The source of Ca2+ to activate pathological cardiac hypertrophy is not clearly defined. Ca2+ influx through the L-type Ca2+ channels (LTCCs) determines “contractile” Ca2+, which is not thought to be the source of “hypertrophic” Ca2+. However, some LTCCs are housed in caveolin-3 (Cav-3) enriched signaling microdomains and are not directly involved in contraction. The function of these LTCCs is unknown.
To test the idea that LTCCs in Cav-3 containing signaling domains are a source of Ca2+ to activate the calcineurin-nuclear factor of activated T cells (Cn-NFAT) signaling cascade that promotes pathological hypertrophy.
Methods and Results
We developed reagents that targeted Ca2+ channel blocking Rem proteins to Cav-3 containing membranes, which house a small fraction of cardiac LTCCs. Blocking LTCCs within this Cav-3 membrane domain eliminated a small fraction of the LTCC current, almost all of the Ca2+ influx induced NFAT nuclear translocation, but did not reduce myocyte contractility.
We provide proof of concept that Ca2+ influx through LTCCs within caveolae signaling domains can activate “hypertrophic” signaling, and this Ca2+ influx can be selectively blocked without reducing cardiac contractility.
Caveolae; L-Type Calcium Channel; Hypertrophy; Contractility; NFAT
Polymorphisms in the TCRA and P2RY11, two immune related genes, are associated with narcolepsy in Caucasians and Asians. In contrast, CPT1B/CHKB polymorphisms have only been shown to be associated with narcolepsy in Japanese, with replication in a small group of Koreans. Our aim was to study whether these polymorphisms are associated with narcolepsy and its clinical characteristics in Chinese patients with narcolepsy.
We collected clinical data on 510 Chinese patients presenting with narcolepsy/hypocretin deficiency. Patients were included either when hypocretin deficiency was documented (CSF hypocretin-1 ≤110 pg/ml, n=91) or on the basis of the presence of clear cataplexy and HLA-DQB1*0602 positivity (n=419). Genetic data was compared to typing obtained in 452 controls matched for geographic origin within China. Clinical evaluations included demographics, the Stanford Sleep Inventory (presence and age of onset of each symptom), and Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) data.
Chinese narcolepsy was strongly and dose dependently associated with TCRA (rs1154155C) and P2RY11 (rs2305795A) but not CPT1B/CHKB (rs5770917C) polymorphisms. CPT1B/CHKB polymorphisms were not associated with any specific clinical characteristics. TCRA rs1154155A homozygotes (58 subjects) had a later disease onset, but this was not significant when corrected for multiple comparisons, thus replication is needed. CPT1B/CHKB or P2RY11 polymorphisms were not associated with any specific clinical characteristics.
The study extends on the observation of a strong multiethnic association of polymorphisms in the TCRA and P2RY11 with narcolepsy, but does not confirm the association of CPT1B/CHKB (rs5770917) in the Chinese population.
narcolepsy; TCR alpha; P2RY11; CPT1B/CHKB; hypocretin; orexin; MSLT; HLADQB1*0602
A long-term record of Asian dust storms showed seven high-occurrence-frequency centers in China. The intrusion of Asian dust into the downwind seas, including the China seas, the Sea of Japan, the subarctic North Pacific, the North Pacific subtropical gyre, and the western and eastern Equatorial Pacific, has been shown to add nutrients to ocean ecosystems and enhance their biological activities. To explore the relationship between the transported dust from various sources to the six seas and oceanic biological activities with different nutrient conditions, the correlation between monthly chlorophyll a concentration in each sea and monthly dust storm occurrence frequencies reaching the sea during 1997–2007 was examined in this study. No correlations were observed between dust and chlorophyll a concentration in the <50 m China seas because atmospheric deposition is commonly believed to exert less impact on coastal seas. Significant correlations existed between dust sources and many sea areas, suggesting a link between dust and chlorophyll a concentration in those seas. However, the correlation coefficients were highly variable. In general, the correlation coefficients (0.54–0.63) for the Sea of Japan were highest, except for that between the subarctic Pacific and the Taklimakan Desert, where it was as high as 0.7. For the >50 m China seas and the North Pacific subtropical gyre, the correlation coefficients were in the range 0.32–0.57. The correlation coefficients for the western and eastern Equatorial Pacific were relatively low (<0.36). These correlation coefficients were further interpreted in terms of the geographical distributions of dust sources, the transport pathways, the dust deposition, the nutrient conditions of oceans, and the probability of dust storms reaching the seas.
An increasing body of evidence now links estrogenic signalling with the metabolic syndrome (MS). Despite the beneficial estrogenic effects in reversing some of the MS symptoms, the underlying mechanisms remain largely undiscovered. We have previously shown that total estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) knockout (KO) mice exhibit hepatic insulin resistance. To determine whether liver-selective ablation of ERα recapitulates metabolic phenotypes of ERKO mice we generated a liver-selective ERαKO mouse model, LERKO. We demonstrate that LERKO mice have efficient reduction of ERα selectively within the liver. However, LERKO and wild type control mice do not differ in body weight, and have a comparable hormone profile as well as insulin and glucose response, even when challenged with a high fat diet. Furthermore, LERKO mice display very minor changes in their hepatic transcript profile. Collectively, our findings indicate that hepatic ERα action may not be the responsible factor for the previously identified hepatic insulin resistance in ERαKO mice.
Epithelial cancer cells are likely to undergo epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) prior to entering the peripheral circulation. By undergoing EMT, circulating tumor cells (CTCs) lose epithelial markers and may escape detection by conventional methods. Therefore, we conducted a pilot study to investigate mRNA transcripts of EMT-inducing transcription factors (TFs) in tumor cells from the peripheral blood (PB) of primary breast cancer (PBC) patients.
Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated from 52 stages I–III PBC patients and 30 healthy donors (HD) and sequentially depleted of EpCAM+ cells and CD45+ leukocytes, henceforth referred to as CD45−. The expression levels of EMT-inducing TFs (TWIST1, SNAIL1, SLUG, ZEB1, and FOXC2) in the CD45− cells were determined using qRT-PCR. The highest level of expression by the CD45− cell fraction of HD was used as “cut off” to determine if samples from PBC patients overexpressed any EMT-inducing TFs. In total, 15.4% of PBC patients overexpressed at least one of the EMT-inducing TF transcripts. Overexpression of any EMT-inducing TF transcripts was more likely to be detected in PBC patients who received neoadjuvant therapies (NAT) than patients who received no NAT (P = 0.003). Concurrently, CTCs were detected in 7 out of 38 (18.4%) patients by CellSearch® and 15 out of 42 (35.7%) patients by AdnaTest™. There was no association between the presence of CTCs measured by CellSearch® or AdnaTest™.
In summary, our results demonstrate that CTCs with EMT phenotype may occur in the peripheral circulation of PBC patients and NAT is unable to eliminate CTCs undergoing EMT.
circulating tumor cells; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; primary breast cancer; neoadjuvant therapy
During sepsis, acute lung injury (ALI) results from activation of innate immune cells and endothelial cells by endotoxins, leading to systemic inflammation through proinflammatory cytokine overproduction, oxidative stress, and intracellular Ca2+ overload. Despite considerable investigation, the underlying molecular mechanism(s) leading to LPS-induced ALI remain elusive. To determine whether stromal interaction molecule 1–dependent (STIM1-dependent) signaling drives endothelial dysfunction in response to LPS, we investigated oxidative and STIM1 signaling of EC-specific Stim1-knockout mice. Here we report that LPS-mediated Ca2+ oscillations are ablated in ECs deficient in Nox2, Stim1, and type II inositol triphosphate receptor (Itpr2). LPS-induced nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) nuclear accumulation was abrogated by either antioxidant supplementation or Ca2+ chelation. Moreover, ECs lacking either Nox2 or Stim1 failed to trigger store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCe) and NFAT nuclear accumulation. LPS-induced vascular permeability changes were reduced in EC-specific Stim1–/– mice, despite elevation of systemic cytokine levels. Additionally, inhibition of STIM1 signaling prevented receptor-interacting protein 3–dependent (RIP3-dependent) EC death. Remarkably, BTP2, a small-molecule calcium release–activated calcium (CRAC) channel blocker administered after insult, halted LPS-induced vascular leakage and pulmonary edema. These results indicate that ROS-driven Ca2+ signaling promotes vascular barrier dysfunction and that the SOCe machinery may provide crucial therapeutic targets to limit sepsis-induced ALI.
Rotenone, a widely used pesticide, reproduces Parkinsonism in rodents and associates with increased risk for Parkinson’s disease. We previously reported rotenone increased superoxide production through stimulating microglial phagocyte NADPH oxidase (PHOX). The present study identified a novel mechanism by which rotenone activates PHOX. Ligand-binding assay revealed that rotenone directly bound to membrane gp91phox, the catalytic subunit of PHOX; such binding was inhibited by diphenyleneiodonium, a PHOX inhibitor with a binding site on gp91phox. Functional studies showed both membrane and cytosolic subunits were required for rotenone-induced superoxide production in cell-free systems, intact phagocytes, and COS7 cells transfected with membrane subunits (gp91phox/p22phox) and cytosolic subunits (p67phox and p47phox). Rotenone-elicited extracellular superoxide release in p47phox-deficient macrophages suggested rotenone enabled to activate PHOX through a p47phox-independent mechanism. Increased membrane translocation of p67phox, elevated binding of p67phox to rotenone-treated membrane fractions, and co-immunoprecipitation of p67phox and gp91phox in rotenone-treated wild-type and p47phox-deficient macrophages indicated p67phox played a critical role in rotenone-induced PHOX activation via its direct interaction with gp91phox. Rac1, a Rho-like small GTPase, enhanced p67phox-gp91phox interaction; Rac1 inhibition decreased rotenone-elicited superoxide release. In conclusion, rotenone directly interacted with gp91phox; such an interaction triggered membrane translocation of p67phox, leading to PHOX activation and superoxide production.
rotenone; macrophages; NADPH oxidase; gp91phox; superoxide; PHOX; NOX2; Rac1
Curcumin has a variety of pharmacological effects. However, poor water solubility and low oral bioavailability limit its clinical utility. A delivery system for nanostructured lipid carriers has been reported to be a promising approach to enhancing the oral absorption of curcumin. The aim of the present study was to investigate the pharmacokinetics, tissue distribution, and relative bioavailability of curcumin in rats after a single intragastric dose of a nanostructured lipid curcumin carrier formulation.
Nanostructured lipid curcumin carriers were prepared using the ethanol dripping method and characterized in terms of the particle size, polydispersity index, zeta potential, differential scanning calorimetry, drug-loading capacity, encapsulation efficiency, and in vitro release. The pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution of nanostructured lipid curcumin carriers and curcumin suspension were compared after intragastric administration.
Nanostructured lipid curcumin carriers showed a significantly higher peak plasma concentration (564.94 ± 14.98 ng/mL versus 279.43 ± 7.21 ng/mL, P < 0.01), a shorter time taken to reach peak plasma concentration (0.5 ± 0.01 hour versus 1.0 ± 0.12 hour, P < 0.01), and a greater AUC0–∞ (820.36 ± 25.11 mg × hour/L versus 344.11 ± 10.01 mg × hour/L, P < 0.05) compared with curcumin suspension. In the tissue distribution studies, curcumin could be detected in the spleen, heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, and brain. Following intragastric administration of the nanostructured lipid curcumin carrier formulation, tissue concentrations of curcumin also increased, especially in the brain. The nanostructured lipid curcumin carrier formulation improved the ability of curcumin to cross the blood–brain barrier, with an 11.93-fold increase in the area under the curve achieved in the brain when compared with curcumin suspension.
The nanostructured lipid carrier formulation significantly improved the oral bioavailability of curcumin and represents a promising method for its oral delivery.
curcumin; oral bioavailability; tissue distribution
Notch and Hedgehog activate cell-cycle progression of adult and cancer stem cells. Notch is activated by DLL and Jag presents on neighboring cells. We investigated the effects of density of the Notch-activating ligand, Jag-1, and targeting Gli-1, in activation of division of paclitaxel/taxol-resistant, (PTXRes) ovarian cancer cells SKOV3 (SKOV3). We used the specific γ-presenilin inhibitor, DAPT, to identify the specificity of activating signals for Notch-1 and created ‘butterfly-duplex-3548-Gli-1-inhibitory RNA’ (i-Gli-1.RNA) to inhibit cell division. To accurately quantify kinetics of division, the expression of CD44 and CD24 was determined in each gated population of divided cells. CD44High proliferated when activated by Jag-1Low and poorly when activated by Jag-1High. DAPT inhibited proliferation of cells activated by Jag-1Low, and increased proliferation of cells activated by Jag-1High. Only 5–10% of cells activated by Jag-1High and Jag-1Low divided fast, polynomial, and symmetric. i-Gli-1.RNA eliminated more than 50% of the small CD44High/CD24Neg cells in divisions 3 and 4. This effect appeared specific compared with cells transfected with negative control siRNA. i-Gli-1.RNA had no effect on large CD44High/CD24Neg cells, but inhibited the population of CD44High/CD24Low cells. Expansion of CD44High inversely correlated with Jag-1 density on activating autologous tumor and fibrosarcoma cells. Created i-RNAs may decrease the resting CSC pool. Notch and Gli-1 signals play an important role in proliferation/division and survival of cancer stem cells. Targeting Notch-1 through its enhancer Gl-1, should be significant for novel treatments to eliminate taxol-resistant cancer stem cells (CSC). i.Gli-1 RNA should be more effective if used together with Taxol.
drug-resistance; cancer stem cell; Notch; Gli-1; micro-RNA
In China, rubella vaccination was introduced into the national immunization program in 2008, and a rubella epidemic occurred in the same year. In order to know whether changes in the genotypic distribution of rubella viruses have occurred in the postvaccination era, we investigate in detail the epidemiological profile of rubella in China and estimate the evolutionary rate, molecular clock phylogeny, and demographic history of the predominant rubella virus genotypes circulating in China using Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo phylodynamic analyses. 1E was found to be the predominant rubella virus genotype since its initial isolation in China in 2001, and no genotypic shift has occurred since then. The results suggest that the global 1E genotype may have diverged in 1995 and that it has evolved at a mutation rate of 1.65 × 10−3 per site per year. The Chinese 1E rubella virus isolates were grouped into either cluster 1 or cluster 2, which likely originated in 1997 and 2006, respectively. Cluster 1 viruses were found in all provinces examined in this study and had a mutation rate of 1.90 × 10−3 per site per year. The effective number of infections remained constant until 2007, and along with the introduction of rubella vaccine into the national immunization program, although the circulation of cluster 1 viruses has not been interrupted, some viral lineages have disappeared, and the epidemic started a decline that led to a decrease in the effective population size. Cluster 2 viruses were found only in Hainan Province, likely because of importation.
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are purported to be epithelial tumor cells expressing CD44+CD24lo that exhibit aldehyde dehydrogenase activity (Aldefluor+). We hypothesized that if CSCs are responsible for tumor dissemination, disseminated cells in the bone marrow (BM) would be positive for putative breast CSC markers. Therefore, we assessed the presence of Aldefluor+ epithelial (CD326+CD45dim) cells for the presence of the CD44+CD24lo phenotype in BM of patients with primary breast cancer (PBC).
BM aspirates were collected at the time of surgery from 66 patients with PBC. Thirty patients received neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) prior to aspiration. BM was analyzed for Aldefluor+ epithelial cells with or without CD44+CD24lo expression by flow cytometry. BM aspirates from 3 healthy donors (HD) were subjected to identical processing and analyses and served as controls.
Patients with triple-receptor-negative (TN) tumors had a significantly higher median percentage of CD44+CD24lo CSC within Aldefluor+ epithelial cell population than patients with other immunohistochemical subtypes (P=0.018). Patients with TN tumors or with pN2 or higher pathologic nodal status were more likely to have a proportion of CD44+CD24lo CSC within Aldefluor+ epithelial cell population above the highest level of HD. Furthermore, patients who received NACT were more likely to have percentages of Aldefluor+ epithelial cells greater than the highest level of HD (P=0.004).
The percentage of CD44+CD24lo CSC in the BM is higher in PBC patients with high risk tumor features. The selection or enrichment of Aldefluor+ epithelial cells by NACT may represent an opportunity to target these cells with novel therapies.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease. The gradual, irreversible loss of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra isthe signature lesion of PD. Clinical symptoms of PD become apparent when 50–60% of nigral dopamine neurons are lost. PD progresses insidiously for 5–7 years (preclinical period) and then continues to worsen even under the symptomatic treatment. To determine what triggers the disease onset and what drives the chronic, self-propelling neurodegenerative process becomes critical and urgent, since lack of such knowledge impedes the discovery of effective treatments to retard PD progression. At present, available therapeutics only temporarily relieve PD symptoms. While the identification of causative gene defects in familial PD uncovers important genetic influences in this disease, the majority of PD cases are sporadic and idiopathic. The current consensus suggests that PD develops from multiple risk factors including aging, genetic predisposition, and environmental exposure. Here, we briefly review research on the genetic and environmental causes of PD. We also summarize very recent genome-wide association studies on risk gene polymorphisms in the emergence of PD. We highlight the new converging evidence on gene-environment interplay in the development of PD with an emphasis on newly developed multiple-hit PD models involving both genetic lesions and environmental triggers.
The bone marrow microenvironment is considered a critical component in the dissemination and fate of cancer cells in the metastatic process. We explored the possible correlation between bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSC) and disseminated breast cancer-initiating cells (BCIC) in primary breast cancer patients.
The percentages of BCIC (Aldefluor+CD326+CD44+CD24−) correlated with the percentages of BM-MSC, either CD45−GD2+CD200+CD271+ (Kedall's τ = 0.684, p = 0.004) or CD45−GD2+CD271+ in the bone marrow (Kedall's τ = 0.464, p = 0.042).
Bone marrow mononuclear cells (BM-MNC) were collected at the time of primary surgery in 12 breast cancer patients. BM-MNC was immunophenotyped and BCIC was defined as epithelial cells (CD326+CD45−) with a “stem-like” phenotype (CD44+CD24low/−, ALDH activity). BM-MSC was defined as CD34−CD45− cells that co-expressed GD2, CD271 and/or CD200 within CD326-depleted BM-MNC.
There was a positive correlation between mesenchymal stem cells expressing GD2 and CD271 and breast cancer-initiating cells in BM of patients with primary breast cancer.
mesenchymal stem cells; bone marrow; microenvironment; cancer-initiating cells; cancer stem cells
The incidence of measles in China from 1991 to 2008 was reviewed, and the nucleotide sequences from 1507 measles viruses (MeV) isolated during 1993 to 2008 were phylogenetically analyzed. The results showed that measles epidemics peaked approximately every 3 to 5 years with the range of measles cases detected between 56,850 and 140,048 per year. The Chinese MeV strains represented three genotypes; 1501 H1, 1 H2 and 5 A. Genotype H1 was the predominant genotype throughout China continuously circulating for at least 16 years. Genotype H1 sequences could be divided into two distinct clusters, H1a and H1b. A 4.2% average nucleotide divergence was found between the H1a and H1b clusters, and the nucleotide sequence and predicted amino acid homologies of H1a viruses were 92.3%–100% and 84.7%–100%, H1b were 97.1%–100% and 95.3%–100%, respectively. Viruses from both clusters were distributed throughout China with no apparent geographic restriction and multiple co-circulating lineages were present in many provinces. Cluster H1a and H1b viruses were co-circulating during 1993 to 2005, while no H1b viruses were detected after 2005 and the transmission of that cluster has presumably been interrupted. Analysis of the nucleotide and predicted amino acid changes in the N proteins of H1a and H1b viruses showed no evidence of selective pressure. This study investigated the genotype and cluster distribution of MeV in China over a 16-year period to establish a genetic baseline before MeV elimination in Western Pacific Region (WPR). Continuous and extensive MeV surveillance and the ability to quickly identify imported cases of measles will become more critical as measles elimination goals are achieved in China in the near future. This is the first report that a single endemic genotype of measles virus has been found to be continuously circulating in one country for at least 16 years.
It is known that excess reducing equivalents in the form of NADPH in chloroplasts can be transported via shuttle machineries, such as the malate-oxaloacetate (OAA) shuttle, into the mitochondria, where they are efficiently oxidised by the mitochondrial alternative oxidase (AOX) respiratory pathway. Therefore, it has been speculated that the AOX pathway may protect plants from photoinhibition, but the mechanism by which this protection occurs remains to be elucidated.
The observation that the malate-OAA shuttle activity and the AOX pathway capacity increased markedly after intense light treatment in Rumex K-1 leaves indicates that excess NADPH was transported from the chloroplasts and oxidised by the AOX pathway. The inhibition of the AOX pathway by salicylhydroxamic acid (SHAM) caused the over-reduction of the photosystem I (PSI) acceptor side, as indicated by the increases in the extent of reduction of P700+. Furthermore, the photosynthetic linear electron flow was restricted, which was indicated by the decreases in the PSII electron transport rate (ETR) and the photosynthetic O2 evolution rate. The restriction of the photosynthetic linear electron flow, which generates the thylakoid ΔpH, inevitably decreased the de-epoxidation of the xanthophyll cycle (ΔPRI). Therefore, the induction of non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) was suppressed when the AOX pathway was inhibited. The effect of the inhibition of the AOX pathway on NPQ induction was less at 20 mM NaHCO3 than at 1 mM NaHCO3. The suppression of NPQ induction by the inhibition of the AOX pathway was also observed during the induction phase of photosynthesis. In addition, the inhibition of the AOX pathway increased the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), suggesting that the AOX pathway functions as an antioxidant mechanism.
The inhibition of the AOX pathway resulted in the rapid accumulation of NADPH in the chloroplasts, which caused the over-reduction of the PSI acceptor side. Furthermore, the restriction of the photosynthetic linear electron flow due to the inhibition of the AOX pathway limited the generation of the thylakoid ΔpH and suppressed the induction of NPQ. Therefore, the mitochondrial AOX pathway protected the photosynthetic apparatus against photodamage by alleviating the over-reduction of the PSI acceptor side and accelerating the induction of NPQ in Rumex K-1 leaves.
In the title complex, [Zn2(C8H3NO6)2(CH4N2S)4]·2H2O, the carboxylate groups of the 3-nitrophthalate ligands coordinate in a bis-monodentate mode to the ZnII cations. This results in the formation of a centrosymmetric dimer containing two ZnII cations with distorted tetrahedral geometries provided by the O atoms of two different 3-nitrophthalate dianions and the S atoms of two non-equivalent coordinated thiourea molecules. The crystal structure exhibits N—H⋯O and O—H⋯O hydrogen bonds which link the dimers into a three-dimensional network.
To evaluate the effects of sperm with different parameters and sources on the outcomes of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), 1972 ICSI cycles were analyzed retrospectively. Groups 1 to 5 were composed of cycles using ejaculated sperm and were grouped according to sperm quantity, quality, and morphology into normal (288 cycles), or mild (329 cycles), moderate (522 cycles), severe (332 cycles), and extremely severe (171 cycles) oligozoospermia and/or asthenozoospermia and/or teratozoospermia (OAT) groups. Group 6 was composed of 250 cycles using testicular or epididymal sperm, and Group 7 consisted of 80 cycles using frozen-thawed sperm. We found that fertilization rates were gradually reduced from Groups 1 to 6, and reached statistical difference in Groups 5 and 6 (P<0.05). The high-quality embryo rate was higher in Group 1 than in Groups 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7 (P<0.05). No statistical differences were observed in the rates of embryo cleavage, clinical pregnancy, miscarriage, live-birth, premature birth, low birth weight, weeks of premature birth, average birth weight, or sex ratio for all seven groups (P>0.05). A total of nine cases of malformation were observed, with a malformation rate of 1.25% (9/719). In conclusion, different sperm sources and parameters can affect ICSI outcomes before embryo implantation. A full assessment of offspring malformation will require further study using a larger sample size.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI); Sperm; Sperm source; Sperm parameters; Malformation
Prevalent incidents support the notion that toxins, produced by bacteria, fungi, plants or animals are increasingly responsible for food poisoning or intoxication. Owing to their high toxicity some toxins are also regarded as potential biological warfare agents. Accordingly, control, detection and neutralization of toxic substances are a considerable economic burden to food safety, health care and military biodefense. The present contribution describes a new versatile instrument and related procedures for array-based simultaneous detection of bacterial and plant toxins using a bioanalytical platform which combines the specificity of covalently immobilized capture probes with a dedicated instrumentation and immuno-based microarray analytics. The bioanalytical platform consists of a microstructured polymer slide serving both as support of printed arrays and as incubation chamber. The platform further includes an easy-to-operate instrument for simultaneous slide processing at selectable assay temperature. Cy5 coupled streptavidin is used as unifying fluorescent tracer. Fluorescence image analysis and signal quantitation allow determination of the toxin’s identity and concentration. The system’s performance has been investigated by immunological detection of Botulinum Neurotoxin type A (BoNT/A), Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB), and the plant toxin ricin. Toxins were detectable at levels as low as 0.5–1 ng·mL−1 in buffer or in raw milk.
biosensor; microfluidics; toxins; bioanalytics; platform
Background: Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are an independent prognostic factor in metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients treated by conventional dose chemotherapy. The aim of this study was to determine the role of CTCs and CTCs undergoing epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in metastatic breast cancer. We used the platform of high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) and autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT) to study the CTCs and CTCs with EMT.
Patients and methods: CTCs were enumerated in 21 MBC patients before apheresis and 1 month after AHSCT. CD34-depleted apheresis products were analyzed for CD326+ epithelial and Aldefluor+ cancer stem cells (CSC) by flow cytometry and were depleted of CD45+ cells and assessed for EMT-inducing transcription factors (EMT-TF) by quantitative RT-PCR.
Results: Patients with ≥ 5 CTCs/7.5 mL of peripheral blood 1 month after AHSCT had shorter progression-free survival (PFS) (P=0.02) and overall survival (OS) (P=0.02). Patients with apheresis products containing high percentages of CD326+ epithelial cells or overexpressing EMT-TF had shorter PFS. In multivariate analysis, low percentage of CD326+ epithelial cells and response to HDCT with AHSCT were associated with longer PFS, whereas lower CTCs after AHSCT was associated with longer OS. High CTCs, 1 month after AHSCT correlated with shorter PFS and OS in MBC patients undergoing HDCT and AHSCT, while CTCs with EMT and CSCs phenotype in apheresis products are associated with relapse.
Conclusion: Our data suggest that CTC and CTCs with EMT are prognostic in MBC patients undergoing HDCT followed by AHSCT.
metastatic breast cancer; circulating tumor cells; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; high-dose chemotherapy; autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
Even though benign tracheobronchial tumors are quite rare, they still can induce airway obstruction, result in suffocation, and need emergent management to remove the obstructing lesions and make the respiratory tracts unobstructed. Although the preferred therapy is surgery, it is still difficult to deal with the tumors in some cases, and the complications of surgery are common. Therefore, bronchoscopic managements, such as Nd: YAG laser, electrocautery, APC and Cryotherapy, are very important to treat benign tracheobronchial tumors and can cure most of them.
The efficacy of therapeutic endoscopy for the treatment of patients with benign airways obstruction has been established. However, in order to maximally eradicate the benign tumors with minimal damage to patients, the success of bronchoscopic managements for the treatment strongly depends on the diligent identification of the various factors, including the location, size, shape of tumor, and the age, status, cardio respiratory function of patients, and full comprehension of the limits and potential of each particular technique.
Because the advantages and disadvantages of above mentioned interventional methods, single method can not solve all clinical issues. Therefore, in order to remove benign tracheobronchial tumors completely, and reduce the incidence of recurrence as far as possible, many doctors combine several methods of them to treat complicated benign tracheobronchial tumors. This article reviews the core principles and techniques available to the bronchoscope managing benign tracheobronchial tumors.
Benign tracheobronchial tumors; bronchoscope; electrocautery; argon plasma coagulation; Nd: YAG laser, cryotherapy
Aqueous dispersions of graphene oxide (GO) have been found to emit a structured, strongly pH-dependent visible fluorescence. Based on experimental results and model computations, this is proposed to arise from quasi-molecular fluorophores, similar to polycyclic aromatic compounds, formed by the electronic coupling of carboxylic acid groups with nearby carbon atoms of graphene. Sharp and structured emission and excitation features resembling the spectra of molecular fluorophores are present near 500 nm in basic conditions. The GO emission reversibly broadens and red-shifts to ca. 680 nm in acidic conditions, while the excitation spectra remain very similar in shape and position, consistent with excited state protonation of the emitting species in acidic media. The sharp and structured emission and excitation features suggest that the effective fluorophore size in the GO samples is remarkably well defined.
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) or tumor initiating cells (TICs) make up only a small fraction of total tumor cell population, but recent evidence suggests that they are responsible for tumor initiation and the maintenance of tumor growth. Whether CSCs/TICs originate from normal stem cells or result from the dedifferentiation of terminally differentiated cells remains unknown. Here we provide evidence that sustained expression of the proinflammatory protein tissue transglutaminase (TG2) confers stem cell like properties in non-transformed and transformed mammary epithelial cells. Sustained expression of TG2 was associated with increase in CD44high/CD24low/- subpopulation, increased ability of cells to form mammospheres, and acquisition of self-renewal ability. Mammospheres derived from TG2-transfected mammary epithelial cells (MCF10A) differentiated into complex secondary structures when grown in Matrigel cultures. Cells in these secondary structures differentiated into Muc1-positive (luminal marker) and integrin α6-positive (basal marker) cells in response to prolactin treatment. Highly aggressive MDA-231 and drug-resistant MCF-7/RT breast cancer cells, which express high basal levels of TG2, shared many traits with TG2-transfected MCF10A stem cells but unlike MCF10A-derived stem cells they failed to form the secondary structures and to differentiate into Muc1-positive luminal cells when grown in Matrigel culture. Downregulation of TG2 attenuated stem cell properties in both non-transformed and transformed mammary epithelial cells. Taken together, these results suggested a new function for TG2 and revealed a novel mechanism responsible for promoting the stem cell characteristics in adult mammary epithelial cells.
Mechanisms whereby gene–environment interactions mediate chronic, progressive neurodegenerative processes in Parkinson’s disease (PD)—the second most common neurodegenerative disease—remain elusive.
We created a two-hit [neuroinflammation and mutant α-synuclein (α-syn) overexpression] animal model to investigate mechanisms through which mutant α-syn and inflammation work in concert to mediate chronic PD neurodegeneration.
We used an intraperitoneal injection of the inflammogen lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 3 × 106 EU/kg) to initiate systemic and brain inflammation in wild-type (WT) mice and transgenic (Tg) mice overexpressing human A53T mutant α-syn. We then evaluated nigral dopaminergic neurodegeneration, α-syn pathology, and neuroinflammation.
After LPS injection, both WT and Tg mice initially displayed indistinguishable acute neuroinflammation; however, only Tg mice developed persistent neuroinflammation, chronic progressive degeneration of the nigrostriatal dopamine pathway, accumulation of aggregated, nitrated α-syn, and formation of Lewy body-like inclusions in nigral neurons. Further mechanistic studies indicated that 4-week infusion of two inhibitors of inducible nitric oxide synthase and NADPH oxidase, major free radical–generating enzymes in activated microglia, blocked nigral α-syn pathology and neurodegeneration in LPS-injected Tg mice.
Microglia-derived oxidative stress bridged neuroinflammation and α-syn pathogenic alteration in mediating chronic PD progression. Our two-hit animal model involving both a genetic lesion and an environmental trigger reproduced key features of PD and demonstrated synergistic effects of genetic predisposition and environmental exposures in the development of PD. The chronic progressive nature of dopaminergic neurodegeneration, which is absent in most existing PD models, makes this new model invaluable for the study of mechanisms of PD progression.
α-synuclein; gene-environment interaction; inflammation; iNOS; microglia; NADPH oxidase; neurodegeneration; oxidative stress; Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative condition characterized by chronic inflammation. Nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) is a family of inducible transcription factors that are expressed in a wide variety of cells and tissues, including microglia, astrocytes, and neurons, and the classical NF-κB pathway plays a key role in the activation and regulation of inflammatory mediator production during inflammation. Activation of the classical NF-κB pathway is mediated through the activity of the IKK kinase complex, which consists of a heterotrimer of IKKα, IKKβ, and IKKγ subunits. Targeting NF-κB has been proposed as an approach to the treatment of acute and chronic inflammatory conditions, and the use of inhibitors specific for either IKKβ or IKKγ has now been found to inhibit neurodegeneration of TH+ DA-producing neurons in murine and primate models of Parkinson's disease. These studies suggest that targeting the classical pathway of NF-κB through the inhibition of the IKK complex can serve as a useful therapeutic approach to the treatment of PD.
Ethyl pyruvate (EP) is protective in experimental models of many illnesses. This study investigates whether EP can protect against neonatal hypoxic-ischemic (H-I) brain injury. Pre-treatment with EP significantly reduced brain damage at 7 days post-H-I, with 50 mg/kg EP achieving over 50% recovery in tissue loss compared to vehicle-treated animals. Delayed treatment with EP until 30 min after H-I was still neuroprotective. EP-afforded brain protection, together with neurological function improvement, was observed up to 2 months after H-I. We further demonstrated an inhibitory effect of EP on cell death, both in an in vivo model of H-I and in in vitro neuronal cultures subjected to OGD, by reducing calpain activation and calcium dysregulation. Moreover, EP exerted an anti-inflammatory effect in microglia by inhibiting NF-κB activation and subsequent release of inflammatory mediators. Taken together, our results suggest that EP confers potent neuroprotection against neonatal H-I brain injury via its anti-cell death and anti-inflammatory actions. EP is a potential novel therapeutic agent for neonatal H-I brain injury.
neonatal hypoxia-ischemia; neuroprotection; cell death; inflammation; microglia; calpain; calcium; NF-κB