To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
A short-term 2-week (2w) and long-term 8-week (8w) feeding trial was conducted to investigate the effects of low-starch (LS) and high-starch (HS) diets on the growth performance, metabolism and liver health of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). Two isonitrogenous and isolipidic diets containing two levels of starch (LS, 9·06 %; HS, 13·56 %) were fed to largemouth bass. The results indicated that HS diet had no significant effects on specific growth rate during 2w, whereas significantly lowered specific growth rate at 8w. HS diet significantly increased hepatic glycolysis and gluconeogenesis at postprandial 24 h in 2w. The hepatosomatic index, plasma alkaline phosphatase, total bile acid (TBA) levels, and hepatic glycogen, TAG, total cholesterol, TBA, and NEFA contents were significantly increased in the HS group at 2w. Moreover, HS diet up-regulated fatty acid and TAG synthesis-related genes and down-regulated TAG hydrolysis and β-oxidation-related genes. Therefore, the glucolipid metabolism disorders resulted in metabolic liver disease induced by HS diet at 2w. However, the up-regulation of bile acid synthesis, inflammation and energy metabolism-related genes in 2w indicated that largemouth bass was still in a state of ‘self-repair’ response. Interestingly, all the metabolic parameters were returned to homoeostasis, with up-regulation of intestinal glucose uptake and transport-related genes, even hepatic histopathological analysis showed no obvious abnormality in the HS group in 8w. In conclusion, HS feed induced short-term acute metabolic disorder, but long-term metabolic adaptation to HS diet was related to repairing metabolism disorders via improving inflammatory responses, bile acid synthesis and energy metabolism. These results strongly indicated that the largemouth bass owned certain adaptability to HS diet.
The effect of vitamin D (VD) on the risk of preeclampsia (PE) is uncertain. Few of previous studies focused on the relationship between dietary VD intake and PE risk. Therefore, we conducted this 1:1 matched case–control study to explore the association of dietary VD intake and serum VD concentrations with PE risk in Chinese pregnant women. A total of 440 pairs of participants were recruited during March 2016 to June 2019. Dietary information was obtained using a seventy-eight-item semi-quantitative FFQ. Serum concentrations of 25(OH)D2 and 25(OH)D3 were measured by liquid chromatography–tandem MS. Multivariate conditional logistic regression was used to estimate OR and 95 % CI. Restricted cubic splines (RCS) were plotted to evaluate the dose–response relationship of dietary VD intake and serum VD concentrations with PE risk. Compared with the lowest quartile, the OR of the highest quartile were 0·45 (95 % CI 0·29, 0·71, Ptrend = 0·001) for VD dietary intake and 0·26 (95 % CI 0·11, 0·60, Ptrend = 0·003) for serum levels after adjusting for confounders. In addition, the RCS analysis suggested a reverse J-shaped relationship between dietary VD intake and PE risk (P-nonlinearity = 0·02). A similar association was also found between serum concentrations of total 25(OH)D and PE risk (P-nonlinearity = 0·02). In conclusion, this study provides evidence that higher dietary intake and serum levels of VD are associated with the lower risk of PE in Chinese pregnant women.
Social cognition has not previously been assessed in treatment-naive patients with chronic schizophrenia, in patients over 60 years of age, or in patients with less than 5 years of schooling.
We revised a commonly used measure of social cognition, the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET), by expanding the instructions, using both self-completion and interviewer-completion versions (for illiterate respondents), and classifying each test administration as ‘successfully completed’ or ‘incomplete’. The revised instrument (RMET-CV-R) was administered to 233 treatment-naive patients with chronic schizophrenia (UT), 154 treated controls with chronic schizophrenia (TC), and 259 healthy controls (HC) from rural communities in China.
In bivariate and multivariate analyses, successful completion rates and RMET-CV-R scores (percent correct judgments about emotion exhibited in 70 presented slides) were highest in HC, intermediate in TC, and lowest in UT (adjusted completion rates, 97.0, 72.4, and 49.9%, respectively; adjusted RMET-CV-R scores, 45.4, 38.5, and 34.6%, respectively; all p < 0.02). Stratified analyses by the method of administration (self-completed v. interviewer-completed) and by education and age (‘educated-younger’ v. ‘undereducated-older’) show the same relationship between groups (i.e. NC>TC>UT), though not all differences remain statistically significant.
We find poorer social cognition in treatment-naive than in treated patients with chronic schizophrenia. The discriminant validity of RMET-CV-R in undereducated, older patients demonstrates the feasibility of administering revised versions of RMET to patients who may otherwise be considered ineligible due to education or age by changing the method of test administration and carefully assessing respondents' ability to complete the task successfully.
A southern population (S) from Xiushui County (29°1′N, 114°4′E) and a northern population (N) from Shenyang city (41°48′N, 123°23′E) of the cabbage beetle, Colaphellus bowringi vary greatly in their life-history traits, and may serve as an excellent model with which to study the inheritance of life-history traits. In the present study, we performed intraspecific hybridization using the two populations, comparing the key life-history traits (fecundity, development time, body weight, growth rate, and sexual size dimorphism (SDD)) between the two populations (S♀ × S♂ and N♀ × N♂) and their two hybrid populations (S♀ × N♂ and N♀ × S♂ populations) at 19, 22, 25, and 28°C. Our results showed that there were significant differences in life-history traits between the two parental populations, with the S population having a significantly higher fecundity, shorter larval development time, larger body weight, higher growth rate, and greater weight loss during metamorphosis than the N population at almost all temperatures. However, these life-history traits in the two hybrid populations were intermediate between those of their parents. The life-history traits in the S × N and N × S populations more closely resembled those of the maternal S population and N population, respectively, showing maternal effects. Weight loss for both sexes was highest in the S population, followed by the S × N, N × S, and N populations at all temperatures, suggesting that larger pupae lost more weight during metamorphosis. The changes in SSD with temperature were similar between the S and the S × N populations and between the N and the N × S populations, also suggesting a maternal effect. Overall, our results showed no drastic effect of hybridization on C. bowringi, being neither negative (hybrid inferiority) nor positive (heterosis). Rather, the phenotypes of hybrids were intermediate between the phenotypes of their parents.
No studies have reported on how to relieve distress or relax in medical health workers while wearing medical protective equipment in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The study aimed to establish which relaxation technique, among six, is the most feasible in first-line medical health workers wearing medical protective equipment.
This was a two-step study collecting data with online surveys. Step 1: 15 first-line medical health workers were trained to use six different relaxation techniques and reported the two most feasible techniques while wearing medical protective equipment. Step 2: the most two feasible relaxation techniques revealed by step 1 were quantitatively tested in a sample of 65 medical health workers in terms of efficacy, no space limitation, no time limitation, no body position requirement, no environment limitation to be done, easiness to learn, simplicity, convenience, practicality, and acceptance.
Kegel exercise and autogenic relaxation were the most feasible techniques according to step 1. In step 2, Kegel exercise outperformed autogenic relaxation on all the 10 dimensions among the 65 participants while wearing medical protective equipment (efficacy: 24 v. 15, no space limitation: 30 v. 4, no time limitation: 31 v. 4, no body position requirement: 26 v. 4, no environment limitation: 30 v. 11, easiness to learn: 28 v. 5, simplicity: 29 v. 7, convenience: 29 v. 4, practicality: 30 v. 14, acceptance: 32 v. 6).
Kegel exercise seems a promising self-relaxation technique for first-line medical health workers while wearing medical protective equipment among COVID-19 pandemic.
Marangoni flow is the motion induced by a surface tension gradient along a fluid–fluid interface. In this study, we report a Marangoni flow generated when a bath of surfactant contacts a pre-wetted film of deionized water on a vertical substrate. The thickness profile of the pre-wetted film is set by gravitational drainage and so varies with the drainage time. The surface tension is lower in the bath due to the surfactant, and thus a liquid film climbs upwards along the vertical substrate due to the surface tension difference. Particle tracking velocimetry is performed to measure the dynamics in the film, where the mean fluid velocity reverses direction as the draining film encounters the front of the climbing film. The effect of the surfactant concentration and the pre-wetted film thickness on the film climbing is then studied. High-speed interferometry is used to measure the front position of the climbing film and the film thickness profile. As a result, higher surfactant concentration induces a faster and thicker climbing film. Also, for high surfactant concentrations, where Marangoni driving dominates, increasing the film thickness increases the rise speed of the climbing front, since viscous resistance is less important. In contrast, for low surfactant concentrations, where Marangoni driving balances gravitational drainage, increasing the film thickness decreases the rise speed of the climbing front while enhancing gravitational drainage. We rationalize these observations by utilizing a dimensionless parameter that compares the magnitudes of the Marangoni stress and gravitational drainage. A model is established to analyse the climbing front, either in the Marangoni-driving-dominated region or in the Marangoni-balanced drainage region. Our work highlights the effects of the gravitational drainage on the Marangoni flow, both by setting the thickness of a pre-wetted film and by resisting the film climbing.
Animal studies have suggested that mushroom intake can alleviate non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. However, the association between mushroom intake and NAFLD is unknown in humans. We aimed to investigate the association of mushroom intake with NAFLD among Chinese adults. This is a cross-sectional study of 24 236 adults (mean (standard deviation) age: 40·7 (sd 11·9) years; 11 394 men (47·0 %)). Mushroom intake was assessed via a validated FFQ. Newly diagnosed NAFLD was identified based on the results of annual health examinations, including ultrasound findings and a self-reported history of the disease. Multiple logistic models were used to examine the association between mushroom intake and NAFLD. The prevalence of newly diagnosed NAFLD was 19·0 %. Compared with those consuming mushrooms less frequently (≤1 time/week), the fully adjusted OR of newly diagnosed NAFLD were 0·95 (95 % CI 0·86, 1·05) for those consuming 2–3 times/week and 0·76 (95 % CI 0·63, 0·92) for those consuming ≥4 times/week (Pfor trend = 0·01). The inverse association was consistent in subgroups defined by age, sex and BMI. In conclusion, higher mushroom intake was significantly associated with lower prevalence of NAFLD among Chinese adults. Future research is required to understand the causal association between mushroom intake and NAFLD.
To explore whether and how group cognitive-behavioural therapy (GCBT) plus medication differs from medication alone for the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD).
Hundred and seventy patients were randomly assigned to the GCBT plus duloxetine (n=89) or duloxetine group (n=81). The primary outcomes were Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA) response and remission rates. The explorative secondary measures included score reductions from baseline in the HAMA total, psychic, and somatic anxiety subscales (HAMA-PA, HAMA-SA), the Hamilton Depression Scale, the Severity Subscale of Clinical Global Impression Scale, Global Assessment of Functioning, and the 12-item Short-Form Health Survey. Assessments were conducted at baseline, 4-week, 8-week, and 3-month follow-up.
At 4 weeks, HAMA response (GCBT group 57.0% vs. control group 24.4%, p=0.000, Cohen’s d=0.90) and remission rates (GCBT group 21.5% vs. control group 6.2%, p=0.004; d=0.51), and most secondary outcomes (all p<0.05, d=0.36−0.77) showed that the combined therapy was superior. At 8 weeks, all the primary and secondary significant differences found at 4 weeks were maintained with smaller effect sizes (p<0.05, d=0.32−0.48). At 3-month follow-up, the combined therapy was only significantly superior in the HAMA total (p<0.045, d=0.43) and HAMA-PA score reductions (p<0.001, d=0.77). Logistic regression showed superiority of the combined therapy for HAMA response rates [odds ratio (OR)=2.12, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02−4.42, p=0.04] and remission rates (OR=2.80, 95% CI 1.27−6.16, p=0.01).
Compared with duloxetine alone, GCBT plus duloxetine showed significant treatment response for GAD over a shorter period of time, particularly for psychic anxiety symptoms, which may suggest that GCBT was effective in changing cognitive style.
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.
Hepatitis B constitutes a severe public health challenge in China. The Community-based Collaborative Innovation hepatitis B (CCI-HBV) project is a national epidemiological study of hepatitis B and has been conducting a comprehensive intervention in southern Zhejiang since 2009.
The comprehensive intervention in CCI-HBV areas includes the dynamic hepatitis B screening in local residents, the normalised treatment for hepatitis B infections and the upcoming full-aged hepatitis B vaccination. After two rounds of screening (each round taking for 4 years), the initial epidemiological baseline of hepatitis B in Qinggang was obtained, a coastal community in east China. By combining key data and system dynamics modelling, the regional hepatitis B epidemic in 20 years was predicted.
There were 1041 HBsAg positive cases out of 12 228 people in Round 1 indicating HBV prevalence of 8.5%. Of the 13 146 people tested in Round 2, 1171 people were HBsAg positive, with a prevalence of 8.9%. By comparing the two rounds of screening, the HBV incidence rate of 0.192 per 100 person-years was observed. By consulting electronic medical records, the HBV onset rate of 0.533 per 100 person-years was obtained. We generated a simulated model to replicate the real-world situation for the next two decades. To evaluate the effect of interventions on regional HBV prevalence, three comparative experiments were conducted.
In this study, the regional hepatitis B epidemic in 20 years was predicted and compared with HBV prevalence under different interventions. Owing to the existing challenges in research methodology, this study combined HBV field research and simulation to provide a system dynamics model with close-to-real key data to improve prediction accuracy. The simulation also provided a prompt guidance for the field implementation.
Previous studies in China showed large sex differences in childhood overweight and obesity (OW/OB) rates. However, limited research has examined the cause of these sex differences. The present study aimed to examine individual and parental/familial factors associated with sex differences in childhood OW/OB rates in China.
Variables associated with child weight status, beliefs and behaviours, and obesity-related parenting practices were selected to examine their sex differences and association with a sex difference in child OW/OB outcomes using logistic regression analysis.
Cross-sectional data analysis using the 2011 China Health and Nutrition Survey.
Children aged 6–17 years (n 1544) and their parents.
Overall child OW/OB prevalence was 16·8 %. Adolescent boys (AB; 12–17 years) were about twice as likely to be overweight/obese as adolescent girls (AG; 15·5 v. 8·4 %, P<0·05). AB more likely had energy intake exceeding recommendations, self-perceived underweight, underestimated their body weight and were satisfied with their physical activity level than AG. AG more likely practised weight-loss management through diet and self-perceived overweight than AB. Mothers more likely identified AG’s weight accurately but underestimated AB’s weight. Stronger associations with risk of childhood OW/OB were found in boys than girls in dieting to lose weight (OR=6·7 in boys v. 2·6 in girls) and combined maternal and child perception of the child’s overweight (OR=35·4 in boys v. 14·2 in girls).
Large sex differences in childhood obesity may be related to the sex disparities in weight-related beliefs and behaviours among children and their parents in China.
Childhood obesity has increased rapidly in China, but understanding is limited on how parents perceive their child’s weight status and how this perception affects weight-related parenting practices. We examined maternal perception of her child’s weight status and its association with demographics, subsequent weight-related parenting practices, the child’s health behaviours and weight change.
Maternal perception of child’s weight status and health behaviours from the China Health and Nutrition Surveys were assessed at baseline and in follow-up surveys for 816 children aged 6–18 years during 2004–2011. Associations were tested using mixed models.
Overall, maternal and child perceptions of the child’s weight status were fairly consistent (κw=0·56), 63·8 % of mothers had correct perception. While 9·6 % of mothers perceived their child as overweight, 10·9 % of children did so, and 13·6 % of children were indeed overweight. Compared with mothers who viewed their children as normal weight, mothers who thought their children were overweight were more likely to encourage their children to increase their physical activity (OR; 95 % CI: 1·8; 1·0, 3·3) and to diet (4·3; 2·3, 7·8). Children perceived as overweight by their mothers were more likely to have insufficient physical activity (2·8; 1·6, 4·7) and gain more weight during follow-up (BMI Z-score, β (se): 1·0 (0·1); P<0·01) than children perceived by their mothers as normal weight.
In China, mothers who perceive their child as overweight are more likely to encourage their child to exercise and modify their diet for weight management, but this encouragement does not seem to improve the child’s health behaviours and weight status.
The temporal dynamics of ciliate community structure in a southern Chinese shrimp aquaculture facility were investigated during the period June–September 2012. A total of 53 species belonging to 37 genera and 17 orders were recorded based on analyses of eight samples. Ciliate abundance peaked between 16 August and 14 September 2012, while the maximum number of species occurred on 26 June 2012. Clear temporal patterns were observed in the ciliate community structure. The patterns of succession of the 10 most abundant species were consistent with the results of a Canonical Analysis of Principal coordinates (CAP) analysis. Correlation analyses showed that these patterns of succession were related to temporal changes in environmental variables. In summary, the results demonstrate that the ciliate community responds predictably to environmental variations and recovers from shrimp cultivation.
This paper studies the evolution of wealth inequality in an economy with endogenous borrowing constraints. In the model economy, young agents need to borrow to finance human capital investments but cannot commit to repaying their loans. Creditors can punish defaulters by banishing them permanently from the credit market. At equilibrium, loan default is prevented by imposing a borrowing limit tied to the borrower's inheritance. The heterogeneity in inheritances translates into heterogeneity in borrowing limits: endogenously, some borrowers face a zero borrowing limit, and some are partly constrained, whereas others are unconstrained. Depending on the initial distribution of inheritances, it is possible that all lineages are attracted either to the zero-borrowing-limit steady state or to the unconstrained-borrowing steady state—long-run equality. It is also possible that some lineages end up in one steady state and the rest in the other—complete polarization.
Picoeukaryotes (<2–3 μm) perform key roles for the functioning of marine ecosystems, but little is known regarding the composition and diversity of picoeukaryotes in aquaculture areas. In this study, the Illumina MiSeq platform was used for sequencing the V4 variable region within the 18S rDNA gene to analyse genetic diversity and relative abundance of picoeukaryotic communities in the Qinhuangdao scallop cultivation area of the Bohai Sea. The community was dominated by three super groups, the alveolates (54%), stramenopiles (41%) and chlorophytes (3%), and three groups, dinoflagellates (54%), pelagomonadales (40%) and prasinophytes (3%). Furthermore, a contrasting station with open water away from the eutrophic aquaculture area was chosen. The communities collected from the two stations exhibited significant differences, with higher diversity in the aquaculture area. These results provide the first snapshot of the picoeukaryotic diversity in surface waters of the Qinhuangdao scallop cultivation area, and basic data for future studies on picoeukaryote community in an aquaculture region.
The strain hardening effect and dynamic recovery behavior of a Ni-based superalloy are studied by isothermal compressive tests. A new unified dislocation-density based constitutive model is developed to characterize the strain hardening effect and dynamic recovery behavior of the studied superalloy. In the developed constitutive model, some material parameters (yield stress, strain hardening coefficient, and dynamic recovery coefficient) are assumed as functions of initial grain size, deformation temperature, and strain rate. An iterative algorithm is designed to predict the high-temperature deformation behaviors under time-variant hot working conditions. The hot deformation parameters and material parameters can be updated in each strain increment. Comparisons between the experimental and calculated flow stresses indicate that the developed constitutive model can accurately describe the high-temperature deformation behavior of the studied superalloy. Furthermore, the developed constitutive model is also successfully used for analyzing time-variant hot working processes.
A new yttrium-zirconium-pillared montmorillonite (Y-Zr-MMT), was synthesized, characterized and used as a Ce catalyst support. The Y-Zr-MMT is a good support for dispersing cerium active sites and it is responsible for the high activity in the total oxidation of acetone, toluene and ethyl acetate. The Y-Zr-MMT shows greater advantages than the conventional alumina/cordierite honeycomb supports such as large specific surface area, lower cost and easier preparation. Catalytic tests demonstrated that Ce/Y-Zr-MMT (Ce loading 8.0%) was the most active, with the total oxidation of acetone, toluene and ethyl acetate being achieved at 220, 300 and 220°C, respectively. The catalyst displayed better activity for the oxidation of acetone and ethyl acetate than a conventional, supported Pd-catalyst under similar conditions. The special structure of the yttrium-doped zirconium-pillared montmorillonite can strengthen the interaction between the CeO2 and Zr-MMT support and improve the dispersion of the Ce particles, which enhances the catalytic activity for the oxidation of VOCs. The new catalyst, 8.0%Ce/Y-Zr-MMT, could be promising for industrial applications due to its high catalytic activity and low cost. The support and the catalysts were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and BET specific surface area measurements.
The impairment in the rate of cell proliferation and differentiation leads to a negative consequence on the renewal of the intestinal epithelium, which is the aetiological factor of a number of digestive diseases. Grape seed extract (GSE), a rich source of proanthocyanidins, is known for its beneficial health effects. The present study evaluated the beneficial effects of GSE on colonic cell differentiation and barrier function in IL10-deficient mice. Female mice aged 6 weeks were randomised into two groups and given drinking-water containing 0 or 0·1 % GSE (w/v) for 12 weeks. GSE supplementation decreased serum TNF-α level and intestinal permeability, and increased the colonic goblet cell density that was associated with increased mRNA expression of mucin (Muc)-2. Immunohistochemical analyses showed lower accumulation of β-catenin in the crypts of colon tissues of the GSE-supplemented mice, which was associated with a decreased mRNA expression of two downstream effectors of Wingless and Int (Wnt)/catenin signalling, myelocytomatosis oncogene protein (Myc) and cyclin D1 (Ccnd1). Consistently, GSE supplementation decreased the number of colonic proliferating cell nuclear antigen-positive cells, a well-known cell proliferation marker, and a weakened extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) signalling. In summary, these data indicate that supplementation of 0·1 % GSE for 12 weeks improved gut barrier function and colonic cell differentiation in the IL10-deficient mice probably via inhibiting Wnt/β-catenin pathway.
Plate-shaped Gd2O3 nanoclusters (GNCs) with well-controlled loading were fabricated by using amphiphilic poly(maleic anhydride-alt-1-octadecene) (PMAO) grafted with PEG as nanogel. The hydrodynamic size of the obtained GNCs was well controlled to <260 nm under appropriate emulsion process conditions and they showed excellent long-term dispersibility in phosphate buffer saline. MRI measurements clearly indicated the substantial improvement in T1 effect of the nanoclusters as compared with the individual Gd2O3 nanoplates. The obtained GNCs possessed a high r1 value of 7.948 s−1mM−1 [Gd], which is 2.23 times higher than that of the commercial product Gd-DOTA, and low r2/r1 of 1.04. In vitro test of the obtained GNCs was demonstrated in NIH/3T3 cell lines, and clear T1-weighted images were obtained. Thus, the PMAO-g-PEG assisted GNCs were potentially useful for T1-weighted MRI contrast agents.
This study was designed to determine the effect of melatonin on the in vitro maturation (IVM) and developmental potential of bovine oocytes denuded of the cumulus oophorus (DOs). DOs were cultured alone (DOs) or with 10−9 M melatonin (DOs + MT), cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs) were cultured without melatonin as the control. After IVM, meiosis II (MII) rates of DOs, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, apoptotic rates and parthenogenetic blastocyst rates of MII oocytes were determined. The relative expression of ATP synthase F0 Subunit 6 and 8 (ATP6 and ATP8), bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP-15) and growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF-9) mRNA in MII oocytes and IFN-tau (IFN-τ), Na+/K+-ATPase, catenin-beta like 1 (CTNNBL1) and AQP3 mRNA in parthenogenetic blastocysts were quantified using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The results showed that: (1) melatonin significantly increased the MII rate of DOs (65.67 ± 3.59 % vs. 82.29 ± 3.92%; P < 0.05), decreased the ROS level (4.83 ± 0.42 counts per second (c.p.s) vs. 3.78 ± 0.29 c.p.s; P < 0.05) and apoptotic rate (36.99 ± 3.62 % vs. 21.88 ± 2.08 %; P < 0.05) and moderated the reduction of relative mRNA levels of ATP6, ATP8, BMP-15 and GDF-9 caused by oocyte denudation; (2) melatonin significantly increased the developmental rate (24.17 ± 3.54 % vs. 35.26 ± 4.87%; P < 0.05), and expression levels of IFN-τ, Na+/K+-ATPase, CTNNBL1 and AQP3 mRNA of blastocyst. These results indicated that melatonin significantly improved the IVM quality of DOs, leading to an increased parthenogenetic blastocyst formation rate and quality.