AIM: To study the preventive effects of Qianggan-Rongxian Decoction on liver fibrosis induced by dimethylnitrosamine (DMN) in rats.
METHODS: Male Wistar rats were randomly divided into hepatic fibrosis model group, control group and 3 treatment groups (12 rats in each group). Except for the normal control group, all the rats received 1% DMN (10 μL/kg body weight, i.p), 3 times a week for 4 wk. The rats in the 3 treatment groups including a high-dose DMN group (10 mL/kg), a medium-dose DMN group (7 mL/kg), and a low-dose DMN group (4 mL/kg) were daily gavaged with Qianggan-Rongxian Decoction, and the rats in the model and normal control groups were given saline vehicle. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to determine the changes in serum hyaluronic acid (HA), laminin (LN), and type IV collagen levels. Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels were measured using routine laboratory methods. Pathologic changes, particularly fibrosis, were examined by hematoxylin and eosin (HE) and Sirius red staining. Hepatic stellate cells (HSC) were examined by transmission electron microscopy.
RESULTS: Compared with the model control group, the serum levels of HA, LN, type IV collagen, ALT and AST were decreased markedly in the other groups after treatment with Qianggan-Rongxian Decoction, especially in the medium-dose DMN group (P < 0.05). Moreover, the area-density percentage of collagen fibrosis was lower in the Qianggan-Rongxian Decoction treatment groups than in the model group, and a more significant drop was observed in the medium-dose DMN group (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Qianggan-Rongxian Decoction can inhibit hepatic fibrosis due to chronic liver injury, delay the development of cirrhosis, and notably ameliorate liver function. It may be used as a safe and effective thera-peutic drug for patients with fibrosis.
Liver fibrosis; Qianggan-Rongxian Decoction; Prevention; Rat model; Dimethylnitrosamine
To evaluate the effects of near-infrared (NIR) laser irradiation of microspheres (MS) containing hollow gold nanospheres (HAuNS) and paclitaxel (PTX) administered intra-arterially in an animal model.
Materials and Methods
For the ex-vivo experiments, VX2 tumor-bearing rabbits underwent hepatic artery (HA) administration of MS-HAuNS or MS. The animals were killed, the liver tumors were subjected to NIR irradiation, and temperature changes were estimated with magnetic resonance imaging. For the in-vivo study, VX2 tumor-bearing rabbits were randomized to 3 groups: MS-HAuNS-PTX-plus-NIR, MS-HAuNS-PTX, and saline-plus-NIR. Laser irradiation was delivered at 1 hour and at 3 days after HA administration of saline or MS-HAuNS-PTX. Animals were euthanized and tumors were analyzed for necrosis and apoptosis. Plasma samples were collected from the MS-HAuNS-PTX-plus-NIR animals for PTX analysis.
Ex-vivo experiments showed intratumoral heating in animals that received MS-HAuNS but no temperature change in animals that received MS. Animals treated with MS-HAuNS-PTX-plus-NIR showed a transient increase in plasma PTX levels after each NIR irradiation and significantly greater tumor necrosis than did those that received MS-HAuNS-PTX or saline-plus-NIR (44.9% vs. 13.8% or 23.7%, respectively; P < .0001). The mean apoptotic index in the MS-HAuNS-PTX-NIR group (5.01 ± 1.66) was significantly higher than that in the MS-HAuNS-PTX (2.99 ± 0.97) or saline-plus-NIR (1.96 ± 0.40) groups (P = .0013).
NIR laser irradiation after MS-HAuNS-PTX administration results in intratumoral heating and increases the efficacy of treatment. Further studies are required to evaluate the optimal laser settings to maximize therapeutic efficacy.
Advances in nanotechnology for oncology will arise from an increased understanding of the interaction between nanomaterials and biological systems; refinement of multifunctional nanocomposites for applications such as simultaneous imaging and therapy (theranostics); and harnessing of the unique physicochemical properties arising from nanoscale effects which distinguish them from small-molecular-weight molecules in the detection and destruction of cancer cells with high selectivity and efficiency. The major challenges in successful clinical translation of tumor specific nanoparticle delivery include overcoming various biological barriers and demonstrating enhanced therapeutic efficacy over the current standard of care in the clinic. For many nanoparticle mediated theranostic applications, image guidance can play a crucial role not only in exploiting the cancer specific imaging capabilities of these novel particles, but in planning, targeting, monitoring and verifying treatment delivery, thus enhancing the safety and efficacy of these emerging procedures.
nanoparticles; targeting; barriers; photothermal ablation therapy
gold; porous silicon; nanoassembly; thermal therapy
Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) is one of the oldest oilseed crops. In order to investigate the evolutionary characters according to the Sesame Genome Project, apart from sequencing its nuclear genome, we sequenced the complete chloroplast genome of S. indicum cv. Yuzhi 11 (white seeded) using Illumina and 454 sequencing. Comparisons of chloroplast genomes between S. indicum and the 18 other higher plants were then analyzed. The chloroplast genome of cv. Yuzhi 11 contains 153,338 bp and a total of 114 unique genes (KC569603). The number of chloroplast genes in sesame is the same as that in Nicotiana tabacum, Vitis vinifera and Platanus occidentalis. The variation in the length of the large single-copy (LSC) regions and inverted repeats (IR) in sesame compared to 18 other higher plant species was the main contributor to size variation in the cp genome in these species. The 77 functional chloroplast genes, except for ycf1 and ycf2, were highly conserved. The deletion of the cp ycf1 gene sequence in cp genomes may be due either to its transfer to the nuclear genome, as has occurred in sesame, or direct deletion, as has occurred in Panax ginseng and Cucumis sativus. The sesame ycf2 gene is only 5,721 bp in length and has lost about 1,179 bp. Nucleotides 1–585 of ycf2 when queried in BLAST had hits in the sesame draft genome. Five repeats (R10, R12, R13, R14 and R17) were unique to the sesame chloroplast genome. We also found that IR contraction/expansion in the cp genome alters its rate of evolution. Chloroplast genes and repeats display the signature of convergent evolution in sesame and other species. These findings provide a foundation for further investigation of cp genome evolution in Sesamum and other higher plants.
Deqi sensation is believed to be important in clinical efficacy according to TCM theory. The measuring method of Deqi sensation has significant implications for the result of research trials. This study makes an investigation on acupuncture-experienced patients and expert acupuncturists in China and aims to find out the patient's needling sensations and acupuncturist's sensations which can be acceptable as descriptors of Deqi sensation, so as to provide foundation for more systematic and sensitive quantitative evaluation method of Deqi sensation. Results of this survey indicated that the Deqi sensation noted by both patient and acupuncturist is equally important to the treatment efficacy. It is found that there are some differences between the patients' real-life experience and the acupuncturists' expectations on patients' Deqi sensation. The “dull pain,” “aching,” “sore,” “numb,” “distended,” “heavy,” “electric,” “throbbing,” “warmness,” “coolness,” “spreading,” and “radiating” can be considered as the main manifestations of Deqi sensations. The acupuncturists believed that Deqi sensations were mainly “pulling,” “tight,” and “throbbing.” We suggest developing a questionnaire measuring the Deqi sensations which includes both the sensations of the patient and acupuncturist, and this would be very important and necessary for a better understanding of the relationship between Deqi sensation and acupuncture effects in future studies.
Reduced beta2-glycoprotein I (beta2-GPI) is a free thiol-containing form of beta2-GPI that displays a powerful effect in protecting endothelial cells from oxidative stress-induced cell death. The present study aims to investigate the effect of beta2-GPI or reduced beta2-GPI on ox-LDL-induced foam cell formation and on cell apoptosis and to determine the possible mechanisms.
The RAW264.7 macrophage cell line was selected as the experimental material. Oil red O staining and cholesterol measurement were used to detect cholesterol accumulation qualitatively and quantitatively, respectively. Flow cytometry was used to detect cell apoptosis. Real-time quantitative PCR was used to detect the mRNA expression of the main proteins that are associated with the transport of cholesterol, such as CD36, SRB1, ABCA1 and ABCG1. Western blot analysis was used to detect the protein expression of certain apoptosis-related proteins, such as caspase-9, caspase-3, p38 MAPK/p-p38 MAPK and JNK/p-JNK.
Beta2-GPI or reduced beta2-GPI decreased ox-LDL-induced cholesterol accumulation (96.45 ± 8.51 μg/mg protein vs. 114.35 ± 10.38 μg/mg protein, p < 0.05;74.44 ± 5.27 μg/mg protein vs. 114.35 ± 10.38 μg/mg protein, p < 0.01) and cell apoptosis (30.00 ± 5.10% vs. 38.70 ± 7.76%, p < 0.05; 20.66 ± 2.50% vs. 38.70 ± 7.76%, p < 0.01), and there are significant differences between beta2-GPI and reduced beta2-GPI (p < 0.05). Reduced beta2-GPI decreased the ox-LDL-induced expression of CD36 mRNA and ABCA1 mRNA (p < 0.05), as well as CD36, cleaved caspase-9, cleaved caspase-3, p-p38 MAPK and p-JNK proteins (p < 0.05 or p < 0.01). Beta2-GPI did not significantly decrease the expression of ABCA1 mRNA and the p-p38 MAPK protein.
Both beta2-GPI and reduced beta2-GPI inhibit ox-LDL-induced foam cell formation and cell apoptosis, and the latter exhibits a stronger inhibition effect. Both of these glycoproteins reduce the lipid intake of macrophages by downregulating CD36 as well as protein expression. Reduced beta2-GPI inhibits cell apoptosis by reducing the ox-LDL-induced phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and JNK, and the amount of cleaved caspase-3 and caspase-9. Beta2-GPI does not inhibit the ox-LDL-induced phosphorylation of p38 MAPK.
Reduced beta2-glycoprotein I; Beta2-glycoprotein I; Ox-LDL; Foam cell; Apoptosis
To determine the optimal standardized uptake value (SUV) of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, at which the PET-defined gross tumor volume (GTVPET) best matches with the pathological volume (GTVPATH) in the cervical cancer.
Materials and Methods
Ten patients with the cervical cancer who underwent surgery were enrolled in this study. The excised specimens were processed for whole-mount serial sections and H-E staining. The tumor borders were outlined in sections under a microscope, histopathological images were scanned and the GTVPATH calculated. The GTVPET was delineated automatically by using various percentages relative to the maximal SUV and absolute SUV. The optimal threshold SUV was further obtained as the value at which the GTVPET best matched with the GTVPATH.
An average of 85±10% shrinkage of tissue was observed after the formalin fixation. The GTVPATH was 13.38±2.80 cm3 on average. The optimal threshold on percentile SUV and absolute SUV were 40.50%±3.16% and 7.45±1.10, respectively. The correlation analysis showed that the optimal percentile SUV threshold was inversely correlated with GTVPATH (p<0.05) and tumor diameter (p<0.05). The absolute SUV was also positively correlated with SUVmax (p<0.05).
The pathological volume could provide the more accurate tumor volume. The optimal SUV of FDG for PET imaging by use of GTVPATH as standard for cervical cancer target volume delineation was thus determined in this study, and more cases are being evaluated to substantiate this conclusion.
Plasmodium vivax is the main malaria parasite in China, and China is now making efforts to eliminate malaria by 2020. Radical cure of vivax malaria is one of challenges for malaria elimination. The purpose is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of artemisinin-naphthoquine (ANQ) versus chloroquine-primaquine (CQ-PQ) in treatment of vivax malaria in Yunnan Province, China.
An open-label randomized and non-inferiority design, eligible patients with monoinfections of P. vivax were randomly assigned to receive either a total target dose of ANQ 24.5 mg/kg (naphthoquine 7 mg/kg and artemisinin 17.5 mg/kg), once a day for three days, or a total CQ dose of 24 mg base/kg, once a day for three days plus a PQ dose of 0.45 mg base/kg/day, once a day for eight days. Patients were followed up for one year. The difference in efficacy between ANQ and CQ-PQ was compared via Wilson’s test.
By day 42, the number of patients free of recurrence was 125 (98.4%; 95% Confidence interval, 94.4-99.8%) for ANQ arm and 123 (96.1%; 95%CI, 91.1-98.7%) for CQ-PQ, and non-significant (P = 0.4496). By day 365, the number was 101 (79.5%; 95%CI, 71.8-85.9%) for ANQ and 106 (82.8%; 95%CI, 75.1-88.9%) for CQ-PQ, and non-significant (P = 0.610). So the proportions of patients free of recurrence had no significant difference between ANQ and CQ-PQ groups by day 28, 42 and 365; compared with CQ-PQ, the side effect of ANQ was mild.
ANQ is non-inferior to CQ-PQ in terms of patients free of recurrence, and safer than CQ-PQ.
Plasmodium vivax; Artemisinin-naphthoquine; Efficacy; Safety
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation can affect phenotypic variation; therefore, knowing its distribution within and among individuals is of importance to understanding many human diseases. Intra-individual mtDNA variation (heteroplasmy) has been generally assumed to be random. We used massively parallel sequencing to assess heteroplasmy across ten tissues and demonstrate that in unrelated individuals there are tissue-specific, recurrent mutations. Certain tissues, notably kidney, liver and skeletal muscle, displayed the identical recurrent mutations that were undetectable in other tissues in the same individuals. Using RFLP analyses we validated one of the tissue-specific mutations in the two sequenced individuals and replicated the patterns in two additional individuals. These recurrent mutations all occur within or in very close proximity to sites that regulate mtDNA replication, strongly implying that these variations alter the replication dynamics of the mutated mtDNA genome. These recurrent variants are all independent of each other and do not occur in the mtDNA coding regions. The most parsimonious explanation of the data is that these frequently repeated mutations experience tissue-specific positive selection, probably through replication advantage.
DNA mutations are expected to be formed randomly, thus any reproducible pattern of DNA somatic mutations across multiple individuals or even across organs within each individual is highly unexpected. Using next generation sequencing of multiple tissues from the same individuals we found several somatic mutations in mitochondrial DNA that appear in a heteroplasmic state in all individuals examined, but only in particular tissues. These mutations were only found in known regions of replication control for the mitochondrial DNA. These data imply the presence of tissue-specific positive selection for these variants.
Although it is difficult in fully clarifying its mechanisms and effects, Deqi still can be considered as an instant “sign” of acupuncture response of the patient and acupuncturist, which has a significant value in clinic and research. This paper aims to take a history trace to the development of Deqi theory, understand the connotation of Deqi based on Chinese medicine theory, and establish an evaluation methodology accordingly. We believe that Deqi is not only the needling sensation, but also the perception of changes of qi′ flowing of the patient elicited by needling on acupoints. The signs of Deqi include the patient's subjective perception (needling sensation), the objective physiological changes (common referred to the skin redness around the acupoints and the response of brain), and the acupuncturists' perception. Although Deqi is essential for attaining the effect, it may not be the necessary sign of the ideal efficacy. It is found that the characteristics of Deqi sensations, Deqi's intensity, time duration, and the propagation will all affect the efficacy. Thus, acupuncturists should pay attention to elicit and control Deqi state, which is also the key point in modern research on the therapeutic implications of Deqi.
To document the causes of high signal intensity of the meniscus which is not caused by definite meniscal tears on MR imaging, through correlation with histological examination.
Materials and Methods
For the correlation between the MR image and histology, we obtained prospectively 31 meniscal specimens from 21 patients. Proton density-weighted turbo spin-echo MR images were used. Minimal tear, thinning of the lamellar layer, degeneration of the central layer, and radial tie fibers were detected upon histological examination, and were correlated with the corresponding MR images.
Minimal tear of the lamellar layer was seen in 60 zones out of 100 slides. On MR images, 29 (48.3%) of these 60 zones had high signal intensity. Thinning of the lamellar layer was seen in 24 zones, with 7 (29.2%) having high signal intensity. 57 central zones showed degenerative change in the central layer and high signal intensity on all corresponding MR images. Radial tie fibers in the central layer appeared as high signal intensity areas.
Minimal tear and thinning of the lamellar layer, degeneration and radial tie fibers of the central layer of the meniscus cause high signal intensity on MR images.
Knee Joint; Knee injuries; Menisci, tibial; MR
Nanotechnology has often been applied in the development of targeted drug-delivery systems for the treatment of cancer. An ideal nanoscale system for drug delivery should be able to selectively deliver and rapidly release the carried therapeutic drug(s) in cancer cells and, more importantly, not react to off-target cells so as to eliminate unwanted toxicity on normal tissues. To reach this goal, a selective chemotherapeutic is formulated using a hollow gold nanosphere (HAuNS) equipped with a biomarker-specific aptamer (Apt), and loaded with the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin (DOX). The formed Apt-HAuNS-Dox, approximately 42 nm in diameter, specifically binds to lymphoma tumor cells and does not react to control cells that do not express the biomarker. Through aptamer-mediated selective cell binding, the Apt-HAuNS-Dox is internalized exclusively into the targeted tumor cells, and then released the DOX intracellularly. Of note, although the formed Apt-HAuNS-Dox is stable under normal biological conditions (pH 7.4), it appears ultrasensitive to pH change and rapidly releases 80% of the loaded DOX within 2 h at pH 5.0, a condition seen in cell lysosomes. Functional assays using cell mixtures show that the Apt-HAuNS-Dox selectively kills lymphoma tumor cells, but has no effect on the growth of the off-target cells in the same cultures, indicating that this ultra pH-sensitive Apt-HAuNS-Dox can selectively treat cancer through specific aptamer guidance, and will have minimal side effects on normal tissue.
aptamers; hollow gold nanospheres; targeted therapies; pH sensitive; drug delivery
The terpenoid indole alkaloid (TIA) pathway leads to the production of pharmaceutically important drugs, such as the anticancer compounds vinblastine and vincristine. Unfortunately, these drugs are produced in trace amounts, causing them to be very costly. To increase production of these drugs, an improved understanding of the TIA regulatory pathway is needed. Towards this end, transgenic Catharanthus roseus hairy roots that overexpress the ORCA2 TIA transcriptional activator were generated and characterized.
Transcriptional profiling experiments revealed that overexpression of ORCA2 results in altered expression of key genes from the indole and terpenoid pathways, which produce precursors for the TIA pathway, and from the TIA pathway itself. In addition, metabolite-profiling experiments revealed that overexpression of ORCA2 significantly affects the levels of several TIA metabolites. ORCA2 overexpression also causes significant increases in transcript levels of several TIA regulators, including TIA transcriptional repressors.
Results presented here indicate that ORCA2 plays a critical role in regulation of TIA metabolism. ORCA2 regulates expression of key genes from both feeder pathways, as well as the genes (STR and SGD) encoding the enzymes that catalyze the first two steps in TIA biosynthesis. ORCA2 may play an especially important role in regulation of the downstream branches of the TIA pathway, as it regulates four out of five genes characterized from this part of the pathway. Regulation of TIA transcriptional repressors by ORCA2 may provide a mechanism whereby increases in TIA metabolite levels in response to external stimuli are transient and limited in magnitude.
Terpenoid indole alkaloids; ORCA2; Catharanthus roseus; Hairy root cultures
Phosphodiesterases (PDEs) are critical regulatory enzymes in cyclic nucleotide signaling. PDEs have diverse expression patterns within the central nervous system (CNS), show differing affinities for cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), and regulate a vast array of behaviors. Here, we investigated the expression profile of the PDE8 gene family members Pde8a and Pde8b in the mouse brain. We find that Pde8a expression is largely absent in the CNS; by contrast, Pde8b is expressed in select regions of the hippocampus, ventral striatum, and cerebellum. Behavioral analysis of mice with Pde8b gene inactivation (PDE8B KO) demonstrate an enhancement in contextual fear, spatial memory, performance in an appetitive instrumental conditioning task, motor-coordination, and have an attenuation of age-induced motor coordination decline. In addition to improvements observed in select behaviors, we find basal anxiety levels to be increased in PDE8B KO mice. These findings indicate that selective antagonism of PDE8B may be an attractive target for enhancement of cognitive and motor functions; however, possible alterations in affective state will need to be weighed against potential therapeutic value.
Deep ocean water (DOW) has, in previous studies, been found to be a novel anti-obesity drink and useful in raising Monascus-produced monascin and ankaflavin levels. This may resolve the limited anti-obesity ability of red mold dioscorea (RMD) known as the Monascus purpureus-fermented Disocorea batatas. This study aims to compare the anti-obesity effect of DOW-cultured RMD (DOW-RMD) and ultra-pure water-cultured RMD (UPW-RMD) in rats fed on a high fat diet. Moreover, the effect of ions composition of DOW and DOW-influenced functional metabolites change of RMD on the differentiation and lipogenesis regulation were investigated using 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes. In the animal test, compared to UPW-RMD, DOW-RMD possessed better ability to inhibit increases in weight gain, and better feed efficiency, body-fat pad and cross-sectional area of adipocytes. In the cell test, the anti-obesity abilities of DOW-RMD in inhibiting PPARγ and C/EBPα expression in differentiation and lipoprotein lipase activity in lipogenesis were contributed to by the DOW-increased monascin and ankaflavin levels and the ions of DOW, respectively.
deep ocean water; obesity; Monascus; monascin; ankaflavin
Photothermal ablation (PTA) is an emerging technique that uses near-infrared laser light-generated heat to destroy tumor cells. However, complete tumor eradication by PTA therapy alone is difficult because heterogeneous heat distribution can lead to sub-lethal thermal dose in some areas of the tumor. Successful PTA therapy requires selective delivery of photothermal conducting nanoparticles to mediate effective PTA of tumor cells, and the ability to combine PTA with other therapy modalities. Here, we synthesized multifunctional doxorubicin (DOX)-loaded hollow gold nanospheres (DOX@HAuNS) that target EphB4, a member of the Eph family of receptor tyrosine kinases overexpressed on the cell membrane of multiple tumors and angiogenic blood vessels. Increased uptake of targeted nanoparticles T-DOX@HAuNS was observed in three EphB4-positive tumors both in vitro and in vivo. In vivo release of DOX from DOX@HAuNS, triggered by near-infrared laser, was confirmed by dual radiotracer technique. Treatment with T-DOX@HAuNS followed by near-infrared laser irradiation resulted in significantly decreased tumor growth when compared to treatments with non-targeted DOX@HAuNS plus laser or HAuNS plus laser. The tumors in six of the eight mice treated with T-DOX@HAuNS plus laser regressed completely with only residual scar tissue by 22 days following injection, and none of the treatment groups experienced a loss in body weight. Together, our findings demonstrate that concerted chemo-photothermal therapy with a single nanodevice capable of mediating simultaneous PTA and local drug release may have promise as a new anticancer therapy.
Hollow Gold Nanospheres; EphB4 receptors; Targeting; Doxorubicin; Multimodal Therapy
Our knowledge of the pathophysiology of affect dysregulation has progressively increased, but the pharmacological treatments remain inadequate. Here, we summarize the current literature on deficits in somatostatin, an inhibitory modulatory neuropeptide, in major depression and other neurological disorders that also include mood disturbances. We focus on direct evidence in the human postmortem brain, and review rodent genetic and pharmacological studies probing the role of the somatostatin system in relation to mood. We also briefly go over pharmacological developments targeting the somatostatin system in peripheral organs and discuss the challenges of targeting the brain somatostatin system. Finally, the fact that somatostatin deficits are frequently observed across neurological disorders suggests a selective cellular vulnerability of somatostatin-expressing neurons. Potential cell intrinsic factors mediating those changes are discussed, including nitric oxide induced oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, high inflammatory response, high demand for neurotrophic environment, and overall aging processes. Together, based on the co-localization of somatostatin with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), its presence in dendritic-targeting GABA neuron subtypes, and its temporal-specific function, we discuss the possibility that deficits in somatostatin play a central role in cortical local inhibitory circuit deficits leading to abnormal corticolimbic network activity and clinical mood symptoms across neurological disorders.
somatostatin; somatostatin-expressing interneurons; SST; SOM; SRIF; depression; mood disorders; GABA inhibition
This study investigated the propagated sensation along meridians (PSM) produced respectively by acupuncture at a specific acupoint of right-side Quchi (LI11), a nonacupoint on meridian (control meridian point), and neither meridian nor acupoint (control point). All the stimulated points were on the right brachioradialis along the large intestine meridian of hand Yangming. Surface electromyography (sEMG) was used to reflect the activity of the brachioradialis along the large intestine meridian of hand Yangming. The PSM rate of LI11 (59.21%) and the control meridian point (53.95%) were significantly higher than the control point (38.16%) (P < 0.05). After acupuncture, the brachioradialis sEMG amplitude was 5.08 ± 2.93 uV at LI11, 3.08 ± 1.18 uV at the control point, and 2.77 ± 1.36 uV at the control meridian point. The amplitude of LI11 was significantly higher than both the control meridian point and the control point (P < 0.05). When the sEMG activity of brachioradialis returned to the stable base line, brachioradialis sEMG duration at LI11 (265 ± 87.87 s) was significantly longer than that at the control meridian point (91.69 ± 42.98 s) and the control point (83.31 ± 32.76 s) (P < 0.05). In conclusion, acupuncture activated PSM at all points but showed an acupoint specificity at LI11 and a meridian specificity at the control meridian point.
Photoacoustic tomography (PAT) is an emerging molecular imaging modality. Here, we demonstrate use of semiconductor copper sulfide nanoparticles (CuS NP) for PAT with an Nd:YAG laser at a wavelength of 1064 nm. CuS NP allowed visualization of mouse brain after intracranial injection, rat lymph nodes 12 mm below the skin after interstitial injection, and CuS NP-containing agarose gel embedded in chicken breast muscle at the depth of ~ 5 cm. This imaging approach has great potential for molecular imaging of breast cancer.
photoacoustic tomography; CuS nanoparticles; 1064-nm laser; optical imaging
We report the electronic recording of the touch contact and pressure using an active matrix pressure sensor array made of transparent zinc oxide thin-film transistors and tactile feedback display using an array of diaphragm actuators made of an interpenetrating polymer elastomer network. Digital replay, editing and manipulation of the recorded touch events were demonstrated with both spatial and temporal resolutions. Analog reproduction of the force is also shown possible using the polymer actuators, despite of the high driving voltage. The ability to record, store, edit, and replay touch information adds an additional dimension to digital technologies and extends the capabilities of modern information exchange with the potential to revolutionize physical learning, social networking, e-commerce, robotics, gaming, medical and military applications.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of major depression. Individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) have a high prevalence of major depression and low levels of BDNF. We therefore explored whether the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism is associated with co-morbid depression and whether depression affects the serum levels of BDNF in a Han Chinese subjects with T2DM.
A Total of 296 T2DM patients and 70 healthy volunteers (Health control, HC group) were recruited in this study. T2DM patients were divided into two subgroups: depressive diabetes group (DDM group, n = 64) and non-depressive diabetes group (NDDM group, n = 232), according to the presence or the absence of depression assessed by Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). Val66Met polymorphism was detected by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis (PCR-RFLP). Serum BDNF levels were measured by ELISA kit.
In this study, 21.6% (64/296) patients with T2DM had depression. The BDNF Val66Met genotype distributions were statistically different among the three groups (χ2 = 7.39, p < 0.05). DDM group carried the highest frequencies of Met allele (53.9%) compared to HC group (39.3%) and NDDM group (38.8%). Subjects with Met/Met had lowest serum BDNF levels (76.59 ± 5.12 pg/ml, F = 7.39, p < 0.05) compared to subjects with Val/Met (79.04 ± 5.19 pg/ml) and Val/Val (83.83 ± 3.97 pg/ml). Within T2DM group, it was also observed that the serum BDNF levels in DDM group were significantly lower than those in NDDM group (76.67 ± 5.35 vs. 79.84 ± 3.97 pg/ml, p < 0.05). In type 2 diabetes subjects, BDNF serum levels were significant correlations with genotypes (r = −0.346, p < 0.01), depression scores (r = −0.486, p < 0.01) and HbA1c (r = −0.168, p < 0.05). After adjustment for gender, HbA1c, BMI and numbers of complications, BDNF Val/Met genotype distributions (OR = 2.105, p < 0.05) and decreased serum BDNF levels (OR = 0.835, p < 0.01) were independently associated with depression in T2DM.
The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism might be implicated in the pathogenesis of depression in T2DM by decreasing serum BDNF levels in Han Chinese Subjects.
Type 2 diabetes (T2DM); Depression; Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF); Polymorphism
Hyperplasia of synovial fibroblasts, infiltration with inflammatory cytokines, and tissue hypoxia are the major characteristics of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Interleukin 33 (IL-33) is a newly identified inflammatory cytokine exacerbating the disease severity of RA. Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) showed increased expression in RA synovium and could regulate a number of inflammatory cytokine productions. Nevertheless, its correlation with IL-33 remains largely unknown. Here, we showed that elevated levels of IL-33 were demonstrated in RA patient synovial fluids, with upregulated expression of HIF-1α and IL-33 in the synovial fibroblasts. Knocking down HIF-1α compromised IL-33 expression in rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts (RASF), while enforcing HIF-1α expression in RASF substantially upregulated IL-33 levels. HIF-1α promoted the activation of the signalling pathways controlling IL-33 production, particularly the p38 and ERK pathways. Moreover, we showed for the first time that IL-33 in turn could induce more HIF-1α expression in RASF, thus forming a HIF-1α/IL-33 regulatory circuit that would perpetuate the inflammatory process in RA. Targeting this pathological pathway and HIF-1α may provide new therapeutic strategies for overcoming the persistent and chronic inflammatory disease.