Physiological pregnancy requires the maternal immune system to recognize and tolerate embryonic Ags. Although multiple mechanisms have been proposed, it is not yet clear how the fetus evades the maternal immune system. In this article, we demonstrate that trophoblast-derived thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) instructs decidual CD11c+ dendritic cells (dDCs)with increased costimulatory molecules; MHC class II; and Th2/3-type, but not Th1-type, cytokines. TSLP-activated dDCs induce proliferation and differentiation of decidual CD4+CD25− T cells into CD4+CD25+FOXP3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) through TGF-β1. TSLP-activated dDC–induced Tregs display immunosuppressive features and express Th2-type cytokines. In addition, decidual CD4+CD25+FOXP3+ Tregs promote invasiveness and HLA-G expression of trophoblasts, resulting in preferential production of Th2 cytokines and reduced cytotoxicity in decidual CD56brightCD16− NK cells. Of interest, decreased TSLP expression and reduced numbers of Tregs were observed at the maternal–fetal interface during miscarriage. Our study identifies a novel feedback loop between embryo-derived trophoblasts and maternal decidual leukocytes, which induces a tolerogenic immune response to ensure a successful pregnancy.
We conducted a systematic review of the diversity and fluctuation of group A rotavirus strains circulating in China.
Methods and Findings
Studies of rotavirus-based diarrhea among children less than 5 years, published in English or Chinese between 1994 and 2012, were searched in PubMed, SinoMed, and CNKI and reviewed by applying standardized algorithms. The temporal and spatial trends of genotyping and serotyping were analyzed using a random-effects model. Ninety-three studies met the inclusion/exclusion criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. Overall, 22,112 and 10,660 rotavirus samples had been examined for G and P types, respectively. The most common G types were G1 (39·5%), G3 (35·6%), G2 (1·3%), and G9 (0·1%). Among P types, P (54·6%) was the predominant type, followed by P (11·1%) and P6 (0·1%). The most common G-P combinations were G3P (32·1%) and G1P (24·5%), followed by G2P (13·2%) and G2P (10·1%). Before 2000, serotype G1 was the predominant strain and accounted for 74·3% of all rotavirus infections; however, since 2000, G3 (45·2%) has been the predominant strain. Rotavirus P types showed little variation over the study period.
Despite the variation of serotypes observed in China, the G1, G2, G3, and G4 serotypes accounted for most rotavirus strains in recent decades. These results suggest that Chinese children will be adequately protected with currently available or forthcoming rotavirus vaccines.
Innate cytokine response provides the first line of defense against influenza virus infection. However, excessive production of cytokines appears to be critical in the pathogenesis of influenza virus. Interferon lambdas (IFN-λ) have been shown to be overproduced during influenza virus infection, but the precise pathogenic processes of IFN-λ production have yet to be characterized. In this report, we observed that influenza virus induced robust expression of IFN-λ in alveolar epithelial cells (A549) mainly through a RIG-I-dependent pathway, but IFN-λ-induced phosphorylation of the signal transducer and activator of transcription protein 1 (STAT1) was dramatically inhibited in the infected cells. Remarkably, influenza virus infection induced robust expression of suppressor of cytokine signaling-1 (SOCS-1), leading to inhibition of STAT1 activation. Interestingly, the virus-induced SOCS-1 expression was cytokine-independent at early stage of infection both in vitro and in vivo. Using transgenic mouse model and distinct approaches altering the expression of SOCS-1 or activation of STAT signaling, we demonstrated that disruption of the SOCS-1 expression or expression of constitutively active STAT1 significantly reduced the production of IFN-λ during influenza virus infection. Furthermore, we revealed that disruption of IFN-λ signaling pathway by increased SOCS-1 protein resulted in the activation of NF-κB and thereby enhanced the IFN-λ expression. Together, these data imply that suppression of IFN-λ signaling by virus-induced SOCS-1 causes an adaptive increase in IFN-λ expression by host to protect cells against the viral infection, as a consequence, leading to excessive production of IFN-λ with impaired antiviral response.
Influenza virus infection triggers innate immune responses. However, aberrant host immune responses such as excessive production of cytokines contribute to the pathogenesis of influenza virus. Type III interferons (IFN-λ) constitute the major innate immune response to influenza virus infection, but the precise pathogenic processes of IFN-λ production and mechanistic underpinnings are not well understood. In this study, we report that influenza virus induces robust IFN-λ expression mainly through a RIG-I-dependent pathway, but signaling activated by IFN-λ was dramatically inhibited by virus-induced SOCS-1. Importantly, we found that disruption of the SOCS-1 expression or forced activation of STAT1 significantly reduced the expression of IFN-λ in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that suppression of IFN-λ signaling by SOCS-1 results in their excessive production during influenza virus infection. Furthermore, our experiments revealed that disruption of IFN-λ signaling pathway resulted in the activation of NF-κB that governs the IFN-λ expression. Together these findings, we propose that impaired antiviral response of IFN-λ due to the inhibitory effect of SOCS-1 causes an adaptive increase in IFN-λ expression by host to protect cells against the viral infection. This is a novel mechanism that may be critical in the pathogenesis of the influenza virus strains that induce hypercytokinemia.
Hyaluronan (HA) and its receptor CD44 are expressed at the maternal-fetal interface, but its role in early pregnancy remains unclear. Here, we found that primary decidual stromal cells (DSCs) continuously secreted HA and expressed its receptor CD44. Pregnancy-associated hormones up-regulated HA synthetase (HAS) 2 transcription and HA release from DSCs. High molecular weight-HA (HMW-HA), but not medium molecular weight (MMW-HA) or low molecular weight (LMW-HA), promoted proliferation and inhibited apoptosis of DSCs in a CD44-dependent manner. The in-cell Western analysis revealed HMW-HA activated PI3K/AKT and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/ERK1/2 signaling pathways time-dependently. Blocking these pathways by specific inhibitor LY294002 or U0126 abrogated HMW-HA-regulated DSc proliferation and apoptosis. Finally, we have found that HA content, HA molecular weight, HAS2 mRNA level, and CD44 expression were significantly decreased in DSCs from unexplained miscarriage compared with the normal pregnancy. Collectively, our results indicate that higher level and greater molecular mass of HA at maternal-fetal interface contributes to DSc growth and maintenance of DSCs in human early pregnancy.
Our previous studies have demonstrated that cyclosporin A (CsA) promotes the proliferation and migration of human trophoblasts via the mitgen-activated protein kinase-3/1 (MAPK3/1) pathway. In the present study, we further investigated the role of nuclear factor (NF)-κB in the CsA-induced trophoblast proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) expression and migration, and its relationship to MAPK3/1 signal. Flow cytometry was used to analyze the expression of PCNA in trophoblasts. The migration of human primary trophoblasts was determined by wound-healing assay and transwell migration assay. Western blot analysis was performed to evaluate the activation of NF-κB p65 and NF-κB inhibitory protein I-κB in human trophoblasts. We found that treatment with CsA promotes PCNA expression and migration of human trophoblast in a dose-associated manner. Blocking of the MAPK3/1 signal abrogated the enhanced PCNA expression and migration in trophoblasts by CsA. In addition, CsA increased the phosphorylation of NF-κB p65 and the inhibitor I-κB in human trophoblasts in a time-related manner. Pretreatment with MAPK3/1 inhibitor U0126 abrogated the phosphorylation of NF-κB p65 and I-κB. Accordingly, the CsA-induced enhancement of PCNA expression and migration in trophoblasts was also decreased. This CsA-induced enhancement in the expression and migration of trophoblasts was abolished by pretreatment with pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate, a specific NF-κB inhibitor. Thus, our results suggest that CsA promotes PCNA expression and migration of human trophoblasts via MAPK-mediated NF-κB activation.
Cyclosporine A; trophoblast; PCNA; migration; signal transduction pathway
Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) infection is still one of the common causes of sexually transmitted diseases worldwide. The prevalence of HSV strains resistant to traditional nucleoside antiviral agents has led to the development of novel antiviral drugs. Human alpha-defensin 5 (HD5), a kind of endogenous antimicrobial peptide expressed in the epithelia of the small intestine and urogenital tract, displays natural antiviral activity. Based on arginine-rich features and adaptive evolution characteristics of vertebrate defensins, we conducted a screen for HD5 derivatives with enhanced anti-HSV-2 activity by a single arginine substitution at the adaptive evolution sites. Cell protection assay and temporal antiviral studies showed that HD5 and its mutants displayed affirmatory but differential anti-HSV-2 effects in vitro by inhibiting viral adhesion and entry. Inspiringly, the E21R-HD5 mutant had significantly higher antiviral activity than natural HD5, which is possibly attributed to the stronger binding affinity of the E21R-HD5 mutant with HSV-2 capsid protein gD, indicating that E21R mutation can increase the anti-HSV-2 potency of HD5. In a mouse model of lethal HSV-2 infection, prophylactic and/or therapeutic treatment with E21R-HD5 via intravaginal instillation remarkably alleviated the symptoms and delayed disease progress and resulted in about a 1.5-fold-higher survival rate than in the HD5 group. Furthermore, the E21R variant exhibited a 2-fold-higher antiviral potency against HIV-1 over parental HD5 in vitro. This study demonstrates that arginine mutagenesis at appropriate evolution sites may significantly enhance the antiviral activity of HD5, which also paves a facile way to search for potent antiviral drugs based on natural antimicrobial peptides.
During 2001–2011, hepatitis E virus (HEV) was found in the blood of patients in Nanjing, China. All HEV-positive patients had virus genotype 4; subgenotype 4a was predominant. The effective population of HEV in Nanjing increased in ≈1980 and continued until ≈2003 when it plateaued.
hepatitis E virus; viruses; hepatitis E; acute infection; evolution; genotype 4; Nanjing; China
It is unclear how to effectively mitigate against irradiation injury. In this study, we studied the capacity of recombinant human insulin-like growth factor-I (rhIGF-I) on hematologic recovery in irradiated BALB/c mice and its possible mechanism. BALB/c mice were injected with rhIGF-I subcutaneously at a dose of 100 μg/kg twice daily for 7 days after total body irradiation. Compared with a saline control group, treatment with rhIGF-I significantly improved the survival of mice after lethal irradiation (7.5 Gy). It was found that treatment with rhIGF-I not only could increase the frequency of Sca-1+ cells in bone marrow harvested at Day 14 after irradiation, but also it could decrease the apoptosis of mononuclear cells induced by irradiation as measured by flow cytometry, suggesting that rhIGF-I may mediate its effects primarily through promoting hematopoietic stem cell/progenitor survival and protecting mononuclear cells from apoptosis after irradiation exposure. Moreover, we have found that rhIGF-I might facilitate thrombopoiesis in an indirect way. Our data demonstrated that rhIGF-I could promote overall hematopoietic recovery after ionizing radiation and reduce the mortality when administered immediately post lethal irradiation exposure.
insulin-like growth factor-I; irradiation injury; hematopoietic recovery; apoptosis
The occurrence and distribution of microcystins were investigated in Lake Taihu, the third largest lake in China. An extensive survey, larger and broader in scale than previous studies, was conducted in summer 2010. The highest microcystin concentration was found at southern part of Taihu, which was newly included in this survey. In northern coastal areas, total cellular concentrations of 20 to 44 μg/L were observed. In northern offshore waters, levels were up to 4.8 μg/L. Microcystin occurrence was highly correlated with chemical oxygen demand, turbidity, and chlorophyll-a. Extracellular/total cellular microcystin (E/T) ratios were calculated and compared to other water quality parameters. A higher correlation was found using E/T ratios than original microcystin values. These results show that algal blooms are having a severe impact on Lake Taihu, and further and extensive monitoring and research are required to suppress blooms effectively.
RBM5 (RNA-binding motif protein 5, also named H37/LUCA-15) gene from chromosome 3p21.3 has been demonstrated to be a tumor suppressor. Current researches in vitro confirm that RBM5 can suppress the growth of lung adenocarcinoma cells by inducing apoptosis. There is still no effective model in vivo, however, that thoroughly investigates the effect and molecular mechanism of RBM5 on lung adenocarcinoma.
We established the transplanted tumor model on BALB/c nude mice using the A549 cell line. The mice were treated with the recombinant plasmids carried by attenuated Salmonella to induce the overexpression of RBM5 in tumor tissues. RBM5 overexpression was confirmed by immunohistochemistry staining. H&E staining was performed to observe the histological performance on plasmids-treated A549 xenografts. Apoptosis was assessed by TUNEL staining with a TUNEL detection kit. Apoptosis-regulated genes were detected by Western blot.
We successful established the lung adenocarcinoma animal model in vivo. The growth of tumor xenografts was significantly retarded on the mice treated with pcDNA3.1-RBM5 carried by attenuated Salmonella compared to that on mice treated with pcDNA3.1. Overexpression of RBM5 enhanced the apoptosis in tumor xenografts. Furthermore, the expression of Bcl-2 protein was decreased significantly, while the expression of BAX, TNF-α, cleaved caspase-3, cleaved caspase-8, cleaved caspase-9 and cleaved PARP proteins was significantly increased in the pcDNA3.1-RBM5-treated mice as compared to that in the control mice.
In this study, we established a novel animal model to determine RBM5 function in vivo, and concluded that RBM5 inhibited tumor growth in mice by inducing apoptosis. The study suggests that although RBM5’s involvement in the death receptor-mediated apoptotic pathway is still to be investigated, RBM5-mediated growth suppression, at least in part, employs regulation of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathways.
RBM5; Lung adenocarcinoma; Apoptosis; A549; Xenograft mice model; Attenuated Salmonella
Glycyrrhizic acid (GA), the main component of radix glycyrrhizae, has a variety of pharmacological activities. In the present study, suspensions of GA nanoparticles with the average particle size about 200nm were prepared by a supercritical antisolvent (SAS) process. Comparative studies were undertaken using lipopolysaccardide(LPS)-stimulated mouse macrophages RAW 264.7 as in vitro inflammatory model. Several important inflammation mediators such as NO, PGE2, TNF-α and IL-6 were examined. These markers were highly stimulated by LPS and were inhibited both by nano-GA and unprocessed GA in a dose-dependent manner, especially PGE2 and TNF-α. However nano-GA and unprocessed GA inhibited NO only at a high concentration. In general, we found that GA nanoparticle suspensions exhibited much better anti-inflammatory activities compared to unprocessed GA.
glycyrrhizic acid; nanoparticle; mouse macrophages RAW 264.7; inflammatory cytokines
Rho family GTPases belong to the Ras GTPase superfamily and transduce intracellular signals known to regulate a variety of cellular processes, including cell polarity, morphogenesis, migration, apoptosis, vesicle trafficking, viral transport and cellular transformation. The three best-characterized Rho family members are Cdc42, RhoA and Rac1. Cdc42 regulates endocytosis, the transport between the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus, post-Golgi transport and exocytosis. Cdc42 influences trafficking through interaction with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (N-WASP) and the Arp2/3 complex, leading to changes in actin dynamics. Rac1 mediates endocytic and exocytic vesicle trafficking by interaction with its effectors, PI3kinase, synaptojanin 2, IQGAP1 and phospholipase D1. RhoA participates in the regulation of endocytosis through controlling its downstream target, Rho kinase. Interestingly, these GTPases play important roles at different stages of viral protein and genome transport in infected host cells. Importantly, dysregulation of Cdc42, Rac1 and RhoA leads to numerous disorders, including malignant transformation. In some cases, hyperactivation of Rho GTPases is required for cellular transformation. In this article, we review a number of findings related to Rho GTPase function in intracellular transport and cellular transformation.
Rho GTPases; vesicle trafficking; viral transport; cellular transformation; actin cytoskeleton
Previously, we identified the genetic variant −241 (−/G) (rs11453459) in the PP2A-Aα gene (PPP2R1A) promoter and demonstrated that this variant influences the DNA-binding affinity of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB). In this study, we further confirmed that the transcriptional activity of PPP2R1A may be regulated by NF-κB through the functional genetic variant −241 (−/G). Moreover, we also demonstrated that the methylation status of CpG islands in the promoter of PPP2R1A influences the activity of this gene promoter. Few studies have examined the role of this −241 (−/G) variant in genetic or epigenetic regulation in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). To investigate whether this functional variant in the PPP2R1A promoter is associated with the risk of HCC and confirm the function of the −241 (−/G) variant in the HCC population, we conducted a case-control study involving 251 HCC cases and 252 cancer-free controls from a Han population in southern China. Compared with the −241 (−−) homozygote, the heterozygous −241 (−G) genotype (adjusted OR = 0.32, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.17–0.58, P<0.001) and the −241 (−G)/(GG) genotypes (adjusted OR = 0.38, 95% CI = 0.22–0.67, P = 0.001) were both significantly associated with a reduced risk of HCC. Stratification analysis indicated that the protective role of −241 (−G) was more pronounced in individuals who were ≤ 40 years of age, female and HBV-negative. Our data suggest that the transcriptional activity of PPP2R1A is regulated by NF-κB through the −241 (−/G) variant and by the methylation of the promoter region. Moreover, the functional −241 (−/G) variant in the PPP2R1A promoter contributes to the decreased risk of HCC. These findings contribute novel information regarding the gene transcription of PPP2R1A regulated by the polymorphism and methylation in the promoter region through genetic and epigenetic mechanisms in hepatocarcinogenesis.
Since the first proposal that fullerenes are capable of hosting atoms, ions, or clusters by the late Smalley in 1985, tremendous examples of endohedral metallofullerenes (EMFs) have been reported. Breaking the dogma that monometallofullerenes (mono-EMFs) always exist in the form of M@C2n while clusterfullerenes always require multiple (two to four) metal cations to stabilize a cluster that is unstable as a single moiety, here we show an unprecedented monometallic endohedral clusterfullerene entrapping an yttrium cyanide cluster inside a popular C82 cage—YCN@Cs(6)-C82. X-ray crystallography and 13C NMR characterization unambiguously determine the cage symmetry and the endohedal cyanide structure, unexpectedly revealing that the entrapped YCN cluster is triangular. The unprecedented monometallic clusterfullerene structure unveiled by YCN@Cs(6)-C82 opens up a new avenue for stabilizing a cluster by a single metal cation within a carbon cage, and will surely stimulate further studies on the stability and formation mechanism of EMFs.
Klebsiella pneumoniae M5a1 is capable of utilizing 3-hydroxybenzoate via gentisate, and the 6.3-kb gene cluster mhbRTDHIM conferred the ability to grow on 3-hydroxybenzoate to Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas putida PaW340. Four of the six genes (mhbDHIM) encode enzymes converting 3-hydroxybenzoate to pyruvate and fumarate via gentisate. MhbR is a gene activator, and MhbT is a hypothetical protein belonging to the transporter of the aromatic acid/H+ symporter family. Since a transporter for 3-hydrxybenzoate uptake has not been characterized to date, we investigated whether MhbT is responsible for the uptake of 3-hydroxybenzoate, its metabolic intermediate gentisate, or both. The MhbT-green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion protein was located on the cytoplasmic membrane. P. putida PaW340 containing mhbRΔTDHIM could not grow on 3-hydroxybenzoate; however, supplying mhbT in trans allowed the bacterium to grow on the substrate. K. pneumoniae M5a1 and P. putida PaW340 containing recombinant MhbT transported 14C-labeled 3-hydroxybenzoate but not 14C-labeled gentisate and benzoate into the cells. Site-directed mutagenesis of two conserved amino acid residues (Asp-82 and Asp-314) and a less-conserved residue (Val-311) among the members of the symporter family in the hydrophilic cytoplasmic loops resulted in the loss of 3-hydroxybenzoate uptake by P. putida PaW340 carrying the mutant proteins. Hence, we demonstrated that MhbT is a specific 3-hydroxybenzoate transporter.
Hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is a major regulator of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) secretion in gonadotrope cell in the anterior pituitary gland. microRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNA molecules that control gene expression by imperfect binding to the 3′-untranslated region (3′-UTR) of mRNA at the post-transcriptional level. It has been proven that miRNAs play an important role in hormone response and/or regulation. However, little is known about miRNAs in the regulation of FSH secretion. In this study, primary anterior pituitary cells were treated with 100 nM GnRH. The supernatant of pituitary cell was collected for FSH determination by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) at 3 hours and 6 hours post GnRH treatment respectively. Results revealed that GnRH significantly promoted FSH secretion at 3 h and 6 h post-treatment by 1.40-fold and 1.80-fold, respectively. FSHβ mRNA at 6 h post GnRH treatment significantly increased by 1.60-fold. At 6 hours, cells were collected for miRNA expression profile analysis using MiRCURY LNA Array and quantitative PCR (qPCR). Consequently, 21 up-regulated and 10 down-regulated miRNAs were identified, and qPCR verification of 10 randomly selected miRNAs showed a strong correlation with microarray results. Chromosome location analysis indicated that 8 miRNAs were mapped to chromosome 12 and 4 miRNAs to chromosome X. Target and pathway analysis showed that some miRNAs may be associated with GnRH regulation pathways. In addition, In-depth analysis indicated that 10 up-regulated and 3 down-regulated miRNAs probably target FSHβ mRNA 3′-UTR directly, including miR-361-3p, a highly conserved X-linked miRNA. Most importantly, functional experimental results showed that miR-361-3p was involved in FSH secretion regulation, and up-regulated miR-361-3p expression inhibited FSH secretion, while down-regulated miR-361-3p expression promoted FSH secretion in pig pituitary cell model. These differentially expressed miRNAs resolved in this study provide the first guide for post-transcriptional regulation of pituitary gonadotrope FSH secretion in pig, as well as in other mammals.
Serotonin (5-HT) is a central inhibitor of food intake in mammals. Thus far, the intracellular mechanisms for the effect of serotonin on appetite regulation remain unclear. It has been recently demonstrated that reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the hypothalamus are a crucial integrative target for the regulation of food intake. To investigate the role of ROS in the serotonin-induced anorexigenic effects, conscious mice were treated with 5-HT alone or combination with Trolox (a ROS scavenger) or Apocynin (an NADPH oxidase inhibitor) by acute intracerebroventricular injection. Both Trolox and Apocynin reversed the anorexigenic action of 5-HT and the 5-HT-induced hypothalamic ROS elevation. The mRNA and protein expression levels of pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) were dramatically increased after ICV injection with 5-HT. The anorexigenic action of 5-HT was accompanied by markedly elevated hypothalamic MDA levels and GSH-Px activity, while the SOD activity was decreased. Moreover, 5-HT significantly increased the mRNA expression of UCP-2 but reduced the levels of UCP-3. Both Trolox and Apocynin could block the 5-HT-induced changes in UCP-2 and UCP-3 gene expression. Our study demonstrates for the first time that the anorexigenic effect of 5-HT is mediated by the generation of ROS in the hypothalamus through an NADPH oxidase-dependent pathway.
Learning to be skillful is an endowed talent of humans, but neural mechanisms underlying behavioral improvement remain largely unknown. Some studies have reported that the mean magnitude of neural activation is increased after learning, whereas others have instead shown decreased activation. In this study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate learning-induced changes in the neural activation in the human brain with a classic motor training task. Specifically, instead of comparing the mean magnitudes of activation before and after training, we analyzed the learning-induced changes in multi-voxel spatial patterns of neural activation. We observed that the stability of the activation patterns, or the similarity of the activation patterns between the even and odd runs of the fMRI scans, was significantly increased in the primary motor cortex (M1) after training. By contrast, the mean magnitude of neural activation remained unchanged. Therefore, our study suggests that learning shapes the brain by increasing the stability of the activation patterns, therefore providing a new perspective in understanding the neural mechanisms underlying learning.
The identification of hepatitis E virus (HEV) from rabbits motivated us to assess the possibility of using rabbits as a non-human primate animal model for HEV infection and vaccine evaluation.
First, 75 rabbits were inoculated with seven strains of genotypes 1, 3, 4, and rabbit HEV, to determine the appropriate strain, administrative route and viral dosage. Second, 15 rabbits were randomly divided into three groups and vaccinated with 0 µg (placebo), 10 µg and 20 µg of HEV candidate vaccine, HEV p179, respectively. After three doses of the vaccination, the rabbits were challenged with 3.3×105 genome equivalents of genotype 4 HEV strain H4-NJ703. The strain of genotype 1 HEV was not found to be infectious for rabbits. However, approximately 80% of the animals were infected by two rabbit HEV strains. All rabbits inoculated with a genotype 3 strain were seroconverted but did not show viremia or fecal viral shedding. Although two genotype 4 strains, H4-NJ153 and H4-NJ112, only resulted in part of rabbits infected, another strain of genotype 4, H4-NJ703, had an infection rate of 100% (five out of five) when administrated intravenously. However, only two out of fifteen rabbits showed virus excretion and seroconversion when inoculated orally with H4-NJ703 of three different dosages. In the vaccine evaluation study, rabbits vaccinated with 20 µg of the HEV p179 produced anti-HEV with titers of 1∶104–1∶105 and were completely protected from infection. Rabbits vaccinated with 10 µg produced anti-HEV with titers of 1∶103–1∶104 and were protected from hepatitis, but two out of the five rabbits showed virus shedding.
Rabbits may be served as an alternative to the non-human primate models for HEV infection and vaccine evaluation when certain virus strains, appropriate viral dosages, and the intravenous route of inoculation are selected.
Sinomenine is a bioactive alkaloid isolated from the Chinese medicinal plant Sinomenium acutum. It is widely used as an immunosuppressive drug for treating rheumatic and arthritic diseases. In our previous studies, we found that sinomenine reduced cellular infiltration within the spinal cord and alleviated experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in rats. In this study, we further investigated the mechanisms of sinomenine treatment in EAE rats. In EAE rats, treatment with sinomenine exerted an anti-inducible NO synthase (anti-iNOS) effect, which is related to the reductions of Th1 cytokine interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and its transcription factor, T-bet, in spinal cords. Moreover, sinomenine treatment of splenocytes stimulated with anti-CD3 antibody and recombinant rat interleukin 12 reduced the expression of T-bet and IFN-γ in vitro and also reduced the capability of supernatants of splenocyte culture to induce iNOS expression by primary astrocytes. However, sinomenine had no direct inhibitory effect on iNOS produced by astrocytes cultured with IFN-γ and tumor necrosis factor α in vitro. In conclusion, the anti-iNOS effect of sinomenine on EAE is mediated via the suppression of T-bet /IFN-γ pathway.
sinomenine; experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; iNOS; T-bet; interferon-γ (IFN-γ)
Our previous study has demonstrated that cyclosporine A (CsA) administration in vivo induces Th2 bias at the maternal-fetal interface, leading to improved murine pregnancy outcomes. Here, we investigated how CsA treatment in vitro induced Th2 bias at the human maternal-fetal interface in early pregnancy. The cell co-culture in vitro in different combination of component cells at the maternal-fetal interface was established to investigate the regulation of CsA on cytokine production from the interaction of these cells. It was found that interferon (IFN)-γ was produced only by decidual immune cells (DICs), and not by trophoblasts or decidual stromal cells (DSCs); all these cells secreted interleukin (IL)-4, IL-10, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. Treatment with CsA completely blocked IFN-γ production in DICs and inhibited TNF-α production in all examined cells. CsA increased IL-10 and IL-4 production in trophoblasts co-cultured with DSCs and DICs although CsA treatment did not affect IL-10 or IL-4 production in any of the cells when cultured alone. These results suggest that CsA promotes Th2 bias at the maternal-fetal interface by increasing Th2-type cytokine production in trophoblasts with the aid of DSCs and DICs, while inhibiting Th1-type cytokine production in DICs and TNF-α production in all investigated cells. Our study might be useful in clinical therapeutics for spontaneous pregnancy wastage and other pregnancy complications.
Insect chemosensory proteins (CSPs) have been proposed to capture and transport hydrophobic chemicals from air to olfactory receptors in the lymph of antennal chemosensilla. They may represent a new class of soluble carrier protein involved in insect chemoreception. However, their specific functional roles in insect chemoreception have not been fully elucidated. In this study, we report for the first time three novel CSP genes (AlinCSP1-3) of the alfalfa plant bug Adelphocoris lineolatus (Goeze) by screening the antennal cDNA library. The qRT-PCR examinations of the transcript levels revealed that all three genes (AlinCSP1-3) are mainly expressed in the antennae. Interestingly, these CSP genes AlinCSP1-3 are also highly expressed in the 5th instar nymphs, suggesting a proposed function of these CSP proteins (AlinCSP1-3) in the olfactory reception and in maintaining particular life activities into the adult stage. Using bacterial expression system, the three CSP proteins were expressed and purified. For the first time we characterized the types of sensilla in the antennae of the plant bug using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Immunocytochemistry analysis indicated that the CSP proteins were expressed in the pheromone-sensitive sensilla trichodea and general odorant-sensitive sensilla basiconica, providing further evidence of their involvement in chemoreception. The antennal activity of 55 host-related semiochemicals and sex pheromone compounds in the host location and mate selection behavior of A. lineolatus was investigated using electroantennogram (EAG), and the binding affinities of these chemicals to the three CSPs (AlinCSP1-3) were measured using fluorescent binding assays. The results showed several host-related semiochemicals, (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol, (E)-2-hexen-1-al and valeraldehyde, have a high binding affinity with AlinCSP1-3 and can elicit significant high EAG responses of A. lineolatus antennae. Our studies indicate the three antennae-biased CSPs may mediate host recognition in the alfalfa plant bug A. lineolatus.
Oncogenes, which are essential for tumor initiation, development, and maintenance, are valuable targets for cancer therapy. However, it remains a challenge to effectively inhibit oncogene activity by targeting their downstream pathways without causing significant toxicity to normal tissues. Here we show that deletion of mir-181a-1/b-1 expression inhibits the development of Notch1 oncogene-induced T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). mir-181a-1/b-1 controls the strength and threshold of Notch activity in tumorigenesis in part by dampening multiple negative feedback regulators downstream of NOTCH and pre-T cell receptor (TCR) signaling pathways. Importantly, although Notch oncogenes utilize normal thymic progenitor cell genetic programs for tumor transformation, comparative analyses of mir-181a-1/b-1 function in normal thymocyte and tumor development demonstrate that mir-181a-1/b-1 can be specifically targeted to inhibit tumor development with little toxicity to normal development. Finally, we demonstrate that mir-181a-1/b-1, but not mir-181a-2b-2 and mir-181-c/d, controls the development of normal thymic T cells and leukemia cells. Together, these results illustrate that NOTCH oncogene activity in tumor development can be selectively inhibited by targeting the molecular networks controlled by mir-181a-1/b-1.
Oncogenes elicit driving signals required for tumor initiation, development, and maintenance and are valuable targets for cancer therapy. However, oncogenes often have essential functions in normal cellular physiology and produce intracellular proteins that are difficult to inhibit with small molecule drugs without causing significant toxicity to normal tissues. Thus, one of the challenges in cancer therapy is to identify downstream networks that can be targeted to specifically dampen the oncogenic signals in tumor cells without harming normal tissues. In this study we demonstrate that deletion of a microRNA (miRNA) gene, mir-181a-1/b-1, specifically inhibits the activity of the Notch oncogene in tumorigenesis without causing significant defects in normal development. Although earlier studies have elegantly shown the essential role of NOTCH and pre-TCR signals in NOTCH-induced tumorigenesis, neither NOTCH nor pre-TCR signals can be targeted effectively for treatment of T-ALL with available drugs due to their weak therapeutic effects and severe toxicities. Our findings illustrate that dissecting the downstream targets of miRNAs can reveal the molecular networks that can be targeted to control tumor transformation caused by oncogenes. More importantly, our results illustrate that comparative studies on the pathways utilized by normal cells and tumor cells may reveal novel insights into how tumorigenic pathways may be selectively inhibited with limited damage to normal tissues.
Gentisate (2,5-dihydroxybenzoate) is a key ring-cleavage substrate involved in various aromatic compounds degradation. Corynebacterium glutamicum ATCC13032 is capable of growing on gentisate and genK was proposed to encode a transporter involved in this utilization by its disruption in the restriction-deficient mutant RES167. Its biochemical characterization by uptake assay using [14C]-labeled gentisate has not been previously reported.
In this study, biochemical characterization of GenK by uptake assays with [14C]-labeled substrates demonstrated that it specifically transported gentisate into the cells with Vmax and Km of 3.06±0.16 nmol/min/mg of dry weight and 10.71±0.11 µM respectively, and no activity was detected for either benzoate or 3-hydoxybenzoate. When GenK was absent in strain RES167 ΔgenK, it retained 85% of its original transport activity at pH 6.5 compared to that of strain RES167. However, it lost 79% and 88% activity at pH 7.5 and 8.0, respectively. A number of competing substrates, including 3-hydroxybenzoate, benzoate, protocatechuate and catechol, significantly inhibited gentisate uptake by more than 40%. Through site-directed mutagenesis, eight amino acid residues of GenK, Asp-54, Asp-57 and Arg-386 in the hydrophobic transmembrane regions and Arg-103, Trp-309, Asp-312, Arg-313 and Ile-317 in the hydrophilic cytoplasmic loops were shown to be important for gentisate transport. When conserved residues Asp-54 and Asp-57 respectively were changed to glutamate, both mutants retained approximately 50% activity and were able to partially complement the ability of strain RES167 ΔgenK to grow on gentisate.
Our results demonstrate that GenK is an active gentisate transporter in Corynebacterium glutamicum ATCC13032. The GenK-mediated gentisate transport was also shown to be a limiting step for the gentisate utilization by this strain. This enhances our understanding of gentisate transport in the microbial degradation of aromatic compounds.
Here, for the first time, we evaluate the hypothesis that the proliferative abilities of satellite cells (SCs) isolated from Lantang (indigenous Chinese pigs) and Landrace pigs, which differ in muscle characteristics, are different. SCs were isolated from the longissimus dorsi muscle of neonatal Lantang and Landrace pigs. Proliferative ability was estimated by the count and proliferative activity of viable cells using a hemocytometer and MTT assay at different time points after seeding, respectively. Cell cycle information was detected by flow cytometry. Results showed that there was a greater (P<0.05) number of SCs in Lantang pigs compared with Landrace pigs after 72 h of culture. The percentage of cell population in S phase and G2/M phases in Lantang pigs were higher (P<0.05), while in G0/G1 phase was lower (P<0.05) in comparison with the Landrace pigs. The mRNA abundances of MyoD, Myf5, myogenin and Pax7 in SCs from Lantang pigs were higher (P<0.05), while those of myostatin, Smad3 and genes in the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway (with the exception of 4EBP1) were lower (P<0.05) than the Landrace pigs. Protein levels of MyoD, myogenin, myostatin, S6K, phosphorylated mTOR and phosphorylated eIF4E were consistent with the corresponding mRNA abundance. Collectively, these findings suggested that SCs in the two breeds present different proliferative abilities, and the proliferative potential of SCs in Lantang pigs is higher than in Landrace pigs.