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To evaluate the effects of disease severity, corticosteroids and social factors on neuropsychiatric complaints in severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) patients, both during acute and convalescent phases.
Self-administered mail questionnaires survey to 308 SARS patients after discharging from hospital. Both patients and their families were asked about symptoms related to various neuropsychiatric domains, and the questions covered both acute and convalescent phases.
Among the 102 (33%) valid replies, 65% had strong symptoms in convalescent phase as indicated by GHQ28 score ≥ 5. In multiple linear regression analysis, use of pulse steroid and total dosages of pulse steroid during hospitalisation were predictive for anxiety-depression, psychosis and behavioural symptoms in acute phase, the effects persisted in convalescent phase. Disease severity had direct correlation with symptoms in all neuropsychiatric domains at acute phase and anxiety-depression and cognition at convalescent phase. Health care workers had more neuropsychiatric complaints in both phases. Severity of symptoms, corticosteroids and social factors explained about half of the variances (R2 = 52) in anxiety-depression at acute phase and 33% at convalescent phase.
Severe disease, high dose corticosteroids and being health care workers were independent predictors of neuropsychiatric complaints in both acute and convalescent phases.
Tungsten (W) alloy is of difficulty in processing for conventional way because of its high melting point. Here, W alloy sample with the addition of 3 wt% Ta was prepared by selective laser melting. The influence of volumetric energy density (VED) on the surface morphology and the relative density was discussed, and microstructure, phase composition, and microhardness were investigated. The results show that a smooth surface and high relative density (95.79%) can be obtained under optimal VED. The W–Ta substitutional solid solution formed because of the replacement of Ta atom. There are strip and block fine grains in the W–3Ta sample with no significant texture. In addition, subgrain structure with a size of around 1 μm formed inside the strip grain, owing to the large thermal gradient and extremely fast cooling rate. Finally, the W–3Ta alloy shows higher microhardness than that obtained by traditional methods.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder characterized by an urge to move and uncomfortable sensations. Genetic studies have identified polymorphisms in up to 19 risk loci, including MEIS1 and BTBD9. Rodents deficient in either homolog show RLS-like phenotypes. However, whether MEIS1 and BTBD9 interact in vivo is unclear. Here, with C. elegans, we observed that the hyperactive egg-laying behavior caused by loss of BTBD9 homolog was counteracted by knockdown of MEIS1 homolog. This was further investigated in mutant mice with Btbd9, Meis1, or both knocked out. The double knockout mice showed an earlier onset of the motor deficit in a wheel running test but did not have increased sensitivity to heat stimuli as observed in single knock outs. Meis1 protein level was not influenced by Btbd9 deficiency, and Btbd9 transcription was not affected by Meis1 haploinsufficiency. Our results demonstrate that MEIS1 and BTBD9 do not regulate each other.
Many clinical trials showed favorable effects of high-doses supplemental n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) on cardio-metabolic risk factors. However, limited studies examined the prospective associations of circulating n-3 PUFA with body fat and its distribution, metabolic syndrome (MS), carotid atherosclerosis, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in subjects with habitual diets containing low levels of n-3 PUFA.
Materials and Methods
This community-based prospective study enrolled 4048 participants (40–75 years) at baseline (2008–2010, 2013) from Guangzhou, China. They were followed-up approximately once every 3 years. Fatty acids in erythrocyte membranes were measured at baseline. We determined metabolic syndrome factors, body fat by DXA scanning, carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and NAFLD by ultrasound at the visits. General information, anthropometric indices, habitual dietary intake and other covariates were assessed at each visit.
Among the total 4048 subjects, 3075 and 2671 subjects had erythrocyte n-3 PUFA data and completed the first and second follow-ups. Generally, erythrocyte n-3 PUFA were favorably associated with body fat (particularly at abdomen) and its changes, and with the presence and incidence of MS, type 2 diabetes, carotid IMT thickening. The participants with the highest (vs lowest) quartile of n-3 PUFA were associated with -5.81% fat mass (p < 0.001) and -2.11% of fat mass change at the abdomen (Android) area. The adjusted hazards ratios (95% CI) for the highest (vs. lowest) group were 0.74 (0.61, 0.89) (total n-3 PUFA), 0.71 (0.59, 0.86) (docosahexaenoic acid, DHA), 0.78 (0.65, 0.95) (docosapentaenoic acid, DPA), 1.96 (1.60, 2.40) (gamma-linolenic acid, GLA) for MS; 0.70(0.55, 0.90) (total n-3 PUFA), 0.67(0.52,0.87) (DHA) and 0.73(0.57,0.93) (DPA) for bifurcation IMT thickening, 0.57(0.38, 0.86) (eicosapentaenoic acid, EPA) and 0.63 (0.41, 0.95) (DPA) for type 2 diabetes, and 1.18 (1.09, 1.33) (DHA) for alleviated NAFLD. Both higher levels of total and individual marine n-3 PUFAs (DHA, EPA and DPA) were associated with lower blood pressure at baseline and lower changes in diastolic and systolic blood pressure over the follow-up period. Plant n-3 PUFA (α-linolenic acid, ALA) largely had less significant association with the above-mentioned indices as compared with marine n-3 PUFAs.
Higher proportions of erythrocyte n-3 PUFA (particularly marine sources) was associated with lower body fat, blood pressure and their changes, and lower risks of MS, type 2 diabetes and bifurcation IMT thickening, but higher chance of alleviated NAFLD in middle-aged and older adults.
The present study investigated the effects of condensed tannins (CT) on intestinal immune function in on-growing grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella). A total of 540 healthy grass carp were fed six diets containing different levels of CT (0, 10·00, 20·00, 30·00, 40·00 and 50·00 g/kg diet) for 70 d and then challenged with Aeromonas hydrophila for 14 d. The results showed that, compared with the control group, dietary CT (1) induced intestinal histopathological lesions and aggravated enteritis; (2) decreased lysozyme and acid phosphatase activities, complement 3 (C3), C4 and IgM contents and down-regulated the Hepcidin, liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide (LEAP)-2A, LEAP-2B, Mucin2 and β-defensin-1 mRNA levels in the proximal intestine (PI), mid intestine (MI) and distal intestine (DI) (P < 0·05); (3) down-regulated the mRNA levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, TGF-β2 (not in MI and DI), IL-4/13A (not IL-4/13B), IL-10 and IL-11 partly correlated with target of rapamycin (TOR) signalling; and (4) up-regulated the mRNA levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines interferon-γ2, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8 (not in PI), IL-12p35, IL-12p40, IL-15 and IL-17D partly related to NF-κB signalling in the intestine of on-growing grass carp. Overall, the results indicated that CT could impair the intestinal immune function, and its potential regulation mechanisms were partly associated with the TOR and NF-κB signalling pathways. Finally, based on the percentage weight gain and enteritis morbidity, the maximum allowable levels of CT for on-growing grass carp (232·22–890·11 g) were estimated to be 18·6 and 17·4 g/kg diet, respectively.
In a high-level radioactive waste repository, bentonite may react with the alkaline solution produced by cement degradation. In this study, bentonite was mixed with alkaline solution in a closed system and reacted for 3–24 months. Furthermore, swelling tests were conducted on the alkaline-dissolved bentonite immersed in distilled water. The swelling deformation decreased significantly with increases in the concentration of NaOH solution and reaction time, and this was mainly due to montmorillonite dissolution. The fractal e–p relationship (e is the void ratio and p is the vertical pressure) with two calculation coefficients (the swelling coefficient and the fractal dimension) was employed to determine the swelling of alkaline-dissolved bentonite. The fractal dimension increased slightly with increasing reaction time or concentration of NaOH solution, as the dissolution traces caused by the alkaline solution favoured an increase in the irregularity and fractality of the bentonite surface. The swelling coefficient decreased linearly with decreasing montmorillonite content. In addition, the swelling coefficient and the fractal dimension were related exponentially to the reaction time in alkaline solution. A relationship between the swelling of alkaline-dissolved samples and the reaction time was proposed, which might be used to assess the swelling properties of bentonite barriers that would be affected by long-term dissolution of the alkaline solution in a closed repository.
The seminiferous tubule (ST) is the location of spermatogenesis, where mature spermatozoa are produced with the assistance of Sertoli cells. The role of extracellular vesicles in the direct communication between Sertoli-germ cells in the ST is still not fully understood. In this study, we reported multivesicular bodies (MVBs) and their source of CD63-enriched exosomes by light and ultrastructure microscopy during the reproductive phases of turtles. Strong CD63 immunopositivity was detected at the basal region in the early and luminal regions of the ST during late spermatogenesis by immunohistochemistry (IHC), immunofluorescence (IF), and western blot (WB) analysis. Labeling of CD63 was detected in the Sertoli cell cytoplasmic processes that surround the developing germ cells during early spermatogenesis and in the lumen of the ST with elongated spermatids during late spermatogenesis. Furthermore, ultrastructure analysis confirmed the existence of numerous MVBs in the Sertoli cell prolongations that surround the round and primary spermatogonia during acrosome biogenesis and with the embedded heads of spermatids in the cytoplasm of Sertoli cells. Additionally, in spermatids, Chrysanthemum flower centers (CFCs) generated isolated membranes involved in MVBs and autophagosome formation, and their fusion to form amphiosomes was also observed. Additionally, autophagy inhibition by 3-methyladenine (after 24 h) increased CD63 protein signals during late spermatogenesis, as detected by IF and WB. Collectively, our study found MVBs and CD63 rich exosomes within the Sertoli cells and their response to autophagy inhibition in the ST during the spermatogenesis in the turtle.
Maintenance haemodialysis (MHD) is the use of a machine to filter wastes, salts and fluid from blood for at least 3 months to prolong the life of patients with advanced kidney failure. Although low dietary energy intake (DEI) has been observed in MHD patients, few studies have related DEI to the risk of mortality. To explore this relationship, a study included 1039 MHD patients from eight centres was conducted. DEI was assessed by three 24-h diet recalls and was normalised to ideal body weight (IBW). All-cause mortality and CVD mortality were the primary and secondary outcomes, respectively. During a median follow-up of 28 months, a U-shaped relationship was observed between DEI and all-cause or CVD mortality. The risk of all-cause mortality decreased significantly with the increase of DEI in participants with DEI <167·4 kJ/kg IBW per d (hazard ratio (HR) 0·98; 95 % CI 0·96, 1·00) and increased significantly with the increase of DEI in those with DEI ≥167·4 kJ/kg IBW per d (HR 1·12; 95 % CI 1·04, 1·20). Similarly, the risk of CVD mortality decreased with the increase of DEI in participants with DEI <152·7 kJ/kg IBW per d (HR 0·96; 95 % CI 0·93, 0·99) and increased with the increase of DEI in participants with DEI ≥152·7 kJ/kg IBW per d (HR 1·11; 95 % CI 1·04, 1·18). In summary, there was a U-shaped association between DEI and all-cause or CVD mortality, with a turning point at about 167·4 and 152·7 kJ/kg IBW per d, respectively, in MHD patients.
The microbiota–gut–brain axis, especially the microbial tryptophan (Trp) biosynthesis and metabolism pathway (MiTBamp), may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (MDD). However, studies on the MiTBamp in MDD are lacking. The aim of the present study was to analyze the gut microbiota composition and the MiTBamp in MDD patients.
We performed shotgun metagenomic sequencing of stool samples from 26 MDD patients and 29 healthy controls (HCs). In addition to the microbiota community and the MiTBamp analyses, we also built a classification based on the Random Forests (RF) and Boruta algorithm to identify the gut microbiota as biomarkers for MDD.
The Bacteroidetes abundance was strongly reduced whereas that of Actinobacteria was significantly increased in the MDD patients compared with the abundance in the HCs. Most noteworthy, the MDD patients had increased levels of Bifidobacterium, which is commonly used as a probiotic. Four Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) orthologies (KOs) (K01817, K11358, K01626, K01667) abundances in the MiTBamp were significantly lower in the MDD group. Furthermore, we found a negative correlation between the K01626 abundance and the HAMD scores in the MDD group. Finally, RF classification at the genus level can achieve an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.890.
The present findings enabled a better understanding of the changes in gut microbiota and the related Trp pathway in MDD. Alterations of the gut microbiota may have the potential as biomarkers for distinguishing MDD patients form HCs.
Maternal supraphysiological estradiol (E2) environment during pregnancy leads to adverse perinatal outcomes. However, the influence of oocyte exposure to high E2 levels on perinatal outcomes remains unknown. Thus, a retrospective cohort study was conducted to explore the effect of high E2 level induced by controlled ovarian stimulation (COH) on further outcomes after frozen embryo transfer (FET). The study included all FET cycles (n = 10,581) between 2014 and 2017. All cycles were categorized into three groups according to the E2 level on the day of the human Chorionic Gonadotropin trigger. Odds ratios (ORs) and their confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to evaluate the association between E2 level during COH and pregnancy outcomes and subsequent neonatal outcomes. From our findings, higher E2 level was associated with lower percentage of chemical pregnancy, clinical pregnancy, ongoing pregnancy, and live birth as well as increased frequency of early miscarriage. Preterm births were more common among singletons in women with higher E2 level during COH (aOR1 = 1.93, 95% CI: 1.22–3.06; aOR2 = 2.05, 95% CI: 1.33–3.06). Incidence of small for gestational age (SGA) was more common in both singletons (aOR1 = 2.01, 95% CI: 1.30–3.11; aOR2 = 2.51, 95% CI: 1.69–3.74) and multiples (aOR1 = 1.58, 95% CI: 1.03–2.45; aOR2 = 1.99, 95% CI: 1.05–3.84) among women with relatively higher E2 level. No association was found between high E2 level during COH and the percentage of macrosomia or large for gestational age. In summary, oocyte exposure to high E2 level during COH should be brought to our attention, since the pregnancy rate decreasing and the risk of preterm birth and SGA increasing following FET.
Previous studies have shown that the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet might contribute to managing risk factors of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), but evidence is limited. We examined the association of DASH diet score (DASH-DS) with NAFLD, as well as the intermediary effects of serum retinol-binding protein-4 (RBP4), serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), serum TAG, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and BMI.
We performed a cross-sectional analysis of a population-based cohort study. Dietary data and lifestyle factors were assessed by face-to-face interviews and the DASH-DS was then calculated. We assessed serum RBP4, hs-CRP and TAG and calculated HOMA-IR. The presence and degree of NAFLD were determined by abdominal sonography.
Guangzhou Nutrition and Health Study participants, aged 40–75 years at baseline (n 3051).
After adjusting for potential covariates, we found an inverse association between DASH-DS and the presence of NAFLD (Ptrend = 0·009). The OR (95 % CI) of NAFLD for quintiles 2–5 were 0·78 (0·62, 0·98), 0·74 (0·59, 0·94), 0·69 (0·55, 0·86) and 0·77 (0·61, 0·97), respectively. Path analyses indicated that a higher DASH-DS was associated with lower serum RBP4, hs-CRP, TAG, HOMA-IR and BMI, which were positively associated with the degree of NAFLD.
Adherence to the DASH diet was independently associated with a marked lower prevalence of NAFLD in Chinese adults, especially in women and those without abdominal obesity, and might be mediated by reducing RBP4, hs-CRP, TAG, HOMA-IR and BMI.
Although topographic mapping missions and geological surveys carried out by Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) are becoming increasingly prevalent, the lack of precise navigation in these scenarios still limits their application. This paper deals with the problems of long-term underwater navigation for AUVs and provides new mapping techniques by developing a Bathymetric Simultaneous Localisation And Mapping (BSLAM) method based on graph SLAM technology. To considerably reduce the calculation cost, the trajectory of the AUV is divided into various submaps based on Differences of Normals (DoN). Loop closures between submaps are obtained by terrain matching; meanwhile, maximum likelihood terrain estimation is also introduced to build weak data association within the submap. Assisted by one weight voting method for loop closures, the global and local trajectory corrections work together to provide an accurate navigation solution for AUVs with weak data association and inaccurate loop closures. The viability, accuracy and real-time performance of the proposed algorithm are verified with data collected onboard, including an 8 km planned track recorded at a speed of 4 knots in Qingdao, China.
Geochronological, major and trace element, and Sr–Nd–Hf isotopic data are reported for the monzonitic rocks of the Fushan pluton in the Taihang Mountains, central North China Craton, in order to investigate their sources, petrogenesis and tectonic implications. Zircon U–Pb dating results reveal that the Fushan pluton was emplaced during the Early Cretaceous (∼126–124 Ma). The monzonites and quartz monzonites are mainly characterized by calc-alkaline and magnesian features and display light rare earth element (LREE) enrichment and flat heavy REE (HREE) patterns with slightly positive Eu anomalies. They have similar whole-rock initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.70653–0.70819), εNd(t) values (−13.6 to −18.6) and zircon εHf(t) values (−21.8 to −17.3). The primary magma of the Fushan pluton was derived from the partial melting of a spinel-facies amphibole-bearing ancient enriched lithospheric mantle. The monzonitic rocks also have high Ba–Sr and low Y and Yb contents, with high Sr/Y and La/Yb ratios. These geochemical features of monzonitic rocks are not only inherited from the magma source but also significantly enhanced by crystal fractionation during magmatic evolution; e.g. hornblende fractionation increased the Ba–Sr concentrations and Sr/Y ratios. During the Early Cretaceous, the slab sinking and roll-back of the Palaeo-Pacific Plate could have created an ancient big mantle wedge beneath East Asia and induced a lithospheric extensional process in the central North China Craton within an intracontinental setting.
Highly dense zirconia dental ceramic coatings were fabricated by aqueous electrophoretic deposition (EPD) and subsequently sintered between 1250 and 1450 °C. Microstructural examination revealed that aqueous EPDZrO2 coatings possessed a tetragonal phase structure and the grain size increased with increasing sintering temperature. Nanoindentation study proved that the aqueous EPDZrO2 coating also had excellent mechanical properties. The effect of different applied loads on hardness and elastic modulus of the 1350 °C-sintered sample at room temperature was investigated by the method of progressive multicycle measurement nanoindentation. The simulative experiment proved that hardness of aqueous EPDZrO2 exhibited reverse indentation size effect (ISE) behavior and then displayed the normal ISE response. The analysis indicates that the reverse ISE is attributed to the relaxation of surface stresses resulting from indentation cracks at small loads and normal ISE is caused by geometrically necessary dislocations. The tetragonal–monoclinic stress-induced phase transformation during nanoindentation is the primary cause of dental zirconia failures.
Population-based colorectal cancer (CRC) screening programs that use a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) are often faced with a noncompliance issue and its subsequent waiting time (WT) for those FIT positives complying with confirmatory diagnosis. We aimed to identify factors associated with both of the correlated problems in the same model.
A total of 294,469 subjects, either with positive FIT test results or having a family history, collected from 2004 to 2013 were enrolled for analysis. We applied a hurdle Poisson regression model to accommodate the hurdle of compliance and also its related WT for undergoing colonoscopy while assessing factors responsible for the mixture of the two outcomes.
The effect on compliance and WT varied with contextual factors, such as geographic areas, type of screening units, and level of urbanization. The hurdle score, representing the risk score in association with noncompliance, and the WT score, reflecting the rate of taking colonoscopy, were used to classify subjects into each of three groups representing the degree of compliance and the level of health awareness.
Our model was not only successfully applied to evaluating factors associated with the compliance and the WT distribution, but also developed into a useful assessment model for stratifying the risk and predicting whether and when screenees comply with the procedure of receiving confirmatory diagnosis given contextual factors and individual characteristics.
As a degenerative disease, the progression of dementia needs continued care provision and poses both psychological and financial burden for family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD). This study seeks to compare predictors of care costs and caregiver burden, and to identify modifiable factors that could alleviate the burden faced by dementia caregivers.
This study interviewed 231 PWD–caregiver dyads in a dementia clinic at a teaching hospital in southern Taiwan in 2013. A follow-up study was conducted a year later, and 167 dyads completed the second interview. Data collected included PWD characteristics, caregiver characteristics, relationship to PWD, and social support to caregivers. Caregiver burden was measured with the Zarit Burden Interview instrument. The association between each predictor variable and cost of care and caregiver burden scores was examined using linear mixed models.
Predictors of care costs were found to be different from predictors of caregiver burden: functional declines measured by Katz’s activities of daily living (ADL) scale were associated with total cost as compared to behavioral disturbance measured by Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI), which showed no impact on care costs. However, NPI was a significant predictor of caregiver burden. Caregivers who were better-off financially also reported significantly lower caregiver burden.
Since predictors of care costs were different from the predictors of caregiver burden, providing training to caregivers in addressing PWD’s behavioral disturbance and proving financial assistance to low income caregivers could be effective in reducing caregiver burden.
TRIM28/KAP1/TIF1β was identified as a universal transcriptional co-repressor and is critical for regulating post-fertilization methylation reprogramming in preimplantation embryos. In this study, three siRNAs (si647, si742, and si1153) were designed to target the TRIM28 mRNA sequence. After transfection of the mixture of the three siRNA (siMix) into bovine fibroblast cells, the most effective one for TRIM28 knockdown was selected. By injecting RNAi directed against TRIM28 mRNA, we found that TRIM28 knockdown in oocytes had the most effect on the H19 gene, in which differentially methylated region (DMR) methylation was almost completely absent at the 2-cell stage (1.4%), while control embryos showed 74% methylation. In addition, global H3K9me3 levels at the 2-cell stage were significantly higher in the in vitro fertilization (IVF) group than in the TRIM28 knockdown group (P<0.05). We further show that TRIM28 is highly expressed during oocyte maturation and reaches peak levels at the 2-cell stage. In contrast, at this stage, TRIM28 expression in somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos decreased significantly (P<0.05), suggesting that Trim28 transcripts are lost during SCNT. TRIM28 is required for the maintenance of methylation imprints in bovine preimplantation embryos, and the loss of TRIM28 during SCNT may contribute to the unfaithful maintenance of imprints in cloned embryos.