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1.  Genetic variants in DNA repair pathway genes and risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and gastric adenocarcinoma in a Chinese population 
Carcinogenesis  2013;34(7):1536-1542.
The DNA repair pathways help to maintain genomic integrity and therefore genetic variation in the pathways could affect the propensity to develop cancer. Selected germline single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the pathways have been associated with esophageal cancer and gastric cancer (GC) but few studies have comprehensively examined the pathway genes. We aimed to investigate associations between DNA repair pathway genes and risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and GC, using data from a genome-wide association study in a Han Chinese population where ESCC and GC are the predominant cancers. In sum, 1942 ESCC cases, 1758 GC cases and 2111 controls from the Shanxi Upper Gastrointestinal Cancer Genetics Project (discovery set) and the Linxian Nutrition Intervention Trials (replication set) were genotyped for 1675 SNPs in 170 DNA repair-related genes. Logistic regression models were applied to evaluate SNP-level associations. Gene- and pathway-level associations were determined using the resampling-based adaptive rank-truncated product approach. The DNA repair pathways overall were significantly associated with risk of ESCC (P = 6.37 × 10− 4), but not with GC (P = 0.20). The most significant gene in ESCC was CHEK2 (P = 2.00 × 10− 6) and in GC was CLK2 (P = 3.02 × 10− 4). We observed several other genes significantly associated with either ESCC (SMUG1, TDG, TP53, GTF2H3, FEN1, POLQ, HEL308, RAD54B, MPG, FANCE and BRCA1) or GC risk (MRE11A, RAD54L and POLE) (P < 0.05). We provide evidence for an association between specific genes in the DNA repair pathways and the risk of ESCC and GC. Further studies are warranted to validate these associations and to investigate underlying mechanisms.
doi:10.1093/carcin/bgt094
PMCID: PMC3697889  PMID: 23504502
2.  Emotional bias of cognitive control in adults with childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder 
NeuroImage : Clinical  2014;5:1-9.
Affect recognition deficits found in individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) across the lifespan may bias the development of cognitive control processes implicated in the pathophysiology of the disorder. This study aimed to determine the mechanism through which facial expressions influence cognitive control in young adults diagnosed with ADHD in childhood. Fourteen probands with childhood ADHD and 14 comparison subjects with no history of ADHD were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing a face emotion go/no-go task. Event-related analyses contrasted activation and functional connectivity for cognitive control collapsed over face valence and tested for variations in activation for response execution and inhibition as a function of face valence. Probands with childhood ADHD made fewer correct responses and inhibitions overall than comparison subjects, but demonstrated comparable effects of face emotion on response execution and inhibition. The two groups showed similar frontotemporal activation for cognitive control collapsed across face valence, but differed in the functional connectivity of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, with fewer interactions with the subgenual cingulate cortex, inferior frontal gyrus, and putamen in probands than in comparison subjects. Further, valence-dependent activation for response execution was seen in the amygdala, ventral striatum, subgenual cingulate cortex, and orbitofrontal cortex in comparison subjects but not in probands. The findings point to functional anomalies in limbic networks for both the valence-dependent biasing of cognitive control and the valence-independent cognitive control of face emotion processing in probands with childhood ADHD. This limbic dysfunction could impact cognitive control in emotional contexts and may contribute to the social and emotional problems associated with ADHD.
Highlights
•We tested adult probands diagnosed with ADHD in childhood and comparison subjects.•Emotional bias of cognitive control was modeled with a face emotion go/no-go task.•Probands made fewer correct responses and correct inhibitions on the go/no-go task.•Probands showed reduced prefrontal connectivity with limbic and paralimbic regions.•Probands showed no valence-dependent limbic activation for cognitive control.
doi:10.1016/j.nicl.2014.05.016
PMCID: PMC4050315  PMID: 24918067
ADHD; fMRI; Emotional bias; Prefrontal cortex; Go; No-go task; Adults
3.  Neural Basis of Emotional Decision Making in Trait Anxiety 
The Journal of Neuroscience  2013;33(47):18641-18653.
Although trait anxiety has been associated with risk decision making, whether it is related to risk per se or to the feeling of the risk, as well as the underlying neurocognitive mechanisms, remains unclear. Using a decision-making task with a manipulation of frame (i.e., written description of options as a potential gain or loss) and functional magnetic resonance imaging, we investigated the neurocognitive relationship between trait anxiety and decision making. The classic framing effect was observed: participants chose the safe option when it was described as a potential gain, but they avoided the same option when it was described as a potential loss. Most importantly, trait anxiety was positively correlated with this behavioral bias. Trait anxiety was also positively correlated with amygdala-based “emotional” system activation and its coupling with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) when decisions were consistent with the framing effect, but negatively correlated with the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC)-based “analytic” system activation and its connectivity to the vmPFC when decisions ran counter to the framing effect. Our findings suggest that trait anxiety is not associated with subjective risk preference but an evaluative bias of emotional information in decision making, underpinned by a hyperactive emotional system and a hypoactive analytic system in the brain.
doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1253-13.2013
PMCID: PMC3834062  PMID: 24259585
4.  Genetic variants in sex hormone metabolic pathway genes and risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma 
Carcinogenesis  2013;34(5):1062-1068.
In China, esophageal cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death where essentially all cases are histologically esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), in contrast to esophageal adenocarcinoma in the West. Globally, ESCC is 2.4 times more common among men than women and recently it has been suggested that sex hormones may be associated with the risk of ESCC. We examined the association between genetic variants in sex hormone metabolic genes and ESCC risk in a population from north central China with high-incidence rates. A total of 1026 ESCC cases and 1452 controls were genotyped for 797 unique tag single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 51 sex hormone metabolic genes. SNP-, gene- and pathway-based associations with ESCC risk were evaluated using unconditional logistic regression adjusted for age, sex and geographical location and the adaptive rank truncated product (ARTP) method. Statistical significance was determined through use of permutation for pathway- and gene-based associations. No associations were observed for the overall sex hormone metabolic pathway (P = 0.14) or subpathways (androgen synthesis: P = 0.30, estrogen synthesis: P = 0.15 and estrogen removal: P = 0.19) with risk of ESCC. However, six individual genes (including SULT2B1, CYP1B1, CYP3A7, CYP3A5, SHBG and CYP11A1) were significantly associated with ESCC risk (P < 0.05). Our examination of genetic variation in the sex hormone metabolic pathway is consistent with a potential association with risk of ESCC. These positive findings warrant further evaluation in relation to ESCC risk and replication in other populations.
doi:10.1093/carcin/bgt030
PMCID: PMC3643422  PMID: 23358850
5.  Altered Regional and Circuit Resting-State Activity Associated with Unilateral Hearing Loss 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e96126.
The deprivation of sensory input after hearing damage results in functional reorganization of the brain including cross-modal plasticity in the sensory cortex and changes in cognitive processing. However, it remains unclear whether partial deprivation from unilateral auditory loss (UHL) would similarly affect the neural circuitry of cognitive processes in addition to the functional organization of sensory cortex. Here, we used resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate intrinsic activity in 34 participants with UHL from acoustic neuroma in comparison with 22 matched normal controls. In sensory regions, we found decreased regional homogeneity (ReHo) in the bilateral calcarine cortices in UHL. However, there was an increase of ReHo in the right anterior insular cortex (rAI), the key node of cognitive control network (CCN) and multimodal sensory integration, as well as in the left parahippocampal cortex (lPHC), a key node in the default mode network (DMN). Moreover, seed-based resting–state functional connectivity analysis showed an enhanced relationship between rAI and several key regions of the DMN. Meanwhile, lPHC showed more negative relationship with components in the CCN and greater positive relationship in the DMN. Such reorganizations of functional connectivity within the DMN and between the DMN and CCN were confirmed by a graph theory analysis. These results suggest that unilateral sensory input damage not only alters the activity of the sensory areas but also reshapes the regional and circuit functional organization of the cognitive control network.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096126
PMCID: PMC4006821  PMID: 24788317
6.  Estrogen improves the proliferation and differentiation of hBMSCs derived from postmenopausal osteoporosis through notch signaling pathway 
Estrogen deficiency is the main reason of bone loss, leading to postmenopausal osteoporosis, and estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) has been demonstrated to protect bone loss efficiently. Notch signaling controls proliferation and differentiation of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs). Moreover, imperfect estrogen-responsive elements (EREs) were found in the 5′-untranslated region of Notch1 and Jagged1. Thus, we examined the molecular and biological links between estrogen and the Notch signaling in postmenopausal osteoporosis in vitro. hBMSCs were obtained from healthy women and patients with postmenopausal osteoporosis. Notch signaling molecules were quantified using real-time polymerase chain reaction (real-time PCR) and Western Blot. Luciferase reporter constructs with putative EREs were transfected into hBMSCs and analyzed. hBMSCs were transduced with lentiviral vectors containing human Notch1 intracellular domain (NICD1). We also used N-[N-(3, 5-diflurophenylacetate)-l-alanyl]-(S)-phenylglycine t-butyl ester, a γ-secretase inhibitor, to suppress the Notch signaling. We found that estrogen enhanced the Notch signaling in hBMSCs by promoting the expression of Jagged1. hBMSCs cultured with estrogen resulted in the up-regulation of Notch signaling and increased proliferation and differentiation. Enhanced Notch signaling could enhance the proliferation and differentiation of hBMSCs from patients with postmenopausal osteoporosis (OP-hBMSCs). Our results demonstrated that estrogen preserved bone mass partly by activating the Notch signaling. Because long-term ERT has been associated with several side effects, the Notch signaling could be a potential target for treating postmenopausal osteoporosis.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11010-014-2021-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s11010-014-2021-7
PMCID: PMC4053611  PMID: 24390089
Estrogen; Postmenopausal osteoporosis; HBMSCs; Notch signaling pathway; Cell proliferation; Cell differentiation
7.  Guanfacine Modulates the Influence of Emotional Cues on Prefrontal Cortex Activation for Cognitive Control 
Psychopharmacology  2012;226(2):261-271.
Rationale
Functional interactions between limbic regions that process emotions and frontal networks that guide response functions provide a substrate for emotional cues to influence behavior. Stimulation of postsynaptic α2 adrenoceptors enhances the function of prefrontal regions in these networks. However, the impact of this stimulation on the emotional biasing of behavior has not been established.
Objectives
This study tested the effect of the postsynaptic α2 adrenoceptor agonist guanfacine on the emotional biasing of response execution and inhibition in prefrontal cortex.
Methods
Fifteen healthy young adults were scanned twice with functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing a face emotion go/no-go task following counterbalanced administration of single doses of oral guanfacine (1 mg) and placebo in a double-blind, crossover design.
Results
Lower perceptual sensitivity and less response bias for sad faces resulted in fewer correct responses compared to happy and neutral faces, but had no effect on correct inhibitions. Guanfacine increased the sensitivity and bias selectively for sad faces, resulting in response accuracy comparable to happy and neutral faces, and reversed the valence-dependent variation in response-related activation in left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), resulting in enhanced activation for response execution cued by sad faces relative to happy and neutral faces, in line with other frontoparietal regions.
Conclusions
These results provide evidence that guanfacine stimulation of postsynaptic α2 adrenoceptors moderates DLPFC activation associated with the emotional biasing of response execution processes. The findings have implications for the α2 adrenoceptor agonist treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
doi:10.1007/s00213-012-2893-8
PMCID: PMC3567242  PMID: 23086020
Guanfacine; Response execution; Response inhibition; Emotion; fMRI; Go/No-go task; Prefrontal cortex
8.  Body Mass Index and Breast Cancer Defined by Biological Receptor Status in Pre-Menopausal and Post-Menopausal Women: A Multicenter Study in China 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e87224.
Background
Few studies have investigated the association between body mass index (BMI) and breast cancer with consideration to estrogen/progesterone/human epidermal growth factor type 2 receptor status (ER/PR/HER2) in the breast tissue among Chinese pre- and post-menopausal women.
Methods
Four thousand two hundred and eleven breast cancer patients were selected randomly from seven geographic regions of China from 1999 to 2008. Demographic data, risk factors, pathologic features, and biological receptor status of cases were collected from the medical charts. Chi-square test, fisher exact test, rank-correlation analysis, and multivariate logistic regression model were adopted to explore whether BMI differed according to biological receptor status in pre- and post-menopausal women.
Results
Three thousand two hundred and eighty one eligible cases with BMI data were included. No statistically significant differences in demographic characteristics were found between the cases with BMI data and those without. In the rank-correlation analysis, the rates of PR+ and HER2+ were positively correlated with increasing BMI among post-menopausal women (rs BMI, PR+ = 0.867, P = 0.001; rs BMI, HER2+ = 0.636, P = 0.048), but the ER+ rates did not vary by increasing BMI. Controlling for confounding factors, multivariate logistic regression models with BMI<24 kg/m2 as the reference group were performed and found that BMI≥24 kg/m2 was only positively correlated with PR+ status among post-menopausal breast cancer cases (adjusted OR = 1.420, 95% CI: 1.116–1.808, Wald = 8.116, P = 0.004).
Conclusions
Post-menopausal women with high BMI (≥24 kg/m2) have a higher proportion of PR+ breast cancer. In addition to effects mediated via the estrogen metabolism pathway, high BMI might increase the risk of breast cancer by other routes, which should be examined further in future etiological mechanism studies.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0087224
PMCID: PMC3906138  PMID: 24489874
9.  RNA Interference Depletion of the Halloween Gene Disembodied Implies its Potential Application for Management of Planthopper Sogatella furcifera and Laodelphax striatellus 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e86675.
Sogatella furcifera and Laodelphax striatellus are economically important rice pests in China by acting as vectors of several rice viruses, sucking the phloem sap and blocking the phloem vessels. Ecdysteroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone regulates insect development and reproduction. A cytochrome P450 monooxygenase CYP302A1 (22-hydroxylase), encoded by the Halloween gene disembodied (dib), plays a critical role in ecdysteroidogenesis. The objective of this study is to test whether dib genes are potential targets for RNA interference-based management of S. furcifera and L. striatellus. We cloned and characterized Sfdib and Lsdib. The open reading frame regions of dib genes were generated and used for designing and constructing dsRNA fragments. Experiments were conducted using oral delivery of dsdib to investigate the effectiveness of RNAi in S. furcifera and L. striatellus nymphs. Real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR analysis demonstrated that continuous ingestion of dsdib at the concentration of 0.01, 0.05 and 0.50 mg/ml diminished Sfdib expression levels by 35.9%, 45.1% and 66.2%, and ecdysone receptor (SfEcR) gene mRNA levels by 34.0%, 36.2% and 58.5% respectively in S. furcifera, and decreased Lsdib expression level by 18.8%, 35.8% and 56.7%, and LsEcR mRNA levels by 25.2%, 46.8% and 68.8% respectively in L. striatellus. The reduction in dib and EcR transcript abundance resulted in observable phenotypes. The development of nymphs was impaired and the survival was negatively affected. Our data will enable the development of new insect control strategies and functional analysis of vital genes in S. furcifera and L. striatellus nymphs.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086675
PMCID: PMC3904942  PMID: 24489765
10.  Metabolic mapping of deep brain structures and associations with symptomatology in autism spectrum disorders 
Structural neuroimaging studies in autism report atypical volume in deep brain structures which are related to symptomatology. Little is known about metabolic changes in these regions, and how they vary with age and sex, and/or relate to clinical behaviors. Using magnetic resonance spectroscopy we measured N-acetylaspartate, choline, creatine, myoinositol and glutamate in the caudate, putamen, and thalamus of 20 children with autism and 16 typically developing controls (7–18 years). Relative to controls, individuals with autism had elevated glutamate/creatine in the putamen. In addition, both groups showed age-related increases in glutamate in this region. Boys, relative to girls had increased choline/creatine in the thalamus. Lastly, there were correlations between glutamate, choline, and myoinositol in all three regions, and behavioral scores in the ASD group. These findings suggest changes in deep gray matter neurochemistry, which are sensitive to diagnosis, age and sex, and are associated with behavioral differences.
doi:10.1016/j.rasd.2013.10.003
PMCID: PMC3897261  PMID: 24459534
Magnetic resonance spectroscopy; Autism spectrum disorders; Deep gray matter; Caudate nucleus; Putamen; Thalamus and social cognition
11.  Risk Factors for Breast Cancer Among Chinese Women: A 10-Year Nationwide Multicenter Cross-Sectional Study 
Journal of Epidemiology  2014;24(1):67-76.
Background
The characteristics of established risk factors for breast cancer may vary among countries. A better understanding of local characteristics of risk factors may help in devising effective prevention strategies for breast cancer.
Methods
Information on exposures to risk factors was collected from the medical charts of 4211 women with breast cancer diagnosed during 1999–2008. The distributions of these exposures among regions, and by menopausal status and birth period, were compared with the χ2 test. Crude associations between the selected factors and breast cancer were estimated using the cases in the present study and a representative control population, which was selected from qualified published studies.
Results
As compared with cases from less developed regions, those from more developed regions were significantly more likely to be nulliparous, had fewer childbirths (P < 0.05), and were less likely to have breastfed (P = 0.08). As compared with premenopausal cases, postmenopausal cases were more likely to be overweight and to have breastfed and had more childbirths (P < 0.05). The number of live births and rate of breastfeeding decreased in relation to birth period (P for trends <0.001). Overweight, late menopause, and family history of breast cancer were significantly associated with breast cancer among Chinese women.
Conclusions
Breast cancer incidence was associated with nulliparity and history of breastfeeding. Population attributable risks should be assessed, especially for more developed areas and young women. The effects of body mass index, age at menopause, and family history of breast cancer should be given priority during assessment of breast cancer risk among Chinese women.
doi:10.2188/jea.JE20120217
PMCID: PMC3872527  PMID: 24270059
breast cancer; risk factors; nationwide; multicenter
12.  Cognition–Emotion Integration in the Anterior Insular Cortex 
Cerebral Cortex (New York, NY)  2012;23(1):20-27.
Both cognitive and affective processes require mental resources. However, it remains unclear whether these 2 processes work in parallel or in an integrated fashion. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we investigated their interaction using an empathy-for-pain paradigm, with simultaneous manipulation of cognitive demand of the tasks and emotional valence of the stimuli. Eighteen healthy adult participants viewed photographs showing other people's hands and feet in painful or nonpainful situations while performing tasks of low (body part judgment) and high (laterality judgment) cognitive demand. Behavioral data showed increased reaction times and error rates for painful compared with nonpainful stimuli under laterality judgment relative to body part judgment, indicating an interaction between cognitive demand and stimulus valence. Imaging analyses showed activity in bilateral anterior insula (AI) and primary somatosensory cortex (SI), but not posterior insula, for main effects of cognitive demand and stimulus valence. Importantly, cognitive demand and stimulus valence showed a significant interaction in AI, SI, and regions of the frontoparietal network. These results suggest that cognitive and emotional processes at least partially share common brain networks and that AI might serve as a key node in a brain network subserving cognition–emotion integration.
doi:10.1093/cercor/bhr367
PMCID: PMC3513949  PMID: 22275476
cognition; emotion; empathy; fMRI; insula
13.  Predicting Early Intrahepatic Recurrence of Hepatocellular Carcinoma after Microwave Ablation Using SELDI-TOF Proteomic Signature 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82448.
Background/Aims
Despite great progress in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) over the last-decade, intrahepatic recurrence is still the most frequent serious adverse event after all the treatments including microwave ablation. This study aimed to predict early recurrence of HCC after microwave ablation using serum proteomic signature.
Methods
After curative microwave ablation of HCC, 86 patients were followed-up for 1 year. Serum samples were collected before microwave ablation. The mass spectra of proteins were generated using surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (SELDI-TOF MS). Serum samples from 50 patients were randomly selected as a training set and for biomarkers discovery and model development. The remaining serum samples were categorized for validation of the algorithm.
Results
According to preablation serum protein profiling obtained from the 50 HCC samples in the training set, nine significant differentially-expressed proteins were detected in the serum samples between recurrent and non-recurrent patients. Decision classification tree combined with three candidate proteins with m/z values of 7787, 6858 and 6646 was produced using Biomarker Patterns Software with sensitivity of 85.7% and specificity of 88.9% in the training set. When the SELDI marker pattern was tested with the blinded testing set, it yielded a sensitivity of 80.0%, a specificity of 88.5% and a positive predictive value of 86.1%.
Conclusions
Differentially-expressed protein peaks in preablation serum screened by SELDI are associated with prognosis of HCC. The decision classification tree is a potential tool in predicting early intrahepatic recurrence in HCC patients after microwave ablation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082448
PMCID: PMC3862627  PMID: 24349287
14.  Serum N-Terminal Pro-B-Type Natriuretic Peptide Levels Are Associated With Functional Capacity in Patients With Peripheral Arterial Disease 
Angiology  2011;63(6):10.1177/0003319711423095.
We hypothesized that higher serum levels of N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-pro-BNP) are associated with lower functional capacity in patients with peripheral arterial disease ([PAD] n = 481, mean age 67, 68% men). Functional capacity was quantified as distance walked on a treadmill for 5 minutes. Patients were divided into 3 groups according to the distance walked: >144 yards (group I, n = 254); 60 to 144 yards (group 2, n = 80); <60 yards or did not walk (group 3, n = 147). The association between NT-pro-BNP levels and the ordinal 3-level walking distance was assessed using multivariable ordinal logistic regression analyses that adjusted for several possible confounding variables. Higher levels of NT-pro-BNP were associated with a lower ordinal walking category independent of possible confounders (odds ratio [OR] 1.51, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.28-1.77; P < .001). In conclusion, higher levels of NT-pro-BNP are independently associated with lower functional capacity in patients with PAD and may be a marker of hemodynamic stress in these patients.
doi:10.1177/0003319711423095
PMCID: PMC3855435  PMID: 22096207
N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide; natriuretic peptides; functional capacity; peripheral arterial disease
15.  Prospective Study of Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentration and Mortality in a Chinese Population 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2012;176(11):1043-1050.
Prospective epidemiologic data on the association between vitamin D and mortality are limited, particularly in Asian populations. Among subjects in Linxian, China, the authors aimed to test whether baseline serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations in a prospective cohort were associated with all-cause mortality and cause-specific mortality rates over 24 years of follow-up (1986–2010). Serum 25(OH)D concentrations were measured in 1,101 subjects using an immunoassay. Hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated using Cox regression models that were adjusted for age, sex, tobacco smoking, alcohol drinking, and hypertension. The 25th, 50th, and 75th percentile concentrations of 25(OH)D were 19.6, 31.9, and 48.4 nmol/L, respectively. During follow-up, 793 subjects died, including 279 who died of cerebrovascular accident, 217 who died of cancer, and 200 cardiovascular disease deaths. All-cause mortality was not associated with 25(OH)D concentrations using continuous models (for every 15 nmol/L, hazard ratio = 1.01, 95% confidence interval: 0.97, 1.05) or quartile models (fourth vs. first quartiles, hazard ratio = 1.06, 95% confidence interval: 0.87, 1.30; P for trend = 0.731). The authors also found no association with the cause-specific mortality outcomes. Results were similar for men and women. This study showed that prediagnostic serum 25(OH)D concentrations were not associated with all-cause or cause-specific mortality rates in this Chinese population who had low levels of vitamin D.
doi:10.1093/aje/kws285
PMCID: PMC3571239  PMID: 23139250
cancer; cardiovascular diseases; China; mortality; vitamin D
16.  Billing code algorithms to identify cases of peripheral artery disease from administrative data 
Objective
To construct and validate billing code algorithms for identifying patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD).
Methods
We extracted all encounters and line item details including PAD-related billing codes at Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minnesota, between July 1, 1997 and June 30, 2008; 22 712 patients evaluated in the vascular laboratory were divided into training and validation sets. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to create an integer code score from the training dataset, and this was tested in the validation set. We applied a model-based code algorithm to patients evaluated in the vascular laboratory and compared this with a simpler algorithm (presence of at least one of the ICD-9 PAD codes 440.20–440.29). We also applied both algorithms to a community-based sample (n=4420), followed by a manual review.
Results
The logistic regression model performed well in both training and validation datasets (c statistic=0.91). In patients evaluated in the vascular laboratory, the model-based code algorithm provided better negative predictive value. The simpler algorithm was reasonably accurate for identification of PAD status, with lesser sensitivity and greater specificity. In the community-based sample, the sensitivity (38.7% vs 68.0%) of the simpler algorithm was much lower, whereas the specificity (92.0% vs 87.6%) was higher than the model-based algorithm.
Conclusions
A model-based billing code algorithm had reasonable accuracy in identifying PAD cases from the community, and in patients referred to the non-invasive vascular laboratory. The simpler algorithm had reasonable accuracy for identification of PAD in patients referred to the vascular laboratory but was significantly less sensitive in a community-based sample.
doi:10.1136/amiajnl-2013-001827
PMCID: PMC3861931  PMID: 24166724
peripheral artery disease; billing codes; electronic medical record; informatics
17.  Genome-wide association studies of gastric adenocarcinoma and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma identify a shared susceptibility locus in PLCE1 at 10q23 
Nature genetics  2012;44(10):1090-1097.
We conducted a genome-wide association study of gastric cancer (GC) and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) in ethnic Chinese subjects in which we genotyped 551,152 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We report a combined analysis of 2,240 GC cases, 2,115 ESCC cases, and 3,302 controls drawn from five studies. In logistic regression models adjusted for age, sex, and study, multiple variants at 10q23 had genome-wide significance for GC and ESCC independently. A notable signal was rs2274223, a nonsynonymous SNP located in PLCE1, for GC (P=8.40×1010; per allele odds ratio (OR) = 1.31) and ESCC (P=3.85×10−9; OR = 1.34). The association with GC differed by anatomic subsite. For tumors located in the cardia the association was stronger (P=4.19 × 10−15; OR= 1.57) and for those located in the noncardia stomach it was absent (P=0.44; OR=1.05). Our findings at 10q23 could provide insight into the high incidence rates of both cancers in China.
doi:10.1038/ng.2411
PMCID: PMC3513832  PMID: 22960999
18.  Anterior insular cortex is necessary for empathetic pain perception 
Brain  2012;135(9):2726-2735.
Empathy refers to the ability to perceive and share another person’s affective state. Much neuroimaging evidence suggests that observing others’ suffering and pain elicits activations of the anterior insular and the anterior cingulate cortices associated with subjective empathetic responses in the observer. However, these observations do not provide causal evidence for the respective roles of anterior insular and anterior cingulate cortices in empathetic pain. Therefore, whether these regions are ‘necessary’ for empathetic pain remains unknown. Herein, we examined the perception of others’ pain in patients with anterior insular cortex or anterior cingulate cortex lesions whose locations matched with the anterior insular cortex or anterior cingulate cortex clusters identified by a meta-analysis on neuroimaging studies of empathetic pain perception. Patients with focal anterior insular cortex lesions displayed decreased discrimination accuracy and prolonged reaction time when processing others’ pain explicitly and lacked a typical interference effect of empathetic pain on the performance of a pain-irrelevant task. In contrast, these deficits were not observed in patients with anterior cingulate cortex lesions. These findings reveal that only discrete anterior insular cortex lesions, but not anterior cingulate cortex lesions, result in deficits in explicit and implicit pain perception, supporting a critical role of anterior insular cortex in empathetic pain processing. Our findings have implications for a wide range of neuropsychiatric illnesses characterized by prominent deficits in higher-level social functioning.
doi:10.1093/brain/aws199
PMCID: PMC3437027  PMID: 22961548
anterior cingulate cortex; anterior insular cortex; empathy; meta-analysis; necessity
19.  Genetic Variants in Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Pathway Genes and Risk of Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Gastric Cancer in a Chinese Population 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e68999.
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling pathway regulates cell proliferation, differentiation, and survival, and is frequently dysregulated in esophageal and gastric cancers. Few studies have comprehensively examined the association between germline genetic variants in the EGFR pathway and risk of esophageal and gastric cancers. Based on a genome-wide association study in a Han Chinese population, we examined 3443 SNPs in 127 genes in the EGFR pathway for 1942 esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCCs), 1758 gastric cancers (GCs), and 2111 controls. SNP-level analyses were conducted using logistic regression models. We applied the resampling-based adaptive rank truncated product approach to determine the gene- and pathway-level associations. The EGFR pathway was significantly associated with GC risk (P = 2.16×10−3). Gene-level analyses found 10 genes to be associated with GC, including FYN, MAPK8, MAP2K4, GNAI3, MAP2K1, TLN1, PRLR, PLCG2, RPS6KB2, and PIK3R3 (P<0.05). For ESCC, we did not observe a significant pathway-level association (P = 0.72), but gene-level analyses suggested associations between GNAI3, CHRNE, PAK4, WASL, and ITCH, and ESCC (P<0.05). Our data suggest an association between specific genes in the EGFR signaling pathway and risk of GC and ESCC. Further studies are warranted to validate these associations and to investigate underlying mechanisms.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0068999
PMCID: PMC3715462  PMID: 23874846
20.  Effects of painful stimulation and acupuncture on attention networks in healthy subjects 
Pain is a subjective sensory and emotional experience, and it has been reported that many different brain regions are regulated by pain, and that pain can impact attention. Acupuncture is an important treatment component of Chinese traditional medicine, and has been used for thousands of years to treat a wide variety of conditions. Although several studies have shown that acupuncture improves consciousness, the precise impact of both acupuncture and painful stimulation on attention is unclear. Are all of the attention networks modulated, or do these stimuli act on a specific network? Is the effect of painful stimulation similar to that of acupuncture? We administered the attention network test to 30 participants (15 males) to investigate the relative efficiencies of three independent attention networks (alerting, orienting, and executive control networks) under three conditions: baseline, after painful stimulation, and after acupuncture. The degree of pain experienced was assessed on a horizontally oriented visual analogue scale. The results showed that painful stimulation and acupuncture had similar effects on the orienting and executive control networks; however, there was a significantly different effect between the three conditions on the alerting network. In conclusion, (1) painful stimulation can selectively impact attention; (2) acupuncture can also selectively impact attention; i.e., both have selective influences on the alerting and executive control networks, but not on the orienting network; (3) the effects of acupuncture and painful stimulation are not identical. The mechanisms by which painful stimulation and acupuncture influence attention warrant further research.
doi:10.1186/1744-9081-9-23
PMCID: PMC3680197  PMID: 23758880
Painful stimulation; Acupuncture; Attention networks; Alerting network; Orienting network; Executive control network
21.  Effects of age and symptomatology on cortical thickness in autism spectrum disorders 
Several brain regions show structural and functional abnormalities in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), but the developmental trajectory of abnormalities in these structures and how they may relate to social and communicative impairments are still unclear. We assessed the effects of age on cortical thickness in individuals with ASD, between the ages of 7 and 39 years in comparison to typically developing controls. Additionally, we examined differences in cortical thickness in relation to symptomatology in the ASD group, and their association with age. Analyses were conducted using a general linear model, controlling for sex. Social and communication scores from the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) were correlated with the thickness of regions implicated in those functions. Controls showed widespread cortical thinning relative to the ASD group. Within regions-of-interest, increased thickness in the rostral anterior cingulate cortex was associated with poorer social scores. Additionally, a significant interaction between age and social impairment was found in the orbitofrontal cortex, with more impaired younger children having decreased thickness in this region. These results suggest that differential neurodevelopmental trajectories are present in individuals with ASD and some differences are associated with diagnostic behaviours.
doi:10.1016/j.rasd.2012.08.004
PMCID: PMC3652338  PMID: 23678367
Autism spectrum disorders; Structural MRI; Cortical thickness; Social impairment; Developmental changes
22.  Genotypic variants at 2q33 and risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in China: a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies 
Abnet, Christian C. | Wang, Zhaoming | Song, Xin | Hu, Nan | Zhou, Fu-You | Freedman, Neal D. | Li, Xue-Min | Yu, Kai | Shu, Xiao-Ou | Yuan, Jian-Min | Zheng, Wei | Dawsey, Sanford M. | Liao, Linda M. | Lee, Maxwell P. | Ding, Ti | Qiao, You-Lin | Gao, Yu-Tang | Koh, Woon-Puay | Xiang, Yong-Bing | Tang, Ze-Zhong | Fan, Jin-Hu | Chung, Charles C. | Wang, Chaoyu | Wheeler, William | Yeager, Meredith | Yuenger, Jeff | Hutchinson, Amy | Jacobs, Kevin B. | Giffen, Carol A. | Burdett, Laurie | Fraumeni, Joseph F. | Tucker, Margaret A. | Chow, Wong-Ho | Zhao, Xue-Ke | Li, Jiang-Man | Li, Ai-Li | Sun, Liang-Dan | Wei, Wu | Li, Ji-Lin | Zhang, Peng | Li, Hong-Lei | Cui, Wen-Yan | Wang, Wei-Peng | Liu, Zhi-Cai | Yang, Xia | Fu, Wen-Jing | Cui, Ji-Li | Lin, Hong-Li | Zhu, Wen-Liang | Liu, Min | Chen, Xi | Chen, Jie | Guo, Li | Han, Jing-Jing | Zhou, Sheng-Li | Huang, Jia | Wu, Yue | Yuan, Chao | Huang, Jing | Ji, Ai-Fang | Kul, Jian-Wei | Fan, Zhong-Min | Wang, Jian-Po | Zhang, Dong-Yun | Zhang, Lian-Qun | Zhang, Wei | Chen, Yuan-Fang | Ren, Jing-Li | Li, Xiu-Min | Dong, Jin-Cheng | Xing, Guo-Lan | Guo, Zhi-Gang | Yang, Jian-Xue | Mao, Yi-Ming | Yuan, Yuan | Guo, Er-Tao | Zhang, Wei | Hou, Zhi-Chao | Liu, Jing | Li, Yan | Tang, Sa | Chang, Jia | Peng, Xiu-Qin | Han, Min | Yin, Wan-Li | Liu, Ya-Li | Hu, Yan-Long | Liu, Yu | Yang, Liu-Qin | Zhu, Fu-Guo | Yang, Xiu-Feng | Feng, Xiao-Shan | Wang, Zhou | Li, Yin | Gao, She-Gan | Liu, Hai-Lin | Yuan, Ling | Jin, Yan | Zhang, Yan-Rui | Sheyhidin, Ilyar | Li, Feng | Chen, Bao-Ping | Ren, Shu-Wei | Liu, Bin | Li, Dan | Zhang, Gao-Fu | Yue, Wen-Bin | Feng, Chang-Wei | Qige, Qirenwang | Zhao, Jian-Ting | Yang, Wen-Jun | Lei, Guang-Yan | Chen, Long-Qi | Li, En-Min | Xu, Li-Yan | Wu, Zhi-Yong | Bao, Zhi-Qin | Chen, Ji-Li | Li, Xian-Chang | Zhuang, Xiang | Zhou, Ying-Fa | Zuo, Xian-Bo | Dong, Zi-Ming | Wang, Lu-Wen | Fan, Xue-Pin | Wang, Jin | Zhou, Qi | Ma, Guo-Shun | Zhang, Qin-Xian | Liu, Hai | Jian, Xin-Ying | Lian, Sin-Yong | Wang, Jin-Sheng | Chang, Fu-Bao | Lu, Chang-Dong | Miao, Jian-Jun | Chen, Zhi-Guo | Wang, Ran | Guo, Ming | Fan, Zeng-Lin | Tao, Ping | Liu, Tai-Jing | Wei, Jin-Chang | Kong, Qing-Peng | Fan, Lei | Wang, Xian-Zeng | Gao, Fu-Sheng | Wang, Tian-Yun | Xie, Dong | Wang, Li | Chen, Shu-Qing | Yang, Wan-Cai | Hong, Jun-Yan | Wang, Liang | Qiu, Song-Liang | Goldstein, Alisa M. | Yuan, Zhi-Qing | Chanock, Stephen J. | Zhang, Xue-Jun | Taylor, Philip R. | Wang, Li-Dong
Human Molecular Genetics  2012;21(9):2132-2141.
Genome-wide association studies have identified susceptibility loci for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). We conducted a meta-analysis of all single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that showed nominally significant P-values in two previously published genome-wide scans that included a total of 2961 ESCC cases and 3400 controls. The meta-analysis revealed five SNPs at 2q33 with P< 5 × 10−8, and the strongest signal was rs13016963, with a combined odds ratio (95% confidence interval) of 1.29 (1.19–1.40) and P= 7.63 × 10−10. An imputation analysis of 4304 SNPs at 2q33 suggested a single association signal, and the strongest imputed SNP associations were similar to those from the genotyped SNPs. We conducted an ancestral recombination graph analysis with 53 SNPs to identify one or more haplotypes that harbor the variants directly responsible for the detected association signal. This showed that the five SNPs exist in a single haplotype along with 45 imputed SNPs in strong linkage disequilibrium, and the strongest candidate was rs10201587, one of the genotyped SNPs. Our meta-analysis found genome-wide significant SNPs at 2q33 that map to the CASP8/ALS2CR12/TRAK2 gene region. Variants in CASP8 have been extensively studied across a spectrum of cancers with mixed results. The locus we identified appears to be distinct from the widely studied rs3834129 and rs1045485 SNPs in CASP8. Future studies of esophageal and other cancers should focus on comprehensive sequencing of this 2q33 locus and functional analysis of rs13016963 and rs10201587 and other strongly correlated variants.
doi:10.1093/hmg/dds029
PMCID: PMC3315211  PMID: 22323360
23.  The Role of Peritoneal Alternatively Activated Macrophages in the Process of Peritoneal Fibrosis Related to Peritoneal Dialysis 
It has been confirmed that alternatively activated macrophages (M2) participate in tissue remodeling and fibrosis occurrence, but the effect of M2 on peritoneal fibrosis related to peritoneal dialysis (PD) hasn’t been elucidated. This study was therefore conducted to assess the association between M2 and peritoneal fibrosis related to PD. In this study, peritoneal fibrosis was induced by intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of Lactate-4.25% dialysate (100 mL/kg) to C57BL/6J mice for 28 days, and liposome-encapsulated clodronate (LC, the specific scavenger of macrophages) was used to treat the peritoneal fibrosis mice model by i.p. injection at day 18 and day 21. All animals were sacrificed at day 29. Parietal peritonea were stained with Masson’s trichrome, and the expression of type I collagen (Col-I), fibronectin, mannose receptor (CD206), transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β), chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7), chitinase 3-like 3 (Ym-1) and arginase-1 (Arg-1) was determined by Western blotting, immunofluorescence and quantitative real-time PCR. Our results revealed that peritoneal thickness, Col-I, fibronectin, CD206, TGF-β, Ym-1 and Arg-1 were upregulated in the peritoneal fibrosis mice model, and all of these indexes were downregulated in those treated with LC. Additionally, there was no difference in the level of CCR7 between the model and treatment group. Our study indicated that peritoneal M2 played an important role in the process of peritoneal fibrosis related to PD and might be a potential target for intervention therapy of peritoneal fibrosis.
doi:10.3390/ijms140510369
PMCID: PMC3676844  PMID: 23685870
peritoneal dialysis; peritoneal fibrosis related to PD; alternatively activated macrophages; liposome-encapsulated clodronate
24.  Parental substance abuse and function of the motivation and behavioral inhibition systems in drug-naïve youth 
Psychiatry Research  2012;201(2):128-135.
doi:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2011.08.004
PMCID: PMC3335432  PMID: 22386967
fMRI; motivation-reward; behavioral inhibition; risk for substance abuse; ADHD
25.  Fumonisin B1 and Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Two Chinese Cohorts 
Food and Chemical Toxicology  2011;50(3-4):679-683.
Fumonisin B1 (FB1), a mycotoxin that contaminates corn in certain climates, has been demonstrated to cause hepatocellular cancer (HCC) in animal models. Whether a relationship between FB1 and HCC exists in humans is not known. To examine the hypothesis, we conducted case-control studies nested within two large cohorts in China; the Haimen City Cohort and the General Population Study of the Nutritional Intervention Trials cohort in Linxian. In the Haimen City Cohort, nail FB1 levels were determined in 271 HCC cases and 280 controls. In the General Population Nutritional Intervention Trial, nail FB1 levels were determined in 72 HCC cases and 147 controls. In each population, odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) from logistic regression models estimated the association between measurable FB1 and HCC, adjusting for hepatitis B virus infection and other factors. A meta-analysis that included both populations was also conducted. The analysis revealed no statistically significant association between FB1 and HCC in either Haimen City (OR=1.10, 95%CI=0.64–1.89) or in Linxian (OR=1.47, 95%CI=0.70–3.07). Similarly, the pooled meta-analysis showed no statistically significant association between FB1 exposure and HCC (OR=1.22, 95%CI=0.79–1.89). These findings, although somewhat preliminary, do not support an associated between FB1 and HCC.
doi:10.1016/j.fct.2011.11.029
PMCID: PMC3299856  PMID: 22142693
fumonisin; hepatocellular carcinoma; cohort study; China; epidemiology

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