Whether schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are the clinical outcomes of discrete or shared causative processes is much debated in psychiatry. Several studies have demonstrated anomalous structural and functional superior temporal gyrus (STG) symmetries in schizophrenia. We examined bipolar patients to determine if they also have altered STG asymmetry.
Whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG) recordings of auditory evoked fields were obtained for 20 subjects with schizophrenia, 20 with bipolar disorder, and 20 control subjects. Neural generators of the M100 auditory response were modeled using a single equivalent current dipole for each hemisphere. The source location of the M100 response was used as a measure of functional STG asymmetry.
Control subjects showed the typical M100 asymmetrical pattern with more anterior sources in the right STG. In contrast, both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients displayed a symmetrical M100 source pattern. There was no significant difference in the M100 latency and strength in bilateral hemispheres within three groups.
Our results indicate that disturbed asymmetry of temporal lobe function may reflect a common deviance present in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, suggesting the two disorders might share etiological and pathophysiological factors.
Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) tend to infiltrate into tumors and form a major component of the tumor microenvironment. These tumor-resident MSCs are known to affect tumor growth, but the mechanisms are largely unknown. We found that MSCs isolated from spontaneous lymphomas in mouse (L-MSCs) strikingly enhanced tumor growth in comparison to bone marrow MSCs (BM-MSCs). L-MSCs contributed to greater recruitment of CD11b+Ly6C+ monocytes, F4/80+ macrophages, and CD11b+Ly6G+ neutrophils to the tumor. Depletion of monocytes/macrophages, but not neutrophils, completely abolished tumor promotion of L-MSCs. Furthermore, L-MSCs expressed high levels of CCR2 ligands, and monocyte/macrophage accumulation and L-MSC-mediated tumor promotion were largely abolished in CCR2−/− mice. Intriguingly, TNFα-pretreated BM-MSCs mimicked L-MSCs in their chemokine production profile and ability to promote tumorigenesis of lymphoma, melanoma, and breast carcinoma. Therefore, our findings demonstrate that, in an inflammatory environment, tumor-resident MSCs promote tumor growth by recruiting monocytes/macrophages.
Tumor growth; mesenchymal stem/stromal cells; chemokines; monocytes/macrophages; myeloid derived suppressor cells; immune modulation
AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is an essential sensor of cellular energy status. Defects in the α2 catalytic subunit of AMPK (AMPKα1) are associated with metabolic syndrome. The current study investigated the role AMPKα1 in the pathogenesis of obesity and inflammation using male AMPKα1-deficent (AMPKα1−/−) mice and their wild-type (WT) littermates. After being fed a high-fat diet (HFD), global AMPKα1−/− mice gained more body weight and greater adiposity and exhibited systemic insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction with increased severity in their adipose tissues compared with their WT littermates. Interestingly, upon HFD feeding, irradiated WT mice that received the bone marrow of AMPKα1−/− mice showed increased insulin resistance but not obesity, whereas irradiated AMPKα1−/− mice with WT bone marrow had a phenotype of metabolic dysregulation that was similar to that of global AMPKα1−/− mice. AMPKα1 deficiency in macrophages markedly increased the macrophage proinflammatory status. In addition, AMPKα1 knockdown enhanced adipocyte lipid accumulation and exacerbated the inflammatory response and insulin resistance. Together, these data show that AMPKα1 protects mice from diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance, demonstrating that AMPKα1 is a promising therapeutic target in the treatment of the metabolic syndrome.
In Amycolatopsis mediterranei U32, genes responsible for nitrate assimilation formed one operon, nasACKBDEF, whose transcription is induced by the addition of nitrate. Here, we characterized GlnR as a direct transcriptional activator for the nas operon. The GlnR-protected DNA sequences in the promoter region of the nas operon were characterized by DNase I footprinting assay, the previously deduced Streptomyces coelicolor double 22-bp GlnR binding consensus sequences comprising a1, b1, a2, and b2 sites were identified, and the sites were then mutated individually to test their roles in both the binding of GlnR in vitro and the GlnR-mediated transcriptional activation in vivo. The results clearly showed that only three GlnR binding sites (a1, b1, and b2 sites) were required by GlnR for its specific binding to the nas promoter region and efficient activation of the transcription of the nas operon in U32, while the a2 site seemed unnecessary.
Wnt3a binds Frizzled-1 and the LRP5/6 co-receptors, ultimately activating Lef/Tcf-sensitive gene transcription in development. Inositol polyphosphate multikinase, IPMK, possesses inositol phosphate kinase and lipid inositol kinase activities, is essential in Wnt3a regulation of its canonical pathway as well as physiologically in AMPK signaling. In the current report we show that translocation of IPMK to the cell membrane, where its substrates exist in high abundance, is obligate to its function in Wnt signaling. Translocation of IPMK to the cell membrane occurs within 5 minutes after Wnt3a stimulation. IPMK ducking onto Dishevelled-3 (Dvl3) requires PDZ domain and COOH-terminal prolyly-rich tail of Dvl3. Wnt3a-stimulates mobilization of Dvl3 to the cell membrane, translocating IPMK to the cell membrane also, to facilitate downstream signaling of Frizzled1. Deletion mutant of IPMK lacking the NH2-terminal variable region, IPMKΔN, fails to translocate to the cell membrane and to propagate canonical signaling. Targeting the IPMK-ΔN back to the cell membrane by addition of an isoprenylated CAAX box rescues its function in Wnt3a downstream signaling.
Wnt; Dvl3; IPMK; translocation; cell membrane
Signaling via the Akt serine/threonine protein kinase plays critical roles in the self-renewal of embryonic stem cells and their malignant counterpart, embryonal carcinoma cells (ECCs). Here we show that in ECCs, Akt phosphorylated the master pluripotency factor Oct4 at threonine 235, and that the levels of phosphorylated Oct4 in ECCs correlated with resistance to apoptosis and tumorigenic potential. Phosphorylation of Oct4 increased its stability, and facilitated its nuclear localization and its interaction with Sox2, which promoted the transcription of the core stemness genes POU5F1 and NANOG. Furthermore, in ECCs, unphosphorylated Oct4 bound to the AKT1 promoter and repressed its transcription. Phosphorylation of Oct4 by Akt resulted in dissociation of Oct4 from the AKT1 promoter, which activated AKT1 transcription and promoted cell survival. Therefore, a site-specific, post-translational modification of the Oct4 protein orchestrates the regulation of its stability, subcellular localization and transcriptional activities, which collectively promotes the survival and tumorigenicity of ECCs.
Studies of linkage and association in various ethnic populations have revealed many predisposing genes of multiple neurotransmitter systems for alcohol use disorders (AUD). However, evidence often is contradictory regarding the contribution of most candidate genes to the susceptibility of AUD. We, therefore, performed a case-control study to investigate the possible associations of genes selected from multiple neurotransmitter systems with AUD in a homogeneous Tibetan community population in China. AUD cases (N = 281) with an alcohol use disorder identification test (AUDIT) score ≥10, as well as healthy controls (N = 277) with an AUDIT score ≤5, were recruited. All participants were genotyped for 366 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of 34 genes selected from those involved in neurotransmitter systems. Association analyses were performed using PLINK version 1.07 software. Allelic analyses before adjustment for multiple tests showed that 15 polymorphisms within seven genes were associated with AUD (p<0.05). After adjustment for the number of SNPs genotyped within each gene, only the association of a single marker (rs10044881) in HTR4 remained statistically significant. Haplotype analysis for two SNPs in HTR4 (rs17777298 and rs10044881) showed that the haplotype AG was significantly associated with the protective effect for AUD. In conclusion, the present study discovered that the HTR4 gene may play a marked role in the pathogenesis of AUD. In addition, this Tibetan population sample marginally replicated previous evidence regarding the associations of six genes in AUD.
Oligozoospermia is one of the severe forms of idiopathic male infertility. However, its pathology is largely unknown, and few genetic factors have been defined. Our previous genome-wide association study (GWAS) has identified four risk loci for non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA).
To investigate the potentially functional genetic variants (including not only common variants, but also less-common and rare variants) of these loci on spermatogenic impairment, especially oligozoospermia.
Design, Setting, and Participants
A total of 784 individuals with oligozoospermia and 592 healthy controls were recruited to this study from March 2004 and January 2011.
We conducted a two-stage study to explore the association between oligozoospermia and new makers near NOA risk loci. In the first stage, we used next generation sequencing (NGS) in 96 oligozoospermia cases and 96 healthy controls to screen oligozoospermia-susceptible genetic variants. Next, we validated these variants in a large cohort containing 688 cases and 496 controls by SNPscan for high-throughput Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) genotyping.
Results and Limitations
Totally, we observed seven oligozoospermia associated variants (rs3791185 and rs2232015 in PRMT6, rs146039840 and rs11046992 in Sox5, rs1129332 in PEX10, rs3197744 in SIRPA, rs1048055 in SIRPG) in the first stage. In the validation stage, rs3197744 in SIRPA and rs11046992 in Sox5 were associated with increased risk of oligozoospermia with an odds ratio (OR) of 4.62 (P = 0.005, 95%CI 1.58-13.4) and 1.82 (P = 0.005, 95%CI 1.01-1.64), respectively. Further investigation in larger populations and functional characterizations are needed to validate our findings.
Our study provides evidence of independent oligozoospermia risk alleles driven by variants in the potentially functional regions of genes discovered by GWAS. Our findings suggest that integrating sequence data with large-scale genotyping will serve as an effective strategy for discovering risk alleles in the future.
The aim of this study is to assess the association between the degree of insulin resistance and the different components of the metabolic syndrome among Chinese children and adolescents. Moreover, to determine the cut-off values for homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) at MS risk.
3203 Chinese children aged 6 to 18 years were recruited. Anthropometric and biochemical parameters were measured. Metabolic syndrome (MS) was identified by a modified Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) definition. HOMA-IR index was calculated and the normal reference ranges were defined from the healthy participants. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to find the optimal cutoff of HOMA-IR for diagnosis of MS.
With the increase of insulin resistance (quintile of HOMA-IR value), the ORs of suffering MS or its related components were significantly increased. Participants in the highest quintile of HOMA-IR were about 60 times more likely to be classified with metabolic syndrome than those in the lowest quintile group. Similarly, the mean values of insulin and HOMA-IR increased with the number of MS components. The present HOMA-IR cutoff point corresponding to the 95th percentile of our healthy reference children was 3.0 for whole participants, 2.6 for children in prepubertal stage and 3.2 in pubertal period, respectively. The optimal point for diagnosis of MS was 2.3 in total participants, 1.7 in prepubertal children and 2.6 in pubertal adolescents, respectively, by ROC curve, which yielded high sensitivity and moderate specificity for a screening test. According to HOMA-IR > 3.0, the prevalence of insulin resistance in obese or MS children were 44.3% and 61.6% respectively.
Our data indicates insulin resistance is common among Chinese obese children and adolescents, and is strongly related to MS risk, therefore requiring consideration early in life. As a reliable measure of insulin resistance and assessment of MS risk, the optimal HOMA-IR cut-off points in this cohort were developed with variation regarding puberty. HOMA-IR may be useful for early evaluating insulin resistance in children and teenagers and could have a long-term benefit of preventive and diagnostic therapeutic intervention.
Homeostasis model assessment; Insulin resistance; Metabolic syndrome; Children; Teenagers
Thoracic malignancies and human breast cancer (HBC) continue to be aggressive solid tumors that are poor responders to the existing conventional standard chemotherapeutic approaches. Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an asbestos-related tumor of the thoracic pleura that lacks effective treatment options. Altered ubiquitin proteasome pathway is frequently encountered in many malignancies including HBC and MPM and thus serves as an important target for therapeutic intervention strategies. Although proteasome inhibitor Velcade (Bort-ezomib) has been under clinical investigation for a number of cancers, limited preclinical studies with this agent have thus far been conducted in HBC and MPM malignancies.
To study the biological and molecular responses of MPM and HBC cells to Velcade treatments, and to identify mechanisms involved in transducing growth inhibitory effects of this agent.
Flow-cytometric analyses coupled with western immunoblotting and gene-array methodologies were utilized to determine mechanisms of Velcade-dependent growth suppression of five MPM (H2595, H2373, H2452, H2461, and H2714) and two breast cancer (MDA MB-468, SKBR-3) cell lines.
Our data revealed significant reduction in cell growth properties that were dose and time dependent. Velcade treatment resulted in G2M phase arrest, increased expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21 and pro-apoptotic protein Bax. Pretreatment of mesothelioma cells with Velcade showed synergistic effect with cisplatin combination regimens. High-throughput gene expression profiling among Velcade treated and untreated mesothelioma cell lines resulted in identification of novel transducers of apoptosis such as CARP-1, XAF1, and Troy proteins.
Velcade targets cell cycle and apoptosis signaling to suppress MPM and HBC growth in part by activating novel transducers of apoptosis. This pilot study has paved way for further in-depth analysis of the downstream target molecules associated with presensitization of mesothelioma cells in finding effective therapeutic treatment options for both mesothelioma and recalcitrant breast cancers.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma; Bortezomib (Velcade); Apoptosis; Gene expression
The aim of the present study was to determine the diagnostic accuracy of computed tomography (CT)-guided core needle biopsy (CNB) and to retrospectively analyze the correlation between the factors and complications of the procedure. Between January 2009 and June 2010, CNB was performed on 345 lung lesions in 343 patients. These patients were then followed up for at least two years. The sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) of the CNB diagnoses were calculated. The correlation between factors, such as smoking, positoin and maximal diameter, and the complications of pneumothorax and hemorrhage was analyzed by χ2 test. The sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, PPV and NPV of the CNB diagnoses were 97.3, 100, 97.7, 100 and 87.7%, respectively. A statistically significant correlation was found between pneumothorax and the factors of smoking (P=0.015) and position (P<0.01) and length of the needle in the normal parenchyma (P=0.011), as well as between hemorrhage and the maximal diameter (P=0.005) and length of the needle in the normal parenchyma (P<0.01) and the frequency of needle adjustments (P<0.01). A CT-guided core needle biopsy of the lung lesions provides a high diagnostic yield. Smoking, the decubitus position and a longer length of the needle in the normal parenchyma were found to represent risk factors for a pneumothorax. In addition, a small diameter and longer length of the needle in the normal parenchyma and a more frequent adjustment of the needle were poor predictive factors of hemorrhage.
CT-guided; core needle biopsy; pneumothorax; hemorrhage; core needle biopsy diagnosis; final diagnosis
Incomplete coverage and short duration of action limit the effectiveness of vaginally administered drugs, including microbicides for preventing sexually transmitted infections. We investigated vaginal distribution, retention, and safety of nanoparticles with surfaces modified to enhance transport through mucus. We show that mucus-penetrating particles (MPPs) provide uniform distribution over the vaginal epithelium, whereas conventional nanoparticles (CPs) that are mucoadhesive are aggregated by mouse vaginal mucus, leading to poor distribution. Moreover, when delivered hypotonically, MPPs were transported advectively (versus diffusively) through mucus deep into vaginal folds (rugae) within minutes. By penetrating into the deepest mucus layers, more MPPs were retained in the vaginal tract after 6 h compared to CPs. After 24 h, when delivered in a conventional vaginal gel, patches of a model drug remained on the vaginal epithelium, whereas the epithelium was coated with drug delivered by MPP. We then developed MPPs composed of acyclovir monophosphate (ACVp). When administered prior to vaginal herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) challenge, ACVp-MPPs protected 53% of mice, compared to only 16% protected by soluble drug. Overall, MPPs improved vaginal drug distribution and retention, provided more effective protection against vaginal viral challenge than soluble drug, and were non-toxic when administered daily for one week.
Mucus secretions coating entry points to the human body that are not covered by skin efficiently trap and clear conventional drug carriers, limiting controlled drug delivery at mucosal surfaces. To overcome this challenge, we recently engineered nanoparticles that readily penetrate a variety of human mucus secretions, which we termed mucus-penetrating particles (MPP). Here, we report a new biodegradable MPP formulation based on diblock copolymers of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) and poly(ethylene glycol) (PLGA-PEG). PLGA-PEG nanoparticles prepared by a solvent diffusion method rapidly diffused through fresh, undiluted human cervicovaginal mucus (CVM) with an average speed only eightfold lower than their theoretical speed in water. In contrast, PLGA nanoparticles were slowed more than 12,000-fold in the same CVM secretions. Based on the measured diffusivities, as much as 75% of the PLGA-PEG nanoparticles are expected to penetrate a 10-μm-thick mucus layer within 30 min, whereas virtually no PLGA nanoparticles are expected to do so over the same duration. These results encourage further development of PLGA-PEG nanoparticles as mucus-penetrating drug carriers for improved drug and gene delivery to mucosal surfaces.
Drug delivery; Human mucus; Mucus-penetrating particles
Ionizing radiation triggers diverse responses in human cells encompassing apoptosis, necrosis, stress-induced premature senescence (SIPS), autophagy, and endopolyploidy (e.g., multinucleation). Most of these responses result in loss of colony-forming ability in the clonogenic survival assay. However, not all modes of so-called clonogenic cell “death” are necessarily advantageous for therapeutic outcome in cancer radiotherapy. For example, the crosstalk between SIPS and autophagy is considered to influence the capacity of the tumor cells to maintain a prolonged state of growth inhibition that unfortunately can be succeeded by tumor regrowth and disease recurrence. Likewise, endopolyploid giant cells are able to segregate into near diploid descendants that continue mitotic activities. Herein we review the current knowledge on the roles that the p53 and p21WAF1 tumor suppressors play in determining the fate of human fibroblasts (normal and Li-Fraumeni syndrome) and solid tumor-derived cells after exposure to ionizing radiation. In addition, we discuss the important role of WIP1, a p53-regulated oncogene, in the temporal regulation of the DNA damage response and its contribution to p53 dynamics post-irradiation. This article highlights the complexity of the DNA damage response and provides an impetus for rethinking the nature of cancer cell resistance to therapeutic agents.
ionizing radiation; p53; WIP1; premature senescence; apoptosis; endopolyploidy
The objective of this study was to investigate the reversal effects of 5,5’-dimethoxylariciresinol-4’-O-β-D-glucoside (DMAG) extracted from traditional Chinese medicines Mahonia on multidrug resistance (MDR) of human leukemia cells to chemotherapeutic agents.
Materials and Methods:
MTT(3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay was performed to determine the effect of DMAG on doxorubicin sensitivity to K562/DOX cells. Propidium iodide /Hoechst 33342 double staining assay was used to investigate the effect of DMAG on doxorubicin-induced cellular apoptosis. Intracellular accumulation of doxorubicin and rhodamine 123 assay were performed to evaluate the effect of DMAG on drugs efflux activity of P-glycoprotein.
DMAG significantly enhanced the doxorubicin cytotoxicity to K562/DOX cells. In the presence of 1.0 μM of DMAG, the IC50 of doxorubicin decreased from 34.93 ± 1.37 μM to 12.51 ± 1.28 μM. DMAG of 1.0 μM significantly enhanced doxorubicin-induced cell apoptosis in K562/DOX cells and the enhancement was time-dependent. A significant increase in accumulation of doxorubicin in the presence of DMAG was observed. After treatment of the K562/DOX cells for 1 h with 15.0 μM doxorubicin alone, the fluorescence intensity was 33093.12. With the addition of 1.0 μM of DMAG, the fluorescence intensity of doxorubicin was 2.3-fold higher. A significant increase of accumulation of rhodamine 123 in the presence of DMAG was also observed. With the addition of 1.0 μM of DMAG, the fluorescence intensity was increased by 49.11% compared with rhodamine 123 alone.
DMAG was shown to effectively enhance chemosensitivity of resistant cells, which makes it might be a suitable candidate for potential MDR-reversing agents.
5,5’-dimethoxylariciresinol-4’-O-β-D-glucoside; doxorubicin; leukemia; multidrug resistance
Word sense disambiguation (WSD) is a fundamental problem in nature language processing, the objective of which is to identify the most proper sense for an ambiguous word in a given context. Although WSD has been researched over the years, the performance of existing algorithms in terms of accuracy and recall is still unsatisfactory. In this paper, we propose a novel approach to word sense disambiguation based on topical and semantic association. For a given document, supposing that its topic category is accurately discriminated, the correct sense of the ambiguous term is identified through the corresponding topic and semantic contexts. We firstly extract topic discriminative terms from document and construct topical graph based on topic span intervals to implement topic identification. We then exploit syntactic features, topic span features, and semantic features to disambiguate nouns and verbs in the context of ambiguous word. Finally, we conduct experiments on the standard data set SemCor to evaluate the performance of the proposed method, and the results indicate that our approach achieves relatively better performance than existing approaches.
Acute fulminant myocarditis (AFM) is a serious heart disease with limited treatment. This observational retrospective study aimed to investigate whether intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) was able to improve left ventricular function and reduce the episodes of arrhythmia in adult patients with AFM. The medical records of all patients with AFM who were admitted to the Critical Care Unit of Guangdong General Hospital (Guangzhou, China) between January 2001 and December 2010 were reviewed. A cohort of 58 patients was included in the study. Of these 58, 32 patients were treated with IVIG (400 mg/kg per day) for five days, while the remaining patients did not receive IVIG therapy. The patients who received IVIG therapy had a higher left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and a reduced left ventricular end-diastolic diameter (LVDD) compared with the non-IVIG therapy patients four weeks subsequent to the treatment (PLVEF=0.011 and PLVDD=0.048). The post-treatment incidence of ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation (VT/VF) and atrioventricular block (AVB) was reduced in the patients who received IVIG therapy compared with the baseline values (PVT/VF=0.025, PAVB=0.003); however, no significant differences were observed in the non-IVIG therapy patients (PVT/VF=0.564, PAVB=0.083) following treatment. There were two mortalities in the IVIG therapy group and seven in the non-IVIG therapy group (P=0.072). This retrospective study suggested that the use of IVIG for the treatment of AFM may be associated with improved left ventricular function and reduced episodes of fulminant arrhythmias.
acute fulminant myocarditis; heart failure; intravenous immunoglobulin; left ventricular ejection fraction; arrhythmia
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive, asbestos-related malignancy of the thoracic pleura. Although, platinum-based agents are the first line of therapy, there is an urgent need for second-line therapies to treat the drug-resistant MPM. Cell cycle as well as apoptosis pathways are frequently altered in MPM and thus remain attractive targets for intervention strategies. Curcumin, the major component in the spice turmeric, alone or in combination with other chemotherapeutics has been under investigation for a number of cancers. In this study, we investigated the biological and molecular responses of MPM cells to curcumin treatments and the mechanisms involved. Flow-cytometric analyses coupled with western immunoblotting and gene-array analyses were conducted to determine mechanisms of curcumin-dependent growth suppression of human (H2373, H2452, H2461, and H226) and murine (AB12) MPM cells. Curcumin inhibited MPM cell growth in a dose- and time-dependent manner while pretreatment of MPM cells with curcumin enhanced cisplatin efficacy. Curcumin activated the stress-activated p38 kinase, caspases 9 and 3, caused elevated levels of proapoptotic proteins Bax, stimulated PARP cleavage, and apoptosis. In addition, curcumin treatments stimulated expression of novel transducers of cell growth suppression such as CARP-1, XAF1, and SULF1 proteins. Oral administration of curcumin inhibited growth of murine MPM cell-derived tumors in vivo in part by stimulating apoptosis. Thus, curcumin targets cell cycle and promotes apoptosis to suppress MPM growth in vitro and in vivo. Our studies provide a proof-of-principle rationale for further in-depth analysis of MPM growth suppression mechanisms and their future exploitation in effective management of resistant MPM.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma; Curcumin; Apoptosis; Gene expression
A high-fat diet accompanied by hypertriglyceridemia increases an individual’s risk for developing atherosclerosis. An early event in this process is monocyte recruitment through binding to VCAM-1 upregulated on inflamed arterial endothelium. Diets high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may provide athero-protection by ameliorating this effect.
We investigated the acute regulation of VCAM-1 expression in human aortic endothelial cells (HAEC) in response to triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TGRL) isolated from subjects following consumption of a high-fat meal.
Methods and Results
Postprandial TGRL isolated from 38 subjects were categorized as pro- or anti-atherogenic according to their capacity to alter the inflammatory response of HAEC. Pro-atherogenic TGRL increased expression of VCAM-1, ICAM-1, and E-selectin by ~20% compared to stimulation with TNFα alone, while anti-atherogenic TGRL decreased VCAM-1 expression by ~20% while still upregulating ICAM-1. The relative atherogenicity of TGRL positively correlated with particle density of TG, ApoCIII, ApoE, and cholesterol. Ω3-PUFA mimicked the effect of anti-atherogenic TGRL by down-regulating VCAM-1 expression. TGRL exerted this differential regulation of VCAM-1 by reciprocally modulating expression and activity of the transcription factor IRF-1 and expression of microRNA 126 (miR-126). Overexpression or silencing of IRF-1 or miR-126 expression recapitulated the pro- or anti-atherogenic regulation of VCAM-1.
In response to a high-fat meal, TGRL bias the inflammatory response of endothelium via transcriptional and post-transcriptional editing of VCAM-1. Subjects with an anti-inflammatory response to a high-fat meal produced TGRL that was enriched in non-esterified fatty acids, decreased IRF-1 expression, increased miR-126 activity, and diminished monocyte arrest.
Hypertriglyceridemia; triglyceride; fatty acid; atherosclerosis; endothelial dysfunction
Pluripotency in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) is regulated by three transcription factors—OCT3/4, SOX2, and NANOG. To fully exploit the therapeutic potential of these cells it is essential to have a good mechanistic understanding of the maintenance of self-renewal and pluripotency. In this study, we demonstrate a powerful systems biology approach in which we first expand literature-based network encompassing the core regulators of pluripotency by assessing the behavior of genes targeted by perturbation experiments. We focused our attention on highly regulated genes encoding cell surface and secreted proteins as these can be more easily manipulated by the use of inhibitors or recombinant proteins. Qualitative modeling based on combining boolean networks and in silico perturbation experiments were employed to identify novel pluripotency-regulating genes. We validated Interleukin-11 (IL-11) and demonstrate that this cytokine is a novel pluripotency-associated factor capable of supporting self-renewal in the absence of exogenously added bFGF in culture. To date, the various protocols for hESCs maintenance require supplementation with bFGF to activate the Activin/Nodal branch of the TGFβ signaling pathway. Additional evidence supporting our findings is that IL-11 belongs to the same protein family as LIF, which is known to be necessary for maintaining pluripotency in mouse but not in human ESCs. These cytokines operate through the same gp130 receptor which interacts with Janus kinases. Our finding might explain why mESCs are in a more naïve cell state compared to hESCs and how to convert primed hESCs back to the naïve state. Taken together, our integrative modeling approach has identified novel genes as putative candidates to be incorporated into the expansion of the current gene regulatory network responsible for inducing and maintaining pluripotency.
embryonic stem cells; boolean modeling; regulatory networks; pluripotency; self-renewal
The goal of the present study was to compare the drug release properties and stability of the nanoporous silica with different pore architectures as a matrix for improved delivery of poorly soluble drugs. For this purpose, three dimensional ordered macroporous (3DOM) silica with 3D continuous and interconnected macropores of different sizes (200 nm and 500 nm) and classic mesoporous silica (ie, Mobil Composition of Matter [MCM]-41 and Santa Barbara Amorphous [SBA]-15) with well-ordered two dimensional (2D) cylindrical mesopores were successfully fabricated and then loaded with the model drug indomethacin (IMC) via the solvent deposition method. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), N2 adsorption, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and X-ray diffraction (XRD) were applied to systematically characterize all IMC-loaded nanoporous silica formulations, evidencing the successful inclusion of IMC into nanopores, the reduced crystallinity, and finally accelerated dissolution of IMC. It was worth mentioning that, in comparison to 2D mesoporous silica, 3DOM silica displayed a more rapid release profile, which may be ascribed to the 3D interconnected pore networks and the highly accessible surface areas. The results obtained from the stability test indicated that the amorphous state of IMC entrapped in the 2D mesoporous silica (SBA-15 and MCM-41) has a better physical stability than in that of 3DOM silica. Moreover, the dissolution rate and stability of IMC loaded in 3DOM silica was closely related to the pore size of macroporous silica. The colorimetric 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and Cell Counting Kit (CCK)-8 assays in combination with direct morphology observations demonstrated the good biocompatibility of nanoporous silica, especially for 3DOM silica and SBA-15. The present work encourages further study of the drug release properties and stability of drug entrapped in different pore architecture of silica in order to realize their potential in oral drug delivery.
3D ordered macroporous silica; mesoporous silica; poorly soluble drugs; in vitro dissolution; stability test; in vitro cytotoxicity
Functional constipation (FC) is highly prevalent in the general population of the world and has a substantial negative impact on the health-related quality of life of individuals. Many clinical trials have indicated that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of FC. However, the sample sizes of these previous studies were too small. Furthermore, there are no reports investigating the relationship between the stimulation parameter and the therapeutic effect. We therefore designed a multicenter randomized controlled trial to address these problems and hopefully provide a more conclusive answer to these questions.
Participants will be included if they meet all of the following conditions: (1) diagnosed with functional constipation according to the Roman III standard; (2) aged between 18 and 65 years; (3) not taking any drugs that promote gastrointestinal movements at least during the 1 week prior to randomization; (3) willing to sign an informed consent form; (4) willing to return to the study site for their study visits. The participants will be randomly assigned to three groups in a 1:1:1 ratio: high current intensity group, low current intensity group, and mosapride citrate control group. The total study period is 9 weeks for each patient, 1 week for baseline, 4 weeks for treatment, and 4 weeks for follow-up. The primary outcome in this trial is the number of defecating events per week. The secondary outcomes will include the shape and properties of the stool, intensity of defecating difficulty, Patient Assessment of Constipation Quality of Life (PAC-QOL), MOS item Short Form health survey (SF-36), Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS), and Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS).
This study will provide significant evidence for the application of acupuncture in FC and will identify a suitable stimulation parameter for treatment.
ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT01274793.
Acupuncture; Functional constipation; Study protocol
Circulating triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TGRL) from hypertriglyceridemic subjects exacerbate endothelial inflammation and promote monocyte infiltration into the arterial wall. We have recently reported that TGRL isolated from human blood after a high-fat meal can elicit a pro- or anti-atherogenic state in human aortic endothelial cells (HAEC), defined as up- or down-regulation of VCAM-1 expression in response to tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) stimulation, respectively. A direct correlation was found between subjects categorized at higher risk for cardiovascular disease based upon serum triglycerides and postprandial production of TGRL particles that increased VCAM-1-dependent monocyte adhesion to inflamed endothelium. To establish how TGRL metabolism is linked to VCAM-1 regulation, we examined endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and the unfolded protein response (UPR) pathways. Regardless of its atherogenicity, the rate and extent of TGRL internalization and lipid droplet formation by HAEC were uniform. However, pro-atherogenic TGRL exacerbated ER membrane expansion and stress following TNFα stimulation, whereas anti-atherogenic TGRL ameliorated such effects. Inhibition of ER stress with a chemical chaperone 4-phenylbutyric acid decreased TNFα-induced VCAM-1 expression and abrogated TGRL’s atherogenic effect. Activation of ER stress sensors PKR-like ER-regulated kinase (PERK) and inositol requiring protein 1α (IRE1α), and downstream effectors including eukaryotic initiation factor-2α (eIF2α), spliced X-box-binding protein 1 (sXBP1) and C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), directly correlated with the atherogenic activity of an individual’s TGRL. Modulation of ER stress sensors also correlated with changes in expression of interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF-1), a transcription factor of Vcam-1 responsible for regulation of its expression. Moreover, knockdown studies using siRNA defined a causal relationship between the PERK/eIF2α/CHOP pathway and IRF-1-mediated VCAM-1 expression. We conclude that ER stress and the UPR contribute to the regulation of Vcam-1 transcription as a function of the atherogenic nature of TGRL.
Our previous study revealed that Type II cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG II) inhibits epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced MAPK/ERK and MAPK/JNK-mediated signal transduction through the inhibition of the phosphorylation/activation of the EGF receptor (EGFR). As EGFR also mediates several other signal transduction pathways besides MAPK-mediated pathways, the present study was designed to investigate whether PKG II was able to inhibit EGF/EGFR-induced phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt-mediated signal transduction. The AGS human gastric cancer cell line was infected with adenoviral constructs encoding a cDNA of PKG II (Ad-PKG II) to increase the expression of PKG II, and treated with 8-pCPT-cGMP to activate the enzyme. Western blotting was used to detect the phosphorylation/activation of the key components of the signal transduction pathway, including EGFR, PI3K, Akt, mTOR and NF-κB. The levels of apoptosis-related proteins, including Bax, Bcl-2, caspase 9 and DNA fragment factor (DFF), were also determined by western blotting. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end-labeling staining was used to detect the apoptosis of the AGS cells. The results revealed that EGF treatment increased the phosphorylation (activation) of EGFR, PI3K, Akt and mTOR, and increased the nuclear localization (activation) of NF-κB. EGF treatment also reduced the apoptosis of the AGS cells and increased the expression of the anti-apoptotic protein, Bcl-2, but had no effect on the expression of the pro-apoptotic protein, Bax, and did not alter the levels of caspase 9 and DFF. Increasing the PKG II activity of AGS cells by infecting them with Ad-PKG II and stimulating them with 8-pCPT-cGMP inhibited the EGF-induced activation of EGFR, PI3K, Akt, mTOR and NF-κB; caused an increase in caspase 9 breakdown (activation) and DFF levels; and reversed the anti-apoptotic effect of EGF. The results suggest that PKG II may also inhibit EGF-induced signal transduction of PI3K/Akt-mediated pathways, and further confirm that PKG II is able to block the activation of EGFR.
Type II cGMP-dependent protein kinase; phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase/Akt-mediated signal transduction; apoptosis; gastric cancer cells
Dissolved organic matter (DOM) in sediment pore waters from Yangtze estuary of China based on abundance, UV absorbance, molecular weight distribution and fluorescence were investigated using a combination of various parameters of DOM as well as 3D fluorescence excitation emission matrix spectra (F-EEMS) with the parallel factor and principal component analysis (PARAFAC-PCA). The results indicated that DOM in pore water of Yangtze estuary was very variable which mainly composed of low aromaticity and molecular weight materials. Three humic-like substances (C1, C2, C4) and one protein-like substance (C3) were identified by PARAFAC model. C1, C2 and C4 exhibited same trends and were very similar. The separation of samples on both axes of the PCA showed the difference in DOM properties. C1, C2 and C4 concurrently showed higher positive factor 1 loadings, while C3 showed highly positive factor 2 loadings. The PCA analysis showed a combination contribution of microbial DOM signal and terrestrial DOM signal in the Yangtze estuary. Higher and more variable DOM abundance, aromaticity and molecular weight of surface sediment pore water DOM can be found in the southern nearshore than the other regions primarily due to the influence of frequent and intensive human activities and tributaries inflow in this area. The DOM abundance, aromaticity, molecular weight and fluorescence intensity in core of different depth were relative constant and increased gradually with depth. DOM in core was mainly composed of humic-like material, which was due to higher release of the sedimentary organic material into the porewater during early diagenesis.