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The seminiferous tubule (ST) is the location of spermatogenesis, where mature spermatozoa are produced with the assistance of Sertoli cells. The role of extracellular vesicles in the direct communication between Sertoli-germ cells in the ST is still not fully understood. In this study, we reported multivesicular bodies (MVBs) and their source of CD63-enriched exosomes by light and ultrastructure microscopy during the reproductive phases of turtles. Strong CD63 immunopositivity was detected at the basal region in the early and luminal regions of the ST during late spermatogenesis by immunohistochemistry (IHC), immunofluorescence (IF), and western blot (WB) analysis. Labeling of CD63 was detected in the Sertoli cell cytoplasmic processes that surround the developing germ cells during early spermatogenesis and in the lumen of the ST with elongated spermatids during late spermatogenesis. Furthermore, ultrastructure analysis confirmed the existence of numerous MVBs in the Sertoli cell prolongations that surround the round and primary spermatogonia during acrosome biogenesis and with the embedded heads of spermatids in the cytoplasm of Sertoli cells. Additionally, in spermatids, Chrysanthemum flower centers (CFCs) generated isolated membranes involved in MVBs and autophagosome formation, and their fusion to form amphiosomes was also observed. Additionally, autophagy inhibition by 3-methyladenine (after 24 h) increased CD63 protein signals during late spermatogenesis, as detected by IF and WB. Collectively, our study found MVBs and CD63 rich exosomes within the Sertoli cells and their response to autophagy inhibition in the ST during the spermatogenesis in the turtle.
The present study was designed to investigate the in vivo biological processes of multivesicular bodies (MVBs) and exosomes in mitochondria-rich cells (MRCs), goblet cells (GCs), and absorptive cells (ACs) in turtle intestines during hibernation. The exosome markers, cluster of differentiation 63 (CD63) and tumor susceptibility gene 101 (TSG101), were positively expressed in intestinal villi during turtle hibernation. The distribution and formation processes of MVBs and exosomes in turtle MRCs, GCs, and ACs were further confirmed by transmission electron microscopy. During hibernation, abundantly secreted early endosomes (ees) were localized in the luminal and basal cytoplasm of the MRCs and ACs, and late endosomes (les) were dispersed with the supranuclear parts of the MRCs and ACs. Many “heterogeneous” MVBs were identified throughout the cytoplasm of the MRCs and ACs. Interestingly, the ees, les, and MVBs were detected in the cytoplasm of the GCs during hibernation; however, they were absent during nonhibernation. Furthermore, the exocytosis pathways of exosomes and autophagic vacuoles were observed in the MRCs, GCs, and ACs during hibernation. In addition, the number of different MVBs with intraluminal vesicles (ILVs) and heterogeneous endosome–MVB–exosome complexes was significantly increased in the MRCs, GCs, and ACs during hibernation. All these findings indicate that intestinal epithelial cells potentially perform a role in the secretion of MVBs and exosomes, which are essential for mucosal immunity, during hibernation.
Immunomodulation by molecules from Trichinella spiralis (T. spiralis) has been widely reported. Glutathione-S-transferase (GST) is a major immune-modulator of the family of detoxification enzymes. Dendritic cells (DCs) are an important target for the regulation of the immune response by T. spiralis. In this study, the recombinant GST of T. spiralis (rTs-GST) was expressed and purified. rTs-GST induced low CD40 expression and moderate CD80, CD86 and MHC-II expressions and inhibited the increase of CD40, CD80 and CD86 on DCs induced by LPS. We showed that rTs-GST decreased the LPS-induced elevated level of pro-inflammatory cytokines of DCs and enhanced the level of regulatory cytokines IL-10 and TGF-β. Furthermore, co-culture of DCs and CD4+ T cells demonstrated that rTs-GST-treated DCs suppressed the proliferation of OVA-specific CD4+ T cells and increased the population of regulatory T cells (Tregs). rTs-GST-treated DCs induced a higher level of IL-4, IL-10 and TGF-β, but inhibited the level of IFN-γ. This indicates that rTs-GST-pulsed DCs induce both Th2-type responses and Tregs. These findings contribute to the current understanding of the immunomodulation of Ts-GST on cellular response and immunomodulation of T. spiralis.
Radiation exposure during paediatric cardiac catheterisation procedures should be minimised to “as low as reasonably achievable”. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a modified radiation safety protocol in reducing patient dose during paediatric interventional cardiac catheterisation.
Radiation dose data were retrospectively extracted from January 2014 to December 2015 (Standard group) and prospectively collected from January 2016 to December 2017 (Low-dose group) after implementation of a modified radiation safety protocol. Both groups included five most common procedures: atrial septal defect closure, patent ductus arteriosus closure, perimembranous ventricular septal defect closure, pulmonary valvuloplasty, and supraventricular tachycardia ablation.
Median air Kerma was 48.4, 50.5, 29.75, 149, 218, and 12.9 mGy for atrial septal defect closure, pulmonary valvuloplasty, patent ductus arteriosus closure <20 kg, ventricular septal defect closure <20 kg, ventricular septal defect closure ≧20 kg, and supraventricular tachycardia ablation in Standard group, respectively, which significantly decreased to 18.75, 20.7, 11.5, 41.9, 117, and 3.3 mGy in Low-dose group (p < 0.05). This represents a reduction in dose to each patient between 46 and 74%. Among five procedural types in Low-dose group, dose of ventricular septal defect closure was the highest with median air Kerma of 62.5 mGy, dose area product of 364.7 μGy.m2, and dose area product per body weight of 21.5 μGy.m2/kg, respectively, along with the longest fluoroscopy time of 9.9 minutes.
We provided a feasible radiation safety protocol with specific settings on a case-by-case basis. Increasing awareness and adequate training of a practical radiation dose reduction program are essential to improve radiation protection for children.
Employing atomic-scale simulations, the response of a high-angle grain boundary (GB), the soft/hard GB, against external loading was systematically investigated. Under tensile loading close to the hard orientation, strain-induced dynamic recrystallization was observed to initiate through direct soft-to-hard grain reorientation, which was triggered by stress mismatch, inhibited by surface tension from the soft-hard GB, and proceeded by interface ledges. Such grain reorientation corresponds with expansion and contraction of the hard grain along and perpendicular to the loading direction, respectively, accompanied by local atomic shuffling, providing relatively large normal strain of 8.3% with activation energy of 0.04 eV per atom. Tensile strain and residual dislocations on the hard/soft GB facilitate the initiation of dynamic recrystallization by lowering the energy barrier and the critical stress for grain reorientation, respectively.
Research suggests an association between metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and schizophrenia. However, the risk of metabolic disorders in the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia remains unclear.
Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, 3135 unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands and 12,540 age-/sex-matched control subjects were included and followed up to the end of 2011. Individuals who developed metabolic disorders during the follow-up period were identified.
The unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM (3.4% vs. 2.6%, p = 0.010) than the controls. Logistic regression analyses with the adjustment of demographic data revealed that the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia were more likely to develop T2DM (odds ratio [OR]: 1.39, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.10–1.75) later in life compared with the control group. Moreover, only female siblings of schizophrenia probands had an increased risk of hypertension (OR: 1.47, 95% CI: 1.07–2.01) during the follow-up compared with the controls.
The unaffected siblings, especially sisters, of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM and hypertension compared with the controls. Our study revealed a familial link between schizophrenia and T2DM in a large sample. Additional studies are required to investigate the shared pathophysiology of schizophrenia and T2DM.
In several lately published studies, the association between single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP, rs12252) of IFITM3 and the risk of influenza is inconsistent. To further understand the association between the SNP of IFITM3 and the risk of influenza, we searched related studies in five databases including PubMed published earlier than 9 November 2017. Ten sets of data from nine studies were included and data were analysed by Revman 5.0 and Stata 12.0 in our updated meta-analysis, which represented 1365 patients and 5425 no-influenza controls from four different ethnicities. Here strong association between rs12252 and influenza was found in all four genetic models. The significant differences in the allelic model (C vs. T: odds ratio (OR) = 1.35, 95% confidence interval (CI) (1.03–1.79), P = 0.03) and homozygote model (CC vs. TT: OR = 10.63, 95% CI (3.39–33.33), P < 0.00001) in the Caucasian subgroup were discovered, which is very novel and striking. Also novel discoveries were found in the allelic model (C vs. T: OR = 1.37, 95% CI (1.08–1.73), P = 0.009), dominant model (CC + CT vs. TT: OR = 1.48, 95% CI (1.08–2.02), P = 0.01) and homozygote model (CC vs. TT: OR = 2.84, 95% CI (1.36–5.92), P = 0.005) when we compared patients with mild influenza with healthy individuals. Our meta-analysis suggests that single-nucleotide T to C polymorphism of IFITM3 associated with increasingly risk of severe and mild influenza in both Asian and Caucasian populations.
We report a cavity-dumped 1123 nm laser with narrow pulse width and high peak power by an MgO: LN crystal electro-optic (EO) modulator. Based on the structural optimization design of a folded biconcave cavity using the 808 nm pulsed laser diode (LD) side-pumped ceramic Nd: YAG rod, output pulses with maximum pulse energy and peak power up to 39.6 mJ and 9.73 MW were obtained, corresponding to 100 Hz repetition rate and 4.07 ns pulse width. The instabilities of pulse width and pulse energy were
2.06%, respectively. At the highest repetition rate of 1 kHz, the pulse energy, pulse width, and peak power were 11.3 mJ, 5.05 ns, and 2.24 MW, respectively. The instabilities of pulse width and pulse energy were
Stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) effect is currently the major limitation for the power scaling of single-frequency/narrow linewidth fiber laser systems. A single-mode linearly polarized all-fiber amplifier system is set up to investigate SBS effect in triple-frequency high-power amplifiers. With this amplifier, up to 302 W output power with 83% slope efficiency is achieved and the SBS threshold is scaled up to 12 dB. To the best of our knowledge, this is the highest output power of multifrequency laser from a single-mode polarization maintaining fiber. Good spectral properties and high brightness make this laser source available for the application of second harmonic generation, coherent beam combining.
A new simple mathematical method has been proposed to predict rock stress around a noncircular tunnel and the method is calibrated and validated with a numerical model. It can be found that the tunnel shapes and polar angles affect the applicable zone of the theoretical model significantly and the applicable zone of a rectangular tunnel was obtained using this method. The method can be used to predict the values of the concentrated stress, and to analyze the change rate of rock stress and back to calculate the mechanical boundary condition in the applicable zone. The results of the stress change rate indicate that the horizontal stress is negatively related to the vertical boundary load and positively related to the horizontal boundary load. The vertical stress is negatively related to the horizontal boundary load and positively related to the vertical boundary load. These findings can be used to explain the evolution of the vertical increment in stress obtained with field-based borehole stress monitoring.
Perovskite solar cells (PSCs) based on organometal halide light absorbers have hit the limelight in recent years owing to their low temperature solution processability, material abundance and rapidly rising efficiency. To rival the leading photovoltaic technologies, efficiency and long-term stability of PSCs represent two prime facets of the challenges currently facing the research community. Herein we summarize the strategies for improving efficiency and stability of PSCs by drawing on our recent work. Emphasis is given to the importance of perovskite film growth, electron/hole transport materials and interface materials in cell performance. We also discuss possible degradation mechanisms of PSCs.
A “RE-free” and I-phase-containing Mg–8Sn-based alloy system was developed and successfully fabricated through the equal channel angular pressing (ECAP) process. The influence of the Zn/Al mass ratio on the microstructures and mechanical properties of the as-ECAPed Mg–8Sn–(5,6,7)Zn–2(wt%)Al alloys was investigated using an optical microscope, an X-ray diffractometer, a scanning electron microscope, a transmission electron microscope, and a universal testing machine. Grain size, dynamic recrystallization behavior, and texture were found to be greatly affected by the Zn/Al mass ratio. Furthermore, the ultimate tensile strength (250 MPa) and elongation (14.5%) of the alloy with a Zn/Al mass ratio of 3 were considerably increased compared to those of the as-ECAPed alloys with Zn/Al ratios of 2.5 and 3.5 (ultimate tensile strength and elongation of 215 MPa and 13% and 184 MPa and 10%, respectively). This significant enhancement was attributed to extensive grain boundary strengthening, precipitation strengthening, and higher work hardening capacity as well as texture randomization. The strength and ductility of the as-ECAPed alloys are also discussed in terms of the I-phase and Mg2Sn formation.
The Lijiang 2.4m telescope of Yunnan Observatories is located at longitude E100°01′51″, latitude N26°42′32″ and height 3250m above sea level (IAU code O44). Because of low latitude of the site, long-focus system and planetary tracking mode of telescope, high accuracy positioning and spectral classification of the near Earth objects (NEAs) especially in the Southern Hemisphere can be studied with the Lijiang 2.4m telescope. As a set of observational campaigns organized by the GAIA-FUN-SSO, astrometry of several near Earth asteroids including (367943) Duende and (99942) Apophis were made with Lijiang 2.4m telescope during 2013. From December 12, 2015, spectra of three near earth asteroids were also observed with the YFOSC terminal attached to the Lijiang 2.4m telescope. This paper will give the detailed introduction of Lijiaing 2.4m telescope and observational results of near Earth asteroids obtained with it.
The on-site hydrogen supply is a key issue for the commercialization of the fuel cells, which is one of the important ways for realizing a hydrogen-economy society. Composite NaNH2–NaBH4 is regarded as a promising high-capacity hydrogen storage material. In this paper, the composite NaNH2–NaBH4 (2/1) was synthesized via a solid-state ball milling method. To improve the hydrogen generation kinetics, a multiplex metal boride Mg–Co–B was selected as the catalyst. It was found that Na3BN2 and metal Na were byproducts in the thermal decomposed sample by X-ray diffraction analysis. Thermogravimetry and differential thermal analysis indicated that the main decomposition stages of the catalyst promoted NaNH2–NaBH4 material were split into three stages. The activation energy of the Mg–Co–B promoted NaNH2–NaBH4 (2/1) material below 300 °C was 76.4 KJ/mol, which is only 47.9% of that of the pristine NaNH2–NaBH4 (2/1), and implying much better hydrogen generation kinetics.
Dense, controlled-impedance, superconducting cables with small cross-sections are desirable, especially for quantum computing applications. In this study, superconductivity properties, rf microwave response and mechanical reliability performance of embedded Nb dc cables and Nb microstrip transmission line resonators with different thicknesses of polyimide PI-2611 encapsulation layers (0, 4 and 8 μm) have been investigated. Critical temperature (Tc) and critical current (Ic) of embedded Nb dc cables are ∼ 8.2 K and ∼ 0.2 A, respectively. Embedded Nb resonators yield high loaded quality factor (QL), with values as high as 14481 at ∼ 1.2 K and at a fundamental resonance of ∼ 2 GHz. From mechanical fatigue testing, we have observed that a polyimide encapsulation layer can effectively enhance the mechanical reliability of superconducting Nb flexible cables.
Inspired by sea sponges, porous Al2O3/starch composite sponges were designed and fabricated as a new controlled release system enabling mechano-triggered logic delivery of molecules. Results of material characterization indicate that the all the composite sponges had a high macro-porosity of >80%, and dehydrated sponges revealed favorable pore structure for drug loading and retaining. The composite sponges have moisture-dependent mechanical properties and samples with appropriate moisture contents revealed high resilience and mechanical robustness under cyclic deformation. Based on the unique mechanical properties of the composite sponge, mechanically modulated, nano-gram precision delivery of model molecules was achieved in an AND logic manner gated by both moisture and compressive strain.
In recent years, with the increasingly frequent variety of large-scale disasters that have happened in China, the Chinese People’s Armed Police Forces (PAP) has undertaken increasingly frequent and diversified tasks, which has led to greater requirements for the construction of emergency medical rescue equipment. Therefore, as determined by the characteristics of the PAP’s tasks and based on the construction of special boxes and frame tent equipment, a new PAP mobile rescue hospital system was successfully developed, and all PAP provincial-level medical rescue teams have been equipped with this system. In the present article, we describe this mobile rescue hospital system, which is mainly composed of professional emergency vehicles, frame-type tents, and advanced medical equipment. The system has the following characteristics: significant integration, a fast response, flexibility, and practicability. The mobile rescue system is generally used as the army’s own health service support system and to provide certain emergency medical rescue services to disaster-stricken people. The successful construction and further application of this system have significance in terms of accelerating the response of rescue teams and the emergency treatment ability of the PAP’s provincial-level emergency medical rescue teams. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:455–459)
One of the probable adverse effects of climate change on agriculture is yield loss due to water scarcity. Assessment of meteorological drought risk with the index of crop water deficit (CWD) can help in determining appropriate adaptation strategies to counter such losses. Using daily weather data from 68 stations in Northeast China (NEC) for 1961–2010, the spatial and temporal behaviour of CWD was assessed and the sensitivity of climatic variables related to CWD during the potential growth period of maize was explored. The results indicated that the potential maize growth period decreased by 26 days due to climate warming. The deficit (i.e. a negative value for water demand) decreased from east to west and decreased gradually during 1978–1984 and sharply during 2000–2010. It is noteworthy that NEC experienced severe droughts especially in the 1970s and the 2000s, and relative humidity was the most sensitive parameter affecting evapotranspiration. Regions in the middle of Heilongjiang and Jilin should take precautions concerning climate change effects on CWD, while the northern part of NEC should take precautions concerning changes in temperature and sunshine hours. Growing late-maturing and drought-tolerant maize varieties is therefore a good option for higher production in NEC, coupled with enhancing the availability of water in this limited-rainfall region, and should form a part of the strategy to cope with climate change.
A novel and efficient photocatalyst of three dimensional (3D) Ba5Ta4O15 flower-like microsphere was synthesized via an alkaline etch under hydrothermal condition. The influence of reaction temperature, reaction time, and alkaline concentration on the morphology were investigated for the 3D Ba5Ta4O15 flower-like microsphere photocatalyst. The morphology and structure of the 3D Ba5Ta4O15 were characterized using x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscope, transmission electron microscope, and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. The results show that the elegant flower-like structure was composed of Ba5Ta4O15 nanosheets. The 3D Ba5Ta4O15 flower-like microspheres show a higher photocatalytic activity in the degradation of methylene blue under ultraviolet light than the bulk Ba5Ta4O15 microcrystal by the solid-state-reacted synthesized. The UV–vis diffuse reflectance spectra, photoluminescence spectra, volumetric adsorption method, and photocurrent response of the Ba5Ta4O15 photocatalyst were characterized indicated that the higher photocatalytic activity of flower-like Ba5Ta4O15 microspheres was due to the high crystallinity, large surface area and the effective charge separation.
In spite of the phenomenal efficiency progression of the organometal halide perovskite-based solar cells (PSCs) over the past few years, detailed understanding of the working mechanisms and effective measures to overcome the main weaknesses such as the long-term instability are of central importance. This paper provides a brief review of our most recent research on high-performance PSCs including the diethanolamine-modification of NiO surface, the mixed solvent engineering and the mesoporous TiO2 nanobowl (NB) array assisted light harvesting.