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N6-Methyladenosine (m6A) regulates oocyte-to-embryo transition and the reprogramming of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells. However, the role of m6A methylation in porcine early embryonic development and its reprogramming characteristics in somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos are yet to be known. Here, we showed that m6A methylation was essential for normal early embryonic development and its aberrant reprogramming in SCNT embryos. We identified a persistent occurrence of m6A methylation in embryos between 1-cell to blastocyst stages and m6A levels abruptly increased during the morula-to-blastocyst transition. Cycloleucine (methylation inhibitor, 20 mM) treatment efficiently reduced m6A levels, significantly decreased the rates of 4-cell embryos and blastocysts, and disrupted normal lineage allocation. Moreover, cycloleucine treatment also led to higher levels in both apoptosis and autophagy in blastocysts. Furthermore, m6A levels in SCNT embryos at the 4-cell and 8-cell stages were significantly lower than that in parthenogenetic activation (PA) embryos, suggesting an abnormal reprogramming of m6A methylation in SCNT embryos. Correspondingly, expression levels of m6A writers (METTL3 and METTL14) and eraser (FTO) were apparently higher in SCNT 8-cell embryos compared with their PA counterparts. Taken together, these results indicated that aberrant nuclear transfer-mediated reprogramming of m6A methylation was involved in regulating porcine early embryonic development.
Kawasaki disease is an acute systemic vascular disease, generally self-limited and typically affecting children <5 years old, which leads to coronary artery aneurysms in about 25% of untreated cases. Cardiovascular involvement is characterised by transient pancarditis, in acute phase, while coronary illness, ranging from mild dilation to giant CAAs occurs late, rarely before the 10th day since fever onset. Here, we describe a peculiar case of KD, which occurred in a 4-month-old infant and presented with exudate cardiac tamponade and early giant aneurism of both the proximal right coronary artery) and the left circumflex coronary artery, in acute phase of the disease.
Self-amplified spontaneous emission (SASE) free electron laser (FEL) devices have disclosed an unexpected interplay between the laser intensity growth and regions of the electron bunch of the order of the coherence length. They are usually identified with the bunch slice and contribute to the laser dynamics with their own characteristics. The dynamical effects inducing geometrical and phase space misalignment of bunch slice in X-ray operating FELs can be traced back to a plethora of phenomena, both in the Linac accelerating section or inside the beam transport optic magnet. They are responsible for spoiling of the beam projected qualities and, if not corrected properly, induce an increase of the saturation length and a decreasing of the output power. We discuss the inclusion of these effects in models employing scaling formulae.
Relative indentation is the input signal estimating contact force model parameters, so the signal is required to have a higher precision to ensure the accuracy of the estimated contact force model parameters. However, in the impact experiment, the vibration displacements in multiple directions are often coupled in the relative indentation, resulting in a large error of the measured relative indentation. This paper presents an experimental correction method for the relative indentation. Firstly, the relative indentation is decoupled by the established model of the spatial position of the hammerhead relative to the sample to reduce the errors caused by the rotation of the pendulum boom and the vibration of the base. A pendulum impact test device is established to verify the correction method of relative indentation. The results show that the maximum relative error between the contact force estimated by using the corrected relative indentation as the input signal and the measured contact force is less than 3%. The estimated contact force is in good agreement with the measured value, and the correlation coefficient is above 0.92. It shows that the experimental correction of the relative indentation has achieved good results, which verifies the accuracy of the correction method.
From deep ocean trenches and the geographical poles to outer space, organisms can be found living in remarkably extreme conditions. This book provides a captivating account of these systems and their extraordinary inhabitants, 'extremophiles'. A diverse, multidisciplinary group of experts discuss responses and adaptations to change; biodiversity, bioenergetic processes, and biotic and abiotic interactions; polar environments; and life and habitability, including searching for biosignatures in the extraterrestrial environment. The editors emphasize that understanding these systems is important for increasing our knowledge and utilizing their potential, but this remains an understudied area. Given the threat to these environments and their biota caused by climate change and human impact, this timely book also addresses the urgency to document these systems. It will help graduate students and researchers in conservation, marine biology, evolutionary biology, environmental change and astrobiology better understand how life exists in these environments and their susceptibility or resilience to change.
Apis mellifera is infected by more than 24 virus species worldwide, mainly positive-sense, single-stranded RNA viruses of the Dicistroviridae and Iflaviridae families. Among the viruses that infect honey bees, Deformed wing virus is the most prevalent and is present as three master variants DWV-A, B, and C. Given that the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor vectors these virus variants, recombination events between them are expected, and variants and their recombinants can co-exist in mites and honeybees at the same time. In this study, we detect, through RT-qPCR, the presence of DWV-A and B in the same samples of adult bees from colonies of Argentina. Total RNA was extracted from pools of ten adult bees from 45 apiaries distributed across the main beekeeping Provinces of Argentina (Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Córdoba, Santiago del Estero, Río Negro, and Mendoza); then RT-qPCR reactions were performed to detect DWV-A and B, with specific primer pairs. After the amplifications, PCR products (204 and 660 bp amplicons for DWV-B, and ~250 bp for DWV-A) were purified and sequenced to verify that they corresponded to reported sequences, analyzing them using the Blast software. Of the 45 samples analyzed by RT-qPCR, over 90% were infected with DWV-A and 47% were also positive for DWV-B, where it was found in high prevalence specifically in colonies of A. mellifera of the Buenos Aires Province. Future studies will determine the impact of this type of the virus and its ability to recombine with the other DWV types in the apiaries of our country.
Our study aims to assess the prevalence of behavioural addictions in an adolescent populations, evaluating the effects of gender and age, and to assess the correlations and associations between different behavioural addictions.
A population of 2853 students (1142 F and 1711 M, mean age 16.7± 1.9) was assessed in order to evaluate the prevalence of behavioural dependences such as Pathological Gambling (PG), Compulsive Buying (CB), Exercise Addiction (EA), Internet Addiction (IA), and Work Addiction (WA). The South Oaks Gambling Screen-Revised Adolescent, the Compulsive Buying Scale, the Exercise Addiction Inventory, the Internet Addiction Test, and the Work Addiction Risk Test, were compiled anonymously by the students.
Overall prevalence was 7.0% for PG, 11.3% for CB, 1.2% for IA, 7.6% for WA, 8.5% for EA. PG, and EA were more common among boys, while gender had no effect on the other conditions. CB was more common among younger (< 18 years old) students. Each of these conditions showed a strong association with others, and the scores of all of these scales were correlated.
In line with previous studies our results indicate that behavioural addictions are quite common among adolescents. The strong association between behavioural addictions stresses the concept that treatment for one of these conditions should involve assessment and treatment for the others.
Topiramate (up to 300 mg per day) is more efficacious than placebo as an adjunct to standardised medication compliance management in treatment of alcohol dependence. However, adverse events can limit its use in different clinical situation. In this randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled trial we aimed to investigate the efficacy of low-dosage topiramate on alcohol drinking indices. Craving and psychiatric symptoms improvements were the secondary endpoints.
Forty alcohol dependent subjects where detoxified and subsequently randomised into two groups, respectively receiving topiramate (100mg/die) or Placebo. The level of craving for alcohol was evaluated by a 10-cm Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and the Italian -version of the Obsessive and Compulsive Drinking Scale (OCDS). Psychiatric symptomatology was evaluated by the Symptom Check List 90 Revised (SCL-90 R).
The improvement of alcohol drinking indices and craving scores was higher in the topiramate group than placebo. The survival function showed that patients treated with topiramate remained abstinent from any alcohol amount for a longer time with respect to placebo (Z= -2.197; P< 0.05). The SCL-90-R general index of “Positive Symptom Total” significantly reduced in the topiramate group (F= 3.41, p< 0.05). The number of patients dropped-out from the study for adverse events was not different between groups.
To our knowledge, this is the first randomised, parallel group trial to evaluate the efficacy of topiramate at low dosage for alcohol dependence. The use of topiramate at low dosage could increase the number of subjects in treatment, given the reduced possibility of adverse events.
The purpose of this study is to contribute to the knowledge of the clinical characteristics of the bipolar spectrum by examining factors associated to course of symptoms in BP patients. We evaluated differences between acutely depressed versus subthreshold mixed patients.
90 depressed patients (Group 1, HDRS: 18.2±4.6, YMRS: 1.4±2.9) and 41 patients presenting a mixed subthreshold symptomathology (Group 2, HDRS: 9.1±3.2, YMRS: 9.6±6.4) were included in the study. All patients underwent structured diagnostic interviews for axis I and axis II disorders (SCID-I, SCID-II) and have been submitted to psychometric assessment with Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS), Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS), Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS), Global Assessment Scale (GAS), Social Adjustment Self-reported Scale (SASS), Quality of Life Scale (QoL), at baseline and repeated follow-up (1, 3, 6, 12 months). Personality dimensions were evaluated by Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI-R).
The most important result is the slight increase in depressive symptoms in subthreshold mixed patients after 3 months of treatment. These patients were more likely diagnosed as BP-I, were non-SUD patients and/or non-comorbid for axis II personality disorders and had a shorter duration of current episode prior intake. Measures of social and functional adjustment were not different in the two groups, though a slight trend for depressed patients to report a poorer quality of life. No difference in personality traits were observed among the two samples.
Our study confirms the importance of considering subthreshold symptoms in the evaluation and treatment of patients with Bipolar Disorder.
Behavioural addictions (BAs) can be understood as disorders characterized by repetitive occurrence of impulsive and uncontrolled behaviours. Very few studies have investigated their association with mood disorders. The present study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of the main behavioural addictions in a sample of bipolar outpatients in euthymic phase or stabilised by medications and to investigate the role of impulsivity and temperamental and character dimensions.
One-hundred-fifty-eight Bipolar Disorder (BD) (DSM-IV) outpatients were assessed with tests designed to screen the main behavioural addictions: pathological gambling (SOGS), compulsive shopping (CBS), sexual (SAST), internet (IAD), work (WART) and physical exercise (EAI) addictions. TCI-R and BIS-11 were administered to investigate impulsivity and personality dimensions mainly associated with BAs. The clinical sample has been compared with 200 matched healthy control subjects.
In bipolar patients, 33% presented at least one BA respect to the 13% of controls. Significantly higher scores at the scales for pathological gambling (p< .001), compulsive buying (p< .05), sexual (p< .001) and work addictions (p< .05) have been found. Self-Directness (p=.007) and Cooperativeness (p=.014) scores were significantly lower while impulsivity level was significantly higher (p=.007) in bipolar patients with BA than those without BA.
To our knowledge, this is the first study investigating the prevalence of behavioural addictions in BD showing a significant association of these disorders. BAs are more frequent in bipolar patients than in healthy controls and are related to higher impulsivity levels and character immaturity.
The aim of the present study was to thoroughly investigate the existing comorbidity between Axis II and Bipolar Disorder (BD) pointing out as well the meaningful existing comorbidity between Personality Disorders and Cyclothymia.
Materials and methods
A study group composed of 70 patients affected by Bipolar Disorder (Type I, Type II, and Cyclothymia) was enrolled at the Bipolar Disorders Unit of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Rome. Axis I diagnosis was made by SCID-I; Axis II diagnosis was made by SCID-II.
In a sample of 70 patients in euthymic phase, 39 patients (55.7%) showed comorbidity with Axis II Disorders. Clusters were represented as follows: 2 patients (5.1%) fell within cluster A; 24 patients (61.5%) within cluster B; 9 patients (23%) within cluster C; and 4 patients (10.4%) turned out to be affected by NAS Personality Disorders. On the whole 39 patients - 24 patients (61.5%) affected by BD I, 6 patients (15.3%) affected by BD II, and 9 patients (23.0%) affected by Cyclothymia were found to have comorbidity with Axis II Disorders. Besides, in our sample there was a significant comorbidity between Cyclothymia and Personality Disorders.
More than half of patients (55.7%) showed comorbidity with Axis II Disorders. Moreover most of patients turned out to be affected by Personality Disorders falling within cluster B while 23% of Cyclothymic patients were found to have comorbidity with Axis II Disorders.
The aim of our study was to evaluate the relationships between alexithymia and suicidal ideation in a sample of adult outpatients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
A sample of 90 adult outpatients with DSM-IV diagnosis of OCD were tested with tested with the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale, Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), Scale for Suicide Ideation (SSI) and Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS).
35 subjects were categorized as alexithymics and showed earlier onset, longer duration of illness and more likelihood to have a chronic course than nonalexithymics; they also scored higher on the MADRS and SSI. Results of a linear regression showed that chronic OCD course together with Difficulty in Identifying Feelings dimension of TAS-20 and higher MADRS scores were significantly associated with higher scores on the SSI.
Suicidal ideation is frequent among adult outpatients with OCD and is strongly related to the presence of alexithymia and depressive symptoms. Implications are discussed.
To evaluate, in a sample of pathological gamblers, the effects of personality traits and psychiatric comorbidity on the severity of this condition.
40 patients were evaluated with the following instruments: EuropASI, modified for pathological gambling; MINI; TCI, and BIS-11. Univariate linear regression analyses were conducted to evaluate the relationships between different scales.
Age of onset was influenced by Novelty Seeking and NS-1 subscale, with higher scores related to earlier onset, Harm Avoidance 2 subscale, with higher scores related to a later onset; the presence of a lifetime panic disorder was related with a later onset; A positive correlation was found between age of onset of pathological gambling and both cigarette and cannabis smoking. Higher NS1 scores were related to a higher amount of money spent during the last month, while higher scores on the HA2 and Cooperativeness 5 subscales were related to a lesser number of days in which the patient had gambled during the last month. Moreover, higher scores in Gambling severity scores are related with the presence of a comorbid alcohol or substance abuse or dependence, dysthymia, post traumatic stress disorder, bipolar II mood disorder, and with higher BIS-11 Motor Impulsiveness, Non-planned Impulsiveness and total scores.
Personality traits and psychiatric comorbidity influence the age of onset of gambling, the severity of gambling and the functional and economic impact of the disease on the patient’s life. An evaluation of these aspects is needed to determine treatment options with a greater understanding of the phenomenon.
Pregabalin is a new anxiolytic that acts as a presynaptic inhibitor of the release of excessive levels of excitatory neurotransmitters. To the best of our knowledge pregabalin has not been investigated in alcohol dependence, a disorder frequently characterized by high levels of anxiety, panic attacks, and unsteadiness.
Twenty detoxified alcohol dependent subjects meeting clinical criteria for Alcohol Dependence were consecutively recruited, after a short detoxification period, and then orally treated with flexible doses of pregabalin (mean dosage = 260.5 mg/day) for 6 monthss. The level of craving for alcohol was evaluated through a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and the Obsessive-Compulsive Drinking Scale (OCDS). Psychiatric symptomatology was evaluated through the Symptom Check List 90 Revised (SCL-90 R). Effectiveness measures included the Clinical Global Impressions scale (CGI) and the Quality of Life Index (QOL).
eleven patients (55%) maintained an alcohol free condition for all the study period. Subjects experienced a reduction of craving in both OCDS (F=13.2; p<.001) and VAS (F=11.2; p<.001), a decrease of the SCL-90 subscore of ostility-aggression (F=8.1; p<.05). At the end of the study improvements were evidenced on both CGI (p<.001) and QOL (p<.001).
the data of this pilot clinical study, suggest a possible role for this drug in the treatment of individuals with alcohol problems. If it could be demonstrated in controlled randomised trials that pregabalin is efficacious in decreasing alcohol use, lessening craving, and attenuating psychopathological symptom severity, we will have gained a powerful agent for the treatment of alcohol dependent subjects.