Polyglycerol based nanogels (nPG) can function as cellular delivery systems. These nPGs are synthesized with different amine densities (nPG amines) by acid-catalyzed epoxide-opening polymerization using a mini-emulsion approach and surface modification. All the synthesized nanogels are characterized by NMR, dynamic light scattering, and ?-potential, showing slightly positive surface charge and a homogeneous size of ?100?nm. The use of these systems for delivery applications is demonstrated with regard to polyplex formation, cytotoxicity, and cellular uptake studies. It is depicted that the CE50 value of the high loaded nPG amines is eight times higher than the low loaded ones. The influence of the amine loading percentage on the nanogel and the effects of polyvalency in these architecture is discussed.
To evaluate the combined effects of 17?-ethynylestradiol (EE2) and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) on the growth and reproduction of male zebrafish, three-month-old fish were exposed to 0.005 or 0.020µg/L EE2, 100 or 500µg/L DBP or their binary mixtures under semi-static conditions. Investigated parameters include the length, weight, condition factor, vitellogenin (VTG) induction, acyl-CoA oxidase (AOX) protein level, histopathological alteration of testis, liver and gill, and reproductive capacity. After 21d exposure, no statistical difference was found among the weights, lengths and condition factors of different treatment groups. In all binary mixture groups, decreased VTG levels were detected compared to EE2-only groups; and the AOX levels were significantly lower than DBP-only treatments while both chemicals can individually induce AOX synthesis. Therefore, EE2 and DBP may act additively on VTG and antagonistically on AOX induction in males. After 45d exposure, delayed gametogenesis was observed for the DBP-only groups, indicated by fewer spermatozoa and more spermatocytes, which was further aggravated with the addition of EE2. The developmental delay of testis partially recovered after a 30d depuration in clean water. Combined exposure also caused liver and gill lesions, which were not alleviated during the 30d depuration, suggesting a nonreversible harmful effect the same as single exposure. Mixed EE2 and DBP were observed to impair the reproductive capability (the fecundity and fertilization rate) of males, while single exposure did not. Co-exposed to 0.020µg/L EE2 and 100µg/L DBP promoted the early hatching of offspring (F1 generation) at 48h post-fertilization (hpf), but the survival rates of the F1 generation were similar in all treatments. Our findings indicate that the effects of mixed EE2 and DBP at environmentally relevant levels can be either antagonistic or additive relying on the specific toxicological endpoints and the respective doses of each chemical.
Although the generation of BCR-ABL is the molecular hallmark of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), the comprehensive molecular mechanisms of the disease remain unclear yet. Growth arrest specific 2 (GAS2) regulates multiple cellular functions including cell cycle, apoptosis and calpain activities. In the present study, we found GAS2 was up-regulated in CML cells including CD34+ progenitor cells compared to their normal counterparts. We utilized RNAi and the expression of dominant negative form of GAS2 (GAS2DN) to target GAS2, which resulted in calpain activity enhancement and growth inhibition of both K562 and MEG-01 cells. Targeting GAS2 also sensitized K562 cells to Imatinib mesylate (IM). GAS2DN suppressed the tumorigenic ability of MEG-01 cells and impaired the tumour growth as well. Moreover, the CD34+ cells from CML patients and healthy donors were transduced with control and GAS2DN lentiviral vectors, and the CD34+ transduced (YFP+) progeny cells (CD34+YFP+) were plated for colony-forming cell (CFC) assay. The results showed that GAS2DN inhibited the CFC production of CML cells by 57±3% (n?=?3), while affected those of normal hematopoietic cells by 31±1% (n?=?2). Next, we found the inhibition of CML cells by GAS2DN was dependent on calpain activity but not the degradation of beta-catenin. Lastly, we generated microarray data to identify the differentially expressed genes upon GAS2DN and validated that the expression of HNRPDL, PTK7 and UCHL5 was suppressed by GAS2DN. These 3 genes were up-regulated in CML cells compared to normal control cells and the growth of K562 cells was inhibited upon HNRPDL silence. Taken together, we have demonstrated that GAS2 is up-regulated in CML cells and the inhibition of GAS2 impairs the growth of CML cells, which indicates GAS2 is a novel regulator of CML cells and a potential therapeutic target of this disease.
Aim: The appropriate selection of hospitalized patients for venous thromboembolism(VTE) prophylaxis is an important unresolved issue. We sought to validate the Caprini model, a famous individual VTE risk assessment model(RAM), in hospitalized Chinese patients. Methods: We performed a retrospective case-control study among unselected hospitalized patients admitted to a comprehensive hospital in China. A total of 347 patients were confirmed to have VTE during hospitalization, and 651 controls were randomly selected to match the patients according to medical service. Both the patients and controls were retrospectively assessed for the risk of VTE using the Caprini RAM. Results: The average Caprini cumulative risk score in the patients was significantly higher than that observed in the controls(4.69±2.58 vs 3.16±1.82, p?0.0001). Compared with that observed in the low-risk group, a classification of high-risk according to the Caprini model was associated with a 1.65-fold increased risk of VTE(95%CI 1.05-2.61), while that of highest-risk was associated with a 4.84-fold increased risk of VTE(95%CI 3.06-7.64). After further stratifying the highest risk level with a cumulative risk score of ?5 into scores of 5-6, 7-8 and ?9, the patients with a score of 5-6 were found to exhibit a 3.33-fold increased risk of VTE(95%CI 2.06-5.40), those with a score 7-8 exhibited a 9.41-fold increased risk of VTE(95%CI 4.90-18.08) and those with a score of ?9 exhibited a 24.69-fold(95%CI 7.98-76.40) increased risk of VTE compared with their low-risk counterparts. Conclusions: Our study suggests that the Caprini RAM can be used to effectively stratify hospitalized Chinese patients into VTE risk categories based on individual risk factors. The classification of the highest risk level with a cumulative risk score of ?5 provided significantly more clinical information, and further stratification of this group of patients is needed.
Recent genome-wide association studies have shown associations between variants at five loci (TNS1, GSTCD, HTR4, AGER and THSD4) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or lung function. However, their association with COPD has not been proven in Chinese Han population, nor have COPD-related phenotypes been studied. The objective of this study was to look for associations between five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in these novel candidate genes and COPD susceptibility or lung function in a Chinese Han population.
Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have anti-cancer effect. However, whether and how these particles could inhibit the growth of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells is unclear. In the present study, we prepared AgNPs with various sizes and investigated their cytotoxic effect on AML cells. We found that AgNPs could inhibit the viability of AML cells including the isolates from AML patients. AgNPs caused the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), losses of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), DNA damage and apoptosis. Both vitamin C (Vit C) and N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) could completely reverse the generation of ROS upon AgNPs, however only NAC but not Vit C could protect the cells from losses of MMP, DNA damage and apoptosis thoroughly. Similar results were obtained when cells were treated with silver ions alone. As NAC was not only an antioxidant to scavenge ROS but also a silver ion chelator, these data supported the model that both generation of ROS and release of silver ions played critical roles in the AgNPs-induced cytotoxic effect against AML cells. Taken together, this work elucidated the cytotoxic effect of AgNPs on AML cells and their underlying mechanism and might have significant impact on AML treatment.
Marginal sea methane seep sediments sustain highly productive chemosynthetic ecosystems and are hotspots of intense biogeochemical cycling. Rich methane supply stimulates rapid microbial consumption of oxygen; these systems are thus usually hypoxic to anoxic. This and reported evidence for resident nitrogen fixation suggest the presence of an anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing (anammox) bacterial community in methane seep sediments. To test this hypothesis, we employed detection of genes encoding 16S rRNA gene and hydrazine dehydrogenase (hzo) to investigate the structure, abundance and distribution of the anammox bacterial community in the methane seep sediments of the Okhotsk Sea. Diverse complements of Candidatus Scalindua-related 16S rRNA and hzo gene sequences were obtained. Most of the deep-sea sites harbored abundant hzo genes with copy numbers as high as 10(7) g(-1) sediment. In general, anammox bacterial signatures were significantly more abundant in the deep-water sediments. Sediment porewater NO3-, NOx- (i.e. NO3- + NO2-), NOx-/NH4+ and sediment silt content correlated with in situ distribution patterns of anammox bacterial marker genes, likely because they determine anammox substrate availability and sediment geochemistry, respectively. The abundance and distribution of anammox bacterial gene markers indicate a potentially significant contribution of anammox bacteria to the marine N cycle in the deep-sea methane seep sediments.
The hedgehog signaling pathway plays an important role in lung morphogenesis and cellular responses to lung injury. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and integrative genomics approaches have demonstrated the associations between HHIP polymorphisms and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and in non-Asian populations. Here we investigated whether HHIP polymorphisms would also be associated with COPD susceptibility and COPD-related phenotypes in a Chinese Han population. In the present case-control study a total of 680 COPD patients and 687 healthy control subjects were recruited. Six single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs1828591, rs13118928, rs6817273, rs10519717, rs12504628, rs13147758) were selected for genotyping. Allele frequencies and genotype distributions were compared between patients and controls. To estimate the strength of association, odds ratios (OR) (with 95% CI) were calculated and potential confounding variables were tested by using logistic regression analysis. Association between haplotypes and COPD outcome was also assessed. We identified that SNP rs12504628 was associated with FEV1/FVC ratio among cases (P=0.0460). Moreover, the HHIP SNP rs10519717 was associated with the severity of disease (adjusted P-value=0.0300). The six SNPs showed strong linkage disequilibrium (r(2)? 0.9). Three major haplotypes were observed but showed no significant difference between case and control groups (P=0.4532, 0.0875, and 0.3484, respectively). In conclusion, our study suggests that the HHIP gene may be involved in COPD susceptibility in Chinese Han population.
The Bohai Sea is a large semi-enclosed shallow water basin, which receives extensive river discharges of various terrestrial and anthropogenic materials such as sediments, nutrients and contaminants. How these terrigenous inputs may influence the diversity, community structure, biogeographical distribution, abundance and ecophysiology of the sediment anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) bacteria was unknown. To answer this question, an investigation employing both 16S rRNA and hzo gene biomarkers was carried out. Ca. Scalindua bacteria were predominant in the surface sediments of the Bohai Sea, while non-Scalindua anammox bacteria were also detected in the Yellow River estuary and inner part of Liaodong Bay that received strong riverine and anthropogenic impacts. A novel 16S rRNA gene sequence clade was identified, putatively representing an anammox bacterial new candidate species tentatively named "Ca. Scalindua pacifica". Several groups of environmental factors, usually with distinct physicochemical or biogeochemical natures, including general marine and estuarine physicochemical properties, availability of anammox substrates (inorganic N compounds), alternative reductants and oxidants, environmental variations caused by river discharges and associated contaminants such as heavy metals, were identified to likely play important roles in influencing the ecology and biogeochemical functioning of the sediment anammox bacteria. In addition to inorganic N compounds that might play a key role in shaping the anammox microbiota, organic carbon, organic nitrogen, sulfate, sulfide and metals all showed the potentials to participate in the anammox process, releasing the strict dependence of the anammox bacteria upon the direct availability of inorganic N nutrients that might be limiting in certain areas of the Bohai Sea. The importance of inorganic N nutrients and certain other environmental factors to the sediment anammox microbiota suggests that these bacteria were active for the in situ N transforming process and maintained a versatile life style well adapted to the varying environmental conditions of the studied coastal ocean.
Thaumarchaeota are abundant and active in marine waters, where they contribute to aerobic ammonia oxidation and light-independent carbon fixation. The ecological function of thaumarchaeota in marine sediments, however, has rarely been investigated, even though marine sediments constitute the majority of the Earths surface. Thaumarchaeota in the upper layer of sediments may contribute significantly to the reservoir of nitrogen oxides in ocean waters and thus to productivity, including the assimilation of carbon. We tested this hypothesis in the northern South China Sea (nSCS), a section of a large oligotrophic marginal sea with limited influx of nutrients, including nitrogen, by investigating the diversity, abundance, community structure, and spatial distribution of thaumarchaeotal signatures in surface sediments. Quantitative real-time PCR using primers designed to detect 16S rRNA and amoA genes in sediment community DNA revealed a significantly higher abundance of pertinent thaumarchaeotal than betaproteobacterial genes. This finding correlates with high levels of hcd genes, a signature of thaumarchaeotal autotrophic carbon fixation. Thaumarchaeol, a signature lipid biomarker for thaumarchaeota, constituted the majority of archaeal lipids in marine sediments. Sediment temperature and organic P and silt contents were identified as key environmental factors shaping the community structure and distribution of the monitored thaumarchaeotal amoA genes. When the pore water PO4(3-) concentration was controlled for via partial-correlation analysis, thaumarchaeotal amoA gene abundance significantly correlated with the sediment pore water NO2(-) concentration, suggesting that the amoA-bearing thaumarchaeota contribute to nitrite production. Statistical analyses also suggest that thaumarchaeotal metabolism could serve as a pivotal intersection of the carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycles in marine sediments.
Dendritic cells (DC) play a key role in antiviral immunity, functioning both as innate effector cells in early phases of the immune response and subsequently as antigen-presenting cells that activate the adaptive immune response. In the murine respiratory tract, there are several respiratory dendritic cell (RDC) subsets, including CD103(+) DC, CD11b(hi) DC, monocyte/macrophage DC, and plasmacytoid DC. However, little is known about the interaction between these tissue-resident RDC and viruses that are encountered during natural infection in the respiratory tract. Here, we show both in vitro and in vivo that the susceptibility of murine RDC to infection with type A influenza virus varies with the level of MHC class II expression by RDC and with the virus strain. Both CD103(+) and CD11b(hi) RDC, which express the highest basal level of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II, are highly susceptible to infection by type A influenza virus. However, efficient infection is restricted to type A influenza virus strains of the H2N2 subtype. Furthermore, enhanced infectivity by viruses of the H2N2 subtype is linked to expression of the I-E MHC class II locus product. These results suggest a potential novel role for MHC class II molecules in influenza virus infection and pathogenesis in the respiratory tract.
Coronaviruses efficiently inhibit interferon (IFN) induction in nonhematopoietic cells and conventional dendritic cells (cDC). However, IFN is produced in infected macrophages, microglia, and plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC). To begin to understand why IFN is produced in infected macrophages, we infected bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMM) and as a control, bone marrow-derived DC (BMDC) with the coronavirus mouse hepatitis virus (MHV). As expected, BMM but not BMDC expressed type I IFN. IFN production in infected BMM was nearly completely dependent on signaling through the alpha/beta interferon (IFN-?/?) receptor (IFNAR). Several IFN-dependent cytokines and chemokines showed the same expression pattern, with enhanced production in BMM compared to BMDC and dependence upon signaling through the IFNAR. Exogenous IFN enhanced IFN-dependent gene expression in BMM at early times after infection and in BMDC at all times after infection but did not stimulate expression of molecules that signal through myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88), such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF). Collectively, our results show that IFN is produced at early times postinfection (p.i.) in MHV-infected BMM, but not in BMDC, and primes expression of IFN and IFN-responsive genes. Further, our results also show that BMM are generally more responsive to MHV infection, since MyD88-dependent pathways are also activated to a greater extent in these cells than in BMDC.
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) accessory protein 6 (p6) is a 63-amino-acid multifunctional Golgi-endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane-associated protein, with roles in enhancing virus replication and in evading the innate immune response to infection by inhibiting STAT1 (signal transducer and activator of transcription factor 1) translocation to the nucleus. Here, we demonstrate that p6 has an N-terminal region-cytoplasm-C-terminal region-cytoplasm configuration with residues 2 to 37 likely membrane embedded. Expression of p6, or of its N-terminal 41-amino-acid region, in the absence of other viral proteins, induced the formation of membranous structures, some of which were similar to double membrane vesicles involved in virus replication. Consistent with a role in virus replication, p6 partially colocalized with nonstructural protein 3 (nsp3), a marker for virus replication complexes. Further, while the C-terminal region is required for preventing STAT1 translocation to the nucleus, our results also indicated that the N-terminal 18 amino acids were necessary for maximal inhibition. Collectively, these results support the notion that p6 is a two-domain protein, although the function of each is not completely independent of the other.
We evaluated the efficacy of rhesus theta-defensin 1 (RTD-1), a novel cyclic antimicrobial peptide, as a prophylactic antiviral in a mouse model of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus (CoV) lung disease. BALB/c mice exposed to a mouse-adapted strain of SARS-CoV demonstrated 100% survival and modest reductions in lung pathology without reductions in virus titer when treated with two intranasal doses of RTD-1, while mortality in untreated mice was approximately 75%. RTD-1-treated, SARS-CoV-infected mice displayed altered lung tissue cytokine responses 2 and 4 days postinfection compared to those of untreated animals, suggesting that one possible mechanism of action for RTD-1 is immunomodulatory.
The neurotropic JHM strain of mouse hepatitis virus (JHMV) replicates primarily within glial cells following intracranial inoculation of susceptible mice, with relative sparing of neurons. This study demonstrates that glial cells derived from neural progenitor cells are susceptible to JHMV infection and that treatment of infected cells with IFN-gamma inhibits viral replication in a dose-dependent manner. Although type I IFN production is muted in JHMV-infected glial cultures, IFN-beta is produced following IFN-gamma-treatment of JHMV-infected cells. Also, direct treatment of infected glial cultures with recombinant mouse IFN-alpha or IFN-beta inhibits viral replication. IFN-gamma-mediated control of JHMV replication is dampened in glial cultures derived from the neural progenitor cells of type I receptor knock-out mice. These data indicate that JHMV is capable of infecting glial cells generated from neural progenitor cells and that IFN-gamma-mediated control of viral replication is dependent, in part, on type I IFN secretion.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) encodes several accessory proteins of unknown function. One of these proteins, protein 6 (p6), which is encoded by ORF6, enhances virus replication when introduced into a heterologous murine coronavirus (mouse hepatitis virus [MHV]) but is not essential for optimal SARS-CoV replication after infection at a relatively high multiplicity of infection (MOI). Here, we reconcile these apparently conflicting results by showing that p6 enhances SARS-CoV replication to nearly the same extent as when expressed in the context of MHV if cells are infected at a low MOI and accelerates disease in mice transgenic for the human SARS-CoV receptor.
Influenza A virus (IAV) is a leading cause of respiratory tract disease worldwide. Anti-viral CD8(+) T lymphocytes responding to IAV infection are believed to eliminate virally infected cells by direct cytolysis but may also contribute to pulmonary inflammation and tissue damage via the release of pro-inflammatory mediators following recognition of viral antigen displaying cells. We have previously demonstrated that IAV antigen expressing inflammatory cells of hematopoietic origin within the infected lung interstitium serve as antigen presenting cells (APC) for infiltrating effector CD8(+) T lymphocytes; however, the spectrum of inflammatory cell types capable of serving as APC was not determined. Here, we demonstrate that viral antigen displaying neutrophils infiltrating the IAV infected lungs are an important cell type capable of acting as APC for effector CD8(+) T lymphocytes in the infected lungs and that neutrophils expressing viral antigen as a result of direct infection by IAV exhibit the most potent APC activity. Our findings suggest that in addition to their suggested role in induction of the innate immune responses to IAV, virus clearance, and the development of pulmonary injury, neutrophils can serve as APCs to anti-viral effector CD8(+) T cells within the infected lung interstitium.
Genome-wide association studies and integrative genomics approaches have demonstrated significant associations between chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the chromosome 15q25 region that includes iron-responsive element binding protein 2 gene (IREB2) and CHRNA3/5 in non-Asian populations. We investigated whether IREB2 and CHRNA3/5 polymorphisms would be associated with COPD susceptibility and COPD-related phenotypes in a Chinese Han population. Eight SNPs (rs2568494, rs2656069, rs10851906, rs1964678, rs12593229, rs965604, rs13180, rs17483929) in IREB2 gene and four SNPs (rs16969968, rs1051730, rs938682, rs8034191) in or near CHRNA3/5 locus were genotyped in a case-control study (680 COPD patients and 687 controls). No significant associations were found between any of the SNPs and COPD in either former-smokers or current-smokers. Two SNPs (rs2656069 and rs10851906) in IREB2 were associated with COPD (P=0.045 and 0.032, respectively) in non-smoker. Four SNPs (rs1964678, rs12593229, rs965604 and rs13180) in IREB2 were associated with forced expiratory volume in 1?s (FEV(1))% predicted and three SNPs (rs16969968, rs8034191 and rs1051730) in CHRNA3/5 were both associated with FEV(1)% predicted and FEV(1)/FVC in COPD cases (P range 0.007-0.050). The SNP rs8034191 near CHRNA3/5 locus was significantly associated with pack-years of smoking in COPD patients (P=0.033). We demonstrated IREB2 polymorphisms were associated with COPD in non-smoking subjects, and the effect of IREB2 gene on COPD may be independent from smoking and independent from CHRNA3/5 gene cluster. Besides, we confirmed that SNPs in these two gene loci were associated with pulmonary function and CHRNA3/5 polymorphism was associated with pack-year of smoking in COPD patients in the Chinese Han population.
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