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
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.
Environmental pollution and greenhouse gas emissions are becoming significant environmental issues in China, thus the sustainable development and revival of the country is impossible using the conventional path of encouraging economic growth at the expense of the environment. In response to the global warming, the prices of the traditional energy rise considerably, and a series of environmental problems, China must improve its own mode of economic development. Hundreds of Chinese cities have billions of square meters of buildings and most industry and the annual energy demand is an astronomical figure. China’s government is facing increasing pressure in the low carbon international backdrop, and the low carbon city becomes the inevitable developmental direction of Chinese city in the foreseeable future. The description is first centered on energy structure/energy consumption per unit/urbanized status, and urban energy consumption status, and then concerned with the efforts and measures of Chinese government, to realize the energy saving. Finally, we present the developmental prospect and barriers and the promotion measures related to the low carbon city under the government policy, financial incentives and funding supports, etc.
Energy saving; Low carbon city; Sustainable development
In 2004, novel results using pulmonary wedge resection executed through single-port video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) was first described. Since that time, single-port VATS has been advocated for the treatment of a spectrum of thoracic diseases, especially lung cancer. Lung cancer remains one of the top three cancer-related deaths in Taiwan, and surgical resection remains the “gold standard” for early-stage lung cancer. Anatomical resections (including pneumonectomy, lobectomy, and segmentectomy) remain the primary types of lung cancer surgery, regardless of whether conventional open thoracotomy, or 4/3/2-ports VATS are used. In the past three years, several pioneers have reported their early experiences with single-port VATS lobectomy, segmentectomy, and pneumonectomy for lung cancer. Our goal was to appraise their findings and review the role of single-port VATS in the treatment of lung cancer. In addition, the current concept of mini-invasive surgery involves not only smaller resections (requiring only a few incisions), but also sub-lobar resection as segmentectomy. Therefore, our review will also address these issues.
Lobectomy; lung cancer; segmentectomy; single-port; video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS)
WWOX, a gene that spans the second most common chromosomal fragile site (FRA16D), often exhibits homozygous deletions and translocation breakpoints under multiple cellular stresses induced by extrinsic or intrinsic factors, such as hypoxia, UV, and DNA damage regents. Loss of WWOX is closely related to genomic instability, tumorigenesis, cancer progression and therapy resistance. WWOX heterozygous knockout mice show an increased incidence of spontaneous or induced tumors. WWOX can interact via the WW domain with proteins that possess proline PPxY motifs and is involved in a variety of cellular processes. Accumulating evidence has shown that WWOX that contains a short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase (SDR) domain is involved in steroid metabolism and bone development. Reduced or lost expression of WWOX will lead to development of metabolic disease. In this review, we focus on the roles of WWOX in metabolic disorders and tumors.
WW domain-containing oxidoreductase; metabolic disorders; tumorigenesis; endocrine and chemotherapy.
Clinical trials have reported the effects of Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F (TwHF) extracts (TEs) in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA); however, the results have been inconsistent. This meta-analysis is aimed to assess the safety of TEs and their effects on the treatment of RA. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing the effects of TEs and placebo (PBO) or disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) in patients with RA were included. Weighted mean differences (MDs) were calculated for net changes by employing fixed-effect or random-effects models. After filtering, ten RCTs (involving 733 participants) were included in this study. The methodological quality of these studies was generally low. Compared with DMARDs, TEs alone produced a mild increase in grip strength (GS) (P = 0.02; standard mean difference (SMD) = 0.81; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.14 to 1.48). The most common adverse effects (AEs) of TEs were gastrointestinal discomfort, menstruation disorders, and amenorrhea. In conclusion, TEs, as a sort of “herbal DMARD,” could be as effective as synthetic DMARDs in the treatment of RA. However, the efficacy of TEs in treating RA should be further estimated with better designed, fully powered, confirmatory RCTs that apply the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) improvement criteria to evaluate their outcomes.
Except for the most organized mature hepatocytes, liver stem/progenitor cells (LSPCs) can differentiate into many other types of cells in the liver including cholangiocytes. In addition, LSPCs are demonstrated to be able to give birth to other kinds of extra-hepatic cell types such as insulin-producing cells. Even more, under some bad conditions, these LSPCs could generate liver cancer stem like cells (LCSCs) through malignant transformation. In this review, we mainly concentrate on the molecular mechanisms for controlling cell fates of LSPCs, especially differentiation of cholangiocytes, insulin-producing cells and LCSCs. First of all, to certificate the cell fates of LSPCs, the following three features need to be taken into account to perform accurate phenotyping: (1) morphological properties; (2) specific markers; and (3) functional assessment including in vivo transplantation. Secondly, to promote LSPCs differentiation, systematical attention should be paid to inductive materials (such as growth factors and chemical stimulators), progressive materials including intracellular and extracellular signaling pathways, and implementary materials (such as liver enriched transcriptive factors). Accordingly, some recommendations were proposed to standardize, optimize, and enrich the effective production of cholangiocyte-like cells out of LSPCs. At the end, the potential regulating mechanisms for generation of cholangiocytes by LSPCs were carefully analyzed. The differentiation of LSPCs is a gradually progressing process, which consists of three main steps: initiation, progression and accomplishment. It’s the unbalanced distribution of affecting materials in each step decides the cell fates of LSPCs.
Liver stem/progenitor cells; Cholangiocytes; Biliary differentiation; Unbalanced distribution of materials; Cell therapy
Although epilepsy surgery is an effective treatment for patients with drug-resistant epilepsy, surgical outcomes vary across patient groups and studies. Identification of reliable prognostic factors for surgical outcome is important for outcome research. In this study, recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses on prediction of seizure outcome have been analyzed, and common predictors of seizure outcome or unrelated factors for temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), lesional extratemporal lobe epilepsy (ETLE), and tuberous sclerosis complex have been identified. Clinical factors such as lesional epilepsy, abnormal magnetic resonance imaging, partial seizures, and complete resection were found to be common positive predictors, and factors such as nonlesional epilepsy, poorly defined and localized epileptic focus, generalized seizures, and incomplete resection are common negative predictors, while factors such as age at surgery and side of surgery are unrelated to seizure outcome for TLE and lesional ETLE. In addition, diagnostic neuroimaging and resection are among the most important predictors of seizure outcome. However, common predictors of seizure outcome could not be identified in nonlesional ETLE because no predictors were found to be significant in adult patients (by meta-analysis), and outcome prediction is difficult in this case. Meta-analysis of other outcomes, such as neuropsychologic outcomes, is rare due to lack of evaluation standards. Further studies on identification of reliable predictors of surgical outcomes are needed.
neuroimaging; epilepsy surgery; outcome prediction; common predictors
Intracranial EEG (icEEG) monitoring is critical in epilepsy surgical planning, but it has limitations. The advances of neuroimaging have made it possible to reveal epileptic abnormalities that could not be identified previously and improve the localization of the seizure focus and the vital cortex. A frequently asked question in the field is whether non-invasive neuroimaging could replace invasive icEEG or reduce the need for icEEG in presurgical evaluation. This review considers promising neuroimaging techniques in epilepsy presurgical assessment in order to address this question. In addition, due to large variations in the accuracies of neuroimaging across epilepsy centers, multicenter neuroimaging studies are reviewed, and there is much need for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to better reveal the utility of presurgical neuroimaging. The results of multiple studies indicate that non-invasive neuroimaging could not replace invasive icEEG in surgical planning especially in non-lesional or extratemporal lobe epilepsies, but it could reduce the need for icEEG in certain cases. With technical advances, multimodal neuroimaging may play a greater role in presurgical evaluation to reduce the costs and risks of epilepsy surgery, and provide surgical options for more patients with drug-resistant epilepsy.
•Promising neuroimaging in epilepsy presurgical evaluation is reviewed.•Frequently asked questions in the field are addressed.•Multicenter presurgical neuroimaging studies are also considered and reviewed.•Randomized controlled trials are needed to evaluate presurgical neuroimaging.
Multimodal neuroimaging; Focus localization; Epilepsy surgery; Presurgical evaluation
Accurate detection of somatic copy number variations (CNVs) is an essential part of cancer genome analysis, and plays an important role in oncotarget identifications. Next generation sequencing (NGS) holds the promise to revolutionize somatic CNV detection. In this review, we provide an overview of current analytic tools used for CNV detection in NGS-based cancer studies. We summarize the NGS data types used for CNV detection, decipher the principles for data preprocessing, segmentation, and interpretation, and discuss the challenges in somatic CNV detection. This review aims to provide a guide to the analytic tools used in NGS-based cancer CNV studies, and to discuss the important factors that researchers need to consider when analyzing NGS data for somatic CNV detections.
copy number variation; next generation sequencing; cancer genome analysis; somatic mutations
Stem cells, including embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells and amniotic fluid stem cells have the potential to be expanded and differentiated into various cell types in the body. Efficient differentiation of stem cells with the desired tissue-specific function is critical for stem cell-based cell therapy, tissue engineering, drug discovery and disease modeling. Bioreactors provide a great platform to regulate the stem cell microenvironment, known as “niches”, to impact stem cell fate decision. The niche factors include the regulatory factors such as oxygen, extracellular matrix (synthetic and decellularized), paracrine/autocrine signaling and physical forces (i.e., mechanical force, electrical force and flow shear). The use of novel bioreactors with precise control and recapitulation of niche factors through modulating reactor operation parameters can enable efficient stem cell expansion and differentiation. Recently, the development of microfluidic devices and microbioreactors also provides powerful tools to manipulate the stem cell microenvironment by adjusting flow rate and cytokine gradients. In general, bioreactor engineering can be used to better modulate stem cell niches critical for stem cell expansion, differentiation and applications as novel cell-based biomedicines. This paper reviews important factors that can be more precisely controlled in bioreactors and their effects on stem cell engineering.
Stem cell engineering; Bioreactor; Differentiation; Microenvironment; Microfluidics
Epidemiological studies have found that low 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels may be associated with coronary risk factors and adverse cardiovascular outcomes. Additionally, vitamin D deficiency causes an increase in parathyroid hormone, which increases insulin resistance and is associated with diabetes, hypertension, inflammation, and increased cardiovascular risk. In this review, we analyze the association between vitamin D supplementation and the reduction in cardiovascular disease. The role of vitamin D deficiency in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality is still controversial, and larger scale, randomized placebo controlled trials are needed to investigate whether oral vitamin D supplementation can reduce cardiovascular risk. Given the low cost, safety, and demonstrated benefit of higher 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels, vitamin D supplementation should become a public health priority for combating common and costly chronic cardiovascular diseases.
Cardiovascular disease; Morbidity; Mortality; Review; Vitamin D
To evaluate the efficacy and safety of adjuvant IFN therapy for viral hepatitis-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after treatment with surgical resection or transarterial chemoembolization (TACE).
Controlled trials of adjuvant treatment with IFN for patients with HCC published between 2000 and 2012 were searched electronically in MEDLINE, PubMed, Cochrane Library, and EMBASE databases. According to the heterogeneity of the studies, two different models - the fixed-effect model and the random-effect model - were applied to analyze the results.
Ten trials were screened according to inclusion and exclusion standards. Eight randomized, controlled trials and two non-randomized, controlled trials were included. These ten trials with a total of 1,029 subjects were eventually involved in the meta-analysis; 528 HCC patients were treated with adjuvant treatment with IFN and 501 patients with placebo. Compared to the control group, the recurrence rates of HCC in IFN group were significantly lower (odds ratio (OR) = 0.66; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.50 to 0.86; P = 0.02), especially after TACE treatment according to subgroup analysis (OR = 0.73; 95% CI = 0.52 to 1.01; P = 0.06 for surgical resection; and OR = 0.54; 95% CI = 0.33 to 0.86, P = 0.01 for TACE). The death rates in the IFN group also significantly decreased according to not only total events analysis (OR = 0.42; 95% CI = 0.32 to 0.56; P < 0.00001) but also subgroup analysis (OR = 0.51; 95% CI = 0.36 to 0.72; P = 0.0002 for surgical resection; and OR = 0.33; 95% CI = 0.21 to 0.50; P < 0.00001 for TACE).
Adjuvant IFN therapy may significantly reduce the recurrence rates of patients with viral hepatitis-related HCC and improve the survival of patients after surgical resection or TACE. The ideal dose mostly selected is 3 MIU/ml, three times per week, which can make patients tolerate the adverse reactions of IFN better and maintain effective concentrations for a long time.
Interferon; Adjuvant treatment; Viral hepatitis; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Meta-analysis
The resinous metabolites commonly known as frankincense or olibanum are produced by trees of the genus Boswellia and have attracted increasing popularity in Western countries in the last decade for their various pharmacological activities. This review described the pharmacological specific details mainly on anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, anti-bacterial and apoptosis-regulating activities of individual triterpenoid together with the relevant mechanism. In addition, species-characterizing triterpenic markers with the methods for their detection, bioavailability, safety and other significant properties were reviewed for further research.
Boswellia; Triterpenoids; Anti-inflammation; Anti-carcinogenic; Pharmacological activities; Bioavailability
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is the third endogenous signaling gasotransmitter, following nitric oxide and carbon monoxide. It is physiologically generated by cystathionine-γ-lyase, cystathionine-β-synthase, and 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase. H2S has been gaining increasing attention as an important endogenous signaling molecule because of its significant effects on the cardiovascular and nervous systems. Substantial evidence shows that H2S is involved in aging by inhibiting free-radical reactions, activating SIRT1, and probably interacting with the age-related gene Klotho. Moreover, H2S has been shown to have therapeutic potential in age-associated diseases. This article provides an overview of the physiological functions and effects of H2S in aging and age-associated diseases, and proposes the potential health and therapeutic benefits of H2S.
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are thought to drive uncontrolled tumor growth, and the existence of CSCs has recently been proven by direct experimental evidence, including tracing cell lineages within a growing tumor. However, CSCs must be analyzed in additional cancer types. Cancer stem cell-like cells (CSCLCs) are a good alternative system for the study of CSCs, which hold great promise for clinical applications. OCT4, NANOG, and SOX2 are three basic transcription factors that are expressed in both CSCLCs and embryonic stem cells (ESCs). These transcription factors play critical roles in maintaining the pluripotence and self-renewal characteristics of CSCLCs and ESCs. In this review, we discuss the aberrant expression, isoforms, and pseudogenes of OCT4, NANOG, and SOX2 in the CSCLC niche, which contribute to the major differences between CSCLCs and ESCs. We also highlight an anticancer therapy that involves killing specific cancer cells directly by repressing the expression of OCT4, NANOG, or SOX2. Importantly, OCT4, NANOG, and SOX2 provide great promise for clinical applications because reducing their expression or blocking the pathways in which they function may inhibit tumor growth and turn-off the cancer “switch.” In the future, a clear understanding of transcription factor regulation will be essential for elucidating the roles of OCT4, NANOG, and SOX2 in tumorigenesis, as well as exploring their use for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
OCT4; NANOG; SOX2; cancer stem cell; isoforms
This systematic review aims to evaluate current evidence for the benefit and side effect of oral Panax notoginseng preparation for coronary heart disease (CHD). We included 17 randomized clinical trials (17 papers and 1747 participants). Comparing with no intervention on the basis of conventional therapy, oral Panax notoginseng did not show significant effect on reducing cardiovascular events, but it could alleviate angina pectoris (including improving the symptoms of angina pectoris [RR 1.20; 95% CI 1.12 to 1.28; 7 trials, n = 791], improving electrocardiogram [RR 1.35; 95% CI 1.19 to 1.53; 8 trials, n = 727], decreasing the recurrence of angina pectoris [RR 0.38; 95% CI 0.16 to 0.94; 1 trials, n = 60], duration of angina pectoris [RR −1.88; 95% CI −2.08 to −1.69; 2 trials, n = 292], and dosage of nitroglycerin [MD −1.13; 95% CI −1.70 to −0.56; 2 trials, n = 212]); oral Panax notoginseng had no significant difference compared with isosorbide dinitrate on immediate effect for angina pectoris [RR 0.96; 95% CI 0.81 to 1.15; 1 trial, n = 80]. In conclusion, oral Panax notoginseng preparation could relieve angina pectoris related symptoms. However, the small sample size and potential bias of most trials influence the convincingness of this conclusion. More rigorous trials with high quality are needed to give high level of evidence, especially for the potential benefit of cardiovascular events.
New-generation retroviral vectors have potential applications in vaccination and gene therapy. Foamy viruses are particularly interesting as vectors, because they are not associated to any disease. Vector research is mainly based on primate foamy viruses (PFV), but cats are an alternative animal model, due to their smaller size and the existence of a cognate feline foamy virus (FFV). The potential of replication-competent (RC) FFV vectors for vaccination and replication-deficient (RD) FFV-based vectors for gene delivery purposes has been studied over the past years. In this review, the key achievements and functional evaluation of the existing vectors from in vitro cell culture systems to out-bred cats will be described. The data presented here demonstrate the broad application spectrum of FFV-based vectors, especially in pathogen-specific prophylactic and therapeutic vaccination using RD vectors in cats and in classical gene delivery. In the cat-based system, FFV-based vectors provide an advantageous platform to evaluate and optimize the applicability, efficacy and safety of foamy virus (FV) vectors, especially the understudied aspect of FV cell and organ tropism.
retrovirus vector; foamy virus; vaccine vector; gene therapy vector; animal model; spumaretrovirus; replication-deficient vector; replication-competent vector
There are controversies on the association between interleukin-13 (IL-13) +1923C/T polymorphism (rs1295686) and the risk of asthma. We performed this study to assess the association by the method of meta-analysis. A systematic search current to October 16, 2012, was conducted using PubMed, EMBASE, and China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) and identified ten studies comprising 13698 cases and 38209 controls. The pooled odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. There was a significant association between IL-13 +1923C/T polymorphism and asthma risk in codominant model. When stratified by ethnicity, IL-13 +1923C/T polymorphism remained significantly associated with higher asthma risk in Asians and Caucasians. In the subgroup analysis by study quality, a significantly increased asthma risk was observed in high quality studies. Sensitivity analysis and cumulative analysis further strengthened the validity of the results. No publication bias was found in this meta-analysis. In conclusion, results from this meta-analysis suggested that IL-13 +1923C/T polymorphism was a risk factor of asthma.