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To investigate the effects of dietary fiber on follicular atresia in pigs fed a high-fat diet, we fed 32 prepubescent gilts a basal diet (CON) or a CON diet supplemented with 300 g/d dietary fiber (fiber), 240 g/d soy oil (SO), or both (fiber + SO). At the 19th day of the 4th estrus cycle, gilts fed the SO diet showed 112% more atretic follicles and greater expression of the apoptotic markers, Bax and Caspase-3, and these effects were reversed by the fiber diet. The abundance of short-chain fatty acid-producing microbes was decreased by the SO diet, but this effect was reversed by fiber treatment. Concentrations of serotonin and melatonin in the serum and follicular fluid were increased by the fiber diet. Overall, dietary fiber protected against high-fat feeding induced follicular atresia at least partly via gut microbiota-related serotonin–melatonin synthesis. These results provide insight into preventing negative effects on fertility in humans consuming a high-energy diet.
The objective of the present study was to elucidate whether resveratrol could facilitate the survival of boar sperm during liquid preservation and fast cooling processes. Boar semen were diluted with Modena extender containing different concentrations of resveratrol. Sperm motility was evaluated by visual estimation. Membrane integrity, acrosome integrity and mitochondrial membrane potentials were measured by SYBR-14/PI, FITC-PNA and JC-1 staining, respectively. Moreover, the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), malonaldehyde (MDA) and total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) were measured using commercial assay kits. B-cell lymphoma protein-2 (BCL2) content was determined by western blotting. During liquid preservation at 17oC, the addition of 50 μM resveratrol to the Modena extender significantly improved sperm motility, membrane integrity, acrosome integrity, and sperm mitochondrial membrane potentials. Similar results were also observed in the 150 μM resveratrol group during the fast cooling process. Furthermore, addition of resveratrol led to a decrease of ROS and MDA, and an increase in the content of T-AOC and BCL2. These observations suggest that addition of resveratrol to Modena extender protects boar sperm against oxidative stress. The optimal concentrations of resveratrol are 50 μM and 150 μM during liquid preservation and fast cooling process, respectively.
Bile acids (BA) have emerged as signalling molecules regulating intestinal physiology. The importance of intestinal microbiota in production of secondary BA, for example, lithocholic acid (LCA) which impairs enterocyte proliferation and permeability, triggered us to determine the effects of oral probiotics on intestinal BA metabolism. Piglets were weaned at 28 d of age and allocated into control (CON, n 14) or probiotic (PRO, n 14) group fed 50 mg of Lactobacillus plantarum daily, and gut microbiota and BA profile were determined. To test the potential interaction of LCA with bacteria endotoxins in inducing damage of enterocytes, IPEC-J2 cells were treated with LCA, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and LCA + LPS and expressions of genes related to inflammation, antioxidant capacity and nutrient transport were determined. Compared with the CON group, the PRO group showed lower total LCA level in the ileum and higher relative abundance of the Lactobacillus genus in faeces. In contrast, the relative abundances of Bacteroides, Clostridium_sensu_stricto_1, Parabacteroides and Ruminococcus_1, important bacteria genera in BA biotransformation, were all lower in the PRO than in the CON group. Moreover, PRO piglets had lower postprandial glucagon-like peptide-1 level, while higher glucose level than CON piglets. Co-administration of LPS and LCA led to down-regulated expression of glucose and peptide transporter genes in IPEC-J2 cells. Altogether, oral L. plantarum altered BA profile probably by modulating relative abundances of gut microbial genera that play key roles in BA metabolism and might consequently impact glucose homoeostasis. The detrimental effect of LCA on nutrient transport in enterocytes might be aggravated under LPS challenge.
Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) is caused by Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense and caused devastating epidemics during the 20th century. Due to effective control programs implemented in the last two decades, the number of reported cases has fallen to a historically low level. Although fewer than 977 cases were reported in 2018 in endemic countries, HAT is still a public health problem in endemic regions until it is completely eliminated. In addition, almost 150 confirmed HAT cases were reported in non-endemic countries in the last three decades. The majority of non-endemic HAT cases were reported in Europe, USA and South Africa, due to historical alliances, economic links or geographic proximity to disease-endemic countries. Furthermore, with the implementation of the ‘Belt and Road’ project, sporadic imported HAT cases have been reported in China as a warning sign of tropical diseases prevention. In this paper, we explore and interpret the data on HAT incidence and find no positive correlation between the number of HAT cases from endemic and non-endemic countries. This data will provide useful information for better understanding the imported cases of HAT globally in the post-elimination phase.
Dielectrics are electrical insulator materials, polarizable by opposite displacement of positive and negative ionized atoms via electric fields across the material’s thickness. Dielectrics are used in energy-storage capacitors, as key components in modern micro-/nanoelectronics, high-frequency and mobile communication devices, and life-saving microchips and other devices such as defibrillators and pacemakers implantable in humans. A key dielectric parameter is the dielectric constant (k), which largely controls the capacitance in capacitors with nanoscale area and dielectric layer thickness. Extremely high dielectric constants (k ≥1000) were observed in oxides (e.g., La1.8Sr0.12NiO4) with relaxor/ferroelectric materials and in combined semiconducting bulk properties with highly resistive grain boundaries. Giant dielectric constant films have also been demonstrated, based on integrating relatively low-dielectric-constant oxides into nanolaminate structures (e.g., TiOx/Al2O3; TiO2/HfO2) with tailored sublayer thicknesses, interfaces, and oxygen atom distributions. This overview article addresses the science and technology of high-dielectric-constant oxide materials with different compositions and structures.
Entities play an essential role in understanding textual documents, regardless of whether the documents are short, such as tweets, or long, such as news articles. In short textual documents, all entities mentioned are usually considered equally important because of the limited amount of information. In long textual documents, however, not all entities are equally important: some are salient and others are not. Traditional entity topic models (ETMs) focus on ways to incorporate entity information into topic models to better explain the generative process of documents. However, entities are usually treated equally, without considering whether they are salient or not. In this work, we propose a novel ETM, Salient Entity Topic Model, to take salient entities into consideration in the document generation process. In particular, we model salient entities as a source of topics used to generate words in documents, in addition to the topic distribution of documents used in traditional topic models. Qualitative and quantitative analysis is performed on the proposed model. Application to entity salience detection demonstrates the effectiveness of our model compared to the state-of-the-art topic model baselines.
Item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) queries about thoughts of death and self-harm, but not suicidality. Although it is sometimes used to assess suicide risk, most positive responses are not associated with suicidality. The PHQ-8, which omits Item 9, is thus increasingly used in research. We assessed equivalency of total score correlations and the diagnostic accuracy to detect major depression of the PHQ-8 and PHQ-9.
We conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis. We fit bivariate random-effects models to assess diagnostic accuracy.
16 742 participants (2097 major depression cases) from 54 studies were included. The correlation between PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 scores was 0.996 (95% confidence interval 0.996 to 0.996). The standard cutoff score of 10 for the PHQ-9 maximized sensitivity + specificity for the PHQ-8 among studies that used a semi-structured diagnostic interview reference standard (N = 27). At cutoff 10, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive by 0.02 (−0.06 to 0.00) and more specific by 0.01 (0.00 to 0.01) among those studies (N = 27), with similar results for studies that used other types of interviews (N = 27). For all 54 primary studies combined, across all cutoffs, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive than the PHQ-9 by 0.00 to 0.05 (0.03 at cutoff 10), and specificity was within 0.01 for all cutoffs (0.00 to 0.01).
PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 total scores were similar. Sensitivity may be minimally reduced with the PHQ-8, but specificity is similar.
Agents that block the renin–angiotensin system (RAS) improve glucoregulation in the metabolic syndrome disorder. We evaluated the effects of egg white hydrolysate (EWH), previously shown to modulate the protein abundance of RAS component in vivo, on glucose homeostasis in diet-induced insulin-resistant rats. Sprague–Dawley rats were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 6 weeks to induce insulin resistance. They were then randomly divided into four groups receiving HFD or HFD supplemented with different concentrations of EWH (1, 2 and 4 %) for another 6 weeks in the first trial. In the second trial, insulin-resistant rats were divided into two groups receiving only HFD or HFD+4 % EWH for 6 weeks. Glucose homeostasis was assessed by oral glucose tolerance and insulin tolerance tests. Insulin signalling and protein abundance of RAS components, gluconeogenesis enzymes and PPARγ were evaluated in muscle, fat and liver. Adipocyte morphology and inflammatory markers were evaluated. In vivo administration of EWH increased insulin sensitivity, improved oral glucose tolerance (P < 0·0001) and reduced systemic inflammation (P < 0·05). EWH potentiated insulin-induced Akt phosphorylation in muscle (P = 0·0341) and adipose tissue (P = 0·0276), but minimal differences in the protein abundance of tissue RAS components between the EWH and control groups were observed. EWH treatment also reduced adipocyte size (P = 0·0383) and increased PPARγ2 protein abundance (P = 0·0237). EWH treatment yielded positive effects on the inflammatory profile, glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity and adipocyte differentiation in HFD-induced insulin resistance rats. The involvement of local RAS activity requires further investigation.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
This study aimed to investigate the effects of dietary live yeast (LY) supplementation on growth, intestinal permeability and immunological parameters of piglets challenged with enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli K88 (ETEC). Piglets weaned at 21 d were allocated into three treatments with six pens and six piglets per pen, receiving the control diet (CON), diets supplemented with antibiotics plus zinc oxide (ANT–ZnO) and LY (Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain CNCM I-4407), respectively, for a period of 2 weeks. On day 8, thirty-six piglets were selected as control without ETEC (CON), CON–ETEC, ANT–ZnO–ETEC and LY–ETEC groups challenged with ETEC until day 10 for sample collections. Piglets fed ANT–ZnO diet had the highest average daily gain and average daily feed intake (P<0·05) during the 1st week, but ADG of piglets fed the ANT–ZnO diet was similar as piglets fed LY diet during the second week. Piglets with LY–ETEC or ANT–ZnO–ETEC had markedly lower diarrhoea score (P<0·05) than piglets with CON–ETEC during the 24 h after ETEC challenge. Relative to piglets with CON, the counts of E. coli, urinary ratio of lactulose to mannitol, plasma IL-6 concentration, mRNA abundances of innate immunity-related genes in ileum and mesenteric lymph node tissues were increased (P<0·05), whereas the villous height of jejunum and relative protein expression of ileum claudin-1 were decreased (P<0·05) in piglets with CON–ETEC; however, these parameters did not markedly change in piglets with LY–ETEC or ANT–ZnO–ETEC. In summary, dietary LY supplementation could alleviate the severity of diarrhoea in piglets with ETEC, which may be associated with the improved permeability, innate immunity and bacterial profile.
The physical processes driving the chemical evolution of galaxies in the last ~ 11Gyr cannot be understood without directly probing the dust-obscured phase of star-forming galaxies and active galactic nuclei. This phase, hidden to optical tracers, represents the bulk of the star formation and black hole accretion activity in galaxies at 1 < z < 3. Spectroscopic observations with a cryogenic infrared observatory like SPICA, will be sensitive enough to peer through the dust-obscured regions of galaxies and access the rest-frame mid- to far-infrared range in galaxies at high-z. This wavelength range contains a unique suite of spectral lines and dust features that serve as proxies for the abundances of heavy elements and the dust composition, providing tracers with a feeble response to both extinction and temperature. In this work, we investigate how SPICA observations could be exploited to understand key aspects in the chemical evolution of galaxies: the assembly of nearby galaxies based on the spatial distribution of heavy element abundances, the global content of metals in galaxies reaching the knee of the luminosity function up to z ~ 3, and the dust composition of galaxies at high-z. Possible synergies with facilities available in the late 2020s are also discussed.
The present study aimed to investigate the effect of maternal malnutrition on offspring glucose tolerance and the epigenetic mechanisms involved. In total, twelve primiparous Landrace×Yorkshire gilts were fed rations providing either 100 % (control (CON)) or 75 % (undernutrition (UN)) nutritional requirements according to the National Research Council recommendations, throughout gestation. Muscle samples of offspring were collected at birth (dpn1), weaning (dpn28) and adulthood (dpn189). Compared with CON pigs, UN pigs showed lower serum glucose concentrations at birth, but showed higher serum glucose and insulin concentrations as well as increased area under the blood glucose curve during intravenous glucose tolerance test at dpn189 (P<0·05). Compared with CON pigs, GLUT-4 gene and protein expressions were decreased at dpn1 and dpn189 in the muscle of UN pigs, which was accompanied by increased methylation at the GLUT4 promoter (P<0·05). These alterations in methylation concurred with increased mRNA levels of DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) 1 at dpn1 and dpn28, DNMT3a at dpn189 and DNMT3b at dpn1 in UN pigs compared with CON pigs (P<0·05). Interestingly, although the average methylation levels at the muscle GLUT4 promoter were decreased at dpn189 compared with dpn1 in pigs exposed to a poor maternal diet (P<0·05), the methylation differences in individual CpG sites were more pronounced with age. Our results indicate that in utero undernutrition persists to silence muscle GLUT4 likely through DNA methylation during the ageing process, which may lead to the amplification of age-associated glucose intolerance.
Approximately 75% of prescription opioid abusers obtain the drug from an acquaintance, which may be a consequence of improper opioid storage, use, disposal, and lack of patient education. We aimed to determine the opioid storage, use, and disposal patterns in patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) of a comprehensive cancer center.
We surveyed 113 patients receiving opioids for at least 2 months upon presenting to the ED and collected information regarding opioid use, storage, and disposal. Unsafe storage was defined as storing opioids in plain sight, and unsafe use was defined as sharing or losing opioids.
The median age was 53 years, 55% were female, 64% were white, and 86% had advanced cancer. Of those surveyed, 36% stored opioids in plain sight, 53% kept them hidden but unlocked, and only 15% locked their opioids. However, 73% agreed that they would use a lockbox if given one. Patients who reported that others had asked them for their pain medications (p = 0.004) and those who would use a lockbox if given one (p = 0.019) were more likely to keep them locked. Some 13 patients (12%) used opioids unsafely by either sharing (5%) or losing (8%) them. Patients who reported being prescribed more pain pills than required (p = 0.032) were more likely to practice unsafe use. Most (78%) were unaware of proper opioid disposal methods, 6% believed they were prescribed more medication than required, and 67% had unused opioids at home. Only 13% previously received education about safe disposal of opioids. Overall, 77% (87) of patients reported unsafe storage, unsafe use, or possessed unused opioids at home.
Significance of Results:
Many cancer patients presenting to the ED improperly and unsafely store, use, or dispose of opioids, thus highlighting a need to investigate the impact of patient education on such practices.
Intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR) impairs postnatal growth and skeletal muscle development in neonatal infants. This study evaluated whether dietary β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate Ca (HMB-Ca) supplementation during the early postnatal period could improve muscle growth in IUGR neonates using piglets as a model. A total of twelve pairs of IUGR and normal-birth-weight (NBW) male piglets with average initial weights (1·85 (sem 0·36) and 2·51 (sem 0·39) kg, respectively) were randomly allotted to groups that received milk-based diets (CON) or milk-based diets supplemented with 800 mg/kg HMB-Ca (HMB) during days 7–28 after birth. Blood and longissimus dorsi (LD) samples were collected and analysed for plasma amino acid content, fibre morphology and the expression of genes related to muscle development. The results indicate that, regardless of diet, IUGR piglets had a significantly decreased average daily weight gain (ADG) compared with that of NBW piglets (P<0·05). However, IUGR piglets fed HMB-Ca had a net weight and ADG similar to that of NBW piglets fed the CON diet. Irrespective of body weight (BW), HMB-Ca supplementation markedly increased the type II fibre cross-sectional area and the mRNA expression of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), insulin-like growth factor-1 and myosin heavy-chain isoform IIb in the LD of piglets (P<0·05). Moreover, there was a significant interaction between the effects of BW and HMB on mTOR expression in the LD (P<0·05). In conclusion, HMB-Ca supplementation during the early postnatal period could improve skeletal muscle growth and maturity by accelerating fast-twitch glycolytic fibre development in piglets.
The NASA Kepler satellite has provided unprecedented high duty-cycle, high-precision light curves for a large number of stars by continuously monitoring a field of view in Cygnus-Lyra region, leading to great progress in both discovering exoplanets and characterizing planet-hosting stars by means of asteroseismic methods. The asteroseismic survey allows the investigation of stars covering the whole H-R diagram. However, the low precision of effective temperatures and surface gravities in the KIC catalogue and the lack of information on chemical composition, metallicity and rotation rate prevent asteroseismic modeling, requiring spectroscopic observations for thousands of asteroseismic targets in the Kepler field in a homogeneous way.
Postnatal rapid growth by excess intake of nutrients has been associated with an increased susceptibility to diseases in neonates with intra-uterine growth restricted (IUGR). The aim of the present study was to determine whether postnatal nutritional restriction could improve intestinal development and immune function of neonates with IUGR using piglets as model. A total of twelve pairs of normal-birth weight (NBW) and IUGR piglets (7 d old) were randomly assigned to receive adequate nutrient intake or restricted nutrient intake (RNI) by artificially liquid feeding for a period of 21 d. Blood samples and intestinal tissues were collected at necropsy and were analysed for morphology, digestive enzyme activities, immune cells and expression of innate immunity-related genes. The results indicated that both IUGR and postnatal nutritional restriction delayed the growth rate during the sucking period. Irrespective of nutrient intake, piglets with IUGR had a significantly lower villous height and crypt depth in the ileum than the NBW piglets. Moreover, IUGR decreased alkaline phosphatase activity while enhanced lactase activity in the jejunum and mRNA expressions of Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR-9) and DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) in the ileum of piglets. Irrespective of body weight, RNI significantly decreased the number and/or percentage of peripheral leucocytes, lymphocytes and monocytes of piglets, whereas the percentage of neutrophils and the ratio of CD4+ to CD8+ were increased. Furthermore, RNI markedly enhanced the mRNA expression of TLR-9 and DNMT1, but decreased the expression of NOD2 and TRAF-6 in the ileum of piglets. In summary, postnatal nutritional restriction led to abnormal cellular and innate immune response, as well as delayed the growth and intestinal development of IUGR piglets.