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1.  Emergence of Genotype I of Japanese Encephalitis Virus as the Dominant Genotype in Asia ▿  
Journal of Virology  2011;85(19):9847-9853.
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), a mosquito-borne zoonotic pathogen, is one of the major causes of viral encephalitis worldwide. Previous phylogenetic studies based on the envelope protein indicated that there are four genotypes, and surveillance data suggest that genotype I is gradually replacing genotype III as the dominant strain. Here we report an evolutionary analysis based on 98 full-length genome sequences of JEV, including 67 new samples isolated from humans, pigs, mosquitoes, midges. and bats in affected areas. To investigate the relationships between the genotypes and the significance of genotype I in recent epidemics, we estimated evolutionary rates, ages of common ancestors, and population demographics. Our results indicate that the genotypes diverged in the order IV, III, II, and I and that the genetic diversity of genotype III has decreased rapidly while that of genotype I has increased gradually, consistent with its emergence as the dominant genotype.
PMCID: PMC3196406  PMID: 21697481
2.  Refractory diarrhea: A paraneoplastic syndrome of neuroblastoma 
Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common extracranial solid tumor in children. Diarrheal NB is quite rare and is not easy to diagnose in the early stage. Six cases of diarrheal NB in our hospital treated from 1996 to 2006 were retrospectively analyzed, including characteristics such as electrolyte imbalance, pathologic features, vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) immunohistochemical staining results, treatment, and prognosis. All patients were boys with 3-8 loose or watery stools each day and routine fecal tests were normal. Abdominal tumors were identified by B-ultrasound. Drugs were ineffective. Three patients underwent surgery, and the remaining three patients received surgery and chemotherapy. Diarrhea stopped after treatment in five patients. Two patients died due to intractable hypokalemia. The tumor was located in the adrenal gland in four patients, in the upper retroperitoneum in one patient, and in the presacral area in one patient. Pathologic findings were NB and ganglioneuroblastoma. Five patients were at clinical stage I-II, and one was at stage III. Four patients survived (followed-up for 6 mo to 4 years). Immunohistochemical staining for VIP was positive. Refractory diarrhea is a paraneoplastic syndrome of NB and is rare. Patients aged 1-3 years who present with chronic intractable diarrhea should be followed closely. Intractable diarrhea, hypokalemia, and dysplasia are the initial clinical manifestations. Increased VIP is characteristic of this disease. Potassium supplementation plays a vital role in the treatment procedure, especially preoperatively. The prognosis of diarrheal NB is good following appropriate treatment.
PMCID: PMC4491982  PMID: 26167095
Diarrhea; Hypokalemia; Neuroblastoma; Paraneoplastic syndrome; Vasoactive intestinal peptide
3.  Cardiac valve cells and their microenvironment—insights from in vitro studies 
Nature reviews. Cardiology  2014;11(12):715-727.
During every heartbeat, cardiac valves open and close coordinately to control unidirectional flow of blood. In this dynamically challenging environment, resident valve cells actively maintain homeostasis, but the signalling between cells and their microenvironment is complex. When this homeostasis is disrupted and valve opening obstructed, haemodynamic profiles can be altered and lead to impaired cardiac function. Currently, late stages of cardiac valve diseases are treated surgically, as there are no known drug therapies to reverse or halt disease progression. Consequently investigators have sought to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms of valvular diseases usi in vitro cell culture systems and biomaterials scaffolds that can mimic extracellular microenvironment. In this Review we describe how signals in the extra cellular matrix regulate valve cell function. We propose that the cellular context is a critical factor when studying the molecular basis of valvular diseases in vitro, and one should consider how the surrounding matrix might influence cell signalling and functional outcomes in the valve. Investigators need to build a systems level understanding of the complex signalling network involved in valve regulation, to facilitate drug target identification and promote in situ or ex vivo heart valve regeneration.
PMCID: PMC4485434  PMID: 25311230
4.  The Effects of GPX-1 Knockout on Membrane Transport and Intracellular Homeostasis in the Lens 
The Journal of membrane biology  2008;227(1):25-37.
Glutathione peroxidase-1 (GPX-1) is an enzyme that protects the lens against H2O2-mediated oxidative damage. The purpose of the present study was to determine the effects of GPX-1 knockout (KO) on lens transport and intracellular homeostasis. To investigate these lenses we used (1) whole lens impedance studies to measure membrane conductance, resting voltage and fiber cell gap junction coupling conductance; (2) osmotic swelling of fiber cell membrane vesicles to determine water permeability; and (3) injection of Fura2 and Na+-binding benzofuran isophthalate (SBFI) into fiber cells to measure [Ca2+]i and [Na+]i, respectively, in intact lenses. These approaches were used to compare wild-type (WT) and GPX-1 KO lenses from mice around 2 months of age. There were no significant differences in clarity, size, resting voltage, membrane conductance or fiber cell membrane water permeability between WT and GPX-1 KO lenses. However, in GPX-1 KO lenses, coupling conductance was 72% of normal in the outer shell of differentiating fibers and 45% of normal in the inner core of mature fibers. Quantitative Western blots showed that GPX-1 KO lenses had about 50% as much labeled Cx46 and Cx50 protein as WT, whereas they had equivalent labeled AQP0 protein as WT. Both Ca2+ and Na+ accumulated significantly in the core of GPX-1 KO lenses. In summary, the major effect on lens transport of GPX-1 KO was a reduction in gap junction coupling conductance. This reduction affected the lens normal circulation by causing [Na+]i and [Ca2+]i to increase, which could increase cataract susceptibility in GPX-1 KO lenses.
PMCID: PMC4470390  PMID: 19067024
Glutathione peroxidase-1; Connexin 46; Connexin 50; Aquaporin 0; Intracellular calcium; Intracellular sodium
5.  Successful Treatment of Multifocal Histiocytic Sarcoma Occurring after Renal Transplantation with Cladribine, High-Dose Cytarabine, G-CSF, and Mitoxantrone (CLAG-M) Followed by Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation 
Case Reports in Hematology  2015;2015:728260.
Histiocytic sarcoma (HS) is a rare, aggressive malignancy. Lesions previously called HS were typically non-Hodgkin lymphomas, not HS. As such, chemotherapy directed at lymphoid neoplasms was frequently successful, but it is unclear if these regimens are ideal for HS. We present a 33-year-old African gentleman who underwent sequential renal transplants for glomerulonephritis. He subsequently developed HS of the upper airway and multiple cutaneous sites. The patient received cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (CHOP) followed by salvage ifosfamide, carboplatin, and etoposide (ICE) but had continuous progression of cutaneous involvement. Cladribine, high-dose cytarabine, G-CSF, and mitoxantrone (CLAG-M) yielded a partial response with near resolution of disease. Ultimately, the patient achieved a complete remission after myeloablative allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant. HS occurring after solid organ transplant raises the possibility of HS as a potential posttransplant malignancy. The use of CLAG-M has not been reported in HS. In this case, histiocyte-directed chemotherapy with CLAG-M was superior to lymphoma-directed regimens.
PMCID: PMC4475737  PMID: 26167311
6.  Downregulation of TNIP1 Expression Leads to Increased Proliferation of Human Keratinocytes and Severer Psoriasis-Like Conditions in an Imiquimod-Induced Mouse Model of Dermatitis 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(6):e0127957.
Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease involving both environmental and genetic factors. According to genome-wide association studies (GWAS), the TNIP1 gene, which encodes the TNF-α–induced protein 3-interacting protein 1 (TNIP1), is strongly linked to the susceptibility of psoriasis. TNIP1 is a widely expressed ubiquitin sensor that binds to the ubiquitin-editing protein A20 and restricts TNF- and TLR-induced signals. In our study, TNIP1 expression decreased in specimens of epidermis affected by psoriasis. Based on previous studies suggesting a role for TNIP1 in modulating cancer cell growth, we investigated its role in keratinocyte proliferation, which is clearly abnormal in psoriasis. To mimic the downregulation or upregulation of TNIP1 in HaCaT cells and primary human keratinocytes (PHKs), we used a TNIP1 specific small interfering hairpin RNA (TNIP1 shRNA) lentiviral vector or a recombinant TNIP1 (rTNIP1) lentiviral vector, respectively. Blocking TNIP1 expression increased keratinocyte proliferation, while overexpression of TNIP1 decreased keratinocyte proliferation. Furthermore, we showed that TNIP1 signaling might involve extracellular signal-regulated kinase1/2 (Erk1/2) and CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein β (C/EBPβ) activity. Intradermal injection of TNIP1 shRNA in BALB/c mice led to exaggerated psoriatic conditions in imiquimod (IMQ)-induced psoriasis-like dermatitis. These findings indicate that TNIP1 has a protective role in psoriasis and therefore could be a promising therapeutic target.
PMCID: PMC4457880  PMID: 26046540
7.  P2RX7 sensitizes Mac-1/ICAM-1-dependent leukocyte-endothelial adhesion and promotes neurovascular injury during septic encephalopathy 
Cell Research  2015;25(6):674-690.
Septic encephalopathy (SE) is a critical factor determining sepsis mortality. Vascular inflammation is known to be involved in SE, but the molecular events that lead to the development of encephalopathy remain unclear. Using time-lapse in vivo two-photon laser scanning microscopy, we provide the first direct evidence that cecal ligation and puncture in septic mice induces microglial trafficking to sites adjacent to leukocyte adhesion on inflamed cerebral microvessels. Our data further demonstrate that septic injury increased the chemokine CXCL1 level in brain endothelial cells by activating endothelial P2RX7 and eventually enhanced the binding of Mac-1 (CD11b/CD18)-expressing leukocytes to endothelial ICAM-1. In turn, leukocyte adhesion upregulated endothelial CX3CL1, thereby triggering microglia trafficking to the injured site. The sepsis-induced increase in endothelial CX3CL1 was abolished in CD18 hypomorphic mutant mice. Inhibition of the P2RX7 pathway not only decreased endothelial ICAM-1 expression and leukocyte adhesion but also prevented microglia overactivation, reduced brain injury, and consequently doubled the early survival of septic mice. These results demonstrate the role of the P2RX7 pathway in linking neurovascular inflammation to brain damage in vivo and provide a rationale for targeting endothelial P2RX7 for neurovascular protection during SE.
PMCID: PMC4456628  PMID: 25998681
septic encephalopathy; leukocyte adhesion; P2RX7; ICAM-1; two-photon imaging; microglia; neurovascular injury
8.  Exome sequencing identifies novel compound heterozygous IFNA4 and IFNA10 mutations as a cause of impaired function in Crohn’s disease patients 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:10514.
Previous studies have highlighted the role of genetic predispositions in disease, and several genes had been identified as important in Crohn’s disease (CD). However, many of these genes are likely rare and not associated with susceptibility in Chinese CD patients. We found 294 shared identical variants in the CD patients of which 26 were validated by Sanger sequencing. Two heterozygous IFN variants (IFNA10 c.60 T > A; IFNA4 c.60 A > T) were identified as significantly associated with CD susceptibility. The single-nucleotide changes alter a cysteine situated before the signal peptide cleavage site to a stop code (TGA) in IFNA10 result in the serum levels of IFNA10 were significantly decreased in the CD patients compared to the controls. Furthermore, the IFNA10 and IFNA4 mutants resulted in an impairment of the suppression of HCV RNA replication in HuH7 cells, and the administration of the recombinant IFN subtypes restored DSS-induced colonic inflammation through the upregulation of CD4+ Treg cells. We identified heterozygous IFNA10 and IFNA4 variants as a cause of impaired function and CD susceptibility genes in Chinese patients from multiple center based study. These findings might provide clues in the understanding of the genetic heterogeneity of CD and lead to better screening and improved treatment.
PMCID: PMC4441321  PMID: 26000985
9.  Treponemal antibody in CSF and cellular immunity in peripheral blood of syphilitic patients with persisting positive rapid plasma regain 
The ratio of patients with RPR constant positive more than 2 years despite receiving standard syphilis treatment has been reported to be 11.54%~31.3%. The current interpretations on this phenomenon are cellular immune function restrained and the existence of neurosyphilis or asymptomatic neurosyphilis. We conducted this study to detect the treponemal antibody in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and lymphocyte subsets in peripheral blood of syphilis patients with persisting RPR positive more than 2 years without neurologic signs, and then explore their relationship. In this study, Treponemal antibody in CSF of 46 syphilitic with HIV negative were measured by syphilis serum test and compared with that of 5 neurosyphilis. Lymphocyte subsets were measured by flow cytometry (FCM) and compared with that of 30 healthy controls. We observed that treponemal antibody in CSF was detected not only in 12 cases (25.21%) of 46 treated patients, but also in 5 neurosyphilis. The ratio of lymphocyte subsets revealed that CD3+, CD4+ T cells and natural killer (NK) cells showed no significant differences between the patient and healthy controls (P > 0.05), while CD8+ T cells in patients were significant higher than that in healthy controls (P < 0.001). Lymphocyte subsets showed no significant differences between the patients with treponemal antibody positive and negative in CSF (P > 0.05). In conclusion, the treponemal antibody in CSF of treated patients suggests that part of them were asymptomatic neurosyphilis and with cellular immunodifeciency. And there is no significant relationship between asymptomatic neurosyphilis and cellular immunodeficiency in peripheral blood.
PMCID: PMC4503167  PMID: 26191296
Syphilis; neurosyphilis; cerebrospinal fluid (CSF); T-lymphocyte subsets; natural killer cell; RPR
10.  Dysregulation of the miR-34a-SIRT1 axis inhibits breast cancer stemness 
Oncotarget  2015;6(12):10432-10444.
Enforced expression of miR-34a eliminates cancer stem cells in some malignant tumors. Sirtuin-1 (SIRT1) is a direct target of miR-34a. Here we found low levels of miR-34a and high levels of SIRT1 in CD44+/CD24− breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs). MiR-34a overexpression and knockdown of SIRT1 decreased proportion of BSCSs and mammosphere formation. Expression of CSC markers, ALDH1, BMI1 and Nanog was decreased. In nude mice xenografts, stable expression of miR-34a and silencing of SIRT1 reduced tumor burden. Taken together, our results demonstrated that miR-34a inhibits proliferative potential of BCSCs in vitro and in vivo, at least partially by downregulating SIRT1. The miR-34a-SIRT1 axis may play role in self-renewal of BCSCs.
PMCID: PMC4496365  PMID: 25826085
miR-34α; SIRT1; CD44+/CD24−BCSCs; stemness
11.  Urinary Levels of High Mobility Group Box-1 Are Associated with Disease Activity in Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic Autoantibody-Associated Vasculitis 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(4):e0123586.
High mobility group box-1 (HMGB1), a kind of pro-inflammatory mediator, is associated with inflammatory conditions and tissue damage. Our previous study demonstrated that the circulating levels of HMGB1 correlated with disease activity of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV). In the current study, we aimed to measure urinary levels of HMGB1 in AAV patients, correlated them to clinical activity index and analysed the immunohistochemical HMGB1 staining in kidney specimens.
50 patients with AAV in active stage and 56 patients with AAV in remission were recruited. The urinary levels of HMGB1 were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Moreover, renal biopsy specimens from 27 patients with active AAV were randomly collected to evaluate the deposition of HMGB1.
Urinary HMGB1 levels in AAV patients in active stage were significantly higher than those in AAV patients in remission and healthy controls (1.46 [0.56-3.43] versus 0.38 [0.10-1.35] mg/μmolCr, P=0.001; 1.46 [0.56-3.43] versus 0.48 [0.40-0.60] mg/μmolCr, P=0.000, respectively). Further analysis found that urinary levels of HMGB1 correlated with erythrocyte sedimentation rate (r=0.354, p=0.012), C-reactive protein (r=0.289, p=0.042), and Birmingham Vasculitis Activity Score (r=0.350, p=0.013). Renal tissue of active AAV patients showed HMGB1 was mainly expressed in the cytoplasm and the extracellular space. The percentage of HMGB1-negative nuclei in renal tissue of patients with active AAV was significantly higher than that in normal controls (60.6±20.2 % versus 2.7±0.6 %, p<0.01).
Urinary levels of HMGB1 may be associated with the disease activity in AAV patients.
PMCID: PMC4401773  PMID: 25884225
12.  Double Stranded RNA–Dependent Protein Kinase Deficiency Protects the Heart from Systolic Overload-Induced Congestive Heart Failure 
Circulation  2014;129(13):1397-1406.
Double stranded RNA–dependent protein kinase (PKR) is a eukaryotic initiation factor 2α kinase that inhibits mRNA translation under stress conditions. PKR also mediates inflammatory and apoptotic signaling independent of translational regulation. Congestive heart failure (CHF) is associated with cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, inflammation, and apoptosis, but the role of PKR in left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy and development of CHF has not been examined.
Methods and Results
We observed an increased myocardial PKR expression and translocation of PKR into the nucleus in humans and mice with CHF. To determine the impact of PKR in the development of CHF, PKR knockout and wild-type mice were exposed to pressure overload produced by transverse aortic constriction (TAC). Though heart size increased similarly in wild-type and PKR knockout mice after TAC, PKR knockout mice exhibited very little pulmonary congestion, well preserved LV ejection fraction and contractility, and significantly less myocardial fibrosis as compared to wild-type mice. Bone marrow-derived cells (BMDCs) from wild-type mice did not abolish the cardiac protective effect observed in PKR knockout mice, while BMDCs from PKR knockout mice had no cardiac protective effect in wild-type mice. Mechanistically, PKR knockout attenuated TAC-induced TNF-α expression and leukocyte infiltration, and lowered cardiac expression of pro-apoptotic factors (Bax and Caspase-3) so that PKR knockout hearts were more resistant to TAC-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis. PKR depletion in isolated cardiomyocytes also conferred protection against TNF-α or LPS-induced apoptosis.
PKR is a maladaptive factor up-regulated in hemodynamic overload that contributes to myocardial inflammation, cardiomyocyte apoptosis and development of CHF.
PMCID: PMC3972332  PMID: 24463368
heart failure; double stranded RNA–dependent protein kinase; inflammation; apoptosis
13.  Metformin protects against systolic overload-induced heart failure independent of AMP-activated protein kinase α2 
Hypertension  2014;63(4):723-728.
Activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) α2 protects the heart against pressure overload-induced heart failure in mice. Although metformin is a known activator of AMPK, it is unclear whether its cardio-protection acts independently of an AMPKα2-dependent pathway. Because the role of AMPKα1 stimulation on remodeling of failing hearts is poorly defined, we first studied the effects of disruption of both the AMPKα1 and AMPKα2 genes on the response to transverse aortic constriction (TAC)-induced left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy and dysfunction in mice. AMPKα2 gene knockout (KO) significantly exacerbated the degree of TAC-induced LV hypertrophy and dysfunction, whereas AMPKα1 gene KO had no effect on the degree of TAC-induced LV hypertrophy and dysfunction. Administration of metformin to both wild type (WT) and AMPKa2 KO mice attenuated the degree of TAC-induced LV remodeling, as evidenced by reduced LV and lung weights, a more favorable body weight to tibia length ratio, preserved LV ejection fraction, and lower levels of p-mTORser2481 and p-p70S6KThr389. These data support the notion that activation of AMPKα1 plays a negligible role in protecting the heart against the adverse effects of chronic pressure overload, and that metformin protects against adverse remodeling through a pathway that appears independent of AMPKα2.
PMCID: PMC4026291  PMID: 24420540
metformin; heart failure
14.  Re-annotation of presumed noncoding disease/trait-associated genetic variants by integrative analyses 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:9453.
Using RefSeq annotations, most disease/trait-associated genetic variants identified by genome-wide association studies (GWAS) appear to be located within intronic or intergenic regions, which makes it difficult to interpret their functions. We reassessed GWAS-Associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms (herein termed as GASs) for their potential functionalities using integrative approaches. 8834 of 9184 RefSeq “noncoding” GASs were reassessed to have potential regulatory functionalities. As examples, 3 variants (rs3130320, rs3806932 and rs6890853) were shown to have regulatory properties in HepG2, A549 and 293T cells. Except rs3130320 as a known expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL), rs3806932 and rs6890853 were not reported as eQTLs in previous reports. 1999 of 9184 “noncoding” GASs were re-annotated to the promoters or intragenic regions using Ensembl, UCSC and AceView gene annotations but they were not annotated into corresponding regions in RefSeq database. Moreover, these GAS-harboring genes were broadly expressed across different tissues and a portion of them was expressed in a tissue-specific manner, suggesting that they could be functional. Collectively, our study demonstrates the benefits of using integrative analyses to interpret genetic variants and may help to predict or explain disease susceptibility more accurately and comprehensively.
PMCID: PMC4377585  PMID: 25819875
15.  High mobility group box 1 contributes to anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-induced neutrophils activation through receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) and Toll-like receptor 4 
High mobility group box-1 (HMGB1), a typical damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP) protein, is associated with inflammatory conditions and tissue damage. Our recent study found that circulating HMGB1 levels could reflect the disease activity of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV). The current study aimed to investigate whether HMGB1 participated in ANCA-induced neutrophil activation, which is one of the most important pathogenic aspects in the development of AAV.
The various effects of HMGB1 in ANCA-induced neutrophil activation were measured. Antagonists for relevant receptors and signaling molecules were employed.
ANCA antigens translocation on neutrophils primed with HMGB1 was significantly higher than non-primed neutrophils. The levels of respiratory burst and degranulation increased significantly in HMGB1-primed neutrophils activated with ANCA-positive IgG, as compared with non-primed neutrophils. Furthermore, blocking Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE), rather than TLR2, resulted in a significant decrease in HMGB1-induced ANCA antigens translocation, respiratory burst and degranulation. Similar effects were also found when blocking MyD88 and NF-κB.
HMGB1 could prime neutrophils by increasing ANCA antigens translocation, and the primed neutrophils could be further induced by ANCA, resulting in the respiratory burst and degranulation. This process is TLR4- and RAGE-dependent through the MyD88/NF-κB pathway.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13075-015-0587-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4382936  PMID: 25889374
16.  Clinical and pathological characteristics of adrenal lymphangioma treated by laparoscopy via a retroperitoneal approach: experience and analysis of 7 cases 
To describe the clinical and pathological characteristics of adrenal lymphangioma (AL) and share our experiences of the treatment of AL with retroperitoneal laparoscopic surgery. All patients pathologically diagnosed with AL were examined. The clinical and pathological characteristics, process of diagnosis, and preparation and treatment of all patients, especially patients treated with laparoscopic surgery, were summarized and retrospectively analyzed. From January 2008 to May 2014, 8 patients underwent adrenalectomies and were diagnosed with AL in our hospital. The median age was 45.5 years. All of these patients experienced a smooth adrenalectomy: 7 performed by laparoscopy via a retroperitoneal approach and 1 performed by open surgery. Five were female and the other 3 were male. These patients had unilateral adrenal lesions. Four were located on the right which to be same as the contralateral. In addition, 1 specimen was assayed by immunohistochemistry (IHC), which revealed positive results for CD31, CD34, Factor VIII-related antigen and D2-40, and negative results for cytokeratin AE1/AE3. During a brief follow up, all patients exhibited favorable results without discomfort. AL is a benign lesion with mild bio-behavior and patients are generally asymptomatic. The use of computerized tomography (CT) combined with enhanced CT has a superior advantage in diagnosis. Laparoscopic adrenalectomies that are performed via a retroperitoneal approach would be a very safe and efficient choice for AL treatment. D2-40 can be considered as a specific IHC marker in the pathological diagnosis of AL. However, pheochromocytoma and adrenal tuberculosis should be ruled out before and during the operation.
PMCID: PMC4443166  PMID: 26064332
Adrenal lymphangioma; laparoscopic; retroperitoneal; adrenalectomy
17.  Multimodality therapy is recommended for limited-stage combined small cell esophageal carcinoma 
OncoTargets and therapy  2015;8:437-444.
Background and aim
Limited-stage combined small cell esophageal carcinoma (LS-C-SCEC) is a rare, poorly understood, underdiagnosed disease, with components of both small cell esophageal cancer and non–small cell esophageal cancer. We investigated the optimal treatment strategy and prognostic factors in patients with LS-C-SCEC.
Patients and methods
LS-C-SCEC patients included in the analysis (from our hospital and the literature) were treated between January 1966 and December 2013. Patient treatment strategies included surgery (S), chemotherapy (CT), and radiation therapy (RT). The primary end point was overall survival (OS); the secondary end points included tumor complete response rates, patterns of failure, and toxicity. Kaplan–Meier curves were compared with the log-rank test. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to determine prognosticators for OS.
A total of 72 patients were included in the analysis: 24 (33%) from our hospital and 48 (67%) from the literature. The median OS of all patients was 15.0 months. Patients who received CT had a significantly longer median OS than did those who did not (OS 22.8 months vs 10.0 months) (P=0.03). Patients treated with multimodality therapy (including RT+CT [18%], S+CT [40%], or S+RT+CT [17%]) vs monotherapy (typically, S [18%]) had significantly improved OS (15.5 months vs 9.3 months) (P=0.02) and complete response rates. On multivariate analysis, tumor location (upper third of the esophagus) and type of treatment (monotherapy) were the only factors predictive of poor OS.
Multimodality therapy (including RT+CT, S+CT, or S+RT+CT) improves OS for patients with LS-C-SCEC compared with monotherapy (typically, S). Additional studies are necessary to personalize multimodal treatment approaches to individual patients.
PMCID: PMC4335610  PMID: 25709477
esophageal neoplasm; small cell; radiation therapy; surgery; chemotherapy
18.  Electroacupuncture activates enteric glial cells and protects the gut barrier in hemorrhaged rats 
AIM: To investigate whether electroacupuncture ST36 activates enteric glial cells, and alleviates gut inflammation and barrier dysfunction following hemorrhagic shock.
METHODS: Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to approximately 45% total blood loss and randomly divided into seven groups: (1) sham: cannulation, but no hemorrhage; (2) subjected to hemorrhagic shock (HS); (3) electroacupuncture (EA) ST36 after hemorrhage; (4) vagotomy (VGX)/EA: VGX before hemorrhage, then EA ST36; (5) VGX: VGX before hemorrhage; (6) α-bungarotoxin (BGT)/EA: intraperitoneal injection of α-BGT before hemorrhage, then EA ST36; and (7) α-BGT group: α-BGT injection before hemorrhage. Morphological changes in enteric glial cells (EGCs) were observed by immunofluorescence, and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP; a protein marker of enteric glial activation) was evaluated using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis. Intestinal cytokine levels, gut permeability to 4-kDa fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-dextran, and the expression and distribution of tight junction protein zona occludens (ZO)-1 were also determined.
RESULTS: EGCs were distorted following hemorrhage and showed morphological abnormalities. EA ST36 attenuated the morphological changes in EGCs at 6 h, as compared with the VGX, α-BGT and HS groups. EA ST36 increased GFAP expression to a greater degree than in the other groups. EA ST36 decreased intestinal permeability to FITC-dextran (760.5 ± 96.43 ng/mL vs 2466.7 ± 131.60 ng/mL, P < 0.05) and preserved ZO-1 protein expression and localization at 6 h after hemorrhage compared with the HS group. However, abdominal VGX and α-BGT treatment weakened or eliminated the effects of EA ST36. EA ST36 reduced tumor necrosis factor-α levels in intestinal homogenates after blood loss, while vagotomy or intraperitoneal injection of α-BGT before EA ST36 abolished its anti-inflammatory effects.
CONCLUSION: EA ST36 attenuates hemorrhage-induced intestinal inflammatory insult, and protects the intestinal barrier integrity, partly via activation of EGCs.
PMCID: PMC4316089  PMID: 25663766
Hemorrhagic shock; Electroacupuncture; ST36; Cytokines; Intestinal barrier; Enteric glial cells
19.  The multifaceted role of CD146/MCAM in the promotion of melanoma progression 
Human malignant melanoma is a common primary malignant cutaneous tumour derived from transformed epidermal melanocytes. Patients with melanoma have a high rate of mortality due to resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs, a major obstacle to a successful treatment. Several reports have suggested that CD146 plays an important role as a signalling molecule in human melanoma. This role includes CD146 as a participant in inflammation, differentiation, adhesion, tumourigenicity, metastasis, invasion and angiogenesis among other processes, which suggests that this molecule promotes the progression of human melanoma as a multifaceted regulator. In this article, we explore the effects and corresponding mechanisms with respect to the role of CD146/MUC18 in the promotion of human melanoma progression. Collectively, the studies indicated that targeting CD146, because it is a suitable marker of poor patient outcome, might be useful in the design of future strategies for the prevention and treatment of human melanoma.
PMCID: PMC4326486  PMID: 25685061
CD146/MCAM; Melanoma; Structure; Mechanism; Metastasis; Angiogenesis
20.  Doxapram hastens the recovery following total intravenous anesthesia with dexmedetomidine, propofol and remifentanil 
Dexmedetomidine is a suitable sedative for awake fiberoptic intubation in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). However, previous studies have shown that dexmedetomidine delays recovery from propofol-remifentanil anesthesia. This study aimed to determine whether doxapram may hasten the recovery following dexmedotomidine-propofol-remifentanil anesthesia. Sixty patients scheduled for uvulopalatopharyngoplasty with total intravenous anesthesia were randomized to two groups according to the medicine given at the end of surgery. These were the doxapram (1 mg/kg) and control (normal saline) groups (n=30 per group). The primary outcome was the time to eye opening on verbal command. The time to return to spontaneous breathing, to hand squeezing in response to verbal command, to extubation of the trachea, and the heart rate (HR), bispectral index (BIS) values, respiratory rate (RR) and pulse oximetry values were also recorded and compared. The time to return to spontaneous breathing (5.2±2.9 vs. 11.7±3.4 min, P<0.001), eye opening (9.3±4.7 vs. 15.9±6.3 min, P<0.001), hand squeeze to command (11.8±6.5 vs. 17.6±7.7 min, P=0.0026) and extubation (14.2±7.8 vs. 19.2±9.6 min, P=0.0308) were significantly shorter in the doxapram group compared with the control group. BIS scores (at 3–14 min), RR (at 4–10 min) and HR (at 2–13 min) were significantly higher in the doxapram group compared with those in the control group (P<0.05). Doxapram hastens the recovery from dexmedetomidine-propofol-remifentanil anesthesia in patients undergoing uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, and may benefit patients with OSA.
PMCID: PMC4353763  PMID: 25780462
doxapram; dexmedetomidine; propofol; remifentanil; obstructive sleep apnea
22.  Huaier aqueous extract induces apoptosis of human fibrosarcoma HT1080 cells through the mitochondrial pathway 
Oncology Letters  2015;9(4):1590-1596.
In recent years, aqueous extract of Trametes robiniophila Murr. (Huaier), a traditional Chinese medicine, has been frequently used in China for complementary cancer therapy. However, the mechanisms underlying its anticancer effects have yet to be elucidated. The present study aimed to evaluate the ability of Huaier extract to inhibit proliferation, promote apoptosis and suppress mobility in the fibrosarcoma HT1080 cell line in vitro. The cells were treated with gradient doses of Huaier extract at concentrations of 0, 4, 8 or 16 mg/ml for 24, 48 or 72 h. The cell viability and motility were measured in vitro using MTT, invasive, migration and scratch assays. The distribution of the cell cycle and the extent of cellular apoptosis were analyzed by flow cytometry. The apoptotic pathways were detected using a mitochondrial membrane potential transition assay and western blotting. The results revealed that the cellular viability decreased significantly with increasing concentrations of Huaier extract. In addition, cell invasiveness and migration were also suppressed significantly. It was demonstrated that Huaier extract induced G2 cell-cycle arrest and cellular apoptosis in a time- and dose-dependent manner. The decreased mitochondrial membrane potential, the downregulation of B-cell lymphoma 2 and pro-caspase-3, and upregulation of Bcl-2-associated X protein, cleaved caspase-9 and caspase-3 suggested that Huaier extract induced the apoptosis of HT1080 cells through the mitochondrial pathway. The results of the present study indicate that Huaier extract is a potential complementary agent for the treatment of fibrosarcoma.
PMCID: PMC4356327  PMID: 25789006
HT1080 cells; Huaier aqueous extract; apoptosis; mitochondrial pathway; cell motility
23.  The glycosyltransferase involved in thurandacin biosynthesis catalyzes both O- and S-glycosylation 
The S-glycosyltransferase SunS is a recently discovered enzyme that selectively catalyzes the conjugation of carbohydrates to the cysteine thiol of proteins. This study reports the discovery of a second S-glycosyltransferase, ThuS, and shows that ThuS catalyzes both S-glycosylation of the thiol of cysteine and O-glycosylation of the hydroxyl group of serine in peptide substrates. ThuS-catalyzed S-glycosylation is more efficient than O-glycosylation and the enzyme demonstrates high tolerance with respect to both nucleotide sugars and peptide substrates. The biosynthesis of the putative products of the thuS gene cluster were reconstituted in vitro and the resulting S-glycosylated peptides thurandacin A and thurandacin B exhibit highly selective antimicrobial activity towards Bacillus thuringiensis.
PMCID: PMC3913795  PMID: 24325644
24.  The simulated microgravity enhances multipotential differentiation capacity of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells 
Cytotechnology  2013;66(1):119-131.
Multi-differentiation capability is an essential characteristic of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs). Method on obtaining higher-quality stem cells with an improved differentiation potential has gained significant attention for the treatment of clinical diseases and developmental biology. In our study, we investigated the multipotential differentiation capacity of BMSCs under simulated microgravity (SMG) condition. F-actin staining found that cytoskeleton took on a time-dependent change under SMG condition, which caused spindle to round morphological change of the cultured cells. Quantitative PCR and Western Blotting showed the pluripotency marker OCT4 was up-regulated in the SMG condition especially after SMG of 72 h, which we observed would be the most appropriate SMG duration for enhancing pluripotency of BMSCs. After dividing BMSCs into normal gravity (NG) group and SMG group, we induced them respectively in endothelium oriented, adipogenic and neuronal induction media. Immunostaining and Western Blotting found that endothelium oriented differentiated BMSCs expressed higher VWF and CD31 in the SMG group than in the NG group. The neuron-like cells derived from BMSCs in the SMG group also expressed higher level of MAP2 and NF-H. Furthermore, the quantity of induced adipocytes increased in the SMG group compared to the NG group shown by Oil Red O staining, The expression of PPARγ2 increased significantly under SMG condition. Therefore, we demonstrated that SMG could promote BMSCs to differentiate into many kinds of cells and predicted that enhanced multi-potential differentiation capacity response in BMSCs following SMG might be relevant to the changes of cytoskeleton and the stem cell marker OCT4.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10616-013-9544-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3886541  PMID: 23579245
Simulated microgravity; Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells; Pluripotency; Differentiation; OCT4
25.  Fitting magnetic field gradient with Heisenberg-scaling accuracy 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:7390.
The linear function is possibly the simplest and the most used relation appearing in various areas of our world. A linear relation can be generally determined by the least square linear fitting (LSLF) method using several measured quantities depending on variables. This happens for such as detecting the gradient of a magnetic field. Here, we propose a quantum fitting scheme to estimate the magnetic field gradient with N-atom spins preparing in W state. Our scheme combines the quantum multi-parameter estimation and the least square linear fitting method to achieve the quantum Cramér-Rao bound (QCRB). We show that the estimated quantity achieves the Heisenberg-scaling accuracy. Our scheme of quantum metrology combined with data fitting provides a new method in fast high precision measurements.
PMCID: PMC4260217  PMID: 25487218

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