Cognitive impairment in patients with schizophrenia is a core symptom of this disease. The computerized CogState Battery (CSB) has been used to detect seven of the most common cognitive domains in schizophrenia. The aim of this study was to examine the reliability and validity of the Chinese version of the CSB (CSB-C), in Chinese patients with schizophrenia.
Sixty Chinese patients with schizophrenia and 58 age, sex, and education matched healthy controls were enrolled. All subjects completed the CSB-C and the Repeated Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS). To examine the test-retest reliability of CSB-C, we tested 33 healthy controls twice, at a one month interval. The Cronbach α value of CSB-C in patients was 0.81. The test-retest correlation coefficients of the Two Back Task, Gronton Maze Learning Task, Social Emotional Cognition Task, and Continuous Paired Association Learning Task were between 0.39 and 0.62 (p<0.01) in healthy controls. The composite scores and all subscores for the CSB-C in patients were significantly (p<0.01) lower than those of healthy controls. Furthermore, composite scores for patients on the RBANS were also significantly lower than those of healthy controls. Interestingly, there was a positive correlation (r = 0.544, p<0.001) between the composite scores on CSB-C and RBANS for patients. Additionally, in the attention and memory cognitive domains, corresponding subsets from the two batteries correlated significantly (p<0.05). Moreover, factor analysis showed a two-factor model, consisting of speed, memory and reasoning.
The CSB-C shows good reliability and validity in measuring the broad cognitive domains of schizophrenia in affected Chinese patients. Therefore, the CSB-C can be used as a cognitive battery, to assess the therapeutic effects of potential cognitive-enhancing agents in this cohort.
This study examined problem severity, treatment participation, and recidivism among 1,016 offenders with co-occurring mental disorders who participated in California’s Proposition 36. Participants were assessed using the Addiction Severity Index (ASI) at baseline and their records on mental health diagnoses, drug treatment participation, and arrests were also obtained. Participants’ co-occurring disorder (COD) severity was classified as mild or severe based on specific mental health diagnoses. Predictors of recidivism were examined among mild-COD and severe-COD participants separately using ordinal logistic regression. Results indicate that while previous arrests, education, and treatment retention length are predictors of recidivism generally, gender, age, primary drug, ASI drug severity score, and treatment modality are differentially important depending on COD status. These results underscore the need for COD focused intervention strategies among offenders, taking into consideration the severity of their COD status.
Drug abuse; Offender; COD; Severity; Recidivism; Mental Health
Previous studies have reported a discrepancy in baseline characteristics and outcomes after percutaneous coronary intervention between men and women. However, this finding has never been verified in the Chinese population. The present study analyzed two-year clinical outcomes after placement of coronary drug-eluting stents in Chinese men and women.
From January 2005 to December 2010, a total of 3804 Chinese patients (2776 men, 1028 women) who underwent drug-eluting stent implantation were studied prospectively. The primary endpoint was the composite major adverse cardiac event (MACE) rate, including myocardial infarction, cardiac death, and target vessel revascularization at two years. Stent thrombosis served as the safety endpoint. Propensity score matching was used to compare the adjusted MACE rate between the two groups.
At two-year follow-up, unadjusted rates of myocardial infarction, non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction, target vessel revascularization, and MACE were significantly different between men (6.84%, 4.6%, 13.1%, and 21.7%, respectively) and women (3.8% [P = 0.001], 2.0% [P < 0.001] 10.3% [P = 0.025], and 16.3% [P < 0.001], respectively). After propensity score matching, there were no significant differences in composite MACE and individual endpoints at two years between the genders.
Despite all the unfavorable risk factor clustering in women and complex coronary disease in men, the two-year clinical outcomes after coronary stent placement were comparable between Chinese women and men.
drug-eluting stent; major adverse cardiac event; gender difference; clinical follow-up
Injection drug use is a major route of HIV transmission in China, yet relatively little is known about why so few injection drug users utilize free HIV testing services. This study aimed to examine barriers to HIV testing and voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) service utilization among injection drug users in Shanghai, China.
Utilizing mixed methods, we analyzed data from a survey of 540 compulsory drug abuse treatment patients and data from focus groups with 70 service providers and patients.
Only 24.4% of patients expressed willingness to be tested for HIV. Willingness to be tested was associated with younger age and more positive attitudes towards condom use. Patients reported several barriers to utilization of voluntary HIV testing services, including lack of information about these services, perceptions of no risk or low-risk for HIV infection, fear of positive results, and the stigma or discrimination that may be experienced by the patient or their family. Having limited skills related to HIV counseling was reported by service providers as the primary barrier to encouraging patients to utilize HIV testing/VCT services.
Special intervention programs targeting injection drug users, their family members, and service providers may increase HIV testing in China.
Mixed methods; HIV; Voluntary counseling and testing (VCT); Injection drug users
Manipulation of cell patterns in three dimensions in a manner that mimics natural tissue organization and function is critical for cell biological studies and likely essential for successfully regenerating tissues—especially cells with high physiological demands, such as those of the heart, liver, lungs, and articular cartilage.1,2 In the present study, we report on the feasibility of arranging iron oxide-labeled cells in three-dimensional hydrogels using magnetic fields. By manipulating the strength, shape, and orientation of the magnetic field and using crosslinking gradients in hydrogels, multi-directional cell arrangements can be produced in vitro and even directly in situ. We show that these ferromagnetic particles are nontoxic between 0.1 and 10 mg/mL; certain species of particles can permit or even enhance tissue formation, and these particles can be tracked using magnetic resonance imaging. Taken together, this approach can be adapted for studying basic biological processes in vitro, for general tissue engineering approaches, and for producing organized repair tissues directly in situ.
The epidemiology and molecular characteristics of human enterovirus B (HEV-B) associated with hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) outbreaks in China are not well known. In the present study, we tested 201 HEV isolates from 233 clinical specimens from patients with severe HFMD during 2010–2011 in Linyi, Shandong, China. Of the 201 isolates, 189 were fully typed and 18 corresponded to HEV-B species (six serotypes CVA9, CVB1, CVB4, Echo 6, Echo 25 and Echo 30) using sensitive semi-nested polymerase chain reaction analysis of VP1 gene sequences. Phylogenetic analysis based on the VP1 region showed that eight E30SD belonged to a novel sub-genogroup D2; E25SD belonged to a novel sub-genogroup D6; E6SD belonged to sub-lineage C6 and five CVB1SD belonged to subgroup 4C; and B4SD belonged sub-lineage D2. The full viral genomes of the CVB1SD, E6SD, E25SD and E30SD isolates were sequenced. Analysis of phylogenetic and similarity plots indicated that E25SD recombined with E25-HN-2, E30FDJS03 and E4AUS250 at noncontiguous P2A–P3D regions, while E30SD, E30FDJ03, E25-HN-2 and E9 DM had shared sequences in discrete regions of P2 and P3. Both E6SD and B1SD shared sequences with E1-HN, B4/GX/10, B5-HN, and A9-Alberta in contiguous regions of most of P2 and P3. Genetic algorithm recombination detection analysis further confirmed the existence of multiple potential recombination points. In conclusion, analysis of the complete genomes of E25SD, E30SD, CVB1SD and E6SD isolated from HFMD patients revealed that they formed novel subgenogroup. Given the prevalence and recombination of these viruses in outbreaks of HFMD, persistent surveillance of HFMD-associated HEV-B pathogens is required to predict potential emerging viruses and related disease outbreaks.
To clarify the evolutionary relationships among betavoronaviruses that infect bats, we analyzed samples collected during 2010–2011 from 14 insectivorous bat species in China. We identified complete genomes of 2 novel betacoronaviruses in Rhinolophus pusillus and Chaerephon plicata bats, which showed close genetic relationships with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses.
Coronavirus; Chiroptera; SARS virus; China; viruses; bats
To understand the different patterns of cue-induced craving and physiological reactions among recently abstinent and long- abstinent heroin-dependent patients.
26 healthy adult controls (HC), 29 long-abstinent (more than 1 year, LA), and 26 recently abstinent (less than 1 month, RA) heroin-dependent individuals were exposed to heroin-related and neutral video cues, one video per session, on different days in random order. Self-reported heroin craving by a 10-point visual analog scale (VAS), physiological reactions [Skin conductance (SC), muscle electromyography (MEG), skin temperature (TEMP)] and cardiovascular arousal [heart rates (HR), systolic blood pressure (HBP) and diastolic blood pressure (LBP)] were assessed at baseline and after exposure.
Both heroin-abstinent groups showed increased heroin craving, SC, MEG, HR, SBP and LBP after exposure to heroin-related video, compared to the control group and compared to exposure to the neutral video. Except the RA group showed more HR changes, changes of heroin craving, SC, MEG, HR, SBP and LBP after exposure to the heroin cue video were not different between the LA and RA groups.
Abstinent heroin-dependent patients had elevated craving and physiological reactions after exposure to videos containing heroin-related cues and the cue induced responses still occurred in long-abstinent patients. This phenomenon should be addressed in treatment and recovery services for heroin dependence.
craving; cue reactions; heroin dependence; long time abstinent
Bats are natural hosts for a large variety of zoonotic viruses. This study aimed to describe the range of bat viromes, including viruses from mammals, insects, fungi, plants, and phages, in 11 insectivorous bat species (216 bats in total) common in six provinces of China. To analyze viromes, we used sequence-independent PCR amplification and next-generation sequencing technology (Solexa Genome Analyzer II; Illumina). The viromes were identified by sequence similarity comparisons to known viruses. The mammalian viruses included those of the Adenoviridae, Herpesviridae, Papillomaviridae, Retroviridae, Circoviridae, Rhabdoviridae, Astroviridae, Flaviridae, Coronaviridae, Picornaviridae, and Parvovirinae; insect viruses included those of the Baculoviridae, Iflaviridae, Dicistroviridae, Tetraviridae, and Densovirinae; fungal viruses included those of the Chrysoviridae, Hypoviridae, Partitiviridae, and Totiviridae; and phages included those of the Caudovirales, Inoviridae, and Microviridae and unclassified phages. In addition to the viruses and phages associated with the insects, plants, and bacterial flora related to the diet and habitation of bats, we identified the complete or partial genome sequences of 13 novel mammalian viruses. These included herpesviruses, papillomaviruses, a circovirus, a bocavirus, picornaviruses, a pestivirus, and a foamy virus. Pairwise alignments and phylogenetic analyses indicated that these novel viruses showed little genetic similarity with previously reported viruses. This study also revealed a high prevalence and diversity of bat astroviruses and coronaviruses in some provinces. These findings have expanded our understanding of the viromes of bats in China and hinted at the presence of a large variety of unknown mammalian viruses in many common bat species of mainland China.
In this study we describe the use of ultrashort echo time (UTE) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to evaluate short and long T2* components as well as the water content of cortical bone. Fourteen human cadaveric distal femur and proximal tibia were sectioned to produce 44 rectangular slabs of cortical bone for quantitative UTE MR imaging, micro computed tomography (μCT), and biomechanical testing. A two-dimensional (2D) UTE pulse sequence with a minimal nominal TE of 8 μs was used together with bi-component analysis to quantify the bound and free water in cortical bone using a clinical 3T scanner. Total water concentration was measured using a 3D UTE sequence together with a reference water phantom. UTE MR measures of water content (total, free and bound), T2* (short and long), and short and long T2* fractions were compared to porosity assessed with μCT, as well as elastic (modulus, yield stress and strain) and failure (ultimate stress, failure strain and energy) properties, using Pearson correlation. Porosity significantly correlated positively with total (R2=0.23; P<0.01) and free (R2=0.31; P<0.001) water content as well as long T2* fraction (R2=0.25; P<0.001), and negatively with short T2* fraction and short T2* (R2=0.24; P<0.01). Failure strain significantly correlated positively with short T2* (R2=0.29; P<0.001), ultimate stress significantly correlated negatively with total (R2=0.25; P<0.001) and bound (R2=0.22; P<0.01) water content, and failure energy significantly correlated positively with both short (R2=0.30; P<0.001) and long (R2=0.17; P<0.01) T2* values. These results suggest that UTE MR measures are sensitive to the structure and failure properties of human cortical bone, and may provide a novel way of evaluating cortical bone quality.
Ultrashort TE; bi-component analysis; free water; bound water; porosity; biomechanical properties
Recent proton magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy studies have shown that cortical bone exists as different components which have distinct transverse relaxation times (T2s). However, cortical bone shows zero or near zero signal with all conventional MR sequences on clinical scanners and the different water components cannot be assessed with this approach. In order to detect signal in this situation a two-dimensional (2D) non-slice selective ultrashort echo time (UTE) pulse sequence with a nominal TE of 8 μs was used together with bi-component analysis to quantify bound and free water in bovine cortical bone at 3T. Total water concentration was quantified using a 3D UTE sequence together with a reference water phantom. 2D and 3D UTE imaging were performed on 14 bovine bone samples which were subjected to sequential air-drying to evaluate free water loss, followed by oven-drying to evaluate bound water loss. Sequential bone weight loss was measured concurrently using a precision balance. Bone porosity was measured with micro computed tomography (μCT) imaging. UTE measured free water loss was higher than the volume of cortical pores measured with μCT, but lower than the gravimetric bone water loss measured during air-drying. UTE assessed bound water loss was about 82% of gravimetric bone water loss during oven-drying. On average bovine cortical bone showed about 13% free water and 87% bound water. There was a high correlation (R = 0.91; P < 0.0001) between UTE MR measured free water loss and gravimetric bone weight loss during sequential air-drying, and a significant correlation (R = 0.69; P < 0.01) between UTE bound water loss and gravimetric bone weight loss during oven-drying. These results show that UTE bi-component analysis can reliably quantify bound and free water in cortical bone. The technique has potential applications for the in vivo evaluation of bone porosity and organic matrix.
Ultrashort TE; bi-component analysis; T2*; free water; bound water; porosity
A human coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3), designated strain Beijing0811, was isolated from a child diagnosed with hospital-acquired infectious acute myocarditis in Beijing, China, and propagated in human rhabdomyosarcoma cells. The complete genome sequence of this virus was 7,402 nucleotides, excluding the 3′ poly(A) tail, which encoded a large polyprotein with 2,185 amino acids. This report will help us to analyze the evolutionary and epidemic characteristics of CVB3.
For MR applications such as contrast-enhanced MR angiography (CE-MRA), it is desirable to achieve simultaneously high spatial and temporal resolution. The current clinical standard uses view sharing methods combined with parallel imaging; however this approach still provides limited spatial and temporal resolution. To improve on the clinical standard, we present an Interleaved Variable Density (IVD) sampling method that pseudorandomly undersamples each individual frame of a 3D Cartesian ky-kz plane combined with parallel imaging acceleration. From this data set, time-resolved images are reconstructed with a method that combines parallel imaging with a multiplicative constraint. Total acceleration factors on the order of 20 are achieved for CE-MRA of the lower extremities, and improvements in temporal fidelity of the depiction of the contrast bolus passage are demonstrated relative to the clinical standard.
Interleaved variable density sampling; constrained reconstruction; contrast-enhanced MR angiography; parallel imaging; fast MRI; HYPR
Since the 1980s, epidemics of enterovirus 71 (EV71) and other enteroviruses have occurred in Asian countries and regions, causing a wide range of human diseases. No effective therapy is available for the treatment of these infections. Internal ribosome entry sites (IRESs) are indispensable for the initiation of translation in enteroviruses. Several cellular factors, as well as the ribosome, are recruited to the conserved IRES during this process. Quinacrine intercalates into the RNA architecture and inhibits RNA transcription and protein synthesis, and a recent study showed that quinacrine inhibited encephalomyocarditis virus and poliovirus IRES-mediated translation in vitro without disrupting internal cellular IRES. Here, we report that quinacrine was highly active against EV71, protecting cells from EV71 infection. Replication of viral RNA, expression of viral capsid protein, and production of virus were all strongly inhibited by quinacrine. Interaction of the polypyrimidine tract-binding protein (PTB) with the conserved IRES was prevented by quinacrine. Coxsackieviruses and echovirus were also inhibited by quinacrine in cultured cells. These results indicate that quinacrine may serve as a potential protective agent for use in the treatment of patients with chronic enterovirus infection.
The interaction of the association of dopamine genes, impulsivity and childhood trauma with substance abuse remains unclear.
To clarify the impacts and the interactions of the Catechol -O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene, impulsivity and childhood trauma on the age of onset of heroin use among heroin dependent patients in China.
202 male and 248 female inpatients who meet DSM-IV criteria of heroin dependence were enrolled. Impulsivity and childhood trauma were measured using BIS-11 (Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11) and ETISR-SF (Early Trauma Inventory Self Report-Short Form). The single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs737866 on the COMT gene-which has previously been associated with heroin abuse, was genotyped using a DNA sequence detection system. Structural equations model was used to assess the interaction paths between these factors and the age of onset of heroin use.
Chi-square test indicated the individuals with TT allele have earlier age of onset of heroin use than those with CT or CC allele. In the correlation analysis, the severity of childhood trauma was positively correlated to impulsive score, but both of them were negatively related to the age of onset of heroin use. In structure equation model, both the COMT gene and childhood trauma had impacts on the age of onset of heroin use directly or via impulsive personality.
Our findings indicated that the COMT gene, impulsive personality traits and childhood trauma experience were interacted to impact the age of onset of heroin use, which play a critical role in the development of heroin dependence. The impact of environmental factor was greater than the COMT gene in the development of heroin dependence.
Methadone maintenance treatment has been made available in China in response to the rapid spread of HIV, but high rates of dropout and relapse are problematic. The aim of this study was to apply and test if a contingency management (or motivational incentives) intervention can improve treatment retention and reduce drug use.
Random assignment to usual care with (n=160) or without (n=159) incentives during a 12-week trial. Incentives participants earned draws for a chance to win prizes on two separate tracks targeting opiate-negative urine sample or consecutive attendance; the number of draws increased with continuous abstinence or attendance.
Community-based methadone maintenance clinics in Shanghai and Kunming.
The sample was 23.8 % female, mean age was 38, mean years of drug use was 9.4, and 57.8 % had injected drugs in the past 30 days.
Treatment retention and negative drug urine.
Relative to the treatment-as-usual (control) group, better retention was observed among the Incentives group in Kunming (44% vs. 75%), but no difference was found in Shanghai (90% vs. 86%). Submission of negative urine samples was more common among the Incentive group than the usual care (74% vs. 68% in Shanghai, 27% vs. 18% in Kunming), as was the longest duration of sustained abstinence (7.7 wks vs. 6.5 in Shanghai, 2.5 vs. 1.6 in Kunming). The average total prize amount was 371 Yuan (or $55) per participant (527 for Shanghai vs. 216 in Kunming).
Contingency management improves treatment retention and drug abstinence in methadone maintenance treatment clinics in China, although there can be considerable site differences in magnitude of effects.
To investigate Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) knowledge and alcohol consumption among patients (N=114) in a Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) clinic in Shanghai.
A cross-sectional survey was carried out in an MMT clinic. Structured questionnaires (HCV Knowledge Scale, Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT)) and some open-ended questions were used to assess (1) HCV knowledge; (2) HCV treatment received, (3) awareness of HCV status; and (4) alcohol consumption.
Findings revealed the HCV-positive rate was 57.0%. There were significant gaps in knowledge about HCV and HCV treatment received. The group mean score of HCV knowledge was 11.3 out of 20 (SD=2.1) and the mean score on the AUDIT was 3.2 (SD=5.4). Most participants (68.4%) reported not knowing their HCV status. Among HCV-positive participants, only 15.3% had received HCV anti-virus treatment, and 18.4% expressed a need for counseling about HCV infection.
Considering the limited HCV knowledge and low level of HCV treatment received, effective HCV education and intervention strategies should be developed to target patients in China’s MMT clinics. Moreover, alcohol screening also should be part of the routine assessments within MMT programs. Scientific Significance: The current study reveals the importance of HCV testing and education among drug users in MMT clinics.
Methadone Maintenance Treatment; Heroin users; alcohol; Hepatitis C
Chrysin and its phosphate ester have previously been shown to inhibit cell proliferation and induce apoptosis in Hela cells; however, the underlying mechanism remains to be characterized. In the present study, we therefore synthesized diethyl flavon-7-yl phosphate (FP, C19H19O6P) by a simplified Atheron-Todd reaction, and explored its anti-tumor characteristics and mechanisms. Cell proliferation, cell cycle progression and apoptosis were measured by MTS, flow cytometry and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling techniques, respectively in human cervical cancer HeLa cells treated with 7-hydroxyflavone (HF) and FP. p21, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and cAMP levels in Hela cells were analyzed by western blot and radioimmunoassay. Both HF and FP inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis in HeLa cells via induction of PCNA/p21 expression, cleaved caspase-3/poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP)-1, elevation of cAMP levels, and cell cycle arrest with accumulation of cells in the G0/G1 fraction. The effects of FP were more potent than those of HF. The interactions of FP with Ca2+-calmodulin (CaM) and Ca2+-CaM-phosphodiesterase (PDE)1 were explored by electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry and fluorescence spectra. FP, but not HF, formed non-covalent complexes with Ca2+-CaM-PDE1, indicating that FP is an inhibitor of PDE1, and resulting in elevated cellular cAMP levels. It is possible that the elevated cAMP levels inhibit growth and induce apoptosis in Hela cells through induction of p21 and cleaved caspase-3/PARP-1 expression, and causing down-regulation of PCNA and cell cycle arrest with accumulation of cells in the G0/G1 and G2/M fractions. In conclusion, FP was shown to be a Ca2+-CaM-PDE inhibitor, which might account for its underlying anti-cancer mechanism in HeLa cells. These observations clearly demonstrate the special roles of phosphorylated flavonoids in biological processes, and suggest that FP might represent a potential new drug for the therapy of human cervical carcinoma.
Viral infectious diseases represent a major threat to public health and are among the greatest disease burdens worldwide. Rapid and accurate identification of viral agents is crucial for both outbreak control and estimating regional disease burdens. Recently developed metagenomic methods have proven to be powerful tools for simultaneous pathogen detection. Here, we performed a systematic study of the capability of the short-read-based metagenomic approach in the molecular detection of viral pathogens in nasopharyngeal aspirate samples from patients with acute lower respiratory tract infections (n = 16). Using the high-throughput capacity of ultradeep sequencing and a dedicated data interpretation method, we successfully identified seven species of known respiratory viral agents from 15 samples, a result that was consistent with results of conventional PCR assays. We also detected a coinfected case that was missed by regular PCR testing. Using the metagenomic data, 11 draft genomes of the abundantly detected viruses in the samples were reconstructed with 21.84% to 98.53% coverage. Our results show the power of the short-read-based metagenomic approach for accurate and parallel screening of viral pathogens. Although there are some inherent difficulties in applying this approach to clinical samples, including a lack of controls, limited specimen quantity, and high contamination rate, our work will facilitate further application of this unprecedented high-throughput method to clinical samples.
A critical problem in biology is understanding how cells choose between self-renewal and differentiation. To generate a comprehensive view of the mechanisms controlling early hematopoietic precursor self-renewal and differentiation, we used systems-based approaches and murine EML multipotential hematopoietic precursor cells as a primary model. EML cells give rise to a mixture of self-renewing Lin-SCA+CD34+ cells and partially differentiated non-renewing Lin-SCA-CD34− cells in a cell autonomous fashion. We identified and validated the HMG box protein TCF7 as a regulator in this self-renewal/differentiation switch that operates in the absence of autocrine Wnt signaling. We found that Tcf7 is the most down-regulated transcription factor when CD34+ cells switch into CD34− cells, using RNA–Seq. We subsequently identified the target genes bound by TCF7, using ChIP–Seq. We show that TCF7 and RUNX1 (AML1) bind to each other's promoter regions and that TCF7 is necessary for the production of the short isoforms, but not the long isoforms of RUNX1, suggesting that TCF7 and the short isoforms of RUNX1 function coordinately in regulation. Tcf7 knock-down experiments and Gene Set Enrichment Analyses suggest that TCF7 plays a dual role in promoting the expression of genes characteristic of self-renewing CD34+ cells while repressing genes activated in partially differentiated CD34− state. Finally a network of up-regulated transcription factors of CD34+ cells was constructed. Factors that control hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) establishment and development, cell growth, and multipotency were identified. These studies in EML cells demonstrate fundamental cell-intrinsic properties of the switch between self-renewal and differentiation, and yield valuable insights for manipulating HSCs and other differentiating systems.
The hematopoietic system has provided a leading model for stem cell studies, and there is great interest in elucidating the mechanisms that control the decision of HSC self-renewal and differentiation. This switch is important for understanding hematopoietic diseases and manipulating HSCs for therapeutic purposes. However, because HSCs are currently unable to proliferate extensively in vitro, this severely limits the types of biochemical analyses that can be performed; and, consequently, the mechanisms that control the decision between early-stage HSC self-renewal and differentiation remain unclear. Murine bone marrow derived EML multipotential hematopoietic precursor cells are ideal for studying the switch. EML cells can grow in large culture and give rise to a mixture of self-renewing Lin-SCA+CD34+ cells and partially differentiated non-renewing Lin-SCA-CD34− cells in a cell autonomous fashion. Using RNA–Sequencing and ChIP–Sequencing, we identified and validated the HMG box protein TCF7 as a regulator in this switch and find that it operates in the absence of canonical Wnt signaling. Together with RUNX1, TCF7 regulates a network of transcription factors that characterize the CD34+ cell state. This work serves as a model for studying mechanisms of autonomous and balanced cell fate choice and is ultimately valuable for manipulating HSCs.
New therapeutic tools and molecular targets are needed for treatment of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) infections. JEV requires an α-1 translational frameshift to synthesize the NS1' protein required for viral neuroinvasiveness. Several flavonoids have been shown to possess antiviral activity in vitro against a wide spectrum of viruses. To date, the antiviral activities of flavonol kaempferol (Kae) and isoflavonoid daidzin (Dai) against JEV have not been described.
The 50% cytotoxic concentration (CC50) and 50% effective concentration (EC50) against JEV were investigated in BHK21 cells by MTS reduction. Activity against viral genomic RNA and proteins was measured by real-time RT-PCR and western blotting. The frameshift site RNA-binding characterization was also determined by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, isothermal titration calorimetry and autodocking analysis. EC50 values of Kae and Dai were 12.6 and 25.9 µM against JEV in cells pretreated before infection, whereas in cells infected before treatment, EC50 was 21.5 and 40.4 µM, respectively. Kae exhibited more potent activity against JEV and RNA binding in cells following internalization through direct inhibition of viral replication and protein expression, indicating that its antiviral activity was principally due to direct virucidal effects. The JEV frameshift site RNA (fsRNA) was selected as a target for assaying Kae and Dai. ITC of fsRNA revealed an apparent Kb value for Kae that was nine fold stronger than that for Dai. This binding was confirmed and localized to the RNA using ESI-MS and autodock analysis. Kae could form non-covalent complexes with fsRNA more easily than Dai could.
Kae demonstrates more potent antiviral activity against JEV than does Dai. The mode of action of Kae as an anti-JEV agent seems to be related to its ability to inactivate virus by binding with JEV fsRNA.
With the recent advances in high-throughput RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq), biologists are able to measure transcription with unprecedented precision. One problem that can now be tackled is that of isoform quantification: here one tries to reconstruct the abundances of isoforms of a gene. We have developed a statistical solution for this problem, based on analyzing a set of RNA-Seq reads, and a practical implementation, available from archive.gersteinlab.org/proj/rnaseq/IQSeq, in a tool we call IQSeq (Isoform Quantification in next-generation Sequencing). Here, we present theoretical results which IQSeq is based on, and then use both simulated and real datasets to illustrate various applications of the tool. In order to measure the accuracy of an isoform-quantification result, one would try to estimate the average variance of the estimated isoform abundances for each gene (based on resampling the RNA-seq reads), and IQSeq has a particularly fast algorithm (based on the Fisher Information Matrix) for calculating this, achieving a speedup of times compared to brute-force resampling. IQSeq also calculates an information theoretic measure of overall transcriptome complexity to describe isoform abundance for a whole experiment. IQSeq has many features that are particularly useful in RNA-Seq experimental design, allowing one to optimally model the integration of different sequencing technologies in a cost-effective way. In particular, the IQSeq formalism integrates the analysis of different sample (i.e. read) sets generated from different technologies within the same statistical framework. It also supports a generalized statistical partial-sample-generation function to model the sequencing process. This allows one to have a modular, “plugin-able” read-generation function to support the particularities of the many evolving sequencing technologies.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is associated with a profound immunological dysfunction manifested by a severe shift from T-helper type 1 (Th1) to T-helper type 2 (Th2) response. This predisposes patients to infections, sepsis, and adverse outcomes. Probiotic bacteria have been shown to balance the Th1/Th2 cytokines in allergic murine models and patients. For the present study, we hypothesized that the enteral administration of probiotics would adjust the Th1/Th2 imbalance and improve clinical outcomes in TBI patients.
We designed a prospective, randomized, single-blind study. Patients with severe TBI and Glasgow Coma Scale scores between 5 and 8 were included, resulting in 26 patients in the control group and 26 patients in the probiotic group. All patients received enteral nutrition via a nasogastric tube within 24 to 48 hours following admission. In addition, the probiotic group received 109 bacteria of viable probiotics per day for 21 days. The associated serum levels of Th1/Th2 cytokines, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) scores, nosocomial infections, length of ICU stay, and 28-day mortality rate were studied.
The patients responded to viable probiotics, and showed a significantly higher increase in serum IL-12p70 and IFNγ levels while also experiencing a dramatic decrease in IL-4 and IL-10 concentrations. APACHE II and SOFA scores were not significantly affected by probiotic treatment. Patients in the probiotic group experienced a decreased incidence of nosocomial infections towards the end of the study. Shorter ICU stays were also observed among patients treated with probiotic therapy. However, the 28-day mortality rate was unaffected.
The present study showed that daily prophylactic administration of probiotics could attenuate the deviated Th1/Th2 response induced by severe TBI, and could result in a decreased nosocomial infection rate, especially in the late period.
In China, a rapid expansion of Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) outbreaks has occurred since 2004 and HFMD has become an important issue for China. However, people are still only concerned with human enterovirus 71(HEV-71) and coxsackie virus A16 (CV-A16). Much of what is known about the other enterovirus infections relies on fractional evidence and old epidemic data, with little knowledge concerning their distribution. To alert potential threatens of the other enteroviruses, our study genetically characterized specimens from different regions of China and yielded novel information concerning the circulating and phylogenetic characteristics of enteroviral strains from HFMD cases.
A total of 301 clinical throat swabs were randomly obtained from patients suffering from HFMD from the southern, northern and central regions of China during outbreaks in 2009. 266 of 301 (88.4%) HFMD cases were found positive for HEV and seven genotypes, HEV-71, CV-A16, -B5, -A4, -A6, -A10, and -A12, were detected.
The HFMD pathogen compositions in the different regions of China were significantly different. HFMD epidemics might persist for a long time in China due to the multiple pathogen compositions, the enteroviral characteristic of recombination and co-infection, the ever-increasing travel and migration and the deficiency of effective vaccine. Our study deserves the attention on HFMD control and vaccine development.
Hand; Foot and Mouth Disease; enterovirus; human enterovirus 71; coxsackie virus A16; coxsackie virus B5