The aims of this study were to analyze the administrative trends in U.S. dental schools at the beginning and end of a thirteen-year period and to identify the predictive factors for those changes. Administrative trends were measured by the difference in the number of major administrative positions for 1997 and 2010 reported in American Dental Education Association (ADEA) and American Dental Association (ADA) publications. Secondary measures (program length, student enrollment, and tuition) were also gathered. The mean numbers of administrative positions per school significantly increased over the study period, while the mean number of clinical science departments per school significantly decreased. The change in the number of directors was positively correlated with the change in student enrollment, but inversely correlated with the change in number of vice/associate/assistant deans. The change in the number of clinical science departments was positively correlated with changes in student enrollment and out-of-state tuition, but inversely correlated with the change in in-state tuition. The number of all departments per U.S. dental school significantly decreased in this period. The schools that had consolidation of clinical science departments were less likely to have increases in student enrollment and out-of-state tuition, but more likely to have increases in in-state tuition.
A comprehensive morphological study was used to elucidate chloride's role in CH3NH3PbI3-xClx film evolution on a conducting polymer, PEDOT:PSS. Complex ion equilibria and aggregation in solution, as well as the role they play in nucleation, are found to ultimately be responsible for the unique morphological diversity observed in perovskite films grown in the presence of the chloride ion. An intermediate phase that is generated upon deposition and initial annealing templates continued self-assembly in the case of CH3NH3PbI3-xClx. In the absence of chloride, the film growth of CH3NH3PbI3 is directed by substrate interfacial energy. By employing the through-plane TEM analysis, we gain detailed insight into the unique crystallographic textures, grain structures, and elemental distributions across the breadth of films grown from precursor solutions with different chemistries. The lattice coherence seen in morphologies generated under the influence of chloride provides a physical rational for the enhancement in carrier diffusion length and lifetime.
This study aimed to analyze the etiology of the encephalitis outbreak in Longyan, Fujian Province, China in 2010, in order to provide valuable information for this prevention and control of this disease. Pathogens were confirmed from cerebrospinal fluid samples with fluorescent RT-PCR, virus isolation (RD cells), and neutralization tests. Then, the VP1 fragments or whole genome nucleotide sequences were determined for four virus strains using PCR. Homology was assessed using the MegAlign software, and a phylogenetic evolutionary tree was drawn using Mega 4.0 software. The results confirmed that the etiology of the outbreak was the ECHO6 intestinal virus, and the nucleotide sequence of the VP1 segment indicated that the C2 subtype was responsible. The genome sequence consisted of 7407 nucleotides, and resembled the genome of other ECHO and CoxB viruses with homology levels of 78.5%-87.3%. The encephalitis outbreak in Longyan in 2010 was caused by the ECHO6 C2 subtype intestinal virus, and its complete genome sequence length is similar to the standard strain (U16283) with a sequence homology of 80.4%.
High altitude training is a widely used strategy for improving aerobic exercise performance. Both Rhodiola crenulata (R) and Cordyceps sinensis (C) supplements have been reported to improve exercise performance. However, it is not clear whether the provision of R and C during high altitude training could further enhance aerobic endurance capacity. In this study, we examined the effect of R and C based supplementation on aerobic exercise capacity following 2-week high altitude training. Alterations to autonomic nervous system activity, circulatory hormonal, and hematological profiles were investigated. Eighteen male subjects were divided into two groups: Placebo (n=9) and R/C supplementation (RC, n=9). Both groups received either RC (R: 1400?mg+C: 600?mg per day) or the placebo during a 2-week training period at an altitude of 2200?m. After 2 weeks of altitude training, compared with Placebo group, the exhaustive run time was markedly longer (Placebo: +2.2% vs. RC: +5.7%; p<0.05) and the decline of parasympathetic (PNS) activity was significantly prevented in RC group (Placebo: -51% vs. RC: -41%; p<0.05). Red blood cell, hematocrit, and hemoglobin levels were elevated in both groups to a comparable extent after high altitude training (p<0.05), whereas the erythropoietin (EPO) level remained higher in the Placebo group (?48% above RC values; p<0.05). The provision of an RC supplement during altitude training provides greater training benefits in improving aerobic performance. This beneficial effect of RC treatment may result from better maintenance of PNS activity and accelerated physiological adaptations during high altitude training.
To elucidate the clinical and cellular characteristics of spinocerebellar ataxia type 35 (SCA35), which is caused by mutations in the TGM6 gene encoding transglutaminase 6 (TG6), in a Taiwanese cohort.
A series of novel benzyloxyurea derivatives was designed, synthesized by substituting different benzyls or phenyls on N,N'-positions of the hydroxyurea (HU). These target compounds were evaluated for their anticancer activity in vitro against human leukemia cell line K562 and murine leukemia cell line L1210 in comparison with HU by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Some of the compounds showed promising anticancer activity against the cells. Molecular docking experiments with Saccharomyces cerevisiae R1 domain indicated that 4a and 4f' have stronger affinity than 4m and 4n. Flow cytometry study showed that compound 4g exerted greater apoptotic activity against K562 cells line than HU.
Chronological skin aging is associated with flattening of the dermal-epidermal junction (DEJ), but to date no quantitative analysis focusing on the aging changes in the dermal papillae (DP) has been performed. The aim of the study is to determine the architectural changes and the collagen density related to chronological aging in the dermal papilla zone (DPZ) by in vivo harmonic generation microscopy (HGM) with a sub-femtoliter spatial resolution. We recruited 48 Asian subjects and obtained in vivo images on the sun-protected volar forearm. Six parameters were defined to quantify 3D morphological changes of the DPZ, which we analyzed both manually and computationally to study their correlation with age. The depth of DPZ, the average height of isolated DP, and the 3D interdigitation index decreased with age, while DP number density, DP volume, and the collagen density in DP remained constant over time. In vivo high-resolution HGM technology has uncovered chronological aging-related variations in DP, and sheds light on real-time quantitative skin fragility assessment and disease diagnostics based on collagen density and morphology.
BackgroundHuman replication factor C4 (RFC4) is involved in DNA replication as a clamp loader and is aberrantly regulated across a range of cancers. The current study aimed to investigate the function of RFC4 in colorectal cancer (CRC).MethodsThe mRNA levels of RFC4 were assessed in 30 paired primary CRC tissues and matched normal colonic tissues by quantitative PCR. The protein expression levels of RFC4 were evaluated by western blotting (n =16) and immunohistochemistry (IHC; n =49), respectively. Clinicopathological features and survival data were correlated with the expression of RFC4 by IHC analysis in a tissue microarray comprising 331 surgically resected CRC. The impact of RFC4 on cell proliferation and the cell cycle was assessed using CRC cell lines.Results RFC4 expression was significantly increased in CRC specimens as compared to adjacent normal colonic tissues (P <0.05). High levels of RFC4, determined on a tissue microarray, were significantly associated with differentiation, an advanced stage by the Tumor-Node-Metastasis (TNM) staging system, and a poor prognosis, as compared to low levels of expression (P <0.05). However, in multivariate analysis, RFC4 was not an independent predictor of poor survival for CRC. In vitro studies, the loss of RFC4 suppressed CRC cell proliferation and induced S-phase cell cycle arrest.Conclusion RFC4 is frequently overexpressed in CRC, and is associated with tumor progression and worse survival outcome. This might be attributed to the regulation of CRC cell proliferation and cell cycle arrest by RFC4.
A simple, low temperature solution process for Pb/Sn binary-metal perovskite planar-heterojunction solar cells is demonstrated. Sn inclusion substantially influences the band-gap, crystallization kinetics, and thin-film formation leading to a broadened light absorption and enhanced film coverage on ITO/PEDOT:PSS. As a result, the optimized device shows a PCE exceeding 10%, which is the best result for binary-metal perovskite solar cells so far.
The successful gene delivery into the brain is a major challenge due to the presence of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). In order to transport plasmid DNA across the BBB and target the brain glioma, the PEGylated liposomes (PLs) modified with OX26 and chlorotoxin (CTX) were developed as a dual-targeting gene delivery system, and the therapeutic efficacy of OX26/CTX-PL/pC27 against glioma was evaluated using in vitro and in vivo experimental models.
Hemostatic alterations occur during the development of cancer. Plasma D-dimer is a hypercoagulability and fibrinolytic system marker that is increased in patients with various solid tumours. The aim of this study was to evaluate the hemostatic status of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) patients by assessing plasma D-dimer levels to investigate its value as a prognostic marker.
Cationic Polyacrylamide P(AM-DAC-BA) was synthesized by UV initiation, with acrylamide (AM), acryloyloxyethyl trimethyl ammonium chloride (DAC), butyl acrylate (BA) as the monomers. P(AM-DAC-BA). UV spectroscopy and infrared spectroscopy were employed to study the structural characteristics. Attributions of typical infrared vibrational frequencies in AM/DAC/BA/P(AM-DAC-BA) were analysed. By comparing with infrared spectroscopy of the monomers, symmetrical characteristic of P(AM-DAC-BA) increasesd, and the infrared spectroscopy of polymerization product was simpler. The intrinsic viscosity increased with the increase in light intensity, BA content, photoinitiator concentration and illumination time. The groups of -CONH2, -COOCH2(C=O), -COOCH2--(C-O-C), -CH2--N(CH3 )3 group in AM, DAC, BA were selected as characteristic absorption peaks for studying. With the increase in light intensity and BA content, the characteristic peak areas increased. With the increase in photoinitiator concentration, the characteristic peak areas decreased. The characteristic peak areas decreased firstly and then increased with increasing the illumination time. But the corresponding characteristic IR absorption peaks of P(AM-DAC-BA) were similar, and the positions of characteristic peaks were basically the same.
The kidney adjusts K? excretion to match intake in part by regulation of the activity of apical K? secretory channels, including renal outer medullary K? (ROMK)-like K? channels, in the cortical collecting duct (CCD). ANG II inhibits ROMK channels via the ANG II type 1 receptor (AT1R) during dietary K? restriction. Because AT1Rs and ANG II type 2 receptors (AT2Rs) generally function in an antagonistic manner, we sought to characterize the regulation of ROMK channels by the AT2R. Patch-clamp experiments revealed that ANG II increased ROMK channel activity in CCDs isolated from high-K? (HK)-fed but not normal K? (NK)-fed rats. This response was blocked by PD-123319, an AT2R antagonist, but not by losartan, an AT1R antagonist, and was mimicked by the AT2R agonist CGP-42112. Nitric oxide (NO) synthase is present in CCD cells that express ROMK channels. Blockade of NO synthase with N-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester and free NO with 2-(4-carboxyphenyl)-4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl-3-oxide potassium salt completely abolished ANG II-stimulated ROMK channel activity. NO enhances the synthesis of cGMP, which inhibits phosphodiesterases (PDEs) that normally degrade cAMP; cAMP increases ROMK channel activity. Pretreatment of CCDs with IBMX, a broad-spectrum PDE inhibitor, or cilostamide, a PDE3 inhibitor, abolished the stimulatory effect of ANG II on ROMK channels. Furthermore, PKA inhibitor peptide, but not an activator of the exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (Epac), also prevented the stimulatory effect of ANG II. We conclude that ANG II acts at the AT2R to stimulate ROMK channel activity in CCDs from HK-fed rats, a response opposite to that mediated by the AT1R in dietary K?-restricted animals, via a NO/cGMP pathway linked to a cAMP-PKA pathway.
To describe a novel mutation in TRK-fused gene (TFG) as a new cause of dominant axonal Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) identified by exome sequencing and further characterized by in vitro functional studies.
The AIE mechanism for cationic Ir(III) complexes with triazole-pyridine ligands has been determined by the combination of an experimental and a computational study. Larger structural relaxation and weak emissive excited-state intraligand charge transfer (ILCT) characters are responsible for the non-emission in solution, whereas the non-radiative processes are efficiently restricted in the solid state, enhancing the emission.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one retinal aging process that may lead to irreversible vision loss in the elderly. Its pathogenesis remains unclear, but oxidative stress inducing retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells damage is perhaps responsible for the aging sequence of retina and may play an important role in macular degeneration. In this study, we have reprogrammed T cells from patients with dry type AMD into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) via integration-free episomal vectors and differentiated them into RPE cells that were used as an expandable platform for investigating pathogenesis of the AMD and in-vitro drug screening. These patient-derived RPEs with the AMD-associated background (AMD-RPEs) exhibited reduced antioxidant ability, compared with normal RPE cells. Among several screened candidate drugs, curcumin caused most significant reduction of ROS in AMD-RPEs. Pre-treatment of curcumin protected these AMD-RPEs from H2O2-induced cell death and also increased the cytoprotective effect against the oxidative stress of H2O2 through the reduction of ROS levels. In addition, curcumin with its versatile activities modulated the expression of many oxidative stress-regulating genes such as PDGF, VEGF, IGFBP-2, HO1, SOD2, and GPX1. Our findings indicated that the RPE cells derived from AMD patients have decreased antioxidative defense, making RPE cells more susceptible to oxidative damage and thereby leading to AMD formation. Curcumin represented an ideal drug that can effectively restore the neuronal functions in AMD patient-derived RPE cells, rendering this drug an effective option for macular degeneration therapy and an agent against aging-associated oxidative stress.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a highly vascularized tumor with poor clinical outcome. Our previous work has shown that eukaryotic initiation factor 5A2 (EIF5A2) over-expression enhances HCC cell metastasis. In this study, EIF5A2 was identified to be an independent risk factor for poor disease-specific survival among HCC patients. Both in vitro and in vivo assays indicated that ablation of endogenous EIF5A2 inhibited tumor angiogenesis by reducing matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2) expression. Given that MMP-2 degrades collagen IV, a main component of the vascular basement membrane (BM), we subsequently investigated the effect of EIF5A2 on tumor vasculature remodeling using complementary approaches, including fluorescent immunostaining, transmission electron microscopy, tumor perfusion assays and tumor hypoxia assays. Taken together, our results indicate that EIF5A2 silencing increases tumor vessel wall continuity, increases blood perfusion and improves tumor oxygenation. Additionally, we found that ablation of EIF5A2 enhanced the chemosensitivity of HCC cells to 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU). Finally, we demonstrated that EIF5A2 might exert these functions by enhancing MMP-2 activity via activation of p38 MAPK and JNK/c-Jun pathways.
Urinary bladder undergoes dramatic volume changes during filling and voiding cycles. In the bladder the luminal surface of terminally differentiated urothelial umbrella cells is almost completely covered by plaques. These plaques (500 to 1000 nm) are made of a family of proteins called uroplakins that are known to form a tight barrier to prevent leakage of water and solutes. Electron micrographs from previous studies show these plaques to be interconnected by hinge regions to form structures that appear rigid, but these same structures must accommodate large changes in cell shape during voiding and filling cycles. To resolve this paradox, we measured the stiffness of the intact, living urothelial apical membrane and found it to be highly deformable, even more so than the red blood cell membrane. The intermediate cells underlying the umbrella cells do not have uroplakins but their membranes are an order of magnitude stiffer. Using uroplakin knockout mouse models we show that cell compliance is conferred by uroplakins. This hypercompliance may be essential for the maintenance of barrier function under dramatic cell deformation during filling and voiding of the bladder.
The rare sugar D-psicose possesses several fundamental biological functions. D-Psicose 3-epimerase from Clostridium cellulolyticum (CC-DPEase) has considerable potential for use in D-psicose production. In this study, CC-DPEase was fused to the N terminus of oleosin, a unique structural protein of seed oil bodies and was overexpressed in Escherichia coli as a CC-DPEase-oleosin fusion protein. After reconstitution into artificial oil bodies (AOBs), refolding, purification, and immobilization of the active CC-DPEase were simultaneously accomplished. Immobilization of CC-DPEase on AOB increased the optimal temperature but decreased the optimal pH of the enzyme activity. Furthermore, the AOB-immobilized CC-DPEase had a thermal stability and a bioconversion rate similar to those of the free-form enzyme and retained >50% of its initial activity after five cycles of enzyme use. Thus, AOB-immobilized CC-DPEase has potential application in the production of d-psicose at a lower cost than the free-form enzyme.
Due to the restricted use and ban of brominated flame retardants, organophosphorus compounds (OPs), extensively used as flame retardants and plasticizers, are ubiquitous in various environmental compartments worldwide. The present study shows that the release of OPs from a wide variety of commercial products and wastewater discharge might be considered as primary emission sources and that high potential of long-range atmospheric transport and persistence of OPs would be responsible for their presence in various matrices on a global scale. The occurrence and environmental behaviors of OPs in diverse matrices (e.g., dust, air, water, sediment, soil and biota) are reviewed. Human exposures to OPs via dermal contact, dust ingestion, inhalation and dietary intake are comprehensively evaluated. Finally, this study identifies gaps in the existing issues and generates a future agenda for the emerging contaminants OPs.
Controlled release of odorous molecules is the key to digital scent technology which will add another dimension to electronics. Photorelease is a cold mechanism that promises better temporal and spatial control than thermal release. Herein we report a novel material composed of an acid-sensitive polymer carrying a fragrant aldehyde and a reversible metastable-state photoacid. It releases the fragrant molecule under visible light, and stops releasing it after the light is turned off. A metastable-state photoacid with a fast reverse-reaction rate was developed to quickly stop the release after irradiation. Both the carrier polymer and the photoacid can be reused after all the fragrant molecules have been released. The material combines the advantages of visible-light activity, fast on/off rate, easy preparation, and recyclability, and thus is promising for digital scent technology.
Anaplastic astrocytoma (AA) is a grade III glioma that often occurs in middle-aged patients and presents a uniformly poor prognosis. A small subpopulation of cancer stem cells (CSCs) possessing a self-renewing capacity is reported to be responsible for tumor recurrence and therapeutic resistance. An accumulating amount of microRNAs (miRNA) were found aberrantly expressed in human cancers, and regulate CSCs. Efforts have been made to couple miRNAs with non-viral gene delivery approaches to target specific genes in cancer cells. However, the efficiency of delivery of miRNAs to AA-derived CSCs is still an applicability hurdle. The present study aimed to investigate the effectiveness and applicability of non-viral vector-mediated delivery of Let-7a with regard to eradication of AA and AA-derived CSC cells. Herein, our miRNA/mRNA-microarray and RT-PCR analysis showed that the expression of Let-7a, a tumor-suppressive miRNA, is inversely correlated with the levels of HMGA2 and Sox2 in the AA side population (SP(+)) cells. Luciferase reporter assay showed that Let-7a directly targets the 3'UTRs of HMGA2 in AA-SP(+) cells. Knockdown of HMGA2 significantly suppressed the protein expression of Sox2 in AA-SP(+) cells, whereas overexpression of HMGA2 up-regulated Sox2 expression in AA-SP(-). Nuclear localization signal (NLS) peptides can facilitate nuclear targeting of DNA and are used to improve gene delivery. Using polyurethane-short branch polyethylenimine (PU-PEI) as a therapeutic delivery vehicle, we conjugated NLS with Let-7 and successfully delivered it to AA-SP(+) cells, resulting in significantly suppressed expression of HMGA2 and Sox2, tumorigenicity, and CSC-like abilities. This treatment facilitated the differentiation of AA-SP(+) cells into non-SP CSCs. Furthermore, PU-PEI-mediated delivery of NLS-conjugated Let-7a in AA-SP(+) cells suppressed the expression of drug-resistant and anti-apoptotic genes, and increased cell sensitivity to radiation. Finally, the in vivo delivery of PU-PEI-NLS-Let-7a significantly suppressed the tumorigenesis of AA-SP(+) cells, and synergistically improved the survival rate of orthotopically AA-SP(+)-transplanted immunocompromised mice when combined with radiotherapy. Therefore, PU-PEI-NLS-Let-7a is a potential novel therapeutic approach for AA.
Insulin-like growth factor II mRNA-binding protein 3 (IMP-3) has been reported to be a novel marker of melanoma progression. However, the mechanisms by which it impacts melanoma are incompletely understood. In this study, we investigate the clinical significance of IMP-3 in melanoma progression and also its underlying mechanisms. We found that IMP-3 expression was much higher in advanced stage/metastatic melanomas and that it was associated with a poor prognosis (P=.001). Univariate analysis showed IMP-3 expression was associated with stage III/IV melanomas (odds ratio=5.40, P=.031) and the acral lentiginous subtype (odds ratio=3.93, P=.0034). MeWo cells with overexpression of IMP-3 showed enhanced proliferation and migration and significantly increased tumorigenesis and metastatic ability in nude mice. We further demonstrated that IMP-3 could bind and enhance the stability of the mRNA of HMGA2. It was also confirmed that IMP-3 played an important role in melanoma invasion and metastasis through regulating HMGA2 mRNA expression. IMP-3 expression was positively correlated with HMGA2 expression in melanoma cells and also in melanoma tissues. Our results show that IMP-3 expression is a strong prognostic factor for melanoma, especially the acral lentiginous melanoma.Journal of Investigative Dermatology accepted article preview online, 07 November 2014. doi:10.1038/jid.2014.480.
Paclitaxel is a main ingredient in the combination chemotherapy treatment of advanced human cervical squamous cell carcinomas. We investigated the roles and underlying molecular mechanisms of PinX1 in cervical squamous cell carcinomas (CSCC) cells response to paclitaxel and its clinical significances. The expression dynamics of PinX1 was first examined by immunohistochemistry in 122 advanced CSCC patients treated with cisplatin/paclitaxel chemotherapy. The expression of PinX1 was significantly associated with the effects of cisplatin/paclitaxel chemotherapy in advanced CSCCs (P<0.05). High expression of PinX1 correlated with CSCC's response to cisplatin/paclitaxel chemotherapy, and was an independent predictor of shortened survival (P<0.05). A series of in vivo and in vitro assays were performed to elucidate the function of PinX1 on CSCC cells chemosensitivity to paclitaxel and underlying mechanisms. In CSCC cells, the levels of PinX1 were only associated with the cytotoxicity and sensitivity of paclitaxel, in which knockdown of PinX1 dramatically enhanced paclitaxel cytotoxicity, whereas the reestablishment of PinX1 levels substantially reduced the paclitaxel-induced killing effect. In addition, we identified that the ability of PinX1 to stabilize the tension between sister kinetochores and maintain the spindle assembly checkpoint was the main reason CSCC cells undergo apoptosis when treated with paclitaxel, and further studies demonstrated that shortened distance between sisters kinetochores by nocodazole confers upon PinX1-replenished cells a sensitivity to the death inducing paclitaxel effects. Furthermore, our study of CSCC cells xenografts in nude mice confirmed the role of PinX1 in paclitaxel sensitivity in vivo. Our data reveal that PinX1 could be used as a novel predictor for CSCC patient response to paclitaxel, and the role of PinX1-mediated paclitaxel sensitivity might represent a new direction for the development of a new generation of microtubule drugs.
The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study has been instrumental in guiding global health policy development since the early 1990s. The GBD 2010 project provided rich information about the key causes of mortality, disability-adjusted life years, and their associated risk factors in Japan and provided a unique opportunity to incorporate these data into health planning. As part of the latest update of this project, GBD 2013, the Japanese GBD collaborators plan to update and refine the available burden of disease data by incorporating sub-national estimates of the burden of disease at the prefectural level. These estimates will provide health planners and policy makers at both the national and prefectural level with new, more refined tools to adapt local public health initiatives to meet the health needs of local populations. Moreover, they will enable the Japanese health system to better respond to the unique challenges in their rapidly aging population and as a complex combination of non-communicable disease risk factors begin to dominate the policy agenda. Regional collaborations will enable nations to learn from the experiences of other nations that may be at different stages of the epidemiological transition and have different exposure profiles and associated health effects. Such analyses and improvements in the data collection systems will further improve the health of the Japanese, maintain Japan's excellent record of health equity, and provide a better understanding of the direction of health policy in the region.
Inorganic arsenite (iAs) is a human carcinogen. Numerous studies have shown that mutation-activated H-Ras is frequently observed in human urothelial carcinomas. The interaction between iAs, an environmental factor, and H-Ras, an oncogene, is not clear. In this study, we explored the genotoxic effects of iAs in human urothelial cells ectopically expressing H-Ras (G12V) , an activated H-Ras oncogene. Our results showed that H-Ras (G12V) -transformed human urothelial cells (HUC-RAS) were more susceptible to arsenite-induced cell death, DNA damage, micronuclei formation and anchorage-independent growth than control cells (HUC-neo). Furthermore, iAs treatment induced higher intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the HUC-RAS cells than in the HUC-neo cells. N-acetyl-L-cysteine could suppress the iAs-induced increases in ROS and genetic damage. We further demonstrated that the intracellular glutathione levels were significantly elevated by the iAs treatment of the HUC-neo cells, but that this effect was not observed in the HUC-RAS cells. The iAs treatment induced higher superoxide dismutase activity in the HUC-neo cells than in the HUC-RAS cells. Alternatively, catalase activity was higher in the HUC-RAS cells than in the HUC-neo cells, but this enzyme was significantly suppressed by iAs. Moreover, iAs activated the ERK and JNK signaling pathways, which are involved in iAs-induced ROS production and genetic damage. Taken together, our present results suggest that elevated catalase activity in H-Ras (G12V) -transformed cells is significantly suppressed by iAs via activation of ERK and JNK signaling pathways and hence attenuate the defense of the neoplastic transformed cells against iAs-induced oxidative injuries.
In recent decades, many imaging studies have reported brain structural alterations in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, due to differences in the selection of control subjects, it is difficult to conclude whether the observed alterations were related to disease or traumatic stress. The present study was to provide a quantitative voxelwise meta-analysis of grey matter (GM) changes in PTSD relative to either trauma-exposed controls without PTSD (TEC) or non-traumatised healthy controls (HC) separately and to conduct a systematic review of voxel-based morphometry (VBM) studies that compared trauma-exposed individuals with HC to explore the effect of traumatic stress. GM reduction was identified in the medial prefrontal cortex in PTSD compared to both TEC and HC. Additional GM reduction was also observed in PTSD in the left hippocampus, left middle temporal gyrus and right superior frontal gyrus compared with TEC. Additionally, GM decreased in the left occipital cortex in PTSD compared with HC. The present study delimited the significant differences among VBM results in PTSD research when different control groups were chosen.
Neurobiological markers of stress symptom progression for healthy survivors from a disaster (e.g., an earthquake) would greatly help with early intervention to prevent the development of stress-related disorders. However, the relationship between the neurobiological alterations and the symptom progression over time is unclear. Here, we examined 44 healthy survivors of the Wenchuan earthquake in China in a longitudinal resting-state fMRI study to observe the alterations of brain functions related to depressive or anxiety symptom progression. Using multi-variate pattern analysis to the fMRI data, we successfully predicted the depressive or anxiety symptom severity for these survivors in short- (25 days) and long-term (2 years) and the symptom severity changes over time. Several brain areas (e.g., the frontolimbic and striatal areas) and the functional connectivities located within the fronto-striato-thalamic and default-mode networks were found to be correlated with the symptom progression and might play important roles in the adaptation to trauma.
This study details a one-time ray-tracing optimization method for the optimization of LED illumination systems [S.-C. Chu and H.-L. Yang, "One-time ray-tracing method for the optimization of illumination system," in Proceedings of International Conference on Optics in Precision Engineering and Nanotechnology (icOPEN, 2013), 87692M]. This method optimizes the performance of illumination systems by modifying the light source's radiant intensity distribution with a freeform lens, instead of modifying the illumination system structure. Because illumination system structures are unchanged in the design process, a designer can avoid the common problems faced when designing illumination systems, i.e., the repeated and time-consuming ray-tracing process when optimizing the illumination system parameters. The easy approaches of the proposed optimization method to sample the target illumination areas and to divide the light source radiant intensity distribution make the proposed method can be applied to both direct-lit and non-direct-lit illumination systems. To demonstrate the proposed method, this study designs an illuminator for a tube photo-bioreactor using the proposed one-time ray-tracing method. A comparison shows that in the designing of the photo-bioreactor, tracing all rays one time requires about 13 hours, while optimizing the light source's radiant intensity distribution requires only about twenty minutes. The considerable reduction in the ray-tracing time shows that the proposed method is a fast and effective way to design illumination systems.
Identification of genetic mutations has been of burgeoning importance in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in recent years. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency and spectrum of mutations in major ALS-causing genes in a Taiwanese ALS cohort of Han Chinese origin. Mutational analyses of the SOD1, TARDBP, FUS, OPTN, VCP, UBQLN2, SQSTM1, PFN1, HNRNPA1, and HNRNPA2B1 genes were carried out by direct sequencing in 161 unrelated patients with ALS, including 30 with familial ALS (FALS) and 131 with sporadic ALS (SALS). The CAG repeat size in ATXN2 and the GGGGCC repeat expansion in C9ORF72 of the patients were also investigated. Mutations were identified in 33 patients (20.5%, 33/161), including 22 with FALS and 11 with SALS. Mutations were identified most frequently in SOD1 (7.5%). Three mutations are novel, including SOD1 p.G10A, SOD1 p.D83N, and OPTN p.L494W. These findings broaden the spectrum of ALS-causing mutations and are indispensable for designing optimal strategies of mutational analysis and genetic counseling of ALS for patients of Chinese origin.
The ATP-binding cassette, subfamily A, member 7 gene (ABCA7) was recently identified as a susceptible gene of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in the Caucasian population and African Americans. To test its genetic effect in the Han-Chinese population, 536 AD cases and 307 cognitive-intact, elder controls were genotyped for ABCA7 rs3764650 and apolipoprotein E (APOE) ?2/?3/?4 alleles. Global cognitive performance was assessed by the Mini-Mental State Examination in both AD patients and controls. For AD patients, comprehensive evaluation of each cognitive domain was further conducted as the following: (1) attention (forward and backward digit span); (2) memory (12-item word recall test); (3) executive function (category verbal fluency); (4) processing speed (Trail making test, part A); and (5) naming task (Boston naming test). ABCA7 rs3764650 was significantly associated with AD and the GG genotype carried a reduced risk for AD (odds ratio = 0.52, p = 0.0026). The association was further confirmed in 1802 population-based, healthy controls from Taiwan Biobank as a replicate (odds ratio = 0.70, p = 0.032). After adjustment of age, sex, and APOE ?4 allele, rs3764650 remained to be an independent predictor of AD (p = 0.001). The influence of ABCA7 was only evident in individuals without APOE ?4 alleles (p = 0.0004) but absent in ?4 carriers (p = 0.91). None of the cognitive tests was related to ABCA7 rs3764650 genotypes. The minor allele frequency and effect size of rs3764650 disclosed in the Han-Chinese population differed from those reported in the Caucasians and African Americans. Further studies were warranted to elucidate ABCA7's effect among different ethnic groups.
In vivo harmonic generation microscopy (HGM) has been applied successfully in healthy human skin and can achieve a submicron resolution, similar to histopathologic examination, even at a penetration depth up to 270 ?m. This study aims to investigate the clinical applicability of HGM imaging for differential diagnosis of nonmelanoma pigmented skin lesions. A total of 42 pigmented skin tumors, including pigmented basal cell carcinoma, melanocytic nevus, and seborrheic keratosis were evaluated by HGM ex vivo or in vivo. Based on the standard histopathologic characteristics, we established the corresponding HGM imaging criteria for each pigmented tumor. Diagnostic performance of HGM for differentiating nonmelanoma pigmented skin tumors was evaluated through the observers' direct general assessment (overall evaluation) or the presence of two imaging criteria with the highest sensitivity and specificity (major criteria evaluation). Our results show that, based on the direct general assessment, the sensitivity is 92% [95% confidence interval (CI): 67 to 97%] and the specificity is 96% (95% CI: 83 to 99%); by major criteria evaluation, 94% sensitivity (95% CI: 70 to 99%) and 100% specificity (95% CI: 87 to 100%) are achieved. Our study indicates that HGM serves as a promising histopathological examination tool for noninvasive differential diagnostics of nonmelanoma pigmented skin tumors.
The control of germline quality is critical to reproductive success and survival of a species; however, the mechanisms underlying this process remain unknown. Here, we demonstrate that elongation factor 2 kinase (eEF2K), an evolutionarily conserved regulator of protein synthesis, functions to maintain germline quality and eliminate defective oocytes. We show that disruption of eEF2K in mice reduces ovarian apoptosis and results in the accumulation of aberrant follicles and defective oocytes at advanced reproductive age. Furthermore, the loss of eEF2K in Caenorhabditis elegans results in a reduction of germ cell death and significant decline in oocyte quality and embryonic viability. Examination of the mechanisms by which eEF2K regulates apoptosis shows that eEF2K senses oxidative stress and quickly downregulates short-lived antiapoptotic proteins, XIAP and c-FLIPL by inhibiting global protein synthesis. These results suggest that eEF2K-mediated inhibition of protein synthesis renders cells susceptible to apoptosis and functions to eliminate suboptimal germ cells.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms have been found to be associated with pulmonary function using genome-wide association studies. However, lung function is a complex trait that is likely to be influenced by multiple gene-gene interactions besides individual genes. Our goal is to build a cellular network to explore the relationship between pulmonary function and genotypes by combining SNP level and network analyses using longitudinal lung function data from the Framingham Heart Study. We analyzed 2,698 genotyped participants from the Offspring cohort that had an average of 3.35 spirometry measurements per person for a mean length of 13 years. Repeated forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1 ) and the ratio of FEV1 to forced vital capacity (FVC) were used as outcomes. Data were analyzed using linear-mixed models for the association between lung function and alleles by accounting for the correlation among repeated measures over time within the same subject and within-family correlation. Network analyses were performed using dmGWAS and validated with data from the Third Generation cohort. Analyses identified SMAD3, TGFBR2, CD44, CTGF, VCAN, CTNNB1, SCGB1A1, PDE4D, NRG1, EPHB1, and LYN as contributors to pulmonary function. Most of these genes were novel that were not found previously using solely SNP-level analysis. These novel genes are involving the transforming growth factor beta (TGFB)-SMAD pathway, Wnt/beta-catenin pathway, etc. Therefore, combining SNP-level and network analyses using longitudinal lung function data is a useful alternative strategy to identify risk genes.
Most diagnostic tools for spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) are either invasive or occasionally inconsistent with the clinical condition. In this study, we examined the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) dynamics in SIH using phase-contrast magnetic resonance (PC-MR) imaging.
This review introduces the development and application of a multiscale approach to assess the charge mobility for organic semiconductors, which combines quantum chemistry, Kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC), and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. This approach is especially applicable in describing a large class of organic semiconductors with intermolecular electronic coupling (V) much less than intramolecular charge reorganization energy (?), a situation where the band description fails obviously. The charge transport is modeled as successive charge hopping from one molecule to another. We highlight the quantum nuclear tunneling effect in the charge transfer, beyond the semiclassical Marcus theory. Such an effect is essential for interpreting the "paradoxical" experimental finding that optical measurement indicated "local charge" while electrical measurement indicated "bandlike". Coupled MD and KMC simulations demonstrated that the dynamic disorder caused by intermolecular vibration has negligible effect on the carrier mobility. We further apply the approach for molecular design of n-type materials and for rationalization of experimental results. The charge reorganization energy is analyzed through decomposition into internal coordinates relaxation, so that chemical structure contributions to the intramolecular electron-phonon interaction are revealed and give helpful indication to reduce the charge reorganization energy.
High tidal volume (VT) mechanical ventilation (MV) can induce the recruitment of neutrophils, release of inflammatory cytokines and free radicals, and disruption of alveolar epithelial and endothelial barriers. It is proposed to be the triggering factor that initiates ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI) and concomitant hyperoxia further aggravates the progression of VILI. The Src protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) family is one of the most critical families to intracellular signal transduction related to acute inflammatory responses. The anti-inflammatory abilities of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have been shown to improve acute lung injuries (ALIs); however, the mechanisms regulating the interactions between MV, hyperoxia, and iPSCs have not been fully elucidated. In this study, we hypothesize that Src PTK plays a critical role in the regulation of oxidants and inflammation-induced VILI during hyperoxia. iPSC therapy can ameliorate acute hyperoxic VILI by suppressing the Src pathway.
Several treatment guidelines for Parkinson's disease (PD) had been proposed in recent decades. The aim of current study was to investigate the initial medication utilized in newly diagnosed PD subjects in Taiwan during an eleven-year period.
Uroplakins (UP), a group of integral membrane proteins, are major urothelial differentiation products that form 2D crystals of 16-nm particles (urothelial plaques) covering the apical surface of mammalian bladder urothelium. They contribute to the urothelial barrier function and, one of them, UPIa, serves as the receptor for uropathogenic Escherichia coli. It is therefore important to understand the mechanism by which these surface-associated uroplakins are degraded. While it is known that endocytosed uroplakin plaques are targeted to and line the multivesicular bodies (MVBs), it is unclear how these rigid-looking plaques can go to the highly curved membranes of intraluminal vesicles (ILVs). From a cDNA subtraction library, we identified a highly urothelium-specific sorting nexin, SNX31. SNX31 is expressed, like uroplakins, in terminally differentiated urothelial umbrella cells where it is predominantly associated with MVBs. Apical membrane proteins including uroplakins that are surface biotin-tagged are endocytosed and targeted to the SNX31-positive MVBs. EM localization demonstrated that SNX31 and uroplakins are both associated not only with the limiting membranes of MVBs containing uroplakin plaques, but also with ILVs. SNX31 can bind, on one hand, the PtdIns3P-enriched lipids via its N-terminal PX-domain, and, on the other hand, it binds uroplakins as demonstrated by co-immunoprecipitation and proximity ligation assay, and by its reduced membrane association in uroplakin II-deficient urothelium. The fact that in urothelial umbrella cells MVBs are the only major intracellular organelles enriched in both PtdIns3P and uroplakins may explain SNX31's MVB-specificity in these cells. However, in MDCK and other cultured cells transfected SNX31 can bind to early endosomes possibly via lipids. These data support a model in which SNX31 mediates the endocytic degradation of uroplakins by disassembling/collapsing the MVB-associated uroplakin plaques, thus enabling the uroplakin-containing (but 'softened') membranes to bud and form the ILVs for lysosomal degradation and/or exosome formation.
Multiple myeloma (MM) is characterized by advanced osteolytic lesions resulting from the activation of osteoclasts (OCs) and inhibition of osteoblasts (OBs). OBs are derived from mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from the bone marrow (BM), however the pool and function of BMMSCs in MM patients (MM-BMMSCs) are reduced by myeloma cells (MCs) and cytokines secreted from MCs and related anti-MM treatment. Such reduction in MM-BMMSCs currently cannot be restored by any means. Recently, genetic aberrations of MM-BMMSCs have been noted, which further impaired their differentiation toward OBs. We hypothesize that the MSCs derived from adipose tissue (ADMSCs) can be used as alternative MSC sources to enhance the pool and function of OBs. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare the osteogenesis ability of paired ADMSCs and BMMSCs in MM patients who had completed intensive therapy. Fifteen MM patients who had received bortezomib-based induction and autologous transplantation were enrolled. At the third month after the transplant, the paired ADMSCs and BMMSCs were obtained and cultured. Compared with the BMMSCs, the ADMSCs exhibited a significantly higher expansion capacity (100% vs 13%, respectively; P?=?.001) and shorter doubling time (28 hours vs 115 hours, respectively; P?=?.019). After inducing osteogenic differentiation, although the ALP activity did not differ between the ADMSCs and BMMSCs (0.78 U/µg vs 0.74±0.14 U/µg, respectively; P?=?.834), the ADMSCs still exhibited higher calcium mineralization, which was determined using Alizarin red S (1029 nmole vs 341 nmole, respectively; P?=?.001) and von Kossa staining (2.6 E+05 µm2 vs 5 E+04 µm2, respectively; P?=?.042), than the BMMSCs did. Our results suggested that ADMSCs are a feasible MSC source for enhancing the pool and function of OBs in MM patients who have received intensive therapy.
A copolymer of acrylamide (AM) with acryloyloxyethyl trimethyl ammonium chloride (DAC) as the cationic monomer was synthesized under the irradiation of high-pressure mercury lamp with 2,2-azobis(2-amidinopropane) dihydrochloride (V-50) as the photoinitiator. The compositions of the photoinduced copolymer were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectra (FTIR), ultraviolet spectra (UV), and scanning electron microscope (SEM). The effects of 6 important factors, that is, photo-initiators concentration, monomers concentration, CO(NH2)2 (urea) concentrations, pH value, mass ratio of AM to DAC, and irradiation time on the molecular weight and dissolving time, were investigated. The optimal reaction conditions were that the photo-initiators concentration was 0.3%, monomers concentration was 30 wt.%, irradiation time was 60 min, urea concentration was 0.4%, pH value was 5.0, and mass ratio of AM to DAC was 6 : 4. Its flocculation properties were evaluated with activated sludge using jar test. The zeta potential of supernatant at different cationic monomer contents was simultaneously measured. The results demonstrated the superiority of the copolymer over the commercial polyacrylamide as a flocculant.
Many studies using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) have demonstrated impaired white matter integrity in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), with significant results found in diverse brain regions. We sought to identify whether there are consistent changes of regional white matter integrity in patients with MDD, as shown by decreased fractional anisotropy in DTI.
A photoacid that possesses a metastable acidic state induced by visible light is studied. Previous work showed that this photoacid can reversibly produce a large pH change capable of controlling chemical reactions, altering material properties, and killing bacteria. In this work, we studied the relaxation kinetics of the metastable acidic state in different solvents including water, ethanol, and DMSO. In all of these solvents, the kinetic data can be fitted well to a second-order rate equation, which indicates that protonation is involved in the rate-limiting step. The rate constants in water, ethanol, and DMSO are 73, 1.6, and 0.034 M(-1) s(-1), respectively. The slow relaxation in DMSO allowed us to fully characterize the structure of the metastable acidic state using proton NMR. We also measured the quantum yield of the photoreaction, which is as high as 0.37.
Current staging methods do not accurately predict the risk of disease recurrence and benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy for patients who have had surgery for stage II colon cancer. We postulated that expression patterns of multiple microRNAs (miRNAs) could, if combined into a single model, improve postoperative risk stratification and prediction of chemotherapy benefit for these patients.
In the Pearl Delta region, urban rivers have been seriously polluted, and the input of non-point source pollution materials, such as chemical oxygen demand (COD), into rivers cannot be neglected. During 2009-2010, the water qualities at eight different catchments in the Fenjiang River of Foshan city were monitored, and the COD loads for eight rivulet sewages were calculated in respect of different rainfall conditions. Interesting results were concluded in our paper. The rainfall and landuse type played important roles in the COD loading, with greater influence of rainfall than landuse type. Consequently, a COD loading formula was constructed that was defined as a function of runoff and landuse type that were derived SCS model and land use map. Loading of COD could be evaluated and predicted with the constructed formula. The mean simulation accuracy for single rainfall event was 75.51%. Long-term simulation accuracy was better than that of single rainfall. In 2009, the estimated COD loading and its loading intensity were 8 053 t and 339 kg x (hm2 x a)(-1), and the industrial land was regarded as the main source of COD pollution area. The severe non-point source pollution such as COD in Fenjiang River must be paid more attention in the future.
A new photoacid that reversibly changes from a weak to a strong acid under visible light was designed and synthesized. Irradiation generated a metastable state with high C?H acidity due to high stability of a trifluoromethyl-phenyl-tricyano-furan (CF3 PhTCF) carbanion. This long-lived metastable state allows a large proton concentration to be reversibly produced with moderate light intensity. Reversible pH change of about one unit was demonstrated by using a 0.1?mM solution of the photoacid in 95?% ethanol. The quantum yield was calculated to be as high as 0.24. Kinetics of the reverse process can be fitted well to a second-order-rate equation with k=9.78×10(2) ?M(-1) ?s(-1) . Response to visible light, high quantum yield, good reversibility, large photoinduced proton concentration under moderate light intensity, and good compatibility with organic media make this photoacid a promising material for macroscopic control of proton-transfer processes in organic systems.
Fault diagnosis (FD) and data fusion (DF) technologies implemented in the LabVIEW program were used for a ruthenium dioxide pH sensor array. The purpose of the fault diagnosis and data fusion technologies is to increase the reliability of measured data. Data fusion is a very useful statistical method used for sensor arrays in many fields. Fault diagnosis is used to avoid sensor faults and to measure errors in the electrochemical measurement system, therefore, in this study, we use fault diagnosis to remove any faulty sensors in advance, and then proceed with data fusion in the sensor array. The average, self-adaptive and coefficient of variance data fusion methods are used in this study. The pH electrode is fabricated with ruthenium dioxide (RuO2) sensing membrane using a sputtering system to deposit it onto a silicon substrate, and eight RuO2 pH electrodes are fabricated to form a sensor array for this study.
Vinorelbine (VNR), a semisynthetic vinca alkaloid acquired from vinblastine, is frequently used as the candidate for intervention of solid tumors. Nevertheless, VNR-caused endothelial injuries may lead a mitigative effect of clinical treatment efficiency. A growing body of evidence reveals that aspirin is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammation drug. We investigated whether aspirin attenuate VNR-induced endothelial dysfunction. Human endothelial cells (EA.hy926) were treated with VNR to cause endothelial inflammation. Western blotting, ROS assay, ELISA were used to confirm the anti-inflammatory effect of aspirin. We confirmed that VNR supresses SIRT1 expression, reduced LKB1 and AMPK phosphorylation as well as enriched PKC activation in treated endothelial cells. Furthermore, the membrane translocation assay displayed that the levels of NADPH oxidase subunits p47phox and Rac-1 in membrane fractions of endothelial cells were higher in cells that had been treated with VNR for than in untreated cells. We corroborated that treatment of Aspirin significantly diminishes VNR-repressed SIRT1, LKB1 and AMPK phosphorylation and VNR-promoted NADPH oxidase activation, however, those findings were vanished by SIRT1 and AMPK siRNAs. Our data also shown that Aspirin represses VNR-activated TGF-beta-activated kinase-1 (TAK1) activation, inhibited the interaction of TAK1/TAK-binding protein1 (TAB1), suppressed NF-kappa B activation and pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion. We demonstrated a novel connection between VNR-caused oxidative damages and endothelial dysfunction, and provide further insight into the protective effects of aspirin in VNR-caused endothelial dysfunction.
Cerebrovascular disease is the second leading cause of central nervous system pathology in cancer patients. Cancer-associated hypercoagulation plays an important role in cancer-related stroke. The present study aims to test whether plasma d-dimer levels could predict comorbid malignancy in patients with ischemic stroke.
To compensate for the deficiencies of individual imaging modalities, lanthanide-based nanoparticles are ideal building blocks for multifunctional contrast agents. Herein, oleic acid-coated NaDyF4 nanorods (DyNPs) were synthesized by the hydrothermal method, and then coated with ?-cyclodextrin (?-CD) and modified with gadolinium complex (Gd-DTPA) to obtain hydrophilic and functionalized nanoparticles (DyNPs-Gd). By loading the phosphorescent probe (iridium-complex) within the surface hydrophobic layer, the developed nanophosphors (DyNPs-Gd-Ir) could be further applied in phosphorescent cell labeling. The Dy in the host induces a high X-ray absorption ability for X-ray computed tomography (CT) and negative enhancement for T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), whereas positive contrast for T1-weighted MRI results from the Gd-DTPA. DyNPs-Gd-Ir has been successfully applied to T1- and T2-weighted MRI/CT in vivo. Toxicity studies demonstrated that DyNPs-Gd-Ir exhibited low toxicity to living systems. Therefore, DyNPs-Gd-Ir could be a platform for next-generation contrast agents for T1- and T2-weighted MRI/CT/phosphorescence multimodal imaging.
Novel organic photoCORMs based on micelle-encapsulated unsaturated cyclic ?-diketones were designed and synthesized. These photoCORMs can be activated by visible light, have potentially low toxicity, allow the delivery of carbon monoxide to be monitored by fluorescence imaging techniques, and thus are useful tools for the study of the biological function of CO.
The growing world population and shrinkage of arable land demand yield improvement of rice, one of the most important staple crops. To elucidate the genetic basis of yield and uncover its associated loci in rice, we resequenced the core recombinant inbred lines of Liang-You-Pei-Jiu, the widely cultivated super hybrid rice, and constructed a high-resolution linkage map. We detected 43 yield-associated quantitative trait loci, of which 20 are unique. Based on the high-density physical map, the genome sequences of paternal variety 93-11 and maternal cultivar PA64s of Liang-You-Pei-Jiu were significantly improved. The large recombinant inbred line population combined with plentiful high-quality single nucleotide polymorphisms and insertions/deletions between parental genomes allowed us to fine-map two quantitative trait loci, qSN8 and qSPB1, and to identify days to heading8 and lax panicle1 as candidate genes, respectively. The quantitative trait locus qSN8 was further confirmed to be days to heading8 by a complementation test. Our study provided an ideal platform for molecular breeding by targeting and dissecting yield-associated loci in rice.
Developing a biocompatible and efficient photothermal coupling agent with appropriate size is a prerequisite for the development of near-infrared (NIR) light-induced photothermal therapy (PTT). In the present study, polyaniline nanoparticles (PANPs) with a size of 48.5 ± 1.5 nm were fabricated and exhibited excellent dispersibility in water by a hydrothermal method and further surface functionalization by capping with F127. The developed F127-modified PANPs (F-PANPs) had a high molar extinction coefficient of 8.95 × 10(8) m(-1) cm(-1), and high NIR photothermal conversion efficiency of 48.5%. Furthermore, combined with NIR irradiation at 808 nm and injection of F-PANP samples, in vivo photothermal ablation of tumor with excellent treatment efficacy was achieved. In vitro transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images of cells, methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium (MTT) assay, histology, and hematology studies revealed that the F-PANPs exhibit low toxicity to living systems. Therefore, F-PANPs could be used as PTT agents for ablating cancer, and the concept of developing polyaniline-based nanoparticles can serve as a platform technology for the next generation of in vivo PTT agents.
Phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) has been reported to play a role in the suppression of activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). Moreover, it has been demonstrated that hypermethylation of the PTEN promoter is responsible for the loss of PTEN expression during HSC activation. Methylation is now established as a fundamental regulator of gene transcription. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), which can control gene expression by binding to their target genes for degradation and/or translational repression, were found to be involved in liver fibrosis. However, the mechanism responsible for miRNA-mediated epigenetic regulation in liver fibrosis still remained unclear. In the present study, curcumin treatment significantly resulted in the inhibition of cell proliferation and an increase in the apoptosis rate through the up-regulation of PTEN associated with a decreased DNA methylation level. Only DNA methyltransferase 3b (DNMT3b) was reduced in vivo and in vitro after curcumin treatment. Further studies were performed aiming to confirm that the knockdown of DNMT3b enhanced the loss of PTEN methylation by curcumin. In addition, miR-29b was involved in the hypomethylation of PTEN by curcumin. MiR-29b not only was increased by curcumin in activated HSCs, but also was confirmed to target DNMT3b by luciferase activity assays. Curcumin-mediated PTEN up-regulation, DNMT3b down-regulation and PTEN hypomethylation were all attenuated by miR-29b inhibitor. Collectively, it is demonstrated that curcumin can up-regulate miR-29b expression, resulting in DNMT3b down-regulation in HSCs and epigenetically-regulated PTEN involved in the suppression of activated HSCs. These results indicate that miRNA-mediated epigenetic regulation may be a novel mechanism suppressing liver fibrosis.
Traditional biopsy procedures require invasive tissue removal from a living subject, followed by time-consuming and complicated processes, so noninvasive in vivo virtual biopsy, which possesses the ability to obtain exhaustive tissue images without removing tissues, is highly desired. Some sets of in vivo virtual biopsy images provided by healthy volunteers were processed by the proposed cell segmentation approach, which is based on the watershed-based approach and the concept of convergence index filter for automatic cell segmentation. Experimental results suggest that the proposed algorithm not only reveals high accuracy for cell segmentation but also has dramatic potential for noninvasive analysis of cell nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio (NC ratio), which is important in identifying or detecting early symptoms of diseases with abnormal NC ratios, such as skin cancers during clinical diagnosis via medical imaging analysis.
Previous studies in occupational exposure and lung function have focused only on the main effect of occupational exposure or genetics on lung function. Some disease-susceptible genes may be missed due to their low marginal effects, despite potential involvement in the disease process through interactions with the environment. Through comprehensive genome-wide gene-environment interaction studies, we can uncover these susceptibility genes. Our objective in this study was to explore gene by occupational exposure interaction effects on lung function using both the individual SNPs approach and the genetic network approach.
In the title compound, [Cd(C4H5NO4)(H2O)2] n , the Cd(II) atom exhibits a distorted octa-hedral coordination geometry, defined by one N atom and three O atoms from two iminodi-acetate (IDA) ligands and two water molecules. The tridentate IDA ligand additionally bridges via one of its carboxylate O atoms to another Cd(II) atom, thus forming a zigzag chain along . A three-dimensional network is completed by inter-molecular O-H?O and N-H?O hydrogen bonds.
PIN2/TRF1-interacting telomerase inhibitor1 (PinX1) was recently suggested as a putative tumor suppressor in several types of human cancer, based on its binding to and inhibition of telomerase. Moreover, loss of PinX1 has been detected in many human malignancies. However, the possible involvement of PinX1 and its clinical/prognostic significance in urothelial carcinoma of the bladder (UCB) are unclear.
The present study aimed to investigate the regulation and involvement of miR-221 in the differentiation of human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hASCs). The relationships between miR-221 and pro-inflammatory markers and adipokines were also explored.
The microRNAs let-7 g and miR-221 have been demonstrated to be related to the glucose metabolism. This study assessed the serum levels of these two microRNAs in subjects with and without metabolic syndrome (MetS).
Repigmentation of vitiliginous lesions relies on the proliferation and migration of melanoblasts from hair follicles to the epidermis. Pulsed ultrasound has been demonstrated to have stimulatory effects on cell proliferation and migration and has been applied clinically to enhance tissue repair. To clarify the biologic effects and signaling mechanisms of pulsed ultrasound on melanoblast proliferation and migration, two melanoblast cell lines, the undifferentiated NCCmelb4 cells and the differentiated NCCmelan5 cells, were examined. We demonstrated that pulsed ultrasound increased cell migration in a dose-dependent manner without altering cell proliferation. Pulsed ultrasound enhanced autocrine secretion of macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF), which subsequently activated the focal adhesion kinase (FAK) pathway to promote melanoblast migration. Furthermore, conditioned medium from mouse embryonic fibroblasts NIH 3T3 and primary human keratinocytes treated with pulsed ultrasound could stimulate melanoblast migration through a paracrine effect. Our results provide a novel mechanism to promote migration of melanoblasts by pulsed ultrasound stimulation.
Purpose. The utility evaluation was an effective method to incorporate all of the contributing variables for multiple diseases into one outcome measure. A cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the utility values associated with varying states of gallstone disease among outpatient clinics participants at a teaching hospital in Taipei, Taiwan. Methods. The utility values were measured by using time trade-off method. A total of 120 outpatient clinics participants (30 subjects with no gallstone disease, 30 subjects with single stone, 30 subjects with multiple stones, and 30 subjects with cholecystectomy) evaluated utility values from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2006. The diagnosis of gallstone disease was performed by a panel of specialists using ultrasound sonography. Results. The overall mean utility value was 0.89 ± 0.13 (95% CI: 0.87-0.91) indicating that study participants were willing to trade about 11% (95% CI: 9-13%) of their remaining life in return for being free of gallstone disease perpetually. The significant associated factors of utility values based on the multiple linear regression analysis were older age and different degrees of gallstone disease. Conclusion. Our results found that in addition to older age, multiple stones and cholecystectomy could influence utility values from the patients preference-based viewpoint.
To further improve the corrosion resistance and biocompatibility of Mg-Nd-Zn-Zr alloy (JDBM), a biodegradable calcium phosphate coating (Ca-P coating) with high bonding strength was developed using a novel chemical deposition method. The main composition of the Ca-P coating was brushite (CaHPO4·2H2O). The bonding strength between the coating and the JDBM substrate was measured to be over 10 MPa, and the thickness of the coating layer was about 10-30 ?m. The in vitro corrosion tests indicated that the Ca-P treatment improved the corrosion resistance of JDBM alloy in Hanks solution. Ca-P treatment significantly reduced the hemolysis rate of JDBM alloy from 48% to 0.68%, and induced no toxicity to MC3T3-E1 cells. The in vivo implantation experiment in New Zealands rabbit tibia showed that the degradation rate was reduced obviously by the Ca-P treatment and less gas was produced from Ca-P treated JDBM bone plates and screws in early stage of the implantation, and at least 10weeks degradation time can be prolonged by the present coating techniques. Both Ca-P treated and untreated JDBM Mg alloy induced bone growth. The primary results indicate that the present Ca-P treatment is a promising technique for the degradable Mg-based biomaterials for orthopedic applications.
Mutations in the TREX1 and NOTCH3 genes cause retinal vasculopathy with cerebral leukodystrophy (RVCL) and cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL), respectively. Both are hereditary small vessel diseases of the brain (HSVDB).
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