This study aims to compare the perioperative parameters and clinical results between microendoscopy laminoforaminotomy (MELF) and cervical arthroplasty (CA) in the treatment of one-level cervical spondylotic radiculopathy in a retrospective study.
From 2003 to 2007, a total of 97 patients with one-level cervical spondylotic radiculopathy were treated. Forty-five patients underwent CA. Fifty-two patients underwent MELF. Patient demographics and operative data were collected with a minimum 2-year follow-up. Perioperative parameters were compared. Clinical assessment in terms of neck disability index (NDI), short form (SF)-36, and visual analogue scale (VAS) of arm pain and neck pain was performed prior to surgery and at 1.5, 3, 6, 12, and 24 months after surgery.
Fluoroscopy time (CA, 60.3 s; MELF, 12.1 s; P < 0.01) and surgical time (CA, 95.1 min; MELF, 24.0 min; P < 0.01) were significantly longer in the CA cases. Shorter hospitalized days (CA, 1.1 days; MELF, 0.13 days; P < 0.01) and less estimated blood loss (EBL; CA, 75.8 ml; MELF, 31.9 ml; P < 0.01) were observed in the MELF group. Both CA and MELF groups showed significant improvement in NDI, VAS of neck pain and arm pain, and SF-36 (P < 0.05 for each) at 1.5, 3, 6, 12, and 24 months after surgery, but there was no significant difference between them (P > 0.05).
As alternatives of anterior cervical decompression and fusion (ACDF), both CA and MELF can produce satisfactory clinical outcomes. MELF has the additional benefits of less blood loss, less surgical time, less X-ray time, and shorter hospital stay.
Microendoscopy; Laminoforaminotomy; Arthroplasty; Cervical spondylotic radiculopathy
The small GTPase Rab7 is a key regulator of endosomal maturation in eukaryotic cells. Mutations in rab7 are thought to cause the dominant neuropathy Charcot-Marie-Tooth 2B (CMT2B) by a gain-of-function mechanism. Here we show that loss of rab7, but not overexpression of rab7 CMT2B mutants, causes adult-onset neurodegeneration in a Drosophila model. All CMT2B mutant proteins retain 10–50% function based on quantitative imaging, electrophysiology, and rescue experiments in sensory and motor neurons in vivo. Consequently, expression of CMT2B mutants at levels between 0.5 and 10-fold their endogenous levels fully rescues the neuropathy-like phenotypes of the rab7 mutant. Live imaging reveals that CMT2B proteins are inefficiently recruited to endosomes, but do not impair endosomal maturation. These findings are not consistent with a gain-of-function mechanism. Instead, they indicate a dosage-dependent sensitivity of neurons to rab7-dependent degradation. Our results suggest a therapeutic approach opposite to the currently proposed reduction of mutant protein function.
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is an inherited disorder of the nervous system with symptoms that typically begin in adolescence or early adulthood. The sensory and motor nerves gradually degenerate, causing muscles to waste away and leading to the loss of touch sensation across the body. One subtype of the disease—Charcot-Marie-Tooth 2B—is caused by mutations in a gene called rab7, which codes for a protein that helps to regulate the breakdown of waste proteins inside cells.
Charcot-Marie-Tooth 2B is described as a genetically dominant disorder because all patients have one wild type copy and one mutant copy of the rab7 gene. Overexpression of the mutant gene in cells grown in culture alters many of the signaling pathways inside the cells, but it is unclear whether these alterations cause the pathology seen in the disease.
Now, Cherry et al. have obtained new insights into the genetics of Charcot-Marie-Tooth 2B by creating the first animal model of the disorder. Fruit flies that did not have the rab7 gene in the light-sensitive sensory neurons in their eyes were used to compare normal and mutant cells. While the two cell types were initially similar, the mutant cells gradually degenerated in the adult animal. By contrast, cells that overexpressed a mutant form of the rab7 gene continued to function normally throughout adulthood. Moreover, when mutant Rab7 proteins were introduced into the cells that lacked the rab7 gene, the proteins restored the cells’ sensitivity to light. These results suggest that mutant Rab7 proteins do not cause degeneration; instead, it is the loss of normal Rab7 function that causes problems.
At present, most research into treatment is aimed at finding ways to reduce the activity of mutant Rab7 proteins. However, the work of Cherry et al. suggests that increasing the activity of normal Rab7 proteins—or increasing the activity of alternative pathways that degrade waste proteins—may help to restore nerve function in this, and possibly other, neurodegenerative diseases.
endosome; neuropathy; genetics; synapse; D. melanogaster
gene delivery; nanoparticles; phage display; stem cells; virus mimetics
Human oncogene DEK has been shown to be upregulated in a number of neoplasms. The purpose of this study was to investigate DEK expression level in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), analyze the correlation between DEK expression and CLL prognostic markers, and characterize the role of DEK in the response to either chemotherapeutic drugs or nongenotoxic activators of the p53 pathway. DEK mRNA was evaluated by real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and primary CLL samples were treated in vitro with either fludarabine or Nutlin-3 to explore the interaction of p53 status and DEK mRNA expression. The median expression levels of DEK mRNA were 6.792 × 10−2 (1.438 × 10−2−3.201 × 10−1) in 65 patients with CLL. A marked increase of DEK mRNA expression was observed in the CLL patients with unmutated immunoglobulin heavy chain variable (IGHV) gene (p = 0.025), CD38-positive (p = 0.047), del(17p13) (p = 0.006). Both fludarabine and Nutlin-3 significantly downregulated DEK in the primary CLL cells which were with normal function of p53, or without deletion or mutation of p53 (p = 0.042, p = 0.038; p = 0.021, p = 0.017; p = 0.037, p = 0.017). However, the downregulation of DEK was not observed in the primary CLL cells which were with dysfunction of p53, or with deletion or mutation of p53 (p = 0.834, p = 0.477; p = 0.111, p = 0.378; p = 0.263, p = 0.378). These data show that DEK might be applied for the assessment of prognosis in patients with CLL, and fludarabine and Nutlin-3 regulate DEK expression depended on p53 status.
chronic leukemia lymphoma; DEK; p53; fludarabine; Nutlin-3
To evaluate the potentially improved therapeutic efficacy and safety of nephrotropic macromolecular prodrugs of glucocorticoids (GC) in the treatment of lupus nephritis.
Monthly injection of N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide (HPMA) copolymer-based dexamethasone prodrug (P-Dex) and daily injection of dexamethasone phosphate sodium (Dex, overall dose equivalent to P-Dex) were given to lupus-prone (NZB×NZW)F1 female mice for two months. The animals were monitored for albuminuria, mean arterial pressure and serum autoantibody levels during the treatment. Nephritis, renal immune complexes and macrophage infiltration were evaluated histologically. The bone quality was analyzed with pDEXA and μ-CT. Optical imaging, immunohistochemistry (IHC) and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) were used to understand the in vivo distribution of P-Dex. The anti-inflammatory effect of P-Dex was validated using LPS-activated human proximal tubule epithelial cells (HK-2).
Monthly P-Dex injection completely abolished albuminuria in the (NZB×NZW)F1 mice, which is significantly (P < 0.001) more efficacious than daily Dex treatment. P-Dex did not reduce serum levels of anti-dsDNA antibodies or renal immune complexes, but did reduce macrophage infiltration, a marker of chronic inflammation. IHC and FACS analyses revealed that P-Dex was primarily sequestered by proximal tubule epithelial cells and it could attenuate the inflammatory response in HK-2 cell culture. Different from Dex treatment, P-Dex did not lead to any significant bone quality deterioration or total serum IgG reduction.
Macromolecularization of GCs renders them nephrotropic. The protracted retention, subcellular processing and activation of GC prodrugs by kidney cells would potentiate nephritis resolution with reduced risk of systemic toxicities.
We evaluated the ability of a macromolecular prodrug of dexamethasone (P-Dex) to treat lupus nephritis in (NZB × NZW)F1 mice. We also explored the mechanism underlying the anti-inflammatory effects of this prodrug. P-Dex eliminated albuminuria in most (NZB × NZW)F1 mice. Furthermore, P-Dex reduced the incidence of severe nephritis and extended lifespan in these mice. P-Dex treatment also prevented the development of lupus-associated hypertension and vasculitis. Although P-Dex did not reduce serum levels of anti-dsDNA antibodies or glomerular immune complexes, P-Dex reduced macrophage recruitment to the kidney and attenuated tubulointerstitial injury. In contrast to what was observed with free dexamethasone, P-Dex did not induce any deterioration of bone quality. However, P-Dex did lead to reduced peripheral white blood cell counts and adrenal gland atrophy. These results suggest that P-Dex is more effective and less toxic than free dexamethasone for the treatment of lupus nephritis in (NZB × NZW)F1 mice. Furthermore, the data suggest that P-Dex may treat nephritis by attenuating the renal inflammatory response to immune complexes, leading to decreased immune cell infiltration and diminished renal inflammation and injury.
Extracts from Potentilla species have been applied in traditional medicine and exhibit antioxidant, hypoglycemic, anti-inflammatory, antitumor and anti-ulcerogenic properties, but little has been known about the diversity of phytochemistry and pharmacology on this genus. This study investigated and compared the phytochemical profiles, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of leaf extracts from three Potentilla species (Potentilla fruticosa, Potentilla glabra and Potentilla parvifolia) in order to discover new resources for lead structures and pharmaceutical products.
Chemical composition and content of six phenolic compounds were evaluated and determined by RP-HPLC; Total phenolic and total flavonoid content were determined using Folin-Ciocalteau colourimetric method and sodium borohydride/chloranil-based method (SBC); Antioxidant activities were determined using DPPH, ABTS and FRAP assays; Antimicrobial properties were investigated by agar dilution and mycelial growth rate method.
The results showed hyperoside was the predominant phenolic compound in three Potentilla species by RP-HPLC assay, with the content of 8.86 (P. fruticosa), 2.56 (P. glabra) and 2.68 mg/g (P. parvifolia), respectively. The highest content of total identified phenolic compounds (hyperoside, (+)-catechin, caffeic acid, ferulic acid, rutin and ellagic acid) was observed in P. parvifolia (14.17 mg/g), follow by P. fruticosa (10.01 mg/g) and P. glabra (7.01 mg/g). P. fruticosa possessed the highest content of total phenolic (84.93 ± 0.50 mmol gallic acid equivalent/100 g) and total flavonoid (84.14 ± 0.03 mmol quercetin equivalent/100 g), which were in good correlation with its significant DPPHIC50 (16.87 μg/mL), ABTS (2763.48 μmol Trolox equivalent/g) and FRAP (1398.70 μmol Trolox equivalent/g) capacities. Furthermore, the effective methodology to distinguish the different species of Potentilla was also established by chromatographic fingerprint analysis for the first time. The results of antimicrobial activities showed P. fruticosa exhibited the strongest inhibition aganist Gram-positive bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candida albicans with MIC values of 0.78–6.25 mg/mL. P. parvifolia possessed antibacterial and antifungal activities against all the microorganisms tested, with EC50 and MIC values of 20.52–47.02 mg/mL and 0.78–50 mg/mL, respectively.
These results indicated that leaf extracts from three Potentilla species could become useful supplement for pharmaceutical products as a new antioxidant and antimicrobial agents.
Potentilla spp; Phytochemicals; Antioxidant activity; Antimicrobial activity; RP-HPLC
Essential thrombocythemia (ET) is a chronic clonal myeloproliferative disorder, which is often complicated by arterial or venous thrombosis and idiopathic bleeding diathesis. The present study reports a female patient with ET complicated by acute myocardial infarction, leading to ventricular aneurysm following interventional therapy for 3 years and a subsequent in-stent restenosis. Following careful examination, a ventricular aneurysm resection and coronary artery bypass graft were carried out. During this case, the monitoring and controlling of the platelet count, pre- and post-operatively, was extremely important for successful surgery.
essential thrombocythemia; acute myocardial infarction; ventricular aneurysm; surgical treatment
To develop novel biomineral-binding liposomes (BBL) for the prevention of orthopedic implant associated osteomyelitis.
A biomineral-binding lipid, alendronate-tri(ethylene-glycol)-cholesterol conjugate (ALN-TEG-Chol), was synthesized through Cu(I)-catalyzed Huisgen 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition (a versatile click reaction). Mixing with other excipients, the new lipid was used to develop BBL. Thermodynamic behavior was studied by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). In vitro biomineral-binding potential and kinetics were evaluated on hydroxyapatite (HA, a widely used material for orthopedic implant devices) particles. Oxacillin was encapsulated into BBL and used for in vitro evaluation in preventing Staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation.
DSC analysis showed that ALN-TEG-Chol could inhibit the phase transition of liposomes by reducing its cooperativity, yielding liposomes with thermodynamic stability similar to liposomes containing regular cholesterol. BBL showed fast and strong binding ability to HA. Oxacillin-loading BBL demonstrated significantly better preventive efficacy against bacteria colonization when challenged with S. aureus isolate, implying its potential in preventing orthopedic implant associated osteomyelitis.
In this proof of concept study, novel BBL has been successfully developed and validated for reducing the frequency of implantable device-related infections.
bisphosphonates; liposomes; orthopaedic implant; osteomyelitis; oxacillin
Stress response induced by surgery is proposed to play an important role in the pathogenesis of postoperative cognitive dysfunction.
To investigate the association between postoperative serum cortisol level and occurrence of cognitive dysfunction early after coronary artery bypass graft surgery.
Prospective cohort study.
Two teaching hospitals.
One hundred and sixth-six adult patients who were referred to elective coronary artery bypass graft surgery from March 2008 to December 2009.
Main Outcome Measures
Neuropsychological tests were completed one day before and seven days after surgery. Cognitive dysfunction was defined using the same definition as used in the ISPOCD1-study. Blood samples were obtained in the first postoperative morning for measurement of serum cortisol concentration. Multivariate Logistic regression analyses were performed to assess the relationship between serum cortisol level and occurrence of postoperative cognitive dysfunction.
Cognitive dysfunction occurred in 39.8% (66 of 166) of patients seven days after surgery. Multivariate Logistic regression analysis showed that high serum cortisol level was significantly associated with the occurrence of postoperative cognitive dysfunction (odds ratio [OR] 2.603, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.371-4.944, P = 0.003). Other independent predictors of early postoperative cognitive dysfunction included high preoperative New York Heart Association functional class (OR 0.402, 95% CI 0.207-0.782, P = 0.007), poor preoperative Grooved Pegboard test score of nondominant hand (OR 1.022, 95% CI 1.003-1.040, P = 0.020), use of penehyclidine as premedication (OR 2.565, 95% CI 1.109-5.933, P = 0.028), and occurrence of complications within seven days after surgery (OR 2.677, 95% CI 1.201-5.963, P = 0.016).
High serum cortisol level in the first postoperative morning was associated with increased risk of cognitive dysfunction seven days after coronary artery bypass graft surgery.
Patients with brain metastases from lung cancer have poor prognoses and short survival time, and they are often excluded from clinical trials. Whole-cranial irradiation is considered to be the standard treatment, but its efficacy is not satisfactory. The purpose of this phase II clinical trial was to evaluate the preliminary efficacy and safety of the treatment of whole-brain irradiation plus three-dimensional conformal boost combined with concurrent topotecan for the patients with brain metastases from lung cancer.
Patients with brain metastasis from lung cancer received concurrent chemotherapy and radiotherapy: conventional fractionated whole-brain irradiation, 2 fields/time, 1 fraction/day, 2 Gy/fraction, 5 times/week, and DT 40 Gy/20 fractions; for the patients with ≤ 3 lesions with diameter ≥ 2 cm, a three-dimensional (3-D) conformal localised boost was given to increase the dosage to 56–60 Gy; and during radiotherapy, concurrent chemotherapy with topotecan was given (the chemoradiotherapy group, CRT). The patients with brain metastasis from lung cancer during the same period who received radiotherapy only were selected as the controls (the radiotherapy-alone group, RT).
From March 2009 to March 2012, both 38 patients were enrolled into two groups. The median progression-free survival(PFS) time , the 1- and 2-year PFS rates of CRT group and RT group were 6 months, 42.8%, 21.6% and 3 months, 11.6%, 8.7% (χ2 = 6.02, p = 0.014), respectively. The 1- and 2-year intracranial lesion control rates of CRT and RT were 75.9% , 65.2% and 41.6% , 31.2% (χ2 = 3.892, p = 0.049), respectively. The 1- and 2-year overall survival rates (OS) of CRT and RT were 50.8% , 37.9% and 40.4% , 16.5% (χ2 = 1.811, p = 0.178), respectively. The major side effects were myelosuppression and digestive toxicities, but no differences were observed between the two groups.
Compared with radiotherapy alone, whole-brain irradiation plus 3-D conformal boost irradiation and concurrent topotecan chemotherapy significantly improved the PFS rate and the intracranial lesion control rate of patients with brain metastases from lung cancer, and no significant increases in side effects were observed. Based on these results, this treatment method is recommended for phase III clinical trial.
Lung cancer; Brain metastases; Radiotherapy; Topotecan; Three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy
Five new derivatives (2–6) were semi-synthesized using compound 1, a dihydro-β-agarofuran sesquiterpene with C-2 ketone obtained from Parnassia wightiana, as the starting material by acylation, oxidation, reduction, esterification, and amination, respectively. Structures of 2–6 were confirmed by 1D- and 2D-NMR and HR-ESI-MS spectra. In addition, antifeedant activities of these compounds (1–6) were tested against the 3rd-instar larvae of Mythimna separata. Antifeedant effects of compounds 2 and 4 were greater than the parent compound 1 whereas other compounds exhibited low to no feeding deterrent effects against third instar M. separata larvae in lab bioassays. Therefore, our results suggest that acylated and reduced derivatives at C-8 and C-2, respectively, of 1 may improve the antifeeding effect. This preliminary information will be useful in designing new insect control agents against M. separata and other important pests.
sesquiterpene; agarofuran; derivatives; antifeedant activity
The dynamic responses of honeycomb sandwich panels (HSPs) subjected to in-plane projectile impact were studied by means of explicit nonlinear finite element simulations using LS-DYNA. The HSPs consisted of two identical aluminum alloy face-sheets and an aluminum honeycomb core featuring three types of unit cell configurations (regular, rectangular-shaped, and reentrant hexagons). The ballistic resistances of HSPs with the three core configurations were first analyzed. It was found that the HSP with the reentrant auxetic honeycomb core has the best ballistic resistance, due to the negative Poisson's ratio effect of the core. Parametric studies were then carried out to clarify the influences of both macroscopic (face-sheet and core thicknesses, core relative density) and mesoscopic (unit cell angle and size) parameters on the ballistic responses of the auxetic HSPs. Numerical results show that the perforation resistant capabilities of the auxetic HSPs increase as the values of the macroscopic parameters increase. However, the mesoscopic parameters show nonmonotonic effects on the panels' ballistic capacities. The empirical equations for projectile residual velocities were formulated in terms of impact velocity and the structural parameters. It was also found that the blunter projectiles result in higher ballistic limits of the auxetic HSPs.
Mammalian genomes contain thousands of cis-regulatory elements for each transcription factor (TF), but TFs only occupy a relatively small subset referred to as cistrome. Recent studies demonstrate that a TF cistrome might differ among different organisms, tissue types and individuals. In a cell, a TF cistrome might differ among different physiological states, pathological stages and between physiological and pathological conditions. It is, therefore, remarkable how highly plastic these binding profiles are, and how massively they can be reprogrammed in rapid response to intra/extracellular variations and during cell identity transitions and evolution. Biologically, cistrome reprogramming events tend to be followed by changes in transcriptional outputs, thus serving as transformative mechanisms to synchronically alter the biology of the cell. In this review, we discuss the molecular basis of cistrome plasticity and attempt to integrate the different mechanisms and biological conditions associated with cistrome reprogramming. Emerging data suggest that, when altered, these reprogramming events might be linked to tumor development and/or progression, which is a radical conceptual change in our mechanistic understanding of cancer and, potentially, other diseases.
transcription factor; cis-regulatory element; cistrome; transcriptome; cistrome reprogramming; transcription reprogramming; cancer development and progression; ChIP-chip/seq
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that is considered to be one of the major public health problems worldwide. The development of therapies that target tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and co-stimulatory pathways that regulate the immune system have revolutionized the care of patients with RA. Despite these advances, many patients continue to experience symptomatic and functional impairment. To address this issue, more recent therapies that have been developed are designed to target intracellular signaling pathways involved in immunoregulation. Though this approach has been encouraging, there have been major challenges with respect to off-target organ side effects and systemic toxicities related to the widespread distribution of these signaling pathways in multiple cell types and tissues. These limitations have led to an increasing interest in the development of strategies for the macromolecularization of anti-rheumatic drugs, which could target them to the inflamed joints. This approach enhances the efficacy of the therapeutic agent with respect to synovial inflammation, while markedly reducing non-target organ adverse side effects. In this manuscript, we provide a comprehensive overview of the rational design and optimization of macromolecular prodrugs for treatment of RA. The superior and the sustained efficacy of the prodrug may be partially attributed to their Extravasation through Leaky Vasculature and subsequent Inflammatory cell-mediated Sequestration (ELVIS) in the arthritic joints. This biologic process provides a plausible mechanism, by which macromolecular prodrugs preferentially target arthritic joints and illustrates the potential benefits of applying this therapeutic strategy to the treatment of other inflammatory diseases.
Rheumatoid arthritis; Macromolecular prodrug; ELVIS; Targeting inflammation; Drug delivery
Accelerated hypofractionated radiotherapy can shorten total treatment time and overcome the accelerated repopulation of tumour cells during radiotherapy. This therapeutic approach has demonstrated good efficacy in the treatment of locally advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, the optimal fractionation scheme remains uncertain. The purpose of this phase I trial was to explore the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of accelerated hypofractionated three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3-DCRT) (at 3 Gy/fraction) administered in combination with concurrent vinorelbine (NVB) and carboplatin (CBP) chemotherapy for unresectable stage III NSCLC.
Previously untreated cases of unresectable stage III NSCLC received accelerated hypofractionated 3-DCRT, delivered at 3 Gy per fraction, once daily, with five fractions per week. The starting dose was 66 Gy and an increment of 3 Gy was utilized. Higher doses continued to be tested in patient groups until the emergence of dose-limiting toxicity (DLT). The MTD was regarded as the dose that was one step below the dose at which DLT occurred. Patients received at least one cycle of a concurrent two-drug chemotherapy regimen of NVB and CBP.
A total of 13 patients were enrolled and progressed through three dose escalation groups: 66 Gy, 69 Gy, and 72 Gy. No treatment-related deaths occurred. The major adverse events included radiation oesophagitis, radiation pneumonitis, and neutropenia. Nausea, fatigue, and anorexia were commonly observed, although the magnitude of these events was typically relatively minor. Among the entire group, four instances of DLT were observed, including two cases of grade 3 radiation oesophagitis, one case of grade 3 radiation pneumonitis, and one case of grade 4 neutropenia. All of these cases of DLT occurred in the 72 Gy group. Therefore, 72 Gy was designated as the DLT dose level, and the lower dose of 69 Gy was regarded as the MTD.
For unresectable stage III NSCLC 69 Gy (at 3 Gy/fraction) was the MTD of accelerated hypofractionated 3-DCRT administered in combination with concurrent NVB and CBP chemotherapy. The toxicity of this chemoradiotherapy regimen could be tolerated. A phase II trial is recommended to further evaluate the efficacy and safety of this regimen.
Accelerated hypofractionated radiotherapy; Three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy; Non-small-cell lung cancer; Concurrent chemoradiotherapy; Maximum tolerated dose; Vinorelbine; Carboplatin
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short single-stranded non-coding molecules that function as negative regulators to silence or suppress gene expression. Aberrant miRNA expression has been implicated in a several cellular processes and pathogenic pathways of a number of diseases. Evidence is rapidly growing that miRNA regulation of gene expression may be affected by environmental chemicals. These environmental exposures include those that have frequently been associated with chronic diseases, such as heavy metals, air pollution, bisphenol A, and cigarette smoking. In this article, we review the published data on miRNAs in relation to the exposure to several environmental chemicals, and discuss the potential mechanisms that may link environmental chemicals to miRNA alterations. We further discuss the challenges in environmental-miRNA research and possible future directions. The cumulating evidence linking miRNAs to environmental chemicals, coupled with the unique regulatory role of miRNAs in gene expression, makes miRNAs potential biomarkers for better understanding the mechanisms of environmental diseases.
MicroRNAs; Epigenetic; Environmental chemicals
To investigate the mechanisms by which chronic tobacco smoking promotes intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) and vertebral degeneration in mice.
Three months old C57BL/6 mice were exposed to tobacco smoke by direct inhalation (5 cigarettes/day, 5 days/week for 6 months) to model long-term smoking in humans. Total disc proteoglycan content (DMMB assay), aggrecan proteolysis (immunobloting analysis), and cellular senescence (p16INK4a immunohistochemistry) were analyzed. Proteoglycan and collagen syntheses (35S-sulfate and 3H-proline incorporation, respectively) were measured using disc organotypic culture. Vertebral osteoporosity was measured by micro-computed tomography.
Disc proteoglycan content of smoke-exposed mice was 63% of unexposed control, while new proteoglycan and collagen syntheses were 59% and 41% of those of untreated mice, respectively. Exposure to tobacco smoke dramatically increased metalloproteinase-mediated proteolysis of disc aggrecan within its interglobular domain (IGD). Cellular senescence was elevated two folds in discs of smoke-exposed mice. Smoke exposure increased vertebral endplate porosity, which closely correlates with IDD in humans.
These findings further support tobacco smoke as a contributor to spinal degeneration. Furthermore, the data provide a novel mechanistic insight, indicating that smoking-induced IDD is a result of both reduced PG synthesis and increased degradation of a key disc extracellular matrix protein, aggrecan. Cleavage of aggrecan IGD is extremely detrimental as this result in the loss of the entire glycosaminoglycan-attachment region of aggrecan, which is vital for attracting water necessary to counteract compressive forces. Our results suggest identification and inhibition of specific metalloproteinases responsible for smoke-induced aggrecanolysis as a potential therapeutic strategy to treat IDD.
Tobacco smoking; intervertebral disc degeneration; matrix proteoglycans; aggrecan; matrix metalloproteinases
The onset of chronic subdural hematoma may be associated with direct or indirect minor injuries to the head or a poorly repaired vascular injury. Endothelial progenitor cells happen to be one of the key factors involved in hemostasis and vascular repair. This study was designed to observe the levels of endothelial progenitor cells, white blood cells, platelets, and other indicators in the peripheral blood of patients diagnosed with chronic subdural hematoma to determine the possible relationship between the endothelial progenitor cells and the occurrence, development, and outcomes of chronic subdural hematoma.
We enrolled 30 patients with diagnosed chronic subdural hematoma by computer tomography scanning and operating procedure at Tianjin Medical University General Hospital from July 2009 to July 2011. Meanwhile, we collected 30 cases of peripheral blood samples from healthy volunteers over the age of 50. Approximately 2 ml of blood was taken from veins of the elbow to test the peripheral blood routine and coagulation function. The content of endothelial progenitor cells in peripheral blood mononuclear cells was determined by flow cytometry.
The level of endothelial progenitor cells in peripheral blood was significantly lower in preoperational patients with chronic subdural hematomas than in controls. There were no significant differences between the two groups regarding the blood routine and coagulation function. However, the levels of circulating endothelial progenitor cells were significantly different between the recurrent group and the non-recurrent group.
The level of circulating endothelial progenitor cells in chronic subdural hematoma patients was significantly lower than the level in healthy controls. Meanwhile, the level of endothelial progenitor cells in recurrent patients was significantly lower than the level in patients without recurrence. Endothelial progenitor cells may be related to the occurrence and recurrence of chronic subdural hematoma.
Chronic Subdural Hematoma; Endothelial Progenitor Cell; Injury
The standard shotgun proteomics data analysis strategy relies on searching MS/MS spectra against a context-independent protein sequence database derived from the complete genome sequence of an organism. Because transcriptome sequence analysis (RNA-Seq) promises an unbiased and comprehensive picture of the transcriptome, we reason that a sample-specific protein database derived from RNA-Seq data can better approximate the real protein pool in the sample and thus improve protein identification. In this study, we have developed a two-step strategy for building sample-specific protein databases from RNA-Seq data. First, the database size is reduced by eliminating unexpressed or lowly expressed genes according to transcript quantification. Secondly, high-quality nonsynonymous coding single nucleotide variations (SNVs) are identified based on RNA-Seq data, and corresponding protein variants are added to the database. Using RNA-Seq and shotgun proteomics data from two colorectal cancer cell lines SW480 and RKO, we demonstrated that customized protein sequence databases could significantly increase the sensitivity of peptide identification, reduce ambiguity in protein assembly, and enable the detection of known and novel peptide variants. Thus, sample-specific databases from RNA-Seq data can enable more sensitive and comprehensive protein discovery in shotgun proteomics studies.
RNA-Seq; Shotgun Proteomics; Peptide Identification; Single Nucleotide Variations; data integration
An important criterion for effective gene therapy is sufficient chromosomal integration activity. The Sleeping Beauty (SB) transposon system is a plasmid system allowing efficient insertion of transgenes into the host genome. However, such efficient insertion occurs only after the system is delivered to nuclei. Since transposons do not have the transducing abilities of viral vectors, efficient delivery of this system first into cells and then into cell nuclei is still a challenge. Here, a phage display technique using a major coat displayed phage library is employed to identify a peptide (VTAMEPGQ) that can home to rat mesenchymal stem cells (rMSCs). A nanoparticle, called liposome protamine/DNA lipoplex (LPD), is electrostatically assembled from cationic liposomes and an anionic complex of protamine, DNA and targeting peptides. Various peptides are enveloped inside the LPD to improve its targeting capability for rMSCs and nuclei. The rMSC-targeting peptide and nuclear localization signal (NLS) peptide can execute the synergetic effect to promote transfection action of LPD. The homing peptide directs the LPD to target the MSCs, whereas the NLS peptide directs transposon to accumulate into nuclei once LPD is internalized inside the cells, leading to increased gene expression. This suggests that rMSC-targeting peptide and NLS peptide within LPD can target to rMSCs and then guide transposon into nuclei. After entering the nuclei, SB transposon increase the insertion rates into cellular chromosomes. The targeting LPD does not show obvious cell toxicity and influence on the differentiation potential of rMSCs. Therefore, the integration of SB transposon and LPD system is a promising nonviral gene delivery vector in stem cell therapy.
The coexistence of three intracranial lesions related to epileptic pathogenesis is known as ‘triple pathology’ and has rarely been reported. In this study we report a case of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) with the coexistence of hippocampal sclerosis (HS), focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) and ganglioglioma in the temporal lobe. A 29-year-old male who had experienced recurrent seizures for four years was admitted to hospital. Cerebral magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was conducted and T2-weighted and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery sequence (FLAIR) images revealed a reduced hippocampal volume with an increased FLAIR signal on the right side and a slightly enlarged temporal horn, which are typical imaging findings for HS and FCD. The patient underwent resectioning of the right anterior temporal lobe, hippocampus and amygdala, in addition to the lesion located in the medial temporal lobe. Immunohistochemical analysis of the medial temporal lobe lesion confirmed a ganglioglioma (WHO grade I) in the medial temporal lobe. During the first eight months following surgery, the patient's seizures were controlled with zonisamide and phenytoin. Electroencephalogram (EEG) assessment post-surgery confirmed the absence of epileptic discharges. Based on a literature review and a detailed review of this case, we postulate two possible explanations for the pathogenesis of ‘triple pathology’: i) ‘triple pathology’ is a combination of pathological progression and occasionality; and ii) ‘triple pathology’ lesions have similar pathological origins.
epilepsy; triple pathology; hippocampal sclerosis; focal cortical dysplasia; ganglioglioma
To achieve highly effective glucocorticoid targeting for rheumatoid arthritis therapy, novel, polymerizable and hydrolytically cleavable dexamethasone (DEX) derivatives were covalently entrapped in core-crosslinked polymeric micelles. By varying the oxidation degree of the thioether in the drug linker, the release rate of DEX could be tightly controlled. Upon administration of the most rapidly releasing DEX-micelles, highly efficient disease treatment was achieved in two different animal models of inflammatory arthritis.
Dexamethasone; Drug Delivery; Micelles; Nanomedicine; Rheumatoid Arthritis
To evaluate whether external suction is more advantageous than water seal in patients undergoing selective pulmonary resection (SPR) for lung neoplasm.
Summary of Background Data
Whether external suction should be routinely applied in postoperative chest drainage is still unclear, particularly for lung neoplasm patients. To most surgeons, the decision is based on their clinical experience.
Randomized control trials were selected. The participants were patients undergoing SPR with lung neoplasm. Lung volume reduction surgery and pneumothorax were excluded. Suction versus non-suction for the intervention. The primary outcome was the incidence of persistent air leak (PAL). The definition of PAL was air leak for more than 3–7 days. The secondary outcomes included air leak duration, time of drainage, postoperative hospital stay and the incidence of postoperative pneumothorax. Studies were identified from literature collections through screening. Bias was analyzed and meta-analysis was used.
From the 1824 potentially relevant trials, 6 randomized control trials involving 676 patients were included. There was no difference between external suction and water seal in decreasing the incidence of PAL [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.81−2.16; z = 1.10; P = 0.27]. Regarding secondary outcomes, there were no differences in time of drainage (95% CI−0.36−1.56, P = 0.22), postoperative hospital stay (95% CI -.31−.54, P = 0.87) or incidence of postoperative pneumothorax (95% CI 0.18−.02, P = 0.05) between external suction and water seal.
For participants, no differences are identified in terms of PAL incidence, drainage time, length of postoperative hospital stay or incidence of postoperative pneumothorax between external suction and water seal. The bias analysis should be emphasized. To the limitations of the bias and methodological differences among the included studies, we have no recommendation on whether external suction should be routinely applied after lung neoplasm SPR. More high-quality randomized controlled trials are needed.
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