• ISSN 1674-8301
  • CN 32-1810/R

2016 Vol. 30, No. 3

Studies of receptor-mediated lipoprotein metabolic pathways in avian species have revealed that physiological intricacies of specific cell types are highly analogous to those in mammals. A prime example for the power of comparative studies across different animal kingdoms, elucidated in the chicken, is that the expression of different lipoprotein receptors in somatic cells and oocytes are the key to oocyte growth. In avian species, yolk precursor transport from the hen's liver to rapidly growing oocytes and the subsequent transfer of yolk nutrients via the yolk sac to the developing embryo are highly efficient processes. Oocytes grow from a diameter of 5 mm to 2.5-3 cm in only 7 days, and the yolk sac transfers nutrients from the yolk stored in the mature oocyte to the embryo within just 2 weeks. The underlying key transport mechanism is receptor-mediated endocytosis of macromolecules, i.e., of hepatically synthesized yolk precursors for oocyte growth, and of mature yolk components for embryo nutrition, respectively. Recently, the receptors involved, as well as the role of lipoprotein synthesis in the yolk sac have been identified. As outlined here, lipoprotein degradation/resynthesis cycles and the expression of lipoprotein receptors are not only coordinated with the establishment of the follicular architecture embedding the oocyte, but also with the generation of the yolk sac vasculature essential for nutrient transfer to the embryo.
Metastatic prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death in men. The primary site of metastasis from prostate cancers is the bone. During the last decade, multiple studies have pointed to the role of the stromal cell-derived factor 1 alpha (SDF1α)/CXCR4 axis in the metastatic spread of the disease, but the mechanisms that underlie this effect are still incompletely understood. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of the role of the SDF1α/CXCR4 pathway in bone metastatic prostate cancer. We also discuss the therapeutic potential of disrupting the interaction between prostate tumor cells and bone environment with focus on the SDF1α pathway.
Age-related cataract (ARC) is the most common cause of visual impairment and blindness worldwide. A previous study reported that genetic factors could explain approximately 50% of the heritability of cataract. However, a genetic predisposition to ARC and the contributing factors have not yet been elucidated in the Korean population. In this study, we assessed the influence of genetic polymorphisms on the risk of ARC in Koreans, including 156 cataract cases and 138 healthy adults. We conducted an exome-wide association study using Illumina Human Exome-12v1.2 platform to screen 244,770 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). No SNPs reached exome-wide significance level of association (P < 1×10?6). B3GNT4 rs7136356 showed the most significant association with ARC (P = 6.54×10?5). Two loci (MUC16 and P2RY2) among the top 20 ARC-associated SNPs were recognized as probably linked to cataractogenesis. Functions of these genes were potentially related to regulating dehydration or homeostasis of the eyes, and showed a potential association with dry eye disease. This finding suggests that mucin- and dry eye disease-related genes may play a significant role in cataractogenesis. Our study provides insight into the genetic predisposition of ARC in Koreans. Additional studies with larger sample sizes are required to confirm the results of this study.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of low-dose tibolone therapy on ovarian area, uterine volume and endometrial thickness, and define the cut-off value of endometrial thickness for curettage during uterine bleeding. We followed 619 postmenopausal women, aged 40-60 years, for two years. There were 301 subjects in the low-dose tibolone treatment group and 318 subjects in the control group. The ovarian area, uterine volume and endometrial thickness in all participants were measured by transvaginal ultrasound prior to, one and two years post enrollment, respectively. Endometrial specimens were collected from all subjects with abnormal uterine bleeding during the follow-up period. We found that the uterine volume in the treatment group was greater than that in the control group, and the difference was significant (P<0.05), but there were no significant differences in ovarian area and endometrial thickness between the two groups (P>0.05). When the cut-off value for endometrial thickness was 7.35 mm, the sensitivity and specificity were 100% and 79.07%, respectively, and 85.71% and 93.02% when 7.55 mm was set as the cut-off during tibolone therapy. The results indicate that low-dose tibolone therapy may postpone uterine atrophy and the cut-off value of endometrial thickness may be appropriately adjusted for curettage.
Biochemical or clinical changes of hyperandrogenism are important elements of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). There is currently no consensus on the definition and diagnostic criteria of hyperandrogenism in PCOS. The aim of this study was to investigate the complex symptoms of hyperandrogenic disorders and the correlations between metabolism and hyperandrogenism in patients with PCOS from an outpatient reproductive medicine clinic in China. We conducted a case control study of 125 PCOS patients and 130 controls to evaluate differences in body mass index (BMI), total testosterone (TT), modified Ferriman–Gallwey hirsutism score, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), homeostasis model assessment-estimated insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and free androgen index (FAI) between PCOS patients and controls and subgroups of PCOS. The prevalence of acne and hirsutism did not differ significantly between the hyperandrogenic and non-hyperandrogenic subgroup. Patients with signs of hyperandrogenism had significantly higher BMI (P < 0.05), but differences in TT, SHBG, FAI and waist/hip ratio were insignificant. The odds ratio of overweight was calculated for all PCOS patients. Our results suggest that PCOS patients with high BMI tend to have functional disorders of androgen excess; therefore, BMI may be a strong predictor of hyperandrogenism in PCOS.
1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (VD3), an active form of Vitamin D, is photosynthesized in the skin of vertebrates in response to solar ultraviolet B radiation (UV-B). VD3 deficiency can cause health problems such as immune disease,metabolic disease, and bone disorders. It has also been demonstrated that VD3 is involved in reproductive functions. Female sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone are biosynthesized mainly in ovarian granulosa cells as the ovarian follicle develops. The functions of sex hormones include regulation of the estrus cycle and puberty as well as maintenance of pregnancy in females. In this study, we isolated granulosa cells from porcine ovaries and cultured them for experiments. To examine the effects of VD3 on ovarian granulosa cells, the mRNA and protein levels of genes were analyzed by Real-time PCR and Western blotting assay. Production of progesterone from granulosa cells was also measured by ELISA assay. As a result, transcriptional and translational regulation of progesterone biosynthesis-related genes in granulosa cells was significantly altered by VD3. Furthermore, progesterone concentrations in porcine granulosa cell-cultured media decreased in response to VD3. These results show that VD3 was a strong regulator of sex steroid hormone production in porcine granulosa cells, suggesting that vitamin D deficiency may result in inappropriate sexual development of industrial animals and eventually economic loss.
Enterovirus (EV71) can cause severe neurological diseases, but the underlying pathogenesis remains unclear. The capsid protein, viral protein 1 (VP1), plays a critical role in the pathogenicity of EV71. High level expression and secretion of VP1 protein are necessary for structure, function and immunogenicity in its natural conformation. In our previous studies, 5 codon-optimized VP1 DNA vaccines, including wt-VP1, tPA-VP1, VP1-d, VP1-hFc and VP1-mFc, were constructed and analyzed. They expressed VP1 protein, but the levels of secretion and immunogenicity of these VP1 constructs were significantly different (P<0.05). In this study, we further investigated the protein levels of these constructs and determined that all of these constructs expressed VP1 protein. The secretion level was increased by including a tPA leader sequence, which was further increased by fusing human IgG Fc (hFc) to VP1. VP1-hFc demonstrated the most potent immunogenicity in mice.Furthermore, hFc domain could be used to purify VP1-hFc protein for additional studies.
The use of anti-beta 1 integrin monoclonal antibody in lung cancer treatment has proven beneficial. Here, we developed a novel monoclonal antibody (mAb), called P5, by immunizing mice with human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Its anti-tumor effect is now being tested, in a clinical phase Ⅲ trial, in combinatorial treatments with various chemical drugs. To confirm that P5 indeed binds to beta 1 integrin, cell lysates were immunoprecipitated with commercial anti-beta 1 integrin mAb (TS2/16) and immunoblotted against P5 to reveal a 140 kDa molecular weight band, as expected. Immunoprecipitation with P5 followed by LC/MS protein sequence analysis further verified P5 antigen to be beta 1 integrin. Cisplatin treatment upregulated cell surface expression of beta 1 integrin in A549 cells, while causing inhibition of cell growth. When cells were co-treated with different concentrations of P5 mAb, the cisplatin-mediated inhibitory effect was enhanced in a dose-dependent manner. Our findings show that a combinatorial treatment of P5 mAb and cisplatin in A549 cells resulted in a 30% increase in apoptosis, compared to baseline, and significantly more when compared to either the cisplatin or P5 alone group. The entire peptide sequences in CDR from variable region of Ig heavy and light chain gene for P5 mAb are also disclosed. Together, these results provide evidence of the beneficial effect of P5 mAb in combinatorial treatment of human lung adenocarcinoma.
Neuroinflammation has been recognized as a factor in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Emerging evidence suggests that peripheral inflammation, besides neuroinflammation, functions as a modulator of disease progression and neuropathology in several neurodegenerative diseases. However, detailed correlations among peripheral inflammation, neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration remain unknown. In the present study, we prepared a peripheral inflammation model with lipopolysaccharides (LPS)-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages to explore its activation on BV2 microglia. We found that LPS induced the production of IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α in the culture medium of RAW264.7 macrophages. We further showed that LPS plus ATP activated inflammasome, evidenced by the upregulation of caspase-1 and IL-1β, which was suppressed by ZYVAD, a caspase-1 inhibitor. Furthermore, the conditioned medium obtained from LPS-treated RAW264.7 macrophages activated BV2 microglia, stimulating the release of IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α from BV2 cells. ZYVAD pretreatment markedly suppressed BV2 microglia activation induced by RAW264.7 cells conditioned medium. Taken together, our study indicates that macrophage-mediated peripheral inflammation subsequently evokes neuroinflammation and may aggravate neural damage. Inflammasome and caspase-1 may be potential targets for modulating systemic inflammatory responses in neurodegenerative diseases.
Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are abundant in marine fish oils, have recently received global attention for their prominent anti-obesogenic effects. Among PUFAs, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n-3), which are n-3 long-chain PUFAs widely referred to as omega-3 oils, were reported to prevent the development of obesity in rodents and humans. In the present study, we evaluated the anti-obesity effects of microalgal oil on high-fat induced obese C57BL/6 mice, compared with commercial omega-3 fish oil and vegetable corn oil. Microalgal oil is an inherent mixture of several PUFAs, including EPA, DHA and other fatty acids produced from a marine microalgal strain of Thraustochytriidae sp. derived mutant. It was found to contain more PUFAs (>80%) and more omega-3 oils than commercial omega-3 fish oil (PUFAs >31%) and corn oil (PUFAs 59%). All three types of oils induced weight loss in high-fat-induced obese mice, with the loss induced by microalgal oil being most significant at 9 weeks (10% reduction). However, the oils tested did not improve blood lipid levels, although microalgal oil showed an apparent inhibitory effect on lipid accumulation in the liver. These findings may be attributed to the higher PUFA content, including omega-3 oils of microalgal oil than other oils. Collectively, these findings suggest that microalgal oil, derived from Thraustochytriidae sp. derived mutant, is a prominent candidate for replacement of omega-3 fish oils based on its apparent anti-obesity effect in vivo.
Cases of pulmonary embolism and pulmonary artery hypertension caused by choriocarcinoma represent a rare clinical emergency. We report a case of a 25-year-old woman who presented with pulmonary embolism and hypertension and died soon after complete pulmonary embolectomy. A related literature review revealed that almost all of these patients had previously experienced a spontaneous abortion (average, 6 months) and were not pregnant.