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DNA methylation is one of the most important epigenetic modifications in breast cancer (BC) development, and long-term dietary habits can alter DNA methylation. Cadherin-4 (CDH4, a member of the cadherin family) encodes Ca2+-dependent cell–cell adhesion glycoproteins. We conducted a case–control study (380 newly diagnosed BC and 439 cancer-free controls) to explore the relationship of CDH4 methylation in peripheral blood leukocyte DNA (PBL DNA), as well as its combined and interactive effects with dietary factors on BC risk. A case-only study (335 newly diagnosed BC) was conducted to analyse the association between CDH4 methylation in breast tissue DNA and dietary factors. CDH4 methylation was detected using quantitative methylation-specific PCR. Unconditional logistic regressions were used to analyse the association of CDH4 methylation in PBL DNA and BC risk. Cross-over analysis and unconditional logistic regression were used to calculate the combined and interactive effects between CDH4 methylation in PBL DNA and dietary factors in BC. CDH4 hypermethylation was significantly associated with increased BC risk in PBL DNA (ORadjusted (ORadj) = 2·70, (95 % CI 1·90, 3·83), P < 0·001). CDH4 hypermethylation also showed significant combined effects with the consumption of vegetables (ORadj = 4·33, (95 % CI 2·63, 7·10)), allium vegetables (ORadj = 7·00, (95 % CI 4·17, 11·77)), fish (ORadj = 7·92, (95 % CI 3·79, 16·53)), milk (ORadj = 6·30, (95 % CI 3·41, 11·66)), overnight food (ORadj = 4·63, (95 % CI 2·69, 7·99)), pork (ORadj = 5·59, (95 % CI 2·94, 10·62)) and physical activity (ORadj = 4·72, (95 % CI 2·87, 7·76)). Moreover, consuming milk was significantly related with decreased risk of CDH4 methylation (OR = 0·61, (95 % CI 0·38, 0·99)) in breast tissue. Our findings may provide direct guidance on the dietary intake for specific methylated carriers to decrease their risk for developing BC.
Semantic integration and working memory both decline with age. However, it remains unclear whether the semantic integration decline is independent of working memory decline or whether it can be solely explained by the latter factor. In this event-related potentials experiment, 43 younger adults and 43 cognitively healthy older adults read semantically congruent and incongruent sentences. After controlling for working memory, behavioral accuracy was significantly lower in the older adults than in the younger adults. In addition, the semantic integration related N400 effect (incongruent vs. congruent) for correct trials was apparent in the whole brain in the younger adults but restricted to the posterior region in the older adults. The results clarify the relationship between working memory and semantic integration, and clearly demonstrate that semantic integration decline is independent of working memory decline during aging.
The assessment and calibration of representational bias in modern soil phytolith assemblages provide the basis for improving interpretation of fossil phytolith assemblages. We studied soil phytolith representation by comparing phytoliths from living plant communities with those from paired surface soils, representing 39 plant communities in Northeast China. Together with the use of representation indices, the 34 and 30 soil morphotypes observed in forest and grassland samples, respectively, were both classified into the following four groups: “Associated types” were similarly represented in soils and in the corresponding species inventory data; “Over-represented types” and “Under-represented types” were respectively over- and under-represented in soils compared to the inventory data; and, in the case of “Special types,” the relationship with the parent plants was unclear. In addition, the diagnostic types exhibited different degrees of representation, while the most common morphotypes were equally represented between grassland samples and forest samples. On this basis, a comparison between the original and corrected soil phytolith indices of the additional 29 soil samples was conducted. The soil phytoliths frequencies corrected by R-values differed between plots with differing plant compositions, and were moderately consistent with actual plant richness in the plot inventory data. We therefore confirmed that R-values are a promising means of correcting soil phytoliths for representational bias in temperate regions. The corrected soil phytoliths can be used to reliably reflect vegetation variability. Overall, our study provides an improved understanding of soil phytolith representation and offers a potential method for improving the accuracy of paleovegetation reconstruction.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disability that may affect nutritional management of children with autism. This study aimed to compare the nutritional status of children with autism with that of typically developing children (aged 4–6 years) in China. Nutritional status was assessed by means of nutritional data, anthropometric data, biochemical assessment, physical examination for nutrient deficiencies and providing a questionnaire to parents. A total of fifty-three children with autism and fifty-three typically developing children were enrolled in this study. The parents were asked to complete the questionnaire regarding the eating behaviour and gastrointestinal symptoms of their children. They were also asked to provide a 3 d food diary. Children with autism exhibited several abnormalities in terms of eating behaviour and gastrointestinal symptoms. The levels of vitamins A and B6, Zn and Ca intakes were <80 % of the dietary reference intakes in both groups. In addition, the proportions of vitamin C and Ca intake deficiencies in the autism group were significantly higher than those in the control group. Serum Zn level was less than the normal reference range in both the groups. Serum Ca, vitamin A and folate levels in children with autism were significantly lower when compared with children without autism. According to the anthropometric data, the mean BMI, weight-for-height Z-score (ZWH) and BMI for age Z-score (ZBMIA) of children with autism were significantly higher than those of the typically developing children. Thus, nutritional inadequacies were observed in children with autism and typically developing children in China, which were, however, more pronounced among children with autism.
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