The Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling pathway carries out a wide range of biological functions such as patterning of the embryonic neural tube and expansion of cerebellar granule cell precursors. We previously have found that the Shh signaling receptors, Patched1 (Ptch1) and Smoothened (Smo), are expressed in hippocampal neurons of developing and adult rats, suggesting the continued presence of Shh signaling in postmitotic, differentiated neurons. Here, we report that Ptch1 and Smo are present in the processes and growth cones of immature neurons in the developing cerebellum, and that, in the mature cerebellum, Ptch1 and Smo are expressed by several types of neurons including Purkinje cells, granule cells, and interneurons. Within these neurons, Ptch1 and Smo are predominantly localized in the postsynaptic side of the synapses, a distribution pattern similar to that found in hippocampal neurons. Our findings provide morphological evidence that Shh signaling events are not confined to neuronal precursors and are likely to have ongoing roles within the postmitotic neurons of the developing and adult cerebellum.
Sonic hedgehog; Patched; Smoothened; Cerebellar neuron; Synapse
Myeloid sarcoma (MS) is a rare hematological neoplasm that develops either de novo or concurrently with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). This neoplasm can also be an initial manifestation of relapse in a previously treated AML that is in remission. A 44-year-old male patient was diagnosed with testis MS in a local hospital in August 2010. After one month, bone marrow biopsy and aspiration confirmed the diagnosis of AML. Allogeneic mobilization peripheral blood stem cell transplantation was performed, with the sister of the patient as donor, after complete remission (CR) was achieved by chemotherapy. Five months after treatment, an adrenal mass was detected by positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT). Radiotherapy was performed for the localized mass after a multidisciplinary team (MDT) discussion. The patient is still alive as of May 2013, with no evidence of recurrent MS or leukemia.
Myeloid sarcoma (MS); acute myeloid leukemia (AML); allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; multidisciplinary team (MDT)
Background. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have shown its revolutionary power in seeking the influenced loci on complex diseases genetically. Thousands of replicated loci for common traits are helpful in diseases risk assessment. However it is still difficult to elucidate the variations in these loci that directly cause susceptibility to diseases by disrupting the expression or function of a protein currently. Results. We evaluate the expression features of disease related genes and find that different diseases related genes show different expression perturbation sensitivities in various conditions. It is worth noting that the expression of some robust disease-genes doesn't show significant change in their corresponding diseases, these genes might be easily ignored in the expression profile analysis. Conclusion. Gene ontology enrichment analysis indicates that robust disease-genes execute essential function in comparison with sensitive disease-genes. The diseases associated with robust genes seem to be relatively lethal like cancer and aging. On the other hand, the diseases associated with sensitive genes are apparently nonlethal like psych and chemical dependency diseases.
Endogenous S-nitrosylation of proteins, a principal mechanism of cellular signaling in eukaryotes, has not been observed in microbes. We report that protein S-nitrosylation is an obligate concomitant of anaerobic respiration on nitrate in Escherichia coli. Endogenous S-nitrosylation during anaerobic respiration is controlled by the transcription factor OxyR, previously thought to operate only under aerobic conditions. Deletion of OxyR resulted in large increases in protein S-nitrosylation, and S-nitrosylation of OxyR induced transcription from a regulon that is distinct from the regulon induced by OxyR oxidation. Furthermore, products unique to the anaerobic regulon protected against S-nitrosothiols, and anaerobic growth of E. coli lacking OxyR was impaired on nitrate. Thus, OxyR serves as a master regulator of S-nitrosylation, and alternative posttranslational modifications of OxyR control distinct transcriptional responses.
Enterovirus 71 (EV71) has caused several epidemics of hand, foot and mouth diseases (HFMD) in Asia. No effective EV71 vaccine is available. A randomized and open-label phase I clinical study registered with ClinicalTrials.gov #NCT01268787, aims to evaluate the safety, reactogenicity and immunogenicity of a formalin-inactivated EV71 vaccine candidate (EV71vac) at 5- and 10-µg doses. In this study we report the cross-neutralizing antibody responses from each volunteer against different subgenotypes of EV71 and CVA16.
Sixty eligible healthy adults were recruited and vaccinated. Blood samples were obtained on day 0, 21 and 42 and tested against B1, B4, B5, C2, C4A, C4B and CVA16 for cross-neutralizing antibody responses.
The immunogenicity of both 5- and 10- µg doses were found to be very similar. Approximately 45% of the participants had <8 pre-vaccination neutralization titers (Nt) against the B4 vaccine strain. After the first EV71vac immunization, 95% of vaccinees have >4-fold increase in Nt, but there was no further increase in Nt after the second dose. EV71vac induced very strong cross-neutralizing antibody responses in >85% of volunteers without pre-existing Nt against subgenotype B1, B5 and C4A. EV71vac elicited weak cross-neutralizing antibody responses (∼20% of participants) against a C4B and Coxsackie virus A16. Over 90% of vaccinated volunteers did not develop cross-neutralizing antibody responses (Nt<8) against a C2 strain. EV71vac can boost and significantly enhance the neutralizing antibody responses in volunteers who already had pre-vaccination antibodies against EV71 and/or CVA16.
EV71vac is efficient in eliciting cross-neutralizing antibody responses against EV71 subgenotypes B1, B4, B5, and C4A, and provides the rationale for its evaluation in phase II clinical trials.
Solitary plasmacytoma (SP) is a rare tumor with low incidence. The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical features, treatment strategies, and relative prognostic factors of 66 patients with SP. These patients made up 10.25% of the 644 patients with plasma cell dyscrasias treated at the Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital over the past 12 years. SP always presented with either solitary bone plasmacytoma (SBP) or extramedullary plasmacytoma (EMP), as determined by the location of the lesions. SBP occurred most frequently in the vertebral column and EMP in the upper respiratory tract. In addition to other factors, tumor size, serum M protein level, urinary Bence Jones protein level, and disease progression toward multiple myeloma were significantly different between the two groups (P<0.05). Larger tumor size (≥5 cm) was associated with poor prognosis of local control, multiple myeloma–free survival, overall survival and progression-free survival for SBP patients. Radiotherapy and serum β2 microglobulin <3.5 mg/L were favorable prognostic factors for local control, multiple myeloma-free survival, and progression-free survival in patients with EMP.
solitary bone plasmacytoma; extramedullary plasmacytoma; clinical characteristics; prognosis; radiotherapy
Clathrin assembly proteins AP180 and CALM regulate the assembly of clathrin-coated vesicles (CCVs), which mediate diverse intracellular trafficking processes, including synaptic vesicle (SV) recycling at the synapse. Although studies using several invertebrate model systems have indicated a role for AP180 in SV recycling, less is known about AP180’s or CALM’s function in the synapse of mammalian neurons. In this study, we examined synapses of rat hippocampal neurons in which the level of AP180 or CALM had been reduced by RNA interference (RNAi). Using light microscopy, we visualized synaptic puncta in these AP180- or CALM-reduced neurons by co-expressing Synaptophysin::EGFP (Syp::EGFP). We found that neurons with reduced AP180 or reduced CALM had smaller Syp::EGFP-illuminated puncta. Using electron microscopy, we further examined the ultrastructure of the AP180- or CALM-reduced presynaptic terminals. We found that SVs became variably enlarged in both the AP180-reduced and CALM-reduced presynaptic terminals. Lower AP180 and CALM also reduced the density of SVs and the size of SV clusters. Our findings demonstrate that in the presynaptic terminals of hippocampal neurons, AP180 and CALM have a similar role in regulating synaptic vesicles. This overlapping activity may be necessary for high-precision and high-efficacy SV formation during endocytosis.
AP180; CALM; Hippocampal synapse; Synaptic vesicle
The septin gene belongs to a highly conserved family of polymerizing GTP-binding cytoskeletal proteins. SEPTs perform cytoskeletal remodeling, cell polarity, mitosis, and vesicle trafficking by interacting with various cytoskeletons. Our previous studies have indicated that SEPTIN12+/+/+/− chimeras with a SEPTIN12 mutant allele were infertile. Spermatozoa from the vas deferens of chimeric mice indicated an abnormal sperm morphology, decreased sperm count, and immotile sperm. Mutations and genetic variants of SEPTIN12 in infertility cases also caused oligozoospermia and teratozoospermia. We suggest that a loss of SEPT12 affects the biological function of microtublin functions and causes spermiogenesis defects. In the cell model, SEPT12 interacts with α- and β-tubulins by co-immunoprecipitation (co-IP). To determine the precise localization and interactions between SEPT12 and α- and β-tubulins in vivo, we created SEPTIN12-transgene mice. We demonstrate how SEPT12 interacts and co-localizes with α- and β-tubulins during spermiogenesis in these mice. By using shRNA, the loss of SEPT12 transcripts disrupts α- and β-tubulin organization. In addition, losing or decreasing SEPT12 disturbs the morphogenesis of sperm heads and the elongation of sperm tails, the steps of which are coordinated and constructed by α- and β-tubulins, in SEPTIN12+/+/+/− chimeras. In this study, we discovered that the SEPTIN12-microtubule complexes are critical for sperm formation during spermiogenesis.
spermiogenesis; SEPT12; microtubules
Saikosaponin-d (SSd), a monomer terpenoid purified from the Chinese herbal drug Radix bupleuri, has multiple effects, including anticancer properties. However, the effect of SSd on tumors exposed to radiation is largely unknown. To investigate the radiosensitizing effect of SSd and its possible mechanism, we combined SSd with radiation therapy to treat SMMC-7721 hepatocellular carcinoma cells under oxia and hypoxia.
Cell growth, apoptosis, and cell cycle distribution were examined after treatment with SSd alone, radiation alone, and their combinations under oxia and hypoxia. The protein and mRNA levels of p53, Bcl2, and BAX were measured using western blot analysis and RT-PCR, respectively.
Treatment with SSd alone and radiation alone inhibited cell growth and increased apoptosis rate at the concentration used. These effects were enhanced when SSd was combined with radiation. Moreover, SSd potentiated the effects of radiation to induce G0/G1 arrest in SMMC-7721 cells, and reduced the G2/M-phase population under hypoxia. However, under oxia, SSd only potentiated the effects of radiation to induce G0/G1 arrest, but not G2/M-phase arrest. These effects of SSd alone, radiation alone, and their combination, were accompanied by upregulated expression of p53 and BAX and downregulation of Bcl2 expression under oxia and hypoxia.
SSd potentiates the effects of radiation on SMMC-7721 cells; thus, it is a promising radiosensitizer. The radiosensitizing effect of SSd may contribute to its effect on the G0/G1 and G2/M checkpoints of the cell cycle.
To examine a potential association between longitudinal changes in intraocular pressure (IOP), arterial blood pressure and body mass index (BMI) in a population-based setting.
The longitudinal population-based Beijing Eye Study included 2355 subjects with an age of 45+ years who were examined in 2006 and in 2011. The participants underwent a detailed ophthalmic examination including tonometry and measurement of arterial blood pressure and BMI.
Data on IOP, arterial blood pressure and BMI measured in 2006 and in 2011 were available for 2257 (95.8%) subjects with a mean age of 59.5±9.7 years. The mean change in IOP was −1.25±2.26 mm Hg, mean change in mean blood pressure −7.4±12.1 mmHg, and mean change in BMI was 0.01±2.04 kg/m2. In multivariate analysis, the 5-year change in IOP was significantly associated with a higher change in mean blood pressure (P<0.001; standardized regression coefficient Beta:0.11; regression coefficient B:0.02; 95% confidence interval (CI):0.01,0.03) after adjusting for younger age (P<0.001;Beta:−0.18;B:−0.04;95% CI:−0.05,−0.03), shorter body stature (P = 0.002;Beta:−0.06;B:−0.06;95% CI:−0.03,−0.01), thicker central corneal thickness (P<0.001;Beta:0.19;B:0.02;95% CI:0.01,0.02), deeper anterior chamber depth (P = 0.01;Beta:0.05;B:0.33;95% CI:0.07,0.60), and lower intraocular pressure at baseline (P<0.001;Beta:−0.56;B:−0.42;95% CI:−0.45,−0.39). If the analysis included only longitudinal parameters, the change in IOP was significantly associated with a higher change in mean arterial blood pressure (P<0.001;Beta:0.10;B:0.02;95% CI:0.01,0.03) and a higher change in body mass index (P<0.04;Beta:0.04;B:0.04;95% CI:0.01,0.09).
In the 5-year follow-up of our population-based sample, a change in IOP was associated with a corresponding change in arterial blood pressure and with a corresponding change in body mass index. These longitudinal data support the notion of a physiological relationship between arterial blood pressure, intraocular pressure and body mass index. These findings may be of interest for the discussion of the pathogenesis of glaucomatous optic neuropathy.
Here we report on three new species of ornithuromorph birds from the Lower Cretaceous Xiagou Formation in the Changma Basin of Gansu Province, northwestern China: Yumenornis huangi gen. et sp. nov., Changmaornis houi gen. et sp. nov., and Jiuquanornis niui gen. et sp. nov.. The last of these is based on a previously published but unnamed specimen: GSGM-05-CM-021. Although incomplete, the specimens can be clearly distinguished from each other and from Gansus yumenensis Hou and Liu, 1984. Phylogenetic analysis resolves the three new taxa as basal ornithuromorphs. This study reveals previously unrecognized ornithuromorph diversity in the Changma avifauna, which is largely dominated by Gansus but with at least three other ornithuromorphs. Body mass estimates demonstrate that enantiornithines were much smaller than ornithuromorphs in the Changma avifauna. In addition, Changma enantiornithines preserve long and recurved pedal unguals, suggesting an arboreal lifestyle; in contrast, Changma ornithuromorphs tend to show terrestrial or even aquatic adaptions. Similar differences in body mass and ecology are also observed in the Jehol avifauna in northeastern China, suggesting niche partitioning between these two clades developed early in their evolutionary history.
The benzopyran compound obtained by cultivating a mangrove-derived strain, Streptomyces xiamenensis strain 318, shows multiple biological effects, including anti-fibrotic and anti-hypertrophic scar properties. To increase the diversity in the structures of the available benzopyrans, by means of biosynthesis, the strain was screened for spontaneous rifampicin resistance (Rif), and a mutated rpsL gene to confer streptomycin resistance (Str), was introduced into the S. xiamenensis strain M1-94P that originated from deep-sea sediments. Two new benzopyran derivatives, named xiamenmycin C (1) and D (2), were isolated from the crude extracts of a selected Str-Rif double mutant (M6) of M1-94P. The structures of 1 and 2 were identified by analyzing extensive spectroscopic data. Compounds 1 and 2 both inhibit the proliferation of human lung fibroblasts (WI26), and 1 exhibits better anti-fibrotic activity than xiamenmycin. Our study presents the novel bioactive compounds isolated from S. xiamenensis mutant strain M6 constructed by ribosome engineering, which could be a useful approach in the discovery of new anti-fibrotic compounds.
Streptomyces xiamenensis; ribosome engineering; benzopyran; anti-fibrosis
MicroRNA-21 (miR-21) is an oncomir overexpressed in most human tumors where it promotes malignant growth and progression by acting on multiple targets. Here we broaden the impact of miR-21 in cancer by demonstrating that it regulates formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that promote tumorigenesis. Key targets of miR-21 in mediating this function were SOD3 and TNF-a. We found that miR-21 inhibited the metabolism of superoxide to hydrogen peroxide, produced either by endogenous basal activities or exposure to ionizing radiation, by directing attenuating SOD3 or by an indirect mechanism that limited TNF-a production, thereby reducing SOD2 levels. Importantly, both effects contributed to an elevation of IR-induced cell transformation. Our findings therefore establish that miR-21 promotes tumorigenesis to a large extent through its regulation of cellular ROS levels.
miR-21; SOD; TNFα; Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS); ionizing radiation
Alkylphenols, such as nonylphenol (NP) and 4-octylphenol (4-OP), have the potential to disturb immune system due to their weak estrogen-like activity, an effect with potential serious public health impact due to the worldwide distribution of these substances. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (PDCs) can secrete large amounts of type I IFNs and are critical in immune regulation. However, there has been limited study about the influence of alkylphenols on the function of pDCs.
The aim of this study was to examine the effect of alkylphenols on pDC functions in vitro and in vivo and then further explored the involved signaling pathways and epigenetic changes.
Circulating pDCs from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells were treated with alkylphenols with or without CpG stimulation. Alkylphenol-associated cytokine responses, signaling events, histone modifications and viral activity were further examined. In NP-exposed mice, the effect of NP on splenic pDC function and allergic lung inflammation were also assessed.
The results showed that NP increased the expression of TNF-α, but suppressed IL-10 production in the range of physiological doses, concomitant with activation of the MKK3/6-p38 signaling pathway and enhanced levels of acetylated histone 3 as well as histone 4 at the TNFA gene locus. Further, in CpG-stimulated pDCs, NP suppressed type I IFNs production, associated with down-regulation of IRF-7 and MKK1/2-ERK-Elk-1 pathways and led to the impaired anti-enterovirus 71 activity in vitro. Additionally, splenic pDCs from NP-exposed mice showed similar cytokine changes upon CpG stimulation under conditions relevant to route and level of exposure in humans. NP treatment also enhanced allergic lung inflammation in vivo.
Alkylphenols may influence pDCs’ functions via their abilities to induce expression of a pro-inflammatory cytokine, TNF-α, and to suppress regulatory cytokines, including IL-10, IFN-α and IFN-β, suggesting the potential impact of endocrine disrupting chemicals on immune regulation.
Polymeric composite films with a high loading of nano-size silicates can hardly meet the increasingly stringent fireproof and smoke-free requirements during burning. Thus, it is desirable to prepare pure clay films that can block air, heat, and flame. Here we report an organic-free clay film capable of both flame- and heat-shielding. The film was prepared from the self-assembly of nanometer-thick silicate platelets derived from the exfoliation of natural clays. The self-assembled film has a highly regular multilayered nanostructure over a large area and an appreciable volume of air entrapped in between. The combination of regular structure and substantial air volume contributes to the low thermal conductivity and flame blocking property of the film. It was demonstrated that the film can shield flame over hour duration and prevent temperature rising on the backside of film. This remarkable clay film has a myriad of uses including gas barrier, heat insulator, and fireproof devices.
Caspase 7 (CASP7) is an important regulator and executioner in the apoptosis pathway and plays a crucial role in cancer development and progression. However, few studies have evaluated associations between functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the 3′ untranslational region (UTR) of CASP7 and risk of gastric cancer.
In a case-control study of 1117 patients with gastric cancer and 1146 cancer-free controls with frequency matching on age and sex, we genotyped four potentially functional SNPs (rs4353229T>C, rs10787498T>G, rs1127687G>A and rs12247479G>A) located in the microRNA binding sites of the CASP7 3′ UTR by using Taqman assays and evaluated their associations with risk of gastric cancer by using logistic regression analyses as well as multifactorial dimension reduction (MDR) analysis.
In the single-locus analysis, only the CASP7 rs4353229 TT genotype was associated with 0.83-fold decreased risk (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.70–0.98) of gastric cancer under a recessive model, compared with the CT/CC genotypes. In the combined analysis of all four SNPs, we found that the risk of gastric cancer decreased by 19% in those carrying any of the risk genotypes (adjusted odds ratio = 0.81, 95% CI = 0.68–0.96), compared with those carrying zero risk genotypes, and this risk was more evident in subgroups of younger age (<59 years), females, non-smokers, non-drinkers and patients with non-gastric cardia adenocarcinoma. Further MDR analysis suggested some evidence of interactions between the combined genotypes and other risk factors for gastric cancer.
Potentially functional CASP7 variants may contribute to risk of gastric cancer. Larger studies with different ethnic populations are warranted to validate our findings.
Episodic memory tasks are one of the most sensitive tools to discriminate Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This study aimed to validate a shorter version verbal memory test that will efficiently assess Chinese elderly with memory complaints. One hundred and eighty-five elderly with normal cognition (NC) and 217 AD patients were evaluated. Each participant received the Chinese Version Verbal Learning Test (CVVLT) consisting of 9 two-character nouns with 4 learning trials, 2 delayed recalls in 30 seconds and 10 minutes, and a word recognition test. In the NC elderly, age and sex had significant effects on recall scores in CVVLT, while education level showed an inverse correlation with 3 different patterns of errors made during the learning, recall, and recognition trials. AD patients had lower scores across all recall tests. In those with lower educational level, NC elderly had higher perseveration errors than AD patients. The cutoff value between the AD and NC groups in the 10-minute recall was 4/5 for those aged >75 years and 5/6 for those aged <75 years. This study has good validity in discriminating AD participants and the data here can help in diagnosing AD and mild cognitive impairment using the CVVLT.
Chinese Verbal Learning Test; education; memory; dementia; cutoff value; validation
The envelope of Bacillus anthracis encompasses a proteinaceous S-layer with two S-layer proteins (Sap and EA1). Protein assembly in the envelope of B. anthracis requires S-layer homology domains (SLH) within S-layer proteins and S-layer-associated proteins (BSLs), which associate with the secondary cell wall polysaccharide (SCWP), an acetylated carbohydrate that is tethered to peptidoglycan. Here, we investigated the contributions of two putative acetyltransferases, PatA1 and PatA2, on SCWP acetylation and S-layer assembly. We show that mutations in patA1 and patA2 affect the chain lengths of B. anthracis vegetative forms and perturb the deposition of the BslO murein hydrolase at cell division septa. The patA1 and patA2 mutants are defective for the assembly of EA1 in the envelope but retain the ability of S-layer formation with Sap. SCWP isolated from the patA1
patA2 mutant lacked acetyl moieties identified in wild-type polysaccharide and failed to associate with the SLH domains of EA1. A model is discussed whereby patA1- and patA2-mediated acetylation of SCWP enables the deposition of EA1 as well as BslO near the septal region of the B. anthracis envelope.
AIM: To characterize the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among Chinese intravenous drug users (IDUs).
METHODS: A total of 432 adult IDUs (95 women and 337 men) in Shanghai were included in the study. The third-generation Elecsys Anti-HCV assay (Roche Diagnostics GmbH, Sandhofer Strasse 116, D-68305, Mannheim, Germany) was used to screen for antibodies against HCV. The RIBA strip, a supplemental anti-HCV test with high specificity, was performed on all of the samples that tested positive during the initial screening. All of the anti-HCV positive samples were analyzed with a Cobas TaqMan 48 Analyzer (Roche Diagnostics) for direct detection of HCV RNA. All of the HCV RNA-positive samples were sequenced for genotype determination.
RESULTS: The preliminary screening identified 262 (60.6%) subjects who were seropositive for HCV. Of the 62 females and 200 males seropositive subjects, 16 (16.7%) and 65 (19.3%), respectively, were confirmed by RIBA, yielding an overall HCV seropositive rate of 18.8%. Four female (6.5%) and 14 male (7.0%) subjects tested positive for HCV RNA, indicating an active infection rate of 4.2% for the entire study population. The 18 HCV RNA-positive serum samples were genotyped. Seven individuals were genotype 1b, and four were genotype 1a. One individual each was infected with genotypes 2a, 2b and 3a. Four subjects were co-infected with multiple strains: two with genotypes 1a and 2a, and two with genotypes 1b and 2a. The active infection rate among HCV-seropositive individuals was 22.2%, which was significantly lower than most estimates.
CONCLUSION: The prevalence of HCV is relatively low among IDUs in Shanghai, with a spontaneous recovery rate much higher than previous estimates.
Hepatitis C; Anti-hepatitis C virus antibodies; Prevalence of hepatitis C virus; Active infection rate; Intravenous drug users
XRCC3 and RAD51 are two important members in homologous recombination repair pathway. This study was performed to detect the expressions of these two molecules in breast cancer and explore their correlations with clinicopathological factors.
Methods and Results
Immunohistochemistry was used to detect protein expressions of XRCC3 and RAD51 in 248 cases of breast cancer tissue and 78 cases of adjacent non-cancerous tissue. Data showed that expressions for both XRCC3 and RAD51 were significantly increased in breast cancer. High XRCC3 expression was associated with large tumor size and positive PR and HER2 status, while high RAD51 expression was associated with axillary lymph node metastasis and positive PR and HER2 status. The result of multivariate analysis demonstrated that HER2, PR and RAD51 were significantly association with XRCC3. And besides XRCC3, axillary lymph node metastasis and PR were significantly correlated with RAD51.
XRCC3 and RAD51 were significantly associated with clinicopathological factors and they might play important roles in the development and progress of breast cancer.
AIM: To investigate the feasibility and optimal approach for laparoscopic pancreas- and spleen-preserving splenic hilum lymph node dissection in advanced proximal gastric cancer.
METHODS: Between August 2009 and August 2012, 12 patients with advanced proximal gastric cancer treated in Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China were enrolled and subsequently underwent laparoscopic total gastrectomy with pancreas- and spleen-preserving splenic hilum lymph node (LN) dissection. The clinicopathological characteristics, surgical outcomes, postoperative course and follow-up data of these patients were retrospectively collected and analyzed in the study.
RESULTS: Based on our anatomical understanding of peripancreatic structures, we combined the characteristics of laparoscopic surgery and developed a modified approach (combined supra- and infra-pancreatic approaches) for laparoscopic pancreas- and spleen-preserving splenic hilum LN dissection. Surgery was completed in all 12 patients laparoscopically without conversion. Only one patient experienced intraoperative bleeding when dissecting LNs along the splenic artery and was handled with laparoscopic hemostasis. The mean operating time was 268.4 min and mean number of retrieved splenic hilum LNs was 4.8. One patient had splenic hilum LN metastasis (8.3%). Neither postoperative morbidity nor mortality was observed. Peritoneal metastasis occurred in one patient and none of the other patients died or experienced recurrent disease during the follow-up period.
CONCLUSION: Laparoscopic total gastrectomy with pancreas- and spleen-preserving splenic hilum LN dissection using the modified approach for advanced proximal gastric cancer could be safely achieved.
Proximal stomach; Stomach neoplasm; Laparoscopy; Lymph node excision; Splenic hilum
Bacillus cereus G9241, the causative agent of anthrax-like disease, harbors virulence plasmids encoding anthrax toxins as well as hyaluronic acid (HA) and B. cereus exopolysaccharide (BPS) capsules. B. cereus G9241 also harbors S-layer genes, including homologs of Bacillus anthracis surface array protein (Sap), extractable antigen 1 (EA1), and the S-layer-associated proteins (BSLs). In B. anthracis, S-layer proteins and BSLs attach via their S-layer homology domains (SLH) to the secondary cell wall polysaccharide (SCWP) in a manner requiring csaB, a predicted ketalpyruvate transferase. Here we used a genetic approach to analyze B. cereus G9241 S-layer assembly and function. Variants lacking the csaB gene synthesized SCWP but failed to retain Sap, EA1, and BSLs in the bacterial envelope. The B. cereus G9241 csaB mutant assembled capsular polysaccharides but displayed an increase in chain length relative to the wild-type strain. This phenotype is likely due to its inability to deposit BslO murein hydrolase at divisional septa. During growth under capsule-inducing conditions, B. cereus G9241 assembled BSLs (BslA and BslO) and the Sap S-layer protein, but not EA1, in the envelope. Finally, csaB-mediated assembly of S-layer proteins and BSLs in B. cereus G9241 contributes to the pathogenesis of anthrax-like disease in mice.
Azoospermia is one of the major reproductive disorders which cause male infertility in humans; however, the etiology of this disease is largely unknown. In the present study, six missense mutations of WT1 gene were detected in 529 human patients with non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA), indicating a strong association between WT1 mutation and NOA. The Wilms tumor gene, Wt1, is specifically expressed in Sertoli cells (SCs) which support spermatogenesis. To examine the functions of this gene in spermatogenesis, Wt1 was deleted in adult testis using Wt1flox and Cre-ERTM mice strains. We found that inactivation of Wt1 resulted in massive germ cell death and only SCs were present in most of the seminiferous tubules which was very similar to NOA in humans. In investigating the potential mechanism for this, histological studies revealed that the blood–testis barrier (BTB) was disrupted in Wt1 deficient testes. In vitro studies demonstrated that Wt1 was essential for cell polarity maintenance in SCs. Further studies found that the expression of cell polarity associated genes (Par6b and E-cadherin) and Wnt signaling genes (Wnt4, Wnt11) were downregulated in Wt1 deficient SCs, and that the expression of Par6b and E-cadherin was regulated by Wnt4. Our findings suggest that Wt1 is important in spermatogenesis by regulating the polarity of SCs via Wnt signaling pathway and that WT1 mutation is one of the genetic causes of NOA in humans.
Infertility is one of the most common health problems, affecting about 15% of the couples in the world. In about half of these couples, infertility is related to male reproductive defect. Azoospermia is one of the major causes of male infertility in humans. Previous studies have found that the mutation or deletion of some genes is associated with azoospermia; however, the genetic cause of this remains largely unknown. In the present study, we detected Wt1 missense mutations in men with non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA). An essential function for WT1 in male spermatogenesis was confirmed by the use of a Wt1 conditional knockout mouse strain. Inactivation of Wt1 resulted in germ cell loss in mice, which was similar to NOA in human patients. Our data indicate that WT1 mutation is one genetic cause of male infertility and suggest that WT1 mutational analysis will be useful for diagnosis in a clinical setting.
Enterovirus 71 (EV71) frequently causes fatal infections in young children in Asia. In 2011, EV71 epidemics occurred in southern Vietnam. We conducted genetic and antigenic analysis of the EV71 isolates and found that 94% of them were genotype C4a related to two lineages circulating in China and 6% were genotype C5 which have circulated in Vietnam since 2003. Antigenic variants were not detected. EV71 vaccines are being developed. Longitudinal enterovirus surveillance data are critical to formulate vaccination policy in Vietnam.
To assess the prevalence of localized retinal nerve fiber layer defects (LRNFLD) and associated factors in adult Chinese.
The population-based Beijing Eye Study 2011 included 3468 individuals (mean age: 64.6±9.8 years (range: 50–93 years)). The study participants underwent a detailed ophthalmological examination including spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SpectralisR-OCT) assisted measurement of the RNFL. A LRNFLD was defined as a sector in which the RNFL contour line dipped into the red zone for a length of <180°.
Readable OCT images were available for 3242 (93.5%) subjects. LRNFLDs were detected in 640 eyes (9.9±0.4%) of 479 subjects (14.8±0.6%). In the age groups of 50–59 years, 60–69 years, 70–79 years, and 80+ years, the prevalence of LRNFLD per person increased from 9.9±0.9%, 11.6±1.0% and 20.6±1.4% to 33.0±3.2%, respectively. In multivariate analysis, prevalence of LRNFLDs was significantly associated with older age (P = 0.001; Odds Ratio (OR): 1.03; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.01,1.05), myopic refractive error (P<0.001;OR:0.79;95%CI:0.74,0.85), larger beta zone of parapapillary atrophy (P<0.001; OR:1.34;95%CI:1.20,1.50), presence of glaucomatous optic neuropathy (P<0.001;OR:7.02;95%CI:3.87,12.7), presence of non-glaucomatous optic nerve damage (P = 0.001;OR:43.3;95%CI:8.24,227.1), and presence of diabetic retinopathy (P = 0.003;OR:2.79;95%CI:1.43,5.44).
OCT-defined LRNFLDs were present in a prevalence of 14.8±0.6% in a population-based study sample of subjects aged 50+ years. Prevalence of LRNFLDs increased with higher age, myopic refractive error, and larger parapapillary beta zone. Major ocular diseases associated with LRNFLs were glaucoma, non-glaucomatous optic nerve damage and diabetic retinopathy. These data may be helpful for a semiautomatic assessment of the RNFL.