Abnormal immunophenotypes of hematopoietic cells can be detected by flow cytometry (FCM) to assist the diagnosis of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). We previously established a FCM scoring system for the diagnosis of low-grade MDS. In this study, additional valuable antigens were involved in an updated FCM scoring system (u-FCMSS) for all MDS subtypes. The u-FCMSS showed better sensitivity and specificity (89.4% and 96.5%) in distinguishing MDS from non-clonal cytopenia diseases. Validation analysis of u-FCMSS exhibited comparable sensitivity and specificity (86.7% and 93.3%) and high agreement rate (88.9%) of FCM diagnosis with morphological diagnosis at optimal cut-off (score 3). The distribution of FCM scores in different disease stages was also analyzed. The results suggested that early scoring from abnormal expression of mature myeloid/lymphoid antigens and advanced scoring from abnormal expression of stem/progenitor antigens expression constituted the majority of FCM scores of low-grade and high-grade MDS, respectively. High early scoring was generally accompanied by low IPSS-R score and superior survival, whereas high advanced scoring was accompanied by high IPSS-R score and inferior survival. In addition, the low-risk MDS patients with high early scoring and low advanced scoring were revealed as candidates for immunosuppressive therapy, whereas those with high advanced scoring and low early scoring may be more suitable for decitabine treatment. In conclusion, the u-FCMSS is a useful tool for diagnosis, prognosis and treatment selection in MDS. Differences in classes of antigens expressed and in distribution of FCM scores may reflect distinctive stage characteristics of MDS during disease progression.
Canonical Wnt signaling pathway, mediated by the transcription factor β-catenin, plays critical roles in embryonic development, and represents an important therapeutic target. In a zebrafish-based in vivo screen for small molecules that specifically perturb embryonic dorsoventral patterning, we discovered a novel compound, named windorphen, which selectively blocks the Wnt signal required for ventral development. Windorphen exhibits remarkable specificity toward β-catenin-1 function, indicating that the two β-catenin isoforms found in zebrafish are not functionally redundant. We show that windorphen is a selective inhibitor of p300 histone acetyl transferase, a co-activator that associates with β-catenin. Lastly, windorphen robustly and selectively kills cancer cells that harbor Wnt-activating mutations, supporting the therapeutic potential of this novel Wnt inhibitor class.
Uric acid (UA) is a complex phenotype influenced by both genetic and environmental factors as well as their interactions. Current genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified a variety of genetic determinants of UA in Europeans; however, such studies in Asians, especially in Chinese populations remain limited.
A two-stage GWAS was performed to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that were associated with serum uric acid (UA) in a Chinese population of 12,281 participants (GWAS discovery stage included 1452 participants from the Dongfeng-Tongji cohort (DFTJ-cohort) and 1999 participants from the Fangchenggang Area Male Health and Examination Survey (FAMHES). The validation stage included another independent 8830 individuals from the DFTJ-cohort). Affymetrix Genome-Wide Human SNP Array 6.0 chips and Illumina Omni-Express platform were used for genotyping for DFTJ-cohort and FAMHES, respectively. Gene-environment interactions on serum UA levels were further explored in 10,282 participants from the DFTJ-cohort.
Briefly, we identified two previously reported UA loci of SLC2A9 (rs11722228, combined P = 8.98 × 10-31) and ABCG2 (rs2231142, combined P = 3.34 × 10-42). The two independent SNPs rs11722228 and rs2231142 explained 1.03% and 1.09% of the total variation of UA levels, respectively. Heterogeneity was observed across different populations. More importantly, both independent SNPs rs11722228 and rs2231142 were nominally significantly interacted with gender on serum UA levels (P for interaction = 4.0 × 10-2 and 2.0 × 10-2, respectively). The minor allele (T) for rs11722228 in SLC2A9 has greater influence in elevating serum UA levels in females compared to males and the minor allele (T) of rs2231142 in ABCG2 had stronger effects on serum UA levels in males than that in females.
Two genetic loci (SLC2A9 and ABCG2) were confirmed to be associated with serum UA concentration. These findings strongly support the evidence that SLC2A9 and ABCG2 function in UA metabolism across human populations. Furthermore, we observed these associations are modified by gender.
Genome-wide association study; Serum uric acid; Ethnic differences; Gene-environment interaction
Brain metastases from solid tumours are associated with poor prognosis despite aggressive treatment. Temozolomide can be used for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme as well as melanoma. It has also been shown to have activity in patients with brain metastases from various malignancies, since it can cross the blood-brain barrier. To better understand the efficacy of temozolomide in the treatment of brain metastases, we carried out a review of 21 published clinical trials to determine whether temozolomide would benefit patients with brain metastases from solid tumours. Information regarding complete response, partial response, stable disease, objective response and objective response rate were collected to assess clinical outcomes. A modest therapeutic effect was observed when temozolomide was used as a single agent, however, the combination of temozolomide with whole-brain radiotherapy and/or other anticancer drugs exhibited encouraging activity. Thus, future high quality studies are warranted to confirm our findings.
Temozolomide; Solid tumours; Brain metastases; Clinical trials; Clinical outcomes
Langerhans cells (LCs) are skin-residential dendritic cells that regulate skin immunity. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are key regulators in the control of biological functions in a variety of cell types. Deletion of all miRNAs interrupts the homeostasis and function of epidermal LCs. However, the roles of individual miRNAs in regulating LC development and function are still completely unknown. MiRNA miR-233 is especially expressed in the myeloid compartment. Here, we reported that miR-223 is highly expressed in freshly isolated epidermal LCs, and tested whether miR-223 regulates LC development and function using miR-223 knockout (KO) mice. We found that the number, maturation, migration and phagocytic capacity of LCs were comparable between miR-223KO and wild-type mice. However, lack of miR-223 significantly increases LCs-mediated antigen-specific CD8+ T cell proliferation in vivo and in vitro, while LCs from KO and WT mice showed comparable stimulation for antigen-specific CD4+ T cells. Our data suggest that miR-223 negatively regulates LC cross-presentation, but may not be required for normal LC homeostasis and development.
Langerhans cells; microRNA; miR-223; cross-presentation
The aim of this study was to investigate how patterns of lymph nodes recurrence after radical surgery impact on survival of patients with pT1-3N0M0 thoracic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. One hundred eighty consecutive patients with thoracic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma underwent radical surgery, and the tumors were staged as pT1-3N0M0 by postoperative pathology. Lymph nodes recurrence was detected with computed tomography 3-120 months after the treatment. The patterns of lymph nodes recurrence including stations, fields and locations of recurrent lymph nodes, and impacts on patterns of survival were statistically analyzed. There was a decreasing trend of overall survival with increasing stations or fields of postoperative lymph nodes involved (all P<0.05). Univariate analysis showed that stations or fields of lymph nodes recurrence, and abdominal or cervical lymph nodes involved were prognostic factors for survival (all P<0.05). Cox analyses revealed that the field was an independent factor (P<0.05, odds ratio=2.73). Lymph nodes involved occurred predominantly in cervix and upper mediastinum (P<0.05). In conclusion, patterns of lymph node recurrence especially the fields of lymph nodes involved are significant prognostic factors for survival of patients with pT1-3N0M0 thoracic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma; Thorax; Lymph Node Recurrence; Tomography, X-Ray Computed; Radical Esophagectomy
Compound Danshen Tablet (CDT), a Traditional Chinese Medicine, has recently been reported to improve spatial cognition in a rat model of Alzheimer’s disease. However, in vivo neuroprotective mechanism of the CDT in models of spatial memory impairment is not yet evaluated. The present study is aimed to elucidate the cellular mechanism of CDT on Aβ25-35-induced cognitive impairment in mice.
Mice were randomly divided into 5 groups: the control group (sham operated), the Aβ25-35 treated group, the positive drug group, and large and small dosage of the CDT groups, respectively. CDT was administered at a dose of 0.81 g/kg and 0.405 g/kg for 3 weeks. The mice in the positive drug group were treated with 0.4 mg/kg of Huperzine A, whereas the mice of the control and Aβ25-35 treated groups were administrated orally with equivalent saline. After 7 days of preventive treatment, mice were subjected to lateral ventricle injection of Aβ25-35 to establish the mice model of Alzheimer’s disease. Spatial memory impairment was evaluated by Morris water maze test. Choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) contents in hippocampus and cortex were quantified by ELISA. The levels of cytokines, receptor of activated protein kinase C1 (RACK1) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in hippocampus were measured by RT-PCR and ELISA.
The results showed that Aβ25-35 caused spatial memory impairment as demonstrated by performance in the Morris water maze test. CDT was able to confer a significant improvement in spatial memory, and protect mice from Aβ25-35-induced neurotoxicity. Additionally, CDT also inhibited the increase of TNF-α and IL-6 level, and increased the expression of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), receptor of activated protein kinase C1 (RACK1) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in brain as compared to model mice.
These findings strongly implicate that CDT may be a useful treatment against learning and memory deficits in mice by rescuing imbalance between cytokines and neurotrophins.
Compound danshen tablet; Spatial memory impairment; ChAT; RACK1; BDNF
We report here a successful demonstration of a flip-chip packaging approach for a microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) device with in-plane movable microelectrodes implanted in a rodent brain. The flip-chip processes were carried out using a custom-made apparatus that was capable of the following: 1) creating Ag epoxy microbumps for first-level interconnect; 2) aligning the die and the glass substrate; and 3) creating non-hermetic encapsulation (NHE). The completed flip-chip package had an assembled weight of only 0.5 g significantly less than the previously designed wire-bonded package of 4.5 g. The resistance of the Ag bumps was found to be negligible. The MEMS micro-electrodes were successfully tested for its mechanical movement with microactuators generating forces of 450 μN with a displacement resolution of 8.8 μm/step. An NHE on the front edge of the package was created by patterns of hydrophobic silicone microstructures to prevent contamination from cerebrospinal fluid while simultaneously allowing the microelectrodes to move in and out of the package boundary. The breakdown pressure of the NHE was found to be 80 cm of water, which is significantly (4.5–11 times) larger than normal human intracranial pressures. Bench top tests and in vivo tests of the MEMS flip-chip packages for up to 75 days showed reliable NHE for potential long-term implantation.
Actuators; biomedical microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) (bio-MEMS); flip chip; hydrophobic silicone; microactuators
We are developing a cardiac pacemaker with a small, cylindrical shape that permits percutaneous implantation into a fetus to treat complete heart block and consequent hydrops fetalis, which can otherwise be fatal. The device uses off-the-shelf components including a rechargeable lithium cell and a highly efficient relaxation oscillator encapsulated in epoxy and glass. A corkscrew electrode made from activated iridium can be screwed into the myocardium, followed by release of the pacemaker and a short, flexible lead entirely within the chest of the fetus to avoid dislodgement from fetal movement. Acute tests in adult rabbits demonstrated the range of electrical parameters required for successful pacing and the feasibility of successfully implanting the device percutaneously under ultrasonic imaging guidance. The lithium cell can be recharged inductively as needed, as indicated by a small decline in the pulsing rate.
Cardiac pacemaker; fetus; congenital heart block; complete heart block; hydrops fetalis
C1q-like is a significant maternal factor of TNF/C1q super-family, and the abundant protein has been observed in both mature eggs of Carassius auratus and Carassius auratus gibelio, but its biological function in early embryo development has remained unclear. In this study, we firstly revealed a high level of maternal C1q-like transcript existence only in mature eggs of Carassius auratus, whereas no any maternal C1q-like transcript was observed in that of Carassius auratus gibelio. During embryonic development, the C1q-like zygotic expression begins around cardiopalmus stage in embryos of both Carassius auratus and Carassius auratus gibelio. Then, we examined the biological role of C1q-like by morpholino-mediated knockdown in early embryo development. Knockdown of CaOC1q resulted in a significant reduction of primordial germ cells (PGCs) in Carassius auratus, as shown by whole mount in situ hybridization with vasa-specific RNA probe, fluorescence immunostaining of vasa protein, and GFP imaging of the GFP-nanos1-3'UTR mRNA reporter. In vitro and in vivo evidence indicated that a microRNA, miR-430 could repress the C1q-like expression and PGC development. These data suggest that C1q-like should be a direct target of miR-430 and play an essential role in PGC development of Carassius auratus.
C1q-like; microRNA; miR-430; knockdown; primordial germ cell; early embryogenesis
Plasma lipid levels are important risk factors for cardiovascular disease and are influenced by genetic and environmental factors. Recent genome wide association studies (GWAS) have identified several lipid-associated loci, but these loci have been identified primarily in European populations. In order to identify genetic markers for lipid levels in a Chinese population and analyze the heterogeneity between Europeans and Asians, especially Chinese, we performed a meta-analysis of two genome wide association studies on four common lipid traits including total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) in a Han Chinese population totaling 3,451 healthy subjects. Replication was performed in an additional 8,830 subjects of Han Chinese ethnicity. We replicated eight loci associated with lipid levels previously reported in a European population. The loci genome wide significantly associated with TC were near DOCK7, HMGCR and ABO; those genome wide significantly associated with TG were near APOA1/C3/A4/A5 and LPL; those genome wide significantly associated with LDL were near HMGCR, ABO and TOMM40; and those genome wide significantly associated with HDL were near LPL, LIPC and CETP. In addition, an additive genotype score of eight SNPs representing the eight loci that were found to be associated with lipid levels was associated with higher TC, TG and LDL levels (P = 5.52×10-16, 1.38×10-6 and 5.59×10-9, respectively). These findings suggest the cumulative effects of multiple genetic loci on plasma lipid levels. Comparisons with previous GWAS of lipids highlight heterogeneity in allele frequency and in effect size for some loci between Chinese and European populations. The results from our GWAS provided comprehensive and convincing evidence of the genetic determinants of plasma lipid levels in a Chinese population.
Evidence had shown the detrimental effect of prostaglandin (PG) E2 in diabetic nephropathy (DN) of STZ-induced type-1 diabetes but its role in the development of DN of type-2 diabetes remains uncertain. The present study was undertaken to investigate the regulation of PGE2 synthetic pathway and the interaction between peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)γ and PGE2 synthesis in the kidneys of db/db mice. Strikingly, urinary PGE2 was remarkably elevated in db/db mice paralleled with the increased protein expressions of COX-2 and mPGES-1. In contrast, the protein expressions of COX-1, mPGES-2, cPGES, and 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (15-PGDH) were not altered. Following 1-week rosiglitazone (Rosi) therapy, urinary PGE2, but not other prostanoids, was reduced by 57% in parallel with significant reduction of mPGES-1 protein and EP4 mRNA expressions. By immunohistochemistry, mPGES-1 was significantly induced in the glomeruli of db/db mice, which was almost entirely abolished by Rosi. In line with the reduction of glomerular mPGES-1, the glomerular injury score showed a tendency of improvement after 1 week of Rosi therapy. Collectively, the present study demonstrated an inhibitory effect of PPARγ activation on renal mPGES-1/PGE2/EP4 pathway in type-2 diabetes and suggested that mPGES-1 may potentially serve as a therapeutic target for treating type-2 diabetes-associated DN.
Although several clinical trials have suggested that postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy can improve survival of patients with gastric cancer, the optimal treatment duration has not been studied. This retrospective analysis evaluated the outcomes of patients with gastric cancer treated with six cycles of fluorouracil-based treatment compared with a cohort treated with four or eight cycles.
We retrospectively identified 237 patients with stage IB–IIIC gastric cancer who received four, six, or eight cycles of fluorouracil-based adjuvant chemotherapy administered every 3 weeks after radical gastrectomy. The endpoint was overall survival (OS). Factors associated with prognosis were also analyzed.
The estimated 3-year OS rates for the four-, six-, and eight-cycle cohorts were 54.4%, 76.1%, and 68.9%, respectively; and the estimated 5-year OS rates were 41.2%, 74.0%, and 65.8%, respectively. Patients who received six cycles were more likely to have a better OS than those who received four cycles (P = 0.002). Eight cycles failed to show an additional survival benefit (P = 0.454). In the multivariate analysis, the number of chemotherapy cycles was associated with OS independent of clinical covariates (P<0.05). Subgroup analysis suggested that among patients in all age groups examined, male patients, and subgroups of fluorouracil plus oxaliplatin combined chemotherapy, stage III, poor differentiation, and gastrectomy with D2 lymphadenectomy, six cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy were associated with a statistically significant benefit of OS compared with four cycles (P<0.05).
Six cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy might lead to a favorable outcome for patients with gastric cancer, and two further cycles could not provide an additional clinical benefit.
The extremely dismal prognosis of pancreatic cancer (PC) is attributed, at least in part, to lack of early diagnosis. Therefore, identifying differentially expressed genes in multiple steps of tumorigenesis of PC is of great interest. In the present study, a 7,12-dimethylbenzanthraene (DMBA)-induced PC model was established in male Sprague-Dawley rats. The gene expression profile was screened using an oligonucleotide microarray, followed by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and immunohistochemical staining validation. A total of 661 differentially expressed genes were identified in stages of pancreatic carcinogenesis. According to GO classification, these genes were involved in multiple molecular pathways. Using two-way hierarchical clustering analysis, normal pancreas, acute and chronic pancreatitis, PanIN, early and advanced pancreatic cancer were completely discriminated. Furthermore, 11 upregulated and 142 downregulated genes (probes) were found by Mann-Kendall trend Monotone test, indicating homologous genes of rat and human. The qRT-PCR and immunohistochemistry analysis of CXCR7 and UBe2c, two of the identified genes, confirmed the microarray results. In human PC cell lines, knockdown of CXCR7 resulted in decreased migration and invasion. Collectively, our data identified several promising markers and therapeutic targets of PC based on a comprehensive screening and systemic validation.
The aim of this study was to observe the rotation patterns at the papillary muscle plane in the Left Ventricle(LV) with normal subjects using two-dimensional speckle tracking imaging(2D-STI).
We acquired standard of the basal, the papillary muscle and the apical short-axis images of the LV in 64 subjects to estimate the LV rotation motion by 2D-STI. The rotational degrees at the papillary muscle short-axis plane were measured at 15 different time points in the analysis of two heart cycles.
There were counterclockwise rotation, clockwise rotation, and counterclockwise to clockwise rotation at the papillary muscle plane in the LV with normal subjects, respectively. The ROC analysis of the rotational degrees was performed at the papillary muscle short-axis plane at the peak LV torsion for predicting whether the turnaround point of twist to untwist motion pattern was located at the papillary muscle level. Sensitivity and specificity were 97% and 67%, respectively, with a cut-off value of 0.34°, and an area under the ROC curve of 0.8. At the peak LV torsion, there was no correlation between the rotational degrees at the papillary muscle short-axis plane and the LVEF in the normal subjects(r = 0.000, p = 0.998).
In the study, we conclude that there were three rotation patterns at the papillary muscle short-axis levels, and the transition from basal clockwise rotation to apical counterclockwise rotation is located at the papillary muscle level.
To explore spleen hemodynamic alteration in liver fibrosis with dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI), and to determine how to stage liver fibrosis with spleen DCE-MRI parameters.
Materials and Methods
Sixteen piglets were prospectively used to model liver fibrosis staged by liver biopsy, and underwent spleen DCE-MRI on 0, 5th, 9th, 16th and 21st weekend after modeling this disease. DCE-MRI parameters including time to peak (TTP), positive enhancement integral (PEI), maximum slope of increase (MSI) and maximum slope of decrease (MSD) of spleen were measured, and statistically analyzed to stage this disease.
Spearman's rank correlation tests showed that TTP tended to increase with increasing stages of liver fibrosis (r = 0.647, P<0.001), and that PEI tended to decrease from stage 0 to 4 (r = −0.709, P<0.001). MSD increased slightly from stage 0 to 2 (P>0.05), and decreased from stage 2 to 4 (P<0.05). MSI increased from stage 0 to 1, and decreased from stage 1 to 4 (all P>0.05). Mann-Whitney tests demonstrated that TTP and PEI could classify fibrosis between stage 0 and 1–4, between 0–1 and 2–4, between 0–2 and 3–4, or between 0–3 and 4 (all P<0.01). MSD could discriminate between 0–2 and 3–4 (P = 0.006), or between 0–3 and 4 (P = 0.012). MSI could not differentiate between any two stages. Receiver operating characteristic analysis illustrated that area under receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of TTP was larger than of PEI for classifying stage ≥1 and ≥2 (AUC = 0.851 and 0.783, respectively). PEI could best classify stage ≥3 and 4 (AUC = 0.903 and 0.96, respectively).
Spleen DCE-MRI has potential to monitor spleen hemodynamic alteration and classify liver fibrosis stages.
Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common solid extracranial tumor in children. However, the molecular mechanism and progression of NB is largely unknown, and unfortunately, the prognosis is poor. Src-associated in mitosis with a molecular weight of 68 kDa (Sam68) is associated with carcinogenesis and neurogenesis. The present study aimed to investigate the clinical and prognostic significance of Sam68 in NB.
The expression of Sam68 in immortalized normal epithelial cells, NB cell lines, and in four cases of paired NB tissue and adjacent normal tissue from the same patient was examined using Western blotting, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real-time reverse transcription-PCR. The proliferation of NB cells was determined by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Furthermore, Sam68 protein expression was analyzed in 90 NB cases characterized as clinicopathological using immunohistochemistry. Statistical analyses were applied to evaluate the diagnostic value and associations of Sam68 with clinical parameters.
Western blotting and reverse transcription-PCR showed that the expression level of Sam68 was markedly higher in NB cell lines than in the immortalized normal epithelial cells at both messenger RNA and protein levels. The MTT assay revealed that Sam68 expression supported proliferation of NB cells. Sam68 expression levels were significantly up-regulated in tumor tissues in comparison to the matched adjacent normal tissues from the same patient. Sam68 protein level was positively correlated with clinical stage (P<0.001), tumor histology (P<0.001), and distant metastasis (P=0.029). Patients with higher Sam68 expression had shorter overall survival time, whereas those with lower tumor Sam68 expression had longer survival time.
Our results suggest that Sam68 expression is associated with neuroblastoma progression and may represent a novel and valuable predictor for prognostic evaluation of neuroblastoma patients.
Sam68; biomarker; prognosis; neuroblastoma
Aquaporins are channel proteins which transport water across cell membranes. We show that the bread wheat aquaporin gene TaTIP2;2 maps to the long arm of chromosome 7b and that its product localizes to the endomembrane system. The gene is expressed constitutively in both the root and the leaf, and is down-regulated by salinity and drought stress. Salinity stress induced an increased level of C-methylation within the CNG trinucleotides in the TaTIP2;2 promoter region. The heterologous expression of TaTIP2;2 in Arabidopsis thaliana compromised its drought and salinity tolerance, suggesting that TaTIP2;2 may be a negative regulator of abiotic stress. The proline content of transgenic A. thaliana plants fell, consistent with the down-regulation of P5CS1, while the expression of SOS1, SOS2, SOS3, CBF3 and DREB2A, which are all stress tolerance-related genes acting in an ABA-independent fashion, was also down-regulated. The supply of exogenous ABA had little effect either on TaTIP2;2 expression in wheat or on the phenotype of transgenic A. thaliana. The expression level of the ABA signalling genes ABI1, ABI2 and ABF3 remained unaltered in the transgenic A. thaliana plants. Thus TaTIP2;2 probably regulates the response to stress via an ABA-independent pathway(s).
Histone deacetylases (HDACs) influence chromatin organization, representing a key epigenetic regulatory mechanism in cells. Trichostatin A (TSA), a potent HDAC inhibitor, has anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory effects. Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) is a T-cell-mediated inflammatory reaction in skin and is regulated by epidermal Langerhans cells (LCs).
The aim of this study was to investigate if TSA treatment prevents 2,4-dinitrofluorobenzene (DNFB)-induced ACD in mice and regulates epidermal LCs and other immune cells during ACD development.
ACD was induced by sensitizing and challenging with DNFB topically. Mice were treated intraperitoneally with TSA or vehicle DMSO as a control every other day before and during induction of ACD. The ear swelling response was measured and skin biopsies from sensitized skin areas were obtained for histology. Epidermal cells, thymus, spleens and skin draining lymph nodes were collected for immune staining.
TSA treatment ameliorated skin lesion severity of DNFB-induced ACD. The percentages of epidermal LCs and splenic DCs as well as LC maturation were significantly reduced in TSA-treated mice. However, TSA treatment did not significantly affect the homeostasis of conventional CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, Foxp3+CD4+ regulatory T cells, iNKT cells, and γδ T cells in thymus, spleen and draining lymph nodes (dLNs). Furthermore, there were no significant differences in IL-4 and IFN-γ-producing T cells and iNKT cells between TSA- and DMSO-treated mice.
Our findings suggest that TSA may ameliorate ACD through the regulation of epidermal LCs and HDACs could serve as potential therapeutic targets for ACD and other LCs-related skin diseases.
Trichostatin A; Histone deacetylases; Allergic contact dermatitis; Langerhans cells; NKT cells; Regulatory T cells
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are evolutionarily conserved small non-coding RNAs that repress target genes at post-transcriptional level. Langerhans cells (LCs) are skin-residential dendritic cells (DCs) with a life cycle distinct from other types of DCs. miRNA deficiency interrupts the homeostasis and function of epidermal LCs, suggesting the critical roles of miRNAs in LC development and function. However, the roles of individual miRNAs in regulating LC development and function remain completely unknown. miRNA miR-150 is highly expressed in mature lymphocytes, and regulates T and B cell development and function. Here, we reported that miR-150 is also expressed in epidermal LCs and its expression is significantly down-regulated during in vitro LC maturation. Using a miR-150 knockout mouse model, we found that lack of miR-150 reduces the capacity of LCs to cross-present a soluble antigen to antigen-specific CD8+ T cells, but does not disturb the development, maturation, migration and phagocytic capacity of LCs. Thus, our data indicate that miR-150 is required for LC cross-presentation.
microRNA; Langerhans cells; cross-presentation
During the course of alcohol-induced liver damage, hepatic stellate cells are transformed into proliferative, fibrogenic, and contractile myofibroblasts. Aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a transcription factor that controls the expression of genes involved in the metabolism of xenobiotics, inflammation, cell proliferation, and death.
Immortal mouse hepatic stellate cells (MHSCs) were isolated from transgenic mice that expressed a thermolabile SV40 tumor antigen. Quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assays, Western blot analysis, promoter activity assays, and chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses were performed for studying the effect of ethanol (EtOH) on AhR expression and transcriptional activity.
Treatment of MHSCs with 50 to 200 mM EtOH for 6 hours induced AhR nuclear translocation, enhanced the promoter activity of cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1A1, increased the amount of AhR bound to the promoter of CYP1A1 and 1B1, and up-regulated the mRNA expression of these AhR target genes in a dose-dependent manner. In contrast, EtOH exposure down-regulated AhR mRNA and protein expression. Similarly, benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) at 10 nM reduced AhR and increased CYP1A1 and 1B1 mRNAs. Pretreatment of MHSCs with 50 mM EtOH for 7 days diminished the capacity of MHSCs to express CYP1A1 and 1B1 induced by a 200 mM EtOH challenge, or by 10 nM BaP. However, the up-regulatory effect of EtOH on solute carrier family 16, member 6 (SLC16a6) was unaffected by EtOH pretreatment. Similar to EtOH, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) at concentrations of 50 to 100 mM down-regulated AhR and up-regulated CYP1A1 mRNA expression in a dose-dependent manner.
These data, for the first time, demonstrate that EtOH activates MHSC AhR and down-regulates its expression. Chronic EtOH pretreatment lowers the availability of AhR, and specifically diminishes the inducibility of CYP genes. The effect on AhR appears to not be an EtOH-specific response, as DMSO alone (and possibly other organic solvents) was also able to activate AhR.
Ethanol; Mouse Hepatic Stellate Cells; Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor; Cytochrome P450 Protein
Solution processed fullerene (C60) molecular floating gate layer has been employed in low voltage nonvolatile memory device on flexible substrates. We systematically studied the charge trapping mechanism of the fullerene floating gate for both p-type pentacene and n-type copper hexadecafluorophthalocyanine (F16CuPc) semiconductor in a transistor based flash memory architecture. The devices based on pentacene as semiconductor exhibited both hole and electron trapping ability, whereas devices with F16CuPc trapped electrons alone due to abundant electron density. All the devices exhibited large memory window, long charge retention time, good endurance property and excellent flexibility. The obtained results have great potential for application in large area flexible electronic devices.
Cleidocranial dysplasia syndrome (CCD) is a rare autosomal dominant disease with wide range of variability. Dentists are often the first to encounter the CCD patients, some of whom do not show typical manifestations. Thus, dentists should be fully familiar with clinical manifestations and gene mutation. A 16-year-old girl was admitted for orthodontic treatment because of space in the dental arch and teeth irregularity. The introcession on the forehead and occiput suggests that she was a CCD patient. Clinical, radiological and genetic examinations were carried out in this girl and her family members and results showed delayed closure of the fontanel, hypoplastic clavicles and tooth anomalies of the girl and her mother. Genetic analysis revealed a 884C deletion in the exon 5 of the CBFA1/RUNX2 gene, which has never been reported in China. In this reported, the manifestations, diagnostic process and treatment of CCD were introduced according to the experience on the diagnosis of CCD in this family.
Cleidocranial dysplasia syndrome; genetic analysis; family
Although it is widely believed that non-segmental vitiligo (NSV) results from the autoimmune destruction of melanocytes, a clear understanding of defects in immune tolerance, which mediate this uncontrolled self-reactivity, is still lacking. In the present study, we systemically evaluated circulating regulatory T (Treg) cells, including CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ Treg cells and invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells, as well as naïve and memory CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and their cytokine production, in a cohort of 43 progressive NSV patients with race-, gender-, and age-matched healthy controls. We found that the general immunophenotypes of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and the percentage of CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ Tregs were comparable between NSV and healthy controls. However, percentages of peripheral iNKT cells were significantly decreased in NSV patients compared to that in healthy controls. Our data confirm the previous notion that the percentage of peripheral CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ Tregs remains unaltered in NSV and suggests the involvement of defective iNKT cells in the pathogenesis of NSV.
invariant natural killer T cells; non-segmental vitiligo; regulatory T cells; immunophenotypes
β,β-dimethylacrylshikonin (DA) is a natural naphthoquinone derivative compound of Lithospermum erythrorhizon with various biological activities. The present study aimed to investigate the inhibitory effects and underlying mechanisms of DA in human breast carcinoma MCF-7 cells. The 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay showed that DA inhibited the proliferation of MCF-7 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The half maximal inhibitory concentration of DA with regard to the proliferation of MCF-7 cells was 0.050±0.016 mM. The characteristics of cell apoptosis, including cell shrinkage, nuclear pyknosis and chromatin condensation, were all observed in DA-treated cells. DA decreased the expression levels of Bcl-2 and increased the expression of Bax and caspase-3 compared with those in the control. DA inhibited the activity of the nuclear factor (NF)-κB pathway, by downregulating the expression of the p65 subunit, and inhibited the Iκb phosphorylation. DA inhibits the proliferation of MCF-7 cells in vitro by inducing apoptosis through the downregulation of Bcl-2, upregulation of Bax and partial inactivation of the NF-κB pathway.
β,β-dimethylacrylshikonin; breast cancer; apoptosis; nuclear factor-κB