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1.  Dental and periodontal status of 12-year-old Bulang children in China 
BMC Oral Health  2014;14:32.
Background
Bulang is an ethnic minority group living in Yunnan in the southwestern part of China. There is little information pertaining to the oral health of Bulang children. This study aims to examine the dental caries and periodontal status of 12-year-old Bulang children in China and the factors affecting their oral-health status.
Methods
12-year-old Bulang school children in Yunnan, China, were recruited through a multi-stage cluster sampling method. Following the recommendation of the World Health Organization, caries experiences were recorded using the DMFT index and periodontal status with the CPI index. A self-completed questionnaire was used to collect information on the background and oral health-related behaviours of the children.
Results
A total of 900 children in primary schools were invited, and 873 (97%) joined the survey. Their caries prevalence was 35%. Their caries experience in mean DMFT (±SD) score was 0.6 ± 1.1, and 94% of the carious teeth had no treatment. Most children (71%) had bleeding gums, and 58% of them had calculus. Girls and those who had visited a dentist in the previous year had higher caries risk.
Conclusions
Dental caries was common among the 12-year-old Bulang children in China. Most of the carious teeth were left untreated. Caries prevalence was associated with gender and dental attendance. Their periodontal condition was poor, and more than half of them had calculus.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-14-32
PMCID: PMC3978202  PMID: 24708768
Caries; Children; Ethnic; Minority; China
2.  Inferring Gene Dependency Network Specific to Phenotypic Alteration Based on Gene Expression Data and Clinical Information of Breast Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e92023.
Although many methods have been proposed to reconstruct gene regulatory network, most of them, when applied in the sample-based data, can not reveal the gene regulatory relations underlying the phenotypic change (e.g. normal versus cancer). In this paper, we adopt phenotype as a variable when constructing the gene regulatory network, while former researches either neglected it or only used it to select the differentially expressed genes as the inputs to construct the gene regulatory network. To be specific, we integrate phenotype information with gene expression data to identify the gene dependency pairs by using the method of conditional mutual information. A gene dependency pair (A,B) means that the influence of gene A on the phenotype depends on gene B. All identified gene dependency pairs constitute a directed network underlying the phenotype, namely gene dependency network. By this way, we have constructed gene dependency network of breast cancer from gene expression data along with two different phenotype states (metastasis and non-metastasis). Moreover, we have found the network scale free, indicating that its hub genes with high out-degrees may play critical roles in the network. After functional investigation, these hub genes are found to be biologically significant and specially related to breast cancer, which suggests that our gene dependency network is meaningful. The validity has also been justified by literature investigation. From the network, we have selected 43 discriminative hubs as signature to build the classification model for distinguishing the distant metastasis risks of breast cancer patients, and the result outperforms those classification models with published signatures. In conclusion, we have proposed a promising way to construct the gene regulatory network by using sample-based data, which has been shown to be effective and accurate in uncovering the hidden mechanism of the biological process and identifying the gene signature for phenotypic change.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092023
PMCID: PMC3956890  PMID: 24637666
3.  Dental caries status of Bulang preschool children in Southwest China 
BMC Oral Health  2014;14:16.
Background
Bulang is one of the 55 ethnic minorities in China with a population of around 120,000. They live mainly in Yunnan, which is a less-developed province in southwestern China. Many Bulang people live in remote villages and have little access to dental care. They like hot and sour food and chew betel nut. This study examines the caries status of 5-year-old Bulang children and factors that influence their caries status.
Methods
A sample of 5-year-old Bulang children in Yunnan was selected using a multi-stage cluster sampling method. One trained dentist examined the children using dental mirrors with intra-oral LED light and CPI probes. Caries experience was measured according to the dmft index. Oral hygiene status was recorded according to the visible plaque index (VPI). A parental questionnaire was used to study the children’s oral health-related behaviours.
Results
A total of 775 children were invited and 723 joined the survey. The caries prevalence was 85%, and 38% of them had caries involved in pulp. The mean dmft and dt score were 5.8 ± 4.9 and 5.6 ± 4.8, respectively. Visible plaque was found on 636 children (88%). Multi-factor ANCOVA analysis found that higher dmft scores were found among the children who snacked on sweets daily, had visited a dentist within the last year and had higher VPI scores.
Conclusions
The caries prevalence and experience among 5-year-old Bulang children in Yunnan was high, and most of the caries were left untreated. The caries experience was associated with snacking habits, dental visit habits and oral hygiene.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-14-16
PMCID: PMC3946148  PMID: 24593701
Caries; Children; Ethnic; Minority; China
4.  Early-Life Exposure to Bisphenol A Induces Liver Injury in Rats Involvement of Mitochondria-Mediated Apoptosis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e90443.
Exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), a monomer widely used to manufacture polycarbonate plastics, has been reported to be associated with abnormalities of liver function and hepatic damage. However, the molecular mechanism under the pathogenesis of hepatic injury is unclear. In this study, the effect of perinatal exposure to BPA at the reference dose of 50 µg/kg/day on the apoptotic index in the liver of rat offspring was investigated. Increased levels of ALT and enhanced cell apoptosis were observed in the liver of rat offspring at 15 and 21 weeks, and significantly increased activity of caspase-3 and caspase-9 and elevated levels of cytochrome c were also confirmed. In addition, significant change in the expression levels of Bcl-2 and Bax were found in BPA-treated offspring at 21 weeks. For in vitro experiments, liver mitochondria were isolated from neonatal rats and were treated with BPA. BPA treatment led to a significant increase in mitochondrial permeability transition. Moreover, the supernatant from BPA-treated mitochondria significantly increased apoptotic changes in nuclei isolated from liver tissue. In conclusion, the study demonstrates that BPA induces mitochondria-mediated apoptosis in hepatic cells, which may contribute to long-term hepatotoxicity induced by early-life exposure to BPA.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0090443
PMCID: PMC3938763  PMID: 24587367
5.  Ultrahigh spin thermopower and pure spin current in a single-molecule magnet 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:4128.
Using the non-equilibrium Green's function (NEGF) formalism within the sequential regime, we studied ultrahigh spin thermopower and pure spin current in single-molecule magnet(SMM), which is attached to nonmagnetic metal wires with spin bias and angle (θ) between the easy axis of SMM and the spin orientation in the electrodes. A pure spin current can be generated by tuning the gate voltage and temperature difference with finite spin bias and the arbitrary angle except of . In the linear regime, large thermopower can be obtained by modifying Vg and the angles (θ). These results are useful in fabricating and advantaging SMM devices based on spin caloritronics.
doi:10.1038/srep04128
PMCID: PMC3928577  PMID: 24549224
6.  Lack of Association of P2RX7 Gene rs2230912 Polymorphism with Mood Disorders: A Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88575.
Background
To assess the association of P2RX7 gene rs2230912 polymorphism with mood disorders using a meta-analysis.
Methods
Data were collected from the following electronic databases: PubMed, Excerpta Medica Database, Elsevier Science Direct, Cochrane Library, and Chinese Biomedical Literature Database, with the last report up to April 1, 2013. Odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was used to assess the strength of the association. Dependent on the results of heterogeneity test among individual studies, the fixed effect model (Mantel–Haenszel) or random effect model (DerSimonian–Laird) was selected to summarize the pooled OR.
Results
We identified 13 separate studies using search (6,962 cases and 9,262 controls). We detected significant between-study heterogeneity. No significant association of this polymorphism with mood disorders was found (P>0.05). We also performed disease-specific meta-analysis in unipolar depression and bipolar disorder. No significant association of this polymorphism with unipolar depression or bipolar disorder was found (P>0.05). Additionally, we performed subgroup analysis by different types of cases. No significant association of this polymorphism with mood disorders in clinical cohorts or population-based cohorts (P>0.05). A significant association of this polymorphism with mood disorders was found for the allele contrast in family-based cohorts (OR = 1.26, 95%CI = 1.05–1.50, P = 0.01).
Conclusions
Overall, our meta-analysis suggests that P2RX7 gene rs2230912 polymorphism may not contribute to the risk of developing mood disorders using a case-control design. Given the discordance in the subgroup analysis by different types of cases, further studies based on larger sample size are still needed.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088575
PMCID: PMC3922924  PMID: 24533115
7.  Pretreatment of Mice with Oligonucleotide prop5 Protects Them from Influenza Virus Infections 
Viruses  2014;6(2):573-581.
Influenza A virus is a successful parasite and requires host factors to complete its life cycle. Prop5 is an antisense oligonucleotide, targeting programmed cell death protein 5 (PDCD5). In this study, we tested the antiviral activity of prop5 against mouse-adapted A/FM/1/47 strain of influenza A virus in a mouse model. Prop5 intranasally administered the mice at dosages of 10 and 20 mg/kg/d at 24 h and 30 min before infection, provided 80% and 100% survival rates and prolonged mean survival days in comparison with influenza virus-infected mice (both p < 0.01). Moreover, viral titres in mice pretreated with prop5, at dose of 10 and 20 mg/kg/d, had declined significantly on day two, four, and six post-infection compared with the yields in infected mice (p < 0.05 or p < 0.01); lung index in mice pretreated with prop5 (20 mg/kg/d) had been inhibited on day six post-infection (p < 0.05). Western blotting and immunohistochemistry showed that prop5 could down-regulate the PDCD5 protein expression levels in lung tissues of infected mice. These data indicate that antisense oligonucleotide prop5 is a promising drug for prophylaxis and control influenza virus infections and provides an insight into the host-pathogen interaction.
doi:10.3390/v6020573
PMCID: PMC3939472  PMID: 24509810
influenza A virus; host factor; antisense oligonucleotide; prop5
8.  Electroacupuncture at Acupoints Reverses Plasma Glutamate, Lipid, and LDL/VLDL in an Acute Migraine Rat Model: A 1H NMR-Based Metabolomic Study 
Background. The objective of this study was to identify potential biomarkers of electroacupuncture (EA) on relieving acute migraine through metabolomic study. Methods. EA treatments were performed on both acupoints and nonacupoints on the nitroglycerin (NTG)-induced migraine rat model. NMR experiments and multivariate analysis were used for metabolomic analysis. Results. The number of head-scratching, the main ethology index of migraine rat model, was significantly increased (P < 0.01) after NTG injection. The plasma metabolic profile of model group was distinct from that of the control group. Glutamate was significantly increased (P < 0.01), whereas lipids were significantly decreased (P < 0.01) in model rats. After EA at acupoints, the metabolic profile of model rats was normalized, with decreased glutamate (P < 0.05) and increased lipids (P < 0.01). In contrast, EA at nonacupoints did not restore the metabolic profile, but with six metabolites significantly different from acupoints group. Interestingly, the number of head-scratching and glutamate level were significantly decreased (P < 0.05) after receiving EA at both acupoints and nonacupoints. Conclusions. EA at acupoints may relieve acute migraine by restoring the plasma metabolic profile and plasma glutamate, while EA at nonacupoints may modestly relieve acute migraine by decreasing plasma glutamate.
doi:10.1155/2014/659268
PMCID: PMC3921982  PMID: 24592282
9.  Long-term intensive management increased carbon occluded in phytolith (PhytOC) in bamboo forest soils 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:3602.
Carbon (C) occluded in phytolith (PhytOC) is highly stable at millennium scale and its accumulation in soils can help increase long-term C sequestration. Here, we report that soil PhytOC storage significantly increased with increasing duration under intensive management (mulching and fertilization) in Lei bamboo (Phyllostachys praecox) plantations. The PhytOC storage in 0–40 cm soil layer in bamboo plantations increased by 217 Mg C ha−1, 20 years after being converted from paddy fields. The PhytOC accumulated at 79 kg C ha−1 yr−1, a rate far exceeding the global mean long-term soil C accumulation rate of 24 kg C ha−1 yr−1 reported in the literature. Approximately 86% of the increased PhytOC came from the large amount of mulch applied. Our data clearly demonstrate the decadal scale management effect on PhytOC accumulation, suggesting that heavy mulching is a potential method for increasing long-term organic C storage in soils for mitigating global climate change.
doi:10.1038/srep03602
PMCID: PMC3884227  PMID: 24398703
10.  Surface chemistry-mediated penetration and gold nanorod thermotherapy in multicellular tumor spheroids† 
Nanoscale  2012;5(1):143-146.
We investigated the penetration and thermotherapy efficiency of different surface coated gold nanorods (Au NRs) in multicellular tumor spheroids. The current data show that negatively charged Au NRs, other than positively charged Au NRs, can penetrate deep into the tumor spheroids and achieve a significant thermal therapeutic benefit.
doi:10.1039/c2nr31877f
PMCID: PMC3518646  PMID: 23154390
11.  Comparison of concurrent chemoradiotherapy followed by radical surgery and high-dose-rate intracavitary brachytherapy: a retrospective study of 240 patients with FIGO stage IIB cervical carcinoma 
OncoTargets and therapy  2014;7:91-100.
Background
The aim of this study was to compare the long-term survival outcome and late toxicity in patients with FIGO (International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics) stage IIB cervical carcinoma after two treatment modalities, ie, concurrent chemoradiotherapy followed by radical surgery and concurrent chemoradiotherapy followed by high-dose-rate intracavitary brachytherapy.
Methods
Between November 2004 and November 2011, 240 patients with FIGO stage IIB cervical carcinoma were analyzed, comprising 119 patients treated with concurrent chemoradiotherapy followed by radical surgery (group 1) and 121 patients treated with concurrent chemoradiotherapy followed by high-dose-rate intracavitary brachytherapy (group 2). Local control, overall survival, progression-free survival, and treatment-related complications were compared between the two groups.
Results
The median follow-up duration was 36 months. Concurrent chemoradiotherapy followed by radical surgery showed a survival benefit when comparing group 1 and group 2 (3-year overall survival, 94.9% versus 84.6%, P=0.011; 3-year progression-free survival, 91.0% versus 81.8%, P=0.049, respectively). Three-year local pelvic control was 94.6% in group 1 and 93.3% in group 2 (P=0.325). Prognostic factors in group 1 were: age (≤35 years versus >35 years), 3-year progression-free survival (74.1% versus 90.9%, P=0.037); tumor diameter (≥6 cm versus <6 cm); and 3-year progression-free survival, (60.6% versus 92.9%, P=0.004). Prognostic factors in group 2 were: tumor diameter (≥4 cm versus <4 cm); 3-year overall survival (78.0% versus 94.8%, P=0.043); tumor diameter (≥6 cm versus <6 cm); 3-year progression-free survival (42.9% versus 84.2%, P=0.032); and 3-year overall survival (42.9% versus 87.1%, P=0.013). Further, 50 patients (42.02%) in group 1 and 46 patients (38.02%) in group 2 suffered from late complications. Analysis of the difference in composition of late complications showed that the rate of leg edema was higher in group 1 (35.29% versus 4.96%, P=0.000) while the rate of radiation enteritis was higher in group 2 (30.58% versus 5.04%, P=0.000).
Conclusion
In patients with FIGO stage IIB cervical carcinoma, concurrent chemoradiotherapy followed by radical surgery achieved higher overall survival and progression-free survival rates in comparison with radical radiotherapy associated with concurrent chemotherapy. Tumor diameter could be a common prognostic factor in these two groups of patients.
doi:10.2147/OTT.S52710
PMCID: PMC3888351  PMID: 24421644
cervical carcinoma; preoperative concurrent chemoradiotherapy; radical radiotherapy; prognostic factors; late toxicity
12.  Correction: Therapeutic Effects of 15 Hz Pulsed Electromagnetic Field on Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy in Streptozotocin-Treated Rats 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):10.1371/annotation/b162aa26-6251-4db6-af5f-35b4d9ee5055.
doi:10.1371/annotation/b162aa26-6251-4db6-af5f-35b4d9ee5055
PMCID: PMC3868465
13.  Distribution of Endophytic Bacteria in Alopecurus aequalis Sobol and Oxalis corniculata L. from Soils Contaminated by Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e83054.
The distributions of endophytic bacteria in Alopecurus aequalis Sobol and Oxalis corniculata L. grown in soils contaminated with different levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were investigated with polymerase chain reaction followed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis technology (PCR-DGGE) and cultivation methods. Twelve types of PAHs, at concentrations varying from 0.16 to 180 mg·kg−1, were observed in the roots and shoots of the two plants. The total PAH concentrations in Alopecurus aequalis Sobol obtained from three different PAH-contaminated stations were 184, 197, and 304 mg·kg−1, and the total PAH concentrations in Oxalis corniculata L. were 251, 346, and 600 mg·kg−1, respectively. The PCR-DGGE results showed that the endophytic bacterial communities in the roots and shoots of the two plants were quite different, although most bacteria belonged to Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes. A total of 68 endophytic bacterial strains were isolated from different tissues of the two plants and classified into three phyla: Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes. In both plants, Bacillus spp. and Pseudomonas spp. were the dominant cultivable populations. With an increase in the PAH pollution level, the diversity and distribution of endophytic bacteria in the two plants changed correspondingly, and the number of cultivable endophytic bacterial strains decreased rapidly. Testing of the isolated endophytic bacteria for tolerance to each type of PAH showed that most isolates could grow well on Luria-Bertani media in the presence of different PAHs, and some isolates were able to grow rapidly on a mineral salt medium with a single PAH as the sole carbon and energy source, indicating that these strains may have the potential to degrade PAHs in plants. This research provides the first insight into the characteristics of endophytic bacterial populations under different PAH pollution levels and provides a species resource for the isolation of PAH-degrading endophytic bacteria.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0083054
PMCID: PMC3866203  PMID: 24358247
14.  Characterizing dynamic regulatory programs in mouse lung development and their potential association with tumourigenesis via miRNA-TF-mRNA circuits 
BMC Systems Biology  2013;7(Suppl 2):S11.
Background
In dynamic biological processes, genes, transcription factors(TF) and microRNAs(miRNAs) play vital regulation roles. Many researchers have focused on the transcription factors or miRNAs in transcriptional or post transcriptional stage, respectively. However, the transcriptional regulation and post transcriptional regulation is not isolated in the whole dynamic biological processes, there are few reserchers who have tried to consider the network composed by genes, miRNAs and TFs in this dynamic biological processes, especially in the mouse lung development. Moreover, it is widely acknowledged that cancer is a kind of developmental disorders, and some of pathways involved in tissue development might be also implicated in causing cancer. Although it has been found that many genes differentially expressed during mouse lung development are also differentially expressed in lung cancer, very little work has been reported to elucidate the combinational regulatory programs of such kind of associations.
Results
In order to investigate the association of transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulating activities in the mouse lung development, we define the significant triple relations among miRNAs, TFs and mRNAs as circuits. From the lung development time course data GSE21053, we mine 142610 circuit candidates including 96 TFs, 129 miRNAs and 13403 genes. After removing genes with little variation along different time points, we finally find 64760 circuit candidates, containing 8299 genes, 50 TFs, and 118 miRNAs in total. Further analysis on the circuits shows that the circuits vary in different stages of the lung development and play different roles. By investigating the circuits in the context of lung specific genes, we identify out the regulatory combinations for lung specific genes, as well as for those lung non-specific genes. Moreover, we show that the lung non-specific genes involved circuits are functionally related to the lung development. Noticing that some tissue developmental systems may be involved in tumourigenesis, we also check the cancer genes involved circuits, trying to find out their regulatory program, which would be useful for the research of lung cancer.
Conclusions
The relevant transcriptional or post-transcriptional factors and their roles involved in the mouse lung development are both changed greatly in different stages. By investigating the cancer genes involved circuits, we can find miRNAs/TFs playing important roles in tumour progression. Therefore, the miRNA-TF-mRNA circuits can be used in wide translational biomedicine studies, and can provide potential drug targets towards the treatment of lung cancer.
doi:10.1186/1752-0509-7-S2-S11
PMCID: PMC3866260  PMID: 24564886
15.  Computer-Based Image Studies on Tumor Nests Mathematical Features of Breast Cancer and Their Clinical Prognostic Value 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82314.
Background
The expending and invasive features of tumor nests could reflect the malignant biological behaviors of breast invasive ductal carcinoma. Useful information on cancer invasiveness hidden within tumor nests could be extracted and analyzed by computer image processing and big data analysis.
Methods
Tissue microarrays from invasive ductal carcinoma (n = 202) were first stained with cytokeratin by immunohistochemical method to clearly demarcate the tumor nests. Then an expert-aided computer analysis system was developed to study the mathematical and geometrical features of the tumor nests. Computer recognition system and imaging analysis software extracted tumor nests information, and mathematical features of tumor nests were calculated. The relationship between tumor nests mathematical parameters and patients' 5-year disease free survival was studied.
Results
There were 8 mathematical parameters extracted by expert-aided computer analysis system. Three mathematical parameters (number, circularity and total perimeter) with area under curve >0.5 and 4 mathematical parameters (average area, average perimeter, total area/total perimeter, average (area/perimeter)) with area under curve <0.5 in ROC analysis were combined into integrated parameter 1 and integrated parameter 2, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that integrated parameter 1 (P = 0.040) was independent prognostic factor of patients' 5-year disease free survival. The hazard risk ratio of integrated parameter 1 was 1.454 (HR 95% CI [1.017–2.078]), higher than that of N stage (HR 1.396, 95% CI [1.125–1.733]) and hormone receptor status (HR 0.575, 95% CI [0.353–0.936]), but lower than that of histological grading (HR 3.370, 95% CI [1.125–5.364]) and T stage (HR 1.610, 95% CI [1.026 –2.527]).
Conclusions
This study indicated integrated parameter 1 of mathematical features (number, circularity and total perimeter) of tumor nests could be a useful parameter to predict the prognosis of early stage breast invasive ductal carcinoma.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082314
PMCID: PMC3861398  PMID: 24349253
16.  New Sinularianin Sesquiterpenes from Soft Coral Sinularia sp. 
Marine Drugs  2013;11(12):4741-4750.
Four new sesquiterpenes, sinularianins C–F (3–6), together with known sinularianins A (1) and B (2) were identified from a South China Sea soft coral Sinularia sp. Compounds 1–6 were evaluated for inhibition of NF-κB activation using the cell-based HEK293 NF-κB luciferase reporter gene assay. Compounds 1 and 4 were exhibited a potent effect with inhibitory rates of 41.3% and 43.0% at the concentration of 10 µg/mL, respectively.
doi:10.3390/md11124741
PMCID: PMC3877883  PMID: 24317466
soft coral; Sinularia sp.; sesquiterpenes; sinularianins; NF-κB
17.  The epidemiology of sexually transmitted co-infections in HIV-positive and HIV-negative African-Caribbean women in Toronto 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:550.
Background
HIV disproportionately affects African-Caribbean women in Canada but the frequency and distribution of sexually transmitted infections in this community have not been previously studied.
Methods
We recruited women based on HIV status through a Toronto community health centre. Participants completed a socio-behavioural questionnaire using Audio Computer Assisted Self-Interview (ACASI) and provided blood for syphilis, HIV, hepatitis B and C, herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), and human cytomegalovirus (CMV) serology, urine for chlamydia and gonorrhea molecular testing and vaginal secretions for bacterial vaginosis (BV) and human papillomavirus (HPV). Differences in prevalence were assessed for statistical significance using chi-square.
Results
We recruited 126 HIV-positive and 291 HIV-negative women, with a median age of 40 and 31 years, respectively (p < 0.001). Active HBV infection and lifetime exposure to HBV infection were more common in HIV-positive women (4.8% vs. 0.34%, p = 0.004; and 47.6% vs. 21.2%, p < 0.0001), as was a self-reported history of HBV vaccination (66.1% vs. 44.0%, p = 0.0001). Classical STIs were rare in both groups; BV prevalence was low and did not vary by HIV status. HSV-2 infection was markedly more frequent in HIV-positive (86.3%) than HIV-negative (46.6%) women (p < 0.0001). Vaginal HPV infection was also more common in HIV-positive than in HIV-negative women (50.8% vs. 22.6%, p < 0.0001) as was infection with high-risk oncogenic HPV types (48.4% vs. 17.3%, p < 0.0001).
Conclusions
Classical STIs were infrequent in this clinic-based population of African-Caribbean women in Toronto. However, HSV-2 prevalence was higher than that reported in previous studies in the general Canadian population and was strongly associated with HIV infection, as was infection with hepatitis B and HPV.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-550
PMCID: PMC3835625  PMID: 24238493
Sexually transmitted infections; HIV; Epidemiology; African-Caribbean women; Toronto
18.  Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields Improve Bone Microstructure and Strength in Ovariectomized Rats through a Wnt/Lrp5/β-Catenin Signaling-Associated Mechanism 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e79377.
Growing evidence has demonstrated that pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF), as an alternative noninvasive method, could promote remarkable in vivo and in vitro osteogenesis. However, the exact mechanism of PEMF on osteopenia/osteoporosis is still poorly understood, which further limits the extensive clinical application of PEMF. In the present study, the efficiency of PEMF on osteoporotic bone microarchitecture and bone quality together with its associated signaling pathway mechanisms was systematically investigated in ovariectomized (OVX) rats. Thirty rats were equally assigned to the Control, OVX and OVX+PEMF groups. The OVX+PEMF group was subjected to daily 8-hour PEMF exposure with 15 Hz, 2.4 mT (peak value). After 10 weeks, the OVX+PEMF group exhibited significantly improved bone mass and bone architecture, evidenced by increased BMD, Tb.N, Tb.Th and BV/TV, and suppressed Tb.Sp and SMI levels in the MicroCT analysis. Three-point bending test suggests that PEMF attenuated the biomechanical strength deterioration of the OVX rat femora, evidenced by increased maximum load and elastic modulus. RT-PCR analysis demonstrated that PEMF exposure significantly promoted the overall gene expressions of Wnt1, LRP5 and β-catenin in the canonical Wnt signaling, but did not exhibit obvious impact on either RANKL or RANK gene expressions. Together, our present findings highlight that PEMF attenuated OVX-induced deterioration of bone microarchitecture and strength in rats by promoting the activation of Wnt/LRP5/β-catenin signaling rather than by inhibiting RANKL-RANK signaling. This study enriches our basic knowledge to the osteogenetic activity of PEMF, and may lead to more efficient and scientific clinical application of PEMF in inhibiting osteopenia/osteoporosis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0079377
PMCID: PMC3828367  PMID: 24244491
19.  miR-181b as a key regulator of the oncogenic process and its clinical implications in cancer (Review) 
Biomedical Reports  2013;2(1):7-11.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs or miRs) are small, non-coding, single-stranded RNA molecules that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level to repress protein expression of target genes. Among these, miR-181b has been found to be a critical regulatory miRNA linking inflammation and cancer. The functional significance of miR-181b in various tumors and translational research suggests that it exhibits great potential as a predictive and prognostic biomarker. Extensive efforts are underway to identify mRNA targets and the affected regulatory networks, which may be the key to providing a better understanding of miR-181b-mediated signaling pathways.
doi:10.3892/br.2013.199
PMCID: PMC3917097  PMID: 24649060
miRNA; miR-181b; oncogene; tumor suppressor gene; regulator
20.  Characterisation of Lyzls in mice and antibacterial properties of human LYZL6 
Asian Journal of Andrology  2013;15(6):824-830.
C-type lysozyme genes (Lyzls) belong to the class of lysozymes and are highly expressed in the testis and epididymis. The members Lyzl4 and Spaca3 have been reported to play a role in sperm–egg binding and fertilisation in mice. However, the function of the remaining two mouse c-type lysozyme genes, Lyzl1 and Lyzl6, is still not clear. In the present study, we analysed the tissue expression and androgen-dependent expression of mouse c-type lysozyme genes and the possible contribution of human recombinant LYZL6 (rLYZL6) to immunity. The expression of Lyzls was detected by RT-PCR, Western blots, immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence. The bacteriolytic activity of rLYZL6 was analysed by a colony-forming assay. In mice, the expression of Lyzl genes was mainly in the testis and epididymis in a developmentally regulated manner and androgen- or testicular factor-regulated manner. Immunodetection revealed the presence of LYZL6 protein in primary spermatocytes and round spermatids of the testis and on the post-acrosomal area and midpiece of mature epididymal spermatozoa. The rLYZL6 protein exhibited antibacterial activity. From the results, Lyzls may play a role in mitochondrial function of spermatozoa and LYZL6 may contribute to the innate immunity of the male genital tract.
doi:10.1038/aja.2013.93
PMCID: PMC3854060  PMID: 24013621
antibacterial properties; c-type lysozyme genes (Lyzls); expression characterisation; human LYZL6; testosterone
21.  miR-101 inhibits cell proliferation by targeting Rac1 in papillary thyroid carcinoma 
Biomedical Reports  2013;2(1):122-126.
Accumulating evidence suggests that some microRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) progression. However, it remains necessary to elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms involved. In the present study, we investigated the role of microRNA-101 (miR-101) in PTC via targeting of Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 (Rac1). The results showed that miR-101 was significantly downregulated in PTC tissues compared with adjacent normal tissues. Restoration of miR-101 expression significantly inhibited cell proliferation in the K1 PTC cell line. Moreover, algorithm-based and experimental strategies verified Rac1 as a direct target of miR-101 in the K1 cell line. Taken together, these findings suggest that miR-101 inhibited PTC growth via the downregulation of Rac1 expression, providing a better understanding of miRNA-modulated signaling networks for future cancer therapeutics.
doi:10.3892/br.2013.192
PMCID: PMC3917094  PMID: 24649082
microRNA-101; proliferation; thyroid cancer; Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1
22.  Ensemble classifier based on context specific miRNA regulation modules: a new method for cancer outcome prediction 
BMC Bioinformatics  2013;14(Suppl 12):S6.
Background
Many calssifiers which are constructed with chosen gene markers have been proposed to forecast the prognosis of patients who suffer from breast cancer. However, few of them has been applied in clinical practice because of the bad generalization, which results from the situation that markers selected by one method are very different from those obtained by anohter mothod, and thus such markers always lack discriminative capability in the other data sets.
Methods
In this work, a new ensemble classifier, on the basis of context specific miRNA regulation modules, has been proposed to forecast the metastasis risk of cancer sufferers. First, we defined all of the miRNAs which regulate the same context as a module that contains miRNAs and their regulating context, and applied the CoMi (Context-specific miRNA activity) score in order to illustrate a miRNA's effect which happened in a particular background; then the miRNA regulation modules with distinguising abilities were detected and each of them was responsible for building a weak classifier separately; at last, by using majority voting strategy, we integrated all weak classifiers to establish an ensembled one that was applied to forecast the prognosis of patients who suffer from cancer.
Results
After comparing, the results on the cohorts containing over 1,000 samples showed that the proposed ensemble classifier is superior to other three classifiers based on miRNA expression profiles, mRNA expression profiles and CoMi activity patterns respectively. Significantly, our method outperforms the representative works. Moreover, the detected modules from different data sets show great stability (with p-value of 6.40e-08). For investigating the biological significance of those selected modules, case studies have been done by us and the results suggested that our method do help to reveal latent mechanism in metastasis of breast cancer.
Conclusions
One context specific miRNA regulation module can uncover one critical biological process and its involved miRNAs that are related to the cancer outcome, and several modules together can help to study the biological mechanism in cancer metastasis, thus the classifer based on ensembling multiple classifers which were built with different context specific miRNA regulation modules has showed promising performances in terms with both prediction accuracy and generalization.
doi:10.1186/1471-2105-14-S12-S6
PMCID: PMC3848894  PMID: 24268063
23.  Increased 1,5-Anhydroglucitol Predicts Glycemic Remission in Patients with Newly Diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes Treated with Short-Term Intensive Insulin Therapy 
Abstract
Background
Short-term intensive insulin therapy has been shown to induce long-term glycemic remission in patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. However, predictors of remission are still uncertain. This study was conducted to evaluate whether changes of 1,5-anhydroglucitol (1,5AG) and fructosamine (FA) could be a predictor of remission.
Subjects and Methods
Newly diagnosed drug-naive patients with type 2 diabetes (n=64) were enrolled. After baseline assessments, continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII) was administered in all patients until euglycemia was achieved and maintained for another 2 weeks. Patients were subsequently followed monthly for 3 months. 1,5AG and FA were measured before and after therapy and at 1-month follow-up.
Results
After CSII, A1C and FA decreased from baseline, whereas 1,5AG increased. 1,5AG was higher at 1-month follow-up (11.5±4.1 vs. 6.7±2.8 mg/L, P<0.001), whereas FA was lower (273.1±56.1 vs. 316.2±39.3 μmol/L, P=0.021) in the remission group. Stepwise logistic regression analysis showed that 1,5AG at 1-month follow-up rather than FA was an independent predictor of remission after adjusting for other confounders (odds ratio 1.56, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.15–2.12, P=0.004). The area under the curve of the receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was 0.85 (95% CI 0.75–0.96, P<0.001). The optimal cutoff point for 1,5AG at 1-month follow-up was 8.9 mg/L (specificity, 83.3%; sensitivity, 78.6%).
Conclusions
Improvement of 1,5AG predicts maintenance of glycemic remission after intensive insulin therapy in patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes.
doi:10.1089/dia.2012.0055
PMCID: PMC3429328  PMID: 22731793
24.  Mechanism of T cell regulation by microRNAs 
Cancer Biology & Medicine  2013;10(3):131-137.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding single-stranded RNAs that can modulate target gene expression at post-transcriptional level and participate in cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. T cells have important functions in acquired immune response; miRNAs regulate this immune response by targeting the mRNAs of genes involved in T cell development, proliferation, differentiation, and function. For instance, miR-181 family members function in progression by targeting Bcl2 and CD69, among others. MiR-17 to miR-92 clusters function by binding to CREB1, PTEN, and Bim. Considering that the suppression of T cell-mediated immune responses against tumor cells is involved in cancer progression, we should investigate the mechanism by which miRNA regulates T cells to develop new approaches for cancer treatment.
doi:10.7497/j.issn.2095-3941.2013.03.002
PMCID: PMC3860337  PMID: 24379987
MicroRNA; T cell; gene expression
25.  Toxoplasma gondii Protein Disulfide Isomerase (TgPDI) Is a Novel Vaccine Candidate against Toxoplasmosis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e70884.
Toxoplasma gondii is a ubiquitous protozoan parasite that can infect all warm-blooded animals, including both mammals and birds. Protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) localises to the surface of T. gondii tachyzoites and modulates the interactions between parasite and host cells. In this study, the protective efficacy of recombinant T. gondii PDI (rTgPDI) as a vaccine candidate against T. gondii infection in BALB/c mice was evaluated. rTgPDI was expressed and purified from Escherichia coli. Five groups of animals (10 animals/group) were immunised with 10, 20, 30, 40 μg of rTgPDI per mouse or with PBS as a control group. All immunisations were performed via the nasal route at 1, 14 and 21 days. Two weeks after the last immunisation, the immune responses were evaluated by lymphoproliferative assays and by cytokine and antibody measurements. The immunised mice were challenged with tachyzoites of the virulent T. gondii RH strain on the 14th day after the last immunisation. Following the challenge, the tachyzoite loads in tissues were assessed, and animal survival time was recorded. Our results showed that the group immunised with 30 μg rTgPDI showed significantly higher levels of specific antibodies against the recombinant protein, a strong lymphoproliferative response and significantly higher levels of IgG2a, IFN-gamma (IFN-γ), IL-2 and IL-4 production compared with other doses and control groups. While no changes in IL-10 levels were detected. After being challenged with T. gondii tachyzoites, the numbers of tachyzoites in brain and liver tissues from the rTgPDI group were significantly reduced compared with those of the control group, and the survival time of the mice in the rTgPDI group was longer than that of mice in the control group. Our results showed that immunisation with rTgPDI elicited a protective immune reaction and suggested that rTgPDI might represent a promising vaccine candidate for combating toxoplasmosis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0070884
PMCID: PMC3744524  PMID: 23967128

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