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1.  The protective effects of T cell deficiency against brain injury are ischemic model-dependent in rats 
Neurochemistry international  2012;62(3):265-270.
Previous studies have reported that T cell deficiency reduced infarct sizes after transient middle cerebral artery (MCA) suture occlusion in mice. However, how reperfusion and different models affect the detrimental effects of T cells have not been studied. We investigated the effects of T cell deficiency in nude rats using two stroke models and compared their infarct sizes with those in WT rats. In the distal MCA occlusion (MCAo) model, the distal MCA was permanently occluded and the bilateral common carotid arteries (CCAs) were transiently occluded for 60 min. In the suture MCAo model, the MCA was transiently occluded for 100 min by the insertion of a monofilament suture. Our results showed that T cell deficiency resulted in about a 50% reduction in infarct size in the suture MCAo model, whereas it had no effect in the distal MCAo model, suggesting the protective effects of T cell deficiency are dependent on the ischemic model used. We further found more total T cells, CD4 T cells and CD8 T cells in the ischemic brains of WT rats in the suture MCAo model than in the distal MCAo model. In addition, we detected more CD68-expressing macrophages in the ischemic brains of WT rats than in nude rats in the suture MCAo but not the distal MCAo model. Lymphocyte reconstitution in nude rats resulted in larger infarct sizes in the suture MCAo, but not in the distal MCAo stroke model. The results of regional CBF measurement indicated a total reperfusion in the MCAo model but only a partial reperfusion in the distal MCAo model. In conclusion, the protective effects of T cell deficiency on brain injury are dependent on the ischemic model used; likely associated with different degrees of reperfusion.
PMCID: PMC3581747  PMID: 23228347
Stroke; focal ischemia; nude rats T cells
2.  NADPH oxidase modulates MHC class II antigen presentation by B cells 
Phagocyte NADPH oxidase plays a key role in pathogen clearance via reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Defects in oxidase function result in chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) with hallmark recurrent microbial infections and inflammation. The oxidase′s role in the adaptive immune response is not well-understood. Class II presentation of cytoplasmic and exogenous Ag to CD4+ T cells was impaired in human B cells with reduced oxidase p40phox subunit expression. Naturally arising mutations which compromise p40phox function in a CGD patient also perturbed class II Ag presentation and intracellular ROS production. Reconstitution of patient B cells with wild-type, but not a mutant, p40phox allele restored exogenous Ag presentation and intracellular ROS generation. Remarkably, class II presentation of epitopes from membrane Ag was robust in p40phox-deficient B cells. These studies reveal a role for NADPH oxidase and p40phox in skewing epitope selection and T cell recognition of self Ag.
PMCID: PMC3466399  PMID: 22984083
Human B cells; MHC class II presentation; NADPH oxidase
3.  Shear Wave Speed Measurement Using an Unfocused Ultrasound Beam 
Ultrasound in medicine & biology  2012;38(9):1646-1655.
Tissue elasticity is related to pathology and therefore has important medical applications. Radiation force from a focused ultrasound beam has been used to produce shear waves in tissues for shear wave speed and tissue elasticity measurements. The feasibility of shear wave speed measurement using radiation force for an unfocused ultrasound beam is demonstrated in this study with a linear and a curved array transducer. Consistent measurement of shear wave speed was achieved over a relatively long axial extent (z = 10-40 mm for the linear array, and z = 15-60 mm for the curved array) in 3 calibrated phantoms with different shear moduli. In vivo measurements on the biceps of a healthy volunteer show consistent increase of shear wave speed for the biceps under 0, 1, 2, and 3 kg loading. Advantages and limitations of unfocused push are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3413738  PMID: 22766123
Elasticity; Shear wave; Ultrasound radiation force; Unfocused
4.  Comb-push Ultrasound Shear Elastography (CUSE): A Novel Method for Two-dimensional Shear Elasticity Imaging of Soft Tissues 
IEEE transactions on medical imaging  2012;31(9):1821-1832.
Fast and accurate tissue elasticity imaging is essential in studying dynamic tissue mechanical properties. Various ultrasound shear elasticity imaging techniques have been developed in the last two decades. However, to reconstruct a full field-of-view 2D shear elasticity map, multiple data acquisitions are typically required. In this paper, a novel shear elasticity imaging technique, comb-push ultrasound shear elastography (CUSE), is introduced in which only one rapid data acquisition (less than 35 ms) is needed to reconstruct a full field-of-view 2D shear wave speed map (40 mm × 38 mm). Multiple unfocused ultrasound beams arranged in a comb pattern (comb-push) are used to generate shear waves. A directional filter is then applied upon the shear wave field to extract the left-to-right (LR) and right-to-left (RL) propagating shear waves. Local shear wave speed is recovered using a time-of-flight method based on both LR and RL waves. Finally a 2D shear wave speed map is reconstructed by combining the LR and RL speed maps. Smooth and accurate shear wave speed maps are reconstructed using the proposed CUSE method in two calibrated homogeneous phantoms with different moduli. Inclusion phantom experiments demonstrate that CUSE is capable of providing good contrast (contrast-to-noise-ratio ≥ 25 dB) between the inclusion and background without artifacts and is insensitive to inclusion positions. Safety measurements demonstrate that all regulated parameters of the ultrasound output level used in CUSE sequence are well below the FDA limits for diagnostic ultrasound.
PMCID: PMC3475422  PMID: 22736690
comb-push; unfocused ultrasound beam; ultrasound elastography; acoustic radiation force; inclusion
5.  Distinctive effects of T cell subsets in neuronal injury induced by co-cultured splenocytes in vitro and by in vivo stroke in mice 
Background and purpose
T cells and their subsets modulate ischemic brain injury. We studied the effects of the absence of T cell subsets on brain infarction after in vivo stroke and then used an in vitro co-culture system of splenocytes and neurons to further identify the roles of T cell subsets in neuronal death.
Stroke was induced by MCA suture occlusion in mice and infarct sizes were measured 2 days post-stroke.
Splenocytes were co-cultured with neurons, and neuronal survival was measured 3 days later.
A deficiency of both T and B cells (SCID) and the paucity of CD4 or CD8 T cells equally resulted in smaller infarct sizes as measured 2 days post-stroke. Although a functional deficiency of regulatory T cells had no effect, impaired Th1 immunity reduced infarction and impaired Th2 immunity aggravated brain injury, which may be due to an inhibited and enhanced inflammatory response in mice deficient in Th1 and Th2 immunity, respectively. In the in vitro co-culture system, WT splenocytes resulted in dose-dependent neuronal death. The neurotoxicity of splenocytes from the above immunodeficient mice was consistent with their effects on stroke in vivo , except for the mice with the paucity of CD4 or CD8 T cells, which did not alter the ratio of neuronal death.
T cell subsets play critical roles in brain injury induced by stroke. The detrimental versus beneficial effects of Th1 cells and Th2 cells both in vivo and in vitro reveal differential therapeutic target strategies for stroke treatment.
PMCID: PMC3506376  PMID: 22678086
cerebral ischemia; stroke; T cells; Th1; Th2
6.  Phosphorylated MAPK/ERK1/2 may not always represent its kinase activity in a rat model of focal cerebral ischemia with or without ischemic preconditioning 
Neuroscience  2012;209:155-160.
The ERK 1/2 protein require a dual phosphorylation at conserved threonine and tyrosine residues to be fully activated under normal physiological conditions. Thus, ERK1/2 kinase activity is often defined by the quantity of phosphorylated kinase. However, this may not accurately represent its true activity under certain pathological conditions. We investigated whether ERK1/2 kinase activity is proportional to its phosphorylation state in a rat focal ischemia model with and without rapid ischemic preconditioning. We showed that phosphorylated-ERK1/2 protein levels were increased 2.6±0.07 fold, and ERK1/2 kinase activity was increased 10.6±1.9 fold in animals receiving ischemic preconditioning alone without test ischemia compared with sham group (P<0.05, n=6/group), suggesting that phosphorylated-ERK1/2 protein levels represent its kinase activity under these conditions. However, preconditioning plus test ischemia robustly blocked ERK1/2 kinase activity, while it increased phosphorylated-ERK1/2 protein levels beyond those receiving test ischemia alone, suggesting that phosphorylated-ERK1/2 protein levels were not representative of actual kinase activity in this pathological condition. In conclusion, protein phosphorylation levels of ERK1/2 do not always correspond to kinase activity, thus, measuring the true kinase activity is essential.
PMCID: PMC3322316  PMID: 22366512
ischemic preconditioning; kinase activity; MAPK; ERK1/2; focal ischemia; stroke
7.  Obstruction of Photoinduced Electron Transfer from Excited Porphyrin to Graphene Oxide: A Fluorescence Turn-On Sensing Platform for Iron (III) Ions 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e50367.
A comparative reaserch of the assembly of different porphyrin molecules on graphene oxide (GO) and reduced graphene oxide (RGO) was carried out, respectively. Despite the cationic porphyrin molecules can be assembled onto the surfaces of graphene sheets, including GO and RGO, to form complexes through electrostatic and π-π stacking interactions, the more obvious fluorescence quenching and the larger red-shift of the Soret band of porphyrin molecule in RGO-bound states were observed than those in GO-bound states, due to the differenc of molecular flattening in degree. Further, more interesting finding was that the complexes formed between cationic porphyrin and GO, rather than RGO sheets, can facilitate the incorporation of iron (III) ions into the porphyrin moieties, due to the presence of the oxygen-contained groups at the basal plane of GO sheets served as auxiliary coordination units, which can high-efficiently obstruct the electron transfer from excited porphyrin to GO sheets and result in the occurrence of fluorescence restoration. Thus, a fluorescence sensing platform has been developed for iron (III) ions detection in this contribution by using the porphyrin/GO nanohybrids as an optical probe, and our present one exhibited rapid and sensitive responses and high selectivity toward iron (III) ions.
PMCID: PMC3519470  PMID: 23251366
9.  Study and analysis of the state of rare disease research in Shandong Province, China 
As the world's most populous country, China has the world's largest number of rare disease groups in terms of prevalence. However, the country has no system of registering cases of most rare diseases, so there is very little documented information on the epidemiology of those diseases. The purpose of this study was to study the state of rare disease research and survey doctors in Shandong Province regarding their level of awareness of rare diseases. Types of rare diseases and numbers of cases were tallied and their geographical distribution over the decades was analyzed. Eight hundred and twenty-four doctors in tertiary hospitals and maternity and child care hospitals were surveyed by questionnaire. Data were descriptively analyzed and a map of disease distribution was created. Articles about rare diseases were retrieved from the Chinese Biomedical Literature Database to provide pertinent data. This study yielded 5,749 cases of 323 different types of rare diseases. The survey found that doctors lack awareness of research on rare diseases. An authoritative and information-rich platform for rare disease research is urgently needed. Key steps are to study epidemiological and statistical techniques and then obtain available data to provide a basis for the definition and regulation of rare diseases in China.
PMCID: PMC4204566  PMID: 25343091
Rare diseases; awareness survey; descriptive analysis
10.  A systematic review of genetic skeletal disorders reported in Chinese biomedical journals between 1978 and 2012 
Little information is available on the prevalence, geographic distribution and mutation spectrum of genetic skeletal disorders (GSDs) in China. This study systematically reviewed GSDs as defined in “Nosology and Classification of genetic skeletal disorders (2010 version)” using Chinese biomedical literature published over the past 34 years from 1978 to 2012. In total, 16,099 GSDs have been reported. The most frequently reported disorders were Marfan syndrome, osteogenesis imperfecta, fibrous dysplasia, mucopolysaccharidosis, multiple cartilaginous exostoses, neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), osteopetrosis, achondroplasia, enchondromatosis (Ollier), and osteopoikilosis, accounting for 76.5% (12,312 cases) of the total cases. Five groups (group 8, 12, 14, 18, 21) defined by “Nosology and Classification of genetic skeletal disorders” have not been reported in the Chinese biomedical literature. Gene mutation testing was performed in only a minor portion of the 16,099 cases of GSDs (187 cases, 1.16%). In total, 37 genes for 41 different GSDs were reported in Chinese biomedical literature, including 43 novel mutations. This review revealed a significant imbalance in rare disease identification in terms of geographic regions and hospital levels, suggesting the need to create a national multi-level network to meet the specific challenge of care for rare diseases in China.
PMCID: PMC3492206  PMID: 22913777
Rare diseases; Genetic skeletal diseases; China; Bibliographic study
11.  Lithium Treatment Reduces Brain Injury Induced by Focal Ischemia with Partial Reperfusion and the Protective Mechanisms Dispute the Importance of Akt Activity 
Aging and Disease  2012;3(3):226-233.
Lithium is a mood stabilizer shown to have neuroprotective effects against several chronic and acute neuronal injuries, including stroke. However, it is unknown whether lithium treatment protects against brain injury post-stroke in a rat model of permanent distal middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) combined with transient bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (CCAo), a model that mimics human stroke with partial reperfusion. In addition, whether lithium treatment alters Akt activity as measured by the kinase activity assay has not been reported, although it is known to inhibit GSK3β activity. After stroke, Akt activity contributes to neuronal survival while GSK3β activity causes neuronal death. We report that a bolus of lithium injection at stroke onset robustly reduced infarct size measured by 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining at 48 h post-stroke and inhibited cell death in the ischemic penumbra, but not in the ischemic core, as shown by TUNEL staining performed 24 h post-stroke. However, lithium treatment did not alter the reduction in Akt activity as measured by Akt kinase assay. We further showed that lithium did not alter phosphorylated GSK3β protein levels, or the degradation of β-catenin, a substrate of GSK3β, which is consistent with previous findings that long-term treatment is required for lithium to alter GSK3β phosphorylation. In summary, we show innovative data that lithium protects against stroke in a focal ischemia model with partial reperfusion, however, our results dispute the importance of Akt activity in the protective effects of lithium.
PMCID: PMC3375079  PMID: 22724081
Lithium; Akt; Cerebral focal ischemia; GSK3β; β-catenin
12.  From Rapid to Delayed and Remote Postconditioning: the Evolving Concept of Ischemic Postconditioning in Brain Ischemia 
Current Drug Targets  2012;13(2):173-187.
Ischemic postconditioning is a concept originally defined to contrast with that of ischemic preconditioning. While both preconditioning and postconditioning confer a neuroprotective effect on brain ischemia, preconditioning is a sublethal insult performed in advance of brain ischemia, and postconditioning, which conventionally refers to a series of brief occlusions and reperfusions of the blood vessels, is conducted after ischemia/reperfusion. In this article, we first briefly review the history of preconditioning, including the experimentation that initially uncovered its neuroprotective effects and later revealed its underlying mechanisms-of-action. We then discuss how preconditioning research evolved into that of postconditioning – a concept that now represents a broad range of stimuli or triggers, including delayed postconditioning, pharmacological postconditioning, remote postconditioning – and its underlying protective mechanisms involving the Akt, MAPK, PKC and KATP channel cell-signaling pathways. Because the concept of postconditioning is so closely associated with that of preconditioning, and both share some common protective mechanisms, we also discuss whether a combination of preconditioning and postconditioning offers greater protection than preconditioning or postconditioning alone.
PMCID: PMC3346695  PMID: 22204317
postconditioning; preconditioning; stroke; cerebral ischemia; focal ischemia; neuroprotection
13.  The Chronic Protective Effects of Limb Remote Preconditioning and the Underlying Mechanisms Involved in Inflammatory Factors in Rat Stroke 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e30892.
We recently demonstrated that limb remote preconditioning (LRP) protects against focal ischemia measured 2 days post-stroke. Here, we studied whether LRP provides long-term protection and improves neurological function. We also investigated whether LRP transmits its protective signaling via the afferent nerve pathways from the preconditioned limb to the ischemic brain and whether inflammatory factors are involved in LRP, including the novel galectin-9/Tim-3 inflammatory cell signaling pathway, which induces cell death in lymphocytes. LRP in the left hind femoral artery was performed immediately before stroke. LRP reduced brain injury size both at 2 days and 60 days post-stroke and improved behavioral outcomes for up to 2 months. The sensory nerve inhibitors capsaicin and hexamethonium, a ganglion blocker, abolished the protective effects of LRP. In addition, LRP inhibited edema formation and blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability measured 2 days post-stroke. Western blot and immunostaining analysis showed that LRP inhibited protein expression of both galectin-9 and T-cell immunoglobulin domain and mucin domain 3 (Tim-3), which were increased after stroke. In addition, LRP decreased iNOS and nitrotyrosine protein expression after stroke. In conclusion, LRP executes long-term protective effects against stroke and may block brain injury by inhibiting activities of the galectin-9/Tim-3 pathway, iNOS, and nitrotyrosine.
PMCID: PMC3275571  PMID: 22347410

Results 1-13 (13)