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1.  Feasibility study of an alkaline-based chemical treatment for the purification of polyhydroxybutyrate produced by a mixed enriched culture 
AMB Express  2015;5(1):5.
This study focused on investigating the feasibility of purifying polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) from mixed culture biomass by alkaline-based chemical treatment. The PHB-containing biomass was enriched on acetate under non-sterile conditions. Alkaline treatment (0.2 M NaOH) together with surfactant SDS (0.2 w/v% SDS) could reach 99% purity, with more than 90% recovery. The lost PHB could be mostly attributed to PHB hydrolysis during the alkaline treatment. PHB hydrolysis could be moderated by increasing the crystallinity of the PHB granules, for example, by biomass pretreatment (e.g. freezing or lyophilization) or by effective cell lysis (e.g. adjusting alkali concentration). The suitability of the purified PHB by alkaline treatment for polymer applications was evaluated by molecular weight and thermal stability. A solvent based purification method was also performed for comparison purposes. As result, PHB produced by mixed enriched cultures was found suitable for thermoplastic applications when purified by the solvent method. While the alkaline method resulted in purity, recovery yield and molecular weight comparable to values reported in literature for PHB produced by pure cultures, it was found unsuitable for thermoplastic applications. Given the potential low cost and favorable environmental impact of this method, it is expected that PHB purified by alkaline method may be suitable for other non-thermal polymer applications, and as a platform chemical.
PMCID: PMC4305094  PMID: 25642402
Polyhydroxybutyrate; Alkaline treatment; Crystallinity; Thermal stability; Mixed cultures
2.  Sugihara causality analysis of scalp EEG for detection of early Alzheimer's disease 
NeuroImage : Clinical  2014;7:258-265.
Recently, Sugihara proposed an innovative causality concept, which, in contrast to statistical predictability in Granger sense, characterizes underlying deterministic causation of the system. This work exploits Sugihara causality analysis to develop novel EEG biomarkers for discriminating normal aging from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early Alzheimer's disease (AD). The hypothesis of this work is that scalp EEG based causality measurements have different distributions for different cognitive groups and hence the causality measurements can be used to distinguish between NC, MCI, and AD participants. The current results are based on 30-channel resting EEG records from 48 age-matched participants (mean age 75.7 years) — 15 normal controls (NCs), 16 MCI, and 17 early-stage AD. First, a reconstruction model is developed for each EEG channel, which predicts the signal in the current channel using data of the other 29 channels. The reconstruction model of the target channel is trained using NC, MCI, or AD records to generate an NC-, MCI-, or AD-specific model, respectively. To avoid over fitting, the training is based on the leave-one-out principle. Sugihara causality between the channels is described by a quality score based on comparison between the reconstructed signal and the original signal. The quality scores are studied for their potential as biomarkers to distinguish between the different cognitive groups. First, the dimension of the quality scores is reduced to two principal components. Then, a three-way classification based on the principal components is conducted. Accuracies of 95.8%, 95.8%, and 97.9% are achieved for resting eyes open, counting eyes closed, and resting eyes closed protocols, respectively. This work presents a novel application of Sugihara causality analysis to capture characteristic changes in EEG activity due to cognitive deficits. The developed method has excellent potential as individualized biomarkers in the detection of pathophysiological changes in early-stage AD.
•We explore EEG-based biomarkers for early Alzheimer's disease.•We investigate causality connectivity from scalp EEG in Sugihara sense.•Excellent diagnosis accuracies are achieved under three different protocol conditions.•We present the first biomedical application of Sugihara causality analysis.
PMCID: PMC4300018  PMID: 25610788
Early Alzheimer's disease; Mild cognitive impairment; EEG-based diagnosis; Causality analysis
3.  Programmed Cell Death-4 Deficiency Prevents Diet-Induced Obesity, Adipose Tissue Inflammation, and Insulin Resistance 
Diabetes  2013;62(12):4132-4143.
Programmed cell death-4 (PDCD4), a selective protein translation inhibitor, has shown proinflammatory effect in some inflammatory diseases, but its roles in obesity remain unestablished. This study aims to investigate the effects of PDCD4 on obesity, inflammation, and insulin resistance. Surprisingly, high-fat diet (HFD)-fed PDCD4-deficient (PDCD4−/−) mice exhibited an absolutely lean phenotype together with improved insulin sensitivity. Compared with wild-type obese mice, HFD-fed PDCD4−/− mice showed higher energy expenditure, lower epididymal fat weight, and reduced macrophage infiltration inflammatory cytokine secretion in white adipose tissue (WAT). Alleviated hepatic steatosis along with decreased plasma levels of triglyceride and cholesterol was also observed in these mice. Importantly, PDCD4 appeared to disturb lipid metabolism via inhibiting the expression of liver X receptor (LXR)-α, a master modulator of lipid homeostasis, which was elevated in HFD-fed PDCD4−/− mice accompanied by upregulation of its target genes and relieved endoplasmic reticulum stress in WAT. These data demonstrate that PDCD4 deficiency protects mice against diet-induced obesity, WAT inflammation, and insulin resistance through restoring the expression of LXR-α, thereby proposing PDCD4 as a potential target for treating obesity-associated diseases.
PMCID: PMC3837052  PMID: 23990362
4.  In Vivo Experiments Reveal the Good, the Bad and the Ugly Faces of sFlt-1 in Pregnancy 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e110867.
Soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase (sFlt)-1-e15a, a primate-specific sFlt-1-isoform most abundant in the human placenta in preeclampsia, can induce preeclampsia in mice. This study compared the effects of full-length human (h)sFlt-1-e15a with those of truncated mouse (m)sFlt-1(1-3) used in previous preeclampsia studies on pregnancy outcome and clinical symptoms in preeclampsia.
Mice were injected with adenoviruses or fiber-mutant adenoviruses overexpressing hsFlt-1-e15a, msFlt-1(1-3) or control GFP under the CMV or CYP19A1 promoters on gestational day 8 (GD8) and GD11. Placentas and pups were delivered by cesarean section, and dams were monitored postpartum. Blood pressure was telemetrically recorded. Urine samples were collected with cystocentesis and examined for albumin/creatinine ratios. Tissue specimens were evaluated for transgene as well as endogenous mFlt-1 and msFlt-1-i13 expression. H&E-, Jones- and PAS-stained kidney sections were histopathologically examined. Placental GFP expression and aortic ring assays were investigated with confocal microscopy.
Mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) was elevated before delivery in hsFlt-1-e15a-treated mice compared to controls (GD18: ΔMAP = 7.8 mmHg, p = 0.009), while ΔMAP was 12.8 mmHg (GD18, p = 0.005) in msFlt-1(1-3)-treated mice. Urine albumin/creatinine ratio was higher in hsFlt-1-e15a-treated mice than in controls (GD18, p = 0.04; PPD8, p = 0.03), and msFlt-1(1-3)-treated mice had marked proteinuria postpartum (PPD8, p = 4×10−5). Focal glomerular changes were detected in hsFlt-1-e15a and msFlt-1(1-3)-treated mice. Aortic ring microvessel outgrowth was decreased in hsFlt-1-e15a (p = 0.007) and msFlt-1(1-3)-treated (p = 0.02) mice. Full-length msFlt-1-i13 expression was unique for the placenta. In hsFlt-1-e15a-treated mice, the number of pups (p = 0.046), total weight of living pups (p = 0.04) and maternal weights (p = 0.04) were higher than in controls. These differences were not observed in truncated msFlt-1(1-3)-treated mice.
Truncated msFlt-1(1-3) simulated the preeclampsia-promoting effects of full-length hsFlt-1. MsFlt-1(1-3) had strong effect on maternal endothelium but not on placentas and embryos. In contrast, hsFlt-1-e15a induced preeclampsia-like symptoms; however, it also increased litter size. In accord with the predominant placental expression of hsFlt-1-e15a and msFlt-1-i13, full-length sFlt-1 may have a role in the regulation of embryonic development. These observations point to the difference in the biological effects of full-length and truncated sFlt-1 and the changes in the effect of full-length sFlt-1 during pregnancy, and may have important implications in the management of preeclampsia.
PMCID: PMC4230935  PMID: 25393290
5.  Repeated Retrieval During Working Memory Is Sensitive to Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment 
Journal of clinical and experimental neuropsychology  2013;35(9):10.1080/13803395.2013.838942.
Study of repeated learning mechanisms has been limited in amnestic mild cognitive impairment, a preclinical stage of Alzheimer disease modifiable by cognitive rehabilitation. We assessed repeated contextual working memory decline as an indicator of amnestic mild cognitive impairment in a sample of 45 older adults recruited from the tertiary care setting. Results indicated that contextual working memory impairment distinguished adults with preclinical disease from those without impairment despite similar overall cognitive performance, and comparison of the indicator with standard-of-care neuropsychological measures indicated discriminant validity. Contextual working memory impairment may represent a novel predictor of Alzheimer disease conversion risk.
PMCID: PMC3884808  PMID: 24074205
Alzheimer disease; mild cognitive impairment; working memory; repetition priming; neuropsychological tests; cognitive therapy; aging
6.  Indium segregation measured in InGaN quantum well layer 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:6734.
The indium segregation in InGaN well layer is confirmed by a nondestructive combined method of experiment and numerical simulation, which is beyond the traditional method. The pre-deposited indium atoms before InGaN well layer growth are first carried out to prevent indium atoms exchange between the subsurface layer and the surface layer, which results from the indium segregation. The uniform spatial distribution of indium content is achieved in each InGaN well layer, as long as indium pre-deposition is sufficient. According to the consistency of the experiment and numerical simulation, the indium content increases from 16% along the growth direction and saturates at 19% in the upper interface, which cannot be determined precisely by the traditional method.
PMCID: PMC4206869  PMID: 25339386
7.  Roles of histamine on the expression of aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 in endometrioid adenocarcinoma cell line 
Cancer Medicine  2014;3(5):1126-1135.
Cancer-initiating cells (CICs) are a limited number of cells that are essential for maintenance, recurrence, and metastasis of tumors. Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1) has been recognized as a marker of CICs. We previously reported that ALDH1-high cases of uterine endometrioid adenocarcinoma showed poor prognosis, and that ALDH1 high population was more tumorigenic, invasive, and resistant to apoptosis than ALDH1 low population. Histamine plays a critical role in cancer cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. Here, we examined the effect of histamine on ALDH1 expression in endometrioid adenocarcinoma cell line. The addition of histamine increased ALDH1 high population, which was consistent with the result that histamine enhanced the invasive ability and the resistance to anticancer drug. Among 4 types of histamine receptors, histamine H1 and H2 receptor (H1R and H2R) were expressed in endometrioid adenocarcinoma cell line. The addition of H1R agonist but not H2R agonist increased ALDH1. The antagonist H1R but not H2R inhibited the effect of histamine on ALDH1 expression. These results indicated that histamine increased the expression of ALDH1 via H1R but not H2R. These findings may provide the evidence for exploring a new strategy to suppress CICs by inhibiting ALDH1 expression with histamine.
PMCID: PMC4302664  PMID: 25045085
Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1; cancer-initiating cells; endometrioid adenocarcinoma; histamine; histamine receptor
8.  Green tea compounds in breast cancer prevention and treatment 
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. In recent years, many in vitro and in vivo studies indicate that green tea possesses anti-cancer effects. The epidemiological studies, however, have produced inconclusive results in humans. Likewise, results from animal models about the preventive or therapeutic effects of green tea components are inconclusive. The mechanisms by which green tea intake may influence the risk of breast cancer in humans remain elusive mechanisms by which green tea intake may influence. Here, we review recent studies of green tea polyphenols and their applications in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer. Furthermore, we discuss the effect of green tea components on breast cancer by reviewing epidemiological studies, animal model studies and clinical trials. At last, we discuss the mechanisms by which green tea components suppress the development and recurrence of breast cancer. A better understanding of the mechanisms will improve the utilization of green tea in breast cancer prevention and therapy and pave the way to novel prevention and treatment strategies for breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC4127621  PMID: 25114865
Breast cancer; Green tea; Epigallocatechin-3-gallate; Chemoprevention; Treatment
9.  An electrophysiological index of changes in risk decision-making strategies 
Neuropsychologia  2013;51(8):1397-1407.
Human decision-making is significantly modulated by previously experienced outcomes. Using event-related potentials (ERPs), we examined whether ERP components evoked by outcome feedbacks could serve as biomarkers to signal the influence of current outcome evaluation on subsequent decision-making. In this study, eighteen adult volunteers participated in a simple monetary gambling task, in which they were asked to choose between two options that differed in risk. Their decisions were immediately followed by outcome presentation. Temporospatial principle component analysis (PCA) was applied to the outcome-onset locked ERPs in the -200 – 1000 ms time window. The PCA factors that approximated classical ERP components (P2, feedback-related negativity, P3a, & P3b) in terms of time course and scalp distribution were tested for their association with subsequent decision-making strategies. Our results revealed that a fronto-central PCA factor approximating the classical P3a was related to changes of decision-making strategies on subsequent trials. The decision to switch between high- and low-risk options resulted in a larger P3a relative to the decision to retain the same choice. According to the results, we suggest the amplitude of the fronto-central P3a is an electrophysiological index of the influence of current outcome on subsequent risk decision-making. Furthermore, the ERP source analysis indicated that the activations of the frontopolar cortex and sensorimotor cortex were involved in subsequent changes of strategies, which enriches our understanding of the neural mechanisms of adjusting decision-making strategies based on previous experience.
PMCID: PMC3989206  PMID: 23643796
decision-making; outcome evaluation; event-related potential (ERP); principal components analysis (PCA); P3 component
10.  Reactive Oxygen Species and Autophagy Associated Apoptosis and Limitation of Clonogenic Survival Induced by Zoledronic Acid in Salivary Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Cell Line SACC-83 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e101207.
Salivary adenoid cystic carcinoma is an epithelial tumor in the head and neck region. Despite its slow growth, patients with salivary adenoid cystic carcinoma exhibit poor long term survival because of a high rate of distant metastasis. Lung and bone are common distant metastasis sites. Zoledronic acid, a third generation bisphosphonate, has been used for tumor-induced osteolysis due to bone metastasis and has direct antitumor activity in several human neoplasms. Here, we observed that zoledronic acid inhibited salivary adenoid cystic carcinoma cell line SACC-83 xenograft tumor growth in nude mice. In vitro, zoledronic acid induced apoptosis and reduced clonogenic survival in SACC-83. Flow cytometry and western blotting indicated that the cell cycle was arrested at G0/G1. Zoledronic acid treatment upregulated reactive oxygen species as well as the autophagy marker protein LC-3B. Reactive oxygen species scavenger N-acetylcysteine and autophagy antagonist 3-methyladenine decreased zoledronic acid-induced apoptosis and increased clonogenic survival. Silencing of the autophagy related gene Beclin-1 also decreased zoledronic acid-induced apoptosis and inhibition of clonogenic formation. In addition, isobolographic analysis revealed synergistic effects on apoptosis when zoledronic acid and paclitaxel/cisplatin were combined. Taken together, our results suggest that zoledronic acid induced apoptosis and reduced clonogenic survival via upregulation of reactive oxygen species and autophagy in the SACC-83 cell line. Thus, zoledronic acid should be considered a promising drug for the treatment of salivary adenoid cystic carcinoma.
PMCID: PMC4071064  PMID: 24963720
11.  A Graphic Method for Identification of Novel Glioma Related Genes 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:891945.
Glioma, as the most common and lethal intracranial tumor, is a serious disease that causes many deaths every year. Good comprehension of the mechanism underlying this disease is very helpful to design effective treatments. However, up to now, the knowledge of this disease is still limited. It is an important step to understand the mechanism underlying this disease by uncovering its related genes. In this study, a graphic method was proposed to identify novel glioma related genes based on known glioma related genes. A weighted graph was constructed according to the protein-protein interaction information retrieved from STRING and the well-known shortest path algorithm was employed to discover novel genes. The following analysis suggests that some of them are related to the biological process of glioma, proving that our method was effective in identifying novel glioma related genes. We hope that the proposed method would be applied to study other diseases and provide useful information to medical workers, thereby designing effective treatments of different diseases.
PMCID: PMC4094879  PMID: 25050377
12.  Brain Potentials and Repetition Effects During Encoding and Retrieval of Words 
Neuroreport  2008;19(14):1365-1368.
Using Event-Related Potentials (ERPs), the present study utilized a study-test paradigm to investigate the existence of a common mechanism underlying repeated learning effects during encoding and retrieval. Results showed repeated learning effects occurred in both encoding and retrieval. However, the effect of encoding appeared earlier and lasted longer than that of retrieval. Furthermore, the effect of implicit retrieval appeared earlier than that of explicit retrieval. The main scalp distributions of the repetition effects related to both encoding and retrieval occurred at parietal and central sites. Both ERP repetition effects manifested significantly larger and positive-going ERP response of repeated words compared to the words’ first appearance. The ERP repetition effects support the hypothesis that there is common learning-related automatic processing during encoding and retrieval.
PMCID: PMC4058855  PMID: 18766012
encoding; retrieval; implicit memory test; explicit memory test; repetition enhancement
13.  Diversity in early crustal evolution: 4100 Ma zircons in the Cathaysia Block of southern China 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:5143.
Zircons are crucial to understanding the first 500 Myr of crustal evolution of Earth. Very few zircons of this age (>4050 Ma) have been found other than from a ~300 km diameter domain of the Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia. Here we report SIMS U-Pb and O isotope ratios and trace element analyses for two ~4100 Ma detrital zircons from a Paleozoic quartzite at the Longquan area of the Cathaysia Block. One zircon (207Pb/206Pb age of 4127 ± 4 Ma) shows normal oscillatory zonation and constant oxygen isotope ratios (δ18O = 5.8 to 6.0‰). The other zircon grain has a ~4100 Ma magmatic core surrounded by a ~4070 Ma metamorphic mantle. The magmatic core has elevated δ18O (7.2 ± 0.2‰), high titanium concentration (53 ± 3.4 ppm) and a positive cerium anomaly, yielding anomalously high calculated oxygen fugacity (FMQ + 5) and a high crystallization temperature (910°C). These results are unique among Hadean zircons and suggest a granitoid source generated from dry remelting of partly oxidizing supracrustal sediments altered by surface waters. The ~4100 Ma dry melting and subsequent ~4070 Ma metamorphism provide new evidence for the diversity of the Earth's earliest crust.
PMCID: PMC4042129  PMID: 24888297
14.  Anxiety and Outcome Evaluation: The Good, the Bad and the Ambiguous 
Biological psychology  2010;85(2):200-206.
Previous research has indicated that anxious individuals are more prone to evaluate ambiguous information as negative compared to non-anxious individuals. The feedback-related negativity (FRN) component of event-related brain potential (ERP) has been shown to be sensitive to outcome evaluation. The current ERP study aimed to test the hypothesis that the FRNs associated with ambiguous outcomes and negative outcomes are different between high trait-anxiety (HTA) and low trait-anxiety (LTA) individuals. The FRN was measured as a difference wave created across conditions. We found significantly different FRN responses between high-anxious and low-anxious participants in ambiguous outcome condition, as well as in negative outcome condition. Moreover, the HTA group’s FRN responses under the ambiguous outcome condition were larger than the negative outcome condition. Nevertheless, the FRN following neutral outcome did not show any difference between the two groups. The present results support the idea that there is link between individual differences in anxiety and ambiguous outcome evaluation, which possibly reflects the adaptive function of anxiety. Additionally, the results indicate that the mechanisms underlying the evaluation of neutral outcomes and ambiguous outcomes might be different from each other.
PMCID: PMC4041009  PMID: 20619312
Anxiety; Decision-making; Outcome Evaluation; Feedback-Related Negativity (FRN); Ambiguous Outcome; Neutral Outcome; Guessing Activity
15.  Resting EEG Discrimination of Early Stage Alzheimer’s Disease from Normal Aging Using Inter-Channel Coherence Network Graphs 
Annals of biomedical engineering  2013;41(6):10.1007/s10439-013-0788-4.
Amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a degenerative neurological disorder at the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This work is a pilot study aimed at developing a simple scalp-EEG-based method for screening and monitoring MCI and AD. Specifically, the use of graphical analysis of inter-channel coherence of resting EEG for the detection of MCI and AD at early stages is explored. Resting EEG records from 48 age-matched subjects (mean age 75.7 years)—15 normal controls (NC), 16 with early stage MCI, and 17 with early stage AD—are examined. Network graphs are constructed using pairwise inter-channel coherence measures for delta-theta, alpha, beta, and gamma band frequencies. Network features are computed and used in a support vector machine model to discriminate among the three groups. Leave-one-out cross-validation discrimination accuracies of 93.6% for MCI vs. NC (p<0.0003), 93.8% for AD vs. NC (p<0.0003), and 97.0% for MCI vs. AD (p<0.0003) are achieved. These results suggest the potential for graphical analysis of resting EEG inter-channel coherence as an efficacious method for noninvasive screening for MCI and early AD.
PMCID: PMC3826279  PMID: 23483374
EEG-based diagnosis; early Alzheimer’s disease; mild cognitive impairment; coherence; graphical analysis
16.  Neural Basis of Emotional Decision Making in Trait Anxiety 
The Journal of Neuroscience  2013;33(47):18641-18653.
Although trait anxiety has been associated with risk decision making, whether it is related to risk per se or to the feeling of the risk, as well as the underlying neurocognitive mechanisms, remains unclear. Using a decision-making task with a manipulation of frame (i.e., written description of options as a potential gain or loss) and functional magnetic resonance imaging, we investigated the neurocognitive relationship between trait anxiety and decision making. The classic framing effect was observed: participants chose the safe option when it was described as a potential gain, but they avoided the same option when it was described as a potential loss. Most importantly, trait anxiety was positively correlated with this behavioral bias. Trait anxiety was also positively correlated with amygdala-based “emotional” system activation and its coupling with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) when decisions were consistent with the framing effect, but negatively correlated with the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC)-based “analytic” system activation and its connectivity to the vmPFC when decisions ran counter to the framing effect. Our findings suggest that trait anxiety is not associated with subjective risk preference but an evaluative bias of emotional information in decision making, underpinned by a hyperactive emotional system and a hypoactive analytic system in the brain.
PMCID: PMC3834062  PMID: 24259585
17.  Laminin 411 acts as a potent inducer of umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell differentiation into insulin-producing cells 
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is an incurable metabolic disease constituting a major threat to human health. Insulin-producing cells (IPCs) differentiated from mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) hold great promise in the treatment of DM. The development of an efficient IPC induction system is a crucial step for the clinical application of IPCs for DM. Laminin 411 is a key component of the basement membrane and is involved in the regulation of cell differentiation; however, little is known about a role of laminin 411 in the regulation of IPC differentiation from human MSCs.
MSCs were isolated from human umbilical cord (UC-MSCs) and expanded in an in vitro culture system. UC-MSCs were then cultured in the IPC induction and differentiation medium in the presence of laminin 411. Flow cytometry, Quantitative realtime PCR, immunofluorescence staining, ELISA, Western blotting and other techniques were applied to determine IPC generation, insulin expression and related mechanisms. To evaluate potential therapeutic efficacy of IPCs induced from UC-MSCs, a type-1 diabetes (T1DM) rat model was generated using streptozotocin. Blood glucose, insulin levels, and survival of rats were monitored periodically following intravenous injection of the tested cells.
Laminin 411 markedly induced the expression of the genes Foxa2 and Sox17, markers for pancreatic precursor cells, efficiently induced IPC differentiation from MSCs, and up-regulated insulin expression at both mRNA and protein levels. Furthermore, the expression of the genes known to govern insulin expression including Pdx1 and Ngn3 was markedly induced by laminin 411, which suggests that Pdx1 and Ngn3 signaling pathways are involved in laminin 411 induced-insulin expression machinery. More importantly, administration of laminin 411-induced IPCs rapidly and significantly down-regulated fasting blood glucose levels, significantly reduced the HbA1c concentration and markedly improved the symptoms and survival of T1DM rats.
Our results demonstrate that laminin 411 acts as a potent differentiation inducer of IPCs from UC-MSCs via the Pdx1 and Ngn3 signaling pathways. Moreover, transfusion of laminin 411 induced-IPCs more efficiently improves symptoms and survival of T1DM rats. These novel finding highlights a potential clinical application of laminin 411 induced-IPCs in the treatment of T1DM, which calls for further studies.
PMCID: PMC4040110  PMID: 24885418
Laminin 411; Mesenchymal stem cell; Insulin-producing cell
18.  Identifying Gastric Cancer Related Genes Using the Shortest Path Algorithm and Protein-Protein Interaction Network 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:371397.
Gastric cancer, as one of the leading causes of cancer related deaths worldwide, causes about 800,000 deaths per year. Up to now, the mechanism underlying this disease is still not totally uncovered. Identification of related genes of this disease is an important step which can help to understand the mechanism underlying this disease, thereby designing effective treatments. In this study, some novel gastric cancer related genes were discovered based on the knowledge of known gastric cancer related ones. These genes were searched by applying the shortest path algorithm in protein-protein interaction network. The analysis results suggest that some of them are indeed involved in the biological process of gastric cancer, which indicates that they are the actual gastric cancer related genes with high probability. It is hopeful that the findings in this study may help promote the study of this disease and the methods can provide new insights to study various diseases.
PMCID: PMC3963223  PMID: 24729971
20.  Neonatal Desensitization Supports Long-Term Survival and Functional Integration of Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Rat Joint Cartilage Without Immunosuppression 
Stem Cells and Development  2012;22(1):90-101.
Immunological response hampers the investigation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) or their derivates for tissue regeneration in vivo. Immunosuppression is often used after surgery, but exhibits side effects of significant weight loss and allows only short-term observation. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether neonatal desensitization supports relative long-term survival of hESC-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hESC-MSCs) and promotes cartilage regeneration. hESC-MSCs were injected on the day of birth in rats. Six weeks after neonatal injection, a full-thickness cylindrical cartilage defect was created and transplanted with a hESC-MSC-seeded collagen bilayer scaffold (group d+s+c) or a collagen bilayer scaffold (group d+s). Rats without neonatal injection were transplanted with the hESC-MSC-seeded collagen bilayer scaffold to serve as controls (group s+c). Cartilage regeneration was evaluated by histological analysis, immunohistochemical staining, and biomechanical test. The role of hESC-MSCs in cartilage regeneration was analyzed by CD4 immunostaining, cell death detection, and visualization of human cells in regenerated tissues. hESC-MSCs expressed CD105, CD73, CD90, CD29, and CD44, but not CD45 and CD34, and possessed trilineage differentiation potential. Group d+s+c exhibited greater International Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS) scores than group d+s or group s+c. Abundant collagen type II and improved mechanical properties were detected in group d+s+c. There were less CD4+ inflammatory cell infiltration and cell death at week 1, and hESC-MSCs were found to survive as long as 8 weeks after transplantation in group d+s+c. Our study suggests that neonatal desensitization before transplantation may be an efficient way to develop a powerful tool for preclinical study of human cell-based therapies in animal models.
PMCID: PMC3528094  PMID: 22788986
21.  Linking brain electrical signals elicited by current outcomes with future risk decision-making 
The experience of current outcomes influences future decisions in various ways. The neural mechanism of this phenomenon may help to clarify the determinants of decision-making. In this study, thirty-nine young adults finished a risky gambling task by choosing between a high- and a low-risk option in each trial during electroencephalographic data collection. We found that risk-taking strategies significantly modulated mean amplitudes of the event-related potential (ERP) component P3, particularly at the central scalp. The event-related spectral perturbation and the inter-trial coherence measurements of the independent component analysis (ICA) data indicated that the “stay” vs. “switch” electrophysiological difference associated with subsequent decision-making was mainly due to fronto-central theta and left/right mu independent components. Event-related cross-coherence results suggested that the neural information of action monitoring and updating emerged in the fronto-central cortex and propagated to sensorimotor area for further behavior adjustment. Based on these findings of ERP and event-related oscillation (ERO) measures, we propose a neural model of the influence of current outcomes on future decisions.
PMCID: PMC3957203  PMID: 24672447
decision-making; outcome evaluation; event-related potential; event-related oscillation; time-frequency analysis; independent component analysis
22.  A novel wavelength-adjusting method in InGaN-based light-emitting diodes 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:3389.
The pursuit of high internal quantum efficiency (IQE) for green emission spectral regime is referred as “green gap” challenge. Now researchers place their hope on the InGaN-based materials to develop high-brightness green light-emitting diodes. However, IQE drops fast when emission wavelength of InGaN LED increases by changing growth temperature or well thickness. In this paper, a new wavelength-adjusting method is proposed and the optical properties of LED are investigated. By additional process of indium pre-deposition before InGaN well layer growth, the indium distribution along growth direction becomes more uniform, which leads to the increase of average indium content in InGaN well layer and results in a redshift of peak-wavelength. We also find that the IQE of LED with indium pre-deposition increases with the wavelength redshift. Such dependence is opposite to the IQE-wavelength behavior in conventional InGaN LEDs. The relations among the IQE, wavelength and the indium pre-deposition process are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3865511  PMID: 24343166
23.  Prediction of Drugs Target Groups Based on ChEBI Ontology 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:132724.
Most drugs have beneficial as well as adverse effects and exert their biological functions by adjusting and altering the functions of their target proteins. Thus, knowledge of drugs target proteins is essential for the improvement of therapeutic effects and mitigation of undesirable side effects. In the study, we proposed a novel prediction method based on drug/compound ontology information extracted from ChEBI to identify drugs target groups from which the kind of functions of a drug may be deduced. By collecting data in KEGG, a benchmark dataset consisting of 876 drugs, categorized into four target groups, was constructed. To evaluate the method more thoroughly, the benchmark dataset was divided into a training dataset and an independent test dataset. It is observed by jackknife test that the overall prediction accuracy on the training dataset was 83.12%, while it was 87.50% on the test dataset—the predictor exhibited an excellent generalization. The good performance of the method indicates that the ontology information of the drugs contains rich information about their target groups, and the study may become an inspiration to solve the problems of this sort and bridge the gap between ChEBI ontology and drugs target groups.
PMCID: PMC3853244  PMID: 24350241
24.  Valproic Acid Treatment Inhibits Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1α Accumulation and Protects against Burn-Induced Gut Barrier Dysfunction in a Rodent Model 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e77523.
Burn-induced gut dysfunction plays an important role in the development of sepsis and multiple organ dysfunction. Emerging evidence suggests that hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) is critical in paracelluar barrier functions via regulating vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) expression. Previous studies have also demonstrated that histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs) can repress HIF-1α. This study aims to examine whether valproic acid (VPA), a HDACI, protects against burn-induced gut barrier dysfunction via repressing HIF-1α-dependent upregulation of VEGF and MLCK expression.
Rats were subjected to third degree 55% TBSA burns and treated with/ without VPA (300mg/kg). Intestinal barrier dysfunction was evaluated by permeability of intestinal mucosa to fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-dextran and histologic evaluation. Histone acetylation, tight junction protein zonula occludens 1 (ZO-1), VEGF, MLCK and HIF-1α were measured. In addition, CaCO2 cells were transfected with siRNA directed against HIF-1α and were stimulated with CoCl2 (1mM) for 24 hours with/without VPA (2mM) followed by analysis of HIF-1α, MLCK, VEGF and ZO-1.
Burn insults resulted in a significant increase in intestinal permeability and mucosal damage, accompanied by a significant reduction in histone acetylation, ZO-1, upregulation of VEGF, MLCK expression, and an increase in HIF-1α accumulation. VPA significantly attenuated the increase in intestinal permeability, mucosa damage, histone deacetylation and changes in ZO-1 expression. VPA also attenuated the increased VEGF, MLCK and HIF-1α protein levels. VPA reduced HIF-1α, MLCK and VEGF production and prevented ZO-1 loss in CoCl2-stimulated Caco-2 cells. Moreover, transfection of siRNA directed against HIF-1α led to inhibition of MLCK and VEGF production, accompanied by upregulation of ZO-1.
These results indicate that VPA can protect against burn-induced gut barrier dysfunction. These protective effects may be due to its inhibitory action on HIF-1α, leading to a reduction in intestinal VEGF and MLCK expression and minimizing ZO-1 degradation.
PMCID: PMC3798300  PMID: 24147016
25.  Composite diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma of the stomach: Case report and literature review 
The combination of classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cHL) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma coexisting in the same patient is not common, especially in one extranodal location. Here we present a rare case of composite diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and cHL occurring simultaneously in the stomach of a 53-year-old female who presented with upper abdominal discomfort and gas pain. Surgery was performed and the disease was diagnosed pathologically as composite lymphoma of DLBCL and cHL using hematoxylin-eosin and immunohistochemical staining. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection was not detected by in situ hybridization for EBV-encoded RNA or immunohistochemistry for EBV latent membrane protein-1. Polymerase chain reaction analysis from the two distinct components of the tumor demonstrated clonal immunoglobulin κ light chain gene rearrangements. The patient died approximately 11 mo after diagnosis in spite of receiving eight courses of the CHOP and two courses of the rituximab-CHOP (RCHOP) chemotherapy regimen. This case report showed that the two distinct components, DLBCL and cHL, appeared to originate from the same clonal progenitor cell, and that EBV infection was not essential for transformation during the course of tumorigenesis.
PMCID: PMC3787365  PMID: 24115832
Composite lymphoma; Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; Hodgkin’s lymphoma; Stomach

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