How breast cancer cells respond to the stress of endocrine therapies determines whether they acquire a resistant phenotype or execute a cell death pathway. A successfully executed survival signal then requires determination of whether or not to replicate. How these cell fate decisions are regulated is unclear but evidence suggests that the signals determining these outcomes are highly integrated. Central to the final cell fate decision is signaling from the unfolded protein response, which can be activated following the sensing of stress within the endoplasmic reticulum. Duration of the response to stress is partly mediated by the duration of inositol requiring enzyme-1 (IRE1; ERN) activation following its release from heat shock protein A5 (HSPA5). The resulting signaling appears to use several B-cell lymphoma-2 (BCL2) family members to both suppress apoptosis and activate autophagy. Changes in metabolism induced by cellular stress are key components of this regulatory system, and further adaptation of the metabolome is affected in response to stress. Here we describe the unfolded protein response, autophagy and apoptosis, and how their regulation is integrated. Central topological features of the signaling network that integrate cell fate regulation and decision execution are discussed.
Cell signaling; endoplasmic reticulum; estrogens; unfolded protein response
Staphylococcus epidermidis (S.epidermidis) plays important protective roles by directly producing or by stimulating hosts to produce antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) against pathogenic infections. Although several AMPs from S.epidermidis have been identified, molecules that stimulate hosts to produce AMPs remain largly unknown. Here we demonstrate that a new lipopeptide (named LP01) purified from S.epidermidis culture media has a unique structure with heneicosanoic acid (21 carbons) binding to lysine11 of a peptide chain. In vitro LP01 increased the expression of β-defensin 2(hBD2) and hBD3 in neonatal human epidermal keratinocytes(NHEK), leading to increased capacity of cell lysates to inhibit the growth of S.aureus. In vivo LP01 induced the expression of mouse β-defensin 4(mBD4) to decrease the survival of local S.aureus in skin and systemic S.aureus survival in liver. The induction of beta-defensins by LP01 was dependent on TLR2 as Tlr2-deficient mice had decreased mBD4. Furthermore, knockdown of CD36 decreased the expression of hBD2 and hBD3, and p38 MAPK inhibitor significantly inhibited the expression of hBDs induced by LP01.Taken together, these findings demonstrate that lipopeptide LP01 from normal commensal S.epidermidis increases antimicrobial peptide hBD2 and hBD3 expression via the activation of TLR2/CD36-p38 MAPK, thus enhancing antimicrobial defense against pathogenic infections.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) occurs frequently in a setting of obesity, dyslipidemia and insulin resistance, but the etiology of the disease, particularly the events favoring progression to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) as opposed to simple steatosis (SS), are not fully understood. Based on known zonation patterns in protein, glucose and lipid metabolism, coupled with evidence that phosphatidylcholine may play a role in NASH pathogenesis, we hypothesized that phospholipid zonation exists in liver and that specific phospholipid abundance and distribution may be associated with histologic disease. A survey of normal hepatic protein expression profiles in the Human Protein Atlas revealed pronounced zonation of enzymes involved in lipid utilization and storage, particularly those facilitating phosphatidylcholine (PC) metabolism. Immunohistochemistry of obese normal, SS and NASH liver specimens with anti-phosphatidylethanomine N-methyltransferase (PEMT) antibodies showed a progressive decrease in the zonal distribution of this PC biosynthetic enzyme. Phospholipid quantitation by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) in hepatic extracts of Class III obese patients with increasing NAFLD severity revealed that most PC species with 32, 34 and 36 carbons as well as total PC abundance was decreased with SS and NASH. Matrix assisted laser desorption ionization - imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI-IMS) imaging revealed strong zonal distributions for 32, 34 and 36 carbon PCs in controls (minimal histologic findings) and SS that was lost in NASH specimens. Specific lipid species such as PC 34∶1 and PC 36∶2 best illustrated this phenomenon. These findings suggest that phospholipid zonation may be associated with the presence of an intrahepatic proinflammatory phenotype and thus have broad implications in the etiopathogenesis of NASH.
Infection with influenza virus is a major public health problem, causing serious illness and death each year. Emergence of drug-resistant influenza virus strains limits the effectiveness of drug treatment. Importantly, a dual H275Y/I223R mutation detected in the pandemic influenza A 2009 virus strain results in multidrug resistance to current neuraminidase (NA) drugs. Therefore, discovery of new agents for treating multiple drug-resistant (MDR) influenza virus infections is important. Here, we propose a parallel screening strategy that simultaneously screens wild-type (WT) and MDR NAs, and identifies inhibitors matching the subsite characteristics of both NA-binding sites. These may maintain their potency when drug-resistant mutations arise. Initially, we analyzed the subsite of the dual H275Y/I223R NA mutant. Analysis of the site-moiety maps of NA protein structures show that the mutant subsite has a relatively small volume and is highly polar compared with the WT subsite. Moreover, the mutant subsite has a high preference for forming hydrogen-bonding interactions with polar moieties. These changes may drive multidrug resistance. Using this strategy, we identified a new inhibitor, Remazol Brilliant Blue R (RB19, an anthraquinone dye), which inhibited WT NA and MDR NA with IC50 values of 3.4 and 4.5 µM, respectively. RB19 comprises a rigid core scaffold and a flexible chain with a large polar moiety. The former interacts with highly conserved residues, decreasing the probability of resistance. The latter forms van der Waals contacts with the WT subsite and yields hydrogen bonds with the mutant subsite by switching the orientation of its flexible side chain. Both scaffolds of RB19 are good starting points for lead optimization. The results reveal a parallel screening strategy for identifying resistance mechanisms and discovering anti-resistance neuraminidase inhibitors. We believe that this strategy may be applied to other diseases with high mutation rates, such as cancer and human immunodeficiency virus type 1.
Maternal exposures to environmental factors during pregnancy influence the risk of many chronic adult-onset diseases in the offspring. Here we investigate whether feeding pregnant rats a high-fat (HF)- or ethinyl-oestradiol (EE2)-supplemented diet affects carcinogen-induced mammary cancer risk in daughters, granddaughters and great-granddaughters. We show that mammary tumourigenesis is higher in daughters and granddaughters of HF rat dams and in daughters and great-granddaughters of EE2 rat dams. Outcross experiments suggest that the increase in mammary cancer risk is transmitted to HF granddaughters equally through the female or male germ lines, but it is only transmitted to EE2 granddaughters through the female germ line. The effects of maternal EE2 exposure on offspring’s mammary cancer risk are associated with changes in the DNA methylation machinery and methylation patterns in mammary tissue of all three EE2 generations. We conclude that dietary and oestrogenic exposures in pregnancy increase breast cancer risk in multiple generations of offspring, possibly through epigenetic means.
Auditors of a large terminology, such as SNOMED CT, face a daunting challenge. To aid them in their efforts, it is essential to devise techniques that can automatically identify concepts warranting special attention. “Complex” concepts, which by their very nature are more difficult to model, fall neatly into this category. A special kind of grouping, called a partial-area, is utilized in the characterization of complex concepts. In particular, the complex concepts that are the focus of this work are those appearing in intersections of multiple partial-areas and are thus referred to as overlapping concepts. In a companion paper, an automatic methodology for identifying and partitioning the entire collection of overlapping concepts into disjoint, singly-rooted groups, that are more manageable to work with and comprehend, has been presented. The partitioning methodology formed the foundation for the development of an abstraction network for the overlapping concepts called a disjoint partial-area taxonomy. This new disjoint partial-area taxonomy offers a collection of semantically uniform partial-areas and is exploited herein as the basis for a novel auditing methodology. The review of the overlapping concepts is done in a top-down order within semantically uniform groups. These groups are themselves reviewed in a top-down order, which proceeds from the less complex to the more complex overlapping concepts. The results of applying the methodology to SNOMED’s Specimen hierarchy are presented. Hypotheses regarding error ratios for overlapping concepts and between different kinds of overlapping concepts are formulated. Two phases of auditing the Specimen hierarchy for two releases of SNOMED are reported on. With the use of the double bootstrap and Fisher’s exact test (two-tailed), the auditing of concepts and especially roots of overlapping partial-areas is shown to yield a statistically significant higher proportion of errors.
SNOMED; Terminology; Auditing; Quality Assurance; Partitioning; Abstraction Network; Taxonomy; Complex Concept; Neighborhood Auditing; Group Auditing
An algorithmically-derived abstraction network, called the partial-area taxonomy, for a SNOMED hierarchy has led to the identification of concepts considered complex. The designation “complex” is arrived at automatically on the basis of structural analyses of overlap among the constituent concept groups of the partial-area taxonomy. Such complex concepts, called overlapping concepts, constitute a tangled portion of a hierarchy and can be obstacles to users trying to gain an understanding of the hierarchy’s content. A new methodology for partitioning the entire collection of overlapping concepts into singly-rooted groups, that are more manageable to work with and comprehend, is presented. Different kinds of overlapping concepts with varying degrees of complexity are identified. This leads to an abstract model of the overlapping concepts called the disjoint partial-area taxonomy, which serves as a vehicle for enhanced, high-level display. The methodology is demonstrated with an application to SNOMED’s Specimen hierarchy. Overall, the resulting disjoint partial-area taxonomy offers a refined view of the hierarchy’s structural organization and conceptual content that can aid users, such as maintenance personnel, working with SNOMED. The utility of the disjoint partial-area taxonomy as the basis for a SNOMED auditing regimen is presented in a companion paper.
SNOMED; Terminology; Partitioning; Abstraction network; Modeling; Taxonomy
Stem cell therapy is a promising treatment for cerebral palsy, which refers to a category of brain diseases that are associated with chronic motor disability in children. Autologous MSCs may be a better cell source and have been studied for the treatment of cerebral palsy because of their functions in tissue repair and the regulation of immunological processes.
To assess neural stem cell–like (NSC-like) cells derived from autologous marrow mesenchymal stem cells as a novel treatment for patients with moderate-to-severe cerebral palsy, a total of 60 cerebral palsy patients were enrolled in this open-label, non-randomised, observer-blinded controlled clinical study with a 6-months follow-up. For the transplantation group, a total of 30 cerebral palsy patients received an autologous NSC-like cells transplantation (1-2 × 107 cells into the subarachnoid cavity) and rehabilitation treatments whereas 30 patients in the control group only received rehabilitation treatment.
We recorded the gross motor function measurement scores, language quotients, and adverse events up to 6 months post-treatment. The gross motor function measurement scores in the transplantation group were significantly higher at month 3 (the score increase was 42.6, 95% CI: 9.8–75.3, P=.011) and month 6 (the score increase was 58.6, 95% CI: 25.8–91.4, P=.001) post-treatment compared with the baseline scores. The increase in the Gross Motor Function Measurement scores in the control group was not significant. The increases in the language quotients at months 1, 3, and 6 post-treatment were not statistically significant when compared with the baseline quotients in both groups. All the 60 patients survived, and none of the patients experienced serious adverse events or complications.
Our results indicated that NSC-like cells are safe and effective for the treatment of motor deficits related to cerebral palsy. Further randomised clinical trials are necessary to establish the efficacy of this procedure.
Cerebral palsy; Neural stem cell-like cells; Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells; Cell therapy; Autologous transplantation
Thymidylate synthase (TS) is a key enzyme responsible for DNA synthesis and repair. Altered expression of TS protein or TS gene polymorphisms has been associated with cancer progression and treatment response. This study investigated the expressions of TS and its gene SNPs in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and then its association with sensitivity to pemetrexed treatment. Immunohistochemistry and qRT-PCR were performed on 160 resected NSCLC specimens and corresponding normal tissues to assess the expressions of TS protein and TS mRNA, and for associations with clinicopathological data. Blood samples of 106 lung adenocarcinoma patients were examined for polymorphisms of the TS gene 3’-UTR 1494del 6 bp, which was then investigated for associations with responses of the patients to pemetrexed treatment and survival.
Expression of both TS protein and its mRNA was elevated in NSCLC tissues compared with matched normal tissues, and significantly higher in lung squamous cell carcinoma than in lung adenocarcinoma. TS expression was associated with poor tumor differentiation. Furthermore, the genotyping data showed that 56% of lung adenocarcinoma patients had the TS gene 3’-UTR 1494 bp (−6 bp/-6 bp) genotype and the rest had TS gene 3’-UTR 1494 bp (−6 bp/+6 bp). There was no TS 3’-UTR 1494 bp (+6 bp/+6 bp) genotype in any patients. Statistical analysis revealed that gender, tumor stage, and TS 3’-UTR 1494del 6 bp polymorphism were significant prognostic factors after short-term pemetrexed treatment. Log-rank analysis revealed that patients with the (−6 bp/-6 bp) genotype had significantly better progression-free and overall survival than patients with (−6 bp/+6 bp).
This study showed that TS protein is highly expressed in NSCLC and that polymorphisms of TS 3’-UTR 1494del 6 bp are associated with sensitivity of lung adenocarcinoma patients to pemetrexed treatment. This suggests that TS gene polymorphisms should be further evaluated as prognostic markers for personalized therapy in lung adenocarcinoma.
Lung adenocarcinoma; Non-small cell lung cancer; Pemetrexed treatment; Thymidylate synthase; TS gene polymorphism
The accumulation of single-stranded DNA-binding (SSB) proteins is essential for organisms and has various applications. However, no study has simultaneously and systematically compared the characteristics of SSB proteins. In addition, SSB proteins may bind RNA and play an unknown biological role in RNA metabolism. Here, we expressed a novel species of SSB protein derived from Thermococcus kodakarensis KOD1 (KOD), as well as SSB proteins from Thermus thermophilus (TTH), Escherichia coli, and Sulfolobus Solfataricus P2 (SSOB), abbreviated kod, tth, bl21, and ssob, respectively. These SSB proteins could bind ssDNA and viral RNA. bl21 resisted heat treatment for more than 9 h, Ssob and kod could withstand 95°C for 10 h and retain its ssDNA- and RNA-binding ability. Four SSB proteins promoted the specificity of the DNA polymerase in PCR-based 5- and 9-kb genome fragment amplification. kod also increased the amplification of a 13-kb PCR product, and SSB protein–bound RNA resisted Benzonase digestion. The SSB proteins could also enter the host cell bound to RNA, which resulted in modulation of viral RNA metabolism, particularly ssob and bl21.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent cells capable of differentiating into dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons, which is one of the major cell types damaged in Parkinson’s disease (PD). For this reason, MSCs are considered a potential cell source for PD therapy. It has been proved that hypoxia is involved in the proliferation and differentiation of stem cells. In this study, we investigated the effect of hypoxia on MSC proliferation and DAergic neuronal differentiation. Our results demonstrate that 3% O2 treatment can enhance rat MSC proliferation by upregulation of phosphorylated p38 MAPK and subsequent nuclear translocation of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-1α. During neural differentiation, 3% O2 treatment increases the expression of HIF-1α, phosphorylated ERK and p38 MAPK. These changes are followed by promotion of neurosphere formation and further DAergic neuronal differentiation. Furthermore, we explored the physiological function of hypoxia-induced DAergic neurons from human fetal MSCs by transplanting them into parkinsonian rats. Grafts induced with hypoxia display more survival of DAergic neurons and greater amelioration of behavioral impairments. Altogether, these results suggest that hypoxia can promote MSC proliferation and DAergic neuronal differentiation, and benefit for intrastriatal transplantation. Therefore, this study may provide new perspectives in application of MSCs to clinical PD therapy.
Rfa2 is a ssDNA (single-stranded DNA)-binding protein that plays an important role in DNA replication, recombination and repair. Rfa2 is regulated by phosphorylation, which alters its protein–protein interaction and protein–DNA interaction. In the present study, we found that the Pph3–Psy2 phosphatase complex is responsible for Rfa2 dephosphorylation both during normal G1-phase and under DNA replication stress in Candida albicans. Phosphorylated Rfa2 extracted from pph3Δ or psy2Δ G1 cells exhibited diminished binding affinity to dsDNA (double-stranded DNA) but not to ssDNA. We also discovered that Cdc28 (cell division cycle 28) and Mec1 are responsible for Rfa2 phosphorylation in G1-phase and under DNA replication stress respectively. Moreover, MS revealed that the domain of Rfa2 that was phosphorylated in G1-phase differed from that phosphorylated under the stress conditions. The results of the present study imply that differential phosphorylation plays a crucial role in RPA (replication protein A) regulation.
dephosphorylation; DNA replication; phosphatase; protein–DNA interaction; replication protein A (RPA); AP, alkaline phosphatase; ATM, ataxia telangiectasia mutated; Cdc, cell division cycle; CDK, cyclin-dependent kinase; co-IP, co-immunoprecipitation; CTD, C-terminal domain; DBD, DNA-binding domain; DNA-PK, DNA-dependent protein kinase; DSB, double-strand break; dsDNA, double-stranded DNA; EMSA, electrophoretic mobility-shift assay; FL, full-length; GFP, green fluorescent protein; GMM, glucose minimal medium; HF, hyphal form; HU, hydroxyurea; λPPase, lambda phosphatase; NTD, N-terminal domain; PI3K, phosphoinositide 3-kinase; RPA, replication protein A; ssDNA, single-stranded DNA; TBST, Tris-buffered saline containing 0.1% Tween 20; TGE, Tris-glycine-EDTA; UTR, untranslated region; WT, wild-type; YF, yeast form
A large number of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 outbreaks in poultry and wild birds have been reported in Europe since 2005. Distinct spatial patterns in poultry and wild birds suggest that different environmental drivers and potentially different spread mechanisms are operating. However, previous studies found no difference between these two outbreak types when only the effect of physical environmental factors was analysed. The influence of physical and anthropogenic environmental variables and interactions between the two has only been investigated for wild bird outbreaks. We therefore tested the effect of these environmental factors on HPAI H5N1 outbreaks in poultry, and the potential spread mechanism, and discussed how these differ from those observed in wild birds. Logistic regression analyses were used to quantify the relationship between HPAI H5N1 outbreaks in poultry and environmental factors. Poultry outbreaks increased with an increasing human population density combined with close proximity to lakes or wetlands, increased temperatures and reduced precipitation during the cold season. A risk map was generated based on the identified key factors. In wild birds, outbreaks were strongly associated with an increased Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and lower elevation, though they were similarly affected by climatic conditions as poultry outbreaks. This is the first study that analyses the differences in environmental drivers and spread mechanisms between poultry and wild bird outbreaks. Outbreaks in poultry mostly occurred in areas where the location of farms or trade areas overlapped with habitats for wild birds, whereas outbreaks in wild birds were mainly found in areas where food and shelters are available. The different environmental drivers suggest that different spread mechanisms might be involved: HPAI H5N1 spread to poultry via both poultry and wild birds, whereas contact with wild birds alone seems to drive the outbreaks in wild birds.
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of zinc-dependent endopeptidases that can be released or activated in a neuronal activity dependent manner. Although pathologically elevated levels of MMPs may be synaptotoxic, physiologically appropriate levels of MMPs may instead enhance synaptic transmission. MMP inhibitors can block long term potentiation (LTP), and at least one family member can affect an increase in the volume of dendritic spines. While the mechanism by which MMPs affect these changes is not completely understood, one possibility is that the cleavage of specific synaptic cell adhesion molecules plays a role. In the present study, we have examined the ability of neuronal activity to stimulate rapid MMP dependent shedding of the intercellular adhesion molecule-5 (ICAM-5), a synaptic adhesion molecule that is thought to inhibit the maturation and enlargement of dendritic spines. Since such cleavage would likely occur within minutes if it were relevant to a process such as LTP, we focused on post stimulus time points of thirty minutes or less. We show that NMDA can stimulate rapid shedding of ICAM-5 from cortical neurons in dissociated cell cultures and that such shedding is diminished by pretreatment of cultures with inhibitors that target MMP-3 and -9, proteases thought to influence synaptic plasticity. Additional studies suggest that MMP mediated cleavage of ICAM-5 occurs at amino acid 780, so that the major portion of the ectodomain is released. Since reductions in ICAM-5 have been linked to changes in dendritic spine morphology that are associated with LTP, we also examined the possibility that MMP dependent ICAM-5 shedding occurs following high frequency tetanic stimulation of hippocampal slices. Results show that the shedding of ICAM-5 occurs in association with LTP, and that both LTP and the associated ICAM-5 shedding are reduced when slices are pretreated with an MMP inhibitor. Together, these findings suggest that neuronal activity is linked to the shedding of a molecule that may inhibit dendritic spine enlargement and that MMPs can affect this change. While further studies will be necessary to determine the extent to which cleavage of ICAM-5 in particular contributes to MMP dependent LTP, our data support an emerging body of literature suggesting that MMPs are critical mediators of synaptic plasticity.
Telencephalin; NMDA; MMPs; dendrite; plasticity; shedding; dendritic spine
As a novel epigenetic mechanism, histone H3 methylation at R17 and R26, which is mainly catalyzed by coactivator-associated protein arginine methyltransferase 1 (CARM1), has been reported to modulate the transcription of key pluripotency factors and to regulate pluripotency in mouse embryos and mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) in previous studies. However, the role of CARM1 in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and the regulatory mechanism that controls CARM1 expression during ESCs differentiation are presently unknown. Here, we demonstrate that CARM1 plays an active role in the resistance to differentiation in hESCs by regulating pluripotency genes in response to BMP4. In a functional screen, we identified the miR-181 family as a regulator of CARM1 that is induced during ESC differentiation and show that endogenous miR-181c represses the expression of CARM1. Depletion of CARM1 or enforced expression of miR-181c inhibits the expression of pluripotency genes and induces differentiation independent of BMP4, whereas overexpression of CARM1 or miR-181c inhibitor elevates Nanog and impedes differentiation. Furthermore, expression of CARM1 rescue constructs inhibits the effect of miR-181c overexpression in promoting differentiation. Taken together, our findings demonstrate the importance of a miR-181c-CARM1 pathway in regulating the differentiation of hESCs.
There is increasing evidence on complex interaction between the nervous and immune systems in patients with cerebral infarction. This study was conducted to evaluate cytotoxic function of CD8+ T lymphocytes isolated from patients with acute severe cerebral infarction. In order to determine role of immune system in stroke, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were taken and cytotoxic function of CD8+ T lymphocytes were induced by virus peptides and cells were analyzed on a four-color flow cytometer. Expression of CD107a, intracellular expression of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and cell proliferation assay were analyzed by using carboxyl fluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester (CFSE).
A total of 30 patients with cerebral infarction and 30 healthy volunteers with an average age 57 (range, 49 to 71) years, were evaluated. The PBMCs were separated from blood samples of both, patients with cerebral infarction 6 hours after onset of stroke and healthy volunteers. After stimulation with virus peptides, CD107a expression and intracellular production of IFN-γ and TNF-α was decreased in patients with cerebral infarction as compared to healthy volunteers (p < 0.01). Degranulation analysis reported decreased expression of CD107a + in patient group as compared to healthy group, p <0.01. A mild decrease in intracellular expression of IFN-γ and TNF-α was also shown in patients without stimulation of virus peptides (p < 0.05). However, proliferation of CD8+ T lymphocytes in patients with acute severe cerebral infarction was not decreased.
The study results indicated that cytotoxic function of CD8+ T lymphocytes were suppressed in patients with acute severe cerebral infarction. This could possibly be associated with complicated infectious diseases and neuroprotective mechanism.
CD8+ T lymphocytes; Cerebral infarction; Cytotoxic function
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia among the elderly with women exhibiting a higher risk than men for the disease. Due to these gender differences, there is great interest in the role that estrogens play in cognitive impairment and the onset of the classic amyloid and tau lesions in AD. Human and rodent studies indicate a strong association between low brain aromatase, sex hormone levels, and beta amyloid deposition. Therefore, the effects of depleting both circulating and brain estrogen levels, through gonadectomy and/or treatment with the aromatase inhibitor, anastrozole, upon hippocampal AD-like pathology in male and female 3xTgAD mice were evaluated. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry revealed anastrozole serum levels of 10.19 ng/mL and for the first time brain levels were detected at 4.7 pg/mL. Densitometric analysis of the hippocampus revealed that anastrozole significantly increased Aβ1-40/42- but not APP/Aβ-immunoreactivity in intact 3xTgAD females compared to controls (p < 0.001). Moreover, anastrozole significantly increased the number of Aβ1-40/42- compared to APP/Aβ-positive hippocampal CA1 neurons in intact and gonadectomized female mice. Concurrently, anastrozole significantly reduced the APP/Aβ plaque load in 9 months old female 3xTgAD mice. These data suggest that anastrozole treatment differentially affects select amyloid species which in turn may play a role in the extraneuronal to intraneuronal deposition of this peptide.
Simulation studies in population genetics play an important role in helping to better understand the impact of various evolutionary and demographic scenarios on sequence variation and sequence patterns, and they also permit investigators to better assess and design analytical methods in the study of disease-associated genetic factors. To facilitate these studies, it is imperative to develop simulators with the capability to accurately generate complex genomic data under various genetic models. Currently, a number of efficient simulation software packages for large-scale genomic data are available, and new simulation programs with more sophisticated capabilities and features continue to emerge. In this article, we review the three basic simulation frameworks—coalescent, forward, and resampling—and some of the existing simulators that fall under these frameworks, comparing them with respect to their evolutionary and demographic scenarios, their computational complexity, and their specific applications. Additionally, we address some limitations in current simulation algorithms and discuss future challenges in the development of more powerful simulation tools.
backward simulators; disease association study; forward simulators; genome simulation; resampling
Monocarboxylate transporter 1 (MCT1) facilitates the transport of monocarboxylate fuels (lactate, pyruvate and ketone bodies) and acidic drugs, such as valproic acid, across cell membranes. We recently reported that MCT1 is deficient on microvessels in the epileptogenic hippocampal formation in patients with medication-refractory temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). To further define the role of MCT1 in the pathophysiology of TLE, we used immunohistochemistry and stereological analysis to localize and quantify the transporter in the hippocampal formation in three novel and highly relevant rat models of TLE and in nonepileptic control animals. One model utilizes methionine sulfoximine to induce brain glutamine synthetase deficiency and recurrent limbic seizures, while two models employ an episode of perforant pathway stimulation to cause epilepsy. MCT1 was lost on microvessels and upregulated on astrocytes in the hippocampal formation in all models of TLE. Notably, the loss of MCT1 on microvessels was not due to a reduction in microvessel density. The similarities in MCT1 expression among human subjects with TLE and several animal models of the disease strongly suggest a critical role of this molecule in the pathogenesis of TLE. We hypothesize that the downregulation of MCT1 may promote seizures via impaired uptake of ketone bodies and antiepileptic drugs by the epileptogenic brain. We also propose that the overexpression of MCT1 on astrocytes may lead to increased uptake or release of monocarboxylates by these cells, with important implications for brain metabolism and excitability. These hypotheses can now be rigorously tested in several animal models that replicate key features of human TLE.
animal models; blood-brain barrier; glutamine synthetase; hippocampal sclerosis; ketone bodies; ketogenic diet
This study was designed to investigate whether Resveratrol (Res) could be a prophylactic factor in the prevention of I/R injury and to shed light on its underlying mechanism. Primary culture of neonatal rat cardiomyocytes were randomly distributed into three groups: the normal group (cultured cardiomyocytes were in normal conditions), the I/R group (cultured cardiomyocytes were subjected to 2 h simulated ischemia followed by 4 h reperfusion), and the Res+I/R group (100 µmol/L Res was administered before cardiomyocytes were subjected to 2 h simulated ischemia followed by 4 h reperfusion). To test the extent of cardiomyocyte injury, several indices were detected including cell viability, LDH activity, Na+-K+-ATPase and Ca2+-ATPase activity. To test apoptotic cell death, caspase-3 activity and the expression of Bcl-2/Bax were detected. To explore the underlying mechanism, several inhibitors, intracellular calcium, SOD activity and MDA content were used to identify some key molecules involved. Res increased cell viability, Na+-K+-ATPase and Ca2+-ATPase activity, Bcl-2 expression, and SOD level. While LDH activity, capase-3 activity, Bax expression, intracellular calcium and MDA content were decreased by Res. And the effect of Res was blocked completely by either L-NAME (an eNOS inhibitor) or MB (a cGMP inhibitor), and partly by either DS (a PKC inhibitor) or Glybenclamide (a KATP inhibitor). Our results suggest that Res attenuates I/R injury in cardiomyocytes by preventing cell apoptosis, decreasing LDH release and increasing ATPase activity. NO, cGMP, PKC and KATP may play an important role in the protective role of Res. Moreover, Res enhances the capacity of anti-oxygen free radical and alleviates intracellular calcium overload in cardiomyocytes.
Recurrent copy number alterations (CNAs) play an important role in cancer genesis. While a number of computational methods have been proposed for identifying such CNAs, their relative merits remain largely unknown in practice since very few efforts have been focused on comparative analysis of the methods. To facilitate studies of recurrent CNA identification in cancer genome, it is imperative to conduct a comprehensive comparison of performance and limitations among existing methods. In this paper, six representative methods proposed in the latest six years are compared. These include one-stage and two-stage approaches, working with raw intensity ratio data and discretized data respectively. They are based on various techniques such as kernel regression, correlation matrix diagonal segmentation, semi-parametric permutation and cyclic permutation schemes. We explore multiple criteria including type I error rate, detection power, Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) curve and the area under curve (AUC), and computational complexity, to evaluate performance of the methods under multiple simulation scenarios. We also characterize their abilities on applications to two real datasets obtained from cancers with lung adenocarcinoma and glioblastoma. This comparison study reveals general characteristics of the existing methods for identifying recurrent CNAs, and further provides new insights into their strengths and weaknesses. It is believed helpful to accelerate the development of novel and improved methods.
Borneol, a monoterpenoid alcohol, is used widely, particularly in combined formulas for preventing and curing cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases in traditional Chinese medicine. In order to understand the blood and brain pharmacokinetics after intravenous, intranasal, or oral administration and to investigate the superiority and feasibility of intranasal administration, a simple gas chromatographic (GC) method with flame ionization detection (FID) was developed for the quantification of borneol. Blood samples and brain were collected from mice at 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 30, 60, 90, and 120 min after intravenous, intranasal, or oral administration of borneol at a dosage of 30.0 mg/kg. Sample preparations were carried out by liquid-liquid extraction with an internal standard solution of octadecane. The pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated by the software of Kinetica. The calibration curves were linear in the range of 0.11–84.24 μg/ml and 0.16–63.18 μg/g for borneol in plasma and brain, respectively. The methodological and extraction recoveries were both in the range of 85%–115%. The intra-day and inter-day variabilities for plasma and brain samples were ≤5.00% relative standard deviation (RSD). The absolute bioavailabilities F of intranasal and oral administrations were 90.68% and 42.99%. The relative brain targeted coefficients Re of intranasal and oral administrations were 68.37% and 38.40%. The GC-FID method developed could be applied to determination and pharmacokinetic study. The borneol from injection was distributed and metabolized fast without absorption process. The borneol from oral administration was distributed more slowly and had the lowest absolute bioavailability. Nasal administration of borneol was quickly absorbed into the blood and brain, was easy to use and had a greater safety than infection, which makes it worthy of further development as an administration route for encephalopathy treatment.
Borneol; Intravenous administration; Intranasal administration; Oral administration; Pharmacokinetics
We aimed to explore the impacts of individual and environmental socioeconomic status (SES) on the outcome of peritoneal dialysis (PD) in regions with significant SES disparity, through a retrospective multicenter cohort in China.
Overall, 2,171 incident patients from seven PD centers were included. Individual SES was evaluated from yearly household income per person and education level. Environmental SES was represented by regional gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and medical resources. Undeveloped regions were defined as those with regional GDP lower than the median. All-cause and cardiovascular death and initial peritonitis were recorded as outcome events.
Poorer PD patients or those who lived in undeveloped areas were younger and less-educated and bore a heavier burden of medical expenses. They had lower hemoglobin and serum albumin at baseline. Low income independently predicted the highest risks for all-cause or cardiovascular death and initial peritonitis compared with medium and high income. The interaction effect between individual education and regional GDP was determined. In undeveloped regions, patients with an elementary school education or lower were at significantly higher risk for all-cause death but not cardiovascular death or initial peritonitis compared with those who attended high school or had a higher diploma. Regional GDP was not associated with any outcome events.
Low personal income independently influenced all-cause and cardiovascular death, and initial peritonitis in PD patients. Education level predicted all-cause death only for patients in undeveloped regions. For PD patients in these high risk situations, integrated care before dialysis and well-constructed PD training programs might be helpful.
Herein we reported the development of aptamer-based biosensors (aptasensors) based on label-free aptamers and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) for detection of Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7 and Salmonella typhimurium. Target bacteria binding aptamers are adsorbed on the surface of unmodified AuNPs to capture target bacteria, and the detection was accomplished by target bacteria-induced aggregation of the aptasensor which is associated as red-to-purple color change upon high-salt conditions. By employing anti-E. coli O157:H7 aptamer and anti-S. typhimurium aptamer, we developed a convenient and rapid approach that could selectively detect bacteria without specialized instrumentation and pretreatment steps such as cell lysis. The aptasensor could detect as low as 105colony-forming units (CFU)/ml target bacteria within 20 min or less and its specificity was 100%. This novel method has a great potential application in rapid detection of bacteria in the near future.
Colorimetric detection; Aptasensor; E. coli O157:H7; Salmonella typhimurium; AuNPs
Consolidated memory can re-enter states of transient instability following reactivation, which is referred to as reconsolidation, and the exact molecular mechanisms underlying this process remain unexplored. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays a critical role in synaptic plasticity and memory processes. We have recently observed that BDNF signaling in the central nuclei of the amygdala (CeA) and insular cortex (IC) was involved in the consolidation of conditioned taste aversion (CTA) memory. However, whether BDNF in the CeA or IC is required for memory reconsolidation is still unclear. In the present study, using a CTA memory paradigm, we observed increased BDNF expression in the IC but not in the CeA during CTA reconsolidation. We further determined that BDNF synthesis and signaling in the IC but not in the CeA was required for memory reconsolidation. The differential, spatial-specific roles of BDNF in memory consolidation and reconsolidation suggest that dissociative molecular mechanisms underlie reconsolidation and consolidation, which might provide novel targets for manipulating newly encoded and reactivated memories without causing universal amnesia.