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1.  Sound transmission along the ossicular chain in common wild-type laboratory mice 
Hearing research  2012;301:27-34.
The use of genetically modified mice can accelerate progress in auditory research. However, the fundamental profile of mouse hearing has not been thoroughly documented. In the current study, we explored mouse middle ear transmission by measuring sound-evoked vibrations at several key points along the ossicular chain using a laser-Doppler vibrometer. Observations were made through an opening in pars flaccida. Simultaneously, the pressure at the tympanic membrane close to the umbo was monitored using a micro-pressure-sensor. Measurements were performed in C57BL mice, which are widely used in hearing research. Our results show that the ossicular local transfer function, defined as the ratio of velocity to the pressure at the tympanic membrane, was like a high-pass filter, almost flat at frequencies above ~15 kHz, decreasing rapidly at lower frequencies. There was little phase accumulation along the ossicles. Our results suggested that the mouse ossicles moved almost as a rigid body. Based on these 1-dimensional measurements, the malleus–incus-complex primarily rotated around the anatomical axis passing through the gonial termination of the anterior malleus and the short process of the incus, but secondary motions were also present.
PMCID: PMC3669248  PMID: 23183032
2.  Effects of yoga training in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
Journal of Thoracic Disease  2014;6(6):795-802.
Currently, several studies have assessed the effect of yoga training on the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but these studies involved a wide variation of sample and convey inconclusive results. Hence, the present study was performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the efficacy of yoga training in COPD patients.
PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, Google Scholar, and databases were searched for relevant studies. The primary outcomes were forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), FEV1% predicted (% pred). Secondary outcomes included 6-min walking distance (6 MWD), arterial oxygen tension (PaO2), and arterial carbon dioxide tension (PaCO2). Weighted mean differences (WMDs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated, and heterogeneity was assessed with the I2 test.
Five randomized controlled trials (RCTs) involving 233 patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Yoga training significantly improved FEV1 (WMD: 123.57 mL, 95% CI: 4.12-243, P=0.04), FEV1% pred (WMD: 3.90%, 95% CI: 2.27-5.54, P<0.00001), and 6 MWD (WMD: 38.84 m, 95% CI: 15.52-62.16, P=0.001). However, yoga training had no significant effects on PaO2 (WMD: 1.29 mmHg, 95% CI: –1.21-3.78, P=0.31) and PaCO2 (WMD: –0.76 mmHg, 95% CI: –2.06-0.53, P=0.25).
The current limited evidence suggested that yoga training has a positive effect on improving lung function and exercise capacity and could be used as an adjunct pulmonary rehabilitation program in COPD patients. However, further studies are needed to substantiate our preliminary findings and to investigate the long-term effects of yoga training.
PMCID: PMC4073384  PMID: 24977005
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); yoga; pulmonary function; meta-analysis
3.  Prognostic value of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T in patients with endomyocardial-biopsy proven cardiac amyloidosis 
To investigate prognostic predictors of long-term survival of patients with cardiac amyloidosis (CA), and to determine predictive value of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT) in CA patients.
We recruited 102 consecutive CA cases and followed these patients for 5 years. We described their clinical characteristics at presentation and used a new, high-sensitivity assay to determine the concentration of cTnT in plasma samples from these patients.
The patients with poor prognosis showed older age (56 ± 12 years vs. 50 ± 15 years, P = 0.022), higher incidences of heart failure (36.92% vs. 16.22%, P = 0.041), pericardial effusion (60.00% vs. 35.14%, P = 0.023), greater thickness of interventricular septum (IVS) (15 ± 4 mm vs. 13 ± 4 mm, P = 0.034), higher level of hs-cTnT (0.186 ± 0.249 ng/mL vs. 0.044 ± 0.055 ng/mL, P = 0.001) and higher NT-proBNP (N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide) levels (11,742 ± 10,464 pg/mL vs. 6,031 ± 7,458 pg/mL, P = 0.006). At multivariate Cox regression analysis, heart failure (HR: 1.78, 95%CI: 1.09–2.92, P = 0.021), greater wall thickness of IVS (HR: 1.44, 95%CI: 1.04–3.01, P = 0.0375) and higher hs-cTnT level (HR: 6.16, 95%CI: 2.20–17.24, P = 0.001) at enrollment emerged as independent predictors of all-cause mortality.
We showed that hs-cTnT is associated with a very ominous prognosis, and it is also the strongest predictor of all-cause mortality in multivariate analysis. Examination of hs-cTnT concentrations provides valuable prognostic information concerning long-term outcomes.
PMCID: PMC4076454
Cardiac amyloidosis; Long-term survival; Troponin T
4.  Mesoporous magnesium silicate-incorporated poly(ε-caprolactone)-poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(ε-caprolactone) bioactive composite beneficial to osteoblast behaviors 
Mesoporous magnesium silicate (m-MS) and poly(ε-caprolactone)-poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL-PEG-PCL) composite (m-MPC) was synthesized by solvent casting method. The results suggest that the mechanical properties of compressive strength and elastic modulus, as well as hydrophilicity, of the m-MPC increased with increase of m-MS content in the composites. In addition, the weight loss of the m-MPC improved significantly with the increase of m-MS content during composite soaking in phosphate-buffered saline for 10 weeks, indicating that incorporation of m-MS into PCL-PEG-PCL could enhance the degradability of the m-MPC. Moreover, the m-MPC with 40 w% m-MS could induce a dense and continuous apatite layer on its surface after soaking in simulated body fluid for 5 days, which was better than m-MPC 20 w% m-MS, exhibiting excellent in vitro bioactivity. In cell cultural experiments, the results showed that the attachment and viability ratio of MG63 cells on m-MPC increased significantly with the increase of m-MS content, showing that the addition of m-MS into PCL-PEG-PCL could promote cell attachment and proliferation. The results suggest that the incorporation of m-MS into PCL-PEG-PCL could produce bioactive composites with improved hydrophilicity, degradability, bioactivity, and cytocompatibility.
PMCID: PMC4043715  PMID: 24920903
PCL-PEG-PCL; degradation; cytocompatibility; cell attachment; cell proliferation
5.  High prevalence of HIV and syphilis and associated factors among low-fee female sex workers in mainland China: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2014;14:225.
The prevalence of HIV and syphilis among middle and high-fee female sex workers (FSWs) has been widely reported but little is known among low-fee FSWs. This study aims to determine the prevalence and associated factors of HIV and syphilis among low-fee FSWs in China.
A cross-sectional study design was used. A convenience sample of low-fee FSWs was recruited from venues by outreach workers in 12 cities. Structured questionnaire interviews and blood sampling for HIV and syphilis were carried out. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression were used for assessing potential associated factors.
This study enrolled 781 low-fee FSWs. There were 37 (4.7%) HIV positive participants and 117 (15.0%) participants were infected with syphilis. Final multivariate analysis identified five factors associated with HIV infection: older age (OR:2.6, 95% CI:1.1-6.1), local household registration (OR:3.3, 95% CI:1.5-6.9), employed in Yunnan province (OR:2.7, 95% CI:1.1-6.7), soliciting in self-rented rooms and “market day” buildings (OR:3.9, 95% CI:1.5-10.0), injection drug use in the past 6 months (OR:13.5, 95% CI:4.5-40.1); and four factors associated with syphilis infection: older age (OR:1.8, 95% CI:1.2-2.9), employed in Yunnan province (OR:2.1, 95% CI:1.2-3.6), soliciting in self-rented rooms and “market day” buildings (OR:2.3, 95% CI:1.4-3.7) , and no consistent condom use with clients in the past 30 days (OR:1.6, 95% CI:1.0-2.6).
A high prevalence of HIV and syphilis were found among low-fee FSWs. Those soliciting in self-rented rooms and “market day” buildings with the lowest income, and injection drug users (IDUs) in this population should take priority in further intervention strategies.
PMCID: PMC4026051  PMID: 24767104
HIV; Syphilis; Sexually transmitted infections; Low-fee sex workers; China
6.  Expression of Stanniocalcin-1 and Stanniocalcin-2 in Laryngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Correlations with Clinical and Pathological Parameters 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e95466.
Stanniocalcin-1 (STC1) and stanniocalcin-2 (STC2) are secreted glycoprotein hormones involved in various types of human malignancies. The roles of STC1 and STC2 in laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) remain unknown. We investigated correlations between STC1 and STC2 expression and clinicopathological or prognostic factors in LSCC.
Pre-surgical peripheral blood samples were collected between 2012 and 2013 from 62 patients with LSCC. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis was performed to examine mRNA levels of STC1 and STC2. Immunohistochemistry was performed to retrospectively analyze 90 paraffin-embedded LSCC tissue samples, which were obtained from patients who received surgery between 2006 and 2009. These patients did not have histories of treatment or malignancies. Univariate analysis of patient survival was performed by the Kaplan–Meier method. Multivariate analyses were performed with the Cox proportional hazards model.
The relative mRNA levels of STC1 and STC2 in peripheral blood were significantly greater in LSCC patients than those of healthy volunteers (both P<0.05). STC2 protein expression in tumor tissues was associated with invasion into the thyroid cartilage, T-Stage, lymphatic metastasis, clinical stage, and pathological differentiation (all P<0.05). In addition, STC2 protein expression was an independent prognostic factor for overall survival in patients with LSCC (P = 0.025). In contrast, STC1 expression only correlated with clinical stage (P = 0.026) and was not an independent or significant prognostic factor.
Circulating STC1 and STC2 mRNA are potentially useful blood markers for LSCC. Our results strongly suggest that the STC2 protein, but not STC1, may be a valuable biomarker for LSCC malignancies and a prognostic marker for poor outcome following surgery. Future studies should examine STC2 as a novel molecular target for the treatment of LSCC.
PMCID: PMC3990672  PMID: 24743310
7.  Does Adolescents’ Disclosure to their Parents Matter for their Academic Adjustment? 
Child development  2012;84(2):693-710.
The role of adolescents’ disclosure to their parents in their academic adjustment was examined in a study of 825 American and Chinese adolescents (mean age = 12.73 years). Four times over the seventh and eighth grades, adolescents reported on their spontaneous disclosure of everyday activities to their parents, the quality of their relationships with their parents, and their parents’ autonomy support and control. Information about multiple dimensions of adolescents’ academic adjustment (e.g., learning strategies, autonomous vs. controlled motivation, and grades) was also obtained. Both American and Chinese adolescents’ disclosure predicted their enhanced academic adjustment over time. However, when American adolescents disclosed in a negative context (e.g., a poor parent-child relationship or controlling parenting), their autonomous (vs. controlled) motivation was undermined.
PMCID: PMC3530655  PMID: 23006004
Achievement; disclosure; motivation; parent-child relationships; parenting
8.  Unstable Jefferson fractures: Results of transoral osteosynthesis 
Indian Journal of Orthopaedics  2014;48(2):145-151.
Majority of C1 fractures can be effectively treated conservatively by immobilization or traction unless there is an injury to the transverse ligament. Conservative treatment usually involves a long period of immobilization in a halo-vest. Surgical intervention generally involves fusion, eliminating the motion of the upper cervical spine. We describe the treatment of unstable Jefferson fractures designed to avoid these problems of both conservative and invasive methods.
Materials and Methods:
A retrospective review of 12 patients with unstable Jefferson fractures treated with transoral osteosynthesis of C1 between July 2008 and December 2011 was performed. A steel plate and C1 lateral mass screw fixation were used to repair the unstable Jefferson fractures. Our study group included eight males and four females with an average age of 33 years (range 23-62 years).
Patients were followed up for an average of 16 months after surgery. Range of motion of the cervical spine was by and large physiologic: Average flexion 35° (range 28-40°), average extension 42° (range 30-48°). Lateral bending to the right and left averaged 30° and 28° respectively (range 12-36° and 14-32° respectively). The average postoperative rotation of the atlantoaxial joint, evaluated by functional computed tomography scan was 60° (range 35-72°). Total average lateral displacement of the lateral masses was 7.0 mm before surgery (range 5-12 mm), which improved to 3.5 mm after surgery (range 1-6.5 mm). The total average difference of the atlanto-dens interval in flexion and extension after surgery was 1.0 mm (range 1-3 mm).
Transoral osteosynthesis of the anterior ring using C1 lateral mass screws is a viable option for treating unstable Jefferson fractures, which allows maintenance of rotation at the C1-C2 joint and restoration of congruency of the atlanto-occipital and atlantoaxial joints.
PMCID: PMC3977369  PMID: 24741135
Jefferson fractures; osteosynthesis; transoral approach
9.  A genetic fuzzy system for unstable angina risk assessment 
Unstable Angina (UA) is widely accepted as a critical phase of coronary heart disease with patients exhibiting widely varying risks. Early risk assessment of UA is at the center of the management program, which allows physicians to categorize patients according to the clinical characteristics and stratification of risk and different prognosis. Although many prognostic models have been widely used for UA risk assessment in clinical practice, a number of studies have highlighted possible shortcomings. One serious drawback is that existing models lack the ability to deal with the intrinsic uncertainty about the variables utilized.
In order to help physicians refine knowledge for the stratification of UA risk with respect to vagueness in information, this paper develops an intelligent system combining genetic algorithm and fuzzy association rule mining. In detail, it models the input information’s vagueness through fuzzy sets, and then applies a genetic fuzzy system on the acquired fuzzy sets to extract the fuzzy rule set for the problem of UA risk assessment.
The proposed system is evaluated using a real data-set collected from the cardiology department of a Chinese hospital, which consists of 54 patient cases. 9 numerical patient features and 17 categorical patient features that appear in the data-set are selected in the experiments. The proposed system made the same decisions as the physician in 46 (out of a total of 54) tested cases (85.2%).
By comparing the results that are obtained through the proposed system with those resulting from the physician’s decision, it has been found that the developed model is highly reflective of reality. The proposed system could be used for educational purposes, and with further improvements, could assist and guide young physicians in their daily work.
PMCID: PMC3984752  PMID: 24548742
Unstable angina risk assessment; Fuzzy association rule mining; Genetic algorithm
10.  Potential Effects of Mina53 on Tumor Growth in Human Pancreatic Cancer 
Myc-induced nuclear antigen (Mina53) is a protein with a molecular weight of 53 kDa expression of which is induced by c-Myc. Increased expression of Mina53 is documented in some human carcinomas. In this study, we found markedly increased Mina53 expression in pancreatic cancer tissue specimens. This expression did not correlate with clinicopathological characteristics, such as sex, age, and presence of distant metastasis. However, there was a statistically significant association with histological differentiation, TNM stage, and lymph node metastases. To study functional role of Mina53, we silenced its expression by siRNA in PANC-1 cells. These cells were arrested in the G2/M phase, and apoptosis rates were increased. In conclusion, increased expression of Mina53 may play an important role in the development of human pancreatic cancer. Mina53 can be used as a marker for pancreatic cancer and may potentially be exploited as a target for treatment of pancreatic cancer.
PMCID: PMC4057634  PMID: 24522517
Mina53; Pancreatic cancer; RNA interference; Quantum dots; Tumor growth
11.  New function for Escherichia coli xanthosine phophorylase (xapA): genetic and biochemical evidences on its participation in NAD+ salvage from nicotinamide 
BMC Microbiology  2014;14:29.
In an effort to reconstitute the NAD+ synthetic pathway in Escherichia coli (E. coli), we produced a set of gene knockout mutants with deficiencies in previously well-defined NAD+de novo and salvage pathways. Unexpectedly, the mutant deficient in NAD+de novo and salvage pathway I could grow in M9/nicotinamide medium, which was contradictory to the proposed classic NAD+ metabolism of E. coli. Such E. coli mutagenesis assay suggested the presence of an undefined machinery to feed nicotinamide into the NAD+ biosynthesis. We wanted to verify whether xanthosine phophorylase (xapA) contributed to a new NAD+ salvage pathway from nicotinamide.
Additional knockout of xapA further slowed down the bacterial growth in M9/nicotinamide medium, whereas the complementation of xapA restored the growth phenotype. To further validate the new function of xapA, we cloned and expressed E. coli xapA as a recombinant soluble protein. Biochemical assay confirmed that xapA was capable of using nicotinamide as a substrate for nicotinamide riboside formation.
Both the genetic and biochemical evidences indicated that xapA could convert nicotinamide to nicotinamide riboside in E. coli, albeit with relatively weak activity, indicating that xapA may contribute to a second NAD+ salvage pathway from nicotinamide. We speculate that this xapA-mediated NAD+ salvage pathway might be significant in some bacteria lacking NAD+de novo and NAD+ salvage pathway I or II, to not only use nicotinamide riboside, but also nicotinamide as precursors to synthesize NAD+. However, this speculation needs to be experimentally tested.
PMCID: PMC3923242  PMID: 24506841
Purine nucleoside phosphorylase; Nicotinamide riboside; Salvage pathway; Pyridine nucleotide cycles
12.  No association between single nucleotide polymorphisms in pre-mirnas and the risk of gastric cancer in Chinese population 
Objective(s): Accumulating evidence has demonstrated that miRNAs contribute to various genetic and epigenetic modifications in the pathogenesis of gastric cancer (GC). Recent studies focused on the four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of pre-miRNAs including rs11614913, rs3746444, rs2910164, and rs2292832. It was suggested that these four SNPs were significantly associated with the risk of GC and were described as candidate susceptibility factors. However, the previous results show conflicting findings. The aim of this study was to investigate whether these four SNPs are associated with GC in Chinese Han population.
Materials and Methods: Genotype frequencies of these four SNPs of pre-miRNAs in 220 GC patients and 530 control subjects were performed using a PCR-RFLP assay.
Results: No significant differences in genotype and allelic distribution were found in these four SNPs between GC and control subjects in the Chinese Han population. However, we found that the allelic frequency distributions of control subjects in these four SNPs were significantly different from those of the Japanese and the Koreans (All the P<0.05).
Conclusion: The four SNPs did not show any significant correlation with the development of GC in the Chinese Han population, based on the current study.
PMCID: PMC3976751  PMID: 24711897
Pre-miRNA; Polymorphism; rs3746444; rs2910164; rs2292832; rs11614913; Single nucleotide; Stomach neoplasms
13.  Genetic diversity and domestication origin of tea plant Camellia taliensis (Theaceae) as revealed by microsatellite markers 
BMC Plant Biology  2014;14:14.
Tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world. Many species in the Thea section of the Camellia genus can be processed for drinking and have been domesticated. However, few investigations have focused on the genetic consequence of domestication and geographic origin of landraces on tea plants using credible wild and planted populations of a single species. Here, C. taliensis provides us with a unique opportunity to explore these issues.
Fourteen nuclear microsatellite loci were employed to determine the genetic diversity and domestication origin of C. taliensis, which were represented by 587 individuals from 25 wild, planted and recently domesticated populations. C. taliensis showed a moderate high level of overall genetic diversity. The greater reduction of genetic diversity and stronger genetic drift were detected in the wild group than in the recently domesticated group, indicating the loss of genetic diversity of wild populations due to overexploitation and habitat fragmentation. Instead of the endangered wild trees, recently domesticated individuals were used to compare with the planted trees for detecting the genetic consequence of domestication. A little and non-significant reduction in genetic diversity was found during domestication. The long life cycle, selection for leaf traits and gene flow between populations will delay the emergence of bottleneck in planted trees. Both phylogenetic and assignment analyses suggested that planted trees may have been domesticated from the adjacent central forest of western Yunnan and dispersed artificially to distant places.
This study contributes to the knowledge about levels and distribution of genetic diversity of C. taliensis and provides new insights into genetic consequence of domestication and geographic origin of planted trees of this species. As an endemic tea source plant, wild, planted and recently domesticated C. taliensis trees should all be protected for their unique genetic characteristics, which are valuable for tea breeding.
PMCID: PMC3890520  PMID: 24405939
Camellia taliensis; Domestication; Genetic diversity; Microsatellite; Tea plant
15.  TNF-α-308 polymorphism and risk of digestive system cancers: A meta-analysis 
AIM: To evaluate the association between the tumour necrosis factor alpha-308 (TNF-α-308) gene polymorphism and the risk of digestive system cancers.
METHODS: All eligible case-control studies published up to December 2012 were identified by searching PubMed, Web of Science, Embase and China National Knowledge Internet without language restrictions. The risk of digestive system cancers associated with the TNF-α-308 polymorphism was estimated for each study using odds ratio (OR) together with its 95%CI, respectively. Cochrane Collaboration RevMan 5.1 was used to perform the analysis. A χ2-test-based Q statistic test and an I2 test were performed to assess the between-study heterogeneity. When the Q test was significant (P < 0.05) or I2 > 50%, the random effects model was used, otherwise the fixed effects model was used.
RESULTS: Fifty-eight studies from fifty-five publications with a total of 9986 cancer patients and 15511 healthy controls were included. Overall, a significant association was found between the TNF-α-308 polymorphism and the risk of digestive system cancers [dominant model: OR = 1.23, 95%CI: 1.09-1.39, (G/A) vs (G/G): OR = 1.15, 95%CI: 1.02-1.28, (A/A) vs (G/G): OR = 1.44, 95%CI: 1.19-1.73, recessive model: OR = 1.38, 95%CI: 1.15-1.66]. Furthermore, when the analysis was stratified by ethnicity, similar results were observed in both the Asian and Caucasian populations, except for the dominant model and heterozygote comparisons in the Asian population [dominant model: OR = 1.24, 95%CI: 0.99-1.56, (G/A) vs (G/G): OR = 1.09, 95%CI: 0.96-1.24]. When the cancer type subgroups were examined, similar results were detected in gastric and hepatocellular carcinomas; however, no significant association was observed among other digestive system cancers.
CONCLUSION: The TNF-α-308 gene polymorphism may be significantly associated with the risk of gastric and hepatocellular carcinomas, but not colorectal, pancreatic, or oesophageal cancer, in the Asian population.
PMCID: PMC3882423  PMID: 24409077
Tumour necrosis factor alpha; rs1800629; Polymorphism; Digestive system cancer; Meta-analysis; Association
16.  The feasibility of evaluating radiation dose to the heart by integrating kilovoltage-cone beam computed tomography in stereotactic body radiotherapy of early non-small-cell lung cancer patients 
To investigate the feasibility of contouring the planning risk organ volume (PRV) for the heart, and to determine the probability of evaluating radiation dose to the heart using kilovoltage-cone beam computed tomography (kV-CBCT) in early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients, who received stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT).
Materials and methods
Seventeen NSCLC patients who received SBRT (5Gy/f × 10f dose) were enrolled and subjected to CBCT and CT imaging analyses to plan treatment. Sequential planning CBCT images of individual patient’s hearts were analyzed for reproducibility of heart contouring and volume. Comparative analyses were made between the planning CT- and CBCT-detected heart margins and dose-volume indices for treatment.
The heart volume from planning CT images was significantly smaller than that from CBCT scans (p < 0.05), and the volumes based on the different series of CBCT images were similar (p > 0.05).The overlap of the heart region on the same anatomical section between the first series of CBCT scans and other scans reached 0.985 ± 0.020 without statistically significant differences (p > 0.05). The mean margins of the heart from planning CT and CBCT scans were 10.5 ± 2.8 mm in the left direction, 5.9 ± 2.8 mm in the right direction, 2.2 ± 1.6 mm in the direction of the head, 3.3 ± 2.2 mm in the direction of the foot, 6.7 ± 1.1 mm in the anterior direction, and 4.5 mm ± 2.5 mm in the posterior direction. All relative and absolute dose-volume indices obtained from CBCT images were significantly larger than those from planning CT scans (p < 0.05), with the exception of the volume in the 5Gy region.
The PRV of heart contouring based on kV-CBCT is feasible with good reproducibility. More accurate and objective dose-volume indices may be obtained for NSCLC patients by using kV-CBCT, instead of CT, to plan SBRT.
PMCID: PMC3909334  PMID: 24369788
Non-small-cell lung cancer; Stereotactic body radiotherapy; Kilovoltage-cone beam computed tomography; Heart
17.  Relationship between EGF, TGFA, and EGFR Gene Polymorphisms and Traditional Chinese Medicine ZHENG in Gastric Cancer 
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), correct syndrome differentiation is the most important principle guiding the prescription of Chinese herbal formulae for the treatment of gastric cancer (GC). We aimed to reveal the genetic mechanisms underlying GC syndrome differentiation (ZHENG) in a population of 387 GC patients. Twenty-nine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in EGF, TGFA, and EGFR were investigated. Two SNPs, rs11466285 in TGFA and rs884225 in EGFR, were significantly associated with the distribution of ZHENG (P < 0.05). The rs11466285 TT genotype increased the risk of damp heat with toxin (DHT) and deficiency of both Qi and yin (DQY) compared with obstruction of blood stasis (OBS). The rs884225 AA genotype could increase the risk of DQY and deficiency of both Qi and blood (DQB) compared with yin deficiency due to stomach heat (YDSH). Parallel comparison among the SNPs and syndrome types revealed that DQB was distinct from YDSH, disharmony between the liver and stomach, stagnation of phlegm muddiness (SPM), OBS, and other syndromes at several SNP loci (P < 0.05). The rs11466285 TT and rs884225 AA genotypes exhibit increased risk of DQB compared with OBS and SPM (P < 0.05), respectively. In conclusion, the formation of GC ZHENG was related to EGF, TGFA, and EGFR gene polymorphisms.
PMCID: PMC3876898  PMID: 24454509
18.  Simple Patterned Nanofiber Scaffolds and Its Enhanced Performance in Immunoassay 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82888.
Cancer has become the leading cause of death worldwide; early diagnosis and treatment of cancers is critical for the survival of the patients. The concentration of cancer markers in easy-to-access biological fluids can provide great assistance in screening for occult primary cancers, distinguishing malignant from benign findings, determining prognosis and prediction for cancer patients. The multiplex detection technology of a panel of cancer markers can greatly increase the accuracy of disease diagnosis. Herein, we briefly fabricate a high-throughput micro-immunoassay based on the electrospun polystyrene (PS) substrates to improve detection sensitivity. The immunoassay was evaluated by analyzing three different cancer biomarkers (AFP, CEA, VEGF). For AFP, CEA, VEGF immunofluorescence assay, the LOD of assay conducted on electrospun PS substrates before or after plasma and the conventional PS substrates were 0.42, 0.10, 1.12 ng/mL, 0.57, 0.09, 1.24 ng/mL, and 159.75, 26.19, 385.59 pg/mL, respectively (P < 0.05). Due to the high porosity and large surface area-to-volume ratio which is the foremost merit of nanostructures, and the plasma treatment which make the hydrophobic PS nanofibers hydropholic, the nanofibers substrates showed sufficient retention of immunoassay functionality and high potential for capture molecules immobilization. Consequently, the immunofluorescence assay conducted on electrospun PS substrates could significantly enhance the sensitivity and limits of detection.
PMCID: PMC3858307  PMID: 24340065
19.  Cooperative inhibitory effect of sinomenine combined with 5-fluorouracil on esophageal carcinoma 
AIM: To investigate the inhibitory effects of sinomenine (SIN) combined with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) on esophageal carcinoma in vitro and in vivo.
METHODS: Esophageal carcinoma (Eca-109) cells were cultured in DMEM. The single or combined growth inhibition effects of SIN and 5-FU on the Eca-109 cells were examined by measuring the absorbance of CCK-8 dye in living cells. Hoechst 33258 staining and an Annexin V/PI apoptosis kit were used to detect the percentage of cells undergoing apoptosis. Western blotting was used to investigate the essential mechanism underlying SIN and 5-FU-induced apoptosis. SIN at 25 mg/kg and 5-FU at 12 mg/kg every 3 d, either combined or alone, was injected into nude mice and tumor growth inhibition and side effects of the drug treatment were observed.
RESULTS: SIN and 5-FU, both in combination and individually, significantly inhibited the proliferation of Eca-109 cells and induced obvious apoptosis. Furthermore, the combined effects were greater than those of the individual agents (P < 0.05). Annexin V/PI staining and Hoechst 33258 staining both indicated that the percentage of apoptotic cells induced by SIN and 5-FU combined or alone were significantly different from the control (P < 0.05). The up-regulation of Bax and down-regulation of Bcl-2 showed that the essential mechanism of apoptosis induced by SIN and 5-FU occurs via the mitochondrial pathway. SIN and 5-FU alone significantly inhibited the growth of tumor xenografts in vivo, and the combined inhibition rate was even higher (P < 0.05). During the course of chemotherapy, no obvious side effects were observed in the liver or kidneys.
CONCLUSION: The combined effects of SIN and 5-FU on esophageal carcinoma were superior to those of the individual compounds, and the drug combination did not increase the side effects of chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC3857452  PMID: 24363520
Esophageal carcinoma; Chemotherapy; Sinomenine; 5-Fluorouracil
20.  Proton pump inhibitor for non-erosive reflux disease: A meta-analysis 
AIM: To evaluate the efficacy, safety and influential factors of proton pump inhibitor (PPI) treatment for non-erosive reflux disease (NERD).
METHODS: PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane Library were searched up to April 2013 to identify eligible randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that probed into the efficacy, safety and influential factors of PPI treatment for NERD. The rates of symptomatic relief and adverse events were measured as the outcomes. After RCT selection, assessment and data collection, the pooled RRs and 95%CI were calculated. This meta-analysis was performed using the Stata 12.0 software (Stata Corporation, College Station, Texas, United States). The level of evidence was estimated by the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation system.
RESULTS: Seventeen RCTs including 6072 patients met the inclusion criteria. The results of the meta-analysis showed that PPI treatment was significantly superior to H2 receptor antagonists (H2RA) treatment (RR = 1.629, 95%CI: 1.422-1.867, P = 0.000) and placebo (RR = 1.903, 95%CI: 1.573-2.302, P = 0.000) for the symptomatic relief of NERD. However, there were no obvious differences between PPI and H2RA (RR = 0.928, 95%CI: 0.776-1.110, P = 0.414) or PPI and the placebo (RR = 1.000, 95%CI: 0.896-1.116, P = 0.997) regarding the rate of adverse events. The overall rate of symptomatic relief of PPI against NERD was 51.4% (95%CI: 0.433-0.595, P = 0.000), and relief was influenced by hiatal hernia (P = 0.030). The adverse rate of PPI against NERD was 21.0% (95%CI: 0.152-0.208, P = 0.000), and was affected by hiatal hernia (P = 0.081) and drinking (P = 0.053).
CONCLUSION: PPI overmatched H2RA on symptomatic relief rate but not on adverse rate for NERD. Its relief rate and adverse rate were influenced by hiatal hernia and drinking.
PMCID: PMC3857466  PMID: 24363534
Proton pump inhibitor; Non-erosive reflux disease; Symptomatic relief; Adverse event; Meta-analysis
21.  Vascularized Bone Tissue Formation Induced by Fiber-Reinforced Scaffolds Cultured with Osteoblasts and Endothelial Cells 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:854917.
The repair of the damaged bone tissue caused by damage or bone disease was still a problem. Current strategies including the use of autografts and allografts have the disadvantages, namely, diseases transmission, tissue availability and donor morbidity. Bone tissue engineering has been developed and regarded as a new way of regenerating bone tissues to repair or substitute damaged or diseased ones. The main limitation in engineering in vitro tissues is the lack of a sufficient blood vessel system, the vascularization. In this paper, a new-typed hydroxyapatite/collagen composite scaffold which was reinforced by chitosan fibers and cultured with osteoblasts and endothelial cells was fabricated. General observation, histological observation, detection of the degree of vascularization, and X-ray examination had been done to learn the effect of vascularized bone repair materials on the regeneration of bone. The results show that new vessel and bone formed using implant cultured with osteoblasts and endothelial cells. Nanofiber-reinforced scaffold cultured with osteoblasts and endothelial cells can induce vascularized bone tissue formation.
PMCID: PMC3867896  PMID: 24369019
22.  Tricholemmal carcinoma of the head and neck region: A report of 15 cases 
Oncology Letters  2013;7(2):423-426.
Tricholemmal carcinoma is an extremely rare malignancy of the skin, and its biological behavior and management is controversial. The objective of the present study was to investigate the clinicopathological characteristics and management of tricholemmal carcinoma of the head and neck region. The study analyzed 15 patients with tricholemmal carcinoma. Demographic and clinical data were collected, and features associated with the management and prognosis of tricholemmal carcinoma were analyzed. Two of the 15 patients were lost to follow-up. The results showed that, during the follow-up period, 5 of the 13 available patients succumbed to the causes of recurrence (n=3), neck lymph node metastasis (n=1) and Parkinson’s disease (n=1). No patients developed distant metastasis. The disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) were 31.1±7.8 and 32.9±7.4 months (mean ± SE), respectively, and the DFS and OS rates were 69.2 and 61.5%, respectively. In conclusion, the biological behavior of tricholemmal carcinoma is locoregionally aggressive. The recommended management for head and neck tricholemmal carcinoma is radical resection and neck dissection, and post-operative radiotherapy may be considered for high-risk patients.
PMCID: PMC3881694  PMID: 24396460
tricholemmal carcinoma; clinicopathological features; treatment; prognosis; head and neck
23.  Curcumin and Diabetes: A Systematic Review 
Turmeric (Curcuma longa), a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, has been used for the treatment of diabetes in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine. The active component of turmeric, curcumin, has caught attention as a potential treatment for diabetes and its complications primarily because it is a relatively safe and inexpensive drug that reduces glycemia and hyperlipidemia in rodent models of diabetes. Here, we review the recent literature on the applications of curcumin for glycemia and diabetes-related liver disorders, adipocyte dysfunction, neuropathy, nephropathy, vascular diseases, pancreatic disorders, and other complications, and we also discuss its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The applications of additional curcuminoid compounds for diabetes prevention and treatment are also included in this paper. Finally, we mention the approaches that are currently being sought to generate a “super curcumin” through improvement of the bioavailability to bring this promising natural product to the forefront of diabetes therapeutics.
PMCID: PMC3857752  PMID: 24348712
24.  Levels of Inflammatory Cytokines in Type 2 Diabetes Patients with Different Urinary Albumin Excretion Rates and Their Correlation with Clinical Variables 
Journal of Diabetes Research  2013;2013:138969.
Although the pathogenetic mechanism of DN has not been elucidated, an inflammatory mechanism has been suggested as a potential contributor. This study was designed to explore the relationship between low-grade inflammation and renal microangiopathy in T2DM. A total of 261 diabetic subjects were divided into three groups according to UAE: a normal albuminuria group, a microalbuminuria group, and a macroalbuminuria group. A control group was also chosen. Levels of hs-CRP, TNF-α, uMCP-1, SAA, SCr, BUN, serum lipid, blood pressure, and HbA1c were measured in all subjects. Compared with the normal controls, levels of hs-CRP, TNF-α, uMCP-1, and SAA in T2DM patients were significantly higher. They were also elevated in the normal albuminuria group, P < 0.05. Compared with the normal albuminuria group, levels of these inflammatory cytokines were significantly higher in the microalbuminuria and macroalbuminuria group, P < 0.01. The macroalbuminuria group also showed higher levels than the microalbuminuria group, P < 0.01. Also they were positively correlated with UAE, SBP, DBP, LDL-C, and TC. We noted no significance correlated with course, TG, or HDL-C. Only TNF-α; was positively correlated with HbA1c. This study revealed the importance of these inflammatory cytokines in DN pathogenesis. Further studies are needed to fully establish the potential of these cytokines as additional biomarkers for the development of DN.
PMCID: PMC3848303  PMID: 24350298
25.  High genome heterozygosity and endemic genetic recombination in the wheat stripe rust fungus 
Nature Communications  2013;4:2673.
Stripe rust, caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst), is one of the most destructive diseases of wheat. Here we report a 110-Mb draft sequence of Pst isolate CY32, obtained using a ‘fosmid-to-fosmid’ strategy, to better understand its race evolution and pathogenesis. The Pst genome is highly heterozygous and contains 25,288 protein-coding genes. Compared with non-obligate fungal pathogens, Pst has a more diverse gene composition and more genes encoding secreted proteins. Re-sequencing analysis indicates significant genetic variation among six isolates collected from different continents. Approximately 35% of SNPs are in the coding sequence regions, and half of them are non-synonymous. High genetic diversity in Pst suggests that sexual reproduction has an important role in the origin of different regional races. Our results show the effectiveness of the ‘fosmid-to-fosmid’ strategy for sequencing dikaryotic genomes and the feasibility of genome analysis to understand race evolution in Pst and other obligate pathogens.
Stripe rust is one of the most destructive wheat diseases. Here, Zheng and colleagues report a draft genome sequence of wheat stripe rust fungus, generated using a fosmid-to-fosmid approach, and provide insight into its race evolution and pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3826619  PMID: 24150273

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