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Due to the lack of research between the inner layers in the structure of colonic mucous and the metabolism of fatty acid in the constipation model, we aim to determine the changes in the mucous phenotype of the colonic glycocalyx and the microbial community structure following treatment with Rhubarb extract in our research. The constipation and treatment models are generated using adult male C57BL/6N mice. We perform light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to detect a Muc2-rich inner mucus layer attached to mice colon under different conditions. In addition, 16S rDNA sequencing is performed to examine the intestinal flora. According to TEM images, we demonstrate that Rhubarb can promote mucin secretion and find direct evidence of dendritic structure-linked mucus structures with its assembly into a lamellar network in a pore size distribution in the isolated colon section. Moreover, the diversity of intestinal flora has noticeable changes in constipated mice. The present study characterizes a dendritic structure and persistent cross-links have significant changes accompanied by the alteration of intestinal flora in feces in models of constipation and pretreatment with Rhubarb extract.
For individual cultures, findings on regulating embryo density by changing the microdrop volume are contradictory. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between embryo density and the developmental outcome of day 3 embryos after adjusting covariates. In total, 1196 embryos from 206 couples who had undergone in vitro fertilization treatment were analyzed retrospectively. Three embryo densities were used routinely, i.e. one embryo in a drop (30 μl/embryo), two embryos in a drop (15 μl/embryo) and three embryos in a drop (10 μl/embryo). Embryo quality on day 3 was evaluated, both the cell number of day 3 embryos and the proportion of successful implantations served as endpoints. Maternal age, paternal age, antral follicles and level of anti-Müllerian hormone, type of infertility, controlled ovarian stimulation protocol, length of stimulation, number of retrieved oocytes, number of zygotes (two pronuclei) and insemination type were covariates and adjusted. After adjusting fully for all covariates, the cell number of day 3 embryos was significantly increased by 0.40 (95% CI 0.00, 0.79; P = 0.048) and 0.78 (95% CI 0.02, 1.54; P = 0.044) in the 15 μl/embryo and 10 μl/embryo group separately, compared with the 30 μl/embryo group. The proportions of implanted embryos were 42.1%, 48.7% and 0.0% in the 30 μl/embryo, 15 μl/embryo and 10 μl/embryo groups respectively. There was no statistical significance (P = 0.22) between the 30 μl/embryo group and the 15 μl/embryo group. After adjusting for confounders that were significant in univariate analysis, embryo density was still not associated with day 3 embryo implantation potential (P > 0.05). In a 30-μl microdrop, culturing embryos with an embryo density of both 15 and 10 μl/embryo increased the cell number of day 3 embryos, which did not benefit embryo implanting potential, compared with individual culture of 30 μl/embryo.
Studies have indicated that psychological stress impairs human fertility and that various stressors can induce apoptosis of testicular cells. However, the mechanisms by which psychological stress on males reduces semen quality and stressors induce apoptosis in testicular cells are largely unclear. Using a psychological (restraint) stress mouse model, we tested whether male psychological stress triggers apoptosis of spermatozoa and spermatogenic cells through activating tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α signalling. Wild-type or TNF-α−/− male mice were restrained for 48 h before examination for apoptosis and expression of TNF-α and TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1) in spermatozoa, epididymis, seminiferous tubules and spermatogenic cells. The results showed that male restraint significantly decreased fertilization rate and mitochondrial membrane potential, while increasing levels of malondialdehyde, active caspase-3, TNF-α and TNFR1 in spermatozoa. Male restraint also increased apoptosis and expression of TNF-α and TNFR1 in caudae epididymides, seminiferous tubules and spermatogenic cells. Sperm quality was also significantly impaired when spermatozoa were recovered 35 days after male restraint. The restraint-induced damage to spermatozoa, epididymis and seminiferous tubules was significantly ameliorated in TNF-α−/− mice. Furthermore, incubation with soluble TNF-α significantly reduced sperm motility and fertilizing potential. Taken together, the results demonstrated that male psychological stress induces apoptosis in spermatozoa and spermatogenic cells through activating the TNF-α system and that the stress-induced apoptosis in spermatogenic cells can be translated into impaired quality in future spermatozoa.
The plerocercoid (sparganum) of Spirometra erinaceieuropaei is the main aetiological agent of human sparganosis. To improve the current knowledge on S. erinaceieuropaei evolution, we performed multi-locus microsatellite typing of sparganum isolates from China for the first time. All available expressed sequence tag (EST) sequences for the Spirometra were downloaded from the GenBank. The identification and localization of microsatellites in ESTs was accomplished by MISA. Based on the selected microsatellites, the genetic structure of 64 sparganum isolates collected from 11 geographical locations in southwest China were investigated through principal component analysis, STRUCTURE analysis and neighbour-joining clustering. A total of 522 non-redundant ESTs containing 915 simple sequence repeats were identified from 12 481 ESTs screened. Five primer pairs were finally selected. Using these loci, a total of 12 alleles were detected in 64 sparganum isolates. Little variability was observed within each of geographical population, especially among isolates derived from Kunming of Yunnan (YN-KM) province. Both STRUCTURE analysis and the clustering analysis supported that two genotypes existed among the sparganum isolates from southwest China. In conclusion, five microsatellite markers were successfully developed, and sparganum population was observed to harbour low genetic variation, further investigation with deeper sampling was needed to elucidate the population structure.
To assess correlations between cruciferous vegetable intake and urinary isothiocyanate (ITC) level, in addition to glutathione S-transferase (GST) genotypes and other individual factors.
The study included cohort participants whose urinary ITC levels had been previously ascertained. Urinary ITC was assessed using HPLC. Usual dietary intake of cruciferous vegetables was assessed using a validated FFQ and total dietary ITC intake was calculated. Recent cruciferous vegetable intake was determined. GST genotypes were assessed using duplex real-time quantitative PCR assays. Spearman correlations were calculated between the covariates and urinary ITC levels and linear regression analyses were used to calculate the mean urinary ITC excretion according to GST genotype.
Urban city in China.
The study included 3589 women and 1015 men from the Shanghai Women’s and Men’s Health Studies.
Median urinary ITC level was 1·61 nmol/mg creatinine. Self-reported usual cruciferous vegetable intake was weakly correlated with urinary ITC level (rs=0·1149; P<0·0001), while self-reported recent intake was more strongly correlated with urinary ITC (rs=0·2591; P<0·0001). Overall, the GST genotypes were not associated with urinary ITC level, but significant differences according to genotype were observed among current smokers and participants who provided an afternoon urine sample. Other factors, including previous gastrectomy or gastritis, were also related to urinary ITC level.
The study suggests that urinary secretion of ITC may provide additional information on cruciferous vegetable intake and that GST genotypes are related to urinary ITC level only in some subgroups.
Fusion of nucleoli or nucleolus precursor bodies (NPBs) has been observed during somatic cell interphase and pronuclear development of human zygotes; however, the underlying mechanism is unknown. NPB fusion and its regulation by mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and maturation-promoting factor (MPF) were studied in activated mouse oocytes. Small NPBs appeared about 4 h after ethanol activation, and took about 1.5 h to fuse into a large NPB, which persisted for about 10 h before disappearance. Analysis of the temporal windows for kinase action indicated that a high MAPK activity during the first 2 h and a low MPF activity during the first 3–4 h after activation were essential for subsequent NPB fusion. A preactivation decline in MAPK activity was associated with decreased NPB fusion following activation of aged oocytes. While MAPK inactivation by regulator U0126 prevented NPB fusion in oocytes activated by ethanol or 5 min Sr2+ treatments, it had no effect on oocytes fertilized or activated by 6 h Sr2+ treatment. In most cases, while rates of pronuclear formation did not differ, rates of NPB fusion differed significantly between different treatments. Our results suggest that: (i) the MAPK and MPF activities at the initial stage of activation regulate NPB fusion after pronuclear formation; (ii) pronuclear assembly and NPB fusion are two separable events that might be controlled by different mechanisms; and (iii) high MAPK activity and low MPF activity at the initial stage of activation is essential for NPB fusion when only one calcium rise is induced by ethanol, while inhibition of MAPK activity does not affect NPB fusion when the repetitive intracellular Ca2+ rises are induced after fertilization.
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