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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Accumulated Mental Stress Study Using the Meridians of Traditional Chinese Medicine with Photoplethysmography.
J Altern Complement Med
PUBLISHED: 10-15-2014
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Abstract Objectives: To investigate accumulated mental stress according to the concept of the meridians of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This stress was quantified by using pulse spectrum analysis of finger-tip photoplethysmography (PPG). Stress accumulation is one of the main causes of cardiovascular disease and depression in humans, resulting in chronic physiologic malfunctions; however, few studies have thoroughly assessed the quantitative evaluation of accumulative stress using the concept of TCM. Design: This study investigated accumulated mental stress from the perspective of TCM based on an 8-day experiment. The theory of organ resonance was integrated into the proposed PPG sensing instrument to capture the nine harmonics of TCM. Participants were given daily mental arithmetic tasks over 1 week to simulate stress accumulation, and trends in the proportion of the nine harmonics of TCM were extracted over several days and analyzed to identify the affective factors related to cumulative stress. Results: The experimental results showed that the kidney harmonic proportion (C2) and stomach harmonic proportion (C5) were significant only on the first few days because of a physiologic phenomenon of temporary stimulation. Most important, the trend of the liver harmonic proportion (C1) from days 3 to 8 dramatically increased and became gradually saturated because of the influence of accumulated mental stress. Conclusions: The results strongly suggest that pulse spectrum analysis of the PPG signal provides physiologically and pathologically important information on accumulated mental stress and can be useful for TCM analysis.
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Protective effects of garcinol on dimethylnitrosamine-induced liver fibrosis in rats.
Food Funct
PUBLISHED: 09-04-2014
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Garcinol, a polyisoprenylated benzophenone derivative, mainly isolated from Garcinia indica fruit rind, has been suggested to exhibit many biological benefits including antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor activities. The aim of this study is to evaluate the protective effects of garcinol on dimethylnitrosamine (DMN)-induced liver fibrosis in rats. The administration of DMN for six consecutive weeks resulted in the decrease of body weights, the elevation of serum aminotransferases, as well as histological lesions in livers. However, oral administration of garcinol remarkably inhibited the elevation of aspartate transaminase (AST) and relieved liver damage induced by DMN. Furthermore, our results revealed that garcinol not only effectively reduced the accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) components but also inhibited the expression of ?-smooth muscle actin (?-SMA) in livers. The expression of transforming growth factor-?1 (TGF-?1) and the phosphorylation of Smad 2 and Smad 3 were also suppressed by garcinol supplementation. In conclusion, our current study suggested that garcinol exerted hepatoprotective and anti-fibrotic effects against DMN-induced liver injury in rats.
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Sex-dependent differential activation of NLRP3 and AIM2 inflammasomes in SLE macrophages.
Rheumatology (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 08-25-2014
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SLE is more prevalent in females, but may cause more severe organ damage in males. The underlying mechanism is incompletely understood. Since macrophage plays a key role in SLE pathogenesis, the present work aimed to investigate whether inflammasomes in male and female SLE macrophages are differentially activated.
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(±)3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine inhibits the TEA-sensitive K(+) current in the hippocampal neuron and the Kv2.1 current expressed in H1355 cells.
Neuropharmacology
PUBLISHED: 08-20-2014
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The whole-cell patch clamp method was used to study the effects of (±)3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) in hippocampal CA1 neurons from neonatal rats and in lung epithelial H1355 cells expressing Kv2.1. Extracellular application of MDA (30 ?M) induced bursts of action potentials in hippocampal CA1 neurons exhibiting single spike action potentials without a bursting firing pattern, and promoted action potential bursts in hippocampal CA1 neurons exhibiting bursting firing of action potentials. Whereas MDA (30 and 100 ?M) markedly decreased the delayed outward current in hippocampal CA1 neurons, MDA (100 ?M) only slightly decreased the fast-inactivating K(+) current (IA) current. Furthermore, MDA (100 ?M) substantially decreased the delayed outward current in the presence of 4-aminopyridine (4-AP; 3 mM), but did not significantly decrease the delayed outward current in the presence of tetraethylammonium (TEA; 30 mM). MDA (100 ?M) also inhibited the current in H1355 cells expressing Kv2.1. Our results have shown that MDA inhibits the TEA-sensitive K(+) current in the hippocampus and the Kv2.1 current expressed in H1355 cells. These effects may contribute to the pharmacological and toxicological effects of MDA.
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Processing classifier-noun agreement in a long distance: An ERP study on Mandarin Chinese.
Brain Lang
PUBLISHED: 08-20-2014
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The classifier system categorizes nouns on a semantic basis. By inserting an object-gap relative clause (RC) between a classifier and its associate noun, we examined how temporary classifier-noun semantic incongruity and long-distance classifier-noun dependency are processed. Instead of a typical N400 effect, a midline anterior negativity was elicited by the temporary semantic incongruity, suggesting that the anticipation of coming words influences semantic processing and that metacognitive processes are involved in resolving the conflict. The lack of reduced P600 effects at the RC marker suggests that classifier-noun mismatch may not be effective in RC prediction. The N400 observed at the head noun suggests that the parser retains the temporary incongruity in the memory and computes the classifier-noun semantic agreement over a long distance. In addition, both successful and unsuccessful long-distance integration elicited P600 effects, supporting the view that P600 indexes more than just syntactic processing. Detailed discussion and implications are provided.
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Cost-Effectiveness Comparison Between Monofocal and Multifocal Intraocular Lens Implantation for Cataract Patients in Taiwan.
Clin Ther
PUBLISHED: 08-18-2014
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Our aim was to conduct a cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) of monofocal and multifocal intraocular lenses (IOLs) for cataract patients in Taiwan.
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Health-related quality of life and cost comparison of adjuvant capecitabine versus 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin in stage III colorectal cancer patients.
Qual Life Res
PUBLISHED: 07-28-2014
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The purpose of this study was to compare health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and costs associated with 2 adjuvant chemotherapy regimens [capecitabine-based therapy versus 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin (5-FU/LV)-based therapy] in stage III colorectal cancer patients.
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Why do general medical patients have a lengthy wait in the emergency department before admission?
J. Formos. Med. Assoc.
PUBLISHED: 07-20-2014
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Emergency department (ED) overcrowding is a universal problem, especially with the shortage of hospital beds. We studied the characteristics and outcomes of patients with prolonged ED stays, which has rarely been studied before.
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Sialic acid rescues repurified lipopolysaccharide-induced acute renal failure via inhibiting TLR4/PKC/gp91-mediated endoplasmic reticulum stress, apoptosis, autophagy, and pyroptosis signaling.
Toxicol. Sci.
PUBLISHED: 06-27-2014
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Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) through Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) and Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) activation induce systemic inflammation where oxidative damage plays a key role in multiple organ failure. Because of the neutralization of LPS toxicity by sialic acid (SA), we determined its effect and mechanisms on repurified LPS (rLPS)-evoked acute renal failure. We assessed the effect of intravenous SA (10 mg/kg body weight) on rLPS-induced renal injury in female Wistar rats by evaluating blood and kidney reactive oxygen species (ROS) responses, renal and systemic hemodynamics, renal function, histopathology, and molecular mechanisms. SA can interact with rLPS through a high binding affinity. rLPS dose- and time-dependently reduced arterial blood pressure, renal microcirculation and blood flow, and increased vascular resistance in the rats. rLPS enhanced monocyte/macrophage (ED-1) infiltration and ROS production and impaired kidneys by triggering p-IRE1?/p-JNK/CHOP/GRP78/ATF4-mediated endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, Bax/PARP-mediated apoptosis, Beclin-1/Atg5-Atg12/LC3-II-mediated autophagy, and caspase 1/IL-1?-mediated pyroptosis in the kidneys. SA treatment at 30 min, but not 60 min after rLPS stimulation, gp91 siRNA and protein kinase C-? (PKC) inhibitor efficiently rescued rLPS-induced acute renal failure via inhibition of TLR4/PKC/NADPH oxidase gp91-mediated ER stress, apoptosis, autophagy and pyroptosis in renal proximal tubular cells, and rat kidneys. In response to rLPS or IFN?, the enhanced Atg5, FADD, LC3-II, and PARP expression can be inhibited by Atg5 siRNA. Albumin (10 mg/kg body weight) did not rescue rLPS-induced injury. In conclusion, early treatment (within 30 min) of SA attenuates rLPS-induced renal failure via the reduction in LPS toxicity and subsequently inhibiting rLPS-activated TLR4/PKC/gp91/ER stress/apoptosis/autophagy/pyroptosis signaling.
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Modulation of microenvironmental pH and utilization of alkalizers in crystalline solid dispersion for enhanced solubility and stability of clarithromicin.
Arch. Pharm. Res.
PUBLISHED: 06-19-2014
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Clarithromycin (CAM) is known to be poorly water-soluble and acid-labile drug. Various alkalizers such as MgO, Na2CO3, Na2HPO4 and NaHCO3 were utilized to modulate the microenvironmental pH (pHM) and to improve the low stability and solubility of CAM in a crystalline-solid dispersion system (CSD). Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP K-30) and hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC) 4000-based CSDs containing alkalizers were prepared by cosolvent precipitation followed by evaporation process. The dried-CSDs mixed with microcrystalline cellulose, 2 % croscarmellose sodium, and 1 % magnesium stearate was then directly compressed into tablet. A dissolution test was carried out in 900 mL of pH 5.0 buffer solutions at 37 °C with a 50 rpm paddle speed. pHM, surface morphology, and structural behaviors were investigated. The dissolution rates of CAM in CSD containing alkalizers were improved. The drug in CSD remained crystalline as observed by differential scanning calorimetry and powder X-ray diffraction. Scanning electron microscopy revealed nearly identical images regardless of the sorts and amounts of carriers. PVP-based CSD tablet without alkalizer showed greater drug release, while HPMC-based CSD tablet without alkalizer retarded drug release due to its greater swelling capability. However, when the alkalizers were added in CSD tablet, the drug release was sharply increased. NaHCO3 induced the most rapid drug release while MgO retarded drug dissolution. Alkalizers in CSD also could maintain the pHM of the tablet above pH 5 under acidic conditions. The use of pH modifiers in CSDs could provide a useful method to improve the dissolution rate and stability of CAM via modulation of pHM without changing drug crystallinity.
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Section 8. Management of portal venous complications in pediatric living donor liver transplantation.
Transplantation
PUBLISHED: 05-23-2014
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Portal vein (PV) complications after living donor liver transplant (LDLT) have been a major concern in pediatric liver transplantation. The incidence of PV complications is more in pediatric (0%-33%) than in adult recipients. Early diagnosis and treatment of PV complications may ensure optimal graft function and good recipient survival. Small preoperation PV size (<4 mm) and slow portal flow (<10 cm/s) combined with lower hepatic artery resistance index (<0.65) are strong warning signs that may predict the development of post LDLT PV complications. Portal vein angioplasty/stenting is conventionally performed through the percutaneous transhepatic approach; however, this can also be performed through transjugular, trans-splenic, and intraoperative approaches. Depending on the situation, using optimal method is the key point to minimize complication (5%) and gain high success rate (80%). PV occlusion of greater than 1 year with cavernous transformation seems to be a factor causing technical failure. Good patency rate (100%) with self-expandable metallic stents was noted in long-term follow-up. In conclusion, PV stent placement is an effective, long-term treatment modality to manage PV complications after pediatric LDLT. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to maximize the use of stent placement and achieve good success rates.
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Section 1. Image evaluation of fatty liver in living donor liver transplantation.
Transplantation
PUBLISHED: 05-23-2014
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Preoperative evaluation of donors for living-donor liver transplantation aims to select a suitable donor with optimal graft quality and to ensure donor safety. Hepatic steatosis, a common finding in living liver donors, not only influences the outcome of liver transplantation for the recipient but also affects the recovery of the living donor after partial hepatectomy. Histopathologic analysis is the reference standard to detect and quantify fat in the liver, but it is invasive, and results are vulnerable to sampling error. Imaging can be repeated regularly and allows assessment of the entire liver, thus avoiding sampling error. Selection of appropriate imaging methods demands understanding of their advantages and limitations and the suitable clinical setting. This article describes potential clinical applications for liver fat quantification of imaging methods for fat detection and quantification, with an emphasis on the advantages and limitations of ultrasonography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging for quantifying liver fat.
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A randomized controlled trial of clinic-based and home-based interventions in comparison with usual care for preterm infants: effects and mediators.
Res Dev Disabil
PUBLISHED: 04-29-2014
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This study examined the effects and mediators of a clinic-based intervention program (CBIP) and a home-based intervention program (HBIP) compared with usual care in very-low-birth-weight (VLBW) preterm infants on developmental and behavioral outcomes at 24 months of age (corrected for prematurity). In this randomized controlled trial, VLBW preterm infants received either CBIP (n=57), HBIP (n=63), or usual care (n=58) from hospitalization to 12 months. At 12 months, infant emotional regulation was assessed using the toy-behind-barrier procedure and dyadic interaction was observed during free play. At 24 months, infant developmental and behavioral outcomes were assessed using the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development- 3rd edition and the Child Behavior Checklist for Ages 1.5-5, respectively. Compared with infants under usual care, the CBIP-group infants showed higher cognitive composite scores (difference, 95% confidence interval (CI)=4.4, 0.8-7.9) and a lower rate of motor delay (odds ratio (OR), 95% CI=0.29, 0.08-0.99); the HBIP-group infants had lower sleep problem scores (difference, 95% CI=-1.4, -2.5 to -0.3) and a lower rate of internalizing problems at 24 months (OR, 95% CI=0.51, 0.28-0.93) (all p<.05). The CBIP's effect on cognitive outcome was attenuated when maternal or dyadic interactive behavior was considered; whereas the HBIP's effect on sleep and internalizing behavior was attenuated when duration of orientation to a toy or object was considered. In conclusions, interventions enhanced the cognitive, motor, and behavioral outcomes of VLBW preterm infants. The effects on cognitive and behavioral outcomes might be mediated by early-improved mother-infant interaction and infant emotional regulation, respectively.
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A Randomized Controlled Trial of EEG-Based Motor Imagery Brain-Computer Interface Robotic Rehabilitation for Stroke.
Clin EEG Neurosci
PUBLISHED: 04-24-2014
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Electroencephalography (EEG)-based motor imagery (MI) brain-computer interface (BCI) technology has the potential to restore motor function by inducing activity-dependent brain plasticity. The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of an EEG-based MI BCI system coupled with MIT-Manus shoulder-elbow robotic feedback (BCI-Manus) for subjects with chronic stroke with upper-limb hemiparesis. In this single-blind, randomized trial, 26 hemiplegic subjects (Fugl-Meyer Assessment of Motor Recovery After Stroke [FMMA] score, 4-40; 16 men; mean age, 51.4 years; mean stroke duration, 297.4 days), prescreened with the ability to use the MI BCI, were randomly allocated to BCI-Manus or Manus therapy, lasting 18 hours over 4 weeks. Efficacy was measured using upper-extremity FMMA scores at weeks 0, 2, 4 and 12. ElEG data from subjects allocated to BCI-Manus were quantified using the revised brain symmetry index (rBSI) and analyzed for correlation with the improvements in FMMA score. Eleven and 15 subjects underwent BCI-Manus and Manus therapy, respectively. One subject in the Manus group dropped out. Mean total FMMA scores at weeks 0, 2, 4, and 12 weeks improved for both groups: 26.3 ± 10.3, 27.4 ± 12.0, 30.8 ± 13.8, and 31.5 ± 13.5 for BCI-Manus and 26.6 ± 18.9, 29.9 ± 20.6, 32.9 ± 21.4, and 33.9 ± 20.2 for Manus, with no intergroup differences (P = .51). More subjects attained further gains in FMMA scores at week 12 from BCI-Manus (7 of 11 [63.6%]) than Manus (5 of 14 [35.7%]). A negative correlation was found between the rBSI and FMMA score improvement (P = .044). BCI-Manus therapy was well tolerated and not associated with adverse events. In conclusion, BCI-Manus therapy is effective and safe for arm rehabilitation after severe poststroke hemiparesis. Motor gains were comparable to those attained with intensive robotic therapy (1,040 repetitions/session) despite reduced arm exercise repetitions using EEG-based MI-triggered robotic feedback (136 repetitions/session). The correlation of rBSI with motor improvements suggests that the rBSI can be used as a prognostic measure for BCI-based stroke rehabilitation.
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Influenza A(H5N2) virus antibodies in humans after contact with infected poultry, Taiwan, 2012.
Emerging Infect. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 04-23-2014
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Six persons in Taiwan who had contact with poultry infected with influenza A(H5N2) showed seroconversion for the virus by hemagglutinin inhibition or microneutralization testing. We developed an ELISA based on nonstructural protein 1 of the virus to differentiate natural infection from cross-reactivity after vaccination; 2 persons also showed seroconversion by this test.
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An innovative three-dimensional gelatin foam culture system for improved study of glioblastoma stem cell behavior.
J. Biomed. Mater. Res. Part B Appl. Biomater.
PUBLISHED: 04-18-2014
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Three-dimensional (3-D) tissue engineered constructs provide a platform for examining how the local extracellular matrix contributes to the malignancy of various cancers, including human glioblastoma multiforme. Here, we describe a simple and innovative 3-D culture environment and assess its potential for use with glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) to examine the diversification inside the cell mass in the 3-D culture system. The dissociated human GSCs were cultured using gelatin foam. These cells were subsequently identified by immunohistochemical staining, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, and Western blot assay. We demonstrate that the gelatin foam provides a suitable microenvironment, as a 3-D culture system, for GSCs to maintain their stemness. The gelatin foam culture system contributes a simplified assessment of cell blocks for immunohistochemistry assay. We show that the significant transcription activity of hypoxia and the protein expression of inflammatory responses are detected at the inside of the cell mass in vitro, while robust expression of PROM1/CD133 and hypoxia-induced factor-1 alpha are detected at the xenografted tumor in vivo. We also examine the common clinical trials under this culture platform and characterized a significant difference of drug resistance. The 3-D gelatin foam culture system can provide a more realistic microenvironment through which to study the in vivo behavior of GSCs to evaluate the role that biophysical factors play in the hypoxia, inflammatory responses and subsequent drug resistance. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 2014.
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Comparisons between patients with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole-susceptible and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole-resistant Stenotrophomonas maltophilia monomicrobial bacteremia: A 10-year retrospective study.
J Microbiol Immunol Infect
PUBLISHED: 04-10-2014
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The impact of bacteremia due to the resistance of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SXT) is uncertain. This study compared the clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients with TMP-SXT-susceptible (TSSSM) and TMP-SXT-resistant S. maltophilia (TSRSM) monomicrobial bacteremia.
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Changes in HIV incidence among people who inject drugs in Taiwan following introduction of a harm reduction program: a study of two cohorts.
PLoS Med.
PUBLISHED: 04-01-2014
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Harm reduction strategies for combating HIV epidemics among people who inject drugs (PWID) have been implemented in several countries. However, large-scale studies using sensitive measurements of HIV incidence and intervention exposures in defined cohorts are rare. The aim of this study was to determine the association between harm reduction programs and HIV incidence among PWID.
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Developing a Lower Limb Lymphedema Animal Model with Combined Lymphadenectomy and Low-dose Radiation.
Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open
PUBLISHED: 03-01-2014
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This study was aimed to establish a consistent lower limb lymphedema animal model for further investigation of the mechanism and treatment of lymphedema.
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Ceramide inhibits insulin-stimulated Akt phosphorylation through activation of Rheb/mTORC1/S6K signaling in skeletal muscle.
Cell. Signal.
PUBLISHED: 02-20-2014
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Ceramide is a negative regulator of insulin activity. At the molecular level, it causes a decrease in insulin-stimulated Akt Ser473 phosphorylation in C2C12 myotubes. Interestingly, we found that the phosphorylation of S6K at Thr389 was increased under the same conditions. Utilizing both rapamycin to inhibit mTORC1 activity and shRNA to knock down Rheb, we demonstrated that the decrease in Akt Ser473 phosphorylation stimulated by insulin after C2-ceramide incubation can be prevented. The mechanism by which C2-ceramide impairs signaling would seem to involve a negative feedback of activated S6K via phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate-1 at Ser636/639, since S6K inhibitor can block this phenomenon. Finally, rapamycin treatment was found not to affect C2-ceramide-induced PKC? activation, suggesting that the pathway revealed in this study is parallel to the one involving PKC? activation. We proposed a novel pathway/mechanism involving Rheb/mTORC1/S6K signaling to explain how C2-ceramide impairs insulin signaling via Akt phosphorylation. The existence of multiple pathways involved in insulin signaling impairment by C2-ceramide treatment implies that different strategies might be needed to ameliorate insulin resistance caused by C2-ceramide.
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The impact of HAART initiation timing on HIV-TB co-infected patients, a retrospective cohort study.
BMC Infect. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 02-18-2014
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Optimal timing for initiating highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in HIV-TB coinfected patients is challenging for clinicians. We aim to evaluate the impact of different timing of HAART initiation on TB outcome of HIV-infected adults in Taiwan.
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Regulation of tumor progression via the Snail-RKIP signaling pathway by nicotine exposure in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Head Neck
PUBLISHED: 02-04-2014
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Background: Recent studies suggest that long-term exposure of the carcinogen 4-methylnitrosamino-1-3-pyridyl-1-butanone (NNK) found in tobacco smoke is involved in the progression of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). The underlying nicotine-mediated mechanism remains unclear. Methods: An analysis of SCC-25 and Fadu cells with or without NNK exposure focusing on the evaluation of migration and invasion abilities, the expression of epithelial-mesenchymal transition, drug-resistance-related genes, properties of cancer stem cell and anti-apoptosis was performed. Results: Long-term NNK exposure dose-dependently enhances migration and invasion with morphological alterations. Furthermore, NNK exposure also up-regulates snail, promotes sphere-forming ability and overexpresses ALDH1, Nanog, OCT4, ABCG2 and MDR1. Conclusions: The current study confirmed that long-term NNK exposure plays a role in HNSCC by increasing anti-apoptosis and therapeutic resistance via the Snail-RKIP signaling pathway. Our data also suggest that ?7-nAChR inhibition or targeting Snail may provide a feasible rationale for preventing the progression of HNSCC. Head Neck, 2014.
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Botanical, Pharmacological, Phytochemical, and Toxicological Aspects of the Antidiabetic Plant Bidens pilosa L.
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
PUBLISHED: 01-29-2014
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Bidens pilosa L. is an easy-to-grow, widespread, and palatable perennial on earth. Hence, it has traditionally been used as foods and medicines without noticeable adverse effects. Despite significant advancement in chemical and biological studies of B. pilosa over the past few years, comprehensive and critical reviews on its anti-diabetic properties are missing. The present review is to summarize up-to-date information on the pharmacology, phytochemistry, and toxicology of B. pilosa, in regard to type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes from the literature. In addition to botanical studies and records of the traditional use of B. pilosa in diabetes, scientific studies investigating antidiabetic action of this species and its active phytochemicals are presented and discussed. The structure and biosynthesis of B. pilosa and its polyynes in relation to their anti-diabetic action and mechanism are emphasized. Although some progress has been made, rigorous efforts are further required to unlock the molecular basis and structure-activity relationship of the polyynes isolated from B. pilosa before their clinical applications. The present review provides preliminary information and gives guidance for further anti-diabetic research and development of this plant.
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The T-type calcium channel as a new therapeutic target for Parkinson's disease.
Pflugers Arch.
PUBLISHED: 01-29-2014
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Parkinson's disease (PD) is one of the most prevalent movement disorder caused by degeneration of the dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra pars compacta. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) at the subthalamic nucleus (STN) has been a new and effective treatment of PD. It is interesting how a neurological disorder caused by the deficiency of a specific chemical substance (i.e., dopamine) from one site could be so successfully treated by a pure physical maneuver (i.e., DBS) at another site. STN neurons could discharge in the single-spike or the burst modes. A significant increase in STN burst discharges has been unequivocally observed in dopamine-deprived conditions such as PD, and was recently shown to have a direct causal relation with parkinsonian symptoms. The occurrence of burst discharges in STN requires enough available T-type Ca(2+) currents, which could bring the relatively negative membrane potential to the threshold of firing Na(+) spikes. DBS, by injection of negative currents into the extracellular space, most likely would depolarize the STN neuron and then inactivate the T-type Ca(2+) channel. Burst discharges are thus decreased and parkinsonian locomotor deficits ameliorated. Conversely, injection of positive currents into STN itself could induce parkinsonian locomotor deficits in animals without dopaminergic lesions. Local application of T-type Ca(2+) channel blockers into STN would also dramatically decrease the burst discharges and improve parkinsonian locomotor symptoms. Notably, zonisamide, which could inhibit T-type Ca(2+) currents in STN, has been shown to benefit PD patients in a clinical trial. From the pathophysiological perspectives, PD can be viewed as a prototypical disorder of "brain arrhythmias". Modulation of relevant ion channels by physical or chemical maneuvers may be important therapeutic considerations for PD and other diseases related to deranged neural rhythms.
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The mechanism of vascularized lymph node transfer for lymphedema: natural lymphaticovenous drainage.
Plast. Reconstr. Surg.
PUBLISHED: 01-29-2014
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Vascularized lymph node flap transfer for the treatment of upper and lower limb lymphedema has had promising results. This study was performed to investigate the mechanism of lymph drainage of a vascularized lymph node flap both experimentally and clinically.
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An enhanced sensing application based on a flexible projected capacitive-sensing mattress.
Sensors (Basel)
PUBLISHED: 01-24-2014
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This paper presents a cost-effective sensor system for mattresses that can classify the sleeping posture of an individual and prevent pressure ulcers. This system applies projected capacitive sensing to the field of health care. The charge time (CT) method was used to sensitively and accurately measure the capacitance of the projected electrodes. The required characteristics of the projected capacitor were identified to develop large-area applications for sensory mattresses. The area of the electrodes, the use of shielding, and the increased length of the transmission line were calibrated to more accurately measure the capacitance of the electrodes in large-size applications. To offer the users comfort in the prone position, a flexible substrate was selected and covered with 16 × 20 electrodes. Compared with the static charge sensitive bed (SCSB), our proposed system-flexible projected capacitive-sensing mattress (FPCSM) comes with more electrodes to increase the resolution of posture identification. As for the body pressure system (BPS), the FPCSM has advantages such as lower cost, higher aging-resistance capability, and the ability to sense the capacitance of the covered regions without physical contact. The proposed guard ring design effectively absorbs the noise and interrupts leakage paths. The projected capacitive electrode is suitable for proximity-sensing applications and succeeds at quickly recognizing the sleeping pattern of the user.
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Treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection: current status and future concepts.
World J. Gastroenterol.
PUBLISHED: 01-19-2014
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Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is highly associated with the occurrence of gastrointestinal diseases, including gastric inflammation, peptic ulcer, gastric cancer, and gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid-tissue lymphoma. Although alternative therapies, including phytomedicines and probiotics, have been used to improve eradication, current treatment still relies on a combination of antimicrobial agents, such as amoxicillin, clarithromycin, metronidazole, and levofloxacin, and antisecretory agents, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). A standard triple therapy consisting of a PPI and two antibiotics (clarithromycin and amoxicillin/metronidazole) is widely used as the first-line regimen for treatment of infection, but the increased resistance of H. pylori to clarithromycin and metronidazole has significantly reduced the eradication rate using this therapy and bismuth-containing therapy or 10-d sequential therapy has therefore been proposed to replace standard triple therapy. Alternatively, levofloxacin-based triple therapy can be used as rescue therapy for H. pylori infection after failure of first-line therapy. The increase in resistance to antibiotics, including levofloxacin, may limit the applicability of such regimens. However, since resistance of H. pylori to amoxicillin is generally low, an optimized high dose dual therapy consisting of a PPI and amoxicillin can be an effective first-line or rescue therapy. In addition, the concomitant use of alternative medicine has the potential to provide additive or synergistic effects against H. pylori infection, though its efficacy needs to be verified in clinical studies.
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Tumor-associated macrophages in stage IIIA pN2 non-small cell lung cancer after neoadjuvant chemotherapy and surgery.
Am J Transl Res
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Most of the patients with stage IIIA pN2 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) develop recurrence after surgery. It is not clear whether post neoadjuvant chemotherapy tumor-associated macrophages is associated with recurrence.
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Deep-sea water containing selenium provides intestinal protection against duodenal ulcers through the upregulation of Bcl-2 and thioredoxin reductase 1.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Deep-sea water (DSW), which is rich in micronutrients and minerals and with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, may be developed as marine drugs to provide intestinal protection against duodenal ulcers. We determined several characteristics in the modified DSW. We explored duodenal pressure, oxygenation, microvascular blood flow, and changes in pH and oxidative redox potential (ORP) values within the stomach and duodenum in response to tap water (TW, hardness: 2.48 ppm), DSW600 (hardness: 600 ppm), and DSW1200 (hardness: 1200 ppm) in Wistar rats and analyzed oxidative stress and apoptosis gene expressions by cDNA and RNA microarrays in the duodenal epithelium. We compared the effects of drinking DSW, MgCl2, and selenium water on duodenal ulcers using pathologic scoring, immunohistochemical analysis, and Western blotting. Our results showed DSW has a higher pH value, lower ORP value, higher scavenging H2O2 and HOCl activity, higher Mg2+ concentrations, and micronutrients selenium compared with TW samples. Water infusion significantly increased intestinal pressure, O2 levels, and microvascular blood flow in DSW and TW groups. Microarray showed DSW600, DSW1200, selenium water upregulated antioxidant and anti-apoptotic genes and downregulated pro-apoptotic gene expression compared with the TW group. Drinking DSW600, DSW1200, and selenium water but not Mg2+ water significantly enhanced Bcl-2 and thioredoxin reductase 1 expression. Bax/Bcl-2/caspase 3/poly-(ADP-ribose)-polymerase signaling was activated during the pathogenesis of duodenal ulceration. DSW drinking reduced ulcer area as well as apoptotic signaling in acetic acid-induced duodenal ulcers. DSW, which contains selenium, provides intestinal protection against duodenal ulcers through the upregulation of Bcl-2 and thioredoxin reductase 1.
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Randomized Clinical Trial of New Intravenous Lipid (SMOFlipid(R) 20%) Versus MCT/LCT in Adult Patients Undergoing Gastrointestinal Surgery.
JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr
PUBLISHED: 11-27-2013
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Background: SMOFlipid® 20% is intravenous lipid emulsion (ILE) containing long-chain triglycerides (LCT), medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), olive oil, and fish oil as a mixed emulsion containing ?-tocopherol. The aim was to assess the efficacy of this new ILE in gastrointestinal surgery compared with MCT/LCT. Methods: In this prospective study, 40 patients were randomized to SMOFlipid® 20% or MCT/LCT (Lipovenoes® 20%) group. Clinical and biochemistry data were collected. Inflammatory markers (CRP, IL-6, IL-10, TNF-?, TGF-?1) and oxidative stress (ROS and superoxide) were measured. Results: Thirty-five patients (17 males and 18 females) with a mean age of 57 years completed the study. The patients demographic characteristics (age, gender, height, body weight, and BMI) were similar without significant differences between groups. The increment of triglyceride on day 6 from baseline was significantly lower in SMOFlipid® group than in Lipovenoes® MCT/LCT group. Inflammatory markers, as well as superoxide radical and total oxygen radical were not different between groups. Conclusions: Despite the comparable effect on inflammatory response, because of its well-balanced fatty acid pattern, relatively low n-6:n-3 ratio, and high vitamin E content, SMOFlipid® had a better triglyceride-lowering effect as compared with MCT/LCT in adult patients undergoing gastrointestinal surgery.
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A clinical study of motor imagery BCI performance in stroke by including calibration data from passive movement.
Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc
PUBLISHED: 10-11-2013
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Electroencephalogram (EEG) data from performing motor imagery are usually used to calibrate a subject-specific model in Motor Imagery Brain-Computer Interface (MI-BCI). However, the performance of MI is not directly observable by another person. Studies that attempted to address this issue in order to improve subjects with low MI performance had shown that it is feasible to use calibration data from Passive Movement (PM) to detect MI in healthy subjects. This study investigates the feasibility of using calibration data from PM of stroke patients to detect MI. EEG data from 2 calibration runs of MI and PM by a robotic haptic knob, and 1 evaluation run of MI were collected in one session of recording from 34 hemiparetic stroke patients recruited in the clinical study. In each run, 40 trials of MI or PM and 40 trials of the background rest were collected. The off-line run-to-run transfer kappa values from the calibration runs of MI, PM, and combined MI and PM, to the evaluation run of MI were then evaluated and compared. The results showed that calibration using PM (0.392) yielded significantly lower kappa value than the calibration using MI (0.457, p=4.40e-14). The results may be due to a significant disparity between the EEG data from PM and MI in stroke subjects. Nevertheless, the results showed that the calibration using both MI and PM (0.506) yielded significantly higher kappa value than the calibration using MI (0.457, p=9.54e-14). Hence, the results of this study suggest a promising direction to combine calibration data from PM and MI to improve MI detection on stroke.
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Low-level laser stimulation on adipose-tissue-derived stem cell treatments for focal cerebral ischemia in rats.
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
PUBLISHED: 10-04-2013
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This study investigated the effects of large-area irradiation from a low-level laser on the proliferation and differentiation of i-ADSCs in neuronal cells. MTT assays indicated no significant difference between the amount of cells with (LS+) and without (LS-) laser treatment (P > 0.05). However, immunofluorescent staining and western blot analysis results indicated a significant increase in the neural stem-cell marker, nestin, following exposure to low-level laser irradiation (P < 0.05). Furthermore, stem cell implantation was applied to treat rats suffering from stroke. At 28 days posttreatment, the motor functions of the rats treated using i-ADSCs (LS+) did not differ greatly from those in the sham group and HE-stained brain tissue samples exhibited near-complete recovery with nearly no brain tissue damage. However, the motor functions of the rats treated using i-ADSCs (LS-) remained somewhat dysfunctional and tissue displayed necrotic scarring and voids. The western blot analysis also revealed significant expression of oligo-2 in the rats treated using i-ADSCs (LS+) as well as in the sham group (P < 0.05). The results demonstrated that low-level laser irradiation exerts a positive effect on the differentiation of i-ADSCs and can be employed to treat rats suffering from ischemic stroke to regain motor functions.
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An ectopic approach for engineering a vascularized tracheal substitute.
Biomaterials
PUBLISHED: 09-26-2013
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Tissue engineering can provide alternatives to current methods for tracheal reconstruction. Here we describe an approach for ectopic engineering of vascularized trachea based on the implantation of co-cultured scaffolds surrounded by a muscle flap. Poly(L-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) or poly(?-caprolactone) (PCL) scaffolds were seeded with chondrocytes, bone marrow stem cells and co-cultured both cells respectively (8 groups), wrapped in a pedicled muscle flap, placed as an ectopic culture on the abdominal wall of rabbits (n = 24), and harvested after two and four weeks. Analysis of the biochemical and mechanical properties demonstrated that the PCL scaffold with co-culture cells seeding displayed the optimal chondrogenesis with adequate rigidity to maintain the cylindrical shape and luminal patency. Histological analysis confirmed that cartilage formed in the co-culture groups contained a more homogeneous and higher extracellular matrix content. The luminal surfaces appeared to support adequate epithelialization due to the formation of vascularized capsular tissue. A prefabricated neo-trachea was transferred to the defect as a tracheal replacement and yielded satisfactory results. These encouraging results indicate that our co-culture approach may enable the development of a clinically applicable neo-trachea.
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Natural cures for type 1 diabetes: a review of phytochemicals, biological actions, and clinical potential.
Curr. Med. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 09-06-2013
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Autoimmune diseases are the third largest category of illness in the industrialized world, following cardiovascular diseases and cancers. Among them, type 1 diabetes, also named autoimmune diabetes, afflicts 10 million people worldwide. This disease is caused by autoimmunity-mediated destruction of pancreatic ?-cells, leading to insulin deficiency, hyperglycemia and complications. Currently, there is no cure for type 1 diabetes. Insulin injection is the only medication; however, it accompanies serious medical complications. Current strategies to cure type 1 diabetes include immunotherapy, replacement therapy, and combination therapy. Despite recent advances in anti-diabetic strategies, no strategy is clinically successful. How to cure type 1 diabetes without undesirable side effects still remains a formidable challenge in drug research and development. Plants provide an extraordinary source of natural medicines for different diseases. Moreover, secondary metabolites of plant origin serve as an invaluable chemical library for drug discovery and current medicinal chemistry in the pharmaceutical industry. Over the past 25 years, 50% of prescription drugs have been developed from natural products and their derivatives. In this article, we review more than 20 plant compounds and extracts reported in the literature to prevent and treat type-1 diabetes. Emphasis is placed on their chemistry and biology in terms of regulation of immune cells and pancreatic ?-cells. We summarize recent progress in understanding the biological actions, mechanisms and therapeutic potential of the compounds and extracts of plant origin in type 1 diabetes. New views on phytocompound-based strategies for prevention and treatment of type 1 diabetes are also discussed.
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New investigation of distribution imaging and content uniformity of very low dose drugs using hot-melt extrusion method.
Int J Pharm
PUBLISHED: 08-19-2013
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The content uniformity of low dose drugs in dosage forms is very important for quality assurance. The aim of this study was to prepare uniformly and homogeneously distributed dosage forms of very low-dose drugs using twin screw hot-melt extrusion (HME) and to investigate the distribution of drugs using instrumental analyses. For the feasibility of HME method, a very low amount of coumarin-6, a fluorescent dye, was used to visualize distribution images using confocal laser scanning microscope (CLSM). Limaprost, tamsulosin and glimepiride were then used as low-dose model drugs to study the applicability of HME for content uniformity and distribution behaviors. Hydrophilic thermosensitive polymers with low melting point, such as Poloxamer188 and polyethylene glycol (PEG) 6000, were chosen as carriers. The melt extrusion was carried out around 50°C, at which both carriers were easily dissolved but model drugs remained in solid form. The physicochemical properties of the hot-melt extrudates, including differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), were measured. Content uniformity of the drugs was also checked by HPLC. CLSM imaging showed that model drugs were well distributed throughout the hot-melt extrudate, giving better content uniformity with low batch-to-batch variations compared with simple physical mixtures. DSC, PXRD and FT-IR data showed that there was no interaction or interference between model drugs and thermosensitive polymers. The current HME methods could be used to prepare uniformly distributed and reproducible solid dosage forms containing very low dose drugs for further pharmaceutical applications.
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Suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) causes tumor growth slowdown and triggers autophagy in glioblastoma stem cells.
Autophagy
PUBLISHED: 08-15-2013
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Although suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor, has been used in clinical trials for cancer therapies, its pharmacological effects occur through a poorly understood mechanism. Here, we report that SAHA specifically triggers autophagy and reduces cell viability via promotion of apoptosis in the late phase of glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs). Using a cell line cultured from a glioblastoma biopsy, we investigated the properties and effects of GSCs under SAHA treatment in vitro. In vivo xenograft assays revealed that SAHA effectively caused tumor growth slowdown and the induction of autophagy. SAHA was sufficient to increase formation of intracellular acidic vesicle organelles, recruitment of LC3-II to the autophagosomes, potentiation of BECN1 protein levels and reduced SQSTM1 levels. We determined that SAHA triggered autophagy through the downregulation of AKT-MTOR signaling, a major suppressive cascade of autophagy. Interestingly, upon depletion or pharmacological inhibition of autophagy, SAHA facilitates apoptosis and results in cell death at the early phase, suggesting that SAHA-induced autophagy functions probably act as a prosurvival mechanism. Furthermore, our results also indicated that the inhibition of SAHA-induced autophagy using chloroquine has synergistic effects that further increase apoptosis. Moreover, we found that a reduced dose of SAHA functioned as a potent modulator of differentiation and senescence. Taken together, our results provide a new perspective on the treatment of GSCs, indicating that SAHA is a promising agent for targeting GSCs through the induction of autophagy.
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Is a diabetes pay-for-performance program cost-effective under the National Health Insurance in Taiwan?
Qual Life Res
PUBLISHED: 08-09-2013
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In October 2001, a pay-for-performance (P4P) program for diabetes was implemented by the National Health Insurance (NHI), a single-payer program, in Taiwan. However, only limited information is available regarding the influence of this program on the patients health-related quality of life. The aim of this study was to estimate the costs and consequences of enrolling patients in the P4P program from a single-payer perspective.
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Comparison between bacteremia caused by carbapenem resistant Acinetobacter baumannii and Acinetobacter nosocomialis.
BMC Infect. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 07-08-2013
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It is unknown whether there are differences between bacteremia caused by carbapenem resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB) and carbapenem resistant Acinetobacter nosocomialis (CRAN). This study aims to investigate the differences, especially in clinical outcomes, between patients with bacteremia caused by CRAB or CRAN.
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Can cancer patients seeking a second opinion get better care?
Am J Manag Care
PUBLISHED: 06-21-2013
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To investigate whether cancer patients who sought a second opinion received better medical care.
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Drug release-modulating mechanism of hydrophilic hydroxypropylmethylcellulose matrix tablets: distribution of atoms and carrier and texture analysis.
Curr Drug Deliv
PUBLISHED: 05-21-2013
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Although release profiles of drug from hydrophilic matrices have been well recognized, the visual distribution of hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC) and atoms inside of internal structures of hydrophilic HPMC matrices has not been characterized. In this paper, drug release mechanism from HPMC matrix tablet was investigated based on the release behaviors of HPMC, physical properties of gelled HPMC tablet and atomic distributions of formulation components using diverse instruments. A matrix tablet consisting of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC 6, 4,000 and 100,000 mPa·s), chlorpheniramine maleate (CPM) as a model and fumed silicon dioxide (Aerosil(®) 200) was prepared via direct compression. The distribution of atoms and HPMC imaging were characterized using scanning electron microscope (SEM)/ energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), and near-infrared (NIR) analysis, respectively as a function of time. A texture analyzer was also used to characterize the thickness and maintenance of gel layer of HPMC matrix tablet. The HPMC matrix tablets showed Higuchi release kinetics with no lag time against the square root of time. High viscosity grades of HPMC gave retarded release rate because of the greater swelling and gel thickness as characterized by texture analyzer. According to the NIR imaging, low-viscosity-grade HPMC (6 mPa·s) quickly leached out onto the surface of the tablet, while the high-viscosity-grade HPMC (4000 mPa·s) formed much thicker gel layer around the tablet and maintained longer via slow erosion, resulting in retarded drug release. The atomic distribution of the drug (chlorine, carbon, oxygen), HPMC (carbon, oxygen) and silicon dioxide (silica, oxygen) and NIR imaging of HPMC corresponded with the dissolution behaviors of drug as a function of time. The use of imaging and texture analyses could be applicable to explain the release- modulating mechanism of hydrophilic HPMC matrix tablets.
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Suppression of voltage-gated Na(+) channels and neuronal excitability by imperatorin.
Eur. J. Pharmacol.
PUBLISHED: 05-19-2013
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Imperatorin is a naturally occurring furocoumarin compound isolated from plants such as Angelica archangelica and Cnidium monnieri. It has multiple pharmacological effects including anticonvulsant effects. Here we determined the effects of imperatorin on voltage-gated Na(+) channels (VGSC) using whole-cell patch clamp techniques in differentiated neuronal NG108-15 cells. We showed that imperatorin inhibited VGSC; such inhibition did not show state-dependence. Imperatorin caused a left shift in the steady-state inactivation curve without affecting activation gating. The inhibition of VGSC by imperatorin displayed a mild frequency-dependence. Imperatorin was also shown to inhibit VGSC and action potential amplitude without affecting voltage-gated K(+) channels in rat hippocampal CA1 neurons. In conclusion, our results suggest that imperatorin dampens neuronal excitability by inhibiting VGSC.
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Progression of stages 3b-5 chronic kidney disease-Preliminary results of Taiwan National Pre-ESRD Disease Management Program in Southern Taiwan.
J. Formos. Med. Assoc.
PUBLISHED: 05-14-2013
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The outcomes and their predictors, and rates of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) changes among Taiwanese, an ethnic Chinese population, with chronic kidney disease (CKD) stages 3b-5, enrolled in a nationwide pre-end-stage renal disease (pre-ESRD) management program that have not been previously reported.
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Luteolin inhibits migration of human glioblastoma U-87 MG and T98G cells through downregulation of Cdc42 expression and PI3K/AKT activity.
Mol. Biol. Rep.
PUBLISHED: 04-30-2013
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Luteolin (3,4,5,7-tetrahydroxyflavone) is a common flavonoid in many types of plants and has several beneficial biological effects, including anti-inflammation, anti-oxidant, and anti-cancer properties. However, the detail mechanisms of luteolin in suppressing tumor invasion and metastasis are poorly understood. Here, we investigated the effects of luteolin on suppressing glioblastoma tumor cell invasion and migration activity. Under the non-cytotoxic doses (15 and 30 ?M), luteolin exhibited an inhibitory effect on migration and invasion in U-87 MG and T98G glioblastoma cells. Additionally, filopodia assembly in U-87 MG cells was markedly suppressed after luteolin treatment. The treatment of luteolin also showed a decrease of Cdc42 (cell division cycle 42) protein levels and reduced PI3K/AKT activation, whereas there was no association between this decrease and phosphorylated ERK or altered transcription levels of Cdc42. Over expression of constitutive Cdc42 (Q61L) using transient transfection in U-87 MG cells induced a partial cell migration, but did not affected the degradation of the protein levels of Cdc42 after luteolin treatment. Moreover, inhibition of the proteaosome pathway by MG132 caused a significant recovery in the migration ability of U-87 MG cells and augmented the Cdc42 protein levels after luteolin treatment, suggesting that pharmacological inhibition of migration via luteolin treatment is likely to preferentially facilitate the protein degradation of Cdc42. Taken together, the study demonstrated that flavonoids of luteolin prevent the migration of glioblastoma cells by affecting PI3K/AKT activation, modulating the protein expression of Cdc42 and facilitating their degradation via the proteaosome pathway.
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Thalamic synaptic transmission of sensory information modulated by synergistic interaction of adenosine and serotonin.
J. Neurochem.
PUBLISHED: 04-24-2013
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The thalamic synapses relay peripheral sensory information to the cortex, and constitute an important part of the thalamocortical network that generates oscillatory activities responsible for different vigilance (sleep and wakefulness) states. However, the modulation of thalamic synaptic transmission by potential sleep regulators, especially by combination of regulators in physiological scenarios, is not fully characterized. We found that somnogen adenosine itself acts similar to wake-promoting serotonin, both decreasing synaptic strength as well as short-term depression, at the retinothalamic synapse. We then combined the two modulators considering the coexistence of them in the hypnagogic (sleep-onset) state. Adenosine plus serotonin results in robust synergistic inhibition of synaptic strength and dramatic transformation of short-term synaptic depression to facilitation. These synaptic effects are not achievable with a single modulator, and are consistent with a high signal-to-noise ratio but a low level of signal transmission through the thalamus appropriate for slow-wave sleep. This study for the first time demonstrates that the sleep-regulatory modulators may work differently when present in combination than present singly in terms of shaping information flow in the thalamocortical network. The major synaptic characters such as the strength and short-term plasticity can be profoundly altered by combination of modulators based on physiological considerations. Mimicking a scenario of the sleep-onset state, we found that wake-promoting serotonin and local somnogen adenosine interact to produce robust inhibition of synaptic transmission and reverse the short-term synaptic plasticity from depression to facilitation in the sensory thalamus, effects not achievable by one modulator alone but consistent with the expected electrophysiological characteristics at sleep. Thus, the relay of information through the thalamus can be finely tuned in a vigilance state-dependent context-specific manner by neuromodulators from both distant and local sources.
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Design and evaluation of a portable optical-based biosensor for testing whole blood prothrombin time.
Talanta
PUBLISHED: 04-14-2013
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Point-of-care diagnostics (POCD) for blood coagulation benefit patients on-site, but available POCD devices are too expensive to be affordable in many countries. Optically based methodologies are cheap and reliable, and have been exploited in bench-top coagulometers to monitor coagulation with plasma, but not whole blood, which contains cellular components that cause massive interference. However, the POCD testing of whole blood gives a more accurate picture of physiological conditions than does testing plasma. In this study, a portable device for performing the prothrombin time (PT) test was designed, comprising an optical sensor, an electrical processing and control circuit to monitor the optical changes that occurred during the coagulation process in whole blood. The PT was when the slope of the first-order derivative of the coagulation curve, recorded from real-time light transmittance signals, was maximal. The POCD PT testing of 167 samples revealed that 153 (91.6%) were successfully detected and the results were highly consistent with the results of whole blood international normalized ratio (INR) (r=0.985, p<0.001) by the conventional manual method and those of plasma INR (r=0.948, p<0.001) with the ACL TOP 700 bench-top coagulometer (Beckman Colter). Hematological parameters were further analyzed, revealing that fibrinogen titers (p=0.036), red blood cell numbers (p=0.017) and distribution of red cell width (p=0.015) affected the effectiveness of the current POCD PT determination. Furthermore, a highly positive correlation was revealed between fibrinogen titers and the maximum speed of change in transmittance (v/t) (r=0.805, p<0.001), suggesting that fibrinogen might be evaluated simultaneously in this POCD testing. In conclusion, the proposed portable optical-based device performs the highly sensitive and accurate determination of whole blood PT and has commercial potential because of its small volume and low fabrication cost.
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Polarization and reprogramming of myeloid-derived suppressor cells.
J Mol Cell Biol
PUBLISHED: 03-25-2013
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Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) have recently emerged as one of the central regulators of the immune system. In recent years, interest in understanding MDSC biology and applying MDSC for therapeutic purpose has exploded exponentially. Despite recent progress in MDSC biology, the mechanisms underlying MDSC development from expansion and activation to polarization in different diseases remain poorly understood. More recent studies have demonstrated that two MDSC subsets, M (monocytic)-MDSC and G (granulocytic)-MDSC, are able to polarize from a classically activated phenotype (M1) to an alternatively activated one (M2), or vice versa, in tumor-bearing mice. This phenotypic polarization affects MDSC function and disease progression. In this article, we summarize and discuss polarization, mechanism and therapeutic potential of MDSC. An emphasis is placed on the emerging concept of reprogramming MDSC polarization as a therapeutic strategy.
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Low-Level Laser-Accelerated Peripheral Nerve Regeneration within a Reinforced Nerve Conduit across a Large Gap of the Transected Sciatic Nerve in Rats.
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
PUBLISHED: 03-14-2013
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This study proposed a novel combination of neural regeneration techniques for the repair of damaged peripheral nerves. A biodegradable nerve conduit containing genipin-cross-linked gelatin was annexed using beta-tricalcium phosphate (TCP) ceramic particles (genipin-gelatin-TCP, GGT) to bridge the transection of a 15?mm sciatic nerve in rats. Two trigger points were irradiated transcutaneously using 660?nm of gallium-aluminum arsenide phosphide (GaAlAsP) via laser diodes for 2?min daily over 10 consecutive days. Walking track analysis showed a significant improvement in sciatic functional index (SFI) (P < 0.01) and pronounced improvement in the toe spreading ability of rats undergoing laser stimulation. Electrophysiological measurements (peak amplitude and area) illustrated by compound muscle action potential (CMAP) curves demonstrated that laser stimulation significantly improved nerve function and reduced muscular atrophy. Histomorphometric assessments revealed that laser stimulation accelerated nerve regeneration over a larger area of neural tissue, resulting in axons of greater diameter and myelin sheaths of greater thickness than that observed in rats treated with nerve conduits alone. Motor function, electrophysiological reactions, muscular reinnervation, and histomorphometric assessments all demonstrate that the proposed therapy accelerated the repair of transected peripheral nerves bridged using a GGT nerve conduit.
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Acinetobacter baumannii nosocomial pneumonia: is the outcome more favorable in non-ventilated than ventilated patients?
BMC Infect. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 03-12-2013
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Acinetobacter baumannii hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) is associated with a high mortality worldwide. Non-ventilated patients with HAP (NVHAP) caused by nosocomial pathogens are reported to have a more favorable outcome than those with ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). The current study was designed to determine whether bacteremic patients with A. baumannii NVHAP also have a lower mortality than those receiving assisted ventilation.
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Highly active antiretroviral therapy is associated with decreased incidence of sexually transmitted diseases in a Taiwanese HIV-positive population.
AIDS Patient Care STDS
PUBLISHED: 02-26-2013
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There are reports of increased sexual risk behaviors in the HIV-positive population since the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Little is known about the effects of the case management (CM) program and HAART on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in Taiwan. HIV-positive subjects, who visited the outpatient clinics of Taoyuan General Hospital between 2007 and 2010, were enrolled. A total of 574 subjects and 14,462 person-months were reviewed. Incident STDs occurred in 104 (18.1%) subjects, and the incidence rate was 8.6 (95% confidence interval [CI], 7.1-10.5) per 100 person-years (PY). For men who have sex with men (MSM), heterosexual men and women, and injection drug users (IDU), 19.4 per 100 PY(95% CI, 15.7-24.0), 3.5 per 100 PY (95% CI, 1.4-7.3), and 1.1 per 100 PY (95% CI, 0.4-2.4) of STDs were noted, respectively; (MSM versus IDU and MSM versus heterosexual subjects, p<0.000001; heterosexual subjects versus IDU, p=0.061). Syphilis (59.6%) was the most common STD. Regular CM and no HAART (hazard ratio, 2.58; 95% CI, 1.14-5.84; p=0.02) was significantly associated with STDs in MSM. Though this retrospective study might underestimate the incidence of STDs and not draw the conclusion of causality, we concluded that the CM program and HAART are associated with lower acquisition of STDs in the Taiwanese HIV-positive population.
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Morus alba and active compound oxyresveratrol exert anti-inflammatory activity via inhibition of leukocyte migration involving MEK/ERK signaling.
BMC Complement Altern Med
PUBLISHED: 02-12-2013
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Morus alba has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat inflammatory diseases; however, the scientific basis for such usage and the mechanism of action are not well understood. This study investigated the action of M. alba on leukocyte migration, one key step in inflammation.
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Patient empowerment in a hand hygiene program: differing points of view between patients/family members and health care workers in Asian culture.
Am J Infect Control
PUBLISHED: 02-08-2013
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"Patient empowerment" is an important component of World Health Organization hand hygiene program, but little is known about the intentions and attitude of patients/families and health care workers (HCWs) regarding this.
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Herbal therapies for type 2 diabetes mellitus: chemistry, biology, and potential application of selected plants and compounds.
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
PUBLISHED: 02-06-2013
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Diabetes mellitus has been recognized since antiquity. It currently affects as many as 285 million people worldwide and results in heavy personal and national economic burdens. Considerable progress has been made in orthodox antidiabetic drugs. However, new remedies are still in great demand because of the limited efficacy and undesirable side effects of current orthodox drugs. Nature is an extraordinary source of antidiabetic medicines. To date, more than 1200 flowering plants have been claimed to have antidiabetic properties. Among them, one-third have been scientifically studied and documented in around 460 publications. In this review, we select and discuss blood glucose-lowering medicinal herbs that have the ability to modulate one or more of the pathways that regulate insulin resistance, ?-cell function, GLP-1 homeostasis, and glucose (re)absorption. Emphasis is placed on phytochemistry, anti-diabetic bioactivities, and likely mechanism(s). Recent progress in the understanding of the biological actions, mechanisms, and therapeutic potential of compounds and extracts of plant origin in type 2 diabetes is summarized. This review provides a source of up-to-date information for further basic and clinical research into herbal therapy for type 2 diabetes. Emerging views on therapeutic strategies for type 2 diabetes are also discussed.
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Human metapneumovirus G protein is highly conserved within but not between genetic lineages.
Arch. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 02-06-2013
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Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is an important cause of acute respiratory illnesses in children. HMPV encodes two major surface glycoproteins, fusion (F) and glycoprotein (G). The function of G has not been fully established, though it is dispensable for in vitro and in vivo replication. We analyzed 87 full-length HMPV G sequences from isolates collected over 20 years. The G sequences fell into four subgroups with a mean 63 % amino acid identity (minimum 29 %). The length of G varied from 217 to 241 residues. Structural features such as proline content and N- and O-glycosylation sites were present in all strains but quite variable between subgroups. There was minimal drift within the subgroups over 20 years. The estimated time to the most recent common ancestor was 215 years. HMPV G was conserved within lineages over 20 years, suggesting functional constraints on diversity. However, G was poorly conserved between subgroups, pointing to potentially distinct roles for G among different viral lineages.
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Combined cholecystectomy in gastric cancer surgery.
Int J Surg
PUBLISHED: 02-05-2013
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Many studies have described the risk factors of gallstone formation in gastric cancer patients after gastrectomy, but few studies focus on the management of asymptomatic gallstones. Our goal is to examine the rationale of simultaneous cholecystectomy during gastric cancer surgery, and influence of surgical mortality, morbidity and overall survival after combined cholecystectomy and gastrectomy.
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Adiponectin modulates NK-cell function.
Eur. J. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 02-01-2013
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Adiponectin (APN) has been shown to exert antiinflammatory effects in various disease models but little is known concerning its regulation of NK-cell function. Here, we show that the majority of human CD56(dim) NK cells express surface Adiponectin receptor (AdipoR) 1 and 2 while most CD56(high) NK cells are AdipoR-negative. Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligand-induced IFN-? production was diminished by APN while it had no influence on NK-cell cytotoxicity. In contrast only a small subpopulation of murine NK cells expresses surface AdipoRs, but about 90% store them intracellularly. APN-deficient knockout (KO) mice had elevated frequencies of NK cells. However, cytotoxic degranulation of NK cells was decreased in APN knockout (APN-KO) animals. Accordingly, frequencies of CD11b(high) CD27(high) and CD94(high) effector NK cells and expression of NKG2D were lower in APN-KO mice. Upon CVB3 infection NK-cell function was restored in APN-KO mice. Our data suggest that in addition to its antiinflammatory effects APN also influences the numerical and differentiation status of NK cells, which may further impact the outcome of immune-mediated diseases in APN-KO mice.
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Bidens pilosa L. (Asteraceae): Botanical Properties, Traditional Uses, Phytochemistry, and Pharmacology.
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
PUBLISHED: 01-31-2013
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There are 230 to 240 known Bidens species. Among them, Bidens pilosa is a representative perennial herb, globally distributed across temperate and tropical regions. B. pilosa has been traditionally used in foods and medicines without obvious adverse effects. Despite significant progress in phytochemical and biological analyses of B. pilosa over the past few years, comprehensive and critical reviews of this plant are anachronistic or relatively limited in scope. The present review aims to summarize up-to-date information on the phytochemistry, pharmacology, and toxicology of B. pilosa from the literature. In addition to botanical studies and records of the traditional use of B. pilosa in over 40 diseases, scientific studies investigating the potential medicinal uses of this species and its constituent phytochemicals for a variety of disorders are presented and discussed. The structure, bioactivity, and likely mechanisms of action of B. pilosa and its phytochemicals are emphasized. Although some progress has been made, further rigorous efforts are required to investigate the individual compounds isolated from B. pilosa to understand and validate its traditional uses and develop clinical applications. The present review provides preliminary information and gives guidance for further basic and clinical research into this plant.
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VCP phosphorylation-dependent interaction partners prevent apoptosis in Helicobacter pylori-infected gastric epithelial cells.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-31-2013
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Previous studies have demonstrated that valosin-containing protein (VCP) is associated with H. pylori-induced gastric carcinogenesis. By identifying the interactome of VCP overexpressed in AGS cells using a subtractive proteomics approach, we aimed to characterize the cellular responses mediated by VCP and its functional roles in H. pylori-associated gastric cancer. VCP immunoprecipitations followed by proteomic analysis identified 288 putative interacting proteins, 18 VCP-binding proteins belonged to the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. H. pylori infection increased the interaction between Akt and VCP, Akt-dependent phosphorylation of VCP, levels of ubiquitinated proteins, and aggresome formation in AGS cells. Furthermore, phosphorylated VCP co-localized with the aggresome, bound ubiquitinated proteins, and increased the degradation of cellular regulators to protect H. pylori-infected AGS cells from apoptosis. Our study demonstrates that VCP phosphorylation following H. pylori infection promotes both gastric epithelial cell survival, mediated by the PI3K/Akt pathway, and the degradation of cellular regulators. These findings provide novel insights into the mechanisms of H. pylori infection induced gastric carcinogenesis.
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Coumarsabin hastens C-type inactivation gating of voltage-gated K? channels.
Eur. J. Pharmacol.
PUBLISHED: 01-30-2013
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During prolonged depolarization, voltage-gated K(+) (Kv) channels display C-type inactivation, a process which is due to selectivity filter destabilization and serves to limit K(+) flux. Here we reported that coumarsabin, a coumarin derivative isolated from Juniperus Sabina, could hasten C-type inactivation and thus cause block of Kv channels in neuronal NG108-15 cells and Kv1.2 channels heterologously expressed in lung epithelial H1355 cells. In NG108-15 cells, extracellular, but not intracellular, coumarsabin (30 ?M) strongly speeded up Kv current decay and caused a left-shift in the steady-state inactivation curve. Coumarsabin inhibited end-of-pulse Kv currents with an IC50 of 13.4 ?M. The kinetics and voltage-dependence of activation were not affected by coumarsabin. The degree of block by coumarsabin was not enhanced by a reduction in intracellular K(+) concentration. Data reveal that coumarsabin was a closed channel blocker and it displayed a frequency-independent mode of inhibition. Coumarsabin did not accelerate current decay in a Kv1.2 mutant (V370G) defective in C-type inactivation. Taken together, our data suggest that Kv channel inhibition by coumarsabin did not appear to result from a direct obstruction of the outer pore but relied on C-type inactivation.
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Antidiabetic effect and mode of action of cytopiloyne.
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
PUBLISHED: 01-29-2013
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Cytopiloyne was identified as a novel polyacetylenic compound. However, its antidiabetic properties are poorly understood. The aim of the present study was to investigate the anti-diabetic effect and mode of action of cytopiloyne on type 2 diabetes (T2D). We first evaluated the therapeutic effect of cytopiloyne on T2D in db/db mice. We found that one dose of cytopiloyne reduced postprandial glucose levels while increasing blood insulin levels. Accordingly, long-term treatment with cytopiloyne reduced postprandial blood glucose levels, increased blood insulin, improved glucose tolerance, suppressed the level of glycosylated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), and protected pancreatic islets in db/db mice. Next, we studied the anti-diabetic mechanism of action of cytopiloyne. We showed that cytopiloyne failed to decrease blood glucose in streptozocin- (STZ-)treated mice whose ? cells were already destroyed. Additionally, cytopiloyne dose dependently increased insulin secretion and expression in ? cells. The increase of insulin secretion/expression of cytopiloyne was regulated by protein kinase C ? (PKC ? ) and its activators, calcium, and diacylglycerol (DAG). Overall, our data suggest that cytopiloyne treats T2D via regulation of insulin production involving the calcium/DAG/PKC ? cascade in ? cells. These data thus identify the molecular mechanism of action of cytopiloyne and prove its therapeutic potential in T2D.
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Catechins and Sialic Acid Attenuate Helicobacter pylori-Triggered Epithelial Caspase-1 Activity and Eradicate Helicobacter pylori Infection.
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
PUBLISHED: 01-25-2013
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The inflammasome/caspase-1 signaling pathway in immune cells plays a critical role in bacterial pathogenesis; however, the regulation of this pathway in the gastric epithelium during Helicobacter pylori infection is yet to be elucidated. Here, we investigated the effect of catechins (CAs), sialic acid (SA), or combination of CA and SA (CASA) on H. pylori-induced caspase-1-mediated epithelial damage, as well as H. pylori colonization in vitro (AGS cells) and in vivo (BALB/c mice). Our results indicate that the activity of caspase-1 and the expression of its downstream substrate IL-1 ? were upregulated in H. pylori-infected AGS cells. In addition, we observed increased oxidative stress, NADPH oxidase gp91phox, CD68, caspase-1/IL-1 ? , and apoptosis, but decreased autophagy, in the gastric mucosa of H. pylori-infected mice. We have further demonstrated that treatment with CASA led to synergistic anti-H. pylori activity and was more effective than treatment with CA or SA alone. In particular, treatment with CASA for 10 days eradicated H. pylori infection in up to 95% of H. pylori-infected mice. Taken together, we suggest that the pathogenesis of H. pylori involves a gastric epithelial inflammasome/caspase-1 signaling pathway, and our results show that CASA was able to attenuate this pathway and effectively eradicate H. pylori infection.
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Implication of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) F transgene sequence heterogeneity observed in Phase 1 evaluation of MEDI-534, a live attenuated parainfluenza type 3 vectored RSV vaccine.
Vaccine
PUBLISHED: 01-18-2013
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MEDI-534 is the first live vectored RSV vaccine candidate to be evaluated in seronegative children. It consists of the bovine parainfluenza virus type 3 (PIV3) genome with substituted human PIV3 F and HN glycoproteins engineered to express RSV F protein. A Phase 1 study of 49 healthy RSV and PIV3 seronegative children 6 to <24 months of age demonstrated an acceptable safety profile at the following doses: 10(4), 10(5) and 10(6)TCID50. After 3 doses of MEDI-534 at 10(6)TCID50, administered at 0, 2 and 4 month intervals, 100% of subjects seroresponded to PIV3, whereas only 50% seroresponded to RSV. To investigate the discordance in seroresponse rates, the RSV F transgene and its flanking non-coding nucleotides were sequenced from shed virus recovered from the nasal washes of 24 MEDI-534-vaccinated children. Eleven out of 24 samples contained no nucleotide changes in the analyzed region. The other 13 samples contained mixtures of variant subpopulations. Fifty-five percent exhibited changes in the transcription termination poly A gene sequences of the upstream bPIV3N gene while 21% had variant subpopulations in the RSV F open reading frame that resulted in pre-mature stop codons. Both types of changes are expected to reduce RSV F expression. Evaluation of the administered vaccine by dual immunofluorescence staining showed ~2.5% variants with low or no RSV F expression while single nucleotide primer extension detected ~1% variation at nucleotide 2045 that resulted in a pre-mature translational termination at codon 85. An association between shedding of variants and lower RSV F serological response was observed but it was not possible to establish a definitive clinical significance due to the small number of subjects in this study.
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Lamin A/C depletion enhances DNA damage-induced stalled replication fork arrest.
Mol. Cell. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 01-14-2013
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The human LMNA gene encodes the essential nuclear envelope proteins lamin A and C (lamin A/C). Mutations in LMNA result in altered nuclear morphology, but how this impacts the mechanisms that maintain genomic stability is unclear. Here, we report that lamin A/C-deficient cells have a normal response to ionizing radiation but are sensitive to agents that cause interstrand cross-links (ICLs) or replication stress. In response to treatment with ICL agents (cisplatin, camptothecin, and mitomycin), lamin A/C-deficient cells displayed normal ?-H2AX focus formation but a higher frequency of cells with delayed ?-H2AX removal, decreased recruitment of the FANCD2 repair factor, and a higher frequency of chromosome aberrations. Similarly, following hydroxyurea-induced replication stress, lamin A/C-deficient cells had an increased frequency of cells with delayed disappearance of ?-H2AX foci and defective repair factor recruitment (Mre11, CtIP, Rad51, RPA, and FANCD2). Replicative stress also resulted in a higher frequency of chromosomal aberrations as well as defective replication restart. Taken together, the data can be interpreted to suggest that lamin A/C has a role in the restart of stalled replication forks, a prerequisite for initiation of DNA damage repair by the homologous recombination pathway, which is intact in lamin A/C-deficient cells. We propose that lamin A/C is required for maintaining genomic stability following replication fork stalling, induced by either ICL damage or replicative stress, in order to facilitate fork regression prior to DNA damage repair.
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Improved dissolution rate and oral bioavailability of lovastatin in red yeast rice products.
Int J Pharm
PUBLISHED: 01-12-2013
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Lovastatin, categorized as a class II compound according to the Biopharmaceutics Classification System, is mainly responsible for the blood cholesterol lowering effect of red yeast rice (RYR). The aim of this study was to compare the dissolution rate, physical state, and oral bioavailability of lovastatin in three RYR products (LipoCol Forte, Cholestin, or Xuezhikang) to those of two lovastatin tablets (Mevacor or Lovasta). The results showed that the dissolution rate of lovastatin in various dissolution media in the registered RYR products was faster and higher than that of lovastatin in lovastatin tablets. Powder X-ray diffraction and differential scanning calorimetry patterns showed that the crystallinity of lovastatin was reduced in RYR products. In human studies, the AUC and Cmax values for both lovastatin and its active metabolite, lovastatin acid, were significantly higher in volunteers receiving LipoCol Forte capsules or powder than in those receiving lovastatin tablets or powder. In addition, shorter and less variable Tmax values were observed in volunteers taking LipoCol Forte than in those taking lovastatin tablets. These findings suggest that the oral bioavailability of lovastatin is significantly improved in RYR products as a result of a higher dissolution rate and reduced crystallinity.
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Syphilis among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Taiwan: its association with HIV prevalence, awareness of HIV status, and use of antiretroviral therapy.
AIDS Behav
PUBLISHED: 01-09-2013
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To understand how awareness of HIV-positivity and the use of antiretroviral therapy associated with syphilis infection, 361 MSM attending 16 Hong-Pa (drug-and-sex parties) in Taiwan were studied. The syphilis rate of individuals within their first 2 years after HIV diagnosis (awareness) was lower than that in individuals who had not been diagnosed HIV infection prior to Hong-Pa (unawareness) (Adj OR = 0.24, P < 0.05). Notably, there was a decrease in the beneficial effect of HIV-positive status awareness on syphilis prevention with an increase in time since notification. Moreover, antiretroviral therapy was not associated with a lower incidence of syphilis, and syphilis infection peaked during the treatment dropout period. In conclusion, the duration of a protective effect of knowing ones HIV-positivity against syphilis infection was short, and the highest risk of syphilis infection was observed when patients discontinued antiretroviral therapy. Future research should examine the behavioral mechanisms involved in this prevention failure.
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Neural regeneration in a novel nerve conduit across a large gap of the transected sciatic nerve in rats with low-level laser phototherapy.
J Biomed Mater Res A
PUBLISHED: 01-07-2013
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This study proposes a biodegradable nerve conduit comprising 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide (EDC) cross-linked gelatin annexed with ?-tricalcium phosphate (?-TCP) ceramic particles (EDC-gelatin-TCP, EGT). For this study, the EGT-implant site in rats was irradiated using 660-nm GaAlAsP laser diodes (50 mW) for trigger point therapy to investigate the use of low-level laser (LLL) stimulation in the regeneration of a 15-mm transected sciatic nerve. Animals were divided into three groups: a control group undergoing autologous nerve graft (autograft); a sham-irradiated group (EGT), and an experimental group undergoing laser stimulation (EGT/LS). Two trigger points on the surgical incision along the sciatic nerve were irradiated transcutaneously for 2 min daily for 10 consecutive days. Twelve weeks after implantation, walking track analysis showed a significantly higher sciatic functional index (SFI; p < 0.05) and improved toe spreading development in the autograft and EGT/LS groups, compared to the EGT group. In the electrophysiological measurement, the mean recovery index (peak amplitude and area) of the compound muscle action potential curves in the autograft and EGT/LS groups showed significantly improved functional recovery than in the EGT group (p < 0.05). Compared with the EGT group, the autograft and EGT/LS groups showed a reduction in muscular atrophy. Histomorphometric assessments showed that the EGT/LS group had undergone more rapid nerve regeneration than the EGT group. Therefore, motor function, electrophysiological reaction, muscular reinnervation, and histomorphometric assessments demonstrate that LLL therapy can accelerate the repair of a 15-mm transected peripheral nerve in rats after being bridged with the EGT nerve conduit.
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A brain-computer interface based cognitive training system for healthy elderly: a randomized control pilot study for usability and preliminary efficacy.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Cognitive decline in aging is a pressing issue associated with significant healthcare costs and deterioration in quality of life. Previously, we reported the successful use of a novel brain-computer interface (BCI) training system in improving symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Here, we examine the feasibility of the BCI system with a new game that incorporates memory training in improving memory and attention in a pilot sample of healthy elderly. This study investigates the safety, usability and acceptability of our BCI system to elderly, and obtains an efficacy estimate to warrant a phase III trial. Thirty-one healthy elderly were randomized into intervention (n?=?15) and waitlist control arms (n?=?16). Intervention consisted of an 8-week training comprising 24 half-hour sessions. A usability and acceptability questionnaire was administered at the end of training. Safety was investigated by querying users about adverse events after every session. Efficacy of the system was measured by the change of total score from the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) before and after training. Feedback on the usability and acceptability questionnaire was positive. No adverse events were reported for all participants across all sessions. Though the median difference in the RBANS change scores between arms was not statistically significant, an effect size of 0.6SD was obtained, which reflects potential clinical utility according to Simons randomized phase II trial design. Pooled data from both arms also showed that the median change in total scores pre and post-training was statistically significant (Mdn?=?4.0; p<0.001). Specifically, there were significant improvements in immediate memory (p?=?0.038), visuospatial/constructional (p?=?0.014), attention (p?=?0.039), and delayed memory (p<0.001) scores. Our BCI-based system shows promise in improving memory and attention in healthy elderly, and appears to be safe, user-friendly and acceptable to senior users. Given the efficacy signal, a phase III trial is warranted.
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Safety and Immunogenicity of a Live Attenuated RSV Vaccine in Healthy RSV-Seronegative Children 5 to 24 Months of Age.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Despite substantial morbidity associated with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection, there is no licensed vaccine. MEDI-559 is a live attenuated intranasal vaccine candidate being developed for prevention of lower respiratory illness due to RSV in young children. This randomized, placebo-controlled study evaluated safety of MEDI-559 in healthy, RSV-seronegative children. MEDI-559 or placebo was administered on 3 occasions, 2 months apart. Primary safety was based on solicited symptoms (SSs) and adverse events (AEs) collected for 28 days after each dose. Nasal wash samples were collected 3 times after each dose (days 7-10, 12-18, 28-34) and at sick visits. Serum was collected for measuring antibody immune responses to RSV prior to first vaccination and 28 days post final dose. Long-term safety was monitored for 365 days from first dose. SSs were mild and frequent (MEDI-559 84%; placebo 91%); most common SSs were runny/stuffy nose, cough, and irritability/fussiness. AEs occurred in 67% MEDI-559 and 57% placebo recipients: most common AE was upper respiratory tract infection (MEDI-559 35%; placebo 23%). Higher incidence of medically attended lower respiratory illness within 28 days after dosing occurred in the MEDI-559 arm compared to placebo (none associated with vaccine virus shedding). There was no evidence of enhanced RSV disease. Vaccine virus was detected only in MEDI-559 recipients; shedding occurred in 56%subjects, primarily post dose 1. A functional immune response was observed in 59% and 9% MEDI-559 and placebo recipients, respectively, by an RSV microneutralization assay. Vaccine take, assessed by proportion that shed vaccine-type virus or had a seroresponse against RSV, was seen in 95% MEDI-559 subjects. MEDI-559 is therefore biologically active and immunogenic in this seronegative pediatric population. Although the frequency of SSs and AEs was not considered clinically significant, the increase in medically attended lower respiratory illnesses in the vaccine group warrants expanded safety studies.
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Strategy to better select HIV-infected individuals for latent TB treatment in BCG-vaccinated population.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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To evaluate the T-SPOT.TB interferon-? releasing assay and the tuberculin skin test (TST), for the diagnosis of latent tuberculosis infection(LTBI) and the development of subsequent active tuberculosis, in BCG-vaccinated HIV-infected individuals.
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JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.

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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.