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1.  Clinical features and predictive factors of intraventricular rupture in patients who have bacterial brain abscesses 
Intraventricular rupture of brain abscesses (IVRBA) remains a catastrophic and fatal complication of bacterial brain abscess (BBA). However, no information has been reported about the risk factors that are predictive of intraventricular rupture.
This study was undertaken to determine the potential risk factors that are predictive of intraventricular ruptures in patients with BBA but without intraventricular rupture when arriving at the hospital. A comparison is also made between patients who already have IVRBA at the time of admission (initial IVRBA) and those who have the episode during hospitalisation (subsequent IVRBA).
62 patients, including 45 who had initial IVRBA and 17 who had subsequent IVRBA, were examined. Stepwise logistic regression analysis showed that the adjusted risk of intraventricular rupture during hospitalisation for patients with multiloculated brain abscesses had an odds ratio (OR) of 4.2 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.24 to 14.3; p = 0.02) compared with those without multiloculated brain abscesses (referent); a reduction of 1 mm in the distance between the ventricle and brain abscesses would increase the rupture rate by 10% (p = 0.006, OR 0.9, 95% CI 0.83 to 0.97).
This study shows that if the abscess is deep seated, multiloculated and close to the ventricle wall, a reduction of 1 mm in the distance between the ventricle and brain abscesses will increase the rupture rate by 10%. Despite aggressive medical and surgical management shown in this series, many patients continue to progress poorly.
PMCID: PMC2117635  PMID: 17012340
2.  Transcriptomic Analysis of Metabolic Pathways in Milkfish That Respond to Salinity and Temperature Changes 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(8):e0134959.
Milkfish (Chanos chanos), an important marine aquaculture species in southern Taiwan, show considerable euryhalinity but have low tolerance to sudden drops in water temperatures in winter. Here, we used high throughput next-generation sequencing (NGS) to identify molecular and biological processes involved in the responses to environmental changes. Preliminary tests revealed that seawater (SW)-acclimated milkfish tolerated lower temperatures than the fresh water (FW)-acclimated group. Although FW- and SW-acclimated milkfish have different levels of tolerance for hypothermal stress, to date, the molecular physiological basis of this difference has not been elucidated. Here, we performed a next-generation sequence analysis of mRNAs from four groups of milkfish. We obtained 29669 unigenes with an average length of approximately 1936 base pairs. Gene ontology (GO) analysis was performed after gene annotation. A large number of genes for molecular regulation were identified through a transcriptomic comparison in a KEGG analysis. Basal metabolic pathways involved in hypothermal tolerance, such as glycolysis, fatty acid metabolism, amino acid catabolism and oxidative phosphorylation, were analyzed using PathVisio and Cytoscape software. Our results indicate that in response to hypothermal stress, genes for oxidative phosphorylation, e.g., succinate dehydrogenase, were more highly up-regulated in SW than FW fish. Moreover, SW and FW milkfish used different strategies when exposed to hypothermal stress: SW milkfish up-regulated oxidative phosphorylation and catabolism genes to produce more energy budget, whereas FW milkfish down-regulated genes related to basal metabolism to reduce energy loss.
PMCID: PMC4532362  PMID: 26263550
3.  Comparison of Surface Markers between Human and Rabbit Mesenchymal Stem Cells 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e111390.
This study investigated whether there are marked differences in surface markers between rabbit and human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Murine and rabbit MSCs have been reported to be CD90-negative. Rat MSCs have been reported to be CD71-negative. Our previous study also shows that rabbit MSCs are CD29-negative. However, human MSCs are generally considered to be CD29-, CD71-, and CD90-positive. Therefore, the surface markers of human MSCs might differ from those of other species. Rabbit bone marrow MSCs were obtained that had a multi-differentiation potential. The phenotype of these cells was studied using flow cytometry antibodies for 25 rabbit surface markers, namely, CD13, CD14, CD29, CD31, CD34, CD44, CD45, CD49d, CD49f, CD51, CD54, CD59, CD71, CD73, CD90, CD105, CD106, CD133, CD166, MHC I, MHC II, α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), cytokeratin, desmin, and vimentin. The phenotype of commercially available human MSCs was similarly studied using antibodies for human surface markers. CD14, CD31, CD34, CD45, CD49d, CD49f, CD51, CD54, CD71, CD106, CD133, MHC II, and cytokeratin were absent from both rabbit and human MSCs, while CD44, α-SMA, and vimentin were present on both cell lines. CD13, CD29, CD59, CD73, CD90, CD105, CD166, and MHC I were present on human MSCs, but not on rabbit MSCs. However, desmin was present on rabbit MSCs, but not on human MSCs. In total, the surface expression of nine markers differed between human and rabbit MSCs, whereas the surface expression of 16 markers was the same in the two cell lines.
PMCID: PMC4224397  PMID: 25380245
4.  Medaka villin 1-like protein (VILL) is associated with the formation of microvilli induced by decreasing salinities in the absorptive ionocytes 
Frontiers in Zoology  2014;11:2.
Villin 1 is an actin-regulatory protein involved in the formation of microvilli of mammalian enterocytes. The microvilli, finger-like protrusions, are more abundant on the apical surfaces of gill ionocytes in various freshwater (FW) teleosts than in seawater (SW) fishes. However, the plasticity in the mechanisms of microvillus formation in the gill ionocytes are poorly understood, and the actin-regulatory proteins involved in the formation of microvilli have not been identified in fishes. The present study used the euryhaline medaka (Oryzias dancena) as a model to explore the role of a homolog of villin 1 in the actin-organization of cellular morphologies induced by decreasing salinities.
By ultrastructural observation, there are numerous actin filaments organized on the apical cortex of ion-absorptive ionocytes in the FW-acclimated medaka. From gills of the euryhaline medaka, we have identified the VILL sequence. The phylogenetic tree and functional domains suggest that VILL is the homolog of villin 1 in fishes. Immunofluorescence using a specific antibody revealed that VILL was specifically localized to the apical region of gill ionocytes along with microvilli in the FW medaka, but not in SW fish. The expression levels of Odvill mRNA and VILL protein were higher in the gills of the FW individuals than in the SW group and were induced when fish were transferred from SW to FW. A morpholino oligonucleotide for VILL knockdown eliminated the apical protrusions of ionocytes and pavement cells in the trunk epithelia of embryos.
From a novel aspect of cytoskeletal functions, our findings highlighted the important role of VILL protein in the ionoregulation of aquatic vertebrates in response to different osmotic challenges. This study is the first to show that the expression of VILL is associated with the formation of microvilli in the absorptive ionocytes of a euryhaline fish. Loss-of-function experiments showed that the distribution of VILL may represent the molecular link between the cytoskeletal organization and cellular morphology of the absorptive ionocytes during hypoosmotic adaptation in aquatic vertebrates.
PMCID: PMC3896669  PMID: 24410933
Microvilli; Ionocyte; Villin 1-like protein; Medaka; Gill
5.  Characterization and spinal fusion effect of rabbit mesenchymal stem cells 
BMC Research Notes  2013;6:528.
The surface markers of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) of rabbits have been reported only sporadically. However, interest in the spinal fusion effect of MSCs has risen recently. The purpose of this research was to study the surface markers and spinal fusion effect of rabbit MSCs.
Of our rabbit MSCs, 2% expressed CD14, CD29, and CD45, 1% expressed CD90 and 97% expressed CD44. These results implied the MSCs were negative for CD14, CD29, CD45, and CD90, but positive for CD44. The surgical results showed that satisfactory fusion occurred in 10 rabbits (83%) in the study group and unsatisfactory fusion in 2 (17%). In the control group, satisfactory fusion was found in 3 rabbits (25%) and unsatisfactory fusion in 9 (75%). Statistical analysis showed the study group had significantly better spinal fusion results than the control group.
The surface markers of human and rabbit MSCs are not exactly the same. Rabbit MSCs do not have positive reactivity for CD29 and CD90, which are invariably present on human MSCs. The allogeneic undifferentiated rabbit MSCs were able to promote spinal fusion and did not induce an adverse immune response.
PMCID: PMC4029367  PMID: 24325928
Characterization; Spinal fusion; Mesenchymal stem cell
6.  Compensatory regulation of Na+ absorption by Na+/H+ exchanger and Na+-Cl- cotransporter in zebrafish (Danio rerio) 
Frontiers in Zoology  2013;10:46.
In mammals, internal Na+ homeostasis is maintained through Na+ reabsorption via a variety of Na+ transport proteins with mutually compensating functions, which are expressed in different segments of the nephrons. In zebrafish, Na+ homeostasis is achieved mainly through the skin/gill ionocytes, namely Na+/H+ exchanger (NHE3b)-expressing H+-ATPase rich (HR) cells and Na+-Cl- cotransporter (NCC)-expressing NCC cells, which are functionally homologous to mammalian proximal and distal convoluted tubular cells, respectively. The present study aimed to investigate whether or not the functions of HR and NCC ionocytes are differentially regulated to compensate for disruptions of internal Na+ homeostasis and if the cell differentiation of the ionocytes is involved in this regulation pathway.
Translational knockdown of ncc caused an increase in HR cell number and a resulting augmentation of Na+ uptake in zebrafish larvae, while NHE3b loss-of-function caused an increase in NCC cell number with a concomitant recovery of Na+ absorption. Environmental acid stress suppressed nhe3b expression in HR cells and decreased Na+ content, which was followed by up-regulation of NCC cells accompanied by recovery of Na+ content. Moreover, knockdown of ncc resulted in a significant decrease of Na+ content in acid-acclimated zebrafish.
These results provide evidence that HR and NCC cells exhibit functional redundancy in Na+ absorption, similar to the regulatory mechanisms in mammalian kidney, and suggest this functional redundancy is a critical strategy used by zebrafish to survive in a harsh environment that disturbs body fluid Na+ homeostasis.
PMCID: PMC3750650  PMID: 23924428
Na+-Cl- cotranspoter; Na+/H+ exchanger; Ionocyte; Acid acclimation
7.  Early Response of Protein Quality Control in Gills Is Associated with Survival of Hypertonic Shock in Mozambique tilapia 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e63112.
The protein quality control (PQC) mechanism is essential for cell function and viability. PQC with proper biological function depends on molecular chaperones and proteases. The hypertonicity-induced protein damage and responses of PQC mechanism in aquatic organisms, however, are poorly understood. In this study, we examine the short-term effects of different hypertonic shocks on the levels of heat shock proteins (HSPs, e.g., HSP70 and HSP90), ubiquitin-conjugated proteins and protein aggregation in gills of the Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus). Following transfer from fresh water (FW) to 20‰ hypertonicity, all examined individuals survived to the end of experiment. Moreover, the levels of branchial HSPs and ubiquitin-conjugated proteins significantly increased at 3 and 24 h post-transfer, respectively. Up-regulation of HSPs and ubiquitin-conjugated proteins was sufficient to prevent the accumulation of aggregated proteins. However, the survival rate of tilapia dramatically declined at 5 h and all fish died within 7 h after direct transfer to 30‰ hypertonicity. We presumed that this result was due to the failed activation of gill PQC system, which resulted in elevating the levels of aggregated proteins at 3 and 4 h. Furthermore, in aggregated protein fractions, the amounts of gill Na+/K+-ATPase (NKA) remained relatively low when fish were transferred to 20‰ hypertonicity, whereas abundant NKA was found at 4 h post-transfer to 30‰ hypertonicity. This study demonstrated that the response of PQC in gills is earlier than observable changes in localization of ion-secreting transport proteins upon hypertonic challenge. To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the regulation of PQC mechanism in fish and characterize its important role in euryhaline teleost survival in response to hypertonic stress.
PMCID: PMC3653892  PMID: 23690986
8.  Expression Profiles of Branchial FXYD Proteins in the Brackish Medaka Oryzias dancena: A Potential Saltwater Fish Model for Studies of Osmoregulation 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e55470.
FXYD proteins are novel regulators of Na+-K+-ATPase (NKA). In fish subjected to salinity challenges, NKA activity in osmoregulatory organs (e.g., gills) is a primary driving force for the many ion transport systems that act in concert to maintain a stable internal environment. Although teleostean FXYD proteins have been identified and investigated, previous studies focused on only a limited group of species. The purposes of the present study were to establish the brackish medaka (Oryzias dancena) as a potential saltwater fish model for osmoregulatory studies and to investigate the diversity of teleostean FXYD expression profiles by comparing two closely related euryhaline model teleosts, brackish medaka and Japanese medaka (O. latipes), upon exposure to salinity changes. Seven members of the FXYD protein family were identified in each medaka species, and the expression of most branchial fxyd genes was salinity-dependent. Among the cloned genes, fxyd11 was expressed specifically in the gills and at a significantly higher level than the other fxyd genes. In the brackish medaka, branchial fxyd11 expression was localized to the NKA-immunoreactive cells in gill epithelia. Furthermore, the FXYD11 protein interacted with the NKA α-subunit and was expressed at a higher level in freshwater-acclimated individuals relative to fish in other salinity groups. The protein sequences and tissue distributions of the FXYD proteins were very similar between the two medaka species, but different expression profiles were observed upon salinity challenge for most branchial fxyd genes. Salinity changes produced different effects on the FXYD11 and NKA α-subunit expression patterns in the gills of the brackish medaka. To our knowledge, this report is the first to focus on FXYD expression in the gills of closely related euryhaline teleosts. Given the advantages conferred by the well-developed Japanese medaka system, we propose the brackish medaka as a saltwater fish model for osmoregulatory studies.
PMCID: PMC3561181  PMID: 23383199
9.  Predictors and outcomes of shunt-dependent hydrocephalus in patients with aneurysmal sub-arachnoid hemorrhage 
BMC Surgery  2012;12:12.
Hydrocephalus following spontaneous aneurysmal sub-arachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is often associated with unfavorable outcome. This study aimed to determine the potential risk factors and outcomes of shunt-dependent hydrocephalus in aneurysmal SAH patients but without hydrocephalus upon arrival at the hospital.
One hundred and sixty-eight aneurysmal SAH patients were evaluated. Using functional scores, those without hydrocephalus upon arrival at the hospital were compared to those already with hydrocephalus on admission, those who developed it during hospitalization, and those who did not develop it throughout their hospital stay. The Glasgow Coma Score, modified Fisher SAH grade, and World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies grade were determined at the emergency room. Therapeutic outcomes immediately after discharge and 18 months after were assessed using the Glasgow Outcome Score.
Hydrocephalus accounted for 61.9% (104/168) of all episodes, including 82 with initial hydrocephalus on admission and 22 with subsequent hydrocephalus. Both the presence of intra-ventricular hemorrhage on admission and post-operative intra-cerebral hemorrhage were independently associated with shunt-dependent hydrocephalus in patients without hydrocephalus on admission. After a minimum 1.5 years of follow-up, the mean Glasgow outcome score was 3.33 ± 1.40 for patients with shunt-dependent hydrocephalus and 4.21 ± 1.19 for those without.
The presence of intra-ventricular hemorrhage, lower mean Glasgow Coma Scale score, and higher mean scores of the modified Fisher SAH and World Federation of Neurosurgical grading on admission imply risk of shunt-dependent hydrocephalus in patients without initial hydrocephalus. These patients have worse short- and long-term outcomes and longer hospitalization.
PMCID: PMC3467164  PMID: 22765765
Outcome; Risk factors; Hydrocephalus after spontaneous aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage
10.  Novel Quinazolinone MJ-29 Triggers Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and Intrinsic Apoptosis in Murine Leukemia WEHI-3 Cells and Inhibits Leukemic Mice 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e36831.
The present study was to explore the biological responses of the newly compound, MJ-29 in murine myelomonocytic leukemia WEHI-3 cells in vitro and in vivo fates. We focused on the in vitro effects of MJ-29 on ER stress and mitochondria-dependent apoptotic death in WEHI-3 cells, and to hypothesize that MJ-29 might fully impair the orthotopic leukemic mice. Our results indicated that a concentration-dependent decrease of cell viability was shown in MJ-29-treated cells. DNA content was examined utilizing flow cytometry, whereas apoptotic populations were determined using annexin V/PI, DAPI staining and TUNEL assay. Increasing vital factors of mitochondrial dysfunction by MJ-29 were further investigated. Thus, MJ-29-provaked apoptosis of WEHI-3 cells is mediated through the intrinsic pathway. Importantly, intracellular Ca2+ release and ER stress-associated signaling also contributed to MJ-29-triggered cell apoptosis. We found that MJ-29 stimulated the protein levels of calpain 1, CHOP and p-eIF2α pathways in WEHI-3 cells. In in vivo experiments, intraperitoneal administration of MJ-29 significantly improved the total survival rate, enhanced body weight and attenuated enlarged spleen and liver tissues in leukemic mice. The infiltration of immature myeloblastic cells into splenic red pulp was reduced in MJ-29-treated leukemic mice. Moreover, MJ-29 increased the differentiations of T and B cells but decreased that of macrophages and monocytes. Additionally, MJ-29-stimulated immune responses might be involved in anti-leukemic activity in vivo. Based on these observations, MJ-29 suppresses WEHI-3 cells in vitro and in vivo, and it is proposed that this potent and selective agent could be a new chemotherapeutic candidate for anti-leukemia in the future.
PMCID: PMC3360742  PMID: 22662126
11.  The association between serum adhesion molecules and outcome in acute spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage 
Critical Care  2011;15(6):R284.
Serum concentrations of adhesion molecules may be connected to the pathogenesis of secondary brain injury after spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). This study posits the hypothesis that levels of adhesion molecules substantially increase after ICH and are decreased thereafter, and that they can predict treatment outcomes.
Two hundred and thirty-nine blood samples were collected from 60 consecutive patients admitted within 24 hours after onset of spontaneous ICH and 60 blood samples were collected from 60 volunteers. Additional samples were obtained on Days 4, 7, 10, and 14 after onset of ICH regardless of clinical deterioration.
Upon discharge, the therapeutic outcomes of the 60 spontaneous ICH cases based on the modified Rankin Disability Scale (mMRS) showed that 17 had no disability while 8.3% developed delayed cerebral infarction (DCI). Statistical analysis of adhesion molecules between patient groups with good outcome (mMRS = 0 or 1) and poor outcome (mMRS ≥2) revealed significant differences in diabetes mellitus (P=0.049), hyperlipidemia (P=0.012), mentality change (P=0.043), ICH volume and intraventricular hemorrhage on admission (P=0.036 and 0.006, respectively), Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) on admission (P≤0.001), neuro-surgical intervention (P=0.003), and sE-selectin and soluble intercellular cell adhesion-molecule-1 (sICAM-1) levels on admission (P=0.036 and 0.019, respectively). Multiple logistic regression analysis of these significant variables showed that GCS on admission, hyperlipidemia, and sICAM-1 (P=0.039, 0.042, and 0.022, respectively) were independently associated with outcome of acute spontaneous ICH.
Increased sICAM-1 and sE-selectin levels may imply poor therapeutic outcomes for the treatment of spontaneous ICH during hospitalization. These early inflammatory responses may cause whole-brain injury immediately after spontaneous ICH and offer a potential therapeutic target for such patients. The importance of these findings is that they offer a potential therapeutic target for patients with spontaneous ICH.
PMCID: PMC3388671  PMID: 22117900
12.  Chrysophanol induces necrosis through the production of ROS and alteration of ATP levels in J5 human liver cancer cells 
Anthraquinone compounds have been shown to induce apoptosis in different cancer cell types. Effects of chrysophanol, an anthraquinone compound, on cancer cell death have not been well-studied. The goal of this study was to examine if chrysophanol had cytotoxic effects and if such effects involved apoptosis or necrosis in J5 human liver cancer cells. Chrysophanol induced necrosis in J5 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Non-apoptotic cell death was induced by chrysophanol in J5 cells and was characterized by caspase independence, delayed externalization of phosphatidylserine and plasma membrane disruption. Blockage of apoptotic induction by a general caspase inhibitor (z-VAD-fmk) failed to protect cells against chrysophanol-induced cell death. The levels of ROS production and loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) were also determined to assess the effects of chrysophanol. However, reductions in ATP levels and increases in LDH activity indicated that chrysophanol stimulated necrotic cell death. In summary, human liver cancer cells treated with chrysophanol exhibited a cellular pattern associated with necrosis and not apoptosis.
PMCID: PMC3031088  PMID: 20169580
Chrysophanol; necrosis; ROS; ATP; mitochondrial; J5 human liver cancer cells

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