Post partum depression (PPD) is relatively common in China but its clinical characteristics and risk factors have not been studied. We set out to investigate whether known risk factors for PPD could be found in Chinese women.
A case control design was used to determine the impact of known risk factors for PPD in a cohort of 1970 Chinese women with recurrent DSM-IV major depressive disorder (MDD). In a within-case design we examined the risk factors for PPD in patients with recurrent MDD. We compared the clinical features of MDD in cases with PPD to those without MDD. Odds ratios were calculated using logistic and ordinal regression.
Lower occupational and educational statuses increased the risk of PPD, as did a history of pre-menstrual symptoms, stressful life events and elevated levels of the personality trait of neuroticism. Patients with PPD and MDD were more likely to experience a comorbid anxiety disorder, had a younger age of onset of MDD, have higher levels of neuroticism and dysthymia.
Results obtained in this clinical sample may not be applicable to PPD within the community. Data were obtained retrospectively and we do not know whether the correlations we observe have the same causes as those operating in other populations.
Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that the despite cultural differences between Chinese and Western women, the phenomenology and risk factors for PPD are very similar.
Postpartum depression; Major depressive disorder; Neuroticism; Anxiety disorder
miR-612 suppresses local invasion and distant colonization by directly inhibiting AKT2 in HCC.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play a critical role in tumor metastasis. In this study, we identified a set of 32 miRNAs involved in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) metastasis. Among them, miR-612 was shown for the first time to have inhibitory effects on HCC proliferation, migration, invasion, and metastasis. AKT2 was verified to be one of the direct targets of miR-612, through which the epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) and metastasis were inhibited. The level of miR-612 in HCC patients was inversely associated with tumor size, stage, EMT, and metastasis. Of particular importance, miR-612 is involved in both the initial and final steps of the metastatic cascade, by suppressing local invasion and distant colonization. The pleiotropic roles of miR-612 in the HCC metastatic cascade suggest that it could be an effective target for both early and advanced HCC.
A Colombian field isolate (SfCOL-wt) of Spodoptera frugiperda multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (SfMNPV) is a mixture of different genotypes. To evaluate the insecticidal properties of the different genotypic variants, 83 plaque purified virus were characterized. Ten distinct genotypes were identified (named A through J). SfCOL-A was the most prevalent (71±2%; mean ± SE) showing a PstI restriction profile indistinguishable to that of SfCOL-wt. The remaining nine genotypes presented genomic deletions of 3.8 - 21.8 Kb located mainly between nucleotides 11,436 and 33,883 in the reference genome SfMNPV-B, affecting the region between open reading frames (ORFs) sf20 and sf33. The insecticidal activity of each genotype from SfCOL-wt and several mixtures of genotypes was compared to that of SfCOL-wt. The potency of SfCOL-A occlusion bodies (OBs) was 4.4-fold higher than SfCOL-wt OBs, whereas the speed of kill of SfCOL-A was similar to that of SfCOL-wt. Deletion genotype OBs were similarly or less potent than SfCOL-wt but six deletion genotypes were faster killing than SfCOL-wt. The potency of genotype mixtures co-occluded within OBs were consistently reduced in two-genotype mixtures involving equal proportions of SfCOL-A and one of three deletion genotypes (SfCOL-C, -D or -F). Speed of kill and OB production were improved only when the certain genotype mixtures were co-occluded, although OB production was higher in the SfCOL-wt isolate than in any of the component genotypes, or mixtures thereof. Deleted genotypes reduced OB potency but increased OB production of the SfCOL-wt population, which is structured to maximize the production of OBs in each infected host.
Gene expression profiles of Digitaria sanguinalis infected by Curvularia eragrostidis strain QZ-2000 at two concentrations of conidia and two dew durations were analyzed by cDNA amplified fragment length polymorphisms (cDNA-AFLP). Inoculum strength was more determinant of gene expression than dew duration. A total of 256 primer combinations were used for selective amplification and 1214 transcript-derived fragments (TDFs) were selected for their differential expression. Of these, 518 up-regulated differentially expressed TDFs were identified. Forty-six differential cDNA fragments were chosen to be cloned and 35 of them were successfully cloned and sequenced, of which 25 were homologous to genes of known function according to the GenBank database. Only 6 genes were up-regulated in Curvularia eragrostidis-inoculated D. sanguinalis, with functions involved in signal transduction, energy metabolism, cell growth and development, stress responses, abscisic acid biosynthesis and response. It appears that a few pathways may be important parts of the pathogenic strategy of C.
eragrostidis strain QZ-2000 on D. sanguinalis. Our study provides the fundamentals to further study the pathogenic mechanism, screen for optimal C. eragrostidis strains as potential mycoherbicide and apply this product to control D.
The hepatitis C virus (HCV) nonstructural protein 3 (NS3) is essential for the processing of the HCV polyprotein, the replication of HCV RNA, and to short circuit innate immunity signaling. NS3 contains an N-terminal domain with protease activity and a C-terminal domain with helicase activity. The two domains communicate with each other along with other HCV and cellular proteins. Herein we show that RNAs can bind directly to the active site cleft of the NS3 protease domain (NS3P) and inhibit proteolysis of peptide substrates. RNAs that are less apt to form intramolecular structures have a stronger inhibitory activity than RNAs with more stable base paired regions. Two mutations in the protease domain that resulted in decreased affinity to ssRNA were also defective in RNA-induced ATPase activity from the helicase domain of NS3. The coordinated effects on inhibition of protease activity and stimulation of ATPase activity raise the possibility that RNA serves as a regulatory switch for the two processes.
Hepatitis C Virus; positive-strand RNA virus; NS3 protease; nucleic acid inhibitors; RNA binding; ATPase activation
The aim of this study is to compare the secretory profiles and diagnostic power of anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) for the PCOS patient with and without hyperandrogenism.
One hundred and thirty-one PCOS patients with oligomenorrhea or amenorrhea were recruited into the study. Sixty-two and sixty-nine patients had and did not have hyperandrogenism (HA+) hyperandrogenism (HA−), respectively. Sera were collected for determining the levels of AMH, basal sexual hormones, glucose and lipid metabolic indicators.
The AMH serum levels of PCOS patients were significantly higher than the control group, with the highest AMH serum level in the HA+ group. The cut-off value for predicting PCOS patients of all types was 3.92 ng/mL, with a sensitivity of 65 %, and specificity of 62 %. The cut-off value for predicting PCOS patients in the HA+ group was 4.23 ng/mL, with a sensitivity of 82 %, and specificity of 64 %. The cut-off value for predicting PCOS patients in the HA− group was 3.76 ng/mL, with a sensitivity of 64 %, and specificity of 62 %. In the HA+ group, AMH was negatively associated with FSH and positively associated with LH. In the HA− group, AMH was negatively associated with HDL and positively associated with BMI, fasting glucose and LDL.
AMH is only suitable for predicting the PCOS patients with hyperandrogenism. The diagnostic power of AMH is limited when used to predict patients without hyperandrogenism. It reflects the differences in pathophysiology and severity of disrupted folliculogenesis between the two subtypes.
Anti-Mullerian hormone; Polycystic ovary syndrome; Hyperandrogenism; Folliculogenesis
Activation of a host DNA damage response (DDR) is essential for DNA replication of minute virus of canines (MVC), a member of the genus Bocavirus of the Parvoviridae family; however, the mechanism by which DDR contributes to viral DNA replication is unknown. In the current study, we demonstrate that MVC infection triggers the intra-S-phase arrest to slow down host cellular DNA replication and to recruit cellular DNA replication factors for viral DNA replication. The intra-S-phase arrest is regulated by ATM (ataxia telangiectasia-mutated kinase) signaling in a p53-independent manner. Moreover, we demonstrate that SMC1 (structural maintenance of chromosomes 1) is the key regulator of the intra-S-phase arrest induced during infection. Either knockdown of SMC1 or complementation with a dominant negative SMC1 mutant blocks both the intra-S-phase arrest and viral DNA replication. Finally, we show that the intra-S-phase arrest induced during MVC infection was caused neither by damaged host cellular DNA nor by viral proteins but by replicating viral genomes physically associated with the DNA damage sensor, the Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) complex. In conclusion, the feedback loop between MVC DNA replication and the intra-S-phase arrest is mediated by ATM-SMC1 signaling and plays a critical role in MVC DNA replication. Thus, our findings unravel the mechanism underlying DDR signaling-facilitated MVC DNA replication and demonstrate a novel strategy of DNA virus-host interaction.
Human bocavirus 1 (HBoV1) is an emerging human-pathogenic respiratory virus. We characterized two important features of HBoV1 infection in polarized primary human airway epithelia (HAE). Apical HBoV1 infection of HAE at a low multiplicity of infection causes disruption of the tight junction barrier, loss of cilia, and epithelial cell hypertrophy, which are hallmarks of the airway epithelial damage caused by HBoV1 infection. HBoV1 also infects HAE from the basolateral surface productively, although less efficiently, and this also leads to the characteristic airway epithelial damage.
Dental caries is one of the most prevalent infectious diseases in the United States, affecting approximately 80% of children and the majority of adults. Dental caries may lead to endodontic disease, where the bacterial infection progresses to the root canal system of the tooth, leading to periapical inflammation, bone erosion, severe pain, and tooth loss. Periapical inflammation may also exacerbate inflammation in other parts of the body. Although conventional clinical therapies for this disease are successful in approximately 80% of cases, there is still an urgent need for increased efficacy of treatment. In this study, we applied a novel gene-therapeutic approach using recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated Atp6i RNA interference (RNAi) knockdown of Atp6i/TIRC7 gene expression to simultaneously target periapical bone resorption and periapical inflammation. We found that Atp6i inhibition impaired osteoclast function in vitro and in vivo and decreased the number of T cells in the periapical lesion. Notably, AAV-mediated Atp6i/TIRC7 knockdown gene therapy reduced bacterial infection-stimulated bone resorption by 80% in the mouse model of endodontic disease. Importantly, Atp6i+/− mice with haploinsufficiency of Atp6i exhibited protection similar to that in mice with bacterial infection-stimulated bone erosion and periapical inflammation, which confirms the potential therapeutic effect of AAV-small hairpin RNA (shRNA)-Atp6i/TIRC7. Our results demonstrate that AAV-mediated Atp6i/TIRC7 knockdown in periapical tissues can inhibit endodontic disease development, bone resorption, and inflammation, indicating for the first time that this potential gene therapy may significantly improve the health of those who suffer from endodontic disease.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease with profound effects on multiple organ systems. In patients with SLE, the immune system is subverted to target numerous self-antigens and the ensuing inflammatory response elicits a vicious cycle of immune cell activation and tissue damage. Both genetic and environmental factors are essential for the development of this debilitating condition, although the exact cause remains unclear. Early studies on the pathogenesis of lupus centered on the adaptive immune system as lymphocyte abnormalities were thought to be primary cause of autoimmunity. In the past decade, however, this paradigm has shifted with rapid advances in the field of innate immunity. These developments have yielded important insights to how the autoimmune response in SLE is initiated and maintained. Monocytes and macrophages represent an essential arm of the innate immune system with a multitude of immunological functions including antigen presentation, phagocytosis, and cytokine production. Aberrations of monocyte / macrophage phenotype and function are increasingly recognized in SLE and animal models of the disease. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of monocyte / macrophage abnormalities in human SLE and discuss their implications for understanding the pathogenesis of lupus.
systemic lupus erythematosus; monocytes; macrophages
The role of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) on breast cancer progression, growth and tumorigenesis remains controversial or unknown. In the present study, we investigated the role of MSCs on breast tumor induction and growth in a clinically relevant somatic breast cancer model. We first conducted in vitro studies and found that conditioned media (CM) of RCAS-Neu and RCAS-PyMT breast cancer cell lines and tumor cells themselves dramatically increased the proliferation and motility of MSCs and induced morphological changes of MSCs and differentiation into fibroblast-like cells. In contrast, the CM of MSCs inhibited the proliferation of two breast cancer cell lines by arresting the cell cycle at the G0/G1 phase. In vivo studies revealed that fluorescence dye-labeled MSCs migrated into tumor tissues. Unexpectedly, single or multiple intravenous injections of MSCs did not affect the latency of breast cancer in TVA- transgenic mice induced by intraductal injection of the RCAS vector encoding polyoma middle-T antigen (PyMT) or Neu oncogenes. Moreover, MSCs had no effect on RCAS-Neu tumor growth in a syngeneic ectopic breast cancer model. While our studies consistently demonstrated the ability of breast cancer cells to profoundly induce MSCs migration, differentiation, and proliferation, the anti-proliferative effect of MSCs on breast tumor cells observed in vitro could not be translated into an antitumor activity in vivo, probably reflecting the antagonizing or complex effects of MSCs on tumor environment and tumor cells themselves.
APP/PS1 double-transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer's disease (AD), which overexpress mutated forms of the gene for human amyloid precursor protein (APP) and presenilin 1 (PS1), have provided robust neuropathological hallmarks of AD-like pattern at early ages. This study characterizes immunocytochemical patterns of AD mouse brain as a model for human AD treated with the EB101 vaccine. In this novel vaccine, a new approach has been taken to circumvent past failures by judiciously selecting an adjuvant consisting of a physiological matrix embedded in liposomes, composed of naturally occurring phospholipids (phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylglycerol, and cholesterol). Our findings showed that administration of amyloid-β1−42 (Aβ) and sphingosine-1-phosphate emulsified in liposome complex (EB101) to APP/PS1 mice before onset of Aβ deposition (7 weeks of age) and/or at an older age (35 weeks of age) is effective in halting the progression and clearing the AD-like neuropathological hallmarks. Passive immunization with EB101 did not activate inflammatory responses from the immune system and astrocytes. Consistent with a decreased inflammatory background, the basal immunological interaction between the T cells and the affected areas (hippocampus) in the brain of treated mice was notably reduced. These results demonstrate that immunization with EB101 vaccine prevents and attenuates AD neuropathology in this type of double-transgenic mice.
Memory consolidation has been suggested to be protein synthesis-dependent. Recent data indicate that BDNF-induced dendritic protein synthesis is a key event in memory formation through activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway. BDNF also activates calpain, a calcium-dependent cysteine protease, which has been shown to play a critical role in learning and memory. This study was therefore directed at testing the hypothesis that calpain activity is required for BDNF-stimulated local protein synthesis, and at identifying the underlying molecular mechanism. In rat hippocampal slices, cortical synaptoneurosomes, and cultured neurons, BDNF-induced mTOR pathway activation and protein translation were blocked by calpain inhibition. BDNF treatment rapidly reduced levels of hamartin and tuberin, negative regulators of mTOR, in a calpain-dependent manner. Treatment of brain homogenates with purified calpain-1 and calpain-2 truncated both proteins. BDNF treatment increased phosphorylation of both Akt and ERK, but only the effect on Akt was blocked by calpain inhibition. Levels of PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome ten), a phosphatase that inactivates Akt, were decreased following BDNF treatment, and calpain inhibition reversed this effect. Calpain-2 but not calpain-1 treatment of brain homogenates resulted in PTEN degradation. In cultured cortical neurons, knock-down of calpain-2 but not calpain-1 by siRNA completely suppressed the effect of BDNF on mTOR activation. Our results reveal a critical role for calpain-2 in BDNF-induced mTOR signaling and dendritic protein synthesis via PTEN, hamartin and tuberin degradation. This mechanism therefore provides a link between proteolysis and protein synthesis that might contribute to synaptic plasticity.
BDNF; calpain; mTOR; protein synthesis; PTEN
Mannose-specific Allium sativum leaf agglutinin encoding gene (ASAL) and herbicide tolerance gene (BAR) were introduced into an elite cotton inbred line (NC-601) employing Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation. Cotton transformants were produced from the phosphinothricin (PPT)-resistant shoots obtained after co-cultivation of mature embryos with the Agrobacterium strain EHA105 harbouring recombinant binary vector pCAMBIA3300-ASAL-BAR. PCR and Southern blot analysis confirmed the presence and stable integration of ASAL and BAR genes in various transformants of cotton. Basta leaf-dip assay, northern blot, western blot and ELISA analyses disclosed variable expression of BAR and ASAL transgenes in different transformants. Transgenes, ASAL and BAR, were stably inherited and showed co-segregation in T1 generation in a Mendelian fashion for both PPT tolerance and insect resistance. In planta insect bioassays on T2 and T3 homozygous ASAL-transgenic lines revealed potent entomotoxic effects of ASAL on jassid and whitefly insects, as evidenced by significant decreases in the survival, development and fecundity of the insects when compared to the untransformed controls. Furthermore, the transgenic cotton lines conferred higher levels of resistance (1–2 score) with minimal plant damage against these major sucking pests when bioassays were carried out employing standard screening techniques. The developed transgenics could serve as a potential genetic resource in recombination breeding aimed at improving the pest resistance of cotton. This study represents the first report of its kind dealing with the development of transgenic cotton resistant to two major sap-sucking insects.
The aim of the study was to test whether estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1) gene polymorphisms are correlated with the risk of the development of endometriosis in Japanese women, as a preliminary study.
To compare allelic frequencies and genotype distributions, a case-control study of 100 affected women and 143 women with no evidence of disease was performed using 10 microsatellite repeat markers and 66 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the ESR1 gene region.
Although our results might be insufficient to detect genetic susceptibility, owing to the small sample size and low genetic power, statistical analysis of the differences in allelic frequency between the cases and controls at each microsatellite locus demonstrated that no microsatellite locus in the ESR1 gene displayed a significant association with the disease when multiple testing was taken into account. Also, there were no statistically significant differences in the SNP allele frequencies and genotypes between the cases and controls when multiple testing was taken into account.
The findings in our pilot study suggest that ESR1 polymorphisms do not contribute to endometriosis susceptibility.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12199-011-0259-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Endometriosis; Estrogen receptor-alpha gene; Endocrinology; Association study
With the development of directly acting antivirals, hepatitis C virus (HCV) therapy entered a new era. However, rapid selection of resistance mutations necessitates combination therapy. To study combination therapy in infectious culture systems, we aimed at developing HCV semi-full-length (semi-FL) recombinants relying only on the JFH1 NS3 helicase, NS5B, and the 3′ untranslated region. With identified adaptive mutations, semi-FL recombinants of genotypes(isolates) 1a(TN) and 3a(S52) produced supernatant infectivity titers of ∼4 log10 focus-forming units/ml in Huh7.5 cells. Genotype 1a(TN) adaptive mutations allowed generation of 1a(H77) semi-FL virus. Concentration-response profiles revealed the higher efficacy of the NS3 protease inhibitor asunaprevir (BMS-650032) and the NS5A inhibitor daclatasvir (BMS-790052) against 1a(TN and H77) than 3a(S52) viruses. Asunaprevir had intermediate efficacy against previously developed 2a recombinants J6/JFH1 and J6cc. Daclatasvir had intermediate efficacy against J6/JFH1, while low sensitivity was confirmed against J6cc. Using a cross-titration scheme, infected cultures were treated until viral escape or on-treatment virologic suppression occurred. Compared to single-drug treatment, combination treatment with relatively low concentrations of asunaprevir and daclatasvir suppressed infection with all five recombinants. Escaped viruses primarily had substitutions at amino acids in the NS3 protease and NS5A domain I reported to be genotype 1 resistance mutations. Inhibitors showed synergism at drug concentrations reported in vivo. In summary, semi-FL HCV recombinants, including the most advanced reported genotype 3a infectious culture system, permitted genotype-specific analysis of combination treatment in the context of the complete viral life cycle. Despite differential sensitivity to lead compound NS3 protease and NS5A inhibitors, genotype 1a, 2a, and 3a viruses were suppressed by combination treatment with relatively low concentrations.
Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a common ocular genetic disease for which over 20 candidate genomic loci have been identified. The high-grade myopia locus, MYP3, has been reported on chromosome 12q21–23 by four independent linkage studies.
We performed a genetic association study of the MYP3 locus in a family-based high-grade myopia cohort (n = 82) by genotyping 768 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the linkage region. Qualitative testing for high-grade myopia (sphere ≤ −5 D affected, > −0.5 D unaffected) and quantitative testing on the average dioptric sphere were performed.
Several genetic markers were nominally significantly associated with high-grade myopia in qualitative testing, including rs3803036, a missense mutation in PTPRR (P = 9.1 × 10−4) and rs4764971, an intronic SNP in UHRF1BP1L (P = 6.1 × 10−4). Quantitative testing determined statistically significant SNPs rs4764971, also found by qualitative testing (P = 3.1 × 10−6); rs7134216, in the 3′ untranslated region (UTR) of DEPDC4 (P = 5.4 × 10−7); and rs17306116, an intronic SNP within PPFIA2 (P < 9 × 10−4). Independently conducted whole genome expression array analyses identified protein tyrosine phosphatase genes PTPRR and PPFIA2, which are in the same gene family, as differentially expressed in normal rapidly growing fetal relative to normal adult ocular tissue (confirmed by RT-qPCR).
In an independent high-grade myopia cohort, an intronic SNP in UHRF1BP1L, rs4764971, was validated for quantitative association, and SNPs within PTPRR (quantitative) and PPFIA2 (qualitative and quantitative) approached significance. Three genes identified by our association study and supported by ocular expression and/or replication, UHRF1BP1L, PTPRR, and PPFIA2, are novel candidates for myopic development within the MYP3 locus that should be further studied.
Association mapping of the MYP3 locus reveals novel candidate genes.
The objective of the study was to determine the effect of landing surface on plantar kinetics during a half-squat landing. Twenty male elite paratroopers with formal parachute landing training and over 2 years of parachute jumping experience were recruited. The subjects wore parachuting boots in which pressure sensing insoles were placed. Each subject was instructed to jump off a platform with a height of 60 cm, and land on either a hard or soft surface in a half-squat posture. Outcome measures were maximal plantar pressure, time to maximal plantar pressure (T-MPP), and pressure-time integral (PTI) upon landing on 10 plantar regions. Compared to a soft surface, hard surface produced higher maximal plantar pressure in the 1st to 4th metatarsal and mid-foot regions, but lower maximal plantar pressure in the 5th metatarsal region. Shorter T- MPP was found during hard surface landing in the 1st and 2nd metatarsal and medial rear foot. Landing on a hard surface landing resulted in a lower PTI than a soft surface in the 1stphalangeal region. For Chinese paratroopers, specific foot prosthesis should be designed to protect the1st to 4thmetatarsal region for hard surface landing, and the 1stphalangeal and 5thmetatarsal region for soft surface landing.
Understanding plantar kinetics during the half-squat landing used by Chinese paratroopers can assist in the design of protective footwear.
Compared to landing on a soft surface, a hard surface produced higher maximal plantar pressure in the 1st to 4th metatarsal and mid-foot regions, but lower maximal plantar pressure in the 5th metatarsal region.
A shorter time to maximal plantar pressure was found during a hard surface landing in the 1st and 2nd metatarsals and medial rear foot.
Landing on a hard surface resulted in a lower pressure-time integral than landing on a soft surface in the 1st phalangeal region.
For Chinese paratroopers, specific foot prosthesis should be designed to protect the 1st to 4th metatarsal region for a hard surface landing, and the 1st phalangeal and 5th metatarsal region for a soft surface landing.
Half-squat landing; plantar kinetics; plantar pressure; surface reaction force; pressure time integral
The rapid discovery of novel viruses using next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies including DNA-Seq and RNA-Seq, has greatly expanded our understanding of viral diversity in recent years. The timely identification of novel viruses using NGS technologies is also important for us to control emerging infectious diseases caused by novel viruses. In this study, we identified a novel duck coronavirus (CoV), distinct with chicken infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), using RNA-Seq. The novel duck-specific CoV was a potential novel species within the genus Gammacoronavirus, as indicated by sequences of three regions in the viral 1b gene. We also performed a survey of CoVs in domestic fowls in China using reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), targeting the viral nucleocapsid (N) gene. A total of 102 CoV positives were identified through the survey. Phylogenetic analysis of the viral N sequences suggested that CoVs in domestic fowls have diverged into several region-specific or host-specific clades or subclades in the world, and IBVs can infect ducks, geese and pigeons, although they mainly circulate in chickens. Moreover, this study provided novel data supporting the notion that some host-specific CoVs other than IBVs circulate in ducks, geese and pigeons, and indicated that the novel duck-specific CoV identified through RNA-Seq in this study is genetically closer to some CoVs circulating in wild water fowls. Taken together, this study shed new insight into the diversity, distribution, evolution and control of avian CoVs.
Recent advances in genome wide transcriptional analysis have provided greater insights into the etiology and heterogeneity of breast cancer. Molecular signatures have been developed that stratify the conventional estrogen receptor positive or negative categories into subtypes that are associated with differing clinical outcomes. It is thought that the expression patterns of the molecular subtypes primarily reflect cell-of-origin or tumor driver mutations. In this study however, using a genetically engineered mouse mammary tumor model we demonstrate that the PAM50 subtype signature of tumors driven by a common oncogenic event can be significantly influenced by the genetic background on which the tumor arises. These results have important implications for interpretation of “snapshot” expression profiles, as well as suggesting that incorporation of genetic background effects may allow investigation into phenotypes not initially anticipated in individual mouse models of cancer.
Small RNAs regulate a multitude of cellular processes, including development, stress responses, metabolism, and maintenance of genome integrity, in a sequence-specific manner. Accumulating evidence reveals that host endogenous small RNAs and small RNA pathway components play important roles in plant immune responses against various pathogens, including bacteria, fungi, oomycetes, and viruses. Small-RNA-mediated defense responses are regulated through diverse pathways and the components of these pathways, including Dicer-like proteins, RNA-dependent RNA polymerases, Argonaute proteins, and RNA polymerase IV and V, exhibit functional specificities as well as redundancy. In this review, we summarize the recent insights revealed mainly through the examination of two model plants, Arabidopsis and rice, with a primary focus on our emerging understanding of how these small RNA pathway components contribute to plant immunity.
Since the last decade, unusually high honey bee colony losses have been reported mainly in North-America and Europe. Here, we report on a comprehensive bee pathogen screening in Belgium covering 363 bee colonies that were screened for 18 known disease-causing pathogens and correlate their incidence in summer with subsequent winter mortality. Our analyses demonstrate that, in addition to Varroa destructor, the presence of the trypanosomatid parasite Crithidia mellificae and the microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae in summer are also predictive markers of winter mortality, with a negative synergy being observed between the two in terms of their effects on colony mortality. Furthermore, we document the first occurrence of a parasitizing phorid fly in Europe, identify a new fourth strain of Lake Sinai Virus (LSV), and confirm the presence of other little reported pathogens such as Apicystis bombi, Aphid Lethal Paralysis Virus (ALPV), Spiroplasma apis, Spiroplasma melliferum and Varroa destructor Macula-like Virus (VdMLV). Finally, we provide evidence that ALPV and VdMLV replicate in honey bees and show that viruses of the LSV complex and Black Queen Cell Virus tend to non-randomly co-occur together. We also noticed a significant correlation between the number of pathogen species and colony losses. Overall, our results contribute significantly to our understanding of honey bee diseases and the likely causes of their current decline in Europe.
With market-oriented economic and health-care reform, public hospitals in China have received unprecedented pressures from governmental regulations, public opinions, and financial demands. To adapt the changing environment and keep pace of modernizing healthcare delivery system, public hospitals in China are expanding clinical services and improving delivery efficiency, while controlling costs. Recent experiences are valuable lessons for guiding future healthcare reform. Here we carefully study three teaching hospitals, to exemplify their experiences during this period.
We performed a systematic analysis on hospitalization costs, health-care quality and delivery efficiencies from 2006 to 2010 in three teaching hospitals in Beijing, China. The analysis measured temporal changes of inpatient cost per stay (CPS), cost per day (CPD), inpatient mortality rate (IMR), and length of stay (LOS), using a generalized additive model.
There were 651,559 hospitalizations during the period analyzed. Averaged CPS was stable over time, while averaged CPD steadily increased by 41.7% (P<0.001), from CNY 1,531 in 2006 to CNY 2,169 in 2010. The increasing CPD seemed synchronous with the steady rising of the national annual income per capita. Surgical cost was the main contributor to the temporal change of CPD, while medicine and examination costs tended to be stable over time. From 2006 and 2010, IMR decreased by 36%, while LOS reduced by 25%. Increasing hospitalizations with higher costs, along with an overall stable CPS, reduced IMR, and shorter LOS, appear to be the major characteristics of these three hospitals at present.
These three teaching hospitals have gained some success in controlling costs, improving cares, adopting modern medical technologies, and increasing hospital revenues. Effective hospital governance and physicians' professional capacity plus government regulations and supervisions may have played a role. However, purely market-oriented health-care reform could also misguide future healthcare reform.
The first densovirus from a cricket, Acheta domesticus densovirus (AdDNV) (Parvoviridae), was isolated in Europe in 1977 and has been studied previously. We compared seven additional AdDNV genomes isolated from 4 other European outbreaks, 2 major North American outbreaks, and a Japanese outbreak. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that the 2009 Japanese and North American outbreaks were not related.
Current research in pulmonary pathology has focused on inflammatory reactions initiated by immunological responses to allergens and irritants. In addition to these biochemical stimuli, physical forces also play an important role in regulating the structure, function, and metabolism of the lung. Hyperstretch of lung tissues can contribute to the inflammatory responses in asthma, but the mechanisms of mechanically induced inflammation in the lung remain unclear. Our results demonstrate that excessive stretch increased the secretion of inflammatory cytokines by human bronchial epithelial cells (hBECs), including IL-8. This increase of IL-8 secretion was due to an elevated microRNA-155 (miR-155) expression, which caused the suppression of Src homology 2 domain–containing inositol 5-phosphatase 1 (SHIP1) production and the subsequent activation of JNK signaling. In vivo studies in our asthmatic mouse model also showed such changes in miR-155, IL-8, and SHIP1 expressions that reflect inflammatory responses. Co-culture with human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) reversed the stretch-induced hBEC inflammatory responses as a result of IL-10 secretion by hMSCs to down-regulate miR-155 expression in hBECs. In summary, we have demonstrated that mechanical stretch modulates the homeostasis of the hBEC secretome involving miR-155 and that hMSCs can be used as a potential therapeutic approach to reverse bronchial epithelial inflammation in asthma.