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1.  Effect of Tai Chi on mononuclear cell functions in patients with non-small cell lung cancer 
Tai Chi is the Chinese traditional medicine exercise for mind-body health. The objective of this study is to investigate the effect of Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) exercise on the proliferative and cytolytic/tumoricidal activities of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in postsurgical non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.
Patients (n = 27) were randomly divided into the control group (n = 13) and the TCC group (n = 14). TCC group participated in Tai Chi 24-type exercise for 16 weeks, 60-min every time, and three times a week. Peripheral blood was collected and PBMCs isolated before and after the 16-week TCC, PBMC proliferation and co-culture of PBMCs with the NSCLC cell line A549 were performed for proliferation and cell cytolysis assays. Analysis of NKT cells, NK cells, and CD123+ and CD11c + dendritic cells were also performed.
(1) After 16-week of TCC, cell proliferation increased significantly as compared with the control. (2) PBMCs from the TCC group also demonstrated enhanced cytolytic/oncolytic activity against A549 cells. (3) Significant differences were also found in NK cell percentage at t = 16 weeks, post-pre changes of NKT and DC11c between groups.
Regular Tai Chi exercise has the promise of enhancing PBMC proliferative and cytolytic activities in NSCLC patients. Our results affirm the value of a future trial with a larger scale and longer duration for cancer survivors.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC4321705  PMID: 25653009
Physical activity; Peripheral blood; Immune cell; Cell proliferation; Cytolytic activity
2.  Interaction Relation Ontology Learning 
Ontology is widely used in semantic computing and reasoning, and various biomedicine ontologies have become institutionalized to make the heterogeneous knowledge computationally amenable. Relation words, especially verbs, play an important role when describing the interaction between biological entities in molecular function, biological process, and cellular component; however, comprehensive research and analysis are still lacking. In this article, we propose an automatic method to build interaction relation ontology by investigating relation verbs, analyzing the syntactic relation of PubMed abstracts to perform relation vocabulary expansion, and integrating WordNet into our method to construct the hierarchy of relation vocabulary. Five attributes are populated automatically for each word in interaction relation ontology. As a result, the interaction relation ontology is constructed; it contains a total of 963 words and covers the most relation words used in existing methods of proteins interaction relation.
PMCID: PMC3880112  PMID: 24377790
interaction relation; ontology learning; relation words; text mining
3.  Freeway Travel Speed Calculation Model Based on ETC Transaction Data 
Real-time traffic flow operation condition of freeway gradually becomes the critical information for the freeway users and managers. In fact, electronic toll collection (ETC) transaction data effectively records operational information of vehicles on freeway, which provides a new method to estimate the travel speed of freeway. First, the paper analyzed the structure of ETC transaction data and presented the data preprocess procedure. Then, a dual-level travel speed calculation model was established under different levels of sample sizes. In order to ensure a sufficient sample size, ETC data of different enter-leave toll plazas pairs which contain more than one road segment were used to calculate the travel speed of every road segment. The reduction coefficient α and reliable weight θ for sample vehicle speed were introduced in the model. Finally, the model was verified by the special designed field experiments which were conducted on several freeways in Beijing at different time periods. The experiments results demonstrated that the average relative error was about 6.5% which means that the freeway travel speed could be estimated by the proposed model accurately. The proposed model is helpful to promote the level of the freeway operation monitoring and the freeway management, as well as to provide useful information for the freeway travelers.
PMCID: PMC4279848  PMID: 25580107
4.  Classifying human operator functional state based on electrophysiological and performance measures and fuzzy clustering method 
Cognitive Neurodynamics  2013;7(6):477-494.
The human operator’s ability to perform their tasks can fluctuate over time. Because the cognitive demands of the task can also vary it is possible that the capabilities of the operator are not sufficient to satisfy the job demands. This can lead to serious errors when the operator is overwhelmed by the task demands. Psychophysiological measures, such as heart rate and brain activity, can be used to monitor operator cognitive workload. In this paper, the most influential psychophysiological measures are extracted to characterize Operator Functional State (OFS) in automated tasks under a complex form of human–automation interaction. The fuzzy c-mean (FCM) algorithm is used and tested for its OFS classification performance. The results obtained have shown the feasibility and effectiveness of the FCM algorithm as well as the utility of the selected input features for OFS classification. Besides being able to cope with nonlinearity and fuzzy uncertainty in the psychophysiological data it can provide information about the relative importance of the input features as well as the confidence estimate of the classification results. The OFS pattern classification method developed can be incorporated into an adaptive aiding system in order to enhance the overall performance of a large class of safety–critical human–machine cooperative systems.
PMCID: PMC3825145  PMID: 24427221
Operator functional state; Fuzzy c-means algorithm; Psychophysiological measures; Feature extraction; Pattern classification
5.  Predictive modeling of human operator cognitive state via sparse and robust support vector machines 
Cognitive Neurodynamics  2013;7(5):395-407.
The accurate prediction of the temporal variations in human operator cognitive state (HCS) is of great practical importance in many real-world safety-critical situations. However, since the relationship between the HCS and electrophysiological responses of the operator is basically unknown, complicated and uncertain, only data-based modeling method can be employed. This paper is aimed at constructing a data-driven computationally intelligent model, based on multiple psychophysiological and performance measures, to accurately estimate the HCS in the context of a safety-critical human–machine system. The advanced least squares support vector machines (LS-SVM), whose parameters are optimized by grid search and cross-validation techniques, are adopted for the purpose of predictive modeling of the HCS. The sparse and weighted LS-SVM (WLS-SVM) were proposed by Suykens et al. to overcome the deficiency of the standard LS-SVM in lacking sparseness and robustness. This paper adopted those two improved LS-SVM algorithms to model the HCS based solely on a set of physiological and operator performance data. The results showed that the sparse LS-SVM can obtain HCS models with sparseness with almost no loss of modeling accuracy, while the WLS-SVM leads to models which are robust in case of noisy training data. Both intelligent system modeling approaches are shown to be capable of capturing the temporal fluctuation trends of the HCS because of their superior generalization performance.
PMCID: PMC3773327  PMID: 24427214
Human operator cognitive state; Least squares support vector machine; Sparseness; Robustness; Regressive model
6.  Green tea drinking and multigenetic index on the risk of stomach cancer in a Chinese population 
The purpose of our study was to examine the roles of green tea drinking, other risk and protective factors, and polymorphism of susceptibility genes such as GSTM1, GSTT1, GSTP1, and p53 codon 72 and their possible joint effects on the risk of stomach cancer. A population-based case-control study was conducted in Taixing, China, including 206 newly diagnosed cases with stomach cancer and 415 healthy control subjects. Epidemiological data were collected by in-person interviews using a standard questionnaire. Polymorphisms of susceptibility genes were assayed by PCR-RFLP techniques. A multigenetic index was created by summing up the number of risk genotypes. The data were analyzed using the logistic regression model. A reverse association between green tea drinking and risk of stomach cancer was observed with an adjusted odds ratio (OR) of 0.59 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.34–1.01). Dose-response relationship was shown (p-trend < 0.05). A higher score on the multigenetic index was associated with increased risk of stomach cancer with an adjusted OR of 2.21 (95% CI = 1.02–4.79) for those with at least 3 risk genotypes compared to those with <2 risk genotypes. Green tea drinking was suggested to have more than multiplicative interactions with alcohol consumption with an adjusted OR for interaction of 4.57 (95% CI = 1.62–12.89), and with higher multigenetic index with adjusted OR for interaction of 2.31 (95% CI = 0.88–6.03). The protective effect of green tea drinking was observed on the risk of stomach cancer and the possible effect modification by susceptibility genes was suggested.
PMCID: PMC4164628  PMID: 15856451
stomach cancer; green tea; alcohol; genetic polymorphism; multigenetic index
7.  Investigation of the mechanism of dural arteriovenous fistula formation induced by high intracranial venous pressure in a rabbit model 
BMC Neuroscience  2014;15(1):101.
The causes of dural arteriovenous fistula have not been clearly defined. The aim of this study was to investigate the mechanism of dural arteriovenous fistula formation induced by high intracranial venous pressure using a rabbit model.
By using rabbit model, dural arteriovenous fistula formation induced by high intracranial venous pressure could be produced by end-to-end and end-to-side anastomosis of the right side common carotid artery with the posterior facial vein plus ligation of the contralateral external jugular vein. As compared the post arteriovenous fistula formation among 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, and 90 days, the expression level of vascular endothelial growth factor in the 1- and 2-weeks groups was significantly higher compared with the control group, 3 weeks and 90 days groups (p ≤0.002). There was significantly higher hypoxia inducible factor-1α expression in the one week group compared with the control, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, and 90 days groups (p ≤0.002). The results of Western blotting showed that vascular endothelial growth factor expression level was highest in the 1 week group. The expression level of vascular endothelial growth factor was significantly different between all groups.
The results of the experiments in our rabbit model indicate that high intracranial venous pressure is a key for dural arteriovenous fistula formation. Cerebral ischemia caused by lack of cerebral perfusion pressure plays a key role in the process that leads from high intracranial venous pressure to increased hypoxia inducible factor-1α expression and then increased vascular endothelial growth factor expression.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2202-15-101) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4152575  PMID: 25160131
Dural arteriovenous fistula; Rabbit model; High intracranial venous pressure; Hypoxia inducible factor-1α; Vascular endothelial growth factor
8.  Implications of the Wnt5a/CaMKII Pathway in Retinoic Acid-Induced Myogenic Tongue Abnormalities of Developing Mice 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:6082.
Although proper tongue development is relevant to other structures in the craniofacial region, the molecular details of muscle development in tongue remain poorly understood. Here, we report that pregnant mice treated with retinoic acid (+RA) produce embryos with tongue malformation and a cleft palate. Histological analyses revealed that at E14.5, the tongues of +RA fetuses failed to descend and flatten. Ultrastructural analysis showed that at perinatal stage E18.5, the myofilaments failed to form normal structures of sarcomeres, and arranged disorderly in the genioglossus. The proliferation and levels of myogenic determination markers (Myf5 and MyoD) and myosin in the genioglossus were profoundly reduced. Wnt5a and Camk2d expressions were down-regulated, while levels of Tbx1, Ror2, and PKCδ were up-regulated in the tongues of +RA fetuses. In mock- and Wnt5a-transfected C2C12 (Wnt5a-C2C12) cells, Wnt5a overexpression impaired proliferation, and maintained Myf5 at a relative high level after RA treatment. Furthermore, Wnt5a overexpression positively correlated with levels of Camk2d and Ror2 in C2C12 cells after RA exposure. These data support the hypothesis that the Wnt5a/CaMKII pathway is directly involved in RA-induced hypoplasia and disorder of tongue muscles.
PMCID: PMC4133706  PMID: 25124193
9.  Malaria baseline survey in four special regions of northern Myanmar near China: a cross-sectional study 
Malaria Journal  2014;13:302.
Epidemiological data in the border area of the northern Myanmar near China are either of little accuracy or sparse of information, due to the poor public health system in these areas, and malaria cases may be severely underestimated. This study aimed to investigate malaria prevalence and health facilities for malaria services, and to provide the baseline information for malaria control in these areas.
A cluster, randomized, cross-sectional survey was conducted in four special regions of northern Myanmar, near China: 5,585 people were selected for a malaria prevalence survey and 1,618 households were selected for a mosquito net-owning survey. Meanwhile, a total of 97 health facilities were surveyed on their malaria services. The data were analysed and descriptive statistics were used.
A total of 761 people were found positive through microscopy test, including 290 people for Plasmodium falciparum, 460 for Plasmodium vivax, two for Plasmodium malariae, and nine for mixed infection. The average prevalence of malaria infection was 13.6% (95% CI: 12.7-14.6%). There were significant differences of prevalence of malaria infection among the different regions (P < 0.01); 38.1% (95% CI: 28.3-48.0%) of health facilities had malaria microscope examination service, and 35.1% (95% CI: 25.4-44.7%) of these had malaria treatment services, 23.7% (95% CI: 15.1-32.3%) had malaria outreach services. 28.3% (95% CI: 26.1-30.6%) of households owned one or more long-lasting insecticidal bed nets (LLINs).
The prevalence of malaria infection was high in the four special regions of northern Myanmar, near China. Malaria services in health facilities in these areas were weak. ITNs/LLINs owning rate was also low. The cross-border cooperation mechanism should be further strengthened to share the epidemical data about malaria, support technical assistance, and conduct joint malaria control or elimination activities.
PMCID: PMC4132201  PMID: 25098412
Malaria; Prevalence; Health facility; Long-lasting insecticidal bed nets; Special regions; Myanmar
10.  Relative and Absolute Stereochemistry of Diacarperoxides: Antimalarial Norditerpene Endoperoxides from Marine Sponge Diacarnus megaspinorhabdosa 
Marine Drugs  2014;12(8):4399-4416.
Five new norditerpene endoperoxides, named diacarperoxides H–L (1–5), and a new norditerpene diol, called diacardiol B (6), were isolated from the South China Sea sponge, Diacarnus megaspinorhabdosa. Their structures, including conformations and absolute configurations, were determined by using spectroscopic analyses, computational approaches and chemical degradation. Diacarperoxides H–J (1–3) showed some interesting stereochemical issues, as well as antimalarial activity.
PMCID: PMC4145323  PMID: 25110917
antimalarial; marine sponge; endoperoxide
11.  The effect of ‘sleep high and train low’ on weight loss in overweight Chinese adolescents: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2014;15:250.
Exercise and diet are the cornerstones for the treatment of obesity in obese children and adolescents. However, compensatory changes in appetite and energy expenditure elicited by exercise and dieting make it hard to maintain a reduced weight over the longterm. The anorexic effect of hypoxia can be potentially utilized to counteract this compensatory increase, thereby enhancing the success of weight loss. The purpose of the study is to assess the effectiveness of four week intermittent hypoxia exposure added to a traditional exercise and diet intervention on inducing short- and longterm weight loss in obese adolescents.
In this randomized parallel group controlled clinical trial, 40 obese adolescents (20 boys and 20 girls, 11 to 15-years-old), will be recruited from a summer weight loss camp at the Shanghai University of Sport, China. Participants will be stratified by gender and randomly assigned to either the control group or the hypoxia group. During the four-week intervention period, both groups will exercise and eat a balanced diet. Additionally, the control group will sleep in normal conditions, while the hypoxia group will sleep in a normobaric hypoxia chamber (sleep high and train low). The primary outcome will be body composition and the main secondary outcomes will be the circulating levels of appetite regulatory gastrointestinal hormones. All the outcome measures will be assessed at baseline, after the four-week intervention, and at two months follow-up.
Our study will be the first to evaluate the effectiveness of ‘sleep high and train low’ on short- and longterm weight loss among obese adolescents. A potential mechanism for the appetite regulatory effect of hypoxia will also be explored. The results of the study will provide an evidence-based recommendation for the use of hypoxia in a weight loss intervention among obese children and adolescents. Furthermore, the clarification of mechanisms leading to weight loss in ‘sleep high and train low’ might provide information for the development of new strategies in combating obesity.
Trial registration
This trial was registered on 10 January 2014 at the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry with the registration number: ChiCTR-TRC-14004106.
PMCID: PMC4082418  PMID: 24962246
Hypoxia; Living high-training low; Weight loss; Adolescents; Gastrointestinal hormone
12.  P130cas is required for TGF-β1-mediated epithelial-mesenchymal transition in lung cancer 
Oncology Letters  2014;8(1):454-460.
In lung cancer A549 cells, the present study evaluated the associations between p130cas expression and the activation of p38 or Smad2, which are components of two of the main signaling pathways of transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), i.e., epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and apoptosis, respectively. TGF-β1-induced EMT was investigated by inspecting cell shape and cell migration, and by testing E-Cadherin, N-Cadherin and Vimentin biomarkers in p130cas-RNA interference (RNAi)-A549 cells. The changes in TGF-β1-induced apoptosis, i.e., cleaved Caspase-3 levels, were additionally analyzed following p130cas-RNAi. p130cas-knockdown decreased the phosphorylated (p)-p38 expression level, and blockaded the TGF-β1-induced activation of p-p38 in the A549 cells. p130cas-knockdown arrested cell migration and impaired TGF-β1-induced EMT in the A549 cells, characterized by changes in cell morphology and biomarker levels. However, p130cas-knockdown had no impact on the activation of Smad2 and the cleavage of Caspase-3. These results indicate that p130cas is a novel molecular ‘rheostat’ that alters the function of the TGF-β1 signaling pathway from tumor suppression to tumor promotion in lung cancer cells. The underlying mechanism warrants further study.
PMCID: PMC4063590  PMID: 24959295
P130cas; breast cancer anti-estrogen resistance protein 1; p38; TGF-β1; non-small cell lung cancer; epithelial-mesenchymal transition
13.  Label-Free Characterization of Emerging Human Neuronal Networks 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:4434.
The emergent self-organization of a neuronal network in a developing nervous system is the result of a remarkably orchestrated process involving a multitude of chemical, mechanical and electrical signals. Little is known about the dynamic behavior of a developing network (especially in a human model) primarily due to a lack of practical and non-invasive methods to measure and quantify the process. Here we demonstrate that by using a novel optical interferometric technique, we can non-invasively measure several fundamental properties of neural networks from the sub-cellular to the cell population level. We applied this method to quantify network formation in human stem cell derived neurons and show for the first time, correlations between trends in the growth, transport, and spatial organization of such a system. Quantifying the fundamental behavior of such cell lines without compromising their viability may provide an important new tool in future longitudinal studies.
PMCID: PMC3963031  PMID: 24658536
14.  Effect of aerobic exercise and low carbohydrate diet on pre-diabetic non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in postmenopausal women and middle aged men – the role of gut microbiota composition: study protocol for the AELC randomized controlled trial 
BMC Public Health  2014;14:48.
Pre-diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are associated with an unhealthy lifestyle and pose extremely high costs to the healthcare system. In this study, we aim to explore whether individualized aerobic exercise (AEx) and low carbohydrate diet (LCh) intervention affect hepatic fat content (HFC) in pre-diabetes via modification of gut microbiota composition and other post-interventional effects.
A 6-month randomized intervention with 6-month follow-up is conducted from January 2013 to December 2015. The target sample size for intervention is 200 postmenopausal women and middle-aged men aged 50–65 year-old with pre-diabetes and NAFLD. The qualified subjects are randomized into 4 groups with 50 subjects in each group: 1 = AEx, 2 = LCh, 3 = AEx + LCh, and 4 = control. In addition, two age-matched reference groups (5 = pre-diabetes without NAFLD (n = 50) and 6 = Healthy without pre-diabetes or NAFLD (n = 50)) are included. The exercise program consists of progressive and variable aerobic exercise (intensity of 60 to 75% of initial fitness level, 3–5 times/week and 30–60 min/time). The diet program includes dietary consultation plus supplementation with a special lunch meal (40% of total energy intake/day) which aims to reduce the amount of carbohydrate consumption (30%). The control and reference groups are advised to maintain their habitual habits during the intervention. The primary outcome measures are HFC, serum metabolomics and gut microbiota composition. The secondary outcome measures include body composition and cytokines. In addition, socio-psychological aspects, social support, physical activity and diet will be performed by means of questionnaire and interview.
Specific individualized exercise and diet intervention in this study offers a more efficient approach for liver fat reduction and diabetes prevention via modification of gut microbiota composition. Besides, the study explores the importance of incorporating fitness assessment and exercise in the management of patients with pre-diabetes and fatty liver disorders. If our program is shown to be effective, it will open new strategies to combat these chronic diseases.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials: ISRCTN42622771.
PMCID: PMC3897962  PMID: 24438438
Liver fat content; Glucose metabolism; Lipid metabolism; Gut microbiota; Metabonomics; Human; Clinical setting
15.  Microarray Gene Expression Analysis of Tumorigenesis and Regional Lymph Node Metastasis in Laryngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e84854.
Laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) is the most common type in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), and the development and progression of LSCC are multistep processes accompanied by changes of molecular biology.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the molecular basis of tumorigenesis and regional lymph node metastasis in LSCC, and provide a set of genes that may be useful for the development of novel diagnostic markers and/or more effective therapeutic strategies.
A total number of 10 patients who underwent surgery for primary laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma were recruited for microarray analysis. LSCC tissues compared with corresponding adjacent non-neoplastic tissues were analysed by Illumina mRNA microarrays, and LSCC tissues with regional lymph node metastasis and LSCC tissues without regional lymph node metastasis were analyzed in the same manner. The most frequently differently expressed genes screened by microarrays were also validated by qRT-PCR in another 42 patients diagnosed for LSCC.
Analysed by Illumina mRNA microarrays, there were 361 genes significantly related to tumorigenesis while 246 genes significantly related to regional lymph node metastasis in LSCC. We found that the six genes (CDK1, CDK2, CDK4, MCM2, MCM3, MCM4) were most frequently differently expressed functional genes related to tumorigenesis while eIF3a and RPN2 were most frequently differently expressed functional genes related to regional lymph node metastasis in LSCC. The expressions of these genes were also validated by qRT-PCR.
The research revealed a gene expression signature of tumorigenesis and regional lymph node metastasis in laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma. Of the total, the deregulation of several genes (CDK1, CDK2, CDK4, MCM2, MCM3, MCM4, EIF3a and RPN2) were potentially associated with disease development and progression. The result will contribute to the understanding of the molecular basis of LSCC and help to improve diagnosis and treatment.
PMCID: PMC3873425  PMID: 24386425
16.  Does Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Influence Muscle Development during Puberty in Girls? - A 7-Year Longitudinal Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82124.
Vitamin D is well known for its regulatory role in calcium and phosphate homeostasis, but its role in muscle mass and strength during growth remains inconclusive. We explored the association of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) with muscle development in girls from 11 to 18-years old. Whole body lean tissue mass (LMWB), appendicular lean mass (aLM), muscle cross-sectional area at the lower leg (mCSA), maximal voluntary contraction of elbow flexors (MVCelbow) and knee extensors (MVCknee) were assessed in 217 girls aged 10–13 years (at baseline), 215 in 2-year and 226 in 7.5-year follow-up. Serum concentration of 25(OH)D and intact parathyroid hormone (PTH) were analyzed retrospectively and girls were categorized according to their 25(OH)D levels (consistently insufficient 25(OH)D GLL <50 nmol/l and consistently sufficient GHH >50 nmol/l from baseline to 7-year follow-up). We found that 25(OH)D level declined until menarche (p<0.05) while LMWB, aLM, mCSA, MVCelbow and MVCknee continued to increase (p<0.001 for all) post menarche. At pre-menarche, the GLL (n = 34) had higher LMWB and aLM than the GHH (n = 21, p<0.05), while post-menarche the GHH (n = 15) had a greater catch-up gain in LMWB (p = 0.004), aLM (p = 0.001) and mCSA (p = 0.027) compared to the GLL (n = 65) over the first 2-year period. At the age of 18, no differences in muscle mass/strength between the low (n = 151) and high (n = 77) levels of 25(OH)D groups were found. This finding was independent of vitamin D receptor genotype and other confounders. In conclusion, our results showed that levels of 25(OH)D have no significant negative influence on the development of muscle mass and strength during pubertal growth both with longitudinal and cross-sectional comparison. On the contrary, our results suggest that the temporary negative association between 25(OH)D and muscle mass arises as a consequence of fast growth prior to menarche, and this negative association is diminished through catch-up growth after menarche.
PMCID: PMC3864869  PMID: 24358145
17.  Assessment of left ventricular dyssynchrony and cardiac function in patients with different pacing modes using real-time three-dimensional echocardiography: Comparison with tissue Doppler imaging 
The aim of this study was to evaluate the left ventricular mechanical dyssynchrony (LVMD) and left ventricular dysfunction of patients in AAI, DDD and VVI pacing modes using real-time three-dimensional echocardiography (RT3DE) and tissue Doppler imaging (TDI). The results from the RT3DE and TDI were subsequently compared. Twenty patients with sick sinus syndrome (SSS) who had undergone the implantation of a dual-chamber pacemaker were enrolled in this study and the pacemakers were programmed to AAI, DDD and VVI modes, sequentially. The RT3DE and TDI parameters were obtained following pacing for 24 h in each mode. With RT3DE, we measured the systolic dyssynchrony indices, including Tmsv16-SD%, Tmsv12-SD%, Tmsv6-SD%, Tmsv16-Dif%, Tmsv12-Dif% and Tmsv6-Dif%, left ventricular end-diastolic volume (LVEDV), left ventricular end-systolic volume (LVESV) and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), respectively. With TDI, we measured the standard deviation and the maximal difference in time from the QRS onset to the peak systolic velocity for 12 left ventricular myocardial segments, i.e. Ts-SD and Ts-Dif, respectively. The results showed that the Tmsv16-SD% and Ts-SD in the AAI mode were significantly lower than those in the DDD and VVI modes (P<0.05); however, there were no significant differences between the DDD and VVI modes (P>0.05). The LVEF in the AAI, DDD and VVI modes was 63.1±8.9, 58.6±11.2 and 57.9±7.6%, respectively (P>0.05). There were negative correlations between the LVEF and Tmsv16-SD% (r, −0.651; P<0.001) and Ts-SD (r, −0.649; P<0.0001). A moderate correlation (r, 0.698; P<0.0001) was observed between Tmsv16-SD% and Ts-SD. The concordance rate between Tmsv16-SD% and Ts-SD for detecting LVMD was 76%. This study showed that DDD and VVI pacing modes induced significant LVMD and a reduction in LVEF, unlike the AAI pacing mode. RT3DE and TDI were capable of objectively evaluating LVMD; however, each method had certain faults. At present, there is a lack of a uniform standard for assessing LVMD; therefore, the use of a variety of techniques and indices is necessary in order to comprehensively evaluate LVMD in patients with different cardiac pacing modes.
PMCID: PMC3820759  PMID: 24223646
real-time three-dimensional echocardiography; tissue Doppler imaging; cardiac pacing; left ventricular dyssynchrony
18.  Students’ awareness of malaria at the beginning of national malaria elimination programme in China 
Malaria Journal  2013;12:237.
In the battle against malaria in China, the rate of elementary and high school students’ awareness on malaria knowledge is an important index for malaria elimination, but only rare data is available. This study aimed to investigate the level of malaria awareness in students at elementary and high schools in malaria endemic areas of China, and to provide the baseline information for the malaria elimination.
This cross-sectional survey was conducted in 20 different malaria-endemic provinces in the first year of China’s National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP). A structured questionnaire was administrated to students at elementary and high schools enrolled. A total of 44,519 questionnaires were effective while 1,220 were excluded because of incomplete survey responses.
More than 60% of students were aware of malaria, but only 9,013 of them answered correctly to all five questions, and there were still 1,862 students unaware of malaria. There were significant differences of the awareness of malaria among different age groups, between male and female, between two different education levels.
The study reveals that students at elementary and high school levels did not have adequate knowledge of malaria about biology, pathogenicity, transmitting vectors and preventive methods and so on at the beginning of NMEP in China. Further emphasis should be paid on health education campaigns in China to increase students’ public awareness of malaria about vector control, treatment, prevention.
PMCID: PMC3723966  PMID: 23844969
Awareness; Malaria; Students; China
19.  A potential threat to malaria elimination: extensive deltamethrin and DDT resistance to Anopheles sinensis from the malaria-endemic areas in China 
Malaria Journal  2013;12:164.
Insecticide resistance in malaria vectors is a growing concern in many countries and requires immediate attention because of the limited chemical arsenal available for vector control. There is lack of systematic and standard monitoring data of malaria vector resistance in the endemic areas, which is essential for the ambitious goal of malaria elimination programme of China.
In 2010, eight provinces from different malaria endemic region were selected for study areas. Bioassays were performed on F1 progeny of Anopheles sinensis reared from wild-caught females using the standard WHO susceptibility test with diagnostic concentrations of 0.25% deltamethrin and 4% DDT.
For An. sinensis, the results indicated that exposure to 0.25% deltamethrin of F1 families with mortalities ranging from 5.96% to 64.54% and less than 80% mortality to DDT at the diagnostic concentration of 4% across the study areas.
Anopheles sinensis was completely resistant to both deltamethrin and DDT, and resistance to pyrethroid has risen strikingly compared to that recorded during 1990s. The results highlight the importance of longitudinal insecticide resistance monitoring and the urgent need for a better understanding of the status of insecticide resistance in this region.
PMCID: PMC3668211  PMID: 23683359
Insecticide resistance; An. sinensis; Malaria-endemic areas
20.  An Update on Antitumor Activity of Naturally Occurring Chalcones 
Chalcones, which have characteristic 1,3-diaryl-2-propen-1-one skeleton, are mainly produced in roots, rhizomes, heartwood, leaves, and seeds of genera Angelica, Sophora, Glycyrrhiza, Humulus, Scutellaria, Parartocarpus, Ficus, Dorstenia, Morus, Artocarpus, and so forth. They have become of interest in the research and development of natural antitumor agents over the past decades due to their broad range of mechanisms including anti-initiation, induction of apoptosis, antiproliferation, antimetastasis, antiangiogenesis, and so forth. This review summarizes the studies on the antitumor activity of naturally occurring chalcones and their underlying mechanisms in detail during the past decades.
PMCID: PMC3652162  PMID: 23690855
21.  Cardiomyocyte Imaging Using Real-Time Spatial Light Interference Microscopy (SLIM) 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e56930.
Spatial light interference microscopy (SLIM) is a highly sensitive quantitative phase imaging method, which is capable of unprecedented structure studies in biology and beyond. In addition to the π/2 shift introduced in phase contrast between the scattered and unscattered light from the sample, 4 phase shifts are generated in SLIM, by increments of π/2 using a reflective liquid crystal phase modulator (LCPM). As 4 phase shifted images are required to produce a quantitative phase image, the switching speed of the LCPM and the acquisition rate of the camera limit the acquisition rate and, thus, SLIM's applicability to highly dynamic samples. In this paper we present a fast SLIM setup which can image at a maximum rate of 50 frames per second and provide in real-time quantitative phase images at 50/4 = 12.5 frames per second. We use a fast LCPM for phase shifting and a fast scientific-grade complementary metal oxide semiconductor (sCMOS) camera (Andor) for imaging. We present the dispersion relation, i.e. decay rate vs. spatial mode, associated with dynamic beating cardiomyocyte cells from the quantitative phase images obtained with the real-time SLIM system.
PMCID: PMC3574023  PMID: 23457641
22.  Association between C1019T polymorphism of the connexin37 gene and coronary heart disease in patients with in-stent restenosis 
Studies have shown that a C1019T polymorphism of the gene encoding the gap junction protein connexin37 is associated with coronary artery disease (CAD). The aim of the present study was to explore the association between the C1019T polymorphism in the connexin37 gene and CAD patients with in-stent restenosis (ISR). A total of 532 patients who had undergone coronary stenting and coronary angiography at least three months after the procedure were divided according to a clinical diagnosis standard into two groups which were ISR (n=67) and no in-stent restenosis (NISR; n=465) groups. A further 501 healthy individuals were controls. The subjects were genotyped by DNA sequencing. The results demonstrated the following: i) connexin37 gene 1019 sites in the population were distributed by polymorphism into three genetic types (CC, TC and TT types). The distribution frequency of the healthy control, ISR and NISR groups conformed to the Hardy-Weinberg genetic balance rule; ii) in comparison with the healthy controls, the frequency of the connexin37 C allele was higher in the CAD patients (57.05% vs. 41.32%; OR, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.58–2.25; P<0.01). The frequency of the C carriers (CC+TC) was 65.47% in the healthy controls, vs. 79.32% in CAD patients (P<0.01). The CAD risk was significantly increased in the carriers of the C allele (CC+TC) compared with TT homozygotes (OR, 2.03; 95% CI, 1.53–2.80; P<0.01). Stratified analysis demonstrated that a significant difference existed in the frequency of C carriers between the male CAD patients and healthy controls (79.63% vs. 72.45%; OR, 1.48; 95% CI, 1.06–2.09, P=0.02), as well as in the female CAD patients (78.00% vs. 51.50%; OR, 3.34; 95% CI, 1.90–5.86; P<0.01). In the female and male CAD patients, the frequency of the connexin37 C allele was higher than in the healthy controls (male: χ2=12.67, P<0.01; female: χ2=50.20, P<0.01); iii) compared with the NISR group, the frequencies of the connexin37 C allele and C carriers (CC+TC) were significantly higher in the ISR group (frequency of C allele: 72.39% vs. 54.84%; P<0.01; frequency of C carriers: 89.55% vs. 77.85%; P=0.03). Compared with TT homozygotes, the restenosis risk was significantly increased in the carriers of the C allele (CC+TC; OR, 2.44; 95% CI, 1.08–5.50). Subsequent stratified analysis revealed that the frequency of the C allele was significantly higher in the male ISR group than in the male NISR group (78.57% vs. 52.66%; OR, 3.30; 95% CI, 2.05–5.29; P<0.01). The restenosis risk was ∼four-fold higher in the C carriers (CC+TC) than in the TT homozygotes (OR, 3.74; 95% CI, 1.32–10.64). However in the female population, there was no difference in the ISR risk between the carriers of the C allele (CC+TC) and the TT homozygotes (P=0.70). In summary, the C allele of the connexin37 gene is not only is associated with the susceptibility to CAD, but also associated with restenosis following coronary stenting in the population studied herein, particularly the male population.
PMCID: PMC3570167  PMID: 23403905
coronary heart disease; in-stent restenosis; connexin37; gene polymorphism
24.  Dispersion-relation phase spectroscopy of intracellular transport 
Optics Express  2011;19(21):20571-20579.
We used quantitative phase imaging to measure the dispersion relation, i.e. decay rate vs. spatial mode, associated with mass transport in live cells. This approach applies equally well to both discrete and continuous mass distributions without the need for particle tracking. From the quadratic experimental curve specific to diffusion, we extracted the diffusion coefficient as the only fitting parameter. The linear portion of the dispersion relation reveals the deterministic component of the intracellular transport. Our data show a universal behavior where the intracellular transport is diffusive at small scales and deterministic at large scales. Measurements by our method and particle tracking show that, on average, the mass transport in the nucleus is slower than in the cytoplasm.
PMCID: PMC3495870  PMID: 21997064
(180.0180) Microscopy; (170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology; (000.2700) General science
25.  One-dimensional deterministic transport in neurons measured by dispersion-relation phase spectroscopy 
We studied the active transport of intracellular components along neuron processes with a new method developed in our laboratory, dispersion-relation phase spectroscopy. This method is able to quantitatively map spatially the heterogeneous dynamics of the concentration field of the cargos at submicron resolution without the need for tracking individual components. The results in terms of density correlation function reveal that the decay rate is linear in wavenumber, which is consistent with a narrow Lorentzian distribution of cargo velocity.
PMCID: PMC3195397  PMID: 21862838

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