Otitis media is a common reason for hearing loss, especially in children. Otitis media is a multifactorial disease and environmental factors, anatomic dysmorphology and genetic predisposition can all contribute to its pathogenesis. However, the reasons for the variable susceptibility to otitis media are elusive. MCPH1 mutations cause primary microcephaly in humans. So far, no hearing impairment has been reported either in the MCPH1 patients or mouse models with Mcph1 deficiency. In this study, Mcph1-deficient (Mcph1tm1a/tm1a) mice were produced using embryonic stem cells with a targeted mutation by the Sanger Institute's Mouse Genetics Project. Auditory brainstem response measurements revealed that Mcph1tm1a/tm1a mice had mild to moderate hearing impairment with around 70% penetrance. We found otitis media with effusion in the hearing-impaired Mcph1tm1a/tm1a mice by anatomic and histological examinations. Expression of Mcph1 in the epithelial cells of middle ear cavities supported its involvement in the development of otitis media. Other defects of Mcph1tm1a/tm1a mice included small skull sizes, increased micronuclei in red blood cells, increased B cells and ocular abnormalities. These findings not only recapitulated the defects found in other Mcph1-deficient mice or MCPH1 patients, but also revealed an unexpected phenotype, otitis media with hearing impairment, which suggests Mcph1 is a new gene underlying genetic predisposition to otitis media.
AIM: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) therapy in patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV)-associated acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF).
METHODS: Fifty-five patients with HBV-associated ACLF were randomized into two groups: the treatment group and the control group. Twenty-seven patients in the treatment group received G-CSF (5 μg/kg per day, six doses) treatment plus standard therapy, and 28 patients in the control group received standard therapy only. The peripheral CD34+ cell count was measured consecutively by flow cytometry. Circulating white blood cell count, biochemical parameters, and other clinical data of these patients were recorded and analyzed. All patients were followed up for a period of 3 mo to evaluate the changes in liver function and survival rate.
RESULTS: The peripheral neutrophil and CD34+ cell counts in the G-CSF group increased on day 3 from the onset of therapy, continued to rise on day 7, and remained elevated on day 15 compared to those of the control group. Child-Turcotte-Pugh score of patients in the treatment group was improved on day 30 from the onset of G-CSF therapy, compared to that in the controls (P = 0.041). Model for End-Stage of Liver Disease score of patients in the treatment group was improved on day 7 (P = 0.004) and remained high on day 30 from the onset of G-CSF therapy (P < 0.001) compared to that in controls. After 3 mo of follow-up observation, the survival rate in the treatment group (48.1%) was significantly higher than that in the control group (21.4%) (P = 0.0181).
CONCLUSION: G-CSF therapy promoted CD34+ cell mobilization in patients with HBV-associated ACLF, and improved the liver function and the survival rate of these patients.
Acute-on-chronic liver failure; Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor; Hepatitis B virus
The auditory system is the most susceptible to damages from blast waves. Blast injuries always lead to varying degrees of hearing impairment. Although a disorder of the cochlear blood flow (CoBF) has been considered to be related to many pathological processes of the auditory system and to contribute to various types of hearing loss, changes in the CoBF induced by blast waves and the relationship between such changes and hearing impairment are undefined. To observe the changes in the cochlear microcirculation after exposure to an explosion blast, investigate the relationship between changes in the CoBF and hearing impairment and subsequently explore the mechanism responsible for the changes in the CoBF, we detected the perfusion of the cochlear microcirculation and hearing threshold shift after exposure to an explosion blast. Then, an N-nitro-L-arginine-methyl ester (L-NAME, NO synthase inhibitor) solution and artificial perilymph were applied to the round window (RW) of the cochlea before the blast exposure, followed by an evaluation of the CoBF and hearing function. The results indicated that the changes in the CoBF were correlated to the strength of the blast wave. The cochlear blood flow significantly increased when the peak value of the blast overpressure was greater than approximately 45 kPa, and there was no significant change in the cochlear blood flow when the peak value of the blast overpressure was less than approximately 35 kPa. Following local administration of the NO synthase inhibitor L-NAME, the increase in the CoBF induced by the blast was inhibited, and this reduction was significantly associated with the hearing threshold.
Cochlea; blood flow; hearing function; blast injury; guinea pigs
Bi2Se3 nanocrystals with various morphologies, including nanotower, nanoplate, nanoflake, nanobeam and nanowire, have been synthesized. Well-distinguished Shubnikov-de Haas (SdH) oscillations were observed in Bi2Se3 nanoplates and nanobeams. Careful analysis of the SdH oscillations suggests the existence of Berry's phase π, which confirms the quantum transport of the surface Dirac fermions in both Bi2Se3 nanoplates and nanobeams without intended doping. The observation of the singular quantum transport of the topological surface states implies that the high-quality Bi2Se3 nanostructures have superiorities for investigating the novel physical properties and developing the potential applications.
The transcription factor Nuclear Factor Kappa B (NF-κB) has been shown to be cardioprotective after permanent coronary occlusion (PO) and late ischemic preconditioning (IPC), and yet it is cell injurious after ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) in the heart. There is limited information regarding NF-κB-dependent cardioprotection, and the NF-κB-dependent genes that contribute to the cardioprotection after PO are completely unknown. The objective of the study was to identify NF-κB-dependent genes that contribute to cardioprotection after PO. Microarray analysis was used to delineate genes that potentially contribute to the NF-κB-dependent cardioprotection by determining the overlap between the set of PO regulated genes and genes regulated by NF-κB, using mice with genetic abrogation of NF-κB activation in the heart. This analysis identified 16 genes as candidates for NF-κB-dependent effects after PO. This set of genes overlaps with, but is significantly different from the set of genes we previously identified as regulated by NF-κB after IPC. The genes encoding heat shock protein 70.3 (hspa1a) and heat shock protein 70.1 (hspa1b) were the most significantly regulated genes after PO and were up-regulated by NF-κB. Results using knockout mice show that Hsp70.1 contributes to NF-κB-dependent cardioprotection after PO and likely underlies, at least in part, the NF-κB-dependent cardioprotective effect. Our previous results show that Hsp70.1 is injurious after I/R injury. This demonstrates that, like NF-κB itself, Hsp70.1 has antithetical effects on myocardial survival and suggests that this may underlie the similar antithetical effects of NF-κB after different ischemic stimuli. The significance of the research is that understanding the gene network regulated by NF-κB after ischemic insult may lead to identification of therapeutic targets more appropriate for clinical development.
nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB); heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70); permanent coronary occlusion (PO); myocardial infarction (MI); microarray; gene expression; cardioprotection
It has been shown that the transcription factor NF-κB is necessary for late phase cardioprotection after ischemic preconditioning (IPC) in the heart, and yet is injurious after ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). However the downstream gene expression programs that underlie the contribution of NF-κB to cardioprotection after late IPC are incompletely understood.
To delineate the specific genes that are regulated by NF-κB immediately after a late IPC stimulus and validate the methodology for identification of NF-κB-dependent genes that contribute to cardioprotection.
Methods and Results
A directed microarray analysis identified 238 genes as up or down regulated in an NF-κB-dependent manner 3.5 h after late IPC. Among these are several genes previously implicated in late IPC. Gene ontological analysis showed that the most significant group of NF-κB-dependent genes are heat shock response genes, including the genes encoding Hsp70.1 and Hsp70.3. Though an Hsp70.1/70.3 double knockout failed to exhibit cardioprotection, late IPC was intact in the Hsp70.1 single knockout. After I/R, the Hsp70.1/70.3 double knockout and the Hsp70.1 single knockout had significantly increased and reduced infarct size, respectively.
These results delineate the immediate NF-κB-dependent transcriptome after late IPC. One of the major categories of NF-κB-dependent genes induced by late IPC is the heat shock response. The results of infarct studies confirm that Hsp70.3 is protective after IPC. However, though Hsp70.1 and Hsp70.3 are coordinately regulated, their functions are opposing after I/R injury.
Cardioprotection; late ischemic preconditioning; NF-κB; gene expression; Heat shock protein 70
Myotonia congenita is a hereditary muscle disorder caused by mutations in the human voltage-gated chloride (Cl−) channel CLC-1. Myotonia congenita can be inherited in an autosomal recessive (Becker type) or dominant (Thomsen type) fashion. One hypothesis for myotonia congenita is that the inheritance pattern of the disease is determined by the functional consequence of the mutation on the gating of CLC-1 channels. Several disease-related mutations, however, have been shown to yield functional CLC-1 channels with no detectable gating defects. In this study, we have functionally and biochemically characterized a myotonia mutant: A531V. Despite a gating property similar to that of wild-type (WT) channels, the mutant CLC-1 channel displayed a diminished whole-cell current density and a reduction in the total protein expression level. Our biochemical analyses further demonstrated that the reduced expression of A531V can be largely attributed to an enhanced proteasomal degradation as well as a defect in protein trafficking to surface membranes. Moreover, the A531V mutant protein also appeared to be associated with excessive endosomal-lysosomal degradation. Neither the reduced protein expression nor the diminished current density was rescued by incubating A531V-expressing cells at 27°C. These results demonstrate that the molecular pathophysiology of A531V does not involve anomalous channel gating, but rather a disruption of the balance between the synthesis and degradation of the CLC-1 channel protein.
AIM: To assess the impact of preoperative neoadjuvant bevacizumab (Bev) on the outcome of patients undergoing resection for colorectal liver metastases (CLM).
METHODS: Eligible trials were identified from Medline, Embase, Ovid, and the Cochrane database. The data were analyzed with fixed-effects or random-effects models using Review Manager version 5.0.
RESULTS: Thirteen nonrandomized studies with a total of 1431 participants were suitable for meta-analysis. There was no difference in overall morbidity and severe complications between the Bev + group and Bev - group (43.3% vs 36.8%, P = 0.06; 17.1% vs 11.4%, P = 0.07, respectively). Bev-related complications including wound and thromboembolic/bleeding events were also similar in the Bev + and Bev - groups (14.4% vs 8.1%, P = 0.21; 4.1% vs 3.8%, P = 0.98, respectively). The incidence and severity of sinusoidal dilation were lower in patients treated with Bev than in patients treated without Bev (43.3% vs 63.7%, P < 0.001; 16.8% vs 46.5%, P < 0.00, respectively).
CONCLUSION: Bev can be safely administered before hepatic resection in patients with CLM, and has a protective effect against hepatic injury in patients treated with oxaliplatin chemotherapy.
Colorectal cancer; Liver metastases; Bevacizumab; Postoperative complication; Sinusoidal dilatation
Increased intake of ω-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) and use of peroxisome proliferator activator receptor (PPAR)-activating drugs are associated with attenuation of pathologic retinal angiogenesis. ω-3 LCPUFAs are endogenous agonists of PPARs. We postulated that DNA sequence variation in PPAR gamma (PPARG) co-activator 1 alpha (PPARGC1A), a gene encoding a co-activator of the LCPUFA-sensing PPARG-retinoid X receptor (RXR) transcription complex, may influence neovascularization (NV) in age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
We applied exact testing methods to examine distributions of DNA sequence variants in PPARGC1A for association with NV AMD and interaction of AMD-associated loci in genes of complement, lipid metabolism, and VEGF signaling systems. Our sample contained 1858 people from 3 elderly cohorts of western European ancestry. We concurrently investigated retinal gene expression profiles in 17-day-old neonatal mice on a 2% LCPUFA feeding paradigm to identify LCPUFA-regulated genes both associated with pathologic retinal angiogenesis and known to interact with PPARs or PPARGC1A.
A DNA coding variant (rs3736265) and a 3'UTR-resident regulatory variant (rs3774923) in PPARGC1A were independently associated with NV AMD (exact P = 0.003, both SNPs). SNP-SNP interactions existed for NV AMD (P<0.005) with rs3736265 and a AMD-associated variant in complement factor B (CFB, rs512559). PPARGC1A influences activation of the AMD-associated complement component 3 (C3) promoter fragment and CFB influences activation and proteolysis of C3. We observed interaction (P≤0.003) of rs3736265 with a variant in vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA, rs3025033), a key molecule in retinal angiogenesis. Another PPARGC1A coding variant (rs8192678) showed statistical interaction with a SNP in the VEGFA receptor fms-related tyrosine kinase 1 (FLT1, rs10507386; P≤0.003). C3 expression was down-regulated 2-fold in retinas of ω-3 LCPUFA-fed mice – these animals also showed 70% reduction in retinal NV (P≤0.001).
Ligands and co-activators of the ω-3 LCPUFA sensing PPAR-RXR axis may influence retinal angiogenesis in NV AMD via the complement and VEGF signaling systems. We have linked the co-activator of a lipid-sensing transcription factor (PPARG co-activator 1 alpha, PPARGC1A) to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and AMD-associated genes.
Cognitive theorists relate anxiety disorders to the way in which emotional information is processed. The existing research suggests that patients with anxiety disorders tend to allocate their attention toward threat-related information selectively, and this may differ among different types of anxious subjects. The aim of this study was to explore attentional bias in patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder (PD) using the emotional Stroop task and compare the differences between them.
Forty-two patients with GAD, 34 patients with PD, and 46 healthy controls performed the emotional Stroop task with four word types, ie, GAD-related words, PD-related words, neutral words, and positive words.
Patients with GAD and those with PD were slower than healthy controls to respond to all stimuli. Patients with GAD had longer response latencies in color-naming both PD-relevant words and GAD relevant words. Patients with PD had longer response latencies only in color-naming PD-related words, similar to healthy controls.
Patients with GAD and those with PD had a different pattern of attentional bias, and there was insufficient evidence to support the existence of specific attentional bias in patients with PD.
generalized anxiety disorder; panic disorder; attentional bias; emotional Stroop task
Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is lipid messenger involved in the regulation of embryonic development, immune system functions, and many other physiological processes. However the mechanisms of S1P transport across cellular membranes remain poorly understood with several ATP-binding cassette family members and the spinster 2 (Spns2) member of the major facilitator superfamily known to mediate S1P transport in cell culture. Spns2 was also shown to control S1P activities in zebrafish in vivo and to play a critical role in zebrafish cardiovascular development. However the in vivo roles of Spns2 in mammals and its involvement in the different S1P-dependent physiological processes have not been investigated. Here we characterized Spns2-null mouse line carrying the Spns2tm1a(KOMP)Wtsi allele (Spns2tm1a). The Spns2tm1a/tm1a animals were viable, indicating a divergence in Spns2 function from its zebrafish orthologue. However the immunological phenotype of the Spns2tm1a/tm1a mice closely mimicked the phenotypes of partial S1P deficiency and impaired S1P-dependent lymphocyte trafficking, with a depletion of lymphocytes in circulation, an increase in mature single-positive T cells in the thymus, and a selective reduction in mature B cells in the spleen and bone marrow. Spns2 activity in the non-hematopoietic cells was critical for normal lymphocyte development and localization. Overall Spns2tm1a/tm1a resulted in impaired humoral immune responses to immunization. This work thus demonstrated a physiological role for Spns2 in mammalian immune system functions but not in cardiovascular development. Other components of the S1P signaling network are investigated as drug targets for immunosuppressive therapy, but the selective action of Spns2 may present an advantage in this regard.
Spns2 (spinster 2); sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P); lymphocyte egress
Most of the species in the family Planctomycetaceae are of interest for their eukaryotic-like cell structures and characteristics of resistance to extreme environments. Here, we report draft genome sequences of three aquatic parasitic species of this family, Singulisphaera acidiphila (DSM 18658T), Schlesneria paludicola (DSM 18645T), and Zavarzinella formosa (DSM 19928T).
The ability of nicotine to enhance the malignancy of cancer cells is known; however, the possibility that nicotine could regulate a cancer stem cell phenotype remains to be well-established. In this study we sought to determine whether long-term exposure to nicotine could promote cancer stem cell-like properties in two head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cell lines, UMSCC-10B and HN-1. Nicotine treatment induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in both cell lines by repressing E-cadherin expression, and led to the induction of stem cell markers Oct-4, Nanog, CD44 and BMI-1, which was reversed upon ectopic re-expression of E-cadherin. Nicotine-treated cells formed spheres at a higher efficiency than non-treated cells, formed larger tumors when injected into mice, and formed tumors with 4-fold greater efficiency compared to control cells when injected at limiting doses. Consistent with previous literature, nicotine-treated cells demonstrated a greater capacity for survival and also a higher tendency to invade. Comparison of microRNA profiles between nicotine and control cells revealed the upregulation of miR-9, a repressor of E-cadherin, and the downregulation of miR-101, a repressor of EZH2. Taken together, these results suggest that nicotine may play a critical role in the development of tobacco-induced cancers by regulating cancer stem cell characteristics, and that these effects are likely mediated through EMT-promoting, microRNA-mediated pathways. Further characterization of such pathways remains a promising avenue for the understanding and treatment of tobacco-related cancers.
Many tumor cells rely on aerobic glycolysis instead of oxidative phosphorylation for their continued proliferation and survival. Myc and HIF-1 are believed to promote such a metabolic switch by, in part, upregulating gene expression of pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) kinase 1 (PDHK1), which phosphorylates and inactivates mitochondrial PDH and consequently pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC). Here we report that tyrosine phosphorylation enhances PDHK1 kinase activity by promoting ATP and PDC binding. Functional PDC can form in mitochondria outside of matrix in some cancer cells and PDHK1 is commonly tyrosine phosphorylated in human cancers by diverse oncogenic tyrosine kinases localized to different mitochondrial compartments. Expression of phosphorylation-deficient, catalytic hypomorph PDHK1 mutants in cancer cells leads to decreased cell proliferation under hypoxia and increased oxidative phosphorylation with enhanced mitochondrial utilization of pyruvate, and reduced tumor growth in xenograft nude mice. Together, tyrosine phosphorylation activates PDHK1 to promote the Warburg effect and tumor growth.
The increase in urban migrants is one of major challenges for tuberculosis control in China. The different characteristics of tuberculosis cases between urban migrants and local residents in China have not been investigated before.
We performed a retrospective study of all pulmonary tuberculosis patients reported in Songjiang district, Shanghai, to determine the demographic, clinical and microbiological characteristics of tuberculosis cases between urban migrants and local residents. We calculated the odds ratios (OR) and performed multivariate logistic regression to identify the characteristics that were independently associated with tuberculosis among urban migrants. A total of 1,348 pulmonary tuberculosis cases were reported during 2006–2008, among whom 440 (32.6%) were local residents and 908 (67.4%) were urban migrants. Urban migrant (38.9/100,000 population) had higher tuberculosis rates than local residents (27.8/100,000 population), and the rates among persons younger than age 35 years were 3 times higher among urban migrants than among local residents. Younger age (adjusted OR per additional year at risk = 0.92, 95% CI: 0.91–0.94, p<0.001), poor treatment outcome (adjusted OR = 4.12, 95% CI: 2.65–5.72, p<0.001), and lower frequency of any comorbidity at diagnosis (adjusted OR = 0.20, 95% CI: 0.13–0.26, p = 0.013) were significantly associated with tuberculosis patients among urban migrants. There were poor treatment outcomes among urban migrants, mainly from transfers to another jurisdiction (19.3% of all tuberculosis patients among urban migrants).
A considerable proportion of tuberculosis cases in Songjiang district, China, during 2006–2008 occurred among urban migrants. Our findings highlight the need to develop and implement specific tuberculosis control strategies for urban migrants, such as more exhaustive case finding, improved case management and follow-up, and use of directly observed therapy (DOT).
One of the most significant evolutionary changes underlying the highly developed cognitive abilities of humans is the greatly enlarged brain volume. In addition to being far greater than in most other species, the volume of the human brain exhibits extensive variation and distinct sexual dimorphism in the general population. However, little is known about the genetic mechanisms underlying normal variation as well as the observed sex difference in human brain volume. Here we show that interleukin-3 (IL3) is strongly associated with brain volume variation in four genetically divergent populations. We identified a sequence polymorphism (rs31480) in the IL3 promoter which alters the expression of IL3 by affecting the binding affinity of transcription factor SP1. Further analysis indicated that IL3 and its receptors are continuously expressed in the developing mouse brain, reaching highest levels at postnatal day 1–4. Furthermore, we found IL3 receptor alpha (IL3RA) was mainly expressed in neural progenitors and neurons, and IL3 could promote proliferation and survival of the neural progenitors. The expression level of IL3 thus played pivotal roles in the expansion and maintenance of the neural progenitor pool and the number of surviving neurons. Moreover, we found that IL3 activated both estrogen receptors, but estrogen didn’t directly regulate the expression of IL3. Our results demonstrate that genetic variation in the IL3 promoter regulates human brain volume and reveals novel roles of IL3 in regulating brain development.
Chlorine is a widely used toxic compound that is considered a chemical threat agent. Chlorine inhalation injures airway epithelial cells, leading to pulmonary abnormalities. Efficient repair of injured epithelium is necessary to restore normal lung structure and function. The objective of the current study was to characterize repair of the tracheal epithelium after acute chlorine injury.
C57BL/6 mice were exposed to chlorine and injected with 5-ethynyl-2′-deoxyuridine (EdU) to label proliferating cells prior to sacrifice and collection of tracheas on days 2, 4, 7, and 10 after exposure. Airway repair and restoration of a differentiated epithelium were examined by co-localization of EdU labeling with markers for the three major tracheal epithelial cell types [keratin 5 (K5) and keratin 14 (K14) for basal cells, Clara cell secretory protein (CCSP) for Clara cells, and acetylated tubulin (AcTub) for ciliated cells]. Morphometric analysis was used to measure proliferation and restoration of a pseudostratified epithelium.
Epithelial repair was fastest and most extensive in proximal trachea compared with middle and distal trachea. In unexposed mice, cell proliferation was minimal, all basal cells expressed K5, and K14-expressing basal cells were absent from most sections. Chlorine exposure resulted in the sloughing of Clara and ciliated cells from the tracheal epithelium. Two to four days after chlorine exposure, cell proliferation occurred in K5- and K14-expressing basal cells, and the number of K14 cells was dramatically increased. In the period of peak cell proliferation, few if any ciliated or Clara cells were detected in repairing trachea. Expression of ciliated and Clara cell markers was detected at later times (days 7–10), but cell proliferation was not detected in areas in which these differentiated markers were re-expressed. Fibrotic lesions were observed at days 7–10 primarily in distal trachea.
The data are consistent with a model where surviving basal cells function as progenitor cells to repopulate the tracheal epithelium after chlorine injury. In areas with few remaining basal cells, repair is inefficient, leading to airway fibrosis. These studies establish a model for understanding regenerative processes in the respiratory epithelium useful for testing therapies for airway injury.
Acute lung injury; Tracheobronchial epithelium; Re-epithelialization
FATP1 is involved in lipid transport into cells and in intracellular lipid metabolism. We showed previously that this protein interacts with and inhibits the limiting-step isomerase of the visual cycle RPE65. Here, we aimed to analyze the effect of Fatp1-deficiency in vivo on the visual cycle, structure and function, and on retinal aging. Among the Fatp family members, we observed that only Fatp1 and 4 are expressed in the control retina, in both the neuroretina and the retinal pigment epithelium. In the neuroretina, Fatp1 is mostly expressed in photoreceptors. In young adult Fatp1−/− mice, Fatp4 expression was unchanged in retinal pigment epithelium and reduced two-fold in the neuroretina as compared to Fatp1+/+ mice. The Fatp1−/− mice had a preserved retinal structure but a decreased electroretinogram response to light. These mice also displayed a delayed recovery of the b-wave amplitude after bleaching, however, visual cycle speed was unchanged, and both retinal pigment epithelium and photoreceptors presented the same fatty acid pattern compared to controls. In 2 year-old Fatp1−/− mice, transmission electron microscopy studies showed specific abnormalities in the retinas comprising choroid vascularization anomalies and thickening of the Bruch membrane with material deposits, and sometimes local disorganization of the photoreceptor outer segments. These anomalies lead us to speculate that the absence of FATP1 accelerates the aging process.
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a leading cause of blindness in children and is, in its most severe form, characterized by uncontrolled growth of vision-threatening pathologic vessels. Propranolol, a nonselective β-adrenergic receptor blocker, was reported to protect against pathologic retinal neovascularization in a mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR). Based on this single animal study using nonstandard evaluation of retinopathy, clinical trials are currently ongoing to evaluate propranolol treatment in stage 2 ROP patients who tend to experience spontaneous disease regression and are at low risk of blindness. Because these ROP patients are vulnerable premature infants who are still in a fragile state of incomplete development, the efficacy of propranolol treatment in retinopathy needs to be evaluated thoroughly in preclinical animal models of retinopathy and potential benefits weighed against potential adverse effects.
Retinopathy was induced by exposing neonatal mice to 75% oxygen from postnatal day (P) 7 to P12. Three routes of propranolol treatment were assessed from P12 to P16: oral gavage, intraperitoneal injection, or subcutaneous injection, with doses varying between 2 and 60 mg/kg/day. At P17, retinal flatmounts were stained with isolectin and quantified with a standard protocol to measure vasoobliteration and pathologic neovascularization. Retinal gene expression was analyzed with qRT-PCR using RNA isolated from retinas of control and propranolol-treated pups.
None of the treatment approaches at any dose of propranolol (up to 60 mg/kg/day) were effective in preventing the development of retinopathy in a mouse model of OIR, evaluated using standard techniques. Propranolol treatment also did not change retinal expression of angiogenic factors including vascular endothelial growth factor.
Propranolol treatment via three routes and up to 30 times the standard human dose failed to suppress retinopathy development in mice. These data bring into question whether propranolol through inhibition of β-adrenergic receptors is an appropriate therapeutic approach for treating ROP.
Propranolol treatment via three routes and up to 30 times the standard human dose failed to suppress retinopathy development in mice. These data bring into question whether propranolol through inhibition of β-adrenergic receptors is an appropriate therapeutic approach for treating ROP.
Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are heterogeneous populations of cells that participate in vasculogenesis and promote tissue regeneration. However the different roles of EPC populations in vasculogenesis and tissue regeneration, as well as their regulation and mechanisms remain elusive. In the present study, we cultured bone marrow (BM)-derived early EPCs (EEPCs) and endothelial outgrowth cells (EOCs), and investigated their roles in liver regeneration and their regulation by the Notch signaling pathway. We found that Notch signaling exhibited different effects on the proliferation and migration of EEPCs and EOCs. Our results also showed that while EEPCs failed to form vessel-like structures in a three dimensional sprouting model in vitro, EOCs could sprout and form endothelial cords, and this was regulated by the Notch signaling. We further showed that, by using a conditional knockout model of RBP-J (the critical transcription factor mediating Notch signaling), Notch signaling differentially regulates EEPCs and EOCs. In a partial hepatectomy (PHx) model, EEPCs Notch-dependently benefitted liver regeneration with respect to liver function and hepatocyte proliferation and apoptosis. In contrast, EOCs appeared not directly involved in the recovery of liver function and the increase of hepatocytes. These data suggested that the RBP-J-mediated Notch signaling differentially regulated the two types of EPCs, which showed different roles in liver regeneration.
Cyclin A1 is essential for leukemia progression, and its expression is tightly regulated by acinus, a nuclear speckle protein. However, the molecular mechanism of how acinus mediates cyclin A1 expression remains elusive. Here we show that transcription corepressor CtBP2 directly binds acinus, which is regulated by NGF, inhibiting its stimulatory effect on cyclin A1 but not cyclin A2 expression in leukemia. NGF, a cognate ligand for the neurotrophic receptor TrkA, promotes the interaction between CtBP2 and acinus through triggering acinus phosphorylation by Akt. Overexpression of CtBP2 diminishes cyclin A1 transcription, whereas depletion of CtBP2 abolishes NGF’s suppressive effect on cyclin A1 expression. Strikingly, gambogic amide, a newly identified TrkA agonist, potently represses cyclin A1 expression, thus blocking K562 cell proliferation. Moreover, gambogic amide ameliorates the leukemia progression in K562 cells inoculated nude mice. Hence, NGF down-regulates cyclin A1 expression through escalating CtBP2/acinus complex formation, and gambogic amide might be useful for human leukemia treatment.
Acinus; CtBP2; Cyclin A1; Gambogic amide; Leukemia; NGF
Ischemic proliferative retinopathy, characterized by pathologic retinal neovascularization, is a major cause of blindness in working age adults and children. Defining the molecular pathways distinguishing pathological neovascularization from normal vessels is critical to controlling these blinding diseases with targeted therapy. Because mutations in Wnt signaling cause defective retinal vasculature in humans with some characteristics of the pathologic vessels in retinopathy, we investigated the potential role of Wnt signaling in pathologic retinal vascular growth in proliferative retinopathy.
Methods and Results
In this study we show that Wnt receptors (Frizzled4 and Lrp5) and activity are significantly increased in pathologic neovascularization in a mouse model of oxygen-induced proliferative retinopathy. Loss of Wnt co-receptor Lrp5 and downstream signaling molecule disheveled2 significantly decreases the formation of pathologic retinal neovascularization in retinopathy. Loss of Lrp5 also affects retinal angiogenesis during development and formation of the blood retinal barrier, which is linked to significant down-regulation of tight junction protein claudin5 (Cln5) in Lrp5−/− vessels. Blocking Cln5 significantly suppresses Wnt-pathway driven endothelial cell sprouting in vitro and developmental and pathologic vascular growth in retinopathy in vivo.
These results demonstrate an important role of Wnt signaling in pathologic vascular development in retinopathy and show a novel function of Cln5 in promoting angiogenesis.
angiogenesis; vessels; retinopathy; Wnt
Secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPT) is one of the most common abnormalities of mineral metabolism in patients with chronic kidney disease. We performed a meta-analysis to determine the effect and safety of cinacalcet in SHPT patients receiving dialysis.
The meta-analysis was performed to determine the effect and safety of cinacalcet in SHPT patients receiving dialysis by using the search terms ‘cinacalcet’ or ‘mimpara’ or ‘sensipar’ or ‘calcimimetic’ or ‘R586’ on MEDLINE and EMBASE (January 1990 to February 2012).
Fifteen trials were included, all of which were performed between 2000 and 2011 enrolling a total of 3387 dialysis patients. Our study showed that calcimimetic agents effectively ameliorated iPTH levels(WMD, −294.36 pg/mL; 95% CI, −322.76 to −265.95, P<0.001) in SHPT patients and reduced serum calcium (WMD, −0.81 mg/dL; 95% CI, −0.89 to −0.72, P<0.001) and phosphorus disturbances(WMD, −0.29 mg/dL; 95% CI, −0.41 to −0.17, P<0.001). The percentage of patients in whom there was a 30% decrease in serum iPTH levels by the end of the dosing was higher in cinacalcet group than that in control group(OR = 10.75, 95% CI: 6.65–17.37, P<0.001). However, no significant difference was found in all-cause mortality and all adverse events between calcimimetics and control groups(OR = 0.86, 95% CI: 0.46–1.60, P = 0.630; OR = 1.30, 95% CI: 0.78–2.18, P = 0.320, respectively). Compared with the control therapy, there was a significant increase in the episodes of hypocalcemia (OR = 2.46, 95% CI: 1.58–3.82, P<0.001), nausea (OR = 2.45, 95% CI: 1.29–4.66, P = 0.006), vomiting(OR = 2.78, 95% CI: 2.14–3.62, P<0.001), diarrhea(OR = 1.51, 95% CI: 1.04–2.20, P = 0.030) and upper respiratory tract infection (OR = 1.79, 95% CI: 1.20–2.66, P = 0.004)in calcimimetics group.
Calcimimetic treatment effectively improved biochemical parameters of SHPT patients receiving dialysis without increasing all-cause mortality and all adverse events.
Summary: Numerous metagenomics projects have produced tremendous amounts of
sequencing data. Aligning these sequences to reference genomes is an essential analysis in
metagenomics studies. Large-scale alignment data call for intuitive and efficient
visualization tool. However, current tools such as various genome browsers are highly
specialized to handle intraspecies mapping results. They are not suitable for alignment
data in metagenomics, which are often interspecies alignments. We have developed a web
browser-based desktop application for interactively visualizing alignment data of
metagenomic sequences. This viewer is easy to use on all computer systems with modern web
browsers and requires no software installation.
Approximately 30 sex-chromosome discordant chimera cases have been reported to date, of which only four cases carried trisomy 21. Here, we present an additional case, an aborted fetus with a karyotype of 47,XX, +21/46,XY.
Autopsy demonstrated that this fetus was normally developed and had male genitalia. Major characteristics of Down syndrome were not observed except an enlarged gap between the first and second toes. Karyotyping of tissues cultured from the fetus revealed the same chimeric chromosomal composition detected in the amniotic fluid but with a different ratio of [47,XX,+21] to [46,XY]. Further short tandem repeat analysis indicated a double paternal contribution and single maternal contribution to the fetus, with the additional chromosome 21 in the [47,XX,+21] cell lineage originating from the paternal side.
We thus propose that this chimeric fetus was formed via the dispermic fertilization of a parthenogenetic ovum with one (Y) sperm and one (X,+21) sperm.
Chimerism; Trisomy 21; Sex chromosome; Fetus; Genitalia; Karyotype