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Due to the lack of research between the inner layers in the structure of colonic mucous and the metabolism of fatty acid in the constipation model, we aim to determine the changes in the mucous phenotype of the colonic glycocalyx and the microbial community structure following treatment with Rhubarb extract in our research. The constipation and treatment models are generated using adult male C57BL/6N mice. We perform light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to detect a Muc2-rich inner mucus layer attached to mice colon under different conditions. In addition, 16S rDNA sequencing is performed to examine the intestinal flora. According to TEM images, we demonstrate that Rhubarb can promote mucin secretion and find direct evidence of dendritic structure-linked mucus structures with its assembly into a lamellar network in a pore size distribution in the isolated colon section. Moreover, the diversity of intestinal flora has noticeable changes in constipated mice. The present study characterizes a dendritic structure and persistent cross-links have significant changes accompanied by the alteration of intestinal flora in feces in models of constipation and pretreatment with Rhubarb extract.
Based on hubs of neural circuits associated with addiction and their degree centrality (DC), this study aimed to construct the addiction-related brain networks for patients diagnosed with heroin dependence undertaking stable methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) and further prospectively identify the ones at high risk for relapse with cluster analysis.
Sixty-two male MMT patients and 30 matched healthy controls (HC) underwent brain resting-state functional MRI data acquisition. The patients received 26-month follow-up for the monthly illegal-drug-use information. Ten addiction-related hubs were chosen to construct a user-defined network for the patients. Then the networks were discriminated with K-means-clustering-algorithm into different groups and followed by comparative analysis to the groups and HC. Regression analysis was used to investigate the brain regions significantly contributed to relapse.
Sixty MMT patients were classified into two groups according to their brain-network patterns calculated by the best clustering-number-K. The two groups had no difference in the demographic, psychological indicators and clinical information except relapse rate and total heroin consumption. The group with high-relapse had a wider range of DC changes in the cortical−striatal−thalamic circuit relative to HC and a reduced DC in the mesocorticolimbic circuit relative to the low-relapse group. DC activity in NAc, vACC, hippocampus and amygdala were closely related with relapse.
MMT patients can be identified and classified into two subgroups with significantly different relapse rates by defining distinct brain-network patterns even if we are blind to their relapse outcomes in advance. This may provide a new strategy to optimize MMT.
Anaemia is a global public health problem affecting women worldwide, and reproductive-age women are at increased risk. We conducted a population-based cross-sectional study analysing the prevalence of overall anaemia and anaemia according to severity in Chinese pre-pregnant women to update current knowledge on anaemia epidemiology. Based on the National Free Preconception Check-up Projects supported by the Chinese government, 5 679 782 women participating in this project in 2017 were included in the present study. The cyanmethemoglobin method was applied to assess Hb concentrations. Univariate and multivariate logistic regressions were applied for associated factors. The prevalence of anaemia among Chinese pre-pregnant women was 21·64 % (mild: 14·10 %, moderate: 7·17 % and severe : 0·37 %). The prevalence of overall and severe anaemia was the highest in Tibet and the lowest in Beijing among thirty-one provinces. Women’s age, region, ethnic origin, educational level, occupation and pregnancy history were all correlated with anaemia. Women with B blood type (adjusted OR (aOR) = 0·89), higher BMI (overweight: aOR = 0·84; obesity: aOR = 0·70) and alcohol consumption (aOR = 0·69) were less likely to have anaemia, while those with rhesus negative blood type (aOR = 1·10), history of anaemia (aOR = 2·60), older age at menarche (aOR = 1·19), heavy menstrual blood loss (aOR = 1·39), longer menstrual period (aOR = 1·09) and shorter menstrual cycle (aOR = 1·08) were more likely to suffer from anaemia. Meat or egg eaters were not significantly associated with severe anaemia. Anaemia is of moderate public health significance among Chinese pre-pregnant women. Interventions should be considered to prevent anaemia to the greatest extent possible to avoid potential harm in this population.
The prediction of prognosis is an important part of management in hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related decompensated cirrhosis patients with high long-term mortality. Lactate is a known predictor of outcome in critically ill patients. The aim of this study was to assess the prognostic value of lactate in HBV-related decompensated cirrhosis patients. We performed a single-centre, observational, retrospective study of 405 HBV-related decompensated cirrhosis patients. Individuals were evaluated within 24 h after admission and the primary outcome was evaluated at 6-months. Multivariable analyses were used to determine whether lactate was independently associated with the prognosis of HBV-related decompensated cirrhosis patients. The area under the ROC (AUROC) was calculated to assess the predictive accuracy compared with existing scores. Serum lactate level was significantly higher in non-surviving patients than in surviving patients. Multivariable analyses demonstrated that lactate was an independent risk factor of 6-months mortality (odds ratio: 2.076, P < 0.001). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were drawn to evaluate the discriminative ability of lactate for 6-months mortality (AUROC: 0.716, P < 0.001). Based on our patient cohort, the new scores (Model For End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) + lactate score, Child–Pugh + lactate score) had good accuracy for predicting 6-months mortality (AUROC = 0.769, P < 0.001; AUROC = 0.766, P < 0.001). Additionally, the performance of the new scores was superior to those of existing scores (all P < 0.001). Serum lactate at admission may be useful for predicting 6-months mortality in HBV-related decompensated cirrhosis patients, and the predictive value of the MELD score and Child–Pugh score was improved by adjusting lactate. Serum lactate should be part of the rapid diagnosis and initiation of therapy to improve clinical outcome.
Resistant starch (RS) was recently approved to exert a powerful influence on gut health, but the effect of RS on the caecal barrier function in meat ducks has not been well defined. Thus, the effect of raw potato starch (RPS), a widely adopted RS material, on microbial composition and barrier function of caecum for meat ducks was determined. A total of 360 Cherry Valley male ducks of 1-d-old were randomly divided and fed diets with 0 (control), 12, or 24 % RPS for 35 d. Diets supplemented with RPS significantly elevated villus height and villus height:crypt depth ratio in the caecum. The 16S rRNA sequence analysis indicated that the diet with 12 % RPS had a higher relative abundance of Firmicutes and the butyrate-producing bacteria Faecalibacterium, Subdoligranulum, and Erysipelatoclostridium were enriched in all diets. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium were significantly increased in the 24 % RPS diet v. the control diet. When compared with the control diet, the diet with 12 % RPS was also found to notably increase acetate, propionate and butyrate contents and up-regulated barrier-related genes including claudin-1, zonula occludens-1, mucin-2 and proglucagon in the caecum. Furthermore, the addition of 12 % RPS significantly reduced plasma TNF-α, IL-1β and endotoxin concentrations. These data revealed that diets supplemented with 12 % RPS partially improved caecal barrier function in meat ducks by enhancing intestinal morphology and barrier markers expression, modulating the microbiota composition and attenuating inflammatory markers.
The LiCoO2 films were directly deposited on stainless steel (SS) using medium-frequency magnetron sputtering, and the effects of annealing parameters, such as ambiences, temperatures, holding times, and heating rates, were systematically compared based on surface morphologies, crystal structures, and electrochemical properties. The results demonstrate that an aerobic atmosphere with 3.5 Pa is the most important parameter to maintain the performance of LiCoO2 films. The influence of the annealing temperature (>550 °C) ranks second because the formed (101) or (104) planes of LiCoO2 facilitate Li+ migration. A short holding time of 20 min and a moderate heating rate of 3 °C/min are selected to reduce the oxidation or inter-diffusion between the LiCoO2 films and the SS substrate. Finally, the optimal annealing process is confirmed and corresponds to the initial discharge capacity of 37.56 μA h/(cm2 μm) and the capacity retention of 83.81% at the 50th cycle.
Both genetic selection and increasing nutrient density for improving growth performance had inadvertently increased leg problems of meat ducks, which adversely affects animal welfare. We hypothesised that slowing weight gain with improving tibia quality probably enhanced tibial mechanical properties and alleviated leg deformities. Therefore, the present study aimed to evaluate the effect of graded Ca supplementation in a low-nutrient density (LND) diet on tibia composition and bone turnover in meat ducks. A total of 720 15-d-old male meat ducks were randomly assigned and fed a standard nutrient density positive control (PC) diet containing 0·9 % Ca, and four LND diets with 0·5, 0·7, 0·9 and 1·1 % Ca, respectively. Ducks fed the 0·5 % Ca LND diet and the PC diet had higher incidence of tibial dyschondroplasia (TD). When compared with the 0·5 % Ca LND diet, LND diets with ≥0·7 % Ca significantly improved tibia composition, microarchitecture and mechanical properties, and consequently decreased the incidence of TD. Furthermore, LND diets with ≥0·7 % Ca increased osteocyte-specific gene mRNA expression, blocked the expression of osteoblast differentiation marker genes including osteocalcin, collagenase-1 and alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and also decreased the expression of osteoclast differentiation genes, such as vacuolar-type H+-ATPase, cathepsin K and receptor activator of NF-κB. Meanwhile bone markers such as serum ALP, osteocalcin (both osteoblast markers) and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (an osteoclast marker) were significantly decreased in at least 0·7 % Ca treated groups. These findings indicated that LND diets with ≥0·7 % Ca decreased bone turnover, which subsequently increased tibia quality for 35-d-old meat ducks.
Postnatal rapid growth by excess intake of nutrients has been associated with an increased susceptibility to diseases in neonates with intra-uterine growth restricted (IUGR). The aim of the present study was to determine whether postnatal nutritional restriction could improve intestinal development and immune function of neonates with IUGR using piglets as model. A total of twelve pairs of normal-birth weight (NBW) and IUGR piglets (7 d old) were randomly assigned to receive adequate nutrient intake or restricted nutrient intake (RNI) by artificially liquid feeding for a period of 21 d. Blood samples and intestinal tissues were collected at necropsy and were analysed for morphology, digestive enzyme activities, immune cells and expression of innate immunity-related genes. The results indicated that both IUGR and postnatal nutritional restriction delayed the growth rate during the sucking period. Irrespective of nutrient intake, piglets with IUGR had a significantly lower villous height and crypt depth in the ileum than the NBW piglets. Moreover, IUGR decreased alkaline phosphatase activity while enhanced lactase activity in the jejunum and mRNA expressions of Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR-9) and DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) in the ileum of piglets. Irrespective of body weight, RNI significantly decreased the number and/or percentage of peripheral leucocytes, lymphocytes and monocytes of piglets, whereas the percentage of neutrophils and the ratio of CD4+ to CD8+ were increased. Furthermore, RNI markedly enhanced the mRNA expression of TLR-9 and DNMT1, but decreased the expression of NOD2 and TRAF-6 in the ileum of piglets. In summary, postnatal nutritional restriction led to abnormal cellular and innate immune response, as well as delayed the growth and intestinal development of IUGR piglets.
Low-temperature stress is an important limiting factor to tobacco growth in early spring of south China. In this study, a low-temperature-resistant agent (LTRA) was employed to examine its ameliorating effect on the inhibition of tobacco growth triggered by low-temperature stress. Results indicated that low-temperature stress of 12 °C for 6 days reduced root number and biomass of tobacco seedling by 27.4% and 24.1%, while treatment with LTRA could recover the inhibitory effect of low-temperature stress on tobacco growth significantly. The content of ascorbic acid and the activities of superoxide dismutase and catalase at low-temperature stress were 65.2%, 53.5% and 32.1% of those at normal temperature condition (26 °C), while the corresponding values with LTRA treatment were 89.2%, 88.9% and 74.2%, suggesting that LTRA treatment could enhance the activity of antioxidant enzyme and the synthesis of antioxidant compounds. Low-temperature stress increased the membrane permeability by 84.8%, while LTRA treatment recovered it by 77.4%. Furthermore, LTRA treatment contributed to increase chlorophyll synthesis and maintain the integrity of tobacco leaf structure. Effective component analysis indicated that the complex of ammonium calcium nitrate and glycine betaine was the main effective component of LTRA in maintaining membrane integrity. Its effective concentration was 1.0 g L−1. The above results suggested that LTRA could enhance the synthesis of chlorophyll, activate the activity of antioxidant enzyme, maintain the integrity of cell membrane, and thus elevate the tolerance of tobacco seedlings to low-temperature stress.
Intra-uterine growth-retarded (IUGR) neonates have shown an impairment of postnatal intestinal development and function. We hypothesised that the immune function of IUGR neonates might be affected by increased nutrient intake (NI) during the suckling period. Therefore, we investigated the effects of high NI (HNI) on the growth performance, intestinal morphology and immunological response of IUGR and normal-birth weight (NBW) piglets. A total of twelve pairs of IUGR and NBW piglets (7 d old) were randomly assigned to two different nutrient-level formula milk groups. After 21 d of rearing, growth performance, the composition of peripheral leucocytes, serum cytokines and intestinal innate immune-related genes involved in the Toll-like receptor (TLR)-4–myeloid differentiation factor 88–NF-κB pathway were determined. The results indicated that IUGR decreased the average daily DM intake (ADMI) and the average daily growth (ADG). However, the ADMI and ADG were increased by HNI, irrespective of body weight. Likewise, serum cytokines (TNF-α and IL-1β) and ileal gene expressions (TLR-4, TLR-9, TRAF-6 and IL-1β) were lower in IUGR piglets, whereas HNI significantly increased blood lymphocyte percentage and serum IL-10 concentrations, but decreased neutrophil percentage, serum IL-1β concentrations and ileal gene expressions (NF-κB and IL-1β). Furthermore, IUGR piglets with HNI exhibited lower serum concentrations of TNF-α and IL-1β than NBW piglets, and these alterations in the immune traits of IUGR piglets receiving HNI were accompanied by decreasing ileal gene expressions of TLR-4, TLR-9, NF-κB and IL-1β that are related to innate immunity. In conclusion, the present findings suggest that increased NI during the suckling period impaired the immune function of neonatal piglets with IUGR.
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