AIM: To investigate the mechanisms of how cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) regulates E-cadherin in gastric cancer cells.
METHODS: COX-2 expression in human gastric cancer cell lines SGC-7901, BGC-823, MGC-803 and AGS were measured at the mRNA and protein level. COX-2 rich cell line SGC-7901 was chosen for subsequent experiments. siRNA mediated gene knockdown was used to investigate the impact of COX-2 on nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), Snail, and E-cadherin in gastric cancer cells. Gene expression was determined by Western blot and real-time polymerase chain reaction. To analyze whether NF-κB inhibition could interrupt the modulatory effect of COX-2 or prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) on E-cadherin, gastric cancer cells were treated with celecoxib or PGE2, in the presence of NF-κB specific siRNA.
RESULTS: Highest expression level of COX-2 was found in SGC-7901 cells, both at mRNA and protein levels. siRNA mediated down-regulation of COX-2 led to a reduced expression of NF-κB and Snail, but an increased expression of E-cadherin in SGC-7901 cells. siRNA mediated down-regulation of NF-κB also led to a reduced expression of E-cadherin and Snail in SGC-7901 cells. However, COX-2 expression did not alter after cells were treated with NF-κB specific siRNA in SGC-7901 cells. Treatment of SGC-7901 cells with celecoxib led to a reduced expression of Snail but an increased expression of E-cadherin. In contrast, treatment of SGC-7901 cells with PGE2 led to an increased Snail and a decreased E-cadherin. However, siRNA-mediated knockdown of NF-κB partially abolished the effect of celecoxib and PGE2 on the regulation of E-cadherin and Snail in SGC-7901 cells.
CONCLUSION: COX-2 likely functions upstream of NF-κB and regulates the expression of E-cadherin via NF-κB/Snail signaling pathway in gastric cancer cells.
Cyclooxygenase-2; E-cadherin; celecoxib; Prostaglandin E2; Gastric cancer
Hexaploid bread wheat contains A, B, and D three subgenomes with its well-characterized ancestral genomes existed at diploid and tetraploid levels, making the wheat act as a good model species for studying evolutionary genomic dynamics. Here, we performed intra- and inter-species comparative analyses of wheat and related grass genomes to examine the dynamics of homologous regions surrounding Rht-1, a well-known “green revolution” gene. Our results showed that the divergence of the two A genomes in the Rht-1 region from the diploid and tetraploid species is greater than that from the tetraploid and hexaploid wheat. The divergence of D genome between diploid and hexaploid is lower than those of A genome, suggesting that D genome diverged latter than others. The divergence among the A, B and D subgenomes was larger than that among different ploidy levels for each subgenome which mainly resulted from genomic structural variation of insertions and, perhaps deletions, of the repetitive sequences. Meanwhile, the repetitive sequences caused genome expansion further after the divergence of the three subgenomes. However, several conserved non-coding sequences were identified to be shared among the three subgenomes of wheat, suggesting that they may have played an important role to maintain the homolog of three subgenomes. This is a pilot study on evolutionary dynamics across the wheat ploids, subgenomes and differently related grasses. Our results gained new insights into evolutionary dynamics of Rht-1 region at sequence level as well as the evolution of wheat during the plolyploidization process.
To assess the expression of COX-2,CD44v6 and CD147 in hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas and the three biomarkers correlation with tumor invasion and lymph node metastasis of Chinese people. 101 cases of surgically excised primary tumor were included in this study, and 40 tissues of epithelium adjacent to carcinoma were used as controls. We characterized the immunohistochemical expression of COX-2, CD44v6, and CD147 in141 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues, and measured the mean optical density (OD) of the positive area to identify the expression of the three bio-markers and relationship with tumor invasion and lymph node metastasis. Our study demonstrates that the expression of the COX-2 and CD147 were significantly increased in carcinoma tissues compared to the epithelium adjacent to carcinoma. We also observed that the expression of COX-2, CD44v6, and CD147 were significantly associated with T classification, lymph node metastasis and clinical stage. There was strong significant correlation among the three biomarkers as well. Additionally, we indicated that recurrence and ≥P50 level of COX-2 expression had an independent prognostic effect on prognosis. In conclusion, the three biomarkers play important roles in tumor invasion and lymph node metastases and might be valuable indicators of tumor metastasis in hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma.
To investigate the effects of gossypol acetic acid (GA) on proliferation and apoptosis of the macrophage cell line RAW264.7 and further understand the possible underlying mechanism responsible for GA-induced cell apoptosis, RAW264.7 cells were treated with GA (25~35 µmol/L) for 24 h and the cytotoxicity was determined by MTT assay, while apoptotic cells were identified by TUNEL assay, acridine orange/ethidium bromide staining and flow cytometry. Moreover, mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) with Rhodamine 123 and reactive oxygen species (ROS) with DCFH-DA were analyzed by fluorescence spectrofluorometry. In addition, the expression of caspase-3 and caspase-9 was assessed by Western Blot assay. Finally, the GA-induced cell apoptosis was evaluated by flow cytometry in the present of caspase inhibitors Z-VAD-FMK and Ac-LEHD-FMK, respectively. GA significantly inhibited the proliferation of RAW264.7 cells in a dose-dependent manner, and caused obvious cell apoptosis and a loss of ΔΨm in RAW264.7 cells. Moreover, the ROS production in cells was elevated, and the levels of activated caspase-3 and caspase-9 were up-regulated in a dose-dependent manner. Notably, GA-induced cell apoptosis was markedly inhibited by caspase inhibitors. These results suggest that GA-induced RAW264.7 cell apoptosis may be mediated via a caspase-dependent mitochondrial signaling pathway.
apoptosis; gossypol acetic acid; mitochondrial signaling pathway
Flowering is a critical event in the life cycle of plants; the WRKY-type transcription factors are reported to be involved in many developmental processes sunch as trichome development and epicuticular wax loading, but whether they are involved in flowering time regulation is still unknown. Within this study, we provide clear evidence that GsWRKY20, a member of WRKY gene family from wild soybean, is involved in controlling plant flowering time. Expression of GsWRKY20 was abundant in the shoot tips and inflorescence meristems of wild soybean. Phenotypic analysis showed that GsWRKY20 over-expression lines flowered earlier than the wild-type plants under all conditions: long-day and short-day photoperiods, vernalization, or exogenous GA3 application, indicating that GsWRKY20 may mainly be involved in an autonomous flowering pathway. Further analyses by qRT-PCR and microarray suggests that GsWRKY20 accelerating plant flowering might primarily be through the regulation of flowering-related genes (i.e., FLC, FT, SOC1 and CO) and floral meristem identity genes (i.e., AP1, SEP3, AP3, PI and AG). Our results provide the evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of manipulating GsWRKY20 for altering plant flowering time.
To reconstruct the lamellar cornea using human amniotic epithelial (HAE) cells and rabbit cornea stroma in vitro using tissue engineering technology.
Human amnia taken from uncomplicated caesarean sections were digested by collagenase to obtain HAE cells, and the cells were cultured to proliferate. Rabbit corneal epithelial cells were removed by n-heptanol to make lamellar matrix sheets. The second passage of HAE cells were cultured on the corneal stroma sheets for 1 or 2 days, then transferred to an air-liquid interface environment to culture for 2 weeks. Tissue engineered lamellar cornea (TELC) morphology was observed by Hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining; its ultrastructure was observed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM); corneal epithelial cell-specific keratin 3 and keratin 12 were detected with immunofluorescence microscopy.
HAE cells grew on the rabbit corneal stroma, forming a monolayer after 1-2 days. About 4-5 layers of epithelial cells developed after 2 weeks of air-liquid interface cultivation, a result similar to normal corneal epithelium. Rabbit corneal stromal cells were significantly reduced after one week, then almost completely disappeared after 2 weeks. TEM showed desmosomes between the epithelial cells; hemidesmosomes formed between the epithelial cells and the basement membrane. SEM revealed that the HAE cells which grew on the lamellar cornea had abundant microvilli. The tissue-engineered cornea expressed keratin 3 and keratin 12, as detected by immunofluorescence assay.
Functional tissue-engineered lamellar corneal grafts can be constructed in vitro using HAE cells and rabbit corneal stroma.
amniotic epithelial cells; cornea; tissue engineering; keratin
Engineered artificial tissues from stem cells show great potential in regenerative medicine, disease therapies and organ transplantation. To date, stem cells are typically co-cultured with inactivated feeder layers to maintain their undifferentiated state, and to ensure reliable cell purity. Herein, we propose a novel microfabricated approach for feeder-separated coculture of mouse embryonic stem (mES) cells on polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) porous membrane-assembled 3D-microdevice. Normal mouse embryonic fibroblasts (mEFs) without inactivation were specifically co-cultured with mES cells, resulting in the formation of mES cell colonies on spatially controlled co-culture with feeder layers. An excellent undifferentiated state was confirmed by the expressions of Nanog, octamer binding protein 4 (Oct-4) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) after 5 days culture. As a result, with the significant advantages of efficiency and simplicity, pure mES cell populations (a purity of 89.2%) from mEFs co-cultures were easily collected without any further purification or separation.
Objective and design
This study is aimed at exploring the role of neurokinin-1 receptor (NK-1R) in the development of allergic rhinitis (AR) in rats.
Sprague–Dawley rats were sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin to induce AR. The rats were treated intranasally with saline, control, or NK-1R-specific small interfering RNA (siRNA) before and during the challenge period. The numbers of sneezes and nose rubs and amount of nasal secretion in individual rats were measured. The levels of NK-1R expression in the nasal mucosal tissues after the last challenge were determined. The numbers of eosinophils in the collected nasal lavage fluid and the levels of serum interleukin (IL)-5 in individual rats were determined.
The levels of NK-1R expression in the nasal mucosal tissues of the AR rats that had been treated with saline or control siRNA were significantly higher than those in the healthy controls and the rats treated with NK-1R-specific siRNA, demonstrating NK-1R silencing. Furthermore, knockdown of NK-1R expression significantly reduced the amounts of sneezing, nose rubbing, and nasal secretions in AR rats. Knockdown of NK-1R expression also significantly eliminated eosinophil infiltration in the nasal tissues and reduced the levels of serum IL-5 in rats.
Knockdown of NK-1R expression decreased allergic inflammation in nasal mucosal tissues and alleviated the allergic rhinitis symptoms, suggesting that NK-1R may be a critical mediator of the development of AR.
Allergic rhinitis; NK-1R; siRNA; Rats
A major cause of hyperglycemia in diabetic patients is inappropriate hepatic gluconeogenesis. PGC-1α is a master regulator of gluconeogenesis, and its activity is controlled by various post-translational modifications. A small portion of glucose metabolizes through the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway, which leads to O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) modification of cytoplasmic and nuclear proteins. Using a proteomic approach, we identified a broad variety of proteins associated with O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT), among which host cell factor C1 (HCF-1) is highly abundant. HCF-1 recruits OGT to O-GlcNAcylate PGC-1α and O-GlcNAcylation facilitates the binding of the deubiquitinase BAP1, thus protecting PGC-1α from degradation and promoting gluconeogenesis. Glucose availability modulates gluconeogenesis through the regulation of PGC-1α O-GlcNAcylation and stability by the OGT/HCF1 complex. Hepatic knockdown of OGT and HCF-1 improves glucose homeostasis in diabetic mice. These findings define the OGT/HCF-1 complex as a glucose sensor and key regulator of gluconeogenesis, shedding light on new strategies for treating diabetes.
The disease burden of children with laboratory-confirmed influenza in China has not been well described. The aim of this study was to understand the epidemiology and socio-economic burden of influenza in children younger than 5 years in outpatient and emergency department settings.
A prospective study of laboratory-confirmed influenza among children presenting to the outpatient settings in Soochow University Affiliated Children's Hospital with symptoms of influenza-like illness (ILI) was performed from March 2011 to February 2012. Throat swabs were collected for detection of influenza virus by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assay. Data were collected using a researcher administered questionnaire, concerning demographics, clinical characteristics, direct and indirect costs, day care absence, parental work loss and similar respiratory illness development in the family.
Among a total of 6,901 children who sought care at internal outpatient settings, 1,726 (25%) fulfilled the criteria of ILI and 1,537 were enrolled. Influenza was documented in 365 (24%) of enrolled 1,537 ILI cases. Among positive patients, 52 (14%) were type A and 313 (86%) were type B. About 52% of influenza outpatients had over-the-counter medications before physician visit and 41% visited hospitals two or more times. Children who attended daycare missed an average of 1.9 days. For each child with influenza-confirmed disease, the parents missed a mean of 1.8 work days. Similar respiratory symptoms were reported in 43% of family contacts of influenza positive children after onset of the child's illness. The mean direct and indirect costs per episode of influenza were $123.4 for outpatient clinics and $134.6 for emergency departments, and $125.9 for influenza A and $127.5 for influenza B.
Influenza is a common cause of influenza-like illness among children and has substantial socio-economic impact on children and their families regarding healthcare seeking and day care/work absence. The direct and indirect costs of childhood influenza impose a heavy financial burden on families. Prevention measures such as influenza vaccine could reduce the occurrence of influenza in children and the economic burden on families.
MicroRNA-143 (miR-143) was found to be downregulated in allergic rhinitis, and bioinformatics analysis predicted that IL-13Rα1 was a target gene of miR-143. To understand the molecular mechanisms of miR-143 involved in the pathogenesis of allergic inflammation, recombinant miR-143 plasmid vectors were constructed, and human mast cell-1(HMC-1) cells which play a central role in the allergic response were used for study. The plasmids were transfected into HMC-1 cells using a lentiviral vector. Expression of IL-13Rα1 mRNA was then detected by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western Blotting. The miR-143 lentiviral vector was successfully stably transfected in HMC-1 cells for target gene expression. Compared to the control, the target gene IL-13Rα1 was less expressed in HMC-1 transfected with miR-143 as determined by RT-PCR and Western Blotting (p < 0.05); this difference in expression was statistically significant and the inhibition efficiency was 71%. It indicates that miR-143 directly targets IL-13Rα1 and suppresses IL-13Rα1 expression in HMC-1 cells. Therefore, miR-143 may be associated with allergic reaction in human mast cells.
microRNA-143; IL-13Rα1; mast cell; lentiviral vector; allergy
Access to data on the coronary flow in the coronary sinus (CS) can aid in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease (CAD). We tested the hypothesis that assessing the CS flow by transthoracic Doppler echocardiography (TTE) at rest can detect coronary artery stenosis in non-hypertensive patients.
The antegrade phase of coronary flow in the CS was analyzed and compared in 140 male and 135 female non-hypertensive subjects who had all undergone coronary angiography.
There were statistically significant differences noted between males and females for the CS flow both in normal subjects and patients with CAD. Compared with normal subjects, patients with CAD had significantly lower blood flow in the CS both in males (196.6±174.31 vs. 367.65±168.04 ml/min, P<0.01) and females (183.04±65.46 vs. 244.13±135.43 ml/min P<0.01). For males, the diagnostic sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of the cutoff value of the CS flow (206 ml/min) for predicting a significant coronary artery stenosis (>70%) were 91.67%, 81.25%, and 85.71%, respectively. For females, those of the cutoff value of the CS flow (195 ml/min) were 85.71%, 75%, and 80%, respectively.
TTE can effectively detect coronary hemodynamically significant stenosis in non-hypertensive male and female patients at different cutoff values.
coronary flow; coronary sinus; coronary artery stenoses; males and females; non-hypertensive patients; transthoracic Doppler echocardiography
The management of limited-disease esophageal small cell carcinoma is not well defined, and the role of surgery is still controversial. We aim to determine the optimal treatment strategy in limited-disease of esophageal small cell carcinoma.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a retrospective review of 141 patients with limited-disease esophageal small cell carcinoma from 3 institutions in China who underwent treatment between July 1994 and September 2008, July 1994 and July 2011, and June 2004 and December 2010, respectively. The survival rate was calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method, and the log-rank test was used to assess the survival differences between the groups. Cox proportional hazards model were used to further determine the independent factors impacting overall survival. The median survival time was 16.1 months for the entire cohort of patients, with a 5-year survival rate of 6.7%. The median survival times for surgery alone, surgery combined with chemotherapy, surgery combined with radiotherapy, surgery combined with chemotherapy and radiotherapy, chemotherapy plus radiotherapy, and chemotherapy alone were 18.0 months, 15.0 months, 23.0 months, 25.0 months, 17.1 months, and 6.1 months, respectively; the corresponding 5-year survival rates were 0%, 15.4%, 0%, 38.9%, 0%, and 0%, respectively. For the 105 patients who underwent R0 resection, the median disease-free survival time was 12.0 months, with a 95% confidence interval of 9.5 months to 14.5 months. The multivariate Cox regression analysis demonstrated that advanced pathological staging (p = 0.003), and pure esophageal small cell carcinoma (p = 0.035) were independent factors decreasing overall survival.
Our data suggested that multidisciplinary modalities achieved encouraging long-term survival in patients with resectable limited-disease of esophageal small cell carcinoma.
Antigens encoded in the region of difference (RD) of Mycobacterium tuberculosis constitute a potential source of specific immunodiagnostic antigens for distinguishing tuberculosis (TB) infection from BCG vaccination. We evaluated the diagnostic potential of specific T-cell epitopes selected from two immunodominant antigens, Rv1985c and Rv3425, from RD2 and RD11, respectively, on the basis of epitope mapping, in TB patients and BCG-vaccinated healthy individuals. Using a whole-blood gamma interferon release assay, a wide array of epitopes was recognized on both Rv1985c and Rv3425 in TB patients. Those epitopes that could specifically discriminate TB infection from BCG vaccination were carefully selected, and the most promising peptide pools from Rv1985c showed a sensitivity of 53.9% and a specificity of 95.5%. When the novel specific peptides from Rv1985c joined the diagnostic antigens in the QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube (QFT-IT) assay, the sensitivity was increased from 86.4% to 96.2%, with no drop in specificity. These results indicate that the peptide pools selected from Rv1985c and Rv3425 have the potential to diagnose TB infection by a method that may be routinely used in clinical laboratories.
This study was conducted to compare the effects of foliar spray and rhizosphere irrigation with purple phototrophic bacteria (PPB) on growth and stevioside (ST) yield of Stevia. rebaudiana. The S. rebaudiana plants were treated by foliar spray, rhizosphere irrigation, and spray plus irrigation with PPB for 10 days, respectively. All treatments enhanced growth of S. rebaudiana, and the foliar method was more efficient than irrigation. Spraying combined with irrigation increased the ST yield plant -1 by 69.2% as compared to the control. The soil dehydrogenase activity, S. rebaudiana shoot biomass, chlorophyll content in new leaves, and soluble sugar in old leaves were affected significantly by S+I treatment, too. The PPB probably works in the rhizosphere by activating the metabolic activity of soil bacteria, and on leaves by excreting phytohormones or enhancing the activity of phyllosphere microorganisms.
Experiments using Cre recombinase to study smooth muscle specific functions rely on strict specificity of Cre transgene expression. Therefore, accurate determination of Cre activity is critical to the interpretation of experiments using smooth muscle specific Cre.
Methods and Results
Two lines of smooth muscle protein 22 a-Cre (SM22a-Cre) mice were bred to floxed mice in order to define Cre transgene expression. Southern blotting demonstrated that SM22a-Cre was expressed not only in tissues abundant of smooth muscle, but also in spleen, which consists largely of immune cells including myeloid and lymphoid cells. PCR detected SM22a-Cre expression in peripheral blood and peritoneal macrophages. Analysis of SM22a-Cre mice crossed with a recombination detector GFP mouse revealed GFP expression, and hence recombination, in circulating neutrophils and monocytes by flow cytometry.
SM22 -Cre mediates recombination not only in smooth muscle cells, but also in myeloid cells including neutrophils, monocytes, and macrophages. Given the known contributions of myeloid cells to cardiovascular phenotypes, caution should be taken when interpreting data using SM22 -Cre mice to investigate smooth muscle-specific functions. Strategies such as bone marrow transplantation may be necessary when SM22 -Cre is used to differentiate the contribution of smooth muscle cells versus myeloid cells to observed phenotypes.
SM22 -Cre; smooth muscle cells; myeloid cells; neutrophils; monocytes; macrophages
AIM: To explore the role of nesfatin-1 on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)-like visceral hypersensitivity.
METHODS: The animal model of IBS-like visceral hypersensitivity was induced by intracolonic infusion of 0.5% acetic acid (AA) in saline once daily from postnatal days 8-21. Experiments were performed when rats became adults. The visceral sensitivity of rats was evaluated by abdominal withdrawal reflex (AWR) and electromyographic (EMG) activity of the external oblique muscle to graded colorectal distension. The content of nesfatin-1 in serum was determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. After implantation of an intracerebroventricular (ICV) cannula and two electrodes into the external oblique muscle, model rats were randomly divided into four groups. Animals then received ICV injection of 8 μg of anti-nesfatin-1/nucleobindin-2 (NUCB2), 50 μg of α-helical corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) 9-41 (non-selective CRF receptor antagonist), 50 μg of NBI-27914 (selective CRF1 receptor antagonist) or 5 μL of vehicle. After 1 h of ICV administration, visceral sensitivity of each group was measured again, and comparisons between groups were made.
RESULTS: Rats treated with AA showed higher mean AWR scores and EMG activity at all distension pressures compared with controls (P < 0.05). On histopathologic examination, no evidence of inflammation or abnormalities in structure were noted in the colon of either control or AA-treated groups. Myeloperoxidase values were not significantly different between the two groups. The level of nesfatin-1 in serum was significantly higher in the AA-treated group than in the control group (5.34 ± 0.37 ng/mL vs 4.81 ± 0.42 ng/mL, P < 0.01). Compared with rats injected with vehicle, rats which received ICV anti-nesfatin-1/NUCB2, α-helical CRF9-41 or NBI-27914 showed decreased mean AWR scores and EMG activity at all distension pressures (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Nesfatin-1 may be associated with IBS-like visceral hypersensitivity, which may be implicated in brain CRF/CRF1 signaling pathways.
Irritable bowel syndrome; Nesfatin-1; Visceral hypersensitivity; Corticotropin releasing factor; Intracerebroventricular injection
Ineffective emotion regulation and abnormal amygdala activation have each been found in adolescent-onset major depressive disorder. However, amygdala activation during emotion regulation has not been studied in adolescent-onset major depressive disorder.
Fourteen unmedicated adolescents diagnosed with current depression without comorbid psychiatric disorders and fourteen well-matched controls ages 13 to 17 years underwent an emotional regulation task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. During this task, participants viewed negatively-valence images and were asked to notice how they were feeling without trying to change it and maintain their emotional reaction (“Maintain”) or to interpret the image in such a way as minimize their emotional response (“Reduce”).
Imaging analyses demonstrated that adolescents with depression showed: (1) greater right amygdala activation during the maintain condition relative to controls, (2) less connectivity during the maintain condition between the amygdala and both the insula and medial prefrontal cortex than controls, and (3) a significant positive correlation between amygdala-seeded connectivity during maintenance of emotion and psychosocial functioning.
The current study is cross-sectional comparison and longitudinal investigations with larger sample sizes are needed to examine the association between amygdala reactivity and emotion regulation over time in adolescent MDD.
During the maintain condition, adolescents with depression showed a heightened amygdala response and less reciprocal activation in brain regions that may modulate the amygdala. A poorly modulated, overreactive amygdala may contribute to poor emotion regulation.
Major Depression; Functional MRI; Insula; Reappraisal; Prefrontal Cortex
Altered metabolic regulation has long been observed in human cancer and broadly used in the clinic for tumor detection. Two recent findings—the direct regulation of metabolic enzymes by frequently mutated cancer genes and frequent mutations of several metabolic enzymes themselves in cancer—have renewed interest in cancer metabolism. Supporting a causative role of altered metabolic enzymes in tumorigenesis, abnormal levels of several metabolites have been found to play a direct role in cancer development. The alteration of metabolic genes and metabolites offer not only new biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis, but also potential new targets for cancer therapy.
Given that hearing loss occurs in 1 to 3 of 1,000 live births and approximately 90 to 95 percent of them are born into hearing families, it is of importance and necessity to get better understanding about the carrier rate and mutation spectrum of genes associated with hearing impairment in the general population.
7,263 unrelated women of childbearing age with normal hearing and without family history of hearing loss were tested with allele-specific PCR-based universal array. Further genetic testing were provided to the spouses of the screened carriers. For those couples at risk, multiple choices were provided, including prenatal diagnosis.
Among the 7,263 normal hearing participants, 303 subjects carried pathogenic mutations included in the screening chip, which made the carrier rate 4.17%. Of the 303 screened carriers, 282 harbored heterozygous mutated genes associated with autosomal recessive hearing loss, and 95 spouses took further genetic tests. 8 out of the 9 couples harbored deafness-causing mutations in the same gene received prenatal diagnosis.
Given that nearly 90 to 95 percent of deaf and hard-of-hearing babies are born into hearing families, better understanding about the carrier rate and mutation spectrum of genes associated with hearing impairment in the female population of childbearing age may be of importance in carrier screening and genetic counseling.
Hearing loss; Carrier rate; Mutation spectrum
Obesity is important for the development of type-2 diabetes as a result of obesity-induced insulin resistance accompanied by impaired compensation of insulin secretion from pancreatic beta cells. Here, based on a randomized pilot clinical trial, we report that intranasal oxytocin administration over an 8-week period led to effective reduction of obesity and reversal of related prediabetic changes in patients. Using mouse models, we further systematically evaluated whether oxytocin and its analogs yield therapeutic effects against prediabetic or diabetic disorders regardless of obesity. Our results showed that oxytocin and two analogs including [Ser4, Ile8]-oxytocin or [Asu1,6]-oxytocin worked in mice to reverse insulin resistance and glucose intolerance prior to reduction of obesity. In parallel, using streptozotocin-induced diabetic mouse model, we found that treatment with oxytocin or its analogs reduced the magnitude of glucose intolerance through improving insulin secretion. The anti-diabetic effects of oxytocin and its analogs in these animal models can be produced similarly whether central or peripheral administration was used. In conclusion, oxytocin and its analogs have multi-level effects in improving weight control, insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion, and bear potentials for being developed as therapeutic peptides for obesity and diabetes.
Hereditary nonsyndromic hearing loss is highly heterogeneous and most patients with a presumed genetic etiology lack a specific diagnosis. It has been estimated that several hundred genes may be associated with this sensory deficit in humans. Here, we identified compound heterozygous mutations in the TMC1 gene as the cause of recessively inherited sensorineural hearing loss by using whole-exome sequencing in a family with two deaf siblings. Sanger sequencing confirmed that both siblings inherited a missense mutation, c.589G>A p.G197R (maternal allele), and a nonsense mutation, c.1171C>T p.Q391X (paternal allele), in TMC1. We also used DNA from 50 Chinese familial patients with ARNSHL and 208 ethnicity-matched negative samples to perform extended variants analysis. Both variants co-segregated in family 1953, which had the hearing loss phenotype, but were absent in 50 patients and 208 ethnicity-matched controls. Therefore, we concluded that the hearing loss in this family was caused by novel compound heterozygous mutations in TMC1.
Objective: To assess the short-term effect of scaling and root planing (SRP) and essential-oils mouthwash on the levels of specific bacteria in Chinese adults. Methods: Fifty Chinese adults with chronic periodontitis were randomly assigned to full-mouth SRP or a 7-d essential-oils mouthwash regimen. In addition, 22 periodontally healthy adults used essential-oils mouthwash for 7 d. Clinical examination and plaque/saliva sampling were performed at baseline and on Day 7. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to measure Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (Aa), Fusobacterium nucleatum (Fn), Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg), Prevotella intermedia (Pi), and total bacterial loads in saliva, supra- and sub-gingival plaque samples. Results: The detection frequencies of four tested species remained unchanged after either treatment. However, the bacterial loads of Fn, Pg, and Pi were significantly reduced by SRP; the mean reduction of bacterial counts in saliva ranged from 52.2% to 62.5% (p<0.01), in supragingival plaque from 68.2% to 81.0% (p<0.05), and in subgingival plaque from 67.9% to 93.0% (p<0.01). Total bacterial loads were reduced after SRP in supra- and sub-gingival plaque (p<0.05). Essential-oils mouthwash reduced Fn levels in supragingival plaque by a mean of 53.2%, and reduced total bacterial loads in supra- and sub-gingival plaque (p<0.01). In subgingival plaque from periodontal patients, Pg and Pi reductions were high after SRP compared to essential-oils mouthwash (93.0% vs. 37.7% and 87.0% vs. 21.0%, p<0.05). No significant bacterial reduction was observed in periodontally healthy subjects using essential-oils mouthwash. Conclusions: SRP and essential-oils mouthwash both have an impact on saliva and gingival plaque flora in Chinese periodontitis patients in 7 d, with greater microbiological improvement by SRP.
Oral microbiota; Chronic periodontitis; Scaling and root planing; Essential-oils; Quantitative detection; Real-time PCR
Interactions between dendritic cells (DCs) and T cells play a critical role in the development of glomerulonephritis, which is a common cause of chronic kidney disease. DC-specific intercellular adhesion molecule-3-grabbing non-integrin (DC-SIGN), an immune-regulating molecule of the C-type lectin family, is mainly expressed on DCs and mediates DC adhesion and migration, inflammation, activation of primary T cells. DC-SIGN triggers immune responses and is involved in the immune escape of pathogens and tumours. In addition, ligation of DC-SIGN on DCs actively primes DCs to induce Tregs. Under certain conditions, DC-SIGN signalling may result in inhibition of DC maturation, by promoting regulatory T cell (Treg) function and affecting Th1/Th2 bias.
A rat model of nephrotoxic nephritis was used to investigate the therapeutic effects of an anti-lectin-epidermal growth factor (EGF) antibody on glomerulonephritis. DCs were induced by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells in vitro. The expression of DC surface antigens were detected using flow cytometry; the levels of cytokines were detected by ELISA and qPCR, respectively; the capability of DCs to stimulate T cell proliferation was examined by mixed lymphocyte reaction; PsL-EGFmAb targeting to DC-SIGN on DCs was identified by immunoprecipitation.
Anti-Lectin-EGF antibody significantly reduced global crescent formation, tubulointerstitial injury and improved renal function impairment through inhibiting DC maturation and modulating Foxp3 expression and the Th1/Th2 cytokine balance in kidney. Binding of anti-Lectin-EGF antibody to DC-SIGN on human DCs inhibited DC maturation, increased IL-10 production from DCs and enhanced CD4+CD25+ Treg functions.
Our results suggest that treatment with anti-Lectin-EGF antibody modulates DCs to suppressive DCs and enhances Treg functions, contributing to the attenuation of renal injury in a rat model of nephrotoxic nephritis.
DC-SIGN; Dendritic cells; Regulatory T cells; Glomerulonephritis
Neural Tube Defects (NTDs) are among the most prevalent and most severe congenital malformations worldwide. Polymorphisms in key genes involving the folate pathway have been reported to be associated with the risk of NTDs. However, the results from these published studies are conflicting. We surveyed the literature (1996–2011) and performed a comprehensive meta-analysis to provide empirical evidence on the association.
Methods and Findings
We investigated the effects of 5 genetic variants from 47 study populations, for a total of 85 case-control comparisons MTHFR C677T (42 studies; 4374 cases, 7232 controls), MTHFR A1298C (22 studies; 2602 cases, 4070 controls), MTR A2756G (9 studies; 843 cases, 1006 controls), MTRR A66G (8 studies; 703 cases, 1572 controls), and RFC-1 A80G (4 studies; 1107 cases, 1585 controls). We found a convincing evidence of dominant effects of MTHFR C677T (OR 1.23; 95%CI 1.07–1.42) and suggestive evidence of RFC-1 A80G (OR 1.55; 95%CI 1.24–1.92). However, we found no significant effects of MTHFR A1298C, MTR A2756G, MTRR A66G in risk of NTDs in dominant, recessive or in allelic models.
Our meta-analysis strongly suggested a significant association of the variant MTHFR C677T and a suggestive association of RFC-1 A80G with increased risk of NTDs. However, other variants involved in folate pathway do not demonstrate any evidence for a significant marginal association on susceptibility to NTDs.