Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the nasal mucosa, involving a complex interaction between genetic and environmental factors. Evidence suggests that polymorphisms in the gene coding for mitochondrial ribosomal protein L4 (MRPL4), located in close proximity to intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) gene on chromosome location 19p13.2, may influence the risk factor for the development of AR.
The aim of our study was to investigate any association between AR susceptibility and polymorphisms in ICAM-1 gene, as well as associations between AR risk and polymorphisms in MRPL4, nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) and tumor necrosis factor alpha(TNF-α) genes, associated with ICAM-1 expression.
A cohort of 414 patients with AR and 293 healthy controls was enrolled from the Han Chinese population in Beijing, China. Blood was drawn for DNA extraction and total serum immunoglobulin E (IgE). A total of 14 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in ICAM-1, NF-κB, TNF-α, and MRPL4 genes were selected using the CHB genotyping data from the International Haplotype Mapping (HapMap) and assessed for differences in frequencies of the alleles and genotypes between the AR patients and control subjects.
TNF-α SNP rs1799964 and MRPL4 SNP rs11668618 were found to occur in significantly greater frequencies in the AR group compared to control group. There were no significant associations between SNPs in NF-κB, ICAM-1 and AR. The SNP-SNP interaction information analysis further indicated that there were no synergistic effects among the selected sets of polymorphisms.
Our results suggest a strong association between AR risk and polymorphisms of MRPL4 and TNF-α genes in Han Chinese population.
Recent studies suggest HIV-1 inter-subtype differences in co-receptor usage. We examined the correlation between HIV-1 subtype and co-receptor usage among treatment-naïve HIV-1 subjects in Singapore. Additionally, we investigated whether the subtype co-receptor association was influenced by stage of infection.
V3 sequences of HIV-1 envelope protein gp120 were obtained from 110 HIV treatment-naïve patients and genotypic co-receptor tropism determination was performed using Geno2pheno. Two false-positive rate (FPR) cut-offs, 10% and 5.75% were selected for tropism testing.
Subtype assignment of viral strains from 110 HIV-infected individuals based on partial sequencing of HIV-1 pol, gp120 and gp41 were as follows: 27 subtype B, 64 CRF01_AE, 10 CRF51_01B, and 9 other subtypes. At FPR=10%, 10 (100%) CRF51_01B-infected subjects and 26 (40.6%) CRF01_AE-infected subjects had CXCR4-using virus, compared to 7 (25.9%) subtype B subjects and 1 (11.1%) CRF33_01B-infected subject (P < 0.001). At FPR=5.75%, 10 (100%) CRF51_01B-infected subjects and 20 (31.3%) CRF01_AE-infected subjects had CXCR4-using virus, compared to 4 (14.8%) subtype B and 1 (11.1%) CRF33_01B-infected subjects (P < 0.001). Among those with evidence of seroconversion within 2 years prior to study enrolment, 100% of CRF51_01B-infected subjects had CXCR4-using virus, independent of Geno2pheno FPR.
CRF51_01B and CRF01_AE-infected individuals have higher prevalence of CXCR4-usage compared to subtype B infected individuals. Further studies examining these differences could help optimise the use of CCR5-antagonist in populations with these subtypes, and increase our understanding of HIV-1 biology.
CXCR4 usage; HIV-1; treatment-naïve
Loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) accounts for visual function deficits after optic nerve injury, but how axonal insults leading to neuronal death remains elusive. By using an optic nerve crush model which results in the death of the majority of RGCs, we demonstrate that axotomy induces differential activation of distinct pathways of the unfolded protein response (UPR) in axotomized RGCs. Optic nerve injury provokes a sustained CCAAT/enhancer binding protein homologous protein (CHOP) up-regulation, and deletion of CHOP promotes RGC survival. In contrast, IRE/XBP-1 is only transiently activated, and forced XBP-1 activation dramatically protects RGCs from axon injury-induced death. Importantly, such differential activations of CHOP and XBP-1 and their distinct effects on neuronal cell death are also observed in RGCs with other types of axonal insults, such as vincristine treatment and intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation, suggesting a new protective strategy for neurodegeneration associated with axonal damage.
Properties of the small group of cancer cells called tumor-initiating or cancer stem cells (CSCs) involved in drug resistance, metastasis and relapse of cancers can significantly affect tumor therapy. Importantly, tumor drug resistance seems to be closely related to many intrinsic or acquired properties of CSCs, such as quiescence, specific morphology, DNA repair ability and overexpression of antiapoptotic proteins, drug efflux transporters and detoxifying enzymes. The specific microenvironment (niche) and hypoxic stability provide additional protection against anticancer therapy for CSCs. Thus, CSC-focused therapy is destined to form the core of any effective anticancer strategy. Nanomedicine has great potential in the development of CSC-targeting drugs, controlled drug delivery and release, and the design of novel gene-specific drugs and diagnostic modalities. This review is focused on tumor drug resistance-related properties of CSCs and describes current nanomedicine approaches, which could form the basis of novel combination therapies for eliminating metastatic and CSCs.
cancer microenvironment; cancer stem cells; drug efflux transporters; drug resistance; nanomedicine
Pathologic studies play an important role in evaluating patients with Alport syndrome besides genotyping. Difficulties still exist in diagnosing Alport syndrome (AS), and misdiagnosis is a not-so-rare event, even in adult patient evaluated with renal biopsy.
We used nested case–control study to investigate 52 patients previously misdiagnosed and 52 patients initially diagnosed in the China Alport Syndrome Treatments and Outcomes Registry e-system.
We found mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis (MsPGN, 26.9%) and focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS, 19.2%) were the most common misdiagnosis. FSGS was the most frequent misdiagnosis in female X-linked AS (fXLAS) patients (34.8%), and MsPGN in male X-linked AS (mXLAS) patients (41.2%). Previous misdiagnosed mXLAS patients (13/17, 76.5%) and autosomal recessive AS (ARAS) patients (8/12, 66.7%) were corrected after a second renal biopsy. While misdiagnosed fXLAS patients (18/23, 78.3%) were corrected after a family member diagnosed (34.8%) or after rechecking electronic microscopy and/or collagen-IV alpha-chains immunofluresence study (COL-IF) (43.5%) during follow-up. With COL-IF as an additional criterion for AS diagnosis, we found that patients with less than 3 criteria reached have increased risk of misdiagnosis (3.29-fold for all misdiagnosed AS patients and 3.90-fold for fXLAS patients).
We emphasize timely and careful study of electronic microscopy and COL-IF in pathologic evaluation of AS patients. With renal and/or skin COL-IF as additional criterion, 3 diagnosis criteria reached are the cutoff for diagnosing AS pathologically.
Alport syndrome; Diagnosis; Immunohistology; Renal biopsy
Neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES) can affect cognitive function. We assessed cognitive function and cognitive impairment among community-dwelling elderly in a multi-ethnic urban low-SES Asian neighborhood and compared them with a higher-SES neighborhood.
The study population involved all residents aged ≥60 years in two housing estates comprising owner-occupied housing (higher SES) and rental flats (low SES) in Singapore in 2012. Cognitive impairment was defined as <24 on the Mini Mental State Examination. Demographic/clinical details were collected via questionnaire. Multilevel linear regression was used to evaluate factors associated with cognitive function, while multilevel logistic regression determined predictors of cognitive impairment.
Participation was 61.4% (558/909). Cognitive impairment was found in 26.2% (104/397) of residents in the low-SES community and in 16.1% (26/161) of residents in the higher-SES community. After adjusting for other sociodemographic variables, living in a low-SES community was independently associated with poorer cognitive function (β = −1.41, SD = 0.58, p < 0.01) and cognitive impairment (adjusted odds ratio 5.13, 95% CI 1.98–13.34). Among cognitively impaired elderly in the low-SES community, 96.2% (100/104) were newly detected.
Living in a low-SES community is independently associated with cognitive impairment in an urban Asian society.
Cognitive impairment; Socioeconomic status; Neighborhood; Asia
China is rich of germplasm resources of common wild rice (Oryza rufipogon Griff.) and Asian cultivated rice (O. sativa L.) which consists of two subspecies, indica and japonica. Previous studies have shown that China is one of the domestication centers of O. sativa. However, the geographic origin and the domestication times of O. sativa in China are still under debate. To settle these disputes, six chloroplast loci and four mitochondrial loci were selected to examine the relationships between 50 accessions of Asian cultivated rice and 119 accessions of common wild rice from China based on DNA sequence analysis in the present study. The results indicated that Southern China is the genetic diversity center of O. rufipogon and it might be the primary domestication region of O. sativa. Molecular dating suggested that the two subspecies had diverged 0.1 million years ago, much earlier than the beginning of rice domestication. Genetic differentiations and phylogeography analyses indicated that indica was domesticated from tropical O. rufipogon while japonica was domesticated from O. rufipogon which located in higher latitude. These results provided molecular evidences for the hypotheses of (i) Southern China is the origin center of O. sativa in China and (ii) the two subspecies of O. sativa were domesticated multiple times.
Despite advances in controlled drug delivery, reliable methods for activatable, high-resolution control of drug release are needed. We hypothesized that the photothermal effect mediated by a near-infrared (NIR) laser and hollow gold nanospheres (HAuNS) could modulate the release of anticancer agents. We tested this hypothesis by developing biodegradable and biocompatible microspheres (1~15 µm) containing the antitumor drug paclitaxel (PTX) and HAuNS (~35 nm in diameter) displaying surface plasmon absorbance in the near-infrared (NIR) region. HAuNS-containing microspheres exhibited an NIR light-induced thermal effect similar to that of plain HAuNS. Rapid, repetitive PTX release from the PTX/HAuNS-containing microspheres was observed when microspheres were irradiated with NIR light (808 nm), whereas PTX release became insignificant when NIR light was switched off. The release of PTX from the microspheres could be readily controlled by NIR laser output power, duration of laser irradiation, treatment frequency, and the concentration of HAuNS embedded inside the microspheres. In vitro, cancer cells incubated with PTX/HAuNS-loaded microspheres and irradiated with NIR light displayed significantly greater cytotoxic effects than cells incubated with the microspheres alone or cells irradiated with NIR light alone, owing to NIR light-triggered drug release. Treatment of human U87 gliomas and MDA-MB-231 mammary tumor xenografts in nude mice with intratumoral injection of PTX/HAuNS-loaded microspheres followed by NIR irradiation resulted in significant tumor growth delay compared to tumors treated with HAuNS-loaded microspheres (no PTX) and NIR irradiation or with PTX/HAuNS-loaded microspheres alone. Our data support the feasibility of a therapeutic approach in which NIR light is used for simultaneous modulation of drug release and induction of photothermal cell killing.
Near-infrared light; Photothermal effect; Hollow gold nanospheres; Microspheres; Paclitaxel; Triggered drug release
The plant-specific NAC (NAM, ATAF1/2, and CUC2) transcription factors (TFs) play important roles in plant growth, development, and stress responses. However, the precise role of NAC TFs in relation to fruit ripening is poorly understood. In this study, six NAC genes, designated MaNAC1–MaNAC6, were isolated and characterized from banana fruit. Subcellular localization showed that MaNAC1–MaNAC5 proteins localized preferentially to the nucleus, while MaNAC6 was distributed throughout the entire cell. A transactivation assay in yeast demonstrated that MaNAC4 and MaNAC6, as well as their C-terminal regions, possessed trans-activation activity. Gene expression profiles in fruit with four different ripening characteristics, including natural, ethylene-induced, 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP)-delayed, and a combination of 1-MCP with ethylene treatment, revealed that the MaNAC genes were differentially expressed in peel and pulp during post-harvest ripening. MaNAC1 and MaNAC2 were apparently upregulated by ethylene in peel and pulp, consistent with the increase in ethylene production. In contrast, MaNAC3 in peel and pulp and MaNAC5 in peel were constitutively expressed, and transcripts of MaNAC4 in peel and pulp and MaNAC6 in peel decreased, while MaNAC5 or MaNAC6 in pulp increased slightly during fruit ripening. Furthermore, the MaNAC2 promoter was activated after ethylene application, further enhancing the involvement of MaNAC2 in fruit ripening. More importantly, yeast two-hybrid and bimolecular fluorescence complementation analyses confirmed that MaNAC1/2 physically interacted with a downstream component of ethylene signalling, ethylene insensitive 3 (EIN3)-like protein, termed MaEIL5, which was downregulated during ripening. Taken together, these results suggest that MaNACs such as MaNAC1/MaNAC2, may be involved in banana fruit ripening via interaction with ethylene signalling components.
banana; EIL; fruit ripening; interaction; NAC; regulation
Candida albicans biofilm infections are usually treated with azole antifungals such as fluconazole. However, the development of resistance to this drug in C. albicans biofilms is very common, especially in immunocompromised individuals. The upregulation of the sterol biosynthetic pathway gene ERG and the efflux pump genes CDR and MDR may contribute to this azole tolerance in Candida species. We hypothesize that farnesol, an endogenous quorum sensing molecule with possible antimicrobial properties which is also the precursor of ergosterols in C. albicans, may interfere with the development of fluconazole resistance in C. albicans biofilms. To test this hypothesis, MICs were compared and morphology changes were observed by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) for farnesol-treated and -untreated and fluconazole-resistant groups. The expression of possible target genes (ERG11, ERG25, ERG6, ERG5, ERG3, ERG1, MDR1, CDR1, and CDR2) in biofilms was analyzed by reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) and quantitative PCR (qPCR) to investigate the molecular mechanisms of the inhibitory effects of farnesol. The results showed a decreased MIC of fluconazole and thinner biofilms for the farnesol-treated group, indicating that farnesol inhibited the development of fluconazole resistance. The sterol biosynthetic pathway may contribute to the inhibitory effects of farnesol, as the transcription levels of the ERG11, ERG25, ERG6, ERG3, and ERG1 genes decreased in the farnesol-treated group.
Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is a neurotropic pathogen that has been consistently associated with the severe neurological forms of hand, foot, and mouth disease. The lack of a relevant animal model has hampered our understanding of EV71 pathogenesis, in particular the route and mode of viral dissemination. It has also hindered the development of effective prophylactic and therapeutic approaches, making EV71 one of the most pressing public health concerns in Southeast Asia. Here we report a novel mouse model of EV71 infection. We demonstrate that 2-week-old and younger immunodeficient AG129 mice, which lack type I and II interferon receptors, are susceptible to infection with a non-mouse-adapted EV71 strain via both the intraperitoneal (i.p.) and oral routes of inoculation. The infected mice displayed progressive limb paralysis prior to death. The dissemination of the virus was dependent on the route of inoculation but eventually resulted in virus accumulation in the central nervous systems of both animal groups, indicating a clear neurotropism of the virus. Histopathological examination revealed massive damage in the limb muscles, brainstem, and anterior horn areas. However, the minute amount of infectious viral particles in the limbs from orally infected animals argues against a direct viral cytopathic effect in this tissue and suggests that limb paralysis is a consequence of EV71 neuroinvasion. Together, our observations support that young AG129 mice display polio-like neuropathogenesis upon infection with a non-mouse-adapted EV71 strain, making this mouse model relevant for EV71 pathogenesis studies and an attractive platform for EV71 vaccine and drug testing.
Our previous studies had shown that DAZAP2 was profoundly downregulated in bone marrow mononuclear cells from multiple myeloma patients. In this report, we analyzed epigenetic changes in multiple myeloma cell lines to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the downregulation of DAZAP2. Four multiple myeloma cell lines, KM3, MM.1S, OPM-2 and ARH-77, were studied. The results of methylation specific PCR (MSP) showed that the promoter of DAZAP2 was methylated for KM3, MM.1S, OPM-2 and unmethylated for ARH-77. The DAZAP2 promoter region was amplified to obtain a series of different length sequences. All of the amplified sequences were inserted to luciferase reporter vector. The constructs were transfected into COS-7 cells and the luciferase activities were measured to search for the core region of DAZAP2 promoter. Two CpG islands were found in DAZAP2 promoter region. The results of luciferase assay showed that CpG island 1 displayed weak transcriptional activity, whereas CpG island 2 exhibited strong transcriptional activity (273 folds) compared to the control. The sequence that covered both CpG islands 1 and 2 showed higher activity (1,734 folds) compared to the control, suggesting that the two islands had synergistic effect on regulating DAZAP2 expression. We also found that M. Sss I methylase could inhibit the luciferase activity, whereas demethylation using 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine treatment rescued the expression of DAZAP2 for multiple myeloma cell lines. These data revealed that methylation of DAZAP2 promoter was involved in downregulation of DAZAP2 in multiple myeloma cells.
Mass spectrometry (MS) – based proteomic approaches have evolved as powerful tools for the discovery of biomarkers. However, the identification of potential protein biomarkers from biofluid samples is challenging because of the limited dynamic range of detection. Currently there is a lack of sensitive and reliable pre-mortem diagnostic test for prion diseases. Here, we describe the use of a combined MS-based approach for biomarker discovery in prion diseases from mouse plasma samples. To overcome the limited dynamic range of detection and sample complexity of plasma samples, we used lectin affinity chromatography and multi-dimensional separations to enrich and isolate glycoproteins at low abundance. Relative quantitation of a panel of proteins was obtained by a combination of isotopic labeling and validated by spectral counting. Overall 708 proteins were identified, 53 of which showed more than 2-fold increase in concentration whereas 58 exhibited more than 2-fold decrease. A few of the potential candidate markers were previously associated with prion or other neurodegenerative diseases.
Prion disease; biomarkers; glycoprotein; mass spectrometry; proteomics; quantitation; multi-dimensional separation
Fibroproliferative disorders include neoplastic and reactive processes (e.g. desmoid tumor and hypertrophic scars). They are characterized by activation of β-catenin signaling, and effective pharmacologic approaches are lacking. Here we undertook a high throughput screen using human desmoid tumor cell cultures to identify agents that would inhibit cell viability in tumor cells but not normal fibroblasts. Agents were then tested in additional cell cultures for an effect on cell proliferation, apoptosis, and β-catenin protein level. Ultimately they were tested in Apc1638N mice, which develop desmoid tumors, as well as in wild type mice subjected to full thickness skin wounds. The screen identified Neofopam, as an agent that inhibited cell numbers to 42% of baseline in cell cultures from β-catenin driven fibroproliferative disorders. Nefopam decreased cell proliferation and β-catenin protein level to 50% of baseline in these same cell cultures. The half maximal effective concentration in-vitro was 0.5 uM and there was a plateau in the effect after 48 hours of treatment. Nefopam caused a 45% decline in tumor number, 33% decline in tumor volume, and a 40% decline in scar size when tested in mice. There was also a 50% decline in β-catenin level in-vivo. Nefopam targets β-catenin protein level in mesenchymal cells in-vitro and in-vivo, and may be an effective therapy for neoplastic and reactive processes driven by β-catenin mediated signaling.
Aspirin and clopidogrel monotherapies are effective treatments for preventing vascular disease. However, new evidence has emerged regarding the use of combined aspirin and clopidogrel therapy to prevent cardiovascular events. We therefore performed a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the benefits and harms of combined aspirin and clopidogrel therapy on major cardiovascular outcomes.
We systematically searched Medline, Embase, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, reference lists of articles, and proceedings of major meetings to identify studies to fit our analysis. Eligible studies were randomized controlled trials assessing the effect of combined aspirin and clopidogrel therapy compared with aspirin or clopidogrel monotherapy. We identified 7 trials providing data with a total of 48248 patients. These studies reported 5134 major cardiovascular events, 1626 myocardial infarctions, 1927 strokes, and 1147 major bleeding events. Overall, the addition of aspirin to clopidogrel therapy as compared to single drug therapy resulted in a 9% RR reduction (95%CI, 2 to 17) in major cardiovascular events, 14% RR reduction (95%CI, 3 to 24) in myocardial infarction, 16% RR reduction (95%CI, 1 to 28) in stroke, and 62% RR increase (95%CI, 26 to 108) in major bleeding events. We also present the data as ARR to explore net value as the reduction in cardiovascular events. Overall, we observed that combined therapy yielded 1.06% decrease (95%CI, 0.23% to 1.99%) in major cardiovascular events and 1.23% increase (95%CI, 0.52% to 2.14%) in major bleeding events.
Although the addition of aspirin to clopidogrel resulted in small relative reductions in major cardiovascular events, myocardial infarction, and stroke, it also resulted in a relative increase in major bleeding events. In absolute terms the benefits of combined therapy, a 1.06% reduction in major cardiovascular events, does not outweigh the harms, a 1.23% increase in major bleeding events.
Deep-sea sediment is one of the most important microbial-driven ecosystems, yet it is not well characterized. Genome sequence analyses of deep-sea sedimentary bacteria would shed light on the understanding of this ecosystem. In this study, the complete genome of deep-sea sedimentary bacterium Pseudoalteromonas sp. SM9913 (SM9913) is described and compared with that of the closely related Antarctic surface sea-water ecotype Pseudoalteromonas haloplanktis TAC125 (TAC125). SM9913 has fewer dioxygenase genes than TAC125, indicating a possible sensitivity to reactive oxygen species. Accordingly, experimental results showed that SM9913 was less tolerant of H2O2 than TAC125. SM9913 has gene clusters related to both polar and lateral flagella biosynthesis. Lateral flagella, which are usually present in deep-sea bacteria and absent in the related surface bacteria, are important for the survival of SM9913 in deep-sea environments. With these two flagellar systems, SM9913 can swim in sea water and swarm on the sediment particle surface, favoring the acquisition of nutrients from particulate organic matter and reflecting the particle-associated alternative lifestyle of SM9913 in the deep sea. A total of 12 genomic islands were identified in the genome of SM9913 that may confer specific features unique to SM9913 and absent from TAC125, such as drug and heavy metal resistance. Many signal transduction genes and a glycogen production operon were also present in the SM9913 genome, which may help SM9913 respond to food pulses and store carbon and energy in a deep-sea environment.
comparative genomics; deep sea; sediment; Pseudoalteromonas
Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is the main causative agent of Hand, Foot and Mouth disease (HFMD) and is associated with severe neurologic complications and mortalities. At present, there is no vaccine or therapeutic available for treatment.
In this study, we generated two mAbs, denoted as mAb 51 and 53, both targeting the same linear epitope on VP1 capsid protein, spanning amino acids 215–219. In comparison, mAb 51 belonging to isotype IgM possesses neutralizing activity in vitro, whereas, mAb 53 belonging to isotype IgG1 does not have any neutralizing ability, even towards its homologous strain. When mAb 51 at 10 µg/g of body weight was administered to the 2-week-old AG129 mice one day prior to lethal challenge, 100% in vivo passive protection was observed. In contrast, the isotype control group mice, injected with an irrelevant IgM antibody before the challenge, developed limb paralysis as early as day 6 post-infection. Histological examination demonstrated that mAb 51 was able to protect against pathologic changes such as neuropil vacuolation and neuronal loss in the spinal cord, which were typical in unprotected EV-71 infected mice. BLAST analyses of that epitope revealed that it was highly conserved among all EV71 strains, but not coxsachievirus 16 (CA16).
We have defined a linear epitope within the VP1 protein and demonstrated its neutralizing ability to be isotype dependent. The neutralizing property and highly conserved sequence potentiated the application of mAb 51 and 53 for protection against EV71 infection and diagnosis respectively.
Statistical methods are vital to biomedical research. Our aim was to find out whether progress has been made in the last decade in the use of statistical methods in Chinese medical research. We reviewed 10 leading Chinese medical journals published in 1998 and in 2008. Regarding statistical methods, using a multiple t-test for multiple group comparison was the most common error in the t-test in both years, which significantly decreased in 2008. In contingency tables, no significant level adjustment for multiple comparison significantly decreased in 2008. In ANOVA, over a quarter of articles misused the method of multiple pair-wise comparison in both years, and no significant difference was seen between the two years. In the rank transformation nonparametric test, the error of using multiple pair-wise comparison for multiple group comparison became less common. Many mistakes were found in the randomised controlled trial (56.3% in 1998; 67.9% in 2008), non- randomised clinical trial (57.3%; 58.6%), basic science study (72.9%; 65.5%), case study or case series study (48.4%; 47.2%), and cross-sectional study (57.1%; 44.2%). Progress has been made in the use of statistical methods in Chinese medical journals, but much is yet to be done.
statistical methods; misuse; errors; medical journals
Taxanes have been extensively used as adjuvant chemotherapy for the treatment of early or operable breast cancer, particularly in high risk, node-negative breast cancer. Previous studies, however, have reported inconsistent findings regarding their clinical efficacy and safety. We investigated disease-free survival (DFS), overall survival (OS), and drug-related toxicities of taxanes by a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Methodology and Principal Findings
We systematically searched PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane Center Register of Controlled Trials, proceedings of major meetings, and reference lists of articles for studies conducted between January 1980 and April 2011. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing chemotherapy with and without taxanes in the treatment of patients with early-stage or operable breast cancer were eligible for inclusion in our analysis. The primary endpoint was DFS. Nineteen RCTs including 30698 patients were identified, including 8426 recurrence events and 3803 deaths. Taxanes administration yielded a 17% reduction of hazard ratio (HR) for DFS (HR = 0.83, 95% CI 0.79–0.88, p<0.001) and a 17% reduction of HR for OS (HR = 0.83, 95% CI 0.77–0.90, p<0.001). For high risk, node-negative breast cancer, the pooled HR also favoured the taxane-based treatment arm over the taxane-free treatment arm (HR = 0.82, 95% CI 0.77–0.87, p = 0.022). A significantly increased rate of neutropenia, febrile neutropenia, fatigue, diarrhea, stomatitis, and oedema was observed in the taxane-based treatment arm.
Adjuvant chemotherapy with taxanes could reduce the risk of cancer recurrence and death in patients with early or operable breast cancer, although the drug-related toxicities should be balanced. Furthermore, we also demonstrated that patients with high risk, node-negative breast cancer also benefited from taxanes therapy, a result that was not observed in previous studies.
To assess the effectiveness of immunosuppressants in the prophylaxis of corneal allograft rejection after high-risk keratoplasty and normal-risk keratoplasty.
We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, EMBASE, CNKI, VIP and reference lists of articles. Date of most recent search: 18 June, 2011. All randomised controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the use of immunosupressants in the prevention of graft rejection, irrespective of publication language. Two authors assessed trial quality and extracted data independently. Only dichotomous outcomes (clear graft survival, ratio of immune reactions and side effects) were available and were expressed as relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).
Seven studies were included in this review. In the comparing of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) with placebo, the results showed MMF could significantly reduce immune reactions compared with placebo (RR 1.08 95% Cl 0.95 to 1.21), but no effect on clear graft survival (RR 1.11 95% Cl 0.90 to 1.35). In clear graft survival and immune reactions, MMF and cyclosporine A (CsA) showed similar effect (RR 1.11 95% Cl 0.90 to 1.35, and RR 1.48, 95% Cl 0.56 to 3.93, respectively). Tacrolimus (FK506) and steroid showed similar effects on clear graft survival and immune reactions (RR 0.32, 95% CI 0.02 to 6.21, and RR 1.00, 95%CI 0.88 to 1.14, respectively). No drug relative side effect has been found.
MMF may reduce immune reactions in both normal-risk and high-risk rejection of penetrating keratoplasty. CsA and FK506 showed similar effects as MMF. However, due to the lack of large clinical trials, the evidence remain weak, the quality of evidences were rated as very low to moderate. Large, properly randomised, placebo-controlled, double masked trials are needed to evaluate the effect of immunosuppressants.
immunosuppressants; penetrating keratoplasty; meta-analysis
Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is the major causative agent of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) in young children and has been consistently associated with the most severe complications of the disease, including central nervous system inflammation and pulmonary edema. Increasing frequency and amplitude of EV71 outbreaks have raised awareness and concerns worldwide. Previous reports proposed that overwhelming virus replication combined with the induction of massive proinflammatory cytokines is responsible for the pathogenicity of EV71. Specifically, elevated interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels were observed consistently in patients and strongly correlated with disease severity. In this study, we show in the neonate mouse model that sustained high levels of IL-6 produced upon EV71 infection lead to severe tissue damage and eventually death of the animals. Administration of anti-IL-6 neutralizing antibodies after the onset of the clinical symptoms successfully improved the survival rates and clinical scores of the infected hosts. Compared to untreated infected controls, anti-IL-6-treated mice displayed reduced tissue damage, absence of splenic atrophy, and increased immune cell activation. In addition, markedly elevated systemic levels of IL-10 were measured in the protected animals. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in virus titers between anti-IL-6-treated mice and untreated mice, indicating that the anti-IL-6 antibody-mediated protection is independent of the virus load. Our findings thus demonstrate that IL-6 plays a major role in EV71-induced immunopathogenesis. As there is still neither vaccine nor treatment available against EV71, anti-IL-6 antibody treatment represents a potential therapeutic approach to providing protection from the most severe complications of the disease.
Folic acid is widely used to lower homocysteine concentrations and prevent adverse cardiovascular outcomes. However, the effect of folic acid on cardiovascular events is not clear at the present time. We carried out a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the effects of folic acid supplementation on cardiovascular outcomes.
Methodology and Principal Findings
We systematically searched Medline, EmBase, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, reference lists of articles, and proceedings of major meetings for relevant literature. We included randomized placebo-controlled trials that reported on the effects of folic acid on cardiovascular events compared to placebo. Of 1594 identified studies, we included 16 trials reporting data on 44841 patients. These studies reported 8238 major cardiovascular events, 2001 strokes, 2917 myocardial infarctions, and 6314 deaths. Folic acid supplementation as compared to placebo had no effect on major cardiovascular events (RR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.93–1.04), stroke (RR, 0.89; 95% CI,0.78–1.01), myocardial infarction (RR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.93–1.07), or deaths from any cause (RR, 1.00;95% CI, 0.96–1.05). Moreover, folic acid as compared to placebo also had no effect on the following secondary outcomes: risk of revascularization (RR, 1.05; 95%CI, 0.95–1.16), acute coronary syndrome (RR, 1.06; 95%CI, 0.97–1.15), cancer (RR, 1.08; 95%CI, 0.98–1.21), vascular death (RR, 0.94; 95%CI,0.88–1.02), or non-vascular death (RR, 1.06; 95%CI, 0.97–1.15).
Folic acid supplementation does not effect on the incidence of major cardiovascular events, stroke, myocardial infarction or all cause mortality.
Membrane glycoproteins play vital roles in many fundamental physiological and pathophysiological processes in the central nervous system and represent important targets for pharmaceuticals and biomarker discovery. However, their isolation and characterization has been greatly limited. Lectin affinity chromatography (LAC) has evolved as a powerful method to enrich glycoproteins in biofluid and cell/tissue lysate. However, its use in the hydrophobic fraction of the samples has rarely been explored. In this study, we have conducted a systematic investigation on the lectin binding efficiency in the presence of four commonly used detergents. We have found that under certain concentrations, detergents can minimize the nonspecific bindings and facilitate the elution of hydrophobic glycoproteins. With the Detergent Assisted Lectin Affinity Chromatography (DALAC), a total of 1491 proteins were identified with low numbers of false positives from two lectins. 699 proteins were identified with at least two unique peptides, of which 219 are membrane glycoproteins. Compared to the traditional methods, the DALAC approach significantly increased the recovery of plasma membrane and glycoproteins. NP-40 is recommended as a well rounded detergent for DALAC, but the conditions for enriching certain target proteins need to be empirically determined. This study represents the first global identification of the murine brain glycoproteome.
Brain; Detergent; Glycoproteins; Lectin Affinity Chromatography; Membrane Proteins; Mass Spectrometry
Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a global public health issue that has spread widely to more than 20 countries in Asia and has extended its geographic range to the south Pacific region including Australia. JE has become the most important cause of viral encephalitis in the world. Japanese encephalitis viruses (JEV) are divided into five genotypes, based on the nucleotide sequence of the envelope (E) gene. The Muar strain, isolated from patient in Malaya in 1952, is the sole example of genotype V JEV. Here, the XZ0934 strain of JEV was isolated from Culex tritaeniorhynchus, collected in China. The complete nucleotide and amino acid sequence of XZ0934 strain have been determined. The nucleotide divergence ranged from 20.3% to 21.4% and amino acid divergence ranged from 8.4% to 10.0% when compared with the 62 known JEV isolates that belong to genotype I–IV. It reveals low similarity between XZ0934 and genotype I–IV JEVs. Phylogenetic analysis using both complete genome and structural gene nucleotide sequences demonstrates that XZ0934 belongs to genotype V. This, in turn, suggests that genotype V JEV is emerging in JEV endemic areas. Thus, increased surveillance and diagnosis of viral encephalitis caused by genotype V JEV is an issue of great concern to nations in which JEV is endemic.
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a mosquito-borne virus that causes Japanese encephalitis (JE) with significant morbidity and mortality. Five genotypes (genotype I–V) have been identified based on the nucleotide sequence of viral envelope (E) gene of JEV. To date, the only known strain of genotype V is Muar strain, isolated from patient in Malaya in 1952. Since then, no genotype V JEV has been detected in the world. In this study, the JEV strain, XZ0934, was isolated from mosquito samples collected in China in 2009. The full-length genome sequences of the XZ0934 strain was determined and founded to be the second strain of genotype V JEV based on the phylogenetic analysis using the complete genome and structural gene sequences. This suggests that genotype V JEV is re-emerging after 57 years (1952–2009). Therefore, increased surveillance and more effective diagnosis for cases of JE caused by genotype V JEV are needed.
Lack of an inducible mouse model of glaucoma has hampered the application of the powerful mouse genetic technology to the study of the disease. The authors report a highly effective and reproducible method of inducing chronic elevation of intraocular pressure and glaucomatous optic neuropathy in mice by anterior chamber injection of polystyrene microbeads.
To characterize a glaucoma model of mice, the authors adopted and modified a method of inducing the chronic elevation of intraocular pressure (IOP) by anterior chamber injection of polystyrene microbeads.
Chronic elevation of IOP was induced unilaterally in adult C57BL/6J mice by injecting polystyrene microbeads to the anterior chamber. Effectiveness of microbeads of different sizes (small, 10 μm; large, 15 μm) on inducing IOP elevation was compared, and IOP was measured every other day using a tonometer. After maintaining elevated IOP for 2, 4, or 8 weeks, the degree of RGC and axon degeneration was assessed quantitatively using electron microscopy, fluorogold, retrograde labeling, and immunohistochemistry.
Eighty-one of 87 mice that received anterior chamber injection of microbeads exhibited consistent IOP elevation above that of control eyes. Injection of small microbeads induced longer and higher peak value of IOP elevation compared with that of the large microbeads. A single injection of small microbeads resulted in a 4-week elevation of IOP that was maintained to an 8-week period after a second injection of microbeads in week 4. As the duration of IOP elevation increased, RGC bodies and their axons degenerated progressively and reached an approximately 50% loss after an 8-week elevation of IOP.
Anterior chamber injection of microbeads effectively induced IOP elevation and glaucomatous optic neuropathy in mice. Development of an inducible mouse model of elevated IOP will allow applications of mouse genetic technology to the investigation of the mechanisms and the evaluation of treatment strategies of glaucoma.