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Family coaggregation of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), bipolar disorder (BD), major depressive disorder (MDD) and schizophrenia have been presented in previous studies. The shared genetic and environmental factors among psychiatric disorders remain elusive.
This nationwide population-based study examined familial coaggregation of major psychiatric disorders in first-degree relatives (FDRs) of individuals with ASD. Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database was used to identify 26 667 individuals with ASD and 67 998 FDRs of individuals with ASD. The cohort was matched in 1:4 ratio to 271 992 controls. The relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of ADHD, ASD, BD, MDD and schizophrenia were assessed among FDRs of individuals with ASD and ASD with intellectual disability (ASD-ID).
FDRs of individuals with ASD have higher RRs of major psychiatric disorders compared with controls: ASD 17.46 (CI 15.50–19.67), ADHD 3.94 (CI 3.72–4.17), schizophrenia 3.05 (CI 2.74–3.40), BD 2.22 (CI 1.98–2.48) and MDD 1.88 (CI 1.76–2.00). Higher RRs of schizophrenia (4.47, CI 3.95–5.06) and ASD (18.54, CI 16.18–21.23) were observed in FDRs of individuals with both ASD-ID, compared with ASD only.
The risk for major psychiatric disorders was consistently elevated across all types of FDRs of individuals with ASD. FDRs of individuals with ASD-ID are at further higher risk for ASD and schizophrenia. Our results provide leads for future investigation of shared etiologic pathways of ASD, ID and major psychiatric disorders and highlight the importance of mental health care delivered to at-risk families for early diagnoses and interventions.
We study the effects of nozzle geometry on the dynamics of thin fluid films flowing down a vertical cylindrical fibre. Recent experiments show that varying the nozzle diameter can lead to different flow regimes and droplet characteristics in the film. Using a weighted residual modelling approach, we develop a system of coupled equations that account for inertia, surface tension effects, gravity and a film stabilization mechanism to describe both near-nozzle fluid structures and downstream bead dynamics. We report good agreement between the predicted droplet properties and the experimental data.
Dietary choline, which is converted to phosphatidylcholine (PC) in intestinal enterocytes, may benefit inflammatory bowel disease patients who typically have reduced intestinal choline and PC. The present study investigated the effect of dietary choline supplementation on colitis severity and intestinal mucosal homoeostasis using a Citrobacter rodentium-induced colitis model. C57BL/6J mice were fed three isoenergetic diets differing in choline level: choline-deficient (CD), choline-sufficient (CS) and choline-excess (CE) for 3 weeks prior to infection with C. rodentium. The effect of dietary choline levels on the gut microbiota was also characterised in the absence of infection using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. At 7 d following infection, the levels of C. rodentium in CD mice were significantly greater than that in CS or CE groups (P < 0·05). CD mice exhibited greater damage to the surface epithelium and goblet cell loss than the CS or CE mice, which was consistent with elevated pro-inflammatory cytokine and chemokine levels in the colon. In addition, CD group exhibited decreased concentrations of PC in the colon after C. rodentium infection, although the decrease was not observed in the absence of challenge. Select genera, including Allobaculum and Turicibacter, were enriched in response to dietary choline deficiency; however, there was minimal impact on the total bacterial abundance or the overall structure of the gut microbiota. Our results suggest that insufficient dietary choline intake aggravates the severity of colitis and demonstrates an essential role of choline in maintaining intestinal homoeostasis.
An increasing number of studies have described the relationship between celiac disease and schizophrenia. Based on the reported correlations and the overlapping linkage regions on 19p13, the myosin IXB gene (MYO9B) can be considered a highly relevant positional and functional candidate gene for schizophrenia. The present work was undertaken to investigate the association of the MYO9B gene with schizophrenia in a Chinese population.
A total of 329 patients with schizophrenia and 350 healthy control subjects in a Chinese population were recruited. A PCR-based RFLP protocol was applied to genotype 7 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), including rs7249490, rs7256689, rs2279007, rs8113494, rs2305767, rs1545620 and rs2305764, in the MYO9B gene to investigate their association with schizophrenia.
The X2 goodness-of-fit test showed that the genotypic distributions of all 7 SNPs were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in both the patient group and the control group. Disease association was shown for rs8113494 (X2=12.77, P=0.0003, OR=1.89, 95% CI 1.33-2.68) and rs1545620 (X2=15.44, P=8.379e-5, OR=1.65, 95% CI 1.29-2.12), while rs2279007 was associated with schizophrenia in the female subjects (X2=4.637, P=0.031, OR=0.69, 95% CI 0.49-0.97) but not in the male subjects (X2=1.082, P=0.299, OR=0.85, 95% CI 0.63-1.15).
The present work shows that the polymorphisms of the MYO9B gene are likely to confer susceptibility to schizophrenia. Because the MYO9B gene has been found to be highly expressed in the tight junction gate, it could be considered as a meeting point for the interaction between environmental and genetic factors in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia.
The present study was designed to detect three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located on 22q11 that was thought as being of particularly importance for genetic research into schizophrenia. We recruited a total of 176 Chinese family trios of Han descent, consisting of mothers, fathers and affected offspring with schizophrenia for the genetic analysis. The transmission disequilibrium test (TDT) showed that of three SNPs, rs10314 in the 3′-untranslated region of the CLDN5 locus was associated with schizophrenia (χ2 = 4.75, P = 0.029). The other two SNPs, rs1548359 present in the CDC45L locus centromeric of rs10314 and rs739371 in the 5′-flanking region of the CLDN5 locus, did not show such an association. The global chi-square (χ2) test showed that the 3-SNP haplotype system was not associated with schizophrenia although the 1-df test for individual haplotypes showed that the rs1548359(C)-rs10314(G)-rs739371(C) haplotype was excessively non-transmitted (χ2 = 5.32, P = 0.02). Because the claudin proteins are a major component for barrier-forming tight junctions that could play a crucial role in response to changing natural, physiological and pathological conditions, the CLDN5 association with schizophrenia may be an important clue leading to look into a meeting point of genetic and environmental factors.
An increasing number of studies have described the relationship between velo-cardio-facial syndrome (VCFS) and schizophrenia. in a family-based study, we found that rs10314, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) present in the 3’-flanking region of the CLDN5 gene, was associated with schizophrenia among a Chinese population. High false positive rate is a common problem with the association study of human diseases. It is very important to replicate an initial finding with different samples and experimental designs.
A total of 749 patients with schizophrenia and 383 age and sex matched healthy control subjects in Chinese population were recruited. PCR-based RFLP protocol was applied to genotype rs10314 to see its disease association.
The χ2 goodness-of-fit test showed that the genotypic distributions of rs10314 were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in both the patient group (χ2=1.12, P=0.289) and the control group (χ2=0.22, P=0.639). rs10314 was associated with schizophrenia with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.32 in the male subjects (χ2=5.45, P=0.02, 95% CI 1.05-1.67) but not in the female subjects (χ2=0.64, P=0.425, OR=1.14, 95% CI 0.83-1.57). the χ2 test showed a genotypic association only for combined samples (χ2=7.80, df=2, P=0.02). SNP rs10314 is a G to C base change. Frequency of the genotypes containing the C allele was significantly higher in the patient group than in the control group.
The present work shows that the CLDN5 gene polymorphism is more likely to be involved in schizophrenic men than women, suggesting that this gene may contribute to the gender differences in schizophrenia.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) enters latency after primary infection and can reactivate periodically with virus excreted in body fluids which can be called shedding. CMV shedding during the early stage of pregnancy is associated with adverse pregnancy outcome. The shedding pattern in healthy seropositive women who plan to have babies has not been well characterised. Vaginal swabs, urine and blood were collected from 1262 CMV IgG-positive women who intended to have babies and tested for CMV DNA by fluorogenic quantitative PCR method. Serum IgM was also detected. The association between sociodemographic characteristics and CMV shedding prevalence was analysed. Among 1262 seropositive women, 12.8% (161/1262) were detected CMV DNA positive in at least one body fluid. CMV DNA was more frequently detected in vaginal secretion (10.5%) than in urine (3.2%) and blood (0.6%) also with higher viral loads (P < 0.00). CMV shedding was more likely detected in IgM-positive women than IgM-negative women (29.5% (13/44) vs. 12.2% (148/1218); OR 3.03, 95% CI 1.55–5.93; P = 0.001). CMV shedding in vaginal secretion was highly correlated with shedding in urine, the immune state of IgM, the adverse pregnant history and younger age. CMV shedding was more commonly detected in vaginal secretion than in urine or blood with higher viral loads among healthy seropositive women of reproductive age. Further studies are needed to figure out whether the shedding is occasional or continuous and whether it is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Recent experiments on thin films flowing down a vertical fibre with varying nozzle diameters present a wealth of new dynamics that illustrate the need for more advanced theory. We present a detailed analysis using a full lubrication model that includes slip boundary conditions, nonlinear curvature terms and a film stabilization term. This study brings to focus the presence of a stable liquid layer playing an important role in the full dynamics. We propose a combination of these physical effects to explain the observed velocity and stability of travelling droplets in the experiments and their transition to isolated droplets. This is also supported by stability analysis of the travelling wave solution of the model.
Insect defensins, are cationic peptides that play an important role in immunity against microbial infection. In the present study, an anionic defensin from Plutella xylostella, (designated as PxDef) was first cloned and characterized. Amino acid sequence analysis showed that the mature peptide owned characteristic six-cysteine motifs with predicted isoelectric point of 5.57, indicating an anionic defensin. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that PxDef was significantly induced in epidermis, fat body, midgut and hemocytes after injection of heat-inactivated Bacillus thuringiensis, while such an induction was delayed by the injection of live B. thuringiensis in the 4th instar larvae of P. xylostella. Knocking down the expression of nuclear transcription factor Dorsal in P. xylostella by RNA interference significantly decreased the mRNA level of PxDef, and increased the sensitivity of P. xylostella larvae to the infection by live B. thuringiensis. The purified recombinant mature peptide (PxDef) showed higher activity against Gram-positive bacteria, with the minimum inhibition concentrations of 1.6 and 2.6 µM against B. thuringiensis and Bacillus subtilis, respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first report about an anionic PxDef, which may play an important role in the immune system of P. xylostella against B. thuringiensis.
Decreased hemoglobin levels increase the risk of developing dementia among the elderly. However, the underlying mechanisms that link decreased hemoglobin levels to incident dementia still remain unclear, possibly due to the fact that few studies have reported on the relationship between low hemoglobin levels and neuroimaging markers. We, therefore, investigated the relationships between decreased hemoglobin levels, cerebral small-vessel disease (CSVD), and cortical atrophy in cognitively healthy women and men.
Cognitively normal women (n = 1,022) and men (n = 1,018) who underwent medical check-ups and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were enrolled at a health promotion center. We measured hemoglobin levels, white matter hyperintensities (WMH) scales, lacunes, and microbleeds. Cortical thickness was automatically measured using surface based methods. Multivariate regression analyses were performed after controlling for possible confounders.
Decreased hemoglobin levels were not associated with the presence of WMH, lacunes, or microbleeds in women and men. Among women, decreased hemoglobin levels were associated with decreased cortical thickness in the frontal (Estimates, 95% confidence interval, −0.007, (−0.013, −0.001)), temporal (−0.010, (−0.018, −0.002)), parietal (−0.009, (−0.015, −0.003)), and occipital regions (−0.011, (−0.019, −0.003)). Among men, however, no associations were observed between hemoglobin levels and cortical thickness.
Our findings suggested that decreased hemoglobin levels affected cortical atrophy, but not increased CSVD, among women, although the association is modest. Given the paucity of modifiable risk factors for age-related cognitive decline, our results have important public health implications.
This study aims to examine the longitudinal effects of a small-scale nursing home model on the change rates of psychological outcomes by comparing green house (GH) and traditional nursing home residents.
A total of 242 residents (93 GH and 149 traditional home residents) who resided at the home least 6 months from admission. Four minimum dataset assessments every six months from admission were included. The main psychological outcomes were depressive mood, and social engagement. The main independent variable was the facility type that the resident resided in: a GH or traditional unit. Age, gender, ADL function, and cognitive function at admission were controlled in the model. A zero-inflated Poisson (ZIP) growth curve model was utilized to compare change rates of two psychological outcomes between the two groups taking into account many zero counts of two outcome measures.
A rate of increase in depressive symptoms for GH home residents was higher than that of traditional home residents (β = 0.135, p-value = 0.025). GH home residents had a lower rate of increase of the probability of “not being socially engaged” over time compared to traditional home residents (β = −0.274, p-value = 0.010).
The GH nursing home model had a longitudinal effect on increasing the probability of residents’ social engagement over time, but also increasing the recognition of depressive symptoms compared to traditional nursing homes.
Nasal swab culture is the standard method for identifying methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carriers. However, this method is known to miss a substantial portion of those carrying MRSA elsewhere. We hypothesized that the additional use of a sponge to collect skin culture samples would significantly improve the sensitivity of MRSA detection.
Hospitalized patients with recent MRSA infection were enrolled and underwent MRSA screening of the forehead, nostrils, pharynx, axilla, and groin with separate swabs and the forehead, axilla, and groin with separate sponges. Staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) typing was conducted by polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
A total of 105 MRSA patients were included in the study.
At least 1 specimen from 56.2% of the patients grew MRSA. Among patients with at least 1 positive specimen, the detection sensitivities were 79.7% for the swabs and 64.4% for the sponges. Notably, 86.4% were detected by a combination of sponges and nasal swab, and 72.9% were detected by a combination of pharyngeal and nasal swabs, whereas only 50.9% were detected by nasal swab alone (P<0.0001 and P=0.0003, respectively). Most isolates had SCCmec type II (59.9%) and IV (35.7%). No correlation was observed between the SCCmec types and collection sites.
Screening using a sponge significantly improves MRSA detection when used in addition to screening with the standard nasal swab.
Global warming is a challenge to animal health, because of increased heat stress, with subsequent induction of immunosuppression and increased susceptibility to disease. Toll-like receptors (TLR) are pattern recognition receptors that act as sentinels of pathogen invasion and tissue damage. Ligation of TLRs results in a signaling cascade and production of inflammatory cytokines, which eradicate pathogens and maintain the health of the host. We hypothesized that the TLR signaling pathway plays a role in immunosuppression in heat-stressed pigs. We explored the changes in the expression of TLR2, TLR4 and the concentration of acute inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-2, IL-8, IL-12 and IFN-γ in Bama miniature pigs subjected to 21 consecutive days of heat stress, both in vitro and in vivo models. The results showed that heat stress induced the upregulation of cortisol in the plasma of pigs (P<0.05); TLR4 mRNA was elevated, but IL-2 was reduced in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC, P<0.05). The white blood cell count and the percentage of granulocytes (eosinophilic+basophilic) decreased significantly in heat-stressed pigs (P<0.05). In the in vitro model (PBMC heat shocked for 1 h followed by a 9 h recovery period), TLR2 and TLR4 mRNA expression also increased, as did the concentration of IL-12 in supernatants. However, IFN-γ was significantly reduced in PBMC culture supernatants (P<0.05). We concluded that a consecutive heat stress period elevated the expression of TLR2 and TLR4 in PBMC and increased the plasma levels of inflammatory cytokines. These data indicate that TLR activation and dysregulation of cytokine expression in response to prolonged heat stress may be associated with immunosuppression and increased susceptibility to antigenic challenge in Bama miniature pigs.
Glutathione peroxidase (GPx; EC 188.8.131.52) is an important antioxidant enzyme that catalyses the reduction of organic and inorganic hydroperoxides to water in oxygen-consuming organisms, using glutathione as an electron donor. Here, we report the characterization of a GPx of Cryptosporidium parvum (CpGPx). CpGPx contained a standard UGU codon for cysteine instead of a UGA opal codon for seleno-cysteine (SeCys) at the active site, and no SeCys insertion sequence (SECIS) motif was identified within the 3′-untranslated region (UTR) of CpGPx, which suggested its selenium-independent nature. In silico and biochemical analyses indicated that CpGPx is a cytosolic protein with a monomeric structure. Recombinant CpGPx was active over a wide pH range and was stable under physiological conditions. It showed a substrate preference against organic hydroperoxides, such as cumene hydroperoxide and t-butyl hydroperoxide, but it also showed activity against inorganic hydroperoxide, hydrogen peroxide. Recombinant CpGPx was not inhibited by potassium cyanide or by sodium azide. The enzyme effectively protected DNA and protein from oxidative damage induced by hydrogen peroxide, and was functionally expressed in various developmental stages of C. parvum. These results collectively suggest the essential role of CpGPx for the parasite's antioxidant defence system.
A cluster dynamics model based on rate theory has been developed to describe the accumulation and diffusion processes of helium in tungsten under helium implantation alone or synergistic irradiation with neutron, by involving different types of objects, adopting up-to-date parameters and complex reaction processes as well as considering the diffusion process along with depth. The calculated results under different conditions are in good agreement with experiments much well. The model describes the behavior of helium in tungsten within 2D space of defect type/size and depth on different ions incident conditions (energies and fluences) and material conditions (system temperature and existent sinks), by including the synergistic effect of helium-neutron irradiations and the influence of inherent sinks (dislocation lines and grain boundaries). The model, coded as IRadMat, would be universally applicable to the evolution of defects for ions/neutron irradiated on plasma-facing materials.
Cysteine proteases of pathogenic protozoan parasites play pivotal roles in the life cycle of parasites, but strict regulation of their activities is also essential for maintenance of parasite physiology and interaction with hosts. In this study, we identified and characterized cryptostatin, a novel inhibitor of cysteine protease (ICP) of Cryptosporidium parvum. Cryptostatin showed low sequence identity to other chagasin-family ICPs, but 3 motifs (NPTTG, GXGG, and RPW/F motifs), which are evolutionarily conserved in chagasin-family ICPs, were found in the sequence. The overall structure of cryptostatin consisted of 8 β-strands that progressed in parallel and closely resembled the immunoglobulin fold. Recombinant cryptostatin inhibited various cysteine proteases, including papain, human cathepsin B, human cathepsin L, and cryptopain-1, with Ki's in the picomolar range. Cryptostatin was active over a wide pH range and was highly stable under physiological conditions. The protein was thermostable and retained its inhibitory activity even after incubation at 95°C. Cryptostatin formed tight complexes with cysteine proteases, so the complexes remained intact in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulfate and β-mercaptoethanol, but they were disassembled by boiling. An immunogold electron microscopy analysis demonstrated diffused localization of cryptostatin within oocystes and meronts, but not within trophozoites, which suggests a possible role for cryptostatin in host cell invasion by C. parvum.
D. G. Blair, University of Western Australia, Perth,E. J. Howell, University of Western Australia, Perth,L. Ju, University of Western Australia, Perth,C. Zhao, University of Western Australia, Perth
By late 2010 five large-scale laser interferometer gravitational wave detectors had been operating for several years at unprecedented sensitivity. They were searching for gravitational wave signals created by matter in its most extreme and exotic form – neutron stars, black holes and the Big Bang itself. The detectors were the most sensitive instruments ever created, able to detect fractional changes in spacetime geometry at the level of parts in 1023, corresponding to the measurement of energy changes of less than 10-31 joules per hertz of bandwidth. Despite this extraordinary achievement, the sensitivity was about 10 times below the level where we could be confident of detecting predicted signals. For example, the mean time between detectable chirp signals from the coalescence of pairs of neutron stars was likely to be once every 50 years, so that in a year of operation the chance of detection was only about 2%.
Despite this pessimistic prognosis, many of the 1000 physicists in the worldwide collaborations involved with the above detectors remained optimistic that nature might to kind enough to provide a first signal. Optimism was high enough that a system had been put in place to alert optical telescopes to slew to the part of the sky corresponding to the arrival times of any significant event.
On 16 September 2010 a coincident signal appeared in LIGO detectors spaced 2000 kilometres apart in the USA. It was immediately recognised as a significant event, especially after it was also identified in the data of the Virgo detector in Italy.