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Ovarian follicle selection is a natural biological process in the pre-ovulatory hierarchy in birds that drives growing follicles to be selected within the ovulatory cycle. Follicle selection in birds is strictly regulated, involving signaling pathways mediated by dietary nutrients, gonadotrophic hormones and paracrine factors. This study aimed to test the hypothesis that dietary Ca may participate in regulating follicle selection in laying ducks through activating the signaling pathway of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)/protein kinase A (PKA)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), possibly mediated by gonadotrophic hormones. Female ducks at 22 weeks of age were initially fed one of two Ca-deficient diets (containing 1.8% or 0.38% Ca) or a Ca-adequate control diet (containing 3.6% Ca) for 67 days (depletion period), then all birds were fed the Ca-adequate diet for an additional 67 days (repletion period). Compared with the Ca-adequate control, ducks fed 0.38% Ca during the depletion period had significantly decreased (P < 0.05) numbers of hierarchical follicles and total ovarian weight, which were accompanied by reduced egg production. Plasma concentration of FSH was decreased by the diet containing 1.8% Ca but not by that containing 0.38%. The ovarian content of cAMP was increased with the two Ca-deficient diets, and phosphorylation of PKA and ERK1/2 was increased with 0.38% dietary Ca. Transcripts of ovarian estradiol receptor 2 and luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR) were reduced in the ducks fed the two Ca-deficient diets (P < 0.05), while those of the ovarian follicle stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR) were decreased in the ducks fed 0.38% Ca. The transcript abundance of ovary gap junction proteins, A1 and A4, was reduced with the Ca-deficient diets (P < 0.05). The down-regulation of gene expression of gap junction proteins and hormone receptors, the increased cAMP content and the suppressed hierarchical follicle numbers were reversed by repletion of dietary Ca. These results indicate that dietary Ca deficiency negatively affects follicle selection of laying ducks, independent of FSH, but probably by activating cAMP/PKA/ERK1/2 signaling pathway.
Impedance spectroscopy was conducted on colloidal ITO thin films that had been subjected to alternating oxygen and argon plasma treatments, followed by air annealing from 150 to 750 °C. An equivalent circuit consisting of an RC element nested within another RC element, featuring a negative resistance and a negative capacitance, fitted the data well. These results are interpreted as being due to surface plasmons that are a function of the presence of nanoporous ITO-rich regions surrounded by isolated ITO nanoparticles coated with an amorphous polymer that intertwines with the ITO-rich regions as a function of annealing treatment.
Optimizing the dietary calcium (Ca) level is essential to maximize the eggshell quality, egg production and bone formation in poultry. This study aimed to establish the Ca requirements of egg-type duck breeders from 23 to 57 weeks of age on egg production, eggshell, incubation, tibial, plasma and ovary-related indices, as well as the expression of matrix protein-related genes. Totally, 450 Longyan duck breeders aged 21 weeks of age were allotted randomly into five treatments, each with six replicates of 15 individually caged birds. The data collection started from 23 weeks of age and continued over the following 35 weeks. The five groups corresponded to five dietary treatments containing either 2.8%, 3.2%, 3.6%, 4.0% or 4.4% Ca. The tested dietary Ca levels increased (linear, P <0.01) egg production and egg mass, and linearly improved (P <0.01) the feed conversion ratio (FCR). Increasing the dietary Ca levels from 2.8% to 4.4% increased (P <0.01) the eggshell thickness and eggshell content. The tested Ca levels showed a quadratic effect on eggshell thickness and ovarian weight (P <0.01); the highest values were obtained with the Ca levels 4.0% and 3.6%, respectively. Dietary Ca levels affected the small yellow follicles (SYF) number and SYF weight/ovarian weight, and the linear response (P <0.01) was significant vis-à-vis SYF number. In addition, dietary Ca levels increased (P <0.05) the tibial dry weight, breaking strength, mineral density and ash content. Plasma and tibial phosphorus concentration exhibited a quadratic (P <0.01) response to dietary Ca levels. Plasma calcitonin concentration linearly (P <0.01) increased as dietary Ca levels increased. The relative expression of carbonic anhydrase 2 in the uterus rose (P <0.01) with the increment of dietary Ca levels, and the highest value was obtained with 3.2% Ca. In conclusion, Longyan duck breeders fed a diet with 4.0% Ca had superior eggshell and tibial quality, while those fed a diet with 3.6% Ca had the heaviest ovarian weights. The regression model indicated that the dietary Ca levels 3.86%, 3.48% and 4.00% are optimal levels to obtain maximum eggshell thickness, ovarian weight and tibial mineral density, respectively.
During the summer of 2016, the Hawaii Department of Health responded to the second-largest domestic foodborne hepatitis A virus (HAV) outbreak in the post-vaccine era. The epidemiological investigation included case finding and investigation, sequencing of RNA positive clinical specimens, product trace-back and virologic testing and sequencing of HAV RNA from the product. Additionally, an online survey open to all Hawaii residents was conducted to estimate baseline commercial food consumption. We identified 292 confirmed HAV cases, of whom 11 (4%) were possible secondary cases. Seventy-four (25%) were hospitalised and there were two deaths. Among all cases, 94% reported eating at Oahu or Kauai Island branches of Restaurant Chain A, with 86% of those cases reporting raw scallop consumption. In contrast, a food consumption survey conducted during the outbreak indicated 25% of Oahu residents patronised Restaurant Chain A in the 7 weeks before the survey. Product trace-back revealed a single distributor that supplied scallops imported from the Philippines to Restaurant Chain A. Recovery, amplification and sequence comparison of HAV recovered from scallops revealed viral sequences matching those from case-patients. Removal of product from implicated restaurants and vaccination of those potentially exposed led to the cessation of the outbreak. This outbreak further highlights the need for improved imported food safety.
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
Curcumin has been attributed with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial activities, and has shown highly protective effects against enteropathogenic bacteria and mycotoxins. Ochratoxin A (OTA) is one of the major intestinal pathogenic mycotoxins. The possible effect of curcumin on the alleviation of enterotoxicity induced by OTA is unknown. The effects of dietary curcumin supplementation on OTA-induced oxidative stress, intestinal barrier and mitochondrial dysfunctions were examined in young ducks. A total of 540 mixed-sex 1-day-old White Pekin ducklings with initial BW (43.4±0.1 g) were randomly assigned into controls (fed only the basal diet), a group fed an OTA-contaminated diet (2 mg/kg feed), and a group fed the same OTA-contaminated feed plus 400 mg/kg of curcumin. Each treatment consisted of six replicates, each containing 30 ducklings and treatment lasted for 21 days. There was a significant decrease in average daily gain (ADG) and increased feed : gain caused by OTA (P<0.05); curcumin co-treatment prevented the decrease in BW and ADG compared with the OTA group (P<0.05). Histopathological and ultrastructural examination showed clear signs of enterotoxicity caused by OTA, but these changes were largely prevented by curcumin supplementation. Curcumin decreased the concentrations of interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α and malondialdehyde, and increased the activity of glutathione peroxidase induced by OTA in the jejunal mucosa of ducks (P<0.05). Additionally, curcumin increased jejunal mucosa occludin and tight junction protein 1 mRNA and protein levels, and decreased those of ρ-associated protein kinase 1 (P<0.05). Notably, curcumin inhibited the increased expression of apoptosis-related genes, and downregulated mitochondrial transcription factors A, B1 and B2 caused by OTA without any effects on RNA polymerase mitochondrial (P<0.05). These results indicated that curcumin could protect ducks from OTA-induced impairment of intestinal barrier function and mitochondrial integrity.
The study investigated whether different dietary energy and protein sources affect laying performance, antioxidant status, fresh yolk fatty acid profile and quality of salted yolks in laying ducks. In all, 360 19-week-old Longyan ducks were randomly assigned to four diets in a factorial arrangement (2×2). The four diets consisted of two energy sources, corn (CO) or sorghum (SO) and two protein sources, soybean meal (SM) and rapeseed meal with corn distillers dried grains with solubles (RMD), and each treatment contained six replicates of 15 birds each. The experimental diets were isocaloric (metabolizable energy, 10.84 MJ/kg) and isonitrogenous (CP, 17%). The results showed that egg production, average egg weight, egg mass and feed conversion ratio were not affected by diets (P>0.05). Plasma contents of reduced glutathione (GSH), GSH/oxidized glutathione and total antioxidant capacity were lower (P<0.05) in ducks fed the RMD diets compared with those fed SM diets with a substantial increase (P=0.006) in plasma content of malondialdehyde (MDA). Egg yolks from ducks fed SO diets had higher proportions of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and lower saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids compared with CO diets (P<0.001). Similarly, ducks fed RMD diets had a higher content of PUFA and n-6/n-3 ratio in fresh yolks (P<0.001), and increased salted yolk MDA, carbonylated proteins content and incidence of hard salted yolks (P<0.05) compared with SM diets. Scanning electron microscopy showed that salted yolks contained rougher polyhedral granules and fewer fat droplets, and were surrounded with a layer of bunchy fibers in ducks fed SO+RMD than those fed CO+SM diet. In conclusion, the current study showed that feeding laying ducks with diets containing SO or RMD reduced antioxidant capacity and increased egg yolk concentrations of PUFA. It appeared that egg yolks from ducks fed these diets were more sensitive to lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation during salting, and reduced the quality of salted yolks.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has long been recognized as a heterogeneous illness, with a common clinical presentation of progressive amnesia and less common “atypical” clinical presentations, including syndromes dominated by visual, aphasic, “frontal,” or apraxic symptoms. Our knowledge of atypical clinical phenotypes of AD comes from clinicopathologic studies, but with the growing use of in vivo molecular biomarkers of amyloid and tau pathology, we are beginning to recognize that these syndromes may not be as rare as once thought. When a clinician is evaluating a patient whose clinical phenotype is dominated by progressive aphasia, complex visual impairment, or other neuropsychiatric symptoms with relative sparing of memory, the differential diagnosis may be broader and a confident diagnosis of an atypical form of AD may require the use of molecular biomarkers. Despite the evolving sophistication in our diagnostic tools, and the acknowledgment of atypical AD syndromes in the 2011 revised diagnostic criteria for AD, the assessment of such patients still poses substantial challenges. We use a case-based approach to review the clinical and imaging phenotypes of a series of patients with typical and atypical AD, and discuss our current approach to their evaluation. One day, we hope that regardless of whether a patient exhibits typical or atypical symptoms of AD pathology, we will be able to identify the condition at a prodromal phase and institute a combination of symptomatic and disease-modifying therapies to support cognitive processes, function, and behavior, and slow or halt progression to dementia.
The objective of this research was to describe proportional differences across time and region in management practices among southern cotton farmers who experienced glyphosate-resistant (GR) weeds on their farms earlier than those who experienced them later and among farmers who were closest to one of four historical outbreak epicenters: Lauderdale County, TN; Macon County, GA; Edgecombe County, NC; and Terry County, TX. A mail survey was conducted with cotton farmers in 2012 from 13 southern, cotton-producing states. Survey responses on practices used by farmers were classified into three broad categories of labor, mechanical/tillage/chemical (MTC), and cultural. Proportions of respondents using practices from each category were identified by time and region; across which, proportional-difference tests were conducted. Results indicated respondents encountering GR weeds earlier were more likely than farmers who experienced them later to use the three broad-category practices (labor, 98 vs. 92%; MTC, 95 vs. 89%; and cultural, 86 vs. 76%) and specific practices, including hooded sprayers (76 vs. 58%), in-season herbicide change (83 vs. 60%), and field-border management (60 vs. 35%). Also, respondents closest to Lauderdale County were more likely than farmers closest to Edgecombe County to use broad-labor practices (99 vs. 91%) and specific practices, including hand hoeing (96 vs. 84%), hand spraying (49 vs. 31%), spot spraying (76 vs. 59%), wick applicator (13 vs. 11%), and field-border management (58 vs. 39%). Education programs on weed management can be developed and tailored according to the time and regional differences to provide effective information and communication channels to farmers.
Chitotriosidase, secreted by activated macrophages, is a biomarker of activated macrophages. In this study, we explored whether chitotriosidase could be adopted as a biomarker to evaluate the curative effect on tuberculosis (TB). Five counties were randomly selected out of 122 counties/cities/districts in Hunan Province, China. Our cases were all TB patients who were newly diagnosed or had been receiving treatment at the Centers for Disease Control (CDCs) of these five counties between April and August in 2009. Healthy controls were selected from a community health facility in the Kaifu district of Changsha City after frequency-matching of gender and age with the cases. Chitotriosidase activity was evaluated by a fluorometric assay. Categorical variables were analysed with the χ2 test. Measurement data in multiple groups were tested with analysis of variance and least significant difference (LSD). Correlation between chitotriosidase activity and the degree of radiological extent (DRE) was examined by Spearman's rank correlation test. The average chitotriosidase activity levels of new TB cases, TB cases with different periods of treatment (<3, 3–6, >6 months) and the control group were 54·47, 34·77, 21·54, 12·73 and 10·53 nmol/h.ml, respectively. Chitotriosidase activity in TB patients declined along with the continuity of treatment. The chitotriosidase activity of both smear-positive and the smear-negative pulmonary TB patients decreased after 6 months' treatment to normal levels (P < 0·05). Moreover, chitotriosidase activity was positively correlated with DRE (r = 0·607, P < 0·001). Our results indicate that chitotriosidase might be a marker of TB treatment effects. However, further follow-up study of TB patients is needed in the future.
In 2008 January the 24th Chinese expedition team successfully deployed the Chinese Small Telescope ARray (CSTAR) to Dome A, the highest point on the Antarctic plateau. CSTAR consists of four 14.5cm optical telescopes, each with a different filter (g, r, i and open) and has a 4.5°×4.5° field of view (FOV). Based on the CSTAR data, initial statistics of astronomical observational site quality and light curves of variable objects were obtained. To reach higher photometric quality, we are continuing to work to overcome the effects of uneven cirrus cloud cirrus, optical “ghosts” and intra-pixel sensitivity. The snow surface stability is also tested for further astronomical observational instrument and for glaciology studies.
The heating of the solar corona and the origin and acceleration of the solar wind are among the important unsolved problems of space plasma and solar physics. During the SOHO era, coronal holes as source regions of the fast solar wind have been investigated by using UV/EUV spectroscopic data observed with high-resolution spectrometers. At the base of the coronal hole, a detailed picture concerning the origin of the fast solar wind was first obtained by SUMER observations. For example, the Dopplergram deduced from the line profile of Ne VIII and other transition-region lines showed strong evidence that the wind originates in the chromospheric network and starts flowing out of the corona in magnetic funnels. Solar wind mass is suggested to be supplied through supergranule-scale magnetoconvection in the chromosphere and transition region. However, the spectral lines used in these studies are mainly obtained in the transition region and the behaviours of the nascent solar wind at higher temperatures have not yet been understood. Recent spectroscopic and imaging observations with instruments on Hinode and SDO provide further information about the coronal holes seen in EUV lines formed in the solar corona. Some interesting results, e.g., ubiquitous episodic outflow (jets) and enhanced emission in the blue wing of coronal line profiles, are found from the new observations. The purpose of this presentation is to review recent research progress on solar-wind source regions revealed by UV/EUV spectroscopic and imaging observations. Such observational studies and further interpretations of the data may provide crucial constraints and implications for future studies on both observations and theoretical models concerning coronal heating and acceleration of the nascent solar wind.
This study examined whether participation in a variety of lifestyle activities was comparable to frequent participation in cognitively challenging activities in mitigating impairments in cognitive abilities susceptible to aging in healthy, community-dwelling older women. Frequencies of participation in various lifestyle activities on the Lifestyle Activities Questionnaire (LAQ) were divided according to high (e.g., reading), moderate (e.g., discussing politics), and low (e.g., watching television) cognitive demand. We also considered the utility of participation in a variety of lifestyle activities regardless of cognitive challenge. Immediate and delayed verbal recall, psychomotor speed, and executive function were each measured at baseline and at five successive exams, spanning a 9.5-year interval. Greater variety of participation in activities, regardless of cognitive challenge, was associated with an 8 to 11% reduction in the risk of impairment in verbal memory and global cognitive outcomes. Participation in a variety of lifestyle activities was more predictive than frequency or level of cognitive challenge for significant reductions in risk of incident impairment on measures sensitive to cognitive aging and risk for dementia. Our findings offer new perspectives in promoting a diverse repertoire of activities to mitigate age-related cognitive declines. (JINS, 2012, 18, 286–294)
Calreticulin (CRT) is a Ca2+-binding molecular chaperone in the endoplasmic reticulum. We cloned and characterized the CRT gene in an important marine food fish species Asian seabass (Lates calcarifer). The full-length DNA of the CRT gene was 2194 bp, including a complete open reading frame encoding 420 amino acid residues, a 113 bp 5′-untranslated region and an 818 bp 3′-untranslated region. The CRT gene contained nine exons and eight introns covering a total of 2772 bp genomic DNA from the start to stop codon. Ten single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were detected in introns and an exon in six individuals collected from five different locations. The CRT gene was assigned to linkage group 4 of the linkage map of Asian seabass. Quantitative real-time PCR revealed that the CRT gene was highly expressed in liver at the age of 1, 3 and 7 months under normal conditions, whereas its expression in liver reduced sharply after 0.5 to 2 h cold challenge at 16°C, and then increased slowly. A preliminary association analysis showed a significant (P < 0.001) association between the SNP6 in the CRT gene and the mortality after cold challenge at 16°C. Our results suggest that the CRT gene is associated with cold tolerance of Asian seabass and further investigation will be necessary to illustrate the underlying mechanisms.
In Western countries, a history of major depression (MD) is associated with reports of received parenting that is low in warmth and caring and high in control and authoritarianism. Does a similar pattern exist in women in China?
Received parenting was assessed by a shortened version of the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI) in two groups of Han Chinese women: 1970 clinically ascertained cases with recurrent MD and 2597 matched controls. MD was assessed at personal interview.
Factor analysis of the PBI revealed three factors for both mothers and fathers: warmth, protectiveness, and authoritarianism. Lower warmth and protectiveness and higher authoritarianism from both mother and father were significantly associated with risk for recurrent MD. Parental warmth was positively correlated with parental protectiveness and negatively correlated with parental authoritarianism. When examined together, paternal warmth was more strongly associated with lowered risk for MD than maternal warmth. Furthermore, paternal protectiveness was negatively and maternal protectiveness positively associated with risk for MD.
Although the structure of received parenting is very similar in China and Western countries, the association with MD is not. High parental protectiveness is generally pathogenic in Western countries but protective in China, especially when received from the father. Our results suggest that cultural factors impact on patterns of parenting and their association with MD.
The elastic and thermodynamic properties of
fcc-6LiF under high temperatures and pressures are investigated using the
ab initio method and quasi-harmonic Debye model. The lattice constant of 6LiF at
ground state is a little larger than that of LiF. When pressure is less than
10 GPa, crystal lattice is compressed easily at low temperature, and when
P> 10 GPa, lattice can be compressed easily at high temperature. C11
increases with pressure and reduces with temperature sensitively. C12
and C44 raise or decrease just a little with increasing pressure and
temperature. Heat capacity of different pressure increases with temperature
and closes to the Dulong-Petit limit at higher temperatures. Debye
temperature decreases with temperature, and increases with pressure.
Furthermore, under lower pressure, thermal expansion coefficient raise
rapidly with temperature, and the increasing trend will get slow at higher
The benzodiazepine Ro 11-3128 (methyl-clonazepam) presents several similarities with praziquantel with regard to its anti-schistosomal mode of action, since both drugs cause spastic paralysis, calcium influx and tegumental disruption in the parasites. In order to know whether the two compounds share the same binding sites in the schistosomes, we performed in vivo and in vitro competition experiments. We took advantage of the fact that Ro 11-3128 is active against immature Schistosoma mansoni (whereas praziquantel is inactive), and praziquantel is active against S. japonicum (which is insensitive to Ro 11-3128). An excess of praziquantel did not inhibit the activity of Ro 11-3128 against immature S. mansoni and an excess of Ro 11-3128 did not inhibit the activity of praziquantel against S. japonicum, suggesting that the schistosome binding sites of the two drugs are different. On the other hand, cytochalasin D, an agent known to perturb – among other things – calcium channel function, was capable of inhibiting the schistosomicidal activity of both praziquantel and Ro 11-3128, thus adding another element of similarity between the two anti-schistosomal agents. A similar, albeit partial, inhibition of the schistosomicidal activity of the two drugs was exerted by some of the classical calcium channel blockers. Taken together, these results suggest that praziquantel and Ro 11-3128, although binding to different schistosome receptor sites, may use the same basic anti-schistosomal effector mechanisms.
Fatty acid (FA) translocase (FAT)/CD36 is a key protein involved in regulating the uptake of FA across the plasma membrane in heart and skeletal muscle. A null mutation of FAT/CD36 reduces FA uptake rates and metabolism, while its overexpression increases FA uptake rates and metabolism. FA uptake into the myocyte may be regulated (a) by altering the expression of FAT/CD36, thereby increasing the plasmalemmal content of this protein (i.e. streptozotocin-induced diabetes, chronic muscle stimulation), or (b) by relocating this protein to the plasma membrane, without altering its expression (i.e. obese Zucker rats). By repressing FAT/CD36 expression, and thereby lowering the plasmalemmal FAT/CD36 (i.e. leptin-treated animals), the rate of FA transport is reduced. Within minutes of beginning muscle contraction or being exposed to insulin FA transport is increased. This increase is a result of the contraction- and insulin-induced translocation of FAT/CD36 from an intracellular depot to the cell surface. Neither PPARα nor PPARγ activation alter FAT/CD36 expression in muscle, despite the fact that PPARα activation increases FAT/CD36 by 80% in liver. A novel observation is that FAT/CD36 also appears to be involved in mitochondrial FA oxidation, as this protein is located on the mitochondrial membrane and seems to be required to participate in moving FA across the mitochondrial membrane. Clearly, FAT/CD36 has an important role in FA homeostasis in skeletal muscle and the heart.