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Human innate immune plays an essential role in the spontaneous clearance of acute infection and therapy of HCV. We investigated whether the SNPs in retinoic acid-inducible gene I-like receptor family were associated with HCV spontaneous clearance and response to treatment. To evaluate the clinical value of DDX58 rs3824456, rs10813831 and rs10738889 genotypes on HCV spontaneous clearance and treatment response in Chinese Han population, we genotyped 1001 HCV persistent infectors, 599 participants with HCV natural clearance and 354 patients with PEGylated interferon-α and ribavirin (PEG IFN-α/RBV) treatment. People carrying rs10813831-G allele genotype were more liable to achieve spontaneous clearance than the carriage of the T allele (dominant model: adjusted OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.08–1.71, P = 0.008). In rs10738889, the rate of persistent infection was significantly lower in patients with the TC genotype compared to those with TT genotype (dominant model: adjusted OR 1.36, 95% CI 1.06–1.74, P = 0.015). Multivariate stepwise analysis indicated that rs10738889, age, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) were independent predictors for HCV spontaneous clearance. However, there were no significant differences in the three selection SNPs between the non-SVR group and the SVR group. These results suggest the DDX58 rs10813831 and rs10738889 are associated with spontaneous clearance of HCV, which may be identified as a predictive marker in the Chinese Han population of HCV.
Research suggests an association between metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and schizophrenia. However, the risk of metabolic disorders in the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia remains unclear.
Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, 3135 unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands and 12,540 age-/sex-matched control subjects were included and followed up to the end of 2011. Individuals who developed metabolic disorders during the follow-up period were identified.
The unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM (3.4% vs. 2.6%, p = 0.010) than the controls. Logistic regression analyses with the adjustment of demographic data revealed that the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia were more likely to develop T2DM (odds ratio [OR]: 1.39, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.10–1.75) later in life compared with the control group. Moreover, only female siblings of schizophrenia probands had an increased risk of hypertension (OR: 1.47, 95% CI: 1.07–2.01) during the follow-up compared with the controls.
The unaffected siblings, especially sisters, of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM and hypertension compared with the controls. Our study revealed a familial link between schizophrenia and T2DM in a large sample. Additional studies are required to investigate the shared pathophysiology of schizophrenia and T2DM.
Energy restriction (ER) has been widely studied as a novel intervention, and its ability to prolong life has been fully demonstrated. For example, ER can significantly extend the lifespans of model flies, worms, rodents and other mammals. The role of ER in renal protection has also been elucidated. In preclinical studies, adjusting total energy intake or consumption of specific nutrients has prophylactic or therapeutic effects on ageing-related kidney disease and acute and chronic kidney injury. Amino acid restriction has gradually attracted attention. ER mimetics have also been studied in depth. The protective mechanisms of ER and ER mimetics for renal injury include increasing AMP-activated protein kinase and sirtuin type 1 (Sirt1) levels and autophagy and reducing mammalian target of rapamycin, inflammation and oxidative stress. However, the renal protective effect of ER has mostly been investigated in rodent models, and the role of ER in patients cannot be determined due to the lack of large randomised controlled trials. To protect the kidney, the mechanism of ER must be thoroughly researched, and more accurate diet or drug interventions need to be identified.
Maternal dietary patterns and macronutrients intake have been shown to affect the development of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), but the findings are inconsistent. We aimed to identify maternal dietary patterns and examine their associations with GDM risk, and to evaluate the contributions of macronutrients intake to these associations. We included 2755 Chinese pregnant women from the Tongji Maternal and Child Health Cohort. Dietary intakes were assessed using a validated semi-quantitative FFQ 2 weeks before the diagnosis of GDM. GDM (n 248) was diagnosed based on the results of a 75-g, 2-h oral glucose tolerance test at 24–28 weeks gestation. We derived five different dietary patterns from a principal component analysis. The results showed that high fish–meat–eggs scores, which were positively related to protein intake and inversely related to carbohydrate intake, were associated with a higher risk of GDM (adjusted OR for quartile 4 v. quartile 1: 1·83; 95 % CI 1·21, 2·79; Ptrend=0·007) and higher plasma glucose levels. In contrast, high rice–wheat–fruits scores, which were positively related to carbohydrate intake and inversely related to protein intake, were associated with lower risk of GDM (adjusted OR for quartile 3 v. quartile 1: 0·54; 95 % CI 0·36, 0·83; Ptrend=0·010) and lower plasma glucose levels. In addition, dietary protein and carbohydrate intake significantly contributed to the associations between dietary patterns and GDM risk or glucose levels. These findings suggest that a dietary pattern characterised by high protein and low carbohydrate intake in pregnancy was associated with a higher risk of GDM, which may provide important clues for dietary guidance during pregnancy to prevent GDM.
Little is known about the combined use of benzodiazepines and antidepressants in older psychiatric patients. This study examined the prescription pattern of concurrent benzodiazepines in older adults treated with antidepressants in Asia, and explored its demographic and clinical correlates.
The data of 955 older adults with any type of psychiatric disorders were extracted from the database of the Research on Asian Psychotropic Prescription Patterns for Antidepressants (REAP-AD) project. Demographic and clinical characteristics were recorded using a standardized protocol and data collection procedure. Both univariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were performed.
The proportion of benzodiazepine and antidepressant combination in this cohort was 44.3%. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that higher doses of antidepressants, younger age (<65 years), inpatients, public hospital, major comorbid medical conditions, antidepressant types, and country/territory were significantly associated with more frequent co-prescription of benzodiazepines and antidepressants.
Nearly, half of the older adults treated with antidepressants in Asia are prescribed concurrent benzodiazepines. Given the potentially adverse effects of benzodiazepines, the rationale of benzodiazepines and antidepressants co-prescription needs to be revisited.
Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is a major cause of chronic kidney disease. We aimed to investigate the effect of the low-protein diets (LPD) supplemented with ketoacids (LPD+KA) in KKAy mice, an early type 2 DN model. KKAy mice were treated with normal protein diet (NPD), LPD or LPD+KA from 12 to 24 weeks of age. A period of 12-week treatment with LPD significantly reduced albuminuria as compared with that observed after NPD treatment. Treatment with LPD+KA further reduced albuminuria as compared with that observed with LPD treatment alone. Moreover, LPD treatment reduced mesangial expansion, thickness of glomerular basement membrane and the severity of the podocyte foot process effacement in KKAy mice; these effects were more pronounced in KKAy mice treated with LPD+KA. Both LPD and LPD+KA treatments slightly reduced total body weight, but had no significant effect on kidney weight and blood glucose concentrations when compared with NPD-treated KKAy mice. LPD treatment slightly attenuated oxidative stress in kidneys as compared with that observed in NPD-treated KKAy mice; however, LPD+KA treatment remarkably ameliorated oxidative stress in diabetic kidneys as shown by decreased malondialdehyde concentrations, protein carbonylation, nitrotyrosine expression and increased superoxide dismutase expression. Nutritional therapy using LPD+KA confers additional renal benefits as compared with those of LPD treatment alone in early type 2 DN through inhibition of oxidative stress.
Apathy is a condition characterized by a lack of motivation that manifests in emotional, behavioral, and cognitive domains. Although previous studies have indicated that apathy is associated with frontal lesions, few studies have focused on the different subdomains of apathy, and no in vivo human biochemical data have been obtained to examine the neurochemical changes related to apathy in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Thus, we investigated the frontal neurochemical alterations related to apathy among patients with AD using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS).
Apathy was assessed through the Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES). 1H MRS was performed to measure neurochemical metabolite levels in the anterior cingulate region and right orbitofrontal region. Associations between neurochemical metabolites and the total score and subscores of each domain of the AES were analyzed.
Altogether, 36 patients completed the study. Patients with lower N-acetylaspartate/creatine ratios (NAA/Cr) in the anterior cingulate region demonstrated higher total apathy scores (β = −0.56, p = 0.003) with adjustments for age, gender, educational level, dementia severity, and depression severity. In a further analysis, a lower NAA/Cr in the anterior cingulate region was associated with all subdomains of apathy, including cognition (β = −0.43, p = 0.028), behavior (β = −0.55, p = 0.002), and emotion (β = −0.50, p = 0.005). No statistically significant associations were discovered in the right orbitofrontal region.
Our results suggest that apathy, in each of its cognitive, behavioral, or emotional subdomains is associated with brain neurochemical alterations in the anterior cingulate region. Abnormal neuronal integrity over the anterior cingulate cortex may exhibit a central role in causing all aspects of apathy in patients with AD.
A comprehensive geochronological and geochemical study was carried out on the gneissic monzogranites, porphyritic granodiorites and charnockites in the Gaozhou complex of the Yunkai massif in the southern part of the South China block to better understand the Early Palaeozoic tectonic regime of the South China block. Laser ablation – inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) U–Pb dating of zircons indicates an age of 453.2 ± 5.1 Ma to the formation of the gneissic monzogranites, whereas the porphyritic granodiorites and charnockites were generated at 437.0 ± 1.5 Ma and 435.2 ± 2.2 Ma, respectively. The gneissic monzogranites show geochemical features consistent with the high-K, calc-alkaline rock series and are strongly peraluminous. They have SiO2 contents ranging from 67.75 to 69.65 wt. % and relatively low CaO contents (1.66–1.94 wt. %). Their REE patterns are fractionated with enriched LREEs and negative Eu anomalies. The samples also show enrichment in LILEs (e.g. Rb and K) and Pb, and depletion in Sr, Ba and HFSEs (e.g. Nb, Ta, Ti and P). They have εNd(t) values of −8.2 to −7.7. Conversely, the porphyritic granodiorites and charnockites are characterized as medium-K, calc-alkaline rock series and weakly to strongly peraluminous. They exhibit pronounced depletions in HFSEs and positive Pb anomalies. Compared to the earlier gneissic monzogranites, these rocks have relatively lower SiO2 (65.50–69.36 wt. %), but higher CaO contents (3.34–4.05 wt. %), and have slightly lower εNd(t) values (−9.1 to −8.4). Petrography and geochemical compositions of the gneissic monzogranites indicate that they are S-type granite and likely formed by partial melting of Neoproterozoic to Early Palaeozoic immature metagreywackes; whereas The porphyritic granodiorites and charnockites are A-type granite and likely derived from low degrees of partial melting of the dry, granulitic residue depleted by prior extraction of granitic melt. The new data for the Caledonian granitoids in the Yunkai massif suggest that they were formed in a post-collisional tectonic setting. They represent the earliest post-collisional alkaline magmatism reported so far in the Yunkai massif, and thus indicate a tectonic regime switch, from compression to extension, as early as the Late Ordovician to Early Silurian (~450–435 Ma).
Previous studies have indicated that there is dopamine transporter (DAT) dysregulation and P300 abnormality in adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); however, the correlations among the three have not been fully explored.
A total of 11 adults (9 males and 2 females) with ADHD and 11 age-, sex-, and education-level-matched controls were recruited. We explored differences in DAT availability using single-photon emission computed tomography and P300 wave of event-related potentials between the two groups. The correlation between DAT availability and P300 performance was also examined.
DAT availability in the basal ganglia, caudate nucleus, and putamen was significantly lower in the ADHD group. Adults with ADHD had lower auditory P300 amplitudes at the Pz and Cz sites, as well as longer Fz latency than controls. DAT availability was negatively correlated to P300 latency at Pz and Fz.
Adults with ADHD had both abnormal DAT availability and P300 amplitude, suggesting that ADHD is linked to dysfunction of the central dopaminergic system and poor cognitive processes related to response selection and execution.
Palaeoproterozic metasedimentary rocks, also referred to as khondalites, characterized by Al-rich minerals, are extensively exposed in the nucleus of the Yangtze craton, South China block. Samples of garnet–sillimanite gneiss in the khondalite suite were collected from the Kongling complex for Nd isotopic and elemental geochemical study. These rocks are characterized by variable SiO2 contents ranging from 35.71 to 58.07 wt%, and have low CaO (0.45–0.84 wt%) but high Al2O3 (18.56–29.04 wt%), Cr (174–334 ppm) and Ni (42.5–153 ppm) contents. They have high CIW (Chemical Index of Weathering) values (90.4–94.7), indicating intense chemical weathering of the source material. The samples display light rare earth elements (LREE) enrichment with negative Eu anomalies (Eu/Eu*=0.40–0.68), and have flat heavy rare earth elements (HREE) patterns. The high contents of transition elements (e.g. Cr, Ni, Sc, V) and moderately radiogenic Nd isotopic compositions suggest that the paragneisses might be those of first-cycle erosion products of predominantly mafic rocks mixing with small amounts of felsic moderately evolved Archaean crustal source. Geochemical and Nd isotopic compositions reveal that at least some of the protoliths of Kongling khondalite were sourced from local pre-existing mafic igneous rocks in a continental arc tectonic setting. Combined with documented zircon U–Pb geochronological data, we propose that the Palaeoproterozoic high-pressure granulite-facies metamorphism, rapid weathering, erosion and deposition of the khondalites in the interior of the Yangtze craton might be related to a Palaeoproterozoic collisional orogenic event during 2.1–1.9 Ga, consistent with the worldwide contemporary orogeny, implying that the Yangtze craton may have been an important component of the Palaeoprotorozoic Columbia supercontinent.
Retinex theory explains how the human visual system perceives colors. The goal of retinex is to decompose the reflectance and the illumination from the given images and thereby compensating for non-uniform lighting. The existing methods for retinex usually use a single image with a fixed exposure to restore the reflectance of the image. In this paper, we propose a variational model for retinex problem by utilizing multi-exposure images of a given scene. The existence and uniqueness of the solutions of the proposed model have been elaborated. An alternating minimization method is constructed to solve the proposed model and its convergence is also demonstrated. The experimental results show that the proposed method is effective for reflectance recovery in retinex problem.
Many lacustrine chronology records suffer from radiocarbon reservoir effects. A continuous, accurate varve chronology, in conjunction with accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) 14C dating, was used to determine the age of lacustrine sediment and to quantify the past 14C reservoir effect in Sugan Lake (China). Reservoir age varied from 4340 to 2590 yr due to 14C-depleted water in the late Holocene. However, during the Little Ice Age (LIA), 14C reservoir age was relatively stable. According to this study, 14C reservoir age in the late Holocene may be driven by hydrological and climatic changes of this period. Therefore, special caution should be paid to the correction of the 14C reservoir effect by a unique 14C reservoir age in paleoclimatic and paleolimnological study of northwest China.
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.
The morphology, chemistry and phylogenetic relationships of Chinese populations
of Bulbothrix are described. Nine species, including two new
species B. mammillaria Y. Y. Zhang & Li S. Wang sp.
nov. and B. lacinia Y. Y. Zhang & Li S. Wang sp.
nov., and two newly recorded for the flora, B. scortella and
B. meizospora, are reported. Bulbothrix
mammillaria can be recognized by the sparse cilia that are reduced to a
bulbate structure and the broad lobes (3–11 mm). Bulbothrix
lacinia differs from other species of the genus by dark brown,
spherical to short-cylindrical isidia and common lacinulae on the upper surface.
Phylogenetic relationships of currently known ITS sequences from
Bulbothrix were inferred to assess the affinities of the
new species. A key to all known species from China is presented.
X-ray powder diffraction data, unit-cell parameters, and space group for letrozole, C17H11N5, are reported [a = 7.034(0) Å, b = 16.177(5) Å, c = 13.411(3) Å, α = γ = 90°, β = 105.71(9)°, unit-cell volume V = 1469.0(3) Å3, Z = 4, and space-group P21/c]. All measured lines were indexed and are consistent with the P21/c space group. No detectable impurity was observed.
Semisolid powder processing (SPP) was used to fabricate n-type bismuth telluride-based polycrystalline bulk materials with improved thermoelectric properties. The minimum lattice thermal conductivity and the maximum ZT value of the SPP sample obtained in this study are 0.163 W m−1 K−1 at 383 K and 0.89 at 423 K, respectively. This ZT value exhibited a significant enhancement of 65.7 and 101.3% compared with the hot-pressing and the die-casting counterparts, respectively. The reduction of the lattice thermal conductivity is mainly due to the nanoscale grains and the mesoscale pores induced by the SPP. The grain boundaries and the interfaces brought by the porosities could scatter the phonons with mean free paths extensively from 300 nm to 1 μm. The remarkable enhancement of the ZT value and the convenient fabricating process suggest that the SPP is a promising method for mass production of high-performance bismuth telluride-based polycrystalline bulk materials.
The impairment in the rate of cell proliferation and differentiation leads to a negative consequence on the renewal of the intestinal epithelium, which is the aetiological factor of a number of digestive diseases. Grape seed extract (GSE), a rich source of proanthocyanidins, is known for its beneficial health effects. The present study evaluated the beneficial effects of GSE on colonic cell differentiation and barrier function in IL10-deficient mice. Female mice aged 6 weeks were randomised into two groups and given drinking-water containing 0 or 0·1 % GSE (w/v) for 12 weeks. GSE supplementation decreased serum TNF-α level and intestinal permeability, and increased the colonic goblet cell density that was associated with increased mRNA expression of mucin (Muc)-2. Immunohistochemical analyses showed lower accumulation of β-catenin in the crypts of colon tissues of the GSE-supplemented mice, which was associated with a decreased mRNA expression of two downstream effectors of Wingless and Int (Wnt)/catenin signalling, myelocytomatosis oncogene protein (Myc) and cyclin D1 (Ccnd1). Consistently, GSE supplementation decreased the number of colonic proliferating cell nuclear antigen-positive cells, a well-known cell proliferation marker, and a weakened extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) signalling. In summary, these data indicate that supplementation of 0·1 % GSE for 12 weeks improved gut barrier function and colonic cell differentiation in the IL10-deficient mice probably via inhibiting Wnt/β-catenin pathway.
To investigate the impact of 1-week ventilator circuit change on ventilator-associated pneumonia and its cost-effectiveness compared with a 2-day change.
An observational cohort study.
A tertiary level neonatal intensive care unit in a university-affiliated teaching hospital in Taiwan.
All neonates in the neonatal intensive care unit receiving invasive intubation for more than 1 week from July 1, 2011, through December 31, 2013.
We investigated the impact of 2 ventilator circuit change regimens, either every 2 days or 7 days, on ventilator-associated pneumonia of our cohort.
Measurements and Main Results
A total of 361 patients were maintained on mechanical ventilators for 13,981 days. The 2 groups did not differ significantly in any demographic characteristics. The rate of ventilator-associated pneumonia was comparable between the 2-day group and the 7-day group (8.2 vs 9.5 per 1,000 ventilator-days, P=.439). The durations of mechanical ventilation and hospital stay, and rates of bloodstream infection and mortality, were also comparable between the 2 groups. Switching from a 2-day to a 7-day change policy would save our neonatal intensive care unit a yearly sum of US $29,350 and 525 working hours.
Decreasing the frequency of ventilator circuit changes from every 2 days to once per week is safe and cost-effective in neonates requiring prolonged intubation for more than 1 week.
In this study, a simple, facile, green, and versatile strategy was developed for the synthesis of water-soluble and well-dispersed fluorescent gold nanoclusters (Au NCs) with wave length-tunable emissions using protein as capping agent and template. The resultant Au NCs exhibited excellent characteristics such as large Stokes shift, good stability, and high resistance to photobleaching. They showed strong emission at 680 nm, with a quantum yield of 4.5%. Heavy metal ion (Hg2+) could quench the fluorescence of Au NCs efficiently and thus the as-prepared Au NCs were successfully developed as “turn-off” fluorescent probes for the detection of Hg2+ sensitively and selectively. The lowest concentration to quantify mercuric ions could be as low as 1 nM and the fluorescence intensity of the Au NCs was proportional to the concentrations of Hg2+ over the range 8 × 10−8 M to 1 × 10−5 M (R = 0.9982). To validate the practicality of this probe, real water samples spiked with Hg2+ were determined with RSD values less than 3%. And the results demonstrated that the developed probes worked well in environmental samples. The action mechanism between the Au NCs and Hg2+ was explored as well.
In the present study, we performed a meta-analysis to assess the ability of leucine supplementation to increase the muscle protein fraction synthetic rate and to augment lean body mass or leg lean mass in elderly patients. A literature search was conducted on Medline, Cochrane, EMBASE and Google Scholar databases up to 31 December 2013 for clinical trials that investigated the administration of leucine as a nutrient that affects muscle protein metabolism and muscle mass in elderly subjects. The included studies were randomised controlled trials. The primary outcome for the meta-analysis was the protein fractional synthetic rate. Secondary outcomes included lean body mass and leg lean mass. A total of nine studies were included in the meta-analysis. The results showed that the muscle protein fractional synthetic rate after intervention significantly increased in the leucine group compared with the control group (pooled standardised difference in mean changes 1·08, 95 % CI 0·50, 1·67; P< 0·001). No difference was found between the groups in relation to lean body mass (pooled standardised difference in mean changes 0·18, 95 % CI − 0·18, 0·54; P= 0·318) or leg lean mass (pooled standardised difference in mean changes 0·006, 95 % CI − 0·32, 0·44; P= 0·756). These findings suggest that leucine supplementation is useful to address the age-related decline in muscle mass in elderly individuals, as it increases the muscle protein fractional synthetic rate.