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1.  Phenotype Difference between Familial and Sporadic Ankylosing Spondylitis in Korean Patients 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2014;29(6):782-787.
Clustered occurrences of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) in family have been noticed. We evaluated patients with AS confirmed by the modified New York criteria for familial history of AS (one or more first to third degree relatives). The clinical characteristics and the recurrence risks (number of AS patients/number of familial members) of the familial AS compared to sporadic AS were investigated. Out of a total of 204 AS patients, 38 patients (18.6%) reported that they had a familial history of AS. The recurrence risks in the familial AS patients for first, second and third degree family members were 14.5%, 5.2%, and 4.4% respectively. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) (22.6±22.2 vs 35.4±34.4, P=0.029) and C-reactive protein (CRP) (1.24±1.7 vs 2.43±3.3, P=0.003) at diagnosis, body mass index (21.9±2.7 vs 23.7±3.3, P=0.002) and frequency of oligoarthritis (13.2% vs 33.7%, P=0.021) were significantly lower in the familial form. The presence of HLA-B27 (97.4% vs 83.1%, P=0.044) was significantly higher in familial AS. In conclusion, Korean familial AS patients show a lower frequency of oligoarthritis, lower BMI, lower ESR and CRP at diagnosis and higher presence of HLA-B27.
Graphical Abstract
PMCID: PMC4055810  PMID: 24932078
Spondylitis, Ankylosing; Familial; Sporadic; Phenotype; Recurrence Risk
2.  Comparison of Two Creatinine-Based Equations for Predicting Decline in Renal Function in Type 2 Diabetic Patients with Nephropathy in a Korean Population 
Aim. To compare two creatinine-based estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) equations, the chronic kidney disease epidemiology collaboration (CKD-EPI) and the modification of diet in renal disease (MDRD), for predicting the risk of CKD progression in type 2 diabetic patients with nephropathy. Methods. A total of 707 type 2 diabetic patients with 24 hr urinary albumin excretion of more than 30 mg/day were retrospectively recruited and traced until doubling of baseline serum creatinine (SCr) levels was noted. Results. During the follow-up period (median, 2.4 years), the CKD-EPI equation reclassified 10.9% of all MDRD-estimated subjects: 9.1% to an earlier stage of CKD and 1.8% to a later stage of CKD. Overall, the prevalence of CKD (eGFR < 60 mL/min/1.73 m2) was lowered from 54% to 51.6% by applying the CKD-EPI equation. On Cox-regression analysis, both equations exhibited significant associations with an increased risk for doubling of SCr. However, only the CKD-EPI equation maintained a significant hazard ratio for doubling of SCr in earlier-stage CKD (eGFR ≥ 45 mL/min/1.73 m2), when compared to stage 1 CKD (eGFR ≥ 90 mL/min/1.73 m2). Conclusion. In regard to CKD progression, these results suggest that the CKD-EPI equation might more accurately stratify earlier-stage CKD among type 2 diabetic patients with nephropathy than the MDRD study equation.
PMCID: PMC3884626  PMID: 24454370
3.  Behçet’s disease presenting with Budd–Chiari syndrome and intracardial thrombus: a case report 
Budd–Chiari syndrome has been described as a late complication of Behçet’s disease. Although the mortality rate associated with Behçet’s disease is low, it can escalate in the presence of Budd–Chiari syndrome and may be further complicated by intracardial thrombus formation. It is therefore important to detect and initiate management early in the disease course. The imaging modalities of choice should be minimally invasive as certain procedures may aggravate Behçet’s disease by initiating a thrombosis or aggravating an existing one. In Behçet’s disease-induced Budd–Chiari syndrome, cardiac investigation is crucial in the work-up in order to identify any cardiac involvement and determine the etiology of intracardial thrombus. Furthermore, the treatment should ultimately focus on controlling the activity of Behçet’s disease. We report an unusual case of Behçet’s disease presenting with Budd–Chiari syndrome complicated by intracardial thrombus in a young Korean man.
PMCID: PMC3658241  PMID: 23754909
Behçet’s disease; Budd-Chiari syndrome; intracardial thrombus
4.  Visual working memory deficits in patients with Parkinson's disease are due to both reduced storage capacity and impaired ability to filter out irrelevant information 
Brain  2010;133(9):2677-2689.
Given that Parkinson's disease broadly affects frontostriatal circuitry, it is not surprising that the disorder is associated with a reduction of working memory. We tested whether this reduction is due to diminished storage capacity or impaired ability to exclude task-irrelevant items. Twenty-one medication-withdrawn patients and 28 age-matched control subjects performed a visuospatial memory task while their electroencephalograms were recorded. The task required them to remember the orientations of red rectangles within the half of the screen that was cued while ignoring all green rectangles. Behavioural and electroencephalogram measures indicated that patients with Parkinson's disease were impaired at filtering out distracters, and that they were able to hold fewer items in memory than control subjects. The results support recent suggestions that the basal ganglia help control access to working memory.
PMCID: PMC2929336  PMID: 20688815
Parkinson's disease; visual working memory; event-related potentials; selective attention; dopamine
5.  Comparison of Patients Starting Hemodialysis with Those Underwent Hemodialysis 15 Years Ago at the Same Dialysis Center in Korea 
Maintenance dialysis is made decreased the death rate of patients with end-stage renal disease; however, mortality is still high. The aim of this study was to identify the association between clinical parameters at the start of hemodialysis with survival and compare these findings with data from patients who underwent hemodialysis about 15 years ago at the same dialysis center.
We reviewed 117 patients who started hemodialysis between 2000 and 2004. We analyzed medical histories, laboratory findings, and clinical outcomes, and compared them with patients who started hemodialysis 15 years ago at the same center.
The proportion of elderly patients and those with diabetes increased from 17% and 18% in the previous study to 33% and 49% in this study, respectively. Elderly and patients with diabetes had much higher mortalities than their counterparts. Nevertheless, the overall survival rate (66% vs. 71% at 5 years) and survival of patients with diabetes improved (55% vs. 75% at 1.5 years). Common causes of death were infection and cardiovascular disease in the present study; however, inadequate dialysis accounted for 25% of deaths in the previous study.
The overall survival rate of patients undergoing hemodialysis has improved over the 15-year interval, even with an increased proportion of elderly patients and patients with diabetes. Adequate dialysis and further medical improvements could ameliorate mortality in patients undergoing dialysis.
PMCID: PMC2880693  PMID: 20526393
Renal dialysis; Mortality; Survival analysis
6.  The Effect of Dialysis Membrane Flux on Amino Acid Loss in Hemodialysis Patients 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2007;22(4):598-603.
We examined whether high flux membranes (HF) may induce a greater loss of amino acids compared to low flux membranes (LF). Ten hemodialysis patients participated in this study. Pre- and post-hemodialysis plasma amino acid profiles were measured by reverse-phase high pressure liquid chromatography for both HF and LF. We measured the dialysate amino acid losses during hemodialysis. The reduction difference for plasma total amino acid (TAA), essential amino acid (EAA), and branch chained amino acid (BCAA) was not significantly different in comparisons between the two membranes. (HF vs. LF; TAA 66.85±30.56 vs. 53.78±41.28, p=0.12; EAA 14.79±17.16 vs. 17.97±28.69, p=0.12; BCAA 2.21±6.08 vs. 4.16±10.98 mg/L, p=0.13). For the HF, the reduction in plasma amino acid levels for TAA and EAA were statistically significant. Although it was not statistically significant, the dialysate losses of BCAA were greater than the reduction in plasma (plasma reduction vs. dialysate loss; HF 2.21±6.08 vs. 6.58±4.32, LF 4.16±10.98 vs. 7.96±3.25 mg/L). HF with large pores and a sieving coefficient do not influence dialysate amino acid losses. Hemodialysis itself may influence the dialysate amino acid losses and may have an effect on protein metabolism.
PMCID: PMC2693805  PMID: 17728495
Amino Acid; High Flux Membrane; Low Flux Membrane
7.  Relationship between Pulmonary Surfactant Protein and Lipid Peroxidation in Lung Injury due to Paraquat Intoxication in Rats 
Pulmonary damage resulting from lipid peroxidation is a principal effect of paraquat intoxication. The host-defense functions of surfactant are known to be mediated by the surfactant proteins A and D (SP-A and SP-D, respectively). The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the variations over time in levels of surfactant protein and lipid peroxidation (LPO) in lung tissue following free-radical-induced injury.
42 adult, male, Sprague-Dawley rats were administered intraperitoneal injections of paraquat (35 mg/kg body weight). SP-A and SP-D levels were determined via Western blot. LPO in the left lung homogenate was measured via analyses of the levels of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances.
LPO levels peaked at 6 hours, with no associated histological changes. SP-D levels increased until hour 12 and declined until hour 48; SP-D levels subsequently began to increase again, peaking at hour 72. SP-A levels peaked at hour 6, declining thereafter.
We suggest that in the early phase of paraquat injury, SP-D levels reflect alveolar damage and that de novo synthesis of SP-D takes 72 hours. Levels of SP-A, on the other hand, reflect abnormalities in the surfactant system in the late stage of paraquat intoxication. Surfactant proteins may play a role in protecting the lungs from reactive oxygen injury. A time-dependent variation has been observed in the levels of surfactant proteins A and D following paraquat injury, and it has been suggested that these proteins play a role in the protection of lung tissue against ROS-induced injuries.
PMCID: PMC2687609  PMID: 17616020
Paraquat; Lipid peroxidation; Surfactant protein A; Surfactant protein D
8.  Pharmacokinetics of Glutathione and Its Metabolites in Normal Subjects 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2005;20(5):721-726.
To determine the loading and maintenance dosage of glutathione (GSH) for patients suffering from reactive oxygen species (ROS) injury such as acute paraquat intoxication, a kinetic study of reduced GSH was performed in synchrony with that of cysteine (Cys), cystine (Cys2), and methionine (Met). Human subject's porticipitation was voluntary. The effective dose of Cys, Cys2, and Met against ROS in fibroblast cells generated by paraquat was assessed using laser scanning confocal microscopy. Both Cys and Met suppressed ROS in a dose-dependent manner at concentrations of 1-1,000 µM; the concentration required to suppress ROS by 50% was 10 µM for Cys and 50 µM for Met. Using metabolite kinetics with the assumption that Cys and Met are the metabolites of GSH, expected concentrations of Cys and Met of above 20 and 50 µM were estimated when GSH was administered at 50 mg/kg body weights every 205.4 min for Cys and 427.4 min for Met.
PMCID: PMC2779265  PMID: 16224142
Cysteine; Cystine; Glutathione; Methionine; Paraquat; Reactive Oxygen Species; Pharmacokinetics
Parkinsonism & related disorders  2013;19(12):10.1016/j.parkreldis.2013.07.018.
Whereas the motor dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease (PD) has been related to deficits in basal ganglia (BG) structures, neural correlates of cognitive changes remain to be fully defined. This study tested the hypothesis that cognitive changes in non-demented PD may be related to cortical gray matter (GM) loss.
High-resolution T1-weighted magnetic resonance images of the brain and comprehensive cognitive function tests were acquired in 40 right-handed, non-demented PD subjects and 40 matched controls. GM changes were assessed using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) in FSL. VBM and cognitive results were compared between PD and controls, and correlation analyses were performed between those brain areas and cognitive domains that showed significant group differences.
PD patients demonstrated significant GM reduction localized predominantly in frontal and parieto-occipital regions. Patients also showed reduced performance in fine motor speed and set-shifting compared to controls. Fine motor speed and set-shifting were associated with GM volume in the frontal cortex in controls, whereas these domains were associated primarily with occipital GM regions in PD patients.
Non-demented PD subjects demonstrate cortical structural changes in frontal and parieto-occipital regions compared to controls. The association between typically recognized “frontal lobe” function and occipital lobe volume suggested a compensatory role of occipital lobe to primary fronto-striatal pathology in PD. Further longitudinal study of these changing structure-function relationships is needed to understand the neural bases of symptom progression in PD.
PMCID: PMC3858507  PMID: 23932064
Parkinson’s disease; Cognition; MRI; Voxel-based morphometry; Gray Matter Volume
10.  Urban-Rural Differences Explain the Association between Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Level and Insulin Resistance in Korea 
Nutrients  2014;6(12):5806-5818.
An increasing number of studies report associations between low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] level and insulin resistance; however, whether low vitamin D levels directly contribute to increased insulin resistance is unclear. We investigated the impact of residential area on the association between 25(OH)D and insulin resistance in elderly Koreans. Using data from the Korean Urban Rural Elderly study, we conducted cross-sectional analyses in 1628 participants (505 men and 1123 women). Serum 25(OH)D was analyzed as both continuous and categorized variables. Homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) was calculated using fasting blood glucose and insulin levels. In men, 25(OH)D level was inversely associated with HOMA-IR (standardized β = −0.133, p < 0.001) after adjustment for age, body mass index, waist circumference, smoking, alcohol intake, exercise, and study year. However, we noted significant urban-rural differences in 25(OH)D level (43.4 versus 65.6 nmol/L; p < 0.001) and HOMA-IR (1.2 versus 0.8 mmol·pmol/L2; p < 0.001). When we additionally adjusted for residential area, the association between 25(OH)D and HOMA-IR was attenuated (standardized β = −0.063, p = 0.115). In women, the association between 25(OH)D and HOMA-IR was not significant before or after adjustment for residential area. Environmental or lifestyle differences in urban and rural areas may largely explain the inverse association between serum 25(OH)D and insulin resistance.
PMCID: PMC4277000  PMID: 25514561
vitamin D; insulin resistance; elderly; Korean; residential area
11.  Clinical features and short-term outcomes of pediatric acute fulminant myocarditis in a single center 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2014;57(11):489-495.
The aims of this study were to document our single-center experience with pediatric acute fulminant myocarditis (AFM) and to investigate its clinical features and short-term outcomes.
We performed a retrospective chart review of all children <18 years old who were diagnosed with AFM between October 2008 and February 2013. Data about patient demographics, initial symptoms, investigation results, management, and outcomes between survivors and nonsurvivors were collected.
Seventeen of 21 patients (80.9%) with myocarditis were diagnosed with AFM. Eleven patients (64.7%) survived to discharge, and 6 (35.3%) died. Electrocardiography on admission revealed dysrhythmia in 10 patients (58.8%); of these, all 7 patients with a complete atrioventricular block survived. Fractional shortening upon admission was significantly different between the survivors (16%) and nonsurvivors (8.5%) (P=0.01). Of the serial biochemical markers, only the initial brain natriuretic peptide (P=0.03) and peak blood urea nitrogen levels (P=0.02) were significantly different. Of 17 patients, 4 (23.5%) required medical treatment only. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) was performed in 13 patients (76.5%); the survival rate in these patients was 53.8%. ECMO support was initiated >24 hours after admission in 4 of the 13 patients (30.7%), and 3 of those 4 patients (75%) died.
AFM outcomes may be associated with complete atrioventricular block upon hospital admission, left ventricular fractional shortening at admission, time from admission to the initiation of ECMO support, initial brain natriuretic peptide level, and peak blood urea nitrogen level.
PMCID: PMC4279010  PMID: 25550704
Myocarditis; Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; Child; Outcomes
12.  Inverse Association between Glycated Albumin and Insulin Secretory Function May Explain Higher Levels of Glycated Albumin in Subjects with Longer Duration of Diabetes 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e108772.
Glycated albumin (GA) has been increasingly used as a reliable index for short-term glycemic monitoring, and is inversely associated with β-cell function. Because the pathophysiologic nature of type 2 diabetes (T2D) is characterized by progressive decline in insulin secretion, the aim was to determine whether GA levels were affected by diabetes duration in subjects with T2D.
To minimize the effect of glucose variability on GA, subjects with stably maintained HbA1c levels of <0.5% fluctuation across 6 months of measurements were included. Patients with newly diagnosed T2D (n = 1059) and with duration>1 year (n = 781) were recruited and categorized as New-T2D and Old-T2D, respectively. Biochemical, glycemic, and C-peptide parameters were measured.
GA levels were significantly elevated in HbA1c-matched Old-T2D subjects compared to New-T2D subjects. Duration of diabetes was positively correlated with GA, whereas a negative relationship was found with C-peptide increment (ΔC-peptide). Among insulin secretory indices, dynamic parameters such as ΔC-peptide were inversely related to GA (r = −0.42, p<0.001). Multiple linear regression analyses showed that duration of diabetes was associated with GA (standardized β coefficient [STDβ] = 0.05, p<0.001), but not with HbA1c (STDβ = 0.04, p<0.095). This association disappeared after additional adjustment with ΔC-peptide (STDβ = 0.02, p = 0.372), suggesting that β-cell function might be a linking factor of close relationship between duration of diabetes and GA values.
The present study showed that GA levels were significantly increased in subjects with longer duration T2D and with decreased insulin secretory function. Additional caution should be taken when interpreting GA values to assess glycemic control status in these individuals.
PMCID: PMC4181354  PMID: 25265016
13.  Relationship between Socioeconomic Position and Suicide Attempts among the Korean Adolescents 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2014;29(9):1287-1292.
This study explored the relationship of the subjective socioeconomic position (SEP) as well as the objective SEP with the rate of suicide attempts in 74,186 adolescents from the 2012 Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-based Survey (KYRBS). The SEP was measured by the Family Affluence Scale (FAS) and the self-rated household economic status. The low perceived SEP for either the high or low FAS score was related to the elevated likelihood of suicide attempts in both genders. As compared with the adolescents in both the high level of perceived SEP and FAS score after adjusting for other confounding factors, the middle school students were more likely to attempt suicide in both low level of perceived SEP and FAS score (OR, 1.81; 95% CI, 1.18-2.78 for boys, OR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.13-1.90 for girls). The high school students were more likely to attempt suicide in the low perceived SEP and high FAS score (OR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.14-1.81 for boys, OR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.07-1.56 for girls). In conclusion, the relationship of subjective SEP is important in suicide attempts as much as objective SEP and far more important in the high school students.
PMCID: PMC4168184  PMID: 25246749
Socioeconomic Position; Attempted Suicide; Adolescent
14.  Postprandial C‐peptide to glucose ratio as a predictor of β‐cell function and its usefulness for staged management of type 2 diabetes 
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by progressive deterioration of β‐cell function. Recently, it was suggested that the C‐peptide‐to‐glucose ratio after oral glucose ingestion is a better predictor of β‐cell mass than that during fasting. We investigated whether postprandial C‐peptide‐to‐glucose ratio (PCGR) reflects β‐cell function, and its clinical application for management of type 2 diabetes.
Materials and Methods
We carried out a two‐step retrospective study of 919 Korean participants with type 2 diabetes. In the first step, we evaluated the correlation of PCGR level with various markers for β‐cell function in newly diagnosed and drug‐naïve patients after a mixed meal test. In the second step, participants with well‐controlled diabetes (glycated hemoglobin <7%) were divided into four groups according to treatment modality (group I: insulin, group II: sulfonylurea and/or dipeptityl peptidase IV inhibitor, group III: metformin and/or thiazolidinedione and group IV: diet and exercise group).
In the first step, PCGR was significantly correlated with various insulin secretory indices. Furthermore, PCGR showed better correlation with glycemic indices than homeostatic model assessment of β‐cell function (HOMA‐β). In the second step, the PCGR value significantly increased according to the following order: group I, II, III, and IV after adjusting for age, sex, body mass index and duration of diabetes. The cut‐off values of PCGR for separating each group were 1.457, 2.870 and 3.790, respectively (P < 0.001).
We suggest that PCGR might be a useful marker for β‐cell function and an ancillary parameter in the choice of antidiabetic medication in type 2 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC4188109  PMID: 25411619
C‐peptide; Pancreatic β‐cell; Type 2 diabetes mellitus
15.  Soluble α-Klotho as a Novel Biomarker in the Early Stage of Nephropathy in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e102984.
Although α-klotho is known as an anti-aging, antioxidant, and cardio-renal protective protein, the clinical implications of soluble α-klotho levels in patients with diabetes have not been evaluated. Therefore, this study evaluated whether plasma and urinary α-klotho levels are associated with albuminuria in kidney disease in diabetes.
Research Design and Methods
A total of 147 patients with type 2 diabetes and 25 healthy control subjects were enrolled. The plasma and urine concentrations of α-klotho were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Plasma α-klotho (572.4 pg/mL [95% CI, 541.9–604.6 pg/mL] vs. 476.9 pg/mL [95% CI, 416.9–545.5 pg/mL]) and urinary α-klotho levels (59.8 pg/mg creatinine [95% CI, 43.6–82.0 pg/mg creatinine] vs. 21.0 pg/mg creatinine [95% CI, 9.7–45.6 pg/mg creatinine]) were significantly higher in diabetic patients than non-diabetic controls. Among diabetic patients, plasma α-klotho concentration was inversely associated with albuminuria stages (normoalbuminuria, 612.6 pg/mL [95% CI, 568.9–659.6 pg/mL], microalbuminuria, 551.8 pg/mL [95% CI, 500.5–608.3 pg/mL], and macroalbuminuria, 505.7 pg/mL [95% CI, 439.7–581.7 pg/mL] (p for trend  = 0.0081), while urinary α-klotho levels were remained constantly high with increasing urinary albumin excretion.
Soluble α-klotho levels in plasma and urine may be novel and useful early markers of diabetic renal injury.
PMCID: PMC4118846  PMID: 25084095
16.  A Molecularly Cloned, Live-Attenuated Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine SA14-14-2 Virus: A Conserved Single Amino Acid in the ij Hairpin of the Viral E Glycoprotein Determines Neurovirulence in Mice 
PLoS Pathogens  2014;10(7):e1004290.
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), a mosquito-borne flavivirus that causes fatal neurological disease in humans, is one of the most important emerging pathogens of public health significance. JEV represents the JE serogroup, which also includes West Nile, Murray Valley encephalitis, and St. Louis encephalitis viruses. Within this serogroup, JEV is a vaccine-preventable pathogen, but the molecular basis of its neurovirulence remains unknown. Here, we constructed an infectious cDNA of the most widely used live-attenuated JE vaccine, SA14-14-2, and rescued from the cDNA a molecularly cloned virus, SA14-14-2MCV, which displayed in vitro growth properties and in vivo attenuation phenotypes identical to those of its parent, SA14-14-2. To elucidate the molecular mechanism of neurovirulence, we selected three independent, highly neurovirulent variants (LD50, <1.5 PFU) from SA14-14-2MCV (LD50, >1.5×105 PFU) by serial intracerebral passage in mice. Complete genome sequence comparison revealed a total of eight point mutations, with a common single G1708→A substitution replacing a Gly with Glu at position 244 of the viral E glycoprotein. Using our infectious SA14-14-2 cDNA technology, we showed that this single Gly-to-Glu change at E-244 is sufficient to confer lethal neurovirulence in mice, including rapid development of viral spread and tissue inflammation in the central nervous system. Comprehensive site-directed mutagenesis of E-244, coupled with homology-based structure modeling, demonstrated a novel essential regulatory role in JEV neurovirulence for E-244, within the ij hairpin of the E dimerization domain. In both mouse and human neuronal cells, we further showed that the E-244 mutation altered JEV infectivity in vitro, in direct correlation with the level of neurovirulence in vivo, but had no significant impact on viral RNA replication. Our results provide a crucial step toward developing novel therapeutic and preventive strategies against JEV and possibly other encephalitic flaviviruses.
Author Summary
A group of mosquito-borne flaviviruses that cause fatal encephalitis in humans is among the most important of all emerging human pathogens of global significance. This group includes Japanese encephalitis (JE), West Nile, St. Louis encephalitis, and Murray Valley encephalitis viruses. In this work, we have developed a reverse genetics system for SA14-14-2, a live JE vaccine that is most commonly used in JE-endemic areas, by constructing an infectious bacterial artificial chromosome that contains the full-length SA14-14-2 cDNA. Using this infectious SA14-14-2 cDNA, combined with a mouse model for JEV infection, we have identified a key viral neurovirulence factor, a conserved single amino acid in the ij hairpin adjacent to the fusion loop of the viral E glycoprotein, which regulates viral infectivity into neurons within the central nervous system in vivo and neuronal cells of mouse and human in vitro. Thus, our findings elucidate the molecular basis of the neurovirulence caused by JEV and other closely related encephalitic flaviviruses, a major step in understanding their neuropathogenesis. From a clinical perspective, the discovery of the viral neurovirulence factor and its role will have direct application to the design of a novel class of broad-spectrum antivirals to treat and prevent infection of JEV and other taxonomically related neurotropic flaviviruses.
PMCID: PMC4117607  PMID: 25077483
17.  The Clinical Association of the Blood Pressure Variability with the Target Organ Damage in Hypertensive Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2014;29(7):957-964.
It is known that blood pressure variability (BPV) can independently affect target organ damage (TOD), even with normal blood pressure. There have been few studieson chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. We evaluated the relationship between BPV and TOD in a cross-sectional, multicenter study on hypertensive CKD patients. We evaluated 1,173 patients using 24-hr ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. BPV was defined as the average real variability, with a mean value of the absolute differences between consecutive readings of systolic blood pressure. TOD was defined as left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) (by the Romhilt-Estes score ≥4 in electrocardiography) and kidney injury (as determined from an estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR]<30 mL/min/1.73 m2 and proteinuria).The mean BPV of the subjects was 15.9±4.63 mmHg. BPV displayed a positive relationship with LVH in a univariate analysis and after adjustment for multi-variables (odds ratio per 1 mmHg increase in BPV: 1.053, P=0.006). In contrast, BPV had no relationship with kidney injury. These data suggest that BPV may be positively associated with LVH in hypertensive CKD patients.
Graphical Abstract
PMCID: PMC4101784  PMID: 25045228
Blood Pressure Variability; Kidney Failure, Chronic; Hypertension; Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular; Target Organ Damage
18.  Therapeutic effect of anti-C-X-C motif chemokine 10 (CXCL10) antibody on C protein-induced myositis mouse 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2014;16(3):R126.
C-X-C motif chemokine 10 (CXCL10) is a chemokine that plays a critical role in the infiltration of T cells in autoimmune diseases and is reported to be expressed in muscle tissue of polymyositis. To determine the therapeutic efficacy of CXCL10 blockade, we investigated the role of CXCL10 and the effect of anti-CXCL10 antibody treatment in C protein-induced myositis (CIM), an animal model of polymyositis.
CIM was induced with human skeletal muscle C protein fragment in female C57BL/6 mice. Immunohistochemistry of CXCL10 and C-X-C motif chemokine receptor 3 (CXCR3) and measurement of serum CXCL10 were performed. Cell surface markers and interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) in CIM lymph node cells was investigated by flow cytometry. Mice with CIM were treated with anti-CXCL10 antibody or control antibody (anti-RVG1) and the inflammation in muscle tissue was assessed.
Immunohistochemistry showed increased expression of CXCL10 and CXCR3 in the inflammatory lesions of muscle in CIM. Especially, CD8+ T cells invading myofiber expressed CXCR3. Serum level of CXCL10 was increased in CIM compared to the level in normal mice (normal mouse, 14.3 ± 5.3 pg/ml vs. CIM, 368.5 ± 135.6 pg/ml, P < 0.001). CXCR3 positivity in CD8+ T cells was increased compared to that of CD4+ T cells in the lymph node cells of CIM (CXCR3+ among CD8+ T cell, 65.9 ± 2.1% vs. CXCR3+ among CD4+ T cell, 23.5 ± 4.7%, P <0.001). Moreover, IFN-γ+ cells were increased among CXCR3+CD8+ T cells compared to CXCR3–CD8+ T cells (CXCR3+CD8+ T cell, 28.0 ± 4.2% vs. CXCR3-CD8+ T cell, 9.5 ± 1.5%, P = 0.016). Migration of lymph node cells was increased in response to CXCL10 (chemotactic index was 1.91 ± 0.45). CIM mice treated with anti-CXCL10 antibody showed a lower inflammation score in muscles than those with anti-RVG1 (median, anti-CXCL10 treatment group, 0.625 vs. anti-RVG1 treatment group, 1.25, P = 0.007).
CXCL10/CXCR3 expression was increased in the inflammation of CIM model and its blockade suppressed inflammation in muscle.
PMCID: PMC4095607  PMID: 24939012
19.  Changes in the seroprevalence of IgG anti-hepatitis A virus between 2001 and 2013: experience at a single center in Korea 
Clinical and Molecular Hepatology  2014;20(2):162-167.
The incidence of symptomatic hepatitis A reportedly increased among 20- to 40-year-old Korean during the late 2000s. Vaccination against hepatitis A was commenced in the late 1990s and was extended to children aged <10 years. In the present study we analyzed the changes in the seroprevalence of IgG anti-hepatitis A virus (HAV) over the past 13 years.
Overall, 4903 subjects who visited our hospital between January 2001 and December 2013 were studied. The seroprevalence of IgG anti-HAV was analyzed according to age and sex. In addition, the seroprevalence of IgG anti-HAV was compared among 12 age groups and among the following time periods: early 2000s (2001-2003), mid-to-late 2000s (2006-2008), and early 2010s (2011-2013). The chi-square test for trend was used for statistical analysis.
The seroprevalence of IgG anti-HAV did not differ significantly between the sexes. Furthermore, compared to the seroprevalence of IgG anti-HAV in the early 2000s and mid-to-late 2000s, that in the early 2010s was markedly increased among individuals aged 1-14 years and decreased among those aged 25-44 years (P<0.01). We also found that the seroprevalence of IgG anti-HAV in individuals aged 25-44 years in the early 2010s was lower than that in the early 2000s and mid-to-late 2000s.
The number of symptomatic HAV infection cases in Korea is decreasing, but the seroprevalence of IgG anti-HAV is low in the active population.
PMCID: PMC4099331  PMID: 25032182
Hepatitis A virus; IgG Anti-HAV; Seroprevalence
20.  The Korean urban rural elderly cohort study: study design and protocol 
BMC Geriatrics  2014;14:33.
Korea is one of the fastest aging countries and is expected to become a super-aged society within 12 years. The Korean Urban Rural Elderly (KURE) study was developed to evaluate the epidemiological characteristics and establish the prevention and management of major disorders of the elderly in Korea.
The KURE study is a community-based prospective cohort study on health, aging, and common geriatric disorders of Korean elderly persons aged at least 65 years. To construct a cohort reflecting both urban and rural areas, we selected 2 representative communities in the country. To establish multidisciplinary approaches to geriatric health, this study was performed by researchers in the divisions of geriatrics, preventive medicine, endocrinology, and sociology. The baseline examinations began in 2012; the study will follow more than 4,000 elderly Koreans over 10 years. The first and second follow-up health examinations will be performed every 4 years. Every 2 years after each health examination, inter-assessment interview will be conducted to improve participant retention.
The KURE study will provide longitudinal epidemiologic data on health, aging, and common geriatric disorders of the elderly in Korea. This is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary study of the elderly with respect to biological, physical, socio-economic, and environmental factors. The results of this study will contribute to improve public health and welfare policies for the aging society in Korea.
PMCID: PMC3995180  PMID: 24641351
Aging; Elderly; Cohort; Longitudinal study; Health
21.  Urokinase, urokinase receptor, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 expression on podocytes in immunoglobulin A glomerulonephritis 
The purpose of this study was to investigate the expression of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA), uPA receptor (uPAR), and plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI)-1 on podocytes in immunoglobulin A (IgA) glomerulonephritis (GN).
Renal biopsy specimens from 52 IgA GN patients were deparaffinized and subjected to immunohistochemical staining for uPA, PAI-1, and uPAR. The biopsies were classified into three groups according to the expression of uPA and uPAR on podocytes: uPA, uPAR, and a negative group. The prevalences of the variables of the Oxford classification for IgA GN were compared among the groups.
On podocytes, uPA was positive in 11 cases and uPAR was positive in 38 cases; by contrast, PAI-1 was negative in all cases. Expression of both uPA and uPAR on podocytes was less frequently accompanied by tubulointerstitial fibrosis.
Our results suggest a possible protective effect of podocyte uPA/uPAR expression against interstitial fibrosis.
PMCID: PMC3956987  PMID: 24648800
Glomerulonephritis, IGA; Plasminogen activator inhibitor 1; Urokinase-type plasminogen activator; Receptors, urokinase plasminogen activator
22.  Taurine Alleviates the Progression of Diabetic Nephropathy in Type 2 Diabetic Rat Model 
The overexpression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is known to be involved in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy. In this study, the protective effects of taurine on diabetic nephropathy along with its underlying mechanism were investigated. Experimental animals were divided into three groups: LETO rats as normal group (n = 10), OLETF rats as diabetic control group (n = 10), and OLETF rats treated with taurine group (n = 10). We treated taurine (200 mg/kg/day) for 20 weeks and treated high glucose (HG, 30 mM) with or without taurine (30 mM) in mouse cultured podocyte. After taurine treatment, blood glucose level was decreased and insulin secretion was increased. Taurine significantly reduced albuminuria and ACR. Also it decreased glomerular volume, GBM thickness and increased open slit pore density through decreased VEGF and increased nephrin mRNA expressions in renal cortex. The antioxidant effects of taurine were confirmed by the reduction of urine MDA in taurine treated diabetic group. Also reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were decreased in HG condition with taurine treated podocytes compared to without taurine. These results indicate that taurine lowers glucose level via increased insulin secretion and ameliorates the progression of diabetic nephropathy through antifibrotic and antioxidant effects in type 2 diabetes rat model.
PMCID: PMC3953422  PMID: 24707287
23.  Negative Regulation of Osteoclast Precursor Differentiation by CD11b and β2 Integrin-BCL6 Signaling 
Negative regulation of osteoclastogenesis is important for bone homeostasis and prevention of excessive bone resorption in inflammatory and other diseases. Mechanisms that directly suppress osteoclastogenesis are not well understood. In this study we investigated regulation of osteoclast differentiation by the β2 integrin CD11b/CD18 that is expressed on myeloid lineage osteoclast precursors. CD11b-deficient mice exhibited decreased bone mass that was associated with increased osteoclast numbers and decreased bone formation. Accordingly, CD11b and β2 integrin signaling suppressed osteoclast differentiation by preventing RANKL-induced induction of the master regulator of osteoclastogenesis NFATc1 and of downstream osteoclast-related NFATc1 target genes. CD11b suppressed induction of NFATc1 by the complementary mechanisms of downregulation of RANK expression and induction of recruitment of the transcriptional repressor BCL6 to the NFATC1 gene. These findings identify CD11b as a negative regulator of the earliest stages of osteoclast differentiation, and provide an inducible mechanism by which environmental cues suppress osteoclastogenesis by activating a transcriptional repressor that makes genes refractory to osteoclastogenic signaling.
PMCID: PMC3522783  PMID: 22893614
osteoclast; signaling; integrin; CD11b; BCL6
24.  Staphylococcus aureus Extracellular Vesicles Carry Biologically Active β-Lactamase 
Gram-positive bacteria naturally produce extracellular vesicles. However, little is known regarding the functions of Gram-positive bacterial extracellular vesicles, especially in the bacterial community. Here, we investigated the role of Staphylococcus aureus extracellular vesicles in interbacterial communication to cope with antibiotic stress. We found that S. aureus liberated BlaZ, a β-lactamase protein, via extracellular vesicles. These extracellular vesicles enabled other ampicillin-susceptible Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria to survive in the presence of ampicillin. However, S. aureus extracellular vesicles did not mediate the survival of tetracycline-, chloramphenicol-, or kanamycin-susceptible bacteria. Moreover, S. aureus extracellular vesicles did not contain the blaZ gene. In addition, the heat-treated S. aureus extracellular vesicles did not mediate the survival of ampicillin-susceptible bacteria. The β-lactamase activities of S. aureus soluble and extracellular vesicle-associated BlaZ were similar, but only the extracellular vesicle-associated BlaZ was resistant to protease digestion, which suggests that the enzymatic activity of BlaZ in extracellular vesicles is largely protected by the vesicle structure. Our observations provide evidence of the important role of S. aureus extracellular vesicles in antibiotic resistance, which allows the polymicrobial community to continue to evolve and prosper against antibiotics.
PMCID: PMC3716153  PMID: 23529736
25.  Differential expression of αB-crystallin causes maturationdependent susceptibility of oligodendrocytes to oxidative stress 
BMB Reports  2013;46(10):501-506.
Oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) are most susceptible to oxidative stress in the brain. However, the cause of differences in susceptibility to oxidative stress between OPCs and mature oligodendrocytes (mOLs) remains unclear. Recently, we identified in vivo that αB-crystallin (aBC) is expressed in mOLs but not in OPCs. Therefore, we examined in the present study whether aBC expression could affect cell survival under oxidative stress induced by hydrogen peroxide using primary cultures of OPCs and mOLs from neonatal rat brains. Expression of aBC was greater in mOLs than in OPCs, and the survival rate of mOLs was significantly higher than that of OPCs under oxidative stress. Suppression of aBC by siRNA transfection resulted in a decrease in the survival rate of mOLs under oxidative stress. These data suggest that higher susceptibility of OPCs than mOLs to oxidative stress is due, at least in part, to low levels of aBC expression. [BMB Reports 2013; 46(10): 501-506]
PMCID: PMC4133838  PMID: 24148771
αB-crystallin; Cell survival; Oligodendrocyte; Oligodendrocyte precursor cell; Oxidative stress

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