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1.  Validity of the Remote Food Photography Method (RFPM) for estimating energy and nutrient intake in near real-time 
Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)  2011;20(4):891-899.
Two studies are reported; a pilot study to demonstrate feasibility followed by a larger validity study. Study 1’s objective was to test the effect of two ecological momentary assessment (EMA) approaches that varied in intensity on the validity/accuracy of estimating energy intake with the Remote Food Photography Method (RFPM) over six days in free-living conditions. When using the RFPM, Smartphones are used to capture images of food selection and plate waste and to send the images to a server for food intake estimation. Consistent with EMA, prompts are sent to the Smartphones reminding participants to capture food images. During Study 1, energy intake estimated with the RFPM and the gold standard, doubly labeled water (DLW), were compared. Participants were assigned to receive Standard EMA Prompts (n=24) or Customized Prompts (n=16) (the latter received more reminders delivered at personalized meal times). The RFPM differed significantly from DLW at estimating energy intake when Standard (mean±SD = −895±770 kcal/day, p<.0001), but not Customized Prompts (−270±748 kcal/day, p=.22) were used. Error (energy intake from the RFPM minus that from DLW) was significantly smaller with Customized vs. Standard Prompts. The objectives of Study 2 included testing the RFPM’s ability to accurately estimate energy intake in free-living adults (N=50) over six days, and energy and nutrient intake in laboratory-based meals. The RFPM did not differ significantly from DLW at estimating free-living energy intake (−152±694 kcal/day, p=0.16). During laboratory-based meals, estimating energy and macronutrient intake with the RFPM did not differ significantly compared to directly weighed intake.
PMCID: PMC3975169  PMID: 22134199
Food Intake; Energy Intake; Dietary Intake; Dietary Assessment; Eating Behaviors
2.  Drainage Failure Because of Spontaneous Fracture of the Peritoneal Dialysis Catheter 
PMCID: PMC3598116  PMID: 23478378
Peritoneal dialysis catheter; spontaneous catheter fracture; drainage failure
3.  Herbicide resistance-endowing ACCase gene mutations in hexaploid wild oat (Avena fatua): insights into resistance evolution in a hexaploid species 
Heredity  2012;110(3):220-231.
Many herbicide-resistant weed species are polyploids, but far too little about the evolution of resistance mutations in polyploids is understood. Hexaploid wild oat (Avena fatua) is a global crop weed and many populations have evolved herbicide resistance. We studied plastidic acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase (ACCase)-inhibiting herbicide resistance in hexaploid wild oat and revealed that resistant individuals can express one, two or three different plastidic ACCase gene resistance mutations (Ile-1781-Leu, Asp-2078-Gly and Cys-2088-Arg). Using ACCase resistance mutations as molecular markers, combined with genetic, molecular and biochemical approaches, we found in individual resistant wild-oat plants that (1) up to three unlinked ACCase gene loci assort independently following Mendelian laws for disomic inheritance, (2) all three of these homoeologous ACCase genes were transcribed, with each able to carry its own mutation and (3) in a hexaploid background, each individual ACCase resistance mutation confers relatively low-level herbicide resistance, in contrast to high-level resistance conferred by the same mutations in unrelated diploid weed species of the Poaceae (grass) family. Low resistance conferred by individual ACCase resistance mutations is likely due to a dilution effect by susceptible ACCase expressed by homoeologs in hexaploid wild oat and/or differential expression of homoeologous ACCase gene copies. Thus, polyploidy in hexaploid wild oat may slow resistance evolution. Evidence of coexisting non-target-site resistance mechanisms among wild-oat populations was also revealed. In all, these results demonstrate that herbicide resistance and its evolution can be more complex in hexaploid wild oat than in unrelated diploid grass weeds. Our data provide a starting point for the daunting task of understanding resistance evolution in polyploids.
PMCID: PMC3668648  PMID: 23047200
ACCase mutation;  Acc1 ; herbicide resistance; hexaploid wild oat (Avena fatua); polyploidy; resistance evolution
4.  Galectin-1 stimulates motility of human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells by downregulation of smad2/3-dependent collagen 3/5 and upregulation of NF-κB-dependent fibronectin/laminin 5 expression 
Cell Death & Disease  2014;5(2):e1049-.
Galectin-1 (Gal-1) belongs to a family of endogenous lectins with conserved carbohydrate recognition domains binding β-galactosidase sugars and plays a vital role in regulating stem cell functions including determination of cell fate. However, our understanding of the functional roles of Gal-1 in human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (UCB-MSCs) is still fragmentary and incomplete. Gal-1 significantly increased motility after a 24-h incubation, and this effect was inhibited by β-lactose. We analyzed 17 extracellular matrix (ECM) genes in UCB-MSCs. Gal-1 decreased the expression of collagen genes COL3A1 (COL-3) and COL5A1 (COL-5) but increased the expression of fibronectin (FN) and laminin 5 (LM-5), that were reversed by β-lactose. Gal-1 increased protein kinase C (PKC), c-Src, and caveolin-1 (Cav-1) phosphorylation that was attenuated by β-lactose and the Src inhibitor PP2. In addition, pretreatment with the lipid raft disruptor Mβ-CD and the PKC inhibitors inhibited Gal-1-induced UCB-MSC motility. In addition, Gal-1 reduced smad2/3 phosphorylation and induced nuclear factor (NF)-κB phosphorylation. Pretreatment with Mβ-CD attenuated Gal-1-reduced smad2/3 phosphorylation, COL-3, and COL-5 expression but did not affect NF-κB phosphorylation, FN, or LM-5 expression. In contrast, PKC inhibitors only attenuated NF-κB phosphorylation, FN, and LM-5 expression. Reconstructing Gal-1-induced genetic changes by replacing it with siRNA specific for COL-3 or COL-5, or treatment of the cells with FN and LM-5 proteins, increased motility and its related proteins such as focal adhesion kinase, Akt, Erk, integrins, and matrix metalloproteinase-2. A combined treatment with COL-3/COL-5 siRNA or FN/LM-5 compared with that of single treatments was synergistic. However, a single Gal-1 treatment maximally stimulated motility and related protein phosphorylation/expression. These results demonstrate that Gal-1 stimulated human UCB-MSC motility by decreasing COL-3/COL-5 expression and increasing FN/LM-5 expression through a PKC-dependent NF-κB and c-Src/Cav-1-dependent smad2/3 pathway that was critical for governing the activation of FAK, Akt, Erk, integrins, and MMP2.
PMCID: PMC3944255  PMID: 24503541
umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells; galectin-1; extracellular matrix proteins; motility
6.  Netrin-1 protects hypoxia-induced mitochondrial apoptosis through HSP27 expression via DCC- and integrin α6β4-dependent Akt, GSK-3β, and HSF-1 in mesenchymal stem cells 
Cell Death & Disease  2013;4(3):e563-.
Netrin (Ntn) has the potential to be successfully applied as an anti-apoptotic agent with a high affinity for tissue, for therapeutic strategies of umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (UCB-MSC), although the mechanism by which Ntn-1 protects hypoxic injury has yet to be identified. Therefore, the present study examined the effect of Ntn-1 on hypoxia-induced UCB-MSC apoptosis, as well as the potential underlying mechanisms of its protective effect. Hypoxia (72 h) reduced cell viability (MTT reduction, and [3H]-thymidine incorporation) and cell number, and induced apoptosis (annexin and/or PI positive), which were reversed by Ntn-1 (10 ng/ml). Moreover, Ntn-1 decreased the increase of hypoxia-induced Bax, cleaved caspase-9, and -3, but blocked the decrease of hypoxia-reduced Bcl-2. Next, in order to examine the Ntn-1-related signaling cascade in the protection of hypoxic injury, we analyzed six Ntn receptors in UCB-MSC. We identified deleted in colorectal cancer (DCC) and integrin (IN) α6β4, except uncoordinated family member (UNC) 5A–C, and neogenin. Among them, IN α6β4 only was detected in lipid raft fractions. In addition, Ntn-1 induced the dissociation of DCC and APPL-1 complex, thereby stimulating the formation of APPL-1 and Akt2 complex. Ntn-1 also reversed the hypoxia-induced decrease of Akt and glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) phosphorylation, which is involved in heat shock factor-1 (HSF-1) expression. Ntn-1-induced phospho-Akt and -GSK-3β were inhibited by DCC function-blocking antibody, IN a6b4 function-blocking antibody, and the Akt inhibitor. Hypoxia and/or Ntn-1 stimulated heat shock protein (HSP)27 expression, which was blocked by HSF-1-specific small interfering RNA (siRNA). Furthermore, HSP27-specific siRNA reversed the Ntn-1-induced increase of phospho-Akt. Additionally, HSP27-specific siRNA attenuated the Ntn-1-reduced loss of mitochondrial membrane injury via the inhibition of cytochrome c (cyt c) release and formation of cyt c and HSP27 complex. Moreover, the inhibition of each signaling protein attenuated Ntn-1-induced blockage of apoptosis. In conclusion, Ntn-1-induced HSP27 protected hypoxic injury-related UCB-MSC apoptosis through DCC- and IN α6β4-dependent Akt, GSK-3β, and HSF-1 signaling pathways.
PMCID: PMC3615739  PMID: 23538444
umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cell; netrin-1; hypoxic injury; apoptosis; cytoprotection; heat shock protein
7.  Effect of an Environmental School-based Obesity Prevention Program On Changes in Body Fat and Body Weight: A Randomized Trial 
Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)  2012;20(8):1653-1661.
This study tested the efficacy of two school-based programs for prevention of body weight/fat gain in comparison to a control group, in all participants and in overweight children. The Louisiana (LA) Health study utilized a longitudinal, cluster randomized 3-arm controlled design, with 28 months of follow-up. Children (N=2060; M age = 10.5 years, SD = 1.2) from rural communities in Grades 4 to 6 participated in the study. 17 school clusters (M = 123 children/cluster) were randomly assigned to one of three prevention arms: 1) Primary Prevention (PP), an environmental modification program, 2) Primary + Secondary Prevention (PP+SP), the environmental program with an added classroom and internet education component, or 3) Control (C). Primary outcomes were changes in percent body fat and body mass index z scores. Secondary outcomes were changes in behaviors related to energy balance. Comparisons of PP, PP+SP, and C on changes in body fat and BMI z scores found no differences. PP and PP+SP study arms were combined to create an environmental modification arm (EM). Relative to C, EM decreased body fat for boys (−1.7% ± 0.38% versus −0.14% ± 0.69%) and attenuated fat gain for girls (2.9% ± 0.22% versus 3.93% ± 0.37%), but standardized effect sizes were relatively small (< 0.30). In conclusion, this school-based environmental modification programs had modest beneficial effects on changes in percent body fat. Addition of a classroom/internet program to the environmental program did not enhance weight/fat gain prevention, but did impact physical activity and social support in overweight children.
PMCID: PMC3374922  PMID: 22402733
8.  Targeting the Myostatin Signaling Pathway to Treat Muscle Wasting Diseases 
Purpose of review
To understand mechanisms of muscle wasting and how inhibiting myostatin signaling affects them.
Recent findings
Myostatin signaling is critical for understanding the pathogenesis of muscle wasting since blocking it mitigates muscle losses in rodent models of catabolic diseases including cancer, chronic kidney or heart failure.
Muscle wasting increases the risks of morbidity and mortality. But, the reliability of estimates of the degree of muscle wasting is controversial as are definitions of terms like cachexia. Much has been learned about the pathophysiology of muscle wasting, including the major role of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) which along with other proteases degrades protein and limits protein synthesis. In contrast, few successful strategies for reversing muscle loss have been tested.
Several catabolic conditions are characterized by inflammation, increased glucocorticoid production and impaired intracellular signaling in response to insulin and IGF-1. These characteristics lead to activation of the UPS and other proteases producing muscle wasting. Another potential initiator of muscle wasting is myostatin and its expression is increased in muscles of animal models and patients with certain catabolic conditions. Myostatin is a member of the TGF-β family; it suppresses muscle growth and its absence stimulates muscle growth substantially. Recently, pharmacologic suppression of myostatin was found to counteract inflammation, increased glucocorticoids and impaired insulin/IGF-1 signaling and most importantly, prevents muscle wasting in rodent models of cancer and kidney failure. Myostatin antagonism as a therapy for patients with muscle wasting should become a topic of clinical investigation.
PMCID: PMC3273421  PMID: 22025090
Myostatin; activin A; ActRIIB; Smad; Foxo; muscle wasting; cancer; chronic kidney disease; heart failure; ubiquitin-proteasome system; muscle protein breakdown; protein degradation
9.  Establishment of Eimeria tenella (local isolate) in chicken embryos 
Development of an in vitro Eimeria (E.) tenella model could be valuable as a tool for vaccine, coccidiostats or molecular biology research. 1.0 × 104 sporozoites per 0.1 mL were inoculated into the allantoic cavity of ten-day-old chicken embryos. The complete lifecycle of E. tenella was accomplished in eight-nine days at 37 °C and 70% humidity. The addition of 100 U insulin to the embryos could remarkably improve the output of oocysts. The development of the parasite within the embryos was systematically observed, allowing guidelines to be set regarding the appropriate times at which different developmental stages of the parasite may be sampled.
PMCID: PMC3671444  PMID: 22910673
Eimeria tenella; chicken; embryo; in vitro cultivation; vaccine; Eimeria tenella; poulet; embryon; culture in vitro; vaccin
10.  Neuromuscular pharmacodynamics of mivacurium in adults with major burns 
BJA: British Journal of Anaesthesia  2011;106(5):675-679.
Mivacurium is metabolized by plasma pseudocholinesterase (PChE) enzyme, which is decreased in burns. We tested whether the decreased metabolism of mivacurium due to decreased PChE activity can overcome the pharmacodynamic resistance to non-depolarizing relaxants previously seen in major burns.
Thirty adults with 35 (13)% [mean (sd)] burn were studied at 5–91 post-burn days and 31 non-burns matched controls. Mivacurium 0.2 mg kg−1 was administered as a single bolus. Neuromuscular block was monitored with single-twitch response using TOF-Watch™. Onset time (drug administration to maximal twitch suppression) and spontaneous recovery were measured.
Onset time was significantly prolonged in burns when compared with non-burns (115 vs 90 s; P<0.001). The PChE levels were lower in burns [1432 (916) vs 2866 (731) IU litre−1; P<0.001] and the neuromuscular recovery to 50% of baseline twitch height was prolonged in burns (41 vs 26 min; P<0.001). There was a significant correlation between PChE and time to 50% recovery for the whole group together (r=−0.6; P<0.001). The dibucaine numbers were not different.
The prolonged onset time suggests resistance to neuromuscular effects, whereas the prolonged recovery suggests increased sensitivity. This divergent response can be explained by qualitative and quantitative changes in acetylcholine receptor expression causing resistance and decreased PChE activity causing sensitivity. Despite using a relatively large dose of mivacurium (0.2 mg kg−1) in the presence of decreased PChE levels, this did not overcome the resistance resulting from up-regulated receptors.
PMCID: PMC3077750  PMID: 21354998
neuromuscular relaxants, mivacurium; pharmacodynamics; trauma, burns
11.  Longitudinal Study of Body Weight Changes in Children: Who is Gaining and Who is Losing Weight 
Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)  2010;19(3):667-670.
Cross-sectional studies have reported significant temporal increases in prevalence of childhood obesity in both genders and various racial groups, but recently the rise has subsided. Childhood obesity prevention trials suggest that, on average, overweight/obese children lose body weight and non-overweight children gain weight. This investigation tested the hypothesis that overweight children lose body weight/fat and non-overweight children gain body weight/fat using a longitudinal research design that did not include an obesity prevention program. The participants were 451 children in 4th to 6th grades at baseline. Height, weight, and body fat were measured at Month 0 and Month 28. Each child’s body mass index (BMI) percentile score was calculated specific for their age, gender and height. Higher BMI percentile scores and percent body fat at baseline were associated with larger decreases in BMI and percent body fat after 28 months. The BMI percentile mean for African-American girls increased whereas BMI percentile means for white boys and girls and African-American boys were stable over the 28 month study period. Estimates of obesity and overweight prevalence were stable because incidence and remission were similar. These findings support the hypothesis that overweight children tend to lose body weight and non-overweight children tend to gain body weight.
PMCID: PMC3026913  PMID: 20885393
childhood obesity; longitudinal study; prevalence; incidence; remission
12.  Accelerometry measured ethnic differences in activity in rural adolescents 
To determine if there are differences in time spent in physical activity and sedentary behavior between African American and Caucasian children.
Children wore accelerometers for three weekdays. The students were randomly selected from a larger sample of children participating in a weight gain prevention intervention. Usable data was obtained from 272 of the 310 students who agreed to participate. The outcome data included counts per minute (CPM), time spent in moderate to vigorous (MVPA), light (LPA), and sedentary (SED) activity. The equation and cutoff used to analyze national accelerometry data were utilized for the current study.
The sample had an average age of 10.4 (1.1) years and 76% were African American. Lower SES African American boys had more CPM (p = .012) and spent more time in MVPA (p = .008) compared to middle SES African American and lower SES Caucasian children. Lower SES African American children also spent fewer minutes in SED activity (p = .044) compared to middle SES African American children.
These findings support recent results that also used objective activity measures. Children appeared less active and more sedentary than a national sample, warranting interventions in minority and rural populations.
PMCID: PMC3074436  PMID: 21415456
Activity monitors; African American; children; exercise; sedentary
13.  Myostatin blockage using actRIIB antagonism in mice bearing the Lewis lung carcinoma results in the improvement of muscle wasting and physical performance 
Cachexia is a multiorganic syndrome associated with cancer, characterized by body weight loss, muscle and adipose tissue wasting and inflammation.
The aim of this investigation was to examine the effect of the soluble receptor antagonist of myostatin (sActRIIB) in cachectic tumor-bearing animals analyzing changes in muscle proteolysis and in quality of life.
Administration of sActRIIB resulted in an improvement in body and muscle weights. Administration of the soluble receptor antagonist of myostatin also resulted in an improvement in the muscle force.
These results suggest that blocking myostatin pathway could be a promising therapeutic strategy for the treatment of cancer cachexia.
PMCID: PMC3302990  PMID: 22450815
Myostatin; Cancer cachexia; Skeletal muscle; Physical activity; Muscle force; Ubiquitin
14.  Myostatin blockage using actRIIB antagonism in mice bearing the Lewis lung carcinoma results in the improvement of muscle wasting and physical performance 
Cachexia is a multiorganic syndrome associated with cancer, characterized by body weight loss, muscle and adipose tissue wasting and inflammation.
The aim of this investigation was to examine the effect of the soluble receptor antagonist of myostatin (sActRIIB) in cachectic tumor-bearing animals analyzing changes in muscle proteolysis and in quality of life.
Administration of sActRIIB resulted in an improvement in body and muscle weights. Administration of the soluble receptor antagonist of myostatin also resulted in an improvement in the muscle force.
These results suggest that blocking myostatin pathway could be a promising therapeutic strategy for the treatment of cancer cachexia.
PMCID: PMC3302990  PMID: 22450815
Myostatin; Cancer cachexia; Skeletal muscle; Physical activity; Muscle force; Ubiquitin
15.  Change in food cravings, food preferences, and appetite during a low-carbohydrate and low-fat diet 
Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)  2011;19(10):1963-1970.
The study objective was to evaluate the effect of prescribing a low-carbohydrate diet (LCD) and a low-fat diet (LFD) on food cravings, food preferences, and appetite. Obese adults were randomly assigned to a LCD (n=134) or a LFD (n=136) for two years. Cravings for specific types of foods (sweets, high-fats, fast-food fats, carbohydrates/starches); preferences for high-sugar, high-carbohydrate, and low-carbohydrate/high-protein foods; and appetite were measured during the trial and evaluated during this secondary analysis of trial data. Differences between the LCD and LFD on change in outcome variables were examined with mixed linear models. Compared to the LFD, the LCD had significantly larger decreases in cravings for carbohydrates/starches and preferences for high-carbohydrate and high-sugar foods. The LCD group reported being less bothered by hunger compared to the LFD group. Compared to the LCD group, the LFD group had significantly larger decreases in cravings for high-fat foods and preference for low-carbohydrate/high-protein foods. Men had larger decreases in appetite ratings compared to women. Prescription of diets that promoted restriction of specific types of foods resulted in decreased cravings and preferences for the foods that were targeted for restriction. The results also indicate that the LCD group was less bothered by hunger compared to the LFD group and that men had larger reductions in appetite compared to women.
PMCID: PMC3139783  PMID: 21494226
low-carbohydrate diet; weight loss; diet; hunger; macronutrient composition
16.  Cell Imaging and Analysis Network (CIAN)—Multi-Platform Resources and Services 
The Cell Imaging and Analysis Network (CIAN) provides services and tools to researchers in the field of cell biology from within or outside Montreal's McGill University community. CIAN is composed of six scientific platforms: Cell Imaging (confocal and fluorescence microscopy; walk-up), Proteomics (2-D, DiGE and fluorescent protein analysis; walk-up), Automation and High throughput screening (Pinning robot and liquid handler; full service), Protein expression and antibody production (in collaboration with local animal facilities; full service), Genomics (real-time PCR; walk-up), and Data storage/analysis (cluster, server and workstations). Users get in-depth consultation for proposed projects, and can obtain training in any of the walk-up aspects of the facility, or take advantage of the full-service platforms. CIAN is designed to facilitate training, enhance interactions, as well as share and maintain resources and expertise.
PMCID: PMC3186647
17.  Body Image Changes Associated with Participation in an Intensive Lifestyle Weight Loss Intervention 
Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)  2010;19(6):1290-1295.
The primary aim of this study was to test for changes in body image in men and women enrolled in the Look AHEAD trial. Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) is a multi-center, randomized controlled trial designed to test whether intentional weight loss reduces cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in overweight individuals with type 2 diabetes. Participants included 157 adults at one site (Pennington Biomedical Research Center) of the Look AHEAD study. At baseline, the mean body mass index (BMI) of the female participants was 36.4, and the mean BMI for males was 33.5. Following baseline assessment, participants were randomly assigned to the Intensive Lifestyle intervention (ILI, n = 81) or Diabetes Support and Education (DSE, n = 76). The Body Morph Assessment version 2.0 (BMA 2.0) was used to assess estimates of perceived current body size, ideal body size, acceptable body size, and body image dissatisfaction at baseline and one year. Over the 1 year, participants in the ILI group had significantly greater reductions in weight (10.1% for men and 8.9% for women) than those in the DSE group (+ 0.8% for men and −0.2%, for women). Perceived current body size was reduced significantly more in both men and women in the ILI group, relative to DSE. There were also significantly greater reductions in body image dissatisfaction in the ILI group, relative to the DSE group for men and women. The results of this study indicate that body image dissatisfaction improved following participation in an intensive behavioral weight loss program.
PMCID: PMC3102126  PMID: 21151020
Body Image; Obesity; Diabetes; Weight loss; Lifestyle Intervention
18.  High performance liquid chromatographic analysis and anticancer potential of Oplopanax horridus: Comparison of stem and berry extracts 
Fitoterapia  2009;81(2):132.
Oplopanax horridus or devil’s club is a herbal medicine distributed in North America. The constituents and pharmacological activities of O. horridus (OPH) are largely unknown. In this study, we assayed OPH stem and berry extracts using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The anticancer potentials of extracts on different human cancer cell lines (SW-480, HCT-116, HT-29, MCF-7 and NSCLC) were determined by MTS method. The effect of stem extract on cancer cell cycle, expression of cyclin A, and apoptosis were assayed using flow cytometry. HPLC data showed that the composition of OPH stem extract is more complicated than the berry extract. The wavelength of maximum absorption of the major constituent in stem and berry is 196.0 nm and 201.9 nm, respectively. Compared to the berry extract, the stem extract showed significant potent antiproliferative effect on all the studied cell lines. The stem extract at 0.1 mg/ml arrested cancer cells in S- and G2/M-phases, and significantly induced expression of cyclin A. After treatment with 0.1 mg/ml of stem extract for 72 h, apoptotic cells were increased to 45.2%, while control was 9.6%. The cell cycle arrest and induction of apoptosis may play a critical role in cancer chemoprevention by Oplopanax horridus stem extract.
PMCID: PMC2814987  PMID: 19686820
Oplopanax horridus; devil’s club; HPLC analysis; cancer chemoprevention; cell cycle; apoptosis
19.  Malleability of Attitudes or Malleability of the IAT? 
In the current set of experiments, we establish, and explore the consequences of, the imprecision that characterizes the attribute response labels typically employed in the Implicit Association Test (IAT). In Experiment 1, we demonstrate the malleability of the IAT, as conventionally implemented. IAT scores are shown to be influenced by perspective mindsets induced by an unrelated preceding task. Then, we explore how the malleability of the IAT can lead to the inference that attitude change has occurred even when there is very good reason to believe it has not (Experiment 2), and conversely, how it can obscure the detection of attitude change when such change is indeed likely to have occurred (Experiment 3). We provide conceptual explanations for these discrepancies and suggest methodological improvements to enhance the specificity of IAT measures.
PMCID: PMC2853807  PMID: 20401162
Implicit association test; attitudes; attitude change; extrapersonal associations
20.  Effects of Triterpenoid Glycosides from Fresh Ginseng Berry on SW480 Human Colorectal Cancer Cell Line 
The pharmacological activities, notably the anticancer properties, of bioactive constituents fromfresh American ginseng berry have not yet been well studied. In this study, we investigated the antiproliferative effects of fresh American ginseng berry extract (AGBE) and its representative triterpenoid glycosides using the human colorectal cancer cell line SW480.
Materials and Methods
Using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), the contents of 8 ginsenosides in AGBE were determined. The cell growth inhibitory effects of AGBE and three triterpenoid glycosides (ginsenosides Rb3, Re, and Rg3) were evaluated by proliferation assay and 3H-thymidine incorporation assay. Cell cycle and apoptotic effects were analyzed by using flow cytometry after staining with propidium iodide and annexin V.
HPLC analysis data showed that AGBE has a distinct ginsenoside profile. AGBE inhibited SW480 cell growth significantly in a time-dependent (24-96 hours) and concentration-dependent (0.1-1.0 mg/mL) manner. Ginsenosides Rb3, Re, and Rg3 also possess significant antiproliferative activities on SW480 cells. 3H-thymidine incorporation assay indicated that AGBE and ginsenosides Rb3, Re, and Rg3 might inhibit the transferring and duplication of DNA in SW480 cells. Flow cytometric assay data suggested that AGBE arrested SW480 cells in S and G2/M phases, and significantly induced cell apoptosis.
AGBE and ginsenosides Rb3, Re, and Rg3 possessed significant antiproliferative effects and induced changes of morphological appearance on SW480 cells. The mechanisms of the antiproliferation of AGBE and tested ginsenosides involved could be cell cycle arrest and induction of apoptosis.
PMCID: PMC3072535  PMID: 21509163
American ginseng; Ginseng berry; Ginsenoside; SW480; Antiproliferation; Cell cycle; Apoptosis
21.  Prognostic factors for work ability in sicklisted employees with chronic diseases 
Identifying prognostic factors for work ability in sicklisted employees with myocardial infarction (MI), chronic low back pain (cLBP) and major depressive disorder (MDD) in order to establish an objective basis for work ability evaluation.
Systematic literature search in PubMed database (1 January 1990 to 1 July 2006) with the Yale prognostic research filter. Inclusion criteria were as follows: (1) work-disabled employees; (2) MI, cLBP or MDD patients; (3) longitudinal designs; and (4) return to work or compensation status as outcome measure.
Four studies on MI met the inclusion criteria and described the following prognostic factors for work ability in the acute phase of the disease and disablement: lower age; male gender; no financial basis on which to retire; lower physical job demands; fewer somatic complaints; no anxiety attacks; no diabetes; no heart failure; no atrial fibrillation; no Q waves; and a short time interval between MI and presentation at the occupational medicine clinic. Two studies on cLBP met the inclusion criteria and described the following prognostic factors for work ability after 3 months' work disablement: lower age; male gender; no treatment before sick listing; surgery in the first year of sick listing; being a breadwinner; less pain; better general health; higher job satisfaction; lower physical and/or psychological demands at work; and a higher decision latitude at work. No relevant MDD studies were found.
In the earlier phases of work disablement in MI and cLBP patients, only a few studies describe disease-specific, environmental and personal prognostic factors for return to work. No studies describe prognostic factors for MDD. More evidence is needed on the topic of prognostic factors for return to work in employees with chronic diseases.
PMCID: PMC2095362  PMID: 17522133
myocardial infarction; chronic low back pain; major depressive disorder; work ability evaluation; prognostic factors
22.  The intravertebral cleft in benign vertebral compression fracture: the diagnostic performance of non-enhanced MRI and fat-suppressed contrast-enhanced MRI 
The British Journal of Radiology  2009;82(984):976-981.
We compared the diagnostic performance of non-enhanced MRI and fat-suppressed contrast-enhanced MRI (CEMRI) in diagnosing intravertebral clefts in benign vertebral compression fractures (VCFs). We retrospectively reviewed 99 consecutive patients who had undergone percutaneous vertebroplasty for VCFs. A cleft was defined as a signal void or hyperintense area on non-enhanced MRI (T1 and T2 weighted imaging) or as a hypointense area within a diffusely enhanced vertebra on CEMRI. A cleft was confirmed as a solid opacification on post-procedural radiographs. The interobserver reliability and MRI diagnostic performance were evaluated. The interobserver reliability of non-enhanced MRI was substantial (k _ 0.698) and the interobserver reliability of CEMRI was almost perfect (k _ 0.836). Post-procedural radiographs showed solid cleft opacification in 32 out of the 99 cases. The sensitivity and specificity of non-enhanced MRI were 0.72 and 0.82 (observer 1) and 0.63 and 0.87 (observer 2), respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of CEMRI were 0.94 and 0.63 (observer 1) and 0.85 and 0.60 (observer 2), respectively. The sensitivity of CEMRI was significantly higher than that of non-enhanced MRI, and the specificity of non-enhanced MRI was higher than that of CEMRI. CEMRI was highly reliable and sensitive, and non-enhanced MRI was specific for intravertebral clefts. Therefore, spine MRIs, including CEMRI, could provide useful information about intravertebral clefts before percutaneous vertebroplasty.
PMCID: PMC3473379  PMID: 19581311
23.  The CD14+/lowCD16+ monocyte subset is more susceptible to spontaneous and oxidant-induced apoptosis than the CD14+CD16− subset 
Cell Death & Disease  2010;1(11):e95-.
Human monocytes can be classified into two subsets with distinctive characteristics. In this study, we report a difference in apoptotic potential between these two subsets with CD14+/lowCD16+ monocytes being more susceptible than CD14+CD16− monocytes to undergo spontaneous apoptosis and apoptosis induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS). By global transcriptomic and proteomic approaches, we observed that CD14+/lowCD16+ monocytes expressed higher levels of pro-apoptotic genes and proteins such as TNFα, caspase 3, Bax and cytochrome c and showed more caspases 3 and 7 activities. They also exhibited greater aerobic respiration resulting in a higher production of ROS from the mitochondria. CD14+CD16− monocytes, in contrast, showed higher expression of glutathione (GSH)-metabolizing genes such as GSH peroxidase and microsomal GSH S-transferase and were more resistant to oxidative stress than CD14+/lowCD16+ monocytes. The apoptosis of CD14+/lowCD16+ monocytes was ROS dependent as reducing ROS levels significantly reduced cell death. This is the first report of a differential apoptotic propensity of human monocyte subsets, and gaining a better understanding of this process may help to provide a better understanding of the roles of these subsets during homeostasis and under pathological conditions, particularly in situations in which high levels of oxidants are present.
PMCID: PMC3032320  PMID: 21368871
proteomics; transcriptomics; apoptosis; monocyte subsets; reactive oxygen species; anti-oxidation
24.  Prognostic significance of thymidylate synthase, dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase and thymidine phosphorylase protein expression in colorectal cancer patients treated with or without 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy 
Low tumour expression levels of thymidylate synthase (TS), dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) and thymidine phosphorylase (TP) have been linked with improved outcome for colorectal cancer (CRC) patients treated with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). It is unclear whether this occurs because such tumours have better prognosis or they are more sensitive to 5-FU treatment.
Patients and methods
Associations between TS, DPD and TP levels, determined by tissue microarrays and immunohistochemistry, and survival was evaluated in 945 CRC patients according to treatment status.
Low TS and DPD expression associated with worse prognosis in stage II [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.69, 95% confidence interval (CI) (1.09–2.63) and HR = 1.92 (95% CI 1.23–2.94), respectively] and stage III CRC patients treated by surgery alone [HR = 1.39 (95% CI 0.92–2.13) and HR = 1.49 (95% CI 1.02–2.17), respectively]. Low TS, DPD and TP associated with trends for better outcome in stage III patients treated with 5-FU [HR = 0.81 (95% CI 0.49–1.33), HR = 0.70 (95% CI 0.42–1.15) and HR = 0.66 (95% CI 0.39–1.12), respectively].
Low TS and DPD expression are prognostic for worse outcome in CRC patients treated by surgery alone, whereas low TS, DPD and TP expression are prognostic for better outcome in patients treated with 5-FU chemotherapy. These results provide indirect evidence that low TS, DPD and TP protein expression are predictive of good response to 5-FU chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC2931808  PMID: 18245778
colorectal cancer; fluorouracil; predictive; prognostic; thymidylate synthase
25.  CIAN - Cell Imaging and Analysis Network at the Biology Department of McGill University 
The Cell Imaging and Analysis Network (CIAN) provides services and tools to researchers in the field of cell biology from within or outside Montreal's McGill University community. CIAN is composed of six scientific platforms: Cell Imaging (confocal and fluorescence microscopy), Proteomics (2-D protein gel electrophoresis and DiGE, fluorescent protein analysis), Automation and High throughput screening (Pinning robot and liquid handler), Protein Expression for Antibody Production, Genomics (real-time PCR), and Data storage and analysis (cluster, server, and workstations). Users submit project proposals, and can obtain training and consultation in any aspect of the facility, or initiate projects with the full-service platforms. CIAN is designed to facilitate training, enhance interactions, as well as share and maintain resources and expertise.
PMCID: PMC2918154

Results 1-25 (73)