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1.  Acute iatrogenic Budd-Chiari syndrome following hepatectomy for hepatolithiasis: A report of two cases 
Budd-Chiari syndrome (BCS) is defined as hepatic venous outflow obstruction at any level from the small hepatic veins to the junction of the inferior vena cava (IVC) and the right atrium, regardless of the cause of obstruction. We present two cases of acute iatrogenic BCS and our clinical management of these cases. The first case was a 43-year-old woman who developed acute BCS following the implantation of an IVC stent for the correction of stenosis in the IVC after hepatectomy for hepatolithiasis. The second case was a 61-year-old woman with complete obstruction of the outflow of hepatic veins during bilateral hepatectomy for hepatolithiasis. Acute iatrogenic BCS should be considered a rare complication following hepatectomy for hepatolithiasis. Awareness of potential hepatic outflow obstructions and timely management are critical to avoid poor outcomes when performing hepatectomy for hepatolithiasis.
PMCID: PMC3769918  PMID: 24039374
Acute iatrogenic Budd-Chiari syndrome; Hepatolithiasis; Hepatectomy; Inferior vena cava
2.  Cardioprotective Effects of Quercetin in Cardiomyocyte under Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury 
Quercetin, a polyphenolic compound existing in many vegetables, fruits, has antiinflammatory, antiproliferation, and antioxidant effect on mammalian cells. Quercetin was evaluated for protecting cardiomyocytes from ischemia/reperfusion injury, but its protective mechanism remains unclear in the current study. The cardioprotective effects of quercetin are achieved by reducing the activity of Src kinase, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), caspase 9, Bax, intracellular reactive oxygen species production, and inflammatory factor and inducible MnSOD expression. Fluorescence two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) can reveal the differentially expressed proteins of H9C2 cells treated with H2O2 or quercetin. Although 17 identified proteins were altered in H2O2-induced cells, these proteins such as alpha-soluble NSF attachment protein (α-SNAP), Ena/VASP-like protein (Evl), and isopentenyl-diphosphate delta-isomerase 1 (Idi-1) were reverted by pretreatment with quercetin, which correlates with kinase activation, DNA repair, lipid, and protein metabolism. Quercetin dephosphorylates Src kinase in H2O2-induced H9C2 cells and likely blocks the H2O2-induced inflammatory response through STAT3 kinase modulation. This probably contributes to prevent ischemia/reperfusion injury in cardiomyocytes.
PMCID: PMC3612448  PMID: 23573126
3.  Proteomics Analysis of the DF-1 Chicken Fibroblasts Infected with Avian Reovirus Strain S1133 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e92154.
Avian reovirus (ARV) is a member of the Orthoreovirus genus in the Reoviridae family. It is the etiological agent of several diseases, among which viral arthritis and malabsorption syndrome are the most commercially important, causing considerable economic losses in the poultry industry. Although a small but increasing number of reports have characterized some aspects of ARV infection, global changes in protein expression in ARV-infected host cells have not been examined. The current study used a proteomics approach to obtain a comprehensive view of changes in protein levels in host cells upon infection by ARV.
Methodology and Principal Findings
The proteomics profiles of DF-1 chicken fibroblast cells infected with ARV strain S1133 were analyzed by two-dimensional differential-image gel electrophoresis. The majority of protein expression changes (≥1.5 fold, p<0.05) occurred at 72 h post-infection. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry identified 51 proteins with differential expression levels, including 25 that were upregulated during ARV infection and 26 that were downregulated. These proteins were divided into eight groups according to biological function: signal transduction, stress response, RNA processing, the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, lipid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, energy metabolism, and cytoskeleton organization. They were further examined by immunoblotting to validate the observed alterations in protein expression.
This is the first report of a time-course proteomic analysis of ARV-infected host cells. Notably, all identified proteins involved in signal transduction, RNA processing, and the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway were downregulated in infected cells, whereas proteins involved in DNA synthesis, apoptosis, and energy production pathways were upregulated. In addition, other differentially expressed proteins were linked with the cytoskeleton, metabolism, redox regulation, and stress response. These proteomics data provide valuable information about host cell responses to ARV infection and will facilitate further studies of the molecular mechanisms underlying ARV pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3965424  PMID: 24667214
4.  Proteome Differences Between Male and Female Fetal Cells in Amniotic Fluid 
In mammals, sex development is genetically and hormonally regulated. The process starts with the establishment of chromosomal structures (XY or XX), followed by the expression of sex-dependent genes. In order to elucidate the differential protein profiles between male and female amniocytes, a proteomic approach has been performed in this study. Here, we utilized a proteomics-based approach including 2D-DIGE and MALDI-TOF MS analysis to obtain differentially expressed proteins between male and female amniocytes. After resolving protein samples with 2D-DIGE technique, 45 proteins corresponding to 28 unique proteins were differentially expressed between male and female amninocytes from three independent batches of amniotic fluid. Of all of these unique identified spots, five of them (annexin A1, cathepsin D, cytoskeletal 19, protein disulfide-isomerase, and vimentin) exhibited more than 1.5-fold upregulation or downregulation in at least two independent experiments. Importantly, the identified proteins involved in protein degradation and protein folding display upregulated in male amniocytes, implying the differential regulations of protein degradation and protein folding during sex development. In conclusion, the identified differentially expressed proteins may be employed as potential signatures for the sex development. Moreover, the established proteomic platform might further utilize to discover the potential biomarkers for the prenatal genetic disorders in fetus.
PMCID: PMC3545359  PMID: 22404150
5.  Investigation of gene effects and epistatic interactions between Akt1 and neuregulin 1 in the regulation of behavioral phenotypes and social functions in genetic mouse models of schizophrenia 
Accumulating evidence from human genetic studies has suggested several functional candidate genes that might contribute to susceptibility to schizophrenia, including AKT1 and neuregulin 1 (NRG1). Recent findings also revealed that NRG1 stimulates the PI3-kinase/AKT signaling pathway, which might be involved in the functional outcomes of some schizophrenic patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of Akt1-deficiency and Nrg1-deficiency alone or in combination in the regulation of behavioral phenotypes, cognition, and social functions using genetically modified mice as a model. Male Akt1+/−, Nrg1+/−, and double mutant mice were bred and compared with their wild-type (WT) littermate controls. In Experiment 1, general physical examination revealed that all mutant mice displayed a normal profile of body weight during development and a normal brain activity with microPET scan. In Experiment 2, no significant genotypic differences were found in our basic behavioral phenotyping, including locomotion, anxiety-like behavior, and sensorimotor gating function. However, both Nrg1+/− and double mutant mice exhibited impaired episodic-like memory. Double mutant mice also had impaired sociability. In Experiment 3, a synergistic epistasis between Akt1 and Nrg1 was further confirmed in double mutant mice in that they had impaired social interaction compared to the other 3 groups, especially encountering with a novel male or an ovariectomized female. Double mutant and Nrg1+/− mice also emitted fewer female urine-induced ultrasonic vocalization calls. Collectively, our results indicate that double deficiency of Akt1 and Nrg1 can result in the impairment of social cognitive functions, which might be pertinent to the pathogenesis of schizophrenia-related social cognition.
PMCID: PMC4310298
Akt1 mutant mice; neuregulin 1 (Nrg1) mutant mice; epistatic effect; schizophrenia; behavioral phenotyping; social interaction and communication
6.  Microtubules Underlie Dysfunction in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy 
Science signaling  2012;5(236):10.1126/scisignal.2002829.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a fatal X-linked degenerative muscle disease caused by the absence of the microtubule-associated protein dystrophin, which results in a disorganized and denser microtubule cytoskeleton. In addition, mechanotransduction-dependent activation of calcium (Ca2+) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) signaling underpins muscle degeneration in DMD. We show that in muscle from adult mdx mice, a model of DMD, a brief physiologic stretch elicited microtubule-dependent activation of NADPH (reduced-form nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate) oxidase–dependent production of ROS, termed X-ROS. Further, X-ROS amplified Ca2+ influx through stretch-activated channels in mdx muscle. Consistent with the importance of the microtubules to the dysfunction in mdx muscle, muscle cells with dense microtubule structure, such as those from adult mdx mice or from young wild-type mice treated with Taxol, showed increased X-ROS production and Ca2+ influx, whereas cells with a less dense microtubule network, such as young mdx or adult mdx muscle treated with colchicine or nocodazole, showed little ROS production or Ca2+ influx. In vivo treatments that disrupted the microtubule network or inhibited NADPH oxidase 2 reduced contraction-induced injury in adult mdx mice. Furthermore, transcriptome analysis identified increased expression of X-ROS–related genes in human DMD skeletal muscle. Together, these data show that microtubules are the proximate element responsible for the dysfunction in Ca2+ and ROS signaling in DMD and could be effective therapeutic targets for intervention.
PMCID: PMC3835660  PMID: 22871609
7.  Conditional Expression of TGF-β1 in Skeletal Muscles Causes Endomysial Fibrosis and Myofibers Atrophy 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e79356.
To study the effects of transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1) on fibrosis and failure of regeneration of skeletal muscles, we generated a tet-repressible muscle-specific TGF-β1 transgenic mouse in which expression of TGF-β1 is controlled by oral doxycycline. The mice developed muscle weakness and atrophy after TGF-β1 over-expression. We defined the group of mice that showed phenotype within 2 weeks as early onset (EO) and the rest as late onset (LO), which allowed us to further examine phenotypic differences between the groups. While only mice in the EO group showed significant muscle weakness, pathological changes including endomysial fibrosis and smaller myofibers were observed in both groups at two weeks after the TGF-β1 was over-expressed. In addition, the size of the myofibers and collagen accumulation were significantly different between the two groups. The amount of latent and active TGF-β1 in the muscle and circulation were significantly higher in the EO group compared to the LO or control groups. The up-regulation of the latent TGF-β1 indicated that endogenous TGF-β1 was induced by the expression of the TGF-β1 transgene. Our studies showed that the primary effects of TGF-β1 over-expression in skeletal muscles are muscle wasting and endomysial fibrosis. In addition, the severity of the pathology is associated with the total amount of TGF-β1 and the expression of endogenous TGF-β1. The findings suggest that an auto-feedback loop of TGF-β1 may contribute to the severity of phenotypes.
PMCID: PMC3828351  PMID: 24244485
8.  DUX4 Differentially Regulates Transcriptomes of Human Rhabdomyosarcoma and Mouse C2C12 Cells 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e64691.
Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is linked to the deletion of the D4Z4 arrays at chromosome 4q35. Recent studies suggested that aberrant expression of double homeobox 4 (DUX4) from the last D4Z4 repeat causes FSHD. The aim of this study is to determine transcriptomic responses to ectopically expressed DUX4 in human and mouse cells of muscle lineage. We expression profiled human rhabdomyosarcoma (RD) cells and mouse C2C12 cells transfected with expression vectors of DUX4 using the Affymetrix Human Genome U133 Plus 2.0 Arrays and Mouse Genome 430 2.0 Arrays, respectively. A total of 2267 and 150 transcripts were identified to be differentially expressed in the RD and C2C12 cells, respectively. Amongst the transcripts differentially expressed in the RD cells, MYOD and MYOG (2 fold, p<0.05), and six MYOD downstream targets were up-regulated in RD but not C2C12 cells. Furthermore, 13 transcripts involved in germline function were dramatically induced only in the RD cells expressing DUX4. The top 3 IPA canonical pathways affected by DUX4 were different between the RD (inflammation, BMP signaling and NRF-2 mediated oxidative stress) and the C2C12 cells (p53 signaling, cell cycle regulation and cellular energy metabolism). Amongst the 40 transcripts shared by the RD and C2C12 cells, UTS2 was significantly induced by 76 fold and 224 fold in the RD and C2C12 cells, respectively. The differential expression of MYOD, MYOG and UTS2 were validated using real-time quantitative RT-PCR. We further validated the differentially expressed genes in immortalized FSHD myoblasts and showed up-regulation of MYOD, MYOG, ZSCAN4 and UTS2. The results suggest that DUX4 regulates overlapped and distinct groups of genes and pathways in human and mouse cells as evident by the selective up-regulation of genes involved in myogenesis and gametogenesis in human RD and immortalized cells as well as the different molecular pathways identified in the cells.
PMCID: PMC3661531  PMID: 23717650
9.  DUX4 expression in FSHD muscle cells: how could such a rare protein cause a myopathy? 
Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is one of the most frequent hereditary muscle disorders. It is linked to contractions of the D4Z4 repeat array in 4q35. We have characterized the double homeobox 4 (DUX4) gene in D4Z4 and its mRNA transcribed from the distal D4Z4 unit to a polyadenylation signal in the flanking pLAM region. It encodes a transcription factor expressed in FSHD but not healthy muscle cells which initiates a gene deregulation cascade causing differentiation defects, muscle atrophy and oxidative stress. PITX1 was the first identified DUX4 target and encodes a transcription factor involved in muscle atrophy. DUX4 was found expressed in only 1/1000 FSHD myoblasts. We have now shown it was induced upon differentiation and detected in about 1/200 myotube nuclei. The DUX4 and PITX1 proteins presented staining gradients in consecutive myonuclei which suggested a diffusion as known for other muscle nuclear proteins. Both protein half-lifes were regulated by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. In addition, we could immunodetect the DUX4 protein in FSHD muscle extracts. As a model, we propose the DUX4 gene is stochastically activated in a small number of FSHD myonuclei. The resulting mRNAs are translated in the cytoplasm around an activated nucleus and the DUX4 proteins diffuse to adjacent nuclei where they activate target genes such as PITX1. The PITX1 protein can further diffuse to additional myonuclei and expand the transcriptional deregulation cascade initiated by DUX4. Together the diffusion and the deregulation cascade would explain how a rare protein could cause the muscle defects observed in FSHD.
PMCID: PMC3823138  PMID: 23206257
FSHD; DUX4; homeodomain; differentiation; myoblasts; PITX1; muscle; nucleus
10.  The role of tumor necrosis factor-α-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) in mediating autophagy in myositis skeletal muscle: A potential non-immune mechanism of muscle damage 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2011;63(11):3448-3457.
Multinucleated cells are relatively resistant to classical apoptosis, and the factors initiating cell-death and damage in myositis are not well defined. We hypothesized that non-immune autophagic cell death may play a role in muscle fiber damage. Recent literature indicates that tumor necrosis factor-alpha-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) may induce both NFκB (nuclear factor kappa-light chain enhancer of activated B cells) activation and autophagic cell death in other systems. Here, we have investigated its role in cell death and pathogenesis in vitro and in vivo using myositis (human and mouse) muscle tissues.
Gene expression profiling indicated that expression of TRAIL and several autophagy markers was specifically upregulated in myositis muscle tissue; these results were confirmed by immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting. We also analyzed TRAIL-induced cell death (apoptosis and autophagy) and NFκB activation in vitro in cultured cells.
TRAIL was expressed predominantly in muscle fibers of myositis, but not in biopsies from normal or other dystrophic-diseased muscle. Autophagy markers were upregulated in human and mouse models of myositis. TRAIL expression was restricted to regenerating/atrophic areas of muscle fascicles, blood vessels, and infiltrating lymphocytes. TRAIL induced NFκB activation and IκB degradation in cultured cells that are resistant to TRAIL-induced apoptosis but undergo autophagic cell death.
Our data demonstrate that TRAIL is expressed in myositis muscle and may mediate both activation of NFκB and autophagic cell death in myositis. Thus, this non-immune pathway may be an attractive target for therapeutic intervention in myositis.
PMCID: PMC3203318  PMID: 21769834
11.  Conditional over-expression of PITX1 causes skeletal muscle dystrophy in mice 
Biology open  2012;1(7):629-639.
Paired-like homeodomain transcription factor 1 (PITX1) was specifically up-regulated in patients with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) by comparing the genome-wide mRNA expression profiles of 12 neuromuscular disorders. In addition, it is the only known direct transcriptional target of the double homeobox protein 4 (DUX4) of which aberrant expression has been shown to be the cause of FSHD. To test the hypothesis that up-regulation of PITX1 contributes to the skeletal muscle atrophy seen in patients with FSHD, we generated a tet-repressible muscle-specific Pitx1 transgenic mouse model in which expression of PITX1 in skeletal muscle can be controlled by oral administration of doxycycline. After PITX1 was over-expressed in the skeletal muscle for 5 weeks, the mice exhibited significant loss of body weight and muscle mass, decreased muscle strength, and reduction of muscle fiber diameters. Among the muscles examined, the tibialis anterior, gastrocnemius, quadricep, bicep, tricep and deltoid showed significant reduction of muscle mass, while the soleus, masseter and diaphragm muscles were not affected. The most prominent pathological change was the development of atrophic muscle fibers with mild necrosis and inflammatory infiltration. The affected myofibers stained heavily with NADH-TR with the strongest staining in angular-shaped atrophic fibers. Some of the atrophic fibers were also positive for embryonic myosin heavy chain using immunohistochemistry. Immunoblotting showed that the p53 was up-regulated in the muscles over-expressing PITX1. The results suggest that the up-regulation of PITX1 followed by activation of p53-dependent pathways may play a major role in the muscle atrophy developed in the mouse model.
PMCID: PMC3486706  PMID: 23125914
D4Z4; Grip strength; Rotarod; Tet-off; Cell death
12.  IL-6 signaling blockade increases inflammation but does not affect muscle function in the mdx mouse 
IL-6 is a pleiotropic cytokine that modulates inflammatory responses and plays critical roles in muscle maintenance and remodeling. In the mouse model (mdx) of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, IL-6 and muscle inflammation are elevated, which is believed to contribute to the chronic inflammation and failure of muscle regeneration in DMD. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effect of blocking IL-6 signaling on the muscle phenotype including muscle weakness and pathology in the mdx mouse.
A monoclonal antibody against the IL-6 receptor (IL-6r mAb) that blocks local and systemic IL-6 signaling was administered to mdx and BL-10 mice for 5 weeks and muscle function, histology, and inflammation were examined.
IL-6r mAb treatment increased mdx muscle inflammation including total inflammation score and ICAM-1 positive lumens in muscles. There was no significant improvement in muscle strength nor muscle pathology due to IL-6r mAb treatment in mdx mice.
These results showed that instead of reducing inflammation, IL-6 signaling blockade for 5 weeks caused an increase in muscle inflammation, with no significant change in indices related to muscle regeneration and muscle function. The results suggest a potential anti-inflammatory instead of the original hypothesized pro-inflammatory role of IL-6 signaling in the mdx mice.
PMCID: PMC3522537  PMID: 22716658
IL-6; Muscular dystrophy; Inflammation; Duchenne
13.  Conditional over-expression of PITX1 causes skeletal muscle dystrophy in mice 
Biology Open  2012;1(7):629-639.
Paired-like homeodomain transcription factor 1 (PITX1) was specifically up-regulated in patients with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) by comparing the genome-wide mRNA expression profiles of 12 neuromuscular disorders. In addition, it is the only known direct transcriptional target of the double homeobox protein 4 (DUX4) of which aberrant expression has been shown to be the cause of FSHD. To test the hypothesis that up-regulation of PITX1 contributes to the skeletal muscle atrophy seen in patients with FSHD, we generated a tet-repressible muscle-specific Pitx1 transgenic mouse model in which expression of PITX1 in skeletal muscle can be controlled by oral administration of doxycycline. After PITX1 was over-expressed in the skeletal muscle for 5 weeks, the mice exhibited significant loss of body weight and muscle mass, decreased muscle strength, and reduction of muscle fiber diameters. Among the muscles examined, the tibialis anterior, gastrocnemius, quadricep, bicep, tricep and deltoid showed significant reduction of muscle mass, while the soleus, masseter and diaphragm muscles were not affected. The most prominent pathological change was the development of atrophic muscle fibers with mild necrosis and inflammatory infiltration. The affected myofibers stained heavily with NADH-TR with the strongest staining in angular-shaped atrophic fibers. Some of the atrophic fibers were also positive for embryonic myosin heavy chain using immunohistochemistry. Immunoblotting showed that the p53 was up-regulated in the muscles over-expressing PITX1. The results suggest that the up-regulation of PITX1 followed by activation of p53-dependent pathways may play a major role in the muscle atrophy developed in the mouse model.
PMCID: PMC3486706  PMID: 23125914
D4Z4; Grip strength; Rotarod; Tet-off; Cell death
14.  Exercise prescription for hospitalized people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and comorbidities: a synthesis of systematic reviews 
The prescription of physical activity for hospitalized patients with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD) can be complicated by the presence of comorbidities. The current research aimed to synthesize the relevant literature on the benefits of exercise for people with multimorbidities who experience an AECOPD, and ask: What are the parameters and outcomes of exercise in AECOPD and in conditions that are common comorbidities as reported by systematic reviews (SRs)?
An SR was performed using the Cochrane Collaboration protocol. Nine electronic databases were searched up to July 2011. Articles were included if they (1) described participants with AECOPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or one of eleven common comorbidities, (2) were an SR, (3) examined aerobic training (AT), resistance training (RT), balance training (BT), or a combination thereof, (4) included at least one outcome of fitness, and (5) compared exercise training versus control/sham.
This synthesis examined 58 SRs of exercise training in people with AECOPD, COPD, or eleven chronic conditions commonly associated with COPD. Meta-analyses of endurance (aerobic or exercise capacity, 6-minute walk distance – 6MWD) were shown to significantly improve in most conditions (except osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and depression), whereas strength was shown to improve in five of the 13 conditions searched: COPD, older adults, heart failure, ischemic heart disease, and diabetes. Several studies of different conditions also reported improvements in quality of life, function, and control or prevention outcomes. Meta-analyses also demonstrate that exercise training decreases the risk of mortality in older adults, and those with COPD or ischemic heart disease. The most common types of training were AT and RT. BT and functional training were commonly applied in older adults. The quality of the SRs for most conditions was moderate to excellent (>65%) as evaluated by AMSTAR scores.
In summary, this synthesis showed evidence of significant benefits from exercise training in AECOPD, COPD, and conditions that are common comorbidities. A broader approach to exercise and activity prescription in pulmonary rehabilitation may induce therapeutic benefits to ameliorate clinical sequelae associated with AECOPD and comorbidities such as the inclusion of BT and functional training.
PMCID: PMC3363140  PMID: 22665994
pulmonary disease; chronic obstructive; comorbidity; exercise; physical fitness
15.  Trypsin-induced proteome alteration during cell subculture in mammalian cells 
It is essential to subculture the cells once cultured cells reach confluence. For this, trypsin is frequently applied to dissociate adhesive cells from the substratum. However, due to the proteolytic activity of trypsin, cell surface proteins are often cleaved, which leads to dysregulation of the cell functions.
In this study, a triplicate 2D-DIGE strategy has been performed to monitor trypsin-induced proteome alterations. The differentially expressed spots were identified by MALDI-TOF MS and validated by immunoblotting.
36 proteins are found to be differentially expressed in cells treated with trypsin, and proteins that are known to regulate cell metabolism, growth regulation, mitochondrial electron transportation and cell adhesion are down-regulated and proteins that regulate cell apoptosis are up-regulated after trypsin treatment. Further study shows that bcl-2 is down-regulated, p53 and p21 are both up-regulated after trypsinization.
In summary, this is the first report that uses the proteomic approach to thoroughly study trypsin-induced cell physiological changes and provides researchers in carrying out their experimental design.
PMCID: PMC2873939  PMID: 20459778
16.  Duration of chronic inflammation alters gene expression in muscle from untreated girls with juvenile dermatomyositis 
BMC Immunology  2008;9:43.
To evaluate the impact of the duration of chronic inflammation on gene expression in skeletal muscle biopsies (MBx) from untreated children with juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM) and identify genes and biological processes associated with the disease progression, expression profiling data from 16 girls with active symptoms of JDM greater than or equal to 2 months were compared with 3 girls with active symptoms less than 2 months.
Seventy-nine genes were differentially expressed between the groups with long or short duration of untreated disease. Genes involved in immune responses and vasculature remodelling were expressed at a higher level in muscle biopsies from children with greater or equal to 2 months of symptoms, while genes involved in stress responses and protein turnover were expressed at a lower level. Among the 79 genes, expression of 9 genes showed a significant linear regression relationship with the duration of untreated disease. Five differentially expressed genes – HLA-DQA1, smooth muscle myosin heavy chain, clusterin, plexin D1 and tenomodulin – were verified by quantitative RT-PCR. The chronic inflammation of longer disease duration was also associated with increased DC-LAMP+ and BDCA2+ mature dendritic cells, identified by immunohistochemistry.
We conclude that chronic inflammation alters the gene expression patterns in muscle of untreated children with JDM. Symptoms lasting greater or equal to 2 months were associated with dendritic cell maturation and anti-angiogenic vascular remodelling, directly contributing to disease pathophysiology.
PMCID: PMC2529263  PMID: 18671865
17.  Gene Selection for Multiclass Prediction by Weighted Fisher Criterion 
Gene expression profiling has been widely used to study molecular signatures of many diseases and to develop molecular diagnostics for disease prediction. Gene selection, as an important step for improved diagnostics, screens tens of thousands of genes and identifies a small subset that discriminates between disease types. A two-step gene selection method is proposed to identify informative gene subsets for accurate classification of multiclass phenotypes. In the first step, individually discriminatory genes (IDGs) are identified by using one-dimensional weighted Fisher criterion (wFC). In the second step, jointly discriminatory genes (JDGs) are selected by sequential search methods, based on their joint class separability measured by multidimensional weighted Fisher criterion (wFC). The performance of the selected gene subsets for multiclass prediction is evaluated by artificial neural networks (ANNs) and/or support vector machines (SVMs). By applying the proposed IDG/JDG approach to two microarray studies, that is, small round blue cell tumors (SRBCTs) and muscular dystrophies (MDs), we successfully identified a much smaller yet efficient set of JDGs for diagnosing SRBCTs and MDs with high prediction accuracies (96.9% for SRBCTs and 92.3% for MDs, resp.). These experimental results demonstrated that the two-step gene selection method is able to identify a subset of highly discriminative genes for improved multiclass prediction.
PMCID: PMC3171347  PMID: 17713593
18.  Endothelial cell activation and neovascularization are prominent in dermatomyositis 
While vascular and immune abnormalities are common in juvenile and adult dermatomyositis (DM), the molecular changes that contribute to these abnormalities are not clear. Therefore, we investigated pathways that facilitate new blood vessel formation and dendritic cell migration in dermatomyositis.
Muscle biopsies from subjects with DM (9 children and 6 adults) and non-myositis controls (6 children and 7 adults) were investigated by immunohistochemistry using antibodies that recognize existing (anti-CD146) and newly formed blood vessels (anti-αVβ3) and mature dendritic cells (anti-DC-LAMP). Blood vessel quantification was performed by digitalized image analysis. Additional muscle biopsies from subjects with adult DM and non-myositis controls were used for global gene expression profiling experiments.
A significant increase in neovascularization was found in muscle biopsies of DM patients; neovascularization (αVβ3 positive capillaries and vessels per muscle fiber) was much higher in juvenile than in adult DM patients (control vs juvenile DM: Mean ± SE: 0.06 ± 0.01 vs 0.6 ± 0.05; p < 0.0001 and control vs adult DM: Mean ± SE: 0.60 ± 0.1 vs 0.75 ± 0.1; p = 0.051). Gene expression analysis demonstrated that genes that participate not only in angiogenesis but also in leukocyte trafficking and the complement cascade were highly up regulated in DM muscle in comparison to age matched controls. DC-LAMP positive dendritic cells were highly enriched at perivascular inflammatory sites in juvenile and adult DM patients along with molecules that facilitate dendritic cell transmigration and reverse transmigration (CD142 and CD31).
These results suggest active neovascularization and endothelial cell activation in both juvenile and adult DM. It is likely that close association of monocytes with endothelial cells initiate rapid dendritic cell maturation and an autoimmune response in DM.
PMCID: PMC1397829  PMID: 16504012
19.  Development and production of an oligonucleotide MuscleChip: use for validation of ambiguous ESTs 
BMC Bioinformatics  2002;3:33.
We describe the development, validation, and use of a highly redundant 120,000 oligonucleotide microarray (MuscleChip) containing 4,601 probe sets representing 1,150 known genes expressed in muscle and 2,075 EST clusters from a non-normalized subtracted muscle EST sequencing project (28,074 EST sequences). This set included 369 novel EST clusters showing no match to previously characterized proteins in any database. Each probe set was designed to contain 20–32 25 mer oligonucleotides (10–16 paired perfect match and mismatch probe pairs per gene), with each probe evaluated for hybridization kinetics (Tm) and similarity to other sequences. The 120,000 oligonucleotides were synthesized by photolithography and light-activated chemistry on each microarray.
Hybridization of human muscle cRNAs to this MuscleChip (33 samples) showed a correlation of 0.6 between the number of ESTs sequenced in each cluster and hybridization intensity. Out of 369 novel EST clusters not showing any similarity to previously characterized proteins, we focused on 250 EST clusters that were represented by robust probe sets on the MuscleChip fulfilling all stringent rules. 102 (41%) were found to be consistently "present" by analysis of hybridization to human muscle RNA, of which 40 ESTs (39%) could be genome anchored to potential transcription units in the human genome sequence. 19 ESTs of the 40 ESTs were furthermore computer-predicted as exons by one or more than three gene identification algorithms.
Our analysis found 40 transcriptionally validated, genome-anchored novel EST clusters to be expressed in human muscle. As most of these ESTs were low copy clusters (duplex and triplex) in the original 28,000 EST project, the identification of these as significantly expressed is a robust validation of the transcript units that permits subsequent focus on the novel proteins encoded by these genes.
PMCID: PMC137597  PMID: 12456269
Expression profiling; oligonucleotide microarrays; Affymetrix; muscle; EST
20.  Sources of variability and effect of experimental approach on expression profiling data interpretation 
BMC Bioinformatics  2002;3:4.
We provide a systematic study of the sources of variability in expression profiling data using 56 RNAs isolated from human muscle biopsies (34 Affymetrix MuscleChip arrays), and 36 murine cell culture and tissue RNAs (42 Affymetrix U74Av2 arrays).
We studied muscle biopsies from 28 human subjects as well as murine myogenic cell cultures, muscle, and spleens. Human MuscleChip arrays (4,601 probe sets) and murine U74Av2 Affymetrix microarrays were used for expression profiling. RNAs were profiled both singly, and as mixed groups. Variables studied included tissue heterogeneity, cRNA probe production, patient diagnosis, and GeneChip hybridizations. We found that the greatest source of variability was often different regions of the same patient muscle biopsy, reflecting variation in cell type content even in a relatively homogeneous tissue such as muscle. Inter-patient variation was also very high (SNP noise). Experimental variation (RNA, cDNA, cRNA, or GeneChip) was minor. Pre-profile mixing of patient cRNA samples effectively normalized both intra- and inter-patient sources of variation, while retaining a high degree of specificity of the individual profiles (86% of statistically significant differences detected by absolute analysis; and 85% by a 4-pairwise comparison survival method).
Using unsupervised cluster analysis and correlation coefficients of 92 RNA samples on 76 oligonucleotide microarrays, we found that experimental error was not a significant source of unwanted variability in expression profiling experiments. Major sources of variability were from use of small tissue biopsies, particularly in humans where there is substantial inter-patient variability (SNP noise).
PMCID: PMC65691  PMID: 11936955
21.  Expression Profiling in the Muscular Dystrophies 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2000;151(6):1321-1336.
We used expression profiling to define the pathophysiological cascades involved in the progression of two muscular dystrophies with known primary biochemical defects, dystrophin deficiency (Duchenne muscular dystrophy) and α-sarcoglycan deficiency (a dystrophin-associated protein). We employed a novel protocol for expression profiling in human tissues using mixed samples of multiple patients and iterative comparisons of duplicate datasets. We found evidence for both incomplete differentiation of patient muscle, and for dedifferentiation of myofibers to alternative lineages with advancing age. One developmentally regulated gene characterized in detail, α-cardiac actin, showed abnormal persistent expression after birth in 60% of Duchenne dystrophy myofibers. The majority of myofibers (∼80%) remained strongly positive for this protein throughout the course of the disease. Other developmentally regulated genes that showed widespread overexpression in these muscular dystrophies included embryonic myosin heavy chain, versican, acetylcholine receptor α-1, secreted protein, acidic and rich in cysteine/osteonectin, and thrombospondin 4. We hypothesize that the abnormal Ca2+ influx in dystrophin- and α-sarcoglycan–deficient myofibers leads to altered developmental programming of developing and regenerating myofibers. The finding of upregulation of HLA-DR and factor XIIIa led to the novel identification of activated dendritic cell infiltration in dystrophic muscle; these cells mediate immune responses and likely induce microenvironmental changes in muscle. We also document a general metabolic crisis in dystrophic muscle, with large scale downregulation of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial gene expression. Finally, our expression profiling results show that primary genetic defects can be identified by a reduction in the corresponding RNA.
PMCID: PMC2190600  PMID: 11121445
muscular dystrophy; microarray; dystrophin; α-sarcoglycan; expression profiling

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