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author:("Li, jiangling")
1.  Screening a Strain of Aspergillus niger and Optimization of Fermentation Conditions for Degradation of Aflatoxin B1 † 
Toxins  2014;6(11):3157-3172.
Aflatoxin B1, a type of highly toxic mycotoxin produced by some species belonging to the Aspergillus genus, such as Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus, is widely distributed in feed matrices. Here, coumarin was used as the sole carbon source to screen microorganism strains that were isolated from types of feed ingredients. Only one isolate (ND-1) was able to degrade aflatoxin B1 after screening. ND-1 isolate, identified as a strain of Aspergillus niger using phylogenetic analysis on the basis of 18S rDNA, could remove 26.3% of aflatoxin B1 after 48 h of fermentation in nutrient broth (NB). Optimization of fermentation conditions for aflatoxin B1 degradation by selected Aspergillus niger was also performed. These results showed that 58.2% of aflatoxin B1 was degraded after 24 h of culture under the optimal fermentation conditions. The aflatoxin B1 degradation activity of Aspergillus niger supernatant was significantly stronger than cells and cell extracts. Furthermore, effects of temperature, heat treatment, pH, and metal ions on aflatoxin B1 degradation by the supernatant were examined. Results indicated that aflatoxin B1 degradation of Aspergillus niger is enzymatic and this process occurs in the extracellular environment.
PMCID: PMC4247255  PMID: 25401962
Aspergillus niger; coumarin; aflatoxin B1; degradation
2.  A tree-ring reconstruction of the South Asian summer monsoon index over the past millennium 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:6739.
The South Asian summer monsoon (SASM) is a major atmospheric synoptic climate system affecting nearly a quarter of the human population. Climate proxy data derived from tree rings, ice cores, speleothems, and other sources can all contribute to an understanding of SASM variability prior to instrumental period. Here, we develop an optimal information extraction (OIE) method, which we use to reconstruct the SASM index (SASMI) over the last millennium using 15 tree-ring chronologies. The record generated is significantly correlated (r = 0.7, p < 0.01) with the instrumental SASMI record on annual timescales; this correlation is higher than that obtained in any previous study. The reconstructed SASMI captures 18 of 26 (69%) reordered historical famine events in India over the last millennium; notably, 11 of 16 short events with durations of 1–3 years are accurately depicted in our reconstruction. Moreover, the reconstructed SASMI is positively correlated with variations in total solar irradiance (TSI) on multi-decadal timescales implying that variations in solar activity may influence the SASM. Based on the response of SASM to 34 significant volcanic events using the superposed epoch analysis, the volcanic forcing may drive a weak SASM in the second year of an eruption.
PMCID: PMC4206867  PMID: 25338702
3.  Sparstolonin B Attenuates Hypoxia-Induced Apoptosis, Necrosis and Inflammation in Cultured Rat Left Ventricular Tissue Slices 
Ischemia/reperfusion results in tissue damage, a rapid increase in cytokines and chemokines and inflammatory cell infiltration. Herein we investigated the ability of a selective TLR2/4 antagonist, Sparstolonin B (SsnB), to protect rat cultured left ventricular tissue (LV) slices from hypoxic injury by inhibiting the myocardial inflammatory response independent of inflammatory cell infiltration.
Methods and Results
Media Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels were measured to reflect hypoxia-induced cytotoxicity and cell injury with and without SsnB. Incubation with SsnB (15 and 30 μM) significantly reduced by 20 and 40 %, respectively, the amount of LDH released from the hypoxic LV slices. TUNEL staining showed that SsnB significantly attenuated the levels of hypoxia-induced apoptotic cells from 61.5 ±4.0 to 27.0±2.1 (15 μM SsnB) and 23.5±2.2 (30 μM SsnB) cells/unit area. Similarly, the Periodic Acid-Schiff (PAS) staining of ischemic areas in untreated hypoxic LV slices was increased 17 fold from 0.26±0.09 to 4.41±0.43 %, while in hypoxic slices incubated with 15 and 30 μM of SsnB, the PAS positive ischemic areas were increased by only 6.4 fold to 1.66±0.39 % and 3.8 fold to 1.00±0.22 %, respectively. Rt-PCR confirmed that MCP1 and IL-6 expression during hypoxia was elevated by 2 and 4 fold, respectively, while their upregulation was significantly inhibited (i.e., <0.7 fold increase) by SsnB.
The selective TLR2/4 antagonist, Sparstolonin B, can substantially protect LV myocardium via its ability to inhibit injury resulting from hypoxic myocardial-generated inflammation. Accordingly SsnB has potential as a therapeutic agent for the attenuation of myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury.
PMCID: PMC4164598  PMID: 25117676
Myocardial ischemia injury; LDH; Apoptosis; Necrosis; Inflammation
4.  Over-expression of a poor prognostic marker in prostate cancer: AQP5 promotes cells growth and local invasion 
The aquaporins (AQPs), water channel proteins, are known playing a major role in transcellular and transepithelial water movement; they also exhibit several properties related to tumor development. The aim of the present study is to elucidate whether the expression of AQP5 is a strong prognostic biomarker for prostate cancer, and the potential role in the progression of prostate cancer cells.
AQP5 expression was measured in 60 prostate cancer tissues and cells (both PC-3 and LNCaP) by immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence assay. AQP5 gene amplification was detected with FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization). Proliferation and migration of cells and AQP5 siRNA cells were detected with MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide) and Boyden chambers. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) were detected by imFISH staining (CEP8-CD45-DAPI) assay.
The results showed that in 60 tumor specimens, 19 (31.7%) patients showed high level of AQP5 expression, while 30 (50.0%) showed a moderate, intermediate level of staining, and 11 (18.3%) showed an absence of AQP5 staining, respectively. High-expression of AQP5 protein frequently accompanied gene amplification detection with FISH. The AQP5 over-expression was also associated with TNM stage (P = 0.042), and lymph node metastasis (P = 0.001). The relationships between age or tumor size with the expression of AQP5 were not significant (P > 0.05). A positive correlation between the number of CTCs and AQP5 expression (P < 0.05) was demonstrated. In addition, patients who were negative for AQP5 had superior cumulative survival rate than those who were positive for it. Over-expression of AQP5 protein was also found in prostate cancer cells and cell proliferation and migration were significantly attenuated by AQP5-siRNA.
We concluded that AQP5 in prostate cancer was an independent prognostic indicator. AQP5 over-expression was likely to play a role in cell growth and metastasis. These conclusions suggest that AQP5 may be an effective therapeutic target for prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC4247740  PMID: 25217331
Prostate cancer; AQP5; Prognosis; FISH; CTC
5.  A novel anti-cancer effect of resveratrol: reversal of epithelial-mesenchymal transition in prostate cancer cells 
Molecular Medicine Reports  2014;10(4):1717-1724.
Carcinoma progression is associated with the loss of epithelial features and the acquisition of a mesenchymal phenotype, a process known as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Resveratrol, a natural polyphenolic compound found in grapes, berries and peanuts, has a wide range of pharmacological properties, including anti-tumor metastasis properties. The underlying mechanism through which resveratrol inhibits metastasis of prostate cancer (PCa) is not yet fully understood; however, it is thought to be associated with the disruption of EMT. In the present study, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was used to trigger EMT in PC-3 and LNCaP PCa cell lines, and the cell lines were subsequently treated with resveratrol. The results demonstrated that exposure of PC-3 and LNCaP cells to LPS resulted in morphological alterations characteristic of EMT, as well as an increase in the expression of the mesenchymal marker vimentin and a decrease in the expression of E-cadherin. In addition, LPS exposure resulted in an increase in cell motility, along with an upregulation of the transcription factor glioma-associated oncogene homolog 1 (Gli1). However, treatment with resveratrol inhibited LPS-induced morphological changes, decreased the expression of LPS-induced markers of EMT and inhibited the expression of Gli1, resulting in the inhibition of in vitro cell motility and invasiveness. These results provide a novel perspective for the anti-invasion mechanism of resveratrol, suggesting that the effect is in part due to its ability to inhibit the EMT process through the Hedgehog signaling pathway.
PMCID: PMC4148361  PMID: 25069516
resveratrol; prostate cancer; invasion; epithelial-mesenchymal transition
6.  Identification of Human ABAD Inhibitors for Rescuing Aβ-Mediated Mitochondrial Dysfunction 
Current Alzheimer research  2014;11(2):128-136.
Amyloid beta (Aβ) binding alcohol dehydrogenase (ABAD) is a cellular cofactor for promoting (Aβ)-mediated mitochondrial and neuronal dysfunction, and cognitive decline in transgenic Alzheimer's disease (AD) mouse models. Targeting mitochondrial ABAD may represent a novel therapeutic strategy against AD. Here, we report the biological activity of small molecule ABAD inhibitors. Using in vitro surface plasmon resonance (SPR) studies, we synthesized compounds with strong binding affinities for ABAD. Further, these ABAD inhibitors (ABAD-4a and 4b) reduced ABAD enzyme activity and administration of phosphonate derivatives of ABAD inhibitors antagonized calcium-mediated mitochondrial swelling. Importantly, these compounds also abolished Aβ-induced mitochondrial dysfunction as shown by increased cytochrome c oxidase and adenosine-5′-triphosphate levels, suggesting protective mitochondrial function effects of these synthesized compounds. Thus, these compounds are potential candidates for further pharmacologic development to target ABAD to improve mitochondrial function.
PMCID: PMC4082996  PMID: 24479630
ABAD inhibitors; adenosine-5′-triphosphate; amyloid beta; benzothiazole amino phosphonates; cytochrome c oxidase; mitochondrial dysfunction
7.  Indo-Pacific Warm Pool Area Expansion, Modoki Activity, and Tropical Cold-Point Tropopause Temperature Variations 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:4552.
The tropical cold-point tropopause temperature (CPTT), a potentially important indicator of global climate change, is of particular importance for understanding changes in stratospheric water vapor levels. Since the 1980s, the tropical CPTT has shown not only interannual variations, but also a decreasing trend. However, the factors controlling the variations in the tropical CPTT since the 1980s remain elusive. The present study reveals that the continuous expansion of the area of the Indo-Pacific warm pool (IPWP) since the 1980s represents an increase in the total heat energy of the IPWP available to heat the tropospheric air, which is likely to expand as a result. This process lifts the tropical cold-point tropopause height (CPTH) and leads to the observed long-term cooling trend of the tropical CPTT. In addition, our analysis shows that Modoki activity is an important factor in modulating the interannual variations of the tropical CPTT through significant effects on overshooting convection.
PMCID: PMC3971398  PMID: 24686481
8.  Administration of erythropoietin exerts protective effects against glucocorticoid-induced osteonecrosis of the femoral head in rats 
Accumulating evidence has indicated that erythropoietin (EPO) plays a role in anti-apoptosis and tissue protection in a number of human diseases. The present study was implemented to evaluate these anti-apoptotic and tissue-protective effects in glucocorticoid-induced osteonecrosis in rats. Osteonecrosis was induced by low-dose lipopolysaccharide and subsequent high-dose methylprednisolone pulse. Rats in the preventive group were treated with 500 U/kg/day recombinant human EPO (rhuEPO) for 1 week. Hematological and histomorphometric methods were then used to determine the effects of the administration of rhuEPO. An analysis of trabecular bone architecture was performed to evaluate bone mass change in the osteonecrosis zone. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end-labeling (TUNEL) assay was performed to determine the apoptotic index of osteoblasts and osteocytes. Immunoblot analysis was performed to assess the expression of caspase-3 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the femoral head. Treatment with rhuEPO greatly improved the histological performance. Additionally, the incidence of osteonecrosis markedly decreased in the rats in the rhuEPO-treated group (22.2%) compared with the control group (66.7%). Furthermore, the expression of caspase-3 markedly decreased in the rhuEPO-treated group. Consistently, the apoptosis of osteoblasts and osteocytes, as determined by TUNEL assays, was inhibited following the administration of rhuEPO. By contrast, the expression of VEGF increased in the osteonecrosis zone in the rats treated with rhuEPO. The results from the present study demonstrate that EPO exerts prominent protective effects against glucocorticoid-induced osteonecrosis of the femoral head in rats by inhibiting the apoptosis of osteoblasts and osteocytes and increasing the expression of VEGF.
PMCID: PMC3976124  PMID: 24503957
erythropoietin; glucocorticoid; osteonecrosis; rat
9.  Effects and Mechanisms of Chinese Herbal Medicine in Ameliorating Myocardial Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury 
Myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (MIR) injury is a major contributor to the morbidity and mortality associated with coronary artery disease, which accounts for approximately 450,000 deaths a year in the United States alone. Chinese herbal medicine, especially combined herbal formulations, has been widely used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of myocardial infarction for hundreds of years. While the efficacy of Chinese herbal medicine is well documented, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain elusive. In this review, we highlight recent studies which are focused on elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms using extracted compounds, single herbs, or herbal formulations in experimental settings. These studies represent recent efforts to bridge the gap between the enigma of ancient Chinese herbal medicine and the concepts of modern cell and molecular biology in the treatment of myocardial infarction.
PMCID: PMC3833114  PMID: 24288571
10.  Circulating microRNA-101 as a potential biomarker for hepatitis B virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma 
Oncology Letters  2013;6(6):1811-1815.
Circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) are emerging as promising biomarkers for cancer; however, the significance of circulating miRNAs in hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains largely unknown. Based on our prior observations that miRNA-101 (miR-101) is downregulated by HBV and induces epigenetic modification, we sought to test whether circulating miR-101 may serve as a potential biomarker for HCC. The expression of miR-101 in HCCs and serum was evaluated by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Tissue and serum miR-101 levels were assessed in samples from patients with HBV-related HCC and healthy controls. A potential correlation was also evaluated between miR-101 expression and the clinicopathological features and prognosis of HCC patients. miR-101 was downregulated in HBV-related HCC tissues compared with adjacent noncancerous tissues. Furthermore, the miR-101 levels in these tissues from HCC patients were significantly lower than those in tissues from control subjects. Notably, serum miR-101 levels were found to have an inverse correlation with tissue miR-101 expression levels. The expression of serum miR-101 in patients with HBV-related HCC was significantly higher than that in the healthy controls, and this increase correlated with hepatitis B surface antigen positivity, HBV DNA levels and tumor size. These results indicate that different factors govern the levels of miR-101 in the tissue and serum of HCC patients. Given the marked and consistent increase in serum miR-101 levels in HCC patients, circulating miR-101 may serve as a promising biochemical marker for monitoring the progression of tumor development in HBV-related HCC.
PMCID: PMC3834113  PMID: 24260081
miR-101; serum; monitor; HBV-related HCC
11.  Stem Cell Factor is Responsible for the Rapid Response in Mature Mast Cell Density in the Acutely Stressed Heart 
In the abdominal aortocaval (AV) fistula model of heart failure, we have shown that the acute doubling of cardiac mature mast cell (MC) density involved the maturation, but not proliferation, of a resident population of immature cardiac MCs. An increase in stem cell factor (SCF) may be responsible for this MC maturation process. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine if: 1) myocardial SCF levels are increased following the initiation of cardiac volume overload; 2) the incubation of left ventricular (LV) tissue slices with SCF results in an increase in mature MC density; and 3) chemical degranulation of mature cardiac MCs in LV tissue slices results in an increase in SCF and mature MC density via MC chymase. Male rats with either sham or AV fistula surgery were studied at 6 hrs and 1 and 3 days post-surgery. LV slices from normal male rat hearts were incubated for 16 hrs with media alone or media containing one of the following: 1) recombinant rat SCF (20 ng/ml) to determine the effects of SCF on MC maturation; 2) the MC secretagogue compound 48/80 (20 μg/ml) to determine the effects of MC degranulation on SCF levels and mature MC density; 3) media containing compound 48/80 and anti-SCF (5μg/ml) to block the effects of SCF; 4) chymase (100 nM) to determine the effects of chymase on SCF; and 5) compound 48/80 and chymostatin (chymase inhibitor, 10 μM) to block the effects of MC chymase. In AV fistula animals, myocardial SCF was significantly elevated above that in the sham group at 6 hrs and 1 day post fistula by 2 and 1.8 fold, respectively, and then returned to normal by 3 days; this increase slightly preceded significant increases in MC density. Incubation of LV slices with SCF resulted in a doubling of mature MC density and this was concomitant with a significant decrease in the number of immature mast cells. Incubation of LV slices with compound 48/80 increased media SCF levels and mature MC density, anti-SCF and chymostatin prevented these compound 48/80-induced increases. Incubation with chymase increased media SCF levels and mature MC density. These findings indicate that activated mature cardiac mast cells are responsible, in a paracrine fashion, for the increase in mature MC density post AV fistula by rapidly increasing SCF levels via the release of chymase.
PMCID: PMC3438908  PMID: 22850284
Stem cell factor; Mast cell maturation; Left ventricular tissue slice culture; Abdominal aortocaval fistula; Compound 48/80; Chymase
12.  Construction and Characterization of Human Rotavirus Recombinant VP8* Subunit Parenteral Vaccine Candidates 
Vaccine  2012;30(43):6121-6126.
Two currently licensed live oral rotavirus vaccines (Rotarix® and RotaTeq®) are highly efficacious against severe rotavirus diarrhea. However, the efficacy of such vaccines in selected low-income African and Asian countries is much lower than that in middle or high-income countries. Additionally, these two vaccines have recently been associated with rare case of intussusception in vaccinated infants. We developed a novel recombinant subunit parenteral rotavirus vaccine which may be more effective in low-income countries and also avert the potential problem of intussusception. Truncated recombinant VP8* (ΔVP8*) protein of human rotavirus strain Wa P[8], DS-1 P[4] or 1076 P[6] expressed in E. coli was highly soluble and was generated in high yield. Guinea pigs hyperimmunized intramuscularly with each of the ΔVP8* proteins (i.e., (P[8], P[4] or P[6]) developed high levels of homotypic as well as variable levels of heterotypic neutralizing antibodies. Moreover, the selected ΔVP8* proteins when administered to mice at a clinically relevant dosage, route and schedule, elicited high levels of serum anti-VP8* IgG and/or neutralizing antibodies. Our data indicated that the ΔVP8* proteins may be a plausible additional candidate as new parenteral rotavirus vaccines.
PMCID: PMC3434302  PMID: 22885016
Rotavirus; Vaccine; Subunit vaccine; VP8* protein; P type
13.  Estrogen modulates the influence of cardiac inflammatory cells on function of cardiac fibroblasts 
Inflammatory cells play a major role in the pathology of heart failure by stimulating cardiac fibroblasts to regulate the extracellular matrix in an adverse way. In view of the fact that inflammatory cells have estrogen receptors, we hypothesized that estrogen provides cardioprotection by decreasing the ability of cardiac inflammatory cells to influence fibroblast function.
Male rats were assigned to either an untreated or estrogen-treated group. In the treated group, estrogen was delivered for 2 weeks via a subcutaneous implanted pellet containing 17β-estradiol. A mixed population of cardiac inflammatory cells, including T-lymphocytes (about 70%), macrophages (about 12%), and mast cells (about 12%), was isolated from each rat and cultured in a Boyden chamber with cardiac fibroblasts from untreated adult male rats for 24 hours. To examine if tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) produced by inflammatory cells represents a mechanism contributing to the stimulatory effects of inflammatory cells on cardiac fibroblasts, inflammatory cells from the untreated group were incubated with cardiac fibroblasts in a Boyden chamber system for 24 hours in the presence of a TNF-α-neutralizing antibody. Cardiac fibroblasts were also incubated with 5 ng/mL of TNF-α for 24 hours. Fibro-blast proliferation, collagen synthesis, matrix metalloproteinase activity, β1 integrin protein levels, and the ability of fibroblasts to contract collagen gels were determined in all groups and statistically compared via one-way analysis of variance.
Inflammatory cells from the untreated group resulted in: 1) an increased fibroblast proliferation, collagen production and matrix metalloproteinase activity; and 2) a loss of β1 integrin protein and a reduced ability to contract collagen gels. In contrast, inflammatory cells from the treated group resulted in: 1) an attenuated fibroblast proliferation; 2) a nonsignificant reduction in collagen production; 3) the prevention of matrix metalloproteinase activation and the loss of β1 integrin by fibroblasts and 4) a preservation of the fibroblasts’ ability to contract collagen gels. The TNF-α neutralizing antibody attenuated or prevented the untreated inflammatory cell-induced fibroblast proliferation, collagen production, matrix metalloproteinase activation and loss of β1 integrin protein as well as preserved fibroblast contractile ability. Incubation with TNF-α yielded changes in the cardiac fibroblast parameters that were directionally similar to the results obtained with untreated inflammatory cells.
These results and those of our previous in vivo studies suggest that a major mechanism by which estrogen provides cardioprotection is its ability to modulate synthesis of TNF-α by inflammatory cells, thereby preventing inflammatory cell induction of cardiac fibroblast events that contribute to adverse extracellular matrix remodeling.
PMCID: PMC3780290  PMID: 24062614
tumor necrosis factor-alpha; neutralizing antibody; fibroblast proliferation; matrix metalloproteinase activity; β1 integrin; collagen gel contraction
14.  Fuzzy Nonlinear Proximal Support Vector Machine for Land Extraction Based on Remote Sensing Image 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e69434.
Currently, remote sensing technologies were widely employed in the dynamic monitoring of the land. This paper presented an algorithm named fuzzy nonlinear proximal support vector machine (FNPSVM) by basing on ETM+ remote sensing image. This algorithm is applied to extract various types of lands of the city Da’an in northern China. Two multi-category strategies, namely “one-against-one” and “one-against-rest” for this algorithm were described in detail and then compared. A fuzzy membership function was presented to reduce the effects of noises or outliers on the data samples. The approaches of feature extraction, feature selection, and several key parameter settings were also given. Numerous experiments were carried out to evaluate its performances including various accuracies (overall accuracies and kappa coefficient), stability, training speed, and classification speed. The FNPSVM classifier was compared to the other three classifiers including the maximum likelihood classifier (MLC), back propagation neural network (BPN), and the proximal support vector machine (PSVM) under different training conditions. The impacts of the selection of training samples, testing samples and features on the four classifiers were also evaluated in these experiments.
PMCID: PMC3720649  PMID: 23936016
15.  Comparison of imaging-based gross tumor volume and pathological volume determined by whole-mount serial sections in primary cervical cancer 
OncoTargets and therapy  2013;6:917-923.
To investigate the accuracy of imaging-based gross tumor volume (GTV) compared with pathological volume in cervical cancer.
Ten patients with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage I–II cervical cancer were eligible for investigation and underwent surgery in this study. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (18F-FDG PET)/computed tomography (CT) scans were taken the day before surgery. The GTVs under MRI and 18F-FDG PET/CT (GTV-MRI, GTV-PET, GTV-CT) were calculated automatically by Eclipse treatment-planning systems. Specimens of excised uterine cervix and cervical cancer were consecutively sliced and divided into whole-mount serial sections. The tumor border of hematoxylin and eosin-stained sections was outlined under a microscope by an experienced pathologist. GTV through pathological image (GTV-path) was calculated with Adobe Photoshop.
The GTVs (average ± standard deviation) delineated and calculated under CT, MRI, PET, and histopathological sections were 19.41 ± 11.96 cm3, 12.66 ± 10.53 cm3, 11.07 ± 9.44 cm3, and 10.79 ± 8.71 cm3, respectively. The volume of GTV-CT or GTV-MR was bigger than GTV-path, and the difference was statistically significant (P < 0.05). No significant difference was observed between GTV-PET and GTV-path (P > 0.05). Spearman correlation analysis showed that GTV-CT, GTV-MRI, and GTV-PET were significantly correlated with GTV-path (P < 0.01). There was no significant difference in the lesion coverage factor among the three modalities.
The present study showed that GTV defined under 40% of maximum standardized uptake value in PET images was very similar to the pathological volume of cervical cancer. This result should be replicated in a larger number of patients with cervical cancer in a future study of ours.
PMCID: PMC3722137  PMID: 23888117
MRI; 18F-FDG PET/CT; pathological tumor volume; gross tumor volume; cervical cancer
16.  Herbal compound triptolide synergistically enhanced antitumor activity of amino-terminal fragment of urokinase 
Molecular Cancer  2013;12:54.
Urokinase (uPA) and its receptor (uPAR) play an important role in tumour growth and metastasis, and overexpression of these molecules is strongly correlated with poor prognosis in a variety of malignant tumours. Targeting the excessive activation of this system as well as the proliferation of the tumour vascular endothelial cell would be expected to prevent tumour neovasculature and halt tumour development. The amino terminal fragment (ATF) of urokinase has been confirmed effective to inhibit the proliferation, migration and invasiveness of cancer cells via interrupting the interaction of uPA and uPAR. Triptolide (TPL) is a purified diterpenoid isolated from the Chinese herb Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F that has shown antitumor activities in various cancer cell types. However, its therapeutic application is limited by its toxicity in normal tissues and complications caused in patients. In this study, we attempted to investigate the synergistic anticancer activity of TPL and ATF in various solid tumour cells.
Using in vitro and in vivo experiments, we investigated the combined effect of TPL and ATF at a low dosage on cell proliferation, cell apoptosis, cell cycle distribution, cell migration, signalling pathways, xenograft tumour growth and angiogenesis.
Our data showed that the sensitivity of a combined therapy using TPL and ATF was higher than that of TPL or ATF alone. Suppression of NF-κB transcriptional activity, activation of caspase-9/caspase-3, cell cycle arrest, and inhibition of uPAR-mediated signalling pathway contributed to the synergistic effects of this combination therapy. Furthermore, using a mouse xenograft model, we demonstrated that the combined treatment completely suppressed tumour growth by inhibiting angiogenesis as compared with ATF or TPL treatment alone.
Our study suggests that lower concentration of ATF and TPL used in combination may produce a synergistic anticancer efficacy that warrants further investigation for its potential clinical applications.
PMCID: PMC3728221  PMID: 23758884
Amino-terminal fragment of urokinase; Triptolide; Synergism; Apoptosis; Cell migration; Cell cycle; Xenograft
17.  MiR-590-5P Inhibits Growth of HepG2 Cells via Decrease of S100A10 Expression and Inhibition of the Wnt Pathway 
Hepatocellular carcinoma is one of the most common and lethal cancers worldwide, especially in developing countries. In the present study, we found that the expression of a microRNA, miR-590-5P, was down-regulated and S100A10 was up-regulated in six hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines. The reporter gene assay showed that overexpression of miR-590-5P effectively reduced the activity of luciferase expressed by a vector bearing the 3′ untranslated region of S100A10 mRNA. Ectopic miR-590-5P overexpression mediated by lentiviral infection decreased expression of S100A10. Infection of Lv-miR-590-5P inhibited cell growth and induced cell cycle G1 arrest in HepG2 cells. In addition, miR-590-5P expression suppressed the expression of Wnt5a, cMyc and cyclin D1, and increased the phosphorylation of β-catenin and expression of Caspase 3, which may contribute to the inhibitory effect of miR-590-5P on cell growth. Taken together, our data suggest that down-regulation of miR-590-5P is involved in hepatocellular carcinoma and the restoration of miR-590-5P can impair the growth of cancer cells, suggesting that miR-590-5P may be a potential target molecule for the therapy of hepatocellular carcinoma.
PMCID: PMC3645761  PMID: 23598417
miR-590-5P; S100A10; hepatocellular carcinoma; Wnt pathway; lentiviral system; reporter gene
18.  The correlation between microvessel pathological changes of the endplate and degeneration of the intervertebral disc in diabetic rats 
In this study, the pathological microvessel changes to the endplate and the degeneration of the intervertebral disc of diabetic rats were examined in order to identify the possible mechanism by which diabetes mellitus (DM) induces degeneration of the intervertebral disc. A total of 30 Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into two groups. DM was induced in one of the groups by streptozotocin (STZ) administration. The rats were sacrificed 4, 8 and 12 weeks later. Five rats from each group were sacrificed at each time interval and lumbar disc and endplate tissue were obtained from each rat. The histological changes, collagen expression, microvessel density (MVD) and apoptosis of the disc were investigated by different methods. The expression of collagen I in the diabetic DM group was higher compared to the control group at the three time points (P<0.01), in contrast to the expression of collagen II. The factor VIII-related antigen (FVIII RAg) was expressed in the control and DM groups, while its expression was relatively low in the DM group. The MVD of the DM group was smaller compared to that of the control group at the three time points (P<0.01). The apoptotic index (AI) in the diabetic group was significantly higher compared to that of the control group at the three time points (P<0.01). A negative correlation was observed between the MVD of the endplates and the notochordal cell AI in the two groups. Compared to the control group, the endplate MVD decreased and the cavity became smaller or disappeared in the diabetic rats. In conclusion, there was a negative correlation between MVD and degenerative changes of the intervertebral disc in diabetic rats.
PMCID: PMC3570219  PMID: 23408796
diabetes mellitus; intervertebral disc; microvessel
19.  Neural cell injury microenvironment induces neural differentiation of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells☆ 
Neural Regeneration Research  2012;7(34):2689-2697.
This study aimed to investigate the neural differentiation of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUCMSCs) under the induction of injured neural cells. After in vitro isolation and culture, passage 5 hUCMSCs were used for experimentation. hUCMSCs were co-cultured with normal or Aβ1-40-injured PC12 cells, PC12 cell supernatant or PC12 cell lysate in a Transwell co-culture system. Western blot analysis and flow cytometry results showed that choline acetyltransferase and microtubule-associated protein 2, a specific marker for neural cells, were expressed in hUCMSCs under various culture conditions, and highest expression was observed in the hUCMSCs co-cultured with injured PC12 cells. Choline acetyltransferase and microtubule-associated protein 2 were not expressed in hUCMSCs cultured alone (no treatment). Cell Counting Kit-8 assay results showed that hUCMSCs under co-culture conditions promoted the proliferation of injured PC12 cells. These findings suggest that the microenvironment during neural tissue injury can effectively induce neural cell differentiation of hUCMSCs. These differentiated hUCMSCs likely accelerate the repair of injured neural cells.
PMCID: PMC4200737  PMID: 25337115
stem cell; umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell; co-culture; induction; differentiation; neural cell; microtubule-associated protein 2; injured cell; Transwell; neural regeneration; regeneration
20.  Substance P induces adverse myocardial remodelling via a mechanism involving cardiac mast cells 
Cardiovascular Research  2011;92(3):420-429.
Substance P and neurokinin A (NKA) are sensory nerve neuropeptides encoded by the TAC1 gene. Substance P is a mast cell secretagogue and mast cells are known to play a role in adverse myocardial remodelling. Therefore, we wondered whether substance P and/or NKA modulates myocardial remodelling via a mast cell-mediated mechanism.
Methods and results
Volume overload was induced by aortocaval fistula in TAC1−/− mice and their respective wild types. Left ventricular internal diameter of wild-type (WT) fistulas increased by 31.9%; this was prevented in TAC1−/− mice (4.2%). Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity was significantly increased in WT fistula mice and was prevented in TAC1−/− mice. Myocardial collagen volume fraction was decreased in WT fistula mice; this collagen degradation was not observed in the TAC1−/− group. There were no significant differences between any groups in tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α or cell death. Cardiac mast cells were isolated from rat hearts and stimulated with substance P or NKA. We found that these cells degranulated only to substance P, via the neurokinin-1 receptor. To determine the effect of substance P on mast cells in vivo, volume overload was created in Sprague-Dawley rats treated with the NK-1 receptor antagonist L732138 (5 mg/kg/day) for a period of 3 days. L732138 prevented: (i) increases in cardiac mast cell density; (ii) increased myocardial TNF-α; and (iii) collagen degradation.
Our studies suggest that substance P may be important in mediating adverse myocardial remodelling secondary to volume overload by activating cardiac mast cells, leading to increased TNF-α and MMP activation with subsequent degradation of the extracellular matrix.
PMCID: PMC3211974  PMID: 21908647
Sensory nerves; Substance P; Mast cell; TAC1; Heart
21.  Coexpression of angiopoietin-1 with VEGF increases the structural integrity of the blood–brain barrier and reduces atrophy volume 
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced neovasculature is immature and leaky. We tested if coexpression of angiopoietin-1 (ANG1) with VEGF improves blood–brain barrier (BBB) integrity and VEGF neuroprotective and neurorestorative effects using a permanent distal middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO) model. Adult CD-1 mice were injected with 2 × 109 virus genomes of adeno-associated viral vectors expressing VEGF (AAV-VEGF) or ANG1 (AAV-ANG1) individually or together in a 1:1 ratio into the ischemic penumbra 1 hour after pMCAO. AAV-LacZ was used as vector control. Samples were collected 3 weeks later. Compared with AAV-LacZ, coinjection of AAV-VEGF and AAV-ANG1 reduced atrophy volume (46%, P=0.004); injection of AAV-VEGF or AAV-ANG1 individually reduced atrophy volume slightly (36%, P=0.08 and 33%, P=0.09, respectively). Overexpression of VEGF reduced tight junction protein expression and increased Evans blue extravasation. Compared with VEGF expression alone, coexpression of ANG1 with VEGF resulted in upregulation of tight junction protein expression and reduction of Evans blue leakage (AAV-ANG1/AAV-VEGF: 1.4±0.3 versus AAV-VEGF: 2.8±0.7, P=0.001). Coinjection of AAV-VEGF and AAV-ANG1 induced a similar degree of angiogenesis as injection of AAV-VEGF alone (P=0.85). Thus, coexpression of ANG1 with VEGF improved BBB integrity and resulted in better neuroprotection compared with VEGF expression alone.
PMCID: PMC3323197  PMID: 21772310
adeno-associated viral vector; angiopoietin-1; middle cerebral artery occlusion; tight junction protein; vascular integrity; VEGF
22.  Differential Gene Expression Profile Associated with the Abnormality of Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Aplastic Anemia 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e47764.
Aplastic anemia (AA) is generally considered as an immune-mediated bone marrow failure syndrome with defective hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and marrow microenvironment. Previous studies have demonstrated the defective HSCs and aberrant T cellular-immunity in AA using a microarray approach. However, little is known about the overall specialty of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs). In the present study, we comprehensively compared the biological features and gene expression profile of BM-MSCs between AA patients and healthy volunteers. In comparison with healthy controls, BM-MSCs from AA patients showed aberrant morphology, decreased proliferation and clonogenic potential and increased apoptosis. BM-MSCs from AA patients were susceptible to be induced to differentiate into adipocytes but more difficult to differentiate into osteoblasts. Consistent with abnormal biological features, a large number of genes implicated in cell cycle, cell division, proliferation, chemotaxis and hematopoietic cell lineage showed markedly decreased expression in BM-MSCs from AA patients. Conversely, more related genes with apoptosis, adipogenesis and immune response showed increased expression in BM-MSCs from AA patients. The gene expression profile of BM-MSCs further confirmed the abnormal biological properties and provided significant evidence for the possible mechanism of the destruction of the bone marrow microenvironment in AA.
PMCID: PMC3489901  PMID: 23144828
23.  Neuronal differentiation of adipose-derived stem cells and their transplantation for cerebral ischemia 
Neural Regeneration Research  2012;7(25):1992-1999.
To review published data on the biological characteristics, differentiation and applications of adipose-derived stem cells in ischemic diseases.
A computer-based online search of reports published from January 2005 to June 2012 related to the development of adipose-derived stem cells and their transplantation for treatment of cerebral ischemia was performed in Web of Science using the key words “adipose-derived stem cells”, “neural-like cells”, “transplantation”, “stroke”, and “cerebral ischemia”.
The documents associated with the development of adipose-derived stem cells and their transplantation for treatment of cerebral ischemia were selected, and those published in the last 3–5 years or in authoritative journals were preferred in the same field. Totally 89 articles were obtained in the initial retrieval, of which 53 were chosen based on the inclusion criteria.
Biological characteristics and induced differentiation of adipose-derived stem cells and cell transplantation for disease treatment as well as the underlying mechanism of clinical application.
The advantages of adipose-derived stem cells include their ease of procurement, wide availability, rapid expansion, low tumorigenesis, low immunogenicity, and absence of ethical constraints. Preclinical experiments have demonstrated that transplanted adipose-derived stem cells can improve neurological functions, reduce small regions of cerebral infarction, promote angiogenesis, and express neuron-specific markers. The improvement of neurological functions was demonstrated in experiments using different methods and time courses of adipose-derived stem cell transplantation, but the mechanisms remain unclear.
Further research into the treatment of ischemic disease by adipose-derived stem cell transplantation is needed to determine their mechanism of action.
PMCID: PMC4298895  PMID: 25624830
adipose-derived stem cells; adipose stem cells; differentiation; adipose tissue; neural-like cells; transplantation; stroke; cerebral ischemia; cerebrovascular disease; stem cell therapy
24.  Prevalence and prevalence trends of transfusion transmissible infections among blood donors at four chinese regional blood centers between 2000 and 2010 
In China, high prevalence of HBV and HCV parallels with the growing epidemic of syphilis and HIV in the general population poses a great threat to blood safety. This study investigated the prevalence of serologic markers for transfusion transmissible infections (TTIs) among four Chinese blood centers.
We examined whole blood donations collected from January 2000 through December 2010 at four Chinese blood centers. Post-donation testing of TTIs (HIV, HBV, HCV and syphilis) were conducted using two different enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits for each seromarker. The prevalence of serologic markers for TTIs (%) was calculated and additional analysis was conducted to examine donor characteristics associated with positive TTIs serology.
Of the 4,366,283 donations, 60% were from first-time donors and 40% were from repeated donors. The overall prevalence of HIV, HBsAg, HCV and syphilis was 0.08%, 0.86%, 0.51% and 0.47%, respectively. The prevalence profile of TTIs varied among different blood centers and appeared at relatively high levels. Overall, the prevalence of HBsAg and HCV demonstrated a decline trend among four blood centers, while the prevalence of HIV and syphilis displayed three different trends: constantly steady, continually increasing and declining among different centers.
This study reflects the risk of TTIs has been greatly reduced in China, but blood transfusion remains an ongoing risk factor for the spread of blood-borne infections, and further work and improvements are needed to strengthen both safety and availability of blood in China.
PMCID: PMC3493321  PMID: 22929614
Transfusion; Prevalence; HIV; HBV; HCV; Syphilis
25.  Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase C677T polymorphism is associated with estimated glomerular filtration rate in hypertensive Chinese males 
BMC Medical Genetics  2012;13:74.
Plasma level of total homocysteine (tHcy) is negatively correlated with kidney function in general population. However, the causal mechanism of this correlation is poorly understood. The purpose of this study is to investigate the association of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T gene polymorphism, which is a major genetic determinant of the plasma tHcy level, with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in Chinese.
A total of 18 814 hypertensive patients (6 914 males, 11 900 females) were included in the study.
Association between the eGFR and MTHFR C677T genotype was examined by sex-specific regression analyses. In males, TT genotype was associated with 1.37 ml/min/1.73 m2 decrease in eGFR (p = 0.004) and with an increased risk (OR = 1.32, p = 0.008) for the lowest quintile of eGFR after adjusting for age, BMI, and blood pressures. However, such association was not observed in females (p > 0.05). This association suggests MTHFR C677T polymorphism may play a role in the regulation of eGFR in males.
MTHFR 677 T is a risk allele for decreased kidney function in Chinese males, implicating this gene in the pathogenesis of chronic kidney disease (CKD).
PMCID: PMC3458982  PMID: 22897803
MTHFR C677T polymorphism; eGFR; CKD

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