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1.  Development of a general method for detection and quantification of the P35S promoter based on assessment of existing methods 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:7358.
The Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S promoter (P35S) is a commonly used target for detection of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). There are currently 24 reported detection methods, targeting different regions of the P35S promoter. Initial assessment revealed that due to the absence of primer binding sites in the P35S sequence, 19 of the 24 reported methods failed to detect P35S in MON88913 cotton, and the other two methods could only be applied to certain GMOs. The rest three reported methods were not suitable for measurement of P35S in some testing events, because SNPs in binding sites of the primer/probe would result in abnormal amplification plots and poor linear regression parameters. In this study, we discovered a conserved region in the P35S sequence through sequencing of P35S promoters from multiple transgenic events, and developed new qualitative and quantitative detection systems targeting this conserved region. The qualitative PCR could detect the P35S promoter in 23 unique GMO events with high specificity and sensitivity. The quantitative method was suitable for measurement of P35S promoter, exhibiting good agreement between the amount of template and Ct values for each testing event. This study provides a general P35S screening method, with greater coverage than existing methods.
doi:10.1038/srep07358
PMCID: PMC4258656  PMID: 25483893
2.  Human Hepatic Progenitor Cells Express Hematopoietic Cell Markers CD45 and CD109 
Objective: To clarify the precise characteristics of human hepatic progenitor cells (HPCs) for future cytotherapy in liver diseases.
Methods: Hepatic progenitor-like cells were isolated and cultured from the livers of patients who had undergone partial hepatectomy for various pathologies but displayed no sign of hepatic dysfunction. These cells were characterized by transcriptomic profiling, quantitative real-time PCR and immunocyto/histochemistry.
Results:Cultured HPCs contained polygonal, high nucleus/cytoplasm ratio and exhibited a global gene expression profile similar (67.8%) to that of primary hepatocytes. Among the genes with more than 20-fold higher expression in HPCs were a progenitor marker (CD90), a pentraxin-related gene (PTX3), collagen proteins (COL5A2, COL1A1 and COL4A2), cytokines (EGF and PDGFD), metabolic enzymes (CYBRD1, BCAT1, TIMP2 and PAM), a secreted protein (SPARC) and an endothelial protein C receptor (PROCR). Moreover, eight markers (ALB, AFP, CK8, CK18, CK19, CD90, CD117 and Oval-6) previously described as HPC markers were validated by qRT-PCR and/or immunocyto/histochemistry. Interestingly, human HPCs were also positive for the hematopoietic cell markers CD45 and CD109. Finally, we characterized the localization of HPCs in the canals of Hering and periportal areas with six previously described markers (Oval-6, CK8, CK18, CK19, CD90 and CD117) and two potential markers (CD45 and CD109).
Conclusion: The human HPCs are highly similar to primary hepatocytes in their transcriptional profiles. The CD45 and CD109 markers could potentially be utilized to identify and isolate HPCs for further cytotherapy of liver diseases.
doi:10.7150/ijms.7426
PMCID: PMC3880993  PMID: 24396288
Human hepatic progenitor cell; Immunocytochemistry; Transcriptional profile
3.  Effects of Neurolytic Celiac Plexus Block on Liver Regeneration in Rats with Partial Hepatectomy 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e73101.
Liver regeneration is the basic physiological process after partial hepatectomy (PH), and is important for the functional rehabilitation of the liver after acute hepatic injury. This study was designed to explore the effects of neurolytic celiac plexus block (NCPB) on liver regeneration after PH. We established a model of PH in rats, assessing hepatic blood flow, liver function, and serum CRP, TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 concentrations of the residuary liver after PH. Additionally, histopathological studies, immunohistochemistry, and western blotting were also performed. Our results indicated that NCPB treatment after PH improved liver regeneration and survival rates, increased hepatic blood flow, reduced hepatocyte damage, decreased the secretion and release of inflammatory cytokines, increased the expression of B cell lymphoma/leukemia-2 (Bcl-2), and decreased the expression of Bcl-2 associated X protein (Bax). Additionally, Western blotting revealed that the expression of NF-κB p65 and c-Jun were decreased in liver after NCPB. In conclusion, the results of our present study indicate that NCPB treatment has a favorable effect on liver regeneration after PH. We suggest that NCPB can be utilized as an effective therapeutic method to help the functional rehabilitation of the liver after acute hepatic injury or liver cancer surgery.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0073101
PMCID: PMC3764180  PMID: 24039865
4.  Prospectively Electrocardiogram-Gated High-Pitch Spiral Acquisition Mode Dual-Source CT Coronary Angiography in Patients with High Heart Rates: Comparison with Retrospective Electrocardiogram-Gated Spiral Acquisition Mode 
Korean Journal of Radiology  2012;13(6):684-693.
Objective
To assess the image quality and effective radiation dose of prospectively electrocardiogram (ECG)-gated high-pitch spiral acquisition mode (flash mode) of dual-source CT (DSCT) coronary angiography (CTCA) in patients with high heart rates (HRs) as compared with retrospectively ECG-gated spiral acquisition mode.
Materials and Methods
Two hundred and sixty-eight consecutive patients (132 female, mean age: 55 ± 11 years) with mean HR > 65 beats per minute (bpm) were prospectively included in this study. The patients were divided into two groups. Collection was performed in group A CTCA using flash mode setting at 20-30% of the R-R interval, and retrospectively ECG-gated spiral acquisition mode in group B. The image noise, contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), image quality scores, effective radiation dose and influencing factors on image quality between the two groups were assessed.
Results
There were no significant differences in image quality scores and proportions of non-diagnostic coronary artery segments between two groups (image quality scores: 1.064 ± 0.306 [group A] vs. 1.084 ± 0.327 [group B], p = 0.063; proportion of non-diagnostic coronary artery segments: segment-based analysis 1.52% (group A) vs. 1.74% (group B), p = 0.345; patient-based analysis 7.5% (group A) vs. 6.7% (group B), p = 0.812). The estimated radiation dose was 1.0 ± 0.16 mSv in group A and 7.1 ± 1.05 mSv in group B (p = 0.001).
Conclusion
In conclusion, in patients with HRs > 65 bpm without cardiac arrhythmia, the prospectively high-pitch spiral-acquisition mode with image-acquired timing set at 20-30% of the R-R interval provides a similar image quality and low rate of non-diagnostic coronary segments to the retrospectively ECG-gated low-pitch spiral acquisition mode, with significant reduction of radiation exposure.
doi:10.3348/kjr.2012.13.6.684
PMCID: PMC3484288  PMID: 23118566
High-pitch dual-source CT; Prospectively ECG-gated; Coronary angiography; High heart rates
5.  Polygenic Transmission and Complex Neuro developmental Network for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Genome-Wide Association Study of Both Common and Rare Variants 
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a complex polygenic disorder. This study aimed to discover common and rare DNA variants associated with ADHD in a large homogeneous Han Chinese ADHD case–control sample. The sample comprised 1,040 cases and 963 controls. All cases met DSM-IV ADHD diagnostic criteria. We used the Affymetrix6.0 array to assay both single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and copy number variants (CNVs). Genome-wide association analyses were performed using PLINK. SNP-heritability and SNP-genetic correlations with ADHD in Caucasians were estimated with genome-wide complex trait analysis (GCTA). Pathway analyses were performed using the Interval enRICHment Test (INRICH), the Disease Association Protein–Protein Link Evaluator (DAPPLE), and the Genomic Regions Enrichment of Annotations Tool (GREAT). We did not find genome-wide significance for single SNPs but did find an increased burden of large, rare CNVs in the ADHD sample (P = 0.038). SNP-heritability was estimated to be 0.42 (standard error, 0.13, P = 0.0017) and the SNP-genetic correlation with European Ancestry ADHD samples was 0.39 (SE 0.15, P = 0.0072). The INRICH, DAPPLE, and GREAT analyses implicated several gene ontology cellular components, including neuron projections and synaptic components, which are consistent with a neurodevelopmental pathophysiology for ADHD. This study suggested the genetic architecture of ADHD comprises both common and rare variants. Some common causal variants are likely to be shared between Han Chinese and Caucasians. Complex neurodevelopmental networks may underlie ADHD's etiology.
doi:10.1002/ajmg.b.32169
PMCID: PMC4321789  PMID: 23728934
ADHD; GWAS; pathway; neurodevelopment
6.  Genetic Susceptibility to Peripheral Arterial Disease: A Dark Corner in Vascular Biology 
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is characterized by reduced blood flow to the limbs, usually as a consequence of atherosclerosis, and affects ≈12 million Americans. It is a common cause of cardiovascular morbidity and an independent predictor of cardiovascular mortality. Similar to other atherosclerotic diseases, such as coronary artery disease, PAD is the result of the complex interplay between injurious environmental stimuli and genetic predisposing factors of the host. Genetic susceptibility to PAD is likely contributed by sequence variants in multiple genes, each with modest effects. Although many of these variants probably alter susceptibility both to PAD and to coronary artery disease, it is likely that there exists a set of variants specifically to alter susceptibility to PAD. Despite the prevalence of PAD and its high societal burden, relatively little is known about such genetic variants. This review summarizes our limited present knowledge and gives an overview of recent, more powerful approaches to elucidating the genetic basis of PAD. We discuss the advantages and limitations of genetic studies and highlight the need for collaborative networks of PAD investigators for shedding light on this dark corner of vascular biology.
doi:10.1161/01.ATV.0000282199.66398.8c
PMCID: PMC4321902  PMID: 17656669
peripheral vascular disease; genetics; epidemiology; atherosclerosis
7.  Comparison of single versus repeated methamphetamine injection induced behavioral sensitization in mice 
Neuroscience letters  2013;560:103-106.
Repeated exposure to drugs of abuse produces a persistent behavioral sensitization to stimulants, which is often used to study drug-associated behavioral plasticity. Interestingly, even a single exposure to some drugs of abuse is sufficient to elicit long-lasting behavioral sensitization. However, few studies have directly compared the magnitude of sensitization between single versus repeated drug treatments. This study examined the magnitude and duration of single methamphetamine (METH) injection-induced behavioral sensitization and compared it to the more typical repeated drug injection-induced sensitization in mice. Different groups of mice were injected with METH (0.5, 1.0, 2.0 mg/kg, i.p.) only once or daily for 7 consecutive days. A challenge dose of METH (1.0 mg/kg, i.p.) was tested 7 days later. The time-course of a single METH injection-induced behavioral sensitization was assessed where METH (2.0 mg/kg, i.p.) was injected and a challenge dose of METH (1.0 mg/kg, i.p.) was tested after different drug-free periods. Single METH injection produced similar magnitude of behavioral sensitization as compared to repeated injection. Such a sensitized locomotor response peaked 8 days after METH injection and lasted for at least 21 days. This long lasting behavioral alteration induced by single METH injection suggests the value of future studies to explore the underlying neural mechanisms, particularly in comparison to those underlying repeated METH-induced sensitization.
doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2013.12.024
PMCID: PMC4017776  PMID: 24361545
Methamphetamine; Behavioural sensitization; Single-dose injection; Repeated-dose injection
8.  A Large Scale, Ion Current based Proteomics Investigation of Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patients 
Journal of proteome research  2013;13(2):627-639.
Proteomic analysis of bronchoalveolarBlavageBfluid (BALF) in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients may provide new biomarkers and deeper understanding of the disease mechanisms but remains challenging. Here we describe an ionBcurrentBbased strategy for comparative analysis of BALF proteomes from patients with moderate and stable COPD vs. healthy controls. The strategy includes an efficient preparation procedure providing quantitative recovery and a nanoBLC/MS analysis with a long, heated column. Under optimized conditions, high efficiency and reproducibility were achieved for each step, enabling a “20Bplex” comparison of clinical subjects (n=10/group). Without depletion/fractionation, a total of 423 unique protein groups were quantified under stringent criteria with at least two quantifiable peptides. SeventyBsix proteins were determined as significantlyBaltered in COPD, which represent a diversity of biological processes such as alcohol metabolic process, gluconeogenesis/glycolysis, inflammatory response, proteolysis, and oxidation reduction. Interestingly, altered alcohol metabolism responding to oxidant stress is a novel observation in COPD. The prominently elevated key enzymes involved in alcohol metabolism (e.g. ADH1B, ALDH2&ALDH3A1) may provide a reasonable explanation for a bewildering observation in COPD patients known for decades: the underestimation of the blood alcohol concentrations through breath tests. These discoveries could provide new insights for identifying novel biomarkers and pathological mediators in clinical studies.
doi:10.1021/pr4007602
PMCID: PMC4073647  PMID: 24188068
Biomarker Discovery; Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid; Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; Peptide Extracted Ion Current
9.  An abundance of rare functional variants in 202 drug target genes sequenced in 14,002 people 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2012;337(6090):100-104.
Rare genetic variants contribute to complex disease risk; however, the abundance of rare variants in human populations remains unknown. We explored this spectrum of variation by sequencing 202 genes encoding drug targets in 14,002 individuals. We find rare variants are abundant (one every 17 bases) and geographically localized, such that even with large sample sizes, rare variant catalogs will be largely incomplete. We used the observed patterns of variation to estimate population growth parameters, the proportion of variants in a given frequency class that are putatively deleterious, and mutation rates for each gene. Overall we conclude that, due to rapid population growth and weak purifying selection, human populations harbor an abundance of rare variants, many of which are deleterious and have relevance to understanding disease risk.
doi:10.1126/science.1217876
PMCID: PMC4319976  PMID: 22604722
10.  Predictors of Percutaneous Catheter Drainage (PCD) after Abdominal Paracentesis Drainage (APD) in Patients with Moderately Severe or Severe Acute Pancreatitis along with Fluid Collections 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0115348.
Aims
Although we previously demonstrated abdominal paracentesis drainage (APD) preceding percutaneous catheter drainage (PCD) as the central step for treating patients with moderately severe (MSAP) or severe acute pancreatitis (SAP), the predictors leading to PCD after APD have not been studied.
Methods
Consecutive patients with MSAP or SAP were recruited between June 2011 and June 2013. As a step-up approach, all patients initially received medical management, later underwent ultrasound-guided APD before PCD, if necessary, followed by endoscopic necrosectomy through the path formed by PCD. APD primarily targeted fluid in the abdominal or pelvic cavities, whereas PCD aimed at (peri)pancreatic fluid.
Results
Of the 92 enrolled patients, 40 were managed with APD alone and 52 received PCD after APD (14 required necrosectomy after initial PCD). The overall mortality was 6.5%. Univariate analysis showed that among the 20 selected parameters, 13 factors significantly affected PCD intervention after APD. Multivariate analysis revealed that infected (peri)pancreatic collections (P = -0.001), maximum extent of necrosis of more than 30% of the pancreas (P = -0.024), size of the largest necrotic peri(pancreatic) collection (P = -0.007), and reduction of (peri)pancreatic fluid collections by <50% after APD (P = -0.008) were all independent predictors of PCD.
Conclusions
Infected (peri)pancreatic collections, a largest necrotic peri(pancreatic) collection of more than 100 ml, and reduction of (peri)pancreatic fluid collections by <50% after APD could effectively predict the need for PCD in the early course of the disease.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0115348
PMCID: PMC4319763  PMID: 25659143
11.  Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase–Independent Signaling Pathways Contribute to ICOS-Mediated T Cell Costimulation in Acute Graft-Versus-Host Disease in Mice 
We and others have previously shown that ICOS plays an important role in inducing acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in murine models of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. ICOS potentiates TCR-mediated PI3K activation and intracellular calcium mobilization. However, ICOS signal transduction pathways involved in GVHD remain unknown. In this study, we examined the contribution of ICOS-PI3K signaling in the pathogenic potential of T cells using a knock-in mouse strain, ICOS-YF, which selectively lost the ability to activate PI3K. We found that when total T cells were used as alloreactive T cells, ICOS-YF T cells caused less severe GVHD compared with ICOS wild-type T cells, but they induced much more aggressive disease than ICOS knockout T cells. This intermediate level of pathogenic capacity of ICOS-YF T cells was correlated with similar levels of IFN-g–producing CD8 T cells that developed in the recipients of ICOS-WT or ICOS-YF T cells. We further evaluated the role of ICOS-PI3K signaling in CD4 versus CD8 T cell compartment using GVHD models that are exclusively driven by CD4 or CD8 T cells. Remarkably, ICOS-YF CD8 T cells caused disease similar to ICOS wild-type CD8 T cells, whereas ICOS-YF CD4 T cells behaved very similarly to their ICOS knockout counterparts. Consistent with their in vivo pathogenic potential, CD8 T cells responded to ICOS ligation in vitro by PI3K-independent calcium flux, T cell activation, and proliferation. Thus, in acute GVHD in mice, CD4 T cells heavily rely on ICOS-PI3K signaling pathways; in contrast, CD8 T cells can use PI3K-independent ICOS signaling pathways, possibly through calcium.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1203485
PMCID: PMC4318500  PMID: 23729441
12.  Purification and characterization of a novel defensin from the salivary glands of the black fly, Simulium bannaense 
Parasites & Vectors  2015;8:71.
Background
Black flies (Diptera: Simuliidae) are haematophagous insects that can cause allergic reactions and act as vectors of pathogens. Although their saliva has been thought to contain a diverse array of physiologically active molecules, little information is available on antimicrobial factors in black fly salivary glands, especially no defensins have been reported so far.
Methods
A novel cationic defensin designated SibaDef was purified using reverse phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) from the salivary glands of the black fly Simulium bannaense. The amino acid sequence of SibaDef was determined by a combination method of automated Edman degradation and cDNA sequencing. The morphologic changes of Gram-positive bacteria Staphylococcus aureus or Bacillus subtilis treated with SibaDef were assessed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Quantitative PCR (qPCR) was performed to analyze the expression of SibaDef mRNA in whole bodies of insects after oral infection with the bacteria S. aureus or B. subtilis.
Results
Surprisingly, the phylogenetic analysis of defensin-related amino acid sequences demonstrated that SibaDef is most closely related to defensins from the human body louse Pediculus humanus corporis (Anoplura: Pediculidae), rather than to other dipteran defensins. SibaDef showed potent antimicrobial activities against Gram-positive bacteria with minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) ranging from 0.83 μM to 2.29 μM. SEM analysis indicated that SibaDef killed microorganisms through the disruption of cell membrane integrity. The transcript levels of SibaDef in the bacteria-immunized flies increased with the time course, reaching maximum at 36 h and then slowly decreased from that time point.
Conclusions
Our results indicate that SibaDef is involved in the innate humoral response of the black fly S. bannaense, and it might play a significant role in the defence against microorganisms in both sugar and blood meals.
doi:10.1186/s13071-015-0669-9
PMCID: PMC4324660  PMID: 25649358
Insect; Antimicrobial peptide; Defensin; Salivary gland; Black fly; Simulium bannaense
13.  Mesencephalic Astrocyte-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Is Involved in Inflammation by Negatively Regulating the NF-κB Pathway 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8133.
Inflammation can cause endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and therefore activates the unfolded protein response (UPR). ER stress and the consequent UPR have the potential to activate NF-κB. However, the factors mediating the crosstalk between ER stress and the NF-κB pathway remain unclear. Here, we determined that ER stress inducible protein Mesencephalic Astrocyte-derived Neurotrophic Factor (MANF) was up-regulated in autoimmune diseases and inflammatory disease models. Inflammation caused MANF to relocalize to the nuclei. MANF interacted with the DNA binding domain of p65 through its C-terminal SAP-like domain in the nuclei under the condition of inflammation or ER stress. MANF consequently inhibited p65-mediated transcriptional activation by interfering with the binding of p65 to its target genes promoters. Consistently, MANF suppressed the expressions of NF-κB-dependent target genes and the proliferation of inflammatory synoviocytes. These findings suggest that MANF may be a negative regulator of inflammation and mediate the crosstalk between the NF-κB pathway and ER stress.
doi:10.1038/srep08133
PMCID: PMC4313098  PMID: 25640174
14.  Outbreak-Associated Novel Avipoxvirus in Domestic Mallard Ducks, China 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2015;21(2):372-373.
doi:10.3201/eid2102.140215
PMCID: PMC4313631  PMID: 25625217
Avipoxvirus; duck; outbreak; China; viruses; mallard
15.  Associations of the uric acid related genetic variants in SLC2A9 and ABCG2 loci with coronary heart disease risk 
BMC Genetics  2015;16(1):4.
Background
Multiple studies investigated the associations between serum uric acid and coronary heart disease (CHD) risk. However, further investigations still remain to be carried out to determine whether there exists a causal relationship between them. We aim to explore the associations between genetic variants in uric acid related loci of SLC2A9 and ABCG2 and CHD risk in a Chinese population.
Results
A case–control study including 1,146 CHD cases and 1,146 controls was conducted. Association analysis between two uric acid related variants (SNP rs11722228 in SLC2A9 and rs4148152 in ABCG2) and CHD risk was performed by logistic regression model. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. Compared with subjects with A allele of rs4148152, those with G allele had a decreased CHD risk and the association remained significant in a multivariate model. However, it altered to null when BMI was added into the model. No significant association was observed between rs11722228 and CHD risk. The distribution of CHD risk factors was not significantly different among different genotypes of both SNPs. Among subjects who did not consume alcohol, the G allele of rs4148152 showed a moderate protective effect. However, no significant interactions were observed between SNP by CHD risk factors on CHD risk.
Conclusions
There might be no association between the two uric acid related SNPs with CHD risk. Further studies were warranted to validate these results.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12863-015-0162-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12863-015-0162-7
PMCID: PMC4314773  PMID: 25634581
Coronary heart disease; Uric acid; Polymorphism; Gene-environment interaction
16.  An efficient molybdenum disulfide/cobalt diselenide hybrid catalyst for electrochemical hydrogen generation 
Nature Communications  2015;6:5982.
The electroreduction of water for sustainable hydrogen production is a critical component of several developing clean-energy technologies, such as water splitting and fuel cells. However, finding a cheap and efficient alternative catalyst to replace currently used platinum-based catalysts is still a prerequisite for the commercialization of these technologies. Here we report a robust and highly active catalyst for hydrogen evolution reaction that is constructed by in situ growth of molybdenum disulfide on the surface of cobalt diselenide. In acidic media, the molybdenum disulfide/cobalt diselenide catalyst exhibits fast hydrogen evolution kinetics with onset potential of −11 mV and Tafel slope of 36 mV per decade, which is the best among the non-noble metal hydrogen evolution catalysts and even approaches to the commercial platinum/carbon catalyst. The high hydrogen evolution activity of molybdenum disulfide/cobalt diselenide hybrid is likely due to the electrocatalytic synergistic effects between hydrogen evolution-active molybdenum disulfide and cobalt diselenide materials and the much increased catalytic sites.
There is substantial research into new catalysts for electroreduction of water. Here, the authors report a robust and active molybdenum disulfide/cobalt diselenide hydrogen evolution catalyst with onset potential of 11 mV and Tafel slope of 36 mV per decade, approaching the activity of platinum.
doi:10.1038/ncomms6982
PMCID: PMC4309426  PMID: 25585911
17.  Effects of Calcium Phosphate Nanocrystals on Osseointegration of Titanium Implant in Irradiated Bone 
BioMed Research International  2015;2015:783894.
Radiotherapy may compromise the integration of implant and cause implant loss. Implant surface modifications have the possibility of promoting cell attachment, cell growth, and bone formation which ultimately enhance the osseointegration process. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of calcium phosphate nanocrystals on implant osseointegration in irradiated bone. Sixteen rabbits were randomly assigned into control and nano-CaP groups, receiving implants with dual acid-etched surface or dual acid-etched surface discretely deposited of nanoscale calcium-phosphate crystals, respectively. The left leg of all the rabbits received 15 Gy radiation, followed by implants placement one week after. Four animals in each group were sacrificed after 4 and 12 weeks, respectively. Implant stability quotient (ISQ), ratio of bone volume to total volume (BV/TV), bone growth rate, and bone-to-implant contact (BIC) were evaluated. The nano-CaP group showed significantly higher ISQ (week 12, P = 0.031) and bone growth rate (week 6, P = 0.021; week 9, P = 0.001) than that in control group. No significant differences in BV/TV and BIC were found between two groups. Titanium implant surface modified with CaP nanocrystals provides a potential alternative to improve bone healing around implant in irradiated bone.
doi:10.1155/2015/783894
PMCID: PMC4317600
18.  Intestinal Parasite Co-infection among Pulmonary Tuberculosis Cases without Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection in a Rural County in China 
Epidemiologic studies of co-infection with tuberculosis (TB) and intestinal parasites in humans have not been extensively investigated in China. A cross-section study was conducted in a rural county of Henan Province, China. Pulmonary TB (PTB) case-patients receiving treatment for infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and healthy controls matched for geographic area, age, and sex were surveyed by using questionnaires. Fecal and blood specimens were collected for detection of intestinal parasites, routine blood examination, and infection with human immunodeficiency virus. The chi-square test was used for univariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression models were used to adjust for potential confounding factors. A total of 369 persons with PTB and 366 healthy controls were included; all participants were negative for human immunodeficiency virus. The overall prevalence of intestinal parasites in persons with PTB was 14.9%, including intestinal protozoa (7.9%) and helminthes (7.6%). The infection spectrum of intestinal parasites was Entamoeba spp. (1.4%), Blastocystis hominis (6.2%), Trichomonas hominis (0.3%), Clonorchis sinensis (0.3%), Ascaris lumbricoides (0.5%), Trichuris trichiura (2.2%), and hookworm (4.6%). The prevalence of intestinal parasites showed no significant difference between persons with PTB and healthy controls after adjusting for potential confounding factors. There was no factor that affected infection rates for intestinal parasites between the two groups. Infection with intestinal parasites of persons with PTB was associated with female sex (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.05, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.01–4.17), body mass index ≤ 19 (AOR = 3.02, 95% CI = 1.47–6.20), and anemia (AOR = 2.43, 95% CI = 1.17–5.03). Infection of healthy controls was only associated with an annual labor time in farmlands > 2 months (AOR = 4.50, 95% CI = 2.03–10.00). In addition, there was no significant trend between rates of infection with intestinal parasites and duration of receiving treatment for infection with M. tuberculosis in persons with PTB. The prevalence of intestinal parasites was not higher in persons with PTB, and there was no evidence that PTB increased susceptibility to intestinal parasites in this study. However, for patients with PTB, women and patients with comorbidities were more likely to be infected with intestinal parasites.
doi:10.4269/ajtmh.13-0426
PMCID: PMC3886404  PMID: 24166044
19.  IL-23 Promotes TCR-mediated Negative Selection of Thymocytes through the Upregulation of IL-23 Receptor and RORγt 
Nature communications  2014;5:4259.
Summary
Transient thymic involution is frequently found during inflammation, yet the mode of action of inflammatory cytokines is not well defined. Here we report that interleukin-23 (IL-23) production by the thymic dendritic cells (DCs) promotes apoptosis of the CD4hiCD8hi double positive (DP) thymocytes. A deficiency in IL-23 signaling interferes with negative selection in the male Db/H-Y T-cell receptor (TCR) transgenic mice. IL-23 plus TCR signaling results in significant up-regulation of IL-23 receptor (IL-23R) expressed predominantly on CD4hiCD8hiCD3+αβTCR+ DP thymocytes, and leads to RORγt dependent apoptosis. These results extend the action of IL-23 beyond its peripheral effects to a unique role in TCR mediated negative selection including elimination of natural T regulatory cells in the thymus.
doi:10.1038/ncomms5259
PMCID: PMC4136447  PMID: 25001511
20.  Preparation and Upconversion Emission Modification of Crystalline Colloidal Arrays and Rare Earth Fluoride Microcrystal Composites 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:7636.
In this paper, highly ordered crystalline colloidal arrays containing rare earth fluoride microcrystals were fabricated. The upconversion emission property of rare earth fluoride microcrystals in crystalline colloidal arrays was studied and modified. A significant suppression and enhancement of the upconversion emission from the rare earth fluorides can be observed in the regions of the photonic band gap and its band edge, respectively. The suppression or enhancement factor was shown to be related to the ordered degree of the crystalline colloidal arrays and is critical in the preparation of upconversion displays and low-threshold lasers.
doi:10.1038/srep07636
PMCID: PMC4284515  PMID: 25560045
21.  Determination of Androgen Receptor Degradation Enhancer ASC-J9® in Mouse Sera and Organs with Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry 
Journal of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis  2013;88:10.1016/j.jpba.2013.08.020.
A novel androgen receptor (AR) degradation enhancer ASC-J9® has displayed beneficial effects during the in vitro and in vivo studies for treatment of prostate cancer, liver cancer, bladder cancer and spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA). It works mainly by inducing the degradation of AR with minimal side effects on the tested mice. Here we developed a fast, robust and more sensitive method for the quantification of ASC-J9® in 100 μL of mouse serum by using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The limit of quantification (LOQ) was found to be 5nM for ASCJ9®. This method was successfully applied to investigate the pharmacokinetics of ASC-J9® in mice serum samples and also the distribution of the drug in various mice organs after single dose injection with results showing that ASC-J9® could be quickly absorbed in vivo and had a relatively slow elimination half-life of 5.45 h. The ASC-J9® also exhibited a higher tendency to accumulate in organs such as liver, testes and prostate.
doi:10.1016/j.jpba.2013.08.020
PMCID: PMC3856572  PMID: 24042123
ASC-J9®; androgen receptor; liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry; pharmacokinetics; distribution of drug
22.  Structural basis for the neutralization and specificity of Staphylococcal enterotoxin B against its MHC Class II binding site 
mAbs  2013;6(1):119-129.
Staphylococcal enterotoxin (SE) B is among the potent toxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus that cause toxic shock syndrome (TSS), which can result in multi-organ failure and death. Currently, neutralizing antibodies have been shown to be effective immunotherapeutic agents against this toxin, but the structural basis of the neutralizing mechanism is still unknown. In this study, we generated a neutralizing monoclonal antibody, 3E2, against SEB, and analyzed the crystal structure of the SEB-3E2 Fab complex. Crystallographic analysis suggested that the neutralizing epitope overlapped with the MHC II molecule binding site on SEB, and thus 3E2 could inhibit SEB function by preventing interaction with the MHC II molecule. Mutagenesis studies were done on SEB, as well as the related Staphylococcus aureus toxins SEA and SEC. These studies revealed that tyrosine (Y)46 and lysine (K)71 residues of SEB are essential to specific antibody–antigen recognition and neutralization. Substitution of Y at SEA glutamine (Q)49, which corresponds to SEB Y46, increased both 3E2’s binding to SEA in vitro and the neutralization of SEA in vivo. These results suggested that SEB Y46 is responsible for distinguishing SEB from SEA. These findings may be helpful for the development of antibody-based therapy for SEB-induced TSS.
doi:10.4161/mabs.27106
PMCID: PMC3929436  PMID: 24423621
Staphylococcus aureus; enterotoxin B; neutralizing antibody; crystal structure; mechanism
23.  Genome-wide association study and meta-analysis of intraocular pressure 
Human genetics  2013;133(1):41-57.
Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is a major risk factor for glaucoma and is influenced by genetic and environmental factors. Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) reported associations with IOP at TMCO1 and GAS7, and with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) at CDKN2B-AS1, CAV1/CAV2, and SIX1/SIX6. To identify novel genetic variants and replicate the published findings, we performed GWAS and meta-analysis of IOP in >6,000 subjects of European ancestry collected in three datasets: the NEI Glaucoma Human genetics collaBORation, GLAUcoma Genes and ENvironment study, and a subset of the Age-related Macular Degeneration-Michigan, Mayo, AREDS and Pennsylvania study. While no signal achieved genome-wide significance in individual datasets, a meta-analysis identified significant associations with IOP at TMCO1 (rs7518099-G, p = 8.0 × 10−8). Focused analyses of five loci previously reported for IOP and/or POAG, i.e., TMCO1, CDKN2B-AS1, GAS7, CAV1/CAV2, and SIX1/SIX6, revealed associations with IOP that were largely consistent across our three datasets, and replicated the previously reported associations in both effect size and direction. These results confirm the involvement of common variants in multiple genomic regions in regulating IOP and/or glaucoma risk.
doi:10.1007/s00439-013-1349-5
PMCID: PMC3982323  PMID: 24002674
24.  Toll-like receptor 7-stimulated tumor necrosis factor α causes bone marrow damage in systemic lupus erythematosus 
Objective
To define the pathogenesis of bone marrow (BM) involvement in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Methods
Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα), cell death, and cellular damage in BM from SLE patients, controls, and mice with pristane-induced lupus were analyzed morphologically and using immunohistochemistry. The pathogenesis of BM abnormalities was studied in wild-type, and TNFα-, TLR7-, and interferon-α receptor-deficient, along with B cell-deficient (µmt) mice treated with pristane. Flow cytometry was used to examine TNFα production (intracellular staining) and plasma cell/plasmablast development. CXCL12 expression was determined by quantitative PCR.
Results
SLE patients’ BM exhibited striking death of niche and hematopoietic cells associated with TNFα over-production. BM from mice with an IFN-I-mediated lupus syndrome induced by pristane showed similar abnormalities. TNFα was produced mainly by BM neutrophils, many with phagocytosed nuclear material (LE cells). TNFα production was abolished in TLR7−/− and µmt mice but was restored in µmt mice by infusing normal plasma. Pristane-treated wild-type- and IFNAR−/− mice developed anemia, BM hypocellularity, and extramedullary hematopoiesis, which were absent in TLR7−/− and TNFα−/− mice. Additionally, CXCL12, which is produced by stromal cells and mediates homing of hematopoietic cells and plasmablasts, was decreased in BM from pristane-treated wild-type mice but normal in TNFα−/− mice.
Conclusion
Although autoantibodies and glomerulonephritis are IFN-I dependent, lupus-associated BM abnormalities were TLR7- and TNFα-driven, but IFN-I-independent, suggesting that lupus is a disorder of innate immunity in which TLR7 activation by phagocytosed nuclei causes relentless IFN-I and TNFα production mediating glomerulonephritis and hematologic involvement, respectively.
doi:10.1002/art.38189
PMCID: PMC3990233  PMID: 24449581
25.  Rare mutations in RINT1 predispose carriers to breast and Lynch Syndrome-spectrum cancers 
Cancer discovery  2014;4(7):804-815.
Approximately half of the familial aggregation of breast cancer remains unexplained. A multiple-case breast cancer family exome sequencing study identified three likely pathogenic mutations in RINT1 (NM_021930.4) not present in public sequencing databases: RINT1 c.343C>T (p.Q115X), c.1132_1134del (p.M378del) and c.1207G>T (p.D403Y). Based on this finding, a population-based case-control mutation-screening study was conducted and identified 29 carriers of rare (MAF < 0.5%), likely pathogenic variants: 23 in 1,313 early-onset breast cancer cases and 6 in 1,123 frequency-matched controls (OR=3.24, 95%CI 1.29-8.17; p=0.013). RINT1 mutation screening of probands from 798 multiple-case breast cancer families identified 4additional carriers of rare genetic variants. Analysis of the incidence of first primary cancers in families of women in RINT1-mutation carrying families estimated that carriers were at increased risks of Lynch syndrome-spectrum cancers (SIR 3.35, 95% CI 1.7-6.0; P=0.005), particularly for relatives diagnosed with cancer under age 60 years (SIR 10.9, 95%CI 4.7-21; P=0.0003).
doi:10.1158/2159-8290.CD-14-0212
PMCID: PMC4234633  PMID: 25050558
Breast Cancer; RINT1; Lynch Syndrome; Genetic Susceptibility

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