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Soybean meal is rich in soybean isoflavones, which exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anticancer functions in humans and animals. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of soybean isoflavones on the growth performance, intestinal morphology and antioxidative properties in pigs. A total of 72 weaned piglets (7.45 ± 0.13 kg; 36 males and 36 females) were allocated into three treatments and fed corn-soybean meal (C-SBM), corn-soy protein concentrate (C-SPC) or C-SPC supplemented with equal levels of the isoflavones found in the C-SBM diet (C-SPC + ISF) for a 72-day trial. Each treatment had six replicates and four piglets per replicate, half male and half female. On day 42, one male pig from each replicate was selected and euthanized to collect intestinal samples. The results showed that compared to pigs fed the C-SPC diet, pigs fed the C-SBM and C-SPC + ISF diets had higher BW on day 72 (P < 0.05); pigs fed the C-SBM diet had significantly higher average daily gain (ADG) during days 14 to 28 (P < 0.05), with C-SPC + ISF being intermediate; pigs fed the C-SBM diet tended to have higher ADG during days 42 to 72 (P = 0.063), while pigs fed the C-SPC + ISF diet had significantly higher ADG during days 42 to 72 (P < 0.05). Moreover, compared to pigs fed the C-SPC diet, pigs fed the C-SBM diet tended to have greater villus height (P = 0.092), while pigs fed the C-SPC + ISF diet had significantly greater villus height (P < 0.05); pigs fed the C-SBM and C-SPC + ISF diets had significantly increased villus height-to-crypt depth ratio (P < 0.05). Compared with the C-SPC diet, dietary C-SPC + ISF tended to increase plasma superoxide dismutase activity on days 28 (P = 0.085) and 42 (P = 0.075) and reduce plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) content on day 42 (P = 0.089), as well as significantly decreased jejunal mucosa MDA content on day 42 (P < 0.05). However, no significant difference in the expression of tight junction genes among the three groups was found (P > 0.05). In conclusion, our results suggest that a long-term exposure to soybean isoflavones enhances the growth performance, protects the intestinal morphology and improves the antioxidative properties in pigs.
The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is related to dopamine degradation and has been suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (MDD). However, how this gene affects brain function properties in MDD is still unclear.
Fifty patients with MDD and 35 cognitively normal participants underwent a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scan. A voxelwise and data-drive global functional connectivity density (gFCD) analysis was used to investigate the main effects and the interactions of disease states and COMT rs4680 gene polymorphism on brain function.
We found significant group differences of the gFCD in bilateral fusiform area (FFA), post-central and pre-central cortex, left superior temporal gyrus (STG), rectal and superior temporal gyrus and right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC); abnormal gFCDs in left STG were positively correlated with severity of depression in MDD group. Significant disease × COMT interaction effects were found in the bilateral calcarine gyrus, right vlPFC, hippocampus and thalamus, and left SFG and FFA. Further post-hoc tests showed a nonlinear modulation effect of COMT on gFCD in the development of MDD. Interestingly, an inverted U-shaped modulation was found in the prefrontal cortex (control system) but U-shaped modulations were found in the hippocampus, thalamus and occipital cortex (processing system).
Our study demonstrated nonlinear modulation of the interaction between COMT and depression on brain function. These findings expand our understanding of the COMT effect underlying the pathophysiology of MDD.
Psychomotor retardation (PMR) in depression is analogous to the hypokinesia in Parkinson's disease, which is associated with the unbalanced direct and indirect pathways of cortico-basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical (CBTC) circuitry. This study hypothesized PMR in major depressive disorder (MDD) should be associated with the hyperactivity of CBTC indirect pathways.
To substantiate the hypothesis that the PMR symptom of MDD might attribute to the hyperactivity of the ortico-basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical indirect pathway which could inhibit psychomotor performance.
We investigated the intrinsic stiato-subthalamic nucleus (STN)-thalamic functional connectivity (FC), three pivotal hubs of the indirect pathway, in 30 MDD patients with PMR (PMR group) and well matched 30 patients without PMR (NPMR group) at baseline, and 11 patients of each group at follow-up who remitted after antidepressant treatment.
The results showed increased STN-striatum FC of PMR group at baseline and no more discrepancy at follow-up, and significant correlation between PMR severity and thalamo-STN FC.
Our findings suggested the increased STN- striatum FC should be considered as a state biomarker to distinguish MDD patients with PMR from patients without PMR at acute period, and thalamo-STN FC could be identified as the predictor of the PMR severity for MDD patients.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The small intestine is an important digestive organ and plays a vital role in the life of a pig. We tested the hypothesis that the length of the small intestine is related to growth performance and intestinal functions of piglets. A total of 60 piglets (Duroc × Landrace × Yorkshire), weaned at day 21, were fed an identical diet during a 28-day trial. At the end of the study, all piglets were sacrificed, dissected and grouped according to small intestine lengths (SILs), either short small intestine (SSI), middle small intestine (MSI) or long small intestine (LSI), respectively. Positive relationships between SIL and BW, average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI) and gain-to-feed ratios (G : F) were observed. Final BW, ADG, ADFI and G : F significantly increased (P < 0.05) in MSI and LSI piglets compared with SSI piglets. Short small intestine and MSI had greater jejunal mucosa sucrase and alkaline phosphatase activities (P < 0.05) than LSI piglets. The mRNA level of solute carrier family 2 member 2 (Slc2a2) in the jejunal mucosa of SSI piglets was the greatest. The MSI piglets had a greater (P < 0.05) ileal villus height than other piglets and greater (P < 0.05) villus height-to-crypt depth ratios than LSI piglets. However, the LSI piglets had a greater (P < 0.05) ileal crypt depth than SSI piglets. No significant differences in duodenal, jejunal, caecal and colonic morphologies were detected among the groups. Moreover, luminal acetate, propionate, butyrate and total short-chain fatty acid contents were greater (P < 0.05) in SSI and MSI piglets than those in LSI piglets. In addition, there was greater serum glucose concentration in MSI piglets than other piglets. Serum albumin concentration in SSI piglets was the lowest. In conclusion, these results indicate that SIL was significantly positively associated with growth performance, and in terms of intestinal morphology and mucosal digestive enzyme activity, the piglets with a medium length of small intestine have better digestion and absorption properties.
Small intestinal epithelium homeostasis involves four principal cell types: enterocytes, goblet, enteroendocrine and Paneth cells. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) has been shown to affect enterocyte differentiation. This study determined the effect of dietary EGF on goblet, enteroendocrine and Paneth cell differentiation in piglet small intestine and potential mechanisms. Forty-two weaned piglets were used in a 2 × 3 factorial design; the major factors were time post-weaning (days 7 and 14) and dietary treatment (0, 200 or 400 µg/kg EGF supplementation). The numbers of goblet and enteroendocrine cells were generally greater with the increase in time post-weaning. Moreover, the supplementation of 200 µg/kg EGF increased (P < 0.01) the number of goblet and enteroendocrine cells in villus and crypt of the piglet small intestine as compared with the control. Dietary supplementation with 200 µg/kg EGF enhanced (P < 0.05) abundances of differentiation-related genes atonal homologue 1, mucin 2 and intestinal trefoil factor 3 messenger RNA (mRNA) as compared with the control. Piglets fed 200 or 400 µg/kg EGF diet had increased (P < 0.05) abundances of growth factor-independent 1, SAM pointed domain containing ETS transcription factor and pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 mRNA, but decreased the abundance (P < 0.01) of E74 like ETS transcription factor 3 mRNA as compared with the control. Animals receiving 400 µg/kg EGF diets had enhanced (P < 0.05) abundances of neurogenin3 and SRY-box containing gene 9 mRNA as compared with the control. The mRNA abundance and protein expression of lysozyme, a marker of Paneth cell, were also increased (P < 0.05) in those animals. As compared with the control, dietary supplementation with 200 µg/kg EGF increased the abundance of EGF receptor mRNA and the ratio of non-phospho(p)-β-catenin/β-catenin (P < 0.05) in villus epithelial cells at days 7 and 14. This ratio in crypt epithelial cells was higher (P < 0.05) on the both 200 and 400 µg/kg EGF groups during the same period. Our results demonstrated that dietary EGF stimulated goblet, enteroendocrine and Paneth cell differentiation in piglets during the post-weaning period, partly through EGFR and Wnt/β-catenin signalling.
The gut is composed of a single layer of intestinal epithelial cells and plays important roles in the digestion and absorption of nutrients, immune and barrier functions and amino acid metabolism. Weaning stress impairs piglet intestinal epithelium structural and functional integrities, which results in reduced feed intake, growth rates and increased morbidity and mortality. Several measures are needed to maintain swine gut development and growth performance after weaning stress. A large body of evidence indicates that, in weaning piglets, glutamine, a functional amino acid, may improve growth performance and intestinal morphology, reduce oxidative damage, stimulate enterocyte proliferation, modulate cell survival and death and enhance intestinal paracellular permeability. This review focuses on the effects of glutamine on intestinal health in piglets. The aim is to provide evidentiary support for using glutamine as a feed additive to alleviate weaning stress.
A new generation of high power laser facilities will provide laser pulses with extremely high powers of 10 petawatt (PW) and even 100 PW, capable of reaching intensities of
in the laser focus. These ultra-high intensities are nevertheless lower than the Schwinger intensity
at which the theory of quantum electrodynamics (QED) predicts that a large part of the energy of the laser photons will be transformed to hard Gamma-ray photons and even to matter, via electron–positron pair production. To enable the investigation of this physics at the intensities achievable with the next generation of high power laser facilities, an approach involving the interaction of two colliding PW laser pulses is being adopted. Theoretical simulations predict strong QED effects with colliding laser pulses of
focused to intensities
Nitrogen (N) application and irrigation to winter wheat may decrease leaf temperature and enhance photosynthesis: as a result, more photosynthates will be allocated to the grains, resulting in higher grain yields. To investigate this hypothesis, a 2-year field study was conducted with three levels of N fertilizer application (no fertilizer, N0; 240 kg N/ha, N1; 360 kg N/ha, N2) and two different water regimes (rainfed with no irrigation, R; irrigation at the over-wintering, stem elongation and grain filling stages, W). The results show that both N application and supplemental irrigation significantly increased grain yield with increases in both grain number/m2 and the 1000-grain weight, viz., WN2>WN1>WN0>RN2>RN1>RN0. In addition, application of N under both water regimes significantly increased flag leaf area, above-ground biomass and single stem productivity and decreased leaf temperature, which led to an increase in net photosynthesis rates and ribulose bisphosphate (RuBP) carboxylase activity. Moreover, analysis of the chlorophyll α fluorescence transient showed that N fertilizer application and supplemental irrigation significantly increased electron donor and acceptor performance of the photosystem II reaction centre.
Iron-deficiency anemia is a public health concern that frequently occurs in pregnant mammals and neonatal offspring. Ferrous N-carbamylglycinate chelate (Fe-CGly) is a newly designed iron fortifier with proven effects in iron-deficient rats and weanling piglets. However, the effects of this new compound on pregnant mammals are unknown. Therefore, this experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of Fe-CGly on sow reproductive performance and iron status of both sows and neonatal piglets. A total of 40 large-white sows after second parity were randomly assigned to two groups (n=20). They were receiving a diet including 80 mg Fe/kg as FeSO4 or Fe-CGly, respectively, from day 85 of gestation to parturition. The serum (day 110 of pregnancy) and placentas of sows were sampled. Litter size, mean weight of live born piglets, birth (live) litter weight, number of live born piglets, and the number of still-born piglets, mummies, and weak-born piglets were recorded. Once delivered, eight litters were randomly selected from the 20 litters per treatment, and one new-born male piglet (1.503±0.142 kg) from each selected litter was slaughtered within 3 h after birth from the selected litters, without colostrum ingestion. The serum, longissimus muscle, liver and kidneys of the piglets were collected. The iron status of the serum samples and the messenger RNA level of iron-related genes in the placenta, liver and kidney were analyzed. The results showed that litter weight of live born piglets was higher (P=0.030) in the Fe-CGly group (19.86 kg) than in the FeSO4 group (17.34 kg). Fe-CGly significantly increased placental iron concentration (P<0.05) of sows. It also significantly increased iron saturation and reduced the total iron-binding capacity of piglets (P<0.05) at birth. However, the results revealed that supplementation of Fe-CGly in sows reduced liver and kidney iron concentration of neonatal piglets (P<0.05), indicating decreased iron storage. In addition, the concentration of iron in the colostrum was not significantly changed. Therefore, the present results suggested that replacement of maternal FeSO4 supplement with Fe-CGly in the late-gestating period for sows could improve litter birth weight, probably via enhanced iron transportation in the placenta.
Fruit flies in the genus Bactrocera are global, economically important pests of agricultural food crops. However, basic life history information about these pests, which is vital for designing more effective control methods, is currently lacking. Artificial diets can be used as a suitable replacement for natural host plants for rearing fruit flies under laboratory conditions, and this study reports on the two-sex life-table parameters of four Bactrocera species (Bactrocera correcta, Bactrocera dorsalis, Bactrocera cucurbitae, and Bactrocera tau) reared on a semi-artificial diet comprising corn flour, banana, sodium benzoate, yeast, sucrose, winding paper, hydrochloric acid and water. The results indicated that the larval development period of B. correcta (6.81 ± 0.65 days) was significantly longer than those of the other species. The fecundity of B. dorsalis (593.60 eggs female−1) was highest among the four species. There were no differences in intrinsic rate of increase (r) and finite rate of increase (λ) among the four species. The gross reproductive rate (GRR) and net reproductive rate (R0) of B. dorsalis were higher than those of the other species, and the mean generation time (T) of B. cucurbitae (42.08 ± 1.21 h) was longer than that of the other species. We conclude that the semi-artificial diet was most suitable for rearing B. dorsalis, due to its shorter development time and higher fecundity. These results will be useful for future studies of fruit fly management.
Retreatment of tuberculosis (TB) often fails in China, yet the risk factors associated with the failure remain unclear. To identify risk factors for the treatment failure of retreated pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) patients, we analyzed the data of 395 retreated PTB patients who received retreatment between July 2009 and July 2011 in China. PTB patients were categorized into ‘success’ and ‘failure’ groups by their treatment outcome. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression were used to evaluate the association between treatment outcome and socio-demographic as well as clinical factors. We also created an optimized risk score model to evaluate the predictive values of these risk factors on treatment failure. Of 395 patients, 99 (25·1%) were diagnosed as retreatment failure. Our results showed that risk factors associated with treatment failure included drug resistance, low education level, low body mass index (<18·5), long duration of previous treatment (>6 months), standard treatment regimen, retreatment type, positive culture result after 2 months of treatment, and the place where the first medicine was taken. An Optimized Framingham risk model was then used to calculate the risk scores of these factors. Place where first medicine was taken (temporary living places) received a score of 6, which was highest among all the factors. The predicted probability of treatment failure increases as risk score increases. Ten out of 359 patients had a risk score >9, which corresponded to an estimated probability of treatment failure >70%. In conclusion, we have identified multiple clinical and socio-demographic factors that are associated with treatment failure of retreated PTB patients. We also created an optimized risk score model that was effective in predicting the retreatment failure. These results provide novel insights for the prognosis and improvement of treatment for retreated PTB patients.
Schizophrenia patients have a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) than normals. We examined the relationship between IGT and clinical phenotypes or cognitive deficits in first-episode, drug-naïve (FEDN) Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia.
A total of 175 in-patients were compared with 31 healthy controls on anthropometric measures and fasting plasma levels of glucose, insulin and lipids. They were also compared using a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Neurocognitive functioning was assessed using the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). Patient psychopathology was assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS).
Of the patients, 24.5% had IGT compared with none of the controls, and they also had significantly higher levels of fasting blood glucose and 2-h glucose after an oral glucose load, and were more insulin resistant. Compared with those patients with normal glucose tolerance, the IGT patients were older, had a later age of onset, higher waist or hip circumference and body mass index, higher levels of low-density lipoprotein and triglycerides and higher insulin resistance. Furthermore, IGT patients had higher PANSS total and negative symptom subscale scores, but no greater cognitive impairment except on the emotional intelligence index of the MCCB.
IGT occurs with greater frequency in FEDN schizophrenia, and shows association with demographic and anthropometric parameters, as well as with clinical symptoms but minimally with cognitive impairment during the early course of the disorder.
Suicide in China has declined since the 1990s. However, there has been limited investigation of the potential spatiotemporal variation and social determinants of suicide during subsequent periods.
Annual suicide counts from 2006 to 2012 stratified by county, 5-year age group (⩾15 years) and gender were obtained from the Chinese Disease Surveillance Points system. Trends and geographic differentials were examined using multilevel negative binomial regression models to explore spatiotemporal variation in suicide, and the role of key sociodemographic factors associated with suicide.
The suicide rate (per 100 000) in China decreased from 14.7 to 9.1, 2006–2012. Rates of suicide were higher in males than females and increased substantially with age. Suicide rates were higher in rural areas compared with urban areas; however, urban–rural disparities reduced over time with a faster decline for rural areas. Within both urban and rural areas, higher rates of suicide were evident in areas with lower socio-economic circumstances (SEC) [rate ratio (RR) 1.85, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.31–2.62]. Suicide rates varied more than twofold (median RR 2.06) across counties, and were highest in central and southwest regions of China. A high proportion of the divorced population, especially for younger females, was associated with lower suicide rates (RR 0.60, 95% CI 0.46–0.79).
Geographic variations for suicide should be taken into account in policy making, particularly for older males living in rural areas and urban areas with low SEC. Measures to reduce disparities in socio-economic level and alleviate family relation stress are current priorities.
The biocompatibility of an implant material depends on the bulk physical properties in addition to the surface properties. In biomedical engineering and industry Ti and Ti-alloys are very popular biological implant material for their bulk physical properties and strength to weight ratio resembling those of nature bone. It is possible to modify the surface properties of titanium for enhanced surface biocompatibility. The main objective of the this study is to engineer a smart Ti-based prosthesis surface by self induced chemically modified titanium oxide nano-film by the chemical mechanical polishing process (CMP). This new process applied on bio-implants aims at significantly reducing the out-diffusion of Ti and other metallic impurities from prosthesis in contact with body fluids and tissue and simultaneously enhancing the surface mechanical, chemical and biological properties. CMP technique enables the growth of a thicker and denser self-protective native oxide on Ti and Ti alloy samples, while simultaneously inducing a controlled surface roughness. It is demonstrated that the Ti based dental implants with self-protective oxide induced surfaces help minimize chemical and bacterial reactivity in addition to Ti ion dissolution while promoting their biocompatibility through surface patterning. The studied self-protective oxide films can also be utilized for many additional applications including bio-sensors.
Results from the successful growth of high quality KH2PO4 (KDP) crystals with incorporated TiO2 anatase nanoparticles and the characterization of these crystals using several complementary methods are presented. Transmission and scanning electron microscopy have shown that the anatase nanoparticles were captured mainly by the pyramidal growth sector and, to a considerably lesser extent, by the prismatic growth sector. Energy dispersive x-ray analysis confirms that the growth layer stacks contain the TiO2 particles. Significant variation in the imaginary and real parts of the cubic nonlinear optical susceptibilities and refractive index changes at continuous wave excitation were found in prism and pyramid parts of pure KDP and KDP:TiO2 samples. The identified lines of electron paramagnetic resonance belong to four different centers FeA3+, FeB3+, CrR3+ and CrGB3+. From analysis of line intensities it was concluded that the concentration of non-controlled impurities in nominally pure KDP samples is several times larger than in KDP:TiO2, and that the concentration of non-controlled impurities in the prismatic part of the KDP:TiO2 boule is larger than in the pyramidal part.
There is great interest in improving TiO2’s photocatalytic activity in the visible portion of electromagnetic spectrum. Recent work has shown that co-doping mesoporous TiO2 microparticles with a transition metal and nitrogen, hereby designated as (M,N) TiO2, significantly increases its visible light absorption. However, the hydrothermal method used to produce the microparticles creates a wide distribution in the size of the microparticles, which could affect the absorption properties. Recently, it has become possible to produce monodisperse, mesoporous TiO2 microparticles with engineered sizes using a hybrid sol-gel/hydrothermal technique. Further, it has also been shown that the size of monodisperse TiO2 microparticles affects the the photocatalytic activity.
This study investigated whether using mondodisperse (M,N) TiO2 microparticles would further increase visible-light absorption for (M,N)TiO2. The first-row transition metals chosen for this study - Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, and Cu – have been characterized in the earlier (M,N) TiO2 UV-vis study, which was used as a baseline. The doping levels of the transition metals samples were set at the 2.5 percent level previously shown to be optimum for photocatalytic activity.
Nanostructured anatase TiO2 is a promising material for gas sensing and photocatalysis. In order to modify its catalytic properties, the lanthanide (Ln) ions Eu3+, Gd3+, Nd3+ and Yb3+ were precipitated on the surface of TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) by hydrothermal treatment. Results from Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements show that the anatase structure of the TiO2 nanoparticles was preserved after hydrothermal treatment. SEM and TEM show a heterogeneous distribution in size and a nanocrystallite morphology of the TiO2 NPs (∼ 14 nm in size) and EDX confirmed the presence of the Ln-ion surface doping after hydrothermal treatment. An increase in photoluminescence (PL) was observed for the Ln-surface-doped TiO2 NPs when measurements were made in forming gas (5% H2 + 95% Ar) at 520 °C. In contrast, the PL measurements made at room temperature did not show any noticeable difference in forming gas or in ambient air. Our temperature-dependent PL results obtained in different gas environments are consistent with modification of oxygen-vacancies and hole-defects due to a combination of hydrothermal treatment and surface Ln-doping.