Through the investigation on botanical origin, output and sales of Togcao in producing areas, it has been proved that there are twenty-two species of six families used as Tongcao. The medicinal parts are the pith of stems or petioles. The provinces featuring more species and larger output of Tongcao are Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi, Hunan and Shaanxi. A hundred and two pieces of commercial samples collected from twenty-six provinces in China, Hongkong area, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Republic of Korea have been identified. The result shows that both Xiaotongcao and Datongcao are called by the same name Tongcao. The main species is Xiaotongcao, which takes a proportion of 70% in Tongcao. And the Tongcao(Tetrapanax papyriferus, taking a proportion of 20%) as recorded in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia (1995 edition) is seldom used.
Slopes are subjected to stress redistributions during underground mining activities, and this may eventually cause deformation or landslide. This paper takes Madaling landslide in Guizhou Province, China as a case study to investigate the failure mechanism and its run-out behaviours by using discrete element method. Previous qualitative analysis indicated that the slope experienced four stages of failure mechanisms: (1) development of tension cracks, (2) development of stepped-like creep cracks, (3) development of potential rupture surfaces, and (4) occurrence of the landslide. PFC2D program was employed to model the pre-failure deformation characteristics in order to verify the failure mechanisms quantitatively. Subsequently, the run-out behaviours of the landslide were analyzed by PFC3D program. The results indicated that the movement could be summarized into four stages: acceleration stage, constant movement stage, rapid movement stage, and deceleration and deposition stage.
Anti-cancer drug loaded-nanoparticles (NPs) or encapsulation of NPs in colon-targeted delivery systems shows potential for increasing the local drug concentration in the colon leading to improved treatment of colorectal cancer. To investigate the potential of the NP-based strategies for colon-specific delivery, two formulations, free Eudragit® NPs and enteric-coated NP-loaded chitosan-hypromellose microcapsules (MCs) were fluorescently-labelled and their tissue distribution in mice after oral administration was monitored by multispectral small animal imaging. The free NPs showed a shorter transit time throughout the mouse digestive tract than the MCs, with extensive excretion of NPs in faeces at 5h. Conversely, the MCs showed complete NP release in the lower region of the mouse small intestine at 8h post-administration. Overall, the encapsulation of NPs in MCs resulted in a higher colonic NP intensity from 8h to 24h post-administration compared to the free NPs, due to a NP 'guarding' effect of MCs during their transit along mouse gastrointestinal tract which decreased NP excretion in faeces. These imaging data revealed that this widely-utilised colon-targeting MC formulation lacked site-precision for releasing its NP load in the colon, but the increased residence time of the NPs in the lower gastrointestinal tract suggests that it is still useful for localised release of chemotherapeutics, compared to NP administration alone. In addition, both formulations resided in the stomach of mice at considerable concentrations over 24h. Thus, adhesion of NP- or MC-based oral delivery systems to gastric mucosa may be problematic for colon-specific delivery of the cargo to the colon and should be carefully investigated for a full evaluation of particulate delivery systems.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine the attitudes and acceptability of self-administered cervicovaginal sampling compared with conventional physician-acquired Papanicolaou (Pap) smear among multiethnic Malaysian women.
METHOD: A cross-sectional study was carried out via interviewer-administered surveys from August 2013 through August 2015 at five government-run, urban health clinics in the state of Selangor. Subjects were participants from an ongoing community-based human papillomavirus (HPV) prevalence study who answered a standard questionnaire before and after self-sampling. The cervicovaginal self-sampling for HPV genotyping was performed using a simple brush ('Just for Me'; Preventive Oncology International, Hong Kong). Detailed data on sociodemographics, previous Pap smear experience, and attitudes towards self-administered cervicovaginal sampling were collected and analysed. Acceptability was inferred using a five-item Likert scale that included six different subjective descriptives: experience, difficulty, convenience, embarrassment, discomfort or pain, and confidence in collecting one's own sample.
RESULTS: Of the 839 participants, 47.9% were Malays, followed by 30.8% Indians, 18.8% Chinese and 2.5% from other ethnicities. The median age of the participants was 38 years (IQR 30-48). Some 68.2% of participants indicated a preference for self-sampling over the Pap test, with 95% indicating willingness to follow-up a positive result at the hospital. Age, ethnicity and previous Pap test experience were significant independent factors associated with preference for self-sampling. The older the individual, the less likely they were to prefer self-sampling (adjusted OR 0.94, 95% CI 0.90 to 0.98). The Chinese were less likely to prefer self-sampling (72.6%) than the Malays (85.1%) (adjusted OR 0.57, 95% CI 0.33 to 0.98, p=0.004). Participants who had never undergone a Pap smear were also more likely to prefer self-sampling (88.5%) than women who had undergone a previous Pap (80.9%) (adjusted OR 0.06, 95% CI 0.35 to 0.87).
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, urban Malaysian women from multiethnic backgrounds found self-sampling to be an acceptable alternative to Pap smear.
Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) hold great promise in cardiac fibrosis therapy, due to their potential ability of inhibiting cardiac myofibroblast differentiation (a hallmark of cardiac fibrosis). However, the mechanism involved in their effects remains elusive. To explore this, it is necessary to develop an in vitro cardiac fibrosis model that incorporates pore size and native tissue-mimicking matrix stiffness, which may regulate cardiac myofibroblast differentiation. In the present study, collagen coated polyacrylamide hydrogel substrates were fabricated, in which the pore size was adjusted without altering the matrix stiffness. Stiffness is shown to regulate cardiac myofibroblast differentiation independently of pore size. Substrate at a stiffness of 30 kPa, which mimics the stiffness of native fibrotic cardiac tissue, was found to induce cardiac myofibroblast differentiation to create in vitro cardiac fibrosis model. Conditioned medium of hMSCs was applied to the model to determine its role and inhibitory mechanism on cardiac myofibroblast differentiation. It was found that hMSCs secrete hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) to inhibit cardiac myofibroblast differentiation via downregulation of angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R) and upregulation of Smad7. These findings would aid in establishment of the therapeutic use of hMSCs in cardiac fibrosis therapy in future.
Cancer stem-like cells (CSC) are thought to drive tumor initiation, metastasis, relapse and therapeutic resistance, but their specific pathogenic characters in many cancers including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have yet to be well defined. Here we develop findings that the growth factor HGF promotes CSC sphere formation in NSCLC cell populations. In patient-derived sphere-forming assays (PD-SFA) with HGF, CD49f and CD104 were defined as novel markers of lung CSC (LCSC). In particular, we isolated a subpopulation of CD166(+)CD49f(hi)CD104(-)Lin(-) LCSC present in all human specimens of NSCLC examined, regardless of their histological subtypes or genetic driver mutations. This specific cell population was tumorigenic and capable of self-renewal, giving rise to tumor spheres in vitro and orthotopic lung tumors in immune-compromised mice. Mechanistic investigations established that NOTCH1 was preferentially expressed in this cell subpopulation and required for self-renewal via the transcription factor HES1. Through a distinct HES1-independent pathway, NOTCH1 also protected LCSCs from cisplatin-induced cell death. Notably, treatment with a γ-secretase inhibitor that blunts NOTCH1 function ablated self-renewing LCSC activity and restored platinum sensitivity in vitro and in vivo Overall, our results define the pathogenic characters of a cancer stem-like subpopulation in lung cancer, the targeting of which may relieve platinum resistance in this disease.