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BACKGROUND Both alcoholism and heroin dependence are common substance use disorders with a high genetic basis. A recent genetic study reported that the autism susceptibility candidate 2 gene (AUTS2) was involved in regulating the alcohol drinking behavior. In our previous total gene expression profiling study, we found that the AUTS2 transcript was(More)
Growing evidence has indicated that opioids enhance replication of human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis C virus in target cells. However, it is unknown whether opioids can enhance replication of other clinically important viral pathogens. In this study, the interaction of opioid agonists and human influenza A/WSN/33 (H1N1) virus was examined in human(More)
Synapsin III is a new synapsin family gene with the putative function of synaptogenesis regulation and neurotransmitter release in the brain. The gene was mapped to 22q12-q13, a schizophrenia susceptible region gene as suggested by several linkage studies. Hence, the synapsin III gene is considered a candidate gene of schizophrenia. We systematically(More)
Immunogenic cell death is characterized by damage-associated molecular patterns, which can enhance the maturation and antigen uptake of dendritic cells. Shikonin, an anti-inflammatory and antitumor phytochemical, was exploited here as an adjuvant for dendritic cell-based cancer vaccines via induction of immunogenic cell death. Shikonin can effectively(More)
Neuroimmune pharmacology is a newly emerging field that intersects with neuroscience, immunology, and pharmacology and that is seeking avenues for translational research and better understanding of disease mechanisms. It focuses on the immunity of the central nervous system (CNS) which is greatly influenced by endogenous effectors, such as cytokines and(More)
Methamphetamine (meth) is a highly addictive psychostimulant that is among the most widely abused illicit drugs, with an estimated over 35 million users in the world. Several lines of evidence suggest that chronic meth abuse is a major factor for increased risk of infections with human immunodeficiency virus and possibly other pathogens, due to its(More)
Shikonin, a phytochemical purified from Lithospermum erythrorhizon, has been shown to confer diverse pharmacological activities, including accelerating granuloma formation, wound healing, anti-inflammation and others, and is explored for immune-modifier activities for vaccination in this study. Transdermal gene-based vaccine is an attractive approach for(More)
Methamphetamine is a highly addictive psychostimulant that has been seriously abused worldwide, and currently there are no approved medications for the treatment of its abuse. Conventional treatments for drug addiction mainly seek to use small molecule agonists or antagonists to target the drug receptors in the brain, but unfortunately it is difficult to(More)
BACKGROUND Narcolepsy is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, hypnagogic hallucinations, and abnormal rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Tumor necrosis factor α (TNF α) and its cognate receptors have been reported to be involved in the pathophysiology of narcolepsy in addition to the HLA antigen system. Our(More)
BACKGROUND Narcolepsy is a rare, chronic, disabling neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, hypnagogic hallucinations, sleep paralysis, and abnormal rapid eye movement sleep. It is strongly associated with the HLA-DQB1(∗)06:02 allele in various ethnic groups. Our study aimed to investigate the allelic spectrum of(More)