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1.  Honokiol Suppresses Renal Cancer Cells’ Metastasis via Dual-Blocking Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition and Cancer Stem Cell Properties through Modulating miR-141/ZEB2 Signaling 
Molecules and Cells  2014;37(5):383-388.
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is associated with a high frequency of metastasis and only few therapies substantially prolong survival. Honokiol, isolated from Magnolia spp. bark, has been shown to exhibit pleiotropic anticancer effects in many cancer types. However, whether honokiol could suppress RCC metastasis has not been fully elucidated. In the present study, we found that honokiol suppressed renal cancer cells’ metastasis via dual-blocking epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cancer stem cell (CSC) properties. In addition, honokiol inhibited tumor growth in vivo. It was found that honokiol could up-regulate miR-141, which targeted ZEB2 and modulated ZEB2 expression. Honokiol reversed EMT and suppressed CSC properties partly through the miR-141/ZEB2 axis. Our study suggested that honokiol may be a suitable therapeutic strategy for RCC treatment.
PMCID: PMC4044309  PMID: 24810210
cancer stem cell; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; honokiol; microRNA; renal cell carcinoma
2.  Cancer Stem-like Cell Properties are Regulated by EGFR/AKT/β-catenin Signaling and Preferentially Inhibited by Gefitinib in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma 
The FEBS journal  2013;280(9):10.1111/febs.12226.
We report that the EGFR pathway plays a critical role in regulating cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), one of the most common malignant tumors in Southeast Asia. Effects of EGFR on maintaining CSCs are mainly mediated by AKT signaling, and β-catenin is responsible for governing CSC properties in response to EGFR/AKT activation. Significantly, CSCs are enriched by cisplatin and decreased by gefitinib in NPC xenograft models. Upon reimplantation in secondary mice, tumor cells derived from cisplatin-treated mice grew rapidly, whereas regrowth of tumor cells from gefitinib-treated mice was severely diminished. We further demonstrate that expression of EGFR correlates with expression of β-catenin and Nanog in primary tumor specimens from NPC patients. These findings provide mechanistic and preclinical evidence supporting the use of gefitinib alone or in combination with a chemotherapeutic agent in first-line therapy for patients with NPC. In addition, our results suggest that targeting β-catenin represents a rational clinical modality for patients whose tumors harbor activated EGFR or AKT.
PMCID: PMC3831031  PMID: 23461856
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; Cancer stem-like cells; EGFR; β-catenin; Gefitinib
3.  A case of horizontal gene transfer from Wolbachia to Aedes albopictus C6/36 cell line 
Mobile Genetic Elements  2014;4:e28914.
Horizontal gene transfer plays an essential role in evolution and ecological adaptation, yet this phenomenon has remained controversial, particularly where it occurs between prokaryotes and eukaryotes. There are a handful of reported examples of horizontal gene transfer occurring between prokaryotes and eukaryotes in the literature, with most of these documented cases pertaining to invertebrates and endosymbionts. However, the vast majority of these horizontally transferred genes were either eventually excluded or rapidly became nonfunctional in the recipient genome. In this study, we report the discovery of a horizontal gene transfer from the endosymbiont Wolbachia in the C6/36 cell line derived from the mosquito Aedes albopictus. Moreover, we report that this horizontally transferred gene displayed high transcription level. This finding and the results of further experimentation strongly suggest this gene is functional and has been expressed and translated into a protein in the mosquito host cells.
PMCID: PMC4013104  PMID: 24812591
horizontal gene transfer; endosymbiont; Wolbachia; mosquito; Aedes Albopictus; C6/36 cell line
4.  Ribosomal Protein S29 Regulates Metabolic Insecticide Resistance through Binding and Degradation of CYP6N3 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94611.
Many diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes, including malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, filariasis, and West Nile fever. Chemical control plays a major role in managing mosquito-borne diseases. However, excessive and continuous application of insecticides has caused the development of insecticide resistance in many species including mosquito, and this has become the major obstacle to controlling mosquito-borne diseases. Insecticide resistance is the result of complex polygenic inheritance, and the mechanisms are not well understood. Ribosomal protein RPS29 was found to be associated with DM resistance in our previous study. In this study, we aim to further investigate the involvement of RPS29 in deltamethrin resistance.
Methodology and Principal Findings
In this study, tandem affinity purification was used to identify proteins that can interact with RPS29. Among the candidate proteins, CYP6N3, a member of the CYP450 superfamily, was identified, and binding to RPS29 was confirmed in vitro and in vivo by GST pull-down and immunofluorescence. CCK-8 assay was used to investigate the RPS29-CTP6N3 interaction in relation to DM resistance. CYP6N3 overexpression significantly enhanced DM resistance and insect cell viability, but this was reversed by RPS29 overexpression. Western blot was used to study the mechanism of interaction between RPS29 and CYP6N3. RPS29 increases CYP6N3 protein degradation through the proteasome.
Conclusions and Significance
These observations indicate that CYP6N3, a novel RPS29-interacting partner, could stimulate deltamethrin resistance in mosquito cells and RPS29 overexpression targeted CYP6N3 for proteosomal degradation, abrogating the CYP6N3-associated resistence to deltamethrin. Our findings provide a novel mechanism associated with CYP450s mediated DM resistance.
PMCID: PMC3984272  PMID: 24728095
5.  Strength Training Induces Muscle Hypertrophy and Functional Gains in Black Prostate Cancer Patients Despite Androgen Deprivation Therapy 
Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer (PCa) is associated with weakness, fatigue, sarcopenia, and reduced quality of life (QoL). Black men have a higher incidence and mortality from PCa than Caucasians. We hypothesized that despite ADT, strength training (ST) would increase muscle power and size, thereby improving body composition, physical function, fatigue levels, and QoL in older black men with PCa.
Muscle mass, power, strength, endurance, physical function, fatigue perception, and QoL were measured in 17 black men with PCa on ADT before and after 12 weeks of ST. Within-group differences were determined using t tests and regression models.
ST significantly increased total body muscle mass (2.7%), thigh muscle volume (6.4%), power (17%), and strength (28%). There were significant increases in functional performance (20%), muscle endurance (110%), and QoL scores (7%) and decreases in fatigue perception (38%). Improved muscle function was associated with higher functional performance (R 2 = 0.54) and lower fatigue perception (R 2 = 0.37), and both were associated with improved QoL (R 2 = 0.45), whereas fatigue perception tended to be associated with muscle endurance (R 2 = 0.37).
ST elicits muscle hypertrophy even in the absence of testosterone and is effective in counteracting the adverse functional consequences of ADT in older black men with PCa. These improvements are associated with reduced fatigue perception, enhanced physical performance, and improved QoL. Thus, ST may be a safe and well-tolerated therapy to prevent the loss of muscle mass, strength, and power commonly observed during ADT.
PMCID: PMC3593619  PMID: 23089339
6.  A Small Physiological Electric Field Mediated Responses of Extravillous Trophoblasts Derived from HTR8/SVneo Cells: Involvement of Activation of Focal Adhesion Kinase Signaling 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e92252.
Moderate invasion of trophoblast cells into endometrium is essential for the placental development and normal pregnancy. Electric field (EF)-induced effects on cellular behaviors have been observed in many cell types. This study was to investigate the effect of physiological direct current EF (dc EF) on cellular responses such as elongation, orientation and motility of trophoblast cells. Immortalized first trimester extravillous trophoblast cells (HTR-8/SVneo) were exposed to the dc EF at physiological magnitude. Cell images were recorded and analyzed by image analyzer. Cell lysates were used to detect protein expression by Western blot. Cultured in the dc EFs the cells showed elongation, orientation and enhanced migration rate compared with non-EF stimulated cells at field strengths of 100 mV/mm to 200 mV/mm. EF exposure increased focal adhesion kinase (FAK) phosphorylation in a time-dependent manner and increased expression levels of MMP-2. Pharmacological inhibition of FAK impaired the EF-induced responses including motility and abrogated the elevation of MMP-2 expression. However, the expression levels of integrins like integrin α1, α5, αV and β1 were not affected by EF stimulation. Our results demonstrate the importance of FAK activation in migration/motility of trophobalst cells driven by EFs. In addition, it raises the feasibility of using applied EFs to promote placentation through effects on trophoblast cells.
PMCID: PMC3958492  PMID: 24643246
7.  Trypsin-Catalyzed Deltamethrin Degradation 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e89517.
To explore if trypsin could catalyze the degradation of non-protein molecule deltamethrin, we compared in vitro hydrolytic reactions of deltamethrin in the presence and absence of trypsin with ultraviolet-visible (UV/Vis) spectrophotometry and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS). In addition, acute oral toxicity of the degradation products was determined in Wistar rats. The results show that the absorption peak of deltamethrin is around 264 nm, while the absorption peaks of deltamethrin degradation products are around 250 nm and 296 nm. In our GC setting, the retention time of undegraded deltamethrin was 37.968 min, while those of deltamethrin degradation products were 15.289 min and 18.730 min. The LD50 of deltamethrin in Wistar rats is 55 mg/kg, while that of deltamethrin degradation products is 3358 mg/kg in female rats and 1045 mg/kg in male rates (61-fold and 19-fold reductions in toxicity), suggesting that trypsin could directly degrade deltamethrin, which significantly reduces the toxicity of deltamethrin. These results expand people's understanding of the functions of proteases and point to potential applications of trypsin as an attractive agent to control residual pesticides in the environment and on agricultural products.
PMCID: PMC3940599  PMID: 24594869
8.  Co-Expression of Bacterial Aspartate Kinase and Adenylylsulfate Reductase Genes Substantially Increases Sulfur Amino Acid Levels in Transgenic Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88310.
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is one of the most important forage crops used to feed livestock, such as cattle and sheep, and the sulfur amino acid (SAA) content of alfalfa is used as an index of its nutritional value. Aspartate kinase (AK) catalyzes the phosphorylation of aspartate to Asp-phosphate, the first step in the aspartate family biosynthesis pathway, and adenylylsulfate reductase (APR) catalyzes the conversion of activated sulfate to sulfite, providing reduced sulfur for the synthesis of cysteine, methionine, and other essential metabolites and secondary compounds. To reduce the feedback inhibition of other metabolites, we cloned bacterial AK and APR genes, modified AK, and introduced them into alfalfa. Compared to the wild-type alfalfa, the content of cysteine increased by 30% and that of methionine increased substantially by 60%. In addition, a substantial increase in the abundance of essential amino acids (EAAs), such as aspartate and lysine, was found. The results also indicated a close connection between amino acid metabolism and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. The total amino acid content and the forage biomass tested showed no significant changes in the transgenic plants. This approach provides a new method for increasing SAAs and allows for the development of new genetically modified crops with enhanced nutritional value.
PMCID: PMC3919742  PMID: 24520364
9.  Ribose-phosphate pyrophosphokinase 1 (PRPS1) associated with deltamethrin resistance in Culex pipiens pallens 
Parasitology research  2012;112(2):847-854.
Ribose-phosphate pyrophosphokinase 1 (PRPS1) was identified and isolated as a differentially expressed gene between deltamethrin-susceptible (DS) and deltamethrin-resistant (DR) Culex pipiens pallens and Aedes albopictus C6/36 cell line through microarray and 2D-Gel. An open reading frame of PRPS1 cloned from C. pipiens pallens has 1,011 bp and encodes for a 336 amino acids protein which shares high homology with Culex quinquefasciatus. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to determine the transcript expression level of PRPS1 in DS and DR strains. The expression levels of PRPS1 were higher in DR laboratory strains and natural population JXZ-DR, JXZ-LDR. PRPS1 was also detected and expressed at all developmental stages of C. pipiens pallens and increased expression level in DR3 strain than DS strain in the third and fourth instar larvae, female and male stages. In addition, to further investigate the role of PRPS1 in deltamethrin resistance, PRPS1 was transiently expressed in A. albopictus C6/36 cells and detected by western blotting. Cells transfected with PRPS1 had an increased resistance to deltamethrin compared with control cells. These results suggested that the increased expression level of PRPS1 may play roles in the regulation of deltamethrin resistance.
PMCID: PMC3720864  PMID: 23250545
10.  Genome sequence of Anopheles sinensis provides insight into genetics basis of mosquito competence for malaria parasites 
BMC Genomics  2014;15:42.
Anopheles sinensis is an important mosquito vector of Plasmodium vivax, which is the most frequent and widely distributed cause of recurring malaria throughout Asia, and particularly in China, Korea, and Japan.
We performed 454 next-generation sequencing and obtained a draft sequence of A. sinensis assembled into scaffolds spanning 220.8 million base pairs. Analysis of this genome sequence, we observed expansion and contraction of several immune-related gene families in anopheline relative to culicine mosquito species. These differences suggest that species-specific immune responses to Plasmodium invasion underpin the biological differences in susceptibility to Plasmodium infection that characterize these two mosquito subfamilies.
The A. sinensis genome produced in this study, provides an important resource for analyzing the genetic basis of susceptibility and resistance of mosquitoes to Plasmodium parasites research which will ultimately facilitate the design of urgently needed interventions against this debilitating mosquito-borne disease.
PMCID: PMC3901762  PMID: 24438588
Genome; Anopheles sinensis; Malaria
11.  Identification of Amides as Carboxylic Acid Surrogates for Quinolizidinone-Based M1 Positive Allosteric Modulators 
ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters  2012;3(12):1070-1074.
Selective activation of the M1 muscarinic receptor via positive allosteric modulation represents an approach to treat the cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer's disease. A series of amides were examined as a replacement for the carboxylic acid moiety in a class of quinolizidinone carboxylic acid M1 muscarinic receptor positive allosteric modulators, and leading pyran 4o and cyclohexane 5c were found to possess good potency and in vivo efficacy.
PMCID: PMC4025801  PMID: 24900430
carboxylic acid surrogates; quinolizidinone; positive allosteric modulators
12.  Epidemiology and Risk Factors of Cervical Spine Injury during Heating Season in the Patients with Cervical Trauma: A Cross-Sectional Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e78358.
The purpose of this study was to describe the epidemiology of cervical spine injury in the patients with cervical trauma and analyze its associated risk factors during the special heating season in North China.
This cross-sectional study investigated predictors for cervical spine injury in cervical trauma patients using retrospectively collected data of Hebei Provincial Orthopaedic Hospital from 11/2011 to 02/2012, and 11/2012 to 02/2013. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to determine risk factors for cervical fractures/dislocations or cord injury.
A total of 106 patients were admitted into this study. Of all, 34 patients (32.1%) were treated from 11/2011 to 02/2012 and 72 patients (67.9%) from 11/2012 to 02/2013. The mean age was 41.9±13.3 years old; 85 patients (80.2%) were male and 82 (77.4%) from rural areas. Eighty patients (75.5%) were caused by fall including 45 (42.5%) by severe fall (>2 m). Sixty-five patients (61.3%) of all suffered injuries to other body regions and 32 (30.2%) got head injury. Thirty-one patients (29.2%) sustained cervical cord injury with cervical fractures/dislocations. Twenty-six (83.9%) of cervical cord injury patients were from rural areas and 24 (77.4%) of those resulted from fall including 15 (48.4%) from severe fall (>2 m). Logistic regression displayed that age (OR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.05–2.07), head injury (OR, 5.63; 95% CI, 2.23–14.26), were risk factors for cervical cord injury and snowing (OR, 8.25; 95% CI, 2.26–30.15) was a risk factor for cervical spine injury due to severe fall (>2 m).
The elder male patients and patients with head trauma are high-risk population for cervical cord injury. As a seasonal factor, snowing during heating season is of note a risk factor for cervical spine injury resulting from severe fall (>2 m) in the patients with cervical trauma in North China.
PMCID: PMC3817250  PMID: 24223795
13.  Hypercholesterolemic Myocardium Is Vulnerable to Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury and Refractory to Sevoflurane-Induced Protection 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e76652.
Recent studies have demonstrated that volatile anesthetic postconditioning confers myocardial protection against ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury through activation of the reperfusion injury salvage kinase (RISK) pathway. As RISK has been shown to be impaired in hypercholesterolemia. Therefore, we investigate whether anesthetic-induced cardiac protection was maintained in hypercholesterolemic rats. In the present study, normocholesteolemic or hypercholesterolemic rat hearts were subjected to 30 min of ischemia and 2 h of reperfusion. Animals received 2.4% sevoflurane for 5 min or 3 cycles of 10-s ischemia/10-s reperfusion. The hemodynamic parameters, including left ventricular developed pressure, left ventricular end-diastolic pressure and heart rate, were continuously monitored. The infarct size, apoptosis, p-Akt, p-ERK1/2, p-GSK3β were determined. We found that both sevoflurane and ischemic postconditioning significantly improved heart pump function, reduced infarct size and increased the phosphorylation of Akt, ERK1/2 and their downstream target of GSK3β in the healthy rats. In the hypercholesterolemic rats, neither sevoflurane nor ischemic postconditioning improved left ventricular hemodynamics, reduced infarct size and increased the phosphorylated Akt, ERK1/2 and GSK3β. In contrast, GSK inhibitor SB216763 conferred cardioprotection against IR injury in healthy and hypercholesterolemic hearts. In conclusions, hyperchoesterolemia abrogated sevoflurane-induced cardioprotection against IR injury by alteration of upstream signaling of GSK3β and acute GSK inhibition may provide a novel therapeutic strategy to protect hypercholesterolemic hearts against IR injury.
PMCID: PMC3790738  PMID: 24124583
14.  Medial patella retinaculum plasty for treatment of habitual patellar dislocation in adolescents 
International Orthopaedics  2012;36(9):1819-1825.
The surgical technique, medial patellar retinaculum plasty, can almost restore both static and dynamic stability and verge on anatomical repair for the treatment of habitual patellar dislocation in adolescents.
In accordance with the injury patterns of the medial patellar retinaculum through knee MRI, we repaired different injury sites with this surgical procedure. We reviewed this technique in 16 patients with an average age of 15 years. Retrospective review of charts and radiographs immediately after the surgery up to the latest follow-up (range 12–36 months) was undertaken.
All patients were evaluated clinically and radiologically over an average of 20.7 months. The recovery of knee mobility results were good. No recurrence of patellar instability has been found.
We think this could be a valid technique to treat habitual patellar dislocation in adolescents.
PMCID: PMC3427441  PMID: 22552428
15.  Cloning and characterization of prophenoloxidase A3 (proPOA3) from Culex pipiens pallens 
The prophenoloxidase subunit A3 (proPOA3) gene was cloned from Culex pipiens pallens, which had an open reading frame of 2,061 bp encoding a putative 686 amino acid protein. The deduced amino acid sequence shares 98% with proPOA3 from Cx. quinquefasciatus. ProPOA3 is expressed at all developmental stages of Cx. pipiens pallens. Significant negative correlation was observed between proPOA3 expression and deltamethrin resistance in resistant Cx. pipiens pallens. Furthermore, proPOA3 expression levels were significantly lower in deltamethrin-resistant mosquitoes than in susceptible mosquitoes collected at four locations in Eastern China. However, we did not find any substantial change in proPOA3 expression in field-collected resistant Anopheles mosquitoes. Moreover, overexpressing proPOA3 in C6/36 cells led to more sensitivity to deltamethrin treatment. In laboratory and field-collected resistant Cx. pipiens pallens, a valine to isoleucine mutation (769G>A) and two synonymous mutations (1116G>C and 1116G>A) were identified in proPOA3. In addition, the mutation frequency of 769G>A and 1116G>C increased gradually, which corresponded with raised deltamethrin resistance levels. Taken together, our study provides the first evidence that proPOA3 may play a role in the regulation of deltamethrin-resistance in Cx. pipiens pallens.
PMCID: PMC3365641  PMID: 22561195
Culex pipiens pallens; deltamethrin resistance; prophenoloxidase; mutation
16.  Results of a randomized and controlled clinical trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of combination therapy with Endostar and S-1 combined with oxaliplatin in advanced gastric cancer 
OncoTargets and therapy  2013;6:925-929.
We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of combination therapy of Endostar (recombinant human endostatin) and S-1 combined with oxaliplatin (SOX) in patients with advanced gastric cancer.
In this randomized, controlled trial, 165 late-stage gastric cancer patients were assigned to the experimental arm with Endostar in combination with SOX (80 patients) and the control arm with SOX alone (85 patients). The end points of this study included progression-free survival, response rate, and disease-control rate.
There was no statistically significant difference in response rate between the experimental arm and the control arm (53.8% vs 42.4%, P=0.188). The difference in disease-control rate was also statistically insignificant between the two arms (85.0% vs 72.9%, P=0.188). Progression-free survival in the experimental arm was significantly higher than that in the control arm (15.0 months vs 12.0 months, P=0.0001). Common adverse events included immunosuppression, gastrointestinal distress, and neuropathy. There was no statistical difference in the incidences of adverse events.
Combination therapy of Endostar and SOX provides therapeutic benefits to advanced gastric cancer patients, with tolerable adverse effects.
PMCID: PMC3728266  PMID: 23926435
endostatin; gastric cancer; SOX; oxaliplatin; Endostar; S-1
17.  Identification of Proteasome Subunit Beta Type 6 (PSMB6) Associated with Deltamethrin Resistance in Mosquitoes by Proteomic and Bioassay Analyses 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e65859.
Deltamethrin (DM) insecticides are currently being promoted worldwide for mosquito control, because of the high efficacy, low mammalian toxicity and less environmental impact. Widespread and improper use of insecticides induced resistance, which has become a major obstacle for the insect-borne disease management. Resistance development is a complex and dynamic process involving many genes. To better understand the possible molecular mechanisms involved in DM resistance, a proteomic approach was employed for screening of differentially expressed proteins in DM-susceptible and -resistant mosquito cells. Twenty-seven differentially expressed proteins were identified by two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) and mass spectrometry (MS). Four members of the ubiquitin-proteasome system were significantly elevated in DM-resistant cells, suggesting that the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway may play an important role in DM resistance. Proteasome subunit beta type 6 (PSMB6) is a member of 20S proteasomal subunit family, which forms the proteolytic core of 26S proteasome. We used pharmaceutical inhibitor and molecular approaches to study the contributions of PSMB6 in DM resistance: the proteasome inhibitor MG-132 and bortezomib were used to suppress the proteasomal activity and siRNA was designed to block the function of PSMB6. The results revealed that both MG-132 and bortezomib increased the susceptibility in DM-resistant cells and resistance larvae. Moreover, PSMB6 knockdown decreased cellular viability under DM treatment. Taken together, our study indicated that PSMB6 is associated with DM resistance in mosquitoes and that proteasome inhibitors such as MG-132 or bortezomib are suitable for use as a DM synergist for vector control.
PMCID: PMC3677870  PMID: 23762443
18.  Activation of Akt and cardioprotection against reperfusion injury are maximal with only five minutes of sevoflurane postconditioning in isolated rat hearts*  
It had been proved that administration of sevoflurane for the first two minutes of reperfusion effectively protects the heart against reperfusion injury in rats in vivo. Our aim was to investigate the duration of effective sevoflurane administration and its underlying mechanism in isolated rat hearts exposed to global ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into six groups (n=12): a sham-operation group, an I/R group, and four sevoflurane postconditioning groups (S2, S5, S10, and S15). In the S2, S5, S10, and S15 groups, the duration times of sevoflurane administration were 2, 5, 10, and 15 min after the onset of reperfusion, respectively. The isolated rat hearts were mounted on the Langendorff system, and after a period of equilibrium were subjected to 40 min global ischemia and 120 min reperfusion. Left ventricular (LV) hemodynamic parameters were monitored throughout each experiment and the data at 30 min of equilibrium and 30, 60, 90, and 120 min of reperfusion were analyzed. Myocardial infarct size at the end of reperfusion (n=7 in each group) and the expression of myocardial phosphorylated Akt (p-Akt) after 15-min reperfusion were determined in a duplicate set of six groups of rat hearts (n=5 in each group). Compared with the I/R group, the S5, S10, and S15 groups had significantly improved left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP), left ventricular developed pressure (LVDP), and the maximal rate of rise or fall of the LV pressure (±dP/dt max), and decreased myocardial infarct size (P<0.05), but not the S2 group. After 15 min of reperfusion, the expression of p-Akt was markedly up-regulated in the S5, S10, and S15 groups compared with that in the I/R group (P<0.05), but not in the S2 group. Sevoflurane postconditioning for 5 min was sufficient to activate Akt and exert maximal cardioprotection against I/R injury in isolated rat hearts.
PMCID: PMC3682167  PMID: 23733428
Sevoflurane postconditioning; Ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury; Cardioprotection; Duration of administration; Akt
19.  Relationship of macrophage migration inhibitory factor levels in PBMCs, lesional skin and serum with disease severity and activity in vitiligo vulgaris 
Melanocyte loss in vitiligo vulgaris is believed to be an autoimmune process. Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is involved in many autoimmune skin diseases. We determined the possible role of MIF in the pathogenesis of vitiligo vulgaris, and describe the relationship between MIF expressions and disease severity and activity. Serum MIF concentrations and mRNA levels in PBMCs were measured in 44 vitiligo vulgaris patients and 32 normal controls, using ELISA and real-time RT-PCR. Skin biopsies from 15 patients and 6 controls were analyzed by real-time RT-PCR. Values are reported as median (25th-75th percentile). Serum MIF concentrations were significantly increased in patients [35.81 (10.98-43.66) ng/mL] compared to controls [7.69 (6.01-9.03) ng/mL]. MIF mRNA levels were significantly higher in PBMCs from patients [7.17 (3.59-8.87)] than controls [1.67 (1.23-2.42)]. There was also a significant difference in MIF mRNA levels in PBMCs between progressive and stable patients [7.86 (5.85-9.13) vs 4.33 (2.23-8.39)] and in serum MIF concentrations [40.47 (27.71-46.79) vs 26.80 (10.55-36.07) ng/mL]. In addition, the vitiligo area severity index scores of patients correlated positively with changes of both serum MIF concentrations (r = 0.488) and MIF mRNA levels in PBMCs (r = 0.426). MIF mRNA levels were significantly higher in lesional than in normal skin [2.43 (2.13-7.59) vs 1.18 (0.94-1.83)] and in patients in the progressive stage than in the stable stage [7.52 (2.43-8.84) vs 2.13 (1.98-2.64)]. These correlations suggest that MIF participates in the pathogenesis of vitiligo vulgaris and may be useful as an index of disease severity and activity.
PMCID: PMC3854402  PMID: 23797494
Migration inhibitory factor; Vitiligo vulgaris
20.  Positive resources for combating depressive symptoms among Chinese male correctional officers: perceived organizational support and psychological capital 
BMC Psychiatry  2013;13:89.
Although correctional officers (COs) clearly suffer from depression, positive resources for combating depression have been rarely studied in this population. The purpose of the study was to examine the associations of perceived organizational support (POS) and psychological capital (PsyCap) with depressive symptoms among Chinese COs.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted in a province of northeast China during March–April 2011. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to 1900 male COs from four male prisons. Depressive symptoms, POS, and PsyCap (self efficacy, hope, resilience, and optimism) were measured anonymously. A total of 1428 effective respondents with 953 frontline COs (FL-COs) and 475 non-frontline COs (NFL-COs) became our final sample. Hierarchical linear regression was performed to explore the factors associated with depressive symptoms. Asymptotic and resampling strategies were used to examine the mediating roles of PsyCap and its four components.
The level of depressive symptoms of FL-COs was significantly higher than that of NFL-COs (t = 2.28, p = 0.023). There were significant negative associations of POS, PsyCap, hope, resilience, and optimism with depressive symptoms among FL-COs. In NFL-COs, POS, PsyCap, and optimism were negatively associated with depressive symptoms. POS was positively associated with PsyCap and its four components among both FL-COs and NFL-COs. For FL-COs, PsyCap (a*b = −0.143, BCa 95% CI: –0.186, –0.103, p < 0.05), resilience (a*b = −0.052, BCa 95% CI: –0.090, –0.017, p < 0.05), and optimism (a*b = −0.053, BCa 95% CI: –0.090, –0.016, p < 0.05) significantly mediated the association between POS and depressive symptoms. For NFL-COs, PsyCap (a*b = −0.126, BCa 95% CI: –0.186, –0.065, p < 0.05) and optimism (a*b = −0.066, BCa 95% CI: –0.116, –0.008, p < 0.05) significantly mediated the association.
Perceived organizational support and psychological capital could be positive resources for combating depressive symptoms in Chinese male COs. Psychological capital and its components (resilience and optimism) partially mediate the association between perceived organizational support and depressive symptoms. Therefore, organizational support and psychological capital investment (especially resilience and optimism) should be included in depression preventions and treatments targeting Chinese male COs.
PMCID: PMC3608992  PMID: 23510273
Depressive symptoms; Positive psychological capital; Perceived organizational support; Mediating role; Occupational psychology; Correctional officers
21.  Pharmacokinetics of Different Dosing Strategies of Oral Posaconazole in Patients with Compromised Gastrointestinal Function and Who Are at High Risk for Invasive Fungal Infection 
The aim of this study was to assess different dosing strategies that may result in increased posaconazole bioavailability in patients with compromised gastrointestinal function and at high risk for invasive fungal infections. Patients undergoing chemotherapy and at risk for compromised gastrointestinal function received open-label posaconazole at 200 mg three times daily (TID) on days 1 to 8. Patients were randomized to one of three open-label dosing regimens of posaconazole on days 9 to 15: 200 mg TID, 400 mg twice daily (BID), or 400 mg TID. The plasma concentrations of interest on days 8 and 15 were 500 and 700 ng/ml, respectively; day 2 plasma concentrations of 250 and 350 ng/ml were chosen as levels that might result in steady-state concentrations of >500 and >700 ng/ml, respectively. A total of 75 patients enrolled; 52/75 (69%) completed the study, and 49/75 were included in the pharmacokinetic analyses. Mean plasma concentrations were 230, 346, and 637 ng/ml on days 2, 3, and 8, respectively. The day 15 values were 660, 930, and 671 ng/ml for 200 mg TID, 400 mg BID, and 400 mg TID, respectively. In 12 patients with a day 8 posaconazole concentration of <250 ng/ml, an overall benefit of the higher two doses was not apparent, suggesting that a subset of patients has low steady-state plasma concentrations. A change in dosing regimen on day 9 did not lead to higher exposures in these “poor absorbers” on day 15. Poor absorption may be enhanced with a high-fat meal, a nutritional supplement, or acidification.
PMCID: PMC3346642  PMID: 22290953
22.  A Highly Efficient Ziehl-Neelsen Stain: Identifying De Novo Intracellular Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Improving Detection of Extracellular M. tuberculosis in Cerebrospinal Fluid 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2012;50(4):1166-1170.
Tuberculous meningitis leads to a devastating outcome, and early diagnosis and rapid chemotherapy are vital to reduce morbidity and mortality. Since Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a kind of cytozoic pathogen and its numbers are very few in cerebrospinal fluid, detecting M. tuberculosis in cerebrospinal fluid from tuberculous meningitis patients is still a challenge for clinicians. Ziehl-Neelsen stain, the current feasible microbiological method for the diagnosis of tuberculosis, often needs a large amount of cerebrospinal fluid specimen but shows a low detection rate of M. tuberculosis. Here, we developed a modified Ziehl-Neelsen stain, involving cytospin slides with Triton processing, in which only 0.5 ml of cerebrospinal fluid specimens was required. This method not only improved the detection rate of extracellular M. tuberculosis significantly but also identified intracellular M. tuberculosis in the neutrophils, monocytes, and lymphocytes clearly. Thus, our modified method is more effective and sensitive than the conventional Ziehl-Neelsen stain, providing clinicians a convenient yet powerful tool for rapidly diagnosing tuberculous meningitis.
PMCID: PMC3318527  PMID: 22238448
23.  Electroacupuncture pretreatment induces tolerance against focal cerebral ischemia through activation of canonical Notch pathway 
BMC Neuroscience  2012;13:111.
Electroacupuncture (EA) pretreatment can induce the tolerance against focal cerebral ischemia. However, the underlying mechanisms have not been fully understood. Emerging evidences suggest that canonical Notch signaling may be involved in ischemic brain injury. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that EA pretreatment-induced tolerance against focal cerebral ischemia is mediated by Notch signaling.
EA pretreatment significantly enhanced Notch1, Notch4 and Jag1 gene transcriptions in the striatum, except Notch1 intracellular domain level, which could be increased evidently by ischemia. After ischemia and reperfusion, Hes1 mRNA and Notch1 intracellular domain level in ischemic striatum in EA pretreatment group were increased and reached the peak at 2 h and 24 h, respectively, which were both earlier than the peak achieved in control group. Intraventricular injection with the γ-secretase inhibitor MW167 attenuated the neuroprotective effect of EA pretreatment.
EA pretreatment induces the tolerance against focal cerebral ischemia through activation of canonical Notch pathway.
PMCID: PMC3465225  PMID: 22989188
Electroacupuncture; Pretreatment; Cerebral ischemia; Notch pathway
24.  Identification and analysis of pig chimeric mRNAs using RNA sequencing data 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:429.
Gene fusion is ubiquitous over the course of evolution. It is expected to increase the diversity and complexity of transcriptomes and proteomes through chimeric sequence segments or altered regulation. However, chimeric mRNAs in pigs remain unclear. Here we identified some chimeric mRNAs in pigs and analyzed the expression of them across individuals and breeds using RNA-sequencing data.
The present study identified 669 putative chimeric mRNAs in pigs, of which 251 chimeric candidates were detected in a set of RNA-sequencing data. The 618 candidates had clear trans-splicing sites, 537 of which obeyed the canonical GU-AG splice rule. Only two putative pig chimera variants whose fusion junction was overlapped with that of a known human chimeric mRNA were found. A set of unique chimeric events were considered middle variances in the expression across individuals and breeds, and revealed non-significant variance between sexes. Furthermore, the genomic region of the 5′ partner gene shares a similar DNA sequence with that of the 3′ partner gene for 458 putative chimeric mRNAs. The 81 of those shared DNA sequences significantly matched the known DNA-binding motifs in the JASPAR CORE database. Four DNA motifs shared in parental genomic regions had significant similarity with known human CTCF binding sites.
The present study provided detailed information on some pig chimeric mRNAs. We proposed a model that trans-acting factors, such as CTCF, induced the spatial organisation of parental genes to the same transcriptional factory so that parental genes were coordinatively transcribed to give birth to chimeric mRNAs.
PMCID: PMC3531304  PMID: 22925561
Chimeric mRNA; Trans-splicing; RNA-sequencing; CTCF; Pig
25.  Single-Dose Phase I Study To Evaluate the Pharmacokinetics of Posaconazole in New Tablet and Capsule Formulations Relative to Oral Suspension 
Posaconazole oral suspension, a marketed extended-spectrum triazole with proven efficacy as antifungal treatment and prophylaxis, should be taken with food to maximize absorption. New tablet and capsule formulations have been developed in an attempt to optimize absorption and bioavailability. The aims of this exploratory open-label, partially randomized, 2-part, 4-way, single-dose crossover study in 16 healthy adults were to characterize pharmacokinetics for posaconazole tablet and capsule formulations relative to those for posaconazole oral suspension under fasted and fed conditions and to assess safety and tolerability. Under fasted conditions, posaconazole exposures (area under the curve [AUC]) for the tablet and capsule formulations were similar (mean AUC from time zero to infinity [AUC0–∞], tablet A, 11,700 ng · h/ml [coefficient of variation {CV}, 26%]; tablet B, 11,300 ng · h/ml [CV, 22%]; capsule, 11,000 ng · h/ml [CV, 25%]) and were substantially higher than the exposure for the oral suspension (mean AUC0–∞, 3,420 ng · h/ml [CV, 44%]). Tablets and capsule showed less variability in exposure than the oral suspension. In fed subjects, tablets and capsule resulted in similar AUC values (mean AUC0–∞, tablet A, 11,900 ng · h/ml [23%]; tablet B, 12,400 ng · h/ml [CV, 25%]; capsule, 12,300 ng · h/ml [CV, 28%]) and slightly higher exposure than the oral suspension (mean AUC0–∞, 8,750 [CV, 24%]). Median times to the maximum concentration of drug in plasma were 4 to 5 h (fasted conditions) and 6 to 8 h (fed conditions). Mean half-lives values were similar for all formulations under fed and fasted conditions (23.1 to 29.2 h). Consistent with previous data, exposure for the oral suspension increased 2.5- to 3-fold when it was given with a high-fat meal. Conversely, exposures for tablets and capsule were not markedly affected by food. All formulations of posaconazole at 100 mg were safe and well tolerated.
PMCID: PMC3421591  PMID: 22615291

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