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Single-cell RNA-seq data analysis on the receptor ACE2 expression reveals the potential risk of different human organs vulnerable to 2019-nCoV infection
Xin Zou, Ke Chen, Jiawei Zou, Peiyi Han, Jie Hao, Zeguang Han
Front. Med.    2020, 14 (2): 185-192.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-020-0754-0
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It has been known that, the novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, which is considered similar to SARS-CoV, invades human cells via the receptor angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2). Moreover, lung cells that have ACE2 expression may be the main target cells during 2019-nCoV infection. However, some patients also exhibit non-respiratory symptoms, such as kidney failure, implying that 2019-nCoV could also invade other organs. To construct a risk map of different human organs, we analyzed the single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) datasets derived from major human physiological systems, including the respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive, and urinary systems. Through scRNA-seq data analyses, we identified the organs at risk, such as lung, heart, esophagus, kidney, bladder, and ileum, and located specific cell types (i.e., type II alveolar cells (AT2), myocardial cells, proximal tubule cells of the kidney, ileum and esophagus epithelial cells, and bladder urothelial cells), which are vulnerable to 2019-nCoV infection. Based on the findings, we constructed a risk map indicating the vulnerability of different organs to 2019-nCoV infection. This study may provide potential clues for further investigation of the pathogenesis and route of 2019-nCoV infection.

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iTRAQ-based quantitative proteomic analysis on differentially expressed proteins of rat mandibular condylar cartilage induced by reducing dietary loading
Liting Jiang,Yinyin Xie,Li Wei,Qi Zhou,Ning Li,Xinquan Jiang,Yiming Gao
Front. Med.    2017, 11 (1): 97-109.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-016-0496-1
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As muscle activity during growth is considerably important for mandible quality and morphology, reducing dietary loading directly influences the development and metabolic activity of mandibular condylar cartilage (MCC). However, an overall investigation of changes in the protein composition of MCC has not been fully described in literature. To study the protein expression and putative signaling in vivo, we evaluated the structural changes of MCC and differentially expressed proteins induced by reducing functional loading in rat MCC at developmental stages. Isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantitation-based 2D nano-high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight/ time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF/TOF) technologies were used. Global protein profiling, KEGG and PANTHER pathways, and functional categories were analyzed. Consequently, histological and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase staining indicated the altered histological structure of condylar cartilage and increased bone remodeling activity in hard-diet group. A total of 805 differentially expressed proteins were then identified. GO analysis revealed a significant number of proteins involved in the metabolic process, cellular process, biological regulation, localization, developmental process, and response to stimulus. KEGG pathway analysis also suggested that these proteins participated in various signaling pathways, including calcium signaling pathway, gap junction, ErbB signaling pathway, and mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway. Collagen types I and II were further validated by immunohistochemical staining and Western blot analysis. Taken together, the present study provides an insight into the molecular mechanism of regulating condylar growth and remodeling induced by reducing dietary loading at the protein level.

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Protecting healthcare personnel from 2019-nCoV infection risks: lessons and suggestions
Zhiruo Zhang, Shelan Liu, Mi Xiang, Shijian Li, Dahai Zhao, Chaolin Huang, Saijuan Chen
Front. Med.    2020, 14 (2): 229-231.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-020-0765-x
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The outbreak of a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19, caused by the 2019-nCoV infection) in December 2019 is one of the most severe public health emergencies since the founding of People’s Republic of China in 1949. Healthcare personnel (HCP) nationwide are facing heavy workloads and high risk of infection, especially those who care for patients in Hubei Province. Sadly, as of February 20, 2020, over two thousand COVID-19 cases are confirmed among HCP from 476 hospitals nationwide, with nearly 90% of them from Hubei Province. Based on literature search and interviews with some HCP working at Wuhan, capital city of Hubei, we have summarized some of the effective measures taken to reduce infection among HCP, and also made suggestions for improving occupational safety during an infectious disease outbreak. The experience and lessons learned should be a valuable asset for international health community to contain the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic around the world.

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Transforming bacterial disease surveillance and investigation using whole-genome sequence to probe the trace
Biao Kan, Haijian Zhou, Pengcheng Du, Wen Zhang, Xin Lu, Tian Qin, Jianguo Xu
Front. Med.    2018, 12 (1): 23-33.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-017-0607-7
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Two decades have passed since the first bacterial whole-genome sequencing, which provides new opportunity for microbial genome. Consequently, considerable genetic diversity encoded by bacterial genomes and among the strains in the same species has been revealed. In recent years, genome sequencing techniques and bioinformatics have developed rapidly, which has resulted in transformation and expedited the application of strategy and methodology for bacterial genome comparison used in dissection of infectious disease epidemics. Bacterial whole-genome sequencing and bioinformatic computing allow genotyping to satisfy the requirements of epidemiological study in disease control. In this review, we outline the significance and summarize the roles of bacterial genome sequencing in the context of bacterial disease control and prevention. We discuss the applications of bacterial genome sequencing in outbreak detection, source tracing, transmission mode discovery, and new epidemic clone identification. Wide applications of genome sequencing and data sharing in infectious disease surveillance networks will considerably promote outbreak detection and early warning to prevent the dissemination of bacterial diseases.

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COVID-19 containment: China provides important lessons for global response
Shuxian Zhang, Zezhou Wang, Ruijie Chang, Huwen Wang, Chen Xu, Xiaoyue Yu, Lhakpa Tsamlag, Yinqiao Dong, Hui Wang, Yong Cai
Front. Med.    2020, 14 (2): 215-219.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-020-0766-9
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The world must act fast to contain wider international spread of the epidemic of COVID-19 now. The unprecedented public health efforts in China have contained the spread of this new virus. Measures taken in China are currently proven to reduce human-to-human transmission successfully. We summarized the effective intervention and prevention measures in the fields of public health response, clinical management, and research development in China, which may provide vital lessons for the global response. It is really important to take collaborative actions now to save more lives from the pandemic of COVID-19.

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Histone variants: critical determinants in tumour heterogeneity
Tao Wang, Florent Chuffart, Ekaterina Bourova-Flin, Jin Wang, Jianqing Mi, Sophie Rousseaux, Saadi Khochbin
Front. Med.    2019, 13 (3): 289-297.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-018-0667-3
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Malignant cell transformation could be considered as a series of cell reprogramming events driven by oncogenic transcription factors and upstream signalling pathways. Chromatin plasticity and dynamics are critical determinants in the control of cell reprograming. An increase in chromatin dynamics could therefore constitute an essential step in driving oncogenesis and in generating tumour cell heterogeneity, which is indispensable for the selection of aggressive properties, including the ability of cells to disseminate and acquire resistance to treatments. Histone supply and dosage, as well as histone variants, are the best-known regulators of chromatin dynamics. By facilitating cell reprogramming, histone under-dosage and histone variants should also be crucial in cell transformation and tumour metastasis. Here we summarize and discuss our knowledge of the role of histone supply and histone variants in chromatin dynamics and their ability to enhance oncogenic cell reprogramming and tumour heterogeneity.

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Clinical characteristics of 19 neonates born to mothers with COVID-19
Wei Liu, Jing Wang, Wenbin Li, Zhaoxian Zhou, Siying Liu, Zhihui Rong
Front. Med.    2020, 14 (2): 193-198.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-020-0772-y
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The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical characteristics of neonates born to SARS-CoV-2 infected mothers and increase the current knowledge on the perinatal consequences of COVID-19. Nineteen neonates were admitted to Tongji Hospital from January 31 to February 29, 2020. Their mothers were clinically diagnosed or laboratory-confirmed with COVID-19. We prospectively collected and analyzed data of mothers and infants. There are 19 neonates included in the research. Among them, 10 mothers were confirmed COVID-19 by positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR in throat swab, and 9 mothers were clinically diagnosed with COVID-19. Delivery occurred in an isolation room and neonates were immediately separated from the mothers and isolated for at least 14 days. No fetal distress was found. Gestational age of the neonates was 38.6±1.5 weeks, and average birth weight was 3293±425 g. SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR in throat swab, urine, and feces of all neonates were negative. SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR in breast milk and amniotic fluid was negative too. None of the neonates developed clinical, radiologic, hematologic, or biochemical evidence of COVID-19. No vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and no perinatal complications in the third trimester were found in our study. The delivery should occur in isolation and neonates should be separated from the infected mothers and care givers.

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Role of Wnt and Notch signaling in regulating hair cell regeneration in the cochlea
Muhammad Waqas,Shasha Zhang,Zuhong He,Mingliang Tang,Renjie Chai
Front. Med.    2016, 10 (3): 237-249.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-016-0464-9
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Sensory hair cells in the inner ear are responsible for sound recognition. Damage to hair cells in adult mammals causes permanent hearing impairment because these cells cannot regenerate. By contrast, newborn mammals possess limited regenerative capacity because of the active participation of various signaling pathways, including Wnt and Notch signaling. The Wnt and Notch pathways are highly sophisticated and conserved signaling pathways that control multiple cellular events necessary for the formation of sensory hair cells. Both signaling pathways allow resident supporting cells to regenerate hair cells in the neonatal cochlea. In this regard, Wnt and Notch signaling has gained increased research attention in hair cell regeneration. This review presents the current understanding of the Wnt and Notch signaling pathways in the auditory portion of the inner ear and discusses the possibilities of controlling these pathways with the hair cell fate determiner Atoh1 to regulate hair cell regeneration in the mammalian cochlea.

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Top-geoherbs of traditional Chinese medicine: common trait, quality characteristics and formation
Luqi Huang, Lanping Guo, Chaoyi Ma, Wei Gao, Qingjun Yuan
Front Med    2011, 5 (2): 185-194.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-011-0141-y
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Top-geoherbs used in China are always featured with high qualities, and they grow in specified areas with specific environment. Recently, researches on top-geoherbs have attracted increasing attention in China and other countries. In order to have a thorough knowledge of top-geoherbs, this article reviews the concept, historical evolution, common trait and quality characteristics of top-geoherbs, and explains the forming mechanism including genetic mechanism and environmental mechanism. In addition, it introduces the influence of human factors on the quality of top-geoherbs. Finally, it proposes some problems that should be paid attention to in the researches on top-geoherbs.

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Zinc homeostasis in the metabolic syndrome and diabetes
Xiao Miao, Weixia Sun, Yaowen Fu, Lining Miao, Lu Cai
Front Med    2013, 7 (1): 31-52.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-013-0251-9
Abstract   HTML   PDF (423KB)

Zinc (Zn) is an essential mineral that is required for various cellular functions. Zn dyshomeostasis always is related to certain disorders such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes and diabetic complications. The associations of Zn with metabolic syndrome, diabetes and diabetic complications, thus, stem from the multiple roles of Zn: (1) a constructive component of many important enzymes or proteins, (2) a requirement for insulin storage and secretion, (3) a direct or indirect antioxidant action, and (4) an insulin-like action. However, whether there is a clear cause-and-effect relationship of Zn with metabolic syndrome, diabetes, or diabetic complications remains unclear. In fact, it is known that Zn deficiency is a common phenomenon in diabetic patients. Chronic low intake of Zn was associated with the increased risk of diabetes and diabetes also impairs Zn metabolism. Theoretically Zn supplementation should prevent the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and diabetic complications; however, limited available data are not always supportive of the above notion. Therefore, this review has tried to summarize these pieces of available information, possible mechanisms by which Zn prevents the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and diabetic complications. In the final part, what are the current issues for Zn supplementation were also discussed.

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Talin and kindlin: the one-two punch in integrin activation
Feng Ye, Adam K. Snider, Mark H. Ginsberg
Front Med    2014, 8 (1): 6-16.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-014-0317-3
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Proper cell-cell and cell-matrix contacts mediated by integrin adhesion receptors are important for development, immune response, hemostasis and wound healing. Integrins pass trans-membrane signals bidirectionally through their regulated affinities for extracellular ligands and intracellular signaling molecules. Such bidirectional signaling by integrins is enabled by the conformational changes that are often linked among extracellular, transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains. Here, we review how talin-integrin and kindlin-integrin interactions, in cooperation with talin-lipid and kindlin-lipid interactions, regulate integrin affinities and how the progress in these areas helps us understand integrin-related diseases.

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Association of novel mutations and heplotypes in the preS region of hepatitis B virus with hepatocellular carcinoma
Jia-Xin XIE, Jian-Hua YIN, Qi ZHANG, Rui PU, Wen-Ying LU, Hong-Wei ZHANG, Guang-Wen CAO, Jun ZHAO, Hong-Yang WANG,
Front. Med.    2010, 4 (4): 419-429.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-010-0160-0
Abstract   PDF (139KB)
The association of viral mutations and haplotypic carriages with mutations in the preS region of hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotypes B and C with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is of great significance for the prediction of this malignancy, but it remains obscure. We analyzed the preS sequences of HBV genotypes B and C from 1172 HBV-infected subjects including 231 patients with HCC. As compared with the HBV-infected subjects without HCC, C2875T, G2946C, A3054C, C3060A, T3066C, C3116T, A3120C, G3191A, A1C, C7A, C10A, A31C, C76T, G105C, and G147C in both genotypes were significantly associated with increased risks of HCC. C2875A, G2950A, G2951A, A3054T, C3060T, T3066A, T3069G, A3120T, and G3191C were significantly associated with increased risks of HCC in genotype C, whereas these mutations were inversely associated with HCC in genotype B. Multivariate regression analyses showed that C76A/T was a novel factor independently associated with an increased risk of HCC, as compared with those without HCC. The frequencies of haplotypes 2964A-3116T-preS2 start codon wild-type-7C, 2964C-3116T-7A-76C, and 2964A-3116T-7C-76A/T were significantly higher in the patients with HCC (P<0.001), whereas a haplotypic carriage with a single mutation and another three wild-types were inversely associated with HCC. Conclusively, the association of HBV mutations in the preS region with HCC depends on HBV genotype and haplotypic carriage with two or more mutations that are each associated with an increased risk of HCC independently.
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Behavioral methods for the functional assessment of hair cells in zebrafish
Qin Yang, Peng Sun, Shi Chen, Hongzhe Li, Fangyi Chen
Front. Med.    2017, 11 (2): 178-190.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-017-0507-x
Abstract   HTML   PDF (338KB)

Zebrafish is an emerging animal model for studies on auditory system. This model presents high comparability with humans, good accessibility to the hearing organ, and high throughput capacity. To better utilize this animal model, methodologies need to be used to quantify the hearing function of the zebrafish. Zebrafish displays a series of innate and robust behavior related to its auditory function. Here, we reviewed the advantage of using zebrafish in auditory research and then introduced three behavioral tests, as follows: the startle response, the vestibular-ocular reflex, and rheotaxis. These tests are discussed in terms of their physiological characteristics, up-to-date technical development, and apparatus description. Test limitation and areas to improve are also introduced. Finally, we revealed the feasibility of these applications in zebrafish behavioral assessment and their potential in the high-throughput screening on hearing-related genes and drugs.

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Regulatory factors of mesenchymal stem cell migration into injured tissues and their signal transduction mechanisms
Li LI, Jianxin JIANG
Front Med    2011, 5 (1): 33-39.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-011-0114-1
Abstract   HTML   PDF (157KB)

Adult stem cells hold great promise for wound healing and tissue regeneration. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), for example, have been shown to play a role in tissue repair. Research has shown that endogenous bone marrow MSCs or exogenously delivered MSCs migrate to the sites of injury and participate in the repair process. The precise mechanisms underlying migration of MSCs into the injured tissue are still not fully understood, although multiple signaling pathways and molecules were reported, including both chemoattractive factors and endogenous electric fields at wounds. This review will briefly summarize the regulatory facors and signaling transduction pathways involved in migration of MSCs. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in the migration of MSCs will help us to develop new stem cell-based therapeutic strategies in regenerative medicine.

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Keratin 5-Cre-driven deletion of Ncstn in an acne inversa-like mouse model leads to a markedly increased IL-36a and Sprr2 expression
Jun Yang, Lianqing Wang, Yingzhi Huang, Keqiang Liu, Chaoxia Lu, Nuo Si, Rongrong Wang, Yaping Liu, Xue Zhang
Front. Med.    2020, 14 (3): 305-317.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-019-0722-8
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Familial acne inversa (AI) is an autoinflammatory disorder that affects hair follicles and is caused by loss-of-function mutations in g-secretase component genes. We and other researchers showed that nicastrin (NCSTN) is the most frequently mutated gene in familial AI. In this study, we generated a keratin 5-Cre-driven epidermis-specific Ncstn conditional knockout mutant in mice. We determined that this mutant recapitulated the major phenotypes of AI, including hyperkeratosis of hair follicles and inflammation. In Ncstnflox/flox;K5-Cre mice, the IL-36a expression level markedly increased starting from postnatal day 0 (P0), and this increase occurred much earlier than those of TNF-α, IL-23A, IL-1b, and TLR4. RNA-Seq analysis indicated that Sprr2d, a member of the small proline-rich protein 2 family, in the skin tissues of the Ncstnflox/flox;K5-Cre mice was also upregulated on P0. Quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction showed that other Sprr2 genes had a similar expression pattern. Our findings suggested that IL-36a might be a key inflammatory cytokine in the pathophysiology of AI and implicate malfunction of the skin barrier in the pathogenesis of AI.

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Insulin resistance and the metabolism of branched-chain amino acids
Jingyi Lu, Guoxiang Xie, Weiping Jia, Wei Jia
Front Med    2013, 7 (1): 53-59.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-013-0255-5
Abstract   HTML   PDF (196KB)

Insulin resistance (IR) is a key pathological feature of metabolic syndrome and subsequently causes serious health problems with an increased risk of several common metabolic disorders. IR related metabolic disturbance is not restricted to carbohydrates but impacts global metabolic network. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), namely valine, leucine and isoleucine, are among the nine essential amino acids, accounting for 35% of the essential amino acids in muscle proteins and 40% of the preformed amino acids required by mammals. The BCAAs are particularly responsive to the inhibitory insulin action on amino acid release by skeletal muscle and their metabolism is profoundly altered in insulin resistant conditions and/or insulin deficiency. Although increased circulating BCAA concentration in insulin resistant conditions has been noted for many years and BCAAs have been reported to be involved in the regulation of glucose homeostasis and body weight, it is only recently that BCAAs are found to be closely associated with IR. This review will focus on the recent findings on BCAAs from both epidemic and mechanistic studies.

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Prevention and treatment of pancreatic fistula after pancreatic body and tail resection: current status and future directions
Li Jiang, Deng Ning, Xiao-ping Chen
Front. Med.    2020, 14 (3): 251-261.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-019-0727-3
Abstract   HTML   PDF (270KB)

Postoperative pancreatic fistula (POPF) is the most common and critical complication after pancreatic body and tail resection. How to effectively reduce the occurrence of pancreatic fistula and conduct timely treatment thereafter is an urgent clinical issue to be solved. Recent research standardized the definition of pancreatic fistula and stressed the correlation between POPF classification and patient prognosis. According to the literature, identification of the risk factors for pancreatic fistula contributed to lowering the rate of the complication. Appropriate management of the pancreatic stump and perioperative treatment are of great significance to reduce the rate of POPF in clinical practice. After the occurrence of POPF, the treatment of choice should be determined according to the classification of the pancreatic fistula. However, despite the progress and promising treatment approaches, POPF remains to be a clinical issue that warrants further studies in the future.

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2019 novel coronavirus outbreak: a quiz or final exam?
Jiuyang Xu, Yijun Chen, Hao Chen, Bin Cao
Front. Med.    2020, 14 (2): 225-228.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-020-0753-1
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The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is an emerging pathogen and is threatening the global health. Strikingly, more than 28 000 cases and 550 deaths have been reported within two months from disease emergence. Armed with experience from previous epidemics in the last two decades, clinicians, scientists, officials, and citizens in China are all contributing to the prevention of further 2019-nCoV transmission. Efficient preliminary work has enabled us to understand the basic characteristics of 2019-nCoV, but there are still many unanswered questions. It is too early now to judge our performance in this outbreak. Continuous and strengthened efforts should be made not only during the epidemic, but also afterwards in order to prepare for any incoming challenges.

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Combination of western medicine and Chinese traditional patent medicine in treating a family case of COVID-19
Li Ni, Ling Zhou, Min Zhou, Jianping Zhao, Dao Wen Wang
Front. Med.    2020, 14 (2): 210-214.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-020-0757-x
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In December 2019, an outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) occurred in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. By February 14, 2020, it has led to 66 492 confirmed patients in China and high mortality up to ~2.96% (1123/37 914) in Wuhan. Here we report the first family case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) confirmed in Wuhan and treated using the combination of western medicine and Chinese traditional patent medicine Shuanghuanglian oral liquid (SHL). This report describes the identification, diagnosis, clinical course, and management of three cases from a family, suggests the expected therapeutic effects of SHL on COVID-19, and warrants further clinical trials.

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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): a clinical update
Min Zhou, Xinxin Zhang, Jieming Qu
Front. Med.    2020, 14 (2): 126-135.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-020-0767-8
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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has posed a significant threat to global health. It caused a total of 80 868 confirmed cases and 3101 deaths in Chinese mainland until March 8, 2020. This novel virus spread mainly through respiratory droplets and close contact. As disease progressed, a series of complications tend to develop, especially in critically ill patients. Pathological findings showed representative features of acute respiratory distress syndrome and involvement of multiple organs. Apart from supportive care, no specific treatment has been established for COVID-19. The efficacy of some promising antivirals, convalescent plasma transfusion, and tocilizumab needs to be investigated by ongoing clinical trials.

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Bone regeneration by stem cell and tissue engineering in oral and maxillofacial region
Zhiyuan Zhang
Front Med    2011, 5 (4): 401-413.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-011-0161-7
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Clinical imperatives for the reconstruction of jaw bone defects or resorbed alveolar ridge require new therapies or procedures instead of autologous/allogeneic bone grafts. Regenerative medicine, based on stem cell science and tissue engineering technology, is considered as an ideal alternative strategy for bone regeneration. In this paper, we review the current choices of cell source and strategies on directing the osteogenic differentiation of stem cells. The preclinical animal models for bone regeneration and the key translational points to clinical success in oral and maxillofacial region are also discussed. We propose comprehensive strategies based on stem cell and tissue engineering researches, allowing for clinical application in oral and maxillofacial region.

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Natural killer cell lines in tumor immunotherapy
Min Cheng, Jian Zhang, Wen Jiang, Yongyan Chen, Zhigang Tian
Front Med    2012, 6 (1): 56-66.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-012-0177-7
Abstract   HTML   PDF (187KB)

Natural killer (NK) cells are considered to be critical players in anticancer immunity. However, cancers are able to develop mechanisms to escape NK cell attack or to induce defective NK cells. Current NK cell-based cancer immunotherapy is aimed at overcoming NK cell paralysis through several potential approaches, including activating autologous NK cells, expanding allogeneic NK cells, usage of stable allogeneic NK cell lines and genetically modifying fresh NK cells or NK cell lines. The stable allogeneic NK cell line approach is more practical for quality-control and large-scale production. Additionally, genetically modifying NK cell lines by increasing their expression of cytokines and engineering chimeric tumor antigen receptors could improve their specificity and cytotoxicity. In this review, NK cells in tumor immunotherapy are discussed, and a list of therapeutic NK cell lines currently undergoing preclinical and clinical trials of several kinds of tumors are reviewed.

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Metabolomics in human type 2 diabetes research
Jingyi Lu, Guoxiang Xie, Weiping Jia, Wei Jia
Front Med    2013, 7 (1): 4-13.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-013-0248-4
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The high prevalence of diabetes and diabetic complications has caused a huge burden on the modern society. Although scientific advances have led to effective strategies for preventing and treating diabetes over the past several decades, little progress has been made toward curing the disease or even getting it under control, from a public health and overall societal standpoint. There is still a lack of reliable biomarkers indicative of metabolic alterations associated with diabetes and different drug responses, highlighting the need for the development of early diagnostic and prognostic markers for diabetes and diabetic complications. The emergence of metabolomics has allowed researchers to systemically measure the small molecule metabolites, which are sensitive to the changes of both environmental and genetic factors and therefore, could be regarded as the link between genotypes and phenotypes. During the last decade, the progression made in metabolomics has provided insightful information on disease development and disease onset prediction. Recent studies using metabolomics approach coupled with statistical tools to predict incident diabetes revealed a number of metabolites that are significantly altered, including branched-chain and aromatic amino acids, such as isoleucine, leucine, valine, tyrosine and phenylalanine, as diagnostic or highly-significant predictors of future diabetes. This review summarizes the current findings of metabolomic studies in human investigations with the most common form of diabetes, type 2 diabetes.

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Development of oncolytic virotherapy: from genetic modification to combination therapy
Qiaoshuai Lan, Shuai Xia, Qian Wang, Wei Xu, Haiyan Huang, Shibo Jiang, Lu Lu
Front. Med.    2020, 14 (2): 160-184.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-020-0750-4
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Oncolytic virotherapy (OVT) is a novel form of immunotherapy using natural or genetically modified viruses to selectively replicate in and kill malignant cells. Many genetically modified oncolytic viruses (OVs) with enhanced tumor targeting, antitumor efficacy, and safety have been generated, and some of which have been assessed in clinical trials. Combining OVT with other immunotherapies can remarkably enhance the antitumor efficacy. In this work, we review the use of wild-type viruses in OVT and the strategies for OV genetic modification. We also review and discuss the combinations of OVT with other immunotherapies.

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Developments in cancer prevention and treatment using traditional Chinese medicine
Hongsheng Lin, Jie Liu, Ying Zhang
Front Med    2011, 5 (2): 127-133.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-011-0137-7
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Through the joint efforts of several generations of practitioners in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and integrated medicine of oncology, we have made some achievements in cancer treatment using TCM in over 50 years, including treatment concepts, methods, and basic and clinical research. Currently, TCM plays an indispensable role in cancer prevention and treatment. However, we also clearly recognize that there are some issues that have yet to be resolved. In the future, cancer treated with TCM will face unprecedented opportunities and challenges. This article reviews the developments of TCM in the treatment of cancer.

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Mesenchymal stem cells hold promise for regenerative medicine
Shihua Wang, Xuebin Qu, Robert Chunhua Zhao
Front Med    2011, 5 (4): 372-378.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-011-0164-4
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Regenerative medicine is an emerging interdisciplinary field of research that uses several technological approaches including stem cells to repair tissues. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), a type of adult stem cell, have generated a great amount of interest over the past decade in this field. Numerous studies have explored the role of MSCs in tissue repair and modulation of allogeneic immune responses. The mechanisms through which MSCs exert their therapeutic potential rely on some key properties of the cells as follows: the capacity to differentiate into osteoblasts, chondrocytes, adipocytes, cardiomyocytes, hepatocytes, endothelial, and neuronal cells; the ability to secrete multiple bioactive molecules capable of stimulating the recovery of injured cells and inhibiting inflammation; the lack of immunogenicity; and the ability to perform immunomodulatory functions. In the present review, we focus on these three aspects upon which the therapeutic effects of MSCs are mainly based. Furthermore, some pathological conditions under which the application of MSCs should be done with caution are also mentioned.

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Effect of compound Sophorae Flavescentis Jiechangrong capsule on expression of NF-κB p65 and STAT6 in the intestinal mucosa of patients with ulcerative colitis
Heng FAN MD, Jia ZHAO MM, Lin SHEN BM, Qing TANG MD, Zhexin SHOU MM, Li LIANG BM, Yi LIAO BM, Xiaoyan CHEN BM,
Front. Med.    2009, 3 (4): 480-484.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-009-0083-9
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The effects of compound Sophorae Flavescentis Jiechangrong capsule (CSFJC) on the expression of nuclear factor-κB p65 (NF-κB p65) and signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 (STAT6) in the intestinal mucosa of patients with ulcerative colitis and the possible mechanism were investigated. Eighteen patients with ulcerative colitis were randomly divided into a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) group (n = 11) treated by CSFJC and a western medicine (WM) group (n = 7) treated by Sulfasalazine tablets. The treatment duration lasted eight weeks. Before and after the treatment, the symptoms and the physical signs were observed, and the routine stool test, the colonoscopy, and pathological examination were performed in the two groups. The expression levels of NF-κBp65 and STAT6 were detected by using immunohistochemistry. The results showed that the total effective rate of the curative effectiveness in TCM and WM groups was 100% and 71.4%, respectively, and the total effective rate of colonic mucosa lesion in TCM and WM groups was 90.9% and 71.4%, respectively, with the differences being significant (all P < 0.05). The total effective rate of syndromes of damp-heat blocking according to the TCM in TCM and WM groups was 90.9% and 71.4%, respectively. After the treatment, the expression of NF-κB p65 and STAT6 in the two groups was decreased, and the decrease of NF-κB p65 and STAT6 expression in TCM group was more significant than in WM group (P < 0.05). It was concluded that CSFJC can inhibit the activation and expression of NF-κB p65 and STAT6 in the intestinal mucosa of patients with ulcerative colitis, which is a possible mechanism for CSFJC treating ulcerative colitis.
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Chronic hepatitis B virus infection: epidemiology, prevention, and treatment in China
Rui Yu,Rong Fan,Jinlin Hou
Front. Med.    2014, 8 (2): 135-144.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-014-0331-5
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Chronic hepatitis B is a major health problem in China. The universal vaccination program since 1992 has changed the epidemiology of hepatitis B virus infection in China from highly to moderately endemic. The most prevalent hepatitis B virus strains in China are genotypes B and C, whereas those in western provinces are genotypes D and C/D hybrid. Chronic hepatitis B poses a heavy burden to the society in China. Different treatment strategies have been explored to improve patient outcomes in a cost-effective manner. However, antiviral drugs with a low genetic barrier to resistance are still extensively used because of the generally low income and limited resources in China. Individualized antiviral therapy is closely associated with translational medicine, which utilizes information from studies on genomics, immune biomarkers, and fibrosis. The results of these studies are crucial in further improving treatment outcomes.

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Clinical characteristics and prognostic values of 1p32.3 deletion detected through fluorescence in situ hybridization in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma: a single-center study in China
Huanping Wang, Haitao Meng, Jinghan Wang, Yinjun Lou, Yile Zhou, Peipei Lin, Fenglin Li, Lin Liu, Huan Xu, Min Yang, Jie Jin
Front. Med.    2020, 14 (3): 327-334.   https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-019-0712-x
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This study aimed to investigate the prevalence, clinical characteristics, and prognostic impact of 1p32.3 deletion in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM). A retrospective analysis was conducted on 411 patients with newly diagnosed MM; among which, 270 received bortezomib-based therapies, and 141 received thalidomide-based therapies. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was performed to detect six cytogenetic abnormalities, namely, del(1p32.3), gain(1q21), del(17p13), del(13q14), t(4;14), and t(11;14). Results showed that 8.3% of patients with MM were detected with del(1p32.3) and had significantly more bone marrow plasma cells (P = 0.025), higher β2-microglobulin levels (P = 0.036), and higher lactate dehydrogenase levels (P = 0.042) than those without del(1p32.3). Univariate analysis showed that patients with del(1p32.3) under thalidomide-based therapies (median PFS 11.6 vs. 31.2 months, P = 0.002; median OS 16.8 vs. 45.9 months, P <0.001) were strongly associated with short progression-free survival (PFS) (P = 0.002) and overall survival (OS) (P <0.001). Multivariate analysis revealed that del(1p32.3) remained a powerful independent factor with worse PFS (P = 0.006) and OS (P = 0.016) for patients under thalidomide-based treatments. Patients with del(1p32.3) under bortezomib-based treatments tended to have short PFS and OS. In conclusion, del(1p32.3) is associated with short PFS and OS in patients with MM who received thalidomide- or bortezomib-based treatments.

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