We aimed to evaluate the performance of the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI) creatinine–cystatin C equation in a cohort of elderly Chinese participants.
Materials and methods
Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was measured in 431 elderly Chinese participants by the technetium-99m diethylene-triamine-penta-acetic acid (99mTc-DTPA) renal dynamic imaging method, and was calibrated equally to the dual plasma sample 99mTc-DTPA-GFR. Performance of the CKD-EPI creatinine–cystatin C equation was compared with the Cockcroft–Gault equation, the re-expressed 4-variable Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) equation, and the CKD-EPI creatinine equation.
Although the bias of the CKD-EPI creatinine–cystatin C equation was greater than with the other equations (median difference, 5.7 mL/minute/1.73 m2 versus a range from 0.4–2.5 mL/minute/1.73 m2; P<0.001 for all), the precision was improved with the CKD-EPI creatinine–cystatin C equation (interquartile range for the difference, 19.5 mL/minute/1.73 m2 versus a range from 23.0–23.6 mL/minute/1.73 m2; P<0.001 for all comparisons), leading to slight improvement in accuracy (median absolute difference, 10.5 mL/minute/1.73 m2 versus 12.2 and 11.4 mL/minute/1.73 m2 for the Cockcroft–Gault equation and the re-expressed 4-variable MDRD equation, P=0.04 for both; 11.6 mL/minute/1.73 m2 for the CKD-EPI creatinine equation, P=0.11), as the optimal scores of performance (6.0 versus a range from 1.0–2.0 for the other equations). Higher GFR category and diabetes were independent factors that negatively correlated with the accuracy of the CKD-EPI creatinine–cystatin C equation (β=−0.184 and −0.113, P<0.001 and P=0.02, respectively).
Compared with the creatinine-based equations, the CKD-EPI creatinine–cystatin C equation is more suitable for the elderly Chinese population. However, the cost-effectiveness of the CKD-EPI creatinine–cystatin C equation for clinical use should be considered.
elderly; equation; glomerular filtration rate; serum creatinine; cystatin C
(S)-2-Hydroxypropylphosphonic acid epoxidase (HppE) is an unusual mononuclear iron enzyme that catalyzes the oxidative epoxidation of (S)-2-hydroxypropylphosphonic acid ((S)-HPP) in the biosynthesis of the antibiotic fosfomycin. HppE also recognizes (R)-2-hydroxypropylphosphonic acid ((R)-HPP) as a substrate and converts it to 2-oxo-propylphosphonic acid. To probe the mechanisms of these HppE-catalyzed oxidations, cyclopropyl- and methylenecyclopropyl-containing compounds were synthesized and studied as radical clock substrate analogues. Enzymatic assays indicated that the (S)- and (R)-isomers of the cyclopropyl-containing analogues were efficiently converted to epoxide and ketone products by HppE, respectively. In contrast, the ultrafast methylenecyclopropyl-containing probe inactivated HppE, consistent with a rapid radical-triggered ring-opening process that leads to enzyme inactivation. Taken together, these findings provide, for the first time, experimental evidence for the involvement of a C2-centered radical intermediate with a lifetime on the order of nanoseconds in the HppE-catalyzed oxidation of (R)-HPP.
epoxidase; fosfomycin biosynthesis; catalytic mechanism; cyclopropylcarbinyl radical probes
Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) has been implicated in cardiac dysfunction, oxidative stress, inflammation, apoptosis and autophagy associated with heart failure, and atherosclerosis, in addition to its recognized role in metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Numerous studies have presented contradictory findings about the role of HO-1 in diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM). In this study, we explored the role of HO-1 in myocardial dysfunction, myofibril structure, oxidative stress, inflammation, apoptosis and autophagy using a streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes model in mice systemically overexpressing HO-1 (Tg-HO-1) or mutant HO-1 (Tg-mutHO-1). The diabetic mouse model was induced by multiple peritoneal injections of STZ. Two months after injection, left ventricular (LV) function was measured by echocardiography. In addition, molecular biomarkers related to oxidative stress, inflammation, apoptosis and autophagy were evaluated using classical molecular biological/biochemical techniques. Mice with DCM exhibited severe LV dysfunction, myofibril structure disarray, aberrant cardiac oxidative stress, inflammation, apoptosis, autophagy and increased levels of HO-1. In addition, we determined that systemic overexpression of HO-1 ameliorated left ventricular dysfunction, myofibril structure disarray, oxidative stress, inflammation, apoptosis and autophagy in DCM mice. Furthermore, serine/threonine-specific protein kinase (Akt) and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylation is normally inhibited in DCM, but overexpression of the HO-1 gene restored the phosphorylation of these kinases to normal levels. In contrast, the functions of HO-1 in DCM were significantly reversed by overexpression of mutant HO-1. This study underlines the unique roles of HO-1, including the inhibition of oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis and the enhancement of autophagy, in the pathogenesis of DCM.
Existing methods for predicting protein crystallization obtain high accuracy using various types of complemented features and complex ensemble classifiers, such as support vector machine (SVM) and Random Forest classifiers. It is desirable to develop a simple and easily interpretable prediction method with informative sequence features to provide insights into protein crystallization. This study proposes an ensemble method, SCMCRYS, to predict protein crystallization, for which each classifier is built by using a scoring card method (SCM) with estimating propensity scores of p-collocated amino acid (AA) pairs (p = 0 for a dipeptide). The SCM classifier determines the crystallization of a sequence according to a weighted-sum score. The weights are the composition of the p-collocated AA pairs, and the propensity scores of these AA pairs are estimated using a statistic with optimization approach. SCMCRYS predicts the crystallization using a simple voting method from a number of SCM classifiers. The experimental results show that the single SCM classifier utilizing dipeptide composition with accuracy of 73.90% is comparable to the best previously-developed SVM-based classifier, SVM_POLY (74.6%), and our proposed SVM-based classifier utilizing the same dipeptide composition (77.55%). The SCMCRYS method with accuracy of 76.1% is comparable to the state-of-the-art ensemble methods PPCpred (76.8%) and RFCRYS (80.0%), which used the SVM and Random Forest classifiers, respectively. This study also investigates mutagenesis analysis based on SCM and the result reveals the hypothesis that the mutagenesis of surface residues Ala and Cys has large and small probabilities of enhancing protein crystallizability considering the estimated scores of crystallizability and solubility, melting point, molecular weight and conformational entropy of amino acids in a generalized condition. The propensity scores of amino acids and dipeptides for estimating the protein crystallizability can aid biologists in designing mutation of surface residues to enhance protein crystallizability. The source code of SCMCRYS is available at http://iclab.life.nctu.edu.tw/SCMCRYS/.
Coral harbor diverse and specific bacteria play significant roles in coral holobiont function. Bacteria associated with three of the common and phylogenetically divergent reef-building corals in the South China Sea, Porites lutea, Galaxea fascicularis and Acropora millepora, were investigated using 454 barcoded-pyrosequencing. Three colonies of each species were sampled, and 16S rRNA gene libraries were constructed individually. Analysis of pyrosequencing libraries showed that bacterial communities associated with the three coral species were more diverse than previous estimates based on corals from the Caribbean Sea, Indo-Pacific reefs and the Red Sea. Three candidate phyla, including BRC1, OD1 and SR1, were found for the first time in corals. Bacterial communities were separated into three groups: P. lutea and G. fascicular, A. millepora and seawater. P. lutea and G. fascicular displayed more similar bacterial communities, and bacterial communities associated with A. millepora differed from the other two coral species. The three coral species shared only 22 OTUs, which were distributed in Alphaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Chloroflexi, Actinobacteria, Acidobacteria and an unclassified bacterial group. The composition of bacterial communities within each colony of each coral species also showed variation. The relatively small common and large specific bacterial communities in these corals implies that bacterial associations may be structured by multiple factors at different scales and that corals may associate with microbes in terms of similar function, rather than identical species.
cyclin D3 (CCND3) is one of the three D-type cyclins that regulate the G1/S phase transition of the cell cycle. Expression of CCND3 is observed in nearly all proliferating cells; however, the presence of high levels of CCND3 has been linked to a poor prognosis for several types of cancer. Therefore, further mechanistic studies on the regulation of CCND3 expression are urgently needed to provide therapeutic implications. In this study, we report that a conserved RNA G-quadruplex-forming sequence (hereafter CRQ), located in the 5′ UTR of mammalian CCND3 mRNA, is able to fold into an extremely stable, intramolecular, parallel G-quadruplex in vitro. The CRQ G-quadruplex dramatically reduces the activity of a reporter gene in human cell lines, but it has little impact on its mRNA level, indicating a translational repression. Moreover, the CRQ sequence in its natural context inhibits translation of CCND3. Disruption of the G-quadruplex structure by G/U-mutation or deletion results in an elevated expression of CCND3 and an increased phosphorylation of Rb, a downstream target of CCND3, which promotes progression of cells through the G1 phase. Our results add to the growing understanding of the regulation of CCND3 expression and provide a potential therapeutic target for cancer treatment.
CCND3; RNA; cell cycle; quadruplex; translation
Profound alterations in immune responses associated with uremia and exacerbated by dialysis increase the risk of active tuberculosis (TB). Evidence of the long-term risk and outcome of active TB after acute kidney injury (AKI) is limited.
This population-based-cohort study used claim records retrieved from the Taiwan National Health Insurance database. We retrieved records of all hospitalized patients, more than 18 years, who underwent dialysis for acute kidney injury (AKI) during 1999–2008 and validated using the NSARF data. Time-dependent Cox proportional hazards model to adjust for the ongoing effect of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) was conducted to predict long-term de novo active TB after discharge from index hospitalization.
Out of 2,909 AKI dialysis patients surviving 90 days after index discharge, 686 did not require dialysis after hospital discharge. The control group included 11,636 hospital patients without AKI, dialysis, or history of TB. The relative risk of active TB in AKI dialysis patients, relative to the general population, after a mean follow-up period of 3.6 years was 7.71. Patients who did (hazard ratio [HR], 3.84; p<0.001) and did not (HR, 6.39; p<0.001) recover from AKI requiring dialysis had significantly higher incidence of TB than patients without AKI. The external validated data also showed nonrecovery subgroup (HR = 4.37; p = 0.049) had high risk of developing active TB compared with non-AKI. Additionally, active TB was associated with long-term all-cause mortality after AKI requiring dialysis (HR, 1.34; p = 0.032).
AKI requiring dialysis seems to independently increase the long-term risk of active TB, even among those who weaned from dialysis at discharge. These results raise concerns that the increasing global burden of AKI will in turn increase the incidence of active TB.
The placental hormone leptin has important functions in fetal and neonatal growth, and prevents depressed respiration in leptin-deficient mice. The effect of leptin on respiratory distress suffered by low birth weight and premature infants has been studied. However, it is unclear how leptin enhances lung maturity in the fetus and ameliorates neonatal respiratory distress. In the present study, we found that antenatal treatment with leptin for 2 d significantly enhanced the relative alveolus area and improved the maturity of fetal lungs in a rat model of fetal growth restriction (FGR). Mean birth weight and lung wet weight were higher in the leptin-treated group than in the PBS-treated group, indicating promotion of fetal growth. Leptin upregulated the intracellular expression and extracellular secretion of surfactant protein (SP) A in type-II alveolar epithelial cells (AECs) in vivo and in vitro. Dual positive effects of leptin were found on protein expression and transcriptional activity of thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF-1), a nuclear transcription essential for branching morphogenesis of the lung and expression of SP-A in type-II AECs. Knockdown of TTF-1 by RNA interference indicated that TTF-1 may play a vital role in leptin-induced SP-A expression. These results suggest that leptin may have great therapeutic potential for the treatment of FGR, and leptin-mediated SP-A induction and lung maturity of the fetus are TTF-1 dependent.
Magnetic nanoparticles heated by an alternating magnetic field could be used to treat cancers, either alone or in combination with radiotherapy or chemotherapy. However, direct intratumoral injections suffer from tumor incongruence and invasiveness, typically leaving undertreated regions, which lead to cancer regrowth. Intravenous injection more faithfully loads tumors, but, so far, it has been difficult achieving the necessary concentration in tumors before systemic toxicity occurs. Here, we describe use of a magnetic nanoparticle that, with a well-tolerated intravenous dose, achieved a tumor concentration of 1.9 mg Fe/g tumor in a subcutaneous squamous cell carcinoma mouse model, with a tumor to non-tumor ratio > 16. With an applied field of 38 kA/m at 980 kHz, tumors could be heated to 60°C in 2 minutes, durably ablating them with millimeter (mm) precision, leaving surrounding tissue intact.
magnetic nanoparticles; hyperthermia; cancer; alternating magnetic field; intravenous delivery
Liver cirrhosis may lead to portal-systemic collateral formation and bleeding. The hemostatic effect is influenced by the response of collateral vessels to vasoconstrictors. Diabetes and glucose also influence vasoresponsiveness, but their net effect on collaterals remains unexplored. This study investigated the impact of diabetes or glucose application on portal-systemic collateral vasoresponsiveness to arginine vasopressin (AVP) in cirrhosis. Spraque-Dawley rats with bile duct ligation (BDL)-induced cirrhosis received vehicle (citrate buffer) or streptozotocin (diabetic, BDL/STZ). The in situ collateral perfusion was done after hemodynamic measurements: Both were perfused with Krebs solution, D-glucose, or D-glucose and NaF, with additional OPC-31260 for the BDL/STZ group. Splenorenal shunt vasopressin receptors and Gα proteins mRNA expressions were evaluated. The survival rate of cirrhotic rats was decreased by STZ injection. The collateral perfusion pressure changes to AVP were lower in STZ-injected groups, which were reversed by OPC-31260 (a V2R antagonist) and overcome by NaF (a G protein activator). The splenorenal shunt V2R mRNA expression was increased while Gα proteins mRNA expressions were decreased in BDL/STZ rats compared to BDL rats. The Gαq and Gα11 mRNA expressions also correlated with the maximal perfusion pressure changes to AVP. Diabetes diminished the portal-systemic collateral vascular response to AVP in rats with BDL-induced cirrhosis, probably via V2 receptor up-regulation and Gα proteins down-regulation.
Angiogenesis is crucial for cancer initiation, development and metastasis. Identifying natural botanicals targeting angiogenesis has been paid much attention for drug discovery in recent years, with the advantage of increased safety. Isoliquiritigenin (ISL) is a dietary chalcone-type flavonoid with various anti-cancer activities. However, little is known about the anti-angiogenic activity of isoliquiritigenin and its underlying mechanisms. Herein, we found that ISL significantly inhibited the VEGF-induced proliferation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) at non-toxic concentration. A series of angiogenesis processes including tube formation, invasion and migration abilities of HUVECs were also interrupted by ISL in vitro. Furthermore, ISL suppressed sprout formation from VEGF-treated aortic rings in an ex-vivo model. Molecular mechanisms study demonstrated that ISL could significantly inhibit VEGF expression in breast cancer cells via promoting HIF-1α (Hypoxia inducible factor-1α) proteasome degradation and directly interacted with VEGFR-2 to block its kinase activity. In vivo studies further showed that ISL administration could inhibit breast cancer growth and neoangiogenesis accompanying with suppressed VEGF/VEGFR-2 signaling, elevated apoptosis ratio and little toxicity effects. Molecular docking simulation indicated that ISL could stably form hydrogen bonds and aromatic interactions within the ATP-binding region of VEGFR-2. Taken together, our study shed light on the potential application of ISL as a novel natural inhibitor for cancer angiogenesis via the VEGF/VEGFR-2 pathway. Future studies of ISL for chemoprevention or chemosensitization against breast cancer are thus warranted.
About 10% of Down syndrome (DS) infants are born with a transient myeloproliferative disorder (DS-TMD) that spontaneously resolves within the first few months of life. About 20%–30% of these infants subsequently develop acute megakaryoblastic leukemia (DS-AMKL). Somatic mutations leading to the exclusive production of a short GATA1 isoform (GATA1s) occur in all cases of DS-TMD and DS-AMKL. Mice engineered to exclusively produce GATA1s have marked megakaryocytic progenitor (MkP) hyperproliferation during early fetal liver (FL) hematopoiesis, but not during postnatal BM hematopoiesis, mirroring the spontaneous resolution of DS-TMD. The mechanisms that underlie these developmental stage–specific effects are incompletely understood. Here, we report a striking upregulation of type I IFN–responsive gene expression in prospectively isolated mouse BM- versus FL-derived MkPs. Exogenous IFN-α markedly reduced the hyperproliferation FL-derived MkPs of GATA1s mice in vitro. Conversely, deletion of the α/β IFN receptor 1 (Ifnar1) gene or injection of neutralizing IFN-α/β antibodies increased the proliferation of BM-derived MkPs of GATA1s mice beyond the initial postnatal period. We also found that these differences existed in human FL versus BM megakaryocytes and that primary DS-TMD cells expressed type I IFN–responsive genes. We propose that increased type I IFN signaling contributes to the developmental stage–specific effects of GATA1s and possibly the spontaneous resolution of DS-TMD.
The relations between dietary micronutrient, nutritional status and inflammation in hemodialysis patients are still unclear. A cross-sectional study was performed in hemodialysis population. 75 hemodialysis patients from South China participated in the dietary and nutritional assessment. Clinical and dietary data were collected. Nutritional status was assessed by Malnutrition-Inflammation Score (MIS) in addition to related anthropometric measurements. And according to the MIS score, the whole hemodialysis patients were divided into normal nutrition group and malnutrition group. The results showed that mid arm circumference (MAC) negatively correlated with MIS (r = −0.425; P = 0.002). The area under the ROC curve (AUC) for MAC was 0.737 (0.614–0.859). Comparing with the normal nutritional group, lower dietary selenium (Se), copper (Cu), iodine (I) and manganese (Mn) intake were observed among patients with malnutrition (P<0.05). While no significant differences of diverse vitamins were found. In conclusion, MAC was effective indicator for assessing nutritional and inflammatory status (P<0.05). The reduction of dietary Se, Cu, I and Mn intake level may be alarming markers for malnutrition and inflammatory status in hemodialysis patients.
The mechanisms and mediators underlying common renal impairment after myocardial infarction (MI) are still poorly understood. The present study aimed to test the hypothesis that angiotensin II type 1 receptor blockers (ARBs) provides renoprotective effects after MI by preventing augmented intrarenal renin-angiotensin-system (RAS)-induced podocyte injury. Sprague–Dawley rats that underwent ligation of their coronary arteries were treated with losartan (20 mg/kg/d) or vehicle for 3 or 9 weeks. Renal function, histology and molecular changes were assessed. The current study revealed that MI-induced glomerular podocyte injury was identified by increased immunostaining for desmin and p16ink4a, decreased immunostaining for Wilms’ tumor-1 and podocin mRNA expression, and an induced increase of blood cystatin C at both 3 and 9 weeks. These changes were associated with increased intrarenal angiotensin II levels and enhanced expressions of angiotensinogen mRNA and angiotensin II receptor mRNA and protein. These changes were also associated with decreased levels of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) and decreased expressions of IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R) protein and mRNA and phosphorylated(p)-Akt protein at 9 weeks, as well as increased expressions of 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine at both time points. Treatment with losartan significantly attenuated desmin- and p16ink4a-positive podocytes, restored podocin mRNA expression, and decreased blood cystatin C levels. Losartan also prevented RAS activation and oxidative stress and restored the IGF-1/IGF-1R/Akt pathway. In conclusion, ARBs prevent the progression of renal impairment after MI via podocyte protection, partially by inhibiting the activation of the local RAS with subsequent enhanced oxidative stress and an inhibited IGF-1/IGF-1R/Akt pathway.
Nogo-B, also known as Reticulon 4B, plays important roles in vascular injuries. Its function in the liver is not understood. The aim of this study was to characterize Nogo-B in liver fibrosis and cirrhosis. Nogo-B distribution was assessed in normal and cirrhotic human liver sections. We also determined the levels of liver fibrosis in wild-type (WT) and Nogo-A/B knockout (NGB KO) mice after sham operation or bile duct ligation (BDL). To investigate the mechanisms of Nogo-B’s involvement in fibrosis, hepatic stellate cells were isolated from WT and NGB KO mice and transformed into myofibroblasts. Portal pressure was measured to test whether Nogo-B gene deletion could ameliorate portal hypertension. In normal livers, Nogo-B expression was found in nonparenchymal cells, whereas its expression in hepatocytes was minimal. Nogo-B staining was significantly elevated in cirrhotic livers. Fibrosis was significantly increased in WT mice 4 weeks after BDL compared with NGB KO mice. The absence of Nogo-B significantly reduced phosphorylation of Smad2 levels upon transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) stimulation. Reconstitution of the Nogo-B gene into NGB KO fibroblasts restored Smad2 phosphorylation. Four weeks after BDL, portal pressure was significantly increased in WT mice by 47%, compared with sham-operated controls (P = 0.03), whereas such an increase in portal pressure was not observed in NGB KO mice (P = NS).
Nogo-B regulates liver fibrosis, at least in part, by facilitating the TGFβ/Smad2 signaling pathway in myofibroblasts. Because absence of Nogo-B ameliorates liver fibrosis and portal hypertension, Nogo-B blockade may be a potential therapeutic target in fibrosis/cirrhosis.
In solid tumors, where curative therapies still elude oncologists, novel paradigms are needed to assess the efficacy of new therapies and those already approved. We used radiologic measurements obtained in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma enrolled in a phase II study of the epothilone B analog, ixabepilone (Ixempra), to address this issue. Using a novel 2-phase mathematical equation, we used the radiologic measurements to estimate the concomitant rates of tumor regression and growth (regression and growth rate constants). Eighty-one patients were enrolled on the ixabepilone trial at the time of this analysis. Growth rate constants were determined using computed tomography measurements obtained exclusively while a patient was enrolled on study. The growth rate constants of renal cell carcinomas treated with ixabepilone were significantly reduced compared with those of tumors in patients who received placebo in a previous trial. Furthermore, a correlation with overall survival was found for both the growth rate constant and the initial tumor burden; and this correlation was even stronger when both the growth rate constant and the initial tumor burden were combined. The readily amenable mathematical model described herein has potential applications to many tumor types that can be assessed with imaging modalities. Because the growth rate constant seems to be a surrogate for survival, assessment could aid in the evaluation of relative efficacies of different therapies and perhaps in assessing the potential individual benefit of an experimental therapy.
RECIST; chemotherapy efficacy; cancer clinical trials; phase II studies; chemotherapy assessment; chemotherapy evaluation
C-reactive protein (CRP) is a biomarker of the inflammatory response, and it shows significant prognostic value for several types of solid tumors. The prognostic significance of CRP for lymphoma has not been fully examined. We evaluated the prognostic role of baseline serum CRP levels in patients with extranodal natural killer (NK)/T-cell lymphoma (ENKTL).
We retrospectively analyzed 185 patients with newly diagnosed ENKTL. The prognostic value of the serum CRP level was evaluated for the low-CRP group (CRP≤10 mg/L) versus the high-CRP group (CRP>10 mg/L). The prognostic value of the International Prognostic Index (IPI) and the Korean Prognostic Index (KPI) were evaluated and compared with the newly developed prognostic model.
Patients in the high-CRP group tended to display increased adverse clinical characteristics, lower rates of complete remission (P<0.001), inferior progression-free survival (PFS, P = 0.001), and inferior overall survival (OS, P<0.001). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that elevated serum CRP levels, age >60 years, hypoalbuminemia, and elevated lactate dehydrogenase levels were independent adverse predictors of OS. Based on these four independent predictors, we constructed a new prognostic model that identified 4 groups with varying OS: group 1, no adverse factors; group 2, 1 factor; group 3, 2 factors; and group 4, 3 or 4 factors (P<0.001). The novel prognostic model was found to be superior to both the IPI in discriminating patients with different outcomes in the IPI low-risk group and the KPI in distinguishing between the low- and intermediate-low-risk groups, the intermediate-low- and high-intermediate-risk groups, and the high-intermediate- and high-risk groups.
Our results suggest that pretreatment serum CRP levels represent an independent predictor of clinical outcome for patients with ENKTL. The prognostic value of the new prognostic model is superior to both IPI and KPI.
The genus Camellia, belonging to the family Theaceae, is economically important group in flowering plants. Frequent interspecific hybridization together with polyploidization has made them become taxonomically “difficult taxa”. The DNA content is often used to measure genome size variation and has largely advanced our understanding of plant evolution and genome variation. The goals of this study were to investigate patterns of interspecific and intraspecific variation of DNA contents and further explore genome size evolution in a phylogenetic context of the genus.
The DNA amount in the genus was determined by using propidium iodide flow cytometry analysis for a total of 139 individual plants representing almost all sections of the two subgenera, Camellia and Thea. An improved WPB buffer was proven to be suitable for the Camellia species, which was able to counteract the negative effects of secondary metabolite and generated high-quality results with low coefficient of variation values (CV) <5%. Our results showed trivial effects on different tissues of flowers, leaves and buds as well as cytosolic compounds on the estimation of DNA amount. The DNA content of C. sinensis var. assamica was estimated to be 1C = 3.01 pg by flow cytometric analysis, which is equal to a genome size of about 2940 Mb.
Intraspecific and interspecific variations were observed in the genus Camellia, and as expected, the latter was larger than the former. Our study suggests a directional trend of increasing genome size in the genus Camellia probably owing to the frequent polyploidization events.
In Taiwanese alternative medicine Lu-doh-huang (also called Pracparatum mungo), mung beans are mixed with various herbal medicines and undergo a 4-stage process of anaerobic fermentation. Here we used high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene to profile the bacterial community structure of Lu-doh-huang samples. Pyrosequencing of samples obtained at 7 points during fermentation revealed 9 phyla, 264 genera, and 586 species of bacteria. While mung beans were inside bamboo sections (stages 1 and 2 of the fermentation process), family Lactobacillaceae and genus Lactobacillus emerged in highest abundance; Lactobacillus plantarum was broadly distributed among these samples. During stage 3, the bacterial distribution shifted to family Porphyromonadaceae, and Butyricimonas virosa became the predominant microbial component. Thereafter, bacterial counts decreased dramatically, and organisms were too few to be detected during stage 4. In addition, the microbial compositions of the liquids used for soaking bamboo sections were dramatically different: Exiguobacterium mexicanum predominated in the fermented soybean solution whereas B. virosa was predominant in running spring water. Furthermore, our results from pyrosequencing paralleled those we obtained by using the traditional culture method, which targets lactic acid bacteria. In conclusion, the microbial communities during Lu-doh-huang fermentation were markedly diverse, and pyrosequencing revealed a complete picture of the microbial consortium.
Canine generalized demodicosis associated with hyperadrenocorticism is often problematic and might be intractable. The aim of this study was to report the efficacy of a weekly application of spot-on moxidectin/imidacloprid in dogs with hyperadrenocorticism and secondary generalized demodicosis.
Dogs with hyperadrenocorticism and secondary generalized demodicosis were included. The condition of hyperadrenocorticism was treated and stabilized with trilostane before and throughout the study period in all dogs.
Average total live adult mite counts before treatment and after four, eight and 12 weeks of spot-on moxidectin/imidacloprid (2.5/10 mg/kg) applications were 20.1 ± 6.3 (range, 13–33), 0.5 ± 0.7 (range, 0–2; 6/11 were negative), 0.2 ± 0.4 (range, 0–1; 9/11 were negative), 0.2 ± 0.4 (range, 0–1; 9/11 were negative) and 0.1 ± 0.3 (range, 0–1; 10/11 were negative) respectively; this difference was significant (P < 0.001). Ten of 11 dogs (90.1%) achieved clinical remission, as demonstrated by the absence of demodectic mites at any life stage at monthly scrapings for eight consecutive weeks, and maintained remission throughout the 12-month follow-up period.
The weekly application of spot-on moxidectin/imidacloprid appeared to be effective and safe against generalized adult onset canine demodicosis associated with hyperadrenocorticism.
Demodex canis; Demodicosis; Dog; Hyperadrenocorticism; Moxidectin
Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are capable of unlimited self-renewal and can generate almost all of the cells in the body. Although some pluripotency factors have been identified, much remains unclear regarding the molecules and mechanisms that regulate hESC self-renewal and pluripotency. In this study, we identified a mitochondrial gene, CBARA1, that is expressed in undifferentiated hESCs and that is down-regulated rapidly after cellular differentiation. To study its role in hESCs, endogenous CBARA1 expression was knocked down using shRNA. CBARA1 knockdown in hESCs resulted in down-regulation of Oct4 and Nanog expression, attenuated cell growth, and G0/G1 phase cell cycle arrest; however, knockdown did not noticeably affect apoptosis. Taken together, these results suggest that CBARA1 is a marker for undifferentiated hESCs that plays a role in maintaining stemness, cell cycle progression, and proliferation.
Extranodal natural killer/T-cell lymphoma (ENKL) has heterogeneous clinical manifestations and prognosis. This study aims to evaluate the prognostic impact of absolute monocyte count (AMC) in ENKL, and provide some immunologically relevant information for better risk stratification in patients with ENKL.
Retrospective data from 163 patients newly diagnosed with ENKL were analyzed. The absolute monocyte count (AMC) at diagnosis was analyzed as continuous and dichotomized variables. Independent prognostic factors of survival were determined by Cox regression analysis.
The AMC at diagnosis were related to overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with ENKL. Multivariate analysis identified AMC as independent prognostic factors of survival, independent of International Prognostic Index (IPI) and Korean prognostic index (KPI). The prognostic index incorporating AMC and absolute lymphocyte count (ALC), another surrogate factor of immune status, could be used to stratify all 163 patients with ENKL into different prognostic groups. For patients who received chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy (102 cases), the three AMC/ALC index categories identified patients with significantly different survivals. When superimposed on IPI or KPI categories, the AMC/ALC index was better able to identify high-risk patients in the low-risk IPI or KPI category.
The baseline peripheral monocyte count is shown to be an effective prognostic indicator of survival in ENKL patients. The prognostic index related to tumor microenvironment might be helpful to identify high-risk patients with ENKL.
Absolute monocyte count; Extranodal natural killer/T-cell lymphoma; Prognosis; Tumor microenvironment
Increased levels of intestinal vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are thought to worsen portal hypertension. The cause of the increase in the level of intestinal VEGF found during cirrhosis is not known.
To demonstrate a relationship between portal pressure (PP) and intestinal/plasma VEGF levels in different stages of fibrosis/cirrhosis.
Rats were exposed to carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) for 6, 8, and 12 weeks. At the end of exposure, the three groups of rats exhibited three different stages of pathology: non-cirrhotic, early fibrotic, and cirrhotic, respectively. For those rats and their age-matched controls, portal pressure and intestinal/plasma VEGF levels were measured.
Rats inhaling CCl4 for 12 weeks developed portal hypertension (18.02 +/ − 1.07 mmHg), while those exposed for 6 weeks (7.26 +/− 0.58 mmHg) and for 8 weeks (8.55 +/− 0.53 mmHg) did not. The rats exposed for 12 weeks also showed a 40% increase in the level of intestinal VEGF compared to the controls (P<0.05), while those rats exposed to CCl4 inhalation for 6 and 8 weeks did not. There was a significant positive correlation between PP and intestinal VEGF levels (r2=0.4, P<0.005). Plasma VEGF levels were significantly elevated in those rats exposed to 12 weeks of CCl4 inhalation (63.7 pg/ml, p<0.01), compared to the controls (8.5 pg/ml). However, no correlation was observed between PP and plasma VEGF levels.
Portal pressure modulates intestinal VEGF levels during the development of cirrhosis.
portal hypertension; eNOS; intestinal microcirculation
Four new secondary metabolites, 3α-((E)-Dodec-1-enyl)-4β-hydroxy-5β-methyldihydrofuran-2-one (1), linderinol (6), 4′-O-methylkaempferol 3-O-α-l-(4″-E-p-coumaroyl)rhamnoside (11) and kaempferol 3-O-α-l-(4″-Z-p-coumaroyl) rhamnoside (12) with eleven known compounds—3-epilistenolide D1 (2), 3-epilistenolide D2 (3), (3Z,4α,5β)-3-(dodec-11-ynylidene)-4-hydroxy-5-methylbutanolide (4), (3E,4β,5β)-3-(dodec-11-ynylidene)-4-hydroxy-5-methylbutanolide (5), matairesinol (7), syringaresinol (8), (+)-pinoresinol (9), salicifoliol (10), 4″-p-coumaroylafzelin (13), catechin (14) and epicatechin (15)—were first isolated from the aerial part of Lindera akoensis. Their structures were determined by detailed analysis of 1D- and 2D-NMR spectroscopic data. All of the compounds isolated from Lindera akoensis showed that in vitro anti-inflammatory activity decreases the LPS-stimulated production of nitric oxide (NO) in RAW 264.7 cell, with IC50 values of 4.1–413.8 μM.
Chinese herb; Lindera akoensis; butanolide; lignans; flavonoids; anti-inflammatory
The pathogenesis of the higher occurrence of peptic ulcer disease in cirrhotic patients is complex. Platelets can stimulate angiogenesis and promote gastric ulcer healing. We compared the expressions of proangiogenic growth factors and their receptors in the gastric ulcer margin between cirrhotic patients with thrombocytopenia and those of non-cirrhotic patients to elucidate possible mechanisms.
Eligible cirrhotic patients (n = 55) and non-cirrhotic patients (n = 55) who had gastric ulcers were enrolled. Mucosa from the gastric ulcer margin and non-ulcer areas were sampled and the mRNA expressions of the proangiogenic growth factors (vascular endothelial growth factor [VEGF], platelet derived growth factor [PDGF], basic fibroblast growth factor [bFGF]) and their receptors (VEGFR1, VEGFR2, PDGFRA, PDGFRB, FGFR1, FGFR2) were measured and compared. Platelet count and the expressions of these growth factors and their receptors were correlated with each other.
The two groups were comparable in terms of gender, ulcer size and infection rate of Helicobacter pylori. However, the cirrhotic group were younger in age, had a lower platelet count than those in the non-cirrhotic group (p<0.05). The cirrhotic patients had diminished mRNA expressions of PDGFB, VEGFR2, FGFR1, and FGFR2 in gastric ulcer margin when compared with those of the non-cirrhotic patients (p<0.05). Diminished expressions of PDGFB and VEGFR2, FGFR1, and FGFR2 were well correlated with the degree of thrombocytopenia in these cirrhotic patients (ρ>0.5, p<0.001).
Our findings implied that diminished activity of proangiogenic factors and their receptors may contribute to the pathogenesis of gastric ulcers in cirrhotic patients.