Caught Our Notice: Duplicates, errors prompt two retractions for same author

Titles: 1) Angiopoietin-Like 4 Confers Resistance to Hypoxia/Serum Deprivation-Induced Apoptosis through PI3K/Akt and ERK1/2 Signaling Pathways in Mesenchymal Stem Cells

2) Novel Mechanism of Inhibition of Dendritic Cells Maturation by Mesenchymal Stem Cells via Interleukin-10 and the JAK1/STAT3 Signaling Pathway

What Caught Our Attention: In the span of 48 hours, PLOS ONE retracted two papers this month that were co-authored by Bo Yu, based at Key Laboratories of Education Ministry for Myocardial Ischemia Mechanism and Treatment and The Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University in China. Both notices cite multiple duplications and errors, and conclude:

In view of the concerns regarding the reliability of the results and the absence of the raw data images, the authors and PLOS ONE Editors retract this article.

Journal: PLoS One

Authors:

1) Meng Hou, Jinjin Cui, Jingjin Liu, Fang Liu, Rui Jiang, Kai Liu, Yongshun Wang, Li Yin, Wenhua Liu, Bo Yu

2) Wen-hua Liu, Jing-jin Liu, Jian Wu, Lu-lu Zhang, Fang Liu, Li Yin, Mao-mao Zhang, Bo Yu

Affiliations: 1) Key Laboratories of Education Ministry for Myocardial Ischemia Mechanism and Treatment, China; The Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, China

2) The Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, China

The Notices:

1) Angiopoietin-Like 4 Confers Resistance to Hypoxia/Serum Deprivation-Induced Apoptosis through PI3K/Akt and ERK1/2 Signaling Pathways in Mesenchymal Stem Cells:

Following publication of this article (1), concerns were raised regarding the presented data.
In Figure 4, the 1 ng panel incorrectly shows a duplicate of the 10 ng panel.
Figures 8A and 8D incorrectly show duplicate Western blots.
Additionally, the authors acknowledge the following errors and concerns:
In Figure 5, there was an error in statistical analysis of quantitative Western blot data, resulting in error bars that were too small.
In Figure 10C, the cytoplasmic cytochrome C in the control normoxic cells is higher than expected. MSCs of suboptimal condition were used and antibody was used at a dilution of 1/1000, instead of the manufacturer’s recommendation of 1/10000.
In Figure 10G, debris and artefacts in the imaging raise concerns regarding the quality of cells and reagents used.
In Figure 10E, band positioning raises concerns regarding the identity of the proteins.
Uncropped, raw blot images are no longer available for further evaluation.
In view of the concerns regarding the reliability of the results and the absence of the raw data images, the authors and PLOS ONE Editors retract this article. The authors wish to apologize to readers.
MH, JC, JL, FL, KL, YW, LY, WL and BY agree with the retraction. RJ could not be reached.

2) Novel Mechanism of Inhibition of Dendritic Cells Maturation by Mesenchymal Stem Cells via Interleukin-10 and the JAK1/STAT3 Signaling Pathway:

Following publication of this article [1], concerns were raised regarding the presented data.
In Figure 5, the P-JAK1 and STAT3 Western blot panels are duplicates.
Four pairs of panels are duplicated in Figure 7:
7A panels CD86 and OX62.
7B panels CD86 and OX62.
7A panel CD11b/c and 7C panel CD11b/c.
7A panel MHC-II and 7B panel CD80.
Three pairs of panels are duplicated between Figure 7 and Figure 2:
7B panel CD86 and 2A panel CD86.
7D panel CD11b/c and 2A panel CD11b/c.
7E panel CD11b/c and 2B panel CD11b/c.
Concerns were raised regarding the accuracy of the percentage data presented for region M2 of the erroneously duplicated FACS plots.
Two pairs of panels are duplicated in Figure 8:
Figure 8A: P-JAK1 and JAK1 Western blot panels.
Figure 8C: STAT3 and P-STAT3 Western blot panels.
Uncropped, raw blot images are no longer available for further evaluation.
In view of the concerns regarding the reliability of the results and the absence of the raw data images, the authors and PLOS ONE Editors retract this article. The authors wish to apologize to readers.
WHL, JW, LLZ, LY, MMZ and BY agree with the retraction. JJL, and FL could not be reached.

Date of Article: 1) January 2014  2) January 2013

Times Cited, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science: 1) 25  2) 40

Date of Notice: 1) March 12, 2018   2) March 14, 2018

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One thought on “Caught Our Notice: Duplicates, errors prompt two retractions for same author”

  1. Wait. JJL and FL agreed to the retraction of the first paper but “could not be reached” on the topic of the second?!

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