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1.  Prevalence of Anaplasma and Bartonella spp. in Ticks Collected from Korean Water Deer (Hydropotes inermis argyropus) 
Deer serve as reservoirs of tick-borne pathogens that impact on medical and veterinary health worldwide. In the Republic of Korea, the population of Korean water deer (KWD, Hydropotes inermis argyropus) has greatly increased from 1982 to 2011, in part, as a result of reforestation programs established following the Korean War when much of the land was barren of trees. Eighty seven Haemaphysalis flava, 228 Haemaphysalis longicornis, 8 Ixodes nipponensis, and 40 Ixodes persulcatus (21 larvae, 114 nymphs, and 228 adults) were collected from 27 out of 70 KWD. A total of 89/363 ticks (266 pools, 24.5% minimum infection rate) and 5 (1.4%) fed ticks were positive for Anaplasma phagocytophilum using nested PCR targeting the 16S rRNA and groEL genes, respectively. The 16S rRNA gene fragment sequences of 88/89 (98.9%) of positive samples for A. phagocytophilum corresponded to previously described gene sequences from KWD spleen tissues. The 16S rRNA gene fragment sequences of 20/363 (5.5%) of the ticks were positive for A. bovis and were identical to previously reported sequences. Using the ITS specific nested PCR, 11/363 (3.0%) of the ticks were positive for Bartonella spp. This is the first report of Anaplasma and Bartonella spp. detected in ticks collected from KWD, suggesting that ticks are vectors of Anaplasma and Bartonella spp. between reservoir hosts in natural surroundings.
PMCID: PMC4792329  PMID: 26951985
Anaplasma spp.; Bartonella spp.; tick; Korean water deer
2.  A Horsehair Worm, Gordius sp. (Nematomorpha: Gordiida), Passed in a Canine Feces 
Nematomorpha, horsehair or Gordian worms, include about 300 freshwater species in 22 genera (Gordiida) and 5 marine species in 1 marine genus (Nectonema). They are parasitic in arthropods during their juvenile stage. In the present study, the used gordian worm was found in the feces of a dog (5-month old, male) in July 2014. Following the worm analysis using light and scanning electron microscopes, the morphological classification was re-evaluated with molecular analysis. The worm was determined to be a male worm having a bi-lobed tail and had male gonads in cross sections. It was identified as Gordius sp. (Nematomorpha: Gordiidae) based on the characteristic morphologies of cross sections and areole on the cuticle. DNA analysis on 18S rRNA partial sequence arrangements was also carried out, and the gordiid worm was assumed to be close to the genus Gordius based on a phylogenic tree analysis.
PMCID: PMC4725239  PMID: 26797439
Gordius; horsehair worm; Nematomorpha; dog; Korea
3.  Detection of Anaplasma sp. in Korean Native Goats (Capra aegagrus hircus) on Jeju Island, Korea 
Anaplasma species are obligate intracellular pathogens that can cause tick-borne diseases in mammalian hosts. To date, very few studies of their occurrence in Korean native goats (Capra aegagrus hircus) have been reported. In the present study, we investigated Anaplasma infection of Korean native goats on Jeju Island, Republic of Korea, and performed phylogenetic analysis based on the 16S rRNA gene sequences. Our results showed that Anaplasma infection was found mostly in adult female goats. The phylogenetic tree revealed that the 7 sequences identified in Korean native goats could belong to Anaplasma sp. and were distinct from A. marginale, A. centrale, and A. ovis. The results indicated that the sequences identified to belong to Anaplasma were closely related to sequences isolated from goats in China and were clustered within the same group. To our knowledge, this is the first study to detect Anaplasma sp. infection in Korean native goats.
PMCID: PMC4725243  PMID: 26797447
Anaplasma; Korean native goat; phylogenetic analysis; 16S rRNA gene
4.  Detection of Tick-Borne Pathogens in the Korean Water Deer (Hydropotes inermis argyropus) from Jeonbuk Province, Korea 
The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence of tick-borne pathogens in the Korean water deer (Hydropotes inermis argyropus). Pathogens were identified using PCR which included Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Rickettsia, and Theileria. Rickettsia was not detected, whereas Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, and Theileria infections were detected in 4, 2, and 8 animals, respectively. The most prevalent pathogen was Theileria. Of the 8 Theileria-positive animals, 2 were mixed-infected with 3 pathogens (Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, and Theileria) and another 2 animals showed mixed-infection with 2 pathogens (Anaplasma and Theileria). Sequencing analysis was used to verify the PCR results. The pathogens found in this study were identified as Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Ehrlichia canis, and Theileria sp. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report identifying these 3 pathogens in the Korean water deer. Our results suggest that the Korean water deer may serve as a major reservoir for these tick-borne pathogens, leading to spread of tick-borne diseases to domestic animals, livestock, and humans. Further studies are needed to investigate their roles in this respect.
PMCID: PMC4635824  PMID: 26537046
Anaplasma; Ehrlichia; Theileria; tick-borne pathogen; Korean water deer; reservoir
5.  First Record of Cosmocephalus obvelatus (Acuariidae) in Common Gulls (Larus canus) from Gangneung, Korea 
A nematode species belonging to the genus Cosmocephalus was collected from the stomach of 2 common gulls, Larus canus. The common gulls were found dead on the seaside of Gangneung City, the Republic of Korea. The worms were identified and classified by light (LM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) on the basis of important taxonomic characters. The nematodes were characterized by a body length 9.1-9.3 mm (males) and 15.5-15.9 mm (females) and cordons recurrent in anterior direction and anastomosing laterally at about the level of anterior quarter of the buccal cavity. The salient bicuspid deirids were located on the posterior to the cordons. Lateral alae were well-developed, extending from the level just posterior of deirids to the level about middle of the body. LM and SEM observations identified the worms as C. obvelatus. This is the first reported case of C. obvelatus infection in common gulls in Korea.
PMCID: PMC4384792  PMID: 25748715
Cosmocephalus obvelatus; gull; morphology
6.  Immunotoxicity of zinc oxide nanoparticles with different size and electrostatic charge 
International Journal of Nanomedicine  2014;9(Suppl 2):195-205.
While zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles (NPs) have been recognized to have promising applications in biomedicine, their immunotoxicity has been inconsistent and even contradictory. To address this issue, we investigated whether ZnO NPs with different size (20 or 100 nm) and electrostatic charge (positive or negative) would cause immunotoxicity in vitro and in vivo, and explored their underlying molecular mechanism. Using Raw 264.7 cell line, we examined the immunotoxicity mechanism of ZnO NPs as cell viability. We found that in a cell viability assay, ZnO NPs with different size and charge could induce differential cytotoxicity to Raw 264.7 cells. Specifically, the positively charged ZnO NPs exerted higher cytotoxicity than the negatively charged ones. Next, to gauge systemic immunotoxicity, we assessed immune responses of C57BL/6 mice after oral administration of 750 mg/kg/day dose of ZnO NPs for 2 weeks. In parallel, ZnO NPs did not alter the cell-mediated immune response in mice but suppressed innate immunity such as natural killer cell activity. The CD4+/CD8+ ratio, a marker for matured T-cells was slightly reduced, which implies the alteration of immune status induced by ZnO NPs. Accordingly, nitric oxide production from splenocyte culture supernatant in ZnO NP-fed mice was lower than control. Consistently, serum levels of pro/anti-inflammatory (interleukin [IL]-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α, and IL-10) and T helper-1 cytokines (interferon-γ and IL-12p70) in ZnO NP-fed mice were significantly suppressed. Collectively, our results indicate that different sized and charged ZnO NPs would cause in vitro and in vivo immunotoxicity, of which nature is an immunosuppression.
PMCID: PMC4279726  PMID: 25565837
immunosuppression; cytokine; ZnO; immune response; cytotoxicity; innate immunity
7.  Molecular Identification of Haemadipsa rjukjuana (Hirudiniformes: Haemadipsidae) in Gageo Island, Korea 
There are 60 species of blood-feeding land leeches, 50 species belonging to the family Haemadipsidae and 10 species belonging to the family Xerobdellidae. Despite recent papers on the land leeches, their taxonomic identification is not fully understood, especially at a species level. In Korea, there have been no historical records of the terrestrial leeches, but recently an unrecorded blood-feeding land leech was discovered at Gageo-do (Island), Korea. Molecular analysis was used to identify the species of 29 leeches collected from Mt. Dock-Sil in Gageo-do. Conventional PCR was conducted using nuclear 18S rRNA and mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (CO1) genetic marker. The 18S rRNA sequences revealed that the leeches share 99.9% identity with Haemadipsa rjukjuana (inhabiting Taiwan), and the CO1 sequences revealed that the leeches are very close to H. rjukjuana (inhabiting Taiwan). The CO1 sequences were separated into 2 categories, 1 with 94.6% and the other with 94.3% similarity to the H. rjukjuana L00115A (inhabiting Taiwan). This new finding of the land leech is the first record in Korea. In addition, the north range of the distribution of the blood-feeding leech (Hirudiniformes: Haemadipisidae) should be reconsidered including Korea.
PMCID: PMC4028454  PMID: 24850960
Haemadipsa rjukjuana; terrestrial leech; blood-feeding vector
8.  Effects of Red Ginseng Extract on Zearalenone Induced Spermatogenesis Impairment in Rat 
Journal of Ginseng Research  2011;35(3):294-300.
Zearalenone (ZEA) is a phenolic resorcylic acid lactone compound produced by several species of Fusarium. ZEA has toxic effects in the testes of domestic and laboratory animals. Korean red ginseng (KRG), the steamed root of Panax ginseng Meyer, has multiple pharmacological effects such as vasorelaxation, anti-thrombosis, anti-hypertension, etc. In this study, we investigated the effects of KRG extract on testicular toxicity induced by ZEA. Rats were treated with 300 mg/kg oral doses of KRG for 4 weeks every other day. The rats were then treated with a single dose of 5 mg/kg ZEA delivered intraperitoneally, whereas control rats received only doses of the vehicle. As a result, germ cell apoptosis induced by ZEA was decreased by KRG pre-treatment. In addition, Fas and Fas-L expression was reduced in rats that received KRG pre-treatment compared to ones treated with ZEA alone. In conclusion, impaired spermatogenesis resulting from ZEA treatment was prevented by KRG through Fas-Fas L modulating.
PMCID: PMC3659542  PMID: 23717072
Panax ginseng; Zearalenone; Korean red ginseng; Apoptosis; Spermatogenesis
9.  Chordoma in the Tail of a Ferret 
Laboratory Animal Research  2011;27(1):53-57.
A chordoma is an uncommon tumor that originates from the remnants of the notochord and most commonly involves the cranial and caudal regions of the axial skeleton. Chordoma has been described in laboratory animals such as dogs, rats, minks, and ferrets. This report describes a case of a chordoma in the tail of a ferret. Grossly, a grayish-white, expansile, subcutaneous soft-tissue mass was observed in the tail. Histopathologically, the mass was a loosely placed, nodular, unencapsulated neoplasm within the dermis. In the mass, tumor lobules were intermingled with fibrous tissues. Fibrous tissues contained abundant extracellular basophilic material that was consistent with mucin. The tumor was composed of a close pack of adipocyte-like vacuolated cells (physaliferous cells). The cells were centrally or eccentrically located round nuclei and eosinophilic cytoplasm with large vacuoles. Immunohistologically, neoplastic cells were positive for vimentin and S-100 protein. Based on histopathologic findings and special staining characteristics, this case was diagnosed as chordoma.
PMCID: PMC3145987  PMID: 21826161
Chordoma; ferret; physaliferous cells; pathology
10.  Applications of Chitin and Its Derivatives in Biological Medicine 
Chitin and its derivatives—as a potential resource as well as multiple functional substrates—have generated attractive interest in various fields such as biomedical, pharmaceutical, food and environmental industries, since the first isolation of chitin in 1811. Moreover, chitosan and its chitooligosaccharides (COS) are degraded products of chitin through enzymatic and acidic hydrolysis processes; and COS, in particular, is well suited for potential biological application, due to the biocompatibility and nontoxic nature of chitosan. In this review, we investigate the current bioactivities of chitin derivatives, which are all correlated with their biomedical properties. Several new and cutting edge insights here may provide a molecular basis for the mechanism of chitin, and hence may aid its use for medical and pharmaceutical applications.
PMCID: PMC3100826  PMID: 21614199
chitin; chitosan; antioxidant; anticancer; anti-inflammatory; drug delivery
11.  FOXP3 is an X-linked breast cancer suppressor gene and an important repressor of the HER-2/ErbB2 oncogene 
Cell  2007;129(7):1275-1286.
The X-linked Foxp3 is a member of the forkhead/winged helix transcription factor family. Germ-line mutations cause lethal autoimmune diseases in males. Serendipitously, we observed that Foxp3sf/+ heterozygous mice developed cancer at a high rate. The majority of the cancers were mammary carcinomas in which the wild-type Foxp3 allele was inactivated and ErbB2 was over-expressed. Foxp3 bound and repressed the ErbB2 promoter. Deletion, functionally significant somatic mutations and down-regulation of the FOXP3 gene were commonly found in human breast cancer samples and correlated significantly with HER-2 over-expression, regardless of the status of HER-2 amplification. In toto, the data demonstrate that FOXP3 is an X-linked breast cancer suppressor gene and an important regulator of the HER-2/ErbB2 oncogene.
PMCID: PMC1974845  PMID: 17570480
12.  Siglecg Limits the Size of B1a B Cell Lineage by Down-Regulating NFκB Activation 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(10):e997.
B1 B cells are believed to be a unique lineage with a distinct developmental pathway, function and activation requirement. How this lineage is genetically determined remained largely obscure.
Methods and Principal Findings
Using the Siglecg-deficient mice with a knockin of green-fluorescent protein encoding sequence, we show here that, although the Siglecg gene is broadly expressed at high levels in all stages and/or lineages of B cells tested and at lower levels in other lineages, its deletion selectively expanded the B1a B cell lineages, including the frequency of the B1 cell progenitor in the bone marrow and the number of B1a cells in the peritoneal cavity, by postnatal expansion. The expansion of B1a B cells in the peritoneal correlated with enhanced activation of NFκB and was ablated by an IKK inhibitor.
Conclusion and Significance
Our data revealed a critical role for Siglec G-NFκB pathway in regulating B1a B cell lineage. These data lead to a novel model of B1a lineage development that explains a large array of genetic data in this field.
PMCID: PMC1994585  PMID: 17912374

Results 1-12 (12)