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1.  ART1 promotes starvation-induced autophagy: a possible protective role in the development of colon carcinoma 
Autophagy plays a protective role in colorectal carcinoma. Arginine ADP-ribosyltransferase 1 (ART1) is an important mono-ADP-ribose transferase, which has been shown to play a role in biological processes such as proliferation and invasion of cancer cells. Interestingly, the role of ART1 in the regulation of autophagy is still not clear. We examined effects of overexpression or knockdown of ART1 by lentiviral transfection on starvation-induced autophagy of colon carcinoma CT26 cell lines in vivo and in vitro. The formation of autophagosome was detected by electron microscopy, acridine orange staining and expression of LC3 B. The molecular contributions of ART1 in regulation of autophagy were detected by western blotting or by co-immunoprecipitation. Additionally, inhibitors were used to study further the signaling pathway of ART1 in the regulation of autophagy. CCK8 assay, plate cloning assay, soft agar assay, examination of subcutaneous transplanted carcinoma in BALB/c mice, flow cytometry and Hoechst33342 staining were used to assess survival and apoptotic ability when starvation-induced autophagy modulated by ART1 was inhibited by 3-MA. Overexpression of ART1 promoted starvation-induced autophagy, which related to increases in the expression of Rac1, NF-κB, PARP-1, LKB1 and p-AMPK and a decrease in the expression of p-P70S6K. Correspondingly, knockdown of ART1 caused the opposite effects. ART1 also interacted with integrin α7. Additionally, changes of protein expressions were further validated following inhibition of Rac1 and PARP-1 in the starvation-induced ART1-GFP CT26 cells. Inhibition of ART1-stimulated starvation-induced autophagy restrained the growth and promoted apoptosis. ART1 is thus relevant in starvation-induced autophagy in colorectal carcinoma and may play essential roles in therapeutic anticancer strategies.
PMCID: PMC4396040  PMID: 25973293
Autophagy; colon carcinoma; ART1; proliferation; apoptosis
2.  Localization of kainate receptors in inner and outer hair cell synapses 
Hearing research  2014;314:20-32.
Glutamate plays a role in hair cell afferent transmission, but the receptors that mediate neurotransmission between outer hair cells (OHCs) and type II ganglion neurons are not well defined. A previous study using in situ hybridization showed that several kainate-type glutamate receptor (KAR) subunits are expressed in cochlear ganglion neurons. To determine whether KARs are expressed in hair cell synapses, we performed X-gal staining on mice expressing lacZ driven by the GluK5 promoter, and immunolabeling of glutamate receptors in whole-mount mammalian cochleae. X-gal staining revealed GluK5 expression in both type I and type II ganglion neurons and OHCs in adults. OHCs showed X-gal reactivity throughout maturation from postnatal day 4 (P4) to 1.5 months. Immunoreactivity for GluK5 in IHC afferent synapses appeared to be postsynaptic, similar to GluA2 (GluR2; AMPA-type glutamate receptor (AMPAR) subunit), while GluK2 may be on both sides of the synapses. In OHC afferent synapses, immunoreactivity for GluK2 and GluK5 was found, although GluK2 was only in those synapses bearing ribbons. GluA2 was not detected in adult OHC afferent synapses. Interestingly, GluK1, GluK2 and GluK5 were also detected in OHC efferent synapses, forming several active zones in each synaptic area. At P8, GluA2 and all KAR subunits except GluK4 were detected in OHC afferent synapses in the apical turn, and GluA2, GluK1, GluK3 decreased dramatically in the basal turn. These results indicate that AMPARs and KARs (GluK2/GluK5) are localized to IHC afferent synapses, while only KARs (GluK2/GluK5) are localized to OHC afferent synapses in adults. Glutamate spillover near OHCs may act on KARs in OHC efferent terminals to modulate transmission of acoustic information and OHC electromotility.
PMCID: PMC4107312  PMID: 24858010
Hair cell; Afferent; Efferent; Synapse; Glutamate receptor; Cochlea; AMPA receptor; Kainate receptor
3.  Study of magnetic silk fibroin nanoparticles for massage-like transdermal drug delivery 
A synergistic approach by the combination of magnetic nanoparticles with an alternating magnetic field for transdermal drug delivery was investigated. Methotrexate-loaded silk fibroin magnetic nanoparticles were prepared using suspension-enhanced dispersion by supercritical CO2. The physiochemical properties of the magnetic nanoparticles were characterized. In vitro studies on drug permeation across skin were performed under different magnetic fields in comparison with passive diffusion. The permeation flux enhancement factor was found to increase under a stationary magnetic field, while an alternating magnetic field enhanced drug permeation more effectively; the combination of stationary and alternating magnetic fields, which has a massage-like effect on the skin, achieved the best result. The mechanistic studies using attenuated total reflection Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy demonstrate that an alternating magnetic field can change the ordered structure of the stratum corneum lipid bilayers from the gel to the lipid-crystalline state, which can increase the fluidity of the stratum corneum lipids, thus enhancing skin penetration. Compared with the other groups, the fluorescence signal with a bigger area detected in deeper regions of the skin also reveals that the simulated massage could enhance the drug permeation across the skin by increasing the follicular transport. The combination of magnetic nanoparticles with stationary/alternating magnetic fields has potential for effective massage-like transdermal drug delivery.
PMCID: PMC4516257
magnetic nanoparticles; magnetophoresis; supercritical fluid; alternating magnetic field; methotrexate
4.  An Effective Approach for NRSFM of Small-Size Image Sequences 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0132370.
In recent years, non-rigid structure from motion (NRSFM) has become one of the hottest issues in computer vision due to its wide applications. In practice, the number of available high-quality images may be limited in many cases. Under such a condition, the performances may not be satisfactory when existing NRSFM algorithms are applied directly to estimate the 3D coordinates of a small-size image sequence. In this paper, a sub-sequence-based integrated algorithm is proposed to deal with the NRSFM problem with small sequence sizes. In the proposed method, sub-sequences are first extracted from the original sequence. In order to obtain diversified estimations, multiple weaker estimators are constructed by applying the extracted sub-sequences to a recent NRSFM algorithm with a rotation-invariant kernel (RIK). Compared to other first-order statistics, the trimmed mean is a relatively robust statistic. Considering the fact that the estimations of some weaker estimators may have large errors, the trimmed means of the outputs for all the weaker estimators are computed to determine the final estimated 3D shapes. Compared to some existing methods, the proposed algorithm can achieve a higher estimation accuracy, and has better robustness. Experimental results on several widely used image sequences demonstrate the effectiveness and feasibility of the proposed algorithm.
PMCID: PMC4498923  PMID: 26161521
5.  Maresin 1 mitigates LPS-induced acute lung injury in mice 
British Journal of Pharmacology  2014;171(14):3539-3550.
Acute lung injury (ALI) is a severe illness with a high rate of mortality. Maresin 1 (MaR1) was recently reported to regulate inflammatory responses. We used a LPS-induced ALI model to determine whether MaR1 can mitigate lung injury.
Male BALB/c mice were injected, intratracheally, with either LPS (3 mg·kg−1) or normal saline (1.5 mL·kg−1). After this, normal saline, a low dose of MaR1 (0.1 ng per mouse) or a high dose of MaR1 (1 ng per mouse) was given i.v. Lung injury was evaluated by detecting arterial blood gas, pathohistological examination, pulmonary oedema, inflammatory cell infiltration, inflammatory cytokines in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and neutrophil–platelet interactions.
The high dose of MaR1 significantly inhibited LPS-induced ALI by restoring oxygenation, attenuating pulmonary oedema and mitigating pathohistological changes. A combination of elisa and immunohistochemistry showed that high-dose MaR1 attenuated LPS-induced increases in pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6), chemokines [keratinocyte chemokine, monocyte chemoattractant protein-5, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α and MIP-1γ], pulmonary myeloperoxidase activity and neutrophil infiltration in the lung tissues. Consistent with these observations, flow cytometry and Western blotting indicated that MaR1 down-regulated LPS-induced neutrophil adhesions and suppressed the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1, P-selection and CD24.
High-dose MaR1 mitigated LPS-induced lung injury in mice by inhibiting neutrophil adhesions and decreasing the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
PMCID: PMC4105939  PMID: 24697684
Maresin 1; acute lung injury; resolution; lipopolysaccharide; neutrophils; platelets
6.  Updated meta-analysis of pancreatic stent placement in preventing post-endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography pancreatitis 
AIM: To investigate the efficacy and safety profile of pancreatic duct (PD) stent placement for prevention of post-endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) pancreatitis (PEP).
METHODS: We performed a search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library to identify randomized controlled clinical trials of prophylactic PD stent placement after ERCP. RevMan 5 software provided by Cochrane was used for the heterogeneity and efficacy analyses, and a meta-analysis was performed for the data that showed homogeneity. Categorical data are presented as relative risks and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), and measurement data are presented as weighted mean differences and 95%CIs.
RESULTS: The incidence rates of severe pancreatitis, operation failure, complications and patient pain severity were analyzed. Data on pancreatitis incidence were reported in 14 of 15 trials. There was no significant heterogeneity between the trials (I2 = 0%, P = 0.93). In the stent group, 49 of the 1233 patients suffered from PEP, compared to 133 of the 1277 patients in the no-stent group. The results of this meta-analysis indicate that it may be possible to prevent PEP by placing a PD stent.
CONCLUSION: PD stent placement can reduce postoperative hyperamylasemia and might be an effective and safe option to prevent PEP if the operation indications are well controlled.
PMCID: PMC4481455  PMID: 26140006
Pancreatic stent placement; Pancreatitis; Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography; Post-endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography pancreatitis
7.  Chinese and Australians showed difference in mental time travel in emotion and content but not specificity 
Mental time travel refers to the ability to recall episodic past and imagine future events. The present study aimed to investigate cultural differences in mental time travel between Chinese and Australian university students. A total of 231 students (108 Chinese and 123 Australians) participated in the study. Their mental time travel abilities were measured by the Sentence Completion for Events from the Past Test (SCEPT) and the Sentence Completion for Events in the Future Test (SCEFT). Results showed that there were no cultural differences in the number of specific events generated for the past or future. Significant differences between the Chinese and Australian participants were found mainly in the emotional valence and content of the events generated. Both Chinese and Australian participants generated more specific positive events compared to negative events when thinking about the future and Chinese participants were more positive about their past than Australian participants when recalling specific events. For content, Chinese participants recalled more events about their interpersonal relationships, while Australian participants imagined more about personal future achievements. These findings shed some lights on cultural differences in episodic past and future thinking.
PMCID: PMC4481147  PMID: 26167154
cultural differences; future thinking; mental time travel; autobiographical memory; Chinese; Australian
8.  Eucommia ulmoides Oliv. (Du-Zhong) Lignans Inhibit Angiotensin II-Stimulated Proliferation by Affecting P21, P27, and Bax Expression in Rat Mesangial Cells 
Cortex Eucommiae (Du-zhong) is the dried bark of the Eucommia ulmoides Oliv. The natural products identified from Du-zhong include lignans, iridoids, flavonoids, polysaccharides, terpenes, and proteins, Liu et al. (2012). Lignans, the main bioactive components, were protective against hypertensive renal injury in spontaneous hypertensive rats in our previous study, Li et al. (2012). Moreover, Eucommia lignans also diminished aldose reductase (AR) overexpression in the kidney, Li et al. (2012). However, the pathological mechanism underlying the protective effects of Eucommia lignans remains unknown. Cellular proliferation was reported to contribute to important pathological changes in hypertensive renal injuries, and increased angiotensin II (Ang II) expression was reported to be essential for target-organ damage during hypertension. Ang II is the main effective peptide in the renin-angiotensin system and is considered to be a key mediator in the development of hypertensive nephropathy, Rüster and Wolf (2011). Our preliminary results showed that Eucommia lignans had inhibitory effects on Ang II-induced proliferation of rat mesangial cells. In the present study, we investigated the effects of Eucommia ulmoides on Ang II-induced proliferation and apoptosis of rat mesangial cells. Cell cycle-related genes P21 and P27, and cell apoptosis-related genes Bax and Bcl-2, were determined.
PMCID: PMC4478362  PMID: 26170892
9.  Course of neurological soft signs in first-episode schizophrenia: Relationship with negative symptoms and cognitive performances 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:11053.
This prospective study examined the course of neurological soft signs (NSS) in patients with first-episode schizophrenia and its relationship with negative symptoms and cognitive functions. One hundred and forty-five patients with first-episode schizophrenia were recruited, 29 were classified as having prominent negative symptoms. NSS and neuropsychological measures were administered to all patients and 62 healthy controls at baseline. Patients were then followed-up prospectively at six-month intervals for up to a year. Patients with prominent negative symptoms exhibited significantly more motor coordination signs and total NSS than patients without prominent negative symptoms. Patients with prominent negative symptoms performed worse than patients without negative symptoms in working memory functions but not other fronto-parietal or fronto-temporal functions. Linear growth model for binary data showed that the prominent negative symptoms were stable over time. Despite general improvement in NSS and neuropsychological functions, the prominent negative symptoms group still exhibited poorer motor coordination and higher levels of NSS, as well as poorer working memory than patients without prominent negative symptoms. Two distinct subtypes of first-episode patients could be distinguished by NSS and prominent negative symptoms.
PMCID: PMC4459190  PMID: 26053141
10.  Signaling Adaptor Protein SH2B1 Enhances Neurite Outgrowth and Accelerates the Maturation of Human Induced Neurons 
The authors show that SH2B adaptor protein 1β can enhance neurite outgrowth of induced neurons reprogrammed from human fibroblasts as early as day 14, when combined with miR124 and transcription factors BRN2 and MYT1L under defined conditions. These enhanced induced neurons showed canonical neuronal morphology and expressed multiple neuronal markers and functional proteins for neurotransmitter release.
Recent advances in somatic cell reprogramming have highlighted the plasticity of the somatic epigenome, particularly through demonstrations of direct lineage reprogramming of adult mouse and human fibroblasts to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and induced neurons (iNs) under defined conditions. However, human cells appear to be less plastic and have a higher epigenetic hurdle for reprogramming to both iPSCs and iNs. Here, we show that SH2B adaptor protein 1β (SH2B1) can enhance neurite outgrowth of iNs reprogrammed from human fibroblasts as early as day 14, when combined with miR124 and transcription factors BRN2 and MYT1L (IBM) under defined conditions. These SH2B1-enhanced iNs (S-IBM) showed canonical neuronal morphology, and expressed multiple neuronal markers, such as TuJ1, NeuN, and synapsin, and functional proteins for neurotransmitter release, such as GABA, vGluT2, and tyrosine hydroxylase. Importantly, SH2B1 accelerated mature process of functional neurons and exhibited action potentials as early as day 14; without SH2B1, the IBM iNs do not exhibit action potentials until day 21. Our data demonstrate that SH2B1 can enhance neurite outgrowth and accelerate the maturation of human iNs under defined conditions. This approach will facilitate the application of iNs in regenerative medicine and in vitro disease modeling.
PMCID: PMC4039450  PMID: 24736401
Reprogramming; Neural induction; Neuron; Neural differentiation; SH2B1
11.  Homocysteine Triggers Inflammatory Responses in Macrophages through Inhibiting CSE-H2S Signaling via DNA Hypermethylation of CSE Promoter 
Hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) is an independent risk factor of atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases. Unfortunately, Hcy-lowering strategies were found to have limited effects in reducing cardiovascular events. The underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Increasing evidence reveals a role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of HHcy. Homocysteine (Hcy) is a precursor of hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which is formed via the transsulfuration pathway catalyzed by cystathionine β-synthase and cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE) and serves as a novel modulator of inflammation. In the present study, we showed that methionine supplementation induced mild HHcy in mice, associated with the elevations of TNF-α and IL-1β in the plasma and reductions of plasma H2S level and CSE expression in the peritoneal macrophages. H2S-releasing compound GYY4137 attenuated the increases of TNF-α and IL-1β in the plasma of HHcy mice and Hcy-treated raw264.7 cells while CSE inhibitor PAG exacerbated it. Moreover, the in vitro study showed that Hcy inhibited CSE expression and H2S production in macrophages, accompanied by the increases of DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) expression and DNA hypermethylation in cse promoter region. DNMT inhibition or knockdown reversed the decrease of CSE transcription induced by Hcy in macrophages. In sum, our findings demonstrate that Hcy may trigger inflammation through inhibiting CSE-H2S signaling, associated with increased promoter DNA methylation and transcriptional repression of cse in macrophages.
PMCID: PMC4490461  PMID: 26047341
homocysteine; cystathionine γ-lyase; hydrogen sulfide; macrophage; DNA methylation
12.  Exposure to Fluoride in Drinking Water and Hip Fracture Risk: A Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0126488.
Many observational studies have shown that exposure to fluoride in drinking water is associated with hip fracture risk. However, the findings are varied or even contradictory. In this work, we performed a meta-analysis to assess the relationship between fluoride exposure and hip fracture risk.
PubMed and EMBASE databases were searched to identify relevant observational studies from the time of inception until March 2014 without restrictions. Data from the included studies were extracted and analyzed by two authors. Summary relative risks (RRs) with corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were pooled using random- or fixed-effects models as appropriate. Sensitivity analyses and meta-regression were conducted to explore possible explanations for heterogeneity. Finally, publication bias was assessed.
Fourteen observational studies involving thirteen cohort studies and one case-control study were included in the meta-analysis. Exposure to fluoride in drinking water does not significantly increase the incidence of hip fracture (RRs, 1.05; 95% CIs, 0.96–1.15). Sensitivity analyses based on adjustment for covariates, effect measure, country, sex, sample size, quality of Newcastle–Ottawa Scale scores, and follow-up period validated the strength of the results. Meta-regression showed that country, gender, quality of Newcastle–Ottawa Scale scores, adjustment for covariates and sample size were not sources of heterogeneity. Little evidence of publication bias was observed.
The present meta-analysis suggests that chronic fluoride exposure from drinking water does not significantly increase the risk of hip fracture. Given the potential confounding factors and exposure misclassification, further large-scale, high-quality studies are needed to evaluate the association between exposure to fluoride in drinking water and hip fracture risk.
PMCID: PMC4447426  PMID: 26020536
13.  Study on the Dynamic Biological Characteristics of Sca-1+ Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cell Senescence 
Stem Cells International  2015;2015:954120.
The researches in the dynamic changes of the progress of HSCs aging are very limited and necessary. In this study, male C57BL/6 mice were divided into 5 groups by age. We found that the superoxide damage of HSPCs started to increase from the middle age (6 months old), with notably reduced antioxidation ability. In accordance with that, the senescence of HSPCs also started from the middle age, since the self-renewal and differentiation ability remarkably decreased, and senescence-associated markers SA-β-GAL increased in the 6-month-old and the older groups. Interestingly, the telomere length and telomerase activity increased to a certain degree in the 6-month-old group. It suggested an intrinsic spontaneous ability of HSPCs against aging. It may provide a theoretical and experimental foundation for better understanding the senescence progress of HSPCs. And the dynamic biological characteristics of HSPCs senescence may also contribute to the clinical optimal time for antiaging drug intervention.
PMCID: PMC4461789  PMID: 26106432
14.  Hydrodynamics of an Electrochemical Membrane Bioreactor 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:10387.
An electrochemical membrane bioreactor (EMBR) has recently been developed for energy recovery and wastewater treatment. The hydrodynamics of the EMBR would significantly affect the mass transfers and reaction kinetics, exerting a pronounced effect on reactor performance. However, only scarce information is available to date. In this study, the hydrodynamic characteristics of the EMBR were investigated through various approaches. Tracer tests were adopted to generate residence time distribution curves at various hydraulic residence times, and three hydraulic models were developed to simulate the results of tracer studies. In addition, the detailed flow patterns of the EMBR were acquired from a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation. Compared to the tank-in-series and axial dispersion ones, the Martin model could describe hydraulic performance of the EBMR better. CFD simulation results clearly indicated the existence of a preferential or circuitous flow in the EMBR. Moreover, the possible locations of dead zones in the EMBR were visualized through the CFD simulation. Based on these results, the relationship between the reactor performance and the hydrodynamics of EMBR was further elucidated relative to the current generation. The results of this study would benefit the design, operation and optimization of the EMBR for simultaneous energy recovery and wastewater treatment.
PMCID: PMC4441134  PMID: 25997399
15.  Tailoring Plasmonic Enhanced Upconversion in Single NaYF4:Yb3+/Er3+ Nanocrystals 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:10196.
By using silver nanoplatelets with a widely tunable localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR), and their corresponding local field enhancement, here we show large manipulation of plasmonic enhanced upconversion in NaYF4:Yb3+/Er3+ nanocrystals at the single particle level. In particular, we show that when the plasmonic resonance of silver nanolplatelets is tuned to 656 nm, matching the emission wavelength, an upconversion enhancement factor ~5 is obtained. However, when the plasmonic resonance is tuned to 980 nm, matching the nanocrystal absorption wavelength, we achieve an enhancement factor of ~22 folds. The precise geometric arrangement between fluorescent nanoparticles and silver nanoplatelets allows us to make, for the first time, a comparative analysis between experimental results and numerical simulations, yielding a quantitative agreement at the single particle level. Such a comparison lays the foundations for a rational design of hybrid metal-fluorescent nanocrystals to harness the upconversion enhancement for biosensing and light harvesting applications.
PMCID: PMC4432370  PMID: 25976870
16.  Association of IL-17 polymorphisms with gastric cancer risk in Asian populations 
AIM: To investigate associations between the IL-17 rs2275913 G>A and rs763780 T>C polymorphisms and susceptibility to gastric cancer in Asian populations.
METHODS: We reviewed studies published up to 2014 on IL-17 polymorphisms with gastric cancer susceptibility systematically. Relevant articles were identified in the MEDLINE, Science Citation Index, Cochrane Library, PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL and Current Contents Index databases. We used version 12.0 STATA statistical software to evaluate the statistical data. Two reviewers abstracted the data independently. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CIs) were calculated.
RESULTS: Seven independent, case-control studies were chosen for the meta-analysis, which included 3210 gastric cancer patients and 3889 healthy controls. The overall estimation showed a positive association between the IL-17 rs2275913 G>A polymorphism and the occurrence of gastric cancer for five genetic models (all P < 0.05) and similar results were observed for the IL-17 rs763780 T>C variation with four genetic models (all P < 0.05), but not for the dominant model (P > 0.05). Subgroup analysis by country revealed that the rs2275913 G>A and rs763780 T>C polymorphisms may be the main risk factor for gastric cancer in Chinese and Japanese populations.
CONCLUSION: The IL-17 gene may be significantly correlated with gastric cancer risk in Asian populations, especially those carrying the rs2275913 G>A and rs763780 T>C polymorphisms.
PMCID: PMC4427697  PMID: 25987798
IL-17; Genetic polymorphism; Gastric cancer; Asian populations; Meta-analysis
17.  Immunochemotherapy for primary central nervous system lymphoma with rituximab, methotrexate, cytarabine and dexamethasone: Retrospective analysis of 18 cases 
Molecular and Clinical Oncology  2015;3(4):949-953.
The incidence of primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) has increased in the last two decades and the clinical research regarding the treatment for PCNSL patients has also increased. However, the optimal induction chemotherapy has not been fully established. In the present retrospective study, the aim was to analyze the outcome in PCNSL patients treated with the combination of rituximab, methotrexate (MTX), cytarabine (Ara-C) and dexamethasone (R-MAD). Eighteen patients from Beijing Tiantan Hospital (Beijing, China) between January 2010 and March 2014 were newly diagnosed with PCNSL [diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) type] and received R-MAD as first-line treatment. The dosage was as follows: 375 mg/m2 rituximab was administered on day 0, 3.5 g/m2 MTX was administered on day 1, 1 g/m2 Ara-C was administered on day 2 and 10 mg dexamethasone was administered on days 1–3, every 3 weeks. After 6 cycles, the overall response rate was 94.5%. Ten (55.6%) patients achieved complete response (CR), 7 (38.9%) achieved partial response (PR) and 1 (5.6%) had progressive disease (PD). Patients were followed up from the start of the treatment, median 24.2 months (range 6–48). The overall survival (OS) rate was 94.5% and progression-free survival rate was 94.5%. The median OS was 22 months (95% confidence interval, 19.4–24.6). The high level of serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) concentration was associated with a poor outcome. Among 5 patients with an abnormally high LDH concentration, 1 achieved CR, 3 had PR and 1 had PD. None of the patients experienced any grade 4 toxicity. These results indicated that the R-MAD immunochemotherapy regimen is effective in PCNSL patients without serious toxicity. A prospective investigation with more patients should be administered in order to understand the more accurate effect of the regimen.
PMCID: PMC4486824  PMID: 26171213
primary central nervous system lymphoma; immunochemotherapy; rituximab; retrospective analysis; serum lactate dehydrogenase
18.  Higher frequency of regulatory T cells in granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF)-primed bone marrow grafts compared with G-CSF-primed peripheral blood grafts 
Regulatory T cells (Treg) in allografts are important for the prevention of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) post-transplantation. The aim of this study was to compare the contents of Tregs and effector T cells in granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF)-primed bone marrow grafts (G-BM) and peripheral blood grafts (G-PB).
G-BM and G-PB were obtained from 20 allogeneic donors. T-cell subgroups, including conventional T cells and different types of Treg cells, as well as the percentage of Ki67 expression on CD4+CD25highFoxp3+ Treg cells, were analyzed using flow cytometry. The levels of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin-17 (IL-17) secreted by T cells stimulated with PMA and ionomycin were also determined by flow cytometry.
The percentage of CD4+CD25highCD127-/dimCD62L+ Treg cells was significantly higher in the G-BM group, with higher proportions of CD45RA+ naïve Treg cells and higher expression of CD69 on Treg cells in G-BM (P < 0.05). The percentage of Ki67 expression in CD4+CD25highFoxp3+ Treg cells in G-BM was significantly higher than that on G-PB. The suppressive functions of Treg cells in inhibiting T-cell activation were comparable between G-BM and G-PB. The proportions of CD4+CD25−CD69+ Treg subsets as well as Th1 cells in G-BM were also significantly higher than those in G-PB (P < 0.001). The proportions of conventional T cells and Th17 effector cells were comparable in G-BM compared with those in G-PB. Thus, the ratio of conventional T cells and CD4+CD25highCD127-/dim regulatory T cells were lower in G-BM than that in G-PB (P = 0.014).
In addition to the much higher T-cell counts in G-PB grafts that may contribute to more severe GVHD, the higher frequency of Treg cells and lower ratio of conventional T cells to Treg cells in G-BM compared with G-PB grafts might reduce GVHD post-transplantation in G-BM compared with G-PB transplantation.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12967-015-0507-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4490623  PMID: 25948100
Regulatory T cells; Effector T cells; G-BM; G-PB
19.  Using pharmacological chaperones to restore proteostasis 
Normal organismal physiology depends on the maintenance of proteostasis in each cellular compartment to achieve a delicate balance between protein synthesis, folding, trafficking, and degradation while minimizing misfolding and aggregation. Defective proteostasis leads to numerous protein misfolding diseases. Pharmacological chaperones are cell-permeant small molecules that promote the proper folding and trafficking of a protein via direct binding to that protein. They stabilize their target protein in a protein-pharmacological chaperone state, increasing the natively-folded protein population that can effectively engage trafficking machinery for transport to the final destination for function. Here, as regards the application of pharmacological chaperones, we focus on their capability to promote the folding and trafficking of lysosomal enzymes, G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), and ion channels, each of which is presently an important drug target. Pharmacological chaperones hold great promise as potential therapeutics to ameliorate a variety of protein misfolding diseases.
PMCID: PMC4070435  PMID: 24747662
Pharmacological chaperone; proteostasis; chaperone; ERAD; protein misfolding disease; lysosomal storage disease; GPCR; ion channel
20.  Epigenetic silencing of microRNA-149 in cancer-associated fibroblasts mediates prostaglandin E2/interleukin-6 signaling in the tumor microenvironment 
Cell Research  2015;25(5):588-603.
Tumor initiation and growth depend on its microenvironment in which cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) in tumor stroma play an important role. Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and interleukin (IL)-6 signal pathways are involved in the crosstalk between tumor and stromal cells. However, how PGE2-mediated signaling modulates this crosstalk remains unclear. Here, we show that microRNA (miR)-149 links PGE2 and IL-6 signaling in mediating the crosstalk between tumor cells and CAFs in gastric cancer (GC). miR-149 inhibited fibroblast activation by targeting IL-6 and miR-149 expression was substantially suppressed in the CAFs of GC. miR-149 negatively regulated CAFs and their effect on GC development both in vitro and in vivo. CAFs enhanced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and the stem-like properties of GC cells in a miR-149-IL-6-dependent manner. In addition to IL-6, PGE2 receptor 2 (PTGER2/EP2) was revealed as another potential target of miR-149 in fibroblasts. Furthermore, H. pylori infection, a leading cause of human GC, was able to induce cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)/PGE2 signaling and to enhance PGE2 production, resulting in the hypermethylation of miR-149 in CAFs and increased IL-6 secretion. Our findings indicate that miR-149 mediates the crosstalk between tumor cells and CAFs in GC and highlight the potential of interfering miRNAs in stromal cells to improve cancer therapy.
PMCID: PMC4423088  PMID: 25916550
microRNA-149; epigenetic silencing; cancer-associated fibroblasts; PGE2; IL-6
21.  Low bone mineral density is associated with increased arterial stiffness in participants of a health records based study 
Journal of Thoracic Disease  2015;7(5):790-798.
Many epidemiological studies have shown that low bone mineral density (BMD) and atherosclerosis appear to be related. However, their precise correlation is not completely understood after full adjustment the shared confounders of atherosclerosis and bone metabolism. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the relationship between BMD and subclinical atherosclerosis in a healthy Chinese population and the difference in gender.
The study population consisted of 2,487 subjects (1,467 men, 1,020 women) who participated in health check-up programs and were selected to be free of major diseases which might affect atherosclerosis and bone metabolism. Bone status was assessed by BMD in lumbar spine. The brachial-ankle PWV (baPWV) was assessed as a functional marker of atherosclerosis. The ankle-brachial index (ABI), carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT), estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGRF) and microalbuminuria were evaluated as indexes of structural markers of atherosclerosis.
After adjustment for risk factors, significant association was shown between baPWV and BMD in both genders (male: r=−0.084, P=0.035; female: r=−0.088, P=0.014). The correlation was stronger in females than in males, and in females, the correlation was stronger after menopause. Similarly, mean baPWV differed significantly according to the decreased BMD (normal BMD, Osteopenia, Osteoporosis). In contrast, no significant differences were observed for ABI, CIMT, eGFR or microalbuminuria with BMD.
Independent of confounding factors, low BMD is associated with the functional marker of subclinical atherosclerosis (increased baPWV), but not with structural markers (ABI, CIMT, eGFR or microalbuminuria) among healthy females and males.
PMCID: PMC4454857  PMID: 26101634
Low bone mineral density (BMD); atherosclerosis; health check-up; arterial stiffness
22.  SIRT6/NF-κB signaling axis in ginsenoside Rg1-delayed hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell senescence 
Objective: To investigate the role of SIRT6/NF-κB signaling axis in ginsenoside Rg1-delayed hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell senescence and to provide theoretical and experimental evidence for delaying HSC/HPC senescence pathway. Methods: After the separation and purification by immunomagnetic sorting, Sca-1+HSC/HPC was divided into: normal control group; aging group; positive control group; Rg1 delaying group and Rg1 treatment group. Senescence-associated β-galactosidase (SA-β-Gal) staining, flow cytometry analysis of cell cycle and hematopoietic progenitor cells mixed colony (CFU-Mix) culture were performed to determine the delaying or curing roles of Rg1 in Sca-1+HSC/HPC senescence. Quantitative PCR and Western blotting were used to detect the mRNA and protein expression of senescence regulatory molecules, such as SIRT6 and NF-κB. Results: Compared with the aging group, the positive rate of SA-β-gal staining cells and the proportion of cells in G1 phase decreased; the number of CFU-Mix increased; mRNA and protein expression of SIRT6 increased; mRNA and protein expression of NF-κB was down-regulated in Rg1 delaying and treatment groups; the changes of the indicators in Rg1 delaying group were more significant than those in Rg1 treatment group. Conclusion: Rg1 may fight against Sca-1+HSC/HPC senescence induced by t-BHP through regulating SIRT6-NF-κB signaling pathway.
PMCID: PMC4503140  PMID: 26191269
Ginsenoside Rg1; SIRT6; NF-Κb; Sca-1+HSC/HPC; senescence
23.  High expression of cAMP responsive element binding protein 1 (CREB1) is associated with metastasis, tumor stage and poor outcome in gastric cancer 
Oncotarget  2015;6(12):10646-10657.
cAMP responsive element binding protein 1 (CREB1) has been reported to be implicated in tumor development and progression of human cancers. However, the clinical significance and regulatory mechanisms of CREB1 expression in gastric cancer remain largely unknown. In the present study, immunohistochemistry was performed to detect the expression of CREB1 protein in 185 primary gastric cancer tissues, 50 secondary lymph node metastatic foci and 50 nontumorous gastric tissues. A prognostic model combining CREB1 expression with TNM tumor stage was constructed by logistic regression analysis. Regulation of CREB1 by miRNAs was investigated by luciferase reporter assay and Western blot. It was shown that CREB1 was highly expressed and correlated with lymph node metastasis, distant metastasis and tumor stage and poor outcome in gastric cancer. The prognostic model was proven to be an independent prognosis predictor and performed better than CREB1 or tumor stage alone. CREB1 was identified as a direct target of miR-27b and miR-200b, and down-regulated by miR-27b/miR-200b. We conclude that CREB1 is a promising biomarker to predict tumor metastasis and patient outcome in gastric cancer, and the miR-27b/miR-200b-CREB1 pathway may serve as a potential molecular target for the treatment of gastric cancer.
PMCID: PMC4496382  PMID: 25825983
gastric cancer; CREB1; metastasis; prognosis; miRNA
24.  Comparison of the short-term efficacy of sequential treatment with intravesical single-port laparoscopic partial cystectomy with bladder preservation or open partial cystectomy in combination with cisplatin plus gemcitabine chemotherapy 
This study aimed to assess the short-term efficacy of sequential therapy for T2/T3a bladder cancer with intravesical single-port laparoscopic partial cystectomy or open partial cystectomy combined with cisplatin plus gemcitabine (GC) chemotherapy in a prospective randomized controlled study. Thirty patients with bladder cancer who underwent open partial cystectomy (group A) or single-port laparoscopic partial cystectomy (group B) and received standard GC chemotherapy were analyzed. Perioperative functional indicators and tumor recurrence during a 1-year postoperative follow-up were compared between the two groups. The baseline characteristics were comparable between the two groups. The mean operative time, amount of blood loss and duration of hospital stay were 90.3 min, 182.0 ml and 7.3 days, respectively, for group A, and 105.3 min, 49.3 ml and 5.8 days, respectively, for group B. No secondary postoperative bleeding, urine leakage, wound infection or other complications were observed in the two groups. Postoperative scarring was not evident in group B. The overall incidence of surgical complications, tumor recurrence rate and complications during chemotherapy in the postoperative follow-up period of 12 months were similar between the two groups. Single-port laparoscopic partial cystectomy surgery is an idea surgical method for the treatment of invasive bladder cancer, with good surgical effect, minimal invasiveness, rapid recovery and short hospital stay. The data from 1-year postoperative follow-up showed that laparoscopic surgery was superior with regard to perioperative bleeding, postoperative recovery and duration of indwelling urinary catheter use. However, regarding the tumor recurrence rate, long-term comparative details are required to determine the effect of laparoscopic surgery.
PMCID: PMC4487073  PMID: 26170915
cystectomy; laparoscopy; single-port laparoscopy; bladder cancer
25.  Largely Enhanced Saturable Absorption of a Complex of Plasmonic and Molecular-Like Au Nanocrystals 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:9735.
A saturable absorber is a nonlinear functional material widely used in laser and photonic nanodevices. Metallic nanostructures have prominent saturable absorption (SA) at the plasmon resonance frequency owing to largely enhanced ground state absorption. However, the SA of plasmonic metal nanostructures is hampered by excited-state absorption processes at very high excitation power, which usually leads to a changeover from SA to reversed SA (SA→RSA). Here, we demonstrate tunable nonlinear absorption behaviours of a nanocomplex of plasmonic and molecular-like Au nanocrystals. The SA→RSA process is efficiently suppressed, and the stepwise SA→SA process is fulfilled owing to energy transfer in the nanocomplex. Our observations offer a strategy for preparation of the saturable absorber complex and have prospective applications in liquid lasers as well as one-photon nonlinear nanodevices.
PMCID: PMC4398047  PMID: 25875139

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