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1.  Associations between Social Support and Condom Use among Commercial Sex Workers in China: A Cross-Sectional Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e113794.
The aim of this study was to investigate the association between social support and AIDS high-risk behaviors in commercial sex workers (CSWs) in China.
A cross-sectional study was performed based on a convenience sample. Data were collected through questionnaire interviews including information about social demographic characteristics, the Social Support Rating Scale (SSRS) and AIDS knowledge. Multiple logistic regression was performed to evaluate the association between social support and AIDS high-risk behaviors, specifically condom use during commercial sex.
A total of 581 commercial sex workers from 4 counties in East China participated in the study. The majority of the participants were 15 to 30 years old (79.7%). Sources of individual and family support were mainly provided by their parents (50.3%), relatives and friends (46.3%), spouses (18.4%), respectively. Univariate analysis revealed that marital status, hobbies, smoking habit, individual monthly income and family monthly income were all significantly correlated with current levels of social support being received (P = 0.04, P = 0.00, P = 0.01, P = 0.01, P = 0.01, respectively). Furthermore, Multiple logistic regression analysis indicated that after adjusting for confounding factors, high levels of social support were significantly correlated with increased condom use at the last sexual encounter (P = 0.02, OR = 1.86, 95%CI: 1.10–3.16); and consistently in the past month with clients (P = 0.03, OR = 2.10, 95%CI: 1.09–4.04).
CSWs with high levels of social support are more likely to use condoms during commercial sex. This suggests that increasing social support can potentially reduce AIDS-related high-risk behaviors and accordingly play an important role in AIDS prevention.
PMCID: PMC4249969  PMID: 25436910
2.  Impact of early adolescent anxiety disorders on self-esteem development from adolescence to young adulthood 
To examine the association between early adolescent anxiety disorders and self-esteem development from early adolescence to young adulthood.
Self-esteem was measured at mean ages 13, 16 and 22 for 821 participants from the Children in the Community Study, a population-based longitudinal cohort. Anxiety disorders were measured at mean age 13 years. Multilevel growth models were employed to analyze the change in self-esteem from early adolescence to young adulthood and to evaluate whether adolescent anxiety disorders predict both average and slope of self-esteem development.
Self-esteem increased during adolescence and continued to increase in young adulthood. Girls had lower average self-esteem than boys, but this difference disappeared when examining the effect of anxiety. Adolescents with anxiety disorder had lower self-esteem, on average, compared with healthy adolescents (effect size (ES) =−0.35, p<0.01). Social phobia was found to have the greatest relative impact on average self-esteem (ES=−0.30, p<0.01), followed by overanxious disorder (ES=−0.17, p<0.05), and simple phobia (ES=−0.17, p<0.05). Obsessive compulsive-disorder (OCD) predicted a significant decline in self-esteem from adolescence to young-adulthood ( =−0.1, p<0.05). Separation anxiety disorder was not found to have any significant impact on self-esteem development.
All but one of the assessed adolescent anxiety disorders were related to lower self-esteem, with social phobia having the greatest impact. OCD predicted a decline in self-esteem trajectory with age. The importance of raising self-esteem in adolescents with anxiety and other mental disorders is discussed.
PMCID: PMC3725205  PMID: 23648133
Anxiety disorder; Self-esteem development; Adolescence; Multilevel growth modeling; Longitudinal
3.  Successful interventional radiological management of postoperative complications of laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy 
During the past decade, laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy (LDP) has gained increasing acceptance in the surgical community as a viable treatment option for distal pancreatic lesions. However, the possible complication of post-LDP pancreatic leakage remains a challenge, because it may lead to a series of events resulting in intraperitoneal abscess formation, sepsis, pseudoaneurysm formation, and occasional fatal hemorrhage. Dealing with these complications is extremely difficult and not much experience has been reported to date. We report a case involving the aforementioned post-LDP complications successfully managed by interventional radiological techniques while avoiding reoperation. We conclude that these management options are attractive, safe and minimally invasive alternatives to standard protocols.
PMCID: PMC3857473  PMID: 24363541
Interventional radiology; Pancreatectomy; Laparoscopy; Postoperative complications
4.  Smad3 Inactivation and MiR-29b Upregulation Mediate the Effect of Carvedilol on Attenuating the Acute Myocardium Infarction-Induced Myocardial Fibrosis in Rat 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e75557.
Carvedilol, a nonselective β-adrenoreceptor antagonist, protects against myocardial injury induced by acute myocardium infarction (AMI). The mechanisms underlying the anti-fibrotic effects of carvedilol are unknown. Recent studies have revealed the critical role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in a variety of cardiovascular diseases. This study investigated whether miR-29b is involved in the cardioprotective effect of carvedilol against AMI-induced myocardial fibrosis. Male SD rats were randomized into several groups: the sham surgery control, left anterior descending (LAD) surgery-AMI model, AMI plus low-dose carvedilol treatment (1 mg/kg per day, CAR-L), AMI plus medium-dose carvedilol treatment (5 mg/kg per day, CAR-M) and AMI plus high-dose carvedilol treatment (10 mg/kg per day, CAR-H). Cardiac remodeling and impaired heart function were observed 4 weeks after LAD surgery treatment; the observed cardiac remodeling, decreased ejection fraction, and fractional shortening were rescued in the CAR-M and CAR-H groups. The upregulated expression of Col1a1, Col3a1, and α-SMA mRNA was significantly reduced in the CAR-M and CAR-H groups. Moreover, the downregulated miR-29b was elevated in the CAR-M and CAR-H groups. The in vitro study showed that Col1a1, Col3a1, and α-SMA were downregulated and miR-29b was upregulated by carvedilol in a dose-dependent manner in rat cardiac fibroblasts. Inhibition of ROS-induced Smad3 activation by carvedilol resulted in downregulation of Col1a1, Col3a1, and α-SMA and upregulation of miR-29b derived from the miR-29b-2 precursor. Enforced expression of miR-29b significantly suppressed Col1a1, Col3a1, and α-SMA expression. Taken together, we found that smad3 inactivation and miR-29b upregulation contributed to the cardioprotective activity of carvedilol against AMI-induced myocardial fibrosis.
PMCID: PMC3783413  PMID: 24086569
5.  Resveratrol protects rabbit ventricular myocytes against oxidative stress-induced arrhythmogenic activity and Ca2+ overload 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2013;34(9):1164-1173.
To investigate whether resveratrol suppressed oxidative stress-induced arrhythmogenic activity and Ca2+ overload in ventricular myocytes and to explore the underlying mechanisms.
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2, 200 μmol/L)) was used to induce oxidative stress in rabbit ventricular myocytes. Cell shortening and calcium transients were simultaneously recorded to detect arrhythmogenic activity and to measure intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i). Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinases II (CaMKII) activity was measured using a CaMKII kit or Western blotting analysis. Voltage-activated Na+ and Ca2+ currents were examined using whole-cell recording in myocytes.
H2O2 markedly prolonged Ca2+ transient duration (CaTD), and induced early afterdepolarization (EAD)-like and delayed afterdepolarization (DAD)-like arrhythmogenic activity in myocytes paced at 0.16 Hz or 0.5 Hz. Application of resveratrol (30 or 50 μmol/L) dose-dependently suppressed H2O2-induced EAD-like arrhythmogenic activity and attenuated CaTD prolongation. Co-treatment with resveratrol (50 μmol/L) effectively prevented both EAD-like and DAD-like arrhythmogenic activity induced by H2O2. In addition, resveratrol markedly blunted H2O2-induced diastolic [Ca2+]i accumulation and prevented the myocytes from developing hypercontracture. In whole-cell recording studies, H2O2 significantly enhanced the late Na+ current (INa,L) and L-type Ca2+ current (ICa,L) in myocytes, which were dramatically suppressed or prevented by resveratrol. Furthermore, H2O2-induced ROS production and CaMKII activation were significantly prevented by resveratrol.
Resveratrol protects ventricular myocytes against oxidative stress-induced arrhythmogenic activity and Ca2+ overload through inhibition of INa,L/ICa,L, reduction of ROS generation, and prevention of CaMKII activation.
PMCID: PMC4003166  PMID: 23912472
resveratrol; cardioprotective agents; oxidative stress; cardiac arrhythmias; Ca2+ overload; CaMKII; late sodium current; L-type calcium current
6.  Urinary Levels of Bcl-2 are Elevated in Ovarian Cancer Patients 
Gynecologic oncology  2008;112(1):60-67.
The poor prognosis associated with ovarian cancer is due to the lack of overt early symptoms and the absence of reliable diagnostic screening methods. Since many tumors overexpress anti-apoptotic proteins, the purpose of this study was to determine whether elevated levels of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 were present in urine from patients with ovarian cancer.
Bcl-2 was assayed by ELISA in urine samples from two cohorts consisting of a total of 77 healthy women, 161 women with benign gynecologic disease and 150 women with ovarian cancer, 13 with early and 137 with late stage disease, respectively. Wherever possible, parallel serum samples were measured for CA125 levels by ELISA.
Urinary levels of Bcl-2 from healthy individuals or women with benign disease averaged 0.59 ng/ml ± 0.61 and 1.12 ng/ml ± 0.79, respectively. In contrast, urinary levels of Bcl-2 averaged 2.60 ng/ml ± 2.23 and 3.58 ng/ml ± 1.55 from women with early (N=13) and late (N=137) stage ovarian cancer. Further, urinary levels of Bcl-2 were elevated in ovarian cancer patients regardless of tumor grade, stage, size, histologic subtype, creatinine levels or patient age, but appeared to complement CA125 measurements.
Levels of Bcl-2 are elevated in the urine of patients with ovarian cancer and may be of diagnostic and/or prognostic clinical importance. Further studies of urinary Bcl-2 as a biomarker for ovarian cancer alone or in combination with other markers are warranted.
PMCID: PMC3729448  PMID: 19007973
7.  Overexpression of sema3a in myocardial infarction border zone decreases vulnerability of ventricular tachycardia post-myocardial infarction in rats 
The expression of the chemorepellent Sema3a is inversely related to sympathetic innervation. We investigated whether overexpression of Sema3a in the myocardial infarction (MI) border zone could attenuate sympathetic hyper-innervation and decrease the vulnerability to malignant ventricular tachyarrhythmia (VT) in rats. Survived MI rats were randomized to phosphate buffered saline (PBS, n = 12); mock lentivirus (MLV, n = 13) and lentivirus-mediated overexpression of Sema3a (SLV, n = 13) groups. Sham-operated rats served as control group (CON, n = 20). Cardiac function and electrophysiological study (PES) were performed at 1 week later. Blood and tissue samples were collected for histological analysis, epinephrine (EPI), growth-associated factor 43 (GAP43) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) measurements. QTc intervals were significantly shorter in SLV group than in PBS and MLV groups (168.6 ± 7.8 vs. 178.1 ± 9.5 and 180.9 ± 8.2 ms, all P < 0.01). Inducibility of VT by PES was significantly lower in the SLV group [30.8% (4/13)] than in PBS [66.7% (8/12)] and MLV [61.5% (8/13)] groups (P < 0.05). mRNA and protein expressions of Sema3a were significantly higher and the protein expression of GAP43 and TH was significantly lower at 7 days after transduction in SLV group compared with PBS, MLV and CON groups. Myocardial EPI in the border zone was also significantly lower in SLV group than in PBS and MLV group (8.73 ± 1.30 vs. 11.94 ± 1.71 and 12.24 ± 1.54 μg/g protein, P < 0.001). Overexpression of Sema3a in MI border zone could reduce the inducibility of ventricular arrhythmias by reducing sympathetic hyper-reinnervation after infarction.
PMCID: PMC3822813  PMID: 23711091
myocardial infarction; Sema3a; reinnervation; ventricular tachyarrhythmia
8.  Correlation of fibrinogen-like protein 2 with progression of acute pancreatitis in rats 
AIM: To examine fibrinogen-like protein 2 (fgl2) expression during taurocholate-induced acute pancreatitis progression in rats and its correlation with pancreatic injury severity.
METHODS: Forty-eight male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into the severe acute pancreatitis (SAP) group (n = 24) and the sham operation (SO) group (n = 24). Sodium taurocholate (4% at doses of 1 mL/kg body weight) was retrogradely injected into the biliopancreatic ducts of the rats to induce SAP. Pancreatic tissues were prepared immediately after sacrifice. At the time of sacrifice, blood was obtained for determination of serum amylase activity and isolation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Pancreatic tissue specimens were obtained for routine light microscopy including hematoxylin and eosin staining, and the severity of pancreatic injury was evaluated 1, 4 and 8 h after induction. Expression of fgl2 mRNA was measured in the pancreas and PBMCs using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Expression of fgl2 protein was evaluated in pancreatic tissues using Western blotting and immunohistochemical staining. Masson staining was also performed to observe microthrombosis.
RESULTS: At each time point, levels of fgl2 mRNAs in pancreatic tissues and PBMCs were higher (P < 0.05) in the SAP group than in the SO group. For pancreatic tissue in SAP vs SO, the levels were: after 1 h, 3.911 ± 1.277 vs 1.000 ± 0.673; after 4 h, 9.850 ± 3.095 vs 1.136 ± 0.609; and after 8 h, 12.870 ± 3.046 vs 1.177 ± 0.458. For PBMCs in SAP vs SO, the levels were: after 1 h, 2.678 ± 1.509 vs 1.000 ± 0.965; after 4 h, 6.922 ± 1.984 vs 1.051 ± 0.781; and after 8 h, 13.533 ± 6.575 vs 1.306 ± 1.179. Levels of fgl2 protein expression as determined by Western blotting and immunohistochemical staining were markedly up-regulated (P < 0.001) in the SAP group compared with those in the SO group. For Western blotting in SAP vs SO, the results were: after 1 h, 2.183 ± 0.115 vs 1.110 ± 0.158; after 4 h, 2.697 ± 0.090 vs 0.947 ± 0.361; and after 8 h, 3.258 ± 0.094 vs 1.208 ± 0.082. For immunohistochemical staining in SAP vs SO, the results were: after 1 h, 1.793 ± 0.463 vs 0.808 ± 0.252; after 4 h, 4.535 ± 0.550 vs 0.871 ± 0.318; and after 8 h, 6.071 ± 0.941 vs 1.020 ± 0.406. Moreover, we observed a positive correlation in the pancreas (r = 0.852, P < 0.001) and PBMCs (r = 0.735, P < 0.001) between fgl2 expression and the severity of pancreatic injury. Masson staining showed that microthrombosis (%) in rats with SAP was increased (P < 0.001) compared with that in the SO group and it was closely correlated with fgl2 expression in the pancreas (r = 0.842, P < 0.001). For Masson staining in SAP vs SO, the results were: after 1 h, 26.880 ± 9.031 vs 8.630 ± 3.739; after 4 h, 53.750 ± 19.039 vs 8.500 ± 4.472; and after 8 h, 80.250 ± 12.915 vs 10.630 ± 7.003.
CONCLUSION: Microthrombosis due to fgl2 overexpression contributes to pancreatic impairment in rats with SAP, and fgl2 level may serve as a biomarker during early stages of disease.
PMCID: PMC3646139  PMID: 23674850
Fibrinogen-like protein 2; Microthrombosis; Fibrin; Severe acute pancreatitis; Peripheral blood mononuclear cell
9.  Prognostic Significance of EBV Latent Membrane Protein 1 Expression in Lymphomas: Evidence from 15 Studies 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e60313.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection has been associated with lymphoma development. EBV latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) is essential for EBV-mediated transformation and progression of different human cells, including lymphocytes. This meta-analysis investigated LMP1 expression with prognosis of patients with lymphoma.
The electronic databases of PubMed, Embase, and Chinese Biomedicine Databases were searched. There were 15 published studies available for a random effects model analysis. Quality assessment was performed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale for cohort studies. A funnel plot was used to investigate publication bias, and sources of heterogeneity were identified by meta-regression analysis. The combined hazard ratios (HR) and their corresponding 95% confidence intervals of LMP1 expression were calculated by comparison to the overall survival.
Overall, there was no statistical significance found between LMP1 expression and survival of lymphoma patients (HR 1.25 [95% CI, 0.92–1.68]). In subgroup analyses, LMP1 expression was associated with survival in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) (HR  = 1.84, 95% CI: 1.02–3.34), but not with survival of patients with Hodgkin disease (HD) (HR  =  1.03, 95% CI: 0.74–1.44). In addition, significant heterogeneity was present and the meta-regression revealed that the outcome of analysis was mainly influenced by the cutoff value.
This meta-analysis demonstrated that LMP1 expression appears to be an unfavorable prognostic factor for overall survival of NHL patients. The data suggested that EBV infection and LMP1 expression may be an important factor for NHL development or progression.
PMCID: PMC3629080  PMID: 23613723
10.  Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the CDH17 gene of colorectal carcinoma 
AIM: To investigate the relationship between c.343A>G and c.2216A>C polymorphism sites in the CDH17 gene and colorectal carcinoma.
METHODS: Ninety-three non-consanguineous colorectal carcinoma patients admitted to the Department of Oncology at the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University were included in this study. Ninety-three peripheral venous blood samples, of approximately one milliliter from each patient, were collected between December 2009 and August 2010. The genomic DNA of these peripheral venous blood samples were extracted and purified using a Fermentas Genomic DNA Purification Kit (Fermentas, CA) according to the manufacturer’s protocol. The single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the liver-intestine cadherin (CDH17) gene c.343A>G and c.2216A>C were determined by the polymerase chain reaction-single strand conformation polymorphism method (PCR-SSCP) in 93 peripheral venous blood samples from patients suffering with colorectal carcinoma. Typical samples that showed different migration bands in SSCP were confirmed by sequencing. Directed DNA sequencing was used to check the correctness of the genotype results from the PCR-SSCP method.
RESULTS: There was a significant association between the c.2216 A>C SNPs of the CDH17 gene and the tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) grade, as well as with lymph node status, in 93 peripheral venous blood samples from colorectal carcinoma patients. The genotype frequencies of A/C, A/A, and C/C were 12.90%, 33.33% and 53.76%, respectively. There was a significant correlation between lymph node metastasis, TNM grade, and the genotype distribution (P < 0.05). The C/C genotype raised the risk of lymph node metastasis and the TNM grade. There was a significant difference in the TNM grade and lymph node metastasis between the A/A and C/C genotypes (P = 0.003 and P = 0.013, respectively). Patients with colorectal carcinoma carrying the C allele tended to have a higher risk of lymph node metastasis and have a higher TNM grade. The difference between the TNM grades, as well as the lymph node metastasis of the two alleles, was statistically significant (P < 0.01).
CONCLUSION: The SNPs of the CDH17 gene c.2216 A>C might be clinically important in the prognosis of colorectal carcinoma.
PMCID: PMC3544027  PMID: 23326130
Single nucleotide polymorphisms; Liver-intestine cadherin; Colorectal carcinoma; Polymerase chain reaction-single strand conformation polymorphism method
11.  LMP1 and LMP2A are potential prognostic markers of extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type (ENKTL) 
Diagnostic Pathology  2012;7:178.
Latent membrane protein (LMP) 1 and LMP2A encoded by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) are associated with the development of malignancies, but their expression in extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type (ENKTL) and the relationship with clinical characteristics of this disease remain poorly understood. In the present study, we examined the expression of LMP1 and LMP2A in ENKTL, and investigated the correlations between LMP1 and LMP2A expression with clinicopathological characteristics of ENKTL patients.
Paraffin sections of surgically removed samples from 16 ENKTL patients were analyzed by immunohistochemistry and the related clinicopathological data were collected and analyzed.
Elevated expression (immunohistochemistry score ≥ 4) of LMP1 and LMP2A was detected in the tumor cells of ENKTL. High LMP1 expression was associated with positive B symptoms (p = 0.012), while high LMP2A expression was related to gender (p = 0.029). The expression of both LMP1 and LMP2A showed significant correlations with patients’ overall survival (p = 0.049, p = 0.036).
LMP1 and LMP2A may be prognostic indicators of survival in patients with ENKTL.
Virtual slides
PMCID: PMC3539909  PMID: 23237707
LMP1; LMP2A; EBV; ENKTL; Prognosis; Tumor marker
12.  Alpha B-crystallin is a new prognostic marker for laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma 
Alpha B-crystallin (αB-crystallin) has been suggested to play an important role in the development of solid tumors. However, the association between αB-crystallin expression and clinicopathological characteristics of human laryngeal carcinoma is not well defined. This study aimed to examine the expression of αB-crystallin in human laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) and investigate the relationship between its expression and the prognosis of LSCC.
Real-time polymerase chain reaction (six LSCC samples, six tumor-adjacent normal samples) and immunohistochemistry by tissue microarrays (109 LSCC samples and 28 tumor-adjacent normal samples) were performed to characterize expression of the αB-crystallin gene in LSCC. Kaplan-Meier survival and Cox regression analyses were carried out to evaluate the prognosis of LSCC.
Real-time polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry analysis showed that the expression of αB-crystallin in LSCC was significantly higher than that in tumor-adjacent normal tissues. Moreover, the expression level of αB-crystallin protein in LSCC was significantly related to alcohol consumption (P = 0.022), tumor differentiation (P = 0.007), pTNM stage (P = 0.041) and 5 years’ survival (P =0.030). COX multi-factor analysis showed that αB-crystallin (P = 0.013), as well as pTNM stage (P =0.027) and lymphatic metastasis (P = 0.015) were independent prognosis factors for LSCC.
The data suggest that αB-crystallin expression is correlated with malignant phenotypes of LSCC and it may serve as a novel prognostic factor for LSCC.
PMCID: PMC3551651  PMID: 23231769
Laryngeal carcinoma; Alpha B-crystallin gene; RT-PCR; qPCR; Immunohistochemistry; Prognosis
13.  A Cluster Randomized Trial of Sun Protection at Elementary Schools 
Elementary schools are one potential venue for sun protection interventions that reduce childhood sun exposure.
To assess Year-2 results from a cluster randomized trial promoting hat use at schools.
Block randomization was used to assign intervention/control status to participating schools. Data were collected from 2006 to 2008 and analyzed in 2007–2010.
Of the 24 schools in the School District of Hillsborough County, Florida enrolled, fourth-graders were targeted in the first year and followed through their 5th-grade year.
Classroom sessions were conducted to improve sun protection knowledge, foster more positive attitudes about hat use, and change the subjective norm of wearing hats when at school.
Main outcome measures
Year-2 outcomes assessed included hat use at school (measured by direct observation), hat use outside of school (measured by self-report) and skin pigmentation and nevi counts (measured for a subgroup of 439 students).
The percentage of students observed wearing hats at control schools remained unchanged during the 2-year period (range 0%–2%) but increased significantly at intervention schools (2% at baseline, 41% at end of Year 1, 19% at end of Year 2; p<0.001 for intervention effect). Measures of skin pigmentation, nevi counts, and self-reported use of hats outside of school did not change during the study period.
This intervention increased use of hats at school through Year 2 but had no measurable effect on skin pigmentation or nevi. Whether school-based interventions can ultimately prevent skin cancer is uncertain.
PMCID: PMC3223605  PMID: 22099239
14.  The Impact of Obesity on Back and Core Muscular Endurance in Firefighters 
Journal of Obesity  2012;2012:729283.
The purpose of this study was to assess the relationships between obesity and measures of back and core muscular endurance in firefighters. Methods. A cross-sectional study was conducted in career firefighters without low back pain. Obesity measures included body mass index (BMI) and body fat percentage assessed with air displacement plethysmography. Muscular endurance was assessed with the Modified Biering Sorensen (back) and Plank (core) tests. Relationships were explored using t-tests and regression analyses. Results. Of the 83 participants enrolled, 24 (29%) were obese (BMI ≥ 30). Back and core muscular endurance was 27% lower for obese participants. Significant negative correlations were observed for BMI and body fat percentage with back and core endurance (r = −0.42 to −0.52). Stepwise regression models including one obesity measure (BMI, body fat percentage, and fat mass/fat-free mass), along with age and self-reported physical exercise, accounted for 17–19% of the variance in back muscular endurance and 29–37% of the variance in core muscular endurance. Conclusions. Obesity is associated with reduced back and core muscular endurance in firefighters, which may increase the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. Obesity should be considered along with back and core muscular endurance when designing exercise programs for back pain prevention in firefighters.
PMCID: PMC3506892  PMID: 23213491
15.  Impact of Individual-Level Social Capital on Quality of Life among AIDS Patients in China 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e48888.
With growing recognition of the social determinants of health, social capital is an increasingly important construct in international health. However, the application of social capital discourse in response to HIV infection remains preliminary. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of social capital on quality of life (QoL) among adult patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
A convenient sample of 283 patients receiving antiretroviral treatment (ART) was investigated in Anhui province, China. QoL data were collected using the Medical Outcomes Study HIV Survey (MOS-HIV) questionnaire. Social capital was measured using a self-developed questionnaire. Logistic regression models were used to explore associations between social capital and QoL.
The study sample had a mean physical health summary (PHS) score of 50.13±9.90 and a mean mental health summary (MHS) score of 41.64±11.68. Cronbach's α coefficients of the five multi-item scales of social capital ranged from 0.44 to 0.79. When other variables were controlled for, lower individual levels of reciprocity and trust were associated with a greater likelihood of having a poor PHS score (odds ratio [OR] = 2.02) or PHS score (OR = 6.90). Additionally, the factors of social support and social networks and ties were associated positively with MHS score (OR = 2.30, OR = 4.17, respectively).
This is the first report to explore the effects of social capital on QoL of AIDS patients in China. The results indicate that social capital is a promising avenue for developing strategies to improve the QoL of AIDS patients in China, suggesting that the contribution of social capital should be fully exploited, especially with enhancement of QoL through social participation. Social capital development policy may be worthy of consideration.
PMCID: PMC3490922  PMID: 23139823
16.  Overexpression of an isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase gene to enhance trans-polyisoprene production in Eucommia ulmoides Oliver 
BMC Biotechnology  2012;12:78.
Natural rubber produced by plants, known as polyisoprene, is the most widely used isoprenoid polymer. Plant polyisoprenes can be classified into two types; cis-polyisoprene and trans-polyisoprene, depending on the type of polymerization of the isoprene unit. More than 2000 species of higher plants produce latex consisting of cis-polyisoprene. Hevea brasiliensis (rubber tree) produces cis-polyisoprene, and is the key source of commercial rubber. In contrast, relatively few plant species produce trans-polyisoprene. Currently, trans-polyisoprene is mainly produced synthetically, and no plant species is used for its commercial production.
To develop a plant-based system suitable for large-scale production of trans-polyisoprene, we selected a trans-polyisoprene-producing plant, Eucommia ulmoides Oliver, as the target for genetic transformation. A full-length cDNA (designated as EuIPI, Accession No. AB041629) encoding isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase (IPI) was isolated from E. ulmoides. EuIPI consisted of 1028 bp with a 675-bp open reading frame encoding a protein with 224 amino acid residues. EuIPI shared high identity with other plant IPIs, and the recombinant protein expressed in Escherichia coli showed IPI enzymatic activity in vitro. EuIPI was introduced into E. ulmoides via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Transgenic lines of E. ulmoides overexpressing EuIPI showed increased EuIPI expression (up to 19-fold that of the wild-type) and a 3- to 4-fold increase in the total content of trans-polyisoprenes, compared with the wild-type (non-transgenic root line) control.
Increasing the expression level of EuIPI by overexpression increased accumulation of trans-polyisoprenes in transgenic E. ulmoides. IPI catalyzes the conversion of isopentenyl diphosphate to its highly electrophilic isomer, dimethylallyl diphosphate, which is the first step in the biosynthesis of all isoprenoids, including polyisoprene. Our results demonstrated that regulation of IPI expression is a key target for efficient production of trans-polyisoprene in E. ulmoides.
PMCID: PMC3547716  PMID: 23110380
Isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase; Trans-polyisoprene; Natural rubber; Genetic transformation; Eucommia ulmoides
17.  Mg2+ binding to open and closed states can activate BK channels provided that the voltage sensors are elevated 
The Journal of General Physiology  2011;138(6):593-607.
BK channels are activated by intracellular Ca2+ and Mg2+ as well as by depolarization. Such activation is possible because each of the four subunits has two high-affinity Ca2+ sites, one low-affinity Mg2+ site, and a voltage sensor. This study further investigates the mechanism of Mg2+ activation by using single-channel recording to determine separately the action of Mg2+ on the open and closed states of the channel. To limit Mg2+ action to the Mg2+ sites, the two high-affinity Ca2+ sites are disabled by mutation. When the voltage is stepped from negative holding potentials to +100 mV, we find that 10 mM Mg2+ decreases the mean closed latency to the first channel opening 2.1-fold, decreases the mean closed interval duration 8.7-fold, increases mean burst duration 10.1-fold, increases the number of openings per burst 4.4-fold, and increases mean open interval duration 2.3-fold. Hence, Mg2+ can bind to closed BK channels, increasing their opening rates, and to open BK channels, decreasing their closing rates. To explore the relationship between Mg2+ action and voltage sensor activation, we record single-channel activity in macropatches containing hundreds of channels. Open probability (Po) is dramatically increased by 10 mM Mg2+ when voltage sensors are activated with either depolarization or the mutation R210C. The increased Po arises from large decreases in mean closed interval durations and moderate increases in mean open interval durations. In contrast, 10 mM Mg2+ has no detectable effects on Po or interval durations when voltage sensors are deactivated with very negative potentials or the mutation R167E. These observations are consistent with a model in which Mg2+ can bind to and alter the gating of both closed and open states to increase Po, provided that one or more voltage sensors are activated.
PMCID: PMC3226971  PMID: 22124117
18.  Simultaneous Bayesian Inference for Linear, Nonlinear and Semiparametric Mixed-Effects Models with Skew-Normality and Measurement Errors in Covariates 
In recent years, various mixed-effects models have been suggested for estimating viral decay rates in HIV dynamic models for complex longitudinal data. Among those models are linear mixed-effects (LME), nonlinear mixed-effects (NLME), and semiparametric nonlinear mixed-effects (SNLME) models. However, a critical question is whether these models produce coherent estimates of viral decay rates, and if not, which model is appropriate and should be used in practice. In addition, one often assumes that a model random error is normally distributed, but the normality assumption may be unrealistic, particularly if the data exhibit skewness. Moreover, some covariates such as CD4 cell count may be often measured with substantial errors. This paper addresses these issues simultaneously by jointly modeling the response variable with skewness and a covariate process with measurement errors using a Bayesian approach to investigate how estimated parameters are changed or different under these three models. A real data set from an AIDS clinical trial study was used to illustrate the proposed models and methods. It was found that there was a significant incongruity in the estimated decay rates in viral loads based on the three mixed-effects models, suggesting that the decay rates estimated by using Bayesian LME or NLME joint models should be interpreted differently from those estimated by using Bayesian SNLME joint models. The findings also suggest that the Bayesian SNLME joint model is preferred to other models because an arbitrary data truncation is not necessary; and it is also shown that the models with a skew-normal distribution and/or measurement errors in covariate may achieve reliable results when the data exhibit skewness.
PMCID: PMC3404555  PMID: 22848189
Bayesian analysis; covariate measurement errors; HIV dynamics; mixed-effects joint models; skew-normal distribution
19.  A Novel LMP1 Antibody Synergizes with Mitomycin C to Inhibit Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Growth in Vivo Through Inducing Apoptosis and Downregulating Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor 
Combined therapy emerges as an attractive strategy for cancer treatment. The aim of this study was to investigate the inhibitory effects of mitomycin C (MMC) combined with a novel antibody fragment (Fab) targeting latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) on nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) xenograft nude mice. The inhibitory rates of MMC (2 mg/kg), Fab (4 mg/kg), MMC (2 mg/kg) + Fab (4 mg/kg), and MMC (1 mg/kg) + Fab (4 mg/kg) were 20.1%, 7.3%, 42.5% and 40.5%, respectively. Flow cytometry analysis showed that the apoptotic rate of xenograft tumor cells in the MMC and Fab combination group was 28 ± 4.12%, significantly higher than the MMC (2 mg/kg) group (P < 0.01). Immunohistochemical staining showed that VEGF expression in NPC xenografts was significantly inhibited in the combination group compared to the Fab (4 mg/kg) group (P < 0.05). In conclusion, both MMC and Fab could inhibit NPC xenograft tumor growth in vivo and combination therapy showed apparent synergistic anti-tumor effects, which may be due to the induction of tumor cell apoptosis and the downregulation of VEGF expression. These results suggest that the novel combined therapy utilizing traditional chemotherapeutics and antibody-targeted therapy could be a promising strategy for the treatment of NPC.
PMCID: PMC3292017  PMID: 22408448
mitomycin C; latent membrane protein 1; antibody targeted therapy; nasopharyngeal carcinoma; apoptosis; VEGF
20.  High-frequency hearing loss, occupational noise exposure and hypertension: a cross-sectional study in male workers 
Environmental Health  2011;10:35.
The association between occupational noise exposure and hypertension is inconsistent because of an exposure bias caused by outer-ear measurements of noise levels among workers. This study used hearing loss values (HLVs) measured at 4 kHz and 6 kHz in both ears as a biomarker to investigate the chronic effects of noise exposure on hypertension in 790 aircraft-manufacturing workers.
Participants were divided into a high hearing loss (HL) group (n = 214; average HLVs ≥ 30 decibel [dB] at 4 kHz or 6 kHz bilaterally; 83.1 ± 4.9 A-weighted decibel [dBA]), a median HL group (n = 302; 15 ≤ average HLVs < 30 dB at 4 kHz or 6 kHz bilaterally; 83.1 ± 4.4 dBA) and a low HL group (n = 274; average HLVs < 15 dB at 4 kHz or 6 kHz bilaterally; 82.2 ± 5.1 dBA) based on the results of pure tone audiometry. Multivariate logistic regressions were used to estimate the risk of hypertension between groups.
The prevalence rates of hypertension were significantly higher in the high HL (43.5%; p = 0.021) and median HL (42.1%; p = 0.029) groups than in the low HL group (33.2%). The high HL and median HL workers had 1.48-fold (95% confidence interval [95%CI] = 1.02-2.15; p = 0.040) and 1.46-fold (95%CI = 1.03-2.05; p = 0.031) higher risks of hypertension relative to the low HL workers. Employment duration was significantly and positively correlated with the risk of hypertension among workers with average HLVs ≥ 15 dB at 4 kHz (p < 0.001) and 6 kHz (p < 0.001) bilaterally.
Our findings suggest that high-frequency hearing loss is a good biomarker of occupational noise exposure and that noise-induced hearing loss may be associated with the risk of hypertension.
PMCID: PMC3090324  PMID: 21518430
21.  Treatment relapsed subcutaneous panniculitis-like T-cell lymphoma together HPS by Cyclosporin A 
Hematology Reports  2010;2(1):e9.
A 25-year-old man was diagnosised subcutaneous panniculitis-like T-cell lymphoma (SPTCL) through biopsy of a nodule from the anterior chest. After the treatment with prednisone 90 mg 3 weeks and tapered off in 1 month, the disease released, but relapsed together with symptions of hemophagocytic syndrome eight months after the termination of prednisone. CHOEP recipe was given but with unsatisfactory result until cyclosporine was prescribed. Cyclosporine was removed 6 months later. There is no evidence of clinical relapse 1 year later. This case suggest that cyclosporine could be a selectable treatment even in relapsed SPTCL.
PMCID: PMC3222267  PMID: 22184522
relapsed; subcutaneous panniculitis-like T-cell lymphoma; cyclosporin A.
22.  The impact of stroke on emotional intelligence 
BMC Neurology  2010;10:103.
Emotional intelligence (EI) is important for personal, social and career success and has been linked to the frontal anterior cingulate, insula and amygdala regions.
To ascertain which stroke lesion sites impair emotional intelligence and relation to current frontal assessment measurements.
One hundred consecutive, non aphasic, independently functioning patients post stroke were evaluated with the Bar-On emotional intelligence test, "known as the Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i)" and frontal tests that included the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and Frontal Systems Behavioral Inventory (FRSBE) for correlational validity. The results of a screening, bedside frontal network syndrome test (FNS) and NIHSS to document neurological deficit were also recorded. Lesion location was determined by the Cerefy digital, coxial brain atlas.
After exclusions (n = 8), patients tested (n = 92, mean age 50.1, CI: 52.9, 47.3 years) revealed that EQ-i scores were correlated (negatively) with all FRSBE T sub-scores (apathy, disinhibition, executive, total), with self-reported scores correlating better than family reported scores. Regression analysis revealed age and FRSBE total scores as the most influential variables. The WCST error percentage T score did not correlate with the EQ-i scores. Based on ANOVA, there were significant differences among the lesion sites with the lowest mean EQ-i scores associated with temporal (71.5) and frontal (87.3) lesions followed by subtentorial (91.7), subcortical gray (92.6) and white (95.2) matter, and the highest scores associated with parieto-occipital lesions (113.1).
1) Stroke impairs EI and is associated with apathy, disinhibition and executive functioning. 2) EI is associated with frontal, temporal, subcortical and subtentorial stroke syndromes.
PMCID: PMC2987854  PMID: 21029468
23.  Dermatoglyphics from All Chinese Ethnic Groups Reveal Geographic Patterning 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(1):e8783.
Completion of a survey of dermatoglyphic variables for all ethnic groups in an ethnically diverse country like China is a huge research project, and an achievement that anthropological and dermatoglyphic scholars in the country could once only dream of. However, through the endeavors of scientists in China over the last 30 years, the dream has become reality. This paper reports the results of a comprehensive analysis of dermatoglyphics from all ethnic groups in China. Using cluster analysis and principal component analysis of dermatoglyphics, it has been found that Chinese populations can be generally divided into a southern group and a northern group. Furthermore, there has been considerable debate about the origins of many Chinese populations and about proper assignment of these peoples to larger ethnic groups. In this paper, we suggest that dermatoglyphic data can inform these debates by helping to classify a Chinese population as a northern or southern group, using selected reference populations and quantitative methods. This study is the first to assemble and investigate dermatoglyphics from all 56 Chinese ethnic groups. It is fortunate that data on population dermatoglyphics, a field of physical anthropology, have now been collected for all 56 Chinese ethnic groups, because intermarriage between individuals from different Chinese ethnic groups occurs more frequently in recent times, making population dermatoglyphic research an ever more challenging field of inquiry.
PMCID: PMC2808343  PMID: 20098698
24.  Expression of Semaphorin 3F and Its Receptors in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer, Fallopian Tubes, and Secondary Müllerian Tissues 
While semaphorins and their receptors appear to play a role in tumor carcinogenesis, little is known about the role of semaphorin 3F (S3F) in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) development. Therefore, we sought to determine the clinical relationship between S3F and its receptors, neuropilin-2 (NP-2) and neuropilin-1 (NP-1) with EOC progression. We analyzed the immunohistological expression of S3F, NP-2, and NP-1 in clinical specimens of normal ovaries (N), benign cystadenomas (Cy), well-differentiated adenocarcinomas (WD), poorly-differentiated adenocarcinomas (PD), inclusion cysts (IC), paraovarian cysts (PC), and fallopian tubes (FT). Tissue sections were evaluated for staining intensity and percentage of immunoreactive epithelia. We found that expression of S3F and NP-2 decreased while NP-1 expression increased with EOC progression. Interestingly, we also found elevated expression of S3F, NP-2, and NP-1 in epithelia of ICs, PCs, and FT. Our findings indicate that loss or deregulation of semaphorin signaling may play an important role in EOC development.
PMCID: PMC2796214  PMID: 20041133
25.  Bcl-2 expression is altered with ovarian tumor progression: an immunohistochemical evaluation 
Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecologic malignancy. The ovarian tumor microenvironment is comprised of tumor cells, surrounding stroma, and circulating lymphocytes, an important component of the immune response, in tumors. Previous reports have shown that the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 is overexpressed in many solid neoplasms, including ovarian cancers, and contributes to neoplastic transformation and drug-resistant disease, resulting in poor clinical outcome. Likewise, studies indicate improved clinical outcome with increased presence of lymphocytes. Therefore, we sought to examine Bcl-2 expression in normal, benign, and cancerous ovarian tissues to determine the potential relationship between epithelial and stromal Bcl-2 expression in conjunction with the presence of lymphocytes for epithelial ovarian tumor progression.
Ovarian tissue sections were classified as normal (n = 2), benign (n = 17) or cancerous (n = 28) and immunohistochemically stained for Bcl-2. Bcl-2 expression was assessed according to cellular localization, extent, and intensity of staining. The number of lymphocyte nests as well as the number of lymphocytes within these nests was counted.
While Bcl-2 staining remained cytoplasmic, both percent and intensity of epithelial and stromal Bcl-2 staining decreased with tumor progression. Further, the number of lymphocyte nests dramatically increased with tumor progression.
The data suggest alterations in Bcl-2 expression and lymphocyte infiltration correlate with epithelial ovarian cancer progression. Consequently, Bcl-2 expression and lymphocyte status may be important for prognostic outcome or useful targets for therapeutic intervention.
PMCID: PMC2774291  PMID: 19852858

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