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Age is a risk factor for numerous diseases. Although the development of modern medicine has greatly extended the human lifespan, the duration of relatively healthy old age, or ‘healthspan’, has not increased. Targeting the detrimental processes that can occur before the onset of age-related diseases can greatly improve health and lifespan. Healthspan is significantly affected by what, when and how much one eats. Dietary restriction, including calorie restriction, fasting or fasting-mimicking diets, to extend both lifespan and healthspan has recently attracted much attention. However, direct scientific evidence that consuming specific foods extends the lifespan and healthspan seems lacking. Here, we synthesized the results of recent studies on the lifespan and healthspan extension properties of foods and their phytochemicals in various organisms to confirm how far the scientific research on the effect of food on the lifespan has reached.
This study investigated the effect of the flavonoid-based compound isorhamnetin (ISO) on maturation and developmental competence in oxidative stress-exposed porcine oocytes in vitro. Treatment with 2 μM ISO (2 ISO) increases the developmental rate of oxidative stress-exposed porcine oocytes during in vitro maturation (IVM). The glutathione level and mRNA expression of antioxidant-related genes (NFE2L2 and SOD2) were increased in the 2 ISO-treated group, whereas the reactive oxygen species level was decreased. Treatment with 2 ISO increased mRNA expression of a cumulus cell expansion-related gene (SHAS2) and improved chromosomal alignment. mRNA expression of maternal genes (CCNB1, MOS, BMP15 and GDF9) and mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) activity were increased in the 2 ISO-treated group. The total cell number per blastocyst and percentage of apoptotic cells were increased and decreased in the 2 ISO-treated group, respectively. Treatment with 2 ISO increased mRNA expression of development-related genes (SOX2, NANOG, and POU5F1) and anti-apoptotic genes (BCL2L1 and BIRC5) and decreased that of pro-apoptotic genes (CASP3 and FAS). These results demonstrate that 2 ISO improves the quality of porcine oocytes by protecting them against oxidative stress during IVM and enhances subsequent embryo development in vitro. Therefore, we propose that ISO is a useful supplement for IVM of porcine oocytes.
Our previous studies have already revealed that β-cryptoxanthin (BCX), hesperetin (HES), and icariin (ICA) antioxidants are effective for in vitro maturation (IVM) of porcine oocytes. In this study, we investigated which of BCX, HES, or ICA was more effective for IVM of porcine oocytes. The antioxidant properties were assessed with aged porcine oocytes and embryos by comparing 2,2-diphenyl-1-(2,4,6-trinitrophenyl)hydrazyl (DPPH), reducing power, and H2O2 scavenging activity assays. The chemical assay results demonstrated that BCX had a greater DPPH scavenging activity and reducing power than HES and ICA, compared with controls. However, the H2O2 scavenging activity of the antioxidants was similar when tested at the optimal concentrations of 1 μM BCX (BCX-1), 100 μM HES (HES-100), and 5 μM ICA (ICA-5). The biological assay results showed that BCX-1 treatment was more effective in inducing a significant reduction in reactive oxygen species (ROS), improving glutathione levels, and increasing the expression of antioxidant genes. In addition, BCX-1 inhibited apoptosis by increasing the expression of anti-apoptotic genes and decreasing pro-apoptotic genes in porcine parthenogenetic blastocysts. BCX-1 also significantly increased the blastocyst formation rate compared with the ageing control group, HES-100 and ICA-5. This study demonstrates that damage from ROS produced during oocyte ageing can be prevented by supplementing antioxidants into the IVM medium, and BCX may be a potential candidate to improve assisted reproductive technologies.
Mental illness among survivors of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-2019) during the post-illness period is an emerging and important health issue.
We aimed to investigate the prevalence of mental illness and the associated factors for its development among COVID-2019 survivors.
From 1 January to 4 June 2020, data were extracted from the National Health Insurance Service COVID-19 database in South Korea. Patients with COVID-19 were defined as those whose test results indicated that they had contracted the infection, regardless of disease severity. COVID-19 survivors were defined as those who recovered from the infection. The primary end-point was the development of mental illness, which was evaluated between 1 January and 1 December 2020.
A total 260 883 individuals were included in this study, and 2.36% (6148) were COVID-19 survivors. The COVID-19 survivors showed higher prevalence of mental illness than the control group (12.0% in the COVID-19 survivors v. 7.7% in the control group; odds ratio (OR) = 2.40, 95% CI 2.21–2.61, P < 0.001). Additionally, compared with the control group, the no specific treatment for COVID-19 group (OR = 2.23, 95% CI 2.03–2.45, P < 0.001) and specific treatment for COVID-19 group (OR = 3.27, 95% CI 2.77–3.87, P < 0.001) showed higher prevalence of mental illness among survivors.
In South Korea, COVID-19 survivors had a higher risk of developing mental illness compared with the rest of the populations. Moreover, this trend was more evident in COVID-19 survivors who experienced specific treatment in the hospital.
Refugees commonly experience difficulties with emotional processing, such as alexithymia, due to stressful or traumatic experiences. However, the functional connectivity of the amygdala, which is central to emotional processing, has yet to be assessed in refugees. Thus, the present study investigated the resting-state functional connectivity of the amygdala and its association with emotional processing in North Korean (NK) refugees.
This study included 45 NK refugees and 40 native South Koreans (SK). All participants were administered the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Clinician-administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), and differences between NK refugees and native SK in terms of resting-state functional connectivity of the amygdala were assessed. Additionally, the association between the strength of amygdala connectivity and the TAS score was examined.
Resting-state connectivity values from the left amygdala to the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) were higher in NK refugees than in native SK. Additionally, the strength of connectivity between the left amygdala and right dlPFC was positively associated with TAS score after controlling for the number of traumatic experiences and BDI and CAPS scores.
The present study found that NK refugees exhibited heightened frontal–amygdala connectivity, and that this connectivity was correlated with alexithymia. The present results suggest that increased frontal–amygdala connectivity in refugees may represent frontal down-regulation of the amygdala, which in turn may produce alexithymia.
Personality may predispose family caregivers to experience caregiving differently in similar situations and influence the outcomes of caregiving. A limited body of research has examined the role of some personality traits for health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) in relation to burden and depression.
Data from a large clinic-based national study in South Korea, the Caregivers of Alzheimer's Disease Research (CARE), were analyzed (N = 476). Path analysis was performed to explore the association between family caregivers’ personality traits and HRQoL. With depression and burden as mediating factors, direct and indirect associations between five personality traits and HRQoL of family caregivers were examined.
Results demonstrated the mediating role of caregiver burden and depression in linking two personality traits (neuroticism and extraversion) and HRQoL. Neuroticism and extraversion directly and indirectly influenced the mental HRQoL of caregivers. Neuroticism and extraversion only indirectly influenced their physical HRQoL. Neuroticism increased the caregiver's depression, whereas extraversion decreased it. Neuroticism only was mediated by burden to influence depression and mental and physical HRQoL.
Personality traits can influence caregiving outcomes and be viewed as an individual resource of the caregiver. A family caregiver's personality characteristics need to be assessed for tailoring support programs to get the optimal benefits from caregiver interventions.
During the past decade, carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) has emerged and spread across the world.1 The major carbapenemase enzymes currently being reported are KPC, NDM-1, VIM, IMP, and OXA.2 Because carbapenemase can be effectively transmitted via mobile genetic elements, and current therapeutic options for CPE infections are extremely limited, CPE may be one of the most serious contemporary threats to public health. However, very little is known about the characteristics of CPE carriage during hospitalization. The aims of this study were to investigate the clearance rate of CPE carriage and determine the number of consecutive negative cultures required to confirm CPE clearance. We also examined CPE transmission among hospitalized patients.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(11):1361–1362
Maslinic acid is found in various natural sources, most notably in pomace olive oil, and exerts pro-apoptotic activities in various cancer cells in vitro. In the present study, DU145 human prostate cancer cells were cultured with 0–25 μm-maslinic acid to examine the effects of maslinic acid on the metastatic capacity of prostate cancer cells. Maslinic acid significantly (P <0·05) inhibited the basal and epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced migration (27–64 %), invasion (23–60 %) and adhesion (8–40 %) of DU145 cells. Maslinic acid significantly (P <0·05) down-regulated both basal and EGF-stimulated secretion of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 (25–67 %), MMP-2 (50–86 %), urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA, about 100 %), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF, 98–100 %) and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMP)-1, as well as expression of uPA receptor (uPAR), intercellular adhesion molecules (22–33 %), vascular cell adhesion molecules (23–46 %) and E-cadherin, whereas it increased TIMP-2 secretion. Maslinic acid dramatically reduced the levels of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) protein and mRNA; the reduction was accompanied by reduced stability, nuclear levels and transcriptional activity of HIF-1α. The levels of phospho-Akt and phospho-extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) were reduced in cells treated with maslinic acid, and the phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitor LY294002 and the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase inhibitor PD98059 reduced HIF-1α levels and VEGF secretion. The results show that maslinic acid markedly inhibited the migration, invasion and adhesion of DU145 prostate cancer cells. Suppressing HIF-1α activation by inhibiting Akt and ERK activation may be part of the mechanism by which maslinic acid inhibited uPAR, E-cadherin, VEGF and MMP expression in DU145 cells.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signalling via tyrosine kinase B receptors may play an important role in ovarian development and function. It has been reported that metformin elevates the activity of Tyrosine kinase receptors and may amplify BDNF signalling. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of BDNF during in vitro maturation (IVM) and/or in vitro culture (IVC) (Experiment 1), and to evaluate the collaborative effect of BDNF and metformin treatment on the developmental competence of bovine in vitro fertilized (IVF) embryos (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, BDNF, which was added to our previously established IVM systems, significantly increased the proportions of MII oocytes at both 10 ng/ml (86.7%) and 100 ng/ml (85.4%) compared with the control (64.0%). However, there was no statistically significant difference in blastocyst development between the control or BDNF-supplemented groups. In Experiment 2, in order to investigate the effect of BDNF (10 ng/ml) and/or metformin (10−5 M) per se, TCM-199 without serum and hormones was used as the control IVM medium. The BDNF (48.3%) and BDNF plus metformin (56.5%) significantly enhanced the proportions of MII oocytes compared with the control (34.4%). Although, BDNF or metformin alone had no effect in embryo development, BDNF plus metformin significantly improved early embryo development to the 8–16-cell stage compared with the control (16.5 vs. 5.5%). In conclusion, the combination of BDNF and metformin may have a collaborative effect during the IVM period. These results could further contribute to the establishment of a more efficient bovine in vitro embryo production system.
The prevalence of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) strains causing bloodstream infection (BSI) has not been studied in Korea.
We sought to determine the prevalence of CA-MRSA strains among isolates recovered from patients with MRSA BSIs and to explore epidemiological changes in Korea. We also sought to evaluate clinical characteristics relevant to the development of healthcare-associated BSIs.
We prospectively collected consecutive MRSA isolates from patients with BSI at 4 hospitals from July 1 through November 30, 2007, and we also included MRSA isolates recovered from culture of blood samples collected during a previous year (October 1, 2004 through September 30, 2005) at a different hospital. Molecular typing studies were performed, including pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), multilocus sequence typing, Staphylococcus protein A (spa) typing, and staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) typing. We compared the clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients with healthcare-associated BSI due to CA-MRSA strains with those of patients with healthcare-associated BSI due to healthcare-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA) strains.
There were 76 cases of MRSA BSI, of which 4 (5.3%) were community-associated and 72 (94.7%) were healthcare-associated. Among the 72 HA-MRSA BSIs, 18 (25%) were community onset, and 54 (75%) were hospital onset. PFGE type D-ST72–spa B-SCCmec type IVA MRSA, the predominant genotype of CA-MRSA in Korea, accounted for 19 (25%) of all 76 MRSA BSIs, including 17 (23.6%) of 72 HA-MRSA BSIs and 11 (20.8%) of 53 hospital-onset HA-MRSA BSIs. Patients with healthcare-associated BSIs due to CA-MRSA strains carrying SCCmec type IVA tended to have fewer healthcare-associated risk factors, compared with patients with healthcare-associated BSIs due to HA-MRSA strains carrying other SCCmec types. The presence of a central venous catheter or other invasive device was the only independent factor differentiating patients infected with hospital-associated genotype strains from patients infected with other strains. Clinical outcomes were similar between both groups.
CA-MRSA strains are emerging as a major cause of BSI in healthcare settings in Korea. This changing epidemiology of MRSA poses a challenge to public health and infection control in hospital settings.
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