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1.  Skeletal Defects in Osterix-Cre Transgenic Mice 
Transgenic research  2014;24(1):167-172.
Cre/loxP recombination is a powerful strategy widely used for in vivo conditional gene targeting. This technique has made possible many important discoveries of gene function in normal and disease biology. However, due to the transgenic nature of most Cre mouse strains undesired phenotypes occasionally occur in Cre mice. Here we report skeletal defects in Osterix-Cre (Osx-Cre) transgenic mice including delayed calvarial ossification and fracture calluses at multiple skeletal sites. These data suggest that Osx-Cre containing controls should be used for both in vivo and in vitro skeletal analyses of conditional knockout mice generated with this Osx-Cre mouse strain.
doi:10.1007/s11248-014-9828-6
PMCID: PMC4276445  PMID: 25139670
Osterix-Cre; Skeletal defects; Mouse; Transgenic
2.  Translational Control in Synaptic Plasticity and Cognitive Dysfunction 
Activity-dependent changes in the strength of synaptic connections are fundamental to the formation and maintenance of memory. The mechanisms underlying persistent changes in synaptic strength in the hippocampus, specifically long-term potentiation and depression, depend on new protein synthesis. Such changes are thought to be orchestrated by engaging the signaling pathways that regulate mRNA translation in neurons. In this review, we discuss the key regulatory pathways that govern translational control in response to synaptic activity and the mRNA populations that are specifically targeted by these pathways. The critical contribution of regulatory control over new protein synthesis to proper cognitive function is underscored by human disorders associated with either silencing or mutation of genes encoding proteins that directly regulate translation. In light of these clinical implications, we also consider the therapeutic potential of targeting dysregulated translational control to treat cognitive disorders of synaptic dysfunction.
doi:10.1146/annurev-neuro-071013-014100
PMCID: PMC4721605  PMID: 25032491
eIF2α; mTOR; local protein synthesis; memory; autism; neurodegeneration
3.  Trans-ancestry genome-wide association study identifies 12 genetic loci influencing blood pressure and implicates a role for DNA methylation 
Kato, Norihiro | Loh, Marie | Takeuchi, Fumihiko | Verweij, Niek | Wang, Xu | Zhang, Weihua | Kelly, Tanika N | Saleheen, Danish | Lehne, Benjamin | Leach, Irene Mateo | Drong, Alexander W | Abbott, James | Wahl, Simone | Tan, Sian-Tsung | Scott, William R | Campanella, Gianluca | Chadeau-Hyam, Marc | Afzal, Uzma | Ahluwalia, Tarunveer S | Bonder, Marc Jan | Chen, Peng | Dehghan, Abbas | Edwards, Todd L | Esko, Tõnu | Go, Min Jin | Harris, Sarah E | Hartiala, Jaana | Kasela, Silva | Kasturiratne, Anuradhani | Khor, Chiea-Chuen | Kleber, Marcus E | Li, Huaixing | Yu Mok, Zuan | Nakatochi, Masahiro | Sapari, Nur Sabrina | Saxena, Richa | Stewart, Alexandre F R | Stolk, Lisette | Tabara, Yasuharu | Teh, Ai Ling | Wu, Ying | Wu, Jer-Yuarn | Zhang, Yi | Aits, Imke | Da Silva Couto Alves, Alexessander | Das, Shikta | Dorajoo, Rajkumar | Hopewell, Jemma C | Kim, Yun Kyoung | Koivula, Robert W | Luan, Jian’an | Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka | Nguyen, Quang N | Pereira, Mark A | Postmus, Iris | Raitakari, Olli T | Bryan, Molly Scannell | Scott, Robert A | Sorice, Rossella | Tragante, Vinicius | Traglia, Michela | White, Jon | Yamamoto, Ken | Zhang, Yonghong | Adair, Linda S | Ahmed, Alauddin | Akiyama, Koichi | Asif, Rasheed | Aung, Tin | Barroso, Inês | Bjonnes, Andrew | Braun, Timothy R | Cai, Hui | Chang, Li-Ching | Chen, Chien-Hsiun | Cheng, Ching-Yu | Chong, Yap-Seng | Collins, Rory | Courtney, Regina | Davies, Gail | Delgado, Graciela | Do, Loi D | Doevendans, Pieter A | Gansevoort, Ron T | Gao, Yu-Tang | Grammer, Tanja B | Grarup, Niels | Grewal, Jagvir | Gu, Dongfeng | Wander, Gurpreet S | Hartikainen, Anna-Liisa | Hazen, Stanley L | He, Jing | Heng, Chew-Kiat | Hixson, James E | Hofman, Albert | Hsu, Chris | Huang, Wei | Husemoen, Lise L N | Hwang, Joo-Yeon | Ichihara, Sahoko | Igase, Michiya | Isono, Masato | Justesen, Johanne M | Katsuya, Tomohiro | Kibriya, Muhammad G | Kim, Young Jin | Kishimoto, Miyako | Koh, Woon-Puay | Kohara, Katsuhiko | Kumari, Meena | Kwek, Kenneth | Lee, Nanette R | Lee, Jeannette | Liao, Jiemin | Lieb, Wolfgang | Liewald, David C M | Matsubara, Tatsuaki | Matsushita, Yumi | Meitinger, Thomas | Mihailov, Evelin | Milani, Lili | Mills, Rebecca | Mononen, Nina | Müller-Nurasyid, Martina | Nabika, Toru | Nakashima, Eitaro | Ng, Hong Kiat | Nikus, Kjell | Nutile, Teresa | Ohkubo, Takayoshi | Ohnaka, Keizo | Parish, Sarah | Paternoster, Lavinia | Peng, Hao | Peters, Annette | Pham, Son T | Pinidiyapathirage, Mohitha J | Rahman, Mahfuzar | Rakugi, Hiromi | Rolandsson, Olov | Ann Rozario, Michelle | Ruggiero, Daniela | Sala, Cinzia F | Sarju, Ralhan | Shimokawa, Kazuro | Snieder, Harold | Sparsø, Thomas | Spiering, Wilko | Starr, John M | Stott, David J | Stram, Daniel O | Sugiyama, Takao | Szymczak, Silke | Tang, W H Wilson | Tong, Lin | Trompet, Stella | Turjanmaa, Väinö | Ueshima, Hirotsugu | Uitterlinden, André G | Umemura, Satoshi | Vaarasmaki, Marja | van Dam, Rob M | van Gilst, Wiek H | van Veldhuisen, Dirk J | Viikari, Jorma S | Waldenberger, Melanie | Wang, Yiqin | Wang, Aili | Wilson, Rory | Wong, Tien-Yin | Xiang, Yong-Bing | Yamaguchi, Shuhei | Ye, Xingwang | Young, Robin D | Young, Terri L | Yuan, Jian-Min | Zhou, Xueya | Asselbergs, Folkert W | Ciullo, Marina | Clarke, Robert | Deloukas, Panos | Franke, Andre | Franks, Paul W | Franks, Steve | Friedlander, Yechiel | Gross, Myron D | Guo, Zhirong | Hansen, Torben | Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Jørgensen, Torben | Jukema, J Wouter | kähönen, Mika | Kajio, Hiroshi | Kivimaki, Mika | Lee, Jong-Young | Lehtimäki, Terho | Linneberg, Allan | Miki, Tetsuro | Pedersen, Oluf | Samani, Nilesh J | Sørensen, Thorkild I A | Takayanagi, Ryoichi | Toniolo, Daniela | Ahsan, Habibul | Allayee, Hooman | Chen, Yuan-Tsong | Danesh, John | Deary, Ian J | Franco, Oscar H | Franke, Lude | Heijman, Bastiaan T | Holbrook, Joanna D | Isaacs, Aaron | Kim, Bong-Jo | Lin, Xu | Liu, Jianjun | März, Winfried | Metspalu, Andres | Mohlke, Karen L | Sanghera, Dharambir K | Shu, Xiao-Ou | van Meurs, Joyce B J | Vithana, Eranga | Wickremasinghe, Ananda R | Wijmenga, Cisca | Wolffenbuttel, Bruce H W | Yokota, Mitsuhiro | Zheng, Wei | Zhu, Dingliang | Vineis, Paolo | Kyrtopoulos, Soterios A | Kleinjans, Jos C S | McCarthy, Mark I | Soong, Richie | Gieger, Christian | Scott, James | Teo, Yik-Ying | He, Jiang | Elliott, Paul | Tai, E Shyong | van der Harst, Pim | Kooner, Jaspal S | Chambers, John C
Nature genetics  2015;47(11):1282-1293.
We carried out a trans-ancestry genome-wide association and replication study of blood pressure phenotypes among up to 320,251 individuals of East Asian, European and South Asian ancestry. We find genetic variants at 12 new loci to be associated with blood pressure (P = 3.9 × 10−11 to 5.0 × 10−21). The sentinel blood pressure SNPs are enriched for association with DNA methylation at multiple nearby CpG sites, suggesting that, at some of the loci identified, DNA methylation may lie on the regulatory pathway linking sequence variation to blood pressure. The sentinel SNPs at the 12 new loci point to genes involved in vascular smooth muscle (IGFBP3, KCNK3, PDE3A and PRDM6) and renal (ARHGAP24, OSR1, SLC22A7 and TBX2) function. The new and known genetic variants predict increased left ventricular mass, circulating levels of NT-proBNP, and cardiovascular and all-cause mortality (P = 0.04 to 8.6 × 10−6). Our results provide new evidence for the role of DNA methylation in blood pressure regulation.
doi:10.1038/ng.3405
PMCID: PMC4719169  PMID: 26390057
4.  Spin transport in undoped InGaAs/AlGaAs multiple quantum well studied via spin photocurrent excited by circularly polarized light 
The spin diffusion and drift at different excitation wavelengths and different temperatures have been studied in undoped InGaAs/AlGaAs multiple quantum well (MQW). The spin polarization was created by optical spin orientation using circularly polarized light, and the reciprocal spin Hall effect was employed to measure the spin polarization current. We measured the ratio of the spin diffusion coefficient to the mobility of spin-polarized carriers. From the wavelength dependence of the ratio, we found that the spin diffusion and drift of holes became as important as electrons in this undoped MQW, and the ratio for light holes was much smaller than that for heavy holes at room temperature. From the temperature dependence of the ratio, the correction factors for the common Einstein relationship for spin-polarized electrons and heavy holes were firstly obtained to be 93 and 286, respectively.
doi:10.1186/s11671-015-1218-3
PMCID: PMC4705080  PMID: 26744148
Spin diffusion; Spin drift; The circularly polarized light; The reciprocal spin Hall effect
5.  TGF-β1/FGF-2 signaling mediates the 15-HETE-induced differentiation of adventitial fibroblasts into myofibroblasts 
Background
Pulmonary adventitial fibroblasts (PAFs) are activated under stress stimuli leading to their differentiation into myofibroblasts, which is involved in vessel remodeling. 15-HETE is known as an important factor in vessel remodeling under hypoxia; however, the role of 15-HETE in PAF phenotypic alteration is not clear.
Results
The effect of 15-HETE on PAF phenotypic alterations was investigated in the present study. PAFs were treated with 15-HETE (0.5 μM) for 24 h, and the myofibroblast marker α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) was analyzed. The 15-HETE induced α-SMA expression and cell morphology. 15-HETE upregulated FGF-2 levels in PAFs, and knockdown FGF-2 by siRNAs blocked the enhanced α-SMA expression induced by 15-HETE. p38 kinase was activated, and blocked depressed 15-HETE-induced FGF-2 expression. The downstream of p38 pathway, Egr-1 activation, was also raised by 15-HETE treatment, and silenced Egr-1 suppressed the 15-HETE-induced upregulation of FGF-2. TGF-β1 was upregulated with FGF-2 treatment, and α-SMA expression induced by FGF-2 was inhibited after the cell was transferred with TGF-β1 siRNA. Meanwhile, FGF-2 increased α-SMA expression and improved proliferation, which was associated with p27kip1 and cyclin E variation.
Conclusions
The above results suggest that p38/Egr-1 pathway-mediated FGF-2 is involved in 15-HETE-induced differentiation of PAFs into myofibroblasts and cell proliferation.
doi:10.1186/s12944-015-0174-3
PMCID: PMC4700586  PMID: 26729053
Pulmonary adventitial fibroblasts; 15-HETE; FGF-2; Myofibroblasts; p38/Egr-1
6.  Glycogen Synthase Kinase-3β and Caspase-2 Mediate Ceramide- and Etoposide-Induced Apoptosis by Regulating the Lysosomal-Mitochondrial Axis 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(1):e0145460.
Glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) regulates the sequential activation of caspase-2 and caspase-8 before mitochondrial apoptosis. Here, we report the regulation of Mcl-1 destabilization and cathepsin D-regulated caspase-8 activation by GSK-3β and caspase-2. Treatment with either the ceramide analogue C2-ceramide or the topoisomerase II inhibitor etoposide sequentially induced lysosomal membrane permeabilization (LMP), the reduction of mitochondrial transmembrane potential, and apoptosis. Following LMP, cathepsin D translocated from lysosomes to the cytoplasm, whereas inhibiting cathepsin D blocked mitochondrial apoptosis. Furthermore, cathepsin D caused the activation of caspase-8 but not caspase-2. Inhibiting GSK-3β and caspase-2 blocked Mcl-1 destabilization, LMP, cathepsin D re-localization, caspase-8 activation, and mitochondrial apoptosis. Expression of Mcl-1 was localized to the lysosomes, and forced expression of Mcl-1 prevented apoptotic signaling via the lysosomal-mitochondrial pathway. These results demonstrate the importance of GSK-3β and caspase-2 in ceramide- and etoposide-induced apoptosis through mechanisms involving Mcl-1 destabilization and the lysosomal-mitochondrial axis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0145460
PMCID: PMC4699703  PMID: 26727221
7.  Dengue Virus Impairs Mitochondrial Fusion by Cleaving Mitofusins 
PLoS Pathogens  2015;11(12):e1005350.
Mitochondria are highly dynamic subcellular organelles participating in many signaling pathways such as antiviral innate immunity and cell death cascades. Here we found that mitochondrial fusion was impaired in dengue virus (DENV) infected cells. Two mitofusins (MFN1 and MFN2), which mediate mitochondrial fusion and participate in the proper function of mitochondria, were cleaved by DENV protease NS2B3. By knockdown and overexpression approaches, these two MFNs showed diverse functions in DENV infection. MFN1 was required for efficient antiviral retinoic acid-inducible gene I–like receptor signaling to suppress DENV replication, while MFN2 participated in maintaining mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) to attenuate DENV-induced cell death. Cleaving MFN1 and MFN2 by DENV protease suppressed mitochondrial fusion and deteriorated DENV-induced cytopathic effects through subverting interferon production and facilitating MMP disruption. Thus, MFNs participate in host defense against DENV infection by promoting the antiviral response and cell survival, and DENV regulates mitochondrial morphology by cleaving MFNs to manipulate the outcome of infection.
Author Summary
Dengue virus (DENV) threatens billions of people worldwide but no licensed vaccine or therapeutics is currently available. Knowing more details of DENV pathogenesis, such as antagonism of host immunity and cell death induction, may provide important clues to fight against this thorny disease. Incoming studies showed that mitochondria are not only energy providers but also regulators of antiviral signaling pathways including interferon innate immunity and cell death induction. Furthermore, the normal functions of mitochondrion can be regulated by its dynamics through constant fusion and fission. In this study, we found that DENV infection caused an impairment of mitochondrial fusion and the two key players, mitofusin-1 and -2, mediating the fusion processes in mitochondrial dynamics, were cleaved by DENV protease. Cleaving mitofusins altered mitochondrial morphology, attenuated antiviral responses, and facilitated cell death upon DENV infection. Thus, DENV could manipulate mitochondrial functions by taking over mitochondrial dynamics to benefit viral replication, and the viral protease of DENV may serve as a virulence factor besides being an enzyme responsible for the processing of viral proteins.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1005350
PMCID: PMC4696832  PMID: 26717518
8.  Variational Reconstruction of Left Cardiac Structure from CMR Images 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(12):e0145570.
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), accounting for 17% of overall deaths in the USA, is the leading cause of death over the world. Advances in medical imaging techniques make the quantitative assessment of both the anatomy and function of heart possible. The cardiac modeling is an invariable prerequisite for quantitative analysis. In this study, a novel method is proposed to reconstruct the left cardiac structure from multi-planed cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) images and contours. Routine CMR examination was performed to acquire both long axis and short axis images. Trained technologists delineated the endocardial contours. Multiple sets of two dimensional contours were projected into the three dimensional patient-based coordinate system and registered to each other. The union of the registered point sets was applied a variational surface reconstruction algorithm based on Delaunay triangulation and graph-cuts. The resulting triangulated surfaces were further post-processed. Quantitative evaluation on our method was performed via computing the overlapping ratio between the reconstructed model and the manually delineated long axis contours, which validates our method. We envisage that this method could be used by radiographers and cardiologists to diagnose and assess cardiac function in patients with diverse heart diseases.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0145570
PMCID: PMC4699201  PMID: 26689551
9.  Diet rich in Docosahexaenoic Acid/Eicosapentaenoic Acid robustly ameliorates hepatic steatosis and insulin resistance in seipin deficient lipodystrophy mice 
Background
N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs), in particular eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have been shown to effectively improve hepatic steatosis and insulin resistance caused by obesity. Lipodystrophy could also develop insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis. However, the effect of supplemental DHA/EPA to hepatic steatosis caused by lipodystrophy is unknown. In this study, we investigated whether a diet rich in n-3 PUFAs could ameliorate severe steatosis in lipoatrophic seipin gene knockout (SKO) mice.
Methods
Eight-week-old C57BL/6 J WT and SKO mice were fed with normal chow diet (NC), or 2 % DHA/EPA (3:1) diet for 12 weeks. Total cholesterol (TC) and triglycerides (TG) in plasma and liver, plasma high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C), glucose (Glu), insulin, leptin and adiponectin levels were measured. Gene regulations and protein levels were investigated using quantitative PCR and western blot in liver.
Results
We found that the DHA/EPA diet protected against hepatic steatosis effectively in SKO mice morphologically. Hepatic TG content was decreased about 40 % (p < 0.05) in SKO mice fed with the DHA/EPA diet compared to chow fed SKO controls. Glucose and insulin tolerance were also improved significantly in SKO mice with DHA/EPA diet.
In analyzing hepatic gene expression pattern it was found that TG synthesis related genes, such as carbohydrate response element binding protein (ChREBP), stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1) and fatty acid synthase (Fas) were upregulated in SKO mice compared to WT mice but were significantly decreased in SKO mice on DHA/EPA diet. Fatty acid β-oxidation related genes, on the other hand, such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα), carnitine palmitoyltransferase (CPT) and acyl-CoA oxidase 1 (ACOX1) were elevated in both WT and SKO groups on DHA/EPA diets. The protein levels of PPARα, SCD1, CPT1α, Insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1) and ratio of p-AKT to AKT showed the same tendency as the result of genes expressions.
Conclusions
The results suggest that n-3 PUFAs rich diet ameliorates lipodystrophy-induced hepatic steatosis through reducing TG synthesis, improving insulin resistance and enhancing β-oxidation in SKO mice.
doi:10.1186/s12986-015-0054-x
PMCID: PMC4683947  PMID: 26690553
n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids; Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA); Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); Hepatic steatosis; Insulin resistance; De novo lipogenesis; β-oxidation; Seipin; Congenital generalized lipodystrophy
10.  Current Practices of Screening for Incident Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infection Among HIV-Infected, HCV-Uninfected Individuals in Primary Care 
We examined hepatitis C virus screening among HIV-infected patients enrolled in care at 7 US sites between 2000 and 2011. While there is a trend toward more frequent screening over time, it remains variable among sites and high-risk MSM are screened infrequently.
Background. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected, hepatitis C virus (HCV)-uninfected patients are at risk for incident HCV infection, but little is known about screening practices for incident HCV among HIV-infected individuals in HIV primary care clinics.
Methods. We used data from the Center for AIDS Research Network of Integrated Clinical Systems (CNICS) to investigate historical trends in screening for incident HCV infection among HIV-infected patients who were HCV-uninfected at enrollment in care. We used descriptive measures and Poisson regression to identify factors associated with screening for HCV infection (using HCV antibody or RNA), performed temporal analyses to assess changes in screening over time, and investigated the frequency with which elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels were followed by diagnostic HCV testing.
Results. Among 17 090 patients registered at CNICS sites between 2000 and 2011, 14 534 (85%) received HCV antibody screening within 3 months of enrolling in care, and 9077 met all of the inclusion criteria. Only 55.6% ever received additional HCV screening. HCV screening increased over time, but not uniformly at all sites. Only 26.7% of first-time ALT elevations to >100 IU/L were followed up within 12 months by HCV antibody or RNA testing.
Conclusions. Although most HIV-infected patients were screened for prevalent HCV infection at enrollment in care, only half who were HCV uninfected were screened again. Screening varied between sites, even when controlling for demographics and risk behaviors. Patients with new ALT elevations to >100 IU/L were seldom assessed for incident HCV infection. Guidelines are needed to help HIV providers know whom to screen, how frequently to screen, and which screening test to use.
doi:10.1093/cid/ciu698
PMCID: PMC4311177  PMID: 25186591
HIV; hepatitis C; screening; men who have sex with men; incidence
11.  Potential Switchable Circularly Polarized Luminescence from Chiral Cyclometalated Platinum(II) Complexes 
Inorganic Chemistry  2014;54(1):143-152.
A series of chiral cyclometalated platinum(II) complexes, [Pt((−)-L1)(Dmpi)]Cl ((−)-1), [Pt((+)-L1)(Dmpi)]Cl ((+)-1), [Pt((−)-L2)(Dmpi)]Cl ((−)-2), [Pt((+)-L2)(Dmpi)]Cl ((+)-2), [Pt3((−)-L2)2(Dmpi)4](ClO4)4 ((−)-3), and [Pt3((+)-L2)2(Dmpi)4](ClO4)4 ((+)-3) [(−)-L1 = (−)-4,5-pinene-6′-phenyl-2,2′-bipyridine, (+)-L1 = (+)-4,5-pinene-6′-phenyl-2,2′-bipyridine), (−)-L2 = (−)-1,3-bis(2-(4,5-pinene)pyridyl)benzene, (+)-L2 = (+)-1,3-bis(2-(4,5-pinene)pyridyl)benzene, Dmpi = 2,6-dimethylphenyl isocyanide], have been designed and synthesized. In aqueous solutions, (−)-1 and (+)-1 aggregate into one-dimensional helical chain structures through Pt···Pt, π–π, and hydrophobic–hydrophobic interactions. (−)-3 and (+)-3 represent a novel helical structure with Pt–Pt bonds. The formation of helical structures results in enhanced and distinct chiroptical properties as evidenced by circular dichroism spectra. Circularly polarized luminescence (CPL) was observed from the aggregates of (−)-1 and (+)-1 in water, as well as (−)-3 and (+)-3 in dichloromethane. The CPL activity can be switched reversibly (for (−)-1 and (+)-1) or irreversibly (for (−)-3 and (+)-3) by varying the temperature.
A series of chiral cyclometalated platinum(II) complexes have been synthesized and characterized. These complexes show enhanced and distinct chiroptial properties due to intermolecular helical packing and an intramolecular helical structure, leading to tunable electronic circular dichroism and circularly polarized luminescence.
doi:10.1021/ic5019136
PMCID: PMC4286175  PMID: 25495433
12.  Preoperative versus postoperative ultrasound-guided rectus sheath block for improving pain, sleep quality and cytokine levels of patients with open midline incisions undergoing transabdominal gynaecological operation: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial 
Trials  2015;16:568.
Background
Rectus sheath block (RSB) is used for postoperative pain relief in patients undergoing abdominal surgery with midline incision. Preoperative RSB has been shown to be effective, but it has not been compared with postoperative RSB. The aim of the present study is to evaluate postoperative pain, sleep quality and changes in the cytokine levels of patients undergoing gynaecological surgery with RSB performed preoperatively versus postoperatively.
Methods/Design
This study is a prospective, randomised, controlled (randomised, parallel group, concealed allocation), single-blinded trial. All patients undergoing transabdominal gynaecological surgery will be randomised 1:1 to the treatment intervention with general anaesthesia as an adjunct to preoperative or postoperative RSB. The objective of the trial is to evaluate postoperative pain, sleep quality and changes in the cytokine levels of patients undergoing gynaecological surgery with RSB performed preoperatively (n = 32) versus postoperatively (n = 32). All of the patients, irrespective of group allocation, will receive patient-controlled intravenous analgesia (PCIA) with oxycodone.
The primary objective is to compare the interval between leaving the post-anaesthesia care unit and receiving the first PCIA bolus injection on the first postoperative night between patients who receive preoperative versus postoperative RSB. The secondary objectives will be to compare (1) cumulative oxycodone consumption at 24 hours after surgery; (2) postoperative sleep quality, as measured using a BIS-Vista monitor during the first night after surgery; and (3) cytokine levels (interleukin-1, interleukin-6, tumour necrosis factor-α and interferon-γ) during surgery and at 24 and 48 hours postoperatively.
Discussion
Clinical experience has suggested that RSB is a very effective postoperative analgesic technique, and we will answer the following questions with this trial. Do preoperative block and postoperative block have the same duration of analgesic effects? Can postoperative block extend the analgesic time? The results of this study could have actual clinical applications that could help to reduce postoperative pain and shorten hospital stays.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials NCT02477098 15 June 2015.
doi:10.1186/s13063-015-1096-0
PMCID: PMC4676186  PMID: 26652009
Pain; Rectus sheath block; Sleep; Cytokines
13.  The Expression of miR-375 Is Associated with Carcinogenesis in Three Subtypes of Lung Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(12):e0144187.
Many studies demonstrated unique microRNA profiles in lung cancer. Nonetheless, the role and related signal pathways of miR-375 in lung cancer are largely unknown. Our study investigated relationships between carcinogenesis and miR-375 in adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and small cell lung carcinoma to identify new molecular targets for treatment. We evaluated 723 microRNAs in microdissected cancerous cells and adjacent normal cells from 126 snap-frozen lung specimens using microarrays. We validated the expression profiles of miR-375 and its 22 putative target mRNAs in an independent cohort of 78 snap-frozen lung cancer tissues using quantitative reverse-transcriptase PCR. Moreover, we performed dual luciferase reporter assay and Western blot on 6 targeted genes (FZD8, ITGA10, ITPKB, LRP5, PIAS1 andRUNX1) in small cell lung carcinoma cell line NCI-H82. We also detected the effect of miR-375 on cell proliferation in NCI-H82. We found that miR-375 expression was significantly up-regulated in adenocarcinoma and small cell lung carcinoma but down-regulated in squamous cell carcinoma. Among the 22 putative target genes, 11 showed significantly different expression levels in at least 2 of 3 pair-wise comparisons (adenocarcinoma vs. normal, squamous cell carcinoma vs. normal or small cell lung carcinoma vs. normal). Six targeted genes had strong negative correlation with the expression level of miR-375 in small cell lung carcinoma. Further investigation revealed that miR-375 directly targeted the 3’UTR of ITPKB mRNA and over-expression of miR-375 led to significantly decreased ITPKB protein level and promoted cell growth. Thus, our study demonstrates the differential expression profiles of miR-375 in 3 subtypes of lung carcinomas and finds thatmiR-375 directly targets ITPKB and promoted cell growth in SCLC cell line.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0144187
PMCID: PMC4671676  PMID: 26642205
15.  A Spatial Framework to Map Heat Health Risks at Multiple Scales 
In the last few decades extreme heat events have led to substantial excess mortality, most dramatically in Central Europe in 2003, in Russia in 2010, and even in typically cool locations such as Vancouver, Canada, in 2009. Heat-related morbidity and mortality is expected to increase over the coming centuries as the result of climate-driven global increases in the severity and frequency of extreme heat events. Spatial information on heat exposure and population vulnerability may be combined to map the areas of highest risk and focus mitigation efforts there. However, a mismatch in spatial resolution between heat exposure and vulnerability data can cause spatial scale issues such as the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem (MAUP). We used a raster-based model to integrate heat exposure and vulnerability data in a multi-criteria decision analysis, and compared it to the traditional vector-based model. We then used the Getis-Ord Gi index to generate spatially smoothed heat risk hotspot maps from fine to coarse spatial scales. The raster-based model allowed production of maps at spatial resolution, more description of local-scale heat risk variability, and identification of heat-risk areas not identified with the vector-based approach. Spatial smoothing with the Getis-Ord Gi index produced heat risk hotspots from local to regional spatial scale. The approach is a framework for reducing spatial scale issues in future heat risk mapping, and for identifying heat risk hotspots at spatial scales ranging from the block-level to the municipality level.
doi:10.3390/ijerph121215046
PMCID: PMC4690982  PMID: 26694445
heat risk; modifiable areal unit problem; heat vulnerability; extremely hot weather event
16.  Efficacy and Safety of Tension-Free Vaginal Tape-Secur Mini-Sling Versus Standard Midurethral Slings for Female Stress Urinary Incontinence: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
Purpose:
To assess the efficacy and safety of tension-free vaginal tape (TVT)-Secur for stress urinary incontinence (SUI).
Methods:
A literature review was performed to identify all published trials of TVT-Secur. The search included the following databases: MEDLINE, Embase, and the Cochrane Controlled Trial Register.
Results:
Seventeen publications involving a total of 1,879 patients were used to compare TVT-Secur with tension-free obturator tape (TVT-O) and TVT. We found that TVT-Secur had significant reductions in operative time, visual analog score for pain, and postoperative complications compared with TVT-O. Even though TVT-Secur had a significantly lower subjective cure rate (P<0.00001), lower objective cure rate (P<0.00001), and higher intraoperative complication rate, compared with TVT-O at 1 to 3 years, there was no significant difference between TVT-Secur and TVT-O in the subjective cure rate (odds ratio [OR], 0.49; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.22–1.08; P=0.08), objective cure rate (OR, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.22–1.09; P=0.08), or complications at 3 to 5 years. Moreover, TVT-Secur had significantly lower subjective and objective cure rates compared with TVT.
Conclusions:
This meta-analysis indicates that TVT-Secur did not show an inferior efficacy and safety compared with TVT-O for SUI in 3 to 5 years, even though displaying a clear tread toward a lower efficacy in 1 to 3 years. Considering that the safety is similar, there are no advantages in using TVT-Secur.
doi:10.5213/inj.2015.19.4.246
PMCID: PMC4703932  PMID: 26739179
Urinary Incontinence, Stress; Suburethral Slings; Randomized Controlled Trial
17.  Precise delineation of clinical target volume for crossing-segments thoracic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma based on the pattern of lymph node metastases 
Journal of Thoracic Disease  2015;7(12):2313-2320.
Background
This work aims to investigate lymph node metastases (LNM) pattern of crossing-segments thoracic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and its significance in clinical target volume (CTV) delineation.
Methods
From January 2000 to December 2014, 3,587 patients with thoracic ESCC underwent surgery including esophagectomy and lymphadenectomy at Shandong Cancer Hospital and Institute. Information of tumor location based on preoperative endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) and postoperative pathological results were retrospectively collected. The extent of the irradiation field was determined based on LNM pattern.
Results
Among the patients reviewed, 1,501 (41.8%) were crossing-segments thoracic ESCC patients. The rate of LNM were 12.1%, 15.2%, 8.0%, 3.0%, and 7.1% in neck, upper mediastinum, middle mediastinum, lower mediastinum, and abdominal cavity for patients with upper-middle thoracic ESCC, 10.3%, 8.2%, 11.0%, 4.8%, 8.2% for middle-upper thoracic ESCC, 4.8%, 4.8%, 24.1%, 6.3%, 22.8% for middle-lower thoracic ESCC and 3.9%, 3.1%, 22.8%, 11.9%, 25.8% for lower-middle thoracic ESCC, respectively. The top three sites of LNM were 105 (12.1%), 108 (6.1%), 101 (6.1%) for upper-middle thoracic ESCC, 108 (8.2%), 105 (7.5%), 106 (6.8%) for middle-upper thoracic ESCC, 1 (18.8%), 108 (17.9%), 107 (9.6%) for middle-lower thoracic ESCC, 1 (21.3%), 108 (16.1%), 107 (10.1%) for lower-middle thoracic ESCC.
Conclusions
Crossing-segments thoracic ESCC was remarkably common among patients. When delineating their CTV, tumor location should be taken into consideration seriously. For upper-middle and middle-upper thoracic ESCC, abdominal cavity may be free from irradiation. For middle-lower and lower-middle thoracic ESCC, besides irradiation of relative mediastinal, irradiation of abdominal cavity can’t be neglected.
doi:10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2015.12.10
PMCID: PMC4703650  PMID: 26793353
Esophageal cancer; radiotherapy; lymph node metastasis (LNM)
18.  IL4I1 Is a Novel Regulator of M2 Macrophage Polarization That Can Inhibit T Cell Activation via L-Tryptophan and Arginine Depletion and IL-10 Production 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(11):e0142979.
Interleukin 4-induced gene-1 (IL4I1) was initially described as an early IL-4-inducible gene in B cells. IL4I1 protein can inhibit T cell proliferation by releasing its enzymatic catabolite, H2O2, and this effect is associated with transient down-regulation of T cell CD3 receptor-zeta (TCRζ) expression. Herein, we show that IL4I1 contributes to the regulation of macrophage programming. We found that expression of IL4I1 increased during bone marrow-derived macrophage (BMDM) differentiation, expression of IL4I1 is much higher in primary macrophages than monocytes, and IL4I1 expression in BMDMs could be induced by Th1 and Th2 cytokines in two different patterns. Gene expression analysis revealed that overexpression of IL4I1 drove the expression of M2 markers (Fizz1, Arg1, YM-1, MR) and inhibited the expression of M1-associated cytokines. Conversely, knockdown of IL4I1 by siRNA resulted in opposite effects, and also attenuated STAT-3 and STAT-6 phosphorylation. Furthermore, IL4I1 produced by macrophages catalyzed L-tryptophan degradation, while levo-1-methyl-tryptophan (L-1-MT), but not dextro-1-methyl-tryptophan, partially rescued IL4I1-dependent inhibition of T cell activation. Other inhibitors, such as diphenylene iodonium (DPI), an anti-IL-10Rα blocking antibody, and a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, NG-monomethyl-L-arginine, also had this effect. Overall, our findings indicate that IL4I1 promotes an enhanced M2 functional phenotype, which is most likely associated with the phosphorylation of STAT-6 and STAT-3. Moreover, DPI, L-1-MT, NG-monomethyl-L-arginine, and anti-IL-10Rα blocking antibody were all found to be effective IL4I1 inhibitors in vitro.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0142979
PMCID: PMC4658051  PMID: 26599209
19.  Digital Quantification of Five High-Grade Prostate Cancer Patterns, Including the Cribriform Pattern, and Their Association With Adverse Outcome 
Proper grading of the cribriform prostate cancer pattern has not previously been supported by outcome-based evidence. Among 153 men who underwent radical prostatectomy, 76 with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) failure (≥0.2 ng/mL [0.2 µg/L]) were matched to 77 without failure. Frequencies of high-grade patterns included fused small acini, 83.7%; papillary, 52.3%; large cribriform, 37.9%; small (≤12 lumens) cribriform, 17.0%; and individual cells, 22.9%. A cribriform pattern was present in 61% (46/76) of failures but 16% (12/77) of nonfailures (P < .0001). Multivariate analysis showed the cribriform pattern had the highest odds ratio for PSA failure, 5.89 (95% confidence interval, 2.53–13.70; P < .0001). The presence of both large and small cribriform patterns was significantly linked to failure. The cumulative odds ratio of failure per added square millimeter of cribriform pattern was 1.173 (P = .008), higher than for any other pattern. All 8 men with a cribriform area sum of 25 mm2 or more had failure (range, 33–930). Regrading cribriform cancer as Gleason 5 improved the grade association with failure, although half of all cases with individual cells also had a cribriform pattern, precluding a precise determination of the independent importance of the latter. The cribriform pattern has particularly adverse implications for outcome.
doi:10.1309/AJCPZ7WBU9YXSJPE
PMCID: PMC4656017  PMID: 21685037
Cribriform; Papillary; Pattern; Prostate cancer; Gleason; Grading; Digital
20.  Health, Height, Height Shrinkage, and SES at Older Ages: Evidence from China† 
In this paper, we build on the literature that examines associations between height and health outcomes of the elderly. We investigate the associations of height shrinkage at older ages with socioeconomic status, finding that height shrinkage for both men and women is negatively associated with better schooling, current urban residence, and household per capita expenditures. We then investigate the relationships between pre-shrinkage height, height shrinkage, and a rich set of health outcomes of older respondents, finding that height shrinkage is positively associated with poor health outcomes across a variety of outcomes, being especially strong for cognition outcomes.
doi:10.1257/app.5.2.86
PMCID: PMC4652843  PMID: 26594311
21.  Activation of MEK2 is sufficient to induce skin papilloma formation in transgenic zebrafish 
Background
Mutations in mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase 1 (MEK1) that occur during cell proliferation and tumor formation are well described. Information on the roles of MEK2 in these effects is still limited. We established a constitutive MEK2 transgenic zebrafish, Tg(krt14:MEK2S219D-GFP), to elucidate the role of MEK2 in skin tumor formation.
Results
We found that both constitutive MEK2 and MEK1 are able to phosphorylate the extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 (ERK1) protein. Transient expression of constitutive MEK2 and MEK1 in the zebrafish epidermis induced papillary formation at 48 h post-fertilization, but no effects were observed due to the expression of MEK1, MEK2, or the dominant negative form of MEK2. The transgenic zebrafish, Tg(krt14:MEK2S219D-GFP), developed skin papillomas in the epidermis within 6 days post-fertilization (dpf). The phospho-ERK signal was detected in section of skin papillomas in an immunohistochemical experiment. Treatment with 50 μM of the MEK inhibitor, U0126, had significantly decreased the skin papilloma formation in Tg(krt14:MEK2S219D-GFP) zebrafish by 6 dpf. In vitro and in vivo proliferation assay in COS-1 cells and in Tg(krt14:MEK2S219D-GFP) transgenic fish show significantly increased cell number and Ki-67 signaling.
Conclusion
Our data indicate that MEK2 is sufficient to induce epidermal papilloma formation through MAPK signaling in zebrafish, and this transgenic model can be used as a new platform for drug screening.
doi:10.1186/s12929-015-0207-2
PMCID: PMC4647631  PMID: 26572230
MEK2; Skin; Papilloma; Proliferation; Zebrafish
22.  Identification of the polyketide biosynthetic machinery for the indolizidine alkaloid cyclizidine 
Organic letters  2015;17(21):5344-5347.
The cyclizidine biosynthetic gene cluster was identified from Streptomyces NCIB 11649, which revealed the polyketide biosynthetic machinery for cyclizidine alkaloid biosynthesis. Both in vivo mutagenesis study and in vitro biochemical analysis provided insight into the timing and mechanism of the biosynthetic enzymes that produce cyclizidine-type indolizidine alkaloids.
Graphical abstract
doi:10.1021/acs.orglett.5b02707
PMCID: PMC4646845  PMID: 26473429
23.  Downregulation of Reduced-Folate Transporter by Glucose in Cultured RPE Cells and in RPE of Diabetic Mice 
PURPOSE
The polarized distribution of reduced-folate transporter (RFT)-1 to the apical retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) membrane was demonstrated recently. Nitric oxide (NO) significantly decreases the activity of RFT-1 in cultured RPE cells. NO is elevated in diabetes, and therefore in the present study the alteration of RFT-1 activity in RPE under conditions of high glucose was investigated.
METHODS
Human ARPE-19 cells were incubated in media containing 5 mM glucose plus 40 mM mannitol (control) or 45 mM glucose for varying periods and the activity of RFT-1 was assessed by determining the uptake of [3H]-N5-methyltetrahy-drofolate (MTF). The levels of mRNA encoding RFT-1 were determined by RT-PCR and protein levels by Western blot analysis. The activity of RFT-1 and expression of mRNA encoding RFT-1 were analyzed also in RPE of streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice.
RESULTS
Exposure of RPE cells to 45 mM glucose for as short an incubation time as 6 hours resulted in a 35% decrease in MTF uptake. Kinetic analysis showed that the hyperglycemia-induced attenuation was associated with a decrease in the maximal velocity of the transporter with no significant change in the substrate affinity. Semiquantitative RT-PCR demonstrated that the mRNA encoding RFT-1 was significantly decreased in cells exposed to high glucose, and Western blot analysis showed a significant decrease in protein levels. The uptake of [3H]-MTF in RPE of diabetic mice was reduced by approximately 20%, compared with that in nondiabetic, age-matched control animals. Semiquantitative RT-PCR demonstrated that the mRNA encoding RFT-1 was decreased significantly in RPE of diabetic mice.
CONCLUSIONS
These findings demonstrate for the first time that hyperglycemic conditions reduce the expression and activity of RFT-1 and may have profound implications for the transport of folate by RPE in diabetes.
PMCID: PMC4639924  PMID: 11818404
24.  Transport of d-Serine via the Amino Acid Transporter ATB0,+ Expressed in the Colon 
d-Serine, synthesized endogenously in the brain, is an important modulator of glutamatergic neurotransmission. Since colonic bacteria produce d-serine, we asked the question whether there are transport mechanisms in the colon that might make this exogenously produced d-serine available to the host. Here we identify for the first time an amino acid transporter in the intestine for high-affinity active transport of d-serine. This transporter, called ATB0,+, is a Na+- and Cl−-coupled transporter for L-enantiomers of neutral and cationic amino acids. Here we demonstrate that ATB0,+ is also capable of mediating the Na+- and Cl−-coupled transport of d-serine. The affinity of ATB0,+ for l-serine and d-serine is similar, the Kt value for the two enantiomers being ~150 μM. In addition to d-serine, ATB0,+ transports d-alanine, d-methionine, d-leucine, and d-tryptophan. However, several other neutral and cationic amino acids that are transportable substrates for ATB0,+ as L-enantiomers are not transported when presented as D-enantiomers. ATB0,+ is expressed in the intestinal tract, interestingly not in the proximal intestine but in the distal intestine. Expression is most predominant in the colon where the transporter is localized to the luminal membrane of colonocytes, making this transporter uniquely suitable for absorption of bacteria-derived d-serine.
doi:10.1006/bbrc.2002.6441
PMCID: PMC4638383  PMID: 11846403
25.  Features of COPD patients by comparing CAT with mMRC: a retrospective, cross-sectional study 
Background:
The group assignment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may differ depending on whether the COPD assessment test (CAT) or modified Medical Research Council dyspnoea scale (mMRC) is used.
Aims:
This study intended to clarify how different patient characteristics influence the differences, to determine the relationships between CAT and mMRC and to characterise COPD patients by both CAT and mMRC.
Methods:
This was a retrospective, cross-sectional study. The data, collected by Taiwan Obstructive Lung Disease consortium, were managed and analysed.
Results:
Of the 757 participants, COPD group assignment was not identical as well as no substantial agreement presented when categorised based on the cut-point CAT score ⩾10 and each mMRC cut-point. In all, 38.2% of participants had discordant group assignments together with a lower mean CAT score, less severe airway obstruction and less severe airflow limitation compared with those with concordant group assignments. In the discordant group, the CAT⩾10/mMRC 0–1 subgroup had more wheezing than CAT<10/mMRC⩾2 subgroup. Only moderate correlations existed between CAT and mMRC. More-symptom groups and combined high-risk group had better correlations than less-symptom groups and combined low-risk group, respectively. A modest negative correlation existed between forced expiratory volume in 1 s percentage (FEV1%) predicted and CAT score and between FEV1% predicted and mMRC scale in parallel with a significant positive relationship existing between the CAT score and mMRC scale. Notably, a significant proportion of COPD patients with each scale of mMRC had health status impairment.
Conclusions:
The Global initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease committee should redefine the applications of CAT and mMRC in the management of COPD.
doi:10.1038/npjpcrm.2015.63
PMCID: PMC4633725  PMID: 26538368

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