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1.  The clinicopathological and prognostic significance of PD-L1 expression in gastric cancer: a meta-analysis of 10 studies with 1,901 patients 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:37933.
The prognostic value of programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) in gastric cancer (GC) remains controversial. To clarify this problem, we performed a meta-analysis of research studies identified in the PubMed, EMBASE and the Cochrane Library databases. A total of 1,901 patients in 10 studies were enrolled in this meta-analysis, and the pooled hazard ratio (HR) of 1.64 (95% CI 1.11 to 2.43; P = 0.01) indicated that PD-L1 expression is associated with a shorter overall survival (OS). The pooled odds ratios (ORs) indicated that PD-L1 expression was associated with tumour size (OR = 1.87, 95% CI 1.25 to 2.78; P = 0.002) and lymph node status (OR = 2.17, 95% CI 1.04 to 4.52; P = 0.04). However, PD-L1 had no correlation with gender, age, cancer location, differentiation, depth of invasion, and tumour stage. This meta-analysis indicates that PD-L1 expression is a valuable predictor of the prognosis of patients with GC. PD-L1 expression could be used for identifying a subgroup of patients, who would potentially benefit from targeted therapy against PD-1 or PD-L1. Well-designed large-cohort studies are needed to confirm these findings.
PMCID: PMC5124943  PMID: 27892511
2.  Role-playing is an effective instructional strategy for genetic counseling training: an investigation and comparative study 
BMC Medical Education  2016;16(1):235.
Genetic diseases represent a significant public health challenge in China that will need to be addressed by a correspondingly large number of professional genetic counselors. However, neither an official training program for genetic counseling, nor formal board certification, was available in China before 2015. In 2009, a genetic counseling training program based on role-playing was implemented as a pilot study at the Third Military Medical University to train third-year medical students.
Questionnaires on participant attitudes to the program and role-playing were randomly administered to 324 students after they had finished their training. Pre- and post-training instructional tests, focusing on 42 key components of genetic counseling, were administered randomly to 200 participants to assess mastery of each component. Finally, scores in final examinations of 578 participants from 2009 to 2011 were compared to scores obtained by 614 non-participating students from 2006 to 2008 to further assess program efficacy.
Both the training program and the instructional strategy of role-playing were accepted by most participants. Students believed that role-playing improved their practice of genetic counseling and medical genetics, enhanced their communication skills, and would likely contribute to future professional performance. The average understanding of 40 of the key points in genetic counseling was significantly improved, and most students approached excellent levels of mastery. Scores in final examinations and the percentages of students scoring above 90 were also significantly elevated.
Role-playing is a feasible and effective instructional strategy for training genetic counselors in China as well as in other developing countries.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12909-016-0756-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC5010759  PMID: 27589999
Educational and training program; Genetic counseling; Role-playing; Medical curricula
3.  Modulation of mTOR activity by μ-opioid receptor is dependent upon the association of receptor and FK506 binding protein 12 
CNS neuroscience & therapeutics  2015;21(7):591-598.
Mechanistic/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) activation by μ-opioid receptor (OPRM1) participates in antinociceptive tolerance, hyperalgesia, physical dependence. Our previous study also showed that mTOR activation by OPRM1 could attenuate β amyloid oligomers-induced neurotoxicity. OPRM1 is demonstrated to interact with FK506 binding protein 12 (FKBP12). It is our great interest to investigate whether OPRM1-mediated mTOR signaling is related to receptor-FKBP12 association.
The activities of mTOR and its downstream effector p70 S6K were measured by immunoblotting their phosphorylation status. The interaction of receptor with mTOR was detected by co-immunoprecipitation and immunofluorescence.
OPRM1 activation by morphine induced time-dependent mTOR activation. PI3K specific inhibitor LY294002 only blocked the late phase of mTOR activation. However, morphine-induced mTOR activation was totally blocked at all time points in cells expressing FKBP12 association-deficient mutant receptor. FKBP12 knockdown also blocked morphine-induced mTOR activation. Further analysis demonstrated that morphine treatment enhanced the association of receptor with phosphorylated mTOR, whereas, decreased association was observed after FKBP12 knockdown, mTOR inhibition or in cells expressing FKBP12 association-deficient mutant.
OPRM1-FKBP12 association played a key role in OPRM1-mediated mTOR activation, which could underlie the mechanisms of multiple physiological and pathological processes. Thus our findings provide new avenue to modulating these processes.
PMCID: PMC4477277  PMID: 26096047
μ-opioid receptor; mechanistic/mammalian target of rapamycin; FK506 binding protein 12; protein interaction
4.  Efficacy of epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors in combination with chemotherapy in advanced non-small cell lung cancer: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials 
Oncotarget  2016;7(26):39823-39833.
The role of a combination of epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) and chemotherapy for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has not been well established. To clarify this problem, we performed a meta-analysis with 15 studies identified from PubMed, EMBASE and the Cochrane Library. We found that the combined regimen had a significant benefit on progression-free survival (PFS) (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.80; 95% CI = 0.71–0.90; P < 0.001) and the objective response rate (ORR) (RR = 1.35; 95% CI = 1.14–1.59; P < 0.001). However, the combined regimen had no significant impact on overall survival (OS) (HR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.90–1.03; P = 0.25). Subgroup analysis showed significantly higher OS advantages in EGFR mutation positive patients (P = 0.01), never smokers (P = 0.01), Asian patients (P = 0.02), patients receiving second-line treatment (P < 0.001), and those receiving a sequential combination of EGFR-TKIs and chemotherapy (P = 0.005). The combination regimen showed a higher incidence of grade 3–4 toxicities (leucopenia, neutropenia, febrile neutropenia, anemia, rash, fatigue and diarrhea). In summary, the combination of EGFR-TKIs plus chemotherapy in advanced NSCLC achieved a significantly longer PFS and a higher ORR but not longer OS. Well-designed prospective studies are needed to confirm these findings.
PMCID: PMC5129973  PMID: 27223081
non-small cell lung cancer; epidermal growth factor receptor; tyrosine kinase inhibitor; overall survival
5.  Over expression of hyaluronan promotes progression of HCC via CD44-mediated pyruvate kinase M2 nuclear translocation 
Hyaluronan is expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) as HCC generally arises from a cirrhotic liver in which excessive production and accumulation of HA leads to developing cirrhosis. Though it has been suggested HA is involved in progression of HCC, the mechanisms underlying the connection between HA and HCC progression are unclear. Since increased aerobic glycolysis is a metabolic trait of malignant cells and HA-CD44 can modulate glucose metabolism, we aim to investigate the roles of PKM2, a key enzyme in glucose metabolism, in the HA-CD44 axis facilitated the progress of HCC. We shown PKM2 was required for HA-promoted HCC progression, which was not modulated by PKM2 kinase activity but by nuclear translocation of PKM2. PKM2 translocation was Erk (Thr202/Tyr204) phosphorylation dependent, which functioned at the downstream of HA-CD44 binding. Furthermore, elevated HA expression significantly correlated with PKM2 nuclear location and was an independent factors predicting poor HCC prognosis. In conclusions PKM2 nuclear translocation is required for mediating the described HA biological effects on HCC progression and our results imply that inhibition of HA may have therapeutic value in treating HCC.
PMCID: PMC4859677  PMID: 27186420
Hepatocellular carcinoma; hyaluronan; CD44; pyruvate kinase M2
6.  Naringin administration inhibits platelet aggregation and release by reducing blood cholesterol levels and the cytosolic free calcium concentration in hyperlipidemic rabbits 
This study investigated the effects of naringin on platelet aggregation and release in hyperlipidemic rabbits, and the underlying mechanisms. The safety of naringin was also investigated. The rabbits were orally administered 60, 30 or 15 mg/kg of naringin once a day for 14 days after being fed a high fat/cholesterol diet for four weeks. Following the two weeks of drug administration, the degree of platelet aggregation induced by arachidonic acid, adenosine diphosphate and collagen was significantly reduced by naringin at certain doses compared with those in the rabbits of the model group (P<0.01). The levels of P-selectin and platelet factor 4 (PF4) also decreased following treatment with naringin compared with those of the model group. Certain doses of naringin significantly reduced the total cholesterol (TC) levels and elevated the ratio of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol to TC compared with those in the model group, and significantly decreased the cytosolic free calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i). No significant difference in the coagulation function was observed between the control and drug-treatment groups. These results indicate that naringin improved platelet aggregation and inhibited the excessive release of P-selectin and PF4 in hyperlipidemic rabbits. This study suggests that the antiplatelet effect of naringin may be due to its ability to regulate the levels of blood cholesterol and [Ca2+]i in platelets. Naringin also did not cause bleeding in the hyperlipidemic rabbits.
PMCID: PMC4113534  PMID: 25120631
naringin; hyperlipidemic; aggregation; cytosolic free calcium concentration; P-selectin; platelet factor 4
7.  Suppression (but Not Reappraisal) Impairs Subsequent Error Detection: An ERP Study of Emotion Regulation's Resource-Depleting Effect 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e96339.
Past event-related potentials (ERPs) research shows that, after exerting effortful emotion inhibition, the neural correlates of performance monitoring (e.g. error-related negativity) were weakened. An undetermined issue is whether all forms of emotion regulation uniformly impair later performance monitoring. The present study compared the cognitive consequences of two emotion regulation strategies, namely suppression and reappraisal. Participants were instructed to suppress their emotions while watching a sad movie, or to adopt a neutral and objective attitude toward the movie, or to just watch the movie carefully. Then after a mood scale, all participants completed an ostensibly unrelated Stroop task, during which ERPs (i.e. error-related negativity (ERN), post-error positivity (Pe) and N450) were obtained. Reappraisal group successfully decreased their sad emotion, relative to the other two groups. Compared with participants in the control group and the reappraisal group, those who suppressed their emotions during the sad movie showed reduced ERN after error commission. Participants in the suppression group also made more errors in incongruent Stroop trials than the other two groups. There were no significant main effects or interactions of group for reaction time, Pe and N450. Results suggest that reappraisal is both more effective and less resource-depleting than suppression.
PMCID: PMC4002454  PMID: 24777113
8.  Cathepsin L Plays a Role in Quinolinic Acid-Induced NF-Κb Activation and Excitotoxicity in Rat Striatal Neurons 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e75702.
The present study seeks to investigate the role of cathepsin L in glutamate receptor-induced transcription factor nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) activation and excitotoxicity in rats striatal neurons. Stereotaxic administration of the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor agonist Quinolinic acid (QA) into the unilateral striatum was used to produce the in vivo excitotoxic model. Co-administration of QA and the cathepsin L inhibitor Z-FF-FMK or 1-Naphthalenesulfonyl-IW-CHO (NaphthaCHO) was used to assess the contribution of cathepsin L to QA-induced striatal neuron death. Western blot analysis and cathepsin L activity assay were used to assess the changes in the levels of cathepsin L after QA treatment. Western blot analysis was used to assess the changes in the protein levels of inhibitor of NF-κB alpha isoform (IκB-α) and phospho-IκB alpha (p-IκBα) after QA treatment. Immunohistochemical analysis was used to detect the effects of Z-FF-FMK or NaphthaCHO on QA-induced NF-κB. Western blot analysis was used to detect the effects of Z-FF-FMK or NaphthaCHO on QA-induced IκB-α phosphorylation and degradation, changes in the levels of IKKα, p-IKKα, TP53, caspase-3, beclin1, p62, and LC3II/LC3I. The results show that QA-induced loss of striatal neurons were strongly inhibited by Z-FF-FMK or NaphthaCHO. QA-induced degradation of IκB-α, NF-κB nuclear translocation, up-regulation of NF-κB responsive gene TP53, and activation of caspase-3 was strongly inhibited by Z-FF-FMK or NaphthaCHO. QA-induced increases in beclin 1, LC3II/LC3I, and down-regulation of p62 were reduced by Z-FF-FMK or NaphthaCHO. These results suggest that cathepsin L is involved in glutamate receptor-induced NF-κB activation. Cathepsin L inhibitors have neuroprotective effects by inhibiting glutamate receptor-induced IκB-α degradation and NF-κB activation.
PMCID: PMC3779166  PMID: 24073275
9.  Differential expression and subcellular localization of Prohibitin 1 are related to tumorigenesis and progression of non-small cell lung cancer 
Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for approximately 85% of all lung cancer. With a variety of biological functions, Prohibitin1 (PHB1) has been proved tumor-associated. But there are conflicting data regarding the involvement of PHB1 in tumorigenesis and few studies regarding the role of PHB1 in lung cancer. The studies reported herein used a combination of clinical observations and molecular methods to investigate the possible role of PHB1 in NSCLC tissues and cell lines. PHB1 expression was evaluated by RT-PCR, RT-qPCR, Western blotting and immunohistochemistry analysis. Flow cytometric analysis was used to determine the surface expression profiles of PHB1 in lung cell lines. The results showed that PHB1 expression were generally increased in lung cancer tissues when compared with matched noncancerous tissues and closely related with tumor differentiation and lymph node invasion. PHB1 expression levels was also increased in three lung cancer cell lines (SK-MES-1, NCI-H157 and NCI-H292) as compared with BEAS-2B cells. Moreover, there were various subcellular localization of PHB1 in different lung cancer cells and the presence of PHB1 on the surface of lung cancer cells was significantly reduced. In conclusion, PHB1 expression is increased in NSCLC and the up-regulation of PHB1 is associated with clinically aggressive phenotype. The different subcellular localization of PHB1 in NSCLC cells and the loss of the membrane-associated PHB1 probably related to the tumorigenesis and progression of NSCLC and suggests that PHB1 may play different roles in various types of NSCLC.
PMCID: PMC3796231  PMID: 24133587
Prohibitin 1; up-regulation; subcellular localization; non-small cell lung cancer
10.  Treatment of radiation-induced hemorrhagic gastritis with prednisolone: A case report 
Radiation-induced gastritis is an infrequent cause of gastrointestinal bleeding. It is a serious complication arising from radiation therapy, and the standard treatment method has not been established. The initial injury is characteristically acute inflammation of gastric mucosa. We presented a 46-year-old male patient with hemorrhagic gastritis induced by external radiotherapy for metastatic retroperitoneal lymph node of hepatocellular carcinoma. The endoscopic examination showed diffuse edematous hyperemicmucosa with telangiectasias in the whole muscosa of the stomach and duodenal bulb. Multiple hemorrhagic patches with active oozing were found over the antrum. Anti-secretary therapy was initiated for hemostasis, but melena still occurred off and on. Finally, he was successfully treated by prednisolone therapy. We therefore strongly argue in favor of perdnisolone therapy to effectively treat patients with radiation-induced hemorrhagic gastritis.
PMCID: PMC3544049  PMID: 23326152
Hemorrhagic gastritis; Radiation; Prednisolone; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Gastrointestinal bleeding
11.  Endothelial microparticles are increased in congenital heart diseases and contribute to endothelial dysfunction 
We previously demonstrated that endothelial microparticles (EMPs) are increased in mitral valve diseases and impair valvular endothelial cell function. Perioperative systemic inflammation is an important risk factor and complication of cardiac surgery. In this study, we investigate whether EMPs increase in congenital heart diseases to promote inflammation and endothelial dysfunction.
The level of plasma EMPs in 20 patients with atrial septal defect (ASD), 23 patients with ventricular septal defect (VSD), and 30 healthy subjects were analyzed by flow cytometry. EMPs generated from human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (HUVECs) were injected into C57BL6 mice, or cultured with HUVECs without or with siRNAs targeting P38 MAPK. The expression and/or phosphorylation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), P38 MAPK, and caveolin-1 in mouse heart and/or in cultured HUVECs were determined. We evaluated generation of nitric oxide (NO) in mouse hearts, and levels of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in cultured HUVECs and in mice.
EMPs were significantly elevated in patients with ASD and VSD, especially in those with pulmonary hypertension when compared with controls. EMPs increased caveolin-1 expression and P38 MAPK phosphorylation and decreased eNOS phosphorylation and NO production in mouse hearts. EMPs stimulated P38 MAPK expression, TNF-α and IL-6 production, which were all inhibited by siRNAs targeting P38 MAPK in cultured HUVECs.
EMPs were increased in adult patients with congenital heart diseases and may contribute to increased inflammation leading to endothelial dysfunction via P38 MAPK-dependent pathways. This novel data provides a potential therapeutic target to address important complications of surgery of congenial heart disease.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12967-016-1087-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC5210308  PMID: 28049487
Endothelial microparticles; Congenital heart disease; Inflammation; Endothelial nitric oxide synthase; P38 MAPK pathway
12.  Increased activity of the complement system in cerebrospinal fluid of the patients with Non-HIV Cryptococcal meningitis 
Cryptococcal meningitis (CM) has been known to lead to significant morbidity and mortality. The relative contribution of the complement system in protection and pathogenesis during CM remains largely unknown. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the baseline complement component profiles in human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma from non-HIV patients with CM, and therefore to provide insights of possible roles of the complement system in CM.
CSF and blood samples from forty two CM patients not infected with HIV and thirteen non-CM control patients (Ctrl) were retrospectively selected and evaluated from the patients admitted to the hospital with a suspected diagnosis of CM. CSF and blood samples were collected at the admission. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for complement components, cytokine IL-12 and western blot for C3 activation were performed on CSF and plasma samples. The levels of complement C1q, factor B (FB), mannose binding lectin (MBL), C2, C3, C4, C5, C4 binding protein (C4BP), Factor I (FI), Factor H (FH), sC5b-9 in CSF and plasma samples were compared. Pearson’s correlation coefficients were calculated on variables between complement components and the levels of total protein in the CSF samples.
Our data demonstrated that the CSF levels of complement components of C1q, FB, MBL as well as complement pathway factors sC5b-9 and complement regulator FH were all elevated in patients with CM as compared to the controls, CSF C3 breakdown products iC3b were found in both CSF and plasma samples of the CM patients. A positive correlation was found between the levels of CSF protein and MBL, C1q or FB.
The activity of the complement system in CSF was increased in non-HIV patients with CM. C1q, MBL and FB are the important participants in the complement activation in CM. The relative contribution of each of the specific complement pathways and complement cascades in protection and inflammation resolution against CM warrant further investigation.
PMCID: PMC5214839  PMID: 28052761
Cryptococcal meningitis; Complement; Cryptococcus
14.  In vitro and in vivo performance of dexamethasone loaded PLGA microspheres prepared using polymer blends1 
The foreign body reaction is the major cause of the dysfunction and relatively short lifetime associated with implanted glucose biosensors. An effective strategy to maintain sensor functionality is to apply biocompatible coatings that elute drug to counter the negative tissue reactions. This has been achieved using dexamethasone releasing poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) microspheres embedded in a poly vinyl alcohol (PVA) hydrogel coating. Accordingly, the biosensor lifetime relies on the duration and dose of drug release from the coating. To achieve long-term drug release mixed populations of microspheres have been used. In the current study, microspheres were prepared by blending low (25 KDa) and high (113 KDa) molecular weight PLGA at different mass ratios to overcome problems associated with mixing multiple populations of microspheres. “Real-time” in vitro studies demonstrated dexamethasone release for approximately 5 months. An accelerated method with discriminatory ability was developed to shorten drug release to less than 2 weeks. An in vivo pharmacodynamics study demonstrated efficacy against the foreign body reaction for 4.5 months. Such composite coatings composed of PLGA microspheres prepared using polymer blends could potentially be used to ensure long-term performance of glucose sensors.
Graphical Abstract
PMCID: PMC4688179  PMID: 26520407
polymer blends; PLGA; microspheres; foreign body reaction; glucose biosensors; long-term drug release; accelerated release testing
15.  Development of a high-density genetic linkage map and identification of flowering time QTLs in adzuki bean (Vigna angularis) 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:39523.
A high-density linkage map is crucial for the identification of quantitative trait loci (QTLs), positional cloning, and physical map assembly. Here, we report the development of a high-density linkage map based on specific length amplified fragment sequencing (SLAF-seq) for adzuki bean and the identification of flowering time-related QTLs. Through SLAF library construction and Illumina sequencing of a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population, a total of 4425 SLAF markers were developed and assigned to 11 linkage groups (LGs). After binning the SLAF markers that represented the same genotype, the final linkage map of 1628.15 cM contained 2032 markers, with an average marker density of 0.80 cM. Comparative analysis showed high collinearity with two adzuki bean physical maps and a high degree of synteny with the reference genome of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). Using this map, one major QTL on LG03 and two minor QTLs on LG05 associated with first flowering time (FLD) were consistently identified in tests over a two-year period. These results provide a foundation that will be useful for future genomic research, such as identifying QTLs for other important traits, positional cloning, and comparative mapping in legumes.
PMCID: PMC5180193  PMID: 28008173
16.  Multiple Cross Displacement Amplification Combined with Gold Nanoparticle-Based Lateral Flow Biosensor for Detection of Vibrio parahaemolyticus 
Vibrio parahaemolyticus (V. parahaemolyticus) is a marine seafood-borne pathogen causing severe illnesses in humans and aquatic animals. In the present study, multiple cross displacement amplification was combined with a lateral flow biosensor (MCDA-LFB) to detect the toxR gene of V. parahaemolyticus in DNA extracts from pure cultures and spiked oyster homogenates. Amplification was carried out at a constant temperature (62°C) for only 30 min, and amplification products were directly applied to the biosensor. The entire process, including oyster homogenate processing (30 min), isothermal amplification (30 min) and results indicating (∼2 min), could be completed within 65 min. Amplification product was detectable from as little as 10 fg of pure V. parahaemolyticus DNA and from approximately 4.2 × 102 CFU in 1 mL of oyster homogenate. No cross-reaction with other Vibrio species and with non-Vibrio species was observed. Therefore, the MCDA-LFB method established in the current report is suitable for the rapid screening of V. parahaemolyticus in clinical, food, and environmental samples.
PMCID: PMC5177632  PMID: 28066368
Vibro parahaemolyticus; multiple cross displacement amplification; lateral flow biosensor; MCDA-LFB; limit of detection
17.  Analysis of complete genomes of the rubella virus genotypes 1E and 2B which circulated in China, 2000–2013 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:39025.
Rubella viruses of genotypes 1E and 2B are currently the most frequently detected wild-type viruses in the world. Genotype 1E viruses from China have been genetically distinct from genotype 1E viruses found elsewhere, while genotype 2B viruses found in China are not distinguishable from genotype 2B viruses from other areas. Genetic clusters of viruses of both genotypes were defined previously using sequences of the 739-nt genotyping window. Here we report phylogenic analysis using whole genomic sequences from seven genotype 1E and three genotype 2B viruses which were isolated in China between 2000 and 2013 and confirm the subgrouping of current circulating genotypes 1E and 2B viruses. In addition, the whole genomic characterization of Chinese rubella viruses was clarified. The results indicated that the Chinese rubella viruses were highly conserved at the genomic level, and no predicted amino acid variations were found at positions where functional domains of the proteins were identified. Therefore, it gives us the idea that the rubella control and elimination goal should be achieved if vaccine immunization coverage continues maintaining at the high level.
PMCID: PMC5154293  PMID: 27959338
18.  Fossil record of stem groups employed in evaluating the chronogram of insects (Arthropoda: Hexapoda) 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:38939.
Insecta s. str. (=Ectognatha), comprise the largest and most diversified group of living organisms, accounting for roughly half of the biodiversity on Earth. Understanding insect relationships and the specific time intervals for their episodes of radiation and extinction are critical to any comprehensive perspective on evolutionary events. Although some deeper nodes have been resolved congruently, the complete evolution of insects has remained obscure due to the lack of direct fossil evidence. Besides, various evolutionary phases of insects and the corresponding driving forces of diversification remain to be recognized. In this study, a comprehensive sample of all insect orders was used to reconstruct their phylogenetic relationships and estimate deep divergences. The phylogenetic relationships of insect orders were congruently recovered by Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood analyses. A complete timescale of divergences based on an uncorrelated log-normal relaxed clock model was established among all lineages of winged insects. The inferred timescale for various nodes are congruent with major historical events including the increase of atmospheric oxygen in the Late Silurian and earliest Devonian, the radiation of vascular plants in the Devonian, and with the available fossil record of the stem groups to various insect lineages in the Devonian and Carboniferous.
PMCID: PMC5154178  PMID: 27958352
19.  Downregulation of peroxiredoxin-3 by hydrophobic bile acid induces mitochondrial dysfunction and cellular senescence in human trophoblasts 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:38946.
Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) is a pregnancy-specific disorder characterised by raised bile acids in foetal-maternal circulation, which threatens perinatal health. During the progression of ICP, the effect of oxidative stress is underscored. Peroxiredoxin-3 (PRDX3) is a mitochondrial antioxidant enzyme that is crucial to balance intracellular oxidative stress. However, the role of PRDX3 in placental trophoblast cells under ICP is not fully understood. We demonstrated that the level of PRDX3 was downregulated in ICP placentas as well as bile acids–treated trophoblast cells and villous explant in vitro. Toxic levels of bile acids and PRDX3 knockdown induced oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in trophoblast cells. Moreover, silencing of PRDX3 in trophoblast cell line HTR8/SVneo induced growth arrest and cellular senescence via activation of p38-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and induction of p21WAF1/CIP and p16INK4A. Additionally, enhanced cellular senescence, determined by senescence-associated beta-galactosidase staining, was obviously attenuated by p38-MAPK inhibitor SB203580. Our data determined that exposure to bile acid decreased PRDX3 level in human trophoblasts. PRDX3 protected trophoblast cells against mitochondrial dysfunction and cellular senescence induced by oxidative stress. Our results suggest that decreased PRDX3 by excessive bile acids in trophoblasts plays a critical role in the pathogenesis and progression of ICP.
PMCID: PMC5154184  PMID: 27958341
20.  Beclin-1- mediated autophagy may be involved in the elderly cognitive and affective disorders in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice 
Diabetes is the most common metabolic disease with many chronic complications, and cognitive disorders are one of the common complications in patients with diabetes. Previous studies have showed that autophagy played important roles in the progression of metabolic syndrome, diabetes and other diseases. So we investigated whether aged diabetic mice are prone to be associated with the cognitive and affective disorders and whether Beclin-1-mediated autophagy might be involved in thepahological process.
High-fat diet/streptozotocin (STZ) injection-induced diabetic C57 mice were adopted in this study. Cognitive disorders were detected by Morris water maze and fear conditional test. Affective disorders were detected by tail suspension test and forced swimming test. Magnetic resonance imaging was applied to observe changes of morphology and metabolism in the brain. The 18 F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) was used to assess metabolism changes in the brain of aged diabetic mice. Autophagy were evaluated by Beclin- 1, LC3II/I and P62, which were detected by western blot analysis and observed by electron microscopy.
1. Compared with control group, diabetes mice showed significantly decreasing abilities in spatial memory and conditioned fear memory (all P < 0.05), and increasing tendency of depression (P < 0.05). 2. MRI showed that the majority of elderly diabetic mice were associated with multiple cerebral small vessel disease. Some even showed hippocampal atrophy, ventricular dilatation and leukoaraiosis. 3. FDG-PET-CT discovered that the glucose metabolism in the amygdala and hippocampus was significantly decreased compared with normal aged mice (P < 0.05). 4. Electron microscopy found that, although autophagy bodies was not widespread, and there was no significant difference between the two groups, yet compared with normal aged mice, apparent cell edema, myelinated tow reduction and intracellular lipofuscin augmentation existed in elderly diabetic mice brain. 5. The level of p62 was increased in the STZ-induced diabetic mice hippocampus and striatum, and beclin1 protein expression were significantly decreased in diabetic mice hippocampus compared with normal aged mice (P < 0.05). There was a upward trend of the ratio of LC3II/I in hippocampus, cortex and striatum, but no statistically difference between the two groups.
Compared with normal aged mice, diabetic aged mice were apt to cerebral small vessel disease and associated with cognitive and affective disorders, which may be related to the significantly reduced glucose metabolism in hippocampus and amygdala. Beclin1 mediated autophagy in hippocampus probably played an important role in cognitive and affective disorders of STZ-induced aged diabetic mice.
PMCID: PMC5154026  PMID: 27999666
21.  The quality of reporting of randomized controlled trials of electroacupuncture for stroke 
Electroacupuncture (EA), as an extension technique of acupuncture based on traditional acupuncture combined with modern electrotherapy, is commonly used for stroke in clinical treatment and researches. However, there is still a lack of enough evidence to recommend the routine use of EA for stroke. This study is aimed at evaluating the quality of reporting of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on EA for stroke.
RCTs on EA for stroke were evaluated by using CONSORT guidelines and STRICTA guidelines. Microsoft Excel 2010 and the R software were used for descriptive statistics analyses.
Seventy studies involving 5468 stroke patients were identified. The CONSORT scores ranged from 16.2 to 67.6% and STRICTA scores from 29.4 to 82.4%. The central items in CONSORT as eligibility criterion, sample size calculation, primary outcome, method of randomization sequence generation, allocation concealment, implementation of randomization, description of blinding, and detailed statistical methods were reported in 100, 6, 68, 37, 14, 10, 16, and 97% of trials, respectively. The reporting of items in STRICTA as acupuncture rationale was 1a (91%), 1b (86%) and 1c 0%; needling details 2a (33%), 2b (97%), 2c (29%), 2d (64%), 2e (100%), 2f (55%) and 2 g (66%); treatment regimen 3a (69%) and 3b (100%); other components of treatment 4a (86%) and 4b (13%); practitioner background item 5 (16%); control intervention(s) 6a (93%) and 6b (10%).
The quality of reporting of RCTs on EA for stroke was generally moderate. The reporting quality needs further improvement.
PMCID: PMC5148866  PMID: 27938353
Electroacupuncture; Stroke; Randomized controlled trial; Methodology
22.  Association between Metabolic Syndrome and Cognitive Impairment after Acute Ischemic Stroke: A Cross-Sectional Study in a Chinese Population 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(12):e0167327.
Background and Objectives
Metabolic syndrome (MetS), a risk factor for many vascular conditions, is associated with vascular cognitive disorders. The objective of the present study was to explore the associations of MetS and its individual components with the risks of cognitive impairment and neurological dysfunction in patients after acute stroke.
This cross-sectional study enrolled 840 patients ranging in age from 53 to 89 years from the Tianjin area of North China. Cognitive function was evaluated using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) and Mini-Mental State Examination. Neuropsychiatric behavior was assessed using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire. Emotional state was examined according to the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, and neuromotor function was evaluated using the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, Barthel index, and the Activity of Daily Living test. After overnight fasting, blood samples were obtained to measure biochemistry indicators.
MetS and its individual components were closely correlated with MoCA score. MetS patients had high levels of inflammation and a 3.542-fold increased odds ratio (OR) for cognitive impairment [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.972–6.361]. Of the individual MetS components, central obesity (OR 3.039; 95% CI: 1.839–5.023), high fasting plasma glucose (OR 1.915; 95% CI: 1.016–3.607), and type 2 diabetes (OR 2.241; 95% CI: 1.630–3.081) were associated with an increased incidence of cognitive impairment. Consistent and significant worsening in different neurological domains was observed with greater numbers of MetS components.
MetS was associated with worse cognitive function, neuromotor dysfunction, and neuropsychological symptoms among Chinese acute stroke patients.
PMCID: PMC5147892  PMID: 27936074
23.  Y Shape Osteotomy in Ankylosing Spondylitis, a Prospective Case Series with Minimum 2 Year Follow-Up 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(12):e0167792.
The aim of the study is to evaluate the efficacy of a spinal osteotomy technique, Y shape osteotomy, for correcting kyphosis in AS patients planned preoperatively with computer software-assistance. 36 consecutive AS patients with thoracolumbar kyphosis were treated with one-stage posterior Y shape osteotomy and preoperative surgical planning was done with the aid of the Surgimap Spine. Radiological parameters of simulation and immediate postoperation were documented. Clinical and radiological results were evaluated in the preoperative, the early postoperative periods and during the last follow-up. The lumbar lordosis was found as 40.7 ± 4.1 degrees in the surgical planning and 49.7 ± 3.9 degrees postoperatively (p<0.01). PI-LL was 3.8± 0.9°in the simulation procedure and 6.6± 1.5°postoperatively (p<0.01). At the final follow-up, Global sagittal balance was restored and Both Oswestry Disability Index and Scoliosis Research Society scores improved largely. In conclusion, Y shape osteotomy is a safe and effective treatment option for AS patients with kyphosis deformity.
PMCID: PMC5147979  PMID: 27936020
24.  A CBL-Interacting Protein Kinase TaCIPK2 Confers Drought Tolerance in Transgenic Tobacco Plants through Regulating the Stomatal Movement 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(12):e0167962.
In plants, the CBL-CIPK signaling pathways play key roles in the response to abiotic stresses. However, functional studies of CIPKs in the important staple crop wheat are very rare. In this study, we identified a CIPK gene from wheat, designated TaCIPK2. Expression analysis results showed that TaCIPK2 could be up-regulated in wheat leaves by polyethylene glycol, abscisic acid and H2O2 treatments. Subcellular localization analyses revealed that TaCIPK2 was present in whole wheat epidermal cells. A yeast two-hybrid assay indicated that TaCIPK2 interacted with TaCBL1, 2, 3 and 4 in vitro. Transgenic tobacco plants over-expressing TaCIPK2 exhibited increased drought tolerance, indicated by a larger proportion of green cotyledons and higher survival rates under the osmotic and drought stress conditions compared with control plants. Additionally, physiological index analyses revealed that the transgenic tobacco plants had lower water loss rates and ion leakage, accumulated less malondialdehyde and H2O2, and had higher catalase and superoxide dismutase activities than the control plants. The transgenic plants also exhibited faster stomatal closure following exposure to osmotic stress conditions. The seed germination rates and stomatal aperture of TaCIPK2-overexpressing tobacco plants decreased after exogenous abscisic acid treatment was applied, implying that the transgenic tobacco plants were more sensitive to exogenous abscisic acid than the control plants. Our results indicate that TaCIPK2 plays a positive regulatory role in drought stress responses in transgenic tobacco plants.
PMCID: PMC5148042  PMID: 27936160
25.  Effect of Half-dose and Standard-dose Conjugated Equine Estrogens Combined with Natural Progesterone or Dydrogesterone on Components of Metabolic Syndrome in Healthy Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial 
Chinese Medical Journal  2016;129(23):2773-2779.
Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) has been proven to have beneficial effects on several components of metabolic syndrome. However, the effects vary according to different regimens, dosages, and duration of MHT. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of standard-dose 0.625 mg conjugated equine estrogen (CEE) and half-dose 0.3 mg CEE daily with different progestogens in a continuous sequential regimen on postmenopausal metabolic parameters in generally healthy postmenopausal women.
A prospective, open-label, randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted between February 2014 and December 2015. Totally 123 Chinese postmenopausal women with climacteric symptoms were included in this study and were randomly assigned to three groups: Group A received CEE 0.3 mg/micronized progesterone (MP) 100 mg daily; Group B received CEE 0.625 mg/MP 100 mg daily; and Group C received CEE 0.625 mg/dydrogesterone 10 mg daily. Drugs were given in a continuous sequential pattern. The duration of treatment was 12 months. Clinical, anthropometrical, and metabolic variables were measured. Data were analyzed according to intention-to-treat analysis, using Student's t-test and analysis of variance.
A total of 107 participants completed the 12-month follow-up and were included in the data analysis. At 12 months of treatment, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and apolipoprotein A significantly increased, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, fasting glucose, and glycosylated hemoglobin significantly decreased in Groups B and C, compared with baseline (all P < 0.05). Among the three groups, only Group C showed significantly increased triglycerides compared with baseline (1.61 ± 0.80 mmol/L vs. 1.21 ± 0.52 mmol/L, P = 0.026). Each group showed a neutral effect on total cholesterol, lipoprotein A, apolipoprotein B, and fasting insulin levels. No cardiovascular and venous thromboembolic events occurred in the three groups.
Among Chinese postmenopausal women, half-dose CEE was not sufficient to induce a favorable lipid and carbohydrate profile compared with standard-dose CEE. Adding natural MP may counterbalance the TG-increasing effect of CEE.
Trial Registration:, NCT01698164;
PMCID: PMC5146781  PMID: 27900987
Chinese Postmenopausal Women; Conjugated Equine Estrogen; Dydrogesterone; Menopausal Hormone Therapy; Micronized Progesterone

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