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Environment-induced epigenetics are involved in diapause regulation, but the molecular mechanism that epigenetically couples nutrient metabolism to diapause regulation remains unclear. In this study, we paid special attention to the significant differences in the level of N6-adenosine methylation (m6A) of dihydroxyacetone phosphate acyltransferase (DHAPAT) and phosphatidate phosphatase (PAP) genes in the lipid metabolism pathway of the bivoltine silkworm (Bombyx mori) strain Qiufeng developed from eggs incubated at a normal temperature (QFHT, diapause egg producer) compared to those from eggs incubated at a low temperature (QFLT, non-diapause egg producer). We knocked down DHAPAT in the pupal stage of the QFLT group, resulting in the non-diapause destined eggs becoming diapausing eggs. In the PAP knockdown group, the colour of the non-diapause destined eggs changed from light yellow to pink 3 days after oviposition, but they hatched as normal. Moreover, we validated that YTHDF3 binds to m6A-modified DHAPAT and PAP mRNAs to promote their stability and translation. These results suggest that RNA m6A methylation participates in the diapause regulation of silkworm by changing the expression levels of DHAPAT and PAP and reveal that m6A epigenetic modification can be combined with a lipid metabolism signal pathway to participate in the regulation of insect diapause traits, which provides a clearer image for exploring the physiological basis of insect diapause.
Placental trophoblastic cells play important roles in placental development and fetal health. However, the mechanism of trophoblastic cell fusion is still not entirely clear. The level of Tspan5 in the embryo culture medium was detected using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Fusion of BeWo cells was observed by immunofluorescence. Cell fusion-related factors and EMT-related factors were identified by qRT-PCR and western blotting. Notch protein repressor DAPT was used to verify the role of Tspan5 in BeWo cells. The expression of Tspan5 was significantly increased in embryo culture medium. The fusion of BeWo cells was observed after treatment with forskolin (FSK). Cell fusion-related factors (i.e. β-hCG and syncytin 1/2) and Tspan5 were significantly increased after FSK treatment. In addition, FSK treatment promoted EMT-related protein expression in BeWo cells. Knockdown of Tspan5 inhibited cell fusion and EMT-related protein levels. Notch-1 and Jagged-1 protein levels were significantly upregulated, and the EMT process was activated by overexpression of Tspan5 in FSK-treated BeWo cells. Interestingly, blocking the Notch pathway by the repressor DAPT had the opposite results. These results indicated that Tspan5 could promote the EMT process by activating the Notch pathway, thereby causing cell fusion. These findings contribute to a better understanding of trophoblast cell syncytialization and embryonic development. Tspan5 may be used as a therapeutic target for normal placental development.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a serious psychiatric disorder marked by low mood and anhedonia. Understanding the neural mechanism of MDD is essential for the treatment of depression. White matter fibres, connecting different computational units in the brain, have an important effect on brain function; however, the mechanism of white matter fibre abnormality in MDD is still unclear.
Our study expected to find white matter abnormalities associated with the frontal lobe and hippocampus in individuals with MDD.
Using diffusion tensor imaging data and tract-based spatial statistics, we investigated the microstructural differences in white matter fibre tracts between 30 adults with MDD compared with 31 healthy controls, and calculated the association between MDD-related microstructural changes and illness duration.
It was found that patients with MDD showed reduced fractional anisotropy in the genu and body of the corpus callosum, right corona radiata and part of the thalamic radiations, suggesting lower fibrous myelination levels in these regions; the decreased fractional anisotropy in these regions was associated with longer illness duration.
Our results suggest that MDD may be associated with microstructural damage of key fibre tracts, which could provide insights into the understanding and treatment of MDD.
This study aims to understand the epidemiological characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the paediatric population during the outbreak of the Omicron variant in Shanghai. We retrospectively analysed the population-based epidemiological characteristics and clinical outcome of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant infection in children in Minhang District, Shanghai, based on the citywide surveillance system during the outbreak period in 2022 (March to May). During this time, a total of 63,969 cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection were notified in Minhang District, out of which 4,652 (7.3%) were children and adolescents <18 years. The incidence rate of SARS-CoV-2 infections in children was 153 per 10,000. Of all paediatric cases, 50% reported to be clinically symptomatic within 1–3 days after PCR confirmation by parents or themselves, with 36.3% and 18.9% of paediatric cases reporting fever and cough. Also, 58.4% of paediatric cases had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 52.1% had received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccination. Our findings are informative for the implementation of appropriate measures to protect children from the threat of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Post-acceleration of protons in helical coil targets driven by intense, ultrashort laser pulses can enhance ion energy by utilizing the transient current from the targets’ self-discharge. The acceleration length of protons can exceed a few millimeters, and the acceleration gradient is of the order of GeV/m. How to ensure the synchronization between the accelerating electric field and the protons is a crucial problem for efficient post-acceleration. In this paper, we study how the electric field mismatch induced by current dispersion affects the synchronous acceleration of protons. We propose a scheme using a two-stage helical coil to control the current dispersion. With optimized parameters, the energy gain of protons is increased by four times. Proton energy is expected to reach 45 MeV using a hundreds-of-terawatts laser, or more than 100 MeV using a petawatt laser, by controlling the current dispersion.
Trematodes of the genus Ogmocotyle are intestinal flukes that can infect a variety of definitive hosts, resulting in significant economic losses worldwide. However, there are few studies on molecular data of these trematodes. In this study, the mitochondrial (mt) genome of Ogmocotyle ailuri isolated from red panda (Ailurus fulgens) was determined and compared with those from Pronocephalata to investigate the mt genome content, genetic distance, gene rearrangements and phylogeny. The complete mt genome of O. ailuri is a typical closed circular molecule of 14 642 base pairs, comprising 12 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 transfer RNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes and 2 non-coding regions. All genes are transcribed in the same direction. In addition, 23 intergenic spacers and 2 locations with gene overlaps were determined. Sequence identities and sliding window analysis indicated that cox1 is the most conserved gene among 12 PCGs in O. ailuri mt genome. The sequenced mt genomes of the 48 Plagiorchiida trematodes showed 5 types of gene arrangement based on all mt genome genes, with the gene arrangement of O. ailuri being type I. Phylogenetic analysis using concatenated amino acid sequences of 12 PCGs revealed that O. ailuri was closer to Ogmocotyle sikae than to Notocotylus intestinalis. These data enhance the Ogmocotyle mt genome database and provide molecular resources for further studies of Pronocephalata taxonomy, population genetics and systematics.
Coastal eutrophication and hypoxia remain a persistent environmental crisis despite the great efforts to reduce nutrient loading and mitigate associated environmental damages. Symptoms of this crisis have appeared to spread rapidly, reaching developing countries in Asia with emergences in Southern America and Africa. The pace of changes and the underlying drivers remain not so clear. To address the gap, we review the up-to-date status and mechanisms of eutrophication and hypoxia in global coastal oceans, upon which we examine the trajectories of changes over the 40 years or longer in six model coastal systems with varying socio-economic development statuses and different levels and histories of eutrophication. Although these coastal systems share common features of eutrophication, site-specific characteristics are also substantial, depending on the regional environmental setting and level of social-economic development along with policy implementation and management. Nevertheless, ecosystem recovery generally needs greater reduction in pressures compared to that initiated degradation and becomes less feasible to achieve past norms with a longer time anthropogenic pressures on the ecosystems. While the qualitative causality between drivers and consequences is well established, quantitative attribution of these drivers to eutrophication and hypoxia remains difficult especially when we consider the social economic drivers because the changes in coastal ecosystems are subject to multiple influences and the cause–effect relationship is often non-linear. Such relationships are further complicated by climate changes that have been accelerating over the past few decades. The knowledge gaps that limit our quantitative and mechanistic understanding of the human-coastal ocean nexus are identified, which is essential for science-based policy making. Recognizing lessons from past management practices, we advocate for a better, more efficient indexing system of coastal eutrophication and an advanced regional earth system modeling framework with optimal modules of human dimensions to facilitate the development and evaluation of effective policy and restoration actions.
We firstly report a 2-μm all-fiber nonlinear pulse compressor based on two pieces of normal dispersion fiber (NDF), which enables a high-power scaling ability of watt-level and a high pulse compression ratio of 13.7. With the NDF-based all-fiber nonlinear pulse compressor, the 450-fs laser pulses with a repetition rate of 101.4 MHz are compressed to 35.1 fs, corresponding to a 5.2 optical oscillation cycle at the 2-μm wavelength region. The output average power reaches 1.28 W, which is believed to be the highest value never achieved from the previous 2-μm all-fiber nonlinear pulse compressors with a high pulse repetition rate above 100 MHz. The dynamic evolution of the ultrafast pulse inside the all-fiber nonlinear pulse compressor is numerically analyzed, matching well with the experimental results.
Hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) is one of the rate-determining enzymes in the hydrolysis of TAG, playing a crucial role in lipid metabolism. However, the role of HSL-mediated lipolysis in systemic nutrient homoeostasis has not been intensively understood. Therefore, we used CRISPR/Cas9 technique and Hsl inhibitor (HSL-IN-1) to establish hsla-deficient (hsla-/-) and Hsl-inhibited zebrafish models, respectively. As a result, the hsla-/- zebrafish showed retarded growth and reduced oxygen consumption rate, accompanied with higher mRNA expression of the genes related to inflammation and apoptosis in liver and muscle. Furthermore, hsla-/- and HSL-IN-1-treated zebrafish both exhibited severe fat deposition, whereas their expressions of the genes related to lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation were markedly reduced. The TLC results also showed that the dysfunction of Hsl changed the whole-body lipid profile, including increasing the content of TG and decreasing the proportion of phospholipids. In addition, the systemic metabolic pattern was remodelled in hsla-/- and HSL-IN-1-treated zebrafish. The dysfunction of Hsl lowered the glycogen content in liver and muscle and enhanced the utilisation of glucose plus the expressions of glucose transporter and glycolysis genes. Besides, the whole-body protein content had significantly decreased in the hsla-/- and HSL-IN-1-treated zebrafish, accompanied with the lower activation of the mTOR pathway and enhanced protein and amino acid catabolism. Taken together, Hsl plays an essential role in energy homoeostasis, and its dysfunction would cause the disturbance of lipid catabolism but enhanced breakdown of glycogen and protein for energy compensation.
Instrument delivery is critical part in vascular intervention surgery. Due to the soft-body structure of instruments, the relationship between manipulation commands and instrument motion is non-linear, making instrument delivery challenging and time-consuming. Reinforcement learning has the potential to learn manipulation skills and automate instrument delivery with enhanced success rates and reduced workload of physicians. However, due to the sample inefficiency when using high-dimensional images, existing reinforcement learning algorithms are limited on realistic vascular robotic systems. To alleviate this problem, this paper proposes discrete soft actor-critic with auto-encoder (DSAC-AE) that augments SAC-discrete with an auxiliary reconstruction task. The algorithm is applied with distributed sample collection and parameter update in a robot-assisted preclinical environment. Experimental results indicate that guidewire delivery can be automatically implemented after 50k sampling steps in less than 15 h, demonstrating the proposed algorithm has the great potential to learn manipulation skill for vascular robotic systems.
Duyun compound green tea (DCGT) is a healthy beverage with lipid-lowering effect commonly consumed by local people, but its mechanism is not very clear. We evaluated the effect of DCGT treatment on bile acids (BA) metabolism of mice with high-fat diet (HFD) – induced hyperlipidaemia by biochemical indexes and metabolomics and preliminarily determined the potential biomarkers and metabolic pathways of hyperlipidaemia mice treated with DCGT as well as investigated its lipid-lowering mechanism. The results showed that DCGT treatment could reduce HFD – induced gain in weight and improve dyslipidaemia. In addition, a total of ten types of BA were detected, of which seven changed BA metabolites were observed in HFD group mice. After DCGT treatment, glycocholic acid, tauroursodeoxycholic acid and taurochenodeoxycholic acid were significantly down-regulated, while hyodeoxycholic acid, deoxycholic acid and chenodeoxycholic acid were markedly up-regulated. These results demonstrated that DCGT treatment was able to make the BA metabolites in the liver of hyperlipidaemia mice normal and alleviate hyperlipidaemia by regulating the metabolites such as glycocholic acid, tauroursodeoxycholic acid and taurochenodeoxycholic, as well as the BA metabolic pathway and cholesterol metabolic pathway involved.
This study investigated attitudes towards dementia among Chinese immigrants aged 50 years and over living in Australia and compares these attitudes with those of individuals living in mainland China. It aimed to better understand what older Chinese adults think about dementia and to inform the development of tailored dementia-related services for this group of people.
A qualitative design involving individual interviews was employed in this study.
Forty-six participants were recruited: 21 in Melbourne and 25 in Beijing. All interviewees were born in mainland China, were community-dwelling, and did not have a dementia diagnosis.
The tripartite model of attitudes was used to guide the semi-structured interview design and report the results. Thematic qualitative analysis was employed.
In both groups, most participants held negative feelings, stigmatized views and negative stereotypes of dementia. However, most participants expressed a willingness to help individuals living with dementia. Regarding dementia care, nearly all participants preferred home care but thought formal care would become the mainstream form of care in the future. Fewer Melbourne participants expressed concerns regarding developing dementia, were interested in dementia, or perceived a need for dementia-related educational activities. Melbourne participants also reported more avoidant responses to dementia or individuals living with dementia.
This study carefully compares attitudes towards dementia between older Chinese immigrants in Melbourne and older Chinese adults in Beijing. Similarities and differences were observed between these two groups. Dementia-related service providers should consider the sociocultural changes and migration-related barriers experienced by Chinese immigrants.
Treatment non-response and recurrence are the main sources of disease burden in major depressive disorder (MDD). However, little is known about its neurobiological mechanism concerning the brain network changes accompanying pharmacotherapy. The present study investigated the changes in the intrinsic brain networks during 6-month antidepressant treatment phase associated with the treatment response and recurrence in MDD.
Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging was acquired from untreated patients with MDD and healthy controls at baseline. The patients' depressive symptoms were monitored by using the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD). After 6 months of antidepressant treatment, patients were re-scanned and followed up every 6 months over 2 years. Traditional statistical analysis as well as machine learning approaches were conducted to investigate the longitudinal changes in macro-scale resting-state functional network connectivity (rsFNC) strength and micro-scale resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) associated with long-term treatment outcome in MDD.
Repeated measures of the general linear model demonstrated a significant difference in the default mode network (DMN) rsFNC change before and after the 6-month antidepressant treatment between remitters and non-remitters. The difference in the rsFNC change over the 6-month antidepressant treatment between recurring and stable MDD was also specific to DMN. Machine learning analysis results revealed that only the DMN rsFC change successfully distinguished non-remitters from the remitters at 6 months and recurring from stable MDD during the 2-year follow-up.
Our findings demonstrated that the intrinsic DMN connectivity could be a unique and important target for treatment and recurrence prevention in MDD.
The impact of the dietary potential inflammatory effect on diabetic kidney disease (DKD) has not been adequately investigated. The present study aimed to explore the association between dietary inflammatory index (DII) and DKD in US adults.
This is a cross-sectional study.
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2007–2016) were used. DII was calculated from 24-h dietary recall interviews. DKD was defined as diabetes with albuminuria, impaired glomerular filtration rate or both. Logistic regression and restricted cubic spline models were adopted to evaluate the associations.
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2007–2016) were used, which can provide the information of participants.
Four thousand two-hundred and sixty-four participants were included in this study. The adjusted OR of DKD was 1·04 (95 % CI 0·81, 1·36) for quartile 2, 1·24 (95 % CI 0·97, 1·59) for quartile 3 and 1·64 (95 % CI 1·24, 2·17) for quartile 4, respectively, compared with the quartile 1 of DII. A linear dose–response pattern was observed between DII and DKD (Pnonlinearity = 0·73). In the stratified analyses, the OR for quartile 4 of DII were significant among adults with higher educational level (OR 1·83, 95 % CI 1·26, 2·66) and overweight or obese participants (OR 1·67, 95 % CI 1·23, 2·28), but not among the corresponding another subgroup. The interaction effects between DII and stratified factors on DKD were not statistically significant (all P values for interactions were >0·05).
Our findings suggest that a pro-inflammatory diet, shown by a higher DII score, is associated with increased odd of DKD.
Mechanistic studies have suggested that antioxidants have beneficial effects on age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This study aimed to investigate the association between the types and sources of dietary vitamin and carotenoid intakes and AMD risk in China. A matched case–control study of 260 AMD cases and 260 matched controls was performed. The participants were interviewed for dietary information and potential confounders, and comprehensive ophthalmic examinations were performed. Conditional logistic models were used to estimate the odds ratio (OR) and 95 % confidence interval (CI) of specific vitamins and carotenoids and their main sources. When comparing the extreme quartiles, the ORs (95 % CI) were 0·30 (0·10, 0·88) for lutein and 0·28 (0·11, 0·74) for β-cryptoxanthin. The associations for other dietary vitamin and carotenoid intakes were generally weaker and non-significant. Higher intakes of spinach and egg, which are important sources of lutein, were associated with a reduced odds of AMD. ORs (95% CIs) comparing extreme categories were 0·42 (0·20, 0·88) for spinach and 0·52 (95% CI: 0·27, 0·98) for egg. Participants who were in the highest category of both egg intake and spinach intake had a much greater reduced odds of having AMD (OR: 0·23; 95% CI: 0·08, 0·71) than those in the lowest category of egg intake and spinach intake. In conclusion, a higher intake of lutein and lutein-rich foods was associated with a significantly decreased odds of AMD. These findings provide further evidence of the benefits of lutein and lutein-rich foods in the prevention of AMD.
The parasite Fasciola hepatica is an important zoonotic parasite. The development of an animal model of F. hepatica's life cycle is critical for studying the biological characteristics of the parasite in snails and mammals. Eggs of F. hepatica of bovine origin were cultured, and metacercariae were obtained after infection of Galba pervia snails. The life cycle system of F. hepatica was initiated in 2 different animals by orally infecting rabbits, SD rats and Kunming mice with the metacercariae. The animals' survival after infection, parasite migration in the animals and pathological damage to the liver were observed. We discovered that rabbits died due to acute suppurative hepatitis 60–69 days after infection, and eggs were found in the feces on day 63 of infection. The liver of SD rats showed punctate lesions on day 3 of infection, and further changes occurred as the infection progressed. However, liver repair was observed at week 9. SD rats survived for more than a year after infection and continued the F. hepatica life cycle. The liver lesions in Kunming mice after infection were similar but more severe than those in SD rats. Death was observed on the 31st post-infection day. We discovered that while rabbits, SD rats and Kunming mice can all be used as animal models of F. hepatica, SD rats are more suitable experimental animals in terms of tolerance and pathological response.