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The effect of holly polyphenols (HP) on intestinal inflammation and microbiota composition was evaluated in a piglet model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced intestinal injury. A total of twenty-four piglets were used in a 2 × 2 factorial design including diet type and LPS challenge. After 16 d of feeding with a basal diet supplemented with or without 250 mg/kg HP, pigs were challenged with LPS (100 μg/kg body weight) or an equal volume of saline for 4 h, followed by analysis of disaccharidase activities, gene expression levels of several representative tight junction proteins and inflammatory mediators, the SCFA concentrations and microbiota composition in intestinal contents as well as proinflammatory cytokine levels in plasma. Our results indicated that HP enhanced intestinal disaccharidase activities and reduced plasma proinflammatory cytokines including TNF-α and IL-6 in LPS-challenged piglets. Moreover, HP up-regulated mRNA expression of intestinal tight junction proteins such as claudin-1 and occludin. In addition, bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequencing showed that HP altered hindgut microbiota composition by enriching Prevotella and enhancing SCFA production following LPS challenge. These results collectively suggest that HP is capable of alleviating LPS-triggered intestinal injury by improving intestinal disaccharidase activities, barrier function and SCFA production, while reducing intestinal inflammation.
A CoNiCrAlTaHfY/Co composite coating was prepared on the etched C/C composites by using duplex vapor phase surface alloying treatments, i.e., Co alloying and Co–Ni–Cr–Al–Ta–Hf–Y alloying. Microstructures and oxidation behavior of the coated C/C composites were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction. The result showed that the CoNiCrAlTaHfY/Co composite coating, 25 μm in thickness, was compact and composed of CrCoTa, AlCo2Ta, AlxCry, AlxNiy, and Co. The coating adhesion can be enhanced by microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition etching of matrix surface and adding a Co intermediate layer between the CoNiCrAlTaHfY top layer and C/C composites substrate. The honeycomb structure after etching was helpful to alloying element absorb and diffuse into substrate surface, and the composite coating continuation was improved by the Co buffer layer. After exposing in air for 180 min at 1000 °C, the bulk C/C composites volatilized while the loss rate of coated C/C composites was 0.82%, showing an improved oxidation resistance. Mixed oxides mainly containing Al2O3 and Cr2O3 were formed in the composite coating surface and protected the C/C composites from oxidation in air.
Patients with severe mental disorders in low-resource settings have limited access to services, resulting in overwhelming caregiving burden for families. In extreme cases, this has led to the long-term restraining of patients in their homes. China underwent a nationwide initiative to unlock patients and provide continued treatment. This study aims to quantify household economic burden in families after unlocking and treatment, and to identify factors associated with increased burden due to schizophrenia.
A total of 264 subjects were enrolled from three geographically diverse provinces in 2012. Subjects were patients with schizophrenia who were previously put under restraints and had participated in the ‘unlocking and treatment’ intervention. The primary outcome was the current household economic burden, obtained from past year financial information collected through on-site interview. Patient disease characteristics, treatment, outcomes and family caregiving burden were collected as well. Univariate and multivariate linear regression were used to construct risk factor models for indirect economic burden.
After participating in the intervention, 85% of patients continued to receive mental health services, 70% used medication as prescribed and 80% were never relocked. Family members reported significantly decreased caregiving burden after receiving the intervention. Mean direct and indirect household economic burdens were CNY963 (US$31.7) and CNY11 724 (US$1670) per year, respectively, while family total income was on average CNY12 108 (US$1913) per year. Greater disease severity and poorer patient psychosocial function at time of study were found to be independent factors related to increased indirect burden.
The ‘unlocking and treatment’ intervention has improved the lives of patients and families. Indirect burden due to disease is still a major economic issue that needs to be addressed, potentially through improving treatment and patient functioning. Our findings contribute to the unravelling and eventual elimination of chronic restraining of mentally ill patients in low-resource settings.
Autonomous ships are gaining in importance and are expected to shape the future of the global shipping industry. This evolutionary shift raises serious issues about compliance with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 (COLREGs). This paper reviews the literature on autonomous ships from the perspective of the obligations of good seamanship imposed by COLREGs. The authors conclude that to facilitate the introduction of autonomous ships, the application barriers presented by COLREGs need to be analysed. With this goal, this paper presents a perspective from navigational practice. Four nautical scientists and two deck officers were invited to give their opinions. The analysis indicates that COLREGs require further elaboration and amendments to eliminate uncertainty of interpretation. In particular, the paper highlights the need to amend the ‘look-out’ rule (COLREGs Rule 5) to permit look-out by ‘computer vision’ alone while, at the same time, preserving the distinction between vessels navigating in restricted visibility and in sight of one another.
To investigate the spatial distribution of self-harm incidence rates, their socioeconomic correlates and sex/age differences using data on self-harm presentations to emergency departments from The Manchester Self-Harm Project (2003–2013).
Smoothed standardised incidence ratios for index self-harm episodes (n = 14 771) and their associations with area-level socioeconomic factors across 258 small areas (median population size = 1470) in the City of Manchester municipality were estimated using Bayesian hierarchical models.
Higher numbers and rates of self-harm were found in the north, east and far southern zones of the city, in contrast to below average rates in the city centre and the inner city zone to the south of the centre. Males and females aged 10–24, 25–44 and 45–64 years showed similar geographical patterning of self-harm. In contrast, there was no clear pattern in the group aged 65 years and older. Fully adjusted analyses showed a positive association of self-harm rates with the percentage of the unemployed population, households privately renting, population with limiting long-term illness and lone-parent households, and a negative association with the percentage of ethnicity other than White British and travel distance to the nearest hospital emergency department. The area-level characteristics investigated explained a large proportion (four-fifths) of the variability in area self-harm rates. Most associations were restricted to those aged under 65 years and some associations (e.g. with unemployment) were present only in the youngest age group.
The findings have implications for allocating prevention and intervention resources targeted at high-risk groups in high incidence areas. Targets for area-based interventions might include tackling the causes and consequences of joblessness, better treatment of long-term illness and consideration of the accessibility of health services.
The Chinese National Twin Registry (CNTR), initiated in 2001, has now become the largest twin registry in Asia. From 2015 to 2018, the CNTR continued to receive Chinese government funding and had recruited 61,566 twin-pairs by 2019 to study twins discordant for specific exposures such as environmental factors, and twins discordant for disease outcomes or measures of morbidity. Omic data, including genetics, genomics, metabolomics, and proteomics, and gut microbiome will be tested. The integration of omics and digital technologies in public health will advance our understanding of precision public health. This review introduces the updates of the CNTR, including study design, sample size, biobank, zygosity assessment, advances in research and future systems epidemiologic research.
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.
Compared with the general population, individuals with schizophrenia have a higher risk of periodontal disease, which can potentially reduce their life expectancy. However, evidence for the early development of periodontal disease in schizophrenia is scant. The current study investigated risk factors for periodontal disease in patients newly diagnosed with schizophrenia.
We identified a population-based cohort of patients in Taiwan with newly diagnosed schizophrenia who developed periodontal disease within 1 year of their schizophrenia diagnosis. Treatment with antipsychotics and other medications was categorised according to medication type and duration, and the association between medication use and the treated periodontal disease was assessed through logistic regression.
Among 3610 patients with newly diagnosed schizophrenia, 2373 (65.7%) had an incidence of treated periodontal disease during the 1-year follow-up. Female sex (adjusted odds ratios [OR] 1.40; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.20–1.63); young age (adjusted OR 0.99; 95% CI 0.98–0.99); a 2-year history of periodontal disease (adjusted OR 2.45; 95% CI 1.84–3.26); high income level (adjusted OR 2.24; 95% CI 1.64–3.06) and exposure to first-generation (adjusted OR 1.89; 95% CI 1.54–2.32) and secondary-generation (adjusted OR 1.33; 95% CI 1.11–1.58) antipsychotics, anticholinergics (adjusted OR 1.24; 95% CI 1.03–1.50) and antihypertensives (adjusted OR 1.91; 95% CI 1.64–2.23) were independent risk factors for periodontal disease. Hyposalivation – an adverse effect of first-generation antipsychotics (FGAs) (adjusted OR 2.00; 95% CI 1.63–2.45), anticholinergics (adjusted OR 1.27; 95% CI 1.05–1.53) and antihypertensives (adjusted OR 1.90; 95% CI 1.63–2.22) – was associated with increased risk of periodontal disease. Therefore, hypersalivation due to FGA use (adjusted OR 0.72; 95% CI 0.59–0.88) was considered a protective factor.
The current study highlights that early prevention of periodontal disease in individuals with schizophrenia is crucial. Along with paying more attention to the development of periodontal disease, assessing oral health regularly, helping with oral hygiene, and lowering consumption of sugary drinks and tobacco, emphasis should also be given by physicians to reduce the prescription of antipsychotics to the extent possible under efficacious pharmacotherapy for schizophrenia.
The relationship between serum Mg and blood cell counts in Chinese adult diabetes or central obesity was assessed by investigating 8163 subjects with China Health and Nutrition Survey (mean age 59⋅6 years, 54⋅9 % men). Participants were classified according to blood Mg (below 0⋅65 mmol/l, or 0⋅66–0⋅94 mmol/l or above 0⋅95 mmol/l), type 2 diabetes (yes/no) and central obesity (yes/no). Leucocytes, erythrocytes, platelets (PLT), Hb and glycated Hb (HbA1c) were determined using standardised methods and conditions. HbAc1, leucocytes and PLT were significantly higher among subjects with central obesity than without central obesity (P < 0⋅05). A significant increase for Hb, erythrocytes, PLT, but not leucocytes, across progressive Mg groups was observed in subjects without diabetes (P < 0⋅05). Hb, erythrocytes and HbAc1 were significantly higher among subjects with higher Mg than in subjects with lower Mg with diabetes (P < 0⋅05). Central obesity disturbed the positive association between PLT count and serum Mg. Type 2 diabetes caused metabolism disorder in serum Mg, blood sugar and blood cell count. Hb, erythrocytes and PLT, but not leucocytes, are positively correlated with serum Mg, but this association is somehow disturbed by type 2 diabetes or central obesity.
The present study investigated the effects of glutamine (GLN) pretreatment on CD4+ T cell polarisation and remote kidney injury in mice with gut-derived polymicrobial sepsis. Mice were randomly assigned to three groups: normal control fed with American Institute of Nutrition (AIN)-93G diet and two sepsis groups provided with either AIN-93G-based diet or identical components, except part of casein was replaced by GLN. Mice were given their respective diets for 2 weeks. Then, mice in the sepsis groups were performed with caecal ligation and puncture and were killed 72 h after the surgery. Blood, spleens and kidneys were collected for further examination. The results showed that sepsis resulted in decreased circulating and splenic total T lymphocyte and CD4+ T cell percentages, whereas IL-4-, and forkhead box p3 (Foxp3)-expressing CD4+ T cells percentages were up-regulated. Compared with the sepsis control group, pretreatment with GLN maintained blood T and CD4+ T cells and reduced percentages of IL-4- and Foxp3-expressing CD4+ T cells. Also, a more pronounced activation and increased anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 gene expression of splenic CD4+ T cells were observed. Concomitant with the decreased plasma IL-6, keratinocyte-derived chemokine (KC) levels, the gene expression of KC, macrophage inflammatory protein-2 and renal injury biomarker kidney injury molecule-1 (Kim-1) were down-regulated when GLN was administered. These findings suggest that antecedent of GLN administration elicit a more balanced blood T helper cell polarisation, sustained T cell populations, prevented splenic CD4+ T cell apoptosis and attenuated kidney injury at late phase of polymicrobial sepsis. GLN may have benefits in subjects at risk of abdominal infection.
Shareholder activism has changed corporate governance around the world in the past decade. Conventional wisdom holds that shareholder activism is only effective in firms with dispersed ownership; there has been much less discussion on whether and how activism would work in firms with controlling shareholders. This article fills this gap by investigating whether and how legal mechanisms influence strategy planning and activism outcomes based on hand-collected data regarding activists’ initiatives against firms with concentrated ownership in Hong Kong from 2003 to 2017. This article finds that cases using formal legal mechanisms appear to have had a higher success rate. Among the legal tools available, minority veto rights are the most popular mechanism used by activists in Hong Kong, and are quite effective in leveraging their position in controlled firms. Furthermore, the availability of legal remedies and the ownership level of controlling shareholders are factors that influence activists’ strategies. Most activist initiatives against controlled firms involve corporate governance disputes where activists can rely on legal protection to enhance their bargaining position. On the other hand, activists tend not to make their demands public, and they also avoid exercising legal rights when controlling shareholders control the majority of the shares.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is highly heterogeneous and can be classified as treatment-resistant depression (TRD) or antidepressant-responsive depression (non-TRD) based on patients' responses to antidepressant treatment. Methods for distinguishing between TRD and non-TRD are critical clinical concerns. Deficits of cortical inhibition (CI) have been reported to play an influential role in the pathophysiology of MDD. Whether TRD patients' CI is more impaired than that of non-TRD patients remains unclear.
Paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (ppTMS) was used to measure cortical inhibitory function including GABAA- and GABAB-receptor-related CI and cortical excitatory function including glutamate-receptor-related intracortical facilitation (ICF). We recruited 36 healthy controls (HC) and 36 patients with MDD (non-TRD, n = 16; TRD, n = 20). All participants received evaluations for depression severity and ppTMS examinations. Non-TRD patients received an additional ppTMS examination after 3 months of treatment with the SSRI escitalopram.
Patients with TRD exhibited reduced short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and long-interval intracortical inhibition (LICI), as shown by abnormally higher estimates, than those with non-TRD or HC (F = 11.030, p < 0.001; F = 10.309, p < 0.001, respectively). After an adequate trial of escitalopram treatment, the LICI of non-TRD reduced significantly (t = − 3.628, p < 0.001), whereas the ICF remained lower than that of HC and showed no difference from pretreatment non-TRD.
TRD was characterized by relatively reduced CI, including both GABAA- and GABAB-receptor-mediated neurons while non-TRD preserved partial CI. In non-TRD, SSRIs may mainly modulate GABAB-receptor-related LICI. Our findings revealed distinguishable features of CI in antidepressant-resistant and responsive major depression.
Much effort has been devoted to improving the efficiency of animal cloning. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of BRG1 contained in Xenopus egg extracts on the development of cloned mouse embryos. The results showed that mouse NIH/3T3 cells were able to express pluripotent genes after treatment with egg extracts, indicating that the egg extracts contained reprogramming factors. After co-injection of Xenopus egg extracts and single mouse cumulus cells into enucleated mouse oocytes, statistically higher pronucleus formation and development rates were observed in the egg Extract− co-injected group compared with those in the no egg extract-injected (NT) group (38–66% vs 18–34%, P<0.001). Removal of BRG1 protein from Xenopus egg extracts was conducted, and the BRG1-depleted extracts were co-injected with single donor cells into recipient oocytes. The results showed that the percentages of pronucleus formation were significantly higher in both BRG1-depleted and BRG1-intact groups than that in the nuclear transfer (NT) group (94, 64% vs 50%, P<0.05). Furthermore, percentages in the BRG1-depleted group were even higher than in the BRG1-intact group (94% vs 64%). More confined expression of Oct4 in the inner cell mass (ICM) was observed in the blastocyst derived from the egg extract-injected groups. However, Nanog expression was more contracted in the ICM of cloned blastocysts in the BRG1-depleted group than in the BGR1-intact group. Based on the present study, BRG1 might not play an essential role in reprogramming, but the factors enhancing pronucleus formation and development of cloned mouse embryos are contained in Xenopus egg extracts.
The effective charge of an element is a parameter characterizing the electromigration effect, which can determine the reliability of interconnection in electronic technologies. In this work, machine learning approaches were employed to model the effective charge (z*) as a linear function of physically meaningful elemental properties. Average fivefold (leave-out-alloy-group) cross-validation yielded root-mean-square-error divided by whole data set standard deviation (RMSE/σ) values of 0.37 ± 0.01 (0.22 ± 0.18), respectively, and R2 values of 0.86. Extrapolation to z* of totally new alloys showed limited but potentially useful predictive ability. The model was used in predicting z* for technologically relevant host–impurity pairs.
The modification of halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) as fillers is very effective at improving the performance of polymers. A novel modification of HNTs through grafting dodecylamine onto their surfaces was conducted here. Owing to the improvement in dispersibility of HNTs in polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), the mechanical properties and wear resistance (in particular) of the dodecylamine-modified HNT-filled PTFE composite were enhanced significantly.
This article mainly focuses on stabilization treatments that influence stress corrosion resistance of an AA5383-H15 alloy after undergoing sensitization treatment at 100 °C/168 h. The results show that without stabilization of the sensitized AA5383-H15 alloy, the β precipitates are distributed continuously like a mesh at grain boundary, and this is the main cause of intergranular corrosion failure. However, applying 3 different stabilization treatments (220 °C/3 h, 250 °C/3 h, and 280 °C/3 h) to the AA5383-H15 alloy shows a dramatic decrease in the β phase precipitation routes along the grain boundaries after the sensitization treatment, and thus an effective improvement in the corrosion resistance performance of AA5383-H15 alloys. Of all the stabilization treatments, the application of 250 °C/3 h stabilization treatment is found to be most effective. Applying 250 °C/3 h stabilization treatment facilitated partial recrystallization of the matrix, leading to suppress the continuous precipitation of the β phase along the grain boundaries during sensitization but instead precipitate in discontinuous mesh-like distribution, which can decrease its sensitivity to stress corrosion.