Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) has posed a great threat to the health of children and become a public health priority in China. This study aims to investigate the epidemiological characteristics, spatial-temporal patterns, and risk factors of HFMD in Guangdong Province, China, and to provide scientific information for public health responses and interventions.
HFMD surveillance data from May 2008 to December 2011were provided by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. We firstly conducted a descriptive analysis to evaluate the epidemic characteristics of HFMD. Then, Kulldorff scan statistic based on a discrete Poisson model was used to detect spatial-temporal clusters. Finally, a spatial paneled model was applied to identify the risk factors.
A total of 641,318 HFMD cases were reported in Guangdong Province during the study period (total population incidence: 17.51 per 10,000). Male incidence was higher than female incidence for all age groups, and approximately 90% of the cases were children years old. Spatial-temporal cluster analysis detected four most likely clusters and several secondary clusters (P<0.001) with the maximum cluster size 50% and 20% respectively during 2008–2011. Monthly average temperature, relative humidity, the proportion of population years, male-to-female ratio, and total sunshine were demonstrated to be the risk factors for HFMD.
Children years old, especially boys, were more susceptible to HFMD and we should take care of their vulnerability. Provincial capital city Guangzhou and the Pearl River Delta regions had always been the spatial-temporal clusters and future public health planning and resource allocation should be focused on these areas. Furthermore, our findings showed a strong association between HFMD and meteorological factors, which may assist in predicting HFMD incidence.
Huntington disease (HD) is an inherited neurodegenerative disease that affects multiple brain regions. It is caused by an expanded polyglutamine tract in huntingtin (Htt). The development of therapies for HD and other neurodegenerative diseases has been hampered by multiple factors, including the lack of clear therapeutic targets, and the cost and complexity of testing lead compounds in vivo. The R6/2 HD mouse model is widely used for pre-clinical trials because of its progressive and robust neural dysfunction, which includes retinal degeneration. Profilin-1 is a Htt binding protein that inhibits Htt aggregation. Its binding to Htt is regulated by the rho-associated kinase (ROCK), which phosphorylates profilin at Ser-137. ROCK is thus a therapeutic target in HD. The ROCK inhibitor Y-27632 reduces Htt toxicity in fly and mouse models. Here we characterized the progressive retinopathy of R6/2 mice between 6–19 weeks of age to determine an optimal treatment window. We then tested a clinically approved ROCK inhibitor, HA-1077, administered intravitreally via liposome-mediated drug delivery. HA-1077 increased photopic and flicker ERG response amplitudes in R6/2 mice, but not in wild-type littermate controls. By targeting ROCK with a new inhibitor, and testing its effects in a novel in vivo model, these results validate the in vivo efficacy of a therapeutic candidate, and establish the feasibility of using the retina as a readout for CNS function in models of neurodegenerative disease.
Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) is an important pathogen in swine and is responsible for substantial economic losses. Previous studies suggest that the PEDV E protein plays an important role in the viral assembly process. However, the subcellular localization and other functions of PEDV E protein still require more research.
The subcellular localization and function of PEDV E protein were investigated by examining its effects on cell growth, cell cycle progression, interleukin-8 (IL-8) expression and cell survival.
The results show that plenty of PEDV E protein is localized in the ER, with small quantities localized in the nucleus. The PEDV E protein has no effect on the intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) growth, cell cycle and cyclin A expression. The cells expressing PEDV E protein express higher levels of IL-8 than control cells. Further studies show that PEDV E protein induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and activated NF-κB which is responsible for the up-regulation of IL-8 and Bcl-2 expression.
This study shows that the PEDV E protein is localized in the ER and the nucleus and it can cause ER stress. The PEDV E protein had no effect on the IEC growth and cell cycle. In addition, the PEDV E protein is able to up-regulate IL-8 and Bcl-2 expression.
PEDV; E protein; ER stress; IL-8; NF-Κb; Bcl-2
We describe a novel common-path swept source optical coherence tomography fiber probe design using a sapphire ball lens for cross-sectional imaging and sensing for retina vitrectomy surgery. The high refractive index (n = 1.75) of the sapphire ball lens improves the focusing power and enables the probe to operate in the intraocular space. The highly precise spherical shape of the sapphire lens also reduces astigmatism and coma compared to fused non-spherical ball lenses. A theoretical sensitivity model for CP-OCT was developed to assess its optimal performance based on an unbalanced photodetector configuration. Two probe designs—with working distances (WD) 415 μm & 1221 μm and lateral resolution 11 μm & 18 μm—were implemented with sensitivity up to 88 dB, which is significantly higher than previously reported CP-OCT probes. We assessed the performances of the fiber probes by cross-sectional imaging a bovine cornea and retina in air and in vitreous gel with a 1310-nm swept source OCT system. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of sapphire ball lens-based common-path OCT probes directly inserted into the vitreous gel of a bovine eyeball for ocular imaging with a sensitivity approaching the theoretical limitation of CP-OCT.
Porcine cytomegalovirus (PCMV) induces silent infection in adult pigs but more frequently causes fatal, generalized infection in newborn piglets. This study aimed to develop a new loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) method for the sensitive, rapid, and inexpensive detection of PCMV under field conditions.
Tissue obtained from nine-week-old PCMV-free Landrace pigs or pig samples from postmortem examinations were analyzed. The samples were found to have clinical signs and lesions consistent with inclusion body rhinitis. Six specific primers were designed by targeting the PCMV DNA polymerase (DPOL) DNA. The LAMP reaction was optimized in a water bath. The sensitivity and specificity of LAMP and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were compared.
PCMV DNA was amplified at 65°C, and the result could be detected as early as 30 min into the reaction. Positive reactions could be visualized by the naked eye as a color change brought on by the addition of SYBR Green. The sensitivity and specificity of LAMP were found to be similar to those of the PCR.
LAMP is a high-throughput technique for the detection of PCMV and has a high specificity, sensitivity and simplicity; these factors make it suitable for detection of PCMV under field conditions.
Porcine cytomegalovirus; Loop-mediated isothermal amplification; Landrace pigs; Field detection
Poor survival of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) compromised the efficacy of stem cell therapy for ischemic diseases. The aim of this study is to investigate the role of PEP-1-CAT transduction in MSC survival and its effect on ischemia-induced angiogenesis.
MSC apoptosis was evaluated by DAPI staining and quantified by Annexin V and PI double staining and Flow Cytometry. Malondialdehyde (MDA) content, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release, and Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) activities were simultaneously measured. MSC mitochondrial membrane potential was analyzed with JC-1 staining. MSC survival in rat muscles with gender-mismatched transplantation of the MSC after lower limb ischemia was assessed by detecting SRY expression. MSC apoptosis in ischemic area was determined by TUNEL assay. The effect of PEP-1-CAT-transduced MSC on angiogenesis in vivo was determined in the lower limb ischemia model.
PEP-1-CAT transduction decreased MSC apoptosis rate while down-regulating MDA content and blocking LDH release as compared to the treatment with H2O2 or CAT. However, SOD activity was up-regulated in PEP-1-CAT-transduced cells. Consistent with its effect on MSC apoptosis, PEP-1-CAT restored H2O2-attenuated mitochondrial membrane potential. Mechanistically, PEP-1-CAT blocked H2O2-induced down-regulation of PI3K/Akt activity, an essential signaling pathway regulating MSC apoptosis. In vivo, the viability of MSC implanted into ischemic area in lower limb ischemia rat model was increased by four-fold when transduced with PEP-1-CAT. Importantly, PEP-1-CAT-transduced MSC significantly enhanced ischemia-induced angiogenesis by up-regulating VEGF expression.
PEP-1-CAT-transduction was able to increase MSC viability by regulating PI3K/Akt activity, which stimulated ischemia-induced angiogenesis.
Protein pKa calculation methods are developed partly to provide fast non-experimental estimates of the ionization constants of protein side chains. However, the most significant reason for developing such methods is that a good pKa calculation method is presumed to provide an accurate physical model of protein electrostatics, which can be applied in methods for drug design, protein design and other structure-based energy calculation methods. We explore the validity of this presumption by simulating the development of a pKa calculation method using artificial experimental data derived from a human-defined physical reality. We examine the ability of an RMSD-guided development protocol to retrieve the correct (artificial) physical reality and find that a rugged optimization landscape and a huge parameter space prevent the identification of the correct physical reality. We examine the importance of the training set in developing pKa calculation methods and investigate the effect of experimental noise on our ability to identify the correct physical reality, and find that both effects have a significant and detrimental impact on the physical reality of the optimal model identified. Our findings are of relevance to all structure-based methods for protein energy calculations and simulation, and have large implications for all types of current pKa calculation methods. Our analysis furthermore suggests that careful and extensive validation on many types of experimental data can go some way in making current models more realistic.
pKa prediction; Poisson-Boltzmann Equation; F-test
The pKa-cooperative aims to provide a forum for experimental and theoretical researchers interested in protein pKa values and protein electrostatics in general. The first round of the pKa-cooperative, which challenged computational labs to carry out blind predictions against pKas experimentally determined in the laboratory of Bertrand Garcia-Moreno, was completed and results discussed at the Telluride meeting (July 6–10, 2009). This paper serves as an introduction to the reports submitted by the blind prediction participants that will be published in a special issue of PROTEINS: Structure, Function and Bioinformatics. Here we briefly outline existing approaches for pKa calculations, emphasizing methods that were used by the participants in calculating the blind pKa values in the first round of the cooperative. We then point out some of the difficulties encountered by the participating groups in making their blind predictions, and finally try to provide some insights for future developments aimed at improving the accuracy of pKa calculations.
pKa; protein electrostatics; pH dependent properties of proteins; predicting pKa values in proteins
Toxicarioside A is a cardenolide isolated mainly from plants and animals. Emerging evidence demonstrate that cardenolides not only have cardiac effects but also anticancer effects. In this study, we used in vivo models to investigate the antitumor activities of toxicarioside A and the potential mechanisms behind them. Murine colorectal carcinoma (CT26) and Lewis lung carcinoma (LL/2) models were established in syngeneic BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice, respectively. We found that the optimum effective dose of toxicarioside A treatment significantly suppressed tumor growth and angiogenesis in CT and LL/2 tumor models in vivo. Northern and Western blot analysis showed significant inhibition of endoglin expression in toxicarioside A-treated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in vitro and tumor tissues in vivo. Toxicarioside A treatment significantly inhibited cell proliferation, migration and invasion, but did not cause significant cell apoptosis and affected other membrane protein (such as CD31 and MHC I) expression. In addition, TGF-β expression was also significantly inhibited in CT26 and LL/2 tumor cells treated with toxicarioside A. Western blot analysis indicated that Smad1 and phosphorylated Smad1 but not Smad2/3 and phosphorylated Smad2/3 were attenuated in HUVECs treated with toxicarioside A. Smad1 and Smad2/3 signaling remained unchanged in CT26 and LL/2 tumor cells treated with toxicarioside A. Endoglin knockout by small interfering RNA against endoglin induced alternations in Smad1 and Smad2/3 signaling in HUVECs. Our results indicate that toxicarioside A suppresses tumor growth through inhibition of endoglin-related tumor angiogenesis, which involves in the endoglin/TGF-β signal pathway.
We aim to provide clinically applicable, reproducible, mechanistic interpretations of gene expression changes that lack in gene overlap among predictive gene-signatures. Using a method we recently developed, Functional Analysis of Individual Microarray Expression (FAIME), we provide evidence that Gene Ontology-anchored signatures (GO-signatures) show reliable prognosis in lung cancer. In order to demonstrate the biological congruence and reproducibility of FAIME-derived mechanism classifiers, we chose a disease where gene expression classifiers signatures alone had failed to significantly stratify a larger collection of samples and that exhibited poor or no genetic overlap. For each patient in the two lung adenocarcinoma studies, personalized FAIME-profiles of GO biological processes are generated from genome-wide expression profiles. For both training studies, GO-signatures significantly associated to patient mortality were identified (Prediction Analysis for Microarrays; three-fold cross-validation). These two GO-signatures could effectively stratify patients from an independent validation cohort into sub-groups that show significant differences in disease-free survival (log-rank test P=0.019; P=0.001). Importantly, significant mechanism overlaps assessed by information-theory similarity were detected between the two GO-signatures (Fischer Exact Test p=0.001). Hence, together with machine learning technologies, FAIME could be utilized to develop an ontology-driven and expression-anchored prognostic signature that is personalized for an individual patient.
Lung transplantation remains the only viable therapy for patients with end-stage lung disease. However, the full utilization of this strategy is severely compromised by a lack of donor lung availability. The vast majority of donor lungs available for transplantation are from individuals after brain death (BD). Unfortunately, the early autonomic storm that accompanies BD often results in neurogenic pulmonary edema (NPE), producing varying degrees of lung injury or leading to primary graft dysfunction after transplantation. We demonstrated that sphingosine 1–phosphate (S1P)/analogues, which are major barrier-enhancing agents, reduce vascular permeability via the S1P1 receptor, S1PR1. Because primary lung graft dysfunction is induced by lung vascular endothelial cell barrier dysfunction, we hypothesized that the S1PR1 agonist, SEW-2871, may attenuate NPE when administered to the donor shortly after BD. Significant lung injury was observed after BD, with increases of approximately 60% in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) total protein, cell counts, and lung tissue wet/dry (W/D) weight ratios. In contrast, rats receiving SEW-2871 (0.1 mg/kg) 15 minutes after BD and assessed after 4 hours exhibited significant lung protection (∼ 50% reduction, P = 0.01), as reflected by reduced BAL protein/albumin, cytokines, cellularity, and lung tissue wet/dry weight ratio. Microarray analysis at 4 hours revealed a global impact of both BD and SEW on lung gene expression, with a differential gene expression of enriched immune-response/inflammation pathways across all groups. Overall, SEW served to attenuate the BD-mediated up-regulation of gene expression. Two potential biomarkers, TNF and chemokine CC motif receptor-like 2, exhibited gene array dysregulation. We conclude that SEW-2871 significantly attenuates BD-induced lung injury, and may serve as a potential candidate to improve human donor availability.
neurogenic pulmonary edema; lung injury; sphingosine 1–phosphate; sphingolipids; lung transplant donors
A motion-compensated, hand-held, common-path, Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography imaging probe has been developed for image-guided intervention during microsurgery. A hand-held prototype instrument was achieved by integrating an imaging fiber probe inside a stainless steel needle and attached to the ceramic shaft of a piezoelectric motor housed in an aluminum handle. The fiber probe obtains A-scan images. The distance information was extracted from the A-scans to track the sample surface distance and a fixed distance was maintained by a feedback motor control which effectively compensated hand tremor and target movements in the axial direction. Real-time data acquisition, processing, motion compensation, and image visualization and saving were implemented on a custom CPU-GPU hybrid architecture. We performed 10× zero padding to the raw spectrum to obtain 0.16 µm position accuracy with a compensation rate of 460 Hz. The root-mean-square error of hand-held distance variation from target position was measured to be 2.93 µm. We used a cross-correlation maximization-based shift correction algorithm for topology correction. To validate the system, we performed free-hand OCT M-scan imaging using various samples.
(100.2000) Digital image processing; (110.4500) Optical coherence tomography; (170.3890) Medical optics instrumentation
Sufficient drug exposure is crucial for maintaining durable responses to HIV treatments. However, monitoring drug exposure using single blood samples only provides short-term information and is highly subject to intra-individual pharmacokinetic variation. Drugs can accumulate in hair over a long period of time, so hair drug levels can provide drug exposure information over prolonged periods. We now report on a specific, sensitive and reproducible LC-MS/MS method for measuring nevirapine (NVP), a widely used antiretroviral drug, levels in human hair using even a single short strand of hair. Hair samples are cut into small segments and drug is extracted in methanol/trifluoroacetic acid (v/v, 9:1) shaken at 37°C in a water bath overnight, followed by liquid-liquid extraction under alkaline conditions. The extracted samples are then separated on a BDS-C18 column with mobile phase composed as 50% acetonitrile containing 0.15% acetic acid and 4 mM ammonium acetate with an isocratic elution for a total run time of 3 min. and detected by triple quadrupole electrospray multiple reaction mode at precursor/product ion at 267.0>225.9 m/z. Deuterated nevirapine-d5 was used as internal standard. This method was validated from 0.25 to 100 ng/mg using 2 mg hair samples. The accuracies for spiked NVP hair control samples were 98–106% with coefficients of variation (CV) less than 10%. The CV for incurred hair control samples was less than 7%. The extraction efficiency for incurred control hair samples was estimated at more than 95% by repeated extractions. This method has been successfully applied to analyze more than 1000 hair samples from participants in a large ongoing cohort study of HIV-infected participants. We also showed that nevirapine in human hair can easily be detected in a single short strand of hair. This method will allow us to identify drug non-adherence using even a single strand of hair.
Antiretroviral drug; Nevirapine; Hair; LC-MS/MS; TDM; Adherence
It has been suggested that xenoestrogens, a group of agents termed endocrine disruptors, may contribute to the development of hormone-dependent cancers such as breast and endometrial cancers. We previously demonstrated that the xenoestrogen bisphenol A (BPA) was able to induce transformation in vitro of human breast epithelial cells. The normal-like human breast epithelial cells MCF-10F form tubules in collagen (3-D cultures) although, after treatment with BPA (10-5M and 10-6M BPA), the cells produced less tubules (73% and 80%, respectively) and some spherical masses (27% and 20%, respectively). In the present work, expression and DNA methylation analyses were performed in these cells after being exposure to BPA. These cells showed an increased expression of BRCA1, BRCA2, BARD1, CtIP, RAD51, and BRCC3, all genes involved in DNA repair, and down-regulation of PDCD5 and BCL2L11 (BIM), both involved in apoptosis. Furthermore, DNA methylation analysis shown that BPA exposure induced hypermethylation of BCL2L11, PARD6G, FOXP1, and SFRS11, and hypomethylation of NUP98 and CtIP (RBBP8). Our results indicated that normal human breast epithelial cells exposed to BPA increased the expression of genes involved in DNA repair in order to overcome the DNA damage induced by this chemical. These results suggest that the breast tissue of women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations could be more susceptible to be transformed by BPA.
BPA; xenoestrogens; breast cancer; DNA-methylation; BRCA1; DNA repair
chemiluminescence resonance energy transfer; quantum dots; non-enzymatic chemiluminescence reaction; luminol; NaBrO
Bovine herpesvirus type 1 (BHV-1) is an important pathogen in cattle that is responsible for substantial economic losses. Previous studies suggest that BHV-1 may induce apoptosis in Madin-Darby bovine kidney (MDBK) cells via a mechanism only involving caspases and p53. However, the mechanism for BHV-1-induced MDBK cell apoptosis still requires more research.
MDBK was used as a model to study the precise signaling pathways of apoptosis induced by BHV-1 infection.
BHV-1 infection activated a Fas/FasL-mediated apoptotic pathway, resulting in activation of caspase-8 and cleavage of Bid. In addition, BHV-1 infection down-regulated Bcl-2 and up-regulated Bax expression, thereby initiating the release of cytochrome c followed by caspase-9 activation. The combined activation of the extrinsic and intrinsic pathways resulted in activation of downstream effecter caspase-3 and poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP), leading to apoptosis. Furthermore, blocking apoptosis using caspase inhibitors improved BHV-1-infected MDBK cell viability to different extent. BHV-1 infection did not induce significant DNA fragmentation in MDBK cells pretreated with ammonium chloride (NH4Cl) or cells infected with UV-inactivated BHV-1. Blocking caspases activation increased BHV-1 replication.
BHV-1 induces apoptosis in MDBK cells through extrinsic and intrinsic pathways and there might be cross-talk between the two pathways. In addition, BHV-1 replication may be necessary for the induction of apoptosis in BHV-1-infected cells, and prolonged cell viability benefits BHV-1 replication.
BHV-1; MDBK cells; Apoptosis; Caspase cascades; Fas; Mitochondria
Previous animal and clinical studies have shown that acupuncture is an effective alternative treatment in the management of hypertension, but the mechanism is unclear. This study investigated the proteomic response in the nervous system to treatment at the Taichong (LR3) acupoint in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs). Unanesthetized rats were subject to 5-min daily acupuncture treatment for 7 days. Blood pressure was monitored over 7 days. After euthanasia on the 7th day, rat medullas were dissected, homogenized, and subject to 2D gel electrophoresis and MALDI-TOF analysis. The results indicate that blood pressure stabilized after the 5th day of acupuncture, and compared with non-acupoint treatment, Taichong-acupunctured rat’s systolic pressure was reduced significantly (P<0.01), though not enough to bring blood pressure down to normal levels. The different treatment groups also showed differential protein expression: the 2D images revealed 571±15 proteins in normal SD rats’ medulla, 576±31 proteins in SHR’s medulla, 597±44 proteins in medulla of SHR after acupuncturing Taichong, and 616±18 proteins in medulla of SHR after acupuncturing non-acupoint. In the medulla of Taichong group, compared with non-acupoint group, seven proteins were down-regulated: heat shock protein-90, synapsin-1, pyruvate kinase isozyme, NAD-dependent deacetylase sirtuin-2, protein kinase C inhibitor protein 1, ubiquitin hydrolase isozyme L1, and myelin basic protein. Six proteins were up-regulated: glutamate dehydrogenase 1, aldehyde dehydrogenase 2, glutathione S-transferase M5, Rho GDP dissociation inhibitor 1, DJ-1 protein and superoxide dismutase. The altered expression of several proteins by acupuncture has been confirmed by ELISA, Western blot and qRT-PCR assays. The results indicate an increase in antioxidant enzymes in the medulla of the SHRs subject to acupuncture, which may provide partial explanation for the antihypertensive effect of acupuncture. Further studies are warranted to investigate the role of oxidative stress modulation by acupuncture in the treatment of hypertension.
We present real-time 3D (2D cross-sectional image plus time) and 4D (3D volume plus time)
phase-resolved Doppler OCT (PRDOCT) imaging based on configuration of dual graphics processing
units (GPU). A GPU-accelerated phase-resolving processing algorithm was developed and
implemented. We combined a structural image intensity-based thresholding mask and average
window method to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of the Doppler phase image. A 2D
simultaneous display of the structure and Doppler flow images was presented at a frame rate of
70 fps with an image size of 1000 × 1024 (X × Z) pixels. A 3D volume rendering of
tissue structure and flow images—each with a size of 512 × 512 pixels—was
presented 64.9 milliseconds after every volume scanning cycle with a volume size of 500
× 256 × 512 (X × Y × Z) voxels, with an acquisition time window of
only 3.7 seconds. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that an online,
simultaneous structure and Doppler flow volume visualization has been achieved. Maximum system
processing speed was measured to be 249,000 A-scans per second with each A-scan size of 2048
(100.2000) Digital image processing; (100.6890) Three-dimensional image processing; (110.4500) Optical coherence tomography; (170.3890) Medical optics instrumentation
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) may be caused in part by aberrant immune responses to commensal intestinal microbes including the well-characterized anaerobic gut commensal Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron (B. theta). Healthy, germ-free HLA-B27 transgenic (Tg) rats develop chronic colitis when colonized with complex gut commensal bacteria whereas non-transgenic (nTg) rats remain disease-free. However, the role of B. theta in causing disease in Tg rats is unknown nor is much known about how gut microbes respond to host inflammation.
Tg and nTg rats were monoassociated with a human isolate of B. theta. Colonic inflammation was assessed by histologic scoring and tissue pro-inflammatory cytokine measurement. Whole genome transcriptional profiling of B. theta recovered from ceca was performed using custom GeneChips and data analyzed using dChip, Significance Analysis of Microarrays, and Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) software. Western Blots were used to determine adaptive immune responses to a differentially expressed B. theta gene.
B. theta monoassociated Tg rats, but not nTg or germ-free controls, developed chronic colitis. Transcriptional profiles of cecal B. theta were significantly different in Tg vs. nTg rats. GSEA revealed that genes in KEGG canonical pathways involved in bacterial growth and metabolism were downregulated in B. theta from Tg rats with colitis though luminal bacterial concentrations were unaffected. Bacterial genes in the Gene Ontology molecular function “receptor activity”, most of which encode nutrient binding proteins, were significantly upregulated in B. theta from Tg rats and include a SusC homolog that induces adaptive immune responses in Tg rats.
B. theta induces colitis in HLA-B27 Tg rats, which is associated with regulation of bacterial genes in metabolic and nutrient binding pathways that may affect host immune responses. These studies of the host-microbial dialogue may lead to the identification of novel microbial targets for IBD therapies.
The objective of this study was to investigate whether vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secreted by mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) improves myocardial survival and the engraftment of implanted MSC in infarcted hearts and promotes recruitment of stem cells through paracrine release of myocardial stromal cell-derived factor-1α (SDF-1α).
Methods and results
VEGF-expressing MSC (VEGFMSC)-conditioned medium enhanced SDF-1α expression in heart slices and H9C2 cardiomyoblast cells via VEGF and the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR). The VEGFMSC-conditioned medium markedly promoted cardiac stem cell (CSC) migration at least in part via the SDF-1α/CXCR4 pathway and involved binding to VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-3. In vivo, VEGFMSC-stimulated SDF-1α expression in infarcted hearts resulted in massive mobilization and homing of bone marrow stem cells and CSC. Moreover, VEGF-induced SDF-1α guided the exogenously introduced CSC in the atrioventricular groove to migrate to the infarcted area, leading to a reduction in infarct size. Functional studies showed that VEGFMSC transplantation stimulated extensive angiomyogenesis in infarcted hearts as indicated by the expression of cardiac troponin T, CD31, and von Willebrand factor and improved the left ventricular performance, whereas blockade of SDF-1α or its receptor by RNAi or antagonist significantly diminished the beneficial effects of VEGFMSC.
Exogenously expressed VEGF promotes myocardial repair at least in part through SDF-1α/CXCR4-mediated recruitment of CSC.
Myocardial infarction; VEGF; SDF-1α; Cardiac stem cell; Migration
The lipophilic cationic compound quinacrine has been used as an antimalarial drug for over 75 years but its pharmacokinetic profile is limited. Here, we report on the pharmacokinetic properties of quinacrine in mice. Following an oral dose of 40 mg/kg/day for 30 days, quinacrine concentration in the brain of wild-type mice was maintained at a concentration of ∼1 µM. As a substrate of the P-glycoprotein (P-gp) efflux transporter, quinacrine is actively exported from the brain, preventing its accumulation to levels that may show efficacy in some disease models. In the brains of P-gp–deficient Mdr10/0 mice, we found quinacrine reached concentrations of ∼80 µM without any signs of acute toxicity. Additionally, we examined the distribution and metabolism of quinacrine in the wild-type and Mdr10/0 brains. In wild-type mice, the co-administration of cyclosporin A, a known P-gp inhibitor, resulted in a 6-fold increase in the accumulation of quinacrine in the brain. Our findings argue that the inhibition of the P-gp efflux transporter should improve the poor pharmacokinetic properties of quinacrine in the CNS.
Acupuncture has been applied to aid in the recovery of post-stroke patients, but its mechanism is unclear. This study aims to analyze the relationship between acupuncture and glucose metabolism in cerebral functional regions in post-stroke patients using 18 FDG PET-CT techniques. Forty-three ischemic stroke patients were randomly divided into 5 groups: the Waiguan (TE5) needling group, the TE5 sham needling group, the sham point needling group, the sham point sham needling group and the non-needling group. Cerebral functional images of all patients were then acquired using PET-CT scans and processed by SPM2 software.
Compared with the non-needling group, sham needling at TE5 and needling/sham needling at the sham point did not activate cerebral areas. However, needling at TE5 resulted in the activation of Brodmann Area (BA) 30. Needling/sham needling at TE5 and needling at the sham point did not deactivate any cerebral areas, whereas sham needling at the sham point led to deactivation in BA6. Compared with sham needling at TE5, needling at TE5 activated BA13, 19 and 47 and did not deactivate any areas. Compared with needling at the sham point, needling at TE5 had no associated activation but a deactivating effect on BA9.
Needling at TE5 had a regulating effect on cerebral functional areas shown by PET-CT, and this may relate to its impact on the recovery of post-stroke patients.
Waiguan (TE5); Sham point; Ischemic stroke; Needling/sham needling; PET-CT cerebral functional imaging; Cerebral activating/deactivating effect
Although some studies described the characteristics of colon cancer stem cells (CSCs) and the role of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in neovascularization, it is still controversial whether an interaction exists or not between CSCs and EPCs. In the present study, HCT116 and HT29 sphere models, which are known to be the cells enriching CSCs, were established to investigate the roles of this interaction in development and metastasis of colon cancer. Compared with their parental counterparts, spheroid cells demonstrated higher capacity of invasion, higher tumorigenic and metastatic potential. Then the in vitro and in vivo relationship between CSCs and EPCs were studied by using capillary tube formation assay and xenograft models. Our results showed that spheroid cells could promote the proliferation, migration and tube formation of EPCs through secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Meanwhile, the EPCs could increase tumorigenic capacity of spheroid cells through angiogenesis. Furthermore, higher microvessel density was detected in the area enriching cancer stem cells in human colon cancer tissue. Our findings indicate that spheroid cells possess the characteristics of cancer stem cells, and the coaction of CSCs and EPCs may play an important role in the development of colon cancer.
To compare the morphologic characteristics between thin-flap laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and Sub-Bowman keratomileusis (SBK), and to evaluate the uniformity of flap and to explore the correlative factors of corneal flap thickness.
A prospective, randomized, comparative clinical study was performed in Department of Ophthalmology, West Hospital of China, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. Totally 59 patients 114 eyes underwent LASIK or SBK to correct myopia, 29 patients 57 eyes underwent SBK, 30 patients 57 eyes underwent LASIK. Anterior optical coherence tomography(OCT) was used to measure corneal flap thickness in all the patients 1 week after surgeries, 16 positions were set to be measured in each eye. Comparisons of flap thickness in each group and between 2 groups were evaluated. Correlative factors of flap thickness were evaluated.
Coefficient of variation (CV, s/×%) in SBK group were lesser than that in LASIK group, t test showed there was significant statistical difference between 2 groups(P=0.000). Comparisons of the difference of 2 paired positions(temporal-nasal; superior-inferior) showed there were no significant differences in each group, but between 2 groups, there were statistical significance of value of difference (D-value) of superior and inferior positions between SBK and LASIK group(P=0.036). Linear regression analysis of correlative factors of flap thickness showed there were no statistic significances related to central corneal thickness(CCT)(P=0.060, t=1.921) and corneal curvature(P=0.083, t=1.766).
SBK is better than LASIK in creating much uniform corneal flap. There was no evidence showing correlations between flap thickness and CCT or corneal curvature.
Sub-Bowman; keratomileusis; flap thickness
In a longitudinal study of outcomes on atazanavir-based therapy in a large cohort of HIV-infected women, hair levels of atazanavir were the strongest independent predictor of virologic suppression. Hair antiretroviral concentrations may serve as a useful tool in HIV care.
Background. Adequate exposure to antiretrovirals is important to maintain durable responses, but methods to assess exposure (eg, querying adherence and single plasma drug level measurements) are limited. Hair concentrations of antiretrovirals can integrate adherence and pharmacokinetics into a single assay.
Methods. Small hair samples were collected from participants in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), a large cohort of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected (and at-risk noninfected) women. From 2003 through 2008, we analyzed atazanavir hair concentrations longitudinally for women reporting receipt of atazanavir-based therapy. Multivariate random effects logistic regression models for repeated measures were used to estimate the association of hair drug levels with the primary outcome of virologic suppression (HIV RNA level, <80 copies/mL).
Results. 424 WIHS participants (51% African-American, 31% Hispanic) contributed 1443 person-visits to the analysis. After adjusting for age, race, treatment experience, pretreatment viral load, CD4 count and AIDS status, and self-reported adherence, hair levels were the strongest predictor of suppression. Categorized hair antiretroviral levels revealed a monotonic relationship to suppression; women with atazanavir levels in the highest quintile had odds ratios (ORs) of 59.8 (95% confidence ratio, 29.0–123.2) for virologic suppression. Hair atazanavir concentrations were even more strongly associated with resuppression of viral loads in subgroups in which there had been previous lapses in adherence (OR, 210.2 [95% CI, 46.0–961.1]), low hair levels (OR, 132.8 [95% CI, 26.5–666.0]), or detectable viremia (OR, 400.7 [95% CI, 52.3–3069.7]).
Conclusions. Antiretroviral hair levels surpassed any other predictor of virologic outcomes to HIV treatment in a large cohort. Low antiretroviral exposure in hair may trigger interventions prior to failure or herald virologic failure in settings where measurement of viral loads is unavailable. Monitoring hair antiretroviral concentrations may be useful for prolonging regimen durability.