The olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) derived from olfactory bulb (OB) may improve motor function after transplantation in injured spinal cord. However, the effects of OEC transplantation on sensory function have not been reported yet. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether OEC transplantation could affect the sensory function and to analyze the underlying mechanism.
OEC transplantation into the hemisected spinal cords can result in hyperalgesia, indicated by radiant and mechanical stimuli towards the plantar surface in rats. This could be associated with upregulation of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), indicated by RT-PCR. Immunofluorecent staining showed that BDNF was mainly located in the neurons of the laminas I and II of the dorsal horn. Moreover, a notable upregulation on the level of p-ERK (phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase), the downstream molecule of BDNF, was detected by using Western Blot. These findings indicate that the increased BDNF level associated with the p-ERK was possibly involved in neuropathic pain in hemisected spinal cord subjected to OEC transplantation.
The transplantation of OECs may induce the noticeable pain hypersensitivity in rats after hemisected spinal cord injury, and the possible mechanism may be associated with the phosphorylation of ERK and the activated BDNF overexpression.
Olfactory ensheathing cells; Spinal cord injury; Hemisection; Cell transplantation; Rat; p-ERK; BDNF; Hyperalgesia
Exposure to particulate air pollution is associated with increased cardiopulmonary morbidity and mortality, although the pathogenic mechanisms are poorly understood. We previously demonstrated that particulate matter (PM) exposure triggers massive oxidative stress in vascular endothelial cells (ECs), resulting in the loss of EC integrity and lung vascular hyperpermeability. We investigated the protective role of hydrogen sulfide (H2S), an endogenous gaseous molecule present in the circulation, on PM-induced human lung EC barrier disruption and pulmonary inflammation. Alterations in EC monolayer permeability, as reflected by transendothelial electrical resistance (TER), the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and murine pulmonary inflammatory responses, were studied after exposures to PM and NaSH, an H2S donor. Similar to N-acetyl cysteine (5 mM), NaSH (10 μM) significantly scavenged PM-induced EC ROS and inhibited the oxidative activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase. Concurrent with these events, NaSH (10 μM) activated Akt, which helps maintain endothelial integrity. Both of these pathways contribute to the protective effect of H2S against PM-induced endothelial barrier dysfunction. Furthermore, NaSH (20 mg/kg) reduced vascular protein leakage, leukocyte infiltration, and proinflammatory cytokine release in bronchoalveolar lavage fluids in a murine model of PM-induced lung inflammation. These data suggest a potentially protective role for H2S in PM-induced inflammatory lung injury and vascular hyperpermeability.
particulate matter; hydrogen sulfide; endothelial permeability; Akt
Arbidol is a broad-spectrum antiviral drug that is used clinically to treat influenza. In this study, the pharmacokinetics, metabolism, and excretion of arbidol were investigated in healthy male Chinese volunteers after a single oral administration of 200 mg of arbidol hydrochloride. A total of 33 arbidol metabolites were identified in human plasma, urine, and feces. The principal biotransformation pathways included sulfoxidation, dimethylamine N-demethylation, glucuronidation, and sulfate conjugation. The major drug-related component in the plasma was sulfinylarbidol (M6-1), followed by unmetabolized arbidol, N-demethylsulfinylarbidol (M5), and sulfonylarbidol (M8). The exposures of M5, M6-1, and M8, as determined by the metabolite-to-parent area under the plasma concentration-time curve from 0 to t (AUC0-t) ratio, were 0.9 ± 0.3, 11.5 ± 3.6, and 0.5 ± 0.2, respectively. In human urine, glucuronide and sulfate conjugates were detected as the major metabolites, accounting for 6.3% of the dose excreted within 0 to 96 h after drug administration. The fecal specimens mainly contained the unchanged arbidol, accounting for 32.4% of the dose. Microsomal incubation experiments demonstrated that the liver and intestines were the major organs that metabolize arbidol in humans. CYP3A4 was the major isoform involved in arbidol metabolism, whereas the other P450s and flavin-containing monooxygenases (FMOs) played minor roles. These results indicated possible drug interactions between arbidol and CYP3A4 inhibitors and inducers. Further investigations are needed to understand the importance of M6-1 in the efficacy and safety of arbidol, because of its high plasma exposure and long elimination half-life (25.0 h).
The Mount Jinggangshan region is located between Jiangxi and Hunan provinces in southeastern China in the central section of the Luoxiao Mountains. A detailed investigation of Mount Jinggangshan region shows that the seed plant flora comprises 2,958 species in 1,003 genera and 210 families (Engler’s system adjusted according to Zhengyi Wu’s concept). Among them, 23 species of gymnospermae belong to 17 genera and 9 families, and 2,935 species of angiosperms are in 986 genera and 201 families. Moreover, they can also be sorted into woody plants (350 genera and 1,295 species) and herbaceous plants (653 genera and 1,663 species). The dominant families are mainly Fagaceae, Lauraceae, Theaceae, Hamamelidaceae, Magnoliaceae, Ericaceae, Styracaceae, Aquifoliaceae, Elaeocarpaceae, Aceraceae, Rosaceae, Corylaceae, Daphniphyllaceae, Symplocaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Pinaceae, Taxodiaceae, Cupressaceae and Taxaceae. Ancient and relic taxa include Ginkgo biloba, Fokieniahodginsii, Amentotaxusargotaenia, Disanthuscercidifolia subsp. longipes, Hamamelismollis, Manglietiafordiana, Magnoliaofficinalis, Tsoongiodendronodorum, Fortuneariasinensis, Cyclocaryapaliurus, Eucommiaulmoides, Sargentodoxacuneata, Bretschneiderasinensis, Camptothecaacuminata, Tapisciasinensis, etc. The flora of Mount Jinggangshan region includes 79 cosmopolitan genera and 924 non-cosmopolitan genera, which are 7.88% and 92.12% of all genera. The latter includes 452 tropical genera (48.92%) and 472 temperate genera (51.08%). The temperate elements include 44 genera endemic to China, accounting for 4.76% of all genera. Among 1,003 genera, 465 have only a single species and 401 are oligotypic genera (with 2-5 species). These genera account for 86.34% of all genera. The floristic analysis indicates that the flora of Mount Jinggangshan region is closely related to the flora of Mount Wuyishan region in southeastern China. The flora of Mount Jinggangshan region also contains many elements of central and southern China. Mount Jinggangshan region is an important north-south floristic passageway and is also a boundary between the floras of eastern, central and south China.
Coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP) is characterized by chronic pulmonary inflammation and fibrotic nodular lesions that usually lead to progressive fibrosis. Inflammation is the first step in the development of CWP. E-selectin, an adhesion molecule, is involved in the development of various inflammatory diseases.
We investigated the association between the functional polymorphisms in SELE and the risk of CWP in Han Chinese population. Three polymorphisms (T1880C/rs5355, T1559C/rs5368, A16089G/rs4786) in SELE were genotyped and analyzed in a case-control study with 697 CWP cases and 694 controls. The genotyping was based on the TaqMan method with the ABI 7900HT Real Time PCR system.
The SELE rs5368 CT genotype was associated with a significantly increased risk of CWP (OR = 1.28, 95% CI = 1.02–1.60, P = 0.03) relative to the CC genotype. The statistical analysis of classification and regression tree (CART) and multifactor dimensionality reduction (MDR) were used to predict the interactions among risk factors of CWP. The MDR analysis found that the best interaction model was the two-factor model that contains pack-years smoked and SELE rs5368 genotypes. For non-smokers, the CART analysis showed an increased risk of CWP for carriers of the SELE rs_5368 variant genotype compared with the common genotype (OR = 1.51; 95% CI = 1.11–2.05, P = 0.0069).
The results suggest that the T1559C/rs5368 polymorphism and smoking are involved in the susceptibility to CWP. Further studies are warranted to validate these findings.
The predictive value of thymidylate synthase (TYMS) to sensitivity to pemetrexed-based chemotherapy in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients is controversial. We conducted a meta-analysis of all relevant published data to assess the association of TYMS expression with the clinical outcomes of pemetrexed-based regimen in advanced NSCLC.
Patients and Methods
We conducted an electronic search using using PubMed, Embase, OVID and Cochrane Library databases and manual search. Pooled odds ratio (OR) for the response rate and hazard ratio (HR) for the overall survival and progression free survival were calculated using the software Revman 5.0.
There were 11 studies (n=798) met our criteria for evaluation. Response rate to pemetrexed-based regimen was significantly higher in patients with low/negative TYMS (OR=2.96, 95%CI [1.81, 4.86] P<0.0001). Patients with low/negative TYMS who were treated with pemetrexed-based regimen had longer progression free survival (HR 0.50, 95%CI [0.41, 0.61] P <0.00001) and overall survival (HR 0.41, 95%CI [0.22, 0.78] P=0.007) than those with high/positive TYMS.
Low/negative TYMS expression was significantly associated with higher response rate, longer median survival and longer progression free survival for advanced NSCLC patients receiving pemtrexed-based chemotherapy. Hence, TYMS may be a potential predictor of sensitivity to pemtrexed-based chemotherapy in advanced NSCLC. Large scale prospective clinical trials are still warranted.
Gastric cancer has one of the highest morbidities and mortalities worldwide. Early detection is key measure to improve the outcome of gastric cancer patients. In our efforts to identify potential markers for gastric cancer detection, we coupled xenotransplantation mouse model with a plasma proteomic approach. MKN45 gastric cancer cells were subcutaneously injected into nude mice and plasma samples from mice bearing different sizes of tumors were collected and subjected to iTRAQ and mass spectrometry analysis. ITIH3 protein was found to be more highly expressed in plasma of tumor bearing mice compared to control. Subsequent screening of ITIH3 expression in 167 clinical plasma samples, including 83 cancer-free subjects and 84 gastric cancer patients, revealed higher ITIH3 level in the plasma of gastric cancer patients. A receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve estimated a maximal sensitivity of 96% at 66% specificity for ITIH3 in gastric cancer detection. In addition, plasma from early stage gastric cancer patient has significantly (p < 0.001) higher level of ITIH3 compared to that from noncancer subject. Our data suggest that ITIH3 may be a useful biomarker for early detection of gastric cancer.
ITIH3; gastric cancer; plasma; proteomics; mouse xenograft
The International Prognostic Index (IPI) is a widely accepted model that is used to predict the prognosis of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) who are treated using chemotherapy. However, the prognostic value of the IPI has been a focal point of debate in the immunochemotherapy era. The aim of this study was to reassess the value of the IPI and revised IPI (R-IPI) in a Chinese population. A multicentre retrospective analysis of DLBCL patients who were treated with cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone (CHOP)-like chemotherapy alone or chemotherapy plus rituximab (R-CHOP-like) was performed. The prognostic values of IPI and R-IPI at the time of diagnosis with respect to overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were evaluated. Among the 438 patients in the study, 241 received a CHOP-like regimen and 197 patients received an R-CHOP-like regimen. Although the IPI remained predictive for the CHOP-like group, it failed to distinguish between the various prognostic categories in the R-CHOP-like group. Notably, redistribution of the IPI factors into R-IPI factors identified three discrete prognostic groups with significantly different outcomes in both the CHOP-like and R-CHOP-like groups. In the R-CHOP-like group, these three risk groups, very good, good and poor, had distinctly different 3-year PFS rates of 96, 84.3 and 67.5% (P=0.001), and 3-year OS rates of 96, 87.6 and 71.1% (P=0.003), respectively. Our study demonstrates the power of the R-IPI as a simplified and more clinically relevant predictor of disease outcome than the standard IPI in DLBCL populations in the rituximab era. Therefore, the R-IPI merits further study in a larger population-based prospective study.
International Prognostic Index; diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; rituximab
Neurturin (NRTN) is a member of the glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) family of ligands that exerts its actions via Ret tyrosine kinase and GFRα2. Expression of the Ret/GFRα2 co-receptor complex is primarily restricted to the peripheral nervous system and is selectively expressed by sensory neurons that bind the isolectin B4 (IB4). To determine how target-derived NRTN affects sensory neuron properties, transgenic mice that overexpress NRTN in keratinocytes (NRTN-OE mice) were analyzed. Overexpression of NRTN increased the density of PGP9.5-positive, but not calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)-positive, free nerve endings in footpad epidermis. GFRα2- immunopositive somata were hypertrophied in NRTN-OE mice. Electron microscopic analysis further revealed hypertrophy of unmyelinated sensory axons and a subset of myelinated axons. Overexpression of NRTN increased the relative level of mRNAs encoding GFRα2 and Ret, the ATP receptor P2X3 (found in IB4-positive, GFRα2-expressing sensory neurons), the acid-sensing ion channel (ASIC) 2a, and transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily member M8 (TRPM8) in sensory ganglia. Behavioral testing of NRTN-OE mice revealed an increased sensitivity to mechanical stimuli in glabrous skin of the hind paw. NRTN-OE mice also displayed increased behavioral sensitivity to cool temperature (17°C-20°C) and oral sensitivity to menthol. The increase in cool and menthol sensitivity correlated with a significant increase in TRPM8 expression and the percentage of menthol-responsive cutaneous sensory neurons. These data indicate that the expression level of NRTN in the skin modulates gene expression in cutaneous sensory afferents and behavioral sensitivity to thermal, chemical and mechanical stimuli.
GFRα2; IB4; ASIC2a; nociceptor
The evolution of competitive ability of invasive plant species is generally studied in the context of adaptive responses to novel biotic environments (enemy release) in introduced ranges. However, invasive plants may also respond to novel abiotic environments. Here we studied differences in competitive ability between Chromolaena odorata plants of populations from nonnative versus native ranges, considering biogeographical differences in both biotic and abiotic environments. An intraspecific competition experiment was conducted at two nutrient levels in a common garden. In both low and high nutrient treatments, C. odorata plants from nonnative ranges showed consistently lower root to shoot ratios than did plants from native ranges grown in both monoculture and competition. In the low nutrient treatment, C. odorata plants from nonnative ranges showed significantly lower competitive ability (competition-driven decreases in plant height and biomass were more), which was associated with their lower root to shoot ratios and higher total leaf phenolic content (defense trait). In the high nutrient treatment, C. odorata plants from nonnative ranges showed lower leaf toughness and cellulosic contents (defense traits) but similar competitive ability compared with plants from native ranges, which was also associated with their lower root to shoot ratios. Our results indicate that genetically based shifts in biomass allocation (responses to abiotic environments) also influence competitive abilities of invasive plants, and provide a first potential mechanism for the interaction between range and environment (environment-dependent difference between ranges).
The reaction of thioamino acids and N-terminal peptides, mediated by hindered isonitriles and HOBt, gives rise to peptide bonds. In one pathway, oxytocin was synthesized by eight such reiterative amidations. In another stereospecific track, oxytocin was constructed by native chemical ligation, wherein the two building blocks were assembled by thioacid amine amidation. The NMR spectra of oxytocin and dihydro-oxytoxin suggest a high level of pre-organization in the latter, perhaps favoring oxidative folding.
Transforming growth factor-betas (TGF-βs), including beta2 (TGF-β2), constitute a superfamily of multifunctional cytokines with important implications in morphogenesis, cell differentiation and tissue remodeling. TGF-β2 is thought to play important roles in multiple developmental processes and neuron survival. However, before we carried out these investigations, a TGF-β2 gene down-regulated transgenic animal model was needed. In the present study, expressional silencing TGF-β2 was achieved by select predesigning interference short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) targeting mouse TGF-β2 genes.
Four homozygous transgenic offspring were generated by genetic manipulation and the protein expressions of TGF-β2 were detected in different tissues of these mice. The transgenic mice were designated as Founder 66, Founder 16, Founder 53 and Founder 41. The rates of TGF-β2 down-expression in different transgenic mice were evaluated. The present study showed that different TGF-β2 expressions were detected in multiple tissues and protein levels of TGF-β2 decreased at different rates relative to that of wild type mice. The expressions of TGF-β2 proteins in transgenic mice (Founder 66) reduced most by 52%.
The present study generated transgenic mice with TGF-β2 down-regulated, which established mice model for systemic exploring the possible roles of TGF-β2 in vivo in different pathology conditions.
TGF-β2; Knock down; Transgenic mouse; Protein levels; Distributions
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the principal cause of invasive cervical cancer and benign genital lesions. There are currently 30 HPV types linked to cervical cancer. HPV infection also leads to other types of cancer. We developed a 61-plex analysis of these 30 HPV types by examining two genes, E6 and L1, using MassARRAY matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization–time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) (PCR-MS). Two hundred samples from homosexual males (HM) were screened by PCR-MS and MY09/MY11 primer set-mediated PCR (MY-PCR) followed by sequencing. One hundred thirty-five formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) cervical cancer samples were also analyzed by PCR-MS, and results were compared to those of the commercially available GenoArray (GA) assay. One or more HPV types were identified in 64.5% (129/200) of the samples from HM. Comprising all 30 HPV types, PCR-MS detected 51.9% (67/129) of samples with multiple HPV types, whereas MY-PCR detected only one single HPV type in these samples. All PCR-MS results were confirmed by MY-PCR. In the cervical cancer samples, PCR-MS and GA detected 97% (131/135) and 90.4% (122/135) of HPV-positive samples, respectively. PCR-MS and GA results were fully concordant for 122 positive and 4 negative samples. The sequencing results for the 9 samples that tested negative by GA were completely concordant with the positive PCR-MS results. Multiple HPV types were identified in 25.2% (34/135) and 55.6% (75/135) of the cervical cancer samples by GA and PCR-MS, respectively, and results were confirmed by sequencing. The new assay allows the genotyping of >1,000 samples per day. It provides a good alternative to current methods, especially for large-scale investigations of multiple HPV infections and degraded FFPE samples.
Collagen triple helix repeat containing-1 (CTHRC1) is a secreted glycoprotein that activates the planar cell polarity pathway of Wnt signaling. Using microarray analysis, we found that the CTHRC1 gene is overexpressed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The level of CTHRC1 mRNA was measured in 201 surgically resected HCCs using real time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Overexpression of CTHRC1 in HCC was associated with large tumor size and advanced tumor stage. Furthermore, expression of CTHRC1 as was identified as an independent prognostic factors in the multivariate analysis. Suppression of CTHRC1 expression inhibited tumor migration and invasion whereas overexpression of CTHRC1 promoted tumor invasion. Activation of RhoA, but not Rac1 or Cdc42, was found to play a crucial role in CTHRC1-induced cell migration. CTHRC1 promoted adhesion of cancer cells to extracellular matrix through induction of integrin β1 expression and activation of focal adhesion kinase. These results suggest CTHRC1 promotes tumor invasion and metastasis by enhancing the adhesion and migratory abilities of tumor cells. It is also a promising biomarker for predicting the prognosis of patients with HCC.
In bacteriorhodopsin, the order of molecular events that control the cytoplasmic or extracellular accessibility of the Schiff bases (SB) are not well understood. We use molecular dynamics simulations to study a process involved in the second accessibility switch of SB that occurs after its reprotonation in the N intermediate of the photocycle. We find that once protonated, the SB C15 = NZ bond switches from a cytoplasmic facing (13-cis, 15-anti) configuration to an extracellular facing (13-cis, 15-syn) configuration on the pico to nanosecond timescale. Significantly, rotation about the retinal’s C13 = C14 double bond is not observed. The dynamics of the isomeric state transitions of the protonated SB are strongly influenced by the surrounding charges and dielectric effects of other buried ions, particularly D96 and D212. Our simulations indicate that the thermal isomerization of retinal from 13-cis back to all-trans likely occurs independently from and after the SB C15 = NZ rotation in the N-to-O transition.
Human SULT2A1 is one of two predominant sulfotransferases in liver and catalyzes transfer of the sulfuryl-moiety (-SO3) from activated sulfate (PAPS, 3′-phosphoadenosine 5-phosphosulfate) to hundreds of acceptors - metabolites and xenobiotics. Sulfation recodes the biologic activity of acceptors by altering their receptor interactions. The molecular basis on which these enzymes select and sulfonate specific acceptors from complex mixtures of competitors in-vivo is a long standing issue in the SULT field. Raloxifene, a synthetic steroid used in the prevention of osteoporosis, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a ubiquitous steroid precusor, are reported to be sulfated efficiently by SULT2A1 in-vitro; yet, unlike DHEA, raloxifene is not sulfated in-vivo. This selectivity was explored in initial-rate and equilibrium-binding studies that demonstrate pronounced binding-antisynergy (21-fold) between PAPS and raloxifene, but not DHEA. Analysis of crystal structures suggests that PAP binding restricts access to the acceptor-binding pocket by restructuring a nine-residue segment of the pocket edge that constricts the active-site opening, or “pore” that sieves substrates based on their geometries. In-silico docking predicts that raloxifene, which is considerably larger than DHEA, can bind only to the unliganded (open) enzyme, whereas DHEA binds both the open and closed forms. The predictions of these structures regarding substrate binding are tested using equilibrium and presteady state ligand-binding studies, and the results confirm that a nucleotide-driven isomerization controls access to the acceptor binding pocket and plays an important role in substrate selection by SULT2A1 and possibly other sulfotransferases.
sulfotransferase; SULT; SULT2A1; DHEA; raloxifene; Evista; kinetic; mechanism; ligand; binding; presteady; fluorescence; structure; selection; substrate
Understanding a speaker’s communicative intent in everyday interactions is likely to draw on cues such as facial expression and tone of voice. Prior research has shown that individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) show reduced activity in brain regions that respond selectively to the face and voice. However, there is also evidence that activity in key regions can be increased if task demands allow for explicit processing of emotion.
To examine the neural circuitry underlying impairments in interpreting communicative intentions in ASD using irony comprehension as a test case, and to determine whether explicit instructions to attend to facial expression and tone of voice will elicit more normative patterns of brain activity.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Eighteen boys with ASD (aged 7–17 years, full-scale IQ >70) and 18 typically developing (TD) boys underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging at the Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center, University of California, Los Angeles.
Main Outcome Measures
Blood oxygenation level– dependent brain activity during the presentation of short scenarios involving irony. Behavioral performance (accuracy and response time) was also recorded.
Reduced activity in the medial prefrontal cortex and right superior temporal gyrus was observed in children with ASD relative to TD children during the perception of potentially ironic vs control scenarios. Importantly, a significant group X condition interaction in the medial prefrontal cortex showed that activity was modulated by explicit instructions to attend to facial expression and tone of voice only in the ASD group. Finally, medial prefrontal cortex activity was inversely related to symptom severity in children with ASD such that children with greater social impairment showed less activity in this region.
Explicit instructions to attend to facial expression and tone of voice can elicit increased activity in the medial prefrontal cortex, part of a network important for understanding the intentions of others, in children with ASD. These findings suggest a strategy for future intervention research.
While individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are typically impaired in interpreting the communicative intent of others, little is known about the neural bases of higher-level pragmatic impairments. Here, we used functional MRI (fMRI) to examine the neural circuitry underlying deficits in understanding irony in high-functioning children with ASD. Participants listened to short scenarios and decided whether the speaker was sincere or ironic. Three types of scenarios were used in which we varied the information available to guide this decision. Scenarios included (i) both knowledge of the event outcome and strong prosodic cues (sincere or sarcastic intonation), (ii) prosodic cues only or (iii) knowledge of the event outcome only. Although children with ASD performed well above chance, they were less accurate than typically developing (TD) children at interpreting the communicative intent behind a potentially ironic remark, particularly with regard to taking advantage of available contextual information. In contrast to prior research showing hypoactivation of regions involved in understanding the mental states of others, children with ASD showed significantly greater activity than TD children in the right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) as well as in bilateral temporal regions. Increased activity in the ASD group fell within the network recruited in the TD group and may reflect more effortful processing needed to interpret the intended meaning of an utterance. These results confirm that children with ASD have difficulty interpreting the communicative intent of others and suggest that these individuals can recruit regions activated as part of the normative neural circuitry when task demands require explicit attention to socially relevant cues.
autism; brain development; fMRI; language pragmatics; social cognition
The hickory genus (Carya) contains ca. 17 species distributed in subtropical and tropical regions of eastern Asia and subtropical to temperate regions of eastern North America. Previously, the phylogenetic relationships between eastern Asian and eastern North American species of Carya were not fully confirmed even with an extensive sampling, biogeographic and diversification patterns had thus never been investigated in a phylogenetic context. We sampled 17 species of Carya and 15 species representing all other genera of the Juglandaceae as outgroups, with eight nuclear and plastid loci to reconstruct the phylogeny of Carya. The phylogenetic positions of seven extinct genera of the Juglandaceae were inferred using morphological characters and the molecular phylogeny as a backbone constraint. Divergence times within Carya were estimated with relaxed Bayesian dating. Biogeographic analyses were performed in DIVA and LAGRANGE. Diversification rates were inferred by LASER and APE packages. Our results support two major clades within Carya, corresponding to the lineages of eastern Asia and eastern North America. The split between the two disjunct clades is estimated to be 21.58 (95% HPD 11.07-35.51) Ma. Genus-level DIVA and LAGRANGE analyses incorporating both extant and extinct genera of the Juglandaceae suggested that Carya originated in North America, and migrated to Eurasia during the early Tertiary via the North Atlantic land bridge. Fragmentation of the distribution caused by global cooling in the late Tertiary resulted in the current disjunction. The diversification rate of hickories in eastern North America appeared to be higher than that in eastern Asia, which is ascribed to greater ecological opportunities, key morphological innovations, and polyploidy.
To develop a nontoxic system for targeting therapy, a new highly ordered hierarchical mesoporous calcium carbonate nanospheres (CCNSs) as small drug carriers has been synthesized by a mild and facile binary solvent approach under the normal temperature and pressure. The hierarchical structure by multistage self-assembled strategy was confirmed by TEM and SEM, and a possible formation process was proposed. Due to the large fraction of voids inside the nanospheres which provides space for physical absorption, the CCNSs can stably encapsulate the anticancer drug etoposide with the drug loading efficiency as high as 39.7 wt.%, and etoposide-loaded CCNS (ECCNS) nanoparticles can dispersed well in the cell culture. Besides, the drug release behavior investigated at three different pH values showed that the release of etoposide from CCNSs was pH-sensitive. MTT assay showed that compared with free etoposide, ECCNSs exhibited a higher cell inhibition ratio against SGC-7901 cells and also decreased the toxicity of etoposide to HEK 293 T cells. The CLSM image showed that ECCNSs exhibited a high efficiency of intracellular delivery, especially in nuclear invasion. The apoptosis test revealed that etoposide entrapped in CCNSs could enhance the delivery efficiencies of drug to achieve an improved inhibition effect on cell growth. These results clearly implied that the CCNSs are a promising drug delivery system for etoposide in cancer therapy.
CaCO3 nano-structure; Multistage self-assembled; pH-sensitive drug delivery; Etoposide
Previous studies have shown that core leptosporangiates, the most species-rich group of extant ferns (monilophytes), have a distinct plastid genome (plastome) organization pattern from basal fern lineages. However, the details of genome structure transformation from ancestral ferns to core leptosporangiates remain unclear because of limited plastome data available. Here, we have determined the complete chloroplast genome sequences of Lygodium japonicum (Lygodiaceae), a member of schizaeoid ferns (Schizaeales), and Marsilea crenata (Marsileaceae), a representative of heterosporous ferns (Salviniales). The two species represent the sister and the basal lineages of core leptosporangiates, respectively, for which the plastome sequences are currently unavailable. Comparative genomic analysis of all sequenced fern plastomes reveals that the gene order of L. japonicum plastome occupies an intermediate position between that of basal ferns and core leptosporangiates. The two exons of the fern ndhB gene have a unique pattern of intragenic copy number variances. Specifically, the substitution rate heterogeneity between the two exons is congruent with their copy number changes, confirming the constraint role that inverted repeats may play on the substitution rate of chloroplast gene sequences.
chloroplast genome; core leptosporangiates; schizaeoid ferns; heterosporous ferns; ndhB; intragenic rate heterogeneity
China took great efforts to reforestation, even turned the long-term forest loss into a net gain, but this cannot hide the loss of species diversity due to destruction of primary forests, habitat loss, invasion of alien species, and over exploitation. Here we provide such a case by recording a dying tree species of Lauraceae from the evergreen forests of SE Yunnan of China and adjoining Vietnam. We made field collections and observations for four consecutive years from 2009 to 2012. Phylogenetic analyses were conducted based on a combined dataset from nrITS and plastid trnL-trnF region, rpl16 intron, and psbA-trnH spacer. The results indicate that the Asiatic Beilschmiedia and Syndiclis are reciprocally monophyletic with Endiandra as a sister group, and both morphology and molecular phylogeny clearly suggest that the new species belongs to Beilschmiedia. Thus Beilschmiedia turbinata Bing Liu et Y. Yang is illustrated and described as new to science, color plates, line drawings, distribution map and comparison with related species are provided. This new species is similar to B. yunnanensis in the small and ferruginous-brown tomentose terminal buds, elliptic to oblong-lanceolate and alternate or subopposite leaves bearing the fine veinlet reticulation, but differs from the latter by the smaller flowers, the eglandular stamens of the third whorl, and the large turbinate furfuraceous fruits.
Southwest China is a biodiversity hotspot characterized by complex topography, heterogeneous regional climates and rich flora. The processes and driving factors underlying this hotspot remain to be explicitly tested across taxa to gain a general understanding of the evolution of biodiversity and speciation in the region. In this study, we examined the role played by historically neutral processes, geography and environment in producing the current genetic diversity of the subtropical pine Pinus yunnanensis. We used genetic and ecological methods to investigate the patterns of genetic differentiation and ecological niche divergence across the distribution range of this species. We found both continuous genetic differentiation over the majority of its range, and discrete isolated local clusters. The discrete differentiation between two genetic groups in the west and east peripheries is consistent with niche divergence and geographical isolation of these groups. In the central area of the species’ range, population structure was shaped mainly by neutral processes and geography rather than by ecological selection. These results show that geographical and environmental factors together created stronger and more discrete genetic differentiation than isolation by distance alone, and illustrate the importance of ecological factors in forming or maintaining genetic divergence across a complex landscape. Our findings differ from other phylogenetic studies that identified the historical drainage system in the region as the primary factor shaping population structure, and highlight the heterogeneous contributions that geography and environment have made to genetic diversity among taxa in southwest China.
The complete sequences of three mitochondrial genomes from the land snail Cornu aspersum were determined. The mitogenome has a length of 14050 bp, and it encodes 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes and two ribosomal RNA genes. It also includes nine small intergene spacers, and a large AT-rich intergenic spacer. The intra-specific divergence analysis revealed that COX1 has the lower genetic differentiation, while the most divergent genes were NADH1, NADH3 and NADH4. With the exception of Euhadra herklotsi, the structural comparisons showed the same gene order within the family Helicidae, and nearly identical gene organization to that found in order Pulmonata. Phylogenetic reconstruction recovered Basommatophora as polyphyletic group, whereas Eupulmonata and Pulmonata as paraphyletic groups. Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood analyses showed that C. aspersum is a close relative of Cepaea nemoralis, and with the other Helicidae species form a sister group of Albinaria caerulea, supporting the monophyly of the Stylommatophora clade.