Q fever is serologically cross-reactive with other intracellular microorganisms. However, studies of the serological status of Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Chlamydophila pneumoniae during Q fever are rare. We conducted a retrospective serological study of M. pneumoniae and C. pneumoniae by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), a method widely used in clinical practice, in 102 cases of acute Q fever, 39 cases of scrub typhus, and 14 cases of murine typhus. The seropositive (57.8%, 7.7%, and 0%, p<0.001) and seroconversion rates (50.6%, 8.8%, and 0%, p<0.001) of M. pneumoniae IgM, but not M. pneumoniae IgG and C. pneumoniae IgG/IgM, in acute Q fever were significantly higher than in scrub typhus and murine typhus. Another ELISA kit also revealed a high seropositivity (49.5%) and seroconversion rate (33.3%) of M. pneumoniae IgM in acute Q fever. The temporal and age distributions of patients with positive M. pneumoniae IgM were not typical of M. pneumoniae pneumonia. Comparing acute Q fever patients who were positive for M. pneumoniae IgM (59 cases) with those who were negative (43 cases), the demographic characteristics and underlying diseases were not different. In addition, the clinical manifestations associated with atypical pneumonia, including headache (71.2% vs. 81.4%, p=0.255), sore throat (8.5% vs. 16.3%, p=0.351), cough (35.6% vs. 23.3%, p=0.199), and chest x-ray suggesting pneumonia (19.3% vs. 9.5%, p=0.258), were unchanged between the two groups. Clinicians should be aware of the high seroprevalence of M. pneumoniae IgM in acute Q fever, particularly with ELISA kits, which can lead to misdiagnosis, overestimations of the prevalence of M. pneumoniae pneumonia, and underestimations of the true prevalence of Q fever pneumonia.
Accumulation of microtubule-associated protein tau has been observed in the brain of aging and tauopathies. Tau was observed in microglia, but its role is not illustrated. By immunofluorescence staining and the fractal dimension value assay in the present study, we observed that microglia were activated in the brains of rats and mice during aging, simultaneously, the immunoreactivities of total tau and the phosphorylated tau were significantly enhanced in the activated microglia. Furtherly by transient transfection of tau40 (human 2N/4R tau) into the cultured rat microglia, we demonstrated that expression of tau40 increased the level of Iba1, indicating activation of microglia. Moreover, expression of tau40 significantly enhanced the membranous localization of the phosphorylated tau at Ser396 in microglia possibly by a mechanism involving protein phosphatase 2A, extracellular signal-regulated kinase and glycogen synthase kinase-3β. It was also found that expression of tau40 promoted microglial migration and phagocytosis, but not proliferation. And we observed increased secretion of several cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor-α and nitric oxide after the expression of tau40. These data suggest a novel role of human 2N/4R tau in microglial activation.
Aromatic essential oils extracted from fresh fruits of Litsea cubeba (Lour.) Pers., have diverse medical and economic values. The dominant components in these essential oils are monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of terpenoid biosynthesis is essential for improving the yield and quality of terpenes. However, the 40 available L. cubeba nucleotide sequences in the public databases are insufficient for studying the molecular mechanisms. Thus, high-throughput transcriptome sequencing of L. cubeba is necessary to generate large quantities of transcript sequences for the purpose of gene discovery, especially terpenoid biosynthesis related genes.
Using Illumina paired-end sequencing, approximately 23.5 million high-quality reads were generated. De
novo assembly yielded 68,648 unigenes with an average length of 834 bp. A total of 38,439 (56%) unigenes were annotated for their functions, and 35,732 and 25,806 unigenes could be aligned to the GO and COG database, respectively. By searching against the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes Pathway database (KEGG), 16,130 unigenes were assigned to 297 KEGG pathways, and 61 unigenes, which contained the mevalonate and 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol 4-phosphate pathways, could be related to terpenoid backbone biosynthesis. Of the 12,963 unigenes, 285 were annotated to the terpenoid pathways using the PlantCyc database. Additionally, 14 terpene synthase genes were identified from the transcriptome. The expression patterns of the 16 genes related to terpenoid biosynthesis were analyzed by RT-qPCR to explore their putative functions.
RNA sequencing was effective in identifying a large quantity of sequence information. To our knowledge, this study is the first exploration of the L. cubeba transcriptome, and the substantial amount of transcripts obtained will accelerate the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of essential oils biosynthesis. The results may help improve future genetic and genomics studies on the molecular mechanisms behind the chemical composition of essential oils in L. cubeba fruits.
Leptospira-induced macrophage death has been confirmed to play a crucial role in pathogenesis of leptospirosis, a worldwide zoonotic infectious disease. Intracellular free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) elevation induced by infection can cause cell death, but [Ca2+]i changes and high [Ca2+]i-induced death of macrophages due to infection of Leptospira have not been previously reported.
We first used a Ca2+-specific fluorescence probe to confirm that the infection of L. interrogans strain Lai triggered a significant increase of [Ca2+]i in mouse J774A.1 or human THP-1 macrophages. Laser confocal microscopic examination showed that the [Ca2+]i elevation was caused by both extracellular Ca2+ influx through the purinergic receptor, P2X7, and Ca2+ release from the endoplasmic reticulum, as seen by suppression of [Ca2+]i elevation when receptor-gated calcium channels were blocked or P2X7 was depleted. The LB361 gene product of the spirochete exhibited phosphatidylinositol phospholipase C (L-PI-PLC) activity to hydrolyze phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) into inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3), which in turn induces intracellular Ca2+ release from endoplasmic reticulum, with the Km of 199 µM and Kcat of 8.566E-5 S-1. Secretion of L-PI-PLC from the spirochete into supernatants of leptospire-macrophage co-cultures and cytosol of infected macrophages was also observed by Western Blot assay. Lower [Ca2+]i elevation was induced by infection with a LB361-deficient leptospiral mutant, whereas transfection of the LB361 gene caused a mild increase in [Ca2+]i. Moreover, PI-PLCs (PI-PLC-β3 and PI-PLC-γ1) of the two macrophages were activated by phosphorylation during infection. Flow cytometric detection demonstrated that high [Ca2+]i increases induced apoptosis and necrosis of macrophages, while mild [Ca2+]i elevation only caused apoptosis.
This study demonstrated that L. interrogans infection induced [Ca2+]i elevation through extracellular Ca2+ influx and intracellular Ca2+ release cause macrophage apoptosis and necrosis, and the LB361 gene product was shown to be a novel PI-PLC of L. interrogans responsible for the [Ca2+]i elevation.
Objective: Information regarding the development of the enteric nervous system (ENS) is important for understanding the functional abnormalities of the gut. Because fertilized chicken eggs provide easy access to embryos, chicken models have been widely used to study embryonic development of myenteric plexus; however, no study has been focused on the postnatal period. The aim of this study was to perform a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the nitrergic neurons in the myenteric plexus of developing chickens in the postnatal period. Methods: Whole-mount preparations of the myenteric plexus were made in 7-d, 15-d, and 40-d old (adult) chickens of either sex (n=15). The myenteric plexus was studied after nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate diaphorase (NADPH-d) histochemistry using light microscopy, digital photography, and Image-Pro Plus 6.0 software. The numbers of positively stained neurons and ganglia were counted in the duodenum, jejunum, ileum, caecum, and colon in the different age groups. Data were expressed as mean±standard deviation (SD), and statistical analysis was performed using a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) test. Results: The positively stained neurons showed various morphologies and staining intensities, and formed bead-shaped and U-shaped arrangements in the myenteric plexus. The densities of neurons and ganglia increased with age. However, the number of positive neurons per ganglion increased. The number of NADPH-d-positive neurons was highest in the colon, followed by the ileum, the jejunum, the duodenum, and the caeca in all age groups. Conclusions: Developmental changes in the myenteric plexus of chickens continue in the postnatal period, indicating that the maturation process of the gastrointestinal function is gradual. In addition, no significant difference is happening among different intestinal segments during postnatal development, suggesting that the function of different intestinal segments had been determined after birth.
NADPH-d histochemistry; Enteric nervous system (ENS); Development; Myenteric plexus; Chicken
The gD–E317-Fab complex crystal revealed the conformational epitope of human mAb E317 on HSV gD, providing a molecular basis for understanding the viral neutralization mechanism.
Glycoprotein D (gD) of Herpes simplex virus (HSV) binds to a host cell surface receptor, which is required to trigger membrane fusion for virion entry into the host cell. gD has become a validated anti-HSV target for therapeutic antibody development. The highly inhibitory human monoclonal antibody E317 (mAb E317) was previously raised against HSV gD for viral neutralization. To understand the structural basis of antibody neutralization, crystals of the gD ectodomain bound to the E317 Fab domain were obtained. The structure of the complex reveals that E317 interacts with gD mainly through the heavy chain, which covers a large area for epitope recognition on gD, with a flexible N-terminal and C-terminal conformation. The epitope core structure maps to the external surface of gD, corresponding to the binding sites of two receptors, herpesvirus entry mediator (HVEM) and nectin-1, which mediate HSV infection. E317 directly recognizes the gD–nectin-1 interface and occludes the HVEM contact site of gD to block its binding to either receptor. The binding of E317 to gD also prohibits the formation of the N-terminal hairpin of gD for HVEM recognition. The major E317-binding site on gD overlaps with either the nectin-1-binding residues or the neutralizing antigenic sites identified thus far (Tyr38, Asp215, Arg222 and Phe223). The epitopes of gD for E317 binding are highly conserved between two types of human herpesvirus (HSV-1 and HSV-2). This study enables the virus-neutralizing epitopes to be correlated with the receptor-binding regions. The results further strengthen the previously demonstrated therapeutic and diagnostic potential of the E317 antibody.
Herpes simplex virus; glycoprotein D; antibodies; E317
Our knowledge of the pathophysiology of affect dysregulation has progressively increased, but the pharmacological treatments remain inadequate. Here, we summarize the current literature on deficits in somatostatin, an inhibitory modulatory neuropeptide, in major depression and other neurological disorders that also include mood disturbances. We focus on direct evidence in the human postmortem brain, and review rodent genetic and pharmacological studies probing the role of the somatostatin system in relation to mood. We also briefly go over pharmacological developments targeting the somatostatin system in peripheral organs and discuss the challenges of targeting the brain somatostatin system. Finally, the fact that somatostatin deficits are frequently observed across neurological disorders suggests a selective cellular vulnerability of somatostatin-expressing neurons. Potential cell intrinsic factors mediating those changes are discussed, including nitric oxide induced oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, high inflammatory response, high demand for neurotrophic environment, and overall aging processes. Together, based on the co-localization of somatostatin with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), its presence in dendritic-targeting GABA neuron subtypes, and its temporal-specific function, we discuss the possibility that deficits in somatostatin play a central role in cortical local inhibitory circuit deficits leading to abnormal corticolimbic network activity and clinical mood symptoms across neurological disorders.
somatostatin; somatostatin-expressing interneurons; SST; SOM; SRIF; depression; mood disorders; GABA inhibition
The pipeline embolization device (PED) provides effective, durable and safe endovascular reconstruction of large and giant intracranial aneurysms. However, 80% of all cerebral aneurysms found in the general population are less than 10 mm in size. Treatment of small aneurysms (<10 mm) with flow diverters may be advantageous over endosaccular modalities that carry risks of procedural rupture during aneurysm access or coil placement.
We retrospectively reviewed a prospective, single-center aneurysm database to identify all patients with small (<10 mm) internal carotid artery (ICA) aneurysms who underwent endovascular treatment using the PED. Patient demographics, aneurysm characteristics, procedural details, complications, and technical and clinical outcomes were analyzed.
Forty-four cases were performed in 41 patients (age range 31-78 years). PED was successfully implanted in 42 cases. A single PED was used in 37/42 (88%) cases. Mean postprocedure hospital stay was 1.7 ± 0.3 days and 98% of patients were discharged home. Major complication occurred in one patient (2.3%), who died of early subarachnoid hemorrhage. Transient neurological deficit, delayed intracerebral hemorrhage (asymptomatic), and delayed groin infection occurred in one patient each. Follow-up rate was 91.8% (45 aneurysms in 35 patients) with a mean follow-up of 4.0 ± 1.9 months. By 6 months post-PED implantation, angiographic success (complete or near complete aneurysm occlusion) was observed in 80%. Mild (<50%), asymptomatic, nonflow limiting in-stent stenosis was observed in 5.4% (2/37 cases). All the 35 patients with follow-up remained at preprocedure neurological baseline.
Small (<10 mm) ICA aneurysm treatment with PED implantation is safe and carries a high rate of early angiographic success.
Cerebral aneurysms; flow diverter; pipeline embolization device
It is known that fluorescence, much of it caused by UVA light excitation, increases in the aging human lens, resulting in loss of sharp vision. This study used an in vivo animal model to investigate UVA-excited fluorescence in the rabbit lens, which contains a high level of the UVA chromophore NADH, existing both free and bound to λ-crystallin. Also, the ability of a Class I (senofilcon A) soft contact lens to protect against UVA-induced effects on the rabbit lens was tested. Rabbit eyes were irradiated with UVA light in vivo (100 mW/cm2 on the cornea) for 1 hour using monochromatic 365 nm light. Irradiation was conducted in the presence of either a senofilcon A contact lens, a minimally UV-absorbing lotrafilcon A contact lens, or no contact lens at all. Eyes irradiated without a contact lens showed blue 365 nm-excited fluorescence initially, but this changed to intense yellow fluorescence after 1 hour. Isolated, previously irradiated lenses exhibited yellow fluorescence originating from the lens nucleus when viewed under 365 nm light, but showed normal blue fluorescence arising from the cortex. Previously irradiated lenses also exhibited a faint yellow color when observed under visible light. The senofilcon A contact lens protected completely against the UVA-induced effects on fluorescence and lens yellowing, whereas the lotrafilcon A lens showed no protection. The UVA-exposure also produced a 53% loss of total NADH (free plus bound) in the lens nucleus, with only a 13% drop in the anterior cortex. NADH loss in the nucleus was completely prevented with use of a senofilcon A contact lens, but no significant protection was observed with a lotrafilcon A lens. Overall, the senofilcon A lens provided an average of 67% protection against UVA-induced loss of four pyridine nucleotides in four different regions of the lens. HPLC analysis with fluorescence detection indicated a nearly six-fold increase in 365 nm-excited yellow fluorescence arising from lens nuclear λ-crystallin after the in vivo UVA exposure. It is concluded that UVA-induced loss of free NADH (which fluoresces blue) may have allowed the natural yellow fluorescence of λ-crystallin and other proteins in the lens nucleus to become visible. Increased fluorescence exhibited by UVA-exposed λ-crystallin may have been the result of a UVA-induced change in the conformation of the protein occurring during the initial UVA-exposure in vivo. The results demonstrate the greater susceptibility of the lens nucleus to UVA-induced stress, and may relate to the formation of human nuclear cataract. The senofilcon A contact lens was shown to be beneficial in protecting the rabbit lens against effects of UVA light, including changes in fluorescence, increased yellowing and loss of pyridine nucleotides.
UVA light; rabbit; in vivo; lens; yellowing; fluorescence; pyridine nucleotides; nuclear cataract
Diabetes mellitus is associated with tendinopathy or tendon injuries. However, the mechanism underlying diabetic tendinopathy is unclear. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of high glucose concentrations on the activity and expression of matrix metalloproteinases, type I collagen, and type III collagen in tendon cells.
Tendon cells from rat Achilles tendons were treated with 6 mM, 12 mM, and 25 mM glucose, and then cell proliferation was evaluated by the 3-[4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of MMP-2, MMP-8, MMP-9, and MMP-13 and type I and type III collagen was assessed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The enzymatic activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9 was measured by gelatin zymography.
The MTT assay results showed that the glucose concentration did not affect tendon cell proliferation. The results of the real-time PCR assay revealed that the mRNA expression of MMP-9 and MMP-13 was up-regulated by treatment with 25 mM glucose, whereas the mRNA expression of type I and III collagen was not affected. Gelatin zymography showed that 25 mM glucose increased the enzymatic activity of MMP-9.
High glucose concentration up-regulates the expression of MMP-9 and MMP-13 in tendon cells, which may account for the molecular mechanisms underlying diabetic tendinopathy.
Glucose; Matrix metalloproteinase; Tendon
ZBRK1, a zinc finger protein that interacts with breast cancer 1 (BRCA1) and KRAB-ZFP-associated protein 1 (KAP1), has been suggested to serve as a tumor suppressor via repression of tumor metastasis/invasion. To date, the detailed molecular mechanisms for how BRCA1 and KAP1 participate in ZBRK1-mediated transcriptional repression, metastasis and invasion as well as the associated clinical relevance remain unclear. In this study, we demonstrated that both the N- and C-terminal domains of ZBRK1 are important for inhibiting cell proliferation and anchorage-independent growth in cervical cancer. Specifically, the N-terminal KRAB domain of ZBRK1 displayed a more crucial role in inhibiting metastasis and invasion through modulation of KAP1 function in a transcriptionally dependent manner. The loss of ZBRK1 results in an increase of KAP1 expression, which enhanced migration and invasion of cervical cancer cells both the in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, an inverse correlation of expression levels was observed between ZBRK1 and KAP1 following tumor progression from in situ carcinoma to invasive/metastatic cervical cancer specimens. Taken together, the current results indicate that a loss of ZBRK1 contributes to the increased expression of KAP1, potentiating its role to enhance metastasis and invasion.
Two compounds, 1,7-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)-1,4,6-heptatrien-3-one (BHPHTO) and bisdemethoxycurcumin (BDMC) they have been isolated from the rhizomes of Alpinia galangal, and the structures of both pure constituents were determined using spectroscopic analyses. The study examined the bioeffectivenesses of the two compounds on the human melanoma A2058 and showed that significantly inhibited the proliferation of melanoma cells in the cell viability assay. This research was also taken on the tests to B16-F10 cell line and showed minor inhibitory consequences of cellular tyrosinase activities and melanin contents. Our results revealed the anticancer effects of A. galangal compounds, and therefore, the target compounds could be potentially applied in the therapeutic application and the food industry.
The dynamic response of large space structures under accidental impact has been the subject of intense research since the occurrence of the 9/11 incident. In the present paper, using the 3D ANSYS/LS-DYNA, size effect and material property effect of the impactor on the damage modes of the single-layer Kiewitt-8 reticulated dome were investigated, respectively, where the impactor was the cylinder and the impact direction was vertical. Firstly, analytical results with the rigid impactor indicated that the impactor size can change the damage mode of the reticulated dome. It was found that the probability happening to the global collapse has an obvious rise with the size increase of the impactor. Furthermore, the deformable impactor was considered to figure out the difference with the rigid impactor; the comparisons indicated that the deformable impactor, which has the same mass and the same striking velocity with the rigid impactor, can contribute to the occurrence of the global collapse at a certain initial striking condition.
Klebsiella oxytoca strain SA2 is an endophytic nitrogen-fixing bacterium isolated from the pioneer grass Psammochloa villosa, which grows in the moving sand dunes of Ordos Plateau, China. The SA2 genome sequence provides the genetic background for understanding its endophytic lifestyle and survival in association with grass in nitrogen-poor environments.
Traditional Chinese medicine formula Sheng-Fei-Yu-Chuan-Tang (SFYCT), consisting of 13 medicinal plants, was used to treat patients with lung diseases. This study investigated the immunoregulatory effect of SFYCT on intratracheal lipopolysaccharides- (LPS-) challenged acute lung injury (ALI) mice. SFYCT attenuated pulmonary edema, macrophages, and neutrophils infiltration in the airways. SFYCT decreased inflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα), interleukin-1β, and interleukin-6 and inhibited nitric oxide (NO) production but increased anti-inflammatory cytokines, interleukin-4, and interleukin-10, in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of LPS-challenged mice. TNFα and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 mRNA expression in the lung of LPS-challenged mice as well as LPS-stimulated lung epithelial cell and macrophage were decreased by SFYCT treatment. SFYCT treatment also decreased the inducible nitric oxide synthase expression and phosphorylation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) in the lung of mice and macrophage with LPS stimulation. SFYCT treatment dose dependently decreased the LPS-induced NO and reactive oxygen species generation in LPS-stimulated macrophage. In conclusion, SFYCT attenuated lung inflammation during LPS-induced ALI through decreasing inflammatory cytokines production while increasing anti-inflammatory cytokines production. The immunoregulatory effect of SFYCT is related to inhibiting NF-κB phosphorylation.
Some syphilis patients remain in a serologically active state after the recommended therapy. We currently know too little about the characteristics of this serological response.
We conducted a cohort study using the clinical database from Zhongshan Hospital, Medical College of Xiamen. In total, 1,327 HIV-negative patients with primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary syphilis were enrolled. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were utilised to identify factors associated with a serological cure and serofast state in syphilis patients one year after therapy. Chi-square tests were used to determine the differences in the serological cure rate across different therapy time points.
One year after the recommended therapy, 870 patients achieved a serological cure, and 457 patients (34.4%) remained in the serofast state. The serological cure rate increased only within the first 6 months. The bivariate analysis indicated that male or younger patients had a higher likelihood of a serological cure than female or older patients. Having a baseline titre ≤1∶2 or ≥1∶64 was associated with an increased likelihood of a serological cure. The serological cure rate decreased for the different disease stages in the order of primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary syphilis. A distinction should be drawn between early and late syphilis. The multivariate analysis indicated that a serological cure was significantly associated with the disease phase, gender, age, and baseline rapid plasma reagin (RPR) titre.
The serofast state is common in clinical work. After one year of the recommended therapy, quite a few syphilis patients remained RPR positive. The primary endpoint of the study indicated that disease phase, gender, age and baseline RPR titre were crucial factors associated with a serological cure.
The hickory genus (Carya) contains ca. 17 species distributed in subtropical and tropical regions of eastern Asia and subtropical to temperate regions of eastern North America. Previously, the phylogenetic relationships between eastern Asian and eastern North American species of Carya were not fully confirmed even with an extensive sampling, biogeographic and diversification patterns had thus never been investigated in a phylogenetic context. We sampled 17 species of Carya and 15 species representing all other genera of the Juglandaceae as outgroups, with eight nuclear and plastid loci to reconstruct the phylogeny of Carya. The phylogenetic positions of seven extinct genera of the Juglandaceae were inferred using morphological characters and the molecular phylogeny as a backbone constraint. Divergence times within Carya were estimated with relaxed Bayesian dating. Biogeographic analyses were performed in DIVA and LAGRANGE. Diversification rates were inferred by LASER and APE packages. Our results support two major clades within Carya, corresponding to the lineages of eastern Asia and eastern North America. The split between the two disjunct clades is estimated to be 21.58 (95% HPD 11.07-35.51) Ma. Genus-level DIVA and LAGRANGE analyses incorporating both extant and extinct genera of the Juglandaceae suggested that Carya originated in North America, and migrated to Eurasia during the early Tertiary via the North Atlantic land bridge. Fragmentation of the distribution caused by global cooling in the late Tertiary resulted in the current disjunction. The diversification rate of hickories in eastern North America appeared to be higher than that in eastern Asia, which is ascribed to greater ecological opportunities, key morphological innovations, and polyploidy.
The identification of a new class of potent and selective ROCK-II inhibitors is presented. Compound 5 (SR-3677) had an IC50 of ~3 nM in enzyme and cell based assays and had an off-target hit rate of 1.4% against 353 kinases, and inhibited only 3 out of 70 nonkinase enzymes and receptors. Pharmacology studies showed that 5 was efficacious in both, increasing ex vivo aqueous humor outflow in porcine eyes and inhibiting myosin light chain phosphorylation.
Autoimmunity results from a breakdown in tolerance mechanisms that regulate autoreactive lymphocytes. We recently showed that during innate immune responses, secretion of IL-6 by dendritic cells (DCs) maintained autoreactive B cells in an unresponsive state. In this study, we describe that TLR4-activated DCs from lupus-prone mice are defective in repressing autoantibody secretion, coincident with diminished IL-6 secretion. Reduced secretion of IL-6 by MRL/lpr DCs reflected diminished synthesis and failure to sustain IL-6 mRNA production. This occurred coincident with lack of NF-κB and AP-1 DNA binding and failure to sustain IκBα phosphorylation. Analysis of individual mice showed that some animals partially repressed Ig secretion despite reduced levels of IL-6. This suggests that in addition to IL-6, DCs secrete other soluble factor(s) that regulate autoreactive B cells. Collectively, the data show that MRL/lpr mice are defective in DC/IL-6-mediated tolerance, but that some individuals maintain the ability to repress autoantibody secretion by an alternative mechanism. The Journal of Immunology, 2007, 178: 4803–4810.
The structure activity relationship study of a small molecule Rev-erbα agonist is reported. The potency and efficacy of the agonists in a cell-based assay were optimized as compared to the initial lead. Modest mouse pharmacokinetics coupled with an improved in vitro profile make 12e a suitable in vivo probe to interrogate the functions of Rev-erbα in animal models of disease.
In our continuing study of curcumin analogs as potential anti-prostate cancer drug candidates, 15 new curcumin analogs were designed, synthesized and evaluated for cytotoxicity against two human prostate cancer cell lines, androgen-dependent LNCaP and androgen-independent PC-3. Twelve analogs (5-12, 15, 16, 19, and 20) are conjugates of curcumin (1) or methyl curcumin (2) with a flutamide- or bicalutamide-like moiety. Two compounds (22 and 23) are C4-mono- and difluoro-substituted analogs of dimethyl curcumin (DMC, 21). Among the newly synthesized conjugates compound 15, a conjugate of 2 with a partial bicalutamide moiety, was more potent than bicalutamide alone and essentially equipotent with 1 and 2 against both prostate tumor cell lines with IC50 values of 41.8 μM (for LNCaP) and 39.1 μM (for PC-3). A cell morphology study revealed that the cytotoxicity of curcumin analogs or curcumin-antiandrogen conjugates detected from both prostate cancer cell lines might be due to the suppression of pseudopodia formation. A molecular intrinsic fluorescence experiment showed that 1 accumulated mainly in the nuclei, while conjugate 6 was distributed in the cytosol. At the tested conditions, antiandrogens suppressed pseudopodia formation in PC-3 cells, but not in LNCaP cells. The evidence suggests that distinguishable target proteins are involved, resulting in the different outcomes toward pseudopodia suppression.
Synthesis; Curcumin analogs; Conjugates; Cytotoxicity; Anti-prostate cancer; Morphology
Brassinosteroids (BRs) are endogenous plant hormones and are essential for normal plant growth and development. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) of Arabidopsis thaliana are involved in mediating cell proliferation in leaves, stress tolerance, and root development. The specifics of BR mechanisms involving miRNAs are unknown. Using customized miRNA array analysis, we identified miRNAs from A. thaliana ecotype Columbia (Col-0) regulated by 24-epibrassinolide (EBR, a highly active BR). We found that miR395a was significantly up-regulated by EBR treatment and validated its expression under these conditions. miR395a was over expressed in leaf veins and root tissues in EBR-treated miR395a promoter::GUS plants. We integrated bioinformatics methods and publicly available DNA microarray data to predict potential targets of miR395a. GUN5—a multifunctional protein involved in plant metabolic functions such as chlorophyll synthesis and the abscisic acid (ABA) pathway—was identified as a possible target. ABI4 and ABI5, both genes positively regulated by ABA, were down-regulated by EBR treatment. In summary, our results suggest that EBR regulates seedling development and root growth of A. thaliana through miR395a by suppressing GUN5 expression and its downstream signal transduction.
brassinosteroids; miR395a; root growth; Arabidopsis thaliana; microRNA array
Alzheimer’s disease (AD), an age-related neurodegenerative disorder with progressive cognition deficit, is characterized by extracellular senile plaques (SP) of aggregated β-amyloid (Aβ) and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles, mainly containing the hyperphosphorylated microtubule-associated protein tau. Multiple factors contribute to the etiology of AD in terms of initiation and progression. Melatonin is an endogenously produced hormone in the brain and decreases during aging and in patients with AD. Data from clinical trials indicate that melatonin supplementation improves sleep, ameliorates sundowning and slows down the progression of cognitive impairment in AD patients. Melatonin efficiently protects neuronal cells from Aβ-mediated toxicity via antioxidant and anti-amyloid properties. It not only inhibits Aβ generation, but also arrests the formation of amyloid fibrils by a structure-dependent interaction with Aβ. Our studies have demonstrated that melatonin efficiently attenuates Alzheimer-like tau hyperphosphorylation. Although the exact mechanism is still not fully understood, a direct regulatory influence of melatonin on the activities of protein kinases and protein phosphatases is proposed. Additionally, melatonin also plays a role in protecting the cholinergic system and in anti-inflammation. The aim of this review is to stimulate interest in melatonin as a potentially useful agent in the prevention and treatment of AD.
Alzheimer’s disease; melatonin; tau hyperphosphorylation; beta amyloid; antioxidation; cholinergic; neuroinflammation
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical significance of visualized area percentage assessment of cleansing score (AAC) and computed assessment of cleansing score (CAC) of these two small bowel cleanliness scores systems for capsule endoscopy (CE).
Materials and Methods:
The reliability and consistency of the AAC and CAC scores were evaluated by comparing the scores by two examiners (one expert, one without any training in CE). Reliability was determined using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and consistency was determined using the kappa statistic.
The inter-observer agreement was excellent for both the AAC and CAC scores. For AAC, the ICC was 0.791 (95% confidence interval: 0.677-0.868), and for CAC the ICC was 1.000. Using 1.5 as the cutoff, there was no significant difference between AAC and CAC results by the expert examiner (kappa = 0.756, P = 0.000) or the non-expert examiner (kappa = 0.831, P = 0.000). Evaluation of small bowel cleanliness using AAC took 15-30 min, and evaluation using CAC took about 2-3 min. The overall adequacy assessment (OAA) using the AAC was not significantly different between the two examiners (χ2 = 0.586, P = 0.444). There were also no significant differences between the OAA using the AAC and the OAA using the CAC by the expert examiner (χ2 = 1.730, P = 0.188) or the non-expert examiner (χ2 = 1.124, P = 0.289).
Both of these scores for assessment of small bowel cleanliness can be useful in clinical practice, but the CAC is simpler to use.
Capsule endoscopy; computed assessment of cleansing score; small bowel cleaning score system; visualized area percentage assessment of cleansing score
Many studies have demonstrated the impact of UGT1A1 on toxicity of irinotecan. In particular, patients bearing UGT1A1*28 (TA 7/7) have a higher risk of severe neutropenia and diarrhea. Based on this, prescribers of irinotecan are advised that patients with UGT1A1*28 (TA 7/7) should start with a reduced dose of irinotecan, although a particular dose is not specified. Research in Asian countries has shown a lower incidence of UGT1A1*28 (TA 7/7), while UGT1A1*6 (A/A) is more often found and is associated with severe irinotecan-related neutropenia. We report here a case of a metastatic colorectal cancer patient who is heterozygous for the UGT1A1*28 polymorphism (TA 6/7) as well as the UGT1A1*6 polymorphism (G/A). The patient was treated with FOLFIRI for 9 cycles and underwent two irinotecan dose reductions according to pharmacokinetic data regarding exposure to the active metabolite, SN-38. Simultaneous heterozygous UGT1A1*28 and UGT1A1*6 polymorphisms may produce higher exposure to SN-38 and a higher risk of adverse effects related to irinotecan. Additional studies will be necessary to determine the optimal starting dose of irinotecan for patients with both UGT1A1*28 and UGT1A1*6 polymorphisms.
Irinotecan; Toxicity; UGT1A1*28; UGT1A1*6; Polymorphism