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Although many previous studies reported structural plasticity of the hippocampus and amygdala induced by electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in major depressive disorder (MDD), yet the exact roles of both areas for antidepressant effects are still controversial.
In the current study, segmentation of amygdala and hippocampal sub-regions was used to investigate the longitudinal changes of volume, the relationship between volume and antidepressant effects, and prediction performances for ECT in MDD patients before and after ECT using two independent datasets.
As a result, MDD patients showed selectively and consistently increased volume in the left lateral nucleus, right accessory basal nucleus, bilateral basal nucleus, bilateral corticoamygdaloid transition (CAT), bilateral paralaminar nucleus of the amygdala, and bilateral hippocampus-amygdala transition area (HATA) after ECT in both datasets, whereas marginally significant increase of volume in bilateral granule cell molecular layer of the head of dentate gyrus, the bilateral head of cornu ammonis (CA) 4, and left head of CA 3. Correlation analyses revealed that increased volume of left HATA was significantly associated with antidepressant effects after ECT. Moreover, volumes of HATA in the MDD patients before ECT could be served as potential biomarkers to predict ECT remission with the highest accuracy of 86.95% and 82.92% in two datasets (The predictive models were trained on Dataset 2 and the sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of Dataset 2 were obtained from leave-one-out-cross-validation. Thus, they were not independent and very likely to be inflated).
These results not only suggested that ECT could selectively induce structural plasticity of the amygdala and hippocampal sub-regions associated with antidepressant effects of ECT in MDD patients, but also provided potential biomarkers (especially HATA) for effectively and timely interventions for ECT in clinical applications.
The wheat aphid Sitobion miscanthi (CWA) is an important harmful pest in wheat fields. Insecticide application is the main method to effectively control wheat aphids. However, CWA has developed resistance to some insecticides due to its extensive application, and understanding resistance mechanisms is crucial for the management of CWA. In our study, a new P450 gene, CYP4CJ6, was identified from CWA and showed a positive response to imidacloprid and thiamethoxam. Transcription of CYP4CJ6 was significantly induced by both imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, and overexpression of CYP4CJ6 in the imidacloprid-resistant strain was also observed. The sensitivity of CWA to these two insecticides was increased after the knockdown of CYP4CJ6. These results indicated that CYP4CJ6 could be associated with CWA resistance to imidacloprid and thiamethoxam. Subsequently, the posttranscriptional regulatory mechanism was assessed, and miR-316 was confirmed to participate in the posttranscriptional regulation of CYP4CJ6. These results are crucial for clarifying the roles of P450 in the resistance of CWA to insecticides.
Neuroimaging- and machine-learning-based brain-age prediction of schizophrenia is well established. However, the diagnostic significance and the effect of early medication on first-episode schizophrenia remains unclear.
To explore whether predicted brain age can be used as a biomarker for schizophrenia diagnosis, and the relationship between clinical characteristics and brain-predicted age difference (PAD), and the effects of early medication on predicted brain age.
The predicted model was built on 523 diffusion tensor imaging magnetic resonance imaging scans from healthy controls. First, the brain-PAD of 60 patients with first-episode schizophrenia, 60 healthy controls and 21 follow-up patients from the principal data-set and 40 pairs of individuals in the replication data-set were calculated. Next, the brain-PAD between groups were compared and the correlations between brain-PAD and clinical measurements were analysed.
The patients showed a significant increase in brain-PAD compared with healthy controls. After early medication, the brain-PAD of patients decreased significantly compared with baseline (P < 0.001). The fractional anisotropy value of 31/33 white matter tract features, which related to the brain-PAD scores, had significantly statistical differences before and after measurements (P < 0.05, false discovery rate corrected). Correlation analysis showed that the age gap was negatively associated with the positive score on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale in the principal data-set (r = −0.326, P = 0.014).
The brain age of patients with first-episode schizophrenia may be older than their chronological age. Early medication holds promise for improving the patient's brain ageing. Neuroimaging-based brain-age prediction can provide novel insights into the understanding of schizophrenia.
The Silurian and Devonian plant fossil record is the basis for our understanding of the early evolution of land plants, yet our appreciation of early global phytogeographic evolution has been constrained by the focus of most studies on deposits from Europe, North America, and, more recently, South China. Devonian plants have been recorded rarely from northeastern China, and among previous records, few plants have been illustrated and formally described. In this article, megafossil plants representing a Late Devonian-aged (probably Famennian) flora are described from a locality at northern Sonid Zuoqi, Inner Mongolia, NE China. The flora includes Melvillipteris sonidia new species, Archaeopteris sp., and fragments of some other plants. The new plant shows main axes and two orders of lateral branches. The first-order branches of this plant show a typical zigzag appearance and are borne in pairs on main axes. Second-order branches are straight or slightly flexed, and are borne helically or alternately on first-order branches. Sterile ultimate appendages and fertile structures of M. sonidia n. sp. are borne alternately on second-order branches. An associated palynological assemblage, as well as U-Pb ages of detrital zircon grains from adjacent horizons, are also reported, indicating a Late Devonian age in accord with the megafossil plants. The present study contributes to our appreciation of the Devonian floristic diversity of the Xing'an Block, and, through our review of the record of early vascular plants from NE China, more broadly to the understanding of the mid-latitude vegetation of the Northern Hemisphere during the Late Devonian.
The medium-sized Ergu Fe–Zn polymetallic skarn deposit is located in the central Lesser Xing’an Range, NE China. The ore bodies are mainly hosted in the contact zone between granodiorite intrusions and lower Cambrian dolomitic crystalline limestones or skarns. To reveal the magmatic influence on the mineralization, resource potential and metallogenic geodynamic process of this deposit, a systematic study of the geology, petrology, zircon U–Pb dating, element geochemistry, amphibole geochemistry and Sr–Nd–Pb–Hf isotopes of the Ergu deposit intrusives was conducted. The results show the following: (1) The major rock types in the mine area are medium-grained granodiorite and porphyritic granite, and the rock related to mineralization is medium-grained granodiorite. Zircon U–Pb dating suggests that the granodiorite and porphyritic granite formed at 181.9–183.8 Ma and 182.7 Ma, respectively. Thus, an Early Jurassic magmatic event led to the formation of the Ergu deposit. (2) The granodiorite and porphyritic granite are high-K calc-alkaline I-type granites that formed by comagmatic evolution with varying degrees of fractional crystallization and were likely derived from partial melting of the lower crust. The Ergu deposit occurred in an active continental-margin tectonic setting. (3) The high water content (5.69 wt % H2O), high oxygen fugacity (ΔFMQ = +1.75 to +1.82) and intermediate-plutonic emplacement (3.13 km) of the granodioritic magma are key factors in the formation of the Ergu deposit. The porphyry granite is characterized by high water content (>4 wt % H2O), reduced oxygen fugacity (ΔFMQ = −0.47) and shallow emplacement (<3 km).
This study aimed to explore the impacts of COVID-19 outbreak on mental health status in general population in different affected areas in China.
This was a comparative study including two groups of participants: (1) general population in an online survey in Ya'an and Jingzhou cities during the COVID-19 outbreak from 10–20 February 2020; and (2) matching general population selected from the mental health survey in Ya'an in 2019 (from January to May 2019). General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), Self-rating Anxiety Scale (SAS), and Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS) were used.
There were 1775 participants (Ya'an in 2019 and 2020: 537 respectively; Jingzhou in 2020: 701). Participants in Ya'an had a significantly higher rate of general health problems (GHQ scores ⩾3) in 2020 (14.7%) than in 2019 (5.2%) (p < 0.001). Compared with Ya'an (8.0%), participants in Jingzhou in 2020 had a significantly higher rate of anxiety (SAS scores ⩾50, 24.1%) (p < 0.001). Participants in Ya'an in 2020 had a significantly higher rate of depression (SDS scores ⩾53, 55.3%) than in Jingzhou (16.3%) (p < 0.001). The risk factors of anxiety symptoms included female, number of family members (⩾6 persons), and frequent outdoor activities. The risk factors of depression symptoms included participants in Ya'an and uptake self-protective measures.
The prevalence of psychological symptoms has increased sharply in general population during the COVID-19 outbreak. People in COVID-19 severely affected areas may have higher scores of GHQ and anxiety symptoms. Culture-specific and individual-based psychosocial interventions should be developed for those in need during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has presented an unprecedented challenge to the health-care system across the world. The current study aims to identify the determinants of illness severity of COVID-19 based on ordinal responses. A retrospective cohort of COVID-19 patients from four hospitals in three provinces in China was established, and 598 patients were included from 1 January to 8 March 2020, and divided into moderate, severe and critical illness group. Relative variables were retrieved from electronic medical records. The univariate and multivariate ordinal logistic regression models were fitted to identify the independent predictors of illness severity. The cohort included 400 (66.89%) moderate cases, 85 (14.21%) severe and 113 (18.90%) critical cases, of whom 79 died during hospitalisation as of 28 April. Patients in the age group of 70+ years (OR = 3.419, 95% CI: 1.596–7.323), age of 40–69 years (OR = 1.586, 95% CI: 0.824–3.053), hypertension (OR = 3.372, 95% CI: 2.185–5.202), ALT >50 μ/l (OR = 3.304, 95% CI: 2.107–5.180), cTnI >0.04 ng/ml (OR = 7.464, 95% CI: 4.292–12.980), myohaemoglobin>48.8 ng/ml (OR = 2.214, 95% CI: 1.42–3.453) had greater risk of developing worse severity of illness. The interval between illness onset and diagnosis (OR = 1.056, 95% CI: 1.012–1.101) and interval between illness onset and admission (OR = 1.048, 95% CI: 1.009–1.087) were independent significant predictors of illness severity. Patients of critical illness suffered from inferior survival, as compared with patients in the severe group (HR = 14.309, 95% CI: 5.585–36.659) and in the moderate group (HR = 41.021, 95% CI: 17.588–95.678). Our findings highlight that the identified determinants may help to predict the risk of developing more severe illness among COVID-19 patients and contribute to optimising arrangement of health resources.
Clay often has severe detrimental impacts on cement-based materials. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate the mechanism causing the deterioration to improve the service life of cement-based materials. Based on accurate dimensional analysis, a mechanism that influences clay is proposed: the intercalation of the side chains of superplasticizer molecules in the interlayer space of the clay. To lessen this harmful effect, a new clay-resistant admixture (CRA) possessing cationic groups of small molecular size was synthesized through a novel dimensional design. The length and width of the side chains of this superplasticizer molecule were 9.50–17.50 and 0.25–0.40 nm, respectively, with a radius of ~3.74 nm in solvent, which is larger than the interlayer spacing of montmorillonite (i.e. 1.09–2.14 nm). The longitudinal and latitudinal lengths of the CRA molecule were 0.468 and 9.456 nm, respectively, ensuring intercalation in the interlayer of montmorillonite. The increase in interlayer spacing of the clay was 0.364 nm following addition of polycarboxylate superplasticizer (PCE) plus CRA and 0.632 nm following addition of PCE, which suggests that the CRA plays the role of a ‘sacrificial agent’ that is preferentially intercalated into the interlayer space of clay to further prevent the side chains of the superplasticizer molecules from entering the interlayer. The aim of this study was to propose a suitable means of synthesizing a new CRA to address the impact of clay through dimensional design and mechanism analysis, which contributes to the theoretical study and technological improvement of cement-based materials.
This study aimed to examine the efficacy of combining paroxetine and mirtazapine v. switching to mirtazapine, for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) who have had an insufficient response to SSRI monotherapy (paroxetine) after the first 2 weeks of treatment.
This double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, three-arm study recruited participants from five hospitals in China. Eligible participants were aged 18–60 years with MDD of at least moderate severity. Participants received paroxetine during a 2-week open-label phase and patients who had not achieved early improvement were randomized to paroxetine, mirtazapine or paroxetine combined with mirtazapine for 6 weeks. The primary outcome was improvement on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression 17-item (HAMD-17) scores 6 weeks after randomization.
A total of 204 patients who showed early non-response to paroxetine monotherapy were randomly assigned to receive either mirtazapine and placebo (n = 68), paroxetine and placebo (n = 68) or mirtazapine and paroxetine (n = 68), with 164 patients completing the outcome assessment. At week 8, the least squares (LS) mean change of HAMD-17 scores did not significantly differ among the three groups, (12.98 points) in the mirtazapine group, (12.50 points) in the paroxetine group and (13.27 points) in the mirtazapine plus paroxetine combination group. Participants in the paroxetine monotherapy group were least likely to experience adverse effects.
After 8 weeks follow-up, paroxetine monotherapy, mirtazapine monotherapy and paroxetine/mirtazapine combination therapy were equally effective in non-improvers at 2 weeks. The results of this trial do not support a recommendation to routinely offer additional treatment or a switch in treatment strategies for MDD patients who do not show early improvement after 2 weeks of antidepressant treatment.
The seminiferous tubule (ST) is the location of spermatogenesis, where mature spermatozoa are produced with the assistance of Sertoli cells. The role of extracellular vesicles in the direct communication between Sertoli-germ cells in the ST is still not fully understood. In this study, we reported multivesicular bodies (MVBs) and their source of CD63-enriched exosomes by light and ultrastructure microscopy during the reproductive phases of turtles. Strong CD63 immunopositivity was detected at the basal region in the early and luminal regions of the ST during late spermatogenesis by immunohistochemistry (IHC), immunofluorescence (IF), and western blot (WB) analysis. Labeling of CD63 was detected in the Sertoli cell cytoplasmic processes that surround the developing germ cells during early spermatogenesis and in the lumen of the ST with elongated spermatids during late spermatogenesis. Furthermore, ultrastructure analysis confirmed the existence of numerous MVBs in the Sertoli cell prolongations that surround the round and primary spermatogonia during acrosome biogenesis and with the embedded heads of spermatids in the cytoplasm of Sertoli cells. Additionally, in spermatids, Chrysanthemum flower centers (CFCs) generated isolated membranes involved in MVBs and autophagosome formation, and their fusion to form amphiosomes was also observed. Additionally, autophagy inhibition by 3-methyladenine (after 24 h) increased CD63 protein signals during late spermatogenesis, as detected by IF and WB. Collectively, our study found MVBs and CD63 rich exosomes within the Sertoli cells and their response to autophagy inhibition in the ST during the spermatogenesis in the turtle.
Employing atomic-scale simulations, the response of a high-angle grain boundary (GB), the soft/hard GB, against external loading was systematically investigated. Under tensile loading close to the hard orientation, strain-induced dynamic recrystallization was observed to initiate through direct soft-to-hard grain reorientation, which was triggered by stress mismatch, inhibited by surface tension from the soft-hard GB, and proceeded by interface ledges. Such grain reorientation corresponds with expansion and contraction of the hard grain along and perpendicular to the loading direction, respectively, accompanied by local atomic shuffling, providing relatively large normal strain of 8.3% with activation energy of 0.04 eV per atom. Tensile strain and residual dislocations on the hard/soft GB facilitate the initiation of dynamic recrystallization by lowering the energy barrier and the critical stress for grain reorientation, respectively.
An experiment was conducted to determine the effects of supplementing different amounts of daidzein in a diet on the growth performance, blood biochemical parameters and meat quality of finishing beef cattle. Thirty finishing Xianan steers were distributed in three groups equilibrated by weight and fed three different dietary treatments (concentrate ratio = 80%): (1) control; (2) 500 mg/kg daidzein and (3) 1000 mg/kg daidzein, respectively. Steers were slaughtered after an 80-day feeding trial. Results showed that daidzein supplementation had no effect on the final body weight, average daily gain and feed conversion rate of steers. Steers fed with 1000 mg/kg daidzein had greater dry matter intake than those fed with control diets. Compared with the control group, the 1000 mg/kg daidzein group had a higher fat thickness, lower shear force and lightness. The pH, drip loss, cooking loss, redness (a*), yellowness (b*), moisture, ash, crude protein and intramuscular fat of the Longissimus dorsi muscle were unaffected by daidzein supplementation. Compared with the control group, the 1000 mg/kg daidzein group significantly increased the serum concentrations of insulin, free fatty acid and Glutamic-pyruvic transaminase. The 500 mg/kg daidzein group significantly increased the serum concentration of tetraiodothyronine compared with the control group. Supplemental daidzein did not affect the blood antioxidant ability and blood immune parameters in serum. In conclusion, daidzein supplementation above 500 mg/day modifies feed intake and metabolic and hormonal profile, with positive and negative effects on meat quality.
Minimally invasive surgery is a developing direction of modern medicine. With the successful development of controllable capsule endoscopies, capsule robots are very popular in the field of gastrointestinal medicine. At present, the study of intestinal robots is aimed at the pipeline environment of a single-phase liquid flow. But there exist food residues (i.e. solid particles) or liquid foods in the actual intestine, so intestinal fluid should be liquid–solid or liquid–liquid two-phase mixed fluid. For inner spiral capsule robots with different internal diameters and outer spiral capsule robots, using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method, the operational performance indicators (i.e. axial thrust force, circumferential resisting moment and maximum pressure to pipeline wall) of spiral capsule robots are numerically calculated in the liquid–solid or liquid–liquid two-phase mixed fluid. By the orthogonal experimental optimization method, the optimum design of spiral capsule robots is obtained in the liquid–solid mixed fluid. The experimental verification has been also carried out. The results show that in the liquid–solid two-phase fluid, the axial thrust force and circumferential resisting moment of the spiral capsule robots decrease with the increase of the size or concentration of solid particles. In the same liquid–solid or liquid–liquid mixed fluid, the operational performance indicators of outer spiral robots are much higher than those of inner spiral robots, and the operational performance indicators of inner spiral robots with bigger internal diameters are higher than those with smaller internal diameters. Adding solid particles of high concentration in the pipeline containing liquid will reduce the drive performance of spiral capsule robots, but adding another liquid of high viscosity will improve the drive performance of spiral capsule robots.
To develop an artificial intelligence (AI)-based algorithm which can automatically detect food items from images acquired by an egocentric wearable camera for dietary assessment.
To study human diet and lifestyle, large sets of egocentric images were acquired using a wearable device, called eButton, from free-living individuals. Three thousand nine hundred images containing real-world activities, which formed eButton data set 1, were manually selected from thirty subjects. eButton data set 2 contained 29 515 images acquired from a research participant in a week-long unrestricted recording. They included both food- and non-food-related real-life activities, such as dining at both home and restaurants, cooking, shopping, gardening, housekeeping chores, taking classes, gym exercise, etc. All images in these data sets were classified as food/non-food images based on their tags generated by a convolutional neural network.
A cross data-set test was conducted on eButton data set 1. The overall accuracy of food detection was 91·5 and 86·4 %, respectively, when one-half of data set 1 was used for training and the other half for testing. For eButton data set 2, 74·0 % sensitivity and 87·0 % specificity were obtained if both ‘food’ and ‘drink’ were considered as food images. Alternatively, if only ‘food’ items were considered, the sensitivity and specificity reached 85·0 and 85·8 %, respectively.
The AI technology can automatically detect foods from low-quality, wearable camera-acquired real-world egocentric images with reasonable accuracy, reducing both the burden of data processing and privacy concerns.
In this work, the reduction mechanism of potassium chromate (K2CrO4) was investigated via in situ high-temperature X-ray diffraction coupled with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. During the hydrogen reduction of K2CrO4, the formation of K3CrO4, KCrO2, and KxCrO2 were detected for the first time. The study discovered that K2CrO4 was firstly reduced to K3CrO4 and an amorphous Cr(III) intermediate product at low temperature (400–500 °C). Moreover, the K3CrO4 was the only crystalline material at this stage. As the temperature increased, a stabilized amorphous CrOOH was formed. At a high temperature (550–700 °C), KCrO2 was generated. Interestingly, a portion of KCrO2 was spontaneously decomposed during the hydrogen reduction, accompanying by the formation of K0.7CrO2. Finally, the results clearly illustrated the reduction mechanism of K2CrO4: K2CrO4 → K3CrO4 → amorphous intermediate → KCrO2.
Trichinella spiralis is a parasitic helminth that can infect almost all mammals, including humans. Trichinella spiralis infection elicits a typical type 2 immune responses, while suppresses type 1 immune responses, which is in favour of their parasitism. DNA vaccines have been shown to be capable of eliciting balanced CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses as well as humoral immune responses in small-animal models, which will be advantage to induce protective immune response against helminth infection. In this study, serine protease (Ts-NBLsp) was encoded by a cDNA fragment of new-born T. spiralis larvae, and was inserted after CMV promoter to construct a DNA vaccine [pcDNA3·1(+)-Ts-NBLsp]. Ts-NBLsp expression was demonstrated by immunofluorescence. Sera samples were obtained from vaccinated mice, and they showed strong anti-Ts-NBLsp-specific IgG response. Mice immunized with the pcDNA3·1(+)-Ts-NBLsp DNA vaccine showed a 77·93% reduction in muscle larvae (ML) following challenge with T. spiralis ML. Our results demonstrate that the vaccination with pcDNA3·1(+)-Ts-NBLsp plasmid promoted the balance of type 1 and 2 immune responses and produced a significant protection against T. spiralis infection in mice.
Inspired by sea sponges, porous Al2O3/starch composite sponges were designed and fabricated as a new controlled release system enabling mechano-triggered logic delivery of molecules. Results of material characterization indicate that the all the composite sponges had a high macro-porosity of >80%, and dehydrated sponges revealed favorable pore structure for drug loading and retaining. The composite sponges have moisture-dependent mechanical properties and samples with appropriate moisture contents revealed high resilience and mechanical robustness under cyclic deformation. Based on the unique mechanical properties of the composite sponge, mechanically modulated, nano-gram precision delivery of model molecules was achieved in an AND logic manner gated by both moisture and compressive strain.
The present study investigated alteration of brain resting-state activity induced by antidepressant treatment and attempted to investigate whether treatment efficacy can be predicted at an early stage of pharmacological treatment.
Forty-eight first-episode medication-free patients diagnosed with major depression received treatment with escitalopram. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging was administered prior to treatment, 5 h after the first dose, during the course of pharmacological treatment (week 4) and at endpoint (week 8). Resting-state activity was evaluated in the course of the 8-week treatment and in relation to clinical improvement.
Escitalopram dynamically modified resting-state activity in depression during the treatment. After 5 h the antidepressant induced a significant decrease in the signal in the occipital cortex and an increase in the dorsolateral and dorsomedial prefrontal cortices and middle cingulate cortex. Furthermore, while remitters demonstrated more obvious changes following treatment, these were more modest in non-responders suggesting possible tonic and dynamic differences in the serotonergic system. Changes after 5 h in the caudate, occipital and temporal cortices were the best predictor of clinical remission at endpoint.
This study revealed the possibility of using the measurement of resting-state neural changes a few hours after acute administration of antidepressant to identify individuals likely to remit after a few weeks of treatment.