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1.  Mechanical and Anticorrosive Properties of Graphene/Epoxy Resin Composites Coating Prepared by in-Situ Method 
The graphene nanosheets-based epoxy resin coating (0, 0.1, 0.4 and 0.7 wt %) was prepared by a situ-synthesis method. The effect of polyvinylpyrrolidone/reduced graphene oxide (PVP-rGO) on mechanical and thermal properties of epoxy resin coating was investigated using nanoindentation technique and thermogravimetric analysis, respectively. A significant enhancement (ca. 213% and 73 °C) in the Young modulus and thermal stability of epoxy resin coating was obtained at a loading of 0.7 wt %, respectively. Furthermore, the erosion resistance of graphene nanosheets-based epoxy resin coating was investigated by electrochemical measurement. The results showed also that the Rrcco (ca. 0.3 mm/year) of graphene nanosheets-based epoxy resin coating was far lower than neat epoxy resin (1.3 mm/year). Thus, this approach provides a novel route for improving erosion resistance and mechanical-thermal stability of polymers coating, which is expected to be used in mechanical-thermal-corrosion coupling environments.
doi:10.3390/ijms16012239
PMCID: PMC4307360  PMID: 25608656
graphene; epoxy resin; composite coating; mechanical properties; erosion resistance
2.  Characterization of uncommon portosystemic collateral circulations in patients with hepatic cirrhosis 
Oncology Letters  2014;9(1):347-350.
The purpose of the present study was to characterize uncommon portosystemic collateral circulation in hepatic cirrhosis. Portosystemic uncommon collateral circulation (UCC) was detected, characterized and evaluated by a combination of spiral computed tomography angiography, three-dimensional imaging angiography and electronic gastroscopy in patients diagnosed with hepatic cirrhosis. In total, 118 cases with UCC were detected from a pool of 700 hepatic cirrhosis patients with portal hypertension. The incidence was 16.86% and included cases with splenic-renal, gastro-renal, paravertebral, retroperitoneal, gastric-splenic and cardio-phrenic angle vein shunts. The occurrence rate of UCC formation increased with the Child-Pugh grade. Compared with common collateral circulations, the incidence of severe esophageal or gastric fundus varicose veins, severe portal hypertensive gastropathy and the incidence of a large quantity of ascites was much lower in the patients with UCC (P<0.01), whereas the incidence of hepatic encephalopathy and chronic elevated blood ammonia levels was significantly higher (P<0.01). The incidence of uncommon portosystemic collateral circulation is extremely common in patients with liver cirrhosis and is associated with the Child-Pugh grades of hepatic function. UCC can aid in the relief of the complications derived from portal hypertension, but it may increase the incidence of hepatic encephalopathy and chronic elevated blood ammonia levels.
doi:10.3892/ol.2014.2626
PMCID: PMC4246606  PMID: 25435990
liver cirrhosis; collateral circulation; hepatic encephalopathy; portal hypertension; esophageal varicosity; gastric fundus varicosity
3.  Potentiated Interaction between Ineffective Doses of Budesonide and Formoterol to Control the Inhaled Cadmium-Induced Up-Regulation of Metalloproteinases and Acute Pulmonary Inflammation in Rats 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e109136.
The anti-inflammatory properties of glucocorticoids are well known but their protective effects exerted with a low potency against heavy metals-induced pulmonary inflammation remain unclear. In this study, a model of acute pulmonary inflammation induced by a single inhalation of cadmium in male Sprague-Dawley rats was used to investigate whether formoterol can improve the anti-inflammatory effects of budesonide. The cadmium-related inflammatory responses, including matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) activity, were evaluated. Compared to the values obtained in rats exposed to cadmium, pretreatment of inhaled budesonide (0.5 mg/15 ml) elicited a significant decrease in total cell and neutrophil counts in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) associated with a significant reduction of MMP-9 activity which was highly correlated with the number of inflammatory cells in BALF. Additionally, cadmium-induced lung injuries characterized by inflammatory cell infiltration within alveoli and the interstitium were attenuated by the pre-treatment of budesonide. Though the low concentration of budesonide (0.25 mg/15 ml) exerted a very limited inhibitory effects in the present rat model, its combination with an inefficient concentration of formoterol (0.5 mg/30 ml) showed an enhanced inhibitory effect on neutrophil and total cell counts as well as on the histological lung injuries associated with a potentiation of inhibition on the MMP-9 activity. In conclusion, high concentration of budesonide alone could partially protect the lungs against cadmium exposure induced-acute neutrophilic pulmonary inflammation via the inhibition of MMP-9 activity. The combination with formoterol could enhance the protective effects of both drugs, suggesting a new therapeutic strategy for the treatment of heavy metals-induced lung diseases.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0109136
PMCID: PMC4196767  PMID: 25313925
4.  Long Noncoding RNA Expression Profiles of Lung Adenocarcinoma Ascertained by Microarray Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e104044.
Background
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been shown to be involved in the development and progression of lung cancer. However, the roles of lncRNAs in lung cancer are not well understood.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We used a high-throughput microarray to compare the lncRNA and messenger RNA (mRNA) expression profiles in lung adenocarcinoma and normal tissue (NT) samples. Several candidate adenocarcinoma-associated lncRNAs were verified by real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis. Using abundant and varied probes, we were able to assess 30,586 lncRNAs and 26,109 mRNAs in our microarray. We found that 2,420 lncRNAs and 1,109 mRNAs were differentially expressed (≥2-fold change) in lung adenocarcinoma samples and NT, indicating that many lncRNAs were significantly upregulated or downregulated in lung adenocarcinoma. We also found, via quantitative PCR, that 19 lncRNAs were aberrantly expressed in lung adenocarcinoma compared with matched histologically normal lung tissues. Among these, LOC100132354 and RPLP0P2 were the most aberrantly expressed lncRNAs, as estimated by quantitative PCR in 100 pairs of lung adenocarcinoma and NT samples.
Conclusions/Significance
Our study ascertained the expression patterns of lncRNAs in lung adenocarcinoma by microarray. The results revealed that many lncRNAs were differentially expressed in lung adenocarcinoma tissues and NT, suggesting that they may play a key role in tumor development.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0104044
PMCID: PMC4121291  PMID: 25089627
5.  Construction of a Chimeric Secretory IgA and Its Neutralization Activity against Avian Influenza Virus H5N1 
Journal of Immunology Research  2014;2014:394127.
Secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA) acts as the first line of defense against respiratory pathogens. In this assay, the variable regions of heavy chain (VH) and Light chain (VL) genes from a mouse monoclonal antibody against H5N1 were cloned and fused with human IgA constant regions. The full-length chimeric light and heavy chains were inserted into a eukaryotic expressing vector and then transfected into CHO/dhfr-cells. The chimeric monomeric IgA antibody expression was confirmed by using ELISA, SDS-PAGE, and Western blot. In order to obtain a dimeric secretory IgA, another two expressing plasmids, namely, pcDNA4/His A-IgJ and pcDNA4/His A-SC, were cotransfected into the CHO/dhfr-cells. The expression of dimeric SIgA was confirmed by using ELISA assay and native gel electrophoresis. In microneutralization assay on 96-well immunoplate, the chimeric SIgA showed neutralization activity against H5N1 virus on MDCK cells and the titer was determined to be 1 : 64. On preadministrating intranasally, the chimeric SIgA could prevent mice from lethal attack by using A/Vietnam/1194/04 H5N1 with a survival rate of 80%. So we concluded that the constructed recombinant chimeric SIgA has a neutralization capability targeting avian influenza virus H5N1 infection in vitro and in vivo.
doi:10.1155/2014/394127
PMCID: PMC3987799  PMID: 24741594
6.  Maternal Treatment with Agonistic Autoantibodies against Type-1 Angiotensin II Receptor in Late Pregnancy Increases Apoptosis of Myocardial Cells and Myocardial Susceptibility to Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury in Offspring Rats 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e80709.
Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that offspring born to mothers preeclampsia (PE) are at increased risk for developing cardiovascular diseases after birth, but the underlying mechanism is unknown. Angiotensin II receptor type 1 autoantibody (AT1-AA), an agonist acting via activation of the AT1 receptor, is believed to be involved in the pathogenesis of both PE and fetal growth restriction. The aim of the present study was to confirm the hypothesis that prenatal AT1-AA exposure increases the heart susceptibility to ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI) in the offspring in an AT1-AA-induced animal model of PE, and determine whether or not the increase of maternal AT1-AA level is a factor contributing to sustained abnormalities of the heart structure during infancy. The hearts of 45-day-old offspring rats were studied using Langendorff preparation to determine the susceptibility of the heart to IRI. The results showed that the body weight of the maternal rats was not significantly different between the study and control groups, but the body weight of their offspring in AT1-AA group was decreased slightly at day 21 of gestational age, and at day 3 after birth. Although the heart weight index was not significantly affected at all ages examined, AT1-AA significantly increased the size of myocardial cells of the left ventricle (LV) at the age of 45 days. AT1-AA gained access to fetal circulation via the placenta and induced apoptosis of fetal myocardial cells. AT1-AA also significantly delayed recovery from IRI and affected the LV function of 45-day-old offspring. This was associated with a significant increase in IRI-induced LV myocardial infarct size. These results suggest that AT1-AA induced abnormal apoptosis of fetal myocardial cells during the fetal period and increased the cardiac susceptibility to IRI in adult offspring.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080709
PMCID: PMC3837006  PMID: 24278308
7.  Characterization of Enterococcus faecalis Phage IME-EF1 and Its Endolysin 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e80435.
Enterococcus faecalis is increasingly becoming an important nosocomial infection opportunistic pathogen. E. faecalis can easily obtain drug resistance, making it difficult to be controlled in clinical settings. Using bacteriophage as an alternative treatment to drug-resistant bacteria has been revitalized recently, especially for fighting drug-resistant bacteria. In this research, an E. faecalis bacteriophage named IME-EF1 was isolated from hospital sewage. Whole genomic sequence analysis demonstrated that the isolated IME-EF1 belong to the Siphoviridae family, and has a linear double-stranded DNA genome consisting of 57,081 nucleotides. The IME-EF1 genome has a 40.04% G+C content and contains 98 putative coding sequences. In addition, IME-EF1 has an isometric head with a width of 35 nm to 60 nm and length of 75 nm to 90 nm, as well as morphology resembling a tadpole. IME-EF1 can adsorb to its host cells within 9 min, with an absorbance rate more than 99% and a latent period time of 25 min. The endolysin of IME-EF1 contains a CHAP domain in its N-terminal and has a wider bactericidal spectrum than its parental bacteriophage, including 2 strains of vancomycin-resistant E. faecalis. When administrated intraperitoneally, one dose of IME-EF1 or its endolysin can reduce bacterial count in the blood and protected the mice from a lethal challenge of E. faecalis, with a survival rate of 60% or 80%, respectively. Although bacteriophage could rescue mice from bacterial challenge, to the best of our knowledge, this study further supports the potential function of bacteriophage in dealing with E. faecalis infection in vivo. The results also indicated that the newly isolated bacteriophage IME-EF1 enriched the arsenal library of lytic E. faecalis bacteriophages and presented another choice for phage therapy in the future.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080435
PMCID: PMC3827423  PMID: 24236180
8.  Antibodies against AT1 Receptors Are Associated with Vascular Endothelial and Smooth Muscle Function Impairment: Protective Effects of Hydroxysafflor Yellow A 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e67020.
Ample evidence has shown that autoantibodies against AT1 receptors (AT1-AA) are closely associated with human cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to investigate mechanisms underlying AT1-AA-induced vascular structural and functional impairments in the formation of hypertension, and explore ways for preventive treatment. We used synthetic peptide corresponding to the sequence of the second extracellular loop of the AT1 receptor (165–191) to immunize rats and establish an active immunization model. Part of the model received preventive therapy by losartan (20 mg/kg/day) and hyroxysafflor yellow A (HSYA) (10 mg/kg/day). The result show that systolic blood pressure (SBP) and heart rate (HR) of immunized rats was significantly higher, and closely correlated with the plasma AT1-Ab titer. The systolic response of thoracic aortic was increased, but diastolic effects were attenuated markedly. Histological observation showed that the thoracic aortic endothelium of the immunized rats became thinner or ruptured, inflammatory cell infiltration, medial smooth muscle cell proliferation and migration, the vascular wall became thicker. There was no significant difference in serum antibody titer between losartan and HSYA groups and the immunized group. The vascular structure and function were reversed, and plasma biochemical parameters were also improved significantly in the two treatment groups. These results suggest that AT1-Ab could induce injury to vascular endothelial cells, and proliferation of smooth muscle cells. These changes were involved in the formation of hypertension. Treatment with AT1 receptor antagonists and anti oxidative therapy could block the pathogenic effect of AT1-Ab on vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0067020
PMCID: PMC3691132  PMID: 23826187
9.  Co-crystals of 3-de­oxy-3-fluoro-α-d-glucopyran­ose and 3-de­oxy-3-fluoro-β-d-glucopyran­ose 
3-De­oxy-3-fluoro-d-glucopyran­ose crystallizes from acetone to give a unit cell containing two crystallographically independent mol­ecules. One of these mol­ecules (at site A) is structurally homogeneous and corresponds to 3-de­oxy-3-fluoro-β-d-glucopyran­ose, C6H11FO5, (I). The second mol­ecule (at site B) is structurally heterogeneous and corresponds to a mixture of (I) and 3-de­oxy-3-fluoro-α-d-glucopyran­ose, (II); treatment of the diffraction data using partial-occupancy oxygen at the anomeric center gave a high-quality packing model with an occupancy ratio of 0.84:0.16 for (II):(I) at site B. The mixture of α- and β-anomers at site B appears to be accommodated in the lattice because hydrogen-bonding partners are present to hydrogen bond to the anomeric OH group in either an axial or equatorial orientation. Cremer–Pople analysis of (I) and (II) shows the pyranosyl ring of (II) to be slightly more distorted than that of (I) [θ(I) = 3.85 (15)° and θ(II) = 6.35 (16)°], but the general direction of distortion is similar in both structures [ϕ(I) = 67 (2)° (B C1,C4) and ϕ(II) = 26.0 (15)° (C3 TB C1); B = boat conformation and TB = twist-boat conformation]. The exocyclic hy­droxy­methyl (–CH2OH) conformation is gg (gauche–gauche) (H5 anti to O6) in both (I) and (II). Structural comparisons of (I) and (II) to related unsubstituted, de­oxy and fluorine-substituted monosaccharides show that the gluco ring can assume a wide range of distorted chair structures in the crystalline state depending on ring substitution patterns.
doi:10.1107/S0108270110040096
PMCID: PMC3089378  PMID: 21051824
10.  4-De­oxy-4-fluoro-β-d-gluco­pyranose 
4-De­oxy-4-fluoro-β-d-glucopyran­ose, C6H11FO5, (I), crystallizes from water at room temperature in a slightly distorted 4 C 1 chair con­formation. The observed chair distortion differs from that observed in β-d-glucopyran­ose [Kouwijzer, van Eijck, Kooijman & Kroon (1995 ▶). Acta Cryst. B51, 209–220], (II), with the former skewed toward a B C3,O5 (boat) conformer and the latter toward an O5 TB C2 (twist–boat) conformer, based on Cremer–Pople analysis. The exocyclic hy­droxy­methyl group conformations in (I) and (II) are similar; in both cases, the O—C—C—O torsion angle is ∼−60° (gg con­former). Inter­molecular hydrogen bonding in the crystal structures of (I) and (II) is conserved in that identical patterns of donors and acceptors are observed for the exocyclic substituents and the ring O atom of each monosaccharide. Inspection of the crystal packing structures of (I) and (II) reveals an essentially identical packing configuration.
doi:10.1107/S0108270110034001
PMCID: PMC3089016  PMID: 20921614
11.  Serum microRNA characterization identifies miR-885-5p as a potential marker for detecting liver pathologies 
Circulating miRNAs (microRNAs) are emerging as promising biomarkers for several pathological conditions, and the aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of using serum miRNAs as biomarkers for liver pathologies. Real-time qPCR (quantitative PCR)-based TaqMan MicroRNA arrays were first employed to profile miRNAs in serum pools from patients with HCC (hepatocellular carcinoma) or LC (liver cirrhosis) and from healthy controls. Five miRNAs (i.e. miR-885-5p, miR-574-3p, miR-224, miR-215 and miR-146a) that were up-regulated in the HCC and LC serum pools were selected and further quantified using real-time qPCR in patients with HCC, LC, CHB (chronic hepatitis B) or GC (gastric cancer) and in normal controls. The present study revealed that more than 110 miRNA species in the serum samples and wide distribution ranges of serum miRNAs were observed. The levels of miR-885-5p were significantly higher in sera from patients with HCC, LC and CHB than in healthy controls or GC patients. miR-885-5p yielded an AUC [the area under the ROC (receiver operating characteristic) curve] of 0.904 [95% CI (confidence interval), 0.837–0.951, P<0.0001) with 90.53% sensitivity and 79.17% specificity in discriminating liver pathologies from healthy controls, using a cut off value of 1.06 (normalized). No correlations between increased miR-885-5p and liver function parameters [AFP (α-fetoprotein), ALT (alanine aminotransferase), AST (aspartate aminotransferase) and GGT (γ-glutamyl transpeptidase)] were observed in patients with liver pathologies. In summary, miR-885-5p is significantly elevated in the sera of patients with liver pathologies, and our data suggest that serum miRNAs could serve as novel complementary biomarkers for the detection and assessment of liver pathologies.
doi:10.1042/CS20100297
PMCID: PMC2990200  PMID: 20815808
biomarker; cirrhosis; liver pathology; microRNA; miR-885-5p; serum; AFP, α-fetoprotein; ALT, alanine aminotransferase; AST, aspartate aminotransferase; CHB, chronic hepatitis B; FNH, focal nodular hyperplasia; GC, gastric cancer; GGT, γ-glutamyl transpeptidase; HCC, hepatocellular carcinoma; ICC, intrahepatic cholangiocellular carcinoma; LC, liver cirrhosis; Mamm U6, mammalian U6; miRNAs, microRNAs; NC, normal control; qPCR, quantitative PCR; ROC, receiver operating characteristic; AUC, the area under the ROC curve; RT, reverse transcription; RT-preamp-qPCR, RT-preamplification-qPCR; snRNA, small nuclear RNA

Results 1-11 (11)