Heat shock proteins (HSPs) display adjuvant functions when given as fusion proteins to enhance vaccination efficiency. To evaluate enhanced potency of Hantaan virus (HTNV) glycoprotein (GP) and nucleocapsid protein (NP) immunogenicity by heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), a recombinant adenovirus rAd-GnS0.7-pCAG-HSP70C expression vector was developed by genetically linking the HSP70 C-terminal gene (HSP70 359–610 aa, HSP70C) to the Gn and 0.7 kb fragment of the NP (aa1–274-S0.7). C57BL/6 mice were immunized with these recombinant adenoviral vectors. A series of immunological assays determined the immunogenicity of the recombinant adenoviral vectors. The results showed that rAd-GnS0.7-pCAG-HSP70C induced a stronger humoral and cellular immune response than other recombinant adenoviruses (rAd-GnS0.7-pCAG and rAd-GnS0.7) and the HFRS vaccine control. Animal protection experiments showed that rAd-GnS0.7-pCAG-HSP70C was effective at protecting C57BL/6 mice from HTNV infection. The results of the immunological experiments showed that HSP70C lead to enhanced vaccine potency, and suggested significant potential in the development of genetically engineered vaccines against HTNV.
In the failing heart, persistent β-adrenergic receptor (βAR) activation is thought to induce myocyte death by protein kinase A (PKA)-dependent and PKA-independent activation of calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CaMKII). β-Adrenergic signaling pathways are also capable of activating cardioprotective mechanisms.
This study used a novel PKA inhibitor peptide (PKI) to inhibit PKA activity to test the hypothesis that βAR signaling causes cell death through PKA-dependent pathways and cardioprotection through PKA-independent pathways.
Methods and Results
In PKI transgenic mice, chronic isoproterenol (ISO) failed to induce cardiac hypertrophy, fibrosis, myocyte apoptosis and depressed cardiac function. In cultured adult feline ventricular myocytes (AFVMs), PKA inhibition protected myocytes from death induced by β1-AR agonists by preventing cytosolic and SR Ca2+ overload and CaMKII activation. PKA inhibition revealed a cardioprotective role of β-adrenergic signaling via cAMP/EPAC /Rap1/Rac/ERK pathway. Selective PKA inhibition causes protection in the heart after myocardial infarction (MI) that was superior to β-blocker therapy.
These results suggest that selective block of PKA could be a novel heart failure therapy.
Apoptosis; Ca2+/dependent protein kinase II; ERK2; EPAC
MicroRNAs act as posttranscriptional regulators of gene expression in many biological processes. Their deregulations occur commonly in gastric cancer (GC). Although DNA methylation constitutes an important mechanism for microRNA deregulation in cancer, this field largely remains unexplored.
Total RNA was extracted from the tissues of 100 patients with GC and four gastric cancer cell lines. The expression levels of miR-10a were determined by real-time PCR with specific TaqMan probes. Moreover, a functional analysis of miR-10a in regulating cell proliferation, migration and invasion was performed. Subsequently, quantitative methylation-specific PCR (qMSP) was used to detect the DNA methylation status in the CpG islands upstream of miR-10a. In this study, we found that the expression of miR-10a in GC cells was lower than that in normal cells, which was due to the hypermethylation of the CpG islands upstream of miR-10a. We also validated the slightly lower expression of miR-10a in GC tissues than their adjacent non-neoplastic tissues in 100 GC patients and confirmed the hypermethylation of CpG islands upstream of miR-10a in some patients. Furthermore, re-introduction of miR-10a into GC cells was able to inhibit cell proliferation, migration and invasion. Bioinformatic and immunoblot analysis indicated that the tumor suppressor roles of miR-10a in GC cells were possibly through targeting HOXA1.
Our data indicate that miR-10a acts as a tumor suppressor in GC cells and is partially silenced by DNA hypermethylation in GC, suggesting that miR-10a may serve as a potential diagnostic or therapeutic target of GC.
It has become increasingly clear that the current taxonomy of clinical phenotypes is mixed with molecular heterogeneity, which potentially affects the treatment effect for involved patients. Defining the hidden molecular-distinct diseases using modern large-scale genomic approaches is therefore useful for refining clinical practice and improving intervention strategies. Given that microRNA expression profiling has provided a powerful way to dissect hidden genetic heterogeneity for complex diseases, the aim of the study was to develop a bioinformatics approach that identifies microRNA features leading to the hidden subtyping of complex clinical phenotypes. The basic strategy of the proposed method was to identify optimal miRNA clusters by iteratively partitioning the sample and feature space using the two-ways super-paramagnetic clustering technique. We evaluated the obtained optimal miRNA cluster by determining the consistency of co-expression and the chromosome location among the within-cluster microRNAs, and concluded that the optimal miRNA cluster could lead to a natural partition of disease samples. We applied the proposed method to a publicly available microarray dataset of breast cancer patients that have notoriously heterogeneous phenotypes. We obtained a feature subset of 13 microRNAs that could classify the 71 breast cancer patients into five subtypes with significantly different five-year overall survival rates (45%, 82.4%, 70.6%, 100% and 60% respectively; p = 0.008). By building a multivariate Cox proportional-hazards prediction model for the feature subset, we identified has-miR-146b as one of the most significant predictor (p = 0.045; hazard ratios = 0.39). The proposed algorithm is a promising computational strategy for dissecting hidden genetic heterogeneity for complex diseases, and will be of value for improving cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Epidemiological surveys and animal studies have revealed that inositol metabolism is associated with NTDs, but the mechanisms are not clear. Inositol 1,3,4-trisphosphate 5/6-kinase (ITPK1) is a pivotal regulatory enzyme in inositol metabolic pathway. The objective was to assess the potential impact of the maternal ITPK1 genotypes on the inositol parameter and on the NTD risk in a NTD high-risk area in China.
A case-control study of pregnant women affected with NTDs (n = 200) and controls (n = 320) was carried out. 13 tag SNPs of ITPK1 were selected and genotyped by the Sequenom MassArray system. We found that 4 tag SNPs were statistically significant in spina bifida group (P<0.05). MACH was used to impute the un-genotyped SNPs in ITPK1 locus and showed that 3 meaningful SNPs in the non-coding regions were significant. We also predicted the binding capacity of transcription factors in the positive SNPs using the bioinformatics method and found that only rs3783903 was located in the conserved sequence of activator protein-1 (AP-1). To further study the association between biochemical values and genotypes, maternal plasma inositol hexakisphosphate (IP6) levels were also assessed using LC-MS. The maternal plasma IP6 concentrations in the spina bifida subgroup were 7.1% lower than control (136.67 vs. 147.05 ng mL−1, P<0.05), and significantly lower in rs3783903 GG genotype than others (P<0.05). EMSA showed a different allelic binding capacity of AP-1 in rs3783903, which was affected by an A→G exchange. The RT-PCR suggested the ITPK1 expression was decreased significantly in mutant-type of rs3783903 compared with wild-type in the 60 healthy pregnancies (P<0.05).
These results suggested that the maternal rs3783903 of ITPK1 might be associated with spina bifida, and the allele G of rs3783903 might affect the binding of AP-1 and the decrease of maternal plasma IP6 concentration in this Chinese population.
Behcet’s disease (BD) is a rare and life-long disorder characterized by inflammation of blood vessels throughout the body. BD was originally described in 1937 as a syndrome involving oral and genital ulceration in addition to ocular inflammation. Intestinal BD refers to colonic ulcerative lesions documented by objective measures in patients with BD. Many studies have shown that over 40% of BD patients have gastrointestinal complaints. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, anorexia and abdominal distension. Although gastrointestinal symptoms are common, the demonstration of gastrointestinal ulcers is rare. This so-called intestinal BD accounts for approximately 1% of cases. There is no specific test for BD, and the diagnosis is based on clinical criteria. The manifestations of intestinal BD are similar to those of other colitis conditions such as Crohn’s disease or intestinal tuberculosis, thus, it is challenging for gastroenterologists to accurately diagnose intestinal BD in patients with ileo-colonic ulcers. However, giant ulcers distributed in the esophagus and ileocecal junction with gastrointestinal hemorrhage are rare in intestinal BD. Here, we present a case of untypical intestinal BD. The patient had recurrent aphthous ulceration of the oral mucosa, and esophageal and ileo-colonic ulceration, but no typical extra-intestinal symptoms. During examination, the patient had massive acute lower gastrointestinal bleeding. The patient underwent ileostomy after an emergency right hemicolectomy and partial ileectomy, and was subsequently diagnosed with incomplete-type intestinal BD by pathology. The literature on the evaluation and management of this condition is reviewed.
Intestinal Behcet’s disease; Hemorrhage; Skip ulcers
AIM: To examine the status and clinical significance of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene alterations in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients.
METHODS: A total of 213 cases of HCC were examined by fluorescent in situ hybridization using dual color break-apart ALK probes for the detection of chromosomal translocation and gene copy number gain. HCC tissue microarrays were constructed, and the correlation between the ALK status and clinicopathological variables was assessed by χ2 test or Fisher’s exact test. Survival analysis was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier approach with a Log-rank test. Univariate and multivariate analyses of clinical variables were performed using the Cox proportional hazards regression model.
RESULTS: ALK gene translocation was not observed in any of the HCC cases included in the present study. ALK gene copy number gain (ALK/CNG) (≥ 4 copies/cell) was detected in 28 (13.15%) of the 213 HCC patients. The 3-year progression-free-survival (PFS) rate for ALK/CNG-positive HCC patients was significantly poorer than ALK/CNG-negative patients (27.3% vs 42.5%, P = 0.048), especially for patients with advanced stage III/IV (0% vs 33.5%, P = 0.007), and patients with grade III disease (24.8% vs 49.9%, P = 0.023). ALK/CNG-positive HCC patients had a significantly poorer prognosis than ALK/CNG-negative patients in the subgroup that was negative for serum hepatitis B virus DNA, with significantly different 3-year overall survival rates (18.2% vs 63.6%, P = 0.021) and PFS rates (18.2% vs 46.9%, P = 0.019). Multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression analysis suggested that ALK/CNG prevalence can predict death in HCC (HR = 1.596; 95%CI: 1.008-2.526, P = 0.046).
CONCLUSION: ALK/CNG, but not translocation of ALK, is present in HCC and may be an unfavorable prognostic predictor.
Anaplastic lymphoma kinase gene; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Prognostic predictor
Methotrexate (MTX) is a key agent for the treatment of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Increased MTX plasma concentrations are associated with a higher risk of adverse drug effects. ATP-binding cassette subfamily C member 2 (ABCC2) is important for excretion of MTX and its toxic metabolite. The ABCC2 −24C>T polymorphism (rs717620) reportedly contributes to variability of MTX kinetics. In the present study, we assessed the association between the ABCC2 −24C>T polymorphism and methotrexate (MTX) toxicities in childhood ALL patients treated with high-dose MTX. A total of 112 Han Chinese ALL patients were treated with high-dose MTX according to the ALL-Berlin-Frankfurt-Muenster 2000 protocol. Our results showed that presence of the −24T allele in ABCC2 gene led to significantly higher MTX plasma concentrations at 48 hours after the start of infusion, which would strengthen over repeated MTX infusion. The −24T allele in ABCC2 gene was significantly associated with higher risks of high-grade hematologic (leucopenia, anemia, and thrombocytopenia) and non-hematologic (gastrointestinal and mucosal damage/oral mucositis) MTX toxicities. This study provides the first evidence that the −24T allele in ABCC2 gene is associated with the severity of MTX toxicities, which add fresh insights into clinical application of high-dose MTX and individualization of MTX treatment.
Saracatinib, a highly selective, dual Src/Abl kinase inhibitor, is currently in a phase II clinical trial for the treatment of ovarian cancer. In this study, we investigated the effect of saracatinib on the reversal of multidrug resistance (MDR) induced by ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters in vitro and in vivo. Our results showed that saracatinib significantly enhanced the cytotoxicity of ABCB1 substrate drugs in ABCB1 overexpressing HeLa/v200, MCF-7/adr and HEK293/ABCB1 cells, an effect that was stronger than that of gefitinib, whereas it had no effect on the cytotoxicity of the substrates in ABCC1 overexpressing HL-60/adr cells and its parental sensitive cells. Additionally, saracatinib significantly increased the Dox and Rho 123 accumulation in HeLa/v200 and MCF-7/adr cells, while it had no effect on HeLa and MCF-7 cells. Furthermore, saracatinib stimulated the ATPase activity and inhibited photolabeling of ABCB1 with [125I]-iodoarylazidoprazosin in a concentration-dependent manner. In addition, the homology modeling predicted the binding conformation of saracatinib within the large hydrophobic drug-binding cavity of human ABCB1. However, neither the expression level of ABCB1 nor the phosphorylation level of Akt was altered at the reversal concentrations of saracatinib. Importantly, saracatinib significantly enhanced the effect of paclitaxel against ABCB1-overexpressing HeLa/v200 cancer cell xenografts in nude mice. In conclusion, saracatinib reverses ABCB1-mediated MDR in vitro and in vivo by directly inhibiting ABCB1 transport function, without altering ABCB1 expression or AKT phosphorylation. These findings may be helpful to attenuate the effect of MDR by combining saracatinib with other chemotherapeutic drugs in the clinic.
Saracatinib; Src/Abl kinase inhibitor; Multidrug resistance; ATP-binding cassette transporters subfamily B member 1(ABCB1)
Telomeres mediate biologic aging in organisms as diverse as plants, yeast, and mammals. We propose a telomere theory of reproductive aging that posits telomere shortening in the female germ line as the primary driver of reproductive aging in women. Experimental shortening of telomeres in mice, which normally do not exhibit appreciable oocyte aging, and which have exceptionally long telomeres, recapitulates the aging phenotype of human oocytes. Telomere shortening in mice reduces synapsis and chiasmata, increases embryo fragmentation, cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, spindle dysmorphologies, and chromosome abnormalities. Telomeres are shorter in the oocytes from women undergoing in vitro fertilization, who then produce fragmented, aneuploid embryos that fail to implant. In contrast, the testes are replete with spermatogonia that can rejuvenate telomere reserves throughout the life of the man by expressing telomerase. Differences in telomere dynamics across the life span of men and women may have evolved because of the difference in the inherent risks of aging on reproduction between men and women. Additionally, growing evidence links altered telomere biology to endometriosis and gynecologic cancers, thus future studies should examine the role of telomeres in pathologies of the reproductive tract.
Reproductive aging; telomeres
The insertion/deletion (I/D) polymorphism of the gene encoding angiotensin converting enzyme is a controversial risk factor for restenosis after percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasties (PTCA) in patients. Genetic association studies can be problematic to reproduce due to insufficient power, phenotypic heterogeneity, population stratification, small effect of the variant and even publication biases. To derive a more precise estimation of the relationship as well as to quantify the between-study heterogeneity and potential bias, a meta-analysis including 11,193 patients from 33 published cohort studies was performed. In a combined analysis, the summary per-allele odds ratio for restenosis was 1.31 (95% CI: 1.08-1.58, P = 0.006), and 1.22 (95% CI: 0.95-1.56, P = 0.12), for PTCA-stent and PTCA-balloon, respectively. In the subgroup analysis by ethnicity, significantly increased restenosis risks after PTCA-stent were found in Asians for the polymorphism; whereas no significant associations were found among Caucasians. As for restenosis risks after PTCA-balloon, no evidence of any gene-disease association was obtained in the stratiﬁed analyses according to ethnicity and study size. In conclusion, this meta-analysis demonstrated that the DD homozygous of ACE I/D polymorphism was significantly associated with elevated restenosis susceptibility after PTCA-stent among Asian populations.
Chymase, a chymotrypsin-like protease, is a non-angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) angiotensin II (Ang II)-generating enzyme. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether chymase activity was increased in inflammatory polyps of elderly patients with functional bowel disorder (FBD). This study enrolled 45 elderly patients with FBD and 44 healthy control individuals. Expression of chymase in intestinal mucosa was assessed using fluorescence quantitative polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry (IHC). IHC showed an increased number of chymase-positive mast cells in inflammatory polyps than in healthy intestinal mucosa (P<0.05). Compared with healthy mucosa, expression of chymase at the mRNA and protein level was significantly higher in inflammatory polyps. The frequencies of the chymase GG genotype and the G allele type were higher in the intestinal mucosa of patients with FBD compared with healthy controls (66.67 versus 40.91%, 81.11 versus 63.63%, both P<0.05). The frequency of the G allele type in the intestinal mucosa of the C4 subgroup of FBD was higher than that in the control group. However, in other FBD subgroups, there was no difference between patients and controls. Based on the fact that enhanced chymase expression was observed in inflammatory polyps of elderly patients with FBD relative to those in healthy controls, it was concluded that chymase has a significant role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory polyps in elderly patients with FBD.
chymase; functional bowel disorder; elderly; intestinal inflammatory polyps
To investigate the inhibitory effects of microRNA-30d (miR-30d) on renal carcinoma cell proliferation and the underlying molecular mechanisms, miR-30d expression in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) specimens was analyzed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). The inhibition of the proliferation of miR-30d on renal carcinoma cells (ACHN cell line) was analyzed by MTT and colony formation assays. The effects of miR-30d on cyclin E2 expression were detected by the luciferase activity of the reporter gene. In addition, the effects of miR-30d on endogenous cyclin E2 expression at the RNA and protein levels were investigated by qPCR and western blot analysis, respectively. Cell cycles were analyzed by flow cytometry. The results showed the following: i) Expression of miR-30d was significantly downregulated in renal carcinoma tissues compared with paraneoplastic tissues; ii) overexpression of miR-30d inhibited renal carcinoma cell proliferation and colony formation; iii) miR-30d inhibited cyclin E2 3′ untranslated region-mediated reporter gene expression; and iv) overexpression of miR-30d downregulated endogenous cyclin E2 expression and blocked the cell cycle at the G1 phase. In conclusion, miR-30d functions as a tumor suppressor gene in RCC and inhibits renal carcinoma cell proliferation. Cell cycle regulatory factor cyclin E2 is a target gene of miR-30d. miR-30d inhibits renal carcinoma cell proliferation via the regulation of cyclin E2 expression at the post-transcriptional level.
microRNA-30d; proliferation inhibition; cyclin E2; renal cell carcinoma; renal carcinoma cells
Pseudoginsenoside-F11 (PF11), a component of Panax quinquefolism (American ginseng), plays a lot of beneficial effects on disorders of central nervous system. In this paper, the neuroprotective effect of PF11 on Parkinson's disease (PD) and the possible mechanism were investigated in a rat PD model. PF11 was orally administered at 3, 6, and 12 mg/kg once daily for a period of 2 weeks before and 1 week after the unilateral lesion of left medial forebrain bundle (MFB) induced by 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). The results showed that PF11 markedly improved the locomotor, motor balance, coordination, and apomorphine-induced rotations in 6-OHDA-lesioned rats. The expression of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in substantia nigra (SN) and the content of extracellular dopamine (DA) in striatum were also significantly increased after PF11 treatment. Moreover, significant reduction in the levels of striatal extracellular hydroxyl radical (∙OH), detected as 2,3- and 2,5-dihydroxy benzoic acid (2,3- and 2,5-DHBA), and increase in the level of striatal extracellular ascorbic acid (AA) were observed in the PF11-treated groups compared with 6-OHDA-lesioned rats. Taken together, we propose that PF11 has potent anti-Parkinson property possibly through inhibiting free radical formation and stimulating endogenous antioxidant release.
We have designed a novel hybrid nanostructure by coating Fe2O3 nanoparticles with multi-walled carbon nanotubes to enhance the lithium storage capability of Fe2O3. The strategy to prepare Fe2O3@MWCNTs involves the synthesis of Fe nanoparticles wrapped in MWCNTs, followed by the oxidation of Fe nanoparticles under carbon dioxide. When used as the anode in a Li-ion battery, this hybrid material (70.32 wt% carbon nanotubes, 29.68 wt% Fe2O3) showed a reversible discharge capacity of 515 mAhg−1 after 50 cycles at a density of 100 mAg−1 and the capacity based on Fe2O3 nanoparticles was calculated as 1147 mAhg−1, Three factors are responsibile for the superior performance: (1) The hollow interiors of MWCNTs provide enough spaces for the accommodation of large volume expansion of inner Fe2O3 nanoparticles, which can improving the stability of electrode; (2) The MWCNTs increase the overall conductivity of the anode; (3) A stable solid electrolyte interface film formed on the surface of MWCNTs may reduce capacity fading.
Cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitors reduce colorectal adenoma recurrence by up to 45% and selenium supplementation may prevent colorectal cancer. Following colonoscopic adenoma resection, 1,600 men and women aged 40-80 years were randomized to celecoxib (400 mg daily), a selective COX-2 inhibitor, and/or selenium (200 μg daily as selenized yeast), or double placebo. The trial was initiated in November, 2001. The primary trial endpoint is adenoma recurrence in each intervention group compared to placebo, as determined by surveillance colonoscopy performed 3-5 years after baseline. Randomization was stratified by use of low-dose aspirin (81 mg) and clinic site. Following reports of cardiovascular toxicity associated with COX-2 inhibitors, the celecoxib arm was discontinued in December, 2004 when 824 participants had been randomized. Accrual continued with randomization to selenium alone or placebo. Randomization of the originally planned cohort (n=1,621) was completed in November, 2008. A further 200 patients with 1+ advanced adenomas (denoting increased risk for colorectal cancer) were accrued to enhance statistical power for determining intervention efficacy in this higher-risk subgroup. Accrual of the total cohort (n=1,824) was completed in January, 2011. Baseline cohort characteristics include: mean age 62.9 years; 65% male; BMI 29.1 ±5.1; 47% taking low-dose aspirin while on trial; 20% with 3+ adenomas; and 38% with advanced adenomas. Intervention effects on adenoma recurrence will be determined, and their modification by genetic background and baseline selenium level. The effect of selenium supplementation on risk for type 2 diabetes will also be reported (Funded by the National Cancer Institute; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00078897.)
colorectal adenoma; celecoxib; selenium; randomized trial
Trefoil factor 3 (TFF3) is a small peptide that plays an important role in mucosal protection, cell proliferation, and cell migration. The aberrant expression of TFF3 is correlated with gastrointestinal inflammation, solid tumors, and other clinical diseases. The objective of this study was to identify the distribution characteristics of serum TFF3 in common clinical diseases.
Materials and Methods
A large prospective randomized study of 1,072 Chinese patients was performed using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to examine the serum TFF3 concentrations in patients with different diseases. A matched case-control study was conducted on patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) stages 1–5. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was performed using renal tissues to determine the relationship between the severity of CKD and the serum and urine concentrations of TFF3 peptides.
The mean serum concentrations of TFF3 in patients with CKD, metastatic and secondary carcinoma (MC) and acute gastroenteritis (AG) (200.9 ng/ml, 95.7 ng/ml and 71.7 ng/ml, respectively) were significantly higher than those in patients with other common clinical diseases. A positive correlation tendency was observed between the serum TFF3 concentrations and the severity of CKD. The mean serum TFF3 values for CKD stages 1–5 were 23.6 ng/ml, 29.9 ng/ml, 54.9 ng/ml, 85.0 ng/ml and 176.6 ng/ml, respectively. The same trend was observed in the urine TFF3 concentrations and the CKD stages. The creatinine(Cr)-corrected concentrations of TFF3 in urine were 367.1 ng/mg·Cr, 910.6 ng/mg·Cr, 1,149.0 ng/mg·Cr, 1,610.0 ng/mg·Cr and 3,475.0 ng/mg·Cr for CKD stages 1–5, respectively. IHC revealed that TFF3 expression was concentrated in tubular epithelial cells.
The influence of kidney injuries must be fully considered when performing clinical TFF3 research. Further studies on TFF3 in CKD will contribute to our understanding of its pathological roles and mechanisms in other diseases.
In this paper, we propose a webcam-based system for in-home gait assessment of older adults. A methodology has been developed to extract gait parameters including walking speed, step time and step length from a three-dimensional voxel reconstruction, which is built from two calibrated webcam views. The gait parameters are validated with a GAITRite mat and a Vicon motion capture system in the lab with 13 participants and 44 tests, and again with GAITRite for 8 older adults in senior housing. An excellent agreement with intra-class correlation coefficients of 0.99 and repeatability coefficients between 0.7% and 6.6% was found for walking speed, step time and step length given the limitation of frame rate and voxel resolution. The system was further tested with 10 seniors in a scripted scenario representing everyday activities in an unstructured environment. The system results demonstrate the capability of being used as a daily gait assessment tool for fall risk assessment and other medical applications. Furthermore, we found that residents displayed different gait patterns during their clinical GAITRite tests compared to the realistic scenario, namely a mean increase of 21% in walking speed, a mean decrease of 12% in step time, and a mean increase of 6% in step length. These findings provide support for continuous gait assessment in the home for capturing habitual gait.
computer vision; gait analysis; eldercare technology; webcam; passive monitoring; walking speed; step time; step length
Receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand (RANKL) plays a crucial role in the bone erosion of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) by prompting osteoclastogenesis. Considering that 1,25(OH)2D3 has been suggested as a potent inducer of RANKL expression, it should clarify whether vitamin D supplement could result in RANKL overexpression and thereby facilitate excessive osteoclastogenesis and bone resorption in RA. Here, we investigated modulatory effect of 1,25(OH)2D3 on the expression of RANKL and its decoy receptor osteoprotegerin (OPG) in an inflammatory condition of human rheumatoid synoviocyte MH7A. MH7A cells were stimulated with IL1β and then treated with different concentrations of 1,25(OH)2D3 for 48 h. A significantly elevated OPG/RANKL ratio and markedly decreased levels of IL-6 and TNFβ mRNA expression in cells and IL-6 protein in supernatants were observed in IL1β-induced MH7A in the presence of 1,25(OH)2D3 compared with those in the absence of it. Osteoclast formation was obviously decreased when RAW264.7 cells were treated with both 1,25(OH)2D3 and IL1β. In summary, although it has a biological function to induce RANKL expression, 1,25(OH)2D3 could upregulate OPG/RANKL ratio and mediate anti-inflammatory action in an inflammatory milieu of synoviocyte, contributing to the inhibition of inflammation-induced osteoclastogenesis in RA.
Tumor survival is significantly correlated with the immune response of patients. IFNG plays an important role in the tumor host response and decreased IFNG expression is often observed in lung cancer. Studies have shown that CpG island hypermethylation plays a critical role in transcriptional silencing of IFNG gene expression. However, there is limited understanding regarding the molecular mechanisms of altered methylation, and whether the tumor microenvironment has any effect on DNA methylation and IFNG production. In the current study, we demonstrate that plasma and intra-cellular IFNG levels are significantly lower in lung cancer patients. Hypermethylation of the IFNG promoter in CD4+ T cells and plasma IFNG was negatively correlated. CD4+ T cells from healthy individuals co-cultured with SPC-A1 cells generated lower levels of IFNG after activation, elevated expression of DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs), and exhibited hypermethylation of the IFNG promoter. In conclusion, decreased IFNG expression of CD4+ T cells co-cultured with lung cancer cell is associated with IFNG promoter hypermethylation. Our study suggests that interaction between lung cancer cells and CD4+ T cells induces DNMT expression and IFNG promoter hypermethylation in CD4+ T cell, which may serve as an important mechanism of tumor-induced immunosuppression.
Piroplasmosis is a serious debilitating and sometimes fatal disease. Phylogenetic relationships within piroplasmida are complex and remain unclear. We compared the intron–exon structure and DNA sequences of the RPS8 gene from Babesia and Theileria spp. isolates in China. Similar to 18S rDNA, the 40S ribosomal protein S8 gene, RPS8, including both coding and non-coding regions is a useful and novel genetic marker for defining species boundaries and for inferring phylogenies because it tends to have little intra-specific variation but considerable inter-specific difference. However, more samples are needed to verify the usefulness of the RPS8 (coding and non-coding regions) gene as a marker for the phylogenetic position and detection of most Babesia and Theileria species, particularly for some closely related species.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) reverse transcriptase (RT) mutants, which have not been well characterized according to different disease stages. This study aimed to characterize the profiles of naturally occurring mutations in the HBV RT region and their associated clinical outcomes.
HBV RT region mutations and genotypes were determined by PCR-direct sequencing and compared with p-distance model.
Among 467 consecutive eligible patients (262 chronic hepatitis B patients, 105 cirrhotic patients and 100 hepatocellular carcinoma patients), the nucleos(t)ide analogues related mutations (rtI169T, rtV173L, rtL180M, rtA181T, rtS202C, rtM204I/V, rtN236T) were found. The p-distance value reached a peak in the age of 20 to 30 years in the CHB patients and in the age of 40 to 45 years in the cirrhotic patients and hepatocellular patients. The naturally occurring mutation, rtS106C mutation was higher in chronic B patients (14/100, 14.0%) and cirrhotic patients (14/100, 14.0%) patients than that in hepatocellular carcinoma patients (4/100, 4.0%, P=0.013). And the rtD134E/G/N/S mutations were also higher in chronic hepatitis B patients (22/100, 22.0%) and cirrhotic patients 21.0%) than that in hepatocellular carcinoma patients (10/100, 10.0%, P=0.021 and P=0.032, respectively). The mutation frequencies in A–B interdomain were higher in cirrhotic (101/1900, 5.3%) than that in hepatocellular carcinoma patients (68/1900, 3.6%) (P=0.009).
The nucleos(t)ide analogues related mutations do exist in treatment naive patients with different disease stages. rtS106C, rtD134E/G/N/S and A–B interdomain mutations may be associated with necro-inflammation, immune response and cirrhosis development at ages older than 40.
hepatitis B virus; reverse transcriptase; mutations; naive; clinical outcomes
Common cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and myocardial infarction require that myocytes develop greater than normal force to maintain cardiac pump function. This requires increases in [Ca2+]. These diseases induce cardiac hypertrophy and increases in [Ca2+] are known to be an essential proximal signal for activation of hypertrophic genes. However, the source of “hypertrophic” [Ca2+] is not known and is the topic of this study. The role of Ca2+ influx through L-type Ca2+ channels (LTCC), T-type Ca2+ channels (TTCC) and transient receptor potential (TRP) channels on the activation of Calcineurin (Cn) – Nuclear Factor of Activated T cells (NFAT) signaling and myocyte hypertrophy was studied. Neonatal rat (NRVMs) and adult feline (AFVM) ventricular myocytes were infected with an adenovirus containing NFAT-GFP, to determine factors that could induce NFAT nuclear translocation. Four millimolar Ca2+ or pacing induced NFAT nuclear translocation. This effect was blocked by Cn inhibitors. In NRVMs Nifedipine (Nif, LTCC antagonist) blocked high Ca2+-induced NFAT nuclear translocation while SKF-96365 (TRP channel antagonist) and Nickel (Ni, TTCC antagonist) were less effective. The relative potency of these antagonists against Ca2+ induced NFAT nuclear translocation (Nif>SKF-96365>Ni) was similar to their effects on Ca2+ transients and the LTCC current. Infection of NRVM with viruses containing TRP channels also activated NFAT-GFP nuclear translocation and caused myocyte hypertrophy. TRP effects were reduced by SKF-96365, but were more effectively antagonized by Nif. These experiments suggest that Ca2+ influx through LTCCs is the primary source of Ca2+ to activate Cn-NFAT signaling in NRVMs and AFVMs. While TRP channels cause hypertrophy, they appear to do so through a mechanism involving Ca2+ entry via LTCCs.
L-type calcium channel; Hypertrophy; Nuclear factor of activated T cells; Ventricular myocyte; Transient receptor potential channel