Christopher W K Lam

Macau University of Science and Technology, Macao, Macau, Macao

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Publications (348)1428.39 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: This study characterizes an IL-35-mediated regulatory role in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Plasma of SLE patients and healthy controls (HCs) was analyzed for the concentrations of IL-35 and soluble gp130 by using ELISA. mRNA expression of IL-35 subunit (p35 and EBI3) and its receptor (gp130 and IL-12Rβ2) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was assessed by RT-qPCR. Flow cytometry was performed to evaluate the number of CD4(+)CD25(high)CD127(-)Treg cells and the expression of IL-35 receptor on the CD4+ helper (Th) cells and CD19+ B cells. Plasma collected from SLE patients and HCs was assayed for cytokine and chemokine expression by Luminex multiplex assay. Plasma IL-35 and soluble gp130 levels positively correlated with each other and were significantly higher in patients with severe SLE compared with HCs. Significantly higher levels of inflammatory cytokines/chemokines CCL2, CXCL8, IL-6, interferon (IFN)-γ, IL-10 and IL-17A were observed in plasma of SLE patients than HCs. mRNA levels of IL-35 and its receptor were significantly positively correlated in PBMCs from SLE patients and their levels were higher in SLE than HCs. The increase significantly correlated with changes in SLE Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) (all p < 0.05). In addition, the number of Treg cells in severe and moderate SLE patients were both significantly lower than HCs, where the ratio of CD4(+)CD25(-)effector T cell %/CD4(+)CD25(high)CD127(-)Treg % was found to be significantly higher in severe SLE patients. Furthermore, the expression of gp130 on CD4+ Th cells and percentage of Tregs were positively correlated with each other, and both were negatively correlated with SLEDAI. Our findings indicate that high level of plasma IL-35 in active SLE patients expressed with low level of IL-35 receptor (gp130) on CD4+ Th cells. These data raise the possibility that the level of IL-35 expression in SLE patients is not sufficient to induce the production of CD4(+)CD25(high)CD127(-)Tregs, and subsequently suppress the release of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines upon inflammation. © The Author(s) 2015 Reprints and permissions:
    Lupus 05/2015; DOI:10.1177/0961203315585815 · 2.48 Impact Factor
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    J Dong, C K Wong, Z Cai, D Jiao, M Chu, C W K Lam
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    ABSTRACT: IL-35, a new member of the IL-12 family, is an inhibitory cytokine produced by regulatory T and B lymphocytes that play a suppressive role in inflammatory diseases. This study focuses on the cellular mechanism regulating the anti-inflammatory activity of IL-35 in asthmatic mice. Ovalbumin-induced asthmatic and humanized asthmatic mice were adopted to evaluate the in vivo anti-inflammatory activities of IL-35. For monitoring airway hyperresponsivness, Penh value (% baseline) was measured using a whole body plethysmograph. In our present study using ovalbumin-induced asthmatic mice, we observed that intraperitoneal injection of IL-35 during the allergen sensitization stage was more efficient than administration in the challenge stage for the amelioration of airway hyperresponsiveness. This was reflected by the significantly reduced concentration of asthma-related Th2 cytokines IL-5 and IL-13, as well as eosinophil counts in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (all p<0.05). IL-35 also significantly attenuated the accumulation of migratory CD11b+CD103(-) dendritic cells (DC) in the mediastinal lymph node (mLN) and lung of mice (all p<0.05). IL-35 markedly inhibited the ovalbumin-induced conversion of recruited monocytes into inflammatory DC, which were then substantially reduced in mLN to cause less T cell proliferation (all p<0.05). Further study using the humanized asthmatic murine model also indicated human IL-35 exhibited a regulatory impact on allergic asthma. Our findings suggest that IL-35 can act as a crucial regulatory cytokine to inhibit the development of allergic airway inflammation via suppressing the formation of inflammatory DC at the inflammatory site and their accumulation in the draining lymph nodes. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Allergy 04/2015; DOI:10.1111/all.12631 · 6.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The immunological mechanisms mediated by regulatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-35 are unclear in systemic lupus erythematic (SLE). We investigated the frequency of CD4(+) CD25(+) Foxp3(+) regulatory T (Treg) and IL-10+ regulatory B (Breg) cells and related immunoregulatory mechanisms in female MRL/lpr mice model of spontaneous lupus-like disease, with or without IL-35 treatment. A remission of histopathology characteristics of lupus flare and nephritis was observed in the MRL/lpr mice upon IL-35 treatment. Accordingly, IL-35 and IL-35 receptor subunit (gp130 and IL-12Rβ2) and cytokines of MRL/lpr and Balb/c mice (normal control) were measured. The increased anti-inflammatory cytokines and decreased proinflammatory cytokines were possibly associated with the restoration of Treg and Breg frequency in MRL/lpr mice with IL-35 treatment, compared to PBS treatment. mRNA expressions of Treg-related Foxp3, IL-35 subunit (p35 and EBI3) and soluble IL-35 receptor subunit (gp130 and IL12Rβ2) in splenic cells were significantly up-regulated in IL-35-treated mice. Compared with PBS-treatment group, IL-35-treated MRL/lpr mice showed an up-regulation of Treg-related genes and the activation of IL-35-related intracellular Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription signal pathways, thereby indicating the immunoregulatory role of IL-35 in SLE. These in vivo findings may provide a biochemical basis for further investigation of the regulatory mechanisms of IL-35 for the treatment of autoimmune-mediated inflammation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2015 British Society for Immunology.
    Clinical & Experimental Immunology 04/2015; DOI:10.1111/cei.12639 · 3.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated the plasma concentration of the novel regulatory cytokine IL-35 and intracytosolic pattern recognition receptors nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptors in granulocytes and explored their potential implication in disease severity monitoring of allergic asthma. The expression of circulating IL-35 and other pro-inflammatory mediators in asthmatic patients or control subjects were evaluated using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The intracellular expressions of NOD1 and NOD2 in CCR3+ granulocytes were assessed using flow cytometry. Plasma concentrations of IL-35, IL-17A, basophil activation marker basogranulin, and eosinophilic airway inflammation biomarker periostin were significantly elevated in allergic asthmatic patients compared to non-atopic control subjects (all probability (p) <0.05). Both granulocyte markers exhibited significant and positive correlation with plasma IL-35 concentration in asthmatic patients (all p < 0.05). Significant positive correlation was also identified between plasma concentrations of IL-35 and periostin with disease severity score in asthmatic patients (both p < 0.05). The basophil activation allergenicity test was positive in allergic asthmatic patients but not in control subjects. Despite significantly elevated eosinophil count in allergic asthmatic patients, downregulation of NOD2 in CCR3+ granulocytes was observed in these patients (both p < 0.05). A negative correlation between plasma concentrations of tumor necrosis factor family member LIGHT and soluble herpesvirus entry mediator was observed in patients with elevated plasma concentration of IL-35 (p < 0.05). Aberrant expression of NOD2 in granulocytes may be contributed to the impaired innate immunity predisposing allergic asthma. IL-35 may serve as a potential surrogate biomarker for disease severity of allergic asthma.
    Inflammation 10/2014; 38(1). DOI:10.1007/s10753-014-0038-4 · 1.92 Impact Factor
  • Zhijun Wang, Chen Xie, Ying Huang, Christopher Wai Kei Lam, Moses S. S. Chow
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    ABSTRACT: Drug resistance is a major problem in cancer chemotherapy and such resistance may be responsible for treatment failure in 90 % of patients with metastatic cancer. From the research work in the past 30 years, multi-mechanisms responsible for the development of drug resistance have been identified. However, to date single agents that target specific single mechanisms of resistance have not been proven effective. Theoretically, herbs have the potential to target multi-mechanisms of resistance since they contain multiple components and may provide an exciting potential in overcoming drug resistance. The present paper provides an overview of the known mechanisms of resistance and reviews the existing data on herbal medicines (Chinese medicines) as chemosensitizing agents from both the English and Chinese literature. Our review found that certain herbs are capable of inducing strong chemosensitizing effect with various mechanisms, but relevant information useful for development of herbs as viable products for therapeutic use is generally inadequate. Ideas for improving in vitro screening and animal/clinical studies that could enhance future development of herbal product as chemosensitizing agent for the treatment of resistant cancer are also discussed.
    Phytochemistry Reviews 03/2014; 13(1). DOI:10.1007/s11101-013-9327-z · 2.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure is a risk factor for asthma in school-age children, but there is limited data of ETS exposure on respiratory health in preschool children. This study investigated the relationship between ETS, lead (Pb), and cadmium (Cd) exposures and asthma symptoms and spirometric indices in Chinese preschoolers. Preschool children from 30 nurseries and kindergartens performed spirometry with incentives of animation programs, and their urinary cotinine, Pb and Cd concentrations were measured by immunoassay and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry, respectively. Two thousand seven hundred sixty-three preschoolers participated, and 1,505 and 893 provided valid spirometric data and urine samples, respectively. Current domestic smoking was reported in 37.5% of children, but only 95 (10.6%) had high urinary cotinine-to-creatinine ratio (≥30 ng/mg). Pb was measurable in 3.9% of samples, whereas 406 (45.5%) children had high Cd. Reported ETS exposure was not associated with any spirometric index, whereas cotinine-to-creatinine ratio was inversely associated with forced expiratory volume in 0.5-sec (β = -0.093, P = 0.003), forced expiratory flow between 25% and 75% of expiration (β = -0.138, P = 0.002) and peak expiratory flow (β = -0.106, P = 0.002). Cd exposure was not associated with reported respiratory symptom or spirometric indices. This community study shows that ETS exposure defined by urinary cotinine is a strong risk factor for lung function impairment measured by spirometry in Chinese preschool children. Urinary cotinine is more reliable than questionnaire for assessing ETS exposure in young children. Although high urinary Cd is common in Hong Kong preschoolers, such biomarker is not associated with any clinical or spirometric outcome. Pediatr Pulmonol. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Pediatric Pulmonology 11/2013; 48(11). DOI:10.1002/ppul.22801 · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The role of serum α-fetoprotein (AFP) measurements in the diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains controversial. Some guidelines have advised against the use of AFP in the diagnosis of HCC. This study was conducted to evaluate the performance of AFP in the diagnosis of HCC, and to identify the optimal cut-off value of serum AFP in the diagnosis of HCC in patients with a hepatic mass. Patients who presented during the period from May 1997 to March 2003 with hepatic lesions, for whom paired data on serum AFP values at baseline and lesion histology were available, were reviewed. The performance of AFP in the diagnosis of HCC was determined using receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. Data for a total of 805 patients were evaluated. The mean AFP value was 26 900 ng/ml (range: 0-1 965 461 ng/ml). The histological diagnosis was HCC in 557 patients. The optimal AFP cut-off value was 10 ng/ml (for sensitivity of 82.6% and specificity of 70.4%). At a cut-off level of 200 ng/ml, sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were 47.7%, 97.1%, 97.5% and 44.4%, respectively. The diagnostic performance of AFP remains similar in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus infection, despite a lower negative predictive value. Common aetiologies of liver lesions associated with elevated AFP include cholangiocarcinoma and neuroendocrine tumours. In Asian patients with suspicious liver lesions, the cut-off AFP level of 200 ng/ml is useful to achieve a diagnosis of HCC with high specificity and reasonable sensitivity. The measurement of serum AFP should not be excluded from guidelines for the diagnosis of HCC.
    HPB 08/2013; DOI:10.1111/hpb.12146 · 2.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To examine the association between passive smoking and snoring in preschool children using parent-reported questionnaires and urine cotinine levels. This was a population-based cross-sectional survey of 2954 children aged 2-6 years in Hong Kong. Parent-reported questionnaires provided information on snoring and household smoking. One-third of children randomly chosen from the cohort provided urine samples for cotinine analysis. Increased urine cotinine was defined as urinary cotinine concentration ≥30 ng/mg creatinine. Using multivariate logistic regression analysis, we analyzed the association between snoring and passive smoking, controlling for potential confounders including age, sex, body mass index z-score, atopic diseases, recent upper respiratory tract infection, parental allergy, parental education, family income, and bedroom-sharing. A total of 2187 completed questionnaires were included in the final analysis, and 724 children provided urine samples for cotinine measurement. After adjustment for confounding factors, questionnaire-based household smoking (>10 cigarettes/d: OR = 2.22, 95% CI = 1.02-4.81) and increased urine cotinine (OR = 4.37, 95% CI = 1.13-16.95) were significant risk factors for habitual snoring (snoring ≥3 nights per week). For occasional snoring (snoring 1-2 nights per week), reported household smoking (1-10 cigarettes/d: OR = 1.41, 95% CI = 1.14-1.76; >10 cigarettes/d: OR = 1.56, 95% CI = 1.05-2.31), and increased urine cotinine (OR = 1.82, 95% CI = 1.03-3.20) were also identified as significant risk factors. A dose-effect relationship was found for snoring frequency and adjusted natural logarithms of urinary cotinine concentrations (P < .001). Environmental tobacco smoke exposure is an independent risk factor for snoring in preschool children. Parents' smoking cessation should be encouraged in management of childhood snoring.
    The Journal of pediatrics 06/2013; 163(4). DOI:10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.05.032 · 3.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study is a direct assessment of blood heavy metal concentrations of frequent users of Chinese medicines (CM), who had been taking prescribed CM at least 6 days per week for not less than 3 months, to determine whether their intake of CM could cause an increased load of toxic heavy metals in the body. From November 2009 to June 2010, 85 subjects were recruited with informed consent, and their blood samples were collected for measurement of arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury concentrations. Results showed that blood concentrations of four heavy metals of nearly all 85 subjects were within reference ranges. Only one subject who had consumed plentiful seafood was found to have transiently increased blood arsenic concentration (29% higher than the upper limit of the reference range). However, after refraining from eating seafood for 1 month, his blood arsenic concentration returned to normal. Eighty commonly prescribed CM in both raw medicine and powder concentrate supplied by local distributors were also tested for the four heavy metals. Twelve out of the 80 raw medicines were found to contain one or more of the heavy metals that exceeded the respective maximum permitted content. Cadmium was most frequently found in the contaminated samples. None of the powder concentrates had heavy metal content exceeding their respective maximum permitted level. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Phytotherapy Research 06/2013; 27(6). DOI:10.1002/ptr.4816 · 2.40 Impact Factor
  • Chun-Tao Che, Zhi Jun Wang, Moses Sing Sum Chow, Christopher Wai Kei Lam
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    ABSTRACT: Herb-herb combinations have been used in Chinese medicine practice for thousands of years, yet scientific evidence of their therapeutic benefits is lacking. With increasing interest in shifting from the one-drug-one-target paradigm to combination therapy or polypharmacy to achieve therapeutic benefits for a number of diseases, there is momentum to explore new knowledge by tapping the past empirical experiences of herb-herb combinations. This review presents an overview of the traditional concept and practice of herb-herb combination in Chinese medicine, and highlights the available scientific and clinical evidence to support the combined use of herbs. It is hoped that such information would provide a lead for developing new approaches for future therapeutic advancement and pharmaceutical product development. Very likely modern technologies combined with innovative research for the quality control of herbal products, identification of active components and understanding of the molecular mechanism, followed by well-designed animal and clinical studies would pave the way in advancing the wealth of empirical knowledge from herb-herb combination to new therapeutic modalities.
    Molecules 05/2013; 18(5):5125-41. DOI:10.3390/molecules18055125 · 2.42 Impact Factor
  • H N Qiu, C K Wong, I M T Chu, S Hu, C W K Lam
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    ABSTRACT: Respiratory tract bacterial infection can amplify and sustain airway inflammation. Intracytosolic nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-containing protein 2 (NOD2) is one member of the nucleotide binding and oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptor (NLR) family, which senses the conserved structural peptidoglycan component muramyl dipeptide (MDP) in almost all bacteria. In the present study, activation of the NOD2 ligand MDP on primary human bronchial epithelial cells (HBE) co-cultured with human basophils was investigated. Cytokines, NOD2, adhesion molecules and intracellular signalling molecules were assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay or flow cytometry. The protein expression of NOD2 was confirmed in basophils/KU812 cells and HBE/human bronchial epithelial cell line (BEAS-2B) cells. MDP was found to up-regulate significantly the cell surface expression of intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1 on basophils and HBE in the co-culture system with or without basophil priming by interleukin (IL)-33 (all P < 0·05). MDP could further enhance the release of inflammatory cytokine IL-6 and chemokine CXCL8, and epithelium-derived anti-microbial peptide β-defensin 2 in the co-culture. HBE cells were the major source for the release of IL-6, CXCL8 and β-defensin2 upon stimulation by MDP in the co-culture system. The expression of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 and release of IL-6 and CXCL8 were suppressed by various signalling molecule inhibitors, implying that the interaction between basophils and primary human bronchial epithelial cells could be regulated differentially by the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways and nuclear transcription factors. The results therefore provide a new insight into the functional role of basophils in innate immunity, and the link between respiratory bacteria-mediated innate immunity and subsequent amplification of allergic inflammation in the airway.
    Clinical & Experimental Immunology 04/2013; 172(1):81-94. DOI:10.1111/cei.12031 · 3.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pentaherb formula (PHF) has been proven to improve the quality of life of children with atopic dermatitis without side effects. The aim of this study was to elucidate the potential anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic activities of PHF, Moutan Cortex (Danpi/DP) and gallic acid (GA) using human basophils (KU812 cells), which are crucial effector cells in allergic inflammation. PHF, DP and GA could significantly suppress the expression of allergic inflammatory cytokine IL-33-upregulated intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1, and the release of chemokines CCL2, CCL5, CXCL8 and inflammatory cytokine IL-6 from KU812 cells (all p < 0.05). With the combined use of dexamethasone (0.01 μg/mL) and GA (10 μg/mL), the suppression of ICAM-1 expression and CCL5 and IL-6 release of IL-33-activated KU812 cells were significantly greater than the use of GA alone (all p < 0.05). The suppression of the IL-33-induced activation of intracellular signalling molecules p38 mitogen activated protein kinase, nuclear factor-kB and c-Jun amino-terminal kinase in GA-treated KU812 cells could be the underlying mechanism for the suppression on ICAM-1, chemokines and cytokines. The combined use of dexamethasone with the natural products PHF or DP or GA might therefore enhance the development of a novel therapeutic modality for allergic inflammatory diseases with high potency and fewer side effects.
    Molecules 03/2013; 18(3):2483-500. DOI:10.3390/molecules18032483 · 2.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: A multicenter study conducted in Southeast Asia to derive reference intervals (RIs) for 72 commonly measured analytes (general chemistry, inflammatory markers, hormones, etc.) featured centralized measurement to clearly detect regionality in test results. The results of 31 standardized analytes are reported, with the remaining analytes presented in the next report. Method: The study included 63 clinical laboratories from South Korea, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and seven areas in Japan. A total of 3541 healthy individuals aged 20-65 years (Japan 2082, others 1459) were recruited mostly from hospital workers using a well-defined common protocol. All serum specimens were transported to Tokyo at -80°C and collectively measured using reagents from four manufacturers. Three-level nested ANOVA was used to quantitate variation (SD) of test results due to region, sex, and age. A ratio of SD for a given factor over residual SD (representing net between-individual variations) (SDR) exceeding 0.3 was considered significant. Traceability of RIs was ensured by recalibration using value-assigned reference materials. RIs were derived parametrically. Results: SDRs for sex and age were significant for 19 and 16 analytes, respectively. Regional difference was significant for 11 analytes, including high density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol and inflammatory markers. However, when the data were limited to those from Japan, regionality was not observed in any of the analytes. Accordingly, RIs were derived with or without partition by sex and region. Conclusions: RIs applicable to a wide area in Asia were established for the majority of analytes with traceability to reference measuring systems, whereas regional partitioning was required for RIs of the other analytes.
    Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine 02/2013; 51(7):1-14. DOI:10.1515/cclm-2012-0421 · 2.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: AIM:: Cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) are toxic elements in our environment. This study is to determine the reference intervals of Cd and Pb in blood and urine from Hong Kong school children and to identify their determinants. METHODS:: A total of 2209 secondary school children and 893 preschool children were recruited. Cd and Pb in blood and urine were measured by inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry. RESULTS:: Blood Cd was affected by age, smoking and residential district, while urine Cd was influenced by age and blood Cd. Blood Cd was positively correlated with smoking as confirmed by urinary cotinine (rho = 0.183, p < 0.001, n = 2074). Blood Pb was dependent on gender and residential district, while urinary Pb was dependent on gender and blood Pb. Students from schools of lower academic grading had higher blood Cd and Pb than those from higher academic grading schools (p < 0.001, respectively). Urinary albumin was positively associated with urinary Cd and Pb. CONCLUSIONS:: Using a non-occupationally exposed population, the reference ranges are: blood Cd <21.9 nmol/L for smokers and <8.8 nmol/L for non-smokers, and blood Pb <203.8 nmol/L. Reference intervals for urinary Cd and Pb are also reported.
    Pathology 10/2012; 44(7). DOI:10.1097/PAT.0b013e328359cfe7 · 2.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aims:  To study the prediction of abnormal glucose tolerance (AGT), diabetes mellitus (DM), hypertension (HT) and metabolic syndrome (MetS) among Chinese women using glycemic indices in the mid-trimester of pregnancy. Methods:  A cohort of Chinese women who had had either normal glucose tolerance or gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) during a pregnancy were assessed at a median of 8 and 15 years post-delivery. All women underwent a 50-g glucose challenge test (GCT) and a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test in the mid-trimester of the index pregnancy. A receiver operating characteristic curve was used to assess the prediction of AGT, DM, HT and MetS. Results:  All glycemic indices were significant predictors of AGT and DM, and the 2-h plasma glucose (PG) and GCT were predictive of HT, at both 8 and 15 years post-delivery. MetS can only be predicted by the fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and was confined to 15 years post-delivery. After adjustment for confounding variables, all glycemic indices were still independent predictors of AGT and DM at both 8 and 15 years post-delivery, except for FPG in predicting DM at 8 years, while only the 2-h PG remains an independent predictor of HT at 15 years. The optimal cut-off values for FPG, 2-h PG and GCT are 4.2 mmol/L, 7.2 mmol/L and 7.7 mmol/L, respectively; all are lower than the current cut-off thresholds for the screening and diagnosis of GDM. Conclusions:  Women who had a glycemic level below the criteria for a positive screening test and below the diagnostic threshold for GDM still have a significant cardiometabolic risk.
    Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research 08/2012; 39(2). DOI:10.1111/j.1447-0756.2012.01976.x · 0.93 Impact Factor
  • Paediatric respiratory reviews 06/2012; 13:S67-S68. DOI:10.1016/S1526-0542(12)70108-2 · 2.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Eosinophils are the principal effector cells of allergic inflammation, and hematopoietic cytokine granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is the primary cytokine that activates and prolongs the survival of eosinophils in local inflammatory sites by mediating anti-apoptotic activity in allergic inflammation. To investigate the immunopathological role of microRNA (miRNA) in allergic inflammation, we elucidated the regulatory mechanisms of miRNA on the GM-CSF-mediated in vitro survival in eosinophils. Eosinophils were purified from fresh human peripheral blood buffy coat fraction obtained from adult volunteer using microbead magnetic cell sorting. The apoptosis, viability and phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) were assessed by flow cytometry, and the expression of miRNA was analyzed using Agilent Human miRNA Microarray with Human miRNA Microarray Version 3 and real time RT-PCR. We have confirmed the increased in vitro viability of GM-CSF-treated eosinophils and upregulated expression of miRNA-21* (miR-21*), a complementary miRNA of miR-21, in GM-CSF-treated eosinophils. The transfection of pre-miR miR-21* precursor molecule could up-regulate the miR-21* expression, subsequently enhance the GM-CSF-activated ERK pathway and reverse the apoptosis of eosinophils, while anti-miR-21* inhibitor could down-regulate the miR-21* expression, suppress the GM-CSF-activated ERK pathway and enhance the apoptosis. Our results should shed light on the potential immunopathological role of miRNA-21* regulating the in vitro apoptosis of eosinophils and development of novel molecular treatment of allergic inflammation.
    Immunobiology 05/2012; 218(2). DOI:10.1016/j.imbio.2012.05.019 · 3.18 Impact Factor
  • S H Chui, Y T Szeto, C W K Lam
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the prevalence and genotypes of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in Macau women. Female patients presenting for a medical consultation or medical check-up were recruited with informed consent. Cytology and HPV-DNA genotyping were performed on 402 cervical specimens that were collected from Macau women. Of the specimens, 29.9% were found to be HPV-DNA positive; 26.4% were infected with one HPV genotype, while 3.0% and 0.5% were infected with two and three HPV genotypes, respectively. The most prevalent HPV genotype was type 52 (11.1%), followed by type 16 (9.7%). Both types 51 and 62 ranked third (9.0%). The HPV infection rate in Macau appears to be higher than that in the neighbouring city of Hong Kong. The most prevalent genotypes were similar to those in South-west and Southern China.
    Public health 05/2012; 126(7):600-4. DOI:10.1016/j.puhe.2012.04.003 · 1.48 Impact Factor
  • American Thoracic Society 2012 International Conference, May 18-23, 2012 • San Francisco, California; 05/2012
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    ABSTRACT: At the peak of the SARS epidemic in Hong Kong, hospital workers were under high risks of contraction of the infection. Herbal preparations had been used historically in China to treat influenza-like diseases. During the SARS outbreak, herbal preparations had been used jointly with standard modern treatment in China. As a means to protect the at-risk hospital workers, an innovative herbal formula was created and consumed by 3160 of them in two weeks. During the two weeks, symptoms and adverse effects were close monitored; 37 of them had their serum checked for immunological responses. The results showed that none of the herb consumers contracted the infection, compared to 0.4% among the non-consumers. Adverse effects had been infrequent and mild. There were hardly any influenza-like symptoms and the quality of life improved. In the group who volunteered to have their immunological state checked, significant boosting effects were found. It was concluded that there might be a good indication for using suitable herbal preparations as a means of preventing influenza-like infection. The mode of preventive effect could be treatment of the infection at its very early stage instead of producing a period of higher immunological ability, as in the case of vaccination.
    The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 04/2012; 33(03). DOI:10.1142/S0192415X05002965 · 2.63 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

8k Citations
1,428.39 Total Impact Points


  • 2010–2015
    • Macau University of Science and Technology
      • Macau Institute for Applied Research in Medicine and Health
      Macao, Macau, Macao
  • 1987–2013
    • The Chinese University of Hong Kong
      • • Department of Chemical Pathology
      • • Prince of Wales Hospital
      • • Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
      Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 1987–2011
    • Prince of Wales Hospital, Hong Kong
      Chiu-lung, Kowloon City, Hong Kong
  • 1997–2008
    • The University of Hong Kong
      • Department of Medicine
      Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 2006
    • Allergy and Asthma Medical Group and Research Center
      San Diego, California, United States
  • 2003–2006
    • Hong Kong Hospital Authority
      Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 2004
    • Hong Kong SAR Government
      Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 1991–2004
    • Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
      • Department of Medical Oncology
      Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia
  • 1998
    • Queen Mary Hospital
      Hong Kong, Hong Kong