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1.  Gene expression profiling and endothelin in acute experimental pancreatitis 
AIM: To analyze gene expression profiles in an experimental pancreatitis and provide functional reversal of hypersensitivity with candidate gene endothelin-1 antagonists.
METHODS: Dibutyltin dichloride (DBTC) is a chemical used as a polyvinyl carbonate stabilizer/catalyzer, biocide in agriculture, antifouling agent in paint and fabric. DBTC induces an acute pancreatitis flare through generation of reactive oxygen species. Lewis-inbred rats received a single i.v. injection with either DBTC or vehicle. Spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia (DRG) were taken at the peak of inflammation and processed for transcriptional profiling with a cDNA microarray biased for rat brain-specific genes. In a second study, groups of animals with DBTC-induced pancreatitis were treated with endothelin (ET) receptor antagonists [ET-A (BQ123) and ET-B BQ788)]. Spontaneous pain related mechanical and thermal hypersensitivity were measured. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed using anti-ET-A and ET-B antibodies on sections from pancreatic tissues and DRG of the T10-12 spinal segments.
RESULTS: Animals developed acute pancreatic inflammation persisting 7-10 d as confirmed by pathological studies (edema in parenchyma, loss of pancreatic architecture and islets, infiltration of inflammatory cells, neutrophil and mononuclear cells, degeneration, vacuolization and necrosis of acinar cells) and the pain-related behaviors (cutaneous secondary mechanical and thermal hypersensitivity). Gene expression profile was different in the spinal cord from animals with pancreatitis compared to the vehicle control group. Over 260 up-regulated and 60 down-regulated unique genes could be classified into 8 functional gene families: circulatory/acute phase/immunomodulatory; extracellular matrix; structural; channel/receptor/transporter; signaling transduction; transcription/translation-related; antioxidants/chaperones/heat shock; pancreatic and other enzymes. ET-1 was among the 52 candidate genes up-regulated greater than 2-fold in animals with pancreatic inflammation and visceral pain-related behavior. Treatments with the ET-A (BQ123) and ET-B (BQ-788) antagonists revealed significant protection against inflammatory pain related mechanical and thermal hypersensitivity behaviors in animals with pancreatitis (P < 0.05). Open field spontaneous behavioral activity (at baseline, day 6 and 30 min after drug treatments (BQ123, BQ788) showed overall stable activity levels indicating that the drugs produced no undesirable effects on normal exploratory behaviors, except for a trend toward reduction of the active time and increase in resting time at the highest dose (300 μmol/L). Immunocytochemical localization revealed that expression of ET-A and ET-B receptors increased in DRG from animals with pancreatitis. Endothelin receptor localization was combined in dual staining with neuronal marker NeuN, and glia marker, glial fibrillary acidic protein. ET-A was expressed in the cell bodies and occasional nuclei of DRG neurons in naïve animals. However, phenotypic expression of ET-A receptor was greatly increased in neurons of all sizes in animals with pancreatitis. Similarly, ET-B receptor was localized in neurons and in the satellite glia, as well as in the Schwann cell glial myelin sheaths surrounding the axons passing through the DRG.
CONCLUSION: Endothelin-receptor antagonists protect against inflammatory pain responses without interfering with normal exploratory behaviors. Candidate genes can serve as future biomarkers for diagnosis and/or targeted gene therapy.
PMCID: PMC3436040  PMID: 22969188
Gene expression; Endothelin receptors; Pancreatitis; Pain; Dibutyltin dichloride; Hypersensitivity; Hyperalgesia
2.  Proteome characterization of developing grains in bread wheat cultivars (Triticum aestivum L.) 
BMC Plant Biology  2012;12:147.
The analyses of protein synthesis, accumulation and regulation during grain development in wheat are more complex because of its larger genome size compared to model plants such as Arabidopsis and rice. In this study, grains from two wheat cultivars Jimai 20 and Zhoumai 16 with different gluten quality properties were harvested at five development stages, and were used to displayed variable expression patterns of grain proteins.
Proteome characterization during grain development in Chinese bread wheat cultivars Jimai 20 and Zhoumai 16 with different quality properties was investigated by 2-DE and tandem MALDI-TOF/TOF-MS. Identification of 117 differentially accumulated protein spots representing 82 unique proteins and five main expression patterns enabled a chronological description of wheat grain formation. Significant proteome expression differences between the two cultivars were found; these included 14 protein spots that accumulated in both cultivars but with different patterns and 27 cultivar-different spots. Among the cultivar-different protein spots, 14 accumulated in higher abundance in Jimai 20 than in Zhoumai 16, and included NAD-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase, triticin precursor, LMW-s glutenin subunit and replication factor C-like protein. These proteins are likely to be associated with superior gluten quality. In addition, some proteins such as class II chitinase and peroxidase 1 with isoforms in developing grains were shown to be phosphorylated by Pro-Q Diamond staining and phosphorprotein site prediction. Phosphorylation could have important roles in wheat grain development. qRT-PCR analysis demonstrated that transcriptional and translational expression patterns of many genes were significantly different.
Wheat grain proteins displayed variable expression patterns at different developmental stages and a considerable number of protein spots showed differential accumulation between two cultivars. Differences in seed storage proteins were considered to be related to different quality performance of the flour from these wheat cultivars. Some proteins with isoforms were phosphorylated, and this may reflect their importance in grain development. Our results provide new insights into proteome characterization during grain development in different wheat genotypes.
PMCID: PMC3480910  PMID: 22900893
Wheat; Grain proteome; Phosphorproteins; 2-DE; Tandem MS; qRT-PCR
3.  Systemic RNAi-mediated Gene Silencing in Nonhuman Primate and Rodent Myeloid Cells 
Leukocytes are central regulators of inflammation and the target cells of therapies for key diseases, including autoimmune, cardiovascular, and malignant disorders. Efficient in vivo delivery of small interfering RNA (siRNA) to immune cells could thus enable novel treatment strategies with broad applicability. In this report, we develop systemic delivery methods of siRNA encapsulated in lipid nanoparticles (LNP) for durable and potent in vivo RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated silencing in myeloid cells. This work provides the first demonstration of siRNA-mediated silencing in myeloid cell types of nonhuman primates (NHPs) and establishes the feasibility of targeting multiple gene targets in rodent myeloid cells. The therapeutic potential of these formulations was demonstrated using siRNA targeting tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) which induced substantial attenuation of disease progression comparable to a potent antibody treatment in a mouse model of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In summary, we demonstrate a broadly applicable and therapeutically relevant platform for silencing disease genes in immune cells.
PMCID: PMC3381593  PMID: 23344621
delivery; immune cell; siRNA

Results 1-3 (3)