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
Recent studies have shown that multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) can be useful for distinguishing brain disorders into categories. Such analyses can substantially enrich and facilitate clinical diagnoses. Using MPVA methods, whole brain functional networks, especially those derived using different frequency windows, can be applied to detect brain states. We constructed whole brain functional networks for groups of vascular dementia (VaD) patients and controls using resting state BOLD-fMRI (rsfMRI) data from three frequency bands - slow-5 (0.01∼0.027 Hz), slow-4 (0.027∼0.073 Hz), and whole-band (0.01∼0.073 Hz). Then we used the support vector machine (SVM), a type of MVPA classifier, to determine the patterns of functional connectivity. Our results showed that the brain functional networks derived from rsfMRI data (19 VaD patients and 20 controls) in these three frequency bands appear to reflect neurobiological changes in VaD patients. Such differences could be used to differentiate the brain states of VaD patients from those of healthy individuals. We also found that the functional connectivity patterns of the human brain in the three frequency bands differed, as did their ability to differentiate brain states. Specifically, the ability of the functional connectivity pattern to differentiate VaD brains from healthy ones was more efficient in the slow-5 (0.01∼0.027 Hz) band than in the other two frequency bands. Our findings suggest that the MVPA approach could be used to detect abnormalities in the functional connectivity of VaD patients in distinct frequency bands. Identifying such abnormalities may contribute to our understanding of the pathogenesis of VaD.
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions, affecting more than one tenth of the world’s population. As such, adipose tissue is being increasingly recognized as an important therapeutic target for obesity and related metabolic disorders. While many potential targets of adipose tissue have been established and drugs developed, very few of those drugs specifically target adipose tissue without affecting other tissue. This results from a limited knowledge of both cell-surface markers and physicochemical traits specific to adipocytes that might otherwise be exploited by circulating drugs.
Here we report the use of cell-SELEX technology to select two aptamers that can specifically recognize mature adipocytes: adipo-1 and adipo-8. Adipo-8 shows high affinity for differentiated, mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes with a Kd value of 17.8±5.1 nM. The binding was sustained upon incubation at 37°C and insulin stimulation, but was lost upon trypsin treatment. The binding ability was also verified on frozen tissue slides with low background fluorescence and isolated adipocytes.
Aptamer adipo-8 selected from a random library appears to bind to mature differentiated adipocytes specifically. This aptamer holds great promise as a molecular recognition tool for adipocyte biomarker discovery or for targeted delivery of molecules to adipocytes.
Manual acupuncture has commonly been used in China, either alone or in combination with conventional medicine, to treat diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN). The objective of this study was to perform a systematic review to evaluate the potential benefits and harms of manual acupuncture for DPN to justify its clinical use.
We searched for published and unpublished randomized controlled trials of manual acupuncture for DPN till 31 March 2013. Revman 5.2 software was used for data analysis with effect estimate presented as relative risk (RR) and mean difference (MD) with a 95% confidence interval (CI).
A total of 25 trials involving 1649 participants were included. The methodological quality of included trials was generally poor. Meta-analysis showed that manual acupuncture had better effect on global symptom improvement compared with mecobalamin (RR 1.31, 95%CI 1.21 to 1.42), vitamin B1 and B12 (RR 1.55, 95%CI 1.33 to 1.80), and no treatment (RR 1.56, 95%CI 1.31 to 1.85), and that the combination of manual acupuncture and mecobalamin had better effect compared with mecobalamin alone on global symptom improvement (RR 1.56, 95%CI 1.28 to 1.90). Adverse events were not reported in any trials. The asymmetric funnel plot suggested publication bias.
Despite the number of trials of manual acupuncture for DPN and their uniformly positive results, no clinically relevant conclusions can be drawn from this review due to the trials’ high risks of bias and the possibility of publication bias. Clearly defined and internationally acknowledged outcome measures are required for future study. There remains an urgent need for training Chinese researchers in conducting unbiased trials as well as prospectively registering all initiated Chinese trials to avoid publication bias.
Bacillus sp. strain FJAT-13831 was isolated from the no. 1 pit soil of Emperor Qin's Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an City, People's Republic of China. The isolate showed a close relationship to the Bacillus cereus group. The draft genome sequence of Bacillus sp. FJAT-13831 was 4,425,198 bp in size and consisted of 5,567 genes (protein-coding sequences [CDS]) with an average length of 782 bp and a G+C value of 36.36%.
The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy and accuracy of posterior screw fixation for unstable Hangman’s fracture using intraoperative 3D fluoroscopy-based navigation.
14 patients with unstable Hangman’s fractures (11 males and 3 females), ranging in age from 21 to 59 years, received posterior fixation assisted by an intraoperative 3D fluoroscopy-based navigation system: 11 Levine–Edwards type II and three type IIA cases. The American Spine Injury Association grade was D in 2 and E in 12 cases.
Operation time was 110 min (range 90–140 min). Hospital stay was 7.6 days (range 5–12 days). All the patients were observed for an average of 28.8 months (range 15–50 months). No screw-related injury to nerve, or vertebral artery was observed intraoperatively. An average of four screws/patient were inserted. Pedicle screws were placed into C2 and C3, and 5 screws were into the lateral mass of C3. Screw placement accuracy was evaluated using postoperative CT, according to the modified classification of Gertzbein and Robbins; one screw was grade 2 in C2, and three screws were grade 2 in the pedicle of C3. No grade 3 misplacement or clinical deficits were noted. C3 lateral mass screws were successfully inserted. Neck pain was relieved in each case. Neurologic status improved from D to E in 2 cases. Solid fusion was demonstrated in all the cases by static and dynamic films during the final follow-up.
This case series demonstrates that intraoperative 3D fluoroscopy-based navigation is a safe, accurate, and effective tool for screw placement in patients with unstable Hangman’s fracture.
Three-dimensional fluoroscopy; Hangman’s fracture; Screw fixation; Intraoperative navigation; Traumatic spondylolisthesis of the axis
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs), formed from proteins and peptides by nonenzymatic glycoxidation after contact with aldose sugars, have been implicated in the pathogenesis of age-related cardiac and vascular dysfunction. Our previous study demonstrated significantly elevated levels of AGE and the receptor for AGE (RAGE) in human abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) tissues. Inhibition of AGE signaling by targeted gene deletion of RAGE markedly reduced the development of aneurysm in a mouse model of AAA. We also showed that AGE may stimulate aneurysm formation by promoting metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 expression. In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanism underlying this novel function of AGE.
The murine macrophage cell line RAW 264.7 was pretreated with AGE, TGF-β, and MAPK inhibitors. The protein was collected for Western blot analysis. Culture supernatants were collected to determine MMP-9 activity by gelatin zymography.
We found that AGE induced the production of MMP-9 in macrophages in a dose-dependent manner. This induction of MMP-9 was markedly diminished by pretreatment with TGF-β. To delineate the underlying molecular mechanism, we showed that AGE increased phosphorylation of p44/42 ERK, p38, JNK, and PI3K in macrophages. Moreover, AGE induced active p65 subunit of NF-κB. Inhibition of ERK (UO126) or p38 (SB203580), but not PI3K (LY294002 or wortmannin), blocked AGE-induced MMP-9 expression. In contrast, inhibition of JNK (SP-600125) significantly enhanced the stimulatory effect of AGE on MMP-9. Furthermore, TGF-β suppressed AGE-induced expression of the active p65 subunit of NF-κB.
Our data indicate that AGE induces MMP-9 through activation of ERK, p38 mitogen-activated protein and NF-κB, a pathway that is antagonized by TGF-β. This finding in conjunction with previously reported AGE functions in inflammation suggests that anti-AGE therapies could be effective in the prevention of human AAA development and progression.
MAP kinases; abdominal aortic aneurysm; signaling; TGF-beta
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a surprisingly heterogeneous disorder with symptoms including resting tremor, bradykinesia and rigidity. PD has been associated with abnormal task related brain activation in sensory and motor regions as well as reward related network. Although corticostriatal skeletomotor circuit dysfunction is implicated in the neurobiology of Parkinson’s disease, the functional connectivity within this circuit at the resting state is still unclear for PD. Here we utilized resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure the functional connectivity of striatum and motor cortex in 19 patients with PD and 20 healthy controls. We found that the putamen, but not the caudate, exhibited enhanced connectivity with supplementary motor area (SMA), using either the putamen or the SMA as the “seed region”. Enhanced SMA-amygdala functional connectivity was also found in the PD group, compared with normal controls. Our findings highlight the key role of hyper-connected putamen-SMC circuit in the pathophysiology of PD.
AIM: To investigate the normal hepatic magnetic resonance spectroscopy findings choline/lipid2 (Cho/Lip2) associated with age and body mass index (BMI).
METHODS: A total of 58 single-voxel proton spectra of the liver were acquired at 3.0 T using the eight-channel phased array abdominal coil as the receiver coil. Consecutive stacks of breath-hold spectra were acquired using the point resolved spectroscopy technique at a short echo time of 30 ms and a repetition time of 1500 ms. The spectra were processed with the SAGE software package. Areas and heights for metabolite resonance were obtained. Student’s t test for unpaired data was used for comparisons of shimming, Cho/Lip2, and lipid content.
RESULTS: There were significant negative correlations between the Cho/Lip2 peak height ratios and BMI (r = -0.615) and age (r = -0.398) (all P < 0.01). Compared with the high-BMI group, the low-BMI group was younger (39.1 ± 13.0 years vs 47.6 ± 8.5 years, t = -2.954, P = 0.005); had better water suppression (93.4% ± 1.4% vs 85.6% ± 11.6%, t = 2.741, P = 0.014); had higher Cho/Lip2 peak heights ratio (0.2 ± 0.14 vs 0.05 ± 0.04, t = 6.033, P < 0.000); and had lower lipid content (0.03 ± 0.08 vs 0.29 ± 0.31, t = -3.309, P = 0.004). Compared with the older group, the younger group had better shimming effects (17.1 ± 3.6 Hz vs 22.0 ± 6.8 Hz, t = -2.919, P = 0.008); higher Cho/Lip2 peak heights ratios (0.03 ± 0.05 vs 0.09 ± 0.12, t = 2.4, P = 0.020); and lower lipid content (0.05 ± 0.11 vs 0.23 ± 0.32, t = -2.337, P = 0.031). Compared with the low-choline peak group, the high-choline peak group had lower lipid content (0.005 ± 0.002 vs 0.13 ± 0.23, t = -3.796, P < 0.000); lower BMI (19.6 ± 2.4 vs 23.9 ± 3.0, t = -4.410, P < 0.000); and younger age (34.7 ± 10.0 years vs 43.2 ± 12.5 years, t = -2.088, P = 0.041).
CONCLUSION: Lipid accumulation could result from the increased fat in the body depending on age and BMI. Lipid can mask the resonance signal of choline.
Magnetic resonance spectroscopy; High-field imaging; Choline
Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved lysosomal self-digestion process involved in degradation of long-lived proteins and damaged organelles. In recent years, increasing evidence indicates that autophagy is associated with a number of pathological processes, including cancer. In this review, we focus on the recent studies of the evolutionarily conserved autophagy-related genes (ATGs) that are implicated in autophagosome formation and the pathways involved. We discuss several key autophagic mediators (eg, Beclin-1, UVRAG, Bcl-2, Class III and I PI3K, mTOR, and p53) that play pivotal roles in autophagic signaling networks in cancer. We discuss the Janus roles of autophagy in cancer and highlighted their relationship to tumor suppression and tumor progression. We also present some examples of targeting ATGs and several protein kinases as anticancer strategy, and discuss some autophagy-modulating agents as antitumor agents. A better understanding of the relationship between autophagy and cancer would ultimately allow us to harness autophagic pathways as new targets for drug discovery in cancer therapeutics.
autophagy; cancer; autophagy-related gene (ATG); Beclin-1; Bcl-2; Class III and I PI3K; mTOR; p53
A variety of microbial communities and their genes (microbiome) exist throughout the human body, playing fundamental roles in human health and disease. The NIH funded Human Microbiome Project (HMP) Consortium has established a population-scale framework which catalyzed significant development of metagenomic protocols resulting in a broad range of quality-controlled resources and data including standardized methods for creating, processing and interpreting distinct types of high-throughput metagenomic data available to the scientific community. Here we present resources from a population of 242 healthy adults sampled at 15 to 18 body sites up to three times, which to date, have generated 5,177 microbial taxonomic profiles from 16S rRNA genes and over 3.5 Tb of metagenomic sequence. In parallel, approximately 800 human-associated reference genomes have been sequenced. Collectively, these data represent the largest resource to date describing the abundance and variety of the human microbiome, while providing a platform for current and future studies.
Purpose. To determine whether administration of gadolinium diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid (Gd-DTPA) and whether placement of the outer volume saturation bands significantly affect shimming and water suppression on hepatic MR spectroscopic prescanning. Method. Region of interest (ROI) of 2 cm × 2 cm × 2 cm was carefully positioned in the region of the middle portion of the right hepatic lobe. 32 patients were examined before and after administration of Gd-DTPA with and without outer-volume saturation bands. Linewidths (Full-Width Half-Maximum (FWHM)) and water suppression were obtained. A paired t-test for comparison of means was used. Results. (1) The group with the outer volume saturation bands demonstrated slightly better water suppression effect than the group without outer volume saturation bands before administration. (2) The group with the outer volume saturation bands demonstrated better water suppression effect than the group without outer volume saturation bands after administration. (3) Both shimming and water suppression effectswere decreased on enhanced MR spectroscopic prescanning (all P < 0.05). Conclusions. Placement of the outer volume saturation bands is helpful to improve water suppression both before and after contrast agent administration. Gd-DTPA exerts a slightly adverse effect (a statistically significant but clinically unimportant) on magnetic resonance spectroscopic prescanning at 3T.
In the title compound, [Zn2(C8H4O6)(C12H8N2)2(H2O)6](C8H4O6), the complete ions of both the binuclear dication and the dianion are generated by crystallographic inversion symmetry. The Zn atom is bonded to an N,N′-bidentate phenanthroline ligand, three water moleules and an O-monodenate 2,5-dihydroxyterephthalate dianion. In the resulting distorted octahedral ZnN2O4 coordination polyhedron, the water O atoms are in a mer orientation. Two intramolecular O—H⋯O hydrogen bonds occur in the bridging 2,5-dihydroxyterephthalate dianion within the complex cation and also in the free dianion. An intramolecular Ow—H⋯O (w = water) hydrogen bond also occurs within the dication. In the crystal, O—H⋯O hydrogen bonds link the component ions into a three-dimensional network.
Methyl-CpG binding domain protein 5 (MBD5) belongs to the MBD family proteins, which play central roles in transcriptional regulation and development. The significance of MBD5 function is highlighted by recent studies implicating it as a candidate gene involved in human 2q23.1 microdeletion syndrome. To investigate the physiological role of Mbd5, we generated knockout mice. The Mbd5-deficient mice showed growth retardation, wasting and pre-weaning lethality. The observed growth retardation was associated with the impairment of GH/IGF-1 axis in Mbd5-null pups. Conditional knockout of Mbd5 in the brain resulted in the similar phenotypes as whole body deletion, indicating that Mbd5 functions in the nervous system to regulate postnatal growth. Moreover, the mutant mice also displayed enhanced glucose tolerance and elevated insulin sensitivity as a result of increased insulin signaling, ultimately resulting in disturbed glucose homeostasis and hypoglycemia. These results indicate Mbd5 as an essential factor for mouse postnatal growth and maintenance of glucose homeostasis.
The asymmetric unit of the title structure, C28H19NO·0.5C3H6O, comprises one 2-(anthracen-9-yl)-10-methoxybenzo[h]quinoline molecule and an acteone molecule with an occupany of 0.5. The solvent molecule is disordered around a centre of symmetry. Its occupancy was determined from NMR data and kept fixed during the refinement. The two conjugated ring systems of the molecule are almost perpendicular to each other; the interplanar angle between the anthracene and quinoline ring systems is 84.9 (2)°.
Acupuncture in humans can produce clinical effects via the central nervous system. However, the neural substrates of acupuncture’s effects remain largely unknown.
We utilized functional MRI to investigate the topological efficiency of brain functional networks in eighteen healthy young adults who were scanned before and after acupuncture at the ST36 acupoints (ACUP) and its sham point (SHAM). Whole-brain functional networks were constructed by thresholding temporal correlations matrices of ninety brain regions, followed by a graph theory-based analysis. We showed that brain functional networks exhibited small-world attributes (high local and global efficiency) regardless of the order of acupuncture and stimulus points, a finding compatible with previous studies of brain functional networks. Furthermore, the brain networks had increased local efficiency after ACUP stimulation but there were no significant differences after SHAM, indicating a specificity of acupuncture point in coordinating local information flow over the whole brain. Moreover, significant (P<0.05, corrected by false discovery rate approach) effects of only acupuncture point were detected on nodal degree of the left hippocampus (higher nodal degree at ACUP as compared to SHAM). Using an uncorrected P<0.05, point-related effects were also observed in the anterior cingulate cortex, frontal and occipital regions while stimulation-related effects in various brain regions of frontal, parietal and occipital cortex regions. In addition, we found that several limbic and subcortical brain regions exhibited point- and stimulation-related alterations in their regional homogeneity (P<0.05, uncorrected).
Our results suggest that acupuncture modulates topological organization of whole-brain functional brain networks and the modulation has point specificity. These findings provide new insights into neuronal mechanism of acupuncture from the perspective of functional integration. Further studies would be interesting to apply network analysis approaches to study the effects of acupuncture treatments on brain disorders.
In the title compound, C29H25NO, the dihedral angles between the indolin-2-one ring system and the three benzene rings are 62.78 (9), 31.69 (9) and 80.94 (9)°.
Brassica species include both vegetable and oilseed crops, which are very important to the daily life of common human beings. Meanwhile, the Brassica species represent an excellent system for studying numerous aspects of plant biology, specifically for the analysis of genome evolution following polyploidy, so it is also very important for scientific research. Now, the genome of Brassica rapa has already been assembled, it is the time to do deep mining of the genome data.
BRAD, the Brassica database, is a web-based resource focusing on genome scale genetic and genomic data for important Brassica crops. BRAD was built based on the first whole genome sequence and on further data analysis of the Brassica A genome species, Brassica rapa (Chiifu-401-42). It provides datasets, such as the complete genome sequence of B. rapa, which was de novo assembled from Illumina GA II short reads and from BAC clone sequences, predicted genes and associated annotations, non coding RNAs, transposable elements (TE), B. rapa genes' orthologous to those in A. thaliana, as well as genetic markers and linkage maps. BRAD offers useful searching and data mining tools, including search across annotation datasets, search for syntenic or non-syntenic orthologs, and to search the flanking regions of a certain target, as well as the tools of BLAST and Gbrowse. BRAD allows users to enter almost any kind of information, such as a B. rapa or A. thaliana gene ID, physical position or genetic marker.
BRAD, a new database which focuses on the genetics and genomics of the Brassica plants has been developed, it aims at helping scientists and breeders to fully and efficiently use the information of genome data of Brassica plants. BRAD will be continuously updated and can be accessed through http://brassicadb.org.
To mimic the dynamic regulation of signaling ligands immobilized on extracellular matrices or on the surfaces of neighboring cells for guidance of cell behavior and fate selection, we have harnessed biomolecular recognition in combination with polymer engineering to create dynamic surfaces on which the accessibility of immobilized ligands to cell surface receptors can be reversibly interconverted under physiological conditions. The cell-adhesive RGD peptide is chosen as a model ligand. RGD is fused to the C-terminus of a leucine zipper domain A and this fusion polypeptide is immobilized on surfaces through a residue at the N-terminus. The immobilized RGD can be converted from a cell-accessible to a cell-inaccessible state by addition of a conjugate of poly(ethylene) glycol (PEG) and another leucine zipper domain B (B-PEG). Heterodimerization between A and B allows co-immobilization of the PEG, which shields RGD from access by cells. The shielded RGD can be converted back to a cell-accessible state by addition of non-immobilized polypeptide A, which competes with the immobilized A for binding to B-PEG and removes B-PEG from the surface. This molecular design offers several advantages: the interconversion is reversible; the ligand remains immobilized during dynamic regulation so that cells are not exposed to the soluble form of the ligand that potentially has detrimental effects; the precision of the on/off states is assured by the molecular-level uniformity of the ligand and PEG co-immobilized through leucine zipper heterodimerization. The method can be readily adapted for dynamic regulation of other immobilized bioactive ligands of interest.
The attack rate was low, and having contact with an ill household member and younger age were the major risk factors.
We estimated the attack rate of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 and assessed risk factors for infection among close contacts quarantined in Beijing, People’s Republic of China. The first 613 confirmed cases detected between May 16 and September 15, 2009, were investigated; 7,099 close contacts were located and quarantined. The attack rate of confirmed infection in close contacts was 2.4% overall, ranging from 0.9% among aircraft passengers to >5% among household members. Risk factors for infection among close contacts were younger age, being a household member of an index case-patient, exposure during the index case-patient’s symptomatic phase, and longer exposure. Among close contacts with positive test results at the start of quarantine, 17.2% had subclinical infection. Having contact with a household member and younger age were the major risk factors for acquiring pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza virus infection. One person in 6 with confirmed pandemic (H1N1) 2009 was asymptomatic.
influenza; pandemic; close contact; attack rate; quarantine; viruses; China; pandemic (H1N1) 2009; research
The goal of this study is to observe changes in HBcAg-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), natural killer (NK) and natural killer T (NKT) cells from peripheral blood and to relate such changes on viral clearance and liver injury in patients with acute hepatitis B (AHB).
Dynamic profiles on the frequency of HLA-A0201-restricted HBcAg18-27 pentamer complex (MHC-Pentamer)-specific CTLs and lymphocyte subsets in AHB patients were analyzed in addition to liver function tests, HBV serological markers, and HBV DNA levels. ELISPOT was used to detect interferon-gamma (INF-γ) secretion in specific CTLs stimulated with known T cell epitope peptides associated with HBV surface protein, polymerase, and core protein.
HBV-specific CTL frequencies in AHB patients were much higher than in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) (p < 0.05). HBeAg and HBV DNA disappeared earlier in AHB patients with a high frequency of HBV-specific CTLs compared with those with a low frequency of HBV-specific CTLs (p = 0.001 and 0.024, respectively). INF-γ spots of effector cells stimulated by Pol575-583, Env348-357, or Core18-27 epitope peptides were significantly greater in AHB patients than in CHB patients (p < 0.01). CD3+CD8+ T cell numbers in AHB patients was more than observed in the healthy control group from the first to the fourth week after admission (p = 0.008 and 0.01, respectively); the number of CD3+CD8+ T cells and frequency of HBcAg18-27-specific CTLs in AHB patients reached peak levels at the second week after admission. NK and NKT cell numbers were negatively correlated with the frequency of HBcAg-specific CTLs (r = -0.266, p = 0.05).
Patients with AHB possess a higher frequency of HBcAg-specific CTLs than CHB patients. The frequency of specific CTLs in AHB patients is correlated with HBeAg clearance indicating that HBV-specific CTLs play an important role in viral clearance and the self-limited process of the disease. Furthermore, NK and NKT cells are likely involved in the early, non-specific immune response to clear the virus.
Memory CD4+ T cells that produce both Th2 and Th17 cytokines are increased in the blood of patients with atopic asthma and in the lungs of asthmatic mice, where they contribute to inflammation.
The inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-17 is involved in the pathogenesis of allergic diseases. However, the identity and functions of IL-17–producing T cells during the pathogenesis of allergic diseases remain unclear. Here, we report a novel subset of TH2 memory/effector cells that coexpress the transcription factors GATA3 and RORγt and coproduce TH17 and TH2 cytokines. Classical TH2 memory/effector cells had the potential to produce IL-17 after stimulation with proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-21. The number of IL-17-TH2 cells was significantly increased in blood of patients with atopic asthma. In a mouse model of allergic lung diseases, IL-17–producing CD4+ TH2 cells were induced in the inflamed lung and persisted as the dominant IL-17–producing T cell population during the chronic stage of asthma. Treating cultured bronchial epithelial cells with IL-17 plus TH2 cytokines induced strong up-regulation of chemokine eotaxin-3, Il8, Mip1b, and Groa gene expression. Compared with classical TH17 and TH2 cells, antigen-specific IL-17–producing TH2 cells induced a profound influx of heterogeneous inflammatory leukocytes and exacerbated asthma. Our findings highlight the plasticity of TH2 memory cells and suggest that IL-17–producing TH2 cells may represent the key pathogenic TH2 cells promoting the exacerbation of allergic asthma.
AIM: To monitor the early responses to irradiation in primary and metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) with 18F-fluorothymidine (18F-FLT) and 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) small-animal position emission tomography (micro-PET).
METHODS: The primary and metastatic CRC cell lines, SW480 and SW620, were irradiated with 5, 10 and 20 Gy. After 24 h, the cell cycle phases were analyzed. A dual-tumor-bearing mouse model of primary and metastatic cancer was established by injecting SW480 and SW620 cells into mice. micro-PET with 18F-FLT and 18F-FDG was performed before and 24 h after irradiation with 5, 10 and 20 Gy. The region of interest (ROI) was drawn over the tumor and background to calculate the ratio of tumor to non-tumor (T/NT) in tissues. Immunohistochemical assay and Western blotting were used to examine the levels of integrin β3, Ki-67, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) and heat shock protein 27 (HSP27).
RESULTS: The proportion of SW480 and SW620 cells in the G2-M phase was decreased with an increasing radiation dose. The proportion of SW480 cells in the G0-G1 phase was increased from 48.33% ± 4.55% to 87.09% ± 7.43% (P < 0.001) and that of SW620 cells in the S-phase was elevated from 43.57% ± 2.65% to 66.59% ± 7.37% (P = 0.021). In micro-PET study, with increasing dose of radiation, 18F-FLT uptake was significantly reduced from 3.65 ± 0.51 to 2.87 ± 0.47 (P = 0.008) in SW480 tumors and from 2.22 ± 0.42 to 1.76 ± 0.45 (P = 0.026) in SW620 tumors. 18F-FDG uptake in SW480 and SW620 tumors was reduced but not significantly (F = 0.582, P = 0.633 vs F = 0.273, P = 0.845). Dose of radiation was negatively correlated with 18F-FLT uptake in both SW480 and SW620 tumors (r = -0.727, P = 0.004; and r = -0.664, P = 0.009). No significant correlation was found between 18F-FDG uptake and radiation dose in SW480 or SW620 tumors. HSP27 and integrin β3 expression was higher in SW480 than in SW620 tumors. The T/NT ratio for 18F-FLT uptake was positively correlated with HSP27 and integrin β3 expression (r = 0.924, P = 0.004; and r = 0.813, P = 0.025).
CONCLUSION: 18F-FLT is more suitable than 18F-FDG in monitoring early responses to irradiation in both primary and metastatic lesions of colorectal cancer.
18F-fluorothymidine; 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose; Irradiation; Positron emission tomography; Colorectal cancer
Scrub typhus, caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi, has emerged recently in areas of northern China where the disease had not been known to exist. We analyzed epidemiological, clinical, and laboratory data for 104 patients who were admitted to a hospital in Fuyang City between 26 September and 1 November 2008. We showed that the major clinical manifestations of the patients were fever (100%), headache (82%), myalgias (77%), eschar (67%), rash (52%), and unusual facial flushing (62%). Among the 104 patients, the sera of 98% contained IgM antibodies to O. tsutsugamushi detected by indirect immunofluorescence assays (IFA), and DNA of the O. tsutsugamushi 56-kDa gene was amplified by PCR from the blood of 36 patients. We conclude that 104 patients were infected with scrub typhus in Fuyang City, Anhui Province. Our study indicates that physicians need to consider the diagnosis of scrub typhus for febrile patients living in northern China, where scrub typhus had not been considered to exist in the past.