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Shifts in the maternal gut microbiota have been implicated in the development of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Understanding the interaction between gut microbiota and host glucose metabolism will provide a new target of prediction and treatment. In this nested case-control study, we aimed to investigate the causal effects of gut microbiota from GDM patients on the glucose metabolism of germ-free (GF) mice. Stool and peripheral blood samples, as well as clinical information, were collected from 45 GDM patients and 45 healthy controls (matched by age and prepregnancy body mass index (BMI)) in the first and second trimester. Gut microbiota profiles were explored by next-generation sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, and inflammatory factors in peripheral blood were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Fecal samples from GDM and non-GDM donors were transferred to GF mice. The gut microbiota of women with GDM showed reduced richness, specifically decreased Bacteroides and Akkermansia, as well as increased Faecalibacterium. The relative abundance of Akkermansia was negatively associated with blood glucose levels, and the relative abundance of Faecalibacterium was positively related to inflammatory factor concentrations. The transfer of fecal microbiota from GDM and non-GDM donors to GF mice resulted in different gut microbiota colonization patterns, and hyperglycemia was induced in mice that received GDM donor microbiota. These results suggested that the shifting pattern of gut microbiota in GDM patients contributed to disease pathogenesis.
Exosomes derived from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells are nanovesicles and are involved in the occurrence and development of HCC, they also serve as important carriers and drug targets of nanodrug delivery systems. The external shape and internal structure of exosomes are important indexes of identification, and isolated intact morphology is crucial to biological function integrity. However, given their susceptibility to various influencing factors, the external shape and internal structure of exosomes derived from HCC cells remain incompletely studied. In this study, exosomes purified from HCC cells were isolated at different centrifugation speeds and examined via multiple electron microscopy (EM) techniques. The results demonstrate that exosomes possess a nearly spherical shape and bilipid membranous vesicle with a concave cavity structure containing electron-dense and coated vesicles, suggesting the possible existence of subpopulations of exosomes with specific functions. The exosomes isolated at ultracentrifugation (UC) speed (≥110,000×g) presented irregular and diverse external morphologies, indicating the effect on the integrity of the exosomes. Transforming growth factor signaling bioactive substances (TGF-β1, S100A8, and S100A9) can be found in exosomes by performing Western blotting, showing that the internal content is associated with metastasis of HCC. These findings show that EMelectron microscopy and UC speed can affect exosome characteristics, including external shape, internal structure, and content of bioactive substances. The electron-dense and coated vesicles that had been discovered in exosomes might become new additional morphological features, which could help to improve the interpretation of experimental results and widen our understanding of exosome morphology.
Paediatric Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia (MPP) is a major cause of community-acquired pneumonia in China. Data on epidemiology of paediatric MPP from China are little known. This study retrospectively collected data from June 2006 to June 2016 in Beijing Children's Hospital, Capital Medical University of North China and aims to explore the epidemiological features of paediatric MPP and severe MPP (SMPP) in North China during the past 10 years. A total of 27 498 paediatric patients with pneumonia were enrolled. Among them, 37.5% of paediatric patients had MPP. In this area, an epidemic took place every 2–3 years at the peak, and the positive rate of MPP increased during these peak years over time. The peak age of MPP was between the ages of 6 and 10 years, accounting for 75.2%, significantly more compared with other age groups (χ2 = 1384.1, P < 0.0001). The epidemics peaked in September, October and November (χ2 = 904.9, P < 0.0001). Additionally, 13.0% of MPP paediatric patients were SMPP, but over time, the rate of SMPP increased, reaching 42.6% in 2016. The mean age of paediatric patients with SMPP (6.7 ± 3.0 years old) was younger than that of patients with non-SMPP (7.4 ± 3.2 years old) (t = 3.60, P = 0.0001). The prevalence of MPP and SMPP is common in China, especially in children from 6 to 10 years old. Paediatric patients with SMPP tend to be younger than those with non-SMPP. MPP outbreaks occur every 2–3 years in North China. September, October and November are the peak months, unlike in South China. Understanding the epidemiological characteristics of paediatric MPP can contribute to timely treatment and diagnosis, and may improve the prognosis of children with SMPP.
Subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA) can increase the level of inflammation and induce rumenitis in dairy cows. Berberine (BBR) is the major active component of Rhizoma Coptidis, which is a type of Chinese anti-inflammatory drug for gastrointestinal diseases. The purpose of this study was to investigate the anti-inflammatory effects of BBR on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated rumen epithelial cells (REC) and the underlying molecular mechanisms. REC were cultured and stimulated with LPS in the presence or absence of different concentrations of BBR. The results showed that cell viability was not affected by BBR. Moreover, BBR markedly decreased the concentrations and mRNA expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, and interleukin-6 in the LPS-treated REC in a dose-dependent manner. Importantly, Western blotting analysis showed that BBR significantly suppressed the protein expression of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and myeloid differentiation primary response protein (MyD88) and the phosphorylation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), inhibitory kappa B (IκBα), p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) in LPS-treated REC. Furthermore, the results of immunocytofluorescence showed that BBR significantly inhibited the nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65 induced by LPS treatment. In conclusion, the protective effects of BBR on LPS-induced inflammatory responses in REC may be due to its ability to suppress the TLR4-mediated NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways. These findings suggest that BBR can be used as an anti-inflammatory drug to treat inflammation induced by SARA.
Crack propagation behaviors in a precracked single crystal Ag under mode I loading at different temperatures are studied by molecular dynamics simulation. The simulation results show that the crack propagation behaviors are sensitive to external temperature. At 0 K, the crack propagates in a brittle manner. Crack tip blunting and void generation are first observed followed by void growth and linkage with the main crack, which lead to the propagation of the main crack and brittle failure immediately without any microstructure evolution. As the temperature gets higher, more void nucleations and dislocation emissions occur in the crack propagation process. The deformation of the single crystal Ag can be considered as plastic deformation due to dislocation emissions. The crack propagation dynamics characterizing the microstructure evolution of atoms around the crack tip is also shown. Finally, it is shown that the stress of the single crystal Ag changes with the crack length synchronously.
Traditional morphology-based taxonomy of eriophyoid mites (Acari: Eriophyoidea) has been challenged by molecular-based technologies in the detection of cryptic species. However, the implications of such cryptic diversity appear to differ when methods based on different types of data are used. Here, samples of a host-associated eriophyoid mite species, Tetra pinnatifidae, collected from different host plants and localities are evaluated. The congruence of results based on morphometric (32 characters), mitochondrial (16S), and nuclear (28S) data were evaluated and showed a host-associated cryptic diversity dividing this morphospecies into several groups/clades that were morphometrically indistinguishable. In comparison, the 16S data confirmed cryptic speciation and intra-clade host-associated diversity, while 28S did not. In contrast, 28S data revealed potential gene flow between host-associated populations. High mitochondrial divergence, as well as low nuclear and morphological divergence indicated very recent stage of cryptic diversity of this eriophyoid mite.
Round spermatid injection (ROSI) into mammalian oocytes can result in the development of viable embryos and offspring. One current limitation to this technique is the identification of suitable round spermatids. In the current paper, round spermatids were selected from testicular cells with phase contrast microscopy (PCM) and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), and ROSI was performed in two strains of mice. The rates of fertilization, embryonic development and offspring achieved were the same in all strains. Significantly, round spermatids selected by PCM and FACS were effectively used to rescue the infertile Pten-null mouse. The current results indicate that FACS selection of round spermatids can not only provide high-purity and viable round spermatids for use in ROSI, but also has no harmful effects on the developmental capacity of subsequently fertilized embryos. It was concluded that round spermatids selected by FACS are useful for mouse strain rederivation and rescue of infertile males; ROSI should be considered as a powerful addition to the armamentarium of assisted reproduction techniques applicable in the mouse.
Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a neuropeptide and its receptor is extensively expressed throughout the brain. MCH has been suggested to regulate the rewarding and reinforcing effects of psychostimulants by potentiating the dopaminergic system within the midbrain. Moreover, MCH and its receptor can regulate ERK activity. The present study investigated the role of MCH in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in rats behaviourally sensitized to methamphetamine (Meth). We found that the development of Meth-induced locomotor sensitization was attenuated by MCH infused into the NAc shell but not core. Moreover, the elevation of ERK phosphorylation in the NAc shell induced by Meth was inhibited by locally infused MCH. Infusion of the MCH receptor 1 (MCHR1) antagonist SNAP 94847 into the NAc shell but not core augmented the initiation of locomotor sensitization and amplitude of elevated phosphorylated ERK levels induced by Meth. The expression of Meth-induced locomotor sensitization and ERK alterations after 1 wk withdrawal were not affected by either MCH or SNAP 94847 infused into the NAc shell or core. These results indicate that MCH in the NAc shell plays a critical role in the development but not expression of Meth-induced locomotor sensitization in rats, which might be mediated by the ERK signalling pathway. Our study suggests that MCH might be a potential target for the treatment of Meth addiction.
High permittivity antimony-doped tin oxide (ATO)/polyimide (PI) composite films consisting of narrow size distribution ATO fillers prepared by inverse microemulsion method and PI host are synthesized by in situ polymerization. The microstructure and thermal stability of composite films are characterized by scanning electron microscopy and thermal gravimetric analyses, respectively. Dielectric properties of composite films with different concentrations of ATO particles of variable size are investigated in the frequency range of 102 to 2.5 × 106 Hz. The hydrophilic surface of ATO is not helpful of tight connection between the filler and host. The addition of ATO contributes slight increase of the thermal stability. However, the permittivity of composite films can be remarkably increased due to Maxwell–Wagner–Sillars polarization as well as a large number of tiny capacitors formed by ATO particles with narrow distribution and small size. The dielectric constant behavior of composite films fits well to the usual percolation theory.
Prophylaxis and treatment with oseltamivir effectively controlled a community outbreak of pandemic influenza A (H1N1) in China. The genetic makeup of strains of different generations seemed to be stable. Travel in confined settings might accelerate the transmission of pandemic influenza in a community outbreak.
The diabetogenic impact of ethanol remains as a focal point of basic and clinical investigations. In this study, Wistar rats were subjected to daily intragastric ethanol administration (10 ml/kg body weight injection with 0 (control), 10, 20 and 33 % (v/v) ethanol in the injections, respectively) for 19 weeks. At the end of the administration, we found that the fasting plasma glucose level of the 33 % (v/v) ethanol-loaded group was 18 % higher than the control. Insulin sensitivity was decreased in a dose-dependent manner in all the ethanol-loaded groups (r − 0·842, P < 0·001) during intraperitoneal insulin tolerance test. Necrotic/haemorrhagic injury was detected in the pancreas and islet β-cell mass was significantly reduced in the 33 % (v/v) ethanol-loaded rats by immunohistochemical and morphometric analysis. At the molecular level, we detected a dose-dependent attenuation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activity (r − 0·956, P < 0·001) and GLUT-4 expression (GLUT-4 mRNA, r − 0·899, P < 0·001; GLUT-4 protein, r − 0·964, P < 0·001) in skeletal muscle. These results demonstrated that drinking is a conditional aetiological factor for diabetes and excessive ethanol intake is negatively associated with both insulin sensitivity and β-cell mass. The whole-body insulin resistance might result from the ethanol-induced insulin signalling defects in muscle.
To increase our understanding of the relationships of trunk fat mass (FMtrunk) and four anthropometric indices in Chinese males, 1090 males aged 20–40 years were randomly recruited from the city of Changsha, China. Waist circumference (WC) and hip circumference (HC) were measured using standardized equipment, and three other anthropometric indices of BMI, waist:hip ratio (WHR) and conicity index (CoI) were calculated using weight, height, HC and WC. FMtrunk (in kg) was measured using a Hologic QDR 4500 W dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scanner. There was an increasing trend of FMtrunk, %FMtrunk (percentage of FMtrunk) and BMI, WC, WHR, CoI in successively older age groups (e.g. the mean FMtrunk values were 4·63 (sd 2·58), 5·39 (sd 2·74), 5·93 (sd 2·82), 6·57 (sd 2·94) in four 5-year age groups, respectively). FMtrunk and %FMtrunk were significantly correlated with four anthropometric indices with the Pearson's correlation coefficients ranging from 0·25 to 0·86. Principal component analysis was performed to form three principal components that interpreted over 99·5% of the total variation of four related anthropometric indices in all age groups, with over 65% of the total variation accounted by principal component 1. Multiple regression analyses showed that three principal components explained a greater variance (R2 70·0–80·1%) in FMtrunk than did BMI or WC alone (R2 57·8–74·1%). The present results suggest that there is an increasing trend of FMtrunk and four anthropometric indices in successively older age groups; that age has important effects on the relationships of FMtrunk and studied anthropometric indices; and that the accuracy of predicting FMtrunk using four anthropometric indices is higher than using BMI or WC alone.
Based on various implanted standards, we have used SIMS (Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry) to characterize amorphous Si thin films with high hydrogen content. SIMS and HFS (Hydrogen Forward Scattering) showed good agreement on the measured total H doses for H-implanted Si samples and the a-Si thin films. For the H-implanted Si samples, in the dose range of 2e15 atoms/cm2 to 2e17 atoms/cm2 (corresponding to peak H concentration from 0.32 at.% to 32 at.%), SIMS results showed that the calibration curve is a straight line. In other words, no correction for SIMS quantification is needed when moving from low to high hydrogen content samples. Analysis of P (Phosphorus) in a-Si thin films requires the use of high mass resolution magnetic sector SIMS to separate P and a mass interference from (30Si+H). Using a magnetic sector SIMS instrument, P-doped a-Si thin layers (˜ 50nm thick) were analyzed using 3keV O2 beam with oxygen leak for better depth resolution and improved detection limits. For the analysis of C, N, O in a-Si thin films (again approximately 50nm thick) the profiling energy typically needs to be lowered down to 3keV and the material needs to be sputtered at a high rate in order to reach real background levels. In this work, a-Si thin films were also analyzed using a 3keV Cs+ primary ion beam with (Cs2M)+ (M= C, N, O) detection for good depth resolution and detection limits.
The effects of insect-resistant transgenic cotton on the diversity of arthropod communities in cotton fields in North China were investigated during 2000–2001. The field experiments were conducted in non-insecticide treated plots of transgenic cotton lines (SGK321, a transgenic cotton variety carrying Cry1A+CpTI genes; GK12, a transgenic cotton variety carrying the Cry1Ac gene) and their conventional parent varieties (Shiyuan 321 and Shimian 3, respectively), and in sprayed plots of the parent varieties where pyrethroid insecticides were used regularly against the cotton bollworm. All the arthropods were sucked up using a portable suction device and identified to species wherever possible. They were later sorted into guilds (pests, natural enemies and neutral arthropods) for diversity analysis using the method of Shannon's index. The diversity of arthropod communities in transgenic cotton plots was similar to that in conventional cotton fields without spraying, but Shannon's index for total arthropod community and the neutral arthropod guild in Bt cotton fields were significantly higher than those in sprayed plots in the mid and late growing stages of cotton. It is concluded that planting of Bt cotton could increase the stability of arthropod communities in cotton ecological systems and benefit the management of insect pests in cotton.
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