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There is emerging evidence that glycaemic variability (GV) plays an important role in the development of diabetic complications. The current study aimed to compare the effects of lifestyle intervention (LI) with and without partial meal replacement (MR) on GV. A total of 123 patients with newly diagnosed and untreated type 2 diabetes (T2D) were randomised to receive either LI together with breakfast replacement with a liquid formula (LI+MR) (n 62) or LI alone (n 61) for 4 weeks and completed the study. Each participant was instructed to have three main meals per d and underwent 72-h continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) both before and after intervention. Measures of GV assessed by CGM included the incremental AUC of postprandial blood glucose (AUCpp), standard deviation of blood glucose (SDBG), glucose CV and mean amplitude of glycaemic excursions (MAGE). After a 4-week intervention, the improvements in systolic blood pressure (P=0·046) and time in range (P=0·033) were more pronounced in the LI+MR group than in the LI group. Furthermore, LI+MR caused significantly greater improvements in all GV metrics including SDBG (P=0·005), CV (P=0·002), MAGE (P=0·016) and AUCpp (P<0·001) than did LI. LI+MR (v. LI) was independently associated with improvements in GV after adjustment of covariates (all P<0·05). Our study showed that LI+MR led to significantly greater improvements in GV compared with LI, suggesting that LI+MR could be an effective treatment to alleviate glucose excursions.
Ethanolamine (Etn) contained in milk is the base constituent of phosphatidylethanolamine and is required for the proliferation of intestinal epithelial cells and bacteria, which is important for maintenance of the gut microbiome and intestinal development. The present study investigated the effect of Etn on intestinal function and microbiome using 21-d-old Sprague–Dawley rats treated with 0, 250, 500 and 1000 μm Etn in drinking water for 2 weeks immediately after weaning. Growth performance, intestinal morphology, antioxidant capacity and mucosal immunity, as well as gut microbiota community composition, were evaluated. Metagenomic prediction and metabolic phenotype analysis based on 16S RNA sequencing were also carried out to assess changes in metabolic functions. We found that weaned rats administered 500 μm Etn enhanced mucosal antioxidant capacity, as evidenced by higher superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase levels in the jejunum (P<0·05) compared with those in the control group. Predominant microbes including Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, Elusimicrobia and Tenericutes were altered by different levels of Etn compared with the control group. An Etn concentration of 500 µm shifted colonic microbial metabolic functions that are in favour of lipid- and sugar-related metabolism and biosynthesis. Etn also altered the metabolic phenotypes such as anaerobic microbial counts, and oxidative stress tolerance at over 250 µm. This is the first report for a role of Etn in modifying gut microbiota and intestinal functions. Our findings highlighted the important role of Etn in shaping gut microbial community and promotes intestinal functions, which may provide a better insight of breast-feeding to infant’s gut health.
When a contact line moves with a sufficiently large speed, liquid or gas films can be entrained on a solid depending on the direction of contact-line movement. In this work, the contact-line dynamics in the situation of a generic two-fluid system is investigated. We demonstrate that the hydrodynamics of a contact line, no matter whether advancing or receding, can formally reduce to that of a receding one with small interfacial slopes. Since the latter can be well treated under the classical lubrication approximation, this analogy allows us to derive an asymptotic solution of the interfacial profiles for arbitrary values of contact angle and viscosity ratio. For the dip-coating geometry, we obtain, with no adjustable parameters, an analytical formula for the critical speed of wetting transition, which in particular predicts the onset of both liquid and gas entrainment. Moreover, the present analysis also builds a novel connection between the Cox–Voinov law and classical lubrication theory for moving contact lines.
Paragonimiasis is an important infectious disease in Chongqing, China. However, no epidemiological surveys of paragonimiasis have been carried out in Chongqing since it became a municipality in 1997. We conducted a retrospective case review of 683 patients who were referred to our laboratory and diagnosed as having paragonimiasis during 2010–2015. Patients were diagnosed with paragonimiasis based on immunodiagnostic tests in addition to clinical and laboratory findings. Patient data extracted from the epidemiologic form were analysed. The majority of patients were distributed on the east side of the Wujiang River, which belongs to the Three Gorges Reservoir region. Consumption of raw or undercooked freshwater crab or crayfish in the family Cambaridae was the main reason for infection. Notably, more than 50·0% of patients were diagnosed between March and July, indicating that serious clinical symptoms only appear approximately 6 months post-infection. Paragonimiasis remains a public health issue in Chongqing, and an epidemiological study of Paragonimus in the Three Gorges region is strongly recommended.
In this study, the petrology, zircon U–Pb ages, Lu–Hf isotopic compositions, whole-rock geochemistry and Sr–Nd isotopes for newly recognized low-Mg and high-Mg adakitic rocks from the North Altun orogenic belt were determined. The results will provide important insights for understanding the continuities of the North Qilian and North Altun orogenic belts during early Palaeozoic time. The low-Mg adakitic granitoids (445 to 439 Ma) are characterized by high SiO2 (69–70 wt %), low Mg no. (43–48) and low Cr and Ni contents. In contrast, the high-Mg adakitic granitoids (425 to 422 Ma) have relatively lower SiO2 (65–67 wt %), higher Mg no. (60–62) and higher Cr and Ni contents. The low-Mg adakitic rocks have high initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.7073–0.7084), negative εNd(t) (−1.9 to −4.0) and εHf(t) values (−6.8 to −2.0), and old zircon Hf model ages (1.4–1.7 Ga). In contrast, the high-Mg adakitic rocks show lower initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.7044–0.7057), higher εNd(t) (−0.7 to 3.1) and positive εHf(t) values (2.0 to 6.9), with younger zircon Hf model ages (0.9–1.2 Ga). These results suggest that the low-Mg adakitic rocks were probably generated by the partial melting of thickened crust, whereas the high-Mg adakitic rocks were derived from the anatexis of delaminated lower crust, which subsequently interacted with mantle magma upon ascent. The data obtained in this study provide significant information about the geological and tectonic processes after the closure of the Altun Ocean. The continent–continent collision and thickening probably occurred during 450–440 Ma with the formation of low-Mg adakitic rocks, and the transition of the tectonic regime from compression to extension probably occurred at 425–422 Ma with the formation of high-Mg adakitic rocks. The geochemical, geochronological and petrogenetic similarities between the North Altun and North Qilian adakitic rocks suggest that these two orogenic belts were subjected to similar tectonomagmatic processes during early Palaeozoic times.
Pricing variance swaps have become a popular subject recently, and most research of this type come under Heston’s two-factor model. This paper is an extension of some recent research which used the dimension-reduction technique based on the Heston model. A new closed-form pricing formula focusing on a log-return variance swap is presented here, under the assumption that the underlying asset prices can be described by a mean-reverting Gaussian volatility model (Ornstein–Uhlenbeck process). Numerical tests in two respects using the Monte Carlo (MC) simulation are included. Moreover, we discuss a procedure of solving a quadratic differential equation with one variable. Our method can avoid the previously encountered limitations, but requires more time for calculation than other recent analytical discrete models.
The present study examines the characteristics of clay minerals in shale gas reservoirs and their influence on reservoir properties based on X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. These analyses were combined with optical microscopy observations and core and well-log data to investigate the genesis, distribution characteristics, main controlling factors and pore features of clay minerals of the Lower Silurian Longmaxi Formation in the East Sichuan area, China. The clay mineral assemblage consists of illite + mixed-layer illite-smectite (I-S) + chlorite. This assemblage includes three sources of clay minerals: detrital, authigenic and diagenetic minerals. The lower section of the Longmaxi Formation in the Jiaoshiba area has sealing ability which resulted in abnormal high pressures during hydrocarbon generation which inhibited illitization. Therefore, an anomalous transformation sequence is present in which the mixed-layer I-S content increases with depth. This anomalous transformation sequence can be used to infer the existence of abnormal high pressures. The detrital components of the formation also affect the clay-minerals content indirectly, especially the abundance of K-feldspar. The transformation of mixed-layer I-S to illite is limited due to the limited availability of K+, which determines the extent of transformation. Three types of pores were observed in the shale reservoir rocks of the Longmaxi Formation: interparticle (interP) pores, intraparticle (intraP) pores and organic-matter pores. The clay-mineral content controls the development of intraP pores, which are dominated by pores within clay particles. For a given clay mineral content, smectite and mixed-layer I-S were more conducive to the development of shale-gas reservoirs than other clay minerals.
In this study, a novel technique has been developed for the fabrication of uniform, stable, and strongly bonded graphene layers on microporous ceramic membranes. A composite ceramic-LIG membrane was obtained following one step scalable methodology. First, the ceramic support was spin-coated with poly (pyromellitic dianhydrideco-4,4´-oxidianiline, amic acid) (PMDA-ODA) and transformed to polyimide (PI) by thermal imidization. The PI was then irradiated with a CO2 laser to photothermally convert the sp3-carbon atoms to sp2-carbon atoms. Different PMDA-ODA layers were applied to achieve uniform coating by LIG on the membrane surface. The LIG was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy, Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and contact angle (CA) measurements. FTIR results showed a complete conversion of PMDA-ODA to PI following the thermal imidization reaction. The XRD results revealed the crystalline structure of graphene layer, which had a surface area of 130 ± 5.6 m2/g, determined by BET nitrogen adsorption. However, the permeability of uncoated ceramic membranes decreased with increasing number of PMDA-ODA layers, as evidenced by the clean water filtration experiments. The new composite membrane is a promising new material for membrane distillation or electro osmosis, where the hydrophobicity of the graphene layer may provide important advantages over current membrane materials.
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) have been clearly demonstrated to have anabolic effects on muscle protein synthesis. However, little is known about their roles in the regulation of net AA fluxes across skeletal muscle in vivo. This study was aimed to investigate the effect and related mechanisms of dietary supplementation of BCAA on muscle net amino acid (AA) fluxes using the hindlimb flux model. In all fourteen 4-week-old barrows were fed reduced-protein diets with or without supplemental BCAA for 28 d. Pigs were implanted with carotid arterial, femoral arterial and venous catheters, and fed once hourly with intraarterial infusion of p-amino hippurate. Arterial and venous plasma and muscle samples were obtained for the measurement of AA, branched-chain α-keto acids (BCKA) and 3-methylhistidine (3-MH). Metabolomes of venous plasma were determined by HPLC-quadrupole time-of-flight-MS. BCAA-supplemented group showed elevated muscle net fluxes of total essential AA, non-essential AA and AA. As for individual AA, muscle net fluxes of each BCAA and their metabolites (alanine, glutamate and glutamine), along with those of histidine, methionine and several functional non-essential AA (glycine, proline and serine), were increased by BCAA supplementation. The elevated muscle net AA fluxes were associated with the increase in arterial and intramuscular concentrations of BCAA and venous metabolites including BCKA and free fatty acids, and were also related to the decrease in the intramuscular concentration of 3-MH. Correlation analysis indicated that muscle net AA fluxes are highly and positively correlated with arterial BCAA concentrations and muscle net BCKA production. In conclusion, supplementing BCAA to reduced-protein diet increases the arterial concentrations and intramuscular catabolism of BCAA, both of which would contribute to an increase of muscle net AA fluxes in young pigs.
The aim of this study was to investigate whether supplementing branched-chain amino acids (AA) (BCAA) along with a reduced-protein diet increases piglet growth, and whether elevated feed intake and muscle growth-promoting effect contribute to this improvement. In Expt 1, twenty-eight weanling piglets were randomly fed one of the following four diets: a positive control (PC) diet, a reduced-protein negative control (NC) diet, an NC diet supplemented with BCAA to the same levels as in the PC diet (test 1 (T1)) and an NC diet supplemented with a 2-fold dose of BCAA in T1 diet (test 2 (T2)) for 28 d. In Expt 2, twenty-one weanling piglets were randomly assigned to NC, T1 and pair-fed T1 (P) groups. NC and T1 diets were the same as in Expt 1, whereas piglets in the P group were individually pair-fed with the NC group. In Expt 1, the NC group had reduced piglet growth and feed intake compared with the PC group, which were restored in T1 and T2 groups, but no differences were detected between T1 and T2 groups. In Expt 2, T1 and P groups showed increases in growth and mass of some muscles compared with the NC group. Increased feed intake after BCAA supplementation was associated with increased mRNA expressions of agouti-related peptide and co-express neuropeptide Y (NPY) and phosphorylation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and ribosomal protein S6 kinase 1 (S6K1), as well as decreased mRNA expressions of melanocortin-4 receptor and cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript and phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 2α in the hypothalamus. No differences were observed among PC, T1 and T2 groups except for higher NPY mRNA expression in the T2 group than in the PC group (Expt 1). Phosphorylation of mTOR and S6K1 in muscle was enhanced after BCAA supplementation, which was independent of change in feed intake (Expt 2). In conclusion, supplementing BCAA to reduced-protein diets increases feed intake and muscle mass, and contributes to better growth performance in piglets.
The aim of this study was to assess the diagnostic value of plasma N-terminal connective tissue growth factor in children with heart failure.
Methods and results
Plasma N-terminal connective tissue growth factor was determined in 61 children, including 41 children with heart failure, 20 children without heart failure, and 30 healthy volunteers. The correlations between plasma N-terminal connective tissue growth factor levels and clinical parameters were investigated. Moreover, the diagnostic value of N-terminal connective tissue growth factor levels was evaluated. Compared with healthy volunteers and children without heart failure, plasma N-terminal connective tissue growth factor levels were significantly elevated in those with heart failure (p<0.01). N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide and left ventricular end-diastolic dimension were positively correlated with plasma N-terminal connective tissue growth factor levels (r=0.364, p=0.006; r=0.308, p=0.016), whereas there was a negative correlation between left ventricular ejection fraction and plasma N-terminal connective tissue growth factor (r=−0.353, p=0.005). Connective tissue growth factor was significantly correlated with the severity of heart failure (p<0.001). Moreover, addition of connective tissue growth factor to N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide did not significantly increase area under curve for diagnosing heart failure (area under curve difference 0.031, p>0.05), but it obviously improved the ability of diagnosing heart failure in children, as demonstrated by the integrated discrimination improvement (6.2%, p=0.013) and net re-classification improvement (13.2%, p=0.017) indices.
Plasma N-terminal connective tissue growth factor is a promising diagnostic biomarker for heart failure in children.
The late Quaternary sedimentary sequence in the northwestern part of the Sichuan Basin consists of five lithological units and with increasing depth include the: Chengdu Clay; Brown Clay; Red Clay; Sandy Silt; and basal Muddy Gravel. The genesis, provenance and age of the sediments, as well as the possible presence of hiatuses within this sequence are debated. Measurements of grain-size, magnetic susceptibility, quartz content, quartz δ18O values, element composition, and Sr–Nd isotopic concentrations of samples from a typical sedimentary sequence in the area provides new insights into the genesis and history of the sequence. The new data confirm that the sediments in study site are alluvial–aeolian in origin, with basal alluvial deposits overlain by aeolian deposits. Like the uppermost Chengdu Clay, the underlying Brown Clay and Red Clay are aeolian in origin. In contrast, the Silty Sand, like the basal Muddy Gravel, is an alluvial deposit and not an aeolian deposit as previously thought. Moreover, the succession of the aeolian deposits very likely contains two significant sedimentary hiatuses. Sedimentological analysis demonstrates that the source materials for the aeolian deposits in the northwestern part of the Sichuan Basin and those on the eastern Tibetan Plateau are different. Furthermore, the loess deposits on the eastern Tibetan Plateau are derived from heterogeneous local sources.
To examine the vitamin D status, SNP of the vitamin D receptor gene (VDR) and the effects of vitamin D supplementation on parathyroid hormone and insulin secretion in adult males with obesity or normal weight in a subtropical Chinese city.
An intervention trial.
Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, China.
From a cross-sectional survey conducted from June to July, eighty-two normal-weight and ninety-nine obese males (18–69 years) were screened to analyse their vitamin D status and for five SNP of VDR. From these individuals, in the same season of a different year, obese and normal-weight male volunteers (twenty-one per group) were included for an intervention trial with oral vitamin D supplementation at 1250 µg/week for 8 weeks.
For the survey, there was no significant difference (P>0·05) in baseline circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations or in the percentages of participants in different categories of vitamin D status between the two groups. The VDR SNP, rs3782905, was significantly associated with obesity (P=0·043), but none of the examined SNP were correlated with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D when adjusted for age, BMI and study group. After vitamin D supplementation, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration, hypersecretions of parathyroid hormone and insulin, and insulin resistance in the obese were changed beneficially (P<0·05); however, the increase in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D was less than that of the normal-weight men.
For obese and normal-weight men of subtropical China, the summer baseline vitamin D status was similar. However, oral vitamin D supplementation revealed a decreased bioavailability of vitamin D in obese men and ameliorated their hypersecretion of parathyroid hormone and insulin resistance.
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) and multiple sclerosis (MS) are chronic neuro-inflammatory diseases believed to arise from complex interactions between environmental and genetic factors. Recently, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in interleukin (IL)-2 and -7 receptor alpha genes have been identified as novel susceptibility alleles for MS in genome-wide association studies. However, similar research on NMO is limited. We aimed to investigate the association of IL2RA SNPs rs2104286 and rs12722489 and IL7RA SNP rs6897932 with Southern Han Chinese NMO and MS patients.
Frequencies of the three SNPs were examined in Southern Han Chinese mS cases (n=78), NMS cases (n=67) and controls (n=133) using sequencing-based typing.
The rs2104286G frequency in the IL2RA gene was significantly higher in NMO patients than in controls (puncorr=0.013, pcorr=0.026, OR:1.942, 95%CI:1.146-3.291).
The rs2104286 G allele in IL2RA is present at higher frequencies in NMO patients than in healthy controls within a Southern Han Chinese population.
Spermatogenesis is a process in adult male mammals supported by spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs). The cultivation of SSCs has potential value, for example for the treatment of male infertility or spermatogonial transplantation. Testicular interstitial fluid was added to culture medium to a final concentration of 5, 10, 20, 30 or 40%, in order to investigate its effects on proliferation of mouse SSCs in vitro, Alkaline phosphatase (AKP) assay, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis and indirect immunofluorescence of cells were performed to identify SSCs, and the proliferation rate and diameters of the SSCs colonies were measured. The results showed that the optimal addition of testicular interstitial fluid to culture medium was 30%. When medium supplemented with 30% testicular interstitial fluid was used to culture mouse SSCs, the optimum proliferation rate and diameter of the cell colonies were 72.53% and 249 μm, respectively, after 8 days in culture, values that were significant higher than those found for other groups (P < 0.05). In conclusion, proliferation of mouse SSCs could be promoted significantly by supplementation of the culture medium with 30% testicular interstitial fluid. More research is needed to evaluate and understand the precise physiological role of testicular interstitial fluid during cultivation of SSCs.
Cu0.62Zn0.38 foil was subjected to surface mechanical attrition treatment (SMAT) processing first. Growth behavior of ZnO nanostructure on the SMAT Cu0.62Zn0.38 surface during thermal oxidation was investigated in this paper. The original and SMAT Cu0.62Zn0.38 foils were thermally oxidized at 400 ~ 700 °C under various gaseous environments, including nitrogen and mixture of N2-O2 at a pressure of 1 atm. for 3 h. The oxidized specimens were characterized with a scanning electron microscope, an X-ray diffractometer and a transmission electron microscope. It is found that nanosheets are easily formed on the SMAT specimen surface. The favorable formation of nanosheets relates to twin lamellae structure of Cu0.62Zn0.38 formed during SMAT processing.
To date, there has been little improvement in cryopreservation of bull sperm due to lack of understanding of the freezing mechanisms. Therefore, this study set out to investigate expression levels of fertility-associated proteins in bull sperm, and in particular the relationship between the 90 kDa heat-shock protein (HSP90) and the sperm characteristics after freezing–thawing. Semen was collected from eight Holstein bulls by artificial vagina. Characteristics of these fresh semen, including sperm motility, morphology, viability and concentration, were evaluated. Sperm quality was also assessed after freezing–thawing. Eight ejaculates were divided into two groups based on freezing resistance and sperm motility. Sperm proteins were extracted and sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) analysis and western blotting were performed. SDS-PAGE results showed that there was substantial diversity in 90 kDa proteins in the frozen–thawed sperm and HSP90 was confirmed as one of the 90 kDa proteins by western blot. This study indicated that HSP90 expression correlated positively with sperm quality. The amount of expressed 90 kDa proteins in the high freezing resistance (HFR) group was significantly higher than that in the low freezing resistance (LFR) group (P < 0.05). Thus, higher expression of HSP90 could probably lead to the higher motility and freezing resistance of sperm found after freezing–thawing. Therefore, we concluded that level of HSP90 expression could be used to predict reliably and simply the freezing resistance of bull sperm.