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1.  Activation of B Cells by a Dendritic Cell-Targeted Oral Vaccine 
Production of long-lived, high affinity humoral immunity is an essential characteristic of successful vaccination and requires cognate interactions between T and B cells in germinal centers. Within germinal centers, specialized T follicular helper cells assist B cells and regulate the antibody response by mediating the differentiation of B cells into memory or plasma cells after exposure to T cell-dependent antigens. It is now appreciated that local immune responses are also essential for protection against infectious diseases that gain entry to the host by the mucosal route; therefore, targeting the mucosal compartments is the optimum strategy to induce protective immunity. However, because the gastrointestinal mucosae are exposed to large amounts of environmental and dietary antigens on a daily basis, immune regulatory mechanisms exist to favor tolerance and discourage autoimmunity at these sites. Thus, mucosal vaccination strategies must ensure that the immunogen is efficiently taken up by the antigen presenting cells, and that the vaccine is capable of activating humoral and cellular immunity, while avoiding the induction of tolerance. Despite significant progress in mucosal vaccination, this potent platform for immunotherapy and disease prevention must be further explored and refined. Here we discuss recent progress in the understanding of the role of different phenotypes of B cells in the development of an efficacious mucosal vaccine against infectious disease.
PMCID: PMC4297498  PMID: 24372255
B-1 cells; Bacillus anthracis; germinal centers; humoral immune response; Lactobacillus; mucosal vaccine; oral vaccine
2.  Small Molecule p75NTR Ligands Reduce Pathological Phosphorylation and Misfolding of Tau, Inflammatory Changes, Cholinergic Degeneration, and Cognitive Deficits in AβPPL/S Transgenic Mice 
The p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR ) is involved in degenerative mechanisms related to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In addition, p75NTR levels are increased in AD and the receptor is expressed by neurons that are particularly vulnerable in the disease. Therefore, modulating p75NTR function may be a significant disease-modifying treatment approach. Prior studies indicated that the non-peptide, small molecule p75NTR ligands LM11A-31, and chemically unrelated LM11A-24, could block amyloid-β-induced deleterious signaling and neurodegeneration in vitro, and LM11A-31 was found to mitigate neuritic degeneration and behavioral deficits in a mouse model of AD. In this study, we determined whether these in vivo findings represent class effects of p75NTR ligands by examining LM11A-24 effects. In addition, the range of compound effects was further examined by evaluating tau pathology and neuroinflammation. Following oral administration, both ligands reached brain concentrations known to provide neuroprotection in vitro. Compound induction of p75NTR cleavage provided evidence for CNS target engagement. LM11A-31 and LM11A-24 reduced excessive phosphorylation of tau, and LM11A-31 also inhibited its aberrant folding. Both ligands decreased activation of microglia, while LM11A-31 attenuated reactive astrocytes. Along with decreased inflammatory responses, both ligands reduced cholinergic neurite degeneration. In addition to the amelioration of neuropathology in AD model mice, LM11A-31, but not LM11A-24, prevented impairments in water maze performance, while both ligands prevented deficits in fear conditioning. These findings support a role for p75NTR ligands in preventing fundamental tau-related pathologic mechanisms in AD, and further validate the development of these small molecules as a new class of therapeutic compounds.
PMCID: PMC4278429  PMID: 24898660
Alzheimer’s disease; LM11A-31; LM11A-24; p75 neurotrophin receptor
3.  Analysis of risk factors for postoperative pancreatic fistula following pancreaticoduodenectomy 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2014;20(46):17491-17497.
AIM: To explore the morbidity and risk factors of postoperative pancreatic fistula (POPF) following pancreaticoduodenectomy.
METHODS: The data from 196 consecutive patients who underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy, performed by different surgeons, in the General Hospital of the People’s Liberation Army between January 1st, 2013 and December 31st, 2013 were retrospectively collected for analysis. The diagnoses of POPF and clinically relevant (CR)-POPF following pancreaticoduodenectomy were judged strictly by the International Study Group on Pancreatic Fistula Definition. Univariate analysis was performed to analyze the following factors: patient age, sex, body mass index (BMI), hypertension, diabetes mellitus, serum CA19-9 level, history of jaundice, serum albumin level, blood loss volume, pancreatic duct diameter, pylorus preserving pancreaticoduodenectomy, pancreatic drainage and pancreaticojejunostomy. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to determine the main independent risk factors for POPF.
RESULTS: POPF occurred in 126 (64.3%) of the patients, and the incidence of CR-POPF was 32.7% (64/196). Patient characteristics of age, sex, BMI, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, serum CA19-9 level, history of jaundice, serum albumin level, blood loss volume, pylorus preserving pancreaticoduodenectomy and pancreaticojejunostomy showed no statistical difference related to the morbidity of POPF or CR-POPF. Pancreatic duct diameter was found to be significantly correlated with POPF rates by univariate analysis and multivariate regression analysis, with a pancreatic duct diameter ≤ 3 mm being an independent risk factor for POPF (OR = 0.291; P = 0.000) and CR-POPF (OR = 0.399; P = 0.004). The CR-POPF rate was higher in patients without external pancreatic stenting, which was found to be an independent risk factor for CR-POPF (OR = 0.394; P = 0.012). Among the entire patient series, there were three postoperative deaths, giving a total mortality rate of 1.5% (3/196), and the mortality associated with pancreatic fistula was 2.4% (3/126).
CONCLUSION: A pancreatic duct diameter ≤ 3 mm is an independent risk factor for POPF. External stent drainage of pancreatic secretion may reduce CR-POPF mortality and POPF severity.
PMCID: PMC4265610  PMID: 25516663
Pancreaticoduodenectomy; Pancreatic fistula; Complication; Pancreatic duct
4.  Coexisting intramedullary schwannoma with an ependymal cyst of the conus medullaris: A case report 
Oncology Letters  2014;9(2):903-906.
Synchronous spinal intramedullary ependymal cysts and intramedullary schwannomas are rare. To the best of our knowledge, the present study is the first report of a case of intramedullary schwannoma coexisting with an ependymal cyst. A 35-year-old male presented with lower back pain and weakness in the left leg. Magnetic resonance imaging identified an intramedullary cystic-solid lesion at the thoracolumbar junction of T11-L2; based on the clinical presentation and radiological features, a pre-operative diagnosis of ependymoma was formed. Subsequently, the patient underwent a T11-12 laminectomy via a posterior approach, with intraoperative monitoring of somatosensory and motor-evoked potentials, achieving a gross total resection of the tumor with a well-demarcated dissection plane. Post-operative histopathological examination demonstrated a schwannoma coexisting with the ependymal cyst, and the neurological status of the patient markedly improved compared with the pre-operatively observed neurological deficit.
PMCID: PMC4301493  PMID: 25621066
conus medullaris; ependymal cyst; intramedullary; schwannoma
5.  Microbiota impact on the epigenetic regulation of colorectal cancer 
Trends in molecular medicine  2013;19(12):10.1016/j.molmed.2013.08.005.
Mechanisms of colorectal cancer (CRC) development can be roughly divided into three categories: genetic, epigenetic, and aberrant immunologic signaling pathways, all of which may be triggered by an imbalanced intestinal microbiota. Aberrant gut microbial composition, termed “dysbiosis”, has been reported in inflammatory bowel disease patients who are at increased risk for CRC development. Recent studies indicate that it is feasible to rescue experimental models of colonic cancer by oral treatment with genetically engineered beneficial bacteria and/or their immune-regulating gene products. Here, we review the mechanisms of epigenetic modulation implicated in the development and progression of CRC, which may be the result of dysbiosis, and therefore, may be amenable to therapeutic intervention.
PMCID: PMC3851951  PMID: 24051204
colorectal cancer; commensal bacteria; epigenetic regulation; inflammatory bowel disease; microbiota
6.  Excessive TGFβ signaling is a common mechanism in Osteogenesis Imperfecta 
Nature medicine  2014;20(6):670-675.
Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) is a heritable disorder of connective tissue characterized by brittle bones, fractures and extraskeletal manifestations1. How structural mutations of type I collagen (dominant OI) or of its post-translational modification machinery (recessive OI) can cause abnormal quality and quantity of bone is poorly understood. Notably, the clinical overlap between dominant and recessive forms of OI suggests common molecular pathomechanisms2. Here, we show that excessive transforming growth factor-beta (TGFβ) signaling is a mechanism of OI in both recessive (Crtap−/−) and dominant (Col1a2tm1.1Mcbr) OI mouse models. In the skeleton, we find higher expression of TGFβ target genes, ratio of pSmad2/Smad2 protein, and in vivo Smad2 reporter activity. Anti-TGFβ treatment using the neutralizing antibody 1D11 corrects the bone phenotype in both forms of OI, and improves the lung abnormalities in Crtap−/− mice. Moreover, type I collagen of Crtap−/− mice shows reduced binding to the small leucine rich proteoglycan decorin, a known regulator of TGFβ activity3–4. Hence, altered TGFβ matrix-cell signaling is a primary mechanism in the pathogenesis of OI, and could be a promising target for the treatment of OI.
PMCID: PMC4048326  PMID: 24793237
7.  Coexistence of Histologically Confirmed Hashimoto's Thyroiditis with Different Stages of Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma in a Consecutive Chinese Cohort 
Purpose. To determine the relationship between Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT) and all stages of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) with or without local lymph node metastasis (LNM). Methods. We conducted a retrospective study of thyroidectomies from 2008–2013 in First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University. We categorized patients according to the presence of histopathologically proven HT. The prevalence of mPTC (maximum diameter ≤ 10 mm) and crPTC (clinical relevant PTC) and local LNM rates were compared. Results. We evaluated 6,432 consecutive thyroidectomies. In total, 1,328 specimens were confirmed as HT. The prevalence of PTC in this HT cohort was 43.8%, significantly higher than non-HT group. After adjustment of gender and age, the prevalence of PTC was still higher in HT group. HT was a risk factor for PTC in multivariate analysis with odds ratio 2.725 (95% CI, 2.390–3.109) (P < 0.001). However, no correlation was found between HT and LNM of PTC. Conclusion. HT was associated with an increased prevalence of all stages of PTC, independent of tumor size, gender, and age. In contrast, locally advanced disease defined by LNM was unrelated to HT. These data suggest an association of HT with low risk PTC and a potential protective immunologic effect from further disease progression.
PMCID: PMC4255062  PMID: 25505911
8.  Ergosterol Is the Active Compound of Cultured Mycelium Cordyceps sinensis on Antiliver Fibrosis 
Cultured mycelium Cordyceps sinensis (CMCS) is a Chinese herbal medicine, which is widely used for a variety of diseases including liver injury in clinic. The current study aims to investigate the protective effects of CMCS against liver fibrosis and to exploit its active antifibrotic substances in vivo and in vitro. For evaluating the antifibrotic effect of CMCS and ergosterol, male C57BL/6 mice were injected intraperitoneally with carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) and treated with CMCS (120 mg/kg/d) or ergosterol (50 mg/kg/d). Four weeks later, serum liver function, hepatic hydroxyproline (Hyp) content, liver inflammation, collagen deposition, and expression of alpha smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) in liver tissue were evaluated. Besides, toxicological effects of active compounds of CMCS on hepatocytes and hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) were detected and expressions of permeability of the lysosomal membrane, EdU, F-actin, and α-SMA of activated HSCs were analyzed to screen the antifibrotic substance in CMCS in vitro. Our results showed that CMCS could significantly alleviate levels of serum liver functions, attenuate hepatic inflammation, decrease collagen deposition, and relieve levels of α-SMA in liver, respectively. Ergosterol, the active compound in CMCS that was detected by HPLC, played a dose-dependent inhibition role on activated HSCs via upregulating expressions of permeability of the lysosomal membrane and downregulating levels of EdU, F-actin, and α-SMA on activated HSCs in vitro. Moreover, ergosterol revealed the antifibrotic effect alike in vivo. In conclusion, CMCS is effective in alleviating liver fibrosis induced by CCl4 and ergosterol might be the efficacious antifibrotic substance in CMCS in vivo and in vitro.
PMCID: PMC4214045  PMID: 25386220
9.  Nuclear factor of activated T cells 5 maintained by Hotair suppression of miR-568 upregulates S100 calcium binding protein A4 to promote breast cancer metastasis 
The onset of distal metastasis, which underlies the high mortality of breast cancers, warrants substantial studies to depict its molecular basis. Nuclear factor of activated T cells 5 (NFAT5) is upregulated in various malignancies and is critically involved in migration and invasion of neoplastic cells. Nevertheless, the metastasis-related events potentiated by this transcriptional factor and the mechanism responsible for NFAT5 elevation in carcinoma cells remain to be fully elucidated.
The correlation of NFAT5 with breast cancer invasiveness was investigated in vitro and clinically. The genes transcriptionally activated by NFAT5 were probed and their roles in breast cancer progression were dissected. The upstream regulators of NFAT5 were studied with particular attempt to explore the involvement of non-coding RNAs, and the mechanism underlying the maintenance of NFAT5 expression was deciphered.
In metastatic breast cancers, NFAT5 promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and invasion of cells by switching on the expression of the calcium binding protein S100A4, and facilitates the angiogenesis of breast epithelial cells and thus the development of metastases by transcriptionally activating vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C). NFAT5 is directly targeted by miR-568, which is in turn suppressed by the long non-coding RNA, Hotair, via a documented in trans gene silencing pattern, that is recruitment of the polycomb complex (Polycomb Repressive Complex 2; PRC2) and LSD1, and consequently methylation of histone H3K27 and demethylation of H3K4 on the miR-568 loci.
This study unravels a detailed role of NFAT5 in mediating metastatic signaling, and provides broad insights into the involvement of Hotair, in particular, by transcriptionally regulating the expression of microRNA(s), in the metastasis of breast cancers.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13058-014-0454-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4303133  PMID: 25311085
10.  Risk factors for de novo hepatitis B infection in pediatric living donor liver transplantation 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2014;20(36):13159-13166.
AIM: To investigate the incidence of de novo hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection after pediatric living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) and to analyze the risk factors associated with this de novo HBV infection.
METHODS: The clinical and laboratory data of children who underwent LDLT from June 2010 to September 2012 in First Center Hospital in Tianjin, China, were retrospectively included in the study. Intrahepatic HBV DNA in donors and recipients was quantified by real-time polymerase chain reaction using DNA extracted from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues.
RESULTS: Between June 2010 to September 2012, 32 consecutive pediatric patients underwent LDLT in our institute. Thirty LDLT patients (13 girls and 17 boys) were followed up for a median of 15 mo, of whom 53.3% (16/30) were hepatitis B core antibody (HBcAb) positive and 36.7% (11/30) were hepatitis B surface antibody (HBsAb)/HBcAb positive before transplantation. Sixteen of the children received HBcAb-positive allografts, and 43.7% (7/16) of the grafts were found to be intrahepatic HBV DNA positive. De novo HBV infection developed in 16.1% (5/30) of the children within a median of 11 mo after transplantation. All five of the HBV-infected children had received HBcAb-positive allografts, four of which were intrahepatic HBV DNA positive. Two of the children developed de novo HBV infection despite the preoperative presence of both HBsAb and HBcAb
CONCLUSION: In pediatric recipients, positive intrahepatic HBV DNA in allografts could be a risk factor for de novo HBV infection from HBcAb-positive allografts. HBsAb/HBcAb positivity in pediatric LDLT patients before transplantation exhibited only weak effectiveness in protecting them against de novo HBV infection from HBcAb-positive allografts.
PMCID: PMC4177496  PMID: 25278711
Pediatric liver donor liver transplantation; Occult hepatitis B infection; De novo hepatitis B infection
11.  TMDB: A literature-curated database for small molecular compounds found from tea 
BMC Plant Biology  2014;14(1):243.
Tea is one of the most consumed beverages worldwide. The healthy effects of tea are attributed to a wealthy of different chemical components from tea. Thousands of studies on the chemical constituents of tea had been reported. However, data from these individual reports have not been collected into a single database. The lack of a curated database of related information limits research in this field, and thus a cohesive database system should necessarily be constructed for data deposit and further application.
The Tea Metabolome database (TMDB), a manually curated and web-accessible database, was developed to provide detailed, searchable descriptions of small molecular compounds found in Camellia spp. esp. in the plant Camellia sinensis and compounds in its manufactured products (different kinds of tea infusion). TMDB is currently the most complete and comprehensive curated collection of tea compounds data in the world. It contains records for more than 1393 constituents found in tea with information gathered from 364 published books, journal articles, and electronic databases. It also contains experimental 1H NMR and 13C NMR data collected from the purified reference compounds or collected from other database resources such as HMDB. TMDB interface allows users to retrieve tea compounds entries by keyword search using compound name, formula, occurrence, and CAS register number. Each entry in the TMDB contains an average of 24 separate data fields including its original plant species, compound structure, formula, molecular weight, name, CAS registry number, compound types, compound uses including healthy benefits, reference literatures, NMR, MS data, and the corresponding ID from databases such as HMDB and Pubmed. Users can also contribute novel regulatory entries by using a web-based submission page. The TMDB database is freely accessible from the URL of The TMDB is designed to address the broad needs of tea biochemists, natural products chemists, nutritionists, and members of tea related research community.
The TMDB database provides a solid platform for collection, standardization, and searching of compounds information found in tea. As such this database will be a comprehensive repository for tea biochemistry and tea health research community.
PMCID: PMC4172869  PMID: 25224438
Tea; Camellia sinensis; Small molecular; Compounds; Metabolites
12.  Relationships between tumor microenvironment and clinicopathological parameters in meningioma 
Objective: To evaluate the relationship between the subtype of cells/cellular constituents (the density of T lymphocyte subsets, B lymphocyte, macrophages, and FOXP3 positive cells in 93 patients with meningioma, WHO grades I and II) in the tumor microenvironment and clinicopathological parameters (gender, age, tumor location, size, recurrence and pathological type) of meningioma. Methods: Immunohistochemical demonstrations of CD20 and CD4 lymphocytes, CD68, and FOXP3 expression were performed. In order to assess the densities of CD4, CD20, CD68 and FOXP3 positive cells in 93 meningioma patients, the results were derived from independent reviews by two pathologists. Chi-square test was used for independent samples. Results: There were no relationships between the CD4+, CD68+ cell subsets and patients’ age, sex, tumor size, grade and the recurrence of tumor. However, patients with recurrence had a significantly higher density of CD20+ B cells compared to patients with no recurrence (P = 0.003). For the Foxp3+ cell subset, results showed us that more female patients had high density of Foxp3+ cells compared with male patients, while the opposite results were observed in the low density group (P = 0.009). Furthermore, the density of Foxp3+ cells was significantly correlated with the tumor size (P = 0.004) and the pathological types (P = 0.004). Conclusion: Results in this study demonstrate that higher CD20+ B cell density in the tumor is associated with lower tumor recurrence and the density of Foxp3+ cells is significantly correlated with the patients’ sex, tumor size and the pathological types. The results also suggest that understanding of the cellular constituents of tumors and the tumor microenvironment may help investigate the tumor pathogenesis and immunotherapies in meningioma.
PMCID: PMC4230127  PMID: 25400783
Meningioma; tumor microenvironment; cell subsets; immunotherapies
13.  Visceral Adiposity Index May Be a Surrogate Marker for the Assessment of the Effects of Obesity on Arterial Stiffness 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e104365.
The relationship between obesity and cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains unclear. This study aims to describe the relationship between arterial stiffness and obesity in order to investigate the effects of obesity on CVD.
We collected data from 5,158 individuals over 40 years of age from a cross-sectional study in Nanjing, China. Anthropometric, demographic, hemodynamic measurements and arterial stiffness measured through brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) were obtained. Subjects were grouped by body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) and visceral adiposity index (VAI), a sex-specific index based on BMI, WC, triglyceride (TG) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C).
The multivariate regression analysis revealed a negative but weak effect of BMI (β = −0.047, P<0.001) on baPWV, but failed to demonstrate any significant effect of WC on baPWV while VAI was a positive independent indicator of baPWV (β = 0.023, P = 0.022). The unadjusted baPWV significantly increased across groups with higher obesity categories (P<0.01). Although the positive association was lost after adjustments for confounding factors in the BMI or WC categories (P>0.05), it was still obtained between baPWV and VAI quartile (P<0.01). No differences were observed among the metabolically healthy groups or the metabolically abnormal groups in the BMI and WC categories (P>0.05). However, baPWV significantly increased across groups with higher VAI categories even in the same metabolic category (P<0.01).
This study supports the concept of heterogeneity of metabolic status among individuals within the same obesity range. Obese individuals are at an increased risk of arterial stiffness regardless of their metabolic conditions. VAI may be a surrogate marker for the assessment of obesity and the effects of obesity on arterial stiffness.
PMCID: PMC4126713  PMID: 25105797
14.  Predictive Factors of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Remission Following Bariatric Surgery: a Meta-analysis 
Obesity Surgery  2014;25:199-208.
Although a few studies have been reported on predictive factors of postoperative diabetes remission, the conclusions remain inconsistent. This meta-analysis aimed to assess the preoperative clinical factors for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) remission after bariatric surgery.
The Cochrane Library, PubMed, MEDLINE, Embase, and CINAHL databases were searched. All human studies published in English between 1 January 1992 and 1 September 2013 reporting on the parameters of interest were included.
In total, 15 studies involving 1,753 bariatric surgery patients were selected. Analyses were performed separately for the parameters of interest. T2DM remission was observed to be negatively correlated with age, diabetes duration, insulin use, and HbA1c levels. Baseline body mass index (BMI) and C-peptide levels were positively associated with the remission rate in Asian patients. However, there was no significant association between gender and remission rate.
Patients with younger age, short diabetes duration, better glucose control, and better β cell function were more likely to achieve T2DM remission after bariatric surgery. However, further randomized controlled trials with uniform remission criteria should be conducted to provide more reliable evidence.
PMCID: PMC4297287  PMID: 25103403
Type 2 diabetes; Diabetes remission; Bariatric surgery; Metabolic surgery
15.  Gene expression profiles of patients with cerebral hematoma following spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage 
Molecular Medicine Reports  2014;10(4):1671-1678.
The present study aimed to investigate the gene functions and expression profiles in perihematomal (PH) brain regions following spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage. The gene expression profiles were downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus database under accession number GSE24265, which includes 11 brain samples from different regions, including four samples from PH areas, four from contralateral grey matter (CG) and three from contralateral white matter (CW). The gene expression profiles were pre-processed and the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between PH and CG tissue, and PH and CW tissue were identified using R packages. The expression of genes in different tissues was analyzed by hierarchical clustering. Then, the interaction network between the DEGs was constructed using String software. Finally, Gene Ontology was performed and pathway analysis was conducted using FuncAssociate and Expression Analysis Systematic Explorer to identify the gene function. As a result, 399 DEGs were obtained between PH and CG, and 756 DEGs were identified between PH and CW. There were 35 common DEGs between the two groups. These DEGs may be involved in PH edema by regulating the calcium signaling pathway [calcium channel, voltage-dependent, T-type, α1I subunit, Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II α (CAMK2A), ryanodine receptor 2 (RYR2) and inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor, type 1 (ITPR1)], cell proliferation (sphingosine kinase 1), neuron differentiation (Ephrin-A5) or extracellular matrix-receptor interaction [collagen, type I, α 2, laminin B1 (LAMB1), syndecan 2, fibronectin 1 and integrin α5 (ITGA5)]. A number of genes may cooperate to participate in the same pathway, such as ITPR1-RYR2, CAMK2A-RYR2 and ITGA5-LAMB1 interaction pairs. The present study provides several potential targets to decrease hematoma expansion and alleviate neuronal cell death following spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage.
PMCID: PMC4148373  PMID: 25069764
spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage; perihematomal tissue; differentially expressed gene; interaction network; function and pathway enrichment analysis
16.  Aerobic Exercise for Parkinson's Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e100503.
Although some trials assessed the effectiveness of aerobic exercise for Parkinson's disease (PD), the role of aerobic exercise in the management of PD remained controversial.
The purpose of this systematic review is to evaluate the evidence about whether aerobic exercise is effective for PD.
Seven electronic databases, up to December 2013, were searched to identify relevant studies. Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed methodological quality based on PEDro scale. Standardised mean difference (SMD) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of random-effects model were calculated. And heterogeneity was assessed based on the I2 statistic.
18 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with 901 patients were eligible. The aggregated results suggested that aerobic exercise should show superior effects in improving motor actions (SMD, −0.57; 95% CI −0.94 to −0.19; p = 0.003), balance (SMD, 2.02; 95% CI 0.45 to 3.59; p = 0.01), and gait (SMD, 0.33; 95% CI 0.17 to 0.49; p<0.0001) in patients with PD, but not in quality of life (SMD, 0.11; 95% CI −0.23 to 0.46; p = 0.52). And there was no valid evidence on follow-up effects of aerobic exercise for PD.
Aerobic exercise showed immediate beneficial effects in improving motor action, balance, and gait in patients with PD. However, given no evidence on follow-up effects, large-scale RCTs with long follow-up are warrant to confirm the current findings.
PMCID: PMC4077570  PMID: 24983753
17.  Intraspinal leiomyoma: A case report and literature review 
Oncology Letters  2014;8(3):1380-1384.
Leiomyomas are benign tumors which are predominantly found in the genitourinary and gastrointestinal tracts. Leiomyomas in the spine are extremely rare. The current study presents a case of a 35-year-old female with intraspinal leiomyoma who presented with low back pain and weakness in the left leg of two months. Computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging revealed an epidural mass at the T11–12 levels. The patient underwent a T11–12 laminectomy through posterior approach, achieving total removal of the tumor with a well-demarcated dissection plane. Pathological examination demonstrated a leiomyoma. Postoperatively, the patient showed a significant improvement in neurological function. Although intraspinal leiomyoma is extremely rare, it should be considered in the differential diagnosis of spinal lesions in females. The diagnosis is predominantly dependent on a pathological examination. Gross total resection is recommended for its treatment, however the prognosis remains poor. Post-operative hormonal therapy may be useful in controlling tumor recurrence.
PMCID: PMC4114636  PMID: 25120728
leiomyoma; spinal
18.  Colonic Immune Suppression, Barrier Dysfunction, and Dysbiosis by Gastrointestinal Bacillus anthracis Infection 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e100532.
Gastrointestinal (GI) anthrax results from the ingestion of Bacillus anthracis. Herein, we investigated the pathogenesis of GI anthrax in animals orally infected with toxigenic non-encapsulated B. anthracis Sterne strain (pXO1+ pXO2−) spores that resulted in rapid animal death. B. anthracis Sterne induced significant breakdown of intestinal barrier function and led to gut dysbiosis, resulting in systemic dissemination of not only B. anthracis, but also of commensals. Disease progression significantly correlated with the deterioration of innate and T cell functions. Our studies provide critical immunologic and physiologic insights into the pathogenesis of GI anthrax infection, whereupon cleavage of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) in immune cells may play a central role in promoting dysfunctional immune responses against this deadly pathogen.
PMCID: PMC4063899  PMID: 24945934
19.  Characterization of Spectrum, de novo Rate and Genotype-Phenotype Correlation of Dominant GJB2 Mutations in Chinese Hans 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e100483.
Dominant mutations in GJB2 may lead to various degrees of sensorineural hearing impairment and/or hyperproliferative epidermal disorders. So far studies of dominant GJB2 mutations were mostly limited to case reports of individual patients and families. In this study, we identified 7 families, 11 subjects with dominant GJB2 mutations by sequencing of GJB2 in 2168 Chinese Han probands with sensorineural hearing impairment and characterized the associated spectrum, de novo rate and genotype-phenotype correlation. We identified p.R75Q, p.R75W and p.R184Q as the most frequent dominant GJB2 mutations among Chinese Hans, which had a very high de novo rate (71% of probands). A majority (10/11) of subjects carrying dominant GJB2 mutations exhibited palmoplantar keratoderma in addition to hearing impairment. In two families segregated with additional c.235delC or p.V37I mutations of GJB2, family members with the compound heterozygous mutations exhibited more severe phenotype than those with single dominant GJB2 mutation. Our study suggested that the high de novo mutation rate gives rise to a significant portion of dominant GJB2 mutations. The severity of the hearing and epidermal phenotypes associated with dominant GJB2 mutations may be modified by additional recessive mutations of GJB2.
PMCID: PMC4063943  PMID: 24945352
20.  A Small Molecule TrkB Ligand Reduces Motor Impairment and Neuropathology in R6/2 and BACHD Mouse Models of Huntington's Disease 
The Journal of Neuroscience  2013;33(48):18712-18727.
Loss of neurotrophic support in the striatum caused by reduced brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels plays a critical role in Huntington's disease (HD) pathogenesis. BDNF acts via TrkB and p75 neurotrophin receptors (NTR), and restoring its signaling is a prime target for HD therapeutics. Here we sought to determine whether a small molecule ligand, LM22A-4, specific for TrkB and without effects on p75NTR, could alleviate HD-related pathology in R6/2 and BACHD mouse models of HD. LM22A-4 was administered to R6/2 mice once daily (5–6 d/week) from 4 to 11 weeks of age via intraperitoneal and intranasal routes simultaneously to maximize brain levels. The ligand reached levels in the R6/2 forebrain greater than the maximal neuroprotective dose in vitro and corrected deficits in activation of striatal TrkB and its key signaling intermediates AKT, PLCγ, and CREB. Ligand-induced TrkB activation was associated with a reduction in HD pathologies in the striatum including decreased DARPP-32 levels, neurite degeneration of parvalbumin-containing interneurons, inflammation, and intranuclear huntingtin aggregates. Aggregates were also reduced in the cortex. Notably, LM22A-4 prevented deficits in dendritic spine density of medium spiny neurons. Moreover, R6/2 mice given LM22A-4 demonstrated improved downward climbing and grip strength compared with those given vehicle, though these groups had comparable rotarod performances and survival times. In BACHD mice, long-term LM22A-4 treatment (6 months) produced similar ameliorative effects. These results support the hypothesis that targeted activation of TrkB inhibits HD-related degenerative mechanisms, including spine loss, and may provide a disease mechanism-directed therapy for HD and other neurodegenerative conditions.
PMCID: PMC3841443  PMID: 24285878
21.  The Association between Serum Uric Acid and Residual β-Cell Function in Type 2 Diabetes 
Journal of Diabetes Research  2014;2014:709691.
The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship of serum uric acid (sUA) with residual β-cell function in type 2 diabetes. Oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT) were performed on 1021 type 2 diabetes patients. The ratio of area under curve of insulin to glucose during 0 to 30 min and 0 to 120 min of the OGTT was calculated as indices of insulin secretion function. The products of insulin secretion indices multiplied by Matsuda insulin sensitivity index were used as disposition indices. After correlation and multiple linear regression analysis, sUA was significantly associated with insulin secretion and disposition indices in male, female, and total groups adjusted for confounding factors (including metabolic indicators like sex, age, course of the disease, blood glucose, blood pressure, serum lipids, and so on). Superficially steeper time-dependent decline of insulin secretion function was found in patients with sUA above the median than those below it. In conclusion, our results suggest an independent positive association between sUA and residual β-cell function in type 2 diabetes. Patients with higher sUA have greater insulin secretion ability than those with lower sUA at the early stage of disease, but their residual β-cell function seems to decay more rapidly.
PMCID: PMC4058242  PMID: 24971368
22.  Purinergic Signaling on Leukocytes Infiltrating the LPS-Injured Lung 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e95382.
Extracellular nucleotides and nucleosides have been implicated as important signaling molecules in the pathogenesis of acute lung injury (ALI). While adenosine is known to inhibit T cell activation, little information is available as to ATP and NAD degrading enzymes, the expression of ATP and adenosine receptors/transporters in different T cell subsets. ALI was induced by challenging mice with intra-tracheal instillation of 60 µl (3 µg/g) LPS. After 3 d and 7 d blood, lung tissue and bronchoalveolar lavage was collected and immune cells were analyzed using flow cytometry. The transcriptional phenotype of T helper cells, cytotoxic and regulatory T cells sorted by FACS was assessed by measuring the expression profile of 28 genes related to purinergic signaling using TaqMan Array Micro Fluidic Cards. Catabolism of ATP, NAD and cAMP by activated CD4+ T cells was evaluated by HPLC. CD73 was found to be highly abundant on lymphoid cells with little abundance on myeloid cells, while the opposite was true for CD39. After ALI, the abundance of CD39 and CD73 significantly increased on all T cell subsets derived from lung tissue and bronchoalveolar space. Expression analysis in T cell subsets of the lung revealed ATP (Cd39, Cd73) and NAD (Cd38, Cd157, Cd296, Pc-1) degrading enzymes. However, only transcription of Cd38, Cd39, Cd73, Ent1 and A2a receptor was significantly upregulated after ALI in T helper cells. CD4+ T cells from injured lung rapidly metabolized extracellular ATP to AMP and adenosine but not NAD or cAMP. These findings show that lung T cells – the dominant cell fraction in the later phase of ALI – exhibit a unique expression pattern of purinergic signaling molecules. Adenosine is formed by T cells at an enhanced rate from ATP but not from NAD and together with upregulated A2a receptor is likely to modulate the healing process after acute lung injury.
PMCID: PMC3991673  PMID: 24748324
23.  Alpha-Asarone Protects Endothelial Cells from Injury by Angiotensin II 
α-Asarone is the major therapeutical constituent of Acorus tatarinowii Schott. In this study, the potential protective effects of α-asarone against endothelial cell injury induced by angiotensin II were investigated in vitro. The EA.hy926 cell line derived from human umbilical vein endothelial cells was pretreated with α-asarone (10, 50, 100 µmol/L) for 1 h, followed by coincubation with Ang II (0.1 µmol/L) for 24 h. Intracellular nitric oxide (NO) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) were detected by fluorescent dyes, and phosphorylation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) at Ser1177 was determined by Western blotting. α-Asarone dose-dependently mitigated the Ang II-induced intracellular NO reduction (P < 0.01 versus model) and ROS production (P < 0.01 versus model). Furthermore, eNOS phosphorylation (Ser1177) by acetylcholine was significantly inhibited by Ang II, while pretreatment for 1 h with α-asarone partially prevented this effect (P < 0.05 versus model). Additionally, cell viability determined by the MTT [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide] assay (105~114.5% versus control, P > 0.05) was not affected after 24 h of incubation with α-asarone at 1–100 µmol/L. Therefore, α-asarone protects against Ang II-mediated damage of endothelial cells and may be developed to prevent injury to cardiovascular tissues.
PMCID: PMC3976910  PMID: 24757494
24.  Large-scale microsatellite development in grasspea (Lathyrus sativus L.), an orphan legume of the arid areas 
BMC Plant Biology  2014;14:65.
Grasspea (Lathyrus sativus L., 2n = 14), a member of the family Leguminosae, holds great agronomic potential as grain and forage legume crop in the arid areas for its superb resilience to abiotic stresses such as drought, flood and salinity. The crop could not make much progress through conventional breeding in the past, and there are hardly any detailed molecular biology studies due to paucity of reliable molecular markers representative of the entire genome.
Using the 454 FLX Titanium pyrosequencing technique, 651,827 simple sequence repeat (SSR) loci were identified and 50,144 nonredundant primer pairs were successfully designed, of which 288 were randomly selected for validation among 23 L. sativus and one L. cicera accessions of diverse provenance. 74 were polymorphic, 70 monomorphic, and 144 with no PCR product. The number of observed alleles ranged from two to five, the observed heterozygosity from 0 to 0.9545, and Shannon’s information index ranged from 0.1013 to 1.0980, respectively. The dendrogram constructed by using unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA) based on Nei's genetic distance, showed obvious distinctions and understandable relationships among the 24 accessions.
The large number of SSR primer pairs developed in this study would make a significant contribution to genomics enabled improvement of grasspea.
PMCID: PMC4003855  PMID: 24635905
Lathyrus sativus L; Microsatellite; 454 FLX Titanium pyrosequencing; Marker development
25.  Associations between Two Polymorphisms (FokI and BsmI) of Vitamin D Receptor Gene and Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus in Asian Population: A Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e89325.
Vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene polymorphisms are possibly involved in the development of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). However, the results to date have been inconclusive. We performed a meta-analysis to examine the association between 2 polymorphisms (FokI and BsmI) of the VDR gene and T1DM in the Asian population.
Literature was retrieved from PubMed, Web of Science, CBM, Embase and Chinese databases. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using a random or fixed effect model.
In total, 20 papers (BsmI: 13 studies; FokI: 13 studies) were included. In contrast to the FokI polymorphism, the BsmI polymorphism was associated with an increased risk of T1DM in the Asian population (OR = 1.47, 95% CI = 1.13–1.91, P = 0.004 for B vs. b). Upon stratification by regional geography, an increased risk of T1DM in association with the BsmI polymorphism was observed in the East Asian population (OR = 1.97, 95% CI = 1.38–2.83, P<0.001 for B vs. b), whereas the FokI polymorphism was associated with an increased risk of T1DM in the West Asian population (OR = 1.45, 95% CI = 1.12–1.88, P = 0.004 for F vs. f).
Our meta-analysis suggests that the BsmI polymorphism may be a risk factor for susceptibility to T1DM in the East Asian population, and the FokI polymorphism is associated with an increased risk of T1DM in the West Asian population. However, because the study size was limited, further studies are essential to confirm our results.
PMCID: PMC3945782  PMID: 24603699

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