Publications by authors named "Jin Kim"

7,704 Publications

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Endothelial angiogenic activity and adipose angiogenesis is controlled by extracellular matrix protein TGFBI.

Sci Rep 2021 May 6;11(1):9644. Epub 2021 May 6.

Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, 41566, Republic of Korea.

Several studies have suggested that extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling and the microenvironment are tightly associated with adipogenesis and adipose angiogenesis. In the present study, we demonstrated that transforming growth factor-beta induced (TGFBI) suppresses angiogenesis stimulated by adipocyte-conditioned medium (Ad-CM), both in vitro and in vivo. TGFBI knockout (KO) mice exhibited increased numbers of blood vessels in adipose tissue, and blood vessels from these mice showed enhanced infiltration into Matrigel containing Ad-CM. The treatment of Ad-CM-stimulated SVEC-10 endothelial cells with TGFBI protein reduced migration and tube-forming activity. TGFBI protein suppressed the activation of the Src and extracellular signaling-related kinase signaling pathways of these SVEC-10 endothelial cells. Our findings indicated that TGFBI inhibited adipose angiogenesis by suppressing the activation of Src and ERK signaling pathways, possibly because of the stimulation of the angiogenic activity of endothelial cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-88959-1DOI Listing
May 2021

Improving care of migrants is key for viral hepatitis elimination in Europe.

Bull World Health Organ 2021 Apr 21;99(4):280-286. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Hepatology Section, Division of Digestive Diseases, Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction, 10th Floor QEQM Wing, St Mary's Hospital Campus, Imperial College London, South Wharf Street, London W2 1NY, England.

By 2040, deaths from chronic viral hepatitis worldwide are projected to exceed those from human immunodeficiency virus infection, tuberculosis and malaria combined. The burden of this disease is predominantly carried by low-resource countries in Africa and Asia. In resource-rich countries, the epidemiological spread of viral hepatitis is partially driven by migrant movements from areas of high endemicity. In the last decade, Member States of the European Union and the European Economic Area have experienced an unprecedented influx of migrants, which has resulted in the polarization of political views about migration. In addition, the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has worsened the economic and health conditions of migrants and contributed to hostility to ensuring their health rights. Moreover, the implementation of hostile laws in some host nations has increased the vulnerability of marginalized migrant subgroups, such as asylum seekers and undocumented individuals. These developments have complicated the historical challenge of identifying high-risk migrant groups for screening and treatment. However, if European countries can apply the simplified assessment tools and diagnostic tests for viral hepatitis that have been used for decentralized screening and monitoring in resource-poor countries, the uptake of care by migrants could be dramatically increased. Given the global calls for the elimination of viral hepatitis, European nations should recognize the importance of treating this vulnerable migrant population. Political and health strategies need to be adapted to meet this challenge and help eliminate viral hepatitis globally.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2471/BLT.20.260919DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8085634PMC
April 2021

Clinical feasibility of MR-generated synthetic CT images of the cervical spine: Diagnostic performance for detection of OPLL and comparison of CT number.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2021 May;100(18):e25800

Department of Radiology, Pusan National University Hospital, Pusan, Korea.

Abstract: We aimed to determine the incremental value of magnetic resonance generated synthetic computed tomography (MRCT), evaluate cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL), and compare the computed tomography (CT) numbers between MRCT and conventional CT.Twenty-two patients who underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with MRCT protocols and CT were enrolled. MRCT images were generated from 3D-T2-weighted imaging, 3D-pointwise-encoding time reduction with radial acquisition, 3D-T1-Dixon, and 3D-time-of-flight sequences. Two radiologists independently evaluated the presence of OPLL at each cervical spine level during sessions 1 (MRI alone) and 2 (MRI + MRCT). CT was the reference standard for the presence of OPLL. One reader measured the mean CT number of the vertebral body and spinous process at each cervical spine level in the MRCT and CT images.Sensitivity for the detection of OPLL was markedly higher in session 2 (MRI + MRCT) than in session 1 (MRI alone), as measured by both readers (47% vs. 90%, reader 1; 63% vs. 93%, reader 2). The mean CT number of MRCT and CT showed a moderate to strong positive correlation (ρ = .42-.72, P < .001).The combined use of MRCT and MRI showed improved sensitivity for the evaluation of cervical OPLL. The mean CT number of MRCT and CT showed a positive correlation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000025800DOI Listing
May 2021

Effect of citric acid and heat treatment on the content of less-polar ginsenosides in flower buds of .

Prep Biochem Biotechnol 2021 May 5:1-10. Epub 2021 May 5.

College of Pharmacy, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.

Ginseng flower bud (GFB), as an inexpensive part of , attracted significant attention as a beneficial functional food with medicinal potentials due to its high content of ginsenosides. A few studies focused on the utilization of heat treatment and citric acid treatment to process ginseng flowers, converting its polar ginsenosides into rare ginsenosides to improve its biological activities. Thus, in this study, we compared the changes of ginsenosides in GFB after citric acid and heat treatment by HPLC method. The results revealed that less-polar ginsenoside, Rg and F, increased to 1.01 and 0.27% by heat treatment, respectively. Further, ginsenoside F increased to 1.13% with 1 M citric acid treatment. Furthermore, based on the combination of these two processing methods for the first time, the conversion rate of less-polar ginsenosides surged to 80%. The content of ginsenoside Rg3(s) and Rg increased to 1.509 and 1.871%, respectively, by simultaneous heat and citric acid treatment. Therefore, a processing approach that simultaneously performs heat and citric acid treatments has been proposed, and this considerably inexpensive and convenient processing method could be applied to the processing of GFBs and produce less-polar ginsenosides.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10826068.2021.1920036DOI Listing
May 2021

Evaluation of safety of using incompatible plasma for therapeutic plasma exchange during shortage of AB plasma.

J Clin Apher 2021 May 5. Epub 2021 May 5.

Department of Laboratory Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Background: Criteria for selection of FFP blood type has not been clearly established and use of group AB plasma is preferred by numerous transplantation protocols.

Aims: This study assesses the safety and efficacy of alternative group A or B plasma in ABO incompatible solid organ transplantation.

Materials & Methods: Alternative use of group A or B plasma (incompatible plasma) was inevitable during the shortage of group AB plasma. Experience from select number of patients during the period of extreme group AB plasma shortage is described.

Results: The result of alternative use of group A or B plasma was within expectation, showing effective reduction of isoagglutinin titers for pre-operative desensitization and efficacy for treatment of post-operative patients. No immediate hemolytic transfusion reaction was reported.

Discussion: While validation in a larger cohort of patients is necessary, our limited experience have shown satisfactory clinical outcomes without adverse events.

Conclusions: Use of incompatible group A or B plasma is a viable option when group AB plasma is limited.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jca.21904DOI Listing
May 2021

COVID-19 Workplace Outbreaks by Industry Sector and their Associated Household Transmission, Ontario, Canada, January - June, 2020.

J Occup Environ Med 2021 Apr 3. Epub 2021 Apr 3.

Public Health Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Murti, Achonu, Smith, Brown, Kim, Johnson, Ravindran, Buchan), Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Murti, Smith, Kim, Buchan).

Objective: To analyze workplace outbreaks by industry sector in the first wave of the pandemic, and associated household cases.

Methods: Number, size and duration of outbreaks were described by sector, and outbreak cases were compared to sporadic cases in the same time frame. Address matching identified household cases with onset ≥2 days before, ≥2 days after, or within 1 day of the workplace outbreak case.

Results: There were 199 outbreaks with 1245 cases, and 68% of outbreaks and 80% of cases belonged to i) Manufacturing, ii) Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Hunting, iii) Transportation and Warehousing. There were 608 household cases associated with 339 (31%) outbreak cases, increasing the burden of illness by 56%.

Conclusions: Workplace outbreaks primarily occurred in three sectors. Prevention measures should target industry sectors at risk to prevent spread in and out of the workplace.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000002201DOI Listing
April 2021

Prevalent, protective, and convergent IgG recognition of SARS-CoV-2 non-RBD spike epitopes.

Science 2021 May 4. Epub 2021 May 4.

Department of Molecular Biosciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA.

The molecular composition and binding epitopes of the immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies that circulate in blood plasma following SARS-CoV-2 infection are unknown. Proteomic deconvolution of the IgG repertoire to the spike glycoprotein in convalescent subjects revealed that the response is directed predominantly (>80%) against epitopes residing outside the receptor-binding domain (RBD). In one subject, just four IgG lineages accounted for 93.5% of the response, including an N-terminal domain (NTD)-directed antibody that was protective against lethal viral challenge. Genetic, structural, and functional characterization of a multi-donor class of "public" antibodies revealed an NTD epitope that is recurrently mutated among emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. These data show that "public" NTD-directed and other non-RBD plasma antibodies are prevalent and have implications for SARS-CoV-2 protection and antibody escape.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.abg5268DOI Listing
May 2021

Improving Ultraviolet Responses in CuZnSn(S,Se) Thin-Film Solar Cells Using Quantum Dot-Based Luminescent Down-Shifting Layer.

Nanomaterials (Basel) 2021 Apr 29;11(5). Epub 2021 Apr 29.

School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, 123 Cheomdangwagi-ro, Buk-gu, Gwangju 61005, Korea.

Quantum dot (QD)-based luminescent down-shifting (LDS) layers were deposited on CuZnSn(S,Se) (CZTSSe) solar cells via the drop-casting method. The LDS layers can easily widen the narrow absorption wavelength regions of single-junction solar cells and enable improvement of the short-circuit current. The optical properties of LDS layers deposited on glass and containing different QD contents were analyzed based on their transmittance, reflectance, and absorbance. The absorber films to be used in the CZTSSe solar cells were determined by X-ray diffraction measurements and Raman spectroscopy to determine their crystal structures and secondary phases, respectively. The completed CZTSSe solar cells with LDS layers showed increased ultraviolet responses of up to 25% because of wavelength conversion by the QDs. In addition, the impact of the capping layer, which was formed to protect the QDs from oxygen and moisture, on the solar cell performance was analyzed. Thus, a maximal conversion efficiency of 7.3% was achieved with the 1.0 mL QD condition; furthermore, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that LDS layers have been experimentally demonstrated for CZTSSe solar cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nano11051166DOI Listing
April 2021

CD276 expression enables squamous cell carcinoma stem cells to evade immune surveillance.

Cell Stem Cell 2021 Apr 28. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Laboratory of Molecular Signaling, Division of Oral Biology and Medicine, School of Dentistry, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and Broad Stem Cell Research Center, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA; Department of Bioengineering, Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA. Electronic address:

Immunosurveillance is a critical mechanism guarding against tumor development and progression. Checkpoint inhibitors have shown significant success in cancer treatment, but expression of key factors such as PD-L1 in putative cancer stem cell (CSC) populations in squamous cell carcinoma has been inconclusive, suggesting that CSCs may have developed other mechanisms to escape immune surveillance. Here we show that CSCs upregulate the immune checkpoint molecule CD276 (B7-H3) to evade host immune responses. CD276 is highly expressed by CSCs in mouse and human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and can be used to prospectively isolate tumorigenic CSCs. Anti-CD276 antibodies eliminate CSCs in a CD8 T cell-dependent manner, inhibiting tumor growth and lymph node metastases in a mouse HNSCC model. Single-cell RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) showed that CD276 blockade remodels SCC heterogeneity and reduces epithelial-mesenchymal transition. These results show that CSCs utilize CD276 for immune escape and suggest that targeting CD276 may reduce CSCs in HNSCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.stem.2021.04.011DOI Listing
April 2021

BAPTA, a calcium chelator, neuroprotects injured neurons in vitro and promotes motor recovery after spinal cord transection in vivo.

CNS Neurosci Ther 2021 May 4. Epub 2021 May 4.

Department of Stem Cell Biology, School of Medicine, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea.

Aim: Despite animal evidence of a role of calcium in the pathogenesis of spinal cord injury, several studies conducted in the past found calcium blockade ineffective. However, those studies involved oral or parenteral administration of Ca++ antagonists. We hypothesized that Ca++ blockade might be effective with local/immediate application (LIA) at the time of neural injury.

Methods: In this study, we assessed the effects of LIA of BAPTA (1,2-bis (o-aminophenoxy) ethane-N, N, N', N'-tetraacetic acid), a cell-permeable highly selective Ca++ chelator, after spinal cord transection (SCT) in mice over 4 weeks. Effects of BAPTA were assessed behaviorally and with immunohistochemistry. Concurrently, BAPTA was submitted for the first time to multimodality assessment in an in vitro model of neural damage as a possible spinal neuroprotectant.

Results: We demonstrate that BAPTA alleviates neuronal apoptosis caused by physical damage by inhibition of neuronal apoptosis and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. This translates to enhanced preservation of electrophysiological function and superior behavioral recovery.

Conclusion: This study shows for the first time that local/immediate application of Ca++ chelator BAPTA is strongly neuroprotective after severe spinal cord injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cns.13651DOI Listing
May 2021

Minimally Invasive Treatments of Dupuytren Disease: An Overview.

J Hand Surg Asian Pac Vol 2021 Jun;26(2):131-141

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Dongguk University Ilsan Hospital, Goyang, Korea.

Dupuytren disease (DD) is a fibroproliferative disorder that originates at the palmar fascia and results in flexion contracture of the digits. The gold standard treatment for DD has been surgery. Surgical treatment of DD can be done with various methods, from percutaneous needle fasciotomy to dermatofasciectomy. The most commonly used surgical treatment is limited fasciectomy (LF). The potential complications of limited fasciectomy include long recovery time, scarring, neurovascular injury, and tendon injury. Minimally invasive treatment for DD, which is simple and allows for rapid return of function, has gained popularity amongst both patients and surgeons. Currently, minimally invasive treatments for DD include percutaneous needle fasciotomy (PNF) and collagenase clostridium histolyticum (CCH). In this review, we provide an overview of the minimally invasive treatments for Dupuytren disease and summarize the current evidence regarding these minimally invasive treatments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1142/S2424835521400026DOI Listing
June 2021

MicroRNA Expression in Extracellular Vesicles from Nasal Lavage Fluid in Chronic Rhinosinusitis.

Biomedicines 2021 Apr 26;9(5). Epub 2021 Apr 26.

Research Institute of Medical Science, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul 05030, Korea.

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are nanovesicles of endocytic origin released by cells and found in human bodily fluids. EVs contain both mRNA and microRNA (miRNA), which can be shuttled between cells, indicating their role in cell communication. This study investigated whether nasal secretions contain EVs and whether these EVs contain RNA. EVs were isolated from nasal lavage fluid (NLF) using sequential centrifugation. EVs were characterized and EV sizes were identified by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In addition, EV miRNA expression was different in the chronic rhinosinusitis without nasal polyp (CRSsNP) and chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyp (CRSwNP) groups. The Kyoto encyclopedia gene and genome database (KEGG) database was used to identify pathways associated with changed miRNAs in each analysis group. Twelve miRNAs were differentially expressed in NLF-EVs of CRS patients versus HCs. In addition, eight miRNAs were differentially expressed in NLF-EVs of CRSwNP versus CRSsNP patients. The mucin-type O-glycan biosynthesis was a high-ranked predicted pathway in CRS patients versus healthy controls (HCs), and the Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) signaling pathway was a high-ranked predicted pathway in CRSwNP versus CRSsNP patients. We demonstrated the presence of and differences in NLF-EV miRNAs between CRS patients and HCs. These findings open up a broad and novel area of research on CRS pathophysiology as driven by miRNA cell communication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9050471DOI Listing
April 2021

Influence of Material Properties on the Damage-Reporting and Self-Healing Performance of a Mechanically Active Dynamic Network Polymer in Coating Applications.

Molecules 2021 Apr 23;26(9). Epub 2021 Apr 23.

Center for Advanced Specialty Chemicals, Division of Specialty and Bio-based Chemicals Technology, Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT), Ulsan 44412, Korea.

We conducted a detailed investigation of the influence of the material properties of dynamic polymer network coatings on their self-healing and damage-reporting performance. A series of reversible polyacrylate urethane networks containing the damage-reporting diarylbibenzofuranone unit were synthesized, and their material properties (e.g., indentation modulus, hardness modulus, and glass-transition temperature) were measured conducting nanoindentation and differential scanning calorimetry experiments. The damage-reporting and self-healing performances of the dynamic polymer network coatings exhibited opposite tendencies with respect to the material properties of the polymer network coatings. Soft polymer network coatings with low glass-transition temperature (~10 °C) and indentation hardness (20 MPa) exhibited better self-healing performance (almost 100%) but two times worse damage-reporting properties than hard polymer network coatings with high glass-transition temperature (35~50 °C) and indentation hardness (150~200 MPa). These features of the dynamic polymer network coatings are unique; they are not observed in elastomers, films, and hydrogels, whereby the polymer networks are bound to the substrate surface. Evidence indicates that controlling the polymer's physical properties is a key factor in designing high-performance self-healing and damage-reporting polymer coatings based on mechanophores.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules26092468DOI Listing
April 2021

Transthyretin Misfolding, A Fatal Structural Pathogenesis Mechanism.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Apr 23;22(9). Epub 2021 Apr 23.

Department of New Biology, Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science & Technology (DGIST), Daegu 42988, Korea.

Transthyretin (TTR) is an essential transporter of a thyroid hormone and a holo-retinol binding protein, found abundantly in human plasma and cerebrospinal fluid. In addition, this protein is infamous for its amyloidogenic propensity, causing various amyloidoses in humans, such as senile systemic amyloidosis, familial amyloid polyneuropathy, and familial amyloid cardiomyopathy. It has been known for over two decades that decreased stability of the native tetrameric conformation of TTR is the main cause of these diseases. Yet, mechanistic details on the amyloidogenic transformation of TTR were not clear until recent multidisciplinary investigations on various structural states of TTR. In this review, we discuss recent advancements in the structural understanding of TTR misfolding and amyloidosis processes. Special emphasis has been laid on the observations of novel structural features in various amyloidogenic species of TTR. In addition, proteolysis-induced fragmentation of TTR, a recently proposed mechanism facilitating TTR amyloidosis, has been discussed in light of its structural consequences and relevance to acknowledge the amyloidogenicity of TTR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22094429DOI Listing
April 2021

Rapamycin Alleviates 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin-Induced Aggravated Dermatitis in Mice with Imiquimod-Induced Psoriasis-Like Dermatitis by Inducing Autophagy.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Apr 12;22(8). Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Department of Dermatology, Kangnam Sacred Heart Hospital, College of Medicine, Hallym University, Seoul 07441, Korea.

Recently, the mTOR signaling has emerged as an important player in the pathogenesis of psoriasis. We previously found that 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD)-induced psoriatic skin inflammation was related to the inhibition of autophagy in keratinocytes. However, the effects and detailed molecular mechanisms of the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin and TCDD on psoriasis in vivo remain to be elucidated. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effects of rapamycin and TCDD on skin lesions in imiquimod (IMQ)-induced psoriasis using a mouse model. TCDD aggravated skin inflammation in an IMQ-induced psoriatic mouse model. Furthermore, TCDD increased the expression of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), CYP1A1, proinflammatory cytokines, oxidative stress markers (NADPH oxidase (Nox) 2, Nox4), and phosphorylated P65NF-ĸB, whereas the expression of autophagy-related factors and the antioxidant marker nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) decreased. Rapamycin reduced the aggravated skin inflammation induced by TCDD and restored TCDD-induced autophagy suppression and the increase of AHR expression, oxidative stress, and inflammatory response in the skin lesions of a psoriatic mouse model. In conclusion, we demonstrated that rapamycin alleviates TCDD-induced aggravated dermatitis in mice with imiquimod-induced psoriasis-like dermatitis through AHR and autophagy modulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22083968DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8069848PMC
April 2021

Synergistic Enhancement of Thermoelectric Performances by Cl-Doping and Pb-Excess in (Pb,Sn)Se Topological Crystal Insulator.

Materials (Basel) 2021 Apr 12;14(8). Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Department of Applied Physics, Integrated Education Institute for Frontier Science and Technology (BK21 Four) and Institute of Natural Sciences, Kyung Hee University, Yongin 17104, Korea.

We investigated the thermoelectric properties of the PbSnSe and PbSnSeCl (x = 0.0, 0.2, 0.3, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0 mol.%) compounds, synthesized by hot-press sintering. The electrical transport properties showed that low concentration doping of Cl (below 0.3 mol.%) in the Pb-excess (Pb,Sn)Se samples increased the carrier concentration and the Hall mobility by the increase of carriers' mean free path. The effective mass of the carrier was also enhanced from the measurements of the Seebeck coefficient. The enhanced effective masses of the carrier by the Cl-doping can be understood by the enhanced electron-phonon interaction, caused by the crystalline mirror symmetry breaking. The significantly decreased lattice thermal conductivities showed that the crystalline mirror symmetry breaking decreased the lattice thermal conductivity of the Pb-excess (Pb,Sn)Se. By the Cl-doping and the Pb-excess's synergistic effect, which can suppress the bipolar effect, the values of x = 0.2 and 0.3 mol.% reached 0.8 at 773 K. Therefore, we suggest that Pb-excess and the crystalline mirror symmetry breaking by Cl-doping are effective for high thermoelectric performance in the (Pb,Sn)Se.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ma14081920DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8069562PMC
April 2021

Effects of a Mixture of Ivy Leaf Extract and on Patients with Chronic Bronchitis and Bronchiectasis.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 Apr 12;18(8). Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Respiratory Medicine, Catholic Kwandong University International St. Mary's Hospital, Incheon 22711, Korea.

Background: Hederacoside C from ivy leaf dry extracts (HH) and berberine from dry extracts (CR) can be combined (HHCR) as a herbal product. Previous studies have demonstrated that HHCR has antitussive and expectorant effects in animal models of respiratory disease. However, the therapeutic effects of HHCR on respiratory diseases in humans have not been well-studied. Therefore, we aimed to clarify the effectiveness of HHCR in patients with chronic bronchitis and bronchiectasis.

Methods: This was a multicenter (10 university teaching hospitals), open-label, prospective, single-arm, observational study. Consecutive patients with chronic bronchitis and bronchiectasis were included. Patients were orally treated with HHCR daily for 12 weeks. St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) scores and bronchitis severity scores (BSS) were measured at baseline and at the end of the 12-week study.

Results: In total, 376 patients were enrolled, of which 304 were finally included in the study, including 236 males and 68 females with a median age of 69 years (range: 37-88 years). After 12 weeks of HHCR treatment, there was a significant improvement in SGRQ score (baseline, 32.52 ± 16.93 vs. end of study, 29.08 ± 15.16; < 0.0001) and a significant reduction in BSS (baseline, 7.16 ± 2.63 vs. end of study, 4.72 ± 2.45; < 0.0001). During the study, 14 patients concomitantly used an inhaled corticosteroid and 83 patients used an inhaled bronchodilator. HHCR also had significant positive effects on these patients in terms of SGRQ score and BSS. No serious adverse drug reactions occurred during HHCR treatment.

Conclusions: treatment with HHCR improved the SGRQ score and BSS in patients with chronic bronchitis and bronchiectasis. HHCR may be a new therapeutic option for chronic bronchitis and bronchiectasis. Large-scale, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8069972PMC
April 2021

Assessment of Liver Fibrosis Stage Using Integrative Analysis of Hepatic Heterogeneity and Nodularity in Routine MRI with FIB-4 Index as Reference Standard.

J Clin Med 2021 Apr 15;10(8). Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Department of Radiology, Wonkwang University School of Medicine, Wonkwang University Hospital, Iksan 54538, Korea.

Image-based quantitative methods for liver heterogeneity (L) and nodularity (L) provide helpful information for evaluating liver fibrosis; however, their combinations are not fully understood in liver diseases. We developed an integrated software for assessing L and L and compared L and L according to fibrosis stages in chronic liver disease (CLD). Overall, 111 CLD patients and 16 subjects with suspected liver disease who underwent liver biopsy were enrolled. The procedures for quantifying L and L were bias correction, contour detection, liver segmentation, and L and L measurements. L and L scores among fibrosis stages (F0-F3) were compared using ANOVA with Tukey's test. Diagnostic accuracy was determined by calculating the area under the receiver operating characteristics (AUROC) curve. The mean L scores of F0, F1, F2, and F3 were 3.49 ± 0.34, 5.52 ± 0.88, 6.80 ± 0.97, and 7.56 ± 1.79, respectively ( < 0.001). The mean L scores of F0, F1, F2, and F3 were 0.84 ± 0.06, 0.91 ± 0.04, 1.09 ± 0.08, and 1.15 ± 0.14, respectively ( < 0.001). The combined L × L scores of F0, F1, F2, and F3 were 2.96 ± 0.46, 5.01 ± 0.91, 7.30 ± 0.89, and 8.48 ± 1.34, respectively ( < 0.001). The AUROCs of L, L, and L × L for differentiating F1 vs. F2 and F2 vs. F3 were 0.845, 0.958, and 0.954; and 0.619, 0.689, and 0.761, respectively. The combination of L and L scores derived from routine MR images allows better differential diagnosis of fibrosis subgroups in CLD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm10081697DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8071162PMC
April 2021

Initial Transarterial Chemoembolization (TACE) Using HepaSpheres 20-40 µm and Subsequent Lipiodol TACE in Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma > 5 cm.

Life (Basel) 2021 Apr 18;11(4). Epub 2021 Apr 18.

Asan Medical Center, Department of Radiology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, 88 Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul 05505, Korea.

Purpose: To investigate clinical outcomes of drug-eluting bead transarterial chemoembolization (DEB-TACE) using HepaSpheres 20-40 µm in diameter and subsequent cisplatin-based lipiodol TACE (Cis-TACE) in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) > 5 cm.

Materials And Methods: This study included 39 consecutive patients (34 men, 5 women; mean age, 63.5 years; range, 39-80 years) who underwent DEB-TACE using HepaSpheres 20-40 µm as first-line treatment for HCC > 5 cm (mean diameter, 8.2 cm; range, 5.1-13 cm) between September 2018 and August 2019. Patients with new tumors, residual tumors, or tumor growth after initial DEB-TACE underwent subsequent Cis-TACE.

Results: All 39 patients underwent initial DEB-TACE successfully, with 35 (89.7%) and three (7.7%) patients experiencing minor and major complications, respectively. After initial DEB-TACE, one patient (2.6%) achieved complete response (CR), 35 (89.7%) achieved partial response (PR), and three (7.7%) experienced progressive disease (PD). During a median follow-up period of 14.4 months (range, 0.6-23 months), 23 patients underwent Cis-TACE, with 11, three, and nine achieving CR, PR, and PD, respectively. The median overall survival time was 20.9 months (95% confidence interval (CI), 18.6-23.2 months), the median time to progression was 8.8 months (95% CI, 6.5-11.1 months), and the median time to local tumor recurrence was 16 months (95% CI, 7.4-24.6 months).

Conclusions: DEB-TACE using HepaSpheres 20-40 µm in diameter can be a safe and effective initial treatment method in patients with HCC > 5 cm. Subsequent Cis-TACE constitutes a good adjuvant method to enhance tumor response after initial DEB-TACE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/life11040358DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8072644PMC
April 2021

Evaluation of DNA-Launched Virus-Like Particle Vaccines in an Immune Competent Mouse Model of Chikungunya Virus Infection.

Vaccines (Basel) 2021 Apr 2;9(4). Epub 2021 Apr 2.

Department of Pharmacology and Center for Lung Biology, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL 36688, USA.

Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infection can result in chronic and debilitating arthralgia affecting humans in tropical and subtropical regions around the world, yet there are no licensed vaccines to prevent infection. DNA launched virus like particle (VLP) vaccines represent a potentially safer alternative to traditional live-attenuated vaccines; however, fully characterized immunocompetent mouse models which appropriately include both male and female animals for preclinical evaluation of these, and other, vaccine platforms are lacking. Utilizing virus stocks engineered to express mutations reported to enhance CHIKV virulence in mice, infection of male and female immunocompetent mice was evaluated, and the resulting model utilized to assess the efficacy of candidate DNA launched CHIKV VLP vaccines. Results demonstrate the potential utility of DNA launched VLP vaccines in comparison to a live attenuated CHIKV vaccine and identify gender differences in viral RNA loads that impact interpretation of vaccine efficacy and may have important implications for future CHIKV vaccine development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9040345DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8067036PMC
April 2021

Physical Exercise and Health-Related Quality of Life in Office Workers: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 Apr 5;18(7). Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Department of Integrative Bioscience & Biotechnology, Sejong University, 209 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 05006, Korea.

Office workers are at high risk for many chronic diseases, lowering their health-related quality of life (HRQOL). This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to summarize the effects of physical exercise on HRQOL in office workers with and without health problems using data obtained from randomized controlled trials (RCTs), quasi-experimental, and observational studies. We searched PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, Cochrane Library, and several grey literature databases, and identified 26 relevant studies for the synthesis. Overall, physical exercise significantly improved general (standardized mean difference (SMD) = 1.05; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.66 to 1.44) and mental (SMD = 0.42; 95% CI: 0.19 to 0.66) HRQOL in office workers. Compared with healthy office workers, unhealthy office workers experienced greater improvements in general (unhealthy, SMD = 2.76; 95% CI: 1.63 to 3.89; healthy, SMD = 0.23; 95% CI: -0.09 to 0.56) and physical (unhealthy, SMD = 0.38; 95% CI: 0.17 to 0.58; healthy, SMD = -0.20; 95% CI: -0.51 to 0.11) HRQOL. Unsupervised physical exercise significantly improved general and mental HRQOL, while directly supervised physical exercise significantly improved only general HRQOL. Although physical exercise, especially unsupervised physical exercise, should be encouraged to improve HRQOL in office workers, detailed recommendations could not be made because of the diverse exercise types with different intensities. Therefore, further studies are needed to determine the optimal exercise for office workers with different health conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073791DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8038562PMC
April 2021

Circumferential submucosal incision prior to endoscopic mucosal resection versus conventional endoscopic mucosal resection for colorectal lesions with endoscopic features of sessile serrated lesions.

Surg Endosc 2021 Apr 28. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, 222, Banpo-daero, Seocho-gu, Seoul, Korea.

Background And Aims: Sessile serrated lesions (SSLs) are more prone to incomplete resection than conventional adenomas. This study evaluated whether circumferential submucosal incision prior to endoscopic mucosal resection (CSI-EMR) can increase the rate of complete and en bloc resections of colorectal lesions with endoscopic features of SSL.

Methods: Retrospective analyses and propensity score matching were performed for the resection of colorectal lesions ≥ 10 mm with endoscopic features of SSL.

Results: After 1:1 ratio matching, 127 lesions in the CSI-EMR group and 127 in the EMR group were selected for analysis. The median size of the lesions was 15 mm (IQR 12-16) in both groups. There was no significant difference in either the complete resection rate or en bloc resection rate between CSI-EMR and EMR groups (96.9% vs. 92.9%, P = 0.155; 92.1% vs. 89.0%, P = 0.391). By contrast, the R0 resection rate was significantly higher in the CSI-EMR group than in the EMR group (89.8% vs. 59.8%, P < 0.001). The median procedure time was significantly longer in the CSI-EMR group than in the EMR group (6.28 min vs. 2.55 min, P < 0.001), whereas there was no significant difference between the two groups in the incidence of adverse events or recurrence rate. Multivariate analysis showed that CSI-EMR was the only factor significantly associated with R0 resection (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: For colorectal lesions with endoscopic features of SSL, CSI-EMR does not increase the complete or en bloc resection rate, but does increase the R0 resection rate. The procedure time is longer for CSI-EMR than EMR. The association of CSI-EMR with R0 resection and non-recurrence should be further evaluated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00464-021-08495-xDOI Listing
April 2021

Dosimetric Comparison of Radiation Techniques for Comprehensive Regional Nodal Radiation Therapy for Left-Sided Breast Cancer: A Treatment Planning Study.

Front Oncol 2021 12;11:645328. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Yonsei Cancer Center, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.

Purpose: How modern cardiac sparing techniques and beam delivery systems using advanced x-ray and proton beam therapy (PBT) can reduce incidental radiation exposure doses to cardiac and pulmonary organs individually or in any combination is poorly investigated.

Methods: Among 15 patients with left-sided breast cancer, partial wide tangential 3D-conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT) delivered in conventional fractionation (CF) or hypofractionated (HF) schedules; PBT delivered in a CF schedule; and volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) delivered in an HF schedule, each under continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and free-breathing (FB) conditions, were examined. Target volume coverage and doses to organs-at-risk (OARs) were calculated for each technique. Outcomes were compared with one-way analysis of variance and the Bonferroni test, with -values <0.05 considered significant.

Results: Target volume coverage was within acceptable levels in all interventions, except for the internal mammary lymph node D95 (99% in PBT, 90% in VMAT-CPAP, 84% in VMAT-FB, and 74% in 3DCRT). The mean heart dose (MHD) was the lowest in PBT (<1 Gy) and VMAT-CPAP (2.2 Gy) and the highest in 3DCRT with CF/FB (7.8 Gy), respectively. The mean lung dose (MLD) was the highest in 3DCRT-CF-FB (20 Gy) and the lowest in both VMAT-HF-CPAP and PBT (approximately 5-6 Gy). VMAT-HF-CPAP and PBT delivered a comparable maximum dose to the left ascending artery (7.2 and 6.13 Gy, respectively).

Conclusions: Both proton and VMAT in combination with CPAP can minimize the radiation exposure to heart and lung with optimal target coverage in regional RT for left-sided breast cancer. The clinical relevance of these differences is yet to be elucidated. Continued efforts are needed to minimize radiation exposures during RT treatment to maximize its therapeutic index.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.645328DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8072050PMC
April 2021

Metagenomic Analysis of Microbial Composition Revealed Cross-Contamination Pathway of Bacteria at a Foodservice Facility.

Front Microbiol 2021 12;12:636329. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Department of Food and Nutrition, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, South Korea.

Bacterial contamination of food-contact surfaces can be a potential risk factor for food quality and safety. To evaluate the spatial and temporal variations of the potential cross-contamination routes, we conducted a biogeographical assessment of bacteria in a foodservice facility based on the diversity of microflora on each surface. To this end, we performed high-throughput amplicon sequencing of 13 food-contact and non-food contact surfaces in a foodservice facility throughout a year. The results showed that , , , , , , , , and were the dominant genera found on the kitchen surfaces of the foodservice facility. Depending on the season, changes in ratios were observed, and the fan becomes the main source of outdoor air contamination. The microbial flow associated with spoilage was also observed throughout food preparation. Taken together, our results would be a powerful reference to hygiene managers for improvement of food processes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2021.636329DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8071874PMC
April 2021

Ultrafast Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced MRI Using Compressed Sensing: Associations of Early Kinetic Parameters With Prognostic Factors of Breast Cancer.

AJR Am J Roentgenol 2021 Apr 28:1-8. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Siemens Healthcare GmbH, Erlangen, Germany.

The purpose of this study was to investigate whether early kinetic parameters derived from ultrafast dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) using compressed sensing are associated with prognostic factors for breast cancer. We evaluated 201 consecutive women (mean age, 54.6 years) with breast cancer (168 invasive, 33 ductal carcinoma in situ) who underwent both ultrafast DCE-MRI using compressed sensing (temporal resolution, 4.7 seconds; spatial resolution, 0.8 × 1.1 × 0.9 mm) and surgery between 2018 and 2019. Early kinetic parameters (time to enhancement [TTE] and maximum slope [MS]) were measured in breast lesions by two radiologists using a software program and were correlated with histopathologic prognostic factors. The Mann-Whitney test and linear regression analysis were used. The median TTE and MS values for breast cancer were 11.9 seconds and 7.7%/s, respectively. The median MS was significantly larger in invasive cancer lesions than in ductal carcinoma in situ lesions (8.4%/s vs 4.7%/s, < .001). In women with invasive cancer, multivariate linear regression analyses showed that a larger tumor size (> 2 cm) ( = .048) and estrogen receptor-negative status ( < .001) were significantly associated with a shorter TTE. A higher histologic grade (grade 3) ( = .01) was significantly associated with a larger MS. We observed excellent interobserver agreement between two readers in the measurements of TTE and MS (intraclass correlation coefficients, 0.943 and 0.890, respectively). Ultrafast MRI-derived early enhancement parameters, such as TTE and MS, are associated with histopathologic prognostic factors in women with breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2214/AJR.20.23457DOI Listing
April 2021

Coronary Vessel Segmentation by Coarse-to-Fine Strategy Using U-nets.

Biomed Res Int 2021 9;2021:5548517. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

Information Science Faculty, Sai Gon University, Vietnam.

Each level of the coronary artery has different sizes and properties. The primary coronary arteries usually have high contrast to the background, while the secondary coronary arteries have low contrast to the background and thin structures. Furthermore, several small vessels are disconnected or broken up vascular segments. It is a challenging task to use a single model to segment all coronary artery sizes. To overcome this problem, we propose a novel segmenting method for coronary artery extraction from angiograms based on the primary and secondary coronary artery. Our method is a coarse-to-fine strategic approach for extracting coronary arteries in many different sizes. We construct the first U-net model to segment the main coronary artery extraction and build a new algorithm to determine the junctions of the main coronary artery with the secondary coronary artery. Using these junctions, we determine regions of the secondary coronary arteries (rectangular regions) for a secondary coronary artery-extracted segment with the second U-net model. The experiment result is 76.40% in terms of Dice coefficient on coronary X-ray datasets. The proposed approach presents its potential in coronary vessel segmentation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/5548517DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8052146PMC
April 2021

Adolescents show a lower healing rate of anterolateral ligament injury and a higher rotational laxity than adults after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

Knee 2021 Apr 21;30:113-124. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, HanYang University Myongji Hospital, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:

Background: This study aimed to compare anterolateral ligament (ALL) injuries in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ruptures, as well as ALL healing and clinical outcomes following ACL reconstruction between adolescents and adults.

Methods: This retrospective study involved 98 patients who underwent ACL reconstruction. They were divided into two groups according to age: group A (adolescents, 16-20 years of age; n = 49) and group B (adults, 21-45 years of age; n = 49). Subjective scores including ACL-Return to Sport after Injury (ACL-RSI) scale and objective tests were assessed. Follow up magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and second-look arthroscopy was conducted at 1-year and 2-year follow up, respectively.

Results: Good healing rate of ALL was higher in adults than in adolescents (P = 0.048). Graft tension and synovial coverage showed no significant differences between two groups. Group A showed a higher rate of high-grade pivot shift and a lower ACL-RSI at last follow up than group B (P = 0.126 and P = 0.016). Poor healing of ALL was significantly associated with lower ACL-RSI and failure to return to sports (P < 0.001 and P = 0.001). Re-rupture of the ACL graft was found in four (8.2%) and one (2.0%) of group A and B, respectively.

Conclusions: Adolescents showed a lower healing rate of ALL, a lower ACL-RSI, a higher rate of high-grade pivot shift than adults. Moreover, poor healing of ALL was significantly associated with a lower ACL-RSI and failure to return to sports. We suggest that adolescents need to pay more attention to the presence of ALL injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.knee.2021.03.020DOI Listing
April 2021

School-Based Participatory Response for Reopening During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Case Study of a Metropolitan High School Implementing the Health Promoting School.

Front Public Health 2021 6;9:578200. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

Department of Nursing, Chosun University, Gwangju, South Korea.

This study aimed to analyze how a private high school in Seoul developed and executed a "school disinfection strategy" to ensure the students' right to study in a safe environment, and also to analyze the lessons learned from this process. This was a case study of school health in a community-based school reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study target was a 64-year-old private high school with 12 classes for each grade with a total of 1,100 students. A "school disinfection strategy" was set up at individual and class environment levels to protect students from the risk of infection. In addition, school health activities were carried out with a "personal protection safety belt" and "community protection safety belt" for effective implementation. To ensure a safe educational environment for high school students and to ensure smooth execution of face-to-face classes (in-person teaching), the "prevention safety belt strategy" was introduced in accordance with governmental guidelines to sequentially implement various preventive measures necessary to guarantee environmental safety of schools. Activating personal prevention safety belts by checking the symptoms of students when entering the school and during each class, and providing self-made disinfectants by spraying alcohol on wet-wipes were cost-effective and sustainable methods used in this school to prevent the spread of infection. The experience of developing a prevention safety belt strategy to adapt the guidelines of the local education office to the school situation was presented. Focusing on the school community, as well as individual students and teachers, the concept of prevention safety belts helped to unite and stimulate voluntary participation of students in health promotion activities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2021.578200DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8055834PMC
April 2021

Sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with seropositive neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder: A case report.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2021 Apr;100(16):e25580

Department of Neurology.

Rationale: Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) is a severe inflammatory disorder of the central nervous system with an autoantibody against aquaporin-4 protein (AQP4), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease. We report a female patient with ALS who had asymptomatic AQP4 antibody at the diagnosis of ALS, and NMOSD occurred 4 years later after the diagnosis of ALS.

Patient Concerns: She was already bedridden and had tracheostomy because of ALS which was diagnosed at her age of 55. At the time of her ALS diagnosis, she had no brain or spinal cord lesions, but was seropositive for AQP4 antibody. At her age of 59, new-onset complete paralysis of all extremities and severe pain on the posterior neck and both shoulders occurred and visited the hospital.

Diagnosis: Longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis was diagnosed, which was the onset attack of seropositive NMOSD. The diagnosis was confirmed based on the international consensus diagnostic criteria for NMOSD with MR imaging, cerebrospinal fluid exam and laboratory work-ups with AQP4 antibody test.

Interventions: High dose methylprednisolone was administered for 5 days. Plasma exchange as a further treatment was recommended, but she and her family refused.

Outcomes: Her pain was relieved after steroid treatment, but there was no improvement of her leg weakness.

Lessons: This case is a rare combination of neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. Considering the alterations of blood-brain barrier along with the progression of ALS, it highlights that the consequence of ALS pathogenesis might affect the development of NMOSD. And the careful follow-up is recommended even in patients with profound weakness, especially if those who were at risk of developing certain neurological disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000025580DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8078316PMC
April 2021