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1.  A Single Chain Variant of Factor VIII Fc Fusion Protein Retains Normal In Vivo Efficacy but Exhibits Altered In Vitro Activity 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e113600.
Recombinant factor VIII Fc (rFVIIIFc) is a fusion protein consisting of a single B-domain-deleted (BDD) FVIII linked recombinantly to the Fc domain of human IgG1 to extend half-life. To determine if rFVIIIFc could be further improved by maintaining the heavy and light chains within a contiguous single chain (SC), we evaluated the activity and function of SC rFVIIIFc, an isoform that is not processed at residue R1648. SC rFVIIIFc showed equivalent activity in a chromogenic assay compared to rFVIIIFc, but approximately 40% activity by the one-stage clotting assay in the presence of von Willebrand Factor (VWF), with full activity in the absence of VWF. Moreover, SC rFVIIIFc demonstrated markedly delayed thrombin-mediated release from VWF, but an activity similar to that of rFVIIIFc upon activation in FXa generation assays. Therefore, the apparent reduction in specific activity in the aPTT assay appears to be primarily due to delayed release of FVIII from VWF. To assess whether stability and activity of SC rFVIIIFc were affected in vivo, a tail vein transection model in Hemophilia A mice was utilized. The results demonstrated similar pharmacokinetic profiles and comparable efficacy for SC rFVIIIFc and rFVIIIFc. Thus, while the single chain configuration did not promote enhanced half-life, it reduced the rate of release of FVIII from VWF required for activation. This impaired release may underlie the observed reduction in the one-stage clotting assay, but does not appear to affect the physiological activity of SC rFVIIIFc.
PMCID: PMC4240654  PMID: 25415306
2.  Gastric wall implantation metastasis of retroperitoneal extraskeletal osteosarcoma: A case report and review of the literature 
Oncology Letters  2014;8(6):2431-2435.
Retroperitoneal extraskeletal osteosarcoma (ESOS) is a rare and highly invasive tumor that is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage due to the insidious onset. The present study analyses a case of retroperitoneal ESOS and its clinical, radiological and therapeutic conditions, and also provides a review of the literature. A 52-year-old male was diagnosed with retroperitoneal ESOS. The patient succumbed to the condition one year after the initial surgery. During treatment, the patient underwent two additional surgeries and two courses of chemotherapy. In the present case, a peritoneal metastatic lesion of ESOS was shed from the peritoneum and implanted into the outer membrane of the stomach and metastasis was identified, this has rarely been reported in the literature. Retroperitoneal ESOS should be considered in the differential diagnosis of a retroperitoneal mass in order to facilitate the management of surgery and help determine the appropriate treatment of the disease.
PMCID: PMC4214496  PMID: 25364404
retroperitoneal extraskeletal osteosarcoma; implantation metastasis; therapy
3.  Impact of oxidative stress on the cytoskeleton of pancreatic epithelial cells 
In the present study the effect of reactive oxygen species on the morphological changes of pancreatic epithelial cells in a three-dimensional culture system was investigated. In addition, the expression of signaling molecules during this process was determined. Matrigel™ was used to construct a three-dimensional culture model of pancreatic epithelial and cancer cells. The cultured cells were stimulated with 1 or 200 μmol/l H2O2 (a typical reactive oxygen species), and the morphological changes were then evaluated after 15 min, 1 h and 4 h. The cytoskeleton of the cells was observed using laser scanning confocal microscopy with immunofluorescence staining. In addition, the nuclear content of nuclear factor κ-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) was detected using ELISA. The results demonstrated that treatment with 200 μmol/l H2O2 induced cell contraction after 15 min, and cell morphology recovered after 1 h; however, cell size was reduced after 4 h. Consequently, intracellular actin and microtubules were rapidly lost following H2O2 treatment, and the cytoskeleton became indistinct and eventually disintegrated after 4 h. Similar observations were noted for the normal pancreatic epithelial and cancer cells. By contrast, treatment with 1 μmol/l H2O2 did not affect the morphology and cytoskeleton of pancreatic epithelial cells. In addition, 200 μmol/l H2O2 treatment increased the activity of NF-κB gradually, while 1 μmol/l H2O2 treatment was found to have little impact on the activity of NF-κB. Therefore, it was demonstrated that oxidative stress can induce the early onset of reversible cell contraction and cytoskeleton depolarization in pancreatic epithelial cells, and can increase NF-κB expression.
PMCID: PMC4186494  PMID: 25289036
pancreatic disease; oxidative stress; nuclear factor κ-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells
4.  A Renaissance for Antisense Oligonucleotide Drugs in Neurology 
Archives of neurology  2009;66(1):32-38.
Antisense oligonucleotides are short nucleic acid sequences designed for use as small-molecule drugs. They recognize and bind to specific messenger RNA (mRNA) or pre-mRNA sequences to create small double-stranded regions of the target mRNA that alter mRNA splicing patterns or inhibit protein translation. Antisense approaches have been actively pursued as a form of molecular medicine for more than 20 years, but only one has been translated to a marketed drug (intraocular human immunodeficiency virus treatment). Two recent advances foreshadow a change in clinical applications of antisense strategies. First is the development of synthetic DNA analogues that show outstanding stability and sequence specificity yet little or no binding to modulator proteins. Second is the publication of impressive preclinical and clinical data using antisense in an exon-skipping strategy to increase dystrophin production in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. As long-standing barriers are successfully circumvented, attention turns toward scale-up of production, long-term toxicity studies, and the challenges to traditional drug regulatory attitudes presented by tightly targeted sequence-specific drugs.
PMCID: PMC4111150  PMID: 19139297
5.  ChR2 Mutants at L132 and T159 with Improved Operational Light Sensitivity for Vision Restoration 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e98924.
The ectopic expression of microbial opsin-based optogenetic sensors, such as channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) in surviving inner retinal neurons, is a promising approach to restoring vision after retinal degeneration. However, a major limitation in using native ChR2 as a light sensor for vision restoration is the low light sensitivity of its expressing cells. Recently, two ChR2 mutations, T159C and L132C, were reported to produce higher photocurrents or have ultra light sensitivity. In this study, we created additional ChR2 mutants at these two sites to search for more light responsive ChR2 forms and evaluate their suitability for vision restoration by examining their light responsive properties in HEK cells and mouse retinal ganglion cells. We found additional ChR2 mutants at these two sites that showed a further increase in current amplitude at low light levels in the cells expressing these mutants, or operational light sensitivity. However, the increase in the operational light sensitivity was correlated with a decrease in temporal kinetics. Therefore, there is a trade-off between operational light sensitivity and temporal resolution for these more light responsive ChR2 mutants. Our results showed that for the two most light responsive mutants, L132C/T159C and L132C/T159S, the required light intensities for generating the threshold spiking activity in retinal ganglion cells were 1.5 and nearly 2 log units lower than wild-type ChR2 (wt-ChR2), respectively. Additionally, their ChR2-mediated spiking activities could follow flicker frequencies up to 20 and 10 Hz, respectively, at light intensities up to 1.5 log units above their threshold levels. Thus, the use of these more light responsive ChR2 mutants could make the optogenetic approach to restoring vision more feasible.
PMCID: PMC4047080  PMID: 24901492
6.  Germplasm preservation in vitro of Polygonum multiflorum Thunb 
Pharmacognosy Magazine  2014;10(38):179-184.
The root of Polygonum multiflorum Thunb. is a common traditional Chinese medicine. In recent years, the wild resources of P. multiflorum have been seriously broken, and the cultivated varieties have been degrading. The germplasm resources of P. multiflorum need protection and preservation. So far, no in vitro germplasm preservation of P. multiflorum has been reported.
To explore a method for the in vitro germplasm preservation of P. multiflorum.
Materials and Methods:
A large number of buds from seed explants were induced by tissue culture. The single buds were used as experimental materials to study the effects of plant growth regulator, temperature, and osmotic pressure on the preservation time, growth recovery, and genetic stability.
When the buds were inoculated onto Murashige and Skoog (MS) basal media containing 4% w/v sucrose, 2% w/v mannitol, and 1% w/v sorbitol, supplemented with paclobutrazol (PP333) 1.0 mg/l, abscisic acid (ABA) 5.0 mg/l, and daminozide (B9) 30.0 mg/l in an illuminated chamber under a 16 h photoperiod of 1500 lx light intensity at 15°C for 10 months, the survival rate was over 70% with good growth recovery and genetic stability.
The results of this study can be used for medium-term in vitro germplasm preservation of P. multiflorum, and meeting actual needs of research and production.
PMCID: PMC4048566  PMID: 24914285
Germplasm; Polygonum multiflorum Thunb.; preservation in vitro
8.  Common variants at CDKAL1 and KLF9 are associated with body mass index in East Asian populations 
Nature genetics  2012;44(3):10.1038/ng.1086.
Obesity is a disorder with complex genetic etiology, and its epidemic is a worldwide problem. Although multiple genetic loci associated with body mass index (BMI), the most common measure of obesity, have been identified in European populations, few studies have focused on Asian populations. Here, we report a genome-wide association study (GWAS) and replication studies with 62,245 East Asian subjects, which identified two novel BMI-associated loci in the CDKAL1 locus at 6p22 (rs2206734, P = 1.4 × 10−11) and the KLF9 locus at 9q21 (rs11142387, P = 1.3 × 10−9), as well as previously reported loci (the SEC16B, BDNF, FTO, MC4R, and GIPR loci; P < 5.0 × 10−8). We subsequently performed gene–gene interaction analysis and identified an interaction (P = 2.0 × 10−8) between SNPs in the KLF9 locus (rs11142387) and the GDF8 locus at 2q32 (rs13034723). These findings should provide useful insights into the etiology of obesity.
PMCID: PMC3838874  PMID: 22344221
9.  Isolation, Purification, Characterization and Effect upon HepG2 Cells of Anemaran from Rhizome Anemarrhena  
The rhizome of Anemarrhena asphodeloides is used as food and traditional Chinese medicine for its hypoglycemic effect. The aim of this study was to investigate the isolation, purification and hypoglycemic activity of Anemaran as the active component. The influence factors (isolation duration, ratio of residuals to water and extracting times) during the isolation process were evaluated. The optimal conditions for NA and AA were extraction temperature 90ºC and 100ºC, duration 1h and 1.5 h, extraction time 3 and 3, and the solid–liquor ratio 1:20 and 1:15, respectively. Neutral and acid Anemaran (NA and AA) were isolated from the rhizome of Anemarrhena asphodeloides. Five fractions of NA-1, NA-2, NA-3, AA-1 and AA-2 were obtained after crude neutral and acid Anemaran purified through DEAE- 52 cellulose anion-exchange column. The characterizations of Anemaran and its different fractions were both analyzed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and scanning electron micrographs (SEM). Structural properties of different fractions were examined by FT-IR. Strong characteristic absorption peaks were observed at around 1744 cm−1and 1650 cm−1 caused by the C=O group of uronic acids, and the band between 1440 cm−1 and 1395 cm−1 associated with the stretching vibration of C–O of galacturonic acid. Neither the crude neutral, nor the acid anemaran significantly inhibited the growth of HepG2 cells in-vitro, which indicated the low cytotoxicity of the anemaran. Furthermore, both neutral and acid anemaran showed hypoglycemic effect. The hypoglycemic effect of neutral anemaran was much higher than that of acid anemaran.
PMCID: PMC3920721  PMID: 24523758
Anemaran; Isolation; Purification; Characterization; Hypoglycemic effect
10.  Activation of TLR4 is necessary for trauma hemorrhagic shock-induced gut injury and PMN priming 
Shock (Augusta, Ga.)  2012;38(1):107-114.
Interactions of Toll-like receptors (TLR) with non-microbial factors plays a major role in the pathogenesis of early trauma-hemorrhagic shock (T/HS)-induced organ injury and inflammation. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that TLR4 mutant (TLR4mut) mice would be more resistant to T/HS-induced gut injury and neutrophil (PMN) priming than their wild-type (WT) littermates and found that both were significantly reduced in the TLR4mut mice. Additionally, the in vivo and ex vivo PMN priming effect of T/HS intestinal lymph observed in the WT mice was abrogated in TLR4mut mice as well the TRIFmut deficient mice and partially attenuated in Myd88-/- mice suggesting that TRIF activation played a more predominant role than MyD88 in T/HS lymph-induced PMN priming. PMN depletion studies showed that T/HS lymph-induced acute lung injury (ALI) was PMN-dependent, since lung injury was totally abrogated in PMN-depleted animals. Since the lymph samples were sterile and devoid of endotoxin or bacterial DNA, we investigated whether the effects of T/HS lymph was related to endogenous non-microbial TLR4 ligands. HMGB1, heat shock protein (Hsp)-70, Hsp27 and hyaluronic acid, since all have been implicated in ischemia-reperfusion-induced tissue injury. None of these ‘danger’ proteins appeared to be involved, since their levels were similar between the sham and shock lymph samples. In conclusion, TLR4 activation is important in T/HS-induced gut injury and in T/HS lymph-induced PMN priming and lung injury. However, the T/HS-associated effects of TLR4 on gut barrier dysfunction can be uncoupled from the T/HS lymph-associated effects of TLR4 on PMN priming.
PMCID: PMC3378823  PMID: 22575992
mesenteric lymph; shock; MODS; hemorrhage; danger model
11.  Expression of huCdc7 in colorectal cancer 
AIM: To detect the expression of huCdc7 in colorectal cancer.
METHODS: The mRNA and protein expression of huCdc7 in 39 colorectal cancer tissue specimens and matched tumor-adjacent normal colorectal tissue specimens was detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry, respectively.
RESULTS: The relative expression level of huCdc7 mRNA in colorectal cancer was significantly higher than that in tumor-adjacent normal colorectal tissues (0.03675 ± 1.00 vs 0.01199 ± 0.44, P < 0.05). huCdc7-positive cells displayed brown granules in the nucleus. Tumor tissues contained many huCdc7-positive cells, whereas normal colorectal tissues contained very few positive cells.
CONCLUSION: huCdc7 may play an important role in the development and progression of colorectal cancer.
PMCID: PMC3662954  PMID: 23716994
huCdc7; Semiquantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction; Colorectal cancer
12.  Brain Responses to Acupuncture Are Probably Dependent on the Brain Functional Status 
In recent years, neuroimaging studies of acupuncture have explored extensive aspects of brain responses to acupuncture in finding its underlying mechanisms. Most of these studies have been performed on healthy adults. Only a few studies have been performed on patients with diseases. Brain responses to acupuncture in patients with the same disease at different pathological stages have not been explored, although it may be more important and helpful in uncovering its underlying mechanisms. In the present study, we used fMRI to compare brain responses to acupuncture in patients with Bell's palsy at different pathological stages with normal controls and found that the brain response to acupuncture varied at different pathological stages of Bell's palsy. The brain response to acupuncture decreased in the early stages, increased in the later stages, and nearly returned to normal in the recovered group. All of the changes in the brain response to acupuncture could be explained as resulting from the changes in the brain functional status. Therefore, we proposed that the brain response to acupuncture is dependent on the brain functional status, while further investigation is needed to provide more evidence in support of this proposition.
PMCID: PMC3662123  PMID: 23737817
13.  Hepatic histopathology and postoperative outcome after preoperative chemotherapy for Chinese patients with colorectal liver metastases 
AIM: To assess the effects of preoperative treatment on the hepatic histology of non-tumoral liver and the postoperative outcome.
METHODS: One hundred and six patients underwent hepatic resection for colorectal metastases between 1999 and 2009. The surgical specimens were reviewed with established criteria for diagnosis and grading of pathological hepatic injury. The impact of preoperative therapy on liver injury and postoperative outcome was analyzed.
RESULTS: Fifty-three patients (50%) received surgery alone, whereas 42 patients (39.6%) received neoadjuvant chemotherapy and 11 (10.4%) patients received preoperative hepatic artery infusion (HAI). Chemotherapy included oxaliplatin-based regimens (31.1%) and irinotecan-based regimens (8.5%). On histopathological analysis, 16 patients (15.1%) had steatosis, 31 (29.2%) had sinusoidal dilation and 20 patients (18.9%) had steatohepatitis. Preoperative oxaliplatin was associated with sinusoidal dilation compared with surgery alone (42.4% vs 20.8%, P = 0.03); however, the perioperative complication rate was not significantly different between the oxaliplatin group and surgery group (27.3% vs 13.2%, P = 0.1). HAI was associated with more steatosis, sinusoidal dilation and steatohepatitis than the surgery group, with higher perioperative morbidity (36.4% vs 13.2%, P = 0.06) and mortality (9.1% vs 0% P = 0.02).
CONCLUSION: Preoperative oxaliplatin was associated with sinusoidal dilation compared with surgery alone. However, the preoperative oxaliplatin had no significant impact on perioperative outcomes. HAI can cause pathological changes and tends to increase perioperative morbidity and mortality.
PMCID: PMC3615301  PMID: 23556058
Drug liver injury; Preoperative chemotherapy; Hepatic artery infusion; Sinusoidal dilation
14.  Testosterone depletion / blockade in male rats protects against trauma hemorrhagic shock-induced distant organ injury by limiting gut injury and subsequent production of biologically active mesenteric lymph 
The Journal of Trauma  2011;71(6):1652-1658.
We tested the hypothesis that testosterone depletion / blockade in male rats protects against trauma hemorrhagic shock-induced distant organ injury by limiting gut injury and subsequent production of biologically active mesenteric lymph.
Male, castrated male, or Flutamide-treated rats (25mg/kg sc following resuscitation) were subjected to a laparotomy (trauma), mesenteric lymph duct cannulation and 90 min of shock (35mmHg) or trauma sham-shock. Mesenteric lymph was collected pre, during and post shock. Gut injury was determined at 6 hours post shock using ex vivo ileal permeability with Fluorescein Dextran (FD4). Post-shock mesenteric lymph was assayed for biologic activity in vivo by injection into mice and measuring lung permeability, neutrophil activation and RBC deformability. In vitro neutrophil priming capacity of the lymph was also tested.
Castrated and flutamide-treated male rats were significantly protected against trauma-hemorrhagic shock (T/HS)-induced gut injury as compared to hormonally-intact males. Post-shock mesenteric lymph from male rats had a higher capacity to induce lung injury, PMN activation and loss of RBC deformability when injected into naïve mice as compared to castrated and flutamide treated males. The increase in gut injury after T/HS in males directly correlated with the in vitro biologic activity of mesenteric lymph to prime neutrophils for an increased respiratory burst.
Following T/HS, gut protective effects can be observed in males after testosterone blockade / depletion. This reduced gut injury contributes to decreased biologic activity of mesenteric lymph leading to attenuated systemic inflammation and distant organ injury.
PMCID: PMC3269763  PMID: 22182874
Trauma; Shock; Sex Hormones; Mesenteric Lymph
15.  Acupuncture inhibits cue-induced heroin craving and brain activation★ 
Neural Regeneration Research  2012;7(33):2607-2616.
Previous research using functional MRI has shown that specific brain regions associated with drug dependence and cue-elicited heroin craving are activated by environmental cues. Craving is an important trigger of heroin relapse, and acupuncture may inhibit craving. In this study, we performed functional MRI in heroin addicts and control subjects. We compared differences in brain activation between the two groups during heroin cue exposure, heroin cue exposure plus acupuncture at the Zusanli point (ST36) without twirling of the needle, and heroin cue exposure plus acupuncture at the Zusanli point with twirling of the needle. Heroin cue exposure elicited significant activation in craving-related brain regions mainly in the frontal lobes and callosal gyri. Acupuncture without twirling did not significantly affect the range of brain activation induced by heroin cue exposure, but significantly changed the extent of the activation in the heroin addicts group. Acupuncture at the Zusanli point with twirling of the needle significantly decreased both the range and extent of activation induced by heroin cue exposure compared with heroin cue exposure plus acupuncture without twirling of the needle. These experimental findings indicate that presentation of heroin cues can induce activation in craving-related brain regions, which are involved in reward, learning and memory, cognition and emotion. Acupuncture at the Zusanli point can rapidly suppress the activation of specific brain regions related to craving, supporting its potential as an intervention for drug craving.
PMCID: PMC4200728  PMID: 25368637
acupuncture; Zusanli (ST36); heroin addiction; cues induction; functional MRI; craving; twirling; activation of brain regions; traditional Chinese medicine; neural regeneration
16.  Disparities in Stroke Rehabilitation: Results of a Study in an Integrated Health System in Northern California 
To determine whether there are disparities in postacute stroke rehabilitation based on type of stroke, race/ethnicity, sex/gender, age, socioeconomic status, geographic region, or service area referral patterns in a large integrated health system with multiple levels of care.
Cohort study tracking rehabilitation services for 365 days after acute hospitalization for a first stroke.
The Northern California Kaiser Permanente Health System (approximately 3.3 million membership population)
A total of 11,119 patients hospitalized for acute stroke from 1996 to 2003. The cohort includes patients discharged from acute care after a stroke. Postacute care rehabilitation services were evaluated according to the level of care ever-received within the 365 days after discharge from acute care, including inpatient rehabilitation hospital (IRH), skilled nursing facility (SNF), home health and outpatient, or no rehabilitation services.
Not applicable.
Main Outcome Measure
Service delivery.
Patients discharged to an IRH had longer lengths of stay in acute care. Patients with hemorrhagic stroke were less likely to be treated in an IRH. Patients whose highest level of rehabilitation was SNF were older and more likely to be women. After adjusting for age and other covariates, women were less likely to go to an IRH than men. Asian and black patients were more likely than white patients to be treated in an IRH or SNF. Also more likely to go to an IRH were patients from higher socioeconomic groups, from urban areas, and from geographic areas close to the regional rehabilitation hospital.
These results suggest variation in care delivery and extent of postacute care based on differences in patient demographics and geographic factors. Results also varied over time. Some minority populations in this cohort appeared to be more likely to receive IRH care, possibly because of disease severity, family support systems, cultural factors, or differences in referral patterns.
PMCID: PMC3432287  PMID: 19627870
17.  A Functional and Structural Mongolian Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica) Model Integrating Architecture, Biomass and Effects of Precipitation 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e43531.
Mongolian Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica) is one of the principal tree species in the network of Three-North Shelterbelt for windbreak and sand stabilisation in China. The functions of shelterbelts are highly correlated with the architecture and eco-physiological processes of individual tree. Thus, model-assisted analysis of canopy architecture and function dynamic in Mongolian Scots pine is of value for better understanding its role and behaviour within shelterbelt ecosystems in these arid and semiarid regions. We present here a single-tree functional and structural model, derived from the GreenLab model, which is adapted for young Mongolian Scots pines by incorporation of plant biomass production, allocation, allometric rules and soil water dynamics. The model is calibrated and validated based on experimental measurements taken on Mongolian Scots pines in 2007 and 2006 under local meteorological conditions. Measurements include plant biomass, topology and geometry, as well as soil attributes and standard meteorological data. After calibration, the model allows reconstruction of three-dimensional (3D) canopy architecture and biomass dynamics for trees from one- to six-year-old at the same site using meteorological data for the six years from 2001 to 2006. Sensitivity analysis indicates that rainfall variation has more influence on biomass increment than on architecture, and the internode and needle compartments and the aboveground biomass respond linearly to increases in precipitation. Sensitivity analysis also shows that the balance between internode and needle growth varies only slightly within the range of precipitations considered here. The model is expected to be used to investigate the growth of Mongolian Scots pines in other regions with different soils and climates.
PMCID: PMC3425476  PMID: 22927982
18.  Anticoagulants influence the in vitro activity and composition of shock lymph but not its in vivo activity 
Shock (Augusta, Ga.)  2011;36(2):177-183.
Many models of trauma-hemorrhagic shock (T/HS) involve the reinfusion of anticoagulated shed blood. Our recent observation that the anticoagulant heparin induces increased mesenteric lymph lipase activity and consequent in vitro endothelial cell cytotoxicity prompted us to investigate the effect of heparin-induced lipase activity on organ injury in vivo as well as the effects of other anticoagulants on mesenteric lymph bioactivity in vitro and in vivo. To investigate this issue, rats subjected to trauma-hemorrhage had their shed blood anticoagulated with heparin, the synthetic anticoagulant arixtra or citrate. Arixtra, in contrast to heparin, did not increased lymph lipase activity or result in high levels of endothelial cytotoxicity. Yet, the arixtra-treated rats subjected to T/HS still manifested lung injury, neutrophil priming and RBC dysfunction, which was totally abrogated by lymph duct ligation. Furthermore, the injection of T/HS mesenteric lymph, but not sham-shock lymph, collected from the arixtra rats into control mice recreated the pattern of lung injury, PMN priming and RBC dysfunction observed after actual shock. Consistent with these observations, citrate anticoagulated rats subjected to T/HS developed lung injury and the injection of mesenteric lymph from the citrate-anticoagulated T/HS rats into control mice also resulted in lung injury. Based on these results, several conclusions can be drawn. First, heparin-induced increased mesenteric lymph lipase activity is not responsible for the in vivo effects of T/HS mesenteric lymph. Secondly, heparin should be avoided as an anticoagulant when studying the biology or composition of mesenteric lymph due to its ability to cause increases in lymph lipase activity that increase the in vitro cytotoxicity of these lymph samples.
PMCID: PMC3261619  PMID: 21558984
Mesenteric lymph; shock; hemorrhage; ARDS; MODS
19.  Action potential generation at an AIS-like process in the axonless retinal AII amacrine cell 
In axon-bearing neurons, action potentials conventionally initiate at the axon initial segment (AIS) and are important for neuron excitability and cell-to-cell communication. However in axonless neurons, spike origin has remained unclear. Here we report in the axonless spiking AII amacrine cell of the mouse retina a dendritic process sharing organizational and functional similarities with the AIS. This process was revealed through viral-mediated expression of channelrhodopsin-2-GFP (ChR2-GFP) with the AIS-targeting motif of sodium channels (NavII-III). The AII-processes showed clustering of voltage-gated Na+ channel 1.1 (Nav1.1) as well as AIS markers ankyrin-G and neurofascin. Furthermore, NavII-III targeting disrupted Nav1.1 clustering in the AII-process which drastically decreased Na+ current and abolished the ability of the AII amacrine cell to generate spiking. Our findings indicate that despite lacking an axon, spiking in the axonless neuron can originate at a specialized AIS-like process.
PMCID: PMC3228603  PMID: 21994381
20.  Gambogic acid inhibits TNF-α-induced invasion of human prostate cancer PC3 cells in vitro through PI3K/Akt and NF-κB signaling pathways 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2012;33(4):531-541.
To investigate the mechanisms underlying the inhibitory effect of gambogic acid (GA) on TNF-α-induced metastasis of human prostate cancer PC3 cells in vitro.
TNF-α-mediated migration and invasion of PC3 cells was examined using migration and invasion assays, respectively. NF-κB transcriptional activity and nuclear translocation were analyzed with luciferase reporter gene assays, immunofluorescence assays and Western blots. The ability of p65 to bind the promoter of Snail, an important mesenchymal molecular marker, was detected using a chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay. After treatment with Snail-specific siRNA, the expression of invasiveness-associated genes was measured using quantitative real-time PCR and Western blot.
GA significantly inhibited the viability of PC3 cells at 1–5 μmol/L, but did not produce cytotoxic effect at the concentrations below 0.5 μmol/L. GA (0.125–0.5 μmol/L) dose-dependently inhibited the migration and invasion of PC3 cells induced by TNF-α (10 ng/mL). Moreover, the TNF-α-mediated activation of phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase/protein kinase B (PI3K/Akt) and NF-κB pathways was suppressed by GA (0.5 μmol/L). Furthermore, this anti-invasion effect of GA was associated with regulation of Snail. Snail expression was significantly down-regulated by treatment with GA (0.5 μmol/L) in the TNF-α-stimulated PC3 cells.
GA inhibits TNF-α-induced invasion of PC3 cells via inactivation of the PI3K/Akt and NF-κB signaling pathways, which may offer a novel approach for the treatment of human prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC4003358  PMID: 22426696
gambogic acid; human prostate cancer; tumor metastasis; tumor invasion; tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α); PI3K/Akt signaling pathway; NF-κB signaling pathway; Snail
21.  A stochastic model of tree architecture and biomass partitioning: application to Mongolian Scots pines 
Annals of Botany  2010;107(5):781-792.
Background and Aims
Mongolian Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica) is one of the principal species used for windbreak and sand stabilization in arid and semi-arid areas in northern China. A model-assisted analysis of its canopy architectural development and functions is valuable for better understanding its behaviour and roles in fragile ecosystems. However, due to the intrinsic complexity and variability of trees, the parametric identification of such models is currently a major obstacle to their evaluation and their validation with respect to real data. The aim of this paper was to present the mathematical framework of a stochastic functional–structural model (GL2) and its parameterization for Mongolian Scots pines, taking into account inter-plant variability in terms of topological development and biomass partitioning.
In GL2, plant organogenesis is determined by the realization of random variables representing the behaviour of axillary or apical buds. The associated probabilities are calibrated for Mongolian Scots pines using experimental data including means and variances of the numbers of organs per plant in each order-based class. The functional part of the model relies on the principles of source–sink regulation and is parameterized by direct observations of living trees and the inversion method using measured data for organ mass and dimensions.
Key Results
The final calibration accuracy satisfies both organogenetic and morphogenetic processes. Our hypothesis for the number of organs following a binomial distribution is found to be consistent with the real data. Based on the calibrated parameters, stochastic simulations of the growth of Mongolian Scots pines in plantations are generated by the Monte Carlo method, allowing analysis of the inter-individual variability of the number of organs and biomass partitioning. Three-dimensional (3D) architectures of young Mongolian Scots pines were simulated for 4-, 6- and 8-year-old trees.
This work provides a new method for characterizing tree structures and biomass allocation that can be used to build a 3D virtual Mongolian Scots pine forest. The work paves the way for bridging the gap between a single-plant model and a stand model.
PMCID: PMC3077980  PMID: 21062760
Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica; functional–structural plant model; canopy architecture; three-dimensional; forest canopy; virtual plant; GreenLab, parameterization
22.  The mucus layer is critical in protecting against ischemia/reperfusion-mediated gut injury and in the restitution of gut barrier function 
Shock (Augusta, Ga.)  2011;35(3):275-281.
It is well documented that the gut injury plays a critical role in the development of systemic inflammation and distant organ injury in conditions associated with splanchnic ischemia. Consequently understanding the mechanisms leading to gut injury is important. In this context, recent work suggests a protective role for the intestinal mucus layer and an injury-inducing role for luminal pancreatic proteases. Thus, we explored the role of the mucus layer in gut barrier function by observing how the removal of the mucus layer affects ischemia/reperfusion-mediated gut injury in rats as well as the potential role of luminal pancreatic proteases in the pathogenesis of gut injury. Ischemia was induced by the ligation of blood vessels to segments of the ileum for 45 min, followed by up to three hours of reperfusion. The ileal segments were divided into 5 groups. These included a non-ischemic control, ischemic segments exposed to saline, the mucolytic N-acetylcholine (NAC), pancreatic proteases or NAC plus pancreatic proteases. Changes in gut barrier function were assessed by the permeation of fluorescein isothiocyanate dextran (MW 4000 Da; FD4) in ileal everted sacs. Gut injury was measured morphologically and by the luminal content of protein, DNA and hemoglobin. The mucus layer was assessed functionally by measuring its hydrophobicity and morphologically. Gut barrier function was promptly and effectively re-established during reperfusion, which was accompanied by the restoration of the mucus layer. In contrast, treatment of the gut with the mucolytic NAC for 10 min during ischemia resulted in a failure of mucus restitution and further increases in gut permeability and injury. The presence of digestive proteases by themselves did not exacerbate gut injury but in combination with NAC, they caused an even greater increase in gut injury and permeability. These results suggest that the mucus layer not only serves as a barrier between the luminal contents and gut surface epithelia, but also plays a critical role in the maintenance and restitution of gut barrier function.
PMCID: PMC3261620  PMID: 20856173
Mucus layer; Ischemia/reperfusion; intestinal permeability; gut barrier function; digestive proteases
23.  Recombinant Factor XIII Mitigates Hemorrhagic Shock-Induced Organ Dysfunction 
The Journal of Surgical Research  2010;166(2):e135-e142.
Plasma factor XIII (FXIII) is responsible for stabilization of fibrin clot at the final stage of blood coagulation. Since FXIII has also been shown to modulate inflammation, endothelial permeability, as well as diminish multiple organ dysfunction (MOD) after gut ischemia-reperfusion injury, we hypothesized that FXIII would reduce MOD caused by trauma-hemorrhagic shock (THS).
Materials and methods
Rats were subjected to a 90 min THS or trauma sham shock (TSS) and treated with either recombinant human FXIII A2 subunit (rFXIII) or placebo immediately after resuscitation with shed blood or at the end of the TSS period. Lung permeability, lung and gut myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, gut histology, neutrophil respiratory burst, microvascular blood flow in the liver and muscles, and cytokine levels were measured 3 h after the THS or TSS. FXIII levels were measured before THS or TSS and after the 3-h post-shock period.
THS-induced lung permeability as well as lung and gut MPO activity was significantly lower in rFXIII-treated than in placebo-treated animals. Similarly, rFXIII-treated rats had lower neutrophil respiratory burst activity and less ileal mucosal injury. rFXIII-treated rats also had a higher liver microvascular blood flow compared with the placebo group. Cytokine response was more favorable in rFXIII-treated animals. Trauma-hemorrhagic shock did not cause a drop in FXIII activity during the study period.
Administration of rFXIII diminishes THS-induced MOD in rats, presumably by preservation of the gut barrier function, limitation of polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN) activation, and modulation of the cytokine response.
PMCID: PMC3269945  PMID: 21276979
fibrin stabilizing factor; trauma; hemorrhagic shock; oxidative stress; lung injury; microcirculatory disorders
24.  Preparation and Physicochemical Properties of Vinblastine Microparticles by Supercritical Antisolvent Process 
The objective of the study was to prepare vinblastine microparticles by supercritical antisolvent process using N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone as solvent and carbon dioxide as antisolvent and evaluate its physicochemical properties. The effects of four process variables, pressure, temperature, drug concentration and drug solution flow rate, on drug particle formation during the supercritical antisolvent process, were investigated. Particles with a mean particle size of 121 ± 5.3 nm were obtained under the optimized process conditions (precipitation temperature 60 °C, precipitation pressure 25 MPa, vinblastine concentration 2.50 mg/mL and vinblastine solution flow rate 6.7 mL/min). The vinblastine was characterized by scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and dissolution test. It was concluded that physicochemical properties of crystalline vinblastine could be improved by physical modification, such as particle size reduction and generation of amorphous state using the supercritical antisolvent process. Furthermore, the supercritical antisolvent process was a powerful methodology for improving the physicochemical properties of vinblastine.
PMCID: PMC3497290  PMID: 23202916
vinblastine; supercritical antisolvent; micronization; physicochemical property; Catharanthus roseus
25.  Molecular Systematics of Genus Atractylodes (Compositae, Cardueae): Evidence from Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) and trnL-F Sequences 
To determine the evolutionary relationships among all members of the genus Atractylodes (Compositae, Cardueae), we conducted molecular phylogenetic analyses of one nuclear DNA (nrDNA) region (internal transcribed spacer, ITS) and one chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) region (intergenic spacer region of trnL-F). In ITS and ITS + trnL-F trees, all members of Atractylodes form a monophyletic clade. Atractylodes is a sister group of the Carlina and Atractylis branch. Atractylodes species were distributed among three clades: (1) A. carlinoides (located in the lowest base of the Atractylodes phylogenetic tree), (2) A. macrocephala, and (3) the A. lancea complex, including A. japonica, A. coreana, A. lancea, A. lancea subsp. luotianensis, and A. chinensis. The taxonomic controversy over the classification of species of Atractylodes is mainly concentrated in the A. lancea complex. In base on molecular results, the intraspecific division of Atractylodes lancea is not supported, and A. coreana should be treated as a synonym A. chinensis.
PMCID: PMC3509600  PMID: 23203084
Atractylodes; ITS; phylogenetics; plastid DNA; trnL-F

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