotide dissociation inhibitor 2 (RhoGDI2) overexpression induced beta-2 adrenergic receptor (β2AR) desensitization in airway smooth muscle cells. The purpose of this study was to further study the function of RhoGDI2 in β2AR desensitization by β2AR desensitization mouse model.
Studies were performed using a β2AR desensitization mice model induced by salbutamol. The mice were randomly divided into five groups (n=45): RhoGDI2 overexpression group (n=10); RhoGDI2 siRNA group (n=10); empty viral vector group (n=10); experimental control group (n=10); blank control group—without any drug treatment (n=5). The first four groups were used the same methods and the same dose to establish β2AR desensitization mice model by salbutamol. The first three groups that salbutamol-treated were used for intratracheal delivery of lentiviral vectors. Airway hyperreactivity was measured through a whole-body plethysmograph system. RhoGDI2, β2AR, GRK2 mRNA and protein expression levels were then detected by RT-PCR and western blot analyses in fresh lung tissues. As well as the activity of GRK was assessed by light-dependent phosphorylation of rhodopsin.
We successfully constructed β2AR desensitization mouse model. As expected, airway responsiveness after inhaling acetylcholine chloride (Ach) was markedly increased in the RhoGDI2 overexpression group compared to experimental control group and blank control group when concentrations of Ach was 45 mg/mL (all P<0.05), while, it was markedly decreased in the RhoGDI2 siRNA group compared to experimental control group (P<0.05). RhoGDI2, GRK2 expressions and GRK enzymatic activity were significantly increased in RhoGDI2 overexpression group compared to experimental control group and blank control group (all P<0.05). RhoGDI2, GRK2 expressions and GRK enzymatic activity were significantly decreased in RhoGDI2 siRNA group compared to experimental control group and blank control group (all P<0.05). Conversely, β2AR expression were significantly lower in RhoGDI2 overexpression group compared to experimental control group and blank control group (all P<0.05), exhibiting an inverse correlation with RhoGDI2 expression.
To sum up, our present studies found that RhoGDI2 might induce β2AR desensitization and GRK2 might take part in RhoGDI2-mediated β2AR desensitization.
PMCID: PMC3944182  PMID: 24605225
Rho guanine nucleotide dissociation inhibitor 2 (RhoGDI2); GRK2; β2AR desensitization; lentivirus vector
6.  Transplantation of umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells alleviates pneumonitis of MRL/lpr mice 
Journal of Thoracic Disease  2014;6(2):109-117.
To investigate whether the umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (UC-MSCs) transplantation in the MRL/lpr mice has effect or not on their pneumonitis and the possible mechanisms underlying this treatment.
Twenty four 18-week-old MRL/lpr female mice were divided into three groups as following: the group 2 (UC-MSCT group) have been transplanted with 1×106 UC-MSCs through caudal vein, the group 3 (multi-UC-MSCT Group) have been transplanted with 1×106 UC-MSCs three times and the group 1 (control group) have been treated with 0.5 mL phosphate buffer saline (PBS) as control. The histopathology of the lung was observed. The pulmonary expression of high mobility group box protein-1 (HMGB-1) was measured by western blot and detected by quantitation real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Immunohistochemistry method was used to detect HMGB-1 expressions in pulmo.
In comparision to control ground mice, UC-MSCs significantly reduced interstitial pneumonitis in the MRL/lpr mice. The lung peribronchiolar lesion index of UC-MSCT group (1.40±0.24) and multi-UC-MSCT group (1.02±0.29) were significantly decreased as compared to control group (1.95±0.35) (P<0.01). The perivascular lesion index of UC-MSCT group (1.20±0.18) and multi-UC-MSCT group (1.08±0.16) were also significantly reduced as compared to control group (1.56±0.32) (P=0.018, 0.002) and the lung alveolar areas lesion index of control group (1.72±0.34) was significantly increased as compared to UC-MSCT group (1.30±0.21) and multi-UC-MSCT group (1.05±0.15) (P=0.011, 0.000). The lung HMGB-1 protein in UC-MSCT group (0.32±0.04) and in multi-UC-MSCT group (0.28±0.06) were both significantly decreased as compared to that in control group (0.80±0.21) (P<0.05). The level of HMGB-1 mRNA in UC-MSCT group (4.68±0.37) and in multi-UC-MSCT group (4.35±0.10) lung were both significantly decreased as compared to those in control group (16.29±3.84) (P<0.05). In immunohistochemical staining lung sections, high expression of HMGB-1 was found mainly located in the cytoplasm and extracellular matrix of MRL/lpr mice pulmonary epithelial cells, the expression of HMGB-1 in UC-MSCT group and multi-UC-MSCT group was significantly decreased as compared to that in the control group.
These findings indicate that UC-MSCs have a therapeutic effect on systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) pneumonitis, possibly by inhibiting HMGB-1 expression, which suggests a potential application of UC-MSCs in the treatment of human lupus.
PMCID: PMC3944187  PMID: 24605224
Umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (UC-MSCs); systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE); pneumonitis; high mobility group box protein-1 (HMGB-1)
7.  Prevalence and genetic characterization of Cryptosporidium, Enterocytozoon, Giardia and Cyclospora in diarrheal outpatients in china 
Cryptosporidium spp., Enterocytozoon spp., Giardia spp. and Cyclospora spp. are important intestinal protozoan parasites causing diarrhea in humans, livestocks and wildlife and have a significant impact on public health. No reports exist about simultaneous prevalence rates or genotyping data of these four parasites in outpatients from China.
Fecal specimens from 252 diarrhea patients in a pediatric clinic (n = 169) and an intestinal clinic (n = 83) of a hospital in Shanghai, China, were collected between October 2012 and March 2013. All samples were examined for the presence of the four parasites by using molecular methods.
In total, 76/252 (30.16%) patients were positive for at least one intestinal parasite, of which Cryptosporidium spp., Enterocytozoon bieneusi and Giardia intestinalis were detected by nested PCR in 34 (13.49%), 34 (13.49%) and 17 (6.75%) of the fecal specimens, respectively. Sequence analysis showed that all Cryptosporidium-positive specimens were C. andersoni and that most G. intestinalis- positive patients were infected by assemblage C, which is usually found in canids, while only one sample was from assemblage B. Eight patients were co-infected with Cryptosporidium spp. and Enterocytozoon, while one was co-infected with Cryptosporidium and Giardia.
The patients infected with Cryptosporidium and Enterocytozoon bieneusi had higher infection rates in winter than in spring in this area. Data indicated that C. andersoni is the fourth major Cryptosporidium species infecting humans in addition to C. hominis, C. parvum and C. meleagridis. Our study also revealed a short-term outbreak of cryptosporidiosis and microsporidiosis and sporadic cases of giardiasis that occurred among humans in Shanghai, China.
PMCID: PMC3925443  PMID: 24410985
Cryptosporidium; Enterocytozoon; Giardia; Cyclospora; Outpatients; Genotype
8.  Wnt and Rho GTPase signaling in osteoarthritis development and intervention: implications for diagnosis and therapy 
Wnt and Rho GTPase signaling play critical roles in governing numerous aspects of cell physiology, and have been shown to be involved in endochondral ossification and osteoarthritis (OA) development. In this review, current studies of canonical Wnt signaling in OA development, together with the differential roles of Rho GTPases in chondrocyte maturation and OA pathology are critically summarized. Based on the current scientific literature together with our preliminary results, the strategy of targeting Wnt and Rho GTPase for OA prognosis and therapy is suggested, which is instructive for clinical treatment of the disease.
PMCID: PMC3979163  PMID: 23856044
9.  Association Study of Serotonin Transporter SLC6A4 Gene with Chinese Han Irritable Bowel Syndrome 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e84414.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common clinical gastrointestinal dysfunction disorders. 5-sertonon (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) is a very important neurotransmitter, which is involved in gastrointestinal motion and sensation. Solute carrier family 6 member 4 (SLC6A4) gene encode serotonin transporter (SERT) which function is to rapidly reuptake the most of 5-HT. Therefore, it is needed to explore the association between SLC6A4 gene polymorphisms and IBS.
119 patients and 238 healthy controls were administrated to detect the SLC6A4 gene polymorphisms including 5-HT-transporter-gene-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR), variable number of tandem repeats (VNTRs) and three selected tag Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) rs1042173, rs3794808, rs2020936 by using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and TaqMan® SNP Genotyping.
There were significant difference for 5-HTTLPR between IBS and control groups (X2 = 106.168, P<0.0001). In control group, genotypes were mainly L/L (58.4%), however, the genotypes in IBS were S/S (37.8%). The significant difference was shown in D-IBS subjects when compared to the controls (X2 = 50.850, P<0.0001) for 5-HTTLPR. For STin2 VNTR, rs1042173, rs3794808, and rs2020936 polymorphisms, there were no any significant differences between IBS and control groups. There were no statistical significantly haplotypes for 5-HTTLPR, VNTRs and the three SNPs between IBS and controls.
The S allele in 5-HTTLPR was a susceptible allele with Chinese Han IBS, but other associations of VNTRs, three selected Tag SNPs and positive haplotype with IBS were not found. It is indicated that much research are needed to study the relationship between other polymorphisms in SLC6A4 gene and IBS.
PMCID: PMC3879322  PMID: 24392134
10.  Neonatal Desensitization Supports Long-Term Survival and Functional Integration of Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Rat Joint Cartilage Without Immunosuppression 
Stem Cells and Development  2012;22(1):90-101.
Immunological response hampers the investigation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) or their derivates for tissue regeneration in vivo. Immunosuppression is often used after surgery, but exhibits side effects of significant weight loss and allows only short-term observation. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether neonatal desensitization supports relative long-term survival of hESC-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hESC-MSCs) and promotes cartilage regeneration. hESC-MSCs were injected on the day of birth in rats. Six weeks after neonatal injection, a full-thickness cylindrical cartilage defect was created and transplanted with a hESC-MSC-seeded collagen bilayer scaffold (group d+s+c) or a collagen bilayer scaffold (group d+s). Rats without neonatal injection were transplanted with the hESC-MSC-seeded collagen bilayer scaffold to serve as controls (group s+c). Cartilage regeneration was evaluated by histological analysis, immunohistochemical staining, and biomechanical test. The role of hESC-MSCs in cartilage regeneration was analyzed by CD4 immunostaining, cell death detection, and visualization of human cells in regenerated tissues. hESC-MSCs expressed CD105, CD73, CD90, CD29, and CD44, but not CD45 and CD34, and possessed trilineage differentiation potential. Group d+s+c exhibited greater International Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS) scores than group d+s or group s+c. Abundant collagen type II and improved mechanical properties were detected in group d+s+c. There were less CD4+ inflammatory cell infiltration and cell death at week 1, and hESC-MSCs were found to survive as long as 8 weeks after transplantation in group d+s+c. Our study suggests that neonatal desensitization before transplantation may be an efficient way to develop a powerful tool for preclinical study of human cell-based therapies in animal models.
PMCID: PMC3528094  PMID: 22788986
11.  Continuation of immunosuppressive treatment may be necessary in IgA nephropathy patients with remission of proteinuria: Evaluation by repeat renal biopsy 
The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of an individualized, low-dose multi-drug immunosuppressive regimen for the treatment of immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN). A preliminary investigation of the course of IgAN following immunosuppressive treatment was conducted based on repeat renal biopsies. Clinical and pathological data of 17 patients with IgAN who received repeat renal biopsies were analyzed retrospectively. In addition to basic treatment, 16 patients regularly received an individualized low-dose immunosuppressive regimen according to their clinical manifestations and pathological patterns following the first biopsy. Clinical parameters, including 24-h urinary protein excretion and levels of serum albumin, uric acid and total cholesterol were collected. Glomerular deposits of IgA and C3, as well as the activity and chronicity indexes of renal lesions were evaluated by semi-quantitative methods. The 24-h urinary protein excretion of the patients decreased significantly from the first biopsy (2.53±2.17 g/day) to the repeated biopsy (0.26±0.55 g/day) (P<0.001). Deposits of IgA and C3 in the glomerulus were persistent, but were reduced in quantity at the second biopsy. Although active renal lesions were observed in the majority of patients, the activity index decreased significantly from 3.18±1.33 prior to therapy to 2.47±0.80 following therapy (P<0.05), while the chronicity index did not change significantly (2.59±2.00 versus 2.76±1.89, respectively). The individualized, low-dose multi-drug immunosuppressive regimen used in the present study significantly minimized proteinuria, stabilized renal function and alleviated histological lesions in patients with IgAN without causing overt adverse effects during the short-term follow-up. In addition to proteinuria, renal pathological changes should be appraised when considering the withdrawal of immunosuppressants from IgAN treatment.
PMCID: PMC3919854  PMID: 24520244
course of treatment; immunoglobulin A nephropathy; immunosuppressive treatment; proteinuria; renal pathology
12.  Human induced pluripotent cells resemble embryonic stem cells demonstrating enhanced levels of DNA repair and efficacy of nonhomologous end-joining 
Mutation research  2011;713(0):10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2011.05.018.
To maintain the integrity of the organism, embryonic stem cells (ESC) need to maintain their genomic integrity in response to DNA damage. DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) are one of the most lethal forms of DNA damage and can have disastrous consequences if not repaired correctly, leading to cell death, genomic instability and cancer. How human ESC (hESC) maintain genomic integrity in response to agents that cause DSBs is relatively unclear. Adult somatic cells can be induced to “dedifferentiate” into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) and reprogram into cells of all three germ layers. Whether iPSC have reprogrammed the DNA damage response is a critical question in regenerative medicine. Here, we show that hESC demonstrate high levels of endogenous reactive oxygen species (ROS) which can contribute to DNA damage and may arise from high levels of metabolic activity. To potentially counter genomic instability caused by DNA damage, we find that hESC employ two strategies: First, these cells have enhanced levels of DNA repair proteins, including those involved in repair of DSBs, and they demonstrate elevated nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) activity and repair efficacy, one of the main pathways for repairing DSBs. Second, they are hypersensitive to DNA damaging agents, as evidenced by a high level of apoptosis upon irradiation. Importantly, iPSC, unlike the parent cells they are derived from, mimic hESC in their ROS levels, cell cycle profiles, repair protein expression and NHEJ repair efficacy, indicating reprogramming of the DNA repair pathways. Human iPSC however show a partial apoptotic response to irradiation, compared to hESC. We suggest that DNA damage responses may constitute important markers for the efficacy of iPSC reprogramming.
PMCID: PMC3872739  PMID: 21718709
DNA damage; DNA double strand break repair; Nonhomologous end-joining; Induced pluripotent stem cells; Human embryonic stem cells
13.  A cross-sectional study of the clinical characteristics of hospitalized children with community-acquired pneumonia in eight eastern cities in China 
Community-acquired pneumonia in children is common in China. To understand current clinical characteristics and practice, we conducted a cross-sectional study to analyze quality of care on childhood pneumonia in eight eastern cities in China.
Consecutive hospital records between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010 were collected from 13 traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and western medicine (WM) hospitals in February, May, August, and November (25 cases per season, 100 cases over the year), respectively. A predesigned case report form was used to extract data from the hospital medical records.
A total of 1298 cases were collected and analyzed. Symptoms and signs upon admission at TCM and WM hospitals were cough (99.3% vs. 98.6%), rales (84.8% vs. 75.0%), phlegm (83.3% vs. 49.1%), and fever (74.9% vs. 84.0%) in frequency. Patients admitted to WM hospitals had symptoms and signs for a longer period prior to admission than patients admitted to TCM hospitals. Testing to identify etiologic agents was performed in 1140 cases (88.4%). Intravenous antibiotics were administered in 99.3% (595/598) of cases in TCM hospitals and in 98.6% (699/700) of cases in WM hospitals. Besides, Chinese herbal extract injection was used more frequently in TCM hospitals (491 cases, 82.1%) than in WM hospitals (212 cases, 30.3%) (p < 0.01). At discharge, 818 cases (63.0%) were clinically cured, with a significant difference between the cure rates in TCM (87.6%) and WM hospitals (42.0%) (OR = 9.8, 95% confidence interval (CI): 7.3 ~ 12.9, p < 0.01). Pathogen and previous medical history were more likely associated with the disappearance of rales (OR = 7.2, 95% CI: 4.8 ~ 10.9). Adverse effects were not reported from the medical records.
Intravenous use of antibiotics is highly prevalent in children with community-acquired pneumonia regardless of aetiology. There was difference between TCM and WM hospitals with regard to symptom profile and the use of antibiotics. Intravenous use of herbal injection was higher in TCM hospitals than in WM hospitals. Most of the cases were diagnosed based on clinical signs and symptoms without sufficient confirmation of aetiology. Audit of current practice is urgently needed to improve care.
PMCID: PMC3880031  PMID: 24364897
Childhood pneumonia; Community-acquired; Clinical characteristics; Treatment; Cross-sectional study; Chinese population
14.  The Association between the Serum C-Peptide Level and Bone Mineral Density 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e83107.
Although serum C-peptide was previously considered biologically inactive, a growing number of recent studies have shown that it is an active peptide with important physiologic functions. The present study aimed to investigate the association of serum C-peptide level with bone mineral density (BMD) in residents of the United States.
The study included 6,625 participants aged 12–85 years. Total and regional BMD were measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Stratified multiple linear regression analysis was performed to determine the association of the serum C-peptide level with BMD. Three regression models were produced for each stratum. All models were adjusted for ethnicity, height, weight, education level, physical activity, smoking status, alcohol use, triglycerides and creatinine level, and models 2 and 3 were further adjusted for the fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels, respectively.
Sex-specific results showed a significant association between the serum C-peptide level and total BMD in both sexes. Stratified analyses based on age and body mass index showed that serum C-peptide levels were significantly negatively associated with most regional BMD, and most of these associations remained significant after stratification based on the serum insulin level.
The serum C-peptide level was significantly negatively associated with the total and most regional BMD. These findings suggest that serum C-peptide may have biological activity associated with bone metabolism and therefore serum C-peptide control is advisable in order to reduce the risk of low bone mineral density.
PMCID: PMC3865098  PMID: 24358252
15.  Tonoplast calcium sensors CBL2 and CBL3 control plant growth and ion homeostasis through regulating V-ATPase activity in Arabidopsis 
Cell Research  2012;22(12):1650-1665.
Plant responses to developmental and environmental cues are often mediated by calcium (Ca2+) signals that are transmitted by diverse calcium sensors. The calcineurin B-like (CBL) protein family represents calcium sensors that decode calcium signals through specific interactions with a group of CBL-interacting protein kinases. We report functional analysis of Arabidopsis CBL2 and CBL3, two closely related CBL members that are localized to the vacuolar membrane through the N-terminal tonoplast-targeting sequence. While cbl2 or cbl3 single mutant did not show any phenotypic difference from the wild type, the cbl2 cbl3 double mutant was stunted with leaf tip necrosis, underdeveloped roots, shorter siliques and fewer seeds. These defects were reminiscent of those in the vha-a2 vha-a3 double mutant deficient in vacuolar H+-ATPase (V-ATPase). Indeed, the V-ATPase activity was reduced in the cbl2 cbl3 double mutant, connecting tonoplast CBL-type calcium sensors to the regulation of V-ATPase. Furthermore, cbl2 cbl3 double mutant was compromised in ionic tolerance and micronutrient accumulation, consistent with the defect in V-ATPase activity that has been shown to function in ion compartmentalization. Our results suggest that calcium sensors CBL2 and CBL3 serve as molecular links between calcium signaling and V-ATPase, a central regulator of intracellular ion homeostasis.
PMCID: PMC3515760  PMID: 23184060
calcium sensor; tonoplast; V-ATPase; ion homeostasis; V-ATPase
16.  Identification of proteasome subunit beta type 3 involved in the potential mechanism of corticosteroid protective effectiveness on beta-2 adrenoceptor desensitization by a proteomics approach 
Journal of Thoracic Disease  2013;5(6):797-805.
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by airway inflammation with mucus hypersecretion and hyperresponsiveness to various nonspecific stimuli. Corticosteroids are usually used to prevent β2 adrenoceptor (β2AR) desensitization in clinical and experimental practice. But the exact mechanism of corticosteroid effectiveness on β2AR desensitization is unclear.
To find the potential mechanisms related to the protective effects of corticosteroid on salbutamol induced β2AR desensitization by a proteomics approach.
Thirty-two BALB/c (6-8 weeks old) mice were divided into four groups: group A, control group, phosphate buffered saline (PBS)-treated group; group B, asthmatic group, treated by ovalbumin (OVA); group C, β2AR desensitized asthmatic group, treated by OVA and salbutamol (SBT) and group D, corticosteroid-treated β2AR desensitized asthmatic group, treated with OVA, SBT and Dexamethasone (DEX). After administrated with those drugs, their serum total IgE, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) cytokine concentration, airway resistance and membrane receptor number of β2AR were evaluated. After then, the mice of group C and D were sacrificed, their protein from lung tissue were extracted and then seperated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DE). Then, the isolated protein spots were analyzed by ImageMaster software and mass spectrometry. Bioinformatic tools were used to search these protein spots and find interesting protein spots associated with corticosteroid protective effect on β2AR desensitization. Finally, these protein spots were confirmed by Western blotting.
With inflammatory cell count, cytokine concentration of BALF, pathological sections, total serum IgE, airway resistance, membrane receptor number and β2AR total amount changes, asthmatic mouse model and β2AR desensitization asthmatic mouse model were successfully established.
Seventeen protein spots were found different expression between group C and group D, 4 protein spots were down-regulated and 13 protein spots were up-regulated compared to group C. Proteasome subunit beta type 3 was down-regulated.
Increased proteasome subunit beta type 3 expression may be responsible for salbutamol-induced β2AR desensitization in asthmatic disease, and DEX possibly render the β2AR resensitization partially by decreasing the content of proteasome.
PMCID: PMC3886689  PMID: 24409358
β2 adrenoceptor (β2AR); corticosteroid; electrophoresis; mass spectrometry; proteasome; proteomics
17.  Lentivirus vector-mediated Rho guanine nucleotide dissociation inhibitor 2 overexpression induces beta-2 adrenergic receptor desensitization in airway smooth muscle cells 
Journal of Thoracic Disease  2013;5(5):658-666.
Beta-2 adrenergic receptor (β2AR) downregulation is critical to asthma rescue therapy; however, tolerance, also known as β2AR or bronchodilator desensitization, mechanisms potentially resulting in life-threatening rescue treatment failure remain poorly understood.
Airway smooth muscle cells (ASMCs) from BALB/c mice were primarily cultured. The full-length Rho guanine nucleotide dissociation inhibitor 2 (RhoGDI2) gene from ASMCs was amplified by RT-PCR, and RhoGDI2 gene was subcloned into the digested PWPXL plasmid. The recombinant lentivirus PWPXL-RhoGDI2 expression plasmid was packaged into mature lentivirus by 293T cells and used to infect ASMCs. Fluorescent quantitation RT-PCR and Western Blot were used to detect the level of mRNA and protein expression of RhoGDI2, β2AR, guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF), GTPase-activating protein (GAP) and G protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRKs) in overexpression RhoGDI2-ASMCs group, negative GFP control ASMCs group and normal control ASMCs group. Membrane receptor numbers of β2AR was observed by radioligand receptor binding assay in overexpression RhoGDI2-ASMCs group, negative GFP control ASMCs group and normal control ASMCs group.
RhoGDI2 vector successfully transfected ASMCs, with infection efficiency (the percentage of GFP-positive cells) >80%. RhoGDI2, GEF and G-protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2) expressions significantly increased in the RhoGDI2 overexpression group compared to control and negative control groups (all P<0.05). Conversely, β2AR and GAP expressions were significantly lower in the RhoGDI2 overexpression group (both P<0.05), exhibiting an inverse correlation with RhoGDI2 expression. Control and negative control groups exhibiting β2AR density more than 2-fold higher than that observed in the RhoGDI2 overexpression group.
RhoGDI2 reduces β2AR density, potentially by reducing β2AR and GAP expressions and increase GEF and GRK2 expressions. Thus, RhoGDI2 is central in cellular β2AR desensitization, though this full mechanism and intermediates merit further investigation.
PMCID: PMC3815716  PMID: 24255780
Beta-2 adrenergic receptor (β2AR); desensitization; Rho guanine nucleotide dissociation inhibitor 2 (RhoGDI2); guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF); GTPase-activating protein (GAP); G-protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2)
18.  MRAS Genetic Variation Is Associated with Atherothrombotic Stroke in the Han Chinese Population 
Background and Purpose
Atherothrombotic cerebral infarction [atherothrombotic stroke (ATS)] shares common risk factors and pathophysiological mechanisms with coronary artery disease (CAD), and both diseases appear to have common susceptibility loci. The muscle RAS oncogene homolog gene (MRAS) has been identified as a susceptibility locus for CAD and is implicated in atherosclerosis. The aim of this study was to elucidate whether the single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and haplotypes of MRAS are associated with increased risk of ATS in a population of Han Chinese.
A case-controlled association study was conducted in which only patients with ATS (identified as a major subtype in the Korean modification of the Trial of Org 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment classification) were enrolled. Subgroup analyses were carried out to determine whether the effect of the MRAS polymorphism was specific to age and gender among the subjects.
In total, 194 ATS and 186 control subjects were included in the present study. Two tagging SNPs were identified in MRAS (rs40593 and rs3755751). A multivariate regression analysis revealed a positive association between rs40593 and ATS under dominant and additive models after adjustment for covariates. Subgroup analyses revealed that there were no gender differences with respect to allele or genotype frequencies between the groups. The AG genotype for rs40593 (p=0.028), the CT genotype for rs3755751 (p=0.036), and G-allele carriers (AG plus GG) for rs40593 (p=0.015) exhibited a significant protective effect among those aged ≥45 years. For the haplotype analysis, ATS subjects aged ≥45 years had a higher frequency of the ACAC haplotype (76.0%) than the controls (68.1%; p<0.05); that haplotype was associated with an increased risk of ATS.
The obtained data suggest a positive association between MRAS and ATS among the Han Chinese. Further studies should be performed with larger sample and among different ethnic populations, and gene-gene or gene-environment interactions should be considered.
PMCID: PMC3840132  PMID: 24285963
ischemic stroke; atherothrombotic stroke; single-nucleotide polymorphism; haplotype; genetic variation
19.  Expression changes of ionic channels in early phase of cultured rat atrial myocytes induced by rapid pacing 
Recent studies have demonstrated that atrial electrical remodeling was an important contributing factor for the occurrence, persistence and maintenance of atrial fibrillation. The expression changes of ionic channels, especially L-type calcium channel and potassium channel Kv4.3, were the important molecular mechanism of atrial electrical remodeling. This study aimed to observe the expression changes of ionic channels in a rapid paced cell model with primary cultured atrial myocytes.
The primary rat atrial myocytes were cultured, characteristics of the cultured myocytes were observed with light microscope and the cell phenotype was harvested by immunocytochemical stain to detect α-actin. The cellular model of rapid pacing was established with primary cultured atrial myocytes. The expressions of L-type calcium channel α1c and potassium channel Kv4.3 in cultured atrial myocytes were detected by immunocytochemistry, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and Western blot after rapid pacing.
The primary rat atrial myocytes were isolated and cultured successfully, and used for following experiment by identification of activity and purity. Cellular model of rapid electrical field pacing was established successfully. There is no significant difference in cell activity after pacing compared to that before pacing by 3-[4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-y1]-2, 5-diphenytetrazolium bromide assay, and cell degeneration can be observed by transmission electron microscope. The mRNA expression of L-type calcium channel α1c started to reduce after 6 h of rapid pacing and continued to decline as pacing continued. Protein expression changes were paralleled with decreased mRNA expression of the L-type calcium channel α1c. The mRNA expressions of potassium channel Kv4.3 were not altered within the first 6 h, but after 12 h, mRNA expressions were reduced. Longer pacing periods did not further decrease mRNA expression of potassium channel Kv4.3. Protein expression changes were paralleled with decreased mRNA expression of potassium channel Kv4.3.
Rapid paced cultured atrial myocyte model was established utilized primary cultured atrial myocytes and this model can be used for studying the early electrical remodeling in atrial fibrillation. Expressions of L-type calcium channel α1c and potassium channel Kv4.3 were both reduced at different levels in early phase of rapid pacing atrial myocytes. It implicates the occurrence of ionic channel remodeling of atrial myocytes.
PMCID: PMC3851479  PMID: 24074263
Atrial fibrillation; Atrial myocyte; Rapid pacing; Ionic channel; Remodeling
20.  Association between DNA Methyltransferases 3B Gene Polymorphisms and the Susceptibility to Acute Myeloid Leukemia in Chinese Han Population 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e74626.
DNMT3B plays a crucial role in the generation of aberrant methylation during carcinogenesis. Polymorphisms in the DNMT3B gene may influence the DNA methylation enzymatic activity of DNMT3B, thereby modulating the susceptibility to AML. Thus, we investigated the association between SNPs in the DNMT3Bgene and their haplotypes with the risk of AML in the Chinese Han population. The DNMT3B genotype was determined by HRM in 317 de novo AML patients and 406 healthy control subjects matched for age and gender. Among the 5 SNPs investigated in this study, rs2424913 demonstrated no polymorphisms in the Chinese Han populations, rs1569686 and rs2424908 were significantly associated with AML risk. The GG genotype of rs1569686 was associated with increased AML risk (OR: 5.76; 95%CI: 2.60-12.73; P<0.01) compared with the TT genotype, and individuals with a G allele had a significantly increased risk (OR: 1.89; 95%CI: 1.41-2.52; P<0.01) for AML compared with those harboring a C allele, this polymorphism can predict the risk of AML in a minority of patients. While the CC genotype of rs2424908 appeared to reduce the AML risk (OR: 0.57; 95%CI: 0.36-0.91; P=0.01) compared with the TT genotype, individuals with a C allele were associated with a lower risk (OR: 0.79, 95%CI: 0.64-0.97, P=0.03) for developing AML compared with those harboring a T allele. The other 2 SNPs, rs6087990 and rs6119954, had no significant association with AML risk in the study population. The CGGT, CTAT, TGAT, and CGAT haplotypes of rs6087990, rs1569686, rs6119954, and rs2424908 appeared to significantly increase the AML risk, and the TTGC haplotype appeared to significantly reduce the risk. These results suggest that DNMT3B polymorphisms may contribute to the genetic susceptibility to AML; in particular, the G allele of rs1569686 serves as a risk factor for AML, whereas the C allele of rs2424908 represents a potential protective factor.
PMCID: PMC3775800  PMID: 24069326
21.  Utility of 64-MSCT in assessing acute non-reperfused myocardial infarct size 
To evaluate the utility of multi-slice computed tomography (MSCT) in assessing acute non-reperfused myocardial infarct size.
Seven domestic pigs (mean weight 17.3 ± 1.9 kg) underwent ligation of the distal left anterior descending artery to establish a model of acute myocardial infarction (MI). MSCT and triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining were performed two hours later. The following data were acquired and analyzed: MI volume (%), CT values of the infarcted region, left ventricular cavity and normal cardiac tissue at various scanning time-points (1, 5, 10, 15, 20 min after contrast injection).
Using MSCT, the overall MI volume showed a time-dependent decrease, with a reduction of 28.87% after 20 min. The greatest reduction occurred at the 5 min time-point. In TTC staining, MI volume was 9.87% ± 2.44%. When MI size, as determined by MSCT, was compared with that by TTC staining in Bland-Altman plots, there was a better agreement at 5, 10, and 15 min time-points at 1 and 20 min.
The study indicates that double-phase scanning examination using MSCT is a useful tool to assess MI size, and the optimal late-phase scanning time-point set within 5–15 min of contrast injection.
PMCID: PMC3796698  PMID: 24133512
Multi-slice computed tomography; Acute non-reperfused myocardial infarction; Time-factors; Animal model
22.  Hyperoxia Causes Regression of Vitreous Neovascularization by Downregulating VEGF/VEGFR2 Pathway 
Neovascularization (NV) is a sight-threatening complication of retinal ischemia in diabetes, retinal vein occlusion, and retinopathy of prematurity. Current treatment modalities, including laser photocoagulation and repeated intraocular injection of VEGF antagonists, are invasive and not always effective, and may carry side effects. We studied the use of hyperoxia as an alternative therapeutic strategy for regressing established vitreous NV in a mouse model of oxygen-induced ischemic retinopathy.
Hyperoxia treatment (HT, 75% oxygen) was initiated on postnatal day (P)17 after the onset of vitreous NV. Immunohistochemistry and quantitative PCR were used to assess retinal vascular changes in relation to apoptosis, and expression of VEGFR2 and inflammatory molecules. Effects of intravitreal injections of VEGF-A, VEGF-E, PlGF-1, and VEGF trap were also studied.
HT selectively reduced NV by 70% within 24 hours. It robustly increased the level of cleaved caspase-3 in the vitreous NV between 6 and 18 hours and promoted infiltration of macrophage/microglial cells. The HT-induced apoptosis was preceded by a significant reduction in VEGFR2 expression within the NV and an increase in VEGFR2 within the surrounding neural tissue. Intravitreal VEGF-A and VEGF-E (VEGFR2 agonist) but not PlGF-1 (VEGFR1 agonist) prevented HT-induced apoptosis and regression of NV. In contrast, VEGF trap and VEGFR2 blockers mimicked the effect of HT. However, intravitreal VEGF trap induced increases in inflammatory molecules while HT did not have such unwanted effect.
HT may be clinically useful to specifically treat proliferative NV in ischemic retinopathy.
We found that hyperoxia therapy caused rapid resolution of established vitreous neovascularization in ischemic retinopathy by downregulating the VEGF/VEGFR2 pathway.
PMCID: PMC3564450  PMID: 23307955
23.  Construction of a cell model of β2-adrenoceptor downregulation 
Journal of Thoracic Disease  2013;5(4):492-497.
To establish a cell model of β2-adrenergic receptor (β2AR) downregulation of murine airway smooth muscle induced by salbutamol to elucidate the molecular and biological mechanisms of β2AR downregulation.
Airway smooth muscle cells (ASMCs) derived from Balb/c mice were primary cultured. Passage 2-5 cells were characterized by cell morphology and indirect immunofluorescence. More than 95% pure cells at passage 3 or 4 were randomly divided into two groups: control and salbutamol-treated groups. β2AR mRNA and protein expression levels were then detected by RT-PCR and western blot analyses.
Primary cultured cells demonstrated a typical “peak and valley”-like growth characteristic. Smooth muscle α-actin filaments paralleled the cell longitudinal axis in the cytoplasm. The origin of the ASMCs was validated and consistent with their morphology and biological characteristics. β2AR mRNA expression in the salbutamol-treated group was lower than that in the control group (P<0.05), and β2AR protein expression was also markedly lower than that in the control group (P<0.05).
We successfully established a cell model of β2AR downregulation in ASMCs, which may provide the foundation for further study of the mechanism of β2AR downregulation in asthmatic patients.
PMCID: PMC3755694  PMID: 23991307
Airway smooth muscle cells (ASMCs); β2-adrenergic receptor (β2AR); salbutamol; cell culture
24.  Efficacy and safety of local anaesthetics for premature ejaculation: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
Asian Journal of Andrology  2013;15(4):497-502.
To assess the efficacy and safety of local anaesthetics for premature ejaculation (PE), a systematic review of the literature was performed using the Cochrane Library, PUBMED and EMBASE. We screened and retrieved the randomized controlled trials on the treatment of PE with local anaesthetics. End points included intravaginal ejaculation latency time (IELT), patient-reported outcome assessments and adverse events. Meta-analyses were conducted with Stata 11.0. In total, seven publications involving 566 patients with local anaesthetics and 388 with placebos strictly met our eligibility criteria. Meta-analyses showed that after the patients were treated with the local anaesthetics, the value of the standardized mean difference of the changes in IELT was 5.02 (95% CI: 3.03–7.00). A higher rate of adverse events occurred compared with placebos (odds ratio: 3.30, 95% CI: 1.71–6.36), but these events were restricted to local side effects. In addition, significantly greater improvement was observed in patient-reported outcomes. In summary, local anaesthetics can prolong IELT and improve ejaculatory control and sexual satisfaction.
PMCID: PMC3739226  PMID: 23708465
local anaesthetics; premature ejaculation (PE); randomized controlled trial; systematic review
25.  Increased expression of nestin in human pterygial epithelium 
To investigate the distribution of nestin-positive cells in pterygium, as well as the relationship between nestin-positive cells and proliferative cells in the pathogenesis of pterygium.
Nine pterygium specimens and 5 normal conjunctiva specimens were investigated. All explanted specimens were immediately immersed in 5-Ethynyl-2′-deoxyuridine, and were subjected to hematoxylin and eosin staining, as well as immunostaining to detect nestin.
Small sub-populations of nestin-expressing cells in both normal and pterygial conjunctiva epithelium were found. These were located at the superficial layer of the epithelium, and were significantly increased (P=0.007) and spread out in the pterygial conjunctiva epithelium, even though these cells were mitotically quiescent.
In pterygium, more nestin-positive cells were present at the superficial layer of the epithelium. With growing scientific evidence that nestin plays an important role in defining various specialized cell types, such as stem cells, cancer cells and angiogenic cells, further investigations on the roles of nestin-expressing cells in pterygium may help to uncover the mechanisms of initiation, development and the prognosis of this disease.
PMCID: PMC3693002  PMID: 23826515
pterygium; nestin; proliferation; distribution; human

Results 1-25 (92)