There is a rapidly increasing amount of de novo genome assembly using next-generation sequencing (NGS) short reads; however, several big challenges remain to be overcome in order for this to be efficient and accurate. SOAPdenovo has been successfully applied to assemble many published genomes, but it still needs improvement in continuity, accuracy and coverage, especially in repeat regions.
To overcome these challenges, we have developed its successor, SOAPdenovo2, which has the advantage of a new algorithm design that reduces memory consumption in graph construction, resolves more repeat regions in contig assembly, increases coverage and length in scaffold construction, improves gap closing, and optimizes for large genome.
Benchmark using the Assemblathon1 and GAGE datasets showed that SOAPdenovo2 greatly surpasses its predecessor SOAPdenovo and is competitive to other assemblers on both assembly length and accuracy. We also provide an updated assembly version of the 2008 Asian (YH) genome using SOAPdenovo2. Here, the contig and scaffold N50 of the YH genome were ~20.9 kbp and ~22 Mbp, respectively, which is 3-fold and 50-fold longer than the first published version. The genome coverage increased from 81.16% to 93.91%, and memory consumption was ~2/3 lower during the point of largest memory consumption.
Genome; Assembly; Contig; Scaffold; Error correction; Gap-filling
In order to explore the mechanism of delayed and uneven germination in sharp tooth oak (Quercus aliena var. acuteserrata) (STO), mechanical scarification techniques were used to study STO root and shoot germination and growth. The techniques used were: removing cup scar (RS), removing the pericarp (RP), and cutting off 1/2 (HC) and 2/3 (TC) cotyledons. Germination percentage and root and shoot length for Chinese cabbage (Beassica pekinensis) seeds (CCS) were also investigated for CCS cultivated in a Sanyo growth cabinet watered by distilled water and 80% methanol extracts from the acorn embryo, cotyledon and pericarp with concentrations of 1.0 g, 0.8 g, 0.6 g and 0.4 g dry acorn weight per ml methanol. The results showed that the majority of roots and shoots from acorns with RP and HC treatment emerged two weeks earlier, more simultaneously, and their total emergences were more than 46% and 28% higher, respectively. TC accelerated root and shoot emergence time and root length, but root and shoot germination rate and shoot height had no significant difference from the control. Positive consequences were not observed on all indices of RS treatment. The germination rates of CCS watered by 1.0 g·ml−1 methanol extracts from the embryo and cotyledon were significantly lower than those from the pericarp, and all concentrations resulted in decreased growth of root and shoot. Methanol extracts from pericarp significantly reduced root length of CCS, but presented little response in germination percentage and shoot length. The inhibitory effect was gradually increased with the increasing concentration of the methanol extract. We conclude that both the mechanical restriction of the pericarp and the presence of germination inhibitors in the embryo, cotyledon and pericarp are the causes for delayed and asynchronous germination of STO acorns.
Establishment of efficient genome editing tools is essential for fundamental research, genetic engineering, and gene therapy. Successful construction and application of transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) in several organisms herald an exciting new era for genome editing. We describe the production of two active TALENs and their successful application in the targeted mutagenesis of silkworm, Bombyx mori, whose genetic manipulation methods are parallel to those of Drosophila and other insects. We will also show that the simultaneous expression of two pairs of TALENs generates heritable large chromosomal deletion. Our results demonstrate that (i) TALENs can be used in silkworm and (ii) heritable large chromosomal deletions can be induced by two pairs of TALENs in whole organisms. The generation and the high frequency of TALENs-induced targeted mutagenesis in silkworm will promote the genetic modification of silkworm and other insect species.
Patients with chronic pain usually suffer from working memory deficits, which may decrease their intellectual ability significantly. Despite intensive clinical studies, the mechanism underlying this form of memory impairment remains elusive. In this study, we investigated this issue in the spared nerve injury (SNI) model of neuropathic pain, a most common form of chronic pain. We found that SNI impaired working memory and short-term memory in rats and mice. To explore the potential mechanisms, we studied synaptic transmission/plasticity in hippocampus, a brain region critically involved in memory function. We found that frequency facilitation, a presynaptic form of short-term plasticity, and long-term potentiation at CA3–CA1 synapses were impaired after SNI. Structurally, density of presynaptic boutons in hippocampal CA1 synapses was reduced significantly. At the molecular level, we found that tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) increased in cerebrospinal fluid, in hippocampal tissue and in plasma after SNI. Intracerebroventricular or intrahippocampal injection of recombinant rat TNF mimicked the effects of SNI in naive rats, whereas inhibition of TNF-α or genetic deletion of TNF receptor 1 prevented both memory deficits and synaptic dysfunction induced by SNI. As TNF-α is critical for development of neuropathic pain, we suggested that the over-production of TNF-α following peripheral nerve injury might lead to neuropathic pain and memory deficits, simultaneously.
spared nerve injury; chronic neuropathic pain; working memory; long-term potentiation; presynaptic boutons; tumor necrosis factor-α; pain/analgesics; learning & memory; neuropharmacology; plasticity; peripheral nerve injury; chronic neuropathic pain; working memory; long-term potentiation; presynaptic boutons; tumor necrosis factor alpha
HIV-1 pandemic posed an unprecedent challenge to the global health and it is believed that an effective vaccine will be the final solution against HIV-1. HIV-1 envelope is the primary immunogen in developing neutralization antibody based HIV vaccine. To define the suitable Env derived immunogen, we systemically compared the immunogenicity of gp140 and gp145 in a DNA vaccination alone and a prime-boost modalities. 2 DNA vaccines and 2 recombinant Tiantan vaccinia vaccines (rTTV) were constructed for vaccination of female Balb/c mice. Elispot assay was used to read out the T cell immunity and ELISA assay was used to quantify antibody immunity. PLL (poly-L-Leucine)-ELISA assay was used in linear antibody epitope mapping. Mice primed with gp145 tended to elicit more Env-specific T cells responses than those primed with gp140, significant difference was observed in DNA immunization alone. The ultimate T cell responses in prime-boost regimen tends to be determined mainly by the priming efficacy. Linear antibody epitope mapping displayed that sera raised by gp145 priming were vigorously reactive to more peptides than that by gp140. Our data demonstrated HIV-1 Thailand B-derived gp145 may raise higher T-cell responses and broader linear peptide-specific antibody responses than gp140 does. However, it remains to be determined that how these observations are relevant to neutralization antibody activities.
HIV-1; Vaccine; Envelope; Immunogen design
Delayed ischemic preconditioning effectively protects kidneys from ischemia-reperfusion injury but the mechanism underlying renal protection remains poorly understood. Here we examined the in vivo role of microRNA miR-21 in the renal protection conferred by delayed ischemic preconditioning in mice. A 15 minute renal ischemic preconditioning significantly increased the expression of miR-21 by 4 hours and substantially attenuated ischemia-reperfusion injury induced 4 days later. A locked nucleic acid-modified anti-miR-21 given at the time of ischemic preconditioning knocked down miR-21 and significantly exacerbated subsequent ischemia-reperfusion injury in the mouse kidney. Knockdown of miR-21 resulted in significant upregulation of programmed cell death protein 4, a pro-apoptotic target gene of miR-21, and substantially increased tubular cell apoptosis. Hypoxia inducible factor-1α in the kidney was activated after ischemic preconditioning and blockade of its activity with a decoy abolished the up-regulation of miR-21 in cultured human renal epithelial cells treated with the inducer cobalt chloride. In the absence of ischemic preconditioning, knockdown of miR-21 alone did not significantly affect ischemia-reperfusion injury in the mouse kidney. Thus, upregulation of miR-21 contributes to the protective effect of delayed ischemic preconditioning against subsequent renal ischemia-reperfusion injury.
Recent studies underscore the importance of myeloid cells in rendering distant organs hospitable for disseminating tumor cells to colonize. However, what enables myeloid cells to have an apparently superior capacity to colonize distant organs is unclear. Here we show that S1PR1-STAT3 upregulation in tumor cells induces factors that activate S1PR1-STAT3 in various cells in pre-metastatic sites, leading to pre-metastatic niche formation. Targeting either S1PR1 or STAT3 in myeloid cells disrupts existing pre-metastatic niches. S1PR1-STAT3 pathway enables myeloid cells to intravasate, prime the distant organ microenvironment and mediate sustained proliferation and survival of their own and other stromal cells at future metastatic sites. Analyzing tumor-free lymph nodes from cancer patients shows elevated myeloid infiltrates, STAT3 activity and increased survival signal.
Regulator of Cullins-1 (ROC1) is a key subunit in the Cullin-RING ligase (CRL) protein complex. Overexpression of ROC1 protein is associated with tumor progression and poor prognosis of non-muscle invasive bladder transitional cell carcinoma (NMIBC). This study was designed to assess the effects of ROC1 knockdown in bladder cancer cells and to determine the potential mechanisms involved. A total of 112 bladder cancer tissue specimens were recruited for immunohistochemical analyses of ROC1 overexpression. Bladder cancer cell lines were used to knockdown ROC1 expression using ROC1 siRNA. Our data showed that ROC1 knockdown remarkably inhibited bladder cancer cell growth, arrested cells at the G2 phase of the cell cycle, and induced the p53-dependent cell senescence. Molecularly, G2 arrest was associated with upregulation of p21, p27, cyclin B1, and Cdc2 proteins. ROC1 knockdown induced-senescence functioned through p53/p21 pathway. Knockdown of p21 expression partially rescued ROC1 knockdown-induced growth inhibition in cancer cells. Furthermore, nude mouse xenograft analyses confirmed these in vitro data. In conclusion, data from the current study indicate that ROC1 plays an essential role in bladder cancer progression and could serve as a novel anticancer target for bladder transitional cell carcinoma (BTCC).
Altered functional characteristics have been reported in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD); nonetheless, comprehensive analyses of the resting-state networks (RSNs) are rare. This study combined multiple imaging modalities to investigate the functional and structural changes within each RSN and between RSNs in aMCI/AD patients. Eight RSNs were identified from functional MRI data from 35 AD, 18 aMCI and 21 normal control subjects using independent component analysis. We compared functional connectivity (FC) within each RSN and found decreased FC in the several cognitive-related RSNs in AD, including the bilateral precuneus of the precuneus network, the posterior cingulate cortex and left precuneus of the posterior default mode network (DMN), and the left superior parietal lobule of the left frontoparietal network (LFP). We further compared the grey matter volumes and amplitudes of low-frequency fluctuations of these regions and found decreases in these measures in AD. Importantly, we found decreased inter-network connectivity between the visual network and the LFP and between the anterior and posterior DMNs in AD. All indices in aMCI patients were numerically between those of controls and AD patients. These results suggest that the brain networks supporting complex cognitive processes are specifically and progressively impaired over the course of AD, and the FC impairments are present not only within networks but also between networks.
Comprehensive discovery of genetic mechanisms of drug resistance and identification of in vivo drug targets represent significant challenges. Here we present a functional variomics technology in the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This tool analyzes numerous genetic variants and effectively tackles both problems simultaneously. Using this tool, we discovered almost all genes that, due to mutations or modest overexpression, confer resistance to rapamycin, cycloheximide, and amphotericin B. Most significant among the resistance genes were drug targets, including multiple targets of a given drug. With amphotericin B, we discovered the highly conserved membrane protein Pmp3 as a potent resistance factor and a possible novel target. Widespread application of this tool should allow rapid identification of conserved resistance mechanisms and targets of many more compounds. New genes and alleles that confer resistance to other stresses can also be discovered. Similar tools in other systems such as human cell lines will also be useful.
Milk fat globule factor-E8 (MFG-E8) has been regarded as a key factor involved in the phagocytosis of apoptotic cells. We induced a lentivirus into the microglial cells for the augmentation or abrogation of MFG-E8 expression in mouse microglial cells, and investigated phagocytosis of phosphatidylserine tagged human red blood cells (hRBCs) in co-cultures. Increased MFG-E8 levels were associated with a significant increase in phagocytic activity compared to the controls. Conversely, phagocytosis dramitically decreased due to the abrogation of MFG-E8. In addition, the expression of the inflammatory cytokines, TNF-α and IL-1β, also increased or decreased in the microglial cells with the augmentation or abrogation of MFG-E8, respectively. Our findings indicate that the enhanced expression of MFG-E8 could increase phagocytosis of apoptotic cells; conversely, the rate of phagocytosis and the expression of inflammatory cytokines decreased when MFG-E8 expression was knocked down. Our results confirm that MFG-E8 plays an important role in phagocytosis, and possibly serves as an essential signal molecule for microglial cells.
A-to-I RNA editing catalyzed by the two main members of the adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR) family, ADAR1 and ADAR2, represents a RNA-based recoding mechanism implicated in a variety of cellular processes. Previously we have demonstrated that the expression of ADAR2 in pancreatic islet β-cells is responsive to the metabolic cues and ADAR2 deficiency affects regulated cellular exocytosis. To investigate the molecular mechanism by which ADAR2 is metabolically regulated, we found that in cultured β-cells and primary islets, the stress-activated protein kinase JNK1 mediates the upregulation of ADAR2 in response to changes of the nutritional state. In parallel with glucose induction of ADAR2 expression, JNK phosphorylation was concurrently increased in insulin-secreting INS-1 β-cells. Pharmacological inhibition of JNKs or siRNA knockdown of the expression of JNK1 prominently suppressed glucose-augmented ADAR2 expression, resulting in decreased efficiency of ADAR2 auto-editing. Consistently, the mRNA expression of Adar2 was selectively reduced in the islets from JNK1 null mice in comparison with that of wild-type littermates or JNK2 null mice, and ablation of JNK1 diminished high-fat diet-induced Adar2 expression in the islets from JNK1 null mice. Furthermore, promoter analysis of the mouse Adar2 gene identified a glucose-responsive region and revealed the transcription factor c-Jun as a driver of Adar2 transcription. Taken together, these results demonstrate that JNK1 serves as a crucial component in mediating glucose-responsive upregulation of ADAR2 expression in pancreatic β-cells. Thus, the JNK1 pathway may be functionally linked to the nutrient-sensing actions of ADAR2-mediated RNA editing in professional secretory cells.
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 mannose-sensitive hemagglutination pilus strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA-MSHA) has been shown to trigger naïve immune responses through the activation of monocytes, macrophages, natural killer cells (NK cells) and antigen presenting cells (APCs). Based on the hypothesis that PA-MSHA activates natural immunity through the Toll-like receptor (TLR) pathway, we scanned several critical TLR pathway molecules in mouse splenocytes using high-throughput real-time QRT-PCR and co-stimulatory molecule in bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) following in vitro stimulation by PA-MSHA. PA-MSHA enabled activation of the TLR pathway mediated by NF-κB and JNK signaling in splenocytes, and the co-stimulatory molecule CD86 was up-regulated in BMDCs. We then assessed the adjuvant effect of PA-MSHA for HIV-1 DNA vaccines. In comparison to DNA inoculation alone, co-inoculation with low dosage of PA-MSHA enhanced specific immunoreactivity against HIV-1 Env in both cellular and humoral responses, and promoted antibody avidity maturation. However, high doses of adjuvant resulted in an immunosuppressive effect; a two- or three-inoculation regimen yielded low antibody responses and the two-inoculation regimen exhibited only a slight cellular immunity response. To our knowledge, this is the first report demonstrating the utility of PA-MSHA as an adjuvant to a DNA vaccine. Further research is needed to investigate the exact mechanisms through which PA-MSHA achieves its adjuvant effects on innate immune responses, especially on dendritic cells.
Nutrition-related health issues have emerged as a major threat to public health since the rebirth of the economy in China starting in the 1980s. To meet this challenge, the Chinese Academy of Sciences established the Institute for Nutritional Sciences (INS) at Shanghai, China ∼8 y ago. The mission of the INS is to apply modern technologies and concepts in nutritional research to understand the molecular mechanism and provide means of intervention in the combat against nutrition-related diseases, including type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and many types of cancers. Through diligent and orchestrated efforts by INS scientists, graduate students, and research staff in the past few years, the INS has become the leading institution in China in the areas of basic nutritional research and metabolic regulation. Scientists at the INS have made important progress in many areas, including the characterization of genetic and nutritional properties of the Chinese population, metabolic control associated with nutrient sensing, molecular mechanisms underlying glucose and lipid metabolism, regulation of metabolism by adipokines and inflammatory pathways, disease intervention using functional foods or extracts of Chinese herbs, and many biological studies related to carcinogenesis. The INS will continue its efforts in understanding the optimal nutritional needs for Chinese people and the molecular causes associated with metabolic diseases, thus paving the way for effective and individualized intervention in the future. This review highlights the major research endeavors undertaken by INS scientists in recent years.
To investigate the long-term outcome of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) treated by irradiation with or without concurrent chemotherapy.
Methods and materials
A prospective clinical trial was carried out from 1998 to 2000. One hundred and eleven patients were randomly enrolled to receive either late course accelerated hyperfractionated irradiation (LCAF) or LCAF with concurrent chemotherapy (LCAF + CT). For LCAF, 41.4 Gy in 23 fractions was first delivered at five fractions per week, followed by 27 Gy in 18 fractions at two 1.5 Gy fractions a day. Concurrent chemotherapy of cis-platinum and 5-fluorouracil was administered for four cycles. Overall survival (OS), locoregional recurrence and distant metastasis were observed. Late toxicity was scored by RTOG criteria, and quality of life (QOL) was also evaluated.
The median follow-up time was 24 months for all patients and 138 months for 17 living patients. Median survival time was 25 months and 32 months in LCAF and LCAF + CT (p = 0.653), respectively. For an entire group of patients, overall survivals were 34%, 27% and 22%; locoregional recurrence rates were 30%, 36% and 41%; and distant metastasis rates were 26%, 28% and 29% at 5-yr, 8-yr and 10-yr, respectively. Incidences of ≥ Grade 3 late toxicity were 29% at 10-yr. There were no statistically significant differences between LCAF and LCAF + CT with respect to the parameters mentioned above. Cumulative incidence of late toxicities of ≥ Grade 3 increased sharply after the attained age of 70 years. Eighty-eight percent of patients lived with good KPS (≥ 90) and 94% could eat regular or soft diet.
The long-term outcome of esophageal SCC patients who received LCAF or LCAF + CT was good. The locoregional and distant failures occurred more often in the first three years after treatment, but could continuously occur up to 10 years. The late toxicity was acceptable. Late toxicities ≥ Grade 3 were more likely to occur in elderly patients. QOL was good in living patients.
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; Chemoradiation; Long-term follow-up
Ralstonia solanacearum is a causal agent of plant bacterial wilt with thousands of distinct strains in a heterogeneous species complex. Here we report the genome sequence of a phylotype IB strain, Y45, isolated from tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) in China. Compared with the published genomes of eight strains which were isolated from other hosts and habitats, 794 specific genes and many rearrangements/inversion events were identified in the tobacco strain, demonstrating that this strain represents an important node within the R. solanacearum complex.
Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) is a devastating and refractory generalized epilepsy affecting children and adolescents. In this study we report the results of resective surgery in 18 patients with LGS phenotype who underwent single-lobe/lesionectomy or multilobe resection plus multiple subpial transection and/or callosotomy. After surgery, seven patients became completely seizure-free (Engel Class I) and five almost seizure-free (Engel Class II). Additional four had significant seizure control (Engel Class III), and two had no change in seizure frequency (Engel Class IV). Of the 4 patients without any lesion on brain MRI, 2 ended with Engel Class II, 1 with III and the other with IV in Engels' classification. Mean intelligence quotient (IQ) increased from 56.1 ± 8.1 (mean ± SD) before operation to 67.4 ± 8.2 (mean ± SD) after operation, a significant improvement (P = 0.001). Results also indicated that the younger the patient at surgery, or the shorter the interval between onset of seizure and resective operation, the better the intellectual outcome. Our data suggest that resective epilepsy surgery can be successful in patients with LGS phenotype as long as the EEG shows dominance of discharges in one hemisphere and corresponding ipsilateral imaging findings, even with contralateral ictal discharges.
The small-world organization has been hypothesized to reflect a balance between local processing and global integration in the human brain. Previous multimodal imaging studies have consistently demonstrated that the topological architecture of the brain network is disrupted in Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, these studies have reported inconsistent results regarding the topological properties of brain alterations in AD. One potential explanation for these inconsistent results lies with the diverse homogeneity and distinct progressive stages of the AD involved in these studies, which are thought to be critical factors that might affect the results. We investigated the topological properties of brain functional networks derived from resting functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of carefully selected moderate AD patients and normal controls (NCs). Our results showed that the topological properties were found to be disrupted in AD patients, which showing increased local efficiency but decreased global efficiency. We found that the altered brain regions are mainly located in the default mode network, the temporal lobe and certain subcortical regions that are closely associated with the neuropathological changes in AD. Of note, our exploratory study revealed that the ApoE genotype modulates brain network properties, especially in AD patients.
PG9 and PG16 are two recently isolated quaternary-specific human monoclonal antibodies that neutralize 70 to 80% of circulating HIV-1 isolates. The crystal structure of PG16 shows that it contains an exceptionally long CDR H3 that forms a unique stable subdomain that towers above the antibody surface to confer fine specificity. To determine whether this unique architecture of CDR H3 itself is sufficient for epitope recognition and neutralization, we cloned CDR H3 subdomains derived from human monoclonal antibodies PG16, PG9, b12, E51, and AVF and genetically linked them to a glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI) attachment signal. Each fusion gene construct is expressed and targeted to lipid rafts of plasma membranes through a GPI anchor. Moreover, GPI-CDR H3(PG16, PG9, and E51), but not GPI-CDR H3(b12 and AVF), specifically neutralized multiple clades of HIV-1 isolates with a great degree of potency when expressed on the surface of transduced TZM-bl cells. Furthermore, GPI-anchored CDR H3(PG16), but not GPI-anchored CDR H3(AVF), specifically confers resistance to HIV-1 infection when expressed on the surface of transduced human CD4+ T cells. Finally, the CDR H3 mutations (Y100HF, D100IA, and G7) that were previously shown to compromise the neutralization activity of antibody PG16 also abolished the neutralization activity of GPI-CDR H3(PG16). Thus, we conclude that the CDR H3 subdomain of PG16 neutralizes HIV-1 when targeted to the lipid raft of the plasma membrane of HIV-1-susceptible cells and that GPI-CDR H3 can be an alternative approach for determining whether the CDR H3 of certain antibodies alone can exert epitope recognition and neutralization.
We aimed to investigate how lean body mass is related to circulating Interleukin 18 (IL-18) and its association with metabolic syndrome (MetS) among apparently healthy Chinese.
A population-based sample of 1059 Chinese men and women aged 35–54 years was used to measure plasma IL-18, glucose, insulin, lipid profile, inflammatory markers and high-molecular-weight (HMW)-adiponectin. Fat mass index (FMI) and lean mass index (LMI) were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. MetS was defined by the updated National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria for Asian-Americans.
Circulating IL-18 was positively correlated with LMI after adjustment for FMI (correlation coefficient = 0.11, P<0.001). The association with the MetS (odds ratio 3.43, 95% confidence interval 2.01–5.85) was substantially higher in the highest than the lowest quartile of IL-18 after multiple adjustments including body mass index. In the stratified multivariable regression analyses, the positive association between IL-18 and MetS was independent of tertiles of FMI, inflammatory markers and HMW-adiponectin, but significantly interacted with tertile of LMI (P for interaction = 0.010).
Elevated plasma IL-18 was associated with higher MetS prevalence in apparently healthy Chinese, independent of traditional risk factors, FMI, inflammatory markers and HMW-adiponectin. More studies are needed to clarify the role of lean mass in IL-18 secretion and its associated cardio-metabolic disorders.
Thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency (TD) causes mild impairment of oxidative metabolism and region-selective neuronal loss in the central nervous system (CNS). TD in animals has been used to model aging-associated neurodegeneration in the brain. The mechanisms of TD-induced neuron death are complex, and it is likely multiple mechanisms interplay and contribute to the action of TD. In this study, we demonstrated that TD significantly increased intracellular calcium concentrations [Ca2+]i in cultured cortical neurons.
TD drastically potentiated AMPA-triggered calcium influx and inhibited pre-mRNA editing of GluR2, a Ca2+-permeable subtype of AMPA receptors. The Ca2+ permeability of GluR2 is regulated by RNA editing at the Q/R site. Edited GluR2 (R) subunits form Ca2+-impermeable channels, whereas unedited GluR2 (Q) channels are permeable to Ca2+ flow. TD inhibited Q/R editing of GluR2 and increased the ratio of unedited GluR2. The Q/R editing of GluR2 is mediated by adenosine deaminase acting on RNA 2 (ADAR2). TD selectively decreased ADAR2 expression and its self-editing ability without affecting ADAR1 in cultured neurons and in the brain tissue. Over-expression of ADAR2 reduced AMPA-mediated rise of [Ca2+]i and protected cortical neurons against TD-induced cytotoxicity, whereas down-regulation of ADAR2 increased AMPA-elicited Ca2+ influx and exacerbated TD-induced death of cortical neurons.
Our findings suggest that TD-induced neuronal damage may be mediated by the modulation of ADAR2-dependent RNA Editing of GluR2.
This study was carried out to analyze the vertical transmission of Yq AZFc microdeletions from father to son in infertile Han Chinese families to investigate genetic factors and family background affecting fertility status. The peripheral blood of infertile males in 19 Han families was extracted and screened with modified multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Family trees were drawn according to fertility status and clinical characteristics of the subjects. The vertical transmission of Yq AZFc microdeletions was detected in six cases of 19 investigated families (31.6%, 6/19). Although both fathers and sons showed a similar type of Yq AZFc deletion, the fathers were fertile, whereas the sons were infertile and showed severe oligozoospermia. The vertical transmission of Yq AZFc microdeletion from fertile fathers to infertile sons over generations is not rare. This has different effects on fertility status in fathers and sons in Han Chinese families. Both genetic factors and family background affect spermatogenetic phenotypes.
infertility; microdeletion; vertical transmission; Y chromosome
To investigate the combined effect of olfactory ensheathing cell (OEC) transplantation and recombinant human glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (rhGDNF) intravitreal injection on optic nerve functional recovery following incomplete injury in adult rats.
The optic nerves of adult rats were crushed by forceps and then GDNF was injected into vitreous cavity, OECs transplanted into injured optic nerve, or GDNF vitreous injection combined with OECs transplantation, and balanced salt solution was injected into vitreous cavity of control group rats respectively. Flash visual evoked potential (F-VEP) was performed on the injured eye immediately after injury and at 1, 2, 4, and 8 weeks after injury.
The F-VEP waveforms were almost silent immediately after the optic nerve injury. The latency of the F-VEP (LP1) recovered nearly to the normal value 1 week after injury in the treatment groups. The amplitude recovered more slowly. It recovered more obviously and rapidly in the rhGDNF combined with OEC group. At 8 weeks after injury, the amplitude was restored to 64.5% of the pre-injury level in the control group and to 91.8% in the GDNF+OEC treatment group. Wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) labeling showed retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axon regeneration and prolongation in the combined group, and the regenerated axons extended across the traumatized area and reached the distal end of the injured optic nerve.
The combination of OEC transplantation and rhGDNF intravitreal injection will be more effective in promoting the recovery of visual function after incomplete injury of the optic nerve in adult rats.
Knowledge of predominant microbial patterns in community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) constitutes the basis for initial decisions about empirical antimicrobial treatment, so a prospective study was performed during 2003–2004 among CAP of adult Chinese urban populations.
Qualified patients were enrolled and screened for bacterial, atypical, and viral pathogens by sputum and/or blood culturing, and by antibody seroconversion test. Antibiotic treatment and patient outcome were also assessed.
Non-viral pathogens were found in 324/610 (53.1%) patients among whom M. pneumoniae was the most prevalent (126/610, 20.7%). Atypical pathogens were identified in 62/195 (31.8%) patients carrying bacterial pathogens. Respiratory viruses were identified in 35 (19%) of 184 randomly selected patients with adenovirus being the most common (16/184, 8.7%). The nonsusceptibility of S. pneumoniae to penicillin and azithromycin was 22.2% (Resistance (R): 3.2%, Intermediate (I): 19.0%) and 79.4% (R: 79.4%, I: 0%), respectively. Of patients (312) from whom causative pathogens were identified and antibiotic treatments were recorded, clinical cure rate with β-lactam antibiotics alone and with combination of a β-lactam plus a macrolide or with fluoroquinolones was 63.7% (79/124) and 67%(126/188), respectively. For patients having mixed M. pneumoniae and/or C. pneumoniae infections, a better cure rate was observed with regimens that are active against atypical pathogens (e.g. a β-lactam plus a macrolide, or a fluoroquinolone) than with β-lactam alone (75.8% vs. 42.9%, p = 0.045).
In Chinese adult CAP patients, M. pneumoniae was the most prevalent with mixed infections containing atypical pathogens being frequently observed. With S. pneumoniae, the prevalence of macrolide resistance was high and penicillin resistance low compared with data reported in other regions.