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1.  What Actually Confers Adaptive Capacity? Insights from Agro-Climatic Vulnerability of Australian Wheat 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0117600.
Vulnerability assessments have often invoked sustainable livelihoods theory to support the quantification of adaptive capacity based on the availability of capital—social, human, physical, natural, and financial. However, the assumption that increased availability of these capitals confers greater adaptive capacity remains largely untested. We quantified the relationship between commonly used capital indicators and an empirical index of adaptive capacity (ACI) in the context of vulnerability of Australian wheat production to climate variability and change. We calculated ACI by comparing actual yields from farm survey data to climate-driven expected yields estimated by a crop model for 12 regions in Australia’s wheat-sheep zone from 1991–2010. We then compiled data for 24 typical indicators used in vulnerability analyses, spanning the five capitals. We analyzed the ACI and used regression techniques to identify related capital indicators. Between regions, mean ACI was not significantly different but variance over time was. ACI was higher in dry years and lower in wet years suggesting that farm adaptive strategies are geared towards mitigating losses rather than capitalizing on opportunity. Only six of the 24 capital indicators were significantly related to adaptive capacity in a way predicted by theory. Another four indicators were significantly related to adaptive capacity but of the opposite sign, countering our theory-driven expectation. We conclude that the deductive, theory-based use of capitals to define adaptive capacity and vulnerability should be more circumspect. Assessments need to be more evidence-based, first testing the relevance and influence of capital metrics on adaptive capacity for the specific system of interest. This will more effectively direct policy and targeting of investment to mitigate agro-climatic vulnerability.
PMCID: PMC4323342  PMID: 25668192
2.  The shift between the Red Queen and the Red King effects in mutualisms 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8237.
Interspecific mutualisms consist of partners trading services that yield common benefits to both species. Until now, understanding how the payoffs from mutualistic cooperation are allocated among the participants has been problematic. Two hypotheses have been proposed to resolve this problem. The Red Queen effect argues that faster-evolving species are favoured in co-evolutionary processes because they are able to obtain a larger share of benefits. Conversely, the Red King effect argues that the slower-evolving species gains a larger share of benefits. The model we propose shows that the allocations for a common benefit vary when the effect of a reward mechanism is included in the model. The outcome is a shift from the Red Queen effect to the Red King effect and vice versa. In addition, our model shows that either an asymmetry in payoff or an asymmetry in the number of cooperative partners causes a shift between the Red Queen effect and the Red King effect. Even in situations where the evolutionary rates are equal between the two species, asymmetries in rewards and in participant number lead to an uneven allocation of benefits among the partners.
PMCID: PMC4316171  PMID: 25649177
3.  The Arabidopsis SWI2/SNF2 Chromatin Remodeler BRAHMA Regulates Polycomb Function during Vegetative Development and Directly Activates the Flowering Repressor Gene SVP 
PLoS Genetics  2015;11(1):e1004944.
The chromatin remodeler BRAHMA (BRM) is a Trithorax Group (TrxG) protein that antagonizes the functions of Polycomb Group (PcG) proteins in fly and mammals. Recent studies also implicate such a role for Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) BRM but the molecular mechanisms underlying the antagonism are unclear. To understand the interplay between BRM and PcG during plant development, we performed a genome-wide analysis of trimethylated histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27me3) in brm mutant seedlings by chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by next generation sequencing (ChIP-seq). Increased H3K27me3 deposition at several hundred genes was observed in brm mutants and this increase was partially supressed by removal of the H3K27 methyltransferase CURLY LEAF (CLF) or SWINGER (SWN). ChIP experiments demonstrated that BRM directly binds to a subset of the genes and prevents the inappropriate association and/or activity of PcG proteins at these loci. Together, these results indicate a crucial role of BRM in restricting the inappropriate activity of PcG during plant development. The key flowering repressor gene SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE (SVP) is such a BRM target. In brm mutants, elevated PcG occupancy at SVP accompanies a dramatic increase in H3K27me3 levels at this locus and a concomitant reduction of SVP expression. Further, our gain- and loss-of-function genetic evidence establishes that BRM controls flowering time by directly activating SVP expression. This work reveals a genome-wide functional interplay between BRM and PcG and provides new insights into the impacts of these proteins in plant growth and development.
Author Summary
In flowering plants, the proper transition from vegetative growth to flowering is critical for their reproductive success and must be controlled precisely. Multiple genes have been shown to regulate the floral transition in response to environmental and endogenous cues. Among them is SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE (SVP), a key flowering repressor gene in Arabidopsis. SVP is highly expressed during the vegetative phase to promote growth, but the mechanism by which the high expression level of SVP is maintained remains unknown. Here, we report a genome-wide study to examine the functional interplay between the BRM chromatin remodeler and the PcG proteins that catalyze trimethylation of lysine 27 on histone H3 (H3K27me3), a histone mark normally associated with transcriptionally repressed genes. We identify BRM as a direct upstream activator of SVP. BRM acts to keep the levels of H3K27me3 low at the SVP locus by inhibiting the binding and activities of the PcG proteins. Thus, our work identifies a previously unknown mechanism in regulation of flowering time and demonstrates the power of genome-wide approaches in dissecting regulatory networks controlling plant development.
PMCID: PMC4304717  PMID: 25615622
4.  The efficacy and mechanism of apoptosis induction by hypericin-mediated sonodynamic therapy in THP-1 macrophages 
To investigate the sonoactivity of hypericin (HY), together with its sonodynamic effect on THP-1 macrophages and the underlying mechanism.
Materials and methods
CCK-8 was used to examine cell viability. Confocal laser scanning microscopy was performed to assess the localization of HY in cells, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, and opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) after different treatments. Apoptosis was analyzed using Hoechst–propidium iodide and transmission electron microscopy. Mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) collapse was detected via fluorescence microscopy. Lipoprotein oxidation was determined in malondialdehyde (MDA) assays. Western blotting was conducted to determine the translocation of BAX and cytochrome C and the expression of apoptosis-related proteins.
HY was sublocalized among the nuclei and the mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, and lysosome in the cytosol of THP-1 macrophages. Under low-intensity ultrasound irradiation, HY significantly decreased cell viability and induced apoptosis. Furthermore, greater ROS generation, higher MDA levels, and greater ΔΨm loss were observed in the sonodynamic therapy (SDT) group. Both ROS generation and MDA levels were significantly reduced by the ROS scavenger N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) and the singlet oxygen scavenger sodium azide. Most of the loss of ΔΨm was inhibited by pretreatment with NAC, sodium azide, and the mPTP inhibitor cyclosporin A (CsA). mPTP opening was induced upon SDT but was reduced by pretreatment with bongkrekic acid, 4,4′-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2′-disulfonic acid disodium, CsA, and NAC. Western blot analyses revealed translocation of BAX and cytochrome C, downregulated expression of Bcl-2, and upregulated expression of cleaved caspase-9, cleaved caspase-3, and cleaved poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase in the SDT group, which were reversed by NAC.
HY mediated SDT-induced apoptosis in THP-1 macrophages via ROS generation. Then, the proapoptotic factor BAX translocated from the cytosol to the mitochondria, increasing the ratio of BAX/Bcl-2, and the mPTP opened to release cytochrome C. This study demonstrated the great potential of HY-mediated SDT for treating atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC4309797  PMID: 25653524
apoptosis; hypericin; sonodynamic therapy; mitochondria–caspase pathway; atherosclerosis
5.  Extramedullary T-lymphoblastic blast crisis in chronic myelogenous leukemia: A case report of successful diagnosis and treatment 
Extramedullary T-lymphoblastic blast crisis of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is uncommon and the prognosis is poor. It was usually misdiagnosed as the co-existence of T-lymphoblastic lymphoma (T-LBL) and CML. In the present study, we report a patient with CML, who developed extramedullary T-lymphoblastic blast crisis and was successfully treated with human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-mismatched stem cell transplantation. The patient was a 44-year-old man who presented with lymphadenectasis and leucocytosis prior to diagnosis. The bone marrow smear, biopsy and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) of Breakpoint Cluster Region/ Abelson murine leukaemia (BCR/ABL) supported the diagnosis of CML in the chronic phase, while the immunohistochemistry of lymph nodes supported the diagnosis of T-LBL. The FISH test for BCR/ABL in lymph node blast cells was performed and the result was positive; therefore, the patient was diagnosed with extramedullary T-lymphoblastic blast crisis of CML. After several courses of combined chemotherapy, the patient was treated with HLA-mismatched stem cell transplantation and obtained continuous remission for 51 months until the present (September 2013).
PMCID: PMC4316902  PMID: 25667640
extramedullary blast crisis; chronic myelogenous leukemia; stem cell transplantation
6.  Mutation in fiber of adenovirus serotype 5 gene therapy vector decreases liver tropism 
Recombinant adenovirus (Ad) vectors are widely used for both in vitro and in vivo gene transfer. However, intravenous administration of Ad vectors results mainly in hepatocyte transduction and subsequent hepatotoxicity. Coxsackie-adenovirus receptor (CAR) and αvβ integrins, which are functional receptors for the fiber and penton proteins, respectively, are the tropism determinants of Ad type 5 (Ad5). We previously developed a system for rapid construction of fiber-modified Ad5 vectors. We also constructed a fiber-modified Ad5 containing an Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) motif in the HI-loop and showed that it could enhance anti-tumor effects in vitro and in vivo. Here, we constructed a novel Ad5 vector containing two amino acid mutations in the AB loop of the fiber-modified Ad5 fiber knob and showed that it could significantly reduce liver tropism and increase gene transfer in low-CAR or CAR-deficient cancer cells following intravascular delivery. However, anti-tumor effects of the fiber-mutated Ad5 expressing HSV-TK under control of the hTERT promoter was not found when compared with an unmodified Ad5 vector in cancer lines expressing different levels of CAR, likely due to the activity of the hTERT promoter being lower than that of the CMV promoter. Nevertheless, this study describes an enhanced Ad5 vector for intravascular gene delivery, and further modifications such as changes in the promoter may facilitate the development of this vector for cancer treatment.
PMCID: PMC4307438  PMID: 25663991
Adenovirus; gene therapy; coxsackie-adenovirus receptor; liver tropism
7.  In Vitro Anti-Inflammatory Mechanism of Folium Hibisci Mutabilis Leaves Ethanol Extracts 
Folium Hibisci Mutabilis was one of the traditional Chinese medicines with pharmacological activities of wound healing, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, normally applied to the clinical treatment of local purulent infection, scald, and epidemic parotitis. However, few people reported that its effects of extracts on RAW264.7, cells and TNF-α, IL-6, and NO levels in rats serum of inflammation rats.
Materials and Methods
We mainly adopted the RAW264.7, macrophage cell line which was intervened by lipopolysaccharide (L PS), to establish the model of inflammatory cells. The secretion changes of TNF, and IL-6, level in the model cell acted by the FHMAEs, were detected by ELISA, NO level changes were determined by nitrate reductase method; Arthritis model induced by Collagen Type II were chose, and regulatory role of FHMAEs on IL-6 and NO level in serum were observed, FHMAEs mechanism of action were investigated in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. The states of the model rats were recorded.
Release of TNF-α, IL-6, and NO in LPS-induced RAW264.7, cells were significantly inhibited and has a clear dose-response relationship; The TNF-α, IL-6 and NO levels were reduced by FHMAEs in experimental arthritis rats serum, and the status of rats were improved. At last, we found that IL-6, NO and TNF-α levels in the inflammatory cells could be reduced by FHMAEs greatly.
Both synovial inflammation and synovial proliferation could be reduced or inhibited by FHMAEs, all of this may provide experimental effective data for the novel drugs development and the clinical treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
PMCID: PMC3957253  PMID: 24653565
Folium Hibisci Mutabilis; Arthritic rats; TNF; IL-6; NO
8.  Influence of sex on outcomes after percutaneous coronary intervention in patients over 75 years of age with coronary heart disease 
This study aimed to investigate whether there were sex differences in in-hospital and long-term outcomes for elderly patients over 75 years of age undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention for coronary heart disease.
Consecutive patients aged ≥75 years who underwent percutaneous coronary intervention at a single center in the People’s Republic of China from January 2005 to December 2010 were included in this cohort study. Clinical characteristics and in-hospital and long-term outcomes were compared between men and women.
A total of 465 patients (34.8% women, mean age 78.5±3.2 years) were recruited. Men had a higher prevalence of ST elevation myocardial infarction but were less likely to have heart failure than women (P<0.05). Similar rates of successful in-hospital procedures and deaths were observed in men and women. After a mean follow-up of 3 years, no significant differences were observed between men and women in mortality (12.5% versus 8.0%, P=0.151), myocardial infarction (1.4% versus 2.7%, P=0.368), target vessel revascularization (6.1% versus 4.7%, P=0.540), or cerebral vascular disease (7.9% versus 6.0%, P=0.472). Cox proportional hazards analysis revealed that sex was not independently associated with either in-hospital mortality or long-term mortality.
In elderly patients over 75 years of age, sex influences the prognosis after percutaneous coronary intervention for coronary heart disease.
PMCID: PMC4211869  PMID: 25364241
percutaneous coronary intervention; elderly; sex
9.  Crystal structure of 4-methyl-2-oxo-2H-chromen-7-yl ferrocene­carboxyl­ate 
The title mol­ecule, [Fe(C5H5)(C16H11O4)], consists of a ferrocenyl moiety and a 4-methyl­coumarin group linked through an ester unit to one of the cyclo­penta­dienyl (Cp) rings. The two Cp rings are virually parallel, with an angle between the two least-squares planes of 0.74 (16)°. The distances between the FeII atom and the centroids of the two Cp rings are 1.639 (2) and 1.652 (2) Å. The conformation of the ferrocenyl moiety is slightly away from eclipsed. The dihedral angle between the coumarin ring system and the ferrocenyl ester moiety is 69.17 (19)°. π–π stacking inter­actions involving the benzene rings of neighbouring coumarin moieties, with centroid–centroid distances of 3.739 (2) Å, consolidate the crystal packing.
PMCID: PMC4257315  PMID: 25484779
crystal structure; ferrocene; coumarin; pharmacological activity 4-methyl-2-oxo-2H-chromene-7-yl ferrocene­carboxyl­ate
10.  Claims, liabilities, injures and compensation payments of medical malpractice litigation cases in China from 1998 to 2011 
Although China experienced great improvement in their health system, disputes between patients and doctors have increasingly intensified, reaching an unprecedented level. Retrospective analysis of medical malpractice litigation can discover the characteristics and fundamental cause of these disagreements.
We analyzed medical malpractice litigation data from 1998 to 2011 for characteristics of claims via a litigation database within a nationwide database of cases (1086 cases) in China, including claims, liabilities, injures, and compensation payments.
Among the cases analyzed, 76 percent of claims received compensation in civil judgment (640 out of 841), while 93 percent were fault liability in paid judgment (597 out of 640). The average time span between the occurrence of the injury dispute and closure of claims was 3 years. Twenty-two percent of claims (183 of 841) were caused by injury, poisoning, and other external causes. Seventy-nine percent of claims (472 of 597) were contributed to by errors in medical technology. The median damage compensation payment for death was significantly lower than for serious injuries (P < 0.001; death, $13270 [IQR, $7617–$23181]; serious injury, $23721 [IQR, $10367–$57058]). Finally, there was no statistically significant difference in the median mental compensation between minor injury, serious injury, and death (P = 0.836).
The social reasons for the conflict and high payment were catastrophic out-of-pocket health-care expense in addition to the high expectations for treatment in China. There were no distinguishing features between China and other countries with respect to time of suits, facilities, and specialties in these claims. The compensation for damages in different medical injuries was unfair in China.
PMCID: PMC4261607  PMID: 25218509
Claims; Compensation; Medical malpractice; Medical litigation
11.  Latent Tuberculosis Infection and Occupational Protection among Health Care Workers in Two Types of Public Hospitals in China 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e104673.
To determine the impact factors of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) and the knowledge of TB prevention and treatment policy among health care workers (HCWs) in different types of hospitals and explore the strategies for improving TB prevention and control in medical institutions in China.
A cross-sectional study was carried out to evaluate the risk of TB infection and personnel occupational protection among HCWs who directly engage in medical duties in one of two public hospitals. Each potential participant completed a structured questionnaire and performed a tuberculin skin test (TST). Factors associated with LTBI were identified by logistic regression analysis.
Seven hundred twelve HCWs completed questionnaires and 74.3% (n = 529) took the TST or had previous positive results. The TST-positive prevalence was 58.0% (n = 127) in the infectious disease hospital and 33.9% (n = 105) in the non-TB hospital. The duration of employment in the healthcare profession (6–10 years vs. ≤5 years [OR = 1.89; 95% CI = 1.10, 3.25] and>10 vs. ≤5[OR = 1.80; 95% CI = 1.20, 2.68]), type of hospital (OR = 2.40; 95% CI = 1.59, 3.62), and ever-employment in a HIV clinic or ward (OR = 1.87; 95% CI = 1.08, 3.26)were significantly associated with LTBI. The main reasons for an unwillingness to accept TST were previous positive TST results (70.2%) and concerns about skin reaction (31.9%).
A high prevalence of TB infections was observed among HCWs working in high-risk settings and with long professional experiences in Henan Province in China. Comprehensive guidelines should be developed for different types of medical institutions to reduce TB transmission and ensure the health of HCWs.
PMCID: PMC4144793  PMID: 25157814
12.  Associations between TNF-α-308A/G Polymorphism and Susceptibility with Dermatomyositis: A Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e102841.
Some surveys had inspected the effects of the tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)-308A/G polymorphism on susceptibility to dermatomyositis (DM), and showed mixed results. To briefly review these consequences, a comprehensive meta-analysis was carried out to estimate the relationship between them much more accurately.
Relevant documents dated to February 2014 were acquired from the PUBMED, MEDLINE, and EMBASE databases. The number of the genotypes and/or alleles for the TNF-α-308A/G in the DM and control subjects was extracted and statistical analysis was conducted using STATA 11.2 software. Summary odds ratios (ORs) with their 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were used to calculate the risk of DM with TNF-α-308A/G. Stratified analysis based on ethnicity and control population source was also performed.
555 patients with DM and 1005 controls from eight published investigations were finally involved in this meta-analysis. Combined analysis revealed that the overall ORs for the TNF-α-308A allele were 2.041 (95% CIs 1.528–2.725, P<0.0001) in DM. Stratification by ethnicity indicated the TNF-α-308A allele polymorphism was found to be significantly associated with DM in Europeans (OR = 1.977, 95% CI 1.413–2.765, P<0.0001). The only study conducted on TNF-α-308A/G polymorphism in Asians could not be used in ethnicity-stratified meta-analysis. Meta-analysis of the AA+AG vs. GG (dominant model) and AA vs. GG (additive model) of this polymorphism revealed a significant association with DM in overall populations and Europeans.
Our meta-analysis demonstrated that the TNF-α-308A/G polymorphism in the TNF gene might contribute to DM susceptibility, especially in European population. However, further studies with large sample sizes and among different ethnicity populations should be required to verify the association.
PMCID: PMC4125139  PMID: 25101759
13.  Percutaneous coronary intervention in the elderly with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction 
As a result of increased life expectancy, octogenarians constitute an increasing proportion of patients admitted to hospital for ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Primary percutaneous coronary intervention is currently the treatment of choice for octogenarians presenting with STEMI. The recent literature on this topic has yielded controversial results, even though advances in drug-eluting stents and new types of antithrombotic agents are improving the management of STEMI and postoperative care. In this paper, we review the current status of percutaneous coronary intervention in the elderly with STEMI, including the reasons for their high mortality and morbidity, predictors of mortality, and strategies to improve outcomes.
PMCID: PMC4124048  PMID: 25114518
octogenarians; percutaneous coronary intervention; ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction
14.  DNA Topoisomerase 1α Promotes Transcriptional Silencing of Transposable Elements through DNA Methylation and Histone Lysine 9 Dimethylation in Arabidopsis 
PLoS Genetics  2014;10(7):e1004446.
RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) and histone H3 lysine 9 dimethylation (H3K9me2) are related transcriptional silencing mechanisms that target transposable elements (TEs) and repeats to maintain genome stability in plants. RdDM is mediated by small and long noncoding RNAs produced by the plant-specific RNA polymerases Pol IV and Pol V, respectively. Through a chemical genetics screen with a luciferase-based DNA methylation reporter, LUCL, we found that camptothecin, a compound with anti-cancer properties that targets DNA topoisomerase 1α (TOP1α) was able to de-repress LUCL by reducing its DNA methylation and H3K9me2 levels. Further studies with Arabidopsis top1α mutants showed that TOP1α silences endogenous RdDM loci by facilitating the production of Pol V-dependent long non-coding RNAs, AGONAUTE4 recruitment and H3K9me2 deposition at TEs and repeats. This study assigned a new role in epigenetic silencing to an enzyme that affects DNA topology.
Author Summary
DNA topoisomerase is an enzyme that releases the torsional stress in DNA generated during DNA replication or transcription. Here, we uncovered an unexpected role of DNA topoisomerase 1α (TOP1α) in the maintenance of genome stability. Eukaryotic genomes are usually littered with transposable elements (TEs) and repeats, which pose threats to genome stability due to their tendency to move or recombine. Mechanisms are in place to silence these elements, such as RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) and histone H3 lysine 9 dimethylation (H3K9me2) in plants. Two plant-specific RNA polymerases, Pol IV and Pol V, generate small and long noncoding RNAs, respectively, from TEs and repeats. These RNAs then recruit protein factors to deposit DNA methylation or H3K9me2 to silence the loci. In this study, we found that treatment of plants with camptothecin, a TOP1α inhibitor, or loss of function in TOP1α, led to the de-repression of RdDM target loci, which was accompanied by loss of H3K9me2 or DNA methylation. The role of TOP1α in RdDM could be attributed to its promotion of Pol V, but not Pol IV, transcription to generate long noncoding RNAs.
PMCID: PMC4080997  PMID: 24992598
15.  A Compact Methodology to Understand, Evaluate, and Predict the Performance of Automatic Target Recognition 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2014;14(7):11308-11350.
This paper offers a compacted mechanism to carry out the performance evaluation work for an automatic target recognition (ATR) system: (a) a standard description of the ATR system's output is suggested, a quantity to indicate the operating condition is presented based on the principle of feature extraction in pattern recognition, and a series of indexes to assess the output in different aspects are developed with the application of statistics; (b) performance of the ATR system is interpreted by a quality factor based on knowledge of engineering mathematics; (c) through a novel utility called “context-probability” estimation proposed based on probability, performance prediction for an ATR system is realized. The simulation result shows that the performance of an ATR system can be accounted for and forecasted by the above-mentioned measures. Compared to existing technologies, the novel method can offer more objective performance conclusions for an ATR system. These conclusions may be helpful in knowing the practical capability of the tested ATR system. At the same time, the generalization performance of the proposed method is good.
PMCID: PMC4168426  PMID: 24967605
automatic target recognition; performance evaluation; performance prediction
16.  Differential Activation Patterns of fMRI in Sleep-Deprived Brain: Restoring Effects of Acupuncture 
Previous studies suggested a remediation role of acupuncture in insomnia, and acupuncture also has been used in insomnia empirically and clinically. In this study, we employed fMRI to test the role of acupuncture in sleep deprivation (SD). Sixteen healthy volunteers (8 males) were recruited and scheduled for three fMRI scanning procedures, one following the individual's normal sleep and received acupuncture SP6 (NOR group) and the other two after 24 h of total SD with acupuncture on SP6 (SD group) or sham (Sham group). The sessions were counterbalanced approximately two weeks apart. Acupuncture stimuli elicited significantly different activation patterns of three groups. In NOR group, the right superior temporal lobe, left inferior parietal lobule, and left postcentral gyrus were activated; in SD group, the anterior cingulate cortex, bilateral insula, left basal ganglia, and thalamus were significantly activated while, in Sham group, the bilateral thalamus and left cerebellum were activated. Different activation patterns suggest a unique role of acupuncture on SP6 in remediation of SD. SP6 elicits greater and anatomically different activations than those of sham stimuli; that is, the salience network, a unique interoceptive autonomic circuit, may indicate the mechanism underlying acupuncture in restoring sleep deprivation.
PMCID: PMC4082872  PMID: 25024729
17.  Minimally Invasive Transthoracic Device Closure of an Acquired Sinus of Valsalva-Right Ventricle Fistula in a Pediatric Patient 
Iranian Journal of Pediatrics  2014;24(3):327-330.
Background: Sinus of Valsalva-right ventricle fistula is a recognized but very rare complication after surgical repair of subaortic ventricular septal defect. Surgical repair with cardiopulmonary bypass and percutaneous transcatheter closure guided by x-ray has been the traditional treatment for fistula of sinus of Valsalva.
Case Presentation: Recently, we have used a novel approach, that avoids the need for either secondary open surgical repair or radiation exposure; that is, minimally invasive transthoracic device closure guided by transesophageal echocardiography to occlude an acquired sinus of Valsalva-right ventricle fistula in a 4-year-old patient.
Conclusion: To our knowledge, there have been no prior cases reported of this technique applied to close an acquired sinus of Valsalva-right ventricle fistula. This report aims to provide a detailed description of the procedure.
PMCID: PMC4276590  PMID: 25562029
Fistula of Sinus of Valsalva; Minimally invasive; Device Closure; Transesophageal Echocardiography
18.  Impact of renal dysfunction on long-term outcomes of elderly patients with acute coronary syndrome: a longitudinal, prospective observational study 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:78.
This study investigated the impact of renal dysfunction (RD) on long-term outcomes in elderly patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), and evaluated prognostic factors in elderly patients with ACS and RD.
This longitudinal prospective study included 184 consecutive patients who were admitted with ACS between January 2009 and January 2010 and also had RD. Patients were divided into five groups according to their estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR): 1) eGFR ≥ 90 mL/min/1.73 m2 with evidence of kidney damage, 2) 60 ≤ eGFR < 90 mL/min/1.73 m2, 3) 30 ≤ eGFR < 60 mL/min/1.73 m2, 4) 15 ≤ eGFR < 30 mL/min/1.73 m2, and 5) eGFR < 15 mL/min/1.73 m2. The primary endpoints were death and complications during hospitalization. The secondary endpoint was any major adverse cardiac event (MACE) during follow-up.
The mean follow-up period was 502.2 ± 203.6 days. The mean patient age was 73.7 ± 9.4 years, and 61.4% of the patients were men. Severe RD (eGFR < 30 mL/min/1.73 m2) was an independent predictor of MACE. Severe RD was associated with a low hemoglobin level, low left ventricular ejection fraction, and high levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide, and cystatin C. Survival was significantly poorer in patients with severe RD than in patients with mild RD.
Among patients with ACS, severe RD was associated with advanced age, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiac dysfunction. Severe RD was an independent risk factor for MACE, and was associated with poor prognosis.
PMCID: PMC4047003  PMID: 24884483
Acute coronary syndrome; Glomerular filtration rate; Renal dysfunction; MACE; Elderly
20.  Anti-Inflammatory and Analgesic activity of R.A.P. (Radix Angelicae Pubescentis) Ethanol Extracts 
The objective of this paper was to study the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of Radix Angelicae Pubescentis (R.A.P) ethanol extracts. Three classic anti-inflammatory models and two analgesic models were used in this research. In anti-inflammatory tests, all the extracts have a certain inhibition on the acute inflammation induced by xylene, however, 60% ethanol extract significantly inhibited the inflammation in the three models. In analgesic experiment, compared with the blank control group, the comparisons between R.A.P. groups and control group had significant difference (p < 0.01). The incubation period in mouse writhing test or the tail-curl immersion tests could be extended greatly.
PMCID: PMC3777581  PMID: 24146469
Heracleum; Soxhlet extraction; anti-inflammatory; analgesic
21.  Study on Extraction Process of Tannins from Semen Cuscutae and Their Anti-Papilloma Activity 
The objective of this paper was to study the extraction methods of tannin constituents from Semen Cuscutae and their anti-papilloma effects. Single factor test and orthogonal design methods were used to determine the optimal extraction method; the mouse skin papilloma model induced by DMBA/croton oil was established, which was a classic two-stage carcinogenesis model being used to observe and evaluate the anti-carcinogenic effects of tannins extracted from Semen Cuscutae in different stages. The optimal extraction method of Semen Cuscutae was a 20-fold volume of solvent, a temperature of 50 °C, three times of extraction, with 20 min each, skin papilloma experiment revealed that the number of bearing tumors gradually reduced, and the inhibition rate gradually increased with the increase of dose, in the high-dose group, its inhibition rate reached 70.2%. Tannin extract from Semen Cuscutae has an obvious inhibitory effect on skin papilloma development.
PMCID: PMC3777588  PMID: 24146476
Semen Cuscutae; tannin; skin papilloma
22.  Heterozygous alleles restore male fertility to cytoplasmic male-sterile radish (Raphanus sativus L.): a case of overdominance 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2013;64(7):2041-2048.
The practice of hybridization has greatly contributed to the increase in crop productivity. A major component that exploits heterosis in crops is the cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS)/nucleus-controlled fertility restoration (Rf) system. Through positional cloning, it is shown that heterozygous alleles (RsRf3-1/RsRf3-2) encoding pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) proteins are responsible for restoring fertility to cytoplasmic male-sterile radish (Raphanus sativus L.). Furthermore, it was found that heterozygous alleles (RsRf3-1/RsRf3-2) show higher expression and RNA polymerase II occupancy in the CMS cytoplasmic background compared with their homozygous alleles (RsRf3-1/RsRf3-1 or RsRf3-2/RsRf3-2). These data provide new insights into the molecular mechanism of fertility restoration to cytoplasmic male-sterile plants and illustrate a case of overdominance.
PMCID: PMC3638831  PMID: 23630327
Cytoplasmic male sterility; fertility restoration; heterozygous alleles; overdominance; radish.
23.  Association of Interleukin-10 Polymorphisms with Schizophrenia: A Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e90407.
The involvement of cytokines in schizophrenia (SZ) has been proposed in recent years and various studies have accumulated convergent lines of evidence. Among which, the role of interleukin-10 (IL-10) in SZ has been explored in a number of studies by investigating association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and susceptibility of SZ. However, the results are inconsistent since its power is limited by the individual sample size. To evaluate the overall effect between them, we conducted a meta-analysis by combining all available studies.
Studies were searched from the database of PubMed, PsycINFO and ISI web of Knowledge up to Nov 2013. The meta-analysis was conducted based on statement of preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA).
Eleven studies including 6399 subjects (3129 cases and 3270 controls) were available for the meta-analysis. Among three investigated SNPs, rs1800872 was observed to be significantly associated with risk of SZ (AA vs. AC+CC, Pooled OR = 1.351, P-value  = 2.06E-04). Meanwhile, among six haplotypes of rs1800896 - rs1800871 - rs1800872, significant associations were observed in haplotype A-C-A (Pooled OR = 1.762, P-value  = 2.00E-03) and G-C-C (Pooled OR = 0.649, P-value  = 2.00E-03) for Asians. These results were still significant after adjusting for multiple comparisons.
This meta-analysis demonstrated an SNP and two haplotypes of IL-10 significantly associated with SZ, suggesting that IL-10 might be a risk factor of SZ.
PMCID: PMC3946087  PMID: 24603720
24.  Cutting-balloon angioplasty before drug-eluting stent implantation for the treatment of severely calcified coronary lesions 
Severely calcified coronary lesions respond poorly to balloon angioplasty, resulting in incomplete and asymmetrical stent expansion. Therefore, adequate plaque modification prior to drug-eluting stent (DES) implantation is the key for calcified lesion treatment. This study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of cutting balloon angioplasty for severely calcified coronary lesions.
Ninety-two consecutive patients with severely calcified lesions (defined as calcium arc ≥ 180° calcium length ratio ≥ 0.5) treated with balloon dilatation before DES implantation were randomly divided into two groups based on the balloon type: 45 patients in the conventional balloon angioplasty (BA) group and 47 patients in the cutting balloon angioplasty (CB) group. Seven cases in BA group did not satisfactorily achieve dilatation and were transferred into the CB group. Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) was performed before balloon dilatation and after stent implantation to obtain qualitative and quantitative lesion characteristics and evaluate the stent, including minimum lumen cross-sectional area (CSA), calcified arc and length, minimum stent CSA, stent apposition, stent symmetry, stent expansion, vessel dissection, and branch vessel jail. In-hospital, 1-month, and 6-month major adverse cardiac events (MACE) were reported.
There were no statistical differences in clinical characteristics between the two groups, including calcium arc (222.2° ± 22.2° vs. 235.0° ± 22.1°, P = 0.570), calcium length ratio (0.67 ± 0.06 vs. 0.77 ± 0.05, P = 0.130), and minimum lumen CSA before PCI (2.59 ± 0.08 mm2 vs. 2.52 ± 0.08 mm2, P = 0.550). After stent implantation, the final minimum stent CSA (6.26 ± 0.40 mm2 vs. 5.03 ± 0.33 mm2; P = 0.031) and acute lumen gain (3.74 ± 0.38 mm2 vs. 2.44 ± 0.29 mm2, P = 0.015) were significantly larger in the CB group than that of the BA group. There were not statistically differences in stent expansion, stent symmetry, incomplete stent apposition, vessel dissection and branch vessel jail between two groups. The 30-day and 6-month MACE rates were also not different.
Cutting balloon angioplasty before DES implantation in severely calcified lesions appears to be more efficacies including significantly larger final stent CSA and larger acute lumen gain, without increasing complications during operations and the MACE rate in 6-month.
PMCID: PMC3981983  PMID: 24748881
Cutting balloon angioplasty; Calcified lesion; Intravascular ultrasound; Percutaneous coronary intervention
25.  Febrile seizure recurrence reduced by intermittent oral levetiracetam 
Febrile seizure (FS) is the most common form of childhood seizure disorders. FS is perhaps one of the most frequent causes of admittance to pediatric emergency wards worldwide. We aimed to identify a new, safe, and effective therapy for preventing FS recurrence.
A total of 115 children with a history of two or more episodes of FS were randomly assigned to levetiracetam (LEV) and control (LEV/control ratio = 2:1) groups. At the onset of fever, LEV group was orally administered with a dose of 15–30 mg/kg per day twice daily for 1 week. Thereafter, the dosage was gradually reduced until totally discontinued in the second week. The primary efficacy variable was seizure frequency associated with febrile events and FS recurrence rate (RR) during 48-week follow-up. The second outcome was the cost effectiveness of the two groups.
The intention-to-treat analysis showed that 78 children in LEV group experienced 148 febrile episodes. Among these 78 children, 11 experienced 15 FS recurrences. In control group, 37 children experienced 64 febrile episodes; among these 37 children, 19 experienced 32 FS recurrences. A significant difference was observed between two groups in FS RR and FS recurrence/fever episode. The cost of LEV group for the prevention of FS recurrence is lower than control group. During 48-week follow-up period, one patient in LEV group exhibited severe drowsiness. No other side effects were observed in the same patient and in other children.
Intermittent oral LEV can effectively prevent FS recurrence and reduce wastage of medical resources.
PMCID: PMC4184546  PMID: 25356397

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