Phagocyte NADPH oxidase plays a key role in pathogen clearance via reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Defects in oxidase function result in chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) with hallmark recurrent microbial infections and inflammation. The oxidase′s role in the adaptive immune response is not well-understood. Class II presentation of cytoplasmic and exogenous Ag to CD4+ T cells was impaired in human B cells with reduced oxidase p40phox subunit expression. Naturally arising mutations which compromise p40phox function in a CGD patient also perturbed class II Ag presentation and intracellular ROS production. Reconstitution of patient B cells with wild-type, but not a mutant, p40phox allele restored exogenous Ag presentation and intracellular ROS generation. Remarkably, class II presentation of epitopes from membrane Ag was robust in p40phox-deficient B cells. These studies reveal a role for NADPH oxidase and p40phox in skewing epitope selection and T cell recognition of self Ag.
Human B cells; MHC class II presentation; NADPH oxidase
Background and Objective
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is one of the key initiators and regulators of angiogenesis and it plays a vital role in the onset and development of malignancy. The association between VEGF gene polymorphisms and lung cancer risk has been extensively studied in recent years, but currently available results remain controversial or ambiguous. The aim of this meta-analysis is to investigate the associations between four common VEGF polymorphisms (i.e., −2578C>A, −460C>T, +936C>T and +405C>G) and lung cancer risk.
A comprehensive search was conducted to identify all eligible studies to estimate the association between VEGF polymorphisms and lung cancer risk. Crude odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to evaluate the strength of this association.
A total of 14 published case-control studies with 4,664 cases and 4,571 control subjects were identified. Our meta-analysis provides strong evidence that VEGF −2578C>A polymorphism is capable of increasing lung cancer susceptibility, especially among smokers and lung squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) patients. Additionally, for +936C>T polymorphism, increased lung cancer susceptibility was only observed among lung adenocarcinoma patients. In contrast, VEGF −460C>T polymorphism may be a protective factor among nonsmokers and SCC patients. Nevertheless, we did not find any association between +405C>G polymorphism and lung cancer risk, even when the groups were stratified by ethnicity, smoking status or histological type.
This meta-analysis recommends more investigations into the relationship between −2578C>A and −460C>T lung cancer risks. More detailed and well-designed studies should be conducted to identify the causal variants and the underlying mechanisms of the possible associations.
Prader–Willi syndrome (PWS) is a genetic imprinting disorder characterized mainly by hyperphagia and early childhood obesity. Previous functional neuroimaging studies used visual stimuli to examine abnormal activities in the eating-related neural circuitry of patients with PWS. It was found that patients with PWS exhibited both excessive hunger and hyperphagia consistently, even in situations without any food stimulation. In the present study, we employed resting-state functional MRI techniques to investigate abnormal brain networks related to eating disorders in children with PWS. First, we applied amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation analysis to define the regions of interest that showed significant alterations in resting-state brain activity levels in patients compared with their sibling control group. We then applied a functional connectivity (FC) analysis to these regions of interest in order to characterize interactions among the brain regions. Our results demonstrated that patients with PWS showed decreased FC strength in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC)/inferior parietal lobe (IPL), MPFC/precuneus, IPL/precuneus and IPL/hippocampus in the default mode network; decreased FC strength in the pre-/postcentral gyri and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC)/orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) in the motor sensory network and prefrontal cortex network, respectively; and increased FC strength in the anterior cingulate cortex/insula, ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC)/OFC and DLPFC/VLPFC in the core network and prefrontal cortex network, respectively. These findings indicate that there are FC alterations among the brain regions implicated in eating as well as rewarding, even during the resting state, which may provide further evidence supporting the use of PWS as a model to study obesity and to provide information on potential neural targets for the medical treatment of overeating.
Prader; Willi syndrome; eating disorder; obesity; amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation; resting-state networks; functional MRI
Although superoxide dismutase (SOD) and malondialdehyde (MDA) affect Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), their effects are unclear in rectus femoris muscles (RFM) of rats with different eccentric exercise programs and time points. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of the various eccentric exercise programs at different time points on the SOD mRNA expression and MDA using rat as the animal model.
248 male rats were randomly divided into 4 groups: control group (CTL, n = 8), once-only exercise group (OEG, n = 80), continuous exercise group (CEG, n = 80), and intermittent exercise group (IEG, n = 80). Each exercise group was divided into 10 subgroups that exercised 0.5 h, 6 h, 12 h, 24 h, 48 h, 72 h, 96 h, 120 h, 144 h, or 168 h. Rats were sacrificed and their SOD mRNA expression, and MDA concentrations of skeletal muscle tissue were measured.
The specimen in all eccentric exercise programs showed increased RFM SOD1 mRNA expression levels at 0.5 h (P<0.05), and decreased RFM SOD3 mRNA expression at 0.5 h (P<0.05). The continuous eccentric exercise (CE) significantly enhanced muscle SOD2 mRNA level at 0.5 h (P<0.05). After once-only eccentric exercise (OE), SOD1, SOD2, and SOD3 mRNA expression significantly increased at 96 h, whereas MDA concentrations decreased at 96 h. After CE, the correlation coefficients of SOD1, SOD2, SOD3 mRNA expression levels and MDA concentrations were −0.814, −0.763, −0.845 (all P<0.05) at 12 h.
Regular eccentric exercise, especially CE could enhance SOD1 and SOD2 mRNA expression in acute stage and the SOD2 mRNA expression correlates to MDA concentration in vivo, which may improve the oxidative adaption ability of skeletal muscles.
Tissue elasticity is related to pathology and therefore has important medical applications. Radiation force from a focused ultrasound beam has been used to produce shear waves in tissues for shear wave speed and tissue elasticity measurements. The feasibility of shear wave speed measurement using radiation force for an unfocused ultrasound beam is demonstrated in this study with a linear and a curved array transducer. Consistent measurement of shear wave speed was achieved over a relatively long axial extent (z = 10-40 mm for the linear array, and z = 15-60 mm for the curved array) in 3 calibrated phantoms with different shear moduli. In vivo measurements on the biceps of a healthy volunteer show consistent increase of shear wave speed for the biceps under 0, 1, 2, and 3 kg loading. Advantages and limitations of unfocused push are discussed.
Elasticity; Shear wave; Ultrasound radiation force; Unfocused
Fast and accurate tissue elasticity imaging is essential in studying dynamic tissue mechanical properties. Various ultrasound shear elasticity imaging techniques have been developed in the last two decades. However, to reconstruct a full field-of-view 2D shear elasticity map, multiple data acquisitions are typically required. In this paper, a novel shear elasticity imaging technique, comb-push ultrasound shear elastography (CUSE), is introduced in which only one rapid data acquisition (less than 35 ms) is needed to reconstruct a full field-of-view 2D shear wave speed map (40 mm × 38 mm). Multiple unfocused ultrasound beams arranged in a comb pattern (comb-push) are used to generate shear waves. A directional filter is then applied upon the shear wave field to extract the left-to-right (LR) and right-to-left (RL) propagating shear waves. Local shear wave speed is recovered using a time-of-flight method based on both LR and RL waves. Finally a 2D shear wave speed map is reconstructed by combining the LR and RL speed maps. Smooth and accurate shear wave speed maps are reconstructed using the proposed CUSE method in two calibrated homogeneous phantoms with different moduli. Inclusion phantom experiments demonstrate that CUSE is capable of providing good contrast (contrast-to-noise-ratio ≥ 25 dB) between the inclusion and background without artifacts and is insensitive to inclusion positions. Safety measurements demonstrate that all regulated parameters of the ultrasound output level used in CUSE sequence are well below the FDA limits for diagnostic ultrasound.
comb-push; unfocused ultrasound beam; ultrasound elastography; acoustic radiation force; inclusion
Over the past three decades, mortality from lung cancer has sharply and continuously increased in China, ascending to the first cause of death among all types of cancer. The ability to identify the actual sequence of gene mutations may help doctors determine which mutations lead to precancerous lesions and which produce invasive carcinomas, especially using next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology. In this study, we analyzed the latest lung cancer data in the COSMIC database, in order to find genomic “hotspots” that are frequently mutated in human lung cancer genomes. The results revealed that the most frequently mutated lung cancer genes are EGFR, KRAS and TP53. In recent years, EGFR and KRAS lung cancer test kits have been utilized for detecting lung cancer patients, but they presented many disadvantages, as they proved to be of low sensitivity, labor-intensive and time-consuming. In this study, we constructed a more complete catalogue of lung cancer mutation events including 145 mutated genes. With the genes of this list it may be feasible to develop a NGS kit for lung cancer mutation detection.
Lung cancer; Next-generation sequencing; Somatic mutation kit; COSMIC
Xylanase is a crucial hydrolytic enzyme that degrades plant polysaccharides in the rumen. To date, there is no information on the genetic composition and expression characteristics of ruminal xylanase during feeding cycles of ruminants. Here, the major xylanase of the glycoside hydrolase family 10 (GH 10) from the rumen of small-tail Han sheep was investigated during a feeding cycle. We identified 44 distinct GH 10 xylanase gene fragments at both the genomic and transcriptional levels. Comparison of their relative abundance showed that results from the evaluation of functional genes at the transcriptional level are more reliable indicators for understanding fluctuations in xylanase levels. The expression patterns of six xylanase genes, detected at all time points of the feeding cycle, were investigated; we observed a complex trend of gene expression over 24 h, revealing the dynamic expression of xylanases in the rumen. Further correlation analysis indicated that the rumen is a dynamic ecosystem where the transcript profiles of xylanase genes are closely related to ruminal conditions, especially rumen pH and bacterial population. Given the huge diversity and changing composition of enzymes over the entire rumen, this research provides valuable information for understanding the role of functional genes in the digestion of plant material.
The purpose of this study was to compare perioperative outcomes in patients who underwent video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery or robot-assisted thoracoscopic surgery and assess the feasibility of robotic-assisted thymectomy for the treatment of Masaoka stage I.
We evaluated the short-term outcomes of 46 patients who underwent surgery for Masaoka stage I thymoma without myasthenia gravis between January 2009 and June 2012. Of these patients, 25 received unilateral video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS group) and the rest 21 recieved unilateral robotic-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (RATS group). We evaluated the duration of surgery, amount of intraoperative blood loss, duration of chest drainage, duration of postoperative hospital stay, hospitalization costs, postoperative complications and oncological outcomes.
The duration of surgery was not significantly different between the two groups. Intraoperative blood loss volumes did not differ significantly between the VATS and RATS groups (86.8 mL and 58.6 mL, respectively; P=0.168). The postoperative hospital stay was significantly shorter in the RATS group (3.7 days vs. 6.7 days; P <0.01), and the postoperative pleural drainage volume of the RATS group was significantly less than VATS group (1.1 days vs. 3.6 days; P <0.01). No patients in the RATS group needed conversion to open surgery. However, in the VATS series, one patient had conversion to an open procedure. No surgical complications were observed except that one case had pulmonary atelectasis in the RATS group and one case developed pneumonia after surgery. Use of robot is much more expensive than video. No early recurrence was observed in both groups.
Robotic thymectomy is feasible and safe for Masaoka stage I thymoma. RATS is equally minimally invasive as VATS and results in a shorter drainage period and reduced hospital stay compared with the VATS approach.
Robotics; Thymoma; Minimally invasive surgery; Thymus
Background and purpose
T cells and their subsets modulate ischemic brain injury. We studied the effects of the absence of T cell subsets on brain infarction after in vivo stroke and then used an in vitro co-culture system of splenocytes and neurons to further identify the roles of T cell subsets in neuronal death.
Stroke was induced by MCA suture occlusion in mice and infarct sizes were measured 2 days post-stroke.
Splenocytes were co-cultured with neurons, and neuronal survival was measured 3 days later.
A deficiency of both T and B cells (SCID) and the paucity of CD4 or CD8 T cells equally resulted in smaller infarct sizes as measured 2 days post-stroke. Although a functional deficiency of regulatory T cells had no effect, impaired Th1 immunity reduced infarction and impaired Th2 immunity aggravated brain injury, which may be due to an inhibited and enhanced inflammatory response in mice deficient in Th1 and Th2 immunity, respectively. In the in vitro co-culture system, WT splenocytes resulted in dose-dependent neuronal death. The neurotoxicity of splenocytes from the above immunodeficient mice was consistent with their effects on stroke in vivo , except for the mice with the paucity of CD4 or CD8 T cells, which did not alter the ratio of neuronal death.
T cell subsets play critical roles in brain injury induced by stroke. The detrimental versus beneficial effects of Th1 cells and Th2 cells both in vivo and in vitro reveal differential therapeutic target strategies for stroke treatment.
cerebral ischemia; stroke; T cells; Th1; Th2
3-Mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase (3MST) is an important enzyme for the synthesis of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in the brain. We present here data that indicate an exclusively localization of 3MST in astrocytes. Regional distribution of 3MST activities is even and unremarkable. Following permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO), 3MST was down-regulated in both the cortex and striatum, but not in the corpus collosum. It appears that the down-regulation of astrocytic 3MST persisted in the presence of astrocytic proliferation due to gliosis. Our observations indicate that 3MST is probably not responsible for the increased production of H2S following pMCAO. Therefore, cystathionine β-synthase (CBS), the alternative H2S producing enzyme in the CNS, remains as a more likely potential therapeutic target than 3MST in the treatment of acute stroke through inhibition of H2S production.
Both ischemic preconditioning (IPreC) and ischemic postconditioning (IPostC) trigger endogenous neuroprotective mechanisms in cerebral ischemia. IPreC is defined as a brief ischemia that protects against a subsequent severe ischemia, while IPostC refers to a series of brief cerebral blood vessel occlusions performed at reperfusion following an ischemic event. Hormesis describes a biphasic dose-response relationship in toxicology, where a low dose of toxicant stimulates and a high dose inhibits biological responses. In general, any minor stress will stimulate a biological system to generate an adaptive response; in most cases, if not all, such an adaptive response to a minor stress is beneficial to the biological system. Proponents of hormesis suggest that this effect is independent of any models, either in vivo or in vitro, from animal, plant, fungi, yeast, to bacteria, by any measurement of end points, survival ratio or time, growth, tissue repair, life span, cognition, learning and memory. In this review, we examine whether IPreC and IPostC are actually sub-forms of hormesis and whether quantitative hormetic strategies can be used to study IPreC and IPostC. By integrating the concepts of IPreC and IPostC with hormesis, we aim to broaden the avenues leading to clinical translation of IPreC and IPostC in stroke treatment.
Ischemic postconditioning; preconditioning; stroke; hormesis
The ERK 1/2 protein require a dual phosphorylation at conserved threonine and tyrosine residues to be fully activated under normal physiological conditions. Thus, ERK1/2 kinase activity is often defined by the quantity of phosphorylated kinase. However, this may not accurately represent its true activity under certain pathological conditions. We investigated whether ERK1/2 kinase activity is proportional to its phosphorylation state in a rat focal ischemia model with and without rapid ischemic preconditioning. We showed that phosphorylated-ERK1/2 protein levels were increased 2.6±0.07 fold, and ERK1/2 kinase activity was increased 10.6±1.9 fold in animals receiving ischemic preconditioning alone without test ischemia compared with sham group (P<0.05, n=6/group), suggesting that phosphorylated-ERK1/2 protein levels represent its kinase activity under these conditions. However, preconditioning plus test ischemia robustly blocked ERK1/2 kinase activity, while it increased phosphorylated-ERK1/2 protein levels beyond those receiving test ischemia alone, suggesting that phosphorylated-ERK1/2 protein levels were not representative of actual kinase activity in this pathological condition. In conclusion, protein phosphorylation levels of ERK1/2 do not always correspond to kinase activity, thus, measuring the true kinase activity is essential.
ischemic preconditioning; kinase activity; MAPK; ERK1/2; focal ischemia; stroke
Stroke-induced immunodepression (SIID) results when T cell and non-T immune cells, such as B cells, NK cells and monocytes, are reduced in the peripheral blood and spleen after stroke. We investigated the hypothesis that T cells are required for the reductions in non-T cell subsets observed in SIID, and further examined a potential correlation between lymphopenia and High-mobility group protein B1 (HMGB1) release, a protein that regulates inflammation and immunodepression. Our results showed that focal ischemia resulted in similar cortical infarct sizes in both wild type (WT) Sprague Dawley (SD) rats and nude rats with a SD genetic background, which excludes the possibility of different infarct sizes affecting SIID. In addition, the numbers of CD68-positive macrophages in the ischemic brain did not differ between WT and nude rats. Numbers of total peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) or splenocytes and lymphocyte subsets, including T cells, CD4+ or CD8+ T cells, B cells and monocytes in the blood and spleen, were decreased after stroke in WT rats. In nude rats, however, the total number of PBMCs and absolute numbers of NK cells, B cells and monocytes were increased in the peripheral blood after stroke; nude rats are athymic therefore they have few T cells present. Adoptive transfer of WT splenocytes into nude rats before stroke resulted in lymphopenia after stroke similar to WT rats. Moreover, in vitro T cell proliferation stimulated by Concanavalin A was significantly inhibited in WT rats as well as in nude rats receiving WT splenocyte adoptive transfer, suggesting that T cell function is indeed inhibited after stroke. Lastly, we demonstrated that stroke-induced lymphopenia is associated with a reduction in HMGB1 release in the peripheral blood. In conclusion, T cells are required for stroke-induced reductions in non-T immune cells and they are the most crucial lymphocytes for SIID.
Endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) has shown excellent diagnostic capabilities for mediastinal and hilar lymphadenopathy. However, its value in thoracic non-lymph node lesions is less clear. This study was designed to assess the value of EBUS-TBNA in distinguishing malignant from benign thoracic non-lymph node lesions.
From October 2009 to August 2011, 552 patients underwent EBUS-TBNA under local anesthesia and with conscious sedation. We retrospectively reviewed 81 of these patients who had tracheobronchial wall-adjacent intrapulmonary or isolated mediastinal non-lymph node lesions. On-site cytological evaluation was not used. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was performed to distinguish the origin or type of malignancy when necessary.
EBUS-TBNA was performed in 68 tracheobronchial wall-adjacent intrapulmonary and 13 isolated mediastinal non-lymph node lesions. Of the 81 patients, 77 (95.1%, 60 malignancies and 17 benignancies) were diagnosed through EBUS-TBNA, including 57 primary lung cancers, 2 mediastinal tumors, 1 pulmonary metastatic adenocarcinoma, 7 inflammation, 5 tuberculosis, 3 mediastinal cysts, 1 esophageal schwannoma, and 1 focal fibrosis. There were four false-negative cases (4.9%). Of the 60 malignancies, there were 9 (15.0%) which originally had no definite histologic origin or type. Thus, IHC was performed, with 7 (77.8%) being subsequently confirmed. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy of EBUS-TBNA in distinguishing malignant from benign lesions were 93.4% (60/64), 100% (17/17), 100% (60/60), 81.0% (17/21), and 95.1% (77/81), respectively.
EBUS-TBNA is a safe procedure with a high sensitivity for distinguishing malignant from benign thoracic non-lymph node lesions within the reach of EBUS-TBNA, with IHC usually providing a more definitive diagnosis.
Endobronchial ultrasound; immunohistochemistry; lung cancer; thoracic lesion; transbronchial needle aspiration
A comparative reaserch of the assembly of different porphyrin molecules on graphene oxide (GO) and reduced graphene oxide (RGO) was carried out, respectively. Despite the cationic porphyrin molecules can be assembled onto the surfaces of graphene sheets, including GO and RGO, to form complexes through electrostatic and π-π stacking interactions, the more obvious fluorescence quenching and the larger red-shift of the Soret band of porphyrin molecule in RGO-bound states were observed than those in GO-bound states, due to the differenc of molecular flattening in degree. Further, more interesting finding was that the complexes formed between cationic porphyrin and GO, rather than RGO sheets, can facilitate the incorporation of iron (III) ions into the porphyrin moieties, due to the presence of the oxygen-contained groups at the basal plane of GO sheets served as auxiliary coordination units, which can high-efficiently obstruct the electron transfer from excited porphyrin to GO sheets and result in the occurrence of fluorescence restoration. Thus, a fluorescence sensing platform has been developed for iron (III) ions detection in this contribution by using the porphyrin/GO nanohybrids as an optical probe, and our present one exhibited rapid and sensitive responses and high selectivity toward iron (III) ions.
Measurement of shear wave propagation speed has important clinical applications because it is related to tissue stiffness and health state. Shear waves can be generated in tissues by the radiation force of a focused ultrasound beam (push beam). Shear wave speed can be measured by tracking its propagation laterally from the push beam focus using the time-of-flight principle. This study shows that shear wave speed measurements with such methods can be transducer, depth, and lateral tracking range dependent. Three homogeneous phantoms with different stiffness were studied using curvilinear and linear array transducer. Shear wave speed measurements were made at different depths, using different aperture sizes for push, and at different lateral distance ranges from the push beam. The curvilinear transducer shows a relatively large measurement bias that is depth dependent. The possible causes of the bias and options for correction are discussed. These bias errors must be taken into account to provide accurate and precise time-of-flight shear wave speed measurements for clinical use.
Shear wave speed; Liver fibrosis; Bias; ARFI
The author reviews the protective effects of ischemic postconditioning, a recently emerging strategy with broad implications in the search for new treatments in stroke and myocardial ischemic injury. Ischemic postconditioning, which refers to a series of brief ischemia and reperfusion cycles applied immediately at the site of the ischemic organ after reperfusion, results in reduced infarction in both cerebral and myocardial ischemia. Conventional postconditioning induced within a few minutes after reperfusion is arbitrarily defined as rapid postconditioning. In contrast, postconditioning performed hours to days after stroke is defined as delayed postconditioning. In addition, postconditioning can be mimicked using anesthetics or other pharmacological agents as stimuli to protect against ischemia/reperfusion injury or performed in a distant organ, which is known as remote postconditioning. In this article, the author discusses the conceptual origin of classical rapid ischemic postconditioning and its evolution into a term that represents a broad range of stimuli or triggers, including delayed postconditioning, pharmacological postconditioning, and remote postconditioning. Thereafter, various in vivo and in vitro models of postconditioning and its potential protective mechanisms are discussed. Since the concept of postconditioning is so closely associated with that of preconditioning and both share some common protective mechanisms, whether a combination of preconditioning and postconditioning offers greater protection than preconditioning or postconditioning alone is also discussed.
Postconditioning; preconditioning; stroke; cerebral ischemia; focal ischemia; neuroprotection
Little information is available on the prevalence, geographic distribution and mutation spectrum of genetic skeletal disorders (GSDs) in China. This study systematically reviewed GSDs as defined in “Nosology and Classification of genetic skeletal disorders (2010 version)” using Chinese biomedical literature published over the past 34 years from 1978 to 2012. In total, 16,099 GSDs have been reported. The most frequently reported disorders were Marfan syndrome, osteogenesis imperfecta, fibrous dysplasia, mucopolysaccharidosis, multiple cartilaginous exostoses, neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), osteopetrosis, achondroplasia, enchondromatosis (Ollier), and osteopoikilosis, accounting for 76.5% (12,312 cases) of the total cases. Five groups (group 8, 12, 14, 18, 21) defined by “Nosology and Classification of genetic skeletal disorders” have not been reported in the Chinese biomedical literature. Gene mutation testing was performed in only a minor portion of the 16,099 cases of GSDs (187 cases, 1.16%). In total, 37 genes for 41 different GSDs were reported in Chinese biomedical literature, including 43 novel mutations. This review revealed a significant imbalance in rare disease identification in terms of geographic regions and hospital levels, suggesting the need to create a national multi-level network to meet the specific challenge of care for rare diseases in China.
Rare diseases; Genetic skeletal diseases; China; Bibliographic study
Lithium is a mood stabilizer shown to have neuroprotective effects against several chronic and acute neuronal injuries, including stroke. However, it is unknown whether lithium treatment protects against brain injury post-stroke in a rat model of permanent distal middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) combined with transient bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (CCAo), a model that mimics human stroke with partial reperfusion. In addition, whether lithium treatment alters Akt activity as measured by the kinase activity assay has not been reported, although it is known to inhibit GSK3β activity. After stroke, Akt activity contributes to neuronal survival while GSK3β activity causes neuronal death. We report that a bolus of lithium injection at stroke onset robustly reduced infarct size measured by 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining at 48 h post-stroke and inhibited cell death in the ischemic penumbra, but not in the ischemic core, as shown by TUNEL staining performed 24 h post-stroke. However, lithium treatment did not alter the reduction in Akt activity as measured by Akt kinase assay. We further showed that lithium did not alter phosphorylated GSK3β protein levels, or the degradation of β-catenin, a substrate of GSK3β, which is consistent with previous findings that long-term treatment is required for lithium to alter GSK3β phosphorylation. In summary, we show innovative data that lithium protects against stroke in a focal ischemia model with partial reperfusion, however, our results dispute the importance of Akt activity in the protective effects of lithium.
Lithium; Akt; Cerebral focal ischemia; GSK3β; β-catenin
Ischemic postconditioning is a concept originally defined to contrast with that of ischemic preconditioning. While both preconditioning and postconditioning confer a neuroprotective effect on brain ischemia, preconditioning is a sublethal insult performed in advance of brain ischemia, and postconditioning, which conventionally refers to a series of brief occlusions and reperfusions of the blood vessels, is conducted after ischemia/reperfusion. In this article, we first briefly review the history of preconditioning, including the experimentation that initially uncovered its neuroprotective effects and later revealed its underlying mechanisms-of-action. We then discuss how preconditioning research evolved into that of postconditioning – a concept that now represents a broad range of stimuli or triggers, including delayed postconditioning, pharmacological postconditioning, remote postconditioning – and its underlying protective mechanisms involving the Akt, MAPK, PKC and KATP channel cell-signaling pathways. Because the concept of postconditioning is so closely associated with that of preconditioning, and both share some common protective mechanisms, we also discuss whether a combination of preconditioning and postconditioning offers greater protection than preconditioning or postconditioning alone.
postconditioning; preconditioning; stroke; cerebral ischemia; focal ischemia; neuroprotection
Gene therapy has demonstrated the protective potential of a variety of genes against stroke. However, conventional gene therapy vectors are limited due to the inability to temporally control their expression, which can sometimes lead to deleterious side effects. Thus, an inducible vector that can be temporally controlled and activated by the insult itself would be advantageous. Using hypoxia responsive elements (HRE) and antioxidant responsive elements (ARE), we have constructed an insult-inducible vector activated by hypoxia and reactive oxygen species (ROS). In COS7 cells, the inducible ARE−HRE-luciferase vectors are highly activated by oxygen deprivation, hydrogen peroxide treatment, and the ROS-induced transcription factor NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2). Using a defective herpes virus, the neuroprotective potential of this inducible vector was tested by over-expressing the transcription factor Nrf2. In primary cortical cultures, expression of the inducible ARE−HRE–Nrf2 protects against oxygen glucose deprivation, similar to that afforded by the constitutively expressed Nrf2. This ARE+HRE vector system is advantageous in that it allows the expression of a transgene to be activated not only during hypoxia but also maintained after reperfusion, thus prolonging the transgene expression during an ischemic insult. This insult-inducible vector system will be a valuable gene therapy tool for activating therapeutic/protective genes in cerebrovascular diseases.
Insult-inducible; Gene therapy; Hypoxia; HIF1; Nrf2; Reactive oxygen species
We recently demonstrated that limb remote preconditioning (LRP) protects against focal ischemia measured 2 days post-stroke. Here, we studied whether LRP provides long-term protection and improves neurological function. We also investigated whether LRP transmits its protective signaling via the afferent nerve pathways from the preconditioned limb to the ischemic brain and whether inflammatory factors are involved in LRP, including the novel galectin-9/Tim-3 inflammatory cell signaling pathway, which induces cell death in lymphocytes. LRP in the left hind femoral artery was performed immediately before stroke. LRP reduced brain injury size both at 2 days and 60 days post-stroke and improved behavioral outcomes for up to 2 months. The sensory nerve inhibitors capsaicin and hexamethonium, a ganglion blocker, abolished the protective effects of LRP. In addition, LRP inhibited edema formation and blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability measured 2 days post-stroke. Western blot and immunostaining analysis showed that LRP inhibited protein expression of both galectin-9 and T-cell immunoglobulin domain and mucin domain 3 (Tim-3), which were increased after stroke. In addition, LRP decreased iNOS and nitrotyrosine protein expression after stroke. In conclusion, LRP executes long-term protective effects against stroke and may block brain injury by inhibiting activities of the galectin-9/Tim-3 pathway, iNOS, and nitrotyrosine.
We recently showed that intraischemic moderate hypothermia (30°C) reduces ischemic damage through the Akt pathway after permanent distal middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats. The only Akt pathway component preserved by hypothermia is phosphorylated phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (p-PTEN), which suggests that p-PTEN may have a central role in neuroprotection. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are critically involved in mediating ischemic damage after stroke by interacting with signaling molecules, including Akt, PTEN, and δ-protein kinase C (PKC). We investigated the protective mechanisms of moderate hypothermia on these signaling proteins after transient focal ischemia in rats. Early moderate hypothermia (3 h) was administered 15 mins before reperfusion, and delayed moderate hypothermia (3 h) was applied 15 mins after reperfusion. Our results indicate that early hypothermia reduced infarction, whereas delayed hypothermia did not. However, both early and delayed hypothermia maintained levels of Mn-SOD (superoxide dismutase) and phosphorylated Akt and blocked δ-PKC cleavage, suggesting that these factors may not be critical to the protection of hypothermia. Nevertheless, early hypothermia preserved p-PTEN levels after reperfusion, whereas delayed hypothermia did not. Furthermore, ROS inhibition maintained levels of p-PTEN after stroke. Together, these findings suggest that phosphorylation levels of PTEN are closely associated with the protective effect of early hypothermia against stroke.
focal ischemia; hypothermia; neuroprotection; stroke