Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) were recently found to accumulate in the lungs during Pneumocystis pneumonia (PcP). Adoptive transfer of these cells caused lung damage in recipient mice, suggesting that MDSC accumulation is a mechanism of pathogenesis in PcP. In this study, the phagocytic activity of alveolar macrophages (AMs) was found to decrease by 40% when they were incubated with MDSCs from Pneumocystis (Pc)-infected mice, compared to those incubated with Gr-1(+) cells from the bone marrow of uninfected mice. The expression of PU.1 gene in AMs incubated with MDSCs was also decreased. This PU.1 down regulation was mainly due to decreased histone 3 acetylation and increased DNA methylation caused by MDSCs. MDSCs were found to express high levels of PD-L1, and alveolar macrophages (AMs) were found to express high levels of PD-1 during PcP. Furthermore, PD-1 expression in AMs from uninfected mice was increased by 18 fold when they were incubated with MDSCs, compared to those incubated with Gr-1(+) cells from the bone marrow of uninfected mice. The adverse effects of MDSCs on AMs were diminished when the MDSCs were pretreated with anti-PD-L1 antibody, suggesting that MDSCs disable AMs through PD-1/PD-L1 ligation during PcP.
Nonspecific gastrointestinal symptoms make diagnosis of amebiasis difficult. Certain colonoscopic findings predict amebic colitis while others suggest different diagnoses. We aimed to evaluate the diagnostic capability of colonic evaluation of amebiasis.
Prototheca wickerhamii, an environmental alga, rarely causes human infections. We present a case of Prototheca wickerhamii cutaneous and systemic infections in an 85-year-old male with adrenal insufficiency. This organism was identified by morphological features and microbiological tests. The patient was successfully treated with ketoconazole.
Kallistatin exerts pleiotropic activities in inhibiting inflammation, apoptosis, and oxidative stress in endothelial cells. Because endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) play a significant role in vascular repair, we investigated whether kallistatin contributes to vascular regeneration by enhancing EPC migration and function.
Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) is a leading cause of acute and persistent diarrhea worldwide. A recently emerged Shiga-toxin-producing strain of EAEC resulted in significant mortality and morbidity due to progressive development of hemolytic-uremic syndrome. The attachment of EAEC to the human intestinal mucosa is mediated by aggregative adherence fimbria (AAF). Using X-ray crystallography and NMR structures, we present new atomic resolution insight into the structure of AAF variant I from the strain that caused the deadly outbreak in Germany in 2011, and AAF variant II from archetype strain 042, and propose a mechanism for AAF-mediated adhesion and biofilm formation. Our work shows that major subunits of AAF assemble into linear polymers by donor strand complementation where a single minor subunit is inserted at the tip of the polymer by accepting the donor strand from the terminal major subunit. Whereas the minor subunits of AAF have a distinct conserved structure, AAF major subunits display large structural differences, affecting the overall pilus architecture. These structures suggest a mechanism for AAF-mediated adhesion and biofilm formation. Binding experiments using wild type and mutant subunits (NMR and SPR) and bacteria (ELISA) revealed that despite the structural differences AAF recognize a common receptor, fibronectin, by employing clusters of basic residues at the junction between subunits in the pilus. We show that AAF-fibronectin attachment is based primarily on electrostatic interactions, a mechanism not reported previously for bacterial adhesion to biotic surfaces.
Folium Sennae (leaves of Cassia angustifolia or senna) is a laxative and a component in diets for weight control. It contains a variety of anthranoids such as sennosides, aloe-emodin, and rhein. In order to measure the serum concentrations of senna anthranoids, Sprague-Dawley rats were orally administered with single dose and multiple doses of Folium Sennae. The concentrations of anthranoids in serum were determined by HPLC method before and after hydrolysis with sulfatase and ?-glucuronidase. The results showed that in the serum, aloe-emodin glucuronides and rhein glucuronides were the major metabolites. Traces of rhein free form were present transiently during the early phase, whereas the free form of aloe-emodin was not detected. We also evaluated the modulation effect of Folium Sennae on P-glycoprotein by using the LS 180 cell model which showed that it significantly inhibited P-glycoprotein by 16-46?%. In conclusion, senna anthranoids were rapidly and extensively metabolized to rhein glucuronides and aloe-emodin glucuronides in rats. Folium Sennae ingestion inhibited the efflux function of P-glycoprotein in the intestine.
Hericium erinaceus, an edible mushroom, has been demonstrated to potentiate the effects of numerous biological activities. The aim of this study was to investigate whether H. erinaceus mycelium could act as an anti-inflammatory agent to bring about neuroprotection using a model of global ischemic stroke and the mechanisms involved. Rats were treated with H. erinaceus mycelium and its isolated diterpenoid derivative, erinacine A, after ischemia reperfusion brain injuries caused by the occlusion of the two common carotid arteries. The production of inflammatory cytokines in serum and the infracted volume of the brain were measured. The proteins from the stroke animal model (SAM) were evaluated to determine the effect of H. erinaceus mycelium. H. erinaceus mycelium reduced the total infarcted volumes by 22% and 44% at a concentration of 50 and 300 mg/kg, respectively, compared to the SAM group. The levels of acute inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin-1?, interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor á, were all reduced by erinacine A. Levels of nitrotyrosine-containing proteins, phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and CCAAT enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP) and homologous protein (CHOP) expression were attenuated by erinacine A. Moreover, the modulation of ischemia injury factors present in the SAM model by erinacine A seemed to result in the suppression of reactive nitrogen species and the downregulation of inducible NO synthase (iNOS), p38 MAPK and CHOP. These findings confirm the nerve-growth properties of Hericium erinaceus mycelium, which include the prevention of ischemic injury to neurons; this protective effect seems to be involved in the in vivo activity of iNOS, p38 MAPK and CHOP.
Tissue kallikrein is a serine proteinase that cleaves low molecular weight kininogen to produce kinin peptides, which in turn activate kinin receptors to trigger multiple biological functions. In addition to its kinin-releasing activity, tissue kallikrein directly interacts with the kinin B2 receptor, protease-activated receptor-1, and gamma-epithelial Na channel. The tissue kallikrein-kinin system (KKS) elicits a wide spectrum of biological activities, including reducing hypertension, cardiac and renal damage, restenosis, ischemic stroke, and skin wound injury. Both loss-of-function and gain-of-function studies have shown that the KKS plays an important endogenous role in the protection against health pathologies. Tissue kallikrein/kinin treatment attenuates cardiovascular, renal, and brain injury by inhibiting oxidative stress, apoptosis, inflammation, hypertrophy, and fibrosis and promoting angiogenesis and neurogenesis. Approaches that augment tissue kallikrein-kinin activity might provide an effective strategy for the treatment of hypertension and associated organ damage.
Single-incision laparoscopic colectomy (SILC) is one of several promising operation choices. Our previous study demonstrated that SILC with a self-made glove-port system both improves the feasibility of SILC and decreases the cost expense of surgery. Because the incision site for SILC could be made at either the umbilicus or McBurney's point, we are interested in whether the incision site affects the outcomes of patients, which is a less explored topic. The purpose of this study is not only to show the results of SILC with a self-made glove-port system for supporting its feasibility, but also to compare the short-term surgical outcomes between SILC with the incision made at the umbilicus and at McBurney's point.
Curcumin, a specific secondary metabolite of Curcuma species, has potentials for a variety of beneficial health effects. It is nowadays used as a dietary supplement. Everolimus (EVL) is an immunosuppressant indicated for allograft rejection and cancer therapy, but with narrow therapeutic window. EVL is a substrate of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4). This study investigated the effect of coadministration of curcumin on the pharmacokinetics of EVL in rats and the underlying mechanisms. EVL (0.5?mg/kg) was orally administered without and with 50 and 100?mg/kg of curcumin, respectively, in rats. Blood samples were collected at specific time points and EVL concentrations in blood were determined by QMS® immunoassay. The underlying mechanisms were evaluated using cell model and recombinant CYP 3A4 isozyme. The results indicated that 50 and 100?mg/kg of curcumin significantly decreased the AUC0-540 of EVL by 70.6% and 71.5%, respectively, and both dosages reduced the Cmax of EVL by 76.7%. Mechanism studies revealed that CYP3A4 was markedly activated by curcumin metabolites, which apparently overrode the inhibition effects of curcumin on P-gp. In conclusion, oral intake of curcumin significantly decreased the bioavailability of EVL, a probe substrate of P-gp/CYP 3A4, mainly through marked activation on CYP 3A4.
The tissue kallikrein-kinin system exerts a wide spectrum of biological activities in the cardiovascular, renal and central nervous systems. Tissue kallikrein-kinin modulates the proliferation, viability, mobility and functional activity of certain stem cell populations, namely mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), mononuclear cell subsets and neural stem cells. Stimulation of these stem cells by tissue kallikrein-kinin may lead to protection against renal, cardiovascular and neural damage by inhibiting apoptosis, inflammation, fibrosis and oxidative stress and promoting neovascularization. Moreover, MSCs and EPCs genetically modified with tissue kallikrein are resistant to hypoxia- and oxidative stress-induced apoptosis, and offer enhanced protective actions in animal models of heart and kidney injury and hindlimb ischemia. In addition, activation of the plasma kallikrein-kinin system promotes EPC recruitment to the inflamed synovium of arthritic rats. Conversely, cleaved high molecular weight kininogen, a product of plasma kallikrein, reduces the viability and vasculogenic activity of EPCs. Therefore, kallikrein-kinin provides a new approach in enhancing the efficacy of stem cell therapy for human diseases.
The effect of speaker variability on accessing the form and meaning of spoken words was evaluated in two short-term priming experiments. In the repetition priming experiment, participants listened to repeated or unrelated prime-target pairs, in which the prime and target were produced by the same speaker or different speakers. The results showed robust repetition priming, but only partial evidence of reduction of priming by speaker variability. In the semantic/associative priming experiment, participants listened to semantically/associatively related or unrelated prime-target pairs, in which the prime and target were produced by the same speaker or different speakers. The results showed robust semantic/associative priming, but the reduction of priming by speaker variability took place only for targets produced by the female speaker. There is no evidence that the speaker variability effect varied as a function of inter-stimulus interval. These findings suggest that speaker variability could affect access to word form and meaning, but the impact is relatively weak.
An acute injury to the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) with avulsion of the foveal attachment can produce distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ) instability. The avulsed TFCC is translated distally so the footprint will be bathed in synovial fluid from the DRUJ and will become covered in synovitis. If the TFCC fails to heal to the footprint, then persistent instability can occur. The authors describe a surgical technique indicated for the treatment of persistent instability of the DRUJ due to foveal detachment of the TFCC. The procedure utilizes a loop of palmaris longus tendon graft passed through the ulnar aspect of the TFCC and into an osseous tunnel in the distal ulna to reconstruct the foveal attachment. This technique provides stability of the distal ulna to the radius and carpus. We recommend this procedure for chronic instability of the DRUJ due to TFCC avulsion, but recommend that suture repair remain the treatment of choice for acute instability. An arthroscopic assessment includes the trampoline test, hook test, and reverse hook test. DRUJ ballottement under arthroscopic vision details the direction of instability, the functional tear pattern, and unmasks concealed tears. If the reverse hook test demonstrates a functional instability between the TFCC and the radius, then a foveal reconstruction is contraindicated, and a reconstruction that stabilizes the radial and ulnar aspects of the TFCC is required. The foveal reconstruction technique has the advantage of providing a robust anatomically based reconstruction of the TFCC to the fovea, which stabilizes the DRUJ and the ulnocarpal sag.
The purpose of this study was to explore the music-speech relationship by examining pitch height perception in lexical and musical tones. English-speaking musicians and nonmusicians identified multispeaker Taiwanese level tones without typical cues for speaker normalization. The musicians also identified note names of piano, viola, and pure tones without a reference pitch. In the Taiwanese task, both the musicians and nonmusicians were able to identify tone height above chance, but only for tones at the extremes of the speakers' overall vocal range. The musicians only had a slight advantage over the nonmusicians. In the music task, none of the musicians met the criterion for absolute pitch. Timbre did not affect how accurately the musical tones were identified. No correlations were found between performance in the Taiwanese task and that in the music task. It was concluded that musicians' advantage in lexical tone perception arose from the ability to track F0 contours. The ability to identify pitch height in lexical tones appears to involve calibrating acoustic input according to gender-specific, internally stored pitch templates.
Protein arginine methylation is a posttranslational modification critical for a variety of biological processes. Misregulation of protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) has been linked to many pathological conditions. Most current PRMT inhibitors display limited specificity and selectivity, indiscriminately targeting many methyltransferase enzymes that use S-adenosyl-l-methionine as a cofactor. Here we report diamidine compounds for specific inhibition of PRMT1, the primary type I enzyme. Docking, molecular dynamics, and MM/PBSA analysis together with biochemical assays were conducted to understand the binding modes of these inhibitors and the molecular basis of selective inhibition for PRMT1. Our data suggest that 2,5-bis(4-amidinophenyl)furan (1, furamidine, DB75), one leading inhibitor, targets the enzyme active site and is primarily competitive with the substrate and noncompetitive toward the cofactor. Furthermore, cellular studies revealed that 1 is cell membrane permeable and effectively inhibits intracellular PRMT1 activity and blocks cell proliferation in leukemia cell lines with different genetic lesions.
An orderly inclined Al2O3 column array was fabricated by atomic layer deposition and sequential electron beam evaporation using a hollow nanosphere template. The transmittance spectra at various angles of incidence were obtained through the use of a Perkin-Elmer Lambda 900 UV/VIS/NIR spectrometer. The inclined column array could display the image information through a scattering mechanism and was transparent at high viewing angles along the deposition plane. This characteristic of the inclined column array gives it potential for applications in head-up displays in the automotive industry.
Reactive astrogliosis is a cellular manifestation of neuroinflammation and occurs in response to all forms and severities of the central nervous system (CNS)'s injury and disease. Both astroglial proliferation and antiapoptotic processes are aspects of astrogliosis. However, the underlying mechanism of this response remains poorly understood. In addition, little is known about why activated astrocytes are more resistant to stress and inflammation. CCAAT/enhancer binding protein delta (CEBPD) is a transcription factor found in activated astrocytes that surround ?-amyloid plaques. In this study, we found that astrocytes activation was attenuated in the cortex and hippocampus of APPswe/PS1 E9 (AppTg)/Cebpd (-/-)mice. Furthermore, an increase in apoptotic astrocytes was observed in AppTg/Cebpd (-/-)mice, suggesting that CEBPD plays a functional role in enhancing the antiapoptotic ability of astrocytes. We found that Zinc Finger Protein 179 (ZNF179) was a CEBPD-regulated gene that played an antiapoptotic, but not proliferative, role in astrocytes. The transcriptions of the proapoptotic genes, insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 (IGFBP3) and BCL2-interacting killer (BIK), were suppressed by ZNF179 via its interaction with the promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger (PLZF) protein in astrocytes. This study provides the first evidence that ZNF179, PLZF, IGFBP3, and BIK contributed to the novel CEBPD-induced antiapoptotic feature of astrocytes.
Hemodynamic status during induction of anesthesia may modify the amount of propofol needed to induce loss of consciousness (LOC). This study was aimed to evaluate the effect of antispasmodic-induced tachycardia on the concentration of propofol at the effect-site for inducing LOC when deep sedation was executed for colonoscopy.
Kallistatin, a plasma protein, has been shown to exert multi-factorial functions including inhibition of inflammation, oxidative stress and apoptosis in animal models and cultured cells. Kallistatin levels are reduced in patients with sepsis and in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced septic mice. Moreover, transgenic mice expressing kallistatin are more resistant to LPS-induced mortality. Here, we investigated the effects of human kallistatin on organ injury and survival in a mouse model of polymicrobial sepsis. In this study, mice were injected intravenously with recombinant kallistatin (KS3, 3 mg/kg; or KS10, 10 mg/kg body weight) and then rendered septic by caecal ligation and puncture 30 min later. Kallistatin administration resulted in a > 10-fold reduction of peritoneal bacterial counts, and significantly decreased serum tumour necrosis factor-?, interleukin-6 and high mobility group box-1 (HMGB1) levels. Kallistatin also inhibited HMGB1 and toll-like receptor-4 gene expression in the lung and kidney. Administration of kallistatin attenuated renal damage and decreased blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine levels, but increased endothelial nitric oxide synthase and nitric oxide levels in the kidney. In cultured endothelial cells, human kallistatin via its heparin-binding site inhibited HMGB1-induced nuclear factor-?B activation and inflammatory gene expression. Moreover, kallistatin significantly reduced apoptosis and caspase-3 activity in the spleen. Furthermore, kallistatin treatment markedly improved the survival of septic mice by 23% (KS3) and 41% (KS10). These results indicate that kallistatin is a unique protecting agent in sepsis-induced organ damage and mortality by inhibiting inflammation and apoptosis, as well as enhancing bacterial clearance in a mouse model of polymicrobial sepsis.
Conductive and transparent multilayer thin films consisting of three alternating layers (TiO2/Ag/SiO2, TAS) have been fabricated for applications as transparent conducting oxides. Metal oxide and metal layers were prepared by electron-beam evaporation with ion-assisted deposition, and the optical and electrical properties of the resulting films as well as their energy bounding characteristics and microstructures were carefully investigated. The optical properties of the obtained TAS material were compared with those of well-known transparent metal oxide glasses such as ZnO/Ag/ZnO, TiO2/Ag/TiO2, ZnO/Cu/ZnO, and ZnO/Al/ZnO. The weathering resistance of the TAS film was improved by using a protective SiO2 film as the uppermost layer. The transmittance spectra and sheet resistance of the material were carefully measured and analyzed as a function of the layer thickness. By properly adjusting the thickness of the metal and dielectric films, a low sheet resistance of 6.5 ohm/sq and a high average transmittance of over 89% in the 400 to 700 nm wavelength regions were achieved. We found that the Ag layer played a significant role in determining the optical and electrical properties of this film.
Tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BHP), an organic lipid hydroperoxide analog, has been demonstrated to exert pro-oxidant effects to evaluate mechanisms involving oxidative stress in hepatocyte cells and rat liver. Herein, we present an investigation of the event of molecular mechanism of t-BHP related acute liver injury. A proteomic approach was used to identify proteins which are differentially expressed in liver cells following t-BHP treatment and the mechanism of its action in apoptotic and endoplasmic reticulum stress pathways. Our results demonstrate that the t-BHP treatment of liver cells increased cell cytoxicity and apoptosis. t-BHP dose-dependent induction of cell apoptosis and stained liver sections relieved the acute rat liver injury were accompanied by sustained phosphorylation of JNK1/2 and p65. In addition, there were 13 differentially displayed proteins between the t-BHP-induced and untreated were assayed and validated in vivo. Furthermore, we demonstrated that t-BHP induced human Chang liver cell viability and apoptosis properties by up-regulating the levels of ETFA (electron transfer flavoprotein subunit alpha). This study demonstrated that there was an increase in the cellular levels of ETFA in the t-BHP induction in viability and apoptosis via the activation of JNK1/2 and NF?B signaling modules. NAC administration and shRNA ETFA conferred resistance to t-BHP-increased ETFA and CHOP expression via IRE1-alpha/TRAF2 complex formation, activation of JNK1/2 and p50. We concluded that the mechanism of t-BHP-induced an apoptosis cascade and endoplasmic reticulum stress in hepatocyte cells by up-regulation of ETFA, providing a new mechanism for liver injury.
Interferon-beta (IFN-?) treatment may not be effective in neuromyelitis optica (NMO). Whether the poor response to IFN-? is related to long spinal cord lesions (LSCL) or the NMO disease entity itself is unclear. We evaluated the spinal cord involvement of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and NMO, as well as the response after receiving IFN-?. Forty-nine MS and 21 NMO patients treated with IFN-? for at least 2 years from 2002-2008 were enrolled in this study and the treatment response was analyzed 2 years post-treatment. In the study, spinal cord lesions were present in 57.1% (28/49) of the MS patients, of which 16.3% (8/49) presented spinal cord lesions longer than 3 vertebral segments (LSCL). Responses to IFN-? treatment were seen in 69.3% (34/49) of all the MS cases, of which the appropriate response rates were 76.1% (16/21) in MS patients without spinal cord lesions and 37.5% (3/8) in patients with LSCL. Only 14.2% (3/21) of NMO patients responded to IFN-? treatment. In conclusion, spinal cord lesion is common in MS patients in Taiwan. Both NMO and MS patients with LSCL had a poor response to IFN-? treatment. NMO patients had a worse response to IFN-? treatment than MS patients with LSCL, which shows that the crucial structural defect is something other than LSCL such as the elevated serum IL17 level in NMO compared to MS.
The A2A adenosine receptor (A2AR) is a G protein-coupled receptor and a major target of caffeine. The A2AR gene encodes alternative transcripts that are initiated from at least two independent promoters. The different transcripts of the A2AR gene contain the same coding region and 3-untranslated region and different 5-untranslated regions that are highly conserved among species. We report here that in addition to the production of the A2AR protein, translation from an upstream, out-of-frame AUG of the rat A2AR gene produces a 134-amino acid protein (designated uORF5). An anti-uORF5 antibody recognized a protein of the predicted size of uORF5 in PC12 cells and rat brains. Upregulation of A2AR transcripts by hypoxia led to increased levels of both the A2AR and uORF5 proteins. Moreover, stimulation of A2AR increased the level of the uORF5 protein via post-transcriptional regulation. Expression of the uORF5 protein suppressed the AP1-mediated transcription promoted by nerve growth factor, and modulated the expression of several proteins that were implicated in the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway. Taken together, our results show that the rat A2AR gene encodes two distinct proteins (A2AR and uORF5) in an A2AR-dependent manner. Our study reveals a new example of the complexity of the mammalian genome and provides novel insights into the function of A2AR.
Rhubarb, the rhizome of Rheum palmatum L. (RP), is a popular herb used in Chinese medicine prescriptions. RP contains a variety of polyphenolic anthraquinones, such as aloe-emodin, rhein, emodin and chrysophanol. Our previous study found that the anthraquinones in RP existed predominantly as glucuronides/sulfates in the bloodstream, which were putative substrates of MRPs. Methotrexate (MTX) is a widely used immunosuppressant and anticancer agent, but it has a narrow therapeutic index. The transcellular transport of MTX is mediated by multidrug resistance associated proteins (MRPs). This study investigated the effects of coadministration of RP on MTX pharmacokinetics in rats. The possible involvement of MRP 2 was verified by using cell models and various typical MRP 2 substrates. The results showed that coadministration of 0.5 mg/kg of RP significantly increased the AUC 0-t and MRT of MTX by 307% and 364%, and 1.0 g/kg of RP significantly increased the AUC 0-t and MRT of MTX by 602% and 419%, respectively. Cell line studies indicated that the activity of MRP 2 was inhibited by the metabolites of RP and rhein. In conclusion, concomitant administration of RP markedly increased the systemic exposure of MTX via inhibiting MRP 2-mediated excretion.
Zinc finger protein 179 (Znf179), also known as ring finger protein 112 (Rnf112), is a member of the RING finger protein family and plays an important role in neuronal differentiation. To investigate novel mechanisms of Znf179 regulation and function, we performed a yeast two-hybrid screen to identify Znf179-interacting proteins.
Curcumin has potential anticancer activity and has been shown to be involved in several signaling pathways including differentiation and apoptosis. Our previous study showed that water-soluble PLGA curcumin nanoparticles (Cur-NPs) triggered apoptotic cell death through regulation of the function of MDR1 and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cisplatin-resistant human oral cancer CAR cells. In this study, we investigated the anti-proliferative effects of Cur-NPs on human osteosarcoma U2OS cells. The morphology of Cur-NPs showed spherical shape by TEM analysis. The encapsulation efficiency of curcumin in Cur-NPs prepared by single emulsion was 90.5±3.0%. Our results demonstrated that the curcumin fragments on the mass spectrum of Cur-NPs and the peaks of curcumin standard could be found on the Cur-NPs spectrum by 1H-NMR spectra analysis. Cur-NPs induced anti-proliferative effects and apoptosis in U2OS cells. Compared to the untreated U2OS cells, more detectable amount of Cur-NPs was found inside the treated U2OS cells. Cur-NPs induced DNA fragmentation and apoptotic bodies in U2OS cells. Both the activity and the expression levels of caspases-3/-7 and caspase-9 were elevated in the treated U2OS cells. Cur-NPs upregulated the protein expression levels of cleaved caspase-3/caspase-9, cytochrome c, Apaf-1 and Bad and downregulated the protein expression level of p-Akt in U2OS cells. These results suggest Cur-NPs are effective in enhancing apoptosis in human osteosarcoma cells and thus could provide potential for cancer therapeutics.
Although echinocandins have high in vitro antifungal efficacy according to prior reports, comparative studies on the clinical cure rates of anidulafungin, caspofungin, and micafungin in systemic candida infections have not yet been reported.
Group A streptococcus (GAS) infection may cause severe life-threatening diseases, including necrotizing fasciitis and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome. Despite the availability of effective antimicrobial agents, there has been a worldwide increase in the incidence of invasive GAS infection. Kallistatin (KS), originally found to be a tissue kallikrein-binding protein, has recently been shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties. However, its efficacy in microbial infection has not been explored. In this study, we transiently expressed the human KS gene by hydrodynamic injection and investigated its anti-inflammatory and protective effects in mice via air pouch inoculation of GAS. The results showed that KS significantly increased the survival rate of GAS-infected mice. KS treatment reduced local skin damage and bacterial counts compared with those in mice infected with GAS and treated with a control plasmid or saline. While there was a decrease in immune cell infiltration of the local infection site, cell viability and antimicrobial factors such as reactive oxygen species actually increased after KS treatment. The efficiency of intracellular bacterial killing in neutrophils was directly enhanced by KS administration. Several inflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin 1?, and interleukin 6, in local infection sites were reduced by KS. In addition, KS treatment reduced vessel leakage, bacteremia, and liver damage after local infection. Therefore, our study demonstrates that KS provides protection in GAS-infected mice by enhancing bacterial clearance, as well as reducing inflammatory responses and organ damage.
Curcumin is a polyphenolic compound which possesses anticancer potential. It has been shown to induce cell death in a variety of cancer cells, however, its effect on CAL27?cisplatin-resistant human oral cancer cells (CAR cells) has not been elucidated to date. The low water solubility of curcumin which leads to poor bioavailability, however, has been highlighted as a major limiting factor. In this study, we utilized water-soluble PLGA curcumin nanoparticles (Cur-NPs), and investigated the effects of Cur-NPs on CAR cells. The results showed Cur-NPs induced apoptosis in CAR cells but exhibited low cytotoxicity to normal human gingival fibroblasts (HGFs) and normal human oral keratinocytes (OKs). Cur-NPs triggered DNA concentration, fragmentation and subsequent apoptosis. Compared to untreated CAR cells, a more detectable amount of Calcein-AM accumulation was found inside the treated CAR cells. Cur-NPs suppressed the protein and mRNA expression levels of MDR1. Both the activity and the expression levels of caspase-3 and caspase-9 were elevated in the treated CAR cells. The Cur-NP-triggered apoptosis was blocked by specific inhibitors of pan-caspase (z-VAD-fmk), caspase-3 (z-DEVD-fmk), caspase-9 (z-LEHD-fmk) and antioxidant agent (N-acetylcysteine; NAC). Cur-NPs increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, upregulated the protein expression levels of cleaved caspase-3/caspase-9, cytochrome c, Apaf-1, AIF, Bax and downregulated the protein levels of Bcl-2. Our results suggest that Cur-NPs triggered the intrinsic apoptotic pathway through regulating the function of multiple drug resistance protein 1 (MDR1) and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in CAR cells. Cur-NPs could be potentially efficacious in the treatment of cisplatin-resistant human oral cancer.
The expression of CK19 in primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is associated with a poor outcome. However, few studies have investigated the expression profile of CK19 in regional lymph nodes (LNs) of HCC after hepatic resection. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the expression of CK19 in primary liver tumor and regional LNs of HCC with and without lymph node metastasis (LNM).
This purpose of the meta-analysis was to compare treatment outcomes for adult patients with symptomatic hemorrhoids treated by stapled hemorrhoidopexy or LigaSure hemorrhoidectomy. A search of public medical databases was made to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing stapled hemorrhoidopexy (SH) with LigaSure hemorrhoidectomy (LH) for the treatment of adult patients with symptomatic grade 3 and grade 4 hemorrhoids. Postoperative pain as measured using a visual analog scale was the primary outcome, and rate of recurrent prolapse and postoperative bleeding were secondary outcome measures. Four RCTs were identified that met the inclusion criteria. Data for the pooled outcomes were analyzed using odds ratio (OR) analysis. None of the studies in the analysis indicated a significant difference between SH and LH for the outcomes VAS pain score, recurrence rate, or postoperative bleeding. Pooled analysis revealed a significant OR in favor of the SH method for recurrent prolapse (OR = 5.529, P = 0.016) for up to 2 years after surgery. No significant differences between the two methods were identified for VAS pain scores (OR = -1.060, P = 0.149) or postoperative bleeding OR = 1.188, P = 0.871). Pooled analysis of RCT results comparing SH to LH for symptomatic hemorrhoids revealed a significantly greater incidence of recurrent prolapse for SH. The two techniques were associated with similar levels of postoperative pain and postoperative bleeding.
Mulberry is a fruit containing polyphenol antioxidants. Cyclosporine (CSP), a potent immunosuppressant with a narrow therapeutic range, is widely used in transplant patients. This study investigated the effect of co-administration of mulberry on the bioavailability of CSP, a probe drug of P-glycoprotein (P-gp)/cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP 3A4), in rats and relevant mechanisms. CSP (2.5 mg/kg) was orally administered with and without a single dose or the seventh dose of mulberry (2 g/kg) to rats. The results showed that a single dose of mulberry significantly decreased the area under the curve of concentration (AUC(0-540)) and the maximum blood concentration (Cmax) of CSP by 53.2 and 65.8%, respectively. Repeated dosing of mulberry significantly decreased the AUC(0-540) and Cmax of CSP by 23.7 and 39.7%, respectively. Mechanism studies indicated that mulberry significantly increased the activities of P-gp and CYP 3A. In conclusion, mulberry significantly reduced the bioavailability of CSP through activating the functions of P-gp and CYP 3A.
We investigated the prevalence and correlated factors of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among heroin users attending methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) programs in Central Taiwan, and explored the degree of risk perception of HIV infection among the participants. Our study participants were 781 heroin users seeking treatment at the MMT program at Tsaotun Psychiatric Center in Taiwan. The presence of HIV antibodies was identified by microparticle enzyme immunoassay and confirmed by western blot. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify the independent correlates of HIV infection. The mean age of the sample was 36.1 years [standard deviation (SD) = 7.6]; of the patients, 710 (90.9%) were men. The prevalence of HIV infection among our study population was 20.7%. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that HIV infection was independently associated with the age of the patients of initial heroin use, heroin injection use, nondrug-related criminal convictions, needle-sharing behaviors, and sharing injection paraphernalia. A strong agreement existed between self-reported HIV serostatus and the results of laboratory analyses, with 88.8% of patients reporting their condition correctly. We found a high rate of HIV infection among patients in the MMT program. Factors associated with HIV infection were mostly related to drug-use behaviors. These findings stress the importance of education regarding drug-risk behaviors.
Kallistatin, a plasma protein, exerts pleiotropic effects in inhibiting angiogenesis, inflammation and tumor growth. Canonical Wnt signaling is the primary pathway for oncogenesis in the mammary gland. In this study, we demonstrate that kallistatin bound to the Wnt coreceptor low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 6 (LRP6), thus, blocking Wnt/?-catenin signaling and Wnt-mediated growth and migration in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Kallistatin inhibited Wnt3a-induced proliferation, migration, and invasion of cultured breast cancer cells. Moreover, kallistatin was bound to LRP6 in breast cancer cells, as identified by immunoprecipitation followed by western blot. Kallistatin suppressed Wnt3a-mediated phosphorylation of LRP6 and glycogen synthase kinase-3?, and the elevation of cytosolic ?-catenin levels. Furthermore, kallistatin antagonized Wnt3a-induced expression of c-Myc, cyclin D1, and vascular endothelial growth factor. These findings indicate a novel role of kallistatin in preventing breast tumor growth and mobility by direct interaction with LRP6, leading to blockade of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway.
Dioscorea japonica Thunb. var. pseudojaponica (DP) is consumed as food and widely used in traditional Chinese medicine in Taiwan. The aims of this study are to investigate the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of ethanol extract of DP (EDP) and its reference compounds. Fingerprint chromatogram from HPLC indicated that EDP contains gallic acid and vanillic acid. EDP was evaluated for its antioxidant effects and LPS-induced nitrite oxide (NO) production in RAW264.7 cells. EDP decreased the LPS-induced NO production and expressions of iNOS and COX-2 in RAW264.7 cells. In-vivo anti-inflammatory activities of EDP were assessed in mouse paw oedema induced by ?-carrageenan (Carr). We investigated the antioxidant mechanism of EDP via studies of the activities of catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) in the oedematous paw. The results showed that EDP might be a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.
ALA (?-lipoic acid) is a natural, endogenous antioxidant that acts as a PPAR-? (peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor-?) agonist to counteract oxidative stress. Thus far, the antioxidative and immunomodulatory effects of ALA on EAE (experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis) are not well understood. In this study, we found that ALA restricts the infiltration of inflammatory cells into the CNS (central nervous system) in MOG (myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein)-EAE mice, thus reducing the disease severity. In addition, we revealed that ALA significantly suppresses the number and percentage of encephalitogenic Th1 and Th17 cells and increases splenic Treg-cells (regulatory T-cells). Strikingly, we further demonstrated that ALA induces endogenous PPAR-? centrally and peripherally but has no effect on HO-1 (haem oxygenase 1). Together, these data suggest that ALA can up-regulate endogenous systemic and central PPAR-? and enhance systemic Treg-cells to inhibit the inflammatory response and ameliorate MOG-EAE. In conclusion, our data provide the first evidence that ALA can augment the production of PPAR-? in vivo and modulate adaptive immunity both centrally and peripherally in EAE and may reveal further antioxidative and immunomodulatory mechanisms for the application of ALA in human MS (multiple sclerosis).
Actinidia callosa var. ephippioides (ACE) has been widely used to treat anti-pyretic, antinociceptive, anti-inflammation, abdominal pain and fever in Taiwan. This study aims to determine the mechanism of anti-inflammatory activities of ethyl acetate fraction of ACE (EA-ACE) using a model of ?-carrageenan (Carr)-induced paw edema in mouse model. In HPLC analysis, chemical characterization of EA-ACE was established. In order to investigate the anti-inflammatory mechanism of EA-ACE, we have detected the activities of catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) in the paw edema. Serum NO, tumor necrosis factor ? (TNF-?), and interleukin-1? (IL-1?) were evaluated. Chemical characterization from HPLC indicated that EA-ACE contains betulinic acid, ursolic acid and oleanolic acid. In the anti-inflammatory test, EA-ACE decreased the paw edema after Carr administration, increased the activities of CAT, SOD, and GPx and decreased the MDA level in the edema paw at the 5th hr after Carr injection. EA-ACE affects the serum NO, TNF-?, and IL-1? levels at the 5th hr after Carr injection. EA-ACE decreased Carr-induced inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expressions by Western blotting. Actinidia callosa var. ephippioides have the potential to provide a therapeutic approach to inflammation-associated disorders.
Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) have been shown to enhance angiogenesis not only by incorporating into the vasculature but also by secreting cytokines, thereby serving as an ideal vehicle for gene transfer. As tissue kallikrein (TK) has pleiotropic effects in inhibiting apoptosis and oxidative stress, and promoting angiogenesis, we evaluated the salutary potential of kallikrein-modified human EPCs (hEPCs; Ad.hTK-hEPCs) after acute myocardial infarction (MI). We genetically modified hEPCs with a TK gene and evaluated cell survival, engraftment, revascularization, and functional improvement in a nude mouse left anterior descending ligation model. hEPCs were manipulated to overexpress the TK gene. In vitro, the antiapoptotic and paracrine effects were assessed under oxidative stress. TK protects hEPCs from oxidative stress-induced apoptosis via inhibition of activation of caspase-3 and -9, induction of Akt phosphorylation, and secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor. In vivo, the Ad.hTK-hEPCs were transplanted after MI via intracardiac injection. The surviving cells were tracked after transplantation using near-infrared optical imaging. Left ventricular (LV) function was evaluated by transthoracic echocardiography. Capillary density was quantified using immunohistochemical staining. Engrafted Ad.hTK-hEPCs exhibited advanced protection against ischemia by increasing LV ejection fraction. Compared with Ad.Null-hEPCs, transplantation with Ad.hTK-hEPCs significantly decreased cardiomyocyte apoptosis in association with increased retention of transplanted EPCs in the myocardium. Capillary density and arteriolar density in the infarct border zone was significantly higher in Ad.hTK-hEPC-transplanted mice than in Ad.Null-hEPC-treated mice. Transplanted hEPCs were clearly incorporated into CD31(+) capillaries. These results indicate that implantation of kallikrein-modified EPCs in the heart provides advanced benefits in protection against ischemia-induced MI by enhanced angiogenesis and reducing apoptosis.
The hepatoprotective effects of eburicoic acid (TR1) and dehydroeburicoic acid (TR2) from Antrodia camphorata (AC) against carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced liver damage were investigated in mice. TR1 and TR2 was administered intraperitoneally (i.p.) for 7 days prior to the administration of CCl4. Pretreatment with TR1 and TR2 prevented the elevation of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and liver lipid peroxides in CCl4-treated mice. The activities of antioxidant enzymes [catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx)], nitric oxide (NO) production, and tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-?) were decreased after the treatment with TR1 and TR2 in CCl4-treated mice. Western blotting revealed that TR1 and TR2 significantly decreased inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expressions and increased the expression of cytochrome P4502E1 (CYP2E1) in CCl4-treated mice. Therefore, we speculate that TR1 and TR2 protect the liver from CCl4-induced hepatic damage via antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms.
Centipeda minima (L.) is traditionally used in Chinese folk medicine for the treatments of rhinitis, sinusitis, relieving pain, reducing swelling, and treating cancer for a long history in Taiwan. However, there is no scientific evidence which supports the use in the literature.
Phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) is a natural compound that is involved in chemoprevention as well as inhibition of cell growth and induction of apoptosis in several types of cancer cells. Previous studies have revealed that PEITC suppresses the invasion of AGS gastric and HT-29 colorectal cancer cells. However, the effects of PEITC on the metastasis of SAS oral cancer cells remain to be determined. Our results showed that PEITC treatment inhibited the invasion of EGF-stimulated SAS cells in a concentration-dependent manner, but appeared not to affect the cell viability. The expression and enzymatic activities of matrix metalloprotease-2 (MMP-2) and matrix metalloprotease-9 (MMP-9) were suppressed by PEITC. Concomitantly, we observed an increase in the protein expression of both tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) and -2 (TIMP-2) in treated cells. Furthermore, PEITC treatments decreased the protein phosphorylation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and downstream signaling proteins including PDK1, PI3K (p85), AKT, phosphorylated IKK and I?B to inactivate NF-?B for the suppression of MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression. In addition, PEITC can trigger the MAPK signaling pathway through the increase in phosphorylated p38, JNK and ERK in treated cells. Our data indicate that PEITC is able to inhibit the invasion of EGF-stimulated SAS oral cancer cells by targeting EGFR and its downstream signaling molecules and finally lead to the reduced expression and enzymatic activities of both MMP-2 and MMP-9. These results suggest that PEITC is promising for the therapy of oral cancer metastasis.
Kaempferol is a natural flavonoid that possesses anti-proliferative and apoptosis-inducing activities in several cancer cell lines. In the present study, we investigated the anti-metastatic activity of kaempferol and its molecular mechanism(s) of action in human osteosarcoma cells. Kaempferol displayed inhibitory effects on the invasion and adhesion of U-2 osteosarcoma (OS) cells in a concentration-dependent manner by Matrigel Transwell assay and cell adhesion assay. Kaempferol also inhibited the migration of U-2 OS cells in a concentration-dependent manner at different treatment time points by wound-healing assay. Additional experiments showed that kaempferol treatment reduced the enzymatic activities and protein levels of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2, MMP-9 and urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) by gelatin and casein-plasminogen zymography assays and western blot analyses. Kaempferol also downregulated the mRNA levels of MMP-2 and MMP-9 by quantitative PCR analyses. Furthermore, kaempferol was able to reduce the protein phosphorylation of ERK, p38 and JNK by western blotting. By electrophoretic mobility-shift assay (EMSA), we demonstrated that kaempferol decreased the DNA binding activity of AP-1, an action likely to result in the reduced expression of MMP-2, MMP-9 and uPA. Collectively, our data showed that kaempferol attenuated the MAPK signaling pathways including ERK, JNK and p38 and resulted in the decreased DNA binding ability of AP-1, and hence, the downregulation in the expression and enzymatic activities of MMP-2, MMP-9 and uPA, contributing to the inhibition of metastasis of U-2 OS cells. Our results suggest a potential role of kaempferol in the therapy of tumor metastasis of OS.
Traumatic injury or surgery may trigger extensive bleeding. However, conventional hemostatic methods have limited efficacy and may cause surrounding tissue damage. In this study, we use self-assembling peptides (SAPs) and specifically extend fragments of functional motifs derived from fibronectin and laminin to evaluate the capability of these functionalized SAPs in the effect of hemostasis and liver tissue regeneration. From the results, these peptides can self-assemble into nanofibrous network structure and gelate into hydrogel with pH adjustment. In animal studies, the efficacy of hemostasis is achieved immediately within seconds in a rat liver model. The histological analyses by hematoxylin-eosin stain and immunohistochemistry reveal that SAPs with these functionalized motifs significantly enhance liver tissue regeneration. In brief, these SAPs may have potential as pharmacological tools to extensively advance clinical therapeutic applications in hemostasis and tissue regeneration in the field of regenerative medicine.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common prototypic inflammatory demyelinating disease. Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is another inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system that exhibits clinical symptoms mainly associated with optic neuritis and myelopathy. The inflammatory reaction in MS is associated with an upregulation of a variety of T helper 1 (Th1)- or Th17-mediated cytokines. However, NMO and MS are intertwined both clinically and pathologically, which complicates their diagnosis and treatment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the differences in serum cytokine levels in patients with NMO and MS. We collected peripheral serum from patients with these central nervous system demyelinating diseases for the study. A cytometric bead array was used to assess the cytokine levels using flow cytometry. We found more inflammatory [interleukin (IL)-2 and interferon-?) and anti-inflammatory (IL-4 and IL-10) cytokines in NMO than in MS. The differences in the optimal cutoff points of serum cytokines, including IL-2 ?5 pg/mL, can differentiate NMO from MS. In conclusion, patients with NMO had an increased Th1-mediated inflammatory response, but similar Th17-mediated inflammation changes compared to patients with MS. Serum cytokine studies can differentiate NMO cases from MS.
INTRODUCTION: Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) requiring intensive care unit (ICU) treatment commonly causes acute respiratory failure with high mortality. Kallistatin, an endogenous tissue kallikrein inhibitor, has been reported to be protective in various human diseases. The aim of this study was to assess the correlations of kallistatin with other biomarkers and to determine whether kallistatin levels have a prognostic value in severe CAP. METHODS: Plasma samples and clinical data were prospectively collected from 54 patients with severe CAP requiring ICU admission. Seventeen healthy control subjects were included for comparison. Plasma kallistatin, kallikrein, and other biomarkers of inflammation (tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF-?), interleukin (IL)-1?, IL-6, IL-8, C-reactive protein (CRP)), and anti-coagulation (protein C, anti-thrombin III) were measured on days 1 and 4 of ICU admission. Comparison between survivors (n = 41) and nonsurvivors (n = 13) was performed. RESULTS: Plasma kallistatin was significantly consumed in severe CAP patients compared with healthy individuals. Lower day 1 kallistatin levels showed a strong trend toward increased mortality (P = 0.018) and higher day 1 CURB-65 scores (P = 0.004). Plasma kallistatin levels on day 1 of ICU admission were significantly decreased in patients who developed septic shock (P = 0.017) and who had acute respiratory distress syndrome (P = 0.044). In addition, kallistatin levels were positively correlated with anti-thrombin III and protein C and inversely correlated with IL-1?, IL-6, and CRP levels. In a multivariate logistic regression analysis, higher day 1 CURB-65 scores were independent predictors of mortality (odds ratio = 29.9; P = 0.009). Also, higher day 1 kallistatin levels were independently associated with a decreased risk of death (odds ratio, 0.1) with a nearly significant statistical difference (P = 0.056). Furthermore, we found that a cutoff level of 6.5 ?g/ml of day 1 kallistatin determined by receiver operating characteristic curves could be used to distinguish between patients who survived in 60 days and those who did not. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that kallistatin may serve as a novel marker for severe CAP prognosis and may be involved in the pathogenesis of CAP through antiinflammatory and anticoagulation effects.
Huang-Qin-Tang (HQT), a Chinese medicine prescription containing Scutellariae Radix (SR), Paeoniae Radix (PR), Glycyrrhizae Radix (GR) and JuJubae Fructus (JF), was used for the treatments of cold with symptoms of abdominalgia and diarrhea. Valproic acid (VPA) is an antiepileptic drug with narrow therapeutic window. This study investigated the effect of coadministration of HQT on the pharmacokinetics of VPA, a probe drug for monocarboxylate transporter (MCT). Rats were administered VPA alone (200.0 mg/kg) and coadministered HQT (8.0 g/kg) at 0.5h before VPA and 1.5h after VPA in crossover designs. In addition, the chronic effect of HQT was also evaluated by coadministration of the 7th dose at 0.5h before VPA. The serum concentration of VPA was determined by a fluorescence polarization immunoassay. The results showed that coadministration of HQT at 0.5h before VPA significantly decreased the AUC(0-t) and Cmax by 62% and 77%, respectively, whereas coadministration of HQT at 1.5h after VPA exerted no significant influence. When the 7th dose of HQT was given at 0.5h before VPA, the AUC(0-t) and Cmax of VPA were markedly decreased by 65% and 82%, respectively. Mechanism study revealed that the MCT-mediated uptake of fluorescein was inhibited by HQT and each component herbs. In conclusion, the MCT-mediated absorption of VPA was significantly decreased by concomitant administration of HQT.
Methamphetamine (METH) administration is associated with excessive oxidative stress. It is not known whether the systemic oxidative stress indices would alter during early abstinence in METH abusers with positive urine testing for recent METH exposure.
Pneumocystis pneumonia (PcP) develops in immunocompromised patients. Alveolar macrophages play a key role in the recognition, phagocytosis, and degradation of Pneumocystis, but their number is decreased in PcP. Our study of various inflammatory components during PcP found that myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) accumulate in the lungs of mice and rats with Pneumocystis pneumonia (PcP). We hypothesized that treatment with all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), a metabolite of vitamin A, may effectively control Pneumocystis (Pc) infection by inducing MDSCs to differentiate to AMs. In rodent models of PcP, we found that 5 weeks of ATRA treatment reduced the number of MDSCs in the lungs and increased the number of AMs which cleared Pc infection. We also found that ATRA in combination with primaquine was as effective as the combination of trimethoprim and sulfamethaxazole for treatment of PcP and completely eliminated MDSCs and Pc organisms in the lungs in two weeks. No relapse of PcP was seen after three weeks of the ATRA-primaquine combination treatment. Prolonged survival of Pc-infected animals was also achieved by this regimen. This is the very first successful development of a therapeutic regimen for PcP that combines an immune modulator with an antibiotic, enabling the hosts to effectively defend the infection. Results of our study may serve as a model for development of novel therapies for other infections with MDSC accumulation.
Studies comparing adult community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) and community-onset healthcare-associated MRSA (COHCA MRSA bacteremia have not been available. From 1 January 2010 through 30 October 2010, a prospective observational program was conducted among all patients aged >16 years with positive Staphylococcus aureus blood cultures within 48 h after their arrival at the emergency department of our hospital. Clinical course of infection and infection foci of bacteremia were evaluated. Resistance to oxacillin was confirmed with the presence of mecA gene examined by polymerase chain reaction. Presence of TSST-1, PVL gene, SCCmec elements (I-V), mecA gene, and multilocus sequence typing were identified through methods described elsewhere. Univariate and multivariate analysis revealed that chronic renal failure was significantly more common in COHCA-MRSA than in CA-MRSA. In addition, APACHE III score was significantly higher in COHCA-MRSA than in CA-MRSA. Both the 7-day and 30-day mortality rates in COHCA-MRSA, 14.6% (7/48) and 29.2% (14/48), respectively, were higher than those in CA-MRSA without a significant difference. SCCmec II was more common in COHCA-MRSA, but SCCmecVT was more common in CA-MRSA. The majority of MRSA isolates belonged to ST59, ST239, and ST5. ST59 was significantly more common in CA-MRSA, while ST239 was nearly equally common in both CA-MRSA and COHCA-MRSA. SCCmec III and II isolates were the first and second most resistant to the antibiotics commonly used for S. aureus, whereas SCCmecVT isolates were the most susceptible to these antibiotics. We conclude that, although both CA-MRSA and COHCA-MRSA bacteremia had community onset, these 2 MRSA infections were different in underlying diseases, risk of mortality, SCCmec types, sequence types, and antimicrobial susceptibility. It is more appropriate to understand the MRSA pathogen and clinical features based on etiology and ST types than based on the location of disease onset. CA-MRSA and HCA-MRSA should be differentiated also based on etiology and ST types, in addition to location of acquisition.
In recent years much attention has been focused on the pharmaceutical relevance of bioflavonoids, especially hesperidin and its aglycon hesperetin in terms of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions. However, the bioactivity of their metabolites, the real molecules in vivo hesperetin glucuronides/sulfates produced after ingestion, has been poorly understood. Thus, the study using an ex vivo approach is aimed to compare the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of hesperidin/hesperetin or hesperetin metabolites derived from hesperetin-administered rat serum. We found that hesperetin metabolites (2.5-20 ?M) showed higher antioxidant activity against various oxidative systems, including superoxide anion scavenging, reducing power, and metal chelating effects, than that of hesperidin or hesperetin. The data also showed that pretreatment of hesperetin metabolites (1-10 ?M) within the range of physiological concentrations, compared to hesperetin, significantly inhibited nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) production, as evidenced by the inhibition of their precursors, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) protein levels without appreciable cytotoxicity on LPS-activated RAW264.7 macrophages or A7r5 smooth muscle cells. Concomitantly, hesperetin metabolites dose-dependently inhibited LPS-induced intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). Furthermore, hesperetin metabolites significantly downregulate LPS-induced nuclear factor-?B (NF-?B) activation followed by the suppression of inhibitor-?B (I-?B) degradation and phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase1/2 (JNK1/2) and p38 MAPKs after challenge with LPS. Hesperetin metabolites ex vivo showed potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity in comparison with hesperidin/hesperetin.
Ten patients with intensive care unit (ICU)-acquired Chryseobacterium indologenes bacteremia between January 2004 and December 2008 were studied. The primary site of infection was unknown for 80% of the cases. The known primary sites of infection were empyema (10%) and catheter-related bacteremia (10%). Eight patients (80%) had polymicrobial bacteremia, spent more than 21 days in the ICU, and received more than 14 days of broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy prior to the onset of C. indologenes bacteremia. All isolates were 100% susceptible to minocycline and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole. Vancomycin, imipenem, piperacillin/tazobactam, ciprofloxacin, and levofloxacin exhibited 0%, 10%, 20%, 30%, and 30%, respectively, susceptibility against this pathogen. All isolates were 100% resistant to ceftazidime, cefepime, meropenem, piperacillin, and amikacin. The 14-day mortality rate was 40%. Our findings suggest that this pathogen should be included among the causes of ICU-acquired bacteremia, especially in patients with a prolonged stay in an ICU or who had received long-term broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy. Extended-spectrum penicillins, third- and fourth-generation cephalosporins, and quinolones had very little or no effect against this pathogen. Therefore, choosing an appropriate antibiotic therapy for this pathogen is very difficult.
Terahertz (THz) radiation can be generated more efficiently from a low-temperature-grown GaAs (LT-GaAs) photoconductive (PC) antenna by considering the two-photon absorption (TPA) induced photo-carrier in the photoconductor. A rate-equation-based approach using the Drude-Lorentz model taking into account the band-diagram of LT-GaAs is used for the theoretical analysis. The use of transform-limited pulses at the PC antenna is critical experimentally. Previously unnoticed THz pulse features and anomalously increasing THz radiation power rather than saturation were observed. These are in good agreement with the theoretical predictions. The interplay of intensity dependence and dynamics of generation of photoexcited carriers by single-photon absorption and TPA for THz emission is discussed.
We report the design and simulation results of an adaptive GRIN lens based on multi-electrode addressed blue phase liquid crystal. A high dielectric constant layer helps to smoothen out the horizontal electric field and reduce the operating voltage. Such a GRIN lens is insensitive to polarization while keeping parabolic phase profile as the focal length changes.
The aims of this study intended to investigate the anti-inflammatory activity of the 70% ethanol extract from Scoparia dulcis (SDE) and betulinic acid on ?-carrageenan-induced paw edema in mice. The anti-inflammatory mechanism of SDE and betulinic acid was examined by detecting the levels of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), nitric oxide (NO), tumor necrosis factor (TNF-?), interleukin-1? (IL-1?) and malondialdehyde (MDA) in the edema paw tissue and the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and glutathione reductase (GRd) in the liver. The betulinic acid content in SDE was detected by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). In the anti-inflammatory model, the results showed that SDE (0.5 and 1.0 g/kg) and betulinic acid (20 and 40 mg/kg) reduced the paw edema at 3, 4 and 5 h after ?-carrageenan administration. Moreover, SDE and betulinic acid affected the levels of COX-2, NO, TNF-? and IL1-? in the ?-carrageenan-induced edema paws. The activities of SOD, GPx and GRd in the liver tissue were increased and the MDA levels in the edema paws were decreased. It is suggested that SDE and betulinic acid possessed anti-inflammatory activities and the anti-inflammatory mechanisms appear to be related to the reduction of the levels of COX-2, NO, TNF-? and IL1-? in inflamed tissues, as well as the inhibition of MDA level via increasing the activities of SOD, GPx and GRd. The analytical result showed that the content of betulinic acid in SDE was 6.25 mg/g extract.
Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) is a rare life-threatening disorder characterized by extensive epidermal necrolysis. Its mortality which varies from 20% to 60% is related to risk factors such as age, extent of epidermal detachment, and base deficit.
Citrus grandis peel (CGP) is a beverage ingredient and a medicinal herb in Oriental countries. Cyclosporine and tacrolimus, important immunosuppressants with narrow therapeutic windows, are widely used in transplant patients. This study investigated the effects of co-administering CGP on the bioavailability of cyclosporine and tacrolimus. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were orally administered tacrolimus or cyclosporine with and without CGP. The concentrations of cyclosporine and tacrolimus in blood were assayed by monoclonal fluorescence polarization immunoassay and microparticle enzyme immunoassay, respectively. P-glycoprotein- and cytochrome P 450 3A4 (CYP3A4)-associated mechanisms were investigated by using everted rat intestinal sac and recombinant CYP3A4 isozyme. The results showed that CGP significantly increased the bioavailability of cyclosporine and tacrolimus by 100.0% and 234.7%, respectively. Ex vivo studies indicated that the interaction was mediated by the inhibition of CYP3A4. We suggest that CGP is contraindicated for transplant patients treated with cyclosporine or tacrolimus to minimize the risk of intoxication.
This study explored the relationship between music and speech by examining absolute pitch and lexical tone perception. Taiwanese-speaking musicians were asked to identify musical tones without a reference pitch and multispeaker Taiwanese level tones without acoustic cues typically present for speaker normalization. The results showed that a high percentage of the participants (65% with an exact match required and 81% with one-semitone errors allowed) possessed absolute pitch, as measured by the musical tone identification task. A negative correlation was found between occurrence of absolute pitch and age of onset of musical training, suggesting that the acquisition of absolute pitch resembles the acquisition of speech. The participants were able to identify multispeaker Taiwanese level tones with above-chance accuracy, even though the acoustic cues typically present for speaker normalization were not available in the stimuli. No correlations were found between the performance in musical tone identification and the performance in Taiwanese tone identification. Potential reasons for the lack of association between the two tasks are discussed.
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is a severe demyelinating disease defined principally by its selective effect on the optic nerves and spinal cord. Contemporary diagnostic criteria require an absence of any clinical disease outside the optic nerve or spinal cord. However, we frequently encounter patients with NMO who have previously undetected symptomatic brainstem lesions. We investigated the brainstem symptoms/signs in patients with NMO and their corresponding MRI findings in a Taiwanese population. We evaluated the clinical symptoms/signs, anti-aquaporin-4 antibody titer and corresponding brain MRI of 49 patients with NMO; results were obtained from chart reviews and during clinical visits. A total of 18 (37%) patients with NMO had brainstem symptoms/signs, including diplopia (n=9, 50%), prolonged hiccup and poor appetite (n=9, 50%). For these patients, most of their brainstem events occurred during the first demyelinating attack in their NMO course. A higher percentage (77.8%) of patients with brainstem NMO had brain lesions with specific NMO patterns, including lesions involving the hypothalamus (n=6, 33.3%), midbrain or pons (n=8, 44.4%), periaqueductal regions (n=5, 27.7%), and medulla (n=10, 55.6%). Brainstem symptoms/signs and characteristic NMO imaging findings are common in Taiwanese patients with NMO, and should be considered a part of the illness in addition to optic neuritis and myelitis.
Fluoxetine-induced relaxation of the smooth muscle of small cerebral arteries is thought beneficial in treating mental disorders. The present study was designed to examine effect of fluoxetine on neurogenic nitrergic vasodilation in large cerebral arteries, using in vitro tissue myography, techniques of electrophysiology, calcium imaging and biochemistry. In isolated porcine endothelium-denuded basilar arteries in the presence of U-46619-induced active muscle tone, fluoxetine in low concentration (<0.03 ?M) significantly enhanced nicotine- and choline-induced relaxations. The vasorelaxation, however, was blocked by higher concentration of fluoxetine (>0.3 ?M) with maximum inhibition at 3 ?M. At this concentration, fluoxetine did not affect the basal tone or vasorelaxations induced by transmural nerve stimulation, sodium nitroprusside, or isoproterenol. Furthermore, fluoxetine exclusively blocked nicotine-induced inward currents and calcium influx in cultured neurons of rat superior cervical ganglion and Xenopus oocytes expressing human ?7-, ?3?2-, or ?4?2-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). In addition, fluoxetine at 0.03 ?M and 3 ?M significantly enhanced and blocked, respectively, nicotine-induced norepinephrine (NE) release from cerebral perivascular sympathetic nerves. These results indicate that fluoxetine via axo-axonal interaction mechanism exhibits bimodal effects on nAChR-mediated neurogenic nitrergic dilation of basilar arteries. Fluoxetine in high concentrations decreases while in low concentrations it increases neurogenic vasodilation. These results from in vitro experimentation suggest that optimal concentrations of fluoxetine which increase or minimally affect neurogenic vasodilation indicative of regional cerebral blood flow may be important consideration in treating mental disorders.
Gastrodia elata Blume (Fam. Orchidaceae) is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine for treating headaches, dizziness, tetanus, epilepsy, and numbness of the limbs, which suggests that it has neuroprotective effect.
Hyperglycaemia is a common result of stress signals caused by pain and surgical procedure. Volatile anaesthetics also directly manipulate glucose homeostasis by affecting pancreatic insulin release and induce hyperglycaemia without surgical stress. We determined the preoperative application of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to the Chinese acupoints ST36 (Zusanli) and SP6 (Sanyinjiao) as a complementary therapy for controlling plasma glucose and improving insulin resistance during anaesthesia.
Magnolol (M) is a polyphenol antioxidant abundant in the bark of Magnolia officinalis Rehder & E. Wilson, a popular Chinese herb. To understand the pharmacokinetics and bioavailability of M, Sprague-Dawley rats were intravenously injected with a bolus of M (20 mg/kg) and orally given a single dose and seven doses of M (50 mg/kg). Blood samples were withdrawn via cardiopuncture at specific times. Organs including the liver, kidney, brain, lung, and heart were collected at 30 min after the 7th oral dose. The serum and tissue specimens were assayed by HPLC before and after hydrolysis with ?-glucuronidase and sulfatase. The results showed that after intravenous bolus, the systemic exposure of magnolol glucuronides (MG) was comparable with that of M while after oral administration, magnolol sulfates/glucuronides (M S/G) were predominant in the bloodstream. Conversely, M was predominant in the liver, kidney, brain, lung, and heart. Among the studied organs, the liver contained the highest concentrations of M and MG. In conclusion, M S/G was the major form in circulation, whereas M was predominant in the liver, kidney, brain, lung, and heart after oral administration of M; among these organs, the liver contained the highest concentrations of M and MG.
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We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.