Accumulating evidence implicates the relationship between neuroinflammation and pathogenesis in idiopathic Parkinson's disease (iPD). The nose has recently been considered a gate way to the brain which facilitates entry of environmental neurotoxin into the brain. Our study aims to build a PD model by a natural exposure route. In this report, we establish a new endotoxin-based PD model in mice by unilateral intranasal (i.n.) instillation of the lipopolysaccharides (LPS) every other day for 5 months. These mice display a progressive hypokinesia, selective loss of dopaminergic neurons, and reduction in striatal dopamine (DA) content, as well as α-synuclein aggregation in the SN, without systemic inflammatory and immune responses. This new PD model provides a tool for studying the inflammation-mediated chronic pathogenesis and searching for therapeutic intervention in glia-neuron pathway that will slow or halt neurodegeneration in PD.
The high incidence of morbidity and mortality following major burn can in part be attributed to immune derangements and wound healing complications. Inflammation plays an important role in wound healing, of which inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) derived nitric oxide is a central mediator. T-cells of the γδ TCR lineage have also been shown to be important in healing of the burn wound site. Nonetheless, the role of γδ T-cells in the regulation of the burn wound iNOS expression is unknown.
Wildtype (WT) and δ TCR−/− male C57BL/6 mice were subjected to burn (3rd degree, 12.5% TBSA) or sham treatment. Three days after injury, skin samples from non-injured and the burn wound were collected and analyzed for the expression of iNOS and cytokines and chemokine levels. In a second series of experiments, WT mice were subjected to burn and left untreated or treated with the iNOS inhibitor, L-Nil. Skin cytokine and chemokine levels were assessed 3 days thereafter.
Burn induced an 18-fold increase in iNOS expression at the wound site as compared to the uninjured skin of WT sham mice. In δ TCR−/− mice iNOS expression at the wound site was significantly lower than that of the WT group. Burn also induced increased levels of IL-1β, IL-6, G-CSF, TNF-α, KC, MCP-1, MIP-1α and MIP-1β at the wound site in WT and δ TCR−/− mice, but G-CSF, TNF-α, and MIP-1β levels were greater in δ TCR−/− mice. Inhibition of iNOS activity in WT mice with L-Nil suppressed burn wound levels of IL-1β, G-CSF, and MIP-1α, whereas IL-6, TNF-α, KC, MCP-1 and MIP-1β were unaffected.
T-cells of the γδ TCR lineage significantly contribute to the up-regulation of iNOS expression which contributes to wound inflammation.
iNOS; chemokines; cytokines; inflammation; trauma; wound healing
Tetraspanin CD9 has been implicated in various cellular and physiological processes, including cell migration. In our previous study, we found that wound repair is delayed in CD9-null mice, suggesting that CD9 is critical for cutaneous wound healing. However, many cell types, including immune cells, endothelial cells, keratinocytes and fibroblasts undergo marked changes in gene expression and phenotype, leading to cell proliferation, migration and differentiation during wound repair, whether CD9 regulates kerationcytes migration directly remains unclear. In this study, we showed that the expression of CD9 was downregulated in migrating keratinocytes during wound repair in vivo and in vitro. Recombinant adenovirus vector for CD9 silencing or overexpressing was constructed and used to infect HaCaT cells. Using cell scratch wound assay and cell migration assay, we have also demonstrated that downregulation of CD9 promoted keratinocyte migration in vitro, whereas CD9 overexpression inhibited cell migration. Moreover, CD9 inversely regulated the activity and expression of MMP-9 in keratinocytes, which was involved in CD9-regulated keratinocyte migration. Importantly, CD9 silencing-activated JNK signaling was accompanied by the upregulation of MMP-9 activity and expression. Coincidentally, we found that SP600125, a JNK pathway inhibitor, decreased the activity and expression of MMP-9 of CD9-silenced HaCaT cells. Thus, our results suggest that CD9 is downregulated in migrating keratinocytes in vivo and in vitro, and a low level of CD9 promotes keratinocyte migration in vitro, in which the regulation of MMP-9 through the JNK pathway plays an important role.
Systemic administration of chemotherapy for cancer often has toxic side effects, limiting the doses that can be used in its treatment. In this study, we developed methoxy poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(caprolactone) (MPEG-PCL) micelles loaded with curcumin and doxorubicin (Cur-Dox/MPEG-PCL) that were tolerated by recipient mice and had enhanced antitumor effects and fewer side effects. It was shown that these Cur-Dox/MPEG-PCL micelles could release curcumin and doxorubicin slowly in vitro. The long circulation time of MPEG-PCL micelles and the slow rate of release of curcumin and doxorubicin in vivo may help to maintain plasma concentrations of active drug. We also demonstrated that Cur-Dox/MPEG-PCL had improved antitumor effects both in vivo and in vitro. The mechanism by which Cur-Dox/MPEG-PCL micelles inhibit lung cancer might involve increased apoptosis of tumor cells and inhibition of tumor angiogenesis. We found advantages using Cur-Dox/MPEG-PCL micelles in the treatment of cancer, with Cur-Dox/MPEG-PCL achieving better inhibition of LL/2 lung cancer growth in vivo and in vitro. Our study indicates that Cur-Dox/MPEG-PCL micelles may be an effective treatment strategy for cancer in the future.
methoxy poly(ethylene glycol); poly(caprolactone); curcumin; doxorubicin; micelles; cancer; treatment
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) represents a major form of primary liver cancer in adults. MicroRNAs (miRs), small non-coding single-stranded RNAs of 19-24 nucleotides in length, negatively regulate the expression of many target genes at the post-transcriptional and/or translational levels and play a critical role in the initiation and progression of HCC. In this review we have summarized the information of aberrantly expressed miRs in HCC, their mechanism of action and relationship to cancer. The recent advances in HCC research reveal that miRs regulate expression of various oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, thereby contributing to the modulation of diverse biological processes including proliferation, apoptosis, epithelial to mesenchymal transition and metastasis. From a clinical viewpoint, polymorphisms within miR-binding sites are associated with the risk of HCC. Polymorphisms in miR related genes have been shown to correlate with survival or treatment outcome in patients. Furthermore, the review focuses on the potential role of miRs as novel biomarkers and their translational applications for diagnosis and therapy in HCC. With further insights into miR deregulation in HCC, it is expected that novel miR-based therapeutics will arise. Also, we orient the readers to other reviews that may provide better understanding of miR research in HCC.
MicroRNA; Cancer; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Biomarker; Polymorphism
Cancer metastasis is a highly coordinated and dynamic multistep process in which cancer cells interact with a variety of host cells. Morphological studies have documented the association of circulating tumor cells with host platelets, where a surface coating of platelets protects tumor cells from mechanical trauma and the immune system. Cantharidin is an active constituent of mylabris, a traditional Chinese medicine. Cantharidin and norcantharidin are potent protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) inhibitors that exhibit in vitro and in vivo antitumor activity against several types of cancer, including breast cancer. We investigated whether cantharidin and norcantharidin could repress the ability of MCF-7 breast cancer cells to adhere to platelets. Using MTT, clone formation, apoptosis, adhesion and wound-healing assays, we found that cantharidin and norcantharidin induced apoptosis and repressed MCF-7 cell growth, adhesion and migration. Moreover, we developed a flow cytometry-based analysis of tumor cell adhesion to platelets. We proved that cantharidin and norcantharidin repressed MCF-7 cell adhesion to platelets through downregulation of α2 integrin, an adhesion molecule present on the surface of cancer cells. The repression of α2 integrin expression was found to be executed through the protein kinase C pathway, the activation of which could have been due to PP2A inhibition.
cantharidin and norcantharidin; breast cancer; platelet; integrin α2; protein kinase C; protein phosphatase 2A
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is one of the most important viral pathogens in the swine industry. Emerging evidence indicates that the host microRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in host-pathogen interactions. However, whether host miRNAs can target PRRSV and be used to inhibit PRRSV infection has not been reported. Recently, microRNA 181 (miR-181) has been identified as a positive regulator of immune response, and here we report that miR-181 can directly impair PRRSV infection. Our results showed that delivered miR-181 mimics can strongly inhibit PRRSV replication in vitro through specifically binding to a highly (over 96%) conserved region in the downstream of open reading frame 4 (ORF4) of the viral genomic RNA. The inhibition of PRRSV replication was specific and dose dependent. In PRRSV-infected Marc-145 cells, the viral mRNAs could compete with miR-181-targeted sequence in luciferase vector to interact with miR-181 and result in less inhibition of luciferase activity, further demonstrating the specific interactions between miR-181 and PRRSV RNAs. As expected, miR-181 and other potential PRRSV-targeting miRNAs (such as miR-206) are expressed much more abundantly in minimally permissive cells or tissues than in highly permissive cells or tissues. Importantly, highly pathogenic PRRSV (HP-PRRSV) strain-infected pigs treated with miR-181 mimics showed substantially decreased viral loads in blood and relief from PRRSV-induced fever compared to negative-control (NC)-treated controls. These results indicate the important role of host miRNAs in modulating PRRSV infection and viral pathogenesis and also support the idea that host miRNAs could be useful for RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated antiviral therapeutic strategies.
Background: The external acoustic meatus metastasis of germinomas is a rare event. Case presentation: we describe a 19-year-old boy with stuffiness and earplug of the left ear but no other symptoms. The whole body F-18 FDG PET/CT and the brain MRI are performed and demonstrated a germinoma in the pineal gland and vermis cerebellum region and in the right of thalamus. Photomicrograph showing marked infiltration of lymphoplasma cells and macrophages including giant cells. Immunohistochemical analysis results demonstrated the tumor cells are strongly positive for CD117 and PLAP. The final diagnosis was germinoma and all adjuvant therapy was achieved. Conclusion: Although the external acoustic meatus metastasis of germinomas is rare, the diagnosis should be taken into serious consideration in order to improve. In addition, F-18 FDG PET/CT was very useful in diagnosis primary disease and excluding distant metastases. To our knowledge, this is the first published report of this type of case.
Germinomas; external acoustic meatus; immunohischemistry; F-18 FDG PET/CT
Accurate tumor staging is essential for selecting the appropriate treatment strategy for lung cancer. Computed tomography (CT), or positron emission tomography (PET), is the most commonly used non-invasive staging method of lymph node (LN) metastases (LNM), but this method remains unsatisfactory. The present study measured vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-C levels in serum, tumor tissue and LNs to determine the correlation between serum VEGF-C and LNM, and also assessed the usefulness of serum VEGF-C as an additional diagnostic marker for identifying LNM. A total of 66 patients with non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) or benign tumors of the lung were included in this study, and circulating VEGF-C levels were assessed with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. RNA fractions extracted from the tumor tissues and LNs were subjected to quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) to assess the mRNA levels of VEGF-C. The VEGF-C levels in serum, tumor tissue and LNM were significantly higher compared with the control group (P<0.05). The VEGF-C levels of patients with LNM were significantly higher compared with those without LNM (P<0.05). The VEGF-C levels in the serum, tumor tissue and LNM were significantly correlated (P<0.05). With regard to the diagnosis of LNM using VEGF-C levels, the serum levels of VEGF-C reached a sensitivity of 65.0% and a specificity of 72.2% when a cutoff value of 655.65 pg/ml was applied. Serum VEGF-C levels may provide additional information for distinguishing between the absence and presence of LNM in patients with lung carcinoma. The evaluation of serum VEGF-C is complementary to accurate LN staging in NSCLC.
vascular endothelial growth factor-C; lymph node metastasis; enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; non-small cell lung cancer; polymerase chain reaction; diagnosis
A considerable number of host-specific biological control agents fail to control invasive plants in the field, and exploring the mechanism underlying this phenomenon is important and helpful for the management of invasive plants. Herbivory and competition are two of the most common biotic stressors encountered by invasive plants in their recipient communities. We predicted that the antagonistic interactive effect between herbivory and competition would weaken the effect of herbivory on invasive plants and result in the failure of herbivory to control invasive plants. To examine this prediction, thus, we conducted an experiment in which both invasive Mikania micrantha and native Coix lacryma-jobi were grown together and subjected to herbivory-mimicking defoliation. Both defoliation and competition had significantly negative effects on the growth of the invader. However, the negative effect of 75% respective defoliation on the above- and below-ground biomass of Mikania micrantha was alleviated by presence of Coix lacryma-jobi. The negative effect of competition on the above- and below-ground biomass was equally compensated at 25%, 50% and 100% defoliation and overcompensated at 75% defoliation. The interactive effect was antagonistic and dependent on the defoliation intensity, with the maximum effect at 75% defoliation. The antagonistic interaction between defoliation and competition appears to be able to release the invader from competition, thus facilitating the invasiveness of Mikania, a situation that might make herbivory fail to inhibit the growth of invasive Mikania in the invaded community.
Salmonellosis contributes significantly to the public health burden globally. Salmonella enterica serotype Newport is among Salmonella serotypes most associated with food-borne illness in the United States and China. It was thought to be polyphyletic and to contain different lineages. We report draft genomes of four S. Newport strains isolated from humans in China.
To evaluate the effects of intensive control of blood glucose and blood pressure on microvascular complications in patients with type II diabetes by comparing the therapeutic effects of intensive and standard treatment in patients with type II diabetes.
A total of 107 patients with type II diabetes were randomly assigned into intensive and standard treatment groups. Patients in the intensive treatment group received preterax (perindopril/ indapamide) to control blood pressure, and gliclazide (diamicron) MR to control blood glucose. Patients in the standard treatment group received routine medications or placebo. Urinary microalbumin (UMA), urinary creatinine (UCR), the UMA/UCR ratio, and visual acuity were monitored according to the study design of the ADVANCE trial. Direct ophthalmoscopy and seven-field stereoscopic retinal photography were used to examine the fundi at baseline, and repeated after 5 years of treatment.
The characteristics of patients in both groups were well balanced at baseline. After 5 years of treatment, visual acuity was found to be decreased in the standard group (P=0.04), but remained stable in the intensive group. The severity of diabetic retinopathy had not progressed in patients in the intensive group, but had deteriorated in the standard group (P=0.0006). The UMA/UCR ratio was not obviously changed in patients in the intensive group, whereas it was significantly increased in the standard group (P=0.00).
Intensive control of blood glucose and blood pressure can decrease the incidence or slow the progression of microvascular complications in patients with type II diabetes, and maintain stable vision.
diabetes mellitus; intensive therapy; microvascular complications; diabetic retinopathy
The aims of the present study were to investigate the genetic characteristics of enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16) strains in China and to evaluate the relationship between the genotypes of CVA16 and EV71 and their geographical distribution. A total of 399 stool specimens were collected from children with symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in Zhejiang Province. The presence of enteroviruses was determined using reverse transcription-semi-nested PCR targeted to the VP1 gene of all human enteroviruses and DNA sequencing. EV71 and CVA16, the major etiological agents of HFMD, were detected in 38.4% (38/99) and 35.4% (35/99) of HEV-A species-positive cases, respectively. Based on the phylogenetic analysis of the VP1 gene, EV71 strains identified in this study belong to subgenotype C4, and CVA16 strains herein were classified into clusters B2a and B2b within the genotype B2. Taking into consideration other published data, we conclude that the genetic characteristics of enteroviruses in China reflect the pattern of the endemic circulation of the subgenotype C4 to EV71 and clusters B2a and B2b within genotype B2 to CVA16, which have been continuously circulating in China since 1997. This observation indicates that the genetic characteristics of enteroviruses in China seem to depend on their special geographical and climatical features allowing them to be sustained with little external effect.
phylogenetic analysis; genotying; enterovirus 71; coxsackievirus A16
Background. “Fructus Mume or Dark Plum” (pilule form) has been used for many years in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and may be a valid treatment for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Aim. One aspect toward efficacy validation is the evaluation of the blood glucose-lowering effect of Fructus Mume (FM) with T2DM patients in a randomized controlled trial (RCT). Methods. This pilot study uses a RCT procedure to assess efficacy of FM and Metformin. The trial was for 12 weeks, with 80 T2DM subjects. Both groups were standardized in their diet and exercise routine. Comparisons of several variables were analyzed. Results. No significant differences were found between groups in the fasting and postprandial glucose levels although both had significant decreases. The values of glycosylated hemoglobin were significantly reduced in both groups. For patients whose body mass index (BMI) was <23, neither FM nor Metformin had an effect on BMI; for those with a BMI between 23 and 25 or the BMI was >25, both FM and Metformin significantly reduce the BMI. Conclusions. In this pilot study, it was demonstrated that Fructus Mume formula may reduce the levels of blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) has been used for plant protection and sanitation world-widely, and its isomers have been detected in water, soil, and air as well as in vegetation. As a sink for lipophilic pollutants, vegetation is very important for the degradation and fate of organic contamination; however, little was known about their phytotoxicity and mechanisms of toxic effect. In this study, the stereoselective phototoxicity of four isomers (α, β, γ, and δ) of HCHs mediated by independent as well as interconnecting systems of photosynthesis and enzymatic antioxidant defense system in Arabidopsis thaliana were assessed.
Our results revealed that all the HCHs not only stimulated the activities of catalase (CAT) and peroxidase (POD), but also inhibited the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD). In photosynthesis system, the photosynthetic efficiency of PSI and PSII were all down regulated. Meanwhile, results from both systems showed that δ-HCH was the most toxic one, while α-HCH the least in Arabidopsis thaliana.
For the first time, stereoselective effects of different isomers of HCH in plant were demonstrated. And the results suggest that it requires further research to fully elucidate the environmental toxicity and their mechanisms.
Controversy surrounds the role of the private sector in health service delivery, including primary care and population health services. China’s recent health reforms call for non-discrimination against private providers and emphasize strengthening primary care, but formal contracting-out initiatives remain few, and the associated empirical evidence is very limited. This paper presents a case study of contracting with private providers for urban primary and preventive health services in Shandong Province, China. The case study draws on three primary sources of data: administrative records; a household survey of over 1600 community residents in Weifang and City Y; and a provider survey of over 1000 staff at community health stations (CHS) in both Weifang and City Y. We supplement the quantitative data with one-on-one, in-depth interviews with key informants, including local officials in charge of public health and government finance.
We find significant differences in patient mix: Residents in the communities served by private community health stations are of lower socioeconomic status (more likely to be uninsured and to report poor health), compared to residents in communities served by a government-owned CHS. Analysis of a household survey of 1013 residents shows that they are more willing to do a routine health exam at their neighborhood CHS if they are of low socioeconomic status (as measured either by education or income). Government and private community health stations in Weifang did not statistically differ in their performance on contracted dimensions, after controlling for size and other CHS characteristics. In contrast, the comparison City Y had lower performance and a large gap between public and private providers. We discuss why these patterns arose and what policymakers and residents considered to be the main issues and concerns regarding primary care services.
Private providers; Contracting; Ownership; Primary care; Prevention; China
Microalgae feedstock production can be integrated with wastewater and industrial sources of carbon dioxide. This study reviews the literature on algae grown on wastewater and includes a preliminary analysis of algal production based on anaerobic digestion sludge centrate from the Howard F. Curren Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant (HFC AWTP) in Tampa, Florida and secondary effluent from the City of Lakeland wastewater treatment facilities in Lakeland, Florida. It was demonstrated that a mixed culture of wild algae species could successfully be grown on wastewater nutrients and potentially scaled to commercial production. Algae have demonstrated the ability to naturally colonize low-nutrient effluent water in a wetland treatment system utilized by the City of Lakeland. The results from these experiments show that the algae grown in high strength wastewater from the HFC AWTP are light-limited when cultivated indoor since more than 50% of the outdoor illumination is attenuated in the greenhouse.
An analysis was performed to determine the mass of algae that can be supported by the wastewater nutrients (mainly nitrogen and phosphorous) available from the two Florida cities. The study was guided by the growth and productivity data obtained for algal growth in the photobioreactors in operation at the University of South Florida. In the analysis, nutrients and light are assumed to be limited, while CO2 is abundantly available. There is some limitation on land, especially since the HFC AWTP is located at the Port of Tampa. The temperature range in Tampa is assumed to be suitable for algal growth year round. Assuming that the numerous technical challenges to achieving commercial-scale algal production can be met, the results presented suggest that an excess of 71 metric tons per hectare per year of algal biomass can be produced. Two energy production options were considered; liquid biofuels from feedstock with high lipid content, and biogas generation from anaerobic digestion of algae biomass. The total potential oil volume was determined to be approximately 337,500 gallons per year, which may result in the annual production of 270,000 gallons of biodiesel when 80% conversion efficiency is assumed. This production level would be able to sustain approximately 450 cars per year on average. Potential biogas production was estimated to be above 415,000 kg/yr, the equivalent of powering close to 500 homes for a year.
Tumor associated macrophages (TAMs) are considered with the capacity to have both negative and positive effects on tumor growth. The prognostic value of TAM for survival in patients with solid tumor remains controversial.
We conducted a meta-analysis of 55 studies (n = 8,692 patients) that evaluated the correlation between TAM (detected by immunohistochemistry) and clinical staging, overall survival (OS) and disease free survival (DFS). The impact of M1 and M2 type TAM (n = 5) on survival was also examined.
High density of TAM was significantly associated with late clinical staging in patients with breast cancer [risk ratio (RR) = 1.20 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.14–1.28)] and bladder cancer [RR = 3.30 (95%CI, 1.56–6.96)] and with early clinical staging in patients with ovarian cancer [RR = 0.52 (95%CI, 0.35–0.77)]. Negative effects of TAM on OS was shown in patients with gastric cancer [RR = 1.64 (95%CI, 1.24–2.16)], breast cancer [RR = 8.62 (95%CI, 3.10–23.95)], bladder cancer [RR = 5.00 (95%CI, 1.98–12.63)], ovarian cancer [RR = 2.55 (95%CI, 1.60–4.06)], oral cancer [RR = 2.03 (95%CI, 1.47–2.80)] and thyroid cancer [RR = 2.72 (95%CI, 1.26–5.86)],and positive effects was displayed in patients with colorectal cancer [RR = 0.64 (95%CI, 0.43–0.96)]. No significant effect was showed between TAM and DFS. There was also no significant effect of two phenotypes of TAM on survival.
Although some modest bias cannot be excluded, high density of TAM seems to be associated with worse OS in patients with gastric cancer, urogenital cancer and head and neck cancer, with better OS in patients with colorectal cancer.
To study the effect of endometrial thickness and pattern measured using ultrasound upon pregnancy outcomes in patients undergoing IVF-ET.
One thousand nine hundred thirty-three women undergoing IVF treatment participated in the study. We assessed and recorded endometrial patterns and thickness on the day of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) administration. Receiver operator curves (ROC) were used to determine the predictive accuracy of endometrial thickness. Cycles were divided into 3 groups depending on the thickness (group 1: ≤ 7 mm; group 2: > 7 mm to ≤ 14 mm; group 3: > 14 mm). Each group was subdivided into three groups according to the endometrial pattern as follows: pattern A (a triple-line pattern consisting of a central hyperechoic line surround by two hypoechoic layers); pattern B (an intermediate isoechogenic pattern with the same reflectivity as the surrounding myometrium and a poorly defined central echogenic line); and pattern C (homogenous, hyperechogenic endometrium). Clinical outcomes such as implantation and clinical pregnancy rates were analyzed.
The endometrial thickness predicts pregnancy outcome with high sensitivity and specificity. The cutoff value was 9 mm. The implantation rate and clinical pregnancy rate in group 3 were 39.1% and 63.5%, respectively, which were significantly higher than those in group 2 (33.8% and 52.1%, respectively) and group 1 (13% and 25.5%, respectively). Among those with Pattern A, the implantation rate and clinical pregnancy rate were 35.3% and 55.2%, respectively, which were significantly higher than among women with Pattern B (32.1% and 50.9%, respectively) and Pattern C (23.4% and 37.4%, respectively). In groups 1 and 3, clinical pregnancy and implantation rates did not show any significant differences between different endometrial patterns (P > 0.05), whereas in group 2, the clinical pregnancy rate and implantation rate in women with pattern A were significantly higher than those with pattern B or C (P < 0.05).
Endometrial thickness and pattern independently affect pregnant outcomes. Combined endometrial thickness and pattern could not predict the outcome of IVF-ET when endometrial thickness was < 7 mm or >14 mm, while a triple-line pattern with a moderate endometrial thickness appeared to be associated with a good clinical outcome.
Endometrial thickness; Endometrial pattern; IVF-ET; Implantation; Pregnancy
Apple is an economically important fruit crop worldwide. Developing a genetic linkage map is a critical step towards mapping and cloning of genes responsible for important horticultural traits in apple. To facilitate linkage map construction, we surveyed and characterized the distribution and frequency of perfect microsatellites in assembled contig sequences of the apple genome.
A total of 28,538 SSRs have been identified in the apple genome, with an overall density of 40.8 SSRs per Mb. Di-nucleotide repeats are the most frequent microsatellites in the apple genome, accounting for 71.9% of all microsatellites. AT/TA repeats are the most frequent in genomic regions, accounting for 38.3% of all the G-SSRs, while AG/GA dimers prevail in transcribed sequences, and account for 59.4% of all EST-SSRs. A total set of 310 SSRs is selected to amplify eight apple genotypes. Of these, 245 (79.0%) are found to be polymorphic among cultivars and wild species tested. AG/GA motifs in genomic regions have detected more alleles and higher PIC values than AT/TA or AC/CA motifs. Moreover, AG/GA repeats are more variable than any other dimers in apple, and should be preferentially selected for studies, such as genetic diversity and linkage map construction. A total of 54 newly developed apple SSRs have been genetically mapped. Interestingly, clustering of markers with distorted segregation is observed on linkage groups 1, 2, 10, 15, and 16. A QTL responsible for malic acid content of apple fruits is detected on linkage group 8, and accounts for ~13.5% of the observed phenotypic variation.
This study demonstrates that di-nucleotide repeats are prevalent in the apple genome and that AT/TA and AG/GA repeats are the most frequent in genomic and transcribed sequences of apple, respectively. All SSR motifs identified in this study as well as those newly mapped SSRs will serve as valuable resources for pursuing apple genetic studies, aiding the apple breeding community in marker-assisted breeding, and for performing comparative genomic studies in Rosaceae.
The energy status of a cell plays a key role in its survival, and the exposure of eukaryotic cells to the hypoxia that accompanies the depletion of intracellular ATP triggers specific systemic adaptive responses. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) has emerged as a key regulator of energy metabolism in the heart and plays a critical role in inducing these responses. However, the specific mechanism responsible for AMPK activation in cardiomyocytes at very early stages of hypoxia remain unclear. The goals of this study were to assess the relative contribution to AMPK activation of phosphorylation by AMPK kinase (AMPKK) and of positive allosterism due to AMP:ATP ratios in the early stages of hypoxia. Our results demonstrated that, compared with normoxic controls, neither intracellular AMP concentrations nor AMP:ATP ratios significantly increased within 1h of hypoxia onset. In contrast, a SAMS peptide phosphorylation assay and an immunoblot analysis revealed significant increases in both AMPK activity and ACC phosphorylation within 5min of hypoxic treatment. Furthermore, exposure of cardiomyocytes to hypoxia significantly increased AMPK phosphorylation within 5min, by 3- to 4-fold compared with controls (P<0.01), while overall levels of AMPKα protein did not differ between aerobic and anoxic cardiomyocytes. We also observed increased AMPKK activity in anoxic cardiomyocytes, through use of an α312 substrate. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that in the early stage of hypoxia in cardiomyocytes, increases in AMPK activity occur prior to and independently of increases in AMP concentration or in the AMP:ATP ratio. Instead, under these circumstances, AMPK is primarily activated by phosphorylation of the conserved Thr-172 residue in its activation loop by its upstream kinase AMPKK.
Cardiomyocytes; hypoxia; AMPK; AMP; AMPK kinase
A number of studies have explored the association between methyl enetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T polymorphism and susceptibility to cervical cancer and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). However, results remained controversial. To address this gap, we decided to conduct a meta-analysis of all available published studies.
Electronic literature searches of the PubMed, EmBase and Medline databases were performed up to April 30, 2012. Fixed-effects or random-effects model was used to calculate the pooled ORs for different genetic models.
A total of 12 case-control studies were ultimately identified. No statistical correlation was found between C677T variants and cervical cancer for the overall population. However, subgroup analyses on the White women pointed to a significant protective effect for individuals heterozygous or homozygous for the T-allele (for CT vs. CC: OR = 0.72, 95% CI 0.59–0.88; for TT vs. CC: OR = 0.69, 95% CI = 0.49–0.97; for CT+TT vs. CC: OR = 0.71, 95% CI 0.59–0.86). C677T variants were associated with neither combined nor stratified CIN among the overall population.
This meta-analysis suggests that White women with mutant C677T genotypes might have a lower risk of cervical cancer, yet lacking enough statistical robustness. Further investigations are needed to get more insight into the role of this polymorphism in cervical carcinogenesis.
Burn is associated with profound inflammation and activation of the innate immune system in multiple organ beds, including the lung. Similarly, toll-like receptors (TLR) are associated with innate immune activation. Nonetheless, it is unclear what impact burn has on TLR-induced inflammatory responses in the lung.
Male C57BL/6 mice were subjected to burn (3rd degree, 25% TBSA) or sham procedure and 1, 3 or 7 days thereafter, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid was collected and cells were isolated and cultured in vitro with specific TLR agonists as follows: Zymosan (TLR-2), LPS (TLR-4) and CpG-ODN (TLR-9). Supernatants were collected 48 hr later and assayed for inflammatory cytokine levels (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, IL-17, TNF-α, KC, MCP-1, MIP-1α, MIP-1β and RANTES) by Luminex.
BAL fluid from sham and burn mice did not contain detectable cytokine levels. BAL cells, irrespective of injury, were responsive to TLR-2 and TLR-4 activation. Seven days after burn, TLR-2 and TLR-4 mediated responses by BAL cells were enhanced as evidenced by increased production of IL-6, IL-17, TNF-α, MCP-1, MIP-1β and RANTES.
Burn-induced changes in TLR-2 and TLR-4 reactivity may contribute to the development of post-burn complications, such as ALI and ARDS.
cytokines; burn; lung
Migratory birds are of particular interest for population genetics because of the high connectivity between habitats and populations. A high degree of connectivity requires using many genetic markers to achieve the required statistical power, and a genome wide SNP set can fit this purpose. Here we present the development of a genome wide SNP set for the Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis, a model species for the study of bird migration. We used the genome of a different waterfowl species, Mallard Anas platyrhynchos, as a reference to align Barnacle Goose second generation sequence reads from an RRL library and detected 2188 SNPs genome wide. Furthermore, we used chimeric flanking sequences, merged from both Mallard and Barnacle Goose DNA sequence information, to create primers for validation by genotyping. Validation with a 384 SNP genotyping set resulted in 374 (97%) successfully typed SNPs in the assay, of which 358 (96%) were polymorphic. Additionally, we validated our SNPs on relatively old (30 years) museum samples, which resulted in a success rate of at least 80%. This shows that museum samples could be used in standard SNP genotyping assays. Our study also shows that the genome of a related species can be used as reference to detect genome wide SNPs in birds, because genomes of birds are highly conserved. This is illustrated by the use of chimeric flanking sequences, which showed that the incorporation of flanking nucleotides from Mallard into Barnacle Goose sequences lead to equal genotyping performance when compared to flanking sequences solely composed of Barnacle Goose sequence.
Autophagy plays a major role in myocardial ischemia and hypoxia injury. The present study investigated the effects of autophagy on cardiac dysfunction in rats after severe burn.
Protein expression of the autophagy markers LC3 and Beclin 1 were determined at 0, 1, 3, 6, and 12 h post-burn in Sprague Dawley rats subjected to 30% total body surface area 3rd degree burns. Autophagic, apoptotic, and oncotic cell death were evaluated in the myocardium at each time point by immunofluorescence. Changes of cardiac function were measured in a Langendorff model of isolated heart at 6 h post-burn, and the autophagic response was measured following activation by Rapamycin and inhibition by 3-methyladenine (3-MA). The angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor enalaprilat, the angiotensin receptor I blocker losartan, and the reactive oxygen species inhibitor diphenylene iodonium (DPI) were also applied to the ex vivo heart model to examine the roles of these factors in post-burn cardiac function.
Autophagic cell death was first observed in the myocardium at 3 h post-burn, occurring in 0.008 ± 0.001% of total cardiomyocytes, and continued to increase to a level of 0.022 ± 0.005% by 12 h post-burn. No autophagic cell death was observed in control hearts. Compared with apoptosis, autophagic cell death occurred earlier and in larger quantities. Rapamycin enhanced autophagy and decreased cardiac function in isolated hearts 6 h post-burn, while 3-MA exerted the opposite response. Enalaprilat, losartan, and DPI all inhibited autophagy and enhanced heart function.
Myocardial autophagy is enhanced in severe burns and autophagic cell death occurred early at 3 h post-burn, which may contribute to post-burn cardiac dysfunction. Angiotensin II and reactive oxygen species may play important roles in this process by regulating cell signaling transduction.