A double-antigen sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is described for detection of porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2) antibodies using the well-characterized recombinant PCV2 capsid protein. In a comparative test of 394 pig sera against an indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) test and a commercial ELISA kit (also based on the recombinant PCV2 capsid protein), the results showed that the diagnostic sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of the assay were, respectively, 90.61, 94.02, and 91.62% compared with IIF and 94.38, 95.28, and 94.67% compared with the commercial ELISA kit. Assay of 12 PCV-free pigs over a 5-week period produced only PCV2-negative titers by all 3 methods. These results and the seroprofiles of 4 pig farms obtained by both the commercial ELISA kit and the double-antigen sandwich ELISA indicate that the sandwich ELISA is a reliable method for detection of antibodies to PCV2. Additionally, the method described here permits the use of undiluted test serum samples simultaneously loaded with horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-conjugated antigen into the test well, and the complete test procedure can be performed in less than 90 min. This double-antigen sandwich ELISA should be a useful tool to aid swine industry professionals in deciding the intervention strategies for the control of PCV2-associated diseases.
Adhesive interactions between endothelial cells and leukocytes contribute to atherosclerotic plaque growth. However, mechanism(s) responsible for endothelial priming and deactivation in inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis are not clear. Apolipoprotein E deficient mice were generated with deficiency of P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 (Psgl-1−/−, ApoE−/−). On both standard chow and Western diet, Psgl-1−/−, ApoE−/− mice were protected against atherosclerosis compared to Psgl-1+/+, ApoE−/− controls. Psgl-1−/−, ApoE−/− mice also showed reduced leukocyte rolling and firm attachment on endothelial cells, however, adoptively transferred Psgl-1+/+, ApoE−/− leukocytes into Psgl-1−/−, ApoE−/− hosts displayed similar reduced rolling as Psgl-1−/−, ApoE−/− leukocytes. Hematopoietic deficiency of Psgl-1 conferred resistance to the effects of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) on leukocyte rolling along with reduced circulating levels of sP-sel and sE-sel. Antibody blockade of Psgl-1 also reduced endothelial activation in response to IL-1β, eliminated leukocyte rolling, and was protective against atherosclerosis in ApoE−/− mice. Monocyte depletion with clodronate restored the endothelial response to IL-1β in Psgl-1−/− mice. This study suggests that Psgl-1 deficiency leads to reduced atherosclerosis and adhesive interactions between endothelial cells and leukocytes by indirectly regulating endothelial responses to cytokine stimulation.
atherosclerosis; apolipoprotein E; monocyte; interleukin-1; 4RA10
Periodontal (gum) disease is one of the main global oral health burdens and severe periodontal disease (periodontitis) is a leading cause of tooth loss in adults globally. It also increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus. Porphyromonas gingivalis lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a key virulent attribute that significantly contributes to periodontal pathogenesis. Baicalin is a flavonoid from Scutellaria radix, an herb commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine for treating inflammatory diseases. The present study examined the modulatory effect of baicalin on P. gingivalis LPS-induced expression of IL-6 and IL-8 in human oral keratinocytes (HOKs). Cells were pre-treated with baicalin (0–80 µM) for 24 h, and subsequently treated with P. gingivalis LPS at 10 µg/ml with or without baicalin for 3 h. IL-6 and IL-8 transcripts and proteins were detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, respectively. The expression of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) proteins was analyzed by western blot. A panel of genes related to toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling was examined by PCR array. We found that baicalin significantly downregulated P. gingivalis LPS-stimulated expression of IL-6 and IL-8, and inhibited P. gingivalis LPS-activated NF-κB, p38 MAPK and JNK. Furthermore, baicalin markedly downregulated P. gingivalis LPS-induced expression of genes associated with TLR signaling. In conclusion, the present study shows that baicalin may significantly downregulate P. gingivalis LPS-upregulated expression of IL-6 and IL-8 in HOKs via negative regulation of TLR signaling.
Diabetes has become a major public health problem in China. Support of patient self-management is a key component of effective diabetes care and improved patient outcomes. A series of peer-led community-based disease-specific self-management programs including diabetes have been widely disseminated in urban communities of Shanghai since 1999. However, the strategy of using trained lay leaders to support patient self-management faces challenges in rural communities in Shanghai. This study developed a Chinese diabetes group visit program as an alternative approach to support patient self-management and examined its effectiveness on self-management behaviors, self-efficacy and health status for patients with type 2 diabetes in rural communities of Shanghai.
208 patients with type 2 diabetes aged 35–80 years were randomly assigned to the intervention group (n=119) of 12 monthly group visit sessions or to a control group (n=89) of usual care. The trial was undertaken in two rural communities in Shanghai, China. Randomization and allocation to study group were carried out by using a random number table. Analysis of covariance was used to compare changes in the 17 self-management behavior, self-efficacy and health status related variables in two groups at 12 months’ follow-up based on 176 patients (n=98; n=78).
Compared with controls, the intervention patients, on average, increased their duration of aerobic exercise by more than 40 minutes per week (p=0.001); had significant increase of 0.71 in mean score on self-efficacy to manage diabetes (p=0.02); and had significant improvements in measures of illness intrusiveness and systolic blood pressure. The intervention patients attended an average of 10.1 of the 12 program sessions with 75.6% of them attended 10 and more sessions.
The Chinese diabetes group visit model is a feasible, acceptable and effective alternative for supporting diabetes patient self-management in Chinese rural communities. The model requires larger studies to determine its effect on blood glucose control and health care utilization.
Diabetes; Group visits; Self-management; Community health services; Randomized controlled trials; China
This study applied a stage-of-change model to examine the motivational profiles of clients seeking methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) in China.
Face-to-face interviews were conducted with a total of 179 clients from six MMT clinics. The University of Rhode Island Change Assessment (URICA) scale was used to measure the participants’ motivation and readiness to change. Cluster analysis was performed to classify the sample into subgroups with respect to their change dimensions.
The study sample was allocated into five distinct clusters: uninvolved, denial, pre-participation, ambivalent, and participation. Participants who were classified in the denial cluster were older than those in the pre-participation and participation clusters. A higher level of motivation to change was positively associated with continued heroin use and more severe drug problems.
It would be beneficial to evaluate motivational profiles of individual clients in the treatment planning process and provide tailored interventions for sustained treatment retention and outcomes.
drug use; methadone maintenance therapy; stage-of-change; China
The importance of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in protection against tuberculosis (TB) is well known, however, the association between changes to the T cell repertoire and disease presentation has never been analyzed. Characterization of T-cells in TB patients in previous study only analyzed the TCR β chain and omitted analysis of the Vα family even though α chain also contribute to antigen recognition. Furthermore, limited information is available regarding the heterogeneity compartment and overall function of the T cells in TB patients as well as the common TCR structural features of Mtb antigen specific T cells among the vast numbers of TB patients.
CDR3 spectratypes of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were analyzed from 86 patients with TB exhibiting differing degrees of disease severity, and CDR3 spectratype complexity scoring system was used to characterize TCR repertoire diversity. TB patients with history of other chronic disease and other bacterial or viral infections were excluded for the study to decrease the likely contribution of TCRs specific to non-TB antigens as far as possible. Each patient was age-matched with a healthy donor group to control for age variability. Results showed that healthy controls had a normally diversified TCR repertoire while TB patients represented with restricted TCR repertoire. Patients with mild disease had the highest diversity of TCR repertoire while severely infected patients had the lowest, which suggest TCR repertoire diversity inversely correlates with disease severity. In addition, TB patients showed preferred usage of certain TCR types and have a bias in the usage of variable (V) and joining (J) gene segments and N nucleotide insertions.
Results from this study promote a better knowledge about the public characteristics of T cells among TB patients and provides new insight into the TCR repertoire associated with clinic presentation in TB patients.
We report Giga-pixel lensfree holographic microscopy and tomography using color sensor-arrays such as CMOS imagers that exhibit Bayer color filter patterns. Without physically removing these color filters coated on the sensor chip, we synthesize pixel super-resolved lensfree holograms, which are then reconstructed to achieve ∼350 nm lateral resolution, corresponding to a numerical aperture of ∼0.8, across a field-of-view of ∼20.5 mm2. This constitutes a digital image with ∼0.7 Billion effective pixels in both amplitude and phase channels (i.e., ∼1.4 Giga-pixels total). Furthermore, by changing the illumination angle (e.g., ±50°) and scanning a partially-coherent light source across two orthogonal axes, super-resolved images of the same specimen from different viewing angles are created, which are then digitally combined to synthesize tomographic images of the object. Using this dual-axis lensfree tomographic imager running on a color sensor-chip, we achieve a 3D spatial resolution of ∼0.35 µm×0.35 µm×∼2 µm, in x, y and z, respectively, creating an effective voxel size of ∼0.03 µm3 across a sample volume of ∼5 mm3, which is equivalent to >150 Billion voxels. We demonstrate the proof-of-concept of this lensfree optical tomographic microscopy platform on a color CMOS image sensor by creating tomograms of micro-particles as well as a wild-type C. elegans nematode.
The clinical relationship between medial meniscus tear and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture has been well documented. However, the mechanism of this clinical phenomenon is not exactly explained. Our aim is to investigate the biomechanical impact of partial and complete ACL rupture on different parts of medial meniscus.
Materials and Methods:
Twelve fresh human cadaveric knee specimens were divided into four groups: ACL intact (ACL-I), anteromedial bundle transection (AMB-T), posterolateral bundle transection (PLB-T), and ACL complete transection (ACL-T) group. Strain on the anterior horn, body part, and posterior horn of medial meniscus were measured under 200 N axial compressive tibial load at 0°, 30°, 60°, and 90° of knee flexion, respectively.
Compared with the control group (ACL-I), the ACL-T group had a higher strain on whole medial meniscus at 0°, 60°, and 90° of flexion. But at 30°, it had a higher strain on posterior horn of meniscus only. As to PLB-T group, strain on whole meniscus increased at full extension, while strain increased on posterior horn at 30° and on body of meniscus at 60°. However, AMB-T only brought about higher strain at 60° of flexion on body and posterior horn of meniscus.
Similar to complete rupture, partial rupture of ACL can also trigger strain concentration on medial meniscus, especially posterior horn, which may be a more critical reason for meniscus injury associated with chronic ACL deficiency.
Anterior cruciate ligament; biomechanics; medial meniscal tear; anterior cruciate ligament rupture
Blunt snout bream (Megalobrama amblycephala) is an herbivorous freshwater fish species native to China and has been recognized as a main aquaculture species in the Chinese freshwater polyculture system with high economic value. Right now, only limited EST resources were available for M. amblycephala. Recent advances in large-scale RNA sequencing provide a fast, cost-effective, and reliable approach to generate large expression datasets for functional genomic analysis, which is especially suitable for non-model species with un-sequenced genomes.
Methodology and Principal Findings
Using 454 pyrosequencing, a total of 1,409,706 high quality reads (total length 577 Mbp) were generated from the normalized cDNA of pooled M. amblycephala individuals. These sequences were assembled into 26,802 contigs and 73,675 singletons. After BLAST searches against the NCBI non-redundant (NR) and UniProt databases with an arbitrary expectation value of E−10, over 40,000 unigenes were functionally annotated and classified using the FunCat functional annotation scheme. A comparative genomics approach revealed a substantial proportion of genes expressed in M. amblycephala tanscriptome to be shared across the genomes of zebrafish, medaka, tetraodon, fugu, stickleback, human, mouse, and chicken, and identified a substantial number of potentially novel M. amblycephala genes. A total number of 4,952 SSRs were found and 116 polymorphic loci have been characterized. A significant number of SNPs (25,697) and indels (23,287) were identified based on specific filter criteria in the M. amblycephala.
This study is the first comprehensive transcriptome analysis for a fish species belonging to the genus Megalobrama. These large EST resources are expected to be valuable for the development of molecular markers, construction of gene-based linkage map, and large-scale expression analysis of M. amblycephala, as well as comparative genome analysis for the genus Megalobrama fish species. The identified SSR and SNP markers will greatly benefit its breeding program and whole genome association studies.
Epigenetic alterations occur in tumor-associated vessels in the tumor microenvironment. Methylation of the CYP24A1 gene promoter differs in endothelial cells isolated from tumors and non-tumor microenvironments in mice. The epigenetic makeup of endothelial cells of human tumor-associated vasculature is unknown due to difficulty of isolating endothelial cells populations from a heterogeneous tissue microenvironment. To ascertain CYP24A1 promoter methylation in tumor-associated endothelium, we utilized laser microdissection guided by CD31 immunohistochemistry to procure endothelial cells from human prostate tumor specimens. Prostate tissues were obtained following robotic radical prostatectomy from men with clinically localized prostate cancer. Adjacent histologically benign prostate tissues were used to compare endothelium from benign versus tumor microenvironments. Sodium bisulfite sequencing of CYP24A1 promoter region showed that the average CYP24A1 promoter methylation in the endothelium was 20% from the tumor microenvironment compared with 8.2% in the benign microenvironment (p < 0.05). A 2-fold to 17-fold increase in CYP24A1 promoter methylation was observed in the prostate tumor endothelium compared with the matched benign prostate endothelium in four patient samples, while CYP24A1 promoter methylation remained unchanged in two patient samples. In addition, there is no correlation of the level of CYP24A1 promoter methylation in prostate tumor-associated endothelium with that of epithelium/stroma. This study demonstrates that the CYP24A1 promoter is methylated in tumor-associated endothelium, indicating that epigenetic alterations in CYP24A1 may play a role in determining the phenotype of tumor-associated vasculature in the prostate tumor microenvironment.
CYP24A1; DNA methylation; human prostate cancer; tumor endothelium; laser microdissection
Chronic cough is a very common complaint in clinics throughout China. Clinical and basic science research on chronic cough started late, but in recent years the effort has yielded promising findings regarding the etiological diagnosis, treatment and pathogenesis. We found that inflammation in nonasthmatic eosinophilic bronchitis has some similarities to cough variant asthma but also a number of distinct differences. Recent evidence has also suggested a mechanistic link between airway neurogenic inflammation and and gastroesophageal reflux cough (GERC). Cough-related animal models have been developed, including models for esophageal reflux, nonasthmatic eosinophilic bronchitis and allergic rhinitis. Normal reference values for differential cell counts in induced sputum, cough sensitivity and esophageal 24-h pH monitoring in Chinese healthy subjects have been established. By using a modified algorithm for the etiological diagnosis of chronic cough, the causes of chronic cough have been investigated across a number of cities in China. The most common causes of chronic cough are cough variant asthma, eosinophilic bronchitis, upper airway cough symptoms, atopic cough and GERC, however, there are some regional variations. The Chinese National Guidelines on Diagnosis and Management of Chronic Cough were drafted in 2005, updated in 2009, and have been widely publicized and disseminated through many channels since their publication.
Airway inflammation; Chronic cough; Diagnosis; Epidemiology; Pathogenesis
The red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) was introduced to China in the early 20th century. It has been spread to almost all forms of fresh water bodies including lakes, rivers and even paddyfields in most provinces of China. To clarify issues such as the initial entry point(s), dispersal pattern, genetic diversity and genetic structure of Procambarus clarkii in China, the genetic structure and diversity of P. clarkii populations at 37 sampling sites (35 from China, one from the USA and one from Japan) were analyzed using both mitochondrial gene sequences (COI and 16S rRNA) and 12 nuclear microsatellites. Multiple tests including phylogenetic analyses, Bayesian assignment and analysis of isolation by distance showed that (i) the population from Japan and those collected from China, particularly from NanJing (BGt and XG) and its some neighboring sites (CJr, NT and NB), have similar genetic composition, (ii) relatively high genetic diversity was detected in Chinese populations, (iii) the P. clarkii populations in China did not experience significant population expansions. Taken together, Nanjing, Jiangsu province is the presumed initial entry point, and human-mediated dispersal and adaptive variation are likely responsible for the observed genetic pattern of P. clarkii in China.
Background and Aims
Why are sterile anthers and carpels retained in some flowering plants, given their likely costs? To address this question, a cryptically dioecious species, Petasites tricholobus, in which male and female plants each have two floret types that appear pistillate and hermaphroditic, was studied. The aim was to understand the function of sterile hermaphroditic florets in females. In addition, the first examination of functions of sterile female structures in male plants was conducted in the hermaphroditic florets on males of this species. These female structures are exceptionally large in this species despite being sterile.
Differences in floret morphology between the sex morphs were documented and the possible functions of sterile sex organs investigated using manipulative experiments. Tests were carried out to find out if sterile female structures in male florets attract pollinators and if they aid in pollen dispersal, also to find out if the presence and quantity of sterile hermaphroditic florets in females increase pollinator attraction and reproductive success. To investigate what floret types provide nectar, all types of florets were examined under a scanning electron microscope to search for nectaries.
The sterile female structures in male florets did not increase pollinator visits but were essential to secondary pollen presentation, which significantly enhanced pollen dispersal. Sterile pistillate florets on male plants did not contribute to floral display and disappeared in nearly half of the male plants. The sterile hermaphroditic florets on female plants attracted pollinators by producing nectar and enhanced seed production.
The presence of female structures in male florets and hermaphroditic florets on female plants is adaptive despite being sterile, and may be evolutionarily stable. However, the pistillate florets on male plants appear non-adaptive and are presumably in decline. Differential fates of the sterile sex organs in the species are determined by both the historical constraints and the ecological functions.
Cryptic dioecy; sterile sex organ; secondary pollen presentation; pollinator attraction; breeding system evolution; ecological function; Petasites tricholobus
Ease of access to health care is of great importance in any country but particularly in countries such as Niger where restricted access can put people at risk of mortality from diseases such as measles, meningitis, polio, pneumonia and malaria. This paper analyzes the physical access of populations to health facilities within Niger with an emphasis on the effect of seasonal conditions and the implications of these conditions in terms of availability of adequate health services, provision of drugs and vaccinations. The majority of the transport within Niger is pedestrian, thus the paper emphasizes access by those walking to facilities for care. Further analysis compared the change in accessibility for vehicular travel since public health workers do travel by vehicle when carrying out vaccination campaigns and related proactive health care activities.
The majority of the roads in Niger are non-paved (90%). Six districts, mainly in the region of Tahoua lack medical facilities. Patient to health facility ratios were best in Agadez with 7000 people served per health facility. During the dry season 39% of the population was within 1-hours walk to a health center, with the percentage decreasing to 24% during the wet season. Further analyses revealed that vaccination rates were strongly correlated with distance. Children living in clusters within 1-hour of a health center had 1.88 times higher odds of complete vaccination by age 1-year compared to children living in clusters further from a health center (p < 0.05). Three key geographic areas were highlighted where access to health centers took greater than 4 h walk during the wet and dry season. Access for more than 730,000 people can be improved in these areas with the addition of 17 health facilities to the current total of 504 during the dry season (260,000 during the wet season).
This study highlights critical areas in Niger where health services/facilities are lacking. A second finding is that population served by health facilities will be severely overestimated if assessments are solely conducted during the dry season. Mapped outputs can be used for future decision making processes and analysis.
Accessibility; Health facilities; Niger; Infectious disease; Measles; Meningitis; Geographic information system; Crisis management; Vaccination; Seasonal variation
Osteonecrosis of the femoral head (ONFH) is generally characterized as an irreversible disease and tends to cause permanent disability. Therefore, understanding the pathogenesis and molecular mechanisms of ONFH and developing effective therapeutic methods is critical for slowing the progress of the disease.
In this study, an experimental rabbit model of early stage traumatic ONFH was established, validated, and used for an evaluation of therapy. Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging confirmed that this model represents clinical Association Research Circulation Osseous (ARCO) phase I or II ONFH, which was also confirmed by the presence of significant tissue damage in osseous tissue and vasculature. Pathological examination detected obvious self-repair of bone tissue up to 2 weeks after trauma, as indicated by revascularization (marked by CD105) and expression of collagen type I (Col I), osteocalcin, and proliferating cell nuclear antigen. Transplantation of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)-transgenic mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) 1 week after trauma promoted recovery from ONFH, as evidenced by a reversed pattern of Col I expression compared with animals receiving no therapeutic treatment, as well as increased expression of vascular endothelial growth factor.
These results indicate that the transplantation of HGF-transgenic MSCs is a promising method for the treatment for ONFH and suggest that appropriate interference therapy during the tissue self-repair stage contributes to the positive outcomes. This study also provides a model for the further study of the ONFH etiology and therapeutic interventions.
Aldosterone, one of the main peptides in renin angiotensin aldosterone system (RAAS), has been suggested to mediate liver fibrosis and portal hypertension. Spironolactone, an aldosterone antagonist, has beneficial effect on hyperdynamic circulation in clinical practice. However, the mechanisms remain unclear. The present study aimed to investigate the role of spionolactone on liver cirrhosis and portal hypertension.
Liver cirrhosis was induced by bile duct ligation (BDL). Spironolactone was administered orally (20 mg/kg/d) after bile duct ligation was performed. Liver fibrosis was assessed by histology, Masson's trichrome staining, and the measurement of hydroxyproline and type I collagen content. The activation of HSC was determined by analysis of alpha smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) expression. Protein expressions and protein phosphorylation were determined by immunohistochemical staining and Western blot analysis, Messenger RNA levels by quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (Q-PCR). Portal pressure and intrahepatic resistance were examined in vivo.
Treatment with spironolactone significantly lowered portal pressure. This was associated with attenuation of liver fibrosis, intrahepatic resistance and inhibition of HSC activation. In BDL rat liver, spironolactone suppressed up-regulation of proinflammatory cytokines (TNFα and IL-6). Additionally, spironolactone significantly decreased ROCK-2 activity without affecting expression of RhoA and Ras. Moreover, spironolactone markedly increased the levels of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), phosphorylated eNOS and the activity of NO effector- protein kinase G (PKG) in the liver.
Spironolactone lowers portal hypertension by improvement of liver fibrosis and inhibition of intrahepatic vasoconstriction via down-regulating ROCK-2 activity and activating NO/PKG pathway. Thus, early spironolactone therapy might be the optional therapy in cirrhosis and portal hypertension.
Leptin is an adipocyte-derived hormone that has been shown to exert both beneficial metabolic effects and potentially adverse vascular effects in preclinical studies. The primary aim of this study was to determine the effects of leptin receptor signaling pathways on atherosclerosis in the setting of obesity and hyperlipidemia.
METHODS AND RESULTS
Mice were generated with deficiency of apolipoprotein E (ApoE−/−) and either wild-type leptin receptor expression (Lepr+/+, ApoE−/−), mutant leptin receptor expression defective in all leptin receptor signaling pathways (Leprdb/db, ApoE−/−), or mutant leptin receptor expression with selective deficiency of leptin receptor-STAT3 signaling (Leprs/s, ApoE−/−). At 27 weeks of age (including 7 weeks on a western chow diet), Leprdb/db, ApoE−/− developed severe obesity, hypercholesterolemia, and increased atherosclerosis compared to Lepr+/+, ApoE−/− mice. Despite similar obesity and hyperlipidemia to Leprdb/db, ApoE−/− mice, Leprs/s, ApoE−/− developed less atherosclerosis than Leprdb/db, ApoE−/− mice. Adipose tissue macrophage content, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and fatty-acid-binding protein 4 levels were also reduced in Leprs/s, ApoE−/− mice compared to Leprdb/db, ApoE−/− mice.
In a mouse model of obesity and hyperlipidemia, leptin receptor-mediated STAT3-independent signaling pathways confer protection against atherosclerosis. These differences occur independently of leptin effects on energy balance.
obesity; leptin; hyperlipidemia; atherosclerosis; murine model
Preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) with antiretroviral drugs is a novel human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention strategy. It is generally thought that high systemic and mucosal drug levels are sufficient for protection. We investigated whether GS7340, a next-generation tenofovir (TFV) prodrug that effectively delivers tenofovir diphosphate (TFV-DP) to lymphoid cells and tissues, could protect macaques against repeated weekly rectal simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) exposures. Macaques received prophylactic GS7340 treatment 3 days prior to each virus exposure. At 3 days postdosing, TFV-DP concentrations in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were about 50-fold higher than those seen with TFV disoproxil fumarate (TDF), and they remained above 1,000 fmol/106 cells for as long as 7 days. TFV-DP accumulated in lymphoid and rectal tissues, with concentrations at 3 days exceeding 500 fmol/106 mononuclear cells. Despite high mucosal and systemic TFV levels, GS7340 was not protective. Since TFV-DP blocks reverse transcription by competing with the natural dATP substrate, we measured dATP contents in peripheral lymphocytes, lymphoid tissue, and rectal mononuclear cells. Compared to those in circulating lymphocytes and lymphoid tissue, rectal lymphocytes had 100-fold higher dATP concentrations and dATP/TFV-DP ratios, likely reflecting the activated status of the cells and suggesting that TFV-DP may be less active at the rectal mucosa. Our results identify dATP/TFV-DP ratios as a possible correlate of protection by TFV and suggest that natural substrate concentrations at the mucosa will likely modulate the prophylactic efficacy of nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors.
Tarim schizothoracin (Schizothorax biddulphi) is an endemic fish species native to the Tarim River system of Xinjiang and has been classified as an extremely endangered freshwater fish species in China. Here, we used a next generation sequencing platform (ion torrent PGM™) to obtain a large number of microsatellites for S. biddulphi, for the first time. A total of 40577 contigs were assembled, which contained 1379 SSRs. In these SSRs, the number of dinucleotide repeats were the most frequent (77.08%) and AC repeats were the most frequently occurring microsatellite, followed by AG, AAT and AT. Fifty loci were randomly selected for primer development; of these, 38 loci were successfully amplified and 29 loci were polymorphic across panels of 30 individuals. The Ho ranged from 0.15 to 0.83, and He ranged from 0.15 to 0.85, with 3.5 alleles per locus on average. Cross-species utility indicated that 20 of these markers were successfully amplified in a related, also an endangered fish species, S. irregularis. This study suggests that PGM™ sequencing is a rapid and cost-effective tool for developing microsatellite markers for non-model species and the developed microsatellite markers in this study would be useful in Schizothorax genetic analysis.
Schizothorax biddulphi; PGM™ sequencing; microsatellite (SSR); polymorphism
Relapses of epithelial ovarian carcinoma (EOC) have a poor prognosis and are almost always fatal. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical outcome and toxicity of intraoperative electron beam radiation therapy (IOERT) in advanced and recurrent EOC.
Forty-five women with EOC were treated with IOERT. Twenty-five patients had primary disease (PD) without distant metastasis at IOERT, and 20 patients had an isolated local recurrence (ILR) after surgery. All 45 patients in this series underwent optimal cytoreductive (≤ 1 cm) surgery. The whole pelvic (WP) radiotherapy was intraoperatively delivered using 12 Mev electron beam; 43 patients received 18-20 Gy and two patients received 10 Gy. Thirty-three patients received postoperateive intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy, while seven patients received intravenous (IV) chemotherapy. Five patients refused concurrent chemotherapy. Overall survival (OS) rates were analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method.
Tumor recurrence and metastasis were observed in 16 patients (35.6%). Of those, 14 patients (31.1%) relapsed and two patients (4.4%) had distant metastasis alone. Eight of 25 (32%) local failures were observed in the PD group, as compared to 6/20 (30%) in the ILR group (P = 0.885). Actuarial local control at five year follow-up was 31/45 (68.9%). Seventeen of the total 45 (37.8%) patients died. Nine of 25 (36%) in the PD group died, as compared to 8 of 20 (40%) in the ILR group. The 5-year OS and disease-free survival (DFS) rates were 28/45 (62.2%) and 25/45 (55.6%), respectively. In the PD group, the 5-year OS and DFS rates were 16/25 (64%) and 14/25 (56%) (P > 0.05, vs. the ILR group at 12/20 and 11/20, respectively). The OS and DFS in the IOERT plus IP group were 25/33 (75.8%) and 23/33 (69.7%), respectively, which were superior to the rates achieved with IOERT plus IV chemotherapy (P < 0.05, 2/7 and 1/7, respectively). The major complication of IOERT was neuropathy. Five (11.1%) patients developed peripheral neurotoxicity.
IOERT may be feasible and effective as a boosting technique for advanced and recurrent ovarian cancer. IOERT plus IP chemotherapy may achieve high locoregional disease control and survival benefit with a low risk of toxicity. Peripheral nerves in the IOERT field are dose-limiting structures requiring nerve protection policies or a dose compromise to ensure against severe neurological damage.
To determine the effect of myocardial infarction (MI) on progression of atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein E deficient (ApoE−/−) mice.
Methods and Results
MI was induced following left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) ligation in wild-type (WT) (n=9) and ApoE−/−(n=25) mice. Compared to sham-operated animals, MI mice demonstrated increased intravascular leukocyte rolling and firm adhesion by intravital microscopy, reflecting enhanced systemic leukocyte-endothelial interactions. To determine if MI was associated with accelerated atherogenesis, LAD ligation was performed in ApoE−/−mice. Six weeks following surgery, atherosclerosis was quantitated throughout the arterial tree by microdissection and Oil- Red-O staining. There was 1.6-fold greater atherosclerosis burden present in ApoE−/− MI mice compared to sham-operated mice.
Acute MI accelerates atherogenesis in mice. These results may be related to the increased risk of recurrent ischemic coronary events following MI in humans.
Myocardial infarction; atherosclerosis; TNFα; ApoE−/−; intravital microscopy
The Arabidopsis AtHKT1;1 protein was identified as a sodium (Na+) transporter by heterologous expression in Xenopus laevis oocytes and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. However, direct comparative in vivo electrophysiological analyses of a plant HKT transporter in wild-type and hkt loss-of-function mutants has not yet been reported and it has been recently argued that heterologous expression systems may alter properties of plant transporters, including HKT transporters. In this report, we analyze several key functions of AtHKT1;1-mediated ion currents in their native root stelar cells, including Na+ and K+ conductances, AtHKT1;1-mediated outward currents, and shifts in reversal potentials in the presence of defined intracellular and extracellular salt concentrations. Enhancer trap Arabidopsis plants with GFP-labeled root stelar cells were used to investigate AtHKT1;1-dependent ion transport properties using patch clamp electrophysiology in wild-type and athkt1;1 mutant plants. AtHKT1;1-dependent currents were carried by sodium ions and these currents were not observed in athkt1;1 mutant stelar cells. However, K+ currents in wild-type and athkt1;1 root stelar cell protoplasts were indistinguishable correlating with the Na+ over K+ selectivity of AtHKT1;1-mediated transport. Moreover, AtHKT1;1-mediated currents did not show a strong voltage dependence in vivo. Unexpectedly, removal of extracellular Na+ caused a reduction in AtHKT1;1-mediated outward currents in Columbia root stelar cells and Xenopus oocytes, indicating a role for external Na+ in regulation of AtHKT1;1 activity. Shifting the NaCl gradient in root stelar cells showed a Nernstian shift in the reversal potential providing biophysical evidence for the model that AtHKT1;1 mediates passive Na+ channel transport properties.
Adhesive interactions between endothelial cells and leukocytes affect leukocyte trafficking in adipose tissue. The role of P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 (Psgl-1) in this process is unclear.
The goal of this study was to determine the effect of Psgl-1 deficiency on adhesive properties of the endothelium and on leukocyte recruitment into obese adipose depots.
Methods and Results
A genetic model of obesity was generated to study the effects of Psgl-1 deficiency on leukocyte trafficking. Leukocyte-endothelial interactions were increased in obese leptin receptor mutant mice (Lepr db/db,Psgl-1+/+), but not obese, Psgl-1 deficient mice (Lepr db/db,Psgl-1−/−), when compared to lean mice (Lepr +/+,Psgl-1+/+). This effect of Psgl-1 deficiency was due to indirect effects of Psgl-1, since Psgl-1+/+ adoptively transferred leukocytes did not exhibit enhanced rolling in Lepr db/db,Psgl-1−/− mice. Additionally, circulating levels of P-selectin, E-selectin, Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, and macrophage content of visceral adipose tissue were reduced in Leprdb/db,Psgl-1−/− compared to Leprdb/db,Psgl-1+/+ mice. Reduced leukocyte-endothelial interactions and macrophage content of visceral adipose tissue due to Psgl-1 deficiency was also observed in a diet-induced obese mouse model. Psgl-1−/− mice were resistant to the endothelial effects of exogenous IL-1β, suggesting that defective cytokine signaling contributes to the effect of Psgl-1 deficiency on leukocyte-endothelial interactions. Mice deficient in the IL-1 receptor also had reduced levels of circulating P-selectin, similar to those observed in Psgl-1−/− mice.
Deficiency of Psgl-1 is associated with reduced IL-1 receptor-mediated adhesive properties of the endothelium and is protective against visceral fat inflammation in obese mice.
inflammation; obesity; endothelium; leukocytes; cell adhesion molecules
Calcitriol, a regulator of calcium homeostasis with antitumor properties, is degraded by the product of the CYP24A1 gene which is downregulated in human prostate cancer by unknown mechanisms. We found that CYP24A1 expression is inversely correlated with promoter DNA methylation in prostate cancer cell lines. Treatment with the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine (DAC) activates CYP24A1 expression in prostate cancer cells. In vitro methylation of the CYP24A1 promoter represses its promoter activity. Furthermore, inhibition of histone deacetylases by trichostatin A (TSA) enhances the expression of CYP24A1 in prostate cancer cells. ChIP-qPCR reveals that specific histone modifications are associated with the CYP24A1 promoter region. Treatment with TSA increases H3K9ac and H3K4me2 and simultaneously decreases H3K9me2 at the CYP24A1 promoter. ChIP-qPCR assay reveals that treatment with DAC and TSA increases the recruitment of VDR to the CYP24A1 promoter. RT-PCR analysis of paired human prostate samples reveals that CYP24A1 expression is down-regulated in prostate malignant lesions compared to adjacent histologically benign lesions. Bisulfite pyrosequencing shows that CYP24A1 gene is hypermethylated in malignant lesions compared to matched benign lesions. Our findings indicate that repression of CYP24A1 gene expression in human prostate cancer cells is mediated in part by promoter DNA methylation and repressive histone modifications.
CYP24A1 expression; DNA methylation; histone modification; prostate cancer
Distributions of arsenic and metals in surface sediments collected from the coastal and estuarine areas of the northern Bohai and Yellow Seas, China, were investigated. An ecological risk assessment of arsenic and metals in the sediments was evaluated by three approaches: the Sediment Quality Guidelines (SQGs) of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), the degree of contamination, and two sets of SQGs indices. Sediments from the estuaries of the Wuli and Yalu Rivers contained some of the greatest concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, copper, mercury, lead, and zinc. Median concentrations of cadmium and mean concentrations of lead and zinc were greater than background concentrations determined for the areas. All sediments were considered to be heavily polluted by arsenic, but moderately polluted by chromium, lead, and cadmium. Current concentrations of arsenic and metals are unlikely to be acutely toxic, but chronic exposures would be expected to cause adverse effects on benthic invertebrates at 31.4% of the sites.
Arsenic and metals; Sediments; Contamination; Ecological risk assessment