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We examined the floristic composition and stand structure of tropical mountain forests containing two pine species, Pinus krempfii Lecomte and Pinus dalatensis Ferré, on the Da Lat Plateau in southern Vietnam. A total of 92 tree species were identified, and the greatest species richness at the family level was found in Lauraceae and Fagaceae. Both pine species grew to more than 25 m in height and spread their crowns over the continuous canopy layer. Under crowns of P. krempfii, Castanopsis chinensis, Trigonobalanus verticillata, Engelhardia roxburghiana, and Dendropanax hainanensis constituted the continuous canopy layer. Under crowns of P. dalatensis, pioneer species such as Schima wallichii, Exbucklandia populnea, and Pentaphylax euryoides along with gymnosperms such as Dacrycarpus imbricatus and Dacrydium elatum constituted the continuous canopy layer. Juveniles of P. krempfii were prevalent on the forest floor, but juveniles of P. dalatensis were scarce. We suggest that two pine species have different regeneration requirements related to disturbance and soil condition.
Differences in individual eating habits may be influenced by genetic factors, in addition to cultural, social or environmental factors. Previous studies suggested that genetic variants within sweet taste receptor genes family were associated with sweet taste perception and the intake of sweet foods. The aim of this study was to conduct a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to find genetic variations that affect confection consumption in a Japanese population. We analysed GWAS data on confection consumption using 14 073 participants from the Japan Multi-Institutional Collaborative Cohort study. We used a semi-quantitative FFQ to estimate food intake that was validated previously. Association of the imputed variants with confection consumption was performed by linear regression analysis with adjustments for age, sex, total energy intake and principal component analysis components 1–3. Furthermore, the analysis was repeated adjusting for alcohol intake (g/d) in addition to the above-described variables. We found 418 SNP located in 12q24 that were associated with confection consumption. SNP with the ten lowest P-values were located on nine genes including at the BRAP, ACAD10 and aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 regions on 12q24.12-13. After adjustment for alcohol intake, no variant was associated with confections intake with genome-wide significance. In conclusion, we found a significant number of SNP located on 12q24 genes that were associated with confections intake before adjustment for alcohol intake. However, all of them lost statistical significance after adjustment for alcohol intake.
Dietary intake modification is important for the treatment of chronic kidney disease (CKD); however, little is known about the association between dietary intake of antioxidant vitamins and kidney function based on gender difference. We examined the relationship of dietary intake of antioxidant vitamins with decreased kidney function according to gender in Japanese subjects. This population-based, cross-sectional study included 936 Japanese participants with the age of 40 years or older. A validated brief self-administered diet history questionnaire was used to measure dietary intakes of vitamin E and its four isoforms, vitamin A and vitamin C. Decreased kidney function was defined as estimated glomerular filtration rate <60 ml/min/1·73 m2. A total of 498 (53·2 %) of the study participants were women. Mean age was 62·4 ± 11·3 years. Overall, 157 subjects met the criteria of decreased kidney function. In the fully adjusted model, a high vitamin E intake is inversely associated with decreased kidney function in women (odds ratio, 0·886; 95 % confidence interval, 0·786–0·998), whereas vitamin E intake was not associated with decreased kidney function (odds ratio, 0·931; 95 % confidence interval, 0·811–1·069) in men. No significant association between dietary intake of vitamins A and C and decreased kidney function was observed in women and men. Higher dietary intake of vitamin E was inversely associated with decreased kidney function in middle-aged and older women, and the result may provide insight into the more tailored dietary approaches to prevent CKD.
The Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus breeds across a large portion of eastern Asia. One subspecies, L. c. superciliosus, is primarily endemic to Japan and was historically abundant throughout its breeding range. However, both local- and broad-scale studies documented a drastic population decline between the 1970s and 1990s, and the status of the taxon is currently unavailable in Japan. We conducted a nationwide survey to estimate the current population size and breeding range of this subspecies within Japan. We further compared our findings to the historical breeding ranges through a literature review. The total population size was estimated at 149 breeding pairs, and the current breeding range was estimated at 6,800 km2, indicating a 90.9% range contraction over the past century. Our study highlights the urgency of protecting remaining breeding habitats and establishing effective conservation strategies for L. c. superciliosus.
Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is postprandially secreted from enteroendocrine L-cells and enhances insulin secretion. Currently, it is still controversial whether postprandial GLP-1 responses are altered in obesity and diabetes. To address the issue and to find out possible factors related, we compared postprandial GLP-1 responses in normal rats and in diabetic rats chronically fed an obesogenic diet. Male Wistar rats and diabetic Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rats were fed either a control diet or a high-fat/high-sucrose (HFS, 30 % fat and 40 % sucrose) diet for 26 weeks. Meal tolerance tests were performed for monitoring postprandial responses after a liquid diet administration (62·76 kJ/kg body weight) every 4 or 8 weeks. Postprandial glucose, GLP-1 and insulin responses in Wistar rats fed the HFS diet (WH) were higher than Wistar rats fed the control diet (WC). Although GK rats fed the HFS diet (GH) had higher glycaemic responses than GK rats fed the control diet (GC), these groups had similar postprandial GLP-1 and insulin responses throughout the study. Jejunal and ileal GLP-1 contents were increased by the HFS diet only in Wistar rats. Furthermore, mRNA expression levels of fatty acid receptors (Ffar1) in the jejunum were mildly (P = 0·053) increased by the HFS diet in Wistar rats, but not in GK rats. These results demonstrate that postprandial GLP-1 responses are enhanced under an obesogenic status in normal rats, but not in diabetic rats. Failure of adaptive enhancement of GLP-1 response in GK rats could be partly responsible for the development of glucose intolerance.
Detrital zircon U–Pb ages for sediments in and around the Palaeo-Tethyan convergence zone in northern Thailand provide constraints for tectonic interpretations of the Indochina Block, the Sibumasu Block, the Inthanon Zone accretionary complex and the Nan Back-arc Basin during the Triassic. In sedimentary rocks of the Indochina Block, almost all of the Palaeozoic and Triassic zircons were sourced from the collision zone between the Indochina and South China blocks, and an active continental margin in the western Indochina Block. Sediments of the Sibumasu Block were supplied by erosion of Archaean basement and from the Grenville and the Pan African orogenies, but show no record of Permian to Triassic igneous activity. Accretionary complex sediments have provenances of both the Sukhothai Arc and the Indochina and South China blocks, with detrital zircons of various ages being supplied from crustal uplift and erosion related to the Indosinian I orogeny. Sedimentary rocks of the Nan Back-arc Basin are widely distributed not only in the Nan–Uttaradit but also in northern Sukhothai areas. The origin of the Pha Som Metamorphic Complex and associated formations can be traced to basin-filling sediments in the Nan Back-arc Basin. These detrital zircon U–Pb ages have also allowed identification of the changing tectonic setting in the Palaeo-Tethys convergence zone from the ‘erosion of Proterozoic continental basement’ to ‘Palaeozoic active continental margin in the western Indochina Block’ and ‘Palaeozoic, Permian to Triassic collision zone between the South China and Indochina blocks’ through to ‘Triassic active Sukhothai Arc’.
Although glucose is the best-known nutrient to stimulate glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) secretion, dietary peptides also potently stimulate GLP-1 secretion. Certain peptide fragments derived from dietary proteins possess dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitory activity in vitro. Hence, we hypothesised that dietary peptides protect GLP-1 from degradation through attenuating DPP-4 activity in vivo. Here, we compared GLP-1 responses with dietary proteins, a carbohydrate and a lipid (Intralipos) in rats having or not having plasma DPP-4 activity. Plasma GLP-1 concentrations clearly increased by oral administration of whey protein (2–4 g/kg), but not by that of dextrin (2–4 g/kg), in control rats (untreated Sprague–Dawley rats and F344/Jcl rats), having DPP-4 activity. In contrast, dextrin administration increased the plasma GLP-1 concentrations as the whey protein administration did, in rats having reduced or no DPP-4 activity (a DPP-4 inhibitor, sitagliptin-treated Sprague–Dawley rats or DPP-4-deficient F344/DuCrl/Crlj rats). DPP-4 inhibition by sitagliptin treatment also enhanced GLP-1 response to Intralipos, and casein, but the treatment did not further enhance GLP-1 response to whey protein. Intestinal GLP-1 content and gastric emptying rate were not associated with differences in GLP-1 responses to test nutrients. The luminal contents from rats administered whey protein decreased DPP-4 activity in vitro. These results suggest that GLP-1 released by dextrin, Intralipos and casein was immediately degraded by DPP-4, while GLP-1 released by whey protein was less degraded. Our study provides novel in vivo evidence supporting the hypothesis that dietary peptides not only stimulate GLP-1 secretion but also inhibit DPP-4 activity to potentiate GLP-1 response.
The efficiency of in vitro embryo production technologies would be improved by the development of suitable non-invasive biomarkers that allow the selection of good quality cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs). The present study used whole, single oocyte culture to investigate whether the expression levels of follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR), insulin-like factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) and three steroidogenesis-related enzymes (CYP11al, CYP19al and HSD3β) in cumulus cells reflected the developmental competence of COCs. Cumulus cells were collected from single COCs before maturation culture and relative mRNA levels were assessed using real-time PCR. The analysis indicated that mRNAs for FSHR, IGF1R, CYP11al and HSD3β were present at higher levels in cumulus cells from COCs that failed to form blastocysts compared with cumulus cells from COCs that formed blastocysts. Moreover, FSHR and IGF1R mRNA levels were positively correlated with those of genes for steroidogenesis-related enzymes. In conclusion, poor developmental competence of COCs was related to higher expression of FSHR, IGF1R, CYP11al and HSD3β in cumulus cells, which may indicate the advanced differentiation of cumulus cells into granulosa cells.
Although early identification and management services for dementia have become more widespread, their efficacy and the clinical characteristics of service have yet to be fully evaluated. Therefore, the objective of this study is to clarify these issues.
The subjects were 164 Japanese users of an early identification and management program for dementia, known as the Initial-phase Intensive Support Team (IPIST), between 2013 and 2015. Nonhierarchical cluster analysis was used to derive subgroups based on cognitive status and ability in activities of daily living (ADL) and behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). One-way analysis of variance was performed to evaluate differences among the groups derived by the cluster analysis. A paired t test was used to assess how the clinical status of the groups changed between baseline and follow-up.
Four groups were identified by cluster analysis, i.e. a mild group, a moderate group, a BPSD group with moderate cognitive impairment and severe BPSD, and a severe group with severe cognitive impairment and severe BPSD. Although there were no significant improvements in cognitive impairment or ADL in any group, significant improvements were found in BPSD in the BPSD and severe BPSD groups. Caregiver burden was significantly lessened in all groups. Clinical diagnosis and long-term care insurance service utilization rates were significantly improved overall.
The users of IPIST were classified into four subgroups based on their clinical characteristics. The IPIST program could improve the quality of life of people with dementia and their caregivers.
Abnormalities in neurotransmission via N-methyl-d-aspartic acid receptor (NMDAR) play a role in the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders. The impact of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on NMDAR-related amino acids remains unknown. We aim to investigate the effects of rTMS on NMDAR-related amino acids in serum of post-stroke patients.
Ninety-five consecutive post-stroke patients with upper limb hemiparesis were recruited. In 27 patients, the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) score was 10 or higher. Twelve depressed patients underwent rehabilitation in combination with rTMS and 15 non-depressed patients underwent rehabilitation only without rTMS for 14 days. 1 Hz rTMS was applied to the primary motor area in the non-lesional hemisphere. BDI was conducted before and after treatment. Serum glutamine, glutamate, glycine, l-serine, and d-serine levels were measured before and after treatment.
There were no differences between depressed patients and non-depressed patients in clinical characteristics, levels of the five amino acids in serum, and the ratio of amino acids. However, in 27 depressed patients, there was a significant correlation between levels of glutamate in serum and BDI (ρ = 0.428, p = 0.026). BDI decreased significantly in depressed patients after treatment with or without rTMS. d-serine decreased in the rehabilitation with rTMS group, but increased in the rehabilitation without rTMS group. l-serine increased in the rehabilitation with rTMS group, but decreased in the rehabilitation without rTMS group.
The results suggest that rTMS can modulate NMDAR-related amino acids in blood, producing beneficial effects.
Dietary calcium has been proposed to reduce appetite (or to enhance satiety) in human studies. However, underlying mechanisms are still unclear. In animal and cell studies, it has been demonstrated that activation of the calcium-sensing receptor induced secretion of anorexic gut hormones such as cholecystokinin (CCK) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) from enteroendocrine cells. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that calcium suppresses appetite thorough enhanced gut hormone secretion, by using rats.
Materials and Methods
Male Sprague Dawley rats were maintained by feeding a standard diet (AIN-93G, n = 6–8 per group). As calcium sources, calcium chloride, calcium carbonate, and calcium lactate were tested. These calcium salts were orally preloaded in fasted rats by using a feeding tube, and subsequent food intake was monitored until 24 hours. To assess conditioned taste aversion, saccharin preference test was conducted after conditioning with calcium or lithium chloride. To investigate involvements of gut hormones such as CCK, GLP-1, and peptide-YY (PYY), specific receptor antagonists for respective gut hormones were intraperitoneally injected just after oral preload of calcium, and then food intake was monitored. Portal blood samples were collected 15 or 30 min after oral preload of calcium for measurement of gut hormones by ELISA.
Results and discussion
At the same dose of calcium (150 mg/kg), preload of calcium chloride reduced food intake for 4 hours compared to preload of the control solution (P < 0.05), while other compounds had minor effects on food intake. Saccharin preference ratio was only reduced by conditioning with lithium chloride (P < 0.01), but not by that with calcium compounds, indicating no conditional taste aversion was occurred by calcium. Suppressive effect of calcium chloride on food intake was partially reversed by pretreatment with a PYY receptor antagonist (BIIE0246) but not by that with a CCK- or a GLP-1 receptor antagonist. Portal PYY concentrations were higher in calcium chloride-treated rats than in the control rats (P < 0.05), 15 min after the preload and re-feeding. Changes in serum calcium concentrations were not observed by preload of calcium.
These results suggest that oral preload of calcium chloride reduces subsequent food intake via enhanced PYY secretion in rats.
The earliest colonisation of oceanic islands by Homo sapiens occurred ~50 000–30 000 years ago in the Western Pacific, yet how this was achieved remains a matter of debate. With a focus on East Asia, the research presented here tests the hypothesis that bamboo rafts were used for these early maritime migrations. The authors review the evidence for Palaeolithic seafaring in East Asia as the context for an experimental archaeology project to build two bamboo watercraft. Sea trials demonstrate the unsuitability of bamboo, at least in East Asia, indicating that more sophisticated and durable vessels would have been required to traverse the Kuroshio Current.
The authors summarize the results of selective-area growth of vertical MnAs/InAs heterojunction nanowire (NW) arrays and present a preliminary characterization of the transport properties of a single MnAs/InAs heterojunction NW and a single InAs host NW for MnAs inclusions. During the endotaxy of MnAs after the selective-area growth of host InAs nanowires (NWs) on partially SiO2-masked GaAs(111)B substrates, hexagonal NiAs-type MnAs nanoclusters (NCs), which exhibit spontaneous magnetization at room temperature, are formed with the 〈0001〉 direction oriented parallel to the 〈111〉B direction of the zinc-blende-type InAs host NWs. For InAs host NWs, a large positive ordinary magnetoresistance (MR) effect up to 165% is observed at temperatures between 7 and 280 K. In addition, magnetotransport measurements reveal universal conductance fluctuations and a weak Anderson localization at temperatures up to 20 K due to a charge-accumulation layer formed at the surface. Single MnAs/InAs heterojunction NWs, however, exhibit only a negative MR effect, which is independent of temperature T < 10 K and linearly decreases up to −10% at 10 T with increasing magnetic field. These results reveal the tremendous influence of ferromagnetic NCs on the transport behavior inside the InAs host NWs.
Oocytes of B6D2F1 (BDF1) mice are often used as recipients for intracytoplasmic sperm injection because of their cell membrane resistance against capillary penetration. It is assumed that oocytes of BDF1 mice have superior traits because of their hybrid vigour. However, the mechanisms of hybrid vigour are unclear. In this study, we focused on the membrane resistance of MII stage oocytes against changes in extracellular osmotic pressure. As a result, MII stage oocytes of inbred C57BL/6 and DBA/2 mice showed high tolerance in either a hypertonic or a hypotonic environment. Conversely, MII stage oocytes of hybrid BDF1 and D2B6F1 mice showed high tolerance in both hypertonic and hypotonic environments. Therefore, it is considered that MII stage oocytes of hybrid mice have superior traits than those of inbred mice. Our findings demonstrated that the hybrid vigour exists in the form of resistance to extracellular osmotic environment in hybrid MII stage oocytes.
Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is an incretin hormone that regulates postprandial glycaemic response by enhancing insulin secretion. We previously demonstrated that the postprandial GLP-1 response was enhanced during the development of diet-induced obesity in rats. However, the physiological relevance of the enhanced GLP-1 response remained unclear. We aimed to determine the role of endogenous GLP-1 during obesity development. Male Sprague–Dawley rats were given either a control diet or a high-fat/high-sucrose (HFS, 30 % fat and 40 % sucrose, weight basis) diet with or without continuous administration of the GLP-1 receptor antagonist, exendin (9–39) (Ex9, 100 µg/d), for 5 weeks. Meal tolerance tests (MTT) were performed to assess postprandial glucose, insulin and GLP-1 responses to a liquid diet administration (15 kcal (63 kJ)/10 ml per kg body weight) every 2 weeks. The AUC of postprandial glucose in the HFS group was similar to the control group in both MTT (P = 0·9665 and P = 0·3475, respectively), whereas AUC of postprandial GLP-1 (after 4 weeks,P = 0·0457) and of insulin (after 2 and 4 weeks, P = 0·0486 and P = 0·0110) was higher in the HFS group compared with the control group. In the Ex9 group, AUC of postprandial glucose (P = 0·0297 and P = 0·0486) was higher along with a lower insulin response compared with the HFS group (P = 0·0564 and P = 0·0281). These results suggest that enhancement of the postprandial GLP-1 response during obesity development has a role in maintaining a normal postprandial glycaemic response. Hence, enhancing endogenous GLP-1 secretion by certain materials could be a potential target for prevention of glucose intolerance.
The premiere of Puccini's La fanciulla del West at the Metropolitan Opera in 1910 inspired enthusiastic reactions from the New York audience. However, as demonstrated by Annie J. Randall and Rosalind Gray Davis's 2005 study, Puccini and the Girl: History and Reception of “The Girl of the Golden West,” the critical reception of the work highlighted the Italian composer's inability to measure up to the critics’ preconceived notions about the American West. Among the many perceived oddities of the opera was the character of Jake Wallace, a “wandering camp minstrel,” who appeared in an unconventional form of blackface and sang an aria based on a transcription of a Native American song. This essay reexamines the early American reception of La fanciulla by analyzing the coverage of the opera in Italian-language newspapers published in New York. Articles in these periodicals suggest that Jake's nostalgic song (canto nostalgico) and the sentiment of homesickness that it projected played a central role in the positive reception of the work among their readers. Acknowledging such a reaction to the opera reminds us of the difficulty of ascribing a uniformly “American” reception to any work. It also uncovers an unexpected way in which Puccini and his collaborators promoted the opera to a particular segment of the American society.
This study aimed to investigate how Japanese learners of English as a foreign language, whose first language does not have obligatory morphological number marking, process conceptual plurality. The targeted structure was reciprocal verbs, which require conceptual plurality to interpret their meanings correctly. The results of a sentence completion task confirmed that participants could use reciprocal verbs reciprocally in English. In a self-paced reading experiment, participants read sentences with reciprocal verbs and those with optionally transitive verbs (e.g., while the king and the queen kissed/left the baby read the book in the bed). There was no reading time delay for reciprocal verbs but a delay for optionally transitive verbs. Therefore, the participants succeeded in processing second language conceptual plurality in the online sentence comprehension task.