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1.  Adiponectin Ameliorates Experimental Periodontitis in Diet-Induced Obesity Mice 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e97824.
Adiponectin is an adipokine that sensitizes the body to insulin. Low levels of adiponectin have been reported in obesity, diabetes and periodontitis. In this study we established experimental periodontitis in male adiponectin knockout and diet-induced obesity mice, a model of obesity and type 2 diabetes, and aimed at evaluating the therapeutic potential of adiponectin. We found that systemic adiponectin infusion reduced alveolar bone loss, osteoclast activity and infiltration of inflammatory cells in both periodontitis mouse models. Furthermore, adiponectin treatment decreased the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in white adipose tissue of diet-induced obesity mice with experimental periodontitis. Our in vitro studies also revealed that forkhead box O1, a key transcriptional regulator of energy metabolism, played an important role in the direct signaling of adiponectin in osteoclasts. Thus, adiponectin increased forkhead box O1 mRNA expression and its nuclear protein level in osteoclast-precursor cells undergoing differentiation. Inhibition of c-Jun N-terminal kinase signaling decreased nuclear protein levels of forkhead box O1. Furthermore, over-expression of forkhead box O1 inhibited osteoclastogenesis and led to decreased nuclear levels of nuclear factor of activated T cells c1. Taken together, this study suggests that systemic adiponectin application may constitute a potential intervention therapy to ameliorate type 2 diabetes-associated periodontitis. It also proposes that adiponectin inhibition of osteoclastogenesis involves forkhead box O1.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0097824
PMCID: PMC4023953  PMID: 24836538
2.  Prognostic Significance of the Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio in Primary Liver Cancer: A Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e96072.
The neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) is a useful biomarker that reflects systemic inflammation responses. However, the prognostic value of the NLR in patients with primary liver cancer (PLC) remains controversial. We performed a meta-analysis of 26 studies (comprising 4,461 patients) to evaluate the association between the pre-treatment NLR and clinical outcomes of overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) in patients with PLC. The correlation between NLR and tumor characteristics or other inflammation-related parameters was also assessed. Data were synthesized using the random-effects model of DerSimonian and Laird, and the hazard ratio (HR) or odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was used to estimate effect size. Our analysis indicated that a high NLR predicted poor OS (HR, 2.102; 95% CI: 1.741–2.538) and DFS (HR, 2.474; 95% CI: 1.855–3.300) for PLC. A high NLR was associated with the presence of tumor vascular invasion (OR: 1.889, 95% CI: 1.487–2.400; p<0.001) and an elevated alpha-fetoprotein level (OR: 1.536; 95% CI: 1.152–2.048; p = 0.003). Thus, we conclude that a high NLR indicates a poor prognosis for patients with PLC and may also be predictive for PLC invasion and metastasis. Subgroup analysis suggested that the predictive role of NLR in cholangiocarcinoma is limited, and a further large study to confirm these findings is warranted.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096072
PMCID: PMC4008563  PMID: 24788770
3.  Genetic polymorphisms of HSP70 in age-related cataract 
Cell Stress & Chaperones  2013;18(6):703-709.
Polymorphisms have been identified in several HSP70 genes, which may affect HSP70 repair efficiency. We investigated the association of the polymorphisms in HSPA1A, HSPA1B, and HSPA1L genes in the HSPs repair pathway with the risk of cataract in a Chinese population. The study included 415 cataract patients and 386 controls. Genotyping was done by the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism method. HSPA1B 1267 A/A genotype seems to have a protective role against cataract (p = 0.014, odds ratio (OR) = 0.664, 95 % confidence intervals (CI) = 0.480–0.919), and the G allele (p = 0.057, OR = 1.216, 95 % CI = 0.999–1.479) does not seem to have a deleterious role in the development of cataract. Haplotypes with frequencies of GAT were significantly different than those of controls (p = 0.005). In HSPA1A G190C and HSPA1L T2437C polymorphisms, there were no significant differences in frequencies of the variant homozygous in patients compared to controls. We conclude that the A/A genotype of HSPA1B A1267G polymorphism seem to have a protective role against age-related cataract.
doi:10.1007/s12192-013-0420-4
PMCID: PMC3789879  PMID: 23666708
Oxidative stress; Reactive oxygen species; Polymorphisms; Cataract; Heat shock proteins
4.  Mitochondrial Regulation of NADPH Oxidase in Hindlimb Unweighting Rat Cerebral Arteries 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e95916.
Exposure to microgravity results in post-flight cardiovascular deconditioning and orthostatic intolerance in astronauts. Vascular oxidative stress injury and mitochondrial dysfunction have been indicated in this process. To elucidate the mechanism for this condition, we investigated whether mitochondria regulated NADPH oxidase in hindlimb unweighting (HU) rat cerebral and mesenteric arteries. Four-week HU was used to simulate microgravity in rats. Vascular superoxide generation, protein and mRNA levels of Nox2/Nox4, and the activity of NADPH oxidase were examined in the present study. Compared with control rats, the levels of superoxide increased in cerebral (P<0.001) but not in mesenteric vascular smooth muscle cells. The protein and mRNA levels of Nox2 and Nox4 were upregulated significantly (P<0.001 and P<0.001 for Nox2, respectively; P<0.001 and P<0.001 for Nox4, respectively) in HU rat cerebral arteries but not in mesenteric arteries. NADPH oxidases were activated significantly by HU (P<0.001) in cerebral arteries but not in mesenteric arteries. Chronic treatment with mitochondria-targeted antioxidant mitoTEMPO attenuated superoxide levels (P<0.001), decreased the protein and mRNA expression levels of Nox2/Nox4 (P<0.01 and P<0.05 for Nox2, respectively; P<0.001 and P<0.001 for Nox4, respectively) and the activity of NADPH oxidase (P<0.001) in HU rat cerebral arteries, but exerted no effects on HU rat mesenteric arteries. Therefore, mitochondria regulated the expression and activity of NADPH oxidases during simulated microgravity. Both mitochondria and NADPH oxidase participated in vascular redox status regulation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095916
PMCID: PMC3997512  PMID: 24759683
5.  Maintenance of Stemness in Oxaliplatin-Resistant Hepatocellular Carcinoma Is Associated with Increased Autocrine of IGF1 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e89686.
Background
Evidence suggests that many types of cancers are composed of different cell types, including cancer stem cells (CSCs). We have previously shown that the chemotherapeutic agent oxaliplatin induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition, which is thought to be an important mechanism for generating CSCs. In the present study, we investigate whether oxaliplatin-treated cancer tissues possess characteristics of CSCs, and explore oxaliplatin resistance in these tissues.
Methods
Hepatocellular carcinoma cells (MHCC97H cells) were subcutaneously injected into mice to form tumors, and the mice were intravenously treated with either oxaliplatin or glucose. Five weeks later, the tumors were orthotopically xenografted into livers of other mice, and these mice were treated with either oxaliplatin or glucose. Metastatic potential, sensitivity to oxaliplatin, and expression of CSC-related markers in the xenografted tumor tissues were evaluated. DNA microarrays were used to measure changes in gene expression as a result of oxaliplatin treatment. Additionally, an oxaliplatin-resistant cell line (MHCC97H-OXA) was established to assess insulin-like growth factor 1 secretion, cell invasion, cell colony formation, oxaliplatin sensitivity, and expression of CSC-related markers. The effects of an insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor inhibitor were also assessed.
Results
Oxaliplatin treatment inhibited subcutaneous tumor growth. Tumors from oxaliplatin-treated mice that were subsequently xenografted into livers of other mice exhibited that decreasing sensitivity to oxaliplatin and increasing pulmonary metastatic potential. Among the expression of CSC-related proteins, the gene for insulin-like growth factor 1, was up-regulated expecially in these tumor tissues. Additionally, MHCC97H-OXA cells demonstrated that increasing cell invasion, colony formation, and expression of insulin-like growth factor 1 and CSC-related markers, whereas treatment with an inhibitor of the insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor suppressed these effects.
Conclusion
Maintenance of stemness in oxaliplatin-resistant hepatocellular carcinoma cells is associated with increased autocrine of IGF1.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0089686
PMCID: PMC3954560  PMID: 24632571
6.  Family-Wide Survey of miR169s and NF-YAs and Their Expression Profiles Response to Abiotic Stress in Maize Roots 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91369.
Previous studies have identified miR169/NF-YA modules are important regulators of plant development and stress responses. Currently, reported genome sequence data offers an opportunity for global characterization of miR169 and NF-YA genes, which may provide insights into the molecular mechanisms of the miR169/NF-YA modules in maize. In our study, fourteen NF-YA transcription factors with conserved domains were identified based on maize genome loci. The miR169 gene family has 18 members that generate 10 mature products, and 8 of these mature miR169 members could target 7 of 14 ZmNF-YA genes in maize. The seven ZmNF-YA proteins were localized to the nucleus while lacked transcriptional activity. We investigated the expression patterns of the zma-miR169 members and their targeted ZmNF-YA genes in maize roots treated by drought stress (polyethylene glycol, PEG), hormone stress (abscisic acid, ABA), and salt stress (NaCl). The zma-miR169 family members were downregulated in short term (0∼48 h) and generally upregulated over the long term (15 days) in response to the three abiotic stress conditions. Most of the targeted ZmNF-YA genes exhibited a reverse correlation with zma-miR169 gene expression over both the short term and long term. Maize root elongation was promoted by PEG and ABA but repressed by NaCl over the long term. Apparently, ZmNF-YA14 expression perfectly matched the zma-miR169 expression and corresponded to root growth reversely.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091369
PMCID: PMC3954700  PMID: 24633051
7.  TGFβR2 is a major target of miR-93 in nasopharyngeal carcinoma aggressiveness 
Molecular Cancer  2014;13:51.
Background
MiR-17-92 cluster and its paralogues have emerged as crucial regulators of many oncogenes and tumor suppressors. Transforming growth factor-β receptor II (TGFβR2), as an important tumor suppressor, is involved in various cancer types. However, it is in cancer that only two miRNAs of this cluster and its paralogues have been reported so far to regulate TGFβR2. MiR-93 is oncogenic, but its targetome in cancer has not been fully defined. The role of miR-93 in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) still remains largely unknown.
Methods
We firstly evaluated the clinical signature of TGFβR2 down-regulation in clinical samples, and next used a miRNA expression profiling analysis followed by multi-validations, including Luciferase reporter assay, to identify miRNAs targeting TGFβR2 in NPC. In vitro and in vivo studies were performed to further investigate the effects of miRNA-mediated TGFβR2 down-regulation on NPC aggressiveness. Finally, mechanism studies were conducted to explore the associated pathway and genes influenced by this miRNA-mediated TGFβR2 down-regulation.
Results
TGFβR2 was down-regulated in more than 50% of NPC patients. It is an unfavorable prognosis factor contributing to clinical NPC aggressiveness. A cluster set of 4 TGFβR2-associated miRNAs was identified; they are all from miR-17-92 cluster and its paralogues, of which miR-93 was one of the most significant miRNAs, directly targeting TGFβR2, promoting cell proliferation, invasion and metastasis in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, miR-93 resulted in the attenuation of Smad-dependent TGF-β signaling and the activation of PI3K/Akt pathway by suppressing TGFβR2, further promoting NPC cell uncontrolled growth, invasion, metastasis and EMT-like process. Impressively, the knockdown of TGFβR2 by siRNA displayed a consentaneous phenocopy with the effect of miR-93 in NPC cells, supporting TGFβR2 is a major target of miR-93. Our findings were also substantiated by investigation of the clinical signatures of miR-93 and TGFβR2 in NPC.
Conclusion
The present study reports an involvement of miR-93-mediated TGFβR2 down-regulation in NPC aggressiveness, thus giving extended insights into molecular mechanisms underlying cancer aggressiveness. Approaches aimed at blocking miR-93 may serve as a promising therapeutic strategy for treating NPC patients.
doi:10.1186/1476-4598-13-51
PMCID: PMC4016586  PMID: 24606633
miR-93; TGFβR2; Aggressiveness; PI3K/Akt; Nasopharyngeal carcinoma
8.  Association of Common Variants of CYP4A11 and CYP4F2 with Stroke in the Han Chinese Population 
Pharmacogenetics and genomics  2010;20(3):187-194.
20-Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (20-HETE) has been shown to play an important role in cerebral vascular function. We hypothesized that polymorphisms in genes encoding 20-HETE synthesizing enzymes might confer susceptibility to stroke. To test the hypothesis, haplotype tagging SNPs (htSNPs) and potential functional polymorphisms of CYP4A11 and CYP4F2 genes were genotyped in 558 ischemic stroke patients, 221 hemorrhagic stroke patients and 557 controls. The association analyses were performed at both SNP and haplotype levels. We further verified our findings in an independent cohort of 551 ischemic stroke cases and 48 hemorrhagic stroke subjects and 694 unaffected controls. We identified CYP4A11 C-296T and CYP4F2 V433M were associated with significantly increased risk of ischemic stroke (CT+TT vs CC, adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.50, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.17–1.93, Pcombined=0.001, Pcorr=0.008; V/M+M/M vs. V/V, OR 1.38, 95% CI, 1.15–1.65, Pcombined=5.6×10−4, Pcorr=0.005, respectively) Interestingly, the effects of CYP4F2 V433M on ischemic stroke in our study was only evident in male subjects. Our results suggest that genetic variation in CYP4A11 and CYP4F2 alters susceptibility to stroke in the Han Chinese population.
doi:10.1097/FPC.0b013e328336eefe
PMCID: PMC3932492  PMID: 20130494
ischemic stroke; Genetics; haplotypes; Han Chinese population
9.  Streptococcus acidominimus causing invasive disease in humans: a case series 
Introduction
Streptococcus acidominimus is a member of the viridans group streptococci and is rarely pathogenic in humans, making it difficult to assess its epidemiologic and clinical significance.
Case presentation
We report the cases of five Han Chinese patients with invasive diseases caused by S. acidominimus over a one-year time frame. Three of the patients developed continuous fever after surgery, consisting of a successful elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy (case 1), a laparoscopic esophageal resection and gastroesophageal anastomosis (case 2), and a liver transplant in a patient with liver cancer (case 3). For these three patients, cultures of the purulent drainage material grew S. acidominimus. Case 4 concerns a 52-year-old man who developed sepsis 48 hours after hospitalization for hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and hepatitis-related glomerulonephritis. Case 5 concerns a 55-year-old woman receiving regular hemodialysis who had low-grade fever for one month. For these two patients, blood cultures grew S. acidominimus. An antimicrobial susceptibility test revealed that S. acidominimus was resistant to clindamycin and, to some degree, beta-lactam or macrolides. The S. acidominimus from the patient on hemodialysis was resistant to multiple antibiotics.
Conclusion
S. acidominimus is an ever-increasing cause of disease, especially in patients who are critically ill. It is showing increased resistance to antimicrobial agents, so in patients with viridans group streptococci infections, it is necessary to identify the species to improve the clinical management of S. acidominimus.
doi:10.1186/1752-1947-8-57
PMCID: PMC3927825  PMID: 24529345
Case series; Streptococcus acidominimus; Viridans group streptococci
10.  Comprehensive identification of novel proteins and N-glycosylation sites in royal jelly 
BMC Genomics  2014;15:135.
Background
Royal jelly (RJ) is a proteinaceous secretion produced from the hypopharyngeal and mandibular glands of nurse bees. It plays vital roles in honeybee biology and in the improvement of human health. However, some proteins remain unknown in RJ, and mapping N-glycosylation modification sites on RJ proteins demands further investigation. We used two different liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry techniques, complementary N-glycopeptide enrichment strategies, and bioinformatic approaches to gain a better understanding of novel and glycosylated proteins in RJ.
Results
A total of 25 N-glycosylated proteins, carrying 53 N-glycosylation sites, were identified in RJ proteins, of which 42 N-linked glycosylation sites were mapped as novel on RJ proteins. Most of the glycosylated proteins were related to metabolic activities and health improvement. The 13 newly identified proteins were also mainly associated with metabolic processes and health improvement activities.
Conclusion
Our in-depth, large-scale mapping of novel glycosylation sites represents a crucial step toward systematically revealing the functionality of N-glycosylated RJ proteins, and is potentially useful for producing a protein with desirable pharmacokinetic and biological activity using a genetic engineering approach. The newly-identified proteins significantly extend the proteome coverage of RJ. These findings contribute vital and new knowledge to our understanding of the innate biochemical nature of RJ at both the proteome and glycoproteome levels.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-135
PMCID: PMC3942810  PMID: 24529077
Royal jelly; N-glycosylation; Hydrazide chemistry; Lectin affinity; Tandem mass spectrometry
11.  Cardiac progenitor-derived Exosomes protect ischemic myocardium from acute ischemia/reperfusion injury 
Background
Cardiac progenitors (CPC) mediate cardioprotection via paracrine effects. To date, most of studies focused on secreted paracrine proteins. Here we investigated the CPC-derived-exosomes on protecting myocardium from acute ischemia/reperfusion (MI/R) injury.
Methods and Results
CPC were isolated from mouse heart using two-step protocol. Exosomes were purified from conditional medium, and confirmed by electron micrograph and Western blot using CD63 as a marker. qRT-PCR shows that CPC- exosomes have high level expression of GATA4-responsive-miR-451. Exosomes were ex vivo labeled with PKH26, We observed exosomes can be uptaken by H9C2 cardiomyoblasts with high efficiency after 12 hours incubation. CPC-exosomes protect H9C2 from oxidative stress by inhibiting caspase 3/7 activation in vitro. In vivo delivery of CPC-exosomes in an acute mouse myocardial ischemia/reperfusion model inhibited cardiomyocyte apoptosis by about 53% in comparison with PBS control(p<0.05).
Conclusion
Our results suggest, for the first time, the CPC-exosomes can be used as a therapeutic vehicle for cardioprotection, and highlights a new perspective for using non-cell exosomes for cardiac disease.
doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2013.01.015
PMCID: PMC3732190  PMID: 23318173
cardiac progenitors; MicroRNA; Exosomes; ischemia/reperfusion; apoptosis
12.  High plasma fibrinogen concentration and platelet count unfavorably impact survival in non–small cell lung cancer patients with brain metastases 
Chinese Journal of Cancer  2014;33(2):96-104.
High expression of fibrinogen and platelets are often observed in non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with local regional or distant metastasis. However, the role of these factors remains unclear. The aims of this study were to evaluate the prognostic significance of plasma fibrinogen concentration and platelet count, as well as to determine the overall survival of NSCLC patients with brain metastases. A total of 275 NSCLC patients with brain metastasis were enrolled into this study. Univariate analysis showed that high plasma fibrinogen concentration was associated with age≥65 years (P = 0.011), smoking status (P = 0.009), intracranial symptoms (P = 0.022), clinical T category (P = 0.010), clinical N category (P = 0.003), increased partial thromboplastin time (P < 0.001), and platelet count (P < 0.001). Patients with low plasma fibrinogen concentration demonstrated longer overall survival compared with those with high plasma fibrinogen concentration (median, 17.3 months versus 11.1 months; P≤0.001). A similar result was observed for platelet counts (median, 16.3 months versus 11.4 months; P = 0.004). Multivariate analysis showed that both plasma fibrinogen concentration and platelet count were independent prognostic factors for NSCLC with brain metastases (R2 = 1.698, P < 0.001 and R2 = 1.699, P < 0.001, respectively). Our results suggest that high plasma fibrinogen concentration and platelet count indicate poor prognosis for NSCLC patients with brain metastases. Thus, these two biomarkers might be independent prognostic predictors for this subgroup of NSCLC patients.
doi:10.5732/cjc.012.10307
PMCID: PMC3935011  PMID: 23958057
Plasma fibrinogen concentration; platelet counts; non–small cell lung cancer; brain metastasis; survival
13.  Detection of a novel missense mutation in the mevalonate kinase gene in one Chinese family with DSAP 
Disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis (DSAP) is the most common form of porokeratosis and a severe chronic autosomal dominant cutaneous disorder with high genetic heterogeneity. Recently, the mevalonate kinase (MVK) gene has been identified as a candidate gene responsible for DSAP and multiple mutations have been reported. Here, we report identification of a novel missense mutation in the MVK gene in a Chinese family with DSAP. A 50-year-old male was diagnosed as proband of DSAP based on the clinical and histological findings, which show numerous hyperpigmented macules by physical examination and cornoid lamella by skin biopsy. Similar skin symptoms were also observed in his father, who died many years ago. We prepared genomic DNA from the proband, unaffected individuals from his family members, as well as 100 unrelated healthy controls. PCR was then conducted using the above genomic DNA as template and the MVK gene-specific primers. The PCR product was subjected to direct sequencing and the sequence was compared to that of MVK gene within the NCBI database. We detected a heterozygous C to G transition at nucleotide 643 in exon 7 of MVK gene of the proband. This will result in an amino acid change at codon 215 (P.Arg215Gly.), which is from an arginine codon (CGA) to a Glycine codon (GGA). We did not detect any mutation in the unaffected family members or the 100 unrelated healthy controls, demonstrating that this is a novel missense mutation in MVK gene and therefore, contributes to the molecular diagnosis of DSAP.
PMCID: PMC3925920  PMID: 24551296
Disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis; MVK gene; mutation
14.  Radiofrequency ablation following first-line transarterial chemoembolization for patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma beyond the Milan criteria 
BMC Gastroenterology  2014;14:11.
Background
Recent studies suggest that a combination of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) may have theoretical advantages over TACE alone for treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of radiofrequency ablation following first-line TACE treatment in the management of HCC beyond the Milan Criteria.
Methods
Forty-five patients who consecutively underwent RFA following first-line TACE treatment for HCC beyond the Milan criteria were enrolled in this study. RFA was performed within 1–2 months after TACE treatment in patients who had incomplete necrotic tumor nodules. Primary effectiveness, complications, survival rates, and prognostic factors were evaluated retrospectively.
Results
Complete ablation was achieved in 76.2% of the lesions according to 1-month follow-up computed tomography/magnetic resonance imaging evaluation. The mean follow-up period was 30.9 months (range 3–94 months). There were no major complications after RFA therapy. The median overall survival was 29 months (range 20–38 months), with 1-, 2-, and 3-year survival of 89%, 61%, and 43%, respectively. Multivariate analysis revealed that tumor diameter (P = 0.045, hazard ratio [HR] = 0.228, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.054-0.968) and pretreatment serum alpha-fetoprotein level (P = 0.024, HR = 2.239, 95% CI: 1.114-4.500) were independent predictors for long-term survival.
Conclusions
HCC beyond the Milan criteria can be completely and safely ablated by radiofrequency ablation following first-line TACE treatment with a low rate of complications and favorable survival outcome. Further assessment of the survival benefits of combination treatment for HCCs beyond the Milan Criteria is warranted.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-14-11
PMCID: PMC3890612  PMID: 24410841
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Radiofrequency ablation; Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization; Milan criteria
15.  Effects of Lipid Emulsions in Parenteral Nutrition of Esophageal Cancer Surgical Patients Receiving Enteral Nutrition: A Comparative Analysis 
Nutrients  2013;6(1):111-123.
Background: Olive oil-based lipid emulsion (LE) and medium chain triglyceride/long chain triglyceride (MCT/LCT) emulsion are both LEs with low ω-6 polyunsaturated fat acids (PUFAs) content. However, which one of these LEs is associated with a lower infection risk in patients receiving parenteral nutrition (PN) remains unclear. The aim of the study was to compare the effects of the two LEs in PN in esophageal cancer patients undergoing surgery. Methods: Patients with resectable esophageal carcinoma were recruited and allocated randomly to two groups. The test group was given enteral nutrition (EN) with PN containing olive oil-based LE after tumor resection for ≥7 days, and the patients in the control group were supported by EN with MCT/LCT emulsion-based PN after surgery for the same time period. Immunological markers and inflammatory indicators were tested and perioperative clinical outcomes were determined. The trial was registered in the Chinese Clinical Trial Register, number ChiCTR-TRC-13003562. 94 Patients were recruited, and grouped (olive oil-based LE, n = 46 and MCT/LCT, n = 48), matched for sex, age, body mass index, histological type, TNM stage, and nutrition risk screening (NRS) 2002 score. Results: There were no differences in perioperative fever (>38 °C), infectious complications, length of hospital stay (>14 days), length of critical care stay (>2 days), time for oral food intake, and in-hospital mortality between the two groups. The test group showed a higher increase in IgG level compared with the MCT/LCT group (p = 0.028). There was no difference in other immunological markers and inflammatory indicators between the two groups. Conclusion: PN containing olive oil-based or MCT/LCT LEs had similar effects on perioperative outcome, cell-mediated immune function and inflammatory response in esophageal cancer patients who had undergone surgery and were receiving EN.
doi:10.3390/nu6010111
PMCID: PMC3916852  PMID: 24379010
enteral nutrition; parenteral nutrition; olive oil; lipid emulsion; medium-chain triglyceride; long-chain triglyceride; immune function; esophageal cancer
16.  Icariin Decreases the Expression of APP and BACE-1 and Reduces the β-amyloid Burden in an APP Transgenic Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease 
Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects and pharmacological mechanisms of icariin, which is the main component in the traditional Chinese herb Epimedium, on β-amyloid (Aβ) production in an amyloid precursor protein (APP) transgenic (Tg) mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (AD).
Methods: APPV717I Tg mice were randomly divided into a model group and icariin-treated (30 and 100 μmol/kg per day) groups. Learning-memory abilities were determined by Morris water maze and object recognition tests. Aβ contents were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and immunohistochemistry. Amyloid plaques were detected by Congo red staining and Bielschowsky silver staining. The levels of expression of APP and β-site APP-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE-1) were measured by western blotting and immunohistochemistry.
Results: Ten-month-old Tg mice showed obvious learning-memory impairments, and significant increases in Aβ contents, amyloid plaques, and APP and BACE-1 levels in the hippocampus. The intragastric administration of icariin to Tg mice for 6 months (from 4 to 10 months of age) improved the learning-memory abilities and significantly decreased the Aβ contents, amyloid plaques, and APP and BACE-1 levels in the hippocampus.
Conclusion: Icariin reduced the Aβ burden and amyloid plaque deposition in the hippocampus of APP transgenic mice by decreasing the APP and BACE-1 levels. These novel findings suggest that icariin may be a promising treatment in patients with AD.
doi:10.7150/ijbs.6232
PMCID: PMC3927130  PMID: 24550686
Icariin; Alzheimer's disease; APPV717I transgenic mice; β-amyloid; amyloid plaque; BACE-1; amyloid precursor protein
17.  Prevention of allergic airway hyperresponsiveness and remodeling in mice by Astragaliradix Antiasthmatic decoction 
Background
Astragali radix Antiasthmatic Decoction (AAD), a traditional Chinese medication, is found effective in treating allergic diseases and chronic cough. The purpose of this study is to determine whether this medication could suppress allergen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and remodeling in mice, and its possible mechanisms.
Methods
A mouse model of chronic asthma was used to investigate the effects of AAD on the airway lesions. Mice were sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin (OVA), and the extent of AHR and airway remodeling were characterized. Cells and cytokines in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were examined.
Results
AAD treatment effectively decreased OVA-induced AHR, eosinophilic airway inflammation, and collagen deposition around the airway. It significantly reduced the levels of IL-13 and TGF-β1, but exerted inconsiderable effect on INF-γ and IL-10.
Conclusions
AAD greatly improves the symptoms of allergic airway remodeling probably through inhibition of Th2 cytokines and TGF-β1.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-369
PMCID: PMC3922862  PMID: 24367979
Astragalus Antiasthmatic Decoction; Airway hyperresponsiveness; Airway remodeling
18.  Cornel Iridoid Glycoside Attenuates Tau Hyperphosphorylation by Inhibition of PP2A Demethylation 
Aim. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of cornel iridoid glycoside (CIG) on tau hyperphosphorylation induced by wortmannin (WT) and GF-109203X (GFX) and the underlying mechanisms. Methods. Human neuroblastoma SK-N-SH cells were preincubated with CIG (50, 100, and 200 µg/ml, resp.) for 24 h and then exposed to 10 µM WT and 10 µM GFX for 3 h after washing out CIG. Immunohistochemistry was used to observe the microtubular cytoskeleton of the cultured cells. Western blotting was used to measure the phosphorylation level of tau protein, glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β), and protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A). The activity of PP2A was detected by a biochemical assay. Results. Preincubation of CIG significantly attenuated the WT/GFX-induced tau hyperphosphorylation at the sites of Thr205, Thr212, Ser214, Thr217, Ser396, and PHF-1 and improved the damage of morphology and microtubular cytoskeleton of the cells. CIG did not prevent the decrease in p-AKT-ser473 and p-GSK-3β-ser9 induced by WT/GFX. However, CIG significantly elevated the activity of PP2A by reducing the demethylation of PP2A catalytic subunit (PP2Ac) at Leu309 and the ratio of PME-1/LCMT in the WT/GFX-treated cells. The results suggest that CIG may be beneficial to the treatment of AD.
doi:10.1155/2013/108486
PMCID: PMC3880719  PMID: 24454482
19.  The role of segmental nodes in the pathological staging of non-small cell lung cancer 
Background
Segmental nodes are not examined routinely in current clinical practice for lung cancer, the role of segmental nodes in pathological staging of non-small cell lung cancer after radical resection was investigated.
Methods
A total of 113 consecutive non-small cell lung cancer patients who underwent radical resection between June 2009 and December 2011 were retrospectively reviewed. All the operations were performed by the same group of surgeons. N2 nodes, hilar nodes, interlobar nodes and some lobar nodes were collected during surgery. The removed lung lobes were dissected routinely along lobar and segmental bronchi to collect lobar nodes and segmental nodes. The collected lymph nodes were separately labeled for histological examination.
Results
The detection rates of hilar nodes, interlobar nodes, lobar nodes and segmental nodes were 61.1%, 85.0%, 75.2% and 80.5%, respectively. The metastasis rates of hilar nodes, interlobar nodes, lobar nodes and segmental nodes were 5.3%, 10.5%, 16.8% and 14.2%, respectively. There were 68 cases of N0 disease, 16 cases of N1 disease and 29 cases of N2 disease. If an analysis of segmental lymph nodes had been omitted, six patients (37.5% of N1 disease) would have been down-staged to N0, and two cases of multiple-zone N1 disease would have been misdiagnosed as single-zone N1 disease, one patient would have been misdiagnosed as N2 disease with skip metastases.
Conclusion
Segmental nodes play an important role in the accurate staging of non-small cell lung cancer, and routinely dissecting the segmental bronchi to collect the lymph nodes is feasible and may be necessary.
doi:10.1186/1749-8090-8-225
PMCID: PMC4028805  PMID: 24314101
Non-small cell lung cancer; Lymph node; Segmental node; Pathological staging; Radical resection
20.  Proteome and phosphoproteome analysis of honeybee (Apis mellifera) venom collected from electrical stimulation and manual extraction of the venom gland 
BMC Genomics  2013;14:766.
Background
Honeybee venom is a complicated defensive toxin that has a wide range of pharmacologically active compounds. Some of these compounds are useful for human therapeutics. There are two major forms of honeybee venom used in pharmacological applications: manually (or reservoir disrupting) extracted glandular venom (GV), and venom extracted through the use of electrical stimulation (ESV). A proteome comparison of these two venom forms and an understanding of the phosphorylation status of ESV, are still very limited. Here, the proteomes of GV and ESV were compared using both gel-based and gel-free proteomics approaches and the phosphoproteome of ESV was determined through the use of TiO2 enrichment.
Results
Of the 43 proteins identified in GV, < 40% were venom toxins, and > 60% of the proteins were non-toxic proteins resulting from contamination by gland tissue damage during extraction and bee death. Of the 17 proteins identified in ESV, 14 proteins (>80%) were venom toxic proteins and most of them were found in higher abundance than in GV. Moreover, two novel proteins (dehydrogenase/reductase SDR family member 11-like and histone H2B.3-like) and three novel phosphorylation sites (icarapin (S43), phospholipase A-2 (T145), and apamin (T23)) were identified.
Conclusions
Our data demonstrate that venom extracted manually is different from venom extracted using ESV, and these differences may be important in their use as pharmacological agents. ESV may be more efficient than GV as a potential pharmacological source because of its higher venom protein content, production efficiency, and without the need to kill honeybee. The three newly identified phosphorylated venom proteins in ESV may elicit a different immune response through the specific recognition of antigenic determinants. The two novel venom proteins extend our proteome coverage of honeybee venom.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-766
PMCID: PMC3835400  PMID: 24199871
Honeybee; Venom; Proteome; Phosphoproteome
21.  Methanobactin-Mediated One-Step Synthesis of Gold Nanoparticles 
Preparation of gold nanoparticles with a narrow size distribution has enormous importance in nanotechnology. Methanobactin (Mb) is a copper-binding small peptide that appears to function as an agent for copper sequestration and uptake in methanotrophs. Mb can also bind and catalytically reduce Au (III) to Au (0). In this study, we demonstrate a facile Mb-mediated one-step synthetic route to prepare monodispersed gold nanoparticles. Continuous reduction of Au (III) by Mb can be achieved by using hydroquinone as the reducing agent. The gold nanoparticles have been characterized by UV-visible spectroscopy. The formation and the surface plasmon resonance properties of the gold nanoparticles are highly dependent on the ratio of Au (III) to Mb in solution. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), fluorescence spectra and Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) spectra suggest that Mb molecules catalytically reduce Au (III) to Au (0) with the concomitant production of gold nanoparticles, and then, Mb statically adsorbed onto the surface of gold nanoparticles to form an Mb-gold nanoparticles assembly. This avoids secondary nucleation. The formed gold nanoparticles have been demonstrated to be monodispersed and uniform by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images. Analysis of these particles shows an average size of 14.9 nm with a standard deviation of 1.1 nm. The gold nanoparticles are extremely stable and can resist aggregation, even after several months.
doi:10.3390/ijms141121676
PMCID: PMC3856028  PMID: 24189217
methanobactin; methanotrophs; gold nanoparticles; hydroquinone; monodisperse
22.  Cardiac-derived stem cell-based therapy for heart failure: progress and clinical applications 
Stem cell-based therapy is emerging as a promising strategy to treat end-stage heart failure, a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Stem cells can be isolated from a variety of sources and exhibit unique characteristics that impact their potential therapeutic utility. The adult heart contains small populations of committed, multipotent cardiac stem cells (CSC), which are adapted to the cardiac microenvironment and participate in postnatal physiological and pathological cardiac renewal or repair. These cells can be isolated, expanded in culture, and administered therapeutically to improve cardiac function in the setting of heart failure. CSC can be differentiated into three distinct cardiovascular lineages and exhibit enhanced paracrine factor production and engraftment as compared with other types of mesenchymal stem cells, which in turn may translate into improved therapeutic efficacy. The cell surface marker expression and phenotype of these CSC, however, depends on the method of isolation, selection and propagation, which likely explains the variable experimental results obtained to date. Moreover, invasive procedures are required to obtain CSC from humans. Early trials using autologous CSC in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy have demonstrated feasibility and safety, along with variable degrees of therapeutic efficacy in terms of enhancing myocardial viability and cardiac function. Further studies are needed to optimize methods of CSC isolation, manipulation and delivery. If fully realized, the potential of CSC therapy could fundamentally change the approach to the treatment of end-stage heart failure.
doi:10.1177/1535370213477982
PMCID: PMC3800692  PMID: 23598975
cardiac stem cells; cardiosphere; heart regeneration; hypoxic preconditioning; microRNA
23.  Identification of Stem Cells After Transplantation 
The ability to identify the donor stem cells following transplantation into injured hearts is critical. This is particularly important in evaluating stem cell survival and lineage differentiation into mature cardiovascular cells. Several approaches have been employed for tracking the donor stem cells, including fluorescent dyes and fluorescent protein gene transfer. Here, we will induce a protocol using lentivirus-mediated green fluorescent protein (GFP) to monitor the fate of donor stem cells following transplantation.
doi:10.1007/978-1-62703-511-8_8
PMCID: PMC3791624  PMID: 23807789
Green fluorescent protein (GFP); Lentivirus; Stem cells; Myocardial infarction (MI)
24.  Two-Step Protocol for Isolation and Culture of Cardiospheres 
Cardiac progenitor cells (CPC) are a unique pool of progenitor cells residing in the heart that play an important role in cardiac homeostasis and physiological cardiovascular cell turnover during acute myocardial infarction (MI). Transplanting CPC into the heart has shown promise in two recent clinical trials of cardiac repair (SCIPIO & CADUCEUS). CSCs were originally isolated directly from enzymatically digested hearts followed by cell sorting using stem cell markers. However, long exposure to enzymatic digestion can affect the integrity of stem cell markers on the cell surface and also compromise stem cell function. Here, we describe a two-step procedure in which a large number of intact cardiac progenitor cells can be purified from small amount of heart tissue.
doi:10.1007/978-1-62703-511-8_6
PMCID: PMC3791625  PMID: 23807787
Cardiac progenitor cells; Cardiosphere; Magnetic-activated cell sorting (MACS)
25.  Inflammatory Mediators Influence the Expression of Nociceptin and Its Receptor in Human Whole Blood Cultures 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e74138.
Background
Nociceptin/orphanin FQ and its receptor (NOP) are involved in immune responses, inflammation and pain processing. The aim of this study was to investigate the modulation of NOP and prepro-nociceptin (PNoc), the precursor of nociceptin, by inflammatory mediators in human whole blood.
Methods
Peripheral blood from healthy volunteers was cultured for 0, 3, 6 and 24 hrs with or without lipopolysaccharide (LPS), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-10 or interferon (IFN)-γ. NOP and PNoc mRNA of peripheral white blood cells were detected by quantitative RT-PCR. Cytokine concentrations in supernatants of whole blood cultures were measured using ELISA. In addition, an intervention experiment using anti-cytokine antibodies was conducted to evaluate possible mechanisms involved in the modulation of NOP and PNoc by LPS. The primary goal was to investigate NOP and PNoc mRNA expression in human peripheral blood under inflammatory conditions.
Results
LPS significantly suppressed NOP (median area under the mRNA-expression-time curve (1st/3rd quartile): 5.4 (4.6/6.6) normalized ratio · hr) and PNoc expression (40.8 (34.4/49.5)) compared to baseline measures (NOP: 22.7 (17.1/25.3); PNoc: 69.9 (58.4/89.2), both p<0.001). LPS incubation induced cytokine concentrations (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-10 and IFN-γ) in whole blood cultures. Incubation with TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-10 or IFN-γ decreased NOP mRNA levels to varying extents (p<0.05 for all). In contrast, PNoc mRNA expression was decreased by IL-10 only (p = 0.018). The LPS effect on NOP expression could be antagonized by anti-TNF-α and anti-IL-1β, whereas anti-IL-10 and anti-INF-γ had no effect. There was no change of PNoc expression when LPS induced cytokines were antagonized by the respective antibodies.
Conclusions
LPS as well as cytokines suppress mainly NOP and, in part, PNoc mRNA expression in human whole blood cultures. This may represent a negative feedback loop to the previously described upregulation of cytokines by PNoc.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0074138
PMCID: PMC3774641  PMID: 24066107

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