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Intestinal atresia (IA), a common cause of neonatal intestinal obstruction, is a developmental defect, which disrupts the luminal continuity of the intestine. Here, we investigated (i) the process of lumen formation in human embryos; and (ii) how a defective lumen formation led to IA. We performed histological and histochemical study on 6–10 gestation week human embryos and on IA septal regions. To investigate the topology of embryonic intestine development, we conducted 3D reconstruction. We showed that a 6–7th gestation week embryonic gut has no lumen, but filled with mesenchyme cells and vacuoles of a monolayer of epithelial cells. A narrow gut lumen was formed by gestation week-9, the gut was filled with numerous vacuoles of different sizes, some vacuoles were merging with the developing embryonic gut wall. At gestation week-10, a prominent lumen was developed, only few vacuoles were present and were merging with the intestine wall. At IA septal regions, vacuoles were located in the submucous layer, covered by a single layer of epithelium without glandular structure, and surrounded with fibrous tissue. The mucosal epithelium was developed with lamina propria and basement membrane, but the submucosa and the longitudinal smooth muscle layers were not properly developed. Hence, the vacuoles in IA septum could represent a remnant of vacuoles of embryonic gut. In conclusion, the fusion of vacuoles with the developing intestine wall associates with the disappearance of vacuoles and gut lumen formation in human embryos, and perturbation of these developmental events could lead to IA.
Dilated cardiomyopathy is characterised by dilatation and impaired contraction of the left ventricle or both ventricles, which is the most common childhood cardiomyopathy. In recent years, it has been recognised that many sorts of genetic mutations may contribute to dilated cardiomyopathy. We now report a rare association of dilated cardiomyopathy with site mutation of BMPR2 gene. We did not find such an association reported in the medical literature.
Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato has complex defence mechanisms that protect it from the anti-parasitic immune response for long periods. Echinococcus granulosus cyst fluid (EgCF) is involved in the immune escape. Nevertheless, whether and how EgCF modulates the inflammatory response in macrophages remains poorly understood. Here, real-time polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay revealed that EgCF could markedly attenuate the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced production of pro-inflammatory factors including tumour necrosis factor-α, interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-6 but increase the expression of IL-10 at mRNA and protein levels in mouse peritoneal macrophages and RAW 264.7 cells. Mechanically, western blotting and immunofluorescence assay showed that EgCF abolished the activation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB p65, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and ERK1/2 signalling pathways by LPS stimulation in mouse macrophages. EgCF's anti-inflammatory role was at least partly contributed by promoting proteasomal degradation of the critical adaptor TRAF6. Moreover, the EgCF-promoted anti-inflammatory response and TRAF6 proteasomal degradation were conserved in human THP-1 macrophages. These findings collectively reveal a novel mechanism by which EgCF suppresses inflammatory responses by inhibiting TRAF6 and the downstream activation of NF-κB and MAPK signalling in both human and mouse macrophages, providing new insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying the E. granulosus-induced immune evasion.
The aim of this study was to assess the current status of disease-related knowledge and to analyze the relationship among the general condition, illness perception, and psychological status of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
A hospital-based cross-sectional study was conducted on 118 patients using convenience sampling. The general questionnaire, disease-related knowledge questionnaire of COVID-19, Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ), and Profile of Mood States (POMS) were used to measure the current status of participants.
The overall average score of the disease-related knowledge of patients with COVID-19 was (79.19 ± 14.25), the self-care situation was positively correlated with knowledge of prevention and control (r = 0.265; P = 0.004) and total score of disease-related knowledge (r = 0.206; P = 0.025); the degree of anxiety was negatively correlated with the knowledge of diagnosis and treatment (r = −0.182; P = 0.049). The score of disease-related knowledge was negatively correlated with negative cognition (volatility, consequences, emotional statements) and negative emotions (tension, fatigue, depression) (P < 0.05); positively correlated with positive cognition (disease coherence) and positive emotion (self-esteem) (P < 0.05).
It was recommended that we should pay more attention to the elderly and low-income groups, and increase the knowledge about diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 and self-care in the future health education for patients.
To investigate the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in the hard-hit areas 10 years after the Wenchuan earthquake, and explore the risk factors of long-term PTSD among Wenchuan earthquake survivors.
A matched case–control study was conducted. The involving participants were from the hard-hit areas 10 years after the Wenchuan earthquake. The collected information includes demographic characteristics, socioeconomic status, behaviour habits, earthquake exposure, perceived social support, physical health and mental health. Mental health status was measured using the PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version (PCL-C). Respondents with PCL-C score ⩾38 were classified as cases, and then the cases and controls were matched based on age (±3 years) and community location according to a ratio of 1:3.
We obtained 86 cases and 258 controls. After controlling for confounding factors, it was found that lower income (OR 2.42; 95% CI 1.16–5.03), chronic diseases (OR 3.00; 95% CI 1.31–6.88) and death of immediate families in the earthquake (OR 7.30; 95% CI 2.36–22.57) were significantly associated with long-term PTSD symptoms.
Even 10 years after the Wenchuan earthquake, the survivors in the hard-hit areas still suffered from severe mental trauma. Low income, chronic diseases and death of immediate families in the earthquakes are significantly associated with long-term PTSD symptoms. Interventions by local governments and health institutions to address these risk factors should be undertaken to promote the health of survivors.
Laboratory experiments are conducted to investigate the mechanism controlling the formation of stable and unstable acoustic fountains at the free surface of a quiescent body of water. Fountains are induced by focused ultrasonic, a new modality that allows for better spatiotemporal control of water flow. Particle image velocimetry was used to characterize the induced flow field in the vicinity of the ultrasonic focal spot. We used two types of ultrasonic transducers with distinct wave frequencies. We examined three fountain formation regimes by varying the pressure level of the transducers, namely weak, intermediate (stable) and highly forced fountains (explosive). Between different regimes, the fountain height underwent a step-change in response to the increase in acoustic pressure. A force estimation obtained from the flow field shows that the magnitude of axial momentum flux is orders of magnitude lower than that of gravity and surface tension, indicating that the dominant driving force for the fountain generation is the acoustic radiation force (Nightingale et al., Ultrasound Med. Biol., vol. 28, 2002, pp. 227–235). We propose a simple model to estimate the shape of a stable fountain; it accounts for the applied acoustic pressure, gravity, surface tension and axial momentum. The model neglects viscous force, which precludes capturing the intermediate fountain surface curvature. However, the model successfully predicts the geometry of the weak and intermediate fountains.
According to the ‘farming/dispersal’ hypothesis, the Early and Mid-Holocene spread of Neolithic material culture in East Asia would have arisen from dispersals of established farming populations. The authors test this hypothesis by considering the Beixin Culture that appeared in the south-west Haidai region of northern China c. 5000 BC, before spreading north and east to the coast over the subsequent millennium. While this culture had architecture, elaborate pottery and other forms of Neolithic material culture, analysis of archaeobotanical evidence from Guanqiaocunnan (4340–3970 BC) suggests an economic base of hunting, gathering and cultivating, rather than a reliance on farming.
Few studies have suggested that long-term adherence to low-carbohydrate diets (LCD) may affect maternal glucose metabolism in Western countries. We aimed to investigate the association between LCD during pregnancy and glucose metabolism in a Chinese population. A total of 1018 women in mid-pregnancy were recruited in 2017–2018. Participants underwent a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Daily dietary intakes over the past month were accessed using a validated FFQ. The overall, animal and vegetable LCD scores which represent adherence to different low-carbohydrate dietary patterns were calculated. Mixed linear regression and generalised linear mixed regression were conducted to evaluate the associations between LCD scores and maternal glucose metabolism. Of the 1018 subjects, 194 (19·1 %) were diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). The overall LCD score (β: 0·024, se 0·008, PFDR = 0·02) and animal LCD score (β: 0·023, se 0·008, PFDR = 0·02) were positively associated with OGTT 1-h glucose. No significant associations were found between the three different LCD scores with fasting plasma glucose, OGTT 2-h glucose, or insulin resistance, respectively. Compared with the lowest quartile, the crude OR of GDM for the highest quartile were 1·84 (95 % CI 1·14, 2·95) for overall LCD score (Pfor trend = 0·02) and 1·56 (95 % CI 1·00, 2·45) for animal LCD score (Pfor trend = 0·02). However, these associations became non-significant after adjustment for covariates. In conclusion, a low-carbohydrate dietary pattern with high animal protein and fat is associated with higher postprandial 1-h glucose levels in Chinese pregnant women.
The time dispersion effect affects the accuracy of solar time difference of arrival (TDOA) navigation. In this celestial autonomous navigation, Mars's moons are reflecting celestial bodies, and their shape affects the TDOA dispersion model. In the modelling process of traditional methods, the moons of Mars (Phobos and Deimos) are regarded as points, which causes the model to be inaccurate. In order to solve these problems, we simplified the Mars's moons into ellipsoids or solid diamonds, and then established a TDOA model with the nonspherical Mars's moons as reflecting celestial bodies through differential geometry and geometric optics. Finally, we analysed the time dispersion caused by the Mars's moons in theory. Theoretical analysis and experiments show that the point model error is 5·66 km, and the 3D model error is within 70 m. Thus, the 3D TDOA model established in this paper is meaningful. In addition, the Sun–Mars-moons–spacecraft angle, solar flare, three-axis length, and attitude of the Mars's moons have a great effect on the dispersion profile, while the Mars's moons-to-spacecraft distance has a small effect.
Previous nutritional studies have shown that insulin regulation is different between DT and A strains of gibel carp. As leptin plays a pivotal role in the effects of insulin, we hypothesised that leptin regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism would differ between the two strains. To test our hypothesis, recombinant human leptin was injected into two strains. The results showed that leptin activated the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)–protein kinase B (AKT), AMP-activated protein kinase–acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase and Janus kinase 2 (JAK2)–signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) signalling pathways in both strains. Hypoglycaemia induced by leptin might be due to higher glucose uptake by the liver and muscles together with enhanced glycolytic potential and reduced gluconeogenic potential. Decreased lipogenesis and up-regulated fatty acid oxidation were induced by leptin. In terms of genotype, the PI3K–AKT signalling pathway was more strongly activated by leptin in the muscle tissue of the A strain, as reflected by the heightened phosphorylation of AKT. Furthermore, glycogen content, glycolytic enzyme activity and gluconeogenic capability were higher in the A strain than the DT strain. Strain A had higher levels of fatty acid synthesis and lipolytic capacity in the liver than the DT strain, but the opposite was true in white muscle. Regarding leptin–genotype interactions, the DT strain displayed stronger regulation of glucose metabolism in the liver by leptin as compared with the A strain. Moreover, a more active JAK2–STAT signalling pathway accompanied by enhanced inhibition of fatty acid synthesis by leptin was observed in the DT strain. Overall, the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism by leptin differed between the two strains, as expected.
Tobacco smoking remains one of the leading causes of preventable illness and death and is heritable with complex underpinnings. Converging evidence suggests a contribution of the polygenic risk for smoking to the use of tobacco and other substances. Yet, the underlying brain mechanisms between the genetic risk and tobacco smoking remain poorly understood.
Genomic, neuroimaging, and self-report data were acquired from a large cohort of adolescents from the IMAGEN study (a European multicenter study). Polygenic risk scores (PGRS) for smoking were calculated based on a genome-wide association study meta-analysis conducted by the Tobacco and Genetics Consortium. We examined the interrelationships among the genetic risk for smoking initiation, brain structure, and the number of occasions of tobacco use.
A higher smoking PGRS was significantly associated with both an increased number of occasions of tobacco use and smaller cortical volume of the right orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). Furthermore, reduced cortical volume within this cluster correlated with greater tobacco use. A subsequent path analysis suggested that the cortical volume within this cluster partially mediated the association between the genetic risk for smoking and the number of occasions of tobacco use.
Our data provide the first evidence for the involvement of the OFC in the relationship between smoking PGRS and tobacco use. Future studies of the molecular mechanisms underlying tobacco smoking should consider the mediation effect of the related neural structure.
The flow topology and leading-edge vortex (LEV) formation and detachment mechanism of a pitching and plunging flat plate are experimentally investigated in this study. Focus is placed on three novel aspects. First, to examine the differences between start-up and cyclic motions, the flow fields of one-shot experiments are compared to cyclic cases. The results show that the start cycle has very limited effect on the cyclic LEV development and flow topology evolution. Next, the influence of the maximum effective angle of attack on the LEV development in cyclic motion is introduced. Different secondary structures that lead to the detachment of LEV are found with variation of maximum effective angle of attack. Depending on the leading-edge shear-layer angle, three different flow topologies develop on the plate: quasi-steady development, boundary-layer eruption and secondary vortex formation. Which of these three topological scenarios occurs depends entirely on the maximum effective angle of attack. A vortex Reynolds number based on the transition time of the leading-edge shear-layer angle is defined to quantitatively assess which of the flow topologies will appear. Finally, a simplified model to describe the observed LEV growth is proposed, based on the assumptions that the velocity is constant at the outer vortex boundary and that the vortex boundary is a circular arc starting from the leading edge. The LEV circulation growth is found to increase linearly with the combination of the effective inflow velocity and the effective angle of attack.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) began to spread across Wuhan, China, by the end of 2019, and patients were unable to be hospitalized because medical resources were limited.
A questionnaire survey was conducted among 108 participants with mild COVID-19 who have isolated at home under the guidance of doctors. The results of the questionnaire and outpatient data were integrated to evaluate participants’ compliance with various epidemic prevention measures.
During isolation, most participants were able to follow epidemic prevention measures under the guidance of doctors. After 14 d from the start of isolation, 45.37% of the participants recovered. Approximately half of the participants were relieved of symptoms, and most of them were transferred to mobile cabin hospitals to continue isolation. Three participants with worsening symptoms were transferred to the designated hospitals. There were no deaths of the participants, but there were 7 family members that were infected.
During a period of home isolation under the guidance of a doctor, individuals can comply with epidemic prevention measures and symptoms can be improved. Scientific home isolation may be an effective way to relieve the strain of medical and social resources during the epidemic of COVID-19.
The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to over 213 countries and territories. We sought to describe the clinical features of fatalities in patients with severe COVID-19.
We conducted an Internet-based retrospective cohort study through retrieving the clinical information of 100 COVID-19 deaths from nonduplicating incidental reports in Chinese provincial and other governmental websites between January 23 and March 10, 2020.
Approximately 6 of 10 COVID-19 deaths were males (64.0%). The average age was 70.7 ± 13.5 y, and 84% of patients were elderly (over age 60 y). The mean duration from admission to diagnosis was 2.2 ± 3.8 d (median: 1 d). The mean duration from diagnosis to death was 9.9 ± 7.0 d (median: 9 d). Approximately 3 of 4 cases (76.0%) were complicated by 1 or more chronic diseases, including hypertension (41.0%), diabetes (29.0%) and coronary heart disease (27.0%), respiratory disorders (23.0%), and cerebrovascular disease (12.0%). Fever (46.0%), cough (33.0%), and shortness of breath (9.0%) were the most common first symptoms. Multiple organ failure (67.9%), circulatory failure (20.2%), and respiratory failure (11.9%) are the top 3 direct causes of death.
COVID-19 deaths are mainly elderly and patients with chronic diseases especially cardiovascular disorders and diabetes. Multiple organ failure is the most common direct cause of death.
Disabilities in physical activity and functional independence affect the early rehabilitation of stroke survivors. Moreover, a good instrument for assessing activity disability allows accurate assessment of physical disability and assists in prognosis determination.
To compare three assessment tools for physical activity in acute-phase stroke survivors.
We conducted this prospective observational study at an affiliated hospital of a Medical University in Shanghai, China, from June 2018 to November 2019. We administered three instruments to all patients during post-stroke days 5–7, including the Modified Barthel Index (MBI), Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL), and modified Rankin scale (mRs). We analyzed correlations among the aforementioned scales and the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) using Spearman’s rank-order correlations test. Univariate analyses were performed using the Mann–Whitney U test. We used a binary logistic regression model to assess the association between the NIHSS (30 days) and patient-related variables. Finally, we used receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves to assess the predictive value of the multivariate regression models.
There was a high correlation among the three instruments; furthermore, the MBI had a higher correlation with the NIHSS (days 5–7). The NIHSS (day 30) was correlated with thrombolysis. ROC analysis revealed that the mRs-measured disability level had the highest predictive value of short-term stroke severity (30 days).
The MBI was the best scale for measuring disability in physical activity, whereas the mRs showed better accuracy in short-term prediction of stroke severity.
Developing alternatives to antibiotics is an urgent need in livestock production. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are regarded as powerful antibiotic substitutes (ASs) because AMPs have broad-spectrum antimicrobial activities and growth-promoting ability. Here, we aimed to comprehensively assess the effects of AMPs on the growth performance, diarrhea rate, intestinal morphology and immunity of healthy or challenged piglets, compared with an antibiotics group or negative control group. We performed a set of meta-analyses of feeding trials from database inception to 27 May 2019. Among the 1379 identified studies, 20 were included in our meta-analyses (56 arms and 4067 piglets). The meta-analyses revealed that (1) compared with the negative control group, AMPs significantly improved the healthy piglets’ average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI), gain : feed ratio (G/F), levels of immune globulin (Ig) IgM and IgG, and intestinal villus height : crypt depth ratio (V/C) (P < 0.05). Meanwhile, AMPs significantly increased the challenged piglets’ ADG, ADFI, G/F and V/C of the jejunum and ileum, and notably deceased the diarrhea rate (P < 0.05); (2) compared with antibiotics group, the effects of AMPs were slightly weaker than those of antibiotics in the healthy piglets, but AMPs have similar effects to those of antibiotics in challenged piglets. In a higher purity, the optimal dose of AMPs may be approximately 0.01%. Our findings indicate that AMPs can improve piglet growth performance, enhance immunity, benefit intestinal morphology and decrease the diarrheal rate. AMPs could be great ASs especially under infection conditions.
Nitrogen is an important element for the growth of flue-cured tobacco and is closely related to its yield and quality. In order to pursue higher economic benefits, excessive fertilizer is generally applied in flue-cured tobacco production, which is unfavourable for the sustainable development of flue-cured tobacco production and for the environment. In 2016 and 2017, experiments using different nitrogen fertilizer application rates in flue-cure tobacco were conducted in Yunnan province, and the changes in agronomic, economic and chemical indices as well as in residual soil nitrogen were compared. Linear and quadratic models were used to compare the response of tobacco to nitrogen fertilizer. With increasing nitrogen fertilizer rate, the proportions of superior to medium tobacco and the average price of flue-cured tobacco leaves initially increased and then decreased, while fresh weight, dry weight and the proportion of inferior tobacco showed the opposite trend. Total sugar and reducing sugar contents decreased with increasing nitrogen fertilizer rates, while total nitrogen and nicotine contents increased. Sensory evaluation scores had the highest value when 90 kg N/ha and 120 kg N/ha were applied. Soil nitrate contents increased as nitrogen fertilizer rate increased. The quadratic model was suitable for the response of cultivar K326 to nitrogen and 90 kg N/ha could meet the needs of cultivar K326.
The clinical characteristics of patients with COVID-19 were analysed to determine the factors influencing the prognosis and virus shedding time to facilitate early detection of disease progression. Logistic regression analysis was used to explore the relationships among prognosis, clinical characteristics and laboratory indexes. The predictive value of this model was assessed with receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, calibration and internal validation. The viral shedding duration was calculated using the Kaplan–Meier method, and the prognostic factors were analysed by univariate log-rank analysis and the Cox proportional hazards model. A retrospective study was carried out with patients with COVID-19 in Tianjin, China. A total of 185 patients were included, 27 (14.59%) of whom were severely ill at the time of discharge and three (1.6%) of whom died. Our findings demonstrate that patients with an advanced age, diabetes, a low PaO2/FiO2 value and delayed treatment should be carefully monitored for disease progression to reduce the incidence of severe disease. Hypoproteinaemia and the fever duration warrant special attention. Timely interventions in symptomatic patients and a time from symptom onset to treatment <4 days can shorten the duration of viral shedding.