Zooplankton are relatively small in size in the subtropical regions. This characteristic has been attributed to intense predation pressure, high nutrient loading and cyanobacterial biomass. To provide further information on the effect of predation and cyanobacteria on zooplankton size structure, we analyzed data from 96 shallow aquaculture lakes along the Yangtze River. Contrary to former studies, both principal components analysis and multiple regression analysis showed that the mean zooplankton size was positively related to fish yield. The studied lakes were grouped into three types, namely, natural fishing lakes with low nutrient loading (Type1), planktivorous fish-dominated lakes (Type 2), and eutrophic lakes with high cyanobacterial biomass (Type 3). A marked difference in zooplankton size structure was found among these groups. The greatest mean zooplankton size was observed in Type 2 lakes, but zooplankton density was the lowest. Zooplankton abundance was highest in Type 3 lakes and increased with increasing cyanobacterial biomass. Zooplankton mean size was negatively correlated with cyanobacterial biomass. No obvious trends were found in Type 1 lakes. These results were reflected by the normalized biomass size spectrum, which showed a unimodal shape with a peak at medium sizes in Type 2 lakes and a peak at small sizes in Type 3 lakes. These results indicated a relative increase in medium-sized and small-sized species in Types 2 and 3 lakes, respectively. Our results suggested that fish predation might have a negative effect on zooplankton abundance but a positive effect on zooplankton size structure. High cyanobacterial biomass most likely caused a decline in the zooplankton size and encouraged the proliferation of small zooplankton. We suggest that both planktivorous fish and cyanobacteria have substantial effects on the shaping of zooplankton community, particularly in the lakes in the eastern plain along the Yangtze River where aquaculture is widespread and nutrient loading is high.
The molecular mechanism of human anal squamous cell carcinoma (ASCC) is unclear, and the accumulating evidence indicate association of ASCC with the activation of the Akt/mTOR pathway. Here we describe a mouse model with spontaneous anal squamous cell cancer, wherein a combined deletion of Tgfbr1 and Pten in stratified squamous epithelia was induced using inducible K14-Cre. Histopathologic analyses confirmed that 33.3% of the mice showed increased susceptibility to ASCC and precancerous lesions. Biomarker analyses demonstrated that the activation of the Akt pathway in ASCC of the Tgfbr1 and Pten double knockout (2cKO) mouse was similar to that observed in human anal cancer. Chemopreventive experiments using mTOR inhibitor-rapamycin treatment significantly delayed the onset of the ASCC tumors and reduced the tumor burden in 2cKO mice by decreasing the phosphorylation of Akt and S6. This is the first conditional knockout mouse model used for investigating the contributions of viral and cellular factors in anal carcinogenesis without carcinogen-mediated induction, and it would provide a platform for assessing new therapeutic modalities for treating and/or preventing this type of cancer.
To assess the efficacy of Rapamycin treatment in chemoprevention and chemotherapy of tumorigenesis in a genetically-defined mouse model of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).
Knockdown of Tgfbr1 and/or Pten using siRNA-mediated RNA interference was carried out in human HNSCC cell lines to analyze molecular changes in the mTOR pathway. Tgfbr1flox/flox; Ptenflox/flox; K14-CreERtam mice were treated with oral gavage of tamoxifen for the conditional deletion of Tgfbr1 and Pten in oral mucosa, resuting in HNSCC (Bian et al 2011). Tgfbr1 and Pten conditonal deletion (2cKO) mice were treated with Rapamycin before or after the onset of HNSCC, and the efficacy of this treatment was assessed by determining tumor burden, longevity, and molecular analysis of the mTOR pathway. Molecular changes observed in human HNSCC cell lines and 2cKO mice were compared to identify key alterations in the mTOR pathway.
Knockdown of Tgfbr1 and/or Pten in human HNSCC cell lines resulted in activation of mTORC1 and increased levels of survivin. Furthermore, we observed similar changes in HNSCC of the 2cKO mouse. In the human HNSCC tissue array, a loss of Tgfbr1 expression correlated with increased survivin levels. Chemopreventive Rapamycin treatment significantly delayed the onset of the HNSCC tumors and prolonged survival in 2cKO mice. Additionally, we also found that Rapamycin had a therapeutic effect on squamous cell carcinomas in these mice. In 2cKO HNSCC tongue tumors, Rapamycin treatment induced apoptosis, inhibited cell proliferation and phosphorylation of Akt and S6, and decreased survivin expression.
These findings indicate that tumorigenesis in 2cKO HNSCC is associated with activation of the Akt/mTOR/survivin pathway, and inhibition of this pathway by Rapamycin treatment successfully ameliorates the onset and progression of tumorigenesis.
TGF-β; Pten; head and neck cancer; mTOR; survivin
Many physicians are reluctant to treat elderly glioblastoma (GBM) patients as aggressively as younger patients, which is not evidence based due to the absence of validated data from primary studies. We conducted a meta-analysis to provide valid evidence for the use of the aggressive combination of radiotherapy (RT) and temozolomide (TMZ) in elderly GBM patients.
A systematic literature search was conducted using the PubMed, EMBASE and Cochrane databases. Studies comparing combined RT/TMZ with RT alone in elderly patients (≥65 years) with newly diagnosed GBM were eligible for inclusion.
No eligible randomized trials were identified. Alternatively, a meta-analysis of nonrandomized studies (NRSs) was performed, with 16 studies eligible for overall survival (OS) analysis and nine for progression-free survival (PFS) analysis. Combined RT/TMZ was shown to reduce the risk of death and progression in elderly GBM patients compared with RT alone (OS hazard ratio [HR] 0.59, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.48–0.72; PFS: HR 0.58, 95% CI 0.41–0.84). Evaluable patients were reported to tolerate combined treatment but certain toxicities, and especially hematological toxicities, were more frequently observed. Limited data on O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter status and quality of life were reported.
The meta-analysis of NRSs provided level 2a evidence (Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine) that combined RT/TMZ conferred a clear survival benefit on a selection of elderly GBM patients who had a favorable prognosis (e.g., extensive resection, favorable KPS). Toxicities were more frequent but acceptable. Future randomized trials are warranted to justify a definitive conclusion.
Proline metabolism has an underlying role in apoptotic signaling that impacts tumorigenesis. Proline is oxidized to glutamate in the mitochondria with the rate limiting step catalyzed by proline dehydrogenase (PRODH). PRODH expression is inducible by p53 leading to increased proline oxidation, reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation, and induction of apoptosis. Paradoxical to its role in apoptosis, proline also protects cells against oxidative stress. Here we explore the mechanism of proline protection against hydrogen peroxide stress in melanoma WM35 cells. Treatment of WM35 cells with proline significantly increased cell viability, diminished oxidative damage of cellular lipids and proteins, and retained ATP and NADPH levels after exposure to hydrogen peroxide. Inhibition or siRNA-mediated knockdown of PRODH abolished proline protection against oxidative stress whereas knockdown of Δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate reductase, a key enzyme in proline biosynthesis, had no impact on proline protection. Potential linkages between proline metabolism and signaling pathways were explored. The combined inhibition of the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) and mTORC2 eliminated proline protection. A significant increase in Akt activation was observed in proline treated cells after hydrogen peroxide stress along with a corresponding increase in the phosphorylation of the fork head transcription factor class O3a (FoxO3a). The role of PRODH in proline mediated protection was validated in the prostate carcinoma cell line, PC3. Knockdown of PRODH in PC3 cells attenuated phosphorylated levels of Akt and FoxO3a and decreased cell survival during hydrogen peroxide stress. The results provide evidence that PRODH is essential in proline protection against hydrogen peroxide mediated cell death and that proline/PRODH helps activate Akt in cancer cells.
Proline; proline dehydrogenase; oxidative stress; pyrroline-5-carboxylate reductase; Akt
Several members of the NLR family of sensors activate innate immunity. In contrast, we found here that NLRC3 inhibited Toll-like receptor (TLR)-dependent activation of the transcription factor NF-κB by interacting with the TLR signaling adaptor TRAF6 to attenuate Lys63 (K63)-linked ubiquitination of TRAF6 and activation of NF-κB. We used bioinformatics to predict interactions between NLR and TRAF proteins, including interactions of TRAF with NLRC3. In vivo, macrophage expression of Nlrc3 mRNA was diminished by the administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) but was restored when cellular activation subsided. To assess biologic relevance, we generated Nlrc3−/− mice. LPS-treated Nlrc3−/− macrophages had more K63-ubiquitinated TRAF6, nuclear NF-κB and proinflammatory cytokines. Finally, LPS-treated Nlrc3−/− mice had more signs of inflammation. Thus, signaling via NLRC3 and TLR constitutes a negative feedback loop. Furthermore, prevalent NLR-TRAF interactions suggest the formation of a ‘TRAFasome’ complex.
Recent studies have indicated that the expression of endothelin A receptor (ETAR) and chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) could be used as an indicator of the metastatic potential of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). The aim of this study was to determine the prognostic value of ETAR and CXCR4 in NPC patients and to reveal the interplay of the endothelin-1 (ET-1)/ETAR and stromal-derived factor-1(SDF-1)/CXCR4 pathways in promoting NPC cell motility.
Survival analysis was used to analyze the prognostic value of ETAR and CXCR4 expression in 153 cases of NPC. Chemotaxis assays were used to evaluate alterations in the migration ability of non-metastatic 6-10B and metastatic 5-8F NPC cells. Real-time PCR, immunoblotting, and flow cytometric analyses were used to evaluate changes in the expression levels of CXCR4 mRNA and protein induced by ET-1.
The expression levels of ETAR and CXCR4 were closely related to each other and both correlated with a poor prognosis. A multivariate analysis showed that the expression levels of both ETAR and CXCR4 were independent prognostic factors for overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), and distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS). The migration of 6-10B and 5-8F cells was elevated by ET-1 in combination with SDF-1α. The knockdown of ETAR protein expression by siRNA reduced CXCR4 protein expression in addition to ETAR protein expression, leading to a decrease in the metastatic potential of the 5-8F cells. ET-1 induced CXCR4 mRNA and protein expression in the 6-10B NPC cells in a time- and concentration-dependent fashion and was inhibited by an ETAR antagonist and PI3K/AKT/mTOR and MAPK/ERK1/2 pathway inhibitors.
ETAR and CXCR4 expression levels are potential prognostic biomarkers in NPC patients. ETAR activation partially promoted NPC cell migration via a mechanism that enhanced functional CXCR4 expression.
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; Prognosis; ETAR; CXCR4; Metastasis
Acute endophthalmitis is one of the most serious complications of cataract surgery and often results in severe visual impairment. Several risk factors for acute postoperative endophthalmitis (POE) following cataract surgery have been reported but the level of evidence and strength of association is varied. The purpose of this study was to critically appraise published reports on and to summarize clinical risk factors associated with acute POE which could be easily assessed by ophthalmologists for the introduction and implementation of preventive measure.
A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies was performed. Six databases were searched with no limits on the year or language of publication. Study-specific odds ratios (Ors) or relative risk (RR) of each risk factor were pooled using a random effect model.
A total of 6 686 169 participants with 8 963 endophthalmitis in 42 studies were analyzed. Of the nine risk factors identified in our systematic review and meta-analysis, extra- or intracapsular cataract extraction, a clear corneal incision, without intracameral cefazolin (1 mg in 0.1 ml solution), without intracameral cefuroxime (1 mg in 0.1 ml solution), post capsular rupture, silicone intraocular lenses and intraoperative complications were found strongly associated with acute endophthalmitis. Other significant factors with a lower strength of association (risk estimates generally 1.5 or less) were male gender and old age (85 years and older).
Our study provides summary data on the risk factors for acute POE. Identifying patients at high risk of this sight-threatening eye disease is important from both the public health and clinical perspectives as this would facilitate detection of disease before the onset of irreversible visual loss enabling earlier intervention.
DNAzymes are synthetic, single-stranded, catalytic nucleic acids that bind and cleave target mRNA in a sequence-specific manner, and have been explored for genotherapeutics. One bottleneck restricting their application is the lack of an efficient delivery system. As an inorganic nanomaterial with potentially wide application, nano-hydroxyapatite particles (nHAP) have attracted increasing attention as new candidates for nonviral vectors. In this study, we developed an nHAP-based delivery system and explored its cellular uptake mechanisms, intracellular localization, and biological effects. Absorption of arginine-modified nanohydroxyapatite particles (Arg-nHAP) and DZ1 (latent membrane protein 1 [LMP1]-targeted) reached nearly 100% efficiency under in vitro conditions. Using specific inhibitors, cellular uptake of the Arg-nHAP/DZ1 complex was shown to be mediated by the energy-dependent endocytosis pathway. Further, effective intracellular delivery and nuclear localization of the complex was confirmed by confocal microscopy. Biologically, the complex successfully downregulated the expression of LMP1 in nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells. In a mouse tumor xenograft model, the complex was shown to be delivered efficiently to tumor tissue, downregulating expression of LMP1 and suppressing tumor growth. These results suggest that Arg-nHAP may be an efficient vector for nucleic acid-based drugs with potential clinical application.
hydroxyapatite nanoparticles; DNAzymes; latent membrane protein 1; transfection efficiency; cellular uptake
Of 7028 disorders with suspected Mendelian inheritance, 1139 are recessive and have an established molecular basis. Although individually uncommon, Mendelian diseases collectively account for ~20% of infant mortality and ~10% of pediatric hospitalizations. Preconception screening, together with genetic counseling of carriers, has resulted in remarkable declines in the incidence of several severe recessive diseases including Tay-Sachs disease and cystic fibrosis. However, extension of preconception screening to most severe disease genes has hitherto been impractical. Here, we report a preconception carrier screen for 448 severe recessive childhood diseases. Rather than costly, complete sequencing of the human genome, 7717 regions from 437 target genes were enriched by hybrid capture or microdroplet polymerase chain reaction, sequenced by next-generation sequencing (NGS) to a depth of up to 2.7 gigabases, and assessed with stringent bioinformatic filters. At a resultant 160× average target coverage, 93% of nucleotides had at least 20× coverage, and mutation detection/genotyping had ~95% sensitivity and ~100% specificity for substitution, insertion/deletion, splicing, and gross deletion mutations and single-nucleotide polymorphisms. In 104 unrelated DNA samples, the average genomic carrier burden for severe pediatric recessive mutations was 2.8 and ranged from 0 to 7. The distribution of mutations among sequenced samples appeared random. Twenty-seven percent of mutations cited in the literature were found to be common polymorphisms or misannotated, underscoring the need for better mutation databases as part of a comprehensive carrier testing strategy. Given the magnitude of carrier burden and the lower cost of testing compared to treating these conditions, carrier screening by NGS made available to the general population may be an economical way to reduce the incidence of and ameliorate suffering associated with severe recessive childhood disorders.
This study examined the impact of oral exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria and antibiotic administration methods on antibiotic resistance (AR) gene pools and the profile of resistant bacteria in host gastrointestinal (GI) tracts using C57BL/6J mice with natural gut microbiota. Mice inoculated with a mixture of tet(M)-carrying Enterococcus spp. or blaCMY-2-carrying Escherichia coli were treated with different doses of tetracycline hydrochloride (Tet) or ampicillin sodium (Amp) and delivered via either feed or intravenous (i.v.) injection. Quantitative PCR assessment of mouse fecal samples revealed that (i) AR gene pools were below the detection limit in mice without prior inoculation of AR gene carriers regardless of subsequent exposure to corresponding antibiotics; (ii) oral exposure to high doses of Tet and Amp in mice inoculated with AR gene carriers led to rapid enrichment of corresponding AR gene pools in feces; (iii) significantly less or delayed development of AR in the GI tract of the AR carrier-inoculated mice was observed when the same doses of antibiotics were administered via i.v. injection rather than oral administration; and (iv) antibiotic dosage, and maybe the excretion route, affected AR in the GI tract. The shift of dominant AR bacterial populations in the gut microbiota was consistent with the dynamics of AR gene pools. The emergence of endogenous resistant bacteria in the gut microbiota corresponding to drug exposure was also observed. Together, these data suggest that oral administration of antibiotics has a prominent effect on AR amplification and development in gut microbiota, which may be minimized by alternative drug administration approaches, as illustrated by i.v. injection in this study and proper drug selection.
Both hypertrophic scars and keloid scars are caused by abnormal wound healing, the key feature of which is excess collagen fiber secretion by fibroblasts. Many different factors could affect the process of hypertrophic scar and keloid formation, but most have not been identified to date. We assume that, during wound healing, melanocytes from the stratum basale contact or interact with fibroblasts from the dermal layers after the basal membrane is damaged, which in turn facilitates fibroblast proliferation and the secretion and deposition of collagen. This plays a significant role in the generation of hypertrophic scars and keloids.
Melanocyte; scar; wound healing; fibroblast; keloid
In recent years, X-ray phase-contrast imaging techniques have been extensively studied to visualize weakly absorbing objects. One of the most popular methods for phase-contrast imaging is in-line phase-contrast imaging (ILPCI). Combined with computed tomography (CT), phase-contrast CT can produce 3D volumetric images of samples. To date, the most common reconstruction method for phase-contrast X-ray CT imaging has been filtered back projection (FBP). However, because of the impact of respiration, lung slices cannot be reconstructed in vivo for a mouse using this method. Methods for reducing the radiation dose and the sampling time must also be considered.
This paper proposes a novel method of in vivo mouse lung in-line phase-contrast imaging that has two primary improvements compared with recent methods: 1) using a compressed sensing (CS) theory-based CT reconstruction method for the in vivo in-line phase-contrast imaging application and 2) using the breathing phase extraction method to address the lung and rib cage movement caused by a live mouse’s breathing.
Experiments were performed to test the breathing phase extraction method as applied to the lung and rib cage movement of a live mouse. Results with a live mouse specimen demonstrate that our method can reconstruct images of in vivo mouse lung.
The results demonstrate that our method could deal with vivo mouse’s breathing and movements, meanwhile, using less sampling data than FBP while maintaining the same high quality.
The formation of Listeria monocytogenes biofilms contributes to persistent contamination in food processing facilities. A microarray comparison of L. monocytogenes between the transcriptome of the strong biofilm forming strain (Bfms) Scott A and the weak biofilm forming (Bfmw) strain F2365 was conducted to identify genes potentially involved in biofilm formation. Among 951 genes with significant difference in expression between the two strains, a GntR-family response regulator encoding gene (LMOf2365_0414), designated lbrA, was found to be highly expressed in Scott A relative to F2365. A Scott A lbrA-deletion mutant, designated AW3, formed biofilm to a much lesser extent as compared to the parent strain by a rapid attachment assay and scanning electron microscopy. Complementation with lbrA from Scott A restored the Bfms phenotype in the AW3 derivative. A second microarray assessment using the lbrA deletion mutant AW3 and the wild type Scott A revealed a total of 304 genes with expression significantly different between the two strains, indicating the potential regulatory role of LbrA in L. monocytogenes. A cloned copy of Scott A lbrA was unable to confer enhanced biofilm forming potential in F2365, suggesting that additional factors contributed to weak biofilm formation by F2365.
Panax quinquefolius saponin of stem and leaf (PQS), the effective parts of American ginseng, is widely used in China as a folk medicine for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases treatment. In our previous studies, we have demonstrated that PQS could improve the endothelial function of type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM) rats with high glucose fluctuation. In the present study, we investigated the protective effects of PQS against intermittent high glucose-induced oxidative damage on human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and the role of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase kinase (PI3K)/Akt/GSK-3β pathway involved.
Our results suggested that exposure of HUVECs to a high glucose concentration for 8 days showed a great decrease in cell viability accompanied by marked MDA content increase and SOD activity decrease. Moreover, high glucose significantly reduced the phosphorylation of Akt and GSK-3β. More importantly, these effects were even more evident in intermittent high glucose condition. PQS treatment significantly attenuated intermittent high glucose-induced oxidative damage on HUVECs and meanwhile increased cell viability and phosphorylation of Akt and GSK-3β of HUVECs. Interestingly, all these reverse effects of PQS on intermittent high glucose-cultured HUVECs were inhibited by PI3K inhibitor LY294002. These findings suggest that PQS attenuates intermittent-high-glucose-induced oxidative stress injury in HUVECs by PI3K/Akt/GSK-3β pathway.
Radish floral bud abortion (FBA) is an adverse biological phenomenon that occurs during reproduction. Although FBA is a frequent occurrence, its molecular mechanism remains unknown. A transcript-derived fragment (TDF72), which was obtained by cDNA amplified fragment length polymorphism (cDNA-AFLP), was up-regulated in the aborted buds and exhibited 89% sequence homology with the AtγVPE gene. In this study, TDF72 was used to clarify the role of VPE in FBA by isolation of the VPE gene RsVPE1 from radish flower buds. The full-length genomic DNA was 2346 bp including nine exons and eight introns. The full-length cDNA was 1825 bp, containing a complete open reading frame (ORF) of 1470 bp, which encoded a predicted protein containing 489 amino acid residues, with a calculated molecular mass of 53.735 kDa. Expression analysis demonstrated that RsVPE1 was expressed in all tested organs of radish at different levels. Highest expression was detected in aborted flower buds, suggesting that RsVPE1 has a role in FBA. In order to analyze the role of RsVPE1 in FBA, RsVPE1 was overexpressed in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants. Aborted flower buds appeared in transgenic plants subjected to heat stress. In addition, RsVPE1 expression in the transgenic plants reached a maximum when subjected to heat stress for 24 h and increased by 2.1-fold to 2.8-fold in three homozygous transgenic lines. These results indicated that RsVPE1 led to FBA when its expression levels exceeded a particular threshold, and provided evidence for the involvement of RsVPE1 in promoting FBA under heat stress.
radish; vacuolar processing enzyme; floral bud abortion; heat stress
YABBY gene family plays an important role in the polarity development of lateral organs. We isolated the BraYAB1-702 gene, a member of the YABBY gene family, from young leaves of Chinese cabbage line 06J45. The full-length gene has a 937 bp CDNA sequence and contains an open reading frame (ORF) of 702 bp. The subcellular localization analysis showed that the expression product of the gene was localized in the nucleus. Ectopic expression of BraYAB1-702 in Arabidopsis thaliana caused leaf curling from the adaxial epidermises to abaxial epidermises; the partial abaxialization of the adaxial epidermises of leaves; leaf trichomes and stomata numbers being significantly increased; the plants being severely stunted; the flowering stage being remarkably delayed and inhibiting the development of shoot apical meristem (SAM) with the down-regulation of the expression of SHOOT MERISTEMLESS (STM), Brevipedicellus (BP) and KNAT2 which were related to the development of shoot apical meristem. These results from the present research help to reveal the molecular mechanism of BraYAB1-702 gene in the establishment of adaxial–abaxial polarity of the lateral organs in Chinese cabbage.
Chinese cabbage (Brassica campestris L. ssp. pekinensis (Lour.) Olsson); YABBY gene family; quantitative analysis; subcellular localization; ectopic expression
The mitochondrial protein MAVS (also known as IPS-1, VISA, CARDIF) interacts with RLR (RIG-I-like receptors) to induce type 1 interferon (IFN-I) during viral infection. NLRX1 is a mitochondrial NLR (nucleotide-binding, leucine-rich repeats containing) protein that attenuates MAVS-RLR signaling. Using Nlrx1−/− cells we confirmed NLRX1 attenuated IFN-I production, but additionally promoted autophagy during viral infection. This dual function of NLRX1 paralleled the previously described functions of the autophagy-related proteins Atg5-Atg12, but NLRX1 did not associate with Atg5-Atg12. High throughput quantitative mass spectrometry and endogenous protein-protein interaction revealed an NLRX1-interacting partner, mitochondrial Tu translation elongation factor (TUFM). TUFM interacted with Atg5-Atg12 and Atg16L1, and has similar functions as NLRX1 by inhibiting RLR-induced IFN-I but promoting autophagy. In the absence of NLRX1, increased IFN-I and decreased autophagy provide an advantage for host defense against vesicular stomatitis virus. This study establishes a link between an NLR protein and the viral-induced autophagic machinery via an intermediary partner, TUFM.
Objective. In recent years, public health experts have concluded that the impact of osteoarthritis is equal in magnitude to that of cardiovascular disease. Osteoarthritis of the knee is prevalent in the elderly population; however, there are currently no effective treatments for this condition. In this study, we investigated the efficacy of “meridian-sinew release,” a newly developed technique which entails using a meridian-sinew scope and a meridian-sinew knife to treat osteoarthritis of the knee. Methods. Patients (N = 90) with knee osteoarthritis were prospectively randomized to meridian-sinew release therapy, acupuncture therapy, or drug therapy groups, respectively. Outcome evaluation included pain, stiffness, physiological function, total symptom score, and overall changes in the condition. Results. After 12 weeks, patients' general assessment (GA) and doctors' general assessment (GA) of the condition were not significantly different among the three groups. However, significant differences in primary endpoint pain, joint stiffness, and total symptom score were found between the meridian-sinew group and the acupuncture group and between the meridian-sinew group and the control group (P < 0.05). No adverse events occurred during the trial. Conclusion. Our study suggests that meridian-sinew release therapy can improve knee osteoarthritis, alleviate joint pain, and improve functional movement disorder. It is a safe and effective treatment for knee osteoarthritis.
The causal genes for congenital cataract are good candidates for the genetic susceptibility for age-related cataract (ARC). The aim of this study was to investigate association between the polymorphisms in the causal genes for congenital cataract and ARC in a Chinese population. Meanwhile, we performed the replication study for previous identified risk genes for ARC.
We recruited 212 sporadic Han Chinese patients with age-related cataracts (ARC) and 172 normal controls in this study. We analyzed 31 SNPs from 13 genes which mostly possible contributes the progress of ARC in a Chinese population, comprising 212 cataract patients and 172 controls. Polymorphism-spanning fragments were amplified by using the multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and genotyped using primer extension method in MassARRAY platform. Allelic and haplotypic difference in the frequencies were estimated using the SHEsis software platform. P-value was adjusted by the Bonferroni correction.
There was no difference in the frequencies of the genotype and allele of the all SNPs between the patients with ARC and the controls. In the haplotypic analysis, the haplotypes consisting of rs7154572, rs7150141 and rs12432994 in Kinesin Light Chain 1 Gene (KLC1) showed significant association with ARC (p = 0.000878). A rare haplotype CGT was more frequent in patients (p = 0.000106, and p = 0.00795 after corrected for 75 tests).
Our study provides evidence that the combined effect of three variants within the KLC1 gene may predispose to ARC, but the precise mechanism needs further investigating.
The reconstruction of large bone defects, including rib defects, remains a challenge for surgeons. In this study, we used biodegradable polydioxanone (PDO) cages to tissue engineer ribs for the reconstruction of 4cm-long costal defects.
PDO sutures were used to weave 6cm long and 1cm diameter cages. Demineralized bone matrix (DBM) which is a xenograft was molded into cuboids and seeded with second passage bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) that had been osteogenically induced. Two DBM cuboids seeded with BMSCs were put into the PDO cage and used to reconstruct the costal defects. Radiographic examination including 3D reconstruction, histologic examination and mechanical test was performed after 24 postoperative weeks.
All the experimental subjects survived. In all groups, the PDO cage had completely degraded after 24 weeks and been replaced by fibrous tissue. Better shape and radian were achieved in PDO cages filled with DBM and BMSCs than in the other two groups (cages alone, or cages filled with acellular DBM cuboids). When the repaired ribs were subjected to an outer force, the ribs in the PDO cage/DBMs/BMSCs group kept their original shape while ribs in the other two groups deformed. In the PDO cage/DBMs/BMSCs groups, we also observed bony union at all the construct interfaces while there was no bony union observed in the other two groups. This result was also confirmed by radiographic and histologic examination.
This study demonstrates that biodegradable PDO cage in combination with two short BMSCs/DBM cuboids can repair large rib defects. The satisfactory repair rate suggests that this might be a feasible approach for large bone repair.
Tissue engineering; Rib reconstruction; PDO; Long defect of bone
Primula species are important early spring garden plants with a centre of diversity and speciation in the East Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains in Western China. Studies on population genetics, speciation and phylogeny of Primula have been impeded by a lack of genomic resources. In the present study, we sequenced the transcriptomes of two closely related primrose species, Primula poissonii and Primula wilsonii, using short reads on the Illumina Genome Analyzer platform.
We obtained 55,284 and 55,011 contigs with N50 values of 938 and 1,085 for P. poissonii and P. wilsonii, respectively, and 6,654 pairs of putative orthologs were identified between the two species. Estimations of non-synonymous/synonymous substitution rate ratios for these orthologs indicated that 877 of the pairs may be under positive selection (Ka/Ks > 0.5), and functional enrichment analysis revealed that significant proportions of the orthologs were in the categories DNA repair, stress resistance, which may provide some hints as to how the two closely related Primula species adapted differentially to extreme environments, such as habitats characterized by aridity, high altitude and high levels of ionizing radiation. It was possible for the first time to estimate the divergence time between the radiated species pair, P. poissonii and P. wilsonii; this was found to be approximately 0.90 ± 0.57 Mya, which falls between the Donau and Gunz glaciation in the Middle Pleistocene. Primers based on 54 pairs of orthologous SSR-containing sequences between the two Primula species were designed and verified. About half of these pairs successfully amplified for both species. Of the 959 single copy nuclear genes shared by four model plants (known as APVO genes), 111 single copy nuclear genes were verified as being present in both Primula species and exon-anchored and intron-spanned primers were designed for use.
We characterized the transcriptomes for the two Primula species, and produced an unprecedented amount of genomic resources for these important garden plants. Evolutionary analysis of these two Primula species not only revealed a more precise divergence time, but also provided some novel insights into how differential adaptations occurred in extreme habitats. Furthermore, we developed two sets of genetic markers, single copy nuclear genes and nuclear microsatellites (EST-SSR). Both these sets of markers will facilitate studies on the genetic improvement, population genetics and phylogenetics of this rapidly adapting taxon.
Adaptive radiation; East Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains; EST-SSR; Single copy nuclear gene
Autologous fat grafting enables repair and augmentation of soft tissues and is increasingly used in plastic and reconstructive surgery. The main limitation of fat grafting is unpredictable graft resorption. To obviate this disadvantage, several studies have searched for new ways of increasing the viability of the transplanted tissue. One promising approach has been to mix the fat graft with Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) before transplantation. The purpose of this article is to review systematically the available comparative evidence about PRP-assisted fat grafting.
Fat grafting; platelet-rich plasma (PRP); comparative study
The origin of extraordinarily rich biodiversity in tropical forests is often attributed to evolution under stable climatic conditions over a long period or to climatic fluctuations during the recent Quaternary period. Here, we test these two hypotheses using Dracaena cambodiana, a plant species distributed in paleotropical forests.
We analyzed nucleotide sequence data of two chloroplast DNA (cpDNA: atpB-rbcL and trnD-trnT) regions and genotype data of six nuclear microsatellites from 15 populations (140 and 363 individuals, respectively) distributed in Indochina Peninsular and Hainan Island to infer the patterns of genetic diversity and phylogeographic structure. The population bottleneck and genetic drift were estimated based upon nuclear microsatellites data using the software programs BOTTLENECK and 2MOD. The lineage divergence times and past population dynamics based on cpDNA data were estimated using coalescent-based isolation-with-migration (IMa) and BEAST software programs.
A significant phylogeographic structure (NST = 0.876, GST = 0.796, FST-SSR = 0.329, RST = 0.449; NST>GST, RST>FST-SSR, P<0.05) and genetic differentiation among populations were detected. Bottleneck analyses and Bayesian skyline plot suggested recent population reduction. The cpDNA haplotype network revealed the ancestral populations from the southern Indochina region expanded to northward. The most recent ancestor divergence time of D. cambodiana dated back to the Tertiary era and rapid diversification of terminal lineages corresponded to the Quaternary period.
The results indicated that the present distribution of genetic diversity in D. cambodiana was an outcome of Tertiary dispersal and rapid divergence during the Quaternary period under limited gene flow influenced by the uplift of Himalayan-Tibetan Plateau and Quaternary climatic fluctuations respectively. Evolutionary processes, such as extinction-recolonization during the Pleistocene may have contributed to the fast diversification in D. cambodiana.