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Chronic inflammation exerts pleiotropic effects in the etiology and progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Glucosamine is widely used in many countries and may have anti-inflammatory properties. We aimed to prospectively evaluate the association of regular glucosamine use with incident COPD risk and explore whether such association could be modified by smoking in the UK Biobank cohort, which recruited more than half a million participants aged 40–69 years from across the UK between 2006 and 2010. Cox proportional hazards models with adjustment for potential confounding factors were used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) as well as 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for the risk of incident COPD. During a median follow-up of 8.96 years (interquartile range 8.29 to 9.53 years), 9016 new-onset events of COPD were documented. We found that regular use of glucosamine was associated with a significantly lower risk of incident COPD with multivariable adjusted HR of 0.80 (95% CI, 0.75 to 0.85; P<0.001). When subgroup analyses were performed by smoking status, the adjusted HRs for the association of regular glucosamine use with incident COPD were 0.84 (0.73 to 0.96), 0.84 (0.77 to 0.92), and 0.71 (0.62 to 0.80) among never smokers, former smokers and current smokers, respectively. No significant interaction was observed between glucosamine use and smoking status (P for interaction=0.078). Incident COPD could be reduced by 14% to 84% through a combination of regular glucosamine use and smoking cessation
To examine the potential effect on Fe intake of 7–8 months old infants if pre-packaged baby foods (PBF) were used as the sole source of complementary foods.
Based on the 7-d recommended feeding plan for 7–8 months old infants in Hong Kong (moderate Fe-fortified rice cereal with home-cooked meals), twenty-four modelling scenarios were created which comprised of two milk use modes (breastmilk v. infant formula), three modes of rice cereal use (no-rice cereal; non-Fe-fortified rice cereal and Fe-fortified rice cereal) and four baby foods usage modes (home-cooked meals; low-Fe PBF only; high-Fe PBF only and mixed PBF). The PBF were randomly selected in each of the models and substituted the original meals/snacks. The average daily Fe intakes of the modelled meal plans were compared with the Chinese estimated average requirement (EAR) and recommended nutrient intake (RNI) for Fe.
In general, the infant-formula-based complementary feeding pattern (CFP) had higher average daily Fe intake when compared with breastmilk-based CFP. The Fe intakes of all scenarios under the breastmilk-based CFP were below the RNI and EAR, except for the fortified rice cereal meal plans with high-Fe or mixed PBF. For infant-formula-based CFP, the Fe intakes were close to or above the RNI regardless of types of PBF or rice cereal used.
The inclusion of fortified rice cereal was important in maintaining adequate Fe intake for infants, especially for breast-fed infants. The replacement of home-cooked meals by low-Fe PBF could potentially put infants at risk of Fe deficiency.
High-molecular-weight glutenin subunit (HMW-GS) is a key factor affecting dough-processing quality. 1Sty13 is a novel HMW-GS found in the tetraploid species, Elymus sibiricus L. 1Sty13 has faster electrophoretic mobility than the 1Dy12 subunit on sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS)-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The gene encoding the 1Sty13 subunit was composed of 1803 nucleotide base pairs with an open reading frame that was 599 amino acids in length. Analysis of the predicted amino acid sequence of 1Sty13 indicated that the N-terminal domain was similar to the y-type subunit, whereas the C-terminal domains were similar to the x-type subunit. Five cysteine residues were found in 1Sty13, which is one less than the published HMW-GS in the St genome. The 1Sty13 protein was purified at a scale sufficient for incorporation into flour for the SDS sedimentation test, which indicated that incorporating 1Sty13 improved dough quality.
Poor utilisation efficiency of carbohydrate always leads to metabolic phenotypes in fish. The intestinal microbiota plays an important role in carbohydrate degradation. Whether the intestinal bacteria could alleviate high-carbohydrate diet (HCD)-induced metabolic phenotypes in fish remains unknown. Here, a strain affiliated to Bacillus amyloliquefaciens was isolated from the intestine of Nile tilapia. A basal diet (CON), HCD or HCD supplemented with B. amy SS1 (HCB) was used to feed fish for 10 weeks. The beneficial effects of B. amy SS1 on weight gain and protein accumulation were observed. Fasting glucose and lipid deposition were decreased in the HCB group compared with the HCD group. High-throughput sequencing showed that the abundance of acetate-producing bacteria was increased in the HCB group relative to the HCD group. Gas chromatographic analysis indicated that the concentration of intestinal acetate was increased dramatically in the HCB group compared with that in the HCD group. Glucagon-like peptide-1 was also increased in the intestine and serum of the HCB group. Thus, fish were fed with HCD, HCD supplemented with sodium acetate at 900 mg/kg (HLA), 1800 mg/kg (HMA) or 3600 mg/kg (HHA) diet for 8 weeks, and the HMA and HHA groups mirrored the effects of B. amy SS1. This study revealed that B. amy SS1 could alleviate the metabolic phenotypes caused by HCD by enriching acetate-producing bacteria in fish intestines. Regulating the intestinal microbiota and their metabolites might represent a powerful strategy for fish nutrition modulation and health maintenance in future.
This study compared dementia knowledge between older Chinese adults in Melbourne, Australia, and Beijing, China, and explored factors associated with dementia knowledge between these two groups. Ultimately, this study aimed to inform the development of tailored dementia education programs for older Chinese adults.
A cross-sectional design was employed in this study.
Participants were recruited from 5 Chinese community senior groups in Melbourne and 10 community health centers in Beijing from March to May 2019.
A total of 379 older Chinese adults aged 50 and over completed the questionnaire, including 153 from Melbourne and 226 from Beijing.
Dementia knowledge was assessed using the Alzheimer’s Disease Knowledge Scale (ADKS). Demographic characteristics, dementia-related experience, and the mental health status of participants were collected. Stepwise linear regression was used to analyze the factors associated with dementia knowledge.
In general, older Chinese adults in Melbourne and Beijing reported similar levels of dementia knowledge for both the overall ADKS scale (mean ± SD: 17.2 ± 2.9 in Melbourne vs. 17.5 ± 2.9 in Beijing, p > 0.05) and the seven subdomains. Of the subdomains, the highest correct response rates were observed in the life impact of the dementia subdomain, and the lowest rates were observed in the caregiving subdomain. Stepwise linear regression analysis revealed that younger age and self-reported dementia worry were significantly associated with higher levels of dementia knowledge in the Melbourne group, whereas a positive family history of dementia was significantly associated with higher levels of dementia knowledge in the Beijing group.
Older Chinese adults living in Melbourne and Beijing share similar levels of dementia knowledge, but factors associated with their knowledge are different. These findings will inform the development of culturally and socially appropriate dementia education programs for older Chinese populations in different countries.
International organizations such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank raise concerns about the financial sustainability issues of pension systems. These issues have attracted increasing attention because of the challenges presented by lower growth and financial market volatility, making it harder for governments to fulfil their promises on pension policies (Ebbinghaus, 2011). In order to tackle these challenges, it is not uncommon that governments reform pension schemes with an emphasis on individual responsibility (Yeh et al., 2018). They particularly stress the earnings-related pension measures as an important means to assist people to accumulate pension income (Foster, 2014). Employees are the target group for measures relating to earnings-related pension measures. The amount of pension income accumulated through these measures is highly related to employees’ earnings.
A high-carbohydrate diet could achieve a protein-sparing effect, but it may cause negative impacts on the growth condition of fish due to their poor utilisation ability of carbohydrate. How to reduce the adverse effects caused by a high-carbohydrate diet is important for the development of aquaculture. In the present study, we aimed to identify whether inulin could attenuate the metabolic syndrome caused by a high-carbohydrate diet in fish. Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) (1·19 (sd 0·01) g) were supplied with 35 % carbohydrate (CON), 45 % carbohydrate (HC) and 45 % carbohydrate + 5 g/kg inulin (HCI) diets for 10 weeks. The results showed that addition of inulin improved the survival rate when fish were challenged with Aeromonas hydrophila, indicating that inulin had an immunostimulatory effect. Compared with the HC group, the HCI group had lower lipid accumulation in liver and the gene expression analyses indicated that addition of inulin down-regulated genes related to lipogenesis and up-regulated genes relevant to β-oxidation significantly (P < 0·05). Higher liver glycogen and glucose tolerance were found in the HCI group compared with the HC group (P < 0·05). These results indicated that inulin could alleviate the metabolic syndrome induced by a high-carbohydrate diet. Furthermore, addition of inulin to a high-carbohydrate diet changed the intestinal bacterial composition and significantly increased the concentration of acetic acid and propionic acid in fish gut which have the potential to increase pathogen resistance and regulate metabolic characteristics in fish. Collectively, our results demonstrated a possible causal role for the gut microbiome in metabolic improvements induced by inulin in fish.
Global Health Security Index (GHSI) and Joint External Evaluation (JEE) are two well-known health security and related capability indices. We hypothesised that countries with higher GHSI or JEE scores would have detected their first COVID-19 case earlier, and would experience lower mortality outcome compared to countries with lower scores. We evaluated the effectiveness of GHSI and JEE in predicting countries' COVID-19 detection response times and mortality outcome (deaths/million). We used two different outcomes for the evaluation: (i) detection response time, the duration of time to the first confirmed case detection (from 31st December 2019 to 20th February 2020 when every country's first case was linked to travel from China) and (ii) mortality outcome (deaths/million) until 11th March and 1st July 2020, respectively. We interpreted the detection response time alongside previously published relative risk of the importation of COVID-19 cases from China. We performed multiple linear regression and negative binomial regression analysis to evaluate how these indices predicted the actual outcome. The two indices, GHSI and JEE were strongly correlated (r = 0.82), indicating a good agreement between them. However, both GHSI (r = 0.31) and JEE (r = 0.37) had a poor correlation with countries' COVID-19–related mortality outcome. Higher risk of importation of COVID-19 from China for a given country was negatively correlated with the time taken to detect the first case in that country (adjusted R2 = 0.63–0.66), while the GHSI and JEE had minimal predictive value. In the negative binomial regression model, countries' mortality outcome was strongly predicted by the percentage of the population aged 65 and above (incidence rate ratio (IRR): 1.10 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01–1.21) while overall GHSI score (IRR: 1.01 (95% CI: 0.98–1.01)) and JEE (IRR: 0.99 (95% CI: 0.96–1.02)) were not significant predictors. GHSI and JEE had lower predictive value for detection response time and mortality outcome due to COVID-19. We suggest introduction of a population healthiness parameter, to address demographic and comorbidity vulnerabilities, and reappraisal of the ranking system and methods used to obtain the index based on experience gained from this pandemic.
Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) is caused by Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense and caused devastating epidemics during the 20th century. Due to effective control programs implemented in the last two decades, the number of reported cases has fallen to a historically low level. Although fewer than 977 cases were reported in 2018 in endemic countries, HAT is still a public health problem in endemic regions until it is completely eliminated. In addition, almost 150 confirmed HAT cases were reported in non-endemic countries in the last three decades. The majority of non-endemic HAT cases were reported in Europe, USA and South Africa, due to historical alliances, economic links or geographic proximity to disease-endemic countries. Furthermore, with the implementation of the ‘Belt and Road’ project, sporadic imported HAT cases have been reported in China as a warning sign of tropical diseases prevention. In this paper, we explore and interpret the data on HAT incidence and find no positive correlation between the number of HAT cases from endemic and non-endemic countries. This data will provide useful information for better understanding the imported cases of HAT globally in the post-elimination phase.
It is well-known that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with changes in the dopaminergic system. However, the relationship between central dopaminergic tone and the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal during receipt of rewards and penalties in the corticostriatal pathway in adults with ADHD is unclear.
Single-photon emission computed tomography with [99mTC]TRODAT-1 was used to assess striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) availability. Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging was conducted on subjects performing the Iowa Gambling Test.
DAT availability was found to be associated with the BOLD response, which was a covariate of monetary loss, in the medial prefrontal cortex (r = 0.55, P = .03), right ventral striatum (r = 0.69, P = .003), and right orbital frontal cortex (r = 0.53, P = .03) in adults with ADHD. However, a similar correlation was not found in the controls.
The results confirmed that dopaminergic tone may play a different role in the penalty-elicited response of adults with ADHD. It is plausible that a lower neuro-threshold accompanied by insensitivity to punishment could be exacerbated by the hypodopaminergic tone in ADHD.
Previously the GABA(A) receptor beta-2 subunit gene GABRB2 was found to be associated with schizophrenia (SCZ). for SNPs and haplotypes in GRBRB2, the associations with bipolar disorder (BPD), the functional consequences on GABRB2 expression and their relationship to demographic and clinical characteristics in BPD and SCZ remain to be elucidated.
Case-control analysis was performed for association study of GABRB2 with BPD, and its mRNA expression in postmortem BPD brains was examined using quantitative real-time PCR. Quantitative trait analysis was subsequently employed to assess the covariate effects of demographic and clinical characteristics on genotypic correlation of GABRB2 expression in SCZ and BPD.
Significant association of GABRB2 with BPD and reduction in GABRB2 mRNA expression in BPD brains were observed in the present study. Duration of illness (DOI) was found to be a significant covariate for the correlation of the disease-associated SNPs rs1816071, rs1816072 and rs187269 with GABRB2 expression in both SCZ and BPD. for individuals with homozygous major genotypes of these SNPs, while GABRB2 expression increased with age in the controls, it decreased with DOI and age in SCZ, and with DOI in BPD. with age of onset as covariate, these three SNPs were significantly correlated with antipsychotic dosage in SCZ.
These results have thus revealed correlations of GABRB2 SNPs and expression not only with the occurrence of SCZ and BPD, but also with the clinical characteristics of patients, therefore providing support for a shared etiological role played by the gene in both diseases.
The isolation of male and female gametes is an effective method to study the fertilization mechanisms of higher plants. An osmotic shock method was used to rupture pollen grains of Allium tuberosum Roxb and release the pollen contents, including generative cells, which were mass collected. The pollinated styles were cut following 3 h of in vivo growth, and cultured in medium for 6–8 h, during which time pollen tubes grew out of the cut end of the style. After pollen tubes were transferred into a solution containing 6% mannitol, tubes burst and released pairs of sperm cells. Ovules of A. tuberosum were incubated in an enzyme solution for 30 min, and then dissected to remove the integuments. Following transfer to a dissecting solution free of enzymes, each nucellus was cut in the middle, and squeezed gently on the micropylar end, resulting in the liberation of the egg, zygote and proembryo from ovules at selected stages. These cells can be used to explore fertilization and embryonic development using molecular biological methods for each cell type and development stage.
Solar energy can alleviate our dependence on traditional energy sources like coal and petroleum. In this regard, the design and performance of solar absorbers are crucial for capturing energy from sunlight. Specifically, for applications relying on solar-thermal energy conversion, it is desirable to construct solar absorbers using scalable techniques that also allow a variation in optical properties. In this study, we demonstrate the ability to tune the spectral absorptance of nickel-infused nanoporous alumina using a scalable and inexpensive fabrication procedure. With simple variations in the geometry of the nanostructures, we enable broadband absorption with a net solar absorptance of 0.96 and thermal emittance of 0.98 and spectrally-selective absorption with a net solar absorptance of 0.83 and thermal emittance of 0.22. The simple manufacturing techniques presented in this study to generate nanoengineered surfaces can lead to further advancements in solar absorbers with well-controlled and application-specific optical properties.
l-Carnitine is essential for mitochondrial β-oxidation and has been used as a lipid-lowering feed additive in humans and farmed animals. d-Carnitine is an optical isomer of l-carnitine and dl-carnitine has been widely used in animal feeds. However, the functional differences between l- and d-carnitine are difficult to study because of the endogenous l-carnitine background. In the present study, we developed a low-carnitine Nile tilapia model by treating fish with a carnitine synthesis inhibitor, and used this model to investigate the functional differences between l- and d-carnitine in nutrient metabolism in fish. l- or d-carnitine (0·4 g/kg diet) was fed to the low-carnitine tilapia for 6 weeks. l-Carnitine feeding increased the acyl-carnitine concentration from 3522 to 10 822 ng/g and alleviated the lipid deposition from 15·89 to 11·97 % in the liver of low-carnitine tilapia. However, as compared with l-carnitine group, d-carnitine feeding reduced the acyl-carnitine concentration from 10 822 to 5482 ng/g, and increased lipid deposition from 11·97 to 20·21 % and the mRNA expression of the genes involved in β-oxidation and detoxification in the liver. d-Carnitine feeding also induced hepatic inflammation, oxidative stress and apoptosis. A metabolomic investigation further showed that d-carnitine feeding increased glycolysis, protein metabolism and activity of the tricarboxylic acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation. Thus, l-carnitine can be physiologically utilised in fish, whereas d-carnitine is metabolised as a xenobiotic and induces lipotoxicity. d-Carnitine-fed fish demonstrates increases in peroxisomal β-oxidation, glycolysis and amino acid degradation to maintain energy homeostasis. Therefore, d-carnitine is not recommended for use in farmed animals.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is highly heterogeneous and can be classified as treatment-resistant depression (TRD) or antidepressant-responsive depression (non-TRD) based on patients' responses to antidepressant treatment. Methods for distinguishing between TRD and non-TRD are critical clinical concerns. Deficits of cortical inhibition (CI) have been reported to play an influential role in the pathophysiology of MDD. Whether TRD patients' CI is more impaired than that of non-TRD patients remains unclear.
Paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (ppTMS) was used to measure cortical inhibitory function including GABAA- and GABAB-receptor-related CI and cortical excitatory function including glutamate-receptor-related intracortical facilitation (ICF). We recruited 36 healthy controls (HC) and 36 patients with MDD (non-TRD, n = 16; TRD, n = 20). All participants received evaluations for depression severity and ppTMS examinations. Non-TRD patients received an additional ppTMS examination after 3 months of treatment with the SSRI escitalopram.
Patients with TRD exhibited reduced short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and long-interval intracortical inhibition (LICI), as shown by abnormally higher estimates, than those with non-TRD or HC (F = 11.030, p < 0.001; F = 10.309, p < 0.001, respectively). After an adequate trial of escitalopram treatment, the LICI of non-TRD reduced significantly (t = − 3.628, p < 0.001), whereas the ICF remained lower than that of HC and showed no difference from pretreatment non-TRD.
TRD was characterized by relatively reduced CI, including both GABAA- and GABAB-receptor-mediated neurons while non-TRD preserved partial CI. In non-TRD, SSRIs may mainly modulate GABAB-receptor-related LICI. Our findings revealed distinguishable features of CI in antidepressant-resistant and responsive major depression.
Human innate immune plays an essential role in the spontaneous clearance of acute infection and therapy of HCV. We investigated whether the SNPs in retinoic acid-inducible gene I-like receptor family were associated with HCV spontaneous clearance and response to treatment. To evaluate the clinical value of DDX58 rs3824456, rs10813831 and rs10738889 genotypes on HCV spontaneous clearance and treatment response in Chinese Han population, we genotyped 1001 HCV persistent infectors, 599 participants with HCV natural clearance and 354 patients with PEGylated interferon-α and ribavirin (PEG IFN-α/RBV) treatment. People carrying rs10813831-G allele genotype were more liable to achieve spontaneous clearance than the carriage of the T allele (dominant model: adjusted OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.08–1.71, P = 0.008). In rs10738889, the rate of persistent infection was significantly lower in patients with the TC genotype compared to those with TT genotype (dominant model: adjusted OR 1.36, 95% CI 1.06–1.74, P = 0.015). Multivariate stepwise analysis indicated that rs10738889, age, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) were independent predictors for HCV spontaneous clearance. However, there were no significant differences in the three selection SNPs between the non-SVR group and the SVR group. These results suggest the DDX58 rs10813831 and rs10738889 are associated with spontaneous clearance of HCV, which may be identified as a predictive marker in the Chinese Han population of HCV.