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An example of parasitic drilling in a rhynchonelliform brachiopod is described from the Shiyanhe Formation (Katian, Upper Ordovician) of Henan, central China. The boring extends into the shell almost perpendicular to the surface. The shell has been serially sectioned, and the trace (including boring and bioclaustration) has been modeled in three dimensions. Healing of the shell evident in serial sections supports a long-term relationship between the brachiopod and borer that we interpret as parasitic. Platyceratid gastropods, found at the same locality as these brachiopods, are the most likely drilling organism. Previous reports of Paleozoic brachiopod parasitic traces can be classified into two main groups, constructive association and destructive association, depending on whether parasites damage brachiopod shells. The example in this study belongs to the second type as the brachiopod shell has been partly damaged by the borer.
This study aimed to investigate whether arginine promotes porcine type I muscle fibers formation via improving mitochondrial biogenesis. In the in vivo study, a total of sixty DLY (Duroc × Landrace × Yorkshire) weaning piglets with an average body weight of 6.55 ± 0.36 kg were randomly divided into four treatments and fed with a basal diet or a basal diet supplemented with 0.5%, 1.0% and 1.5% L-arginine, respectively, in a four-week trial. Results showed that dietary supplementation of 1.0% arginine significantly enhanced the activity of succinate dehydrogenase, upregulated the protein expression of myosin heavy chain I (MyHC I), and increased the mRNA levels of MyHC I, Tnni1, Tnnc1 and Tnnt1 in longissimus dorsi muscle compared with the control group. In addition, ATPase staining analysis indicated that 1.0% arginine supplementation significantly increased the number of type I muscle fibers and significantly decreased the number of type II muscle fibers. Furthermore, 1.0% arginine supplementation significantly upregulated PGC-1α, Sirt1 and Cytc protein expressions, increased PGC-1α, NRF1, TFB1M, Cytc and TP5G mRNA levels and increased mitochondrial DNA content. In the in vitro study, mitochondrial complex I inhibitor rotenone (Rot) was used. We found that Rot annulled Arg-induced type I muscle fibers formation. Together, our results provide for the first time the evidence that Arg promotes porcine type I muscle fibers formation through improvement of mitochondrial biogenesis.
The brachiopods collected from the Kuanyinchiao Beds (Hirnantian, uppermost Ordovician) in Meitan and Zunyi counties, northern Guizhou, include 13 species and one undetermined taxon, dominated by Hirnantia sagittifera (M'Coy, 1851) (which accounts for over one-third of the specimens), together with common Eostropheodonta hirnantensis (M'Coy, 1851). They are assigned to the Hirnantia–Eostropheodonta Community, which probably inhabited a shallow-water, nearshore Benthic Assemblage (BA) 2 to upper BA 3 environment. Population analysis shows that the community was well adapted to this environment after the first phase of the end-Ordovician mass extinction. Representative specimens of all the species are illustrated, and a new species, Minutomena missa, is described herein. The variation in Hirnantia sagittifera was noted in many of previous studies but was not statistically evidenced. Here we have measured representative specimens of that famous species from the major paleoplates and terranes in the world, along with other species assigned to the genus from South China. Having used principal component analysis (PCA), significant variations in the species are documented statistically and revised, and three nominal species, one subspecies, and two morphotypes are now reassigned to Hirnantia sagittifera sensu stricto.
To explore whether and how group cognitive-behavioural therapy (GCBT) plus medication differs from medication alone for the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD).
Hundred and seventy patients were randomly assigned to the GCBT plus duloxetine (n=89) or duloxetine group (n=81). The primary outcomes were Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA) response and remission rates. The explorative secondary measures included score reductions from baseline in the HAMA total, psychic, and somatic anxiety subscales (HAMA-PA, HAMA-SA), the Hamilton Depression Scale, the Severity Subscale of Clinical Global Impression Scale, Global Assessment of Functioning, and the 12-item Short-Form Health Survey. Assessments were conducted at baseline, 4-week, 8-week, and 3-month follow-up.
At 4 weeks, HAMA response (GCBT group 57.0% vs. control group 24.4%, p=0.000, Cohen’s d=0.90) and remission rates (GCBT group 21.5% vs. control group 6.2%, p=0.004; d=0.51), and most secondary outcomes (all p<0.05, d=0.36−0.77) showed that the combined therapy was superior. At 8 weeks, all the primary and secondary significant differences found at 4 weeks were maintained with smaller effect sizes (p<0.05, d=0.32−0.48). At 3-month follow-up, the combined therapy was only significantly superior in the HAMA total (p<0.045, d=0.43) and HAMA-PA score reductions (p<0.001, d=0.77). Logistic regression showed superiority of the combined therapy for HAMA response rates [odds ratio (OR)=2.12, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02−4.42, p=0.04] and remission rates (OR=2.80, 95% CI 1.27−6.16, p=0.01).
Compared with duloxetine alone, GCBT plus duloxetine showed significant treatment response for GAD over a shorter period of time, particularly for psychic anxiety symptoms, which may suggest that GCBT was effective in changing cognitive style.
Muscle fibre types can transform from slow-twitch (slow myosin heavy chain (MyHC)) to fast-twitch (fast MyHC) or vice versa. Leucine plays a vital effect in the development of skeletal muscle. However, the role of leucine in porcine myofibre type transformation and its mechanism are still unclear. In this study, effects of leucine and microRNA-27a (miR-27a) on the transformation of porcine myofibre type were investigated in vitro. We found that leucine increased slow MyHC protein level and decreased fast MyHC protein level, increased the levels of phospho-protein kinase B (Akt)/Akt and phospho-forkhead box 1 (FoxO1)/FoxO1 and decreased the FoxO1 protein level. However, blocking the Akt/FoxO1 signalling pathway by wortmannin attenuated the role of leucine in porcine myofibre type transformation. Over-expression of miR-27a decreased slow MyHC protein level and increased fast MyHC protein level, whereas inhibition of miR-27a had an opposite effect. We also found that expression of miR-27a was down-regulated following leucine treatment. Moreover, over-expression of miR-27a repressed transformation from fast MyHC to slow MyHC caused by leucine, suggesting that miR-27a is interdicted by leucine and then contributes to porcine muscle fibre type transformation. Our finding provided the first evidence that leucine promotes porcine myofibre type transformation from fast MyHC to slow MyHC via the Akt/FoxO1 signalling pathway and miR-27a.
Propofol is a intravenous anaesthetic most commonly used in ultrasound oocyte retrieval. We studied if the use of propofol had an effect on mouse oocyte maturation, pregnancy, childbirth and progeny and investigated the correlation between propofol side effects and reproductive performance in mice. There was no statistical difference in mating, pregnancy, childbirth, litter size, the number of stillbirths and survival between each group (P>0.05). Propofol also had no effect on polar body extrusion in oocyte maturation as well as on pronucleus formation and, subsequently, early embryo development (P>0.05). An increased concentration of propofol had no effect on this result, although propofol at more than 0.01 mg/ml reduced polar body extrusion. Different concentrations of propofol had no effect on oocyte culture in vitro, pronucleus formation and early embryo development.
Leucine, one of the branched-chain amino acids, is the only amino acid to regulate protein turnover in skeletal muscle. Leucine not only increases muscle protein synthesis, but also decreases muscle protein degradation. It is well documented that leucine plays a positive role in differentiation of murine muscle cells. However, the role of leucine on porcine myoblast differentiation and its mechanism remains unclear. In this study, porcine myoblasts were induced to differentiate with differentiation medium containing different concentrations of leucine, and wortmannin was used to interdict the activity of protein kinase B (Akt). We found that leucine increased the number of myosin heavy chain-positive cells and creatine kinase activity. Moreover, leucine increased the mRNA and protein levels of myogenin and myogenic determining factor (MyoD). In addition, leucine increased the levels of phosphorylated Akt/Akt and phosphorylated Forkhead box O1 (P-FoxO1)/FoxO1, as well as decreased the protein level of FoxO1. However, wortmannin, a specific repressor of PI3K/Akt signalling pathway, attenuated the positive role of leucine on porcine myoblast differentiation. Our results suggest that leucine promotes porcine myoblast differentiation through the Akt/FoxO1 signalling pathway.
The power scaling on mid-infrared Raman fibre lasers (RFLs) is in demand for applications in health, environment and security. In this paper, we present the simulated laser behaviours of the tellurite glass RFLs pumped by 300-W Tm-doped fibre lasers (TDFLs) at
for the first time. By combining the advantages of the TDFLs and tellurite fibre, the output power at
has reached over hundreds of watts by first-order Raman shift. Moreover, the cascaded RFLs have been demonstrated with a wavelength extension greater than
and output power of tens of watts. To maximize the output power and the slope efficiency of the RFLs, we further analyse the interaction between the Raman gain and cavity loss, which are determined by fibre length and output reflectance of the laser cavity.
The intestine plays key roles in maintaining body arginine (Arg) homoeostasis. Meanwhile, the intestine is very susceptible to reactive oxygen species. In light of this, the study aimed to explore the effects of Arg supplementation on intestinal morphology, Arg transporters and metabolism, and the potential protective mechanism of Arg supplementation in piglets under oxidative stress. A total of thirty-six weaned piglets were randomly allocated to six groups with six replicates and fed a base diet (0·95 % Arg,) or base diet supplemented with 0·8 % and 1·6 % l-Arg for 1 week, respectively. Subsequently, a challenge test was conducted by intraperitoneal injection of diquat, an initiator of radical production, or sterile saline. The whole trial lasted 11 d. The diquat challenge significantly decreased plasma Arg concentration at 6 h after injection (P<0·05), lowered villus height in the jejunum and ileum (P<0·05) as well as villus width and crypt depth in the duodenum, jejunum and ileum (P<0·05). Oxidative stress significantly increased cationic amino acid transporter (CAT)-1, CAT-2 and CAT-3, mRNA levels (P<0·05), decreased arginase II (ARGII) and inducible nitric oxide synthase mRNA levels, and increased TNF-α mRNA level in the jejunum (P<0·05). Supplementation with Arg significantly decreased crypt depth (P<0·05), suppressed CAT-1 mRNA expression induced by diquat (P<0·05), increased ARGII and endothelial nitric oxide synthase mRNA levels (P<0·05), and effectively relieved the TNF-α mRNA expression induced by diquat in the jejunum (P<0·05). It is concluded that oxidative stress decreased Arg bioavailability and increased expression of inflammatory cytokines in the jejunum, and that Arg supplementation has beneficial effects in the jejunum through regulation of the metabolism of Arg and suppression of inflammatory cytokine expression in piglets.
To evaluate the effects of different anthropogenic activities on zooplankton and the pelagic ecosystem, we conducted seasonal cruises in 2010 to assess spatial heterogeneity among the mesozooplankton communities of Xiangshan Bay, a subtropical semi-enclosed bay in China. The evaluation included five different areas: a kelp farm, an oyster farm, a fish farm, the thermal discharge area of a power plant, and an artificial reef, and we aimed to identify whether anthropogenic activities dominated spatial variation in the mesozooplankton communities. The results demonstrated clear spatial heterogeneity among the mesozooplankton communities of the studied areas, dominantly driven by natural hydrographic properties, except in the area near the thermal discharge outlet of the power station. In the outlet area, thermal shock caused by the discharge influenced the mesozooplankton community by decreasing abundance and biomass throughout the four seasons, even causing a shift in the dominant species near the outlet during summer from Acartia pacifica to eurythermal and warm water taxa. Unique features of the mesozooplankton community in the oyster farm may be due to the combined effects of oyster culture and the natural environment in the branch harbour. However, kelp and fish culture, and the construction of an artificial reef did not exert any obvious influence on the mesozooplankton communities up to 2010, probably because of the small scale of the aquaculture and a time lag in the rehabilitation effects of the artificial reef. Thus, our results suggested that the dominant factors influencing spatial variations of mesozooplankton communities in Xiangshan Bay were still the natural hydrographic properties, but the thermal discharge was an anthropogenic activity that changed the pelagic ecosystem, and should be supervised.
The present study aimed to identify dietary patterns and explore their associations with blood lipid profiles among Chinese women.
In a cross-sectional study, we identified dietary patterns using principal component analysis of data from three consecutive 24 h dietary recalls. The China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) collected blood samples in the morning after an overnight fast and measured total cholesterol (TC), HDL cholesterol (HDL-C), LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) and TAG.
Data were from the 2009 wave of the CHNS.
We studied 2468 women aged 18–80 years from the CHNS.
We identified three dietary patterns: traditional southern (high intakes of rice, pork and vegetables), snack (high intakes of fruits, eggs and cakes) and Western (high intakes of poultry, fast foods and milk). The traditional southern pattern was inversely associated with HDL-C (β=−0·68; 95 % CI −1·22, −0·14; P<0·05). The snack pattern was significantly associated with higher TAG (β=4·14; 95 % CI 0·44, 7·84; P<0·05). The Western pattern was positively associated with TC (β=2·52; 95 % CI 1·03, 4·02; P<0·01) and LDL-C (β=2·26; 95 % CI 0·86, 3·66; P<0·01).
We identified three dietary patterns that are significantly associated with blood lipid profiles. This information is important for developing interventions and policies addressing dyslipidaemia prevention among Chinese women.
A complete coral succession through the Ordovician–Silurian transition in South China reveals an adaptive phase during the Hirnantian glaciation, followed by an early survival phase and finally a late survival phase that persisted into the early Silurian. We demonstrate that a coral assemblage of latest Hirnantian to earliest Silurian age, remarkably similar to those from the Edgewood fauna known from Laurentia, occurs stratigraphically above the typical Hirnantian fauna. This, in combination with other evidence (e.g. brachiopods, lithology and chemostratigraphy), suggests the Edgewood fauna probably post-dated the early–middle Hirnantian glaciation, rather than being coeval with the older glacial-related Hirnantia fauna. Evidence from South China shows that the Edgewood fauna appeared in the very latest Hirnantian and extended into the middle Rhuddanian, considerably younger than previously believed. Such a new correlation necessitates a reassessment of the influence of the end-Ordovician glaciation on biotas. We argue that this major glaciation probably would have substantially affected the ecosystem even in tropical regions, as shown by the development there of the Hirnantia fauna or, alternatively, the presence of a conspicuous stratigraphic hiatus. This suggests a surprisingly rapid biotic recovery during the subsequent postglacial transgression, represented by the flourishing of comparatively diverse shelly faunas (e.g. the Edgewood fauna and the Cathaysiorthis brachiopod fauna) in nearshore shallow water environments from Laurentia to eastern peri-Gondwana terranes or blocks (e.g. South China).
The CeCo3Ni2 compound was synthesized by arc melting under argon atmosphere. High-quality powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) data of CeCo3Ni2 have been collected using a Rigaku SmartLab X-ray powder diffractometer. The refinement of the XRD pattern for the CeCo3Ni2 compound shows that the CeCo3Ni2 is a hexagonal structure, space group P6/mmm (No.191) with a = b = 4.9081(2) Å, c = 4.0034(2) Å, V = 83.52 Å3, Z = 1, and ρx = 8.6347 g cm−3. The Smith–Snyder FOM F30 = 112.7(0.0089, 30) and the intensity ratio RIR = 0.48.
In the present study, twenty-four Duroc × Landrance × Yorkshire (initial body weight (BW) of 21·82 (sem 2·06) kg) cross-bred pigs were used to determine whether dietary vitamin D supplementation could confer protection against viral infections through the retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) signalling pathway in pigs. Experimental treatments were arranged in a 2 × 2 factorial manner with the main effects of immune challenge (control v. porcine rotavirus (PRV) challenge) and dietary concentrations of vitamin D (200 and 5000 IU; where 1 IU of vitamin D is defined as the biological activity of 0.025 mg of cholecalciferol). The pigs were fed a diet containing 200 or 5000 IU vitamin D in the first week of the study period. On day 8, the pigs were orally dosed with 4 ml of Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium/Ham's F-12 medium containing PRV or essential medium (control). Serum samples were collected on day 8 (pre-challenge), and 6 d after the PRV challenge, the pigs were killed to evaluate intestinal morphology and tissue gene expression following the last blood collection. Pigs challenged with PRV had decreased BW gain (P< 0·01), feed intake (P< 0·01), villus height (P< 0·01), faecal consistency (P< 0·05), and serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D concentration (P< 0·01) and increased (P< 0·01) serum IL-2, IL-6 and interferon (IFN)-β concentrations. Vitamin D supplementation mitigated these effects. The mRNA expression of RIG-I (P< 0·01), IFN-β promoter stimulator 1 (P< 0·01), IFN-β (P< 0·01) and interferon-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) (P< 0·01) was up-regulated by the PRV challenge and vitamin D supplementation in the intestine. In conclusion, vitamin D supplementation could activate the RIG-I signalling pathway and thus alleviate the negative effects caused by PRV challenge.
Low birth weight (LBW) exerts persistent effects on the growth and development of offspring. The present study was conducted to test the hypothesis that LBW alters the response of pigs to high-fat (HF) diet-induced changes in meat quality and skeletal muscle proteome. Normal-birth weight (NBW) and LBW piglets were fed a control diet or a HF diet from weaning to slaughter at 110 kg body weight. Most of the meat quality traits were influenced by LBW. Meat quality analysis revealed that LBW piglets had a greater ability to deposit intramuscular lipids than their heavier littermates when fed a HF diet. Increased shear force, lower pH45min and drip loss were observed in the skeletal muscle of LBW piglets compared with NBW piglets. Proteomic analysis revealed forty-six differentially expressed proteins in the skeletal muscle of LBW and NBW piglets fed the control diet or HF diet. These proteins play a central role in cell structure and motility, glucose and energy metabolism, lipid metabolism, and cellular apoptosis, as well as stress response. Of particular interest is the finding that LBW altered the response to HF diet-induced changes in the expression of proteins related to stress response (heat shock protein) and glucose and energy metabolism (pyruvate kinase, phosphoglycerate mutase, enolase and triosephosphate isomerase). Taken together, our findings revealed that the HF diet-induced changes in the expression of glucose and energy metabolism-related proteins varied between NBW and LBW piglets, which provides a possible mechanism to explain higher intramuscular fat store in LBW pigs when fed a HF diet.
The protective effects of fruits and vegetables against CHD have been suggested by many epidemiological studies among Western populations. However, prospective data are lacking for Asian populations. In the present study, we examined the associations of fruit and vegetable intake with CHD incidence among 67 211 women (aged 40–70 years) and 55 474 men (aged 40–74 years) living in Shanghai, China. Food intake was assessed using validated FFQ through in-person interviews. Coronary events (non-fatal myocardial infarction or fatal CHD) were identified by biennial home visits and further confirmed by medical record review. During a mean follow-up period of 9·8 and 5·4 years, 148 events in women and 217 events in men were documented and verified. After adjustment for potential confounders, women in the highest quartile of total fruit and vegetable intake (median 814 g/d) had a hazard ratio (HR) of 0·62 (95 % CI 0·38, 1·02) for CHD (P for trend = 0·04) compared with those in the lowest quartile (median 274 g/d). This association was primarily driven by fruits (HR for the highest v. the lowest intake in women: 0·62, 95 % CI 0·37, 1·03). The strength of the association was attenuated after further controlling for history of diabetes or hypertension. For men, no significant association was found for fruit and vegetable intake when analysed either in combination or individually. The present findings suggest that a high consumption of fruits may reduce CHD risk in Chinese women.
The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effects of fibre source on intestinal mucosal barrier function in weaning piglets. A total of 125 piglets were randomly allotted on the basis of their body weight and litters to one of five experimental diets, i.e. a control diet without fibre source (CT), and diets in which expanded maize was replaced by 10 % maize fibre (MF), 10 % soyabean fibre (SF), 10 % wheat bran fibre (WBF) or 10 % pea fibre (PF). The diets and water were fed ad libitum for 30 d. Piglets on the WBF and PF diets had lower diarrhoea incidence compared with the MF- and SF-fed animals. A higher ratio of villous height:crypt depth in the ileum of WBF-fed piglets and higher colonic goblet cells in WBF- and PF-fed piglets were observed compared with CT-, MF- and SF-fed piglets. In the intestinal digesta, feeding WBF and PF resulted in increased Lactobacillus counts in the ileum and Bifidobacterium counts in the colon. Lower Escherichia coli counts occurred in the ileum and colon of WBF-fed piglets than in SF-fed piglets. Tight junction protein (zonula occludens 1; ZO-1) and Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) gene mRNA levels were up-regulated in the ileum and colon of pigs fed WBF; however, feeding MF and SF raised IL-1α and TNF-α mRNA levels. Furthermore, higher diamine oxidase activities, transforming growth factor-α, trefoil factor family and MHC-II concentration occurred when feeding WBF and PF. In conclusion, the various fibre sources had different effects on the ileal and colonic barrier function. Clearly, WBF and PF improved the intestinal barrier function, probably mediated by changes in microbiota composition and concomitant changes in TLR2 gene expression.
The brachiopod genus Dicoelosia is generally considered a typical deep-water taxon. New data suggest that some species of the genus may have invaded relatively shallow-water habitats during its geological history. However, there is scant evidence for its invasion of shallow-water environments after the terminal Ordovician mass extinction. Dicoelosia occurs in the shallower-water benthic shelly assemblages of the lower Niuchang Formation (upper Rhuddanian, Llandovery) of Meitan County, northern Guizhou Province, South China. Evidence of a move to shallow water includes its morphology and population structure, regional paleogeography, sedimentology, together with the abundance and diversity of its shallow-water associates. Following the biotic crisis, deep-water environments were barely habitable, and may have driven Dicoelosia into shallower-water niches. The taxon endured the less suitable shallow-water environments until the deep-water benthic zones ameliorated after the recovery, implying a shallow-water refugium existed after the biotic crisis. A new species Dicoelosia cathaysiensis is erected herein. There is only one record of this genus in South China and this unique occurrence may reflect the distinctive paleobiogeography and environments of this region.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the therapeutic effects of osteopontin neutralization treatment on schistosome-induced liver injury in BALB/C mice. We randomly divided 100 BALB/C mice into groups A, B, C, D and group E. Mice in all groups except group A were abdominally infected with schistosomal cercariae to induce a schistosomal hepatopathological model. Mice in group C, D and group E were respectively administered with praziquantel, praziquantel plus colchicine and praziquantel plus neutralizing osteopontin antibody. We extracted mouse liver tissues at 3 and 9 weeks after the ‘stool-eggs-positive’ day, observed liver histopathological changes by haematoxylin-eosin and Masson trichrome staining and detected the expression of osteopontin, alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β1) by immunohistochemistry, RT-PCR and Western blot. We found that praziquantel plus neutralizing osteopontin antibody treatment significantly decreased the granuloma dimension, the percentage of collagen and the expression of osteopontin, α-SMA and TGF-β1 compared to praziquantel plus colchicine treatment in both the acute and chronic stage of schistosomal liver damage (P<0·05). So we believe that the combined regimen of osteopontin immunoneutralization and anti-helminthic treatment can reduce the granulomatous response and liver fibrosis during the schistosomal hepatopathologic course.
Using advanced first-principles calculations, we have studied the structural and electronic properties of graphene/α-Al2O3 interfaces and show that α -Al2O3 is an ideal gate dielectric material for graphene transistors. Clean interface exists between graphene and Al-terminated (or hydroxylated) Al2O3 and the valence band offsets for these systems are large enough to create injection barrier. Remarkably, a band gap of ~180 meV can be induced in graphene layer adsorbed on Al-terminated surface, which is significantly larger than graphene on other popular substrates.