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Open access

Chao-bin He, Yu Zhang, Zhi-yuan Cai, and Xiao-jun Lin

Aim

The role of surgery in the treatment of metastatic pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs) was controversial. The objectives of this study were to illustrate the impact of surgery in improving the prognosis of patients with metastatic PNETs and build nomograms to predict overall survival (OS) and cancer-specific survival (CSS) based on a large population-based cohort.

Methods

Patients diagnosed with metastatic PNETs between 2004 and 2015 from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database were retrospectively collected. Nomograms for estimating OS and CSS were established based on Cox regression model and Fine and Grey’s model. The precision of the nomograms was evaluated and compared using concordance index (C-index) and the area under receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC).

Results

The study cohort included 1966 patients with metastatic PNETs. It was shown that the surgery provided survival benefit for all groups of patients with metastatic PNETs. In the whole study cohort, 1-, 2- and 3-year OS and CSS were 51.5, 37.1 and 29.4% and 53.0, 38.9 and 31.1%, respectively. The established nomograms were well calibrated, and had good discriminative ability, with C-indexes of 0.773 for OS prediction and 0.774 for CSS prediction.

Conclusions

Patients with metastatic PNETs could benefit from surgery when the surgery tolerance was acceptable. The established nomograms could stratify patients who were categorized as tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) IV stage into groups with diverse prognoses, showing better discrimination and calibration of the established nomograms, compared with 8th TNM stage system in predicting OS and CSS for patients with metastatic PNETs.

Open access

Fan Zhang, Jian Chen, Xinyue Lin, Shiqiao Peng, Xiaohui Yu, Zhongyan Shan, and Weiping Teng

Objective

Maternal hypothyroidism during pregnancy can affect the neurodevelopment of their offspring. This study aimed to investigate the effects of maternal subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) on spatial learning and memory, and its relationship with the apoptotic factors in cerebral cortex of the offspring.

Methods

Female adult Wistar rats were randomly divided into three groups (n = 15 per group): control (CON) group, SCH group and overt hypothyroidism (OH) group. Spatial learning and memory in the offspring were evaluated by long-term potentiation (LTP) and Morris water-maze (MWM) test. The protein expression of the p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR), phospho-c-Jun N-terminal kinase (p-JNK), the pro-apoptotic protein p53 and Bax were detected by Western blotting.

Results

The Pups in the SCH and OH groups showed longer escape latencies in the MWM and decreased field-excitatory post synaptic potentials in LTP tests compared with those in the CON group. p75NTR, p-JNK, p53 and Bax expression levels in the cerebral cortex increased in pups in the SCH and OH groups compared with those in the CON group.

Conclusions

Maternal SCH during pregnancy may impair spatial learning and memory in the offspring and may be associated with the increased apoptosis in the cerebral cortex.

Open access

Shih-Rong Lin, Shih-Fen Chen, Yu-Cih Yang, Chung-Y Hsu, and Yu-Chih Shen

Hyperthyroidism contributes to many other disease conditions, including neurodegenerative diseases. Parkinson’s disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases. The purpose of this study was to investigate the risk of PD in patients with hyperthyroidism. A total of 8788 patients with hyperthyroidism and 8788 controls (without hyperthyroidism) matched by age, gender, index year, and Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) score were enrolled between 2000 and 2012. Patients were then followed until the end of 2013 using Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database, at which time participants who developed PD were identified. Cox regression analysis was used to calculate the hazard ratio (HR) with a 95% CI of PD incidence rate between patients with hyperthyroidism and unaffected controls. Patients with hyperthyroidism had a significantly increased risk of PD compared with unaffected controls (1.21 vs 0.45 per 1000 person-years, HR: 2.69, 95% CI: 1.08–6.66) after adjusting for age, gender, CCI score, comorbidities, and antithyroid therapy. Hyperthyroidism and PD may share common manifestations. After excluding the first year of observation, a similar result is obtained (HR: 2.57, 95% CI: 1.61–4.01). Also, this study found that older age (HR: 3.74–8.53), more comorbidities (HR: 1.58–1.63), and specific comorbidities (brain injury (HR: 1.57) and cerebrovascular disease (HR: 3.44)) were associated with an increased risk of developing PD. Patients with hyperthyroidism have an increased risk of developing PD. Additional prospective clinical studies are warranted to examine the relationship between hyperthyroidism and PD and determine if there is an intervention that could reduce PD risk.

Open access

Yu Lin, Yingying Zhang, Lei Xu, Wei Long, Chunjian Shan, Hongjuan Ding, Lianghui You, Chun Zhao, and Zhonghua Shi

Aims: Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)-induced macrosomia is predominantly characterized by fat accumulation, which is closely related to adipocyte differentiation. An unknown long noncoding RNA RP11-290L1.3, referred to as RP11, was identified to be dramatically upregulated in the umbilical cord blood of women with GDM-induced macrosomia in our previous study. We conducted this study to identify the function of RP11 in GDM-induced macrosomia.

Methods: The effects of RP11 gain- and loss-of-function on HPA-v (human preadipocytes-visceral) adipogenesis were determined with lentivirus mediated cell transduction. The mRNA and protein expression levels of adipogenesis makers were evaluated by qPCR/western blot. Then, we performed the Microarray and pathway analysis to explore the possible mechanisms by which RP11 regulates adipogenesis.

Results: Overexpression of RP11 significantly enhanced adipocyte differentiation and increased the mRNA and protein expression levels of adipogenesis makers, such as PPAR-γ, SREBP1c, and FASN by qPCR/western blot. Knockdown of RP11 showed opposite effects. Microarray and pathway analysis showed, after RP11 knockdown, 1,612 genes were upregulated and 583 genes were downregulated which were found to be mainly involved in metabolic pathways, insulin signaling pathway and MAPK signaling pathway.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the unknown lncRNA RP11 serves a positive factor on preadipocyte differentiation which could shed light on fetal fat accumulation in GDM.

Open access

Ya-Fen Hu, Lin Hua, Xiu Tuo, Ting-Ting Shi, Yi-Lin Yang, Yun-Fu Liu, Zhong-Yu Yan, and Zhong Xin

Background

The pathogenesis underlying the alterations of orbital architecture in Graves’ orbitopathy (GO) is not yet fully understood. The present study aimed to investigate the association of DNA methylation in peripheral blood and orbital volumetry in Chinese patients with GO.

Methods

A total of 35 GO subjects (70 orbits) were subjected to CT scan. The total cross-sectional area of the extraocular muscles (orbital muscles, OM), total orbit area (TOA), and the exophthalmometry were measured and OM/TOA ratio was calculated. Targeted bisulfite sequencing was performed on seven candidate genes.

Results

No significant correlation was established between the DNA methylation levels of these genes and exophthalmometry. The MBP methylation level was found to be correlated with OM/TOA ratio (P < 0.05). Multiple linear regression analysis on parameters including age, sex, TRAb, duration of GO, and DNA methylation levels of seven genes with OM/TOA ratio confirmed that MBP and OM/TOA ratio had a significant correlation (P < 0.05). The partial least squares analysis showed that the top three genes with the highest loadings were MBP, BOLL, and BECN1 and that OM/TOA ratio affected the DNA methylation block than exophthalmometry.

Conclusions

This study provided preliminary evidence that MBP is a potential gene associated with OM enlargement in GO patients according to the combination of DNA methylation sequencing and orbital CT measurement.

Open access

Yang Lv, Ning Pu, Wei-lin Mao, Wen-qi Chen, Huan-yu Wang, Xu Han, Yuan Ji, Lei Zhang, Da-yong Jin, Wen-Hui Lou, and Xue-feng Xu

Aim

We aim to investigate the clinical characteristics of the rectal NECs and the prognosis-related factors and construct a nomogram for prognosis prediction.

Methods

The data of 41 patients and 1028 patients with rectal NEC were retrieved respectively from our institution and SEER database. OS or PFS was defined as the major study outcome. Variables were compared by chi-square test and t-test when appropriate. Kaplan–Meier analysis with log-rank test was used for survival analysis and the Cox regression analysis was applied. The nomogram integrating risk factors for predicting OS was constructed by R to achieve superior discriminatory ability. Predictive utility of the nomogram was determined by concordance index (C-index) and calibration curve.

Results

In the univariate and multivariate analyses, tumor differentiation, N stage, M stage and resection of primary site were identified as independent prognostic indicators. The linear regression relationship was found between the value of Ki-67 index and the duration of OS (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the independent prognostic factors were added to formulate prognostic nomogram. The constructed nomogram showed good performance according to the C-index.

Conclusions

Contrary to WHO classification guideline, we found that the rectal NEC diseases are heterogeneous and should be divided as different categories according to the pathological differentiation. Besides, the nomogram formulated in this study showed excellent discriminative capability to predict OS for those patients. More advanced predictive model for this disease is required to assist risk stratification via the formulated nomogram.