Jan 2017, Volume 31 Issue 3

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  • Review Article
    Azeem Alam,Ka Chun Suen,Daqing Ma
    Journal of Biomedical Research. 2017, 31 (3) : 0. https://doi.org/10.7555/JBR.31.20160060

    Acute on chronic liver failure (ACLF) was first described in 1995 as a clinical syndrome distinct to classic acute decompensation. Characterized by complications of decompensation, ACLF occurs on a background of chronic liver dysfunction and is associated with high rates of organ failure and significant short-term mortality estimated between 45% and 90%. Despite the clinical relevance of the condition, it still remains largely undefined with continued disagreement regarding its precise etiological factors, clinical course, prognostic criteria and management pathways. It is concerning that, despite our relative lack of understanding of the condition, the burden of ACLF among cirrhotic patients remains significant with an estimated prevalence of 30.9%. This paper highlights our current understanding of ACLF, including its etiology, diagnostic and prognostic criteria and pathophysiology. It is evident that further refinement of the ACLF classification system is required in order to detect high-risk patients and improve short-term mortality rates. The field of metabolomics certainly warrants investigation to enhance diagnostic and prognostic parameters, while the use of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor is a promising future therapeutic intervention for patients with ACLF.

  • Perspective
    Jinfan Wang
    Journal of Biomedical Research. 2017, 31 (3) : 175-176. https://doi.org/10.7555/JBR.31.20150099
  • Review Article
    Anam Akhtar, Scarlet Xiaoyan Wang, Lucy Ghali, Celia Bell, Xuesong Wen
    Journal of Biomedical Research. 2017, 31 (3) : 177-188. https://doi.org/10.7555/JBR.31.20160059

    Since arsenic trioxide was first approved as the front line therapy for acute promyelocytic leukemia 25 years ago, its anti-cancer properties for various malignancies have been under intense investigation. However, the clinical successes of arsenic trioxide in treating hematological cancers have not been translated to solid cancers. This is due to arsenic's rapid clearance by the body's immune system before reaching the tumor site. Several attempts have henceforth been made to increase its bioavailability toward solid cancers without increasing its dosage albeit without much success. This review summarizes the past and current utilization of arsenic trioxide in the medical field with primary focus on the implementation of nanotechnology for arsenic trioxide delivery to solid cancer cells. Different approaches that have been employed to increase arsenic's efficacy, specificity and bioavailability to solid cancer cells were evaluated and compared. The potential of combining different approaches or tailoring delivery vehicles to target specific types of solid cancers according to individual cancer characteristics and arsenic chemistry is proposed and discussed.

  • Review Article
    Kevin Lee, Gary A Piazza
    Journal of Biomedical Research. 2017, 31 (3) : 189-196. https://doi.org/10.7555/JBR.31.20160133

    The activation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling cascade has been well studied and documented in colorectal cancer (CRC). The long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) has been shown to reduce the incidence and risk of death from CRC in numerous epidemiological studies. The NSAID sulindac has also been reported to cause regression of precancerous adenomas in individuals with familial adenomatous polyposis who are at high risk of developing CRC. The mechanism responsible for cancer chemopreventive activity of NSAIDs is not well understood but may be unrelated to their cyclooxygenase inhibitory activity. Emerging evidence suggests that sulindac inhibits the growth of colon tumor cells by suppressing the activity of certain phosphodiesterase isozymes to activate cGMP-dependent protein kinase, PKG, through the elevation of the second messenger cyclic guanosine monophosphote, cGMP. PKG activation has been shown to inhibit the nuclear translocation of β-catenin, reduce β-catenin mRNA and protein levels, and suppress the transcriptional activity of β-catenin. This review describes the relationship between the Wnt/β-catenin signaling cascade and the activation of PKG through PDE inhibition and elevation of intracellular cGMP levels.

  • Original Article
    Xu Hu, Linfei Jiang, Chenhui Tang, Yuehong Ju, Li Jiu, Yongyue Wei, Li Guo, Yang Zhao
    Journal of Biomedical Research. 2017, 31 (3) : 213-225. https://doi.org/10.7555/JBR.31.20160087

    Expression of estrogen receptors is correlated with breast cancer risk, but inconsistent results have been reported. To clarify potential estrogen receptor (ESR)-related breast cancer risk, we analyzed genetic variants ofESR1 in association with breast cancer susceptibility. We performed a meta-analysis to investigate the association between rs2234693, rs1801132, and rs2046210 (single nucleotide polymorphisms ofESR1), and breast cancer risk. Our analysis included 44 case-control studies. For rs2234693, the CC genotype had a higher risk of breast cancer compared to the TT or CT genotype. For rs2046210, the AA, GA, or GA+ GG genotype had a much higher risk compared to the GG genotype. No significant association was found for the rs1801132 polymorphism with breast cancer risk. This meta-analysis demonstrates association between the rs2234693 and rs2046210 polymorphisms ofESR1 and breast cancer risk. The correlation strength between rs2234693 and breast cancer susceptibility differs in subgroup assessment by ethnicity.

  • Original Article
    Yueying Li, Jun Liu, Xiaoming Yang, Yan Dong, Yali Liu, Min Chen
    Journal of Biomedical Research. 2017, 31 (3) : 232-239. https://doi.org/10.7555/JBR.31.20160039

    Ginkgol C17:1 has been shown to inhibit apoptosis and migration of cancer cells, but the underlying mechanisms are not fully elucidated. In this study, we explored whether the inhibitory effects of Ginkgol C17:1 were associated with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and PI3K/Akt signaling. The results showed that EGF treatment increased the phosphorylation of EGFR, PI3K, Akt, mTOR and NF- kB, and also enhanced the proliferation, migration and invasion of HepG2 cells. Ginkgol C17:1 dose-dependently inhibited EGF-induced phosphorylation/activation of all the key components including EGFR, PI3K, Akt, mTOR and NF- kB, leading to a significant reduction either of proliferation or migration and invasion of HepG2 cells. Notably, treatment with Ginkgol C17:1 in mice suppressed the growth of tumor massin vivo, and expression of EGFR in the tumor tissue. The results suggest that Ginkgol C17:1 is a potent tumor inhibiting compound that acts on EGF-induced signal transduction of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathways, and may represent a clinically interesting candidate for cancer therapy.

  • Original Article
    Anna Karolina Zuk, Xuesong Wen, Stephen Dilworth, Dong Li, Lucy Ghali
    Journal of Biomedical Research. 2017, 31 (3) : 240-247. https://doi.org/10.7555/JBR.31.20160150

    The use of three dimensional in vitro systems in cancer research is a promising path for developing effective anticancer therapies. The aim of this study was to engineer a functional 3-Din vitro model of normal and cancerous cervical tissue.Normal epithelial and immortalized cervical epithelial carcinoma cell lines were used to construct 3-D artificial normal cervical and cervical cancerous tissues. De-epidermised dermis (DED) was used as a scaffold for both models. Morphological analyses were conducted by using hematoxylin and eosin staining and characteristics of the models were studied by analyzing the expression of different structural cytokeratins and differential protein marker Mad1 using immunohistochemical technique.Haematoxylin and eosin staining results showed that normal cervical tissue had multi epithelial layers while cancerous cervical tissue showed dysplastic changes. Immunohistochemistry staining results revealed that for normal cervix model cytokeratin 10 was expressed in the upper stratified layer of epithelium while cytokeratin 5 was expressed mainly in the middle and basal layer. Cytokeratin 19 was weakly expressed in a few basal cells. Cervical cancer model showed cytokeratin 19 expression in different epithelial layers and weak or no expression for cytokeratin 5 and cytokeratin 10. Mad1 expression was detected in some suprabasal cells.The 3-Din vitro models showed stratified epithelial layers and expressed the same types and patterns of differentiation marker proteins as seen in correspondingin vivo tissue in either normal cervical or cervical cancerous tissue. Findings imply that they can serve as functional normal and cervical cancer models.

  • Original Article
    Houcheng Liang, Jingdong Zhang, Pifu Luo, Hongna Zhu, Ying Qiao, Anle Su, Ting Zhang
    Journal of Biomedical Research. 2017, 31 (3) : 256-263. https://doi.org/10.7555/JBR.31.20160127

    The objective of this study was to explore whether there was a functional link between trigeminal proprioception and the oculomotor system mediated through jaw muscle afferents. Electromyography (EMG) was undertaken of the levator palpebrae (LP) and superior rectus (SR), and Fos expression was detected in the brainstem following consecutive down-stretching of the lower jaw at 2-4 Hz in rats. Retrograde tracing was undertaken of the interstitial nucleus of Cajal and Darkschewitsch nucleus (INC/DN) pre-oculomotor neurons. EMG-like responses were recorded from the LP/SR during down-stretching of the lower jaw at 2-4 Hz in 3 out of 11 rats. Fos expression was induced by consecutive down-stretching of the lower jaw at 2-4 Hz for 20-30 seconds. Interestingly, Fos expression was distributed mainly in the bilateral INC/DN area. We also examined Fos-like immunoreactivity in central mesencephalic and paramedian pontine reticular formation that harbors premotor neurons controlling horizontal eye movement, but no Fos-like staining was observed therein. By injection of retrograde tracers into the oculomotor nucleus combined with Fos immunostaining, double labeled pre-oculomotor neurons were visualized to distribute in the INC/DN. In conclusions, there may exist a trigeminal proprioceptive – oculomotor system neural circuit through jaw muscle afferents in rats. Judging from Fos distribution pattern, this pathway might be related to vertical and torsional eye movements.

  • Original Article
    Ensanya Ali Abou Neel, Anne M. Young
    Journal of Biomedical Research. 2017, 31 (3) : 264-272. https://doi.org/10.7555/JBR.31.20150023

    Regardless of the excellent properties of glass ionomer cements, their poor mechanical properties limit their applications to non-load bearing areas. This study aimed to investigate the effect of incorporated short, chopped and randomly distributed flax fibers (0, 0.5, 1, 2.5, 5 and 25 wt%) on setting reaction kinetics, and mechanical and morphological properties of glass ionomer cements. Addition of flax fibers did not significantly affect the setting reaction extent. According to their content, flax fibers increased the compressive (from 148 to 250 MPa) and flexure strength (from 20 to 42 MPa). They also changed the brittle behavior of glass ionomer cements to a plastic one. They significantly reduced the compressive (from 3 to 1.3 GPa) and flexure modulus (from 19 to 14 GPa). Accordingly, flax fiber-modified glass ionomer cements could be potentially used in high-stress bearing areas.

  • Case Report
    Long Xie, Heming Wu, Siyu Liu, Hongwei Li
    Journal of Biomedical Research. 2017, 31 (3) : 273-276. https://doi.org/10.7555/JBR.30.20140061

    Spindle cell carcinoma is a rare highly malignant squamous cell carcinoma. Here, we describe a case of a 74-year-old Chinese female who presented with a 2-week history of pain and swelling in the left retromolar region. Surgical resection and titanium plate prosthesis were performed and histological analysis revealed spindle squamous cell carcinoma.

  • Original Article
    Xunxian Liu, Zemin Yao
    Journal of Biomedical Research. 2017, 31 (3) : 248-255. https://doi.org/10.7555/JBR.31.20160096

    Our recent studies with cultured retinal pigment epithelium cells suggested that overexpression of interleukin 17 receptor C (IL-17RC), a phenomenon observed in peripheral blood and chorioretinal tissues with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), was associated with altered activation of phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), Akt, and glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3). We wondered whether or not altered PI3K, Akt, and GSK3 activities could be detected in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) obtained from AMD patients. In the patients' PBMC, absent or reduced serine-phosphorylation of GSK3α or GSK3β was observed, which was accompanied with increased phosphorylation of GSK3 substrates (e.g. CCAAT enhancer binding protein α, insulin receptor substrate 1, and TAU), indicative of enhanced GSK3 activation. In addition, decreased protein mass of PI3K85α and tyrosine-phosphorylation of PI3K50α was present in PBMC of the AMD patients, suggesting impaired PI3K activation. Moreover, abnormally lowered molecular weight forms of Akt and GSK3 were detected in PBMC of the AMD patients. These data demonstrate that despite the presence of high levels of IL-17RC, Wnt-3a and vascular endothelial growth factor, the PI3K/Akt/GSK3 signaling pathway is insensitive to these stimuli in PBMC of the AMD patients. Thus, measurement of PI3K/Akt/GSK3 expression and activity in PBMC may serve as a surrogate biomarker for AMD.

  • Original Article
    Il-Seok Lee, Sung Pil Seo, Yun Sok Ha, Pildu Jeong, Ho Won Kang, Won Tae Kim, Yong-June Kim, Seok Joong Yun, Sang Cheol Lee, Wun-Jae Kim
    Journal of Biomedical Research. 2017, 31 (3) : 226-231. https://doi.org/10.7555/JBR.31.20160072

    Prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA) is a cell-membrane glycoprotein consisting of 123 amino acids and highly expressed in the prostate, but there have been few reports on the relationship between rs2294008 ofPSCA and prostate cancer in the literature. Therefore, we evaluated the association between rs2294008 and the risk of prostate cancer. A total of 240 prostate cancer patients and 306 controls (patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia) were enrolled. Genotype analysis of rs2294008 ofPSCA was performed using PCR. Logistic regression analysis was performed according to the genotype ofPSCA rs2294008. We found that CT and TT genotypes were associated with an insignificant risk of prostate cancer compared with the CC genotype (P= 0.627 and 0.397, respectively). In addition, there was no significant difference in rs2294008 according to clinicopathological parameters, such as age, Gleason score, prostate-specific antigen (PSA), stage, and metastasis in prostate cancer (P>0.05 for each). Age, Gleason score, PSA, pathologic stage, and metastasis did not modify the association between PSCA and the risk of prostate cancer (each P>0.05 for each). Taken together, the genetic polymorphism of PSCA rs2294008 was not associated with the risk of prostate cancer. Our results suggest that rs2294008 may not play a role in prostate carcinogenesis.

  • Review Article
    Zhaosheng Jin, Ka Chun Suen, Daqing Ma
    Journal of Biomedical Research. 2017, 31 (3) : 197-212. https://doi.org/10.7555/JBR.31.20160053

    Perioperative acute lung injury (ALI) is a syndrome characterised by hypoxia and chest radiograph changes. It is a serious post-operative complication, associated with considerable mortality and morbidity. In addition to mechanical ventilation, remote organ insult could also trigger systemic responses which induce ALI. Currently, there are limited treatment options available beyond conservative respiratory support. However, increasing understanding of the pathophysiology of ALI and the biochemical pathways involved will aid the development of novel treatments and help to improve patient outcome as well as to reduce cost to the health service. In this review we will discuss the epidemiology of peri-operative ALI; the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved on the pathological process; the clinical considerations in preventing and managing perioperative ALI and the potential future treatment options.