The exposure of pregnant females to stress during a critical period of fetal brain development is an environmental risk factor for the development of schizophrenia in adult offspring. Schizophrenia is a group of common mental disorders of unclear origin, affecting approximately 1% of the global population, showing a generally young age at onset. In the present study, a repeated variable stress paradigm was applied to pregnant rats during the final week of gestation. The effects of an extract of Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer (PG) on rats exposed to prenatal stress (PNS) were investigated in terms of behavioral activity and protein expression analyses. In the behavioral tests, grooming behavior in a social interaction test, line-crossing behavior in an open-field test and swimming activity in a forced-swim test were decreased in the rats exposed to PNS compared with the non-stressed offspring; the changes in behavioral activity were reversed upon oral treatment with PG (300 mg/kg). Subsequently, western blot analysis and immunohistochemical analyses of the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus revealed that the downregulation of several neurodevelopmental genes which occurred following exposure to PNS was reversed upon treatment with PG. The current findings demonstrate that the downregulation of several genes following exposure to PNS may affect subsequent behavioral changes, and that these phenomena are reversed following treatment with PG during pregnancy. Our results suggest that oral treatment with PG reduces the incidence of psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia.
Products of Maillard reactions between aminoacids and reducing sugars are known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Here we have assessed the anti-arthritis effects of (E)-2,4-bis(p-hydroxyphenyl)-2-butenal and its possible mechanisms of action.
The study aimed to determine whether improvements in intensive care unit (ICU) structural environment affect the incidence of ICU-acquired infections (IAIs), particularly those caused by multidrug-resistant pathogens.
Guanosine triphosphate cyclohydrolase 1 (GCH1) is the rate-limiting enzyme in the synthesis of tetrahydrobiopterin, which is an essential cofactor in nitric oxide (NO) production. Polymorphisms in the GCH1 gene have been implicated in protection against pain sensitivity. The aim of our study was to determine whether single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in the GCH1 gene affect susceptibility and/or pain sensitivity in fibromyalgia syndrome (FM).
The object of this study was to introduce the KORean Observational study Network for Arthritis (KORONA) registry with an emphasis on the design of the Korean rheumatoid arthritis (RA) national database, as well as to provide an overview of the RA patients who are currently registered in KORONA.
Numerous epidemiologic data have shown that smoking may play a role in the disease manifestations or severity of chronic musculoskeletal pain. The authors of the present study investigated the effect of smoking on clinical features such as pain, fatigue, functional impairment, and psychiatric features in the Korean population with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS).
Curcumin is a polyphenol responsible for the yellow color of turmeric, a curry spice. A large body of evidence showed that curcumin possessed a variety of beneficial activities. We report a case of transient complete atrioventricular block in a 38-year-old man, after intake of curcumin containing pills for on 1 month. Since all other possible causes of conduction disturbance were excluded and causal relation was achieved by re-intake of the same amount of turmeric containing pills, side-effect of the curcumin containing pills was identified as the most likely diagnosis. After cessation of the pills, no further conduction disturbances and associated symptoms were noticed for the ensuing 6 months since discharge.
The excessive proliferation and migration of synoviocytes are well-characterized phenomena that play key roles in the pathophysiology of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Melatonin has been shown to have potent anti-proliferative effect in various cancer cells such as breast and prostate cancer cells. In this study, we examined the role of melatonin on synoviocyte proliferation in primary cultured human fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) by analyzing protein expression of P21(CIP1) (P21) and P27(KIP1) (P27), the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors that are important in cell cycle control, and the phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). RA-FLS proliferation was determined by a [(3)H]-thymidine incorporation assay. Western blot analysis was applied to examine the underlying mechanisms of melatonins effect. Melatonin inhibited RA-FLS proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. It reduced proliferation of passage 2 FLSs by 25% at 10 microm and by nearly 40% at 100 microm concentrations. The inhibitory effect of melatonin on RA-FLS proliferation was also observed in passages 4 and 6. Melatonin upregulated the expression levels of P21 and P27 dose-dependently (24 hr), induced the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) time-dependently (10 microm), but did not affect phosphorylation of P38 in RA-FLSs. In addition, the expression of P21 and P27 triggered by melatonin was inhibited by the pretreatment of the ERK inhibitor, PD98059 (10 microm). The anti-proliferative action of melatonin in RA-FLSs was also blocked by PD98059. Taken together, these results suggest that melatonin exerts the inhibitory effect of the proliferation of RA-FLSs through the activation of P21 and P27 mediated by ERK. Hence we suggest that melatonin could be used as a therapeutic agent for the treatment of RA.
High concentration of epidermal growth factor (EGF) is found in the synovial fluid of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) that might imply the involvement of EGF in the pathogenesis of arthritic diseases. In order to investigate if EGF is involved in the regulation of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and the prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) production in fibroblast like synoviocytes (FLS) from patients with RA. The levels of COX-2 and microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 (mPGES-1) were evaluated using RT-PCR and Western blot analysis. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) was performed to investigate EGF mediated DNA binding activity of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB). PGE(2) levels were analyzed by ELISA. EGF enhanced both COX-2 protein and mRNA expressions. mPGES-1 mRNA level was also increased by EGF treatment. EGF also stimulated ERK1/2 MAPK activity and the inhibition of ERK1/2 by PD098059 (ERK1/2 specific inhibitor) resulted in the suppression of EGF-induced COX-2 expression. The DNA binding activity of NF-kappaB was remarkably increased by EGF treatment and the pretreatment of PD098059 abolished EGF-stimulated NF-kappaB activity. We also observed that the level of PGE(2) was significantly elevated with the treatment of EGF in FLS, and the pretreatment of PD098059 abolished this stimulating effect. These results suggest that EGF is involved in the inflammatory process of RA by stimulating COX-2 expression and PGE(2) production. And EGF enhanced PGE(2) production appears to be mediated via ERK1/2 MAPK and NF-kappaB pathway in FLS.
Microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) is a systemic vasculitis affecting small vessels. To determine the clinical features and outcomes of MPA in Korean patients, we retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients diagnosed with MPA at a single medical center in Korea between 1989 and 2006. The 18 patients who met the Chapel Hill criteria for MPA had a mean (+/-SD) age at the time of diagnosis of 62.4+/-12.7 yr. Renal manifestations and general symptoms were the most common features of MPA, with lung involvement also very common. Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) were present in 17 of the 18 patients (94%). Of 17 patients treated with steroids and cyclophosphamide, 11 (65%) had stable or improved course. One patient treated with steroids without cyclophosphamide showed disease progression. Ten of the 18 patients (56%) died at a median follow-up of 8 months. MPA in Korean patients was distinguished by a higher rate of lung involvement, especially alveolar hemorrhage, which was the leading cause of death in our patients. Korean patients were also older at MPA onset and were more likely positive for ANCA. Other overall clinical manifestations did not differ significantly.
Interleukin-32 (IL-32) is a recently discovered cytokine that appears to play a critical role in human rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It is highly expressed in synovium and fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) from RA patients, but not in patients with osteoarthritis (OA). This study was undertaken to assess IL-32 levels in RA synovial fluid (SF) and to investigate the secretion and regulation of IL-32 in RA FLS.
In traditional medicine, Panax ginseng has been used to treat various behavioral effects of psychostimulants (e.g., cocaine) and other drugs of abuse and to ameliorate withdrawal symptoms. The neurochemical bases for this efficacy, however, remain to be elucidated. We previously used the real-time fast-scan cyclic voltammetry in rat nucleus accumbens slices to demonstrate that cocaine not only enhances DA release evoked by single-pulse electrical stimulation and inhibits DA uptake during application but also further increases the release upon washout (termed a "rebound" release enhancement). In the present study, we determined whether co-application and washout of ginseng total saponin (GTS), the active ingredient of Panax ginseng, with cocaine attenuate cocaine-induced enhancement of evoked DA release, DA uptake inhibition and/or withdrawal-associated rebound enhancement. Cocaine rapidly potentiated the DA release within the first 10 min of application, and acute cocaine withdrawal caused a rebound increase. Co-application of GTS with cocaine inhibited the release enhancement and subsequently prevented the rebound increase during acute withdrawal. The effect of GTS was concentration-dependent. In contrast, GTS had no significant effects on the cocaine-mediated DA uptake inhibition. These results suggest that the attenuation of the cocaine-induced enhancement of impulse-dependent DA release, rather than uptake inhibition, might be one of the pharmacological bases for attenuation of behavioral effects of cocaine and amelioration of acute withdrawal symptoms by ginseng.
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are members of the transforming growth factor beta (TGF?) superfamily with well-described functions in bone formation. Although disrupted BMP signaling in tumor development has been investigated, a genetic association for BMP3 in papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) has remained largely unexplored. In this study, we investigated whether BMP3 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are associated with the development of PTC and its clinicopathological features. A total of 103 PTC patients and 324 control subjects were enrolled. One promoter SNP (rs13138132; -1919C/A) and one missense mutation (rs3733549; Arg192Gln) in BMP3 were genotyped by direct sequencing. SNPStats, SNPAnalyzer, Helixtree and Haploview version 4.2 were used to evaluate the genetic data. Multiple logistic regression models were used to calculate odds ratios (ORs), 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and P-values. The missense SNP (rs3733549) was weakly associated with the development of PTC in a codominant model (AA vs. GG; P=0.017) and a recessive model (AA vs. GG/GA; P=0.023). Additionally, in an analysis according to clinicopathological features, rs13138132 was significantly associated with extra-thyroidal invasion in a codominant model (CA vs. CC; P=0.006) and a dominant model (CA/AA vs. CC; P=0.0023). We also identified that the frequency of the A allele in the promoter SNP (rs13138132) was increased in PTC patients with extrathyroidal invasion (P=0.004). Our data suggest that rs3733549 in BMP3 is associated with the development of PTC and that the A allele of rs13138932 in BMP3 is a risk factor for extrathyroidal invasion.
In this study, we investigated whether genetic polymorphisms of the interferon gamma (IFNG) gene were associated with the susceptibility of ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) in the Korean population. To observe the association between the IFNG gene and the susceptibility of OPLL, we genotyped 135 OPLL patients and 222 control subjects for a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP, rs2430561) and a microsatellite (CA(n) repeats, rs3138557) located in the first intron of the IFNG gene, using the direct sequencing and gene scan method. The numbers of microsatellites (CA(13) and CA(15)) were significantly changed in the OPLL patients. A combined analysis of the genotype of rs2430561 and the number of microsatellites revealed that the OPLL was associated with frequencies of CA(13)-AA, CA(15)-AA and CA(15)-AT. Our results suggest that the IFNG gene may be one of the factors determining the OPLL in the Korean population. However, larger collaborative and biological studies are needed to confirm these results.
Mice treated with MK-801, a non-competitive antagonist of the N-methyl-d-aspartic (NMDA) acid receptor, are important animal models for schizophrenia studies. In the present study, we compared protein expression levels in the hippocampus of mice treated with MK-801 (0.6 mg/kg) or saline once daily for 7 days. Changes in the proteome were detected by two-dimensional electrophoresis, and the six proteins exhibiting differential expression were identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Down-regulation of one of these proteins, Lasp1 (LIM and SH3 protein 1), in MK-801-treated mice was confirmed by western blotting and immunohistochemical analyses. Lasp1 is a multidomain protein that may recruit signaling molecules to the actin-based cytoskeleton and is known to concentrate in synaptic sites of hippocampal neurons. We next investigated whether polymorphisms in the human LASP1 gene were associated with schizophrenia in the Korean population. A single-nucleotide polymorphism in the LASP1 gene promoter region was associated with schizophrenia susceptibility. Our results suggest that LASP1 might be associated with NMDA receptor antagonism and schizophrenia susceptibility and, thus, might be involved in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.
A decreased production of interferon gamma (IFNG) has been observed in acute schizophrenia. In order to explore the possible relationship between IFNG and schizophrenia, we attempted to analyze the differentially expressed proteins in the brains of interferon-gamma knockout (Ifng-KO) mice. Five upregulated and five downregulated proteins were identified with 2D gels and MALDI-TOF/TOF MS analyses in Ifng-KO mouse brain. Of the identified proteins, we focused on creatine kinase brain (CKB) and triose phosphate isomerase 1 (TPI1). Consistent with the proteomic data, reverse transcriptase-mediated PCR, immunoblotting, and immunohistochemistry analyses confirmed that the levels of gene expressions of Ckb and Tpi1 were downregulated and upregulated, respectively. When we analyzed the genetic polymorphisms of the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of their human orthologous genes in a Korean population, the promoter SNPs of CKB and TPI1 were weakly associated with schizophrenia. In addition, IFNG polymorphisms were associated with schizophrenia. These results suggest that IFNG and proteins affected by IFNG may play a role in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia.
a disintegrin and metalloproteinase (ADAM) with thrombospondin type 1 motif 12 (ADAMTS12) is a degradative enzyme that interacts with the degradable fragments of cartilage oligomeric matrix protein, which is a prominent non-collagenous matrix component in articular cartilage. ADAMTS12 has been observed in the cartilage, synovial fluid and serum of arthritic patients, and may play an important role in the pathogenesis of arthritis. In the present study, we investigated whether genetic polymorphisms of ADAMTS12 are associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). To observe the association between ADAMTS12 and RA, we genotyped three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs1364044, intron C/T; rs10461703, intron C/T; rs25754, missense Thr1495Ile) of ADAMTS12 using a direct sequencing method in 303 RA patients and 495 control subjects. Multiple logistic regression models were performed to analyze the genetic data. SNPStats and SNPAnalyzer Pro programs were used to estimate the odds ratios, 95% confidence intervals and p-values. Bonferronis correction (pc) was conducted to obtain a defined result. Of the three SNPs, the genotype frequency of rs10461703 was associated with the development of RA (pc=0.0024 in the co-dominant model; pc=0.0009 in the dominant model; pc=0.0006 in the log-additive model). The allele frequency of rs10461703 also showed a significant difference between RA and controls (pc<0.0001). The C allele frequency of rs10461703 was lower in the RA group (36.6%) compared to the control group (45.7%), whereas the T allele frequency of rs10461703 in the RA group (63.4%) was higher compared to that in the control group (54.3%). The other two SNPs (rs1364044 and rs25754) were not associated with the development of RA. However, we did not find any association between the three tested SNPs and RA patients according to clinical features, including erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein level, rheumatoid factor (+ and -) and bone erosion (+ and -). Our results suggest that ADAMTS12 may be a susceptibility gene for RA development.
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