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Diarrhea caused by pathogens such as enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) is a serious threat to the health of young animals and human infants. Here, we investigated the protective effect of fructooligosaccharides (FOS) on the intestinal epithelium with ETEC-challenge in a weaned piglet model. Twenty-four weaned piglets were randomly divided into three groups: (1) non-ETEC-challenged control (CON), (2) ETEC-challenged control (ECON), and (3) ETEC challenge + 2.5 g/kg FOS (EFOS). On day 19, the CON pigs were orally infused with sterile culture, while the ECON and EFOS pigs were orally infused with active ETEC (2.5 × 109 colony-forming units). On day 21, pigs were slaughtered to collect venous blood and small intestine. Result showed that the pre-treatment of FOS improved the antioxidant capacity and the integrity of intestinal barrier in the ETEC-challenged pigs without affecting their growth performance. Specifically, comparing with ECON pigs, the level of GSH-Px (glutathione peroxidase) and CAT (catalase) in the plasma and intestinal mucosa of EFOS pigs was increased (P<0.05), and the intestinal barrier marked by ZO-1 and plasmatic DAO was also improved in EFOS pigs. A lower level (P<0.05) of inflammatory cytokines in the intestinal mucosa of EFOS pigs might be involved in the inhibition of TLR4/MYD88/NF-κB pathway. The apoptosis of jejunal cells in EFOS pigs was also lower than that in ECON pigs (P<0.05). Our findings provide convincing evidence of possible prebiotic and protective effect of FOS on the maintenance of intestinal epithelial function under the attack of pathogens.
Productivity studies in the AEC industry has gained significant attention in the past decade, however the impact from actual industry application has not kept up. This could be attributed to the focus on construction productivity instead of engineering productivity. This paper presents a systematic literature review on engineering design productivity in AEC industry focusing on design research method applications.
Poor utilisation efficiency of carbohydrate always leads to metabolic phenotypes in fish. The intestinal microbiota plays an important role in carbohydrate degradation. Whether the intestinal bacteria could alleviate high-carbohydrate diet (HCD)-induced metabolic phenotypes in fish remains unknown. Here, a strain affiliated to Bacillus amyloliquefaciens was isolated from the intestine of Nile tilapia. A basal diet (CON), HCD or HCD supplemented with B. amy SS1 (HCB) was used to feed fish for 10 weeks. The beneficial effects of B. amy SS1 on weight gain and protein accumulation were observed. Fasting glucose and lipid deposition were decreased in the HCB group compared with the HCD group. High-throughput sequencing showed that the abundance of acetate-producing bacteria was increased in the HCB group relative to the HCD group. Gas chromatographic analysis indicated that the concentration of intestinal acetate was increased dramatically in the HCB group compared with that in the HCD group. Glucagon-like peptide-1 was also increased in the intestine and serum of the HCB group. Thus, fish were fed with HCD, HCD supplemented with sodium acetate at 900 mg/kg (HLA), 1800 mg/kg (HMA) or 3600 mg/kg (HHA) diet for 8 weeks, and the HMA and HHA groups mirrored the effects of B. amy SS1. This study revealed that B. amy SS1 could alleviate the metabolic phenotypes caused by HCD by enriching acetate-producing bacteria in fish intestines. Regulating the intestinal microbiota and their metabolites might represent a powerful strategy for fish nutrition modulation and health maintenance in future.
A deep ice core was drilled at Dome A, Antarctic Plateau, East Antarctica, which started with the installation of a casing in January 2012 and reached 800.8 m in January 2017. To date, a total of 337 successful ice-core drilling runs have been conducted, including 118 runs to drill the pilot hole. The total drilling time was 52 days, of which eight days were required for drilling down and reaming the pilot hole, and 44 days for deep ice coring. The average penetration depths of individual runs were 1 and 3.1 m for the pilot hole drilling and deep ice coring, respectively. The quality of the ice cores was imperfect in the brittle zone (650−800 m). Some of the troubles encountered are discussed for reference, such as armoured cable knotting, screws falling into the hole bottom, and damaged parts, among others.
Subglacial lake exploration is of great interest to the science community. RECoverable Autonomous Sonde (RECAS) provides an exploration tool to measure and sample subglacial lake environments while the subglacial lake remains isolated from the glacier surface and atmosphere. This paper presents an electronic control system design of 200 m prototype of RECAS. The proposed electronic control system consists of a surface system, a downhole control system, and a power transfer and communication system. The downhole control system is the core element of RECAS, and is responsible for sonde status monitoring, sonde motion control, subglacial water sampling and in situ analysis. A custom RS485 temperature sensor was developed to cater for the limited size and depth requirements of the system. We adopted a humidity-based measurement to monitor for a housing leak. This condition is because standard leak detection monitoring of water conductivity may be inapplicable to pure ice in Antarctica. A water sampler control board was designed to control the samplers and monitor the on/off state. A high-definition camera system with built-in storage and self-heating ability was designed to perform the video recording in the subglacial lake. The proposed electronic control system is proven effective after a series of tests.
Social cognition has not previously been assessed in treatment-naive patients with chronic schizophrenia, in patients over 60 years of age, or in patients with less than 5 years of schooling.
We revised a commonly used measure of social cognition, the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET), by expanding the instructions, using both self-completion and interviewer-completion versions (for illiterate respondents), and classifying each test administration as ‘successfully completed’ or ‘incomplete’. The revised instrument (RMET-CV-R) was administered to 233 treatment-naive patients with chronic schizophrenia (UT), 154 treated controls with chronic schizophrenia (TC), and 259 healthy controls (HC) from rural communities in China.
In bivariate and multivariate analyses, successful completion rates and RMET-CV-R scores (percent correct judgments about emotion exhibited in 70 presented slides) were highest in HC, intermediate in TC, and lowest in UT (adjusted completion rates, 97.0, 72.4, and 49.9%, respectively; adjusted RMET-CV-R scores, 45.4, 38.5, and 34.6%, respectively; all p < 0.02). Stratified analyses by the method of administration (self-completed v. interviewer-completed) and by education and age (‘educated-younger’ v. ‘undereducated-older’) show the same relationship between groups (i.e. NC>TC>UT), though not all differences remain statistically significant.
We find poorer social cognition in treatment-naive than in treated patients with chronic schizophrenia. The discriminant validity of RMET-CV-R in undereducated, older patients demonstrates the feasibility of administering revised versions of RMET to patients who may otherwise be considered ineligible due to education or age by changing the method of test administration and carefully assessing respondents' ability to complete the task successfully.
To explore the effect of manno-oligosaccharide (MOS) on intestinal health in weaned pigs upon enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli K88 (ETEC) challenge, thirty-two male weaned pigs were randomly assigned into four groups. Pigs fed with a basal diet or basal diet containing MOS (0·6 g/kg) were orally infused with ETEC or culture medium. Results showed that MOS significantly elevated the digestibility of crude protein and gross energy in both ETEC-challenged and non-challenged pigs (P < 0·05). MOS also elevated serum concentrations of IgA and IgM (P < 0·05), but decreased serum concentrations of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 (P < 0·05) in ETEC-challenged pigs. Interestingly, MOS increased villus height and the ratio of villus height:crypt depth in duodenum and ileum (P < 0·05). MOS also increased duodenal sucrase and ileal lactase activity in ETEC-challenged pigs (P < 0·05). MOS decreased the abundance of E. coli, but increased the abundance of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Bacillus in caecum (P < 0·05). Importantly, MOS not only elevated the expression levels of zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1), claudin-1 and GLUT-2 in duodenum (P < 0·05) but also elevated the expression levels of ZO-1, GLUT-2 and L-type amino acid transporter-1 in ileum (P < 0·05) upon ETEC challenge. These results suggested that MOS can alleviate inflammation and intestinal injury in weaned pigs upon ETEC challenge, which was associated with suppressed secretion of inflammatory cytokines and elevated serum Ig, as well as improved intestinal epithelium functions and microbiota.
Primary liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Most patients are diagnosed at late stages with poor prognosis; thus, identification of modifiable risk factors for primary prevention of liver cancer is urgently needed. The well-established risk factors of liver cancer include chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV), heavy alcohol consumption, metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes, and aflatoxin exposure. However, a large proportion of cancer cases worldwide cannot be explained by current known risk factors. Dietary factors have been suspected as important, but dietary aetiology of liver cancer remains poorly understood. In this review, we summarised and evaluated the observational studies of diet including single nutrients, food and food groups, as well as dietary patterns with the risk of developing liver cancer. Although there are large knowledge gaps between diet and liver cancer risk, current epidemiological evidence supports an important role of diet in liver cancer development. For example, exposure to aflatoxin, heavy alcohol drinking and possibly dairy product (not including yogurt) intake increase, while intake of coffee, fish and tea, light-to-moderate alcohol drinking and several healthy dietary patterns (e.g. Alternative Healthy Eating Index) may decrease liver cancer risk. Future studies with large sample size and accurate diet measurement are warranted and need to consider issues such as the possible aetiological heterogeneity between liver cancer subtypes, the influence of chronic HBV or HCV infection, the high-risk populations (e.g. cirrhosis) and a potential interplay with host gut microbiota or genetic variations.
Here, we explored the influences of dietary inulin (INU) supplementation on growth performance and intestinal health in a porcine model. Thirty-two male weaned pigs (with an average body weight of 7·10 (sd 0·20) kg) were randomly assigned to four treatments and fed with a basal diet (BD) or BD containing 2·5, 5·0 and 10·0 g/kg INU. After a 21-d trial, pigs were killed for collection of serum and intestinal tissues. We show that INU supplementation had no significant influence on the growth performance in weaned pigs. INU significantly elevated serum insulin-like growth factor-1 concentration but decreased diamine oxidase concentration (P < 0·05). Interestingly, 2·5 and 5·0 g/kg INU supplementation significantly elevated the villus height in jejunum and ileum (P < 0·05). Moreover, 2·5 and 5·0 g/kg INU supplementation also elevated the villus height to crypt depth (V:C) in the duodenum and ileum and improved the distribution and abundance of tight-junction protein zonula occludens-1 in duodenum and ileum epithelium. INU supplementation at 10·0 g/kg significantly elevated the sucrase activity in the ileum mucosa (P < 0·05). INU supplementation decreased the expression level of TNF-α but elevated the expression level of GLUT 2 and divalent metal transporter 1 in the intestinal mucosa (P < 0·05). Moreover, INU increased acetic and butyric acid concentrations in caecum (P < 0·05). Importantly, INU elevated the Lactobacillus population but decreased the Escherichia coli population in the caecum (P < 0·05). These results not only indicate a beneficial effect of INU on growth performance and intestinal barrier functions but also offer potential mechanisms behind the dietary fibre-regulated intestinal health.
We analyzed characteristics of tornado-related injuries and medical impact on a county-level hospital in China in June 23, 2016. The objective of this study was to describe and analyze local government rescue responses following the tornado.
County hospital medical records of 288 tornado-related injury patients were collected. Descriptive analyses to study injury characteristics and associated risk factors were performed.
Of the studied population, 84% of the wounded were older than 45 years. Only 30 (10.4%) people were sent to the hospital for treatment within 3 hours following the disaster. Heavy objects or collapsing houses accounted for 191 (66.3%) of the documented injuries. The proportion of people with resulting brain injuries was 46.2% of the entire injured population, and the incidence of lower extremity injuries was 27.8%. A total of 89.6% of the wounded had skin and soft tissue injuries. Multiple injuries were found in 129 (44.8%) people and 156 had a single injury (54.2%), and 3 cases with acute stress disorder were admitted to the hospital.
Preparation plans, including tornado warnings, prevention, and rescue, are a basic requirement for the mitigation of tornado-related injuries. Protection awareness of tornado disasters is also critical to ensure injury prevention.
The associations between grains and carbohydrate intake and type 2 diabetes mellitus are controversial. This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between grains, carbohydrate intakes and the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in China.
Materials and Methods
This was a 1:2 (sex/age) matched case-control study, participants were adults. Cases were diabetics diagnosed within 3 months and the controls were without disorder of glucose metabolism. Face-to-face interviews were conducted to collect information on their socio-demographic characteristics, lifestyle factors, and dietary intakes using structured questionnaires. Grains were divided into whole, refined and common grain, and the carbohydrate intake was also calculated. The study participants were divided into quartiles (Q1 (lowest), Q2, Q3, and Q4) by food and nutrients intakes separately. Multivariable conditional logistic regression was used to explore the association of foods and nutrients with type 2 diabetes mellitus after adjusting for potential confounders. Trend test were performed by treating quartiles variables as continuous variables.
Results and Discussion
Our study enrolled 384 type 2 diabetes mellitus patients (males 162, females 222) and 768 controls (males 324, females 444). Multivariable conditional logistic regression analysis(Ver. 21.0; PSS Inc.,Chicago,IL,USA) showed that moderate amount intake of total cereals was inversely associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The adjusted OR of the second quartile (Q2, 223g/d) and the third quartile (Q3, 255g/d) were 0.60(95%CI:0.38–0.93) and 0.51(95%CI:0.33–0.79), respectively, compared with the lowest quartile (Q1, 165g/d), but this inverse association was not found in the highest quartile (Q4, 307g/d) and the OR was 0.74(95%CI:0.47–1.15). There was significant negative association between whole grains intake and type 2 diabetes mellitus with the OR of the highest intake 0.48(95%CI:0.31–0.77) compared with the lowest intake(Ptrend = 0.001).No association was found between refined grains intake intake and type 2 diabetes mellitus, and neither did common grain intake. Higher carbohydrate intake may have a beneficial effect on type 2 diabetes mellitus. The best effect was found in the second quartile intake (Q2, 264g/d), with an adjusted OR of 0.56 (95%CI:0.37–0.84) compared with the lowest quartile intake (Q1, 220g/d).The OR of Q3 (285g/d) and Q4 (334g/d) were 0.69 (95%CI:0.48–1.00) and 0.66 (95CI:0.44–1.00) respectively(Ptrend p = 0.017).
Moderate amount of total cereals intake may benefit to type 2 diabetes mellitus, however, much lower and higher intake can increase the risk. Higher intake of whole grains was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Carbohydrate intake was negative associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
In the laser plasma interaction of quantum electrodynamics (QED)-dominated regime, γ-rays are generated due to synchrotron radiation from high-energy electrons traveling in a strong background electromagnetic field. With the aid of 2D particle-in-cell code including QED physics, we investigate the preplasma effect on the γ-ray generation during the interaction between an ultraintense laser pulse and solid targets. We found that with the increasing preplasma scale length, the γ-ray emission is enhanced significantly and finally reaches a steady state. Meanwhile, the γ-ray beam becomes collimated. This shows that, in some cases, the preplasmas will be piled up acting as a plasma mirror in the underdense preplasma region, where the γ-rays are produced by the collision between the forward electrons and the reflected laser fields from the piled plasma. The piled plasma plays the same role as the usual reflection mirror made from a solid target. Thus, a single solid target with proper scale length preplasma can serve as a manufactural and robust γ-ray source.
The present study aimed to investigate whether arginine (Arg) promotes porcine type I muscle fibres formation via improving mitochondrial biogenesis. In the in vivo study, a total of sixty Duroc × Landrace × Yorkshire weaning piglets with an average body weight of 6·55 (sd 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-Arg, respectively, in a 4-week trial. Results showed that dietary supplementation of 1·0 % Arg significantly enhanced the activity of succinate dehydrogenase, up-regulated the protein expression of myosin heavy chain I (MyHC I) and increased the mRNA levels of MyHC I, troponin I1, C1 and T1 (Tnni1, Tnnc1 and Tnnt1) in longissimus dorsi muscle compared with the control group. In addition, ATPase staining analysis indicated that 1·0 % Arg supplementation significantly increased the number of type I muscle fibres and significantly decreased the number of type II muscle fibres. Furthermore, 1·0 % Arg supplementation significantly up-regulated PPAR-γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α), sirtuin 1 and cytochrome c (Cytc) protein expressions, increased PGC-1α, nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF1), mitochondria transcription factor B1 (TFB1M), Cytc and ATP synthase subunit C1 (ATP5G) 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 fibres formation. Together, our results provide for the first time the evidence that Arg promotes porcine type I muscle fibres formation through improvement of mitochondrial biogenesis.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have consistently revealed that a variant of microRNA 137 (MIR137) shows a quite significant association with schizophrenia. Identifying the network of genes regulated by MIR137 could provide insights into the biological processes underlying schizophrenia. In addition, DLPFC functional connectivity, a robust correlate of MIR137, may provide plausible endophenotypes. However, the regulatory role of the MIR137 gene network in the disrupted functional connectivity remains unclear. Here, we tested the effects of the MIR137 regulated genes on the risk for schizophrenia and DLPFC functional connectivity.
To evaluate the additive effects of the MIR137 regulated genes (N = 1274), we calculated a MIR137 polygenic risk score (PRS) for schizophrenia and tested its association with the risk for schizophrenia in the genomic data of a Han Chinese population that included schizophrenia patients (N = 589) and normal controls (N = 575). We then investigated the association between MIR137 PRS and DLPFC functional connectivity in two independent young healthy cohorts (N = 356 and N = 314).
We found that the MIR137 PRS successfully captured the differences in genetic structure between the patients and controls, but the single gene MIR137 did not. We then consistently found that a higher MIR137 PRS was correlated with lower functional connectivities between the DLPFC and both the superior parietal cortex and the inferior temporal cortex in two independent cohorts.
The findings suggested that these two functional connectivities of the DLPFC could be important endophenotypes linking the MIR137-regulated genetic structure to schizophrenia.
Underground Nuclear Astrophysics in China (JUNA) will take the advantage of the ultra-low background in Jinping underground lab. High current accelerator with an ECR source and detectors were commissioned. JUNA plans to study directly a number of nuclear reactions important to hydrostatic stellar evolution at their relevant stellar energies. At the first period, JUNA aims at the direct measurements of 25Mg(p,γ)26 Al, 19F(p,α) 16 O, 13C(α, n) 16O and 12C(α,γ) 16O near the Gamow window. The current progress of JUNA will be given.
Limited information is available on the prevalence and effect of hypertriglyceridaemic–waist (HTGW) phenotype on the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in rural populations.
In the present cross-sectional study, we investigated the prevalence of the HTGW phenotype and T2DM and the strength of their association among rural adults in China.
HTGW was defined as TAG >1·7 mmol/l and waist circumference (WC) ≥90 cm for males and ≥80 cm for females. Logistic regression analysis yielded adjusted odds ratios (aOR) relating risk of T2DM with HTGW.
Adults (n 12 345) aged 22·83–92·58 years were recruited from July to August of 2013 and July to August of 2014 from a rural area of Henan Province in China.
The prevalence of HTGW and T2DM was 23·71 % (males: 15·35 %; females: 28·88 %) and 11·79 % (males: 11·15 %; females: 12·18 %), respectively. After adjustment for sex, age, smoking, alcohol drinking, blood pressure, physical activity and diabetic family history, the risk of T2DM (aOR; 95 % CI) was increased with HTGW (v. normal TAG and WC: 3·23; CI 2·53, 4·13; males: 3·37; 2·30, 4·92; females: 3·41; 2·39, 4·85). The risk of T2DM with BMI≥28·0 kg/m2, simple enlarged WC and simple disorders of lipid metabolism showed an increasing tendency (aOR=1·31, 1·75 and 2·32).
The prevalence of HTGW and T2DM has reached an alarming level among rural Chinese people, and HTGW is a significant risk factor for T2DM.
Hepatitis B constitutes a severe public health challenge in China. The Community-based Collaborative Innovation hepatitis B (CCI-HBV) project is a national epidemiological study of hepatitis B and has been conducting a comprehensive intervention in southern Zhejiang since 2009.
The comprehensive intervention in CCI-HBV areas includes the dynamic hepatitis B screening in local residents, the normalised treatment for hepatitis B infections and the upcoming full-aged hepatitis B vaccination. After two rounds of screening (each round taking for 4 years), the initial epidemiological baseline of hepatitis B in Qinggang was obtained, a coastal community in east China. By combining key data and system dynamics modelling, the regional hepatitis B epidemic in 20 years was predicted.
There were 1041 HBsAg positive cases out of 12 228 people in Round 1 indicating HBV prevalence of 8.5%. Of the 13 146 people tested in Round 2, 1171 people were HBsAg positive, with a prevalence of 8.9%. By comparing the two rounds of screening, the HBV incidence rate of 0.192 per 100 person-years was observed. By consulting electronic medical records, the HBV onset rate of 0.533 per 100 person-years was obtained. We generated a simulated model to replicate the real-world situation for the next two decades. To evaluate the effect of interventions on regional HBV prevalence, three comparative experiments were conducted.
In this study, the regional hepatitis B epidemic in 20 years was predicted and compared with HBV prevalence under different interventions. Owing to the existing challenges in research methodology, this study combined HBV field research and simulation to provide a system dynamics model with close-to-real key data to improve prediction accuracy. The simulation also provided a prompt guidance for the field implementation.
In 2010, we published our stroke prevention clinic’s performance as compared to Canadian stroke prevention guidelines. We now compare our clinic’s adherence with guidelines to our previous results, following the implementation of an electronic documentation form.
All new patients referred to our clinic (McGill University Health Center) for recent transient ischemic attack (TIA) or ischemic stroke between 2014 and 2017 were included. We compared adherence to guidelines to our previous report (N=408 patients for period 2008–2010) regarding vascular risk management and treatment.
Three hundred and ninety-two patients were included, of which 36% had a TIA and 64% had an ischemic stroke, with a mean age of 70 years and 43% female. Although the more recent cohort has shown a higher proportion of cardioembolic stroke compared to previous (19.1% vs. 14.7%) following new guidelines regarding prolonged cardiac monitoring, increased popularity in CT angiography has not translated into greater proportion of large-artery stroke subtype (26.3% vs. 26.2%). Blood pressure (BP) targets were achieved in 83% compared with 70% in our previous report (p<0.01). Attainment of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol target was also improved in our recent study (66% vs. 46%, p<0.01). No significant difference was found in the consistency of antithrombotic use (97.7% vs. 99.8%, p=0.08). However, there was a decline in smoking cessation (35% vs. 73%, p=0.02). Overall, optimal therapy status was better attained in the present cohort compared to the previous one (52% vs. 22%, p<0.01). The male sex was associated with better attainment of optimal therapy status (odds ratio, 1.61; 95% confidence interval, 1.04–2.51). The number of follow-up visits and the length of follow-up were not associated with attainment of stroke prevention targets.
Our study shows improvement in attainment of therapeutic goals as recommended by Canadian stroke prevention guidelines, possibly attributed in part to the implementation of electronic medical recording in our clinic. Areas for improvement include smoking cessation counseling and diabetes screening.
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.
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.