The DNase domain-containing protein TATDN1 is a conserved nuclease in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. It was previously implicated to play a role in apoptotic DNA fragmentation in yeast and C. elegans. However, its biological function in higher organisms, such as vertebrates, is unknown. Here, we report that zebrafish TATDN1 (zTATDN1) possesses a novel endonuclease activity, which first makes a nick at the DNA duplex and subsequently converts the nick into a DNA double-strand break in vitro. This biochemical property allows zTATDN1 to catalyze decatenation of catenated kinetoplast DNA to produce separated linear DNA in vitro. We further determine that zTATDN1 is predominantly expressed in eye cells during embryonic development. Knockdown of TATDN1 in zebrafish embryos results in an abnormal cell cycle progression, formation of polyploidy and aberrant chromatin structures. Consequently, the TATDN1-deficient morphants have disordered eye cell layers and significantly smaller eyes compared with the WT control. Altogether, our current studies suggest that zTATDN1 plays an important role in chromosome segregation and eye development in zebrafish.
TATDN1; nuclease; decatenation; cell cycle; zebrafish; eye
MicroRNAs regulate gene expression in diverse physiological scenarios. Their role in the control of morphogen related signaling pathways has been less studied, particularly in the context of embryonic Central Nervous System (CNS) development. Here, we uncover a role for microRNAs in limiting the spatiotemporal range of morphogen expression and function. Wnt1 is a key morphogen in the embryonic midbrain, and directs proliferation, survival, patterning and neurogenesis. We reveal an autoregulatory negative feedback loop between the transcription factor Lmx1b and a newly characterized microRNA, miR135a2, which modulates the extent of Wnt1/Wnt signaling and the size of the dopamine progenitor domain. Conditional gain of function studies reveal that Lmx1b promotes Wnt1/Wnt signaling, and thereby increases midbrain size and dopamine progenitor allocation. Conditional removal of Lmx1b has the opposite effect, in that expansion of the dopamine progenitor domain is severely compromised. Next, we provide evidence that microRNAs are involved in restricting dopamine progenitor allocation. Conditional loss of Dicer1 in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) results in expanded Lmx1a/b+ progenitors. In contrast, forced elevation of miR135a2 during an early window in vivo phenocopies the Lmx1b conditional knockout. When En1::Cre, but not Shh::Cre or Nes::Cre, is used for recombination, the expansion of Lmx1a/b+ progenitors is selectively reduced. Bioinformatics and luciferase assay data suggests that miR135a2 targets Lmx1b and many genes in the Wnt signaling pathway, including Ccnd1, Gsk3b, and Tcf7l2. Consistent with this, we demonstrate that this mutant displays reductions in the size of the Lmx1b/Wnt1 domain and range of canonical Wnt signaling. We posit that microRNA modulation of the Lmx1b/Wnt axis in the early midbrain/isthmus could determine midbrain size and allocation of dopamine progenitors. Since canonical Wnt activity has recently been recognized as a key ingredient for programming ESCs towards a dopaminergic fate in vitro, these studies could impact the rational design of such protocols.
To achieve exquisitely complex behavior, the mammalian CNS is comprised of numerous neuron types, each with different functions. These distinct neuron types are produced from neural progenitors during embryonic development. How the embryonic neural progenitors are programmed to produce distinct neuron types, in the correct position and number, is a central question in developmental neuroscience. We focused on studying the embryonic production of a key neuron type, the midbrain dopamine neuron (mDA), which is particularly vulnerable in Parkinson's disease (PD). Previous works from our lab and others have shown that Wnt signaling is critical for dopamine neuron production. Here we provide a mechanism for how Wnt signaling is initiated, and then downregulated. Key to initiating this process is a transcription factor, Lmx1b, whereas important to the downregulation process is a newly characterized microRNA, miR135a2. The quantitative balance of these factors determines how many dopamine neurons are produced during embryonic development. These studies will have direct implications for efficiently programming dopamine neurons from stem cells, a key goal of regenerative approaches for PD.
Dysfunctional mitochondria participate in the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Pirfenidone is a newly identified anti-fibrotic drug. However, its mechanism remains unclear. Mitochondrial dysfunction is an early event that occurs prior to the onset of renal fibrosis. In this context, we investigated the protective effect of pirfenidone on mitochondria and its relevance to apoptosis and oxidative stress in renal proximal tubular cells. A remnant kidney rat model was established. Human renal proximal tubular epithelial cells (HK2) using rotenone, a mitochondrial respiratory chain complex Ι inhibitor were further investigated in vitro to examine the mitochondrial protective effect of pirfenidone. Pirfenidone protected mitochondrial structures and functions by stabilizing the mitochondrial membrane potential, maintaining ATP production and improving the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number. Pirfenidone decreased tubular cell apoptosis by inhibiting the mitochondrial apoptotic signaling pathway. Pirfenidone also reduced oxidative stress by enhancing manganese superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD) and inhibiting intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, which suggested that the anti-oxidant effects occurred at least partially via the mitochondrial pathway. Pirfenidone may be effective prior to the onset of renal fibrosis because this drug exerts its anti-fibrotic effect by protection of mitochondria in renal proximal tubular cells.
To develop a reliable magnetic resonance elastography (MRE)-based method for measuring regional brain stiffness.
First, simulation studies were used to demonstrate how stiffness measurements can be biased by changes in brain morphometry, such as those due to atrophy. Adaptive postprocessing methods were created that significantly reduce the spatial extent of edge artifacts and eliminate atrophy-related bias. Second, a pipeline for regional brain stiffness measurement was developed and evaluated for test-retest reliability in 10 healthy control subjects.
This technique indicates high test-retest repeatability with a typical coefficient of variation of less than 1% for global brain stiffness and less than 2% for the lobes of the brain and the cerebellum. Furthermore, this study reveals that the brain possesses a characteristic topography of mechanical properties, and also that lobar stiffness measurements tend to correlate with one another within an individual.
The methods presented in this work are resistant to noise- and edge-related biases that are common in the field of brain MRE, demonstrate high test-retest reliability, and provide independent regional stiffness measurements. This pipeline will allow future investigations to measure changes to the brain’s mechanical properties and how they relate to the characteristic topographies that are typical of many neurologic diseases.
Galectin-1 (Gal-1), an endogenous β-galactoside-binding protein, binds to laminins, which are highly expressed in the nucleus pulposus (NP) of the intervertebral disc (IVD). The objective of this study is to evaluate the expression of Gal-1 protein in IVD tissues during aging and the effect of Gal-1 on IVD cell adhesion to laminins. Tissues from rat, porcine and human (scoliosis or disc degeneration) IVDs were used to evaluate Gal-1 expression via immunostaining, RT-PCR and Western Blot analysis. Attachment of isolated IVD cells (porcine and human) on select laminin isoforms (LM-111 and LM-511) was compared with/without pre-incubation with exogenous Gal-1. A biotinylated Gal-1(B-Gal-1) was used to evaluate for binding to IVD cells and to select for IVD cells by magnetic activated cell sorting (MACS). NP cells expressed high levels of Gal-1 protein as compared to anulus fibrosus (AF) cells in immature tissues, while exogenous Gal-1 increased both NP and AF cell attachment to laminins and exhibited a similar binding to both cell types in vitro. With aging, Gal-1 levels in NP tissue appeared to decrease. In addition, incubation with B-Gal-1 was able to promote the retention of more than 50% of IVD cells via MACS. Our results provide new findings for the presence and functional role of Gal-1 within IVDs. Similar staining patterns for Gal-1 and LM-511 in IVD tissue suggest that Gal-1 may serve as an adhesion molecule to interact with both cells and laminins. This MACS protocol may be useful for selecting pure IVD cells from mixed cells of pathological tissue.
galectin-1; laminin; intervertebral disc; extracellular matrix; cell adhesion
The chemokine CXCL12 and its G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) CXCR4 are high-priority clinical targets because of their involvement in metastatic cancers (also implicated in autoimmune disease and cardiovascular disease). Because chemokines interact with two distinct sites to bind and activate their receptors, both the GPCRs and chemokines are potential targets for small molecule inhibition. A number of chemokines have been validated as targets for drug development, but virtually all drug discovery efforts focus on the GPCRs. However, all CXCR4 receptor antagonists with the exception of MSX-122 have failed in clinical trials due to unmanageable toxicities, emphasizing the need for alternative strategies to interfere with CXCL12/CXCR4-guided metastatic homing. Although targeting the relatively featureless surface of CXCL12 was presumed to be challenging, focusing efforts at the sulfotyrosine (sY) binding pockets proved successful for procuring initial hits. Using a hybrid structure-based in silico/NMR screening strategy, we recently identified a ligand that occludes the receptor recognition site. From this initial hit, we designed a small fragment library containing only nine tetrazole derivatives using a fragment-based and bioisostere approach to target the sY binding sites of CXCL12. Compound binding modes and affinities were studied by 2D NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, molecular docking and cell-based functional assays. Our results demonstrate that the sY binding sites are conducive to the development of high affinity inhibitors with better ligand efficiency (LE) than typical protein-protein interaction inhibitors (LE ≤ 0.24). Our novel tetrazole-based fragment 18 was identified to bind the sY21 site with a Kd of 24 μM (LE = 0.30). Optimization of 18 yielded compound 25 which specifically inhibits CXCL12-induced migration with an improvement in potency over the initial hit 9. The fragment from this library that exhibited the highest affinity and ligand efficiency (11: Kd = 13 μM, LE = 0.33) may serve as a starting point for development of inhibitors targeting the sY12 site.
Chemokines; CXCL12/CXCR4 inhibitors; protein-protein interaction; metastasis; fragment-based and structure-guided drug design
For complex financial systems, the negative and positive return-volatility correlations, i.e., the so-called leverage and anti-leverage effects, are particularly important for the understanding of the price dynamics. However, the microscopic origination of the leverage and anti-leverage effects is still not understood, and how to produce these effects in agent-based modeling remains open. On the other hand, in constructing microscopic models, it is a promising conception to determine model parameters from empirical data rather than from statistical fitting of the results.
To study the microscopic origination of the return-volatility correlation in financial systems, we take into account the individual and collective behaviors of investors in real markets, and construct an agent-based model. The agents are linked with each other and trade in groups, and particularly, two novel microscopic mechanisms, i.e., investors’ asymmetric trading and herding in bull and bear markets, are introduced. Further, we propose effective methods to determine the key parameters in our model from historical market data.
With the model parameters determined for six representative stock-market indices in the world, respectively, we obtain the corresponding leverage or anti-leverage effect from the simulation, and the effect is in agreement with the empirical one on amplitude and duration. At the same time, our model produces other features of the real markets, such as the fat-tail distribution of returns and the long-term correlation of volatilities.
We reveal that for the leverage and anti-leverage effects, both the investors’ asymmetric trading and herding are essential generation mechanisms. Among the six markets, however, the investors’ trading is approximately symmetric for the five markets which exhibit the leverage effect, thus contributing very little. These two microscopic mechanisms and the methods for the determination of the key parameters can be applied to other complex systems with similar asymmetries.
RNA interference technology has shown high therapeutic potential for cancer treatment. However, serum instability, poor tissue permeability and non-specific uptake of short interfering RNA (siRNA) limit its administration in vivo. To overcome these limitations and improve the specificity for ovarian cancer, we developed a targeted nanoparticle delivery system for siRNA. This system included follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) β 33–53 peptide as a targeting moiety that specifically recognized FSH receptor (FSHR) expressed on ovarian cancer cells. Growth regulated oncogene α (gro-α) has been reported to be involved in ovarian cancer development and progression. Thus, siRNA targeted to gro-α was used as an antitumor drug in this delivery system.
FSH β 33–53 peptide-conjugated gro-α siRNA-loaded polyethylene glycol (PEG)-polyethylenimine (PEI) nanoparticles (FSH33-G-NP) were prepared and characterized by gel retardation assay and transmission electron microscopy. Particle size and zeta potential were determined. Expression of gro-α mRNA and protein was detected by real-time quantitative RT-PCR, immunocytochemistry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The proliferation, migration and invasion of the ovarian clear cell carcinoma cell line ES-2 were evaluated by cell counting kit-8 assay, cell scratch assay and transwell migration assay.
A siRNA sequence that is effective in silencing gro-α expression was obtained and loaded into the targeted delivery system. Compared with gro-α siRNA-loaded nanoparticles without FSH peptide modification (G-NP), FSH33-G-NP significantly down-regulated gro-α expression in ES-2 cells at mRNA and protein levels. Consequently, the aggressive biological behaviors of ES-2 cells, including proliferation, migration and invasion, were suppressed after silencing gro-α expression, and the addition of the FSH β 33–53 peptide enhanced the suppressive effects.
This study indicated that a FSHR-mediated delivery system could mediate the highly selective delivery of siRNA into ovarian cancer cells and that silencing gro-α expression could be a potential choice for ovarian cancer treatment.
Ovarian carcinoma; Targeted therapy; Follicle-stimulating hormone; Growth-regulated oncogene α; Short interfering RNA; Nanoparticle
The mammalian diaphanous-related formin (mDia1), a Rho-regulated cytoskeletal modulator, has been shown to promote T lymphocyte chemotaxis and interaction with antigen presenting cells, but the mechanisms underpinning mDia1 roles in these processes have not been defined. Here we show that mDia1-/- T cells exhibit impaired lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 (LFA-1)-mediated T cell adhesion, migration and in vivo trafficking. These defects are associated with impaired microtubule (MT) polarization and stabilization, altered MT dynamics and reduced peripheral clustering of the MT plus-end-protein, adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) in migrating T cells following LFA-1-engagement. Loss of mDia1 also leads to impaired inducible inactivation of the glycogen synthase kinase (GSK) 3β as well as hyperphosphorylation and reduced levels of APC in migrating T cells. These findings identify essential roles for the mDia1 formin in modulating GSK3β-dependent MT contributions to induction of T-cell polarity, adhesion and motility.
G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2) is a well-established therapeutic target for the treatment of heart failure. Herein we identify the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) paroxetine as a selective inhibitor of GRK2 activity both in vitro and in living cells. In the crystal structure of the GRK2·paroxetine-Gβγ complex, paroxetine binds in the active site of GRK2 and stabilizes the kinase domain in a novel conformation in which a unique regulatory loop forms part of the ligand binding site. Isolated cardiomyocytes show increased isoproterenol-induced shortening and contraction amplitude in the presence of paroxetine, and pretreatment of mice with paroxetine before isoproterenol significantly increases left ventricular inotropic reserve in vivo with no significant effect on heart rate. Neither is observed in the presence of the SSRI fluoxetine. Our structural and functional results validate a widely available drug as a selective chemical probe for GRK2 and represent a starting point for the rational design of more potent and specific GRK2 inhibitors.
AIM: To explore the effects of curcumin (CMN) on hepatic injury induced by acetaminophen (APAP) in vivo.
METHODS: Male mice were randomly divided into three groups: group I (control) mice received the equivalent volumes of phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) intraperitoneally (ip); Group II [APAP + carboxymethylcellulose (CMC)] mice received 1% CMC (vehicle) 2 h before APAP injection; Group III (APAP + CMN) mice received curcumin (10 or 20 mg/kg, ip) 2 h before before or after APAP challenge. In Groups II and III, APAP was dissolved in pyrogen-free PBS and injected at a single dose of 300 mg/kg. CMN was dissolved in 1% CMC. Mice were sacrificed 16 h after the APAP injection to determine alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels in serum and malondialdehyde (MDA) accumulation, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and hepatocyte apoptosis in liver tissues.
RESULTS: Both pre- and post-treatment with curcumin resulted in a significant decrease in serum ALT compared with APAP treatment group (10 mg/kg: 801.46 ± 661.34 U/L; 20 mg/kg: 99.68 ± 86.48 U/L vs 5406.80 ± 1785.75 U/L, P < 0.001, respectively). The incidence of liver necrosis was significantly lowered in CMN treated animals. MDA contents were significantly reduced in 20 mg/kg CMN pretreatment group, but increased in APAP treated group (10.96 ± 0.87 nmol/mg protein vs 16.03 ± 2.58 nmol/mg protein, P < 0.05). The decrease of SOD activity in APAP treatment group and the increase of SOD in 20 mg/kg CMN pretreatment group were also detected (24.54 ± 4.95 U/mg protein vs 50.21 ± 1.93 U/mg protein, P < 0.05). Furthermore, CMN treatment efficiently protected against APAP-induced apoptosis via increasing Bcl-2/Bax ratio.
CONCLUSION: CMN has significant therapeutic potential in both APAP-induced hepatotoxicity and other types of liver diseases.
Acetaminophen; Acute hepatic injury; Apoptosis; Free radicals; Curcumin
surface modification; PEG phospholipid; solvent exchange; dry fim hydration
Pulmonary amyloidosis is rare and is often misdiagnosed due a lack of general awareness.
In this case report we describe a 69-year-old Chinese woman who presented with a right lower lobe pulmonary nodule. After video-assisted thoracoscopic lobectomy, a histopathologic diagnosis of pulmonary nodular amyloidosis was rendered. She has done well postoperatively, showing no local recurrence or distal disease in an 8-month follow-up period.
Distinguishing parenchymal nodular amyloidosis from a malignant lung tumor is often quite difficult. In the differential diagnosis of pulmonary nodules, nodular amyloidosis should be considered to avoid unnecessary lobectomy.
Amyloidosis; Differential diagnosis; Pulmonary nodules
Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) inhibits neural specification and induces epidermal differentiation during ectodermal patterning. However, the mechanism of this process is not well understood. Here we show that AP2γ, a transcription factor activator protein (AP)-2 family member, is upregulated by BMP4 during neural differentiation of pluripotent stem cells. Knockdown of AP2γ facilitates mouse embryonic stem cell (ESC) neural fate determination and impairs epidermal differentiation, whereas AP2γ overexpression inhibits neural conversion and promotes epidermal commitment. In the early chick embryo, AP2γ is expressed in the entire epiblast before HH stage 3 and gradually shifts to the putative epidermal ectoderm during HH stage 4. In the future neural plate AP2γ inhibits excessive neural expansion and it also promotes epidermal development in the surface ectoderm. Moreover, AP2γ knockdown in ESCs and chick embryos partially rescued the neural inhibition and epidermal induction effects of BMP4. Mechanistic studies showed that BMP4 directly regulates AP2γ expression through Smad1 binding to the AP2γ promoter. Taken together, we propose that during the early stages of ectodermal patterning in the chick embryo, AP2γ acts downstream of the BMP pathway to restrict precocious neural expansion in the prospective neural plate and initiates epidermal differentiation in the future epidermal ectoderm.
AP2γ; BMP; neural and epidermal development; ectodermal patterning; ESC; chick embryo
Although alterations in mitochondrial dynamics are associated with cellular responses to injury, the functional role of these dynamic changes in ischemic neurons is underexplored. One of these dynamic responses to injury includes mitochondrial biogenesis. Various sublethal preconditioning stimuli that induce an ischemic tolerant state (e.g., lipopolysaccharide (LPS)) may also induce mitochondrial biogenesis. Using neuron-enriched cultures, we found that sublethal LPS preconditioning induced both ischemic tolerance and markers of mitochondrial biogenesis with overlapping dose response temporal kinetics. Sublethal LPS transiently increased the expression of critical components of the mitochondrial transcriptional machinery, including NRF1 and TFAM, as well as mtDNA copy number, mitochondrial protein levels and markers of functional mitochondria, such as increased cellular ATP content, citrate synthase activity and maximal respiration capacity. Importantly, knockdown of TFAM abrogated both the induction of mitochondrial biogenesis and the neuroprotective preconditioning effects of LPS. Several signaling pathways coordinated these events. AMPK inhibition suppressed NRF1 and TFAM expression by LPS, whereas PI3K/Akt signaling was necessary for the nuclear translocation of NRF1 and subsequent induction of TFAM. This is the first demonstration that LPS preconditioning initiates multiple signaling pathways leading to mitochondrial biogenesis in neurons and that these dynamic changes contribute to ischemic tolerance.
Mitochondrial biogenesis; ischemia; neurons; preconditioning; ischemic tolerance
Merozoite surface protein 1 of Plasmodium vivax (PvMSP1), a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored protein (GPI-AP), is a malaria vaccine candidate for P. vivax. The paralog of PvMSP1, named P. vivax merozoite surface protein 1 paralog (PvMSP1P; PlasmoDB PVX_099975), was recently identified and predicted as a GPI-AP. The similarities in genetic structural characteristics between PvMSP1 and PvMSP1P (e.g., size of open reading frames, two epidermal growth factor-like domains, and GPI anchor motif in the C terminus) led us to study this protein. In the present study, different regions of the PvMSP1P protein, demarcated based on the processed forms of PvMSP1, were expressed successfully as recombinant proteins [i.e., 83 (A, B, and C), 30, 38, 42, 33, and 19 fragments]. We studied the naturally acquired immune response against each fragment of recombinant PvMSP1P and the potential ability of each fragment to bind erythrocytes. The N-terminal fragment (83A) and two C-terminal fragments (33 and 19) reacted strongly with sera from P. vivax-infected patients, with 50 to 68% sensitivity and 95 to 96% specificity, respectively. Due to colocalization of PvMSP1P with PvMSP1, we supposed that PvMSP1P plays a similar role as PvMSP1 during erythrocyte invasion. An in vitro cytoadherence assay showed that PvMSP1P, especially the 19-kDa C-terminal region, could bind to erythrocytes. We also found that human sera from populations naturally exposed to vivax malaria and antisera obtained by immunization using the recombinant molecule PvMSP1P-19 inhibited in vitro binding of human erythrocytes to PvMSP1P-19. These results provide further evidence that the PvMSP1P might be an essential parasite adhesion molecule in the P. vivax merozoite and is a potential vaccine candidate against P. vivax.
Intestinal microbiota metabolism of choline/phosphatidylcholine produces trimethylamine (TMA), which is further metabolized to a proatherogenic species, trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO). Herein we demonstrate that intestinal microbiota metabolism of dietary L-carnitine, a trimethylamine abundant in red meat, also produces TMAO and accelerates atherosclerosis. Omnivorous subjects are shown to produce significantly more TMAO than vegans/vegetarians following ingestion of L-carnitine through a microbiota-dependent mechanism. Specific bacterial taxa in human feces are shown to associate with both plasma TMAO and dietary status. Plasma L-carnitine levels in subjects undergoing cardiac evaluation (n = 2,595) predict increased risks for both prevalent cardiovascular disease (CVD) and incident major adverse cardiac events (MI, stroke or death), but only among subjects with concurrently high TMAO levels. Chronic dietary L-carnitine supplementation in mice significantly altered cecal microbial composition, markedly enhanced synthesis of TMA/TMAO, and increased atherosclerosis, but not following suppression of intestinal microbiota. Dietary supplementation of TMAO, or either carnitine or choline in mice with intact intestinal microbiota, significantly reduced reverse cholesterol transport in vivo. Intestinal microbiota may thus participate in the well-established link between increased red meat consumption and CVD risk.
This study aimed to investigate the effects of hypoxia on the proliferation, mineralization and ultrastructure of human periodontal ligament fibroblasts (HPLFs) at various times in vitro in order to further study plateau-hypoxia-induced periodontal disease. HPLFs (fifth passage) cultured by the tissue culture method were assigned to the slight (5% O2), middle (2% O2), and severe hypoxia (1% O2) groups and the control (21% O2) group, respectively. At 12, 24, 48 and 72 h, the proliferation and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activities were detected. The ultrastructure of the severe hypoxia group was observed. HPLFs grew more rapidly with an increase in the degree of hypoxia at 12 and 24 h, and significant levels of proliferation (P<0.05) were observed in the severe hypoxia group at 24 h. Cell growth was restrained with an increase in the degree of hypoxia at 48 and 72 h, and the restrictions were clear (P<0.05) in the middle and severe hypoxia groups. ALP activity was restrained with increasing hypoxia at each time point. The restrictions were marked (P<0.05) in the severe hypoxia group at 24 h and in the middle and severe hypoxia groups at 48 and 72 h. However, the restriction was more marked (P<0.05) in the severe hypoxia group at 72 h. An increase was observed in the number of mitochondria and rough endoplasmic reticula (RER), with slightly expanded but complete membrane structures, in the severe hypoxia group at 24 h. At 48 h, the number of mitochondria and RER decreased as the mitochondria increased in size. Furthermore, mitochondrial cristae appeared to be vague, and a RER structural disorder was observed. At 72 h, the number of mitochondria and RER decreased further when the mitochondrial cristae were broken, vacuolar degeneration occurred, and the RER particles were reduced while the number of lysosomes increased. HPLF proliferation and mineralization was restrained. Additionally, HPLF structure was broken for a relatively long period of time in the middle and severe hypoxia groups. This finding demonstrated that hypoxia was capable of damaging the metabolism, reconstruction and recovery of HPLFs. The poor state of HPLFs under hypoxic conditions may therefore initiate or aggravate periodontal disease.
periodontal disease; hypoxia; human periodontal ligament fibroblasts; proliferation; mineralization; ultrastructure
To evaluate the potential of hyaluronic acid (HA)-coated bovine serum albumin nanoparticles (BSANPs) as a novel chondrocyte-targeting drug-delivery nanomedicine.
The HA-BSANPs were characterized by dynamic light scattering, transmission electron microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, and X-ray diffraction. Fluorescence imaging was used to visualize the distribution of nanoparticles after intra-articular injection. The chondrocyte-targeting efficiency and cellular uptake mechanism of HA-BSANPs were investigated using endocytic inhibitors.
HA-BSANPs were successfully prepared with HA coating the surface and amorphous drug in the core. Compared with BSANPs, HA-BSANPs exhibited improved uptake by chondrocytes through a receptor-mediated active uptake mechanism. The endocytosis process of BSANPs and HA-BSANPs involved clathrin-mediated endocytosis, caveolae-mediated endocytosis, and macropinocytosis. No apparent thickening or hyperplasia of the synovium was observed in either BSANPs or HA-BSANPs. The HA-BSANPs could reside in the articular cavity of rats for more than 14 days, which was significantly longer than BSANPs.
HA-BSANPs are a promising carrier for articular-related diseases due to elongated articular residence and improved chondrocytic accumulation.
chondrocyte; intra-articular injection; hyaluronic acid; BSA; nanoparticles
Zooplankton are relatively small in size in the subtropical regions. This characteristic has been attributed to intense predation pressure, high nutrient loading and cyanobacterial biomass. To provide further information on the effect of predation and cyanobacteria on zooplankton size structure, we analyzed data from 96 shallow aquaculture lakes along the Yangtze River. Contrary to former studies, both principal components analysis and multiple regression analysis showed that the mean zooplankton size was positively related to fish yield. The studied lakes were grouped into three types, namely, natural fishing lakes with low nutrient loading (Type1), planktivorous fish-dominated lakes (Type 2), and eutrophic lakes with high cyanobacterial biomass (Type 3). A marked difference in zooplankton size structure was found among these groups. The greatest mean zooplankton size was observed in Type 2 lakes, but zooplankton density was the lowest. Zooplankton abundance was highest in Type 3 lakes and increased with increasing cyanobacterial biomass. Zooplankton mean size was negatively correlated with cyanobacterial biomass. No obvious trends were found in Type 1 lakes. These results were reflected by the normalized biomass size spectrum, which showed a unimodal shape with a peak at medium sizes in Type 2 lakes and a peak at small sizes in Type 3 lakes. These results indicated a relative increase in medium-sized and small-sized species in Types 2 and 3 lakes, respectively. Our results suggested that fish predation might have a negative effect on zooplankton abundance but a positive effect on zooplankton size structure. High cyanobacterial biomass most likely caused a decline in the zooplankton size and encouraged the proliferation of small zooplankton. We suggest that both planktivorous fish and cyanobacteria have substantial effects on the shaping of zooplankton community, particularly in the lakes in the eastern plain along the Yangtze River where aquaculture is widespread and nutrient loading is high.
Babesiosis is an emerging health risk in several parts of the world. However, little is known about the prevalence of Babesia in malaria-endemic countries. The area along the China-Myanmar border in Yunnan is a main endemic area of malaria in P.R. China, however, human infection with Babesia microti (B. microti) is not recognized in this region, and its profile of co-infection is not yet clear.
To understand its profile of co-infections with B. microti, our investigation was undertaken in the malaria-endemic area along the China-Myanmar border in Yunnan between April 2012 and June 2013. Four parasite species, including B. microti, Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum), P. vivax, and P. malariae, were identified among 449 suspected febrile persons detected by nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay based on small subunit ribosomal ribonucleic acid (RNA) genes of B. microti and Plasmodium spp.
Of all the collected samples from febrile patients, mono-infection with B. microti, P. vivax, P. falciparum, and P. malariae accounted for 1.8% (8/449), 9.8% (44/449), 2.9% (13/449), and 0.2% (1/449), respectively. The rate of mixed infections of B. microti with P. falciparum or P. vivax are both 0.2% (1/449), and mixed infections of P. falciparum and P. vivax accounted for 1.1% (5/449).
This report supports the hypothesis that babesiosis caused by B. microti is emerging along the China-Myanmar border in the Yunnan province, P.R. China, but it was ignored because of low parasitemia or mixed infection with Plasmodium spp. More sensitive and specific diagnosis methods are needed to find the rapid response mechanism of emergency for babesiosis and malaria co-prevalence areas.
Babesia; Plasmodium; Co-infection; China-Myanmar border
Cell supplementation to the herniated or degenerated intervertebral disc (IVD) is a potential strategy to promote tissue regeneration and slow disc pathology. Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stromal cells (HUCMSCs) – originating from the Wharton’s jelly – remain an attractive candidate for such endeavors with their ability to differentiate into multiple lineages. Previously, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been studied as a potential source for disc tissue regeneration. However, no studies have demonstrated that MSCs can regenerate matrix with unique characteristics matching that of immature nucleus pulposus (NP) tissues of the IVD. In our prior work, immature NP cells were found to express specific laminin isoforms and laminin-binding receptors that may serve as phenotypic markers for evaluating MSC differentiation to NP-like cells. The goal of this study is to evaluate these markers and matrix synthesis for HUCMSCs cultured in a laminin-rich pseudo-three-dimensional culture system.
HUCMSCs were seeded on top of Transwell inserts pre-coated with Matrigel™, which contained mainly laminin-111. Cells were cultured under hypoxia environment with three differentiation conditions: NP differentiation media (containing 2.5% Matrigel™ solution to provide for a pseudo-three-dimensional laminin culture system) with no serum, or the same media supplemented with either insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) or transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1). Cell clustering behavior, matrix production and the expression of NP-specific laminin and laminin-receptors were evaluated at days 1, 7, 13 and 21 of culture.
Data show that a pseudo-three-dimensional culture condition (laminin-1 rich) promoted HUCMSC differentiation under no serum conditions. Starting at day 1, HUCMSCs demonstrated a cell clustering morphology similar to that of immature NP cells in situ and that observed for primary immature NP cells within the similar laminin-rich culture system (prior study). Differentiated HUCMSCs under all conditions were found to contain glycosaminoglycan, expressed extracellular matrix proteins of collagen II and laminin α5, and laminin receptors (integrin α3 and β4 subunits). However, neither growth factor treatment generated distinct differences in NP-like phenotype for HUCMSC as compared with no-serum conditions.
HUCMSCs have the potential to differentiate into cells sharing features with immature NP cells in a laminin-rich culture environment and may be useful for IVD cellular therapy.
Peanut is one of the most important oil and protein producing crops in the world. Yet the amounts of peanut processing by-products containing proteins, fiber and polyphenolics are staggering. With the environmental awareness and scarcity of space for landfilling, wastes/by-product utilization has become an attractive alternative to disposal. Several peanut by-products are produced from crush peanut processes and harvested peanut, including peanut meal, peanut skin, peanut hull and peanut vine. Some of peanut by-products/waste materials could possibility be used in food processing industry, The by-products of peanut contain many functional compounds, such as protein, fiber and polyphenolics, which can be incorporated into processed foods to serve as functional ingredients. This paper briefly describes various peanut by-products produced, as well as current best recovering and recycling use options for these peanut byproducts. Materials, productions, properties, potential applications in food manufacture of emerging materials, as well as environmental impact are also briefly discussed.
Peanut meal; Peanut skin; Peanut hull; Peanut vine; Nutritional components
Wheat bran is a traditional Chinese medicine; however, it is mostly used as feedstuff in China. Wheat bran is widely accepted as an important ingredient in many low-glycemic index foods in modern western societies; however, its glycemic control mechanism is unknown.
To determine potent α-glucosidase inhibitory compounds from wheat bran and to identify the inhibition on α-glucosidase.
Materials and Methods:
Ethanolic extract of wheat bran was prepared to evaluate the inhibitory activity on α-glucosidase, then fractionation of the extract was guided by in vitro enzyme-inhibition assay, and the potent α-glucosidase inhibitory compounds were identified by high performance liquid chromatography and atmospheric pressure chemical ionization-mass spectrometry; finally the enzyme inhibition process was studied using the Michaelis-Menton and the Lineweaver-Burk equations.
Both baker's yeast and rat intestinal enzymes were mostly inhibited (87.9% and 66.8% inhibition, respectively) at concentration 0.6 mg/mL of the ethanolic extract of wheat bran. The petroleum ether fraction in the ethanolic extract of wheat bran showed significant activity against rat intestinal α-glucosidase, and revealed a dose-dependent effect. The inhibition was 76.57% at 0.3 mg/mL and 100% at 0.6 mg/mL. The active fraction 13 of petroleum ether fraction was identified as alkylresorcinols (ARs). ARs showed strong inhibition towards α-glucosidase and its IC50 value was found to be 37.58 μg/mL. The enzyme kinetic studies showed that, in the presence of ARs, the Michaelis-Menton constant (Km) remains constant whereas the maximal velocity (Vmax) decreases, revealing a non-competitive type of inhibition.
The therapeutic potentiality of ARs in the management of the postprandial hyperglycemia will proliferate the utilization of wheat bran in controlling type 2 diabetes.
Alkylresorcinols; inhibition; wheat bran; α-glucosidase