Dextran sodium sulphate (DSS) induced colitis is commonly used to simulate human ulcerative colitis (UC). However, the mucosal immune responses related to the severity of disease have not been comprehensively documented. We used different concentration of DSS, induced various severities of colitis, and simultaneously examined the frequency of immune cells, antibodies and cytokine production. We found that T regulatory cells (Tregs), B cells, and IgA secretion increased on the recovery phase of mild colitis, accompanied by CD11b+ cells, interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α accumulated mildly. While during severe and irreversible colitis, the CD11b+ cells, IL-6, and TNF-α infiltrated severely with Tregs, B cells, and IgA increased inconspicuously. These results demonstrate that Tregs, B cells, and IgA may play a significant role in maintaining the homeostasis of gut, by suppressing CD11b+ cells and the pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Catalpol is a natural iridoid glycoside with diverse bioactivities that is found in abundance in Rehmannia glutinosa Libosch. (Scrophulariaceae). The present study assessed whether catalpol treatment (5, 10, or 20 mg/kg for 14 days by intragastric administration (i.g.)) has an antidepressant-like effect on mice performing the forced swim test (FST), tail suspension test (TST), open field test (OFT), and tests for reversal of reserpine-induced ptosis, akinesia, and hypothermia. This study also examined the potential role that catalpol plays in the cerebral monoaminergic system. Results indicated that catalpol administration produced an antidepressant-like effect in mice, as indicated by the reduced duration of immobility in the FST and TST, but it had no effect on locomotor activity in the OFT. Catalpol treatment significantly counteracted the decrease in rectal temperature, akinesia, and eyelid ptosis induced by reserpine. Moreover, catalpol increased levels of serotonin (5-HT) and its metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) in the brains of mice, but it did not affect levels of norepinephrine (NE) or dopamine (DA). These antidepressant-like effects of catalpol are essentially similar to the effects of the clinical antidepressant fluoxetine hydrochloride (FH). This is the first study to indicate that catalpol has an antidepressant-like effect and that its action may be mediated by the central serotonergic system, and not by noradrenergic or dopaminergic systems.
Dioscorea bulbifera L., a traditionally used medicinal plant in China, is reported to induce hepatotoxicity. The present study is designed to investigate the protection of an ethanol extract of Angelica sinensis (Oliv) Diels (AE) against an ethyl acetate fraction of D. bulbifera (EF)-induced liver injury and its engaged mechanism. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis showed that the amount of diosbulbin B in EF was 16.03% and ferulic acid in AE was 0.18%. EF (350 mg/kg) increased serum alanine/aspartate aminotransferase (ALT/AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activities and total bilirubin (TB) amount, while AE inhibited such an increase. Liver histological evaluation showed that AE prevented development of severe hepatic lesions induced by EF. Further results showed that EF decreased the expression of Bcl-2 and induced the cleaved activation of caspase-9 and -3, and all those effects were reversed by AE. AE also reversed EF-induced decreased expression of the inhibitor of kappa B (IκB), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx). Taken together, our results demonstrate that AE can prevent EF-induced hepatotoxicity via preventing apoptosis, meanwhile IκB, SOD, and GPx may be involved in such protection.
This study aims to find an optimal method for modifying the neck of dental implants for gingival attachment through in vitro investigations of the biological features of various anodised TiO2 films. The titanium sheets were divided into four groups: a control group and three test groups classified according to the anodisation voltage (Group 150 V, Group 180 V or Group 200 V).The surface microstructure and crystal structure were observed using scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction. The protein adsorption ability, antibacterial activity and cell adhesion ability were tested to examine the biological properties of the materials in vitro. Microscopic grooves were observed in the control group, whereas the test groups contained numerous pores. Group 180 V and Group 200 V showed higher protein adsorption ability (p < 0.05), whereas Group 150 V and Group 180 V exhibited better antibacterial activity (p < 0.05). Higher cell concentrations of L929 were observed in Group 180V and Group 200 V than in the other two groups (p < 0.05), which indicated that the TiO2 films formed at 180 V promote protein adsorption and enhance fibroblast growth while inhibiting bacterial adhesion. These results indicate that anodisation positively affects the formation of a biological seal in the neck region of dental implants.
This study aimed to investigate the clinical utility of simultaneous measurement of alphafetoprotein (AFP) and des-γ-carboxy prothrombin (DCP) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) diagnosis in Chinese patients predominantly caused by hepatitis B virus infection by a multi-center case-controlled study. Subjects were 1,153 individuals from three major hospitals in China, including 550 cases in HCC group, 164 in Malignant disease group, 182 in Benign disease group, 85 in Chronic liver disease group, and 173 in Normal group. Serum levels of AFP and DCP were measured and clinicopathological features were determined for all subjects. Results showed that the levels of DCP and AFP were significantly higher in HCC group (550 patients, 74.18% with HBV infection) than that in other four groups (P < 0.001). Receiver operating curves (ROC) indicated the optimal cut-off value was 86 mAU/mL for DCP with a sensitivity of 71.50% and specificity of 86.30%, and 21 ng/mL for AFP with a sensitivity of 68.00% and specificity of 93.20%. The area under ROC curve was 0.846 for DCP, 0.832 for AFP, and 0.890 for the combination of DCP and AFP. The combination of DCP and AFP resulted in a higher Youden index and a sensitivity of approximately 90%, even for small tumors. The simultaneous measurement of AFP and DCP could achieve a better sensitivity in diagnosing Chinese HCC patients, even for small tumors.
The aim was to investigate the relationship between apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values measured by diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW MRI) and the split glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in infants with congenital hydronephrosis. Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) (b = 0 and 700 seconds/mm2) was performed with a General Electric Company (GE) Signa 1.5T MR unit in 46 infants suffering single congenital hydronephrosis and in 30 healthy infants as normal control group. The ADCs were calculated with regions of interest (ROIs) positioned in the renal parenchyma. The 46 obstructed kidneys were classified into four groups according to the GFR level: renal dysfunction compensated group, renal dysfunction decompensated group, renal failure group, and uremia group. The renal ADCs in six groups (normal kidneys in control group, contralateral kidneys, and four groups of hydronephrotic kidneys) were compared statistically using analysis of variance (ANOVA), and the correlative relationship between ADCs and GFR was examined by Pearson's correlation test. There were statistically significant differences in renal ADCs among the six groups. The ADCs of hydronephrotic kidneys were lower than that of the normal kidneys. There was a moderate positive correlation between the ADCs of hydronephrotic kidneys and split GFR (r = 0.744). This study indicated that the ADCs of congenital hydronephrotic kidneys were lower than that of normal renal parenchyma, and there was a positive correlation between the ADCs and split renal GFR, which demonstrates that the ADCs can reflect the filtration function of hydronephrotic kidneys and may provide some reference to help clinical physician to explore a novel noninvasive approach to evaluate the single renal function.
The objective of this research was to evaluate the clinical benefits of using a mini-instrument during endoscopic thyroidectomy via a breast approach (ETBA). Surgery-related indices and cosmetic results were compared for 20 patients underwent ETBA with a mini-instrument (ETBA-m) and 20 patients who underwent standard ETBA (sETBA). Patients were closely matched in terms of age, gender, tumor size, and pathology. Patients who underwent sETBA had a significantly larger area of dissection and total length of incisions compared to patients who underwent ETBA-m (136.25 ± 19.22 cm2vs. 105.25 ± 9.54 cm2, p < 0.001 and 2.66 ± 0.09 cm vs. 2.08 ± 0.24 cm, p < 0.001). All patients who underwent ETBA-m commented that they preferred their current cosmetic appearance after they were shown a picture of the scars of a patient who underwent sETBA. Results of this study revealed that use of a mini-instrument in ETBA is technically safe and feasible and it offers improved cosmetic outcomes compared to sETBA.
Albert Einstein's brain has long been an object of fascination to both neuroscience specialists and the general public. However, without records of advanced neuro-imaging of his brain, conclusions regarding Einstein's extraordinary cognitive capabilities can only be drawn based on the unique external features of his brain and through comparison of the external features with those of other human brain samples. The recent discovery of 14 previously unpublished photographs of Einstein's brain taken at unconventional angles by Dr. Thomas Stoltz Harvey, the pathologist, ignited a renewed frenzy about clues to explain Einstein's genius. Dr. Dean Falk and her colleagues, in their landmark paper published in Brain (2013; 136:1304-1327), described in such details about the unusual features of Einstein's brain, which shed new light on Einstein's intelligence. In this article, we ask what are the unique structures of his brain? What can we learn from this new information? Can we really explain his extraordinary cognitive capabilities based on these unique brain structures? We conclude that studying the brain of a remarkable person like Albert Einstein indeed provides us a better example to comprehensively appreciate the relationship between brain structures and advanced cognitive functions. However, caution must be exercised so as not to over-interpret his intelligence solely based on the understanding of the surface structures of his brain.
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