Vascular calcification is associated with significant cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and has been demonstrated as an actively regulated process resembling bone formation. Oxidized low density lipoprotein (Ox-LDL) has been identified as a regulatory factor involved in calcification of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Additionally, over-expression of recombinant human neutral sphingomyelinase (N-SMase) has been shown to stimulate VSMC apoptosis, which plays an important role in the progression of vascular calcification. The aim of this study is to investigate whether ceramide regulates Ox-LDL-induced calcification of VSMCs via activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. Ox-LDL increased the activity of N-SMase and the level of ceramide in cultured VSMCs. Calcification and the osteogenic transcription factor, Msx2 mRNA expression were reduced by N-SMase inhibitor, GW4869 in the presence of Ox-LDL. Usage of GW4869 inhibited Ox-LDL-induced apoptosis in VSMCs, an effect which was reversed by C2-ceramide. Additionally, C2-ceramide treatment accelerated VSMC calcification, with a concomitant increase in ALP activity. Furthermore, C2-ceramide treatment enhanced Ox-LDL-induced VSMC calcification. Addition of caspase inhibitor, ZVAD-fmk attenuated Ox-LDL-induced calcification. Both Ox-LDL and C2-ceramide treatment increased the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK. Inhibition of p38 MAPK by SB203580 attenuated Ox-LDL-induced calcification of VSMCs. These data suggest that Ox-LDL activates N-SMase-ceramide signaling pathway, and stimulates phosphorylation of p38 MAPK, leading to apoptosis in VSMCs, which initiates VSMC calcification.
To determine the optimal standardized uptake value (SUV) of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, at which the PET-defined gross tumor volume (GTVPET) best matches with the pathological volume (GTVPATH) in the cervical cancer.
Materials and Methods
Ten patients with the cervical cancer who underwent surgery were enrolled in this study. The excised specimens were processed for whole-mount serial sections and H-E staining. The tumor borders were outlined in sections under a microscope, histopathological images were scanned and the GTVPATH calculated. The GTVPET was delineated automatically by using various percentages relative to the maximal SUV and absolute SUV. The optimal threshold SUV was further obtained as the value at which the GTVPET best matched with the GTVPATH.
An average of 85±10% shrinkage of tissue was observed after the formalin fixation. The GTVPATH was 13.38±2.80 cm3 on average. The optimal threshold on percentile SUV and absolute SUV were 40.50%±3.16% and 7.45±1.10, respectively. The correlation analysis showed that the optimal percentile SUV threshold was inversely correlated with GTVPATH (p<0.05) and tumor diameter (p<0.05). The absolute SUV was also positively correlated with SUVmax (p<0.05).
The pathological volume could provide the more accurate tumor volume. The optimal SUV of FDG for PET imaging by use of GTVPATH as standard for cervical cancer target volume delineation was thus determined in this study, and more cases are being evaluated to substantiate this conclusion.
Ambient particular matter (PM) exposure has been associated with short- and long-term effects on cardiovascular disease (CVD). Telomere length (TL) is a biomarker of CVD risk that is modified by inflammation and oxidative stress, two key pathways for PM effects. Whether PM exposure modifies TL is largely unexplored.
To investigate effects of PM on blood TL in a highly-exposed population.
We measured blood TL in 120 blood samples from truck drivers and 120 blood samples from office workers in Beijing, China. We measured personal PM2.5 and Elemental Carbon (EC, a tracer of traffic particles) using light-weight monitors. Ambient PM10 was obtained from local monitoring stations. We used covariate-adjusted regression models to estimate percent changes in TL per an interquartile-range increase in exposure.
Covariate-adjusted TL was higher in drivers (mean=0.87, 95%CI: 0.74; 1.03) than in office workers (mean=0.79, 95%CI: 0.67; 0.93; p=0.001). In all participants combined, TL increased in association with personal PM2.5 (+5.2%, 95%CI: 1.5; 9.1; p=0.007), personal EC (+4.9%, 95%CI: 1.2; 8.8; p=0.01), and ambient PM10 (+7.7%, 95%CI: 3.7; 11.9; p<0.001) on examination days. In contrast, average ambient PM10 over the 14 days before the examinations was significantly associated with shorter TL (−9.9%, 95%CI: −17.6; −1.5; p=0.02).
Short-term exposure to ambient PM is associated with increased blood TL, consistent with TL roles during acute inflammatory responses. Longer exposures may shorten TL as expected after prolonged pro-oxidant exposures. The observed TL alterations may participate in the biological pathways of short- and long-term PM effects.
Particulate Matter; Personal Monitoring; Telomere length; Traffic pollution; China
We have previously shown that pre- and post-transplant infusions of donor splenocytes treated with 1-ethyl-3-(3′-dimethylaminopropyl)-carbodiimide (ECDI-SPs) provide permanent donor-specific protection of islet allografts. The efficacy of donor ECDI-SPs in protecting vascularized cardiac allografts and mechanism(s) of protection are unknown. In the current study, we show that infusions of ECDI-SPs significantly prolong cardiac allograft survival concomitant with an impressive accumulation of CD11b+IDO+ cells in the cardiac allograft, and that the presence of this population is dependent on Gr1+ cells. Consequently, depletion of Gr1+ cells or inhibition of IDO activity abrogates graft protection by ECDI-SPs infusions. In addition, T cells from ECDI-SPs treated recipients secrete high levels of IL-10 and IL-13 upon in vitro restimulation, which are also dampened in recipients treated with the IDO inhibitor. Furthermore, combination of donor ECDI-SPs with a short course of rapamycin provides indefinite cardiac allograft survival in 100% of the recipients. These findings reveal a novel mechanism of donor ECDI-SPs in inducing cardiac transplant tolerance and provide several targets that are amenable to therapeutic manipulations for tolerance induction for cardiac transplantation.
ECDI (ethylene carbodiimide); Cardiac transplantation; Tolerance; Rapamycin; IDO (indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase); Gr1+ monocytes; Foxp3+ regulatory T cells; IL-10 (Interleukin 10); IL-13 (Interleukin 13)
Central respiratory chemoreceptors sense changes in CO2/H+ and initiate the adjustments to ventilation required to preserve brain and tissue pH. The cellular nature of the sensors (neurons and/or glia) and their CNS location are not conclusively established but the glutamatergic, Phox2b-expressing neurons located in the retrotrapezoid nucleus (RTN) are strong candidates. However, a direct demonstration that RTN neurons are intrinsically sensitive to CO2/H+, required for designation as a chemosensor, has been lacking. To address this, we tested the pH sensitivity of RTN neurons that were acutely dissociated from two lines of Phox2b-GFP BAC transgenic mice. All GFP-labeled cells assayed by RT-PCR (n=40) were Phox2b+, VGlut2+, TH− and ChAT−, the neurochemical phenotype previously defined for chemosensitive RTN neurons in vivo. We found that most dissociated RTN neurons from both lines of mice were CO2/H+-sensitive (~79%), with discharge increasing during acidification and decreasing during alkalization. The pH-sensitive cells could be grouped into two populations characterized by similar pH sensitivity but different basal firing rates, as previously observed in recordings from GFP-labeled RTN neurons in slice preparations. In conclusion, these data indicate that RTN neurons are inherently pH-sensitive, as expected for a respiratory chemoreceptor.
respiratory chemoreceptors; RTN; transgenic; chemosensory; acidification
The present study aimed to examine the psychometric properties of the Korean version of Stanford Acute Stress Reaction Questionnaire (SASRQ). A Korean version of the SASRQ was produced through forward translation, reconciliation, and back translation. A total of 100 healthy, non-clinical participants were selected through screening and clinical interview, and they each were given a set of questionnaires including SASRQ. Psychometric properties of SASRQ were then examined through statistical analyses. Full-scale and subscales of SASRQ yielded excellent internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha=0.98 and 0.78-0.95, respectively). Test-retest reliability at 2-week intervals was satisfactory, with coefficient r ranging between 0.47 and 0.71. Convergent validity was also demonstrated by strong correlations between SASRQ and other trauma-related questionnaires. Correlation with Social Desirability Scale, however, was not found to be significant; thus evidenced divergent validity. The Korean version of SASRQ appears to be a reliable and valid measurement tool for assessing symptoms of acute stress disorder. Including clinical samples for comparison with controls would be necessary in future studies.
Stress Disorders; Traumatic, Acute; Assessment; Reliability; Validity
Cell adhesion, migration and invasion are critical steps for carcinogenesis and cancer metastasis. Ganoderma lucidum, also called Lingzhi in China, is a traditional Chinese medicine, which exhibits anti-proliferation, anti-inflammation and anti-metastasis properties. Herein, GAEE, G. lucidum extract mainly contains ganoderiol A (GA), dihydrogenated GA and GA isomer, was shown to inhibit the abilities of adhesion and migration, while have a slight influence on that of invasion in highly metastatic breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells at non-toxic doses. Further investigation revealed that GAEE decreased the active forms of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and disrupted the interaction between FAK and SRC, which lead to deactivating of paxillin. Moreover, GAEE treatment downregulated the expressions of RhoA, Rac1, and Cdc42, and decreased the interaction between neural Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome protein (N-WASP) and Cdc42, which impair cell migration and actin assembly. To our knowledge, this is the first report to show that G.lucidum triterpenoids could suppress cell migration and adhesion through FAK-SRC-paxillin signaling pathway. Our study also suggests that GAEE may be a potential agent for treatment of breast cancer.
Alpinia pricei Hayata is a Formosan plant which has been popularly used as nutraceutical or folk medicine for inflammation and various disorders. An active compound of the plant rhizomes, desmethoxyyangonin (DMY), was identified in this study for its novel effect against endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated inflammation in murine macrophages and LPS/D-galactosamine (LPS/D-GalN)-induced fulminant hepatitis in mice. DMY was observed to significantly inhibit proliferation and activation of T cells ex vivo and the activity of several pro-inflammatory mediators in vitro. DMY also protected LPS/D-GalN−induced acute hepatic damages in mice through inhibiting aminotransferases activities and infiltrations of inflammatory macrophages, neutrophils and pathogenic T cells into the liver tissues. In addition, pretreatment with DMY significantly improved the survival rate of LPS/D-GalN−treated mice to 90% (9/10), compared to LPS/D-GalN−treated group (40%, 4/10). UPLC/MS platform-based comparative metabolomics approach was used to explore the serum metabolic profile in fulminant hepatic failure (FHF) mice with or without the DMY pretreatment. The results showed that LPS/D-GalN−induced hepatic damage is likely through perturbing amino acid metabolism, which leads to decreased pyruvate formation via catalysis of aminotransferases, and DMY treatment can prevent to a certain degree of these alterations in metabolic network in mouse caused by LPS/D-GalN. Mechanistic investigation demonstrated that DMY protects LPS or LPS/D-GalN−induced damages in cell or liver tissues mainly through de-regulating IKK/NFκB and Jak2/STAT3 signaling pathways. This report provides evidence-based knowledge to support the rationale for the use of A. pricei root extract in anti-inflammation and also its new function as hepatoprotetive agent against fulminant hepatitis.
Phox2b-expressing glutamatergic neurons of the retrotrapezoid nucleus (RTN) display properties expected of central respiratory chemoreceptors; they are directly activated by CO2/H+ via an unidentified pH-sensitive background K+ channel and, in turn, facilitate brainstem networks that control breathing. Here, we used a knock-out mouse model to examine whether TASK-2 (K2P5), an alkaline-activated background K+ channel, contributes to RTN neuronal pH sensitivity. We made patch-clamp recordings in brainstem slices from RTN neurons that were identified by expression of GFP (directed by the Phox2b promoter) or β-galactosidase (from the gene trap used for TASK-2 knock-out). Whereas nearly all RTN cells from control mice were pH sensitive (95%, n = 58 of 61), only 56% of GFP-expressing RTN neurons from TASK-2−/− mice (n = 49 of 88) could be classified as pH sensitive (>30% reduction in firing rate from pH 7.0 to pH 7.8); the remaining cells were pH insensitive (44%). Moreover, none of the recorded RTN neurons from TASK-2−/− mice selected based on β-galactosidase activity (a subpopulation of GFP-expressing neurons) were pH sensitive. The alkaline-activated background K+ currents were reduced in amplitude in RTN neurons from TASK-2−/− mice that retained some pH sensitivity but were absent from pH-insensitive cells. Finally, using a working heart–brainstem preparation, we found diminished inhibition of phrenic burst amplitude by alkalization in TASK-2−/− mice, with apneic threshold shifted to higher pH levels. In conclusion, alkaline-activated TASK-2 channels contribute to pH sensitivity in RTN neurons, with effects on respiration in situ that are particularly prominent near apneic threshold.
The high-quality and low-cost of the graphene preparation method decide whether graphene is put into the applications finally. Enormous efforts have been devoted to understand and optimize the CVD process of graphene over various d-block transition metals (e.g. Cu, Ni and Pt). Here we report the growth of uniform high-quality single-layer, single-crystalline graphene flakes and their continuous films over p-block elements (e.g. Ga) liquid films using ambient-pressure chemical vapor deposition. The graphene shows high crystalline quality with electron mobility reaching levels as high as 7400 cm2 V−1s−1 under ambient conditions. Our employed growth strategy is ultra-low-loss. Only trace amounts of Ga are consumed in the production and transfer of the graphene and expensive film deposition or vacuum systems are not needed. We believe that our research will open up new territory in the field of graphene growth and thus promote its practical application.
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is a RNA virus with high genetic variation. This virus causes significant economic losses in most pig-producing countries. The clinical presentation of PRRSV ranges from asymptomatic to devastating. In this study, we developed a sensitive and specific zip nucleic acid probe-based real-time PCR assay to evaluate the viremia of natural PRRSV-infected pigs in Taiwan. Serum samples were collected from 577 pigs aged 5–12 weeks. These include 444 clinically healthy pigs and 133 symptomatic pigs were confirmed to have porcine respiratory disease complex (PRDC).
Viremia was quantified in 79 of the 444 (17.8%) clinically healthy pigs and in 112 of the 133 (84.2%) PRDC cases. Viremias were significantly more common in pigs with PRDC compared with the clinically healthy pigs (P <0.0001). These results suggest that a high viral load is a major feature of PRRSV-affected pigs.
ZNA probe-based real-time PCR can be a useful tool to diagnose symptomatic and asymptomatic PRRSV-infected pigs. The presence of this marker in a sample of animals with high PRRSV loads (>104.2 PRRSV genomes/μl of serum) seems to indicate that it correlates with the presence of PRDC in pigs.
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus; Viral load; Zip nucleic acid; Real-time PCR
Upon screening of plant-derived natural products against hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the replicon system, we demonstrate that lucidone, a phytocompound, isolated from the fruits of Lindera erythrocarpa Makino, significantly suppressed HCV RNA levels with 50% effective concentrations of 15 ± 0.5 μM and 20 ± 1.1 μM in HCV replicon and JFH-1 infectious assays, respectively. There was no significant cytotoxicity observed at high concentrations, with a 50% cytotoxic concentration of 620 ± 5 μM. In addition, lucidone significantly induced heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) production and led to the increase of its product biliverdin for inducing antiviral interferon response and inhibiting HCV NS3/4A protease activity. Conversely, the anti-HCV activity of lucidone was abrogated by blocking HO-1 activity or silencing gene expression of HO-1 or NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) in the presence of lucidone, indicating that the anti-HCV action of lucidone was due to the stimulation of Nrf-2-mediated HO-1 expression. Moreover, the combination of lucidone and alpha interferon, the protease inhibitor telaprevir, the NS5A inhibitor BMS-790052, or the NS5B polymerase inhibitor PSI-7977, synergistically suppressed HCV RNA replication. These findings suggest that lucidone could be a potential lead or supplement for the development of new anti-HCV agent in the future.
Mitral valve-related operations are easy to perform and show good results, but to prevent severe thromboembolism or a high ratio of prosthetic valve destruction by tissue, lifetime anticoagulant therapy is essential after the operation. Thus, identifying a new type of surgical procedure and prosthetic valve to cure mitral valve diseases is necessary. Pulmonary valve autograft transplantation (Ross II) with the “top hat” transplantation technique was first reported by Ross DN to cure mitral disease. Because the “top hat” procedure has some shortcomings, we designed the scaffold-pulmonary autograft transplantation procedure and performed animal experiments to confirm the feasibility and effectiveness of the procedure. A total of 13 minipigs, weighing 20-25 kg, were employed as experimental animals to undergo scaffold-pulmonary autograft valve transplantation in our surgical animal lab. The surgical procedure was performed under hypothermic general anaesthesia and extracorporeal circulation (or cardiopulmonary bypass, CPB). Briefly, the chest cave was opened through the left intercostal, the pulmonary valve autograft was harvested during on-pump beating heart, and the pulmonary valve autograft was mounted in a self-made pulmonary valve scaffold and transferred to the mitral valve annulus without removing the mitral instruments. Finally, the outflow tract of the right ventricle was re-established with a pig pulmonary homograft. After finishing data collection, all animals were executed 1 hour after removal from the CPB. For the 13 minipigs that underwent the operation, the CPB time was 182.4 ± 23.4 min. Two of the thirteen cases died of bleeding during the operation and of a post-operative pulmonary embolism, and the remaining eleven survived for one hour. The pressure of the left atrium did not increase significantly (P = 1.00), and the ultrasonic cardiograph (UCG) showed good function of the new mitral valves, with mean ejection fraction (EF) values of 63.6%. The mitral valve orifice areas were 1.10 ± 0.13 cm2 (pre-operation) and 1.01 ± 0.08 cm2 (post-operation) (P = 0.013). The function and structure of the new mitral valves were normal. We preliminarily consider scaffold-pulmonary autograft valve transplantation to be a new alternative to cure mitral valve disease, but advanced chronic animal experiments will be needed to confirm the long-term results of the operation. The results showed it could be a new alternative to cure mitral valve disease.
Mitral valve disease; scaffold-pulmonary autograft valve transplantation; minipig
The expression and function of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is associated with the phenotype of multi-drug resistance (MDR), leading chemotherapy failure of patients suffered with cancer. Grape seed procyanidin(GSP) is a natural polyphenol supplement with anti-inflammatory effect. Present study assessed a new use of GSP on the MDR reversal activity and its possible molecular mechanisms in MDR1-overpressing paclitaxel resistant ovarian cancer cells. Our results showed GSP significantly enhanced the cytotoxicity of paclitaxel and adriamycin in paclitaxel resistant A2780/T cells but its parental A2780 cells. Furthermore, GSP strongly inhibited P-gp expression by blocking MDR1 gene transcription, as well as, increased the intracellular accumulation of the P-gp substrate rhodamine-123 in A2780/T cells. Nuclear factor-κB(NF-κB) activity, IκB degradation level and NF-κB/p65 nuclear translocation induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and receptor activator for nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL) were markedly inhibited by pre-treatment with GSP. Meanwhile, GSP inhibited MAPK/ERK pathway by decreasing the phosphorylation of ERK1/2, resulting in reduced the Y-box binding protein 1 (YB-1) activation with blocking its nuclear translocation. Moreover, the up-regulation of P-gp expression, the activation of AKT/NF-κB and MAPK/ERK pathway induced by LPS was attenuated by GSP administration. Compared with PDTC and U1026, inhibitor of NF-κB and MAPK/ERK respectively, GSP showed the same tendency of down-regulating NF-κB and MAPK/ERK mediated YB-1 activities. Thus, GSP reverses P-gp associated MDR by inhibiting the function and expression of P-gp through down-regulation of NF-κB activity and MAPK/ERK pathway mediated YB-1 nuclear translocation, offering insight into the mechanism of reversing MDR by natural polyphenol supplement compounds. GSP could be a new potential MDR reversal agent used for combination therapy with chemotherapeutics in clinic.
Autonomic nervous system dysfunction is implicated in the etiopathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Therapies that increase cardiovagal activity, such as Mind-Body interventions, are currently confirmed to be effective in clinical trials in IBD. However, a poor understanding of pathophysiological mechanisms limits the popularization of therapies in clinical practice. The aim of the present study was to explore the mechanisms of these therapies against 2,4,6-trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS)-induced colitis in rats using a chronic vagus nerve stimulation model in vivo, as well as the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammatory response in human epithelial colorectal adenocarcinoma cells (Caco-2) by acetylcholine in vitro.
Methods and Results
Colitis was induced in rats with rectal instillation of TNBS, and the effect of chronic VNS (0.25 mA, 20 Hz, 500 ms) on colonic inflammation was evaluated. Inflammatory responses were assessed by disease activity index (DAI), histological scores, myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), TNF-α and IL-6 production. The expression of Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) family members, IκB-α, and nuclear NF-κB p65 were studied by immunoblotting. Heart rate variability (HRV) analysis was also applied to assess the sympathetic-vagal balance. DAI, histological scores, MPO activity, iNOS, TNF-α and IL-6 levels were significantly decreased by chronic VNS. Moreover, both VNS and acetylcholine reduced the phosphorylation of MAPKs and prevented the nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65. Methyllycaconitine (MLA) only reversed the inhibitory effect on p-ERK and intranuclear NF-κB p65 expression by ACh in vitro, no significant change was observed in the expression of p-p38 MAPK or p-JNK by MLA.
Vagal activity modification contributes to the beneficial effects of the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway in IBD-related inflamed colonic mucosa based on the activation of MAPKs and nuclear translocation of NF-κB. Our work may provide key pathophysiological mechanistic evidence for novel therapeutic strategies that increase the cardiovagal activity in IBD patients.
Prospective cohort studies of prehypertension and the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) are controversial after adjusting for other cardiovascular risk factors. This meta-analysis evaluated the association between prehypertension and CVD morbidity.
Databases (PubMed, EMBASE and the Cochrane Library) and conference proceedings were searched for prospective cohort studies with data on prehypertension and cardiovascular morbidity. Two independent reviewers assessed the reports and extracted data. The relative risks (RRs) of CVD, coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke morbidity were calculated and reported with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs). Subgroup analyses were conducted on blood pressure, age, gender, ethnicity, follow-up duration, number of participants and study quality.
Pooled data included the results from 468,561 participants from 18 prospective cohort studies. Prehypertension elevated the risks of CVD (RR = 1.55; 95% CI = 1.41 to 1.71); CHD (RR = 1.50; 95% CI = 1.30 to 1.74); and stroke (RR = 1.71; 95% CI = 1.55 to 1.89). In the subgroup analyses, even for low-range prehypertension, the risk of CVD was significantly higher than for optimal BP (RR = 1.46, 95% CI = 1.32 to 1.62), and further increased with high-range prehypertension (RR = 1.80, 95% CI = 1.41 to 2.31). The relative risk was significantly higher in the high-range prehypertensive populations than in the low-range populations (χ2= 5.69, P = 0.02). There were no significant differences among the other subgroup analyses (P>0.05).
Prehypertension, even in the low range, elevates the risk of CVD after adjusting for multiple cardiovascular risk factors.
Prehypertension; Cardiovascular diseases; Morbidity; Meta-analysis
The highly conserved cluster of high-mannose glycans on the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein, gp120, has been highlighted as a target for neutralizing antibodies. 2G12, the first HIV-1 antiglycan neutralizing antibody described, binds with an unusual domain-exchanged structure that creates a high-affinity multivalent binding surface. It is an interesting challenge for rational vaccine design to generate immunogens capable of eliciting domain-exchanged 2G12-like responses. We recently showed that di-mannose recognition by the variable domains of 2G12 is independent of domain exchange but that exchange is critical for virus neutralization. Carbohydrate-based immunogens aimed at inducing 2G12-like antibodies may need to drive both di-mannose recognition and domain exchange through interactions with B cell receptors. Here we assessed the ability of such immunogens to activate mouse B cell lines displaying domain-exchanged wild-type 2G12 (2G12 WT), a non-domain-exchanged Y-shaped variant (2G12 I19R), and germ line 2G12 (2G12 gl). We show that several immunogens, including heat-killed yeast and bacteria, can activate both 2G12 WT and 2G12 I19R B cells. However, only discrete clusters of high-mannose glycans, as on recombinant forms of the HIV-1 envelope trimer and oligodendrons, activate 2G12 WT B cells. Furthermore, no immunogen tested activated 2G12 gl cells. Our results support the hypothesis that in order to drive domain exchange of an antimannose antibody response, a boost with an immunogen displaying discrete clusters of high-mannose glycans not recognized by conventional Y-shaped antibodies will be required. Additionally, a molecule capable of activating 2G12 gl cells might also be required. The results highlight broadly neutralizing antibody-expressing mouse B cells as potentially useful tools for carbohydrate immunogen screening.
Background and Objectives
Heroin-dependent patients typically contract hepatitis C virus (HCV) at a disproportionately high level due to needle exchange. The liver is the primary target organ of HCV infection and also the main organ responsible for drug metabolism. Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) is a major treatment regimen for opioid dependence. HCV infection may affect methadone metabolism but this has rarely been studied. In our current study, we aimed to test the hypothesis that HCV may influence the methadone dosage and its plasma metabolite concentrations in a MMT cohort from Taiwan.
A total of 366 MMT patients were recruited. The levels of plasma hepatitis B virus (HBV), HCV, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibodies (Ab), liver aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT), as well as methadone and its metabolite 2-ethylidene-1,5-dimethyl-3,3-diphenylpyrrolidine (EDDP) were measured along with the urine morphine concentration and amphetamine screening.
Of the 352 subjects in our cohort with HCV test records, 95% were found to be positive for plasma anti-HCV antibody. The liver functional parameters of AST (Wilcoxon Rank-Sum test, P = 0.02) and ALT (Wilcoxon Rank-Sum test, P = 0.04), the plasma methadone concentrations (Wilcoxon Rank-Sum test, P = 0.043) and the R-enantiomer of methadone concentrations (Wilcoxon Rank-Sum test, P = 0.032) were significantly higher in the HCV antibody-positive subjects than in the HCV antibody-negative patients, but not the S-EDDP/methadone dose ratio. The HCV levels correlated with the methadone dose ( = 14.65 and 14.13; P = 0.029 and 0.03) and the S-EDDP/methadone dose ratio ( = −0.41 and −0.40; P = 0.00084 and 0.002) in both univariate and multivariate regression analyses.
We conclude that HCV may influence the methadone dose and plasma S-EDDP/methadone dose ratio in MMT patients in this preliminary study.
Motivation: Template-based modeling, including homology modeling and protein threading, is the most reliable method for protein 3D structure prediction. However, alignment errors and template selection are still the main bottleneck for current template-base modeling methods, especially when proteins under consideration are distantly related.
Results: We present a novel context-specific alignment potential for protein threading, including alignment and template selection. Our alignment potential measures the log-odds ratio of one alignment being generated from two related proteins to being generated from two unrelated proteins, by integrating both local and global context-specific information. The local alignment potential quantifies how well one sequence residue can be aligned to one template residue based on context-specific information of the residues. The global alignment potential quantifies how well two sequence residues can be placed into two template positions at a given distance, again based on context-specific information. By accounting for correlation among a variety of protein features and making use of context-specific information, our alignment potential is much more sensitive than the widely used context-independent or profile-based scoring function. Experimental results confirm that our method generates significantly better alignments and threading results than the best profile-based methods on several large benchmarks. Our method works particularly well for distantly related proteins or proteins with sparse sequence profiles because of the effective integration of context-specific, structure and global information.
Purpose. Truncated tissue factor (tTF) fusion protein targeting tumor vasculature can induce tumor vascular thrombosis and necrosis. Here, we generated (RGD)3-tTF in which three arginine-glycine-aspartic (RGD) targeting integrin αvβ3 and tTF induce blood coagulation in tumor vessels. Methods. The bioactivities of (RGD)3-tTF including coagulation activity, FX activation, and binding with integrin αvβ3 were performed. The fluorescent labeled (RGD)3-tTF was intravenously injected into tumor-bearing mice and traced in vivo. The tumor growth, volume, blood vessel thrombosis, tumor necrosis, and survival time of mice treated with (RGD)3-tTF were evaluated. Results. The clotting time and FX activation of (RGD)3-tTF were similar to that of TF (P > 0.05) but different with that of RGD (P < 0.05). (RGD)3-tTF presented a higher binding with αvβ3 than that of RGD and TF at the concentration of 0.2 μmol/L (P < 0.05). (RGD)3-tTF could specifically assemble in tumor and be effective in reducing tumor growth by selectively inducing tumor blood vessels thrombosis and tumor necrosis which were absent in mice treated with RGD or TF. The survival time of mice treated with (RGD)3-tTF was higher than that of mice treated with TF or RGD (P < 0.05). Conclusion. (RGD)3-tTF may be a promising strategy for the treatment of colorectal cancer.
The poor patency rate following small-diameter vascular grafting remains a major hurdle for the widespread clinical application of artificial blood vessels to date. Our previous studies found that electrospun poly(L-lactide-co-epsilon-caprolactone) (P[LLA-CL]) nanofibers facilitated the attachment and growth of endothelial cells (EC), and heparin incorporated into P(LLA-CL) nanofibers was able to release in a controlled manner. Hence, we hypothesized that heparin-bonded P(LLA-CL) vascular scaffolds with autologous EC pre-endothelialization could significantly promote the graft patency rate. To construct a small-diameter vascular scaffold, the inner layer was fabricated by heparin-bonded P(LLA-CL) nanofibers through coaxial electrospinning, while the outer layer was woven by pure P(LLA-CL) nanofibers. Except dynamic compliance (5.4 1.7 versus 12.8 2.4 × 10−4/mmHg, P < 0.05), maximal tensile strength, burst pressure, and suture retention of the composite, scaffolds were comparable to those of canine femoral arteries. In vitro studies indicated that the scaffolds can continuously release heparin for at least 12 weeks and obtain desirable endothelialization through dynamic incubation, which was confirmed by EC viability and proliferation assay and scanning electronic microscopy. Furthermore, in vivo studies demonstrated that pre-endothelialization by autologous ECs provided a better effect on graft patency rate in comparison with heparin loading, and the united application of pre-endothelialization and heparin loading markedly promoted the 24 weeks patency rate of P(LLA-CL) scaffolds (88.9% versus 12.5% in the control group, P < 0.05) in the canine femoral artery replacement model. These results suggest that heparin-bonded P(LLA-CL) scaffolds have similar biomechanical properties to those of native arteries and possess a multiporous and biocompatible surface to achieve satisfactory endothelialization in vitro. Heparin-bonded P(LLA-CL) scaffolds with autologous EC pre-endothelialization have the potential to be substitutes for natural small-diameter vessels in planned vascular bypass surgery.
electrospinning; heparin; vascular graft; endothelialization; patency rate
Small cell carcinoma of the esophagus (SCCE) is a rare and aggressive malignant tumor with a poor prognosis. The optimal disease staging system and treatment approaches have not yet been defined. This study aimed to evaluate the prediction of different staging systems for prognosis and treatment options of SCCE. We retrospectively accessed the clinicopathologic characteristics, treatment strategy, and prognosis of 76 patients diagnosed with primary SCCE between 2001 and 2011. The 1-, 2-, 3-, and 5-year overall survival rates were 58%, 31%, 19%, and 13%, respectively. Univariate analysis showed that the 2002 American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) classification (P = 0.002), Veterans Administration Lung Study Group (VALSG) stage (P = 0.001), predisposing factors (P < 0.001), T category (P = 0.023), and M category (P < 0.001) were prognostic factors for overall survival. Multivariate analysis showed that the 2002 AJCC TNM stage (P < 0.001) was the only independent prognostic factor for survival. The value of the area under the receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) of the 2002 AJCC TNM staging system was larger than that of VALSG staging system with regard to predicting overall survival (0.774 vs. 0.620). None of the single treatment regimens showed any benefit for survival by Cox regression analysis. Thus, the 2002 AJCC TMN staging system improved the prediction of SCCE prognosis; however, the optimal treatment regimen for SCCE remains unclear.
Small cell carcinoma; esophagus; TNM staging; chemotherapy; radiotherapy; esophagectomy
Ligation-assisted endoscopic enucleation (EE-L) was developed for the pathological diagnosis and resection of small gastrointestinal tumors originating from the muscularis propria. The technique combines endoscopic band ligation and endoscopic enucleation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of EE-L in the diagnosis and resection of gastrointestinal tumors originating from the muscularis propria.
A total of 43 patients were eligible for inclusion in this study from June 2009 to June 2011. Endoscopic ligation was first performed to force the tumor to assume a polypoid form with a pseudostalk. EE-L was then performed until the tumor was completely enucleated from the muscularis propria. Wound closure was performed using clips and adhesive tissue.
All 43 tumors were completely enucleated. The mean enucleation time was 7.2 minutes (range, 5–11 minutes). No perforation, massive hemorrhage, or peritonitis requiring further endoscopic or surgical intervention occurred. Histopathology, 19 lesions were identified as gastrointestinal stromal tumors and 24 lesions were identified as leiomyomas. The mean follow-up time was 20.4 months (range, 14–38 months). No recurrence has occurred during the follow-up period.
EE-L appears to be a safe, effective, and relatively simple method for the histologic diagnosis and removal of small gastrointestinal tumors originating from the muscularis propria.
Endoscopic resection; Ligation; Subepithelial tumor; Muscularis propria