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Glutamatergic dysfunction has been implicated in sensory integration deficits in schizophrenia, yet how glutamatergic function contributes to behavioural impairments and neural activities of sensory integration remains unknown.
Fifty schizophrenia patients and 43 healthy controls completed behavioural assessments for sensory integration and underwent magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) for measuring the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) glutamate levels. The correlation between glutamate levels and behavioural sensory integration deficits was examined in each group. A subsample of 20 pairs of patients and controls further completed an audiovisual sensory integration functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) task. Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) activation and task-dependent functional connectivity (FC) were assessed based on fMRI data. Full factorial analyses were performed to examine the Group-by-Glutamate Level interaction effects on fMRI measurements (group differences in correlation between glutamate levels and fMRI measurements) and the correlation between glutamate levels and fMRI measurements within each group.
We found that schizophrenia patients exhibited impaired sensory integration which was positively correlated with ACC glutamate levels. Multimodal analyses showed significantly Group-by-Glutamate Level interaction effects on BOLD activation as well as task-dependent FC in a ‘cortico-subcortical-cortical’ network (including medial frontal gyrus, precuneus, ACC, middle cingulate gyrus, thalamus and caudate) with positive correlations in patients and negative in controls.
Our findings indicate that ACC glutamate influences neural activities in a large-scale network during sensory integration, but the effects have opposite directionality between schizophrenia patients and healthy people. This implicates the crucial role of glutamatergic system in sensory integration processing in schizophrenia.
Depression is a debilitating mental disorder that often coexists with anxiety. The genetic mechanisms of depression and anxiety have considerable overlap, and studying depression in non-anxiety samples could help to discover novel gene. We assess the genetic variation of depression in non-anxiety samples, using genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and linkage disequilibrium score regression (LDSC).
The GWAS of depression score and self-reported depression were conducted using the UK Biobank samples, comprising 99,178 non-anxiety participants with anxiety score <5 and 86,503 non-anxiety participants without self-reported anxiety, respectively. Replication analysis was then performed using two large-scale GWAS summary data of depression from Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC). LDSC was finally used to evaluate genetic correlations with 855 health-related traits based on the primary GWAS.
Two genome-wide significant loci for non-anxiety depression were identified: rs139702470 (p = 1.54 × 10−8, OR = 0.29) locate in PIEZO2, and rs6046722 (p = 2.52 × 10−8, OR = 1.09) locate in CFAP61. These associated genes were replicated in two GWAS of depression from PGC, such as rs1040582 (preplication GWAS1 = 0.02, preplication GWAS2 = 2.71 × 10−3) in CFAP61, and rs11661122 (preplication GWAS1 = 8.16 × 10−3, preplication GWAS2 = 8.08 × 10−3) in PIEZO2. LDSC identified 19 traits genetically associated with non-anxiety depression (p < 0.001), such as marital separation/divorce (rg = 0.45, SE = 0.15).
Our findings provide novel clues for understanding of the complex genetic architecture of depression.
Gut microbiome and dietary patterns have been suggested to be associated with depression/anxiety. However, limited effort has been made to explore the effects of possible interactions between diet and microbiome on the risks of depression and anxiety.
Using the latest genome-wide association studies findings in gut microbiome and dietary habits, polygenic risk scores (PRSs) analysis of gut microbiome and dietary habits was conducted in the UK Biobank cohort. Logistic/linear regression models were applied for evaluating the associations for gut microbiome-PRS, dietary habits-PRS, and their interactions with depression/anxiety status and Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)/Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) score by R software.
We observed 51 common diet–gut microbiome interactions shared by both PHQ score and depression status, such as overall beef intake × genus Sporobacter [hurdle binary (HB)] (PPHQ = 7.88 × 10−4, Pdepression status = 5.86 × 10−4); carbohydrate × genus Lactococcus (HB) (PPHQ = 0.0295, Pdepression status = 0.0150). We detected 41 common diet–gut microbiome interactions shared by GAD score and anxiety status, such as sugar × genus Parasutterella (rank normal transformed) (PGAD = 5.15 × 10−3, Panxiety status = 0.0347); tablespoons of raw vegetables per day × family Coriobacteriaceae (HB) (PGAD = 6.02 × 10−4, Panxiety status = 0.0345). Some common significant interactions shared by depression and anxiety were identified, such as overall beef intake × genus Sporobacter (HB).
Our study results expanded our understanding of how to comprehensively consider the relationships for dietary habits–gut microbiome interactions with depression and anxiety.
Without rapid international action to curb greenhouse gas emissions, climate scientists have predicted catastrophic sea-level rise by 2100. Globally, archaeologists are documenting the effects of sea-level rise on coastal cultural heritage. Here, the authors model the impact of 1m, 2m and 5m sea-level rise on China's coastal archaeological sites using data from the Atlas of Chinese Cultural Relics and Shanghai City's Third National Survey of Cultural Relics. Although the resulting number of endangered sites is large, the authors argue that these represent only a fraction of those actually at risk, and they issue a call to mitigate the direct and indirect effects of rising sea levels.
Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) is a cell surface receptor, belonging to the tyrosine kinase receptor superfamily. IGF1R plays a role not only in normal cell development but also in malignant transformation, which has become a candidate therapeutic target for the treatment of human cancer. This study aimed to explore insertions and deletions (indels) in IGF1R gene and investigate their association with growth traits in four Chinese cattle breeds (Xianan cattle, Jinnan cattle, Qinchuan cattle and Nanyang cattle). The current paper identified a 28-bp indel by polymerase chain reaction within IGF1R gene. The analysis showed that there was a significant correlation between the locus and the hucklebone width of Nanyang cattle in four periods, in which it was highly correlated at 6, 12 and 18 months. At the age of 6 months, it was also significantly correlated with body height, body weight and body length. Association analysis showed that the locus in Jinnan cattle was extremely significantly correlated with body slanting length and body weight, and significantly correlated with chest circumference. There was no significant correlation between this locus and growth traits of Xianan cattle and Qinchuan cattle. The detected indel in the IGF1R gene was significantly associated with growth traits in Jinnan and Nanyang cattle, and could be used as a molecular marker for growth trait selection.
Depressive symptoms and cognitive impairment often coexisted in the elderly. This study investigates the effect of late-life depressive symptoms on risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
A total of 14,231 dementia- and MCI free participants aged 60+ from the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe were followed-up for 10 years to detect incident MCI. MCI was defined as 1.5 standard deviation (SD) below the mean of the standardized global cognition score. Depressive symptoms were assessed by a 12-item Europe-depression scale (EURO-D). Severity of depressive symptoms was grouped as: no/minimal (score 0–3), moderate (score 4–5), and severe (score 6–12). Significant depressive symptoms (SDSs) were defined as EURO-D score ≥ 4.
During an average of 8.2 (SD = 2.4)-year follow-up, 1,352 (9.50%) incident MCI cases were identified. SDSs were related to higher MCI risk (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.26, 95% confidence intervals [CI]: 1.10–1.44) in total population, individuals aged 70+ (HR = 1.35, 95% CI: 1.14–1.61) and women (HR = 1.28, 95% CI: 1.08–1.51) in Cox proportional hazard model adjusting for confounders. In addition, there was a dose–response association between the severity of depressive symptoms and MCI incidence in total population, people aged ≥70 years and women (p-trend <0.001).
Significant depressive symptoms were associated with higher incidence of MCI in a dose–response fashion, especially among people aged 70+ years and women. Treating depressive symptoms targeting older population and women may be effective in preventing MCI.
The architectural connections between western Central Asia and China are not well understood. Recent investigations at the Haermodun site in central Xinjiang reveals new evidence of the influence of western Central Asia on the construction of fortifications in China during the early first millennium AD.
The TanDEM-X DEM is a valuable data source for estimating glacier mass balance. However, the accuracy of TanDEM-X elevation over glaciers can be affected by microwave penetration and phase decorrelation. To investigate the bias of TanDEM-X DEMs of glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau, these DEMs were subtracted from SPOT-6 DEMs obtained around the same time at two study sites. The average bias over the studied glacier areas in West Kunlun (175.0 km2) was 2.106 ± 0.012 m in April 2014, and it was 1.523 ± 0.011 m in Geladandong (228.8 km2) in October 2013. By combining backscatter coefficients and interferometric coherence maps, we found surface decorrelation and baseline decorrelation can cause obvious bias in addition to microwave penetration. If the optical/laser data and winter TanDEM-X data were used as new and historic elevation sources for mass-balance measurements over an arbitrary observation period of 10 years, the glacier mass loss rates in West Kunlun and Geladandong would be potentially underestimated by 0.218 ± 0.016 and 0.158 ± 0.011 m w.e. a−1, respectively. The impact is therefore significant, and users should carefully treat the bias of TanDEM-X DEMs when retrieving a geodetic glacier mass balance.
Fossil charcoals from archaeological sites provide direct evidence for the relationship between environmental change and ancient peoples’ livelihoods in the past. Our identification of 5811 fossil charcoal fragments from 84 samples suggested temperate deciduous and mixed conifer-broadleaved forests as the dominant vegetation at the Erdaojingzi site in northeastern China ca. 3500 cal yr BP; the major representative taxa were Quercus, Pinus, and Ulmus. Four woody plants probably supplied humans with food resources at the Erdaojingzi site, including Quercus, Ulmus, Amygdalus/Armeniaca, and Ziziphus. The nuts of Quercus were utilized as staple foods because of their rich starch content. The leaves of Ulmus may have been used by humans because of their massive dietary fibre. Amygdalus/Armeniaca and Ziziphus probably provided fruits for humans. Based on the coexistence approach (CA) used on the fossil charcoals, we found that the MAT anomaly was 7.9 ± 5.9°C at ca. 3500 cal yr BP, which is almost the same as the modern one (7.8°C), while the MAP was halved from 772 ± 301 mm at ca. 3500 cal yr BP to 370 mm currently. The wet climate might have facilitated significant development of rain-fed agriculture, promoted the emergence of large settlements, and eventually facilitated the birth of civilization.
The objective of this study was to analyze differences in birth weight and overweight/obesity in a Shanghai twin cohort. We also wanted to study their association and explore possible risk factors for the discordance of overweight/obesity within twins. This was an internal case–control study designed for twins. The 2012 Shanghai Twin Registration System baseline survey data of a total of 3417 twin pairs were statistically analyzed using SPSS22 software. Results show that the body mass index (BMI) of the Shanghai twin population increased with age. Twins with a high birth weight had a higher BMI and a higher rate of overweight and obesity; 0- to 6-year-old twins, male twins and dizygotic (DZ) twins had higher rates of overweight/obesity than other groups. The greater the discordant birth weight rate of twins, the more obvious the difference in BMI (p < .05). There was a significant difference in overweight/obesity between twins with a relative difference of birth weight ≥15% in DZ twins (p < .05). DZ twins, male twins and 0- to 6-year-old twins were more likely to be discordant in overweight/obese than others. The discordant birth weight within twins was not a risk factor for discordant overweight/obesity. However, attention should be paid to childhood obesity, and appropriate interventions should be made at the appropriate time. Genetics may play an important role in the occurrence and development of overweight/obesity. In conclusion, discordant growth and development in the uterus early in life may not lead to discordant weight development in the future.
Birth weight influences not only brain development, but also mental health outcomes, including depression, but the underlying mechanism is unclear.
The phenotypic data of 12,872–91,009 participants (59.18–63.38% women) from UK Biobank were included to test the associations between the birth weight, depression, and brain volumes through the linear and logistic regression models. As birth weight is highly heritable, the polygenic risk scores (PRSs) of birth weight were calculated from the UK Biobank cohort (154,539 participants, 56.90% women) to estimate the effect of birth weight-related genetic variation on the development of depression and brain volumes. Finally, the mediation analyses of step approach and mediation analysis were used to estimate the role of brain volumes in the association between birth weight and depression. All analyses were conducted sex stratified to assess sex-specific role in the associations.
We observed associations between birth weight and depression (odds ratio [OR] = 0.968, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.957–0.979, p = 2.29 × 10−6). Positive associations were observed between birth weight and brain volumes, such as gray matter (B = 0.131, p = 3.51 × 10−74) and white matter (B = 0.129, p = 1.67 × 10−74). Depression was also associated with brain volume, such as left thalamus (OR = 0.891, 95% CI = 0.850–0.933, p = 4.46 × 10−5) and right thalamus (OR = 0.884, 95% CI = 0.841–0.928, p = 2.67 × 10−5). Additionally, significant mediation effects of brain volume were found for the associations between birth weight and depression through steps approach and mediation analysis, such as gray matter (B = –0.220, p = 0.020) and right thalamus (B = –0.207, p = 0.014).
Our results showed the associations among birth weight, depression, and brain volumes, and the mediation effect of brain volumes also provide evidence for the sex-specific of associations.
Schizotypy refers to schizophrenia-like traits below the clinical threshold in the general population. The pathological development of schizophrenia has been postulated to evolve from the initial coexistence of ‘brain disconnection’ and ‘brain connectivity compensation’ to ‘brain connectivity decompensation’.
In this study, we examined the brain connectivity changes associated with schizotypy by combining brain white matter structural connectivity, static and dynamic functional connectivity analysis of diffusion tensor imaging data and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data. A total of 87 participants with a high level of schizotypal traits and 122 control participants completed the experiment. Group differences in whole-brain white matter structural connectivity probability, static mean functional connectivity strength, dynamic functional connectivity variability and stability among 264 brain sub-regions of interests were investigated.
We found that individuals with high schizotypy exhibited increased structural connectivity probability within the task control network and within the default mode network; increased variability and decreased stability of functional connectivity within the default mode network and between the auditory network and the subcortical network; and decreased static mean functional connectivity strength mainly associated with the sensorimotor network, the default mode network and the task control network.
These findings highlight the specific changes in brain connectivity associated with schizotypy and indicate that both decompensatory and compensatory changes in structural connectivity within the default mode network and the task control network in the context of whole-brain functional disconnection may be an important neurobiological correlate in individuals with high schizotypy.
For the guarantee of the long-distance transport of the bunches of China Initiative Accelerator Driven System (CIADS), a new scheme is proposed that extra magnetic field is used in the accelerator-target coupling section before the windowless target to minimize the self-modulation (SM) mechanism. Particle-in-cell simulations are carried out to study the influence of the solenoidal magnetic field on the self-modulation mechanism when long proton bunches move in the background plasmas. The long proton bunches used in the simulations are similar to these in the linear accelerator of CIADS. It is found that the presence of the solenoidal magnetic field will significantly inhibit the self-modulation process. For the strong magnetic field, the longitudinal separation and transverse focusing of the long bunches disappear. We attribute these phenomena to the reason that the strong solenoidal magnetic field restricts the transverse movement of plasma electrons. Thus, there are not enough electrons around the bunch to compensate the space charge effect. Moreover, without transverse current, the longitudinal pinched effect disappears, and the long bunch can not be separated into small pulses anymore.
Dietary salt intake may vary depending on different lifestyles. We aimed to estimate the different salt intakes and evaluate the knowledge and self-awareness about salt among people speaking the Teochew, Teochew–Hakka and Hakka dialects in the Chaoshan region of southern China.
The study followed a cluster sampling of residents in Chaoshan region. General characteristics, lifestyles, health status as well as knowledge and self-awareness related to salt intake were investigated using a questionnaire. Anthropometric variables as well as Na and K excretion in a 24-h urine collection were measured.
Chaoshan region of China.
Four hundred fifteen adults who spoke only one of these three dialects.
The salt intake of adults who spoke the Teochew, Teochew–Hakka and Hakka dialects was 7·19 (interquartile range (IQR) 5·29–10·17), 9·03 (IQR 6·62–11·54) and 10·12 (IQR 7·61–12·82) g/d, respectively, with significant differences between Teochew and Teochew–Hakka speakers and between Teochew and Hakka speakers (both P < 0·05). The Na:K ratio for adults who spoke the three dialects was 3·00 (IQR 2·00–4·11), 3·50 (IQR 2·64–4·82) and 4·52 (IQR 3·35–5·97), respectively, and differed significantly among the groups (all P < 0·05). Multiple linear regression analysis showed increased Na:K ratio associated with hypertension (β = 0·71, P = 0·043) in Hakka speakers. Knowledge and self-awareness about salt intake were poor in this population.
Salt intake was closely related to lifestyles and was higher than the upper limit (5 g/d) recommended by the WHO in adults of Chaoshan, especially those speaking the Hakka dialect.
Ketosis is a metabolic disease of dairy cows often characterized by high concentrations of ketone bodies and fatty acids, but low milk protein and milk production. The Janus kinase 2 (JAK2)-signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5) and the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathways are central for the regulation of milk protein synthesis. The effect of high levels of fatty acids on these pathways and β-casein synthesis are unknown in dairy cows with clinical ketosis. Mammary gland tissue and blood samples were collected from healthy (n = 15) and clinically-ketotic (n = 15) cows. In addition, bovine mammary epithelial cells (BMEC) were treated with fatty acids, methionine (Met) or prolactin (PRL), respectively. In vivo, the serum concentration of fatty acids was greater (P > 0.05) and the percentage of milk protein (P > 0.05) was lower in cows with clinical ketosis. The JAK2-STAT5 and mTOR signaling pathways were inhibited and the abundance of β-casein was lower in mammary tissue of cows with clinical ketosis (P > 0.05). In vitro, high levels of fatty acids inhibited the JAK2-STAT5 and mTOR signaling pathways (P > 0.05) and further decreased the β-casein synthesis (P > 0.05) in BMEC. Methionine or PRL treatment, as positive regulators, activated the JAK2-STAT5 and mTOR signaling pathways to increase the β-casein synthesis. Importantly, the high concentration of fatty acids attenuated the positive effect of Met or PRL on mTOR, JAK2-STAT5 pathways and the abundance of β-casein (P > 0.05). Overall, these data indicate that the high concentrations of fatty acids that reach the mammary cells during clinical ketosis inhibit mTOR and JAK2-STAT5 signaling pathways, and further suppress β-casein synthesis.
We genotyped six SNPs in the genes of p450 family among paranoid schizophrenics and normal controls. All subjects are unrelated Han Chinese. Three showed polymorphic, and no significant differences in allele or genotype frequencies were detected between patients and controls. Thus we obtained no evidence for the involvement of the polymorphisms in paranoid schizophrenia in the population investigated.
Dysfunctions of glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission are two important hypotheses for the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Thus, genes in the pathway are candidates for schizophrenia susceptibility. Phosphate-activated glutaminase (GLS), glutamine synthetase (GLUL), glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), GABA transaminase (ABAT) and succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH5A1) are five primary enzymes in glutamate and GABA synthetic and degradative pathway. In order to investigate the possible involvement of these genes in the development of paranoid schizophrenia, we genotyped 80 paranoid schizophrenics from northern China and 108 matched controls by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLP) methods or directly sequencing of PCR product. Seven SNPs were found to be polymorphic in the population investigated. No significant differences in the genotype distributions or allele frequencies between patients and controls were found. Therefore, we conclude the polymorphisms studied in the five genes do not play major roles in pathogenesis of paranoid schizophrenia in the population investigated.
We performed an association study between three SNPs in the genes of 14-3-3 family and paranoid schizophrenia. SNP rs983583 G/A in the YWHAZ gene showed significant association with paranoid schizophrenia. Our study indicated that the YWHAZ gene was a potential susceptibility gene for paranoid schizophrenia in the population studied.
As an emerging infectious disease, COVID-19 has involved many countries and regions. With the further development of the epidemic, the proportion of clusters has increased.
In our study, we collected information on COVID-19 clusters in Qingdao City. The epidemiological characteristics and clinical manifestations were analyzed.
Eleven clusters of COVID-19 were reported in Qingdao City between January 29, and February 23, 2020, involving 44 confirmed cases, which accounted for 73.33% of all confirmed cases. From January 19 to February 2, 2020, the cases mainly concentrated in the district that had many designated hospitals. Patients aged 20-59 y old accounted for the largest proportion (68.18%) of cases; the male-to-female sex ratio was 0.52:1. Three cases were infected from exposure to confirmed cases. The average incubation period was 6.28 d. The median number of cases per cluster was 4, and the median duration time was 6 d. The median cumulative number of exposed persons was 53.
More attention should be paid to the epidemic of clusters in prevention and control of COVID-19. In addition to isolating patients, it is essential to track, screen, and isolate those who have come in close contact with patients. Self-isolation is the key especially for healthy people in the epidemic area.