In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process vs. those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process); thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from stimuli that result in increased autophagic activity, defined as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the field understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field.
LC3; autolysosome; autophagosome; flux; lysosome; phagophore; stress; vacuole
We conducted a meta-analysis to investigate the influence of two common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs2292566 G>A and rs4653436 A>G) in the EPHX1 gene on warfarin maintenance dosages. Relevant literatures were searched using the PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, CISCOM, CINAHL, Google Scholar, CBM, and CNKI databases without any language restrictions. STATA Version 12.0 software (Stata Corporation, College Station, TX, USA) was used for this meta-analysis. Standard mean difference and its corresponding 95% confidence interval (95% CI) were calculated. Seven studies met the inclusion criteria, including 2,063 warfarin-treated patients. Meta-analysis results illustrated that EPHX1 rs2292566 G>A polymorphism might be strongly correlated with a higher maintenance dose of warfarin. However, no interaction of EPHX1 rs4653436 A>G polymorphism with warfarin maintenance dosage was detected. A further subgroup analysis based on stratification by ethnicity indicated that EPHX1 rs2292566 G>A polymorphism was positively correlated with warfarin maintenance dosage among Caucasians, but not Asians. No associations were observed between EPHX1 rs4653436 A>G polymorphism warfarin maintenance dosage among both Caucasians and Asians. Our meta-analysis provides robust and unambiguous evidence that EPHX1 rs2292566 polymorphism may affect the maintenance dose of warfarin in Caucasians.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) refers to the accumulation of fat (mainly triglycerides) within hepatocytes. Approximately 20%-30% of adults in the general population in developed countries have NAFLD; this trend is increasing because of the pandemicity of obesity and diabetes, and is becoming a serious public health burden. Twenty percent of individuals with NAFLD develop chronic hepatic inflammation [nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)], which can be associated with the development of cirrhosis, portal hypertension, and hepatocellular carcinoma in a minority of patients. And thus, the detection and diagnosis of NAFLD is important for general practitioners. Liver biopsy is the gold standard for diagnosing NAFLD and confirming the presence of NASH. However, the invasiveness of this procedure limits its application to screening the general population or patients with contraindications for liver biopsy. The development of noninvasive diagnostic methods for NAFLD is of paramount importance. This review focuses on the updates of noninvasive diagnosis of NAFLD. Besides, we review clinical evidence supporting a strong association between NAFLD and the risk of cardiovascular disease because of the cross link between these two disorders.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; Noninvasive diagnosis; Laboratory biochemistry; Image assessment; Cardiovascular disease
Glycosylation is one of the most important posttranslational modifications of proteins and plays essential roles in various biological processes. Aberration in the glycan moieties of glycoproteins is associated with many diseases. It is especially critical to develop the rapid and sensitive methods for analysis of aberrant glycoproteins associated with diseases. Mass spectrometry (MS) has become a powerful tool for glycoprotein analysis. Especially, tandem mass spectrometry can provide highly informative fragments for structural identification of glycoproteins. This review provides an overview of the development of MS technologies and their applications in identification of abnormal glycoproteins and glycans in human serum to screen cancer biomarkers in recent years.
Mass spectrometry; Glycoproteins; Cancer biomarker
As the most challenging human malignancies, pancreatic cancer is characterized by its insidious symptoms, low rate of surgical resection, high risk of local invasion, metastasis and recurrence, and overall dismal prognosis. Lymphatic metastasis, above all, is recognized as an early adverse event in progression of pancreatic cancer and has been described to be an independent poor prognostic factor. It should be noted that the occurrence of lymphatic metastasis is not a casual or stochastic but an ineluctable and designed event. Increasing evidences suggest that metastasis-initiating cells (MICs) and the microenvironments may act as a double-reed style in this crime. However, the exact mechanisms on how they function synergistically for this dismal clinical course remain largely elusive. Therefore, a better understanding of its molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in pancreatic lymphatic metastasis is urgently required. In this review, we will summarize the latest advances on lymphatic metastasis in pancreatic cancer.
Endovascular technology was initially applied in treating peripheral vascular disease and was further developed in managing coronary artery disease. During the latest two decades, it has been introduced into the arena of cerebrovascular diseases, which has garnered attention and research interests.
Chinese Stroke Society; Endovascular treatment; Stroke; Ischemic infarction
Submucosal tumors (SMTs) are usually discovered fortuitously during routine endoscopy, including various non-neoplastic and neoplastic conditions. Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is considered to be the best imaging procedure to characterize SMTs and to determine the need for further treatment. In this review, the following issues will be addressed: The role of EUS in diagnosis for SMTs, tissue diagnosis for SMTs and the influence of EUS on endoscopic resection techniques for SMTs.
Endoscopic ultrasound; submucosal tumor; gastrointestinal; diagnosis; therapy
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.
Objective. To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of Shenfu injection (SFI) for intradialytic hypotension (IDH). Methods. A systematic review of data sources published as of April 2014 was conducted. These included the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (2014 issue 4), Pubmed, Embase, CBM, CNKI, VIP, and Wangfang Data. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) involving SFI for treatment and prevention of IDH were identified. Two researchers independently selected articles, extracted data, assessed quality, and cross checked the results. Revman 5.2 was used to analyze the results. Results. Eight RCTs were included. The meta-analysis indicated that compared with conventional therapies alone, SFI could elevate systolic blood pressure (SBP), increase the clinical effective rate, decrease the incidence of hypotension, increase serum albumin (ALB) levels, and reduce C-reactive protein (CRP) levels without serious adverse effects. GRADE Quality of Evidence. the quality of SBP, the effective rate, ALB, and CRP were low, and hypotension incidence and DBP were very low. Conclusions. SFI is more effective than conventional therapies for prevention and treatment of IDH. However, a clinical recommendation is not warranted due to the small number of studies included and low methodology quality. Multi-center and high-quality RCTs with large sample sizes are needed to provide stronger evidence.
The significant influence of tumor stroma on malignant cells has been extensively investigated in this era of targeted therapy. The tumor microenvironment, as a dynamic system, is orchestrated by various cells including tumor vascular composing cells, inflammatory cells and fibroblasts. As a major and important component in tumor stroma, increasing evidence has shown that spindle-shaped cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are a significant modifier of cancer evolution, and promote tumorigenesis, tumor invasion and metastasis by stimulating angiogenesis, malignant cell survival, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and proliferation via direct cell-to-cell contact or secretion of soluble factors in most digestive solid tumors. CAFs are thought to be activated, characterized by the expression of α-smooth muscle actin, fibroblast activated protein, fibroblast specific protein, vimentin, fibronectin, etc. They are hypothesized to originate from normal or aged fibroblasts, bone marrow-derived mesenchymal cells, or vascular endothelial cells. EMT may also be an important process generating CAFs, and most probably, CAFs may originate from multiple cells. A close link exists between EMT, tumor stem cells, and chemo-resistance of tumor cells, which is largely orchestrated by CAFs. CAFs significantly induce immunosuppression, and may be a prognostic marker in various malignancies. Targeted therapy toward CAFs has displayed promising anticancer efficacy, which further reinforces the necessity to explore the relationship between CAFs and their hosts.
Cancer-associated fibroblast; Tumor progression; Epithelial-mesenchymal transition; Tumor immunity; Targeted therapy
Diabetes is a systematic metabolic disease, which often develops a number of well-recognized vascular complications including brain complications which may partly result from the dysfunction of blood-brain barrier (BBB). BBB is generally considered as a mechanism for protecting the brain from unwanted actions resulting from substances in the blood and maintaining brain homeostasis via monitoring the entry or efflux of compounds. ATP-binding cassette (ABC) family of transporters including P-glycoprotein (P-GP) and breast cancer-related protein (BCRP), widely expressed in the luminal membrane of the microvessel endothelium and in the apical membrane of the choroids plexus epithelium, play important roles in the function of BBB. However, these transporters are easily altered by some diseases. The present article was focused on the alteration in expression and function of both P-GP and BCRP at BBB by diabetes and the clinical significances.
blood-brain barrier; ABC transporters; diabetes; Alzheimer's disease; amyloid β-peptide; ABCB1; ABCG2
Oxidative stress biomarkers have been observed in peripheral blood of chronic periodontitis patients; however, their associations with periodontitis were not consistent. This meta-analysis was performed to clarify the associations between chronic periodontitis and oxidative biomarkers in systemic circulation. Electronic searches of PubMed and Embase databases were performed until October 2014 and articles were selected to meet inclusion criteria. Data of oxidative biomarkers levels in peripheral blood of periodontitis patients and periodontal healthy controls were extracted to calculate standardized mean differences (SMDs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) by using random-effects model. Of 31 eligible articles, 16 articles with available data were included in meta-analysis. Our results showed that periodontitis patients had significantly lower levels of total antioxidant capacity (SMD = −2.02; 95% CI: −3.08, −0.96; P = 0.000) and higher levels of malondialdehyde (SMD = 0.99; 95% CI: 0.12, 1.86; P = 0.026) and nitric oxide (SMD = 4.98; 95% CI: 2.33, 7.63; P = 0.000) than periodontal healthy control. Superoxide dismutase levels between two groups were not significantly different (SMD = −1.72; 95% CI: −3.50, 0.07; P = 0.059). In conclusion, our meta-analysis showed that chronic periodontitis is significantly associated with circulating levels of three oxidative stress biomarkers, indicating a role of chronic periodontitis in systemic diseases.
Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is characterized by unclear pathogenesis. Recent medical data shows that the incidence of DN rises year by year. Rhein is the main compositions of rhubarb, a traditional Chinese medicinal plant, which plays an active role in kidney protection. The prophylaxis and phytotherapeutic effects of rhein are due to its anti-inflammatory and antifibrosis properties. Here, we shed light on the renal protective role of rhein in diabetes mellitus (DM) with a particular focus on the molecular basis of this effect.
Purpose. The long pentraxin 3 (PTX3) is a key component of the humoral arm of the innate immune system. PTX3 is produced locally in response to proinflammatory stimuli. We reviewed the usefulness of systemic levels of PTX3 in critically ill patients with systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), sepsis, and bacteremia, focusing on its diagnostic and prognostic value. Methods. A PubMed search on PTX3 was conducted. The list of papers was narrowed to original studies of critically ill patients. Eleven papers on original studies of critically ill patients that report on PTX3 in SIRS, sepsis, or bacteremia were identified. Results. Systematic levels of PTX3 have little diagnostic value in critically ill patients with SIRS, sepsis, or bacteremia. Systemic levels of PTX3, however, have superior prognostic power over other commonly used biological markers in these patients. Systemic levels of PTX3 correlate positively with markers of organ dysfunction and severity-of-disease classification system scores. Finally, systemic levels of PTX3 remain elevated in the acute phase and decreased on recovery. Notably, the age of the patients and underlying disease affect systemic levels of PTX3. Conclusions. The diagnostic value of PTX3 is low in patients with sepsis. Systemic levels of PTX3 have prognostic value and may add to prognostication of patients with SIRS or sepsis, complementing severity-of-disease classification systems and other biological markers.
Obesity presents a major health hazard of the 21st century. It promotes co-morbid diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. Excessive energy intake, physical inactivity, and genetic susceptibility are main causal factors for obesity, while gene mutations, endocrine disorders, medication, or psychiatric illnesses may be underlying causes in some cases. The development and maintenance of obesity may involve central pathophysiological mechanisms such as impaired brain circuit regulation and neuroendocrine hormone dysfunction. Dieting and physical exercise offer the mainstays of obesity treatment, and anti-obesity drugs may be taken in conjunction to reduce appetite or fat absorption. Bariatric surgeries may be performed in overtly obese patients to lessen stomach volume and nutrient absorption, and induce faster satiety. This review provides a summary of literature on the pathophysiological studies of obesity and discusses relevant therapeutic strategies for managing obesity.
obesity; food addiction; neuroendocrinology; neuroimaging; reward-saliency; motivation-drive; learning/memory circuit; inhibitory control-emotional regulation-executive control; bariatric surgery; fecal microbiota transplantation
Purpose. To evaluate the pooled prevalence rate and risk factors of dry eye symptoms (DES) in mainland China. Methods. All the published population-based studies investigating the prevalence of DES in China were searched and evaluated against inclusion criteria. A systematic review and meta-analysis were performed. Results. Twelve out of the 119 identified studies were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled prevalence of DES in China was 17.0%. Female individuals, subjects living in the Northern and Western China, and over 60 years of age had significantly higher prevalent rates (21.6%, 17.9%, 31.3%, and 34.4%, resp.) compared with their counterparts. Patients with diabetes were also found to be more vulnerable to DES. Conclusions. The pooled prevalence rate of DES in mainland China was lower than that in other Asian regions and countries. A remarkable discrepancy in the prevalence in different geographic regions was noted. Aging, female gender, and diabetes were found to be risk factors for DES in China.
Objective. This review is to evaluate the diagnostic value of serum GPC3 for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) due to conflicting results reported. Methods. NCBI PubMed and Embase were comprehensively searched for studies that have used serum GPC3 level as a diagnostic index for HCC. The quality of the included studies was assessed. Subgroup analyses were conducted to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of GPC3 as a HCC marker. Statistical analysis was performed with the software STATA version 12.0. Results. A total of 22 studies were included. The qualities of included studies were relatively poor. Among them, 18 studies have shown that serum GPC3 is a specific biomarker for HCC, and the pooled sensitivity and specificity of these studies were 69 and 93%, respectively. The other 4 studies have reported conflicting results, which were not caused by races, infection status of HBV and HCV, or assay reagents but due to one common experimental design of enrolling liver cirrhosis patients as control subjects. Conclusions. This meta-analysis indicates that serum GPC3 is elevated in HCC patients compared with healthy individuals, but more studies are needed to evaluate its effectiveness to differentially diagnose HCC and liver cirrhosis.
Objectives. To systematically review the evidence from prospective and retrospective cohort studies on the association between gestational weight gain (GWG) and offspring's body weight. Methods. Electronic databases PubMed, Web of Science, CINAHL, and Academic Search Premiere were searched from inception through March 18, 2013. Included studies (n = 23) were English articles that examined the independent associations of GWG with body mass index (BMI) and/or overweight status in the offspring aged 2 to 18.9 years. Two authors independently extracted the data and assessed methodological quality of the included studies. Results. Evidence from cohort studies supports that total GWG and exceeding the Institute of Medicine maternal weight gain recommendation were associated with higher BMI z-score and elevated risk of overweight or obesity in offspring. The evidence of high rate of GWG during early- and mid-pregnancy is suggestive. Additionally, the evidence on inadequate GWG and net GWG in relation to body weight outcomes in offspring is insufficient to draw conclusions. Conclusions. These findings suggest that GWG is a potential risk factor for childhood obesity. However, findings should be interpreted with caution due to measurement issues of GWG and potential confounding effects of shared familial characteristics (i.e., genetics and maternal and child's lifestyle factors).
Our understanding of psoriatic arthritis has evolved as new knowledge of the disease has emerged. However, the exact prevalence of psoriatic arthritis is unknown, and its pathogenesis has not been fully elucidated. Genetic, environmental, and immunologic factors have all been implicated in disease development. Early diagnosis and treatment have become primary objectives in clinical rheumatology. Psoriatic arthritis not only causes functional impairment, but also increases mortality risk of patients. The advent of new therapeutic agents capable of arresting the progression of joint damage is expected. However, early psoriatic arthritis assessment remains limited. The objectives of this article are to outline the epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of psoriatic arthritis and to suggest a paradigm for identifying early psoriatic arthritis patients.
Arthritis; Psoriasis; Psoriatic arthritis; Spondyloarthritis