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We investigated the effects of botulinum toxin on gait in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients with foot dystonia. Six patients underwent onabotulinum toxin A injection and were assessed by Burke–Fahn–Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale (BFMDRS), visual analog scale (VAS) of pain, Timed Up and Go (TUG), Berg Balance Test (BBT), and 3D gait analysis at baseline, 1 month, and 3 months. BFMDRS (p = 0.002), VAS (p = 0.024), TUG (p = 0.028), and BBT (p = 0.034) were improved. Foot pressures at Toe 1 (p = 0.028) and Midfoot (p = 0.018) were reduced, indicating botulinum toxin’s effects in alleviating the dystonia severity and pain and improving foot pressures during walking in PD.
Seed coat colour is an important quality trait, domestication trait and morphological marker, and is closely associated with flavonoid and anthocyanin metabolism pathways. The seed coat colour of adzuki bean, an important legume crop, influences the processing quality of its paste, the commodity and its nutritional quality. In this study, the genetic relationships of seed coat colour were analysed using 12 hybridized combinations of F2 individuals and four F3 families derived from hybridized combinations between the accessions of eight seed coat colours. The loci of the colour traits were analysed based on phenotypes and using the chi-square test. Ivory colour is recessive to red and is controlled by a single R locus. Black, black mottle on grey, black mottle on red, light brown, golden and brown are all dominant to red. The phenotypes of black mottle on red, light brown, golden and brown are all controlled by a single genetic locus. Black mottle on grey is controlled by two loci. Black is controlled with two loci, and the black locus shows dominant epistasis to another locus. A genetic model of these seed coat colours was predicted. Our results will be important for gene mapping and cloning of seed coat colour characters and for providing further insight into the regulatory network of seed coat colour.
To explore the effect of manno-oligosaccharide (MOS) on intestinal health in weaned pigs upon enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli K88 (ETEC) challenge, thirty-two male weaned pigs were randomly assigned into four groups. Pigs fed with a basal diet or basal diet containing MOS (0·6 g/kg) were orally infused with ETEC or culture medium. Results showed that MOS significantly elevated the digestibility of crude protein and gross energy in both ETEC-challenged and non-challenged pigs (P < 0·05). MOS also elevated serum concentrations of IgA and IgM (P < 0·05), but decreased serum concentrations of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 (P < 0·05) in ETEC-challenged pigs. Interestingly, MOS increased villus height and the ratio of villus height:crypt depth in duodenum and ileum (P < 0·05). MOS also increased duodenal sucrase and ileal lactase activity in ETEC-challenged pigs (P < 0·05). MOS decreased the abundance of E. coli, but increased the abundance of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Bacillus in caecum (P < 0·05). Importantly, MOS not only elevated the expression levels of zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1), claudin-1 and GLUT-2 in duodenum (P < 0·05) but also elevated the expression levels of ZO-1, GLUT-2 and L-type amino acid transporter-1 in ileum (P < 0·05) upon ETEC challenge. These results suggested that MOS can alleviate inflammation and intestinal injury in weaned pigs upon ETEC challenge, which was associated with suppressed secretion of inflammatory cytokines and elevated serum Ig, as well as improved intestinal epithelium functions and microbiota.
This study aimed to explore the impacts of COVID-19 outbreak on mental health status in general population in different affected areas in China.
This was a comparative study including two groups of participants: (1) general population in an online survey in Ya'an and Jingzhou cities during the COVID-19 outbreak from 10–20 February 2020; and (2) matching general population selected from the mental health survey in Ya'an in 2019 (from January to May 2019). General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), Self-rating Anxiety Scale (SAS), and Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS) were used.
There were 1775 participants (Ya'an in 2019 and 2020: 537 respectively; Jingzhou in 2020: 701). Participants in Ya'an had a significantly higher rate of general health problems (GHQ scores ⩾3) in 2020 (14.7%) than in 2019 (5.2%) (p < 0.001). Compared with Ya'an (8.0%), participants in Jingzhou in 2020 had a significantly higher rate of anxiety (SAS scores ⩾50, 24.1%) (p < 0.001). Participants in Ya'an in 2020 had a significantly higher rate of depression (SDS scores ⩾53, 55.3%) than in Jingzhou (16.3%) (p < 0.001). The risk factors of anxiety symptoms included female, number of family members (⩾6 persons), and frequent outdoor activities. The risk factors of depression symptoms included participants in Ya'an and uptake self-protective measures.
The prevalence of psychological symptoms has increased sharply in general population during the COVID-19 outbreak. People in COVID-19 severely affected areas may have higher scores of GHQ and anxiety symptoms. Culture-specific and individual-based psychosocial interventions should be developed for those in need during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Solid solution 0.94Na0.5Bi0.5TiO3–6BaTiO3 (NBT–6BT) is considered to be one kind of lead-free piezoelectric materials with excellent electrical properties due to the existence of morphotropic phase boundary (MPB). However, its relatively lower depolarization temperature is a long-standing bottleneck for the application of NBT-based piezoelectric ceramics. In this work, the influence of thermal quenching on depolarization temperature and electrical properties of rare-earth Ho-doped NBT–6BT lead-free ceramics was investigated. It was shown that the relative high piezoelectric performance, as well as an improvement of depolarization temperature (Td), can be realized by thermal quenching. The results showed that the quenching process induced high concentration of oxygen vacancy, giving rise to the change of octahedra mode and enhanced lattice distortion, which is benefit to the temperature stability of piezoelectric and ferroelectric properties. Furthermore, up-conversion photoluminescence (PL) of Ho-doped NBT–6BT could be effectively tuned by the introduction of oxygen vacancy, suggesting a promising potential in optical–electrical multifunctional devices.
Studies have suggested an association between metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases and major depressive disorder (MDD). However, the risk of metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases in the unaffected siblings of patients with MDD remains uncertain. Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, 22,438 unaffected siblings of patients with MDD and 89,752 age-/sex-matched controls were selected and followed up from 1996 to the end of 2011. Individuals who developed metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases during the follow-up period were identified. Compared with the controls, the unaffected siblings of patients with MDD had a higher prevalence of metabolic diseases, such as hypertension (5.0% vs. 4.5%, p = 0.007), dyslipidemia (5.6% vs. 4.8%, p < 0.001), and obesity (1.7% vs. 1.5%, p = 0.028), and cerebrocardiovascular diseases, such as ischemic stroke (0.6% vs. 0.4%, p < 0.005) and ischemic heart disease (2.1% vs. 1.7%, p < 0.001). Logistic regression analyses revealed that the unaffected siblings of patients with MDD were more likely to develop hypertension, dyslipidemia, ischemic stroke, and ischemic heart diseases during the follow-up period than the controls. Our study revealed a familial coaggregation between MDD and metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases. Additional studies are required to investigate the shared pathophysiology of MDD and metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases.
Family coaggregation of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), bipolar disorder (BD), major depressive disorder (MDD) and schizophrenia have been presented in previous studies. The shared genetic and environmental factors among psychiatric disorders remain elusive.
This nationwide population-based study examined familial coaggregation of major psychiatric disorders in first-degree relatives (FDRs) of individuals with ASD. Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database was used to identify 26 667 individuals with ASD and 67 998 FDRs of individuals with ASD. The cohort was matched in 1:4 ratio to 271 992 controls. The relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of ADHD, ASD, BD, MDD and schizophrenia were assessed among FDRs of individuals with ASD and ASD with intellectual disability (ASD-ID).
FDRs of individuals with ASD have higher RRs of major psychiatric disorders compared with controls: ASD 17.46 (CI 15.50–19.67), ADHD 3.94 (CI 3.72–4.17), schizophrenia 3.05 (CI 2.74–3.40), BD 2.22 (CI 1.98–2.48) and MDD 1.88 (CI 1.76–2.00). Higher RRs of schizophrenia (4.47, CI 3.95–5.06) and ASD (18.54, CI 16.18–21.23) were observed in FDRs of individuals with both ASD-ID, compared with ASD only.
The risk for major psychiatric disorders was consistently elevated across all types of FDRs of individuals with ASD. FDRs of individuals with ASD-ID are at further higher risk for ASD and schizophrenia. Our results provide leads for future investigation of shared etiologic pathways of ASD, ID and major psychiatric disorders and highlight the importance of mental health care delivered to at-risk families for early diagnoses and interventions.
Studies have suggested the detrimental effects of obesity and systemic inflammation on the cognitive function of patients with bipolar or major depressive disorder. However, the complex associations between affective disorder, obesity, systemic inflammation, and cognitive dysfunction remain unclear.
Overall, 110 patients with affective disorder (59 with bipolar I disorder and 51 with major depressive disorder) who scored ≥61 on the Global Assessment of Functioning and 51 age- and sex-matched controls were enrolled. Body mass index ≥25 kg/m2 was defined as obesity or overweight. Levels of proinflammatory cytokines—including interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and C-reactive protein (CRP)—were measured, and cognitive function was assessed using various methods, including the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and go/no-go task.
Patients with bipolar I disorder or major depressive disorder were more likely to be obese or overweight, had higher CRP and TNF-α levels, and had greater executive dysfunction in the WCST than the controls. TNF-α level (P < .05) but not affective disorder diagnosis or obesity/overweight was significantly associated with cognitive function deficits, although obesity/overweight and diagnosis were significantly associated with increased TNF-α level.
Our findings may indicate that proinflammatory cytokines, but not obesity or overweight, have crucial effects on cognitive function in patients with bipolar I disorder or major depressive disorder, although proinflammatory cytokines and obesity or overweight were found to be strongly associated. The complex relationships between affective disorder diagnosis, proinflammatory cytokine levels, obesity or overweight, and cognitive function require further investigation.
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.
Post-testicular maturation of spermatozoa is crucial for attaining the morphological and functional capabilities needed for successful fertilization. Epididymal epithelia offer a favorable environment for spermatozoa that are stored long term in the turtle epididymis; however, sperm–epithelial interactions during storage, which are enormously important for sperm functional and morphological maturation, are still largely unknown in turtles. The present study examined the epididymis during the sperm-storage period (November–April) in the Chinese soft-shelled turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis). Light and transmission electron microscopy were used to determine the cellular features of each epididymal segment (caput, corpus, and cauda) and their epithelial interactions with the spermatozoa. Spermatozoa were mainly located in the lumena of caput, corpus, and cauda epididymides. Numerous spermatozoa were bound to apical surfaces of the epithelia, and several were even embedded in the epithelial cytoplasm of the caput and corpus epididymides. No embedded spermatozoa were found in the cauda epididymis. In all epididymal segments, principal and clear cells showed the synthetic activity, evidenced by a well-developed endoplasmic reticulum network and high and low electron-dense secretory materials, respectively. Principal and clear cells in the caput and corpus segments showed embedded spermatozoa in electron-dense secretions and in the lipid droplets within the cytoplasm. No lysosomes were observed around the embedded spermatozoa. The lumena of the caput and corpus segments showed few apocrine and low electron density secretions. In the lumen of the cauda epididymidis, different secretions, such as holocrine with low and high electron density and their fragmentation, apocrine, and dictyosome, were found and are summarized. Altogether, sperm physical interactions with secretions either in the cytoplasm of epithelium or in the lumen may support the viability, morphological maintenance, and transfer of various proteins involved in long-term sperm storage in the turtle. This interaction could help us to understand the mechanisms of long-term sperm storage and provide more insights into the reproductive strategies of turtle sperm preservation.
Here, we explored the influences of dietary inulin (INU) supplementation on growth performance and intestinal health in a porcine model. Thirty-two male weaned pigs (with an average body weight of 7·10 (sd 0·20) kg) were randomly assigned to four treatments and fed with a basal diet (BD) or BD containing 2·5, 5·0 and 10·0 g/kg INU. After a 21-d trial, pigs were killed for collection of serum and intestinal tissues. We show that INU supplementation had no significant influence on the growth performance in weaned pigs. INU significantly elevated serum insulin-like growth factor-1 concentration but decreased diamine oxidase concentration (P < 0·05). Interestingly, 2·5 and 5·0 g/kg INU supplementation significantly elevated the villus height in jejunum and ileum (P < 0·05). Moreover, 2·5 and 5·0 g/kg INU supplementation also elevated the villus height to crypt depth (V:C) in the duodenum and ileum and improved the distribution and abundance of tight-junction protein zonula occludens-1 in duodenum and ileum epithelium. INU supplementation at 10·0 g/kg significantly elevated the sucrase activity in the ileum mucosa (P < 0·05). INU supplementation decreased the expression level of TNF-α but elevated the expression level of GLUT 2 and divalent metal transporter 1 in the intestinal mucosa (P < 0·05). Moreover, INU increased acetic and butyric acid concentrations in caecum (P < 0·05). Importantly, INU elevated the Lactobacillus population but decreased the Escherichia coli population in the caecum (P < 0·05). These results not only indicate a beneficial effect of INU on growth performance and intestinal barrier functions but also offer potential mechanisms behind the dietary fibre-regulated intestinal health.
Whether the first-degree relatives (FDRs) of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have an increased risk of the major psychiatric disorders, namely schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, OCD, major depressive disorder (MDD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), remains unclear.
Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database with the whole population sample size (n = 23 258 175), 89 500 FDRs, including parents, offspring, siblings, and twins, of patients with OCD were identified in our study. The relative risks (RRs) of major psychiatric disorders were assessed among FDRs of patients with OCD.
FDRs of patients with OCD had higher RRs of major psychiatric disorders, namely OCD (RR 8.11, 95% confidence interval (CI) 7.68–8.57), bipolar disorder (RR 2.85, 95% CI 2.68–3.04), MDD (RR 2.67, 95% CI 2.58–2.76), ASD (RR 2.38, 95% CI 2.10–2.71), ADHD (RR 2.19, 95% CI 2.07–2.32), and schizophrenia (RR 1.97, 95% CI 1.86–2.09), compared with the total population. Different familial kinships of FDRs, such as parents, offspring, siblings, and twins consistently had increased risks for these disorders. In addition, a dose-dependent relationship was found between the numbers of OCD probands and the risk of each major psychiatric disorder.
The FDRs, including parents, offspring, siblings, and twins, of patients with OCD have a higher risk of OCD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, MDD, ADHD, and ASD. The familial co-aggregation of OCD with OCD and other major psychiatric disorders was existent in a dose-dependent manner. Given the increased risks of psychiatric disorders, medical practitioners should closely monitor the mental health of the FDRs of patients with OCD.
The polymerization of 3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene (EDOT) onto nanosilica (SiO2) was synthesized in this study by using supercritical carbon dioxide (SCCO2). With the addition of dopants of p-toluenesulfonic acid (p-TSA) or decylbenzene sulfonic acid (DBSA), the PEDOT/SiO2 composite became conductive. The product was characterized by FTIR spectroscopy and the core-shell structure was confirmed through the TEM images. The electrical properties were analyzed by UV-vis absorbance and four-point probe measurement. DBSA is shown as the better dopants with the molar ratio (DBSA/EDOT) of 0.2 at the reaction time of 48 hours. The maximum coating percentage is 63 wt% under the optimal operation conditions at 40oC and 280 bar. The conductivity is tuned up to 6.6×10-2 S/cm after the coating process.
The authors design six alumina hybrid structures consisting of stretching-dominated plates and different space-filling lattices comprised of hollow tubes and perform finite element simulations to study mechanical and failure behaviors of such hybrid structures. The authors investigate the effects of three geometrical parameters on the stiffness and failure of these hybrid structures and further compare their advantages and disadvantages. The authors find that the failure modes of these hybrid structures can be tuned by altering cell unit type and geometrical parameters. Among these hybrid structures, the ones with effective support from the lattice unit cells in the stretching direction exhibit better specific stiffness and strength. By varying the lattice and plate thickness, the authors find that the relations between stiffness/failure strength and density follow a power law. When intrinsic material failure occurs, the power law exponent is 1; when buckling failure arises, the power law exponent is 3. However, by varying tube thickness, their relations follow unusual power relations with the exponent changing from nearly 0 to nearly infinity. In addition, the hybrid structures also exhibit defect insensitivity. This study shows that such hybrid structures are able to greatly expand the design space of architectured cellular materials for engineering applications.
The seminiferous tubule (ST) is the location of spermatogenesis, where mature spermatozoa are produced with the assistance of Sertoli cells. The role of extracellular vesicles in the direct communication between Sertoli-germ cells in the ST is still not fully understood. In this study, we reported multivesicular bodies (MVBs) and their source of CD63-enriched exosomes by light and ultrastructure microscopy during the reproductive phases of turtles. Strong CD63 immunopositivity was detected at the basal region in the early and luminal regions of the ST during late spermatogenesis by immunohistochemistry (IHC), immunofluorescence (IF), and western blot (WB) analysis. Labeling of CD63 was detected in the Sertoli cell cytoplasmic processes that surround the developing germ cells during early spermatogenesis and in the lumen of the ST with elongated spermatids during late spermatogenesis. Furthermore, ultrastructure analysis confirmed the existence of numerous MVBs in the Sertoli cell prolongations that surround the round and primary spermatogonia during acrosome biogenesis and with the embedded heads of spermatids in the cytoplasm of Sertoli cells. Additionally, in spermatids, Chrysanthemum flower centers (CFCs) generated isolated membranes involved in MVBs and autophagosome formation, and their fusion to form amphiosomes was also observed. Additionally, autophagy inhibition by 3-methyladenine (after 24 h) increased CD63 protein signals during late spermatogenesis, as detected by IF and WB. Collectively, our study found MVBs and CD63 rich exosomes within the Sertoli cells and their response to autophagy inhibition in the ST during the spermatogenesis in the turtle.
The present study was designed to investigate the in vivo biological processes of multivesicular bodies (MVBs) and exosomes in mitochondria-rich cells (MRCs), goblet cells (GCs), and absorptive cells (ACs) in turtle intestines during hibernation. The exosome markers, cluster of differentiation 63 (CD63) and tumor susceptibility gene 101 (TSG101), were positively expressed in intestinal villi during turtle hibernation. The distribution and formation processes of MVBs and exosomes in turtle MRCs, GCs, and ACs were further confirmed by transmission electron microscopy. During hibernation, abundantly secreted early endosomes (ees) were localized in the luminal and basal cytoplasm of the MRCs and ACs, and late endosomes (les) were dispersed with the supranuclear parts of the MRCs and ACs. Many “heterogeneous” MVBs were identified throughout the cytoplasm of the MRCs and ACs. Interestingly, the ees, les, and MVBs were detected in the cytoplasm of the GCs during hibernation; however, they were absent during nonhibernation. Furthermore, the exocytosis pathways of exosomes and autophagic vacuoles were observed in the MRCs, GCs, and ACs during hibernation. In addition, the number of different MVBs with intraluminal vesicles (ILVs) and heterogeneous endosome–MVB–exosome complexes was significantly increased in the MRCs, GCs, and ACs during hibernation. All these findings indicate that intestinal epithelial cells potentially perform a role in the secretion of MVBs and exosomes, which are essential for mucosal immunity, during hibernation.