Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection brings a huge challenge for medical health practitioners. It has been reported that invaded HBV escapes autophagic degradation through inhibiting lysosome maturation following enhanced autophagy formation, which putatively contributes to HBV replication and infection. However, the underlying mechanism by which HBV escapes from autophagic degradation remains elusive. In this study, we monitored the autophagic process using HepG2 cells and mice without or with transient HBV DNA plasmid transfection (pHepG2) or stable HBV infection (HepG2.2.15 cells) in vitro and in vivo. The results of Western blot, transmission electron microscopy and confocal microscopy, confirmed that HBV induced autophagy, while the fusion of autophagosomes with lysosomes was arrested. Furthermore, Rab7, a small GTPase that functions as a molecular switch responsible for the autophagosome-lysosome fusion, was inhibited, suggesting a potential mechanism for HBV-induced inhibition of autophagic degradation. In conclusion, our study proposes a potential mechanism for how HBV escapes autophagic degradation, which might be a novel therapeutic target for controlling HBV infection.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important gene regulators in both biological and pathological processes, including myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. This study investigated the effect of miR-613 on I/R-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis and its molecular mechanism of action. Hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R) significantly increased the release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), and cardiomyocyte apoptosis, but these effects were attenuated by an miR-613 mimic. Programmed cell death 10 (PDCD10) was identified as a target gene of miR-613. miR-613 significantly increased the phosphorylation of Akt (p-Akt). An miR-613 mimic lowered the level of expression of pro-apoptotic proteins, C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), and phosphorylated c-Jun N-terminal kinase (p-JNK), and it up-regulated the expression of the anti-apoptotic protein B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2). All of these effects were reversed by restoration of PDCD10. Taken together, the current findings indicate that miR-613 inhibits I/R-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis by targeting PDCD10 by regulating the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway.
Numerous studies have reported that human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell (hUCMSC) therapy can rescue the structure and function of injured tissues. The aims of this study were to explore the protective role of hUCMSC transplantation in a model of accelerated ovarian aging and to compare 2 methods of transplanting hUCMSCs, i.e. i) via intravenous injection (IV) and ii) in situ ovarian micro injection (MI). Female mice were subjected to superovulation and ozone inhalation to create a model of accelerated ovarian aging with a decline in both the quantity and quality of oocytes. Cells were transplanted via IV or MI, and ovaries were removed after 2 weeks or 1 month of treatment. Ovarian reserve and function were evaluated based on the follicle counts, hormone levels, the estrous cycle, and reproductive performance. Cell tracking, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL), real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and Western blot analysis were used to assess the inner mechanisms of injury and repair. Results indicated that ovarian function increased significantly after treatment with hUCMSCs. Immunofluorescence revealed reduced TUNEL staining and a decreased percentage of apoptotic cells. A higher level of expression of anti-apoptotic and antioxidant enzymes was noted in the ovaries of groups treated with hUCMSCs. These parameters were enhanced more when mice were treated with hUCMSCs for 1 month than when they treated with hUCMSCs for 2 weeks. IV was better able to restore ovarian function than MI. These results suggest that both methods of transplantation may improve ovarian function and that IV transplantation of hUCMSCs can significantly improve ovarian function and structural parameters more than MI transplantation of hUCMSCs can.
Recent studies have suggested that dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) might serve as a form of immunomodulatory therapy for postmenopausal osteoporosis (PMO). The current study investigated the effects of DHEA administration on ovariectomy (OVX)-induced bone loss and its corresponding immunological changes. Adult OVX mice were treated with DHEA or 17-β-estradiol (E2) for 12 weeks, with or without the aromatase inhibitor letrozole. DHEA improved bone mass after OVX and displayed action like that of E2 with regard to decreasing osteoclast-related parameters. DHEA also suppressed an OVX-induced increase in CD4+ T cell subsets and TNF-α production. However, DHEA elevated serum E2 levels to a lesser extent than E2. Although letrozole decreased serum E2 levels in OVX mice treated with DHEA, it did not alter DHEA's effects on corresponding immunological changes due to OVX. In conclusion, DHEA may prevent bone loss by suppressing the OVX-induced expansion of CD4+ T cells and TNF-α production in mice, independent of E2.
The current study aimed to investigate the effect of lycopene on the blood-spinal cord barrier (BSCB) after spinal cord injury (SCI) in a mouse model. Lycopene inhibited lipid peroxidation and oxidative DNA damage as a highly efficient antioxidant and free radical scavenger. Lycopene (4 mg/kg/d) was administrated immediately following SCI. The permeability of the BSCB and water content in the spinal cord tissue were evaluated. Additionally, levels of expression of tight junction proteins and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) were determined with Western blotting. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay analysis of spinal cord tissue homogenates was performed 48 h after SCI to evaluate the expression of inflammation-related cytokines. In addition, recovery of motor function was assessed 1 d, 2 d, 5 d, 10 d, and 15 d after SCI using the Basso Mouse Scale to score locomotion. Compared to the group with an untreated SCI, mice with an SCI treated with lycopene had significantly reduced spinal cord tissue water content and BSCB permeability. Furthermore, motor function of mice with an SCI was also greatly improved by lycopene administration. The expression of the proinflammatory factors TNF-α and NF-kB increased markedly 48 h after SCI, and their upregulation was significantly attenuated by lycopene treatment. The expression of molecules that protect tight junctions, zonula occluden-1 and claudin-5, was upregulated by lycopene treatment after SCI. Taken together, these results clearly indicate that lycopene attenuated SCI by promoting repair of the damaged BSCB, so lycopene is a novel and promising treatment for SCI in humans.
The current study examined the serum levels of receptor-interacting protein kinase 3 (RIPK3) in 51 patients with New York Heart Association (NYHA) class III-IV heart failure, 53 patients with myocardial infarction with ST elevation (STEMI), and 19 healthy subjects serving as a control group. An enzyme-linked immunoadsorbent assay (ELISA) was used to measure the levels of RIPK3 expression in serum. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) was then used to evaluate the predictive performance of RIPK3 and troponin I in patients with STEMI. In patients with normal levels of troponin I prior to percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), serum levels of RIPK3 and troponin I after PCI were sufficient to differentiate patients with a preserved left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) from those with impaired left ventricular function after PCI (AUC = 0.780 (95% CI: 0.565-0.995, p = 0.043) with a sensitivity of 76.9% and a specificity of 71.4% vs. AUC = 0.735 (95% CI: 0.530-0.941, p = 0.038) with a sensitivity of 88.2% and a specificity of 63.6% at the optimal cutoff values, respectively). Moreover, elevated levels of troponin I after PCI were associated with an increased risk of an LVEF < 50% prior to discharge (odds ratio, 1.014; 95 % CI, 1.001 to 1.027; p = 0.03), while elevated levels of RIPK3 were not associated with such a risk. The current findings suggest that in patients with normal levels of troponin I prior to PCI, serum levels of RIPK3 and troponin I can serve as a potential marker to identify patients with a decreased LVEF, thus possibly allowing an early shift to more intensive therapy.
We aimed to evaluate the feasibility of pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) in elderly patients. We retrospectively analyzed data from 206 patients who underwent PD between 2008 and 2015. The patients were divided into two groups: patients aged < 70 years (n = 117) and those aged ≥ 70 years (n = 89). To update the outcome of PD in elderly patients, we performed a systematic review of published work. The preoperative patient characteristics were similar between the two groups except for hypertension, which was significantly more frequent in the older group (25% vs. 52%; p < 0.001). There was no difference in the mortality (0% vs. 1%; p = 0.43) or morbidity (26% vs. 20%; p = 0.41) rates between the two groups. The overall survival rate in patients with pancreatic cancer between the two groups did not differ (p = 0.40). Twenty-one studies, including our own, were identified in the published work. The overall median morbidity and mortality rates of the elderly patients were 41.5% (range, 20-78%) and 5.8% (range, 0-10.5%), respectively. PD is feasible in elderly patients with acceptable morbidity and mortality rates.
Whether radioactive iodine treatment of Graves' disease (GD) during pregnancy will increase pregnancy loss and affect fetal development is still a matter of concern. From May 2005 to December 2015, 2,276 childbearing-age women with GD received iodine-131 treatment in our departments and were retrospectively enrolled in our study. When some of them were found to have been pregnant, their thyroid functions were measured every 4 weeks, in addition, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) was measured 6 weeks after delivery. When necessary, levothyroxine or propylthiouracil (PTU) was given in order to control their TSH levels during pregnancy. Finally, 69 pregnant women (29 ± 3.5 years old) and 1346 women who were not pregnant during the follow-up period were enrolled into this study. They were all hyperthyroid before or during pregnancy. Among 69 pregnant women, the administrated amount of iodine-131 was 254.9 ± 99.9 MBq. Fifty patients became subclinically hypothyroid after treatment and were administrated levothyroxine (55 ± 25 μg/d). Seven patients were diagnosed with subclinical hyperthyroidism during pregnancy and they received PTU (25 ± 12.5 mg/d). Twelve patients with normal thyroid function were also clinically followed. Among 69 women, 63 had a single birth, 3 had dizygotic twins, 2 had two pregnancies and 1 had a single twin birth. Sixty five babies were born full-term, while 9 were premature (4 ± 1 weeks early) with birth weight 3.2 ± 0.5 kg. Six new born babies were considered to be low birth weight infants (< 2.5 kg) while 5 were high birth weight (> 4 kg), but the weights of all the infants were within the normal range. During the period of observation to December 2015, all the infants were found to grow and develop normally. Among 1346 women who were not pregnant were in the further follow-up. Our study found no detrimental effects of the iodine-131 treatment in the pregnant women or their offspring so far.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a highly prevalent cancer with a high mortality rate and HCC is always accompanied with a hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, unlike many other types of cancers. Over the past few years, cancer-related long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) and virus-related lncRNAs have attracted the attention of many researchers, and a number of previous studies have examined the relationship between lncRNAs and various cancers and viruses. The current study used The Cancer Genome Atlas database to screen for lncRNAs up-regulated in HCC in order to identify cancer biomarkers. Results revealed five lncRNAs that were the most up-regulated. This result was then verified in 10 HCC cell lines and two normal liver cell lines. Quantitative real-time PCR revealed that the five lncRNAs were substantially up-regulated in HCC cell lines. Several of the five lncRNAs were expressed at higher levels in a few HCC cell lines that were infected with HBV or that were positive for its protein or DNA than in HCC cell lines that were not infected with HBV or that were negative for its protein or DNA. These findings suggest that the five lncRNAs might play a role in the progression of HCC and/or HBV infection, and these findings need to be studied in further detail.
Chemotaxis towards nutrients plays a crucial role in root colonization by Pseudomonas fluorescens. The P. fluorescens chemotactic transducer of amino acids type A (CtaA) mediates movement towards amino acids present in root exudates. In this study, the periplasmic sensory domain of CtaA has been crystallized by the hanging-drop vapor diffusion method using ammonium sulfate as a precipitating agent. A complete data set was collected to 1.9 Å resolution using cryocooling conditions and synchrotron radiation. The crystals belong to space group I222 or I212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 67.2, b = 76.0, c = 113.3 Å. This is an important step towards elucidation of the structural basis of how CtaA recognizes its signal molecules and transduces the signal across the membrane.
On June 6, 2016, as a mode expected to open a new prospect for tiered system of medical care in China, family physicians contracted healthcare was officially launched, intending to facilitate such healthcare be universal coverage by 2020.There are some doubts as to whether this goal is possible. The role of family physicians contracted healthcare in China should also be carefully identified. We hold that family physicians contracted healthcare will promote healthcare reform if it provides a "Cardiotonic" that alleviates the long-standing inequitable allocation of healthcare resources. However, this form of care faces many obstacles given the current state of medical care in China. It will just be a "Band-Aid" if the aforementioned issues of the shortage of family physicians, coordination with referring hospitals, and incomplete oversight are not resolved.