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Liu L.-Z.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Cheung S.C.K.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Lan L.-L.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Ho S.K.S.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | And 3 more authors.
Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology | Year: 2010

Berberine has been shown to have insulin-sensitizing effect, but the molecular mechanism underlying remains elusive. In this work, we investigated the effect of berberine on insulin-induced signal transduction and glucose uptake in both insulin-sensitive and insulin-resistant rat skeletal muscle cells. Berberine increased the activity of AMPK and PKCζ and AS160 phosphorylation in normal cells, but had little effect on PKB activation. In insulin-resistant state, berberine exhibited synergistic effect on insulin-induced glucose uptake and GLUT4 translocation. Berberine improved insulin-induced tyrosine-phosphorylation of IRS-1 and the recruitment of p85 to IRS-1. These changes were accompanied by enhancement in insulin-induced PKCζ and PKB activity and actin remodeling. The ameliorated insulin signal transduction was related to the inhibition of mTOR by berberine, which attenuated serine-phosphorylation of IRS-1. These results suggest that berberine may overcome insulin resistance via modulating key molecules in insulin signaling pathway, leading to increased glucose uptake in insulin-resistant cells. © 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Qin H.-Y.,Hong Kong Baptist University | Wu J.C.Y.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Tong X.-D.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | Sung J.J.Y.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Gastroenterology | Year: 2011

Aims: Post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome (PI-IBS) is a subset of IBS which occurs after an episode of acute gastrointestinal infections. The mechanisms of PI-IBS are not fully understood. Currently, numerous animal models have been used in the study of PI-IBS. This article reviews the strengths and weaknesses of these models. Methods: All relevant articles were identified by searching in Ovid SP from 1962, the year the term PI-IBS was coined, up to December 31, 2009. The types of model were categorized as either post-infectious or post-inflammatory, and the characteristics of each kind of model were listed. Results: Based on our literature search, 268 articles were identified. Of those articles, 50 were included in this review. The existing PI-IBS models include infection with bacteria (e.g., Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella enterica, and Campylobacter rodentium), and infection with parasites (e.g., Trichinella spiralis, Nippostrongylus brasiliensis, and Cryptosporidium parvum). The post-inflammatory IBS models are commonly induced with chemical agents, such as acetic acid, deoxycholic acid, dextran sulfate sodium, mustard oil, zymosan, and trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS). TNBS is the most commonly used agent for post-inflammatory IBS models, but the experimental protocol varies. These models have one or more aspects similar to IBS patients. Conclusions: Different methods have been used for the development of post-infectious or post-inflammatory IBS models. Each model has its weaknesses and strengths. More studies are needed to establish post-infection IBS models using more common pathogens. A standard protocol in developing TNBS-induced post-inflammatory IBS model is needed. © 2010 Springer. Source

Turley S.M.,University of Auckland | Thambyah A.,University of Auckland | Riggs C.M.,Hong Kong Jockey Club Institute of Chinese Medicine | Firth E.C.,University of Auckland | Broom N.D.,University of Auckland
Journal of Anatomy | Year: 2014

The palmar aspect of the third metacarpal (MC3) condyle of equine athletes is known to be subjected to repetitive overloading that can lead to the accumulation of joint tissue damage, degeneration, and stress fractures, some of which result in catastrophic failure. However, there is still a need to understand at a detailed microstructural level how this damage progresses in the context of the wider joint tissue complex, i.e. the articular surface, the hyaline and calcified cartilage, and the subchondral bone. MC3 bones from non-fractured joints were obtained from the right forelimbs of 16 Thoroughbred racehorses varying in age between 3 and 8 years, with documented histories of active race training. Detailed microstructural analysis of two clinically important sites, the parasagittal grooves and the mid-condylar regions, identified extensive levels of microdamage in the calcified cartilage and subchondral bone concealed beneath outwardly intact hyaline cartilage. The study shows a progression in microdamage severity, commencing with mild hard-tissue microcracking in younger animals and escalating to severe subchondral bone collapse and lesion formation in the hyaline cartilage with increasing age and thus athletic activity. The presence of a clearly distinguishable fibrous tissue layer at the articular surface immediately above sites of severe subchondral collapse suggested a limited reparative response in the hyaline cartilage. © 2014 Anatomical Society. Source

Yao H.,Peking Union Medical College | Song J.,Peking Union Medical College | Liu C.,Peking Union Medical College | Luo K.,Peking Union Medical College | And 8 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Background: The internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) region of nuclear ribosomal DNA is regarded as one of the candidate DNA barcodes because it possesses a number of valuable characteristics, such as the availability of conserved regions for designing universal primers, the ease of its amplification, and sufficient variability to distinguish even closely related species. However, a general analysis of its ability to discriminate species in a comprehensive sample set is lacking. Methodology/Principal Findings: In the current study, 50,790 plant and 12,221 animal ITS2 sequences downloaded from GenBank were evaluated according to sequence length, GC content, intra- and inter-specific divergence, and efficiency of identification. The results show that the inter-specific divergence of congeneric species in plants and animals was greater than its corresponding intra-specific variations. The success rates for using the ITS2 region to identify dicotyledons, monocotyledons, gymnosperms, ferns, mosses, and animals were 76.1%, 74.2%, 67.1%, 88.1%, 77.4%, and 91.7% at the species level, respectively. The ITS2 region unveiled a different ability to identify closely related species within different families and genera. The secondary structure of the ITS2 region could provide useful information for species identification and could be considered as a molecular morphological characteristic. Conclusions/Significance: As one of the most popular phylogenetic markers for eukaryota, we propose that the ITS2 locus should be used as a universal DNA barcode for identifying plant species and as a complementary locus for CO1 to identify animal species. We have also developed a web application to facilitate ITS2-based cross-kingdom species identification (http://its2-plantidit.dnsalias.org). © 2010 Yao et al. Source

Pang X.,Peking Union Medical College | Song J.,Peking Union Medical College | Zhu Y.,Peking Union Medical College | Xu H.,Hong Kong Jockey Club Institute of Chinese Medicine | And 2 more authors.
Cladistics | Year: 2011

The Consortium for the Barcode of Life (CBOL) Plant Working Group (PWG) established the use of matK+rbcL as core barcodes and ITS2 as one of the supplementary loci for differentiating plants at the Third International Barcoding Conference. Here, we tested the applicability of four DNA regions (rbcL, matK, rpoC1 and ITS2) as the barcodes for identifying species within Rosaceae. Based on assessments of the success rates of PCR amplifications, the sequence quality, extent of specific genetic divergence, DNA barcoding gap and ability for species discrimination, our results suggest that ITS2 is the best of the four loci tested for barcoding Rosaceae. We further evaluated the effectiveness of ITS2 for identifying a wide range of species within Rosaceae. Of the 1410 plant samples collected from 893 species in 96 diverse genera, ITS2 successfully identified 78 and 100% of them at the species and genus levels, respectively. Therefore, our research indicated that the ITS2 region is a powerful, though not perfect, barcode for Rosaceae identification that also contributes valuable information for identifying closely related species in other plant taxonomic groups. © The Willi Hennig Society 2010. Source

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