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Fang Li - Top 30 Publications

Acinar cell carcinoma of the pancreas presenting as diffuse pancreatic enlargement: Two case reports and literature review.

Pancreatic acinar cell carcinoma (ACC) is a rare malignant tumor of exocrine pancreas. It is typically a well-marginated large solid mass arising in a certain aspect of the pancreas. Diffuse involvement of ACC in the pancreas is very rare, and may simulate pancreatitis in radiological findings. We report 2 cases of ACC presenting as diffuse enlargement of the pancreas due to tumor involvement without formation of a distinct mass.

Functional Analysis of a Novel FOXL2 Indel Mutation in Chinese Families with Blepharophimosis-Ptosis-Epicanthus Inversus Syndrome Type I.

Background: Blepharophimosis-ptosis-epicanthus inversus syndrome (BPES) is an autosomal dominant disease with a low incidence rate. Indel mutations in the forkhead box L2 (FOXL2) gene cause two types of BPES that are distinguished by the presence (type I) or absence (type II) of premature ovarian failure (POF). The purpose of this study was to identify a possible deletion in FOXL2 in Chinese families with BPES and to clarify its relationship with POF. Methods: An autosomal dominant Chinese BPES family with four generations was enrolled in this study. Peripheral venous blood was collected from all affected patients, and genomic DNA was extracted from leukocytes. The whole coding sequence and nearby 5' untranslated region (UTR) and 3'UTR of the FOXL2 gene were amplified using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with three sets of overlapping primers, followed by sequencing analyses. The sequencing results were analysed using SeqMan software. Based on the patients' clinical manifestations and analysis of the identified indel mutation, we found that the mutation disturbed interactions between FOXL2 and the StAR gene. Furthermore, through subcellular localisation and functional studies, we observed significant mislocalisation of the mutant protein; the mutant protein was found in the cytoplasm, while the wild-type protein was found in the nucleus. Loss of function was confirmed by transcriptional activity assays, quantitative real-time PCR, and electrophoretic mobility shift assays. Results: All affected patients presented with clinical features of BPES type I, including small palpebral fissures, ptosis, telecanthus, and epicanthus inversus with POF. A novel FOXL2 heterozygous indel mutation, c.19_95del, a 77-bp deletion that disrupts FOXL2 protein structure, was identified in all affected members of the family. In addition, this indel mutation significantly increased StAR mRNA expression by disrupting the ability of the FOXL2 protein to bind to the StAR promoter and act as a repressor of this gene. Conclusions: A novel FOXL2 indel mutation was identified in Chinese families with BPES. Our results expand the spectrum of known FOXL2 mutations and provide additional insight into the structure-function relationships of the FOXL2 protein. Furthermore, this novel mutation resulted in the dysfunction of FOXL2 as a transcription factor, blocking its ability to bind to the promoter region of the StAR gene, resulting in POF in the affected patient.

Consumer satisfaction with antipsychotic medication-monitoring appointments: the role of consumer-prescriber communication patterns.

The study was designed to explore patterns of prescriber communication behaviors as they relate to consumer satisfaction among a serious mental illness sample.

Neuroprotective effect of 5ɑ-androst-3β,5,6β-triol on retinal ganglion cells in a rat chronic ocular hypertension model.

Previous studies have demonstrated that 5ɑ-androst-3β,5,6β-triol (Triol), a synthesized steroid compound, showed notable neuroprotective effect in cultured cortical neurons. In the present study, we explored whether and how Triol have neuroprotective effect on retinal ganglion cells(RGCs) in a chronic ocular hypertension(COH) rat model. COH model was produced by injecting superparamagnetic iron oxide micro-beads into the anterior chamber, and Triol was administrated(4.8μg/100g, i.p., once daily for 4 weeks). Immunohistochemistry experiments showed that in whole flat-mounted COH retinas, the number of CTB-labeled survival RGCs was progressively reduced, while TUNEL-positive signals were significantly increased from 1 to 4 weeks after the micro-bead injection. Triol administration significantly attenuated the reduction in the number of CTB-labeled RGCs, and partially reduced the increased number of TUNEL-positive signals in COH retinas. Furthermore, Triol administration partially reduced the levels of malondialdehyde(MDA) and reactive oxygen species(ROS), and significantly rescued the activities of mitochondrial respiratory chain complex(MRCC) I/II/III in COH retinas. Our results suggest that Triol prevents RGCs from apoptotic death in COH retinas by reducing the lipid peroxidation and enhancing the activities of MRCCs.

Porous Coconut Shell Carbon Offering High Retention and Deep Lithiation of Sulfur for Lithium-Sulfur batteries.

Retaining soluble polysulfides in the sulfur cathodes and allowing for the deep redox are essential to develop high performance lithium-sulfur batteries. The versatile textures and physicochemical characteristics of abundant biomass offer a great opportunity to prepare biochar materials that can enhance the performance of Li-S batteries in sustainable mode. Here, we exploit micro/mesoporous coconut shell carbon (CSC) with high specific surface areas as a sulfur host for Li-S batteries. The sulfur-infiltrated CSC materials show superior discharge-charge capacity, cycling stability and high-rate capability. High discharge capacities of 1599 and 1500 mA h g-1 were achieved at current rates of 0.5 and 2.0 C, respectively. A high reversible capacity of 517 mA h g-1 was retained at 2.0 C even after 400 cycles. The results demonstrate a high retention and a deep lithiation of the CSC-confined sulfur. The success of this strategy provides insight into seeking high-performance biochar materials for Li-S batteries from abundant bio-resources.

A novel method for the sequential removal and separation of multiple heavy metals from wastewater.

A novel method was developed and applied for the treatment of simulated wastewater containing multiple heavy metals. A sorbent of ZnS nanocrystals (NCs) was synthesized and showed extraordinary performance for the removal of Hg(2+), Cu(2+), Pb(2+) and Cd(2+). The removal efficiencies of Hg(2+), Cu(2+), Pb(2+) and Cd(2+) were 99.9%, 99.9%, 90.8% and 66.3%, respectively. Meanwhile, it was determined that solubility product (Ksp) of heavy metal sulfides was closely related to adsorption selectivity of various heavy metals on the sorbent. The removal efficiency of Hg(2+) was higher than that of Cd(2+), while the Ksp of HgS was lower than that of CdS. It indicated that preferential adsorption of heavy metals occurred when the Ksp of the heavy metal sulfide was lower. In addition, the differences in the Ksp of heavy metal sulfides allowed for the exchange of heavy metals, indicating the potential application for the sequential removal and separation of heavy metals from wastewater. According to the cumulative adsorption experimental results, multiple heavy metals were sequentially adsorbed and separated from the simulated wastewater in the order of the Ksp of their sulfides. This method holds the promise of sequentially removing and separating multiple heavy metals from wastewater.

Tolerance to dichloroacetonitrile-induced neurotoxicity in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.

Diabetes mellitus has potential to alter the toxicity of hazardous chemicals. Dichloroacetonitrile (DCAN) is one of high-risk nitrogenous disinfection by-products. This study evaluated the neurotoxicity of DCAN (11, 44 and 88mg/kg) in normoglycaemic and streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats via orally for 28days. STZ diabetes prolonged the median survival time and total lethal time after DCAN (88mg/kg) exposure when compared with that observed in normoglycaemic rats. DCAN altered motor activity and induced anxiety behaviour in normoglycaemic rats; but it did not exaggerate behavioural changes in STZ diabetic rats. DCAN -induced brain oxidative damage by compensatory increase glutathione content and decrease malonaldehyde levels; but it did not induce oxidative damage in diabetic rats. STZ diabetes slowed down the pathological pace of DCAN-induced brain mitochondrial dysfunction by decreasing reactive oxygen species and increasing cytochrome C oxidase activity. In conclusion, the present study indicated that STZ diabetic rats are resistant to DCAN-induced neurotoxicity at the dosage and with the dosage schedule in 28-day subacute toxicity test.

Genomic characterization of a novel iridovirus from redclaw crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus: evidence for a new genus within the family Iridoviridae.

A novel iridovirus, Cherax quadricarinatus iridovirus (CQIV), was identified from diseased C. quadricarinatus in 2014. This virus is considered as a new threat to crustacean aquaculture because it is lethal to both peneaid shrimp and crayfish. Here, we determined the complete genome sequence of CQIV. The double-stranded DNA genome is 165 695 bp in length with a G+C content of 34.6 %. A total of 178 open reading frames (ORFs) have been predicted, encoding hypothetical proteins ranging from 50 to 1327 amino acids. Forty-seven of these exhibit similarities to proteins of known functions. Phylogenetic analysis based on multiple alignments of conserved proteins shows that CQIV clusters with the members of the family Iridoviridae, but is placed in a distinct clade from all the five known genera. It indicates that CQIV may represent a new genus in the family Iridoviridae, for which we propose the name Cheraxvirus based on the host organism.

Effects of high hydrostatic pressure on the functional and rheological properties of the protein fraction extracted from pine nuts.

High hydrostatic pressure treatments could increase the protein solubility (200 MPa), water holding capacity (400 MPa), and oil holding capacity (400 MPa) of pine nuts protein fractions, respectively. The exposed sufhydryl content for albumin was highest at 100 MPa while for other fractions it was 400 MPa, contrary for total sufhydryl content-generally it was at 100 MPa, except glutelin (400 MPa). Pine nuts protein fractions demonstrated the typical behavior of weak gels (G' > G″). After the treatments of high hydrostatic pressure the specific surface area of pine nuts protein particle was increased upon pressure, and the surface of protein became rough which increased the particle size. The functional groups of protein were found to be unchanged, but the characteristic peaks of pine nuts protein moved to a low-band displacement and the value of peaks was amplified accordingly to the pressure. The high hydrostatic pressure treatments were found to improve the functional properties of pine nuts protein isolates by enhancing the heat-induced gel strength of pine nuts protein isolates which make proteins more stretchable. These results suggest that high hydrostatic pressure treatments can increase the functional properties and alter the rheological properties of pine nuts protein fractions which will broaden its applications in food industry.

Ultrasonically assisted preparation of poly(acrylic acid)/calcium phosphate hybrid nanogels as pH-responsive drug carriers.

Biocompatible, biodegradable and stimuli-responsive nanomaterials can be used as drug carriers and to achieve controlled drug delivery, which is crucial for treating tumors and lowering drug side effects. Calcium phosphate (CaP) nanoparticles and poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) hydrogels can be used as biocompatible and pH-responsive drug carriers. In this study, based on the ultrasound effect, PAA/CaP hybrid nanogels (approximately 100nm, PDI<0.2) are obtained via the cross-linking of CaP nanoparticles and PAA molecules between the Ca(2+) ions and -COOH groups. The PAA/CaP hybrid nanogels show good stability in biological media as well as no hemolysis and no cytotoxicity to L02 cells. Moreover, the PAA/CaP hybrid nanogels display an enhanced loading capacity (approximately 32%) for doxorubicin hydrochloride (DOX) compared to pure CaP nanoparticles (approximately 7.5%) and a pH-controlled drug release due to their dissolution in acidic environment. DOX can be delivered into cancer cells by the PAA/CaP hybrid nanogels, which show an inhibitory effect comparable to that of free DOX, although the inhibitory effect is delayed due to the slow release of DOX from the carriers. In vivo, the PAA/CaP hybrid nanogels cannot avoid the capture by the reticuloendothelial system; however, they show passive tumor targeting ability. In brief, the biocompatible, biodegradable and pH-responsive PAA/CaP hybrid nanogels have the potential to act as drug carriers for controlled drug release.

Urachal mucinous adenocarcinoma with pseudomyxoma peritonei: A case report.

Pseudomyxoma peritonei is an unusual clinical condition, and the appendix and ovaries are reported as the primary sites.

Paracrine effects of mesenchymal stem cells on the activation of keratocytes.

The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-derived soluble factors on the function of keratocytes, with a particular focus on the processes involved in wound healing, including keratocyte activation, migration and proliferation as well as extracellular matrix (ECM) synthesis.

Role of early environmental enrichment on the social dominance tube test at adulthood in the rat.

Environmental enrichment (EE) could influence brain plasticity and behavior in rodents. Whether the early EE may predispose individuals to a particular social hierarchy in the social dominance tube test (SDTT) at adulthood is still unknown.

Apigenin Alleviates Endotoxin-Induced Myocardial Toxicity by Modulating Inflammation, Oxidative Stress, and Autophagy.

Apigenin, a component in daily diets, demonstrates antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Here, we intended to explore the mechanism of apigenin-mediated endotoxin-induced myocardial injury and its role in the interplay among inflammation, oxidative stress, and autophagy. In our lipopolysaccharide- (LPS-) induced myocardial injury model, apigenin ameliorated cardiac injury (lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and creatine kinase (CK)), cell death (TUNEL staining, DNA fragmentation, and PARP activity), and tissue damage (cardiac troponin I (cTnI) and cardiac myosin light chain-1 (cMLC1)) and improved cardiac function (ejection fraction (EF) and end diastolic left ventricular inner dimension (LVID)). Apigenin also alleviated endotoxin-induced myocardial injury by modulating oxidative stress (nitrotyrosine and protein carbonyl) and inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, MIP-1α, and MIP-2) along with their master regulator NFκB. Apigenin modulated redox homeostasis, and its anti-inflammatory role might be associated with its ability to control autophagy. Autophagy (determined by LAMP1, ATG5, and p62), its transcriptional regulator transcription factor EB (TFEB), and downstream target genes including vacuolar protein sorting-associated protein 11 (Vps11) and microtubule-associated proteins 1A/1B light chain 3B (Map1lc3) were modulated by apigenin. Thus, our study demonstrated that apigenin may lead to potential development of new target in sepsis treatment or other myocardial oxidative and/or inflammation-induced injuries.

Spermatozoa Expression of piR-31704, piR-39888, and piR-40349 and Their Correlation to Sperm Concentration and Fertilization Rate After ICSI.

To investigate the relationship between spermatozoa PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) levels and semen parameters and to evaluate the role of expression of piRNAs on fertilization and embryo development after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) treatment.

Bacterial and archaeal community distribution and stabilization of anaerobic sludge in a strengthen circulation anaerobic (SCA) reactor for municipal wastewater treatment.

In this study, a SCA reactor was employed for municipal wastewater treatment at a mesophilic temperature (30°C) under different hydraulic retention times (HRT) and upflow velocities (Vup) to investigate granule sludge stability and spatial microbial distribution. The stable COD removal efficiency readied at HRT of 15, 12, 9 and 6h, and Vup ranging from 0.6 to 5.9mh(-1). EPS fraction analysis of granule sludge shows that municipal wastewater was mainly attributed to the enrichment influence of polysaccharide and tightly bound-EPS. SEM images exhibited that the stability and floating of anaerobic granular sludge may be promoted in the primary three-phase separator area because the channels of the granules was clogged by EPS. The SMA and high-throughput sequencing analysis indicated acetoclastic methanogens and hydrogenotrophic methanogens played an important role in formation and maintenance of the anaerobic granule sludge in low and high organic load rate operation conditions.

Apatinib enhances antitumour activity of EGFR-TKIs in non-small cell lung cancer with EGFR-TKI resistance.

Epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs)-rechallenged therapy for EGFR-mutant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who acquired resistance showed moderate efficacy. Considering the high interrelation between EGFR and vascular endothelial growth factor/vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGF/VEGFR) pathways, we firstly evaluated EGFR-TKI combined with apatinib (a highly selective VEGFR2 inhibitor) in EGFR-TKI-resistant model and patients.

Choosing the appropriate ShangRing size for paediatric circumcision using the no-flip technique.

To determine the correct ShangRing size for paediatric circumcision using the no-flip technique.

Association of the tandem polymorphisms (rs148314165, rs200820567) in TNFAIP3 with chronic hepatitis B virus infection in Chinese Han population.

Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remains an important public health issue. A20, a ubiquitin-editing protein encoded by tumor necrosis factor alpha-inducible protein 3 (TNFAIP3) gene, is complicated in HBV infection and liver injury. The tandem polymorphisms (rs148314165, rs200820567), deletion T followed by a T to A transversion and collectively referred to as TT > A in TNFAIP3, may attenuate A20 expression.

Effect of waterlogging on carbon isotope discrimination during photosynthesis in Larix gmelinii.

Soil moisture is a major factor controlling carbon isotope discrimination (Δ(13)C), which has been demonstrated to decrease under dry conditions in many studies; however, few studies on Δ(13)C under waterlogging condition have been conducted. In this study, a pot experiment was conducted with Larix gmelinii, a major larch species in the east Siberian Taiga, to investigate the effect of waterlogging on Δ(13)C during photosynthesis. Assimilation rate and Δ(13)CRD (instantaneous Δ(13)C calculated with Rayleigh distillation equation) decreased drastically soon after waterlogging, followed by recovery in their values, which was caused by a change in stomatal conductance. Thereafter, assimilation rate decreased gradually, whereas Δ(13)CRD decreased more gently. These results were thought to be caused by the decrease in both stomatal conductance and carboxylation. Our results indicate that extreme wet events may cause a decrease in Δ(13)C, which is important information for detecting flooding events in the past using tree-ring isotope analyses and for studying impacts of flooding on plants in areas where waterlogging might occur.

Amputations in the burn unit: A retrospective analysis of 82 patients across 12 years.

The aim of this study is to analyze the data of amputees in the burn center of the Inner Mongolia region and to provide instructive suggestions for a preventative reduction of the amputation rate.

PET/MR imaging in the diagnosis of hormone-producing pituitary micro-adenoma: a prospective pilot study.

Purpose: This study was designed to evaluate positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance (PET/MR), using (18)F-FDG and (68)Ga-DOTATATE as tracers, in the detection of hormone-producing pituitary micro-adenoma, where diagnosis is difficult using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) alone. Methods: A total of 37 patients with elevated hormone levels were recruited, including 19 patients with undiagnosable primary pituitary tumors and 18 patients with suspected recurrent pituitary adenomas (PAs). Patients underwent (18)F-FDG PET/MR and (68)Ga-DOTATATE PET/MR within one week. Finally, 27 patients underwent transsphenoidal adenomectomy within two weeks, 3 patients underwent sella region radiotherapy, 1 patient underwent somatostatin therapy, and the other 6 patients had a clinical follow-up. The image characteristics and uptake levels were correlated with the surgical findings and pathological results. Receiver-operating-characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was performed to determine an optimal cutoff pituitary to differentiate pituitary adenoma from normal pituitary tissue. The area under the ROC curve was calculated to compare the diagnostic performance. Results: The PET/MR images were in diagnostic quality without obvious image artifacts. The high contrast of PET imaging provided complementary information to the fine anatomy display of MRI. Increased (18)F-FDG uptake was clearly observed in the all patients, whereas enhanced MRI enhanced MRI using 0.05 mmol/kg Gadopentetate dimeglumine had suspicious findings only in 47% primary and 39% recurrent PAs patients, which were 37% and 50%, respectively when using 0.1 mmol/kg Gadopentetate dimeglumine. The maximum standardized uptake values (SUVmax) of (18)F-FDG activity (6.8 ± 3.7) in 16 primary pituitary adenomas who underwent transsphenoidal adenomectomy, was significantly higher than that of the rest of the normal pituitary gland (3.2 ± 1.1, P < 0.01). The adenoma showed moderate (68)Ga-DOTATATE uptake (3.8 ± 2.6), but generally lower than that of the normal pituitary gland (6.2 ± 3.2, P < 0.05). In the 11 patients with suspected recurrent pituitary tumors who underwent transsphenoidal adenomectomy, the SUVmax of (18)F-FDG activity was 6.1 ± 3.5, significantly higher than that in residual pituitary tissue (2.5 ± 1.1, P < 0.01); the SUVmax of (68)Ga-DOTATATE activity was 3.0 ± 1.1, significantly lower than that in residual pituitary tissue (5.5 ± 1.7, P < 0.01). The uptake ratios of (18)F-FDG over (68)Ga-DOTATATE (FDG/TATE, 2.3 ± 1.5) were significantly higher than those in pituitary tissue (0.6 ± 0.3, P < 0.05). When SUVmax of (18)F-FDG and the uptake ratios of FDG/TATE were used as a criterion to discriminate between PAs and pituitary tissue, the best analysis came from the uptake ratios of FDG/TATE, and to a slightly lesser extent the uptake levels of (18)F-FDG alone. Optimal diagnostic cutoff values were 1.04 and 3.88, respectively. Conclusion: PET/MR imaging provides an ideal tool for the detection of small hormone-producing pituitary adenoma. The (18)F-FDG and (68)Ga-DOTATATE dual-tracer PET/MR was found to be useful for distinguishing pituitary adenoma from normal pituitary tissue.

Peanut Shell-Derived Carbon Solid Acid with Large Surface Area and Its Application for the Catalytic Hydrolysis of Cyclohexyl Acetate.

A carbon solid acid with large surface area (CSALA) was prepared by partial carbonization of H₃PO₄ pre-treated peanut shells followed by sulfonation with concentrated H₂SO₄. The structure and acidity of CSALA were characterized by N₂ adsorption-desorption, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), (13)C cross polarization (CP)/magic angle spinning (MAS) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), titration, and elemental analysis. The results demonstrated that the CSALA was an amorphous carbon material with a surface area of 387.4 m²/g. SO₃H groups formed on the surface with a density of 0.46 mmol/g, with 1.11 mmol/g of COOH and 0.39 mmol/g of phenolic OH. Densities of the latter two groups were notably greater than those observed on a carbon solid acid (CSA) with a surface area of 10.1 m²/g. The CSALA catalyst showed better performance than the CSA for the hydrolysis of cyclohexyl acetate to cyclohexanol. Under optimal reaction conditions, cyclohexyl acetate conversion was 86.6% with 97.3% selectivity for cyclohexanol, while the results were 25.0% and 99.4%, respectively, catalyzed by CSA. The high activity of the CSALA could be attributed to its high density of COOH and large surface area. Moreover, the CSALA showed good reusability. Its catalytic activity decreased slightly during the first two cycles due to the leaching of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-containing SO₃H groups, and then remained constant during following uses.

Two 8-Hydroxyquinolinate Based Supramolecular Coordination Compounds: Synthesis, Structures and Spectral Properties.

Two new Cr(III) complexes based on 2-substituted 8-hydroxyquinoline ligands, namely [Cr(L₁)₃] (1), (HL₁=(E)-2-[2-(4-nitro-phenyl)-vinyl]-8-hydroxy-quinoline) and [Cr(L₂)₃] (2), (HL₂=(E)-2-[2-(4-chloro-phenyl)vinyl]-8-hydroxy-quinoline), were prepared by a facile hydrothermal method and characterized thoroughly by single crystal X-ray diffraction, powder X-ray diffraction, FTIR, TGA, ESI-MS, UV-Visible absorption spectra and fluorescence emission spectra. Single crystal X-ray diffraction analyses showed that the two compounds featured 3D supramolecular architectures constructed from noncovalent interactions, such as π···π stacking, C-H···π, C-H···O, C-Cl···π, C-H···Cl interactions. The thermogravimetric analysis and ESI-MS study of compounds 1 and 2 suggested that the Cr(III) complexes possessed good stability both in solid and solution. In addition, the ultraviolet and fluorescence response of the HL₁ and HL₂ shown marked changes upon their complexation with Cr(III) ion, which indicated that the two 8-hydroxyquinolinate based ligand are promising heavy metal chelating agent for Cr(3+).

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate and Epigallocatechin-3-O-(3-O-methyl)-gallate Enhance the Bonding Stability of an Etch-and-Rinse Adhesive to Dentin.

This study evaluated epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and epigallocatechin-3-O-(3-O-methyl)-gallate (EGCG-3Me) modified etch-and-rinse adhesives (Single Bond 2, SB 2) for their antibacterial effect and bonding stability to dentin. EGCG-3Me was isolated and purified with column chromatography and preparative high performance liquid chromatography. EGCG and EGCG-3Me were incorporated separately into the adhesive SB 2 at concentrations of 200, 400, and 600 µg/mL. The effect of cured adhesives on the growth of Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) was determined with scanning electron microscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy; the biofilm of bacteria was further quantified via optical density 600 values. The inhibition of EGCG and EGCG-3Me on dentin-originated collagen proteases activities was evaluated with a proteases fluorometric assay kit. The degree of conversion (DC) of the adhesives was tested with micro-Raman spectrum. The immediate and post-thermocycling (5000 cycles) bond strength was assessed through Microtensile Bond Strength (MTBS) test. Cured EGCG/EGCG-3Me modified adhesives inhibit the growth of S. mutans in a concentration-dependent manner. The immediate MTBS of SB 2 was not compromised by EGCG/EGCG-3Me modification. EGCG/EGCG-3Me modified adhesive had higher MTBS than SB 2 after thermocycling, showing no correlation with concentration. The DC of the adhesive system was affected depending on the concentration of EGCG/EGCG-3Me and the depth of the hybrid layer. EGCG/EGCG-3Me modified adhesives could inhibit S. mutans adhesion to dentin-resin interface, and maintain the bonding stability. The adhesive modified with 400 µg/mL EGCG-3Me showed antibacterial effect and enhanced bonding stability without affect the DC of adhesive.

De novo leaf and root transcriptome analysis to identify putative genes involved in triterpenoid saponins biosynthesis in Hedera helix L.

Hedera helix L. is an important traditional medicinal plant in Europe. The main active components are triterpenoid saponins, but none of the potential enzymes involved in triterpenoid saponins biosynthesis have been discovered and annotated. Here is reported the first study of global transcriptome analyses using the Illumina HiSeq™ 2500 platform for H. helix. In total, over 24 million clean reads were produced and 96,333 unigenes were assembled, with an average length of 1385 nt; more than 79,085 unigenes had at least one significant match to an existing gene model. Differentially Expressed Gene analysis identified 6,222 and 7,012 unigenes which were expressed either higher or lower in leaf samples when compared with roots. After functional annotation and classification, two pathways and 410 unigenes related to triterpenoid saponins biosynthesis were discovered. The accuracy of these de novo sequences was validated by RT-qPCR analysis and a RACE clone. These data will enrich our knowledge of triterpenoid saponin biosynthesis and provide a theoretical foundation for molecular research on H. helix.

(-)-Epicatechin rescues the As2 O3 -induced HERG K(+) channel deficiency possibly through upregulating transcription factor SP1 expression.

(-)-Epicatechin (EPI) has beneficial effects on the cardiovascular disease. The human ether-a-go-go-related gene (HERG) potassium channel is crucial for repolarization of cardiac action potential. Dysfunction of the HERG channel can cause long QT syndrome type 2 (LQT2). Arsenic trioxide (As2 O3 ) has shown efficacy in the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia. However, As2 O3 can induce the deficiency of HERG channel and cause LQT2. In this study, we examined whether EPI could rescue the As2 O3 -induced HERG channel deficiency. We found that 3 μM EPI obviously increased protein expression and current of HERG channel. EPI was able to recover the protein expression and current of HERG channel disrupted by As2 O3 . EPI was able to increase the expression of SP1 protein and recover the expression of SP1 protein disrupted by As2 O3 . In addition, EPI significantly shortened action potential duration prolonged by As2 O3 . Our data suggest that EPI rescues As2 O3 -induced HERG channel deficiency through upregulating SP1 expression.

Association between platelet function and recurrent ischemic vascular events after TIA and minor stroke
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Platelet activation and aggregation play an important role in the pathological and physiological processes of recurrent ischemic vascular events in stroke patients. The purpose of this study is to determine the association between platelet function measured in the acute period and recurrent ischemic vascular events in patients with transient ischemic attack (TIA) or minor stroke. A total of 417 patients who were within the 24-hour period of clopidogrel-aspirin therapy after onset of a minor stroke or high-risk transient ischemic attack according to the Clopidogrel in High-risk patients with Acute Nondisabling Cerebrovascular Events (CHANCE) trial were included in this study. The platelet aggregation ratio was detected using a method of continuous platelet counting; patients underwent CYP2C19 genotyping, and the baseline data were recorded. The patients underwent a 6-month follow-up period during which the recurrent ischemic vascular events were observed. Logistic regression analysis was performed to obtain the risk factors for recurrent ischemic vascular events. The number of patients with recurrent ischemic events who had an arachidonic acid-induced maximum platelet aggregation ratio (MAR-AA) (aspirin 100 mg) (31.85 ± 12.86 vs. 26.71 ± 12.44, p = 0.007) and adenosine diphosphate-induced maximum platelet aggregation ratio (MAR-ADP) after the administration of 75 mg clopidogrel for 12 ± 2 days (65.82 ± 10.72 vs. 53.10 ± 12.98, p < 0.001) was significantly higher compared with the no ischemic vascular event group. Multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that being a carrier of the CYP2C19 loss-of-function (LOF) allele (OR = 2.308, 95% CI: 1.087 ~ 4.901, p = 0.029) as well as the MAR-AA (aspirin 100 mg) (OR = 1.028, 95% CI: 1.006  ~  1.052, p = 0.014) and MAR-ADP after the administration of 75 mg clopidogrel (OR = 1.067, 95% CI: 1.037 ~ 1.095, p < 0.001) were risk factors for ischemic vascular events. The MAR-ADP after the administration of 75 mg clopidogrel was significantly higher in patients who were carriers of the CYP2C19 (LOF) allele compared with non-carriers (57.53 ± 13.32 vs. 50.86 ± 12.55, p < 0.001), and no significant differences between the CYP2C19 LOF allele carriers and non-carriers in the MAR-ADP were detected after the administration of 300 mg clopidogrel (37.18 ± 11.36 vs. 35.86 ± 12.49, p = 0.264). Being a carrier of the CYP2C19 LOF allele has a significant influence on clopidogrel response. Platelet function is closely related to recurrent ischemic vascular events in acute minor stroke or TIA patients.
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Sparse dictionary for synthetic transmit aperture medical ultrasound imaging.

It is possible to recover a signal below the Nyquist sampling limit using a compressive sensing technique in ultrasound imaging. However, the reconstruction enabled by common sparse transform approaches does not achieve satisfactory results. Considering the ultrasound echo signal's features of attenuation, repetition, and superposition, a sparse dictionary with the emission pulse signal is proposed. Sparse coefficients in the proposed dictionary have high sparsity. Images reconstructed with this dictionary were compared with those obtained with the three other common transforms, namely, discrete Fourier transform, discrete cosine transform, and discrete wavelet transform. The performance of the proposed dictionary was analyzed via a simulation and experimental data. The mean absolute error (MAE) was used to quantify the quality of the reconstructions. Experimental results indicate that the MAE associated with the proposed dictionary was always the smallest, the reconstruction time required was the shortest, and the lateral resolution and contrast of the reconstructed images were also the closest to the original images. The proposed sparse dictionary performed better than the other three sparse transforms. With the same sampling rate, the proposed dictionary achieved excellent reconstruction quality.

Inhibitory effects and mechanism of dihydroberberine on hERG channels expressed in HEK293 cells.

The human ether-a-go-go-related gene (hERG) potassium channel conducts rapid delayed rectifier potassium currents (IKr) and contributes to phase III cardiac action potential repolarization. Drugs inhibit hERG channels by binding to aromatic residues in hERG helixes. Berberine (BBR) has multiple actions, and its hydrogenated derivative dihydroberberine (DHB) is a potential candidate for developing new drugs. Previous studies have demonstrated that BBR blocks hERG channels and prolongs action potential duration (APD). Our present study aimed to investigate the effects and mechanism of DHB on hERG channels. Protein expression and the hERG current were analyzed using western blotting and patch-clamp, respectively. DHB inhibited the hERG current concentration-dependently after instantaneous perfusion, accelerated channel inactivation by directly binding tyrosine (Tyr652) and phenylalanine (Phe656), and decreased mature (155-kDa) and simultaneously increased immature (135-kDa) hERG expression, respectively. This suggests disruption of forward trafficking of hERG channels. Besides, DHB remarkably reduced heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) expression and its interaction with hERG, indicating that DHB disrupted hERG trafficking by impairing channel folding. Meanwhie, DHB enhanced the expression of cleaved activating transcription factor-6 (ATF-6), a biomarker of unfolded protein response (UPR). Expression of calnexin and calreticulin, chaperones activated by ATF-6 to facilitate channel folding, were also increased, which indicating UPR activation. Additionally, the degradation rate of mature 155-kDa hERG increased following DHB exposure. In conclusion, we demonstrated that DHB acutely blocked hERG channels by binding the aromatic Tyr652 and Phe656. DHB may decrease hERG plasma membrane expression through two pathways involving disruption of forward trafficking of immature hERG channels and enhanced degradation of mature hERG channels. Furthermore, forward trafficking was disrupted by impaired channel folding associated with altered interactions between hERG proteins and chaperones. Finally, trafficking inhibition activated UPR, and mature hERG channel degradation was increased by DHB.