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Manure is a primary source of methane (CH4) emissions into the atmosphere. A large proportion of CH4 from manure is emitted during storage, but this varies with storage methods. In this research, we tested whether covering a manure heap with plastic reduces CH4 emission during a short-term composting process. A static chamber method was used to detect the CH4 emission rate and the change of the physicochemical properties of cattle manure which was stored either uncovered (treatment UNCOVERED) or covered with plastic (treatment COVERED) for 30-day periods during the four seasons? The dry matter content of the COVERED treatment was significantly less than the UNCOVERED treatment (P < 0.01), and the C/N ratio of the COVERED treatment significantly greater than the UNCOVERED treatment (P > 0.05) under high temperature. In the UNCOVERED treatment, average daily methane (CH4) emissions were in the order summer > spring > autumn > winter. CH4 emissions were positively correlated with the temperature (R2 = 0.52, P < 0.01). Compared to the UNCOVERED treatment, the daily average CH4 emission rates from COVERED treatment manure were less in the first 19 days of spring, 13 days of summer, 10 days of autumn and 30 days of winter. In summary, covering the manure pile with plastic reduces the evaporation of water during storage; and in winter, long-term covering with plastic film reduces the CH4 emissions during the storage of manure.
Dry wind-tunnel (DWT) flutter test systems model the unsteady distributed aerodynamic force using various electromagnetic exciters. They can be used to test the aeroelastic and aeroservoelastic stability of smart aircraft or high-speed flight vehicles. A new parameterised modelling method at the full system level based on the generalised force equivalence for DWT flutter systems is proposed herein. The full system model includes the structural dynamic model, electromechanical coupling model and fast aerodynamic computation model. An optimisation search method is applied to determine the best locations for measurement and excitation by introducing Fisher’s information matrix. The feasibility and accuracy of the proposed system-level numerical DWT modelling method have been validated for a plate aeroelastic model with four exciters/transducers. The effects of key parameters including the number of exciters, the control time delay, the noise interference and the electrical parameters of the electromagnetic exciter model have also been investigated. The numerical and experimental results indicate that the proposed modelling method achieves good accuracy (with deviations of less than 1.5% from simulations and 4.5% from experimental test results for the flutter speed) and robust performance even in uncertain environments with a 10% noise level.
The aim of this study was to explore the frequency and distribution of gene mutations that are related to isoniazid (INH) and rifampin (RIF)-resistance in the strains of the multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) in Beijing, China. In this retrospective study, the genotypes of 173 MDR-TB strains were analysed by spoligotyping. The katG, inhA genes and the promoter region of inhA, in which genetic mutations confer INH resistance; and the rpoB gene, in which genetic mutations confer RIF resistance, were sequenced. The percentage of resistance-associated nucleotide alterations among the strains of different genotypes was also analysed. In total, 90.8% (157/173) of the MDR strains belonged to the Beijing genotype. Population characteristics were not significantly different among the strains of different genotypes. In total, 50.3% (87/173) strains had mutations at codon S315T of katG; 16.8% (29/173) of strains had mutations in the inhA promoter region; of them, 5.5% (15/173) had point mutations at −15 base (C→T) of the inhA promoter region. In total, 86.7% (150/173) strains had mutations at rpoB gene; of them, 40% (69/173) strains had mutations at codon S531L of rpoB. The frequency of mutations was not significantly higher in Beijing genotypic MDR strains than in non-Beijing genotypes. Beijing genotypic MDR-TB strains were spreading in Beijing and present a major challenge to TB control in this region. A high prevalence of katG Ser315Thr, inhA promoter region (−15C→T) and rpoB (S531L) mutations was observed. Molecular diagnostics based on gene mutations was a useful method for rapid detection of MDR-TB in Beijing, China.
The present study was undertaken to evaluate the influence of rumen-protected folic acid (RPFA) on slaughter performance, visceral organ and gastrointestinal tract coefficients, and meat quality in lambs. Sixty-six lambs from 120 Hu ewes were selected based on body weight and maternal diets and then assigned to six groups using a randomised block experimental design in a 3 × 2 factorial arrangement. The first factor was folic acid (FA) as RPFA in the maternal diet (0 mg/kg (M0F), 16 mg/kg (M16F) or 32 mg/kg (M32F) on DM basis). The second factor was FA in the lambs’ diet from weaning until slaughter (0 mg/kg (OC) or 4·0 mg/kg (OF)). The results indicated that the addition of 16 mg/kg FA to the maternal diet increased pre-slaughter weight (PSW), dressing and meat percentage, the reticulum and omasum coefficients, length of the jejunum and ileum, tail fat and perirenal fat coefficient and a* value of the meat colour. The addition of RPFA to the lambs’ diet increased PSW, dressing and meat percentage, eye muscle area, abomasum weight, weight and length of the small intestine, but reduced the coefficients of tail fat. An M × O interaction was observed for the weights of heart, lungs, rumen and total stomach, weight and coefficient of omental fat and the girth rib value. Collectively, RPFA in the maternal and lambs’ diet improved slaughter performance and meat quality by stimulating the morphological development of the gastrointestinal tract and the distribution of fat in the body.
An acute gastroenteritis (AGE) outbreak caused by a norovirus occurred at a hospital in Shanghai, China, was studied for molecular epidemiology, host susceptibility and serological roles. Rectal and environmental swabs, paired serum samples and saliva specimens were collected. Pathogens were detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction and DNA sequencing. Histo-blood group antigens (HBGA) phenotypes of saliva samples and their binding to norovirus protruding proteins were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The HBGA-binding interfaces and the surrounding region were analysed by the MegAlign program of DNAstar 7.1. Twenty-seven individuals in two care units were attacked with AGE at attack rates of 9.02 and 11.68%. Eighteen (78.2%) symptomatic and five (38.4%) asymptomatic individuals were GII.6/b norovirus positive. Saliva-based HBGA phenotyping showed that all symptomatic and asymptomatic cases belonged to A, B, AB or O secretors. Only four (16.7%) out of the 24 tested serum samples showed low blockade activity against HBGA-norovirus binding at the acute phase, whereas 11 (45.8%) samples at the convalescence stage showed seroconversion of such blockade. Specific blockade antibody in the population played an essential role in this norovirus epidemic. A wide HBGA-binding spectrum of GII.6 supports a need for continuous health attention and surveillance in different settings.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
To evaluate the impacts of guanidinoacetic acid (GAA) and coated folic acid (CFA) on growth performance, nutrient digestion and hepatic gene expression, fifty-two Angus bulls were assigned to four groups in a 2 × 2 factor experimental design. The CFA of 0 or 6 mg/kg dietary DM folic acid was supplemented in diets with GAA of 0 (GAA−) or 0·6 g/kg DM (GAA+), respectively. Average daily gain (ADG), feed efficiency and hepatic creatine concentration increased with GAA or CFA addition, and the increased magnitude of these parameters was greater for addition of CFA in GAA− diets than in GAA+ diets. Blood creatine concentration increased with GAA or CFA addition, and greater increase was observed when CFA was supplemented in GAA+ diets than in GAA− diets. DM intake was unchanged, but rumen total SCFA concentration and digestibilities of DM, crude protein, neutral-detergent fibre and acid-detergent fibre increased with the addition of GAA or CFA. Acetate:propionate ratio was unaffected by GAA, but increased for CFA addition. Increase in blood concentrations of albumin, total protein and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) was observed for GAA or CFA addition. Blood folate concentration was decreased by GAA, but increased with CFA addition. Hepatic expressions of IGF-1, phosphoinositide 3-kinase, protein kinase B, mammalian target of rapamycin and ribosomal protein S6 kinase increased with GAA or CFA addition. Results indicated that the combined supplementation of GAA and CFA could not cause ADG increase more when compared with GAA or CFA addition alone.
Coated copper sulphate (CCS) could be used as a Cu supplement in cows. To investigate the influences of copper sulphate (CS) and CCS on milk performance, nutrient digestion and rumen fermentation, fifty Holstein dairy cows were arranged in a randomised block design to five groups: control, CS addition (7·5 mg Cu/kg DM from CS) or CCS addition (5, 7·5 and 10 mg Cu/kg DM from CCS, respectively). When comparing Cu source at equal inclusion rates (7·5 mg/kg DM), cows receiving CCS addition had higher yields of fat-corrected milk, milk fat and protein; digestibility of DM, organic matter (OM) and neutral-detergent fibre (NDF); ruminal total volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentration; activities of carboxymethyl cellulase, cellobiase, pectinase and α-amylase; populations of Ruminococcus albus, Ruminococcus flavefaciens and Fibrobacter succinogenes; and liver Cu content than cows receiving CS addition. Increasing CCS addition, DM intake was unchanged, yields of milk, milk fat and protein; feed efficiency; digestibility of DM, OM, NDF and acid-detergent fibre; ruminal total VFA concentration; acetate:propionate ratio; activity of cellulolytic enzyme; populations of total bacteria, protozoa and dominant cellulolytic bacteria; and concentrations of Cu in serum and liver increased linearly, but ruminal propionate percentage, ammonia-N concentration, α-amylase activity and populations of Prevotella ruminicola and Ruminobacter amylophilus decreased linearly. The results indicated that supplement of CS could be substituted with CCS and addition of CCS improved milk performance and nutrient digestion in dairy cows.
A new developed spatially targeted mollusciciding technology for snail control was utilised in a research site. This study aims to analyse whether this technology can achieve rational effectiveness compared with the routine method. Snail density was monitored every spring and autumn from 2010 to 2017 at the research site and routine mollusciciding for snail control was then performed. After snail density monitoring in spring 2018, spatially targeted mollusciciding technology was adopted. Log-linear regression and nonlinear regression models were used for snail density prediction in autumn 2018 and the predicted value was compared with the actual snail density in autumn 2018 to verify the effectiveness of the spatially targeted mollusciciding. Monitoring results showed that overall snail density in the research site decreased from 2010 to 2018. The monitored snail density in autumn 2018 was 0.014/0.1 m2. Predicted by the log-linear regression model, the snail density in autumn 2018 would be 0.028 (95% CI 0.11–0.072)/0.1 m2. Predicted by the nonlinear regression model, the snail density growth in autumn 2018 in contrast to spring 2018 would be 79.79% (95% CI 54.81%–104.77%) and the actual value was 55.56%. Therefore, the effectiveness of the first application of spatially targeted mollusciciding was acceptable. However, the validation of its sustainable effectiveness still needs a replicated study comparing areas where targeted and untargeted methods are applied simultaneously and both snail abundance and human infection are monitored.
Guanidinoacetic acid (GAA) can improve the growth performance of bulls. This study investigated the influences of GAA addition on growth, nutrient digestion, ruminal fermentation and serum metabolites in bulls. Forty-eight Angus bulls were randomly allocated to experimental treatments, that is, control, low-GAA (LGAA), medium-GAA (MGAA) and high-GAA (HGAA), with GAA supplementation at 0, 0.3, 0.6 and 0.9 g/kg DM, respectively. Bulls were fed a basal diet containing 500 g/kg DM concentrate and 500 g/kg DM roughage. The experimental period was 104 days, with 14 days for adaptation and 90 days for data collection. Bulls in the MGAA and HGAA groups had higher DM intake and average daily gain than bulls in the LGAA and control groups. The feed conversion ratio was lowest in MGAA and highest in the control. Bulls receiving 0.9 g/kg DM GAA addition had higher digestibility of DM, organic matter, NDF and ADF than bulls in other groups. The digestibility of CP was higher for HGAA than for LGAA and control. The ruminal pH was lower for MGAA, and the total volatile fatty acid concentration was greater for MGAA and HGAA than for the control. The acetate proportion and acetate-to-propionate ratio were lower for MGAA than for LGAA and control. The propionate proportion was higher for MGAA than for control. Bulls receiving GAA addition showed decreased ruminal ammonia N. Bulls in MGAA and HGAA had higher cellobiase, pectinase and protease activities and Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens, Prevotella ruminicola and Ruminobacter amylophilus populations than bulls in LGAA and control. However, the total protozoan population was lower for MGAA and HGAA than for LGAA and control. The total bacterial and Ruminococcus flavefaciens populations increased with GAA addition. The blood level of creatine was higher for HGAA, and the activity of l-arginine glycine amidine transferase was lower for MGAA and HGAA, than for control. The blood activity of guanidine acetate N-methyltransferase and the level of folate decreased in the GAA addition groups. The results indicated that dietary addition of 0.6 or 0.9 g/kg DM GAA improved growth performance, nutrient digestion and ruminal fermentation in bulls.
Dietary chitosan (CS) supplementation could improve the growth rate, small intestinal morphology, nutrients apparent digestibility and digestive enzyme activities in pigs, broiler chickens, rats and fish, whereas no data has been reported about the effect of CS on the growing Huoyan geese. Therefore, this study was designed to investigate the effects of CS on growth rate, small intestinal morphology, nutrients apparent utilization and digestive enzyme activities of growing Huoyan geese. Three hundred and twenty (28 days of age, gender balance) Huoyan geese were randomly divided into control, CS100, CS200 and CS400 groups (based on BW) with 20 geese per pen and 4 replicates pen per group, and the feeding experiment lasted for 4 weeks. The 4 diets contained 0, 100, 200 and 400 mg CS per kg feed, respectively. The results showed that CS200 groups had higher average daily gain, final BW, apparent utilization of DM and CP, and lower feed/gain ratio compared with the control group (P < 0.05). Meanwhile, CS100 and CS200 groups had higher villus height, villus height/crypt depth ratio and lower crypt depth in duodenum and jejunum than those in the control group (P < 0.05). The geese in CS100 and CS200 groups had higher villus height, villus height/crypt depth ratio and lower crypt depth of ileum compared with those in control and CS400 groups (P < 0.05). In addition, compared with the control group, CS200 group has higher trypsin activities and lower lipase activities in duodenal, jejunal and ileal contents (P < 0.05). The results suggested that addition of 200 mg/kg CS had positive effects on growth rate, small intestinal morphology, nutrients apparent utilization and digestive enzyme activities of growing Huoyan geese.
In this paper, the generation of relativistic electron mirrors (REM) and the reflection of an ultra-short laser off the mirrors are discussed, applying two-dimension particle-in-cell simulations. REMs with ultra-high acceleration and expanding velocity can be produced from a solid nanofoil illuminated normally by an ultra-intense femtosecond laser pulse with a sharp rising edge. Chirped attosecond pulse can be produced through the reflection of a counter-propagating probe laser off the accelerating REM. In the electron moving frame, the plasma frequency of the REM keeps decreasing due to its rapid expansion. The laser frequency, on the contrary, keeps increasing due to the acceleration of REM and the relativistic Doppler shift from the lab frame to the electron moving frame. Within an ultra-short time interval, the two frequencies will be equal in the electron moving frame, which leads to the resonance between laser and REM. The reflected radiation near this interval and corresponding spectra will be amplified due to the resonance. Through adjusting the arriving time of the probe laser, a certain part of the reflected field could be selectively amplified or depressed, leading to the selective adjustment of the corresponding spectra.
Reducing dietary CP content is an effective approach to reduce animal nitrogen excretion and save protein feed resources. However, it is not clear how reducing dietary CP content affects the nutrient digestion and absorption in the gut of ruminants, therefore it is difficult to accurately determine how much reduction in dietary CP content is appropriate. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of reduced dietary CP content on N balance, intestinal nutrient digestion and absorption, and rumen microbiota in growing goats. To determine N balance, 18 growing wether goats (25.0 ± 0.5 kg) were randomly assigned to one of three diets: 13.0% (control), 11.5% and 10.0% CP. Another 18 growing wether goats (25.0 ± 0.5 kg) were surgically fitted with ruminal, proximate duodenal, and terminal ileal fistulae and were randomly assigned to one of the three diets to investigate intestinal amino acid (AA) absorption and rumen microbiota. The results showed that fecal and urinary N excretion of goats fed diets containing 11.5% and 10.0% CP were lower than those of goats fed the control diet (P < 0.05). When compared with goats fed the control diet, N retention was decreased and apparent N digestibility in the entire gastrointestinal tract was increased in goats fed the 10% CP diet (P < 0.05). When compared with goats fed the control diet, the duodenal flow of lysine, tryptophan and phenylalanine was decreased in goats fed the 11.5% CP diet (P < 0.05) and that of lysine, methionine, tryptophan, phenylalanine, leucine, glutamic acid, tyrosine, essential AAs (EAAs) and total AAs (TAAs) was decreased in goats fed the 10.0% CP diet (P < 0.05). When compared with goats fed the control diet, the apparent absorption of TAAs in the small intestine was increased in goats fed the 11.5% CP diet (P < 0.05) and that of isoleucine, serine, cysteine, EAAs, non-essential AAs, and TAAs in the small intestine was increased in goats fed the 10.0% CP diet (P < 0.05). When compared with goats fed the control diet, the relative richness of Bacteroidetes and Fibrobacteres was increased and that of Proteobacteria and Synergistetes was decreased in the rumen of goats fed a diet with 10.0% CP. In conclusion, reducing dietary CP content reduced N excretion and increased nutrient utilization by improving rumen fermentation, enhancing nutrient digestion and absorption, and altering rumen microbiota in growing goats.
This report is on the synthesis by electrospinning of multiferroic core-shell nanofibers of strontium hexaferrite and lead zirconate titanate or barium titanate and studies on magneto-electric (ME) coupling. Fibers with well-defined core–shell structures showed the order parameters in agreement with values for nanostructures. The strength of ME coupling measured by the magnetic field-induced polarization showed the fractional change in the remnant polarization as high as 21%. The ME voltage coefficient in H-assembled films showed the strong ME response for the zero magnetic bias field. Follow-up studies and potential avenues for enhancing the strength of ME coupling in the core–shell nanofibers are discussed.
Se can enhance lactation performance by improving nutrient utilization and antioxidant status. However, sodium selenite (SS) can be reduced to non-absorbable elemental Se in the rumen, thereby reducing the intestinal availability of Se. The study investigated the impacts of SS and coated SS (CSS) supplementation on lactation performance, nutrient digestibility, ruminal fermentation and microbiota in dairy cows. Sixty multiparous Holstein dairy cows were blocked by parity, daily milk yield and days in milk and randomly assigned to five treatments: control, SS addition (0.3 mg Se/kg DM as SS addition) or CSS addition (0.1, 0.2 and 0.3 mg Se/kg DM as CSS addition for low CSS (LCSS), medium CSS (MCSS) and high CSS (HCSS), respectively). Experiment period was 110 days with 20 days of adaptation and 90 days of sample collection. Dry matter intake was higher for MCSS and HCSS compared with control. Yields of milk, milk fat and milk protein and feed efficiency were higher for MCSS and HCSS than for control, SS and LCSS. Digestibility of DM and organic matter was highest for CSS addition, followed by SS addition and then control. Digestibility of CP was higher for MCSS and HCSS than for control, SS and LCSS. Higher digestibility of ether extract, NDF and ADF was observed for SS or CSS addition. Ruminal pH decreased with dietary Se addition. Acetate to propionate ratio and ammonia N were lower, and total volatile fatty acids (VFAs) concentration was greater for SS, MCSS and HCSS than control. Ruminal H ion concentration was highest for MCSS and HCSS and lowest for control. Activities of cellobiase, carboxymethyl-cellulase, xylanase and protease and copies of total bacteria, fungi, Ruminococcus flavefaciens, Fibrobacter succinogenes and Ruminococcus amylophilus increased with SS or CSS addition. Activity of α-amylase, copies of protozoa, Ruminococcus albus and Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens and serum glucose, total protein, albumin and glutathione peroxidase were higher for SS, MCSS and HCSS than for control and LCSS. Dietary SS or CSS supplementation elevated blood Se concentration and total antioxidant capacity activity. The data implied that milk yield was elevated due to the increase in total tract nutrient digestibility, total VFA concentration and microorganism population with 0.2 or 0.3 mg Se/kg DM from CSS supplementation in dairy cows. Compared with SS, HCSS addition was more efficient in promoting lactation performance of dairy cows.
To identify predictors of remission with placebo treatment in double-blind randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in major depressive disorder (MDD) based on baseline characteristics.
989 placebo-treated MDD subjects with baseline Hamilton Depression Rating Scale total score (HAMDT17) ≥15 who completed 7-8 weeks of treatment from 8 duloxetine RCTs with placebo lead-in were included. Remission was defined as HAMDT17 endpoint score ≤7. Stepwise logistic regression and classification and regression tree (CART) methods were used to identify predictors of remission. Data were randomly split into training data (N=791, 80%) for model selection and test data (N=198, 20%) for validation. Predictive quality of models was assessed by ROC curves.
In the logistic regression analysis, out of >50 potential pre-treatment predictors, the HAMDT17 score, age, Hamilton Anxiety Scale item 14 (HAMA14: behavior at interview) and length of current MDD episode (length) were found to be most predictive for remission on placebo. These variables were also identified as top predictors by the CART method that identified 2 subgroups: “HAMA14=0 OR (HAMDT17< 22 AND length< 18 weeks)” (45% remitted), “HAMA14>0 AND (HAMDT17≥22 OR length≥18 weeks)” (21% remitted). However, the predictive power was weak for both methods with areas under the ROC curve (test data) of 67% and 56%, respectively.
Baseline risk factors for non-remission after 7-8 weeks of placebo treatment were older age, more severe depressive symptoms, apparent anxiety, and a longer duration of current MDD episode. These results are consistent with previous findings and may aid in the design of RCTs.
Current available antidepressants exhibit low remission rate with a long response lag time. Growing evidence has demonstrated acute sub-anesthetic dose of ketamine exerts rapid, robust, and lasting antidepressant effects. However, a long term use of ketamine tends to elicit its adverse reactions. The present study aimed to investigate the antidepressant-like effects of intermittent and consecutive administrations of ketamine on chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) rats, and to determine whether ketamine can redeem the time lag for treatment response of classic antidepressants. The behavioral responses were assessed by the sucrose preference test, forced swimming test, and open field test. In the first stage of experiments, all the four treatment regimens of ketamine (10 mg/kg ip, once daily for 3 or 7 consecutive days, or once every 7 or 3 days, in a total 21 days) showed robust antidepressant-like effects, with no significant influence on locomotor activity and stereotype behavior in the CUMS rats. The intermittent administration regimens produced longer antidepressant-like effects than the consecutive administration regimens and the administration every 7 days presented similar antidepressant-like effects with less administration times compared with the administration every 3 days. In the second stage of experiments, the combination of ketamine (10 mg/kg ip, once every 7 days) and citalopram (20 mg/kg po, once daily) for 21 days caused more rapid and sustained antidepressant-like effects than citalopram administered alone. In summary, repeated sub-anesthestic doses of ketamine can redeem the time lag for the antidepressant-like effects of citalopram, suggesting the combination of ketamine and classic antidepressants is a promising regimen for depression with quick onset time and stable and lasting effects.
Schizophrenia is a chronic psychiatry disorder with high heritability. Schizophrenic patients with early age at onset trend to have more genetic component and thus may be an attractive subpopulation for genetic studies. Brain-derived neurotrophimc factor (BDNF) is considered as candidate gene for schizophrenia. A single nucleotide polymorphism (BDNF Val66Met) was reported to be associated with schizophrenia, although discrepancy remains. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between BDNF Val66Met polymorphism and schizophrenia using an early onset sample in Chinese Han population. Our sample consisted of 353 schizophrenic patients with onset before age 18 and 394 healthy age and sex matched controls. All subjects were ethnically homogenous Han Chinese origin. No significant differences of genotype or allele distribution were identified between the patients and controls. However, the Met allele was significantly associated with an earlier age at onset in male schizophrenic patients (Kaplan-Meier log-rank test P = 0.005), but not in females (P = 0.289). The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism has an important effect on the age at onset of schizophrenia in a gender-specific manner, and this may provided a significant genetic clue for the etiology of schizophrenia. Therefore, further studies are required to uncover the exact role of BDNF in the development of schizophrenia.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is associated with abnormal functional connectivity (FC) of amygdala and decreased function of cortico-limibic circuit, which play important roles in the pathogenesis of MDD. However, little is known about the connectivity alterations in late-onset depression (LOD), and whether such disrupted function is correlated with cognitive impairment is unclear.
A total of twenty-three LOD patients and thirty-seven controls underwent neuropsychological tests and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (RS-fMRI). Regional homogeneity (ReHo) and FC of bilateral amygdala seed were used to analyze blood oxygen level-dependent fMRI data between groups.
Compared to controls, LOD groups showed weaker functional activity in bilateral middle frontal gyrus and left medial orbitofrontal gyrus, moreover, the decreased ReHo was positively correlated with Trail making test-B score (TMTB, r= 0.462,P= 0.04). In aspects of FC, left amygdala has reduced FC with right fusiform gyrus, right superior temporal gyrus and right putamen, while right amygdala has reduced FC with left cerebellum. Further correlative analysis found that the decreased FC between amygdala and right putamen was positively correlated with Verbal fluency test-verb score (VFT-verb, r= 0.513,P= 0.021) and the decreased FC between amygdala and superior temporal gyrus was positively correlated with Auditory Verbal Memory Test-delayed recall score (AVLT-delayed recall, r= 0.446,P= 0.049).
Our finding of reduced activation of prefrontal gyrus as well as decreased connection of bilateral amygdala may be key factors of impaired cognitive function in LOD patients and these changes could be early indicator for cognitive deficits.