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There is growing evidence that gray matter atrophy is constrained by normal brain network (or connectome) architecture in neuropsychiatric disorders. However, whether this finding holds true in individuals with depression remains unknown. In this study, we aimed to investigate the association between gray matter atrophy and normal connectome architecture at individual level in depression.
In this study, 297 patients with depression and 256 healthy controls (HCs) from two independent Chinese dataset were included: a discovery dataset (105 never-treated first-episode patients and matched 130 HCs) and a replication dataset (106 patients and matched 126 HCs). For each patient, individualized regional atrophy was assessed using normative model and brain regions whose structural connectome profiles in HCs most resembled the atrophy patterns were identified as putative epicenters using a backfoward stepwise regression analysis.
In general, the structural connectome architecture of the identified disease epicenters significantly explained 44% (±16%) variance of gray matter atrophy. While patients with depression demonstrated tremendous interindividual variations in the number and distribution of disease epicenters, several disease epicenters with higher participation coefficient than randomly selected regions, including the hippocampus, thalamus, and medial frontal gyrus were significantly shared by depression. Other brain regions with strong structural connections to the disease epicenters exhibited greater vulnerability. In addition, the association between connectome and gray matter atrophy uncovered two distinct subgroups with different ages of onset.
These results suggest that gray matter atrophy is constrained by structural brain connectome and elucidate the possible pathological progression in depression.
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.
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