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1.  Repair of osteochondral defects with in vitro engineered cartilage based on autologous bone marrow stromal cells in a swine model 
Scientific Reports  2017;7:40489.
Functional reconstruction of large osteochondral defects is always a major challenge in articular surgery. Some studies have reported the feasibility of repairing articular osteochondral defects using bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) and biodegradable scaffolds. However, no significant breakthroughs have been achieved in clinical translation due to the instability of in vivo cartilage regeneration based on direct cell-scaffold construct implantation. To overcome the disadvantages of direct cell-scaffold construct implantation, the current study proposed an in vitro cartilage regeneration strategy, providing relatively mature cartilage-like tissue with superior mechanical properties. Our strategy involved in vitro cartilage engineering, repair of osteochondral defects, and evaluation of in vivo repair efficacy. The results demonstrated that BMSC engineered cartilage in vitro (BEC-vitro) presented a time-depended maturation process. The implantation of BEC-vitro alone could successfully realize tissue-specific repair of osteochondral defects with both cartilage and subchondral bone. Furthermore, the maturity level of BEC-vitro had significant influence on the repaired results. These results indicated that in vitro cartilage regeneration using BMSCs is a promising strategy for functional reconstruction of osteochondral defect, thus promoting the clinical translation of cartilage regeneration techniques incorporating BMSCs.
PMCID: PMC5234019  PMID: 28084417
2.  Electrospun core-shell microfiber separator with thermal-triggered flame-retardant properties for lithium-ion batteries 
Science Advances  2017;3(1):e1601978.
A novel “smart” separator with thermal-triggered flame-retardant properties for lithium-ion batteries to improve their safety.
Although the energy densities of batteries continue to increase, safety problems (for example, fires and explosions) associated with the use of highly flammable liquid organic electrolytes remain a big issue, significantly hindering further practical applications of the next generation of high-energy batteries. We have fabricated a novel “smart” nonwoven electrospun separator with thermal-triggered flame-retardant properties for lithium-ion batteries. The encapsulation of a flame retardant inside a protective polymer shell has prevented direct dissolution of the retardant agent into the electrolyte, which would otherwise have negative effects on battery performance. During thermal runaway of the lithium-ion battery, the protective polymer shell would melt, triggered by the increased temperature, and the flame retardant would be released, thus effectively suppressing the combustion of the highly flammable electrolytes.
PMCID: PMC5235334  PMID: 28097221
Lithium ion batteries; flame-retardant; smart separator; thermal responsive
3.  MiR-1307 promotes ovarian cancer cell chemoresistance by targeting the ING5 expression 
We aimed to investigate the function of miR-1307 in chemoresistance and to explore its chemoresistance mechanism in ovarian cancer.
IC50 determination was used to test the chemoresistance profling in ovarian cancer cells. QRT-PCR or western blot was used to validate the expression level of miR-1307 and candidate gene or protein. Colony formation assay and FITC-labeled enhanced Annexin V immunofluorescence were used to compare cell proliferation and apoptosis ability, respectively. The potential target gene and its biological function of miRNA-1307 were also analyzed. Bioinformatics and Luciferase Reporter Gene Assay were conducted to validate the regulation of miRNA-1307 on the ING5 expression. Xenografts assay was used to demonstrate the inhibiting effect of miR-1307 ASO and Taxol therapy against ovarian cancer in vivo.
MiR-1307 was over-expressed in chemoresistant ovarian cancer cell line A2780/Taxol, and over-expression or loss of miR-1307 promoted or inhabited chemoresistance. And we also found that the over-expression of miR-1307 promoted proliferation and inhibited apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells. Besides, we demonstrated that ING5 was a direct target of miR-1307 and miR-1307 down-regulated the ING5 expression in ovarian cancer cells. Additionally, we showed that ING5 inhibited cell proliferation, promoted cell apoptosis and inhabited chemoresistance reversely. Furthermore, the up-regulated ability of cell apoptosis and down-regulated ability of chemoresistance following the loss of miR-1307 was reversed by adding ING5 siRNA in vitro. Finally, we proved the inhibiting effect of miR-1307 ASO and Taxol therapy by increasing the ING5 expression against ovarian cancer through xenografts assay in vivo.
Our results suggested that miR-1307 could promote ovarian cancer chemoresistance by targeting the ING5 expression and miR-1307 might serve as a therapeutic target for ovarian cancer.
PMCID: PMC5234104  PMID: 28086946
miR-1307; Ovarian cancer; Cell chemoresistance; ING5
4.  Osteoprotegerin disrupts peripheral adhesive structures of osteoclasts by modulating Pyk2 and Src activities  
Cell Adhesion & Migration  2016;10(3):299-309.
Osteoprotegerin has previously been shown to modulate bone mass by blocking osteoclast maturation and function. The detailed mechanisms of osteoprotegerin-induced disassembly of podosomes, disruption of adhesive structures and modulation of adhesion-related proteins in osteoclasts, however, are not well characterized. In this study, tartrate-resistant acidic phosphatase staining demonstrated that osteoprotegerin inhibited differentiation of osteoclasts. The use of scanning electron microscopy, real-time cell monitoring and confocal microscopy indicated that osteoclasts responded in a time and dose-dependent manner to osteoprotegerin treatments with retraction of peripheral adhesive structures and detachment from the extracellular substrate. Combined imaging and Western blot studies showed that osteoprotegerin induced dephosphorylation of Tyr 402 in Pyk2 and decreased its labeling in peripheral adhesion regions. osteoprotegerin induced increased intracellular labeling of Tyr 402 in Pyk2, Tyr 416 in Src, increased dephosphorylation of Tyr 527 in Src, and increased Pyk2/Src association in the central region of osteoclasts. This evidence suggests that Src may function as an adaptor protein that competes for Pyk2 and relocates it from the peripheral adhesive zone to the central region of osteoclasts in response to osteoprotegerin treatment. Osteoprotegerin may induce podosome reassembly and peripheral adhesive structure detachment by modulating phosphorylation of Pyk2 and Src and their intracellular distribution in osteoclasts.
PMCID: PMC4951177  PMID: 26743491
osteoprotegerin; osteoclast; podosome; Pyk2; src
5.  Establishment of an accurate and fast detection method using molecular beacons in loop-mediated isothermal amplification assay 
Scientific Reports  2017;7:40125.
This study established a constant-temperature fluorescence quantitative detection method, combining loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) with molecular beacons. The advantages of LAMP are its convenience and efficiency, as it does not require a thermocycler and results are easily visualized by the naked eye. However, a major disadvantage of current LAMP techniques is the use of indirect evaluation methods (e.g., electrophoresis, SYBR Green I dye, precipitation, hydroxynaphthol blue dye, the turbidimetric method, calcein/Mn2+ dye, and the composite probe method), which cannot distinguish between the desired products and products of nonspecific amplification, thereby leading to false positives. Use of molecular beacons avoids this problem because molecular beacons produce fluorescence signals only when binding to target DNA, thus acting as a direct indicator of amplification products. Our analyses determined the optimal conditions for molecular beacons as an evaluation tool in LAMP: beacon length of 25–45 bp, beacon concentration of 0.6–1 pmol/μL, and reaction temperature of 60–65 °C. In conclusion, we validated a novel molecular beacon loop-mediated isothermal amplification method (MB-LAMP), realizing the direct detection of LAMP product.
PMCID: PMC5216335  PMID: 28059137
6.  Overlooked possibility of a collapsed Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation in warming climate 
Science Advances  2017;3(1):e1601666.
Climate models underestimate the possibility of a collapsed Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation under climate warming.
Changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) are moderate in most climate model projections under increasing greenhouse gas forcing. This intermodel consensus may be an artifact of common model biases that favor a stable AMOC. Observationally based freshwater budget analyses suggest that the AMOC is in an unstable regime susceptible for large changes in response to perturbations. By correcting the model biases, we show that the AMOC collapses 300 years after the atmospheric CO2 concentration is abruptly doubled from the 1990 level. Compared to an uncorrected model, the AMOC collapse brings about large, markedly different climate responses: a prominent cooling over the northern North Atlantic and neighboring areas, sea ice increases over the Greenland-Iceland-Norwegian seas and to the south of Greenland, and a significant southward rain-belt migration over the tropical Atlantic. Our results highlight the need to develop dynamical metrics to constrain models and the importance of reducing model biases in long-term climate projection.
PMCID: PMC5217057  PMID: 28070560
Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation stability bias flux adjustment global warming
7.  Densely packed aluminum-silver nanohelices as an ultra-thin perfect light absorber 
Scientific Reports  2017;7:39791.
Metals have been formed into nanostructures to absorb light with high efficiency through surface plasmon resonances. An ultra-thin plasmonic structure that exhibits strong absorption over wide ranges of wavelengths and angles of incidence is sought. In this work, a nearly perfect plasmonic nanostructure is fabricated using glancing angle deposition. The difference between the morphologies of obliquely deposited aluminum and silver nanohelices is exploited to form a novel three-dimensional structure, which is an aluminum-silver nanohelix array on a pattern-free substrate. With a thickness of only 470 nm, densely distributed nanohelices support rod-to-rod localized surface plasmons for broadband and polarization-independent light extinction. The extinctance remains high over wavelengths from 400 nm to 2000 nm and angles of incidence from 0° to 70°.
PMCID: PMC5206654  PMID: 28045135
8.  Cu2ZnSnS4/MoS2-Reduced Graphene Oxide Heterostructure: Nanoscale Interfacial Contact and Enhanced Photocatalytic Hydrogen Generation 
Scientific Reports  2017;7:39411.
Hydrogen generation from water using noble metal-free photocatalysts presents a promising platform for renewable and sustainable energy. Copper-based chalcogenides of earth-abundant elements, especially Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS), have recently arisen as a low-cost and environment-friendly material for photovoltaics and photocatalysis. Herein, we report a new heterostructure consisting of CZTS nanoparticles anchored onto a MoS2-reduced graphene oxide (rGO) hybrid. Using a facile two-step method, CZTS nanoparticles were in situ grown on the surface of MoS2-rGO hybrid, which generated high density of nanoscale interfacial contact between CZTS and MoS2-rGO hybrid. The photoexcited electrons of CZTS can be readily transported to MoS2 through rGO backbone, reducing the electron-hole pair recombination. In photocatalytic hydrogen generation under visible light irradiation, the presence of MoS2-rGO hybrids enhanced the hydrogen production rate of CZTS by 320%, which can be attributed to the synergetic effect of increased charge separation by rGO and more catalytically active sites from MoS2. Furthermore, this CZTS/MoS2-rGO heterostructure showed much higher photocatalytic activity than both Au and Pt nanoparticle-decorated CZTS (Au/CZTS and Pt/CZTS) photocatalysts, indicating the MoS2-rGO hybrid is a better co-catalyst for photocatalytic hydrogen generation than the precious metal. The CZTS/MoS2-rGO system also demonstrated stable photocatalytic activity for a continuous 20 h reaction.
PMCID: PMC5206717  PMID: 28045066
9.  Mobile Videoconferencing Apps for Telemedicine 
Introduction: The quality and performance of several videoconferencing applications (apps) tested on iOS (Apple, Cupertino, CA) and Android™ (Google, Mountain View, CA) mobile platforms using Wi-Fi (802.11), third-generation (3G), and fourth-generation (4G) cellular networks are described. Materials and Methods: The tests were done to determine how well apps perform compared with videoconferencing software installed on computers or with more traditional videoconferencing using dedicated hardware. The rationale for app assessment and the testing methodology are described. Results: Findings are discussed in relation to operating system platform (iOS or Android) for which the apps were designed and the type of network (Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G) used. The platform, network, and apps interact, and it is impossible to discuss videoconferencing experienced on mobile devices in relation to one of these factors without referencing the others. Conclusions: Apps for mobile devices can vary significantly from other videoconferencing software or hardware. App performance increased over the testing period due to improvements in network infrastructure and how apps manage bandwidth.
PMCID: PMC4739126  PMID: 26204322
technology; telemedicine; mobile health; telecommunications
10.  Evaluating Polypoidal Choroidal Vasculopathy With Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography 
We observed and analyzed the morphologic characteristics of polypoidal lesions and abnormal branching vascular network (BVN) in patients with polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV) by optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA).
A retrospective observational case series was done of patients with PCV. All patients were scanned with a 70-kHz spectral-domain OCT system using the split-spectrum amplitude-decorrelation angiography (SSADA) algorithm to distinguish blood flow from static tissue. The OCTA images of these patients were compared to those from indocyanine green angiography (ICGA). Semiautomated segmentation was used to further analyze the polypoidal lesion and the BVN.
We studied 13 eyes of 13 patients 51 to 69 years old. A total of 11 patients were treatment-naive. Two patients had multiple anti-VEGF injections and one underwent photodynamic therapy (PDT). Optical coherence tomography angiography was able to detect the BVN in all cases. Using cross-sectional OCTA, BVN locations were shown to be in the space between the RPE and Bruch's membrane. Using en face OCTA, the BVN vascular pattern could be shown more clearly than by ICGA. Polypoidal lesions showed high flow signals in different patterns in 12 cases in the outer retina slab. Using cross-sectional OCTA, the polyps were shown to be just below the top of the pigment epithelial detachment (PED). In one case, the polypoidal lesion was not detectable at the outer retina slab.
Optical coherence tomography angiography is a noninvasive imaging tool for detecting vascular changes in PCV. Branching vascular networks showed more clearly on OCTA than on ICGA. Polypoidal lesions had variable patterns on OCTA and were not always detected. The OCTA patterns of the polypoidal lesions and the BVN are helpful in understanding the pathology of PCV.
PMCID: PMC4970807  PMID: 27472276
optical coherence tomography angiography; polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy; branching vascular network
11.  Serial Femtosecond Crystallography of Membrane Proteins 
Membrane proteins, including G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), constitute the most important drug targets. The increasing number of targets requires new structural information, which has proven tremendously challenging due to the difficulties in growing diffraction-quality crystals. Recent developments of serial femtosecond crystallography at X-ray free electron lasers combined with the use of membrane-mimetic gel-like matrix of lipidic cubic phase (LCP-SFX) for crystal growth and delivery hold significant promise to accelerate structural studies of membrane proteins. This chapter describes the development and current status of the LCP-SFX technology and elaborates its future role in structural biology of membrane proteins.
PMCID: PMC5110035  PMID: 27553241
Serial Femtosecond Crystallography, SFX; X-ray Free Electron Laser, XFEL; Lipidic Cubic Phase, LCP; LCP-SFX; LCP injector; Membrane Proteins; G Protein-Coupled Receptors, GPCR
12.  Association between higher expression of interleukin-8 (IL-8) and haplotype −353A/−251A/+678T of IL-8 gene with preeclampsia 
Medicine  2016;95(52):e5537.
Preeclampsia (PE) is a common pregnancy-specific disorder associated with significant maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality worldwide.
The present study was performed to investigate the role of a CXC chemokine interleukin-8 (IL-8), in the pathogenesis of PE. IL-8 expression levels were assessed in placental and serum samples from 160 pregnant women with PE (N = 68 severe, 92 mild) and 140 healthy donors.
Results from enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay showed that the concentration of serum IL-8 in PE patients (180.27 ± 5.81 ng/L) was significantly higher than that in healthy controls (41.57 ± 5.67 ng/L). Patients with severe PE had even higher serum IL-8 levels. Similar messenger RNA and protein expression patterns of IL-8 in placental tissues were confirmed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical assay (N = 30 each in the mild PE, severe PE, and control groups). In addition, single nucleotide polymorphisms of IL-8 gene were detected with polymerase chain reaction-restricted fragment length polymorphism/SSP. The frequency of IL-8-251A allele was significantly higher than that in controls (58.4% vs 48.9%, P < 0.05). The occurrence frequency of haplotype −353A/−251A/+678T (AAT) in PE subjects was 27.2% as compared to 21.9% in the control participants (P < 0.05).
Our study reveals that IL-8 expression is positively associated with the severity of PE. Presence of haplotype AAT in pregnant women appears to be a risk factor for PE.
PMCID: PMC5207544  PMID: 28033248
IL-8; inflammation; preeclampsia; single nucleotide polymorphism
13.  RiceATM: a platform for identifying the association between rice agronomic traits and miRNA expression 
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are known to play critical roles in plant development and stress-response regulation, and they frequently display multi-targeting characteristics. The control of defined rice phenotypes occurs through multiple genes; however, evidence demonstrating the relationship between agronomic traits and miRNA expression profiles is lacking. In this study, we investigated eight yield-related traits in 187 local rice cultivars and profiled the expression levels of 193 miRNAs in these cultivars using microarray analyses. By integrating the miRBase database, the rice annotation project database, and the miRanda and psRNATarget web servers, we constructed a database (RiceATM) that can be employed to investigate the association between rice agronomic traits and miRNA expression. The functions of this platform include phenotype selection, sample grouping, microarray data pretreatment, statistical analysis and target gene predictions. To demonstrate the utility of RiceATM, we used the database to identify four miRNAs associated with the heading date and validated their expression trends in the cultivars with early or late heading date by real-time PCR. RiceATM is a useful tool for researchers seeking to characterize the role of certain miRNAs for a specific phenotype and discover potential biomarkers for breeding or functional studies.
Database URL:
PMCID: PMC5199133  PMID: 28025342
14.  Aromatic molecules on low-index coinage metal surfaces: Many-body dispersion effects 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:39529.
Understanding the binding mechanism for aromatic molecules on transition-metal surfaces in atomic scale is a major challenge in designing functional interfaces for to (opto)electronic devices. Here, we employ the state-of-the-art many-body dispersion (MBD) approach, coupled with density functional theory methods, to study the interactions of benzene with low-index coinage metal surfaces. The many-body effects contribute mostly to the (111) surface, and leastly to the (110) surface. This corresponds to the same sequence of planar atomic density of face-centered-cubic lattices, i.e., (111) > (100) > (110). The binding energy for benzene/Au(110) is even stronger than that for benzene/Ag(110), due to a larger broadening of molecular orbitals in the former case. On the other hand, our calculations show almost identical binding energies for benzene on Ag(111) and Au(111), which contradicts the classic d-band center theory that could well predict the trend in chemisorption energies for various small molecules on a number of metal surfaces. Our results provide important insight into the benchmark adsorption systems with opener surfaces, which could help in designing more complex functional interfaces.
PMCID: PMC5177956  PMID: 28004793
15.  Long-Term Neurocognitive Functioning and Social Attainment in Adult Survivors of Pediatric CNS Tumors: Results From the St Jude Lifetime Cohort Study 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2016;34(12):1358-1367.
To assess the prevalence and severity of neurocognitive impairment in adult survivors of pediatric CNS tumors and to examine associated treatment exposures.
Patients and Methods
Participants included 224 survivors of CNS tumors who were treated at St Jude Children's Research Hospital (current median age [range], 26 years [19 to 53 years]; time from diagnosis, 18 years [11 to 42 years]) and completed neurocognitive testing. Information on cranial radiation therapy (CRT) doses and parameters of delivery were abstracted from medical records. The prevalence of severe impairment (ie, at least two standard deviations below normative mean) was compared across radiation treatment groups (no CRT, focal irradiation, craniospinal irradiation) using the χ2 test. Log-binomial models were used to estimate risk ratios (RRs) and corresponding 95% CIs for severe impairment.
In multivariable models, craniospinal irradiation was associated with a 1.5- to threefold increased risk of severe impairment compared with no CRT (eg, intelligence: RR = 2.70; 95% CI, 1.37 to 5.34; memory: RR = 2.93; 95% CI, 1.69 to 5.08; executive function: RR = 1.74; 95% CI, 1.24 to 2.45). Seizures were associated with impaired academic performance (RR = 1.48; 95% CI, 1.02 to 2.14), attention (RR = 1.54; 95% CI, 1.12 to 2.13), and memory (RR = 1.44; 95% CI, 1.04 to 1.99). Hydrocephalus with shunt placement was associated with impaired intelligence (RR = 1.78; 95% CI, 1.12 to 2.82) and memory (RR = 1.42; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.95). Differential follow-up time contributed to variability in prevalence estimates between survivors treated with older nonconformal and those treated with more contemporary conformal radiation therapy methods. Neurocognitive impairment was significantly associated with lower educational attainment, unemployment, and nonindependent living.
Survivors of pediatric CNS tumors are at risk of severe neurocognitive impairment in adulthood. The prevalence of severe impairment is greater than expected in the general population, even in the absence of CRT, and is associated with disrupted attainment of adult social milestones.
PMCID: PMC4933131  PMID: 26834063
16.  Enhanced Conversion Efficiency of III–V Triple-junction Solar Cells with Graphene Quantum Dots 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:39163.
Graphene has been used to synthesize graphene quantum dots (GQDs) via pulsed laser ablation. By depositing the synthesized GQDs on the surface of InGaP/InGaAs/Ge triple-junction solar cells, the short-circuit current, fill factor, and conversion efficiency were enhanced remarkably. As the GQD concentration is increased, the conversion efficiency in the solar cell increases accordingly. A conversion efficiency of 33.2% for InGaP/InGaAs/Ge triple-junction solar cells has been achieved at the GQD concentration of 1.2 mg/ml, corresponding to a 35% enhancement compared to the cell without GQDs. On the basis of time-resolved photoluminescence, external quantum efficiency, and work-function measurements, we suggest that the efficiency enhancement in the InGaP/InGaAs/Ge triple-junction solar cells is primarily caused by the carrier injection from GQDs to the InGaP top subcell.
PMCID: PMC5159817  PMID: 27982073
17.  Increased Expressions of Plasma Galectin-3 in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis 
Chinese Medical Journal  2016;129(23):2797-2803.
High expressions of galectin-3 were identified recently in the end stage of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients, which suggested that immune reactivity and inflammatory mechanisms might play an important role in the pathogenesis of ALS. The purpose of this study was to investigate plasma galectin-3 levels in different groups and stages of ALS patients and the association with related clinical characteristics.
A total of 51 patients with ALS and 60 normal controls (NCs) were recruited in this study. Plasma galectin-3 levels were determined using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Patients with ALS were divided into several groups according to their clinical characteristics: gender, type of disease onset, duration of disease, and clinical conditions of disease. Statistical analyses of the differences of galectin-3 levels between groups and the association with the clinical characteristics of disease were performed.
As compared with the NCs (201.64 [22.35–401.63] ng/ml), plasma galectin-3 levels were significantly elevated in the patients with duration >12 months (341.17 [69.12–859.22] ng/ml, P < 0.05), and the patients with limb onset of disease (254.14 [69.12–859.22] ng/ml, P < 0.05); however, no difference was found in the patients with duration ≤12 months (250.62 [109.77–334.92] ng/ml, P > 0.05), and the patients with bulbar onset of disease (251.79 [109.20–404.76] ng/ml, P > 0.05). In addition, galectin-3 levels were significantly increased in the female patients (263.27 [123.32–859.22] ng/ml, P < 0.05) while no difference was found in the male patients (220.39 [69.12–748.73] ng/ml, P > 0.05). The further statistical analyses showed that plasma galectin-3 levels were positively correlated with the duration of disease (r = 0.293, P = 0.037).
Plasma galectin-3 levels were significantly increased in ALS patients with limb onset of disease, especially in ALS female patients, and positively correlated with the duration of disease, which suggested that plasma galectin-3 might be an interesting and useful factor associated with ALS.
PMCID: PMC5146785  PMID: 27900991
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis; Galectin-3; Immune; Inflammatory
18.  Relationship between weight status and health-related quality of life in Chinese primary school children in Guangzhou: a cross-sectional study 
To investigate the association between weight status and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among pupils in Guangzhou, China.
The study comprised 5781 children aged 8–12 years from 29 schools. Height and weight were objectively measured using standardized methods, and BMI z-score derived using the age and sex specific WHO reference 2007 for 5–19 years. Weight status was classified as underweight (<−2SD), healthy weight (between -2SD and 1SD), overweight/obesity (>1SD). HRQOL was measured by the self-report version of the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory 4.0.
After controlling for gender, age, school type, parental education, and family income, HRQOL scores were significantly lower in overweight/obese compared with healthy weight children only in the social functioning domain (β = −1.93, p = 0.001). Compared with healthy weight children, underweight children had significantly lower total (β = −1.47, p = 0.05) and physical summary scores (β = −2.18, p = 0.02). Subgroup analysis for gender indicated that compared to healthy weight, total (β = −1.96, p = 0.02), psychosocial (β = −2.40, p = 0.01), social functioning (β = −3.36, p = 0.001), and school functioning (β = −2.19, p = 0.03) scores were lower in overweight/obese girls, but not boys. On the other hand, being underweight was associated with lower physical functioning (β = −2.27, p = 0.047) in girls, and lower social functioning (β = −3.63, p = 0.01) in boys. The associations were mainly observed in children aged 10 and over, but were not significant in younger children. Children from private schools had generally lower HRQOL compared to those in public schools, but the associations with weight status were similar in both groups.
The relationship between overweight/obesity and HRQOL in children in China is not as prominent as that seen in children in western or high-income countries. However, there appears to be gender and age differences, with more of an impact of overweight on HRQOL in girls and older children compared with boys and younger children. Underweight is also associated with lower HRQOL. Future intervention to prevent both obesity and undernutrition may have a positive impact on the HRQOL in children in China.
PMCID: PMC5135837  PMID: 27912761
Weight status; Children; Health-related quality of life
19.  Short Communication: Low False Recent Rate of Limiting-Antigen Avidity Assay Among Long-Term Infected Subjects from Guangxi, China 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2015;31(12):1247-1249.
Assays used for HIV cross-sectional incidence testing can misclassify some individuals with nonrecent HIV infection as recently infected, overestimating HIV incidence. We analyzed the frequency and factors associated with false-recent misclassification on subjects from Quangxi, China known to have long-term infection using the limited antigen-avidity assay (LAg-Avidity). Stored samples from treatment-naive individuals from Guangxi, China were tested using the LAg-Avidity. A total of 362 samples from individuals known to be infected 2 to 13.5 years were tested and the false-recent rate (FRR), the frequency of samples with a positive result, was determined at different cutoff values of the assay. Additionally, factors associated with misclassification were determined. The FRR of the LAg-Avidity was 1.1% (4/362) using a cutoff of 1.5 normalized optical density units (OD-n). All four samples had viral loads >1,000 copies/ml. Using a cutoff of 3.0 OD-n the FRR was 5.5% (20/362), with four samples having viral loads <1,000 copies/ml. Factors associated with a higher odds of misclassification were female gender (OR 7.7, 95% CI 1.0–56.4) and being a female sex worker (OR 31.3, 95% CI 4.0–242). At the higher cutoff, being of Zhuang decent, relative to Han, had higher odds of misclassification (OR 6.2, 95% CI 1.99–19.0). The LAg-Avidity assay had a low FRR in this Chinese population. Further investigations of the higher frequency of low LAg-Avidity results seen in female sex workers and individuals of Zhuang descent should be explored in a larger study.
PMCID: PMC4663635  PMID: 26331573
20.  Regulation of Retinoic Acid Receptor Beta by Interleukin-15 in the Lung during Cigarette Smoking and Influenza Virus Infection 
Virus-induced exacerbations often lead to further impairment of lung function in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. IL-15 is critical in antiviral immune responses. Retinoic acid (RA) signaling plays an important role in tissue maintenance and repair, particularly in the lung. We studied RA signaling and its relation to IL-15 in the lung during cigarette smoke (CS) exposure and influenza virus infection. In vivo studies show that RA signaling is diminished by long-term CS exposure or influenza virus infection alone, which is further attenuated during infection after CS exposure. RA receptor β (RARβ) is specifically decreased in the lung of IL-15 transgenic (overexpression; IL-15Tg) mice, and a greater reduction in RARβ is found in these mice compared with wild-type (WT) mice after infection. RARβ is increased in IL-15 knockout (IL-15KO) mice compared with WT mice after infection, and the additive effect of CS and virus on RARβ down-regulation is diminished in IL-15KO mice. IL-15 receptor α (IL-15Rα) is increased and RARβ is significantly decreased in lung interstitial macrophages from IL-15Tg mice compared with WT mice. In vitro studies show that IL-15 down-regulates RARβ in macrophages via IL-15Rα signaling during influenza virus infection. These studies suggest that RA signaling is significantly diminished in the lung by CS exposure and influenza virus infection. IL-15 specifically down-regulates RARβ expression, and RARβ may play a protective role in lung injury caused by CS exposure and viral infections.
PMCID: PMC4742936  PMID: 25923039
IL-15; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; retinoic acid receptor; cigarette smoke; influenza
21.  Immunohistochemical localization of OCT2 in the cochlea of various species 
The Laryngoscope  2015;125(9):E320-E325.
To locate the organic cation transporter 2 (OCT2) in the cochlea of three different species and to modulate the ototoxicity of cisplatin in the guinea pig by pretreatment with phenformin, having a known affinity for OCT2.
Study Design
Immunohistochemical and in vivo study.
Sections from the auditory end organs were subjected to immunohistochemical staining in order to identify OCT2 in cochlea from untreated rats, guinea pigs, and a pig. In the in vivo study, guinea pigs were given phenformin intravenously 30 minutes before cisplatin administration. Electrophysiological hearing thresholds were determined, and hair cells loss was assessed 96 hours later. The total amount of platinum in cochlear tissue was determined using mass spectrometry.
Organic cation transporter 2 was found in the supporting cells and in type I spiral ganglion cells in the cochlea of all species studied. Pretreatment with phenformin did not reduce the ototoxic side effect of cisplatin. Furthermore, the concentration of platinum in the cochlea was not affected by phenformin.
The localization of OCT2 in the supporting cells and type I spiral ganglion cells suggests that this transport protein is not primarily involved in cisplatin uptake from the systemic circulation. We hypothesize that OCT2 transport intensifies cisplatin ototoxicity via transport mechanisms in alternate compartments of the cochlea.
Level of Evidence
N/A. Laryngoscope, 125:E320–E325, 2015
PMCID: PMC5132114  PMID: 25892279
Cisplatin; ototoxicity; OCT2; phenformin
22.  Human Infection with Novel Spotted Fever Group Rickettsia Genotype, China, 2015 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2016;22(12):2153-2156.
Only 4 species of spotted fever group rickettsiae have been detected in humans in China. However, phylogenetic analysis of samples from 5 ill patients in China indicated infection with a novel spotted fever group Rickettsia, designated Rickettsia sp. XY99. Clinical signs resembled those of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome.
PMCID: PMC5189162  PMID: 27869588
Spotted fever group rickettsiae; rickettsiosis; rickettsia; human infection; ticks; vector-borne infections; China
23.  A Wide-Swath Spaceborne TOPS SAR Image Formation Algorithm Based on Chirp Scaling and Chirp-Z Transform 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2016;16(12):2095.
Based on the terrain observation by progressive scans (TOPS) mode, an efficient full-aperture image formation algorithm for focusing wide-swath spaceborne TOPS data is proposed. First, to overcome the Doppler frequency spectrum aliasing caused by azimuth antenna steering, the range-independent derotation operation is adopted, and the signal properties after derotation are derived in detail. Then, the azimuth deramp operation is performed to resolve image folding in azimuth. The traditional dermap function will introduce a time shift, resulting in appearance of ghost targets and azimuth resolution reduction at the scene edge, especially in the wide-swath coverage case. To avoid this, a novel solution is provided using a modified range-dependent deramp function combined with the chirp-z transform. Moreover, range scaling and azimuth scaling are performed to provide the same azimuth and range sampling interval for all sub-swaths, instead of the interpolation operation for the sub-swath image mosaic. Simulation results are provided to validate the proposed algorithm.
PMCID: PMC5191075  PMID: 27941706
SAR; TOPS; modified azimuth deramp; chirp-z
24.  HMMR antisense RNA 1, a novel long noncoding RNA, regulates the progression of basal-like breast cancer cells 
Recently, accumulating evidence has suggested that long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) play crucial roles in carcinogenesis and cancer progression. Hyaluronan-mediated motility receptor (HMMR) is an essential cancer-related gene in basal-like breast cancer (BLBC). In our study, HMMR antisense RNA 1 (HMMR-AS1) was analyzed in BLBC patients through polymerase chain reaction analysis. Here, we found that the expression of HMMR was positively correlated with HMMR-AS1 (RP11-80G.1). When HMMR-AS1 (RP11-80G.1) was knocked down, the expression of HMMR markedly reduced. Furthermore, in MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468 breast cancer cells, the proliferation and migration abilities were remarkably suppressed via knocking down HMMR-AS1 (RP11-80G.1) in vitro. The results showed that lncRNA HMMR-AS1 (RP11-80G.1) influenced the progression of BLBCs through regulating HMMR, suggesting that HMMR-AS1 (RP11-80G.1) could be regarded as a novel biomarker and therapeutic target in the treatment of BLBCs in future.
PMCID: PMC5125767  PMID: 27920576
HMMR antisense RNA 1; long noncoding RNA; hyaluronan mediated motility receptor; HMMR; basal-like breast cancer cells
25.  Population Pharmacokinetics of Paritaprevir, Ombitasvir, Dasabuvir, Ritonavir, and Ribavirin in Patients with Hepatitis C Virus Genotype 1 Infection: Combined Analysis from 9 Phase 1b/2 Studies 
The AAPS Journal  2015;18(1):270-280.
Direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) are established as the standard of care for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. One of the newest additions to the HCV arsenal is an oral three-DAA combination therapy (i.e., the 3D regimen) that does not require concomitant use of pegylated interferon. The clinical development program for the 3D regimen has yielded a robust dataset that is inclusive of various dosing schemes and a diverse patient population. Using data from nine phase 1b/2a/2b studies that enrolled patients with HCV genotype 1 infection, population pharmacokinetic models were developed for each component of the 3D regimen (ombitasvir, paritaprevir, ritonavir, and dasabuvir) and for ribavirin, an adjunctive therapy used to enhance therapeutic efficacy in some populations. Formulation effects, accumulation, relative bioavailability, and interactions between DAAs were assessed during model development, and demographic and clinical covariates were identified and evaluated for their effects on drug exposures. Proposed models were assessed via goodness-of-fit plots, visual predictive checks, and bootstrap evaluations. Population pharmacokinetic models adequately described their respective plasma concentration-time data with precise and reliable model parameter estimates and with good predictive performance. Covariates, including age, sex, body weight, cytochrome P450 2C8 inhibitor use, non-Hispanic ethnicity, and creatinine clearance, were associated with apparent clearance and/or apparent volume parameters; however, the magnitude of effect on drug exposure was modest and not considered to be clinically significant. No patient-related or clinical parameters were identified that would necessitate dose adjustment of the 3D regimen in patients with HCV genotype 1 infection.
PMCID: PMC4706288  PMID: 26597291
2D regimen; 3D regimen; direct-acting antiviral; dosing recommendations; population pharmacokinetics

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