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BioMed Research International
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Correlation between Skip N2 Metastases and SUVmax, Long Diameter of Tumor, and Ki67 Expression in Patients with Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

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BioMed Research International publishes original research articles, review articles, and clinical studies covering a wide range of subjects within the biomedical sciences. The journal will accept both basic and translational research.

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BioMed Research International maintains an Editorial Board of practicing researchers from around the world, to ensure manuscripts are handled by editors who are experts in the field of study.

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We currently have a number of Special Issues open for submission. Special Issues highlight emerging areas of research within a field, or provide a venue for a deeper investigation into an existing research area.

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Research Article

The Prediction and Prognostic Significance of INPP5K Expression in Patients with Liver Cancer

Liver cancer is a devastating disease for humans with poor prognosis. Although the survival rate of patients with liver cancer has improved in the past decades, the recurrence and metastasis of liver cancer are still obstacles for us. Inositol polyphosphate-5-phosphatase K (INPP5K) belongs to the family of phosphoinositide 5-phosphatases (PI 5-phosphatases), which have been reported to be associated with cell migration, polarity, adhesion, and cell invasion, especially in cancers. However, there have been few studies on the correlation of INPP5K and liver cancer. In this study, we explored the prognostic significance of INPP5K in liver cancer through bioinformatics analysis of data collected from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database. Chi-square and Fisher exact tests were used to evaluate the relationship between INPP5K expression and clinical characteristics. Our results showed that low INPP5K expression was correlated with poor outcomes in liver cancer patients. Univariate and multivariate Cox analyses demonstrated that low INPP5K mRNA expression played a significant role in shortening overall survival (OS) and relapse-free survival (RFS), which might serve as the useful biomarker and prognostic factor for liver cancer. In conclusion, low INPP5K mRNA expression is an independent risk factor for poor prognosis in liver cancer.

Research Article

Aptamer-Conjugated Multifunctional Polymeric Nanoparticles as Cancer-Targeted, MRI-Ultrasensitive Drug Delivery Systems for Treatment of Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

Nanoscopic therapeutic systems that incorporate therapeutic agents, molecular targeting, and imaging capabilities have gained momentum and exhibited significant therapeutic potential. In this study, multifunctional polymeric nanoparticles with controlled drug delivery, cancer-targeted capability, and efficient magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast characteristics were formulated and applied in the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). The “core-shell” targeted nanoparticles (NPs) were synthesized by the self-assembly of a prefunctionalized amphiphilic triblock copolymer composed of poly(lactic-co-glycolic-acid) (PLGA), polyethylene glycol (PEG), and the Wy5a aptamer (Apt), which have been screened for targeting the CRPC cell line PC-3 by cell-SELEX technique as described in our previous study. Docetaxel (Dtxl) and a cluster of hydrophobic superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoparticles were simultaneously encapsulated into the targeted nanoparticles. The targeted NPs showed a controlled drug release and an increased contrast-enhanced MRI capability. The presence of Wy5a on the nanoparticle surface resulted in the cancer-targeted delivery to PC-3 cells in vitro and in vivo. In vitro MRI and cytotoxicity studies demonstrated the ultrasensitive MRI and increased cytotoxicity of these targeted NPs. In vivo studies revealed that the targeted NPs exhibited a more efficacious antitumor capability without significant systemic toxicity. Our data suggested that these targeted NPs may be a promising drug delivery system for the efficacious treatment of CRPC.

Research Article

A Novel Strategy Facilitates Reference Gene Selection by RT-qPCR Analysis in Kidney Yang Deficiency Syndrome Mice Infected with the Influenza A (H1N1) Virus

In reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) studies, endogenous reference genes are routinely used to normalize the expression of target gene studies. In order to precisely evaluate the relative expression of genes in the cells of mice suffering from Kidney Yang Deficiency Syndrome (KYDS) in response to influenza A virus (IAV) H1N1 using RT-qPCR, it is crucial to identify reliable reference genes. In the present study, 15 candidate reference genes (Actb, β2m, Gapdh, Gusb, Tuba, Grcc10, Eif4h, Rnf187, Nedd8, Ywhae, 18S rRNA, Rpl13, Ubc, Rpl32, and Ppia) were investigated in lung cells from KYDS mice infected with IAV H1N1. NormFinder, BestKeeper, and GeNorm were used to assess the stability of reference genes. The results were authenticated over extended experimental settings by a group of 10 samples. In the present study, we explored a novel method using dual-gene combinations; the difference in gene expression between the model and normal control groups was statistically analyzed by an independent-samples -test, and the difference in the mean value between the two groups was compared. A value > 0.05 and the lowest absolute value of the difference indicated the optimal reference two-gene combination. Four additional host innate immune system-related genes (TLR3, TLR4, TLR7, and RIG-I) were analyzed together with the two treatment datasets to confirm the selected reference genes. Our results indicated that none of these 15 candidate reference genes can be used as reference gene individually for relative quantitative fluorescence PCR analysis; however, the combination of Grcc10 and Ppia, based on the process of calculating the higher value and lower difference values between groups, was the best choice as a reference gene for the lung tissue samples in KYDS mice infected with IAV. This technique may be applied to promote the selection process of the optimal reference gene in other experiments.

Research Article

Catalpol Attenuates Hepatic Steatosis by Regulating Lipid Metabolism via AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Activation

The increased prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which develops from hepatic steatosis, represents a public health challenge. Catalpol, a natural component extracted from the roots of Radix Rehmanniae, has several pharmacological activities. The present study is aimed at examining whether catalpol prevents hepatic steatosis in cell and animal experiments and elucidating the possible mechanisms. HepG2 cells were treated with 300 μM palmitate (PA) and/or catalpol for 24 h in vitro, and male C57BL/6J mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) were administered catalpol for 18 weeks in vivo. The results revealed that catalpol significantly decreased lipid accumulation in PA-treated HepG2 cells. Moreover, catalpol drastically reduced body weight and lipid accumulation in the liver, whereas it ameliorated hepatocyte steatosis in HFD-fed mice. Notably, catalpol remarkably promoted the phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and acetyl-CoA carboxylase. Subsequently, catalpol repressed the expressions of lipogenesis-associated genes such as sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c and fatty acid synthase but promoted the expressions of genes associated with fatty acid β-oxidation such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α together with its target genes carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 and acyl-CoA oxidase 1 (ACOX1). However, the preincubation of the HepG2 cells with compound C (10 μM), an AMPK inhibitor, prevented catalpol-mediated beneficial effects. These findings suggest that catalpol ameliorates hepatic steatosis by suppressing lipogenesis and enhancing fatty acid β-oxidation in an AMPK-dependent manner. Therefore, catalpol has potential as a novel agent in the treatment of NAFLD.

Research Article

CTLA4-Ig Abatacept Ameliorates Proteinuria by Regulating Circulating Treg/IL-17 in Adriamycin-Induced Nephropathy Rats

Objective. This study is aimed at investigating the efficacy of CTLA4-Ig abatacept in normalizing proteinuria and its possible mechanism in adriamycin-induced nephropathy (AIN) rats. Methods. A total of 32 healthy male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into a normal group, an AIN group, an abatacept group, and a prednisone group. Adriamycin (6.5 mg/kg) was injected once via the tail vein of rats to induce nephrotic syndrome. After adriamycin treatment, the abatacept group rats were given abatacept (0.5 mg/kg) once by intraperitoneal injection on day 14. In addition, the prednisone group rats were given prednisone (12.5 mg/kg) daily consecutively by gavage from day 14 to day 21. Blood, urine, and kidney tissue specimens were collected when sacrificed on day 21. The 24-hour urinary protein, serum albumin, cholesterol, creatinine, and urea nitrogen were then detected. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to determine the level of urine CD80 and serum IL-17. Flow cytometry was used to investigate the prevalence of circulating Treg. Hematoxylin-eosin staining and electron microscopy were used for a renal histological study. Immunofluorescence staining was performed to confirm the CD80 expression of renal tissue. Results. The 24-hour urinary protein of the abatacept group was significantly lower than that of the prednisone group and the AIN group. The level of urine CD80 of the abatacept group was significantly lower than that of the AIN group. Compared with the AIN group and the prednisone group, the circulating Treg prevalence of the abatacept group was significantly higher, while the level of serum IL-17 was lower. A negative kidney staining of CD80 expression was demonstrated in each group in this study. The 24-hour urinary protein had a negative correlation with the circulating Treg prevalence and Treg/IL-17 and a positive correlation with the urine CD80 and serum IL-17. Urinary CD80 had a positive correlation with serum IL-17 and no correlation with the circulating Treg prevalence. Conclusions. CTLA4-Ig abatacept can reduce proteinuria of adriamycin-induced nephropathy rats, possibly at least partially as a result of regulating circulating Treg/IL-17. CTLA4-Ig abatacept could be a promising regimen for idiopathic nephrotic syndrome.

Research Article

Evidence-Based Optimal Cutoff Values with the Validation of Criterion-Referenced Standards for Sarcopenic Elderly Fitness Improvement

This study provides a newly updated perspective of information on severely screened 21 previous studies of the various measurement methods for improving physical fitness and providing determined cutoff values from our reserved elderly human database. We aimed to provide scientific evidence-based information regarding physical fitness standards for developing useful prognostics, promoting and maintaining health programs for sarcopenic elderly. 21 previous studies emphasizing criterion referenced standards and receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve analyses for improving physical fitness were screened. For predicting the prevalence of sarcopenia, the -test, logistic regression, linear regression, ROC curve analyses, and voluntary categorizations such as the twentieth or sixtieth percentile classification were used. Based on these scientific evidences, we determined cutoff values from our reserved DB and realized that 75 years for men and 70 years for women are the transitional period during which there are large declines in muscle and fat mass (), which reflects physical function tests () in both genders. Using the six factors with ideal cutoff thresholds, an individual exercise program can be designed for alleviating symptoms of frailty caused by sarcopenia for the elderly.

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