Shedding of syncytiotrophoblast microparticles (MPs) from placenta to maternal blood occurs in normal pregnancy and is enhanced during preeclampsia (PE). The syncytiotrophoblast synthesizes plasminogen activator inhibitors (PAIs) which regulate fibrinolysis, as well as soluble forms of the fms-like tyrosine kinase (sFlt-1) and endoglin, which exert anti-angiogenic actions. An increase in the ratio of PAI-1/PAI-2 and elevated levels of sFlt-1 and sEng in maternal serum are linked to placental damage and maternal endothelial cell dysfunction in PE. The goal of the current study was to determine whether MPs released to maternal perfusate during dual perfusion contain these factors associated with placental pathophysiology in PE. Initially, high levels of alkaline phosphatase activity and Annexin V binding were found in MPs isolated by sequential centrifugation of maternal perfusates at 10,000 and 150,000×g(10 K and 150 K MPs), indicating their plasma membrane origin. ELISA revealed the presence of these factors at the following relative levels: Eng>PAI-2⋙ PAI-1>sFlt-1. Based on comparisons of their concentration in perfusates, MPs, and MP-free 150 K supernatants, we determined that MPs constitute a significant portion of Eng released by placenta. Flow cytometric analysis of 10 K MPs supported the levels of expression found by ELISA and indicated that Eng and PAI-2 were almost exclusively localized to the surface of MPs, a site with biological potential. These results indicate that MPs shed from the syncytial surface express factors which may alter the fibrinolytic and angiogenic balance at the maternal–fetal interface and play a role in the pathophysiology of PE.
Placental microparticles; Dual perfusion; Preeclampsia; Flt-1; Endoglin; Plasminogen activators
Through silencing tumor suppressor genes, epigenetic changes can activate signaling pathways important to cancer development. In this report, we found an epigenetic contribution to the aberrant activation of wnt signaling in human gastric cancer. CXXC4 (CXXC finger protein 4) was identified as a novel target of EZH2 (enhancer of zeste homolog 2), and EZH2 promotes the activation of wnt singaling by downregulating CXXC4 expression. CXXC4 inhibits the growth of gastric cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo through inactivating wnt signaling. In contrast, depletion of CXXC4 activates wnt signaling and promotes the anchorage-independent growth of nontumor gastric epithelial cells. CXXC4 is downregulated in gastric carcinoma tissues and its downregulation is associated with poor outcome of gastric cancer patients (hazard ratio: 5.053, P<0.05). Through its binding to dishevelled (Dvl), CXXC4 stabilizes the destruction complex of β-catenin to inhibit wnt signaling. Two critical amino acid residues in CXXC4, K161 and T162 were found to be important to its binding to Dvl and the growth inhibitory effect of CXXC4. In summary, EZH2 promotes the activation of wnt signaling in gastric carcinogenesis through the downregulation of CXXC4 expression. CXXC4 is a novel potential tumor suppressor directly regulated by EZH2, and its expression is a significant prognosis factor for patients with early stages of gastric cancer.
EZH2; Wnt/β-catenin signaling; CXXC4; gastric cancer
Nogo-A is originally identified as an inhibitor of axon regeneration from the CNS myelin. Nogo-A is mainly expressed by oligodendrocytes, and also by some neuronal subpopulations, particularly in the developing nervous system. Although extensive studies have uncovered regulatory roles of Nogo-A in neurite outgrowth inhibition, precursor migration, neuronal homeostasis, plasticity and neurodegeneration, its cell-autonomous functions in neurons are largely uncharacterized. Here, we show that HIV-1 trans-activating-mediated amino-Nogo-A protein transduction into cultured primary cortical neurons achieves an almost complete neuroprotection against oxidative stress induced by exogenous hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Endogenously expressed neuronal Nogo-A is significantly downregulated upon H2O2 treatment. Furthermore, knockdown of Nogo-A results in more susceptibility to acute oxidative insults and markedly increases neuronal death. Interacting with peroxiredoxin 2 (Prdx2), amino-Nogo-A reduces reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation to exert neuroprotective effects. Structure–function mapping experiments reveal that, out of NiG-Δ20, a novel region comprising residues 290–562 of amino-Nogo-A is indispensable for preventing oxidative neuronal death. Moreover, mutagenesis analysis confirms that cysteine residues 424, 464 and 559 are involved in the inhibition of ROS generation and neuroprotective role of amino-Nogo-A. Our data suggest that neuronal Nogo-A might play a cell-autonomous role in improving neuronal survival against oxidative insult through interacting with Prdx2 and scavenging of ROS.
Nogo-A; ROS; neuroprotection; Prdx2; cortical neurons
Hard X-ray sources from femtosecond (fs) laser-produced plasmas, including the betatron X-rays from laser wakefield-accelerated electrons, have compact sizes, fs pulse duration and fs pump-probe capability, making it promising for wide use in material and biological sciences. Currently the main problem with such betatron X-ray sources is the limited average flux even with ultra-intense laser pulses. Here, we report ultra-bright betatron X-rays can be generated using a clustering gas jet target irradiated with a small size laser, where a ten-fold enhancement of the X-ray yield is achieved compared to the results obtained using a gas target. We suggest the increased X-ray photon is due to the existence of clusters in the gas, which results in increased total electron charge trapped for acceleration and larger wiggling amplitudes during the acceleration. This observation opens a route to produce high betatron average flux using small but high repetition rate laser facilities for applications.
The FGF23 coreceptor αKlotho (αKL) is expressed as a membrane-bound protein (mKL) that forms heteromeric complexes with FGF receptors (FGFRs) to initiate intracellular signaling. It also circulates as an endoproteolytic cleavage product of mKL (cKL). Previously, a patient with increased plasma cKL as the result of a translocation [t(9;13)] in the αKLOTHO (KL) gene presented with rickets and a complex endocrine profile, including paradoxically elevated plasma FGF23, despite hypophosphatemia. The goal of this study was to test whether cKL regulates phosphate handling through control of FGF23 expression. To increase cKL levels, mice were treated with an adeno-associated virus producing cKL. The treated groups exhibited dose-dependent hypophosphatemia and hypocalcemia, with markedly elevated FGF23 (38 to 456 fold). The animals also manifested fractures, reduced bone mineral content, expanded growth plates, and severe osteomalacia, with highly increased bone Fgf23 mRNA (>150 fold). cKL activity in vitro was specific for interactions with FGF23 and was FGFR dependent. These results demonstrate that cKL potently stimulates FGF23 production in vivo, which phenocopies the KL translocation patient and metabolic bone syndromes associated with elevated FGF23. These findings have important implications for the regulation of αKL and FGF23 in disorders of phosphate handling and biomineralization.
On monolithic Ni-Nb metallic glass films, we experimentally revealed 6.6% elastic strain limit by in-situ transmission electron microscopy observations. The origin of high elastic strain limit may link with high free volume in the film, causing the rearrangement of loosely bonded atomic clusters (or atoms) upon elastic deformation. This high elastic limit of metallic glass films will shed light on new application fields for metallic glasses, and also trigger more studies for deformation mechanism of amorphous materials in general.
Parafibromin, encoded by HRPT2 gene, is a recently identified tumor suppressor. Complete and partial loss of its expression have been observed in hyperparathyroidism-jaw tumor (HPT-JT), parathyroid carcinoma, breast carcinoma, lung carcinoma, gastric and colorectal carcinoma. However, little has been known about its expression in renal tumors. In order to study the expression of parafibromin in a series of the 4 major renal cell tumors - clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), papillary renal cell carcinoma (pRCC), chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (chRCC) and oncocytoma, one hundred thirty nine renal tumors including 61 ccRCCs, 37 pRCCs, 22 chRCCs and 19 oncocytomas were retrieved and used for the construction of renal tissue microarrays (TMAs). The expression of parafibromin was detected by immunohistochemical method on the constructed TMAs. Positive parafibromin stains are seen in 4 out of 61 ccRCCs (7%), 7 out of 37 pRCCs (19%), 12 out of 23 chRCCs (52%) and all 19 oncocytomas (100%). Parafibromin expression varies significantly (P<8.8×10−16) among the four major renal cell tumors and were correlated closely with tumor types. No correlation of parafibromin expression with tumor staging in ccRCCs, pRCCs and chRCCs, and Fuhrman nuclear grading in ccRCCs and pRCCs was seen. In summary, parafibromin expression was strongly correlated with tumor types, which may suggest that it plays a role in the tumorigenesis in renal cell tumors.
parafibromin; renal epithelial tumors.
The pro-apoptotic effects of hydrogen peroxide and the purported anti-apoptotic effects of Vitamin C on chicken embryonic fibroblasts were investigated. Hydrogen peroxide induced morphological changes in a dose dependent manner, and a myriad of autophagosomes were observed using transmission electron microscopy. Doxorubicin elicited alterations were not inhibited by co-incubation with Vitamin C except that mitochondrial structure was slightly improved. TUNEL assay, cytotoxicity analysis and flow cytometry revealed that the cytotoxicity, DNA fragmentation and apoptotic rates were dose dependent upon treatment with hydrogen peroxide. Calcium homeostasis was disrupted in a dose dependent manner, and cell cycle was blocked at G2/M checkpoint at low concentration and S/G2 checkpoint at high concentration respectively upon treatment with hydrogen peroxide. The administration of Vitamin C only has a modest effect against doxorubicin induced apoptosis, calcium homeostasis disruption and cell cycle arrest. This research demonstrated that the elevation of reactive oxygen species is sufficient to induce the apoptosis of chicken embryonic fibroblasts, whereas the administration of Vitamin C does not necessarily have certain anti-apoptotic effects, especially when the stimulus is not directly linked with redox state.
Chicken; Embryonic fibroblasts; Hydrogen peroxide; Vitamin C; Apoptosis; Redox state
Cognitive dysfunction is common in Parkinson disease (PD), even early in its clinical course. This disease manifestation has been associated with impaired verbal learning performance as well as abnormal expression of a specific PD-related cognitive spatial covariance pattern (PDCP). It is not known, however, how this metabolic network relates to the cognitive response to dopaminergic therapy on the individual patient level.
We assessed treatment-mediated changes in verbal learning and PDCP expression in 17 patients with PD without dementia who underwent cognitive testing and metabolic imaging in the unmedicated and levodopa-treated conditions. We also determined whether analogous changes were present in 12 other patients with PD without dementia who were evaluated before and during the treatment of cognitive symptoms with placebo.
Levodopa-mediated changes in verbal learning correlated with concurrent changes in PDCP expression (r = −0.60, p < 0.01). The subset of patients with meaningful cognitive improvement on levodopa (n = 8) exhibited concurrent reductions in PDCP expression (p < 0.01) with treatment; network modulation was not evident in the remaining subjects. Notably, the levodopa cognitive response correlated with baseline PDCP levels (r = 0.70, p = 0.002). By contrast, placebo did not affect PDCP expression, even in the subjects (n = 7) with improved verbal learning during treatment.
These findings suggest that cognitive dysfunction in PD may respond to treatment depending upon the degree of baseline PDCP expression. Quantification of treatment-mediated network changes can provide objective information concerning the efficacy of new agents directed at the cognitive manifestations of this disease.
Amniotic epithelial cells (AECs) express Oct4, Nanog and Sox-2, which are necessary for maintaining the undifferentiated state of pluripotent stem cells. AECs additionally express CK19, which is a specific marker of epithelial cells, both in vivo and in vitro. In this research, we investigated the biological characteristics and potential for cell therapy of AECs from 6-day-old chicken embryos. We induced the AECs to differentiate into pancreatic islet-like cells (endoderm), adipocytes and osteoblasts (mesoderm) and neural-like cells (ectoderm), and used immunofluorescence and RT-PCR to detect the expression of AECs specific markers. To assess the differentiation capacity of AECs, passage 3 cells were induced to differentiate into adipocytes, osteoblasts, pancreatic islet-like cells and neural-like cells. The AEC markers, Oct-4, Nanog, Sox-2 and CK19, were all positively expressed. Cloning efficiency decreased with increasing passage number. Passage 3 AECs were successfully induced to differentiate into pancreatic islet-like cells, osteoblasts, adipocytes, and neural-like cells. These results suggested that AECs isolated from chicken embryos exhibited the characteristics of the multipotent stem cells. AECs may therefore be ideal candidates for cellular transplantation therapy and tissue engineering.
chicken; AECs; biological research; differentiation capacity.
Sox2 (sex-determining region Y-Box) is one of the master transcriptional factors that are important in maintaining the pluripotency of embryonic stem cells (ESCs). In line with this function, Sox2 expression is largely restricted to ESCs and somatic stem cells. We report that Sox2 is expressed in cell lines and tumor samples derived from ALK-positive anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALK+ALCL), for which the normal cellular counterpart is believed to be mature T-cells. The expression of Sox2 in ALK+ALCL can be attributed to nucleophosmin-anaplastic lymphoma kinase (NPM-ALK), the oncogenic fusion protein carrying a central pathogenetic role in these tumors. By confocal microscopy, Sox2 protein was detectable in virtually all cells in ALK+ALCL cell lines. However, the transcriptional activity of Sox2, as assessed using a Sox2-responsive reporter construct, was detectable only in a small proportion of cells. Importantly, downregulation of Sox2 using short interfering RNA in isolated Sox2active cells, but not Sox2inactive cells, resulted in a significant decrease in cell growth, invasiveness and tumorigenicity. To conclude, ALK+ALCL represents the first example of a hematologic malignancy that aberrantly expresses Sox2, which represents a novel mechanism by which NPM-ALK mediates tumorigenesis. We also found that the transcriptional activity and oncogenic effects of Sox2 can be heterogeneous in cancer cells.
Sox2; transcriptional activity; NPM-ALK; STAT3; tumorigenicity
Analyses of existing nationally representative information on how changes in ambulatory orthopedic surgery have affected anesthesia practice over time are rare. We sought to characterize temporal changes in factors surrounding ambulatory orthopedic surgery and anesthesia.
Data from the National Survey of Ambulatory Surgery for the years of 1996 and 2006 were analyzed. Entries indicating the performance of knee ligamentoplasty, meniscectomy or shoulder arthroscopy were identified and included in the sample. Temporal changes in a number of variables associated with orthopedic ambulatory surgery were assessed, including: 1) the number of procedures being performed, 2) patient and health care system related demographics and 3) anesthesia related variables.
Nationwide, the total number of ligamentoplasties, meniscectomies and shoulder arthroscopies increased from 1996 to 2006 by 66% (N=258,932 to N=428,712), 51% (N=456,698 to N=690,164), and 349% (N=93,105 to N=418,188) respectively (P<0.0001). Between 1996 and 2006 the use of peripheral nerve blocks increased from 0.6% to 9.8% for meniscectomies (P<0.0001), from 1.5% to 13.7% for ligamentoplasties (P<0.0001), and from 11.5% to 23.9% for shoulder arthroscopies (P<0.0001), respectively. Neuraxial anesthesia utilization fell from 11.8% to 6.3% for meniscectomies (P<0.0001) and 13.6% to 7.3% for ligamentoplasties (P<0.0001) from 1996 to 2006, respectively.
Substantial increases in the number of ambulatory knee and shoulder procedures occurred over time, relating to increased demand for anesthesia providers in this field. Trends towards increased use of peripheral nerve blocks may have to be considered by educators when preparing residents for practice.
To prove a causal link between an epigenetic change and an environmental or behavioural risk factor for a given disease, it is first necessary to show that the onset of exposure precedes the first detection of that epigenetic change in subjects who are still free of disease.
Towards this end, a cohort of women aged 15–19 years, recruited soon after they first had sexual intercourse, were used to provide sequential observations on the relationship between cigarette smoking and the detection in cervical cytological samples of methylated forms of CDKN2A (p16) using nested methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction.
Among women who remained cytologically normal and who tested negative for human papillomavirus DNA in cervical smears during follow-up, those who first started to smoke during follow-up had an increased risk of acquiring CDKN2A methylation compared with never-smokers (odds ratio=3.67; 95% confidence interval 1.09–12.33; P=0.04).
Smoking initiation is associated with the appearance of methylated forms of CDKN2A.
smoking; epigenetic; methylation; cohort study; cervix
Background and aims
Many indeterminate plants can have wide fluctuations in the pattern of fruit-set and harvest. Fruit-set in these types of plants depends largely on the balance between source (assimilate supply) and sink strength (assimilate demand) within the plant. This study aims to evaluate the ability of functional–structural plant models to simulate different fruit-set patterns among Capsicum cultivars through source–sink relationships.
A greenhouse experiment of six Capsicum cultivars characterized with different fruit weight and fruit-set was conducted. Fruit-set patterns and potential fruit sink strength were determined through measurement. Source and sink strength of other organs were determined via the GREENLAB model, with a description of plant organ weight and dimensions according to plant topological structure established from the measured data as inputs. Parameter optimization was determined using a generalized least squares method for the entire growth cycle.
Key Results and Conclusions
Fruit sink strength differed among cultivars. Vegetative sink strength was generally lower for large-fruited cultivars than for small-fruited ones. The larger the size of the fruit, the larger variation there was in fruit-set and fruit yield. Large-fruited cultivars need a higher source–sink ratio for fruit-set, which means higher demand for assimilates. Temporal heterogeneity of fruit-set affected both number and yield of fruit. The simulation study showed that reducing heterogeneity of fruit-set was obtained by different approaches: for example, increasing source strength; decreasing vegetative sink strength, source–sink ratio for fruit-set and flower appearance rate; and harvesting individual fruits earlier before full ripeness. Simulation results showed that, when we increased source strength or decreased vegetative sink strength, fruit-set and fruit weight increased. However, no significant differences were found between large-fruited and small-fruited groups of cultivars regarding the effects of source and vegetative sink strength on fruit-set and fruit weight. When the source–sink ratio at fruit-set decreased, the number of fruit retained on the plant increased competition for assimilates with vegetative organs. Therefore, total plant and vegetative dry weights decreased, especially for large-fruited cultivars. Optimization study showed that temporal heterogeneity of fruit-set and ripening was predicted to be reduced when fruits were harvested earlier. Furthermore, there was a 20 % increase in the number of extra fruit set.
Source–sink relationship; fruit-set pattern; functional–structural models; Capsicum annuum
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioral disorder that affects approximately 2.9%–4.7% of US adults. Studies have revealed high rates of ADHD (26 – 61%) in patients seeking weight loss treatment suggesting an association between ADHD and obesity. The objective of the present study was to test the association between ADHD and overweight and obesity in the US population. Cross-sectional data from the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys were used. Participants were 6,735 U.S. residents (63.9% Caucasian; 51.6% female) aged 18 to 44. A retrospective assessment of childhood ADHD and a self-report assessment of adult ADHD were administered. Diagnosis was defined by three categories: never met diagnostic criteria, met full childhood criteria with no current symptoms, and met full childhood criteria with current symptoms. The prevalence of overweight and obesity was 33.9% and 29.4%, respectively, among adults with ADHD, and 28.8% and 21.6%, respectively, among persons with no history of ADHD. Adult ADHD was associated with greater likelihood of overweight, [odds ratio (OR)=1.58; 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.05, 2.38] and obesity (OR=1.81; 95% CI=1.14, 2.64). Results were similar when adjusting for demographic characteristics and depression. Mediation analyses suggest that binge eating disorder, but not depression, partially mediates the associations between ADHD and both overweight and obesity. Results suggest that adult ADHD is associated with overweight and obesity.
ADHD; Epidemiology; Obesity
A simple HPLC method was developed and validated for the quantification of zanamivir in permeability studies using Caco-2 cell culture model. Chromatographic resolution was achieved using 98% (v/v) ultrapure water and 2% (v/v) acetonitrile as mobile phase with flow rate of 0.5 ml/min on a BDS Hypersil Cyano column (length 250 mm; internal diameter 4.6 mm; particle size 5 μm) and UV detection at 230 nm. The method was linear for the quantification of zanamivir at concentration ranging from 0.1-10 μg/ml with coefficient of determination greater than 0.999. The recovery of zanamivir was in the range of 99.76-105.08%. The relative standard deviations of the within-day precision and between-day precision were lower than 10.32 and 14.33%, respectively. The permeability of zanamivir was independent of the transport direction and zanamivir concentrations, indicating a passive transport of zanamivir across Caco-2 cells. With the absence of Ca2+ in transport medium, the permeability values of zanamivir increased 56.21 and 57.20 fold in the directions of apical to basolateral and basolateral to apical, respectively. On the basis of these results, zanamivir was found to be predominantly transported across Caco-2 monolayers via the passive paracellular pathway.
Absorption; Caco-2; HPLC; permeability study; zanamivir
A simple and accurate method for measuring the biological effects of radiation is of increasing importance, especially in mass casualty scenarios. We have therefore developed a new biodosimetric technique targeting circulating B1 DNA in mouse plasma by branched DNA signal amplification for rapid quantification of plasma DNA. This technology targets repetitive elements of the B1 retrotransposon in the mouse genome, followed by signal amplification using Panomics Quantigene 2.0 reagents. Evaluation was conducted concerning precision, accuracy and linearity. Plasma samples were collected from mice 0–24 h after 0–10 Gy total body irradiation (TBI). The average inter- and intra-assay coefficients of variance were 8.7% and 12.3%, respectively. The average recovery rate of spiked DNA into plasma was 89.5%. This assay revealed that when BALB/c and NIH Swiss mice were exposed to 6 Gy TBI, plasma B1 DNA levels increased significantly at 3 h post-TBI, peaked at 9 h and gradually returned toward baseline levels in 24 h. A dose-dependent change in plasma DNA was observed at 9 h post-TBI; the dose–response relation was monotonic, exhibiting linearity for BALB/c mice from 3 to 6 Gy (r = 0.993) and NIH Swiss mice from 3 to 7 Gy (r = 0.98). This branched DNA-based assay is reliable, accurate and sensitive in detecting plasma B1 DNA quantitatively. A radiation dose-correlated increase in plasma B1 DNA was demonstrated in BALB/c and NIH Swiss mice in the dose range from 3 to 6 Gy, suggesting that plasma B1 DNA has potential as a biomarker for radiation biological effect.
Using tissue explantation and cryopreservation biotechniques, a Jingning chicken embryonic fibroblast bank was successfully established, which includes 43 embryo samples and a stock of 178 cryovials, each one containing 3.0×106 cells. Most of the cells were apparently fibroblasts in their morphology, and the population doubling time (PDT) was about 48 h. The total chromosome number of a diploid cell was 78. According to karyotyping and G-banding, the diploid rate in the cell bank was 97.62±2.12%. The cells were tested for microbial contamination and found free of infections from bacteria, fungi, viruses and mycoplasms. There was no cross-contamination from other cell lines as revealed by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and malate dehydrogenase (MDH) isoenzyme polymorphisms. Six fluorescent proteins were transfected into the Jingning chicken embryonic fibroblasts, and the transfection efficiencies of these genes were between 10.1 and 41.9%. All the tests showed that the quality of the cell line conforms to the quality criteria of the ATCC (American type culture collection). This work succeeded not only in preserving the genetic resources of Jingning chicken, but it also established a new protocol to preserve endangered animal breeds.
Jingning chicken; fibroblasts; genetic conservation; biological characteristics
Cronbach Coefficient Alpha (CCA) is a classic measure of item internal consistency of an instrument and is used in a wide range of behavioral, biomedical, psychosocial, and health-care related research. Methods are available for making inference about one CCA or multiple CCAs from correlated outcomes. However, none of the existing approaches effectively address missing data. As longitudinal study designs become increasingly popular and complex in modern-day clinical studies, missing data has become a serious issue, and the lack of methods to systematically address this problem has hampered the progress of research in the aforementioned fields. In this paper, we develop a novel approach to tackle the complexities involved in addressing missing data (at the instrument level due to subject dropout) within a longitudinal data setting. The approach is illustrated with both clinical and simulated data.
Cronbach Coefficient Alpha; Inverse probability weighting; Missing data; Monotone missing data pattern; U-statistics
Lung cancer, especially non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the major cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. The aggressiveness of NSCLC has been shown to be associated with the acquisition of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). The acquisition of EMT phenotype induced by TGF-β1in several cancer cells has been implicated in tumor aggressiveness and resistance to conventional therapeutics; however, the molecular mechanism of EMT and tumor aggressiveness in NSCLC remains unknown.
In this study we found for the first time that the induction of EMT by chronic exposure of A549 NSCLC cells to TGF-β1 (A549-M cells) led to the up-regulation of sonic hedgehog (Shh) both at the mRNA and protein levels causing activation of hedgehog signaling. These results were also reproduced in another NSCLC cell line (H2030). Induction of EMT was found to be consistent with aggressive characteristics such as increased clonogenic growth, cell motility and invasion. The aggressiveness of these cells was attenuated by the treatment of A549-M cells with pharmacological inhibitors of Hh signaling in addition to Shh knock-down by siRNA. The inhibition of Hh signaling by pharmacological inhibitors led to the reversal of EMT phenotype as confirmed by the reduction of mesenchymal markers such as ZEB1 and Fibronectin, and induction of epithelial marker E-cadherin. In addition, knock-down of Shh by siRNA significantly attenuated EMT induction by TGF-β1.
Our results show for the first time the transcriptional up-regulation of Shh by TGF-β1, which is mechanistically associated with TGF-β1 induced EMT phenotype and aggressive behavior of NSCLC cells. Thus the inhibitors of Shh signaling could be useful for the reversal of EMT phenotype, which would inhibit the metastatic potential of NSCLC cells and also make these tumors more sensitive to conventional therapeutics.
Background and Aims
Fruit set in indeterminate plant species largely depends on the balance between source and sink strength. Plants of these species show fluctuations in fruit set during the growing season. It was tested whether differences in fruit sink strength among the cultivars explained the differences in fruit-set patterns.
Capsicum was chosen as a model plant. Six cultivars with differences in fruit set, fruit size and plant growth were evaluated in a greenhouse experiment. Fruit-set patterns, generative and vegetative sink strength, source strength and the source : sink ratio at fruit set were determined. Sink strength was quantified as potential growth rate. Fruit set was related to total fruit sink strength and the source : sink ratio. The effect of differences observed in above-mentioned parameters on fruit-set patterns was examined using a simple simulation model.
Sink strengths of individual fruits differed greatly among cultivars. Week-to-week fruit set in large-fruited cultivars fluctuated due to large fluctuations in total fruit sink strength, but in small-fruited cultivars, total fruit sink strength and fruit set were relatively constant. Large variations in week-to-week fruit set were correlated with a low fruit-set percentage. The source : sink threshold for fruit set was higher in large-fruited cultivars. Simulations showed that within the range of parameter values found in the experiment, fruit sink strength and source : sink threshold for fruit set had the largest impact on fruit set: an increase in these parameters decreased the average percentage fruit set and increased variation in weekly fruit set. Both were needed to explain the fruit-set patterns observed. The differences observed in the other parameters (e.g. source strength) had a lower effect on fruit set.
Both individual fruit sink strength and the source : sink threshold for fruit set were needed to explain the differences observed between fruit-set patterns of the six cultivars.
Fruit-set patterns; fruit sink strength; source : sink ratio; threshold for fruit set; Capsicum annuum; cultivars
To determine whether changes in D2 receptor availability are present in carriers of genetic mutations for primary dystonia.
Manifesting and nonmanifesting carriers of the DYT1 and DYT6 dystonia mutations were scanned with [11C] raclopride (RAC) and PET. Measures of D2 receptor availability in the caudate nucleus and putamen were determined using an automated region-of-interest approach. Values from mutation carriers and healthy controls were compared using analysis of variance to assess the effects of genotype and phenotype. Additionally, voxel-based whole brain searches were conducted to detect group differences in extrastriatal regions.
Significant reductions in caudate and putamen D2 receptor availability were evident in both groups of mutation carriers relative to healthy controls (p < 0.001). The changes were greater in DYT6 relative to DYT1 carriers (−38.0 ± 3.0% vs −15.0 ± 3.0%, p < 0.001). By contrast, there was no significant difference between manifesting and nonmanifesting carriers of either genotype. Voxel-based analysis confirmed these findings and additionally revealed reduced RAC binding in the ventrolateral thalamus of both groups of mutation carriers. As in the striatum, the thalamic binding reductions were more pronounced in DYT6 carriers and were not influenced by the presence of clinical manifestations.
Reduced D2 receptor availability in carriers of dystonia genes is compatible with dysfunction or loss of D2-bearing neurons, increased synaptic dopamine levels, or both. These changes, which may be present to different degrees in the DYT1 and DYT6 genotypes, are likely to represent susceptibility factors for the development of clinical manifestations in mutation carriers.
= analysis of variance;
= caudate nucleus;
= family-wise error rate;
= external pallidum;
= interal pallidum;
= region of interest;
= striato-occipital ratio;
= ventrolateral tier nuclei.
When comparing sensitivities and specificities from multiple diagnostic tests, particularly in biomedical research, the different test kits under study are applied to groups of subjects with the same disease status for a disease or medical condition under consideration. Although this process gives rise to clustered or correlated test outcomes, the associated inference issues are well recognized and have been widely discussed in the literature. In mental health and psychosocial research, sensitivity and specificity have also been widely used to study the reliability of instrument for diagnosing mental health and psychiatric conditions and assessing certain behavioral patterns. However, unlike biomedical applications, outcomes are often obtained under varying reference standards or different diagnostic criteria, precluding the application of existing methods for comparing multiple diagnostic tests to such a research setting. In this paper, we develop a new approach to address these problems (including that of missing data) by extending recent work on inference using inverse probability weighted estimates. The approach is illustrated with data from two studies in sexual abuse and health research as well as a limited simulation study, with the latter used to study the performance of the proposed procedure.
Diagnostic test; Inverse probability weighted estimate; Missing data; Positive and negative predictive value; Psychosocial research
To determine the optic disc size in the adult Chinese population in an urban and a rural region of Beijing.
The population based, cross sectional cohort study included 4439 subjects out of 5324 subjects invited to participate (response rate 83.4%). It was divided into a rural part (1973 (44.4%) subjects) and an urban part (2466 (55.6%) subjects). Mean age was 56.2 (SD 10.6) years (range 40–101 years). Colour optic disc photographs were morphometrically examined. Main outcome measure was optic disc area.
Optic disc photographs were available for 4027 (90.7%) subjects. Mean optic disc area measured 2.65 (0.57) mm2 (range 1.03 mm2–7.75 mm2). Optic disc area was significantly (p<0.001) correlated with myopic refractive error, with a steep decrease in optic disc area from high myopia to the mid‐range of refractive error, a slightly horizontal course in the refractive error range between −8 dioptres and +4 dioptres, and a further decrease in optic disc area towards higher hyperopia. Optic disc area was not related to age (p = 0.14) or sex (p = 0.93) (optic disc area, males: 2.65 (0.56) mm2 versus females: 2.65 (0.57) mm2). “Microdiscs” may be defined as smaller than 1.51 mm2, and “macrodiscs” as larger than 3.79 mm2.
Compared with data of preceding studies, mean optic disc size is larger in Chinese people than in white people. In Chinese people highly hyperopic eyes have significantly smaller optic discs, and highly myopic eyes have significantly larger optic discs than emmetropic eyes.
optic disc; refractive error; neuroretinal rim; visual impairment; low vision; myopia; hyperopia; sex; China
Following unblinding of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) results, a 16-session lifestyle intervention program was offered to all study participants, including those who had initially been randomized to lifestyle treatment. This study compares the effects of the lifestyle program between participants who had previous exposure and those who had not.
A 16-session behavioral intervention was conducted in groups at each of the 27 DPP sites during a transitional (bridge) period from the DPP trial to the DPP Outcomes Study (DPPOS). Session participation for this 6-month behavioral weight loss program was confirmed by originally randomized treatment groups.
Subjects and measurements
Independently assessed weight measurements were available within a 7-month period before and after the program for 2808 ethnically diverse participants.
Participants from the lifestyle group in the DPP were the least likely to attend a repeat offering of a 16-session behavioral weight loss program conducted in groups. Weight loss during the transitional lifestyle program was strongly related to the duration of attendance in the three groups that were participating in the program for the first time (metformin, placebo and troglitazone), but not related to amount of earlier weight loss.
Individuals who were naive to the behavioral program lost a greater amount of weight and this was strongly related to their degree of participation. A second exposure to a behavioral weight loss program resulted in unsatisfactory low attendance rates and weight loss.
behavior modification; metformin; weight loss; maintenance