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.
Burn-induced gut dysfunction plays an important role in the development of sepsis and multiple organ dysfunction. Emerging evidence suggests that hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) is critical in paracelluar barrier functions via regulating vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) expression. Previous studies have also demonstrated that histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs) can repress HIF-1α. This study aims to examine whether valproic acid (VPA), a HDACI, protects against burn-induced gut barrier dysfunction via repressing HIF-1α-dependent upregulation of VEGF and MLCK expression.
Rats were subjected to third degree 55% TBSA burns and treated with/ without VPA (300mg/kg). Intestinal barrier dysfunction was evaluated by permeability of intestinal mucosa to fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-dextran and histologic evaluation. Histone acetylation, tight junction protein zonula occludens 1 (ZO-1), VEGF, MLCK and HIF-1α were measured. In addition, CaCO2 cells were transfected with siRNA directed against HIF-1α and were stimulated with CoCl2 (1mM) for 24 hours with/without VPA (2mM) followed by analysis of HIF-1α, MLCK, VEGF and ZO-1.
Burn insults resulted in a significant increase in intestinal permeability and mucosal damage, accompanied by a significant reduction in histone acetylation, ZO-1, upregulation of VEGF, MLCK expression, and an increase in HIF-1α accumulation. VPA significantly attenuated the increase in intestinal permeability, mucosa damage, histone deacetylation and changes in ZO-1 expression. VPA also attenuated the increased VEGF, MLCK and HIF-1α protein levels. VPA reduced HIF-1α, MLCK and VEGF production and prevented ZO-1 loss in CoCl2-stimulated Caco-2 cells. Moreover, transfection of siRNA directed against HIF-1α led to inhibition of MLCK and VEGF production, accompanied by upregulation of ZO-1.
These results indicate that VPA can protect against burn-induced gut barrier dysfunction. These protective effects may be due to its inhibitory action on HIF-1α, leading to a reduction in intestinal VEGF and MLCK expression and minimizing ZO-1 degradation.
The western borderland between Yunnan Province, China, and Myanmar is characterized by a climate that facilitates year-round production of mosquitoes. Numerous mosquito-transmitted viruses, including Japanese encephalitis virus circulate in this area. This project was to describe seasonal patterns in mosquito species abundance and arbovirus activity in the mosquito populations.
Mosquitoes were collected in Mangshi and Ruili cities of Dehong Prefecture near the border of China and Burma in Yunnan Province, the Peoples Republic of China in 2010. We monitored mosquito species abundance for a 12-month period using ultraviolet light, carbon dioxide baited CDC light and gravid traps; and tested the captured mosquitoes for the presence of virus to evaluate mosquito-virus associations in rural/agricultural settings in the area.
A total of 43 species of mosquitoes from seven genera were collected, including 15 Culex species, 15 Anopheles spp., four Aedes spp., three Armigeres spp., one Mimomyia spp., two Uranotaenia spp. and three Mansonia spp.. Species richness and diversity varied between Mangshi and Ruili. Culex tritaeniorhynchus, Culex quinquefasciatus, Anopheles sinensis and Anopheles peditaeniatus were the most abundant species in both sampling sites. Ultraviolet light traps collected more specimens than CDC light traps baited with dry ice, though both collected the same variety of mosquito species. The CDC gravid trap was the most effective trap for capture of Culex quinquefasciatus, a species underrepresented in light trap collections. A total of 26 virus strains were isolated, which included 13 strains of Japanese encephalitis virus, four strains of Getah virus, one strain of Oya virus, one strain from the orbivirus genus, and seven strains of Culex pipien pallens densovirus.
The present study illustrates the value of monitoring mosquito populations and mosquito-transmitted viruses year-round in areas where the climate supports year-round adult mosquito activity.
Aberrant cardiomyocyte microtubule growth is a feature of pressure overload induced cardiac hypertrophy believed to contribute to left ventricular (LV) dysfunction. Microtubule Actin Cross-linking Factor 1 (MACF1/Acf7) is a 600 kd spectraplakin that stabilizes and guides microtubule growth along actin filaments. MACF1 is expressed in the heart, but its impact on cardiac microtubules, and how this influences cardiac structure, function, and adaptation to hemodynamic overload is unknown. Here we used inducible cardiac-specific MACF1 knockout mice (MACF1 KO) to determine the impact of MACF1 on cardiac microtubules and adaptation to pressure overload (transverse aortic constriction (TAC).In adult mouse hearts, MACF1 expression was low under basal conditions, but increased significantly in response to TAC. While MACF1 KO had no observable effect on heart size or function under basal conditions, MACF1 KO exacerbated TAC induced LV hypertrophy, LV dilation and contractile dysfunction. Interestingly, subcellular fractionation of ventricular lysates revealed that MACF1 KO altered microtubule distribution in response to TAC, so that more tubulin was associated with the cell membrane fraction. Moreover, TAC induced microtubule redistribution into this cell membrane fraction in both WT and MACF1 KO mice correlated strikingly with the level of contractile dysfunction (r2 = 0.786, p<.001). MACF1 disruption also resulted in reduction of membrane caveolin 3 levels, and increased levels of membrane PKCα and β1 integrin after TAC, suggesting MACF1 function is important for spatial regulation of several physiologically relevant signaling proteins during hypertrophy. Together, these data identify for the first time, a role for MACF1 in cardiomyocyte microtubule distribution and in adaptation to hemodynamic overload.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can lead to an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC). The aim of this study was to establish a model for combined bone marrow transplantation (BMT) and colitis-associated colorectal cancer (CAC) and to define the contribution of BM-derived cells during the inflammation associated with carcinogenesis. We established a model for BMT using green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgenic mice, followed by AOM/DSS-induced CAC, and performed confocal microscopy analysis on in vivo living tissue and frozen tumor sections. Our imaging analyses showed that GFP-positive cells extensively infiltrated the tumor stroma and that some WGA and GFP or CD31 and GFP double-positive cells were observed in the lining of tumor vessels. Flow cytometry analysis of the tumor-infiltrating cells showed that the GFP-positive CD11c+ DCs cells were one-third of the GFP+/CD11C- cells, and that half of these DCs (0.96% vs 1.02%) were GFP-positive BM-derived cells. The majority of CD4+ T cells were GFP-negative (12.02% vs 1.9%), and we discovered a novel CD4+ CD11c+ DC subset (0.34% vs 1.64%). In conclusion, we defined the distribution of BM-derived endothelial cells, CD11c+ DCs and CD4+ T cells in tumors. This model might be useful for elucidating the diverse BM-derived cell types and functions during the progression of colitis-associated colorectal cancer.
Neuropathic pain is an intractable clinical problem. Drug treatments such as tramadol have been reported to effectively decrease neuropathic pain by inhibiting the activity of nociceptive neurons. It has also been reported that modulating glial activation could also prevent or reverse neuropathic pain via the administration of a glial modulator or inhibitor, such as propentofylline. Thus far, there has been no clinical strategy incorporating both neuronal and glial participation for treating neuropathic pain. Therefore, the present research study was designed to assess whether coadministration of tramadol and propentofylline, as neuronal and glial activation inhibitors, respectively, would exert a synergistic effect on the reduction of rat spinal nerve ligation (SNL)-induced neuropathic pain. Rats underwent SNL surgery to induce neuropathic pain. Pain behavioral tests were conducted to ascertain the effect of drugs on SNL-induced mechanical allodynia with von-Frey hairs. Proinflammatory factor interleukin-1β (IL-1β) expression was also detected by Real-time RT-PCR. Intrathecal tramadol and propentofylline administered alone relieved SNL-induced mechanical allodynia in a dose-dependent manner. Tramadol and propentofylline coadministration exerted a more potent effect in a synergistic and dose dependent manner than the intrathecal administration of either drug alone. Real-time RT-PCR demonstrated IL-1β up-expression in the ipsilateral spinal dorsal horn after the lesion, which was significantly decreased by tramadol and propentofylline coadministration. Inhibiting proinflammatory factor IL-1β contributed to the synergistic effects of tramadol and propentofylline coadministration on rat peripheral nerve injury-induced neuropathic pain. Thus, our study provided a rationale for utilizing a novel strategy for treating neuropathic pain by blocking the proinflammatory factor related pathways in the central nervous system.
Shigella species are a common cause of acute diarrheal disease in China. In this study, we characterized the changing trends and serotype distribution of Shigella species in Beijing from 1994 to 2010. A total of 5999 Shigella strains were isolated and serotyped from the 302nd Hospital in Beijing. The annual number of Shigella isolates reached a peak (n = 1192; 19.84%) in 1996 and then decreased annually, reaching the lowest point (n = 24; 0.41%) in 2010. S. flexneri 2a and S. sonnei were the most frequently isolated Shigella, with their respective isolates making up 53.3% and 27.6% of the total. Isolates of S. flexneri 4c, 4a, and x made up 3% respectively of the total isolates. Significant decreases in percentage of S. flexneri over time were observed. S. sonnei surpassed S. flexneri 2a as the predominant serotype in 2000. Most isolates were recovered from July to September; 13.6% of the isolates were recovered from children aged 0 to 5 years, and 16% were recovered from those aged 21 to 25 years. S. flexneri 2a and 5 were recovered mostly from males (33.41%, p < 0.001; and 0.46%, p < 0.001%; respectively), whereas S. flexneri 2b and 6, and S. sonnei were most often isolated from females. Continuous monitoring of Shigella showed that all 4 species and 27 serotypes were present in Beijing, China, during the study period. The emergence of S. sonnei and the overall decreasing isolation rate of Shigella in Beijing can potentially aid in the development of vaccine and control strategies for shigellosis in the city.
Shigellosis; Shigella; Serotype; Beijing hospital
This study demonstrates a potential signaling pathway of CO2-dependent stimulation in lateral root (LR) formation. Elevated CO2 increases production of nitric oxide (NO), which subsequently stimulates the generation of cytosolic Ca2+ concentration by activating plasma membrane and/or intracellular Ca2+-permeable channels. Meanwhile, nitric oxide synthase (NOS), as one of the main NO source, requires Ca2+ and CaM as cofactors. This complex interaction involves transduction cascades of multiple signals that lead to the LR formation and development. Finally, this review highlights the the role of Ca2+ in the process that elevated CO2 enhances the development of LRs through increased NO level.
cytosolic Ca2+; elevated CO2; lateral roots; nitric oxide; nitric oxide synthase
Valvular interstitial cells (VICs) are the main population of cells found in cardiac valves. These resident fibroblastic cells play important roles in maintaining proper valve function, and their dysregulation has been linked to disease progression in humans. Despite the critical functions of VICs, their cellular composition is still not well defined for humans and other mammals. Given the limited availability of healthy human valves and the similarity in valve structure and function between humans and pigs, we characterized porcine VICs (pVICs) based on expression of cell surface proteins and sorted a specific subpopulation of pVICs to study its functions. We found that small percentages of pVICs express the progenitor cell markers ABCG2 (~5%), NG2 (~5%) or SSEA-4 (~7%), whereas another subpopulation (~5%) expresses OB–CDH, a type of cadherin expressed by myofibroblasts or osteo-progenitors. pVICs isolated from either aortic or pulmonary valves express most of these protein markers at similar levels. Interestingly, OB–CDH, NG2 and SSEA-4 all label distinct valvular subpopulations relative to each other; however, NG2 and ABCG2 are co-expressed in the same cells. ABCG2+ cells were further characterized and found to deposit more calcified matrix than ABCG2- cells upon osteogenic induction, suggesting that they may be involved in the development of osteogenic VICs during valve pathology. Cell profiling based on flow cytometry and functional studies with sorted primary cells provide not only new and quantitative information about the cellular composition of porcine cardiac valves, but also contribute to our understanding of how a subpopulation of valvular cells (ABCG2+ cells) may participate in tissue repair and disease progression.
In recent decades, the antihyperglycemic biguanide metformin has been used extensively in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, despite continuing uncertainty over its direct target. In this article, using two independent approaches, we demonstrate that cellular actions of metformin are disrupted by interference with its metal-binding properties, which have been known for over a century but little studied by biologists. We demonstrate that copper sequestration opposes known actions of metformin not only on AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-dependent signaling, but also on S6 protein phosphorylation. Biguanide/metal interactions are stabilized by extensive π-electron delocalization and by investigating analogs of metformin; we provide evidence that this intrinsic property enables biguanides to regulate AMPK, glucose production, gluconeogenic gene expression, mitochondrial respiration, and mitochondrial copper binding. In contrast, regulation of S6 phosphorylation is prevented only by direct modification of the metal-liganding groups of the biguanide structure, supporting recent data that AMPK and S6 phosphorylation are regulated independently by biguanides. Additional studies with pioglitazone suggest that mitochondrial copper is targeted by both of these clinically important drugs. Together, these results suggest that cellular effects of biguanides depend on their metal-binding properties. This link may illuminate a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms enabling antihyperglycemic drug action.
Chronic left ventricular failure causes pulmonary congestion with increased lung weight and type-2 pulmonary hypertension. Understanding the molecular mechanisms for type-2 pulmonary hypertension and the development of novel treatments for this condition requires a robust experimental animal model and a good understanding of the nature of the resultant pulmonary remodeling. Here we demonstrate that chronic transverse aortic constriction causes massive pulmonary fibrosis and remodeling, and type-2 pulmonary hypertension in mice. Thus, aortic constriction-induced left ventricular dysfunction and increased left ventricular end-diastolic pressure is associated with up to 5.3-fold increase in lung wet weight and dry weight, pulmonary hypertension and right ventricular hypertrophy. Interestingly, the aortic constriction-induced increase in lung weight was not associated with pulmonary edema, but resulted from profound pulmonary remodeling with a dramatic increase in the percentage of fully muscularized lung vessels, marked vascular and lung fibrosis, myofibroblast proliferation, and leukocyte infiltration. The aortic constriction-induced left ventricular dysfunction was also associated with right ventricular hypertrophy, increased right ventricular end-diastolic pressure and right atrial hypertrophy. The massive lung fibrosis, leukocyte infiltration and pulmonary hypertension in mice after transverse aortic constriction clearly indicate that congestive heart failure also causes severe lung disease. The lung fibrosis and leukocyte infiltration may be important mechanisms in the poor clinical outcome in patients with end-stage heart failure. Thus, the effective treatment of left ventricular failure may require additional efforts to reduce lung fibrosis and the inflammatory response.
pulmonary hypertension; transverse aortic constriction; pulmonary vascular morphology
The limited symptom relief and side effects of current Alzheimer’s disease (AD) medications warrant urgent discovery and study of new anti-AD agents. The “cholinergic hypothesis” of AD prompts us to search for plant-derived acetylcholineesterase (AChE) inhibitors such as galanthamine that has been licensed in Europe for AD treatment. We used the unique amyloid β-expressing transgenic C. elegans CL4176, which exhibits paralysis when human Aβ1–42 is induced, to study two natural benzylphenethylamine alkaloids isolated from Lycoris radiata (L’ Her.) Herb, galanthamine and haemanthidine, and their synthetic derivatives 1,2-Di-O-acetyllycorine and 1-O-acetyllycorine for their anti-paralysis effects. Our data indicate that these Lycoris compounds effectively delay the paralysis of CL4176 worms upon temperature up-shift, and prolong the lives of these transgenic worms. Lycoris compounds were shown to significantly inhibit the gene expression of ace-1 and ace-2. Additionally, the Lycoris compounds may modulate inflammatory and stress-related gene expressions to combat the Aβ-toxicity in C. elegans.
For genetic diseases that manifest at a young age with irreversible consequences, early treatment is critical and essential. Neonatal gene therapy has the advantages of achieving therapeutic effects before disease manifestation, a low vector requirement and high vector-to-cell ratio, and a relatively immature immune system. Therapeutic effects or long-term rescue of neonatal lethality have been demonstrated in several animal models. However, vigorous cell proliferation in the newborn stage is a significant challenge for nonintegrating vectors, such as adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector. Slightly delaying the injection age, and readministration at a later time, are two of the alternative strategies to solve this problem. In this study, we demonstrated robust and efficient hepatic gene transfer by self-complementary AAV8 vector in neonatal mice. However, transduction quickly decreased over a few weeks because of vector dilution caused by fast proliferation. Delaying the injection age improved sustained expression, although it also increased neutralizing antibody (NAb) responses to AAV capsid. This approach can be used to treat genetic diseases with slow progression. For genetic diseases with early onset and severe consequences, early treatment is essential. A second injection of vector of a different serotype at a later time may overcome preexisting NAb and achieve sustained therapeutic effects.
Wang and colleagues conduct a series of preclinical animal studies examining the kinetics of AAV gene transfer. They demonstrate that self-complementary AAV8 results in robust and efficient hepatic gene transfer in neonatal mice. Yet, this transduction quickly decreases over a few weeks because of vector dilution caused by rapid cell proliferation in the liver of growing young mice.
Objective. Lipid peroxidation plays a critical role in burn-induced plasma leakage, and ulinastatin has been reported to reduce lipid peroxidation in various models. This study aims to examine whether ulinastatin reduces fluid requirements through inhibition of lipid peroxidation in a swine burn model. Methods. Forty miniature swine were subjected to 40% TBSA burns and were randomly allocated to the following four groups: immediate lactated Ringer's resuscitation (ILR), immediate LR containing ulinastatin (ILR/ULI), delayed LR resuscitation (DLR), and delayed LR containing ulinastatin (DLR/ULI). Hemodynamic variables, net fluid accumulation, and plasma thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) concentrations were measured. Heart, liver, lung, skeletal muscle, and ileum were harvested at 48 hours after burn for evaluation of TBARS concentrations, activities of antioxidant enzymes, and tissue water content. Results. Ulinastatin significantly reduced pulmonary vascular permeability index (PVPI) and extravascular lung water index (ELWI), net fluid accumulation, and water content of heart, lung, and ileum in both immediate or delayed resuscitation groups. Furthermore, ulinastatin infusion significantly reduced plasma and tissue concentrations of TBARS in both immediate or delayed resuscitation groups. Conclusions. These results indicate that ulinastatin can reduce fluid requirements through inhibition of lipid peroxidation.
Acadesine, an adenosine-regulating agent and activator of AMP-activated protein kinase, has been shown to possess antiinflammatory activity. This study investigated whether and how acadesine inhibits tissue factor (TF) expression and thrombus formation.
Methods and Results
Human umbilical vein endothelial cells and human peripheral blood monocytes were stimulated with lipopolysaccharide to induce TF expression. Pretreatment with acadesine dramatically suppressed the clotting activity and expression of TF (protein and mRNA). These inhibitory effects of acadesine were unchanged for endothelial cells treated with ZM241385 (a specific adenosine A2A receptor antagonist) or AMP-activated protein kinase inhibitor compound C, and in macrophages lacking adenosine A2A receptor or α1–AMP-activated protein kinase. In endothelial cells and macrophages, acadesine activated the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt signaling pathway, reduced the activity of mitogen-activated protein kinases, and consequently suppressed TF expression by inhibiting the activator protein-1 and NF-κB pathways. In mice, acadesine suppressed lipopolysaccharide-mediated increases in blood coagulation, decreased TF expression in atherosclerotic lesions, and reduced deep vein thrombus formation.
Acadesine inhibits TF expression and thrombus formation by activating the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt pathway. This novel finding implicates acadesine as a potentially useful treatment for many disorders associated with thrombotic pathology, such as angina pain, deep vein thrombosis, and sepsis.
anticoagulants; atherosclerosis; thrombus; tissue factor
This study investigated the protective effect and mechanism of electroacupuncture at ST36 points on the intestinal barrier dysfunction and remote organ injury after intestinal ischemia and reperfusion injury in rats. Rats were subjected to gut ischemia for 30 min, and then received electroacupuncture for 30 min with or without abdominal vagotomy or intraperitoneal administration of cholinergic α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) inhibitor. Then we compared its effects with electroacupuncture at nonchannel points, vagal nerve stimulation, or intraperitoneal administration of cholinergic agonist. Cytokine levels in plasma and tissue of intestine, lung, and liver were assessed 60 min after reperfusion. Intestinal barrier injury was detected by histology, gut injury score, the permeability to 4 kDa FITC-dextran, and changes in tight junction protein ZO-1 using immunofluorescence and Western blot. Electroacupuncture significantly lowered the levels of tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-8 in plasma and organ tissues, decreased intestinal permeability to FITC-dextran, and prevented changes in ZO-1 protein expression and localization. However, abdominal vagotomy or intraperitoneal administration of cholinergic α7nAChR inhibitor reversed these effects of electroacupuncture. These findings suggest that electroacupuncture attenuates the systemic inflammatory response through protection of intestinal barrier integrity after intestinal ischemia injury in the presence of an intact vagus nerve.
Laparoscopy combined with transvaginal management appeared to result in less bleeding, shorter operative times, and a lower rate of complication in patients with uterine wound rupture and dense adhesions.
To evaluate the clinical effectiveness of laparoscopic management of cesarean scar pregnancy (CSP) by deep implantation.
A pregnancy implanting within the scar from a previous cesarean delivery is a rare condition of ectopic pregnancy. There are two different types of CSPs. Type I is caused by implantation of the amniotic sac on the scar with progression toward either the cervicoisthmic space or the uterine cavity. Type II (CSP-II) is caused by deep implantation into a previous CS defect with infiltrating growth into the uterine myometrium and bulging from the uterine serosal surface, which may result in uterine rupture and severe bleeding during the first trimester of pregnancy. Thus, timely management with an early and accurate diagnosis of CSP-II is important. However, laparoscopic management in CSP-II has not yet been evaluated.
Eleven patients with CSP-II underwent conservative laparoscopic surgery or laparoscopy combined with transvaginal bilateral uterine artery ligation and resection of the scar with gestational tissue and wound repair to preserve the uterus from March 2008 to November 2011. Patients with CSP-II were diagnosed using color Doppler sonography, and the diagnosis was confirmed by laparoscopy. The operation time, the blood loss during surgery, the levels of β-human chorionic gonadotropin (β-hCG) before surgery, the time taken for serum β-hCG levels to return to <100 mIU/mL postoperatively, and the time for the uterine body to revert to its original state were retrospectively analyzed.
All 11 operations were successfully performed using laparoscopy with preservation of the uterus. One patient underwent a dilation and curettage after laparoscopic bilateral uterine artery ligation. Eight patients were treated solely by laparoscopic bilateral uterine artery ligation and resection of the scar with gestational tissue and wound repair. The remaining two patients underwent laparoscopic bilateral uterine artery ligation and transvaginal resection of the CS with gestational tissue and wound repair because of dense adhesions and heavy bleeding. The average operation time was 85.5 (±17.5) minutes, and the blood loss was 250.0 (±221.4) mL. The blood serum level of β-hCG returned to <100 mIU/mL in 16.4 (±5.3) days postoperatively. Among the 10 patients who underwent resection of CS and wound repair, the time for the uterus to revert to its original state (judged by ultrasonography) was 10.8 (±3.0) days postoperatively.
Laparoscopy can remove ectopic gestational tissue and allow subsequent wound repair, as well as provide diagnostic confirmation. Being a minimally invasive procedure, laparoscopic or laparoscopy combined with transvaginal bilateral uterine artery ligation and resection of the scar with gestational tissue and wound repair can become an effective alternative for the treatment of CSP-II.
Laparoscopy. Cesarean scar pregnancy; Ectopic pregnancy; Uterine artery ligation
Besides androgens, estrogens produced in Leydig cells are also crucial for mammalian germ cell differentiation. Transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) is now known to have multiple effects on regulation of Leydig cell function. The objective of the present study is to determine whether TGF-β1 regulates estradiol (E2) synthesis in adult rat Leydig cells and then to assess the impact of TGF-β1 on Cx43-based gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) between Leydig cells.
Primary cultured Leydig cells were incubated in the presence of recombinant TGF-β1 and the production of E2 as well as testosterone (T) were measured by RIA. The activity of P450arom was addressed by the tritiated water release assay and the expression of Cyp19 gene was evaluated by Western blotting and real time RT-PCR. The expression of Cx43 and GJIC were investigated with immunofluorescence and fluorescence recovery after photo-bleaching (FRAP), respectively. Results from this study show that TGF-β1 down-regulates the level of E2 secretion and the activity of P450arom in a dose-dependent manner in adult Leydig cells. In addition, the expression of Cx43 and GJIC was closely related to the regulation of E2 and TGF-β1, and E2 treatment in turn restored the inhibition of TGF-β1 on GJIC.
Our results indicate, for the first time in adult rat Leydig cells, that TGF-β1 suppresses P450arom activity, as well as the expression of the Cyp19 gene, and that depression of E2 secretion leads to down-regulation of Cx43-based GJIC between Leydig cells.
The most cancer-specific biomarkers in blood are likely to be proteins shed directly by the tumor rather than less specific inflammatory or other host responses. The use of xenograft mouse models together with in-depth proteome analysis for identification of human proteins in the mouse blood is an under-utilized strategy that can clearly identify proteins shed by the tumor. In the current study, 268 human proteins shed into mouse blood from human OVCAR-3 serous tumors were identified based upon human vs. mouse species differences using a four-dimensional plasma proteome fractionation strategy. A multi-step prioritization and verification strategy was subsequently developed to efficiently select some of the most promising biomarkers from this large number of candidates. A key step was parallel analysis of human proteins detected in the tumor supernatant, because substantially greater sequence coverage for many of the human proteins initially detected in the xenograft mouse plasma confirmed assignments as tumor-derived human proteins. Verification of candidate biomarkers in patient sera was facilitated by in-depth, label-free quantitative comparisons of serum pools from patients with ovarian cancer and benign ovarian tumors. The only proteins that advanced to multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) assay development were those that exhibited increases in ovarian cancer patients compared with benign tumor controls. MRM assays were facilely developed for all 11 novel biomarker candidates selected by this process and analysis of larger pools of patient sera suggested that all 11 proteins are promising candidate biomarkers that should be further evaluated on individual patient blood samples.
Evidence-based animal experimental research concerning the effects of acupuncture on autonomic function was performed by two research teams from China and Austria. This study describes measurements in beagles. Heart rate variability (HRV) recordings were performed under stable conditions in Beijing, China, and the data analysis and interpretation were completed in Graz, Austria. The electrocardiograms were recorded during bilateral body acupuncture (PC6, Neiguan). Power of the low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF), and the ratio (LF/HF) changed significantly during acupuncture stimulation in beagles after injection of atropine and β-blocker. However, there was no significant change in HF power after needling the Neiguan acupoint when a cervical vagotomy has been performed. Our findings show that acupuncture can mediate the HRV even after pharmaceutical blocking of autonomic function. Acupuncture effects on HRV should rely not only on autonomic nervous system but on complete central nervous system.
Background. Idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is characterized by ventricular chamber enlargement and systolic dysfunction. The pathogenesis of DCM remains uncertain, and the TNNT2 gene is potentially associated with DCM. To assess the role of TNNT2 in DCM, we examined 10 tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the patients. Methods. A total of 97 DCM patients and 189 control subjects were included in the study, and all SNPs were genotyped by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Results. In the TNNT2 gene, there was a significant association between DCM and genotype for the tagging SNPs rs3729547 (χ2 = 6.63, P = 0.036, OR = 0.650, and 95% CI = 0.453–0.934) and rs3729843 (χ2 = 9.787, P = 0.008, OR = 1.912, and 95% CI = 1.265–2.890) in the Chinese Han population. Linkage disequilibrium (LD) analysis showed that the SNPs rs7521796, rs2275862, rs3729547, rs10800775, and rs1892028, which are approximately 6 kb apart, were in high LD (D′ > 0.80) in the DCM patients. Conclusion. These results suggest that the TNNT2 polymorphisms might play an important role in susceptibility to DCM in the Chinese Han population.
Inflammatory cells exhibit an elevated level of protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) after the administration of 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA). Here, we investigate the sonodynamic effects of ALA-derived PpIX (ALA-PpIX) on macrophages, which are the pivotal inflammatory cells in atherosclerosis.
Methods and results
Cultured THP-1 macrophages were incubated with ALA. Fluorescence microscope and fluorescence spectrometer detection showed that intracellular PpIX increased with the concentration of ALA in the incubation solution in a time dependent manner; the highest level of intracellular PpIX was observed after 3-hour incubation. 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assays demonstrated that lower concentrations (less than 2 mM) of ALA have no influence on cell viability (more than 90% of cells survived), but sonodynamic therapy (SDT) with a low concentration of ALA significantly decreased the survival rate of cells, and the effect was increased with both ALA concentration and ultrasound exposure time. Cell apoptosis and necrosis induced by ALA-mediated SDT (ALA-SDT) were measured using Hoechst 33258 and propidium iodide assay. ALA-SDT induced both cell apoptosis and necrosis, and the maximum apoptosis/necrosis ratio was observed at 6 hours after SDT with 1 mM of ALA and 5 minutes of ultrasound exposure. Flow cytometry analysis showed that ALA-SDT significantly increased late stage apoptotic cells (about 10-fold control). Furthermore, ALA-SDT induced reactive oxygen species generation in THP-1 macrophages immediately after the treatment and a conspicuous loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) at 6 hours compared with that of the control, ALA alone, and ultrasound alone groups.
ALA-SDT exhibited synergistic apoptotic effects on THP-1 macrophages, involving excessive intracellular reactive oxygen species generation and MMP loss. Therefore, ALA-SDT is a potential treatment for atherosclerosis.
5-aminolevulinic acid; protoporphyrin IX; sonodynamic therapy; macrophage; atherosclerosis
The MYO7A encodes a protein classified as an unconventional myosin. Here, we present a family with non-syndromic autosomal dominant hearing impairment that clinically resembles other previously published DFNA11 families. Affected members of the family present with an ascending audiogram affecting low and middle frequencies at young ages and then affecting all frequencies with increasing age. Genome-wide linkage analysis using Illumina Cyto-12 Chip mapped the disease locus to the DFNA11 interval in the family. A c.2003G→A (p.R668H) mutation of the MYO7A, is heterozygous in all affected family members and absent in 100 healthy individuals. Arg668His is located in a region of the myosin VIIA motor domain that is highly conserved among different species. Molecular modeling predicts that the conserved R668 residue plays important structural role in linking different lobes of motor domain together. In the actin-activated ATPase activity assay, the rate of NADH oxidation was higher in the wild-type myosin VIIA, indicating that the ATPase activity in the p.R668H mutant myosin VIIA was significantly destroyed.
There is lack of data on the physiological characteristics of over ground walking and walking recommendations for Chinese young adult. The purpose of the study was to measure walking-related energy expenditure during field testing, to identify step-rate cut-point associated with moderate and vigorous intensity, and to translate physical activity (PA) guidelines into walking goals for Chinese young adults.
Cross-sectional analytic study.
Two communities from Beijing and Shanghai in China.
A sample of 226 Chinese adults (117 men, 109 women) with a mean age of 21.7 (±0.2) years, volunteered to participate in the study. All Participants were recreationally active without orthopaedic limitations, free of chronic diseases, not taking any medications that affect metabolism and non-smokers.
All the participants completed four 6 minincremental over ground walking at different speeds of 3.8, 4.8, 5.6 and 6.4 km/h, respectively. Indirect calorimeter was used to measure energy expenditure at each speed. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to determine the step-rate cut-points associated with moderate and vigorous intensity activity.
At the same walking speed, step counts per minute were higher in women than in men. No significant differences were found in VO2 per weight (ml/kg/min) between women and men. Step-rate cut-point associated with walking at 3 metabolic equivalents (METs) and 6METs were 105 and 130 step/min when analysing men and women together. There were slight differences on the cut-points between women and men if data were analysed separately.
In order to meet PA guidelines, Chinese young adult should walk 30 min with at least 105 step/min or 3150 steps or 2 km with the same step-rate per day. Walking at a higher speed of 130 step/min might provide additional health benefit.
Sports Medicine; Public Health; Statistics & Research Methods
Polycaprolactone fumarate (PCLF) is a cross-linkable derivate of polycaprolactone diol that has been shown to be an effective nerve conduit material that supports regeneration across segmental nerve defects and has warranted future clinical trials. Degradation of the previously studied PCLF (PCLFDEG) releases toxic small molecules of diethylene glycol used as the initiator for the synthesis of polycaprolactone diol. In an effort to eliminate this toxic degradation product we present a strategy for the synthesis of PCLF from either propylene glycol (PCLFPPD) or glycerol (PCLFGLY). PCLFPPD is linear and resembles the previously studied PCLFDEG, while PCLFGLY is branched and exhibits dramatically different material properties. The synthesis and characterization of their thermal, rheological, and mechanical properties are reported. The results show that the linear PCLFPPD has material properties similar to the previously studied PCLFDEG. The branched PCLFGLY exhibits dramatically lower crystalline properties resulting in lower rheological and mechanical moduli, and is therefore a more compliant material. In addition, the question of an appropriate FDA approvable sterilization method is addressed. This study shows that autoclave sterilization on PCLF materials is an acceptable sterilization method for cross-linked PCLF and has minimal effect on the PCLF thermal and mechanical properties.
Polycaprolactone fumarate; polyester; sterilization; nerve regeneration