Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) have become an essential tool in the contemporary malaria control and management programmes in the world. This study aims to evaluate the performance of two commonly used RDTs for malaria diagnosis in the China-Myanmar border area.
A total 606 febrile patients in the China-Myanmar border were recruited to this study and were diagnosed for malaria infections by microscopy, two RDTs tests (Pf/Pan device, and Pv/Pf device) and nested PCR.
Malaria parasites were found in 143 patients by microscopy, of which 51, 73, and 19 were Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax and P. falciparum/P. vivax mixed infections, respectively. Compared to microscopy, the sensitivity of the Pf/Pan device was 88.6% for P. falciparum and 69.9% for P. vivax with the specificity of 90.4%. For a subset of 350 patients, the sensitivity of the Pf/Pan device and Pv/Pf device for detection of P. falciparum was 87.5% and 91.7%, respectively; and for detection of P. vivax was 72.0% and 73.8%, respectively. The specificity of the Pf/Pan device and Pv/Pf device was 94.3% and 96.5%, respectively. Nested PCR detected malaria parasites in 174 of 606 samples, of which 67, 79, two and 26 were P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale and P. falciparum/P. vivax mixed infections, respectively. Compared to nested PCR, all other methods had sensitivity below 80%, suggesting that a significant number of cases were missed.
Compared to PCR, both microscopy and RDTs had lower sensitivities. RDTs had similar performance to microscopy for P. falciparum diagnosis, but performed worse for P. vivax diagnosis. Other RDT products should be selected with higher sensitivity (and good specificity) for both P. falciparum and P. vivax diagnosis.
Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs); Malaria diagnosis; Microscopy; PCR; Sensitivity; Specificity
Pentastomiasis is a rare zoonotic disease caused by pentastomids. Despite their worm-like appearance, they are commonly placed into a separate sub-class of the subphylum Crustacea, phylum Arthropoda. However, until now, the systematic classification of the pentastomids and the diagnosis of pentastomiasis are immature, and genetic information about pentastomid nylum is almost nonexistent. The objective of this study was to obtain information on pentastomid nymph genes and identify the gene homologues related to host-parasite interactions or stage-specific antigens.
Total pentastomid nymph RNA was used to construct a cDNA library and 500 colonies were sequenced. Analysis shows one hundred and ninety-seven unigenes were identified. In which, 147 genes were annotated, and 75 unigenes (53.19%) were mapped to 82 KEGG pathways, including 29 metabolism pathways, 29 genetic information processing pathways, 4 environmental information processing pathways, 7 cell motility pathways and 5 organismal systems pathways. Additionally, two host-parasite interaction-related gene homologues, a putative Kunitz inhibitor and a putative cysteine protease.
We first successfully constructed a cDNA library and gained a number of expressed sequence tags (EST) from pentastomid nymphs, which will lay the foundation for the further study on pentastomids and pentastomiasis.
Background: To study the expression levels and clinical significance of Argonaute2 (EIF2C2) on colonic carcinomas and normal tissues. Methods: Colon tissue samples from 90 cases of colonic carcinomas and 90 normal subjects were accumulated and made into a tissue microarray containing 360 dots. Expression of Argonaute2 (EIF2C2) was detected by immunohistochemical staining of the tissue microarray. Results: There was significant difference in the expression levels of Argonaute2 (EIF2C2) between colonic carcinomas and normal tissues (P<0.01). However, the expression of Argonaute2 (EIF2C2) was not related to sex, age, position, differentiation, lymphatic metastasis and clinical stage of the tumor (P>0.05). Conclusion: Abnormal expression of Argonaute2 (EIF2C2) may be correlated with colon tumorigenesis.
Tissue mircroarray; immunohistochemstry; colonic carcinoma; Argonaute2
AIM: To estimate hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection testing rate in cancer patients before chemotherapy with a focus on HBV reactivation.
METHODS: A retrospective study was conducted from January 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010. Inclusion required that patients be naïve to cancer chemotherapy but have indications for it. Patients who did not receive chemotherapy for any reason were excluded. Important clinical information, such as the levels of HBV DNA and serological markers were collected. HBV reactivation was defined as an increase in serum HBV DNA to > 1 log higher than that of the pre-exacerbation baseline, or serum HBV DNA conversion from negative to positive. HBV DNA levels > 1000 copies/mL were defined as HBV DNA positive. The χ2 or Fisher’s exact test was used for analysis of categorized data. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the odd ratio and 95%CI of the HBV screening rate.
RESULTS: Of 6646 patients, 5616 (84.5%) received chemotherapy. Only 17.1% of the cancer patients received pre-chemotherapy HBV testing (43.2% for hematological malignancies and 14.9% for solid tumors). Patients who had received rituximab therapy, had elevated aminotransferase levels, or had hematological malignancies were more likely to receive HBV testing. The prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positivity was 13.4%. HBV reactivation (appearance of HBV DNA or an increase in HBV DNA levels by 1 log10) was observed in 33.1% (53/160) of the patients after chemotherapy. Among patients without prophylactic antiviral therapy, the reactivation rate was 43.9% (43/98) in the solid tumor group. Two reactivation cases occurred in patients who were HBsAg negative, but positive for hepatitis B core antibody. HBV reactivation was more likely to occur in patients with lymphoma, high levels of HBV DNA, or hepatitis B e antigen, and in men.
CONCLUSION: Less than 20% of patients received HBV testing before chemotherapy. HBV reactivation would have occurred in about 50% of infected patients with solid tumors without antiviral prophylaxis.
Chemotherapy; Hematologic malignancy; Hepatitis B virus; Hepatitis B virus reactivation; Solid tumor
Mucosal surfaces are protected by a highly viscoelastic and adhesive mucus layer that traps most foreign particles, including conventional drug and gene carriers. Trapped particles are eliminated on the order of seconds to hours by mucus clearance mechanisms, precluding sustained and targeted drug and nucleic acid delivery to mucosal tissues. We have previously shown that polymeric coatings that minimize adhesive interactions with mucus constituents lead to particles that rapidly penetrate human mucus secretions. Nevertheless, a particular challenge in formulating drug-loaded mucus penetrating particles (MPP) is that many commonly used surfactants are either mucoadhesive, or do not facilitate efficient drug encapsulation. We tested a novel surfactant molecule for particle formulation composed of Vitamin E conjugated to 5 kDa polyethylene glycol (VP5k). We show that VP5k-coated poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) nanoparticles rapidly penetrate human cervicovaginal mucus, whereas PLGA nanoparticles coated with polyvinyl alcohol or Vitamin E conjugated to 1 kDa PEG were trapped. Importantly, VP5k facilitated high loading of paclitaxel, a frontline chemo drug, into PLGA MPP, with controlled release for at least 4 days and negligible burst release. Our results offer a promising new method for engineering biodegradable, drug-loaded MPP for sustained and targeted delivery of therapeutics at mucosal surfaces.
PEG; drug delivery; Vitamin E TPGS; mucin
AIM: To investigate the role of interleukin (IL)-17 in small bowel allograft rejection.
METHODS: We detected the expression of helper T cell 17 (Th17) cells in biopsy specimens from 3 cases of living small bowel transplantation in our department through immunofluorescence stain. We then established a rat heterotopic small bowel transplantation model. The rats were sacrificed on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 7th d after small bowel transplantation. The degrees of transplantation rejection in rat intestine graft were examined through hematoxylin eosin (HE) stain, and the expression of Th17 cells in rat intestine graft were detected through immunofluorescence stain. In addition, the recipient rats undergoing intestinal transplantation were administrated with mouse-anti-rat IL-17 monoclonal antibody (mAb), and the survival of rats was analyzed. The recipient rats which received mouse-anti-rat IL-17 mAb treatment were sacrificed on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 7th d after small bowel transplantation. The degrees of transplantation rejection and the expression of Th17 cells in rat intestine graft were detected through HE and immunofluorescence stain. The expression of IL-17, IL-1β, tumor necroses factor receptor-α (TNF-α), IL-6, and IL-8 in the intestine graft or serum were also detected.
RESULTS: The expressions of Th17 cells ran parallel with the degree of acute rejection in human intestine grafts. The intestine graft rejection of rats was aggravated with prolonged duration after intestinal transplantation, and the expressions of Th17 cells were also correlated with the degree of acute rejection in rat intestine grafts. Administration of mouse-anti-rat IL-17 mAb prolonged the survival of rats after small bowel transplantation (P < 0.001). Furthermore, we found that the administration of mouse-anti-rat IL-17 mAb significantly decreased the intensity of CD4+IL-17+ Th17 cells in intestine grafts on the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and the 7th d (97.22 ± 4.05 vs 12.45 ± 2.02 on the 7th d, P < 0.0001), and suppressed the severity of acute rejection. The expression of IL-17 in the intestine graft declined after mouse-anti-rat IL-17 mAb administration on the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and the 7th d (0.88 ± 0.03 vs 0.35 ± 0.02 on the 7th d, P < 0.0001). We also detected the IL-17 serum level and found that the IL-17 level reduced from the 1st d to the 7th d (6.52 ± 0.18 ng/mL vs 2.04 ± 0.15 ng/mL on the 7th d, P < 0.0001). No significant difference in the level of IL-17 mRNA in the intestine graft was identified between the two groups. The levels of IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-8 mRNA in the intestine graft after the administration of mouse-anti-rat IL-17 mAb were also tested. We found that on the 3rd, 5th, and 7th d after intestinal transplantation, administration of mouse-anti-rat IL-17 mAb significantly inhibited the levels of IL-1β (12.11 ± 1.16 vs 1.27 ± 0.15 on the 7th d, P < 0.001), TNF-α (27.37 ± 2.60 vs 1.06 ± 0.26 on the 7th d, P < 0.001), IL-6 (21.43 ± 1.79 vs 1.90 ± 0.32 on the 7th d, P < 0.001), and IL-8 (20.44 ± 1.44 vs 1.34 ± 0.20 on the 7th d, P < 0.001) mRNA in the intestine graft.
CONCLUSION: IL-17 may act as a promising and potent target for inhibiting acute rejection after small bowel transplantation.
Interleukin-17; Helper T cell 17; Small bowel transplantation; Acute rejection; Monoclonal antibody
The generation of a B cell repertoire involves producing and subsequently purging autoreactive B cells. Receptor editing, clonal deletion and anergy are key mechanisms of central B cell tolerance. Somatic mutation of antigen-activated B cells within the germinal center produces a second wave of autoreactivity; but the regulatory mechanisms that operate at this phase of B cell activation are poorly understood. We recently identified a post germinal center tolerance checkpoint, where receptor editing is re-induced to extinguish autoreactivity that is generated by somatic hypermutation. Re-induction of the recombinase genes RAG1 and RAG2 in antigen-activated B cells requires antigen to engage the B cell receptor and IL-7 to signal through the IL-7 receptor. We demonstrate that this process requires IL-6 to upregulate IL-7 receptor expression on post germinal center B cells. Diminishing IL-6 by blocking antibody or haplo-insufficiency leads to reduced expression of the IL-7 receptor and RAG and increased titers of anti-DNA antibodies following immunization with a peptide mimetope of DNA. The dependence on IL-6 to initiate receptor editing is B cell intrinsic. Interestingly, estradiol decreases IL-6 expression thereby increasing the anti-DNA response. Our data reveal a novel regulatory cascade to control post germinal center B cell autoreactivity.
The extracellular domain of matrix protein 2 (M2e) is conserved among influenza A viruses. The goal of this project is to develop enhanced influenza vaccines with broad protective efficacy using the M2e antigen. We designed a membrane-anchored fusion protein by replacing the hyperimmunogenic region of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium flagellin (FliC) with four repeats of M2e (4.M2e-tFliC) and fusing it to a membrane anchor from influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA). The fusion protein was incorporated into influenza virus M1-based virus-like particles (VLPs). These VLPs retained Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5) agonist activity comparable to that of soluble FliC. Mice immunized with the VLPs by either intramuscular or intranasal immunization showed high levels of systemic M2-specific antibody responses compared to the responses to soluble 4.M2e protein. High mucosal antibody titers were also induced in intranasally immunized mice. All intranasally immunized mice survived lethal challenges with live virus, while intramuscularly immunized mice showed only partial protection, revealing better protection by the intranasal route. These results indicate that a combination of M2e antigens and TLR ligand adjuvants in VLPs has potential for development of a broadly protective influenza A virus vaccine.
The single spanning transmembrane amyloid precursor protein (APP) and its proteolytic product, amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptide, have been intensely studied due to their role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. However, the biological role of the secreted ectodomain of APP, which is also generated by proteolytic cleavage, is less well understood. Here, we report Tol2 red fluorescent protein (RFP) transposon gene trap integrations in the zebrafish amyloid precursor protein a (appa) and amyloid precursor-like protein 2 (aplp2) genes. The transposon integrations are predicted to disrupt the appa and aplp2 genes to primarily produce secreted ectodomains of the corresponding proteins that are fused to RFP.
Our results indicate the Appa-RFP and Aplp2 fusion proteins are likely secreted from the central nervous system and accumulate in the embryonic veins independent of blood flow.
The zebrafish appa and aplp2 transposon insertion alleles will be useful for investigating the biological role of the secreted form of APP.
Tol2 gene trap; endothelial cells; vein; vasculature; central nervous system
Nicotinic ACh receptors (nAChRs) containing α6 subunits are expressed in only a few brain areas, including midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons, noradrenergic neurons of the locus coeruleus, and retinal ganglion cells. To better understand the regional and subcellular expression pattern of α6-containing nAChRs, we created and studied transgenic mice expressing a variant α6 subunit with GFP fused in-frame in the M3–M4 intracellular loop. Inα6-GFP transgenic mice, α6-dependent synaptosomal DA release and radioligand binding experiments confirmed correct expression and function in vivo. In addition to strong α6* nAChR expression in glutamatergic retinal axons which terminate in superficial superior colliculus (sSC), we also found α6 subunit expression in a subset of GABAergic cell bodies in this brain area. In patch clamp recordings from sSC neurons in brain slices from mice expressing hypersensitive α6* nAChRs, we confirmed functional, postsynaptic α6* nAChR expression. Further, sSC GABAergic neurons expressing α6* nAChRs exhibit a tonic conductance mediated by standing activation of hypersensitiveα6* nAChRs by ACh. α6* nAChRs also appear in a subpopulation of SC neurons in output layers. Finally, selective activation of α6* nAChRs in vivo induced sSC neuronal activation as measured with c-Fos expression. Together, these results demonstrate that α6* nAChRs are uniquely situated to mediate cholinergic modulation of glutamate and GABA release in SC. The SC has emerged as a potential key brain area responsible for transmitting short-latency salience signals to thalamus and midbrain DA neurons, and these results suggest that α6* nAChRs may be important for nicotinic cholinergic sensitization of this pathway.
Chemotherapy regiments have been widely used in the treatment of a variety of human malignancies including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). A major cause of failure in chemotherapy is drug resistance of cancer cells. Resistance to doxorubicin (DOX) is a common and representative obstacle to treat cancer effectively. Individual microRNA (miRNA) has been introduced in the evolution of DOX resistance in HCC in recent studies. However, a global and systematic assessment of the miRNA expression profiles contributing to DOX resistance is still lacking. In the present study, we applied high-throughput Illumina sequencing to comprehensively characterize miRNA expression profiles in both human HCC cell line (HepG2) and its DOX-resistant counterpart (HepG2/DOX). A total of 269 known miRNAs were significantly differentially expressed, of which 23 were up-regulated and 246 were down-regulated in HepG2/DOX cells, indicating that part of them might be involved in the development of DOX resistance. In addition, we have identified 9 and 13 novel miRNAs up- and down-expressed significantly in HepG2/DOX cells, respectively. miRNA profiling was then validated by quantitative real-time PCR for selected miRNAs, including 22 known miRNAs and 6 novel miRNAs. Furthermore, we predicted the putative target genes for the deregulated miRNAs in the samples. Function annotation implied that these selected miRNAs affected many target genes mainly involved in MAPK signaling pathway. This study provides us a general description of miRNA expression profiling, which is helpful to find potential miRNAs for adjunct treatment to overcome DOX resistance in future HCC chemotherapy.
Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) can be used to repair tissues after myocardial infarction (MI) but EPC activators have adverse reactions. Rehmannia glutinosa is a herb used in traditional Chinese medicine, which can promote bone-marrow proliferation and protect the ischemic myocardium. We investigated the effects of Rehmannia glutinosa extract (RGE) on EPCs in a rat model of MI.
A total of 120 male Wistar rats were randomized to 2 groups (n = 60 each) for treatment: high-dose RGE (1.5 g·kg−1·day−1 orally) for 8 weeks, then left anterior descending coronary artery ligation, mock surgery or no treatment, then RGE orally for 4 weeks; or normal saline (NS) as the above protocol. The infarct region of the left ventricle was assessed by serial sectioning and morphology. EPCs were evaluated by number and function. Protein and mRNA levels of CD133, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2), chemokine C-X-C motif receptor 4 (CXCR4), stromal cell–derived factor-1α (SDF-1α) were measured by immunohistochemistry, Western blot and quantitative PCR analysis.
RGE significantly improved left ventricular function, decreased the ischemic area and the apoptotic index in the infarct myocardium, also decreased the concentration of serum cardiac troponin T and brain natriuretic peptide at the chronic stage after MI (from week 2 to week 4). RGE increased EPC number, proliferation, migration and tube-formation capacity. It was able to up-regulate the expression of angiogenesis-associated ligand/receptor, including CD133, VEGFR2 and SDF-1α/CXCR4. In vitro, the effect of RGE on SDF-1α/CXCR4 cascade was reversed by the CXCR4 specific antagonist AMD3100.
RGE may enhance the mobilization, migration and therapeutic angiogenesis of EPCs after MI by activating the SDF-1α/CXCR4 cascade.
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of endoproteases that break down extracellular matrix and whose upregulation contributes to several diseases. An LC/MS/MS method was developed to quantify MMP-1 and -9 substrates and their N-terminal peptide products in samples obtained from implanted microdialysis sampling probes. In vitro studies with purified human MMP-1 and MMP-9 were used to optimize the assay and determine the effectiveness of the local delivery of a broad spectrum MMP inhibitor, GM 6001. Localized delivery of GM 6001 at 10 μM was sufficient to completely inhibit product formation in vitro. In vivo studies in male Sprague-Dawley rats were performed with microdialysis probes implanted into the subcutaneous tissue. Directly after microdialysis probe implantation, infusions of the MMP-1 and MMP-9 substrates (50 μM each) resulted in recovered product concentrations of approximately 2 μM. During a 50 μM GM 6001 co-infusion with the substrates, a 30% and 25% reduction in product formation for the MMP-1 and MMP-9 substrates was obtained, respectively. Blank dialysates were negative for enzymatic activity that could cleave the MMP substrates. This method allowed for the activity of different MMPs surrounding the microdialysis probe to be observed during in vivo sampling.
Reaumuria trigyna is an endangered small shrub endemic to desert regions in Inner Mongolia. This dicotyledonous recretohalophyte has unique morphological characteristics that allow it to tolerate the stress imposed by semi-desert saline soil. However, it is impossible to explore the mechanisms underlying this tolerance without detailed genomic information. Fortunately, newly developed high-throughput sequencing technologies are powerful tools for de novo sequencing to gain such information for this species.
Two sequencing libraries prepared from control (C21) and NaCl-treated samples (T43) were sequenced using short reads sequencing technology (Illumina) to investigate changes in the R. trigyna transcriptome in response to salt stress. Among 65340 unigenes, 35495 (52.27%) were annotated with gene descriptions, conserved domains, gene ontology terms, and metabolic pathways with a cut-off E-value of 10-5. These included 44 Gene Ontology (GO) terms, 119 Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways, and 25 Clusters of Orthologous Groups families. By comparing the transcriptomes from control and NaCl-treated plants, 5032 genes showed significantly differences in transcript abundance under salt stress (false discovery rate ≤ 0.001 and |log2Ratio| ≥ 1). These genes were significantly enriched in 29 KEGG pathways and 26 GO terms. The transcription profiles indicated that genes related to ion transport and the reactive oxygen species scavenging system were relevant to the morphological and physiological characteristics of this species. The expression patterns of 30 randomly selected genes resulted from quantitative real-time PCR were basically consistent with their transcript abundance changes identified by RNA-seq.
The present study identified potential genes involved in salt tolerance of R. trigyna. The globally sequenced genes covered a considerable proportion of the R. trigyna transcriptome. These data represent a genetic resource for the discovery of genes related to salt tolerance in this species, and may be a useful source of reference sequences for closely related taxa. These results can also further our understanding of salt tolerance in other halophytes surviving under sodic stress.
Reaumuria trigyna; Recretohalophyte; Transcriptome; Illumina sequencing; Salt-stress response
With recent advances in microarray technology, there has been a flourish in genome-scale identification of molecular signatures for cancer. However, the differentially expressed genes obtained by different laboratories are highly divergent. The present discrepancy at gene level indicates a need for a novel strategy to obtain more robust signatures for cancer. In this paper we hypothesize that (1) the expression signatures of different cancer microarray datasets are more similar at pathway level than at gene level; (2) the comparability of the cancer molecular mechanisms of different individuals is related to their genetic similarities. In support of the hypotheses, we summarized theoretical and experimental evidences, and conducted case studies on colorectal and prostate cancer microarray datasets. Based on the above assumption, we propose that reliable cancer signatures should be investigated in the context of biological pathways, within a cohort of genetically homogeneous population. It is hoped that the hypotheses can guide future research in cancer mechanism and signature discovery.
Dot1l encodes histone H3 K79 methyltransferase Dot1a. Mice with Dot1l deficiency in renal Aqp2-expressing cells (Dot1lAC) develop polyuria by unknown mechanisms. Here, we report that Aqp5 links Dot1l deletion to polyuria through Aqp2. cDNA array analysis revealed and real-time RT-qPCR validated Aqp5 as the most upregulated gene in Dot1lAC vs. control mice. Aqp5 protein is barely detectable in controls, but robustly expressed in the Dot1lAC kidneys, where it colocalizes with Aqp2. The upregulation of Aqp5 is coupled with reduced association of Dot1a and H3 dimethyl K79 with specific subregions in Aqp5 5′ flanking region in Dot1lAC vs. control mice. In vitro studies in IMCD3, MLE-15 and 293Tcells using multiple approaches including real-time RT-qPCR, luciferase reporter assay, cell surface biotinylation assay, colocalization, and co-immunoprecipitation uncovered that Dot1a represses Aqp5. Human AQP5 interacts with AQP2 and impairs its cell surface localization. The AQP5/AQP2 complex partially resides in the ER/Golgi. Consistently, AQP5 is expressed in none of 15 normal controls, but in all of 17 kidney biopsies from patients with diabetic nephropathy. In the patients with diabetic nephropathy, AQP5 colocalizes with AQP2 in the perinuclear region and AQP5 expression is associated with impaired cellular H3 dimethyl K79. Taken together, these data for the first time identify Aqp5 as a Dot1a potential transcriptional target, and an Aqp2 binding partner and regulator, and suggest that the upregulated Aqp5 may contribute to polyuria, possibly by impairing Aqp2 membrane localization, in Dot1lAC mice and in patients with diabetic nephropathy.
The meiotic program initiation pathway genes (CYP26B1, NANOS1 and STRA8) have been proposed to play key roles in spermatogenesis.
To elucidate the exact role of the genetic variants of the meiosis initiation genes in spermatogenesis, we genotyped the potential functional genetic variants of CYP26B1, NANOS1 and STRA8 genes, and evaluated their effects on spermatogenesis in our study population.
Design, Setting, and Participants
In this study, all subjects were volunteers from the affiliated hospitals of Nanjing Medical University between March 2004 and July 2009 (NJMU Infertile Study). Total 719 idiopathic infertile cases were recruited and divided into three groups according to WHO semen parameters: 201 azoospermia patients (no sperm in the ejaculate even after centrifugation), 155 oligozoospermia patients (sperm counts <20×106/ml) and 363 infertility/normozoospermia subjects (sperm counts >20×106/ml). The control group consisted of 383 subjects with normal semen parameters, all of which had fathered at least one child without assisted reproductive technologies.
Eight single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in CYP26B1, NANOS1 and STRA8 genes were determined by TaqMan allelic discrimination assay in 719 idiopathic infertile men and 383 healthy controls.
Results and Limitations
The genetic variant rs10269148 of STRA8 gene showed higher risk of spermatogenic impairment in the groups of abnormospermia (including azoospermia subgroup and oligozoospermia subgroup) and azoospermia than the controls with odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals of 2.52 (1.29–4.94) and 2.92 (1.41–6.06), respectively (P = 0.006, 0.002 respective). Notably, larger sample size studies and in vivo or in vitro functional studies are needed to substantiate the biological roles of these variants.
Our results provided epidemiological evidence supporting the involvement of genetic polymorphisms of the meiotic program initiation genes in modifying the risk of azoospermia and oligozoospermia in a Han-Chinese population.
Recent evidence suggests that higher calcium and/or vitamin D intake may be associated with lower body weight and better metabolic health. Due to contradictory findings from intervention trials, we investigated the effect of calcium plus vitamin D3 (calcium+D) supplementation on anthropometric and metabolic profiles during energy restriction in healthy, overweight and obese adults with very-low calcium consumption.
Fifty-three subjects were randomly assigned in an open-label, randomized controlled trial to receive either an energy-restricted diet (−500 kcal/d) supplemented with 600 mg elemental calcium and 125 IU vitamin D3 or energy restriction alone for 12 weeks. Repeated measurements of variance were performed to evaluate the differences between groups for changes in body weight, BMI, body composition, waist circumference, and blood pressures, as well as in plasma TG, TC, HDL, LDL, glucose and insulin concentrations.
Eighty-one percent of participants completed the trial (85% from the calcium + D group; 78% from the control group). A significantly greater decrease in fat mass loss was observed in the calcium + D group (−2.8±1.3 vs.-1.8±1.3 kg; P=0.02) than in the control group, although there was no significant difference in body weight change (P>0.05) between groups. The calcium + D group also exhibited greater decrease in visceral fat mass and visceral fat area (P<0.05 for both). No significant difference was detected for changes in metabolic variables (P>0.05).
Calcium plus vitamin D3 supplementation for 12 weeks augmented body fat and visceral fat loss in very-low calcium consumers during energy restriction.
Calcium; Vitamin D3; Adiposity; Body weight; Body fat; Visceral fat; Metabolic profiles
Numerous studies have found that oxidative stress-derived 1, N6-ethenodeoxyadenosine (ɛ-dA) can act as a driving force towards hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in cancer-prone liver diseases. The aim of the present study was to determine the oxidative stress status and the occurrence of ɛ-dA in HCC and adjacent non-tumor liver tissue, and to clarify whether the occurrence of ɛ-dA is related to liver inflammatory activity, fibrosis and mutant p53 expression. Oxidative stress-related parameters were examined in tumor and (or) non-tumor liver tissues of 32 patients with HCC. ɛ-dA, mutant p53 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) were immunohistochemically investigated in control, HCC and non-tumor liver tissues. The total antioxidant capacity and total superoxide dismutase activity of HCC tissues were lower compared to those of non-tumor tissues (P<0.05 vs. P<0.001). The prevalence of ɛ-dA in HCC was significantly higher compared to control (P<0.0001) and non-tumor liver tissues (P<0.001). A significant correlation between the positive rate of ɛ-dA and mutant p53 was observed (r=0.5162, P<0.01). The positive rate of PCNA in HCC was significantly higher compared to control (P<0.0001) and non-tumor liver tissues (P<0.0001). There was a possible link between the formation of ɛ-dA and chronic inflammation and fibrosis. Therefore, ɛ-dA lesions may gradually accumulate in chronic liver diseases, and partially contribute to mutant p53 overexpression and excessive cell proliferation, making it a potential mechanism in oxidative stress-mediated hepatocarcinogenesis.
oxidative stress; 1, N6-ethenodeoxyadenosine; p53; hepatocarcinogenesis
Pancreatic islet transplantation has the potential to cure Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), a chronic lifelong disease, but its clinical applicability is limited by allograft rejection. Nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) is a transcription factor important for survival and differentiation of T cells. In this study, we tested whether NF-κB in T cells is required for the rejection of islet allografts.
Mice expressing a super-repressor form of NF-κB selectively in T cell (IκBαΔN-Tg mice) with or without the anti-apoptotic factor Bcl-xL, or mice with impaired TCR-and BCR-driven NF-κB activity (CARMA1-KO mice) were rendered diabetic and transplanted with islet allografts. Secondary skin transplantation in long-term acceptors of islet allografts was used to test for development of donor-specific tolerance. Immune infiltration of the transplanted islets was examined by immunofluorescence. TCR-transgenic CD4+ T cells were used to follow T cell priming and differentiation.
Islet allograft survival was prolonged in IκBαΔN-Tg mice, although the animals did not develop donor-specific tolerance. Reduced NF-κB activity did not prevent T cell priming or differentiation but rather reduced survival of activated T cells, as transgenic expression of Bcl-xL restored islet allograft rejection in IκBαΔN-Tg mice. Abolishing TCR- and BCR-driven activation of NF-κB selectively via CARMA1 deficiency prevented T cell priming and islet allograft rejection.
Our data suggest that T cell-NF-κB plays an important role in the rejection of islet allografts. Targeting NF-κB selectively in lymphocytes appears a promising approach to facilitate acceptance of transplanted islets.
islet transplantation; NF-κB; T cells
The position of the Zoraptera remains one of the most challenging and uncertain concerns in ordinal-level phylogenies of the insects. Zoraptera have been viewed as having a close relationship with five different groups of Polyneoptera, or as being allied to the Paraneoptera or even Holometabola. Although rDNAs have been widely used in phylogenetic studies of insects, the application of the complete 28S rDNA are still scattered in only a few orders. In this study, a secondary structure model of the complete 28S rRNAs of insects was reconstructed based on all orders of Insecta. It was found that one length-variable region, D3-4, is particularly distinctive. The length and/or sequence of D3-4 is conservative within each order of Polyneoptera, but it can be divided into two types between the different orders of the supercohort, of which the enigmatic order Zoraptera and Dictyoptera share one type, while the remaining orders of Polyneoptera share the other. Additionally, independent evidence from phylogenetic results support the clade (Zoraptera+Dictyoptera) as well. Thus, the similarity of D3-4 between Zoraptera and Dictyoptera can serve as potentially valuable autapomorphy or synapomorphy in phylogeny reconstruction. The clades of (Plecoptera+Dermaptera) and ((Grylloblattodea+Mantophasmatodea)+(Embiodea+Phasmatodea)) were also recovered in the phylogenetic study. In addition, considering the other studies based on rDNAs, this study reached the highest congruence with previous phylogenetic studies of Holometabola based on nuclear protein coding genes or morphology characters. Future comparative studies of secondary structures across deep divergences and additional taxa are likely to reveal conserved patterns, structures and motifs that can provide support for major phylogenetic lineages.
Epimedium sagittatum (Sieb. et Zucc.) Maxim, a popular traditional Chinese medicinal plant, has been widely used for treating sexual dysfunction and osteoporosis in China. The main bioactive components in herba epimedii are prenylated flavonol glycosides, which are end products of a branch of the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway. The MYB transcription factors (TF) act as activators or repressors to regulate the flavonoid pathway. In this study, 13 full-length cDNA clones of R2R3-MYB TFs from E. sagittatum (designated as EsMYB1 to EsMYB13) were isolated and characterized. Sequence similarity and phylogenetic analysis placed nine R2R3-MYB members of E. sagittatum into five subgroups of the Arabidopsis R2R3-MYB family, while four members were not clustered into a defined subgroup. The number and length of introns from Epimedium R2R3-MYB genes varied significantly, but intron positions and phases were well conserved. Expression patterns of Epimedium R2R3-MYB genes in various tissues showed diverse. Finally, it is suggested that five Epimedium R2R3-MYB genes may be involved in regulating the flavonoid pathway and could be used as valuable candidate genes for metabolic engineering studies in future. Sequence information of 13 R2R3-MYB genes discovered here will also provide an entry point into the overview of whole R2R3-MYB family in Epimedium.
Epimedium; medicinal plant; flavonoid pathway; MYB; transcription factor
The Crabs Claw (CRC) YABBY gene is required for regulating carpel development in angiosperms and has played an important role in nectary evolution during core eudicot speciation. The function or expression of CRC-like genes has been explored in two basal eudicots, Eschscholzia californica and Aquilegia formosa. To further investigate the function of CRC orthologous genes related to evolution of carpel and nectary development in basal eudicots, a CRC ortholog, EsCRC, was isolated and characterized from Epimedium sagittatum (Sieb. and Zucc.) Maxim. A phylogenetic analysis of EsCRC and previously identified CRC-like genes placed EsCRC within the basal eudicot lineage. Gene expression results suggest that EsCRC is involved in the development of sepals and carpels, but not nectaries. Phenotypic complementation of the Arabidopsis mutant crc-1 was achieved by constitutive expression of EsCRC. In addition, over-expression of EsCRC in Arabidopsis and tobacco gave rise to abaxially curled leaves. Transgenic results together with the gene expression analysis suggest that EsCRC may maintain a conserved function in carpel development and also play a novel role related to sepal formation. Absence of EsCRC and ElCRC expression in nectaries further indicates that nectary development in non-core eudicots is unrelated to expression of CRC-like genes.
Evo-Devo; nectary development; YABBY; CRC; basal eudicots
In this work, we investigated the potential role of the small G protein RhoA in ethanol-induced tight junction (TJ) protein disassembly and increased intestinal epithelial barrier (IEB) permeability. Our study used Caco-2 cells as an in vitro IEB model and RhoA short hairpin RNA (shRNA) interference to establish whether RhoA plays a role in ethanol-induced TJ opening. RhoA shRNA interference partially inhibited epithelial leakage and restored normal transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) values in the IEB. Moreover, RhoA shRNA interference prevented a shift in occludin distribution from insoluble to soluble fractions. Additionally, RhoA shRNA interference inhibited the ethanol-induced expression of zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1). Finally, RhoA shRNA interference inhibited an ethanol-induced increase in RhoA activity. The contributions of RhoA to an ethanol-induced increase in IEB permeability are associated with TJ disassembly.
RhoA; ethanol; IEB; tight junction