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G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) is an orphan G protein-coupled receptor with various physiological functions. Recent evidence suggests that this receptor may be involved in the control of motor functions. Therefore, in the present study, we evaluated the effects of intra-striatal administration of GPR55 selective ligands in a rat model of Parkinson’s disease.
Experimental Parkinson was induced by unilateral intra-striatal administration of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA, 10 µg/rat). L-α-lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI, 1 and 5 µg/rat), an endogenous GPR55 agonist, and ML193 (1 and 5 µg/rat), a selective GPR55 antagonist, were injected into the striatum of 6-OHDA-lesioned rats. Motor performance and balance skills were evaluated using the accelerating rotating rod and the ledged beam tests. The sensorimotor function of the forelimbs and locomotor activity were assessed by the adhesive removal and open field tests, respectively.
6-OHDA-lesioned rats had impaired behaviours in all tests. Intra-striatal administration of LPI in 6-OHDA-lesioned rats increased time on the rotarod, decreased latency to remove the label, with no significant effect on slip steps, and locomotor activity. Intra-striatal administration of ML193 also increased time on the rotarod, decreased latency to remove the label and slip steps in 6-OHDA-lesioned rats mostly at the dose of 1 µg/rat.
This study suggests that the striatal GPR55 is involved in the control of motor functions. However, considering the similar effects of GPR55 agonist and antagonist, it may be concluded that this receptor has a modulatory role in the control of motor deficits in an experimental model of Parkinson.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, an exponentially large amount of data has been published to describe the pathology, clinical presentations, and outcomes in patients infected with the severe acute respiratory syndrome novel coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Although COVID-19 has been shown to cause a systemic inflammation predisposing the involvement of multiple organs, its mechanism affecting the urogenital system has not been well-documented. This case report presents the clinical course of two male patients with COVID-19 who developed sexual dysfunction, as anorgasmia, following recovery from the infection. Although no evidence of viral replication or inflammatory involvement could be identified in these cases’ urogenital organs, a lack of other known risk factors for anorgasmia points to the role of COVID-19 as the contributing factor.
For maritime safety and security, vessels should be able to predict the trajectories of nearby vessels to avoid collision. This research proposes three novel models based on similarity search of trajectories that predict vessels' trajectories in the short and long term. The first and second prediction models are, respectively, point-based and trajectory-based models that consider constant distances between target and sample trajectories. The third prediction model is a trajectory-based model that exploits a long short-term memory approach to measure the dynamic distance between target and sample trajectories. To evaluate the performance of the proposed models, they are applied to a real automatic identification system (AIS) vessel dataset in the Strait of Georgia, USA. The models' accuracies in terms of Haversine distance between the predicted and actual positions show relative prediction error reductions of 40·85% for the second model compared with the first model and 23% for the third model compared with the second model.
Significant uncertainty remains regarding the exact timing and nature of subduction events during the closure of the Tethyan seas in what is now NW Iran. This study thus presents new geochemical compositions and U–Pb ages for a suite of volcanic rocks emplaced during Cenozoic volcanism in the west Alborz Magmatic Assemblage, which is commonly regarded as the back-arc of the Neotethyan magmatism in Central Iran. The subalkali basalts and andesites are dated to 57 ± 1.2 Ma, and are likely derived from a supra-subduction mantle wedge. Later, trachytic A-type rocks erupted from ~42 to 25 Ma during an anorogenic (extensional) stage triggered by slab retreat and associated asthenospheric mantle influx. A-type melts were at least partly concurrent with lithospheric mantle magmatism implied by eruption of subalkali basalts–andesites around 26–24 Ma. Next, Amp-Bt trachybasaltic volcanism with high-Nb basaltic affinity at ~19 Ma likely records slab deepening and slab partial melting, which reacted with the mantle wedge to produce the source material for the high-Nb basalts. Sr–Nd isotopic ratios for SE Ahar mafic as well as A-type rocks imply rather enriched mantle source(s). Some crustal contamination is implied by the presence of inherited zircons dominated by those derived from Neoproterozoic–Cambrian basement rocks and Carboniferous magmatism. Rhyolitic rocks with adakitic affinity probably mark the final volcanism in the study area. The adakitic rocks show crustal signatures such as high K and Th, probably formed as a consequence of higher temperature gradients, at crustal levels, imposed by both slab and mantle partial melts.
Flood is the most common natural hazard in Iran, which annually affects the environment and human lives. On March 25, 2019 in Shiraz-Iran, following a heavy rainfall, the occurrence of a flash flood caused an extensive number of deaths, injuries, and vehicle demolitions in a short time. Evidence suggests that man-made causes of the incident, including unsustainable urban development and lack of early warning services, have played a more influential role compared with its natural causes. This study has attempted to substantiate that understanding disaster risks, as the first priority of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) 2015-2030, directly impacts the decisions and actions of policymakers, local authorities, and the public. To provide more safety, mitigation, and disaster risk reduction, attention should primarily be paid on making a cultural paradigm shift through providing sufficient training in developing appropriate disaster risk perception in the community at large.
Our understanding of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to evolve and there are many unknowns about its epidemiology. This study aims to synthesise case fatality rate (CFR) among confirmed COVID-19 patients, incubation period and time from onset of COVID-19 symptoms to first medical visit, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, recovery, and death. We searched MEDLINE, Embase, Google Scholar, and bibliographies of relevant articles from 01 December 2019 to 11 March 2020 without any language restrictions. Quantitative studies that recruited people with confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis were included. Two independent reviewers extracted the data. Out of 1675 non-duplicate studies, 43 were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled mean incubation period was 5.68 (99% confidence interval [CI]: 4.78, 6.59) days. The pooled mean number of days from the onset of COVID-19 symptoms to first clinical visit was 4.92 (95% CI: 3.95, 5.90), ICU admission was 9.84 (95% CI: 8.78, 10.90), recovery was 18.55 (95% CI: 13.69, 23.41), and death was 15.93 (95% CI: 13.07, 18.79). Pooled CFR among confirmed COVID-19 patients was 0.02 (95% CI: 0.02, 0.03). We found that the incubation period and lag between the onset of symptoms and first clinical visit for COVID-19 are longer than other respiratory viral infections including Middle East respiratory syndrome and severe acute respiratory syndrome; however, the current policy of 14 days of mandatory quarantine for everyone potentially exposed to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) might be too conservative. Longer quarantine periods might be more justified for extreme cases.
Plasmodium falciparum is the main cause of severe malaria in humans that can lead to death. There is growing evidence of drug-resistance in P. falciparum treatment, and the design of effective vaccines remains an ongoing strategy to control the disease. On the other hand, the recognition of specific diagnostic markers for P. falciparum can accelerate the diagnosis of this parasite in the early stages of infection. Therefore, the identification of novel antigenic proteins especially by proteomic tools is urgent for vaccination and diagnosis of P. falciparum. The proteome diversity of the life cycle stages of P. falciparum, the altered proteome of P. falciparum-infected human sera and altered proteins in P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes could be proposed as appropriate proteins for the aforementioned aims. Accordingly, this review highlights and proposes different proteins identified using proteomic approaches as promising markers in the diagnosis and vaccination of P. falciparum. It seems that most of the candidates identified in this study were able to elicit immune responses in the P. falciparum-infected hosts and they also played major roles in the life cycle, pathogenicity and key pathways of this parasite.
Studies have reported a sex bias in case fatalities of COVID-19 patients. Moreover, it is observed that men have a higher risk of developing a severe form of the disease compared to women, highlighting the importance of disaggregated data of male and female COVID-19 patients. On the other hand, other factors (eg, hormonal levels and immune functions) also need to be addressed due to the effects of sex differences on the outcomes of COVID-19 patients. An insight into the underlying causes of sex differences in COVID-19 patients may provide an opportunity for better care of the patients or prevention of the disease. The current study reviews the reports concerning with the sex differences in COVID-19 patients. It is explained how sex can affect angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE2), that is a key component for the pathogenesis of COVID-19, and summarized the gender differences in immune responses and how sex hormones are involved in immune processes. Furthermore, the available data about the impact of sex hormones on the immune functions of COVID-19 cases are looked into.
Studies have revealed that the timing of macronutrient ingestion may influence body weight and glucose tolerance. We aimed to examine the effect of high protein versus high carbohydrate intake at the evening meal on metabolic parameters of patients with type 2 diabetes. This is a single-blinded, parallel, randomized controlled trial. 96 patients with type 2 diabetes, aged 32-65 years with a mean body mass index (BMI) of 28.5 ± 3.4 kg/m2 were randomly assigned into one of these three groups: Standard evening meal (ST), High carbohydrate evening meal (HC), and High protein evening meal (HP). Then, the patients were followed for 10 weeks. HbA1c, fasting blood glucose (FBG), fasting insulin, insulin resistance, triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C), diastolic blood pressure, body weight, body fat percentage, and waist circumference decreased significantly in all three groups (P < 0.05). HbA1c showed more improvement in the ST compared with the HP group (- 0.45 ± 0.36 vs. - 0.26 ± 0.36). Reductions in BMI and body weight were significantly higher in the ST compared with the HP group (P < 0.05). Reductions in total cholesterol, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C), and systolic blood pressure were significant in all groups, except for the HP group. Non-HDL-C/HDL-C remained unchanged in all groups. The results of the present study revealed that even distribution of carbohydrates and protein among meals compared with reducing carbohydrates and increasing protein at dinner may have a more beneficial effect on glycemic control of patients with type 2 diabetes.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) includes a range of disorders from simple steatosis to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. There is no proven drug treatment for NAFLD, and diet modification is considered part of the main line of treatment for this disease. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of garlic supplementation in NAFLD patients. The effect of garlic powder supplementation on hepatic steatosis, liver enzymes and lipid profile was investigated in NAFLD patients. Ninety NAFLD patients were randomly assigned to take either a garlic powder supplement or a placebo for 12 weeks. The treatment group received four tablets of garlic daily (each tablet contained 400 mg garlic powder). The control group received four tablets of placebo (each placebo contained 400 mg starch). At the end of the study, hepatic steatosis was significantly reduced in the treatment group compared with the control group (P = 0·001). In addition, a significant decrease was seen in the serum concentration of alanine transaminase (P < 0·001), aspartate transaminase (P = 0·002), γ-glutamyltransferase (P = 0·003) as well as total cholesterol (P = 0·009), TAG (P < 0·001), HDL-cholesterol (P < 0·001) and LDL-cholesterol (P = 0·01) in the treatment group compared with the control group. No significant difference was seen between the two groups in serum concentration of alkaline phosphatase. Overall, garlic powder supplementation improved hepatic features and lipid profile among NAFLD patients.
Asian Houbara Chlamydotis macqueenii is a vulnerable flagship species specific to steppe, desert and semi-desert habitats of the Middle East and Central Asia. Iran provides a critical corridor in the middle of Asian Houbara’s migratory route and also hosts a relatively large proportion of wintering and breeding populations. The aim of this study was to assess the distribution and habitat suitability of both wintering and breeding populations of Asian Houbara in Iran and evaluate the effectiveness of the existing protected area network for long-term protection of the species. For this purpose, 644 occurrence points for wintering and 216 points for breeding birds were collected from 17 Iranian provinces during 2015 to 2017. We then used a consensus species distribution modelling (SDM) approach using 11 uncorrelated environmental variables to explore the distribution of Asian Houbara habitats. Results showed that climatic and topographic variations have the most significant influence on the regional-scale distribution of Asian Houbara. Of the suitable habitats recognised for the wintering and breeding populations, 40.6% and 29.6% respectively overlapped with the extent of the protected network. A high level of spatial niche similarity (78%) was observed between wintering and breeding populations. The central, eastern and south-central Iranian semi-arid regions and desert landscapes hosted the majority of both wintering and breeding houbara occurrences. Results of this study could be used for adopting direct management planning and raising the protection level of important no-hunting areas.
This paper proposes an intelligent model-based optimization methodology for optimizing the production cost and material removal rate subjected to surface quality constraint in turning operation of hardened AISI D2. Unlike traditional approaches, this paper deals with finding optimum cutting parameters considering the real condition of the cutting tool. Tool flank wear is predicted by the model obtained using genetic programming. On the basis of the predicted flank wear value, the surface roughness of work piece is estimated by neural networks. Applying the particle swarm optimization algorithm, the optimum machining parameters are determined. The simulation and experimental results show that machining with proposed intelligent optimization methodology has higher efficiency than conventional techniques with constant optimized cutting parameters.
Pegmatites and associated granitoids are integral parts of the Alvand plutonic complex in the Sanandaj–Sirjan zone, Iran. Whole rock major- and trace-element lithogeochemistry together with zircon U–Pb geochronology and zircon geochemistry are examined to evaluate the petrogenesis of sapphire-bearing pegmatites and other peraluminous pegmatites in the region. Pegmatites vary in their chemical compositions from mostly peraluminous, high-K calc-alkaline to shoshonitic signatures. A rare variety of extremely peraluminous sapphire-bearing syenitoid pegmatite (Al2O3 > 30 wt %; A/CNK > 2) exists. This silica-undersaturated pegmatite and its sapphire crystals have a primary igneous origin. U–Pb zircon geochronology of three separate samples from this pegmatite indicates the following ages: 168 ± 1 Ma, 166 ± 1 Ma and 164 ± 1 Ma. The zircon grains have notable amounts of Hf (up to 17 200 ppm), U (up to 13 580 ppm), Th (up to 5148 ppm), Y (up to 4764 ppm) and ∑REE (up to 2534 ppm). There is a positive correlation between Hf and Th, Nb and Ta, U and Th, and Y and HREE and a negative correlation between Hf and Y values in the zircons. These zircons exhibit pronounced positive Ce anomalies (Ce/Ce* = 1.15–68.06) and negative Eu anomalies (Eu/Eu* = 0.001–0.56), indicative of the relatively oxidized conditions of the parent magma. Ti-in-zircon thermometry reveals temperatures from as low as ~683 °C up to ~828 °C (average = 755° ± 73 °C). Zircon and monazite saturation equilibria are also consistent with these temperatures. Zircon grains are magmatic (average La < 1.5, (Sm/La)N > 100 and Th/U > 0.7), with chemical characteristics similar to zircons from continental crust.
Long-chain n-3 fatty acids have been shown to regulate lipid metabolism and reduce fat accumulation in the liver. This trial investigated the effect of flaxseed oil, as a rich source of α-linolenic acid, on fatty liver and cardiometabolic risk factors in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The randomised, double-blind, controlled trial was performed on sixty-eight NAFLD patients who were divided into flaxseed (n 34) and sunflower (n 34) oil groups. Patients were given a hypoenergetic diet (−2092 kJ/d) and 20 g/d of the corresponding oil for 12 weeks. Fatty liver grade, liver enzymes and cardiometabolic parameters were determined. The intention-to-treat approach was used for data analysis. Fatty liver grade significantly decreased in both groups (−0·68 in flaxseed v. −0·29 in sunflower, P = 0·002). Alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase decreased in both groups (P < 0·01). Also, significant reduction was observed in blood glucose (P = 0·005) and fat mass (P = 0·01) in the flaxseed and muscle mass (P = 0·01) in the sunflower group. However, none of these alterations was significantly different between the groups. Weight, waist circumference and blood pressure were significantly decreased in both groups but only weight change was significantly different between the groups (P = 0·01). IL-6 did not significantly change in either group but showed a significant between-group difference (P = 0·03). Overall, the results showed that in the context of a low-energy diet and moderate physical activity, flaxseed oil may benefit NAFLD patients to improve fatty liver grade, weight and IL-6 compared with sunflower oil.
The dispersion of a neutral solute band by electrokinetic flow in polyelectrolyte layer (PEL)-grafted rectangular/slit microchannels is theoretically studied. The flow is assumed to be both steady and fully developed and a first-order irreversible reaction is considered at the wall to account for probable surface adsorption of solutes. Considering low electric potentials, analytical solutions are obtained for electric potential, fluid velocity and solute concentration. Special solutions are also obtained for the case without wall adsorption. To track the dispersion properties of the solute band, the generalized dispersion model is adopted by considering the exchange, the convection and the dispersion coefficients. The solutions developed are validated by comparing the results with the predictions of finite-element-based numerical simulations. Even though the solutions can take any form of initial solute concentration into account, the results are presented by considering a solute band of rectangular shape. The results reveal that, while the short-term transport coefficients are strongly affected by the initial concentration profile, the long-term values are not dependent upon the initial conditions. In addition, it is shown that the mass transport coefficients are strong functions of the channel aspect ratio; hence, approximating a rectangular geometry by the space between two parallel plates may lead to considerable errors in the estimation of mass transport characteristics. This is particularly important for the dispersion coefficient for which the long-term values for a slit microchannel are quite different from those for a rectangular channel of very high aspect ratio. It is also illustrated that the exchange and convection coefficients increase on increasing the Damköhler number, whereas the opposite is true for the dispersion coefficient. The convection and dispersion coefficients are generally increasing functions of the PEL fixed charge density and the PEL thickness and decreasing functions of the PEL friction coefficient. Last but not least, a thicker electric double layer is found to provide a larger degree of solute dispersion, which is the opposite of that observed in a microchannel with bare walls.
A mathematical method is developed to predict surge and instability inception in a centrifugal compressor map based on Greitzer and Moore model. The method uses phase plane and Jacobian matrix to determine stable and unstable zone of centrifugal compressor and to extract limit cycle in unstable zone. In order to evaluate accuracy of analytical method, a compressor test rig facility is designed and tested in order to be compared with theoretical results. Accurate Honeywell piezoelectric pressure transducers are used to measure time averaged pressure at inlet and outlet ducts of the compressor. In order to record the flow fluctuation precisely, hot wire sensors are installed in entrance and exit of impeller. The results represent instability inception near true stall point but different from measured data. The discrepancy mostly originates from inlet and outlet ducts which causes measure stall point of compressor deviates from true one. An analytical method which is able to predict surge and instability in a compressor is highly significant for instrumentation and controlling of system.
The present study was performed to evaluate the effects of n-3 fatty acids from flaxseed oil on genetic and metabolic profiles in patients with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). This randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was performed in sixty women with GDM. Participants were randomly divided into two groups to intake either 2 × 1000 mg/d n-3 fatty acids from flaxseed oil containing 400 mg α-linolenic acid in each capsule (n 30) or placebo (n 30) for 6 weeks. n-3 Fatty acid intake up-regulated PPAR-γ (P < 0·001) and LDL receptor (P = 0·004) and down-regulated gene expression of IL-1 (P = 0·002) and TNF-α (P = 0·001) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of subjects with GDM. In addition, n-3 fatty acid supplementation reduced fasting plasma glucose (P = 0·001), insulin levels (P = 0·001) and insulin resistance (P < 0·001) and increased insulin sensitivity (P = 0·005) when compared with the placebo. Additionally, n-3 fatty acid supplementation was associated with a decrease in TAG (P < 0·001), VLDL-cholesterol (P < 0·001), total cholesterol (P = 0·01) and total cholesterol:HDL-cholesterol ratio (P = 0·01) when compared with placebo. n-3 Fatty acid administration was also associated with a significant reduction in high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (P = 0·006) and malondialdehyde (P < 0·001), and an increase in total nitrite (P < 0·001) and total glutathione levels (P = 0·006) when compared with the placebo. n-3 Fatty acid supplementation for 6 weeks to women with GDM had beneficial effects on gene expression related to insulin, lipid and inflammation, glycaemic control, lipids, inflammatory markers and oxidative stress.