• Analysis of colchicine-induced effects on hepatoma and hepatpcyte cells by atomic force microscopy

      Liu, Lanjiao; Wang, Zuobin; Zhang, Wenxiao; Zhu, Xinyao; Li, Li; Weng, Zhankun; Changchun University of Science and Technology; University of Warwick (American Scientific Publishers, 2018-06-01)
      Biomechanical properties of cells are altered by many diseases. Cancer cell metastasis is related to the properties such as the cell stiffness that influences cell proliferation, differentiation and migration. In this paper, we used an atomic force microscope to analyze the colchicine-induced effects on the mechanical properties of hepatocyte (HL-7702 cells) and hepatoma cells (SMCC-7721 cells) in culture at the nanoscale. The cells were exposed to a solution with a normal dose of colchicine for two, four and six hours. Surface topographic images showed that colchicine decreased the stability of the cytoskeleton. After the same six-hour treatment in a solution with a normal dose of colchicine, the biomechanical properties of HL-7702 cells were almost unchanged. However, the stiffness and the adhesion force of the SMCC-7721 cells were clearly increased (more than twofold of the normal values), especially after four hours. The deformability of SMCC-7721 cancer cells was significantly decreased within the six-hour treatment in the solution with a normal dose of colchicine. Analysis of the biomechanical properties of post-treatment hepatoma cells provided a complementary explanation for the mechanism of action of colchicine on cells at the nanoscale. This method is expected to allow the monitoring of potential metastatic cancer cell changes, thus preventing the emergence and the transmission of disease, and improving the diagnosis of cancer.
    • Negative regulation of autophagy in activating nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor family pyrin domain-containing 3 inflammasomes in the hippocampus of an epilepsy rat model

      Wu, Jia-Mei; Chen, Liqiang; Wang, Shuo; Li, Yingyu; Liu, Lei; Chen, Guang; Wang, Shu-Qiu; Zhou, Shaobo (American Scientific Publishers, 2019-06-25)
      Epilepsy, characterized by unpredictable and periodic seizures, is associated with chronic hippocampal inflammation and autophagy. Moreover, a molecular relationship between autophagy and inflammation in neurodegenerative disorders has been reported, highlighting the role of autophagy in the regulation of inflammation. To the best of our knowledge, there is no previous evidence of an association between nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor family pyrin domaincontaining 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome and autophagy in epilepsy. Hence, we in this study aimed at investigating the possible association between NLRP3 inflammasome activation and autophagy in the development of epilepsy. A rat model of temporal lobe epilepsy was induced with lithiumpilocarpine. Five groups, i.e., control (n=20), status epilepticus (SE, n=30), SE+control (siRNA; n=15), SE+NLRP3 siRNA (n=30), and SE+wortmannin (n=30), were investigated. Real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, Western blotting, and quantum dotbased immunohistochemistry were used to detect the mRNA/protein expression levels of NLRP3, caspase-1, interleukin (IL)-1, IL-18, Beclin-1, and microtubule-associated protein light chain 3 (LC3) in the hippocampus. In addition, transmission electron microscopy was utilized to investigate autophagosome in the hippocampus of SE rats. We found that mRNA and protein expressions of NLRP3, caspase-1, IL-1, IL-18, LC3, and Beclin-1 were activated in the hippocampus. Gene silencing of NLRP3 suppressed caspase-1, IL-1, and IL-18 release and significantly ameliorated hippocampal damage. Furthermore, the LC3 and Beclin-1 expression levels decreased significantly after treatment with wortmannin. Importantly, NLRP3 inflammasome activation and IL-1/IL-18 releases were significantly enhanced after treatment with wortmannin, which implied a negative association between autophagy inhibition and NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Our study provides the first evidence that autophagy plays an important role in NLRP3 inflammasome activation in the development of epilepsy. These findings suggest that regulation of autophagy may be a promising potential strategy for treating patients with epilepsy.
    • Tunable phantoms and their verification

      Zhang, Qing; Ur-Rehman, Masood; Yang, Xiaodong (American Scientific Publishers, 2020-01-01)
      Digital phantoms are very important for body area networks and other biomedical applications. However, it is important to note that most existing phantoms are static, including 3D scanned and voxel models. Recent research has revealed that tunable phantoms are still very necessary for body area networks since various postures should be considered. In this paper, parameterized digital phantoms are generated from 2D images. The train of thought and results presented in the paper are worth reference for phantom researchers.