International journal of biological sciences (INT J BIOL SCI )

Publisher: Ivyspring International Publisher

Description

International Journal of Biological Sciences publishes peer-reviewed scientific papers of significance in all areas of biological sciences. The Journal targets wide ranges of international audiences of researchers and biotechnology company employees. The scope of the Journal includes cell biology, developmental biology, structural biology, microbiology, molecular biology & genetics, biochemistry, biotechnology, biodiversity, ecology, marine biology, plant biology, and bioinformatics. Articles of cross-disciplined research between biology and mathematics, physics, information science, material science and others are also considered. Selected papers from scientific meetings may be published as special issues of the Journal.

  • Impact factor
    3.17
    Show impact factor history
     
    Impact factor
  • 5-year impact
    3.44
  • Cited half-life
    3.20
  • Immediacy index
    0.77
  • Eigenfactor
    0.01
  • Article influence
    0.95
  • Website
    International Journal of Biological Sciences website
  • ISSN
    1449-2288
  • OCLC
    57564437
  • Material type
    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Ivyspring International Publisher

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Non-commercial use
    • Authors own and Institutional websites
    • Publisher copyright and source must be acknowledged
    • Publisher's version/PDF may be used
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Fungi have always found to be correlated with the deterioration of historical buildings. The present study is aimed to evaluate the effect of relative humidity on growth of fungi associated with Biodeterioration. The experimental work has been carried out using saturated salt slurry method. Five fungal deteriogens were investigated for their growth response over a wide range of relative humidity under laboratory conditions. Out of which, Penicillium sp, Fusarium sp and Aspergillus sp. showed growth between 93-100% RH, whereas Alternaria sp. and Curvularia sp. exhibited adequate growth between RH of 95-100%. Knowledge about fungal deteriogens will help to control the parameters causing Biodeterioration.
    International journal of biological sciences 04/2014; 3(4):84-86.
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    ABSTRACT: Influenza has always been one of the major threats to human health. The Spanish influenza in 1918, the pandemic influenza A/H1N1 in 2009, and the avian influenza A/H5N1 have brought about great disasters or losses to mankind. More recently, a novel avian influenza A/H7N9 broke out in China and until December 2, 2013, it had caused 139 cases of infection, including 45 deaths. Its risk and pandemic potential attract worldwide attention. In this article, we summarize epidemiology, virology characteristics, clinical symptoms, diagnosis methods, clinical treatment and preventive measures about the avian influenza A/H7N9 virus infection to provide a reference for a possible next wave of flu outbreak.
    International journal of biological sciences 01/2014; 10(1):109-118.
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    ABSTRACT: Norcantharidin (NCTD), a demethylated form of cantharidin, has been used as a routine anticancer drug in China. In this study, the effect and mechanism of NCTD on anti-hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) was examined. In vivo antitumor activity was investigated in hepatoma-bearing mice by intraperitoneal injection of different concentration of NCTD. The levels of MicroRNAs (miRNAs) and mRNA were detected by real-time PCR. The concentrations of IL-10 and IL-12 in BMDMs, Raw 264.7 cells or tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) were measured with ELISA kit. The effects of TAMs on H22 cell survival and invasion were assayed via the CCK-8 and tumor invasion assay, respectively. Anti-miR-214 or pre-miR-214 was used to down-regulate or up-regulated miR-214 expression. The results showed that NCTD drastically impaired tumor growth in hepatoma-bearing mice, correlating with increased anti-tumor activity of TAMs. Moreover, NCTD stimulation led to an alteration of HCC microenvironment, reflected by a decrease in a shift from M2 to M1 polarization and the populations of CD4+/CD25+Foxp3 T cells. The activation of STAT3 was inhibited in TAMs from hepatoma-bearing mice injected with NCTD. Addition of NCTD to treat RAW264.7 or TAMs enhanced M1 polarization through increase of miR-214 expression. NCTD significantly inhibited β-catenin expression, which could be reversed by miR-214 inhibitor. Conditioned media from TAMs in hepatoma-bearing mice treated with NCTD or TAMs transfected with pre-miR-214 inhibited survival and invasion of H22 cells. This finding reveals a novel role for NCTD on inhibition of HCC through miR-214 modulating macrophage polarization.
    International journal of biological sciences 01/2014; 10(4):415-25.
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    ABSTRACT: Pituitary tumors are monoclonal adenomas that account for about 10-15% of intracranial tumors. Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (CDK5) regulates the activities of various proteins and cellular processes in the nervous system, but its potential roles in pituitary adenomas are poorly understood. The kinase activity of CDK5 requires association with an activating protein, p35 (also known as CDK5 activator 1, p35). Here, we show that functional CDK5, associated with p35, is present in normal human pituitary and in pituitary tumors. Furthermore, p35 mRNA and protein levels were higher in pituitary adenomas than in the normal glands, suggesting that CDK5 activity might be upregulated in pituitary tumors. Inhibition of CDK5 activity in rat pituitary cells, reduced the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a protein that regulates vasculogenesis and angiogenesis. Our results suggest that increased CDK5-mediated VEGF expression might play a crucial role in the development of pituitary adenomas, and that roscovitine and other CDK5 inhibitors could be useful as anticancer agents.
    International journal of biological sciences 01/2014; 10(2):192-9.
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    ABSTRACT: Stroke has severe consequences in postmenopausal women. As replacement therapy of estrogen have various adverse effects and the undermined outcomes. Genistein, a natural phytoestrogen, has been suggested to be a potential neuroprotective agent for such stroke patients. However, the role of genistein and its underlying mechanism in ovariectomized mice has not yet been evaluated. In the present study, ovariectomized mice were treated with genistein (10 mg/kg) or vehicle daily for two weeks before developing transient cerebral ischemia (middle cerebral artery occlusion). The neurological manifestation was evaluated, and infarct volumes were demonstrated by 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining at 24 h after reperfusion. In addition, phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) was detected by Western blotting and immunofluorescence staining, and cellular apoptosis was evaluated in the ischemic penumbra. We found that treatment with genistein reduced infarct volumes, improved neurological outcomes and attenuated cellular apoptosis at 24 h after reperfusion. ERK1/2 showed increased phosphorylation by genistein treatment after reperfusion, and an ERK1/2 inhibitor U0126 abolished this protective effect of genistein in terms of infarct volumes, neurological scores and cellular apoptosis. Our findings indicate that treatment with genistein can reduce the severity of subsequent stroke episodes, and that this beneficial function is associated with ERK activation.
    International journal of biological sciences 01/2014; 10(4):457-65.
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    ABSTRACT: Prothymosin α (ProT) is involved in regulating expression of the oxidative stress-protective genes and it also exerts immunomodulatory activities. In this study, we investigated the therapeutic effects of ProT gene transfer on atherosclerosis in endothelial cells and in ApoE-deficient mice. Adenoviruses encoding mouse ProT (AdProT) were used for the management of atherosclerosis. In vitro, the effects of ProT on antioxidant gene expressions and the protection effect against oxidant-mediated injury in endothelial cells were examined. In vivo, AdProT were administered intraventricularly into the heart of ApoE(-/-) mice. Histopathological and immunohistochemical assessments of the aortic tissues were performed. Expressions of HO-1 and antioxidant genes in the aortic tissues were also determined. Our results demonstrated that ProT gene transfer increased antioxidant gene expressions, eNOS expression and NO release, as well as reduced the reactive oxygen species production in endothelial cells. Intraventricular administration of AdProT reduced the lesion formation, increased expressions of HO-1 and SOD genes, and reduced infiltrating macrophages in the aorta of ApoE(-/-) mice. This study suggests that ProT gene transfer may have the therapeutic potential for the management of atherosclerosis via inducing antioxidant gene expressions, eNOS expression and NO release, reducing ROS production and macrophage infiltration in endothelium.
    International journal of biological sciences 01/2014; 10(4):358-66.
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Oxidative stress is involved in the hypocontractility of visceral artery to vasoconstrictors and formation of hyperdynamic circulation in cirrhosis with portal hypertension. In the present study, we investigated the effect of reactive oxygen species (ROS) on the mesenteric artery contractility in CCl4-induced cirrhotic rats, and the roles of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) desensitization and RhoA /Rho associated coiled-coil forming protein kinase (ROCK) pathways. Methods: The mesenteric artery contraction to norepinephrine (NE) was determined by vessel perfusion system following treatments with apocynin, tempol or PEG-catalase. The protein expression of α1 adrenergic receptor, β-arrestin-2, ROCK-1, moesin and p-moesin was measured by western blot. The interaction between α1 adrenergic receptor and β-arrestin-2 was assessed by co-immunoprecipitation. Results: Pretreatment with apocynin or PEG-catalase in cirrhotic rats, the hydrogen peroxide level in the mesenteric arteriole was significantly decreased, and the dose-response curve of mesenteric arteriole to NE moved to the left with EC50 decreased. There was no significant change for the expression of α1 adrenergic receptor. However, the protein expression of β-arrestin-2 and its affinity with α1 adrenergic receptor were significantly decreased. The ROCK-1 activity and anti- Y-27632 inhibition in cirrhotic rats increased significantly with the protein expression unchanged. Such effects were not observed in tempol-treated group. Conclusion: The H2O2 decrease in mesenteric artery from rats with cirrhosis resulted in down regulation of the β-arrestin-2 expression and its binding ability with α1 adrenergic receptor, thereby affecting the agonist-induced ROCK activation and improving the contractile response in blood vessels.
    International journal of biological sciences 01/2014; 10(4):386-95.
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    ABSTRACT: Biochemical and biophysical processes that take place in muscle under relaxed and stressed conditions depend on the abundance and activity of gene products of metabolic and structural pathways. In livestock at post-mortem, these muscle properties determine aspects of meat quality and are measurable. The conversion of muscle to meat mimics pathological processes associated with muscle ischemia, injury or damage in humans and it is an economic factor in pork production. Linkage, association, and expression analyses independently contributed to the identification of trait-associated molecular pathways and genes. We aim at providing multiple evidences for the role of specific genes in meat quality by integrating a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for meat quality traits and the detection of eQTL based on trait-correlated expressed genes and trait-associated markers. The GWAS revealed 51 and 200 SNPs significantly associated with meat quality in a crossbred Pietrain×(German Landrace×Large White) (Pi×(GL×LW)) and a purebred German Landrace (GL) population, respectively. Most significant SNPs in Pi×(GL×LW) were located on chromosomes (SSC) 4 and 6. The data of 47,836 eQTLs at a significance level of p<10(-5) were used to scale down the number candidate genes located in these regions. These SNPs on SSC4 showed association with expression levels of ZNF704, IMPA1, and OXSR1; SSC6 SNPs were associated with expression of SIGLEC10 and PIH1D1. Most significant SNPs in GL were located on SSC6 and associated with expression levels of PIH1D1, SIGLEC10, TBCB, LOC100518735, KIF1B, LOC100514845, and two unknown genes. The abundance of transcripts of these genes in muscle, in turn, is significantly correlated with meat quality traits. We identified several genes with evidence for their candidacy for meat quality arising from the integrative approach of a genome-wide association study and eQTL analysis.
    International journal of biological sciences 01/2014; 10(3):327-337.
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    ABSTRACT: Background and purpose: Recently, evidence that Zinc transporter ZRT/IRT-like protein 4 (ZIP4) is involved in invasiveness and apoptosis has emerged in pancreatic cancer and prostate cancer. Our aim was to assess the role of ZIP4 in invasiveness, migration and apoptosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The prognostic value of ZIP4 in HCC after liver transplantation was evaluated. Methods: The role of ZIP4 in HCC was investigated by overexpressing ZIP4 in BEL7402 and HepG2 cells and inhibiting ZIP4 in HuH-7 and HepG2 cells, using overexpression and shRNA plasmids in vitro studies. Immunohistochemical analysis was used to evaluate ZIP4 expression in HCC tissues from 60 patients undergoing liver transplantation, 36 cirrhotic tissue samples, and 6 normal tissue samples. Prognostic significance was assessed using the Kaplan-Meier method and the log-rank test. Results: Specific suppression of ZIP4 reduced cell migration and invasiveness, whereas ZIP4 overexpression caused increases in cell migration and invasiveness. Furthermore, overexpression of ZIP4 resulted in increased expression of pro-metastatic genes (MMP-2, MMP-9) and decreased expression of pro-apoptotic genes (caspase-3, caspase-9, Bax). In contrast, suppression of ZIP4 resulted in an opposite effect. ZIP4 was more highly expressed in tumor tissues than non-tumor tissues (P < 0.0001). ZIP4 expression was significantly associated with tumor recurrence (P = 0.002), tumor node metastasis stage (P = 0.044), Child-Turcotte-Pugh score (P = 0.042), and tumor size (P = 0.022). Univariate analysis showed that ZIP4 expression was significantly associated with overall survival (P = 0.020) and tumor-free survival (P = 0.049). Multivariate analysis revealed that ZIP4 was an independent predictor of overall survival (P = 0.037) after liver transplantation. Conclusions: ZIP4 could promote migration, invasiveness, and suppress apoptosis in hepatocellular carcinoma, and represent a novel predictor of poor prognosis and therapeutic target for patients with HCC who undergo liver transplantation.
    International journal of biological sciences 01/2014; 10(3):245-256.
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    ABSTRACT: The calponin 3 (CNN3) gene has important functions involved in skeletal muscle development. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play critical role in myogenesis by influencing the mRNA stability or protein translation of target gene. Based on paired microRNA and mRNA profiling in the prenatal skeletal muscle of pigs, our previous study suggested that CNN3 was differentially expressed and a potential target for miR-1. To further understand the biological function and regulation mechanism of CNN3, we performed co-expression analysis of CNN3 and miR-1 in developmental skeletal muscle tissues (16 stages) from Tongcheng (a Chinese domestic breed, obese-type) and Landrace (a Western, lean-type) pigs, respectively. Subsequently, dual luciferase and western blot assays were carried out. During skeletal muscle development, we observe a significantly negative expression correlation between the miR-1 and CNN3 at mRNA level. Our dual luciferase and western blot results suggested that the CNN3 gene was regulated by miR-1. We identified four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) contained within the CNN3 gene. Association analysis indicated that these CNN3 SNPs are significantly associated with birth weight (BW) and the 21-day weaning weight of the piglets examined. These facts indicate that CNN3 is a candidate gene associated with growth traits and regulated by miR-1 during skeletal muscle development in pigs.
    International journal of biological sciences 01/2014; 10(4):377-85.
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    ABSTRACT: Vγ9Vδ2 (also termed Vγ2Vδ2) T cells, a major human peripheral blood γδ T cell subset, recognize microbial (E)-4-hydroxy-3-methylbut-2-enyl diphosphate and endogenous isopentenyl diphosphate in a TCR-dependent manner. The recognition does not require specific accessory cells, antigen uptake, antigen processing, or MHC class I, class II, or class Ib expression. This subset of T cells plays important roles in mediating innate immunity against a wide variety of infections and displays potent and broad cytotoxic activity against human tumor cells. Because γδT cells express both natural killer receptors such as NKG2D and γδ T cell receptors, they are considered to represent a link between innate and adaptive immunity. In addition, activated γδ T cells express a high level of antigen-presenting cell-related molecules and can present peptide antigens derived from destructed cells to αβ T cells. Utilizing these antimicrobial and anti-tumor properties of γδ T cells, preclinical and clinical trials have been conducted to develop novel immunotherapies for infections and malignancies. Here, we review the immunological properties of γδ T cells including the underlying recognition mechanism of nonpeptitde antigens and summarize the results of γδ T cell-based therapies so far performed. Based on the results of the reported trials, γδ T cells appear to be a promising tool for novel immunotherapies against certain types of diseases.
    International journal of biological sciences 01/2014; 10(2):119-135.
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    ABSTRACT: This study aimed to investigate the role of fatty acid synthase (FASN) in the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of breast cancer cells. MCF-7 cells and MCF-7 cells overexpressing mitogen-activated protein kinase 5 (MCF-7-MEK5) were used in this study. MCF-7-MEK5 cells showed stable EMT characterized by increased vimentin and decreased E-cadherin expression. An In vivo animal model was established using the orthotopic injection of MCF-7 or MCF-7-MEK5 cells. Real-time quantitative PCR and western blotting were used to detect the expression levels of FASN and its downstream proteins liver fatty acid-binding protein (L-FABP) and VEGF/VEGFR-2 in both in vitro and in vivo models (nude mouse tumor tissues). In MCF-7-MEK5 cells, significantly increased expression of FASN was associated with increased levels of L-FABP and VEGF/VEGFR-2. Cerulenin inhibited MCF-7-MEK5 cell migration and EMT, and reduced FASN expression and down-stream proteins L-FABP, VEGF, and VEGFR-2. MCF-7-MEK5 cells showed higher sensitivity to Cerulenin than MCF-7 cells. Immunofluorescence revealed an increase of co-localization of FASN with VEGF on the cell membrane and with L-FABP within MCF-7-MEK5 cells. Immunohistochemistry further showed that increased percentage of FASN-positive cells in the tumor tissue was associated with increased percentages of L-FABP- and VEGF-positive cells and the Cerulenin treatment could reverse the effect. Altogether, our results suggest that FASN is essential to EMT possibly through regulating L-FABP, VEGF and VEGFR-2. This study provides a theoretical basis and potential strategy for effective suppression of malignant cells with EMT.
    International journal of biological sciences 01/2014; 10(2):171-80.
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects and pharmacological mechanisms of icariin, which is the main component in the traditional Chinese herb Epimedium, on β-amyloid (Aβ) production in an amyloid precursor protein (APP) transgenic (Tg) mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Methods: APPV717I Tg mice were randomly divided into a model group and icariin-treated (30 and 100 μmol/kg per day) groups. Learning-memory abilities were determined by Morris water maze and object recognition tests. Aβ contents were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and immunohistochemistry. Amyloid plaques were detected by Congo red staining and Bielschowsky silver staining. The levels of expression of APP and β-site APP-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE-1) were measured by western blotting and immunohistochemistry. Results: Ten-month-old Tg mice showed obvious learning-memory impairments, and significant increases in Aβ contents, amyloid plaques, and APP and BACE-1 levels in the hippocampus. The intragastric administration of icariin to Tg mice for 6 months (from 4 to 10 months of age) improved the learning-memory abilities and significantly decreased the Aβ contents, amyloid plaques, and APP and BACE-1 levels in the hippocampus. Conclusion: Icariin reduced the Aβ burden and amyloid plaque deposition in the hippocampus of APP transgenic mice by decreasing the APP and BACE-1 levels. These novel findings suggest that icariin may be a promising treatment in patients with AD.
    International journal of biological sciences 01/2014; 10(2):181-91.
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    ABSTRACT: The presence of reproductively altruistic castes is one of the primary traits of the eusocial societies. Adaptation and regulation of the sterile caste, to a certain extent, drives the evolution of eusociality. Depending on adaptive functions of the first evolved sterile caste, eusocial societies can be categorized into the worker-first and soldier-first lineages, respectively. The former is marked by a worker caste as the first evolved altruistic caste, whose primary function is housekeeping, and the latter is highlighted by a sterile soldier caste as the first evolved altruistic caste, whose task is predominantly colony defense. The apparent functional differences between these two fundamentally important castes suggest worker-first and soldier-first eusociality are potentially driven by a suite of distinctively different factors. Current studies of eusocial evolution have been focused largely on the worker-first Hymenoptera, whereas understanding of soldier-first lineages including termites, eusocial aphids, gall-dwelling thrips, and snapping shrimp, is greatly lacking. In this review, we summarize the current state of knowledge on biology, morphology, adaptive functions, and caste regulation of the soldier caste. In addition, we discuss the biological, ecological and genetic factors that might contribute to the evolution of distinct caste systems within eusocial lineages.
    International journal of biological sciences 01/2014; 10(3):296-308.
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    ABSTRACT: Three distinct bamboo bat species (Tylonycteris) are known to inhabit tropical and subtropical areas of Asia, i.e., T. pachypus, T. robustula, and T. pygmaeus. This study performed karyotypic examinations of 4 specimens from southern Chinese T. p. fulvidus populations and one specimen from Thai T. p. fulvidus population, which detected distinct karyotypes (2n=30) compared with previous karyotypic descriptions of T. p. pachypus (2n=46) and T. robustula (2n=32) from Malaysia. This finding suggested a cryptic Tylonycteris species within T. pachypus complex in China and Thailand. Morphometric studies indicated the difficulty in distinguishing the cryptic species and T. p. pachypus from Indonesia apart from the external measurements, which might be the reason for their historical misidentification. Based on 623 bp mtDNA COI segments, a phylogeographic examination including T. pachypus individuals from China and nearby regions, i.e., Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, was conducted to examine the population genetic structure. Genealogical and phylogeographical results indicated that at least two diverged lineages existed in these regions (average 3.4 % of Kimura 2-parameter distances) and their population structure did not match the geographic pattern. These results suggested that at least two historical colonizations have occurred by the cryptic species. Furthermore, through integration of traditional and geometric morphological results, morphological differences on zygomatic arches, toothrows and bullae were detected between two lineages in China. Given the similarity of vegetation and climate of Guangdong and Guangxi regions, we suggested that such differences might be derived from their historical adaptation or distinct evolutionary history rather than the differences of habitats they occurred currently.
    International journal of biological sciences 01/2014; 10(2):200-11.
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    ABSTRACT: Birth weight is an economically important trait in pig production because it directly impacts piglet growth and survival rate. In the present study, we performed a genome wide survey of candidate genes and pathways associated with individual birth weight (IBW) using the Illumina PorcineSNP60 BeadChip on 24 high (HEBV) and 24 low estimated breeding value (LEBV) animals. These animals were selected from a reference population of 522 individuals produced by three sires and six dam lines, which were crossbreds with multiple breeds. After quality-control, 43,257 SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms), including 42,243 autosomal SNPs and 1,014 SNPs on chromosome X, were used in the data analysis. A total of 27 differentially selected regions (DSRs), including 1 on Sus scrofa chromosome 1 (SSC1), 1 on SSC4, 2 on SSC5, 4 on SSC6, 2 on SSC7, 5 on SSC8, 3 on SSC9, 1 on SSC14, 3 on SSC18, and 5 on SSCX, were identified to show the genome wide separations between the HEBV and LEBV groups for IBW in piglets. A DSR with the most number of significant SNPs (including 7 top 0.1% and 31 top 5% SNPs) was located on SSC6, while another DSR with the largest genetic differences in F ST was found on SSC18. These regions harbor known functionally important genes involved in growth and development, such as TNFRSF9 (tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 9), CA6 (carbonic anhydrase VI) and MDFIC (MyoD family inhibitor domain containing). A DSR rich in imprinting genes appeared on SSC9, which included PEG10 (paternally expressed 10), SGCE (sarcoglycan, epsilon), PPP1R9A (protein phosphatase 1, regulatory subunit 9A) and ASB4 (ankyrin repeat and SOCS box containing 4). More importantly, our present study provided evidence to support six quantitative trait loci (QTL) regions for pig birth weight, six QTL regions for average birth weight (ABW) and three QTL regions for litter birth weight (LBW) reported previously by other groups. Furthermore, gene ontology analysis with 183 genes harbored in these 27 DSRs suggested that protein, metal, ion and ATP binding, viral process and innate immune response present important pathways for deciphering their roles in fetal growth or development. Overall, our study provides useful information on candidate genes and pathways for regulating birth weight in piglets, thus improving our understanding of the genetic mechanisms involved in porcine embryonic or fetal development.
    International journal of biological sciences 01/2014; 10(3):236-244.
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    ABSTRACT: Aims Inflammatory stress plays a crucial role in the progression of diabetic nephropathy (DN). This study aimed to establish a novel inflamed animal model of DN and to evaluate its significance in DN. Methods Nondiabetic db/m mice and diabetic db/db mice were randomly divided into four groups: db/m, db/m+casein, db/db, and db/db+casein for eight weeks. Casein was subcutaneously injected to induce chronic inflammation. Body weight and albumin to creatinine ratio (ACR) in the urine were measured every week. The plasma levels of serum amyloid protein A (SAA) and tumour necrotic factor-α (TNF-α) were determined with the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The morphological changes to the renal pathology and ultra-microstructures were checked by pathological staining and electron microscopy. Immunofluorescent staining and Western blotting were used to determine the protein expression of podocyte-specific molecules and inflammatory cytokines in kidneys. Results ACR, plasma levels of SAA and TNF-α, protein expression of inflammatory cytokines, mesangial expansion, collagen accumulation, and foot process effacement in kidneys of casein-injected db/db mice were significantly increased compared with the db/db mice. Casein injection markedly decreased the protein expression of Wilms' tumor-1 and nephrin in kidneys of db/db mice, which are specific podocyte biomarkers, suggesting that chronic inflammation accelerates podocyte injuries in db/db mice. Interestingly, no obvious urinary protein, inflammatory cytokine expression, or histological changes in the kidneys of casein-injected db/m mice were found compared with the db/m mice. Conclusion An inflamed animal model of DN was successfully established and may provide a useful tool for investigating the pathogenesis of DN under inflammatory stress.
    International journal of biological sciences 01/2014; 10(2):149-59.

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