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Despite previous research demonstrating the benefits of including growth factors and antioxidants to maturation medium to support embryo production, to date the effect of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and melatonin (Mel) on oocyte competency has not been studied. This study supplemented in vitro maturation (IVM) medium with EGF (10 ng/ml) and Mel (50 ng/ml) alone, or in combination, and evaluated cumulus cell (CC) gene expression and the development and quality of parthenogenetic blastocysts. No differences in CC gene expression levels indicative of developmental potential were found among the treatment groups. Antioxidant gene CuZnSOD was significantly (P < 0.05) decreased in CCs from the Mel group. Moreover, blastocyst rates on day 7 were significantly increased in EGF or Mel (P < 0.05), but not EGF+Mel. Significant decrease (P < 0.05) in GPX1, CuZnSOD, SLC2A1 and HSPA1A (P = 0.07) mRNA levels was observed in blastocysts from the Mel group. OCT4 gene expression was significantly increased (P < 0.05) in EGF+Mel and confirmed using immunofluorescence. Our results indicate that, despite the lack of changes of competence-related genes in CCs, IVM medium supplemented with Mel improved the culture environment sufficiently, resulting in improved blastocysts. Moreover, EGF and Mel combined during maturation increased OCT4 gene and protein expression in blastocysts, indicating its potential for stem cells.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the quality of Marandu grass (Brachiaria brizantha) haylage according to different dry matter (DM) contents in storage. The design adopted was completely randomized with four treatments and five replications. The treatments were DM contents of the plant at the moment of storage (in natura, 30–40, 40–50 and 50–60% DM). The analyses to assess the quality of the haylage were performed after 90 days of storage. The chemical composition, microbiological population, gas quantification, pH, N-NH3, volatile fatty acids, soluble carbohydrates (CHO) and the aerobic stability were evaluated. The means were compared through the Tukey's test and linear regression. The treatment with 50–60% DM presented the highest DM and CHO contents which were 563.8 and 42.0 g/kg, respectively. There was a higher presence of oxygen in the haylage of in natura material, which was 4.8%. There was no difference between treatments for the population of lactic acid bacteria; however, the treatment with 50–60% DM had the highest concentration of enterobacteria. The haylage with 30–40% DM and 50–60% DM presented high concentrations of acetic acid. There was no break in aerobic stability for any treatment within 120 h after opening the bales. There was a smaller amount of N-NH3 in treatments with 40–50% DM and 50–60% DM. The Marandu grass with a DM content of 50–60% for haylage making demonstrated better quality characterization of conserved forage.
Invasive species are leading to ecosystem changes and socioeconomic deterioration around the globe. In 2018, unknown soft corals were noticed forming a massive ‘blue carpet’ on a shallow reef environment at Todos os Santos Bay, South-west Atlantic. In this study we identified the species, quantified their distribution and abundance as a first step for baseline invasion monitoring, and discussed origin, vector and impacts on native competitors. Coral samples were identified based on morphology and a multilocus DNA barcode, and benthic structure was characterized using digital photoquadrats. Our results revealed two new harmful non-native octocorals in this tropical rocky reef, the ‘blue polyps’ genus Sarcothelia (Xeniidae), native to Hawaii but likely an undescribed cryptic species, and Briareum hamrum (Briareidae), native to the Indian Ocean. Sarcothelia sp. was the dominant taxon in the rocky reef (mean cover 23.66% ± 21.46), exhibiting high coverage as well in the sandy and patch reef habitats (15.83% ± 15.81), however, only three colonies of B. hamrum were found, all outside the sampling area. These octocorals were in physical contact with native benthic organisms, mainly with the most abundant group, but apparently avoid turf algae in sandy and patch reef habitats. We suggest that irresponsible marine aquarium releases likely introduced these species to Brazilian reefs. After identifying the aquarium trade as the main vector of octocoral introductions, we reinforce the importance of inspecting marine species importation and the urgent need to implement a government plan to mitigate invasive species' impacts on the natural reefs of Brazil.
Individuals with depression often experience widespread and persistent cognitive deficits, which might be due to brain atrophy and cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD). We therefore studied the associations between depression, markers of brain atrophy and CSVD, and cognitive functioning.
We used cross-sectional data from the population-based Maastricht study (n = 4734; mean age 59.1 ± 8.6 years, 50.2% women), which focuses on type 2 diabetes. A current episode of major depressive disorder (MDD, n = 151) was assessed by the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview. Volumes of cerebral spinal fluid, white matter, gray matter and white matter hyperintensities, presence of lacunar infarcts and cerebral microbleeds, and total CSVD burden were assessed by 3 T magnetic resonance imaging. Multiple linear and logistic regression analyses tested the associations between MDD, brain markers and cognitive functioning in memory, information processing speed, and executive functioning & attention, and presence of cognitive impairment. Structural equation modeling was used to test mediation.
In fully adjusted models, MDD was associated with lower scores in information processing speed [mean difference = −0.18(−0.28;−0.08)], executive functioning & attention [mean difference = −0.13(−0.25;−0.02)], and with higher odds of cognitive impairment [odds ratio (OR) = 1.60(1.06;2.40)]. MDD was associated with CSVD in participants without type 2 diabetes [OR = 1.65(1.06;2.56)], but CSVD or other markers of brain atrophy or CSVD did not mediate the association with cognitive functioning.
MDD is associated with more impaired information processing speed and executive functioning & attention, and overall cognitive impairment. Furthermore, MDD was associated with CSVD in participants without type 2 diabetes, but this association did not explain an impaired cognitive profile.
Mucositis is an inflammation of the gastrointestinal mucosa resulting from high doses of radio/chemotherapy treatment and may lead to interruption of antineoplasic therapy. Soluble fibres, like pectin, increase SCFA production, which play a role in gut homoeostasis and inflammation suppression. Due to the properties of pectin, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of a high-fibre (HF) diet on chemotherapy-induced mucositis in a murine model. C57/BL6 mice received control (AIN93M), HF, low/zero fibre (LF) diets for 10 d prior to mucositis challenging with irinotecan (75 mg/kg), or they were treated with acetate added to drinking water 5 d prior to and during the mucositis induction. Mice that received the HF diet showed decreased immune cells influx and improved histopathological parameters in the intestine, compared with mice that received the normal diet. Furthermore, the HF diet decreased intestinal permeability induced in the mucositis model when compared with the control group. This effect was not observed for acetate alone, which did not improve gut permeability. For instance, mice that received the LF diet had worsened gut permeability, compared with mice that received the normal diet and mucositis. The effects of the HF and LF diets were shown to modulate the intestinal microbiota, in which the LF diet increased the levels of Enterobacteriaceae, a group associated with gut inflammation, whereas the HF diet decreased this group and increased Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium (SCFA producers) levels. In conclusion, the results demonstrated the importance of dietary fibre intake in the modulation of gut microbiota composition and homoeostasis maintenance during mucositis in this model.
This study was performed to identify the predictive factors of functional capacity assessed by the Spanish University of California Performance Skills Assessment (Sp-UPSA) and real-world functioning assessed by the Spanish Personal and Social Performance scale (PSP) in outpatients with schizophrenia.
Naturalistic, 6-month follow-up, multicentre, validation study. Here, we report data on 139 patients with schizophrenia at their baseline visit. Assessment: Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), Clinical Global Impression-Severity (CGI-S), Sp-UPSA and PSP. Statistics: Pearson's correlation coefficient (r) was used to determine the relationships between variables, and multivariable stepwise linear regression analyses to identify predictive variables of Sp-UPSA and PSP total scores.
Functional capacity: scores on the PSP and PANSS-GP entered first and second at P < 0.0001 and accounted for 21% of variance (R2 = 0.208, model df = 2, F = 15.724, P < 0.0001). Real-world functioning: scores on the CGI-S (B = −5.406), PANSS-N (B = −0.657) and Sp-UPSA (B = 0.230) entered first, second and third, and accounted for 51% of variance (model df = 3, F = 37.741, P < 0.0001).
In patients with schizophrenia, functional capacity and real-world functioning are two related but different constructs. Each one predicts the other along with other factors; general psychopathology for functional capacity, and severity of the illness and negative symptoms for real-world functioning. These findings have important clinical implications: (1) both types of functioning should be assessed in patients with schizophrenia and (2) strategies for improving them should be different.
Bipolar disorder (BD) commonly co-occurs with anxiety disorders (AD) and this comorbidity has been associated to worse clinical outcomes in BD patients. However frequency and clinical outcomes data might be biased once some of them had been originated from acutely ill bipolar patients as well as those in remission.
To assess AD in bipolar sample in order to know if this frequency vary according illness phase and identify possible clinical outcomes related to this comorbidity.
A population of 355 outpatients with bipolar I disorder were evaluated using structured instruments (SCID). The sample was split into four groups considering the illness phase and the presence of AD: euthymic without AD (euthymic/non- AD); euthymic with AD (euthimic/AD); non-euthymic without AD (non-euthymic/non-AD) and non-euthymic with AD (noneuthymic/ AD) groups. Clinical and socio-demographics differences between the groups were compared through bivariate analysis.
There was a progressive and significantly increasing in some worst clinical outcomes frequency, such as rapid cycling, suicide attempts, substance and alcohol use disorders, history of antidepressant use and decreased scores in all domains of QoL, from control group (euthymic /non-AD) through out intermediate group (non-euthymic/non-AD) until the group most affected (non-euthymic/AD). Both euthymic/non-AD and euthimic/AD groups did not differ.
We identified a group of severe bipolar patients that have worse clinical outcomes, and among them, the anxiety comorbidity. But, contrary to what has been stated, AD appears to be related with poor bipolar prognosis only when other severity clinical factors are presents.
Excitable temperament disrupts physiological events required for reproductive development in cattle, but no research has investigated the impacts of temperament on growth and puberty attainment in Bos indicus females. Hence, this experiment evaluated the effects of temperament on growth, plasma cortisol concentrations and puberty attainment in B. indicus heifers. A total of 170 Nelore heifers, weaned 4 months before the beginning of this experiment (days 0 to 91), were managed in two groups of 82 and 88 heifers each (mean ± SE; initial BW=238±2 kg, initial age=369±1 days across groups). Heifer temperament was evaluated via exit velocity on day 0. Individual exit score was calculated within each group by dividing exit velocity into quintiles and assigning heifers with a score from 1 to 5 (1=slowest; 5=fastest heifer). Heifers were classified according to exit score as adequate (ADQ, n=96; exit score⩽3) or excitable temperament (EXC, n=74; exit score>3). Heifer BW, body condition score (BCS) and blood samples were obtained on days 0, 31, 60 and 91. Heifer exit velocity and score were recorded again on days 31, 60 and 91. Ovarian transrectal ultrasonography was performed on days 0 and 10, 31 and 41, 60 and 70, 81 and 91 for puberty evaluation. Heifer was declared pubertal at the first 10-day interval in which a corpus luteum was detected. Exit velocity and exit score obtained on day 0 were correlated (r⩾0.64, P<0.01) with evaluations on days 31, 60 and 91. During the experiment, ADQ had greater (P<0.01) mean BCS and BW gain, and less (P<0.01) mean plasma cortisol concentration compared with EXC heifers. Temperament × time interactions were detected (P<0.01) for exit velocity and exit score, which were always greater (P<0.01) in EXC v. ADQ heifers. A temperament × time interaction was also detected (P=0.03) for puberty attainment, which was delayed in EXC v. ADQ heifers. At the end of the experiment, a greater (P<0.01) proportion of ADQ were pubertal compared with EXC heifers. In summary, B. indicus heifers classified as EXC had reduced growth, increased plasma cortisol concentrations and hindered puberty attainment compared to ADQ heifers. Moreover, exit velocity may serve as temperament selection criteria to optimize development of B. indicus replacement heifers.
Early identification of infants with CHD at heightened risk of developmental delays can inform surveillance priorities. This study investigated pre-operative and post-operative neuromotor performance in infants undergoing open-heart surgery, and their developmental status at 6 months of age, to identify risk factors and inform care pathways.
Infants undergoing open-heart surgery before 4 months of age were recruited into a prospective cohort study. Neuromotor performance was assessed pre-operatively and post-operatively using the Test of Infant Motor Performance and Prechtl’s Assessment of General Movements. Development was assessed at 6 months of age using the Ages and Stages Questionnaire third edition. Pre-operative and post-operative General Movements performance was compared using McNemar’s test and test of infant motor performance z-scores using Wilcoxon’s signed rank test. Risk factors for delayed development at 6 months were explored using logistic regression.
Sixty infants were included in this study. In the 23 (38%) infants. A total of 60 infants were recruited. In the 23 (38%) infants assessed pre-operatively, there was no significant difference between pre- and post-operative performance on the GMs (p=0.63) or TIMP (p=0.28). At discharge, 15 (26%) infants presented with abnormal GMs, and the median TIMP z-score was −0.93 (IQR: −1.4 to −0.69). At 6 months, 28 (52.8%) infants presented with gross motor delay on the ASQ-3, significantly negatively associated with gestational age (p=0.03), length of hospital stay (p=0.04) and discharge TIMP score (p=0.01).
Post-operative assessment using the GMs and TIMP may be useful to identify infants requiring individualised care and targeted developmental follow-up. Long-term developmental surveillance beyond 6 months of age is recommended.
We carried out simultaneous observations of H2O and OH masers, and radio continuum at 1.3 cm with the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) towards 4 water-fountain candidates. Water fountains (WFs) are evolved stars, in the AGB and post-AGB phase, with collimated jets traced by high-velocity H2O masers. Up to now, only 15 sources have been confirmed as WFs through interferometric observations. We are interested in the discovery and study of new WFs. A higher number of these sources is important to understand their properties as a group, because they may represent one of the first manifestations of collimated mass-loss in evolved stars. These observations will provide information about the role of magnetic fields in the launching of jets in WFs. Our aim is to ascertain the WF nature of these candidates, and investigate the spatial distribution of the H2O and OH masers.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of incubating semen for different periods (90, 270 or 450 min) with or without Trolox® (100 or 150 µM) on the quality of sperm from Saimiri collinsi. Sperm motility, vigour, and plasma membrane integrity (PMI) were evaluated in both fresh semen and semen incubated for different time periods, i.e. 90, 270 or 450 min of incubation. Supplementation of semen extender with Trolox® 100 µM improved sperm motility, vigour and PMI for up to 270 min of incubation.
The goal of this study was to analyse the spatial pattern of tuberculosis (TB) mortality using different approaches, namely: mortality rates (MR), spatial relative risks (RR) and Bayesian rates (Global and Local) and their association with human development index (HDI), Global and its three dimensions: education, longevity and income. An ecological study was developed in Curitiba, Brazil based on data from Mortality Information System (2008–2014). Spatial scan statistics were used to compute RR and identify high-risk clusters. Bivariate Local Indicator of Spatial Associations was used to assess associations. MR ranged between 0 and 25.24/100.000 with a mean (standard deviation) of 1.07 (2.66). Corresponding values for spatial RR were 0–27.46, 1.2 (2.99) and for Bayesian rates (Global and Local) were 0.49–1.66, 0.90 (0.19) and 0–6.59, 0.98 (0.80). High-risk clusters were identified for all variables, except for HDI-income and Global Bayesian rate. Significant negative spatial relations were found between MR and income; between RR and HDI global, longevity and income; and Bayesian rates with all variables. Some areas presented different patterns: low social development/low risk and high risk/high development. These results demonstrate that social development variables should be considered, in mortality due TB.
We present a multi-frequency study of the intermediate spiral SAB(r)bc type galaxy NGC 6744, using available data from the Chandra X-Ray telescope, radio continuum data from the Australia Telescope Compact Array and Murchison Widefield Array, and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer infrared observations. We identify 117 X-ray sources and 280 radio sources. Of these, we find nine sources in common between the X-ray and radio catalogues, one of which is a faint central black hole with a bolometric radio luminosity similar to the Milky Way’s central black hole. We classify 5 objects as supernova remnant (SNR) candidates, 2 objects as likely SNRs, 17 as H ii regions, 1 source as an AGN; the remaining 255 radio sources are categorised as background objects and one X-ray source is classified as a foreground star. We find the star-formation rate (SFR) of NGC 6744 to be in the range 2.8–4.7 M⊙~yr − 1 signifying the galaxy is still actively forming stars. The specific SFR of NGC 6744 is greater than that of late-type spirals such as the Milky Way, but considerably less that that of a typical starburst galaxy.
The aim of this study was to design and develop a set of, short message service (SMS) to promote specialized mental health care seeking within the framework of the Allillanchu Project.
The design phase consisted of 39 interviews with potential recipients of the SMS, about use of cellphones, and perceptions and motivations towards seeking mental health care. After the data collection, the research team developed a set of seven SMS for validation. The content validation phase consisted of 24 interviews. The participants answered questions regarding their understanding of the SMS contents and rated its appeal.
The seven SMS subjected to content validation were tailored to the recipient using their name. The reminder message included the working hours of the psychology service at the patient's health center. The motivational messages addressed perceived barriers and benefits when seeking mental health services. The average appeal score of the seven SMS was 9.0 (SD±0.4) of 10 points. Participants did not make significant suggestions to change the wording of the messages.
Five SMS were chosen to be used. This approach is likely to be applicable to other similar low-resource settings, and the methodology used can be adapted to develop SMS for other chronic conditions.
The present study aimed to evaluate trace mineral status of organic dairy herds in northern Spain and the sources of minerals in different types of feed. Blood samples from organic and conventional dairy cattle and feed samples from the respective farms were analysed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry to determine the concentrations of the essential trace elements (cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), iodine (I), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), nickel (Ni), selenium (Se) and zinc (Zn)) and toxic trace elements (arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb)). Overall, no differences between organic and conventional farms were detected in serum concentrations of essential and toxic trace elements (except for higher concentrations of Cd on the organic farms), although a high level of inter-farm variation was detected in the organic systems, indicating that organic production greatly depends on the specific local conditions. The dietary concentrations of the essential trace elements I, Cu, Se and Zn were significantly higher in the conventional than in the organic systems, which can be attributed to the high concentration of these minerals in the concentrate feed. No differences in the concentrations of trace minerals were found in the other types of feed. Multivariate chemometric analysis was conducted to determine the contribution of different feed sources to the trace element status of the cattle. Concentrate samples were mainly associated with Co, Cu, I, Se and Zn (i.e. with the elements supplemented in this type of feed). However, pasture and grass silage were associated with soil-derived elements (As, Cr, Fe and Pb) which cattle may thus ingest during grazing.
We present polarimetric observations of the 4 ground-state transitions of OH, toward a sample of maser-emitting planetary nebulae (PNe) using the Australia Telescope Compact Array. This sample includes confirmed OH-emitting PNe, confirmed and candidate H2O-maser-emitting PNe. Polarimetric observations provide information related to the magnetic field of these sources. Maser-emitting PNe are very young PNe and magnetic fields are a key ingredient in the early evolution and shaping process of PNe. Our preliminary results suggest that magnetic field strengths may change very rapidly in young PNe.
We conducted a survival analysis with competing risks to estimate the mortality rate and predictive factors for immunodeficiency-related death in people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH) in northeast Brazil. A cohort with 2372 PLWH was enrolled between July 2007 and June 2010 and monitored until 31 December 2012 at two healthcare centres. The event of interest was immunodeficiency-related death, which was defined based on the Coding Causes of Death in HIV Protocol (CoDe). The predictor variables were: sociodemographic characteristics, illicit drugs, tobacco, alcohol, nutritional status, antiretroviral therapy, anaemia and CD4 cell count at baseline; and treatment or chemoprophylaxis for tuberculosis (TB) during follow-up. We used Fine & Gray's model for the survival analyses with competing risks, since we had regarded immunodeficiency-unrelated deaths as a competing event, and we estimated the adjusted sub-distribution hazard ratios (SHRs). In 10 012·6 person-years of observation there were 3·1 deaths/100 person-years (2·3 immunodeficiency-related and 0·8 immunodeficiency-unrelated). TB (SHR 4·01), anaemia (SHR 3·58), CD4 <200 cells/mm3 (SHR 3·33) and being unemployed (SHR 1·56) were risk factors for immunodeficiency-related death. This study discloses a 13% coverage by highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in our state and adds that anaemia at baseline or the incidence of TB may increase the specific risk of dying from HIV-immunodeficiency, regardless of HAART and CD4.