To investigate the association of CYP2A6 genetic polymorphisms with smoking-related phenotypes in Chinese smokers.
Case-only genetic association study.
A total of 1,328 Han Chinese smokers who participated in a community-based chronic disease screening project in Guangzhou and Zhuhai from 2006 to 2007.
All participants were answered a structured questionnaire about socio-demographic status and smoking behaviors and informative alleles for the cytochrome P450 2A6 (CYP2A6) gene (CYP2A6 *4, *5, *7, *9 and *10) were genotyped.
The frequencies of CYP2A6 *4, *5, *7, *9 and *10 alleles were 8.5%, 1.2%, 6.3%, 13.5% and 2.4%, which corresponded to 48.9%, 15.4%, 24.2% and 11.5% of participants being classified as normal, intermediate, slow and poor metabolizers, respectively. Multivariate analyses demonstrated that compared with normal metabolizers, poor metabolizers reported smoking fewer cigarettes per day (adjusted OR = 0.49; 95% CI: 0.32–0.76), started smoking regularly later in life (adjusted OR = 1.55; 95% CI: 1.06–2.26) and, amongst former smokers, reported smoking for a shorter duration prior to quitting (adjusted OR = 0.33; 95% CI: 0.12–0.94). However, poor metabolizers were less likely to quit smoking and remain abstinent than normal metabolizers (OR = 0.54; 95% CI: 0.34–0.86).
Reduced metabolism function of CYP2A6 in smokers appears to be associated with fewer cigarettes smoked, later initiation of smoking regularly, shorter smoking duration and lower likelihood of smoking cessation.
CYP2A6; genetic polymorphisms; smoking behavior; Chinese smokers
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) treatment self-efficacy is the confidence held by an individual in her or his ability to follow treatment recommendations, including specific HIV care such as initiating and adhering to antiretroviral therapy (ART). The purpose of this study was to explore the potential mediating role of treatment adherence self-efficacy in the relationships between Social Cognitive Theory constructs and self- reported ART adherence.
Cross-sectional and descriptive. The study was conducted between 2009 and 2011 and included 1,414 participants who lived in the United States or Puerto Rico and were taking antiretroviral medications.
Social cognitive constructs were tested specifically: behaviors (three adherence measures each consisting of one item about adherence at 3-day and 30-day along with the adherence rating scale), cognitive or personal factors (the Center for Epidemiology Studies Depression Scale to assess for depressive symptoms, the 12-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) to assess physical functioning, one item about physical condition, one item about comorbidity), environmental influences (the Social Capital Scale, one item about social support), and treatment self-efficacy (HIV Adherence Self-Efficacy Scale). Analysis included descriptive statistics and regression.
The average participant was 47 years old, male, and a racial or ethnic minority, had an education of high school or less, had barely adequate or totally inadequate income, did not work, had health insurance, and was living with HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome for 15 years. The model provided support for adherence self-efficacy as a robust predictor of ART adherence behavior, serving a partial mediating role between environmental influences and cognitive or personal factors.
Although other factors such as depressive symptoms and lack of social capital impact adherence to ART, nurses can focus on increasing treatment self-efficacy through diverse interactional strategies using principles of adult learning and strategies to improve health literacy.
Adherence to ART reduces the viral load thereby decreasing morbidity and mortality and risk of transmission to uninfected persons. Nurses need to use a variety of strategies to increase treatment self-efficacy.
HIV/AIDS; social cognitive theory; self-efficacy; adherence
Fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4) plays an important role in regulation of glucose and lipid homeostasis as well as inflammation through its actions in adipocytes and macrophages. FABP4 is also expressed in a subset of endothelial cells, but its role in this cell type is not known. We found that FABP4-deficient human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) demonstrate a markedly increased susceptibility to apoptosis as well as decreased migration and capillary network formation. Aortic rings from FABP4−/− mice demonstrated decreased angiogenic sprouting, which was recovered by reconstitution of FABP4. FABP4 was strongly regulated by mTORC1 and inhibited by Rapamycin. FABP4 modulated activation of several important signaling pathways in HUVECs, including downregulation of P38, eNOS, and stem cell factor (SCF)/c-kit signaling. Of these, the SCF/c-kit pathway was found to have a major role in attenuated angiogenic activity of FABP4-deficient ECs as provision of exogenous SCF resulted in a significant recovery in cell proliferation, survival, morphogenesis, and aortic ring sprouting. These data unravel a novel pro-angiogenic role for endothelial cell-FABP4 and suggest that it could be exploited as a potential target for diseases associated with pathological angiogenesis.
Angiogenesis; Endothelial cells; FABP4; Rapamycin; c-Kit; Stem cell factor
Indocyanine green (ICG) is a conventional dye that can be used in clinicalnear-infrared (NIR) imaging and it is also an effective light absorber for laser-mediated photothermal therapy. However, applications of ICG were limited due to its fast degradation in aqueous media and quick clearance from the body. Herein, an ICG-containing nanostructure, ICG-PL-PEG, was developed for photothermal therapy, which was self-assembled by ICG and phospholipid-polyethylene glycol (PL-PEG). Our in vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrated that ICG-PL-PEG suspension was more efficient in producing a NIR-dependent temperature increase than ICG alone, due to the increase of ICG monomers from the addition of PL-PEG to match the central wavelength of the 808-nm laser. When conjugated with integrin αvβ3 monoclonal antibody (mAb), ICG-PL-PEG could be selectively internalized and retained in target tumor cells. Irradiation of an 808-nm laser after intravenous administration of ICG-PL-PEG-mAb resulted in tumor suppression in mice, while ICG alone only had limited effect. This is the first time an ICG-containing nanostructure has been used through systemic administration to achieve an efficient in vivo photothermal effect for cancer treatment. Therefore, ICG-PL-PEG could be used as a fluorescent marker as well as a light-absorber for imaging-guided photothermal therapy. All the components of ICG-PL-PEG have been approved for human use. Therefore, this unique ICG-containing nanostructure has great potential in clinical applications.
laser-mediated photothermal therapy; ICG-containing nanostructure; self-assembly; NIR-dependent temperature increase; photothermal tumor suppression
Significant progress has been made in studies of the mechanisms by which RANKL induces terminal osteoclast differentiation. However, many crucial details in the RANKL-evoked signaling pathway for osteoclast differentiation remain to be defined. We characterized genes specifically expressed in osteoclasts by differential screening of a human osteoclastoma cDNA library, and found that the regulator of G-protein signaling 10A (RGS10A), but not the RGS10B isoform, was specifically expressed in human osteoclasts. The expression of RGS10A is also induced by RANKL in osteoclast precursors and is prominently expressed in mouse osteoclast-like cells. RGS10A silencing by RNA interference blocked intracellular [Ca2+]i oscillations, the expression of NFAT2, and osteoclast terminal differentiation in both bone marrow cells and osteoclast precursor cell lines. Reintroduction of RGS10A rescued the impaired osteoclast differentiation. RGS10A silencing also resulted in premature osteoclast apoptosis. RGS10A silencing affected the RANKL-[Ca2+]i oscillation-NFAT2 signaling pathway but not other RANKL-induced responses. Our data demonstrate that target components of RGS10A are distinct from those of RGS12 in the RANKL signaling mechanism. Our results thus show the specificity of RGS10A as a key component in the RANKL-evoked signaling pathway for osteoclast differentiation, which may present a promising target for therapeutic intervention.
Differential screening; RGS10 RNA interference; [Ca2+]i oscillations; Osteoclast differentiation; RANKL signaling pathway
The purpose of this study was to describe what nurses know about HIV/AIDS in the First Affiliated Hospital of Jiamusi University, Heilongjiang Province, China. This was a descriptive, cross-sectional study. Only 7.9% of the nurse (n = 177) used condoms during their first experience of sexual intercourse. Eight-six percent of the nurses had been stuck by sharps while working, and 76% of them had been splashed by patient fluids. For 12 basic HIV/AIDS questions, the mean score was 6.66. The mean score is 6.28 for 9 HIV/AIDS attitude questions. Knowledge and attitude are negatively related (r = –0.215, p < 0.005). Training in reducing the risk for occupational exposures in this sample is important. Nurses who have a better understanding of HIV/AIDS prevention are more likely to have negative attitudes toward HIV/AIDS. This study suggests the necessity of increasing HIV/AIDS education for nurses, family members, friends, and all health care providers.
The study was to assess HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes and perceived vulnerability with potential factors.
HIV/AIDS is a public health catastrophe in China. Nurses are expected to care for nurture, comfort and advocate for all patients regardless of their condition. However, in the area of HIV/AIDS, nurses suffer as a result of expectations put on them by their professional roles.
This was a descriptive, cross-sectional design that used a survey approach.
Data were collected from Summer 2003–Winter 2004.
Nurses reported significant perceived severity of risk from occupational exposure. Many nurses were frequently exposed to being stuck by needles (86%) and being splashed by body fluids and more than half of them (59·7%) were concerned about contracting HIV/AIDS. Nurses who had experience of finger pricks worried about potentially contacting HIV and being unaware of it (odds ratio= 0·444, p = 0·004). Nurses demonstrated a lack of knowledge and training in infectious diseases which may be a result of the fact that the study location is not considered a ‘concentrated area’ for infectious disease transmission; therefore, the need for the infectious diseases training has not been considered urgent.
A well-designed educational programme on occupational hazards and risk behaviour should be implemented to educate nurses in suburban cities and the general public. Hospital administrators should implement on-site continuing education on HIV/AIDS throughout China. Armed with better knowledge of both transmission routes and precautions, nurses can protect themselves while providing care to patients.
Relevance to clinical practice
Nurses in China urgently need psychosocial and physical supports from families, friends, communities and their working environments while combating HIV epidemic. With good support system, nurses will better educate patients and their family members on how to prevent transmission not only of HIV/AIDS but of a wide range of other infectious diseases as well.
attitude; caring; China; HIV/AIDS; knowledge; nurses; perceived vulnerability
Curcumin has shown a variety of biological activity for various human diseases including cancer in preclinical setting. Its poor oral bioavailability poses significant pharmacological barriers to its clinical application. Here, we established a practical nano-emulsion curcumin (NEC) containing up to 20% curcumin (w/w) and conducted the pharmacokinetics of curcuminoids and curcumin metabolites in mice.
This high loading NEC was formulated based on the high solubility of curcumin in polyethylene glycols (PEGs) and the synergistic enhancement of curcumin absorption by PEGs and Cremophor EL. The pharmacokinetics of curcuminoids and curcumin metabolites was characterized in mice using a LC–MS/MS method, and the pharmacokinetic parameters were determined using WinNonlin computer software.
A tenfold increase in the AUC0→24h and more than 40-fold increase in the Cmax in mice were observed after an oral dose of NEC compared with suspension curcumin in 1% methylcellulose. The plasma pharmacokinetics of its two natural congeners, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin, and three metabolites, tetrahydrocurcumin (THC), curcumin-O-glucuronide, and curcumin-O-sulfate, was characterized for the first time in mice after an oral dose of NEC.
This oral absorption enhanced NEC may provide a practical formulation to conduct the correlative study of the PK of curcuminoids and their pharmacodynamics, e.g., hypomethylation activity in vivo.
Nano-emulsion curcumin (NEC); Pharmacokinetics; Curcuminoids; Curcumin metabolites; LC–MS/MS
To investigate serum carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) as a prognostic factor for rectal cancer patients receiving pre-operative chemoradiotherapy (CRT).
Between 2000 and 2009, 138 patients with advanced rectal cancer receiving CRT before surgery at our hospital were retrospectively classified into 3 groups: pre-CRT CEA <6 ng/ml (group L; n = 87); pre-CRT CEA ≥ 6 ng/ml and post-CRT CEA <6 ng/ml (group H-L; n = 32); and both pre- and post-CRT CEA ≥ 6 ng/ml (group H-H; n = 19). CEA ratio (defined as post-CRT CEA divided by pre-CRT CEA), post-CRT CEA level and other factors were reviewed for prediction of pathologic complete response (pCR).
Five-year disease-free survival (DFS) was better in groups L (69.0%) and H-L (74.5%) than in group H-H (44.9%) (p = 0.024). Pathologic complete response was observed in 19.5%, 21.9% and 5.3% of groups L, H-L and H-H respectively (p = 0.281). Multivariate analysis showed that ypN stage and pCR were independent prognostic factors for DFS and that post-CRT CEA level was independently predictive of pCR. As a whole, post-CRT CEA <2.61 ng/ml predicted pCR (sensitivity 76.0%; specificity 58.4%). For those with pre-CRT CEA ≥6 ng/ml, post-CRT CEA and CEA ratio both predicted pCR (sensitivity 87.5%, specificity 76.7%).
In patients with pre-CRT serum CEA ≥6 ng/ml, those with “normalized” CEA levels after CRT may have similar DFS to those with “normal” (<6 ng/ml) pre-CRT values. Post-CRT CEA level is a predictor for pCR, especially in those with pre-CRT CEA ≥6 ng/ml.
Rectal cancer; Pre-operative chemoradiation; Carcinoembryonic antigen; CEA ratio; Tumor response
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an important human pathogen leading to hepatocellular carcinoma. Using an in vitro cell-based HCV replicon and JFH-1 infection system, we demonstrated that an aqueous extract of the seaweed Gracilaria tenuistipitata (AEGT) concentration-dependently inhibited HCV replication at nontoxic concentrations. AEGT synergistically enhanced interferon-α (IFN-α) anti-HCV activity in a combination treatment. We found that AEGT also significantly suppressed virus-induced cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression at promoter transactivation and protein levels. Notably, addition of exogenous COX-2 expression in AEGT-treated HCV replicon cells gradually abolished AEGT anti-HCV activity, suggesting that COX-2 down-regulation was responsible for AEGT antiviral effects. Furthermore, we highlighted the inhibitory effect of AEGT in HCV-induced pro-inflammatory gene expression such as the expression of tumour necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, inducible nitrite oxide synthase and COX-2 in a concentration-dependent manner to evaluate the potential therapeutic supplement in the management of patients with chronic HCV infections.
In this qualitative study, 29 HIV-positive, Chinese patients reported highly favorable impressions of their healthcare providers, who were seen as providing important medical-related, financial, and emotional support. Generally, the patient-provider relationship positively impacted the participants and their ability to maintain their health and was especially critical when patients were isolated from familial sources of support due to intense AIDS stigma. Often family members were informed of an HIV diagnosis before the patient, revealing tensions between Confucian principles of collectivism and familial authority and increasingly prevalent Western ideals of individual autonomy and the privileged status of personal health information.
AIDS; China; Confucianism; healthcare provider; HIV disclosure; privacy
We evaluated a nurse-delivered adherence intervention in a preliminary randomized controlled trial among 70 HIV-positive outpatients initiating antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Beijing, China. In both arms, participants received a 30-min educational session, a pillbox, and a referral to a peer support group. In the enhanced arm, participants could choose an electronic reminder device, three sessions of counseling either alone or with a treatment adherence partner, or both reminder and counseling. Survey assessments and blood draws occurred at baseline, post-intervention (13 weeks), and follow-up (25 weeks). Primary outcomes were 7-day and 30-day adherence assessed by self-report and electronic drug monitoring (EDM), and secondary outcomes were HIV-1 RNA viral load and CD4 count. The intervention was feasible and well received. It led to some improvement in self-reported and EDM-assessed adherence but not the biological outcomes. Providing counseling and facilitating the use of electronic reminders to patients initiating ART merits further investigation as a culturally viable means of promoting adherence in China.
HIV/AIDS; Adherence; Counseling; China; Nursing
This study investigated the PKCα protein expression in gastric carcinoma, and correlated it with clinicopathological parameters. The prognostic significance of PKCα protein expression in gastric carcinoma was analyzed.
Quantitative real-time PCR test was applied to compare the PKCα mRNA expression in tumorous and nontumorous tissues of gastric carcinoma in ten randomly selected cases. Then PKCα protein expression was evaluated in 215 cases of gastric carcinoma using immunohistochemical method. The immunoreactivity was scored semiquantitatively as: 0 = absent; 1 = weak; 2 = moderate; and 3 = strong. All cases were further classified into two groups, namely PKCα overexpression group with score 2 or 3, and non-overexpression group with score 0 or 1. The PKCα protein expression was correlated with clinicopathological parameters. Survival analysis was performed to determine the prognostic significance of PKCα protein expression in patients with gastric carcinoma.
PKCα mRNA expression was upregulated in all ten cases of gastric carcinoma via quantitative real-time PCR test. In immunohistochemical study, eighty-eight out of 215 cases (41%) of gastric carcinoma revealed PKCα protein overexpression, which was statistically correlated with age (P = 0.0073), histologic type (P<0.0001), tumor differentiation (P = 0.0110), depth of invasion (P = 0.0003), angiolymphatic invasion (P = 0.0373), pathologic stage (P = 0.0047), and distant metastasis (P = 0.0048). We found no significant difference in overall and disease free survival rates between PKCα overexpression and non-overexpression groups (P = 0.0680 and 0.0587). However, PKCα protein overexpression emerged as a significant independent prognostic factor in multivariate Cox regression analysis (hazard ratio 0.632, P = 0.0415).
PKCα protein is upregulated in gastric carcinoma. PKCα protein expression is statistically correlated with age, histologic type, tumor differentiation, depth of invasion, angiolymphatic invasion, pathologic stage, and distant metastasis. The PKCα protein overexpression in patients with gastric carcinoma is a significant independent prognostic factor in multivariate Cox regression analysis.
Inflammation and renal tubular injury are major features of acute kidney injury (AKI). Many cytokines and chemokines are released from injured tubular cells and acts as proinflammatory mediators. However, the role of IL-19 in the pathogenesis of AKI is not defined yet. In bilateral renal ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI)-induced and HgCl2-induced AKI animal models, real-time quantitative (RTQ)-PCR showed that the kidneys, livers, and lungs of AKI mice expressed significantly higher IL-19 and its receptors than did sham control mice. Immunohistochemical staining showed that IL-19 and its receptors were strongly stained in the kidney, liver, and lung tissue of AKI mice. In vitro, IL-19 upregulated MCP-1, TGF-β1, and IL-19, and induced mitochondria-dependent apoptosis in murine renal tubular epithelial M-1 cells. IL-19 upregulated TNF-α and IL-10 in cultured HepG2 cells, and it increased IL-1β and TNF-α expression in cultured A549 cells. In vivo, after renal IRI or a nephrotoxic dose of HgCl2 treatment, IL-20R1-deficient mice (the deficiency blocks IL-19 signaling) showed lower levels of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) in serum and less tubular damage than did wild-type mice. Therefore, we conclude that IL-19 mediates kidney, liver, and lung tissue damage in murine AKI and that blocking IL-19 signaling may provide a potent therapeutic strategy for treating AKI.
This study aimed to investigate two aspects of sustained attention in intellectually gifted children: first, the differences to intellectually average children; second, the differences between receiving standard education and enrichment education. Study 1 compared sustained attention between 24 intellectually gifted and 26 intellectually average children. The results showed that intellectually gifted children had better performance than their average peers, not only for the whole task but also on all indices. Study 2 compared sustained attention between 24 intellectually gifted children who received standard education and 24 intellectually gifted children who received enrichment education. The results showed that intellectually gifted children who received enrichment education performed better than those who received standard education. These findings are consistent with previous work and provide support for the implementation of enrichment education for intellectually gifted children.
Pycnodysostosis is a genetic bone disease featuring the unique bone homeostasis disorders of osteolysis and osteopetrosis in the same organism. The pathomechanism for pycnodysostosis has been largely unknown due to the unavailability of a pycnodysostosis mouse model with all the traits of the disease. We generated cathepsin K−/− mouse strains in the 129/Sv and C57BL/6J backgrounds and found that, only in the 129/Sv background, cathepsin K−/− mice exhibit many characteristics of the human pycnodysostosis-like phenotype. Our data indicated that 129/Sv cathepsin K−/− osteoclasts (OCs) lacked normal apoptosis and senescence and exhibited over-growth both in vitro and in vivo. These abnormalities resulted in an unusually high OC number, which is consistent with a recent case study of human pycnodysostosis. Our results show that cathepsin K function has different effects around the skeleton due to site-specific variations in bone homeostasis, such as phenotypes of osteopetrosis in tibiae and osteolysis in calvariae as a result of cathepsin K mutation. Our data demonstrated that the expression levels of p19, p53 and p21 were significantly reduced in 129/Sv cathepsin K−/− OCs and forced expression of cathepsin K in pre-OCs induced premature senescence and increased expression of p19, p53 and p21. This is the first evidence that cathepsin K plays a key role in OC apoptosis and senescence, revealing the importance of OC senescence in bone homeostasis. The finding of this novel cathepsin K function provides insight into the pathomechanism of pycnodysostosis and may provide new drug targets for diseases involved in OC-related abnormal bone homeostasis.
Genes, environment, and the interaction between them are each known to play an important role in the risk for developing complex diseases such as metabolic syndrome. For environmental factors, most studies focused on the measurements observed at the individual level, and therefore can only consider the gene-environment interaction at the same individual scale. Indeed the group-level (called contextual) environmental variables, such as community factors and the degree of local area development, may modify the genetic effect as well. To examine such cross-level interaction between genes and contextual factors, a flexible statistical model quantifying the variability of the genetic effects across different categories of the contextual variable is in need. With a Bayesian generalized linear mixed-effects model with an unconditional likelihood, we investigate whether the individual genetic effect is modified by the group-level residential environment factor in a matched case-control metabolic syndrome study. Such cross-level interaction is evaluated by examining the heterogeneity in allelic effects under various contextual categories, based on posterior samples from Markov chain Monte Carlo methods. The Bayesian analysis indicates that the effect of rs1801282 on metabolic syndrome development is modified by the contextual environmental factor. That is, even among individuals with the same genetic component of PPARG_Pro12Ala, living in a residential area with low availability of exercise facilities may result in higher risk. The modification of the group-level environment factors on the individual genetic attributes can be essential, and this Bayesian model is able to provide a quantitative assessment for such cross-level interaction. The Bayesian inference based on the full likelihood is flexible with any phenotype, and easy to implement computationally. This model has a wide applicability and may help unravel the complexity in development of complex diseases.
The clupeoid fishes are distributed worldwide, with marine, freshwater and euryhaline species living in either tropical or temperate environments. Regional endemism is important at the species and genus levels, and the highest species diversity is found in the tropical marine Indo-West Pacific region. The clupeoid distribution follows two general pattern of species richness, the longitudinal and latitudinal gradients. To test historical hypotheses explaining the formation of these two gradients, we have examined the early biogeography of the Clupeoidei in reconstructing the evolution of their habitat preferences along with their ancestral range distributions on a time-calibrated mitogenomic phylogeny. The phylogenetic results support the distinction of nine main lineages within the Clupeoidei, five of them new. We infer several independent transitions from a marine to freshwater environment and from a tropical to temperate environment that occurred after the initial diversification period of the Clupeoidei. These results combined with our ancestral range reconstruction hypothesis suggest that the probable region of origin and diversification of the Clupeoidei during the Cretaceous period was the tropical marine precursor to the present Indo-West Pacific region. Thus, our study favors the hypotheses of “Region of origin” and “Tropical conservatism” to explain the origins of the longitudinal and latitudinal gradients of clupeoid species richness, respectively. Additional geological and paleontological evidence further define the tropical marine paleo-region of origin as the eastern Tethys Sea region. The Cretaceous fossil record of the Clupeoidei is partially incongruent with the results here as it contains taxa found outside this region. We discuss three possible causes of conflict between our biogeographical hypothesis and the distributions of the Cretaceous clupeoid fossils: regional extinction, incomplete taxonomic sampling and incorrect timescale estimation.
Peripheral serotonin is involved in tumorigenesis and induces a pro-proliferative effect in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells; however, the intracellular mechanisms by which serotonin exerts a mitogenic effect remain unclear. In this research, we examined whether FOXO3a, a transcription factor at the interface of crucial cellular processes, plays a role downstream of serotonin in HCC cells.
The cell viability and expression of FOXO3a was assessed in three HCC cell lines (Huh7, HepG2 and Hep3B) during serum deprivation in the presence or absence of serotonin. Serum free media significantly inhibited HCC proliferation and led to reduced expression and nuclear accumulation of FOXO3a. Knockdown of FOXO3a enhanced the ability of serum deprivation to inhibit HCC cells proliferation. And overexpression of non-phosphorylated FOXO3a in HCC cells reversed serum-deprivation-induced growth inhibition. Serotonin reversed the serum-deprivation-induced inhibition of cell proliferation and upregulated FOXO3a in Huh7 cells; however, serotonin had no effect on the proliferation of serum-deprived HepG2 or Hep3B cells. In addition to proliferation, serotonin also induced phosphorylation of AKT and FOXO3a in serum-deprived Huh7 cells but not in HepG2 and Hep3B cells. However, the phosphorylation of FOXO3a induced by serotonin did not export FOXO3a from nucleus to cytoplasm in serum-deprived Huh7 cells. Consequently, we demonstrated that serotonin promoted the proliferation of Huh7 cells by increasing the expression of FOXO3a. We also provide preliminary evidence that different expression levels of the 5-HT2B receptor (5-HT2BR) may contribute to the distinct effects of serotonin in different serum-deprived HCC cells.
This study demonstrates that FOXO3a functions as a growth factor in serum-deprived HCC cells and serotonin promotes the proliferation of serum-deprived HCC cells via upregulation of FOXO3a, in the presence of sufficient levels of the serotonin receptor 5-HT2BR. Drugs targeting the serotonin-5-HT2BR-FOXO3a pathway may provide a novel target for anticancer therapy.
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Serotonin; FOXO3a; 5-HT2B receptor; Cell proliferation
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), an endogenous gaseotransmitter/modulator, is becoming appreciated that it may be involved in a wide variety of processes including inflammation and nociception. However, the role and mechanism for H2S in nociceptive processing in trigeminal ganglion (TG) neuron remains unknown. The aim of this study is to investigate distribution of endogenous H2S synthesizing enzyme cystathionine-β-synthetase (CBS) expression and role of H2S on excitability and voltage-gated potassium channels of TG neurons.
Immunofluorescence studies were carried out to determine whether CBS was co-expressed in Kv1.1 or Kv1.4-positive TG neurons. Whole cell patch clamp recordings were employed on acutely isolated TG neurons from adult male Sprague Dawley rats (6–8 week old). von Frey filaments were used to examine the pain behavioral responses in rats following injection of sodium hydrosulfide.
In rat TG, 77.3±6.6% neurons were immunoreactive for CBS, 85.1±3.8% for Kv1.1 and 97.8±1.1% for Kv1.4. Double staining showed that all CBS labeled cells were Kv1.1 and Kv1.4 positive, but only 92.2±6.1% of Kv1.1 and 78.2±9.9% of Kv1.4 positive cells contained CBS. Application of H2S donor NaHS (250 μM) led to a significant depolarization of resting membrane potential recorded from TG neurons. NaHS application also resulted in a dramatic reduction in rheobase, hyperpolarization of action potential threshold, and a significant increase in the number of action potentials evoked at 2X and 3X rheobase stimulation. Under voltage-clamp conditions, TG neurons exhibited transient A-type (IA) and sustained outward rectifier K+ currents (IK). Application of NaHS did suppress IK density while did not change IA density of TG neurons (n=6). Furthermore, NaHS, a donor of hydrogen sulfide, produced a significant reduction in escape threshold in a dose dependent manner.
These data suggest that endogenous H2S generating enzyme CBS was co-localized well with Kv1.1 and Kv1.4 in TG neurons and that H2S produces the mechanic pain and increases neuronal excitability, which might be largely mediated by suppressing IK density, thus identifying for the first time a specific molecular mechanism underlying pain and sensitization in TG.
Hydrogen sulfide; Cystathionine-β-synthase; Trigeminal ganglion; Excitability; Voltage-gated potassium channels
The auditory system is the most susceptible to damages from blast waves. Blast injuries always lead to varying degrees of hearing impairment. Although a disorder of the cochlear blood flow (CoBF) has been considered to be related to many pathological processes of the auditory system and to contribute to various types of hearing loss, changes in the CoBF induced by blast waves and the relationship between such changes and hearing impairment are undefined. To observe the changes in the cochlear microcirculation after exposure to an explosion blast, investigate the relationship between changes in the CoBF and hearing impairment and subsequently explore the mechanism responsible for the changes in the CoBF, we detected the perfusion of the cochlear microcirculation and hearing threshold shift after exposure to an explosion blast. Then, an N-nitro-L-arginine-methyl ester (L-NAME, NO synthase inhibitor) solution and artificial perilymph were applied to the round window (RW) of the cochlea before the blast exposure, followed by an evaluation of the CoBF and hearing function. The results indicated that the changes in the CoBF were correlated to the strength of the blast wave. The cochlear blood flow significantly increased when the peak value of the blast overpressure was greater than approximately 45 kPa, and there was no significant change in the cochlear blood flow when the peak value of the blast overpressure was less than approximately 35 kPa. Following local administration of the NO synthase inhibitor L-NAME, the increase in the CoBF induced by the blast was inhibited, and this reduction was significantly associated with the hearing threshold.
Cochlea; blood flow; hearing function; blast injury; guinea pigs
Histone H3K4 methylation is associated with active genes and, along with H3K27 methylation, is part of a bivalent chromatin mark that typifies poised developmental genes in embryonic stem cells (ESCs). However, its functional roles in ESC maintenance and differentiation are not established. Here we show that mammalian Dpy-30, a core subunit of the SET1/MLL histone methyltransferase complexes, modulates H3K4 methylation in vitro, and directly regulates chromosomal H3K4 trimethylation (H3K4me3) throughout the mammalian genome. Depletion of Dpy-30 does not affect ESC self-renewal, but significantly alters the differentiation potential of ESCs, particularly along the neural lineage. The differentiation defect is accompanied by defects in gene induction and in H3K4 methylation at key developmental loci. Our results strongly indicate an essential functional role for Dpy-30 and SET1/MLL complex-mediated H3K4 methylation, as a component of the bivalent mark, at developmental genes during the ESC fate transitions.
Recent advances in the identification of susceptibility genes and environmental exposures provide broad support for a post-infectious autoimmune basis for narcolepsy/hypocretin (orexin) deficiency. We genotyped loci associated with other autoimmune and inflammatory diseases in 1,886 individuals with hypocretin-deficient narcolepsy and 10,421 controls, all of European ancestry, using a custom genotyping array (ImmunoChip). Three loci located outside the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) region on chromosome 6 were significantly associated with disease risk. In addition to a strong signal in the T cell receptor alpha (TRA@), variants in two additional narcolepsy loci, Cathepsin H (CTSH) and Tumor necrosis factor (ligand) superfamily member 4 (TNFSF4, also called OX40L), attained genome-wide significance. These findings underline the importance of antigen presentation by HLA Class II to T cells in the pathophysiology of this autoimmune disease.
While there is now broad consensus that narcolepsy-hypocretin deficiency results from a highly specific autoimmune attack on hypocretin cells, little is understood regarding the initiation and progression of the underlying autoimmune process. We have taken advantage of a unique high-density genotyping platform (the ImmunoChip) designed to study variants in genes known to be important to autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Our study of nearly 2000 narcolepsy cases compared to 10,000 controls underscored important roles for HLA DQB1*06:02 and the T cell receptor alpha genes and implicated two additional genes, Cathepsin H and TNFSF4/OX40L, in disease pathogenesis. These findings are particularly important, as these encoded proteins have key roles in antigen processing, presentation, and T cell response, and they suggest that specific interactions at the immunological synapse constitute the pathway to the disease. Further studies of these genes and encoded proteins may therefore reveal the mechanism leading to this highly selective and unique autoimmune disease.
We present a method to include robustness into a multi-criteria optimization (MCO) framework for intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT). The approach allows one to simultaneously explore the tradeoff between different objectives as well as the tradeoff between robustness and nominal plan quality. In MCO, a database of plans, each emphasizing different treatment planning objectives, is pre-computed to approximate the Pareto surface. An IMPT treatment plan that strikes the best balance between the different objectives can be selected by navigating on the Pareto surface. In our approach, robustness is integrated into MCO by adding robustified objectives and constraints to the MCO problem. Uncertainties (or errors) of the robust problem are modeled by pre-calculated dose-influence matrices for a nominal scenario and a number of pre-defined error scenarios (shifted patient positions, proton beam undershoot and overshoot). Objectives and constraints can be defined for the nominal scenario, thus characterizing nominal plan quality. A robustified objective represents the worst objective function value that can be realized for any of the error scenarios and thus provides a measure of plan robustness. The optimization method is based on a linear projection solver and is capable of handling large problem sizes resulting from a fine dose grid resolution, many scenarios, and a large number of proton pencil beams. A base of skull case is used to demonstrate the robust optimization method. It is demonstrated that the robust optimization method reduces the sensitivity of the treatment plan to setup and range errors to a degree that is not achieved by a safety margin approach. A chordoma case is analysed in more detail to demonstrate the involved tradeoffs between target underdose and brainstem sparing as well as robustness and nominal plan quality. The latter illustrates the advantage of MCO in the context of robust planning. For all cases examined, the robust optimization for each Pareto optimal plan takes less than 5 minutes on a standard computer, making a computationally friendly interface possible to the planner. In conclusion, the uncertainty pertinent to the IMPT procedure can be reduced during treatment planning by optimizing plans that emphasize different treatment objectives, including robustness, and then interactively seeking for a most-preferred one from the solution Pareto surface.
Toroidal shapes are often found in bio-molecules, viruses, proteins and fats, but only recently it was proved experimentally that toroidal structures can support exotic high-frequency electromagnetic excitations that are neither electric or magnetic multipoles. Such excitations, known as toroidal moments, could be playing an important role in enhancing inter-molecular interaction and energy transfer due to its higher electromagnetic energy confinement and weaker coupling to free space. Using a model toroidal metamaterial system, we show that coupling optical gain medium with high Q-factor toroidal resonance mode can enhance the single pass amplification to up to 65 dB. This offers an opportunity of creating the “toroidal” lasing spaser, a source of coherent optical radiation that is fueled by toroidal plasmonic oscillations in the nanostructure.