Insect repellents are important prophylactic tools for travelers and populations living in endemic areas of malaria, dengue, encephalitis, and other vector-borne diseases. DEET (N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) is a 6-decade-old synthetic repellent, which is still considered the gold standard of mosquito repellents. Mosquitoes use their sense of smell to detect DEET, but there are currently two hypotheses regarding its mode of action: activation of ionotropic receptor IR40a vs. odorant receptor(s). Here, we demonstrate that DEET, picaridin, insect repellent 3535, and p-menthan-3,8-diol activate the odorant receptor CquiOR136 of the southern house mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus. Electrophysiological and behavioral assays showed that CquiIR40a knockdown had no significant effect on DEET detection and repellency. By contrast, reduction of CquiOR136 transcript levels led to a significant decrease in electroantennographic responses to DEET and a complete lack of repellency. Thus, direct activation of an odorant receptor, not an ionotropic receptor, is necessary for DEET reception and repellency in Culex mosquitoes. Interestingly, methyl jasmonate, a repellent derived from the nonvolatile jasmonic acid in the signaling pathway of plant defenses, elicited robust responses in CquiOR136•CquiOrco-expressing Xenopus oocytes, thus suggesting a possible link between natural products with long insect-plant evolutionary history and synthetic repellents.
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are cancer cells that can be isolated via liquid biopsy from blood and can be phenotypically and genetically characterized to provide critical information for guiding cancer treatment. Current analysis of CTCs is hindered by the throughput, selectivity and specificity of devices or assays used in CTC detection and isolation.
The southern house mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus, has one of the most acute and eclectic olfactory systems of all mosquito species hitherto studied. Here, we used Illumina sequencing to identify olfactory genes expressed predominantly in antenna, mosquitos main olfactory organ. Less than 50% of the trimmed reads generated by high-quality libraries aligned to a transcript, but approximately 70% of them aligned to the genome. Differential expression analysis, which was validated by quantitative real-time PCR on a subset of genes, showed that approximately half of the 48 odorant-binding protein genes were enriched in antennae, with the other half being predominantly expressed in legs. Similar patterns were observed with chemosensory proteins, "plus-C" odorant-binding proteins, and sensory neuron membrane proteins. Transcripts for as many as 43 ionotropic receptors were enriched in female antennae, thus making the ionotropic receptor family the largest of antennae-rich olfactory genes, second only to odorant receptor (OR) genes. As many as 177 OR genes have been identified, including 36 unique transcripts. The unique OR genes differed from previously annotated ORs in internal sequences, splice variants, and extended N or C terminus. One of the previously unknown transcripts was validated by cloning and functional expression. When challenged with a large panel of physiologically relevant compounds, CquiOR95b responded in a dose-dependent manner to ethyl 2-phenylacteate, which was demonstrated to repel Culex mosquitoes, and secondarily to citronellal, a known insect repellent. This transcriptome study led to identification of key molecular components and a repellent for the southern house mosquito.
Objectives: The primary aims of the study were to examine the effect of resveratrol on skeletal muscle SIRT1 expression and energy expenditure in subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Background: Animal and in vivo studies indicate that resveratrol increases SIRT1 expression that stimulates PGC1? activity. Subsequent upregulation of AMPK and GLUT4 expression are associated with improved insulin sensitivity in peripheral tissues. Methods: Ten subjects with T2DM were randomized in a double-blind fashion to receive 3g resveratrol or placebo daily for 12 weeks. Secondary outcomes include measures of AMPK, p-AMPK and GLUT4 expression levels, energy expenditure, physical activity levels, distribution of abdominal adipose tissue and skeletal muscle fiber type composition, body weight, HbA1c, plasma lipid subfraction, adiponectin levels and insulin sensitivity. Results: There was a significant increase in both SIRT1 expression (2.01 vs 0.86 arbitrary units [AU], P=0.016) and p-AMPK to AMPK expression ratio (2.04 vs 0.79 AU, P=0.032) in the resveratrol group compared to the placebo group. Although the percentage of absolute change (8.6 vs -13.9 %, P=0.033) and percentage of predicted resting metabolic rate (RMR) (7.8 vs -13.9 %, P=0.013) were increased following resveratrol, there was a significant reduction in average daily activity (-38 vs 43.2%, P=0.028) and step counts (-39.5 vs 11.8%, P=0.047) when compared to placebo. Conclusions: In patients with T2DM, treatment with resveratrol regulates energy expenditure through increased skeletal muscle SIRT1 and AMPK expression. These findings indicate that resveratrol may have beneficial exercise-mimetic effects in patients with T2DM.
The Southern house mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus--a vector of West Nile virus--is equipped with 130 odorant receptors (ORs), which enable young females to locate plants and blood-meal sources and older females to find suitable sites for oviposition. In our attempts to de-orphanize ORs expressed in female antennae, we identified CquiOR37 and CquiOR99, which were narrowly tuned to two phenolic compounds, 4-methylphenol and 4-ethylphenol. When tested in the Xenopus oocyte recording system the observed EC50s for 4-methylphenol and 4-ethylphenol were 6.4 and 18.2 ?M for CquiOR37 and 14.4 and 0.74 ?M for CquiOR99 (goodness of fit, R² = 0.88-0.99), respectively. Indoor behavioral assays demonstrated that gravid female mosquitoes laid significantly more eggs in water trays spiked with these compounds than in control water trays. Field studies with gravid traps corroborated that 4-ethylphenol is active in a wide range of doses from 0.1 to 10 ?g/l, as required for practical applications. A dsRNA construct based on the two genes, CquiOR37/99-dsRNA was stable in pupa hemolymph for up to 3 h. Pupae injected with CquiOR37/99-dsRNA, ?-galactosidase-dsRNA or water had more than 40% survival rate at the peak of oviposition (day-9). qPCR analysis showed individual variation, but significant mean reduction in CquiOR37 and CquiOR99 transcript levels in CquiOR37/99-dsRNA-treated mosquitoes. Water-injected females and those treated with the control gene laid significantly more eggs in trays containing 4-ethylphenol than in water trays, whereas CquiOR37/99-dsRNA-treated mosquitoes laid normal number of eggs, but could not discriminate treatment from control. This study linked for the first time specific receptors for 4-ethylphenol with increased oviposition in the important vector Cx. quinquefasciatus.
The Southern house mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus has the largest repertoire of odorant receptors (ORs) of all mosquitoes and dipteran species whose genomes have been sequenced to date. Previously, we have identified and de-orphanized two ORs expressed in female antennae, CquiOR2 and CquiOR10, which are sensitive to oviposition attractants. In view of a new nomenclature for the Culex genome (VectorBase) we renamed these ORs as CquiOR21 (formerly CquiOR10) and CquiOR121 (CquiOR2). In addition, we selected ORs from six different phylogenetic groups for deorphanization. We cloned four of them by using cDNA from female antennae as a template. Attempts to clone CquiOR87 and CquiOR110 were unsuccessful either because they are pseudogenes or are not expressed in adult female antennae, the main olfactory tissue. By contrast, CquiOR1, CquiOR44, CquiOR73, and CquiOR161 were highly expressed in female antennae. To de-orphanize these ORs, we employed the Xenopus oocyte recording system. CquiORx-CquiOrco-expressed oocytes were challenged with a panel of 90 compounds, including known oviposition attractants, human and vertebrate host odorants, plant kairomones, and naturally occurring repellents. While CquiOR161 did not respond to any test compound in two different laboratories, CquiOR1 showed the features of a generic OR, with strong responses to 1-octen-3-ol and other ligands. CquiOR44 and CquiOR73 showed preference to plant-derived terpenoids and phenolic compounds, respectively. While fenchone was the best ligand for the former, 3,5-dimethylphenol elicited the strongest responses in the latter. The newly de-orphanized ORs may be involved in reception of plant kairomones and/or natural repellents.
Odorant receptors (ORs) are essential for insect survival in the environment and thus are ideal molecular targets for the design of insect-inspired modern green chemicals to control populations of agricultural pests and insects of medical importance. Although insect ORs are known for more than a decade, their structural biology is still in its infancy. Here, we unravel the first structural features of ORs from the malaria mosquito, the Southern house mosquito and the silkworm moth. The second extracellular loops (ECL-2s) of their predicted structures are much longer than ECL-1s and ECL-3s. The 27 amino-acid-residue-long of the ECL-2s in mosquito and the 43 amino-acid-residue-long ECL2s in moth ORs are well-conserved. About one-third of the residues are identical, including 3-4 Pro residues. Thorough examination of well-conserved residues in these structures, by point mutation and functional assay with the Xenopus oocyte recording system, strongly suggest that these "loops" include three ?-turns and some degree of folding. In the Southern house mosquito three Pro residues in ECL-2 are essential for full activation of the receptor, which is finely tuned to the oviposition attractant 3-methylindole. Additionally, the "corner residues" of prolines, including Gly, Tyr, and Leu are functionally important thus suggesting that turns are stabilized not only by backbone hydrogen bonds, but also by side-chain interactions. Examination of ECL-2s from a distant taxonomical group suggests these ECL-2 loops might be functionally important in all insect ORs. Two of the four Pro residues in the predicted ECL-2 of the bombykol receptor in the silkworm moth, BmorOR1, are essential for function. Experimental evidence indicates that these loops may not be specificity determinants, but they may form a cover to the yet-to-be-identified membrane embedded binding cavities of insect ORs.
Evaluation of the primary etiologic agents that cause aseptic meningitis outbreaks may provide valuable information regarding the prevention and management of aseptic meningitis. An outbreak of aseptic meningitis occurred from May to June, 2012, in Guangdong Province, China. In order to determine the etiologic agent, CSF specimens from 121 children hospitalized for aseptic meningitis at Luoding Peoples Hospital of Guangdong Province were tested for virus isolation and identification.
Atherosclerosis is now recognized as a chronic inflammatory disease. Angiotensin II (Ang II) is a critical factor in inflammatory responses, which promotes the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Placental growth factor (PlGF) is a member of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family cytokines and is associated with inflammatory progress of atherosclerosis. However, the potential link between PlGF and Ang II has not been investigated. In the current study, whether Ang II could regulate PlGF expression, and the effect of PlGF on cell proliferation, was investigated in human vascular endothelial cells (VECs) and smooth muscle cells (VSMCs).
Although short-term B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) treatment has been shown to be effective for decompensated congestive heart failure, little is known about the effects of long-term BNP treatment in ventricular remodeling and heart failure in response to myocardial infarction. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of long-term BNP treatment on ventricular remodeling and heart failure after myocardial infarction in rats. Myocardial infarction was induced by ligating the left anterior descending coronary artery. The surviving rats were randomly divided into four groups: 1) vehicle-treated myocardial infarction group (vehicle-treated group), 2) rats treated with low-dose BNP (low BNP group), 3) rats treated with high-dose BNP (high BNP group), 4) sham-operated group. Eight weeks after the operation, rats were sacrificed. Compared with the sham-operated group, the vehicle-treated group had significantly higher collagen deposition and angiotensin II levels (P<0.01) and a significantly lower cardiac function (P<0.05). Both BNP-treated groups had significant improvement of these indexes compared with the vehicle-treated group (P<0.01). The high BNP group had significantly less collagen deposition and better cardiac function than the untreated and low BNP groups. Moreover, the mRNA and protein expression of TGFbeta1 and Smad2 in the vehicle-treated group was significantly higher than in the sham-operated group (P<0.01). Both BNP-treated groups had a suppression of TGFbeta1 and Smad2 expression (P<0.01). In conclusion, long-term treatment with BNP prevents ventricular remodeling and deterioration of cardiac function in a dose-dependent fashion, a process that may be associated with the inhibition of TGFbeta1/ Smad2 signaling.
Primary culture of smooth muscle cells has been widely used as a valuable tool to study the molecular mechanisms underlying atherosclerosis and restenosis. Currently, tissue explants and enzymatic digestion methods are frequently applied to produce smooth muscle cells. Explants method is time consuming, usually taking several weeks. The enzymatic digestion method requires large amounts of proteolytic enzymes to generate enough cells for cardiovascular research. The present study reports an optimized method by combining both techniques to obtain high purity smooth muscle cells. The cultured cells exhibited the characteristic "hills and valleys" growth pattern as observed by phase contrast microscopy and showed alpha-SM-actin positive staining by indirect immunocytochemistry and immunofluorescence. Purity of the cells is guaranteed by the lack of von Willebrand Factor immunoreactivity. Finally, the cultured cells well proliferate on oxidized-LDL stimulation, suggesting the practical utility of this new method.
This study was designed to examine the effect of infrasound exposure (5 Hz at 130 dB) on whole-cell L-type Ca2+ currents (WLCC) in rat ventricular myocytes and the underlying mechanism(s) involved. Thirty-two adult Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to infrasound exposure and control groups. [Ca2+](i), WLCC, mRNA expression of the a(1c) subunit of L-type Ca2+ channels (LCC), and SERCA2 protein were examined on day 1, 7, and 14 after initiation of infrasound exposure. Fluo-3/AM fluorescence and the laser scanning confocal microscope techniques were used to measure [Ca2+](i) in freshly isolated ventricular myocytes. The Ca2+ fluorescence intensity (FI), denoting [Ca2+](i) in cardiomyocytes, was significantly elevated in a time-dependent manner in the exposure groups. There was a significant increase in WLCC in the 1-day group and a further significant increase in the 7- and 14-day groups. LCC mRNA expression measured by RT-PCR revealed a significant rise in the 1-day group and a significant additional rise in the 7- and 14-day groups compared with control group. SERCA2 expression was significantly upregulated in the 1-day group followed by an overt decrease in the 7- and 14-day groups. Prolonged exposure of infrasound altered WLCC in rat cardiomyocytes by shifting the steady-state inactivation curves to the right (more depolarized direction) without altering the slope and biophysical properties of I (Ca,L). Taken together, our data suggest that changes in [Ca2+](I) levels as well as expression of LCC and SERCA2 may contribute to the infrasound exposure-elicited cardiac response.
The insect olfactory system, particularly the peripheral sensory system for sex pheromone reception in male moths, is highly selective, but specificity determinants at the receptor level are hitherto unknown. Using the Xenopus oocyte recording system, we conducted a thorough structure-activity relationship study with the sex pheromone receptor of the silkworm moth, Bombyx mori, BmorOR1. When co-expressed with the obligatory odorant receptor co-receptor (BmorOrco), BmorOR1 responded in a dose-dependent fashion to both bombykol and its related aldehyde, bombykal, but the threshold of the latter was about one order of magnitude higher. Solubilizing these ligands with a pheromone-binding protein (BmorPBP1) did not enhance selectivity. By contrast, both ligands were trapped by BmorPBP1 leading to dramatically reduced responses. The silkworm moth pheromone receptor was highly selective towards the stereochemistry of the conjugated diene, with robust response to the natural (10E,12Z)-isomer and very little or no response to the other three isomers. Shifting the conjugated diene towards the functional group or elongating the carbon chain rendered these molecules completely inactive. In contrast, an analogue shortened by two omega carbons elicited the same or slightly higher responses than bombykol. Flexibility of the saturated C1-C9 moiety is important for function as addition of a double or triple bond in position 4 led to reduced responses. The ligand is hypothesized to be accommodated by a large hydrophobic cavity within the helical bundle of transmembrane domains.
The insects olfactory system is so selective that male moths, for example, can discriminate female-produced sex pheromones from compounds with minimal structural modifications. Yet, there is an exception for this "lock-and-key" tight selectivity. Formate analogs can be used as replacement for less chemically stable, long-chain aldehyde pheromones, because male moths respond physiologically and behaviorally to these parapheromones. However, it remained hitherto unknown how formate analogs interact with aldehyde-sensitive odorant receptors (ORs). Neuronal responses to semiochemicals were investigated with single sensillum recordings. Odorant receptors (ORs) were cloned using degenerate primers, and tested with the Xenopus oocyte expression system. Quality, relative quantity, and purity of samples were evaluated by gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. We identified olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) housed in trichoid sensilla on the antennae of male navel orangeworm that responded equally to the main constituent of the sex pheromone, (11Z,13Z)-hexadecadienal (Z11Z13-16Ald), and its formate analog, (9Z,11Z)-tetradecen-1-yl formate (Z9Z11-14OFor). We cloned an odorant receptor co-receptor (Orco) and aldehyde-sensitive ORs from the navel orangeworm, one of which (AtraOR1) was expressed specifically in male antennae. AtraOR1•AtraOrco-expressing oocytes responded mainly to Z11Z13-16Ald, with moderate sensitivity to another component of the sex pheromone, (11Z,13Z)-hexadecadien-1-ol. Surprisingly, this receptor was more sensitive to the related formate than to the natural sex pheromone. A pheromone receptor from Heliothis virescens, HR13 (?=?HvirOR13) showed a similar profile, with stronger responses elicited by a formate analog than to the natural sex pheromone, (11Z)-hexadecenal thus suggesting this might be a common feature of moth pheromone receptors.
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