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1.  High-mobility group box 1 protein is implicated in advanced glycation end products–induced vascular endothelial growth factor A production in the rat retinal ganglion cell line RGC-5 
Molecular Vision  2012;18:838-850.
High-mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1) has been reported to be a potent proangiogenic factor induced by inflammatory stress. In this study, we explore the role of HMGB1 in advanced glycation end products (AGEs)–induced vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) production in rat retinal ganglion cell line 5 (RGC-5) cells.
The VEGF-A protein and mRNA levels in conditioned medium of RGC-5 cells incubated with AGE-modified BSA (AGE-BSA) were examined with real-time PCR and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and BSA-treated cells were used as controls. The expression of HMGB1, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK), and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) was assessed with immunofluorescence and western blot analysis. Reactive oxidative species (ROS) were detected with flow cytometry measurements of peroxide-dependent oxidation of 2′-7′-dichlorofluorescein-diacetate (DCFH-DA). N-Acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), glycyrrhizin (GZ), and SP600125 were used to block ROS, HMGB1, and JNK, respectively.
Compared with the BSA controls, the RGC-5 cells incubated with AGE-BSA showed a dose- and time-dependent increase in VEGF-A mRNA and VEGF-A protein secretion in the supernatant, with the highest levels achieved at 24 h. AGE-BSA stimulated a significant release of HMGB1 in the supernatant and a significant increase of intracellular ROS production at 3 h. NAC blocked HMGB1 production in a dose-dependent manner. Blocking with GZ, NAC, and JNK significantly suppressed AGE-induced VEGF-A production.
HMGB1 is implicated in the production of VEGF-A in retinal ganglion cell line-5 (RGC-5). Blocking HMGB1, ROS, or the JNK pathway may attenuate VEGF-A production, suggesting HMGB1 and related signaling molecules play a role in diabetic retinopathy.
PMCID: PMC3327441  PMID: 22511847
2.  Huge pelvi-abdominal malignant inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor with rapid recurrence in a 14-year-old boy 
Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor (IMT) is an uncommon benign neoplasm with locally aggressive behavior but malignant change is rare. We report an unusual case of pelvic-abdominal inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor with malignant transformation in a 14-year-old boy presenting with abdominal pain and 9 kg body weight loss in one month. Computed tomography revealed a huge pelvi-abdominal mass (30 cm), possibly originating from the pelvic extraperitoneal space, protruding into the abdomen leading to upward displacement of the bowel loops, downward displacement of the urinary bladder, massive central necrosis, a well-enhanced peripheral solid component with prominent peritumoral vascularity. Subsequent examination confirmed the computed tomographic findings. Histopathologic examination revealed proliferative epitheloid and spindle cells, inflammatory cell infiltration and high mitotic counts. Immunohistochemistry was strongly positive for anaplastic lymphoma kinase and revealed a high proliferative index (ki-67 = 40%). DNA sequencing and electronic microscopy further confirmed the primitive fibroblastic cell phenotype of the tumor and a final diagnosis of inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor with malignant transformation was established. Rapid tumor recurrence was noted 20 d after radical tumor resection. To our knowledge, this is the largest documented case of IMT in a pediatric patient and the first report of IMT with malignant transformation originating from the pelvic extraperitoneal space.
PMCID: PMC2880786  PMID: 20518095
Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor; Malignant transformation; Pediatric patient; Pelvis; Extraperitoneal space; Computed tomography
3.  Antral web associated with distal antral hypertrophy and prepyloric stenosis mimicking hypertrophic pyloric stenosis 
A 3-year-old boy presented with postprandial vomiting and epigastric pain for 3 wk. Barium meal study suggested hypertrophic pyloric stenosis. Ultrasound of the stomach after water loading revealed an echogenic antral web with an eccentric aperture and distal antral hypertrophy. Subsequent endoscopy confirmed the ultrasound findings. Web resection and antropyloroplasty resulted in excellent recovery. To our knowledge, the barium meal and ultrasound findings of an antral web-associated distal antral hypertrophy and prepyloric stenosis has not previously been described.
PMCID: PMC4250822  PMID: 15641157
Hypertrophic pyloric stenosis; Barium meal; Ultrasonography
4.  A New Simplified One-Port Laparoscopic Technique for Peritoneal Dialysis Catheter Placement 
♦ Background: Various techniques for laparoscopic insertion of a peritoneal dialysis catheter have been described. Usually 2 - 3 ports are required, and complications related to the port sites (such as abdominal wall hernia, leakage, and hemorrhage) cannot be avoided. To minimize the potential complications, we designed a simplified 1-port laparoscopic technique for peritoneal dialysis catheter placement.
♦ Methods: We conducted a retrospective data review of 44 patients who underwent 1-port laparoscopic insertion of a Tenckhoff catheter from June 2009 to February 2011. All patient data, including postoperative complications, were analyzed.
♦ Results: The mean follow-up period was 11.52 months. All catheters were working properly, except in 1 patient who developed peritonitis 3 months after catheter placement. (The catheter was removed.) No postoperative abdominal wall hemorrhage, early leaks, hernias, or catheter migration occurred. No exit-site or tunnel infections were observed.
♦ Conclusions: Our 1-port laparoscopic technique provides excellent catheter fixation, avoids excessive port sites, and yields good cosmesis. The low complication rate and the simplicity of the method justify its standard use for Tenckhoff catheter placement.
PMCID: PMC3923700  PMID: 24084839
Laparoscopy; one-port technique; Tenckhoff catheter insertion
5.  Upregulation of TLRs and IL-6 as a Marker in Human Colorectal Cancer 
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) not only form an important part of the innate immune system but also serve to activate the adaptive immune system in response to cancer. Real-time PCR; immunohistochemical stain and Western blotting analyses were performed to clarify molecular alterations in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. We identified Toll-like receptor 1 (TLR1), TLR2, TLR4 and TLR8 gene expression levels and downstream gene, i.e., interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-8, interferon-α (IFN-α) and myeloid differentiation primary-response protein-88 (MyD88), expression levels in CRC patients and in cancer cell lines. CRC tissues have higher TLR1, TLR2, TLR4, TLR8, IL-6 and IL-8 gene expression levels than do the normal colon mucosa (p < 0.05). TLR2 expression varied in different cell types (mucosa and lymphocytes). There was no difference in the MyD88 and IFN-α gene expression levels between cancerous and normal colon mucosa. CRC patients had higher levels of IL-6 (p = 0.002) and IL-8 (p = 0.038) expression than healthy volunteers did; and higher IL-6 and IL-8 expression was also found to signify a higher risk of recurrence. CL075 (3M002) treatments can reduce the production of IL-8 in different cancer cell lines. The signaling pathway of TLRs in cancer tissue is different from that in normal cells; and is MyD88-independent. Higher expression levels of TLR1, TLR2, TLR 4 and TLR 8 mRNA were related to upregulation inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-8 gene expression in tissue and to the upregulation of IL-6 in blood. The concentration of IL-6 in serum can be used as an indicator of the possibility of CRC recurrence. Treatment with 3M002 can reduce IL-6 production in vitro and may prevent CRC recurrence. Our findings provide evidence that TLR1, TLR2, TLR4 and TLR8 gene expression induce downstream IL-6 and IL-8 gene expression; detection of these expression levels can serve as a CRC marker.
PMCID: PMC4307241  PMID: 25547486
Toll-like receptors; real-time PCR; immunohistochemical stain; Western blotting; colorectal cancer
6.  Resveratrol Partially Prevents Rotenone-Induced Neurotoxicity in Dopaminergic SH-SY5Y Cells through Induction of Heme Oxygenase-1 Dependent Autophagy 
Parkinson disease (PD) is a complex neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons. Mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress or protein misfolding and aggregation may underlie this process. Autophagy is an intracellular catabolic mechanism responsible for protein degradation and recycling of damaged proteins and cytoplasmic organelles. Autophagic dysfunction may hasten the progression of neuronal degeneration. In this study, resveratrol promoted autophagic flux and protected dopaminergic neurons against rotenone-induced apoptosis. In an in vivo PD model, rotenone induced loss of dopaminergic neurons, increased oxidation of mitochondrial proteins and promoted autophagic vesicle development in brain tissue. The natural phytoalexin resveratrol prevented rotenone-induced neuronal apoptosis in vitro, and this pro-survival effect was abolished by an autophagic inhibitor. Although both rotenone and resveratrol promoted LC3-II accumulation, autophagic flux was inhibited by rotenone and augmented by resveratrol. Further, rotenone reduced heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression, whereas resveratrol increased HO-1 expression. Pharmacological inhibition of HO-1 abolished resveratrol-mediated autophagy and neuroprotection. Notably, the effects of a pharmacological inducer of HO-1 were similar to those of resveratrol, and protected against rotenone-induced cell death in an autophagy-dependent manner, validating the hypothesis of HO-1 dependent autophagy in preventing neuronal death in the in vitro PD model. Collectively, our findings suggest that resveratrol induces HO-1 expression and prevents dopaminergic cell death by regulating autophagic flux; thus protecting against rotenone-induced neuronal apoptosis.
PMCID: PMC3907890  PMID: 24451142
Parkinson’s disease; oxidative stress; mitochondrial dysfunction; autophagy; apoptosis; resveratrol; heme oxygenase-1
7.  Mitochondrial DNA Coding and Control Region Variants as Genetic Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes 
Diabetes  2012;61(10):2642-2651.
Both the coding and control regions of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) play roles in the generation of diabetes; however, no studies have thoroughly reported on the combined diabetogenic effects of variants in the two regions. We determined the mitochondrial haplogroup and the mtDNA sequence of the control region in 859 subjects with diabetes and 1,151 normoglycemic control subjects. Full-length mtDNA sequences were conducted in 40 subjects harboring specific diabetes-related haplogroups. Multivariate logistic regression analysis with adjustment for age, sex, and BMI revealed that subjects harboring the mitochondrial haplogroup B4 have significant association with diabetes (DM) (odds ratio [OR], 1.54 [95% CI 1.18–2.02]; P < 0.001), whereas subjects harboring D4 have borderline resistance against DM generation (0.68 [0.49–0.94]; P = 0.02). Upon further study, we identified an mtDNA composite group susceptible to DM generation consisting of a 10398A allele at the coding region and a polycytosine variant at nucleotide pair 16184–16193 of the control region, as well as a resistant group consisting of C5178A, A10398G, and T152C variants. The OR for susceptible group is 1.31 (95% CI 1.04–1.67; P = 0.024) and for the resistant group is 0.48 (0.31–0.75; P = 0.001). Our study found that mtDNA variants in the coding and control regions can have combined effects influencing diabetes generation.
PMCID: PMC3447893  PMID: 22891220
8.  Associations of Mitochondrial Haplogroups B4 and E with Biliary Atresia and Differential Susceptibility to Hydrophobic Bile Acid 
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(8):e1003696.
Mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in the pathogenesis of biliary atresia (BA). This study aimed to determine whether a specific mitochondrial DNA haplogroup is implicated in the pathogenesis and prognosis of BA. We determined 40 mitochondrial single nucleotide polymorphisms in 15 major mitochondrial haplogroups by the use of 24-plex PCR and fluorescent beads combined with sequence-specific oligonucleotide probes in 71 patients with BA and in 200 controls in the Taiwanese population of ethnic Chinese background. The haplogroup B4 and E prevalence were significantly lower and higher respectively, in the patients with BA than in the controls (odds ratios, 0.82 [p = 0.007] and 7.36 [p = 0.032] respectively) in multivariate logistic-regression analysis. The 3-year survival rate with native liver was significantly lower in haplogroup E than the other haplogroups (P = 0.037). A cytoplasmic hybrid (cybrid) was obtained from human 143B osteosarcoma cells devoid of mtDNA (ρ0 cell) and was fused with specific mtDNA bearing E and B4 haplogroups donated by healthy Taiwanese subjects. Chenodeoxycholic acid treatment resulted in significantly lower free radical production, higher mitochondrial membrane potential, more viable cells, and fewer apoptotic cybrid B4 cells than parental 143B and cybrid E cells. Bile acid treatment resulted in a significantly greater protective mitochondrial reaction with significantly higher mitochondrial DNA copy number and mitofusin 1 and 2 concentrations in cybrid B4 and parental cells than in cybrid E cells. The results of the study suggested that the specific mitochondrial DNA haplogroups B4 and E were not only associated with lower and higher prevalence of BA respectively, in the study population, but also with differential susceptibility to hydrophobic bile acid in the cybrid harboring different haplogroups.
Author Summary
Mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in the pathogenesis of biliary atresia (BA). We determined 40 mitochondrial single nucleotide polymorphisms in different mitochondrial haplogroups in BA patients and controls. The prevalence of haplogroup B4 and E was significantly lower and higher respectively, in the patients with BA than in the controls. The survival rate with native liver was significantly lower in haplogroup E than the other haplogroups. The in vitro study using cybrid cells revealed significantly lower free radical production, higher mitochondrial membrane potential, higher mitochondrial DNA copy number and fewer apoptotic in cybrid B4 cells than cybrid E cells. The study provides a novel insight into the etiopathogenesis and the predictive value of mitochondrial haplogroups in BA.
PMCID: PMC3744426  PMID: 23966875
9.  Dislodgement of port-A catheters in pediatric oncology patients: 11 years of experience 
Port-A catheters are frequently used in pediatric cancer patients. Their dislodgement is potentially seriously risky although the incidence is not high. We analyzed our 11 years of data to address this important problem.
From January 2001 to December 2011, 330 port-A catheters of different brands were implanted in pediatric cancer patients. In total, eight children suffered a dislodgement of their catheter. Their ages ranged from four to thirteen years, with a median age of ten. Five patients presented with catheter dysfunction, two presented with a cough and one was identified incidentally during surgery to remove his port.
The downstream ends of the dislodged catheters were located in the right atrium (three patients), left pulmonary artery (three) and inferior vena cava (two). Six of the eight catheters were broken at the site of anastomosis to the port and the other two were broken halfway in between. All episodes of dislodgement happened after the chemotherapy regimen was completed. The dislodged catheters were successfully retrieved without complications by transcatheter retrieval using a gooseneck snare.
The dislodgment rate of port-A catheter in our series was 2.4%. Chest X-rays can rapidly detect the problem. Most of the catheters were broken at the site of anastomosis. Earlier explantation of port-A catheters after completing chemotherapy may be considered to avoid the dislodgement of catheters, but this needs to be weighed against the possibility of underlying disease recurrence. However, we should re-examine how long port-A catheters need to be retained after chemotherapy considering the improved cure rate of pediatric cancer.
PMCID: PMC3765137  PMID: 23941644
Children; Dislodgement; Port-A catheter; Transcatheter retrieval
10.  The Creation of Cybrids Harboring Mitochondrial Haplogroups in the Taiwanese Population of Ethnic Chinese Background: An Extensive In Vitro Tool for the Study of Mitochondrial Genomic Variations 
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups may contribute to the development of aging-related diseases. A reliable in vitro cellular system for investigating the physiologic significance of mtDNA haplogroups is essential. This study aims to construct and characterize a series of cybrid cell lines harboring variant mtDNA haplogroups collected from healthy Taiwanese volunteers. Cybrid cells harboring different mtDNA haplogroups like B4a, B4b, B4c, B4d, B5, R, F1a, F2, D4e, D4a, D5b, D5a, E, M8, C, and N9a were prepared. Luminex 1000 and full-length mtDNA sequencing were used to confirm that mtDNA haplogroups of transmitochondrial cybrids were identical to their original donors. Cybrid B4b had a significantly lower oxygen consumption rate and higher mitochondrial membrane potential compared to F1a, B5, D5a, D4a, and N9a but had more susceptibility to H2O2-induced oxidative stress than cybrid F1a, D4a, and N9a. Cybrid N9a had better oxygen consumption and H2O2-challenged viability compared to B4b, F1a, B5, D5a, and D4a. A series of cybrid cells harboring the main haplogroups of the Taiwanese population with ethnic Chinese background has been developed in vitro. With this mtDNA haplogroup population, the underlying mechanisms of aging-related diseases may be better understood, and therapeutic interventions can be accelerated.
PMCID: PMC3523582  PMID: 23304256
11.  Effects of Hepatocyte CD14 Upregulation during Cholestasis on Endotoxin Sensitivity 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e34903.
Cholestasis is frequently related to endotoxemia and inflammatory response. Our previous investigation revealed a significant increase in plasma endotoxin and CD14 levels during biliary atresia. We therefore propose that lipopolysacharides (LPS) may stimulate CD14 production in liver cells and promote the removal of endotoxins. The aims of this study are to test the hypothesis that CD14 is upregulated by LPS and investigate the pathophysiological role of CD14 production during cholestasis. Using Western blotting, qRT-PCR, and promoter activity assay, we demonstrated that LPS was associated with a significant increase in CD14 and MD2 protein and mRNA expression and CD14 promoter activity in C9 rat hepatocytes but not in the HSC-T6 hepatic stellate cell line in vitro. To correlate CD14 expression and endotoxin sensitivity, in vivo biliary LPS administration was performed on rats two weeks after they were subjected to bile duct ligation (BDL) or a sham operation. CD14 expression and endotoxin levels were found to significantly increase after LPS administration in BDL rats. These returned to basal levels after 24 h. In contrast, although endotoxin levels were increased in sham-operated rats given LPS, no increase in CD14 expression was observed. However, mortality within 24 h was more frequent in the BDL animals than in the sham-operated group. In conclusion, cholestasis and LPS stimulation were here found to upregulate hepatic CD14 expression, which may have led to increased endotoxin sensitivity and host proinflammatory reactions, causing organ failure and death in BDL rats.
PMCID: PMC3325271  PMID: 22511970
12.  Phyllanthus urinaria Induces Apoptosis in Human Osteosarcoma 143B Cells via Activation of Fas/FasL- and Mitochondria-Mediated Pathways 
Phyllanthus urinaria (P. urinaria), in this study, was used for the treatment of human osteosarcoma cells, which is one of the tough malignancies with few therapeutic modalities. Herein, we demonstrated that P. urinaria inhibited human osteosarcoma 143B cells growth through an apoptotic extrinsic pathway to activate Fas receptor/ligand expression. Both intracellular and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species were increased to lead to alterations of mitochondrial membrane permeability and Bcl-2 family including upregulation of Bid, tBid, and Bax and downregulation of Bcl-2. P. urinaria triggered an intrinsic pathway and amplified the caspase cascade to induce apoptosis of 143B cells. However, upregulation of both intracellular and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species and the sequential membrane potential change were less pronounced in the mitochondrial respiratory-defective 143Bρ0 cells compared with the 143B cells. This study offers the evidence that mitochondria are essential for the anticancer mechanism induced by P. urinaria through both extrinsic and intrinsic pathways.
PMCID: PMC3291129  PMID: 22454688
13.  Differential toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) expression and apoptotic response to TLR3 agonist in human neuroblastoma cells 
Toll-like receptor-3 (TLR-3) is a critical component of innate immune system against dsRNA viruses and is expressed in the central nervous system. However, it remains unknown whether TLR3 may serve as a therapeutic target in human neuroblastoma (NB).
TLR3 expression in human NB samples was examined by immunohistochemical analysis. Quantitative RT-PCR and western blot was used to determine TLR3 expression in three human NB cell lines. The effect of TLR3 agonist, polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (poly(I:C)), on the growth of human NB cells was evaluated by WST-1 cell proliferation assay, flow cytometry analysis, and immunoblot analysis. Blockade of TLR3 signaling was achieved using TLR3 neutralizing antibody, small interference RNA, and 2-aminopurine (2-AP), an inhibitor of protein kinase R (PKR), an interferon-induced, double-stranded RNA-activated protein kinase.
In immunohistochemical studies, TLR3 mainly expressed in the cytoplasm of ganglion cells and in some neuroblastic cells, but not in the stromal cells in human NB tissues. Among three human NB cell lines analyzed, TLR3 was significantly up-regulated in SK-N-AS cells at mRNA and protein level compared with other two low TLR3- expressing NB cells. Treatment with poly(I:C) elicited significant growth inhibition and apoptosis only in high TLR3-expressing SK-N-AS cells, but not in low TLR3-expressing SK-N-FI and SK-N-DZ cells. Moreover, poly(I:C) treatment significantly stimulated the activities of PKR, interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF-3) and caspase-3 in SK-N-AS cells. Application of TLR3 neutralizing antibody or small interference RNA (siRNA) reduced the poly(I:C)-induced inhibition of cell proliferation and apoptosis in SK-N-AS cells. On the contrary, ectopic TLR3 expression enhanced the sensitivity of low TLR3-expressing NB cells to poly(I:C). Finally, application of 2-AP attenuated the poly(I:C)-induced IRF-3 and caspase-3 activation in SK-N-AS cells.
The present study demonstrates that TLR3 is expressed in a subset of NB cells. Besides, TLR3/PKR/IRF-3/capase-3 pathway is implicated in the selective cytotoxicity of TLR3 agonist towards high TLR3-expressing NB cells.
PMCID: PMC3184062  PMID: 21861882
neuroblastoma; toll-like receptor 3; poly(I:C); apoptosis
14.  Endotoxin and CD14 in the progression of biliary atresia 
Biliary atresia (BA) is a typical cholestatic neonatal disease, characterized by obliteration of intra- and/or extra-hepatic bile ducts. However, the mechanisms contributing to the pathogenesis of BA remain uncertain. Because of decreased bile flow, infectious complications and damaging endotoxemia occur frequently in patients with BA. The aim of this study was to investigate endotoxin levels in patients with BA and the relation of these levels with the expression of the endotoxin receptor, CD14.
The plasma levels of endotoxin and soluble CD14 were measured with a pyrochrome Limulus amebocyte lysate assay and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in patients with early-stage BA when they received the Kasai procedure (KP), in patients who were jaundice-free post-KP and followed-up at the outpatient department, in patients with late-stage BA when they received liver transplantation, and in patients with choledochal cysts. The correlation of CD14 expression with endotoxin levels in rats following common bile duct ligation was investigated.
The results demonstrated a significantly higher hepatic CD14 mRNA and soluble CD14 plasma levels in patients with early-stage BA relative to those with late-stage BA. However, plasma endotoxin levels were significantly higher in both the early and late stages of BA relative to controls. In rat model, the results demonstrated that both endotoxin and CD14 levels were significantly increased in liver tissues of rats following bile duct ligation.
The significant increase in plasma endotoxin and soluble CD14 levels during BA implies a possible involvement of endotoxin stimulated CD14 production by hepatocytes in the early stage of BA for removal of endotoxin; whereas, endotoxin signaling likely induced liver injury and impaired soluble CD14 synthesis in the late stages of BA.
PMCID: PMC3019188  PMID: 21172039

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