HSPA1A (HSP70-1) is a highly inducible heat shock gene up-regulated in response to environmental stresses and pollutants. The aim of our study was to evaluate the sensitivity of the stable metabolically competent HepG2 cells containing a human HSPA1A promoter-driven luciferase reporter (HepG2-luciferase cells) for assessing the toxicity of organic pollutants present in air. The HepG2-luciferase cells were validated by heat shock treatment and testing three organic compounds (pyrene, benzo[a]pyrene, and formaldehyde) that are ubiquitous in the air. The maximal level of HSPA1A (HSP70-1) and relative luciferase activity induced by heat shock were over three and nine times the control level, respectively. Pyrene, benzo[a]pyrene, and formaldehyde all induced significantly elevated levels of relative luciferase activity in a dose-dependent manner. Extractable organic matter (EOM) from urban traffic and coke oven emissions in ambient air were tested on the HepG2-luciferase cells. The traffic EOM induced significant increase in relative luciferase activity at concentrations of picogram per liter. The coke oven EOM produced a strong dose-dependent induction of relative luciferase activity up to six times the control value. Significant increases in relative luciferase activity were observed at concentrations that were as low, or lower than the concentrations that the tested organic pollutants decreased cell viability, and increased malondialdehyde concentration, Olive tail moment, and micronuclei frequency. Therefore, we conclude that the HepG2-luciferase cells are a valuable tool for rapid screening of the overall toxicity of organic pollutants present in air.
HSPA1A promoter activity; Luciferase reporter; Organic pollutants; Cell viability; Cellular damage; Toxicity assessment
Colorectal cancer is one of the most serious illnesses among diagnosed cancer. As a new type of anti-cancer composition from tocotrienol-rich fraction of palm oil, γ-tocotrienol is widely used in anti-cancer research. The objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of γ-tocotrienol on human colon cancer SW620 and HCT-8 cells. We showed that treatment with different concentrations of γ-tocotrienol resulted in a dose dependent inhibition of cell growth. Cell death induced by γ-tocotrienol was mediated by a paraptosis-like cell death in SW620 and HCT-8 cells. Real-time RT-PCR and western blot analyses showed that γ-tocotrienol inhibited the expression level of β-catenin, cyclin D1 and c-jun. These data suggest that a paraptosis-like cell death induced by γ-tocotrienol in SW620 cells is associated with the suppression of the Wnt signaling pathway, which offers a novel tool for treating apoptosis-resistance colon cancer.
Brodman divided the neocortex into 47 different cortical areas based on histological differences in laminar myeloarchitectonic and cytoarchitectonic defined structure. The ability to do so in vivo with anatomical magnetic resonance (MR) methods in awake subjects would be extremely advantageous for many functional studies. However, due to the limitations of spatial resolution and contrast, this has been difficult to achieve in awake subjects. Here, we report that by using a combination of MR microscopy and novel contrast effects, cortical layers can be delineated in the visual cortex of awake subjects (nonhuman primates) at 4.7 T. We obtained data from 30-min acquisitions at voxel size of 62.5 × 62.5 × 1000 µm3 (4 nl). Both the phase and magnitude components of the T2*-weighted image were used to generate laminar profiles which are believed to reflect variations in myelin and local cell density content across cortical depth. Based on this, we were able to identify six layers characteristic of the striate cortex (V1). These were the stripe of Kaes-Bechterew (in layer II/III), the stripe of Gennari (in layer IV), the inner band of Baillarger (in layer V), as well as three sub-layers within layer IV (IVa, IVb, and IVc). Furthermore, we found that the laminar structure of two extrastriate visual cortex (V2, V4) can also be detected. Following the tradition of Brodman, this significant improvement in cortical laminar visualization should make it possible to discriminate cortical regions in awake subjects corresponding to differences in myeloarchitecture and cytoarchitecture.
High resolution MRI; MR microscopy; Non-human primate; Awake; Visual cortex; V1; Extrastriate cortex
Inner ear hair cell differentiation requires Atoh1 function, while Eya1, Six1 and Sox2 are coexpressed in sensory progenitors and mutations in these genes cause sensorineural hearing loss. However, how these genes are linked functionally and the transcriptional networks controlling hair cell induction remain unclear. Here, we show that Eya1/Six1 are necessary for hair cell development and their coexpression in mouse cochlear explants is sufficient to induce hair cell fate in the nonsensory epithelium expressing low level Sox2 by activating not only Atoh1-dependent but also -independent pathways and that both pathways induce Pou4f3 to promote hair cell differentiation. Sox2 cooperates with Eya1/Six1 to synergistically activate Atoh1 transcription via direct binding to the conserved Sox- and Six-binding sites in Atoh1 enhancers and these proteins physically interact. Our findings demonstrate that direct and cooperative interactions between the Sox2, Six1 and Eya1 proteins coordinate Atoh1 expression to specify hair cell fate.
Chromosome end protection is essential to protect genome integrity. Telomeres, tracts of repetitive DNA sequence and associated proteins located at the chromosomal terminus, serve to safeguard the ends from degradation and unwanted double strand break repair. Due to the essential nature of telomeres in protecting the genome, a number of unique proteins have evolved to ensure that telomere length and structure are preserved. The inability to properly maintain telomeres can lead to diseases such as dyskeratosis congenita, pulmonary fibrosis and cancer. In this review, we will discuss the known functions of mammalian telomere-associated proteins, their role in telomere replication and length regulation and how these processes relate to genome instability and human disease.
telomere; telomerase; shelterin; replication; CST
The prognostic significance of tumor size in gastric cancer is not well defined. The objective of this study was to identify the prognostic value of tumor size in patients with gastric cancer.
We retrospectively reviewed a total of 1800 patients with gastric cancer admitted to our hospital between 1997 and 2007. These patients were divided into two groups according to tumor size: small size group (SSG, tumor ≤5 cm) and large size group (LSG, tumor >5 cm). We compared clinico-pathologic features of the two groups and investigated the prognostic factors by performing univariate, multivariate, and stage- stratified analyses according to tumor size.
LSG had more aggressive clinico-pathologic features than SSG. Tumor size was an independent prognostic indicator in patients with gastric cancer. In a stratified-pT, pN, and pTNM analysis, survival of patients with LSG was significantly worse than that of patients with SSG and advanced stage. Tumor size was not a significant predictor of survival in patients with early stage tumors. Large tumor size was associated with shorter survival in patients with stages N0, N1, N2, and N3, and stages I, II, III, and IV.
Tumor size is a simple and practical prognostic factor in patients with gastric cancer. Tumor size could supplement clinical staging in the future.
A proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL) is highly expressed in colorectal cancer (CRC) tissues and cell lines. However, the biological functions and precise signals elicited by APRIL in CRC have not been fully understood. Here, we used small interfering RNA to selectively deplete APRIL and to determine its tumorigenic effects in a CRC cell line SW480 both in vitro and in vivo. Knockdown of APRIL in SW480 cells was associated with modulation of cell proliferation as well as reduction of cell migration and invasion in vitro. Moreover APRIL-knockdown SW480 cells displayed markedly inhibited tumor growth and decreased metastasis to the liver in immunodeficient mice upon subcutaneous injection. Importantly, we observed that downregulation of APRIL in SW480 cells resulted in greatly decreased activity of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway. In addition, we observed that recombinant human APRIL mediated activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway in CRC cells resulting in induced expression of important cell cycle proteins and matrix metalloproteinases in a PI3K/Akt dependent manner. This was concurrent with marked cell growth viability as well as increased cell migration and invasion. Together, these compelling data suggest that APRIL-induced tumorigenesis and metastasis of CRC cells may be accomplished through activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway. These findings may lead to a better understanding of the biological effects of APRIL and may provide clues for identifying novel therapeutic and preventive molecular markers for CRC.
A phase III clinical trial has already shown the survival benefits of postoperative chemotherapy in gastric cancer. However, there are limited published data concerning the elderly. This study aims to investigate the use of adjuvant chemotherapy for gastric cancer after D2 gastrectomy among the elderly and identify its impact on survival.
We retrospectively reviewed 360 patients who had undergone D2 gastrectomy, aged 65 years or older, with non-metastatic gastric cancer in a single institution. We analyzed the predictors and survival benefits of adjuvant chemotherapy use in the elderly. Further, we analyzed the survival benefits of adjuvant chemotherapy by dividing the patients into groups according to disease stages and chemotherapeutic regimens.
Among the 360 patients, only 34.7% of patients received adjuvant chemotherapy. Age, tumor location, lymph node involvement and tumor invasion were associated with the receipt of adjuvant chemotherapy. Adjuvant chemotherapy improved the overall survival for non-metastatic elderly patients (HR 0.60, 95%CI 0.42–0.83, P = 0.003). Significant survival benefits were found with adjuvant chemotherapy in stage III patients (HR 0.67, 95%CI 0.47–0.97, P = 0.033), but not in stage I patients or in stage II patients (HR 0.52, 95%CI 0.21–1.30 P = 0.161). Compared to adjuvant chemotherapy without platinum, no significant survival benefits were observed with platinum-containing chemotherapy (HR 0.84, 95%CI 0.49–1.45, P = 0.530). Besides adjuvant chemotherapy, other independent prognostic factors of survival included tumor location, tumor size, histologic grade, depth of tumor invasion, and lymph node status.
This study demonstrated the survival benefits of adjuvant fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy among the elderly patients with non-metastatic gastric cancer after D2 gastrectomy. However, due to the limitations of this study, further well-designed prospective studies with large populations are needed to confirm these findings and identify the patients that can tolerate and benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy.
A series of silicon-rich oxide (SRO) and erbium-doped SRO (SROEr) films imbedded with structural tunable silicon nanoclusters (Si NCs) have been fabricated using sputtering followed by post-annealing. The coalescence of Si NCs is found in the films with large Si excess. The energy transfer rate between Si NCs and Er3+ is enhanced, but the luminescence efficiencies of both Si NCs and Er3+ are reduced by the coalescent microstructures. Optimization of the microstructures of Si NCs is performed, and the preferential optical performance for both Si NCs and Er3+ could be achieved when Si NCs were separated in microstructures.
Silicon-rich oxide; Silicon nanoclusters; Erbium ion; Energy transfer; Luminescence
Mounting evidence indicates that obesity may be associated with the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). To conduct a systematic review of prospective studies assessing the association of obesity with the risk of CRC using meta-analysis.
Relevant studies were identified by a search of MEDLINE and EMBASE databases before January 2012, with no restrictions. We also reviewed reference lists from retrieved articles. We included prospective studies that reported relative risk (RR) estimates with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between general obesity [measured using body mass index (BMI)] or central obesity [measured using waist circumference (WC)] and the risk of colorectal, colon, or rectal cancer. Approximately 9, 000, 000 participants from several countries were included in this analysis. 41 studies on general obesity and 13 studies on central obesity were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled RRs of CRC for the obese vs. normal category of BMI were 1.334 (95% CI, 1.253–1.420), and the highest vs. lowest category of WC were 1.455 (95% CI, 1.327–1.596). There was heterogeneity among studies of BMI (P<0.001) but not among studies of WC (P = 0.323).
Both of general and central obesity were positively associated with the risk of CRC in this meta-analysis.
Triclosan has been previously shown to inhibit InhA, an essential enoyl acyl carrier protein reductase of mycolic acid biosynthesis, whose inhibition leads to the lysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Using a structure-based drug design approach, a series of 5-substituted derivatives of triclosan was developed. Two groups of triclosan derivatives with alkyl and aryl substituents, respectively, were identified with dramatically enhanced potency against purified InhA. The most efficacious inhibitor displayed an IC50 value of 21 nM, which was 50-fold more potent than triclosan. X-ray crystal structures of InhA in complex with four triclosan derivatives revealed the structural basis for the inhibitory activity. Six selected triclosan derivatives were tested against isoniazid-sensitive and resistant strains of M. tuberculosis. Among those, the best inhibitor had an MIC value of 4.7 µg/mL (13 µM), which represents a tenfold improvement over the bacteriocidal activity of triclosan. A subset of these triclosan analogs was more potent than isoniazid against two isoniazid-resistant M. tuberculosis strains, demonstrating the significant potential for structure-based design in the development of next generation antitubercular drugs.
antibiotics; drug resistance; fatty acids; triclosan; tuberculosis
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), at high magnetic field strength can suffer from serious degradation of image quality because of motion and physiological noise, as well as spatial distortions and signal losses due to susceptibility effects. Overcoming such limitations is essential for sensitive detection and reliable interpretation of fMRI data. These issues are particularly problematic in studies of awake animals. As part of our initial efforts to study functional brain activations in awake, behaving monkeys using fMRI at 4.7T, we have developed acquisition and analysis procedures to improve image quality with encouraging results.
We evaluated the influence of two main variables on image quality. First, we show how important the level of behavioral training is for obtaining good data stability and high temporal signal-to-noise ratios. In initial sessions, our typical scan session lasted 1.5 hours, partitioned into short (<10 minutes) runs. During reward periods and breaks between runs, the monkey exhibited movements resulting in considerable image misregistrations. After a few months of extensive behavioral training, we were able to increase the length of individual runs and the total length of each session. The monkey learned to wait until the end of a block for fluid reward, resulting in longer periods of continuous acquisition. Each additional 60 training sessions extended the duration of each session by 60 minutes, culminating, after about 140 training sessions, in sessions that last about four hours. As a result, the average translational movement decreased from over 500 μm to less than 80 μm, a displacement close to that observed in anesthetized monkeys scanned in a 7 T horizontal scanner.
Another major source of distortion at high fields arises from susceptibility variations. To reduce such artifacts, we used segmented gradient-echo echo-planar imaging (EPI) sequences. Increasing the number of segments significantly decreased susceptibility artifacts and image distortion. Comparisons of images from functional runs using four segments with those using a single-shot EPI sequence revealed a roughly two-fold improvement in functional signal-to-noise-ratio and 50% decrease in distortion. These methods enabled reliable detection of neural activation and permitted blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) based mapping of early visual areas in monkeys using a volume coil.
In summary, both extensive behavioral training of monkeys and application of segmented gradient-echo EPI sequence improved signal-to-noise and image quality. Understanding the effects these factors have is important for the application of high field imaging methods to the detection of sub-millimeter functional structures in the awake monkey brain.
Functional MRI; Non-human primate; Macaque monkey; Awake; Visual cortex; Data stability
Emerging evidence supports an important role of posterior parasylvian areas in both pain and touch processing. Whether there are separate or shared networks for these sensations remains controversial. The present study compared spatial patterns of brain activation in response to unilateral nociceptive heat (47.5° C) or innocuous tactile stimulation (8 Hz vibration) to digits through high-resolution fMRI in squirrel monkeys. In addition, the temporal profile of heat stimulus evoked fMRI BOLD signal changes was characterized. By examining high-resolution fMRI and histological measures at both the individual and group levels, we found that both nociceptive heat and tactile stimuli elicited activation in bilateral secondary somatosensory and ventral parietal areas (S2/PV) and in ipsilateral ventral somatosensory area (VS) and retroinsula (Ri). Bilateral posterior insular cortex (pIns) and area 7b responded preferentially to nociceptive heat stimulation. Single voxels within each activation cluster showed robust BOLD signal changes during each block of nociceptive stimulation. Across animals (n = 11), nociceptive response magnitudes of contralateral VS and pIns, and ipsilateral Ri were significantly greater than corresponding areas in the opposite hemisphere. In sum, both distinct and shared areas in regions surrounding the posterior sylvian fissure were activated in response to nociceptive and tactile inputs in non-human primates.
nociception; hand; primates; cortex; touch; fMRI
A novel polyamine microsphere, prepared from the water-in-oil emulsion of polyethylenimine, was characterized. The investigation of scanning electron microscopy showed that the polyamine microsphere is a regular ball with a smooth surface. The diameter distribution of the microsphere is 0.37–4.29 μm. The isoelectric point of the microsphere is 10.6. The microsphere can adsorb proteins through the co-effect of electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions. Among the proteins tested, the highest value of adsorption of microsphere, 127.8 mg·g−1 microsphere, was obtained with lipase. In comparison with other proteins, the hydrophobic force is more important in promoting the adsorption of lipase. The microsphere can preferentially adsorb lipase from an even mixture of proteins. The optimum temperature and pH for the selective adsorption of lipase by the microsphere was 35 °C and pH 7.0.
polyamine microsphere; characterization; selective adsorption; protein; lipase
Rapamycin (Rapa), an inhibitor of mammalian target of Rapamycin (mTOR), is an immunosuppressive agent that has anti-proliferative effects on some tumors. This study aims to investigate the effects of Rapa suppressing proliferation of pancreatic carcinoma PC-2 cells in vitro and its molecular mechanism involved in antitumor activities. MTT assays showed that the inhibition of proliferation of PC-2 cells in vitro was in a time- and dose-dependent manner. By using transmission electron microscopy, apoptosis bodies and formation of abundant autophagic vacuoles were observed in PC-2 cells after Rapa treatment. Flow cytometry assays also showed Rapa had a positive effect on apoptosis. MDC staining showed that the fluorescent density was higher and the number of MDC-labeled particles in PC-2 cells was greater in the Rapa treatment group than in the control group. RT-PCR revealed that the expression levels of p53, Bax and Beclin 1 were up-regulated in a dose-dependent manner, indicating that Beclin 1 was involved in Rapa induced autophagy and Rapa induced apoptosis as well as p53 up-regulation in PC-2 cells. The results demonstrated that Rapa could effectively inhibit proliferation and induce apoptosis and autophagy in PC-2 cells.
pancreatic carcinoma; rapamycin; mTOR; anti-tumor; apoptosis; autophagy
To investigate the effects of curcumin on the development of experimental choroidal neovascularization (CNV) with underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms.
C57BL/6N mice were pretreated with intraperitoneal injections of curcumin daily for 3 days prior to laser-induced CNV, and the drug treatments were continued until the end of the study. The CNV area was analyzed by fluorescein-labeled dextran angiography of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE)-choroid flat mounts on day 7 and 14, and CNV leakage was evaluated by fluorescein angiography (FA) on day 14 after laser photocoagulation. The infiltration of F4/80 positive macrophages and GR-1 positive granulocytes were evaluated by immunohistochemistry on RPE-choroid flat mounts on day 3. Their expression in RPE-choroid complex was quantified by real-time PCR (F4/80) and Western blotting (GR-1) on day 3. RPE-choroid levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-1, and intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 were examined by ELISA on day 3. Double immunostaining of F4/80 and VEGF was performed on cryo-sections of CNV lesions on day 3. The expression of nuclear factor (NF)-κB and hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)−1α in the RPE-choroid was determined by Western blotting.
Curcumin-treated mice had significantly less CNV area (P<0.05) and CNV leakage (P<0.001) than vehicle-treated mice. Curcumin treatment led to significant inhibition of F4/80 positive macrophages (P<0.05) and GR-1 positive granulocytes infiltration (P<0.05). VEGF mainly expressed in F4/80 positive macrophages in laser injury sites, which was suppressed by curcumin treatment (P<0.01). Curcumin inhibited the RPE-choroid levels of TNF-α (P<0.05), MCP-1 (P<0.05) and ICAM-1 (P<0.05), and suppressed the activation of NF-κB in nuclear extracts (P<0.05) and the activation of HIF−1α (P<0.05).
Curcumin treatment led to the suppression of CNV development together with inflammatory and angiogenic processes including NF-κB and HIF−1α activation, the up-regulation of inflammatory and angiogenic cytokines, and infiltrating macrophages and granulocytes. This provides molecular and cellular evidence of the validity of curcumin supplementation as a therapeutic strategy for the suppression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD)-associated CNV.
Neurotrophic factors, such as glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), are promising therapeutic agents for neurodegenerative diseases. However, the application of GDNF to treat these diseases effectively is limited because the blood–brain barrier (BBB) prevents the local delivery of macromolecular therapeutic agents from entering the central nervous system (CNS). Focused ultrasound combined with microbubbles (MBs) using appropriate parameters has been previously demonstrated to be able to open the BBB locally and noninvasively. This study investigated the targeted delivery of GDNF MBs through the BBB by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided focused ultrasound. Evans Blue extravasation and histological examination were used to determine the optimum focused ultrasound parameters. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was performed to verify the effects of GDNF bound on MBs using a biotin–avidin bridging chemistry method to promote GDNF delivery into the brain. The results showed that GDNF can be delivered locally and noninvasively into the CNS through the BBB using MRI-guided focused ultrasound combined with MBs under optimum parameters. MBs that bind GDNF combined with MRI-guided focused ultrasound may be an effective way of delivering neurotrophic factors directly into the CNS. The method described herein provides a potential means of treating patients with CNS diseases.
Cyclooxygenase-2(COX-2) promotes carcinogenesis, tumor proliferation, angiogenesis, prevention of apoptosis, and immunosuppression. Meanwhile, COX-2 over-expression has been associated with tumor behavior and prognosis in several cancers. This study investigated the antitumor effects of the selective COX-2 inhibitor, Celecoxib, on breast cancer in vitro and in vivo.
Human breast cancer MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells were cultured with different concentration (10, 20, 40 μmol/L) of celecoxib after 0-96 hours in vitro. MTT assay was used to determine the growth inhibition of breast cancer cells in vitro. The expression of COX-2 on mRNA was measured by real-time quantitive PCR analysis. Flow cytometry was performed to analyze the cell cycle of MCF-7 cells. Levels of PGE2 were measured by ELISA method. The in vivo therapeutic effects of celecoxib were determined using rat breast cancer chemically induced by 7,12-dimethylben anthracene (DMBA).
The inhibition of proliferation of both MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells in vitro by celecoxib was observerd in time and dose dependent manner. Celecoxib effectively down-regulated the expression of COX-2. The cell cycle was arrested at G0/G1, and rate of cells in S phase was obviously decreased. Levels of PGE2 were inhibited by Celecoxib. The tumor incidence rate of the celecoxib group was lower than that of the control group. In addition, the tumor latency period of the celecoxib group was longer than that of the control group.
Celecoxib inhibited the proliferation of breast cancer cell lines in vitro, and prevented the occurrence of rat breast cancer chemically induced by DMBA. Therefore, celecoxib exhibits an antitumor activity and seems to be effective in anti-tumor therapy.
Breast cancer; Cyclooxygenase-2; Anti-tumor; DMBA
Medication adherence is critical in Tuberculosis (TB) treatment success, but existing tools are inadequate in identifying non-adherents, reasons for non-adherence or interventions to improve adherence. This study intended to fill the gap by developing and validating a TB medication adherence scale (TBMAS).
An initial 41-item TBMAS was designed through review of literature, consultation from an 8-member clinical expert panel and a 15-patient focus group, and pilot-testing in 25 TB patients. The questionnaire was validated in 438 patients who visited 23 community health centers for TB treatment in Wuhan from September 1, 2010, to August 31, 2011, using pharmacy refill records in a 15-week period as external criteria for medication adherence. After removing redundant and cross-loading items, the internal consistency, reliability and validity of TBMAS in identifying non-adherents were examined.
The final TBMAS included 30 items scored on a 5-point Likert scale, and these items were loaded in nine distinct factors that explained 65% of cumulative variance among respondents. Cronbach's alpha, test-retest reliability and split-half reliability were 0.87, 0.83, and 0.85, respectively. Convergent validity was supported by statistically significant associations between TBMAS scores and adherence measured by pharmacy refill records. Receiver Operating Characteristics curve analysis suggested a cut-off point at 113, with which TBMAS showed a positive predictive value of 65.5% and sensitivity of 82.9% in identifying non-adherents.
TBMAS demonstrated satisfactory internal consistency, reliability and validity in identifying TB patients with poor adherence and potential causes for non-adherence.
Renal scintigraphy using 99mTc-mercaptoacetyltriglycine (99mTc-MAG3) is widely used for the assessment of renal function in humans. However, the application of this method to animal models of renal disease is currently limited, especially in rodents. Here, we have applied 99mTc-MAG3 renal scintigraphy to a mouse model of unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) and evaluated its utility in studying obstructive renal disease.
UUO mice were generated by complete ligation of the left ureter. Sham-operated mice were used as a control. Renal function was investigated on days 0, 1, 3, and 6 post-surgery using dynamic planar imaging of 99mTc-MAG3 activity following retro-orbital injection. Time-activity curves (TACs) were produced for individual kidneys and renal function was assessed by 1) the slope of initial 99mTc-MAG3 uptake (SIU), which is related to renal perfusion; 2) peak activity; and 3) the time-to-peak (TTP). The parameters of tubular excretion were not evaluated in this study as 99mTc-MAG3 is not excreted from UUO kidneys.
Compared to sham-operated mice, SIU was remarkably (>60%) reduced in UUO kidneys at day 1 post surgery and the TACs plateaued, indicating that 99mTc-MAG3 is not excreted in these kidneys. The plateau activity in UUO kidneys was relatively low (~40% of sham kidney’s peak activity) as early as day1 post surgery, demonstrating that uptake of 99mTc-MAG3 is rapidly reduced in UUO kidneys. The time to plateau in UUO kidneys exceeded 200 sec, suggesting that 99mTc-MAG3 is slowly up-taken in these kidneys. These changes advanced as the disease progressed. SIU, peak activity and TTPs were minimally changed in contra-lateral kidneys during the study period.
Our data demonstrate that renal uptake of 99mTc-MAG3 is remarkably and rapidly reduced in UUO kidneys, while the changes are minimal in contra-lateral kidneys. The parametric analysis of TACs suggested that renal perfusion as well as tubular uptake is reduced in UUO kidneys. This imaging technique should allow non-invasive assessments of UUO renal injury and enable a more rapid interrogation of novel therapeutic agents and protocols.
Nuclear imaging; Renal scintigraphy; 99mTc-MAG3; Mouse model; Unilateral ureteral obstruction; Renal function
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play key roles in diverse biological and pathological processes, including the regulation of proliferation, apoptosis, angiogenesis and cellular differentiation. Recently, circulating miRNAs have been reported as potential biomarkers for various pathologic conditions. This study investigated miR-30a, miR-195 and let-7b as potential of biomarker for acute myocardial infarction (AMI).
Methods and Results
Plasma samples from 18 patients with AMI and 30 healthy adults were collected. Total RNA was extracted from plasma with TRIzol LS Reagent. MiRNA levels and plasma cardiac troponin I (cTnI) concentrations were measured by quantitative real-time PCR and ELISA assay, respectively. Results showed that circulating miR-30a in AMI patients was highly expressed at 4 h, 8 h and 12 h after onset of AMI, and miR-195 was highly expressed at 8 h and 12 h. However, let-7b was lower in AMI patients than in controls throughout the whole time points. Interestingly, in these patients, circulating miR-30a, miR-195 and let-7b all reached their expression peak at 8 h. By the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses, these plasma miRNAs were of significant diagnostic value for AMI. The combined ROC analysis revealed the an AUC value of 0.93 with 94% sensitivity and 90% specificity at 8 h after onset, and an AUC value of 0.92 with 90% sensitivity and 90% specificity at 12 h after onset, in discriminating the AMI patients from healthy controls.
Our results imply that the plasma concentration of miR-30a, miR-195 and let-7b can be potential indicators for AMI.
The coupling between localized surface plasmons (LSPs) within silver nanostructures and excitons in a silicon-rich silicon nitride (SiNx) matrix has been demonstrated via the Purcell effect. A simple model is employed for the estimation of the Purcell factor as well as the average position of excitons within a luminescence matrix. The estimated average position of the excitons is located at approximately 40 nm beneath the top surface of the SiNx films. The approaches for further improving the optoelectrical properties of the luminescence matrix are anticipated based on the model we adopted. The optimization of the thickness of the luminescence matrix as well as the size and shape of metal nanostructures may be the alternative approaches. Besides, the application of multilayers with the luminescence matrix inserted between barrier layers (we defined it as confined structures here) may be also an available choice. Our work may provide a deep comprehension on the coupling between LSPs and excitons, which is not limited to a certain luminescence material but with unconfined structures.
Localized surface plasmons; Silicon-rich silicon nitride; Silver nanostructures; Average position of excitons; Luminescence
Human CST (CTC1-STN1-TEN1) is an RPA-like complex that is needed for efficient replication through the telomere duplex and genome-wide replication restart after fork stalling. Here we show that STN1/CST has a second function in telomere replication during G-overhang maturation. Analysis of overhang structure after STN1 depletion revealed normal kinetics for telomerase-mediated extension in S-phase but a delay in subsequent overhang shortening. This delay resulted from a defect in C-strand fill-in. Short telomeres exhibited the fill-in defect but normal telomere duplex replication, indicating that STN1/CST functions independently in these processes. Our work also indicates that the requirement for STN1/CST in telomere duplex replication correlates with increasing telomere length and replication stress. Our results provide the first direct evidence that STN1/CST participates in C-strand fill-in. They also demonstrate that STN1/CST participates in two mechanistically separate steps during telomere replication and identify CST as a novel replication factor that solves diverse replication-associated problems.
CTC1; STN1; TEN1; polymerase alpha; telomere; 3′ overhang
Heading date in rice (Oryza sativa L.) is a critical agronomic trait with a complex inheritance. To investigate the genetic basis and mechanism of gene interaction in heading date, we conducted genetic analysis on segregation populations derived from crosses among the indica cultivars Bo B, Yuefeng B and Baoxuan 2. A set of dominant complementary genes controlling late heading, designated LH1 and LH2, were detected by molecular marker mapping. Genetic analysis revealed that Baoxuan 2 contains both dominant genes, while Bo B and Yuefeng B each possess either LH1 or LH2. Using larger populations with segregant ratios of 3 : 1, we fine-mapped LH1 to a 63-kb region near the centromere of chromosome 7 flanked by markers RM5436 and RM8034, and LH2 to a 177-kb region on the short arm of chromosome 8 between flanking markers Indel22468-3 and RM25. Some candidate genes were identified through sequencing of Bo B and Yuefeng B in these target regions. Our work provides a solid foundation for further study on gene interaction in heading date and has application in marker-assisted breeding of photosensitive hybrid rice in China.
rice (Oryza sativa L.); heading date; fine mapping; complementary genes; gene interaction
Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) causes significant losses in many economically important crops. Contaminated soils may play roles as reservoirs and sources of transmission for TMV. In this study we report the development of an immunocapture real-time RT-PCR (IC-real-time RT-PCR) assay for direct detection of TMV in soils without RNA isolation. A series of TMV infected leaf sap dilutions of 1:101, 1:102, 1:103, 1:104, 1:105 and 1:106 (w/v, g/mL) were added to one gram of soil. The reactivity of DAS-ELISA and conventional RT-PCR was in the range of 1:102 and 1:103 dilution in TMV-infested soils, respectively. Meanwhile, the detection limit of IC-real-time RT-PCR sensitivity was up to 1:106 dilution. However, in plant sap infected by TMV, both IC-real-time RT-PCR and real-time RT-PCR were up to 1:106 dilution, DAS-ELISA could detect at least 1:103 dilution. IC-real-time RT-PCR method can use either plant sample extracts or cultivated soils, and show higher sensitivity than RT-PCR and DAS-ELISA for detection of TMV in soils. Therefore, the proposed IC-real-time RT-PCR assay provides an alternative for quick and very sensitive detection of TMV in soils, with the advantage of not requiring a concentration or RNA purification steps while still allowing detection of TMV for disease control.
Tobacco mosaic virus; immunocapture qRT-PCR; detection; soil