Top Journal Content
2013, 27(2): 85-102. doi: 10.7555/JBR.27.20120064
Leishmaniasis is a disease that ranges in severity from skin lesions to serious disfigurement and fatal systemic infection. Resistance to infection is associated with a T-helper-1 immune response that activates macrophages to kill the intracellular parasite in a nitric oxide-dependent manner. Conversely, disease progression is generally associated with a T-helper-2 response that activates humoral immunity. Current control is based on chemothera-peutic treatments which are expensive, toxic and associated with high relapse and resistance rates. Vaccination remains the best hope for control of all forms of the disease, and the development of a safe, effective and afford-able antileishmanial vaccine is a critical global public-health priority. Extensive evidence from studies in animal models indicates that solid protection can be achieved by immunization with defined subunit vaccines or live-at-tenuated strains of Leishmania. However, to date, no vaccine is available despite substantial efforts by many labo-ratories. Major impediments in Leishmania vaccine development include: lack of adequate funding from national and international agencies, problems related to the translation of data from animal models to human disease, and the transition from the laboratory to the field. Furthermore, a thorough understanding of protective immune re-sponses and generation and maintenance of the immunological memory, an important but least-studied aspect of antiparasitic vaccine development, during Leishmania infection is needed. This review focuses on the progress of the search for an effective vaccine against human and canine leishmaniasis.
2014, 28(1): 1-17. doi: 10.7555/JBR.28.20130191
Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia affecting patients today. Disease prevalence is increasing at an alarming rate worldwide, and is associated with often catastrophic and costly consequences, including heart failure, syncope, dementia, and stroke. Therapies including anticoagulants, anti-arrhythmic medications, devices, and non-pharmacologic procedures in the last 30 years have improved patients' functionality with the disease. Nonetheless, it remains imperative that further research into AF epidemiology, genetics, detection, and treatments continues to push forward rapidly as the worldwide population ages dramatically over the next 20 years.
Leishmania donovani whole cell antigen delivered with adjuvants protects against visceral leishmaniasis in vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops)
2012, 26(1): 8-16. doi: 10.1016/S1674-8301(12)60002-5
In a previous immunogenicity and efficacy study in mice, montanide ISA 720 (MISA) was indicated to be a better adjuvant than bacillus calmette guerin vaccine (BCG) for a Leishmania vaccine. In the present study, we report the safety, immunogenicity and efficacy of Leishmania donovani (L. donovani) sonicated antigen delivered with alum-BCG (AlBCG), MISA or monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA) in vervet monkeys following intradermal inoculums. Vaccinated and control animals were challenged with virulent L. donovani parasites and the parasitic burden was determined. Only animals vaccinated with alum-BCG adversely reacted to the inoculum by produc-ing ulcerative erythematous skin indurations. Non-parametric ANOVA followed by a post test showed signifi-cantly higher IgG antibodies, and revealed the presence of lymphoproliferative and interferon gamma responses in both AlBCG+Ag and MISA+Ag as compared to the MPLA+Ag or other groups (P < 0.001). We conclude that L. donovani sonicated antigen containing MISA is safe and is associated with protective immune response against Leishmania donovani infection in the vervet monkey model.
Sitagliptin, sitagliptin and metformin, or sitagliptin and amitriptyline attenuate streptozotocin-nicotinamide induced diabetic neuropathy in rats
2012, 26(3): 200-210. doi: 10.7555/JBR.26.20110054
Diabetic neuropathies are a family of nerve disorders caused by diabetes. Symptoms of the disease include nerve palsy, mononeuropathy, mononeuropathy multiplex, diabetic amyotrophy, painful polyneuropathy, autonomic neuropathy, and thoracoabdominal neuropathy. In this study, type 2 diabetes in rats was induced with nicotinamide-streptozotocin. Drug treatment was initiated on the d 15, with the combination regimen of metformin, pioglitazone and glimipiride or metformin and sitagliptin or sitagliptin, amitriptyline and sitagliptin and led to significantly improved glycemic control, increased grip strength and paw jumping response on d 21, 28 and 35 (P < 0.001). Significant increases in blood protein levels and decreases in urinary protein levels were observed in the animals treated with the different regimens on d 21, 28 and 35 (P < 0.001). Combined treatment of streptozotocin and nicotinamide caused marked degeneration of nerve cells, while administration of metformin and sitagliptin showed tissue regeneration and no body weight gain. In conclusion, treatment with sitagliptin and sitagliptin combined with metformin or amitriptyline results in no body weight gain, but causes an increase in grip strength and pain sensitivity, exhibits neural protection, and reverses the alteration of biochemical parameters in rats with streptozotocin-nicotinamide induced type 2 diabetes.
2012, 26(3): 226-234. doi: 10.7555/JBR.26.20120023
In the current study, we sought to investigate whether lysed Enterococcus faecalis FK-23 (LFK), a heat-killed probiotic preparation, attenuated eosinophil influx into the upper airway and had immunomodulatory activity in a murine allergic rhinitis model. Eighteen BALB/c mice were divided into three groups; the ovalbumin (OVA)-sen-sitized/challenged group, which received saline orally for 6 weeks (OVA group), the OVA-sensitized/challenged group, which received LFK orally for 6 weeks (LFK-fed group), and the non-sensitized group, which received saline for 6 weeks (saline control group). Nasal rubbing and sneezing were monitored during the study. After the final challenge, interleukin (IL)-4, interferon (IFN)-γ, and OVA-specific IgE levels in the sera and splenocyte culture supernatants were determined, eosinophilic infiltrate into the upper airway was quantified, and splenic CD4+ CD25+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) were examined by flow cytometry. We found that nasal rubbing was sig-nificantly reduced in LFK-fed mice compared to the OVA group on d 27 and 35, and sneezing was significantly inhibited by LFK administration for 35 d. LFK-fed mice had significantly less eosinophil influx into the nasal mucosa than the OVA group. There were no significant differences between the LFK-fed group and OVA group in the serum and splenocyte culture supernatant levels of IL-4, IFN-γ, and OVA-specific IgE. Interestingly, the LFK-fed mice had a significantly greater percentage of splenic CD4+CD25+ Tregs than OVA group. Our results indicate that oral administration of LFK may alleviate nasal symptoms, reduce nasal eosinophilia, and increase the percentage of CD4+CD25+ Tregs in experimental allergic rhinitis.
2010, 24(4): 332-335. doi: 10.1016/S1674-8301(10)60046-2
Role of remote sensing, geographic bioinformatics system and bioinformatics in kala-azar epidemiology
2011, 25(6): 373-384. doi: 10.1016/S1674-8301(11)60050-X
Visceral leishmaniasis or kala-azar is a potent parasitic infection causing death of thousands of people each year. Medicinal compounds currently available for the treatment of kala-azar have serious side effects and de-creased efficacy owing to the emergence of resistant strains. The type of immune reaction is also to be considered in patients infected with Leishmania donovani (L. donovani). For complete eradication of this disease, a high level modern research is currently being applied both at the molecular level as well as at the field level. The computa-tional approaches like remote sensing, geographic information system (GIS) and bioinformatics are the key re-sources for the detection and distribution of vectors, patterns, ecological and environmental factors and genomic and proteomic analysis. Novel approaches like GIS and bioinformatics have been more appropriately utilized in determining the cause of visearal leishmaniasis and in designing strategies for preventing the disease from spread-ing from one region to another.
Dual therapy of rosiglitazone/pioglitazone with glimepiride on diabetic nephropathy in experimentally induced type 2 diabetes rats
2011, 25(6): 411-417. doi: 10.1016/S1674-8301(11)60054-7
Diabetic nephropathy is a major cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in the general population. It is es-timated that diabetic nephropathy will eventually develop in about 40% of all patients with diabetes; therefore, prevention is critical for delaying the development and progression of diabetic kidney disease. Despite extensive efforts, medical advances are still not successful enough to prevent the progression of the disease. In the present study, we focused on the comparison of combination therapies and whether they offered additional renopro-tection. Type 2 diabetes mellitus was induced by intraperitoneally administering streptozotocin (90 mg/kg) in neonatal rats and then these rats were treated with rosiglitazone (1.0 mg/kg) in combination with glimepiride (0.5 mg/kg) or with pioglitazone (2.5 mg/kg) in combination with glimepiride (0.5 mg/kg). Diabetic nephropathy markers were evaluated by biochemical and ELISA kits and renal structural changes were examined by light mi-croscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Results show that the combination of pioglitazone with glimepir-ide is more effective in amelioration of diabetic nephropathy than rosiglitazone with glimepiride drug therapy due to glycemic control, suppressing albumin excretion rate, total protein excretion rate and augmented TNF-a signal-ing during the development of streptozotocin induced type 2 diabetic nephropathy.
2012, 26(3): 143-151. doi: 10.7555/JBR.26.20120027
Nanotechnology is gaining tremendous impetus due to its capability of modulating metals into their nanosize, which drastically changes the chemical, physical and optical properties of metals. Nanoparticles have been introduced as materials with good potential to be extensively used in biological and medical applications. Nanoparticles are clusters of atoms in the size range of 1-100 nm. Inorganic nanoparticles and their nano-composites are applied as good antibacterial agents. Due to the outbreak of infectious diseases caused by different pathogenic bacteria and the development of antibiotic resistance, pharmaceutical companies and researchers are searching for new antibacterial agents. The metallic nanoparticles are the most promising as they show good antibacterial properties due to their large surface area to volume ratios, which draw growing interest from researchers due to increasing microbial resistance against metal ions, antibiotics and the development of resistant strains. Metallic nanoparticles can be used as effective growth inhibitors in various microorganisms and thereby are applicable to diverse medical devices. Nanotechnology discloses the use of elemental nanoparticles as active antibacterial ingredient for dental materials. In dentistry, both restorative materials and oral bacteria are believed to be responsible for restoration failure. Secondary caries is found to be the main reason to restoration failure. Secondary caries is primarily caused by invasion of plaque bacteria (acid-producing bacteria) such as Streptococcus mutans and lactobacilli in the presence of fermentable carbohydrates. To make long-lasting restorations, antibacterial materials should be made. The potential of nanoparticles to control the formation of biofilms within the oral cavity is also coming under increasing scrutiny. Possible uses of nanoparticles as topically applied agents within dental materials and the application of nanoparticles in the control of oral infections are also reviewed.
2012, 26(4): 278-287. doi: 10.7555/JBR.26.20120030
Spermatogenesis is a complex process of terminal differentiation by which mature sperms are generated, and it can be divided into three phases: mitosis, meiosis and spermiogenesis. In a previous study, we established a series of proteomic profiles for spermatogenesis to understand the regulation of male fertility and infertility. Here, we further investigated the localization and the role of flotillin-2 in spermiogenesis. Flotillin-2 expression was inves-tigated in the testis of male CD1 mice at various developmental stages of spermatogenesis by using Western blot-ting, immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence. Flotillin-2 was knocked down in vivo in three-week-old male mice using intratesticular injection of small inhibitory RNA (siRNA), and sperm abnormalities were assessed three weeks later. Flotillin-2 was expressed at high levels in male germ cells during spermatogenesis. Flotillin-2 immunoreactivity was observed in pachytene spermatocytes as a strong dot-shaped signal and in round spermatids as a sickle-shaped distribution ahead of the acrosome. Immunofluorescence confirmed flotillin-2 was localized in front of the acrosome in round spermatids, indicating that flotillin-2 was localized to the Golgi apparatus. Knock-down of flotillin-2 in vivo led to a significant increase in head sperm abnormalities isolated from the cauda epidi-dymis, compared with control siRNA-injected testes. This study indicates that flotillin-2 is a novel Golgi-related protein involved in sperm acrosome biogenesis.
The expression and localization of a novel protein phosphatase inhibitor 2810408A11Rik in mouse testis and sperm
2012, 26(2): 110-116. doi: 10.1016/S1674-8301(12)60020-7
This study investigated the expression and distribution of 2810408A11Rik in mouse testis and sperm, and explored its role in spermatogenesis and sperm function. The expression levels of 2810408A11Rik mRNA in multiple tissue samples were analyzed using bioinformatic resources and RT- PCR technique. A specific rabbit polyclonal antibody was prepared by prokaryotic expression of 2810408A11Rik recombinant protein and utilized for animal immunization. Western blotting, immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence were used to detect the expression and distribution of 2810408A11Rik. The results of the bioinformatic analysis and RT - PCR showed that 2810408A11Rik mRNA was specifically expressed in mouse testis, and 2810408A11Rik protein included a protein phosphatase inhibitor domain. Western blotting assays, immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence confirmed the expression of 2810408A11Rik protein in mouse testis, especially in post- meiosis round and long spermatids, and that it is localized in the acrosome and the post- nucleus area of sperm. Our findings suggest that 2810408A11Rik may play an important role in spermatogenesis, sperm capacitation and fertilization .
Maternal risk factors for low birth weight for term births in a developed region in China: a hospital-based study of 55,633 pregnancies
2013, 27(1): 14-22. doi: 10.7555/JBR.27.20120046
Low birth weight (LBW) is an important risk factor for neonatal and infant mortality and morbidity in adults.. How-ever, no large scale study on the prevalence of LBW and related maternal risk factors in China has been published. To explore the effects of maternal factors on LBW for term birth in China, we conducted a hospital-based retrospective study of 55, 633 Chinese pregnancy cases between 2001 and 2008. Maternal sociodemographic data, history of infer-tility and contraceptive use were obtained. Their medical status and diseases during pre-pregnancy were examined by physical examination at the first antenatal care visit. Maternal medical status before childbirth and pregnancy outcomes, including body weight, infant gender, multiple pregnancy and congenital anomalies, were recorded. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression, and linear regression were used to investigate the relationship be-tween maternal factors and term LBW. The general incidence of term LBW was 1.70% in the developed area of China. After preliminary analysis using the univariate model, low primary education, anemia, hypertensive disor-ders, placental previa, oligohydramnios and premature rupture of membrane were predicted as independent factors of term LBW in the multivariate model. Furthermore, the decrease in annual frquencies of these risk factors were major causes of gradual decline in the incidence of LBW (from 2.43% in 2001 to 1.21% in 2008). The study dem-onstrated that among maternal factors, primary education, anemia and hypertensive disorders could contribute to LBW for term birth even in the most developed area of China.
2011, 25(2): 135-140. doi: 10.1016/S1674-8301(11)60017-1
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are 21 to 24 nucleotide, non-coding RNA molecules that post-transcriptionally regulate the expression of target genes. Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation has been shown to inhibit phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) expression in HaCaT cells through an unknown mechanism. In this study, we investigated whether miR-141 can regulate UVB exposure-mediated inhibition of PTEN expression. Real-time RT-PCR, annexin V/fluorescein isothiocyanate staining, Western blotting and anti-miRNA oligonucle-otide transfection were employed in this study. We found that upregulation of miR-141 expression after UVB ir-radiation was inversely correlated with PTEN expression levels in HaCaT cells. Furthermore, miR-141 expression increased apoptosis, while anti-miR-141 partly restored PTEN expression and reversed the pro-apoptosis effect of UVB. UVB suppresses the expression of PTEN by upregulating miR-141 in HaCaT cells. Therefore, miR-141 is a potential gene therapy target for UVB-induced photodamage.
2013, 27(1): 1-13. doi: 10.7555/JBR.27.20120077
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), an escalating health problem worldwide, covers a spectrum of pathologies characterized by fatty accumulation in hepatocytes in early stages, with potential progression to liver inflammation, fibrosis, and failure. A close, yet poorly understood link exists between NAFLD and dyslipidemia, a constellation of abnormalities in plasma lipoproteins including triglyceride-rich very low density lipoproteins. Apolipoproteins are a group of primarily liver-derived proteins found in serum lipoproteins; they not only play an extracellular role in lipid transport between vital organs through circulation, but also play an important intracellu-lar role in hepatic lipoprotein assembly and secretion. The liver functions as the central hub for lipoprotein metab-olism, as it dictates lipoprotein production and to a significant extent modulates lipoprotein clearance. Lipoprotein metabolism is an integral component of hepatocellular lipid homeostasis and is implicated in the pathogenesis, potential diagnosis, and treatment of NAFLD.
Apparent diffusion coefficient in normal and abnormal pattern of intervertebral lumbar discs: initial experience
2011, 25(3): 197-203. doi: 10.1016/S1674-8301(11)60026-2
The aim of the present study was to compare the relationship of morphologically defined non-bulging/herni-ated, bulging and herniated intervertebral lumbar discs with quantitative apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC). Thirty-two healthy volunteers and 28 patients with back pain or sciatica were examined by MRI. All intervertebral lumbar discs from L1 to S1 were classified according to morphological abnormality and degenerated grades. The ADC values of nucleus pulposus (NP) were measured and recorded. The significant differences about mean ADC values of NP were found between non-bulging/herniated discs and bulging discs as well as herniated discs (P < 0.05), whereas there were no significant differences in ADC values between bulging and herniated discs (P > 0.05). Moreover, statistically significant relationship was found in the mean ADC values of NP between "non-bulging/herniated and non-degenerated discs" and "non-bulging/herniated degenerated discs" as well as herniated discs (P < 0.05). Linear regression analysis between ADC value and disc level revealed an inverse correlation (r = -0.18). The ADC map of the NP is a potentially useful tool for the quantitative assessment of componential and molecular alterations accompanied with lumbar disc abnormalities.
Single-dose and multiple-dose pharmacokinetics of zaltoprofen after oral administration in healthy Chinese volunteers
2011, 25(1): 56-62. doi: 10.1016/S1674-8301(11)60007-9
Zaltoprofen, a propionic acid derivative of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, has strong inhibitory effects on actue and chronic inflammation. A randomized, dose-escalating study was conducted to evaluate the pharma-cokinetics of single and multiple oral doses of zaltoprofen in 12 healthy Chinese volunteers. Pharmacokinetics was determined from serial blood samples obtained up to 24 h after administration of a single dose of zaltoprofen at 80, 160 or 240 mg and after multiple doses of zaltqorofen at 80 mg 3 times daily. The Cmax and AUC0-24 of zal-toprofen were found to be proportional to drug dose. Zaltoprofen was rapidly absorbed (tmax =1.46±0.83 h) and cleared (t1/2 =4.96±2.97 h). Pharmacokinetic parameters after multiple doses were similar to those after single doses. Zaltoprofen was well tolerated. These results support a tid regimen of zaltoprofen for the management of acute and chronic inflammation.
2010, 24(6): 411-416. doi: 10.1016/S1674-8301(10)60055-3
Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection has become one of the major hospital-associated infections in West-ern countries in the last two decades. However, there is limited information on the status of C. difficile infection in Chinese healthcare settings. Given the large and increasing elderly population and the well-recognized problem of over-prescribing of broad spectrum antibiotics in China, it is critical to understand the epidemiology and potential risk factors that may contribute to C. difficile infection in China. A literature review of available published studies, including those in Chinese language-based journals, was conducted. A review of the currently available literature suggested the presence of C. difficile infections in China, but also suggested that these infections were not particu-larly endemic. This finding should lead to better designed and greatly expanded studies to provide a more reliable epidemiologically-based conclusion on the actual status of C. difficile infection in China, including the identifica-tion of any associated risk factors. Such information is ultimately valuable to develop appropriate strategies to pre-vent C. difficile infection and the vast negative impact of such infections in China and other developing countries.
2013, 27(4): 254-271. doi: 10.7555/JBR.27.20130030
The p53 tumor suppressor is a key transcription factor regulating cellular pathways such as DNA repair, cell cycle, apoptosis, angiogenesis, and senescence. It acts as an important defense mechanism against cancer onset and progression, and is negatively regulated by interaction with the oncoprotein MDM2. In human cancers, the TP53 gene is frequently mutated or deleted, or the wild-type p53 function is inhibited by high levels of MDM2, leading to downregulation of tumor suppressive p53 pathways. Thus, the inhibition of MDM2-p53 interaction presents an appealing therapeutic strategy for the treatment of cancer. However, recent studies have revealed the MDM2-p53 interaction to be more complex involving multiple levels of regulation by numerous cellular proteins and epigenetic mechanisms, making it imperative to reexamine this intricate interplay from a holistic viewpoint. This review aims to highlight the multifaceted network of molecules regulating the MDM2-p53 axis to better un-derstand the pathway and exploit it for anticancer therapy.
2011, 25(6): 418-424. doi: 10.1016/S1674-8301(11)60055-9
We studied the fracture resistance of maxillary premolars restored with recent restorative materials. Fifty max-illary premolars were divided into five groups: Group 1 were unprepared teeth; Group 2 were teeth prepared with-out restoration; Group 3 were teeth restored with tetric ceram HB; Group 4 were teeth restored with InTen S; and Group 5 were teeth restored with Admira. The samples were tested using a universal testing machine. Peak loads at fracture were recorded. The teeth restored with Admira had the highest fracture resistance followed by those re-stored with InTen-S and tetric ceram HB. Prepared, unrestored teeth were the weakest group. There was a signifi-cant difference between the fracture resistance of intact teeth and the prepared, unrestored teeth. There was also a significant difference among the tested restorative materials. Teeth restored with Admira showed no significant difference when compared with the unprepared teeth. It was concluded that the teeth restored with Admira exhib-ited the highest fracture resistance.