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Developing alternatives to antibiotics is an urgent need in livestock production. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are regarded as powerful antibiotic substitutes (ASs) because AMPs have broad-spectrum antimicrobial activities and growth-promoting ability. Here, we aimed to comprehensively assess the effects of AMPs on the growth performance, diarrhea rate, intestinal morphology and immunity of healthy or challenged piglets, compared with an antibiotics group or negative control group. We performed a set of meta-analyses of feeding trials from database inception to 27 May 2019. Among the 1379 identified studies, 20 were included in our meta-analyses (56 arms and 4067 piglets). The meta-analyses revealed that (1) compared with the negative control group, AMPs significantly improved the healthy piglets’ average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI), gain : feed ratio (G/F), levels of immune globulin (Ig) IgM and IgG, and intestinal villus height : crypt depth ratio (V/C) (P < 0.05). Meanwhile, AMPs significantly increased the challenged piglets’ ADG, ADFI, G/F and V/C of the jejunum and ileum, and notably deceased the diarrhea rate (P < 0.05); (2) compared with antibiotics group, the effects of AMPs were slightly weaker than those of antibiotics in the healthy piglets, but AMPs have similar effects to those of antibiotics in challenged piglets. In a higher purity, the optimal dose of AMPs may be approximately 0.01%. Our findings indicate that AMPs can improve piglet growth performance, enhance immunity, benefit intestinal morphology and decrease the diarrheal rate. AMPs could be great ASs especially under infection conditions.
Altered neurocognitive function in schizophrenia could reflect both genetic and illness-specific effects.
To use functional magnetic resonance imaging to discriminate between the influences of the genetic risk for schizophrenia and environmental factors on the neural substrate of verbal fluency, a candidate schizophrenia endophenotype using a case control twin design.
We studied 23 monozygotic twin pairs: 13 pairs discordant for schizophrenia and 10 pairs of healthy volunteer twins. Groups were matched for age, gender, handedness, level of education, parental socio-economic status, and ethnicity. Behavioural performance and regional brain activation during a phonological verbal fluency task were assessed.
Relative to healthy control twins, both patients and their non-psychotic co-twins produced fewer correct responses and showed less activation in the medial temporal region and inferior frontal gyrus. Twins with schizophrenia showed greater activation than both their non-psychotic co-twins and controls in right lateral temporal cortex, reflecting reduced deactivation during word generation while their non-psychotic co-twins showed greater activation in the left temporal cortex.
Both genetic vulnerability to schizophrenia and schizophrenia were associated with impaired verbal fluency performance, reduced engagement of the medial temporal region and dorsal inferior frontal gyrus. Schizophrenia was specifically associated with an additional reduction in deactivation in the right temporal cortex.
Recent studies have identified DAAO as a probable susceptibility gene for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. However, little is known about how this gene may affect brain function to increase vulnerability to these disorders.
The present investigation examined the impact of DAAO genotype on brain function in patients with schizophrenia, patients with bipolar I disorder and healthy volunteers.
We tested the hypotheses that the high-risk variant of DAAO would be associated with altered prefrontal function and functional connectivity in schizophrenic and bipolar patients.
We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure brain responses during a verbal fluency task in a total of 121 subjects comprising 40 patients with schizophrenia, 33 patients with bipolar I disorder and 48 healthy volunteers. We then used statistical parametric mapping (SPM) and psycho-physiological interaction (PPI) analyses to estimate the main effects of diagnostic group, the main effect of genotype and their interaction on brain activation and functional connectivity.
In schizophrenic patients relative to bipolar patients and controls, the high-risk variant of DAAO was associated with lower deactivation in the left precuneus and greater activation in the right calcarine and posterior cingulate gyrus during task performance. In addiction, these areas expressed altered functional connectivity with the rest of the brain in schizophrenic patients relative to bipolar patients and controls.
Our results suggest that genetic variation in DAAO has a significant impact on brain function and provide preliminary evidence for a disease-specific pattern of gene action in specific brain regions.
The present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study investigated neural changes in relation to mood biased processing in depression, before and after cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) using an emotional Stroop task.
Sixteen unmedicated patients (mean age 40 years), fulfilling DSM-IV diagnosis for unipolar major depression underwent fMRI, prior to and after 16 once-weekly sessions of CBT. Sixteen matched healthy volunteers were scanned at similar time intervals. In an emotional Stroop task negative and neutral words were presented in various colors and volunteers had to name the color of words. Latencies were recorded to determine behavioral emotional interference effects. MRI images were acquired using clustered image acquisition. Whole-brain and region of interest analysis examined the neural basis of interference and mood biased processing.
At baseline patients displayed increased latencies during color naming negative words, in comparison to neutral words and in relation to healthy volunteers. After treatment, latencies did not significantly differ between groups. With regard to neural activity, depressed patients showed increased activation at baseline in amygdala, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), which normalized after CBT. Additionally, hyperactivation in the rostral anterior cingulate at baseline was positively correlated with symptom reduction after CBT.
Evidence was found for an emotional interference effect during acute states of depression which improved following CBT. The neural basis is associated with increased activity in the amygdala, DLPFC and VLPFC which normalized after treatment. CBT seems to affect behavioral biases and neural circuits involved in processing negative information.
To examine the effect of a polymorphism in the Dopamine Transporter (DAT) gene on brain activation during executive function and, for the first time:
1. determine the extent to which this is altered in schizophrenia and
2. use a verbal fluency paradigm.
This is relevant since:
1. DAT plays a key role in the regulation of dopamine, which modulates cortical activation during cognitive tasks and
2. a disruption of dopamine function is a fundamental pathophysiological feature of schizophrenia.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure whole-brain responses during overt verbal fluency in 85 subjects: 44 healthy volunteers and 41 DSM-IV schizophrenia patients. Main effects of genotype and diagnostic group on activation and their interaction were estimated using an ANOVA in SPM5.
The 10-repeat allele of the 3'UTR VNTR was associated with greater activation than the 9-repeat allele in the left (Z=4.8; FWEp=0.005) and right (Z=4.2; FWEp=0.057) anterior insula and with decreased activation in the rostral anterior cingulate (Z=4.3 FWEp=0.04) during word generation (versus baseline). These effects were irrespective of diagnostic group but generally more marked in patients. There were also strong trends for groupxgenotype interactions in the left middle frontal gyrus and the left nucleus accumbens. Analysis was controlled for task performance, IQ, antipsychotic medication, psychopathology and demographics.
Cortical function during executive tasks is normally modulated by variation in the DAT gene, effect which is dependent on the brain region. DAT's effect may be altered in schizophrenia patients, which may reflect altered central dopamine function.
Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) infection has been a major public health threat globally. Monitoring and prediction of CT epidemic status and trends are important for programme planning, allocating resources and assessing impact; however, such activities are limited in China. In this study, we aimed to apply a seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average (SARIMA) model to predict the incidence of CT infection in Shenzhen city, China. The monthly incidence of CT between January 2008 and June 2019 in Shenzhen was used to fit and validate the SARIMA model. A seasonal fluctuation and a slightly increasing pattern of a long-term trend were revealed in the time series of CT incidence. The monthly CT incidence ranged from 4.80/100 000 to 21.56/100 000. The mean absolute percentage error value of the optimal model was 8.08%. The SARIMA model could be applied to effectively predict the short-term CT incidence in Shenzhen and provide support for the development of interventions for disease control and prevention.
In the livestock husbandry compensatory growth may be explored as a means to improve nutrient utilization, to reduce gut health problems due to excess protein intake, to simplify feeding strategies and thus to improve production efficiencies. This study investigated the effects of early protein restriction (EPR) and early antibiotic intervention (EAI) on growth performance, intestinal morphology, colonic bacteria, metabolites and mucosal gene expressions during the restriction phase and re-alimentation phase. A total of 64 piglets (10.04 ± 0.73 kg) were randomly divided into four treatment groups according to a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement with two levels of proteins (14% v. 20%) and two levels of antibiotics (0 v. 50 mg/kg kitasamycin and 20 mg/kg colistin sulphate). After a 30-day restriction phase with four kinds of diets, all groups were fed the same diets for another 74 days. The results showed that EPR decreased BW, average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake in the restriction phase (P < 0.01) and increased ADG on days 66 to 104 of the late re-alimentation phase. Early protein restriction could decrease the villus height in the jejunum (P < 0.05), while shifting to the same diets restored the villus height. Meanwhile, during the re-alimentation phase, pigs in the protein restriction groups had increased concentrations of total short chain fatty acids (P < 0.05), and modified the abundances of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes in the colon. Furthermore, the lower microbial diversity caused by EPR was improved, and gene expression analysis indicated a better barrier function in the colon. During the whole trial, EAI had no interaction with EPR and played a dispensable role in compensatory growth. Collectively, the retardation of growth caused by EPR can be compensated for in the later stages of pig raising, and accompanied by altered intestinal morphology, microbial composition.
Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto is regarded to have the highest zoonotic potential of all Echinococcus taxa. Globally, human infection due to this species constitutes over 88.44% of the total cystic echinococcosis (CE) burden. Here, we report a CE infection in a Nigerian camel caused by E. granulosus G1 genotype. To the best of our knowledge, this report is the first encounter of the G1 genotype in the West Africa sub-region where the G6 genotype is reportedly prevalent, suggesting that the epidemiology of this highly zoonotic group could have a wider host range and distribution in the sub-region, and emphasizes the need for further investigation into the genetic diversity of Echinococcus spp. in Nigeria and across the sub-region.
Childhood maltreatment (CM) plays an important role in the development of major depressive disorder (MDD). The aim of this study was to examine whether CM severity and type are associated with MDD-related brain alterations, and how they interact with sex and age.
Within the ENIGMA-MDD network, severity and subtypes of CM using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire were assessed and structural magnetic resonance imaging data from patients with MDD and healthy controls were analyzed in a mega-analysis comprising a total of 3872 participants aged between 13 and 89 years. Cortical thickness and surface area were extracted at each site using FreeSurfer.
CM severity was associated with reduced cortical thickness in the banks of the superior temporal sulcus and supramarginal gyrus as well as with reduced surface area of the middle temporal lobe. Participants reporting both childhood neglect and abuse had a lower cortical thickness in the inferior parietal lobe, middle temporal lobe, and precuneus compared to participants not exposed to CM. In males only, regardless of diagnosis, CM severity was associated with higher cortical thickness of the rostral anterior cingulate cortex. Finally, a significant interaction between CM and age in predicting thickness was seen across several prefrontal, temporal, and temporo-parietal regions.
Severity and type of CM may impact cortical thickness and surface area. Importantly, CM may influence age-dependent brain maturation, particularly in regions related to the default mode network, perception, and theory of mind.
Dietary delivery of bacterially expressed double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) has a great potential for management of Leptinotarsa decemlineata. An important first step is to discover possible RNA-interference (RNAi)-target genes effective against larvae, especially the old larvae. In the present paper, five putative Broad-Complex (BrC) cDNAs (Z1-Z4, and Z6) were identified in L. decemlineata. The expression of the five LdBrC isoforms was suppressed by juvenile hormone signaling, whereas the transcription was upregulated by 20-hydroxyecdysone signaling at the fourth (final) instar larval stage. Feeding of bacterially expressed dsBrC (derived from a common fragment of the five LdBrC variants) in the third- and fourth-instar larvae successfully knocked down the target mRNAs. For the fourth-instar LdBrC RNAi hypomorphs, they had a higher larval mortality compared with the controls. Moreover, most dsBrC-fed beetles did not pupate normally. After removal of the apolysed larval cuticle, a miniature adult was found. The adult head, compound eyes, prothorax, mesothorax, metathorax were found on the dorsal view. Distinct adult cuticle pigmentation was seen on the prothorax. The mouthparts, forelegs, midlegs, and hindlegs could be observed on the ventral view of the miniature adults. For the third-instar LdBrC RNAi specimens, around 20% moribund beetles remained as prepupae and finally died. Therefore, LdBrC is among the most attractive candidate genes for RNAi to control the fourth-instar larvae in L. decemlineata.
Methods for the control of molecular deposition and orientation are critical for the development of organic electronic devices. Here, we show the fabrication of ribbons of the optical material polydiacetylene (PDA) using a controlled evaporative self-assembly method. The ability to form these ribbons is highly dependent on both the side groups on the PDA as well as the solvent used in the preparation. Arrays of ribbons of one type of PDA, poly[1,6-di(N-carbazolyl)-2,4-hexadiyne], with widths on the order of 1–2 µm and lengths of 100s of micrometers, could be successfully obtained with good orientation.
Chondrules contain ferromagnetic minerals that may retain a record of the magnetic field environments in which they cooled. Paleomagnetic experiments on separated chondrules can potentially reveal the presence of remanent magnetization from the time of chondrule formation. The existence of such a magnetization places quantitative bounds on the frequency of interchondrule collisions, while the intensity of magnetization may be used to infer the strength of nebular magnetic fields and thereby constrain the mechanism of chondrule formation. Recent advances in laboratory instrumentation and techniques have permitted the isolation of nebular remanent magnetization in chondrules, providing the potential basis to probe the formation environments of chondrules from a range of chondrite classes.
The influence of heat treatment (homogenization) on the microstructure, mechanical behavior, and soft magnetic properties of a face-centered cubic (fcc)-based high-entropy alloy (HEA), Fe29Co28Ni29Cu7Ti7, fabricated by casting, was investigated in detail. The as-cast Fe29Co28Ni29Cu7Ti7 HEA was composed of a primary fcc phase containing coherent dispersed L12 nanoprecipitates and trace amounts of a needle-like phase. The tensile yield strength (σ0.2), ultimate strength, and total elongation of the as-cast alloy are 917 MPa, 1060 MPa, and 1.8%, respectively. Following homogenization, the alloy having a single fcc phase shows a decrease of ∼ 55% in yield strength and a decrease of ∼ 36% in ultimate strength; however, the total elongation is increased from 1.8 to 52%. Saturation magnetization (Msat) is decreased from 111.54 to 110.34 Am2/kg, by contrast, coercivity (Hc) is increased from 266.65 to 966.89 A/m. The dissolution of precipitates and grain growth are mainly responsible for the changes in magnetic properties and mechanical behavior.
An experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of acetate treatment on lipid metabolism in rabbits. New Zealand Rabbits (30 days, n=80) randomly received a subcutaneous injection (2 ml/injection) of 0, 0.5, 1.0 or 2.0 g/kg per day body mass acetate (dissolved in saline) for 4 days. Our results showed that acetate induced a dose-dependent decrease in shoulder adipose (P<0.05). Although acetate injection did not alter the plasma leptin and glucose concentration (P>0.05), acetate treatment significantly decreased the plasma adiponectin, insulin and triglyceride concentrations (P<0.05). In adipose, acetate injection significantly up-regulated the gene expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein α (C/EBPα), differentiation-dependent factor 1 (ADD1), adipocyte protein 2 (aP2), carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1), CPT2, hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL), G protein-coupled receptor (GPR41), GPR43, adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase α1 (AMPKα1), adiponectin receptor (AdipoR1), AdipoR2 and leptin receptor. In addition, acetate treatment significantly increased the protein levels of phosphorylated AMPKα, extracellular signaling-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2), p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (P38 MAPK) and c-jun amino-terminal kinase (JNK). In conclusion, acetate up-regulated the adipocyte-specific transcription factors (PPARγ, C/EBPα, aP2 and ADD1), which were associated with the activated GPR41/43 and MAPKs signaling. Meanwhile, acetate decreased fat content via the upregulation of the steatolysis-related factors (HSL, CPT1 and CPT2), and AMPK signaling may be involved in the process.
The neuropsychological origins of negative syndrome of schizophrenia remain elusive. Evidence from behavioural studies, which utilised emotion-inducing pictures to elicit motivated behaviour generally reported that that schizophrenia patients experienced similar affective experience as healthy individuals but failed to translate emotional salience to motivated behaviour, a phenomenon called emotion–behaviour decoupling. However, a few studies have examined emotion–behaviour decoupling in non-psychotic high-risk populations, who are relatively unaffected by medication effects.
In this study, we examined the nature and extent of emotion–behaviour decoupling in in three independent samples (65 schizophrenia patients v. 63 controls; 40 unaffected relatives v. 45 controls; and 32 individuals with social anhedonia v. 32 controls). We administered an experimental task to examine their affective experience and its coupling with behaviour, using emotion-inducing slides, and allowed participants to alter stimulus exposure using button-pressing to seek pleasure or avoid aversion.
Schizophrenia patients reported similar affective experiences as their controls, while their unaffected relatives and individuals with high levels of social anhedonia exhibited attenuated affective experiences, in particular in the arousal aspect. Compared with their respective control groups, all of the three groups showed emotion–behaviour decoupling.
Our findings support that both genetically and behaviourally high-risk groups exhibit emotion–behaviour decoupling. The familial association apparently supports its role as a putative trait marker for schizophrenia.
The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism Met allele exacerbates amyloid (Aβ) related decline in episodic memory (EM) and hippocampal volume (HV) over 36–54 months in preclinical Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the extent to which Aβ+ and BDNF Val66Met is related to circulating markers of BDNF (e.g. serum) is unknown. We aimed to determine the effect of Aβ and the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism on levels of serum mBDNF, EM, and HV at baseline and over 18-months.
Non-demented older adults (n = 446) underwent Aβ neuroimaging and BDNF Val66Met genotyping. EM and HV were assessed at baseline and 18 months later. Fasted blood samples were obtained from each participant at baseline and at 18-month follow-up. Aβ PET neuroimaging was used to classify participants as Aβ– or Aβ+.
At baseline, Aβ+ adults showed worse EM impairment and lower serum mBDNF levels relative to Aβ- adults. BDNF Val66Met polymorphism did not affect serum mBDNF, EM, or HV at baseline. When considered over 18-months, compared to Aβ– Val homozygotes, Aβ+ Val homozygotes showed significant decline in EM and HV but not serum mBDNF. Similarly, compared to Aβ+ Val homozygotes, Aβ+ Met carriers showed significant decline in EM and HV over 18-months but showed no change in serum mBDNF.
While allelic variation in BDNF Val66Met may influence Aβ+ related neurodegeneration and memory loss over the short term, this is not related to serum mBDNF. Longer follow-up intervals may be required to further determine any relationships between serum mBDNF, EM, and HV in preclinical AD.
Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) play a regulatory role in various physiological processes in mammals and act as endogenous ligands for the G protein-coupled receptors (GPR) 41 and 43. The role of GPR41 and GPR43 in mediating SCFA signaling in the rabbit remains unclear. The present study was to investigate the sequence of the GPR41 and GPR43 messenger RNA (mRNA) and their expression pattern in different tissues and developmental stages in New Zealand rabbit. Comparison of genomic sequences in GenBank using the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool program suggested that the New Zealand rabbit GPR41 mRNA has high similarities with the human (84%), bovine (84%) and Capra hircus (84%) genes. Similarly, GPR43 mRNA has high similarity with the rat (84%) and mouse (84%) genes. Real-time PCR results indicated that GPR41 and GPR43 mRNA were expressed throughout rabbit’s whole development and were expressed in several tissues. G protein-coupled receptor 41 and GPR43 mRNA were most highly expressed in pancreas (P<0.05) and s.c. adipose tissue (P<0.05), respectively. The expression levels of GPR41 mRNA was down-regulated in duodenum, cecum (P<0.05) and pancreas and up-regulated in jejunum, ileum, adipose tissue and spleen during growth. G protein-coupled receptor 43GPR43 mRNA was highly expressed in the duodenum, jejunum, ileum, colon, cecum and lung at 15th day (P<0.05), whereas the expression levels in the pancreas and spleen increased later after birth, with the highest expression at 60th day (P<0.05).