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Age effects may be important for improving models for the prediction of conversion to psychosis for individuals in the clinical high risk (CHR) state. This study aimed to explore whether adolescent CHR individuals (ages 9–17 years) differ significantly from adult CHR individuals (ages 18–45 years) in terms of conversion rates and predictors.
Consecutive CHR individuals (N = 517) were assessed for demographic and clinical characteristics and followed up for 3 years. Individuals with CHR were classified as adolescent (n = 244) or adult (n = 273) groups. Age-specific prediction models of psychosis were generated separately using Cox regression.
Similar conversion rates were found between age groups; 52 out of 216 (24.1%) adolescent CHR individuals and 55 out of 219 (25.1%) CHR adults converted to psychosis. The conversion outcome was best predicted by negative symptoms compared to other clinical variables in CHR adolescents (χ2 = 7.410, p = 0.006). In contrast, positive symptoms better predicted conversion in CHR adults (χ2 = 6.585, p = 0.01).
Adolescent and adult CHR individuals may require a different approach to early identification and prediction. These results can inform the development of more precise prediction models based on age-specific approaches.
Connexin 43 (CX43) is a component of gap junctions. The lack of functional CX43 induces oxidative stress, autophagy, and apoptosis in somatic cells. However, the role of CX43 in the early development of porcine embryos is still unknown. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the role of CX43, and its underlying molecular mechanisms, on the developmental competence of early porcine embryos. We performed CX43 knockdown by microinjecting dsRNA into parthenogenetically activated porcine parthenotes. The blastocyst development rate and the total number of cells in the blastocysts were significantly reduced by CX43 knockdown. Results from FITC-dextran assays showed that CX43 knockdown significantly increased membrane permeability. ZO-1 protein was obliterated in CX43 knockdown blastocysts. Mitochondrial membrane potential and ATP production were significantly reduced following CX43 knockdown. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were significantly increased in the CX43 knockdown group compared to those in control embryos. Moreover, CX43 knockdown induced autophagy and apoptosis. Our findings indicate that CX43 is essential for the development and preimplantation of porcine embryos and maintains mitochondrial function, cell junction structure, and cell homeostasis by regulating membrane permeability, ROS generation, autophagy, and apoptosis in early embryos.
Identifying risk factors and mortality of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) could have important implications for the clinical management of AD.
This pilot study aimed to examine the overall mortality of AD patients over a 10-year surveillance period in Shanghai, China. This study is an extension of our previous investigation on mortality of neurodegenerative diseases.
One hundred and thirty-two AD patients recruited from the memory clinics of two hospitals in Shanghai in 2007 were followed up until December 31, 2017 or death, representing a follow-up period of up to 10 years. Overall standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated, and predictors for survival at recruitment were estimated.
Sixty-seven patients had died by December 31, 2017, and the SMR at 10 years of follow-up was 1.225 (95% confidence interval 0.944–1.563). Employing Cox’s proportional hazard modeling, lower Mini-Mental State Examination score, and comorbid diabetes predicted poor survival in this cohort.
This pilot study suggests a similar survival trend of patients with AD compared to the general population in Shanghai urban region. Poor cognitive status and comorbid diabetes had a negative impact on the survival of AD patients.
Flower-like AgI/Bi5O7I hybrid photocatalysts were fabricated via a hydrothermal method and the subsequent heating process with AgI/Bi4O5I2 as the intermediate. X-ray powder diffraction, Raman, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, diffuse reflectance spectra, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, photoluminescence, and electrochemical methods were used to reveal the structure, elemental content, morphology, and charge separation capabilities of the as-prepared samples. The photocatalytic test showed that the AgI/Bi5O7I composites own much higher photoactivity than pure AgI and Bi5O7I. Based on the result of XPS analysis, the composite is believed to be the Ag/AgI/Bi5O7I system. Due to the suitable band potentials of AgI and Bi5O7I, the ternary system can form a heterojunction structure which works in a Z-scheme mechanism with Ag nanoparticles as the transfer media. The guided charge transfer in the composite prolongs the life time of charge carriers and eventually leads to the high photocatalytic activity of AgI/Bi5O7I. Additionally, the flower-like structure of the composite also contributes to the photocatalytic reaction.
MicroRNA (miR)-29b plays a crucial role during somatic cell reprogramming. The aim of the current study was to explore the effects of miR-29b on the developmental competence of bovine somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos, as well as the underlying mechanisms of action. The expression level of miR-29b was lower in bovine SCNT embryos at the pronuclear, 8-cell, and blastocyst stages compared with in vitro fertilized embryos. In addition, miR-29b regulates the expression of DNA methyltransferases (Dnmt3a/3b and Dnmt1) in bovine SCNT embryos. We further investigated SCNT embryo developmental competence and found that miR-29b overexpression during bovine SCNT embryonic development does not improve developmental potency and downregulation inhibits developmental potency. Nevertheless, the quality of bovine SCNT embryos at the blastocyst stage improved significantly. The expression of pluripotency factors and cellular proliferation were significantly higher in blastocysts from the miR-29b overexpression group than the control and downregulation groups. In addition, outgrowth potential in blastocysts after miR-29b overexpression was also significantly greater in the miR-29b overexpression group than in the control and downregulation groups. Taken together, these results demonstrated that miR-29b plays an important role in bovine SCNT embryo development.
We examined the in vitro developmental competence of parthenogenetic activation (PA) oocytes activated by an electric pulse (EP) and treated with various concentrations of AZD5438 for 4 h. Treatment with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h significantly improved the blastocyst formation rate of PA oocytes in comparison with 0, 20, or 50 µM AZD5438 treatment (46.4% vs. 34.5%, 32.3%, and 24.0%, respectively; P < 0.05). The blastocyst formation rate was higher in the group treated with AZD5438 for 4 h than in the groups treated with AZD5438 for 2 or 6 h (42.8% vs. 38.6% and 37.2%, respectively; P > 0.05). Furthermore, 66.67% of blastocysts derived from these AZD5438-treated PA oocytes had a diploid karyotype. The blastocyst formation rate of PA and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos was similar between oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 2 mM 6-dimethylaminopurine for 4 h and those activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h (11.11% vs. 13.40%, P > 0.05). In addition, the level of maturation-promoting factor (MPF) was significantly decreased in oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h. Finally, the mRNA expression levels of apoptosis-related genes (Bax and Bcl-2) and pluripotency-related genes (Oct4, Nanog, and Sox2) were checked by RT-PCR; however, there were no differences between the AZD5438-treated and non-treated control groups. Our results demonstrate that porcine oocyte activation via an EP in combination with AZD5438 treatment can lead to a high blastocyst formation rate in PA and SCNT experiments.
Coenzyme Q10 (Q10) plays an important role in the cellular antioxidant system by protecting the cells from free-radical oxidative damage and apoptosis. In the present study, we have investigated the effect of Q10 on the preimplantation development of porcine parthenogenetic embryos, as well as the underlying mechanism. The results showed that 100 μM was the optimal concentration of Q10, which resulted in significantly increased cleavage and blastocyst formation rates and improvement of blastocyst quality. Q10 improved the blastocyst hatching rate and cellular proliferation rate in hatching blastocysts and increased the expression of hatching-related genes. Furthermore, Q10 not only decreased reactive oxygen species production, DNA damage levels, and apoptosis in the blastocysts from H2O2-induced oxidative injury, but also maintained mitochondrial function. Taken together, these results indicate that Q10 has beneficial effects on the development of porcine parthenogenetic embryos by preventing oxidative damage and apoptosis.
Anthrax is still a severe public health problem and threat to human health. A cutaneous anthrax outbreak occurred in Jiangsu Province, a non-endemic anthrax region of eastern China, from July to August 2012. Epidemiological and laboratory investigation were initiated to trace the source of infection and identify the risk factors of the outbreak. On 25 July 2012, 17 persons were exposed to a sick cow, which had been imported from northeast China a few days previously. Of the 17 exposed, eight developed symptoms between 1 and 8 days and were diagnosed as cutaneous anthrax cases. Three main genes of Bacillus anthracis were detected from both human and cow meat samples, indicating that the outbreak was associated with this infected cow. A retrospective cohort study showed that contact with blood and presence of skin damage contributed to the case infection with B. anthracis. The outbreak highlights the need to enhance quarantine for imported livestock, which should have been vaccinated prior to importation, the significance of education for high-risk individuals, and training for primary healthcare workers even in anthrax-free areas.
We conducted community interviews and field surveys to determine the distribution and population of the Endangered Shortridge's capped langur Trachypithecus shortridgei, and the threats to the species, in the Dulong and Nu River valleys of north-western Yunnan Province, China. We found that c. 19 groups of T. shortridgei reside in the Dulong valley, mostly located in the southern portion of the valley. According to interview and observational records in the Gaoligong Mountains to the west of the Nu River, 12 individuals and no groups were observed. Family groups consist of one adult male, 2–3 adult females and up to five young. We estimate the population of T. shortridgei in China to be c. 250–370 individuals. Threats to the species include habitat loss and poaching. We suggest several measures to conserve T. shortridgei, such as a review of the Gaoligong National Nature Reserve management strategy, and increasing engagement, education, inclusion of local people in forest management, and the consistency of enforcement.
Few studies have explored the relationship between dietary patterns and the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Evidence from non-Western areas is particularly lacking. In the present study, we aimed to examine the associations between dietary patterns and the risk of GDM in a Chinese population. A total of 3063 pregnant Chinese women from an ongoing prospective cohort study were included. Data on dietary intake were collected using a FFQ at 24–27 weeks of gestation. GDM was diagnosed using a 75 g, 2 h oral glucose tolerance test. Dietary patterns were determined by principal components factor analysis. A log-binomial regression model was used to examine the associations between dietary pattern and the risk of GDM. The analysis identified four dietary patterns: vegetable pattern; protein-rich pattern; prudent pattern; sweets and seafood pattern. Multivariate analysis showed that the highest tertile of the vegetable pattern was associated with a decreased risk of GDM (relative risk (RR) 0·79, 95 % CI 0·64, 0·97), compared with the lowest tertile, whereas the highest tertile of the sweets and seafood pattern was associated with an increased risk of GDM (RR 1·23, 95 % CI 1·02, 1·49). No significant association was found for either the protein-rich or the prudent pattern. The protective effect of a high vegetable pattern score was more evident among women who had a family history of diabetes (P for interaction = 0·022). These findings suggest that the vegetable pattern was associated with a decreased risk of GDM, while the sweets and seafood pattern was associated with an increased risk of GDM. These findings may be useful in dietary counselling during pregnancy.
The stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes and fatty acid composition of
tapertail anchovy (Coilia mystus) at four migration stages
collected around the Changjiang Estuary were analysed to investigate the
variations in the trophic biomarkers during the fish migration.
δ13 C and δ15N values of C. mystus
ranged from −21.5 to −15.4‰ and from 6.9–15.8‰, respectively. Both
δ13C and δ15N were enriched during migration.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids were the dominant fatty acids and the major
fatty acids found in C. mystus were
C20:4n-6, C16:0, C18:0, C16:1n-7,
C18:1(n-9, n-7) and C20:1 + C22:1.
Significant changes among C. mystus at different migration
stages were found both in the fatty acid composition and specific fatty acid
concentration. Though the enrichment of stable isotopes may due to multiple
factors (e.g. diet shift, environment and ontogeny), the dietary influence
can be determined by the variation in fatty acid composition. Changes in the
concentrations of benthic markers (C18:1n-7 and
C20:4n-6) and pelagic markers (C18:1n-9
and C20:1 + C22:1) in C. mystus during the migration may
suggest that benthic and pelagic food sources alternately dominated the
anchovies' diet during different migration stages. It seems that application
of multiple biomarkers in the trophic study of migratory fish will elevate
the reliability of the analysis.
To ascertain whether the Kunming (KM) mouse is an available model for age-related decline in female fertility in human or not, oocytes from young (6–8 weeks), middle-aged (9 months) and aged (12 months) female mice were compared with respect to number of oocytes, frequency of in-vitro maturation (IVM) and in-vitro fertilization (IVF), and meiotic chromosome segregation and alignment. The mean number of pups born per mouse decreased significantly from the young to the middle-aged and the aged mice. The mean number of ovarian follicles, ovarian germinal vesicle oocytes and ovulated MII oocytes decreased significantly with maternal age. The rate of IVM in oocytes from young mice (73.9%) was less significantly than that in oocytes from middle-aged and aged mice (86.1% and 84.4%, respectively). Immunocytochemical analysis showed that ageing caused a significantly higher rate (49.3%) of chromosome misalignment than that (15.7%) of the young mice. The presence of premature chromatids was also significantly higher in MII oocytes of aged mice as compared with young mice (37.8 versus 8.3%). Pronuclear formation was delayed in oocytes of middle-aged and aged females (35.5 and 42.3% respectively in 5 h of IVF) as compared with young mice (88.1%). The study suggests that KM mouse exhibits an age-related decline in female fertility. Significant reduction of germinal vesicle (GV) and MII oocytes and significant increase of metaphase chromosome misalignment and premature chromatid segregation after meiotic maturation of oocytes, similar to human, presumably contribute to the decline in aged KM mice.
KLa2Ti3O9.5 and KLa2Ti3O9.5:Er3+ nanocrystals were successfully synthesized using a hydrothermal method and a subsequent calcination treatment. The band gap (Eg) of the KLa2Ti3O9.5 nanocrystals was calculated to be about 2.56 eV by means of the reflectance diffusion technique. Under 980-nm excitation, the KLa2Ti3O9.5:Er3+ nanocrystals emitted intense green (2H11/2/4S3/2 → 4I15/2) and red (4F9/2 → 4I15/2) upconversion (UC) luminescence. In comparison with pure KLa2Ti3O9.5, the KLa2Ti3O9.5:Er3+ nanocrystals exhibited a higher activity for water splitting into H2 under simulated solar light irradiation. We suggest that the enhancement of photocatalytic activity is related to the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area and UC luminescence of KLa2Ti3O9.5:Er3+.
Stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes and fatty acid compositions of Aurelia aurita, Stomolophus meleagris and Cyanea nozakii collected from the Yellow Sea in August 2009, were analysed. δ13C and δ15N values of the jellyfishes were in the range of −22.0‰ to −17.4‰ and 4.8‰ to 10.6‰, respectively, which indicated that jellyfishes in this study area were mainly dependent on marine-based carbon. The trophic levels of jellyfishes were estimated as between zooplanktons and high level carnivorous fishes. Low C18:1n-7/n-9 ratios and high C20:1 (n-11 and n-9) and C22:1 (n-11 and n-9) concentrations suggested jellyfishes in the Yellow Sea were carnivorous and zooplanktons were an important diet for them. Fatty acid compositions of jellyfishes were characterized by high C20:4n-6 concentration (>10%), with ratios of C20:5n-3/C22:6n-3 >1. Specific fatty acids (C20:1 + C22:1 and C20:4n-6) indicated that both pelagic-derived material and benthic detritus-derived food were diet of jellyfishes. Variations of certain biomarkers (C15:0 + C17:0, C20:1 + C22:1 (n-11 and n-9) and C20:4n-6) in jellyfishes of different body sizes suggested that ontogenetic diet shifts may take place during the growth of jellyfishes. Larger individuals with higher C20:1 + C22:1 (n-11 and n-9) concentration, tended to consume more zooplanktons; while the detritus-derived material made a more significant contribution to the small individuals, as suggested by higher C15:0 + C17:0 and C20:4n-6 concentrations. According to our study, besides the diet, species seemed to influence variations in stable isotopes and fatty acid compositions in jellyfishes.
Protein kinase C (PKC) is a family of Ser/Thr protein kinases that can be activated by Ca2+, phospholipid and diacylglycerol. There is evidence that PKC plays key roles in the meiotic maturation and activation of mammalian oocytes. The present study aimed to monitor the effect of age, germinal vesicle (GV) transfer and modified nucleoplasmic ratio on the subcellular distribution profile of PKCα, an important isozyme of PKC, in mouse oocytes undergoing meiotic maturation and following egg activation. Germinal vesicle oocytes were collected from 6–8-week-old and 12-month-old mice. Germinal vesicle-reconstructed oocytes and GV oocytes with one-half or one-third of the original oocyte volume were created using micromanipulation and electrofusion. The subcellular localization of PKCα was detected by immunocytochemistry and laser confocal microscopy. Our study showed that PKCα had a similar location pattern in oocytes and early embryos from young and old mice. PKCα was localized evenly in ooplasm, with weak staining in GV at the GV stage, and present in the entire meiosis II (MII) spindle at the MII stage. In pronuclear and 2-cell embryos, PKCα was concentrated in the nucleus except for the nucleolus. After the GV oocytes were reconstructed, the resultant MII oocytes and embryos showed a similar distribution of PKCα between reconstructed and unreconstructed controls. After one-half or two-thirds of the cytoplasm was removed from the GV oocytes, PKCα still had a similar location pattern in MII oocytes and early embryos from the GV oocytes with modified nucleoplasmic ratio. Our study showed that age, GV transfer and modified nucleocytoplasmic ratio does not affect distribution of PKCα during mouse oocyte maturation, activation, and early embryonic mitosis.
We reported the aqueous chemical method to fabricate the well-aligned ZnO/Al2O3 core-shell nanorod arrays (NRAs). The shell is composed of α-Al2O3 nanocrystals in amorphous Al2O3 layers. The photoluminescence (PL) measurements showed that the enhancement of near-band-edge emission in ZnO NRAs arrays due to the addition of Al2O3 shell was observed. The Al2O3 shell layer resulting in flatband effect near ZnO surface leads to a stronger overlap of the wavefunctions of electrons and holes in the ZnO core, further enhancing the NBE emission.
Duck interleukin (IL)-18 mature protein gene was amplified by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) from total RNA extracted from Ma duck (Tadorna ferruginea) splenocytes. The PCR product was cloned into pGEM-T Easy vector for sequencing. The result revealed that the nucleotide sequence of duck IL-18 mature protein gene (mDuIL-18) consisted of a 513 bp band. A prokaryotic plasmid of mDuIL-18, pQE30-mDuIL18, was obtained by subcloning the encoding region of the DuIL-18 mature peptide into pQE30. pQE30-mDuIL18 transformed Escherichia coli M15. The expression of mDuIL-18 gene was identified by SDS-PAGE and Western blotting. Its molecular weight was 19.76 kDa, and could be specifically recognized by rabbit sera to chicken IL-18. The expressed products existed as inclusion bodies. After being degenerated, then renatured, the activities of the inclusion bodies were detected by methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium (MTT) assay. In ducks injected intramuscularly with mDuIL-18 protein (150 ng or 200 ng per duck) and Avian influenza virus (AIV) vaccine 2 weeks after immunization, the average titres of haemagglutination inhibition (HI) antibodies to AIV reached 7.5–7.7 log2, while those of HI antibody ranged between 6.3 and 6.6 log2 in ducks vaccinated with AIV vaccine only or with 100 ng mDuIL-18 and AIV vaccine. The results clearly showed that 150 ng mDuIL-18 per duck strengthened the in vivo immune responses induced by the inactivated oil emulsion AIV vaccine.
After examining ternary Al-based quasi-crystalline phase diagrams, we pointed out that the presence of e/a-constant and e/a-variant lines is a common phenomenon. Ternary quasi-crystal compositions are located at the crossing point of these lines in ternary phase diagrams. Such an empirical rule can be used to predict the ternary quasi-crystal compositions from binary ones. We applied this rule to the Al–Fe–Ni system and clarified the decagonal phase composition zone. There are two decagonal phases, D-Al72.5Fe14.5Ni13 and D′-Al705Fe12Ni17.5, that correspond respectively to Al–Fe-based and Al–Ni-based decagonal phases in the same ternary system.