Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-25 (55)

Clipboard (0)

Select a Filter Below

more »
Year of Publication
more »
1.  Clinical Monitoring of Chronic Hepatitis C Based on its Natural History and Therapy 
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major public health problem and a leading cause of chronic liver disease. Chronic HCV infection often follows a progressive course over years and can result in cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and need for liver transplantation. In the United States alone, the estimated prevalence of HCV infection is up to 5.1 million persons. The optimal approach to detecting HCV infection is to screen persons for possible history of risks of exposure to virus and to test those selected individuals with risk factors. Both host and viral factors may be important contributors to the natural history of HCV. Currently, effective pharmacologic therapy are available to induce sustained virologic response (SVR) or virologic “cure,” which results in improved morbidity and mortality. Patient education before treatment is essential and should include a full discussion of potential side effects. It is important to work collaboratively and closely with patients to ensure early recognition of adverse events and to effectively manage them in order to ensure treatment compliance. This paper provides a thorough overview on screening for the diagnosis, clinical management, and treatment indications and contraindications for chronic hepatitis C.
PMCID: PMC4287404  PMID: 25580186
Hepatitis C virus (HCV); chronic hepatitis C (CHC); hepatitis C treatment; cirrhosis; chronic liver disease
2.  Effects of subcutaneous pasireotide on cardiac repolarization in healthy volunteers: A single-center, phase I, randomized, four-way crossover study 
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of subcutaneous pasireotide on cardiac repolarization in healthy volunteers. Healthy volunteers were randomized to one of four treatment sequences (n = 112) involving four successive treatments in different order: pasireotide 600 µg (therapeutic dose) or 1,950 µg (maximum tolerated dose) bid by subcutaneous injection (sc), placebo injection and oral moxifloxacin. Maximum ΔΔQTcI occurred 2 hours post-dose for both doses of pasireotide. Mean ΔΔQTcI was 13.2 milliseconds (90% CI: 11.4, 15.0) and 16.1 milliseconds (90% CI: 14.3, 17.9) for the 600 and 1,950 µg bid doses, respectively. Maximal placebo-subtracted change in QTcI from baseline for moxifloxacin was 11.1 (90% CI: 9.3, 12.9) milliseconds. Both pasireotide doses caused a reduction in heart rate: maximal heart rate change compared with placebo occurred at 1 hour for pasireotide 600 µg bid and at 0.5 hours for pasireotide 1,950 µg bid, with heart rate reductions of 10.4 and 14.9 bpm, respectively. At the therapeutic dose of 600 µg, pasireotide has a modest QT-prolonging effect. The relatively small increase of ∼3 milliseconds in ΔΔQTcI in the presence of a 3.25-fold increase in dose suggests a relatively flat dose–effect relationship of pasireotide on ΔΔQTcI in healthy volunteers. No safety concerns for pasireotide were identified during the study.
PMCID: PMC4272414  PMID: 24242903
pasireotide; QT intervals; heart rate; pharmacokinetics; healthy volunteers
3.  Combined Adenovirus Vector and Hepatitis C Virus Envelope Protein Prime-Boost Regimen Elicits T Cell and Neutralizing Antibody Immune Responses 
Journal of Virology  2014;88(10):5502-5510.
Despite the recent progress in the development of new antiviral agents, hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection remains a major global health problem, and there is a need for a preventive vaccine. We previously reported that adenoviral vectors expressing HCV nonstructural proteins elicit protective T cell responses in chimpanzees and were immunogenic in healthy volunteers. Furthermore, recombinant HCV E1E2 protein formulated with adjuvant MF59 induced protective antibody responses in chimpanzees and was immunogenic in humans. To develop an HCV vaccine capable of inducing both T cell and antibody responses, we constructed adenoviral vectors expressing full-length and truncated E1E2 envelope glycoproteins from HCV genotype 1b. Heterologous prime-boost immunization regimens with adenovirus and recombinant E1E2 glycoprotein (genotype 1a) plus MF59 were evaluated in mice and guinea pigs. Adenovirus prime and protein boost induced broad HCV-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cell responses and functional Th1-type IgG responses. Immune sera neutralized luciferase reporter pseudoparticles expressing HCV envelope glycoproteins (HCVpp) and a diverse panel of recombinant cell culture-derived HCV (HCVcc) strains and limited cell-to-cell HCV transmission. This study demonstrated that combining adenovirus vector with protein antigen can induce strong antibody and T cell responses that surpass immune responses achieved by either vaccine alone.
IMPORTANCE HCV infection is a major health problem. Despite the availability of new directly acting antiviral agents for treating chronic infection, an affordable preventive vaccine provides the best long-term goal for controlling the global epidemic. This report describes a new anti-HCV vaccine targeting the envelope viral proteins based on adenovirus vector and protein in adjuvant. Rodents primed with the adenovirus vaccine and boosted with the adjuvanted protein developed cross-neutralizing antibodies and potent T cell responses that surpassed immune responses achieved with either vaccine component alone. If combined with the adenovirus vaccine targeting the HCV NS antigens now under clinical testing, this new vaccine might lead to a stronger and broader immune response and to a more effective vaccine to prevent HCV infection. Importantly, the described approach represents a valuable strategy for other infectious diseases in which both T and B cell responses are essential for protection.
PMCID: PMC4019094  PMID: 24599994
4.  Nickel Nanoparticles Exposure and Reproductive Toxicity in Healthy Adult Rats 
Nickel is associated with reproductive toxicity. However, the reproductive toxicity of nickel nanoparticles (Ni NPs) is unclear. Our goal was to determine the association between nickel nanoparticle exposure and reproductive toxicity. According to the one-generation reproductive toxicity standard, rats were exposed to nickel nanoparticles by gavage and we selected indicators including sex hormone levels, sperm motility, histopathology, and reproductive outcome etc. Experimental results showed nickel nanoparticles increased follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), and lowered etradiol (E2) serum levels at a dose of 15 and 45 mg/kg in female rats. Ovarian lymphocytosis, vascular dilatation and congestion, inflammatory cell infiltration, and increase in apoptotic cells were found in ovary tissues in exposure groups. For male rats, the weights decreased gradually, the ratio of epididymis weight over body weight increased, the motility of rat sperm changed, and the levels of FSH and testosterone (T) diminished. Pathological results showed the shedding of epithelial cells of raw seminiferous tubule, disordered arrangement of cells in the tube, and the appearance of cell apoptosis and death in the exposure group. At the same time, Ni NPs resulted in a change of the reproductive index and the offspring development of rats. Further research is needed to elucidate exposure to human populations and mechanism of actions.
PMCID: PMC4264223  PMID: 25407529
nickel nanoparticle; reproductive toxicity; one-generation; rats
5.  Clinical Monitoring of Chronic Hepatitis C Based on its Natural History and Therapy 
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major public health problem and a leading cause of chronic liver disease. Chronic HCV infection often follows a progressive course over years and can result in cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and need for liver transplantation. In the United States alone, the estimated prevalence of HCV infection is up to 5.1 million persons. The optimal approach to detecting HCV infection is to screen persons for possible history of risks of exposure to virus and to test those selected individuals with risk factors. Both host and viral factors may be important contributors to the natural history of HCV. Currently, effective pharmacologic therapy are available to induce sustained virologic response (SVR) or virologic “cure,” which results in improved morbidity and mortality. Patient education before treatment is essential and should include a full discussion of potential side effects. It is important to work collaboratively and closely with patients to ensure early recognition of adverse events and to effectively manage them in order to ensure treatment compliance. This paper provides a thorough overview on screening for the diagnosis, clinical management, and treatment indications and contraindications for chronic hepatitis C.
PMCID: PMC4134094  PMID: 23186968
Hepatitis C virus (HCV); chronic hepatitis C (CHC); hepatitis C treatment; cirrhosis; chronic liver disease
7.  A 4-cm lipoma of the transverse colon causing colonic intussusception: A case report and literature review 
Oncology Letters  2014;8(3):1090-1092.
Colonic lipomas are rare benign tumors. Colonic intussusception is an uncommon complication of colonic lipoma. The current study presents an unusual case of a 4-cm symptomatic lipoma of the transverse colon causing colonic intussusception. A 65-year-old female was admitted to Wenzhou Central Hospital (Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China) with intermittent pain in the left abdomen that had been present for two weeks. Colonoscopy revealed a 4×5-cm intraluminal spherical mass with erosional mucosa 60 cm above the anal verge, indicating the presence of a malignant gastrointestinal stromal tumor. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography revealed a well-defined fatty tissue mass of 4 cm in diameter in the distal transverse colon proximal to the splenic flexure, with intussusception. The patient underwent segmental resection of the transverse colon and intraoperative frozen sections were obtained. The intraoperative frozen sections revealed a submucosal lipoma of the transverse colon and thus, a conclusive diagnosis was achieved. The patient was followed up for one year and 10 months following the segmental resection of the transverse colon, with a good prognosis. This study may increase clinical awareness with regard to colonic lipomas. Furthermore, open surgery combined with use of intraoperative frozen sections should be recommended for large symptomatic colonic lipomas accompanied by colonic intussusception, thus avoiding unnecessary radical resection and improving patient prognosis.
PMCID: PMC4114622  PMID: 25120663
lipoma; colon; intussusception; diagnosis
8.  Novel Thioredoxin-Like Proteins Are Components of a Protein Complex Coating the Cortical Microtubules of Toxoplasma gondii 
Eukaryotic Cell  2013;12(12):1588-1599.
Microtubules are versatile biopolymers that support numerous vital cellular functions in eukaryotes. The specific properties of microtubules are dependent on distinct microtubule-associated proteins, as the tubulin subunits and microtubule structure are exceptionally conserved. Highly specialized microtubule-containing assemblies are often found in protists, which are rich sources for novel microtubule-associated proteins. A protozoan parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, possesses several distinct tubulin-containing structures, including 22 microtubules closely associated with the cortical membrane. Early ultrastructural studies have shown that the cortical microtubules are heavily decorated with associating proteins. However, little is known about the identities of these proteins. Here, we report the discovery of a novel protein, TrxL1 (for Thioredoxin-Like protein 1), and an associating complex that coats the cortical microtubules. TrxL1 contains a thioredoxin-like fold. To visualize its localization in live parasites by fluorescence, we replaced the endogenous TrxL1 gene with an mEmeraldFP-TrxL1 fusion gene. Structured illumination-based superresolution imaging of this parasite line produced a detailed view of the microtubule cytoskeleton. Despite its stable association with the cortical microtubules in the parasite, TrxL1 does not seem to bind to microtubules directly. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments showed that TrxL1 associates with a protein complex containing SPM1, a previously reported microtubule-associated protein in T. gondii. We also found that SPM1 recruits TrxL1 to the cortical microtubules. Besides SPM1, several other novel proteins are found in the TrxL1-containing complex, including TrxL2, a close homolog of TrxL1. Thus, our results reveal for the first time a microtubule-associated complex in T. gondii.
PMCID: PMC3889574  PMID: 23873863
9.  Identification of functional modules of AKMT, a novel lysine methyltransferase regulating the motility of Toxoplasma gondii 
The intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii is a leading cause of congenital neurological defects. To cause disease, it must reiterate its lytic cycle through host cell invasion, replication,and parasite egress. This requires the parasite to sense changes in its environment and switch between the non-motile (for replication) and motile (for invasion and egress) states appropriately. Recently, we discovered a previously unknown mechanism of motility regulation in T. gondii, mediated by a lysine methyltransferase, AKMT (for Apical complex lysine (K) methyltransferase). When AKMT is absent, activation of motility is inhibited, which compromises parasite invasion and egress, and thus severely impairs the lytic cycle. Although the methyltransferase activity of AKMT has been established, the phylogenetic relationship of AKMT with other better studied lysine methyltransferases (KMTs) was not known. Also unknown was the functional relationships between different domains of AKMT. In this work we carried out phylogenetic analyses, which show that AKMT orthologs form a new subfamily of KMTs. We systematically generated truncation mutants of AKMT, and discovered that the predicted enzymatic domain alone is a very poor enzyme and cannot complement the function of AKMT in vivo. Interestingly, the N- and C-terminal domains of the AKMT have drastically different impacts on its enzyme activity, localization as well as in vivo function. Our results thus reveal that AKMT is an unusual, parasite-specific enzyme and identified regions and interactions within this novel lysine methyltransferase that can be used as drug targets.
PMCID: PMC3740173  PMID: 23685344
lysine methyltransferase; AKMT; motility; Toxoplasma gondii; Plasmodium; KMT phylogeny
10.  Effects of Downregulation of MicroRNA-181a on H2O2-Induced H9c2 Cell Apoptosis via the Mitochondrial Apoptotic Pathway 
Glutathione peroxidase-1 (GPx1) is a pivotal intracellular antioxidant enzyme that enzymatically reduces hydrogen peroxide to water to limit its harmful effects. This study aims to identify a microRNA (miRNA) that targets GPx1 to maintain redox homeostasis. Dual luciferase assays combined with mutational analysis and immunoblotting were used to validate the bioinformatically predicted miRNAs. We sought to select miRNAs that were responsive to oxidative stress induced by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in the H9c2 rat cardiomyocyte cell line. Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) demonstrated that the expression of miR-181a in H2O2-treated H9c2 cells was markedly upregulated. The downregulation of miR-181a significantly inhibited H2O2-induced cellular apoptosis, ROS production, the increase in malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, the disruption of mitochondrial structure, and the activation of key signaling proteins in the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. Our results suggest that miR-181a plays an important role in regulating the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway in cardiomyocytes challenged with oxidative stress. MiR-181a may represent a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of oxidative stress-associated cardiovascular diseases.
PMCID: PMC3942394  PMID: 24683439
11.  Hepatitis C Virus Infects the Endothelial Cells of the Blood-Brain Barrier 
Gastroenterology  2011;142(3):634-643.e6.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection leads to progressive liver disease and is associated with a variety of extrahepatic syndromes, including central nervous system (CNS) abnormalities. However, it is unclear whether such cognitive abnormalities are a function of systemic disease, impaired hepatic function, or virus infection of the CNS.
We measured levels of HCV RNA and expression of the viral entry receptor in brain tissue samples from 10 infected individuals (and 3 uninfected individuals, as controls) and human brain microvascular endothelial cells by using quantitative polymerase chain reaction and immunochemical and confocal imaging analyses. HCV pseudoparticles and cell culture–derived HCV were used to study the ability of endothelial cells to support viral entry and replication.
Using quantitative polymerase chain reaction, we detected HCV RNA in brain tissue of infected individuals at significantly lower levels than in liver samples. Brain microvascular endothelia and brain endothelial cells expressed all of the recognized HCV entry receptors. Two independently derived brain endothelial cell lines, hC-MEC/D3 and HBMEC, supported HCV entry and replication. These processes were inhibited by antibodies against the entry factors CD81, scavenger receptor BI, and claudin-1; by interferon; and by reagents that inhibit NS3 protease and NS5B polymerase. HCV infection promotes endothelial permeability and cellular apoptosis.
Human brain endothelial cells express functional receptors that support HCV entry and replication. Virus infection of the CNS might lead to HCV-associated neuropathologies.
PMCID: PMC3801216  PMID: 22138189
Virus Tropism; HCVpp; HCVcc; Neurologic Defect
12.  Increased Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Response Is Involved in Clopidogrel-Induced Apoptosis of Gastric Epithelial Cells 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e74381.
The widespread use of clopidogrel alone or in combination with aspirin may result in gastrointestinal mucosal injury, clinically represented as recurrent ulceration and bleeding complications. Our recent work suggested that clopidogrel significantly induced human gastric epithelial cell (GES-1) apoptosis and disrupted gastric mucosal barrier, and that a p38 MAPK inhibitor could attenuate such injury. However, their exact mechanisms are largely unknown.
The GES-1 cells were used as a model system, the effects of clopidogrel on the whole gene expression profile were evaluated by human gene expression microarray and gene ontology analysis, changes of the mRNA and protein expression were determined by real-time PCR and Western blot analysis, and cell viability and apoptosis were measured by MTT assay and flow cytometry analysis, respectively.
Gene microarray analysis identified 79 genes that were differentially expressed (P<0.05 and fold-change >3) when cells were treated with or without clopidogrel. Gene ontology analysis revealed that response to stress and cell apoptosis dysfunction were ranked in the top 10 cellular events being affected, and that the major components of endoplasmic reticulum stress-mediated apoptosis pathway – CHOP and TRIB3– were up-regulated in a concentration- and time-dependent manner when cells were treated with clopidogrel. Pathway analysis demonstrated that multiple MAPK kinases were phosphorylated in clopidogrel-treated GES-1 cells, but that only SB-203580 (a p38-specific MAPK inhibitor) attenuated cell apoptosis and CHOP over-expression, both of which were induced by clopidogrel.
Increased endoplasmic reticulum stress response is involved in clopidogrel-induced gastric mucosal injury, acting through p38 MAPK activation.
PMCID: PMC3772828  PMID: 24058556
13.  Update on rescue therapies in patients with lamivudine-resistant chronic hepatitis B 
Chronic hepatitis B continues to be a global problem, with an estimated 240 million cases according to the World Health Organization. Chronic infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) is associated with cirrhosis, hepatic decompensation, and hepatocellular carcinoma. There are currently several US Food and Drug Administration-approved medications for treating chronic hepatitis B, with Lamivudine (LAM) being the first oral agent made available. The major problem with LAM is significantly decreased effectiveness over time due to the development of anti-HBV resistance that can lead to virologic and biochemical breakthrough as well as hepatitis B flare, progression of liver disease, and decompensation of pre-existing cirrhosis. Despite its high anti-HBV resistant rate, LAM remains widely used in underdeveloped countries due to its wide availability and low cost compared to other antiviral medications, including those that are more effective. Therefore, it is still clinically important to learn how to prevent and treat LAM resistant strains of HBV. Several regimens with the other available antiviral agents have been studied, including switching to monotherapy with either Adefovir, Entecavir, or Tenofovir, adding Adefovir to LAM, and switching to a combination of Adefovir and Entecavir. This review article will examine molecular mechanisms and diagnosis of LAM anti-HBV resistance, risks for and approaches to reduce LAM anti-HBV resistance, and currently available rescue therapy regimens for LAM resistance.
PMCID: PMC3753145  PMID: 23990707
chronic hepatitis B; nucleot(s)ide analogs; anti-viral resistance; lamivudine; adefovir; entecavir; tenofovir
14.  Prevalence and risk factors of gallbladder polypoid lesions in Chinese petrochemical employees 
AIM: To investigate the prevalence and risk factors of polypoid lesions of the gallbladder (PLGs) in petrochemical employees in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China.
METHODS: All active and retired employees aged 20-90 years (n = 11098) of a refinery and chemical plant in eastern China were requested to participate in a health survey. The participants were subjected to interview, physical examination, laboratory assessments and ultrasonography. All the participants were invited to have a physical examination after a face-to-face interview. Fasting blood samples were obtained from the antecubital vein, and the samples were used for the analysis of biochemical values. Abdominal ultrasonography was conducted.
RESULTS: A total of 10461 (7331 men and 3130 women) current and former petrochemical employees attended for screening. The overall prevalence of post-cholecystectomy, gallstones and PLGs was 0.9%, 5.2% and 7.4%, respectively. Compared with the increased prevalence of either gallstones or post-cholecystectomy in older persons, PLGs were more common in the middle-aged, peaking in those aged 40-59 years. Excluding the patients with gallstones, gallstones mixed with PLGs, or those who had undergone cholecystectomy, in the remaining 9828 participants, the prevalence of PLGs in men (8.9%) was significantly higher than that in women (5.5%, P < 0.001). The analyzed risk factors with increased OR for the development of PLGs were male gender (OR = 1.799, P < 0.001), age ≥ 30 years (OR = 2.699, P < 0.001) and hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positivity (OR = 1.374, P = 0.006).
CONCLUSION: PLGs are not rare among Chinese petrochemical employees. Male gender, HBsAg positivity, and middle age are risk factors for developing PLGs.
PMCID: PMC3718909  PMID: 23885152
Prevalence; Risk factors; Polypoid lesions; Gallbladder; Chinese
15.  Safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of a long-acting release (LAR) formulation of pasireotide (SOM230) in patients with gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors: results from a randomized, multicenter, open-label, phase I study 
Pasireotide (SOM230), a novel multireceptor ligand somatostatin analog (SSA), binds with high affinity to four of the five somatostatin receptor subtypes (sst1–3, 5). This study evaluated the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics profiles of pasireotide long-acting release (LAR) formulation in patients with advanced gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (GEP NET) refractory to other SSAs.
In this randomized, multicenter, open-label, phase II study, patients with biopsy-proven primary or metastatic GEP NET refractory to available SSAs were randomly assigned 1:1:1 to receive pasireotide LAR by deep intragluteal injection at a dose of 20, 40, or 60 mg once every 28 days for 3 months.
Forty-two patients received pasireotide LAR. Adverse events were reported by 34 (81 %) patients, with the most frequently reported including diarrhea, fatigue, abdominal pain, and nausea. Mean fasting glucose levels were increased compared with baseline at all points throughout the study. After the third injection of pasireotide LAR, the median trough plasma concentrations on day 84 were 4.82, 12.0, and 19.7 ng/mL in the 20-, 40-, and 60-mg treatment groups, respectively. Drug accumulation was limited for each dose based on the increase in trough concentrations after the first to third injections (accumulation ratios were approximately 1 from all dose levels).
This study demonstrated that a new, once-monthly, intramuscular LAR formulation of pasireotide was well tolerated in patients with advanced GEP NET. Steady state levels of plasma pasireotide were achieved after three injections.
PMCID: PMC3719006  PMID: 23765178
Pasireotide (SOM230); Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (GEP NET); Safety; Pharmacokinetics; Pharmacodynamics
16.  Production, Purification and Characterization of Recombinant, Full-Length Human Claudin-1 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e64517.
The transmembrane domain proteins of the claudin superfamily are the major structural components of cellular tight junctions. One family member, claudin-1, also associates with tetraspanin CD81 as part of a receptor complex that is essential for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection of the liver. To understand the molecular basis of claudin-1/CD81 association we previously produced and purified milligram quantities of functional, full-length CD81, which binds a soluble form of HCV E2 glycoprotein (sE2). Here we report the production, purification and characterization of claudin-1. Both yeast membrane-bound and detergent-extracted, purified claudin-1 were antigenic and recognized by specific antibodies. Analytical ultracentrifugation demonstrated that extraction with n-octyl-β-d-glucopyranoside yielded monodispersed, dimeric pools of claudin-1 while extraction with profoldin-8 or n-decylphosphocholine yielded a dynamic mixture of claudin-1 oligomers. Neither form bound sE2 in line with literature expectations, while further functional analysis was hampered by the finding that incorporation of claudin-1 into proteoliposomes rendered them intractable to study. Dynamic light scattering demonstrated that claudin-1 oligomers associate with CD81 in vitro in a defined molar ratio of 1∶2 and that complex formation was enhanced by the presence of cholesteryl hemisuccinate. Attempts to assay the complex biologically were limited by our finding that claudin-1 affects the properties of proteoliposomes. We conclude that recombinant, correctly-folded, full-length claudin-1 can be produced in yeast membranes, that it can be extracted in different oligomeric forms that do not bind sE2 and that a dynamic preparation can form a specific complex with CD81 in vitro in the absence of any other cellular components. These findings pave the way for the structural characterization of claudin-1 alone and in complex with CD81.
PMCID: PMC3660353  PMID: 23704991
17.  Long-term efficacy and safety of subcutaneous pasireotide in acromegaly: results from an open-ended, multicenter, Phase II extension study 
Pituitary  2013;17(2):132-140.
Pasireotide has a broader somatostatin receptor binding profile than other somatostatin analogues. A 16-week, Phase II trial showed that pasireotide may be an effective treatment for acromegaly. An extension to this trial assessed the long-term efficacy and safety of pasireotide. This study was an open-label, single-arm, open-ended extension study (primary efficacy and safety evaluated at month 6). Patients could enter the extension if they achieved biochemical control (GH ≤ 2.5 μg/L and normal IGF-1) or showed clinically relevant improvements during the core study. Thirty of the 60 patients who received pasireotide (200–900 μg bid) in the core study entered the extension. At extension month 6, of the 26 evaluable patients, six were biochemically controlled, of whom five had achieved control during the core study. Normal IGF-1 was achieved by 13/26 patients and GH ≤ 2.5 μg/L by 12/26 at month 6. Nine patients received pasireotide for ≥24 months in the extension; three who were biochemically controlled at month 24 had achieved control during the core study. Of 29 patients with MRI data, nine had significant (≥20 %) tumor volume reduction during the core study; an additional eight had significant reduction during the extension. The most common adverse events were transient gastrointestinal disturbances; hyperglycemia-related events occurred in 14 patients. Twenty patients had fasting plasma glucose shifted to a higher category during the extension. However, last available glucose measurements were normal for 17 patients. Pasireotide has the potential to be an effective, long-term medical treatment for acromegaly, providing sustained biochemical control and significant reductions in tumor volume.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11102-013-0478-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3942632  PMID: 23529827
Acromegaly; Efficacy; Pasireotide; Safety; SOM230; Somatostatin analogue
18.  High intratumoral metastasis-associated in colon cancer-1 expression predicts poor outcomes of cryoablation therapy for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma 
Cryoablation is one of the local therapies for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but its safety and effect has not been studied in patients with Child class A or B and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage C HCC. Metastasis-associated in colon cancer-1 (MACC1) overexpression has been associated with poor prognosis of HCC, but its predictive value to post-cryoablation outcomes remains unknown in patients with BCLC stage C HCC.
This study assessed the safety and outcomes of cryoablation measured by time to progression (TTP) and overall survival (OS), and predictive value of MACC1 mRNA and protein overexpression in tumorous tissue to post-cryoablation outcomes in 120 advanced HCC patients with child-pugh class A or B by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical staining. The potenial correlation of MACC1 and c-Met expression to tumor cell proliferation and apoptosis was also analyzed.
The cryoablation in patients with advanced unresectable HCC resulted in a median TTP and OS of 5.5 (4.2- 6.7) months and 10.5 (9.0-12.0) months, respectively and no significant complications, comparable to the historical report for RFA therapy. The MACC1 mRNA and nuclear protein expression was significantly increased in tumorous tissues in these patients than that in normal liver tissue controls. Higher expression of MACC1 mRNA and nuclear protein in tumorous tissues in these patients was associated with shorter post cryoablation median TTP and OS than that with lower MACC1 expression.
Cryoablation is a safe and effective therapeutic option for patients with advanced HCC and Child-pugh class A or B cirrhosis; and a higher intratumoral expression of MACC1 or nuclear translocation predicts poor outcomes of cryotherapy in these patients.
PMCID: PMC3599141  PMID: 23414367
Cryoablation; Metastasis-associated in colon cancer-1 (MACC1); Advanced hepatocellular carcinoma; Efficacy; Safety; Outcomes
19.  Hepatitis C Virus Envelope Glycoprotein Fitness Defines Virus Population Composition following Transmission to a New Host 
Journal of Virology  2012;86(22):11956-11966.
Genetic variability is a hallmark of RNA virus populations. However, transmission to a new host often results in a marked decrease in population diversity. This genetic bottlenecking is observed during hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission and can arise via a selective sweep or through the founder effect. To model HCV transmission, we utilized chimeric SCID/Alb-uPA mice with transplanted human hepatocytes and infected them with a human serum HCV inoculum. E1E2 glycoprotein gene sequences in the donor inoculum and recipient mice were determined following single-genome amplification (SGA). In independent experiments, using mice with liver cells grafted from different sources, an E1E2 variant undetectable in the source inoculum was selected for during transmission. Bayesian coalescent analyses indicated that this variant arose in the inoculum pretransmission. Transmitted variants that established initial infection harbored key substitutions in E1E2 outside HVR1. Notably, all posttransmission E1E2s had lost a potential N-linked glycosylation site (PNGS) in E2. In lentiviral pseudoparticle assays, the major posttransmission E1E2 variant conferred an increased capacity for entry compared to the major variant present in the inoculum. Together, these data demonstrate that increased envelope glycoprotein fitness can drive selective outgrowth of minor variants posttransmission and that loss of a PNGS is integral to this improved phenotype. Mathematical modeling of the dynamics of competing HCV variants indicated that relatively modest differences in glycoprotein fitness can result in marked shifts in virus population composition. Overall, these data provide important insights into the dynamics and selection of HCV populations during transmission.
PMCID: PMC3486514  PMID: 22855498
20.  Hepatitis C Virus Induces CD81 and Claudin-1 Endocytosis 
Journal of Virology  2012;86(8):4305-4316.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) leads to progressive liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma. Current treatments are only partially effective, and new therapies targeting viral and host pathways are required. Virus entry into a host cell provides a conserved target for therapeutic intervention. Tetraspanin CD81, scavenger receptor class B member I, and the tight-junction proteins claudin-1 and occludin have been identified as essential entry receptors. Limited information is available on the role of receptor trafficking in HCV entry. We demonstrate here that anti-CD81 antibodies inhibit HCV infection at late times after virus internalization, suggesting a role for intracellular CD81 in HCV infection. Several tetraspanins have been reported to internalize via motifs in their C-terminal cytoplasmic domains; however, CD81 lacks such motifs, leading several laboratories to suggest a limited role for CD81 endocytosis in HCV entry. We demonstrate CD81 internalization via a clathrin- and dynamin-dependent process, independent of its cytoplasmic domain, suggesting a role for associated partner proteins in regulating CD81 trafficking. Live cell imaging demonstrates CD81 and claudin-1 coendocytosis and fusion with Rab5 expressing endosomes, supporting a role for this receptor complex in HCV internalization. Receptor-specific antibodies and HCV particles increase CD81 and claudin-1 endocytosis, supporting a model wherein HCV stimulates receptor trafficking to promote particle internalization.
PMCID: PMC3318669  PMID: 22318146
21.  Etiologic Diagnosis of Lower Respiratory Tract Bacterial Infections Using Sputum Samples and Quantitative Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e38743.
Etiologic diagnoses of lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI) have been relying primarily on bacterial cultures that often fail to return useful results in time. Although DNA-based assays are more sensitive than bacterial cultures in detecting pathogens, the molecular results are often inconsistent and challenged by doubts on false positives, such as those due to system- and environment-derived contaminations. Here we report a nationwide cohort study on 2986 suspected LRTI patients across P. R. China. We compared the performance of a DNA-based assay qLAMP (quantitative Loop-mediated isothermal AMPlification) with that of standard bacterial cultures in detecting a panel of eight common respiratory bacterial pathogens from sputum samples. Our qLAMP assay detects the panel of pathogens in 1047(69.28%) patients from 1533 qualified patients at the end. We found that the bacterial titer quantified based on qLAMP is a predictor of probability that the bacterium in the sample can be detected in culture assay. The relatedness of the two assays fits a logistic regression curve. We used a piecewise linear function to define breakpoints where latent pathogen abruptly change its competitive relationship with others in the panel. These breakpoints, where pathogens start to propagate abnormally, are used as cutoffs to eliminate the influence of contaminations from normal flora. With help of the cutoffs derived from statistical analysis, we are able to identify causative pathogens in 750 (48.92%) patients from qualified patients. In conclusion, qLAMP is a reliable method in quantifying bacterial titer. Despite the fact that there are always latent bacteria contaminated in sputum samples, we can identify causative pathogens based on cutoffs derived from statistical analysis of competitive relationship.
Trial Registration NCT00567827
PMCID: PMC3375278  PMID: 22719933
22.  A first-in-man study to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of pasireotide (SOM230), a multireceptor-targeted somatostatin analog, in healthy volunteers 
Pasireotide (SOM230) is a multireceptor-targeted somatostatin analog with high binding affinity for four of the five somatostatin receptor subtypes (sst1,2,3 and sst5), and potential clinical activity in several neuroendocrine and oncologic conditions, including acromegaly, Cushing’s disease, and neuroendocrine tumors (NET). This manuscript reports the first-in-man dose-escalation study of pasireotide, evaluating its safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics (PK) in healthy male volunteers. A single dose of pasireotide 1–1200 μg was administered subcutaneously in four to eight subjects per dose level, with two additional subjects per cohort administered placebo. PK and safety evaluations were carried out over 7 days post-dose. Growth hormone (GH) suppression was evaluated using a GH-releasing hormone stimulation test on Day –1 and Day 1 at 3–5 hours post-injection. Seventy-two subjects completed the study. Pasireotide was well tolerated with no serious adverse events observed at any dose. Transient elevations in blood glucose levels were observed 2–6 hours after administration of pasireotide at doses between 200 μg and 1200 μg, but this resolved without intervention by 23 hours post-dosing. The maximum tolerable dose was not established within the tested range. Pasireotide demonstrated a favorable PK profile with fast absorption (tmax: 0.25–0.5 hours), low clearance (CL/F: 8–13 L/hour), long effective elimination half-life (mean t½,β: 7–11 hours), and a proportional dose-exposure relationship. GH suppression of 79%–96% was observed at single pasireotide doses between 200 μg and 1200 μg. In conclusion, pasireotide demonstrated favorable safety, tolerability, and PK profiles, as well as promising activity in suppressing the release of GH. The efficacy and safety of pasireotide is currently being evaluated in patients with acromegaly, Cushing’s disease, NET, and various non-neuroendocrine disorders.
PMCID: PMC3346155  PMID: 22573933
pasireotide; safety; tolerability; pharmacokinetics; healthy volunteers
23.  Hepatitis C virus infection of neuroepithelioma cell lines 
Gastroenterology  2010;139(4):1365-1374.
Background & Aims
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) establishes chronic infections in 3% of the world's population. Infection leads to progressive liver disease; hepatocytes are the major site of viral replication in vivo. However, chronic infection is associated with a variety of extrahepatic syndromes, including central nervous system (CNS) abnormalities. We therefore screened a series of neural and brain-derived cell lines for their ability to support HCV entry and replication.
We used a panel of neural-derived cell lines, HCV pseudoparticles (HCVpp), and an infectious, HCV JFH-1 cell-culture system (HCVcc) to assess viral tropism.
Two independently derived neuroepithelioma cell lines (SK-N-MC and SK-PN-DW) permitted HCVpp entry. In contrast, several neuroblastoma, glioma, and astrocytoma cell lines were refractory to HCVpp infection. HCVcc infected the neuroepithelioma cell lines and established a productive infection. Permissive neuroepithelioma cells expressed CD81, scavenger receptor BI (SR-BI), and the tight junction proteins Claudin-1 (CLDN1) and occludin, whereas non-permissive neural cell lines lacked CLDN1 and in some cases SR-BI. HCVpp infection of the neuroepithelioma cells was neutralized by antibodies to CD81, SR-BI, CLDN1 and HCV E2. Furthermore, anti-CD81, interferon and the anti-NS3 protease inhibitor VX-950 significantly reduced HCVcc infection of neuroepithelioma and hepatoma cells.
Neuroepithelioma-derived cell lines express functional receptors that support HCV entry at comparable levels to that of hepatoma cells. HCV infection in vitro is not restricted to hepatic-derived cells, so HCV might infect cells of the CNS in vivo.
PMCID: PMC3298458  PMID: 20538002
OCLN; neurotropism; brain; therapy; replicon; Huh-7; VX-950
24.  Clinical features and risk factors for severe and critical pregnant women with 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza infection in China 
2009 pandemic H1N1 (pH1N1) influenza posed an increased risk of severe illness among pregnant women. Data on risk factors associated with death of pregnant women and neonates with pH1N1 infections are limited outside of developed countries.
Retrospective observational study in 394 severe or critical pregnant women admitted to a hospital with pH1N1 influenza from Sep. 1, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2009. rRT-PCR testing was used to confirm infection. In-hospital mortality was the primary endpoint of this study. Univariable logistic analysis and multivariate logistic regression analysis were used to investigate the potential factors on admission that might be associated with the maternal and neonatal mortality.
394 pregnant women were included, 286 were infected with pH1N1 in the third trimester. 351 had pneumonia, and 77 died. A PaO2/FiO2 ≤ 200 (odds ratio (OR), 27.16; 95% confidence interval (CI), 2.64-279.70) and higher BMI (i.e. ≥ 30) on admission (OR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.09 to 1.47) were independent risk factors for maternal death. Of 211 deliveries, 146 neonates survived. Premature delivery (OR, 4.17; 95% CI, 1.19-14.56) was associated neonatal mortality. Among 186 patients who received mechanical ventilation, 83 patients were treated with non-invasive ventilation (NIV) and 38 were successful with NIV. The death rate was lower among patients who initially received NIV than those who were initially intubated (24/83, 28.9% vs 43/87, 49.4%; p = 0.006). Septic shock was an independent risk factor for failure of NIV.
Severe hypoxemia and higher BMI on admission were associated with adverse outcomes for pregnant women. Preterm delivery was a risk factor for neonatal death among pregnant women with pH1N1 influenza infection. NIV may be useful in selected pregnant women without septic shock.
PMCID: PMC3311613  PMID: 22292815
Pregnant women; Neonate; Pandemic H1N1 influenza; Mortality; Non-invasive ventilation
25.  Antiviral Therapy and Outcomes of Patients with Pneumonia Caused by Influenza A Pandemic (H1N1) Virus 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(1):e29652.
There is limited data on the clinical outcome of patients with pandemic H1N1 (pH1N1) pneumonia who received oseltamivir treatment, especially when the treatment was administered more than 48 hours after symptom onset.
During the pandemic in 2009, a cohort of pH1N1 influenza pneumonia was built in China, and their clinical information was collected systematically, and analyzed with Cox models.
920 adults and 541 children with pneumonia who didn't receive corticosteroids were analyzed. In-hospital mortality was higher in adults who did not receive antiviral therapy (18.2%) than those with who received oseltamivir ≤ 2days (2.9%), between 2–5 days (4.6%) and >5 days after illness onset (4.9%), p<0.01. A similar trend was observed in pediatric patients. Cox regression showed that at 60 days after symptoms onset, 11 patients (10.8%) who did not receive antivirals died versus 4 (1.8%), 18 (3.3%), and 23 (3.7%) patients whose oseltamivir treatment was started ≤ 2days, between 2–5days, and >5 days, respectively. For males patients, aged ≥ 14 years and baseline PaO2/FiO2<200, oseltamivir administration reduced the mortality risk by 92.1%, 88% and 83.5%, respectively. Higher doses of oseltamivir (>3.8 mg/kg/d) did not improve clinical outcome (mortality, higher dose 2.5% vs standard dose 2.8%, p>0.05).
Antiviral therapy might reduce mortality of patients with pH1N1 pneumonia, even when initiated more than 48 hours after onset of illness. Greater protective effects might be in males, patients aged 14–60 years, and patients with PaO2/FiO2<200.
PMCID: PMC3262784  PMID: 22276122

Results 1-25 (55)