Radial glial cells are the primary neural progenitor cells in the developing neocortex 1. Consecutive asymmetric divisions of individual radial glial progenitor cells produce a number of sister excitatory neurons that migrate along the elongated radial glial fibre, resulting in the formation of ontogenetic columns 2–4. Moreover, sister excitatory neurons in ontogenetic columns preferentially develop specific chemical synapses with each other rather than with nearby non-siblings 5. While these findings provide crucial insights into the emergence of functional columns in the neocortex, little is known about the basis for this lineage-dependent assembly of excitatory neuron microcircuits with single-cell resolution. Here we show that transient electrical coupling between radially aligned sister excitatory neurons regulates the subsequent formation of specific chemical synapses in the neocortex. Multiple-electrode whole-cell recordings revealed that sister excitatory neurons preferentially form strong electrical coupling with each other rather than with adjacent non-sister excitatory neurons during early postnatal stages. This coupling allows selective electrical communication between sister excitatory neurons, promoting their action potential generation and synchronous firing. Interestingly, while this electrical communication largely disappears prior to the appearance of chemical synapses, its blockade impairs the subsequent formation of specific chemical synapses between sister excitatory neurons in ontogenetic columns. These results suggest a strong link between a lineage-dependent transient electrical coupling and the assembly of precise excitatory neuron microcircuits in the neocortex.
Little is known about the role of the host defensive protein short palate, lung and nasal epithelium clone 1 (SPLUNC1) in the carcinogenesis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Here we report that SPLUNC1 plays a role at a very early stage of NPC carcinogenesis. SPLUNC1 regulates NPC cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis through miR-141, which in turn regulates PTEN and p27 expression. This signaling axis is negatively regulated by the EBV-coded gene LMP1. Therefore we propose that SPLUNC1 suppresses NPC tumor formation and its inhibition by LMP1 provides a route for NPC tumorigenesis.
Ras homologous C (RhoC) is expressed in various cancers, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In this study, we first analyzed RhoC expression in 46 HCC tissue specimens and found that RhoC expression was significantly increased in HCC tissues compared to the adjacent normal liver tissues. Next, we investigated the role of RhoC in malignant transformation of normal hepatocytes. The HL7702 cell line was stably transfected with a RhoC expression vector and then subjected to cell proliferation, differentiation, colony formation, migration and invasion assays, as well as nude mouse xenograft assays. Gene expressions in these cells were determined using RT-PCR and Western blot. Overexpression of RhoC significantly promoted proliferation and anchorage-independent growth of HL7702 cells, but suppressed cell differentiation, as compared with the parental cells and the empty vector-transfected control cells. Moreover, RhoC overexpression induced migration and invasion of HL7702 cells in vitro. Molecularly, RhoC increased the expression of cell cycle-related genes, matrix metalloprotease 2 (MMP2), MMP9 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). In addition, RhoC-transfected cells formed tumors in nude mice, whereas vector-transfected HL7702 cells did not form any tumors in nude mice. This study demonstrated the role of RhoC overexpression in malignant transformation of normal human hepatocytes, suggesting that RhoC may function as an oncogene in hepatocytes.
A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level above 4 ng/mL has historically been recognized as an appropriate threshold to recommend biopsy; however the risk of high-grade disease observed among men with lower PSA levels in the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial has led to calls to change the criteria for biopsy referral.
To aid providers when discussing aggressiveness of biopsy by cataloging available community biopsy patterns and determine whether lower PSA thresholds are being used to recommend biopsy.
Laboratory and biopsy records were reviewed among 59,764 men in a large Washington State health plan between 1998 and 2007. Follow-up in the 12-month period after a test was categorized as biopsy, urology visit without biopsy, additional PSA testing with no urology visit, or no PSA-related follow-up. Data analysis occurred between 2010 and 2011.
Twenty-eight percent of tests with PSA levels ≥4.0 ng/mL, 2.9% of tests with levels between 2.5 and 4.0 ng/mL, and 0.4% of tests with levels <2.5 ng/mL were followed with a biopsy within 12 months. Over 40% of elevated tests (≥4.0 ng/mL) were followed by a urologist visit without a biopsy, and over 30% of tests ≥4.0 did not have any PSA-related follow-up within 12 months. PSA velocity, defined as annualized rate of change in PSA level, was strongly associated with biopsy, especially when absolute PSA was <4.0 ng/mL. There appear to be no discernable temporal trends in biopsy thresholds or practice patterns based on PSA velocity.
Despite recent calls to more aggressively recommend biopsy at lower PSA thresholds, the practice in this large health plan has remained consistent over time.
We had demonstrated that plasminogen kringle 5 (K5), a potent angiogenic inhibitor, inhibited retinal neovascularization and hepatocellular carcinoma growth by anti-angiogenesis. The current study investigated the effects and the underlying mechanisms of K5 on both tumor growth and spontaneous pulmonary metastasis in Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) implanted mouse model. Similarly, K5 could decrease expression of VEGF in LLC cells and grafted tissues and suppress tumor angiogenesis and growth. K5 had no direct effect on proliferation and apoptosis of LLC. However, K5 could significantly inhibit SDF-1α-induced chemotaxis movement of LLC cells and resulted in a great reduction of surface metastatic nodules and micrometastases in the lungs of LLC tumor-bearing mice. K5 also decreased expression of chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 4 (CXCR4) in LLC cells and grafted tissues. Furthermore, K5 down-regulated SDF-1α expression in metastatic lung tissues of LLC-bearing mice. Therefore, K5 may suppress tumor pulmonary metastasis through inhibiting SDF-1α-CXCR4 chemotaxis movement and down-regulation of VEGF. Moreover, the role of hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α), a crucial transcriptional factor for both VEGF and CXCR4 expression, was evaluated. The siRNA of HIF-1α attenuated expression of VEGF and CXCR4 and inhibited LLC migration. K5 decreased HIF-1α protein level and impaired nuclear HIF-1α accumulation. These results showed for the first time that K5 inhibits LLC growth and metastasis via the dual effects of anti-angiogenesis and suppression of tumor cell motility by targeting the pivotal molecule, HIF-1α.
With the cost reduction of the next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, genomics has provided us with an unprecedented opportunity to understand fundamental questions in biology and elucidate human diseases. De novo genome assembly is one of the most important steps to reconstruct the sequenced genome. However, most de novo assemblers require enormous amount of computational resource, which is not accessible for most research groups and medical personnel.
We have developed a novel de novo assembly framework, called Tiger, which adapts to available computing resources by iteratively decomposing the assembly problem into sub-problems. Our method is also flexible to embed different assemblers for various types of target genomes. Using the sequence data from a human chromosome, our results show that Tiger can achieve much better NG50s, better genome coverage, and slightly higher errors, as compared to Velvet and SOAPdenovo, using modest amount of memory that are available in commodity computers today.
Most state-of-the-art assemblers that can achieve relatively high assembly quality need excessive amount of computing resource (in particular, memory) that is not available to most researchers to achieve high quality results. Tiger provides the only known viable path to utilize NGS de novo assemblers that require more memory than that is present in available computers. Evaluation results demonstrate the feasibility of getting better quality results with low memory footprint and the scalability of using distributed commodity computers.
Water availability is the most influential factor affecting plant carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotope composition in arid and semi-arid environments. However, there are potential differences among locations and/or species in the sensitivity of plant δ13C and δ15N to variation in precipitation, which are important for using stable isotope signatures to extract paleo-vegetation and paleo-climate information. We measured δ13C and δ15N of plant and soil organic matter (SOM) samples collected from 64 locations across a precipitation gradient with an isotherm in northern China. δ13C and δ15N for both C3 and C4 plants decreased significantly with increasing mean annual precipitation (MAP). The sensitivity of δ13C to MAP in C3 plants (-0.6±0.07‰/100 mm) was twice as high as that in C4 plants (−0.3±0.08‰/100 mm). Species differences in the sensitivity of plant δ13C and δ15N to MAP were not observed among three main dominant plants. SOM became depleted in 13C with increasing MAP, while no significant correlations existed between δ15N of SOM and MAP. We conclude that water availability is the primary environmental factor controlling the variability of plant δ13C and δ15N and soil δ13C in the studied arid and semi-arid regions. Carbon isotope composition is useful for tracing environmental precipitation changes. Plant nitrogen isotope composition can reflect relative openness of ecosystem nitrogen cycling.
RNA-seq has proven to be a powerful technique for transcriptome profiling based on next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies. However, due to the short length of NGS reads, it is challenging to accurately map RNA-seq reads to splice junctions (SJs), which is a critically important step in the analysis of alternative splicing (AS) and isoform construction. In this article, we describe a new method, called TrueSight, which for the first time combines RNA-seq read mapping quality and coding potential of genomic sequences into a unified model. The model is further utilized in a machine-learning approach to precisely identify SJs. Both simulations and real data evaluations showed that TrueSight achieved higher sensitivity and specificity than other methods. We applied TrueSight to new high coverage honey bee RNA-seq data to discover novel splice forms. We found that 60.3% of honey bee multi-exon genes are alternatively spliced. By utilizing gene models improved by TrueSight, we characterized AS types in honey bee transcriptome. We believe that TrueSight will be highly useful to comprehensively study the biology of alternative splicing.
T cell function is dependent on store-operated Ca2+ influx that is activated by the stromal interaction molecules (STIM) 1 and 2. We show that mice with T-cell specific deletion of STIM1 or STIM2 are protected from experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. While STIM1- and STIM2-deficient T cells could be successfully primed by autoantigen, they failed to produce the proinflammatory cytokines IL-17 and IFN-γ. STIM1-deficient T cells showed reduced expression of IL- 23R, required for Th17 cell homeostasis, and had impaired chemokine dependent T cell migration caused by a lack of chemokine-induced Ca2+ influx. Autoantigen-specific STIM1- or STIM2-deficient T cells failed to expand and accumulate in the CNS and lymph nodes following adoptive transfer to passively induce EAE, suggesting that autoantigen-specific restimulation or homeostasis of STIM1- and STIM2-deficient T cells are impaired. Combined deletion of both STIM1 and STIM2, previously shown to impair Treg cell development and function, completely protected mice from EAE. This indicates that, in the absence of Ca2+ influx, autoreactive T cells are severely dysfunctional rendering Treg dispensable for the prevention of CNS inflammation. Our findings demonstrate that both STIM1 and STIM2 are critical for T cell function and autoimmunity in vivo.
EAE; MS; Th17; STIM1; STIM2; calcium; CRAC; Ca2+; T cells; autoimmunity
Protein kinase C theta (PKC-θ) is a key kinase in mediating T cell receptor (TCR) signals. PKC-θ activated by T cell receptor (TCR) engagement translocates to immunological synapses and regulates the activation of transcriptional factors NFκB, AP-1, and NFAT. These transcription factors then activate target genes such as IL-2. T cells deficient in PKC-θ display defects in T cell activation, survival, activation-induced cell death, and the differentiation into inflammatory T cells, such as Th2 and Th17 cells both in vitro and in vivo. Since these effector T helper cells are responsible for mediating autoimmunity, selective inhibition of PKC-θ is considered a treatment for prevention of autoimmune diseases and allograft rejection.
PKC-θ; T cells; TCR signaling; autoimmunity; transplantation rejection
Survival of CD4+CD8+ double positive (DP) thymocytes plays a critical role in shaping the peripheral T cell repertoire. However, the mechanisms responsible for the regulation of DP thymocyte lifespan remain poorly understood. In this work, we demonstrate that TCF-1 regulates DP thymocyte survival by up-regulating RORγt. Microarray analysis revealed that RORγt was significantly down-regulated in TCF-1−/− thymocytes that underwent accelerated apoptosis, whereas RORγt was greatly up-regulated in thymocytes that had enhanced survival due to transgenic expression of a stabilized β-catenin (β-catTg), a TCF-1 activator. Both TCF-1−/− and RORγt−/− DP thymocytes underwent similar accelerated apoptosis. Forced expression of RORγt successfully rescued TCF-1−/− DP thymocytes from apoptosis, whereas ectopically expressed TCF-1 was not able to rescue the defective T cell development due to lack of RORγt-supported survival. Furthermore, activation of TCF-1 by stabilized β-catenin was able to enhance DP thymocyte survival only in the presence of RORγt, indicating that RORγt acts downstream of TCF-1 in the regulation of DP thymocyte survival. Moreover, β-catenin/TCF-1 directly interacted with the RORγt promoter region and stimulated its activity. Therefore, our data demonstrate that TCF-1 enhances DP thymocyte survival through transcriptional up-regulation of RORγt, which we have previously shown to be an essential survival molecule for DP thymocytes.
Recently we have shown that calpain-1 activation contributes to cardiomyocyte apoptosis induced by hyperglycemia. This study was undertaken to investigate whether targeted disruption of calpain would reduce myocardial hypertrophy and fibrosis in mouse models of type 1 diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Diabetes in mice was induced by injection of streptozotocin (STZ), and OVE26 mice were also used as a type 1 diabetic model. The function of calpain was genetically manipulated by cardiomyocyte-specific knockout Capn4 in mice and the use of calpastatin transgenic mice. Myocardial hypertrophy and fibrosis were investigated 2 and 5 months after STZ injection or in OVE26 diabetic mice at the age of 5 months. Cultured isolated adult mouse cardiac fibroblast cells were also investigated under high glucose conditions.
Calpain activity, cardiomyocyte cross-sectional areas, and myocardial collagen deposition were significantly increased in both STZ-induced and OVE26 diabetic hearts, and these were accompanied by elevated expression of hypertrophic and fibrotic collagen genes. Deficiency of Capn4 or overexpression of calpastatin reduced myocardial hypertrophy and fibrosis in both diabetic models, leading to the improvement of myocardial function. These effects were associated with a normalization of the nuclear factor of activated T-cell nuclear factor-κB and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activities in diabetic hearts. In cultured cardiac fibroblasts, high glucose–induced proliferation and MMP activities were prevented by calpain inhibition.
Myocardial hypertrophy and fibrosis in diabetic mice are attenuated by reduction of calpain function. Thus targeted inhibition of calpain represents a potential novel therapeutic strategy for reversing diabetic cardiomyopathy.
Rice (Oryza sativa) is the most aluminum (Al)-tolerant crop among small-grain cereals, but the mechanism underlying its high Al resistance is still not well understood. To understand the mechanisms underlying high Al-tolerance, we performed a comparative genome-wide transcriptional analysis by comparing expression profiling between the Al-tolerance cultivar (Koshihikari) and an Al-sensitive mutant star1 (SENSITIVE TO AL RHIZOTOXICITY 1) in both the root tips and the basal roots. Exposure to 20 µM AlCl3 for 6 h resulted in up-regulation (higher than 3-fold) of 213 and 2015 genes including 185 common genes in the root tips of wild-type and the mutant, respectively. On the other hand, in the basal root, genes up-regulated by Al were 126 and 2419 including 76 common genes in the wild-type and the mutant, respectively. These results indicate that Al-response genes are not only restricted to the root tips, but also in the basal root region. Analysis with genes up- or down-regulated only in the wild-type reveals that there are other mechanisms for Al-tolerance except for a known transcription factor ART1-regulated one in rice. These mechanisms are related to nitrogen assimilation, secondary metabolite synthesis, cell-wall synthesis and ethylene synthesis. Although the exact roles of these putative tolerance genes remain to be examined, our data provide a platform for further work on Al-tolerance in rice.
Retinoblastoma is the most common childhood primary intraocular malignancy, with the majority of cases being diagnosed before 5 years of age. Retinoblastoma in adults is extremely rare. Here, we report the case of a 20-year-old man who presented with a 3 year history of blurred vision in the right eye. Imaging did not reveal the typical presentation of retinoblastoma. After considering Coats' disease, a diagnosis of late-presenting retinoblastoma was made through cytological analysis. Diagnosis of retinoblastoma should be considered in the presence of uncertain mass lesions in the fundus of an adult.
adult; retinoblastoma; Coats'disease; cytological analysis
Background and Aims
Brachypodium distachyon is a temperate grass with a small stature, rapid life cycle and completely sequenced genome that has great promise as a model system to study grass-specific traits for crop improvement. Under iron (Fe)-deficient conditions, grasses synthesize and secrete Fe(III)-chelating agents called phytosiderophores (PS). In Zea mays, Yellow Stripe1 (ZmYS1) is the transporter responsible for the uptake of Fe(III)–PS complexes from the soil. Some members of the family of related proteins called Yellow Stripe-Like (YSL) have roles in internal Fe translocation of plants, while the function of other members remains uninvestigated. The aim of this study is to establish brachypodium as a model system to study Fe homeostasis in grasses, identify YSL proteins in brachypodium and maize, and analyse their expression profiles in brachypodium in response to Fe deficiency.
The YSL family of proteins in brachypodium and maize were identified based on sequence similarity to ZmYS1. Expression patterns of the brachypodium YSL genes (BdYSL genes) were determined by quantitative RT–PCR under Fe-deficient and Fe-sufficient conditions. The types of PS secreted, and secretion pattern of PS in brachypodium were analysed by high-performance liquid chromatography.
Eighteen YSL family members in maize and 19 members in brachypodium were identified. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that some YSLs group into a grass-specific clade. The Fe status of the plant can regulate expression of brachypodium YSL genes in both shoots and roots. 3-Hydroxy-2′-deoxymugineic acid (HDMA) is the dominant type of PS secreted by brachypodium, and its secretion is diurnally regulated.
PS secretion by brachypodium parallels that of related crop species such as barley and wheat. A single grass species-specific YSL clade is present, and expression of the BdYSL members of this clade could not be detected in shoots or roots, suggesting grass-specific functions in reproductive tissues. Finally, the Fe-responsive expression profiles of several YSLs suggest roles in Fe homeostasis.
Brachypodium distachyon; Zea mays; iron homeostasis; phytosiderophore; nicotianamine; Yellow Stripe-Like; YSL; YS1
Retinoic acid (atRA) signaling is essential for regulating embryonic development, and atRA levels must be tightly controlled in order to prevent congenital abnormalities and fetal death which can result from both excessive and insufficient atRA signaling. Cellular enzymes synthesize atRA from Vitamin A, which is obtained from dietary sources. Embryos express multiple enzymes that are biochemically capable of catalyzing the initial step of Vitamin A oxidation, but the precise contribution of these enzymes to embryonic atRA synthesis remains unknown. Using Rdh10trex-mutant embryos, dietary supplementation of retinaldehyde, and retinol dehydrogenase (RDH) activity assays, we demonstrate that RDH10 is the primary RDH responsible for the first step of embryonic Vitamin A oxidation. Moreover, we show that this initial step of atRA synthesis occurs predominantly in a membrane-bound cellular compartment, which prevents inhibition by the cytosolic cellular retinol binding protein (RBP1). These studies reveal that widely-expressed cytosolic enzymes with RDH activity play a very limited role in embryonic atRA synthesis under normal dietary conditions. This provides a breakthrough in understanding the precise cellular mechanisms that regulate Vitamin A metabolism and the synthesis of the essential embryonic regulatory molecule atRA.
Retinol; retinoic acid; retinol dehydrogenase; alcohol dehydrogenase; retinoid metabolism; Vitamin A
Curcumin,a natural polyphenol obtained from turmeric,has been implicated to be neuroprotective in a variety of neurodegenerative disorders although the mechanism remains poorly understood. The results of our recent experiments indicated that curcumin could protect dopaminergic neurons from apoptosis in a 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) mouse model of Parkinson’s disease (PD). The death of dopaminergic neurons and the loss of dopaminergic axon in the striatum were significantly suppressed by curcumin in MPTP mouse model. Further studies showed that curcumin inhibited JNKs hyperphosphorylation induced by MPTP treatment. JNKs phosphorylation can cause translocation of Bax to mitochondria and the release of cytochrome c which both ultimately contribute to mitochondria-mediated apoptosis. These pro-apoptosis effect can be diminished by curcumin. Our experiments demonstrated that curcumin can prevent nigrostriatal degeneration by inhibiting the dysfunction of mitochondrial through suppressing hyperphosphorylation of JNKs induced by MPTP. Our results suggested that JNKs/mitochondria pathway may be a novel target in the treatment of PD patients.
To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of complex orbital fracture reconstruction with titanium implants.
A retrospective review of 46 patients treated with complex orbital fractures reconstruction using titanium implants from January 2005 to December 2008 was conducted. The following data were recorded: age, gender, mechanism of injury, preoperative and postoperative orbital CT, visual acuity, diplopia, ocular motility and Hertel exophthalmometer.
The most common cause was motor vehicle accident (47.8%), followed by industrial injury (30.4%). All patients had improved appearance after operation and CT scan at one week after operation showed the fracture defects of orbit and neighboring areas had been reconstructed. Forty-six cases had various degrees of enophthalmos before operation. Among them, 32 cases were completely corrected, 11 cases improved obviously and 3 cases had no improvement after operation. Thirty-six patients with visual acuity ≥20/60 revealed diplopia of various degrees, including 26 patients had diplopia in right ahead and/or reading positions. At the sixth month after operation, diplopia disappeared in five patients, 7 patients still had diplopia in right ahead and/or reading positions, 14 patients had diplopia in positions rather than right ahead and reading positions (<20°) and ten patients had diplopia only at peripheral gazing (>20°). All patients had various degrees of ocular motility disorders before operation. At the sixth month after operation, eyeball movement disorder disappeared in 9 patients, 31 patients showed improvement and 6 patients had no improvement. Complications of implant infection, rejection and displacement were not reported after operation.
The application of titanium implants in the repair of complex orbital fractures greatly improves the appearance and functional results, which is a favorable material for plastic surgery of complex orbital fracture.
complex orbital fractures; titanium; reconstruction
The Pim protein kinases play important roles in cancer development and progression, including prostate tumors and hematologic malignancies. To investigate the potential role of these enzymes as anticancer drug targets, we have synthesized novel benzylidene-thiazolidine-2,4-diones that function as potent Pim protein kinase inhibitors. With IC50 values in the nanomolar range, these compounds block the ability of Pim to phosphorylate peptides and proteins in vitro and, when added to DU145 prostate cancer cells overex-pressing Pim, inhibit the ability of this enzyme to phosphorylate a known substrate, the BH3 protein BAD. When added to prostate cancer cell lines, including PC3, DU145, and CWR22Rv1, and human leukemic cells, MV4;11, K562, and U937 cells, these compounds induce G1-S cell cycle arrest and block the antiapoptotic effect of the Pim protein kinase. The cell cycle arrest induced by these compounds is associated with an inhibition of cyclin-dependent kinase 2 and activity and translocation of the Pim-1 substrate p27Kip1, a cyclin-dependent kinase 2 inhibitory protein, to the nucleus. Furthermore, when added to leukemic cells, these compounds synergize with the mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor rapamycin to decrease the phosphorylation level of the translational repressor 4E-BP1 at sites phosphorylated by mammalian target of rapamycin. Combinations of rapamycin and the benzylidene-thiazolidine-2,4-diones synergistically block the growth of leukemic cells. Thus, these agents represent novel Pim inhibitors and point to an important role for the Pim protein kinases in cell cycle control in multiple types of cancer cells.
Cone photoreceptors have faster light responses than rods and a higher demand for 11-cis retinal (11cRAL), the chromophore of visual pigments. RPE65 is the isomerohydrolase in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) which converts all-trans retinyl ester (atRE) to 11-cis retinol, a key step in the visual cycle to regenerate 11cRAL. Accumulating evidence suggests that cone-dominant species express an alternative isomerase, likely in retinal Müller cells, in order to meet the high demand for the chromophore by cones. Herein we describe the identification and characterization of a novel isomerohydrolase, RPE65c, from the cone-dominant zebrafish retina. RPE65c shares 78% amino acid sequence identity with RPE-specific zebrafish RPE65a (orthologue of human RPE65) and retains all of the known key residues for the enzymatic activity of RPE65. Similar to the other RPE-specific RPE65, RPE65c was present in both the membrane and cytosolic fractions, used atRE as its substrate and required iron for its enzymatic activity. However, immunohistochemistry detected RPE65c in the inner retina including Müller cells, but not in the RPE. Furthermore, double-immunostaining of dissociated retinal cells using antibodies for RPE65c and glutamine synthetase (a Müller cell marker), showed that RPE65c co-localized with the Müller cell marker. These results suggest that RPE65c is the alternative isomerohydrolase in the intra-retinal visual cycle, providing 11cRAL to cone photoreceptors in cone-dominant species. Identification of an alternative visual cycle will contribute to the understanding of the functional differences of rod and cone photoreceptors.
retinoids; cone-dominant retina; isomerohydrolase; Müller cell; visual cycle
AIM: To evaluate the effect of a 6 and 12 mo lifestyle modification intervention in nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLD) in Chengyang District of Qingdao.
METHODS: Participants with NAFLD who had resided in Chengyang District for more than 5 years were enrolled in this study. After the 6 and 12 mo lifestyle modification intervention based on physical activity, nutrition and behavior therapy, parameters such as body weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase values, serum cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting glucose, fasting insulin and visceral fat area (VFA), the liver-spleen ratio and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) were evaluated and compared between participants with and without the intervention.
RESULTS: Seven hundred and twenty-four participants were assigned to the lifestyle intervention group (LS) and 363 participants were assigned to the control group (CON). After the intervention, body weights in the LS group were significantly decreased compared to those in the CON group at 6 mo (11.59% ± 4.7% vs 0.4% ± 0.2%, P = 0.001) and at 12 mo (12.73% ± 5.6% vs 0.9% ± 0.3%, P = 0.001). Compared with the CON group, BMI was more decreased in the LS group after 6 and 12 mo (P = 0.043 and P = 0.032). Waist circumference was more reduced in the LS group than in CON (P = 0.031 and P = 0.017). After the 6 and 12 mo intervention, ALT decreased significantly in the LS group (P = 0.003 and P = 0.002). After 6 and 12 mo, the metabolic syndrome rate had decreased more in the LS group compared with the CON group (P = 0.026 and P = 0.017). After 12 mo, the HOMA-IR score decreased more obviously in the LS group (P = 0.041); this result also appeared in the VFA after 12 mo in the LS group (P = 0.035).
CONCLUSION: Lifestyle intervention was effective in improving NAFLD in both 6 and 12 mo interventions. This intervention offered a practical approach for treating a large number of NAFLD patients in the Chengyang District of Qingdao.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; Lifestyle intervention; Obese
Pharmacotherapy and cognitive–behavioral therapy (CBT) are currently the most effective interventions for treating obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). These treatments, however, are time consuming and in some cases the patients do not show significant improvement. In all, 30%–60% of OCD patients do not respond adequately to pharmacotherapy and 20%–40% of OCD patients who complete CBT do not improve significantly, suggesting a more efficacious approach is needed. The objectives of this study are to demonstrate an efficacious pharmacotherapy plus psychotherapy, named cognitive–coping therapy (CCT), for OCD and to investigate the efficacy of this approach in a larger sample size. Therefore, a total of 108 patients with OCD were randomly allocated into three groups: pharmacotherapy (N = 38), pharmacotherapy plus CBT (PCBT, N = 34), and pharmacotherapy plus CCT (PCCT, N = 36). The severity of symptoms and the patients' functioning were assessed pretreatment and after 7, 14, 21 days, and 1-, 3-, 6-, and 12-month treatment using the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale and Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF). Compared with the pharmacotherapy and PCBT groups, the severity of OCD symptoms was significantly reduced (P < 0.001), the rates of response (100%) and remission (85.0%) were significantly higher (P < 0.001), and relapse rate was lower (P = 0.017) in PCCT group during the 1-year follow-up. In addition, the GAF score was significantly higher in the PCCT group than in the other two groups (P < 0.001). Our preliminary data suggest that PCCT is a more efficacious psychotherapy for OCD patients than pharmacotherapy or PCBT.
Cognitive–behavioral therapy; cognitive–coping therapy; OCD; remission; response
RPE65 is an abundantly expressed protein within the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) of the eye that is required for retinoid metabolism to support vision. Its genetic mutations are linked to the congenital disease Leber congenital amaurosis Type 2 (LCA2) characterized by the early onset of central vision loss. Current gene therapy trials have targeted restoration of functional RPE65 within the RPE of these patients with some success. Recent data show RPE65 is also present within mouse cones to promote function. In this study, we evaluated the presence of RPE65 in human cones and investigated its potential mechanism for supporting cone function in the 661W cone cell line. We found that RPE65 was selectively expressed in human green/red cones but absent from blue cones and mediated ester hydrolysis for photopigment synthesis in vitro. These data suggest that cone RPE65 supports human diurnal vision, potentially enhancing our strategies for treating LCA2.
A simple, sensitive optical analyzer for the rapid determination of cyanide in blood in point of care applications is described. HCN is liberated by the addition of 20% H3PO4 and is absorbed by a paper filter impregnated with borate-buffered (pH 9.0) hydroxoaquocobinamide Hereinafter called cobinamide). Cobinamide on the filter changes color from orange (λmax = 510 nm) to violet (λmax = 583 nm) upon reaction with cyanide. This color change is monitored in the transmission mode by a light emitting diode (LED) with a 583 nm emission maximum and a photodiode detector. The observed rate of color change increases 10x when the cobinamide solution for filter impregnation is prepared in borate-buffer rather than in water. The use of a second LED emitting at 653 nm and alternate pulsing of the LEDs improve the limit of detection by 4x to ~ 0.5 μM for a 1 mL blood sample. Blood cyanide levels of imminent concern (≥ 10 μM) can be accurately measured in ~ 2 min. The response is proportional to the mass of cyanide in the sample – smaller sample volumes can be successfully used with proportionate change in the concentration LODs. Bubbling air through the blood-acid mixture was found effective for mixing of the acid with the sample and the liberation of HCN. A small amount of ethanol added to the top of the blood was found to be the most effective means to prevent frothing during aeration. The relative standard deviation (RSD) for repetitive determination of blood samples containing 9 μM CN was 1.09% (n=5). The technique was compared blind with a standard microdiffusion-spectrophotometric method used for the determination of cyanide in rabbit blood. The results showed good correlation (slope 1.05, r2 0.9257); independent calibration standards were used.