Chronic stress could trigger maladaptive changes associated with stress-related mental disorders, however, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. In this study, we found that exposing juvenile male rats to repeated stress significantly impaired the temporal order recognition memory, a cognitive process controlled by prefrontal cortex (PFC). Concomitantly, significantly reduced AMPAR- and NMDAR-mediated synaptic transmission and glutamate receptor expression were found in PFC pyramidal neurons from repeatedly stressed animals. All these effects relied on activation of glucocorticoid receptors and the subsequent enhancement of ubiquitin/proteasome-mediated degradation of GluR1 and NR1 subunits, which was controlled by the E3 ubiquitin ligase Nedd4-1 and Fbx2, respectively. Inhibition of proteasomes or knockdown of Nedd4-1 and Fbx2 in PFC prevented the loss of glutamatergic responses and recognition memory in stressed animals. Our results suggest that repeated stress dampens PFC glutamatergic transmission by facilitating glutamate receptor turnover, which causes the detrimental effect on PFC-dependent cognitive processes.
stress; corticosterone; glucocorticoid receptor; NMDA receptor; AMPA receptor; ubiquitination; degradation; recognition memory
To test the hypotheses that obesity due to a very high fat diet induces knee osteoarthritis, and that short-term wheel running exercise protects against obesity-induced knee osteoarthritis by reducing systemic inflammation and metabolic dysregulation.
Male C57BL/6J mice were fed either a control (13.5% kcal fat) or very high fat diet (60% kcal fat) from 12–24 wks of age. From 20–24 wks, half of the animals were housed with running wheels. Knee osteoarthritis severity was determined via histopathology, and serum cytokines were measured using a multiplex bead immunoassay and ELISAs. Body composition was quantified by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and insulin resistance was assessed by glucose tolerance testing.
A very high fat diet increased osteoarthritis scores and serum leptin, adiponectin, KC (mouse analog of IL-8), MIG (monokine induced by interferon-gamma, or CXCL9), and interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) levels in proportion to percent body fat, which increased 3-fold compared to controls. Wheel running reduced osteoarthritis progression in the medial femur of obese mice. Exercise disrupted the clustering of cytokine expression and improved glucose tolerance without reducing body fat or cytokine levels.
Obesity induced by a very high-fat diet causes osteoarthritis and systemic inflammation in proportion to body fat. Increased joint loading is not sufficient to explain the increased incidence of knee osteoarthritis with obesity as wheel running is protective rather than damaging. Exercise improves glucose tolerance and disrupts the co-expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, suggesting that increased aerobic exercise may act independent of weight loss in promoting joint health.
obesity; exercise; knee joint; inflammation; body fat; cartilage; proteoglycan
Chronic respiratory inflammation has been associated with lung cancer. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) play a critical role in the formation of inflammation microenvironment. We sought to characterize the role of TAMs in coal tar pitch extract (CTPE)-induced tumorigenic transformation of human bronchial epithelial cells and the underlying mechanisms.
The expression of TAMs-specific CD68 in lung cancer tissues and paired adjacent tissues from cancer patients was determined using immunostaining. Co-culture of human bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) and macrophage-like THP-1 cells were conducted to evaluate the promotive effect of macrophages on CTPE-induced tumorigenic transformation of BEAS-2B cells. BEAS-2B cells were first treated with 2.4 µg/mL CTPE for 72 hours. After removal of CTPE, the cells were continuously cultured either with or without THP-1 cells and passaged using trypsin-EDTA. Alterations of cell cycle, karyotype, colony formation in soft agar and tumor xenograft growth in nude mice of BEAS-2B cells at passages 10, 20 and 30, indicative of tumorigenecity, were determined, respectively. In addition, mRNA and protein levels of NF-κB in BEAS-2B cells were measured with RT-PCR and western blot, respectively. B(a)P was used as the positive control.
The over-expression of TAMs-specific CD68 around lung tumor tissues was detected and associated with lung cancer progression. The tumorigenic alterations of BEAS-2B cells including increase in cell growth rate, number of cells with aneuploidy, clonogenicity in soft agar, and tumor size in nude mice in vivo occurred at passage 10, becoming significant at passages 20 and 30 of the co-culture following CTPE removal in compared to BEAS-2B cells alone. In addition, the expression levels of NF-κB in BEAS-2B cells were positively correlated to the malignancy of BEAS-2B cells under different conditions of treatment.
The presence of macrophages facilitated CTPE-induced tumorigenic transformation of BEAS-2B cells, which may be mediated by NF-κB.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is defined by the degeneration of nigral dopaminergic (DA) neurons and can be caused by monogenic mutations of genes such as parkin. The lack of phenotype in parkin knockout mice suggests that human nigral DA neurons have unique vulnerabilities. Through the generation and analyses of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from normal subjects and PD patients with parkin mutations, we show here that loss of parkin in human midbrain DA neurons greatly increased the transcription of monoamine oxidases and oxidative stress, significantly reduced DA uptake and increased spontaneous DA release. Lentiviral expression of parkin, but not its PD-linked mutant, rescued all the phenotypes. The results suggest that parkin controls dopamine utilization in human midbrain DA neurons by enhancing the precision of dopaminergic neurotransmission and suppressing dopamine oxidation. Thus, the study provides novel targets and a physiologically relevant screening platform for disease-modifying therapies of PD.
The core protein (HBc) of hepatitis B virus (HBV) has been implicated in the malignant transformation of chronically-infected hepatocytes and displays pleiotropic functions, including RNA- and DNA-binding activities. However, the mechanism by which HBc interacts with the human genome to exert effects on hepatocyte function remains unknown. This study investigated the distribution of HBc binding to promoters in the human genome and evaluated its effects on the related genes’ expression.
Whole-genome chromatin immunoprecipitation microarray (ChIP-on-chip) analysis was used to identify HBc-bound human gene promoters. Gene Ontology and pathway analyses were performed on related genes. The quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay was used to verify ChIP-on-chip results. Five novel genes were selected for luciferase reporter assay evaluation to assess the influence of HBc promoter binding. The HBc antibody immunoprecipitated approximately 3100 human gene promoters. Among these, 1993 are associated with known biological processes, and 2208 regulate genes with defined molecular functions. In total, 1286 of the related genes mediate primary metabolic processes, and 1398 encode proteins with binding activity. Sixty-four of the promoters regulate genes related to the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways, and 41 regulate Wnt/beta-catenin pathway genes. The reporter gene assay indicated that HBc binding up-regulates proto-oncogene tyrosine-protein kinase (SRC), type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF1R), and neurotrophic tyrosine kinase receptor 2 (NTRK2), and down-regulates v-Ha-ras Harvey rat sarcoma viral oncogene (HRAS).
HBc has the ability to bind a large number of human gene promoters, and can disrupt normal host gene expression. Manipulation of the transcriptional profile in HBV-infected hepatocytes may represent a key pathogenic mechanism of HBV infection.
Hepatitis B virus; Hepatitis B core protein; Chromatin immunoprecipitation microarray; ChIP-on-chip; Gene expression; DNA-protein interaction
RACK1 (Receptor for Activated C-Kinase 1), an anchoring protein that shuttles activated PKC to cellular membranes, plays an important role in PKC-mediated signal transduction pathways. A significant loss of RACK1 has been found in the brain of aging animals and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients, which implicates the potential involvement of RACK1 in altered PKC activation associated with dementia. Our previous studies have demonstrated that GABAergic inhibition in prefrontal cortex, which is important for cognitive processes like “working memory”, is regulated by muscarinic receptors via a PKC-dependent mechanism, and this effect is impaired by β-amyloid peptide (Aβ). In this study, we found that Aβ oligomers decreased RACK1 distribution in the membrane fraction of cortical neurons. Moreover, overexpression of RACK1 rescued the effect of muscarinic receptors on GABAergic transmission in Aβ-treated cortical cultures in vitro and Aβ-injected cortical neurons in vivo. These results suggest that the Aβ-induced loss of RACK1 distribution in the cell membrane may underlie the Aβ impairment of muscarinic regulation of PKC and GABAergic transmission. Thus, RACK1 provides a potential therapeutic target that can restore some of the impaired cellular processes by Aβ.
Aβ; RACK1; PKC; muscarinic acetylcholine receptors; IPSC; Sindbis virus; stereotaxic injection
Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection causes cervical cancer and premalignant lesions of the cervix. Prevalence of HPV infection and HPV genotypes vary among different regions. However there is no data on the prevalence of HPV infection and HPV genotypes from southwest China. This study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of and risk factors for HR-HPV infection in Qujing of Yunnan province, southwest China to provide comprehensive baseline data for future screening strategies.
A sample of 5936 women was chosen by the multi-stage stratified cluster sampling method with selection probabilities proportional to size (PPS). An epidemiological questionnaire was conducted via a face-to-face interview and cervical specimens were taken for HPV DNA testing by Digene Hybrid Capture 2 (HC2) test. HPV Genotyping Reverse Hybridization Test was used for HPV genotyping. Proportions were compared by Chi-squared tests, and logistic regression was utilized to evaluate risk factors.
The median age was 38 years and the inter-quartile range was from 31 years to 47 years. 97.3% of the study population was Han nationality. Overall prevalence of HR-HPV infection was 8.3% (494/5936) and bimodal age distribution of HPV infection was observed. The five most prevalent HR-HPV genotypes were HPV-16(3.4%), HPV-56(1.7%), HPV-58(1.4%), HPV-33(1.2%) and HPV-52(0.88%). Multiple HPV infections were identified in 50.5% (208/412) of the positive genotyping specimens. Multivariate logistic regression model indicated that parity (OR = 1.35, 95% CI: 1.18-1.53, p < 0.0001) was a risk factor for HR-HPV infection, and age of 50–65 years (OR = 0.60, 95% CI: 0.45-0.80, p = 0.0005), being married or in stable relationship (OR = 0.55, 95% CI: 0.31-0.96, p = 0.035) were protective factors.
This study provided baseline data on HR-HPV prevalence in the general female population in Qujing of Yunnan province, southwest China. The finding of multiple HPV infections and bimodal age distribution revealed that HPV screening is necessary for perimenopausal women in future.
Human papillomavirus; Genotype; Cervix; Epidemiology; China
A highly sensitive amperometric sulfadiazine sensor fabricated by electrochemical deposition of poly(cobalt tetraaminophthalocyanine) (poly(CoIITAPc)) on the surface of a multi-walled carbon nanotubes-Nafion (MWCNTs-Nafion) modified electrode is described. This electrode showed a very attractive performance by combining the advantages of CoIITAPc, MWCNTs, and Nafion. Compared with the bare glassy carbon electrode (GCE) and the MWCNTs-Nafion modified electrode, the electrocatalytic activity of poly(CoIITAPc)-coated MWCNTs-Nafion GCE generated greatly improved electrochemical detections toward sulfadiazine including low oxidation potential, high current responses, and good anti-fouling performance. The oxidation peak currents of sulfadiazine obtained on the new modified electrode increased linearly while increasing the concentration of sulfadiazine from 0.5 to 43.5 μmol/L with the detection limit of 0.17 μmol/L.
Sulfadiazine; Electrochemical detection; Cobalt tetraaminophthalocyanine; Multi-walled carbon nanotubes
Endurance exercise promotes skeletal muscle adaptation, and exercise-induced peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ co-activator-1α (Pgc-1α) gene expression may play a pivotal role in the adaptive processes. Recent applications of mouse genetic models and in vivo imaging in exercise studies started to delineate the signaling-transcription pathways that are involved in the regulation of the Pgc-1α gene. These studies revealed the importance of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/activating transcription factor 2 (ATF2) and protein kinase D (PKD)/histone deacetylase 5 (HDAC5) signaling transcription axes in exercise-induced Pgc-1α transcription and metabolic adaptation in skeletal muscle. The signaling/transcription network that is responsible for exercise-induced skeletal muscle adaption remains to be fully elucidated.
exercise; skeletal muscle; fiber type transformation; angiogenesis; mitochondrial biogenesis; signal transduction; transcription; p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase; peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ co-activator-1α
To describe the characteristics of modulation transfer function (MTF) of anterior corneal surface, and obtain the the normal reference range of MTF at different spatial frequencies and optical zones of the anterior corneal surface in myopes.
Four hundred eyes from 200 patients were examined under SIRIUS corneal topography system. Phoenis analysis software was applied to simulate the MTF curves of anterior corneal surface at vertical and horizontal meridians at the 3, 4, 5, 6, 7mm optical zones of cornea. The MTF values at spatial frequencies of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55 and 60 cycles/degree (c/d) were selected.
The MTF curve of anterior corneal surface decreased rapidly from low to intermediate frequency (0-15cpd) at various optical zones of cornea, the value decreased to 0 slowly at higher frequency (>15cpd). With the increase of the optical zones of cornea, MTF curve decreased gradually. 3) In the range of 3 mm- 6 mm optical zones of the cornea, the MTF values measured at horizontal meridian were greater than the corresponding values at horizontal meridian of each spatial frequency, the difference was statistically significant (P<0.05). At 7 mm optical zones of cornea, the MTF values measured at horizontal meridian were less than the corresponding values at vertical meridian at 10-60 spatial frequencies(cpd), and the difference was statistically significant in 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50 cpd (P<0.05).
MTF can be used to describe the imaging quality of optical systems at anterior corneal surface objectively in detail.
modulation transfer function; optical quality; cornea; point spread function; optical transfer function; phase transfer function
HLA-DRB1 alleles associated with risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) encode similar HLA-DRβ(1 sequences referred to as the “shared epitope” (SE). The most common SE sequences are QKRAA and QRRAA. A substantial number of RA patients, nevertheless, lack the SE. Bi-directional fetal-maternal trafficking results in long-term persistence of fetal cells in the mother and maternal cells in her offspring, referred to as microchimerism (Mc). We asked whether RA patients who lack the SE can acquire the SE through Mc.
We developed specific real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) assays for the SE encoded sequences QKRAA and QRRAA. DNA extracted from peripheral blood mononuclear cells was tested with the SE-specific qPCR assays. A total of 86 subjects who were negative for the SE were studied, 52 women with RA and 34 healthy women.
Mc with the SE was found significantly more often in RA patients than controls, odds ratio 4.1, 95% CI 1.6-10.0, p=0.003. Concentrations of SE Mc were also significantly higher among RA patients than controls, p=0.002. When analyzed separately for SE type, the prevalence of QKRAA Mc in RA vs. healthy women respectively was 17% vs. 3% (9/52 vs. 1/34, p=0.03) and of QRRAA 40% vs. 18% (21/52 vs. 6/34, p=0.04). Mc concentrations were also higher in RA than healthy subjects for QKRAA (p=0.03) and QRRAA (p=0.03).
Results indicate RA patients who genotypically lack the SE can acquire the SE as persistent Mc from maternal-fetal cell exchange and suggest SE-encoding Mc could be a risk factor for RA.
microchimerism; shared epitope; rheumatoid arthritis; HLA
Evidence is emerging that the PGC-1 coactivators serve a critical role in skeletal muscle metabolism, function, and disease. Mice with total PGC-1 deficiency in skeletal muscle (PGC-1α−/−βf/f/MLC-Cre mice) were generated and characterized. PGC-1α−/−βf/f/MLC-Cre mice exhibit a dramatic reduction in exercise performance compared to single PGC-1α- or PGC-1β-deficient mice and wild-type controls. The exercise phenotype of the PGC-1α−/−βf/f/MLC-Cre mice was associated with a marked diminution in muscle respiratory capacity and mitochondrial structural derangements consistent with fusion/fission and biogenic defects together with rapid depletion of muscle glycogen stores during exercise. Surprisingly, the skeletal muscle fiber type profile of the PGC-1α−/−βf/f/MLC-Cre mice was not significantly different than the wild-type mice. Moreover, insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance were not altered in the PGC-1α−/−βf/f/MLC-Cre mice. Taken together, we conclude that PGC-1 coactivators are necessary for the oxidative and mitochondrial programs of skeletal muscle but are dispensable for fundamental fiber type determination and insulin sensitivity.
In preclinical models of peripheral arterial disease the angiogenic response is typically robust, though it can be impaired in conditions such as hypercholesterolemia and diabetes where the endothelium is dysfunctional. Myoglobin (Mb) is expressed exclusively in striated muscle cells. We hypothesized that myocyte specific overexpression of myoglobin attenuates ischemia-induced angiogenesis even in the presence of normal endothelium.
Methods and Results
Mb overexpressing transgenic (MbTg, n=59) and wild-type (WT, n=56) C57Bl/6 mice underwent unilateral femoral artery ligation/excision. Perfusion recovery was monitored using Laser Doppler. Ischemia-induced changes in muscle were assessed by protein and immunohistochemistry assays. Nitrite/nitrate and protein-bound NO, and vasoreactivity was measured. Vasoreactivity was similar between MbTg and WT. In ischemic muscle, at d14 postligation, MbTg increased VEGF-A, and activated eNOS the same as WT mice but nitrate/nitrite were reduced whereas protein-bound NO was higher. MbTg had attenuated perfusion recovery at d21 (0.37±0.03 versus 0.47±0.02, P<0.05), d28 (0.40±0.03 versus 0.50±0.04, P<0.05), greater limb necrosis (65.2% versus 15%, P<0.001), a lower capillary density, and greater apoptosis versus WT.
Increased Mb expression in myocytes attenuates angiogenesis after hind-limb ischemia by binding NO and reducing its bioavailability. Myoglobin can modulate the angiogenic response to ischemia even in the setting of normal endothelium.
angiogenesis; animal models of human disease; genetically altered mice; endothelium/vascular type/nitric oxide
OBJECTIVE: To assess whether the relationship between abnormal fasting plasma glucose (FPG) levels and patient outcomes holds for both older men and older women with acute myocardial infarction (AMI).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: From April 1, 2004, to October 31, 2006, a total of 2016 consecutive older patients (age ≥65 years) presenting with AMI were screened. Of these patients, 1854 were consecutively enrolled in the study. Patients were categorized into 4 groups: the hypoglycemic group (FPG, ≤90.0 mg/dL [to convert to mmol/L, multiply by 0.0555]; n=443, 23.9%), the euglycemic group (FPG, 90.1-126.0 mg/dL; n=812, 43.8%), the mildly hyperglycemic group (FPG, 126.1-162.0 mg/dL; n=308, 16.6%), and the severely hyperglycemic group (FPG, ≥162.1 mg/dL; n=291, 15.7%). The primary outcomes were rates of in-hospital and 3-year mortality.
RESULTS: Female patients were older and had a higher incidence of diabetes mellitus but lower rates of smoking and use of invasive therapy. Men tended to have a higher frequency of hypoglycemia, whereas women tended to have a higher frequency of hyperglycemia. No significant difference was found in in-hospital (10.9% vs 9.1%; P=.36) or 3-year (24.5% vs 24.5%; P=.99) mortality between male and female patients, and FPG-associated mortality did not vary significantly by sex.
CONCLUSION: An increased FPG level was associated with a relatively higher risk of in-hospital mortality in men but not in women. Nonetheless, increased and decreased FPG levels at admission could predict higher mortality rates regardless of sex. There was a striking U-shaped relationship between FPG levels and in-hospital and 3-year mortality. The effect of abnormal FPG level on outcomes among older patients with AMI did not vary significantly by sex.
An increased fasting plasma glucose level was associated with a relatively higher risk of in-hospital mortality in men but not in women. Nonetheless, increased and decreased fasting plasma glucose levels at admission could predict higher mortality rates regardless of sex.
Corticosteroid stress hormones have a strong impact on the function of prefrontal cortex (PFC), a central region controlling cognition and emotion, though the underlying mechanisms are elusive. We found that behavioral stressor or short-term corticosterone treatment in vitro induces a delayed and sustained potentiation of the synaptic response and surface expression of NMDARs and AMPARs in PFC pyramidal neurons via a mechanism depending on the induction of serum- and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase (SGK) and the activation of Rab4, which mediates receptor recycling between early endosomes and the plasma membrane. Working memory, a key function relying on glutamatergic transmission in PFC, is enhanced in acutely stressed animals via a SGK-dependent mechanism. These results suggest that acute stress, by activating glucocorticoid receptors (GRs), increases the trafficking and function of NMDARs and AMPARs via SGK/Rab4 signaling, which leads to the potentiated synaptic transmission, thereby facilitating cognitive processes mediated by the PFC.
acute stress; corticosterone; NMDA receptors; AMPA receptors; SGK; Rab4; working memory
Pax7 is a target of two miRNAs that are induced during muscle satellite cell differentiation and repressed in response to muscle injury.
Skeletal muscle satellite cells are adult stem cells responsible for postnatal skeletal muscle growth and regeneration. Paired-box transcription factor Pax7 plays a central role in satellite cell survival, self-renewal, and proliferation. However, how Pax7 is regulated during the transition from proliferating satellite cells to differentiating myogenic progenitor cells is largely unknown. In this study, we find that miR-1 and miR-206 are sharply up-regulated during satellite cell differentiation and down-regulated after muscle injury. We show that miR-1 and miR-206 facilitate satellite cell differentiation by restricting their proliferative potential. We identify Pax7 as one of the direct regulatory targets of miR-1 and miR-206. Inhibition of miR-1 and miR-206 substantially enhances satellite cell proliferation and increases Pax7 protein level in vivo. Conversely, sustained Pax7 expression as a result of the loss of miR-1 and miR-206 repression elements at its 3′ untranslated region significantly inhibits myoblast differentiation. Therefore, our experiments suggest that microRNAs participate in a regulatory circuit that allows rapid gene program transitions from proliferation to differentiation.
Serotonin exerts a powerful influence on neuronal excitability. In this study, we investigated the effects of serotonin on different neuronal populations in prefrontal cortex (PFC), a major area controlling emotion and cognition. Using whole-cell recordings in PFC slices, we found that bath application of 5-HT dose-dependently increased the firing of FS (fast spiking) interneurons, and decreased the firing of pyramidal neurons. The enhancing effect of 5-HT in FS interneurons was mediated by 5-HT2 receptors, while the reducing effect of 5-HT in pyramidal neurons was mediated by 5-HT1 receptors. Fluoxetine, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, also induced a concentration-dependent increase in the excitability of FS interneurons, but had little effect on pyramidal neurons. In rats with chronic fluoxetine treatment, the excitability of FS interneurons was significantly increased, while pyramidal neurons remained unchanged. Fluoxetine injection largely occluded the enhancing effect of 5-HT in FS interneurons, but did not alter the reducing effect of 5-HT in pyramidal neurons. These data suggest that the excitability of PFC interneurons and pyramidal neurons is regulated by exogenous 5-HT in an opposing manner, and FS interneurons are the major target of Fluoxetine. It provides a framework for understanding the action of 5-HT and antidepressants in altering PFC network activity.
The density of GABAA receptors (GABAARs) at synapses regulates brain excitability, and altered inhibition may contribute to Huntington’s disease, which is caused by a polyglutamine repeat in the protein huntingtin. However, the machinery that delivers GABAARs to synapses is unknown. We demonstrate that GABAARs are trafficked to synapses by the kinesin family motor protein 5 (KIF5). We identify the adaptor linking the receptors to KIF5 as the huntingtin associated protein 1 (HAP1). Disrupting the HAP1-KIF5 complex decreases synaptic GABAAR number, and reduces the amplitude of inhibitory postsynaptic currents. When huntingtin is mutated as in Huntington’s disease, GABAAR transport and inhibitory synaptic currents are reduced. Thus, HAP1-KIF5 dependent GABAAR trafficking is a fundamental mechanism controlling the strength of synaptic inhibition in the brain. Its disruption by mutant huntingtin may explain some of the defects in brain information processing occurring in Huntington’s disease, and provides a new molecular target for therapeutic approaches.
Thymosin alpha 1 (Tα1) has immunomodulatory and anti-tumor effects in patients and has been commercialized in worldwide. An innovative technique is therefore impending to achieve high-yield expression and purification of Tα1 to meet the increasing requirements for clinical applications. Tα1 can enhance T cells, dendritic cells and antibody responses, and also augment an anti-tumor immune response. In the current study, we developed a novel technique to produce Tα1 concatemer and investigated its capability in anti-tumor immunotherapy. We expressed the recombinant 2×Tα1 concatemer protein (Tα1② protein) in Escherichia coli. The purity of Tα1② was higher than 95% as assessed by HPLC analysis. In vitro, Tα1② could stimulate the proliferation of mouse splenic lymphocyte, and increase the apoptosis of tumor cell lines. In vivo, Tα1② significantly inhibited the tumor growth in B16 tumor-bearing mice. Compared with Tα1, the Tα1② is of more effective bioactivity than Tα1. The purified Tα1② is a promising substitute for synthetic Tα1 because of its potent anti-tumor effects. We concluded that the expression system for Tα1 concatemer was constructed successfully, which could serves as a highly efficient tool for the production of large quantities of the highly active protein.
Thymosin alpha 1; concatemer; protein expression; purification; tumor suppression
A convenient competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for ciprofloxacin (CPFX) was developed by using rabbit monoclonal antibodies (RabMAbs) against a hapten-protein conjugate of CPFX-bovine serum albumin (BSA). The indirect competitive ELISA of CPFX had a concentration at 50% inhibition (IC50) of 1.47 ng/ml and a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.095 ng/ml. The mAb exhibited some cross-reactivity, however, not so high with enrofloxacin (28.8%), ofloxacin (13.1%), norfloxacin (11.0%), fleroxacin (22.6%), and pefloxacin (20.4%). And it showed almost no cross-reactivity with other antibiotics or sulfonamides evaluated in this study. The competitive ELISA kit developed here could be used as a screening tool to detect and control illegal addition of CPFX in food products. This kit had been applied to milk detection and the recovery rates from samples spiked by CPFX were in a range of 63.02%–84.60%, with coefficients of variation of less than 12.2%.
Ciprofloxacin; Competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA); Rabbit monoclonal antibody; Residues; Cross-reactivity
Synaptic spines are dynamic structures that regulate neuronal responsiveness and plasticity. Here we describe a role for the schizophrenia risk factor, Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1), in the maintenance of spine morphology and function. We show that DISC1 anchors Kalirin-7 (Kal-7) thereby regulating access of Kal-7 to Rac1 and so controlling the duration and intensity of Rac1 activation in response to NMDA receptor activation in cortical culture as well as in vivo brain. This offers explanation for why Rac1 and its activator (Kal-7) serve as key mediators of spine enlargement and that constitutive Rac1 activation decreases spine size. This novel mechanism likely underlies disturbances in glutamatergic neurotransmission frequently reported in schizophrenia that can lead to alteration of dendritic spines with consequential major pathological changes in brain function. Furthermore, the concept of a “signalosome” involving disease-associated factors, such as DISC1 and glutamate, may well contribute to the multifactorial and polygenetic characteristics of schizophrenia.
Studies over the past decade have enunciated silent synapses as prominent cellular substrates for synaptic plasticity in the developing brain. However, little is known about whether silent synapses can be generated post-developmentally. Here, we demonstrate that highly salient in vivo experience, such as exposure to cocaine, generates silent synapses in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell, a key brain region mediating addiction-related learning and memory. Furthermore, this cocaine-induced generation of silent synapses is mediated by membrane insertions of new, NR2B–containing N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptors (NMDARs). These results provide evidence that silent synapses can be generated de novo by in vivo experience and thus may act as highly efficient neural substrates for the subsequent experience-dependent synaptic plasticity underlying extremely long-lasting memory.
silent synapse; NMDA receptor; NR2B; cocaine; accumbens
Calorie restriction (CR) and endurance exercise are known to attenuate obesity and improve the metabolic syndrome. The aim of this study was to directly compare the effects of CR and endurance exercise in a mouse model of diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance.
Adult male C57BL/6N mice were randomly assigned and subjected to one of the six interventions for 8 weeks: low-fat diet (LC, 10% fat), low-fat diet with 30% calorie restriction (LR), high-fat diet (HC, 60% fat), high-fat diet with 30% calorie restriction (HR), high-fat diet with voluntary running exercise (HE), and high-fat diet with a combination of 30% calorie restriction and exercise (HRE). The impacts of the interventions were assessed by comprehensive metabolic analyses and pro-inflammatory cytokine gene expression.
Endurance exercise significantly attenuated high-fat diet-induced obesity. CR dramatically prevented high-fat diet-induced metabolic abnormalities. A combination of CR and endurance exercise further reduced obesity and insulin resistance under the condition of high-fat diet. CR and endurance exercise each potently suppressed the expression of inflammatory cytokines in white adipose tissues with additive effects when combined, but the effects of diet and exercise interventions in the liver were moderate to minimal.
CR and endurance exercise share a potent anti-inflammatory function in adipose tissues in ameliorating diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance.
The N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) is a Ca2+-permeable glutamate receptor mediating many neuronal functions under normal and pathological conditions. Ca2+-influx via NMDARs activates diverse intracellular targets, including Ca2+-dependent protease calpain. Biochemical studies suggest that NR2A and NR2B subunits of NMDARs are substrates of calpain. Our physiological data showed that calpain, activated by prolonged NMDA treatment (100 µM, 5 min) of cultured cortical neurons, irreversibly decreased the whole-cell currents mediated by extrasynaptic NMDARs. Animals exposed to transient forebrain ischemia, a condition that activates calpain, exhibited the reduced NMDAR current density and the lower full-length NR2A/B level in a calpain-dependent manner. Disruption of the association between NMDARs and the scaffolding protein PSD-95 facilitated the calpain regulation of synaptic NMDAR responses and NR2 cleavage in cortical slices, while inhibition of calcineurin activity blocked the calpain effect on NMDAR currents and NR2 cleavage. Calpain-cleaved NR2B subunits were removed from the cell surface. Moreover, cell viability assays showed that calpain, by targeting NMDARs, provided a negative feedback to dampen neuronal excitability in excitotoxic conditions. These data suggest that calpain activation suppresses NMDAR function via proteolytic cleavage of NR2 subunits in vitro and in vivo, and the susceptibility of NMDARs to calpain cleavage is controlled by PSD-95 and calcineurin.
Long-term exercise is associated with reduced atherosclerotic burden, inflammation, and enhanced endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) levels in mice. Infusion of progenitor cells in mice decreases atherosclerosis and suppresses inflammation. The aim of this study was to determine whether exercise-induced enhancement of EPCs is associated with reduced atherosclerosis and inflammation. To study this, 20-week old ApoE−/− mice with advanced atherosclerotic lesions (n = 12/group) were randomized to voluntary running or no running for 8 weeks. Exercise led to a potent suppression of elevated circulating proinflammatory cytokines without significant reduction of atherosclerotic lesions. When repeated in ApoE−/− mice with early atherosclerotic disease, exercise led to a 62% (p = 0.017) reduction in lesion thickness (intima-to-media ratio) at the aortic root. Interestingly, BM-EPC levels were significantly elevated under proinflammatory conditions seen in ApoE−/− mice and decreased in response to exercise, independent of the degree of atherosclerosis. Under early atherosclerotic conditions, long-term exercise reduces atherosclerotic plaque burden and is associated with reduced systemic inflammation. Elevated BM-EPCs seen in atherosclerotic conditions may be a marker of generalized vascular inflammation or injury, and decrease in response to exercise, along with other markers of inflammation. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 11, 15–23.