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Pregnancy is a complex biological process. The establishment and maintenance of foetal–maternal interface are pivotal events. Decidual immune cells and inflammatory cytokines play indispensable roles in the foetal–maternal interface. The disfunction of decidual immune cells leads to adverse pregnancy outcome. Tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, a common inflammatory cytokine, has critical roles in different stages of normal pregnancy process. However, the relationship between the disorder of TNF-α and adverse pregnancy outcomes, including preeclampsia (PE), intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), spontaneous abortion (SA), preterm birth and so on, is still indefinite. In this review, we thoroughly reviewed the effect of TNF-α disorder on pathological conditions. Moreover, we summarized the reports about the adverse pregnancy outcomes (PE, IUGR, SA and preterm birth) of using anti-TNF-α drugs (infliximab, etanercept and adalimumab, certolizumab and golimumab) currently in the clinical studies. Overall, IUGR, SA and preterm birth are the most common adverse pregnancy outcomes of anti-TNF-α drugs. Our review may provide insight for the immunological treatment of pregnancy-related complication, and help practitioners make informed decisions based on the current evidences.
Dietary l-carnitine (LC) is a nutritional factor that reduces liver lipid content. However, whether dietary LC can improve lipid metabolism via simultaneous activation of mitochondrial fatty acid (FA) β-oxidation and suppression of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is still unknown. Large yellow croaker were fed with a high-fat diet (HFD) supplemented with dietary LC at 0, 1·2 or 2·4 ‰ for 10 weeks. The results indicated that a HFD supplemented with LC reduced the liver total lipid and TAG content and improved serum lipid profiles. LC supplementation administered to this fish increased the liver antioxidant capacity by decreasing serum and liver malondialdehyde levels and enhancing the liver antioxidant capacity, which then relieved the liver damage. Dietary LC increased the ATP dynamic process and mitochondrial number, decreased mitochondrial DNA damage and enhanced the protein expression of mitochondrial β-oxidation, biogenesis and mitophagy. Furthermore, dietary LC supplementation increased the expression of genes and proteins related to peroxisomal β-oxidation and biogenesis. Interestingly, feeding fish with LC-enriched diets decreased the protein levels indicative of ER stress, such as glucose-regulated protein 78, p-eukaryotic translational initiation factor 2a and activating transcription factor 6. Dietary LC supplementation downregulated mRNA expression relative to FA synthesis, reduced liver lipid and relieved liver damage through regulating β-oxidation and biogenesis of mitochondria and peroxisomes, as well as the ER stress pathway in fish fed with HFD. The present study provides the first evidence that dietary LC can improve lipid metabolism via simultaneously promoting FA β-oxidation capability and suppressing the ER stress pathway in fish.
Vitamin D is engaged in various neural processes, with low vitamin D linked to depression and cognitive dysfunction. There are gender differences in depression and vitamin D level. However, the relationship between depression, gender, vitamin D, cognition, and brain function has yet to be determined.
One hundred and twenty-two patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and 119 healthy controls underwent resting-state functional MRI and fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) was calculated to assess brain function. Serum concentration of vitamin D (SCVD) and cognition (i.e. prospective memory and sustained attention) were also measured.
We found a significant group-by-gender interaction effect on SCVD whereby MDD patients showed a reduction in SCVD relative to controls in females but not males. Concurrently, there was a female-specific association of SCVD with cognition and MDD-related fALFF alterations in widespread brain regions. Remarkably, MDD- and SCVD-related fALFF changes mediated the relation between SCVD and cognition in females.
Apart from providing insights into the neural mechanisms by which low vitamin D contributes to cognitive impairment in MDD in a gender-dependent manner, these findings might have clinical implications for assignment of female patients with MDD and cognitive dysfunction to adjuvant vitamin D supplementation therapy, which may ultimately advance a precision approach to personalized antidepressant choice.
Mammal sex determination depends on whether the X sperm or Y sperm binds to the oocyte during fertilization. If the X sperm joins in oocyte, the offspring will be female, if the Y sperm fertilizes, the offspring will be male. Livestock sex control technology has tremendous value for livestock breeding as it can increase the proportion of female offspring and improve the efficiency of livestock production. This review discusses the detailed differences between mammalian X and Y sperm with respect to their morphology, size, and motility in the reproductive tract and in in vitro conditions, as well as ’omics analysis results. Moreover, research progress in mammalian sex control technology has been summarized.
We aimed to investigate the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related knowledge and practices of cancer patients and to assess their anxiety- and depression-related to COVID-19 during the early surge phase of the pandemic.
An online questionnaire survey of cancer patients was conducted from February 10-29, 2020. Knowledge and practices related to COVID-19 were assessed using a custom-made questionnaire. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale was used to assess the presence of anxiety and depression, with scores beyond 7 indicating anxiety or depressive disorder. Univariate and multiple linear regression analyses were used to identify the high-risk groups according to the level of knowledge, practices, anxiety, and depression scores.
A total of 341 patients were included. The rate of lower level of knowledge and practices was 49.9% and 18.8%, respectively. Education level of junior high school degree or lower showed a significant association with lower knowledge score (β: −3.503; P < 0.001) and lower practices score (β: −2.210; P < 0.001) compared to the education level of college degree and above. The prevalence of anxiety and depression among the respondents was 17.6% and 23.2%, respectively. A higher depression score was associated with older age, marital status of the widowed, and lower level of education, knowledge score, and practices score (P < 0.05).
Targeted COVID-19-related education interventions are required for cancer patients with a lower level of knowledge to help improve their practices. Interventions are also required to address the anxiety and depression of cancer patients.
Vitamin D (VD) plays a vital role in various physiological processes in addition to its classic functions on maintaining the balance of Ca and P metabolism. However, there still are gaps to understand in depth the issues on the precise requirement, metabolic processes and physiological functions of VD in fish. In this study, we investigated the effects of VD on the growth, intestinal health, host immunity and metabolism in turbot (Scophthalmus maximus L.), one important commercial carnivorous fish in aquaculture, through the supplementation of different doses of dietary VD3 (0, 200, 400, 800 and 1600 μg VD3/kg diet). According to our results, the optimal VD3 level in the feed for turbot growth was estimated to be around 400 μg/kg, whereas VD3 deficiency or overdose in diets induced the intestinal inflammation, lowered the diversity of gut microbiota and impaired the host resistance to bacterial infection in turbot. Moreover, the level of 1α,25(OH)2D3, the active metabolite of VD3, reached a peak value in the turbot serum in the 400 μg group, although the concentrations of Ca and phosphate in the turbot were stable in all groups. Finally, the deficiency of dietary VD3 disturbed the nutritional metabolism in turbot, especially the metabolism of lipids and glucose. In conclusion, this study evaluated the optimal dose of dietary VD3 for turbot and provided the evidence that VD has a significant impact on intestinal health, host immunity and nutritional metabolism in fish, which deepened our understanding on the physiological functions and metabolism of VD3 in fish.
The joint effects of stimulus quality and semantic context in visual word recognition were examined with event-related potential (ERP) recordings. In one-character Chinese word recognition, we manipulated stimulus quality at two degradation levels (highly vs. slightly degraded) and semantic context at two priming levels (semantically related vs. unrelated). In a prime–target–probe trial flow, ERPs were recorded to the target character which was presented in either high or slight degradation and which was preceded by either a semantically related or unrelated prime character. The target character was then followed by a probe character which was either identical to or different from the target character. Subjects were instructed to make target–probe matching judgments. The ERP results demonstrated a degradation by priming interaction, with larger N400 semantic priming effects for slightly degraded targets. Moreover, the degradation effects were observed on the P200, N250, and N400. These findings provided evidence for the cascaded model of visual word recognition such that the visual processing cascaded into the semantic stage and thus interacted on the N400 amplitude. The results were compared to an earlier study with a null ERP degradation by priming interaction. The ramifications of these results for models of visual word recognition are discussed.
The occurrence of chalkiness has decreased in new hybrid rice cultivars in China. As both chalkiness occurrence and starch granule size are associated with the biosynthesis of starch, we hypothesized that there may be a correlation between chalkiness occurrence and starch granule size, and this may partially explain the decreased chalkiness occurrence in the new hybrid rice cultivars. To test this hypothesis, a field experiment was conducted over eight environments (two years × four sowing dates) with two hybrid rice cultivars: one recently developed with low chalkiness occurrence, Jingliangyou 1468 (JLY1468) and a relatively older cultivar with high chalkiness occurrence, Liangyoupeijiu (LYPJ). Results showed that JLY1468 had a higher cumulative distribution of large-diameter (7.51–19.50 μm) starch granules and a lower grain weight of milled rice compared to LYPJ. As a consequence, mean and relative starch granule diameters were 6% and 21% higher in JLY1468 than in LYPJ, respectively. Although both the chalky grain rate and chalkiness degree were negatively correlated with mean and relative starch granule diameter, they were more closely correlated with the relative granule diameter. These results support our hypothesis regarding the relationship between chalkiness occurrence and starch granule size and suggest that the relative starch granule diameter is a relevant parameter in understanding the occurrence of chalkiness in hybrid rice.
Technology that develops rapidly has profoundly affected the business field and reshaped some behaviours of corporations, and the discussion on startup risk-taking behaviour in the new era is still insufficient. Based on social network theory and social capital theory, this article studies how social networks and entrepreneurial ecosystems support startup risk-taking behaviour. This article cuts into this issue through the perspective of coopetition. Based on 737 responses, this article employs regression and fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis to explore the relationships between networks, ecosystem coopetition, and risk-taking behaviour. Results indicate that networks and coopetition may stimulate startup risk-taking behaviour, and coopetition may weaken the impacts of networks. There are replacement effects between different characteristics of networks, and there are several configurations, which may lead to high-level risk-taking. This article may help us understand startup risk-taking behaviour in the digital era and the positive impacts of ecosystems.
Research on creativity by Chinese researchers began to boom in the 1990s. From then on, creativity research and practice regarding the enhancement of creativity in Chinese societies, particularly in Mainland China, have developed very quickly. The present chapter gives an overview of the enhancement of creativity across the lifespan in Mainland China, focusing on the literature published in the new millennium. Major approaches of creativity enhancement proposed by Chinese researchers on the basis of decades of creativity research and education experience in Mainland China will be introduced. Typical examples of creativity enhancement measures for different age phases, ranging from kindergarten to later life, will be presented. Based on the review, characteristics of the research and practice on creativity enhancement across the lifespan will be summarized, and it is pointed out that more “bottom-up” approaches should be encouraged and promoted in Mainland China in its further efforts in enhancing creativity among people of different ages.
As part of a long-term experiment to determine the impacts of composted manure and straw amendments (replacing 50% of chemical fertilizer with composted pig manure, wheat straw return combined with chemical fertilizer, and setting no fertilizer and chemical fertilizer-only as controls) on rice-associated weeds in a rice (Oryza sativa L.)–wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) rotation system, species richness, abundance, density, and biomass of weeds were assessed during years 8 and 9. Fertilization decreased the species richness and total density of rice-associated weeds but increased their total biomass. The species richness and densities of broadleaf and sedge weeds decreased with fertilization, while species richness of grass weeds increased only with straw return and density was not significantly affected. The shoot biomass per square meter of grass and broadleaf weeds was significantly higher with fertilization treatments than with the no-fertilizer control, while that of sedge weeds declined with fertilizer application. With fertilization, the densities of monarch redstem (Ammannia baccifera L.) and smallflower umbrella sedge (Cyperus difformis L.) decreased, that of Chinese sprangletop [Leptochloa chinensis (L.) Nees] increased, and those of barnyardgrass [Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) P. Beauv.] and monochoria [Monochoria vaginalis (Burm. f.) C. Presl ex Kunth] were not significantly affected. Ammannia baccifera was the most abundant weed species in all treatments. Whereas composted pig manure plus fertilizer resulted in higher density of A. baccifera and lower shoot biomass per plant than chemical fertilizer only, wheat straw return plus chemical fertilizer caused lower density and shoot biomass of A. baccifera. Therefore, it may be possible that fertilization strategies that suppress specific weeds could be used as improved weed management program components in rice production systems.
The incidence of gout has increased rapidly in recent years, and the suspected lack of awareness of gout among general practitioners may lead to misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment.
To assess general practitioners’ management of gout at community health service clinics in the Tongzhou district of Beijing, as well as the factors that contributed to optimal decision making.
A survey based on current guidelines for assessment and management of gout was sent to 245 general practitioners at community health service clinics in the Tongzhou district of Beijing. The questionnaire included personal information of general practitioners and ten items that addressed knowledge of gout. Our questionnaire was self-administered and distributed electronically via WeChat, and data were collected on a platform called ‘Wenjuanwang’. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS version 19.0 software.
Totally, 216 general practitioners responded to the survey. About three-quarters (71.8%) reported having received Continuing Medical Education (CME) about gout. More than half (54.6%) reported an awareness of treat to target (T2T) for gout. However, the overall rate of good understanding of gout was only 6.5%, a basic knowledge of gout was 55.6%, and understanding about gout diagnosis and treatment was only 11.1%. The general practitioners’ understanding of basic concepts related to gout indicated that CME could improve their understanding (P < 0.05). An analysis of the general practitioners’ rate of comprehension of gout diagnosis and treatment showed that education level, CME, and familiarity with T2T could improve understandings of gout diagnosis and treatment (P < 0.05).
There are serious deficits in understandings about gout among general practitioners in the Tongzhou district of Beijing. Quality CME is needed to improve Chinese general practitioners’ management of gout.
Chronic inflammation exerts pleiotropic effects in the aetiology and progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Glucosamine is widely used in many countries and may have anti-inflammatory properties. We aimed to prospectively evaluate the association of regular glucosamine use with incident COPD risk and explore whether such association could be modified by smoking in the UK Biobank cohort, which recruited more than half a million participants aged 40–69 years from across the UK between 2006 and 2010. Cox proportional hazards models with adjustment for potential confounding factors were used to calculate hazard ratios (HR) as well as 95 % CI for the risk of incident COPD. During a median follow-up of 8·96 years (interquartile range 8·29–9·53 years), 9016 new-onset events of COPD were documented. We found that the regular use of glucosamine was associated with a significantly lower risk of incident COPD with multivariable adjusted HR of 0·80 (95 % CI, 0·75, 0·85; P < 0·001). When subgroup analyses were performed by smoking status, the adjusted HR for the association of regular glucosamine use with incident COPD were 0·84 (0·73, 0·96), 0·84 (0·77, 0·92) and 0·71 (0·62, 0·80) among never smokers, former smokers and current smokers, respectively. No significant interaction was observed between glucosamine use and smoking status (Pfor interaction = 0·078). Incident COPD could be reduced by 14 % to 84 % through a combination of regular glucosamine use and smoking cessation.
The effect of vitamin D (VD) on the risk of preeclampsia (PE) is uncertain. Few of previous studies focused on the relationship between dietary VD intake and PE risk. Therefore, we conducted this 1:1 matched case–control study to explore the association of dietary VD intake and serum VD concentrations with PE risk in Chinese pregnant women. A total of 440 pairs of participants were recruited during March 2016 to June 2019. Dietary information was obtained using a seventy-eight-item semi-quantitative FFQ. Serum concentrations of 25(OH)D2 and 25(OH)D3 were measured by liquid chromatography–tandem MS. Multivariate conditional logistic regression was used to estimate OR and 95 % CI. Restricted cubic splines (RCS) were plotted to evaluate the dose–response relationship of dietary VD intake and serum VD concentrations with PE risk. Compared with the lowest quartile, the OR of the highest quartile were 0·45 (95 % CI 0·29, 0·71, Ptrend = 0·001) for VD dietary intake and 0·26 (95 % CI 0·11, 0·60, Ptrend = 0·003) for serum levels after adjusting for confounders. In addition, the RCS analysis suggested a reverse J-shaped relationship between dietary VD intake and PE risk (P-nonlinearity = 0·02). A similar association was also found between serum concentrations of total 25(OH)D and PE risk (P-nonlinearity = 0·02). In conclusion, this study provides evidence that higher dietary intake and serum levels of VD are associated with the lower risk of PE in Chinese pregnant women.
The aim of the present study was to compare the rate of preterm birth (PTB) and growth from birth to 18 years between twins conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF) and twins conceived by spontaneous conception (SC) in mainland China. The retrospective cohort study included 1164 twins resulting from IVF and 25,654 twins conceived spontaneously, of which 494 from IVF and 6338 from SC were opposite-sex twins. PTB and low birth weight (LBW), and growth, including length/height and weight, were compared between the two groups at five stages: infancy (0 year), toddler period (1–2 years), preschool (3–5 years), primary or elementary school (6–11 years), and adolescence (10–18 years). Few statistically significant differences were found for LBW and growth between the two groups after adjusting for PTB and other confounders. Twins born by IVF faced an increased risk of PTB compared with those born by SC (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 8.21, 95% confidence interval [CI] [3.19, 21.13], p < .001 in all twins and aOR 10.12, 95% CI [2.32, 44.04], p = .002 in opposite-sex twins). Twins born by IVF experienced a similar growth at five stages (0–18 years old) when compared with those born by SC. PTB risk, however, is significantly higher for twins conceived by IVF than those conceived by SC.
Tremendous progress has been made in the field of ferroptosis since this regulated cell death process was first named in 2012. Ferroptosis is initiated upon redox imbalance and driven by excessive phospholipid peroxidation. Levels of multiple intracellular nutrients (iron, selenium, vitamin E and coenzyme Q10) are intimately related to the cellular antioxidant system and participate in the regulation of ferroptosis. Dietary intake of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) regulates ferroptosis by directly modifying the fatty acid composition in cell membranes. In addition, amino acids and glucose (energy stress) manipulate the ferroptosis pathway through the nutrient-sensitive kinases mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Understanding the molecular interaction between nutrient signals and ferroptosis sensors might help in the identification of the roles of ferroptosis in normal physiology and in the development of novel pharmacological targets for the treatment of ferroptosis-related diseases.