2013 Vol. 27, No. 1
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.
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.
Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a disabling disorder in women characterized by a loss of pelvic floor support, leading to the herniation of the uterus into or through the vagina. POP is a complex problem that likely involves multiple mechanisms with limited therapies available, and is associated with defects in connective tissue including elastic fibers. This study was designed to investigate the expression of fibulin-5 and lysyl oxidase-like 1 (LOXL1) in the cardinal ligament in samples taken from the POP group compared to the non-POP group. Specimens were obtained during abdominal hysterectomy from the cardinal ligament of 53 women with POP and 25 age- and par-ity- matched women with non-POP among post-menopausal women with benign gynecologic pathology. Protein expression was evaluated using the immunohistochemical staining method. For statistical analyses, chi-square test and Spearman's correlation were used with the statistical package SPSS13.0 system. Our results showed that both fibulin-5 and LOXL1 expressions were decreased in the cardinal ligament in the POP group compared to the non- POP group (P < 0.05). The expression of fibulin-5 and LOXL1 were correlated closely with the stage of POP, ac-companied by stress urinary incontinence and frequency of vaginal delivery (P < 0.05), but had no relationship with post-menopausal state (P > 0.05). The expression of fibulin-5 was positively associated with LOXL1 in POP (P < 0.05). We conclude that changes in fibulin-5 and LOXL1 expression may play a role in the development of POP.
Standardized Ginkgo biloba leaf extract has been used in clinical trials for its beneficial effects on brain func-tions, particularly in dementia. Substantial experimental evidences indicated that Ginkgo biloba leaf extract (EGB) protected neuronal cells from a variety of insults. We investigated the effect of EGB on cognitive ability and protein kinase B (PKB) activity in hippocampal neuronal cells of dementia model rats. Rats received an intra-peritoneal injection of D-galactose to induce dementia. Forty-eight Spraque-Dawley rats were randomly divided into six groups, including the control group, D-galactose group (Gal), low-dose EGB group (EGB-L), mid-dose EGB group (EGB-M), high-dose EGB group (EGB-H) and treatment group. The EGB-L, EGB-M and EGB-H groups were administered with EGB and D-galactose simultaneously. Y-maze, cresyl violet staining, TUNEL assays and immunohistochemistry staining were performed to detect learning and memory abilities, morpho-logical changes in the hippocampus, neuronal apoptosis and the expressing level of phospho-PKB, respectively. Rats in the Gal group showed decreased abilities of learning and memory, and hippocampal pyramidal cell layer was damaged, while EGB administration improved learning and memory abilities. The Gal group exhibited many stained, condensed nuclei and micronuclei, either isolated or within the cytoplasm of cells (39.5±1.4). Apoptotic cells decreased in the groups of EGB-L (35.9±0.9), EGB-M (16.8±1.0) and EGB-H (10.1±0.8), and there were statistical significances compared with the Gal group. Immunoreactivity of phospho-PKB was localized diffusely throughout the cytosol of cells in all groups, while the immunoreactivity of the Gal group was weak. EGB signifi-cantly attenuated learning and memory impairment in a dose-dependent manner, while it could decrease the nmber of TUNEL-positive cells, and increase the activity of PKB. Our results demonstrated that EGB attenuated memory impairment and cell apoptosis in galactose-induced dementia model rats by activating PKB.
Lactuca sativa, belonging to the Asteraceae family, is a leafy vegetable known for its medicinal properties. This study aimed to understand the mechanism of Lactuca sativa extract with respect to pharmacological action. We investigated the anxiolytic effects of hydro-alcoholic extract of leaves of Lactuca sativa on mice. The behav-ioral tests performed on mice models to assess anti-anxiety properties were: open field test (OFT), elevated plus maze test (EPM), elevated T maze test, and marble burying test. Increased locomotor activity and time spent in the "open-arm" were observed in extract fed group. Malondialdehyde (MDA) and nitrite levels were decreased, cata-lase and glutathione levels were increased in Lactuca sativa treated mice. The data obtained in the present study suggests that the extract of Lactuca sativa can afford significant protection against anxiolytic activity.
We sought to assess the effect of progestin on the apoptosis of epithelial ovarian cancer cell line SKOV-3 and via regulation of phosphorylation signaling in. Epithelial ovarian cancer cell line SKOV-3 was treated with me-droxyprogestogen, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor LY294002 and vehicle control. Akt, phospho-Akt, Bcl-2 and phospho-Bad proteins were examined by immunoblotting assays. Medroxyprogestogen-induced apoptosis was assessed by MTT assays and Annexin V apoptosis assay. We found no significant difference in Akt and Bad expression in both the medroxyprogestogen groups and the control group. The levels of phospho-Akt, Bcl-2 and phospho-Bad were decreased in all the medroxyprogestogen groups and significantly decreased in the high dose mitogen-activated protein (MAP) group (10 μmol/L). Viability of SKOV-3 was reduced and apparent apoptosis of SKOV-3 cells was observed with increased doses of MAP. The findings suggest that medroxyprogestogen can induce SKOV-3 cell apoptosis by inhibiting Akt phosphorylation.
All-trans retinoid acid (ATRA) is one of the most potent and most thoroughly studied differentiation inducers that induce the differentiation and apoptosis of glioma cells. However, the effect of ATRA on angiogenesis of glioma re-mains poorly understood. We examined the effect of ATRA on the expression of vascular endothelial growth fac-tor (VEGF) in different glioma cell lines and investigated the underlying mechanism, intending to partially reveal the effects of ATRA on angiogenesis of glioma. Glioma cells were treated by ATRA at 5 and 10 μmol/L. The VEGF mRNA transcript levels were determined by real-time RT-PCR and the protein levels of VEGF in glioma cells were evaluated by Western blotting assays. Moreover, hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α ) mRNA expression was analyzed by using real-time RT-PCR. After treatment with 5 and 10 μmol/L ATRA, the VEGF mRNA tran-script levels in glioma cells increased remarkably, compared with that in the control group, and the relative protein expression of VEGF was also up-regulated. Meanwhile, the HIF-1α mRNA expression also increased. ATRA in-creases the expression of VEGF in glioma cells at both transcriptional and translational levels.
2013, 27(1): 56-61. doi: 10.7555/JBR.27.20110139
In more than half of infertile men, the cause of their infertility is unknown. Several studies revealed the role of viral infections in male infertility. The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) and HSV-2 in semen from asymptomatic infertile male patients, and its association with altered semen parameters. A total of 70 semen samples were collected from infertile men who attended the Research and Clinical Center for Infertility in Yazd, Iran. Semen analysis and diagnostic real-time PCR using specific primers and probes for HSV-1 and HSV-2 DNA were performed. Comparison of semen parameters between virally in-fected and non-infected samples were performed with independent t-test and Mann-Whitney test. Semen analysis showed that infertile men fell into two groups, the male factor group and the unexplained group. HSV-1 and HSV-2 DNA was detected in 16 (22.9%) and 10 (14.3%) of 70 semen samples, respectively. All HSV-positive samples had abnormal semen parameters (the male factor group). Although HSV infection was not associated with sperm motility and morphological defects, it was correlated with lower sperm count in the seminal fluid. The findings suggest that asymptomatic seminal infection of HSV plays an important role in male infertility by adversely af-fecting sperm count.
Complete resection could be achieved in virtually all myasthenic patients with Masaoka stage I and II thymoma us-ing the trans-sternal technique. Whether this is appropriate for minimally invasive approach is not yet clear. We evalu-ated the feasibility of complete video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) thymectomy for the treatment of Ma-saoka stage I and II thymoma-associated myasthenia gravis, compared to conventional trans-sternal thymectomy. We summarized 33 patients with Masaoka stage I and II thymoma-associated myasthenia gravis between April 2006 and September 2011. Of these, 15 patients underwent right-sided complete VATS (the VATS group) by us-ing adjuvant pneuomomediastinum, comparing with 18 patients using the trans-sternal approach (the T3b group). No intraoperative death was found and no VATS case required conversion to median sternotomy. Significant differences between the two groups regarding duration of surgery and volume of intraoperative blood loss (P = 0.001 and P < 0.001, respectively) were observed. Postoperative morbidities were 26.7% and 33.3% for the VATS and T3b groups, respectively. All 33 patients were followed up for 12 to 61 months in the study. The cumulative probabilities of reaching complete stable remission and effective rate were 26.7% (4/15) and 93.3% (14/15) in the VATS group, which had a significantly higher complete stable remission and effective rate than those in the T3b group (P = 0.026 and P = 0.000, respectively). We conclude that VATS thymectomy utilizing adjuvant pneuomo-mediastinum for the treatment of stage I and II thymoma-associated myasthenia gravis is technically feasible but deserves further investigation in a large series with long-term follow-up.
2013, 27(1): 71-74. doi: 10.7555/JBR.27.20120102
We report here the first case of neonatal tinea faciei caused by Trichophyton tonsurans in mainland China. The mother of the infant had tinea corpris and tinea capitis while the father had tinea incongnito. The infections in the parents were mycologically confirmed to be due to Trichophyton tonsurans. Ttinea faciei in the infant was cured after two-week topical use of amorolfine cream. The mother ceased breastfeeding and took oral terbinafine for 4 weeks. No recurrence was observed in the infant during 12 months of follow-up.