Variation on chromosome 9p21 is associated with risk of coronary artery disease (CAD). This genomic region contains the CDKN2A and CDKN2B genes which encode the cell cycle regulators p16INK4a, p14ARF and p15INK4b and the ANRIL gene which encodes a non-coding RNA. Vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation plays an important role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis which causes CAD. We ascertained whether 9p21 genotype had an influence on CDKN2A/CDKN2B/ANRIL expression levels in VSMCs, VSMC proliferation and VSMC content in atherosclerotic plaques. Immunohistochemical examination showed that VSMCs in atherosclerotic lesions expressed p16INK4a, p14ARF and p15INK4b. Analyses of primary cultures of VSMCs showed that the 9p21 risk genotype was associated with reduced expression of p16INK4a, p15INK4b and ANRIL (P = 1.2 × 10−5, 1.4 × 10−2 and 3.1 × 10−9) and with increased VSMC proliferation (P = 1.6 × 10−2). Immunohistochemical analyses of atherosclerotic plaques revealed an association of the risk genotype with reduced p15INK4b levels in VSMCs (P = 3.7 × 10−2) and higher VSMC content (P = 5.6 × 10−4) in plaques. The results of this study indicate that the 9p21 variation has an impact on CDKN2A and CDKN2B expression in VSMCs and influences VMSC proliferation, which likely represents an important mechanism for the association between this genetic locus and susceptibility to CAD.
Tumor-derived cytokines and their receptors usually take important roles in the disease progression and prognosis of cancer patients. In this survey, we aimed to detect the expression levels of MIF and CXCR4 in different cell populations of tumor microenvironments and their association with survivals of patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).
MIF and CXCR4 levels were measured by immunochemistry in tumor specimens from 136 resected ESCC. Correlation analyses and independent prognostic outcomes were determined using Pearson’s chi-square test and Cox regression analysis.
The expression of CXCR4 in tumor cells was positively associated with tumor status (P = 0.045) and clinical stage (P = 0.044); whereas the expression of CXCR4 in tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and the expression of MIF in tumor cells and in TILs were not associated with clinical parameters of ESCC patients. High MIF expression in tumor cells or in TILs or high CXCR4 expression in tumor cells was significantly related to poor survival of ESCC patients (P < 0.05). Multivariate analysis showed that the expression of MIF or CXCR4 in tumor cells and the expression of MIF in TILs were adverse independent factors for disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) in the whole cohort of patients (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the expression of MIF and CXCR4 in tumor cells were independent factors for reduced DFS and OS in metastatic/recurrent ESCC patients (P < 0.05). Interestingly, the expressions of MIF and CXCR4 in tumor cells and in TILs were significantly positively correlated (P < 0.05), and the combined MIF and CXCR4 expression in tumor cells was an independent adverse predictive factor for DFS and OS (P < 0.05).
The expressions of MIF and CXCR4 proteins in tumor cells and TILs have different clinically predictive values in ESCC.
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; Tumor microenvironment; MIF; CXCR4; Prognosis
The aim of this study was to assess the clinical efficacy and safety of mechanically assisted thrombolysis in the treatment of acute cerebral infarction. Mechanically assisted intra-arterial urokinase thrombolysis was conducted on 28 patients with acute cerebral infarction with a disease onset time of 90–450 min. The maximum level of urokinase was 1,150,000 units. Thrombus disruption with a microwire, retrieval with a microcatheter and stent-assisted revascularization were performed. The recanalization rate, bleeding complications and modified Rankin scale (mRS) score were observed within 3 months of surgery. Our results showed that mechanically assisted thrombolysis was successfully conducted on 23 patients, with a recanalization rate of 82.1% (23/28), average recanalization time of 65.22 min and mRS score ≤3.5. Five cases of recanalization were invalid, including 2 cases of mortality, 1 case with an mRS score of 4 and 2 cases with an mRS score ≤3. In the recanalization group, the mechanically assisted thrombolysis did not increase the number of bleeding complications. Our study demonstrated that the safety of mechanically assisted thrombolysis for the treatment of acute cerebral infarction is equivalent to that of simple intra-arterial thrombolysis, but that the former has a higher efficiency. Mechanically assisted thrombolysis is able to reduce the urokinase dosage and recanalization time, and increase the recanalization rate.
acute cerebral infarction; mechanically assisted thrombolysis; bleeding complication; recanalization rate
Circulating levels of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), soluble P-selectin (sP-selectin), and soluble E-selectin (sE-selectin) have been associated with variation at the ABO locus. To evaluate these associations and the effect sizes, we performed a meta-analysis with new and previous reported data for polymorphism rs579459.
Methods and Results
Compared with major allele homozygotes, heterozygotes and minor allele homozygotes had 4.6% (95%CI=3.4–5.8%, p=7.3×10−14) and 7.2% (95%CI=4.7–9.7%, p=1.5×10−8), respectively, lower sICAM-1 levels (n=33,671). An allele dose dependent association also was observed for sP-selectin (n=4,921), with heterozygotes and minor allele homozygotes having 11.5% (95%CI=7.2–15.8%, p=1.7×10−7) and 18.6% (95%CI=9.1–28.1%, p=1.2×10−4), respectively, lower levels than in major allele homozygotes. A larger effect size, again consistent with an additive genetic model, was seen for sE-selectin (n=2,860) whose level was 25.6% (95%CI=19.0–32.2%, p=2.1×10−14) lower in heterozygotes and 43.3% (95%CI=36.9–49.3%, p=4.3×10−42) lower in minor allele homozygotes, than in major allele homozygotes.
The data support the association of variation at the ABO locus with sICAM-1, sP-selectin and sE-selectin levels.
Cell adhesion molecules; plasma; genetics; cardiovascular disease
Genetic variation at 1p13 modulates serum lipid levels and the risk of coronary heart disease through the regulation of serum lipid levels. Here we investigate if the interaction between genetic variants at 1p13 and serum lipid levels affects the risk of non-fatal myocardial infarction (MI) in the Stockholm Heart Epidemiology Program (SHEEP), a large population based case control study.
In the present study only non fatal MI cases (n = 1213, men/women: 852/361) and controls (n = 1516, men/women =1054/507) matched by age, sex and residential area, were included. Three SNPs 12740374 G/T, rs599839A/G and rs646776T/C mapping at 1p13 were analysed for association with serum lipid levels and the risk of MI by a weighted least square regression and logistic regression analyses, respectively. To analyse the effect of the interaction between genetic variants and serum lipid levels on the risk of MI, we applied the biological model of interaction that estimates the difference in risk, expressed as OR (95%CI), observed in the presence and in the absence of both exposures. One derived measure is the Synergy index (S) and 95%CI, where S > 1 indicates synergy and S < 1 antagonism between the two interaction terms.
Rs12740374G/T and rs646776T/C were in strong linkage disequilibrium (LD) (r2 = 0.99), therefore only rs599839A/G and rs646776 were included in the analysis. Consistently with published data, presence of the rare genotypes was associated with reduced total-, LDL-cholesterol and ApoB serum levels (all p < 0.05) as compared to the reference genotype, but was not associated with the risk of MI.
However, the increased risk of MI observed in individual exposed to high (≥75th percentile) serum lipid levels was offset in subjects carrying the rare alleles G and C. In particular, the risk of MI associated with high ApoB serum levels OR (95%CI) 2.27 (1.86-2.77) was reduced to 1.76 (1.33-2.34) in the presence of the G allele at rs599839 with an S of 0.47 (0.20-0.90).
These results indicate that an antagonism between ApoB serum levels and genetic variants at 1p13 contributes to reduce the risk of non-fatal MI in the presence of high ApoB serum levels.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) has been considered as a growing epidemiological problem in the world, with a substantial impact on morbidity and mortality. Ambulatory electrocardiography (e.g., Holter) monitoring is commonly used for AF diagnosis and therapy and the automated detection of AF is of great significance due to the vast amount of information provided. This study presents a combined method to achieve high accuracy in AF detection. Firstly, we detected the suspected transitions between AF and sinus rhythm using the delta RR interval distribution difference curve, which were then classified by a combination analysis of P wave and RR interval. The MIT-BIH AF database was used for algorithm validation and a high sensitivity and a high specificity (98.2% and 97.5%, respectively) were achieved. Further, we developed a dataset of 24-h paroxysmal AF Holter recordings (n=45) to evaluate the performance in clinical practice, which yielded satisfactory accuracy (sensitivity=96.3%, specificity=96.8%).
Atrial fibrillation; Delta RR interval distribution difference curve; Holter monitoring
Higher Lp-PLA2 activity is associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), making Lp-PLA2 a potential therapeutic target. PLA2G7 variants associated with Lp-PLA2 activity could evaluate whether this relationship is causal.
Methods and Results
A meta-analysis including a total of 12 studies (5 prospective, 4 case-control, 1 case-only and 2 cross-sectional, n=26,118) was undertaken to examine the association of: (i) LpPLA2 activity vs. cardiovascular biomarkers and risk factors and CHD events (two prospective studies; n=4884); ii) PLA2G7 SNPs and Lp-PLA2 activity (3 prospective, 2 case-control, 2 cross-sectional studies; up to n=6094); and iii) PLA2G7 SNPs and angiographic coronary artery disease (2 case-control, 1 case-only study; n=4971 cases) and CHD events (5 prospective, 2 case-control studies; n=5523). Lp-PLA2 activity correlated with several CHD risk markers. Hazard ratio for CHD events top vs. bottom quartile of Lp-PLA2 activity was 1.61 (95%CI: 1.31, 1.99) and 1.17 (95%CI: 0.91, 1.51) after adjustment for baseline traits. Of seven SNPs, rs1051931 (A379V) showed the strongest association with Lp-PLA2 activity, VV subjects having 7.2% higher activity than AAs. Genotype was not associated with risk markers, angiographic coronary disease (OR 1.03 (95%CI 0.80, 1.32), or CHD events (OR 0.98 (95%CI 0.82, 1.17).
Unlike Lp-PLA2 activity, PLA2G7 variants associated with modest effects on Lp-PLA2 activity were not associated with cardiovascular risk markers, coronary atheroma or CHD. Larger association studies, identification of SNPs with larger effects, or randomised trials of specific Lp-PLA2 inhibitors are needed to confirm/refute a contributory role for Lp-PLA2 in CHD.
genetics; epidemiology; risk factors; Mendelian randomization
To evaluate the associations of emergent genome-wide-association study-derived coronary heart disease (CHD)-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with established and emerging risk factors, and the association of genome-wide-association study-derived lipid-associated SNPs with other risk factors and CHD events.
Methods and results
Using two case–control studies, three cross-sectional, and seven prospective studies with up to 25 000 individuals and 5794 CHD events we evaluated associations of 34 genome-wide-association study-identified SNPs with CHD risk and 16 CHD-associated risk factors or biomarkers. The Ch9p21 SNPs rs1333049 (OR 1.17; 95% confidence limits 1.11–1.24) and rs10757274 (OR 1.17; 1.09–1.26), MIA3 rs17465637 (OR 1.10; 1.04–1.15), Ch2q36 rs2943634 (OR 1.08; 1.03–1.14), APC rs383830 (OR 1.10; 1.02, 1.18), MTHFD1L rs6922269 (OR 1.10; 1.03, 1.16), CXCL12 rs501120 (OR 1.12; 1.04, 1.20), and SMAD3 rs17228212 (OR 1.11; 1.05, 1.17) were all associated with CHD risk, but not with the CHD biomarkers and risk factors measured. Among the 20 blood lipid-related SNPs, LPL rs17411031 was associated with a lower risk of CHD (OR 0.91; 0.84–0.97), an increase in Apolipoprotein AI and HDL-cholesterol, and reduced triglycerides. SORT1 rs599839 was associated with CHD risk (OR 1.20; 1.15–1.26) as well as total- and LDL-cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B. ANGPTL3 rs12042319 was associated with CHD risk (OR 1.11; 1.03, 1.19), total- and LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, and interleukin-6.
Several SNPs predicting CHD events appear to involve pathways not currently indexed by the established or emerging risk factors; others involved changes in blood lipids including triglycerides or HDL-cholesterol as well as LDL-cholesterol. The overlapping association of SNPs with multiple risk factors and biomarkers supports the existence of shared points of regulation for these phenotypes.
Coronary disease; Lipids; Genes; Risk factors
The present study examines BPA pharmacokinetics in neonatal rats following s.c. injection or oral delivery of 10μg BPA/kg BW and compares susceptibility to estrogen-induced prostate intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) following either exposure route. Serum BPA in PND3 rats was measured using HPLC-MS-MS. Free and total BPA at Cmax were 1.77 and 2.0 ng/ml, respectively following injection and 0.26 and 1.02 ng/ml, respectively following oral exposure. The AUC0-2 for free and total BPA was 4.1-fold and 1.8-fold greater, respectively, in s.c. versus oral delivery. While exposure route affected BPA metabolism, internal dosimetry following s.c. injection of 10μg BPA/kg BW is similar to BPA levels observed in humans. Prostates from aged rats given s.c. or oral BPA neonatally and T+E implants as adults exhibited nearly identical, heightened susceptibility to PIN incidence and score as compared to neonatal oil-controls. These findings on prostate health are directly relevant to humans at current BPA exposure levels.
BPA; bisphenol A; prostate; pharmacokinetics; prostate intraepithelial neoplasia
Angiotensin (Ang) II and Ang-(1-7) are two of the bioactive peptides of the rennin-angiotensin system. Ang II is involved in the development of cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension and atherosclerosis, while Ang-(1-7) shows cardiovascular protection in contrast to Ang II.
In this study, we investigated effects of Ang II and Ang-(1-7) on vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation and migration, which are critical in the formation of atherosclerotic lesions. Treatment with Ang II resulted in an increase of SMC proliferation, whereas Ang-(1-7) alone had no effects. However, preincubation with Ang-(1-7) inhibited Ang II-induced SMC proliferation. Ang II promoted SMC migration, and this effect was abolished by pretreatment with Ang-(1-7). The stimulatory effects of Ang II on SMC proliferation and migration were blocked by the Ang II receptor antagonist lorsartan, while the inhibitory effects of Ang-(1-7) were abolished by the Ang-(1-7) receptor antagonist A-799. Ang II treatment caused activation of ERK1/2 mediated signaling, and this was inhibited by preincubation of SMCs with Ang-(1-7).
These results suggest that Ang-(1-7) inhibits Ang II-induced SMC proliferation and migration, at least in part, through negative modulation of Ang II induced ERK1/2 activity.
Atherosclerotic lesions express matrix metalloproteinase-8 (MMP8) which possesses proteolytic activity on matrix proteins particularly fibrillar collagens and on non-matrix proteins such as angiotensin I (Ang I).
We studied whether MMP8 plays a role in atherogenesis.
Methods and Results
In atherosclerosis-prone apoE deficient mice, inactivating MMP8 resulted in a substantial reduction in atherosclerotic lesion formation. Immunohistochemical examinations showed that atherosclerotic lesions in MMP8 deficient mice had significantly fewer macrophages but increased collagen content. In line with results of in vitro assays showing Ang I cleavage by MMP8 generating angiotensin II (Ang II), MMP8 knockout mice had lower Ang II levels and lower blood pressure. In addition, we found that products of Ang I cleavage by MMP8 increased vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) expression and that MMP8 deficient mice had reduced VCAM-1 expression in atherosclerotic lesions. Intravital microscopy analysis showed that leukocyte rolling and adhesion on vascular endothelium was reduced in MMP8 knockout mice. Furthermore, we detected an association between MMP8 gene variation and extent of coronary atherosclerosis in patients with coronary artery disease. A relationship between MMP8 gene variation, plasma VCAM-1 level and atherosclerosis progression was also observed in a population-based, prospective study.
These results indicate that MMP8 is an important player in atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis; matrix metalloproteinase; gene
Matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP3) is implicated in the pathogenesis and progression of atherosclerotic lesions. Previous studies suggested that MMP3 expression is influenced by a polymorphism (known as the 5A/6A polymorphism) in the promoter of the MMP3 gene and that this polymorphism is located within a cis-element that interacts with the transcription factor NFκB. In the present study, we sought to investigate whether MMP3 and NFκB were co-localized in atherosclerotic lesions and whether NFκB had differential effects on the two alleles of the MMP3 5A/6A polymorphism.
Immunohistochemical examination showed that MMP3 and both the NFκB p50 and p65 subunits were expressed abundantly in macrophages in atherosclerotic lesions and that MMP3 expression was co-localized with p50 and p65. Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments showed interaction of p50 and p65 with the MMP3 promoter in macrophages, with greater binding to the 5A allele than to the 6A allele. Reporter gene assays in transiently transfected macrophages showed that the 5A allele had greater transcriptional activity than the 6A allele, and that this allele-specific effect was augmented when the cells were treated with the NFκB activator lipopolysaccharides or co-transfected with p50 and/or p65 expressing plasmids, but was reduced when the cells were treated with the NFκB inhibitor 6-Amino-4-(4-phenoxyphenylethylamino)-quinazoline or transfected with a dominant negative mutant of IkB kinase-β.
These results corroborate an effect of the 5A/6A polymorphism on MMP3 transcription and indicate that NFκB has differential effects on the 5A and 6A alleles.
AIM: To observe the protective effect of Radix Astragali injection on immune organs (lymph nodes, spleen and thymus) of rats with obstructive jaundice (OJ) and its mechanism.
METHODS: SD rats were randomly divided into sham-operation group, model control group and Radix Astragali treatment group. On days 7, 14, 21 and 28 after operation, mortality rate of rats, pathological changes in immune organs, expression levels of Bax and nuclear factor (NF)-κB p65 proteins, apoptosis indexes and serum tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α level in spleen and thymus were observed, respectively.
RESULTS: Compared to model control group, the number of dead OJ rats in Radix Astragali treatment group decreased (P > 0.05). The TNF-α level (27.62 ± 12.61 vs 29.55 ± 18.02, 24.61 ± 9.09 vs 31.52 ± 10.95) on days 7 and 21, the pathological severity score for spleen [0.0 (0.0) vs 0.0 (2.0) on days 7 and 14 and for lymph nodes [0.0 (1.0) vs 1.0 (2.0), 1.0 (0.0) vs 2.0 (1.0)] on days 21 and 28, the product staining intensity and positive rate of Bax protein in spleen [0.0 (0.0) vs 1.0 (2.0), 0.0 (1.0) vs 2.0 (1.5) and thymus [0.0 (0.0) vs 1.0 (2.0), 0.0 (1.0) vs 2.0 (1.5)] on days 14 and 28, the apoptotic indexes [0.0 (0.0) vs 0.0 (0.01)] in spleen and thymus [0.0 (0.0) vs 0.0 (0.01) on days 14 and 21 were significantly lower in Radix Astragali treatment group than in model control group (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Radix Astragali has protective effects on immune organs of OJ rats by relieving the pathological changes in immune organs, reducing TNF-α level and inhibiting Bax expression and apoptosis in spleen and thymus.
Radix Astragali; Traditional Chinese medicine; Obstructive jaundice; Rat; Immune organ; Tumor necrosis factor-α; Bax; Nuclear factor-κB; Apoptosis; Tissue microarry
Stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF1) and its receptor CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) play a critical role in progenitor cell homing, mobilization and differentiation. It would be interesting to assess the predictive value of SDF-1alpha level for EPC number, and to ascertain whether there is a relationship between SDF1 gene variation, plasma SDF-1alpha level, and the number and function of circulating EPCs. We also tested whether EPC number and function was related to CXCR4 gene variation.
Methodology and Principal Findings
We genotyped a cohort of individuals who participated in the Bruneck Study for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the SDF1 and CXCR4 genes, and measured blood SDF1α level as well as EPC number and function. SDF1α levels were correlated with age, gender, alcohol consumption, circulating reticulocyte numbers, and concentrations of matrix metalloproteinase-9, C-reactive protein, cystatin C, fibrinogen and homocytein. In blood samples taken in 2005, EPC number was inversely associated with SDF1α level (p<0.001). EPC number in 2005 was also inversely associated with SDF1α level in 2000 (p = 0.009), suggesting a predictive value of plasma SDF1α level for EPC number. There was an association between the SDF1 gene rs2297630 SNP A/A genotype, increased SDF1α level (p = 0.002) and lower EPC number (p = 0.006).
Our data indicate that a SDF1 gene variation (rs2297630) has an influence on SDF1α level and circulating EPC number, and that plasma SDF1α level is a predictor of EPC number.
Elevated levels of matrix metalloproteinases have been found to associate with poor prognosis in various carcinomas. This study aimed at evaluating plasma levels of MMP1, MMP8 and MMP13 as diagnostic and prognostic markers of breast cancer.
A total of 208 breast cancer patients, of which 21 with inflammatory breast cancer, and 42 healthy controls were included. Plasma MMP1, MMP8 and MMP13 levels were measured using ELISA and correlated with clinicopathological characteristics.
Median plasma MMP1 levels were higher in controls than in breast cancer patients (3.45 vs. 2.01 ng/ml), while no difference was found for MMP8 (10.74 vs. 10.49 ng/ml). ROC analysis for MMP1 revealed an AUC of 0.67, sensitivity of 80% and specificity of 24% at a cut-off value of 4.24 ng/ml. Plasma MMP13 expression could not be detected. No correlation was found between MMP1 and MMP8 levels. We found a trend of lower MMP1 levels with increasing tumour size (p = 0.07); and higher MMP8 levels with premenopausal status (p = 0.06) and NPI (p = 0.04). The median plasma MMP1 (p = 0.02) and MMP8 (p = 0.007) levels in the non-inflammatory breast cancer patients were almost twice as high as those found in the inflammatory breast cancer patients. Intriguingly, plasma MMP8 levels were positively associated with lymph node involvement but showed a negative correlation with the risk of distant metastasis. Both controls and lymph node negative patients (pN0) had lower MMP8 levels than patients with moderate lymph node involvement (pN1, pN2) (p = 0.001); and showed a trend for higher MMP8 levels compared to patients with extensive lymph node involvement (pN3) and a strong predisposition to distant metastasis (p = 0.11). Based on the hypothesis that blood and tissue protein levels are in reverse association, these results suggest that MMP8 in the tumour may have a protective effect against lymph node metastasis.
In summary, we observed differences in MMP1 and MMP8 plasma levels between healthy controls and breast cancer patients as well as between breast cancer patients. Interestingly, our results suggest that MMP8 may affect the metastatic behaviour of breast cancer cells through protection against lymph node metastasis, underlining the importance of anti-target identification in drug development.
An automatic system for marine meiobenthos separation was developed by using laser-induced fluorescence technology. Rose Bengal was used as organism dye and the spectrums of Rose Bengal were measured. Laser-induced fluorescence system was established to detect marine meiobenthos in sediments. Data obtained from experiments were analyzed by using a mathematical model. The results showed that laser-induced fluorescence technology worked well in the system. The system could select the meiobenthos efficiently and precisely.
Meiobenthos; Automatic separating system; Optical sensor; Laser-induced fluorescence (LIF); Rose Bengal
Analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) has been and
will be increasingly utilized in various genetic disciplines, particularly
in studying genetic determinants of complex diseases. Such studies
will be facilitated by rapid, simple, low cost and high throughput
methodologies for SNP genotyping. One such method is reported here,
named tetra-primer ARMS-PCR, which employs two primer pairs to amplify,
respectively, the two different alleles of a SNP in a single PCR
reaction. A computer program for designing primers was developed.
Tetra-primer ARMS-PCR was combined with microplate array diagonal
gel electrophoresis, gaining the advantage of high throughput for
gel-based resolution of tetra-primer ARMS-PCR products. The technique
was applied to analyse a number of SNPs and the results were completely
consistent with those from an independent method, restriction fragment
length polymorphism analysis.