Chemical doping in materials is known to give rise to emergent phenomena. These phenomena are extremely difficult to predict a priori, because electron-electron interactions are entangled with local environment of assembled atoms. Scanning tunneling microscopy and low energy electron diffraction are combined to investigate how the local electronic structure is correlated with lattice distortion on the surface of Sr3(Ru1−xMnx)2O7, which has double-layer building blocks formed by (Ru/Mn)O6 octahedra with rotational distortion. The presence of doping-dependent tilt distortion of (Ru/Mn)O6 octahedra at the surface results in a C2v broken symmetry in contrast with the bulk C4v counterpart. It also enables us to observe two Mn sites associated with the octahedral rotation in the bulk through the “chirality” of local electronic density of states surrounding Mn, which is randomly distributed. These results serve as fingerprint of chemical doping on the atomic scale.
Cytokines such as IL-6 and G-CSF are important metastasis promoters. This study has investigated the functional significance of the increased circulation of galectin-3, a common feature in cancer patients and in particular those with metastasis, on cytokine secretion from the blood vascular endothelium in cancer.
The effects of galectin-3 on secretion of cytokines from human microvascular lung endothelial cells were assessed in vitro by cytokine array and in vivo in mice. The consequences of galectin-3-induced cytokine secretion on endothelial cell behaviors were determined and the relationship between the levels of circulating galectin-3 and cytokines in colorectal cancer patients with and without metastasis was investigated.
Galectin-3 at pathological concentrations found in cancer patients induces secretion of IL-6, G-CSF, sICAM-1 and GM-CSF from blood vascular endothelial cells in vitro and in mice. These cytokines autocrinely/paracrinely interact with the vascular endothelium to increase the expressions of endothelial cell surface adhesion molecules integrinαvβ1, E-selectin, ICAM-1 and VCAM-1, resulting in increased cancer cell-endothelial adhesion and increased endothelial cell migration and tubule formation. In patients with metastatic colon cancer, higher serum galectin-3 levels correlated significantly with increased serum G-CSF, IL-6 and sICAM1 concentrations.
The increased circulation of galectin-3 in cancer patients induces secretion of several metastasis-promoting cytokines from the blood vascular endothelium that enhances endothelial cell activities in metastasis. Targeting the actions of circulating galectin-3 in cancer patients therefore represents a promising therapeutic strategy to reduce metastasis and improve survival.
galectin-3; cytokines; adhesion; metastasis
TRIP6 is an adaptor protein that regulates cell motility and antiapoptotic signaling. Although it has been implicated in tumorigenesis, the underlying mechanism remains largely unknown. Here we provide evidence that TRIP6 promotes tumorigenesis by serving as a bridge to promote the recruitment of p27KIP1 to AKT in the cytosol. TRIP6 regulates the membrane translocation and activation of AKT and facilitates AKT-mediated recognition and phosphorylation of p27KIP1 specifically at T157, thereby promoting the cytosolic mislocalization of p27KIP1. This is required for p27KIP1 to enhance lysophosphatidic acid (LPA)-induced ovarian cancer cell migration. TRIP6 also promotes serum-induced reduction of nuclear p27KIP1 expression levels through Skp2-dependent and -independent mechanisms. Consequently, knockdown of TRIP6 in glioblastoma or ovarian cancer xenografts restores nuclear p27KIP1 expression and impairs tumor proliferation. As TRIP6 is upregulated in gliomas and its levels correlate with poor clinical outcomes in a dose-dependent manner, it may represent a novel prognostic marker and therapeutic target in gliomas.
E-readers are fast rivaling print as a dominant method for reading. Because they offer accessibility options that are impossible in print, they are potentially beneficial for those with impairments, such as dyslexia. Yet, little is known about how the use of these devices influences reading in those who struggle. Here, we observe reading comprehension and speed in 103 high school students with dyslexia. Reading on paper was compared with reading on a small handheld e-reader device, formatted to display few words per line. We found that use of the device significantly improved speed and comprehension, when compared with traditional presentations on paper for specific subsets of these individuals: Those who struggled most with phoneme decoding or efficient sight word reading read more rapidly using the device, and those with limited VA Spans gained in comprehension. Prior eye tracking studies demonstrated that short lines facilitate reading in dyslexia, suggesting that it is the use of short lines (and not the device per se) that leads to the observed benefits. We propose that these findings may be understood as a consequence of visual attention deficits, in some with dyslexia, that make it difficult to allocate attention to uncrowded text near fixation, as the gaze advances during reading. Short lines ameliorate this by guiding attention to the uncrowded span.
The association of functional polymorphisms in the promoter of the apoptosis gene FAS with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) susceptibility has been a controversial subject. We conducted a case-control study to investigate this association in a Chinese population and performed a meta-analysis in different populations. The single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs2234767 (−1377G>A) and rs1800682 (−670A>G) were genotyped by TaqMan allelic discrimination assays in 552 Chinese SLE patients and 718 healthy controls. In our case-control study, we observed allelic association between the promoter SNP rs2234767 [P=0.033, odds ratio (OR)=0.836, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.709–0.986] and SLE but not the SNP rs1800682. Haplotype analysis revealed that one haplotype of GA was significantly associated with the disease (P=0.039, OR=1.184, 95% CI, 1.009–1.391). In the meta-analysis available studies, including our data, were combined using the STATA software package v.7.0. The meta-analysis revealed a significant association between FAS polymorphisms and SLE (rs2234767 A vs. G allele; P=0.004, OR=0.819, 95% CI, 0.715–0.938, rs1800682 G vs. A allele: P=0.034, OR=0.791, 95% CI, 0.637–0.983). In conclusion, FAS gene polymorphisms may contribute to SLE susceptibility in the Chinese population, and the meta-analysis shows that FAS polymorphisms may be associated with SLE susceptibility in different populations.
systemic lupus erythematosus; FAS; single-nucleotide polymorphisms; meta-analysis
We report a facile and green method to synthesize a new type of catalyst by coating Pd nanoparticles (NPs) on reduced graphene oxide (rGO)-carbon nanotube (CNT) nanocomposite. An rGO–CNT nanocomposite with three-dimensional microstructures was obtained by hydrothermal treatment of an aqueous dispersion of graphene oxide (GO) and CNTs. After the rGO–CNT composites have been dipped in K2PdCl4 solution, the spontaneous redox reaction between the GO–CNT and PdCl42− led to the formation of nanohybrid materials consisting rGO–CNT decorated with 4 nm Pd NPs, which exhibited excellent and stable catalytic activity: the reduction of 4-nitrophenol to 4-aminophenol using NaBH4 as a catalyst was completed in only 20 s at room temperature, even when the Pd content of the catalyst was 1.12 wt%. This method does not require rigorous conditions or toxic agents and thus is a rapid, efficient, and green approach to the fabrication of highly active catalysts.
Background: Esp, a secreted protease of Staphylococcus epidermidis, blocks biofilm formation of Staphylococcus aureus and its ability to colonize human nares.
Results: Esp cleaves autolysin, thereby preventing the release of staphylococcal DNA as biofilm matrix.
Conclusion: Secreted proteases control S. aureus biofilm development and host colonization.
Significance: Methods that promote autolysin degradation may also prevent S. aureus colonization of humans.
Staphylococcus epidermidis, a commensal of humans, secretes Esp protease to prevent Staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation and colonization. Blocking S. aureus colonization may reduce the incidence of invasive infectious diseases; however, the mechanism whereby Esp disrupts biofilms is unknown. We show here that Esp cleaves autolysin (Atl)-derived murein hydrolases and prevents staphylococcal release of DNA, which serves as extracellular matrix in biofilms. The three-dimensional structure of Esp was revealed by x-ray crystallography and shown to be highly similar to that of S. aureus V8 (SspA). Both atl and sspA are necessary for biofilm formation, and purified SspA cleaves Atl-derived murein hydrolases. Thus, S. aureus biofilms are formed via the controlled secretion and proteolysis of autolysin, and this developmental program appears to be perturbed by the Esp protease of S. epidermidis.
Bacterial Pathogenesis; Biofilm; Extracellular Matrix; Serine Protease; Staphylococcus aureus
Although the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine against tuberculosis (TB) has been available for more than 75 years, one third of the world's population is still infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and approximately 2 million people die of TB every year. To reduce this immense TB burden, a clearer understanding of the functional genes underlying the action of BCG and the development of new vaccines are urgently needed.
Methods and Findings
Comparative genomic analysis of 19 M. tuberculosis complex strains showed that BCG strains underwent repeated human manipulation, had higher region of deletion rates than those of natural M. tuberculosis strains, and lost several essential components such as T-cell epitopes. A total of 188 BCG strain T-cell epitopes were lost to various degrees. The non-virulent BCG Tokyo strain, which has the largest number of T-cell epitopes (359), lost 124. Here we propose that BCG strain protection variability results from different epitopes. This study is the first to present BCG as a model organism for genetics research. BCG strains have a very well-documented history and now detailed genome information. Genome comparison revealed the selection process of BCG strains under human manipulation (1908–1966).
Our results revealed the cause of BCG vaccine strain protection variability at the genome level and supported the hypothesis that the restoration of lost BCG Tokyo epitopes is a useful future vaccine development strategy. Furthermore, these detailed BCG vaccine genome investigation results will be useful in microbial genetics, microbial engineering and other research fields.
Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) in primary culture can give rise to mature oligodendrocytes and type-2, but not type-1 astrocytes depending on the culture conditions. The OPCs thus are called oligodendrocyte-type-2 astrocyte (O2-A) progenitor cells. Mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) have been efficiently differentiated into OPCs; however, the fate plasticity of mESC-derived OPCs is not well characterized. In the present study, using GFP-Olig2 mESC line, we showed that the Olig2+/GFP+/A2B5+/NG2+ OPCs derived from GFP-Olig2 mESCs can mature into oligodendrocytes when co-cultured with mESC-derived neurons. Interestingly, when induced to astrocytic differentiation by bone morphogenetic protein-4, these mESC-derived OPCs can not only generate type-2 astrocytes, but also type-1 astrocytes. These results challenge the dogma that OPCs in culture can only generate type-2, but not type-1 astrocytes, and support the in vivo finding that during perinatal development, OPCs can give rise to a subset of type-1 astrocytes.
Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells; Mouse embryonic stem cells; neural differentiation; Type-1 and type-2 astrocytes
The Brucella melitensis vaccine strain M5 is widely used to prevent and control brucellosis in animals. In this study, we determined the whole-genome sequence of M5, and conducted a comprehensive comparative analysis against the whole-genome sequence of the virulent strain 16 M and other reference strains. This analysis revealed 11 regions of deletion (RDs) and 2 regions of insertion (RIs) within the M5 genome. Among these regions, the sequences encompassed in 5 RDs and 1 RI showed consistent variation, with a large deletion between the M5 and the 16 M genomes. RD4 and RD5 showed the large diversity among all Brucella genomes, both in RD length and RD copy number. Thus, RD4 and RD5 are potential sites for typing different Brucella strains. Other RD and RI regions exhibited multiple single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). In addition, a genome fragment with a 56 kb rearrangement was determined to be consistent with previous studies. Comparative genomic analysis indicated that genomic island inversion in Brucella was widely present. With the genetic pattern common among all strains analyzed, these 2 RDs, 1 RI, and one inversion region are potential sites for detection of genomic differences. Several SNPs of important virulence-related genes (motB, dhbC, sfuB, dsbAB, aidA, aroC, and lysR) were also detected, and may be used to determine the mechanism of virulence attenuation. Collectively, this study reveals that comparative analysis between wild-type and vaccine strains can provide resources for the study of virulence and microevolution of Brucella.
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ) ligand regulates adipocyte differentiation and insulin sensitivity, and exerts antihyperlipidemic and anti-inflammatory effects. However, the mechanisms by which PPAR-γ ligands affect hyperlipidemia with severe acute pancreatitis (SAP) have not been fully elucidated. The present study investigated the effects of rosiglitazone, a PPAR-γ ligand, on hyperlipidemia with SAP in a rat model. The hyperlipidemia was induced with a high-fat diet and SAP was induced by the administration of sodium taurocholate (TCA). The hyperlipidemia was shown to aggravate the severity of the sodium taurocholate-induced SAP. However, rosiglitazone demonstrated significant antihyperlipidemic and anti-inflammatory effects in the rats with high-lipid diet-induced hyperlipidemia and SAP.
hyperlipidemia; acute pancreatitis; peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-γ ligand; cytokine
Little is known about the functional capability of microbial communities in shallow-sea hydrothermal systems (water depth of <200 m). This study analyzed two high-throughput pyrosequencing metagenomic datasets from the vent and the surface water in the shallow-sea hydrothermal system offshore NE Taiwan. This system exhibited distinct geochemical parameters. Metagenomic data revealed that the vent and the surface water were predominated by Epsilonproteobacteria (Nautiliales-like organisms) and Gammaproteobacteria (Thiomicrospira-like organisms), respectively. A significant difference in microbial carbon fixation and sulfur metabolism was found between the vent and the surface water. The chemoautotrophic microorganisms in the vent and in the surface water might possess the reverse tricarboxylic acid cycle and the Calvin−Bassham−Benson cycle for carbon fixation in response to carbon dioxide highly enriched in the environment, which is possibly fueled by geochemical energy with sulfur and hydrogen. Comparative analyses of metagenomes showed that the shallow-sea metagenomes contained some genes similar to those present in other extreme environments. This study may serve as a basis for deeply understanding the genetic network and functional capability of the microbial members of shallow-sea hydrothermal systems.
People with dyslexia, who ordinarily struggle to read, sometimes remark that reading is easier when e-readers are used. Here, we used eye tracking to observe high school students with dyslexia as they read using these devices. Among the factors investigated, we found that reading using a small device resulted in substantial benefits, improving reading speeds by 27%, reducing the number of fixations by 11%, and importantly, reducing the number of regressive saccades by more than a factor of 2, with no cost to comprehension. Given that an expected trade-off between horizontal and vertical regression was not observed when line lengths were altered, we speculate that these effects occur because sluggish attention spreads perception to the left as the gaze shifts during reading. Short lines eliminate crowded text to the left, reducing regression. The effects of attention modulation by the hand, and of increased letter spacing to reduce crowding, were also found to modulate the oculomotor dynamics in reading, but whether these factors resulted in benefits or costs depended on characteristics, such as visual attention span, that varied within our sample.
Recent studies have demonstrated the power of deep re-sequencing of the whole genome or exome in understanding cancer genomes. However, targeted capture of selected genomic whole gene-body regions, rather than the whole exome, have several advantages: 1) the genes can be selected based on biology or a hypothesis; 2) mutations in promoter and intronic regions, which have important regulatory roles, can be investigated; and 3) less expensive than whole genome or whole exome sequencing. Therefore, we designed custom high-density oligonucleotide microarrays (NimbleGen Inc.) to capture approximately 1.7 Mb target regions comprising the genomic regions of 28 genes related to colorectal cancer including genes belonging to the WNT signaling pathway, as well as important transcription factors or colon-specific genes that are over expressed in colorectal cancer (CRC). The 1.7 Mb targeted regions were sequenced with a coverage ranged from 32× to 45× for the 28 genes. We identified a total of 2342 sequence variations in the CRC and corresponding adjacent normal tissues. Among them, 738 were novel sequence variations based on comparisons with the SNP database (dbSNP135). We validated 56 of 66 SNPs in a separate cohort of 30 CRC tissues using Sequenom MassARRAY iPLEX Platform, suggesting a validation rate of at least 85% (56/66). We found 15 missense mutations among the exonic variations, 21 synonymous SNPs that were predicted to change the exonic splicing motifs, 31 UTR SNPs that were predicted to occur at the transcription factor binding sites, 20 intronic SNPs located near the splicing sites, 43 SNPs in conserved transcription factor binding sites and 32 in CpG islands. Finally, we determined that rs3106189, localized to the 5′ UTR of antigen presenting tapasin binding protein (TAPBP), and rs1052918, localized to the 3′ UTR of transcription factor 3 (TCF3), were associated with overall survival of CRC patients.
Bacterial pathogens impose a heavy health burden worldwide. In the new era of high-throughput sequencing and online bioinformatics, real-time genome typing of infecting agents, and in particular those with potential severe clinical outcomes, holds promise for guiding clinical care to limit the detrimental effects of infections and to prevent potential local or global outbreaks. Here, we sequenced and compared 85 isolates of Streptococcus suis, a zoonotic human and swine pathogen, wherein we analyzed 32 recognized serotypes and 75 sequence types representing the diversity of the species and the human clinical isolates with high public health significance. We found that 1,077 of the 2,469 genes are shared by all isolates. Excluding 201 common but mobile genes, 876 genes were defined as the minimum core genome (MCG) of the species. Of 190,894 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) identified, 58,501 were located in the MCG genes and were referred to as MCG SNPs. A population structure analysis of these MCG SNPs classified the 85 isolates into seven MCG groups, of which MCG group 1 includes all isolates from human infections and outbreaks. Our MCG typing system for S. suis provided a clear separation of groups containing human-associated isolates from those containing animal-associated isolates. It also separated the group containing outbreak isolates, including those causing life-threatening streptococcal toxic shock-like syndrome, from sporadic or less severe meningitis or bacteremia-only isolates. The typing system facilitates the application of genome data to the fields of clinical medicine and epidemiology and to the surveillance of S. suis. The MCG groups may also be used as the taxonomical units of S. suis to define bacterial subpopulations with the potential to cause severe clinical infections and large-scale outbreaks.
Melanoma is the most aggressive type of skin cancer and has very high rates of mortality. An early stage melanoma can be surgically removed, with a survival rate of 99%. However, metastasized melanoma is difficult to cure. The 5-year survival rates for patients with metastasized melanoma are still below 20%. Metastasized melanoma is currently treated by chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy and radiotherapy. The outcome of most of the current therapies is far from optimistic. Although melanoma patients with a mutation in the oncogene v-Raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B1 (BRAF) have an initially higher positive response rate to targeted therapy, the majority develop acquired drug resistance after 6 months of the therapy. To increase treatment efficacy, early diagnosis, more potent pharmacological agents, and more effective delivery systems are urgently needed. Nanotechnology has been extensively studied for melanoma treatment and diagnosis, to decrease drug resistance, increase therapeutic efficacy, and reduce side effects. In this review, we summarize the recent progress on the development of various nanoparticles for melanoma treatment and diagnosis. Several common nanoparticles, including liposome, polymersomes, dendrimers, carbon-based nanoparticles, and human albumin, have been used to deliver chemotherapeutic agents, and small interfering ribonucleic acids (siRNAs) against signaling molecules have also been tested for the treatment of melanoma. Indeed, several nanoparticle-delivered drugs have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and are currently in clinical trials. The application of nanoparticles could produce side effects, which will need to be reduced so that nanoparticle-delivered drugs can be safely applied in the clinical setting.
metastasis; early detection; nanoparticle-delivered; PI3K/Akt
It has been shown that peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) is beneficial for central nervous system injury. However its role on optic nerve injury remains unknown. In the present study, we examined the change of PPARγ expression in rat retina following optic nerve injury and investigated the effect of pioglitazone (Pio), a PPARγ agonist, on retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) neuroprotection using a rat optic nerve crush (ONC) model. Our results showed that PPARγ mRNA and protein levels were increased after ONC, and most of PPARγ-immunoreactive cells colocalized with Müller cells. Pio treatment significantly enhanced the number of surviving RGCs and inhibited RGCs apoptosis induced by ONC. However, when PPARγ antagonist GW9662 was used, these neuroprotective effects were abolished. In addition, pio attenuated Müller cell activation after ONC. These results indicate that PPARγ appears to protect RGCs from ONC possibly via the reduction of Müller glial activation. It provides evidence that activation of PPARγ may be a potential alternative treatment for RGCs neuroprotection.
Electrochemical promotion of catalysis reactions (EPOC) is one of the most significant discoveries in the field of catalytic and environmental protection. The work presented in this paper focuses on the aspects of reaction mechanism, influencing factors, and recent positive results. It has been shown with more than 80 different catalytic systems that the catalytic activity and selectivity of conductive catalysts deposited on solid electrolytes can be altered in the last 30 years. The active ingredient of catalyst can be activated by applying constant voltage or constant current to the catalysts/electrolyte interface. The effect of EPOC can improve greatly the conversion rate of NOx. And it can also improve the lifetime of catalyst by inhibiting its poisoning.
Although weight loss is common in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) patients receiving radiotherapy, the prognostic influence of weight loss and its impact modified by body mass index (BMI) are still unclear.
2433 NPC patients receiving radical radiotherapy at Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center from November, 2000 to December, 2004 were enrolled. Weight change during radiation treatment was categorized into high weight loss (HWL) and low weight loss (LWL). The associations of HWL with overall survival (OS) and disease-specific survival (DSS) were analyzed by Cox regression.
Among underweight patients, HWL was independently associated with poor OS (hazard ratio [HR], 2.06; 95% CI 1.36–3.11) and DSS (HR, 2.27; 95% CI 1.38–3.73), as compared with LWL, after adjusting for covariates. In normal weight patients, the impact of HWL on OS (HR, 1.47; 95% CI 1.19–1.80) and DSS (HR, 1.59; 95% CI 1.24–2.03) was moderate. Among overweight/obese patients, no significant association between HWL and OS (HR, 1.22; 95% CI 0.95–1.55), or DSS (HR, 1.23; 95% CI 0.93–1.64) was found.
Except for overweight/obese patients, high weight loss during radiation treatment was independently associated with poor survival in NPC. This impact was more prominent in the underweight patient group.
AIM: To compare the effects of propranolol (PR) to that of PR plus isosorbide-5-mononitrate (ISMN) on variceal pressure in patients with schistosomiasis.
METHODS: Forty-eight patients with schistosomiasis who had no previous variceal bleeding were treated with PR alone or PR plus ISMN. Seven patients refused variceal pressure manometry (3 receiving PR and 4 receiving PR plus ISMN). One patient withdrew from the trial due to headache after taking ISMN. At the time of termination, twenty patients were randomly assigned to treatment with PR plus ISMN or PR alone. The dose of PR was adjusted until the resting heart rate had been reduced by 25% or was less than 55 bpm. In the PR plus ISMN group, after PR was titrated to the same target, the dose of ISMN was increased up to 20 mg orally twice a day. Variceal pressure was measured using a noninvasive endoscopic balloon technique at the end of the 6-mo treatment period.
RESULTS: In 40 patients (20 in the PR group and 20 in the PR plus ISMN group), variceal pressure was measured before treatment and at the end of the 6-mo treatment period. PR or PR plus ISMN treatment caused a significant reduction in variceal pressure (PR group: from 24.15 ± 6.05 mmHg to 22.68 ± 5.70 mmHg, P = 0.001; PR plus ISMN group: from 25.69 ± 5.26 mmHg to 20.48 ± 5.43 mmHg; P < 0.001). The percentage decrease in variceal pressure was significant after PR plus ISMN compared with that after PR alone (15.93% ± 8.37% vs 6.05% ± 3.67%, P = 0.01). One patient in the PR plus ISMN group and two patients in the PR group had variceal bleeding during follow-up. There were no significant differences between the two groups regarding the incidence of variceal bleeding. In the PR plus ISMN group, three patients had headache and hypotension. The headache was mild and transient and promptly disappeared after continuation of the relevant drug in two patients. Only one patient withdrew from the trial due to severe and lasting headache after taking ISMN. No side effects occurred in the PR group.
CONCLUSION: PR plus ISMN therapy may be an alternative treatment for patients with schistosomiasis who have a high risk of bleeding.
Esophageal varices; Schistosomiasis; Portal hypertension; Bleeding; Propranolol; Variceal pressure; Isosorbide-5-mononitrate
The Canadian prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba have generally reported the highest human incidence of West Nile virus (WNV) in Canada. In this study, environmental and biotic factors were used to predict numbers of Culex tarsalis Coquillett, which is the primary mosquito vector of WNV in this region, and prevalence of WNV infection in Cx. tarsalis in the Canadian prairies. The results showed that higher mean temperature and elevated time lagged mean temperature were associated with increased numbers of Cx. tarsalis and higher WNV infection rates. However, increasing precipitation was associated with higher abundance of Cx. tarsalis and lower WNV infection rate. In addition, this study found that increased temperature fluctuation and wetland land cover were associated with decreased infection rate in the Cx. tarsalis population. The resulting monthly models can be used to inform public health interventions by improving the predictions of population abundance of Cx. tarsalis and the transmission intensity of WNV in the Canadian prairies. Furthermore, these models can also be used to examine the potential effects of climate change on the vector population abundance and the distribution of WNV.
West Nile virus; Culex tarsalis; geographic information system; generalized linear mixed model; environmental variables; Canadian prairie
The Canadian prairie provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta have reported the highest human incidence of clinical cases of West Nile virus (WNV) infection in Canada. The primary vector for WVN in this region is the mosquito Culex tarsalis. This study used constructed models and biological thresholds to predict the spatial and temporal distribution of Cx. tarsalis and WNV infection rate in the prairie provinces under a range of potential future climate and habitat conditions. We selected one median and two extreme outcome scenarios to represent future climate conditions in the 2020 (2010–2039), 2050 (2040–2069) and 2080 (2070–2099) time slices. In currently endemic regions, the projected WNV infection rate under the median outcome scenario in 2050 raised 17.91 times (ranged from 1.29-27.45 times for all scenarios and time slices) comparing to current climate conditions. Seasonal availability of Cx. tarsalis infected with WNV extended from June to August to include May and September. Moreover, our models predicted northward range expansion for Cx. tarsalis (1.06–2.56 times the current geographic area) and WNV (1.08–2.34 times the current geographic area). These findings predict future public and animal health risk of WNV in the Canadian prairie provinces.
West Nile virus; Culex tarsalis; climate change; Canadian prairies; spatial and temporal distribution; habitat
Drug use and relapse involve learned associations between drug-associated environmental cues and drug effects. Extinction procedures in the clinic can suppress conditioned responses to drug cues, but the extinguished responses typically reemerge after exposure to the drug itself (reinstatement), the drug-associated environment (renewal), or the passage of time (spontaneous recovery). We describe a memory retrieval-extinction procedure that decreases conditioned drug effects and drug seeking in rat models of relapse, and drug craving in abstinent heroin addicts. In rats, daily retrieval of drug-associated memories 10 minutes or 1 hour but not 6 hours before extinction sessions attenuated drug-induced reinstatement, spontaneous recovery, and renewal of conditioned drug effects and drug seeking. In heroin addicts, retrieval of drug-associated memories 10 minutes before extinction sessions attenuated cue-induced heroin craving 1, 30, and 180 days later. The memory retrieval-extinction procedure is a promising nonpharmacological method for decreasing drug craving and relapse during abstinence.
The evidence that the variants GCK rs1799884, GCKR rs780094, MTNR1B rs10830963 and G6PC2 rs560887, which are related to fasting plasma glucose levels, increase the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is contradictory. We therefore performed a meta-analysis to derive a more precise estimation of the association between these polymorphisms and T2DM.
All the publications examining the associations of these variants with risk of T2DM were retrieved from the MEDLINE and EMBASE databases. Using the data from the retrieved articles, we computed summary estimates of the associations of the four variants with T2DM risk. We also examined the studies for heterogeneity, as well as for bias of the publications.
A total of 113,025 T2DM patients and 199,997 controls from 38 articles were included in the meta-analysis. Overall, the pooled results indicated that GCK (rs1799884), GCKR (rs780094) and MTNR1B (rs10830963) were significantly associated with T2DM susceptibility (OR, 1.04; 95%CI, 1.01–1.08; OR, 1.08; 95%CI, 1.05–1.12 and OR, 1.05; 95%CI, 1.02–1.08, respectively). After stratification by ethnicity, significant associations for the GCK, MTNR1B and G6PC2 variants were detected only in Caucasians (OR, 1.09; 95%CI, 1.02–1.16; OR, 1.10; 95%CI, 1.08–1.13 and OR, 0.97; 95%CI, 0.95–0.99, respectively), but not in Asians (OR, 1.02, 95% CI 0.98–1.05; OR, 1.01; 95%CI, 0.98–1.04 and OR, 1.12; 95%CI, 0.91–1.32, respectively).
Our meta-analyses demonstrated that GCKR rs780094 variant confers high cross-ethnicity risk for the development of T2DM, while significant associations between GCK, MTNR1B and G6PC2 variants and T2DM risk are limited to Caucasians.
The Dynesys system provides stability for destabilized spines while preserving segmental motion. However, clinical studies have demonstrated that the Dynesys system does not prevent adjacent segment disease. Moreover, biomechanical studies have revealed that the stiffness of the Dynesys system is comparable to rigid fixation. Our previous studies showed that adjusting the cord pretension of the Dynesys system alleviates stress on the adjacent level during flexion. We also demonstrated that altering the stiffness of Dynesys system spacers can alleviate stress on the adjacent level during extension of the intact spine. In the present study, we hypothesized that omitting the cord preload and changing the stiffness of the Dynesys system spacers would abate stress shielding on adjacent spinal segments.
Finite element models were developed for - intact spine (INT), facetectomy and laminectomy at L3-4 (DEC), intact spine with Dynesys system (IntDyWL), decompressed spine with Dynesys system (DecDyWL), decompressed spine with Dynesys system without cord preload (DecDyNL), and decompressed spine with Dynesys system assembled using spacers that were 0.8 times the standard diameter without cord pretension (DecDyNL0.8). These models were subjected to hybrid control for flexion, extension, axial rotation; and lateral bending.
The greatest decreases in range of motion (ROM) at the L3-4 level occurred for axial rotation and lateral bending in the IntDyWL model and for flexion and extension in the DecDyWL model. The greatest decreases in disc stress occurred for extension and lateral bending in the IntDyWL model and for flexion in the DecDyWL model. The greatest decreases in facet contact force occurred for extension and lateral bending in the DecDyNL model and for axial rotation in the DecDyWL model. The greatest increases in ROMs at L2-3 level occurred for flexion, axial rotation and lateral bending in IntDyWL model and for extension in the DecDyNL model. The greatest increases in disc stress occurred for flexion, axial rotation and lateral bending in the IntDyWL model and for extension in the DecDyNL model. The greatest increases in facet contact force occurred for extension and lateral bending in the DecDyNL model and for axial rotation in the IntDyWL model.
The results reveals that removing the Dynesys system cord pretension attenuates the ROMs, disc stress, and facet joint contact forces at adjacent levels during flexion and axial rotation. Removing cord pretension together with softening spacers abates stress shielding for adjacent segment during four different moments, and it provides enough security while not jeopardizes the stability of spine during axial rotation.
Adjacent disc; Decompression; Dynesys; Cord pretension; Spacer; Finite element analysis