Calcium phosphate (CaP) nanoparticles (NP) with an asymmetric lipid bilayer coating have been designed for targeted delivery of siRNA to the tumor. An anionic lipid, dioleoylphosphatydic acid (DOPA), was employed as the inner leaflet lipid to coat the nano-size CaP cores, which entrap the siRNA, such that the coated cores were soluble in organic solvent. A suitable neutral or cationic lipid was used as the outer leaflet lipid to form an asymmetric lipid bilayer structure verified by the measurement of NP zeta potential. The resulting NP was named LCP-II with a size of about 25 to 30nm in diameter and contained a hollow core as revealed by TEM imaging. PEGylation of NP was done by including a PEG-phospholipid conjugate, with or without a targeting ligand anisamide, in the outer leaflet lipid mixture. The sub-cellular distribution studied in the sigma receptor positive human H460 lung cancer cells indicated that LCP-II could release more cargo to the cytoplasm than our previous lipid/protamine/DNA (LPD) formulation, leading to a significant (~40 fold in vitro and ~4 fold in vivo) improvement in siRNA delivery. Bio-distribution study showed that LCP-II required more PEGylation for MPS evasion than the previous LPD, probably due to increased surface curvature in LCP-II.
Folate receptors (FRα, FRβ and FRγ) are cysteine-rich cell-surface glycoproteins that bind folate with high affinity to mediate cellular uptake of folate. Although expressed at very low levels in most tissues, folate receptors, especially FRα, are expressed at high levels in numerous cancers to meet the folate demand of rapidly dividing cells under low folate conditions. The folate dependency of many tumours has been therapeutically and diagnostically exploited by administration of anti-FRα antibodies, high-affinity antifolates, folate-based imaging agents and folate-conjugated drugs and toxins. To understand how folate binds its receptors, we determined the crystal structure of human FRα in complex with folic acid at 2.8 Å resolution. FRα has a globular structure stabilized by eight disulphide bonds and contains a deep open folate-binding pocket comprised of residues that are conserved in all receptor subtypes. The folate pteroate moiety is buried inside the receptor, whereas its glutamate moiety is solvent-exposed and sticks out of the pocket entrance, allowing it to be conjugated to drugs without adversely affecting FRα binding. The extensive interactions between the receptor and ligand readily explain the high folate-binding affinity of folate receptors and provide a template for designing more specific drugs targeting the folate receptor system.
High-aspect-ratio, vertically aligned carbon nanofibers (VACNFs) were conformally coated with aluminum oxide (Al2O3) and aluminum-doped zinc oxide (AZO) using atomic layer deposition (ALD) in order to produce a three-dimensional array of metal-insulator-metal core-shell nanostructures. Prefunctionalization before ALD, as required for initiating covalent bonding on a carbon nanotube surface, was eliminated on VACNFs due to the graphitic edges along the surface of each CNF. The graphitic edges provided ideal nucleation sites under sequential exposures of H2O and trimethylaluminum to form an Al2O3 coating up to 20 nm in thickness. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and scanning electron microscopy images confirmed the conformal core-shell AZO/Al2O3/CNF structures while energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy verified the elemental composition of the different layers. HRTEM selected area electron diffraction revealed that the as-made Al2O3 by ALD at 200 °C was amorphous, and then, after annealing in air at 450 °C for 30 min, was converted to polycrystalline form. Nevertheless, comparable dielectric constants of 9.3 were obtained in both cases by cyclic voltammetry at a scan rate of 1000 V/s. The conformal core-shell AZO/Al2O3/VACNF array structure demonstrated in this work provides a promising three-dimensional architecture toward applications of solid-state capacitors with large surface area having a thin, leak-free dielectric.
Prior research has shown that the amygdala of carriers of the short allele (s) of the serotonin transporter (5-HTT) gene (5-HTTLPR) have a larger response to negative emotional stimuli and higher spontaneous activity during the resting state than non-carriers. However, recent studies have suggested that the effects of 5-HTTLPR may be specific to different ethnic groups. Few studies have been conducted to address this issue.
Blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was conducted on thirty-eight healthy Han Chinese subjects (l/l group, n = 19; s/s group, n = 19) during the resting state and during an emotional processing task. Compared with the s/s group, the l/l group showed significantly increased regional homogeneity or local synchronization in the right amygdala during the resting state (|t|>2.028, p<0.05, corrected), but no significant difference was found in the bilateral amygdala in response to negative stimuli in the emotional processing task.
5-HTTLPR can alter the spontaneous activity of the amygdala in Han Chinese. However, the effect of 5-HTTLPR on the amygdala both in task state and resting state in Asian population was no similar with Caucasians. They suggest that the effect of 5-HTTLPR on the amygdala may be modulated by ethnic differences.
Enterocytes exist in close association with tissue macrophages, whose activation during inflammatory processes leads to the release of nitric oxide (NO). Repair from mucosal injury requires the migration of enterocytes into the mucosal defect, a process that requires connexin43 (Cx43)-mediated gap junction communication between adjacent enterocytes. Enterocyte migration is inhibited during inflammatory conditions including necrotizing enterocolitis, in part, through impaired gap junction communication. We now hypothesize that activated macrophages inhibit gap junctions of adjacent enterocytes and seek to determine whether NO release from macrophages was involved. Using a coculture system of enterocytes and macrophages, we now demonstrate that "activation" of macrophages with lipopolysaccharide and interferon reduces the phosphorylation of Cx43 in adjacent enterocytes, an event known to inhibit gap junction communication. The effects of macrophages on enterocyte gap junctions could be reversed by treatment of macrophages with the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) inhibitor l-Lysine omega-acetamidine hydrochloride (l-NIL) and by incubation with macrophages from iNOS(-/-) mice, implicating NO in the process. Activated macrophages also caused a NO-dependent redistribution of connexin43 in adjacent enterocytes from the cell surface to an intracellular location, further suggesting NO release may inhibit gap junction function. Treatment of enterocytes with the NO donor S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP) markedly inhibited gap junction communication as determined using single cell microinjection of the gap junction tracer Lucifer yellow. Strikingly, activated macrophages inhibited enterocyte migration into a scraped wound, which was reversed by l-NIL pretreatment. These results implicate enterocyte gap junctions as a target of the NO-mediated effects of macrophages during intestinal inflammation, particularly where enterocyte migration is impaired.
Several studies have shown that cancer stem cells (CSCs) promote tumor angiogenesis and are involved in tumor growth. A meta-analysis was conducted to evaluate the association between cancer stem cell markers expression and microvessel density (MVD).
Relevant literature was identified from diverse databases. The Stata 12.0 and Review Manager 5.3 software were used to performed meta-analysis.
Sixteen studies investigating the correlation between CSCs and tumor angiogenesis were included in a total of 1409 cases. The result showed that positive CSC markers expression were associated with increased MVD count in human tumors and CSC-transplanted mouse tumor models (p < 0.0001).
CSCs may be associated with angiogenesis during the growth and development of tumors.
A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials on evaluating the clinical efficacy of Xuebijing in treating patients with sepsis had been recently published in this journal, however, in our opinion, at least 6 questions or doubts existed about the content and methodology of the systematic review, thus, we write this letter to the journal to share these questions with the editor and readers with the hope of getting these questions solved and learning more about the true effects which Xuebijing should have on in treating patients with sepsis.
Interventional treatment for childhood combined congenital heart disease (CHD) has developed very quickly and more new types of occluders have emerged in recent years. The aim of this study is to investigate the efficiency and safety of interventional treatment for combined CHD in children.
Eight children with combined CHD (4 boys and 4 girls), aged 6.1+/-2.9 years, underwent simultaneous transcatheter therapy. Of the 8 children with CHD, 1 case had atrial septal defect (ASD), ventricular septal defect (VSD) and patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), 1 case had ASD, PDA and pulmonary stenosis (PS), 1 case had ASD and PDA, 1 case had patent foramen ovale (PFO) and PS, and 4 cases had ASD and PS. The methods of transcatheter intervention for these patients were as follows: in patients with ASD,VSD and PDA, the occlusion of VSD was performed first, followed by PDA and ASD occlusions; in patients with ASD, PDA and PS, the occlusion of percutaneous balloon pulmonary valvuloplasty (PBPV) was performed first, followed by PDA and ASD occlusions; in patients with PFO and PS, the occlusion of PBPV was performed first, and PFO occlusion followed; in patients with ASD and PS, the occlusion of PBPV was performed first, and ASD occlusion followed.
The intervention operation was successfully performed in all of the 8 patients. No serious adverse events occurred during the operation. No residual shunt was found and all the occlusion devices were in the suitable sites shown by transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) and X-ray right after the operation. In the 6 patients with PS, the systolic pressure across the pulmonary valve decreased from 75.3+/-15.6 mmHg (before operation) to 14.0+/-5.6 mmHg after operation (P<0.05).A 3.4+/-1.2 years follow-up demonstrated that no residual shunt occurred and gradients across valve or coarctation sites were within the limit of satisfactory results. No complications were observed during the follow-up.
Transcatheter interventional therapy for childhood combined CHD can obtain satisfactory results by proper procedures.