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1.  Naringin administration inhibits platelet aggregation and release by reducing blood cholesterol levels and the cytosolic free calcium concentration in hyperlipidemic rabbits 
This study investigated the effects of naringin on platelet aggregation and release in hyperlipidemic rabbits, and the underlying mechanisms. The safety of naringin was also investigated. The rabbits were orally administered 60, 30 or 15 mg/kg of naringin once a day for 14 days after being fed a high fat/cholesterol diet for four weeks. Following the two weeks of drug administration, the degree of platelet aggregation induced by arachidonic acid, adenosine diphosphate and collagen was significantly reduced by naringin at certain doses compared with those in the rabbits of the model group (P<0.01). The levels of P-selectin and platelet factor 4 (PF4) also decreased following treatment with naringin compared with those of the model group. Certain doses of naringin significantly reduced the total cholesterol (TC) levels and elevated the ratio of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol to TC compared with those in the model group, and significantly decreased the cytosolic free calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i). No significant difference in the coagulation function was observed between the control and drug-treatment groups. These results indicate that naringin improved platelet aggregation and inhibited the excessive release of P-selectin and PF4 in hyperlipidemic rabbits. This study suggests that the antiplatelet effect of naringin may be due to its ability to regulate the levels of blood cholesterol and [Ca2+]i in platelets. Naringin also did not cause bleeding in the hyperlipidemic rabbits.
PMCID: PMC4113534  PMID: 25120631
naringin; hyperlipidemic; aggregation; cytosolic free calcium concentration; P-selectin; platelet factor 4
2.  The triterpenoid pristimerin induces U87 glioma cell apoptosis through reactive oxygen species-mediated mitochondrial dysfunction 
Oncology Letters  2012;5(1):242-248.
It has become evident that some of the natural or synthetic triterpenoids are natural proteasome inhibitors that have great potential for use in cancer prevention and treatment. However, the mechanisms for the antitumor activity of triterpenoids remain to be elucidated. In the present study, we investigated the anticancer activities of a natural triterpenoid, pristimerin, and the signaling pathways affected. Pristimerin was found to possess potent cytotoxic effects, inducing apoptosis and inhibiting proliferation in U87 human glioma cells. Hoechst 33258 staining and Annexin V/PI double staining exhibited the typical nuclear features of apoptosis and increased the proportion of apoptotic Annexin V-positive cells in a dose-dependent manner, respectively. Moreover, western blotting assay revealed that this apoptotic induction was associated with activated caspase-9, caspase-3, PARP cleavage and downregulation of Bcl-xl/Bax in a concentration-dependent manner. Pristimerin also increased the generation of reactive oxygen species and induced the subsequent release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria into the cytosol. Additionally, pristimerin downregulated EGFR protein expression and inhibited downstream signaling pathways in U87 cells. Our results suggest that pristimerin may have potential as a new targeting therapeutic strategy in the treatment of EGFR-overexpressing gliomas.
PMCID: PMC3525416  PMID: 23255929
pristimerin; glioma; apoptosis; reactive oxygen species; U87 cells
3.  Bullatacin Triggered ABCB1-Overexpressing Cell Apoptosis via the Mitochondrial-Dependent Pathway 
This paper was to explore bullatacin-mediated multidrug-resistant cell apoptosis at extremely low concentration. To investigate its precise mechanisms, the pathway of cell apoptosis induced by bullatacin was examined. Bullatacin causes an upregulation of ROS and a downregulation of ΔΨm in a concentration-dependent manner in ABCB1-overexpressing KBv200 cells. In addition, cleavers of caspase-9, caspase-3, and PARP were observed following the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria after bullatacin treatment. However, neither cleavage of caspase-8 nor change of expression level of bcl-2, bax and Fas was observed by the same treatment. Pretreating KBv200 cells with N-acetylcysteine, an antioxidant modulator, resulted in a significant reduction of ROS generation and cell apoptosis induced by bullatacin. Bullatacin-induced apoptosis was antagonized by z-LEHD-fmk, a caspase-9 inhibitor, but not by z-IETD-fmk, a caspase-8 inhibitor. These implied that apoptosis of KBv200 cells induced by bullatacin was associated with the mitochondria-dependent pathway that was limited to activation of apical caspase-9.
PMCID: PMC2715821  PMID: 19639048
4.  Vandetanib (Zactima, ZD6474) Antagonizes ABCC1- and ABCG2-Mediated Multidrug Resistance by Inhibition of Their Transport Function 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(4):e5172.
ABCC1 and ABCG2 are ubiquitous ATP-binding cassette transmembrane proteins that play an important role in multidrug resistance (MDR). In this study, we evaluated the possible interaction of vandetanib, an orally administered drug inhibiting multiple receptor tyrosine kinases, with ABCC1 and ABCG2 in vitro.
Methodology and Principal Findings
MDR cancer cells overexpressing ABCC1 or ABCG2 and their sensitive parental cell lines were used. MTT assay showed that vandetanib had moderate and almost equal-potent anti-proliferative activity in both sensitive parental and MDR cancer cells. Concomitant treatment of MDR cells with vandetanib and specific inhibitors of ABCC1 or ABCG2 did not alter their sensitivity to the former drug. On the other hand, clinically attainable but non-toxic doses of vandetanib were found to significantly enhance the sensitivity of MDR cancer cells to ABCC1 or ABCG2 substrate antitumor drugs. Flow cytometric analysis showed that vandetanib treatment significantly increase the intracellular accumulation of doxorubicin and rhodamine 123, substrates of ABCC1 and ABCG2 respectively, in a dose-dependent manner (P<0.05). However, no significant effect was shown in sensitive parental cell lines. Reverse transcription-PCR and Western blot analysis showed that vandetanib did not change the expression of ABCC1 and ABCG2 at both mRNA and protein levels. Furthermore, total and phosphorylated forms of AKT and ERK1/2 remained unchanged after vandetanib treatment in both sensitive and MDR cancer cells.
Vandetanib is unlikely to be a substrate of ABCC1 or ABCG2. It overcomes ABCC1- and ABCG2-mediated drug resistance by inhibiting the transporter activity, independent of the blockade of AKT and ERK1/2 signal transduction pathways.
PMCID: PMC2669214  PMID: 19390592
5.  Effects of Entecavir on Hepatitis B Virus Covalently Closed Circular DNA in Hepatitis B e Antigen-Positive Patients with Hepatitis B 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0117741.
The aim of this study was to assess the effect of 48-week entecavir therapy on serum and intrahepatic hepatitis B virus, covalently closed circular DNA (HBV cccDNA) levels in hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive patients. A total of 120 patients with HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis were treated with entecavir for 48 weeks. Serum HBV markers, total HBV DNA, and HBV cccDNA levels were measured at baseline and week 48. Biopsies from 20 patients were available for both intrahepatic total HBV DNA and cccDNA testing at these timepoints. HBV cccDNA levels were decreased from a median level of 5.1×106 copies/mL at baseline to a median level of 2.4×103 copies/mL at week 48. Reduction magnitudes of HBV cccDNA in patients with normalized alanine aminotransferase levels and those undergoing HBeAg seroconversion were significantly greater than those in alanine aminotransferase-abnormal and HBeAg positive patients. Intrahepatic HBV cccDNA was decreased significantly after 48 weeks of treatment, but could not be eradicated. In conclusion, treatment of HBeAg-positive hepatitis B patients with entecavir for 48 weeks decreased serum and intrahepatic HBV cccDNA significantly, and the magnitude of HBV cccDNA reduction was related to total HBV DNA decrease, alanine aminotransferase normalization, and HBeAg seroconversion.
PMCID: PMC4315599  PMID: 25647607
6.  The Endoparasitoid, Cotesia vestalis, Regulates Host Physiology by Reprogramming the Neuropeptide Transcriptional Network 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8173.
Endoparasitoids develop inside another insect by regulating host immunity and development via maternal factors injected into hosts during oviposition. Prior results have provided insights into parasitism-induced immunosuppression, including the neuropeptide accumulation in parasitized insects. Nonetheless, our understanding of neuropeptide influence on host development and behavior is not yet complete. We posed the hypothesis that parasitization alters expression of genes encoding pro-neuropeptides and used larvae of Plutella xylostella and its endoparasitoid, Cotesia vestalis to test our hypothesis. We prepared transcriptomes from the larval P. xylostella brain-CC-CA complex and identified transcripts encoding 19 neuropeptides. All corresponding cDNAs were confirmed by RACE. Our results demonstrate that parasitism significantly down-regulated, or delayed, expression of genes encoding pro-neuropeptides within 48 h post-parasitization. Changing expression of these genes may account for the previously reported decreased feeding behavior, reduced growth rates and aborted development in the host larvae. In effect, parasitization may operate at the molecular level within the CNS to create global changes in larval host biology. The significance of our finding is that, in addition to the known effects on immunity, parasitoids influence host pro-neuropeptide gene transcription. This finding reveals a new mechanism operating in host-parasitoid relationships to the advantage of the parasitoid.
PMCID: PMC4313088  PMID: 25640113
8.  3D conformal radiotherapy combined with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization for hepatocellular carcinoma 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2014;20(45):17227-17234.
AIM: To compare transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) and 3D conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) with TACE monotherapy in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
METHODS: We searched all the eligible studies from the Cochrane Library, PubMed, Medline, Embase, and CNKI. The meta-analysis was performed to assess the survival benefit, tumor response, and the decline in α-fetoprotein (AFP) level. According to the heterogeneity of the studies, pooled OR with 95%CI were calculated using the fixed-effects or random-effects model. An observed OR > 1 indicated that the addition of 3D-CRT to TACE offered survival benefits to patients that could be considered statistically significant. Statistical analyses were performed using Review Manager Software.
RESULTS: Ten studies met the criteria to perform a meta-analysis including 908 HCC participants, with 400 patients in the TACE/3D-CRT combination group and 508 in the TACE alone group. TACE combined with 3D-CRT significantly improved 1-, 2- and 3-year overall survival compared with TACE monotherapy (OR = 1.87, 95%CI: 1.37-2.55, P < 0.0001), (OR = 2.38, 95%CI: 1.78-3.17, P < 0.00001) and (OR = 2.97, 95%CI: 2.10-4.21, P < 0.00001). In addition, TACE plus 3D-CRT was associated with a higher tumor response (complete remission and partial remission) (OR = 3.81; 95%CI: 2.70-5.37; P < 0.00001), and decline rates of AFP level (OR = 3.24, 95%CI: 2.09-5.02, P < 0.00001).
CONCLUSION: This meta-analysis demonstrated that TACE combined with 3D-CRT was better than TACE monotherapy for patients with HCC, which needs to be confirmed by large multicenter trials.
PMCID: PMC4258595  PMID: 25493039
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Chemoembolization; Three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy; Meta-analysis
9.  Relationship between red cell distribution width and serum uric acid in patients with untreated essential hypertension 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:7291.
We assessed whether red cell distribution width (RDW) is associated with serum uric acid (UA) level in a group of 512 patients with newly diagnosed hypertension, recruited in Beijing. Patients were divided into high uric acid group and low uric acid group according to the median (334.9 μmol/L) of serum uric acid. Compared with the low uric acid group, the patients with high uric acid had higher red blood cell count (P < 0.001) and RDW (P = 0.032). The multiple linear regression analysis showed that RDW (P = 0.001) was positively correlated with uric acid level after the adjustment of related factors. Stepwise multiple logistic regression model confirmed that RDW (odds ratio: OR = 1.75) was independent determinants of high serum uric acid as well as sex (OR = 6.03), triglycerides (OR = 1.84), and Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN, OR = 1.30). RDW may be independently associated with serum UA level in patients with newly diagnosed hypertension. To firmly establish the causal role of RDW in the incidence of high uric acid level among hypertensive patients, large cohort studies are needed.
PMCID: PMC4252898  PMID: 25464864
10.  Pulsed laser deposition of single-crystalline Cu7In3/CuIn0.8Ga0.2Se2 core/shell nanowires 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):650.
Single-crystalline Cu7In3/CuIn0.8Ga0.2Se2 (CI/CIGS) core/shell nanowires are fabricated by pulsed laser deposition with Ni nanoparticles as catalyst. The CI/CIGS core/shell nanowires are made up of single-crystalline CI cores surrounded by single-crystalline CIGS shells. The CI/CIGS nanowires are grown at a considerably low temperature (350°C ~ 450°C) by vapor-liquid-solid mode combined with vapor-solid mode. The distribution density of the nanowires increases with the increasing of the deposition duration, and the substrate temperature determines the lengths of the nanowires. The U-V absorption spectra of the CIGS thin films with and without the CI/CIGS core/shell nanowires demonstrate that the CI/CIGS nanowires can remarkably enhance the absorption of CIGS thin films in the spectrum range of 300 to 900 nm.
61.46. + w; 61.41.e; 81.15.Fg; 81.07.b
PMCID: PMC4266518  PMID: 25520597
Pulsed laser deposition; Nickel catalyst; CuIn0.8Ga0.2Se2; core/shell nanowires; Light absorption
11.  Preliminary Toxicity Analysis of 3DCRT versus IMRT on the High Dose Arm of the RTOG 0126 Prostate Cancer Trial 
International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics  2013;87(5):10.1016/j.ijrobp.2013.07.041.
A Preliminary report of clinical and treatment factors associated with toxicity in men receiving high dose radiation (RT) on a phase III dose escalation trial.
Methods and Materials
Trial was initiated with 3 dimensional RT (3DCRT) and amended after 1 year to allow intensity modulated RT (IMRT). Patients treated with 3DCRT received 55.8Gy to a planning target volume that included the prostate and seminal vesicles then 23.4Gy to prostate only. IMRT patients were treated to the prostate and proximal seminal vesicles to 79.2Gy. CTC v2.0 and RTOG/EORTC late morbidity scores were used for acute and late effects.
748 of 763 patients randomized to the 79.2 Gy arm of RTOG 0126 were eligible and evaluable. 491 and 257 were treated with 3DCRT and IMRT, respectively. For both bladder and rectum, the volumes receiving 65, 70, and 75Gy were significantly lower with IMRT (all p<0.0001).
For G2+ acute GI/GU toxicity, both univariate and multivariate analyses show a statistically significant decrease in G2+ acute collective GI/GU toxicity for IMRT. There are no significant differences with 3DCRT or IMRT for acute or late, G2+ or 3+ GU toxicities. Univariate analysis shows a statistically significant decrease in late G2+ GI toxicity for IMRT (p=0.039). On multivariate analysis, IMRT shows a 26% reduction in G2+ late GI toxicity (p=0.099). Acute G3+ toxicity was associated with late G3+ toxicity (p=0.005). With DVH data in the multivariate analysis, RT modality is not significant whereas white race (p=0.001) and rectal V70 >=15% are associated with G2+ rectal toxicity (p=0.034).
IMRT is associated with a significant reduction in acute G2+ GI/GU toxicity. There is a trend for a clinically meaningful reduction in late G2+ GI toxicity with IMRT. The occurrence of acute GI toxicity and large (>15%) volumes of rectum >70Gy are associated with late rectal toxicity.
PMCID: PMC3840044  PMID: 24113055
GI/GU Toxicity; IMRT; 3DCRT
12.  Identifying Early Dehydration Risk With Home-Based Sensors During Radiation Treatment: A Feasibility Study on Patients With Head and Neck Cancer 
Systems that enable remote monitoring of patients’ symptoms and other health-related outcomes may optimize cancer care outside of the clinic setting. CYCORE (CYberinfrastructure for COmparative effectiveness REsearch) is a software-based prototype for a user-friendly cyberinfrastructure supporting the comprehensive collection and analyses of data from multiple domains using a suite of home-based and mobile sensors. This study evaluated the feasibility of using CYCORE to address early at-home identification of dehydration risk in head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy.
Head and neck cancer patients used home-based sensors to capture weight, blood pressure, pulse, and patient-reported outcomes for two 5-day periods during radiation therapy. Data were sent to the radiation oncologist of each head and neck cancer patient, who viewed them online via a Web-based interface. Feasibility outcomes included study completion rate, acceptability and perceived usefulness of the intervention, and adherence to the monitoring protocol. We also evaluated whether sensor data could identify dehydration-related events.
Fifty patients consented to participate, and 48 (96%) completed the study. More than 90% of patients rated their ease, self-efficacy, and satisfaction regarding use of the sensor suite as extremely favorable, with minimal concerns expressed regarding data privacy issues. Patients highly valued the ability to have immediate access to objective, self-monitoring data related to personal risk for dehydration. Clinician assessments indicated a high degree of satisfaction with the ease of using the CYCORE system and the resulting ability to monitor their patients remotely.
Implementing CYCORE in a clinical oncology care setting is feasible and highly acceptable to both patients and providers.
PMCID: PMC3881993  PMID: 24395986
13.  Impact of Diabetes Mellitus on the Prognosis of Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma after Curative Hepatectomy 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e113858.
Background: The influence of diabetes mellitus (DM) on the prognosis of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains controversial. Here we investigated the impact of DM on the prognosis of such patients after curative hepatectomy.
Methods: A consecutive cohort of 505 patients with HCC (134 with DM, 371 without) underwent curative hepatectomy were retrospectively evaluated. Postoperative morbidity and mortality, overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) were compared between patients with or without DM. Independent prognostic predictors were identified using the Cox proportional hazards model.
Results: Patients with or without DM showed similar morbidity and 30- and 90- day mortality after curative hepatectomy (all P>0.05), as well as similar DFS at 1, 3, 5 years (P = 0.781). However, the group of patients with DM showed significantly lower OS at 1, 3, 5 years than the group without DM (P = 0.038). Similar results were obtained in the propensity-matched cohort. Cox multivariate analysis identified DM as an independent predictor of poor OS, but not of poor DFS. We repeat compared OS and DFS for DM and non-DM subgroups defined according to the presence or absence of hepatitis B virus infection and cirrhosis. Similar results were obtained in all subgroups except the non-cirrhotic subgroup which showed patients with and without DM had similar OS.
Conclusions: DM does not significantly affect the postoperative morbidity or mortality or the DFS of patients with HCC after curative hepatectomy. It is, however, associated with significantly lower OS, especially in patients with cirrhosis.
PMCID: PMC4250061  PMID: 25436613
14.  Clinical and prognostic significance of high-mobility group box-1 in human gliomas 
The objective of this study was to explore the expression and the clinical and prognostic significance of high-mobility group box-1 (HMGB1) in human gliomas. The expression of HMGB1 in 15 samples of normal brain tissue and 65 samples of different-grade glioma tissue was assayed using immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis. The associations between the differences in expression and pathology grades were analyzed statistically. Uni- and multivariate analyses were performed to investigate the prognostic value of HMGB1 expression and its expression levels. The positive rates of HMGB1 expression in normal brain and glioma tissue were 20.0% (3/15) and 76.9% (50/65), respectively. The expression of HMGB1 in glioma tissue was higher than that in normal tissue (P<0.05). The positive rates of HMGB1 expression in low-grade gliomas (LGGs, grades I and II) and high-grade gliomas (HGGs, grades III and IV) were 63.0% (17/27) and 86.8% (33/38), respectively, and the positive rates in HGG were higher than those in LGG (P=0.024). Western blot analysis showed that HMGB1 was also expressed in normal brain tissue. The expression levels in HGG were significantly higher than those in LGG (P<0.001). HMGB1-positive patients had significantly shorter overall survival times compared with HMGB1-negative patients (P=0.026). Increasing levels of HMGB1 expression significantly correlated with reduced survival times when all patients with glioma were considered (P=0.045). In conclusion, HMGB1 positivity and protein expression levels are of significant clinical and prognostic value in human gliomas. Detecting HMGB1 in human gliomas may be useful for assessing the degree of malignancy, and HMGB1 would appear to be a promising target in the clinical management of patients with glioma.
PMCID: PMC4280992  PMID: 25574225
high-mobility group box-1; gliomas; expression; clinical; prognosis
15.  Genome Sequence of Tumebacillus flagellatus GST4, the First Genome Sequence of a Species in the Genus Tumebacillus 
Genome Announcements  2014;2(6):e01189-14.
We present here the first genome sequence of a species in the genus Tumebacillus. The draft genome sequence of Tumebacillus flagellatus GST4 provides a genetic basis for future studies addressing the origins, evolution, and ecological role of Tumebacillus organisms, as well as a source of acid-resistant amylase-encoding genes for further studies.
PMCID: PMC4241674  PMID: 25395648
16.  Development of Amperometric Glucose Biosensor Based on Prussian Blue Functionlized TiO2 Nanotube Arrays 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:6891.
Amperometric biosensors consisting of oxidase and peroxidase have attracted great attention because of their wide application. The current work demonstrates a novel approach to construct an enzymatic biosensor based on TiO2 nanotube arrays (TiNTs) as a supporting electrode on which Prussian Blue (PB)-an “artificial enzyme peroxidase” and enzyme glucose oxidase (GOx) have been immobilized. For this, PB nanocrystals are deposited onto the nanotube wall photocatalytically using the intrinsic photocatalytical property of TiO2, and the GOx/AuNPs nanobiocomposites are subsequently immobilized into the nanotubes via the electrodeposition of polymer. The resulting electrode exhibits a fast response, wide linear range, and good stability for glucose sensing. The sensitivity of the sensor is as high as 248 mA M−1 cm−2, and the detection limit is about 3.2 μM. These findings demonstrate a promising strategy to integrate enzymes and TiNTs, which could provide an analytical access to a large group of enzymes for bioelectrochemical applications including biosensors and biofuel cells.
PMCID: PMC4219169  PMID: 25367086
17.  Simultaneous determination by UPLC-MS/MS of seven bioactive compounds in rat plasma after oral administration of Ginkgo biloba tablets: application to a pharmacokinetic study*  
A rapid, reliable, and sensitive method was developed using ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) with an electrospray ionization (ESI) source for determination of seven bioactive compounds in rat plasma after oral administration of Ginkgo biloba tablets (GBTs). The method simultaneously detects bilobalide (BB), ginkgolide A (GA), ginkgolide B (GB), ginkgolide C (GC), quercetin (QCT), kaempferol (KMF), and isorhamnetin (ISR) for pharmacokinetic study. The analytes and internal standard (IS) were extracted from rat plasma by acetidin. An MS/MS detection was conducted using multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) and operating in the negative ionization mode. The calibration curve ranges were 5–500, 5–500, 2.5–250, 1–100, 1–100, 1–100, and 1–100 ng/ml for BB, GA, GB, GC, QCT, KMF, and ISR, respectively. The mean recovery of the analytes ranged from 68.11% to 84.42%. The intra- and inter-day precisions were in the range of 2.33%–9.86% and the accuracies were between 87.67% and 108.37%. The method was used successfully in a pharmacokinetic study of GBTs. The pharmacokinetic parameters of seven compounds were analyzed using a non-compartment model. Plasma concentrations of the seven compounds were determined up to 48 h after administration, and their pharmacokinetic parameters were in agreement with previous studies.
PMCID: PMC4228506  PMID: 25367786
Ginkgo biloba tablet; Ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS); Pharmacokinetics
18.  Essential oil from Zanthoxylum bungeanum Maxim. and its main components used as transdermal penetration enhancers: a comparative study*  
Our previous studies had confirmed that the essential oil from Zanthoxylum bungeanum Maxim. (Z. bungeanum oil) could effectively enhance the percutaneous permeation of drug molecules as a natural transdermal penetration enhancer. The aim of the present study is to investigate and compare the skin penetration enhancement effect of Z. bungeanum oil and its main components on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) active components. Toxicities of Z. bungeanum oil and three selected terpene compounds (terpinen-4-ol, 1,8-cineole, and limonene) in epidermal keratinocytes (HaCaT) and dermal fibroblast (CCC-ESF-1) cell lines were measured using an MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay. Five model drugs in TCM external preparations, namely osthole (OT), tetramethylpyrazine (TMP), ferulic acid (FA), puerarin (PR), and geniposide (GP), which were selected based on their lipophilicity denoted by logK o/w, were tested using in vitro permeation studies in which vertical Franz diffusion cells and rat abdominal skin were employed. The secondary structure changes of skin stratum corneum (SC) and drug thermodynamic activities were investigated to understand their mechanisms of action using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and saturation solubility studies, respectively. It was found that Z. bungeanum oil showed lower toxicities in both HaCaT cells and CCC-ESF-1 cells compared with three terpene compounds used alone. The enhancement permeation capacities by all tested agents were in the following increasing order: terpinen-4-ol≈1,8-cineole
PMCID: PMC4228507  PMID: 25367787
Zanthoxylum bungeanum Maxim.; Essential oil; Limonene; Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy; Penetration enhancer; HaCaT
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e103303.
There are few widely accepted criteria other than caseation, which has low sensitivity, for differentiating intestinal tuberculosis (ITB) and Crohn's disease (CD).
We performed a meta-analysis to evaluate the use of confluent granulomas and ulcers lined by epithelioid histiocytes as histological methods for differentiating ITB and CD, compared with that of caseation.
We searched PubMed, Medline, Embase, Web of Science, the Cochrane Library and Chinese Biomedicine Database for all relevant studies on the histological differentiation of ITB and CD. Sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) were calculated for each study. Study quality and heterogeneity were assessed. Meta-regression analysis and sensitivity analyses were performed.
Ten randomized trials involving 316 ITB and 376 CD patients were included. The results showed that analysis of caseation showed an overall weighted area under the curve (AUC) of 0.9966, overall sensitivity and specificity were 0.21 and 1.00, respectively, with a positive likelihood ratio (+LR) of 10.79, negative likelihood ratio(-LR) of 0.82 and DOR of 13.74. Confluent granulomas had a lower overall weighted AUC of 0.9381, sensitivity and specificity were 0.38 and 0.99, respectively, with a +LR of 16.29, -LR of 0.65 and DOR of 26.52. Overall weighted AUC for ulcers lined by epithelioid histiocytes was 0.9017, sensitivity and specificity were 0.41 and 0.94, respectively, with a +LR of 6.46, -LR of 0.54 and DOR of 13.17. Significant heterogeneity was noted for the studies. Meta-regression analysis showed that study source, publication year, size, design and quality did not affect heterogeneity.
Confluent granulomas and ulcers lined by epithelioid histiocytes are helpful in distinguishing ITB from CD, which may provide a new method, other than caseating granulomas and acid-fast bacilli, to differentiate ITB and CD in mucosal biopsies.
PMCID: PMC4191941  PMID: 25299041
The total effects of adequate real acupuncture treatment consist of pathologic-specific and non-specific physiological effects. The latter may be the fundamental component of the therapeutic effects of acupuncture. This study investigated the physiological background effects of acupuncture in normal rats treated with acupuncture.
Manual acupuncture was performed on normal rats at experienced acupoints, GV14 (Dazhui), BL12 (Fengmen) and BL13 (Feishu), once every other day for two weeks. The proteomic profile of rat lung tissue was examined using 2-DE/MS-based proteomic techniques. Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment and the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway were analyzed for differentially expressed proteins using the WebGestalt toolkit.
In total, 25 differentially expressed protein spots were detected in the 2-DE gels. Among these spots, 24 corresponded to 20 unique proteins that were successfully identified using mass spectrometry. Subsequent GO and KEGG pathway analyses demonstrated that these altered proteins were mainly involved in biological processes, such as ‘protein stabilization’, ‘glycolysis/gluconeogenesis’ and ‘response to stimulus’.
Our study indicated the non-specific background effects of acupuncture at acupoints GV14, BL12 and BL13 likely maintained internal homeostasis via regulation of the local stimulus response, energy metabolism, and biomolecule function balance, which may be important contributors to the therapeutic effects of acupuncture.
PMCID: PMC4192787  PMID: 25282142
Acupuncture; Non-specific effect; Proteomics
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2014;35(10):1274-1284.
Arctigenin, a phenylpropanoid dibenzylbutyrolactone lignan found in traditional Chinese herbs, has been determined to exhibit a variety of pharmacological activities, including anti-tumor, anti-inflammation, neuroprotection, and endurance enhancement. In the present study, we investigated the antioxidation and anti-fatigue effects of arctigenin in rats.
Rat L6 skeletal muscle cell line was exposed to H2O2 (700 μmol/L), and ROS level was assayed using DCFH-DA as a probe. Male SD rats were injected with arctigenin (15 mg·kg−1·d−1, ip) for 6 weeks, and then the weight-loaded forced swimming test (WFST) was performed to evaluate their endurance. The levels of antioxidant-related genes in L6 cells and the skeletal muscles of rats were analyzed using real-time RT-PCR and Western blotting.
Incubation of L6 cells with arctigenin (1, 5, 20 μmol/L) dose-dependently decreased the H2O2-induced ROS production. WFST results demonstrated that chronic administration of arctigenin significantly enhanced the endurance of rats. Furthermore, molecular biology studies on L6 cells and skeletal muscles of the rats showed that arctigenin effectively increased the expression of the antioxidant-related genes, including superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione reductase (Gsr), glutathione peroxidase (GPX1), thioredoxin (Txn) and uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2), through regulation of two potential antioxidant pathways: AMPK/PGC-1α/PPARα in mitochondria and AMPK/p53/Nrf2 in the cell nucleus.
Arctigenin efficiently enhances rat swimming endurance by elevation of the antioxidant capacity of the skeletal muscles, which has thereby highlighted the potential of this natural product as an antioxidant in the treatment of fatigue and related diseases.
PMCID: PMC4186987  PMID: 25152028
arctigenin; skeletal muscle; weight-loaded forced swimming test; fatigue; physical endurance; ROS; antioxidant; AMPK; PPARα; Nrf2
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;204(7):1191-1207.
The tumor suppressor p53 induces activation of the mitochondrial protease HtrA2/Omi and prevents Ras-driven invasion by modulating the actin cytoskeleton.
Oncogenic Ras induces cell transformation and promotes an invasive phenotype. The tumor suppressor p53 has a suppressive role in Ras-driven invasion. However, its mechanism remains poorly understood. Here we show that p53 induces activation of the mitochondrial protease high-temperature requirement A2 (HtrA2; also known as Omi) and prevents Ras-driven invasion by modulating the actin cytoskeleton. Oncogenic Ras increases accumulation of p53 in the cytoplasm, which promotes the translocation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) into mitochondria and induces phosphorylation of HtrA2/Omi. Concurrently, oncogenic Ras also induces mitochondrial fragmentation, irrespective of p53 expression, causing the release of HtrA2/Omi from mitochondria into the cytosol. Phosphorylated HtrA2/Omi therefore cleaves β-actin and decreases the amount of filamentous actin (F-actin) in the cytosol. This ultimately down-regulates p130 Crk-associated substrate (p130Cas)-mediated lamellipodia formation, countering the invasive phenotype initiated by oncogenic Ras. Our novel findings provide insights into the mechanism by which p53 prevents the malignant progression of transformed cells.
PMCID: PMC3971739  PMID: 24662565
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e107100.
Inferring new indication of approved drugs is critical not only for the elucidation of the interaction mechanisms between these drugs and their associated diseases, but also for the development of drug therapy for various human diseases. This paper proposes a network-based approach to reveal the association between 52 human diseases and potential therapeutic drugs based on multiple types of data. The advantage of the approach is that it can obtain the global relevance features for each drug-disease pair in the network by the learning local and global consistency method (LLGC). Cross-validation tests results demonstrate the proposed approach can achieve better performance comparing with previous methods. More importantly, it provides a promising strategy to maximize the value of therapeutic drugs and offer safe and effective treatments for different diseases.
PMCID: PMC4182043  PMID: 25268268
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e108755.
Background & Aims
Official guidelines do not recommend hepatic resection (HR) for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and portal hypertension (PHT). This study aims to investigate the safety and efficacy of HR for patients with HCC and PHT.
Mortality and survival after HR were analyzed retrospectively in a consecutive sample of 1738 HCC patients with PHT (n = 386) or without it (n = 1352). To assess the robustness of findings, we repeated the analysis using propensity score-matched analysis. We also comprehensively searched the PubMed database for studies evaluating the efficacy and safety of HR for patients with HCC and PHT.
The 90-day mortality rate was 6.7% among those with PHT and 2.1% among those without it (P<.001). Patients without PHT had a survival benefit over those with PHT at 1, 3, and 5 years (96% vs 90%, 75% vs 67%, 54% vs 45%, respectively; P = .001). In contrast, PHT was not associated with worse short- or long-term survival when only propensity score-matched pairs of patients and those with early-stage HCC or those who underwent minor hepatectomy were included in the analysis (all P>.05). Moreover, the recurrence rates were similar between the two groups. Consistent with our findings, all 9 studies identified in our literature search reported HR to be safe and effective for patients with HCC and PHT.
HR is safe and effective in HCC patients with PHT and preserved liver function. This is especially true for patients who have early-stage HCC or who undergo minor hepatectomy.
PMCID: PMC4182657  PMID: 25268959
Percutaneous coronary intervention with stenting in patients with coronary atheromatous stenosis carry an inherent risk of affecting the baroreflex-mediated regulation of hemodynamic alterations, especially for heart rate and blood pressure. To the best of our knowledge, the vagal baroreflex activation associated with acute coronary stent thrombosis in patients who have undergone percutaneous coronary intervention has not been previously reported.
Case presentation
In the present article, we report a case of a Chinese patient (a 75-year-old male) with coronary artery disease who presented with hemodynamic alterations as a complication of vagal baroreflex activation after implantation of overlapping stents, followed by stent thrombosis associated with myocardial infarction.
The patient’s vagal baroreflex sensitivity increased after the coronary stenting procedure. He was successfully treated with intra-aortic balloon pump therapy. Because of its rarity, this case is being reported to emphasize the importance of using intra-aortic balloon pump therapy.
PMCID: PMC4189550  PMID: 25260637
Vagal baroreflex activation; Acute coronary stent thrombosis; Myocardial infarction

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