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1.  Detection of Coliforms in Drinking Water Using Skin Patches: A Rapid, Reliable Method that Does Not Require an External Energy Source 
The detection of coliforms requires incubation in a laboratory, generally powered using electricity. In many parts of the developing world, however, external energy sources such as electricity are not readily available. To develop a fast, reliable method for detecting coliforms in water without an external energy source, we assessed the efficacy of six test kits for the identification of coliforms in water samples. To assess the possibility of using body temperature as the sole source of heat for incubation, bacterial samples were then mixed with the enzymatic test kit reagent and attached to the human body surface using a patch system. The patches were attached to the bodies of volunteers for 24 hours and the practicality and accuracy of the patches were assessed. Coliforms were detected within 24 hours in all patches. This innovation will facilitate the testing of water quality by researchers and by economically disadvantaged people without electricity.
PMCID: PMC3919233  PMID: 24420783
2.  MicroRNA miR-BART20-5p Stabilizes Epstein-Barr Virus Latency by Directly Targeting BZLF1 and BRLF1 
Journal of Virology  2014;88(16):9027-9037.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a human herpesvirus associated with various tumors. Rather than going through the lytic cycle, EBV maintains latency by limiting the expression of viral genes in tumors. Viral microRNAs (miRNAs) of some herpesviruses have been reported to directly target immediate early genes and suppress lytic induction. In this study, we investigated whether BamHI-A rightward transcript (BART) miRNAs targeted two EBV immediate early genes, BZLF1 and BRLF1. Bioinformatic analysis predicted that 12 different BART miRNAs would target BRLF1. Of these, the results of a luciferase reporter assay indicated that only one interacted with the 3′ untranslated region (UTR) of BRLF1: miR-BART20-5p. miR-BART20-5p's effect on gene expression involved two putative seed match sites in the BRLF1 3′ UTR, but a mutant version of the miRNA, miR-BART20-5pm, had no effect on expression. As expected from the fact that the entire 3′ UTR of BZLF1 resides within the 3′ UTR of BRLF1, miR-BART20-5p interacted with the 3′ UTR of BZLF1 as well. BZLF1 and BRLF1 mRNA and protein expression was suppressed in cells of an AGS cell line infected with the recombinant Akata strain of EBV (AGS-EBV) transfected with a miR-BART20-5p mimic. The expression of various EBV early proteins was also suppressed by the miR-BART20-5p mimic. In contrast, BZLF1 and BRLF1 expression in AGS-EBV cells transfected with a miR-BART20-5p inhibitor was enhanced. Furthermore, progeny virus production was suppressed by the miR-BART20-5p mimic and enhanced by the miR-BART20-5p inhibitor in AGS-EBV cells induced for the lytic cycle. Our data suggest that miR-BART20-5p plays a key role in latency maintenance in EBV-associated tumors by directly targeting immediate early genes.
IMPORTANCE Herpesviruses maintain latency using various mechanisms and establish lifelong infection in the host. From time to time, herpesviruses are reactivated and express immediate early genes which trigger a lytic cascade, leading to the production of progeny viruses. Recently, some herpesviruses have been shown to use their own microRNAs (miRNAs) to downregulate immediate early genes to inhibit the lytic cycle. This study presents evidence that EBV also downregulates two immediate early genes by miR-BART20-5p to suppress the lytic cycle and progeny virus production. Overall, this is the first study to report the direct regulation of EBV immediate early genes by an EBV miRNA, implying its likely importance in latency maintenance in EBV-associated tumors.
PMCID: PMC4136301  PMID: 24899173
3.  Deletion of the Cathepsin B Gene Improves Memory Deficits in a Transgenic Alzheimer’s Disease Mouse Model Expressing AβPP Containing the Wild-Type β-Secretase Site Sequence 
Therapeutic agents that improve the memory loss of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may eventually be developed if drug targets are identified that improve memory deficits in appropriate AD animal models. One such target is β-secretase which, in most AD patients, cleaves the wild-type (WT) β-secretase site sequence of the amyloid-β protein precursor (AβPP) to produce neurotoxic amyloid-β (Aβ). Thus, an animal model representing most AD patients for evaluating β-secretase effects on memory deficits is one that expresses human AβPP containing the WT β-secretase site sequence. BACE1 and cathepsin B (CatB) proteases have β-secretase activity, but gene knockout studies have not yet validated that the absence of these proteases improves memory deficits in such an animal model. This study assessed the effects of deleting these protease genes on memory deficits in the AD mouse model expressing human AβPP containing the WT β-secretase site sequence and the London γ-secretase site (AβPPWT/Lon mice). Knockout of the CatB gene in the AβPPWT/Lon mice improved memory deficits and altered the pattern of Aβ-related biomarkers in a manner consistent with CatB having WT β-secretase activity. But deletion of the BACE1 gene had no effect on these parameters in the AβPPWT/Lon mice. These data are the first to show that knockout of a putative β-secretase gene results in improved memory in an AD animal model expressing the WT β-secretase site sequence of AβPP, present in the majority of AD patients. CatB may be an effective drug target for improving memory deficits in most AD patients.
PMCID: PMC4309289  PMID: 22337825
Amyoid-β; amyoid-β protein precursor; cathepsin B; gene knockout; protease
4.  NLRP1 inflammasome is activated in patients with medial temporal lobe epilepsy and contributes to neuronal pyroptosis in amygdala kindling-induced rat model 
Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is often characterized pathologically by severe neuronal loss in the hippocampus. Understanding the mechanisms of neuron death is key to preventing the neurodegeneration associated with TLE. However, the involvement of neuronal loss to the epileptogenic process has yet to be fully determined. Recent studies have shown that the activation of NLRP1 can generate a functional caspase-1-containing inflammasome in vivo to drive the proinflammatory programmed cell death termed ‘pyroptosis’, which has a key role in the pathogenesis of neurological disorders. To the best of our knowledge, there are no reported studies that performed detailed identification and validation of NLRP1 inflammasome during the epileptogenic process.
We first compared expression of NLRP1 and caspase-1 in resected hippocampus from patients with intractable mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE) with that of matched control samples. To further examine whether the activation of NLRP1 inflammasome contributes to neuronal pyroptosis, we employed a nonviral strategy to knock down the expression of NLRP1 and caspase-1 in the amygdala kindling-induced rat model. Proinflammatory cytokines levels and hippocampal neuronal loss were evaluated after 6 weeks of treatment in these NLRP1 or caspase-1 deficiency TLE rats.
Western blotting detected upregulated NLRP1 levels and active caspase-1 in mTLE patients in comparison to those levels seen in the controls, suggesting a role for this inflammasome in mTLE. Moreover, we employed direct in vivo infusion of nonviral small interfering RNA to knockdown NLRP1 or caspase-1 in the amygdala kindling-induced rat model, and discovered that these NLRP1 or caspase-1 silencing rats resulted in significantly reduced neuronal pyroptosis.
Our data suggest that NLRP1/caspase-1 signaling participates in the seizure-induced degenerative process in humans and in the animal model of TLE and points to the silencing of NLRP1 inflammasome as a promising strategy for TLE therapy.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12974-014-0233-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4314732  PMID: 25626361
NLRP1; pyroptosis; inflammasome; Caspase-1; temporal lobe epilepsy
5.  The Diagnosis of Invasive and Noninvasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis by Serum and Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid Galactomannan Assay 
BioMed Research International  2015;2015:943691.
The incidence and mortality of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) are rising, particularly in critically ill patients and patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Noninvasive aspergillosis occurring in these patients requires special attention because of the possibility of developing subsequent IPA, given the poor health and worsened immune state of these patients. We compared the performance of the Platelia galactomannan (GM) enzyme immunoassay in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and serum. The sensitivity, and specificity of BALF-GM were 85.4% and 62.4%, and those of serum-GM were 67.9% and 93.5% at the cutoff index of 0.5. As the cutoff index increased, the specificity of BALF-GM detection was increased with the detriment of sensitivity. The area under the ROC curves was 0.817 (95% CI: 0.718–0.916) for BALF-GM and 0.819 (95% CI: 0.712–0.926) for serum-GM. The optimal cutoff index was 1.19 for BALF-GM, and the sensitivity and specificity were 67.9% and 89.2%. The BALF-GM assay is more sensitive in detecting pulmonary aspergillosis than serum-GM assay and fungal cultures. However, BALF-GM assay has a high false-positive rate at the cutoff index of 0.5. Hence, the diagnostic cutoff index of the BALF-GM assay should be improved to avoid the overdiagnosis of pulmonary aspergillosis in clinic.
PMCID: PMC4317593
6.  Impaired HCV Clearance in HIV/HCV Coinfected Subjects Treated with PegIFN and RBV Due to Interference of IFN Signaling by IFNαR2a 
Enhanced endogenous interferon (IFN) stimulated gene (ISG) signature has been associated with nonresponsiveness to hepatitis C treatment using pegylated-IFNα (pegIFNα) and ribavirin (RBV) in human immunodeficiency virus/hepatitis C virus (HIV/HCV) coinfected patients. Using a proteomic approach, we identified high levels of IFNα receptor 2a (IFNαR2a) in the serum of null responders to pegIFNα/RBV. IFNαR2a inhibited antiviral activity of all formulations of IFNα in JFH/Huh7.5 cells. Furthermore, serum from null responders, but not from those who achieved sustained virologic response, suppressed IFN-signaling and ISG expression in IFNα-stimulated PBMCs of healthy donors in an IFNαR2a specific fashion. An IFNαR2a transgenic mice model (C57BL/6) was generated that had significantly higher levels of IFNαR2a in the serum than the controls (P=0.001). Total ISG expression in the lymph nodes was significantly higher compared to wild-type mice (P value=0.0016). In addition, IFITM1 and SP110 had significantly increased expression in the liver, IFITM1 and ISG15 in the lymph node, and ISG15 and PLSCR1 in the spleen (P value<0.05). The underlying mechanism of resistance to hepatitis C treatment may involve transsignaling of the JAK/STAT pathway by the sIFNαR2a-IFNα/β complex and result in the enhanced ISG signature observed in null responders. In this regard, the transgenic mice model simulated nonresponders to IFNα therapy and provides valuable insights into the role of sIFNαR2a-IFNα interactions in vivo.
PMCID: PMC3887437  PMID: 24171456
7.  The Scene Time Interval and Basic Life Support Termination of Resuscitation Rule in Adult Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2014;30(1):104-109.
We validated the basic life support termination of resuscitation (BLS TOR) rule retrospectively using Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) data of metropolitan emergency medical service (EMS) in Korea. We also tested it by investigating the scene time interval for supplementing the BLS TOR rule. OHCA database of Seoul (January 2011 to December 2012) was used, which is composed of ambulance data and hospital medical record review. EMS-treated OHCA and 19 yr or older victims were enrolled, after excluding cases occurred in the ambulance and with incomplete information. The primary and secondary outcomes were hospital mortality and poor neurologic outcome. After calculating the sensitivity (SS), specificity (SP), and the positive and negative predictive values (PPV and NPV), tested the rule according to the scene time interval group for sensitivity analysis. Of total 4,835 analyzed patients, 3,361 (69.5%) cases met all 3 criteria of the BLS TOR rule. Of these, 3,224 (95.9%) were dead at discharge (SS,73.5%; SP,69.6%; PPV,95.9%; NPV, 21.3%) and 3,342 (99.4%) showed poor neurologic outcome at discharge (SS, 75.2%; SP, 89.9%; PPV, 99.4%; NPV, 11.5%). The cut-off scene time intervals for 100% SS and PPV were more than 20 min for survival to discharge and more than 14 min for good neurological recovery. The BLS TOR rule showed relatively lower SS and PPV in OHCA data in Seoul, Korea.
Graphical Abstract
PMCID: PMC4278016  PMID: 25552890
Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest; Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation; Decision Support Technique
8.  Dacryocystocele on prenatal ultrasonography: diagnosis and postnatal outcomes 
Ultrasonography  2014;34(1):51-57.
To report the incidence of dacryocystoceles detected by prenatal ultrasonography (US) and their postnatal outcomes and to determine the factors associated with the postnatal persistence of dacryocystoceles at birth.
We retrospectively reviewed the prenatal US database at our institution for the period between January 2012 and December 2013. The medical records of women who had fetuses diagnosed with dacryocystocel larger than 5 mm were reviewed for maternal age, gestational age (GA) at detection, size and side of the dacryocystoceles, delivery, and postnatal information, such as GA at delivery, delivery mode, and gender of the neonate.
A total of 49 singletons were diagnosed with a dacryocystocele on prenatal US, yielding an overall incidence of 0.43%. The incidence of dacryocystoceles was the highest at the GA of 27 weeks and decreased toward term. Of the 49 fetuses including three of undeter mined gender, 25 (54%) were female. The mean GA at first detection was 31.2 weeks. The dacryocystocele was unilateral in 29 cases, with a mean maximum diameter of 7 mm. Spontaneous resolution at birth was documented in 35 out of 46 neonates (76%), including six with prenatal resolution. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that GA at delivery was a significant predictor of the postnatal persistence of dacryocystoceles (P=0.045).
The overall incidence of prenatal dacryocystoceles was 0.43%; the incidence was higher in the early third trimester and decreased thereafter. Prenatal dacryocystoceles resolved in 76% of the patients at birth, and the GA at delivery was a significant predictor of postnatal persistence.
PMCID: PMC4282226  PMID: 25475649
Fetus; Ultrasonography; Congenital abnormalities; Lacrimal duct obstruction
9.  Old Age at Diagnosis Is Associated With Favorable Outcomes in Korean Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease 
Intestinal Research  2015;13(1):60-67.
Despite the rising incidence and prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in Asian populations, data regarding clinical characteristics of patients in Asia based on age at diagnosis are relatively sparse. The aim of this study was to compare clinical characteristics based on the age at diagnosis according to the Montreal Classification in Korean IBD patients.
We recruited consecutive patients with IBD at two tertiary hospitals and retrospectively reviewed their medical information. Patients were divided into three groups according to their age at diagnosis: youth (<17 years), young adult (17-40 years), and middle-old (>40 years). The main clinical characteristics for comparison were the achievement of a remission state at the last follow-up visit, cumulative rate of surgery, and cumulative use of immunomodulators and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) blockers during the follow-up period.
In total, 346 IBD patients were included (Crohn's disease [CD] 146 and ulcerative colitis 200; 36 youth, 202 young adult, and 113 middle-old). The middle-old group with CD was characterized by a predominance of uncomplicated behavior (P=0.013) and a lower frequency of perianal disease (P=0.009). The middle-old group was associated more with a less aggressive disease course than the younger group, as shown by more frequent remission (P=0.004), being less likely to undergo surgery (P<0.001), and lower cumulative use of immunomodulators and TNFα blockers (P<0.001).
Age at diagnosis according to the Montreal Classification is an important prognostic factor for Korean IBD patients.
PMCID: PMC4316224
Inflammatory bowel diseases; Age of onset; Prognosis; Crohn disease; Colitis, ulcerative
10.  Cancer survivors’ perspectives and experience on western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine treatment and rehabilitation: a qualitative study 
In the People’s Republic of China, both western medicine (WM) and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) are the main treatment and rehabilitation options for cancer patients. This study aimed to explore cancer survivors’ perspectives and experience of treatment and rehabilitation, in order to promote patient-centered activities of treatment and rehabilitation.
Using a qualitative research approach, 68 cancer survivors were recruited from eight community cancer rehabilitation organizations in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China. Eight focus group interviews were conducted. All these interviews were transcribed verbatim, and the data were analyzed by theme analysis.
WM was the main choice in treatment phase though study participants noted more side effects. TCM was primarily used in the recovery phase. The lack of communication between doctors and cancer patients appears to affect treatment adherence and impair the doctor–patient relationship. WM was expensive for diagnostic procedures and treatment, while the cumulative costs of frequent use of TCM in the long rehabilitation period were also high. Both treatment options created significant perceived economic burden on patients. Conflicting information about dietary supplements tended to make cancer survivors confused.
Improving the communication between doctors and cancer patients helps to ameliorate cancer patient adherence and the effect of treatments. It is essential to educate cancer patients about the effect and cost of both WM and traditional TCM. Meanwhile, marketing management and guidance to consumers regarding use of dietary supplements in the cancer rehabilitation field are also necessary.
PMCID: PMC4274133  PMID: 25565779
preference; adherence; cancer survivor education; focus group interview
11.  Inhibition of the NLRP3 inflammasome provides neuroprotection in rats following amygdala kindling-induced status epilepticus 
NLRP3 inflammasome is proposed to regulate inflammation in several neurological diseases, but its role in epilepsy remains largely unknown. This study aimed to investigate the role of the NLRP3 inflammasome in neuroinflammation, spontaneous recurrent seizures (SRS) and hippocampal neuronal loss in rat brain following amygdala kindling-induced status epilepticus (SE).
We detected the protein levels of IL-1β and NLRP3 inflammasome components by Western blot in the hippocampus of shams and SE rats at different time points following SE. To further examine whether the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome contributes to SE-associated neuronal damage, we employed a nonviral strategy to knock down NLRP3 and caspase-1 expression in brain before undergoing SE. Proinflammatory cytokine levels and hippocampal neuronal loss were evaluated at 12 hours and at 6 weeks following SE respectively in these NLRP3 and caspase-1 deficient rats. Meanwhile, SRS occurrence was evaluated through a 4-week video recording started 2 weeks after SE in these NLRP3 and caspase-1 deficient rats.
IL-1β levels and NLRP3 inflammasome components levels dramatically increased at 3 hours after SE, and reached a maximum at 12 hours after SE compared with the control group. Knock down of NLRP3 or caspase-1 decreased the levels of IL-1β and IL-18 at 12 hours after SE, which was accompanied by a significant suppression in the development and severity of SRS during the chronic epileptic phase. Meanwhile, knock down of NLRP3 or caspase-1 led to a remarkable reduction of hippocampal neuronal loss in the CA1 and CA3 area of the hippocampus at 6 weeks after SE.
Our study provides the first evidence that the NLRP3 inflammasome was significantly up-regulated following SE. More importantly, we show that inhibition of the NLRP3 inflammasome provides neuroprotection in rats following SE. These findings suggest that NLRP3 may represent a potential target for the treatment of epileptogenesis
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12974-014-0212-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4275944  PMID: 25516224
NLRP3; Inflammasome; Status epilepticus; Cytokine; IL-1β; IL-18; Caspase-1; Neuroinflammation; Spontaneous recurrent seizures; Hippocampal neuronal loss
12.  The Early Induction of Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling 1 and the Downregulation of Toll-like Receptors 7 and 9 Induce Tolerance in Costimulated Macrophages 
Molecules and Cells  2014;38(1):26-32.
Toll-like receptors (TLR) 7 and 9 transduce a cellular signal through the MyD88-dependent pathway and induce the production of inflammatory mediators against microbial nucleotide components. The repeated stimulation of TLR4 leads to endotoxin tolerance, but the molecular mechanisms of tolerance induced through the costimulation of individual TLR has not yet been established, although endosomal TLRs share signaling pathways with TLR4. In the present study, mouse macrophages were simultaneously stimulated with the TLR7 agonist, gardiquimod (GDQ), and the TLR9 agonist, CpG ODN 1826, to examine the mechanism and effector functions of macrophage tolerance. Compared with individual stimulation, the costimulation of both TLRs reduced the secretion of TNF-α and IL-6 through the delayed activation of the NF-κB pathway; notably, IL-10 remained unchanged in costimulated macrophages. This tolerance reflected the early induction of suppressor of cytokine signaling-1 (SOCS-1), according to the detection of elevated TNF-α secretion and restored NF-κB signaling in response to the siRNA-mediated abrogation of SOCS-1 signaling. In addition, the restimulation of each TLRs using the same ligand significantly reduced the expression of both TLRs in endosomes. These findings revealed that the costimulation of TLR7 and TLR9 induced macrophage tolerance via SOCS-1, and the restimulation of each receptor or both TLR7 and TLR9 downregulated TLR expression through a negative feedback mechanisms that protects the host from excessive inflammatory responses. Moreover, the insufficient and impaired immune response in chronic viral infection might also reflect the repeated and simultaneous stimulation of those endosomal TLRs.
PMCID: PMC4314129  PMID: 25518931
inflammation; macrophage; NF-κB; SOCS-1; TLRs; tolerance
13.  The effect of tumor volume and its change on survival in stage III non-small cell lung cancer treated with definitive concurrent chemoradiotherapy 
To investigate a prognostic role of gross tumor volume (GTV) changes on survival outcomes following concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) in stage III non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.
We enrolled 191 patients with stage III NSCLC from 2001 to 2009 undergoing definitive CCRT. The GTV of 157 patients was delineated at the planning CT prior to CCRT and with a follow-up CT 1 month after CCRT. We assessed the volumetric parameters of pre-treatment GTV (GTVpre) post-treatment GTV (GTVpost), and volume reduction ratio of GTV (VRR). The primary endpoint was overall survival (OS) and secondary endpoints were progression-free survival (PFS) and locoregional progression-free survival (LRPFS). The best cut-off value was defined as that which exhibited the maximum difference between the two groups.
The median follow-up duration was 52.7 months in surviving patients. Median survival, 3-year OS, PFS and LRPFS rates were 25.5 months, 36.4%, 23.0%, and 45.0%, respectively. The selected cut-off values were 50 cm3 for GTVpre, 20 cm3 for GTVpost, and 50% for VRR. The smaller GTVpre and GTVpost values were associated with better OS (p < 0.001 and p = 0.015) and PFS (p = 0.001 and p = 0.004), respectively, upon univariate analysis. The higher VRR of > 50% was associated with a trend toward poorer OS (p = 0.004) and PFS (p = 0.054). Upon multivariate analysis, smaller GTVpre indicated significantly improved OS (p = 0.001), PFS (p = 0.013) and LRPFS (p = 0.002), while smaller GTVpost was marginally significant for PFS (p = 0.086). Higher VRR was associated with a trend toward poorer OS (p = 0.075).
In patients with stage III NSCLC undergoing definitive CCRT, GTVpre was an independent prognostic factor of survival. Notably, improved outcome was not correlated with higher VRR after short-term follow-up with CT alone.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13014-014-0283-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4268851  PMID: 25498887
Concurrent chemoradiotherapy; Gross tumor volume; Locoregional control; Non-small-cell lung cancer; Survival
14.  Examination of ceramic restoration adhesive coverage in cusp-replacement premolar using acoustic emission under fatigue testing 
This study investigates CAD/CAM ceramic cusp-replacing restoration resistance with and without buccal cusp replacement under static and dynamic cyclic loads, monitored using the acoustic emission (AE) technique.
The cavity was designed in a typical MODP (mesial-occlusal-distal-palatal) restoration failure shape when the palatal cusp has been lost. Two ceramic restorations [without coverage (WOC) and with (WC) buccal cuspal coverage with 2.0 mm reduction in cuspal height] were prepared to perform the fracture and fatigue tests with normal (200 N) and high (600 N) occlusal forces. The load versus AE signals in the fracture and fatigue tests were recorded to evaluate the restored tooth failure resistance.
The results showed that non-significant differences in load value in the fracture test and the accumulated number of AE signals under normal occlusal force (200 N) in the fatigue test were found between with and without buccal cuspal coverage restorations. The first AE activity occurring for the WOC restoration was lower than that for the WC restoration in the fracture test. The number of AE signals increased with the cyclic load number. The accumulated number of AE signals for the WOC restoration was 187, higher than that (85) for the WC restoration under 600 N in the fatigue test.
The AE technique and fatigue tests employed in this study were used as an assessment tool to evaluate the resistances in large CAD/CAM ceramic restorations. Non-significant differences in the tested fracture loads and accumulated number of AE signals under normal occlusal force (200 N) between different restorations indicated that aggressive treatment (with coverage preparation) in palatal cusp-replacing ceramic premolars require more attention for preserving and protecting the remaining tooth.
PMCID: PMC4273487  PMID: 25495010
Cuspal-coverage; Ceramic; Acoustic emission; Fatigue; CAD/CAM
15.  Association between NME8 Locus Polymorphism and Cognitive Decline, Cerebrospinal Fluid and Neuroimaging Biomarkers in Alzheimer's Disease 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e114777.
Recently, a large meta-analysis of five genome wide association studies (GWAS) identified a novel locus (rs2718058) adjacent to NME8 that played a preventive role in Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, this link between the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs2718058 and the pathology of AD have not been mentioned yet. Therefore, this study assessed the strength of association between the NME8 rs2718058 genotypes and AD-related measures including the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) amyloid beta, tau, P-tau concentrations, neuroimaging biomarkers and cognitive performance, in a large cohort from Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) database. We used information of a total of 719 individuals, including 211 normal cognition (NC), 346 mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 162 AD. Although we didn't observe a positive relationship between rs2718058 and AD, it was significantly associated with several AD related endophenotypes. Among the normal cognitively normal participants, the minor allele G carriers showed significantly associated with higher CDRSB score than A allele carriers (P = 0.021). Occipital gyrus atrophy were significantly associated with NME8 genotype status (P = 0.002), with A allele carriers has more atrophy than the minor allele G carriers in AD patients; lateral ventricle (both right and left) cerebral metabolic rate for glucose (CMRgl) were significantly associated with NME8 genotype (P<0.05), with GA genotype had higher metabolism than GG and AA genotypes in MCI group; the atrophic right hippocampus in 18 months is significantly different between the three group, with GG and AA genotypes had more hippocampus atrophy than GA genotypes in the whole group. Together, our results are consistent with the direction of previous research, suggesting that NME8 rs2718058 appears to play a role in lowering the brain neurodegeneration.
PMCID: PMC4259473  PMID: 25486118
16.  Efficacy of Sofosbuvir and Ribavirin for treatment of Hepatitis C Genotype-1 in an Inner City Population: Virus and Host Factors that Predict Relapse 
JAMA  2013;310(8):804-811.
The role of directly acting antiviral agents in an interferon-free regimen for the treatment of chronic Hepatitis C infections needs to be evaluated in different populations.
To determine the efficacy and safety of sofosbuvir with weight-based or low-dose ribavirin in a population with unfavorable traditional treatment predictors.
Design, Setting, and Patients
Single center, randomized, two-part, open-label phase 2a trial of 60 HCV genotype-1, treatment naive participants were enrolled at the National Institutes of Health, between October 2011 and April 2012.
In part 1, ten participants with early-moderate liver fibrosis were treated with 400mg daily of sofosbuvir and weight-based ribavirin (1000mg/daily if ≤ 75kg or 1200mg/daily if >75kg) for 24 weeks. In part 2, 50 participants with all stages of liver fibrosis were randomized 1:1 to receive sofosbuvir with either weight-based or low-dose 600mg daily ribavirin for 24 weeks.
Main Outcome Measures
The primary study end point was the proportion of participants with undetectable HCV viral load 24 weeks after treatment completion (SVR24).
In part 1, 9 (90%, 95% CI, 55% - 100%) achieved SVR24. In part 2, seven (28%) participants on weight-based ribavirin and ten (40%) participants on low-dose ribavirin relapsed leading to SVR24 rates of 68% (95% CI: 46%-85%) and 48%(95% CI 28%-69%) respectively (p=0.251) A fitted pharmacokinetic-viral kinetic model demonstrated a slower loss rate of infectious virus in relapsers. In bivariable analysis, male gender, advanced liver fibrosis and high baseline HCV RNA were associated with relapse. The regimen was safe and well tolerated with no discontinuations due to adverse events.
Conclusion and Relevance
A combination of sofosbuvir and weight-based ribavirin resulted in a high rate of sustained virologic response in a population traditionally considered difficult to treat. Male gender, advanced liver fibrosis and high baseline HCV RNA were identified as predictors of relapse to this interferon-free, HCV treatment.
Trial Registration identifier: NCT01441180.
PMCID: PMC4254410  PMID: 23982366
17.  Application of next-generation sequencing technologies in Neurology 
Genetic risk factors that underlie many rare and common neurological diseases remain poorly understood because of the multi-factorial and heterogeneous nature of these disorders. Although genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have successfully uncovered numerous susceptibility genes for these diseases, odds ratios associated with risk alleles are generally low and account for only a small proportion of estimated heritability. These results implicated that there are rare (present in <5% of the population) but not causative variants exist in the pathogenesis of these diseases, which usually have large effect size and cannot be captured by GWAS. With the decreasing cost of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, whole-genome sequencing (WGS) and whole-exome sequencing (WES) have enabled the rapid identification of rare variants with large effect size, which made huge progress in understanding the basis of many Mendelian neurological conditions as well as complex neurological diseases. In this article, recent NGS-based studies that aimed to investigate genetic causes for neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, stroke, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinocerebellar ataxias, have been reviewed. In addition, we also discuss the future directions of NGS applications in this article.
PMCID: PMC4260045  PMID: 25568878
Next-generation sequencing (NGS); whole-genome sequencing (WGS); whole-exome sequencing (WES); genetics; neurological diseases
18.  Genome-wide association studies in neurology 
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) are a powerful tool for understanding the genetic underpinnings of human disease. In this article, we briefly review the role and findings of GWAS in common neurological diseases, including Stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, migraine, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal lobar degeneration, restless legs syndrome, intracranial aneurysm, human prion diseases and moyamoya disease. We then discuss the present and future implications of these findings with regards to disease prediction, uncovering basic biology, and the development of potential therapeutic agents.
PMCID: PMC4260053  PMID: 25568877
Neurology; neurological diseases; genetics; genome-wide association studies (GWAS); stroke; alzheimer’s disease; parkinson’s disease; epilepsy; polymorphism
19.  The relationship between perioperative nausea and vomiting and serum serotonin concentrations in patients undergoing cesarean section under epidural anesthesia 
Korean Journal of Anesthesiology  2014;67(6):384-390.
Serotonin-also known as 5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT-can induce nausea and vomiting (NV) by peripheral mechanisms via the activation of 5-HT3 receptors. In this study, we observed perioperative NV, including intraoperative NV, and changes in serum 5-HT concentrations. We evaluated the relationship between perioperative NV and serum 5-HT levels in patients undergoing cesarean section under epidural anesthesia, and carried out a pilot study to determine if further studies on a larger scale were justified.
Twenty-eight patients who were scheduled for cesarean section under epidural anesthesia were included in the study. Patients were assigned to 2 groups according to the occurrence of NV after induction, i.e., an NV-positive or an NV-negative group. Serum 5-HT concentrations were measured before induction, at the time that NV occurred (in the case of the NV-positive group) or 5 min after the umbilical cord clamping (in the case of the NV-negative group) during surgery, and at 2 h postoperatively.
NV occurred in 10 of the 28 patients. No significant differences in serum 5-HT concentrations were found within or between the two groups.
This study suggests that there is no correlation between serum 5-HT concentration and the occurrence of perioperative NV in patients undergoing cesarean section under epidural anesthesia, and the findings do not seem to support further investigations regarding a possible relationship between serum 5-HT concentration and perioperative NV.
PMCID: PMC4280475  PMID: 25558338
Cesarean section; Epidural anesthesia; Perioperative nausea and vomiting; Serum serotonin
20.  Resveratrol as a Therapeutic Agent for Alzheimer's Disease 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:350516.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia, but there is no effective therapy till now. The pathogenic mechanisms of AD are considerably complex, including Aβ accumulation, tau protein phosphorylation, oxidative stress, and inflammation. Exactly, resveratrol, a polyphenol in red wine and many plants, is indicated to show the neuroprotective effect on mechanisms mostly above. Recent years, there are numerous researches about resveratrol acting on AD in many models, both in vitro and in vivo. However, the effects of resveratrol are limited by its pool bioavailability; therefore researchers have been trying a variety of methods to improve the efficiency. This review summarizes the recent studies in cell cultures and animal models, mainly discusses the molecular mechanisms of the neuroprotective effects of resveratrol, and thus investigates the therapeutic potential in AD.
PMCID: PMC4261550  PMID: 25525597
21.  Ligand-Accelerated ortho-C–H Alkylation of Arylcarboxylic Acids Using Alkyl Boron Reagents 
Journal of the American Chemical Society  2013;135(46):10.1021/ja409014v.
A protocol for the Pd(II)-catalyzed ortho-C–H alkylation of phenylacetic and benzoic acids using alkylboron reagents is disclosed. Mono-protected amino acid ligands (MPAA) were found to significantly promote reactivity. Both potassium alkyltrifluoroborates and alkylboronic acids were compatible coupling partners. The possibility of a radical alkyl transfer to Pd(II) was also investigated.
PMCID: PMC3879047  PMID: 24124892
22.  The role of the LRRK2 gene in Parkinsonism 
Parkinson’s disease (PD), like many common age-related conditions, has been recognized to have a substantial genetic component. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) is a crucial factor to understanding the etiology of PD. LRRK2 is a large, widely expressed, multi-domain and multifunctional protein. LRRK2 mutations are the major cause to inherited and sporadic PD. In this review, we discuss the pathology and clinical features which show diversity and variability of LRRK2-associated PD. In addition, we do a thorough literature review and provide theoretical data for gene counseling. Further, we present the evidence linking LRRK2 to various possible pathogenic mechanism of PD such as α-synuclein, tau, inflammatory response, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, synaptic dysfunction as well as autophagy-lysosomal system. Based on the above work, we investigate activities both within GTPase and outside enzymatic regions in order to obtain a potential therapeutic approach to solve the LRRK2 problem.
PMCID: PMC4246469  PMID: 25391693
LRRK2; Parkinsonism; Pathology; Clinical features; Pathogenic mechanism
23.  Heat Shock Protein 70 in Alzheimer's Disease 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:435203.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease that caused dementia which has no effective treatment. Growing evidence has demonstrated that AD is a “protein misfolding disorder” that exhibits common features of misfolded, aggregation-prone proteins and selective cell loss in the mature nervous system. Heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) attracts extensive attention worldwide, because it plays a crucial role in preventing protein misfolding and inhibiting aggregation and represents a class of proteins potentially involved in AD pathogenesis. Numerous studies have indicated that HSP70 could suppress the progression of AD with in vitro and in vivo experiments. Thus, targeting HSP70 and the related compounds might represent a promising strategy for the treatment of AD.
PMCID: PMC4241292  PMID: 25431764
24.  A qualitative study of smoking behavior among the floating population in Shanghai, China 
BMC Public Health  2014;14(1):1138.
China has become the world’s largest producer and consumer of tobacco and lung cancer is China’s leading cause of cancer deaths. The large majority of Chinese smokers are men. Tobacco consumption is of particular concern among China’s internal floating (or migrant) population, which has become a permanent feature of Chinese society, because this population is very large (over 100 million persons) and it has a high prevalence of smoking. Considering additionally that like the general population of China, the smoking prevalence rate of women from this group is quite low, we therefore aimed to explore smoking-related knowledge, attitudes and behaviours among male smokers in the floating population to help inform the development of effective smoking cessation interventions in this important target group in China.
We interviewed 39 floating population male smokers in six focus groups and performed a qualitative content analysis of the interviews.
Most participants knew that smoking is risky to health but they knew little about why. Habit and social participation were key drivers of smoking. Smoking was regarded as a core component of their identity by the urban residents. Some participants had tried to stop smoking but none reported having ever been educated about smoking.
Smoking cessation interventions for China’s male floating population would need to incorporate comprehensive education and information about why smoking is dangerous and the benefits of stopping.
PMCID: PMC4232617  PMID: 25371214
Floating population; Smoking; China; Qualitative study
25.  Diverse Toll-Like Receptors Mediate Cytokine Production by Fusobacterium nucleatum and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans in Macrophages 
Infection and Immunity  2014;82(5):1914-1920.
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) orchestrate a repertoire of immune responses in macrophages against various pathogens. Fusobacterium nucleatum and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans are two important periodontal pathogens. In the present study, we investigated TLR signaling regulating cytokine production of macrophages in response to F. nucleatum and A. actinomycetemcomitans. TLR2 and TLR4 are redundant in the production of cytokines (interleukin-6 [IL-6] and tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-α]) in F. nucleatum- and A. actinomycetemcomitans-infected macrophages. The production of cytokines by macrophages in response to F. nucleatum and A. actinomycetemcomitans infection was impaired in MyD88-deficient macrophages. Moreover, cytokine concentrations were lower in MyD88-deficient macrophages than in TLR2/TLR4 (TLR2/4) double-deficient cells. An endosomal TLR inhibitor, chloroquine, reduced cytokine production in TLR2/4-deficient macrophages in response to F. nucleatum and A. actinomycetemcomitans, and DNA from F. nucleatum or A. actinomycetemcomitans induced IL-6 production in bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs), which was abolished by chloroquine. Western blot analysis revealed that TLR2/4 and MyD88 were required for optimal activation of NF-κB and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) in macrophages in response to F. nucleatum and A. actinomycetemcomitans, with different kinetics. An inhibitor assay showed that NF-κB and all MAPKs (p38, extracellular signal-regulated kinase [ERK], and Jun N-terminal protein kinase [JNK]) mediate F. nucleatum-induced production of cytokines in macrophages, whereas NF-κB and p38, but not ERK and JNK, are involved in A. actinomycetemcomitans-mediated cytokine production. These findings suggest that multiple TLRs may participate in the cytokine production of macrophages against periodontal bacteria.
PMCID: PMC3993440  PMID: 24566622

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