BioMed Research International The latest articles from Hindawi © 2017 , Hindawi Limited . All rights reserved. Diagnostic Value of CK-18, FGF-21, and Related Biomarker Panel in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Thu, 23 Feb 2017 11:39:09 +0000 Liver biopsy still remains the gold standard for diagnosing nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), but with limitations. There is an urgent need to develop noninvasive tests that accurately distinguish NASH from simple steatosis. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the diagnostic value of serum biomarkers including cytokeratin 18 (CK-18), fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF-21), and combined biomarker panel (CBP) in the diagnosis of NAFLD, especially NASH. A total of 25 studies met the inclusion criteria. Pooled sensitivity and specificity values for chosen serum markers for diagnosing NASH are as follows: CK-18 (M30), 0.75 and 0.77; CK-18 (M65), 0.71 and 0.77; FGF-21, 0.62 and 0.78; and CBP, 0.92 and 0.85. CBP demonstrated better accuracy with higher sensitivity and specificity than those tested individually. Furthermore, the AUROC of CBP was 0.94 (95% CI, 0.92–0.96), compared to CK-18 or FGF-21 assay, which showed the most significant ability to distinguish NASH from simple steatosis. The results suggest that increased circulating CK-18 and FGF-21 are associated with NASH and may be used for initial assessment, but not enough. Importantly, CBP is potentially used as accurate diagnostic tools for NASH. Further prospective designed studies are warranted to confirm our findings. Lei He, Linfeng Deng, Quan Zhang, Jianli Guo, Jinan Zhou, Wenjian Song, and Fahu Yuan Copyright © 2017 Lei He et al. All rights reserved. The Effects of Long-Term Chaetomellic Acid A Administration on Renal Function and Oxidative Stress in a Rat Model of Renal Mass Reduction Thu, 23 Feb 2017 11:16:16 +0000 Purpose. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of chronic treatment with chaetomellic acid A (CAA) on oxidative stress and renal function in a model of renal mass reduction. Methods. Male Wistar rats were subjected to 5/6 nephrectomy (RMR) or sham-operated (SO). One week after surgery, rats have been divided into four experimental groups: RMR: RMR rats without treatment ; RMR + CAA: RMR rats treated with CAA ; SO: SO rats without treatment ; and SO + CAA: SO rats treated with CAA . CAA was intraperitoneally administered in a dose of 0.23 µg/Kg three times a week for six months. Results. RMR was accompanied by a significant reduction in catalase and glutathione reductase (GR) activity and a decrease in reduced glutathione (GSH)/oxidized glutathione (GSSG) ratio. CAA administration significantly increased catalase and GR activity and increased GSH/GSSG ratio, but no significant difference between the treated and nontreated groups was found in this ratio. No significant differences were found between the RMR groups in any of the parameters of renal function. However, CAA administration slightly improves some parameters of renal function. Conclusions. These data suggest that CAA could attenuate 5/6 RMR-induced oxidative stress. António Nogueira, Francisco Peixoto, Maria Manuel Oliveira, Carlos André Pires, Bruno Colaço, Paula Alexandra Oliveira, and Maria João Pires Copyright © 2017 António Nogueira et al. All rights reserved. Inhibitory Activities of Stauntonia hexaphylla Leaf Constituents on Rat Lens Aldose Reductase and Formation of Advanced Glycation End Products and Antioxidant Thu, 23 Feb 2017 09:54:09 +0000 Stauntonia hexaphylla (Thunb.) Decne. (Lardizabalaceae) leaves (SHL) have been used traditionally as analgesics, sedatives, diuretics, and so on, in China. To date, no data have been reported on the inhibitory effect of SHL and its constituents on rat lens aldose reductase (RLAR) and advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Therefore, the inhibitory effect of compounds isolated from SHL extract on RLAR and AGEs was investigated to evaluate potential treatments of diabetic complications. The ethyl acetate (EtOAC) fraction of SHL extract showed strong inhibitory activity on RLAR and AGEs; therefore, EtOAc fraction (3.0 g) was subjected to Sephadex LH-20 column chromatography, for further fractionation, with 100% MeOH solvent system to investigate its effect on RLAR and AGEs. Phytochemical investigation of SHL led to the isolation of seven compounds. Among the isolated compounds, chlorogenic acid, calceolarioside B, luteolin-3′-O-β-D-glucopyranoside, quercetin-3-O-β-D-glucopyranoside, and luteolin-7-O-β-D-glucopyranoside exhibited significant inhibitory activity against RLAR with IC50 in the range of 7.34–23.99 μM. In addition, 3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl) propionic acid, neochlorogenic acid, and luteolin-3′-O-β-D-glucopyranoside exhibited the most potent inhibitory activity against formation of AGEs, with an IC50 value of 115.07–184.06 μM, compared to the positive control aminoguanidine (820.44 μM). Based on these findings, SHL dietary supplements could be considered for the prevention and/or treatment of diabetes complication. Seung Hwan Hwang, Shin Hwa Kwon, Set Byeol Kim, and Soon Sung Lim Copyright © 2017 Seung Hwan Hwang et al. All rights reserved. Cooccurrences of Putative Endogenous Retrovirus-Associated Diseases Thu, 23 Feb 2017 09:14:43 +0000 At least 8% of the human genome is composed of endogenous retrovirus (ERV) sequences. ERVs play a role in placental morphogenesis and can sometimes protect the host against exogenous viruses. On the other hand, ERV reactivation has been found to be associated with different diseases, for example, multiple sclerosis (MS), schizophrenia, type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D), or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Little is known about the cooccurrence of these diseases. If all these diseases are caused by ERV, antiretroviral therapy should perhaps also show some effects in the other diseases. Here, we summarize literature demonstrating that some ERV-associated diseases seem to appear together more often than expected, for example, MS and ALS, MS and T1D, MS and schizophrenia, or ALS and T1D. In contrast, some ERV-associated diseases seem to appear together less frequently than expected, for example, schizophrenia and T1D. Besides, some reports demonstrate amelioration of MS, ALS, or schizophrenia under antiretroviral therapy in human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients. If such results could be confirmed in larger studies, alternative therapy strategies for ERV-associated diseases like MS and schizophrenia might be possible. Christine Brütting, Alexander Emmer, Malte E. Kornhuber, and Martin S. Staege Copyright © 2017 Christine Brütting et al. All rights reserved. Ultrasound-Guided versus Fluoroscopy-Guided Deep Cervical Plexus Block for the Treatment of Cervicogenic Headache Thu, 23 Feb 2017 09:12:53 +0000 Objective. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of ultrasound-guided deep cervical plexus block with fluoroscopy-guided deep cervical plexus block for patients with cervicogenic headache (CeH). Methods. A total of 56 patients with CeH were recruited and randomly assigned to either the ultrasound-guided (US) or the fluoroscopy-guided (FL) injection group. A mixture of 2–4 mL 1% lidocaine and 7 mg betamethasone was injected along C2 and/or C3 transverse process. The measurement of pain was evaluated by patients’ ratings of a 10-point numerical pain scale (NPS) before and 2 wks, 12 wks, and 24 wks after treatments. Results. The blocking procedures were well tolerated. The pain intensity, as measured by NPS, significantly decreased at 2 wks after injection treatment in both US and FL groups, respectively, compared with that of baseline (P < 0.05). The blocking procedures had continued, and comparable pain relieving effects appeared at 12 wks and 24 wks after treatment in both US and FL groups. There were no significant differences observed in the NPS before and 2 wks, 12 wks, and 24 wks after treatment between US and FL groups. Conclusions. The US-guided approach showed similar satisfactory effect as the FL-guided block. Ultrasonography can be an alternative method for its convenience and efficacy in deep cervical plexus block for CeH patients without radiation exposure. Qing Wan, Haiyun Yang, Xiao Li, Caina Lin, Songjian Ke, Shaoling Wu, and Chao Ma Copyright © 2017 Qing Wan et al. All rights reserved. Genetic Analysis of Two Chicken Infectious Anemia Virus Variants-Related Gyrovirus in Stray Mice and Dogs: The First Report in China, 2015 Thu, 23 Feb 2017 08:23:36 +0000 Chicken infectious anemia virus (CIAV) causes acute viral infection in chickens worldwide. It can infect chickens of all ages, but the disease is seen only in young chickens and is characterized by hemorrhagic lesions in the muscles, atrophic changes in the lymphoid organs, aplastic bone marrow, and immunosuppression causing increased mortality. Previous studies have demonstrated that CIAV can be isolated from blood specimens of humans and fecal samples of stray cats. In the present study, two variants of CIAV were isolated from fecal samples of mice (CIAV-Mouse) and stray dogs (CIAV-Dog), respectively. The genome of the two CIAV variants was sequenced and the results of the recombination detection program suggested that the CIAV-Dog strain could be a recombinant viral strain generated from parental CIAV strains, AB119448 and GD-1-12, with high confidence. Particularly, these findings were obtained from the comparison of genetic diversity and the relationship of CIAV between different hosts. This is the first report indicating that there is a significant difference in the number of transcription factor binding sites in CIAV noncoding regions from different hosts. Further studies are required to investigate the large geographic distribution of CIAV and monitor the variants, host range, and associated diseases. Lichun Fang, Yang Li, Yixin Wang, Jiayuan Fu, Shuai Cui, Xiaohan Li, Shuang Chang, and Peng Zhao Copyright © 2017 Lichun Fang et al. All rights reserved. Duodenal Atresia: Open versus MIS Repair—Analysis of Our Experience over the Last 12 Years Thu, 23 Feb 2017 07:14:05 +0000 Objective. Duodenal atresia (DA) routinely has been corrected by laparotomy and duodenoduodenostomy with excellent long-term results. We revisited the patients with DA treated in the last 12 years (2004–2016) comparing the open and the minimally invasive surgical (MIS) approach. Methods. We divided our cohort of patients into two groups. Group 1 included 10 patients with CDO (2004–09) treated with open procedure: 5, DA; 3, duodenal web; 2, extrinsic obstruction. Three presented with Down’s syndrome while 3 presented with concomitant malformations. Group 2 included 8 patients (2009–16): 1, web; 5, DA; 2, extrinsic obstruction. Seven were treated by MIS; 1 was treated by Endoscopy. Three presented with Down’s syndrome; 3 presented with concomitant malformations. Results. Average operating time was 120 minutes in Group 1 and 190 minutes in Group 2. In MIS Group the visualization was excellent. We recorded no intraoperative complications, conversions, or anastomotic leakage. Feedings started on 3–7 postoperative days. Follow-up showed no evidence of stricture or obstruction. In Group 1 feedings started within 10–22 days and we have 1 postoperative obstruction. Conclusions. Laparoscopic repair of DA is one of the most challenging procedures among pediatric laparoscopic procedures. These patients had a shorter length of hospitalization and more rapid advancement to full feeding compared to patients undergoing the open approach. Laparoscopic repair of DA could be the preferred technique, safe, and efficacious, in the hands of experienced surgeons. Salvatore Fabio Chiarenza, Valeria Bucci, Maria Luisa Conighi, Elisa Zolpi, Lorenzo Costa, Lorella Fasoli, and Cosimo Bleve Copyright © 2017 Salvatore Fabio Chiarenza et al. All rights reserved. A Potential of sFasL in Preventing Gland Injury in Sjogren’s Syndrome Thu, 23 Feb 2017 07:07:15 +0000 Fas and its ligand FasL, members of tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, have been implicated in the process of cell apoptosis. FasL consists of two forms, membrane FasL (mFasL) and soluble FasL (sFasL). sFasL can be produced by mFasL cleaved by matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) and also reveals a role for binding to Fas which is expressed on cell surface. Although Fas/FasL axis has been implicated in a variety of diseases, its role in Sjogren’s syndrome still remains ill defined. In this study, we investigated the potential of sFasL in the pathogenesis of Sjogren’s syndrome (SS). We found that the serum levels of sFasL in SS patients were significantly lower than healthy subjects. Moreover, serum levels of sFasL in patients with mild disease activity were higher than patients with severe disease activity. There is a positive correlation of the serum level of sFasL with uptake index of parotid gland in our expectation. In addition, liver injury involvement in SS patients showed decreased level of sFasL. Furthermore, we here also observed that the protective cytokine IL-10 expression was positively correlated with sFasL expression. Thus, our results here suggest a potential of sFasL in maintaining gland organ homeostasis. Jiao Luo, Ying Wang, Bing Yu, Hongyan Qian, Yan He, and Guixiu Shi Copyright © 2017 Jiao Luo et al. All rights reserved. Ameliorating Effect of Gemigliptin on Renal Injury in Murine Adriamycin-Induced Nephropathy Thu, 23 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Background. Previous studies have shown the antiapoptotic and anti-inflammatory potential of DPP-IV inhibitor in experimental models of renal injury. We tested whether DPP-IV inhibitor (gemigliptin) ameliorates renal injury by suppressing apoptosis, inflammation, and oxidative stress in mice with adriamycin nephropathy. Methods. Mice were treated with normal saline (control), gemigliptin (GM), adriamycin (ADR), or adriamycin combined with gemigliptin (ADR+GM). Apoptosis, inflammation, and oxidative stress were analyzed via western blotting, real-time PCR, light microscopy, and immunofluorescence. Results. In the ADR+GM group, urine albumin creatinine ratio decreased significantly compared with that in the ADR group on day 15. Glomerulosclerosis index and tubulointerstitial injury index in mice with adriamycin-induced nephropathy decreased after gemigliptin treatment. ADR group showed higher levels of apoptosis, inflammation, and oxidative stress-related molecules compared with the control group. The upregulation of these molecules was significantly reduced by gemigliptin. In the ADR group, the staining intensities of WT-1 and nephrin reduced, but these changes were ameliorated in the ADR+GM group. Conclusion. We demonstrated that gemigliptin ameliorates nephropathy by suppressing apoptosis, inflammation, and oxidative stress in mice administered adriamycin. Our data demonstrate that gemigliptin has renoprotective effects on adriamycin-induced nephropathy. Da Rae Kim, Shin Yeong Lee, Jin Sug Kim, Yang Gyun Kim, Ju-Young Moon, Sang Ho Lee, Tae Won Lee, Chun Gyoo Ihm, and Kyung Hwan Jeong Copyright © 2017 Da Rae Kim et al. All rights reserved. A Comparison of Tissue Engineering Scaffolds Incorporated with Manuka Honey of Varying UMF Thu, 23 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Purpose. Manuka honey (MH) is an antibacterial agent specific to the islands of New Zealand containing both hydrogen peroxide and a Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). Although the antibacterial properties of MH have been studied, the effect of varying UMF of MH incorporated into tissue engineered scaffolds have not. Therefore, this study was designed to compare silk fibroin cryogels and electrospun scaffolds incorporated with a 5% MH concentration of various UMF. Methods. Characteristics such as porosity, bacterial clearance and adhesion, and cytotoxicity were compared. Results. Pore diameters for all cryogels were between 51 and 60 µm, while electrospun scaffolds were 10 µm. Cryogels of varying UMF displayed clearance of approximately 0.16 cm for E. coli and S. aureus. In comparison, the electrospun scaffolds clearance ranged between 0.5 and 1 cm. A glucose release of 0.5 mg/mL was observed for the first 24 hours by all scaffolds, regardless of UMF. With respect to cytotoxicity, neither scaffold caused the cell number to drop below 20,000. Conclusions. Overall, when comparing the effects of the various UMF within the two scaffolds, no significant differences were observed. This suggests that the fabricated scaffolds in this study displayed similar bacterial effects regardless of the UMF value. Katherine R. Hixon, Tracy Lu, Sarah H. McBride-Gagyi, Blythe E. Janowiak, and Scott A. Sell Copyright © 2017 Katherine R. Hixon et al. All rights reserved. YCl3 Promotes Neuronal Cell Death by Inducing Apoptotic Pathways in Rats Thu, 23 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The pollutants rare earth elements (REEs) have posed great threats to human health. To investigate the cytotoxicity of yttrium (Y), a model that rats have free access to water containing YCl3 for 6 months is utilized. The results showed that YCl3 treatment promoted neuronal cell apoptosis by upregulating the proapoptotic factors Bax, caspase-3, Cyto c, and DAPK and by downregulating the antiapoptotic factors Bcl-2 and XIAP at both mRNA and protein levels. Conclusively, YCl3 exhibited cytotoxicity and promoted neuronal cell death by the induction of apoptotic pathways. Yechun Ding, Yuantong Tian, Zhaoyi Zeng, Ping Shuai, Haiying Lan, Xianshen Zhu, Yi Zhong, Longhuo Wu, and Xiaona Fan Copyright © 2017 Yechun Ding et al. All rights reserved. Could Early Surgery Get Beneficial in Adult Patients with Active Native Infective Endocarditis? A Meta-Analysis Thu, 23 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 After a thorough search through the database as PubMed database and Embase database, the clinical experimental articles have been selected out on the effects of early surgery on the treatment of active native infective endocarditis. The quality of the trials included in this study was assessed by researcher according to the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions, version 5.1.0. A meta-analysis was carried out in terms of clinical efficacy criteria by RevMan 5.3 software. Based on the results, we cautiously conclude that early surgery used for active native infective endocarditis could reduce in-hospital mortality, follow-up mortality, and IE-related mortality. Liqun Jia, Zanxin Wang, Qiang Fu, Huaien Bu, and Minxin Wei Copyright © 2017 Liqun Jia et al. All rights reserved. Oxidative Stress Induced by Polymyxin E Is Involved in Rapid Killing of Paenibacillus polymyxa Wed, 22 Feb 2017 14:12:36 +0000 Historically, the colistin has been thought to kill bacteria through membrane lysis. Here, we present an alternative mechanism that colistin induces rapid Paenibacillus polymyxa death through reactive oxygen species production. This significantly augments our understanding of the mechanism of colistin action, which is critical knowledge toward the yield development of colistin in the future. Zhiliang Yu, Yuyi Zhu, Wangrong Qin, Jianhua Yin, and Juanping Qiu Copyright © 2017 Zhiliang Yu et al. All rights reserved. Assessment of Longitudinal Reproducibility of Mice LV Function Parameters at 11.7 T Derived from Self-Gated CINE MRI Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:45:44 +0000 The objective of this work was the assessment of the reproducibility of self-gated cardiac MRI in mice at ultra-high-field strength. A group of adult mice () was followed over 360 days with a standardized MR protocol including reproducible animal position and standardized planning of the scan planes. From the resulting CINE MRI data, global left ventricular (LV) function parameters including end-diastolic volume (EDV), end-systolic volume (ESV), stroke volume (SV), ejection fraction (EF), and left ventricular mass (LVM) were quantified. The reproducibility of the self-gated technique as well as the intragroup variability and longitudinal changes of the investigated parameters was assessed. Self-gated cardiac MRI proved excellent reproducibility of the global LV function parameters, which was in the order of the intragroup variability. Longitudinal assessment did not reveal any significant variations for EDV, ESV, SV, and EF but an expected increase of the LVM with increasing age. In summary, self-gated MRI in combination with a standardized protocol for animal positioning and scan plane planning ensures reproducible assessment of global LV function parameters. Zhi Zuo, Anne Subgang, Alireza Abaei, Wolfgang Rottbauer, Detlef Stiller, Genshan Ma, and Volker Rasche Copyright © 2017 Zhi Zuo et al. All rights reserved. Prognostic Significance of Neutrophil to Lymphocyte Ratio, Lymphocyte to Monocyte Ratio, and Platelet to Lymphocyte Ratio in Patients with Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Wed, 22 Feb 2017 11:43:09 +0000 The peripheral blood neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR), lymphocyte to monocyte ratio (LMR), and platelet to lymphocyte ratio (PLR) have been reported to correlate with the prognosis of many malignancies. This study evaluated the prognostic value of pretreatment NLR, LMR, and PLR in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). A retrospective analysis of clinical and pathological data of 140 NPC patients without distant metastasis during initial treatment was conducted to identify correlations between NLR, LMR, and PLR and clinicopathological features, overall survival, and progression-free survival. Cox proportional hazard regression analysis was used to reveal the independent factors affecting the prognosis of NPC patients. NLR was associated with T staging, N staging, and overall clinical stage grouping of the NPC patients (). NLR ≥ 2.28, LMR < 2.26, and PLR ≥ 174 were significantly associated with a relatively short overall survival (). In addition, NLR ≥ 2.28 was significantly associated with a relatively short progression-free survival (). Cox proportional hazard regression analysis showed that NLR was an independent prognostic factor in NPC. Pretreatment NLR, LMR, and PLR might be a useful complement to TNM staging in the prognostic assessment of NPC patients. Aiying Lu, Haifeng Li, Yuming Zheng, Minzhong Tang, Jun Li, Huihui Wu, Weiming Zhong, Jianquan Gao, Ningjiang Ou, and Yonglin Cai Copyright © 2017 Aiying Lu et al. All rights reserved. Novel Sequential Screening and Enhanced Production of Fibrinolytic Enzyme by Bacillus sp. IND12 Using Response Surface Methodology in Solid-State Fermentation Wed, 22 Feb 2017 11:39:00 +0000 Fibrinolytic enzymes have wide applications in clinical and waste treatment. Bacterial isolates were screened for fibrinolytic enzyme producing ability by skimmed milk agar plate using bromocresol green dye, fibrin plate method, zymography analysis, and goat blood clot lysis. After these sequential screenings, Bacillus sp. IND12 was selected for fibrinolytic enzyme production. Bacillus sp. IND12 effectively used cow dung for its growth and enzyme production ( U/g substrate). Further, the optimum bioprocess parameters were found out for maximum fibrinolytic enzyme production using cow dung as a low cost substrate under solid-state fermentation. Two-level full-factorial experiments revealed that moisture, pH, sucrose, peptone, and MgSO4 were the vital parameters with statistical significance (). Three factors (moisture, sucrose, and MgSO4) were further studied through experiments of central composite rotational design and response surface methodology. Enzyme production of optimized medium showed  U/g material, which was more than fourfold the initial enzyme production ( U/g). The analysis of variance showed that the developed response surface model was highly significant (). The fibrinolytic enzyme digested goat blood clot (100%), chicken skin (%), egg white (100%), and bovine serum albumin (%). Ponnuswamy Vijayaraghavan, P. Rajendran, Samuel Gnana Prakash Vincent, Arumugaperumal Arun, Naif Abdullah Al-Dhabi, Mariadhas Valan Arasu, Oh Young Kwon, and Young Ock Kim Copyright © 2017 Ponnuswamy Vijayaraghavan et al. All rights reserved. Different Densities of Na-Ca Exchange Current in T-Tubular and Surface Membranes and Their Impact on Cellular Activity in a Model of Rat Ventricular Cardiomyocyte Wed, 22 Feb 2017 10:22:03 +0000 The ratio of densities of Na-Ca exchanger current () in the t-tubular and surface membranes (-ratio) computed from the values of and membrane capacitances () measured in adult rat ventricular cardiomyocytes before and after detubulation ranges between 1.7 and 25 (potentially even 40). Variations of action potential waveform and of calcium turnover within this span of the -ratio were simulated employing previously developed model of rat ventricular cell incorporating separate description of ion transport systems in the t-tubular and surface membranes. The increase of -ratio from 1.7 to 25 caused a prolongation of APD (duration of action potential at 90% repolarisation) by 12, 9, and 6% and an increase of peak intracellular Ca2+ transient by 45, 19, and 6% at 0.1, 1, and 5 Hz, respectively. The prolonged APD resulted from the increase of due to the exposure of a larger fraction of Na-Ca exchangers to higher Ca2+ transients under the t-tubular membrane. The accompanying rise of Ca2+ transient was a consequence of a higher Ca2+ load in sarcoplasmic reticulum induced by the increased Ca2+ cycling between the surface and t-tubular membranes. However, the reason for large differences in the -ratio assessed from measurements in adult rat cardiomyocytes remains to be explained. M. Pásek, J. Šimurda, and G. Christé Copyright © 2017 M. Pásek et al. All rights reserved. Hyperphosphatemia and hs-CRP Initiate the Coronary Artery Calcification in Peritoneal Dialysis Patients Wed, 22 Feb 2017 10:02:10 +0000 Background. Coronary artery calcification (CAC) contributes to high risk of cardiocerebrovascular diseases in dialysis patients. However, the risk factors for CAC initiation in peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients are not known clearly. Methods. Adult patients with baseline CaCS = 0 and who were followed up for at least 3 years or until the conversion from absent to any measurable CAC detected were included in this observational cohort study. Binary logistic regression was performed to identify the risk factors for CAC initiation in PD patients. Results. 70 patients recruited to our study were split into a noninitiation group () and an initiation group () according to the conversion of any measurable CAC during their follow-up or not. In univariate analysis, systolic blood pressure, serum phosphorus, fibrinogen, hs-CRP, serum creatinine, and triglycerides were positively associated with the initiation of CAC, while the high density lipoprotein and nPCR did the opposite function. Multivariate analysis revealed that hyperphosphatemia and hs-CRP were the independent risk factors for CAC initiation after adjustments. Conclusions. Hyperphosphatemia and hs-CRP were the independent risk factors for CAC initiation in PD patients. These results suggested potential clinical strategies to prevent the initiation of CAC in PD patients. Da Shang, Qionghong Xie, Bin Shang, Min Zhang, Li You, Chuan-Ming Hao, and Tongying Zhu Copyright © 2017 Da Shang et al. All rights reserved. Prognostic Role of the MicroRNA-200 Family in Various Carcinomas: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Wed, 22 Feb 2017 09:54:18 +0000 Background/Aims. The miRNA-200 (miR-200) family may act as key inhibitors of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. However, the potential prognostic value of miR-200s in various human malignancies remains controversial. This meta-analysis analyzed the associations between miR-200 levels and survival outcomes in a variety of tumors. Methods. Eligible published studies were identified by searching the Embase, PubMed, CINAHL, and Google scholar databases. Patient clinical data were pooled, and pooled hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were used to calculate the strength of this association. Results. The pooled HRs suggested that high tissue expression of miR-200 family members was associated with better survival (overall survival [OS]: HR = 0.70, 95% CI 0.54–0.91; progression-free survival [PFS]: HR = 0.63, 95% CI 0.52–0.76) in thirty-four eligible articles. In contrast, higher expression of circulating miR-200 members was significantly associated with poor clinical outcome (OS, HR = 1.68, 95% CI 1.15–2.46; PFS, HR = 2.62, 95% CI 1.68–4.07). Conclusion. The results from this meta-analysis suggest that miR-200 family members are potential prognostic biomarkers in patients with various carcinomas. To apply these findings in the clinic, large prospective studies are needed to validate the prognostic values of miR-200s in individual cancer types. Jung Soo Lee, Young-Ho Ahn, Hye Sung Won, Der Sheng Sun, Yeo Hyung Kim, and Yoon Ho Ko Copyright © 2017 Jung Soo Lee et al. All rights reserved. Recombinant Lactococcus lactis Expressing Haemagglutinin from a Polish Avian H5N1 Isolate and Its Immunological Effect in Preliminary Animal Trials Wed, 22 Feb 2017 07:31:55 +0000 Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are Gram-positive, nonpathogenic microorganisms that are gaining much interest as antigen producers for development of live vaccine vectors. Heterologous proteins of different origin have been successfully expressed in various LAB species, including Lactococcus lactis. Recombinant L. lactis strains have been shown to induce specific local and systemic immune responses against various antigens. Our study aimed at constructing a L. lactis strain expressing haemagglutinin of a Polish avian H5H1 influenza isolate and examining its effect on animals. Expression of the cloned H5 gene was achieved using the nisin-controlled gene expression system. Detection of the intracellular H5 antigen produced in L. lactis was performed by Western blot analysis and confirmed using mass spectrometry. The potential of L. lactis recombinant cells to induce an immune response was examined by setting up preliminary immunization trials on chickens and mice. Obtained sera were tested for specific antibodies by ELISA assays. The results of these studies are a promising step toward developing a vaccine against the bird flu using Lactococcus lactis cells as bioreactors for efficient antigen production and delivery to the mucosal surface. Agnieszka K. Szczepankowska, Katarzyna Szatraj, Przemysław Sałański, Agnieszka Rózga, Roman K. Górecki, and Jacek K. Bardowski Copyright © 2017 Agnieszka K. Szczepankowska et al. All rights reserved. PTEN Reduced UVB-Mediated Apoptosis in Retinal Pigment Epithelium Cells Wed, 22 Feb 2017 07:24:21 +0000 Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness and progressive loss of central vision in the elderly population. The important factor of AMD pathogenesis is the degeneration of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells by oxidative stress. Inactivation of PTEN can disrupt intercellular adhesion in the RPE cells, but the mechanism of oxidative stress is less known. Here we presented evidence that UVB-mediated oxidative stress induced apoptosis in ARPE-19 cells. Downregulation of the expression of PTEN in UVB-irradiative RPE cells triggered DNA damage and increased the level of UVB-induced apoptosis by activating p53-dependent pathway. However, overexpression of PTEN increased cell survival by suppressing p-H2A in response to DNA damage and apoptosis. When using Pifithrin-α (one of p53 inhibitors), the level of p53-dependent apoptosis was significantly lower than untreated, which suggested that p53 was possibly involved in PTEN-dependent apoptosis. Thus, it elucidated the molecular mechanisms of UVB-induced damage in RPE cells and may offer an alternative therapeutic target in dry AMD. Jia He, Chongde Long, Zixin Huang, Xin Zhou, Xielan Kuang, Lanying Liu, Huijun Liu, Yan Tang, Yuting Fan, Jie Ning, Xinqi Ma, Qingjiong Zhang, and Huangxuan Shen Copyright © 2017 Jia He et al. All rights reserved. Fluid-Structure Interaction in Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm: Effect of Modeling Techniques Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 In this work, the impact of modeling techniques on predicting the mechanical behaviors of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is systematically investigated. The fluid-structure interaction (FSI) model for simultaneously capturing the transient interaction between blood flow dynamics and wall mechanics was compared with its simplified techniques, that is, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) or computational solid stress (CSS) model. Results demonstrated that CFD exhibited relatively smaller vortexes and tends to overestimate the fluid wall shear stress, compared to FSI. On the contrary, the minimal differences in wall stresses and deformation were observed between FSI and CSS models. Furthermore, it was found that the accuracy of CSS prediction depends on the applied pressure profile for the aneurysm sac. A large pressure drop across AAA usually led to the underestimation of wall stresses and thus the AAA rupture. Moreover, the assumed isotropic AAA wall properties, compared to the anisotropic one, will aggravate the difference between the simplified models with the FSI approach. The present work demonstrated the importance of modeling techniques on predicting the blood flow dynamics and wall mechanics of the AAA, which could guide the selection of appropriate modeling technique for significant clinical implications. Shengmao Lin, Xinwei Han, Yonghua Bi, Siyeong Ju, and Linxia Gu Copyright © 2017 Shengmao Lin et al. All rights reserved. Could the Topping-Off Technique Be the Preventive Strategy against Adjacent Segment Disease after Pedicle Screw-Based Fusion in Lumbar Degenerative Diseases? A Systematic Review Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The “topping-off” technique is a new concept applying dynamic or less rigid fixation such as hybrid stabilization device (HSD) or interspinous process device (IPD) for the purpose of avoiding adjacent segment disease (ASD) proximal to the fusion construct. A systematic review of the literature was performed on the effect of topping-off techniques to prevent or decrease the occurrence of ASD after lumbar fusion surgery. We searched through major online databases, PubMed and MEDLINE, using key words related to “topping-off” technique. We reviewed the surgical results of “topping-off” techniques with either HSD or IPD, including the incidence of ASD at two proximal adjacent levels (index and supra-adjacent level) as compared to the fusion alone group. The results showed that the fusion alone group had statistically higher incidence of radiographic (52.6%) and symptomatic (11.6%) ASD at the index level as well as higher incidence (8.1%) of revision surgery. Besides, the HSD (10.5%) and fusion groups (24.7%) had statistically higher incidences of radiographic ASD at supra-adjacent level than the IPD (1%). The findings suggest that the “topping-off” technique may potentially decrease the occurrence of ASD at the proximal motion segments. However, higher quality prospective randomized trials are required prior to wide clinical application. Po-Hsin Chou, Hsi-Hsien Lin, Howard S. An, Kang-Ying Liu, Wei-Ren Su, and Cheng-Li Lin Copyright © 2017 Po-Hsin Chou et al. All rights reserved. Medical and Interventional Therapy for Spontaneous Vertebral Artery Dissection in the Craniocervical Segment Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Background and Purpose. Spontaneous vertebral artery dissection (SVAD) is an important reason for posterior-circulation-ischemic stroke in the young and middle-aged population. Although some previous reports reveal a favorable outcome with conservative therapy, it is still controversial in the treatment of SVAD in some specific patients. Herein, we present our 10 years of clinical experience for SVAD at this location. Material and Methods. 20 patients with 20 SVADs in V2 and V3 segments were retrospectively studied. Clinical manifestations and imageology materials were collected and analyzed. All the patients underwent anticoagulation except for one patient because of contraindication. 14 patients underwent Wingspan stents implantation with general anesthesia. Results. In our sample, ischemia (infarction or transient ischemic attack, TIA) was found in all the patients. Angiographic stenosis and dissection aneurysm were the most common findings in the segments mentioned above. 19 of the patients (95%) got the excellent imageological and clinical outcomes. Conclusions. According to our experience in this group, although anticoagulation is effective in vertebral artery dissection, interventional therapy for SVADs in V2 and/or V3 segments is preferred in some specific patients. Stent with higher radial supporting and flexibility, such as Wingspan stent, is suggested. Guiyun Zhang and Zuoquan Chen Copyright © 2017 Guiyun Zhang and Zuoquan Chen. All rights reserved. Three-Dimensional Human Cardiac Tissue Engineered by Centrifugation of Stacked Cell Sheets and Cross-Sectional Observation of Its Synchronous Beatings by Optical Coherence Tomography Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Three-dimensional (3D) tissues are engineered by stacking cell sheets, and these tissues have been applied in clinical regenerative therapies. The optimal fabrication technique of 3D human tissues and the real-time observation system for these tissues are important in tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, cardiac physiology, and the safety testing of candidate chemicals. In this study, for aiming the clinical application, 3D human cardiac tissues were rapidly fabricated by human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell-derived cardiac cell sheets with centrifugation, and the structures and beatings in the cardiac tissues were observed cross-sectionally and noninvasively by two optical coherence tomography (OCT) systems. The fabrication time was reduced to approximately one-quarter by centrifugation. The cross-sectional observation showed that multilayered cardiac cell sheets adhered tightly just after centrifugation. Additionally, the cross-sectional transmissions of beatings within multilayered human cardiac tissues were clearly detected by OCT. The observation showed the synchronous beatings of the thicker 3D human cardiac tissues, which were fabricated rapidly by cell sheet technology and centrifugation. The rapid tissue-fabrication technique and OCT technology will show a powerful potential in cardiac tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and drug discovery research. Yuji Haraguchi, Akiyuki Hasegawa, Katsuhisa Matsuura, Mari Kobayashi, Shin-ichi Iwana, Yasuhiro Kabetani, and Tatsuya Shimizu Copyright © 2017 Yuji Haraguchi et al. All rights reserved. Prolonged P-Wave and QT Dispersion in Children with Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Remission Tue, 21 Feb 2017 11:15:18 +0000 Objectives. Ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD) are chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) with unclear underlying aetiologies. Severe cardiac arrhythmias have been emphasised in a few studies on adult IBD patients. This study aimed to investigate the alteration of the P-wave and QT interval dispersion parameters to assess the risk of atrial conduction and ventricular repolarisation abnormalities in pediatric IBD patients. Patients and Methods. Thirty-six IBD patients in remission (UC: 20, CD: 16) aged 3–18 years and 36 age- and sex-matched control patients were enrolled in the study. Twelve-lead electrocardiograms were used to determine durations of P-wave, QT, and corrected QT (QTc) interval dispersion. Transthoracic echocardiograms and 24-hour rhythm Holter recordings were obtained for both groups. Results. The P-wave dispersion, QT dispersion, and QTc interval dispersion (Pdisp, QTdisp, and QTcdisp) were significantly longer in the patient group. The mean values of Pminimum, Pmaximum, and QTcminimum were significantly different between the two groups. The echocardiography and Holter monitoring results were not significantly different between the groups. Furthermore, no differences in these parameters were detected between the CD and UC groups. Conclusion. Results suggest that paediatric IBD patients may carry potential risks for serious atrial and ventricular arrhythmias over time even during remission. Helen Aghdasi Bornaun, Nuh Yılmaz, Günsel Kutluk, Reyhan Dedeoğlu, Kazım Öztarhan, Gonca Keskindemirci, Aras Tulunoğlu, and Fatih Şap Copyright © 2017 Helen Aghdasi Bornaun et al. All rights reserved. Selective Removal of Hemoglobin from Blood Using Hierarchical Copper Shells Anchored to Magnetic Nanoparticles Tue, 21 Feb 2017 09:49:27 +0000 Hierarchical copper shells anchored on magnetic nanoparticles were designed and fabricated to selectively deplete hemoglobin from human blood by immobilized metal affinity chromatography. Briefly, CoFe2O4 nanoparticles coated with polyacrylic acid were first synthesized by a one-pot solvothermal method. Hierarchical copper shells were then deposited by immobilizing Cu2+ on nanoparticles and subsequently by reducing between the solid CoFe2O4@COOH and copper solution with NaBH4. The resulting nanoparticles were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectrometry, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and vibrating sample magnetometry. The particles were also tested against purified bovine hemoglobin over a range of pH, contact time, and initial protein concentration. Hemoglobin adsorption followed pseudo-second-order kinetics and reached equilibrium in 90 min. Isothermal data also fit the Langmuir model well, with calculated maximum adsorption capacity 666 mg g−1. Due to the high density of Cu2+ on the shell, the nanoparticles efficiently and selectively deplete hemoglobin from human blood. Taken together, the results demonstrate that the particles with hierarchical copper shells effectively remove abundant, histidine-rich proteins, such as hemoglobin from human blood, and thereby minimize interference in diagnostic and other assays. Youxun Liu, Yaokun Wang, Mingyang Yan, and Juan Huang Copyright © 2017 Youxun Liu et al. All rights reserved. Bioengineered Plants Can Be a Useful Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids Tue, 21 Feb 2017 08:28:21 +0000 Omega-3 fatty acids have proven to be very essential for human health due to their multiple health benefits. These essential fatty acids (EFAs) need to be uptaken through diet because they are unable to be produced by the human body. These are important for skin and hair growth as well as for proper visual, neural, and reproductive functions of the body. These fatty acids are proven to be extremely vital for normal tissue development during pregnancy and infancy. Omega-3 fatty acids can be obtained mainly from two dietary sources: marine and plant oils. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; C20:5 n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; C22:6 n-3) are the primary marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids. Marine fishes are high in omega-3 fatty acids, yet high consumption of those fishes will cause a shortage of fish stocks existing naturally in the oceans. An alternative source to achieve the recommended daily intake of EFAs is the demand of today. In this review article, an attempt has, therefore, been made to discuss the importance of omega-3 fatty acids and the recent developments in order to produce these fatty acids by the genetic modifications of the plants. Waleed Amjad Khan, Hu Chun-Mei, Nadeem Khan, Amjad Iqbal, Shan-Wu Lyu, and Farooq Shah Copyright © 2017 Waleed Amjad Khan et al. All rights reserved. Clinical and Prognostic Significance of Positive Hepatojugular Reflux on Discharge in Acute Heart Failure: Insights from the ESCAPE Trial Tue, 21 Feb 2017 06:23:48 +0000 Background. There has been a decline in emphasis of the value of physical examination in heart failure (HF) with increased reliance on cardiac imaging. We aim to study the clinical and prognostic significance of positive hepatojugular reflux (HJR) on discharge in patients hospitalized with HF. Methods. Using the ESCAPE trial data, patients were compared according to the presence or absence of a positive HJR on discharge. The primary study endpoints were all-cause mortality and a composite endpoint of death, rehospitalization, and cardiac transplant during the first 6 months after discharge. Results. Among 392 patients (age: 56 years, 74% men), the HJR correlated well with clinical and objective hemodynamic markers of volume overload including right atrial pressure (RAP, ), pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP, ), and inferior vena cava size during inspiration () and expiration (). The RAP had the highest AUC for predicting a positive HJR on admission (AUC: 0.655, ) and discharge (AUC: 0.672, ). Cox’s proportional hazards analysis revealed that a positive HJR on discharge is an independent predictor of 6-month mortality (estimated hazard ratio: 1.689; 95% CI: 1.032–2.764; ) after adjusting for age, baseline creatinine, baseline hematocrit, baseline NYHA class, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and the presence of tricuspid regurgitation. Conclusion. The HJR should be routinely checked in patients admitted with acute HF throughout hospitalization and especially on discharge as it serves as an important prognostic marker for postdischarge outcomes. Hesham R. Omar and Maya Guglin Copyright © 2017 Hesham R. Omar and Maya Guglin. All rights reserved. A Registration Method Based on Contour Point Cloud for 3D Whole-Body PET and CT Images Tue, 21 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The PET and CT fusion image, combining the anatomical and functional information, has important clinical meaning. An effective registration of PET and CT images is the basis of image fusion. This paper presents a multithread registration method based on contour point cloud for 3D whole-body PET and CT images. Firstly, a geometric feature-based segmentation (GFS) method and a dynamic threshold denoising (DTD) method are creatively proposed to preprocess CT and PET images, respectively. Next, a new automated trunk slices extraction method is presented for extracting feature point clouds. Finally, the multithread Iterative Closet Point is adopted to drive an affine transform. We compare our method with a multiresolution registration method based on Mattes Mutual Information on 13 pairs (246~286 slices per pair) of 3D whole-body PET and CT data. Experimental results demonstrate the registration effectiveness of our method with lower negative normalization correlation (NC = −0.933) on feature images and less Euclidean distance error (ED = 2.826) on landmark points, outperforming the source data (NC = −0.496, ED = 25.847) and the compared method (NC = −0.614, ED = 16.085). Moreover, our method is about ten times faster than the compared one. Zhiying Song, Huiyan Jiang, Qiyao Yang, Zhiguo Wang, and Guoxu Zhang Copyright © 2017 Zhiying Song et al. All rights reserved.