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Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor and Mesenchymal Stem Cells Revealed Similar Bone Formation to Allograft in a Sheep Model
Introduction. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are key factors in bone regeneration. Further stimulation should establish an enhanced cell environment optimal for vessel evolvement and hereby being able to attract bone-forming cells. The aim of this study was to generate new bone by using MSCs and VEGF, being able to stimulate growth equal to allograft. Methods. Eight Texel/Gotland sheep had four titanium implants in a size of mm inserted into bilateral distal femurs, containing a 2 mm gap. In the gap, autologous MSCs seeded on hydroxyapatite (HA) granules in combination with 10 ng, 100 ng, and 500 ng VEGF release/day were added. After 12 weeks, the implant-bone blocks were harvested, embedded, and sectioned for histomorphometric analysis. Bone formation and mechanical fixation were evaluated. Blood samples were collected for the determination of bone-related biomarkers and VEGF in serum at weeks 0, 1, 4, 8, and 12. Results. The combination of MSCs with 10 ng, 100 ng, and 500 ng VEGF release/day exhibited similar amount of bone formation within the gap as allograft (). Moreover, no difference in mechanical fixation was observed between the groups (). Serum biomarkers showed no significant difference compared to baseline (all ). Conclusion. MSCs and VEGF exhibit significant bone regeneration, and their bone properties equal to allograft, with no systemic increase in osteogenic markers or VEGF with no visible side effects. This study indicates a possible new approach into solving the problem of insufficient allograft, in larger bone defects.
Estimated Vestibulogram (EVEST) for Effective Vestibular Assessment
Background. The availability and development of methods testing the vestibuloocular reflex (VOR) brought a broader view into the lateral semicircular canal (L-SCC) function. However, the higher number of evaluated parameters makes more difficult the specialist’s diagnose-making process. Purpose. To provide medical specialists, a new diagnostic-graphic tool, Estimated Vestibulogram- EVEST, enabling a quick and easy-to-read visualization and comparison of the VOR test results within the L-SCC. Methods. The development of EVEST involved 148 participants, including 49 healthy volunteers (28 female and 21 male) and 99 (58 female and 41 male) patients affected by different degrees of peripheral vestibular deficit. The corresponding L-SCC VOR test results, from patients meeting the diagnostic criteria, were used to create the EVEST. Results. Based on the test results, we depicted and calculated the EVEST vestibular function asymmetry (VFA) in all the groups. To assess a feasibility of EVEST to describe a vestibular function deficit, we calculated sensitivity and specificity of VFA using a receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) and compared it to single tests. In all the tests, we determined the cutoff value as the point with the highest sensitivity and specificity. For discrimination of any vestibular deficit, the VFA with cutoff 6.5% was more sensitive (91%) and specific (98%) than single tests. Results showed that EVEST is a beneficial graphic tool for quick multifrequency comparison and diagnosis of different types of the peripheral vestibular loss. Conclusions. EVEST can help to easily evaluate various types of peripheral vestibular lesion.
Assessment of Developmental and Reproductive Fitness of Dengue-Resistant Transgenic Aedes aegypti and Improvement of Fitness Using Antibiotics
Background. Genetic modification offers opportunities to introduce artificially created molecular defence mechanisms to vector mosquitoes to counter diseases causing pathogens such as the dengue virus, malaria parasite, and Zika virus. RNA interference is such a molecular defence mechanism that could be used for this purpose to block the transmission of pathogens among human and animal populations. In our previous study, we engineered a dengue-resistant transgenic Ae. aegypti using RNAi to turn off the expression of dengue virus serotype genomes to reduce virus transmission, requiring assessment of the fitness of this mosquito with respect to its wild counterpart in the laboratory and semifield conditions. Method. Developmental and reproductive fitness parameters of TM and WM have assessed under the Arthropod Containment Level 2 conditions, and the antibiotic treatment assays were conducted using co-trimoxazole, amoxicillin, and doxycycline to assess the developmental and reproductive fitness parameters. Results. A significant reduction of developmental and reproductive fitness parameters was observed in transgenic mosquito compared to wild mosquitoes. However, it was seen in laboratory-scale studies that the fitness of this mosquito has improved significantly in the presence of antibiotics such as co-trimoxazole, amoxicillin, and doxycycline in their feed. Conclusion. Our data indicate that the transgenic mosquito produced had a reduction of the fitness parameters and it may lead to a subsequent reduction of transgenic vector density over the generations in field applications. However, antibiotics of co-trimoxazole, amoxicillin, and doxycycline have shown the improvement of fitness parameters indicating the usefulness in field release of transgenic mosquitoes.
Mechanisms of Trx2/ASK1-Mediated Mitochondrial Injury in Pemphigus Vulgaris
Objective. Apoptotic events mediated by mitochondrial injury play an important role on the onset of Pemphigus vulgaris (PV). The thioredoxin-2 (Trx2)/apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) signaling pathway is considered a key cascade involved on the regulation of mitochondrial injury. Hence, we have investigated the regulatory mechanism of the Trx2/ASK1 signaling in PV-induced mitochondrial injury. Methods. Serum and tissue samples were collected from clinical PV patients to detect the oxidative stress factors, cell apoptosis, and expression of members from Trx2/ASK1 signaling. HaCaT cells were cultured with the serum of PV patients and transfected with Trx2 overexpression or silencing vector. Changes in the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitochondrial membrane potential (△ψm), and apoptosis were further evaluated. A PV mouse model was established and administered with Trx2-overexpressing plasmid. The effect of ectopic Trx2 expression towards acantholysis in PV mice was observed. Results. A series of cellular and molecular effects, including (i) increased levels of oxidative stress products, (ii) destruction of epithelial cells in the skin tissues, (iii) induction of apoptosis in keratinocytes, (iv) reduction of Trx2 protein levels, and (v) enhanced phosphorylation of ASK1, were detected in PV patients. In vitro experiments confirmed that Trx2 can inhibit ASK1 phosphorylation, alleviate ROS release, decrease △ψm, and lower the apoptotic rate. Injection of Trx2-overexpressing vectors in vivo could also relieve acantholysis and blister formation in PV mice. Conclusion. The Trx2/ASK1 signaling pathway regulates the incidence of PV mediated by mitochondrial injury.
DUOX2 As a Potential Prognostic Marker which Promotes Cell Motility and Proliferation in Pancreatic Cancer
DUOX2 has been reported to highly express in several types of cancers. However, the prognostic significance and the biological function of DUOX2 expression with pancreatic cancer (PC) still remain unclear. The present study is aimed at investigating whether DUOX2 could act as a novel biomarker of prognosis and evaluating its effect on PC cell progression. The mRNA and protein expression of DUOX2 in PC cells and tissues were assessed by quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) and immunohistochemistry. The effect of DUOX2 expression on PC cell motility and proliferation was evaluated in vitro. The correlation between DUOX2 mRNA expression and clinicopathological features and its prognostic significance were analyzed according to the Gene Expression Profiling Interactive Analysis (GEPIA) website based on The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and the GTEx databases combined with our clinical information. According to bioinformatics analysis, we forecasted the upstream transcription factors (TFs) and microRNA (miRNA) regulatory mechanism of DUOX2 in PC. The expression of DUOX2 at transcriptional and protein level was dramatically increased in PC specimens when compared to adjacent nontumor specimens. Functionally, DUOX2 knockdown inhibited cell motility and proliferation activities. Our clinical data revealed that the patients had better postoperative overall survival (OS) with lower expression of DUOX2, which is consistent with GEPIA data. Multivariate analysis revealed that high DUOX2 expression was considered as an independent prognostic indicator for OS (). Based on Cistrome database, the top 5 TFs of each positively and negatively association with DUOX2 were predicted. hsa-miR-5193 and hsa-miR-1343-3p targeting DUOX2 were forecasted from TargetScan, miRDB, and DIANA-TarBase databases, which were negatively correlated with OS ( and , respectively) and DUOX2 expression ( and , respectively) in PC from TCGA data. These findings suggest that DUOX2 acts as a promising predictive biomarker and an oncogene in PC, which could be a therapeutic target for PC.
Novel Mutations of COL4A5 Identified in Chinese Families with X-Linked Alport Syndrome and Literature Review
Alport syndrome (AS) is an inherited kidney disease caused by defects in type IV collagen, which is characterized by hematuria, progressive nephritis or end-stage renal disease (ESRD), hearing loss, and occasionally ocular lesions. Approximately 80% of AS cases are caused by X-linked mutations in the COL4A5 gene. This study explored novel deletion and missense mutations in COL4A5 responsible for renal disorder in two Han Chinese families. In pedigree 1, the five male patients all had ESRD at a young age, while the affected female members only presented with microscopic hematuria. Whole exome sequencing and Sanger sequencing identified a novel frameshift deletion mutation (c.422_428del, p.Leu142Valfs11) in exon 7 of COL4A5. In pedigree 2, the 16-year-old male proband had elevated serum creatinine (309 μmol/L) without extrarenal manifestations, while his mother only manifested with hematuria. A missense mutation (c.476G>T, p.Gly159Val) was found in exon 9 of the COL4A5 gene. Neither of these mutations was present in the Exome Variant Server of the NHLBI-ESP database, nor was it found in the ExAC or 1000 Genomes databases. Through the literature review, it was found that male Chinese patients with X-linked AS carried COL4A5 deletion or missense mutations had a more severe phenotype than female patients, particularly in proteinuria and impaired renal function. Compared to male patients with missense mutations, patients in whom deletion mutations were found were more likely to progress to ESRD (15.4% vs. 36.0%, ). This study identified two novel COL4A5 mutations in Chinese families with X-linked AS, expanded the mutational spectrum of the COL4A5 gene, and presented findings that are significant for the screening and genetic diagnosis of AS.