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1.  Relationship of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system polymorphisms and phenotypes to mortality in Chinese coronary atherosclerosis patients 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:4600.
We performed a large, long-term cohort study to evaluate the association of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system gene polymorphisms and baseline phenotypes to all-cause mortality among patients with angiographically confirmed coronary atherosclerosis. The study included 1075 subjects who underwent coronary angiography. Patients were genotyped for eight polymorphisms (rs4343, rs5186, rs5182, rs5049, rs5051, rs699, rs4762, and rs1799998), and their baseline plasma angiotensin II and aldosterone levels were measured. The interval between baseline and follow-up time-points ranged from 6.39 to 9.59 years. The results of multivariate regression analysis further indicated that high baseline angiotensin II levels (1.226 (1.024–1.468), p = 0.027) were independently associated with all-cause death. Therefore, we found that an increased baseline plasma angiotensin II level was associated with higher long-term all-cause mortality, even after correcting for established cardiovascular risk factors.
PMCID: PMC3983573  PMID: 24722536
2.  Identification of a Novel Strain of Human Papillomavirus from Children with Diarrhea in China 
Genome Announcements  2013;1(5):e00761-13.
A highly divergent human papillomavirus (HPV) strain, HPV-L55, was identified in fecal samples from children hospitalized with diarrhea in China. The L1 gene of HPV-L55 shares <75% identity with previously reported HPVs, indicating that this virus represents a novel type of HPV. Phylogenetic analysis classified this virus as a member of the gammapapillomaviruses.
PMCID: PMC3790082  PMID: 24092778
3.  Identification of a Novel Picornavirus in Healthy Piglets and Seroepidemiological Evidence of Its Presence in Humans 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e70137.
In this study, we describe a novel porcine parechovirus-like virus (tentatively named PLV-CHN) from healthy piglets in China using 454 high-throughput sequencing. The complete genome of the virus comprises 6832 bp, encoding a predicted polyprotein of 2132 amino acids that is most similar to Ljungan virus (32% identity). A similar virus that belongs to a novel Picornaviridae genus, named swine pasivirus 1 (SPaV-1), was reported during the preparation of this paper. Sequence analysis revealed that PLV-CHN and SPaV1 shared 82% nucleotide identity and 89% amino acid identity. Further genomic and phylogenetic analyses suggested that both SPaV1 and PLV-CHN shared similar genomic characteristics and belong to the same novel Picornaviridae genus. A total of 36 (20.0%) fecal samples from 180 healthy piglets were positive for PLV-CHN by RT-PCR, while no fecal samples from 100 healthy children and 100 children with diarrhea, and no cerebrospinal fluid samples from 196 children with suspected viral encephalitis, was positive for the virus. However, Western blot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays using recombinant PLV-CHN VP1 polypeptide as an antigen showed a high seroprevalence of 63.5% in the healthy population. When grouped by age, the antibody-positivity rates showed that the majority of children under 12 years of age have been infected by the virus. It was suggested that PLV-CHN, SPaV1, or an as-yet-uncharacterized virus can infect humans early in life. Thus, investigation of the role of this novel virus is vital.
PMCID: PMC3735577  PMID: 23936384
4.  Lentivirus-mediated RNA interference targeting the H19 gene inhibits cell proliferation and apoptosis in human choriocarcinoma cell line JAR 
BMC Cell Biology  2013;14:26.
H19 is a paternally imprinted gene that has been shown to be highly expressed in the trophoblast tissue. Results from previous studies have initiated a debate as to whether noncoding RNA H19 acts as a tumor suppressor or as a tumor promotor in trophoblast tissue. In the present study, we developed lentiviral vectors expressing H19-specific small interfering RNA (siRNA) to specifically block the expression of H19 in the human choriocarcinoma cell line JAR. Using this approach, we investigated the impact of the H19 gene on the proliferation, invasion and apoptosis of JAR cells. Moreover, we examined the effect of H19 knockdown on the expression of insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2), hairy and enhancer of split homologue-1 (HES-1) and dual-specific phosphatase 5 (DUSP5) genes.
H19 knockdown inhibited apoptosis and proliferation of JAR cells, but had no significant impact on cell invasion. In addition, H19 knockdown resulted in significant upregulation of HES-1 and DUSP5 expression, but not IGF2 expression in JAR cells.
The finding that H19 downregulation could simultaneously inhibit proliferation and apoptosis of JAR cells highlights a putative dual function for H19 in choriocarcinoma and may explain the debate on whether H19 acts as a tumor suppressor or a tumor promotor in trophoblast tissue. Furthermore, upregulation of HES-1 and DUSP5 may mediate H19 downregulation-induced suppression of proliferation and apoptosis of JAR cells.
PMCID: PMC3679798  PMID: 23711233
H19; JAR cells; Choriocarcinoma; HES-1; DUSP5; IGF2
5.  A New Strategy to Produce a Defensin: Stable Production of Mutated NP-1 in Nitrate Reductase-Deficient Chlorella ellipsoidea 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e54966.
Defensins are small cationic peptides that could be used as the potential substitute for antibiotics. However, there is no efficient method for producing defensins. In this study, we developed a new strategy to produce defensin in nitrate reductase (NR)-deficient C. ellipsoidea (nrm-4). We constructed a plant expression vector carrying mutated NP-1 gene (mNP-1), a mature α-defensin NP-1 gene from rabbit with an additional initiator codon in the 5′-terminus, in which the selection markers were NptII and NR genes. We transferred mNP-1 into nrm-4 using electroporation and obtained many transgenic lines with high efficiency under selection chemicals G418 and NaNO3. The mNP-1 was characterized using N-terminal sequencing after being isolated from transgenic lines. Excitingly, mNP-1 was produced at high levels (approximately 11.42 mg/l) even after 15 generations of continuous fermentation. In addition, mNP-1 had strong activity against Escherichia coli at 5 µg/ml. This research developed a new method for producing defensins using genetic engineering.
PMCID: PMC3557228  PMID: 23383016
6.  Promoter methylation of tumor suppressor genes in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma 
Chinese Journal of Cancer  2013;32(1):3-11.
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is a prevalent and fatal cancer in China and other Asian countries. Epigenetic silencing of key tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) is critical to ESCC initiation and progression. Recently, many novel TSGs silenced by promoter methylation have been identified in ESCC, and these genes further serve as potential tumor markers for high-risk group stratification, early detection, and prognosis prediction. This review summarizes recent discoveries on aberrant promoter methylation of TSGs in ESCC, providing better understanding of the role of disrupted epigenetic regulation in tumorigenesis and insight into diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for this malignancy.
PMCID: PMC3845589  PMID: 22572016
Tumor suppressor gene; CpG island; promoter methylation; esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; tumor marker
7.  Aberrant promoter CpG methylation and its translational applications in breast cancer 
Chinese Journal of Cancer  2013;32(1):12-20.
Breast cancer is a complex disease driven by multiple factors including both genetic and epigenetic alterations. Recent studies revealed that abnormal gene expression induced by epigenetic changes, including aberrant promoter methylation and histone modification, plays a critical role in human breast Carcinogenesis. Silencing of tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) by promoter CpG methylation facilitates cells growth and survival advantages and further results in tumor initiation and progression, thus directly contributing to breast tumorigenesis. Usually, aberrant promoter methylation of TSGs, which can be reversed by pharmacological reagents, occurs at the early stage of tumorigenesis and therefore may serve as a potential tumor marker for early diagnosis and therapeutic targeting of breast cancer. In this review, we summarize the epigenetic changes of multiple TSGs involved in breast pathogenesis and their potential clinical applications as tumor markers for early detection and treatment of breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC3845590  PMID: 22059908
Breast cancer; tumor suppressor gene; CpG; methylation; tumor marker
8.  Effects of soybean isoflavones on reproductive parameters in Chinese mini-pig boars 
Soybean isoflavones are structurally similar to mammalian estrogens and therefore may act as estrogen agonists or antagonists. However, it has not been determined if they have any negative effects on reproductive parameters in male livestock. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of soybean isoflavones on male reproduction using Chinese mini-pig boars as a model. Fifty Xiang boars were randomly divided into five groups and fed diets containing 0, 125, 250, or 500 ppm soybean isoflavones or 0.5 ppm diethylstilbestrol for 60 days.
Dietary supplementation with 250 ppm of soy isoflavones markedly increased the testis index (P < 0.05), fructose content (P < 0.05), and α-glycosidase content in testicular tissue (P < 0.01), as well as increased the number of viable germ cells (P < 0.01) and the level of Bcl-2 protein (P < 0.01). However, 500 ppm of soybean isoflavones significantly reduced both testis and epididymis indexes (P < 0.05) and lactate dehydrogenase levels (P < 0.01), as well as reduced serum LH and testosterone levels (P < 0.05). High levels of soybean isoflavones also increased malondialdehyde levels (P < 0.05), as well as increased the numbers of early and late apoptotic germ cells (P < 0.01) and the level of Bax proteins (P < 0.05) in the testis.
The results of this study indicate that consumption of soy isoflavones at dietary levels up to 250 ppm did not adversely affect reproductive parameters in Chinese mini-pig boars whereas higher levels of soy isoflavones may adversely affect male reproduction.
PMCID: PMC3503841  PMID: 23107449
Soy isoflavones; Male reproductive function; Pigs
9.  Effects of DAPT and Atoh1 Overexpression on Hair Cell Production and Hair Bundle Orientation in Cultured Organ of Corti from Neonatal Rats 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(10):e23729.
In mammals, hair cells do not undergo spontaneous regeneration when they are damaged and result in permanent hearing loss. Previous studies in cultured Organ of Corti dissected from neonatal animals have shown that both DAPT (r-secretase inhibitor in the Notch signal pathway) treatment and Atoh1 overexpression can induce supernumerary hair cells. The effects of simultaneous DAPT treatment and Atoh1 over expression in the cells of cultured Organ of Corti from neonatal rats are still obscure.
Principal Findings
In this study, we set out to investigate the interaction of DAPT treatment and Atoh1 overexpression as well as culture time and the location of basilar fragment isolated form neonatal rat inner ear. Our results showed that DAPT treatment induced more hair cells in the apical turn, while Atoh1 overexpression induced more extra hair cells in the middle turn of the cultured Organ of Corti. When used together, their effects are additive but not synergistic. In addition, the induction of supernumerary hair cells by both DAPT and Atoh1 overexpression is dependent on the treatment time and the location of the cochlear tissue. Moreover, DAPT treatment causes dramatic changes in the orientation of the stereociliary bundles of hair cells, whereas Atoh1 overexpression didn't induce drastic change of the polarity of stereociliary bundles.
Taken together, these results suggest that DAPT treatment are much more potent in inducing supernumerary hair cells than Atoh1 overexpression and that the new hair cells mainly come from the trans-differentiation of supporting cells around hair cells. The orientation change of stereociliary bundle of hair cells may be attributed to the insertion of the newly formed hair cells. The immature hair bundles on the newly formed hair cells may also contribute to the overall chaos of the stereociliary bundle of the sensory epithelia.
PMCID: PMC3197578  PMID: 22028767
10.  Validation And Reliability of Distress Thermometer in Chinese Cancer Patients 
To examine the validation and reliability of the distress thermometer (DT) recommended by National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) in Chinese cancer patients.
A total of 574 Chinese cancer patients from Beijing Cancer Hospital completed the detection of DT, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and Symptom Checklist 90 (SCL-90), Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve and Area Under the Curve (AUC) were used to analyze the validation relative to HADS and SCL-90. The patients with DT≥4 and whose distress caused by emotional problems were interviewed with the MiNi International Neuro-psychiatric Interview (MINI) (Chinese Version 5.0). This version was used to analyze cancer patients’ psychological and Psychiatric symptoms during the cancer process; 3. Another 106 cancer patients in rehabilitation stage and stable condition were asked to fill in DT two times, at the base time and after 7-10 days.
Data of ROC indicates that a DT cutoff score of 4 yielded AUC of 0.80 with a optimal sensitivity (0.80) and specificity (0.70) relative to HADS, and AUC of 0.83 with the greatest sensitivity (0.87) and specificity (0.72) against SCL-90. The DT also has acceptable test-retest reliability (r=0.800, P=0.000); According to the interview results, the most common psychiatric problems cancer patients have adjustment disorder, depression, and anxiety.
The data suggest that DT has acceptable overall accuracy and reliability as a screening tool for testing distress severity and specific problems causing distress in Chinese cancer patients. It is worth being used in oncology clinic, the rapid screening and interview could help caregivers to identify psychological and psychiatric problems of cancer patients and provide useful information for further treatment.
PMCID: PMC3587535  PMID: 23467708
Validation; Reliability; Cancer patients; Distress thermometer
11.  Visualization of Synaptic Inhibition with an Optogenetic Sensor Developed by Cell-Free Protein Engineering Automation 
The Journal of Neuroscience  2013;33(41):16297-16309.
We describe an engineered fluorescent optogenetic sensor, SuperClomeleon, that robustly detects inhibitory synaptic activity in single, cultured mouse neurons by reporting intracellular chloride changes produced by exogenous GABA or inhibitory synaptic activity. Using a cell-free protein engineering automation methodology that bypasses gene cloning, we iteratively constructed, produced, and assayed hundreds of mutations in binding-site residues to identify improvements in Clomeleon, a first-generation, suboptimal sensor. Structural analysis revealed that these improvements involve halide contacts and distant side chain rearrangements. The development of optogenetic sensors that respond to neural activity enables cellular tracking of neural activity using optical, rather than electrophysiological, signals. Construction of such sensors using in vitro protein engineering establishes a powerful approach for developing new probes for brain imaging.
PMCID: PMC3792465  PMID: 24107961
12.  Ovariectomy Results in Variable Changes in Nociception, Mood and Depression in Adult Female Rats 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94312.
Decline in the ovarian hormones with menopause may influence somatosensory, cognitive, and affective processing. The present study investigated whether hormonal depletion alters the nociceptive, depressive-like and learning behaviors in experimental rats after ovariectomy (OVX), a common method to deplete animals of their gonadal hormones. OVX rats developed thermal hyperalgesia in proximal and distal tail that was established 2 weeks after OVX and lasted the 7 weeks of the experiment. A robust mechanical allodynia was also occurred at 5 weeks after OVX. In the 5th week after OVX, dilute formalin (5%)-induced nociceptive responses (such as elevating and licking or biting) during the second phase were significantly increased as compared to intact and sham-OVX females. However, chronic constriction injury (CCI) of the sciatic nerve-induced mechanical allodynia did not differ as hormonal status (e.g. OVX and ovarian intact). Using formalin-induced conditioned place avoidance (F-CPA), which is believed to reflect the pain-related negative emotion, we further found that OVX significantly attenuated F-CPA scores but did not alter electric foot-shock-induced CPA (S-CPA). In the open field and forced swimming test, there was an increase in depressive-like behaviors in OVX rats. There was no detectable impairment of spatial performance by Morris water maze task in OVX rats up to 5 weeks after surgery. Estrogen replacement retrieved OVX-induced nociceptive hypersensitivity and depressive-like behaviors. This is the first study to investigate the impacts of ovarian removal on nociceptive perception, negative emotion, depressive-like behaviors and spatial learning in adult female rats in a uniform and standard way.
PMCID: PMC3978042  PMID: 24710472
14.  Complete Genome Sequence of Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense MSR-1 
Genome Announcements  2014;2(2):e00171-14.
We report the complete genomic sequence of Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense MSR-1 (DSM 6361), a type strain of the genus Magnetospirillum belonging to the Alphaproteobacteria. Compared to the reported draft sequence, extensive rearrangements and differences were found, indicating high genomic flexibility and “domestication” by accelerated evolution of the strain upon repeated passaging.
PMCID: PMC3953193  PMID: 24625872
15.  Proteomics Analysis of Normal and Senescent NG108-15 Cells: GRP78 Plays a Negative Role in Cisplatin-Induced Senescence in the NG108-15 Cell Line 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e90114.
Accelerated senescence (ACS) leading to proliferative arrest is a physiological mechanism of the DNA damage response that occurs during tumor therapy. Our experiment was designed to detect unknown genes that may play important roles in cisplatin-induced senescence and to illustrate the related senescence mechanism. Using 2-dimension electrophoresis (2-DE), we identified 5 protein spots with different expression levels in the normal and senescent NG108-15 cells. According to MALDI-TOF MS analysis, the 5 proteins were determined to be peptidylprolyl isomerase A (PPIA), peroxiredoxin 1 (PRX1), glutathione S-transferase mu 1 (GSTM1), vimentin (VIM) and glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78). Then, we investigated how cisplatin-induced senescence was mediated by GRP78 in the NG108-15 cells. Knockdown of GRP78 significantly increased P53 expression in NG108-15 cells. Additionally, 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2DG)-induced GRP78 overexpression protected the NG108-15 cells from cisplatin-induced senescence, which was accompanied by the obvious suppression of P53 and p-CDC2 expression. Inhibition of Ca2+ release from endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stores was also found to be associated with the anti-senescence effect of 2DG-induced GRP78 overexpression. In conclusion, we found 5 proteins that were differentially expressed in normal NG108-15 cells and senescent NG108-15 cells. GRP78 plays an important role in cisplatin-induced senescence in NG108-15 cells, mainly through its regulation of P53 expression and ER calcium efflux.
PMCID: PMC3951507  PMID: 24621580
16.  Neuroprotective Effects of Sevoflurane against Electromagnetic Pulse-Induced Brain Injury through Inhibition of Neuronal Oxidative Stress and Apoptosis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91019.
Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) causes central nervous system damage and neurobehavioral disorders, and sevoflurane protects the brain from ischemic injury. We investigated the effects of sevoflurane on EMP-induced brain injury. Rats were exposed to EMP and immediately treated with sevoflurane. The protective effects of sevoflurane were assessed by Nissl staining, Fluoro-Jade C staining and electron microscopy. The neurobehavioral effects were assessed using the open-field test and the Morris water maze. Finally, primary cerebral cortical neurons were exposed to EMP and incubated with different concentration of sevoflurane. The cellular viability, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and malondialdehyde (MDA) level were assayed. TUNEL staining was performed, and the expression of apoptotic markers was determined. The cerebral cortexes of EMP-exposed rats presented neuronal abnormalities. Sevoflurane alleviated these effects, as well as the learning and memory deficits caused by EMP exposure. In vitro, cell viability was reduced and LDH release was increased after EMP exposure; treatment with sevoflurane ameliorated these effects. Additionally, sevoflurane increased SOD activity, decreased MDA levels and alleviated neuronal apoptosis by regulating the expression of cleaved caspase-3, Bax and Bcl-2. These findings demonstrate that Sevoflurane conferred neuroprotective effects against EMP radiation-induced brain damage by inhibiting neuronal oxidative stress and apoptosis.
PMCID: PMC3948751  PMID: 24614080
17.  Isoflurane reduces hypoxia/reoxygenation-induced apoptosis and mitochondrial permeability transition in rat primary cultured cardiocytes 
BMC Anesthesiology  2014;14:17.
The volatile anesthetic isoflurane protects the heart from hypoxia/reperfusion (H/R) injury. However, it is still incompletely understood whether isoflurane exerts its protective role through preventing mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP) opening.
Primary cultured cardiocytes were exposed to H/R in the absence or presence of isoflurane. Cell cytotoxicity and apoptosis were detected by MTT assay and TUNEL staining, respectively. MPTP function was monitored by confocal imaging after reoxygenation. ROS production and activation of caspase-3 were determined by fluorescent reader and western blot, respectively.
As compared to the control group, H/R led to significant cell cytotoxicity and apoptosis, while application of isoflurane markedly reversed the effects. Furthermore, isoflurane significantly inhibits the formation of H/R-induced excess ROS production. Finally, isoflurane attenuated the onset of mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP) occurred during hypoxia/reoxygenation, and in turn inhibited activation of caspase-3.
These data indicate that isoflurane has a protective effect on cardiocytes exposed to H/R by reducing excess ROS production, blocking open of MPTP and further reducing apoptosis.
PMCID: PMC3975578  PMID: 24612850
Isoflurane; Hypoxia/reoxygenation; Cardiocyte; Apoptosis; Mitochondrial permeability transition; ROS
18.  Transovarial Transmission of a Plant Virus Is Mediated by Vitellogenin of Its Insect Vector 
PLoS Pathogens  2014;10(3):e1003949.
Most plant viruses are transmitted by hemipteroid insects. Some viruses can be transmitted from female parent to offspring usually through eggs, but the mechanism of this transovarial transmission remains unclear. Rice stripe virus (RSV), a Tenuivirus, transmitted mainly by the small brown planthopper (Laodelphax striatellus), is also spread to the offspring through the eggs. Here, we used the RSV–planthopper system as a model to investigate the mechanism of transovarial transmission and demonstrated the central role of vitellogenin (Vg) of L. striatellus in the process of virus transmission into the eggs. Our data showed Vg can bind to pc3 in vivo and in vitro and colocalize in the germarium. RSV filamentous ribonucleoprotein particles (RNPs) only accumulated in the terminal filaments and pedicel areas prior to Vg expression and was not present in the germarium until Vg was expressed, where RSV RNPs and Vg had colocalized. Observations by immunoelectron microscopy (IEM) also indicated that these two proteins colocalized in nurse cells. Knockdown of Vg expression due to RNA interference resulted in inhibition of the invasion of ovarioles by RSV. Together, the data obtained indicated that RSV RNPs may enter the nurse cell of the germarium via endocytosis through binding with Vg. Finally, the virus enters the oocytes through nutritive cords, using the same route as for Vg transport. Our results show that the Vg of L. striatellus played a critical role in transovarial transmission of RSV and shows how viruses can use existing transovarial transportation systems in insect vectors for their own purposes.
Author Summary
Numerous parasites including viruses, bacteria, and microsporidia can be maternally transmitted, with the parasite passing from mother to offspring, usually through eggs. However, the process of the parasites spreading into eggs from primarily infected tissues and the factors that mediate this process in live hosts or vectors are unknown due to the lack of useful tools. Here, we used several techniques to investigate the molecular mechanisms of transovarial transmission of Rice stripe virus (RSV), a plant virus belonging to the genus Tenuivirus, by its insect vector (Laodelphax striatellus). We found that the nucleocapsid protein of RSV bound to insect's vitellogenin (Vg) in vitro and in vivo. We also found that RSV invaded the egg tubes of the ovariole until Vg is highly expressed, then colocalized with Vg in the germarium. When Vg expression was knocked down due to RNA interference, the invasion of ovarioles by RSV decreased largely. Our study provides new insights into the transovarial transmission of an important viral pathogen that uses existing transovarial transportation systems in insect vectors to invade eggs.
PMCID: PMC3946389  PMID: 24603905
19.  Fenamates block gap junction coupling and potentiate BKCa channels in guinea pig arteriolar cells 
European journal of pharmacology  2013;703(0):74-82.
We determined the actions of the fenamates, flufenamic acid (FFA) and niflumic acid (NFA), on gap junction-mediated intercellular coupling between vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) in situ of acutely isolated arteriole segments from the three vascular beds: the spiral modiolar artery (SMA), anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) and mesenteric artery (MA), and on non-junctional membrane channels in dispersed VSMCs. Conventional whole-cell recording methods were used. FFA reversibly suppressed the input conductance (Ginput) or increased the input resistance (Rinput) in a concentration dependent manner, with slightly different IC50s for the SMA, AICA and MA segments (26, 33 and 56 μM respectively, P>0.05). Complete electrical isolation of the recorded VSMC was normally reached at ≥300 μM. NFA had a similar effect on gap junction among VSMCs with an IC50 of 40, 48 and 62 μM in SMA, AICA and MA segments, respectively. In dispersed VSMCs, FFA and NFA increased outward rectifier K+-current mediated by the big conductance calcium-activated potassium channel (BKCa) in a concentration-dependent manner, with a similar EC50 of ~300 μM for both FFA and NFA in the three vessels. Iberiotoxin, a selective blocker of the BKCa, suppressed the enhancement of the BKCa by FFA and NFA. The KV blocker 4-AP had no effect on the fenamates-induced K+-current enhancement. We conclude that FFA and NFA blocked the vascular gap junction mediated electrical couplings uniformly in arterioles of the three vascular beds, and complete electrical isolation of the recorded VSMC is obtained at ≧300 μM; FFA and NFA also activate BKCa channels in the arteriolar smooth muscle cells in addition to their known inhibitory effects on chloride channels.
PMCID: PMC3615131  PMID: 23420003
flufenamic acid; niflumic acid; gap junction; potassium channel; arteriole; electrical coupling
20.  Identifying Gastric Cancer Related Genes Using the Shortest Path Algorithm and Protein-Protein Interaction Network 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:371397.
Gastric cancer, as one of the leading causes of cancer related deaths worldwide, causes about 800,000 deaths per year. Up to now, the mechanism underlying this disease is still not totally uncovered. Identification of related genes of this disease is an important step which can help to understand the mechanism underlying this disease, thereby designing effective treatments. In this study, some novel gastric cancer related genes were discovered based on the knowledge of known gastric cancer related ones. These genes were searched by applying the shortest path algorithm in protein-protein interaction network. The analysis results suggest that some of them are indeed involved in the biological process of gastric cancer, which indicates that they are the actual gastric cancer related genes with high probability. It is hopeful that the findings in this study may help promote the study of this disease and the methods can provide new insights to study various diseases.
PMCID: PMC3963223
21.  Application of vitamin E to antagonize SWCNTs-induced exacerbation of allergic asthma 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:4275.
The aggravating effects of zero-dimensional, particle-shaped nanomaterials on allergic asthma have been previously investigated, but similar possible effects of one-dimensional shaped nanomaterials have not been reported. More importantly, there are no available means to counteract the adverse nanomaterial effects to allow for their safe use. In this study, an ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized rat asthma model was established to investigate whether single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) aggravate allergic asthma. The results showed that SWCNTs in rats exacerbated OVA-induced allergic asthma and that this exacerbation was counteracted by concurrent administration vitamin E. A mechanism involving the elimination of reactive oxygen species, downregulation of Th2 responses, reduced Ig production, and the relief of allergic asthma symptoms was proposed to explain the antagonistic effects of vitamin E. This work could provide a universal strategy to effectively protect people with allergic asthma from SWCNTs or similar nanomaterial-induced aggravating effects.
PMCID: PMC3940970  PMID: 24589727
22.  Peritonitis caused by Ewingella americana in a patient with peritoneal dialysis: a case report 
Peritonitis can happen in patients undergoing continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis. It is commonly caused by Staphylococcus aureus, which is the basis of the empiric choice of antibiotics. Here we report a case that was caused by Ewingella americana and thus required different considerations of treatment.
Case presentation
A 76-year-old Chinese woman underwent continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis after the diagnosis of chronic renal failure. She presented with generalized abdominal pain after the start of continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis for 10 consecutive months. The pathogen was identified as Ewingella americana by microbiological examination and its susceptibility to antibiotics was partly different from the common pathogens causing peritonitis. The change of antibiotic treatment from vancomycin to amikacin accelerated her recovery.
It should be noted that peritonitis can be caused by E. americana. Our report may add to the known causes of peritonitis in a hospital environment. With respect to the empiric choice of antibiotics to treat peritonitis under the condition of continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis, it is worth noting that E. americana has a different susceptibility to the spectrum of antibiotics and its corresponding therapy should be taken into consideration.
PMCID: PMC3975885  PMID: 24594296
Peritonitis; Peritoneal dialysis; Ewingella americana
23.  Providers’ HIV-related Avoidance Attitude and Patient Satisfaction 
This article explores the associations between medical care providers’ attitudes toward patients living with HIV (PLH) and the service satisfaction reported from general patients. Data were collected from 40 county-level hospitals in China, including 1,760 service providers and 1,000 patients receiving medical services from the hospitals. Provider and patient assessments were conducted by self-administered questionnaires and face-to-face interviews, respectively. Random-effect regression models were used to examine relationships between the providers’ avoidance attitudes and patient satisfaction at the hospital level while taking into account variations in demographics and professional experience within each hospital. Service providers’ avoidance attitudes towards PLH were negatively associated with general patients’ satisfaction with service providers at the hospital level. The relationship was strong and significant whether or not adjustments were made for background characteristics. Medical care providers’ stigmatizing attitudes toward PLH could be a reflection of the providers’ general outlook with all patients. This study underscores a broader focus for HIV-related stigma reduction interventions in medical settings at both individual and institutional levels, targeting attitudes toward both HIV/AIDS patients and the general patient population.
PMCID: PMC3175313  PMID: 21668794
HIV; stigma; provider; patient satisfaction
24.  Investigation of Neovascularization in Three-Dimensional Porous Scaffolds In Vivo by a Combination of Multiscale Photoacoustic Microscopy and Optical Coherence Tomography 
It is a grand challenge to visualize and assess in vivo neovascularization in a three-dimensional (3D) scaffold noninvasively, together with high spatial resolution and deep penetration depth. Here we used multiscale photoacoustic microscopy (PAM), including acoustic-resolution PAM (AR-PAM) and optical-resolution PAM (OR-PAM), to chronically monitor neovascularization in an inverse opal scaffold implanted in a mouse model up to 6 weeks by taking advantage of the optical absorption contrast intrinsic to hemoglobin molecules in red blood cells. By combining with optical coherence tomography (OCT) based on optical scattering contrast, we also demonstrated the capability to simultaneously image and analyze the vasculature and the scaffold in the same mouse. The hybrid system containing OR-PAM and OCT offered a fine lateral resolution of ∼5 μm and a penetration depth of ∼1 mm into the scaffold/tissue construct. AR-PAM further extended the penetration depth up to ∼3 mm at a lateral resolution of ∼45 μm. By quantifying the 3D PAM data, we further examined the effect of pore size (200 vs. 80 μm) of a scaffold on neovascularization. The data collected from PAM were consistent with those obtained from traditional invasive, labor-intensive histologic analyses.
PMCID: PMC3557912  PMID: 22838500
25.  Telmisartan Improves Insulin Resistance of Skeletal Muscle Through Peroxisome Proliferator–Activated Receptor-δ Activation 
Diabetes  2013;62(3):762-774.
The mechanisms of the improvement of glucose homeostasis through angiotensin receptor blockers are not fully elucidated in hypertensive patients. We investigated the effects of telmisartan on insulin signaling and glucose uptake in cultured myotubes and skeletal muscle from wild-type and muscle-specific peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor (PPAR) δ knockout (MCK-PPARδ−/−) mice. Telmisartan increased PPARδ expression and activated PPARδ transcriptional activity in cultured C2C12 myotubes. In palmitate-induced insulin-resistant C2C12 myotubes, telmisartan enhanced insulin-stimulated Akt and Akt substrate of 160 kDa (AS160) phosphorylation as well as Glut4 translocation to the plasma membrane. These effects were inhibited by antagonizing PPARδ or phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase, but not by PPARγ and PPARα inhibition. Palmitate reducing the insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in C2C12 myotubes could be restored by telmisartan. In vivo experiments showed that telmisartan treatment reversed high-fat diet–induced insulin resistance and glucose intolerance in wild-type mice but not in MCK-PPARδ−/− mice. The protein levels of PPARδ, phospho-Akt, phospho-AS160, and Glut4 translocation to the plasma membrane in the skeletal muscle on insulin stimulation were reduced by high-fat diet and were restored by telmisartan administration in wild-type mice. These effects were absent in MCK-PPARδ−/− mice. These findings implicate PPARδ as a potential therapeutic target in the treatment of hypertensive subjects with insulin resistance.
PMCID: PMC3581229  PMID: 23238297

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