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Owing to the absence of a sub-pulmonary ventricle, the central venous pressure rises in patients with Fontan circulation. During exercise, central venous pressure may rise further to increase the systemic ventricular preload and cardiac output. We performed a single-centre prospective trial of cardiopulmonary exercise test while monitoring peripheral venous pressure which strongly correlates with central venous pressure. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that peripheral venous pressure at peak exercise inversely correlates with exercise capacity in patients with Fontan circulation. Seventeen patients following Fontan operation performed cardiopulmonary exercise test while monitoring peripheral venous pressure. Peak oxygen uptake, heart rate reserve, peak oxygen pulse (divided by body surface area), and peripheral venous pressure at peak exercise were measured. Correlations of peripheral venous pressure at peak exercise with the peak oxygen uptake, heart rate reserve, and peak oxygen pulse were evaluated. The peripheral venous pressure at peak exercise inversely correlated with the peak oxygen uptake (R = −0.66, p < 0.01), heart rate reserve (R = −0.6, p < 0.05), and peak oxygen pulse (R = −0.48, p < 0.05). Exercise-induced peripheral venous hypertension correlates with exercise intolerance in patients with Fontan circulation. Peak oxygen uptake is a useful index for evaluating the status of congestion in the daily life of patients with Fontan circulation.
Cells in the vocal fold of maculae flavae are likely to be tissue stem cells. Energy metabolism of the cells in newborn maculae flavae was investigated from the aspect of mitochondrial microstructure.
Five normal newborn vocal folds were investigated under transmission electron microscopy.
Mitochondria consisted of a double membrane bounded body containing matrices and a system of cristae. However, these membranes were ambiguous. In each mitochondrion, the lamellar cristae were sparse. Intercristal space was occupied by a mitochondrial matrix. Some mitochondria had fused to lipid droplets and rough endoplasmic reticulum, and both the mitochondrial outer and inner membranes had incarcerated and disappeared.
The features of the mitochondria of the cells in the newborn maculae flavae showed that their metabolic activity and oxidative phosphorylation were low. The metabolism of the cells in the newborn maculae flavae seems to be favourable to maintain the stemness and undifferentiation of the cells.
Identifying taxpayers who engage in noncompliant behaviour is crucial for tax authorities to determine appropriate taxation schemes. However, because taxpayers have an incentive to conceal their true income, it is difficult for tax authorities to uncover such behaviour (social desirability bias). Our study mitigates the bias in responses to sensitive questions by employing the list experiment technique, which allows us to identify the characteristics of taxpayers who engage in tax evasion. Using a dataset obtained from a tax office in Jakarta, Indonesia, we conducted a computer-assisted telephone interviewing survey in 2019. Our results revealed that 13% of the taxpayers, old, male, corporate employees, and members of a certain ethnic group had reported lower income than their true income on their tax returns. These findings suggest that our research design can be a useful tool for understanding tax evasion and for developing effective taxation schemes that promote tax compliance.
Although the effects of snow during sea-ice growth have been investigated for sea ice which is thick enough to accommodate dry snow, those for thin sea ice have not been paid much attention due to the difficulty in observing them. Observations are complicated by the presence of slush and its subsequent freeze-up, and the surface heat budget might be sensitive to the additional ice thickness. An onsite short-term land fast sea-ice freeze-up experiment in the Saroma-ko Lagoon, Hokkaido, Japan was carried out to examine the effects of snowfall on the structure and surface heat budget of thin sea ice, based on observational results and a 1-D thermodynamic model. We found that snowfall contributes to the solidification of the surface slush layer, contributing ice thickness that is comparable to the snowfall amount and affecting the crystal texture significantly. On the other hand, the basal ice growth rate and turbulent heat flux were not significantly affected, being <3.1 × 10−8 m s−1 and 3 W m−2, respectively. This finding may validate the omission in past studies of snow effect in estimating ice production rates in polynyas and has implications about the reconstruction of growth history from sample analysis.
A 14-year-old boy was receiving subcutaneous infusions of treprostinil for pulmonary artery hypertension. Because he had severe infusion site pain in the lower abdomen, we changed his infusion site to the upper buttocks, adding some analgesics. His pain improved gradually. This change may be an effective method for reducing infusion site pain in subcutaneous treprostinil therapy, particularly in children.
The impact of April sea-ice thickness (SIT) initialization on the predictability of September sea-ice extent (SIE) is investigated based on a series of perfect model ensemble experiments using the MIROC5.2 climate model. Ensembles with April SIT initialization can accurately predict the September SIE for greater lead times than in cases without the initialization – up to 2 years ahead. The persistence of SIT correctly initialized in April contributes to the skilful prediction of SIE in the first September. On the other hand, errors in the initialization of SIT in April cause errors in the predicted sea-ice concentration and thickness in the Pacific sector from July to September and consequently influence the predictive skill with respect to SIE in September. The present study suggests that initialization of the April SIT in the Pacific sector significantly improves the accuracy of the September SIE forecasts by decreasing the errors in sea-ice fields from July to September.
Polyploids generated by natural whole genome duplication have served as a dynamic force in vertebrate evolution. As evidence for evolution, polyploid organisms exist generally, however there have been no reports of polyploid organisms in mammals. In mice, polyploid embryos under normal culture conditions normally develop to the blastocyst stage. Nevertheless, most tetraploid embryos degenerate after implantation, indicating that whole genome duplication produces harmful effects on normal development in mice. Most previous research on polyploidy has mainly focused on tetraploid embryos. Analysis of various ploidy outcomes is important to comprehend the effects of polyploidization on embryo development. The purpose of this present study was to discover the extent of the polyploidization effect on implantation and development in post-implantation embryos. This paper describes for the first time an octaploid embryo implanted in mice despite hyper-polyploidization, and indicates that these mammalian embryos have the ability to implant, and even develop, despite the harmfulness of extreme whole genome duplication.
Insect parasitic nematodes have acquired mechanisms to evade their host immune response for successful parasitism. Despite the importance of understanding of the evolution of evasion mechanisms from host immunity, insect immune response against non-parasitic nematodes has not been well studied. In our previous study, we demonstrated that a non-insect parasitic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans was not encapsulated by haemocytes in the larvae of the greater wax moth Galleria mellonella. To understand how nematodes influence insect haemocytes to escape encapsulation, we examined the effect of C. elegans on haemocytes in the haemocoel of G. mellonella larvae. Injection of nematodes resulted in the decrease of haemocyte density while mortality and spreading ability of haemocytes, the haematopoietic organs were not affected. In vitro co-incubation of haemocytes with nematodes resulted in a decrease of haemocyte density and we observed feeding on haemocytes by nematodes. Injection of C. elegans feeding-delay mutants into insects did not cause the decrease of haemocyte density. The decrease of haemocyte density was due to the nematode's ingestion of haemocytes. Furthermore, an entomopathogenic nematode and other bacterial feeding nematodes also showed similar feeding behaviour. The nematode's ability to feed on haemocytes may have played an important role in the evolution of nematode parasitism in bacterial-feeding nematodes.
We report fourteen and twenty-eight protocluster candidates at z = 5.7 and 6.6 over 14 and 19 deg2 areas, respectively, selected from 2,230 Lyα emitters (LAEs) photometrically identified with Subaru/Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) deep images. Six out of the 42 protocluster candidates include at least 1 spectroscopically confirmed LAEs at redshifts up to z = 6.574. By the comparisons with the cosmological Lyα radiative transfer (RT) model reproducing LAEs with the reionization effects, we find that more than a half of these protocluster candidates might be progenitors of the present-day clusters with a mass of ≳ 1014M⊙. We also investigate the correlation between LAE overdensity and Lya rest-frame equivalent width (EW), because the cosmological Lyα RT model suggests that a slope of EW-overdensity relation is steepened towards the epoch of cosmic reionization (EoR), due to the existence of the ionized bubbles around galaxy overdensities easing the escape of Lyα emission from the partly neutral intergalactic medium. The available HSC data suggest that the slope of the EW-overdensity correlation does not evolve from the post-reionization epoch z = 5.7 to the EoR z = 6.6 beyond the moderately large statistical errors.
Liver fibrosis and cirrhosis are one of the critical complications in Fontan patients. However, there are no well-established non-invasive and quantitative techniques for evaluating liver abnormalities in Fontan patients. Intravoxel incoherent motion diffusion-weighted imaging with MRI is a non-invasive and quantitative method to evaluate capillary network perfusion and molecular diffusion. The objective of this study is to assess the feasibility of intravoxel incoherent motion imaging in evaluating liver abnormalities in Fontan children.
Materials and Methods:
Five consecutive Fontan patients and four age-matched healthy volunteers were included. Fontan patients were 12.8 ± 1.5 years old at the time of MRI scan. Intravoxel incoherent motion imaging parameters (D, D*, and f values) within the right hepatic lobe were compared. Laboratory test, ultrasonography, and cardiac MRI were also conducted in the Fontan patients. Results of cardiac catheterization conducted within one year of the intravoxel incoherent motion imaging were also examined.
In Fontan patients, laboratory test and liver ultrasonography showed almost normal liver condition. Cardiac catheter and MRI showed good Fontan circulation. Cardiac index was 2.61 ± 0.23 L/min/m2. Intravoxel incoherent motion imaging parameters D, D*, and f values were lower in Fontan patients compared with controls (D: 1.1 ± 0.0 versus 1.3 ± 0.2 × 10−3 mm2/second (p = 0.04), D*: 30.8 ± 24.8 versus 113.2 ± 25.6 × 10−3 mm2/second (p < 0.01), and f: 13.2 ± 3.1 versus 22.4 ± 2.4% (p < 0.01), respectively).
Intravoxel incoherent motion imaging is feasible for evaluating liver abnormalities in children with Fontan circulation.
Gestational nutrition is widely recognized to affect an offspring’s future risk of lifestyle-related diseases, suggesting the involvement of epigenetic mechanisms. As folic acid (FA) is a nutrient essential for modulating DNA methylation, we sought to determine how maternal FA intake during early pregnancy might influence tumor sensitivity in an offspring. Dams were maintained on a FA-depleted (FA(−)) or normal (2 mg FA/kg; FA(+)) diet from 2 to 3 days before mating to 7 days post-conception, and their offspring were challenged with chemical tumorigenesis using 7,12-dimethylbenz[a)anthracene and phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate for skin and 4-nitroquinoline N-oxide for tongue. In both squamous tissues, tumorigenesis was more progressive in the offspring from FA(−) than FA(+) dams. Notably, in the skin of FA(−) offspring, the expression and activity of cylindromatosis (Cyld) were decreased due to the altered DNA methylation status in its promoter region, which contributed to increased tumorigenesis coupled with inflammation in the FA(−) offspring. Thus, we conclude that maternal FA insufficiency during early pregnancy is able to promote neoplasm progression in the offspring through modulating DNA methylation, such as Cyld. Moreover, we propose, for the first time, “innate” utero nutrition as the third cause of tumorigenesis besides the known causes—hereditary predisposition and acquired environmental factors.
This paper describes several important methods for the blind source separation of audio signals in an integrated manner. Two historically developed routes are featured. One started from independent component analysis and evolved to independent vector analysis (IVA) by extending the notion of independence from a scalar to a vector. In the other route, nonnegative matrix factorization (NMF) has been extended to multichannel NMF (MNMF). As a convergence point of these two routes, independent low-rank matrix analysis has been proposed, which integrates IVA and MNMF in a clever way. All the objective functions in these methods are efficiently optimized by majorization-minimization algorithms with appropriately designed auxiliary functions. Experimental results for a simple two-source two-microphone case are given to illustrate the characteristics of these five methods.
The goal of this study was to assess the psychosocial consequences among nurses affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake in order to identify their coping strategies and explore possible countermeasures against complex disasters.
In 2012, we conducted a qualitative study and screened participants for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Thirty-eight nurses participated in this study. The result showed a relatively high proportion of probable PTSD (39%). Thirty-two conceptual codes emerged from the data and were grouped into 8 categories: “initial acute stress,” “acute stress turning chronic,” “chronic physical and mental fatigue,” “occupational stress,” “fear of the impact of radiation on children’s health,” “occupational satisfaction,” “positive influences of the disaster experiences,” and “impact of mutual care through interpersonal cognition.”
The study reveals that mutual care may have a positive impact in assisting recovery and enhancing the psychological well-being of nurses. We suggest that disaster management should take into consideration the conflict between professional and family responsibilities. In the light of the chronic impact of the nuclear crisis, enhanced support for interpersonal relationships and human resources, as well as appropriate safety precautions, is urgently needed to help affected nurses. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:519-526)
Immunity to microbial infections is well understood; however, information regarding the immunity to parasitic multicellular organisms remains lacking. To understand innate host cellular immunity to nematodes, we compared the cellular response of the greater wax moth (Galleria mellonella) larvae against the non-parasitic, bacterial-feeding nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and pathogenic nematode Heterorhabditis bacteriophora. When intact first-instar or dauer larvae of C. elegans were injected into a G. mellonella larva, most of the nematodes were alive and not confined by the surrounding reaction by insect haemocytes (encapsulation), similarly as the pathogenic nematode, whereas most of the heat-killed nematodes of both species were severely encapsulated by 24 h after inoculation. Other non-parasitic nematodes were also not encapsulated. Surprisingly, C. elegans injected into the insect haemocoel grew and propagated in the live insect, resulting in death of the host insect. Our results suggest that C. elegans has some basic mechanisms to evade immunity of G. mellonenlla and grow in the haemocoel.
Current evidence suggests that the aetiology of congenital gastrointestinal (GI) tract atresia is multifactorial, and not based solely on genetic factors. However, there are no established modifiable risk factors for congenital GI tract atresia. We used data from a Japanese nationwide birth cohort study launched in 2011, and examined whether fish consumption in early pregnancy was associated with congenital GI tract atresia. We analysed data of 89 495 women (mean age at delivery=31·2 years) who delivered singleton live births without chromosomal anomalies. Based on the results of the FFQ, we estimated the daily intake of fish and n-3 PUFA consumption in early pregnancy. We defined a composite outcome (oesophageal atresia, duodenal atresia, jejunoileal atresia and/or anorectal malformation) as congenital GI tract atresia. In this population, median fish intake was 31·9 g/d, and seventy-four cases of congenital GI tract atresia were identified. Fish consumption in early pregnancy was inversely associated with the composite outcome (multivariable-adjusted OR for the high v. low consumption category=0·5, 95 % CI 0·3, 1·0). For all the specific types of atresia, decreased OR were observed in the high consumption category, although not statistically significant. Reduced atresia occurrence was observed even beyond the US Food and Drug Administration’s recommended consumption of no more than 340 g/week. Also, n-3 PUFA-rich fish and n-3 PUFA consumptions tended to be inversely associated with atresia. Fish consumption in early pregnancy may be a preventive factor for congenital GI tract atresia.
The striking under-representation of women in Japan has been partly attributed to gender stereotypes and prejudice toward female leadership among voters. We examine whether and to what extent candidates get rewarded or punished when they deviate from the behavioral expectations associated with their gender roles and images. Our conjoint experiment results in Japan demonstrate that not only are female candidates disadvantaged compared to their male counterparts, but also that they could lose support when they diverge from gender-based behavioral expectations. Our findings suggest that female candidates face a difficult dilemma in that they must weigh the cost of losing support for failing to conform to gender-based expectations, against the general loss of support they would incur for conforming to these expectations.