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1.  The impact of educational status on the clinical features of major depressive disorder among Chinese women 
Journal of Affective Disorders  2012;136(3):988-992.
Years of education are inversely related to the prevalence of major depressive disorder (MDD), but the relationship between the clinical features of MDD and educational status is poorly understood. We investigated this in 1970 Chinese women with recurrent MDD identified in a clinical setting.
Clinical and demographic features were obtained from 1970 Han Chinese women with DSM-IV major depression between 30 and 60 years of age across China. Analysis of linear, logistic and multiple logistic regression models were used to determine the association between educational level and clinical features of MDD.
Subjects with more years of education are more likely to have MDD, with an odds ratio of 1.14 for those with more than ten years. Low educational status is not associated with an increase in the number of episodes, nor with increased rates of co-morbidity with anxiety disorders. Education impacts differentially on the symptoms of depression: lower educational attainment is associated with more biological symptoms and increased suicidal ideation and plans to commit suicide.
Findings may not generalize to males or to other patient populations. Since the threshold for treatment seeking differs as a function of education there may an ascertainment bias in the sample.
The relationship between symptoms of MDD and educational status in Chinese women is unexpectedly complex. Our findings are inconsistent with the simple hypothesis from European and US reports that low levels of educational attainment increase the risk and severity of MDD.
PMCID: PMC3314924  PMID: 21824664
Major depressive disorder; Education; Socio-economic status; Symptom
2.  Possible association of decreased NKG2D expression levels and suppression of the activity of natural killer cells in patients with colorectal cancer 
International Journal of Oncology  2011;40(4):1285-1290.
Natural-killer group 2 (NKG2), a natural killer (NK) cell receptor, plays a critical role in regulating NK cytotoxicity. In this study, we investigated the expression levels of natural killer group 2 member A (NKG2A) and natural killer group 2 member D (NKG2D) in NK cells as well as the regulatory function of NKG2D in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC). Sixty-two CRC patients and 32 healthy controls were enrolled in this study. The expression levels of NKG2A and NKG2D mRNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were investigated using real-time PCR. Flow cytometry was performed to assay the levels of NKG2A and NKG2D proteins in NK cells. The levels of NKG2D mRNA in PBMCs in the patients were significantly lower than those in the controls [mean ± SD, 1.11±0.60 (CRC patients) vs. 1.65±0.71 (healthy controls); p<0.01], whereas the 2 groups showed no apparent difference in the levels of NKG2A mRNA (p>0.05). In addition, the patients showed significantly lower NKG2D levels in NK cells than the controls did (71.23%±8.31% [CRC patients] vs. 79.39%±5.58% [healthy controls]; p<0.01). However, we observed no distinct difference in the NKG2A expression levels in NK cells between the 2 groups (p>0.05). Notably, blockage of NKG2D signaling with anti-NKG2D antibodies ex vivo resulted in decreased cytotoxicity and CD107a degranulation. Our data revealed that the decrease in NKG2D expression levels may have been associated with suppression of NK cell activity in CRC patients.
PMCID: PMC3584522  PMID: 22200673
NKG2; natural killer cells; colorectal cancer; suppression
3.  Age at onset of major depressive disorder in Han Chinese women: Relationship with clinical features and family history☆ 
Journal of Affective Disorders  2011;135(1-3):89-94.
Individuals with early-onset depression may be a clinically distinct group with particular symptom patterns, illness course, comorbidity and family history. This question has not been previously investigated in a Han Chinese population.
We examined the clinical features of 1970 Han Chinese women with DSM-IV major depressive disorder (MDD) between 30 and 60 years of age across China. Analysis of linear, logistic and multiple logistic regression models was used to determine the association between age at onset (AAO) with continuous, binary and discrete characteristic clinical features of MDD.
Earlier AAO was associated with more suicidal ideation and attempts and higher neuroticism, but fewer sleep, appetite and weight changes. Patients with an earlier AAO were more likely to suffer a chronic course (longer illness duration, more MDD episodes and longer index episode), increased rates of MDD in their parents and a lower likelihood of marriage. They tend to have higher comorbidity with anxiety disorders (general anxiety disorder, social phobia and agoraphobia) and dysthymia.
Early AAO in MDD may be an index of a more severe, highly comorbid and familial disorder. Our findings indicate that the features of MDD in China are similar to those reported elsewhere in the world.
PMCID: PMC3210897  PMID: 21782247
Major depressive disorder; Age at onset; Symptom; Comorbidity
4.  Mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 (ALDH2) Glu504Lys polymorphism contributes to the variation in efficacy of sublingual nitroglycerin 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2006;116(2):506-511.
Glyceryl trinitrate (GTN), also known as nitroglycerin, has been used to treat angina and heart failure for more than 130 years. Recently, it was shown that mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 (ALDH2) is responsible for formation of NO, the metabolite needed for GTN efficacy. In the present study, we show that the common G-to-A polymorphism in exon 12 of ALDH2 — resulting in a Glu504Lys replacement that virtually eliminates ALDH2 activity in both heterozygotes and homozygotes — is associated with a lack of efficacy of sublingual GTN in Chinese subjects. We also show that the catalytic efficiency (Vmax/Km) of GTN metabolism of the Glu504 protein is approximately 10-fold higher than that of the Lys504 enzyme. We conclude that the presence of the Lys504 allele contributes in large part to the lack of an efficacious clinical response to nitroglycerin; we recommend that this genetic factor be considered when administering nitroglycerin to patients, especially Asians, 30–50% of whom possess the inactive ALDH2*2 mutant allele.
PMCID: PMC1351000  PMID: 16440063

Results 1-4 (4)