In the abdominal aortocaval (AV) fistula model of heart failure, we have shown that the acute doubling of cardiac mature mast cell (MC) density involved the maturation, but not proliferation, of a resident population of immature cardiac MCs. An increase in stem cell factor (SCF) may be responsible for this MC maturation process. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine if: 1) myocardial SCF levels are increased following the initiation of cardiac volume overload; 2) the incubation of left ventricular (LV) tissue slices with SCF results in an increase in mature MC density; and 3) chemical degranulation of mature cardiac MCs in LV tissue slices results in an increase in SCF and mature MC density via MC chymase. Male rats with either sham or AV fistula surgery were studied at 6 hrs and 1 and 3 days post-surgery. LV slices from normal male rat hearts were incubated for 16 hrs with media alone or media containing one of the following: 1) recombinant rat SCF (20 ng/ml) to determine the effects of SCF on MC maturation; 2) the MC secretagogue compound 48/80 (20 μg/ml) to determine the effects of MC degranulation on SCF levels and mature MC density; 3) media containing compound 48/80 and anti-SCF (5μg/ml) to block the effects of SCF; 4) chymase (100 nM) to determine the effects of chymase on SCF; and 5) compound 48/80 and chymostatin (chymase inhibitor, 10 μM) to block the effects of MC chymase. In AV fistula animals, myocardial SCF was significantly elevated above that in the sham group at 6 hrs and 1 day post fistula by 2 and 1.8 fold, respectively, and then returned to normal by 3 days; this increase slightly preceded significant increases in MC density. Incubation of LV slices with SCF resulted in a doubling of mature MC density and this was concomitant with a significant decrease in the number of immature mast cells. Incubation of LV slices with compound 48/80 increased media SCF levels and mature MC density, anti-SCF and chymostatin prevented these compound 48/80-induced increases. Incubation with chymase increased media SCF levels and mature MC density. These findings indicate that activated mature cardiac mast cells are responsible, in a paracrine fashion, for the increase in mature MC density post AV fistula by rapidly increasing SCF levels via the release of chymase.
Stem cell factor; Mast cell maturation; Left ventricular tissue slice culture; Abdominal aortocaval fistula; Compound 48/80; Chymase
Two currently licensed live oral rotavirus vaccines (Rotarix® and RotaTeq®) are highly efficacious against severe rotavirus diarrhea. However, the efficacy of such vaccines in selected low-income African and Asian countries is much lower than that in middle or high-income countries. Additionally, these two vaccines have recently been associated with rare case of intussusception in vaccinated infants. We developed a novel recombinant subunit parenteral rotavirus vaccine which may be more effective in low-income countries and also avert the potential problem of intussusception. Truncated recombinant VP8* (ΔVP8*) protein of human rotavirus strain Wa P, DS-1 P or 1076 P expressed in E. coli was highly soluble and was generated in high yield. Guinea pigs hyperimmunized intramuscularly with each of the ΔVP8* proteins (i.e., (P, P or P) developed high levels of homotypic as well as variable levels of heterotypic neutralizing antibodies. Moreover, the selected ΔVP8* proteins when administered to mice at a clinically relevant dosage, route and schedule, elicited high levels of serum anti-VP8* IgG and/or neutralizing antibodies. Our data indicated that the ΔVP8* proteins may be a plausible additional candidate as new parenteral rotavirus vaccines.
Rotavirus; Vaccine; Subunit vaccine; VP8* protein; P type
Inflammatory cells play a major role in the pathology of heart failure by stimulating cardiac fibroblasts to regulate the extracellular matrix in an adverse way. In view of the fact that inflammatory cells have estrogen receptors, we hypothesized that estrogen provides cardioprotection by decreasing the ability of cardiac inflammatory cells to influence fibroblast function.
Male rats were assigned to either an untreated or estrogen-treated group. In the treated group, estrogen was delivered for 2 weeks via a subcutaneous implanted pellet containing 17β-estradiol. A mixed population of cardiac inflammatory cells, including T-lymphocytes (about 70%), macrophages (about 12%), and mast cells (about 12%), was isolated from each rat and cultured in a Boyden chamber with cardiac fibroblasts from untreated adult male rats for 24 hours. To examine if tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) produced by inflammatory cells represents a mechanism contributing to the stimulatory effects of inflammatory cells on cardiac fibroblasts, inflammatory cells from the untreated group were incubated with cardiac fibroblasts in a Boyden chamber system for 24 hours in the presence of a TNF-α-neutralizing antibody. Cardiac fibroblasts were also incubated with 5 ng/mL of TNF-α for 24 hours. Fibro-blast proliferation, collagen synthesis, matrix metalloproteinase activity, β1 integrin protein levels, and the ability of fibroblasts to contract collagen gels were determined in all groups and statistically compared via one-way analysis of variance.
Inflammatory cells from the untreated group resulted in: 1) an increased fibroblast proliferation, collagen production and matrix metalloproteinase activity; and 2) a loss of β1 integrin protein and a reduced ability to contract collagen gels. In contrast, inflammatory cells from the treated group resulted in: 1) an attenuated fibroblast proliferation; 2) a nonsignificant reduction in collagen production; 3) the prevention of matrix metalloproteinase activation and the loss of β1 integrin by fibroblasts and 4) a preservation of the fibroblasts’ ability to contract collagen gels. The TNF-α neutralizing antibody attenuated or prevented the untreated inflammatory cell-induced fibroblast proliferation, collagen production, matrix metalloproteinase activation and loss of β1 integrin protein as well as preserved fibroblast contractile ability. Incubation with TNF-α yielded changes in the cardiac fibroblast parameters that were directionally similar to the results obtained with untreated inflammatory cells.
These results and those of our previous in vivo studies suggest that a major mechanism by which estrogen provides cardioprotection is its ability to modulate synthesis of TNF-α by inflammatory cells, thereby preventing inflammatory cell induction of cardiac fibroblast events that contribute to adverse extracellular matrix remodeling.
tumor necrosis factor-alpha; neutralizing antibody; fibroblast proliferation; matrix metalloproteinase activity; β1 integrin; collagen gel contraction
Currently, remote sensing technologies were widely employed in the dynamic monitoring of the land. This paper presented an algorithm named fuzzy nonlinear proximal support vector machine (FNPSVM) by basing on ETM+ remote sensing image. This algorithm is applied to extract various types of lands of the city Da’an in northern China. Two multi-category strategies, namely “one-against-one” and “one-against-rest” for this algorithm were described in detail and then compared. A fuzzy membership function was presented to reduce the effects of noises or outliers on the data samples. The approaches of feature extraction, feature selection, and several key parameter settings were also given. Numerous experiments were carried out to evaluate its performances including various accuracies (overall accuracies and kappa coefficient), stability, training speed, and classification speed. The FNPSVM classifier was compared to the other three classifiers including the maximum likelihood classifier (MLC), back propagation neural network (BPN), and the proximal support vector machine (PSVM) under different training conditions. The impacts of the selection of training samples, testing samples and features on the four classifiers were also evaluated in these experiments.
To investigate the accuracy of imaging-based gross tumor volume (GTV) compared with pathological volume in cervical cancer.
Ten patients with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage I–II cervical cancer were eligible for investigation and underwent surgery in this study. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (18F-FDG PET)/computed tomography (CT) scans were taken the day before surgery. The GTVs under MRI and 18F-FDG PET/CT (GTV-MRI, GTV-PET, GTV-CT) were calculated automatically by Eclipse treatment-planning systems. Specimens of excised uterine cervix and cervical cancer were consecutively sliced and divided into whole-mount serial sections. The tumor border of hematoxylin and eosin-stained sections was outlined under a microscope by an experienced pathologist. GTV through pathological image (GTV-path) was calculated with Adobe Photoshop.
The GTVs (average ± standard deviation) delineated and calculated under CT, MRI, PET, and histopathological sections were 19.41 ± 11.96 cm3, 12.66 ± 10.53 cm3, 11.07 ± 9.44 cm3, and 10.79 ± 8.71 cm3, respectively. The volume of GTV-CT or GTV-MR was bigger than GTV-path, and the difference was statistically significant (P < 0.05). No significant difference was observed between GTV-PET and GTV-path (P > 0.05). Spearman correlation analysis showed that GTV-CT, GTV-MRI, and GTV-PET were significantly correlated with GTV-path (P < 0.01). There was no significant difference in the lesion coverage factor among the three modalities.
The present study showed that GTV defined under 40% of maximum standardized uptake value in PET images was very similar to the pathological volume of cervical cancer. This result should be replicated in a larger number of patients with cervical cancer in a future study of ours.
MRI; 18F-FDG PET/CT; pathological tumor volume; gross tumor volume; cervical cancer
Urokinase (uPA) and its receptor (uPAR) play an important role in tumour growth and metastasis, and overexpression of these molecules is strongly correlated with poor prognosis in a variety of malignant tumours. Targeting the excessive activation of this system as well as the proliferation of the tumour vascular endothelial cell would be expected to prevent tumour neovasculature and halt tumour development. The amino terminal fragment (ATF) of urokinase has been confirmed effective to inhibit the proliferation, migration and invasiveness of cancer cells via interrupting the interaction of uPA and uPAR. Triptolide (TPL) is a purified diterpenoid isolated from the Chinese herb Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F that has shown antitumor activities in various cancer cell types. However, its therapeutic application is limited by its toxicity in normal tissues and complications caused in patients. In this study, we attempted to investigate the synergistic anticancer activity of TPL and ATF in various solid tumour cells.
Using in vitro and in vivo experiments, we investigated the combined effect of TPL and ATF at a low dosage on cell proliferation, cell apoptosis, cell cycle distribution, cell migration, signalling pathways, xenograft tumour growth and angiogenesis.
Our data showed that the sensitivity of a combined therapy using TPL and ATF was higher than that of TPL or ATF alone. Suppression of NF-κB transcriptional activity, activation of caspase-9/caspase-3, cell cycle arrest, and inhibition of uPAR-mediated signalling pathway contributed to the synergistic effects of this combination therapy. Furthermore, using a mouse xenograft model, we demonstrated that the combined treatment completely suppressed tumour growth by inhibiting angiogenesis as compared with ATF or TPL treatment alone.
Our study suggests that lower concentration of ATF and TPL used in combination may produce a synergistic anticancer efficacy that warrants further investigation for its potential clinical applications.
Amino-terminal fragment of urokinase; Triptolide; Synergism; Apoptosis; Cell migration; Cell cycle; Xenograft
Hepatocellular carcinoma is one of the most common and lethal cancers worldwide, especially in developing countries. In the present study, we found that the expression of a microRNA, miR-590-5P, was down-regulated and S100A10 was up-regulated in six hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines. The reporter gene assay showed that overexpression of miR-590-5P effectively reduced the activity of luciferase expressed by a vector bearing the 3′ untranslated region of S100A10 mRNA. Ectopic miR-590-5P overexpression mediated by lentiviral infection decreased expression of S100A10. Infection of Lv-miR-590-5P inhibited cell growth and induced cell cycle G1 arrest in HepG2 cells. In addition, miR-590-5P expression suppressed the expression of Wnt5a, cMyc and cyclin D1, and increased the phosphorylation of β-catenin and expression of Caspase 3, which may contribute to the inhibitory effect of miR-590-5P on cell growth. Taken together, our data suggest that down-regulation of miR-590-5P is involved in hepatocellular carcinoma and the restoration of miR-590-5P can impair the growth of cancer cells, suggesting that miR-590-5P may be a potential target molecule for the therapy of hepatocellular carcinoma.
miR-590-5P; S100A10; hepatocellular carcinoma; Wnt pathway; lentiviral system; reporter gene
In this study, the pathological microvessel changes to the endplate and the degeneration of the intervertebral disc of diabetic rats were examined in order to identify the possible mechanism by which diabetes mellitus (DM) induces degeneration of the intervertebral disc. A total of 30 Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into two groups. DM was induced in one of the groups by streptozotocin (STZ) administration. The rats were sacrificed 4, 8 and 12 weeks later. Five rats from each group were sacrificed at each time interval and lumbar disc and endplate tissue were obtained from each rat. The histological changes, collagen expression, microvessel density (MVD) and apoptosis of the disc were investigated by different methods. The expression of collagen I in the diabetic DM group was higher compared to the control group at the three time points (P<0.01), in contrast to the expression of collagen II. The factor VIII-related antigen (FVIII RAg) was expressed in the control and DM groups, while its expression was relatively low in the DM group. The MVD of the DM group was smaller compared to that of the control group at the three time points (P<0.01). The apoptotic index (AI) in the diabetic group was significantly higher compared to that of the control group at the three time points (P<0.01). A negative correlation was observed between the MVD of the endplates and the notochordal cell AI in the two groups. Compared to the control group, the endplate MVD decreased and the cavity became smaller or disappeared in the diabetic rats. In conclusion, there was a negative correlation between MVD and degenerative changes of the intervertebral disc in diabetic rats.
diabetes mellitus; intervertebral disc; microvessel
Substance P and neurokinin A (NKA) are sensory nerve neuropeptides encoded by the TAC1 gene. Substance P is a mast cell secretagogue and mast cells are known to play a role in adverse myocardial remodelling. Therefore, we wondered whether substance P and/or NKA modulates myocardial remodelling via a mast cell-mediated mechanism.
Methods and results
Volume overload was induced by aortocaval fistula in TAC1−/− mice and their respective wild types. Left ventricular internal diameter of wild-type (WT) fistulas increased by 31.9%; this was prevented in TAC1−/− mice (4.2%). Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity was significantly increased in WT fistula mice and was prevented in TAC1−/− mice. Myocardial collagen volume fraction was decreased in WT fistula mice; this collagen degradation was not observed in the TAC1−/− group. There were no significant differences between any groups in tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α or cell death. Cardiac mast cells were isolated from rat hearts and stimulated with substance P or NKA. We found that these cells degranulated only to substance P, via the neurokinin-1 receptor. To determine the effect of substance P on mast cells in vivo, volume overload was created in Sprague-Dawley rats treated with the NK-1 receptor antagonist L732138 (5 mg/kg/day) for a period of 3 days. L732138 prevented: (i) increases in cardiac mast cell density; (ii) increased myocardial TNF-α; and (iii) collagen degradation.
Our studies suggest that substance P may be important in mediating adverse myocardial remodelling secondary to volume overload by activating cardiac mast cells, leading to increased TNF-α and MMP activation with subsequent degradation of the extracellular matrix.
Sensory nerves; Substance P; Mast cell; TAC1; Heart
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced neovasculature is immature and leaky. We tested if coexpression of angiopoietin-1 (ANG1) with VEGF improves blood–brain barrier (BBB) integrity and VEGF neuroprotective and neurorestorative effects using a permanent distal middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO) model. Adult CD-1 mice were injected with 2 × 109 virus genomes of adeno-associated viral vectors expressing VEGF (AAV-VEGF) or ANG1 (AAV-ANG1) individually or together in a 1:1 ratio into the ischemic penumbra 1 hour after pMCAO. AAV-LacZ was used as vector control. Samples were collected 3 weeks later. Compared with AAV-LacZ, coinjection of AAV-VEGF and AAV-ANG1 reduced atrophy volume (46%, P=0.004); injection of AAV-VEGF or AAV-ANG1 individually reduced atrophy volume slightly (36%, P=0.08 and 33%, P=0.09, respectively). Overexpression of VEGF reduced tight junction protein expression and increased Evans blue extravasation. Compared with VEGF expression alone, coexpression of ANG1 with VEGF resulted in upregulation of tight junction protein expression and reduction of Evans blue leakage (AAV-ANG1/AAV-VEGF: 1.4±0.3 versus AAV-VEGF: 2.8±0.7, P=0.001). Coinjection of AAV-VEGF and AAV-ANG1 induced a similar degree of angiogenesis as injection of AAV-VEGF alone (P=0.85). Thus, coexpression of ANG1 with VEGF improved BBB integrity and resulted in better neuroprotection compared with VEGF expression alone.
adeno-associated viral vector; angiopoietin-1; middle cerebral artery occlusion; tight junction protein; vascular integrity; VEGF
Aplastic anemia (AA) is generally considered as an immune-mediated bone marrow failure syndrome with defective hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and marrow microenvironment. Previous studies have demonstrated the defective HSCs and aberrant T cellular-immunity in AA using a microarray approach. However, little is known about the overall specialty of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs). In the present study, we comprehensively compared the biological features and gene expression profile of BM-MSCs between AA patients and healthy volunteers. In comparison with healthy controls, BM-MSCs from AA patients showed aberrant morphology, decreased proliferation and clonogenic potential and increased apoptosis. BM-MSCs from AA patients were susceptible to be induced to differentiate into adipocytes but more difficult to differentiate into osteoblasts. Consistent with abnormal biological features, a large number of genes implicated in cell cycle, cell division, proliferation, chemotaxis and hematopoietic cell lineage showed markedly decreased expression in BM-MSCs from AA patients. Conversely, more related genes with apoptosis, adipogenesis and immune response showed increased expression in BM-MSCs from AA patients. The gene expression profile of BM-MSCs further confirmed the abnormal biological properties and provided significant evidence for the possible mechanism of the destruction of the bone marrow microenvironment in AA.
In China, high prevalence of HBV and HCV parallels with the growing epidemic of syphilis and HIV in the general population poses a great threat to blood safety. This study investigated the prevalence of serologic markers for transfusion transmissible infections (TTIs) among four Chinese blood centers.
We examined whole blood donations collected from January 2000 through December 2010 at four Chinese blood centers. Post-donation testing of TTIs (HIV, HBV, HCV and syphilis) were conducted using two different enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits for each seromarker. The prevalence of serologic markers for TTIs (%) was calculated and additional analysis was conducted to examine donor characteristics associated with positive TTIs serology.
Of the 4,366,283 donations, 60% were from first-time donors and 40% were from repeated donors. The overall prevalence of HIV, HBsAg, HCV and syphilis was 0.08%, 0.86%, 0.51% and 0.47%, respectively. The prevalence profile of TTIs varied among different blood centers and appeared at relatively high levels. Overall, the prevalence of HBsAg and HCV demonstrated a decline trend among four blood centers, while the prevalence of HIV and syphilis displayed three different trends: constantly steady, continually increasing and declining among different centers.
This study reflects the risk of TTIs has been greatly reduced in China, but blood transfusion remains an ongoing risk factor for the spread of blood-borne infections, and further work and improvements are needed to strengthen both safety and availability of blood in China.
Transfusion; Prevalence; HIV; HBV; HCV; Syphilis
Plasma level of total homocysteine (tHcy) is negatively correlated with kidney function in general population. However, the causal mechanism of this correlation is poorly understood. The purpose of this study is to investigate the association of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T gene polymorphism, which is a major genetic determinant of the plasma tHcy level, with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in Chinese.
A total of 18 814 hypertensive patients (6 914 males, 11 900 females) were included in the study.
Association between the eGFR and MTHFR C677T genotype was examined by sex-specific regression analyses. In males, TT genotype was associated with 1.37 ml/min/1.73 m2 decrease in eGFR (p = 0.004) and with an increased risk (OR = 1.32, p = 0.008) for the lowest quintile of eGFR after adjusting for age, BMI, and blood pressures. However, such association was not observed in females (p > 0.05). This association suggests MTHFR C677T polymorphism may play a role in the regulation of eGFR in males.
MTHFR 677 T is a risk allele for decreased kidney function in Chinese males, implicating this gene in the pathogenesis of chronic kidney disease (CKD).
MTHFR C677T polymorphism; eGFR; CKD
This study examined the prevalence of impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and diabetes and their associated factors in 17,184 Chinese hypertensive adults aged 45–75 years.
A cross-sectional investigation was carried out in a rural area of Lianyungang, China. Previously undiagnosed diabetes [fasting plasma glucose (FPG) ≥7.0mmol/l] and IFG (6.1–6.9mmol/l) were defined based on FPG concentration. Previously diagnosed diabetes was determined on the basis of self-report. Total diabetes included both previously diagnosed diabetes and previously undiagnosed diabetes.
The prevalence of previously diagnosed diabetes, undiagnosed diabetes, and IFG were 3.4%, 9.8%, and 14.1%, respectively. About 74.2% of the participants with diabetes had not previously been diagnosed. In the multivariable logistic-regression model, older age, men, antihypertensive treatment, obesity (BMI ≥25kg/m2), abdominal obesity (waist circumference ≥90cm for men and ≥80cm for women), non-current smoking, a family history of diabetes, higher heart rate, lower physical activity levels, and inland residence (versus coastal) were significantly associated with both total diabetes and previously undiagnosed diabetes. Furthermore, methylene- tetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) 677 TT genotype was an independent associated factor for total diabetes, and current alcohol drinking was an independent associated factor for previously undiagnosed diabetes. At the same time, older age, men, abdominal obesity, non-current smoking, current alcohol drinking, a family history of diabetes, higher heart rate, and inland residence (versus coastal) were important independent associated factors for IFG.
In conclusion, we found a high prevalence of diabetes in Chinese hypertensive adults. Furthermore, about three out of every four diabetic adults were undiagnosed. Our results suggest that population-level measures aimed at the prevention, identification (even if only based on the FPG evaluation), and treatment of diabetes should be urgently taken to overcome the diabetes epidemic in Chinese hypertensive adults.
The GDP exchange factor (GEF) Vav1 is a central signal transducer downstream of the T cell receptor and has been identified as a key factor for T cell activation in the context of allograft rejection. Vav1 has been shown to transduce signals both dependent and independent of its GEF function. The most promising approach to disrupt Vav1 activity by pharmacological inhibition would be to target its GEF function. However, the contribution of Vav1 GEF activity for allogeneic T cell activation has not been clarified yet. To address this question, we used knock-in mice bearing a mutated Vav1 with disrupted GEF activity but intact GEF-independent functions. T cells from these mice showed strongly reduced proliferation and activation in response to allogeneic stimulation. Furthermore, lack of Vav1 GEF activity strongly abrogated the in vivo expansion of T cells in a systemic graft-versus-host model. In a cardiac transplantation model, mice with disrupted Vav1 GEF activity show prolonged allograft survival. These findings demonstrate a strong requirement for Vav1 GEF activity for allogeneic T cell activation and graft rejection suggesting that disruption of Vav1 GEF activity alone is sufficient to induce significant immunosuppression.
► The contribution of Vav1 GEF activity to allograft rejection was addressed. ► T cells with disrupted GEF activity showed reduced proliferation and activation. ► Mice with disrupted Vav1 GEF activity showed prolonged cardiac allograft survival. ► Vav1 GEF activity significantly contributes to T cell-mediated allograft rejection.
Vav; Allograft rejection; RhoGTPase; T cells
The tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) gene may play an important role in coronary heart disease (CHD) and myocardial infarction (MI) risk. Recently, controversial results regarding the association of the G-308 A (rs1800629)polymorphism of the TNF-α gene with CHD/MI have been reported. We herein examine a possible association between the G-308 A (rs1800629)polymorphism of the TNF-α gene and CHD/MI in a sample of the Chinese Han population.
Materials and Methods:
We determined the genotypes of TNF-α G-308 A (rs1800629) in 535 unrelated Chinese patients with CHD, 420 patients with MI, and 1020 coronary artery disease-free controls. Additionally, a meta-analysis of all previous studies on the TNF-α G-308 A polymorphism and the risk of CHD and MI was performed.
AA genotypes in the G-308 A (rs1800629)polymorphism of the TNF-α gene did not occur more frequently in CHD/MI patients than in controls; odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) were 1.743 (0.325 to 1.423) for CHD and 1.731 (0.442 to 1.526) for MI, after adjusting for conventional risk factors. Further stratification for age, gender, and other cardiovascular risk factors did not alter the prior negative findings. Pooled meta-analysis of 23 studies also found no statistically significant associations between the TNF-α polymorphism and CHD/MI risk in the genetic additive, dominant, and recessive models. Subgroup analyses showed no association between the TNF-α polymorphism and CHD/MI in Asian and Caucasian populations.
Our study showed no association between the G-308 A (rs1800629) polymorphism of the TNF-α gene (presence of A allele) and CHD/MI in the Chinese Han population. There was no evidence of a difference in risk effects of rs1800629 between Caucasians and Asians.
Coronary heart disease; meta-analysis; myocardial infarction; polymorphism; tumor necrosis factor-alpha
To evaluate the clinical outcomes and patterns of failure in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) treated with intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) in Northwest China.
Methods and materials
From January 2006 to December 2009, 138 NPC patients were treated at Xijing Hospital. Of them, 25 cases with stage I-II received IMRT only, 113 cases with stage III-IVb received IMRT plus accomplished platinum-based chemotherapy. The IMRT prescribed dose was PTV 68-74 Gy to gross disease in nasopharynx and 66-72 Gy to positive lymph nodes in 30-33 fractions, and high risk and low risk region PTV was 60-63 Gy and 50.4~56 Gy in 30~33 and 28 fractions respectively. Plasma Epstein Barr virus (EBV) DNA load was measured before treatment. The clinical toxicities, outcomes and patterns of failure were observed.
The median follow up time was 23 months (range 2 to 53 months). EBV infection positive was only 15.9%. Overall disease failure developed in 36 patients, 99% belonged to stage III/IV disease. Among these, there were 26 distant metastases, 6 local recurrence, and 4 regional recurrence. The 3-year local control rate(LCR), distant metastasis-free survival (MFS), disease-free survival (DFS) and the overall survival (OS) was 93.9%, 79.5%, 70% and 83.1% respectively. Multivariate analyses revealed that age and anemia pre-radiotherapy were independent predictors for OS.
IMRT with or without chemotherapy can improve the long term survival of NPC patients in Northwest China. Distant metastasis becomes the main cause of treatment failure. Age and anemia before radiotherapy were the main prognosis factors of NPC patients.
nasopharyngeal carcinoma; intensity modulated radiotherapy; chemotherapy; pattern of failure; survival
This study aimed to investigate if the homocysteine-lowering efficacy of two commonly used physiological doses (0.4 mg/d and 0.8 mg/d) of folic acid (FA) can be modified by individual methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T and/or methionine synthase (MTR) A2756G polymorphisms in hypertensive Chinese adults.
A total of 480 subjects with mild or moderate essential hypertension were randomly assigned to three treatment groups: 1) enalapril only (10 mg, control group); 2) enalapril-FA tablet [10:0.4 mg (10 mg enalapril combined with 0.4 mg of FA), low FA group]; and 3) enalapril-FA tablet (10:0.8 mg, high FA group), once daily for 8 weeks.
After 4 or 8 weeks of treatment, homocysteine concentrations were reduced across all genotypes and FA dosage groups, except in subjects with MTR 2756AG /GG genotype in the low FA group at week 4. However, compared to subjects with MTHFR 677CC genotype, homocysteine concentrations remained higher in subjects with CT or TT genotype in the low FA group (P < 0.05 for either of these genotypes) and TT genotype in the high FA group (P < 0.05). Furthermore, subjects with TT genotype showed a greater homocysteine-lowering response than did subjects with CC genotype in the high FA group (mean percent reduction of homocysteine at week 8: CC 10.8% vs. TT: 22.0%, P = 0.005), but not in the low FA group (CC 9.9% vs. TT 11.2%, P = 0.989).
This study demonstrated that MTHFR C677T polymorphism can not only affect homocysteine concentration at baseline and post-FA treatment, but also can modify therapeutic responses to various dosages of FA supplementation.
Folic acid supplementation; MTHFR C677T polymorphism; MTR A2756G polymorphism; Homocysteine-lowering efficacy
Viruses cause about 15% of the cancers that are still the leading causes of human mortality. The discovery of viral oncogenes has enhanced our understanding of viral oncogenesis. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms of virus-induced cancers are complex and require further investigation. The present study has attempted to investigate the effects of the microRNAs (miRNAs) encoded by Marek's disease virus 1 (MDV1), a chicken herpesvirus causing acute T-cell lymphomas and solid visceral tumors in chickens, on anti-cancer drug-induced apoptosis and identify the targets of the miRNAs. The results showed that of the total 14 miRNAs encoded by MDV1, MDV1-miR-M3 significantly promoted cell survival under treatment with cisplatin, a widely used chemotherapy drug. MDV1-miR-M3 suppressed cisplatin-induced apoptosis by directly downregulating expression at the protein but not the mRNA level of Smad2, a critical component in the transforming growth factor β signal pathway. Our data suggest that latent/oncogenic viruses may encode miRNAs to directly target cellular factors involved in antiviral processes including apoptosis, thus proactively creating a cellular environment beneficial to viral latency and oncogenesis. Furthermore, the knowledge of the apoptosis resistance conferred by viral miRNAs has great practical implications for improving the efficacy of chemotherapies for treating cancers, especially those induced by oncogenic viruses.
Arsenic trioxide (As2O3) has been widely used to treat patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia and has also been shown to exhibit therapeutic effects on various types of solid tumors, including gastric cancer and lung carcinoma. Breast cancer is a type of solid tumor whose incidence has been increasing for many years. The present study was designed to investigate the effects of As2O3 on the human breast cancer cell line MCF-7, and to explore its potential mechanisms. The MTT assay demonstrated that As2O3 decreased the cellular viability of MCF-7 cells in a concentration-dependent manner. Morphological observation, the TUNEL assay and flow cytometric analysis revealed that apoptosis was involved in the process. An assay for caspase-3 activity suggested that the apoptosis was mediated through caspase-3 activation. Further investigation indicated that protein levels of the human ether-a-go-go-related gene (HERG) were markedly downregulated by As2O3. Taken together, the results indicate that arsenic trioxide induces the apoptosis of human breast cancer MCF-7 cells at least in part through the activation of caspase-3 and the decrease in HERG expression.
arsenic trioxide; MCF-7 cells; human ether-a-go-go-related gene channels; apoptosis
Pathological cardiac hypertrophy induced by adrenergic overactivation can subsequently develop to heart failure which remains as a leading cause of mortality worldwide. Tanshinone IIA is a lipid-soluble pharmacologically active compound extracted from the rhizome of the Chinese herb Salvia miltiorrhiza, a well-known traditional Chinese medicine used for the treatment of cardiovascular disorders. However, little is know about the effect of Tanshinone IIA on cardiac hypertrophy. The present study was aimed to investigate whether Tanshinone IIA prevents cardiac hypertrophy induced by isoproterenol (ISO) and to clarify its possible mechanisms. Cardiomyocytes hypertrophy was induced by ISO 10 μM for 48 h with or without Tanshinone IIA 10, 30, 100 μM pretreatment, and evaluated by determining the cell size and the expression of ANP, BNP, β-MHC, Calcineurin, and NFATc3 by real-time PCR and western blot. We found that Tanshinone IIA pretreatment attenuated the enlargement of cell surface area induced by ISO in cultured cardiomyocytes. The mRNA level of ANP, BNP and β-MHC was obviously elevated in ISO-treated cardiac cells, which was effectively inhibited by Tanshinone IIA. Moreover, we found that Tanshinone IIA pretreatment could prevent the augment of intracellular calcium transient in ISO-treated cardiomyocytes. The further study revealed that Calcineurin, NFATc3, ANP, BNP and β-MHC proteins were upregulated by ISO in ventricular myocytes, and Tanshinone IIA pretreatment significantly attenuate the increased expression of Calcineurin, NFATc3, ANP, BNP and β-MHC proteins. In summary, Tanshinone IIA attenuated cardiomyocyte hypertrophy induced by ISO through inhibiting Calcineurin/NFATc3 pathway, which provides new insights into the pharmacological role and therapeutic mechanism of Tanshinone IIA in heart diseases.
Tanshinone IIA; Cardiac hypertrophy; Isoproterenol; Calcineurin; NFATc3
Voltage-gated calcium currents and potassium currents were shown to undergo developmental changes in postnatal human and animal cardiomocytes. However, so far, there is no evidence whether sodium currents also presented the developmental changes in postnatal human atrial cells. The aim of this study was to observe age-related changes of sodium currents between pediatric and adult atrial myocytes. Human atrial myocytes were acutely isolated and the whole-cell patch clamp technique was used to record sodium currents isolated from pediatric and adult atrial cardiomocytes. The peak amplitude of sodium currents recorded in adult atrial cells was significantly larger than that in pediatric atrial myocytes. However, there was no significant difference of the activation voltage for peak sodium currents between two kinds of atrial myocytes. The time constants for the activation and inactivation of sodium currents were smaller in adult atria than pediatric atria. The further study revealed that the voltage-dependent inactivation of sodium currents were more slow in adult atrial cardiomyocytes than pediatric atrial cells. A significant difference was also observed in the recovery process of sodium channel from inactivation. In summary, a few significant differences were demonstrated in sodium currents characteristics between pediatric and adult atrial myocytes, which indicates that sodium currents in human atria also undergo developmental changes.
sodium channel; postnatal development; patch clamp; cardiomocytes.
This study tests the hypothesis that dysfunction of transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) channels occurs and contributes to the decrease in the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and sodium/water excretion in Dahl salt-sensitive hypertensive rats. Recirculating Krebs-Henseleit buffer added with inulin was perfused at a constant flow in the isolated kidneys of Dahl salt-sensitive (DS) or Dahl salt-resistant (DR) rats fed a high salt (HS) or low salt (LS) diet for three weeks. Perfusion pressures (PP) were pre-adjusted to three levels (~100, ~150, ~190 mmHg) with or without phenylephrine. Capsaicin (Cap), a selective TRPV1 agonist, in the presence or absence of capsazepine (Capz), a selective TRPV1 antagonist, was perfused. Basal GFR, urine flow rate (UFR) and Na+ excretion (UNaV) were significantly lower in DS-HS than in DR-HS, DS-LS and DR-LS rats. Cap caused pressure-dependent decreases in PP and increases in GFR, UFR and UNaV in all groups, with less magnitude of decreases in PP and increases in GFR, UFR and UNaV in DS-HS than in DR-HS, DS-LS and DR-LS rats. Capz fully blocked the effect of Cap on PP, GFR, UFR and UNaV in all groups. Thus, these results show that TRPV1 function is impaired in the kidney of DS rats fed a high salt diet, which may contribute to the decrease in GFR and renal excretory function in DS rats in face of salt challenge.
transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 channel; Dahl salt-sensitive rats; glomerular filtration rate
To test the hypothesis that activation of the transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) channels leads to natriuresis and diuresis via an increase in glomerular filtration rate (GFR), recirculating Krebs-Henseleit buffer added with inulin was perfused in the isolated perfused kidney of male Wistar rat at a constant flow, and perfusion pressures (PP) were pre-adjusted to three different levels (~100, ~150, and ~190 mmHg) with phenylephrine. Capsaicin (Cap), a selective TRPV1 agonist, was perfused in the presence or absence of capsazepine (Capz), a selective TRPV1 antagonist, CGRP8–37, a selective calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor antagonist, or spantide II (Spa), a selective substance P (SP) receptor antagonist. At the higher (150 and 190 mmHg) but not baseline (100 mmHg) PP levels, Cap at 10µM significantly decreased PP and increased GFR, urine flow rate (UFR) and Na+ excretion (UNaV). At the highest (190 mmHg) PP level, Cap (2, 10, 30 µM) dose-dependently decreased PP and increased GFR, UFR, UNaV, and the release of CGRP and SP. Capz or CGRP8–37 combined with Spa fully blocked the effect of Cap on PP, GFR, UFR, UNaV, and the release of CGRP and SP. In conclusion, activation of TRPV1 in the isolated kidney decreases renal PP and increases GFR and water/sodium excretion possibly via simultaneous activation of CGRP and SP receptors upon their enhanced release, suggesting that TRPV1 plays a key role in modulating renal hemodynamics and excretory function.
transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1; glomerular filtration rate; isolated perfused kidney; capsaicin
Salmonella enterica serovar Paratyphi A O-specific polysaccharide (O-SP) was activated with 1-cyano-4-dimethylaminopyridinium tetrafluoroborate (CDAP) and bound to tetanus toxoid (TT) with adipic acid dihydrazide as a linker (SPA-TT1) or directly (SPA-TT2). In mice, these two conjugates elicited high levels of immunoglobulin G (IgG) anti-lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in serum with bactericidal activity (E. Konadu, J. Shiloach, D. A. Bryla, J. B. Robbins, and S. C. Szu, Infect. Immun. 64:2709–2715, 1996). The safety and immunogenicity of the two conjugates were then evaluated sequentially in Vietnamese adults, teenagers, and 2- to 4-year-old children. None of the vaccinees experienced significant side effects, and all had preexisting LPS antibodies. At 4 weeks after injection, there were significant increases of the geometric mean IgG and IgM anti-LPS levels in the adults and teenagers: both conjugates elicited a greater than fourfold rise in the IgG anti-LPS level in serum in ≥80% of the volunteers. SPA-TT2 elicited slightly higher, though not statistically significantly, levels of IgG anti-LPS than did SPA-TT1 in these age groups. Accordingly, only SPA-TT2 was evaluated in the 2- to 4-year-old children. On a random basis, one or two injections were administered 6 weeks apart to the children. No significant side effects were observed, and the levels of preexisting anti-LPS in serum were similar in children of all ages. A significant rise in the IgG anti-LPS titer was elicited by the first injection (P = 0.0001); a second injection did not elicit a booster response. Representative sera from all groups had bactericidal activity that could be adsorbed by S. enterica serovar Paratyphi A LPS.