Wan Fang Hospital
  • Taipei, Taiwan
Recent publications
Background Childhood trauma has been linked to increased risk of schizophrenia and social dysfunction, and oxytocin and its receptor gene have been implicated in regulating social behavior. This study investigated the potential role of oxytocin and oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) in mediating the effects of childhood trauma on social functioning in schizophrenia. Methods The study consisted of 382 patients with schizophrenia and 178 healthy controls who were assessed using the Taiwanese version of the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ-SF), the Social Functioning Scale (SFS), and plasma oxytocin levels. DNA was extracted to genotype the OXTR and ten single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs; rs2254298, rs237885, rs237887, rs237899, rs53576, rs9840864, rs13316193, rs7632287, rs1042778, and rs237895) were selected. Results Patients with schizophrenia showed higher CTQ-SF scores ( t = 12.549, p < 0.001), lower SFS scores ( t = −46.951, p < 0.001), and lower plasma oxytocin levels ( t = −5.448, p < 0.001) compared to healthy controls. The study also found significant differences in OXTR SNPs between both groups, with risk alleles being more prevalent in patients with schizophrenia ( t = 2.734, p = 0.006). Results indicated a significant moderated mediation effect, with oxytocin and the OXTR SNPs partially mediating the relationship between childhood trauma exposure and social functioning in patients with schizophrenia (index of mediation = 0.038, 95% CI [0.033–0.044]). Conclusions The findings suggest that oxytocin and its receptor gene may be promising targets for interventions aimed at improving social functioning in patients with a history of childhood trauma and schizophrenia. However, further research is needed to fully understand these effects and the potential of oxytocin-based interventions in this population.
Background: Metabolic stress predisposes to ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. Right ventricular outflow tract (RVOT) is the common origin of ventricular arrhythmias. Adenosine monophosphate-regulated protein kinase (AMPK) activation is an important compensatory mechanism for cardiac remodeling during metabolic stress. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to access whether AMPK inhibition would modulate RVOT electrophysiology, calcium (Ca2+ ) regulation, and RVOT arrhythmogenesis or not. Methods: Conventional microelectrodes were used to record electrical activity before and after compound C (10 µM, an AMPK inhibitor) in isoproterenol (1 µM)-treated rabbit RVOT tissue preparations under electrical pacing. Whole-cell patch-clamp and confocal microscopic examinations were performed in baseline and compound C-treated rabbit RVOT cardiomyocytes to investigate ionic currents and intracellular Ca2+ transients in isolated rabbit RVOT cardiomyocytes. Results: Compound C decreased RVOT contractility, and reversed isoproterenol increased RVOT contractility. Compound C decreased the incidence, rate, and duration of isoproterenol-induced RVOT burst firing under rapid pacing. Compared to baseline, compound C-treated RVOT cardiomyocytes had a longer action potential duration, smaller intracellular Ca2+ transients, late sodium (Na+ ), peak L-type Ca2+ current density, Na+ -Ca2+ exchanger, transient outward potassium (K+ ) current, and rapid and slow delayed rectifier K+ currents. Conclusion: AMPK inhibition modulates RVOT electrophysiological characteristics and Ca2+ homeostasis, contributing to lower RVOT arrhythmogenic activity. Accordingly, AMPK inhibition might potentially reduce ventricular tachyarrhythmias.
Bullous pemphigoid has a high incidence among dialysis patients. However, whether or not chronic dialysis is an independent risk factor of bullous pemphigoid remains unclear. We aimed to investigate the effect of chronic dialysis on the development of bullous pemphigoid and pemphigus. We performed a retrospective cohort study using records from Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database between 2008 and 2019. We identified a dialysis cohort that included patients on chronic hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis, and the hazard ratios (HRs) for bullous pemphigoid and pemphigus were compared with those of a sex-, age-, and index-matched cohort, then the results were adjusted for various confounding factors. Among 93 538 patients on chronic dialysis and 93 538 patients in the control group, 287 and 139 developed incident bullous pemphigoid, and 45 and 35 developed incident pemphigus after a median follow-up of 3.7 and 5.6 years, respectively. The incidence rates of bullous pemphigoid in the dialysis patients and the control group were 74.2 and 25.2 per 100 000 person-years, respectively (difference between groups, P < 0.0001). The incidence rates of pemphigus in the dialysis patients and the control group were 11.6 and 6.3 per 100 000 person-years, respectively (difference between groups, P < 0.01). Cox proportional hazard adjustment showed the HR for bullous pemphigoid in dialysis patients was 2.12 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.64-2.74, P < 0.0001) compared with the control group. Dialysis patients aged <75 years had an even higher risk of bullous pemphigoid development (5- to 8-fold) than the control group. The adjusted HR for pemphigus was not elevated in dialysis patients (adjusted HR 1.52, 95% CI 0.87-2.67, P = 0.14). Chronic dialysis is an independent risk factor for developing bullous pemphigoid, but not a risk factor for pemphigus. Physicians should be aware of the predisposition of chronic dialysis patients to bullous pemphigoid.
To enhance osteointegration between bone implants and bone tissues in implantation surgery, this study aimed to develop a hydrogel using chitosan and dextran to improve the cell proliferative ability, cell migratory capacity, and cell osteogenic ability. Herein, we developed two different hydrogel compositions with three different amounts of magnesium sulfate to produce six hydrogels for application as a filler for total knee replacement surgery to replace bone cement. The swelling property, degradation behavior, composition, and structure of the hydrogel were systemically investigated. Moreover, an MTT assay, scratch test, and alizarin red S staining were conducted to analyze the cell viability, migratory ability, and osteogenic response after being stimulated by the hydrogel. MC3T3-E1 preosteoblasts exhibited significantly improved cell proliferation, migratory capacity, osteogenesis, and mineralization due to MgSO 4 in the hydrogel. Our work provides insights into the development of biomimetic and osteogenic hydrogels for bone integration in implantation surgery.
This systematic review and network meta-analysis investigated the clinical efficacy and safety of chemical agent injections in patients with varicose veins. PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane databases were searched for eligible studies where patients administered endovascular agents comprised an intervention group, and patients administered other interventions comprised the comparison group. The endovascular agents included foam and liquid form sclerotherapy or cyanoacrylate glue. The other interventions in this study included surgery, endovenous laser ablation (EVLA), radiofrequency ablation (RFA), and placebo. A network meta-analysis for treatment effectiveness was performed. In addition, we illustrated the P-score lines of success rate and complication rate sorted by the P-score. Our results showed that at all postprocedural time intervals, cyanoacrylate glue therapy exhibited a significantly higher success rate compared with foam and liquid sclerotherapy. According to the plot of P-score lines, cyanoacrylate glue had an overall tendency of higher success rate and lower complication rate compared with foam and liquid sclerotherapy. Comparing with the other invasive treatments, cyanoacrylate glue may be non-inferior and could be considered as an option for treating varicose veins. However, the clinical benefits and safety of endovascular agents for the treatment of varicose veins require further corroboration through randomized control trials.
Background/aim: Oxidative stress plays an important role in various pathogenic processes, and disruption in the coordinated production of NADPH oxidase (NOX)-derived reactive oxygen species has been associated with carcinogenesis. However, little is known about whether genetic variants in NOX can contribute to the development of renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Patients and methods: This study aimed to bridge this knowledge gap by analysing the association of 10 single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the phagocyte NOX genes, CYBA and CYBB, with RCC risk and tumour characteristics in 630 RCC patients and controls. Differential gene expression and patient prognosis analyses were performed using gene expression data obtained from public databases. Results: Multivariate analysis and multiple testing corrections revealed the A allele of rs7195830 in CYBA to be a significant risk allele for RCC, compared to the G allele [odds ratio (OR)=1.70, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.27-2.26, p<0.001]. A pooled analysis of 17 renal cancer gene expression datasets revealed a higher CYBA expression in RCC than in normal tissues. Moreover, high CYBA expression was associated with advanced tumour characteristics and worse patient prognosis. Conclusion: CYBA might play an oncogenic role in RCC and serve as a predictive indicator of patient prognosis.
Background: Oral anticoagulation therapy with warfarin or direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) is the mainstay for stroke prevention in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF). The DOACs might have a lower risk of declining renal function than warfarin. This study aimed to compare renal outcomes among rivaroxaban, edoxaban, dabigatran, and warfarin. Method: This cohort study identified 2203 adults with AF who started anticoagulation therapy between 1 July 2013 and 31 December 2020, in a clinical database at a single centre. Inverse probability of treatment weighting was adopted to balance baseline characteristics among four anticoagulants treatment groups. The primary outcome was a composite of cardiac and renal outcomes, involving a ≥30% decline in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), renal failure and cardiovascular death. Results: After propensity score weighting, dabigatran was associated with significantly lower risks of a ≥30% decline in eGFR (hazard ratio [HR]: .69, 95% confidence interval [CI]: .497-.951, p = .0237), doubling of the serum creatinine level (HR: .49, 95% CI: .259-.927, p = .0282) and the cardiac and renal outcome composite (HR: .67, 95% CI: .485-.913, p = .0115) than warfarin. Rivaroxaban and edoxaban did not show significant protective effects on renal outcomes compared to warfarin. Conclusion: In this study, patients treated with dabigatran had significantly reduced risks of declining renal function and composite cardiac and renal events than those treated with warfarin. However, rivaroxaban and edoxaban were not associated with lower risks of any renal outcomes than warfarin. More studies are warranted to investigate and compare the impact of renal function between different DOACs in patients with AF.
Androgen has been shown to regulate male physiological activities and cancer proliferation. It is used to antagonize estrogen-induced proliferative effects in breast cancer cells. However, evidence indicates that androgen can stimulate cancer cell growth in estrogen receptor (ER)-positive and ER-negative breast cancer cells via different types of receptors and different mechanisms. Androgen-induced cancer growth and metastasis link with different types of integrins. Integrin αvβ3 is predominantly expressed and activated in cancer cells and rapidly dividing endothelial cells. Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) also plays a vital role in cancer growth. The part of integrins in action with androgen in cancer cells is not fully mechanically understood. To clarify the interactions between androgen and integrin αvβ3, we carried out molecular modeling to explain the potential interactions of androgen with integrin αvβ3. The androgen-regulated mechanisms on PD-L1 and its effects were also addressed.
Abstract Background Associations between kidney function and dementia risk are inconclusive. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) severity is determined by levels of both estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and the urine albumin to creatinine ratio (ACR). However, whether there is a graded increase in dementia risk for worse eGFR in each ACR category is unclear. Also, whether genetic risk for dementia impacts the associations is unknown. The current study aims to investigate the associations between eGFR and albuminuria with dementia risk both individually and jointly, whether the associations vary by different follow-up periods, and whether genetic factors modified the associations. Methods In 202,702 participants aged ≥ 60 years from the UK Biobank, Cox proportional-hazards models were used to examine the associations between eGFR and urine albumin creatinine ratio (ACR) with risk of incident dementia. GFR was estimated based on serum creatinine, cystatin C, or both. The models were restricted to different follow-up periods (
Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) was found to improve the symptoms in patients with diabetic sensorimotor peripheral neuropathy (DSPN) by reducing oxidative stress and ameliorating microcirculation. Our meta-analysis is aimed at evaluating the effects of oral-administered ALA versus a placebo in patients with DSPN and determining the optimal dosage for this treatment. We systematically reviewed randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane databases to determine the efficacy of oral ALA for patients with DSPN. The primary outcome was total symptoms’ score (TSS), and secondary outcomes were the neurological disability score (NDS), neuropathy impaired score (NIS), NIS-lower limb (NIS-LL), vibration perception threshold (VPT), nerve conduction study (NCS) results, and global satisfaction. A subgroup analysis of the ALA dosage (600, 1200, and 1800 mg/day) was also conducted. Ten RCTs (1242 patients) were included. ALA treatment produced favorable results for TSS (a dose-related trend was observed), NDS, and the global satisfaction score. For VAS, VPT, NIS-LL, and NCS results, ALA did not produce favorable results. ALA treatment had favorable effects on DSPN by reducing sensory symptoms, and it resulted in a dose-dependent response relative to the placebo for TSS and the global satisfaction score. The use of ALA to prevent neurological symptoms should be further researched.
In conventional digital game-based learning, geographic maps are generally used to provide students with the whole picture of the gaming contexts, while the concepts to be learned are separately presented as individual gaming objects. Scholars have indicated the problems of such a gaming content design, in which students could encounter difficulties making effective connections between spatial and conceptual knowledge during the learning process, which may influence their learning effectiveness. As a result, it is a crucial and challenging issue to assist students in organizing spatial and conceptual knowledge in contextual learning environments, such as digital games. To solve this problem, an integrated concept map and geographic map-based digital gaming (CM-GMDG) approach is proposed to demonstrate how spatial and conceptual knowledge can be connected in the development of digital games. To investigate the effectiveness of the approach, a quasi-experiment was conducted in a social science course. Two classes of seventh graders in a high school participated in this study. The experimental group (N = 39) adopted the CM-GMDG approach while the control group (N = 23) adopted the conventional geographic map-based digital gaming (GMDG) approach. The results showed that the students using the CM-GMDG approach significantly outperformed those using the GMDG approach on learning achievement. Moreover, the learning behavioral pattern analysis results showed that compared with the control group, students in the experimental group more frequently engaged in knowledge-acquiring behaviors, such as reading learning materials and completing learning tasks. On the other hand, the control group gave up on the learning tasks more frequently by switching the gaming scenes and stopping answering questions. This indicated that the CM-GMDG approach was more helpful for guiding students to focus on their learning tasks than the GMDG approach.
Background KH-type splicing regulatory protein (KHSRP, also called KSRP), a versatile RNA-binding protein, plays a critical role in various physiological and pathological conditions through modulating gene expressions at multiple levels. However, the role of KSRP in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) remains poorly understood. Methods KSRP expression was detected by a ccRCC tissue microarray and evaluated by an in silico analysis. Cell loss-of-function and gain-of-function, colony-formation, anoikis, and transwell assays, and an orthotopic bioluminescent xenograft model were conducted to determine the functional role of KRSP in ccRCC progression. Micro (mi)RNA and complementary (c)DNA microarrays were used to identify downstream targets of KSRP. Western blotting, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, and promoter- and 3-untranslated region (3'UTR)-luciferase reporter assays were employed to validate the underlying mechanisms of KSRP which aggravate progression of ccRCC. Results Our results showed that dysregulated high levels of KSRP were correlated with advanced clinical stages, larger tumor sizes, recurrence, and poor prognoses of ccRCC. Neural precursor cell-expressed developmentally downregulated 4 like (NEDD4L) was identified as a novel target of KSRP, which can reverse the protumorigenic and prometastatic characteristics as well as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) promotion by KSRP in vitro and in vivo. Molecular studies revealed that KSRP can decrease NEDD4L messenger (m)RNA stability via inducing mir-629-5p upregulation and directly targeting the AU-rich elements (AREs) of the 3’UTR. Moreover, KSRP was shown to transcriptionally suppress NEDD4L via inducing the transcriptional repressor, Wilm's tumor 1 (WT1). In the clinic, ccRCC samples revealed a positive correlation between KSRP and mesenchymal-related genes, and patients expressing high KSRP and low NEDD4L had the worst prognoses. Conclusion The current findings unveil novel mechanisms of KSRP which promote malignant progression of ccRCC through transcriptional inhibition and post-transcriptional destabilization of NEDD4L transcripts. Targeting KSRP and its pathways may be a novel pharmaceutical intervention for ccRCC.
Background Laparoscopic hepatectomy (LH) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has been well-known for its advantages in the past 10 years, but little is known regarding its oncologic outcomes while the technique is being developed at an institution. This study aimed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of LH for patients with primary HCC at favorable locations, focusing on postoperative short-, and long-term outcomes during the development period. Methods We retrospectively reviewed patients diagnosed with primary HCC that underwent hepatectomy between January 2013 and December 2019 at Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital. Patients with HCC at favorable locations (anterolateral segments) were collected and divided into laparoscopic and open hepatectomy (OH) groups. The primary end point was long-term oncologic outcomes, including overall, and disease-free survival, whereas the secondary end point was postoperative short-term outcomes. Results The review included 159 patients, and among which 42, and 44 patients with HCC in favorable locations were underwent open and laparoscopic hepatectomies. There were no significant differences in intraoperative blood loss (200 vs. 300 mL, p = 0.072), overall complication rate (57.2% vs. 36.4%, p = 0.083), major complication rate (11.9% vs. 2.3%, p = 0.080), and 90-day mortality rate (7.1% vs. 0.0%, p =0.071) between the two groups. The laparoscopic group had a lower transfusion rate (14.3% vs. 2.3%, p = 0.042), shorter postoperative hospital stay (10 days vs. 7 days, p < 0.001), and lower 90-day readmission rate (14.3% vs. 2.3%, p = 0,042). There were no significant differences in 12-, 36,- and 60-month overall survival and disease-free survival. Conclusions LH for favorably located HCC is the preferred surgical approach compared to OH due to the decreased transfusion rate, shorter postoperative hospital stay, and lower 90-day readmission rate. LH did not compromise the 90-day mortality rate with sustained long-term overall and disease-free survival. LH for favorably located HCC is a safe and effective surgical approach even during the development period.
Background Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) is a pernicious disease characterized by an immunosuppressive milieu that is unresponsive to current immunotherapies. Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) is a natural anti-inflammatory cytokine; however, its contribution to cancer pathogenesis and immunosuppression remains elusive. In this research, we investigated the role and mechanism of IL-1Ra in malignant progression of PDA. Results Through analyzing clinical dataset and examining the pathological tumor tissues and serum samples, we have demonstrated that IL-1Ra expression is elevated in human PDA and positively associated with malignant progression of PDA. To study the biological function of IL-1Ra in tumors, we generated a set of mouse pancreatic cancer cell lines with a knockout (KO) of the Il1rn gene, encoding IL-1Ra, and compared the tumor growth rates in immune-competent and immune-deficient mice. We found that the Il1rn KO cells exhibited greater tumor inhibition in immune-competent mice, highlighting the crucial role of a functional immune system in Il1rn KO-mediated anti-tumor response. Consistently, we found an increase in CD8 ⁺ T cells and a decrease in CD11b ⁺ Ly6G ⁻ immunosuppressive mononuclear population in the tumor microenvironment of Il1rn KO-derived tumors. To monitor the inhibitory effects of IL-1Ra on immune cells, we utilized a luciferase-based reporter CD4 ⁺ T cell line and splenocytes, which were derived from transgenic mice expressing ovalbumin-specific T cell receptors in CD8 ⁺ T cells, and mice immunized with ovalbumin. We showed that IL-1Ra suppressed T cell receptor signaling and inhibited antigen-specific interferon-γ (IFN-γ) secretion and cytolytic activity in splenocytes. Conclusions Our findings illustrate the immunosuppressive properties of the natural anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-1Ra, and provide a rationale for considering IL-1Ra-targeted therapies in the treatment of PDA.
Healthcare resources are heavily burdened by infections that impede the woundhealing process. A wide range of advanced technologies have been developed for detecting and quantifying infection biomarkers. Finding a timely, accurate, non-invasive diagnostic alternative that does not require a high level of training is a critical step toward arresting common clinical patterns of wound health decline. There is growing interest in the development of innovative diagnostics utilizing a variety of emerging technologies, and new biomarkers have been investigated as potential indicators of wound infection. In this review, we summarize diagnostics available for wound infection, including those used in clinics and still under development.
In recent years, several types of platelet concentrates have been investigated and applied in many fields, particularly in the musculoskeletal system. Platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) is an autologous biomaterial, a second-generation platelet concentrate containing platelets and growth factors in the form of fibrin membranes prepared from the blood of patients without additives. During tissue regeneration, platelet concentrates contain a higher percentage of leukocytes and a flexible fibrin net as a scaffold to improve cell migration in angiogenic, osteogenic, and antibacterial capacities during tissue regeneration. PRF enables the release of molecules over a longer period, which promotes tissue healing and regeneration. The potential of PRF to simulate the physiology and immunology of wound healing is also due to the high concentrations of released growth factors and anti-inflammatory cytokines that stimulate vessel formation, cell proliferation, and differentiation. These products have been used safely in clinical applications because of their autologous origin and minimally invasive nature. We focused on a narrative review of PRF therapy and its effects on musculoskeletal, oral, and maxillofacial surgeries and dermatology. We explored the components leading to the biological activity and the published preclinical and clinical research that supports its application in musculoskeletal therapy. The research generally supports the use of PRF as an adjuvant for various chronic muscle, cartilage, and tendon injuries. Further clinical trials are needed to prove the benefits of utilizing the potential of PRF.
Rice bran, a byproduct of rice milling, is rich in fiber and phytochemicals and confers several health benefits. However, its effects on gut microbiota and obesity-related muscle atrophy in postmenopausal status remain unclear. In this study, we investigated the effects of rice bran on gut microbiota, muscle synthesis, and breakdown pathways in estrogen-deficient ovariectomized (OVX) mice receiving a high-fat diet (HFD). ICR female mice were divided into five groups: sham, OVX mice receiving control diet (OC); OVX mice receiving HFD (OH); OVX mice receiving control diet and rice bran (OR); and OVX mice receiving HFD and rice bran (OHR). After twelve weeks, relative muscle mass and grip strength were high in rice bran diet groups. IL-6, TNF-α, MuRf-1, and atrogin-1 expression levels were lower, and Myog and GLUT4 were higher in the OHR group. Rice bran upregulated the expression of occludin and ZO-1 (gut tight junction proteins). The abundance of Akkermansiaceae in the cecum was relatively high in the OHR group. Our finding revealed that rice bran supplementation ameliorated gut barrier dysfunction and gut dysbiosis and also maintained muscle mass by downregulating the expression of MuRf-1 and atrogin-1 (muscle atrophy-related factors) in HFD-fed OVX mice.
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259 members
Chih-Hsin Lee
  • Pulmonary Research Center
Ting_I Lee
  • Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism
Shao-Jung Li
  • Department of Surgery
sung-chih Hsieh
  • endodontic department
Yen-Nung Lin
  • Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Taipei, Taiwan