The discovery and identification of Ovis aries (sheep) miRNAs will further promote the study of miRNA functions and gene regulatory mechanisms. To explore the microRNAome (miRNAome) of sheep in depth, samples were collected that included eight developmental stages: the longissimus dorsi muscles of Texel fetuses at 70, 85, 100, 120, and 135 days, and the longissimus dorsi muscles of Ujumqin fetuses at 70, 85, 100, 120, and 135 d, and lambs at 0 (birth), 35, and 70 d. These samples covered all of the representative periods of Ovis aries growth and development throughout gestation (about 150 d) and 70 d after birth. Texel and Ujumqin libraries were separately subjected to Solexa deep sequencing; 35,700,772 raw reads were obtained overall. We used ACGT101-miR v4.2 to analyze the sequence data. Following meticulous comparisons with mammalian mature miRNAs, precursor hairpins (pre-miRNAs), and the latest sheep genome, we substantially extended the Ovis aries miRNAome. The list of pre-miRNAs was extended to 2,319, expressing 2,914 mature miRNAs. Among those, 1,879 were genome mapped to unique miRNAs, representing 2,436 genome locations, and 1,754 pre-miRNAs were mapped to chromosomes. Furthermore, the Ovis aries miRNAome was processed using an elaborate bioinformatic analysis that examined multiple end sequence variation in miRNAs, precursors, chromosomal localizations, species-specific expressions, and conservative properties. Taken together, this study provides the most comprehensive and accurate exploration of the sheep miRNAome, and draws conclusions about numerous characteristics of Ovis aries miRNAs, including miRNAs and isomiRs.
The connection between cancer and inflammation is widely recognized; yet the underlying molecular mechanisms are poorly understood. We report here that TIPE2 provides a molecular bridge from inflammation to cancer by targeting the Ras signaling pathway. TIPE2 binds the Ras-interacting domain of the RalGDS family of proteins, which are essential effectors of activated Ras. This binding prevented Ras from forming an active complex, thereby inhibiting the activation of the downstream signaling molecules Ral and AKT. Consequently, TIPE2 deficiency led to heightened activation of Ral and AKT, resistance to cell death, increased migration, and dysregulation of exocyst complex formation. Conversely, TIPE2 overexpression induced cell death and significantly inhibited Ras-induced tumorigenesis in mice. Importantly, TIPE2 expression was either completely lost or significantly down-regulated in human hepatic cancer. Thus, TIPE2 is an inhibitor of both inflammation and cancer, and potential drug target for inflammatory and neoplastic diseases.
Ras; apoptosis; oncogenesis; inflammation; cytoskeleton
Dendrobium spp. are traditional Chinese medicinal plants, and the main effective ingredients (polysaccharides and alkaloids) have pharmacologic effects on gastritis infection, cancer, and anti-aging. Previously, we confirmed endophytic xylariaceous fungi as the dominant fungi in several Dendrobium species of tropical regions from China. In the present study, the diversity, taxonomy, and distribution of culturable endophytic xylariaceous fungi associated with seven medicinal species of Dendrobium (Orchidaceae) were investigated. Among the 961 endophytes newly isolated, 217 xylariaceous fungi (morphotaxa) were identified using morphological and molecular methods. The phylogenetic tree constructed using nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS), large subunit of ribosomal DNA (LSU), and beta-tubulin sequences divided these anamorphic xylariaceous isolates into at least 18 operational taxonomic units (OTUs). The diversity of the endophytic xylariaceous fungi in these seven Dendrobium species was estimated using Shannon and evenness indices, with the results indicating that the dominant Xylariaceae taxa in each Dendrobium species were greatly different, though common xylariaceous fungi were found in several Dendrobium species. These findings implied that different host plants in the same habitats exhibit a preference and selectivity for their fungal partners. Using culture-dependent approaches, these xylariaceous isolates may be important sources for the future screening of new natural products and drug discovery.
To determine whether elongation factor-2 kinase (eEF-2 kinase) contributes to the malignant phenotype of glioblastoma multiforme by promoting the migration and invasion of glioma cells. The mechanism involved was also explored.
Human glioma cell lines T98G and LN-229 were used. The expression of eEF-2 kinase was silenced using siRNA, and the invasive potential of tumor cells was assessed using a wound-healing assay and a Matrigel invasion assay. Apoptosis was determined using propidium iodide (PI) staining and western blot analysis of cleaved caspase-3.
Silencing the expression of eEF-2 kinase by siRNA significantly suppressed both the migration and invasion of human glioma cells. Silencing eEF-2 kinase expression also sensitized glioma cells to anoikis, thereby decreasing tumor cell viability in the absence of attachment. Treatment of tumor cells with the caspase inhibitor z-VAD-fmk down-regulated Bim accumulation and abolished glioma cell sensitivity to anoikis.
The results suggest that the expression of eEF-2 kinase contributes to migration and invasion of human glioma cells by protecting them from anoikis. eEF-2 kinase expression may serve as a prognostic marker and a novel target for cancer therapy.
eEF-2 kinase; migration; invasion; anoikis; glioma
White matter abnormalities can cause network dysfunction that underlies major depressive disorder (MDD). Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is used to examine the neural connectivity and integrity of the white matter. Previous studies have implicated frontolimbic neural networks in the pathophysiology of MDD. Approximately 30% of MDD patients demonstrate treatment-resistant depression (TRD). However, the neurobiology of TRD remains unclear.
We used a voxel-based analysis method to analyze DTI data in young patients with TRD (n = 30; 19 males, 11 females) compared with right-handed, age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers (n = 25; 14 males, 11 females).
We found a significant decrease in fractional anisotropy (FA) (corrected, cluster size >50) in the left middle frontal gyrus (peak coordinates [−18 46–14]), left limbic lobe uncus (peak coordinates [−18 2–22]), and right cerebellum posterior lobe (peak coordinates [26–34 -40]). There was no increase in FA in any brain region in patients. We also found a significant negative correlation between mean regional FA values in the three areas and Beck Depression Inventory symptom scores.
We found significant differences in white matter FA in the frontal lobe, limbic lobe and cerebellum between TRD patients and controls. These data suggest that abnormalities of cortical-limbic-cerebellar white matter networks may contribute to TRD in young patients.
Treatment-resistant depression; Diffusion tensor imaging; Fractional anisotropy; Voxel-based analysis method
Identification of disease variants via homozygosity mapping and investigation of the effects of genome-wide homozygosity regions on traits of biomedical importance have been widely applied recently. Nonetheless, the existing methods and algorithms to identify long tracts of homozygosity (TOH) are not able to provide efficient and rigorous regions for further downstream association investigation. We expanded current methods to identify TOHs by defining “surrogate-TOH”, a region covering a cluster of TOHs with specific characteristics. Our defined surrogate-TOH includes cTOH, viz a common TOH region where at least ten TOHs present; gTOH, whereby a group of highly overlapping TOHs share proximal boundaries; and aTOH, which are allelically-matched TOHs. Searching for gTOH and aTOH was based on a repeated binary spectral clustering algorithm, where a hierarchy of clusters is created and represented by a TOH cluster tree. Based on the proposed method of identifying different species of surrogate-TOH, our cgaTOH software was developed. The software provides an intuitive and interactive visualization tool for better investigation of the high-throughput output with special interactive navigation rings, which will find its applicability in both conventional association studies and more sophisticated downstream analyses. NCBI genome map viewer is incorporated into the system. Moreover, we discuss the choice of implementing appropriate empirical ranges of critical parameters by applying to disease models. This method identifies various patterned clusters of SNPs demonstrating extended homozygosity, thus one can observe different aspects of the multi-faceted characteristics of TOHs.
AIM: To examine the clinical features and analyze prognostic factors in a prospective study of primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) patients.
METHODS: From 1995 to 2010, PBC patients without hepatic decompensation seen at the Peking Union Medical College Hospital were enrolled. Clinical signs and manifestations (pruritus, persistent fatigue, jaundice and pain in the right hypochondrium), laboratory parameters (auto-antibodies for autoimmune hepatic disease, biliary and hepatic enzymes, immunoglobulin, bilirubin, and albumin) and imaging findings were recorded at entry and at specific time points during follow-up. Cox regression and Kaplan-Meier analyses, respectively, assessed the risk factors for hepatic decompensation and survival.
RESULTS: Two hundred and sixty-two PBC patients were enrolled with a median follow-up of 75.2 mo (range, 21-201 mo). The 240 patients were aged 51.5 ± 10.2 years at diagnosis and 91.6% were female. Two hundred and forty-five (93.5%) were seropositive for anti-mitochondrial antibodies. At presentation, 170 patients (64.9%) were symptomatic, while 96 patients (36.6%) had extra-hepatic autoimmune disease. During the follow-up period, 62 (23.7%) patients developed hepatic decompensation of whom four underwent liver transplantation and 17 died. The cumulative survival rate and median survival time were 83.9% and 181.7 mo, respectively. Cox regression analysis revealed that an incomplete ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) response or inconsistent treatment [P < 0.001; hazard risk (HR) 95%CI = 2.423-7.541], anti-centromere antibodies (ACA) positivity (P < 0.001; HR 95%CI = 2.516-7.137), alanine aminotransferase ratio (AAR) elevations (P < 0.001; HR 95%CI = 1.357-2.678), and histological advanced liver disease (P = 0.006; HR 95%CI = 1.481-10.847) were predictors of hepatic decompensation. The clinical features and survival of PBC in China are consistent with those described in Western countries.
CONCLUSION: Incomplete UDCA response or inconsistent treatment, ACA positivity, AAR elevations, and advanced histological stage are predictors of decompensation.
Primary biliary cirrhosis; Risk factor; Hepatic decompensation; Survival; Ursodeoxycholic acid response; Anti-centromere antibodies; Histological stage
Campylobacter concisus, a Gram-negative bacterium that colonizes the human oral cavity, has been shown to be associated with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). The effects of different C. concisus strains on intestinal epithelial expression of Toll like receptors (TLR) have not been investigated. This study examined the effects of C. concisus strains isolated from patients with IBD and controls on expression of TLR4, its co-receptor myeloid differentiation factor (MD)-2; TLR2, TLR5, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and interleukin (IL)-8 in HT-29 cells.
Fourteen oral and enteric C. concisus strains isolated from patients with IBD and healthy controls were co-incubated with HT-29 cells. Expression of TLR4, MD-2, TLR2, TLR5 and COX-2 in HT-29 cells in response to C. concisus infection was examined by Western blot, flow cytometry analysis and immunofluorescent staining visualized by confocal microscope. Production of IL-8 was evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Both oral and enteric C. concisus strains upregulated expression of TLR4 in HT-29 cells. The levels of glycosylated TLR4 (Gly-TLR4) and surface TLR4 induced by C. concisus strains isolated from patients with IBD were significantly higher than those induced by C. concisus strains isolated from the healthy controls. Four C. concisus strains isolated from patients with IBD induced more than two-fold increase of surface expression of MD-2. C. concisus did not affect expression of TLR2 and TLR5. All C. concisus strains induced production of IL-8 and COX-2 in HT-29 cells.
This study shows that some C. concisus strains, most from patients with IBD, upregulate surface expression of TLR4 and MD-2 in HT-29 cells. These data suggest that a potential role of specific C. concisus strains in modulating the intestinal epithelial responses to bacterial LPS needs to be investigated.
Polyporus umbellatus sclerotia have been used as a diuretic agent in China for over two thousand years. A shortage of the natural P. umbellatus has prompted researchers to induce sclerotial formation in the laboratory.
P. umbellatus cultivation in a sawdust-based substrate was investigated to evaluate the effect of low temperature conditions on sclerotial formation. A phenol-sulfuric acid method was employed to determine the polysaccharide content of wild P. umbellatus sclerotia and mycelia and sclerotia grown in low-temperature treatments. In addition, reactive oxygen species (ROS) content, expressed as the fluorescence intensity of mycelia during sclerotial differentiation was determined. Analysis of ROS generation and sclerotial formation in mycelia after treatment with the antioxidants such as diphenyleneiodonium chloride (DPI), apocynin (Apo), or vitamin C were studied. Furthermore, macroscopic and microscopic characteristics of sclerotial differentiation were observed. Sclerotia were not induced by continuous cultivation at 25°C. The polysaccharide content of the artificial sclerotia is 78% of that of wild sclerotia. In the low-temperature treatment group, the fluorescent intensity of ROS was higher than that of the room temperature (25°C) group which did not induce sclerotial formation all through the cultivation. The antioxidants DPI and Apo reduced ROS levels and did not induce sclerotial formation. Although the concentration-dependent effects of vitamin C (5–15 mg mL−1) also reduced ROS generation and inhibited sclerotial formation, using a low concentration of vitamin C (1 mg mL−1) successfully induced sclerotial differentiation and increased ROS production.
Exposure to low temperatures induced P. umbellatus sclerotial morphogenesis during cultivation. Low temperature treatment enhanced ROS in mycelia, which may be important in triggering sclerotial differentiation in P. umbellatus. Moreover, the application of antioxidants impaired ROS generation and inhibited sclerotial formation. Our findings may help to provide new insights into the biological mechanisms underlying sclerotial morphogenesis in P. umbellatus.
To identify the function of ST2 and explore the role of IL-33/ST2 signaling in regulating the pro-allergic cytokine production in human corneal epithelial cells (HCECs).
Human corneal tissues and cultured primary HCECs were treated with IL-33 in different concentrations without or with different inhibitors to evaluate the expression, location and signaling pathways of ST2 in regulating production of pro-allergic cytokine and chemokine. The expression of mRNA was determined by reverse transcription and real time PCR, and protein production was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), immunohistochemical and immunofluorescent staining. ST2 protein was detected in donor corneal epithelium, and ST2 signal was enhanced by exposure to IL-33.
IL-33 significantly stimulated production of pro-allergic cytokines thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) and chemokine (CCL2, CCL20, CCL22) in HCECs at both mRNA and protein levels. These stimulated productions of pro-allergic mediators by IL-33 were blocked by ST2 antibody or soluble ST2 protein (P<0.05). Interestingly, the IκB-α inhibitor BAY11-7082 or NF-κB activation inhibitor quinazoline blocked NF-κB p65 protein nuclear translocation, and also suppressed the productions of these pro-allergic cytokines and chemokine induced by IL-33.
These findings demonstrate that IL-33/ST2 signaling plays an important role in regulating IL-33 induced pro-allergic responses. IL-33 and ST2 could become novel molecular targets for the intervention of allergic diseases in ocular surface.
ST2; interleukin 33; human; cornea; epithelium; allergic diseases; NF-κB
To investigate the expression of dendritic cell-associated C-type lectin-1(dectin-1) at the early period of Aspergillus fumigatus infection in rat's corneal epithelium.
A total of 72 Wistar rats were randomly divided into three groups: A, B and C. The right eyes were chosen as experimental eyes. Group A was control group. Rats in group B were not inoculated with Aspergillus fumigatus. Group C was taken as Aspergillus fumigatus keratitis model. Rats in group B and C (six from each group) were executed randomly at 4, 8, 16 and 24 hours after experimental model being established to assess the expression of dectin-1 mRNA through real-time PCR. Another six rats in group B and C were executed randomly at 24 hours to assess the expression of dectin-1 protein through immunohistochemistry.
The results of real-time PCR indicated that dectin-1 mRNA expression was low in corneal epithelium of normal rats'. There was no significantly difference of dectin-1 mRNA expression in group A and B (P>0.05). The expression of Aspergillus fumigatus infected corneal epithelium increased gradually after 8 hours in group C. The synchronous expression of group A and C had significant difference (P<0.01). Immunohistochemisty discovered that dectin-1 receptor existed in normal rat's corneal epithelium. Dectin-1 protein increased after 24 hours in group C. There was a significant difference of synchronous expression in group B and C (P<0.01).
Dectin-1 exists in rat's corneal epithelium and its expression significantly increases at the early period of Aspergillus fumigatus infection. Dectin-1 is a pattern recognition receptor that expresses in corneal epithelium and involves in immune response to Aspergillus fungal keratitis.
keratitis; Aspergillus fumigatus; dectin-1; rat
To identify the genetic defect in a Chinese family with bilateral progressive childhood posterior cataract.
A two-generation family was recruited in this study. Family history and clinical data were recorded. All reported candidate genes associated with congenital posterior cataract were screened by direct DNA sequencing.
All affected individuals presented posterior opacities in the lens. Direct sequencing of the candidate genes showed a heterozygous c. 2668C>T variation in EPHA2 gene, which resulted in the replacement of arginine by cysteine at codon 890 (p. R890C). This mutation was found in two affected individuals, but was not observed in 200 normal controls.
We report a novel mutation (p. R890C) in the EPHA2 receptor tyrosine kinase gene. The finding expands the mutation spectrum of EPHA2 in association with posterior cataract.
EPHA2; gene mutation; posterior cataract
The prostate epithelial lineage hierarchy and the cellular origin for prostate cancer remain inadequately defined. Using a lineage tracing approach, we show that adult rodent prostate basal and luminal cells are independently self-sustained in vivo. Disrupting the tumor suppressor Pten in either lineage led to prostate cancer initiation. However, the cellular composition and onset dynamics of the resulting tumors are distinctive. Prostate luminal cells are more responsive to Pten null-induced mitogenic signaling. In contrast, basal cells are resistant to direct transformation. Instead, loss of Pten activity induces the capability of basal cells to differentiate into transformation-competent luminal cells. Our study suggests that deregulation of epithelial differentiation is a critical step for the initiation of prostate cancers of basal cell origin.
lineage hierarchy; prostate stem cells; K14-CreER; K8-CreERT2; Pten; cells-of-origin; prostate cancer
Accumulating evidence reveals that intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) can cause varying degrees of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) later in life. Moreover, epigenetics plays an important role in the fetal origin of adult disease. The goal of this study was to investigate the role of epigenetics in the development of PAH following IUGR.
The IUGR rats were established by maternal undernutrition during pregnancy. Pulmonary vascular endothelial cells (PVEC) were isolated from the rat lungs by magnetic-activated cell sorting (MACS). We investigated epigenetic regulation of the endothelin-1 (ET-1) gene in PVEC of 1-day and 6-week IUGR rats, and response of IUGR rats to hypoxia.
The maternal nutrient restriction increased the histone acetylation and hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) binding levels in the ET-1 gene promoter of PVEC in IUGR newborn rats, and continued up to 6 weeks after birth. These epigenetic changes could result in an IUGR rat being highly sensitive to hypoxia later in life, causing more significant PAH or pulmonary vascular remodeling.
These findings suggest that epigenetics is closely associated with the development of hypoxic PAH following IUGR, further providing a new insight for improved prevention and treatment of IUGR-related PAH.
Epigenetics; Pulmonary arterial hypertension; Endothelial cells; Endothelin-1; Intrauterine growth retardation
Epidemiological studies have evaluated the association between nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase p22phox C242T polymorphism and risk of ischemic cerebrovascular disease (ICVD), but the results remain inconclusive. This meta-analysis was therefore designed to clarify these controversies.
Systematic searches of electronic databases Embase, PubMed and Web of Science, as well as hand searching of the references of identified articles and the meeting abstracts were performed. Statistical analyses were performed using software Review Manager (Version 5.1.7) and Stata (Version 11.0). The pooled odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (95%CIs) were performed. Fixed or random effects model was separately used depending on the heterogeneity between studies. Publication bias was tested by Begg's funnel plot and Egger's regression test. A total of 6 studies including 1,948 cases and 2,357 controls were combined showing no statistical evidence of association between NADPH oxidase p22phox C242T polymorphism and overall ICVD (allelic model: OR = 1.08, 95%CI = 0.93–1.26; additive model: OR = 1.33, 95%CI = 0.81–2.17; dominant model: OR = 1.00, 95%CI = 0.86–1.15; recessive model: OR = 1.06, 95%CI = 0.77–1.45). Significant association was found in large-artery atherosclerotic stroke subgroup (allelic model: OR = 1.12, 95%CI = 0.88–1.41; additive model: OR = 1.36, 95%CI = 0.60–3.09; dominant model: OR = 1.25, 95%CI = 0.74–2.11; recessive model: OR = 2.17, 95%CI = 1.11–4.23). No statistical evidence of significant association was observed for small-vessel occlusive stroke, as well as Asian subgroup and Caucasian subgroup. Statistical powers on the combined sample size (total and subgroup) were all lower than 80%.
This meta-analysis indicates that NADPH oxidase p22phox C242T polymorphism is more associated with large-artery atherosclerotic stroke than small-vessel occlusive stroke. However, this conclusion should be interpreted with caution due to the small sample size. Larger sample-size studies with homogeneous ICVD patients and well-matched controls are required.
Fragile X syndrome (FXS), a common inherited form of intellectual disability with learning deficits, results from a loss of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). Despite extensive research, treatment options for FXS remain limited. Since FMRP is known to play an important role in adult hippocampal neurogenesis and hippocampus-dependent learning and FMRP regulates the adult neural stem cell fate through the translational regulation of glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β), we investigated the effects of a GSK3β inhibitor, SB216763, on Fmr1 knockout mice (Fmr1 KO). We found that the inhibition of GSK3β could reverse the hippocampus-dependent learning deficits and rescue adult hippocampal neurogenesis at multiple stages in Fmr1 KO mice. Our results point to GSK3β inhibition as a potential treatment for the learning deficits seen in FXS.
As a thrombolytic agent, application of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) to ischemic stroke is limited by the narrow time window and side effects on brain edema and hemorrhage. This study examined whether tPA, administered by intranasal delivery directly targeting the brain and spinal cord, provides therapeutic benefit during the subacute phase after stroke. Adult male Wistar rats were subjected to permanent right middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo). Animals were treated intranasally with saline, 60 μg or 600 μg recombinant human tPA at 7 and 14 days after MCAo (n=8/group), respectively. An adhesive-removal test and a foot-fault test were used to monitor functional recovery. Biotinylated dextran amine (BDA) was injected into the left motor cortex to anterogradely label the corticorubral tract (CRT) and the corticospinal tract (CST). Naive rats (n=6) were employed as normal control. Animals were euthanized 8 weeks after stroke. Compared with saline treated animals, significant functional improvements were evident in rats treated with 600 μg tPA (p<0.05), but not in 60 μg tPA treated rats. Furthermore, 600 μg tPA treatment significantly enhanced both CRT and CST sprouting originating from the contralesional cortex sprouting into the denervated side of the red nucleus and cervical gray matter compared with control group (p<0.01), respectively. The behavioral outcomes were highly correlated with CRT and CST axonal remodeling. Our data suggest that delayed tPA intranasal treatment provides therapeutic benefits for neurological recovery after stroke by, at least in part, promoting neuronal remodeling in the brain and spinal cord.
functional recovery; middle cerebral artery occlusion; neuronal remodeling; tissue plasminogen activator
The authors report three rare cases of neuroschistosomiasis lacking extracranial involvement. No parasitic eggs were detected in the stool with the Kato–Katz thick smear methods. Computed tomography of the brains showed hypodense signals, and magnetic resonance imaging showed isointense signals on T1-weighted images, hyperintense signals on T2-weighted images, and intensely enhancing nodules in the brain after intravenous administration of gadolinium. High-grade gliomas were suspected, and operations or radiosurgery was performed. Cerebral schistosomiasis was confirmed in all cases by biopsy of the brain lesions, revealing granulomas containing embedded Schistosoma japonicum eggs. All cases were definitively diagnosed as brain schistosomiasis japonica. Praziquantel and corticosteroids were administered, and the prognoses were good for all case patients. Although the aforementioned pattern of imaging examinations is not present in all cases of neuroschistosomiasis, a diagnosis of neuroschistosomiasis should be considered when this pattern of imaging is observed; cerebrospinal fluid serological exams are also recommended.
To explore sperm chromosomal aneuploidy, sperm membrane and DNA integrity in infertile patients with anejaculation.
Semen samples were collected from 18 infertile men with spinal cord injury (SCI) by penile vibratory stimulation (PVS) and from 14 psychogenic anejaculation (PA) patients by percutaneous vasal sperm aspiration (PVSA). These semen samples as well as samples from 16 donors were analyzed using the hypo-osmotic swelling (HOS) test, the sperm chromatin dispersion (SCD) test and multi-color fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with probes specific for chromosomes 13, 18, 21, X and Y.
There were significant differences in the percentages of motile sperm, normal morphologic sperm and sperm DNA fragmentation between the infertile men with SCI and the control group (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01). The sperm motility was significantly greater in the PA-PVSA group than in the SCI-PVS group (P < 0.01). The number of round cells per mL of semen obtained from the 18 SCI patients by PVS was between 1 and 8 million. The rate of sperm DNA fragmentation in the SCI-PVS group was higher than that of the PA-PVSA group (P < 0.05). The aneuploidy rates for the SCI patients were 2.4-fold higher for chromosomes 13, 18 and 21 and 2.2-fold higher for chromosomes X and Y than for patients in the control group (P < 0.0001).
The semen quality is poorer, sperm DNA fragmentation and sperm chromosomal aneuploidies are seen at a higher rate for SCI patients compared to healthy, fertile and normospermic men. Whether the difference in yield is due to increased scrotal temperature, genitourinary infection, or other reasons requires further study.
Sperm chromatin dispersion (SCD) test; FISH; Sperm chromosomal aneuploidy; Anejaculation; Male infertility
The purpose of this study was to investigate the clinicopathological features and analyze the prognostic factors of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).
Patients and Methods
The clinical data of 1,788 breast cancer patients was collected and analyzed. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate survival. Multivariate analysis of the prognostic factors for survival was performed using the Cox regression model.
Patients with TNBC exhibited characteristics significantly differing from those with non-TNBC. There was a higher proportion of patients with age < 35 years, stage III disease, tumor size > 5 cm, lymph node positivity, and histological grade 3. The 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) rates of TNBC and non-TNBC patients were 75.7 and 79.6%, respectively (p < 0.05). 5-year overall survival (OS) was 86.6 and 93.5%, respectively (p < 0.05). In multivariate Cox regression analysis, the independent prognostic factors for shorter DFS were age < 35 years (hazard ratio (HR) 2.105), positive lymph nodes (HR 7.039), histological grade 3 (HR 1.841), and for shorter OS positive lymph nodes (HR 4.626).
The proportion of TNBC in breast cancer in China is higher than in other areas. TNBC is correlated with younger age, larger tumor size, positive lymph nodes, higher clinical stage and histological grade, and lower DFS and OS, which is consistent with previous reports.
Triple-negative breast cancer: clinical features, prognosis; Multivariate analysis
To identify risk factors associated with influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 among students in
Beijing, China, we conducted a case–control study. Participants (304
case-patients and 608 controls, age range 6–19 years) were interviewed by
using a standardized questionnaire. We found that in addition to vaccination,
nonpharmaceutical interventions appeared to be protective.
pandemic; influenza; viruses; influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus; influenza A(H1N1)pdm09; risk factors; students; Beijing; China
The accumulation of thermal time usually represents the local heat resources to drive crop growth. Maps of temperature-based agro-meteorological indices are commonly generated by the spatial interpolation of data collected from meteorological stations with coarse geographic continuity. To solve the critical problems of estimating air temperature (T
a) and filling in missing pixels due to cloudy and low-quality images in growing degree days (GDDs) calculation from remotely sensed data, a novel spatio-temporal algorithm for T
a estimation from Terra and Aqua moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) data was proposed. This is a preliminary study to calculate heat accumulation, expressed in accumulative growing degree days (AGDDs) above 10 °C, from reconstructed T
a based on MODIS land surface temperature (LST) data. The verification results of maximum T
a, minimum T
a, GDD, and AGDD from MODIS-derived data to meteorological calculation were all satisfied with high correlations over 0.01 significant levels. Overall, MODIS-derived AGDD was slightly underestimated with almost 10% relative error. However, the feasibility of employing AGDD anomaly maps to characterize the 2001–2010 spatio-temporal variability of heat accumulation and estimating the 2011 heat accumulation distribution using only MODIS data was finally demonstrated in the current paper. Our study may supply a novel way to calculate AGDD in heat-related study concerning crop growth monitoring, agricultural climatic regionalization, and agro-meteorological disaster detection at the regional scale.
MODIS land surface temperature; Air temperature estimation; Reconstruction; Heat accumulation; Rice growing season; Growing degree day (GDD)
Nucleolin is implicated to play a role in angiogenesis, a vital process in tumor growth and metastasis. However, the presence and clinical relevance of nucleolin in human non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains largely unknown. In this study, we explored the expression and prognostic implication of nucleolin in surgically resected NSCLC patients. A cohort of 146 NSCLC patients who underwent surgical resection was selected for tissue microarray. In this tissue microarray, nucleolin expression was measured by immunofluorescence. Staining for CD31, a marker of endothelial cells, was performed to mark blood vessels. A Cox proportional hazards model was used to assess the prognostic significance of nucleolin. Nucleolin expression was observed in 34.2% of all patients, and 64.1% in high CD31 expression patients. The disease-free survival (DFS) was significantly shorter in patients with high nucleolin (CD31hiNCLhi) compared to patients with low tumor blood vessels (CD31loNCLlo) (5 ys of DFS 24% vs 64%, p = 0.002). Such a difference was demonstrated in the following stratified analyses: stage I (p<0.001), squamous cell carcinoma and adenosquamous cell carcinoma (p = 0.028), small tumor (<5 cm, p = 0.008), and surgery alone (p = 0.015). Multivariate analysis further revealed that nucleolin expression independently predicted for worse survival (p = 0.003). This study demonstrates that nucleolin is associated with the clinical outcomes in postoperative NSCLC patients. Thus, the expression levels of nucleolin may provide a new prognostic marker to identify patients at higher risk for treatment failure, especially in some subgroups.
Although the expenses of liver cirrhosis are covered by a critical illness fund under the current health insurance program in China, the economic burden associated with hepatitis B virus (HBV) related diseases is not well addressed. In order to provide evidence to address the economic disease burden of HBV, we conducted a survey to investigate the direct economic burden of acute and chronic hepatitis B, cirrhosis and liver cancer caused by HBV-related disease.
From April 2010 to November 2010, we conducted a survey of inpatients with HBV-related diseases and who were hospitalized for seven or more days in one of the seven tertiary and six secondary hospitals in Shandong, China. Patients were recorded consecutively within a three-to-five month time period from each sampled hospital; an in-person survey was conducted to collect demographic and socio-economic information, as well as direct medical and nonmedical expenses during the last month and last year prior to the current hospitalization. Direct medical costs included total outpatient, inpatient, and self-treatment expenditures; direct nonmedical costs included spending on nutritional supplements, transportation, and nursing. Direct medical costs during the current hospitalization were also obtained from the hospital financial database. The direct economic cost was calculated as the sum of direct medical and nonmedical costs. Our results call for the importance of implementing clinical guideline, improving system accountability, and helping secondary and smaller hospitals to improve efficiency. This has important policy implication for the on-going hospital reform in China.
Our data based on inpatients with HBV-related diseases suggested that the direct cost in US dollars for acute hepatitis B, severe hepatitis B, chronic hepatitis B, compensated cirrhosis, decompensated cirrhosis and primary liver cancer was $2954, $10834, $4552, $7400.28, $6936 and $10635, respectively. These costs ranged from 30.72% (for acute hepatitis B) to 297.85% (for primary liver cancer) of the average annual household income in our sample. Even for patients with health insurance, direct out-of-pocket cost of all HBV-related diseases except acute hepatitis B exceeded 40.00% of the patient’s disposable household income, making it a catastrophic expenditure for the household.
Hepatitis B imposes considerable economic burden on a family. Our findings will help health policy makers’ understanding of the magnitude of the economic burden of HBV-related diseases in China. Evidence from our study also contributes to our understanding of potential benefits to society from allocating more resources to preventing and treating HBV infection, as well as increasing insurance coverage in China. These findings have important policy implications for health care reform efforts currently underway in China focusing on how to reduce the burden of catastrophic disease for its citizens.