Matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2) has been reported to be an important regulator of cell migration and invasion through degradation of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in many diseases, such as cancer and endometriosis. Here, we found calcium-activated neutral protease 7 (CAPN 7) expression was markedly upregulated in the eutopic endometrium and endometrial stromal cells of women diagnosed with endometriosis. Our studies were carried out to detect the effects of CAPN 7 on human endometrial stromal cell (hESC) migration and invasion.
Western blotting and quantitative real-time PCR were used to detect the expression of CAPN 7 in endometriosis patients and normal fertile women. Scratch-wound-healing and invasion chamber assay were used to investigate the role of CAPN 7 in hESC migration and invasion. Western blotting, quantitative real-time PCR and zymography were carried out to detect the effect of CAPN 7 on the expressions and activity of MMP-2.
CAPN 7 was markedly up-regulated in endometriosis, thereby promoting the migration and invasion of hESC. CAPN 7 overexpression led to increased expression of MMP-2 and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases 2 (TIMP-2); CAPN 7 knockdown reversed these changes. CAPN 7 increased MMP-2 activity by increasing the ratio of MMP-2 to TIMP-2. We also found that OA-Hy (an MMP-2 inhibitor) decreased the effects of CAPN 7 overexpression on hESC migration and invasion by approximately 50% and 55%, respectively. Additionally, a coimmunoprecipitation assay demonstrated that CAPN 7 interacted with activator protein 2α (AP-2α): an important transcription factor of MMP-2.
CAPN 7 promotes hESC migration and invasion by increasing the activity of MMP-2 via an increased ratio of MMP-2 to TIMP-2.
CAPN 7; Endometrial stromal cell; Migration; Invasion
Many clinicians and hepatitis B virus (HBV)-infected pregnant women prefer elective caesarean section (ECS) to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HBV, since some studies found higher transmission of HBV in infants born by vaginal delivery (VD) than by cesarean section. However, other studies showed that ECS does not reduce the risk of being infected with HBV in infants. In this study, we aimed to clarify whether ECS may reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HBV.
Totally 546 children (1–7-year-old) born to 544 HBsAg-positive mothers from 15 cities and rural areas across Jiangsu Province, China, were enrolled. Of these children, 137 (2 pairs of twins) were born to HBeAg-positive mothers; 285 were delivered by ECS and 261 others by VD (one pair of twin in each group). HBV serologic markers were tested by enzyme or microparticle immunoassay.
The maternal and gestational ages, maternal HBeAg-positive rates, and children’s ages, gender ratios, hepatitis B vaccine coverage and administrations of HBIG were comparable between ECS and VD groups (all p >0.05). The overall prevalence of HBsAg in the 546 children was 2.4%, with 2.5% (7/285) and 2.3% (6/261) in those born by ECS and VD respectively (p = 0.904). Further comparison of chronic HBV infection in the 137 children of HBeAg-positive mothers showed that the HBsAg-positive rates in ECS and VD groups were 10.3% (7/68) and 8.7% (6/69) respectively (p = 0.750), while the mothers had similar HBV DNA levels (2.38 × 106 vs. 2.35 × 106 IU/ml, p = 0.586). Additionally, the overall rate of anti-HBs ≥10 mIU/ml in the children was 71.6%, with 72.3% and 70.9% in those born by ECS and VD respectively (p = 0.717).
With the recommended immunoprophylaxis against hepatitis B, ECS does not reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HBV. Therefore, ECS should not be used in HBsAg-positive pregnant women to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HBV.
Hepatitis B virus; Mother-to-child transmission; Vaginal delivery; Caesarean section
Activin, a member of the transforming growth factor-β superfamily, promotes the growth of preantral follicles and the proliferation of granulosa cells. However, little is known about the role of microRNAs in activin-mediated granulosa cell proliferation. Here, we reported a dose- and time-dependent suppression of microRNA-181a (miR-181a) expression by activin A in mouse granulosa cells (mGC). Overexpression of miR-181a in mGC suppressed activin receptor IIA (acvr2a) expression by binding to its 3′-untranslated region (3′-UTR), resulting in down-regulation of cyclin D2 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen expression, leading to inhibition of the cellular proliferation, while overexpression of acvr2a attenuated the suppressive effect of miR-181a on mGC proliferation. Consistent with the inhibition of acvr2a expression, miR-181a prevented the phosphorylation of the activin intracellular signal transducer, mothers against decapentaplegic homolog 2 (Smad2), leading to the inactivation of activin signaling pathway. Interestingly, we found that miR-181a expression decreased in ovaries of mice at age of 8, 12, and 21 days, as compared with that in ovaries of 3-day old mice, and its level was reduced in preantral and antral follicles of mice compared with that in primary ones. Moreover, the level of miR-181a in the blood of patients with premature ovarian failure was significantly increased compared with that in normal females. This study identifies an interplay between miR-181a and acvr2a, and reveals an important role of miR-181a in regulating granulosa cell proliferation and ovarian follicle development.
Many clinicians do not encourage breastfeeding in hepatitis B virus (HBV) carriers, since HBV DNA can be detected in breast milk and breast lesions may increase exposure of infants to HBV. The aim of this study was to determine whether breastfeeding may add risk for perinatal HBV transmission.
Totally 546 children (1–7-year-old) of 544 HBV-infected mothers were investigated, with 397 breastfed and 149 formula-fed; 137 were born to HBeAg-positive mothers. All children had been vaccinated against hepatitis B but only 53.3% received hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG). The overall prevalence of HBsAg+, HBsAg−/anti-HBc+, and anti-HBs (≥10 mIU/ml) in children was 2.4%, 3.1%, and 71.6% respectively. The HBsAg prevalence in breast- and formula-fed children was 1.5% and 4.7% respectively (P = 0.063); the difference was likely due to the higher mothers' HBeAg-positive rate in formula-fed group (formula-fed 49.0% vs. breastfed 15.9%, P<0.001). Further logistic regression analyses showed that breastfeeding was not associated with the HBV infection in the children, adjusting for the effect of maternal HBeAg status and other factors different between the two groups.
Under the recommended prophylaxis, breastfeeding is not a risk factor for mother-to-child transmission of HBV. Therefore, clinicians should encourage HBV-infected mothers to breastfeed their infants.
Prevalence of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is 90–100% in developing countries; however, the kinetics of anti-CMV IgG in infants remains elusive.
Sera from 112 mother-newborn pairs and longitudinal samples from 41 infants up to 2-year old were tested for anti-CMV IgG and IgM. Additionally, samples from 837 healthy children were included.
Of 112 mothers, 108 (96.4%) were anti-CMV IgG positive; their 108 newborns were also seropositive. In a 2-year follow-up among 40 infants of positive mothers, anti-CMV IgG level in 8 individuals decreased with time and became undetectable by age of 3.5–8 months, and that in 32 others decreased at 1- and 3.5-month old, and then increased. Based on the positive IgM, rising IgG levels, and low anti-CMV IgG avidity index, 76.7% of the primary infections were demonstrated to occur during 1–3.5 months of age. The overall seroprevalence of anti-CMV in 837 children was 82.4%, which was generally constant from 2 to 8 years old (χ2 = 3.150, p = 0.790).
The maternally acquired anti-CMV IgG in infants disappears before 8-month old. Primary CMV infection in Chinese children mostly occurs during 1–3.5 months of age. Whether the relatively lower seroprevalence of anti-CMV in Chinese children found in this survey may reflect the positive rate in child-bearing age women in the future remains to be further studied.
Cytomegalovirus; Anti-CMV IgG; Kinetics; Primary infection; Children
MicroRNAs, a class of small and non-encoding RNAs that transcriptionally or post-transcriptionally modulate the expression of their target genes, has been implicated as critical regulatory molecules in many cardiovascular diseases, including ischemia/reperfusion induced cardiac injury. Here, we report microRNA-145, a tumor suppressor miRNA, can protect cardiomyocytes from hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced apoptosis through targeting the mitochondrial pathway. Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) demonstrated that the expression of miR-145 in either ischemia/reperfused mice myocardial tissues or H2O2-treated neonatal rat ventricle myocytes (NRVMs) was markedly down-regulated. Over-expression of miR-145 significantly inhibited the H2O2-induced cellular apoptosis, ROS production, mitochondrial structure disruption as well as the activation of key signaling proteins in mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. These protective effects of miR-145 were abrogated by over-expression of Bnip3, an initiation factor of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway in cardiomyocytes. Finally, we utilized both luciferase reporter assay and western blot analysis to identify Bnip3 as a direct target of miR-145. Our results suggest miR-145 plays an important role in regulating mitochondrial apoptotic pathway in heart challenged with oxidative stress. MiR-145 may represent a potential therapeutic target for treatment of oxidative stress-associated cardiovascular diseases, such as myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is endemic in China; perinatal transmission is the main source of chronic HBV infection. Simultaneous administration of hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) and hepatitis B vaccine is highly effective to prevent perinatal transmission of HBV; however, the effectiveness also depends on full adherence to the recommended protocols in daily practice. In the present investigation, we aimed to identify gaps in immunoprophylaxis of perinatal transmission of HBV between recommendations and routine practices in Jiangsu Province, China.
Totally 626 children from 6 cities and 8 rural areas across Jiangsu Province, China, born from February 2003 to December 2004, were enrolled; 298 were born to mothers with positive hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and 328 were born to HBsAg-negative mothers. Immunoprophylactic measures against hepatitis B were retrospectively reviewed for about half of the children by checking medical records or vaccination cards and the vaccine status was validated for most of children.
Of 298 children born to HBV carrier mothers, 11 (3.7%) were HBsAg positive, while none of 328 children born to non-carrier mothers was HBsAg positive (P < 0.01). The rates of anti-HBs ≥ 10 mIU/ml in children of carrier and non-carrier mothers were 69.5% and 69.2% respectively (P = 0.95). The hepatitis B vaccine coverage in two groups was 100% and 99.4% respectively (P = 0.50), but 15.1% of HBV-exposed infants did not receive the timely birth dose. Prenatal HBsAg screening was performed only in 156 (52.3%) of the carrier mothers. Consequently, only 112 (37.6%) of HBV-exposed infants received HBIG after birth. Furthermore, of the 11 HBV-infected children, only one received both HBIG and hepatitis B vaccine timely, seven missed HBIG, two received delayed vaccination, and one missed HBIG and received delayed vaccination.
There are substantial gaps in the prevention of perinatal HBV infection between the recommendations and routine practices in China, which highlights the importance of full adherence to the recommendations to eliminate perinatal HBV infection in the endemic regions.
Hepatitis B virus; Perinatal infection; Immunoprophylaxis; Gaps
The aim of the present study was to determine the feasibility of detecting sentinel lymph node (SLN) metastases using interstitial magnetic resonance (MR) lymphography in patients with cervical cancer. MR data were compared to pathological results from the lymph nodes excised during surgery.
Twenty-eight patients with cervical cancer were enrolled and studied from January 2006 to December 2010. All patients underwent interstitial MR lymphography to determine the presence of sentinel lymph nodes and visualize lymphatic vessel drainage in the pelvis. Radical hysterectomy and excision of pelvic lymph nodes was performed according to their lesion grade. Gadodiamide was injected either intradermally into the bipedal toe web, into the labia majora or into the cervical tissue. MR results were compared with pathological reports.
In 28 patients, lymphatic vessel drainage and lymph node groups were clearly visualized. Of these, 5 were MR lymphography positive and 23 were MR lymphography negative. Six had pathologically proven metastasis, five had true positives and 1 had a false negative in the obturator lymph node.
Interstitial MR lymphography can be used to determine the extent and shape of pelvic lymphatic vessel drainage and lymph node metastases in patients with cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer; Magnetic resonance (MR); Lymphography
The androgen receptor (AR) is a nuclear receptor that is expressed in growing follicles and involved in folliculogenesis and follicle growth. The orphan nuclear receptor, Nur77, also has an important role in steroid signaling and follicle maturation. We hypothesized that AR levels and androgen signaling through AR are regulated by Nur77 in the ovary. In the ovaries of Nur77 knockout mice (n = 5), real-time PCR results showed that the mRNA levels of AR and an androgen signaling target gene, Kitl, were decreased by 35% and 24%, respectively, relative to wild-type mice (n = 5), which suggested transcriptional regulation of AR by Nur77 in vivo. In cultured mouse granulosa cells and a steroidogenic human ovarian granulosa-like tumor cell line, KGN, mRNA and protein expression levels of AR were increased by overexpressing Nur77 but decreased by knocking down endogenous Nur77. Consistent with increased AR expression, chromatin immunoprecipitation showed that Nur77 bound to the NGFI-B response element (NBRE) in the AR promoter sequence. AR promoter activity was stimulated by Nur77 in HEK293T cells and attenuated in Nur77 knockout mouse granulosa cells (luciferase assay). Overexpression of Nur77 enhanced the androgenic induction of Kitl (200 nM; 48h), while knockout of Nur77 attenuated this induction. These results demonstrate that AR is regulated by Nur77 in the ovaries, and they suggest that the participation of Nur77 in androgen signaling may be essential for normal follicular development.
Despite improvements in treatment over the past few decades, endometrial cancer remains one of the most common causes of mortality in women and there is an urgent need for the development of targeted therapies. The aim of this study was to confirm the target gene of miR-103 in human endometrial cancer and investigate the biological functions in which miR-103 is involved through the regulation of the expression of its target gene. This study may provide useful data to gain a better understanding of the effect of miR-103 in tumor formation. miR-103 expression levels were measured using real-time quantitative PCR. The effect of miR-103 on tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 3 (TIMP-3) expression was assessed in endometrial cancer cell lines with a miR-103 inhibitor to decrease the level of miR-103 expression. Furthermore, the roles of miR-103 in cell growth and invasion were analyzed using miR-103 inhibitor-transfected cells. The level of expression of miR-103 decreased following transfection with the miR-103 inhibitor. miR-103 inhibitor transfection increased the activity of the luciferase reporter assay containing the TIMP-3 3’-untranslated region (UTR) construct and increased the levels of the TIMP-3 protein but not its mRNA in endometrial cancer cell lines. Finally, miR-103 inhibitor-transfected cells exhibited reduced cell growth and invasive characteristics. Our data suggested that miR-103 post-transcriptionally downregulates the expression of the tumor suppressor TIMP-3 and stimulates growth and invasion in endometrial cancer cell lines. This provides a possible therapeutic target that may upregulate TIMP-3 in endometrial cancer.
miR-103; endometrial cancer; tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 3; Ishikawa cells; HEC-1B cells
Passively acquired maternal antibodies in infants may inhibit active immune responses to vaccines. Whether maternal antibody against hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs) in infants may influence the long-term immunogenicity of hepatitis B vaccine remains unknown.
Totally 338 pairs of mothers and children were enrolled. All infants were routinely vaccinated against hepatitis B based on 0-, 1- and 6-month schedule. We characterized the transplacental transfer of maternal anti-HBs, and compared anti-HBs response in children of mothers with or without anti-HBs. In a prospective observation, all 63 anti-HBs positive mothers transferred anti-HBs to their infants; 84.1% of the infants had higher anti-HBs concentrations than their mothers. One and half years after vaccination with three doses of hepatitis B vaccine, the positive rate and geometric mean concentration (GMC) of anti-HBs in 32 infants with maternal anti-HBs were comparable with those in 32 infants without maternal antibody (90.6% vs 87.5%, P = 0.688, and 74.5 vs 73.5 mIU/ml, P = 0.742, respectively). In a retrospective analysis, five and half years after vaccination with three doses vaccine, the positive rates of anti-HBs in 88 children of mothers with anti-HBs ≥1000 mIU/ml, 94 children of mothers with anti-HBs 10–999 mIU/ml, and 61 children of mothers with anti-HBs <10 mIU/ml were 72.7%, 69.2%, and 63.9% (P = 0.521), respectively; anti-HBs GMC in these three groups were 38.9, 43.9, and 31.7 mIU/ml (P = 0.726), respectively.
The data demonstrate that maternal anti-HBs in infants, even at high concentrations, does not inhibit the long-term immunogenicity of hepatitis B vaccine. Thus, current hepatitis B vaccination schedule for infants will be still effective in the future when most infants are positive for maternal anti-HBs due to the massive vaccination against hepatitis B.
The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) plays an important role in the homeostasis of the cardiovascular system and in the development of cardiovascular diseases. An abnormal expression or over activation of the local RAS in the heart and vasculature system is one of the most common mechanisms in pathophysiological processes in cardiovascular diseases. This also provides a basis for medical prevention and treatments using chemical approaches. Losartan is a selective nonpeptite antagonist against type 1 angiotensin II receptors (AT1R), and has been applied in medical treatments of a variety of cardiovascular diseases, including essential hypertension. This article reviews direct and indirect cardiovascular effects of losartan on the heart and blood vessels. It summarizes the chemical basis of AT1R for the action site of losartan, focuses on the mechanisms underlying the action of losartan involved in both the heart and vasculature, and reviews the information that may be helpful in the development of new chemical candidates or approaches in the war against cardiovascular diseases.
Angiotensin II; heart; losartan; renin-angiotensin system; cardiac remodeling; hypertension
The present study tested the hypothesis that chronic hypoxia adversely affects renal development in the ovine fetus.
Kidneys were collected from near-term fetuses of pregnant ewes maintained at sea level or high altitude (3,801 m, PaO2: approx. 60 mm Hg) for 110 days (n = 6 for each group).
Long-term high altitude hypoxia reduced the fetal kidney/body weight ratio. Histological analysis showed a significant enlargement in the Bowman's space and swelling of tubule epithelial cells in the kidney of the hypoxic fetus. The histological alterations were limited to the cortical, but not medullary, zone. These alterations were associated with an increase in serum creatinine and a decrease in the BUN-to-creatinine ratio in hypoxic fetuses. Angiotensin II receptors (AT1R and AT2R) were detected in the glomerular and tubular regions of the kidney. Chronic hypoxia caused a significant increase in AT1R and a decrease in AT2R protein and mRNA abundance, resulting in a large increase in the AT1R/AT2R ratio in the fetal kidney.
The results demonstrate an adverse effect of chronic hypoxia on renal AT1R and AT2R expression and functions in the fetus, suggesting a possible role of fetal hypoxia in the programming of renal diseases in fetal origins.
Hypoxia; Angiotensin II receptors; Ovine fetus
Resurgence or outbreak of measles recently occurred in both developed and developing countries despite long-standing widespread use of measles vaccine. Measles incidence in China has increased since 2002, particularly in infants and in persons ≥ 15 years of age. It is speculated that infants may acquire fewer measles IgG from their mothers, resulting in the reduced duration of protection during their early months of life. This study aimed to clarify the reason of increased susceptibility to measles in young infants in China. Measles IgG in 24 measles infants ≤ 9 months of age and their vaccinated mothers was quantitatively measured. The mean measles neutralizing titer in the vaccinated mothers and in 13 age-match women with the histories of clinical measles were compared.
All the mothers were confirmed to be vaccinated successfully by the presence of measles IgG. Six vaccinated mothers were positive for measles IgM and had high concentrations of measles IgG and the neutralizing antibody, indicating underwent natural boosting. The mean measles neutralizing titer in 18 vaccinated mothers without natural boosting were significantly lower than that in 13 age-match women with the histories of clinical measles (1:37 vs 1:182, P < 0.05).
Our results suggest that infants born to mothers who acquired immunity to measles by vaccination may get a relatively small amount of measles antibody, resulting in loss of the immunity to measles before the vaccination age. Measures to improve the immunity in young infants not eligible for measles vaccination would be critical to interrupt the measles transmission in China.
To describe the case of a 32-year-old infertile male with small supernumerary marker chromosome (sSMCs) in 80% of peripheral lymphocytes.
G-banding, C-banding, STRP analysis, M-FISH and molecule diagnosis of Y-chromosomal microdeletions were performed to determine the origin of sSMCs.
The karyotype of this patient was established as 47, XY, +mar/46, XY. C-banding showed that the marker chromosome was composed of heterochromatin without visible euchromatic material. No positive result was obtained in STRP, M-FISH and the microdeletion analysis of Y- chromosome.
The small supernumerary marker chromosome could play a causative role in male infertility although the mechanism remains to be elucidated.
Infertility; Small supernumerary chromosome; M-FISH; Heterochromatin
Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection poses a significant health threat to immunocompromised individuals. Here we performed this study to set up a highly sensitive nested PCR method applicable for detecting HCMV infection in high-risk individuals. In this work, 106 blood specimens from 66 patients with potential HCMV infection were obtained. Total DNA was extracted separately from plasma and peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) of each sample. HCMV DNA was detected in parallel by nested PCR and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR), and the results were compared.
Serial dilution test revealed that the detection limit of nested PCR was 180 copies/ml. The nested PCR showed a higher positive rate than qRT-PCR (34.9% vs. 12.3%, p < 0.001). The positive rate of nested PCR based on PBL DNA was significantly higher than that based on plasma DNA (34.9% vs. 18.9%, p = 0.002). Of the 14 patients with serial samples, 11 were positive for HCMV DNA in PBL while only 7 were positive in plasma. Moreover, for each patient, nested PCR using PBL DNA also detected more positive samples than that using plasma DNA.
Combined use of nested PCR with PBL DNA is highly sensitive in defining HCMV infection. This assay is particularly useful in the case of quantification not essential.
It has been suggested that natural killer (NK) cell activity and Th1 immunity may be involved in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia. This study aimed to investigate the immunophenotypes of NK cells and type 1/type 2 immunity in both decidua and maternal peripheral blood between normal (n=11) and preeclamptic pregnant women (n=20) by flow cytometry. The results showed that no significant difference was observed between patients and controls by detecting CD56+CD69+ and CD56+CD94+ NK cells in both peripheral blood and decidua. Moreover, in preeclamptic patients, decreased percentages of Tc2 and Th2 cells and the increased ratios of Tc1/Tc2 were determined in both decidua and maternal peripheral blood. In addition, the ratio of Th1/Th2 in peripheral blood also increased. There was no significant difference of immunophenotypes of uNK cells between preeclampsia and normal pregnancy. Local decidua and systematic immunity did not correlate with each other. These results suggest that the type 1/type 2 immunity shifted to type 1 immunity including Th1 and Tc1 cells may contribute to the patho-genesis of preeclampsia.
Decidua; uNK cell; NK cell; type 1/type 2 immunity; preeclampsia; human
Loss of imprinting (LOI) of insulin-like growth factor II gene (IGF2) is an epigenetic abnormality associated with human diseases. However, little is known about the characteristics of IGF2 imprinting in newborn cord blood cells. METHODS: A total of 923 cord blood samples from term singletons and related clinical data were collected; IGF2 imprinting status in 273 specimens were successfully analyzed using RT-PCR and restriction fragment length polymorphism. RESULTS: LOI of IGF2 was detected in 20.9% of informative samples. The mean birth weights (BW) in the LOI and the normal imprinting groups were 3462.7 ± 460.2 g and 3363.7 ± 427.7 g, respectively. The abdominal perimeters in the LOI group tended to be larger than that in the normal imprinting group. Pregnancy complications, delivery modes, newborn diseases, occurrences of malignant tumors in grandparents, and other maternal factors were not associated with LOI of IGF2. 22.2% of the infants with IGF2 LOI also showed LOI in their father’s lymphocytes while 21.4% in their mother’s lymphocytes. CONCLUSIONS: About 20% of Han Chinese newborns indicated LOI of IGF2 in their cord blood lymphocytes that may represent the epigenetic characteristics in this ethnic group. While IGF2 LOI tends to be weakly inherited between parents and offspring, abnormal imprinting seems to be statistically unrelated with phenotypes of newborns, although it might have an association with later phenotypes of infants.
IGF2; genomic imprinting; cord blood; birth weight; Han Chinese