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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.
Although previous studies have investigated the association of cruciferous vegetable consumption with breast cancer risk, few studies focused on the association between bioactive components in cruciferous vegetables, glucosinolates (GSL) and isothiocyanates (ITC), and breast cancer risk. This study aimed to examine the association between consumption of cruciferous vegetables and breast cancer risk according to GSL and ITC contents in a Chinese population. A total of 1485 cases and 1506 controls were recruited into this case–control study from June 2007 to March 2017. Consumption of cruciferous vegetables was assessed using a validated FFQ. Dietary GSL and ITC were computed by using two food composition databases linking GSL and ITC contents in cruciferous vegetables with responses to the FFQ. The OR and 95 % CI were assessed by unconditional logistic regression after adjusting for the potential confounders. Significant inverse associations were found between consumption of cruciferous vegetables, GSL and ITC and breast cancer risk. The adjusted OR comparing the highest with the lowest quartile were 0·51 (95 % CI 0·41, 0·63) for cruciferous vegetables, 0·54 (95 % CI 0·44, 0·67) for GSL and 0·62 (95 % CI 0·50, 0·76) for ITC, respectively. These inverse associations were also observed in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Subgroup analysis by hormone receptor status found inverse associations between cruciferous vegetables, GSL and ITC and both hormone-receptor-positive or hormone-receptor-negative breast cancer. This study indicated that consumption of cruciferous vegetables, GSL and ITC was inversely associated with breast cancer risk among Chinese women.
Environmental filtering and competitive interactions are important ecological processes in community assembly. The contribution of the two processes to community assembly can be evaluated by shifts in functional diversity patterns. We examined the correlations between functional diversity of six traits (leaf chlorophyll concentration, dry matter content, size, specific leaf area, thickness and wood density) and environmental gradients (topography and soil) for 92 species in the 20-ha Dinghushan forest plot in China. A partial Mantel test showed that most of the community-weighted mean trait values changed with terrain convexity and soil fertility, which implied that environmental filtering was occurring. Functional diversity of many traits significantly increased with increasing terrain convexity and soil fertility, which was associated with increased light and below-ground resources respectively. These results suggest that co-occurring species are functionally convergent in regions of strong abiotic stress under the environmental filtering, but functionally divergent in more benign environments due to resource partitioning and competitive interactions. Single-trait diversity and multivariate functional diversity had different relationships with environmental factors, indicating that traits were related to different niche axes, and associated with different ecological processes, which demonstrated the importance of focusing niche axes in traits selection. Between 9% and 41% of variation in functional diversity of different traits was explained by environmental factors in stepwise multiple regression models. Terrain convexity and soil fertility were the best predictors of functional diversity, which contributed 30.5% and 29.0% of total R2 to the model. These provided essential evidence that different environmental factors had distinguishing impacts on regulating diversity of traits.
Objective: To study the relationship of Nε-(carboxymethyl)-lysine level (CML) with microstructure changes of white matter (WM), and cognitive impairment in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and to discuss the potential mechanism underlying T2DM-associated cognitive impairment. Methods: The study was performed in T2DM patients (n=22) with disease course ≥5 years and age ranging from 65 to 75 years old. A control group consisted of 25 sex- and age-matched healthy volunteers. Fractional anisotropy (FA) of several WM regions was analyzed by diffusion tensor imaging scan. Plasma CML levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and cognitive function was assessed by Mini-Mental State Examination and Montreal cognitive assessment (MoCA). Results: The total Mini-Mental State Examination score in the patient group (25.72±3.13) was significantly lower than the control group (28.16±2.45) (p<0.05). In addition, the total MoCA score in the patient group (22.15±3.56) was significantly lower than the control group 25.63±4.12) (p<0.01). In the patient group, FA values were significantly decreased in the corpus callosum, cingulate fasciculus, inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, parietal WM, hippocampus, and temporal lobes relative to corresponding regions of healthy controls (p<0.05). Plasma CML level was negatively correlated with average FA values in the global brain (r=−0.58, p<0.01) and MoCA scores (r=−0.47, p<0.05). Conclusions: In T2DM, WM microstructure changes occur in older patients, and elevations in CML may play a role in the development of cognitive impairment.
The effect of Zn, as an adjunct to antibiotics, on the treatment of severe pneumonia in young children is still under debate; therefore, we performed a meta-analysis to evaluate the therapeutic role of Zn for severe pneumonia in children younger than 5 years. PubMed, Cochrane library and Embase databases were systematically searched from inception until October 2015 for randomised-controlled trials (RCT) that assessed the effect of Zn as an adjunct to antibiotics for severe pneumonia. Random-effects model was used for calculating the pooled estimates, and intention-to-treat principle was also applied. Nine RCT involving 2926 children were included. Overall, the pooled results showed that adjunct treatment with Zn failed to reduce the time to recovery from severe pneumonia (hazard ratios (HR)=1·04; 95 % CI 0·90, 1·19; I2=39 %; P=0·58), hospital length of stay (HR=1·04; 95 % CI 0·83, 1·33; I2=57 %; P=0·74), treatment failure (relative risk (RR)=0·95; 95 % CI 0·79, 1·14; I2=20 %; P=0·58) or change of antibiotics (RR=1·07; 95 % CI 0·79, 1·45; I2=44 %; P=0·67). In addition, continuous outcomes were consistent while meta-analysed with standard mean difference, and all outcomes remained stable in intention-to-treat analysis. No significant differences were observed in the two groups between death rate, adverse events or recovery times of severe pneumonia indicators. Our results suggested that adjunct treatment with Zn failed to benefit young children in the treatment of severe pneumonia. Considering the clinical heterogeneity, baseline characteristics of children, definition of severe pneumonia and Zn supplement way should be taken into consideration in future research. This study was registered at PRESPERO as CRD42015019798.
Tributyltin, an organotin, is ubiquitous in estuaries and freshwater systems. Previous reports suggest that tributyltin is an endocrine disruptor in many wildlife species and it inhibits aromatase in mammalian placental and granulosa-like tumor cell lines. However, no evidence showing the effects of tributyltin on oocytes or preimplantation embryonic developmental competence exists. Therefore, we investigated the role of tributyltin chloride (TBTCl) in the development of female oocytes and preimplantation embryos. Briefly, female ICR mice were gavaged with 0 (vehicle), 4, and 8 mg/kg of TBTCl each day for 18 days. The fluorescence intensity analysis showed that the 5-methylcytosine level decreased after TBTCl treatment, indicating that the general DNA methylation level decreased in the treated oocytes. Our results demonstrate that TBTCl treatment results in decreased mRNA levels of imprinted genes H19, Igf2r, and Peg3 during oocyte growth. The TBTCl-treated oocytes showed a significant increase in reactive oxygen species levels in germinal vesicle oocytes. In TBTCl-treated oocytes, there was no difference in GPx and Sod1 expression, but a decreased mRNA level of Cat occurred when compared with control. Moreover, the blastocysts with TBTCl exposure displayed higher apoptotic signals. These results suggest that TBTCl induces developmental defects in oocytes and preimplantation embryos.
An epigenetic mechanism has been suggested to explain the effects of the maternal diet on the development of disease in offspring. The present study aimed to observe the effects of a maternal high-lipid, high-energy (HLE) diet on the DNA methylation pattern of male offspring in mice. Female C57BL/6J mice were fed an HLE diet during gestation and lactation. The genomic DNA methylations at promoter sites of genes in the liver, mRNA and protein levels of selected genes related to lipid and glucose metabolism were measured by microarray, real-time PCR and Western blot. The results indicated that the percentage of methylated DNA in offspring from dams that were fed an HLE diet was significantly higher than that from dams that were fed a chow diet, and most of these genes were hypermethylated in promoter regions. The nuclear protein content and mRNA levels of hypermethylated genes, such as PPARγ and liver X receptor α (LXRα), were decreased significantly in offspring in the HLE group. The results suggested that the DNA methylation profile in adult offspring livers was changed by the maternal HLE diet during gestation and lactation.
Early identification of patients with bipolar disorder during their first depressive episode is beneficial to the outcome of the disorder and treatment, but traditionally this has been a great challenge to clinicians. Recently, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been suggested to be involved in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder (MDD), but it is not clear whether BDNF levels can be used to predict bipolar disorder among patients in their first major depressive episode.
To explore whether BDNF levels can differentiate between MDD and bipolar disorder in the first depressive episode.
A total of 203 patients with a first major depressive episode as well as 167 healthy controls were recruited. After 3 years of bi-annual follow-up, 164 patients with a major depressive episode completed the study, and of these, 21 were identified as having bipolar disorder and 143 patients were diagnosed as having MDD. BDNF gene expression and plasma levels at baseline were compared among the bipolar disorder, MDD and healthy control groups. Logistic regression and decision tree methods were applied to determine the best model for predicting bipolar disorder at the first depressive episode.
At baseline, patients in the bipolar disorder and MDD groups showed lower BDNF mRNA levels (P<0.001 and P = 0.02 respectively) and plasma levels (P = 0.002 and P = 0.01 respectively) compared with healthy controls. Similarly, BDNF levels in the bipolar disorder group were lower than those in the MDD group. These results showed that the best model for predicting bipolar disorder during a first depressive episode was a combination of BDNF mRNA levels with plasma BDNF levels (receiver operating characteristics (ROC) = 0.80, logistic regression; ROC = 0.84, decision tree).
Our findings suggest that BDNF levels may serve as a potential differential diagnostic biomarker for bipolar disorder in a patient's first depressive episode.
Structure and demographics in many tropical forests is changing, but the causes of these changes remain unclear. We studied 5 y (2005–2010) of species turnover, recruitment, mortality and population change data from a 20-ha subtropical forest plot in Dinghushan, China, to identify trends in forest change, and to test whether tree mortality is associated with intraspecific or interspecific competition. We found the Dinghushan forest to be more dynamic than one temperate and two tropical forests in a comparison of large, long-term forest dynamics plots. Within Dinghushan, size-class distributions were bell-shaped only for the three most dominant species and reverse J-shaped for other species. Bell-shaped population distributions can indicate a population in decline, but our data suggest that these large and long-lived species are not in decline because the pattern is driven by increasing probabilities of transition to larger size class with increasing size and fast growth in saplings. Spatially aggregated tree species distributions were common for surviving and dead individuals. Competitive associations were more frequently intraspecific than interspecific. The competition that induced tree mortality was more associated with intraspecific than interspecific interactions. Intraspecific competitive exclusion and density-dependence appear to play important roles in tree mortality in this subtropical forest.
Dietary intake of linoleic acid (LA) has increased dramatically during the twentieth century and is associated with a greater prevalence of obesity. Vegetable oils are recognised as suitable alternatives to fish oil (FO) in feed for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) but introduce high amounts of LA in the salmon fillet. The effect on fish consumers of such a replacement remains to be elucidated. Here, we investigate the effect of excessive dietary LA from soyabean oil (SO) on endocannabinoid levels in Atlantic salmon and mice, and study the metabolic effects in mice when SO replaces FO in feed for Atlantic salmon. Atlantic salmon were fed FO and SO for 6 months, and the salmon fillet was used to produce feed for mice. Male C57BL/6J mice were fed diets of 35 % of energy as fat based on FO- and SO-enriched salmon for 16 weeks. We found that replacing FO with SO in feed for Atlantic salmon increased LA, arachidonic acid (AA), decreased EPA and DHA, elevated the endocannabinoids 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide (AEA), and increased TAG accumulation in the salmon liver. In mice, the SO salmon diet increased LA and AA and decreased EPA and DHA in the liver and erythrocyte phospholipids, and elevated 2-AG and AEA associated with increased feed efficiency, weight gain and adipose tissue inflammation compared with mice fed the FO salmon diet. In conclusion, excessive dietary LA elevates endocannabinoids in the liver of salmon and mice, and increases weight gain and counteracts the anti-inflammatory properties of EPA and DHA in mice.
The Late Yanshanian Orogeny (130-90 Ma) encompasses an important Mesozoic magmatic event in the crustal evolution of SE China. Products of post-orogenic magmatism, widely distributed in the eastern part of Zhejiang and Fujian provinces known as the Southeast Coast Magmatic Belt (SCMB), are dominated by large amounts of slightly Nb and Ta depleted, high-K calc-alkaline granites (I-type) and small amounts of strongly Ba, Sr, Eu, Ti and P depleted, metaluminous granites (A-type). 40Ar/39Ar dating from amphiboles suggests that emplacement of A-type granites mostly postdates (94-90 Ma) the intrusion of voluminous I-type granitoids (110-99 Ma). Using the Al-in-amphibole geobarometer, I-type suites were estimated to have been emplaced at shallow depths (5-7 km). Along with the fact that A-type granites are phyric or miarolitic in texture, it can be concluded that all these post-orogenic suites in the SCMB belong to shallow intrusives. They have also undergone a rapid cooling (higher than 100°C/Ma at T > 300 °C) as indicated by the thermochronology of hornblende, biotite and K-feldspar; therefore, generation of A-type granites from I-type magmas through fractional crystallisation would be a difficult process. Alternatively, their geochemical characteristics are attributed to partial melting in the residual lower crust under an elevated geothermal environment. On the other hand, I-type magmas are considered to be middle-crust-derived melts largely modified with mantle-derived melts that had been depleted with Nb and Ta by earlier tectonic processes. Such a tectonic environment is explained by the underplating of basaltic magmas, most probably due to lithospheric delamination taking place at c. 110 Ma, which marks the beginning of the postorogenic episode in this area. Numerical modelling for a heat source provided by the underplating of basaltic magma supports such a proposition.
Sn/Ni–8.0 at.%V (Ni–7.0 wt%V) couples are prepared and the interfacial reactions at 210 and 250 °C are examined. In the early stage of reaction at 250 °C, a T phase is formed as a result of fast diffusion of Sn into the Ni–8.0 at.%V substrate. With a longer reaction, the outer region of the T phase transforms to a Ni-depletion layer, which has not been observed previously. Both the T phase and the Ni-depletion layer are analyzed using transmission electronic microscopy. This newly found Ni-depletion layer is composed of Sn and nanosize “VSn2(V2Sn3)” particulates. The solid/solid reaction paths in the Sn/Ni–8.0 at.%V couples evolve from Sn/T/Ni–V, Sn/Ni3Sn4/T/Ni–V to Sn/Ni3Sn4/VSn2(V2Sn3). During the liquid/solid reactions, the paths are liquid/T/Ni–V, liquid/liquid + Ni3Sn4/T/Ni–V, liquid/liquid + Ni3Sn4/liquid + VSn2(V2Sn3)/T/Ni–V, and liquid/liquid + Ni3Sn4/liquid + VSn2(V2Sn3).
Lutein and zeaxanthin are thought to decrease the incidence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD); however, findings have been inconsistent. We conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis to evaluate the relationship between dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin and AMD risk. Relevant studies were identified by searching five databases up to April 2010. Reference lists of articles were retrieved, and experts were contacted. Literature search, data extraction and study quality assessment were performed independently by two reviewers and results were pooled quantitatively using meta-analysis methods. The potential sources of heterogeneity and publication bias were also estimated. The search yielded six longitudinal cohort studies. The pooled relative risk (RR) for early AMD, comparing the highest with the lowest category of lutein and zeaxanthin intake, was 0·96 (95 % CI 0·78, 1·17). Dietary intake of these carotenoids was significantly related with a reduction in risk of late AMD (RR 0·74; 95 % CI 0·57, 0·97); and a statistically significant inverse association was observed between lutein and zeaxanthin intake and neovascular AMD risk (RR 0·68; 95 % CI 0·51, 0·92). The results were essentially consistent among subgroups stratified by participant characteristics. The findings of the present meta-analysis indicate that dietary lutein and zeaxanthin is not significantly associated with a reduced risk of early AMD, whereas an increase in the intake of these carotenoids may be protective against late AMD. However, additional studies are needed to confirm these relationships.
The correlation of glutathione S-transferase (GST) M1/T1 genetic polymorphisms with oxidative stress-related chronic diseases was proved recently. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association of GSTM1/T1 genetic polymorphisms with antioxidant biomarkers and consumption of fruits and vegetables (F&V) in healthy subjects. In this study, for conducting a 3 d dietary survey, 190 healthy adults were recruited. After DNA extraction, a multiple PCR method was used for GSTM1/T1 genotyping. A spectrophotometer method was applied for the determination of plasma total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC), vitamin C level and erythrocyte GST enzyme activity. A general linear model was used to compare the mean values of antioxidant parameters for different GSTM1/T1 genotypes and consumption of F&V. Polymorphisms of GSTM1/T1 had no effects on plasma T-AOC and vitamin C levels. Deletion of the GSTM1 gene decreased the erythrocyte GST activity. There was correlation between plasma T-AOC and consumption of F&V in the GSTM1− or GSTT1+ subjects. A similar pattern was evident for erythrocyte GST activity in the GSTM1− subjects. No association was found among consumption of F&V and GSTM1/T1 genotypes and plasma vitamin C level. Different consumption of F&V had no impact on plasma T-AOC and vitamin C levels in the GSTM1−/GSTT1+ or GSTM1−/GSTT1− subjects. The erythrocyte GST activity was more sensitive to consumption of F&V in the individuals with the GSTM1−/GSTT1+ genotype. Association was found among GSTM1/T1 genotypes, antioxidant parameters and consumption of F&V. Large-scale and multiple ethnic studies are needed to further evaluate the relationship.
This paper presents new findings regarding the effects of precursor drop size and concentration on product particle size and morphology in ultrasonic spray pyrolysis. Large precursor drops (diameter >30 μm) generated by ultrasonic atomization at 120kHz yielded particles with holes. Precursor drops 6-9 μm in diameter, generated by an ultrasonic nebulizer at 1.65MHz and 23.5W electric drive power, yielded uniform spherical particles 150nm in diameter under proper control of heating rate and precursor concentration. Moreover, air-assisted ultrasonic spray pyrolysis at 120kHz and 2.3W yielded spherical particles of which nearly half were smaller than those produced by the ultrasonic spray pyrolysis of the 6-9 μm precursor drops, despite the much larger precursor drop sizes (28 μm peak diameter versus 7 μm mean diameter). These particles are much smaller than those predicted by the conventional one particle per drop mechanism, suggesting that a vapor condensation mechanism may also be involved in spray pyrolysis. It may be concluded that through this new mechanism air-assisted ultrasonic spray pyrolysis can become a viable process for mass production of nanoparticles.
Patterned epitaxial GaAs films have been formed on Si substrates by either growth over patterned substrate (selective -area epitaxy) or chemical etching of patterns after growth. The optical properties of these samples are studied by 77K photoluminescence (PL) and the defect structures are investigated by transmission electron microscope (TEM). The patterned substrate consisted of bare Si stripes with width ranging from 10 µm to 100 µm surrounded by Si3N4 films on both sides and a reference area of bare Si. For 1.5 µmiann d 3 µm thick films, PL intensities from the films inside the 10 µm stripe shows 140% and 75% increase over unpatterned areas while the residual tensile stress in the patterned films is very similar to that of the unpatterned area. The increase in the photoluminescence intensity is ascribed to the reduction of crystalline defects inside the the window area. In the chemically etched sample, the pattern consisted of 4 µm by 4 µm squares and 1 mm long stripes with widths ranging from 100 µm to 4 plm. From the shift of PL peaks, a monotonic decrease in the tensile stress versus stripe width is observed. In particular, when the width of the stripe is less than 7 µm. tensile stress becomes essentially uniaxial in agreement with the results obtained by Yacobi et al  on a GaAs on InP sample. The polarization of the luminescence spectra parallel and perpendicular to the uniaxial stress of a 4 µm wide stripe agrees well with theoretical prediction. It is also observed that tensile stress is almost completely relieved in the 4 µm by 4 muentc hed squares.
Ultrathin (∼10 nm) InN ion selective field effect transistors (ISFETs) show a current variation ratio of 3.5 % per pH decade with a response time of less than 10 s. When the ISFET is employed as an electrolyte FET, the current variation of 18 % was measured as the gate bias changes from zero to 0.3 V given a drain-source voltage of 0.1 V. The high current (resistance) variation ratio is attributed to the ultrathin epilayer and an unusual phenomenon of intrinsic strong electron accumulation on InN surface, which enables a chemical/biological sensor with high sensitivity and resolution and permits detection of a slight concentration variation of the electrolyte. The pH response measurement of 10-nm-thick InN ISFETs investigated was performed in an aqueous solution titrated with diluted NaOH and HCl. The Helmholtz potential built at the electrolyte-InN interface is governed by direct adsorption of H+ ions at the surface metal oxides, modulating the channel current of the InN ISFETs. The channel current monotonically decreases as the pH value of an aqueous solution increases from 2 to 10. The sensitivity and resolution were found to be 58.3 mV per decade and 0.02 pH change, respectively. Besides, the detection of DNA hybridization was further performed after the InN surface was modified with MPTMS and probe DNA. A complementary target DNA solution of 100 nM led to a current decrease of approximate 6 uA, corresponding to the current variation of 0.74 %. The hybridization between negatively charged complementary DNA and the immobilized probe DNA caused the depletion of carriers at the InN surface, suppressing the channel current. The functionalized InN ISFETs are suitable for genetic analysis in clinical diagnostics without any labeling reagent. Such an InN-based sensor is appealing in the regime of chemical and biological sensing applications.
5-AZA-2′-deoxycytidine (5-AZA-CdR) is a demethylating, teratogenic agent and a mutagen, which causes defects in the developing mouse and rat after implantation. Our previous data indicated that 5-AZA-CdR (0.2 and 1.0 μM) inhibited the development of mouse preimplantation embryos. Pronuclear embryos exposed to 5-AZA-CdR at the pronuclear stage were unable to form 8-cell embryos, while 2-cell-stage embryos exposed to 5-AZA-CdR only developed into uncompacted 8-cell-stage embryos. And there was no formation of blastocysts when 4-cell embryos cultured in 5-AZA-CdR. In our present study, we detected Dnmt1o protein and some developmental gene expression in order to find the reasons for the developmental arrest. Dnmt1o could not traffic to 8-cell nuclei as control when embryos were exposed to 5-AZA-CdR. Dnmt1o was in cytoplasm at 2-cell and 4-cell stages before and after treated with 5-AZA-CdR. Gene expression changes were also detected in this research. Our data indicated that connexin 31 (Cx31), connexin 43 (Cx43), connexin 45 (Cx45), E-cadherin (Cdh1) and β-catenin (Ctnnb1) were all downregulated by 5-AZA-CdR. Cx31, Cx43 and Cx45 are members of connexins family, which have a central role in gap junctions. Cdh1 and Ctnnb1 are necessary for the foundation of tight junctions. Therefore, developmental arrest induced by 5-AZA-CdR may be caused by the failure of Dnmt1o cytoplasmic–nuclear traffic and the down-regulation of developmental gene expression. Normal compaction and blastocoel cavitation need Dnmt1o traffic to 8-cell nuclei and the right gene expression, especially the correlative genes in gap junctions and tight junctions.
Soya isoflavones (SIF) and folic acid (FA) both confer the biological properties of antioxidation; however, the mechanism of their antioxidant effect on nervous system development is unclear. Our purpose is to investigate the neuroprotective effects of SIF, FA or co-administration of SIF with FA against β-amyloid 1-40 (Aβ1-40)-induced learning and memory impairment in rats. In the present study, the learning and memory ability of rats and the amount of amyloid-positive neurons in the cerebral cortex and hippocampal CA1 area were measured. The levels of total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC), glutathione (GSH) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) in serum and brain tissue were also measured. The results showed that intracerebroventricular administration of Aβ1-40 resulted in a dramatic prolongation of the escape latency; however, in the SIF, FA and SIF+FA treatment groups, the functional deficits of learning and memory were significantly improved. Moreover, after Aβ1-40 injection, the levels of T-AOC and GSH were profoundly decreased, suggesting a decline of antioxidant activity in the rats. However, intragastric pre-treatment with SIF, or FA, or SIF+FA resulted in a significant increase of antioxidative activity. SIF, or FA, or SIF+FA treatments also reversed the Aβ1-40-induced increase in the amount of amyloid-positive neurons. These results suggest that: (1) learning or memory impairment in experimental rats was caused by Aβ1-40, which is probably attributed to Aβ-induced oxidative damage and deposition of β-amyloid peptides in the brain; (2) pre-administration of SIF and/or FA may prevent the pathological alterations caused by Aβ1-40 treatment and the neuroprotective effects of SIF and/or FA are indicated.
The Oriental White Stork Ciconia boyciana is threatened with extinction due to anthropogenic habitat destruction. The scaling of its environmental capacity (K) with number of patches (P) has been studied and its response to the cumulative impact of anthropogenic habitat destruction has been simulated by a non-autonomous population model for single species. The results are: 1) The scaling index of environmental capacity of the Oriental White Stork to number of patches is 0.9768, i.e., K∝P0.9768. 2) By designing different scenarios to improve habitat quality, we find that it is more beneficial for the long-term persistence of the Oriental White Stork to increase average patch size than to increase the number of patches, if the total area of habitat remains the same. 3) If the Allee effect is significant, the Oriental White Stork is a ‘living dead’ species – one which is doomed to local extinction. To avoid extinction, habitat quality must be considerably improved.