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The low maturation rate of oocytes is an important reason for female infertility and failure of assisted pregnancy. The germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) is a landmark event of oocyte maturation. In our previous studies, we found that zona pellucida 3 (ZP3) was strongly concentrated in the nuclear region of germinal vesicle (GV) oocytes and interacted with aryl hydrocarbon receptor-interacting protein-like 1 (AIPL1) and lamin A to promote GVBD. In the current study, we found that lamin A is mainly concentrated in the nuclear membrane. When ZP3 is knocked down, lamin A will be partially transferred to the nucleus of oocytes. The prelamin A is increased in both the nuclear membrane and nucleus, while phosphorylated lamin A (p-lamin A) is significantly reduced. AIPL1 was also proved to accumulate in the GV region of oocytes, and ZP3 deletion can significantly inhibit the aggregation of AIPL1 in the nuclear region. Similar to ZP3 knockdown, the absence of AIPL1 resulted in a decrease in the occurrence of GVBD, an increase in the amount of prelamin A, and a significant decrease in p-lamin A in oocytes developed in vitro. Finally, we propose the hypothesis that ZP3 can stabilize farnesylated prelamin A on the nuclear membrane of AIPL1, and promote its further processing into mature lamin A, therefore promoting the occurrence of GVBD. This study may be an important supplement for the mechanism of oocyte meiotic resumption and provide new diagnostic targets and treatment clues for infertility patients with oocyte maturation disorder.
Microtubule-severing proteins (MTSPs) play important roles in mitosis and interphase. However, to the best of our knowledge, no previous studies have evaluated the role of MTSPs in female meiosis in mammals. It was found that FIGNL1, a member of MTSPs, was predominantly expressed in mouse oocytes and distributed at the spindle poles during meiosis in the present study. FIGNL1 was co-localized and interacted with γ-tubulin, an important component of the microtubule tissue centre (MTOC). Fignl1 knockdown by specific small interfering RNA caused spindle defects characterized by an abnormal length:width ratio and decreased microtubule density, which consequently led to aberrant chromosome arrangement, oocyte maturation and fertilization obstacles. In conclusion, the present results suggested that FIGNL1 may be an essential factor in oocyte maturation by influencing the meiosis process via the formation of spindles.
To evaluate the relationship between religious beliefs and mental state, care burden, and quality of life in parents of infantile patients with CHD.
A cross-sectional study was conducted at a provincial hospital in Fujian, China. In this study, 114 parents of infant patients with CHD were successfully enrolled. Data were collected using the Duke University Religion Index, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Zarit Caregiver Burden Interview, and 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey.
The organisational religious activity, non-organisational religious activity, and intrinsic religiosity of parents were significantly related to the care burden and quality of life, and the two dimensions of non-organisational religious activity and intrinsic religiosity of parents were significantly related to their anxiety symptoms. No association was found between parents’ religious beliefs and their depressive symptoms. Among Buddhist parents, non-organisational religious activity and intrinsic religiosity reduced the care burden and improved quality of life. Among Christian parents, organisational religious activity and non-organisational religious activity were found to reduce the care burden, while organisational religious activity and intrinsic religiosity were found to improve quality of life. There was no correlation between the sub-dimensions of religious beliefs and a negative impact on the care process in Muslim parents.
Religious beliefs have a protective effect on the parents of infant patients with CHD. They help relieve parents’ anxiety, reduce their care burden, and improve their quality of life. In addition, different religious beliefs have different dimensions of influence on caregivers.
To explore the feasibility and superiority of applying the WeChat platform in a midterm follow-up of surgical repair for ventricular septal defects in infants.
Eighty-six infants with VSD who underwent surgical repair were divided into an outpatient follow-up group and a WeChat follow-up group. The clinical data, including complications, economic cost, time spent, loss to follow-up rate, and parents’ satisfaction at the 3-month and 1-year follow-ups, were recorded and analysed.
There was no significant difference in the incidence of post-operative complications between the two groups. Although the loss to follow-up rate in the WFU group was lower than that of the OFU group, the difference was not statistically significant. The economic cost and time spent in the 3 months and 1 year after discharge in the WFU group were significantly lower than those in the OFU group. One year after discharge, the PSQ-18 score of the WFU group was significantly higher than that of the OFU group.
Compared with outpatient follow-up, the WeChat platform at the midterm follow-up after surgical repair of VSDs in infants has the advantages of saving time and economic costs and improves parents’ satisfaction.
To investigate the safety and feasibility of midazolam for conscious sedation in transcatheter device closure of atrial septal defects guided solely by transthoracic echocardiography.
A retrospective analysis was performed on 55 patients who underwent transcatheter device closure of atrial septal defects from October, 2019 to May, 2020. All patients received intravenous midazolam and local anesthesia with lidocaine to maintain sedation. A group of previous patients with unpublished data who underwent the same procedure with general anesthesia was set as the control group. The relevant clinical parameters, the Ramsay sedation scores, the numerical rating scale, and the post-operative satisfaction questionnaire were recorded and analyzed.
In the midazolam group, the success rate of atrial septal defect closure was 98.2%. Hemodynamic stability was observed during the procedure. None of the patients needed additional endotracheal intubation for general anesthesia. Compared with the control group, the midazolam group had no statistically significant differences in the Ramsay sedation score and numerical rating scale scores. Patients in the midazolam group experienced more post-operative satisfaction than those in the control group.
Conscious sedation using midazolam is a safe and effective anesthetic technique for transcatheter device closure of atrial septal defects guided solely by transthoracic echocardiography.
This study explored the clinical effect of employing breast milk oral care for infants who underwent surgical correction of ventricular septal defect.
A prospective randomised controlled study was conducted in a provincial hospital between January, 2020 and July, 2020 in China. Patients were randomly divided into an intervention group (breast milk oral care, n = 28) and a control group (physiological saline oral care, n = 28). The intervention group was given oral nursing using breast milk for infants in the early post-operative period, and the control group was given oral nursing using physiological saline. Related clinical data were recorded and analysed.
There were no significant differences in age, gender, weight, operation time, cardiopulmonary bypass time, or aortic cross-clamping time between the two groups. Compared with the physiological saline oral care group, the mechanical ventilation duration, the length of ICU stay in the breast milk oral care group were significantly shorter. The time of start feeding and total enteral nutrition were significantly earlier in the intervention group than those in the control group. The incidence of post-operative pneumonia in the breast milk oral care group was 3.6%, which was significantly lower than that of the physiological saline oral care group.
The use of breast milk for oral care in infants who underwent surgical correction of VSD can reduce the incidence of post-operative pneumonia and promote the recovery of gastrointestinal function.
The relationship between exposure to famine in early life and the risk of ascending aorta dilatation (AAD) in adulthood is still unclear; therefore, we aimed to examine the association in the Chinese population. We investigated the data of 2598 adults who were born between 1952 and 1964 in Guangdong, China. All enrolled subjects were categorised into five groups: not exposed to famine, exposed during fetal period, and exposed during early, mid or late childhood. AAD was assessed by cardiac ultrasound. Multivariate logistic regression and interaction tests were performed to estimate the OR and CI on the association between famine exposure and AAD. There were 2598 (943 male, mean age 58·3 ± 3·68 years) participants were enrolled, and 270 (10·4 %) subjects with AAD. We found that famine exposure (OR = 2·266, 95 % CI 1·477, 3·477, P = 0·013) was associated with elevated AAD after adjusting for multiple confounders. In addition, compared with the non-exposed group, the adjusted OR for famine exposure during fetal period, early, mid or late childhood were 1·374 (95 % CI 0·794, 2·364, P = 0·251), 1·976 (95 % CI 1·243, 3·181, P = 0·004), 1·929 (95 % CI 1·237, 3·058, P = 0·004) and 2·227 (95 % CI 1·433, 3·524, P < 0·001), respectively. Subgroup analysis showed that the effect of famine exposure on the association with AAD was more pronounced in female, current smokers, people with BMI ≥ 24 kg/m2 and hypertensive patients. We observed that exposure to famine during early life was linked to AAD in adulthood.
Low-field magnetic stimulation (LFMS) has mood-elevating effect, and the increase of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is associated with antidepressant treatment. We evaluated the effects and association with BDNF of rhythmic LFMS in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD).
A total of 22 MDD patients were randomized to rhythmic alpha stimulation (RAS) or rhythmic delta stimulation (RDS), with 5 sessions per week, lasting for 6 weeks. Outcomes assessments included the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD–17), the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAMA), and the Clinical Global Impressions–Severity scale (CGI–S) at baseline and at weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6. Serum BDNF level was measured at baseline and at weeks 2, 4, and 6.
HAMD–17, HAMA, and CGI–S scores were significantly reduced with both RAS and RDS. RAS patients had numerically greater reductions in HAMD–17 scores than RDS patients (8.9 ± 7.4 vs. 6.2 ± 6.2, effect size [ES]=0.40), while RDS patients had greater improvement in HAMA scores (8.2 ± 8.0 vs. 5.3 ± 5.8, ES=0.42). RAS was associated with clinically relevant advantages in response (54.5% vs. 18.2%, number-needed-to-treat [NNT]=3) and remission (36.4% vs. 9.1%, NNT=4). BDNF increased significantly during the 6-week study period (p<0.05), with greater increases in RAS at weeks 4 and 6 (ES=0.66—0.76) and statistical superiority at week 2 (p=0.034, ES=1.23). Baseline BDNF in the 8 responders (24.8±9.0 ng/ml) was lower than in the 14 nonresponders (31.1±7.3 ng/ml, p=0.083, ES=–0.79), and BDNF increased more in responders (8.9±7.8 ng/ml) than in nonresponders (1.8±3.5 ng/ml, p=0.044). The change in BDNF at week 2 was the most strongly predicted response (p=0.016).
Rhythmic LFMS was effective for MDD. BDNF may moderate/mediate the efficacy of LFMS.
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.
A two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation is carried out to study the wakefield and stopping power for a hydrogen ion beam pulse with low drift velocity propagation in hydrogen plasmas. The plasma is assumed to be collisionless, uniform, non-magnetized, and in a steady state. Both the pulse ions and plasma particles are treated by the PIC method. The effects of the beam density on the wakefield and stopping power are then obtained and discussed. It is found that as the beam densities increase, the oscillation wakefield induced by the beam become stronger. Besides, the first oscillation wakefield behind the bunch is particularly stronger than others. Moreover, it is found that the stationary stopping power increases linearly with the increase of the beam density in the linear/semilinear region.
The strategies of repair of tetralogy of Fallot change with the age of patients. In children older than 4 years and adults, the optimal strategy may be to use different method of reconstruction of the right ventricular outflow tract from those followed in younger children, so as to avoid, or reduce, the pulmonary insufficiency that is increasingly known to compromise right ventricular function.
From April, 2001, through May, 2008, we undertook complete repair in 312 patients, 180 male and 132 female, with a mean age of 11.3 years ±0.4 years, and a range from 4 to 48 years, with typical clinical and morphological features of tetralogy of Fallot, including 42 patients with the ventriculo-arterial connection of double outlet right ventricle. The operation was performed under moderate hypothermia using blood cardioplegia. The ventricular septal defect was closed with a Dacron patch. When it was considered necessary to resect the musculature within the right ventricular outflow tract, or perform pulmonary valvotomy, we sought to preserve the function of the pulmonary valve by protecting as far as possible the native leaflets, or creating a folded monocusp of autologous pericardium.
The repair was achieved completely through right atrium in 192, through the right ventricular outflow tract in 83, and through the right atrium, the outflow tract, and the pulmonary trunk in 36 patients. A transjunctional patch was inserted in 169 patients, non-valved in all but 9. There were no differences regarding the periods of aortic cross-clamping or cardiopulmonary bypass. Of the patients, 5 died (1.6%), with no influence noted for the transjunctional patch. Of those having a non-valved patch inserted, three-tenths had pulmonary regurgitation of various degree, while those having a valved patch had minimal pulmonary insufficiency and good right ventricular function postoperatively, this being maintained after follow-up of 8 to 24-months.
Based on our experience, we suggest that the current strategy of repair of tetralogy of Fallot in older children and adults should be based on minimizing the insertion of transjunctional patches, this being indicated only in those with very small ventriculo-pulmonary junctions. If such a patch is necessary, then steps should be taken to preserve the function of the pulmonary valve.
Abnormal oocyte spindle is frequently associated with the infertility of aged women. Directly manipulating the metaphase I (MI) spindle may be a feasible method to overcome this kind of problem. Here, we report that the MI meiotic spindle can be removed from MI mouse oocytes and will autonomously divide into two daughter cells with the same size, morphology and an equal number of chromosomes after culture for 5 h in maturation medium. The division rate of the MI spindle reached 56% after 10-15 h of culture. After transferring the MI meiotic spindle into synchronous ooplasm by electrofusion, about 61% of the reconstructed oocytes continued to complete the first meiosis and extruded a normal first polar body. The matured reconstructed oocytes can also be fertilised. Approximately 50% of the 2-cell embryos developed to the morula stage after in vitro culture.
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