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1.  Plasticity of Airway Lymphatics in Development and Disease 
The dynamic nature of lymphatic vessels is reflected by structural and functional modifications that coincide with changes in their environment. Lymphatics in the respiratory tract undergo rapid changes around birth, during adaptation to air breathing, when lymphatic endothelial cells develop button-like intercellular junctions specialized for efficient fluid uptake and transport. In inflammatory conditions, lymphatic vessels proliferate and undergo remodeling to accommodate greater plasma leakage and immune cell trafficking. However, the newly formed lymphatics are abnormal, and resolution of inflammation is not accompanied by complete reversal of the lymphatic vessel changes back to the baseline. As the understanding of lymphatic plasticity advances, approaches for eliminating the abnormal vessels and improving the functionality of those that remain move closer to reality. This chapter provides an overview of what is known about lymphatic vessel growth, remodeling, and other forms of plasticity that occur during development or inflammation, with an emphasis on the respiratory tract. Also addressed is the limited reversibility of changes in lymphatics during the resolution of inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3955364  PMID: 24276885
2.  High-throughput binding characterization of RNA aptamer selections using a microplate-based multiplex microcolumn device 
We describe a versatile 96-well microplate-based device that utilizes affinity microcolumn chromatography to complement downstream plate-based processing in aptamer selections. This device is reconfigurable and is able to operate in serial and/or parallel mode with up to 96 microcolumns. We demonstrate the utility of this device by simultaneously performing characterizations of target binding using five RNA aptamers and a random library. This was accomplished through 96 total selection tests. Three sets of selections tested the effects of target concentration on aptamer binding compared to the random RNA library using aptamers to the proteins green fluorescent protein (GFP), human heat shock factor 1 (hHSF1), and negative elongation factor E (NELF-E). For all three targets, we found significant effects consistent with steric hindrance with optimum enrichments at predictable target concentrations. In a fourth selection set, we tested the partitioning efficiency and binding specificity of our three proteins’ aptamers, as well as two suspected background binding sequences, to eight targets running serially. The targets included an empty microcolumn, three affinity resins, three specific proteins, and a non-specific protein control. The aptamers showed significant enrichments only on their intended targets. Specifically, the hHSF1 and NELF-E aptamers enriched over 200-fold on their protein targets, and the GFP aptamer enriched 750-fold. By utilizing our device’s plate-based format with other complementary plate-based systems for all downstream biochemical processes and analysis, high-throughput selections, characterizations, and optimization were performed to significantly reduce the time and cost for completing large-scale aptamer selections.
FigureSchematic breakdown of a microplate-based enrichment device for the selection of aptamers (MEDUSA), which can be customized and assembled in both parallel and serial configurations. Up to 96 selections can be performed simultaneously.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00216-014-7661-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3975076  PMID: 24553662
Microcolumn; Aptamer; SELEX; Multiplex; High-throughput
3.  A Transfer Learning Approach for Network Modeling 
Networks models have been widely used in many domains to characterize the interacting relationship between physical entities. A typical problem faced is to identify the networks of multiple related tasks that share some similarities. In this case, a transfer learning approach that can leverage the knowledge gained during the modeling of one task to help better model another task is highly desirable. In this paper, we propose a transfer learning approach, which adopts a Bayesian hierarchical model framework to characterize task relatedness and additionally uses the L1-regularization to ensure robust learning of the networks with limited sample sizes. A method based on the Expectation-Maximization (EM) algorithm is further developed to learn the networks from data. Simulation studies are performed, which demonstrate the superiority of the proposed transfer learning approach over single task learning that learns the network of each task in isolation. The proposed approach is also applied to identification of brain connectivity networks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) from functional magnetic resonance image (fMRI) data. The findings are consistent with the AD literature.
PMCID: PMC3920601  PMID: 24526804
4.  Rapid Resolution Liquid Chromatography Coupled with Quadrupole Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry-Based Metabolomics Approach to Study the Effects of Jieduquyuziyin Prescription on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88223.
Jieduquyuziyin prescription (JP), a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) prescription, has been widely used for the clinical treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). However, the complex chemical constituents of JP and the multifactorial pathogenesis of SLE make research on the therapeutic mechanism of JP in SLE challenging. In this paper, a serum metabolomics approach based on rapid resolution liquid chromatography coupled with quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (RRLC-Q-TOF/MS) was employed to acquire the metabolic characteristics of serum samples obtained from mice in the SLE model group, JP-treated group, prednisone acetate (PA)-treated group and control group. The orthogonal partial least squares (OPLS) was applied to recognize metabolic patterns, and an obvious separation of groups was obtained. Thirteen metabolites, namely, phosphatidylethanolamine (PE 20:3), hepoxilin B3, lyso- phosphatidylethanolamine (lyso-PE 22:6), 12S-hydroxypentaenoic acid (12S-HEPE), traumatic acid, serotonin, platelet-activating factor (PAF), phosphatidylcholine (PC 20:5),eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), 12(S)-hydroxyei- cosatetraenoic acid (12S-HETE), 14-hydroxy docosahexaenoic acid (14-HDOHE), lyso-phosphatidylcholine (lyso-PC 20:4), and indole acetaldehyde, were identified and characterized as differential metabolites involved in the pathogenesis of SLE. After treatment with JP, the relative content of 12(S)-HETE, PAF, 12(S)-HEPE, EPA, PE (20:3), Lyso-PE(22:6), and 14-HDOHE were effectively regulated, which suggested that the therapeutic effects of JP on SLE may involve regulating disturbances to the metabolism of unsaturated fatty acid, tryptophan and phospholipid. This research also demonstrated that metabolomics is a powerful tool for researching complex disease mechanisms and evaluating the mechanism of action of TCM.
PMCID: PMC3914949  PMID: 24505438
5.  Dysplastic Nodules with Glypican-3 Positive Immunostaining: A Risk for Early Hepatocellular Carcinoma 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e87120.
Glypican-3 (GPC3) has been reported to be a novel serum and histochemical marker for HCC. The positivity or negativity for GPC3 in hepatic precancerous lesions, such as dysplastic nodules (DN), has also been described. Moreover, our previous studies have demonstrated that some DN in liver cirrhosis represent monoclonal hyperplasia, and confirmed their neoplastic nature. However, additional studies must be performed to investigate further the relationship between DN with GPC3 positivity and HCC. Thus, we first investigated the expression of GPC3 in 136 HCC and 103 small DN (less than 1 cm in diameter) by immunohistochemical staining and determined the clonality of 81 DN from female patients using X-chromosome inactivation mosaicism and polymorphism of androgen receptor (AR) gene. Then we examined these samples for chromosomal loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at 11 microsatellite polymorphism sites. The results demonstrated that GPC3 immunoreactivity was detected in 103 of 136 HCC (75.7%) and 19 of 103 DN (18.4%), and the positive ratio correlated with HBsAg positivity. Clonality assays showed that 15 GPC3-positive DN from female patients, including 12 high-grade DN (HGDN), and 28 (42.4%) of 66 GPC3-negative DN, were monoclonal. In addition, among 19 GPC3-positive DN, chromosomal LOH was found at loci D6S1008 (100%, 19/19), D8S262 (52.6%, 10/19) and D11S1301 (57.9%, 11/19). However, the LOH frequency in GPC3-negative DN was 5.95% (5/84), 23.8% (20/84), and 4.76% (4/84) in three loci, respectively. Thus, we concluded that GPC3-positive DN, especially GPC3-positive HGDN, was really a late premalignant lesion of HCC.
PMCID: PMC3909016  PMID: 24498024
6.  Motor Imagery Learning Modulates Functional Connectivity of Multiple Brain Systems in Resting State 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e85489.
Learning motor skills involves subsequent modulation of resting-state functional connectivity in the sensory-motor system. This idea was mostly derived from the investigations on motor execution learning which mainly recruits the processing of sensory-motor information. Behavioral evidences demonstrated that motor skills in our daily lives could be learned through imagery procedures. However, it remains unclear whether the modulation of resting-state functional connectivity also exists in the sensory-motor system after motor imagery learning.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We performed a fMRI investigation on motor imagery learning from resting state. Based on previous studies, we identified eight sensory and cognitive resting-state networks (RSNs) corresponding to the brain systems and further explored the functional connectivity of these RSNs through the assessments, connectivity and network strengths before and after the two-week consecutive learning. Two intriguing results were revealed: (1) The sensory RSNs, specifically sensory-motor and lateral visual networks exhibited greater connectivity strengths in precuneus and fusiform gyrus after learning; (2) Decreased network strength induced by learning was proved in the default mode network, a cognitive RSN.
These results indicated that resting-state functional connectivity could be modulated by motor imagery learning in multiple brain systems, and such modulation displayed in the sensory-motor, visual and default brain systems may be associated with the establishment of motor schema and the regulation of introspective thought. These findings further revealed the neural substrates underlying motor skill learning and potentially provided new insights into the therapeutic benefits of motor imagery learning.
PMCID: PMC3894973  PMID: 24465577
7.  17β-Estradiol Inhibits Mesenchymal Stem Cells-Induced Human AGS Gastric Cancer Cell Mobility via Suppression of CCL5- Src/Cas/Paxillin Signaling Pathway 
Gender differences in terms of mortality among many solid organ malignancies have been proved by epidemiological data. Estrogen has been suspected to cast a protective effect against cancer because of the lower mortality of gastric cancer in females and the benefits of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in gastric cancer. Hence, it suggests that 17β-estradiol (E2) may affect the behavior of cancer cells. One of the key features of cancer-related mortality is metastasis. Accumulating evidences suggest that human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (HBMMSCs) and its secreted CCL-5 have a role in enhancing the metastatic potential of breast cancer cells. However, it is not clear whether E2 would affect HBMMSCs-induced mobility in gastric cancer cells. In this report, we show that CCL-5 secreted by HBMMSCs enhanced mobility in human AGS gastric cancer cells via activation of Src/Cas/Paxillin signaling pathway. Treatment with specific neutralizing antibody of CCL-5 significantly inhibited HBMMSCs-enhanced mobility in human AGS gastric cancer cells. We further observe that 17β-estradiol suppressed HBMMSCs-enhanced mobility by down-regulating CCL5-Src/Cas/paxillin signaling pathway in AGS cells. Collectively, these results suggest that 17β-estradiol treatment significantly inhibits HBMMSCS-induced mobility in human AGS gastric cancer cells.
PMCID: PMC3880986  PMID: 24396281
Estrogen; Mesenchymal stem cell; Human gastric cancer cell; CCL-5; Cell mobility
8.  Suppression of KIF3B Expression Inhibits Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Proliferation 
Human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common fatal cancers and an important health problem worldwide, but its mechanism is still unclear. Microtubule (MT) kinesin motor proteins orchestrate a variety of cellular processes (e.g. mitosis, motility and organelle transportation) and have been involved in human carcinogenesis. KIF3B, the kinesin superfamily of proteins (KIFs), plays an important role in the regulation of mitotic progression.
The expression of KIF3B and its involvement in HCC was investigated.
Western blot and immunohistochemistry were used to measure the expression of KIF3B protein in HCC and adjacent non-tumorous tissues in 57 patients and Cell Counting Kit-8 to analyze the effects of growth and interference of KIF3B in the cell cycle process.
KIF3B protein level was increased in HCC tissues compared with the adjacent non-tumorous tissues. It was significantly associated with histological differentiation, tumor size, the level of alpha fetal protein (AFP) and proliferation marker Ki-67. Over-expression of KIF3B was correlated with poor survival. Following release of HepG2 cells from serum starvation, the expression of KIF3B was up-regulated. Furthermore, suppression of KIF3B not only decreased cancer cell growth but also induced apoptosis of cells.
Our results suggested that KIF3B expression was upregulated in HCC tumor tissues and proliferating HCC cells, and an increased KIF3B expression was associated with poor overall survival. KIF3B over-expression is involved in the pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma and may serve as a potential therapeutic target for human HCC.
PMCID: PMC3958719  PMID: 24368420
Human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); KIF3B; Cell proliferation; Pathogenesis
9.  Similar and Different Gray Matter Deficits in Schizophrenia Patients and Their Unaffected Biological Relatives 
Neuroimaging studies have revealed significant reductions in the gray matter (GM) of several brain regions in patients with schizophrenia, a neuropsychiatric disorder with high hereditability. However, it is unclear whether unaffected relatives have GM abnormalities in common with their affected relatives, which may relate to susceptibility to developing schizophrenia. To address this issue, we conducted two separate meta-analyses of voxel-based morphometry to investigate GM abnormalities in schizophrenia patients and their unaffected relatives. One meta-analysis compared a patient group with healthy controls, whereas the other meta-analysis compared the unaffected relatives with healthy controls. Eight studies comprising 495 patients with schizophrenia, 584 unaffected relatives of patients, and 596 healthy controls were systematically included in the present study. Compared to healthy controls, the patient group showed decreased GM in the right cuneus, the right superior frontal gyrus, the right insula and the left claustrum, and increased GM in the bilateral putamen, the right parahippocampal gyrus, the left precentral gyrus, the left inferior temporal gyri, and the right cerebellar tonsil. The comparison between unaffected relatives and healthy controls showed a GM reduction in the left claustrum, the bilateral parahippocampal gyri, the left fusiform gyrus, the right inferior temporal gyrus, and the bilateral medial prefrontal cortices, whereas increased GM was observed in the right hippocampus, the right fusiform gyrus, the right precentral gyrus, and the right precuneus. Thus, our meta-analyses show that the GM changes in schizophrenia patients and their unaffected relatives are largely different, although there is subtle overlap in some regions.
PMCID: PMC3836186  PMID: 24319433
schizophrenia; unaffected relatives; MRI; voxel-based morphometry; gray matter; meta-analysis
10.  Helicobacter pylori Infection and Anemia in Taiwanese Adults 
Background. Chronic Helicobacter pylori infection and iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) are common in adults. Although the most common causes of IDA usually arise from the gastrointestinal tract, the association between chronic Helicobacter pylori infection and anemia remains unclear. Aim. To evaluate the association of chronic Helicobacter pylori infection and IDA. Materials and Methods. We enrolled 882 patients from January 2010 to April 2013. The status of Helicobacter pylori (H.p) infection was confirmed and blood samples from the same participants were taken on the same day to check the level of hemoglobin, serum iron, ferritin, and total iron-binding capacity (TIBC). Results. No significant difference was noted from the demographic data. The average level of hemoglobin (Hb) was not different between negative and positive groups, pos 13.57 g/dL versus neg 13.65 g/dL (P = 0.699). Although the levels of serum IDA related parameters were expected in positive group (lower serum iron and ferritin and higher TIBC) these differences did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.824 for iron, P = 0.360 for ferritin, and P = 0.252 for TIBC). Conclusion. Chronic Helicobacter pylori infection is not attributed to IDA. The levels of hemoglobin, serum iron and ferritin, and TIBC remain unaffected after chronic H.p infection. Large-scale clinical studies are needed to prove the association.
PMCID: PMC3852401  PMID: 24348534
11.  Differentiation between dysplastic nodule and early-stage hepatocellular carcinoma: The utility of conventional MR imaging 
AIM: To elucidate the variety of ways early-stage hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) can appear on magnetic resonance (MR) imaging by analyzing T1-weighted, T2-weighted, and gadolinium-enhanced dynamic studies.
METHODS: Seventy-three patients with well-differentiated HCC (wHCC) or dysplastic nodules were retrospectively identified from medical records, and new histological sections were prepared and reviewed. The tumor nodules were categorized into three groups: dysplastic nodule (DN), wHCC compatible with Edmondson-Steiner grade I HCC (w1-HCC), and wHCC compatible with Edmondson-Steiner grade II HCC (w2-HCC). The signal intensity on pre-contrast MR imaging and the enhancing pattern for each tumor were recorded and compared between the three tumor groups.
RESULTS: Among the 73 patients, 14 were diagnosed as having DN, 40 were diagnosed as having w1-HCC, and 19 were diagnosed as having w2-HCC. Hyperintensity measurements on T2-weighted axial images (T2WI) were statistically significant between DNs and wHCC (P = 0.006) and between DN and w1-HCC (P = 0.02). The other imaging features revealed no significant differences between DN and wHCC or between DN and w1-HCC. Hyperintensity on both T1W out-phase imaging (P = 0.007) and arterial enhancement on dynamic study (P = 0.005) showed statistically significant differences between w1-HCC and w2-HCC. The other imaging features revealed no significant differences between w1-HCC and w2-HCC.
CONCLUSION: In the follow-up for a cirrhotic nodule, increased signal intensity on T2WI may be a sign of malignant transformation. Furthermore, a noted loss of hyperintensity on T1WI and the detection of arterial enhancement might indicate further progression of the histological grade.
PMCID: PMC3831226  PMID: 24259975
Dysplastic nodule; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Histological grading; Magnetic resonance imaging; Well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma
12.  Prediction and Characterization of Small Non-Coding RNAs Related to Secondary Metabolites in Saccharopolyspora erythraea 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e80676.
Saccharopolyspora erythraea produces a large number of secondary metabolites with biological activities, including erythromycin. Elucidation of the mechanisms through which the production of these secondary metabolites is regulated may help to identify new strategies for improved biosynthesis of erythromycin. In this paper, we describe the systematic prediction and analysis of small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) in S. erythraea, with the aim to elucidate sRNA-mediated regulation of secondary metabolite biosynthesis. In silico and deep-sequencing technologies were applied to predict sRNAs in S. erythraea. Six hundred and forty-seven potential sRNA loci were identified, of which 382 cis-encoded antisense RNA are complementary to protein-coding regions and 265 predicted transcripts are located in intergenic regions. Six candidate sRNAs (sernc292, sernc293, sernc350, sernc351, sernc361, and sernc389) belong to four gene clusters (tpc3, pke, pks6, and nrps5) that are involved in secondary metabolite biosynthesis. Deep-sequencing data showed that the expression of all sRNAs in the strain HL3168 E3 (E3) was higher than that in NRRL23338 (M), except for sernc292 and sernc361 expression. The relative expression of six sRNAs in strain M and E3 were validated by qRT-PCR at three different time points (24, 48, and 72 h). The results showed that, at each time point, the transcription levels of sernc293, sernc350, sernc351, and sernc389 were higher in E3 than in M, with the largest difference observed at 72 h, whereas no signals for sernc292 and sernc361 were detected. sernc293, sernc350, sernc351, and sernc389 probably regulate iron transport, terpene metabolism, geosmin synthesis, and polyketide biosynthesis, respectively. The major significance of this study is the successful prediction and identification of sRNAs in genomic regions close to the secondary metabolism-related genes in S. erythraea. A better understanding of the sRNA-target interaction would help to elucidate the complete range of functions of sRNAs in S. erythraea, including sRNA-mediated regulation of erythromycin biosynthesis.
PMCID: PMC3827479  PMID: 24236194
13.  New progress in endoscopic treatment of esophageal diseases 
The technique of endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD), which was developed for en bloc resection of large lesions in the stomach, has been widely accepted for the treatment of the entire gastrointestinal tract. Many minimally invasive endoscopic therapies based on ESD have been developed recently. Endoscopic submucosal excavation, submucosal tunneling endoscopic resection and laparoscopic-endoscopic cooperative surgery have been used to remove submucosal tumors, especially tumors which originate from the muscularis propria of the digestive tract. Peroral endoscopic myotomy has recently been described as a scarless and less invasive surgical myotomy option for the treatment of achalasia. Patients benefit from minimally invasive endoscopic therapy. This article, in the highlight topic series, provides detailed information on the indications and treatments for esophageal diseases.
PMCID: PMC3819532  PMID: 24222940
Endoscopic submucosal dissection; Endoscopic treatment; Esophageal disease; Indication; Treatment
14.  Brain structural plasticity in survivors of a major earthquake 
Stress responses have been studied extensively in animal models, but effects of major life stress on the human brain remain poorly understood. The aim of this study was to determine whether survivors of a major earthquake, who were presumed to have experienced extreme emotional stress during the disaster, demonstrate differences in brain anatomy relative to individuals who have not experienced such stressors.
Healthy survivors living in an area devastated by a major earthquake and matched healthy controls underwent 3-dimentional high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Survivors were scanned 13–25 days after the earthquake; controls had undergone MRI for other studies not long before the earthquake. We used optimized voxel-based morphometry analysis to identify regional differences of grey matter volume between the survivors and controls.
We included 44 survivors (17 female, mean age 37 [standard deviation (SD) 10.6] yr) and 38 controls (14 female, mean age 35.3 [SD 11.2] yr) in our analysis. Compared with controls, the survivors showed significantly lower grey matter volume in the bilateral insula, hippocampus, left caudate and putamen, and greater grey matter volume in the bilateral orbitofrontal cortex and the parietal lobe (all p < 0.05, corrected for multiple comparison).
Differences in the variance of survivor and control data could impact study findings.
Acute anatomic alterations could be observed in earthquake survivors in brain regions where functional alterations after stress have been described. Anatomic changes in the present study were observed earlier than previously reported and were seen in prefrontal–limbic, parietal and striatal brain systems. Together with the results of previous functional imaging studies, our observations suggest a complex pattern of human brain response to major life stress affecting brain systems that modulate and respond to heightened affective arousal.
PMCID: PMC3819151  PMID: 23710694
15.  Development-Specific Differences in the Proteomics of Angiostrongylus cantonensis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e76982.
Angiostrongyliasis is an emerging communicable disease. Several different hosts are required to complete the life cycle of Angiostrongylus cantonensis. However, we lack a complete understanding of variability of proteins across different developmental stages and their contribution to parasite survival and progression. In this study, we extracted soluble proteins from various stages of the A. cantonensis life cycle [female adults, male adults, the fifth-stage female larvae (FL5), the fifth-stage male larvae (ML5) and third-stage larvae (L3)], separated those proteins using two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) at pH 4–7, and analyzed the gel images using DeCyder 7.0 software. This proteomic analysis produced a total of 183 different dominant protein spots. Thirty-seven protein spots were found to have high confidence scores (>95%) by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). Comparative proteomic analyses revealed that 29 spots represented cytoskeleton-associated proteins and functional proteins. Eight spots were unnamed proteins. Twelve protein spots that were matched to the EST of different-stage larvae of A. cantonensis were identified. Two genes and the internal control 18s were chosen for quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) and the qPCR results were consistent with those of the DIGE studies. These findings will provide a new basis for understanding the characteristics of growth and development of A. cantonensis and the host–parasite relationship. They may also assist searches for candidate proteins suitable for use in diagnostic assays and as drug targets for the control of eosinophilic meningitis caused by A. cantonensis.
PMCID: PMC3808366  PMID: 24204717
16.  Top-down regulation of default mode activity in spatial visual attention 
Dorsal anterior cingulate and bilateral anterior insula form a task control network (TCN) whose primary function includes initiating and maintaining task-level cognitive set and exerting top-down regulation of sensorimotor processing. The default mode network (DMN), comprising an anatomically distinct set of cortical areas, mediates introspection and self-referential processes. Resting-state data show that TCN and DMN interact. The functional ramifications of their interaction remain elusive. Recording fMRI data from human subjects performing a visual spatial attention task and correlating Granger causal influences with behavioral performance and blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) activity we report three main findings. First, causal influences from TCN to DMN, i.e., TCN→DMN, are positively correlated with behavioral performance. Second, causal influences from DMN to TCN, i.e., DMN→TCN, are negatively correlated with behavioral performance. Third, stronger DMN→TCN are associated with less elevated BOLD activity in TCN, whereas the relationship between TCN→DMN and DMN BOLD activity is unsystematic. These results suggest that during visual spatial attention, top-down signals from TCN to DMN regulate the activity in DMN to enhance behavioral performance, whereas signals from DMN to TCN, acting possibly as internal noise, interfere with task control, leading to degraded behavioral performance.
PMCID: PMC3670184  PMID: 23575842
17.  Stat3 Inhibits PTPN13 Expression in Squamous Cell Lung Carcinoma through Recruitment of HDAC5 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:468963.
Proteins of the protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) family are known to be signaling molecules that regulate a variety of cellular processes including cell growth, differentiation, and apoptosis. PTPN13 (also known as FAP1, PTPL1, PTPLE, PTPBAS, and PTP1E), a putative tumor suppressor, is frequently inactivated in lung carcinoma through the loss of either mRNA or protein expression. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying its dysregulation have not been fully explored. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) mediated Stat3 activation is viewed as crucial for multiple tumor growth and progression. Here, we demonstrate that PTPN13 is a direct transcriptional target of Stat3 in the squamous cell lung carcinoma. Our data show that IL-6 administration or transfection of a constitutively activated Stat3 in HCC-1588 and SK-MES-1 cells inhibits PTPN13 mRNA transcription. Using luciferase reporter and ChIP assays, we show that Stat3 binds to the promoter region of PTPN13 and promotes its activity through recruiting HDAC5. Thus, our results suggest a previously unknown Stat3-PTPN13 molecular network controlling squamous cell lung carcinoma development.
PMCID: PMC3804148  PMID: 24191246
18.  Functional regeneration of irradiated salivary glands with human amniotic epithelial cells transplantation 
This study aimed to investigate the functional restoration of radiation-damaged salivary gland with human amniotic epithelial cells (hAECs) transplantation by intra-glandular injection. hAECs were isolated from the amnion tissues. After primary culture, the phenotype of hAECs of the second passage was identified by flow cytometry (FCM) and immunocytochemical staining. Then, hAECs were intra-glandularly injected into the irradiated glands of mice. At different time points after transplantation, the glands were collected for hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining and immunofluorescence staining, and the saliva flow rate was also determined. Results showed these cells were positive for CD29, CD73 and CK19 and negative for CD44, CD34, CD45 and CD71. The transplanted hAECs in the recipient glands could differentiate into acinar-like cells and resulted in morphological and functional restoration of salivary gland.
PMCID: PMC3796225  PMID: 24133581
Functional regeneration; salivary gland; irradiated; amniotic epithelial cells
19.  Collagen microsphere serving as a cell carrier supports oligodendrocyte progenitor cell growth and differentiation for neurite myelination in vitro 
Microspheres fabricated from natural materials serve as a promising biodegradable and biocompatible carrier in a small volume for efficient cell delivery to the lesion of the injured neural tissue to generate biological functions. As the major component of extracellular matrix and due to its natural abundance within the body, collagen may be fabricated into microspheres and improve the ability of pre-seeded cells on the microspheres to encounter the hostile micro-environment in the lesion.
In this study, collagen microspheres were fabricated using the water-in-oil emulsion technique and cross-linked with 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropryl) carbodiimide. Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells isolated from postnatal day P1 to 2 rats were cultured and differentiated on the microspheres. The microspheres carrying the oligodendrocyte progenitor cells were co-cultured with dorsal root ganglions from 15-day-old rat embryos. The myelination formation was studied for the co-culture of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells and dorsal root ganglions.
We showed that the viability of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells, B104 cells and PC12 cells grown on microspheres was not significantly different with those in cell culture plates. Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells differentiated into oligodendrocytes on collagen microspheres. The oligodendrocytes grown on microspheres extended processes that wrapped the axons of dorsal root ganglion neurons and the formation of myelin sheath was observed in the co-culture.
This study demonstrates the feasibility of collagen microspheres in further applications for the delivery of neural progenitor cells for neural regeneration.
PMCID: PMC3854863  PMID: 24018105
Microsphere; Oligodendrocyte; Cell delivery; Co-culture; Neural regeneration; Dorsal root ganglion
20.  Self-expandable metallic stent placement plus laparoscopy for acute malignant colorectal obstruction 
AIM: To investigate the clinical advantages of the stent-laparoscopy approach to treat colorectal cancer (CRC) patients with acute colorectal obstruction (ACO).
METHODS: From April 2008 to April 2012, surgery-related parameters, complications, overall survival (OS), and disease-free survival (DFS) of 74 consecutive patients with left-sided CRC presented with ACO who underwent self-expandable metallic stent (SEMS) placement followed by one-stage open (n = 58) or laparoscopic resection (n = 16) were evaluated retrospectively. The stent-laparoscopy group was also compared with a control group of 96 CRC patients who underwent regular laparoscopy without ACO between January 2010 and December 2011 to explore whether SEMS placement influenced the laparoscopic procedure or reduced long-term survival by influencing CRC oncological characteristics.
RESULTS: The characteristics of patients among these groups were comparable. The rate of conversion to open surgery was 12.5% in the stent-laparoscopy group. Bowel function recovery and postoperative hospital stay were significantly shorter (3.3 ± 0.9 d vs 4.2 ± 1.5 d and 6.7 ± 1.1 d vs 9.5 ± 6.7 d, P = 0.016 and P = 0.005), and surgical time was significantly longer (152.1 ± 44.4 min vs 127.4 ± 38.4 min, P = 0.045) in the stent-laparoscopy group than in the stent-open group. Surgery-related complications and the rate of admission to the intensive care unit were lower in the stent-laparoscopy group. There were no significant differences in the interval between stenting and surgery, intraoperative blood loss, OS, and DFS between the two stent groups. Compared with those in the stent-laparoscopy group, all surgery-related parameters, complications, OS, and DFS in the control group were comparable.
CONCLUSION: The stent-laparoscopy approach is a feasible, rapid, and minimally invasive option for patients with ACO caused by left-sided CRC and can achieve a favorable long-term prognosis.
PMCID: PMC3761105  PMID: 24023495
Self-expandable metallic stent; Colorectal cancer; Endoscopy; Laparoscopy; Efficiency; Safety
21.  Non-viral gene therapy for spinal cord regeneration 
Drug discovery today  2012;17(17-18):998-1005.
Spinal cord injury normally results in life-long disabilities and a broad range of secondary complications. Advances in therapeutic delivery during the past few decades offer hope for such victims. However, the limited functional improvement shown in in vivo studies hinders effective therapeutic application in clinical practice. Recent studies showed that gene vectors can transfect cells present in the lesion of an injured spinal cord (endogenous cells) and thereby produce therapeutic molecules with long-lasting biological effects that promote neural tissue regeneration. In this article we review recent advances in non-viral gene delivery into neural cells and their use for gene therapy in spinal cord injury.
PMCID: PMC3586204  PMID: 22634187
Spinal cord; gene therapy; delivery; biomaterials; regeneration
22.  Structural Interactions within the Default Mode Network Identified by Bayesian Network Analysis in Alzheimer’s Disease 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e74070.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a well-known neurodegenerative disease that is associated with dramatic morphological abnormalities. The default mode network (DMN) is one of the most frequently studied resting-state networks. However, less is known about specific structural dependency or interactions among brain regions within the DMN in AD. In this study, we performed a Bayesian network (BN) analysis based on regional grey matter volumes to identify differences in structural interactions among core DMN regions in structural MRI data from 80 AD patients and 101 normal controls (NC). Compared to NC, the structural interactions between the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and other brain regions, including the left inferior parietal cortex (IPC), the left inferior temporal cortex (ITC) and the right hippocampus (HP), were significantly reduced in the AD group. In addition, the AD group showed prominent increases in structural interactions from the left ITC to the left HP, the left HP to the right ITC, the right HP to the right ITC, and the right IPC to the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC). The BN models significantly distinguished AD patients from NC with 87.12% specificity and 81.25% sensitivity. We then used the derived BN models to examine the replicability and stability of AD-associated BN models in an independent dataset and the results indicated discriminability with 83.64% specificity and 80.49% sensitivity. The results revealed that the BN analysis was effective for characterising regional structure interactions and the AD-related BN models could be considered as valid and predictive structural brain biomarker models for AD. Therefore, our study can assist in further understanding the pathological mechanism of AD, based on the view of the structural network, and may provide new insights into classification and clinical application in the study of AD in the future.
PMCID: PMC3755999  PMID: 24015315
23.  Improved Working Memory Performance through Self-Regulation of Dorsal Lateral Prefrontal Cortex Activation Using Real-Time fMRI 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e73735.
Working memory is important for a wide range of high-level cognitive activities. Previous studies have shown that the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) plays a critical role in working memory and that behavioral training of working memory can alter the activity of DLPFC. However, it is unclear whether the activation in the DLPFC can be self-regulated and whether any self-regulation can affect working memory behavior. The recently emerged real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (rtfMRI) technique enables the individuals to acquire self-control of localized brain activation, potentially inducing desirable behavioral changes. In the present study, we employed the rtfMRI technique to train subjects to up-regulate the activation in the left DLPFC, which is linked to verbal working memory. After two rtfMRI training sessions, activation in the left DLPFC was significantly increased, whereas the control group that received sham feedback did not show any increase in DLPFC activation. Pre- and post-training behavioral tests indicated that performance of the digit span and letter memory task was significantly improved in the experimental group. Between-group comparison of behavioral changes showed that the increase of digit span in the experimental group was significantly greater than that in the control group. These findings provide preliminary evidence that working memory performance can be improved through learned regulation of activation in associated brain regions using rtfMRI.
PMCID: PMC3754924  PMID: 24013130
24.  Identification of genuine primary pulmonary NK cell lymphoma via clinicopathologic observation and clonality assay 
Diagnostic Pathology  2013;8:140.
Extranodal natural killer (NK)/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type, is an uncommon lymphoma associated with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). It most commonly involves the nasal cavity and upper respiratory tract. Primary pulmonary NK/T cell lymphoma is extremely rare. If a patient with a NK or T-cell tumor has an unusual reaction to treatment or an unusual prognosis, it is wise to differentiate NK from T-cell tumors. The clinicopathologic characteristics, immunophenotype, EBV in situ hybridization, and T cell receptor (TCR) gene rearrangement of primary pulmonary NK cell lymphoma from a 73-year-old Chinese woman were investigated and the clonal status was determined using female X-chromosomal inactivation mosaicism and polymorphisms at the phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK) gene. The lesion showed the typical histopathologic characteristics and immunohistochemical features of NK/T cell lymphoma. However, the sample was negative for TCR gene rearrangement. A clonality assay demonstrated that the lesion was monoclonal. It is concluded that this is the first recorded case of genuine primary pulmonary NK cell lymphoma. The purpose of the present work is to recommend that pathologists carefully investigate the whole lesion to reduce the likelihood that primary pulmonary NK cell lymphoma will be misdiagnosed as an infectious lesion. In addition, TCR gene rearrangement and clonal analysis, which is based on female X-chromosomal inactivation mosaicism and polymorphisms at PGK and androgen receptor (AR) loci, were found to play important roles in differentiating NK cell lymphoma from T cell lymphoma.
Virtual slides
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PMCID: PMC3846405  PMID: 23958352
Extranodal NK/T cell lymphoma; Lung; Immunophenotype; TCR gene rearrangement; Clonality
25.  Extracorporeal Hepatic Resection and Autotransplantation Using Temporary Portocaval Shunt Provides an Improved Solution for Conventionally Unresectable HCC 
Digestive Diseases and Sciences  2013;58:3637-3640.
PMCID: PMC3838586  PMID: 23918151
Extracorporeal hepatic resection; Autotransplantation; Hepatocellular carcinoma with difficult anatomy; Temporary portocaval shunt

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