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1.  Prognostic role of apoptosis-related gene functional variants in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer patients treated with first-line platinum-based chemotherapy 
OncoTargets and therapy  2015;8:147-155.
Single-nucleotide polymorphisms in apoptosis-related genes have been shown to play a role in the efficacy of platinum-based chemotherapy and may influence clinical outcomes. Our study aimed to evaluate the correlations of four functional single-nucleotide polymorphisms − FAS −670 A>G, FAS ligand −844 T>C, survivin −31 G>C, and survivin 9386 C>T – with drug response and clinical outcomes in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer patients who received platinum-based chemotherapy.
Materials and methods
Polymorphisms were evaluated using the polymerase chain reaction-based restriction fragment-length polymorphism technique.
Patients with the CC genotype of FAS −670 A>G had worse overall survival (OS) than those with the CT or TT genotype (P=0.044), with median OS values of 20.1 months, 22.8 months, and 26.0 months, respectively. Furthermore, progression-free survival was associated with the FAS −670 A>G polymorphism (P=0.032). In addition, patients with the TC and CC genotypes of survivin 9386 C>T experienced improved survival compared with patients with the TT genotype (median OS 31.4 months and 22.8 months, respectively).
The functional FAS −670 A>G and survivin 9386 C>T polymorphisms are potential independent prognostic factors in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer patients treated with platinum-based chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC4298310  PMID: 25609982
lung cancer; FAS −670 A>G; survivin 9386 C>T; polymorphism; chemotherapy response
2.  Silencing the HaAK Gene by Transgenic Plant-Mediated RNAi Impairs Larval Growth of Helicoverpa armigera 
Insect pests have caused noticeable economic losses in agriculture, and the heavy use of insecticide to control pests not only brings the threats of insecticide resistance but also causes the great pollution to foods and the environment. Transgenic plants producing double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) directed against insect genes have been is currently developed for protection against insect pests. In this study, we used this technology to silence the arginine kinase (AK) gene of Helicoverpa armigera (HaAK), encoding a phosphotransferase that plays a critical role in cellular energy metabolism in invertebrate. Transgenic Arabidopsis plants producing HaAK dsRNA were generated by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. The maximal mortality rate of 55% was reached when H. armigera first-instar larvae were fed with transgenic plant leaves for 3 days, which was dramatically higher than the 18% mortality recorded in the control group. Moreover, the ingestion of transgenic plants significantly retarded larval growth, and the transcript levels of HaAK were also knocked down by up to 52%. The feeding bioassays further indicated that the inhibition efficiency was correlated with the integrity and concentration of the produced HaAK dsRNA in transgenic plants. These results strongly show that the resistance to H. armigera was improved in transgenic Arabidopsis plants, suggesting that the RNAi targeting of AK has the potential for the control of insect pests.
PMCID: PMC4278256  PMID: 25552931
Arginine kinase; Helicoverpa armigera; RNAi; transgenic plants; double-stranded RNA; pest control.
3.  Differential Developmental Requirement and Peripheral Regulation for Dermal Vγ4 and Vγ6T17 Cells in Health and Inflammation 
Nature communications  2014;5:3986.
Dermal IL-17-producing γδT cells play a critical role in skin inflammation. However, their development and peripheral regulation have not been fully elucidated. Here we demonstrate that dermal γδT cells develop from the embryonic thymus and undergo homeostatic proliferation after birth with diversified TCR repertoire. Vγ6T cells are bona fide resident but precursors of dermal Vγ4T cells may require extrathymic environment for imprinting skin homing properties. Thymic Vγ6T cells are more competitive than Vγ4 for dermal γδT cell reconstitution and TCRδ−/− mice reconstituted with Vγ6 develop psoriasis-like inflammation after IMQ-application. Although both IL-23 and IL-1β promote Vγ4 and Vγ6 proliferation, Vγ4 are the main source of IL-17 production, which requires IL-1 signaling. Mice with deficiency of IL-1RI signaling have significantly decreased skin inflammation. These studies reveal a differential developmental requirement and peripheral regulation for dermal Vγ6 and Vγ4 γδT cells, implying a new mechanism that may be involved in skin inflammation.
PMCID: PMC4068267  PMID: 24909159
4.  Proliferation and apoptosis of Peyer’s patches and its lymphocytes in experimental terminal ileitis 
This study will provide guide for the terminal ileitis in clinical diagnosis and treatment. The animals were been done terminal ileum-cecum side to side anastomosis, terminal ileum operation line and only anesthesia treatment, respectively. The model group presented acute inflammation after surgery for 2 weeks and the inflammation was limited to the mucosal layer. Animals presented chronic inflammation to 8 weeks, mucosal membrane was given priority to with lymphocytic infiltrates. In 2 weeks and 4 weeks, the number of Peyer’s patches (PP knot) and PP knot lymphocytes increased significantly in the model group (P < 0.05, P < 0.01). At 8 weeks, the suture group and the model group presented a large number of lymphocytic apoptosis (P < 0.01). Rat ileal PP knot lymphocyte small molecule DNA showed typical “trapezoid” bands. We observed apparent morphology of apoptosis and crescent-shaped nucleus. Continuous immune response in terminal ileitis plays a considerable role in the process of the disease.
PMCID: PMC4313998
Cell apoptosis; lymphocytes; PP knot; terminal ileitis
5.  Stochastic variations of migration speed between cells in clonal populations 
Technology  2014;2(3):185-188.
We combined microfluidic tools and molecular probes to monitor the migration speed of successive generations of cancer cells. We found that the migratory speed of individual cells changes stochastically from parent cells to their descendants, while the average speed of successive generations of cells remains constant. Further studies of the interrelations between cell migration and division processes may help identify the molecular determinants of cell speed and lead to new therapies to slow the invasion of cancer cells and delay metastases.
PMCID: PMC4245034  PMID: 25436220
6.  Comparative analysis of interactions of RASSF1-10 
Advances in biological regulation  2013;53(2):190-201.
Members of the RASSF family (RASSF1-10) have been identified as candidate tumour suppressors that are frequently downregulated by promoter hypermethylation in cancers. These proteins carry a common Ras-association (RA) and SARAH domain (RASSF1-6) that can potentially bind Ras oncoproteins and mediate protein-protein interactions with other SARAH domain proteins. However, there is a notable lack of comparative characterisation of the RASSF family, as well as molecular and structural information that facilitate their tumour suppressive functions. As part of our comparative analysis, we modelled the RA and SARAH domains of the RASSF members based on existing structures and predicted their potential interactions. These in silico predictions were compared to in vitro interaction studies with Ras and MST kinase (a SARAH domain-containing protein). Our data shows a diversity of interaction within the RASSF family RA domain, whereas the SARAH domain-mediated interactions for RASSF1-6 are consistent with the predictions. This suggests that different members, despite shared general architecture, could have distinct functional properties. Additionally, we identify a new interacting partner for MST kinase in the form of RASSF7. Current data supports an interaction model where RASSF serves as an adaptor for the assembly of multiple protein complexes and further functional interactions, involving MST kinases and other SARAH domain proteins, which could be regulated by Ras.
PMCID: PMC4221134  PMID: 23357313
8.  Hampering the Immune Suppressors: Therapeutic Targeting of Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells (MDSC) in Cancer 
Cancer journal (Sudbury, Mass.)  2013;19(6):490-501.
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) are a heterogeneous population of immature myeloid cells with suppressive properties that preferentially expand in cancer. MDSC mainly suppress T cell proliferation and cytotoxicity, inhibit NK cell activation, and induce the differentiation and expansion of regulatory T cells (Tregs). The wide spectrum of MDSC suppressive activity in cancer and its role in tumor progression have rendered these cells a promising target for effective cancer immunotherapy. In this review we briefly discuss the origin of MDSC and their main mechanisms of suppression and focus more on the approaches developed up to date targeting of MDSC in tumor-bearing animals and cancer patients.
PMCID: PMC3902636  PMID: 24270348
9.  Nucleotide synthesis is regulated by cytoophidium formation during neurodevelopment and adaptive metabolism 
Biology Open  2014;3(11):1045-1056.
The essential metabolic enzyme CTP synthase (CTPsyn) can be compartmentalised to form an evolutionarily-conserved intracellular structure termed the cytoophidium. Recently, it has been demonstrated that the enzymatic activity of CTPsyn is attenuated by incorporation into cytoophidia in bacteria and yeast cells. Here we demonstrate that CTPsyn is regulated in a similar manner in Drosophila tissues in vivo. We show that cytoophidium formation occurs during nutrient deprivation in cultured cells, as well as in quiescent and starved neuroblasts of the Drosophila larval central nervous system. We also show that cytoophidia formation is reversible during neurogenesis, indicating that filament formation regulates pyrimidine synthesis in a normal developmental context. Furthermore, our global metabolic profiling demonstrates that CTPsyn overexpression does not significantly alter CTPsyn-related enzymatic activity, suggesting that cytoophidium formation facilitates metabolic stabilisation. In addition, we show that overexpression of CTPsyn only results in moderate increase of CTP pool in human stable cell lines. Together, our study provides experimental evidence, and a mathematical model, for the hypothesis that inactive CTPsyn is incorporated into cytoophidia.
PMCID: PMC4232762  PMID: 25326513
CTP synthase; cytoophidium; intracellular compartmentation; CTP; Drosophila; neurogenesis
10.  Neuroprotective effect of lovastatin by inhibiting NMDA receptor1 in 6-hydroxydopamine treated PC12 cells 
In addition to original role of lowering cholesterol, statins display multiple neuroprotective mechanisms. In this study, 6-Hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-treated pheochromocytoma-12 (PC12) cells were used to investigate the neuroprotective nature of lovastatin. After incubation with 6-OHDA and/or lovastatin, test kits were used to detect the levels of LDH and glutamate, which were released from PC12 cells exposed to different culture media. The mRNA levels of TNF-α, and NMDAR1 were determined by RT-PCR and the protein levels were analyzed by western blot. Our results show that lovastatin significantly decreased both the mRNA and the protein levels of TNF-α and NMDAR1. ELISA assays revealed increased lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and glutamate binding activity in 6-OHDA-lesioned PC12 cells, and this increase could be prevented by lovastatin. Our results suggest that lovastatin induces neuroprotection by inhibiting NMDAR1 and TNF-α. The data provide direct evidence of the potential application of lovastatin for the treatment of parkinson’s diseases.
PMCID: PMC4238522  PMID: 25419363
Parkinson’s disease; lovastatin; NMDA receptor1; TNF-α
11.  Reconstruction of the Gene Regulatory Network Involved in the Sonic Hedgehog Pathway with a Potential Role in Early Development of the Mouse Brain 
PLoS Computational Biology  2014;10(10):e1003884.
The Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling pathway is crucial for pattern formation in early central nervous system development. By systematically analyzing high-throughput in situ hybridization data of E11.5 mouse brain, we found that Shh and its receptor Ptch1 define two adjacent mutually exclusive gene expression domains: Shh+Ptch1− and Shh−Ptch1+. These two domains are associated respectively with Foxa2 and Gata3, two transcription factors that play key roles in specifying them. Gata3 ChIP-seq experiments and RNA-seq assays on Gata3-knockdown cells revealed that Gata3 up-regulates the genes that are enriched in the Shh−Ptch1+ domain. Important Gata3 targets include Slit2 and Slit3, which are involved in the process of axon guidance, as well as Slc18a1, Th and Qdpr, which are associated with neurotransmitter synthesis and release. By contrast, Foxa2 both up-regulates the genes expressed in the Shh+Ptch1− domain and down-regulates the genes characteristic of the Shh−Ptch1+ domain. From these and other data, we were able to reconstruct a gene regulatory network governing both domains. Our work provides the first genome-wide characterization of the gene regulatory network involved in the Shh pathway that underlies pattern formation in the early mouse brain.
Author Summary
Recent large-scale projects of high-throughput in situ hybridization (ISH) have generated a wealth of spatiotemporal information on gene expression patterns in the early mouse brain. We have developed a computational approach that combines publicly available high-throughput ISH data with our own experimental data to investigate gene regulation, involving signal molecules and transcription factors (TFs), during early brain development. The analysis indicates that two key TFs, Foxa2 and Gata3, play antagonizing roles in the formation of two mutually exclusive domains established by the Sonic hedgehog signaling pathway in the developing mouse brain. Further ChIP-seq and RNA-seq experiments support this hypothesis and have identified novel target genes of Gata3, including the axon guidance regulators Slit2 and Slit3 as well as three neurotransmitter-associated genes, Slc18a1, Th and Qdpr. The findings have allowed us to reconstruct the gene regulatory network brought into play by the Sonic hedgehog pathway that mediates early mouse brain development.
PMCID: PMC4191885  PMID: 25299227
12.  Biogenesis of C-Glycosyl Flavones and Profiling of Flavonoid Glycosides in Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e108860.
Flavonoids in nine tissues of Nelumbo nucifera Gaertner were identified and quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography with diode array detector (HPLC-DAD) and HPLC-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (HPLC-ESI-MSn). Thirty-eight flavonoids were identified; eleven C-glycosides and five O-glycosides were discovered for the first time in N. nucifera. Most importantly, the C-glycosyl apigenin or luteolin detected in lotus plumules proved valuable for deep elucidation of flavonoid composition in lotus tissues and for further utilization as functional tea and medicine materials. Lotus leaves possessed the significantly highest amount of flavonoids (2.06E3±0.08 mg 100 g−1 FW) and separating and purifying the bioactive compound, quercetin 3-O-glucuronide, from leaves showed great potential. In contrast, flavonoids in flower stalks, seed coats and kernels were extremely low. Simultaneously, the optimal picking time was confirmed by comparing the compound contents in five developmental phases. Finally, we proposed the putative flavonoid biosynthesis pathway in N. nucifera.
PMCID: PMC4184820  PMID: 25279809
13.  Downregulation of the Polyamine Regulator Spermidine/Spermine N1-Acetyltransferase by Epstein-Barr Virus in a Burkitt's Lymphoma Cell Line 
Virus research  2013;177(1):10.1016/j.virusres.2013.07.004.
Transition of Akata Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) from a malignant to nonmalignant phenotype upon loss of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is evidence for a viral contribution to tumorigenesis despite the tight restriction of EBV gene expression in BL. Examination of global cellular gene expression in Akata subclones that retained or lost EBV identified spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase (SAT1), an inducible enzyme whose catabolism of polyamines affects both apoptosis and cell growth, as one of a limited number of cellular genes downregulated upon EBV loss. Re-infection of the EBV-negative Akata clone reduced SAT1 mRNA to a level comparable with the parental EBV-positive Akata. EBV-positive Akata cells demonstrated decreased SAT1 enzyme activity concomitant with altered intracellular polyamine constituents. Reduction of SAT1 in EBV-positive BL was a transcriptional effect. Forced expression of the viral BCL2 homologue, BHRF1, in an EBV-negative Akata clone reduced SAT1 mRNA. Whereas dysregulated c-myc may enhance expression of ornithine decarboxylase elevating polyamine synthesis, EBV repression of polyamine catabolism becomes a complementary alteration favorable to BL lymphomagenesis.
PMCID: PMC3852694  PMID: 23891576
EBV; spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase; polyamines; Burkitt's lymphoma; c-myc; Akata
14.  Liver Med23 ablation improves glucose and lipid metabolism through modulating FOXO1 activity 
Cell Research  2014;24(10):1250-1265.
Mediator complex is a molecular hub integrating signaling, transcription factors, and RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) machinery. Mediator MED23 is involved in adipogenesis and smooth muscle cell differentiation, suggesting its role in energy homeostasis. Here, through the generation and analysis of a liver-specific Med23-knockout mouse, we found that liver Med23 deletion improved glucose and lipid metabolism, as well as insulin responsiveness, and prevented diet-induced obesity. Remarkably, acute hepatic Med23 knockdown in db/db mice significantly improved the lipid profile and glucose tolerance. Mechanistically, MED23 participates in gluconeogenesis and cholesterol synthesis through modulating the transcriptional activity of FOXO1, a key metabolic transcription factor. Indeed, hepatic Med23 deletion impaired the Mediator and RNAPII recruitment and attenuated the expression of FOXO1 target genes. Moreover, this functional interaction between FOXO1 and MED23 is evolutionarily conserved, as the in vivo activities of dFOXO in larval fat body and in adult wing can be partially blocked by Med23 knockdown in Drosophila. Collectively, our data revealed Mediator MED23 as a novel regulator for energy homeostasis, suggesting potential therapeutic strategies against metabolic diseases.
PMCID: PMC4185346  PMID: 25223702
FOXO1; liver Med23-knockout mice; gluconeogenesis; insulin resistance; obesity; diabetes
15.  Epigenetic Modification Agents Improve Genomic Methylation Reprogramming in Porcine Cloned Embryos 
Incomplete DNA methylation reprogramming in cloned embryos leads to low cloning efficiency. Our previous studies showed that the epigenetic modification agents 5-aza-2’-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC) or trichostatin A (TSA) could enhance the developmental competence of porcine cloned embryos. Here, we investigated genomic methylation dynamics and specific gene expression levels during early embryonic development in pigs. In this study, our results showed that there was a typical wave of DNA demethylation and remethylation of centromeric satellite repeat (CenRep) in fertilized embryos, whereas in cloned embryos, delayed demethylation and a lack of remethylation were observed. When cloned embryos were treated with 5-aza-dC or TSA, CenRep methylation reprogramming was improved, and this was similar to that detected in fertilized counterparts. Furthermore, we found that the epigenetic modification agents, especially TSA, effectively promoted silencing of tissue specific genes and transcription of early embryo development-related genes in porcine cloned embryos. In conclusion, our results showed that the epigenetic modification agent 5-aza-dC or TSA could improve genomic methylation reprogramming in porcine cloned embryos and regulate the appropriate expression levels of genes related to early embryonic development, thereby resulting in high developmental competence.
PMCID: PMC4219995  PMID: 25047549
DNA methylation; Epigenetic modification agents; Pig; Reprogramming; Somatic cell nuclear transfer
16.  Down-regulated miR-22 as predictive biomarkers for prognosis of epithelial ovarian cancer 
Diagnostic Pathology  2014;9(1):178.
Recent studies have demonstrated that microRNA-22 (miR-22) was deregulated in many types of cancers and was involved in various cellular processes related to carcinogenesis. However, the clinical significance and prognostic value of miR-22 in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) haven’t been investigated.
109 pairs of fresh EOC tissue and matched adjacent normal tissue specimens were collected between May 2007 and March 2013. Real-time quantitative RT-PCR assay was performed to evaluate the expression levels of miR-22. The chi-square test was used to assess miR-22 expression with respect to clinicopathological parameters. The survival curves of the patients were determined using the Kaplan-Meier method and Cox regression, and the log-rank test was used for statistical evaluations.
miR-22 expression in EOC tissues was significantly lower than that in matched normal adjacent tissues (mean ± SD: 1.944 ± 1.026 vs. 4.981 ± 1.507, P < 0.0001). Low miR-22 expression level was correlated with FIGO stage (P = 0.006), tumor grade (P = 0.03), and lymph node metastases (P = 0.01). Kaplan-Meier analysis with the log-rank test indicated that low miR-22 expression had a significant impact on overall survival (44.4% vs. 64.5%; P = 0.005) and progression-free survival (23.5% vs. 52.6%; P = 0.004).
Our data demonstrated that the expression of miR-22 was downregulated in EOC, and associated with overall survival as well as progression-free survival, suggesting that miR-22 could serve as an efficient prognostic factor for EOC patients.
Virtual slides
The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here:
PMCID: PMC4180346  PMID: 25257702
miR-22; Biomarkers; Prognosis; Epithelial ovarian cancer
17.  Dramatic escalation in metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular risk in a Chinese population experiencing rapid economic development 
BMC Public Health  2014;14(1):983.
Metabolic syndrome (MetSyn) increases the incidence of cardiovascular disease. Information on changes in prevalence of MetSyn in developing countries is limited. This study aims to compare MetSyn prevalence and its associated vascular risk over the period between 2002 and 2010 in a population which has had the world’s fastest economic development over the past three decades.
Two health surveys were conducted by using the multistage cluster random sampling method in a Chinese population of 85 million in southern China. The participants received a full medical check-up, including measurement of blood pressure (BP), obesity indices, fasting lipids and glucose levels. Data describing socio-economic status and lifestyle factors were also collected through interview. Metabolic syndrome was defined in accordance with the International Diabetes Federation criteria.
A total of 3,561 participants from Survey 2010 were included in the data analysis. Women had a significantly higher prevalence of MetSyn than men. Comparison between the two surveys shows that age-standardized prevalence of MetSyn increased fourfold (from 5.4% in 2002 to 21.3% in 2010) in those ≧ 20 years. Among the MetSyn components, prevalence of hyperglycaemia has increased most (from 9.1% to 53.1%). The age-standardized prevalence of central obesity, hypertension, hypertriglyceridaemia and low HDL-cholesterol increased from 13.5% to 25.4%, from 23.6% to 40.8%, from 12.1% to 17.4% and from 32.1% to 71.1%, respectively. Differences between rural and urban residents in the prevalence in MetSyn and its components narrowed in 2010.
Cardiovascular risk escalated dramatically in this population between 2002 and 2010. The escalation may relate to the rapid economic development, which led to accelerating changes in nutrition, lifestyle, and socio-economic status. Our findings suggest that health transition in rapidly developing second- and third-world countries may be much faster than what has been observed in Western countries.
PMCID: PMC4247017  PMID: 25240739
Metabolic syndrome; Cardiovascular risk; Trend; Economic development; Chinese
18.  Protective efficacy of a high-growth reassortant swine H3N2 inactivated vaccine constructed by reverse genetic manipulation 
Journal of Veterinary Science  2014;15(3):381-388.
Novel reassortant H3N2 swine influenza viruses (SwIV) with the matrix gene from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus have been isolated in many countries as well as during outbreaks in multiple states in the United States, indicating that H3N2 SwIV might be a potential threat to public health. Since southern China is the world's largest producer of pigs, efficient vaccines should be developed to prevent pigs from acquiring H3N2 subtype SwIV infections, and thus limit the possibility of SwIV infection at agricultural fairs. In this study, a high-growth reassortant virus (GD/PR8) was generated by plasmid-based reverse genetics and tested as a candidate inactivated vaccine. The protective efficacy of this vaccine was evaluated in mice by challenging them with another H3N2 SwIV isolate [A/Swine/Heilongjiang/1/05 (H3N2) (HLJ/05)]. Prime and booster inoculation with GD/PR8 vaccine yielded high-titer serum hemagglutination inhibiting antibodies and IgG antibodies. Complete protection of mice against H3N2 SwIV was observed, with significantly reduced lung lesion and viral loads in vaccine-inoculated mice relative to mock-vaccinated controls. These results suggest that the GD/PR8 vaccine may serve as a promising candidate for rapid intervention of H3N2 SwIV outbreaks in China.
PMCID: PMC4178139  PMID: 24675833
H3N2 subtype; protective efficacy; reverse genetics; swine influenza virus
19.  NLRP3 Inflammasome Sequential Changes in Staphylococcus aureus-Induced Mouse Model of Acute Rhinosinusitis 
The NLR pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome plays a crucial role in lung disease and may have a similar role in upper respiratory tract inflammation. We therefore constructed a C57BL/6 mouse model of acute rhinosinusitis induced by Staphylococcus aureus and investigated the role of the NLRP3 inflammasome in this model. Mice were classified as non-inoculated group (group A) and inoculated groups (groups B, C, D and E, sacrificed 1, 3, 7 and 14 days after inoculation, respectively). Hematoxylin-eosin staining showed that each group had inflammatory cell infiltration, except group A. The damage of the nasal mucosa was aggravated gradually over time. Western blot and immunofluorescence showed that the structural proteins of the NLRP3 inflammasome (NLRP3, ASC (apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing CARD), procaspase-1) in groups B, C, D and E were increased gradually. But they were reduced in group B compared with group A, except for NLRP3. Western blot showed that the cleavage fragment of procaspase-1, p20 in groups B, C, D and E was increased gradually. Real-time PCR showed that the corresponding mRNAs of the structural proteins were changed the same as their proteins. IL-1β mRNA and mature IL-1β protein were increased gradually in groups A, B, C, D and E. These results indicate that NLRP3 inflammasome activation was associated with the acute rhinosinusitis, and that there was a positive correlation between the expression level of the NLRP3 inflammasome and the severity of acute rhinosinusitis.
PMCID: PMC4200865  PMID: 25207596
NLRP3 inflammasome; acute rhinosinusitis; inflammation
20.  Efficacy of tandospirone in patients with irritable bowel syndrome-diarrhea and anxiety 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2014;20(32):11422-11428.
AIM: To investigate the efficacy of tandospirone in patients with irritable bowel syndrome-diarrhea (IBS-D) and anxiety in a prospective, randomized, controlled study.
METHODS: Two hundred patients with IBS-D and moderate anxiety were randomized to receive pinaverium and tandospirone (arm A) or pinaverium and placebo (arm B). Tandospirone or placebo was given thrice daily at a fixed dose of 10 mg and pinaverium was given thrice daily at a fixed dose of 50 mg. The duration of treatment was 8 wk. Patients were assessed for abdominal pain and diarrhea. Anxiety was evaluated using the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety (HAM-A). The primary study endpoints were response rates for abdominal pain and diarrhea. The secondary study endpoints were response rates for anxiety. Adverse events were also evaluated.
RESULTS: One hundred and seventy of 200 patients (82 patients in arm A and 88 patients in arm B) completed the study. Demographic and baseline characteristics of the 200 participants were comparable in the two arms. At week 8, the overall response rate for abdominal pain and diarrhea was 52.0% for arm A and 37.0% for arm B (P < 0.05). The HAM-A score showed that the response rate was 61.0% for arm A and 21.0% for arm B (P < 0.01). The treatments were well tolerated and no significant adverse events were reported.
CONCLUSION: Tandospirone is effective and can be combined with pinaverium in IBS-D patients with anxiety.
PMCID: PMC4145785  PMID: 25170231
Irritable bowel syndrome; Anxiety; Tandospirone; Efficacy; Safety
21.  Agmatine Protects against Zymosan-Induced Acute Lung Injury in Mice by Inhibiting NF-κB-Mediated Inflammatory Response 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:583736.
Acute lung injury (ALI) is characterized by overwhelming lung inflammation and anti-inflammation treatment is proposed to be a therapeutic strategy for ALI. Agmatine, a cationic polyamine formed by decarboxylation of L-arginine, is an endogenous neuromodulator that plays protective roles in diverse central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Consistent with its neuromodulatory and neuroprotective properties, agmatine has been reported to have beneficial effects on depression, anxiety, hypoxic ischemia, Parkinson's disease, and gastric disorder. In this study, we tested the effect of agmatine on the lung inflammation induced by Zymosan (ZYM) challenge in mice. We found that agmatine treatment relieved ZYM-induced acute lung injury, as evidenced by the reduced histological scores, wet/dry weight ratio, and myeloperoxidase activity in the lung tissue. This was accompanied by reduced levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 in lung and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and decreased iNOS expression in lung. Furthermore, agmatine inhibited the phosphorylation and degradation of IκB and subsequently blocked the activation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB induced by Zymosan. Taken together, our results showed that agmatine treatment inhibited NF-κB signaling in lungs and protected mice against ALI induced by Zymosan, suggesting agmatine may be a potential safe and effective approach for the treatment of ALI.
PMCID: PMC4163488  PMID: 25243152
22.  Epinephrine Enhances the Response of Macrophages under LPS Stimulation 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:254686.
Trauma associated with infection may directly trigger a neuroendocrine reaction in vivo while the hormone epinephrine is known to mediate immune responses to inflammation after injury. However, the role of epinephrine during the earliest stage of trauma still remains unclear. We therefore explored the role of epinephrine on activated macrophages under LPS stimulation in vitro as well as the mechanisms underlying its effect. Dose- and time-dependent effects of epinephrine on macrophage immune function were assessed after LPS activation. We also employed CD14 siRNA interference to investigate whether CD14 played a role in the mechanism underlying the effect of epinephrine on LPS-induced macrophage responses. Our results showed that epinephrine pretreatment (10 ng/mL) significantly promoted immune responses from LPS stimulated macrophages, including phagocytic rate, phagocytic index, TNFα/IL-1β/IL-10 secretion, and CD14 expression (P < 0.05). Moreover, TNFα/IL-1β/IL-10 levels attained their peak value 1 hour after incubation with 10 ng/mL epinephrine (P < 0.05), and CD14 siRNA transfection dramatically decreased phagocytosis and cytokine secretion by LPS-activated macrophages (P < 0.05). We therefore conclude that 10 ng/mL epinephrine enhances immune responses from macrophages under LPS stimulation and that the underlying mechanism may relate to CD14 upregulation on the surface of macrophages.
PMCID: PMC4160625  PMID: 25243125
23.  The combined toxicological effects of titanium dioxide nanoparticles and bisphenol A on zebrafish embryos 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):406.
Environmental pollutants co-exist and exhibit interaction effects that are different from those associated with a single pollutant. As one of the more commonly manufactured nanomaterials, titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2-NPs) are most likely to bind to other contaminants in water. In this paper, we aimed to study the combined toxicological effects of TiO2-NPs and bisphenol A (BPA) on organism. First, in vitro adsorption experiments were conducted to determine the adsorptive interaction between TiO2-NPs and BPA. Second, zebrafish embryo toxicity tests were performed to monitor for changes in the toxicological effects associated with the two chemicals. The study results demonstrated that adsorptive interactions exist between the two chemicals and increased toxicity effects which included an advanced toxicological effect time, decreased survival, increased morphological abnormalities, and delayed embryo hatching. Also, we suggest that the mode of combined action has a synergistic effect. Based on this, we postulate that concomitant exposure to TiO2-NPs and BPA increased BPA bioavailability and uptake into cells and organisms. Further studies are required to understand the mechanisms of interactions of this mixture.
PMCID: PMC4148408  PMID: 25177222
TiO2-NPs; BPA; Combined toxicological effects; Zebrafish embryo; Adsorption
24.  Identification and Environmental Distribution of dcpA, Which Encodes the Reductive Dehalogenase Catalyzing the Dichloroelimination of 1,2-Dichloropropane to Propene in Organohalide-Respiring Chloroflexi 
Dehalococcoides mccartyi strains KS and RC grow with 1,2-dichloropropane (1,2-D) as an electron acceptor in enrichment cultures derived from hydrocarbon-contaminated and pristine river sediments, respectively. Transcription, expression, enzymatic, and PCR analyses implicated the reductive dehalogenase gene dcpA in 1,2-D dichloroelimination to propene and inorganic chloride. Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) analyses demonstrated a D. mccartyi cell increase during growth with 1,2-D and suggested that both D. mccartyi strains carried a single dcpA gene copy per genome. D. mccartyi strain RC and strain KS produced 1.8 × 107 ± 0.1 × 107 and 1.4 × 107 ± 0.5 × 107 cells per μmol of propene formed, respectively. The dcpA gene was identified in 1,2-D-to-propene-dechlorinating microcosms established with sediment samples collected from different geographical locations in Europe and North and South America. Clone library analysis revealed two distinct dcpA phylogenetic clusters, both of which were captured by the dcpA gene-targeted qPCR assay, suggesting that the qPCR assay is useful for site assessment and bioremediation monitoring at 1,2-D-contaminated sites.
PMCID: PMC3911209  PMID: 24242248
25.  Quantum molecular dynamics study of expanded beryllium: Evolution from warm dense matter to atomic fluid 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:5898.
By performing quantum molecular dynamics (QMD) simulations, we investigate the equation of states, electrical and optical properties of the expanded beryllium at densities two to one-hundred lower than the normal solid density, and temperatures ranging from 5000 to 30000 K. With decreasing the density of Be, the optical response evolves from the one characteristic of a simple metal to the one of an atomic fluid. By fitting the optical conductivity spectra with the Drude-Smith model, it is found that the conducting electrons become localized at lower densities. In addition, the negative derivative of the electrical resistivity on temperature at density about eight lower than the normal solid density demonstrates that the metal to nonmetal transition takes place in the expanded Be. To interpret this transition, the electronic density of states is analyzed systematically. Furthermore, a direct comparison of the Rosseland opacity obtained by using QMD and the standard opacity code demonstrates that QMD provides a powerful tool to validate plasma models used in atomic physics approaches in the warm dense matter regime.
PMCID: PMC4118153  PMID: 25081816

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