Müllerian Inhibiting Substance (MIS, Anti-Müllerian hormone) is a gonadal hormone that contributes to the subtle sex-biases in the nervous system. Mature neurons of both sexes also produce MIS, suggesting that MIS may be a paracrine regulator of adult neural networks. We report here that murine hypoglossal motor neurons produce MIS and its receptors, MISRII and bone morphogenetic protein receptor 1A (BMPR1A, ALK3), but differentially transport them, with only MIS being detectable in axons. The production of MIS and its receptors were rapidly down regulated after axonal damage, which is a characteristic of genes involved in mature neuronal function. MIS is a survival factor for embryonic spinal motor neurons, but the rate of cell loss after hypoglossal nerve avulsion was normal in Mis−/− mice and was not attenuated by intraventricular administration of MIS. These observations suggest that MIS may be involved in anterograde rather than autocrine or retrograde regulation of neurons.
Axonal transport; Avulsion; MISRII; ALK3
Both the coding and control regions of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) play roles in the generation of diabetes; however, no studies have thoroughly reported on the combined diabetogenic effects of variants in the two regions. We determined the mitochondrial haplogroup and the mtDNA sequence of the control region in 859 subjects with diabetes and 1,151 normoglycemic control subjects. Full-length mtDNA sequences were conducted in 40 subjects harboring specific diabetes-related haplogroups. Multivariate logistic regression analysis with adjustment for age, sex, and BMI revealed that subjects harboring the mitochondrial haplogroup B4 have significant association with diabetes (DM) (odds ratio [OR], 1.54 [95% CI 1.18–2.02]; P < 0.001), whereas subjects harboring D4 have borderline resistance against DM generation (0.68 [0.49–0.94]; P = 0.02). Upon further study, we identified an mtDNA composite group susceptible to DM generation consisting of a 10398A allele at the coding region and a polycytosine variant at nucleotide pair 16184–16193 of the control region, as well as a resistant group consisting of C5178A, A10398G, and T152C variants. The OR for susceptible group is 1.31 (95% CI 1.04–1.67; P = 0.024) and for the resistant group is 0.48 (0.31–0.75; P = 0.001). Our study found that mtDNA variants in the coding and control regions can have combined effects influencing diabetes generation.
Although randomized studies have high internal validity, generalizability of the estimated causal effect from randomized clinical trials to real-world clinical or educational practice may be limited. We consider the implication of randomized assignment to treatment, as compared with choice of preferred treatment as it occurs in real-world conditions. Compliance, engagement, or motivation may be better with a preferred treatment, and this can complicate the generalizability of results from randomized trials. The doubly randomized preference trial (DRPT) is a hybrid randomized and nonrandomized design that allows for estimation of the causal effect of randomization versus treatment preference. In the DRPT, individuals are first randomized to either randomized assignment or choice assignment. Those in the randomized assignment group are then randomized to treatment or control, and those in the choice group receive their preference of treatment versus control. Using the potential outcomes framework, we apply the algebra of conditional independence to show how the DRPT can be used to derive an unbiased estimate of the causal effect of randomization versus preference for each of the treatment and comparison conditions. Also, we show how these results can be implemented using full matching on the propensity score. The methodology is illustrated with a DRPT of introductory psychology students who were randomized to randomized assignment or preference of mathematics versus vocabulary training. We found a small to moderate benefit of preference versus randomization with respect to the mathematics outcome for those who received mathematics training.
generalizability; causal inference; conditional independence; propensity score matching; treatment preference
Episodic memory tasks are one of the most sensitive tools to discriminate Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This study aimed to validate a shorter version verbal memory test that will efficiently assess Chinese elderly with memory complaints. One hundred and eighty-five elderly with normal cognition (NC) and 217 AD patients were evaluated. Each participant received the Chinese Version Verbal Learning Test (CVVLT) consisting of 9 two-character nouns with 4 learning trials, 2 delayed recalls in 30 seconds and 10 minutes, and a word recognition test. In the NC elderly, age and sex had significant effects on recall scores in CVVLT, while education level showed an inverse correlation with 3 different patterns of errors made during the learning, recall, and recognition trials. AD patients had lower scores across all recall tests. In those with lower educational level, NC elderly had higher perseveration errors than AD patients. The cutoff value between the AD and NC groups in the 10-minute recall was 4/5 for those aged >75 years and 5/6 for those aged <75 years. This study has good validity in discriminating AD participants and the data here can help in diagnosing AD and mild cognitive impairment using the CVVLT.
Chinese Verbal Learning Test; education; memory; dementia; cutoff value; validation
Recent proteomic studies have identified proteins related to specific
phenotypes. In addition to marginal association analysis for individual
proteins, analyzing pathways (functionally related sets of proteins) may yield
additional valuable insights. Identifying pathways that differ between
phenotypes can be conceptualized as a multivariate hypothesis testing problem:
whether the mean vector μ of a
p-dimensional random vector X is
μ0. Proteins within the same biological
pathway may correlate with one another in a complicated way, and type I error
rates can be inflated if such correlations are incorrectly assumed to be absent.
The inflation tends to be more pronounced when the sample size is very small or
there is a large amount of missingness in the data, as is frequently the case in
proteomic discovery studies. To tackle these challenges, we propose a
regularized Hotelling’s T2
(RHT) statistic together with a non-parametric
testing procedure, which effectively controls the type I error rate and
maintains good power in the presence of complex correlation structures and
missing data patterns. We investigate asymptotic properties of the
RHT statistic under pertinent assumptions and compare
the test performance with four existing methods through simulation examples. We
apply the RHT test to a hormone therapy proteomics data
set, and identify several interesting biological pathways for which blood serum
concentrations changed following hormone therapy initiation.
proteomics; pathway analysis; regularization; Hotelling’s T2
The structural and electronic/optical properties of pure and Ag-N-codoped (8,0) ZnO nanotubes have been studied using first-principles calculations in the framework of the local spin density approximation. The configurations for Zn atoms replaced by Ag atoms are p-type semiconductor materials, and the bandgap increases when N atoms are doped into ZnO nanotube configurations. The optical studies based on dielectric function and reflectivity indicate that new transition peaks in the visible light range are observed, which can be ascribed to the Ag and N doping. Furthermore, there is a red shift observed with the increase of N concentration.
Ag-N codoped; ZnO nanotube; Electronic structure; Optical property
Mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in the pathogenesis of biliary atresia (BA). This study aimed to determine whether a specific mitochondrial DNA haplogroup is implicated in the pathogenesis and prognosis of BA. We determined 40 mitochondrial single nucleotide polymorphisms in 15 major mitochondrial haplogroups by the use of 24-plex PCR and fluorescent beads combined with sequence-specific oligonucleotide probes in 71 patients with BA and in 200 controls in the Taiwanese population of ethnic Chinese background. The haplogroup B4 and E prevalence were significantly lower and higher respectively, in the patients with BA than in the controls (odds ratios, 0.82 [p = 0.007] and 7.36 [p = 0.032] respectively) in multivariate logistic-regression analysis. The 3-year survival rate with native liver was significantly lower in haplogroup E than the other haplogroups (P = 0.037). A cytoplasmic hybrid (cybrid) was obtained from human 143B osteosarcoma cells devoid of mtDNA (ρ0 cell) and was fused with specific mtDNA bearing E and B4 haplogroups donated by healthy Taiwanese subjects. Chenodeoxycholic acid treatment resulted in significantly lower free radical production, higher mitochondrial membrane potential, more viable cells, and fewer apoptotic cybrid B4 cells than parental 143B and cybrid E cells. Bile acid treatment resulted in a significantly greater protective mitochondrial reaction with significantly higher mitochondrial DNA copy number and mitofusin 1 and 2 concentrations in cybrid B4 and parental cells than in cybrid E cells. The results of the study suggested that the specific mitochondrial DNA haplogroups B4 and E were not only associated with lower and higher prevalence of BA respectively, in the study population, but also with differential susceptibility to hydrophobic bile acid in the cybrid harboring different haplogroups.
Mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in the pathogenesis of biliary atresia (BA). We determined 40 mitochondrial single nucleotide polymorphisms in different mitochondrial haplogroups in BA patients and controls. The prevalence of haplogroup B4 and E was significantly lower and higher respectively, in the patients with BA than in the controls. The survival rate with native liver was significantly lower in haplogroup E than the other haplogroups. The in vitro study using cybrid cells revealed significantly lower free radical production, higher mitochondrial membrane potential, higher mitochondrial DNA copy number and fewer apoptotic in cybrid B4 cells than cybrid E cells. The study provides a novel insight into the etiopathogenesis and the predictive value of mitochondrial haplogroups in BA.
Inhibitors of apoptosis (IAPs) play important roles in apoptosis and NF-κB activation. In this study, we cloned and characterized three IAPs (LvIAP1-3) from the Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeusvannamei. LvIAP1-3 proteins shared signature domains and exhibited significant similarities with other IAP family proteins. The tissue distributions of LvIAP1-3 were studied. The expression of LvIAP1-3 was induced in the muscle after white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) infection. LvIAP1 expression in the gill, hemocytes, hepatopancreas, and intestine was responsive to WSSV and Vibrioalginolyticus infections. LvIAP2 expression in the gill, hemocytes, and hepatopancreas was also responsive to WSSV infection. The expression of LvIAP3 in the gill, hemocytes, and intestine was reduced after V. alginolyticus infection. When overexpressed in Drosophila S2 cells, GFP labeled-LvIAP2 was distributed in the cytoplasm and appeared as speck-like aggregates in the nucleus. Both LvIAP1 and LvIAP3 were widely distributed throughout the cytoplasm and nucleus. The expression of LvIAP1, LvIAP2, and LvIAP3 was significantly knocked down by dsRNA-mediated gene silencing. In the gill of LvIAP1- or LvIAP3-silenced shrimp, the expression of WSSV VP28 was significantly higher than that of the dsGFP control group, suggesting that LvIAP1 and LvIAP3 may play protective roles in host defense against WSSV infection. Intriguingly, the LvIAP2-silenced shrimp all died within 48 hours after dsLvIAP2 injection. In the hemocytes of LvIAP2-silenced shrimps, the expression of antimicrobial peptide genes (AMPs), including Penaeidins, lysozyme, crustins, Vibriopenaeicidae-induced cysteine and proline-rich peptides (VICPs), was significantly downregulated, while the expression of anti-lipopolysaccharide factors (ALFs) was upregulated. Moreover, LvIAP2 activated the promoters of the NF-κB pathway-controlled AMPs, such as shrimp Penaeidins and Drosophila drosomycin and attacin A, in Drosophila S2 cells. Taken together, these results reveal that LvIAP1 and LvIAP3 might participate in the host defense against WSSV infection, and LvIAP2 might be involved in the regulation of shrimp AMPs.
Embryonic definitive endoderm (DE) generates the epithelial compartment of vital organs such as liver, pancreas, and intestine. However, purification of DE in mammals has not been achieved, limiting the molecular “definition” of endoderm, and hindering our understanding of DE development and attempts to produce endoderm from sources such as embryonic stem (ES) cells. Here, we describe purification of mouse DE using fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) and mice harboring a transgene encoding enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) inserted into the Sox17 locus, which is expressed in the embryonic endoderm. Comparison of patterns of signaling pathway activation in native mouse DE and endoderm-like cells generated from ES cells produced novel culture modifications that generated Sox17-eGFP+ progeny whose gene expression resembled DE more closely than achieved with standard methods. These studies also produced new FACS methods for purifying DE from nontransgenic mice and mouse ES cell cultures. Parallel studies of a new human SOX17-eGFP ES cell line allowed analysis of endoderm differentiation in vitro, leading to culture modifications that enhanced expression of an endoderm-like signature. This work should accelerate our understanding of mechanisms regulating DE development in mice and humans, and guide further use of ES cells for tissue replacement.
Introduction. Studies have reported inconsistent results regarding clinical feature and the prognosis status of the affected children in China melamine-contamination event. We summarized available literatures by performing a review and meta-analysis. Methods. Statistical pooling was performed using random-effects model; the sources of heterogeneity were explored through subgroup analyses. Results. Twenty-six studies involving 2164 patients with kidney abnormalities were identified; 94.4% of the patients had urinary calculi and 95.8% of the calculi were <10 mm in diameter. Of 2040 patients with known types of treatment, 5.6% underwent surgical treatment. The pooled recovery rates at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after diagnosis or treatment initiation were 67.1%, 76.3%, 85.4%, and 92.3%, respectively; these pooled rates did not differ between the study subgroups stratified by mean age at diagnosis, mean duration of melamine exposure, types of patients (inpatient/outpatient), and treatment types (specific/nonspecific), except that the 1-month recovery rate for studies involving a specific treatment (71.9%) was higher than that for studies involving non-specific treatment (46.2%). Conclusion. The majority of patients had small calculi and could recover without surgical treatment. Kidney abnormalities remained in about 8% of the patients at 12-month followup, indicating a need for longer-term followup.
Human trisomies can alter cellular phenotypes and produce congenital abnormalities such as Down syndrome (DS). Here we have generated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from DS fibroblasts and introduced a TKNEO transgene into one copy of chromosome 21 by gene targeting. When selecting against TKNEO, spontaneous chromosome loss was the most common cause for survival, with a frequency of ∼10−4, while point mutations, epigenetic silencing, and TKNEO deletions occurred at lower frequencies in this unbiased comparison of inactivating mutations. Mitotic recombination events resulting in extended loss of heterozygosity were not observed in DS iPSCs. The derived, disomic cells proliferated faster and produced more endothelia in vivo than their otherwise isogenic trisomic counterparts, but in vitro hematopoietic differentiation was not consistently altered. Our study describes a targeted removal of a human trisomy, which could prove useful in both clinical and research applications.
Adipokine adiponectin (APN) has been recently reported to play a role in regulating bone mineral density (BMD). To explore the mechanism by which APN affects BMD, we investigated BMD and biomechanical strength properties of the femur and vertebra in sham-operated (Sham) and ovariectomized (OVX) APN knockout (KO) mice as compared to their operated wild-type (WT) littermates. The results show that APN deficiency has no effect on BMD but induces increased ALP activity and osteoclast cell number. While OVX indeed leads to significant bone loss in both femora and vertebras of WT mice with comparable osteogenic activity and a significant increase in osteoclast cell number when compared to that of sham control. However, no differences in BMD, ALP activity and osteoclast cell number were found between Sham and OVX mice deficient for APN. Further studies using bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) demonstrate an enhanced osteogenic differentiation and extracellular matrix calcification in APN KO mice. The possible mechanism for APN deletion induced acceleration of osteogenesis could involve increased proliferation of MSCs and higher expression of Runx2 and Osterix genes. These findings indicate that APN deficiency can protect against OVX-induced osteoporosis in mice, suggesting a potential role of APN in regulating the balance of bone formation and bone resorption, especially in the development of post-menopausal osteoporosis.
Aims. To evaluate the efficacy of Chinese herbal medicines (CHMs) plus conventional treatment in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Methods and Results. Participants (n = 808) with ACS who underwent PCI from thirteen hospitals of mainland China were randomized into two groups: CHMs plus conventional treatment group (treatment group) or conventional treatment alone group (control group). All participants received conventional treatment, and participants in treatment group additionally received CHMs for six months. The primary endpoint was the composite of cardiac death, nonfatal recurrent MI, and ischemia-driven revascularization. Secondary endpoint was the composite of readmission for ACS, stroke, or congestive heart failure. The safety endpoint involved occurrence of major bleeding events. The incidence of primary endpoint was 2.7% in treatment group versus 6.2% in control group (HR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.21 to 0.87; P = 0.015). The incidence of secondary endpoint was 3.5% in treatment group versus 8.7% in control group (HR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.21 to 0.72; P = 0.002). No major bleeding events were observed in any participant. Conclusion. Treatment with CHMs plus conventional treatment further reduced the occurrence of cardiovascular events in patients with ACS after PCI without increasing risk of major bleeding.
Lie group analysis of the photo-induced fluorescence of Drosophila oogenesis with the asymmetrically localized Gurken protein has been performed systematically to assess the roles of ligand-receptor complexes in follicle cells. The (2×2) matrix representations resulting from the polarized tissue spectra were employed to characterize the asymmetrical Gurken distributions. It was found that the fluorescence of the wild-type egg shows the Lie point symmetry X23 at early stages of oogenesis. However, due to the morphogen regulation by intracellular proteins and extracellular proteins, the fluorescence of the embryogenesis with asymmetrically localized Gurken expansions exhibits specific symmetry features: Lie point symmetry Z1 and Lie point symmetry X1. The novel approach developed herein was successfully used to validate that the invariant-theoretical characterizations are consonant with the observed asymmetric fluctuations during early embryological development.
In terms of medical techniques, Taiwan has gained international recognition in recent years. However, the medical information system industry in Taiwan is still at a developing stage compared with the software industries in other nations. In addition, systematic development processes are indispensable elements of software development. They can help developers increase their productivity and efficiency and also avoid unnecessary risks arising during the development process. Thus, this paper presents an application of Light-Weight Capability Maturity Model Integration (LW-CMMI) to Chang Gung Medical Research Project (CMRP) in the Nuclear medicine field. This application was intended to integrate user requirements, system design and testing of software development processes into three layers (Domain, Concept and Instance) model. Then, expressing in structural System Modeling Language (SysML) diagrams and converts part of the manual effort necessary for project management maintenance into computational effort, for example: (semi-) automatic delivery of traceability management. In this application, it supports establishing artifacts of “requirement specification document”, “project execution plan document”, “system design document” and “system test document”, and can deliver a prototype of lightweight project management tool on the Nuclear Medicine software project. The results of this application can be a reference for other medical institutions in developing medical information systems and support of project management to achieve the aim of patient safety.
Nuclear medicine; Patient safety; CMMI; SysML; Project management
Cervical radiculopathy is a common disease in clinical practice. However, the symptoms are not confined to the affected spinal cord segment indicated by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings. In the present study, we measured c-Fos and c-Jun expression in ipsilateral and adjacent cervical spinal cord segments following C7 nerve root rhizotomy, to determine whether there is a neural pathway between adjacent cervical spinal cord segments. Forty-eight adult male Wistar rats were randomly divided into two groups: the C7 rhizotomy group (rhizotomy group, n=24) and the sham-operated group (sham group, n=24). The right C7 nerve root was completely cut off in the rhizotomy group, while it was exposed but not cut in the sham group. The expression of c-Fos and c-Jun in cervical spinal cord segments was detected by immunohistochemistry at 2 and 4 h after surgery. We observed that the number of c-Fos- and c-Jun-positive neurons in ipsilateral C5–7 segments were significantly increased at 2 and 4 h after C7 nerve root rhizotomy (P<0.05 vs. the sham group). The location of c-Fosand c-Jun-positive neurons in C5–7 gray matter was similar in the rhizotomy and sham groups, which was mainly in lamina IX of the anterior horn and laminae I–II of the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. However, the number of c-Fos- and c-Jun-positive neurons in the C5–7 gray matter was significantly reduced at 4 h after surgery compared with the number 2 h after surgery. The location of c-Fos- and c-Jun-positive neurons at 4 h was similar with that at 2 h. Therefore, there may be a neural pathway between ipsilateral adjacent cervical spinal cord segments. This may be one possible explanation as to why the radicular symptoms of cervical radiculopathy are not confined to the affected spinal cord segment shown by MRI.
cervical radiculopathy; neural pathway; c-Fos; c-Jun; spinal cord
Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite infecting humans and other warm-blooded animals, resulting in serious public health problems and economic losses worldwide. Rhoptries are involved in T. gondii invasion and host cell interaction and have been implicated as important virulence factors. In the present study, a DNA vaccine expressing rhoptry protein 13 (ROP13) of T. gondii inserted into eukaryotic expression vector pVAX I was constructed, and the immune protection it induced in Kunming mice was evaluated. Kunming mice were immunized intramuscularly with pVAX-ROP13 and/or with interleukin-18 (IL-18). Then, we evaluated the immune response using a lymphoproliferative assay, cytokine and antibody measurements, and the survival times of mice challenged with the virulent T. gondii RH strain (type I) and the cyst-forming PRU strain (type II). The results showed that pVAX-ROP13 alone or with pVAX/IL-18 induced a high level of specific anti-T. gondii antibodies and specific lymphocyte proliferative responses. Coinjection of pVAX/IL-18 significantly increased the production of gamma interferon (IFN-γ), IL-2, IL-4, and IL-10. Further, challenge experiments showed that coimmunization of pVAX-ROP13 with pVAX/IL-18 significantly (P < 0.05) increased survival time (32.3 ± 2.7 days) compared with pVAX-ROP13 alone (24.9 ± 2.3 days). Immunized mice challenged with T. gondii cysts (strain PRU) had a significant reduction in the number of brain cysts, suggesting that ROP13 could trigger a strong humoral and cellular response against T. gondii cyst infection and that it is a potential vaccine candidate against toxoplasmosis, which provided the foundation for further development of effective vaccines against T. gondii.
Transcription of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) within gene regulatory elements can modulate gene activity in response to external stimuli, but the scope and functions of such activity are not known. Here we use an ultra-high density array that tiles the promoters of 56 cell cycle genes to interrogate 108 samples representing diverse perturbations. We identify 216 transcribed regions that encode putative lncRNAs--many with RT-PCR-validated periodic expression during the cell cycle, show altered expression in human cancers, and are regulated in expression by specific oncogenic stimuli, stem cell differentiation, or DNA damage. DNA damage induces five lncRNAs from the CDKN1A promoter, and one such lncRNA, named PANDA, is induced in a p53- dependent manner. PANDA interacts with the transcription factor NF-YA to limit expression of pro-apoptotic genes; PANDA depletion markedly sensitized human fibroblasts to apoptosis by doxorubicin. These findings suggest potentially widespread roles for promoter lncRNAs in cell growth control.
Intestinal barrier dysfunction occurs in many intestinal diseases, in which proinflammatory cytokines play critical roles. However, researchers are still on the way to defining the underlying mechanisms and to evaluate therapeutic strategies for restoring intestinal barrier function. Berberine, a drug that has clinically been used to treat gastroenteritis and diarrhea for thousands of years, has been shown to protect barrier function in both endothelial and epithelial cells, but the mechanisms are completely unknown. In this study, we investigate the protective actions of berberine on barrier function and the underlying mechanisms in Caco-2 monolayers challenged with IFN-γ and TNF-α. Caco-2 monolayers were treated without or with simultaneous IFN-γ and TNF-α in the absence or presence of berberine. Both transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) and paracellular permeability were measured to evaluate barrier function. The expression and distribution of tight junction proteins ZO-1, occluding, and claudin-1 were respectively analyzed by immunoblot or immunofluorescence. The expressions of phosphorylated myosin light chain (pMLC), MLC kinase (MLCK) and hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) were determined by immunoblot. The translocation of NF-κB p65 to nuclei was analyzed by immunofluorescence and immunoblot, respectively. The results showed that berberine significantly attenuated TER decrease and paracellular permeability increase in Caco-2 monolayers treated with IFN-γ and TNF-α. Berberine also dramatically alleviated IFN-γ and TNF-α-induced morphological alteration of tight junction proteins ZO-1, occluding, and claudin-1. The increase of both MLC phosphorylation and MLCK protein expression induced by IFN-γ and TNF-α was significantly inhibited by berberine treatment. Additionally, berberine suppressed the activation of HIF-1α, but not NF-κB. Taken together, it is suggested that berberine attenuates IFN-γ and TNF-α-induced intestinal epithelial barrier dysfunction by inhibiting the signaling pathway of MLCK-dependent MLC phosphorylation mediated by HIF-1α.
Whether the well-known metabolic switch AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is involved in the insulin-sensitizing effect of calorie restriction (CR) is unclear. In this study, we investigated the role of AMPK in the insulin-sensitizing effect of CR in skeletal muscle. Wild-type (WT) and AMPK-α2−/− mice received ad libitum (AL) or CR (8 weeks at 60% of AL) feeding. CR increased the protein level of AMPK-α2 and phosphorylation of AMPK-α2. In WT and AMPK-α2−/− mice, CR induced comparable changes of body weight, fat pad weight, serum triglycerides, serum nonesterified fatty acids, and serum leptin levels. However, decreasing levels of fasting/fed insulin and fed glucose were observed in WT mice but not in AMPK-α2−/− mice. Moreover, CR-induced improvements of whole-body insulin sensitivity (evidenced by glucose tolerance test/insulin tolerance test assays) and glucose uptake in skeletal muscle tissues were abolished in AMPK-α2−/− mice. Furthermore, CR-induced activation of Akt-TBC1D1/TBC1D4 signaling, inhibition of mammalian target of rapamycin−S6K1−insulin receptor substrate-1 pathway, and induction of nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase−NAD+−sirtuin-1 cascade were remarkably impaired in AMPK-α2−/− mice. CR serum increased stability of AMPK-α2 protein via inhibiting the X chromosome-linked ubiquitin-specific protease 9–mediated ubiquitylation of AMPK-α2. Our results suggest that AMPK may be modulated by CR in a ubiquitylation-dependent manner and acts as a chief dictator for the insulin-sensitizing effects of CR in skeletal muscle.
Five new diketopiperazine derivatives, (3Z,6E)-1-N-methyl-3-benzylidene-6-(2S-methyl-3-hydroxypropylidene)piperazine-2,5-dione (1), (3Z,6E)-1-N-methyl-3-benzylidene-6-(2R-methyl-3-hydroxypropylidene)piperazine-2,5-dione (2), (3Z,6Z)-3-(4-hydroxybenzylidene)-6-isobutylidenepiperazine-2,5-dione (3), (3Z,6Z)-3-((1H-imidazol-5-yl)-methylene)-6-isobutylidenepiperazine-2,5-dione (4), and (3Z,6S)-3-benzylidene-6-(2S-but-2-yl)piperazine-2,5-dione (5), were isolated from the marine-derived actinomycete Streptomyces sp. FXJ7.328. The structures of 1–5 were determined by spectroscopic analysis, CD exciton chirality, the modified Mosher’s, Marfey’s and the C3 Marfey’s methods. Compound 3 showed modest antivirus activity against influenza A (H1N1) virus with an IC50 value of 41.5 ± 4.5 μM. In addition, compound 6 and 7 displayed potent anti-H1N1 activity with IC50 value of 28.9 ± 2.2 and 6.8 ± 1.5 μM, respectively. Due to the lack of corresponding data in the literature, the 13C NMR data of (3Z,6S)-3-benzylidene-6-isobutylpiperazine-2,5-dione (6) were also reported here for the first time.
Streptomyces; diketopiperazine derivatives; antivirus activity; H1N1
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), members of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) superfamily, have been shown to play important roles in the nervous system, including neuronal survival and synaptogenesis. However, the physiological functions of BMP signaling in the mammalian neuromuscular system are not well understood. In this study, we found that proteins of the type II bone morphogenetic receptors (BMPRII) were detected at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ), and one of its ligands, BMP4, was expressed by Schwann cells and skeletal muscle fibers. In double-ligated nerves, BMP4 proteins accumulated at the proximal and distal portions of the axons, suggesting that Schwann cell- and muscle fiber-derived BMP4 proteins were anterogradely and retrogradely transported by motor neurons. Furthermore, BMP4 mRNA was down-regulated in nerves but up-regulated in skeletal muscles following nerve ligation. The motor neuron-muscle interactions were also demonstrated using differentiated C2C12 muscle cells and NG108-15 neurons in vitro. BMP4 mRNA and immunoreactivity were significantly up-regulated in differentiated C2C12 muscle cells when the motor neuron-derived factor, agrin, was present in the culture. Peripherally-derived BMP4, on the other hand, promotes embryonic motor neuron survival and protects NG108-15 neurons from glutamate-induced excitotoxicity. Together, these data suggest that BMP4 is a peripherally-derived factor that may regulate the survival of motor neurons.
The killing effect of nitrogen-doped titanium dioxide (N-TiO2) nanoparticles on human cervical carcinoma (HeLa) cells by visible light photodynamic therapy (PDT) was higher than that of TiO2 nanoparticles. To study the mechanism of the killing effect, the reactive oxygen species produced by the visible-light-activated N-TiO2 and pure-TiO2 were evaluated and compared. The changes of the cellular parameters, such as the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), intracellular Ca2+, and nitrogen monoxide (NO) concentrations after PDT were measured and compared for N-TiO2- and TiO2-treated HeLa cells. The N-TiO2 resulted in more loss of MMP and higher increase of Ca2+ and NO in HeLa cells than pure TiO2. The cell morphology changes with time were also examined by a confocal microscope. The cells incubated with N-TiO2 exhibited serious distortion and membrane breakage at 60 min after the PDT.
Nitrogen-doped TiO2; Visible-light-activated; Photodynamic therapy; Reactive oxygen species
The Toll-like receptor (TLR)-mediated NF-κB pathway is tightly controlled because overactivation may result in severe damage to the host, such as in the case of chronic inflammatory diseases and cancer. In mammals, sterile-alpha and armadillo motif-containing protein (SARM) plays an important role in negatively regulating this pathway. While Caenorhabditis elegans SARM is crucial for an efficient immune response against bacterial and fungal infections, it is still unknown whether Drosophila SARM participates in immune responses. Here, Litopenaeus vannamei SARM (LvSARM) was cloned and functionally characterized. LvSARM shared signature domains with and exhibited significant similarities to mammalian SARM. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis indicated that the expression of LvSARM was responsive to Vibrio alginolyticus and white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) infections in the hemocyte, gill, hepatopancreas and intestine. In Drosophila S2 cells, LvSARM was widely distributed in the cytoplasm and could significantly inhibit the promoters of the NF-κB pathway-controlled antimicrobial peptide genes (AMPs). Silencing of LvSARM using dsRNA-mediated RNA interference increased the expression levels of Penaeidins and antilipopolysaccharide factors, which are L.vannamei AMPs, and increased the mortality rate after V. alginolyticus infection. Taken together, our results reveal that LvSARM may be a novel component of the shrimp Toll pathway that negatively regulates shrimp AMPs, particularly Penaeidins and antilipopolysaccharide factors.
There are limited studies on the role of interaction between exposure to ambient air pollution and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) P1 on the risk of asthma/wheezing among children, which provided suggestive, but inconclusive results.
To assess the joint effect of air pollutants and GSTP1 on asthma/wheezing, we conducted a nationwide cross-sectional study of 3,825 children in Taiwan Children Health Study. The studied determinants were three GSTP1 Ile105Val (rs 1695) genotypes (Ile-Ile; Ile-Val and Val-Val) and expoure to ambient air pollutants. We used routine air-pollution monitoring data for ozone (O3) and particles with an aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 µm or less (PM2.5). The effect estimates were presented as odds ratios (ORs) per interquartile changes for PM2.5 and O3.
In a two-stage hierarchical model adjusting for confounding, the risk of asthma was negatively associated with PM2.5 (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 0.60; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.45, 0.82) and O3 (OR 0.74; 95% CI 0.60, 0.90) among Ile105 homozygotes, but positively associated with PM2.5 (OR 1.52; 95% CI 1.01, 2.27) and O3 (OR 1.19; 95% CI 0.91, 1.57) among those with at least one val105 allele (interaction p value = 0.001 and 0.03, respectively). A similar tendency of effect modification between PM2.5 and O3 and GSTP1 on wheezing was found.
Children who carried Ile105 variant allele and exposed to PM2.5 and O3 may be less likely to occurrence of asthma/wheezing.