Xenon is one of noble gases and has been recognized as an anesthetic for more than 50 years. Xenon possesses many of the characteristics of an ideal anesthetic, but it is not widely applied in clinical practice mainly because of its high cost. In recent years, numerous studies have demonstrated that xenon as an anesthetic can exert neuroprotective and cardioprotective effects in different models. Moreover, xenon has been applied in the preconditioning, and the neuroprotective and cardioprotective effects of xenon preconditioning have been investigated in a lot of studies in which some mechanisms related to these protections are proposed. In this review, we summarized these mechanisms and the biological effects of xenon preconditioning.
Xenon; Preconditioning; Neuroprotection; Cardioprotection; Mechanism
Aptamers are single-stranded oligonucleotides of DNA or RNA that bind to target molecules with high affinity and specificity. Typically, aptamers are generated by an iterative selection process, called systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX). Recent advancements in SELEX technology have extended aptamer selection from comparatively simple mixtures of purified proteins to whole living cells, and now cell-based SELEX (or cell-SELEX) can isolate aptamers that bind to specific target cells. Combined with nanotechnology, microchips, microfluidic devices, RNAi and other advanced technologies, cell-SELEX represents an integrated platform providing ultrasensitive and highly specific tools for clinical medicine. In this review, we describe the recent progress made in the application of cell-SELEX for diagnosis, therapy and biomarker discovery.
aptamer; SELEX; molecular medicine
Metal oxide gas sensors are predominant solid-state gas detecting devices for domestic, commercial and industrial applications, which have many advantages such as low cost, easy production, and compact size. However, the performance of such sensors is significantly influenced by the morphology and structure of sensing materials, resulting in a great obstacle for gas sensors based on bulk materials or dense films to achieve highly-sensitive properties. Lots of metal oxide nanostructures have been developed to improve the gas sensing properties such as sensitivity, selectivity, response speed, and so on. Here, we provide a brief overview of metal oxide nanostructures and their gas sensing properties from the aspects of particle size, morphology and doping. When the particle size of metal oxide is close to or less than double thickness of the space-charge layer, the sensitivity of the sensor will increase remarkably, which would be called “small size effect”, yet small size of metal oxide nanoparticles will be compactly sintered together during the film coating process which is disadvantage for gas diffusion in them. In view of those reasons, nanostructures with many kinds of shapes such as porous nanotubes, porous nanospheres and so on have been investigated, that not only possessed large surface area and relatively mass reactive sites, but also formed relatively loose film structures which is an advantage for gas diffusion. Besides, doping is also an effective method to decrease particle size and improve gas sensing properties. Therefore, the gas sensing properties of metal oxide nanostructures assembled by nanoparticles are reviewed in this article. The effect of doping is also summarized and finally the perspectives of metal oxide gas sensor are given.
metal oxide; gas sensing; nanostructure; size effect; doping
Chronic pain is a major health concern that affects millions of people. There are no adequate long-term therapies for chronic pain sufferers, leading to significant cost for both society and the individual. The most commonly used therapy for chronic pain is the application of opioid analgesics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but these drugs can lead to addiction and may cause side effects. Further studies of the mechanisms of chronic pain have opened the way for development of new treatment strategies, one of which is gene therapy. The key to gene therapy is selecting safe and highly efficient gene delivery systems that can deliver therapeutic genes to overexpress or suppress relevant targets in specific cell types. Here we review several promising viral vectors that could be applied in gene transfer for the treatment of chronic pain and further discuss the possible mechanisms of genes of interest that could be delivered with viral vectors for the treatment of chronic pain.
AIM: To analyze the possible protective role of Arctium lappa L. (AL) in a murine model of ulcerative colitis (UC).
METHODS: BALB/c mice were administered 100 mg/kg AL powder orally each day. After 7 d, colitis was induced by administration of dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) (5% W/V) in drinking water for a further 8 consecutive days. Diarrhea and bloody stools as well as colonic histology were observed. The level of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in colonic sections were detected by immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: There were significant differences in mean body weight values and disease activity indices between controls and AL-treated animals. Moreover, the histological findings showed that AL treatment can prevent mucosal edema, submucosal erosions, ulceration, inflammatory cell infiltration and colon damage. In addition, immunohistochemistry analysis showed that the levels of the inflammatory cytokines, IL-6 and TNF-α were also decreased in AL-treated groups.
CONCLUSION: We suggest that AL can prevent intestinal damage and decrease inflammatory cytokines in mice with DSS-induced colitis. Thus, AL could prove to be a useful food for UC.
Arctium lappa L.; Colitis; Cytokine; Inflammatory bowel disease; Ulcerative colitis
Liver fibrosis is a common histological process to develop into cirrhosis in various chronic liver diseases including chronic hepatitis and fatty liver. Therefore anti-liver fibrosis is very important strategy to treat chronic liver diseases. Fuzheng Huayu (FZHY), a preparation containing herbs such as Radix Salvia Miltiorrhizae, Cordyceps, Semen Persicae, was formulated on the basis of Chinese medicine theory in treating liver fibrosis and was approved. Pharmacological studies and clinical trials demonstrate that FZHY has a significant effect against liver fibrosis and that many of the pharmacological actions are attributable to the effect. This article reviews the effects and actions of FZHY, in particular the effects observed from clinical trials in treating liver fibrosis caused by chronic hepatitis B and the actions on inhibition of hepatic stellate cell activation, protection of hepatocytes and inhibition of hepatic sinusoidal capillarization. This article also reviews the coordinated effects of the constituent herbs of FZHY and the actions of their active compounds such as salvianonic acid B (SA-B) on liver fibrosis.
Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability due to disturbance of blood supply to the brain. As brain is highly sensitive to hypoxia, insufficient oxygen supply is a critical event contributing to ischemic brain injury. Normobaric hyperoxia (NBO) that aims to enhance oxygen delivery to hypoxic tissues has long been considered as a logical neuroprotective therapy for ischemic stroke. To date, many possible mechanisms have been reported to elucidate NBO’s neuroprotection, such as improving tissue oxygenation, increasing cerebral blood flow, reducing oxidative stress and protecting the blood brain barrier. As ischemic stroke triggers a battery of damaging events, combining NBO with other agents or treatments that target multiple mechanisms of injury may achieve better outcome than individual treatment alone. More importantly, time loss is brain loss in acute cerebral ischemia. NBO can be a rapid therapy to attenuate or slow down the evolution of ischemic tissues towards necrosis and therefore “buy time” for reperfusion therapies. This article summarizes the current literatures on NBO as a simple, widely accessible, and potentially cost-effective therapeutic strategy for treatment of acute ischemic stroke.
Oxygen; Ischemia; Oxidative stress; Blood brain barrier; Reperfusion; Blood flow; Neuroprotection
Cyclophilin A (CypA) is the main member of the immunophilin superfamily that has peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase activity. CypA participates in protein folding, cell signaling, inflammation and tumorigenesis. Further, CypA plays critical roles in the replication of several viruses. Upon influenza virus infection, CypA inhibits viral replication by interacting with the M1 protein. In addition, CypA is incorporated into the influenza virus virions. Finally, Cyclosporin A (CsA), the main inhibitor of CypA, inhibits influenza virus replication through CypA-dependent and -independent pathways. This review briefly summarizes recent advances in understanding the roles of CypA during influenza virus infection.
influenza virus; Cyclophilin A; Cyclosporin A; virus-host interaction
Plants of the genus Elsholtzia (Lamiaceae) have a long history of medicinal use in folk. The phytochemical investigations revealed the presence of flavonoids, phenylpropanoids, terpenoids, and other compounds. Abundant volatile components are also identified. Pure compounds, volatile constituents and crude extracts from the genus exhibited a wide spectrum of in vitro and in vivo pharmacological activities. The aims of this review hopefully provide comprehensive information on the distribution, phytochemistry, volatile components, and pharmacological research of Elsholtzia for exploring the potential and advance researches.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex autoimmune disease involving multiple organs. The disease is characterized by the production of pathogenic autoantibodies to DNA and certain nuclear antigens, chronic inflammation, and immune dysregulation. Genetic studies involving SLE patients and mouse models have indicated that multiple lupus susceptible genes contribute to the disease phenotype. Notably, the development of SLE in patients and in certain mouse models exhibits a strong sex bias. In addition, several lines of evidence indicates that activation of interferon-α (IFN-α) signaling in immune cells and alterations in the expression of certain immunomodulatory cytokines contribute to lupus pathogenesis. Studies have implicated factors, such as the X chromosomal gene dosage effect and the sex hormones, in gender bias in SLE. However, the molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Additionally, it remains unclear whether these factors influence the “IFN-signature,” which is associated with SLE. In this regard, a mutually positive regulatory feedback loop between IFNs and estrogen receptor-α (ERα) has been identified in immune cells. Moreover, studies indicate that the expression of certain IFN-inducible p200-family proteins that act as innate immune sensors for cytosolic DNA is differentially regulated by sex hormones. In this review, we discuss how the modulation of the expression of the p200-family proteins in immune cells by sex hormones and IFNs contributes to sex bias in SLE. An improved understanding of the regulation and roles of the p200-family proteins in immune cells is critical to understand lupus pathogenesis as well as response (or the lack of it) to various therapies.
Wavefront aberration affects the quality of retinal image directly. This paper reviews the representation and reconstruction of wavefront aberration, as well as the construction of virtual eye model based on Zernike polynomial coefficients. In addition, the promising prospect of virtual eye model is emphasized.
wavefront aberration; wavefront reconstruction; virtual eye; Zernike polynomial
Nutrition-related health issues have emerged as a major threat to public health since the rebirth of the economy in China starting in the 1980s. To meet this challenge, the Chinese Academy of Sciences established the Institute for Nutritional Sciences (INS) at Shanghai, China ∼8 y ago. The mission of the INS is to apply modern technologies and concepts in nutritional research to understand the molecular mechanism and provide means of intervention in the combat against nutrition-related diseases, including type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and many types of cancers. Through diligent and orchestrated efforts by INS scientists, graduate students, and research staff in the past few years, the INS has become the leading institution in China in the areas of basic nutritional research and metabolic regulation. Scientists at the INS have made important progress in many areas, including the characterization of genetic and nutritional properties of the Chinese population, metabolic control associated with nutrient sensing, molecular mechanisms underlying glucose and lipid metabolism, regulation of metabolism by adipokines and inflammatory pathways, disease intervention using functional foods or extracts of Chinese herbs, and many biological studies related to carcinogenesis. The INS will continue its efforts in understanding the optimal nutritional needs for Chinese people and the molecular causes associated with metabolic diseases, thus paving the way for effective and individualized intervention in the future. This review highlights the major research endeavors undertaken by INS scientists in recent years.
To discover and develop novel natural compounds with therapeutic selectivity or that can preferentially kill cancer cells without significant toxicity to normal cells is an important area in cancer chemotherapy. Kushen, the dried roots of Sophora flavescens Aiton, has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine to treat inflammatory diseases and cancer. Kushen alkaloids (KS-As) and kushen flavonoids (KS-Fs) are well-characterized components in kushen. KS-As containing oxymatrine, matrine, and total alkaloids have been developed in China as anticancer drugs. More potent antitumor activities were identified in KS-Fs than in KS-As in vitro and in vivo. KS-Fs may be developed as novel antitumor agents.
Little information is available on the prevalence, geographic distribution and mutation spectrum of genetic skeletal disorders (GSDs) in China. This study systematically reviewed GSDs as defined in “Nosology and Classification of genetic skeletal disorders (2010 version)” using Chinese biomedical literature published over the past 34 years from 1978 to 2012. In total, 16,099 GSDs have been reported. The most frequently reported disorders were Marfan syndrome, osteogenesis imperfecta, fibrous dysplasia, mucopolysaccharidosis, multiple cartilaginous exostoses, neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), osteopetrosis, achondroplasia, enchondromatosis (Ollier), and osteopoikilosis, accounting for 76.5% (12,312 cases) of the total cases. Five groups (group 8, 12, 14, 18, 21) defined by “Nosology and Classification of genetic skeletal disorders” have not been reported in the Chinese biomedical literature. Gene mutation testing was performed in only a minor portion of the 16,099 cases of GSDs (187 cases, 1.16%). In total, 37 genes for 41 different GSDs were reported in Chinese biomedical literature, including 43 novel mutations. This review revealed a significant imbalance in rare disease identification in terms of geographic regions and hospital levels, suggesting the need to create a national multi-level network to meet the specific challenge of care for rare diseases in China.
Rare diseases; Genetic skeletal diseases; China; Bibliographic study
This review focus on the phytochemical progress and biological studies of plants from the genus Balanophora (Balanophoraceae) over the past few decades, in which most plants growth in tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and Oceania, and nearly 20 species ranged in southwest China. These dioeciously parasitic plants are normally growing on the roots of the evergreen broadleaf trees, especially in the family of Leguminosae, Ericaceae, Urticaceae, and Fagaceae. The plants are mainly used for clearing away heat and toxic, neutralizing the effect of alcoholic drinks, and as a tonic for the treatment of hemorrhoids, stomachache and hemoptysis. And it has been used widely throughtout local area by Chinese people.
Cinnamic acid derivative tannins, possessing a phenylacrylic acid derivative (e. g. caffeoyl, coumaroyl, feruloyl or cinnamoyl), which connected to the C(1) position of a glucosyl unit by O-glycosidic bond, are the characteristic components in genus Balanophora. In addition, several galloyl, caffeoyl and hexahydroxydiphenoyl esters of dihydrochalcone glucosides are found in B. tobiracola, B. harlandii, and B. papuana. Other compounds like phenylpropanoids, flavonoids, terpenoids and sterols are also existed. And their biological activities, such as radical scavenging activities, HIV inhibiting effects, and hypoglycemic effects are highlighted in the review.
In recent years, there were two reported outbreaks of food borne illness associated with melamine. The presence of melamine and its related compounds in milk, feed, and other foods has resulted in the need for reliable methods for the detection and accurate quantification of this class of contaminants. The sample pretreatment for melamine in a complex matrix usually involves a liquid extraction by a polar solvent, followed by a further clean-up with solid phase extraction. Analyses of melamine and related compounds are commonly carried out by liquid or gas chromatographic methods conjugated with mass spectrometry. Other innovative screening methods, which use antibodies, molecularly imprinted polymers, capillary electrophoresis, and gold nanoparticles, are also used to develop assays and biosensors to melamine. However, many of these methods have been hindered by matrix effects, the solubility of melamine-cyanuric acid complex, and background contamination. This article reviews recent developments for detecting melamine and discusses future directions.
Melamine; Detection; Confirmation methods; Screening methods; Sample pretreatment
Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) was first identified in retinal pigment epithelium cells. It is an endogenously produced protein that is widely expressed throughout the human body such as in the eyes, liver, heart, and adipose tissue; it exhibits multiple and varied biological activities. PEDF is a multifunctional protein with antiangiogenic, antitumorigenic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic, neurotrophic, and neuroprotective properties. More recently, PEDF has been shown to be the most potent inhibitor of stem/progenitor cell-associated neovascularization. Neovascularization is a complex process regulated by a large, interacting network of molecules from stem/progenitor cells. PEDF is also involved in the pathogenesis of angiogenic eye disease, tumor growth, and cardiovascular disease. Novel antiangiogenic agents with tolerable side effects are desired for the treatment of patients with various diseases. Here, we review the value of PEDF as an important endogenous antiangiogenic molecule; we focus on the recently identified role of PEDF as a possible new target molecule to influence stem/progenitor cell-related neovascularization.
Objective. This systematic review aims to evaluate the benefit and side effect of Xuezhikang for coronary heart disease (CHD) complicated by dyslipidemia. Methods. All randomized clinical trials (RCTs) with Xuezhikang as a treatment for CHD combined with dyslipidemia were considered for inclusion. Data extraction and analyses and quality assessment were conducted according to the Cochrane standards. Results. We included 22 randomized trials. Xuezhikang showed significant benefit on the incidence of all-cause deaths, CHD deaths, myocardial infarction, and revascularization as compared with placebo based on conventional treatment for CHD. It remarkably lowered total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) as compared with the placebo or inositol nicotinate group, which was similar to statins group. Xuezhikang also raised high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) compared to placebo or no intervention, which was similar to Inositol nicotinate and slightly inferior to statins. The incidence of adverse events did not differ between the Xuezhikang and control group. Conclusions. Xuezhikang showed a comprehensive lipid-regulating effect and was safe and effective in reducing cardiovascular events in CHD patients complicated by dyslipidemia. However, more rigorous trials with high quality are needed to give high level of evidence.
Virions are one kind of nanoscale pathogen and are able to infect living cells of animals, plants, and bacteria. The infection is an intrinsic property of the virions, and the biological process provides a good model for studying how these nanoparticles enter into cells. During the infection, the viruses employ different strategies to which the cells have developed respective responses. For this paper, we chose Bombyx mori cypovirus 1 (BmCPV-1) interactions with midgut cells from silkworm, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) associated coronavirus interactions with Vero E6 cells, as examples to demonstrate the response of eukaryotic cells to two different types of virus from our previous studies. The bacteriophage-bacteria interactions are also introduced to elucidate how the bacteriophage conquers the barrier of cell walls in the prokaryotic cells to transport genome into the host.
Regulation of cell cycle progression is important for the maintenance of genome integrity, and Polo-like kinases (Plks) have been identified as key regulators of this process. It is well established that Polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1) plays critical roles in mitosis but little is known about its functions at other stages of the cell cycle. Here we summarize the functions of Plk1 during DNA replication, focusing on the molecular events related to Origin Recognition Complex (ORC), the complex that is essential for the initiation of DNA replication. Within the context of Plk1 phosphorylation of Orc2, we also emphasize regulation of Orc2 in different organisms. This review is intended to provide some insight into how Plk1 coordinates DNA replication in S phase with chromosome segregation in mitosis, and orchestrates the cell cycle as a whole.
DNA replication; ORC2; phosphorylation; Plk1
Sensing technology has been widely investigated and utilized for gas detection. Due to the different applicability and inherent limitations of different gas sensing technologies, researchers have been working on different scenarios with enhanced gas sensor calibration. This paper reviews the descriptions, evaluation, comparison and recent developments in existing gas sensing technologies. A classification of sensing technologies is given, based on the variation of electrical and other properties. Detailed introduction to sensing methods based on electrical variation is discussed through further classification according to sensing materials, including metal oxide semiconductors, polymers, carbon nanotubes, and moisture absorbing materials. Methods based on other kinds of variations such as optical, calorimetric, acoustic and gas-chromatographic, are presented in a general way. Several suggestions related to future development are also discussed. Furthermore, this paper focuses on sensitivity and selectivity for performance indicators to compare different sensing technologies, analyzes the factors that influence these two indicators, and lists several corresponding improved approaches.
gas sensing methods; sensing materials; sensitivity; selectivity
Catfish is one of the most important aquaculture species in America (as well as in Asia and Africa). In recent years, the production of catfish has suffered massive financial losses due to pathogen spread and breakouts. Innate immunity plays a crucial role in increasing resistance to pathogenic organisms and has generated increasing interest in the past few years. This review summarizes the current understanding of innate immune-related genes in catfish, including pattern recognition receptors, antimicrobial peptides, complements, lectins, cytokines, transferrin and gene expression profiling using microarrays and next generation sequencing technologies. This review will benefit the understanding of innate immune system in catfish and further efforts in studying the innate immune-related genes in fish.
catfish; channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus); innate immunity; antimicrobial peptide; complement; lectin; cytokine; RNA-seq; gene expression profiling
The prevalence of diabetic retinopathy (DR) is increasing dramatically as the population of patients with diabetes continues to rise. This paper wants to investigate the prevalence and risk factors of DR in China through reviewing the research from Pubmed about population-based epidemic studies. The results of observational studies suggested that the overall prevalence of DR was 1.6%-6.5% in population, 19.9%-43.1% in diabetes and 13.6% in population without diabetes, most of the DR were the mild type, macular edema and vision-threatening were 5.2% and 1.2%. The risk factors for DR were longer duration of diabetes, plasma glucose concentration, concentrations of HbA1c level, higher systolic blood pressure(BP), higher diastolic BP, male gender, rural region, and methods of diabetic treatment and so on. The prevalence of DR which was strongly related to duration of diabetes was higher with the increase of diabetes. DR would be the major leading cause of visual impairment in China, it is very important to prevent DR by early screening and any other methods.
diabetic retinopathy; prevalence; prevention; risk factors
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a natural and linear polymer composed of repeating disaccharide units of β-1, 3-N-acetyl glucosamine and β-1, 4-glucuronic acid with a molecular weight up to 6 million Daltons. With excellent viscoelasticity, high moisture retention capacity, and high biocompatibility, HA finds a wide-range of applications in medicine, cosmetics, and nutraceuticals.
Traditionally HA was extracted from rooster combs, and now it is mainly produced via streptococcal fermentation. Recently the production of HA via recombinant systems has received increasing interest due to the avoidance of potential toxins. This work summarizes the research history and current commercial market of HA, and then deeply analyzes the current state of microbial production of HA by Streptococcus zooepidemicus and recombinant systems, and finally discusses the challenges facing microbial HA production and proposes several research outlines to meet the challenges.
Hyaluronic acid; Streptococcus zooepidemicus; Metabolic engineering; Molecular weight