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Yu Shuang Tian, Di Zhong, Qing Qing Liu, Xiu Li Zhao, Hong Xue Sun, Jing Jin, Hai Ning Wang and Guo Zhong Li

OBJECTIVE

Ischemic stroke remains a significant cause of death and disability in industrialized nations. Janus tyrosine kinase (JAK) and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) of the JAK2/STAT3 pathway play important roles in the downstream signal pathway regulation of ischemic stroke–related inflammatory neuronal damage. Recently, microRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as major regulators in cerebral ischemic injury; therefore, the authors aimed to investigate the underlying molecular mechanism between miRNAs and ischemic stroke, which may provide potential therapeutic targets for ischemic stroke.

METHODS

The JAK2- and JAK3-related miRNA (miR-135, miR-216a, and miR-433) expression levels were detected by real-time quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and Western blot analysis in both oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD)–treated primary cultured neuronal cells and mouse brain with middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO)–induced ischemic stroke. The miR-135, miR-216a, and miR-433 were determined by bioinformatics analysis that may target JAK2, and miR-216a was further confirmed by 3′ untranslated region (3′UTR) dual-luciferase assay. The study further detected cell apoptosis, the level of lactate dehydrogenase, and inflammatory mediators (inducible nitric oxide synthase [iNOS], matrix metalloproteinase–9 [MMP-9], tumor necrosis factor–α [TNF-α], and interleukin-1β [IL-1β]) after cells were transfected with miR-NC (miRNA negative control) or miR-216a mimics and subjected to oxygen-glucose deprivation/reoxygenation (OGD/R) damage with 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, annexin V–FITC/PI, Western blots, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay detection. Furthermore, neurological deficit detection and neurological behavior grading were performed to determine the infarction area and neurological deficits.

RESULTS

JAK2 showed its highest level while miR-216a showed its lowest level at day 1 after ischemic reperfusion. However, miR-135 and miR-433 had no obvious change during the process. The luciferase assay data further confirmed that miR-216a can directly target the 3′UTR of JAK2, and overexpression of miR-216a repressed JAK2 protein levels in OGD/R-treated neuronal cells as well as in the MCAO model ischemic region. In addition, overexpression of miR-216a mitigated cell apoptosis both in vitro and in vivo, which was consistent with the effect of knockdown of JAK2. Furthermore, the study found that miR-216a obviously inhibited the inflammatory mediators after OGD/R, including inflammatory enzymes (iNOS and MMP-9) and cytokines (TNF-α and IL-1β). Upregulating miR-216a levels reduced ischemic infarction and improved neurological deficit.

CONCLUSIONS

These findings suggest that upregulation of miR-216a, which targets JAK2, could induce neuroprotection against ischemic injury in vitro and in vivo, which provides a potential therapeutic target for ischemic stroke.

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Xin-Zhi Sun, Zhong-Qiang Chen, Qiang Qi, Zhao-Qing Guo, Chui-Guo Sun, Wei-Shi Li and Yan Zeng

Object

In this paper, the authors aimed to summarize the clinical characteristics of ossification of the ligamentum flavum (OLF) associated with dural ossification (DO) and to identify improved methods for preoperative diagnosis.

Methods

Thirty-six patients who had undergone OLF surgery between February 2005 and September 2009 were included in this retrospective study. The patients were divided into 2 groups: one that included patients with intraoperative evidence of DO and a second group that included patients without DO. The clinical features of DO were summarized and the neurological status of the patients was evaluated pre- and postoperatively.

Results

The incidence rate of DO associated with OLF was 39% (14/36). The sensitivity and specificity of the tram track sign were found to be 93% and 59%, respectively. Dural ossification was found among 86% of the patients with tuberous type Sato classification. The postoperative neurological status of patients was generally improved relative to that observed prior to surgery, although neurological recovery did not differ between the 2 groups. Cerebrospinal fluid leakage was the main complication, occurring predominantly in the patients with DO, and all leaks resolved in all patients after comprehensive treatments.

Conclusions

The tram track sign and Sato classification were found to be useful for preoperative diagnosis of DO and for determining the surgical procedure to be performed. Dural ossification had no effect on postoperative neurological recovery.

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Qing Sun, Xiaochun Zhao, Sirin Gandhi, Ali Tayebi Meybodi, Evgenii Belykh, Daniel Valli, Claudio Cavallo, Leandro Borba Moreira, Peter Nakaji, Michael T. Lawton and Mark C. Preul

OBJECTIVE

The cisternal pulvinar is a challenging location for neurosurgery. Four approaches for reaching the pulvinar without cortical transgression are the ipsilateral supracerebellar infratentorial (iSCIT), contralateral supracerebellar infratentorial (cSCIT), ipsilateral occipital transtentorial (iOCTT), and contralateral occipital transtentorial/falcine (cOCTF) approaches. This study quantitatively compared these approaches in terms of surgical exposure and maneuverability.

METHODS

Each of the 4 approaches was performed in 4 cadaveric heads (8 specimens in total). A 6-sided anatomical polygonal region was configured over the cisternal pulvinar, defined by 6 reachable anatomical points in different vectors. Multiple polygons were subsequently formed to calculate the areas of exposure. The surgical freedom of each approach was calculated as the maximum allowable working area at the proximal end of a probe, with the distal end fixed at the posterior pole of the pulvinar. Areas of exposure, surgical freedom, and the working distance (surgical depth) of all approaches were compared.

RESULTS

No significant difference was found among the 4 different approaches with regard to the surgical depth, surgical freedom, or medial exposure area of the pulvinar. In the pairwise comparison, the cSCIT approach provided a significantly larger lateral exposure (39 ± 9.8 mm2) than iSCIT (19 ± 10.3 mm2, p < 0.01), iOCTT (19 ± 8.2 mm2, p < 0.01), and cOCTF (28 ± 7.3 mm2, p = 0.02) approaches. The total exposure area with a cSCIT approach (75 ± 23.1 mm2) was significantly larger than with iOCTT (43 ± 16.4 mm2, p < 0.01) and iSCIT (40 ± 20.2 mm2, p = 0.01) approaches (pairwise, p ≤ 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

The cSCIT approach is preferable among the 4 compared approaches, demonstrating better exposure to the cisternal pulvinar than ipsilateral approaches and a larger lateral exposure than the cOCTF approach. Both contralateral approaches described (cSCIT and cOCTF) provided enhanced lateral exposure to the pulvinar, while the cOCTF provided a larger exposure to the lateral portion of the pulvinar than the iOCTT. Medial exposure and maneuverability did not differ among the approaches. A short tentorium may negatively impact an ipsilateral approach because the cingulate isthmus and parahippocampal gyrus tend to protrude, in which case they can obstruct access to the cisternal pulvinar ipsilaterally.

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Xiang-Sheng Zhang, Xin Zhang, Meng-Liang Zhou, Xiao-Ming Zhou, Ning Li, Wei Li, Zi-Xiang Cong, Qing Sun, Zong Zhuang, Chun-Xi Wang and Ji-Xin Shi

Object

Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) causes devastating rates of mortality and morbidity. Accumulating studies indicate that early brain injury (EBI) greatly contributes to poor outcomes after SAH and that oxidative stress plays an important role in the development of EBI following SAH. Astaxanthin (ATX), one of the most common carotenoids, has a powerful antioxidative property. However, the potential role of ATX in protecting against EBI after SAH remains obscure. The goal of this study was to assess whether ATX can attenuate SAH-induced brain edema, blood-brain barrier permeability, neural cell death, and neurological deficits, and to elucidate whether the mechanisms of ATX against EBI are related to its powerful antioxidant property.

Methods

Two experimental SAH models were established, including a prechiasmatic cistern SAH model in rats and a one-hemorrhage SAH model in rabbits. Both intracerebroventricular injection and oral administration of ATX were evaluated in this experiment. Posttreatment assessments included neurological scores, body weight loss, brain edema, Evans blue extravasation, Western blot analysis, histopathological study, and biochemical estimation.

Results

It was observed that an ATX intracerebroventricular injection 30 minutes post-SAH could significantly attenuate EBI (including brain edema, blood-brain barrier disruption, neural cell apoptosis, and neurological dysfunction) after SAH in rats. Meanwhile, delayed treatment with ATX 3 hours post-SAH by oral administration was also neuroprotective in both rats and rabbits. In addition, the authors found that ATX treatment could prevent oxidative damage and upregulate the endogenous antioxidant levels in the rat cerebral cortex following SAH.

Conclusions

These results suggest that ATX administration could alleviate EBI after SAH, potentially through its powerful antioxidant property. The authors conclude that ATX might be a promising therapeutic agent for EBI following SAH.