Background: Fatty acid oxidation (FAO) disorders are a heterogeneous group of inborn errors in the transportation and oxidation of fatty acids. FAO disorders were thought to be very rare in the Chinese population. Newborn screening for FAO disorders beginning in 2002 in Taiwan may have increased the diagnosis of this group of diseases.
Materials and Methods: Till 2012, the National Taiwan University Hospital Newborn Screening Center screened more than 800,000 newborns for FAO disorders. Both patients diagnosed through screening and patients detected after clinical manifestations were included in this study.
Results: A total of 48 patients with FAO disorders were identified during the study period. The disorders included carnitine palmitoyltransferase I deficiency, carnitine acylcarnitine translocase deficiency, carnitine palmitoyltransferase II deficiency, very long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency, medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency, multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency, short-chain defects, and carnitine uptake defect. Thirty-nine patients were diagnosed through newborn screening. Five false-negative newborn screening cases were noted during this period, and four patients who were not screened were diagnosed based on clinical manifestations. The ages of all patients ranged from 6 months to 22.9 years (mean age 6.6 years). Except for one case of postmortem diagnosis, there were no other mortalities.
Conclusions: The combined incidence of FAO disorders estimated by newborn screening in the Chinese population in Taiwan is 1 in 20,271 live births. Newborn screening also increases the awareness of FAO disorders and triggers clinical diagnoses of these diseases.
This prospective study aims to identify and compare the incidence of bacterial contamination of hospital charts and the distribution of species responsible for chart contamination in different units of a tertiary hospital.
All beds in medical, surgical, pediatric, and obstetric-gynecologic general wards (556) and those in corresponding special units (125) including medical, surgical, pediatric intensive care units (ICUs), the obstetric tocolytic unit and delivery room were surveyed for possible chart contamination. The outer surfaces of included charts were sampled by one experienced investigator with sterile cotton swabs rinsed with normal saline.
For general wards and special units, the overall sampling rates were 81.8% (455/556) and 85.6% (107/125) (p = 0.316); the incidence of chart contamination was 63.5% and 83.2%, respectively (p<0.001). Except for obstetric-gynecologic charts, the incidence was significantly higher in each and in all ICUs than in corresponding wards. Coagulase-negative staphylococci was the most common contaminant in general wards (40.0%) and special units (34.6%) (p>0.05). Special units had a significantly higher incidence of bacterial contamination due to Staphylococcus aureus (17.8%), Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (9.3%), Streptococcus viridans (9.4%), Escherichia coli (11.2%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (7.5%), and Acinetobacter baumannii (7.5%). Logistic regression analysis revealed the incidence of chart contamination was 2- to 4-fold higher in special units than in general wards [odds ratios: 1.97–4.00].
Noting that most hospital charts are contaminated, our study confirms that a hospital chart is not only a medical record but also an important source of potential infection. The plastic cover of the medical chart can harbor potential pathogens, thus acting as a vector of bacteria. Additionally, chart contamination is more common in ICUs. These findings highlight the importance of effective hand-washing before and after handling medical charts. However, managers and clinical staff should pay more attention to the issue and may consider some interventions.
Exposure to excessive quantities of bacterial-derived lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is associated with injury to the lung and the liver. Macrophages are thought to play a key role in the pathogenic response to LPS by releasing proinflammatory/cytotoxic mediators. Macrophage responses to LPS are mediated in large part by toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). In the present studies we used C3H/HeJ mice, which possess a mutated nonfunctional TLR4, to examine its role in lung and liver macrophage responses to acute endotoxemia induced by LPS administration. Treatment of control C3H/HeOuJ mice with LPS (3 mg/ml) was associated with a significant increase in the number of macrophages in both the lung and the liver. This was most prominent after 48 h, and was preceded by expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), suggesting that macrophage proliferation contributes to the response. In liver, but not lung macrophages, LPS administration resulted in a rapid (within 3 h) increase in mRNA expression of Mn superoxide dismutase (SOD) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), key enzymes in antioxidant defense. In contrast, HO-1 protein expression decreased 3 h after LPS administration in liver macrophages, while in lung macrophages it increased. mRNA expression of enzymes mediating the biosynthesis of eicosanoids, including cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 (mPGES-1), but not 12/15-lipoxygenase (LOX), was upregulated in liver macrophages 3–24 h after LPS, with no effect on lung macrophages. However, COX-2 protein expression increased in both cell types. Loss of functional TLR4 significantly blunted the effects of LPS. Thus, no major changes were observed after LPS administration in the number of lung and liver macrophages recovered from TLR4 mutant mice, or on expression of PCNA. Increases in HO-1, MnSOD, COX-2 and PGES-1 mRNA expression in liver macrophages were also reduced in these mice. Conversely, in lung macrophages, loss of functional TLR4 resulted in increased expression of COX-2 protein and 12/15-LOX mRNA. These results demonstrate distinct lung and liver macrophage responses to acute endotoxemia mediated in part by functional TLR4.
LPS; TLR4; macrophages; inflammation; liver; lung
Central corneal thickness (CCT) is associated with eye conditions including keratoconus and glaucoma. We performed a meta-analysis on >20,000 individuals in European and Asian populations that identified 16 new loci associated with CCT at genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10−8). We further showed that 2 CCT-associated loci, FOXO1 and FNDC3B, conferred relatively large risks for keratoconus in 2 cohorts with 874 cases and 6,085 controls (rs2721051 near FOXO1 had odds ratio (OR) = 1.62, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.4–1.88, P = 2.7 × 10−10, and rs4894535 in FNDC3B had OR = 1.47, 95% CI = 1.29–1.68, P = 4.9 × 10−9). FNDC3B was also associated with primary open-angle glaucoma (P = 5.6 × 10−4; tested in 3 cohorts with 2,979 cases and 7,399 controls). Further analyses implicate the collagen and extracellular matrix pathways in the regulation of CCT.
Paclitaxel (Taxol™) is an important anticancer drug with a unique mode of action. The biosynthesis of paclitaxel had been considered restricted to the Taxus species until it was discovered in Taxomyces andreanae, an endophytic fungus of T. brevifolia. Subsequently, paclitaxel was found in hazel (Corylus avellana L.) and in several other endophytic fungi. The distribution of paclitaxel in plants and endophytic fungi and the reported sequence homology of key genes in paclitaxel biosynthesis between plant and fungi species raises the question about whether the origin of this pathway in these two physically associated groups could have been facilitated by horizontal gene transfer.
The ability of the endophytic fungus of hazel Penicillium aurantiogriseum NRRL 62431 to independently synthesize paclitaxel was established by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and proton nuclear magnetic resonance. The genome of Penicillium aurantiogriseum NRRL 62431 was sequenced and gene candidates that may be involved in paclitaxel biosynthesis were identified by comparison with the 13 known paclitaxel biosynthetic genes in Taxus. We found that paclitaxel biosynthetic gene candidates in P. aurantiogriseum NRRL 62431 have evolved independently and that horizontal gene transfer between this endophytic fungus and its plant host is unlikely.
Our findings shed new light on how paclitaxel-producing endophytic fungi synthesize paclitaxel, and will facilitate metabolic engineering for the industrial production of paclitaxel from fungi.
Penicillium aurantiogriseum NRRL 62431; Paclitaxel; Taxol™; Endophytic fungi; Genome sequence; Horizontal gene transfer
Nursing home residents are mainly older people with multiple diseases and taking multiple medications. The quality use of medication and its association with health related quality of life (HRQoL) have not been reported in Malaysia. This study aims to investigate the association between the use of potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) and the changes observed in the HRQoL among older nursing home residents.
A prospective follow up study was conducted at four nongovernmental organization nursing homes in Penang, Malaysia. Older residents (≥65 years old) taking at least one prescribed medication were included. Residents with PIMs were identified by using Screening Tool of Older Person’s potentially inappropriate Prescriptions (STOPP) criteria. HRQoL was assessed using EuroQol-5 dimension (EQ-5D) and EuroQol-visual analog scale (EQ-VAS) at baseline and after a 3-month follow up. The association of PIMs with HRQoL was analyzed using Mann-Whitney U test.
The median age of the 211 participants was 77 years (interquartile range 72–82 years) and the median number of prescription medicines was four (interquartile range three to six). The prevalence of PIMs was 23.7% and 18.6% at baseline and 3 months later, respectively. The most commonly prescribed PIMs in decreasing order were first generation antihistamine, prescriptions of duplicate drug class, glibenclamide with type 2 diabetes mellitus, and anticholinergic to treat extrapyramidal side effects of neuroleptic medications. At baseline, there was no significant difference among residents with or without PIMs in each bracket of EQ-5D, EQ-5D index, or EQ-VAS scores. Comparison of the differences in the mean score index of EQ-5D between baseline and after 3 months also showed no statistically significant differences.
PIMs were found to be relatively common among older nursing home residents. However, no significant changes were observed in HRQoL among these residents. Further studies with a bigger sample size and longer follow up period are required to establish this association.
elderly; health related quality of life; patient safety
(-)-Epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate(EGCG), the highest catechins from green tea, has promisingly been found to sensitize the efficacy of several chemotherapy agents like doxorubicin (DOX) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) treatment. However, the detailed mechanisms by which EGCG augments the chemotherapeutic efficacy remain unclear. Herein, this study was designed to determine the synergistic impacts of EGCG and DOX on hepatoma cells and particularly to reveal whether the autophagic flux is involved in this combination strategy for the HCC. Electron microscopy and fluorescent microscopy confirmed that DOX significantly increased autophagic vesicles in hepatoma Hep3B cells. Western blot and trypan blue assay showed that the increasing autophagy flux by DOX impaired about 45% of DOX-induced cell death in these cells. Conversely, both qRT-PCR and western blotting showed that EGCG played dose-dependently inhibitory role in autophagy signaling, and that markedly promoted cellular growth inhibition. Amazingly, the combined treatment caused a synergistic effect with 40 to 60% increment on cell death and about 45% augmentation on apoptosis versus monotherapy pattern. The DOX-induced autophagy was abolished by this combination therapy. Rapamycin, an autophagic agonist, substantially impaired the anticancer effect of either DOX or combination with EGCG treatment. On the other hand, using small interference RNA targeting chloroquine autophagy-related gene Atg5 and beclin1 to inhibit autophagy signal, hepatoma cell death was dramatically enhanced. Furthermore, in the established subcutaneous Hep3B cells xenograft tumor model, about 25% reduction in tumor growth as well as 50% increment of apoptotic cells were found in combination therapy compared with DOX alone. In addition, immunohistochemistry analysis indicated that the suppressed tendency of autophagic hallmark microtubule-associated protein light chain 3 (LC3) expressions was consistent with thus combined usage in vitro. Taken together, the current study suggested that EGCG emerges as a chemotherapeutic augmenter and synergistically enhances DOX anticancer effects involving autophagy inhibition in HCC.
COX-2-mPGES-1-derived prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) plays important roles in regulating vascular tone and renal sodium excretion; however, little is known about the role of mPGES-1 during acute blood pressure regulation. The present study was designed to examine the contribution of vascular mPGES-1 to acute blood pressure homeostasis.
Angiotensin II (AngII, 75 pmol/kg/min) was continuously infused via the jugular vein into wild-type and mPGES-1−/− mice for 30 min, and blood pressure was measured by carotid arterial catheterization. RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry were performed to detect the expression and localization of mPGES-1 in the mouse arterial vessels. Mesenteric arteries were dissected from mice of both genotypes to study vessel tension and measure vascular PGE2 levels.
Wild-type and mPGES-1−/− mice showed similar blood pressure levels at baseline, and the acute intravenous infusion of AngII caused a greater increase in mean arterial pressure in the mPGES-1−/− group, with a similar diuretic and natriuretic response in both groups. mPGES-1 was constitutively expressed in the aortic and mesenteric arteries and vascular smooth muscle cells of wild-type mice. Strong staining was detected in the smooth muscle layer of arterial vessels. Ex vivo treatment of mesenteric arteries with AngII produced more vasodilatory PGE2 in wild-type than in mPGES-1−/− mice. In vitro tension assays further revealed that the mesenteric arteries of mPGES-1−/− mice exhibited a greater vasopressor response to AngII than those arteries of wild-type mice.
Vascular mPGES-1 acts as an important tonic vasodilator, contributing to acute blood pressure regulation.
PGE2; mPGES-1; Angiotensin II; Blood pressure; Resistant vessel
Postnatal care is an important link in the continuum of care for maternal and child health. However, coverage and quality of postnatal care are poor in low- and middle-income countries. In 2009, the Chinese government set a policy providing free postnatal care services to all mothers and their newborns in China. Our study aimed at exploring coverage, quality of care, reasons for not receiving and barriers to providing postnatal care after introduction of this new policy.
We carried out a mixed method study in Zhao County, Hebei Province, China from July to August 2011. To quantify the coverage, quality of care and reasons for not using postnatal care, we conducted a household survey with 1601 caregivers of children younger than two years of age. We also conducted semi-structured interviews with 24 township maternal and child healthcare workers to evaluate their views on workload, in-service training and barriers to postnatal home visits.
Of 1442 (90% of surveyed caregivers) women who completed the postnatal care survey module, 8% received a timely postnatal home visit (within one week after delivery) and 24% of women received postnatal care within 42 days after delivery. Among women who received postnatal care, 37% received counseling or guidance on infant feeding and 32% on cord care. 24% of women reported that the service provider checked jaundice of their newborns and 18% were consulted on danger signs and thermal care of their newborns. Of 991 mothers who did not seek postnatal care within 42 days after birth, 65% of them said that they did not knew about postnatal care and 24% of them thought it was unnecessary. Qualitative findings revealed that staff shortages and inconvenient transportation limited maternal and child healthcare workers in reaching out to women at home. In addition, maternal and child healthcare workers said that in-service training was inadequate and more training on postnatal care, hands-on practice, and supervision were needed.
Coverage and quality of postnatal care were low in rural Hebei Province and far below the targets set by Chinese government. We identified barriers both from the supply and demand side.
Postnatal care; Coverage; Quality; Mixed method study
Chronic low-grade inflammation has long been recognized as the central link between obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D). The novel subset of T helper (Th) cells, Th22, plays an emerging role in chronic inflammation. We investigated the potential association between Th22 and the pathogenesis of obesity and T2D.
Ninety T2D inpatients (T2D group), 30 healthy participants with BMI ranged from 19 to 23.9 kg/m2 (CTL group) and 30 metabolically healthy obese controls with BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 (MHO group) were employed in our study. Peripheral frequencies of Th22 and Th1 and Th17 cells were determined by flow cytometry based on their specific cytokine patterns. Cytokine levels in fresh plasma were quantified by ELISA.
Compared to that in CTL group (1.18±0.06%, n = 28), peripheral frequency of Th22 cells was significantly increased in MHO group (1.88±0.10%, n = 30) and in T2D group (2.247±0.10%, n = 89). There was a consistent notable increase in plasma interleukin (IL)-22 of T2D patients [47.56 (30.55–76.89) pg/mL] as compared with that of MHO group [36.65 (29.52–55.70) pg/ml; *P<0.0001] and CTLs [36.33 (31.93–40.62) pg/mL; *P<0.0001]. Furthermore, other than Th1/Th17, previously frequently described participants in obesity and T2D, there was a strong correlation between Th22 frequency and the homeostasis model of assessment for insulin resistance index (r = 0.6771, *P<0.0001) and HOMA for β-cell function (r = −0.7264, *P<0.0001).
There were increased Th22 frequencies and IL-22 levels in obesity and T2D. Elevated Th22 and IL-22 also aided in the differentiation of MHO from T2D patients. The notable correlation implied that Th22 might play a more determinant role in both insulin resistance and β-cell impairment.
KitL, via its receptor cKit, supports primordial germ cell (PGC) growth, survival, migration and reprogramming to pluripotent embryonic germ cells (EGCs). However, the signaling downstream of KitL and its regulation in PGCs remain unclear. A constitutively activating mutation, cKitV558Δ, causes gain-of-function phenotypes in mast cells and intestines, and gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) when heterozygous. Unexpectedly, we find that PGC growth is not significantly affected in cKitV558Δ heterozygotes, whereas in homozygotes, increased apoptosis and inefficient migration lead to the depletion of PGCs. Through genetic studies, we reveal that this oncogenic cKit allele exhibits loss-of-function behavior in PGCs distinct from that in GIST development. Examination of downstream signaling in GISTs from cKitV558Δ/+ mice confirmed hyperphosphorylation of AKT and ERK, but both remain unperturbed in cKitV558Δ/+ PGCs and EGCs. In contrast, we find reduced activation of ERK1/2 and JNK1 in cKitV558Δ homozygous PGCs and EGCs. Inhibiting JNK, though not ERK1/2, increased apoptosis of wild-type PGCs, but did not further affect the already elevated apoptosis of cKitV558Δ/V558Δ PGCs. These results demonstrate a cell-context-dependent response to the cKitV558Δ mutation. We propose that AKT overload protection and JNK-mediated survival comprise PGC-specific mechanisms for regulating cKit signaling.
Genetic studies might provide new insights into the biological
mechanisms underlying lipid metabolism and risk of CAD. We therefore
conducted a genome-wide association study to identify novel genetic
determinants of LDL-c, HDL-c and triglycerides.
Methods and results
We combined genome-wide association data from eight studies,
comprising up to 17,723 participants with information on circulating lipid
concentrations. We did independent replication studies in up to 37,774
participants from eight populations and also in a population of Indian Asian
descent. We also assessed the association between SNPs at lipid loci and
risk of CAD in up to 9,633 cases and 38,684 controls.
We identified four novel genetic loci that showed reproducible
associations with lipids (P values 1.6 × 10−8 to
3.1 × 10−10). These include a potentially
functional SNP in the SLC39A8 gene for HDL-c, a SNP near
the MYLIP/GMPR and PPP1R3B genes for LDL-c
and at the AFF1 gene for triglycerides. SNPs showing strong
statistical association with one or more lipid traits at the
APOE-C1-C4-C2 cluster, LPL,
ZNF259-APOA5-A4-C3-A1 cluster and
TRIB1 loci were also associated with CAD risk (P values
1.1 × 10−3 to 1.2 ×
We have identified four novel loci associated with circulating
lipids. We also show that in addition to those that are largely associated
with LDL-c, genetic loci mainly associated with circulating triglycerides
and HDL-c are also associated with risk of CAD. These findings potentially
provide new insights into the biological mechanisms underlying lipid
metabolism and CAD risk.
lipids; lipoproteins; genetics; epidemiology
Rhodiola rosea (Rhodiola) is a plant in the Crassulaceae family that grows in cold regions of the world. It is mainly used in clinics as an adaptogen. Recently, it has been mentioned that Rhodiola increases plasma β-endorphin to lower blood pressure. Thus, the present study aims to investigate the antidiabetic action of Rhodiola in relation to opioids in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats (STZ-diabetic rats).
In the present study, the plasma glucose was analyzed with glucose oxidase method, and the determination of plasma β-endorphin was carried out using a commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The adrenalectomy of STZ-diabetic rats was used to evaluate the role of β-endorphin. In addition, quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and western blotting analysis were performed to investigate mRNA and protein expressions.
Rhodiola-water extract dose-dependently lowered the plasma glucose in STZ-diabetic rats and this action was reversed by blockade of opioid μ-receptors using cyprodime. An increase of plasma β-endorphin by rhodiola-water extract was also observed in same manner. The plasma glucose lowering action of rhodiola-water extract was attenuated in bilateral adrenalectomized rats. In addition, continuous administration of rhodiola-water extract for 3 days in STZ-diabetic rats resulted in an increased expression of glucose transporter subtype 4 (GLUT 4) in skeletal muscle and a marked reduction of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) expression in liver. These effects were also reversed by blockade of opioid μ-receptors.
Taken together, rhodiola-water extract improves hyperglycemia via an increase of β-endorphin secretion from adrenal gland to activate opioid μ-receptors in STZ-diabetic rats.
Adrenalectomy; Hyperglycemia; Opioid μ-receptor; Plasma glucose; Rhodiola-water extract
Asthma is a chronic airway inflammatory disease characterized by eosinophilic infiltration and airway hyperresponsiveness. The over-activated Th2 and lung epithelium cells express many different cytokines, and chemokines mainly contribute to the severity of lung inflammation. Clara cell 10 kD protein (CC10) is highly expressed in airway epithelium cells and exhibits anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects. Adeno-associated virus (AAV) 2/9 vector, composed of AAV2 rep and AAV9 cap genes, can efficiently and specifically target lung epithelium cells. Thus, AAV2/9 vector might carry therapeutic potential gene sequences for the treatment of asthma. This study tested whether AAV2/9 vector carrying CC10 could reduce inflammatory and asthmatic responses in OVA-induced asthmatic mouse model. The results showed that AAV2/9-CC10 vector virus significantly reduced airway hyperresponsiveness, CCL11, interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-13, and eosinophilia in the lungs of sensitized mice. CC10 level in OVA-sensitized mice was rescued with the administration of AAV2/9-CC10 vector virus. Lung tissue remodeling, including collagen deposition and goblet cell hyperplasia, was also alleviated. However, serum levels of OVA-specific IgG1 and IgE as well as Th2 cytokine levels in OVA-stimulated splenocyte culture supernatants were at the comparable levels to the sensitized control group. The results demonstrate that AAV2/9-CC10 vector virus relieved local inflammatory and asthmatic responses in lung. Therefore, we propose that AAV2/9-CC10 vector virus guaranteed sufficient CC10 expression and had an anti-inflammatory effect in asthmatic mice. It might be applied as a novel therapeutic approach for asthma.
Wu and colleagues evaluate whether injection of adeno-associated viral vector serotype 9 (AAV2/9) carrying the Clara cell 10 kD protein (CC10) can reduce inflammatory and asthmatic responses in an OVA-induced asthmatic mouse model. AAV2/9-CC10 vector significantly reduces airway hyperresponsiveness, CCL11, interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-13, and eosinophilia in the lungs of OVA-sensitized mice. Lung tissue remodeling is also alleviated.
♦ Background: Catheter malfunction is a common and significant complication during peritoneal dialysis (PD). We developed a minilaparotomy procedure to rescue malfunctioning catheters and to prevent recurrence of malfunction.
♦ Methods: From 2006 to 2011, 11 patients receiving PD had a malfunctioning catheter. In all patients, a 2-cm incision, 5 cm caudally to the previous peritoneal entry site was used to correct the malfunctioning catheter, with concomitant fixation of the catheter to the peritoneum.
♦ Results: Catheter tip migration occurred in 7 patients, omental wrapping in 3, and blood clot obstruction in 1. The mean onset time to catheter malfunction was 197.5 days (range: 4 - 1270 days), and the mean operating time was 41 minutes (range: 35 - 56 minutes). There was no recurrence of catheter malfunction and no surgery-related peritonitis.
♦ Conclusions: Our minilaparotomy procedure is safe and feasible for the salvage of malfunctioning PD catheters.
Catheter tip migration; omental wrapping
We assessed the effects of the four newly defined American Heart Association (AHA) lifestyle factors on mortality by examining the associated population attributable fractions (PAFs) of these factors.
Slightly modified AHA cardiovascular health factors (smoking, BMI, cardiorespiratory fitness, and diet) were measured among 11,240 (24% women) participants from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study between 1987 and 1999. The cohort was followed to December 31, 2003 or death. PAFs were calculated as the proportionate reduction in death attributable to identified risk factors.
During an average 12 years of follow-up, 268 deaths occurred. Low fitness had the highest PAFs at the 5th, 10th, and 15th year of follow-up, respectively: 6.6%, 6.4%, and 5.5%. Current smokers had the second highest PAFs at the 5th, 10th, and 15th year of follow-up, respectively: 5.4%, 5.2%, and 5.0%. Additional adjusting for other confounders in the model did not change the above associations. The PAFs for overweight or obesity and unhealthy diet were not significant in the current analyses.
Assuming a causal relationship between smoking, low fitness and mortality, avoidance of both would have prevented 13% of the deaths in the current population. Preventive interventions to increase physical activity and stop smoking would most likely promote longevity.
Second cancers have been reported to occur in 10-20% of patients with neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). However, most published studies used data from a single institution or focused only on specific sites of NETs. In addition, most of these studies included second cancers diagnosed concurrently with NETs, making it difficult to assess the temporality and determine the exact incidence of second cancers. In this nationwide population-based study, we used data recorded by the Taiwan Cancer Registry (TCR) to analyze the incidence and distribution of second cancers after the diagnosis of NETs.
NET cases diagnosed from January 1, 1996 to December 31, 2006 were identified from the TCR. The data on the occurrence of second cancers were ascertained up to December 31, 2008. Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) of second cancers were calculated based on the cancer incidence rates of the general population. Cox-proportional hazards regression analysis was performed to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for the risk of second cancers associated with sex, age, and primary NET sites.
A total of 1,350 newly diagnosed NET cases were identified according to the selection criteria. Among the 1,350 NET patients, 49 (3.63%) developed a second cancer >3 months after the diagnosis of NET. The risk of second cancer following NETs was increased compared to the general population (SIR = 1.48, 95% CI: 1.09-1.96), especially among those diagnosed at age 70 or older (HR = 5.08, 95% CI = 1.69-15.22). There appeared to be no preference of second cancer type according to the primary sites of NETs.
Our study showed that the risk of second cancer following NETs is increased, especially among those diagnosed at age 70 or older. Close monitoring for the occurrence of second cancers after the diagnosis of NETs is warranted.
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is an endemic neoplasm in southern China. Although NPC sufferers are sensitive to radiotherapy, 20–30% of patients finally progress with recurrence and metastases. Elevated lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio (LMR) has been reported to be associated with favorable prognosis in some hematology malignancies, but has not been studied in NPC. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether LMR could predict the prognosis of NPC patients.
A retrospective cohort of 1,547 non-metastatic NPC patients was recruited between January 2005 and June 2008. The counts for peripheral lymphocyte and monocyte were retrieved, and the LMR was calculated. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, univariate and multivariate COX proportional hazards analyses were applied to evaluate the associations of LMR with overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS), distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS) and loco-regional recurrence-free survival (LRRFS), respectively.
Univariate analysis revealed that higher LMR level (≥5.220) was significantly associated with superior OS, DFS and DMFS (P values <0.001). The higher lymphocyte count (≥2.145×109/L) was significantly associated with better OS (P = 0.002) and DMFS (P = 0.031), respectively, while the lower monocyte count (<0.475×109/L) was associated with better OS (P = 0.012), DFS (P = 0.011) and DMFS (P = 0.003), respectively. Multivariate Cox proportional hazard analysis showed that higher LMR level was a significantly independent predictor for superior OS (hazard ratio or HR = 0.558, 95% confidence interval or 95% CI = 0.417–0.748; P<0.001), DFS (HR = 0.669, 95% CI = 0.535–0.838; P<0.001) and DMFS (HR = 0.543, 95% CI = 0.403–0.732; P<0.001), respectively. The advanced T and N stages were also independent indicators for worse OS, DFS, and DMFS, except that T stage showed borderline statistical significance for DFS (P = 0.053) and DMFS (P = 0.080).
The elevated pretreatment peripheral LMR level was a significant favorable factor for NPC prognosis and this easily accessed variable may serve as a potent marker to predict the outcomes of NPC patients.
Hemorrhagic stroke caused leakage of red blood cells which converts to hemoglobin, heme, and iron accumulated at the lesions. High concentration of ferrous iron from subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) induced cerebral vasospasm. Using the two-hemorrhage SAH model in rats, we previously demonstrated that estradiol (E2) significantly attenuated the SAH-induced vasospasm by inhibiting the NOS2 expression. Adding ferrous citrate (FC) complexes to the primary cultured mouse cerebral endothelial cells (CEC) to mimic the SAH conditions, we also showed that FC up-regulates NOS2 through nuclear translocation of NFκB induced by free radicals generation. Here, we further studied the molecular mechanism underlying E2-mediated reduction of the FC-induced up-regulation of NOS2. Treatment with E2 (100 nM) reduced the FC (100 µM)-induced increases of free radical generation and the levels of NOS2 mRNA and protein in the CEC. Moreover, E2 also prevented the FC-induced increases of IκBα phosphorylation, NFκB nuclear translocation, NFκB binding onto the NOS2 promoter, and the NOS2 promoter luciferase activity. However, knock-down the estrogen receptor β (ERβ), but not ERα, abolished the E2-mediated prevention on the FC-induced increases of NOS2 mRNA and protein. The data from the present study suggest that E2 inhibited NOS2 gene expression by interfering with NFκB nuclear translocation and NFκB binding onto the NOS2 through an ERβ-mediated pathway. Our results provide the molecular basis for designing the applicable therapeutic or preventive strategies in the treatment SAH patients.
AIM: To determine if there is consistency between endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) findings and pathological results for detecting lesions of different depth in the esophageal mucosa.
METHODS: A canine (Beagle) model was established in which lesions of different depths were created in the esophageal mucosa by thermal burning. Seventy-two hours later, these lesions and adjacent tissue in the esophagus were examined by EUS. EUS findings including infiltrating depth, strength of echogenicity and homogeneity were recorded. Dogs were sacrificed and tissue specimens were obtained. We then compared the EUS findings with the pathology reports.
RESULTS: Thermal burns created at different power settings caused lesions of different depth in the esophageal mucosa. When the echo strength was shifted from high, medium, to low echogenicity, an increase in the infiltrating depth of the lesion was noted, which coincided with results of the pathology examination. Obvious submucosal edema visualized by EUS was also detected by pathology. Furthermore, because of the enhancement caused by the submucosal edema, the lesions invading into the submucosa were easily visualized by EUS.
CONCLUSION: There is consistency between EUS findings and pathological results of esophageal lesions with different depths. Submucosal edema can serve as an ultrasonic contrast agent.
Endoscopic ultrasound; Pathology; Lesion; Esophagus; Canine
Trichogerminoma is a rare cutaneous adnexal neoplasm of the hair germ cell and usually associated with benign clinical course and favorable outcome. Since its first description by Sau et al. in 1992, only a few cases have been reported up to date. Herein, we report two additional cases occurring in the hip and right thigh, respectively. Both patients are male, one is 78 years old, the other is 29 years old. Histological examination reveals well-circumscribed dermal nodule composed of lobules of basaloid cells with surrounding pseudocapsule. The distinct characteristic of the tumor is that most of the lobules display a special pattern of round nests or cell balls arranged in the central part with the peripheral palisading. Immunostaining showed ring-like fashion of CK5/6, P63 and Bcl-2 with negative or weak staining in the “cell balls”. There was no recurrence after complete excision during the period of follow-up. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of trichogerminoma in Chinese population. In contrast to the previously reported cases, ours present the similar morphological features with distinct immunohistochemical characteristics. We consider the concept of trichogerminoma exists with no doubt by its identifiable morphological features, and it should be classified as a variant of trichoblastoma. Because of its malignant potential, complete excision is a prior choice of treatment for this rare but distinctive tumor.
The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/1558612241110439.
Trichogerminoma; Trichoblastoma; Hair follicular neoplasm
Endothelial dysfunction is a critical factor during the initiation of cardiovascular complications in diabetes. Berberine can ameliorate endothelial dysfunction induced by diabetes. However, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the protective effect and mechanism of berberine on palmitate-induced endothelial dysfunction in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). The cell viability of HUVECs was determined by MTT assays. Nitric oxide (NO) level and production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were determined in supernatants or in the cultured HUVECs. The mRNA level of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) was measured by RT-PCR, and the protein levels of eNOS, p-eNOS, Akt, p-Akt, AMPK, p-AMPK, and NADPH oxidase (NOX4) were analyzed. The results demonstrated that berberine significantly elevated NO levels and reduced the production of ROS. The expressions of eNOS were significantly increased, while NOX4 protein expression was decreased in berberine-treated HUVECs. Moreover, berberine upregulated the protein expression of AMPK and p-AMPK in palmitate-treated HUVECs, but had no effect on the levels of Akt. Therefore, berberine ameliorates palmitate-induced endothelial dysfunction by upregulating eNOS expression and downregulating expression of NOX4. This regulatory effect of berberine may be related to the activation of AMPK.
Our aim is to investigate the role of the AKT/PKB (protein kinase B) signaling pathway acting via orexin receptor 1 (OX1R) and the effects of orexin A (OXA) on cell proliferation in the insulin-secreting beta-cell line (INS-1 cells). Rat INS-1 cells were exposed to different concentrations of OXA in vitro and treated with OX1R antagonist (SB334867), PI3K antagonist (wortmannin), AKT antagonist (PF-04691502), or negative control. INS-1 amount of cell proliferation, viability and apoptosis, insulin secretion, OX1R protein expression, caspase-3 activity, and AKT protein levels were determined. We report that OXA (10−10 to 10−6 M) stimulates INS-1 cell proliferation and viability, reduces the proapoptotic activity of caspase-3 to protect against apoptotic cell death, and increases insulin secretion. Additionally, AKT phosphorylation was stimulated by OXA (10−10 to 10−6 M). However, the OX1R antagonist SB334867 (10−6 M), the PI3K antagonist wortmannin (10−8 M), the AKT antagonist PF-04691502 (10−6 M), or the combination of both abolished the effects of OXA to a certain extent. These results suggest that the upregulation of OXA-OX1R mediated by AKT activation may inhibit cell apoptosis and promote cell proliferation in INS-1 cells. This finding provides functional evidence of the biological actions of OXA in rat insulinoma cells.
Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) have the ability to form cells derived from all three germ layers, and as such have received significant attention as a possible source for insulin-secreting pancreatic beta-cells for diabetes treatment. While considerable advances have been made in generating hESC-derived insulin-producing cells, to date in vitro-derived glucose-responsive beta-cells have remained an elusive goal. With the objective of increasing the in vitro formation of pancreatic endocrine cells, we examined the effect of varying initial cell seeding density from 1.3 x 104 cells/cm2 to 5.3 x 104 cells/cm2 followed by a 21-day pancreatic endocrine differentiation protocol. Low density-seeded cells were found to be biased toward the G2/M phases of the cell cycle and failed to efficiently differentiate into SOX17-CXCR4 co-positive definitive endoderm cells leaving increased numbers of OCT4 positive cells in day 4 cultures. Moderate density cultures effectively formed definitive endoderm and progressed to express PDX1 in approximately 20% of the culture. High density cultures contained approximately double the numbers of PDX1 positive pancreatic progenitor cells and also showed increased expression of MNX1, PTF1a, NGN3, ARX, and PAX4 compared to cultures seeded at moderate density. The cultures seeded at high density displayed increased formation of polyhormonal pancreatic endocrine cell populations co-expressing insulin, glucagon and somatostatin. The maturation process giving rise to these endocrine cell populations followed the expected cascade of pancreatic progenitor marker (PDX1 and MNX1) expression, followed by pancreatic endocrine specification marker expression (BRN4, PAX4, ARX, NEUROD1, NKX6.1 and NKX2.2) and then pancreatic hormone expression (insulin, glucagon and somatostatin). Taken together these data suggest that initial cell seeding density plays an important role in both germ layer specification and pancreatic progenitor commitment, which precedes pancreatic endocrine cell formation. This work highlights the need to examine standard culture variables such as seeding density when optimizing hESC differentiation protocols.
An effective data collection method is crucial for high quality monitoring of health interventions. The traditional face-to-face data collection method is labor intensive, expensive, and time consuming. With the rapid increase of mobile phone subscribers, text messaging has the potential to be used for evaluation of population health interventions in rural China.
The objective of this study was to explore the feasibility of using text messaging as a data collection tool to monitor an infant feeding intervention program.
Participants were caregivers of children aged 0 to 23 months in rural China who participated in an infant feeding health education program. We used the test-retest method. First, we collected data with a text messaging survey and then with a face-to-face survey for 2 periods of 3 days. We compared the response rate, data agreement, costs, and participants’ acceptability of the two methods. Also, we interviewed participants to explore their reasons for not responding to the text messages and the reasons for disagreement in the two methods. In addition, we evaluated the most appropriate time during the day for sending text messages.
We included 258 participants; 99 (38.4%) participated in the text messaging survey and 177 (68.6%) in the face-to-face survey. Compared with the face-to-face survey, the text messaging survey had much lower response rates to at least one question (38.4% vs 68.6%) and to all 7 questions (27.9% vs 67.4%) with moderate data agreement (most kappa values between .5 and .75, the intraclass correlation coefficients between .53 to .72). Participants who took part in both surveys gave the same acceptability rating for both methods (median 4.0 for both on a 5-point scale, 1=disliked very much and 5=liked very much). The costs per questionnaire for the text messaging method were much lower than the costs for the face-to-face method: ¥19.7 (US $3.13) versus ¥33.9 (US $5.39) for all questionnaires, and ¥27.1 (US $4.31) versus ¥34.4 (US $5.47) for completed questionnaires. The main reasons for not replying were that participants did not receive text messages, they were too busy to reply, or they did not see text messages in time. The main reasons for disagreement in responses were that participants forgot their answers in the text messaging survey and that they changed their minds. We found that participants were more likely to reply to text messages immediately during 2 time periods: 8 AM to 3 PM and 8 PM to 9 PM.
The text messaging method had reasonable data agreement and low cost, but a low response rate. Further research is needed to evaluate effectiveness of measures that can increase the response rate, especially in collecting longitudinal data by text messaging.
text messaging; data collection; program evaluation; child nutrition sciences