Big Brother blinded: Security fears in China as smog disrupts surveillance cameras

Teams of scientists assigned to find a solution as heavy pollution makes national surveillance network useless, raising fear of terror attack

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 November, 2013, 2:36am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 November, 2013, 10:47am

Stephen Chen binglin.chen@scmp.com

  • china_smog.jpg

 

As well as health issues, heavy smog in cities such as Jilin is creating serious security concerns for authorities. Photo: China Foto Press

To the central government, the smog that blankets the country is not just a health hazard, it’s a threat to national security.

Last month visibility in Harbin dropped to below three metres because of heavy smog. On days like these, no surveillance camera can see through the thick layers of particles, say scientists and engineers.

To the authorities, this is a serious national security concern. Beijing has invested heavily to build up a nationwide surveillance network that lets police watch every major street and corner in main cities.

But with smoggy days becoming more frequent, the effectiveness of the system has been greatly compromised. Some fear terrorists may choose a smoggy day to launch attacks.

Kong Zilong, a senior project engineer with Shenzhen Yichengan Technology and an expert in video surveillance technology, said the security devices that could function in heavy smogs had yet to be invented.

Existing technology, such as infrared imaging, can help cameras see through fog or smoke at a certain level, but the smog on the mainland these days is a different story. The particles are so many and so solid, they block light almost as effectively as a brick wall.

“According to our experience, as the visibility drops below three metres, even the best camera cannot see beyond a dozen metres,” he said.

His company sells products from some of the world’s leading security camera makers, such as Raymax from Japan, Bewator from Britain, FLIR from the United States and VisSim from Norway.

The government has come to realise the seriousness of the issue and commissioned scientists to come up with a solution.

The National Natural Science Foundation of China funded two teams, one civilian and one military, to study the issue and has told the scientists involved to find solutions within four years.

Professor Yang Aiping, an expert in digital imaging with the School of Electronic Information Engineering of Tianjin University and leader of the civilian team, said she was facing tremendous pressure because of the enormous technological challenges.

“Most studies in other countries are to do with fog. In China, most people think that fog and smog can be dealt by the same method. Our preliminary research shows that the smog particles are quite different from the small water droplets of fog in terms of optical properties,” she said.

“We need to heavily revise, if not completely rewrite, algorithms in some mathematical models. We also need to do lots of computer simulation and extensive field tests.”

The military team is led by professor Bi Duyan of the Air Force Engineering University of the People’s Liberation Army in Xian , Shaanxi province. Bi could not be reached for comment on the research.

Professor Zhang Li, an image processing expert with the department of electronic engineering of Tsinghua University, said the researchers might have to think out of the box.

“On the smoggiest days, we may need to use radar to ensure security in some sensitive areas,” he said.

Microwaves or electromagnetic waves could travel through smog easily and bounce back if they hit an object. With the help of good software, sharp and clear images could be produced. But a radar camera would also generate radiation that harms people’s health.

“It has to be a contingency device,” Zhang said.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as Security threat as smog blinds cameras.

BPA linked to obesity risk in puberty-age girls

Contact: Catherine Hylas Saunders csaunders@golinharris.com 202-585-2603 Kaiser Permanente

OAKLAND, Calif., June 12 —Girls between 9 and 12 years of age with higher-than-average levels of bisphenol-A (BPA) in their urine had double the risk of being obese than girls with lower levels of BPA, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published today in the journal PLOS ONE.

“This study provides evidence from a human population that confirms the findings from animal studies — that high BPA exposure levels could increase the risk of overweight or obesity,” said De-Kun Li, MD, PhD, principal investigator of the study and a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif.

BPA is used to make plastics and other materials, such as cash register receipts. It is a known endocrine disruptor with estrogenic properties. In children and adolescents, BPA is likely to enter the body primarily through the ingestion of foods and liquids that have come into contact with BPA-containing materials, Dr. Li said.

“Girls in the midst of puberty may be more sensitive to the impacts of BPA on their energy balance and fat metabolism,” Dr. Li said.  While BPA is still being examined, he said it has been shown to interfere with a body’s process of relating fat content and distribution.

The study — the first specifically designed to examine the relationship between BPA and obesity in school-age children — was conducted in Shanghai as part of a larger national study of puberty and adolescent health.

Dr. Li and colleagues studied 1,326 male and female children in grades 4 to 12 at three Shanghai schools (one elementary, one middle and one high school). In addition to urine samples collected with BPA-free materials, they obtained information on other risk factors for childhood obesity, such as dietary patterns, physical activity, mental health and family history.

The researchers found that in girls between 9 and 12 years old, a higher-than-average level of BPA in urine (2 micrograms per liter or greater) was associated with twice the risk of having a body weight in the top 10th percentile for girls of their age in the same population.

The impact was particularly pronounced among 9- to 12-year-old girls with extremely high levels of BPA in their urine (more than 10 micrograms per liter): their risk of being overweight (in the top 10th percentile) was five times greater.

The researchers did not identify significant BPA effects in any other groups studied, including girls over 12 years of age and boys of all ages.

Among all the 9- to 12-year-old girls studied, 36 percent of those with a higher-than-average level of BPA in their urine were overweight or obese compared with 21 percent of those with a lower-than-average level of BPA.

“Our study suggests that BPA could be a potential new environmental obesogen, a chemical compound that can disrupt the normal development and balance of lipid metabolism, which can lead to obesity,” Dr. Li and co-authors wrote in PLOS ONE. “Worldwide exposure to BPA in the human population may be contributing to the worldwide obesity epidemic.”

The PLOS ONE study is the latest in a series published by Dr. Li and his colleagues examining the effects of BPA in humans:

  • A 2009 study in Human Reproduction found that exposure to high levels of BPA in the workplace increased the risk of sexual dysfunction in men. 

     

  • A 2010 study in the Journal of Andrology found that increasing BPA levels in urine were associated with worsening male sexual function. 

     

  • A 2011 study in the journal Fertility and Sterility showed that increasing urine BPA levels were significantly associated with decreased sperm concentration, decreased total sperm count, decreased sperm vitality and decreased sperm motility. 

     

  • A 2011 study in the Journal of Reproductive Toxicology showed that parental exposure to BPA during pregnancy was associated with decreased birth weight in offspring. 

     

  • A 2011 study in Birth Defects Research (Part A) found that in-utero exposure to BPA was related to anogenital distance (the physical distance between the anus and the genitalia) in male offspring. 

     

  • A 2013 study in Fertility and Sterility showed that male workers exposed to BPA in a chemical plant for 6 months or more had lower testosterone levels in their blood than with those who were not exposed to BPA in workplace. 

Kaiser Permanente is committed to researching and sourcing safer alternatives to products that may contain potentially harmful chemicals such as BPA. To that end, Kaiser Permanente’s Sustainability Scorecard for Medical Products requires suppliers and manufacturers to disclose the presence of BPA in products. Most recently, the organization was able to eliminate BPA from packaging of supplemental nutrition and infant formula products.

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In addition to Dr. Li, co-authors of the study were: Maohua Miao, MD, PhD, Xiaoqin Liu, MD, Siqui Wang, PhD, Department of Epidemiology and Social Science on Reproductive Health, Shanghai Institute of Planned Parenthood Research and WHO Collaborating Center for Occupational Health, Shanghai; ZhiJun Zhou, MD, PhD, Chunhua Wu, PhD, School of Public Health, Key Lab for Public Health and Safety and WHO Collaborating Center for Occupational Health, Fudan University, Shanghai; Huijing Shi, PhD, Department of Child and Adolescent Health, Fudan University, Shanghai; and Wei Yuan, MD, PhD, National Population and Family Planning Key Laboratory of Contraceptive Drugs and Devices, Shanghai.

The study was funded in part by National Natural Science Foundation of China (#81172684).

About the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research

The Kaiser Permanente Division of Research conducts, publishes and disseminates epidemiologic and health services research to improve the health and medical care of Kaiser Permanente members and society at large. It seeks to understand the determinants of illness and well-being, and to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care. Currently, DOR’s 550-plus staff is working on more than 250 epidemiological and health services research projects. For more information, visit http://www.dor.kaiser.org.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 9.1 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/newscenter.

Blueberry ameliorates hepatic fibrosis

2010 study posted for filing

Contact: Ye-Ru Wang wjg@wjgnet.com 86-105-908-0039 World Journal of Gastroenterology

Conventional drugs used in the treatment of liver diseases inevitably have side effects. An increasing number of natural substances have been studied to explore if they have protective effects on the liver. Blueberries have unique effects on human retinal, brain and tumor cells, but reports about the effects of blueberries on liver diseases are lacking.

A research article to be published on June 7, 2010 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this question. The research team led by Ming-Liang Cheng, MD, from Department of Infectious Diseases, Guiyang Medical College, Guiyang, presented some data from their research on the effectiveness of blueberries on liver fibrosis induced in laboratory animals.

Their study showed that blueberries could reduce liver indices, serum levels of hyaluronic acid and alanine aminotransferase, and increase levels of superoxide dismutase and decrease levels of malondialdehyde in liver homogenates compared with the model group. Meanwhile, the stage of hepatic fibrosis was significantly weakened. Blueberries increased the activity of glutathione-S-transferase in liver homogenates and the expression of Nrf2 and Nqo1 compared with the normal group, but there was no significant difference compared with the model group.

The authors suggest that blueberry consumption is beneficial for hepatic diseases (including fibrosis).

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Reference: Wang YP, Cheng ML, Zhang BF, Mu M, Wu J. Effects of blueberry on hepatic fibrosis and transcription factor Nrf2 in rats. World J Gastroenterol 2010; 16(21): 2657-2663  http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/full/v16/i21/2657.htm

Correspondence to: Ming-Liang Cheng, MD, Department of Infectious Diseases, Guiyang Medical College, Guiyang 550004, Guizhou Province, China. chengml@21cn.com Telephone: +86-851-6752795 Fax: +86-851-6741623

About World Journal of Gastroenterology

World Journal of Gastroenterology (WJG), a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology, has established a reputation for publishing first class research on esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, viral hepatitis, colorectal cancer, and H pylori infection and provides a forum for both clinicians and scientists. WJG has been indexed and abstracted in Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch) and Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Index Medicus, MEDLINE and PubMed, Chemical Abstracts, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Abstracts Journals, Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CAB Abstracts and Global Health. ISI JCR 2008 IF: 2.081. WJG is a weekly journal published by WJG Press. The publication dates are the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th day of every month. WJG is supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30224801 and No. 30424812, and was founded with the name of China National Journal of New Gastroenterology on October 1, 1995, and renamed WJG on January 25, 1998.

Antifibrotic effects of green tea

2009 study posted for filing

 

Contact: Ye-Ru Wang wjg@wjgnet.com 86-105-908-0039 World Journal of Gastroenterology

Several studies have shown that lipid peroxidation stimulates collagen production in fibroblasts and hepatic stellate cells (HSC), and plays an important role in the development of liver fibrosis. Hepatoprotective effects of green tea against carbon tetrachloride, cholestasis and alcohol induced liver fibrosis were reported in many studies. However, the hepatoprotective effect of green tea in dimethylnitrosamine (DMN)-induced models has not been studied.

A research article published on November 7, 2009 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this question. The research team, led by Prof. Hong-Yon Cho from Korea University examined the protective effect of green tea extract (GT) on hepatic fibrosis in a rat HSC line and in a rat model of DMN-induced hepatic fibrosis.

The results showed GT administration prevented the development of hepatic fibrosis in the rat model of DMN-induced liver fibrosis. These results were confirmed both by liver histology and by quantitative measurement of hepatic hydroxyproline content, a marker of liver collagen deposition. Accordingly, inhibition of proliferation, reduced collagen deposition, and type 1 collagen expression were observed in activated HSC-T6 cells following GT treatment. These results imply that GT reduced the proliferation of activated HSC and down regulated the collagen content and expression of collagen type 1, thereby ameliorating hepatic fibrosis.

The researchers drew a conclusion that green tea may protect liver cells and reduce the deposition of collagen fibers in the liver. Green tea provides a safe and effective strategy for improving hepatic fibrosis.

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Reference: Kim HK, Yang TH, Cho HY. Antifibrotic effects of green tea on in vitro and in vivo models of liver fibrosis. World J Gastroenterol 2009; 15(41): 5200-5205

http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/15/5200.asp

Correspondence to: Hong-Yon Cho, Professor, Department of Food and Biotechnology, College of Science and Technology, Korea University, Jochiwon, Chungnam 339-700, South Korea. hycho@korea.ac.kr

Telephone: +82-41-8601433 Fax: +82-41-8650220

About World Journal of Gastroenterology

World Journal of Gastroenterology (WJG), a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology, has established a reputation for publishing first class research on esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, viral hepatitis, colorectal cancer, and H. pylori infection and provides a forum for both clinicians and scientists. WJG has been indexed and abstracted in Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch) and Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Index Medicus, MEDLINE and PubMed, Chemical Abstracts, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Abstracts Journals, Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CAB Abstracts and Global Health. ISI JCR 2008 IF: 2.081. WJG is a weekly journal published by WJG Press. The publication dates are the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th day of every month. WJG is supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30224801 and No. 30424812, and was founded with the name of China National Journal of New Gastroenterology on October 1, 1995, and renamed WJG on January 25, 1998.

Long-term treatment with Antacids can increase weight

Contact: Ye-Ru Wang
wjg@wjgnet.com
86-105-908-0039
World Journal of Gastroenterology

Long-term treatment with proton pump inhibitor can increase weight

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the most common esophageal disorder, and frequently encountered in the primary care setting. Accumulating evidence has confirmed the excellent efficacy and safety of proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy in patients with all grades of GERD, making these agents the mainstay of treatment. However, the possible impact of changes in body weight(BW) or body mass index (BMI) in reflux patients while on long-term PPI therapy has not been examined.

A clinical research team from Japan elucidatied the effect on nutritional parameters such as body weight and BMI in patients receiving long-term PPI therapy. Their study will be published on October 14, 2009 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology.

The subjects were 52 patients with GERD and 58 sex- and age-matched healthy controls. GERD patients were treated with PPI for a mean of 2.2 years (range, 0.8-5.7 years), and also advised on lifestyle modifications (e.g. selective diet, weight management). BW, BMI and other parameters were measured at baseline and end of study.

Their results showed there were no differences in BW and BMI between reflux patients and controls at baseline. Patients with GERD showed increases in BW, but no such changes were noted in the control group. Mean BW increased by 3.5 kg (6.2% of baseline) in 37 (71%) reflux patients but decreased in only 6 (12%) patients during treatment.

They concluded that reflux patients treated with a daily maintenance therapy of PPI should be strongly encouraged to manage their body weight through lifestyle modifications such as proper diet and avoidance of overeating. This measure may reduce the overall medical costs associated with obesity-related illness as well as GERD. Lifestyle modification must therefore remain the backbone of treatment for all patients with GERD, even in the PPI era.

 

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Reference: Yoshikawa I, Nagato M, Yamasaki M, Kume K, Otsuki M. Long-term treatment with proton pump inhibitor is associated with undesired weight gain. World J Gastroenterol 2009; 15(38): 4794-4798

http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/15/4794.asp

Correspondence to: Ichiro Yoshikawa, MD, PhD, Third Department of Internal Medicine, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan, School of Medicine, 1-1 Iseigaoka, Yahatanishi-ku, Kitakyushu 807-8555, Japan. ichiro@med.uoeh-u.ac.jp

Telephone: +81-93-6031611 Fax: +81-93-6920107

About World Journal of Gastroenterology

World Journal of Gastroenterology (WJG), a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology, has established a reputation for publishing first class research on esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, viral hepatitis, colorectal cancer, and H. pylori infection and provides a forum for both clinicians and scientists. WJG has been indexed and abstracted in Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch) and Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Index Medicus, MEDLINE and PubMed, Chemical Abstracts, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Abstracts Journals, Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CAB Abstracts and Global Health. ISI JCR 2008 IF: 2.081. WJG is a weekly journal published by WJG Press. The publication dates are the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th day of every month. WJG is supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30224801 and No. 30424812, and was founded with the name of China National Journal of New Gastroenterology on October 1, 1995, and renamed WJG on January 25, 1998.

Melatonin may be served as a potential anti-fibrotic drug

2009 study posted for filing

Contact: Lai-Fu Li
wjg@wjgnet.com
86-105-908-0039
World Journal of Gastroenterology

In China, the incidence of liver cirrhosis is still high. Liver cirrhosis results from fibrosis. If treated properly at fibrosis stage, cirrhosis can be prevented. However, no effective antifibrosis drugs are available at present. Several lines of evidences suggest that oxidative stress plays an important role in the etiopathogenesis of hepatic fibrosis. Melatonin can protect cells, tissues, and organs against oxidative damage induced by a variety of free-radical-generating agents and processes.

A research team led by Professor Jian-Ming Xu from the First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, China evaluated the possible fibrosuppressant effect of melatonin in rat. Their study will be published on March 28, 2009 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology.

In this study, hepatic fibrosis in rats was successfully induced by subcutaneous injection of sterile CCl4 twice weekly for a total of 12 wk. At the beginning of injection of CCl4, melatonin (2.5, 5, 10 mg/kg body weight) was intraperitoneally administered to the rats daily for 12 wk. Hepatic fibrotic changes were evaluated biochemically by measuring tissue hydroxyproline levels and histopathogical examination. The serum activities of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) were used to evaluate the hepatic injury. Hepatic oxidative stress markers were evaluated by changes in the amount of lipid peroxides, measured as malondialdehyde (MDA) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) in liver homogenates. Serum hyaluronic acid (HA), laminin (LN), and procollagen 3 N-terminal peptide (P3NP) were determined as serum markers of hepatic fibrogenesis.

Their results suggested that treatment with melatonin (10 mg/kg) could decrease the scores of hepatic fibrosis grading, reduced the contents of HA, LN in serum and Hydroxyproline (HYP) in liver, treatment with melatonin (5,10 mg/kg ) could decrease serum levels of ALT, AST and blocked the increase in MDA in rats with hepatic injury caused by CCl4.

Their result indicated melatonin could ameliorate CCl4-induced hepatic fibrosis in rats. The protective effect of melatonin on hepatic fibrosis may be related to its antioxidant activities. This may provide a basis for further studies on the potentially protective effect of melatonin on liver function in cirrhotic patients

 

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Reference: Hong RT, Xu JM, Mei Q. Melatonin ameliorates experimental hepatic fibrosis induced by carbon tetrachloride in rats. World J Gastroenterol 2009; 15(12): 1452-1458
http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/15/1452.asp

Correspondence to: Jian-Ming Xu, Professor, Department of Gastroenterology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230022, Anhui Province, China. xhkay@yahoo.cn

About World Journal of Gastroenterology

 

World Journal of Gastroenterology (WJG), a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology, has established a reputation for publishing first class research on esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, viral hepatitis, colorectal cancer, and H pylori infection and provides a forum for both clinicians and scientists. WJG has been indexed and abstracted in Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch) and Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Index Medicus, MEDLINE and PubMed, Chemical Abstracts, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Abstracts Journals, Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CAB Abstracts and Global Health. ISI JCR 2003-2000 IF: 3.318, 2.532, 1.445 and 0.993. WJG is a weekly journal published by WJG Press. The publication dates are the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th day of every month. WJG is supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30224801 and No. 30424812, and was founded with the name of China National Journal of New Gastroenterology on October 1, 1995, and renamed WJG on January 25, 1998.

About The WJG Press

 

The WJG Press mainly publishes World Journal of Gastroenterology

Long-term L-carnitine supplementation prevents development of liver cancer

2009 study posted for filing

Contact: Lin Tian
wjg@wjgnet.com
86-105-908-0039
World Journal of Gastroenterology

A study will be published on March 21, 2009 in World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses the question. A research group in King Saud University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia investigated, for the first time, the role of carnitine, a naturally occurring compound that is synthesized mainly in the liver, during the development of hepatocarcinogenesis. Authors of the study reported that carnitine deficiency is a risk factor and should be viewed as a mechanism in hepatic carcinogenesis, and that long-term L-carnitine supplementation prevents the development of liver cancer. Therefore, carnitine supplementation alone or in combination with other natural chemopreventive compounds could be used to prevent, slow or reverse the occurrence of liver cancer.

Chemoprevention is defined as the use of naturally occurring and/or synthetic compounds in cancer therapy in which the occurrence of cancer can be entirely prevented, slowed or reversed. L-carnitine is a naturally occurring compound which is primarily located in mitochondria and possesses potential protective effects against many mitochondrial toxic agents. It is derived from two sources; endogenous synthesis, in the liver and kidney, and from exogenous dietary sources such as red meat and dairy products. L-carnitine is an essential cofactor for the translocation of long chain fatty acids from the cytoplasmic compartment into mitochondria, where beta-oxidation enzymes are located for ATP production. Despite the liver being the main organ responsible for endogenous synthesis of L-carnitine, we were unable to find any studies investigating the role of long-term endogenous carnitine depletion and/or carnitine deficiency during induction of hepatic carcinogenesis.

The research team by Professor Sayed-Ahmed from College of Pharmacy, King Saud University used an experimental model of hepatocarcinogenesis under conditions of carnitine depletion and carnitine supplementation.

In the carnitine-depleted rat model, there were a progressive increase in the activities of liver enzymes as well as massive degenerative changes and evidence of pre-neoplastic lesions in liver tissues including clusters of hepatocytes with atypia and an increased proliferative rate, diffuse bridging fibrosis and nodule formation, bile ducts with marked reactive atypia showing nuclear enlargement, high nuclear/cytoplasmic ratio and prominent nucleoli. Interestingly, L-carnitine supplementation resulted in a complete reversal of the increase in liver enzymes compared to normal values, as well as normal liver histology with unremarkable central vein and no evidence of pre-neoplastic lesions in liver tissues.

Due to the fact that liver cancer is one of the major health problems in the world and a large sector of patients seek medical attention at a relatively late stage which increases the cost of treatment, King Saud University granted Prof. Sayed-Ahmed and his colleagues a research project with the following specific aims: (1) to understand the possible molecular mechanisms whereby carnitine deficiency provokes hepatic carcinogenesis. (2) to understand the relationship between hepatic cancer and its resistance to cancer chemotherapy, and (3) to gain knowledge on the possible mechanisms by which carnitine supplementation alone or in combination with other natural chemopreventive compounds could be used to prevent, slow or reverse the occurrence of liver cancer.

 

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Reference: Al-Rejaie SS, Aleisa AM, Al-Yahya AA, Bakheet SA,Alsheikh A, Fatani AG, Al-Shabanah OA, Sayed-Ahmed MM. Progression of diethylnitrosamine-induced hepatic carcinogenesis in carnitine-depleted rats World J Gastroenterol 2009; 15(11): 1373-1380 http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/15/1373.asp

Correspondence to: Dr. Mohamed M Sayed-Ahmed, Department of Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, PO Box 2457, Riyadh 11451, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. mmsayedahmed@hotmail.comTelephone: +966-506065734 Fax: +966-1-14677200

 

How did glycine significantly decrease liver injury?:Protected both the lung and liver against lethal doses of endotoxins

2008 study posted for filing

Contact: Lin-Lin Xiao
wjg@wjgnet.com
86-105-908-0039
World Journal of Gastroenterology

The nonessential amino acid glycine has been shown to be anti-inflammatory in several animal injury models. Recent studies demonstrated that dietary glycine protected both the lung and liver against lethal doses of endotoxin in rat or other animals and improved graft survival after liver transplantation. The influence of dietary glycine on oxidant-induced or cholestatic liver injury was not known.

A research article to be published on October 21, 2008 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this question. The research team led by Prof. Thurman from the University of North Carolina used a dietary and cholestatic model thru BDL in rats to address this question. They could demonstrate that hepatic injury due to BDL is significantly reduced by dietary glycine in rats. Moreover, the data indicated that glycine decreases liver injury under the conditions of experimental cholestasis thru a direct effect on hepatocytes. Surprisingly, Kupffer cells did not appear to play a major role in the pathological changes caused by cholestasis.

It is best known that Kupffer cells, the resident macrophages of the liver, are involved in several disease states, such as endotoxin shock, alcoholic liver diseases, and other toxicant-induced liver injury by releasing eicosanoids, inflammatory cytokines, and free radical species. Furthermore, in previous studies of the research team, a glycine-dependent chloride channel on the cell membrane of Kupffer cells and other macrophages that influence the activation process of these cells could be detected. But in the actual used cholestatic model no significant influence of this cell line on liver injury could be detected.

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Reference: Froh M, Zhong Z, Walbrun P, Lehnert M, Netter S, Wiest R, Conzelmann L, Gäbele E, Hellerbrand C, Schölmerich J, Thurman RG. Dietary glycine blunts liver injury after bile duct ligation in rats. World J Gastroenterol 2008; 14(39): 5996-6003

http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/14/5996.asp

Correspondence to: Matthias Froh, Department of Internal Medicine I, University of Regensburg, Regensburg 93042, Germany. froh.science@mac.comTelephone: +49-941-9447012 Fax: +49-941-9447011

About World Journal of Gastroenterology

World Journal of Gastroenterology (WJG), a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology, has established a reputation for publishing first class research on esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, viral hepatitis, colorectal cancer, and H pylori infection. It provides a forum for both clinicians and scientists. WJG has been indexed and abstracted in Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch) and Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Index Medicus, MEDLINE and PubMed, Chemical Abstracts, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Abstracts Journals, Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CAB Abstracts and Global Health. ISI JCR 2003-2000 IF: 3.318, 2.532, 1.445 and 0.993. WJG is a weekly journal published by WJG Press. The publication dates are the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th of every month. The WJG is supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30224801 and No. 30424812, and was founded with the title China National Journal of New Gastroenterology on October 1, 1995, and renamed WJG on January 25, 1998.

About The WJG Press

The WJG Press mainly publishes World Journal of Gastroenterology

How does ellagic acid exert anti-cancer effect on pancreatic cancer cells?

Contact: Lai-Fu Li
wjg@wjgnet.com
86-105-908-0039
World Journal of Gastroenterology

Ellagic acid was previousely shown to have anticarcinogenic, antioxidant and antifibrosis properties. The anticarcinogenic effect of ellagic acid was shown in several types of cancers including skin, esophageal, and colon cancers. However the mechanisms mediating anti-cancer effect of ellagic acid, in general, remain unknown.

A research article to be published on 21 June 2008, in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this question. The research team led by Dr. Edderkaoui from West Los Angeles VA Healthcare Center showed that Ellagic acid increases programmed cell death and decreases proliferation of pancreatic cancer cells. They showed that the mechanism through which ellagic acid causes cell death is through decreasing the activity of the pro-survival transcription factor NF-kB. The compound does not affect mitochondria. The results presented in this article show for the first time how this polyphenol regulates cancer cell proliferation and resistance to death and may help surpass the resistance of these cells to radio and chemotherapies.

The data of this article demonstrate the anti-cancer properties of ellagic acid as well as its mechanism of action. This opens the possibilities of using this compound in combination with other drugs that target other pro-survival proteins to increase cell death in pancreatic cancer cells.

 

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Reference: Edderkaoui M, Odinokova I, Ohno I, Gukovsky I, Go VLW, Pandol SJ, Gukovskaya AS. Ellagic acid induces apoptosis through inhibition of NF-κB in pancreatic cancer cells. World J Gastroenterol 2008; 14(23): 3672-3680
http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/14/3672.asp

Correspondence to: Anna Gukovskaya, PhD, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, West Los Angeles VA Healthcare Center, 11301 Wilshire Blvd, Blg 258, Rm 340, Los Angeles CA 90073, United States. agukovsk@ucla.edu
Telephone: +1-310-4783711-41525 Fax: +1-310-2684578

About World Journal of Gastroenterology

World Journal of Gastroenterology (WJG), a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology, has established a reputation for publishing first class research on esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, viral hepatitis, colorectal cancer, and H pylori infection and provides a forum for both clinicians and scientists. WJG has been indexed and abstracted in Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch) and Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Index Medicus, MEDLINE and PubMed, Chemical Abstracts, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Abstracts Journals, Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CAB Abstracts and Global Health. ISI JCR 2003-2000 IF: 3.318, 2.532, 1.445 and 0.993. WJG is a weekly journal published by WJG Press. The publication dates are the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th day of every month. WJG is supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30224801 and No. 30424812, and was founded with the name of China National Journal of New Gastroenterology on October 1, 1995, and renamed WJG on January 25, 1998.

About The WJG Press

The WJG Press mainly publishes World Journal of Gastroenterology.

Taurine has hepatoprotective effects, significantly protected injury form Liver Fibrosis

2008 study posted for filing

Contact: Lin Tian
wjg@wjgnet.com
86-105-908-0039
World Journal of Gastroenterology

Can Taurine be a potent antioxidant drug in the future?

Taurine is a potent antioxidant with hepatoprotective effects. Organelle based changes in hepatocytes after taurine treatment in experimental liver fibrosis were searched systematically and organelle injury scores decreased were found to decrease significantly. Moreover, ultrastructural and histopathological scores in both groups were in strong correlation.

A research article to be published on August 21, 2008 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this question. The research team led by Mehmet Refik Mas from Gulhane School of Medicine in Turkey added a new information to their ongoing research works. Based on the fact that tissue health is directly related to functional recovery of the parenchyma cells during injury, the authors addressed the changes in major organelles in hepatocytes after administration of a hepatoprotective agent.

They not only demonstrated ultrastructural recovery with Taurine, but also reported that electron microscopy findings are reflected truly with light microscopy with the currently used scoring systems.

The results are to be helpful in future research in liver fibrosis.

The study is experimental; therefore, clinical confirmation is necessary. However, it can be postulated that similar changes occur in human hepatocytes in human chronic liver diseases if recovery can be attained.

Gulhane School of Medicine is a part of a large medical academy that was founded more than a century ago as a health staff source for the Turkish army. The academy currently supports not only institutional research projects but also keeps national and international scientific collaborations.

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Reference: Tasci I, Mas N, Mas MR, Tuncer M, Comert B. Ultrastructural changes in hepatocytes after Taurine treatment in CCl4induced liver injury. World J Gastroenterol 2008; 14(31):4897-4902

http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/14/4897.asp

Correspondence to: Mehmet Refik Mas, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Gulhane School of Medicine, Etlik, Ankara 06018, Turkey. itasci@gata.edu.tr

Telephone: +90-312-3044016 Fax: +90-312-3044000

About World Journal of Gastroenterology

World Journal of Gastroenterology (WJG), a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology, has established a reputation for publishing first class research on esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, viral hepatitis, colorectal cancer, and H pylori infection. It provides a forum for both clinicians and scientists. WJG has been indexed and abstracted in Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch) and Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Index Medicus, MEDLINE and PubMed, Chemical Abstracts, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Abstracts Journals, Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CAB Abstracts and Global Health ISI JCR 2003-2000 IF: 3.318, 2.532, 1.445 and 0.993. WJG is a weekly journal published by WJG Press. The publication dates are the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th of every month. The WJG is supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30224801 and No. 30424812, and was founded with the title China National Journal of New Gastroenterology on October 1, 1995, and renamed WJG on January 25, 1998

What effect does melatonin have in colitis (IBD) ? ” bacterial translocation in postcolitis rats has been reversed by melatonin administration”

Contact: Jing Zhu wjg@wjgnet.com 0086-105-908-0039 World Journal of Gastroenterology

In rats with experimental colitis, the marked increase in bacterial translocation in postcolitis rats has been reversed by melatonin administration. This is due to melatonin’s anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects.

Using an elegant study design, including experimental colitis model, this research was performed by doctors from the Departments of General Surgery, Microbiology, Pathology and Biochemistry of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Erciyes, Kayseri, Turkey.

This study, performed by a team led by Dr. Alper Akcan, is described in a research article in the February 14 2008 issue of the World Journal of Gastroenterology.

According to the authors, the purpose of this study was to determine whether exogenously administered melatonin had any influence on the impairment of bacterial translocation and apoptosis in experimental colitis. To their knowledge, their study is the first one showing the relation between colitis, melatonin, and bacterial translocation.

The exact pathogenesis in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is poorly understood, but evidence exists that IBD involves interactions between immune system, genetic susceptibility and the environment. In IBDs, the intestinal mucosal barrier is disrupted by inflammation and ulceration. In these circumstances, translocation of enteric bacteria and their products through the bowel wall to extra-intestinal sterile sites may result. Bacterial translocation may cause secondary infection of intra-abdominal inflammatory processes, such as intra-abdominal abscesses, or peritonitis. Recent studies have, however, shown the important role of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents, including melatonin, in IBDs.

Melatonin is an agent that promotes sleep and is produced at night by the pineal gland. While produced primarily in the pineal gland, melatonin can also be found in cells of the bone marrow and the gastrointestinal tract and plays a fundamental role in the neuroimmuno-endocrine system. In most of the published studies an antioxidative effect, improved microcirculation and a stimulation of intestinal epithelium may also apply in the preventive or therapeutic effect of melatonin on the symptoms of colitis induced in rats has been documented.

Further research should explain the similar effects of melatonin in humans.

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Reference: Akcan A, Kucuk C, Sozuer E, Esel D, Akyildiz H, Akgun H, Muhtaroglu S, Aritas Y. Melatonin reduces bacterial translocation and apoptosis in trinitrobenzene sulphonic acid-induced colitis of rats. World J Gastroenterol 2008; 14(6): 918-924  http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/14/918.asp

Correspondence to: Alper Akcan, MD, Department of General Surgery, Erciyes University School of Medicine, Kayseri 38039, Turkey. acakcan2002@yahoo.com Telephone: +90-533-7430357  Fax: +90-352-4375273

About World Journal of Gastroenterology

World Journal of Gastroenterology (WJG), a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology, has established a reputation for publishing first class research on esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, viral hepatitis, colorectal cancer, and H pylori infection for providing a forum for both clinicians and scientists. WJG has been indexed and abstracted in Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch) and Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Index Medicus, MEDLINE and PubMed, Chemical Abstracts, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Abstracts Journals, Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CAB Abstracts and Global Health. ISI JCR 2003-2000 IF: 3.318, 2.532, 1.445 and 0.993. WJG is a weekly journal published by WJG Press. The publication dates are the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th day of every month. The WJG is supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30224801 and No. 30424812, and was founded with the name of China National Journal of New Gastroenterology on October 1, 1995, and renamed WJG on January 25, 1998.

About The WJG Press

The WJG Press mainly publishes World Journal of Gastroenterology.

Fu-Zheng-Jie-Du-Decoction acts PTEN expression in hepatocellular carcinoma (Liver Cancer) Superior to Chemotherapy

Contact:  Jing Zhu wjg@wjgnet.com 0086-105-908-0039 World Journal of Gastroenterology

Many hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients in China may be treated with Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Some say it works, others doubt its effectiveness. These stated that a research group in China had found TCM can down-regulate the expression of PTEN in HCC, which may suppress tumor cell growth and regulate tumor cell invasion and metastasis.

A research article published on January  7, 2008 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology (volume 14, issue 1) addresses this problem. The research group imbedded hepatoma carcinoma tissue in the livers of 48 male athymic mice. The mice were distributed randomly into two groups: The chemotherapy group was treated by intragastric administration with FT207 (Tegafur). The TCM group was treated by intragastric administration with FZJDT (complex prescription of Chinese crude drug) that had been deliquated into 3 kinds of density as the low, middle, and high.

Four weeks later, the researchers found the TCM group had distinct superiority in their survival rate compared with the chemotherapy group. There was less tumor metastasis in the livers of the TCM group than in the chemotherapy group. Particularly the results of immunohistochemistry showed the intensity of PTEN (Phosphatase and Tensin Homolog deleted on Chromosome 10) in the TCM group was higher than in the chemotherapy group.

PTEN was recently identified as a tumor suppressor gene by three American research teams. They found PTEN may suppress tumor cell growth and regulate tumor cell invasion and metastasis through inhibiting many signal pathways of cell proliferation.

FZJDT has been widely used to treat HCC for years in The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University. Just what is the mechanism of the Chinese herbs that strengthens the body’s resistance and removes toxic substances? Our research showed TCM could markedly increase expression of PTEN in the athymic mice, compared with the chemotherapy group treated with FT207, indicating the anticancer mechanism of the TCM used in this study.

Mechanisms of TCM healing HCC may partially be explained by the enhancing of the expression of PTEN in the liver. The results of this study suggest a promising future for TCM as a combined therapy to treat HCC in China .

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6.1 Reference: Yin LR, Chen ZX, Zhang SJ, Sun BG, Liu YD, Huang HZ. Expression of chromosome ten in liver of athymic mice with hepatocellular carcinoma and the effect of Fuzheng Jiedu Decoction. World J Gastroenterol 2008; 14(1): 108-113 http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/14/108.asp

6.2 Correspondence to: Dr. Ze-Xiong Chen, Department of TCM, The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510080, Guangdong Province, China. zexiong333@163.com Telephone: +86-20-87332200-8381 Fax: +86-20-87333122

6.3 About World Journal of Gastroenterology

World Journal of Gastroenterology (WJG), a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology, has established a reputation for publishing first class research on esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, viral hepatitis, colorectal cancer, and H pylori infection and provides a forum for both clinicians and scientists. WJG has been indexed and abstracted in Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch) and Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Index Medicus, MEDLINE and PubMed, Chemical Abstracts, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Abstracts Journals, Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CAB Abstracts and Global Health. ISI JCR 2003-2000 IF: 3.318, 2.532, 1.445 and 0.993. WJG is a weekly journal published by WJG Press. The publication dates are the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th day of every month. The WJG is supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30224801 and No. 30424812, and was founded with the name of China National Journal of New Gastroenterology on October 1, 1995, and renamed WJG on January 25, 1998.

6.4 About The WJG Press

The WJG Press mainly publishes World Journal of Gastroenterology

* Reposted for Filing