In the 1990s, Hendra virus and Nipah virus (NiV), two closely related and previously unrecognized paramyxoviruses that cause severe disease and death in humans and a variety of animals, were discovered in Australia and Malaysia, respectively. Outbreaks of disease have occurred nearly every year since NiV was first discovered, with case fatality ranging from 10 to 100%. In the African green monkey (AGM), NiV causes a severe lethal respiratory and/or neurological disease that essentially mirrors fatal human disease. Thus, the AGM represents a reliable disease model for vaccine and therapeutic efficacy testing. We show that vaccination of AGMs with a recombinant subunit vaccine based on the henipavirus attachment G glycoprotein affords complete protection against subsequent NiV infection with no evidence of clinical disease, virus replication, or pathology observed in any challenged subjects. Success of the recombinant subunit vaccine in nonhuman primates provides crucial data in supporting its further preclinical development for potential human use.
Subacute bacterial endocarditis (SBE) occasionally exhibits positive cytoplasmic anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (c-ANCA) of the anti-proteinase-3 (PR-3) type. Clinically, it mimics ANCA-associated vasculitis, such as Wegener's disease with glomerulonephritis. Lung abscesses are the most common manifestation of lung involvement. We herein report a case of culture-negative SBE strongly c-ANCA/PR3-positive accompanied by pulmonary involvement and glomerulonephritis. In this case, we took biopsies of both the lung and kidney, although renal biopsy is usually preferred over lung biopsy. The lung biopsy showed severe alveolar capillaritis, suggesting vasculitis consistent with polyangiitis. The renal biopsy revealed glomerulonephritis with a membranoproliferative pattern. To our knowledge, this is the first such reported case.
A 68-year-old Chinese male patient presented to our hospital with a fever, cough, chest pain, and recurrent peripheral edema. He had a past medical history significant for treated schistosomiasis 20 years previously. Physical examination revealed palpable purpura, mild hypertension, hepatosplenomegaly, and a holosystolic cardiac murmur (Levine 2/6). Echocardiography showed tricuspid valve vegetations with moderate to severe regurgitation. Serum c-ANCA/PR3 and cryoglobulin were strongly positive. Renal biopsy results indicated membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis with several crescents. Chest CT revealed multiple intraparenchymal and subpleural nodules, and lung biopsy showed polyangiitis. The patient’s ANCA titers, glomerulonephritis, and pulmonary injury all resolved after antibiotic therapy.
SBE may present with positive c-ANCA/PR3, multiple pulmonary nodules, pulmonary polyangiitis, and glomerulonephritis clinically mimicking granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener's granulomatosis).
Subacute bacterial endocarditis; PR3/c-ANCA; Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener's granulomatosis); Glomerulonephritis
The henipaviruses, Hendra virus (HeV) and Nipah virus (NiV), are paramyxoviruses discovered in the mid- to late 1990s that possess a broad host tropism and are known to cause severe and often fatal disease in both humans and animals. HeV and NiV infect cells by a pH-independent membrane fusion mechanism facilitated by their attachment (G) and fusion (F) glycoproteins. Here, several soluble forms of henipavirus F (sF) were engineered and characterized. Recombinant sF was produced by deleting the transmembrane (TM) and cytoplasmic tail (CT) domains and appending a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor signal sequence followed by GPI-phospholipase D digestion, appending a trimeric coiled-coil (GCNt) domain (sFGCNt), or deleting the TM, CT, and fusion peptide domain. These sF glycoproteins were produced as F0 precursors, and all were apparent stable trimers recognized by NiV-specific antisera. Surprisingly, however, only the GCNt-appended constructs (sFGCNt) could elicit cross-reactive henipavirus-neutralizing antibody in mice. In addition, sFGCNt constructs could be triggered in vitro by protease cleavage and heat to transition from an apparent prefusion to postfusion conformation, transitioning through an intermediate that could be captured by a peptide corresponding to the C-terminal heptad repeat domain of F. The pre- and postfusion structures of sFGCNt and non-GCNt-appended sF could be revealed by electron microscopy and were distinguishable by F-specific monoclonal antibodies. These data suggest that only certain sF constructs could serve as potential subunit vaccine immunogens against henipaviruses and also establish important tools for further structural, functional, and diagnostic studies on these important emerging viruses.
In the title compound, C17H15NO, the dihedral angle between the phenyl rings is 80.1 (2)°. In the crystal, molecules are linked by pairs of N—H⋯O hydrogen bonds, forming inversion dimers.
Lymphocytes act as a major component of the adaptive immune system, taking very crucial responsibility for immunity. Differences in proportions of T-cell subpopulations in peripheral blood among individuals under same conditions provide evidence of genetic control on these traits, but little is known about the genetic mechanism of them, especially in swine. Identification of the genetic control on these variants may help the genetic improvement of immune capacity through selection.
To identify genomic regions responsible for these immune traits in swine, a genome-wide association study was conducted. A total of 675 pigs of three breeds were involved in the study. At 21 days of age, all individuals were vaccinated with modified live classical swine fever vaccine. Blood samples were collected when the piglets were 20 and 35 days of age, respectively. Seven traits, including the proportions of CD4+, CD8+, CD4+CD8+, CD4+CD8−, CD4−CD8+, CD4−CD8− and the ratio of CD4+ to CD8+ T cells were measured at the two ages. All the samples were genotyped for 62,163 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) using the Illumina porcineSNP60k BeadChip. 40833 SNPs were selected after quality control for association tests between SNPs and each immune trait considered based on a single-locus regression model. To tackle the issue of multiple testing in GWAS, 10,000 permutations were performed to determine the chromosome-wise and genome-wise significance levels of association tests. In total, 61 SNPs with chromosome-wise significance level and 3 SNPs with genome-wise significance level were identified. 27 significant SNPs were located within the immune-related QTL regions reported in previous studies. Furthermore, several significant SNPs fell into the regions harboring known immunity-related genes, 14 of them fell into the regions which harbor some known T cell-related genes.
Our study demonstrated that genome-wide association studies would be a feasible way for revealing the potential genetics variants affecting T-cell subpopulations. Results herein lay a preliminary foundation for further identifying the causal mutations underlying swine immune capacity in follow-up studies.
T lymphocyte subpopulations; Genome-wide association study; Swine
A well established functional polymorphism of the human androgen receptor (hAR) is the length of AR’s N-terminal glutamine tract (Q-tract). This tract is encoded by a CAG trinucleotide repeat and varies from 8 to 33 codons in the healthy population. Q-tract length is inversely correlated with AR transcriptional activity in vitro, but whether endogenous androgen action is affected is not consistently supported by results of clinical and epidemiological studies. To test whether Q-tract length influences androgen sensitivity in vivo, we examined effects of controlled androgen exposure in “humanized” mice with hAR knock-in alleles bearing 12, 21 or 48 CAGs. Mature male mice were analyzed before or 2 weeks after orchidectomy, with or without a subdermal dihydrotestosterone (DHT) implant to attain stable levels of this non-aromatizable androgen. The validity of this DHT clamp was demonstrated by similar serum levels of DHT and its two primary 3α/β-Diol metabolites, regardless of AR Q-tract length. Q-tract length was inversely related to DHT-induced suppression of castrate serum LH (p=0.005), as well as seminal vesicle (SV) weight (p=0.005) and prostate lobe weights (p<0.006). This confirms that the hAR Q-tract polymorphism mediates in vivo tissue androgen sensitivity by impacting negative hypothalamic feedback and trophic androgen effects on target organs. In this manner, AR Q-tract length variation may influence numerous aspects of male health, from virilization to fertility, as well as androgen-dependent diseases, such as prostate cancer.
AR; CAG repeat; glutamine tract; humanized mouse model
The henipaviruses, Hendra virus (HeV) and Nipah virus (NiV), are two deadly zoonotic viruses for which no vaccines or therapeutics have yet been approved for human or livestock use. In 14 outbreaks since 1994 HeV has been responsible for multiple fatalities in horses and humans, with all known human infections resulting from close contact with infected horses. A vaccine that prevents virus shedding in infected horses could interrupt the chain of transmission to humans and therefore prevent HeV disease in both. Here we characterise HeV infection in a ferret model and show that it closely mirrors the disease seen in humans and horses with induction of systemic vasculitis, including involvement of the pulmonary and central nervous systems. This model of HeV infection in the ferret was used to assess the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a subunit vaccine based on a recombinant soluble version of the HeV attachment glycoprotein G (HeVsG), adjuvanted with CpG. We report that ferrets vaccinated with a 100 μg, 20 μg or 4 μg dose of HeVsG remained free of clinical signs of HeV infection following a challenge with 5,000 TCID50 of HeV. In addition, and of considerable importance, no evidence of virus or viral genome was detected in any tissues or body fluids in any ferret in the 100 and 20 μg groups, while genome was detected in the nasal washes only of one animal in the 4 μg group. Together, our findings indicate that 100 μg or 20 μg doses of HeVsG vaccine can completely prevent a productive HeV infection in the ferret, suggesting that vaccination to prevent the infection and shedding of HeV is possible.
Hendra virus; vaccination; subunit vaccine; glycoprotein G
Ceramidase plays an important role in regulating the metabolism of sphingolipids, such as ceramide, sphingosine (SPH), and sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), by controlling the hydrolysis of ceramide. Here we report the cloning and biochemical characterization of a neutral ceramidase from the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum which is an important storage pest. The Tribolium castaneum neutral ceramidase (Tncer) is a protein of 696 amino acids. It shares a high degree of similarity in protein sequence to neutral ceramidases from various species. Tncer mRNA levels are higher in the adult stage than in pre-adult stages, and they are higher in the reproductive organs than in head, thorax, and midgut. The mature ovary has higher mRNA levels than the immature ovary. Tncer is localized to the plasma membrane. It uses various ceramides (D-erythro-C6, C12, C16, C18:1, and C24:1-ceramide) as substrates and has an abroad pH optimum for its in vitro activity. Tncer has an optimal temperature of 37 °C for its in vitro activity. Its activity is inhibited by Fe2+. These results suggest that Tncer has distinct biochemical properties from neutral ceramidases from other species.
ceramidase; Tncer; activity; biochemical properties; plasma membrane; mRNA levels
The title compound, C15H17O6P, was obtained from a reaction of 4-methyl-7-hydroxycoumarin and 2-chloro-5,5-dimethyl-1,3,2-dioxaphosphinane 2-oxide. There are two molecules in the asymmetric unit in which the benzopyran ring system is almost planar [r.m.s. deviation for each molecule = 0.003 Å]. In the crystal, C—H⋯O hydrogen bonds and π–π stacking interactions [with centroid–centroid distances of 3.743 (3) and 3.727 (3) Å] link the two molecules. The dioxaphosphorinane ring adopts a chair conformation in both asymmetric molecules.
Hendra virus (HeV) is a recently emerged zoonotic paramyxovirus that can cause a severe and often fatal disease in horses and humans. HeV is categorized as a biosafety level 4 agent, which has made the development of animal models and testing of potential therapeutics and vaccines challenging. Infection of African Green monkeys (AGMs) with HeV was recently demonstrated and disease mirrored fatal HeV infection in humans, manifesting as a multisystemic vasculitis with widespread virus replication in vascular tissues and severe pathologic manifestations in the lung, spleen and brain. Here, we demonstrate that m102.4, a potent HeV neutralizing human monoclonal antibody (hmAb), can protect AGMs from disease post infection (p.i.) with HeV. Fourteen AGMs were challenged intratracheally with a lethal dose of HeV and twelve subjects were infused twice with a 100 mg dose of m102.4 beginning at either 10 hr, 24 hr or 72 hr p.i. and again approximately 48 hrs later. The presence of viral RNA, infectious virus and HeV-specific immune responses demonstrated that all subjects were infected following challenge. All twelve AGMs that received m102.4 survived infection; whereas the untreated control subjects succumbed to disease on day 8 p.i.. Animals in the 72 hr treatment group exhibited neurological signs of disease but all animals started to recover by day 16 p.i.. These results represent successful post-exposure in vivo efficacy by an investigational drug against HeV and highlight the potential impact a hmAb can have on human disease.
AIM: To explore the expression pattern of OCT4 in human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and its significance in diagnosis and prognosis.
METHODS: Using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), Western blotting, immunocytochemistry and immunohistochemistry, the expression of OCT4 in three esophageal squamous cancer cell lines, KYSE70, KYSE140 and KYSE450, was characterized. OCT4 expression was investigated in a series of 153 esophageal squamous cell carcinoma samples using immunohistochemistry and explored its association with clinicopathological features.
RESULTS: Immunohistochemically, OCT4 positive immunostaining was observed in cancer cell nuclei. OCT4 was variably expressed in three esophageal squamous cancer cell lines. Among 153 specimens, 105 (68.7%) were negative or weakly positive for OCT4 staining; 21 (13.7%) were moderately positive and 27 (17.6%) were strongly positive. Higher expression level of OCT4 was significantly associated with higher histological grade (P < 0.001) and poor clinic outcome (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: The expression of OCT4 enables the tumor to have a higher degree of stemness, which in turn results in a poorer clinical outcome for patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; Immunohistochemistry; OCT4; Real-time polymerase chain reaction; Western blotting
High-dose tissue-specific delivery of therapeutic agents would be a valuable clinical strategy. We have previously shown that repeated transcranial focused ultrasound is able to increase the delivery of Evans blue significantly into brain tissue. The present study shows that repeated pulsed high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) can be used to deliver high-dose atherosclerotic plaque-specific peptide-1 (AP-1)-conjugated liposomes selectively to brain tumors.
Firefly luciferase (Fluc)-labeled human GBM8401 glioma cells were implanted into NOD-scid mice. AP-1-conjugated liposomal doxorubicin or liposomal doxorubicin alone was administered followed by pulsed HIFU and the doxorubicin concentration in the treated brains quantified by fluorometer. Growth of the labeled glioma cells was monitored through noninvasive bioluminescence imaging and finally the brain tissue was histologically examined after sacrifice.
Compared with the control group, the animals treated with 5 mg/kg injections of AP-1 liposomal doxorubicin or untargeted liposomal doxorubicin followed by repeated pulsed HIFU not only showed significantly enhanced accumulation of drug at the sonicated tumor site but also a significantly elevated tumor-to-normal brain drug ratio (P < 0.001). Combining repeated pulsed HIFU with AP-1 liposomal doxorubicin or untargeted liposomal doxorubicin has similar antitumor effects.
This study demonstrates that targeted or untargeted liposomal doxorubicin, followed by repeated pulsed HIFU, is a promising high-dose chemotherapy method that allows the desired brain tumor region to be targeted specifically.
repeated focused ultrasound; interleukin-4 receptor; blood-brain barrier; brain tumor; target drug delivery
Neutralizing antibodies are a critical component in the protection or recovery from viral infections. In the absence of available vaccines or antiviral drugs for many important human viral pathogens, the identification and characterization of new human monoclonal antibodies (hmAbs) able to neutralize viruses offers the possibility for effective pre- and/or post-exposure therapeutic modalities. Such hmAbs may also help in our understanding of the virus entry process, the mechanisms of virus neutralization and in the eventual development of specific entry inhibitors, vaccines and research tools. The majority of the more recently developed antiviral hmAbs have come from the use of antibody phage-display technologies using both naïve and immune libraries. Many of these agents are also enveloped viruses possessing important neutralizing determinants within their membrane-anchored envelope glycoproteins and the use of recombinant, soluble versions of these viral glycoproteins is often critical in the isolation and development of antiviral hmAbs. This chapter will detail several methods that have been successfully employed to produce, purify and characterize soluble and secreted versions of several viral envelope glycoproteins which have been successfully used as antigens to capture and isolate human phage-displayed monoclonal antibodies.
HIV; Paramyxovirus; Hendra virus; Nipah virus; glycoprotein; recombinant; purification; oligomerization; monoclonal antibody; epitope; conformation
The title compound, [Cu(C16H11BrN2)(C18H15P)2]BF4, is composed of one CuI atom, one 6-(4-bromophenyl)-2,2′-bipyridine (L) ligand, two triphenylphosphane molecules and one tetrafluoridoborate anion. The CuI ion is four-coordinated in a distorted tetrahedral configuration by two N atoms from L and two P atoms from triphenylphosphane ligands. In the L ligand, the two pyridine rings are not coplanar; the mean planes making a dihedral angle of 15.3 (5)°. In the crystal, the ions are linked by weak C—H⋯F interactions.
The formula unit of the title molecular complex, 2C16H16N2O3·C16H16N2O2, consists of two (E)-N′-[1-(2-hydroxyphenyl)ethylidene]-2-phenoxyacetohydrazide molecules and one molecule of 2,2′-(1,1′-azinodiethylidyne)diphenol, with the latter located on a crystallographic inversion center. The acetohydrazide molecules are linked into a supermolecular chain along the c axis by intermolecular N—H⋯O hydrogen bonds. There are also intramolecular O—H⋯N hydrogen bonds in both the acetohydrazide and diphenol molecules.
By using cDNA microarray analysis, we identified a G protein-coupled receptor, GPR39, that is significantly up-regulated in ESCC. The aim of this study is to investigate the role of GPR39 in human esophageal cancer development, and to examine the prevalence and clinical significance of GPR39 overexpression in ESCC.
The mRNA expression level of GPR39 was analyzed in 9 ESCC cell lines and 50 primary ESCC tumors using semi-quantitative RT-PCR. Immunohistochemistry was used to assess GPR39 protein expression in tissue arrays containing 300 primary ESCC cases. In vitro and in vivo studies were done to elucidate the tumorigenic role of GPR39 in ESCC cells.
We found that GPR39 was frequently overexpressed in primary ESCCs in both mRNA level (27/50, 54%) and protein level (121/207, 58.5%), which was significantly associated with the lymph node metastasis and advanced TNM stage (P < 0.01). Functional studies showed that GPR39 has a strong tumorigenic ability. Introduction of GPR39 gene into ESCC cell line KYSE30 could promote cell proliferation, increase foci formation, colony formation in soft agar, and tumor formation in nude mice. The mechanism by which amplified GPR39 induces tumorigenesis was associated with its role in promoting G1/S transition via up-regulation of cyclin D1 and CDK6. Further study found GPR39 could enhance cell motility and invasiveness by inducing EMT and remodeling cytoskeleton. Moreover, depletion of endogenous GPR39 by siRNA could effectively decrease the oncogenicity of ESCC cells.
The present study suggests that GPR39 plays an important tumorigenic role in the development and progression of ESCC.
In the title coordination polymer, [Ag(C14H8NO2)]n, the AgI cation is coordinated by two O atoms and one N atom from two symmetry-related acridine-9-carboxylate ligands in a distorted trigonal-planar geometry. The metal atoms are connected by the ligands to form chains running parallel to the b axis. π–π stacking interactions [centroid-to-centroid distances 3.757 (2)–3.820 (2) Å] and weak Ag⋯O interactions further link the chains to form a layer network parallel to the ab plane. The AgI cation is disordered over two positions, with refined site-occupancy factors of 0.73 (3):0.27 (3).
A challenge to individuals with cognitive impairments in wayfinding is how to remain oriented, recall routines, and travel in unfamiliar areas in a way relying on limited cognitive capacity. While people without disabilities often use maps or written directions as navigation tools or for remaining oriented, this cognitively-impaired population is very sensitive to issues of abstraction (e.g. icons on maps or signage) and presents the designer with a challenge to tailor navigation information specific to each user and context.
This paper describes an approach to providing distributed cognition support of travel guidance for persons with cognitive disabilities. A solution is proposed based on passive near-field RFID tags and scanning PDAs. A prototype is built and tested in field experiments with real subjects. The unique strength of the system is the ability to provide unique-to-the-user prompts that are triggered by context. The key to the approach is to spread the context awareness across the system, with the context being flagged by the RFID tags and the appropriate response being evoked by displaying the appropriate path guidance images indexed by the intersection of specific end-user and context ID embedded in RFID tags.
We found that passive RFIDs generally served as good context for triggering navigation prompts, although individual differences in effectiveness varied. The results of controlled experiments provided more evidence with regard to applicabilities of the proposed autonomous indoor wayfinding method.
Our findings suggest that the ability to adapt indoor wayfinding devices for appropriate timing of directions and standing orientation will be particularly important.
Haematological traits, which consist of mainly three components: leukocyte traits, erythrocyte traits and platelet traits, play extremely important role in animal immune function and disease resistance. But knowledge of the genetic background controlling variability of these traits is very limited, especially in swine.
In the present study, 18 haematological traits (7 leukocyte traits, 7 erythrocyte traits and 4 platelet traits) were measured in a pig resource population consisting of 368 purebred piglets of three breeds (Landrace, Large White and Songliao Black Pig), after inoculation with the swine fever vaccine when the pigs were 21 days old. A whole-genome scan of QTL for these traits was performed using 206 microsatellite markers covering all 18 autosomes and the X chromosome. Using variance component analysis based on a linear mixed model and the false discovery rate (FDR) test, 35 QTL with FDR < 0.10 were identified: 3 for the leukocyte traits, 28 for the erythrocyte traits, and 4 for the platelet traits. Of the 35 QTL, 25 were significant at FDR < 0.05 level, including 9 significant at FDR < 0.01 level.
Very few QTL were previously identified for hematological traits of pigs and never in purebred populations. Most of the QTL detected here, in particular the QTL for the platelet traits, have not been reported before. Our results lay important foundation for identifying the causal genes underlying the hematological trait variations in pigs.
The title compound, C35H36N4O4, was prepared as a spirolactam ring formation of rhodamine B dye for comparison with a ring-opened form. The xanthene ring system is approximately planar. The r.m.s. deviation from planarity is 0.064 (6) Å for the xanthene ring. The dihedral angles formed by the spirolactam and 2,4-dihydroxybenzene rings with the xanthene ring system are 86.6 (9) and 88.0 (9)°, respectively.
We assessed the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in people following different types of vegetarian diets compared with that in nonvegetarians.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
The study population comprised 22,434 men and 38,469 women who participated in the Adventist Health Study-2 conducted in 2002–2006. We collected self-reported demographic, anthropometric, medical history, and lifestyle data from Seventh-Day Adventist church members across North America. The type of vegetarian diet was categorized based on a food-frequency questionnaire. We calculated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs using multivariate-adjusted logistic regression.
Mean BMI was lowest in vegans (23.6 kg/m2) and incrementally higher in lacto-ovo vegetarians (25.7 kg/m2), pesco-vegetarians (26.3 kg/m2), semi-vegetarians (27.3 kg/m2), and nonvegetarians (28.8 kg/m2). Prevalence of type 2 diabetes increased from 2.9% in vegans to 7.6% in nonvegetarians; the prevalence was intermediate in participants consuming lacto-ovo (3.2%), pesco (4.8%), or semi-vegetarian (6.1%) diets. After adjustment for age, sex, ethnicity, education, income, physical activity, television watching, sleep habits, alcohol use, and BMI, vegans (OR 0.51 [95% CI 0.40–0.66]), lacto-ovo vegetarians (0.54 [0.49–0.60]), pesco-vegetarians (0.70 [0.61–0.80]), and semi-vegetarians (0.76 [0.65–0.90]) had a lower risk of type 2 diabetes than nonvegetarians.
The 5-unit BMI difference between vegans and nonvegetarians indicates a substantial potential of vegetarianism to protect against obesity. Increased conformity to vegetarian diets protected against risk of type 2 diabetes after lifestyle characteristics and BMI were taken into account. Pesco- and semi-vegetarian diets afforded intermediate protection.
Missing data are a common problem in nutritional epidemiology. Little is known of the characteristics of these missing data, which makes it difficult to conduct appropriate imputation.
We telephoned, at random, 20% of subjects (n = 2091) from the Adventist Health Study–2 cohort who had any of 80 key variables missing from a dietary questionnaire. We were able to obtain responses for 92% of the missing variables.
We found a consistent excess of “zero” intakes in the filled-in data that were initially missing. However, for frequently consumed foods, most missing data were not zero, and these were usually not distinguishable from a random sample of nonzero data. Older, black, and less-well-educated subjects had more missing data. Missing data are more likely to be true zeroes in older subjects and those with more missing data. Zero imputation for missing data may create little bias except for more frequently consumed foods, in which case, zero imputation will be suboptimal if there is more than 5%–10% missing.
Although some missing data represent true zeroes, much of it does not, and data are usually not missing at random. Automatic imputation of zeroes for missing data will usually be incorrect, although there is a little bias unless the foods are frequently consumed. Certain identifiable subgroups have greater amounts of missing data, and require greater care in making imputations.
We used genetically engineered mouse hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) to investigate the therapeutic effects of human apoAI on atherosclerosis in apoE−/− mice.
Methods and Results
Lentiviral constructs expressing either human apoAI (LV-apoAI) or green fluorescent protein (LV-GFP) cDNA under a macrophage specific promoter (CD68) were generated and used for ex vivo transduction of mouse HPCs and macrophages. The transduction efficiency was >25% for HPCs and >70% for macrophages. ApoAI was found in the macrophage culture media, mostly associated with the HDL fraction. Interestingly, a significant increase in mRNA and protein levels for ATP binding cassette A1 (ABCA1) and ABCG1 were found in apoAI-expressing macrophages after acLDL loading. Expression of apoAI significantly increased cholesterol efflux in wild-type and apoE−/− macrophages. HPCs transduced with LV-apoAI ex vivo and then transplanted into apoE−/− mice caused a 50% reduction in atherosclerotic lesion area compared to GFP controls, without influencing plasma HDL-C levels.
Lentiviral transduction of apoAI into HPCs reduces atherosclerosis in apoE−/− mice. Expression of apoAI in macrophages improves cholesterol trafficking in wild-type apoE-producing macrophages and causes upregulation of ABCA1 and ABCG1. These novel observations set the stage for a cell therapy approach to atherosclerosis regression, exploiting the cooperation between apoE and apoAI to maximize cholesterol exit from the plaque.
macrophages; hematopoietic progenitor cells; lentiviral vector; apolipoprotein AI; cholesterol efflux; cell therapy of atherosclerosis
The progression of atherosclerosis is associated with leukocyte infiltration within lesions. We describe a technique for the ex vivo imaging of cellular recruitment in atherogenesis which utilizes quantum dots (QD) to color-code different cell types within lesion areas. Spectrally distinct QD were coated with the cell-penetrating peptide maurocalcine to fluorescently-label immunomagnetically isolated monocyte/macrophages and T lymphocytes. QD–maurocalcine bioconjugates labeled both cell types with a high efficiency, preserved cell viability, and did not perturb native leukocyte function in cytokine release and endothelial adhesion assays. QD-labeled monocyte/macrophages and T lymphocytes were reinfused in an ApoE−/− mouse model of atherosclerosis and age-matched controls and tracked for up to four weeks to investigate the incorporation of cells within aortic lesion areas, as determined by oil red O (ORO) and immunofluorescence ex vivo staining. QD-labeled cells were visible in atherosclerotic plaques within two days of injection, and the two cell types colocalized within areas of subsequent ORO staining. Our method for tracking leukocytes in lesions enables high signal-to-noise ratio imaging of multiple cell types and biomarkers simultaneously within the same specimen. It also has great utility in studies aimed at investigating the role of distinct circulating leukocyte subsets in plaque development and progression.
Black art posters were offered to replace or augment the established $10 incentive for questionnaire completion in a longitudinal cohort study.
81 churches located in the US southern region were divided between two intervention groups, with a control group of 24 churches from the same region. Primary outcome measures were study enrollment rates and questionnaire return rates between December 2003 and July 2004 as a proportion of church goal.
9.3% of participants returning questionnaires selected a poster in preference to $10. Half of participants offered both monetary and art incentives indicated a poster selection. Crude questionnaire return rates were 57.4% for the pooled intervention churches and 38.2% for the control churches. Enrollment rates among those offered both incentives were significantly higher (p<0.01) than when monetary incentives alone were offered after adjustment for church size, promotional dates, and average income of church members. Survey return rates were also higher in the churches offered both incentives (p=0.04).
These data suggest that the black art posters improved study enrollment and survey return rates. The relatively low rate of poster selection suggests that the art primarily influenced participation indirectly, by creating a more culturally inclusive image of the study.
recruitment; minority; ethnic; African American; research; cohort study