We sought to evaluate the feasibility and accuracy of free-breathing three-dimensional (3D) phase-sensitive inversion-recovery (PSIR) Turbo FLASH sequence for noninvasive assessment of left ventricular myocardial scar in swine models.
Materials and Methods
Nine Chinese minipigs with experimentally induced acute myocardial infarction were studied. At 1 week and the study endpoint 4 weeks after myocardial infarction surgery, the 3D and 2D contrasted cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging were performed randomly by using a 1.5T clinical MR imaging system. Comparisons of myocardial scar volume (in cubic centimeters), scar transmurality (on a 5 points scale) and image quality (on a 4 points Likert scale) were performed by using the Pearson correlation and Bland-Altman analysis (for myocardial scar volume) or κ statistics (for transmurality) or Wilcoxon signed rank test (for image quality).
In 6 of the 9 pigs, all procedures were successfully completed. In these pigs, a total of 48 segments with myocardial scars were detected by both 3D and 2D sequences, and there was good agreement for classification of scar transmurality (κ=0.930). The scar volume determined by triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining (3.52±1.40cm3) showed a good correlation with both 3D (3.54±1.36cm3, r=0.957, P=0.003) and 2D sequence (3.53±1.26cm3, r=0.942, P=0.005) at 4 weeks. And there were good correlation between scar volumes obtained from 3D and 2D techniques (r=0.859, P<0.001) at both time points. Both 3D and 2D images detected a small reduction of scar volume from week 1 to week 4 by a factor of 1.179 and 1.176, respectively. Although slightly more artifacts were observed on 2D PSIR images, the overall image quality was not significantly different between the two sequences (3.17±0.83 for 2D vs. 3.25±0.75 for 3D, P =0.655).
The free-breathing 3D PSIR Turbo FLASH sequence enables accurate assessment of left ventricular myocardial scar.
There is a strong research interest in identifying the surface roughness of the carotid arterial inner wall via texture analysis for early diagnosis of atherosclerosis. The purpose of this study is to assess the efficacy of texture analysis methods for identifying arterial roughness in the early stage of atherosclerosis. Ultrasound images of common carotid arteries of 15 normal mice fed a normal diet and 28 apoE−/− mice fed a high-fat diet were recorded by a high-frequency ultrasound system (Vevo 2100, frequency: 40 MHz). Six different texture feature sets were extracted based on the following methods: first-order statistics, fractal dimension texture analysis, spatial gray level dependence matrix, gray level difference statistics, the neighborhood gray tone difference matrix, and the statistical feature matrix. Statistical analysis indicates that 11 of 19 texture features can be used to distinguish between normal and abnormal groups (p<0.05). When the 11 optimal features were used as inputs to a support vector machine classifier, we achieved over 89% accuracy, 87% sensitivity and 93% specificity. The accuracy, sensitivity and specificity for the k-nearest neighbor classifier were 73%, 75% and 70%, respectively. The results show that it is feasible to identify arterial surface roughness based on texture features extracted from ultrasound images of the carotid arterial wall. This method is shown to be useful for early detection and diagnosis of atherosclerosis.
Doxorubicin (DOX) is a commonly used life-saving antineoplastic agent that also causes dose-dependent cardiotoxicity. Because ATP is absolutely required to sustain normal cardiac contractile function and because impaired ATP synthesis through creatine kinase (CK), the primary myocardial energy reserve reaction, may contribute to contractile dysfunction in heart failure, we hypothesized that impaired CK energy metabolism contributes to DOX-induced cardiotoxicity. We therefore overexpressed the myofibrillar isoform of CK (CK-M) in the heart and determined the energetic, contractile and survival effects of CK-M following weekly DOX (5mg/kg) administration using in vivo31P MRS and 1H MRI. In control animals, in vivo cardiac energetics were reduced at 7 weeks of DOX protocol and this was followed by a mild but significant reduction in left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) at 8 weeks of DOX, as compared to baseline. At baseline, CK-M overexpression (CK-M-OE) increased rates of ATP synthesis through cardiac CK (CK flux) but did not affect contractile function. Following DOX however, CK-M-OE hearts had better preservation of creatine phosphate and higher CK flux and higher EF as compared to control DOX hearts. Survival after DOX administration was significantly better in CK-M-OE than in control animals (p<0.02). Thus CK-M-OE attenuates the early decline in myocardial high-energy phosphates and contractile function caused by chronic DOX administration and increases survival. These findings suggest that CK impairment plays an energetic and functional role in this DOX-cardiotoxicity model and suggests that metabolic strategies, particularly those targeting CK, offer an appealing new strategy for limiting DOX-associated cardiotoxicity.
To investigate the relationship between the level of left renal vein (LRV) compression and changes in the perfusion of the left kidney in patients with nutcracker syndrome (NCS) by one-stop whole-organ perfusion imaging of bilateral kidneys using 640-slice volume CT.
Twelve patients, clinically diagnosed with NCS, were subjected to one-stop examination of kidneys. Angiography and whole-organ perfusion imaging of bilateral kidneys were conducted, and the compression segment of LRV was demonstrated and measured. Information including the results of whole-organ perfusion images of both kidneys in 12 patients was collected. Results of epigastrium dynamic volume scanning by 640-slice volume CT were collected for 12 patients as control group. Left and right renal cortexes were chosen as regions of interest (ROI), and their perfusion values were measured.
The perfusion values of the left and right renal cortexes in the control group were 323.8 ml·min−1·100 ml−1 and 322.9 ml·min−1·100 ml−1, respectively. The difference was not statistically significant (t = 1.388, P = 0.193). For NCS patients, the perfusion values of the left and right renal cortexes were 350.8 ml·min−1·100 ml−1 and 391.1 ml·min−1·100 ml−1, respectively. Significantly decreased value was observed in left renal cortex compared to that of the right renal cortex, with the mean decrease of 40.3 ml·min−1·100 ml−1, and the difference was statistically significant (t = −4.204, P = 0.001).
As a non-invasive functional imaging technique, whole-organ perfusion imaging of kidneys can be used to evaluate the organ and tissue perfusion status and to accurately reflect the hemodynamic changes of the left renal cortex in the patients with NCS. Whole organ perfusion imaging may also provide the basis for quantitative diagnosis and clinical interventions of NCS.
Bone marrow stem cell therapy is a new, attractive therapeutic approach for treatment of intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration; however, leakage and backflow of transplanted cells into the structures surrounding the disc may lead to the formation of undesirable osteophytes. The purpose of this study was to develop a technique for minimally invasive and accurate delivery of stem cells.
Porcine mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were labeled with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIO, Molday ION rhodamine) and first injected into the explanted swine lumbar IVD, followed by ex vivo 3T MRI. After having determined sufficient sensitivity, IVD degeneration was then induced in swine (n=3) by laser-evaporation. 3 x 106 SPIO-labeled cells embedded within hydrogel were injected in 2 doses using a transcutaneous cannula and an epidural anesthesia catheter. T2-weighted MR images were obtained at 3T before and immediately after cell infusion. Two weeks after injection, histological examination was performed for detection of transplanted cells.
MSCs were efficiently labeled with Molday ION rhodamine. Cells could be readily detected in the injected vertebral tissue explants as distinct hypointensities with sufficient sensitivity. MR monitoring indicated that the MSCs were successfully delivered into the IVD in
vivo, which was confirmed by iron-positive Prussian Blue staining of the tissue within the IVD.
We have developed a technique for non-invasive monitoring of minimally invasive stem delivery into the IVD at 3T. By using a large animal model mimicking the anatomy of IVD in humans, the present results indicate that this procedure may be clinically feasible.
Various E-ring hydroxylated antofine and cryptopleurine analogs were designed, synthesized, and tested against five human cancer cell lines. Interesting structure-activity relationship (SAR) correlations were found among these new compounds. The most potent compound 13b was further tested against a series of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines, in which it showed impressive antiproliferative activity. Mechanistic studies revealed that 13b is able to down-regulate HSP90 and β-catenin in A549 lung adenocarcinoma cells in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting a potential use for treating Hedgehog pathway-driven tumorigenesis.
Structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has shown great utility in diagnosing soft tissue burden in osteoarthritis (OA), though MRI measures of cartilage integrity have proven more elusive. Sodium MRI can reflect the proteoglycan content of cartilage; however, it requires specialized hardware, acquisition sequences, and long imaging times. This study was designed to assess the potential of a clinically feasible sodium MRI acquisition to detect differences in the knee cartilage of subjects with OA versus healthy controls (HC), and to determine whether longitudinal changes in sodium content are observed at 3 and 6 months. 28 subjects with primary knee OA and 19 HC subjects age and gender matched were enrolled in this ethically-approved study. At baseline, 3 and 6 months subjects underwent structural MRI and a 0.4ms echo time 3D T1-weighted sodium scan as well as the knee injury and osteoarthritis outcome score (KOOS) and knee pain by visual analogue score (VAS). A standing radiograph of the knee was taken for Kellgren-Lawrence (K-L) scoring. A blinded reader outlined the cartilage on the structural images which was used to determine median T1-weighted sodium concentrations in each region of interest on the co-registered sodium scans. VAS, K-L, and KOOS all significantly separated the OA and HC groups. OA subjects had higher T1-weighted sodium concentrations, most strongly observed in the lateral tibial, lateral femoral and medial patella ROIs. There were no significant changes in cartilage volume or sodium concentration over 6 months. This study has shown that a clinically-feasible sodium MRI at a moderate 3T field strength and imaging time with fluid attenuation by T1 weighting significantly separated HCs from OA subjects.
Background Drinking alcohol has a long tradition in Chinese culture. However, data on the prevalence and patterns of alcohol consumption in China, and its main correlates, are limited.
Methods During 2004–08 the China Kadoorie Biobank recruited 512 891 men and women aged 30–79 years from 10 urban and rural areas of China. Detailed information on alcohol consumption was collected using a standardized questionnaire, and related to socio-demographic, physical and behavioural characteristics in men and women separately.
Results Overall, 76% of men and 36% of women reported drinking some alcohol during the past 12 months, with 33% of men and 2% of women drinking at least weekly; the prevalence of weekly drinking in men varied from 7% to 51% across the 10 study areas. Mean consumption was 286 g/week and was higher in those with less education. Most weekly drinkers habitually drank spirits, although this varied by area, and beer consumption was highest among younger drinkers; 37% of male weekly drinkers (12% of all men) reported weekly heavy drinking episodes, with the prevalence highest in younger men. Drinking alcohol was positively correlated with regular smoking, blood pressure and heart rate. Among male weekly drinkers, each 20 g/day alcohol consumed was associated with 2 mmHg higher systolic blood pressure. Potential indicators of problem drinking were reported by 24% of male weekly drinkers.
Conclusion The prevalence and patterns of drinking in China differ greatly by age, sex and geographical region. Alcohol consumption is associated with a number of unfavourable health behaviours and characteristics.
Alcohol; drinking; cohort study; descriptive analysis; China
Significant obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) is common in asymptomatic dialysis patients. Identifying these high risk patients is warranted and may improve the prognosis of this vulnerable patient group. Routine catheterization of incident dialysis patients has been proposed, but is considered too invasive. CT-angiography may therefore be more appropriate. However, extensive coronary calcification, often present in this patient group, might hamper adequate lumen evaluation. The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility of CT-angiography in this patient group.
For this analysis all patients currently participating in the ICD2 trial (ISRCTN20479861), with no history of PCI or CABG were included. The major epicardial vessels were evaluated on a segment basis (segment 1–3, 5–8, 11 and 13) by a team consisting of an interventional and an imaging specialist. Segments were scored as not significant, significant and not interpretable.
A total of 70 dialysis patients, with a mean age of 66±8 yrs and predominantly male (70%) were included. The median calcium score was 623 [79, 1619].
Over 90% of the analyzed segments were considered interpretable. The incidence of significant CAD on CT was 43% and was associated with cardiovascular events during follow-up. The incidence of cardiovascular events after 2-years follow-up: 36% vs. 0% in patients with no significant CAD (p<0.01).
Despite the high calcium scores CT-angiography is feasible for the evaluation of the extent of CAD in dialysis patients. Moreover the presence of significant CAD on CT was associated with events during follow-up.
There is increasing evidence that structural lung changes may be present before the occurrence of airflow limitation as assessed by spirometry. This study investigated the prevalence of computed tomography (CT) quantified emphysema, airway wall thickening and gas trapping according to classification of airflow limitation (FEV1/FVC <70% and/or < the lower limit of normal (LLN)) in (heavy) smokers.
A total number of 1,140 male former and current smokers participating in a lung cancer screenings trial (NELSON) were included and underwent chest CT scanning and spirometry. Emphysema was quantified by the 15th percentile, air way wall thickening by the square root of wall area for a theoretical airway with 10mm lumen perimeter (Pi10) and gas trapping by the mean lung density expiratory/inspiratory (E/I)-ratio. Participants were classified by entry FEV1/FVC: group 1>70%; group 2<70% but >LLN; and group 370% but FEV1 <80% predicted, were excluded. Multivariate regression analysis correcting for covariates was used to asses the extent of emphysema, airway wall thickening and gas trapping according to three groups of airflow limitation.
Mean (standard deviation) age was 62.5 (5.2) years and packyears smoked was 41.0 (18.0). Group 2 subjects when compared to group 1 had a significantly lower 15th percentile, −920.6 HU versus −912.2 HU; a higher Pi10, 2.87 mm versus 2.57 mm; and a higher E/I-ratio, 88.6% versus 85.6% (all p<0.001).
Subjects with an FEV1/FVC<70%, but above the LLN, have a significant greater degree of structural lung changes on CT compared to subjects without airflow limitation.
Functional recovery after brain injury in animals is improved by marrow stromal cells (MSC) which stimulate neurite reorganization. However, MRI measurement of neurite density changes after injury has not been performed. In this study, we investigate the feasibility of MRI measurement of neurite density in an animal model of traumatic brain injury (TBI) with and without MSC treatment.
Fifteen male Wistar rats, were treated with saline (n = 6) or MSCs (n = 9) and were sacrificed at 6 weeks after controlled cortical impact (CCI). Healthy non-CCI rats (n = 5), were also employed. Ex-vivo MRI scans were performed two days after the rats were sacrificed. Multiple-shell hybrid diffusion imaging encoding scheme and spherical harmonic expansion of a two-compartment water diffusion displacement model were used to extract neurite related parameters. Bielshowski and Luxol Fast blue was used for staining axons and myelin, respectively. Modified Morris water maze and neurological severity score (mNSS) test were performed for functional evaluation. The treatment effects, the correlations between neurite densities measured by MRI and histology, and the correlations between MRI and functional variables were calculated by repeated measures analysis of variance, the regression correlation analysis tests, and spearman correlation coefficients.
Neurite densities exhibited a significant correlation (R2>0.80, p<1E−20) between MRI and immuno-histochemistry measurements with 95% lower bound of the intra-correlation coefficient (ICC) as 0.86. The conventional fractional anisotropy (FA) correlated moderately with histological neurite density (R2 = 0.59, P<1E−5) with 95% lower bound of ICC as 0.76. MRI data revealed increased neurite reorganization with MSC treatment compared with saline treatment, confirmed by histological data from the same animals. mNSS were significantly correlated with MRI neurite density in the hippocampus region.
The present studies demonstrated that neurite density can be estimated by MRI after TBI and MRI measurement of neurite density is a sensitive marker to MSC treatment response.
In past reports, researchers have seldom attached importance to achievements in transforming digital anatomy to radiological diagnosis. However, investigators have been able to illustrate communication relationships in the retroperitoneal space by drawing potential routes in computerized tomography (CT) images or a virtual anatomical atlas. We established a new imaging anatomy research method for comparisons of the communication relationships of the retroperitoneal space in combination with the Visible Human Project and CT images. Specifically, the anatomic pathways of peripancreatic fluid extension to the mediastinum that may potentially transform into fistulas were studied.
We explored potential pathways to the mediastinum based on American and Chinese Visible Human Project datasets. These drainage pathways to the mediastinum were confirmed or corrected in CT images of 51 patients with recurrent acute pancreatitis in 2011. We also investigated whether additional routes to the mediastinum were displayed in CT images that were not in Visible Human Project images.
All hypothesized routes to the mediastinum displayed in Visible Human Project images, except for routes from the retromesenteric plane to the bilateral retrorenal plane across the bilateral fascial trifurcation and further to the retrocrural space via the aortic hiatus, were confirmed in CT images. In addition, route 13 via the narrow space between the left costal and crural diaphragm into the retrocrural space was demonstrated for the first time in CT images.
This type of exploration model related to imaging anatomy may be used to support research on the communication relationships of abdominal spaces, mediastinal spaces, cervical fascial spaces and other areas of the body.
Hydroxysteroid sulfotransferase 2B1b (SULT2B1b) is highly selective for the addition of sulfate groups to 3β-hydroxysteroids. Although previous reports have suggested that SULT2B1b is correlated with cell proliferation of hepatocytes, the relationship between SULT2B1b and the malignant phenotype of hepatocarcinoma cells was not clear. In the present study, we found that SULT2B1 was comparatively higher in the human hepatocarcinoma tumorous tissues than their adjacent tissues. Besides, SULT2B1b overexpression promoted the growth of the mouse hepatocarcinoma cell line Hepa1-6, while Lentivirus-mediated SULT2B1b interference inhibited growth as assessed by the CCK-8 assay. Likewise, inhibition of SULT2B1b expression induced cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis in Hepa1-6 cells by upregulating the expression of FAS, downregulating the expression of cyclinB1, BCL2 and MYC in vitro and in vivo at both the transcript and protein levels. Knock-down of SULT2B1b expression significantly suppressed tumor growth in nude mouse xenografts. Moreover, proliferation rates and SULT2B1b expression were highly correlated in the human hepatocarcinoma cell lines Huh-7, Hep3B, SMMC-7721 and BEL-7402 cells. Knock-down of SULT2B1b inhibited cell growth and cyclinB1 levels in human hepatocarcinoma cells and suppressed xenograft growth in vivo. In conclusion, SULT2B1b expression promotes proliferation of hepatocellular carcinoma cells in vitro and in vivo, which may contribute to the progression of HCC.
Pre-procedural intravenous fluid administration is an effective prophylaxis measure for contrast-induced acute kidney injury. For logistical ease, the oral route is an alternative to the intravenous. The objective of this study was to compare the efficacy of the oral to the intravenous route in prevention of contrast-induced acute kidney injury.
A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised trials with a stratified analysis and metaregression. Databases included MEDLINE (1950 to November 23 2011), EMBASE (1947 to week 47 2011), Cochrane CENTRAL (3rd quarter 2011). Two reviewers identified relevant trials and abstracted data.
Settings and Population
Trials including patients undergoing a contrast enhanced procedure.
Randomised controlled trial; adult (>18 years) population; comparison of oral versus intravenous volume expansion.
Oral route of volume expansion compared to the intravenous route.
Any measure of acute kidney injury, need for renal replacement therapy, hospitalization and death.
Six trials including 513 patients met inclusion criteria. The summary odds ratio was 1.19 (95% CI 0.46, 3.10, p = 0.73) suggesting no difference between the two routes of volume expansion. There was significant heterogeneity (Cochran’s Q = 11.65, p = 0.04; I2 = 57). In the stratified analysis, inclusion of the five studies with a prespecified oral volume expansion protocol resulted in a shift towards oral volume expansion (OR 0.75, 95% CI 0.37, 1.50, p = 0.42) and also resolved the heterogeneity (Q = 3.19, P = 0.53; I2 = 0).
Small number of studies identified; lack of hard clinical outcomes.
The oral route may be as effective as the intravenous route for volume expansion for contrast-induced acute kidney injury prevention. Adequately powered trials with hard endpoints should be done given the potential advantages of oral (e.g. reduced patient burden and cost) over intravenous volume expansion.
As cancer cells are affected by many factors in their microenvironment, a major challenge is to isolate the effect of a specific factor on cancer stem cells (CSCs) while keeping other factors unchanged. We have developed a synthetic inert 3D polyethylene glycol diacrylate (PEGDA) gel culture system as a unique tool to study the effect of microenvironmental factors on CSCs response. We have reported that CSCs formed in the inert PEGDA gel by encapsulation of breast cancer cells maintain their stemness within a certain range of gel stiffness. The objective was to investigate the effect of CD44 binding peptide (CD44BP) conjugated to the gel on the maintenance of breast CSCs.
4T1 or MCF7 breast cancer cells were encapsulated in PEGDA gel with CD44BP conjugation. Control groups included dissolved CD44BP and the gel with mutant CD44BP conjugation. Tumorsphere size and density, and expression of CSC markers were determined after 9 days. For in vivo, cell encapsulated gels were inoculated in syngeneic Balb/C mice and tumor formation was determined after 4 weeks. Effect of CD44BP conjugation on breast CSC maintenance was compared with integrin binding RGD peptide (IBP) and fibronectin-derived heparin binding peptide (FHBP).
Conjugation of CD44BP to the gel inhibited breast tumorsphere formation in vitro and in vivo. The ability of the encapsulated cells to form tumorspheres in the peptide-conjugated gels correlated with the expression of CSC markers. Tumorsphere formation in vitro was enhanced by FHBP while it was abolished by IBP.
CD44BP and IBP conjugated to the gel abolished tumorsphere formation by encapsulated 4T1 cells while FHBP enhanced tumorsphere formation compared to cells in the gel without peptide. The PEGDA hydrogel culture system provides a novel tool to investigate the individual effect of factors in the microenvironment on CSC maintenance without interference of other factors.
Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) has become an important and effective interventional procedure in treatment of the complications related to portal hypertension. Although the primary patency of TIPS has been greatly improved due to the clinical application of cover stent-grafts, the long-term patency is still suboptimal. This study was to investigate the feasibility of using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-monitored intra-shunt local agent delivery of motexafin gadolinium (MGd) into shunt-vein walls of TIPS. This new technique aimed to ultimately inhibit shuntstenosis of TIPS.
Human umbilical vein smooth muscle cells (SMCs) were incubated with various concentrations of MGd, and then examed by confocal microscopy and T1-map MRI. In addition, the proliferation of MGd-treated cells was evaluated. For in vivo validation, seventeen pigs underwent TIPS. Before placement of the stent, an MGd/trypan-blue mixture was locally delivered, via a microporous balloon, into eleven shunt-hepatic vein walls under dynamic MRI monitoring, while trypan-blue only was locally delivered into six shunt-hepatic vein walls as serve as controls. T1-weighted MRI of the shunt-vein walls was achieved before- and at different time points after agent injections. Contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) of the shunt-vein wall at each time-point was measured. Shunts were harvested for subsequent histology confirmation.
In vitro studies confirmed the capability of SMCs in uptaking MGds in a concentration-dependent fashion, and demonstrated the suppression of cell proliferation by MGds as well. Dynamic MRI displayed MGd/blue penetration into the shunt-vein walls, showing significantly higher CNR of shunt-vein walls on post-delivery images than on pre-delivery images (49.5±9.4 vs 11.2±1.6, P<0.01), which was confirmed by histology.
Results of this study indicate that MRI-monitored intra-shunt local MGd delivery is feasible and MGd functions as a potential therapeutic agent to inhibit the proliferation of SMCs, which may open alternative avenues to improve the long-term patency of TIPS.
To evaluate whether midsagittal (abdominal) obesity in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), waist circumference (WC) and body fat percentage are associated with lumbar disc degeneration in early adulthood.
We obtained the lumbar MRI (1.5-T scanner) of 325 females and 233 males at a mean age of 21 years. Lumbar disc degeneration was evaluated using Pfirrmann classification. We analysed the associations of MRI measures of obesity (abdominal diameter (AD), sagittal diameter (SAD), ventral subcutaneous thickness (VST), and dorsal subcutaneous thickness (DST)), WC and body fat percentage with disc degeneration sum scores using ordinal logistic regression.
A total of 155 (48%) females and 147 (63%) males had disc degeneration. AD and SAD were associated with a disc degeneration sum score of ≥3 compared to disc degeneration sum score of 0–2 (OR 1.67; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.20–2.33 and OR 1.40; 95% CI 1.12–1.75, respectively) among males, but we found no association among females. WC was also associated with disc degeneration among males (OR 1.03 per one cm; 95% CI 1.00–1.05), but not among females.
Measures of abdominal obesity in MRI and waist circumference were associated with disc degeneration among 21-year-old males.
Type III secretion system (T3SS) of the plague bacterium Y. pestis encodes a syringe-like structure consisting of more than 20 proteins, which can inject virulence effectors into host cells to modulate the cellular functions. Here in this report, interactions among the possible components in T3SS of Yersinia pestis were identified using yeast mating technique. A total of 57 genes, including all the pCD1-encoded genes except those involved in plasmid replication and partition, pseudogenes, and the putative transposase genes, were subjected to yeast mating analysis. 21 pairs of interaction proteins were identified, among which 9 pairs had been previously reported and 12 novel pairs were identified in this study. Six of them were tested by GST pull down assay, and interaction pairs of YscG-SycD, YscG-TyeA, YscI-YscF, and YopN-YpCD1.09c were successfully validated, suggesting that these interactions might play potential roles in function of Yersinia T3SS. Several potential new interactions among T3SS components could help to understand the assembly and regulation of Yersinia T3SS.
Tylophorine analogs exhibit a broad range of pharmacological activities, including anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-autoimmune, and anti-virus effects. Structure-activity relationship study of different structure tylophorine analogs can provide further understanding of their biological activity. Modifications on the E ring of the quinolizidine moiety of cryptopleurine analogs changed the potency and the selective inhibitory effect on NF-κB, AP-1, and CRE signaling pathways. Functional cryptopleurine analogs showed potent inhibition of NF-κB signaling pathway in both HepG2 and HEK-293 cell lines. The E ring structure analogs also differed in suppression of protein translation, and expression of cyclin D1. Our results showed that DCB-3503 or Rac-cryptopleurine could be a scaffold for modification to yield compounds with different mechanisms of action.
To develop a small animal model of controlled aortic intimal injury with ultrasound imaging guidance.
Materials and Methods
Via carotid artery cut down, we advanced a custom-made micro-catheter/angled-metal-device system to damage the intima of the ascending aortas of 20 Sprague Dawley (SD) rats and 10 JCR atherosclerotic rats. This minimally invasive endovascular procedure was monitored by a clinical ultrasound imaging system. Injured aortas were harvested for histologic confirmations using a grading system: Grade I with intima injury, Grade II with injury to media, and Grade III with injury through the entire aortic wall. Neointimal reactions at the injury site were compared by calculating the ratio of intimal to medial thickness among different animal groups at various survival times (week 1, weeks 2–3 and weeks 4–7).
Clear visualization of the architectures of the heart, great vessels and the exact location of the angled-metal-device by ultrasound imaging ensured consistent intimal damage of the aorta. Histopathology confirmed that most of the aortic injures were classified as Grade I. There was no significant difference between the two rat groups. Analysis on pathophysiological reactions at the injury sites revealed increased thickening of neointimal hyperplasia as animal survival times extended from week 1 to weeks 4–7 after the aortic interventions.
This study demonstrates the feasibility of using clinical ultrasound imaging to precisely guide the creation of controlled aortic intimal injury in rats, which may become a useful tool to facilitate research involving the prevention and treatment of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease; rat model; ultrasound; vascular injury
A Yersinia pestis-human protein interaction network is reported here to improve our understanding of its pathogenesis. Up to 204 interactions between 66 Y. pestis bait proteins and 109 human proteins were identified by yeast two-hybrid assay and then combined with 23 previously published interactions to construct a protein-protein interaction network. Topological analysis of the interaction network revealed that human proteins targeted by Y. pestis were significantly enriched in the proteins that are central in the human protein-protein interaction network. Analysis of this network showed that signaling pathways important for host immune responses were preferentially targeted by Y. pestis, including the pathways involved in focal adhesion, regulation of cytoskeleton, leukocyte transendoepithelial migration, and Toll-like receptor (TLR) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling. Cellular pathways targeted by Y. pestis are highly relevant to its pathogenesis. Interactions with host proteins involved in focal adhesion and cytoskeketon regulation pathways could account for resistance of Y. pestis to phagocytosis. Interference with TLR and MAPK signaling pathways by Y. pestis reflects common characteristics of pathogen-host interaction that bacterial pathogens have evolved to evade host innate immune response by interacting with proteins in those signaling pathways. Interestingly, a large portion of human proteins interacting with Y. pestis (16/109) also interacted with viral proteins (Epstein-Barr virus [EBV] and hepatitis C virus [HCV]), suggesting that viral and bacterial pathogens attack common cellular functions to facilitate infections. In addition, we identified vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) as a novel interaction partner of YpkA and showed that YpkA could inhibit in vitro actin assembly mediated by VASP.
This study was to develop a novel method of nanoparticle-based MR colonography. Two types of solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs) were synthesized with loading of (a) gadolinium-diethylenetriaminepenta-acetic-acid (Gd-DTPA) to construct Gd-SLNs as an MR T1 contrast agent; and (b) otcadecylamine-fluorescein-isothiocyanate (ODA-FITC) to construct Gd-FITC-SLNs for histologic confirmation of MR findings. Through an in vitro experiment, we first evaluated the size distribution and Gd-DTPA entrapment efficiency of these SLNs. The SLNs displayed a size distribution of 50–300 nm and a Gd-DTPA entrapment efficiency of 56%. For in vivo validation, thirty mice were divided into five groups, each of which was administered a transrectal enema using: (i) Gd-SLNs (n=6); (ii) Gd-FITC-SLNs (n=6); (iii) blank SLNs (n=6); (iv) Gd-DTPA (n=6); and (v) water (n=6). T1-weighted FLAIR MRI was then performed on mice after transrectal infusion of Gd-SLNs or Gd-FITC-SLNs, which demonstrated bright enhancement of the colonic walls, with decrease in T1 relaxation time. When Gd-FITC-SLNs were delivered, green fluorescent spots were visualized in both the extracellular space and the cytoplasm through colonic walls under confocal microscopy and fluorescence microscopy. This study establishes the “proof-of-principle” of a new imaging technique, called “nanoparticle-based MR colonography,” which may provide a useful imaging tool for the diagnosis of colorectal diseases.
Magnetic resonance (MR); Colonography; Solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs); Gadolinium diethylenetriaminepenta acetic acid (Gd-DTPA)
This study was to validate the feasibility of using clinical 3.0T MRI to monitor the migration of autotransplanted bone marrow (BM)-derived stem-progenitor cells (SPC) to the injured arteries of near-human sized swine for potential cell-based arterial repair.
The study was divided into two phases. For in vitro evaluation, BM cells were extracted from the iliac crests of 13 domestic pigs and then labeled with a T2 contrast agent, Feridex, and/or a fluorescent tissue marker, PKH26. The viability, the proliferation efficiency and the efficacies of Feridex and/or PKH26 labeling were determined. For in vivo validation, the 13 pigs underwent endovascular balloon-mediated intimal damages of the iliofemoral arteries. The labeled or un-labeled BM cells were autotransplanted back to the same pig from which the BM cells were extracted. Approximately three weeks post-cell transplantation, 3.0T T2-weighted MRI was performed to detect Feridex-created signal voids of the transplanted BM cells in the injured iliofemoral arteries, which was confirmed by subsequent histologic correlation.
Of the in vitro study, the viability of dual-labeled BM cells was 95–98%. The proliferation efficiencies of dual-labeled BM cells were not significantly different compared to those of non-labeled cells. The efficacies of Feridex- and PKH26 labeling were 90% and 100%, respectively. Of the in vivo study, 3.0T MRI detected the auto-transplanted BM cells migrated to the injured arteries, which was confirmed by histologic examinations.
This study demonstrates the capability of using clinical 3.0T MRI to monitor the auto-transplantation of BM cells that migrate to the injured arteries of large animals, which may provide a useful MRI technique to monitor cell-based arterial repair.
Toward an understanding of the protein interaction network of the human liver
An extensive interaction network of human liver-expressed proteins is described, composed of 3484 interactions among 2582 proteins. Proteins associated with liver disease tend to be central and highly connected in the network.
Proteome-scale protein interaction maps are available for many organisms, ranging from bacteria, yeast, worms and flies to humans. These maps provide substantial new insights into systems biology, disease research and drug discovery. However, only a small fraction of the total number of human protein–protein interactions has been identified. In this study, we map the interactions of an unbiased selection of 5026 human liver expression proteins by yeast two-hybrid technology and establish a human liver protein interaction network (HLPN) composed of 3484 interactions among 2582 proteins. The data set has a validation rate of over 72% as determined by three independent biochemical or cellular assays. The network includes metabolic enzymes and liver-specific, liver-phenotype and liver-disease proteins that are individually critical for the maintenance of liver functions. The liver enriched proteins had significantly different topological properties and increased our understanding of the functional relationships among proteins in a liver-specific manner. Our data represent the first comprehensive description of a HLPN, which could be a valuable tool for understanding the functioning of the protein interaction network of the human liver.
human liver; network; protein–protein interaction; yeast two hybrid
A characteristic feature of atherosclerosis is its diffuse involvement of arteries across the entire human body. Bone marrow cells (BMC) can be simultaneously transferred with therapeutic genes and magnetic resonance (MR) contrast agents prior to their transplantation. Via systemic transplantation, these dual-transferred BMCs can circulate through the entire body and thus function as vehicles to carry genes/contrast agents to multiple atherosclerosis. This study was to evaluate the feasibility of using in vivo MR imaging (MRI) to monitor BMC-mediated interleukin-10 (IL-10) gene therapy of atherosclerosis.
For in vitro confirmation, donor mouse BMCs were transduced by IL-10/lentivirus, and then labeled with a T2-MR contrast agent (Feridex). For in vivo validation, atherosclerotic apoE−/− mice were intravenously transplanted with IL-10/Feridex-BMCs (Group I, n = 5) and Feridex-BMCs (Group II, n = 5), compared to controls without BMC transplantation (Group III, n = 5). The cell migration to aortic atherosclerotic lesions was monitored in vivo using 3.0T MRI with subsequent histology correlation. To evaluate the therapeutic effect of BMC-mediated IL-10 gene therapy, we statistically compared the normalized wall indexes (NWI) of ascending aortas amongst different mouse groups with various treatments.
Of in vitro experiments, simultaneous IL-10 transduction and Feridex labeling of BMCs were successfully achieved, with high cell viability and cell labeling efficiency, as well as IL-10 expression efficiency (≥90%). Of in vivo experiments, MRI of animal groups I and II showed signal voids within the aortic walls due to Feridex-created artifacts from the migrated BMCs in the atherosclerotic plaques, which were confirmed by histology. Histological quantification showed that the mean NWI of group I was significantly lower than those of group II and group III (P<0.05).
This study has confirmed the possibility of using MRI to track, in vivo, IL-10/Feridex-BMCs recruited to atherosclerotic lesions, where IL-10 genes function to prevent the progression of atherosclerosis.