Transmission electron microscope (TEM) observation of light metal hydrides is complicated by the instability of these materials under electron irradiation. In this study, the electron kinetic energy dependences of the interactions of incident electrons with lithium, sodium and magnesium hydrides, as well as the constituting element effect on the interactions, were theoretically discussed, and electron irradiation damage to these hydrides was examined using in situ TEM. The results indicate that high incident electron kinetic energy helps alleviate the irradiation damage resulting from inelastic or elastic scattering of the incident electrons in the TEM. Therefore, observations and characterizations of these materials would benefit from increased, instead decreased, TEM operating voltage.
To find out the differences in regional characteristics of heat vulnerability between people living in urban centers and urban-fringe areas of Jinan city so as to provide basis for the development of adaptation measures to heat.
The CD80/CD86-CD28 axis is a critical pathway for immuno-corrective therapy, and the cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA4) is a promising immunosuppressor targeting the CD80/CD86-CD28 axis; however, its use for asthma therapy needs further optimization. A human CTLA4 fused with the IgC? Fc (CTLA4Ig) and mouse CC chemokine receptor type7 (CCR7) coding sequences were inserted into a recombinant adenovirus (rAdV) vector to generate rAdV-CTLA4Ig and rAdV-CCR7. The naive dendritic cells (DCs) were infected with these rAdVs to ensure CCR7 and CTLA4Ig expression. The therapeutic effects of modified DCs were evaluated. rAdV-CTLA4Ig and rAdV-CCR7 infected DCs improved all asthma symptoms. Inflammatory cell infiltration and cytokine analysis showed that rAdV-CTLA4Ig and rAdV-CCR7-modified DC therapy reduced the number of eosinophils and lymphocyte and neutrophil infiltration in the lung. Interestingly, assessment of the humoral immunity showed that the IL-4 and IFN? levels of the rAdV-CTLA4Ig and rAdV-CCR7-modified DC-treated mice decreased significantly and did not reverse the Th1/Th2 balance. DCs expressing CCR7 displayed guidance ability for DC migration, primarily for DCs in the inflammatory lung. Additionally, the rAdVs caused an inflammatory response by inducing DC differentiation, inflammatory cell infiltration and changes in cytokines; however, mice transplanted with rAdV-green fluorescent protein (GFP)-infected DCs displayed no asthma manifestations. In conclusion, CTLA4Ig-modified DCs exhibited a therapeutic effect on asthma, and CCR7 may guide DC homing. The combination of these two molecules may be a model for precision-guided immunotherapy.
Hydrogenation of iron nanoparticles was performed both computationally and experimentally where previously chemically-bonded iron hydride is considered to be unachievable under ordinary conditions. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations predict that hydrogenated iron nanoparticles are stabilized on a single-layer graphene/Cu substrate. Experimentally, iron nanoparticles were deposited onto a graphene/Cu substrate by vacuum deposition. Hydrogenation was done at 1atm of hydrogen gas and under liquid nitrogen. Mass spectrometry peak confirmed the hydrogen release from hydrogenated iron nanoparticles while a scanning transmission electron microscopy is used in order to link a geometrical shape of iron hydride nanoparticles between experimental and theoretical treatments. The hydrogenated iron nanoparticles were successfully synthesized where hydrogenated iron nanoparticles are stable under ordinary conditions.
Transposons are discrete segments of DNA that have the distinctive ability to move and replicate within genomes across the tree of life. 'Cut and paste' DNA transposition involves excision from a donor locus and reintegration into a new locus in the genome. We studied molecular events following the excision steps of two eukaryotic DNA transposons, Sleeping Beauty (SB) and piggyBac (PB) that are widely used for genome manipulation in vertebrate species. SB originates from fish and PB from insects; thus, by introducing these transposons to human cells we aimed to monitor the process of establishing a transposon-host relationship in a naïve cellular environment. Similarly to retroviruses, neither SB nor PB is capable of self-avoidance because a significant portion of the excised transposons integrated back into its own genome in a suicidal process called autointegration. Barrier-to-autointegration factor (BANF1), a cellular co-factor of certain retroviruses, inhibited transposon autointegration, and was detected in higher-order protein complexes containing the SB transposase. Increasing size sensitized transposition for autointegration, consistent with elevated vulnerability of larger transposons. Both SB and PB were affected similarly by the size of the transposon in three different assays: excision, autointegration and productive transposition. Prior to reintegration, SB is completely separated from the donor molecule and followed an unbiased autointegration pattern, not associated with local hopping. Self-disruptive autointegration occurred at similar frequency for both transposons, while aberrant, pseudo-transposition events were more frequently observed for PB.
Summer extreme heat threatens the health of individuals, especially persons who are involved in outdoor activities. Ensuring the normal function of a city, bus drivers are among those who participate in outdoor physical activities and are exposed to excessive heat in hot summer weather. This qualitative study was performed to explore professional bus drivers' in-depth views of extreme heat risks to their health, and ultimately develop targeted advice and policy interventions for city bus drivers. An interview-based study was performed among professional bus drivers in Jinan, China, including four focus groups with professional bus drivers (n = 37) and three interviews with their managers (n = 14). Five central themes or categories from the bus driver interviews were found: concerns about summer heat; health effects related to extreme heat; adaptive measures; barriers in implementing these adaptive measures; and suggested interventions. The beneficial role of cooling facilities (particularly air-conditioning) during extreme heat are addressed. The barriers not only impede the implementation of behavioral adaptive measures but also enhance the negative attitudes of bus drivers towards their effectiveness. The responsibilities of managers in promoting preventive actions are addressed.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as critical regulators of gene expression through translational inhibition and RNA decay and have been implicated in the regulation of cellular differentiation, proliferation, angiogenesis, and apoptosis. In this study, we analyzed global miRNA and mRNA microarrays to predict novel miRNA-mRNA interactions in human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). In particular, we demonstrate a regulatory feedback loop between the miR-302 cluster and two transcription factors, NR2F2 and OCT4. Our data show high expression of miR-302 and OCT4 in pluripotent cells, while NR2F2 is expressed exclusively in differentiated cells. Target analysis predicts that NR2F2 is a direct target of miR-302, which we experimentally confirm by reporter luciferase assays and real-time polymerase chain reaction. We also demonstrate that NR2F2 directly inhibits the activity of the OCT4 promoter and thus diminishes the positive feedback loop between OCT4 and miR-302. Importantly, higher reprogramming efficiencies were obtained when we reprogrammed human adipose-derived stem cells into iPSCs using four factors (KLF4, C-MYC, OCT4, and SOX2) plus miR-302 (this reprogramming cocktail is hereafter referred to as "KMOS3") when compared to using four factors ("KMOS"). Furthermore, shRNA knockdown of NR2F2 mimics the over-expression of miR-302 by also enhancing reprogramming efficiency. Interestingly, we were unable to generate iPSCs from miR-302a/b/c/d alone, which is in contrast to previous publications that have reported that miR-302 by itself can reprogram human skin cancer cells and human hair follicle cells. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that miR-302 inhibits NR2F2 and promotes pluripotency through indirect positive regulation of OCT4. This feedback loop represents an important new mechanism for understanding and inducing pluripotency in somatic cells.
Cardiotoxicity is a leading cause for drug attrition during pharmaceutical development and has resulted in numerous preventable patient deaths. Incidents of adverse cardiac drug reactions are more common in patients with preexisting heart disease than the general population. Here we generated a library of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) from patients with various hereditary cardiac disorders to model differences in cardiac drug toxicity susceptibility for patients of different genetic backgrounds.
The objective of this study was to characterize the effect of albumin therapy on the expression of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR 4), anti-inflammation cytokines and CD4(+)CD25(+)forkhead box P3 (Foxp3)(+) regulatory T lymphocytes (Treg cells) in the ischemic brain and peripheral immune system after Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion (MCAO). Adult male Kunming mice were subjected to MCAO, the suture was withdrawn 2 h later followed by an intravenous administration of 25% albumin (1.25 g/kg) or saline (5 ml/kg) through caudal vein. We demonstrated that albumin administration elevated the serum albumin level supranormally at 6 h and 24 h after MCAO in mice. In addition, we showed that both in the ischemic brain and in the spleen, albumin administration significantly depressed the increase of TLR 4 mRNA expression by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (QRT-PCR), and significantly increase the anti-inflammatory related interleukin-10 (IL-10) and transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF-?1) mRNA expression by transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) after MCAO. In the spleen, compared to sham group, strong TLR 4 immunoreactivity was noted in the saline group; while compared to saline group, albumin administration markedly reduced the immunoreactivity of TLR 4 after MCAO by immunohistochemistry. Moreover, albumin administration significantly increased the percentage of Treg in spleen CD4(+) cells by flow cytometry. In conclusion, the decrease of TLR 4 expression and the increase of Treg cell, IL-10, and TGF-?1 expression may partly contribute to the neuroprotective effect of albumin therapy on MCAO induced immune inflammatory responses.
Familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a prevalent hereditary cardiac disorder linked to arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death. While the causes of HCM have been identified as genetic mutations in the cardiac sarcomere, the pathways by which sarcomeric mutations engender myocyte hypertrophy and electrophysiological abnormalities are not understood. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying HCM development, we generated patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cell cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) from a ten-member family cohort carrying a hereditary HCM missense mutation (Arg663His) in the MYH7 gene. Diseased iPSC-CMs recapitulated numerous aspects of the HCM phenotype including cellular enlargement and contractile arrhythmia at the single-cell level. Calcium (Ca(2+)) imaging indicated dysregulation of Ca(2+) cycling and elevation in intracellular Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)](i)) are central mechanisms for disease pathogenesis. Pharmacological restoration of Ca(2+) homeostasis prevented development of hypertrophy and electrophysiological irregularities. We anticipate that these findings will help elucidate the mechanisms underlying HCM development and identify novel therapies for the disease.
It is widely accepted that interspecific hybridization may induce genomic instability in the resultant hybrids. However, few studies have been performed on the genomic analysis of homoploid hybrids and introgression lines. We have reported previously that by introgressive hybridization, a set of introgression lines between rice (Oryza sativa L.) and wild rice (Zizania latifolia Griseb.) was successfully generated, and which have led to the release of several cultivars.
Doxorubicin (DOX)-loaded glycyrrhetinic acid (GA)-modified alginate (ALG) nanoparticles (DOX/GA-ALG NPs) were prepared for targeting therapy of liver cancer. This study focused on the biodistribution of DOX/GA-ALG NPs in Kunming mice as well as their antitumor activity against liver tumors in situ and side effects. The biodistribution data showed that the concentration of DOX in the liver reached 67.8 ± 4.9 ?g/g after intravenous administration of DOX/GA-ALG NPs, which was 2.8-fold and 4.7-fold higher compared to non-GA-modified nanoparticles (DOX/CHO-ALG NPs) and DOX·HCl, respectively. The concentration of DOX in the heart of mice treated with DOX/GA-ALG NPs at any sampling time was relatively lower than that of mice treated with DOX·HCl. The liver tumor growth inhibition rate (IR) in situ was about 52.6% and the mortality was 33% in DOX·HCl group. In contrast, the IR was 76.6% and no mice died in the DOX/GA-ALG NPs group. Histological examination showed tumor necrosis in both experimental groups. Most importantly, the heart cells and the liver cells surrounding the tumor were not affected by administration of DOX/GA-ALG NPs, whereas myocardial necrosis and apparent liver cell swelling were observed after DOX·HCl administration.
A plastic bag method was developed to observe air-sensitive samples on microstructure and phase distribution without exposure to air during the holder transfer process into the transmission electron microscope (TEM). As an example, a type of lithium aluminum hydride (Li(3)AlH(6)) was observed in the TEM to demonstrate the effectiveness of this method. Results show that the plastic bag method is a simple and practical TEM transfer method utilized to reduce air contact for a series of air-sensitive materials.
Stem cells have been touted as the holy grail of medical therapy, with promises to regenerate cardiac tissue, but it appears the jury is still out on this novel therapy. Using advanced imaging technology, scientists have discovered that these cells do not survive nor engraft long-term. In addition, only marginal benefit has been observed in large-animal studies and human trials. However, all is not lost. Further application of advanced imaging technology will help scientists unravel the mysteries of stem cell therapy and address the clinical hurdles facing its routine implementation. In this review, we will discuss how advanced imaging technology will help investigators better define the optimal delivery method, improve survival and engraftment, and evaluate efficacy and safety. Insights gained from this review may direct the development of future preclinical investigations and clinical trials.
Zirconia has found wide application in dentistry because of its high mechanical strength and superior esthetic properties. However, zirconia degradation caused by phase transformation occurring in a hydrothermal environment is of concern. In the present study, phase transformation and microstructure of tetragonal zirconia polycrystal partially stabilized with yttrium oxide (Y-TZP) and alumina-toughened zirconia (ATZ) sintered at different temperatures were estimated. On grazing angle X-ray diffraction analysis, ATZ showed less phase transformation to the monoclinic phase during hydrothermal treatment and this transformation appeared to occur within a few micrometers below the surface. At a higher sintering temperature the monoclinic phase content of ATZ was found to be lesser than that of Y-TZP, indicating that the alumina in ATZ was effective in suppressing hydrothermal degradation. Examination by transmission electron microscopy and studying of electron backscatter diffraction patterns indicated that grain growth in ATZ was slightly suppressed compared with that in Y-TZP at higher sintering temperatures. The present study demonstrated the effect of adding alumina to zirconia for suppressing hydrothermal degradation and studied the effect of this addition on grain growth in zirconia.
Most patients with erythropoietic protoporphyria have deficient ferrochelatase (FECH) activity due to changes in FECH DNA. We evaluated seven patients with erythropoietic protoporphyria phenotype in whom abnormalities of FECH DNA were not found by conventional analysis. The major focus was mitoferrin-1 (MFRN1), the mitochondrial transporter of Fe used for heme formation by FECH and for 2Fe2S cluster synthesis, which is critical to FECH activity/stability.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is known to be an important stroke-related pathogenic factor for the formation of brain edema. We examined the therapeutic effect of human serum albumin on VEGF expression in acute ischemic stroke. Adult male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were subjected to Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion (MCAO), the suture was withdrawn 2 h later, and 25% albumin (1.25 g/kg) or saline (5 ml/kg) was administered intravenously after reperfusion. The model was evaluated by 2,3,5-triphenyl-tetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining, neurological deficits and brain water content. Serum albumin level was determined. VEGF expression was studied by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), quantitative real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry. We demonstrated that albumin administration maintained the serum albumin at a higher level than the sham group at 6 h, 1 d, 2 d and 3 d after MCAO, and significantly improved the neurological deficits and decreased the brain water content. In addition, the strong up-regulation of VEGF expression at 6 h and 1d after MCAO can be attenuated by albumin administration. However, albumin administration had no significant depressing effect on VEGF expression at 2 d, 3 d and 5 d after MCAO in the cortex and hippocampus. Strong up-regulation of VEGF immunoreactivity was noted in the saline group in the blood-brain barrier (BBB), and in neurons surrounding the peri-infarct area and periventricular area at 24 h after MCAO. The expression of VEGF in the albumin group was much weaker. Furthermore, there were high correlations between the brain water content with the serum albumin level, with serum VEGF protein level, and with brain VEGF mRNA expression at 24 h after MCAO. In conclusion, maintaining the serum albumin at a higher level, and attenuating endogenous VEGF expression at 6 h and 1d, but not 2 d, 3 d, or 5 d after MCAO, may partially contribute to the protective effects of albumin on reduction of brain edema in the early stage of ischemia.
Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) contribute to a range of germline, as well as somatic mutations in mammals. However, autonomous retrotransposition of potentially active elements has not been demonstrated in the rat genome. We cloned an insertion that disrupted the normal splicing of the Cntrob gene that was subsequently identified as a nonautonomous, novel endogenous retrovirus of the RnERV-K8e family. The RnERV-K8e family is closely related to the recently reported MmERV-K10c elements, but differs from the autonomous mouse MusD or IAP families. In addition, we identified a novel, unexpectedly close relative of RnERV-K8e in the mouse, suggesting ERV-K cross-species transmission between mice and rats. We cloned a potentially autonomous RnERV-K8e element identified by in silico analysis and, using an in vitro retrotransposition assay, demonstrated that it is capable of retrotransposition. This particular element (named Rat-rho, pronounced "retro") encodes a retroviral envelope gene (env); however, env is not required for de novo retrotransposition events. Significant levels of RnERV-K8e-associated genetic polymorphisms were detected among inbred rat strains, suggesting ongoing retrotransposition in the rat genome. This study identifies an ERV-K-type family in rats that shows obvious signs of recent activity. Ongoing retrotranspositional activity may significantly add to genomic variability among inbred rat strains.
Hepatopulmonary syndrome (HPS), defined as intrapulmonary vasodilation, occurs in 10%-30% of cirrhotics and increases mortality. In a rat model of HPS induced by common bile duct ligation (CBDL), but not thioacetamide (TAA)-induced nonbiliary cirrhosis, lung capillary density increases, monocytes accumulate in the microvasculature, and signaling factors in the angiogenesis pathway (Akt and endothelial nitric oxide synthase [eNOS]) are activated. Pentoxifylline (PTX) directly decreases lung endothelial Akt and eNOS activation, blocks intravascular monocyte accumulation, and improves experimental HPS; we evaluated whether pulmonary angiogenesis develops in this model.
Molecular imaging has proven to be a vital tool in the characterization of stem cell behavior in vivo. However, the integration of reporter genes has typically relied on random integration, a method that is associated with unwanted insertional mutagenesis and positional effects on transgene expression.
The angiotensinogen (AGT) gene has been shown to be involved in the development of coronary heart disease (CHD). However, the results have been inconsistent. In this study, the authors performed a meta-analysis to clarify the associations between AGT polymorphisms and CHD risk among the Chinese population.
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