The search for a strategy to provide temporary liver support and salvage the patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) remains an important issue. This study was designed to evaluate the experience in artificial liver support system (ALSS) combined with liver transplantation (LT) in the treatment of ACLF.
One hundred and seventy one patients with HBV related ACLF undergoing LT between January 2001 and December 2009 were included. Of the 171 patients, 115 received 247 sessions of plasma exchange-centered ALSS treatment prior to LT (ALSS-LT group) and the other 56 received emergency LT (LT group). The MELD score were 31±6 and 30±7 in ALSS-LT group and LT group. ALSS treatment resulted in improvement of liver function and better tolerance to LT. The average level of serum total bilirubin before LT was lower than that before the first time of ALSS treatment. The median waiting time for a donor liver was 12 days (2–226 days) from the first run of ALSS treatment to LT. Compared to LT group, the beneficial influences of ALSS on intraoperative blood loss and endotracheal intubation time were also observed in ALSS-LT group. The 1-year and 5-year survival rates in the ALSS-LT group and LT group were 79.2% and 83%, 69.7% and 78.6%.
Plasma exchange-centered ALSS is beneficial in salvaging patients with ACLF when a donor liver is not available. The consequential LT is the fundamental treatment modality to rescue these patients and lead to a similar survival rate as those patients receiving emergency transplantation.
Recent studies demonstrate that UHRF1 is required for DNA methylation maintenance by targeting DNMT1 to DNA replication foci, presumably through its unique hemi-methylated DNA-binding activity and interaction with DNMT1. UHRF2, another member of the UHRF family proteins, is highly similar to UHRF1 in both sequence and structure, raising questions about its role in DNA methylation. In this study, we demonstrate that, like UHRF1, UHRF2 also binds preferentially to methylated histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9) through its conserved tudor domain and hemi-methylated DNA through the SET and Ring associated domain. Like UHRF1, UHRF2 is enriched in pericentric heterochromatin. The heterochromatin localization depends to large extent on its methylated H3K9-binding activity and to less extent on its methylated DNA-binding activity. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments demonstrate that both UHRF1 and UHRF2 interact with DNMT1, DNMT3a, DNMT3b and G9a. Despite all these conserved functions, we find that UHRF2 is not able to rescue the DNA methylation defect in Uhrf1 null mouse embryonic stem cells. This can be attributed to the inability for UHRF2 to recruit DNMT1 to replication foci during S phase of the cell cycle. Indeed, we find that while UHRF1 interacts with DNMT1 in an S phase-dependent manner in cells, UHRF2 does not. Thus, our study demonstrates that UHRF2 and UHRF1 are not functionally redundant in DNA methylation maintenance and reveals the cell-cycle-dependent interaction between UHRF1 and DNMT1 as a key regulatory mechanism targeting DNMT1 for DNA methylation.
UHRF2; UHRF1; DNA methylation; histone methylation; DNMT1
Post-weaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) associated with PCV2 is one of the most costly diseases currently faced by the swine industry. The development of effective vaccines against PCV2 infection has been accepted as an important strategy in the prophylaxis of PMWS.
In the present study, a PK-15 cell-adapted formalin-inactivated prototype vaccine candidate was prepared using a strain of PCV2 from China. Inactivation of the virus was accomplished using a standard formalin inactivation protocol. The protective properties of the inactivated PCV2 vaccine were evaluated in piglets. Ten 28-day-old pigs were randomly assigned to two groups, each with five. Group 1 was vaccinated intramuscularly with the inactivated virus preparation; Group 2 received sterile PBS as a placebo. By 28 days post-vaccination (DPV), Groups 1 and 2 were challenged intranasally and intramuscularly with 5 × 107 TCID50 of a virulent PCV2 isolate.
The vaccinated pigs seroconverted to PCV2 and had high levels of serum antibodies to PCV2 at 28 days after vaccination, whereas the control pigs remained seronegative. No significant signs of clinical disease were recorded following the challenge with PCV2, but moderate amounts of PCV2 antigen were detected in most lymphoid organs of the control pigs. PCV2 was detected in two out of the five vaccinated pigs. Furthermore, pathological lesions and viremia were milder in the vaccinated group.
The obtained results indicate that the inactivated PCV2 virus vaccine with an oil adjuvant induce an immunological response in pigs that appears to provide protection from infection with PCV2. The vaccine, therefore, may have the potential to serve as a vaccine aimed to protect pigs from developing PMWS.
Porcine circovirus type 2; Post-weaning multisystemic wasting syndrome; Single-dose immunization; Formalin-inactivated vaccine
Sepsis remains the leading cause of death in critically ill patients despite modern advances in critical care. Intestinal barrier dysfunction may lead to secondary bacterial translocation and the development of the multiple organ dysfunction syndrome during sepsis. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is highly upregulated in the intestine during sepsis and we hypothesized that it may be critical in the maintenance of intestinal epithelial barrier function during peritonitis-induced polymicrobial sepsis. COX-2−/− and COX-2+/+ BALB/c mice underwent cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) or sham surgery. Mice chimeric for COX-2 were derived by bone marrow transplantation and underwent CLP. C2BBe1 cells, an intestinal epithelial cell line, were treated with the COX-2 inhibitor NS-398, PGD2, or vehicle and stimulated with cytokines. COX-2−/− mice developed exaggerated bacteremia and increased mortality compared with COX-2+/+ mice following CLP. Mice chimeric for COX-2 exhibited the recipient phenotype suggesting that epithelial COX-2 expression in the ileum attenuates bacteremia following CLP. Absence of COX-2 significantly increased epithelial permeability of the ileum and reduced expression of the tight junction proteins zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1), occludin, and claudin-1 in the ileum following CLP. Furthermore, PGD2 attenuated cytokine-induced hyperpermeability and ZO-1 downregulation in NS-398-treated C2BBe1 cells. Our findings reveal that absence of COX-2 is associated with enhanced intestinal epithelial permeability and leads to exaggerated bacterial translocation and increased mortality during peritonitis-induced sepsis. Taken together, our results suggest that epithelial expression of COX-2 in the ileum is a critical modulator of tight junction protein expression and intestinal barrier function during sepsis.
Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain protein 2 (NOD2) stimulates diverse inflammatory responses resulting in differential cellular phenotypes. To identify the role of NOD2 in vascular arterial obstructive diseases, we investigated the expression and pathophysiological role of NOD2 in a vascular injury model of neointimal hyperplasia.
Methods and Results
We first analyzed for neointimal hyperplasia following femoral artery injury in NOD2+/+ and NOD2−/− mice. NOD2−/− mice showed a 2.86-fold increase in neointimal formation that was mainly composed of SM α-actin positive cells. NOD2 was expressed in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and NOD2−/− VSMCs showed increased cell proliferation in response to mitogenic stimuli, PDGF-BB or fetal bovine serum (FBS), compared with NOD2+/+ VSMCs. Furthermore, NOD2 deficiency markedly promoted VSMCs migration in response to PDGF-BB and this increased cell migration was attenuated by a PI3 kinase inhibitor. However, PKC and JNK inhibitors exerted negligible effects. Moreover, muramyl dipeptide-stimulated NOD2 prevented PDGF-BB-induced VSMCs migration.
Functional NOD2 is expressed in VSMCs, and NOD2 deficiency promoted VSMCs proliferation, migration, and neointimal formation after vascular injury. These results provide evidence for the involvement of NOD2 in vascular homeostasis and tissue injury, serving as a potential molecular target in the modulation of arteriosclerotic vascular disease.
In the current study, five novel avian β-defensins (AvBDs) were identified and characterized in tissues from Peking ducks (Anas platyrhynchos). The nucleotide sequences of these cDNAs comprised 198 bp, 182 bp, 201 bp, 204 bp, and 168 bp, and encoded 65, 60, 66, 67, and 55 amino acids, respectively. Homology, characterization and comparison of these genes with AvBD from other avian species confirmed that they were Apl_AvBD1, 3, 5, 6, and 16. Recombinant AvBDs were produced and purified by expressing these genes in Escherichia coli. In addition, peptides were synthesized according to the respective AvBD sequences. Investigation of the antibacterial activity of the Apl_AvBDs showed that all of them exhibited antibacterial activity against all 12 bacteria investigated (P<0.05 or P<0.01). In addition, the antibacterial activity of all of the AvBDs against M. tetragenus and P. multocida decreased significantly in the presence of 150 mM NaCl (P<0.01). None of the AvBDs showed hemolytic activity. Consistent with their broad-spectrum antibacterial activity, the five novel Apl_AvBDs inhibited replication of duck hepatitis virus (DHV) in vitro significantly (P<0.05). The mRNA expression of all five Apl_AvBD in most tissues, including immune organs and the liver, was upregulated in response to DHV infection at different time points. These findings provide evidence that these defensins activate the immune response to combat microbial infection.
In this work, we report the complete genome sequence of an obligate aceticlastic methanogen, Methanosaeta harundinacea 6Ac. Genome comparison indicated that the three cultured Methanosaeta spp., M. thermophila, M. concilii and M. harundinacea 6Ac, each carry an entire suite of genes encoding the proteins involved in the methyl-group oxidation pathway, a pathway whose function is not well documented in the obligately aceticlastic methanogens. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the methyl-group oxidation-involving proteins, Fwd, Mtd, Mch, and Mer from Methanosaeta strains cluster with the methylotrophic methanogens, and were not closely related to those from the hydrogenotrophic methanogens. Quantitative PCR detected the expression of all genes for this pathway, albeit ten times lower than the genes for aceticlastic methanogenesis in strain 6Ac. Western blots also revealed the expression of fwd and mch, genes involved in methyl-group oxidation. Moreover, 13C-labeling experiments suggested that the Methanosaeta strains might use the pathway as a methyl oxidation shunt during the aceticlastic metabolism. Because the mch mutants of Methanosarcina barkeri or M. acetivorans failed to grow on acetate, we suggest that Methanosaeta may use methyl-group oxidation pathway to generate reducing equivalents, possibly for biomass synthesis. An fpo operon, which encodes an electron transport complex for the reduction of CoM-CoB heterodisulfide, was found in the three genomes of the Methanosaeta strains. However, an incomplete protein complex lacking the FpoF subunit was predicted, as the gene for this protein was absent. Thus, F420H2 was predicted not to serve as the electron donor. In addition, two gene clusters encoding the two types of heterodisulfide reductase (Hdr), hdrABC, and hdrED, respectively, were found in the three Methanosaeta genomes. Quantitative PCR determined that the expression of hdrED was about ten times higher than hdrABC, suggesting that hdrED plays a major role in aceticlastic methanogenesis.
Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) is first to be discovered coronavirus which is probably endemic in all regions with intensive impact on poultry production. In this study, we used two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) and two-dimensional fluorescence difference gel electrophoresis (2-DIGE), coupled with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF/TOF-MS), to explore the global proteome profiles of trachea and kidney tissues from chicken at different stages infected in vivo with the highly virulent ck/CH/LDL/97I P5 strain of infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) and the embryo-passaged, attenuated ck/CH/LDL/97I P115 strain.
Fifty-eight differentially expressed proteins were identified. Results demonstrated that some proteins which had functions in cytoskeleton organization, anti-oxidative stress, and stress response, showed different change patterns in abundance from chicken infected with the highly virulent ck/CH/LDL/97I P5 strain and those given the embryo-passaged, attenuated P115 stain. In addition, the dynamic transcriptional alterations of 12 selected proteins were analyzed by the real-time RT-PCR, and western blot analysis confirmed the change in abundance of heat shock proteins (HSP) beta-1, annexin A2, and annexin A5.
The proteomic alterations described here may suggest that these changes to protein expression correlate with IBV virus' virulence in chicken, hence provides valuable insights into the interactions of IBV with its host and may also assist with investigations of the pathogenesis of IBV and other coronavirus infections.
Infectious bronchitis virus; Proteomics; Chicken; Trachea; Kidney
Rationale: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a progressive disease with unclear etiology. The significance of autophagy in PH remains unknown.
Objectives: To determine the mechanisms by which autophagic proteins regulate tissue responses during PH.
Methods: Lungs from patients with PH, lungs from mice exposed to chronic hypoxia, and human pulmonary vascular cells were examined for autophagy using electron microscopy and Western analysis. Mice deficient in microtubule-associated protein-1 light chain-3B (LC3B−/−), or early growth response-1 (Egr-1−/−), were evaluated for vascular morphology and hemodynamics.
Measurements and Main Results: Human PH lungs displayed elevated lipid-conjugated LC3B, and autophagosomes relative to normal lungs. These autophagic markers increased in hypoxic mice, and in human pulmonary vascular cells exposed to hypoxia. Egr-1, which regulates LC3B expression, was elevated in PH, and increased by hypoxia in vivo and in vitro. LC3B−/− or Egr-1−/−, but not Beclin 1+/−, mice displayed exaggerated PH during hypoxia. In vitro, LC3B knockdown increased reactive oxygen species production, hypoxia-inducible factor-1α stabilization, and hypoxic cell proliferation. LC3B and Egr-1 localized to caveolae, associated with caveolin-1, and trafficked to the cytosol during hypoxia.
Conclusions: The results demonstrate elevated LC3B in the lungs of humans with PH, and of mice with hypoxic PH. The increased susceptibility of LC3B−/− and Egr-1−/− mice to hypoxia-induced PH and increased hypoxic proliferation of LC3B knockdown cells suggest adaptive functions of these proteins during hypoxic vascular remodeling. The results suggest that autophagic protein LC3B exerts a protective function during the pathogenesis of PH, through the regulation of hypoxic cell proliferation.
autophagy; hypoxia; hypertension, pulmonary
Haemophilus parasuis (H. parasuis) is the etiological agent of Glässer's disease in pigs. Currently, the molecular basis of this infection is largely unknown. The innate immune response is the first line of defense against the infectious disease. Systematical analysis on host innate immune response to the infection is important for understanding the pathogenesis of the infectious microorganisms.
A total of 428 differentially expressed (DE) genes were identified in the porcine alveolar macrophages (PAMs) 6 days after H. parasuis infection. These genes were principally related to inflammatory response, immune response, microtubule polymerization, regulation of transcript and signal transduction. Through the pathway analysis, the significant pathways mainly concerned with cell adhesion molecules, cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, complement and coagulation cascades, toll-like receptor signaling pathway, MAPK signaling pathway, suggesting that the host took different strategies to activate immune and inflammatory response upon H. parasuis infection. The global interactions network and two subnetworks of the proteins encoded by DE genes were analyzed by using STRING. Further immunostimulation analysis indicated that mRNA levels of S100 calcium-binding protein A4 (S100A4) and S100 calcium-binding protein A6 (S100A6) in porcine PK-15 cells increased within 48 h and were sustained after administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and Poly (I:C) respectively. The s100a4 and s100a6 genes were found to be up-regulated significantly in lungs, spleen and lymph nodes in H. parasuis infected pigs. We firstly cloned and sequenced the porcine coronin1a gene. Phylogenetic analysis showed that poCORONIN 1A belonged to the group containing the Bos taurus sequence. Structural analysis indicated that the poCORONIN 1A contained putative domains of Trp-Asp (WD) repeats signature, Trp-Asp (WD) repeats profile and Trp-Asp (WD) repeats circular profile at the N-terminus.
Our present study is the first one focusing on the response of porcine alveolar macrophages to H. parasuis. Our data demonstrate a series of genes are activated upon H. parasuis infection. The observed gene expression profile could help screening the potential host agents for reducing the prevalence of H. parasuis and further understanding the molecular pathogenesis associated with H. parasuis infection in pigs.
To investigate the changes of color vision and central visual field in a cohort of patients with Vogt–Koyanagi–Harada (VKH) syndrome.
Sixteen VKH patients (32 eyes) were enrolled in this study. All the patients were treated with immunosuppressive agents. The best visual acuity, visual field testing and color vision testing were available from the records in all these patients at different time points, i.e. before treatment and 1 month (±7 days), 3 months (±15 days), 6 months (±20 days) and 12 months (±30 days) after treatment.
All patients showed active intraocular inflammation at their first visit. A decreased visual acuity, abnormality of color vision and abnormal visual field were observed at presentation. Visual acuity and color vision rapidly improved at 1 and 3 months and gradually improved thereafter. Visual field defects significantly improved at 6 months and gradually improved thereafter. However, visual field defects were still observed in 27.5% of the tested patients following a 12-month treatment. Color vision returned to the normal level only in about one-third of these patients at this time point.
Visual function was severely impaired in VKH patients with active uveitis but rapidly improved following immunosuppressive therapy. Visual fields are much more severely affected by the disease than visual acuity and its improvement lagged behind that of visual acuity and color vision.
Vogt–Koyanagi–Harada syndrome; Color vision; Visual field; Medicine & Public Health; Ophthalmology
High score of model for end-stage liver diseases (MELD) before liver transplantation (LT) indicates poor prognosis. Artificial liver support system (ALSS) has been proved to effectively improve liver and kidney functions, and thus reduce the MELD score. We aim to evaluate whether downgrading MELD score could improve patient survival after LT.
One hundred and twenty-six LT candidates with acute-on-chronic hepatitis B liver failure and MELD score ≥30 were included in this prospective study. Of the 126 patients, 42 received emergency LT within 72 h (ELT group) and the other 84 were given ALSS as salvage treatment. Of the 84 patients, 33 were found to have reduced MELD score (<30) on the day of LT (DGM group), 51 underwent LT with persistent high MELD score (N-DGM group). The median waiting time for a donor was 10 for DGM group and 9.5 days for N-DGM group. In N-DGM group there is a significantly higher overall mortality (43.1%) than that in ELT group (16.7%) and DGM group (15.2%). N-DGM (vs. ECT and DGM) was the only independent risk factor of overall mortality (P = 0.003). Age >40 years and the interval from last ALSS to LT >48 h were independent negative influence factors of downgrading MELD.
Downgrading MELD for liver transplant candidates with MELD score ≥30 was effective in improving patient prognosis. An appropriate ALSS treatment within 48 h prior to LT is potentially beneficial.
Although progenitor cells have been described in distinct anatomical regions of the lung, description of resident stem cells has remained elusive.
Surgical lung-tissue specimens were studied in situ to identify and characterize human lung stem cells. We defined their phenotype and functional properties in vitro and in vivo.
Human lungs contain undifferentiated human lung stem cells nested in niches in the distal airways. These cells are self-renewing, clonogenic, and multipotent in vitro. After injection into damaged mouse lung in vivo, human lung stem cells form human bronchioles, alveoli, and pulmonary vessels integrated structurally and functionally with the damaged organ. The formation of a chimeric lung was confirmed by detection of human transcripts for epithelial and vascular genes. In addition, the self-renewal and long-term proliferation of human lung stem cells was shown in serial-transplantation assays.
Human lungs contain identifiable stem cells. In animal models, these cells participate in tissue homeostasis and regeneration. They have the undemonstrated potential to promote tissue restoration in patients with lung disease. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health.)
The transfer of foreign genes into mammalian cells has been essential for understanding the functions of genes and mechanisms of genetic diseases, for the production of coding proteins and for gene therapy applications. Currently, the identification and selection of cells that have received transferred genetic material can be accomplished by methods, including drug selection, reporter enzyme detection and GFP imaging. These methods may confer antibiotic resistance, or be disruptive, or require special equipment. In this study, we labeled genetically modified cells with a cell surface biotinylation tag by co-transfecting cells with BirA, a biotin ligase. The modified cells can be quickly isolated for downstream applications using a simple streptavidin bead method. This system can also be used to screen cells expressing two sets of genes from separate vectors.
The objective of this study was to examine the interrelationships among individualism, collectivism, homosexuality-related stigma, social support, and condom use among Chinese homosexual men.
A cross-sectional study using the respondent-driven sampling approach was conducted among 351 participants in Shenzhen, China. Path analytic modeling was used to analyze the interrelationships.
The results of path analytic modeling document the following statistically significant associations with regard to homosexuality: (1) higher levels of vertical collectivism were associated with higher levels of public stigma [β (standardized coefficient) = 0.12] and self stigma (β = 0.12); (2) higher levels of vertical individualism were associated with higher levels self stigma (β = 0.18); (3) higher levels of horizontal individualism were associated with higher levels of public stigma (β = 0.12); (4) higher levels of self stigma were associated with higher levels of social support from sexual partners (β = 0.12); and (5) lower levels of public stigma were associated with consistent condom use (β = −0.19).
The findings enhance our understanding of how individualist and collectivist cultures influence the development of homosexuality-related stigma, which in turn may affect individuals’ decisions to engage in HIV-protective practices and seek social support. Accordingly, the development of HIV interventions for homosexual men in China should take the characteristics of Chinese culture into consideration.
collectivism; HIV/AIDS; homosexuality; individualism
Duck enteritis virus (DEV) is an unassigned member in the family Herpesviridae. To demonstrate further the evolutionary position of DEV in the family Herpesviridae, we have described a 42,897-bp fragment. We demonstrated novel genomic organization at one end of the long (L) region and in the entire short (S) region in the Clone-03 strain of DEV.
A 42,897-bp fragment located downstream of the LOFR11 gene was amplified from the Clone-03 strain of DEV by using 'targeted gene walking PCR'. Twenty-two open reading frames (ORFs) were predicted and determined in the following order: 5'-LORF11-RLORF1-ORF1-ICP4-S1-S2-US1-US10-SORF3-US2-MDV091.5-like-US3-US4-US5-US6-US7-US8-ORFx-US1-S2-S1-ICP4 -3'. This was different from that of the published VAC strain, both in the linkage of the L region and S region, and in the length of the US10 and US7 proteins. The MDV091.5-like gene, ORFx gene, S1 gene and S2 gene were first observed in the DEV genome. The lengths of DEV US10 and US7 were determined to be 311 and 371 amino acids, respectively, in the Clone-03 strain of DEV, and these were different from those of other strains. The comparison of genomic organization in the fragment studied herein with those of other herpesviruses showed that DEV possesses some unique characteristics, such as the duplicated US1 at each end of the US region, and the US5, which showed no homology with those of other herpesviruses. In addition, the results of phylogenetic analysis of ORFs in the represented fragment indicated that DEV is closest to its counterparts VZV (Varicellovirus) and other avian herpesviruses.
The molecular characteristics of the 42,897-bp fragment of Clone-03 have been found to be different from those of the VAC strain. The phylogenetic analysis of genes in this region showed that DEV should be a separate member of the subfamily Alphaherpesvirinae.
Here we report the characterization of a knock-in mouse model for the autosomal recessive disorder mucopolysaccharidosis type I-Hurler (MPS I-H), also known as Hurler syndrome. MPS I-H is the most severe form of α-L-iduronidase deficiency. α-L-iduronidase (encoded by the IDUA gene) is a lysosomal enzyme that participates in the degradation of dermatan sulfate and heparan sulfate. Using gene replacement methodology, a nucleotide change was introduced into the mouse Idua locus that resulted in a nonsense mutation at codon W392. The Idua-W392X mutation is analogous to the human IDUA-W402X mutation commonly found in MPS I-H patients. We found that the phenotype in homozygous Idua-W392X mice closely correlated with the human MPS I-H disease. Homozygous W392X mice showed no detectable α-L-iduronidase activity. We observed a defect in GAG degradation as evidenced by an increase in sulfated GAGs excreted in the urine and stored in multiple tissues. Histology and electron microscopy also revealed evidence of GAG storage in all tissues examined. Additional assessment revealed bone abnormalities and altered metabolism within the Idua-W392X mouse. This new mouse will provide an important tool to investigate therapeutic approaches for MPS I-H that cannot be addressed using current MPS I-H animal models.
MPS I; Hurler syndrome; mouse; W402X mutation; α-L-iduronidase
Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum is one of the most important economic species in shellfishery in China due to its wide geographic distribution and high tolerance to environmental changes (e.g., salinity, temperature). In addition, Manila clam is a good biomonitor/bioindicator in “Mussel Watch Programs” and marine environmental toxicology. However, there are several pedigrees of R. philippinarum distributed in the marine environment in China. No attention has been paid to the biological differences between various pedigrees of Manila clams, which may introduce undesirable biological variation in toxicology studies. In this study, we applied NMR-based metabolomics to detect the biological differences in two main pedigrees (White and Zebra) of R. philippinarum and their differential responses to heavy metal exposures (Cadmium and Zinc) using adductor muscle as a target tissue to define one sensitive pedigree of R. philippinarum as biomonitor for heavy metals. Our results indicated that there were significant metabolic differences in adductor muscle tissues between White and Zebra clams, including higher levels of alanine, glutamine, hypotaurine, phosphocholine and homarine in White clam muscles and higher levels of branched chain amino acids (valine, leucine and isoleucine), succinate and 4-aminobutyrate in Zebra clam muscles, respectively. Differential metabolic responses to heavy metals between White and Zebra clams were also found. Overall, we concluded that White pedigree of clam could be a preferable bioindicator/biomonitor in marine toxicology studies and for marine heavy metals based on the relatively high sensitivity to heavy metals.
Ruditapes philippinarum; heavy metal; biomonitor; NMR; metabolomics
The Unique Long 26 (UL26) and UL26.5 proteins of herpes simplex virus are known to function during the assembly of the viruses. However, for duck enteritis virus (DEV), which is an unassigned member of the family Herpesviridae, little information is available about the function of the two proteins. In this study, the C-terminus of DEV UL26 protein (designated UL26c), which contains the whole of UL26.5, was expressed, and the recombinant UL26c protein was used to immunize BALB/c mice to generate monoclonal antibodies (mAb). The mAb 1C8 was generated against DEV UL26 and UL26.5 proteins and used subsequently to map the epitope in this region. Both the mAb and its defined epitope will provide potential tools for further study of DEV.
A mAb (designated 1C8) was generated against the DEV UL26c protein, and a series of 17 partially overlapping fragments that spanned the DEV UL26c were expressed with GST tags. These peptides were subjected to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and western blotting analysis using mAb 1C8 to identify the epitope. A linear motif, 520IYYPGE525, which was located at the C-terminus of the DEV UL26 and UL26.5 proteins, was identified by mAb 1C8. The result of the ELISA showed that this epitope could be recognized by DEV-positive serum from mice. The 520IYYPGE525 motif was the minimal requirement for reactivity, as demonstrated by analysis of the reactivity of 1C8 with several truncated peptides derived from the motif. Alignment and comparison of the 1C8-defined epitope sequence with those of other alphaherpesviruses indicated that the motif 521YYPGE525 in the epitope sequence was conserved among the alphaherpesviruses.
A mAb, 1C8, was generated against DEV UL26c and the epitope-defined minimal sequence obtained using mAb 1C8 was 520IYYPGE525. The mAb and the identified epitope may be useful for further study of the design of diagnostic reagents for DEV.
In our previous study, [Gd@C82(OH)22]n, a fullerene-based nanoparticle, exhibited potent anti-tumor effects in mouse tumor-bearing models without detectable toxicity. The mechanism involved in the anti-tumor effect exerted by [Gd@C82(OH)22]n remains to be elucidated. This study found that glioblastoma cells treated with [Gd@C82(OH)22]n nanoparticles showed a significant impairment in migration and adhesion by cell chemotaxis, scratch and adhesion assays in vitro. Furthermore, our data showed that the key proteins, CD40 and ICAM-1, were involved in the inhibition of adhesion in the [Gd@C82(OH)22]n nanoparticle-treated glioblastoma cells. Thus, our study suggests that the [Gd@C82(OH)22]n nanoparticle is a new potential anti-tumor effector and a therapeutic component for malignant glioblastoma infiltration.
nanoparticle [Gd@C82(OH)22]n; glioblastoma; migration; adhesion
Behcet’s disease (BD) is a systemic inflammatory disease presumably caused by an autoimmune response. Interleukin (IL)-17 has been demonstrated to be involved in the development and maintenance of certain inflammatory diseases, including BD. This study was designed to investigate the influence of cyclosporine A (CsA) on IL-17 production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from BD patients in vitro and in vivo.
Fifteen BD patients with active uveitis were involved in this study. Blood samples were taken from these patients for analysis of IL-17 and interferon (IFN)-γ. Six patients were re-evaluated at 1 and 3 months after treatment with CsA. The levels of IL-17 and IFN-γ in the supernatants of PBMCs from patients before treatment cultured without or with CsA at different concentrations were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Flow cytometry was used to evaluate the frequencies of IL-17-producing and IFN-γ-producing T cells and the expression of CD69 on CD4+ or CD8+ T cells before, 1, and 3 months after CsA treatment.
The results showed that significantly higher levels of IL-17 and IFN-γ were observed in active BD patients as compared with controls. Treatment with CsA could inhibit the production of both cytokines in association with an amelioration of intraocular inflammation. In vitro, CsA significantly inhibited the production of IL-17 and IFN-γ by PBMCs activated with anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 antibodies or phorbol 12-myristate,13-acetate and ionomycin in BD patients with active uveitis. However, CSA did not influence the CD69 expression in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells induced by phorbol 12-myristate,13-acetate (PMA) ionomycin.
Our findings showed that CsA can significantly inhibit the intraocular inflammation of BD patients and the expression of IL-17 and IFN-γ in vivo and in vitro. The results suggested that the inhibitory effect of CsA on uveitis in BD patients may be partially mediated through inhibiting the production of IL-17 and IFN-γ.
A new type of hot-wire flow-rate sensor (HWFS) with a sensing element made of a macro-sized carbon nanotube (CNT) strand is presented in this study. An effective way to improve repeatability of the CNT flow-rate sensor by coating a layer of Al2O3 on the CNT surface is proposed. Experimental results show that due to the large surface-to-volume ratio and thin coated Al2O3 layer, the CNT flow-rate sensor has higher sensitivity and faster response than a conventional platinum (Pt) HWFS. It is also demonstrated that the covered CNT flow-rate sensor has better repeatability than its bare counterpart due to insulation from the surrounding environment. The proposed CNT flow-rate sensor shows application potential for high-sensitivity measurement of flow rate.
flow-rate sensor; carbon nanotube; hysterisis error; coating
Elastogenesis of elastic extracellular matrix (ECM) which was recognized as a major component of blood vessels has been believed for a long time to play only a passive role in the dynamic vascular changes of typical hypertension. Emilin1 gene participated in the transcription of ECM's formation and was recognized to modulate links TGF-β maturation to blood pressure homeostasis in animal study. Recently relevant advances urge further researches to investigate the role of Emilin1 gene in regulating TGF-β signals involved in elastogenesis and vascular cell defects of essential hypertension (EH).
We designed a two-stage case-control study and selected three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), rs3754734, rs2011616 and rs2304682 from the HapMap database, which covered Emilin1 gene. Totally 2,586 subjects were recruited from the International Collaborative Study of Cardiovascular Disease in Asia (InterASIA). In stage 1, all the three SNPs of the Emilin1 gene were genotyped and tested within a subsample including 503 cases and 490 controls, significant SNPs would enter into stage 2 including 814 cases with hypertension and 779 controls and analyze on the basis of testing total 2,586 subjects.
In stage 1, single locus analyses showed that SNPs rs3754734 and rs2011616 had significant association with EH (P < 0.05). In stage 2, weak association for dominant model were observed by age stratification and odds ratio (ORs) of TG+GG vs. TT of rs3754734 were 0.768 (0.584-1.009), 0.985 (0.735-1.320) and 1.346 (1.003-1.806) in < 50, 50-59 and ≥ 60 years group and ORs of GA+AA vs. GG of rs2011616 were 0.745 (0.568-0.977), 1.013 (0.758-1.353) and 1.437 (1.072-1.926) in < 50, 50-59 and ≥ 60 years group respectively. Accordingly, significant interactions were detected between genotypes of rs3754734 and rs2011616 and age for EH, and ORs were 1.758 (1.180-2.620), P = 0.006 and 1.903 (1.281-2.825), P = 0.001, respectively. Results of haplotypes analysis showed that there weren't any haplotypes associated with EH directly, but the interaction of hap2 (GA) and age-group found to be significant after being adjusted for the covariates, OR was 1.220 (1.031-1.444), P value was 0.020.
Our findings don't support positive association of Emilin1 gene with EH, but the interaction of age and genotype variation of rs3754734 and rs2011616 might increase the risk to hypertension.
The striated preferentially expressed gene (Speg) generates four different isoforms through alternative promoter use and tissue specific splicing. Depending on the cell type, Speg isoforms may serve as markers of striated or smooth muscle differentiation.
Methods and Results
To elucidate function of Speg gene isoforms, we disrupted the Speg gene locus in mice by replacing common exons 8, 9, and 10 with a lacZ gene. β-galactosidase activity was detected in cardiomyocytes of the developing heart, starting at day 11.5 days post-coitum (dpc). β-galactosidase activity in other cell types, including vascular smooth muscle cells, did not begin until 18.5 dpc. In the developing heart, protein expression of only Spegα and Spegβ isoforms was present in cardiomyocytes. Homozygous Speg mutant hearts began to enlarge by 16.5 dpc, and by 18.5 dpc demonstrated dilation of right and left atria and ventricles. These cardiac abnormalities in the absence of Speg were associated with a cellular hypertrophic response, myofibril degeneration, and a marked decrease in cardiac function. Moreover, Speg mutant mice exhibited significant neonatal mortality, with increased death occurring by 2 days after birth.
These findings demonstrate that mutation of the Speg locus leads to cardiac dysfunction and a phenotype consistent with a dilated cardiomyopathy.
dilated cardiomyopathy; hypertrophy; myofibril; gene disruption
Hypoxia and pressure-overload induce heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in cardiomyocytes and vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). HO-1−/− mice exposed to chronic hypoxia develop pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) with exaggerated right ventricular (RV) injury consisting of dilation, fibrosis, and mural thrombi. Our objective was to indentify the HO-1 product(s) mediating RV protection from hypoxic injury in HO-1−/− mice.
HO-1−/− mice were exposed to seven weeks of hypoxia and treated with inhaled CO or biliverdin injections. CO reduced right ventricular systolic pressure (RVSP) and prevented hypoxic pulmonary arteriolar remodeling in both HO-1−/− and control mice. Biliverdin had no significant effect on arteriolar remodeling or RVSP in either genotype. Despite this, biliverdin prevented RV failure in the hypoxic HO-1−/− mice (0/14 manifested RV wall fibrosis or thrombus), while CO-treated HO-1−/− mice developed RV insults similar to untreated controls. In vitro, CO inhibited hypoxic VSMC proliferation and migration but did not prevent cardiomyocyte death from anoxia-reoxygenation (A-R). In contrast, bilirubin limited A-R-induced cardiomyocyte death but did not inhibit VSMC proliferation and migration.
CO and bilirubin have distinct protective actions in the heart and pulmonary vasculature during chronic hypoxia. Moreover, reducing pulmonary vascular resistance may not prevent RV injury in hypoxia-induced PAH; supporting RV adaptation to hypoxia and preventing RV failure must be a therapeutic goal.