Subscribe: International Journal of Medical Sciences
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
cancer  cell  cells  effects  expression  group  levels  methods  patients  protein  results  significantly  study  treatment 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: International Journal of Medical Sciences

International Journal of Medical Sciences

International Journal of Medical Sciences RSS feed -- Volume 14

Published: Tue, 12 Sep 2017 04:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2017 04:00:00 GMT


Critical Role of p53 and K-ras in the Diagnosis of Early Colorectal Cancer: a One-year, Single-center Analysis


Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is strongly associated with colorectal polyps, which has become the third most common cancer in China. In the present study, we revealed the susceptible population and risk factors of colorectal polyps, and analyzed the expression of Ki-67, p53 and K-ras in the intestinal mucosa of patients with colorectal polyps in order to explore their significance in the detection and prognosis of CRC at an early stage.

Materials and Methods: Total 801 cases of colorectal polyps were collected during endoscopic resection including endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) and endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD). Expression of Ki-67, p53 and K-ras in the intestinal mucosa was detected by immunohistochemistry and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), respectively. Histological analysis was performed by Hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining. Categorical variables were compared by one-way ANOVA, Pearson test, Spearman test, Kruskal-Wallis test and analysis of regression.

Results: Of all patients with colorectal polyps, 90.76% of patients (n = 727) were ≥ 50 years old. 530 cases (66.17%) were males compared with 271 females (33.83%) in all 801 cases. More importantly, 1.03% patients (n = 7) underwent polypectomy and histological examination was confirmed to be the early stage of CRC. The expression of p53 was found to be significantly decreased, while K-ras was increased in tumor tissues of CRC compared with that in hyperplastic polyps and healthy controls.

Conclusions: 1.03% patients (n = 7) underwent polypectomy was confirmed to be the early stage of CRC. Histological analysis for expression of p53 and K-ras can guarantee to screen the early stage of CRC.

MEF2C loss-of-function mutation contributes to congenital heart defects


Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the most common type of developmental abnormality in humans, and is a leading cause for substantially increased morbidity and mortality in affected individuals. Increasing studies demonstrates a pivotal role of genetic defects in the pathogenesis of CHD, and presently mutations in more than 60 genes have been associated with CHD. Nevertheless, CHD is of pronounced genetic heterogeneity, and the genetic basis underpinning CHD in a large proportion of patients remains unclear. In the present study, the whole coding exons and splicing donors/acceptors of the MEF2C gene, which codes for a transcription factor essential for normal cardiovascular development, were sequenced in 200 unrelated patients affected with CHD, and a novel heterozygous missense mutation, p.L38P, was identified in an index patient with patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) and ventricular septal defect (VSD). Genetic scan of the mutation carrier's family members available showed that the mutation was present in all affected family members but absent in unaffected family members. Analysis of the proband's pedigree revealed that the mutation co-segregated with PDA, which was transmitted as an autosomal dominant trait with complete penetrance. The mutation changed the amino acid that was completely conserved evolutionarily, and did not exist in 300 unrelated, ethnically-matched healthy individuals used as controls. Functional deciphers by using a dual-luciferase reporter assay system unveiled that the mutant MEF2C protein had a significantly reduced transcriptional activity. Furthermore, the mutation significantly diminished the synergistic activation between MEF2C and GATA4, another cardiac core transcription factor that has been causally linked to CHD. In conclusion, this is the first report on the association of a MEF2C loss-of-function mutation with an increased vulnerability to CHD in humans, which provides novel insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying CHD, implying potential implications for early diagnosis and timely prophylaxis of CHD.

Extensively disturbance of regulatory T cells - Th17 cells balance in stage II pulmonary sarcoidosis


Background: Sarcoidosis is a systemic inflammatory disorder characterized by granulomas. Not enough evidences correlate the derangement of CD4+ T subsets, which have an impact on the therapeutic effects of corticosteroids, with the radiographical staging of sarcoidosis. Here we show the disturbance of CD4+ T subsets in newly diagnosed stage II pulmonary sarcoidosis, which is the most common stage in which corticosteroids treatment is used.

Materials and methods: 39 newly diagnosed and treatment-naïve patients and 9 subjects after corticosteroids treatment were included. CD4+ CD45RA+/ CD45RO+ cells, CCR4+ CCR6+ cells, and T regulatory cells (Tregs) were tested by Flow Cytometry Analysis. Th1/Th2, Tregs/Th17 related cytokines and mRNAs, SAA and CCL20 were also measured. The activation of PI3K/PTEN/Akt signaling pathway was detected.

Results: Percentages of CD4+CD45RO+ memory T cells and Tregs, serum levels of IL-17A, TGF-β1, IL-6, IFN-γ, IL-10, SAA and CCL20, copies of T-bet, FoxP3, IL-17 and RORc in the periphery were elevated in newly diagnosed stage II pulmonary sarcoidosis patients. Additionally, PI3K/Akt signaling pathway was activated in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid cells.

Conclusions: Disturbance of T memory cells, Th1/Th2, and Tregs/Th17 cells, and activation of PI3K/Akt signaling were seen in newly diagnosed stage II pulmonary sarcoidosis, which can be partly ameliorated by corticosteroids treatment.

Genetic Variations of Melatonin Receptor Type 1A are Associated with the Clinicopathologic Development of Urothelial Cell Carcinoma


Melatonin counteracts tumor occurrence and tumor cell progression in several cancer types in vitro and in vivo. It acts predominantly through its melatonin receptor type 1A (MTNR1A), and genetic variations of MTNR1A affect the susceptibility several diseases and cancer. The purpose of this study was to explore the effect of MTNR1A gene polymorphisms on the susceptibility to and clinicopathological characteristics of urothelial cell carcinoma (UCC). We recruited 272 patients with UCC and 272 normal controls to analyze three common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs2119882, rs13140012, and rs6553010) of MTNR1A related to cancer risk and clinicopathological relevance according to a TaqMan-based real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). We found that these three SNPs of MTNR1A were not associated with UCC susceptibility. However, patients with UCC who had at least one G allele of MTNR1A rs6553010 (in intron 1) were at higher risk (1.768-fold, 95% confidence interval: 1.068~1.849) of developing an invasive stage (p < 0.026), compared to those patients with AA homozygotes. In conclusion, polymorphic genotypes of rs6553010 of MTNR1A might contribute to the ability to predict aggressive phenotypes of UCC. This is the first study to provide insights into risk factors associated with intronic MTNR1A variants in the clinicopathologic development of UCC in Taiwan.

The Crosstalk between HDPSCs and HUCMSCs on Proliferation and Osteogenic Genes Expression in Coculture System


Objectives: The present study established a non-contact coculture system in vitro, aiming to investigate the crosstalk between human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs) and human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUCMSCs) on proliferation activity and osteogenic genes expression through paracrine.

Materials and methods: The stemness of hDPSCs and hUCMSCs were identified by flow cytometric analysis and multipotential differentiation assays. With the help of transwell inserts, the non-contact coculture system in vitro was established between hDPSCs and hUCMSCs. EdU labeling analysis and Western Blot were used to detect the proliferation activity. The mRNA and protein levels of osteogenic genes were evaluated by RT-PCR and Western Blot. The expression of elements in Akt/mTOR signaling pathway were detected by Western Blot.

Results: Both hDPSCs and hUCMSCs were positive to MSCs specific surface markers and had multi-differentiation potential. The proportion of EdU-positive cells increased and the expression of CDK6 and CYCLIN A were up-regulated in cocultured hDPSCs. Both prior coculture and persistent coculture improved mRNA and protein levels of osteogenic genes in hDPSCs. While in cocultured hUCMSCs, no statistical differences were observed on proliferation and osteogenesis. The phosphorylation of Akt and mTOR was up-regulated in cocultured hDPSCs.

Conclusions: The crosstalk between hDPSCs and hUCMSCs in coculture system increased the proliferation activity and enhanced osteogenic genes expression in hDPSCs. Akt/mTOR signaling pathway might take part in the enhancing effects in both cell proliferation and gene expression.

Effect of Coriolus versicolor Mycelia Extract on Exercise Performance and Physical Fatigue in Mice


In this study, Coriolus versicolor mycelia (CVM) was evaluated the ergogenic and anti-fatigue activities. Male ICR mice were divided into four groups (n = 8/group) to receive vehicle or CVM by oral gavage for 4 weeks at 0, 615, 1230 or 3075 mg/kg/day, which were respectively designated the vehicle, CVM-1X, CVM-2X and CVM-5X groups. Forelimb grip strength, endurance swimming time, and levels of physical fatigue-associated parameters serum lactate, ammonia, glucose and creatine kinase (CK) after physical challenge were performed to evaluate exercise performance and anti-fatigue activity. Results revealed that the forelimb grip strength of mice in group CVM-1X, CVM-2X and CVM-5X were significantly increased by 1.20-, 1.18- and 1.23-fold, respectively, compared to the vehicle group. After the 15 minute swimming exercise, the levels of serum lactate of CVM-1X, CVM-2X and CVM-5X groups were significantly lower than the vehicle control group by 29%, 23% and 31%, respectively. The levels of ammonia in CVM-1X, CVM-2X and CVM-5X groups were significantly lowered by 22%, 25% and 41%, respectively, compared to the vehicle control group. In addition, the levels of serum CK in CVM-2X and CVM-5X groups were significantly lowered by 13% and 11%, respectively, compared to the vehicle control group. Accordingly, the supplementation with CVM has beneficial effects on performance improvement and anti-fatigue activity, and thus has great potential as a source for natural health products.

Selective Killing of Melanoma Cells With Non-Thermal Atmospheric Pressure Plasma and p-FAK Antibody Conjugated Gold Nanoparticles


Melanomas are fast growing high-mortality tumors, and specific treatments for melanomas are needed. Melanoma cells overexpress focal adhesion kinase (FAK) compared to normal keratinocytes, and we sought to exploit this difference to create a selectively lethal therapy.

We combined gold nanoparticles (GNP) with antibodies targeting phosphorylated FAK (p-FAK). These conjugates (p-FAK-GNP) entered G361 melanoma cells and bound p-FAK. Treatment with p-FAK-GNP decreased the viability of G361 cells in a time dependent manner by inducing apoptosis. To maximize the preferential killing of G361 cells, non-thermal atmospheric pressure plasma was used to stimulate the GNP within p-FAK-GNP. Combined treatment with plasma and p-FAK-GNP showed much higher lethality against G361 cells than HaCaT keratinocyte cells. The p-FAK-GNP induced apoptosis over 48 hours in G361 cells, whereas plasma and p-FAK-GNP killed G361 cells immediately.

This study demonstrates that combining plasma with p-FAK-GNP results in selective lethality against human melanoma cells.

Plasma Levels of Endothelial Cell-Specific Molecule-1 as a Potential Biomarker of Oral Cancer Progression


In Taiwan, oral cancer is the fourth most common cancer and the most common malignancy with a poor prognosis. Endothelial cell-specific molecule-1 (ESM-1) is secreted by vascular endothelial cells in the liver, lungs, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract. ESM-1 expression is associated with tumor prognosis, metastasis, and angiogenesis in many cancers. However, few studies have examined the association of plasma ESM-1 levels with oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) progression. We measured the plasma ESM-1 levels of 438 male OSCC patients through a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) dataset was also used to analyze the ESM-1 levels in 328 OSCC patients and 33 normal tissues. Our results revealed that the plasma levels of ESM-1 in OSCC patients were significantly associated with the tumor (T) status but not with the lymph node status, metastasis, and cell differentiation. TCGA bioinformatics database analysis revealed that ESM-1 expression was significantly higher in OSCC patients than in normal individuals (p < 0.05). In addition, the examination revealed similar results for the ESM-1 expression levels and pathological stage in OSCC. In conclusion, plasma ESM-1 is a novel biomarker for predicting the T status in OSCC patients.

Association of IFNL3 Genotype with Hepatic Steatosis in Chronic Hepatitis C Patients Treated with Peginterferon and Ribavirin Combination Therapy


Background: Genetic variation near the interferon lambda 3 (IFNL3) is known to be associated with response to pegylated interferon (pegIFN) and ribavirin combination therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection which is often accompanied by hepatic steatosis.

Aims: We examined whether this genetic variation is associated with host lipids and treatment response.

Methods: A total of 101 Japanese patients who had underwent liver biopsy before treatment with pegIFN and ribavirin for HCV genotype 1b infection were retrospectively analyzed for association between IFNL3 genotypes (rs8099917) and clinical factors including histopathological features of the liver. The presence of >5% steatosis in the liver specimen was defined as hepatic steatosis.

Results: Forty patients (40%) had liver steatosis before therapy. Patients with IFNL3 minor genotype (non-TT) showed lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level (p=0.0045), higher γ-glutamyl transpeptidase level (p=0.0003) and higher prevalence of hepatic steatosis (p=0.0002). Advanced fibrosis [odds ratio (OR) 4.63, p=0.03] and IFNL3 major genotype (OR 0.13, p=0.001) were 2 independent factors for determining the presence of hepatic steatosis. Among the factors associated with sustained virological response, IFNL3 genotype was the most significant predictor, as per multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: Our results confirmed that IFNL3 genotype is associated with hepatic steatosis as well as IFN response.

Serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D Better Reflects Renal Parameters Than 25-hydoxyvitamin D in Patients with Glomerular Diseases


Background: Impaired vitamin D metabolism may contribute to the development and progression of chronic kidney disease. The purpose of this study was to determine associations of circulating vitamin D with the degree of proteinuria and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in patients with biopsy-proven glomerular diseases.

Methods: Clinical and biochemical data including blood samples for 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D) levels were collected from patients at the time of kidney biopsy.

Results: Serum 25(OH)D levels were not different according to eGFR. However, renal function was significantly decreased with lower serum 1,25(OH)2D levels (P < 0.001). The proportions of nephrotic-range proteinuria and renal dysfunction (eGFR ≤ 60 mL/min/1.73 m2) progressively increased with declining 1,25(OH)2D but not 25(OH)D. Multivariable linear regression analysis showed that 25(OH)D was significantly correlated with serum albumin and total cholesterol (β = 0.224, P = 0.006; β = -0.263, P = 0.001) and 1,25(OH)2D was significantly correlated with eGFR, serum albumin and phosphorus (β = 0.202, P = 0.005; β = 0.304, P < 0.001; β = -0.161, P = 0.024). In adjusted multivariable linear regression, eGFR and 24hr proteinuria were independently correlated only with 1,25(OH)2D (β = 0.154, P = 0.018; β = -0.171, P = 0.012), but not 25(OH)D. The lower level of 1,25(OH)2D was associated with the frequent use of immunosuppressive agents (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: It is noteworthy in these results that circulating 1,25(OH)2D may be superior to 25(OH)D as a marker of severity of glomerular diseases.

Construction and Identification of Recombinant HEK293T Cell Lines Expressing Non-structural Protein 1 of Zika Virus


Background: Zika virus (ZIKV) infection has become a major public health problem all around the world. Early diagnosis of Zika infection is important for better management of the disease. Non-structural protein 1 (NS1) is a potential biomarker for ZIKV infections. The purpose of this study was to produce the ZIKV NS1 protein for establishing serological diagnostic methods for ZIKV.

Methods: The cDNA fragment encoding a chimeric protein composed of murine Igκ signal peptide, NS1 and histidine tag was synthesized and cloned into the lentiviral expression vector pLV-eGFP. The resulting expression vector pLV-eGFP-ZIKV-NS1 was packaged and transduced into human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293T cells and clonal cell lines with NS1 gene were generated from the tranduced cells by limiting dilution. Over expressed recombination NS1 (rNS1) fusion protein was purified by nickel affinity chromatography. Mice immunization and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were carried out to evaluate the immunogenicity of rNS1.

Results: Western blot analysis revealed that the reconstituted cells stably expressed and secreted high levels of approximately 45-kDa NS1, and no significant changes were observed in green fluorescent protein (GFP) fluorescence ratio and fluorescence intensity. The scanned gels showed that the purity of the purified rNS1 was 99.42%. BALB/c mice were then immunized with purified rNS1 and a high level of antibodies against NS1 was elicited in the mice.

Conclusion: Overall, recombinant NS1 proteins were successfully purified and their antigenicity was assessed. Immunization of mice with recombinant proteins demonstrated the immunogenicity of the NS1 protein. Thus, the generated recombinant NS1 can be potentially used in the development of serological diagnostic methods for ZIKV.

Effects Of Oral Glutamine on Inflammatory and Autophagy Responses in Cancer Patients Treated With Abdominal Radiotherapy: A Pilot Randomized Trial


Background and Aims: Abdominal radiotherapy (RT) causes harm to the mid gastrointestinal mucosa by release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and promotes autophagic changes in tumor cells. This study was aimed to measure the effect of glutamine administration on markers of inflammation and autophagy in cancer patients treated with RT.

Methods: In this double-blind, randomized, controlled pilot trial 43 patients under abdominal RT diagnosed of pelvic or abdominal malignancies receiving glutamine (30 g/d) or placebo (casein, 30 g/d). Patient recruitment took place in the Complejo Asistencial Universitario of León (CAULE), Spain. Patient evaluation took place at three different time points during the study: before RT (pre-treatment), in the middle of the RT period (mid-treatment), and after finishing RT (post-treatment). Data were compared by analysis of variance and the Newmann Keuls test. Significance was accepted at p < 0.05.

Results Abdominal RT increased whole blood mRNA levels of inflammatory and autophagic markers, but glutamine administration showed significantly lower expression of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), CD36, interleukin-1β (IL-1β), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9). Moreover, glutamine reduced the expression of the transcription factors nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and activator protein 1 (AP-1). Glutamine also inhibited the autophagic response, with changes in expression of beclin-1, UV radiation resistance associated gene (UVRAG), autophagy-related protein-5 (Atg5), protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3), sequestosome 1 (p62/SQSTM1) and lysosome-associated membrane protein (LAMP)-1.

Conclusions Findings provide evidence that glutamine decreases the inflammatory response and abolishes the changes of the autophagy machinery in patients receiving abdominal RT. The protective effect of glutamine must continue being investigated to disclose further molecular pathways.

Gender-Specific Associations between Low Skeletal Muscle Mass and Albuminuria in the Middle-Aged and Elderly Population


Objective This study assessed gender-specific associations between low muscle mass (LMM) and albuminuria.

Methods Data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011 were employed. The study consisted of 1,087 subjects (≥50 years old). Skeletal muscle index (SMI) was defined as the weight-adjusted appendicular skeletal muscle mass. Mild LMM and severe LMM were defined as SMI that were 1-2 and >2 standard deviations below the sex-specific mean appendicular skeletal muscle mass of young adults, respectively. Increased albuminuria was defined as albumin-to-creatinine ratio ≥30mg/g

Results Men with mild and severe LMM were significantly more likely to have increased albuminuria (15.2% and 45.45%, respectively) than men with normal SMI (9.86%, P<0.0001), but not women. Severe LMM associated independently with increased albuminuria in men (OR=7.661, 95% CI=2.72-21.579) but not women. Severe LMM was an independent predictor of increased albuminuria in hypertensive males (OR=11.449, 95% CI=3.037-43.156), non-diabetic males (OR=8.782, 95% CI=3.046-25.322), and males without metabolic syndrome (MetS) (OR=8.183, 95% CI=1.539-43.156). This was not observed in males without hypertension, males with diabetes or MetS, and all female subgroups.

Conclusion Severe LMM associated with increased albuminuria in men, especially those with hypertension and without diabetes or MetS.

The Extracts of Astragalus membranaceus Inhibit Melanogenesis through the ERK Signaling Pathway


Melanin is a normal production protecting skin from environment-causing damage. Plants produce some agents in response to their environment. These agents could be applied in cosmetic production. Some Chinese herbals have immunomodulatory activities and modulate the symptoms of several diseases. Melanogenesis represents a complex group of conditions that are thought to be mediated through a complex network of regulatory processes. Previously, some studies found that the extracts of Astragalus membranaceus (PG2) regulated immunity and supported hematopoiesis. Herein, we want to determine the molecular mechanisms by which PG2 inhibits melanogenesis in B16F10 melanoma cells. The cellular melanin contents and expression of melanogenesis-related protein, including microphthalmia associated transcription factor (MITF) and tyrosinase were significantly reduced after PG2 treatment. Moreover, PG2 increased phosphorylation of ERK, without affecting phosphorylation of p38. These results suggested that PG2 as a new target in reducing hyperpigmentation through the ERK signal pathway. PG2 has potential for cosmetic usage in the future.

Sports and HDL-Quality Reflected By Serum Amyloid A and Surfactant Protein B


Background: The aim of this prospective study was to investigate the influence of long-term physical activity on HDL quality, reflected by serum amyloid A (SAA) and surfactant protein B (SPB).

Methods and results: 109 healthy subjects were recruited, 98 completed the study. Participants perform within the calculated training pulse for 8 months. The performance gain was measured/quantified by bicycle stress tests at the beginning and end of the observation period. SAA and SPB were measured at baseline and after 4 and 8 months by ELISA. In contrary to HDL-quantity, there was no sports-induced change in SAA or SPB observable. However, significant predictors for SPB-levels were smoking status, BMI and weekly alcohol consumption and for SAA weekly alcohol consumption together with sex and hsCRP-levels.

Conclusions: Long-term physical activity increases HDL-quantity but has no impact on HDL-quality reflected by SAA and SPB. Smoking is associated with higher SPB-levels and the weekly alcohol intake is associated with both higher SAA and SPB-levels suggesting a damaging effect of smoking and drinking alcohol on the HDL-quality. We assume that HDL-quality is at least as important as HDL-quantity when investigating the role of HDL in (cardiovascular) disease and should receive attention in further studies dealing with HDL.

Verteporfin Inhibits Cell Proliferation and Induces Apoptosis in Human Leukemia NB4 Cells without Light Activation


Background and Aims: Verteporfin (VP), clinically used in photodynamic therapy for neovascular macular degeneration, has recently been proven a suppressor of yes-associated protein (YAP) and has shown potential in anticancer treatment. However, its anti-human leukemia effects in NB4 cells remain unclear. In this study, we investigated the effects of VP on proliferation and apoptosis in human leukemia NB4 cells.

Methods: NB4 cells were treated with VP for 24 h. The effects of VP on cell proliferation were determined using a Cell-Counting Kit-8 assay (CCK-8) assay and colony forming assay. Apoptosis and cell cycle were evaluated by flow cytometry (FCM). The protein levels were detected by western blot.

Results: We found that VP inhibited the proliferation of NB4 cells in a concentration and time-dependent manner. FCM analysis showed that VP induced apoptosis in a concentration dependent manner and that VP treatment led to cell cycle arrest at G0/G1 phase. Moreover, VP significantly decreased the protein expression of YAP, p-YAP, Survivin, c-Myc, cyclinD1, p-ERK, and p-AKT. In addition, VP increased the protein expression of cleaved caspase3, cleaved PARP, Bax, and p-p38 MAPK.

Conclusions: VP inhibited the proliferation and induced apoptosis in NB4 cells.

LncRNA AFAP1-AS Functions as a Competing Endogenous RNA to Regulate RAP1B Expression by sponging miR-181a in the HSCR


Background: Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have recently emerged as important regulators in a broad spectrum of cellular processes including development and disease. Despite the known engagement of the AFAP1-AS in several human diseases, its biological function in Hirschsprung disease (HSCR) remains elusive.

Methods: We used qRT-PCR to detect the relative expression of AFAP1-AS in 64 HSCR bowel tissues and matched normal intestinal tissues. The effects of AFAP1-AS on cell proliferation, migration, cell cycle, apoptosis and cytoskeletal organization were evaluated using CCK-8, transwell assay, flow cytometer analysis and immunofluorescence, in 293T and SH-SY5Y cell lines, respectively. Moreover, the competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) activity of AFAP1-AS on miR-181a was investigated via luciferase reporter assay and immunoblot analysis.

Results: Aberrant inhibition of AFAP1-AS was observed in HSCR tissues. Knockdown of AFAP1-AS in 293T and SH-SY5Y cells suppressed cell proliferation, migration, and induced the loss of cell stress filament integrity, possibly due to AFAP1-AS sequestering miR-181a in HSCR cells. Furthermore, AFAP1-AS could down-regulate RAP1B via its competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) activity on miR-181a.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that aberrant expression of lncRNA AFAP1-AS, a ceRNA of miR-181a, may involve in the onset and progression of HSCR by augmenting the miR-181a target gene, RAP1B.

No Association of Proton Pump Inhibitor Use with Fasting or Postload Glycaemia in Patients with Cardiovascular Disease: A Cross-Sectional Retrospective Study


Background: Proton pump inhibitor (PPI) use was reportedly associated with an excess of adverse cardiovascular (CV) events, thus making their systemic effects relevant to public health. PPIs reduce gastric acid secretion, causing increased gastrin release. Gastrin stimulates β-cell neogenesis and enhances insulin release, exerting an incretin-like effect. Our aim was to assess, if PPI usage is associated with altered glycaemia in patients with CV disease.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed medical records of 102 subjects (80 with ischemic heart disease) who underwent a routine oral glucose tolerance test while hospitalized in a cardiology department. Fasting and 2-h postload glucose levels were compared according to PPI use for ≥1 month prior to admission.

Results: Compared to 51 subjects without PPIs, those on a PPI were older, more frequently male, had a lower body-mass index and a tendency to a worse renal function. PPI users and non-users exhibited similar glucose levels at baseline (5.6 ± 0.9 vs. 5.5 ± 1.1 mmol/l, P = 0.5) and 2-hrs post glucose intake (9.8 ± 3.0 vs. 9.9 ± 3.4 mmol/l, P = 0.9). This was consistent across subgroups stratified by gender or diabetes status. The results were substantially unchanged after adjustment for different characteristics of subjects with and without PPIs.

Conclusions: PPI use does not appear associated with altered glycaemia in subjects with CV disease. Unchanged glucose tolerance despite PPI usage may result from simultaneous activation of pathways that counteract the putative PPI-induced incretin-like effect.

Association of Maternal Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations in Second Trimester with Delivery Mode in A Chinese Population


Objective: To determine the maternal serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations in a Chinese population and investigate its associations with subsequent delivery mode by studying 1924 unrelated pregnant women.

Methods: The serum 25(OH)D concentrations was measured by euzymelinked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Simultaneously, maternal information and subsequent delivery mode were collected. Logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the associations between 25(OH)D concentrations and caesarean section.

Results: The median (IQR) serum concentration of 25(OH)D for the total subjects was 43.4 (35.2-56.9) nmol/L. Among them, 1225 (63.7%) women were in the status of 25(OH)D deficiency (< 50.0 nmol/L). The 25(OH)D concentrations showed significant variation by body mass index (BMI), parity and season of sampling. Women with caesarean section was older, and with higher BMI and rate of abnormal pregnancy history, suggesting advanced age, obesity and abnormal pregnancy history may be the risk factors for the subsequent caesarean section. Compared with 25(OH)D from 50.0 to 74.9 nmol/L, women with low 25(OH)D concentrations (< 50.0 nmol/L) was not significantly associated with caesarean section. Only in the subgroup of the women without abnormal pregnancy history, higher 25(OH)D (> 75.0 nmol/L) concentrations could significantly decrease the risk of caesarean section.

Conclusion: Vitamin D deficiency is a quite serious problem in Chinese pregnant women. There is no evidence that the maternal serum 25(OH)D concentrations is associated with increased risk of caesarean section.

IL-36γ inhibits differentiation and induces inflammation of keratinocyte via Wnt signaling pathway in psoriasis


Psoriasis is a common inflammatory skin disease characterized by abnormal keratinocyte inflammation and differentiation that has a major impact on patients' quality of life. IL-36γ, a member of IL-36 cytokine family, is highly expressed in psoriasis and plays an important role in inflammation response and differentiation. However, the function of IL-36γ in differentiation and inflammation of keratinocyte in psoriasis has not been clearly identified. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the role of IL-36γ on differentiation and inflammation in HaCaT cells. HaCaT cells were divided into three groups: (1) Control group; (2) IL-36γ (100 ng/mL) group; (3) IL-36γ (100 ng/mL) + IWP-2 (1μM) group. Real time PCR was used to detect gene expression; the inflammation cytokines were examined by ELISA. We showed that treatment of HaCaT cells with IL-36γ significantly upregulated the expression levels of β-catenin, cyclin D1, and ki-67. IL-36γ also promoted the production of the inflammatory cytokines IFN-γ, IL-1β and IL-6, suppressed the expression of filaggrin, involucrin, keratin 1 and keratin 5. Meanwhile, we demonstrated the role of IWP-2, an inhibitor of the Wnt signaling pathway, in IL-36γ-treated HaCaT cells. Collectively, our findings suggest that IL-36γ inhibits differentiation and induces inflammation of keratinocyte via Wnt signaling pathway in psoriasis, this indicated that downregulation of IL-36γ may be a potential therapeutic option in psoriasis.

Comparison of the Analgesic Properties of Sevoflurane and Desflurane Using Surgical Pleth Index at Equi-Minimum Alveolar Concentration


Background: Traditionally, minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) has been used as the standard measure to compare the potencies of volatile anesthetics. However, it reflects the spinal mechanism of immobility rather than the subcortical mechanism of analgesia. Recently, the surgical pleth index (SPI) derived from photoplethysmographic waveform was shown to reflect the intraoperative analgesic component. This study was designed to compare the SPI values produced by equi-MAC of two commonly used volatile anesthetics, sevoflurane and desflurane.

Methods: Seventy-two patients undergoing arthroscopic shoulder surgery were randomly assigned to two groups receiving either sevoflurane (n = 36) or desflurane (n = 36). General anesthesia was maintained with the respective volatile anesthetic only. A vaporizer was adjusted to maintain end-tidal anesthetic concentration at age-corrected 1.0 MAC throughout the study period. The SPI value as an analgesic estimate and the bispectral index (BIS) value as a hypnotic estimate were recorded at predefined time points during the standardized surgical procedure.

Results: During the steady state of age-corrected 1.0 MAC, mean SPI values throughout the entire study period were significantly higher in the sevoflurane group than in the desflurane group (38.1 ± 12.8 vs. 30.7 ± 8.8, respectively, P = 0.005), and mean BIS values were significantly higher in the sevoflurane group than in the desflurane group (40.7 ± 5.8 vs. 36.8 ± 6.2, respectively, P = 0.008).

Conclusions: Equi-MAC of sevoflurane and desflurane did not produce similar surgical pleth index values. Therefore, sevoflurane and desflurane may have different analgesic properties at equipotent concentrations.

Kaempferol Inhibits the Invasion and Migration of Renal Cancer Cells through the Downregulation of AKT and FAK Pathways


Kaempferol, which is isolated from several natural plants, is a polyphenol belonging to the subgroup of flavonoids. Kaempferol exhibits various pharmacological activities, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anticancer activities. In this study, kaempferol can significantly inhibit the invasion and migration of 786-O renal cell carcinoma (RCC) without cytotoxicity. We examined the potential mechanisms underlying its anti-invasive activities on 786-O RCC cells. Western blot was performed, and the results showed that kaempferol attenuates the manifestation of metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) protein and activity. The inhibitive effect of kaempferol on MMP-2 may be attributed to the downregulation of phosphorylation of Akt and focal adhesion kinase (FAK). By examining the SCID mice model, we found that kaempferol can safely inhibit the metastasis of the 786-O RCC cells into the lungs by about 87.4% as compared to vehicle treated control animals. In addition, the lung tumor masses of mice pretreated with 2-10 mg/kg kaempferol were reduced about twofold to fourfold. These data suggested that kaempferol can play a promising role in tumor prevention and cancer metastasis inhibition.

IL-12 Influence mTOR to Modulate CD8+ T Cells Differentiation through T-bet and Eomesodermin in Response to Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis


Objective: To investigate whether mTOR signaling pathway regulate the proliferation and differentiation of CD8+ T cells by transcription factors T-bet and Eomes, and explore the role of IL-12 in this biological procedure.

Methods: Aspergillus fumigatus spore suspension nasal inhalation was used to establish the invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) mouse model. After inoculation, rapamycin (2mg/kg) each day or IL-12 (5ug/kg) every other day was given for 7 days. The blood samples were obtained before the mice sacrificed and lung specimens were taken. Pathological sections were stained with hematoxylin and eosin (HE). The number of CD8+effective memory T cells (Tem) and the expression of IFN-γ, mTOR, ribosomal protein S6 kinase (S6K), T-bet and EOMES were measured by flow cytometry. The levels of IL-6, IL-10 and Galactomannan (GM) were determined by ELISA.

Results: After IL-12 treatment, the number of CD8+ Tem and the expression of IFN-γ increased significantly; while quite the opposite results were observed when the mTOR pathway was blocked by rapamycin. The expression of mTOR and S6K as well as the level of IFN-γ of the IL-12 treatment group were significantly higher than those in IPA and IPA + rapamycin groups. In addition, IL-12 promoted increasing T-bet and down regulating Eomes to make the Tem transformation. The final immune effector was high level of inflammatory cytokines (IL-6) and low level of anti-inflammatory factors (IL-10) and this strengthened immune response to the Aspergillus infection.

Conclusions: The biological effects of Tem could significantly affect IPA infection host immune regulation, which depended on the activation of mTOR signaling pathway by IL-12.

The Effects of Perioperative Anesthesia and Analgesia on Immune Function in Patients Undergoing Breast Cancer Resection: A Prospective Randomized Study


Introduction: Perioperative anesthesia and analgesia exacerbate immunosuppression in immunocompromised cancer patients. The natural killer (NK) cell is a critical part of anti-tumor immunity. We compared the effects of two different anesthesia and analgesia methods on the NK cell cytotoxicity (NKCC) in patients undergoing breast cancer surgery.

Methods: Fifty patients undergoing breast cancer resection were randomly assigned to receive propofol-remifentanil anesthesia with postoperative ketorolac analgesia (Propofol-ketorolac groups) or sevoflurane-remifentanil anesthesia with postoperative fentanyl analgesia (Sevoflurane-fentanyl group). The primary outcome was NKCC, which was measured before and 24 h after surgery. Post-surgical pain scores and inflammatory responses measured by white blood cell, neutrophil, and lymphocyte counts were assessed. Cancer recurrence or metastasis was evaluated with ultrasound and whole body bone scan every 6 months for 2 years after surgery.

Results: The baseline NKCC (%) was comparable between the two groups (P = 0.082). Compared with the baseline value, NKCC (%) increased in the Propofol-ketorolac group [15.2 (3.2) to 20.1 (3.5), P = 0.048], whereas it decreased in the Sevoflurane-fentanyl group [19.5 (2.8) to 16.4 (1.9), P = 0.032]. The change of NKCC over time was significantly different between the groups (P = 0.048). Pain scores during 48 h after surgery and post-surgical inflammatory responses were comparable between the groups. One patient in the Sevoflurane-fentanyl group had recurrence in the contralateral breast and no metastasis was found in either group.

Conclusions: Propofol anesthesia with postoperative ketorolac analgesia demonstrated a favorable impact on immune function by preserving NKCC compared with sevoflurane anesthesia and postoperative fentanyl analgesia in patients undergoing breast cancer surgery.

Genotoxicity of a Low-Dose Nitrosamine Mixture as Drinking Water Disinfection Byproducts in NIH3T3 Cells


N-nitrosamines (NAms), which can arise as byproducts of disinfection agents, are reportedly found in drinking water, and their potential carcinogenicity is a concern; however, little research exists regarding the genotoxicity or carcinogenicity of NAms exposure as a low-dose mixture. The three most common NAms components in China's drinking water are N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) and N-nitrosomethylethylamine (NMEA). Thus, we measured the genotoxic and carcinogenic potential of these compounds and measured the cell cycle and gene expression. The data show that exposure to the NAms-mixture doubled the revertants in the TA98 and TA100 S. typhimurium strains and increased the DNA double-strand breaks and the micronuclear frequency in the NIH3T3 cells compared to a single exposure. After long-term NAms mixture exposure, a malignant transformation of NIH3T3 and a significantly increased G2/M distribution were observed. Furthermore, P53, CDK1, P38, CDC25A and CyclinB expressions were down-regulated in the NAms-mixture exposure group; however, P21 and GADD45A genes were up-regulated. Interestingly, the CHK1/CHK2 and CDC25A genes had two responses, depending on the NAms concentrations. Thus, we observed mutagenic, genotoxic and carcinogenic effects after a low-dose NAms-mixture exposure in drinking water, and DNA repair and apoptosis pathways may contribute to these adverse effects.

Effects of dexmedetomidine in combination with fentanyl-based intravenous patient-controlled analgesia on pain attenuation after open gastrectomy in comparison with conventional thoracic epidural and fentanyl-based intravenous patient-controlled analgesia


Background: This study was investigated the effects of dexmedetomidine in combination with fentanyl-based intravenous patient-controlled analgesia (IV-PCA) on pain attenuation in patients undergoing open gastrectomy in comparison with conventional thoracic epidural patient-controlled analgesia (E-PCA) and IV-PCA.

Methods: One hundred seventy-one patients who planned open gastrectomy were randomly distributed into one of the 3 groups: conventional thoracic E-PCA (E-PCA group, n = 57), dexmedetomidine in combination with fentanyl-based IV-PCA (dIV-PCA group, n = 57), or fentanyl-based IV-PCA only (IV-PCA group, n = 57). The primary outcome was the postoperative pain intensity (numerical rating scale) at 3 hours after surgery, and the secondary outcomes were the number of bolus deliveries and bolus attempts, and the number of patients who required additional rescue analgesics. Mean blood pressure, heart rate, and adverse effects were evaluated as well.

Results: One hundred fifty-three patients were finally completed the study. The postoperative pain intensity was significantly lower in the dIV-PCA and E-PCA groups than in the IV-PCA group, but comparable between the dIV-PCA group and the E-PCA group. Patients in the dIV-PCA and E-PCA groups needed significantly fewer additional analgesic rescues between 6 and 24 hours after surgery, and had a significantly lower number of bolus attempts and bolus deliveries during the first 24 hours after surgery than those in the IV-PCA group.

Conclusions: Dexmedetomidine in combination with fentanyl-based IV-PCA significantly improved postoperative analgesia in patients undergoing open gastrectomy without hemodynamic instability, which was comparable to thoracic E-PCA. Furthermore, this approach could be clinically more meaningful owing to its noninvasive nature.

Effects of Hypobaric Hypoxia on Rat Retina and Protective Response of Resveratrol to the Stress


High-altitude retinopathy represents retinal functional changes associated with environmental challenges imposed by hypobaric hypoxia, but the detailed cellular and molecular mechanism underlying this process remains unclear. Our current investigation was to explore the effect of hypobaric hypoxia on the rat retina and determine whether resveratrol has a protective efficacy on the hypoxic damage to the retina. Experiment rats were randomly grouped as the control group, hypoxia group and resveratrol intervention group. The hypoxia group and the resveratrol intervention group were maintained in a low-pressure oxygen cabin, and the resveratrol intervention group was given daily intraperitoneal injections with resveratrol. We found that hypobaric hypoxia increased thioredoxin 1 (Trx1) and thioredoxin 2 (Trx2) expression in retinas, and resveratrol treatment significantly reversed these changes (P < 0.05, P < 0.05 respectively). In comparison with controls, hypoxia upregulated the mRNA expression levels of caspase3 (P < 0.001), caspase9 (P < 0.01), heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) (P < 0.05), heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) (P < 0.001) and hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) (P < 0.05). Resveratrol administration caused a significant decrease in the gene expression of caspase3 (P< 0.001), HSP90 (P < 0.05) and HIF-1 mRNA (P < 0.01) as well as an increase in HSP70 mRNA when compared with the hypoxia group. These findings indicated that resveratrol exerted an anti-oxidative role by modulating hypoxia stress- associated genes and an anti-apoptosis role by regulating apoptosis-related cytokines. In conclusion, hypobaric hypoxia may have a pathological impact on rat retinas. The intervention of resveratrol reverses the effect induced by hypobaric hypoxia and elicits a protective response to the stress.

miR-224 Controls Human Colorectal Cancer Cell Line HCT116 Proliferation by Targeting Smad4


Background: Better understanding the molecular mechanisms responsible for the genesis and progression of colorectal cancer would help advance the novel therapeutics. miR-224 has been identified to be elevated in colorectal cancer and promote human colorectal cancer cell line SW480 proliferation and invasion. However, the effect of miRNAs on cancer cell proliferation could be significantly changeable among different cell lines. HCT116 is a commonly used cell line for colorectal cancer study and the target gene responsible for the function of miR-224 in its proliferation is unclear.

Methods: miR-224 expression was determined by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) in human colorectal cancer tissues compared with their corresponding matched peritumoral tissues. HCT116 cell viability and cell proliferation were determined by CCK-8, EdU incorporation assays and flow cytometry for cell cycle. Target gene of miR-224 was confirmed by Western blots and siRNA for Smad4.

Results: miR-224 was significantly increased by 29.49 fold in colorectal cancer tissues compared with their corresponding matched peritumoral tissues based on 12 colorectal cancer patients. miR-224 mimic significantly increased HCT116 cell viability, EdU positive cells rate, and decreased G1 phase cell population and increased S phase cell population. miR-224 inhibitor had opposite effects. Smad4 could be negatively regulated by miR-224 in HCT116 cells and was responsible for its effects in proliferation.

Conclusion: miR-224 mediates HCT116 cell proliferation by targeting Smad4.

Thrombospondin-1 Gene Deficiency Worsens the Neurological Outcomes of Traumatic Brain Injury in Mice


Background: Thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) is an extracellular matrix protein that plays multiple physiological and pathophysiological roles in the brain. Experimental reports suggest that TSP-1 may have an adverse role in neuronal function recovery under certain injury conditions. However, the roles of TSP-1 in traumatic brain injury (TBI) have not been elucidated. In this study we for the first time investigated the roles of TSP-1 in a controlled cortical impact (CCI) model of TBI in TSP-1 knockout (TSP-1 KO) and wild type (WT) mice.

Methods: We examined blood brain-barrier (BBB) damage using at 1 day post-TBI by measuring Evans Blue leakage, and neurological functional recovery at 3 weeks post-TBI by measuring neurological severity score (NSS), wire gripping, corner test and Morris Water Maze (MWM). Mechanistically, we quantified pro-angiogenic biomarkers including cerebral vessel density, vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF) and angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1) protein expression, synaptic biomarker synaptophysin, and synaptogenesis marker brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protein expression in contralateral and ipsilateral (peri-lesion) cortex at 21 days after TBI using immunohistochemistry and Western Blot.

Results: TSP-1 is upregulated at early phase of TBI in WT mice. Compared to WT mice, TSP-1 KO (1) significantly worsened TBI-induced BBB leakage at 1 day after TBI; (2) had similar lesion size as WT mice at 3 weeks after TBI; (3) exhibited a significantly worse neurological deficits in motor and cognitive functions; (4) had no significant difference in cerebral vessel density, but significant increase of VEGF and Ang-1 protein expressions in peri-lesion cortex; (5) significantly increased BDNF but not synaptophysin protein level in peri-lesion cortex compared to sham, but both synaptophysin and BDNF expressions were significantly decreased in contralateral cortex compared to WT.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that TSP-1 may be beneficial for maintaining BBB integrity in the early phase and functional recovery in late phase after TBI. The molecular mechanisms of TSP-1 in early BBB pathophysiology, and long-term neurological function recovery after TBI need to be further investigated.

Identification and Characteristics of Time-Related Shifts in Suicide-Related Event Frequency During Smoking Cessation Treatment with Varenicline


Objectives: To survey time-related shifts in number of suicide-related events (SRE) during smoking cessation treatment with varenicline (VAR) in cases from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS), as well as the characteristics of these shifts.

Methods: We isolated cases from the FAERS database involving VAR usage where SRE was reported as an adverse event (SRE+/VAR+ case) and established a histogram of SRE+/VAR+ case numbers per week. Furthermore, we focused on “cases reporting specific adverse events prior to drug usage start” using X-bar and R chart concepts. We also attempted to exclude the influence of smoking history from the created histogram. Moreover, we constructed a histogram on central nervous system adverse events, which were frequently seen during VAR usage.

Results: By removing the effects of smoking history, SRE onset signals were detected over a long period from the start of VAR use. However, expression signals for nausea and abnormal dreams were detected only in the early VAR administration period.

Discussion: These results suggest that VAR use-induced SRE is expressed over a long timeframe from the start of treatment. Additionally, the period of SRE expression signal detection was longer than that of the other central nervous system adverse events (nausea and abnormal dreams). Therefore, SRE onset must be carefully monitored during smoking cessation treatment with VAR over the entire treatment period.

Gender-dimorphic effects of adipose-derived stromal vascular fractions on HUVECs exposed to oxidative stress


Stromal vascular fractions (SVFs) are a heterogeneous collection of cells within adipose tissue that are being studied for various clinical indications. In this study, we aimed to determine whether SVF transplantation into impaired tissues has differential effects on inflammatory and angiogenetic properties with regard to gender. As reactive oxygen species have been implicated in cardiovascular disease development, we investigated differences in gene and protein expression related to inflammation and angiogenesis in HUVECs co-cultured with adipose-derived SVFs from male (M group) and female (F group) individuals under oxidative stress conditions. The expression of several inflammatory (interleukin (IL)-33) and angiogenetic (platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)) factors differed dramatically between male and female donors. Anti-inflammatory and pro-angiogenetic responses were observed in HUVECs co-cultured with SVFs under oxidative stress conditions, and these characteristics may exhibit partially differential effects according to gender. Using network analysis, we showed that co-culturing HUVECs with SVFs ameliorated pyroptosis/apoptosis via an increase in oxidative stress. Activation of caspase-1 and IL-1B was significantly altered in HUVECs co-cultured with SVFs from female donors. These findings regarding gender-dimorphic regulation of adipose-derived SVFs provide valuable information that can be used for evidence-based gender-specific clinical treatment of SVF transplantation for understanding of cardiovascular disease, allowing for the development of additional treatment.

Effect of YAP Inhibition on Human Leukemia HL-60 Cells


Background: Yes-associated protein (YAP), the nuclear effector of the Hippo pathway, is a candidate oncoprotein and participates in the progression of various malignancies. However, few reports have examined the effect of YAP inhibition in human leukemia HL-60 cells.

Methods: We examined the effects of YAP knockdown or inhibition using short hairpin RNA (shRNA) or verteporfin (VP), respectively. Western blot assays were used to determine the expression levels of YAP, Survivin, cyclinD1, PARP, Bcl-2, and Bax. Cell proliferation was assessed using the cell counting kit (CCK-8) assay. Cell cycle progression and apoptosis were evaluated by flow cytometry, and apoptotic cell morphology was observed by Hoechst 33342 staining.

Results: Knockdown or inhibition of YAP led to cell cycle arrest at the G0/G1 phase and increased apoptosis, inhibited cell proliferation, increased levels of Bax and cleaved PARP, and decreased levels of PARP, Bcl-2, Survivin, and cyclinD1. Moreover, Hoechst 33342 staining revealed increased cell nuclear fragmentation.

Conclusion: Collectively, these results show that inhibition of YAP inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis in HL-60 cells. Therefore, a novel treatment regime involving genetic or pharmacological inhibition of YAP could be established for acute promyelocytic leukemia.

Amelioration of estrogen-deficiency-induced obesity by Ocimum gratissimum


Objectives: Menopausal transition in women initiates with declining estrogen levels and is followed by significant changes in their physiological characteristics. These changes often lead to medical conditions, such as obesity, which is correlated with chronic low-grade/subclinical inflammation. Ocimum gratissimum L. is a food spice or traditional herb in many countries; the plant is rich in antioxidants, which possess anti-inflammation activities and multitude of other therapeutic functions.

Methods: In this study, we evaluated effects of O. gratissimum extract (OGE) in preventing obesity by using ovariectomized (OVX) animal models to mimic menopausal women.

Methods: OVX rats showed increase in body weight and in adipocyte size in perigonadal adipose tissue (p <0.05) and decrease in uterus weight. By contrast, OGE (0.2 mg/ml) significantly reduced body weight gain and adipocyte in OVX rats and showed insignificant changes in uterus weight. Further investigation indicated that OGE exerted no influence on levels of dorsal fat, serum total cholesterol, and serum triacylglycerol and on serum biochemical factors, calcium, phosphorus, and glucose.

Conclusion: These findings suggested that OGE dietary supplements may be useful in controlling body weight of menopausal women.

Expression of epicardial adipose tissue thermogenic genes in patients with reduced and preserved ejection fraction heart failure


Epicardial adipose tissue has been proposed to participate in the pathogenesis of heart failure. The aim of our study was to assess the expression of thermogenic genes (Uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC1α), and PR-domain-missing 16 (PRDM16) in epicardial adipose tissue in patients with heart failure, stablishing the difference according to left ventricular ejection fraction (reduced or preserved). Among the 75 patients in our study, 42.7% (n=32) had reduced left ventricular ejection fraction. UCP1, PGC1α and PRDM16 mRNA in EAT were significantly lower in patients with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction. Multiple regression analysis showed that age, male gender, body max index, presence of obesity, type-2-diabetes mellitus, hypertension and coronary artery disease and left ventricular ejection fraction were associated with the expression levels of UCP1, PGC1α and PRDM16 mRNA. Thermogenic genes expressions in epicardial adipose tissue (UCP1: OR 0.617, 95%CI 0.103-0.989, p=0.042; PGC1α: OR 0.416, 95%CI 0.171-0.912, p=0.031; PRDM16: OR 0.643, 95%CI 0.116-0.997, p=0.044) were showed as protective factors against the presence of heart failure with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction, and age (OR 1.643, 95%CI 1.001-3.143, p=0.026), presence of coronary artery disease (OR 6.743, 95%CI 1.932-15.301, p<0.001) and type-2-diabetes mellitus (OR 4.031, 95%CI 1.099-7.231, p<0.001) were associated as risk factors. The adequate expression of thermogenic genes has been shown as possible protective factors against heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, suggesting that a loss of functional epicardial adipose tissue brown-like features would participate in a deleterious manner on heart metabolism. Thermogenic genes could represent a future novel therapeutic target in heart failure.

FUT2 genetic variants as predictors of tumor development with hepatocellular carcinoma


Lewis antigens related to the ABO blood group are fucosylated oligosaccharides and are synthesized by specific glycosyltransferases (FUTs). FUTs are involved in various biological processes including cell adhesion and tumor progression. The fucosyltransferase-2 gene (FUT2) encodes alpha (1,2) fucosyltransferase, which is responsible for the addition of the alpha (1,2)-linkage of fucose to glycans. Aberrant fucosylation occurs frequently during the development and progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the association of FUT2 polymorphisms with HCC development has not been studied. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the association of FUT2 polymorphisms with demographic, etiological, and clinical characteristics and with susceptibility to HCC. In this study, a total of 339 patients and 720 controls were recruited. The genotypes of FUT2 at four single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs; rs281377, rs1047781, rs601338, and rs602662) were detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction from these samples. Compared with the wild-type genotype at SNP rs1047781, which is homozygous for nucleotides AA, at least one polymorphic T allele (AT or TT) displayed significant association with clinical stage (p = 0.048) and tumor size (p = 0.022). Our study strongly implicates the polymorphic locus rs1047781 of FUT2 as being associated with HCC development.

Impacts of CCL4 gene polymorphisms on hepatocellular carcinoma susceptibility and development


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the sixth most common cancer globally and the third most common cause of cancer mortality. In Taiwan, HCC is the second leading cause of cancer death. CCL4 (C-C chemokine ligand 4), is a macrophage inflammatory protein with a chief effect in inflammation and immune-regulation, and was documented in cancer progression by promoting instability in the tumor environment. Polymorphisms in chemokine genes help to determine host-pathogen interactions that influence chemokine levels. We investigated the effects of CCL4 gene polymorphisms on the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) disease progression in a cohort of Taiwanese patients. We recruited total of 1,546 participants in current study, including 1,200 healthy control and 346 patients with HCC. Three single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the CCL4 gene were examined by a real-time PCR. We found that the A/G homozygotes of CCL4 rs10491121 polymorphism reduced the risks for HCC. On the other hand, AG and GA haplotypes of 2 CCL4 SNPs (rs1049112 and rs171915) also reduced the risks for HCC by 0.025 and 0.515 fold, respectively. The present report is the first time to examine the risk factors associated with CCL4 SNPs in HCC progression in Taiwan.

Combination of Heel-strike like Mechanical Loading with Deproteinized Cancellous Bone Scaffold Implantation to Repair Segmental Bone Defects in Rabbits


Under physiological conditions bone defects often occur at mechanical load bearing sites and bone substitutes used for regeneration should be similarly subjected to mechanical loading stress. In this study, we investigated whether a novel heel-strike like mechanical loading method can be used as a complementary therapy to promote bone regeneration following bone substitute grafting. To test this, three groups of rabbits with segmental bone defects in the tibia were implanted with bovine deproteinized cancellous bone scaffold (DCBS), with one group also receiving heel-strike like mechanical loading generated by a rap stress stimulator. From weeks 4-12 post-operation X-ray and micro-CT scanning showed that rabbits receiving combination therapy had significantly more callus at the bone defect. Moreover, bone defects in the combination group were completely replaced with new bone at week 12, while the DCBS implantation alone group healed only partially and rabbits receiving neither DCBS nor mechanical loading developed only small calluses throughout the observation period. Analysis of micro-CT scanning results demonstrated that new bone density in the combination group was significantly higher than the DCBS only group at weeks 4 and 12 (p<0.05). H&E staining results also indicated a significantly higher percentage of new bone in the bone defect area and a lower percentage of residual scaffold in the combination group compared to the DCBS only group (p<0.05). Thus, this heel-strike like mechanical loading method appears to accelerate bone regeneration following substitute implantation by restoring a local mechanical loading environment in segmental bone defects.

Rhododendron oldhamii leaf extract improves fatty liver syndrome by increasing lipid oxidation and decreasing the lipogenesis pathway in mice


Some members of Rhododendron genus are traditionally used as medicinal plants for arthritis, acute and chronic bronchitis, asthma, pain, inflammation, rheumatism, hypertension and metabolic diseases. To the best of our knowledge, there is no report on the protective effects of R. oldhamii leaf extract on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in vivo and in vitro. In this study, the effects of R. oldhamii leaf extract on inhibiting the free fatty acid (FFA)-induced accumulation of fat in HepG2 cells and on improving fatty liver syndrome in mice with high fat diet (HFD)-induced NAFLD were investigated. For the in vitro assay, HepG2 cells were treated with FFAs (oleate/palmitate = 2:1) with or without treatment with R. oldhamii leaf ethyl acetate (EtOAc) fraction to observe lipid accumulation using Nile red and oil red O stains. For the in vivo assay, C57BL/6 mice were randomly assigned to three groups (n = 5), including the normal diet group, the HFD group and the HFD+EtOAc group. After 11 weeks, body weight, serum biochemical indices and the mRNA expressions of the liver tissue, as well as the outward appearance, weight and histopathological analysis of liver and adipose tissues were evaluated. Among the fractions derived from R. oldhamii leaf, the EtOAc fraction exhibited a strong fat-accumulation inhibitory activity. Following reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), four specific phytochemicals, including (2R, 3R)-astilbin (AS), hyposide (HY), guaijaverin (GU) and quercitrin (QU), were isolated and identified from the EtOAc fraction of R. oldhamii leaf extract. Among them, AS and HY showed excellent fat-accumulation inhibitory activity. Thus, the EtOAc fraction of R. oldhamii leaf and its derived phytochemicals have great potential in preventing FFA-induced fat accumulation. In addition, the EtOAc fraction of R. oldhamii leaf significantly improved fatty liver syndrome and reduced total cholesterol (TC) and triglyceride (TG) in HFD-induced NAFLD mice at a dosage of 200 mg/kg BW. These results demonstrated that the methanolic extracts from R. oldhamii leaf have excellent inhibitory activities against fat accumulation and anti-NAFLD activities and thus have great potential as a natural health product.

β2 Adrenoceptors are underexpressed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and associated with a better metabolic profile in central obesity


Background: Central obesity (CO) is an inflammatory disease. Because immune cells and adipocytes are catecholamines(CA)-producing cells, we studied the expression of adrenoceptors (AR) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) hypothesizing a distinct adrenergic pattern in inflammatory obesity.

Methods: AR expression was assessed in blood donors categorized by waist circumference (WC) (CO: WC≥0.80 m in women and ≥0.94 m in men). Following a pilot study for all AR subtypes, we measured β2AR expression in fifty-seven individuals and correlated this result with anthropometric, metabolic and inflammatory parameters. A ratio (R) between AR mRNA of CO and non-CO<0.5 was considered under and >2.0 over expression.

Results: The pilot study revealed no differences between groups, except for β2AR mRNA. CO individuals showed underexpression of β2AR relatively to those without CO (R=0.08; p=0.009). β2AR expression inversely correlated with triacylglycerol (r=-0.271; p=0.041), very low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (r=-0.313; p=0.018) and leptin (r=-0.392; p=0.012) and positively with high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (r=0.310: p=0.045) plasma levels. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed a protective effect of β2AR expression (≥2x10-6) [odds ratio (OR) 0.177 with respective confidence interval of 95% (95% CI) (0.040- 0.796)] for the occurrence of CO. A higher association was found for women as compared to men (Ξ9:1) [OR 8.972 (95% CI) (1.679-47.949)].

Conclusion: PBMCs β2AR, underexpressed in centrally obese, are associated with a better metabolic profile and showed a protective role for the development of CO. The discovery of β2AR as a new molecular marker of obesity subphenotypes in PBMCs might contribute to clarify the adrenergic immunomodulation of inflammatory obesity.

The Simultaneous Inhibitory Effect of Niclosamide on RANKL-Induced Osteoclast Formation and Osteoblast Differentiation


The bone destruction disease including osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis are caused by the imbalance between osteoblastogenesis and osteoclastogenesis. Inhibition of the NF-κB pathway was responsible for decreased osteoclastogenesis. Recently many studies indicated that niclosamide, the FDA approved an antihelminth drug, inhibits prostate and breast cancer cells growth by targeting NF-κB signaling pathways. This study evaluated the effects of niclosamide on osteoclast and osteoblast differentiation and function in vitro.

In RANKL-induced murine osteoclast precursor cell RAW264.7 and M-CSF/RANKL-stimulated primary murine bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMM), niclosamide dose-dependently inhibited the formation of TRAP-positive multinucleated osteoclasts and resorption pits formation between 0.5uM and 1uM. In addition, niclosamide suppressed the expression of nuclear factor of activated T cells c1 (NFATc1) and osteoclast differentiated-related genes in M-CSF/ RANKL-stimulated BMM by interference with TRAF-6, Erk1/2, JNK and NF-κB activation pathways. However, the cytotoxic effects of niclosamide obviously appeared at the effective concentrations for inhibiting osteoclastogenesis (0.5-1uM) with increase of apoptosis through caspase-3 activation in osteoblast precursor cell line, MC3T3-E1. Niclosamide also inhibited ALP activity, bone mineralization and osteoblast differentiation-related genes expression in MC3T3-E1. Therefore, our findings suggest the new standpoint that niclosamide's effects on bones must be considered before applying it in any therapeutic treatment.

Effect of Platelet-Rich Plasma on Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury in a Skin Flap Mouse Model


Background: Ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury is a leading cause of surgical skin flap compromise and organ dysfunction. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is an abundant reserve of various growth factors. Activated platelets play a role in endothelial damage during I/R injury; however, exogenous PRP could inhibit the production of reactive oxygen species. The goal of this study was to investigate the effect of PRP on I/R injury.

Methods: Four groups (n=30) of C57BL/6N mice with lateral thoracic artery island flaps were used. Group A, the control group, received flap elevation and repositioning. Group B received PRP and repositioning. Group C had 4 hours of ischemia and then were reperfused. Group D received PRP, had 4 hours of ischemia, and then were reperfused. The survival area of flap tissue and blood perfusion were assessed. Histological evaluation included neutrophil counts. Reactive oxygen species and proinflammatory cytokines were measured to evaluate I/R injury. Protein expression of phosphorylated apoptosis signaling regulating kinase-1 (pASK-1), p38MAPK, and pNF-κB was measured by western blot.

Results: PRP treatment enhanced the survival area and perfusion of the flap, reduced neutrophil accumulation in mice subjected to I/R injury. PRP treatment also showed a protective effect, with decreases in nitric oxide, myeloperoxidase, malondialdehyde concentrations. Additionally, PRP suppresses monocyte chemotactic protein-1, TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6. Finally, PRP decreased ASK-1 and NF-κB expression in tissues with I/R injury.

Conclusion: PRP acts as a protective factor during flap I/R injury by reducing reactive oxygen species level and proinflammatory cytokines via decreased expression of pASK-1 and pNF-κB.

Cysteine-rich 61 (Cyr61) upregulated in pulmonary arterial hypertension promotes the proliferation of pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells


Background: We aimed to evaluate the expression of cysteine rich 61 (Cyr61) in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) as well as monocrotaline (MCT) induced PAH rat, and further investigate the effects and potential mechanisms of Cyr61 on the proliferation of pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMCs).

Methods and Results: Plasma samples were collected from 20 patients with idiopathic PAH, 20 connective tissue disease (CTD) associated PAH, 29 age-, gender- and disease matched CTD without PAH patients, and 28 healthy controls. ELISA was used to detect the level of Cyr61 in plasma. MCT-induced PAH (MCT-PAH) rat model was established by a single subcutaneous injection of MCT (60mg·kg-1). Lung tissues and pulmonary arteries of rats were collected, while the PASMCs were dissected and cultivated for in vitro experiments. Expression of Cyr61 in the lung tissues, pulmonary arteries and PASMCs were tested by immunohistochemical staining, western blot and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. PASMCs from PAH rats were stimulated by exogenous recombinant Cyr61 protein and knocked down by small interfering RNA. Cell Counting Kit-8 assay was used to identify cell proliferation and the expression of p-AKT and AKT were analysed by western blot. The results showed plasma level of Cyr61 in PAH patients, especially CTD-PAH patients, were significant higher than that of CTD without PAH patients and healthy controls. Compared with wild rats, Cyr61 was overexpressed in the lung tissue, pulmonary arterial and PASMCs in PAH rats. Exogenous recombinant Cyr61 protein promoted the proliferation of PASMCs in a dose-dependent manner. While the expression of Cyr61 in PASMCs was inhibited by specific siRNA, cell proliferation was restrained and the expression of p-AKT declined.

Conclusion: Plasma Cyr61 concentration in PAH patients was highly increased. Cyr61 could promote PASMCs proliferation via AKT pathway, indicating that Cyr61 may play a role in the pathogenesis of PAH.

Urinary UBC Rapid and NMP22 Test for Bladder Cancer Surveillance in Comparison to Urinary Cytology: Results from a Prospective Single-Center Study


Background: Non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) is associated with high rates of recurrence, resulting in frequent follow-up cystoscopies. We evaluated the use of two point-of-care tests - the nuclear matrix protein 22 (NMP22) and urinary bladder cancer antigen (UBC) Rapid - compared to routine follow-up in patients with a previous history of NMIBC.

Methods: 31 patients with cystoscopy-verified active bladder cancer, and 44 follow-up patients without disease as confirmed by cystoscopy were prospectively enrolled. All urine samples were analyzed by voided urine and bladder washing cytology, NMP22 and UBC rapid test (qualitatively and quantitatively). The best cutoff (highest Youden index; ≥6.7 ng/ml) for the quantitative UBC was determined by receiver operating characteristic curves.

Results: Voided urine and barbotage cytology resulted in a sensitivity of 25.8% and 32.3%, and a specificity of 100% and 100%, while the NMP22 showed a sensitivity and specificity of 12.9% and 100%, respectively. The qualitative and quantitative UBC Rapid revealed a sensitivity of 61.3% and 64.5%, with a specificity of 77.3% and 81.8%. Barbotage cytology and qualitative UBC test proved to be the best dual combination with the highest overall sensitivity (77.4%). In contrast to barbotage cytology alone, sensitivity increased from 21.4% to 50% for detecting low-grade tumors, and from 43.8% to 100% for high-grade cancers, but reducing specificity from 100% to 77.3%.

Conclusion: Compared to urinary cytology, UBC tests alone as well as UBC tests in combination with bladder washing cytology revealed higher sensitivities in detecting low- and high-grade tumors, but at the expense of a lower specificity. Thus, currently cystoscopy cannot be replaced by any of the evaluated methods.

Compensating effect of minor portal hypertension on the muscle mass loss-related poor prognosis in cirrhosis


Background: To examine the influence of the severity of portal hemodynamic abnormality on the prognosis of cirrhosis with respect to the muscle mass loss (MML).

Methods: The study involved a subgroup analysis in 98 cirrhosis patients (63.5 ± 11.8 years) who prospectively underwent both Doppler ultrasound and hepatic venous catheterization. The prognostic influence of MML diagnosed by computed tomography using the L3 skeletal muscle index was evaluated (median observation period, 32.7 months).

Results: The cumulative survival rate showed difference between patients with MML (n = 34; 82.2%/1year, 41.2%/3years and 36.1%/5years) and those without (n = 64; 92.1%/1year, 74.9%/3years and 69.4%/5years; P = 0.005). When divided with respect to the portal velocity, the survival rate showed differences between patients with and without MML in the cohort < 12.8 cm/s (n=52, p=0.009) and ≥ 12.8 cm/s (n=44, p=0.041). The survival rate also showed differences between patients with MML (n = 24; 78.8%/1year, 40.6%/3years and 34.8%/5years) and those without (n = 45; 91.1%/1year, 71.3%/3years and 63.1%/5years; P = 0.008) in the cohort with hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) > 12 mmHg. However, in the cohort with HVPG ≤ 12 mmHg, survival rate showed no difference between patients with MML (n=10; 100%/1year, 61.9%/3years and 61.9%/5years) and those without (n=19; 93.8%/1year, 71.2%/3years and 59.4%/5years; p = 0.493)

Conclusion: Lower HVPG has a compensating effect on the MML-induced poor prognosis of cirrhosis. Care should be taken in the evaluation of the influence of MML in consideration of the severity of portal hypertension.

High Efficiency Low Cost Fibroblast Nucleofection for GMP Compatible Cell-based Gene Therapy


Background: Dermal fibroblast is a powerful tool for the study of ex vivo DNA delivery in development of both cell therapy and tissue engineering products. Using genetic modification, fibroblasts can be diversely adapted and made suitable for clinical gene therapy. In this study, we first compared several non-viral transfection methods including nucleofection in rat and human primary dermal fibroblast. In addition, the original protocol for nucleofection of primary mammalian fibroblasts was modified in order to achieve the highest possible transfection efficiency, as determined by flow cytometry analysis of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression.

Results: the results showed that transfection performance of Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Medium (DMEM) supplemented with 10% Fetal Calf Serum (FCS) yielded the best transfection efficiency with rat dermal fibroblasts and ITS (insulin, transferrin, and sodium selenite solution) was comparable to the standard nucleofection solution for human dermal fibroblasts.

Conclusion: Our results suggest a promising application of the modified nucleofection method for GMP compatible therapeutic translational medical research.

The effect of humidified heated breathing circuit on core body temperature in perioperative hypothermia during thyroid surgery


Purpose: During general anesthesia, human body easily reaches a hypothermic state, which is mainly caused by heat redistribution. Most studies suggested that humidified heated breathing circuits (HHBC) have little influence on maintenance of the core temperature during early phase of anesthesia. This study was aimed at examining heat preservation effect with HHBC in case of undergoing surgery with less exposure of surgical fields and short surgical duration.

Methods: Patients aged 19 to 70 yr - old, ASA-PS I or II who were scheduled for elective thyroidectomy were assigned and divided to the group using HHBC (G1) and the group using conventional circuit (G2) by random allocation. During operation, core, skin, and room temperatures were measured every 5minutes by specific thermometer.

Results: G1 was decreased by a lesser extent than G2 in core temperature, apparently higher at 30 and 60 minutes after induction. Skin and room temperatures showed no differences between the two groups (p>0.05). Consequently, we confirmed HHBC efficiently prevented a decrease in core temperature during early period in small operation which has difficulty in preparing warming devices or environments were not usually considered.

Conclusions: This study showed that HHBC influences heat redistribution in early period of operation and can lessen the magnitude of the decrease in core body temperature. Therefore, it can be applied efficiently for other active warming devices in mild hypothermia.

Independent Prognostic Value of Hypoxia-inducible Factor 1-alpha Expression in Small Cell Lung Cancer


Hypoxia is an important factor in tumor angiogenesis, metastasis, and resistance to chemotherapy or radiotherapy, and may be an indicator of poor prognosis. The transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) is the key regulator of the hypoxic state. This study was designed to evaluate the prognostic value of HIF-1α expression in small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Forty-three paraffin-embedded biopsy materials were examined using immunohistochemistry. Our results indicated that the expression of HIF-1α was high in males, and patients with poor Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status and metastases. To elucidate the prognostic value of HIF-1α expression, Kaplan-Meier analysis was carried out and the results showed that patients with high HIF-1α expression had a poorer prognosis than patients with low expression of HIF-1α. After adjusting clinical parameters by the Cox proportional hazards model, our results demonstrated that high HIF-1α expression is an independent prognostic factor for SCLC with a 39.2-fold risk of death (p<0.003). In conclusion, we have provided evidence that HIF-1α expression has significant value in predicting survival of patients with SCLC and is an independent prognostic factor beyond ECOG performance and metastasis status.

Current Understanding of Dolichoarteriopathies of the Internal Carotid Artery: A Review


Dolichoarteriopathies of the internal carotid artery (DICAs) are not uncommon, and although several studies have investigated DICAs, several questions regarding the etiology and best management course for DICAs remain unanswered. It is also difficult to correlate the occurrence of DICAs with the onset of clinical symptoms. Therefore, we surveyed the literature in PubMed and performed a review of DICAs to offer a comprehensive picture of our understanding of DICAs. We found that DICAs can be classified into three types, specifically tortuous, coiling and kinking, and are not associated with atherosclerotic risk factors. Cerebral hemodynamic changes are mainly associated with the degree of bending of DICAs. DICAs can result in symptoms of the brain and eyes due to insufficient blood supply and can co-occur with a pulsatile cervical mass, a pharyngeal bulge and pulsation. The diagnostic tools for the assessment of DICAs include Doppler ultrasonography, computed tomography angiography (CTA), magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) and digital subtraction angiography (DSA), and although DSA remains the gold standard, Doppler ultrasonography is a convenient method that provides useful data for the morphological evaluation of DICAs. CTA and MRA are efficient methods for detecting the morphology of the cervical segment of DICAs. Some DICAs should be treated surgically based on certain indications, and several methods, including correcting the bending or shortening of DICAs, have been developed for the treatment of DICAs. The appropriate treatment of DICAs results in good outcomes and is associated with low morbidity and mortality rates. However, despite the success of surgical reconstruction, an appropriate therapeutic treatment remains a subject of numerous debates due to the lack of multicentric, randomized, prospective studies.

Attenuation of Oxidative Stress-Induced Cell Apoptosis in Schwann RSC96 Cells by Ocimum Gratissimum Aqueous Extract


Objectives: Cell transplantation therapy of Schwann cells (SCs) is a promising therapeutic strategy after spinal cord injury. However, challenges such as oxidative stress hinder satisfactory cell viability and intervention for enhancing SCs survival is critical throughout the transplantation procedures. Ocimum gratissimum, widely used as a folk medicine in many countries, has therapeutic and anti-oxidative properties and may protect SCs survival.

Methods: We examined the protective effects of aqueous O. gratissimum extract (OGE) against cell damage caused by H2O2-induced oxidative stress in RSC96 Schwann cells.

Results: Our results showed that the RSC96 cells, damaged by H2O2 oxidative stress, decreased their viability up to 32% after treatment with different concentrations of up to 300 μM H2O2, but OGE pretreatment (150 or 200 μg/mL) increased cell viability by approximately 62% or 66%, respectively. Cell cycle analysis indicated a high (43%) sub-G1 cell population in the H2O2-treated RSC96 cells compared with untreated cells (1%); whereas OGE pretreatment (150 and 200 μg/mL) of RSC96 cells significantly reduced the sub-G1 cells (7% and 8%, respectively). Furthermore, Western blot analysis revealed that OGE pretreatment inhibited H2O2-induced apoptotic protein caspase-3 activation and PARP cleavage, as well as it reversed Bax up-regulation and Bcl-2 down-regulation. The amelioration of OGE of cell stress and stress-induced apoptosis was proved by the HSP70 and HSP72 decrease.

Conclusion: Our data suggest that OGE may minimize the cytotoxic effects of H2O2-induced SCs apoptosis by modulating the apoptotic pathway and could potentially supplement cell transplantation therapy.

Jak2a regulates erythroid and myeloid hematopoiesis during zebrafish embryogenesis


Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are an attractive vertebrate model for the molecular dissection of disease mechanisms. Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducer and activator of transcription (stat) has been defined through studies of cytokine signaling pathways in mammals. Here, we examined the expression level of Jak2a, which is a homolog of mammalian jak2 in zebrafish, by quantitative reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR, and the peak of mRNA expression occurred at 3.75 hours post fertilization (hpf). The overexpression of Jak2a was proven by real-time Q-PCR and Western blot in 1-4-cell stage embryos injected with 400 ng/µl full-length jak2a mRNA as well as gfi1.1, gata1, mpo and β-embryonic hemoglobin as detected by real-time Q-PCR. Moreover, jak2a mRNA significantly increased the GFP+ population in the transgenic zebrafish lines Tg (gata1: gfp) (uninjected embryos: 17.22±1.70%; embryos injected with jak2a mRNA: 21.31±2.11%, p<0.01) and Tg (mpo: gfp) (uninjected embryos: 3.86±1.94; embryos injected with jak2a mRNA: 6.64±1.30%, p<0.01) compared with the control group. Thus, our data indicate that Jak2a plays an important role in erythropoiesis and myeloid hematopoiesis.

Clinicopathological and Ileocolonoscopic Characteristics in Patients with Nodular Lymphoid Hyperplasia in the Terminal Ileum


Nodular lymphoid hyperplasia (NLH) in the small intestine is a rare benign lesion, characterized by the presence of multiple small nodules on the surface of the intestine. To define the clinicopathological and colonoscopic characteristics in Chinese patients with ileal NLH, we collected 65 patients with NLH in the terminal ileum from the endoscopic database in our hospital and clinical data from medical records. Histology and immunohistochemical staining were performed in the biopsies. The results demonstrated that the main symptoms included diarrhea (70.8%), abdominal pain (60.0%), hematochezia (46.2%), anemia (40.0%), and hypoproteinemia (21.5%). Enteroscopy revealed multiple, sporadic, granular or round-shaped nodules with diameters between 2 and 5 mm in the terminal ileum. The histology revealed the nodules consisted of mass lymphoid follicles in the lamina propria and submucosa of the terminal ileum. The follicles contained mitotically active germinal centers surrounded by well-defined lymphocyte mantles and composed predominantly of CD20+ B cells. The diseases found in patients with NLH included chronic diarrhea, Crohn's disease, ischemic enterocolitis and allergic purpura. The level of hemoglobin in NLH patients who had diarrhea and hematochezia remarkably decreased as compared with those in patients with chronic diarrhea. In conclusion, ileocolonoscopic screening is an important step to find the NLH in terminal ileum patients with diarrhea, abdominal pain, hematochezia, and hypoproteinemia. Histological examination is necessary for the exclusion of malignancy and chronic inflammation.

Molecular mechanism of action and safety of 5-(3-chlorophenyl)-4-hexyl-2,4-dihydro-3H-1,2,4-triazole-3-thione - a novel anticonvulsant drug candidate


Previously, it was found that 5-(3-chlorophenyl)-4-hexyl-2,4-dihydro-3H-1,2,4-triazole-3-thione (TP-315) effectively protects mice from maximal electroshock-induced seizures. The aim of this study was to determine possible interactions between TP-315 and different molecular targets, i.e. GABAA receptors, voltage-gated sodium channels, and human neuronal α7 and α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. The influence of TP-315 on the viability of human hepatic HepG2 cells was also established using PrestoBlue and ToxiLight assays. It was found that the anticonvulsant activity of TP-315 results (at least partially) from its influence on voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs). Moreover, the title compound slightly affected the viability of human hepatic cells.

Effects of Diet Intervention on Body Composition in the Elderly with Chronic Kidney Disease


Objective: It has been uncertain that low protein diet for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) may predispose to malnutrition. The study aimed to investigate the effects of low protein diet on body composition of CKD patients and analyze the influence of age.

Methods: Patients with glomerular filtration rate less than 45 mL/min/1.73m2 including 103 elderly (70.7 ± 6.9 years old) and 56 non-elderly (49.8 ± 9.1 years old) CKD patients were enrolled. All patients were educated by dietitians to take low protein diet and were followed up regularly every three months. Their demographic data, underlying disease and body mass index (BMI) were reviewed and recorded. Results of body composition measurement and laboratory tests were collected every three months for one year.

Results: At baseline, the distribution of body composition was similar in non-elderly patients between non-low and low protein groups. In the elderly, patients in low protein group had higher fat and lower muscle percentage. In one-year follow-up, non-elderly patients did not present significant changes in their BMI, serum albumin level and body compositions in both protein groups. Non-low protein group in elderly patients had significant decrease in BMI and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) after 12 months (both p< 0.05). Determination in body composition showed decrease in fat and increase in muscle component. In low protein group, their BMI was decreased and eGFR was not influenced. Fat component was decreased and muscle percentage was increased in one-year follow-up.

Conclusions: In elderly CKD patients, low protein diet maintained good nutritional status and muscle mass was preserved.

Anti-inflammatory Effects of the Natural Compounds Cortex Phellodendri and Humulus japonicus on Pelvic Inflammatory Disease in Mice


Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an inflammatory and/or infectious disorder of the upper female genital tract, including the uterus, fallopian tubes, and adjacent pelvic structures, that may spread upward to the peritoneum. Currently available treatment options have presented to produce adverse effects of various degrees, such as increased antimicrobial resistance and a limited effective duration of hormones. In the study, the Cortex Phellodendri (CP) and Humulus japonicus (HJ) among natural compounds that are believed to present biological activities with fewer side effects were tested in a PID animal model. The results suggested that the administration CP and HJ reduced clinical signs, inflammatory cytokine expression as well as secretion in uterine tissue, and neutrophil infiltration into the tissue.

Post-Surgical Clinical Monitoring of Soft Tissue Wound Healing in Periodontal and Implant Surgery


Clinical features of surgical soft tissue wound healing in dentistry have been rarely discussed in the international literature. The aim of the present paper is to highlight both the main clinical findings of surgical wound healing, especially in periodontal and implant dentistry, and the wound healing monitoring procedures which should be followed. Wound inspection after careful food and plaque debridement is the essential part of wound healing monitoring. Periodontal and peri-implant probing should be performed only after tissue healing has been completed and not on a weekly basis in peri-implant tissue monitoring. Telephone follow-up and patient self-assessment scales can also be used the days following surgery to monitor the most common surgical complications such as pain, swelling, bleeding, and bruising.

Wound healing monitoring is an important concern in all surgical procedures since it allows to identify signs or/and symptoms possibly related to surgical complications.

Arterial Stiffness, Thickness and Association to Suitable Novel Markers of Risk at the Origin of Cardiovascular Disease in Obese Children


Atherosclerosis origins early in childhood. Aim of the study was to investigate vascular signature and phenotypes of cardiovascular disease in obese children and adolescents identifying novel potential circulating markers of risk.

Cross-sectional study of intima-media-thickness (IMT), pulse wave velocity (PWV), augmentation index (AIX@75), circulating markers (E-selectin, soluble-intercellular-adhesion-molecule1_ICAM1, chemerin, fatty-acid-binding protein 4, sCD36, lipopolysaccharides_LPS, oxLDL, fetuin) in 123 obese (body mass index, BMI z-score >1.645 SD) children (N=55, age ≤10 years-old) and adolescents (N=68, age >10 years-old).

Adolescents had significantly higher uric acid (p=0.002), non-HDL-cholesterol (p=0.02), fasting glucose (p=0.04), systolic blood pressure (p=0.005) and PWV (p=0.02) than children.

Obese adolescent patients with metabolic syndrome (MetS) abnormalities had higher PWV (p<0.05) than peers without. No differences were observed in circulating biomarkers in relationship to age and MetS status. oxLDL, sCD36 and LPS were correlated to AIX@75 and/or IMTM in children and adolescents (p ranging from <0.05 to <0.0001). Total cholesterol, non-HDL-cholesterol, TG/HDL ratio, oxLDL, sCD36, ICAM1, LPS were significantly different across AIX@75 tertiles (p between 0.03 and 0.001).

Early phenotypes of cardiovascular alterations in young severely obese patients encompass increased IMT, stiffness of intermediate size and resistance vasculature. Novel biomarkers investigated in the present study were associated to estimates of stiffness and thickness not differently from traditional risk factor such as non-HDL-cholesterol and TG/HDL ratio.

Characterization and Prospective of Human Corneal Endothelial Progenitors


Corneal endothelial cells play a critical role in maintaining corneal transparency and dysfunction of these cells caused by aging, diseases (such as Fuch's dystrophy), injury or surgical trauma, which can lead to corneal edema and blindness. Due to their limited proliferative capacity in vivo, the only treatment method is via transplantation of a cadaver donor cornea. However, there is a severe global shortage of donor corneas. To circumvent such issues, tissue engineering of corneal tissue is a viable option thanks to the recent discoveries in this field. In this review, we summarize the recent advances in reprogramming adult human corneal endothelial cells into their progenitor status, the expansion methods and characteristics of human corneal endothelial progenitors, and their potential clinical applications as corneal endothelial cell grafts.

Autophagy was involved in the protective effect of metformin on hyperglycemia-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis and Connexin43 downregulation in H9c2 cells


Background: Increased cardiomyocyte apoptosis under high glucose condition contributes to diabetic cardiomyopathy. Degradation of cardiac Connexin43 (Cx43) has been associated with cardiac dysfunction in diabetic heart. Clinical and experimental studies suggested that metformin (Met) exhibits cardioprotective properties against diabetes.

Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect and underlying signaling mechanisms of metformin on apoptosis and Cx43 expression in H9c2 cells presenting with hyperglycemia conditions.

Methods: In the present study, H9c2 cardiac cells were incubated with 5.5 mM glucose, 33.3 mM glucose, 33.3 mM glucose with metformin at two dose (100 μM, 1 mM) for 96 hours, and 1 mM metformin with chloroquine (50 μM) in 33.3 mM glucose medium. Cell viability was determined by 3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyl-2-H-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) cell survival assay. Cytotoxicity was determined by the release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). The expression of Cx43, autophagic maker protein (LAMP-1, Beclin-1, p62 and LC3) and apoptosis maker protein (Bcl-2 and Bax) were determined by western blot.

Results: The results showed that high glucose increased apoptosis and decreased Cx43 expression. Interestingly, metformin attenuated hyperglycemia-increased apoptosis and restored Cx43 expression. Moreover, this treatment caused autophagy as well, which indicated by up-regulation of autophagy-related proteins LAMP-1, Beclin-1, p62 and reduction in the ratio of LC3-II/LC3-I. In addition, administration autophagy inhibitor chloroquine (CQ) did not block the effect of metformin on Cx43 expression while increasing Cx43 content, together with an increased apoptosis.

Conclusion: Administration metformin can protect the H9c2 cells against hyperglycemia-induced apoptosis and Cx43 down-regulation, in part, mediated through the induction of autophagy pathway.

Association of Genes Variants in RANKL/RANK/OPG Signaling Pathway with the Development of Osteonecrosis of the Femoral Head in Chinese Population


The RANKL/RANK/OPG pathway plays an important role in regulating bone remodeling and bone turnover. However, the association of the genes variants with the risk of ONFH has rarely been reported. Here, we analyzed the correlation of the 10 SNPs polymorphisms of RANKL, RANK, OPG, TRAF6, and NFATC1 genes with the risk and development of ONFH in 200 ONFH patients and 177 health controls of Chinese population with using Mass ARRAY® platform. The results showed that the recessive model of NFATC1rs9518 was significantly associated with increased ONFH risk (OR:8.223, P=0.048); the proportion of stage Ⅳ patients in the rs9518TC genotype carriers was statistically higher than that of stage Ⅲ patients (P=0.03); in the T-C haplotype carriers of Naftac1, the proportion of bilateral hips lesions was also significantly enhanced than that of unilateral hip lesions(P=0.05). In addition, the proportion of idiopathic ONFH in the TT genotype carriers of OPGrs2073617 was significantly higher than that of steroid or alcohol-induced ONFH, respectively, while in the TC genotype carriers of the SNP, the proportion of idiopathic ONFH remarkably decreased compared with that of Alcohol-induced ONFH, P=0.021. Our results were first found that NFATC1rs9518 closely associated with the risk and the development of ONFH, while OPGrs2073617 statistically correlated with the etiological classification of ONFH.

Acute Alcohol Intoxication Exacerbates Rhabdomyolysis-Induced Acute Renal Failure in Rats


Traumatic and nontraumatic rhabdomyolysis can lead to acute renal failure (ARF), and acute alcohol intoxication can lead to multiple abnormalities of the renal tubules. We examined the effect of acute alcohol intoxication in a rat model of rhabdomyolysis and ARF. Intravenous injections of 5 g/kg ethanol were given to rats over 3 h, followed by glycerol-induced rhabdomyolysis. Biochemical parameters, including blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine (Cre), glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT), glutamic pyruvic transaminase (GPT), and creatine phosphokinase (CPK), were measured before and after induction of rhabdomyolysis. Renal tissue injury score, renal tubular cell expression of E-cadherin, nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) were determined. Relative to rats in the vehicle group, rats in the glycerol-induced rhabdomyolysis group had significantly increased serum levels of BUN, Cre, GOT, GPT, and CPK, elevated renal tissue injury scores, increased expression of NF-κB and iNOS, and decreased expression of E-cadherin. Ethanol exacerbated all of these pathological responses. Our results suggest that acute alcohol intoxication exacerbates rhabdomyolysis-induced ARF through its pro-oxidant and inflammatory effects.

The EMSY Gene Collaborates with CCND1 in Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinogenesis


Background: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths. The main risk factor is smoking but the risk is also associated with various genetic and epigenetic components in addition to environmental factors. Increases in the gene copy numbers due to chromosomal amplifications constitute a common mechanism for oncogene activation. A gene-dense region on chromosome 11q13 which harbors four core regions that are frequently amplified, has been associated with various types of cancer. The important cell cycle regulatory protein cyclin D1 (CCND1) is an essential driver of the first core region of the Chr11q13 amplicon. Deregulation of CCND1 has been associated with different kinds of human malignancies including lung cancer. The EMSY (c11orf30) gene has been proposed as the possible driver of the fourth core of the 11q13 amplicon and its amplification has been associated with breast and ovarian cancers. There is no report in the literature investigating the EMSY gene in lung cancer.

Methods: In this study, expression levels of the EMSY and CCND1 genes were investigated in 85 patients with non small cell lung cancer by Real Time PCR.

Results: Expression of the EMSY and CCND1 genes were increased in 56 (65.8%) and 50 (58.8%) of the patients, respectively. Both genes showed a higher expression in the tumors when compared to normal tissues. A strong correlation was present between the expression rates of both genes (p<0.001). Patients with adenocarcinoma had higher expression levels of both genes (p=0.02).

Conclusion: We conclude that EMSY and CCND1 work in collaboration and contribute to the pathogenesis of lung cancer.

Diagnostic Value of Gadoxetic Acid-Enhanced MR Imaging to Distinguish HCA and Its Subtype from FNH: A Systematic Review


Objective: The purpose of this study was to systematically review the diagnostic performance of gadoxetic acid-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (Gd-EOB-DTPA-MRI) for differentiation of hepatocellular adenoma (HCA) and focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH), as well as HCA classification by using the low signal intensity (SI) in the hepatobiliary phase (HBP).

Methods: A systematic process was used to review all published data in MEDLINE database about Gd-EOB-DTPA-MRI applied to differentiation of HCA and FNH, and classification of HCA by using low SI in the HBP. The pooled sensitivity and specificity were calculated to assess the diagnostic value of low SI in the HBP.

Results: A review of 45 articles identified 10 eligible studies with a total of 288 HCA lesions. The pooled proportion of low SI in the HBP of HCA were 91% (95% CI: 0.81-0.97). In specific, the subtypes of HCA were 75% (95% CI: 0.64-0.85) for I-HCA, 100% (95% CI: 0.95-1.00) for H-HCA, 92% (95% CI: 0.70-1.00) for U-HCA, and 59% (95% CI: 0.00-1.00) for b-HCA, respectively. The pooled specificity and sensitivity of low SI in the HBP for distinguishing FNH from HCA were 95% (95% CI: 0.92-0.98) and 92% (95% CI: 0.87-0.96), respectively.

Conclusion: Low SI in the HBP of Gd-EOB-DTPA-MRI is associated with higher accuracy for distinguishing HCA from FNH. However, the diagnostic accuracy may be overvalued, especially for the diagnosis of subtypes of b-HCA and I-HCA. Therefore, the risk factors and conventional imaging findings should be take into account simultaneously.

Diagnostic Accuracy of the Neck Tornado Test as a New Screening Test in Cervical Radiculopathy


Background: The Spurling test, although a highly specific provocative test of the cervical spine in cervical radiculopathy (CR), has low to moderate sensitivity. Thus, we introduced the neck tornado test (NTT) to examine the neck and the cervical spine in CR.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to introduce a new provocative test, the NTT, and compare the diagnostic accuracy with a widely accepted provocative test, the Spurling test.

Design: Retrospective study.

Methods: Medical records of 135 subjects with neck pain (CR, n = 67; without CR, n = 68) who had undergone cervical spine magnetic resonance imaging and been referred to the pain clinic between September 2014 and August 2015 were reviewed. Both the Spurling test and NTT were performed in all patients by expert examiners. Sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy were compared for both the Spurling test and the NTT.

Results: The sensitivity of the Spurling test and the NTT was 55.22% and 85.07% (P < 0.0001); specificity, 98.53% and 86.76% (P = 0.0026); accuracy, 77.04% and 85.93% (P = 0.0423), respectively.

Conclusions: The NTT is more sensitive with superior diagnostic accuracy for CR diagnosed by magnetic resonance imaging than the Spurling test.

Over-Expression of Alpha-Enolase as a Prognostic Biomarker in Patients with Pancreatic Cancer


Background: Alpha-enolase is an important glycolytic enzyme, and its aberrant expression has been associated with multiple tumor progression. However, few studies investigated the expression of alpha-enolase and its clinical significance in pancreatic cancer (PC). Objectives: To evaluate alpha-enolase level in PC tissues by immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis, and investigate the association of alpha-enolase expression with clinicopathologic features. Methods: The alpha-enolase levels in pancreatic cancer tissues were analyzed by using the Oncomine database. The expression of alpha-enolase, Ki67 and p53 in pancreatic cancer and adjacent normal tissues were evaluated by IHC using the corresponding primary antibodies on the commercial tissue arrays. We also examined their association with clinicopathologic parameters, and explored their prognostic value in PC. Results: We identified an elevation of alpha-enolase mRNA level in pancreatic cancer independent datasets from Oncomine. IHC analysis showed that alpha-enolase protein levels were elevated in 47% (n=100) PC tissue samples, but there was weak or no staining in the normal tissues. Statistical analysis revealed that high levels of alpha-enolase were significantly associated with Stage and Lymph node metastasis. Correlation analysis indicated that over-expression of alpha-enolase was positively associated with Ki67 expression and inversely correlated with p53 expression. Furthermore, membranous expression of alpha-enolase was also observed in 29.8% (14/47) total alpha-enolase positive samples, and was significantly associated with Lymph node metastasis. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis demonstrated that high total alpha-enolase expression was significantly associated with unfavorable survival, while membranous alpha-enolase expression was significantly associated with better survival of PC patients. Multivariate Cox analysis demonstrated that total alpha-enolase expression was an independent prognostic factor for PC patients.

Conclusions: Our results suggested that alpha-enolase level was significantly elevated in pancreatic cancer tissues, which was closely associated with PC progression. It might be a candidate target for targeted pancreatic cancer treatments.

Whey Protein Improves Marathon-Induced Injury and Exercise Performance in Elite Track Runners


Whey protein has been widely applied to athletes and the fitness field for muscle growth and performance improvement. Limited studies focused on the beneficial effects of whey on aerobic exercise according to biochemical assessments. In the current study, 12 elite male track runners were randomly assigned to whey and maltodextrin groups for 5 weeks' supplementation. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of whey protein on physiological adaptions and exercise performance. During this period, three time points (pre-, post-, and end-test) were used to evaluate related biochemical parameters, body composition, and performance. The post-test was set 1 day after a marathon for injury status evaluation and the end-test was also assessed after 1-week recovery from endurance test. The results showed that the whey group exhibited significantly lower aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, lactate dehydrogenase, and creatine kinase indicators after the marathon (post-test), as well as at the end-test (p<0.016). The endurance performance in twelve-minute walk/run was also significantly elevated (p<0.012) possibly due to an increase in the muscle mass and amelioration of exercise injuries. In the current study, we demonstrated that whey protein can also be used for aerobic exercise for better physiological adaptation, in addition to resistance training. Whey protein could be also a potential nutrient supplement with a variety of benefits for amateur runners.

Characterization of the Asian Phenotype - An Emerging Paradigm with Clinicopathological and Human Research Implications


Background: Modern medicine recognizes that salient, inherent variations between Caucasians and Asians exist. Radical changes are occurring in the health scene with increasing emphasis centered on the recognition of inter-individual variations unique to Asians that impact on medical management and outcomes.

Aim: This review analyzes distinct features or outcomes in terms of epidemiology, disease thresholds, diagnostic cutoffs and treatment responses of Asian people compared with non-Asians.

Methods: This review is based on a literature search via PubMed and MEDLINE for relevant articles related to the Asian phenotype and its impact on health and disease.

Results: An 'Asian phenotype' could be characterized across the spectrum of biomedical disciplines and underscores the major challenges clinicians must face in their daily management of a cosmopolitan population and their extrapolation of research outcomes.

Conclusion: Interventions for various ailments that have traditionally ignored population differences have now entered the age of personalized, stratified or precision medicine requiring an individualized approach being adopted as a new standard of care. Factoring in Asian phenotypes is essential for the medical research community and the development of improved clinical practice guidelines across a continuum of disciplines that will ultimately translate to better human health round the world.

Involvement of Ornithine Carbamoyltransferase in the Progression of Chronic Hepatitis C and Liver Cirrhosis


Background: The involvement of serum ornithine carbamoyltransferase (OCT) in the progression of chronic hepatitis and liver cirrhosis is unclear.

Methods: A total 256 patients with chronic hepatitis C and 5 healthy controls were examined. Serum OCT concentrations were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Serum OCT concentrations were compared with serum cytokine and chemokine levels, and with disease severity and development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

Results: The median OCT concentrations were 21.8 ng/ml for healthy controls, 36.7 ng/ml for F0 stage disease, 48.7 ng/ml for F1 stage, 77.9 ng/ml for F2 stage, 104.8 ng/ml for F3 stage, and 121.4 ng/ml for F4 stage. OCT concentrations were correlated with aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, γ-glutamyl transpeptidase, platelet counts, indocyanine green retention rate at 15 min, prothrombin times, the molar ratio of branched chain amino acids to tyrosine, and tyrosine. Furthermore, there were significant correlations among OCT concentrations and IP10 and IL18 levels. There were weak correlations between serum OCT concentrations and liver histology. The cumulative incidence of HCC in the high-OCT concentration group (≥75.3 ng/ml) was higher than that in the low-OCT concentration group.

Conclusion: The measurement of serum OCT concentration may provide a useful marker of disease severity, and thus could be a useful marker for a high risk of HCC occurrence.

MicroRNA Expression Analysis of Centenarians and Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Reveals a Common Expression Pattern


Micro-RNA (miRNA) are a family of small non-coding ribonucleic acids that inhibits post-transcriptionally the expression of their target messenger RNA (mRNA). We are interested in studying the involvement of miRNA in longevity and autoimmune diseases. In this study we compared the different expression of seven microRNAs between human plasma healthy controls, plasma samples of centenarians and samples from patients with rheumatoid arthritis. We used the Life Technologies' protocol to quantify seven miRNAs from 62 plasma samples: 20 healthy human controls, 14 centenarians, 28 patients with rheumatoid arthritis. TaqMan MicroRNA assays were used to analyze the expression profiles of miR-125b-5p, miR-425-5p, miR-200b5p, miR-200c-3p, miR-579-3p, miR-212-3p, miR-21-5p and miR-126-3p. The relative expression of mature miRNAs was analyzed using software REST. Our results show that miR-425-5p, miR-21 and miR-212 significantly decreased in centenarians and in patients with rheumatoid arthritis compared with controls. Furthermore in this work we highlight a connection between corticosteroid treatment and miRNAs expression.

Systematic Evaluation of Corticosteroid Use in Obese and Non-obese Individuals: A Multi-cohort Study


Background: Although the use of corticosteroids has been linked to high incidence of weight gain, no data are available concerning the differences in corticosteroid use between a diverse obese population and non-obese individuals. The main purpose of this study was to systematically explore the use of corticosteroids in obese subjects compared to non-obese controls. In addition, we also explored self-reported marked weight gain within obese subjects.

Methods: Two hundred seventy-four obese outpatients (median [range] BMI: 40.1 kg/m2 [30.5-67.0]), and 526 non-obese controls (BMI: 24.1 kg/m2 [18.6-29.9]) from two different Dutch cohort studies were included. Corticosteroid use at the time of clinic or research site visit for up to the preceding three months was recorded in detail. Medical records and clinical data were evaluated with regard to age and body mass index in relation to corticosteroid use, single or multiple type use, and administration forms.

Results: Recent corticosteroid use was nearly twice as high for obese subjects than for non-obese controls (27.0% vs. 11.9% and 14.8%, both P<.001). Largest differences were found for use of local corticosteroids, in particular inhaled forms, and simultaneous use of multiple types. Marked weight gain was self-reported during corticosteroid use in 10.5% of the obese users.

Conclusion: Corticosteroid use, especially the inhaled agents, is higher in obese than in non-obese individuals. Considering the potential systemic effects of also local corticosteroids, caution is warranted on the increasing use in the general population and on its associations with weight gain.

Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles as Radiosensitisers: An In vitro and Phantom-Based Study


Objective: Radiosensitisation caused by titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2-NPs) is investigated using phantoms (PRESAGE® dosimeters) and in vitro using two types of cell lines, cultured human keratinocyte (HaCaT) and prostate cancer (DU145) cells.

Methods: Anatase TiO2-NPs were synthesised, characterised and functionalised to allow dispersion in culture-medium for in vitro studies and halocarbons (PRESAGE® chemical compositions). PRESAGE® dosimeters were scanned with spectrophotometer to determine the radiation dose enhancement. Clonogenic and cell viability assays were employed to determine cells survival curves from which the dose enhancement levels “radiosensitisation” are deduced.

Results: Comparable levels of radiosensitisation were observed in both phantoms and cells at kilovoltage ranges of x-ray energies (slightly higher in vitro). Significant radiosensitisation (~67 %) of control was also noted in cells at megavoltage energies (commonly used in radiotherapy), compared to negligible levels detected by phantoms. This difference is attributed to biochemical effects, specifically the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as hydroxyl radicals (OH), which are only manifested in aqueous environments of cells and are non-existent in case of phantoms.

Conclusions: This research shows that TiO2-NPs improve the efficiency of dose delivery, which has implications for future radiotherapy treatments. Literature shows that Ti2O3-NPs can be used as imaging agents hence with these findings renders these NPs as theranostic agents.

Gastric Juice-Based Real-Time PCR for Tailored Helicobacter Pylori Treatment: A Practical Approach


A gastric juice-based real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was established to identify Helicobacter pylori infection, clarithromycin susceptibility and human CYP2C19 genotypes and to guide the choice of proton pump inhibitor (PPI), clarithromycin and amoxicillin treatment for tailored H. pylori eradication therapy. From January 2013 to November 2014, 178 consecutive dyspeptic patients were enrolled for collection of gastric biopsy samples and gastric juice by endoscopy at the Peking University Third Hospital; 105 and 73 H. pylori-positive and -negative patients, respectively, were included in this study. H. pylori infection was defined as samples with both a strongly positive rapid urease test (RUT) and positive H. pylori histology. A series of primers and probes were distributed into four reactions for identifying the H. pylori cagH gene coupled with an internal control (Rnase P gene), A2142G and A2143G mutants of the H. pylori 23S rRNA gene, and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) G681A of CYP2C19*2 and G636A of CYP2C19*3. The E-test and DNA sequencing were used to evaluate the H. pylori clarithromycin susceptibility phenotype and genotype. The SNPs CYP2C19*2 and CYP2C19*3 were also evaluated by nucleotide sequencing. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) of this gastric juice-based real-time PCR assay were evaluated by comparing with the same measures obtained through gastric biopsy-based PCR and culture. The H. pylori diagnostic sensitivities of the culture, PCR, and gastric biopsy- and gastric juice-based real-time PCR assays were 90.48% (95/105), 92.38% (97/105), 97.14% (102/105) and 100% (105/105), respectively; the specificities of the above methods were all 100%. Higher false-negative rates were found among the gastric biopsy samples assessed by culture (10.48%, 11/105), PCR (7.62%, 8/105) and real-time PCR (2.86%, 3/105) than in gastric juice by real-time PCR. Regarding clarithromycin susceptibility, a concordance of 82.98% (78/94) and discordance of 17.02% (16/94) were observed among the different methods, discrepancies that mainly represent differences between[...]

The Application of Dehydroepiandrosterone on Improving Mitochondrial Function and Reducing Apoptosis of Cumulus Cells in Poor Ovarian Responders


Poor ovarian responders (PORs) pose a great challenge for in vitro fertilization (IVF). Previous studies have suggested that dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) may improve IVF outcomes in PORs. The current study attempted to investigate the clinical benefits of DHEA in PORs and the possible mechanisms of DHEA on cumulus cells (CCs). This was a prospective study performed at one tertiary center from January 2015 to March 2016. A total of 131 women who underwent IVF treatment participated, including 59 normal ovarian responders (NORs) and 72 PORs. PORs were assigned to receive DHEA supplementation or not before the IVF cycle. For all patients, CCs were obtained after oocyte retrieval. In the CCs, mRNA expression of apoptosis-related genes and mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) gene, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling assay, mitochondrial dehydrogenase activity and mitochondrial mass were measured. The results indicated that PORs with DHEA supplementation produces a great number of top-quality embryos at day 3 and increased the number of transferred embryos and fertilization rate compared with those without DHEA supplementation. Additionally, supplementation with DHEA in PORs decreased DNA damage and apoptosis in CCs while enhancing the mitochondrial mass, mitochondrial dehydrogenase activity and TFAM expression in CCs. In conclusion, our results showed that the benefits of DHEA supplementation on IVF outcomes in PORs were significant, and the effects may be partially mediated by improving mitochondrial function and reducing apoptosis in CCs.

Hypoxia-regulated MicroRNA-210 Overexpression is Associated with Tumor Development and Progression in Upper Tract Urothelial Carcinoma


Background: Hypoxia has been shown to facilitate tumor progression. Hypoxia-regulated microRNA-210 (miR-210) may play an important role in carcinogenesis and tumor progression. In this study, we evaluated the clinical significance of miR-210 expression in upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC).

Methods: Eighty-three UTUC patients participated in this study. All of them provided cancer tissue samples and 50 of them provided non-cancerous urothelium samples. Clinicopathologic data were collected by reviewing medical records. The expression of miR-210 and hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) was determined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. The relationship between clinicopathologic variables and the expression of miR-210 and HIF-1α was analyzed statistically.

Results: MiR-210 is overexpressed in UTUC compared to non-cancerous urothelium (p < 0.001); it is also upregulated in high-stage and high-grade tumors (p = 0.020 and 0.049, respectively). HIF-1α is overexpressed in UTUC and correlates positively with miR-210 expression (r = 0.442, p = 0.001).

Conclusion: Both miR-210 and HIF-1α are involved in promoting UTUC carcinogenesis. MiR-210 is also correlated with tumor progression. Further studies are needed to clarify the underlying mechanism.

The Effect of Nefopam Infusion during Laparascopic Cholecystectomy on Postoperative Pain


Background: While recovery from remifentanil is fast due to its rapid metabolism, it can induce hyperalgesia by activation of N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptors. Therefore, administration of NMDA receptor antagonists such as ketamine is effective in relieving hyperalgesia caused by remifentanil. A previous study showed that nefopam administration before anesthesia combined with low-dose remifentanil reduced pain and analgesic consumption during the immediate postoperative period. We hypothesized that intraoperative infusion of nefopam during laparoscopic cholecystectomy would be as effective as ketamine in controlling pain during the acute postoperative period after sevoflurane and remifentanil based anesthesia.Methods: Sixty patients scheduled to undergo laparoscopic cholecystectomy were randomly divided into three groups. General anesthesia was maintained with sevoflurane and effect-site target concentration of remifentanil (4 ng/ml) in all patients. An intravenous bolus of nefopam (0.3 mg/kg) was given, followed by continuous infusion (65 µg/kg/h) in Group N (n=20). An intravenous bolus of ketamine (0.3 mg/kg) was administered, followed by continuous infusion (180 µg/kg/h) in Group K (n=20), and Group C received a bolus and subsequent infusion of normal saline equal to the infusion received by Group K (n=20). We compared postoperative Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) scores and analgesic requirements over the first 8 postoperative hours between groups.Results: The pain scores (VAS) and fentanyl requirements for 1 h after surgery were significantly lower in the nefopam and ketamine groups compared with the control group (p<0.05). There were no differences between the nefopam and ketamine groups. The three groups showed no differences in VAS scores and number of analgesic injections from 1 to 8 h after surgery.Conclusion: Intraoperative nefopam infusion during laparoscopic cholecystectomy reduced opioid requirements and pain scores (VAS) during the early postoperative period after remifentanil-based anesthesia. [...]

Bioactivities of ethanol extract from the Antarctic freshwater microalga, Chloromonas sp.


Cancer is the principal cause of human death and occurs through highly complex processes that involve the multiple coordinated mechanisms of tumorigenesis. A number of studies have indicated that the microalgae extracts showed anticancer activity in a variety of human cancer cells and can provide a new insight in the development of novel anti-cancer therapy. Here, in order to investigate molecular mechanisms of anticancer activity in the Antarctic freshwater microalga, Chloromonas sp., we prepared ethanol extract of Chloromonas sp. (ETCH) and performed several in vitro assays using human normal keratinocyte (HaCaT) and different types of cancer cells including cervical, melanoma, and breast cancer cells (HeLa, A375 and Hs578T, respectively). We revealed that ETCH had the antioxidant capacity, and caused significant cell growth inhibition and apoptosis of cancer cells in a dose-dependent manner, whereas it showed no anti-proliferation to normal cells. In addition, ETCH had a significant inhibitory effect on cell invasion without the cytotoxic effect. Furthermore, ETCH-induced apoptosis was mediated by increase in pro-apoptotic proteins including cleaved caspase-3 and p53, and by decrease in anti-apoptotic protein, Bcl-2 in ETCH-treated cancer cells. Taken together, this work firstly explored the antioxidant and anticancer activities of an Antarctic freshwater microalga, and ETCH could be a potential therapeutic candidate in the treatment of human cancer.

ProEx C as Diagnostic Marker for Detection of Urothelial Carcinoma in Urinary Samples: A Review


The gold standard for the detection of urothelial carcinoma is represented by urethro-cystoscopy and biopsy. Both procedures are invasive and expensive and therefore cytology is often used as first approach to investigate on a possible neoplasia, being a safe and cost-effective diagnostic modality of evaluation. Because cytology alone is not highly sensitive for detection of low grade urothelial carcinoma and recurrence of the disease, several adjunct markers and urine based tests for urothelial carcinoma have been developed, which can help in the final diagnosis. In particular, ProEx C is an immunohistochemical cocktail containing antibodies direct against topoisomerase IIα (TOP2A) and minichromosome maintenance 2 (MCM2) proteins. It proved to be a valid biomarker especially in detecting squamous intraepithelial lesions in cervical liquid-based samples and in discerning these lesions from their mimickers, as well as in ovarian, endometrial, vulvar, primary and metastatic melanomas, breast, pancreatic and renal cell carcinomas. This brief review covers the effective utility of ProEx C as adjunct tool in assessing the urothelial lesions in urine cytology, also providing prognostic and therapeutic information to help in clinical decisions.

Existence of a Strong Correlation of Biomarkers and miRNA in Females with Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity in a Population of West Virginia


Objectives: Metabolic syndrome causes complications like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). As metabolic syndrome develops, altered levels of cytokines and microRNAs (miRNA) are measurable in the circulation. We aimed to construct a panel detecting abnormal levels of cytokines and miRNAs in patients at risk for metabolic syndrome. Methods: Participants included 54 patients from a Family Medicine Clinic at Marshall University School of Medicine, in groups of: Control, Obese, and Metabolic Syndrome (MetS). Results: Serum levels of leptin, adiponectin, leptin: adiponectin ratio, IL-6, six miRNAs (320a, 197-3p, 23-3p, 221-3p, 27a-3p, and 130a-3p), were measured. Among the three groups, leptin, and leptin: adiponectin ratio, and IL-6 levels were highest in MetS, and levels in Obese were greater than Control (p>0.05). Adiponectin levels were lower in Obese compared to Control, but lowest in MetS (p<0.05). MiRNAs levels were lowest in MetS, and levels in Obese were lower than Control (p>0.05). Conclusion: Our results support the clinical application of biomarkers in diagnosing early stage MetS, which will enable attenuation of disease progression before onset of irreversible complications. Since West Virginians are high-risk for developing MetS, our biomarker panel could reduce the disease burden on our population.

Clinical insomnia and associated factors in failed back surgery syndrome: a retrospective cross-sectional study


Background Insomnia frequently occurs to patients with persistent back pain. By worsening pain, mood, and physical functioning, insomnia could lead to the negative clinical consequences of patients with failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS). This retrospective and cross-sectional study aims to identify the risk factors associated with clinical insomnia in FBSS patients.

Methods A total of 194 patients with FBSS, who met the study inclusion criteria, were included in this analysis. The Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) was utilized to ascertain the presence of clinical insomnia (ISI score ≥ 15). Logistic regression analysis evaluates patient demographic factors, clinical factors including prior surgical factors, and psychological factors to identify the risk factors of clinical insomnia in FBSS patients.

Results After the persistent pain following lumbar spine surgery worsened, 63.4% of patients reported a change from mild to severe insomnia. In addition, 26.2% of patients met the criteria for clinically significant insomnia. In a multivariate logistic regression analysis, high pain intensity (odds ratio (OR) =2.742, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.022 - 7.353, P=0.045), high pain catastrophizing (OR=4.185, 95% CI: 1.697 - 10.324, P=0.002), greater level of depression (OR =3.330, 95% CI: 1.127 - 9.837, P=0.030) were significantly associated with clinical insomnia. However, patient demographic factors and clinical factors including prior surgical factors were not significantly associated with clinical insomnia.

Conclusions Insomnia should be addressed as a critical part of pain management in FBSS patients with these risk factors, especially in patients with high pain catastrophizing.

KLF6 inhibited oral cancer migration and invasion via downregulation of mesenchymal markers and inhibition of MMP-9 activities


Krüppel-like factors can bind to specific DNA motifs and regulate various cellular functions, such as metabolism, cell proliferation, and differentiation. Krüppel-like factor 6 (KLF6), a member of this family, is downregulated in human cancers. Oral cancer is a highly prevalent type in Taiwan. Although KLF6 overexpression in human cancer cells inhibits cell proliferation, induces apoptosis, and attenuates cell migration, the effects of KLF6 on oral cancer remains poorly elucidated. This study investigated the role of KLF6 in oral cancer tumorigenesis. Immunohistochemical staining revealed that nuclear KLF6 level was significantly and inversely associated with tumor size and stages. KLF6 overexpression attenuated the migration and invasion of oral cancer SAS cells. Zymography assay demonstrated that KLF6 inhibited the activities of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) and weakened the expression of mesenchymal markers, such as snail, slug, and vimentin. Our study is the first to provide demonstrate that KLF6 functions as a tumor suppressor gene and prevents the metastasis of oral cancer cells.

Synergistic Antitumor Effect of Sorafenib in Combination with ATM Inhibitor in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells


Background: Currently, sorafenib is the only systemic chemotherapy drug for advanced stage Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, emerging data from some clinical HCC patients indicate that sorafenib alone has only moderate antitumor efficacy, and could not inhibit disease metastasis and progression. KU-55933 is a specific ATM inhibitor, which has pro-apoptotic effect on tumor cells. In this study, we analyzed the synergistic effect of sorafenib and KU-55933 on the proliferation of HCC cell lines.

Methods: Three HCC cell lines were treated with sorafenib and KU-55933 alone or combination in vitro to investigate inhibitory effect by MTT and wound healing assay. Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) phenotype change was investigated after sorafenib and KU-55933 treatment by microscopy. Akt signaling pathway proteins including p-Akt, p-mTOR and p-p70S6K were examined by western blot. In addition, cleaved PARP and autophage-related proteins LC3A/B were detected by western blot.

Results: KU-55933 can enhance the effect of sorafenib in inhibiting cell proliferation and migration, overcoming EMT, inducing cell apoptosis via inactivating Akt signaling pathway and inducing autophage. The combination treatment with sorafenib and KU-55933 resulted in a strong synergistic effect in vitro.

Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that sorafenib combined with KU-55933 treatment does effectively inhibit proliferation of HCC cell lines synergistically. These data suggests that KU-55933 may be a promising chemosensitizer to sorafenib in the treatment of HCC.

Nuclear Expression of GS28 Protein: A Novel Biomarker that Predicts Prognosis in Colorectal Cancers


Aims: GS28 (Golgi SNARE protein, 28 kDa), a member of the soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors (SNARE) protein family, plays a critical role in mammalian endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-Golgi or intra-Golgi vesicle transport. To date, few researches on the GS28 protein in human cancer tissues have been reported. In this study, we assessed the prognostic value of GS28 in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC).

Methods and results: We screened for GS28 expression using immunohistochemistry in 230 surgical CRC specimens. The CRCs were right-sided and left-sided in 28.3% (65/230) and 71.3% (164/230) of patients, respectively. GS28 staining results were available in 214 cases. Among these, there were 26 nuclear predominant cases and 188 non-nuclear predominant cases. Stromal GS28 expression was noted in 152 cases of CRC. GS28 nuclear predominant immunoreactivity was significantly associated with advanced tumour stage (p = 0.045) and marginally associated with perineural invasion (p = 0.064). Decreased GS28 expression in the stromal cells was significantly associated with lymph node metastasis (N stage; p = 0.036). GS28 expression was not associated with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) immunohistochemical positivity or KRAS mutation status. Investigation of the prognostic value of GS28 with Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed a correlation with overall survival (p = 0.004). Cases with GS28 nuclear predominant expression had significantly poorer overall survival than those with a non-nuclear predominant pattern.

Conclusions: Taken together, these results indicate that GS28 nuclear predominant expression could serve as a prognostic marker for CRC and may help in identifying aggressive forms of CRC.

Traditional Chinese Medication Qiliqiangxin Protects Against Cardiac Remodeling and Dysfunction in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats


Qiliqiangxin (QLQX), a traditional Chinese herbs medication, exerted protective effect in chronic heart failure patients in a multicenter randomized double-blind study. QLQX has also been found to improve cardiac function and reduce cardiac fibrosis in spontaneously hypertension animal model. However, the effect of longterm treatment with QLQX in such a condition and the related molecular mechanisms remain largely unknown. In the present study, thirteen-week-old spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) were treated by daily intragastric administration of QLQX or saline for one year. Echocardiography, electron microscopy, and Masson's trichrome staining were used to determine cardiac function, mitochondria ultrastructure, and cardiac fibrosis, respectively. Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reactions (qRT-PCRs) and Western blotting were used to determine gene expressions. We found that QLQX significantly improved cardiac function and reduced gene markers of pathological hypertrophy including ANP, BNP, and Myh7. QLQX also attenuated cardiac fibrosis and apoptosis in SHRs as evidenced by downregulation of α-SMA, collagen I, collagen III, and TGF-β expressions and reduction of Bax to Bcl-2 ratio. Moreover, the damage of mitochondrial ultrastructure was greatly improved and the reduction of PPAR-α, PPAR-γ, and PGC-1α expression levels was significantly restored in SHRs by treatment with QLQX. In conclusion, longterm treatment with QLQX protects against cardiac remodeling and dysfunction in hypertension by increasing PPARs and PGC-1α.

Improving on Laboratory Traumatic Brain Injury Models to Achieve Better Results


Experimental modeling of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in animals has identified several potential means and interventions that might have beneficial applications for treating traumatic brain injury clinically. Several of these interventions have been applied and tried with humans that are at different phases of testing (completed, prematurely terminated and others in progress). The promising results achieved in the laboratory with animal models have not been replicated with human trails as expected. This review will highlight some insights and significance attained via laboratory animal modeling of TBI as well as factors that require incorporation into the experimental studies that could help in translating results from laboratory to the bedside. Major progress has been made due to laboratory studies; in explaining the mechanisms as well as pathophysiological features of brain damage after TBI. Attempts to intervene in the cascade of events occurring after TBI all rely heavily on the knowledge from basic laboratory investigations. In looking to discover treatment, this review will endeavor to sight and state some central discrepancies between laboratory models and clinical scenarios.

Effects of C-reactive protein on the expression of matrix metalloproteinases and their inhibitors via Fcγ receptors on 3T3-L1 adipocytes


The association between obesity and inflammation is well documented in epidemiological studies. Proteolysis of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins is involved in adipose tissue enlargement, and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) collectively cleave all ECM proteins. Here, we examined the effects of C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory biomarker, on the expression of MMPs and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs), which are natural inhibitors of MMPs, in adipocyte-differentiated 3T3-L1 cells. We analyzed the expression of Fcγ receptor (FcγR) IIb and FcγRIII, which are candidates for CRP receptors, and the effects of anti-CD16/CD32 antibodies, which can act as FcγRII and FcγRIII blockers on CRP-induced alteration of MMP and TIMP expression. Moreover, we examined the effects of CRP on the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling, which is involved in MMP and TIMP expression, in the presence or absence of anti-CD16/CD32 antibodies. Stimulation with CRP increased MMP-1, MMP-3, MMP-9, MMP-11, MMP-14, and TIMP-1 expression but did not affect MMP-2, TIMP-2, and TIMP-4 expression; TIMP-3 expression was not detected. Adipocyte-differentiated 3T3-L1cells expressed FcγRIIb and FcγRIII; this expression was upregulated on stimulation with CRP. Anti-CD16/CD32 antibodies inhibited CRP-induced expression of MMPs, except MMP-11, and TIMP-1. CRP induced the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2 and p38 MAPK but did not affect SAPK/JNK phosphorylation, and Anti-CD16/CD32 attenuated the CRP-induced phosphorylation of p38 MAPK, but not that of ERK1/2. These results suggest that CRP facilitates ECM turnover in adipose tissue by increasing the production of multiple MMPs and TIMP-1 in adipocytes. Moreover, FcγRIIb and[...]

Effect of Metoprolol Succinate in Patients with Stable Angina and Elevated Heart Rate Receiving Low-Dose β-Blocker Therapy


Aims: β-blockers are underused in Chinese patients with coronary heart disease. The prescribed dose is often low. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of metoprolol succinate doses of 95 mg and 190 mg on heart rate (HR) control, as well as drug tolerance, in Chinese patients with stable angina, low-dose β-blocker use and unsatisfactory HR control.

Methods: This was a multicenter, randomized, open-label, parallel-group trial in 15 clinical sites. Patients with stable angina, taking low-dose β-blockers (equivalent to metoprolol succinate 23.75-47.5 mg/day), and having a resting HR of ≥ 65 bpm were enrolled and randomized to either the metoprolol 95-mg group or the 190-mg group. The change in 24-h average HR from baseline recorded by Holter monitoring and the percentages of patients with resting HR controlled to ≤ 60 bpm were compared between the two groups.

Results: Two hundred thirty-one patients entered the intent-to-treat population for the main analysis. The change in 24-h average HR from baseline was -0.62 ± 0.66 bpm in the 95 mg group and -2.99 ± 0.62 bpm in the 190 mg group (p = 0.0077) after 8 weeks of treatment. The percentages of patients with resting HR controlled to ≤ 60 bpm were 24.1% (95% CI: 16.35%, 31.93%) and 40.0% (95% CI: 31.05%, 48.95%), respectively (p = 0.0019). Only 4 and 2 of the patients, respectively, discontinued the study drugs because of hypotension or bradycardia.

Conclusions: The metoprolol succinate dose of 190 mg is superior to the 95 mg dose in terms of HR control, in Chinese patients with stable angina, low-dose β-blocker use and unsatisfactory HR control. Both doses were well tolerated.

Association between sarcopenia and hearing thresholds in postmenopausal women


Background: Given the association between metabolic disturbance and sarcopenia, sarcopenia may be intrinsically associated with the prevalence of HL. However, few studies describe the association between sarcopenia and HL. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical association between sarcopenia and HL in postmenopausal Korean women.Patients and Methods: A total of 4,038 women were ultimately included in this study. All participants were postmenopausal. Participants were divided into two groups based on criteria from the Foundation for the National Institute of Health Sarcopenia Project: a normal group (sarcopenia index ≥ 0.512) and a sarcopenia group (sarcopenia index < 0.512). Low-frequency (Low-Freq), mid-frequency (Mid-Freq), and high-frequency (High-Freq) values were obtained. The average hearing threshold (AHT) was calculated as the pure tone average at the 4 frequencies of 0.5 kHz, 1 kHz, 2 kHz, and 3 kHz. Mild HL was as an AHT of 24 to 40 dB; moderate-to-profound HL was defined as an AHT of 40 dB or greater.Results: Of the 4,038 participants, 272 (6.7%) were allocated to the sarcopenia group, leaving 3,766 (93.3%) in the normal group. The groups differed significantly in terms of having hypertension (775 [20.6%] vs. 108 [39.7%]; P < 0.001) or metabolic syndrome (817 [21.7%] vs. 110 [40.4%]; P < 0.001) in the normal and sarcopenia groups, respectively. Visceral fat area (cm3) in the normal and sarcopenia groups was 99.0 ± 21.9 cm3 and 117.0 ± 21.8 cm3 , respectively (P < 0.001). The hsCRP level was higher in the sarcopenia group than in the normal group. For univariate and multivariate analyses, all 4 hearing thresholds were higher in the sarcopenia group than in the normal group. In addition, lin[...]

Induction of Mitotic Delay in Pharyngeal and Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Cells Using an Aqueous Extract of Ajuga bracteosa


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a common cancer in Southeast Asia, for which radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy are the primary treatment methods. Many herbs are known to have potential uses in chemotherapy; however, the mechanisms underlying the observed antitumor activity of Ajuga bracteosa (AB) against NPC remain unclear. We explored the antitumor effects of AB, which was shown specifically to induce mitotic delay in pharyngeal (Detroit 562) and nasopharyngeal (Hone-1) cancer cells. Proliferation of cancer cells after exposure to aqueous extract of A. bracteosa (AEAB) was assessed using the MTT assay. DNA content and cell cycle arrest induction were analyzed using flow cytometry. The expression of checkpoint kinase 2 (CHK2), cell division control protein 2 (CDC2), and cyclin B1 was investigated using qRT-PCR and Western blot analysis. Results indicated the inhibition of cancer cell growth following exposure to AEAB. In addition, AEAB induced the accumulation of G2/M-phase cells in cancer cell through the disassociation of CDC2/cyclin B1 complex. Our findings suggested that, in addition to the known effects of AEAB in NPC prevention, it may have antitumor activities against NPC cells. In conclusion, AEAB inhibits the growth of and induces mitotic delay in cancer cells, supporting its use as an anticancer agent.

Stabilization of 4E-BP1 by PI3K kinase and its involvement in CHK2 phosphorylation in the cellular response to radiation


Objectives: 4E-BP1 is a family member of eIF4E binding proteins (4E-BPs) which act as the suppressors of cap-dependent translation of RNA via competitively associating with cap-bound eIF4E. RNA translation regulation is an important manner to control the cellular responses to a series of stress conditions such as ionizing radiation (IR)-induced DNA damage response and cell cycle controlling. This study aimed to determine the mechanism of 4E-BP1 stabilization and its potential downstream target(s) in the response to IR.Methods: PI3Ks kinase inhibitors were used to determine the signaling control of 4E-BP1 phosphorylation and protein stability. shRNA strategy was employed to silence the expression of 4E-BP1 in HeLa and HepG2 cells, and determine its effect on the irradiation-induced CHK2 phosphorylation. The protein degradation/stability was investigated by western blotting on the condition of blocking novel protein synthesis by cycloheximide (CHX).Results: The phosphorylation of 4E-BP1 at Thr37/46 was significantly increased in both HepG2 and HeLa cells by ionizing radiation. Depression of 4E-BP1 by shRNA strategy resulted in an incomplete G2 arrest at the early stage of 2 hours post-irradiation, as well as a higher accumulation of mitotic cells at 10 and 12 hours post-irradiation as compared to the control cells. Consistently, the CHK2 phosphorylation at Thr68 induced by IR was also attenuated by silencing 4E-BP1 expression. Both PI3K and DNA-PKcs kinase inhibitors significantly decreased the protein level of 4E-BP1, which was associated with the accelerated degradation mediated by ubiquitination-proteasome pathway.Conclusion: PI3K kinase activity is necessary for maintaining 4E-BP1 stabili[...]

Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum CECT 7765 supplementation restores altered vascular function in an experimental model of obese mice


Aims. Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum CECT 7765 improves metabolic and immunological altered functions in high fat fed mice, however little is known about the effects of potential probiotics on vascular reactivity. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of a potential probiotic strain, Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum CECT 7765, on vascular response in obese mice.Methods. Aorta samples were obtained from mice, which were divided into three groups: a control group, receiving a standard diet; an obese group, receiving a high-fat diet; and an obese group receiving high-fat diet and a daily dose of B. pseudocatenulatum CECT 7765 by oral gavage. Aortic rings were suspended in organ baths for isometric recording of tension. mRNA expression of eNOS was evaluated by real-time polymerase chain reaction.Results. Contractions induced by KCl, noradrenaline and thromboxane analogue were 33%, 30% and 45% lower respectively in aortic rings from obese mice. Bifidobacteria administration reversed this effect. eNOS inhibition increased the response to noradrenaline in the three groups with a significant lower magnitude in aortic rings from obese mice receiving bifidobacteria supplement. Acetylcholine caused a greater vasodilation in aorta from obese group (46±3% for control and 69±4% for obese group; p<0.05) and bifidobacteria reversed it (57±5%). Response to sodium nitroprusside was displaced 2.9 times to the left in a parallel manner in obese group. Relaxation to sodium nitroprusside remained unchanged in the bifidobacteria fed group. There was about five-fold decreased mRNA expression of eNOS in aortic segments from the group receiving [...]

Dexamethasone Treatment at the Myoblast Stage Enhanced C2C12 Myocyte Differentiation


Background: Glucocorticoids induce skeletal muscle atrophy in many clinical situations; however, their hypertrophic and pro-differentiation effects on myotubes have rarely been reported. We hypothesized that dexamethasone (DEX) has a dual effect on muscle differentiation, and aimed to develop a new differentiation protocol for C2C12 cell line.Methods: Dose- and time-dependent effect of DEX on C2C12 myoblast cell line was analyzed at myoblast and myotube stage, respectively. The level of differentiation was determined by myh1, pax7, atrogin-1, and myostatin mRNA expression and fusion index.Results: After differentiation and at the myotube stage, DEX treatment has an atrophic effect. Specifically, the myotube was thinner, the expression of atrogin-1 increased, and the protein content of myosin heavy chain decreased. In contrast, when DEX treatment was performed before the onset of differentiation, we observed an increase in myotube diameter and myosin heavy chain levels, and a decrease in the expression of atrogin-1. The ratio of multinuclear myotube cells increased in the DEX treatment group. The optimal treatment concentration and time was 100 μM and 48 h, respectively. Co-treatment with 10 μM DEX and 100 nM insulin further enhanced the process of myotube differentiation.Discussion: This novel finding contributed to the explanation on the stage-specific mechanism of glucocorticoid-induced myopathy. A new formula for myoblast differentiation, containing both DEX and insulin, is proposed. Further research is required to understand the complete mechanism of DEX-induced muscle hypertrophy. [...]

Isoflurane preconditioning inhibits the effects of tissue-type plasminogen activator on brain endothelial cell in an in vitro model of ischemic stroke


Tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) is the only treatment for ischemic stroke. However, tPA could induce the intracranial hemorrhage (ICH), which is the main cause of death in ischemic stroke patient after tPA treatment. At present, there is no treatment strategy to ameliorate tPA-induced brain injury after ischemia. Therefore, we investigated the effect of pre-treated isoflurane, which is a volatile anesthetic and has beneficial effects on neurological dysfunction, brain edema and infarct volume in ischemic stroke model. In this study, we used oxygen/glucose deprivation and reperfusion (OGD/R) condition to mimic an ischemic stroke in vitro. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) activity was measured in endothelial cell media. Also, neuronal cell culture was performed to investigate the effect of pretreated isoflurane on the neuronal cell survival after tPA-induced injury during OGD/R. Isoflurane pretreatment prevented tPA-induced MMP-2 and MMP-9 activity and suppressed tPA-triggered LRP/NF-κB/Cox-2 signaling after OGD/R. Neuronal cells, incubated with endothelial cell conditioned medium (EC-CM) after tPA + OGD/R, showed upregulation of pro-apoptotic molecules. However, neurons incubated with isoflurane-pretreated EC-CM showed increased anti-apoptotic molecules. Our findings suggest that isoflurane pretreatment could attenuate tPA-exaggerated brain ischemic injury, by reducing tPA-induced LRP/NF-κB/Cox-2 in endothelial cells, endothelial MMP-2 and MMP-9 activation, and subsequent pro-apoptotic molecule in neurons after OGD/R.

High Level of Plasma EGFL6 Is Associated with Clinicopathological Characteristics in Patients with Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma


EGF-like domain 6 (EGFL6), a member of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) repeat protein superfamily, is a secreted protein that promotes endothelial cell migration and angiogenesis. The current study investigated the association between the clinicopathological characteristics and plasma level of EGFL6 in patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). We measured the plasma EGFL6 levels of 392 OSCC patients by using a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. We also analyzed EGFL6 mRNA levels of 328 OSCC patients from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) dataset. The results showed that plasma EGFL6 levels were significantly higher in patients with OSCC than in healthy controls (p < 0.001). Similar results were observed for the TCGA bioinformatics database. Moreover, plasma EGFL6 levels were significantly higher in the patients with advanced T status (p = 0.002), distant metastasis (p = 0.001), and higher TNM stage (p=0.033). In conclusion, our results suggest that plasma level of EGFL6 may be useful to assess disease progression, and especially advanced T status and higher TNM stage in patients with OSCC.

hsa-miR-96 and hsa-miR-217 Expression Down-Regulates with Increasing Dysplasia in Pancreatic Intraepithelial Neoplasias and Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasms


AIM: To compare the clinicopathological features of pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasias (PanINs) and intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs), and to investigate the role of hsa-miR-96 and hsa-miR-217 in these two lesions.Methods: Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded pancreatic specimens were selected in this study, including 58 cases of pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasias (PanINs), 45 cases of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDAs), and 57 cases of intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs). MiRNAs hsa-miR-96 and hsa-miR-217 were detected using locked nucleic acid in situ hybridization (LNA-ISH) with the NBT/BCIP staining system. The differences in miRNA expression among sample sets were analyzed with the Chi-squared test.Results: PanIN-PDAs were inclined to present with higher rate of invasion (p=0.033), lymph node metastasis (p=0.0004) and poorer differentiation (p<0.001). Of the 45 PDAs, only 2 cases were within AJCC Ⅰstage, while there were 11 cases of IPMN associated carcinomas (p=0.0018). In PanIN-1, PanIN-2 and PanIN-3, the expression of hsa-miR-96 was 91.3% (22/23), 78.6%(12/17) and 22.2%(4/18) respectively, while the expression of hsa-miR-217 was 95.7%(22/23) , 70.6% (12/17) and 27.8% (5/18). In IPMN with low-grade, intermediate-grade, high-grade dysplasia, associated carcinoma, the expression of hsa-miR-96 was 67%(9/13), 64%(7/11), 43%(3/7) and 27%(7/26) respectively, while the expression of hsa-miR-217 was 77%(10/13), 64%(7/11), 29%(2/7) and 38%(10/26). The expression of hsa-miR-96 and hsa-miR-217 in PanIN-1 lesions wa[...]

Increase of Soluble Programmed Cell Death Ligand 1 in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C


Objectives: To determine whether the soluble programmed cell death ligand 1 (sPD-L1) levels in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) are associated with the clinical features of the disease and the efficacy of treatment, including interferon (IFN)-α.Methods: We investigated the sPD-L1 levels in the sera of 80 genotype 1b Japanese patients with CHC who underwent 12 weeks of telaprevir (TVR)- or simeprevir (SMV)-based triple therapy followed by 12 weeks of dual therapy with pegylated IFN-α plus ribavirin. Serum was also obtained from 22 patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) and from 10 healthy donors (HC). The sPD-L1 levels were measured using an ELISA kit. In addition, we examined the PD-L1 expression on the cell surface of immortalized hepatocytes (HPT1) after incubation with cytokines, including IFN-γ.Results: The pretreatment serum sPD-L1 levels were significantly increased in patients with CHC (median 109.3 pg/ml, range 23.1-402.3) compared with patients with CHB (69.2 pg/ml, 15.5-144.8; P <0.001) and HC (100.3 pg/ml, 40.1-166.6; P = 0.039). No significant differences in the sustained virological response (SVR) rates were found between the TVR- (85.0%, n=40) and SMV-treated (80.0%, n=40) groups, and the pretreatment levels of serum sPD-L1 were not significantly different between patients who achieved SVR (105.0 pg/ml, 23.1-402.3) and non-SVR patients (133.5 pg/ml, 39.9-187.2; P = 0.391). The pretreatment level of sPD-L1 was positively correlated with the alanine aminotransferase and alpha-fetoprotein lev[...]

Current status of the treatment of blood blister-like aneurysms of the supraclinoid internal carotid artery: A review


Currently, the treatment of blood blister-like aneurysms (BBAs) of the supraclinoid internal carotid artery (ICA) is challenging and utilizes many therapeutic methods, including direct clipping and suturing, clipping after wrapping, clipping after suturing, coil embolization, stent-assisted coil embolization, multiple overlapping stents, flow-diverting stents, covered stents, and trapping with or without bypass. In these therapeutic approaches, the optimal treatment method for BBAs has not yet been defined based on the current understanding of BBAs of the supraclinoid ICA. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to review the literature from PubMed to discuss and analyze the pros and cons of the above approaches while adding our own viewpoints to the discussion. Among the surgical methods, direct clipping was the easiest method if the compensation of the collateral circulation of the intracranial distal ICA was sufficient or direct clipping did not induce stenosis in the parent artery. In addition, the clipping after wrapping technique should be chosen as the optimal surgical modality to prevent rebleeding from these lesions. Among the endovascular methods, multiple overlapping stents (≥3) with coils may be a feasible alternative for the treatment of ruptured BBAs. In addition, flow-diverting stents appear to have a higher rate of complete occlusion and a lower rate of retreatment and are a promising treatment method. Finally, when all treatments failed or the compensation of the collateral circulation[...]

TGF-β Stimulates Endochondral Differentiation after Denervation


Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) is a multifunctional protein that induces gene expression of cartilage-specific molecules, but its exact role in the process of chondrogenesis is unclear. Because recent studies suggest that TGF-β can facilitate chondrogenic precursor cells differentiating into chondrocytes, we sought to determine whether TGF-β prevents denervation-induced reduction of endochondral bone formation in an experimental model. Mice were treated daily with recombinant human TGF-β1 (rhTGF-β1) for 3 weeks. We found that rhTGF-β1 not only prevented denervation-induced reduction of gene expression of type II collagen, type X collagen, aggrecan, Indian hedgehog, and parathyroid hormone-related peptide, but also synergized endochondral differentiation. These results demonstrate that short-term systemic administration of TGF-β substantially prevents denervation-induced reduction of endochondral bone formation via stimulating endochondral differentiation. Potential therapeutic applications will be pursued in further studies that address the molecular biological mechanism of TGF-β on endochodral bone formation after denervation in animal models.

New Optimal Needle Entry Angle for Cervical Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injections: A Retrospective Study


Objective: A cervical epidural steroid injection is one of the most commonly performed interventions to manage chronic neck pain and cervical radiculopathy. Despite its many severe complications, cervical transforaminal epidural steroid injection (CTFESI) is a clinically necessary modality for managing neck pain and cervical radiculopathy. We aimed in this study to find a safer optimal needle entry angle to decrease the chance of an accidental vertebral artery (VA) puncture even with a proper needle entry angle and to visualize the target of the needle tip.Methods: This retrospective study included 312 patients with neck pain or cervical radiculopathy who had undergone magnetic resonance imaging scans for diagnosis and treatment. The first line was drawn from the midpoint of the two articular pillars and passed through the exact midline of the spinous process. The second line was drawn parallel to the ventral lamina line (conventional transforaminal approach line, CTAL). The third line was drawn parallel to the ventral margin at the midpoint of the superior articular process's ventral border (new transforaminal approach line, NTAL). The angle of intersection between the midline and CTAL versus with NTAL were measured from both sides (right and left) at C5-6, C6-7, and C7-T1 levels. Also, the distance of CTAL and NTAL from VA were measured from both sides at each level. We examined whether the CTAL and NTAL would penetrate the ipsilateral VA, interna[...]

In vivo application of Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-stimulating Factor enhances postoperative qualitative monocytic function


BACKGROUND: Granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) can be used as a potent stimulator for immune suppressed patients as defined by a decrease of human leukocyte antigen-D related expression on monocytes (mHLA-DR) after surgery. However, the exact role of GM-CSF on monocytic and T cell function is unclear. METHODS: In this retrospective randomized controlled trial (RCT) subgroup analysis, monocytic respectively T cell function and T cell subspecies of 20 immune suppressed (i.e. mHLA-DR levels below 10,000 monoclonal antibodies (mAb) per cell at the first day after surgery) patients after esophageal or pancreatic resection were analyzed. Each 10 patients received either GM-CSF (250 μg/m²/d) or placebo for a maximum of three consecutive days if mHLA-DR levels remained below 10,000 mAb per cell. mHLA-DR and further parameters of immune function were measured preoperatively (od) until day 5 after surgery (pod5). Statistical analyses were performed using nonparametric statistical procedures. RESULTS: In multivariate analysis, mHLA-DR significantly differed between the groups (p < 0.001). mHLA-DR was increased on pod2 (p < 0.001) and pod3 (p = 0.002) after GM-CSF application. Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) release of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulated monocytes multivariately significantly differed between the groups (p < 0.008) and was increased in the GM-CSF group on pod2 (p [...]

The Effects and Mechanism of YK-4-279 in Combination with Docetaxel on Prostate Cancer


Background: Docetaxel is the first-line treatment for castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). The limited survival benefit associated with the quick emergence of resistance and systemic toxicity diminishes its efficacy in high-dose monotherapy. YK-4-279 is a small molecule inhibitor of ETV1 that plays an important role in the progression of prostate cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate the hypothesis that the combination of docetaxel and YK-4-279 will have a synergistic effect on inhibiting growth and accelerating apoptosis in human prostate cancer cells.Methods: Cell growth assessed using CCK-8 and trypan blue exclusion assays. Cell apoptosis was determined by morphological assessment in cells stained with propidium iodide. Standard scratch migration and Matrigel-coated transwell invasion assays were used to assess cell migration and invasion, respectively. Western blotting was used to investigate the levels of ETV1, AR, PSA, p-STAT3, survivin, Bcl-2, and p-Akt in prostate cancer cells.Results: The combination of low-dose docetaxel and YK-4-279 synergistically inhibited growth and induced apoptosis in human prostate cancer cells. The combination also more efficiently suppressed the migration and invasion of LNCaP and PC-3 cells. The combination of low-dose docetaxel and YK-4-279 caused a stronger decrease in the levels of ETV1, AR, PSA, p-STAT3, survivin, Bcl-2, and p-Akt in LNCaP[...]

Maternal Active Mastication during Prenatal Stress Ameliorates Prenatal Stress-Induced Lower Bone Mass in Adult Mouse Offspring


Chronic psychological stress is a risk factor for osteoporosis. Maternal active mastication during prenatal stress attenuates stress response. The aim of this study is to test the hypothesis that maternal active mastication influences the effect of prenatal stress on bone mass and bone microstructure in adult offspring. Pregnant ddY mice were randomly divided into control, stress, and stress/chewing groups. Mice in the stress and stress/chewing groups were placed in a ventilated restraint tube for 45 minutes, 3 times a day, and was initiated on day 12 of gestation and continued until delivery. Mice in the stress/chewing group were allowed to chew a wooden stick during the restraint stress period. The bone response of 5-month-old male offspring was evaluated using quantitative micro-CT, bone histomorphometry, and biochemical markers. Prenatal stress resulted in significant decrease of trabecular bone mass in both vertebra and distal femur of the offspring. Maternal active mastication during prenatal stress attenuated the reduced bone formation and increased bone resorption, improved the lower trabecular bone volume and bone microstructural deterioration induced by prenatal stress in the offspring. These findings indicate that maternal active mastication during prenatal stress can ameliorate prenatal stress-induced lower bone mass of the vertebra and femur in adult offsp[...]