BioMed Research International The latest articles from Hindawi © 2017 , Hindawi Limited . All rights reserved. Testing for HIV/STIs in China: Challenges, Opportunities, and Innovations Sun, 19 Feb 2017 08:11:07 +0000 Huachun Zou, Lei Zhang, Eric P. F. Chow, Weiming Tang, and Zixin Wang Copyright © 2017 Huachun Zou et al. All rights reserved. Angiotensin-(1-7) Downregulates Diabetes-Induced cGMP Phosphodiesterase Activation in Rat Corpus Cavernosum Sun, 19 Feb 2017 08:01:46 +0000 Molecular mechanisms of the beneficial effects of angiotensin-(1-7), Ang-(1-7), in diabetes-related complications, including erectile dysfunction, remain unclear. We examined the effect of diabetes and/or Ang-(1-7) treatment on vascular reactivity and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) phosphodiesterase (PDE) in corpus cavernosum. Male Wistar rats were grouped as (1) control, (2) diabetic (streptozotocin, STZ, treated), (3) control + Ang-(1-7), and (4) diabetic + Ang-(1-7). Following 3 weeks of Ang-(1-7) treatment subsequent to induction of diabetes, rats were sacrificed. Penile cavernosal tissue was isolated to measure vascular reactivity, PDE gene expression and activity, and levels of p38MAP kinase, nitrites, and cGMP. Carbachol-induced vasorelaxant response after preincubation of corpus cavernosum with PE was significantly attenuated in diabetic rats, and Ang-(1-7) markedly corrected the diabetes-induced impairment. Gene expression and activity of PDE and p38MAP kinase were significantly increased in cavernosal tissue of diabetic rats, and Ang-(1-7) markedly attenuated STZ-induced effects. Ang-(1-7) significantly increased the levels of nitrite and cGMP in cavernosal tissue of control and diabetic rats. Cavernosal tissue of diabetic rats had significantly reduced cGMP levels and Ang-(1-7) markedly prevented the STZ-induced cGMP depletion. This study demonstrates that attenuation of diabetes-induced PDE activity might be one of the key mechanisms in the beneficial effects of Ang-(1-7). Gursev S. Dhaunsi, Mariam Yousif, Batoul Makki, Saghir Akhtar, and Ibrahim F. Benter Copyright © 2017 Gursev S. Dhaunsi et al. All rights reserved. Etiology of End-Stage Renal Disease and Arterial Stiffness among Hemodialysis Patients Sun, 19 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Background. Prior studies have demonstrated that conventional and emerging CV risk factors are associated with worsening arterial stiffness among end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients on hemodialysis. The present cross-sectional study evaluates the association between the etiology of ESRD and arterial stiffness among a cohort of hemodialysis patients. Methods. Etiology of ESRD was identified from patients’ medical records and classified as either vascular renal disease, diabetic nephropathy, nondiabetic glomerulopathy, tubular interstitial nephropathy, hereditary nephropathy, or ESRD of unconfirmed etiology. Results. A total of 82 subjects were enrolled. cfPWV was independently associated with the composite of either diabetic nephropathy or vascular renal disease (), pulse pressure (), and a history of CV events (), but not history of hypertension or diabetes mellitus alone. The median cfPWVs in diabetic nephropathy and vascular renal disease were comparable and significantly higher than median cfPWVs in other etiologies of ESRD. Conclusion. The study suggests that the etiology of ESRD is independently associated with arterial stiffness among hemodialysis patients. Furthermore, arterial stiffness was higher among patients who developed renal sequelae of either diabetes mellitus or hypertension as compared with those who have a history of either diabetes mellitus or hypertension alone. Balsam El Ghoul, Yazan Daaboul, Serge Korjian, Andrew El Alam, Anthony Mansour, Essa Hariri, Salam Samad, Pascale Salameh, Georges Dahdah, Jacques Blacher, Michel E. Safar, and Sola Aoun Bahous Copyright © 2017 Balsam El Ghoul et al. All rights reserved. Clinical Epidemiology of Mineral Bone Disorder Markers in Prevalent Hemodialysis Patients in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China Sun, 19 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 We investigated the clinical epidemiology of mineral bone disorder markers in prevalent hemodialysis (HD) patients in Xinjiang, the largest province in China. Data were obtained from 59 hospitals. A total of 3725 patients tracked from January 1 to December 31, 2014, were enrolled. Serum calcium (Ca) levels, phosphorus (P) levels, and intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) levels were analyzed. Serum Ca levels were lower compared to the International Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study (DOPPS4) and the Chinese DOPPS. The hypercalcemia rate was similar to DOPPS4 and lower than in the Chinese DOPPS. Serum P levels were higher than in DOPPS4 and lower than those in the Chinese DOPPS. Hyperphosphatemia rates were higher than DOPPS4 and lower than Chinese DOPPS. Serum iPTH levels were higher than in DOPPS4 and the Chinese DOPPS. We demonstrated higher serum P and iPTH levels in Xinjiang HD patients than in the DOPPS4 and Chinese DOPPS. In contrast, serum Ca levels were lower than the other two studies. High hypocalcemia and hyperphosphatemia rates may suggest that HD services in Xinjiang are inadequate. A multidiscipline chronic kidney disease (CKD) care program needs to be established to improve chronic kidney disease-mineral and bone disorder (CKD-MBD) target achievement in Xinjiang. Ying-Ping Sun, Wen-Jun Yang, Su-Hua Li, Yuan-yuan Han, and Jian Liu Copyright © 2017 Ying-Ping Sun et al. All rights reserved. Application of Pneumatic Lithotripter and Holmium Laser in the Treatment of Ureteral Stones and Kidney Stones in Children Sun, 19 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Objective. Treatment options for urolithiasis in children include URSL and RIRS. Various types of energy are used in the disintegration of deposits in these procedures. We decided to evaluate the usefulness of URSL and RIRS techniques and compare the effectiveness of pneumatic lithotripters and holmium lasers in the child population based on our experience. Materials and Methods. One hundred eight (108) children who underwent URSL and RIRS procedures were enrolled in the study and divided into two (2) groups according to the type of energy used: pneumatic lithotripter versus holmium laser. We evaluated the procedures’ duration and effectiveness according to the stone-free rate (SFR) directly after the procedure and after fourteen (14) days and the rate of complications. Results. The mean operative time was shorter in the holmium laser group. A higher SFR was observed in the holmium laser but it was not statistically significant in the URSL and RIRS procedures. The rate of complications was similar in both groups. Conclusions. The URSL and RIRS procedures are highly efficient and safe methods. The use of a holmium laser reduces the duration of the procedure and increases its effectiveness in comparison with the use of a pneumatic lithotripter. Marcin Życzkowski, Rafał Bogacki, Krzysztof Nowakowski, Bartosz Muskała, Paweł Rajwa, Piotr Bryniarski, and Andrzej Paradysz Copyright © 2017 Marcin Życzkowski et al. All rights reserved. EMG Processing Based Measures of Fatigue Assessment during Manual Lifting Sun, 19 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Manual lifting is one of the common practices used in the industries to transport or move objects to a desired place. Nowadays, even though mechanized equipment is widely available, manual lifting is still considered as an essential way to perform material handling task. Improper lifting strategies may contribute to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), where overexertion contributes as the highest factor. To overcome this problem, electromyography (EMG) signal is used to monitor the workers’ muscle condition and to find maximum lifting load, lifting height and number of repetitions that the workers are able to handle before experiencing fatigue to avoid overexertion. Past researchers have introduced several EMG processing techniques and different EMG features that represent fatigue indices in time, frequency, and time-frequency domain. The impact of EMG processing based measures in fatigue assessment during manual lifting are reviewed in this paper. It is believed that this paper will greatly benefit researchers who need a bird’s eye view of the biosignal processing which are currently available, thus determining the best possible techniques for lifting applications. E. F. Shair, S. A. Ahmad, M. H. Marhaban, S. B. Mohd Tamrin, and A. R. Abdullah Copyright © 2017 E. F. Shair et al. All rights reserved. miR319, miR390, and miR393 Are Involved in Aluminum Response in Flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) Sun, 19 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Acid soils limit agricultural production worldwide. Major reason of crop losses in acid soils is the toxicity of aluminum (Al). In the present work, we investigated expression alterations of microRNAs in flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) plants under Al stress. Flax seedlings of resistant (TMP1919 and G1071/4_k) and sensitive (Lira and G1071/4_o) to Al cultivars and lines were exposed to AlCl3 solution for 4 and 24 hours. Twelve small RNA libraries were constructed and sequenced using Illumina platform. In total, 97 microRNAs from 18 conserved families were identified. miR319, miR390, and miR393 revealed expression alterations associated with Al treatment of flax plants. Moreover, for miR390 and miR393, the alterations were distinct in sensitive and resistant to Al genotypes. Expression level changes of miR319 and miR390 were confirmed using qPCR analysis. In flax, potential targets of miR319 are TCPs, miR390–TAS3 and GRF5, and miR393–AFB2-coding transcripts. TCPs, TAS3, GRF5, and AFB2 participate in regulation of plant growth and development. The involvement of miR319, miR390, and miR393 in response to Al stress in flax was shown here for the first time. We speculate that these microRNAs play an important role in Al response via regulation of growth processes in flax plants. Alexey A. Dmitriev, Anna V. Kudryavtseva, Nadezhda L. Bolsheva, Alexander V. Zyablitsin, Tatiana A. Rozhmina, Natalya V. Kishlyan, George S. Krasnov, Anna S. Speranskaya, Anastasia A. Krinitsina, Asiya F. Sadritdinova, Anastasiya V. Snezhkina, Maria S. Fedorova, Olga Yu. Yurkevich, Olga V. Muravenko, Maxim S. Belenikin, and Nataliya V. Melnikova Copyright © 2017 Alexey A. Dmitriev et al. All rights reserved. Erythropoietin Modification Enhances the Protection of Mesenchymal Stem Cells on Diabetic Rat-Derived Schwann Cells: Implications for Diabetic Neuropathy Sun, 19 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Diabetes-triggered apoptosis of Schwann cells (SC) contributes to the degradation of diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DNP). In recent years, mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) were applied to DPN repair and it was demonstrated that paracrine secretion played a key role in neuroprotection exerted by MSC. Erythropoietin (EPO) is a potent cytokine capable of reducing apoptosis of SC. However, the expression of EPO in MSC is limited. In this study, we hypothesized that overexpression of EPO in MSC (EPO-MSC) may significantly improve their neuroprotective potentials. The EPO overexpression in MSC was achieved by lentivirus transduction. SC derived from the periphery nerve of diabetic rats were cocultured with MSC or EPO-MSC in normal or high glucose culture condition, respectively. In normal glucose culture condition, the overexpression of EPO in MSC promoted the MSC-induced restoration of SC from diabetic rats, including increases in GSH level and cell viability, decrease in TUNEL apoptosis, upregulation of antiapoptotic proteins, p-Akt, and Bcl-2, and downregulation of proapoptotic proteins, cleaved caspase-3, and Bax. The subsequent results in high glucose culture condition showed similar promotions achieved by EPO-MSC. Thus, it could be concluded that EPO-MSC possessed a potent potential in hampering apoptosis of SC, and the suppression was probably attributed to attenuating oxidative stress and regulating apoptosis related protein factors. Shuyun Zhang and Baolin Shi Copyright © 2017 Shuyun Zhang and Baolin Shi. All rights reserved. MicroRNA Mediating Networks in Granulosa Cells Associated with Ovarian Follicular Development Sun, 19 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Ovaries, which provide a place for follicular development and oocyte maturation, are important organs in female mammals. Follicular development is complicated physiological progress mediated by various regulatory factors including microRNAs (miRNAs). To demonstrate the role of miRNAs in follicular development, this study analyzed the expression patterns of miRNAs in granulosa cells through investigating three previous datasets generated by Illumina miRNA deep sequencing. Furthermore, via bioinformatic analyses, we dissected the associated functional networks of the observed significant miRNAs, in terms of interacting with signal pathways and transcription factors. During the growth and selection of dominant follicles, 15 dysregulated miRNAs and 139 associated pathways were screened out. In comparison of different styles of follicles, 7 commonly abundant miRNAs and 195 pathways, as well as 10 differentially expressed miRNAs and 117 pathways in dominant follicles in comparison with subordinate follicles, were collected. Furthermore, SMAD2 was identified as a hub factor in regulating follicular development. The regulation of miR-26a/b on smad2 messenger RNA has been further testified by real time PCR. In conclusion, we established functional networks which play critical roles in follicular development including pivotal miRNAs, pathways, and transcription factors, which contributed to the further investigation about miRNAs associated with mammalian follicular development. Baoyun Zhang, Long Chen, Guangde Feng, Wei Xiang, Ke Zhang, Mingxing Chu, and Pingqing Wang Copyright © 2017 Baoyun Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Minimum Lateral Bone Coverage Required for Securing Fixation of Cementless Acetabular Components in Hip Dysplasia Sun, 19 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Objectives. To determine the minimum lateral bone coverage required for securing stable fixation of the porous-coated acetabular components (cups) in hip dysplasia. Methods. In total, 215 primary total hip arthroplasties in 199 patients were reviewed. The average follow-up period was 49 months (range: 24–77 months). The lateral bone coverage of the cups was assessed by determining the cup center-edge (cup-CE) angle and the bone coverage index (BCI) from anteroposterior pelvic radiographs. Further, cup fixation was determined using the modified DeLee and Charnley classification system. Results. All cups were judged to show stable fixation by bone ingrowth. The cup-CE angle was less than 0° in 7 hips (3.3%) and the minimum cup-CE angle was −9.2° (BCI: 48.8%). Thin radiolucent lines were observed in 5 hips (2.3%), which were not associated with decreased lateral bone coverage. Loosening, osteolysis, dislocation, or revision was not observed in any of the cases during the follow-up period. Conclusion. A cup-CE angle greater than −10° (BCI > 50%) was acceptable for stable bony fixation of the cup. Considering possible errors in manual implantation, we recommend that the cup position be planned such that the cup-CE angle is greater than 0° (BCI > 60%). Masanori Fujii, Yasuharu Nakashima, Tetsuro Nakamura, Yoshihiro Ito, and Toshihiko Hara Copyright © 2017 Masanori Fujii et al. All rights reserved. Fitness Effects of 10-Month Frequent Low-Volume Ball Game Training or Interval Running for 8–10-Year-Old School Children Sun, 19 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 We investigated the exercise intensity and fitness effects of frequent school-based low-volume high-intensity training for 10 months in 8–10-year-old children. 239 Danish 3rd-grade school children from four schools were cluster-randomised into a control group (CON, ) or two training groups performing either  min/wk small-sided football plus other ball games (SSG, ) or interval running (IR, ). Whole-body DXA scans, flamingo balance, standing long-jump, 20 m sprint, and Yo-Yo IR1 children’s tests (YYIR1C) were performed before and after the intervention. Mean running velocity was higher () in SSG than in IR ( versus  m/s), while more time () was spent in the highest player load zone (>2; versus %) and highest HR zone (>90% ; versus %) in IR compared to SSG. After 10 months, no significant between-group differences were observed for YYIR1C performance and HR after 2 min of YYIR1C (), but median-split analyses showed that was reduced () in both training groups compared to CON for those with the lowest aerobic fitness (SSG versus CON: 3.2% [95% CI: 0.8–5.5]; IR versus CON: 2.6% [95% CI: 1.1–5.2]). After 10 months, IR had improved () 20 m sprint performance (IR versus CON: 154 ms [95% CI: 61–241]). No between-group differences () were observed for whole-body or leg aBMD, lean mass, postural balance, or jump length. In conclusion, frequent low-volume ball games and interval running can be conducted over a full school year with high intensity rate but has limited positive fitness effects in 8–10-year-old children. Malte Nejst Larsen, Claus Malta Nielsen, Christina Ørntoft, Morten Bredsgaard Randers, Eva Wulff Helge, Mads Madsen, Vibeke Manniche, Lone Hansen, Peter Riis Hansen, Jens Bangsbo, and Peter Krustrup Copyright © 2017 Malte Nejst Larsen et al. All rights reserved. An Alternative Treatment Strategy for Complicated Chronic Wounds: Negative Pressure Therapy over Mesh Skin Graft Sun, 19 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Extensive skin defect represents a real problem and major challenge in plastic and reconstructive surgery. On one hand, skin grafts offer a practical method to deal with skin defects despite their unsuitability for several complicated wounds. On the other hand, negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT), applied before skin grafting, promotes granulation tissue growth. The aim of the study is to evaluate the improvement in wound healing given by the merger of these two different approaches. We treated 23 patients for large wounds of multiple factors. Of these, 15 were treated with the application of V.A.C.® Therapy (KCI Medical S.r.l., Milan, Italy), in combination with skin grafts after a prior unsuccessful treatment of 4 weeks with mesh skin grafts and dressings. Another 8 were treated with only mesh skin graft. Pain reduction and wound area reduction were found statistically significant (, ). Infection was resolved in almost all patients. According to our study, the use of the negative pressure wound therapy over mesh skin grafts is significantly effective especially in wounds resistant to conventional therapies, thereby improving the rate of skin graft take. Michele Maruccia, Maria G. Onesti, Valentina Sorvillo, Antonio Albano, Luca A. Dessy, Bruno Carlesimo, Mauro Tarallo, Marco Marcasciano, Giuseppe Giudice, Emanuele Cigna, and Diego Ribuffo Copyright © 2017 Michele Maruccia et al. All rights reserved. Long-Term Oncological Outcomes for Young Men Undergoing Radical Prostatectomy for Localized Prostate Cancer Sun, 19 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Aim. The aim of this study was to describe PCa characteristics and long-term outcomes in young men aged ≤55 years after radical prostatectomy (RP) and to compare them with older men cohort. Methods. Among 2,200 patients who underwent RP for clinically localized PCa at our centre between 2001 and 2015, 277 (10.3%) men aged ≤55 years were identified. All preoperative and pathological parameters were compared between groups. Biochemical progression free survival (BPFS) and disease progression free survival (DPFS) were assessed at 5 and 10 years. Results. Men aged ≤55 years had similar pathological tumor characteristics and biochemical recurrence rate (BCR) compared to their older counterparts. Disease progression rate 2.5% versus 0.4% was higher in older patients (). BPFS rate was not different in both study groups. Estimated 10-year DPFS was 98.8% in younger men compared to 89.2% in their older counterparts (). Multivariate Cox regression showed that Gleason score lymph-nodes and surgical margins status were significant predictors for disease progression. Conclusions. In our cohort, men aged ≤55 years had similar pathological PCa characteristics and BCR rate in comparison with older men. RP can be performed with excellent long-term DPFS results in men with localized PCa at ≤55 years of age. Daimantas Milonas, Zilvinas Venclovas, Inga Gudinaviciene, Kristina Zviniene, and Aivaras Jonas Matjosaitis Copyright © 2017 Daimantas Milonas et al. All rights reserved. Cytoplasmic Localization of WT1 and Decrease of miRNA-16-1 in Nephrotic Syndrome Sun, 19 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Nephrotic syndrome (NS) is a glomerular disease that is defined by the leakage of protein into the urine and is associated with hypoalbuminemia, hyperlipidemia, and edema. Steroid-resistant NS (SRNS) patients do not respond to treatment with corticosteroids and show decreased Wilms tumor 1 (WT1) expression in podocytes. Downregulation of WT1 has been shown to be affected by certain microRNAs (miRNAs). Twenty-one patients with idiopathic NS (68.75% were SSNS and 31.25% SRNS) and 10 healthy controls were enrolled in the study. Podocyte number and WT1 location were determined by immunofluorescence, and the serum levels of miR-15a, miR-16-1, and miR-193a were quantified by RT-qPCR. Low expression and delocalization of WT1 protein from the nucleus to the cytoplasm were found in kidney biopsies of patients with SRNS and both nuclear and cytoplasmic localization were found in steroid-sensitive NS (SSNS) patients. In sera from NS patients, low expression levels of miR-15a and miR-16-1 were found compared with healthy controls, but only the miR-16-1 expression levels showed statistically significant decrease (). The miR-193a expression levels only slightly increased in NS patients. We concluded that low expression and delocalization from the WT1 protein in NS patients contribute to loss of podocytes while modulation from WT1 protein is not associated with the miRNAs analyzed in sera from the patients. Pablo Zapata-Benavides, Mariela Arellano-Rodríguez, Juan José Bollain-y-Goytia, Moisés Armides Franco-Molina, Gloria Azucena Rangel-Ochoa, Esperanza Avalos-Díaz, Rafael Herrera-Esparza, and Cristina Rodríguez-Padilla Copyright © 2017 Pablo Zapata-Benavides et al. All rights reserved. Contribution of Liver Nonparenchymal Cells to Hepatic Fibrosis: Interactions with the Local Microenvironment Thu, 16 Feb 2017 13:32:42 +0000 Michel Fausther, Michele T. Pritchard, Yury V. Popov, and Kim Bridle Copyright © 2017 Michel Fausther et al. All rights reserved. JianPi JieDu Recipe Inhibits Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition in Colorectal Cancer through TGF-β/Smad Mediated Snail/E-Cadherin Expression Thu, 16 Feb 2017 13:13:55 +0000 JPJD was an ideal alternative traditional Chinese medicine compound in the prevention and treatment of CRC, but its underlying mechanisms has not been fully elucidated. In this study, we demonstrated in vitro that TGF-β-induced EMT promoted the invasion and metastasis of CRC cells, reduced the expression of E-cadherin, and elevated the expression of Vimentin. However, JPJD could inhibit the invasive and migratory ability of TGF-β-stimulated CRC cells in a concentration-dependent manner through increasing the expression of E-cadherin and repressing the expression of Vimentin, as well as the inhibition of TGF-β/Smad signaling pathway. Meanwhile, JPJD reduced the transcriptional activities of EMT-associated factors Snail and E-cadherin during the initiation of TGF-β-induced EMT. In vivo, the results demonstrated that JPJD can significantly inhibit the liver and lung metastasis of orthotopic CRC tumor in nude mice, as well as significantly prolonging the survival time of tumor-bearing in a dose-dependent manner. Additionally, JPJD can upregulate the expression of E-cadherin and Smad2/3 in the cytoplasm and downregulate the expression of Vimentin, p-Smad2/3, and Snail in the orthotopic CRC tumor tissues. In conclusions, our new findings provided evidence that JPJD could inhibit TGF-β-induced EMT in CRC through TGF-β/Smad mediated Snail/E-cadherin expression. Xuan Liu, Qing Ji, Wanli Deng, Ni Chai, Yuanyuan Feng, Lihong Zhou, Hua Sui, Chunpu Li, Xiaoting Sun, and Qi Li Copyright © 2017 Xuan Liu et al. All rights reserved. Addressing Challenges to Enhance the Bioactives of Withania somnifera through Organ, Tissue, and Cell Culture Based Approaches Thu, 16 Feb 2017 12:52:47 +0000 Withania somnifera is a highly valued medicinal plant in traditional home medicine and is known for a wide range of bioactivities. Its commercial cultivation is adversely affected by poor seed viability and germination. Infestation by various pests and pathogens, survival under unfavourable environmental conditions, narrow genetic base, and meager information regarding biosynthesis of secondary metabolites are some of the other existing challenges in the crop. Biotechnological interventions through organ, tissue, and cell culture provide promising options for addressing some of these issues. In vitro propagation facilitates conservation and sustainable utilization of the existing germplasms and broadening the genetic base. It would also provide means for efficient and rapid mass propagation of elite chemotypes and generating uniform plant material round the year for experimentation and industrial applications. The potential of in vitro cell/organ cultures for the production of therapeutically valuable compounds and their large-scale production in bioreactors has received significant attention in recent years. In vitro culture system further provides distinct advantage for studying various cellular and molecular processes leading to secondary metabolite accumulation and their regulation. Engineering plants through genetic transformation and development of hairy root culture system are powerful strategies for modulation of secondary metabolites. The present review highlights the developments and sketches current scenario in this field. Pritika Singh, Rupam Guleri, Amrita Angurala, Kuldeep Kaur, Kulwinder Kaur, Sunil C. Kaul, Renu Wadhwa, and Pratap Kumar Pati Copyright © 2017 Pritika Singh et al. All rights reserved. Evidence for Startle Effects due to Externally Induced Lower Limb Movements: Implications in Neurorehabilitation Thu, 16 Feb 2017 08:22:20 +0000 Passive limb displacement is routinely used to assess muscle tone. If we attempt to quantify muscle stiffness using mechanical devices, it is important to know whether kinematic stimuli are able to trigger startle reactions. Whether kinematic stimuli are able to elicit a startle reflex and to accelerate prepared voluntary movements (StartReact effect) has not been studied extensively to date. Eleven healthy subjects were suspended in an exoskeleton and were exposed to passive left knee flexion (KF) at three intensities, occasionally replaced by fast right KF. Upon perceiving the movement subjects were asked to perform right wrist extension (WE), assessed by extensor carpi radialis (ECR) electromyographic activity. ECR latencies were shortest in fast trials. Startle responses were present in most fast trials, yet being significantly accelerated and larger with right versus left KF, since the former occurred less frequently and thus less expectedly. Startle responses were associated with earlier and larger ECR responses (StartReact effect), with the largest effect again upon right KF. The results provide evidence that kinematic stimuli are able to elicit both startle reflexes and a StartReact effect, which depend on stimulus intensity and anticipation, as well as on the subjects’ preparedness to respond. Juan M. Castellote, Markus Kofler, Andreas Mayr, and Leopold Saltuari Copyright © 2017 Juan M. Castellote et al. All rights reserved. Biocompatibility and Effectiveness Evaluation of a New Hemostatic Embolization Agent: Thrombin Loaded Alginate Calcium Microsphere Thu, 16 Feb 2017 07:33:01 +0000 Background. Until now, there has been no ideal embolization agent for hemorrhage in interventional treatment. In this study, the thrombin was encapsulated in alginate calcium microsphere using electrostatic droplet technique to produce new embolization agent: thrombin loaded alginate calcium microspheres (TACMs). Objectives. The present work was to evaluate the biocompatibility and hemostatic efficiency of TACMs. Methods. Cell cytotoxicity, hemolysis, and superselective embolization of dog liver arteries were performed to investigate the biocompatibility of TACMs. To clarify the embolic effect of TACMs mixed thrombus in vivo, hepatic artery injury animal model of 6 beagles was established and transcatheter artery embolization for bleeding was performed. Results. Coculture with VECs revealed the noncytotoxicity of TACMs, and the hemolysis experiment was negligible. Moreover, the histological study of TACMs in liver blood vessel showed signs of a slight inflammatory reaction. The results of transcatheter application of TACMs mixed thrombus for bleeding showed that the blood flow was shut down completely after the TACMs mixed thrombus was delivered and the postprocedural survival rate of animal models at 12 weeks was 100%. Conclusions. With their good biocompatibility and superior hemostatic efficiency, TACMs might be a promising new hemostatic agent with a wide range of potential applications. Fengqi Xuan, Jingjing Rong, Ming Liang, Xuwen Zhang, Jingyang Sun, Lijun Zhao, Yang Li, Dan Liu, Fei Li, Xiaozeng Wang, and Yaling Han Copyright © 2017 Fengqi Xuan et al. All rights reserved. SHISA3 Promoter Methylation Is a Potential Diagnostic and Prognostic Biomarker for Laryngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma Thu, 16 Feb 2017 07:29:16 +0000 The purpose of this study was to evaluate the contribution of SHISA3 promoter methylation to laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC). SHISA3 promoter methylation status and expression were determined using methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (MSP) and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) in 93 paired LSCC and adjacent normal tissues, respectively. Furthermore, the regulatory function of the SHISA3 promoter fragment was analyzed using a luciferase reporter assay. The results reveal that there is a significant increase in SHISA3 methylation in LSCC tissues compared with corresponding nontumor tissues . The qRT-PCR results show a significant association between SHISA3 methylation and expression in LSCC . In addition, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.91. Consequently, a log-rank test and multivariate Cox analysis suggest that SHISA3 promoter hypermethylation is a predictor of poor overall survival for LSCC (log-rank P = 0.024; HR = 2.71; 95% CI = 1.024–7.177; P = 0.047). The results indicate that SHISA3 promoter hypermethylation might increase the risk of LSCC through regulation of gene expression and is a potential diagnostic and prognostic biomarker for LSCC. Zhisen Shen, Chongchang Zhou, Jinyun Li, Dong Ye, Hongxia Deng, Bin Cao, Wenjuan Hao, Lexi Lin, and Yuna Zhang Copyright © 2017 Zhisen Shen et al. All rights reserved. Antithrombotic Effect and Mechanism of Radix Paeoniae Rubra Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The compounds of Radix Paeoniae Rubra (RPR) were isolated and identified by bioassay-guided method, and antithrombotic effects and mechanism were investigated by the acute blood stasis rat model. The RPR extract was evaluated by APTT, TT, PT, and FIB assays in vitro. Results indicated that RPR extract exhibited the anticoagulant activity. In order to find active compounds, six compounds were isolated and identified, and four compounds, paeoniflorin (Pae), pentagalloylglucose (Pen), albiflorin (Ali), and protocatechuic acid (Pro), exhibited the anticoagulant activity in vitro. Therefore, the antithrombosis effects of RPR extract and four active compounds were investigated in vivo by measuring whole blood viscosity (WBV), plasma viscosity (PV), APTT, PT, TT, and FIB. Meanwhile, the levels of TXB2, 6-Keto-PGF1α, eNOS, and ET-1 were detected. Results suggested that RPR extract and four active compounds had the inhibition effect on thrombus formation, and the antithrombotic effects were associated with the regulation of vascular endothelium active substance, activating blood flow and anticoagulation effect. Pingyao Xie, Lili Cui, Yuan Shan, and Wen-yi Kang Copyright © 2017 Pingyao Xie et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Zirconia Dental Implant Surfaces on Bone Integration: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Background. The information available about osseointegration and the bone to implant interaction of zirconia implants with various surface modifications is still far from sufficient. Objective. The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to evaluate and compare zirconia dental implants with different surface topographies, with a focus on bone to implant contact and removal torque. Methods. The systematic review of the extracted publications was performed to compare the bone to implant contact (BIC) with removal torque (RT) values of titanium dental implants and machined and surfaced modified zirconia implants. Results. A total of fifteen articles on BIC and RT values were included in the quantitative analysis. No significant difference in the BIC values was observed between titanium and machined zirconia implants (; 95% CI: 0.166 to 0.443). However, a significantly better BIC values were observed for acid etched zirconia implants compared with those of titanium implants (; 95% CI: 0.068 to 1.461). Unmodified zirconia implants showed favorable BIC values compared to modified-surface zirconia implants (; 95% CI: 0.973 to 0.080). Conclusion. Acid etched zirconia implants may serve as a possible substitute for successful osseointegration. Ali Hafezeqoran and Roodabeh Koodaryan Copyright © 2017 Ali Hafezeqoran and Roodabeh Koodaryan. All rights reserved. RNA-Based Stable Isotope Probing Suggests Allobaculum spp. as Particularly Active Glucose Assimilators in a Complex Murine Microbiota Cultured In Vitro Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 RNA-based stable isotope probing (RNA-SIP) and metabolic profiling were used to detect actively glucose-consuming bacteria in a complex microbial community obtained from a murine model system. A faeces-derived microbiota was incubated under anaerobic conditions for 0, 2, and 4 h with 40 mM [U13C]glucose. Isopycnic density gradient ultracentrifugation and fractionation of isolated RNA into labeled and unlabeled fractions followed by 16S rRNA sequencing showed a quick adaptation of the bacterial community in response to the added sugar, which was dominated by unclassified Lachnospiraceae species. Inspection of distinct fractions of isotope-labeled RNA revealed Allobaculum spp. as particularly active glucose utilizers in the system, as the corresponding RNA showed significantly higher proportions among the labeled RNA. With time, the labeled sugar was used by a wider spectrum of faecal bacteria. Metabolic profiling indicated rapid fermentation of [U13C]glucose, with lactate, acetate, and propionate being the principal 13C-labeled fermentation products, and suggested that “cross-feeding” occurred in the system. RNA-SIP combined with metabolic profiling of 13C-labeled products allowed insights into the microbial assimilation of a general model substrate, demonstrating the appropriateness of this technology to study assimilation processes of nutritionally more relevant substrates, for example, prebiotic carbohydrates, in the gut microbiota of mice as a model system. Elena Herrmann, Wayne Young, Douglas Rosendale, Verena Reichert-Grimm, Christian U. Riedel, Ralf Conrad, and Markus Egert Copyright © 2017 Elena Herrmann et al. All rights reserved. Application of Intraoperative CT-Guided Navigation in Simultaneous Minimally Invasive Anterior and Posterior Surgery for Infectious Spondylitis Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 This study was aimed at evaluating the safety and efficacy of using intraoperative computed tomography- (iCT-) guided navigation in simultaneous minimally invasive anterior and posterior surgery for infectious spondylitis. Nine patients with infectious spondylitis were enrolled in this study. The average operative time was 327.6 min (range, 210–490) and intraoperative blood loss was 407 cc (range, 50–1,200). The average duration of hospital stay was 48.9 days (range, 11–76). Out of a total of 54 pedicle screws employed, 53 screws (98.1%) were placed accurately. A reduced visual analog scale on back pain (from 8.2 to 2.2) and Oswestry disability index (from 67.1% to 25.6%) were found at the 2-year follow-up. All patients had achieved resolution of spinal infection with reduced average erythrocyte sedimentation rate (from 83.9 to 14.1 mm/hr) and average C-reactive protein (from 54.4 to 4.8 mg/dL). Average kyphotic angle correction was 10.5° (range, 8.4°–12.6°) postoperatively and 8.5° (range, 6.9°–10.1°) after 2 years. In conclusion, the current iCT-guided navigation approach has been demonstrated to be an alternative method during simultaneous minimally invasive anterior and posterior surgery for infectious spondylitis. It can provide a good intraoperative orientation and visualization of anatomic structures and also a high pedicle screw placement accuracy in patient’s lateral decubitus position. Meng-Huang Wu, Navneet Kumar Dubey, Ching-Yu Lee, Yen-Yao Li, Chin-Chang Cheng, Chung-Sheng Shi, and Tsung-Jen Huang Copyright © 2017 Meng-Huang Wu et al. All rights reserved. Production of Human Cu,Zn SOD with Higher Activity and Lower Toxicity in E. coli via Mutation of Free Cysteine Residues Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Although, as an antioxidant enzyme, human Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase 1 (hSOD1) can mitigate damage to cell components caused by free radicals generated by aerobic metabolism, large-scale manufacturing and clinical use of hSOD1 are still limited by the challenge of rapid and inexpensive production of high-quality eukaryotic hSOD1 in recombinant forms. We have demonstrated previously that it is a promising strategy to increase the expression levels of soluble hSOD1 so as to increase hSOD1 yields in E. coli. In this study, a wild-type hSOD1 (wtSOD1) and three mutant SOD1s (mhSOD1s), in which free cysteines were substituted with serine, were constructed and their expression in soluble form was measured. Results show that the substitution of Cys111 (mhSOD1/C111S) increased the expression of soluble hSOD1 in E. coli whereas substitution of the internal Cys6 (mhSOD1/C6S) decreased it. Besides, raised levels of soluble expression led to an increase in hSOD1 yields. In addition, mhSOD1/C111S expressed at a higher soluble level showed lower toxicity and stronger whitening and antiradiation activities than those of wtSOD1. Taken together, our data demonstrate that C111S mutation in hSOD1 is an effective strategy to develop new SOD1-associated reagents and that mhSOD1/C111S is a satisfactory candidate for large-scale production. Kun Zhang, Yuejuan Zhang, Jing Zi, Xiaochang Xue, and Yi Wan Copyright © 2017 Kun Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Network Proteomics: From Protein Structure to Protein-Protein Interaction Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Guang Hu, Luisa Di Paola, Filippo Pullara, Zhongjie Liang, and Intawat Nookaew Copyright © 2017 Guang Hu et al. All rights reserved. Excessive Exercise Habits in Marathoners as Novel Indicators of Masked Hypertension Wed, 15 Feb 2017 13:29:25 +0000 Background. Excessive exercise such as marathon running increases the risk of cardiovascular events that may be related to myocardial infarction and sudden death. We aimed to investigate that the exercise characteristics can be used as a novel indicator of masked hypertension. Methods. A total of 571 middle-aged recreational male marathoners were assigned to a high blood pressure group (HBPG; ) or a normal blood pressure group (NBPG; ). A graded exercise test was used to examine the hemodynamic response and cardiac events, and the personal exercise characteristics were recorded. Results. Systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure were higher in the HBPG than in the NBPG (, all). The marathon history, exercise intensity, and time were longer and higher, whereas the marathon completion duration was shorter in the HBPG than in NBPG (, all). HBPG showed a higher frequency of alcohol consumption than NBPG (). Conclusion. More excessive exercise characteristics than the normative individuals. If the individuals exhibit high blood pressure during rest as well as exercise, the exercise characteristics could be used as a novel indicator for masked hypertension. Young-Joo Kim, Yongbum Park, Duk-Ho Kang, and Chul-Hyun Kim Copyright © 2017 Young-Joo Kim et al. All rights reserved. Urinary Biomarker Panel to Improve Accuracy in Predicting Prostate Biopsy Result in Chinese Men with PSA 4–10 ng/mL Wed, 15 Feb 2017 13:09:47 +0000 This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness and clinical performance of a panel of urinary biomarkers to diagnose prostate cancer (PCa) in Chinese men with PSA levels between 4 and 10 ng/mL. A total of 122 patients with PSA levels between 4 and 10 ng/mL who underwent consecutive prostate biopsy at three hospitals in China were recruited. First-catch urine samples were collected after an attentive prostate massage. Urinary mRNA levels were measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). The predictive accuracy of these biomarkers and prediction models was assessed by the area under the curve (AUC) of the receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve. The diagnostic accuracy of PCA3, PSGR, and MALAT-1 was superior to that of PSA. PCA3 performed best, with an AUC of 0.734 (95% CI: 0.641, 0.828) followed by MALAT-1 with an AUC of 0.727 (95% CI: 0.625, 0.829) and PSGR with an AUC of 0.666 (95% CI: 0.575, 0.749). The diagnostic panel with age, prostate volume, % fPSA, PCA3 score, PSGR score, and MALAT-1 score yielded an AUC of 0.857 (95% CI: 0.780, 0.933). At a threshold probability of 20%, 47.2% of unnecessary biopsies may be avoided whereas only 6.2% of PCa cases may be missed. This urinary panel may improve the current diagnostic modality in Chinese men with PSA levels between 4 and 10 ng/mL. Yongqiang Zhou, Yun Li, Xiangnan Li, and Minjun Jiang Copyright © 2017 Yongqiang Zhou et al. All rights reserved. An Imaging and Histological Study on Intrahepatic Microvascular Passage of Contrast Materials in Rat Liver Wed, 15 Feb 2017 11:45:14 +0000 Background. Lipiodol has been applied for decades in transarterial chemoembolization to treat liver malignancies, but its intrahepatic pathway through arterioportal shunt (APS) in the liver has not been histologically revealed. This rodent experiment was conducted to provide evidence for the pathway of Lipiodol delivered through the hepatic artery (HA) but found in the portal vein (PV) and to elucidate the observed unidirectional APS. Methods. Thirty rats were divided into 5 groups receiving systemic or local arterial infusion of red-stained iodized oil (RIO) or its hydrosoluble substitute barium sulfate suspension (BSS), or infusion of BSS via the PV, monitored by real-time digital radiography. Histomorphology of serial frozen and paraffin sections was performed and quantified. Results. After HA infusion, RIO and BSS appeared extensively in PV lumens with peribiliary vascular plexus (PVP) identified as the responsible anastomotic channel. After PV infusion, BSS appeared predominantly in the PV and surrounding sinusoids and to a much lesser extent in the PVP and HA (). Fluid mechanics well explains the one-way-valve phenomenon of APS. Conclusions. Intravascularly injected rat livers provide histomorphologic evidences: (1) the PVP exists in between the HA and PV, which is responsible to the APS of Lipiodol; and (2) the intrahepatic vascular inflow appears HA-PVP-PV unidirectional without a physical one-way valve, which can be postulated by the fluid mechanics. Qian Xia, Yuanbo Feng, Ting Yin, Yewei Liu, Guozhi Zhang, Jianjun Liu, Linjun Tong, Robin Willemyns, Jie Yu, Raymond Oyen, Gang Huang, and Yicheng Ni Copyright © 2017 Qian Xia et al. All rights reserved. Semiquantitative Evaluation of Extrasynovial Soft Tissue Inflammation in the Shoulders of Patients with Polymyalgia Rheumatica and Elderly-Onset Rheumatoid Arthritis by Power Doppler Ultrasound Wed, 15 Feb 2017 08:42:38 +0000 Objectives. To develop a scoring system for evaluating the extrasynovial soft tissue inflammation of the shoulders in patients with polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) and elderly-onset rheumatoid arthritis with PMR-like onset (pm-EORA) using ultrasound. Methods. We analyzed stored power Doppler (PD) images obtained by the pretreatment examination of 15 PMR patients and 15 pm-EORA patients. A semiquantitative scoring system for evaluating the severity of PD signals adjacent to the anterior aspect of the subscapularis tendon was designed. Results. A four-point scale scoring for the hyperemia on the subscapularis tendon was proposed as follows in brief: 0 = absent or minimal flow, 1 = single vessel dots or short linear-shape signals, 2 = long linear-shape signals or short zone-shape signals, or 3 = long zone-shape signals. This scoring system showed good intra- and interobserver reliability and good correlation to quantitative pixel-counting evaluation. By using it, we demonstrated that inflammation in PMR is dominantly localized in extrasynovial soft tissue as compared with pm-EORA. Conclusions. We proposed a reliable semiquantitative scoring system using ultrasound for the evaluation of extrasynovial soft tissue inflammation of the shoulders in patients with both PMR and pm-EORA. This system is simple to use and can be utilized in future investigations. Takeshi Suzuki, Ryochi Yoshida, Akiko Okamoto, and Yu Seri Copyright © 2017 Takeshi Suzuki et al. All rights reserved.