Transplantation of stem cells into damaged hearts has had modest success as a treatment for ischemic heart disease. One of the limitations is the poor stem cell survival in the diseased microenvironment. Prolyl hydroxylase domain protein 2 (PHD2) is a cellular oxygen sensor that regulates two key transcription factors involved in cell survival and inflammation, hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB).
We studied if and how PHD2 silencing in human adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) enhances their cardioprotective effects after transplantation into infarcted hearts.
Methods and Results
ADSCs were transduced with lentiviral shPHD2 to silence PHD2. ADSCs with or without shPHD2 were transplanted after myocardial infarction (MI) in mice. ADSCs reduced cardiomyocyte apoptosis, fibrosis and infarct size and improved cardiac function. shPHD2-ADSCs exerted significantly more protection. PHD2 silencing induced greater ADSCs survival, which was abolished by shHIF-1α. Conditioned medium (CM) from shPHD2-ADSCs decreased cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) levels were significantly higher in the CM of shPHD2-ADSCs versus ADSCs, and depletion of IGF-1 attenuated the cardioprotective effects of shPHD2-ADSCs-CM. NF-κB activation was induced by shPHD2 to induce IGF-1 secretion via binding to IGF-1 gene promoter.
PHD2 silencing promotes ADSCs survival in MI hearts and enhances their paracrine function to protect cardiomyocytes. The pro-survival effect of shPHD2 on ADSCs is HIF-1α dependent and the enhanced paracrine function of shPHD2-ADSCs is associated with NF-κB-mediated IGF-1 up-regulation. PHD2 silencing in stem cells may be a novel strategy for enhancing the effectiveness of stem cell therapy after MI.
Myocardial infarction; stem cell; survival; paracrine effect; cardiomyocyte
Recent studies have demonstrated that transplantation of adipose-derived stem cell (ADSC) can improve cardiac function in animal models of myocardial infarction (MI). However, the mechanisms underlying the beneficial effect are not fully understood. In this study, we characterized the paracrine effect of transplanted ADSC and investigated its relative importance versus direct differentiation in ADSC transplantation mediated cardiac repair.
MI was experimentally induced in mice by ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery. Either human ADSC, conditioned medium (CM) collected from the same amount of ADSC or control medium was injected into the peri-infarct region immediately after MI. Compared with the control group, both ADSC and ADSC-CM significantly reduced myocardial infarct size and improved cardiac function. The therapeutic efficacy of ADSC was moderately superior to ADSC-CM. ADSC-CM significantly reduced cardiomyocyte apoptosis in the infarct border zone, to a similar degree with ADSC treatment. ADSC enhanced angiogenesis in the infarct border zone, but to a stronger degree than that seen in the ADSC-CM treatment. ADSC was able to differentiate to endothelial cell and smooth muscle cell in post-MI heart; these ADSC-derived vascular cells amount to about 9% of the enhanced angiogenesis. No cardiomyocyte differentiated from ADSC was found.
ADSC-CM is sufficient to improve cardiac function of infarcted hearts. The therapeutic function of ADSC transplantation is mainly induced by paracrine-mediated cardioprotection and angiogenesis, while ADSC differentiation contributes a minor benefit by being involved in angiogenesis.
Highlights 1 ADSC-CM is sufficient to exert a therapeutic potential. 2. ADSC was able to differentiate to vascular cells but not cardiomyocyte. 3. ADSC derived vascular cells amount to about 9% of the enhanced angiogenesis. 4. Paracrine effect is the major mechanism of ADSC therapeutic function for MI.
Chronic heart failure (CHF) is characterized by increased sympathetic tone. The glutamatergic input in the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM), which is a key region involved in sympathetic outflow, seems not to be involved in the generation of sympathetic tone in the normal state. The aim of this study was to determine the role of the RVLM glutamate receptors in generation of sympathetic tone in CHF. CHF was produced by left coronary artery ligation. Bilateral microinjection of the glutamate receptor antagonist kynurenic acid (KYN), the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist D-AP5, or the non-NMDA receptor antagonist CNQX into the RVLM dose-dependently reduced resting blood pressure and renal sympathetic nerve activity in CHF but not in sham rats. Picoinjection of KYN (100 pmol in 5 nl) significantly decreased the basal discharge by 47% in 25 RVLM presympathetic neurons in CHF rats, In contrast, KYN had no effect on the discharge in all 22 RVLM presympathetic neurons tested in sham rats. These data suggest that upregulated glutamate receptors, including NMDA and non-NMDA, in the RVLM are involved in tonic control of elevated sympathetic tone in CHF.
sympathoexcitation; glutamate receptors; micro/picoinjection; extracellular recording; presympathetic neuron
To evaluate the relationship between different hCG priming-to-oocyte retrieval intervals and assisted reproductive technology (ART) outcome.
We systematically searched PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, Science Citation Index, Chinese biomedicine (CBM) literature database, and Chinese Journal Full-text Database for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published up to November 2010. Data was extracted from the studies by two independent reviewers. Statistical analysis was performed with Cochrane Collaboration’s Review Manager (RevMan) 5.0.2. From extracted data, Risk Ratio (RR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was calculated.
5 RCTs totaling 895 participants were included. Oocyte maturation rate was higher in the long interval group compared with short interval group (RR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.62–0.73). There were no significant difference between the two groups with regard to fertilization rate (RR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.94–1.04), implantation rate (RR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.40–2.04), and pregnancy rate (RR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.58–1.08).
The percentage of mature (MII) oocytes can be increased by prolonging the interval between hCG priming and oocyte retrieval. The prolonged interval could not increase the fertilization rate, implantation rate, and pregnancy rate. Although there was evidence to confirm the results, they still need to be confirmed by large-sample, multicenter, randomized controlled trials. The time interval dependent mechanisms responsible for ART performance need to be elucidated.
Human chorionic gonadotropin; Oocyte retrieval; Time interval; Infertility; Assisted reproductive technology; Meta-analysis
Up-regulation of Angiotensin type 1 receptors (AT1R) in the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) contributes to the sympatho-excitation in the chronic heart failure (CHF). However, the role of AT2R is not clear. In this study, we measured AT1R and AT2R protein expression in the RVLM and determined their effects on renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA), blood pressure (BP), and heart rate (HR) in anaesthetized sham and CHF rats. We found that: (1) while AT1R expression in the RVLM was up-regulated, the AT2R was significantly down-regulated (CHF: 0.06 ± 0.02 vs sham: 0.15 ± 0.02, P < 0.05); (2) simultaneously stimulating RVLM AT1R and AT2R by Ang II evoked sympatho-excitation, hypertension, and tachycardia in both sham and CHF rats, with greater responses in CHF; (3) stimulating RVLM AT1R with Ang II plus the specific AT2R antagonist PD123319 induced a larger sympatho-excitatory response than simultaneously stimulating AT1R and AT2R in sham rats, but not in CHF; (4) activating RVLM AT2R with CGP42112 induced a sympatho-inhibition, hypotension, and bradycardia only in sham rats (RSNA: 36.4 ± 5.1 % of baseline vs 102 ± 3.9 % of baseline in aCSF, P < 0.05); (5) pretreatment with ETYA, a general inhibitor of AA metabolism, into the RVLM attenuates the CGP42112 induced sympatho-inhibition. These results suggest that AT2R in the RVLM exhibits an inhibitory effect on sympathetic outflow, which is, at least partially, mediated by an AA metabolic pathway. These data implicate a down regulation in the AT2R as a contributory factor in the sympatho-excitation in CHF.
Angiotensin II type 2 receptor; Angiotensin II type 1 receptor; rostral ventrolateral medulla; sympathetic outflow
In the crystal structure of the title compound, C14H14F3O7P, the central chain, which connects the phosphate bicyclic system and the benzene ring, is made up of an approximately planar C—C(O)—O—C(H2) fragment and a C(H2)—O—C(Ph) link; the mean planes make a dihedral angle of 75.9 (2)°. The F atoms are disordered over two positions; the site occupancy factors are ca 0.6 and 0.4.
Activation of the cardiac “sympathetic afferent” reflex (CSAR) has been reported to depress the arterial baroreflex and enhance the arterial chemoreflex via a central mechanism. In the present study, we used single-unit extracellular recording techniques to examine the effects of stimulation of cardiac sympathetic afferents on baro- or chemosensitive neurons in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) in anesthetized rats. Of 54 barosensitive NTS neurons tested for their response to epicardial application of capsaicin (0.4 μg), 38 were significantly (P<0.01) inhibited by 38 % while 16 did not respond. Of 42 NTS chemosensitive neurons tested for their response to capsaicin, 33 were significantly (P<0.01) excited by 47 % while 9 did not respond. In addition, of 12 both barosensitive and chemosensitive NTS neurons tested for capsaicin, 2 were excited, 7 were inhibited, and 3 did not respond. In conclusion, this study indicates that CSAR activation inhibited NTS barosensitive neurons and excited NTS chemosensitive neurons, suggesting that the NTS plays an important role in processing the interactions between these cardiovascular reflexes.
cardiovascular reflexes; sympathetic activity; capsaicin; extracellular recording; baro-/chemosensitive neuron
Angiotensin II (Ang II)–induced arterial baroreflex dysfunction is associated with superoxide generation in the brain. Exercise training (EX) improves baroreflex function and decreases oxidative stress in cardiovascular diseases linked to elevated central Ang II. The aim of this study was to determine whether previous EX prevents baroreflex impairment caused by central administration of exogenous Ang II via an Ang II–superoxide mechanism. Four groups of rats were used: non-EX artificial cerebrospinal fluid infused, non-EX Ang II infused, EX artificial cerebrospinal fluid infused, and EX Ang II infused. Rats were treadmill trained for 3 to 4 weeks and subjected to intracerebroventricular infusion of Ang II over the last 3 days of EX. Twenty-four hours after the end of EX, the arterial baroreflex was assessed in anesthetized rats. Compared with non-EX artificial cerebrospinal fluid–infused rats, Ang II significantly decreased baroreflex sensitivity (maximum gain: 3.0 ± 0.2% of maximum per millimeter of mercury versus 1.6 ± 0.1% of maximum per millimeter of mercury; P < 0.01), which was abolished by acute intracerebroventricular infusion of the Ang II type 1 receptor antagonist losartan and the reduced nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase inhibitor apocynin. EX prevented the decrease in baroreflex sensitivity and downregulated Ang II type 1 receptor and NADPH oxidase subunit protein expression in the paraventricular nucleus of Ang II–infused rats. Finally, EX decreased superoxide production in the paraventricular nucleus of Ang II–infused rats. These results indicate that EX improves arterial baroreflex function in conditions of high brain Ang II, which is mediated by the central Ang II type 1 receptor and associated with a reduction in central oxidative stress.
exercise; baroreflex; sympathetic nerve activity; reactive oxygen species; AT1 receptor
We use our arms to transport and orient the hand which is used to grasp and manipulate objects. Upper limb paralysis or amputation limits a person’s ability to interact with their environment to accomplish activities of daily living. Brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) may provide a solution to restoring much of this function.
Two 96-channel intracortical microelectrodes were implanted in the motor cortex of an individual with tetraplegia. Thirteen weeks of BMI training were conducted with the goal of controlling an anthropomorphic prosthetic limb with 7 degrees-of-freedom (3D translation, 3D orientation, 1D grasping). Clinical measures of upper-limb function were used to assess the participant’s ability to use the prosthetic limb.
The participant demonstrated the ability to move the device freely in the three-dimensional (3D) workspace on the second day of training. After 13 weeks, robust 7 degree-of-freedom movements were performed routinely. Over time, performance on target-based reaching tasks improved in terms of success rate, completion time, and path efficiency. The participant was also able to use the prosthetic limb to perform skillful and coordinated reach and grasp movements that resulted in clinically significant gains in tests of upper-limb function.
This study demonstrates that a person with chronic tetraplegia can perform consistent, natural, and complex movements with an anthropomorphic robotic arm to regain clinically significant function.
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, National Institutes of Health, Department of Veterans Affairs, and UPMC Rehabilitation Institute
Side population (SP) cells are previously identified from bone marrow based on their capacity to efflux of the fluorescent dye Hoechst 33342. Recent studies demonstrate that SP cells isolated from various cancer cell lines and primary tumors possess stem-cell-like properties. Thus, targeting tumor SP cells may provide new strategies for treatment in clinic. We previously showed that 1,3,8-trihydroxy-6-methylanthraquinone (emodin), a reactive oxygen species (ROS) generator, enhanced sensitivity of gallbladder cancer SGC-996 cells to cisplatin (CDDP) via generation of ROS and downregulation of multidrug-resistance-associated protein 1 (MRP1). To determine whether emodin also acts effectively on cancer stem cells of gallbladder carcinoma, we use SP cells as a model of cancer stem-cell-like cells. Here, we found that emodin, via ROS-related mechanism and suppressing the function of ATP-binding cassette super-family G member (ABCG2), which is known to be associated with Hoechst dye efflux activity of SP cells, not only reduced the ratio, inhibited clone formation, and eliminated sphere formation of SP cells effectively, but also promoted obviously the intracellular accumulation of doxorubicin, the main substrate of the efflux pump ABCG2. In addition, emodin could sensitize CDDP, via inhibition of expression of ABCG2, to overcome chemoresistance of SP cells. Importantly, similar to the experiment in vitro, emodin/CDDP co-treatment in vivo suppressed the tumor growth derived from SP cells through downregulating ABCG2 expression. Our results suggest that emodin is an effective agent targeting cancer stem-like SP cells of gallbladder carcinoma, either alone or acts as a chemotherapy enhancer.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) are two major types of joint diseases that share multiple common symptoms. However, their pathological mechanism remains largely unknown. The aim of our study is to identify RA and OA related-genes and gain an insight into the underlying genetic basis of these diseases.
We collected 11 whole genome-wide expression profiling datasets from RA and OA cohorts and performed a meta-analysis to comprehensively investigate their expression signatures. This method can avoid some pitfalls of single dataset analyses.
Results and Conclusion
We found that several biological pathways (i.e., the immunity, inflammation and apoptosis related pathways) are commonly involved in the development of both RA and OA. Whereas several other pathways (i.e., vasopressin-related pathway, regulation of autophagy, endocytosis, calcium transport and endoplasmic reticulum stress related pathways) present significant difference between RA and OA. This study provides novel insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying this disease, thereby aiding the diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
The premise of disease-related phenotypes is the definition of the counterpart normality in medical sciences. Contrary to clinical practices that can be carefully planned according to clinical needs, heterogeneity and uncontrollability is the essence of humans in carrying out health studies. Full characterization of consistent phenotypes that define the general population is the basis to individual difference normalization in personalized medicine. Self-claimed normal status may not represent health because asymptomatic subjects may carry chronic diseases at their early stage, such as cancer, diabetes mellitus and atherosclerosis. Currently, treatments for non-communicable chronic diseases (NCD) are implemented after disease onset, which is a very much delayed approach from the perspective of predictive, preventive and personalized medicine (PPPM). A NCD pandemic will develop and be accompanied by increased global economic burden for healthcare systems throughout both developed and developing countries. This paper examples the characterization of the suboptimal health status (SHS) which represents a new PPPM challenge in a population with ambiguous health complaints such as general weakness, unexplained medical syndrome (UMS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), post-viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS) and chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS).
We applied clinical informatic approaches and developed a questionnaire—suboptimal health status questionnaire-25 (SHSQ-25) for measuring SHS. The validity and reliability of this approach were evaluated in a small pilot study and then in a cross-sectional study of 3,405 participants in China.
We found a correlation between SHS and systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, plasma glucose, total cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol among men, and a correlation between SHS and systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, triglycerides and HDL cholesterol among women.
The SHSQ-25 is a self-rated questionnaire of perceived health complaints, which can be used as a new instrument for PPPM. An ongoing longitudinal SHS cohort survey (China Sub-optimal Health Cohort Study, COACS) consisting of 50,000 participants will provide a powerful health trial to use SHSQ-25 for its application to PPPM through patient stratification and therapy monitoring using innovative technologies of predictive diagnostics and prognosis: an effort of paradigm shift from reactive to predictive medicine.
Suboptimal health; Suboptimal health status questionnaire-25; Chronic disease; Predictive; Preventive and personalized medicine
This study was to investigate the immunotoxicological potential of corn genetically modified (GM) with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry1Ah gene in BALB/c mice. Female BALB/c mice were randomly assigned to one of the four groups: the negative control group, the parental corn group, the GM corn group and the positive control group with 10 mice per group. Mice in the GM corn group and the parental corn group were fed with diets containing 70% corresponding corn for 30 days. Mice in the negative control group and the positive control group were fed with AIN93G diet, administered with saline or 200 mg/kg of cyclophosphamide (CY) via intraperitoneal injection 24 h before the termination of the study, respectively. At the end of the study, the immunotoxicological effects of the GM corn were evaluated through immunopathology parameters including body and organ weights, hematology and clinical chemistry parameters, histological examination, peripheral blood lymphocytes phenotype; humoral immunity including antibody plaque-forming cell, serum immunoglobulin, cytokine and half hemolysis value; cellular immunity such as mitogen-induced splenocyte proliferation, cytotoxic T-lymphocyte reaction, delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction; non-specific immunity including phagocytic activities of phagocytes, natural killer cell activity. A single dose of cyclophosphamide (200 mg/kg bw) was found to have significant adverse effects on immunopathology, cellular immunity, and humoral immunity in mice. The corn genetically modified with Bt Cry1Ah gene is considered consistent with the parental corn in terms of immunopathology, humoral immunity, cellular immunity and non-specific immunity. No adverse immunotoxicological effects of GM corn with Bt Cry1Ah gene were found when feeding mice for 30 days.
We provide a new approach to identify the substrate influence on graphene surface. Distinguishing the substrate influences or the doping effects of charged impurities on graphene can be realized by optically probing the graphene surfaces, included the suspended and supported graphene. In this work, the line scan of Raman spectroscopy was performed across the graphene surface on the ordered square hole. Then, the bandwidths of G-band and 2D-band were fitted into the Voigt profile, a convolution of Gaussian and Lorentzian profiles. The bandwidths of Lorentzian parts were kept as constant whether it is the suspended and supported graphene. For the Gaussian part, the suspended graphene exhibits much greater Gaussian bandwidths than those of the supported graphene. It reveals that the doping effect on supported graphene is stronger than that of suspended graphene. Compared with the previous studies, we also used the peak positions of G bands, and I2D/IG ratios to confirm that our method really works. For the suspended graphene, the peak positions of G band are downshifted with respect to supported graphene, and the I2D/IG ratios of suspended graphene are larger than those of supported graphene. With data fitting into Voigt profile, one can find out the information behind the lineshapes.
Substrate influence; Graphene; Raman lineshapes; Voigt fitting
The small GTPase cycles between the inactive GDP form and the activated GTP form, catalyzed by the upstream guanine exchange factors. The modulation of such process by small molecules has been proven to be a fruitful route for therapeutic intervention to prevent the over-activation of the small GTPase. The fragment based approach emerging in the past decade has demonstrated its paramount potential in the discovery of inhibitors targeting such novel and challenging protein-protein interactions. The details regarding the procedure of NMR fragment screening from scratch have been rarely disclosed comprehensively, thus restricts its wider applications. To achieve a consistent screening applicable to a number of targets, we developed a highly automated protocol to cover every aspect of NMR fragment screening as possible, including the construction of small but diverse libray, determination of the aqueous solubility by NMR, grouping compounds with mutual dispersity to a cocktail, and the automated processing and visualization of the ligand based screening spectra. We exemplified our streamlined screening in RhoA alone and the complex of the small GTPase RhoA and its upstream guanine exchange factor LARG. Two hits were confirmed from the primary screening in cocktail and secondary screening over individual hits for LARG/RhoA complex, while one of them was also identified from the screening for RhoA alone. HSQC titration of the two hits over RhoA and LARG alone, respectively, identified one compound binding to RhoA.GDP at a 0.11 mM affinity, and perturbed the residues at the switch II region of RhoA. This hit blocked the formation of the LARG/RhoA complex, validated by the native gel electrophoresis, and the titration of RhoA to 15N labeled LARG in the absence and presence the compound, respectively. It therefore provides us a starting point toward a more potent inhibitor to RhoA activation catalyzed by LARG.
Tetramethylpyrazine (TMP) is an active compound isolated from a Chinese herbal prescription that is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases. We have previously reported that TMP acts as a potent antioxidant protecting endothelial cells against high glucose-induced damages. However, the molecular mechanism responsible for the antioxidant effect of TMP remains to be elucidated. In this study, we show that TMP increases nitric oxide production in endothelial cells and promotes endothelium-dependent relaxation in rate aortic rings. The antioxidant effect of TMP appears attributable to its ability to activate the mitochondrial biogenesis, as reflected in an up-regulation of complex III and amelioration of mitochondrial membrane potential. Furthermore, TMP is able to reverse high glucose-induced suppression of SIRT1 and the biogenesis-related factors, including PGC-1α, NRF1 and TFAM, suggesting a new molecular mechanism underlying the protective effect of TMP on the endothelium.
GATA binding protein 3 (GATA3) was recently proposed to function as a tumor suppressor gene in some types of human cancer. This study aims to investigate GATA3 expression and its prognostic significance in primary gastric adenocarcinoma.
Using real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) and immunohistochemical staining methods, GATA3 expression was analyzed in tissue samples from a consecutive series of 402 gastric adenocarcinoma patients who underwent resections between 2003 and 2006. The relationship between GATA3 expression, clinicopathological factors, and patient survival was investigated. The expression status of GATA3 was shown to be clearly reduced in the tumor tissue samples compared with that in the matched adjacent non-tumor tissue samples by RT-qPCR (P = 0.0014). Immunohistochemistry analysis indicated that GATA3 expression was significantly decreased in 225 of the 402 (56%) gastric adenocarcinoma cases. Reduced GATA3 expression was also observed in patients with large tumors (P = 0.017), signet ring cell carcinoma or mucinous carcinoma (P = 0.005) and tumors with lymphatic or venous invasion (P = 0.040). Additionally, reduced expression of GATA3 was more commonly observed in tumors that were staged as T4a/b (P<0.001), N3 (P<0.001), or M1 (P<0.001). Kaplan-Meier survival curves revealed that reduced expression of GATA3 was associated with poor prognosis in gastric adenocarcinoma patients (P<0.001). Multivariate Cox analysis identified GATA3 expression as an independent prognostic factor for overall survival (HR = 5.375, 95% CI = 3.647–7.921, P<0.001). To investigate the predictive ability of the models with and without containing GATA3 gene expression, Harrell's c-index was calculated as a measure of predictive accuracy of survival outcome. The c-index values revealed that model containing GATA3 expression (c-index = 0.897) had superior discrimination ability to the model without containg it (c-index = 0.811).
Our data suggest that GATA3 plays an important role in tumor progression and that reduced GATA3 expression independently predicts an unfavorable prognosis in primary gastric adenocarcinoma patients.
To examine the associations of combined lifestyle factors and physical conditions with cerebrovascular diseases (CBVD) mortality, after accounting for competing risk events, including death from cardiovascular diseases, cancers and other diseases.
Data on 2010 subjects aged over 55 years were finally analyzed using competing risk models. All the subjects were interviewed by the Beijing Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA), in China, between 1 January 1992 and 30 August 2009.
Elderly females were at a lower risk of death from CBVD than elderly males (HR = 0.639, 95% CI = 0.457–0.895). Increasing age (HR = 1.543, 95% CI = 1.013–2.349), poor self-rated health (HR = 1.652, 95% CI = 1.198–2.277), hypertension (HR = 2.201, 95% CI = 1.524–3.178) and overweight (HR = 1.473, 95% CI = 1.013–2.142) or obesity (HR = 1.711, 95% CI = 1.1754–2.490) was associated with higher CBVD mortality risk. Normal cognition function (HR = 0.650, 95% CI = 0.434–0.973) and living in urban (HR = 0.456, 95% CI = 0.286–0.727) was associated with lower CBVD mortality risk. Gray’s test also confirmed the cumulative incidence (CIF) of CBVD was lower in the ‘married’ group than those without spouse, and the mortality was lowest in the ‘nutrition sufficient’ group among the ‘frequent consumption of meat group’ and the ‘medial type group’ (P value<0.001).
CBVD mortality was associated with gender, age, blood pressure, residence, BMI, cognitive function, nutrition and the result of self-rated health assessment in the elderly in Beijing, China.
Nitrogen (N) deposition and its ecological effects on forest ecosystems have received global attention. Plantations play an important role in mitigating climate change through assimilating atmospheric CO2. However, the mechanisms by which increasing N additions affect net ecosystem production (NEP) of plantations remain poorly understood. A field experiment was initialized in May 2009, which incorporated additions of four rates of N (control (no N addition), low-N (5 g N m−2 yr−1), medium-N (10 g N m−2 yr−1), and high-N (15 g N m−2 yr−1)) at the Saihanba Forestry Center, Hebei Province, northern China, a locality that contains the largest area of plantations in China. Net primary production (NPP), soil respiration, and its autotrophic and heterotrophic components were measured. Plant tissue carbon (C) and N concentrations (including foliage, litter, and fine roots), microbial biomass, microbial community composition, extracellular enzyme activities, and soil pH were also measured. N addition significantly increased NPP, which was associated with increased litter N concentrations. Autotrophic respiration (AR) increased but heterotrophic respiration (HR) decreased in the high N compared with the medium N plots, although the HR in high and medium N plots did not significantly differ from that in the control. The increased AR may derive from mycorrhizal respiration and rhizospheric microbial respiration, not live root respiration, because fine root biomass and N concentrations showed no significant differences. Although the HR was significantly suppressed in the high-N plots, soil microbial biomass, composition, or activity of extracellular enzymes were not significantly changed. Reduced pH with fertilization also could not explain the pattern of HR. The reduction of HR may be related to altered microbial C use efficiency. NEP was significantly enhanced by N addition, from 149 to 426.6 g C m−2 yr−1. Short-term N addition may significantly enhance the role of plantations as an important C sink.
Although hepatectomy is often performed with the Pringle maneuver, the problem of hepatic ischemia-reperfusion injury (HIRI) can also be serious. Thus, the present study was designed to investigate the protective effect of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) on HIRI, especially for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) associated with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and cirrhosis.
Eighty-one HCC patients with chronic HBV infection, undergoing partial hepatectomy with inflow occlusion, were divided into three groups. In the pretreatment group (PR group, n = 26), patients were given SAMe two hours before surgery. In the post-treatment group (PO group, n = 25), patients were given SAMe six hours after surgery. And in the control group (control group, n = 30), patients received partial hepatectomy without any SAMe. All pre-, intra- and postoperative blood samples were collected to measure the plasma levels of transaminases, bilirubin and cytokines. The results were compared among the three groups.
There were no statistically significant intergroup differences observed in age, gender, hepatic inflow occlusion time and the results of liver function tests. Preoperative administration of SAMe (PR group) significantly reduced the plasma levels of alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transferase (AST), total bilirubin (TBIL) and direct bilirubin (DBIL) as compared to the other two groups. In the PO group, TBIL and DBIL were significantly lower than in the control group. Significant differences were also seen in IL-6 and TNF-α between the PR group and the other groups. In all groups, postoperative liver reserve function in the PR group as revealed by ICGR15 (Post ICGR15) was at its best before abdominal closure. Compared to the control group, the risk of complications and the hospital stay after surgery were significantly meliorated in the PR group. Additionally, patients with cirrhosis had a more acute rate of change in ALT and AST than non-cirrhotic patients.
Taken together, our preliminary findings suggest that preoperative administration of SAMe is useful and safe for reducing the HIRI in partial hepatectomy, especially for HCC patients whose disease is associated with chronic HBV infection and cirrhosis.
Hepatectomy; S-adenosylmethionine; Pringle maneuver; Ischemia-reperfusion injury; Hepatitis B virus
Protected areas are powerful instruments to tackle the biodiversity crises. However, local communities believe that protected areas generate downsides for which they should be compensated. We reviewed (1) problem evolution, (2) the idea of compensation schemes, and (3) practical considerations. We found that compensations for conservation-related losses are insufficiently considered when protected areas are established. Schemes include controversial resettlements of human populations, traditional reimbursements, and recently favored incentive payments to encourage local communities to conserve biodiversity on their lands. The compensation process is typically composed of the verification of losses/facts, estimation of costs, and delivery of payments. Compensation schemes promote tolerance and awareness, and responsibility of the broader society while minimizing confrontations. They have the power to mainstream concern about human welfare in protected area management, and are therefore a key to successful conservation. Verifying the impact of compensations on achievement of conservation goals remains, however, difficult to prove.
Biodiversity conservation; Valuation; Nature reserves; Effectiveness; Stakeholders
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play important roles in tumorigenesis and metastasis. In this study, we investigated miR-200b expression in endometrial adenocarcinomas and normal adjacent tissues and found that miR-200b is more highly expressed in cancer tissues than in normal adjacent tissues. A novel target of miR-200b, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 2 (TIMP2), was predicted using a bioinformatics approach and was confirmed in human endometrial cancer cell line HEC-1A cells by luciferase assay, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, western blotting, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. We found that miR-200b repressed TIMP2 expression at both the messenger RNA and protein levels, although a family member, miR-200a, had no such effect. Using reverse gelatin zymography, we showed that miR-200b enhances matrix metallopeptidase 2 (MMP2) activity by downregulating TIMP2 expression in HEC-1A cells. These data suggest that miR-200b may play an important role in the metastasis of endometrial adenocarcinomas.
Neuropathic pain is a refractory disease characterized by maladaptive changes in gene transcription and translation within the sensory pathway. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are emerging as new players in gene regulation, but how lncRNAs operate in the development of neuropathic pain is unclear. Here we identify a conserved lncRNA for Kcna2 (named Kcna2 antisense RNA) in first-order sensory neurons of rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG). Peripheral nerve injury increases Kcna2 antisense RNA expression in injured DRG through activation of myeloid zinc finger protein 1, a transcription factor that binds to Kcna2 antisense RNA gene promoter. Mimicking this increase downregulates Kcna2, reduces total Kv current, increases excitability in DRG neurons, and produces neuropathic pain symptoms. Blocking this increase reverses nerve injury-induced downregulation of DRG Kcna2 and attenuates development and maintenance of neuropathic pain. These findings suggest native Kcna2 antisense RNA as a new therapeutic target for the treatment of neuropathic pain.
Recent studies have found that copy number variations (CNVs) are widespread in human and animal genomes. CNVs are a significant source of genetic variation, and have been shown to be associated with phenotypic diversity. However, the effect of CNVs on genetic variation in horses is not well understood. In the present study, CNVs in 6 different breeds of mare horses, Mongolia horse, Abaga horse, Hequ horse and Kazakh horse (all plateau breeds) and Debao pony and Thoroughbred, were determined using aCGH. In total, seven hundred CNVs were identified ranging in size from 6.1 Kb to 0.57 Mb across all autosomes, with an average size of 43.08 Kb and a median size of 15.11 Kb. By merging overlapping CNVs, we found a total of three hundred and fifty-three CNV regions (CNVRs). The length of the CNVRs ranged from 6.1 Kb to 1.45 Mb with average and median sizes of 38.49 Kb and 13.1 Kb. Collectively, 13.59 Mb of copy number variation was identified among the horses investigated and accounted for approximately 0.61% of the horse genome sequence. Five hundred and eighteen annotated genes were affected by CNVs, which corresponded to about 2.26% of all horse genes. Through the gene ontology (GO), genetic pathway analysis and comparison of CNV genes among different breeds, we found evidence that CNVs involving 7 genes may be related to the adaptation to severe environment of these plateau horses. This study is the first report of copy number variations in Chinese horses, which indicates that CNVs are ubiquitous in the horse genome and influence many biological processes of the horse. These results will be helpful not only in mapping the horse whole-genome CNVs, but also to further research for the adaption to the high altitude severe environment for plateau horses.
Recent developments in modern computational accelerators like Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) and coprocessors provide great opportunities for making scientific applications run faster than ever before. However, efficient parallelization of scientific code using new programming tools like CUDA requires a high level of expertise that is not available to many scientists. This, plus the fact that parallelized code is usually not portable to different architectures, creates major challenges for exploiting the full capabilities of modern computational accelerators. In this work, we sought to overcome these challenges by studying how to achieve both automated parallelization using OpenACC and enhanced portability using OpenCL. We applied our parallelization schemes using GPUs as well as Intel Many Integrated Core (MIC) coprocessor to reduce the run time of wave propagation simulations. We used a well-established 2D cardiac action potential model as a specific case-study. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to study auto-parallelization of 2D cardiac wave propagation simulations using OpenACC. Our results identify several approaches that provide substantial speedups. The OpenACC-generated GPU code achieved more than speedup above the sequential implementation and required the addition of only a few OpenACC pragmas to the code. An OpenCL implementation provided speedups on GPUs of at least faster than the sequential implementation and faster than a parallelized OpenMP implementation. An implementation of OpenMP on Intel MIC coprocessor provided speedups of with only a few code changes to the sequential implementation. We highlight that OpenACC provides an automatic, efficient, and portable approach to achieve parallelization of 2D cardiac wave simulations on GPUs. Our approach of using OpenACC, OpenCL, and OpenMP to parallelize this particular model on modern computational accelerators should be applicable to other computational models of wave propagation in multi-dimensional media.